Talla's Temple Ch. 20byxtorch©
She was lying on her back, and had been for a while now, looking at the ceiling of his little room while he watched her chest gently rising and falling. Eventually he realised that he was the one who would have to break the silence before it became too awkward.
"You alright?" Zhair'lo asked Anzha.
She nodded, a bare whisper of assent passing through her lips. He hadn't hurt her. The mesh let him know that much.
Okay, he admitted to himself, he knew that he hadn't hurt her body.
There had been a very strange combination of fear and courage in her mind, well beyond what he'd felt from any of those he'd bedded before. Virgins all, and yet Anzha was different. Maybe it was a mistake to ever think that there would be two quite alike.
Propped up on his elbow, he looked in to eyes that refused to look back in to his.
"You seemed scared," he ventured.
"A little," she said, a light whisper fading in to the windless night air.
He didn't know where to go from there, so he laid a hand on her belly, letting just the tips of his fingers touch her skin. He dragged them slowly up her body.
She shivered in response and closed her eyes.
Good or bad?
A tear escaped the corner of her eye.
Why was she crying?
She rolled over suddenly, wrapping her arms around him and burying her head in his chest.
"I'm sorry," she murmured.
"Wh-Why?" was all he could stammer in reply.
A sniffle escaped her then, before she took a breath to calm herself. Finally their eyes met, hers glistening with tears.
"I shouldn't cry," she said firmly.
"No," she replied, quick and smart. "It's just -- it's been a long wait."
"I heard," Zhair'lo said sympathetically.
"I just didn't know what to expect," she said. "What if I did something wrong? I'd imagined it -- how I would do it. But what if that's not the right way? What if it's not the normal way?"
That was a load to take on -- the idea that she could be as unsure as he was. Talla had seemed so confident in her actions that first night. He imagined all women to be so.
"You didn't do it wrong," he said. "I'm sure of that."
She laughed lightly through her tears.
"And you know?"
"I guess so," he replied. "We can do it any way we like, I think. I wouldn't know the wrong ways from the right."
"We're supposed to -- they tell us -- we're supposed to be on top."
"We can try that next," he assured her.
At which point she punched him, in a gentle manner that told him he'd probably said the right thing.
All that Talla wanted to do was go back to her room and possibly play with herself in peace and quiet. But no. For some reason, there was an Initiate standing at the bottom of the stairs to her apartment. She was dressed somewhat like Talla: the same tiny skirt on her bottom while her smaller chest featured only the simple rectangular top.
If you were Point, she thought, I'd be able to tell through that top. If you were Abundance, that top wouldn't fit. And an Initiate in Strength would have a broader chest than you have, never mind an upgrade in Point or Abundance.
You, she glared accusingly, are not of Endowment. So what are you doing here?
"Talla?" the girl asked as she approached.
"Yes," she confirmed suspiciously.
As she closed on the intruder, she noticed the badge on her hip. Two snakes wrapped around a triangle. It made her a physician's assistant.
"The Second of Within requires your presence in a medical matter," she said. "It is very urgent."
That explained how this girl had gotten in to the Endowment triangle. Medical emergencies could allow for that. What medical matter could be so important and involve her?
"Should we run?" Talla asked, hoping they hadn't discovered disastrous with her health. "I just got upgraded."
"We should make good speed," the girl responded. "Come."
They would set a brisk pace, then.
"What is this about?" Talla asked.
"It's best that my Mistress explains it."
"Maksa Ayella, Keeper of Lips," the Sorceress intoned so her voice would carry to those gathered around.
"Mistress," Maksa acknowledged with a bow.
"Sisters all," the Sorceress of Pussy called out.
"Mistress," they chimed in unison.
It wasn't a small gathering. There were dozens of women of differing ranks who had formed a circle around the Sorceress in green and the Keeper in yellow.
"Today we welcome a new sister to our ranks," Pussy said.
"Welcome," they called back.
"Every woman who joins us, joins us in the same state," the Sorceress said. "You, too, shall rise as one of us just as every Virgin girl becomes a woman of Pussy."
"As you wish, Mistress."
Maksa had been surprised to learn how easily she could switch Disciplines. Her own Mistress -- her former Mistress -- had already released her to travel. That had made getting that permission irrelevant, at least so her new Mistress had said. All she'd needed was the permission of the Sorceress of Pussy, which had been pre-granted.
