Temple of the Hawk Womenbyjusttheone©
She had not intended to go out to these ruins alone. Not that she minded the solitude. In fact she preferred it. But coming out here by herself like this was bad form, at least to some degree. For this wasn't really her expedition. A man named Baker had set it up, after he made the find on his own a month earlier. She only knew the chap slightly. Nice enough fellow. Bit erratic, but a little insanity was frequently useful in their game. He had called Lara in as a last minute emergency replacement for another member of his team, after some sort of accident. But then today, she arrived at their hotel to find his entire team bedridden. They didn't seem to be at death's door, thankfully, but none of them would be fit to visit the site for some considerable period. Baker thought it was just bad luck. Lara herself suspected poisoning. It was suspicious that all half dozen of them would get sick at the same time, right on the morning they were about to start. She found out the man she'd been summoned to replace had been trampled in the street by oxen. The kind of accident that might not have been as accidental as it appeared.
Baker hadn't told anyone else about calling Lara. He said it had been a late night inspiration. Baker's enemies, if he had enemies—and provided they weren't actually gods—shouldn't have any idea she'd become involved in this business.
So she'd gone ahead to the ruin alone. Just to look around a while, and make certain for herself no one else had found the place. Ransacking the site before Baker's team got there.
It was larger and grander than she was expecting. A real lost city, hidden up inside a mountain cleft. A major road ran right by the foot of that mountain, built fifty years ago, when this country was still colonized. There was a fucking Taco Bell, of all things, not fifteen minutes' drive away up that road, to the north. It was marvelous that no one had found the ruins before Baker. This region was rather densely populated, rugged as it was—by no means a howling, trackless wilderness. Good to know the modern planet, cluttered as it had become, still had some special surprises like this, tucked away.
Baker had described the city as baking hot, bone dry and dusty. "A skeleton of a city, lifeless as the moon," he'd said. Well, it had evidently rained a fair amount since he first visited, because it wasn't like that at all, when she got up there into the cleft. The place had turned into a swamp. Most of the city was flooded, the ruins sticking up from in the middle of a broad and murky lake. Those hulks of stone not entirely submerged were entirely covered in greenery, in place of the dark water, giving them a shaggy look. Not skeletal or dusty in the slightest. The complete antithesis of lifeless—there were about a billion birds, bugs and monkeys all over, and all of them, as was their way, raising a ruckus of shrieks and screeches like they were hoping to bring down the mountaintop, with all their damn noise.
Beautiful. No, really.
The lake was too deep for her to reach any of the structures without swimming. She wasn't properly outfitted for this setting. She would have liked to have on one of her wetsuits. Instead she was dressed for desert terrain. She wondered if Baker had been just been joking with her, when he described this place. Had there been sarcasm in his voice? If there had been, she'd completely missed it. Or had this been some clumsy halfass attempt at subterfuge, to throw off his competitors, in case his phone was being tapped?
Just as likely the weather had simply shifted, since he was here—even though it hadn't been very long ago. Dramatic changes like this weren't particularly unusual, especially on mountains. Tomorrow the whole site might get buried in snow.
She could have swum out to the ruins without undressing. Her usual shorts and top would not have hindered her. They were almost soaking wet already, just from her sweat. A cooling rinse in that lake would be good for them. Her hefty boots would have given her a little trouble, but they were all she needed to remove. Even her guns were designed to take a dunking without hurting the things. Her little backpack was also entirely waterproof, and quite lightweight. She could stash her sunglasses in there.
But even though it was unnecessary, Lara took off all her things. Except her gunbelt, and her backpack. She jammed her clothing into the backpack with her sunglasses, though they made it a tight fit in there, with the supplies it already contained. She left her boots on the shore, on top a rock, with her socks tucked in them. They were much too big and cumbersome to carry along. And she didn't mind running around barefoot, even out in a potentially perilous wilderness like this. Sure, it wasn't entirely safe, but what the hell. Native peoples in the jungles of the world did this all the time, regardless of sharp stones or thorns or bugs or snakes. We Westerners baby ourselves too much. And going barefoot just feels better, in hot, sticky weather. Her feet got too slimy and itchy in her boots, in a climate like this. Barefoot felt cleaner and freer and all around more fun.