So here she stood, waiting for the ritual to continue. She wondered if every Discipline had its own ritual for this sort of thing, or was it just Pussy? Most of the others couldn't really do anything like this, could they?
The Sorceress of Pussy undid the small metal catch on her skirt and let it fall to the floor. Such luxurious hair. It would be so soft to the touch, were Maksa permitted to touch.
But Maksa stood, making no movement, as all around her the others of her new Discipline followed suit, stripping off their jeweled orange bottoms, their stylized yellow skirts, their solid white skirts embroidered with blue. They'd all come out with their nicest clothing for this private ceremony in Principia Pussy.
Maksa was last. With a Sorceress, seven ranks above her, standing there without a stitch covering her below the waist, Maksa ought to be several ranks past complete nudity. Nine hells, the only people with any clothing on ought to be the Second of Pussy who would get away with wearing her bikini top. Officers, if they chose and had one handy, could wear a single sash and leave only one breast exposed., but the only way they'd get a single sash was to steal one from an Acolyte II ... who would also have to be naked.
But those complex Protocols weren't for this occasion. Everyone kept their tops on. Everyone took their bottoms off.
And Maksa, as the centre of this ceremony, was the last to slide out of her simple yellow skirt.
"Be seated," the Sorceress told her.
Obediently and quietly, as befit the solemnity of the occasion, she sat on the small reclined chair provided and laid back.
The Sorceress clapped her hands twice, a signal for two attendants in white to come forward with a small basin of hot water and cloths. Maksa took them for Virgins, though with bottoms missing, there was no way to tell them from Initiates. They placed their basin at Maksa's feet and knelt down in front of her.
Maksa, ready for this, spread her legs as one of the younger girls soaked a cloth in the water. Both of them had the bare fuzz of pubic hair that denoted a single step in rank; a single upgrade. Maksa, having started in Lips, was only one step beyond them in this matter. There were things unsettled in her mind. Would they give her the two upgrades in Pussy so that she could properly be a Keeper of Pussy? Would that violate the rules about upgrades? A Keeper ought to have four upgrades within her Division. Maksa currently held four in Lips, two in Pussy and two in Within. If they brought her up to four in Pussy, she would be holding six in Within and Lips when she should only have four -
Her thoughts were knocked aside by the careful application of a hot cloth to her genitals. The girl in charge of that ministration carefully kneaded at her lips through the cloth, making sure they would be soft and warm. Maksa stifled a sudden urge to urinate.
The cloth was drawn away and the second Virgin came forward with an unusually fragrant bar of soap in her hands. She dipped it in the water and lathered her hands. There was an immense amount of lather from the bar. It must have been specially made for these sorts of occasions.
This hot, soapy lather was delicately spread over her pussy until all of her hair was buried beneath it.
When that act had been satisfactorily performed, the Sorceress clapped her hands again. The two girls bowed and backed away in to the crowd. Another came forward. This was an older woman whose orange bikini top indicated the rank of Acolyte.
Maksa was relieved, in a way. Best to have this done by someone with a steady hand.
This woman, like the Virgins, knelt at her feet. It made Maksa feel awkward, having someone so obviously senior in such a position relative to her.
From her hand, the woman produced a small blade which she carefully soaked in the steaming water. Maksa bit her lip as the blade was laid along the flesh of her belly and slowly stroked through the cream covered hair between her legs.
Two upgrades, she thought, and they shear it away just like that.
It would grow again, just as before. The upgrades weren't really gone, just symbolically and temporarily removed. The flesh underneath knew to bring it back.
Nevertheless, the blade swept her hair in smooth strokes, leaving a bare and tender skin behind. In a few expert flashes of the blade, her mound was cleaned of both soap and hair. She felt more naked now than she had been in all the times she'd ever exposed herself to anyone, man or woman. Now she was like one of the Virgins in her dormitories.
The Adept finished her work and stood up, giving a nod of satisfaction to her own work.
Almost immediately, a young girl in a white bikini top came forward with a towel so Maksa could dry herself off. It felt very strange, running that towel over her shorn genitals. It just wasn't a done thing, going back to bare skin after having one's first Pussy upgrade. Yet, here she was, plain and bald as any of the girls that had passed through her dormitory these last few months.
This was a tradition in Pussy, was it?
Maksa stood up to face her new Mistress, who was still as bottomless as all others. In this crowd, pubic hair all around, Maksa suddenly felt the most juvenile.
Another attendant came forward and handed the Sorceress a small bundle in yellow.
The Sorceress unfolded it in to a long, yellow band of fabric. She then handed it to Maksa.
"Welcome in, Maksa Ayella, Adept of Pussy," she said.
Maksa's eyes widened. A promotion with her transfer.?
"I -- I -- thank you, Mistress," she replied, taking the proffered cloth.
Anzha was on top this time.
She'd still wanted him to handle the penetration part, but she'd rolled him over soon after.
At the moment, she was experimenting with shifting her weight from one side to the other, letting the head of his erection push at her insides from different angles.
It was a slow process, gently finding her limits, testing her tolerance for pressure and pain.
Zhair'lo watched her, not daring to move. She was tight in there, tighter than he'd ever felt before, absenting Natta's peculiar talent. Whether it was her nerves or her body, he couldn't say, but he knew better than to thrust while she probed the depths of her tunnel with his member.
She rocked back, ever so slowly, and a shiver went through both of them.
"What's that?" she asked in a hoarse whisper, as much to herself as him.
"Something," he said. "Some little -- thing -- right at the tip."
She nodded, rocking her hips forward.
Gently, she repeated her backwards motion.
"Ah!" she sighed. "There."
He felt it. Whatever part of her he was rubbing against was a good spot for her. He felt it through the mesh, even as it tickled him. He placed his hands gently on her thighs. Her hands came to rest atop his as he began to rock back and forth.
She sighed again and let her head roll back.
"Bigger," she murmured, never missing a beat in the rhythm she'd made. "I can feel it -"
She was patient. Zhair'lo had to give her that. Maybe all those weeks trapped in the half-adulthood of a Sealed Virgin had done that. Maybe it was her nature. Whatever it was, it made her patient, and her patience came through to him, even as his erection swelled to its painful limit.
"So ... big," she murmured, her eyes closed.
She pressed his hands against her. He squeezed the thin muscles of her thighs, both holding and held against the inevitable.
His breath left his lungs. It hurt so badly and he just -- couldn't -- come.
And just when his fear and breathlessness were about to become a panic, the swelling inside her overcame then both.
"Ah!" she shouted in joy.
She never stopped her rocking, even as her eyes narrowed and her features became fierce. Their bodies pulsed in unison, drawing spasm after spasm of semen out of him and in to her.
When they both were spent, she didn't dismount right away, choosing instead to enjoy the feeling of post-orgasmic happiness.
Their eyes met. A slight smile came to her mouth, slowly reaching her eyes.
"I think they were right," she said. "I really like being on top."
The Initiate, who had not spoken a word for their entire jog through the Temple, waved Talla through the doors to the Casualty Ward. Had someone been injured? It couldn't be her, could it? She didn't feel injured. Was some latent problem about to manifest itself?
Candles were lit, fainter light than even torches would normally provide. It took her eyes a moment to adjust.
There was a naked boy -- a young man -- lying on a low, narrow table, his arms draped to the floor. He appeared nearly lifeless. At first she'd thought he might be dead, but no. His chest occasioned to move in a nearly imperceptible fashion. Was he the casualty then, and not her?
A Second was attending. She sat in a reclined chair as low as the table, facing the feet of the emaciated boy.
Talla was able to identify the woman at once. She was pretty sure that the Seconds of Pussy and Lips weren't even doctors, and this woman had laid her white smock over the back of the chair on which she was sitting, a position from which she faced the boy on the table. The discarded smock made her a doctor; the consequently visible blue clothing made her a Second; and the Second of Within was well known for her medical skill. Her name, Talla knew, was Tia.
Tia the doctor sat patiently, hands folded between her legs, as she stared at the boy.
Two other physicians, still dressed as such, stood by, along with a girl in the white skirt and double sashes of a Neophyte. That last one looked the most nervous of all. She, like Talla, didn't appear to have the medical snake badge that the others sported. She glanced up when Talla entered, gulped nervously, and said nothing.