As for the rest of her body ... Well, the same things applied. And clambering through the boggy thickets to reach the lake, she'd got covered in filth, along the way. Greenish, foul-stinking mud had got spattered all over her. And then, even yuckier, she had to peel off several shredded sheets of thick nasty cobwebs crisscrossing her face and torso and her thighs. In the shadows under the canopy, she hadn't been able to see the dense layers of the things strung between the trees across her route. So she'd barged right through them. Got the stuff in her mouth and up in her nose. She hated when that happened. It happened all the time, to a Tomb Raider. At least she didn't find any spiders themselves clinging to her.
She needed a refreshing wash, was the point.
So this was why, when Lara Croft swam across the dark lake, toward the largest of city structures, she made that swim entirely naked, but for her backpack and gunbelt. It might not seem a wise thing to do. No doubt it was impractical and reckless. Perhaps it seems unrealistic, that an experienced and professional adventuress like Lara Croft would chose to do such a thing, in such a wild and unknown place, no matter how hot and dirty and uncomfortable she'd become, in the course of her tromp through the surrounding swamps. But this is what she did. And what's more, she delighted in it. In fact the brazen recklessness of the decision served as an added goad.A sweetener.
She had some brief trouble about halfway across. She was attacked by a hippopotamus, of all things. Most people don't realize how fierce and formidable those silly-looking beasties can be. Damn thing would have liked to chomp into slurry. But she was too quick for it. And it did not pursue her, when she reached the building and pulled herself from the water.
She had found the crumbling remainder of a stairway built along the outside wall of the structure. It led her up two stories or so to an open doorway ... It was not a dark doorway—the building didn't have much roof left, letting in plenty of sun. Lara went in.
A long gallery, perhaps a temple.Almost entirely open to the sky.Two lines of tall statues, facing each other. A few were knocked down and broken, but most stood intact. Fashioned from reddish stone, they were all female figures, nude, with the heads of hawks. Their design looked a little Egyptian, but only a little. All the figures held their arms outstretched before them, with upraised palms. Perhaps they were supposed to be beckoning, or it was some sort of salute. Or perhaps in the past they had each carried something. Perhaps they weren't religious figures at all—perhaps this had been a place for making clothing, and these statues were only the ancient equivalents of shop dummies, for tailoring or display.
Archaeology is tricky like that.
The interior walls were draped with flowery vines. She didn't recognize the flowers—some variety of orchid. They were quite large, and bright purple, with a powerful, odd scent. At first it seemed like cinnamon. Then it seemed more like vanilla. It would have been a pleasant smell if it was slightly less strong. Instead it was overpowering. Like when a kid splashes on too much cologne and it makes you ill. But her nose got used to it fairly quickly, and then she stopped noticing it altogether.
Later she would wonder a lot about that. The speed and the totality with which she had forgotten about those weird flowers, right after she took notice of them. But it wasn't usual for her to pay much attention to flowers, in any case. It was probably less odd that she'd forgotten about them than that they'd caught her interest at all, even if only for a few moments.
But that scent had started really bothering her ... And then it stopped. So sudden, like flicking a switch. That was the scary part. Nobody wants their switches flicked without them realizing.
It was possible the flowers had done something to her. When she breathed in their pollen. She might never know for sure. But possibly the flowers were to blame for everything that followed after this. They might be the reason she had acted so impulsively and rashly. She might have been stoned or tripping a little—drugged by the funny fumes from those weird plants.
Or maybe she was kidding herself and that was bullshit. Maybe she was grasping at straws, so she wouldn't have to take the responsibility on herself. After all, she was already acting impulsively and rashly before she went into that building and smelled those fucking flowers. She was already naked, by that point. And not just naked, but excited.Stimulated.Aroused.
She'd got herself turned on, doing this, the way she was doing it. Romping about in the nude, all by her lonesome, in the steamy heat of a lost city.A mad lark. What if she'd hurt yourself? Or what if other tomb raiders turned up and found her like this? That was not a very unlikely prospect. It was quite dangerously possible. The whole reason she came out to this place, supposedly, had been to make sure no other raiders had sabotaged Baker's team to steal in ahead of them. That was what she had told herself, anyway, when she decided to come.