"Mistress," the Initiate who had led her in whispered. "This is the one who Served him."
Tia looked up at her sharply.
"You Served this boy three nights ago?" she asked, using the same piercing tone as the woman who had burst in to her apartment so recently.
"Mistress?" Talla asked, startled.
"This boy," she repeated. "You Served him, as you were assigned?"
Talla approached the table. He didn't look like anyone she had -
"Gods," she whispered. "Shen!"
She ran to the table and knelt at his side. She hadn't even recognized him, so thin and frail was he.
"What happened to him?" she asked as she examined his pale features.
"Did you Serve him?" the question came back.
"Yes, Mistress. Of course."
Her inquisitor had not risen from her place at the foot of the table.
"How many times did you Serve him?" came the next question from the corner of her vision.
This was interrogation. There was no doubt of the tone in the woman's voice.
"Three -- well, two -- kind of," Talla stuttered.
"He wasn't -- um -- ready," Talla said. "So I used my mouth the first time. He surprised me and - well -- ejaculated."
"In your mouth, I see," the Second said. "Then what?"
"We had sex twice after that," she said. "I was on top the first time. The second time he was -- well -- behind me and on top."
"Did you notice anything odd in your encounters with him?"
How would I know? Talla wanted to say. I've Served exactly three guys.
But she held her tongue. Did she want to explain how she'd made Shen spank her, inviting him to strike ever harder and then overcoming his resistance to the punishment she wanted? Did she want to delve in to her guilt and how she'd used him to cleanse herself of it?
"Nothing but that he ejaculated in my mouth," Talla replied, holding her eyes on Shen.
It was at that point, as she stroked Shen's hair, that she turned to her look at Tia.
She twitched and immediately looked away. She realized that she had been mistaken. In the faint light of the candles, Talla had thought that the older woman had been merely observing the patient on the table, quietly waiting in her seated position for some particular and arcane event. Talla realized, with that quick glance, that this was not the case. One of the physician's hands had been down between her legs, rubbing at her genitals. Talla had looked directly up her skirt, unavoidable given their relative positions. Tia appeared to be masturbating.
Okay, then ...
She turned her attention back to Shen. Had she done this to him?
"What happened to him?"
"He did not wake up the morning after you left."
Horror. It must be her fault.
"Shen," she whispered. "It's me, Talla. Wake up, Shen."
"Ready?" Tia asked.
Talla turned, thinking that this question was for her. That, much like her assumption that Tia had been idly sitting in her chair, turned out not to be the case. Tia had been speaking to the anxious Neophyte.
"Yes, Mistress," that one whispered and gave a quick nod.
The Neophyte moved to stand between Tia and Shen. Tia did not rise. She merely unlaced her skirt and let the sides of it drape over chair. It created an odd symmetry, her skirt and Shen's arms. Draped; spent; lifeless.
Tia paused and looked at Talla.
"You might as well stay," she said. "Since you Served him most recently, it might help. We may yet be able to rouse him."
Talla gulped. That statement sounded merely hopeful and decidedly not confident. Did that mean Shen's future was in doubt?
And how was she to help? Like in the Priming room? If anything she could do could help poor Shen, she would do it. But Tia gave her no further direction, turning instead to the Neophyte.
"Yinna," Tia said. "Prepare to take from me and Awaken our ward."
Yinna began undressing. Her tiny top went first, slid off over her head. This girl was older by years than Talla, but Talla felt so much the senior to her when she compared chests. Yinna's skirt went next and it occurred to Talla that she was now overdressed.
The two physicians who waited quietly at the side made no move to undress, perhaps an immunity of their professional positions. Talla doubted that she was so excused. Eight ranks below a woman who had surrendered her skirt and one rank below the nude Yinna, she was violating Protocol.
On the other hand, what in the nine hells were Yinna and Tia going to do? Was sex going to wake Shen up? He wasn't even conscious, never mind -- she checked surreptitiously -- aroused. Well, whatever. If that was what was going on, she'd better do her part.
She unlaced her top, releasing her breasts. She was pleasantly, though distantly, pleased to find that the pain of the upgrade was nothing compared to the pain that had been her Abundance pulling at chest muscles unequipped for the task. Thank the gods for small and quickly effective upgrades.