But nobody else was here. Looked like Baker's problems were mere mischance, after all. And now Lara was just fooling around. This wasn't proper exploration. She was just indulging herself out in the sun, for the giddy thrill of the thing.
That fucking angry hippocould have killed her. But she'd been too good, too fast for it. Surviving a murderous assault is quite a rush. Nothing makes you feel as alive as nearly dying.
Fights always turned Lara on, provided she won them, of course. Afterward, she'd find herself in quite a state of keenness. It was like, "Ha! I didn't die! I should fuck someone!" A triumphal act of affirmation. Not that she'd ever quite put it to herself in those particular words. But the feeling—the urge—was always there, after every battle. Didn't matter who or what she'd been fighting. Bad men, monsters. Now, a goddamn pissed-off territorial hippo. She didn't always dash right out and act on it, when she'd feel the craze boiling up—but sometimes she had.
And she decided she would, that day. She would take a few minutes and settle the need. May as well. No reason not to. Nothing stopping her.Nobody around to interrupt. It was like she had the whole world to yourself.
So she'd go ahead and take the matter in hand, so to speak. Tee hee.
Lara sat down on an empty plinth, where one of the statues had toppled over, ages ago. It was quite clean—rain would come straight down on it, through the great holes in the roof. And right now, instead of rain it was taking brilliant rays of sunlight. So the stone was nicely warm—not too much.
She slipped her backpack off to use for a pillow, when she lay back flat. The plinth wasn't large enough to let her to stretch out completely, not as much as she'd have liked. She put her knees up, propping her heels on the edge of the plinth at its corners on that end, letting her toes dangle loose. That position worked well enough. Staring straight up through the broken roof into far off clouds, that seemed in her imagination to take on the shape of another lost city hanging up there over her, upside down—she put her gloved raider's hands to her own secret swampy cleft and invaded it with her fingertips. She plunged right to work, without restraint. With a fair degree of wanton aggression, instead.
Lara didn't just tease or diddle-dandle herself, or if she did, she only did that for a few seconds. Maybe a bit longer than that, but not much longer.No more than half a minute. And then she revved herself up, and started going to town. Time to get serious.
Lara wasn't just playing around here. That wasn't gonna do the job. She wanted to fuck. She wanted to get off, and get off good. So she fucked her hand, and fucked it hard. She fucked herself hard, with her fingers.
Didn't think this would take very long, getting herself her fix. She felt on edge enough that she expected to peak right away. But somehow it wasn't that easy. Somehow she couldn't quite get herself there. Not like she thought she would.
It was strange. It wasn't like she wasn't making herself feel good, because she was. She most definitely was. She was making herself grit her teeth so hard she thought they might crack. And it wasn't like she needed something more, or something else. It was stranger than that. This was something new. Like her threshold had shifted, and kept shifting. The bar, so to speak, kept raising, before she could get herself over it. She'd feel herself getting close, going higher and higher—but then somehow the top would move further off, ahead of her. And she'd have to keep chasing it.Straining even higher for it.
This was a wonderful new development, for a while. Then it stopped being wonderful. It started to become annoying. It started to get a little scary.
It wasn't normally this hard to finish. It didn't usually take her this long, or this much effort. The sensations she was giving herself—they'd got so intense they were starting to hurt—though it was a good hurt. She was making herself sore. She shouldn't be able to take this—to feel the feelings this intensely without triggering a climax. That was what a climax was—when your system couldn't absorb anymore. The whole world burst. But her world wouldn't burst this time, for some reason. She just kept absorbing more and more—more than she ever had. It was awesome—but it was also agonizing. She was starting to get scared. She could imagine her body catching on fire, literally. Spontaneous combustion. Well, no—not spontaneous. Ignited by frustration.This crazy inability for her system to just finally pay off and let her come.
What was happening to her? What was causing this?
She sat up suddenly, to examine herself. It was kind of silly. Like she could discover the solution just by looking at her pussy. And she didn't stop churning herself, as she was looking. She found she couldn't. Her fingers had a mind of their own. They just kept right on with their task, while she sat there staring at them with a dazed expression, her mouth hanging open. Come hell or high water, as the saying goes—they weren't gonna quit, 'til they got her off. They'd keep churning away in her gash, 'til they worked themselves down to the bone. If that's what it was gonna take.
"Holy shit," she mumbled to herself, "Holy fucking shit."
And then suddenly, Lara Croft realized she wasn't alone anymore. She didn't hear anything or see any signs, not consciously. But somehow her sixth sense told her she was being watched, behind her.
That stopped her fingers. That stopped them dead.
She swung herself around on her bottom, on the plinth, so fast she almost scraped off skin on the marble, drawing her guns as she swiveled. To face the doorway where she'd come in. Her back had been to it, before, when she first lay herself down on the plinth. Why had she done that? Why had she stupidly put her back to the chamber's only entrance, an entrance that permanently gaped open? Why hadn't she taken a little more time to find herself a more secure spot, before she ... got busy?
Well, she'd been too horny to bother about that, obviously. And also, of course, the risk of someone finding her had added to her excitement. But she hadn't actually wanted that to happen. The threat was interesting, as an idea—but in reality, it was mortifying. This just sucked.
Five men in the doorway. All of them staring at her with big goofy grins. Five big grinning fuckers, with guns.
They weren't right on top of her, at least. She had a fair bit of distance to work with, between them by the doorway and the plinth she'd chosen to settle on.
But they were blocking her only way out of here, unless she could fly up through the holes in ceiling. The surrounding walls were high, and looked too smooth for climbing.
And she was stark naked. That would have been plenty bad enough, in itself. But she'd been fingerfucking herself ...
And they'd all seen it. They'd snuck in and been watching her, who knows how long. She'd been too wrapped up in her own nonsense to even notice, until just then.
"Holy fucking shit," she mumbled again.
"Hey there," said one of the men. He stood a little further forward than the others. The leader. He had a beard and a ponytail, and his bright teeth looked gigantic. Ogre teeth. But that was probably just her imagination—exaggerating his smile. It was a big smile—well, of course it was, considering. But it probably wasn't really as monstrously huge as it seemed to her, in her embarrassment. "No, don't get up," he went on,"Please. Seriously. Don't mind us. Just keep right on doing what you're doing, Miss Croft."
She took a moment, before she replied. A couple deep breaths. A swallow, to clear the tension in her throat. "Having a bit of private moment, gentlemen. Could you give a girl some privacy?"
There now. That had come out pretty well, hadn't it? Nice presentation of panache.
"Ah, come on. Don't be mean. Wouldn't you prefer a little company? Doesn't that sound more fun?"
"Afraid I don't know any of you chaps well enough for that."
"Well, yeah. I understand. But we could change that, couldn't we? You could get to know us real well, if you're up for it."
They were edging forward, little by little ... She fired a single shot into the air. Probably should have gone ahead and killed one, even if it started the rest of them shooting back. Best if they just got right into things, if they were gonna get into things.
But no, the one shot did enough, at least for the moment. The whole bunch retreated. They leaped backward like rabbits. If rabbits can leap backwards.
"Keep your distance, please," she said, "Stay right where you are."
"It's cool, it's cool. Nobody means you any harm here. Just a friendly offer. Just being friendly."
"The answer's no."
"Okay, if that's your call. That's how it'll be. I won't pretend it isn't disappointing. I thought you were supposed to be really adventurous."
"I've been known to be, now and again."
"There you go. I assure you, nobody came here looking for a fight."
"You boys got an awful lot of guns, though. Odd."
"Strictly defensive. Lot of dangerous animals around here."
"Oh, I see. You're implying that me and my guys are dangerous animals. Well, fine. Fair enough. We can be, when it's appropriate, or when it's necessary. But that's not the case, at the moment. Why would any of us wanna do you harm? You're one hell of a beautiful woman, Miss Croft. None of us wanna fight with you. What's the good of that? We want you to like us."