tagSci-Fi & FantasyLost at Sea Bk. 01 Ch. 07

Lost at Sea Bk. 01 Ch. 07


Janie looked up, her eyes full of suppressed panic. "How? Did he tell you?!"

Bella laughed, "You're not the only one who's good at picking up on things."

"I really did not want you to know." Janie set her quill down. Her shoulders slumped. "I didn't want you to be upset with me, and I didn't want to have to explain myself. I don't really know why I did it. The whole night was very strange."

"Please don't lie to me, Janie. I promise, I'm not upset. I think it's wonderful," Bella reached across the table and laid her hand on Janie's.

"I am being completely honest. Candid, even." Janie was quite affronted at being accused of deceit.

"Oh, we haven't even begun to get candid," Bella grinned. "You did it because you wanted to, and there is nothing wrong with that. You don't owe me any kind of explanation. You do not have to tell me anything you do not wish to. You can though. If you want, you can tell me all about it, and I will not be mad. I promise. I'll only be happy, unless something happened that hurt you."

"No... it didn't... It was..." Janie shook her head. "It was the best night of my life."

Bella lit up. She leaned forward. "That's wonderful!"

"How can you be so happy about this?" Janie asked, the worry still not gone from her eyes.

"Janie, we don't know each other well yet, but I like you. I consider you a friend and I care about you. Why would I not be happy for your happiness?" Bella made it sound like it was self evident.

"I had... carnal relations with a man who you had prior claim to. I consider you a friend as well, but I still took Will to bed with me even though I knew you might be upset. That was not very friendly of me." Janie felt ashamed. "I still cannot believe I am having this conversation. It's everything I was trying to keep from happening."

"I don't have any claim over Will. I showed up two days ago after not having seen him in ages, and I had sex with him to power a spell. I'd have to be insane to think that meant I had some kind of rights over what Will feels about anyone." Bella rolled her eyes. "If you knew me, you'd know that I don't get jealous like that."

"He said that's what you'd say." The corner of Janie's mouth twitched up into a small, brief smile.

"Then you did know, and there's no reason at all to be worried or ashamed." Bella squeezed Janie's hand.

"I didn't really believe him. I thought he must be mistaken. No one thinks that way." Janie looked at their hands, not sure what to do.

"I do," Bella shrugged.

"Why?" Janie asked like she was looking for an explanation to some kind of universal mystery, full of frustration and need.

"My people think differently about sex and relationships and love. We have to. Anyone who learns sex magic has to change their expectations. They have think about sex differently than most people," Bella said. "It's an idea that is spreading, now that hex bags are legal and more common. Women can choose when they bear children now, so sex isn't chained to motherhood anymore. We get to choose now. Why would we want to stay confined by the old ways of thinking with so many new options available to us?"

"Because the old ways are safe?" Janie suggested. She knew it was wrong the moment it left her lips.

Bella didn't notice the falsehood. She wasn't Magistrate trained. She had an answer anyway. "Safe is for people who are scared. What do you think you have to be scared of?"

"Apparently not you," Janie smiled. It was a deflection. Not really an answer at all. Bella laughed, not noticing.

"Not me. Never me." Bella gave Janie's hand another squeeze, then let go and pushed the bread and cheese toward her.

"This is so utterly bizarre," Janie said picking up the food and just looking at it for a moment.

"I'm going to be candid for a moment, because I want to ask you a question," Bella said. "Will and I are leaving in less than a week. Between now and then, I expect Will and I will have sex once or twice. Does that thought upset you?"

"No, of course not," Janie said. "You were with him first. You're going on a grand adventure with him. You're..." she gestured vaguely up and down Bella's body, briefly at a loss for words. "...you're beautiful. You're a... a sex witch. Of course you are going to be with him again. I'm his office assistant, and I already stepped over an important boundary. I won't be crossing it again, he is all yours."

"That isn't want I asked you," Bella said. "I wasn't staking a claim on him, Janie. I was asking if the thought of me having sex with Will upset you."

"No," Janie said.

"So you understand how I feel," Bella shrugged.

Janie didn't say anything for a few moments. She took a small bite of her lunch, thinking. Finally she nodded, and smiled. "You are the strangest woman I have ever met, but I am glad for you. Thank you. And I'm sorry. I know you don't care, but I still feel like I wronged you, and I feel bad about it."

"Well, I suppose you'll just have to make it up to me then, if it will make you feel better," Bella teased.

"How?" Janie knew she was being made fun of, but the suggestion sounded rather good to her.

"How many times did you orgasm last night?" Bella asked simply.

Janie turned bright red. "I... I don't think that is an appropriate question to ask," she said quietly.

"I thought you owed me?" Bella pushed.

"I don't see how it's relevant, but fine... I don't know. They kind of... blended together. Th...three I think. One was big." Janie couldn't meet Bella's eyes. She spoke into her lump of bread and stared at the messy table.

"Alright. Then that's what you owe me," Bella shrugged.

Janie choked on her bread. "What?"

"You owe me three orgasms, to make up for the ones you stole," Bella smiled wickedly. "Seems like a fair trade, right?"

"You mean I... Me... with you?" Janie looked utterly dumbfounded and was still bright red.

"Sure. Or some other way if you don't want to do that. I trust your creativity." Bella winked at Janie. "One of them has to be big though."

A shudder ran through Janie as her eyes met Bella's. The woman was like desire incarnate. Against all of Janie's upbringing, sense of propriety, and embarrassment she suddenly realized that she was uncomfortably aroused. Just like she'd been when she'd seen Bella splayed out on the table. Just like- she finally had to admit to herself- she'd been when Bella had hugged her after Jacqueline and her entourage had left.

She squeezed her thighs together and tried not to squirm. She couldn't speak. What would she even say? She shouldn't have been having these thoughts, they were so...

She knew women sometimes had relations with women. She didn't have a problem with that in the abstract. She believed people should be allowed to love whomever they liked. She frowned on people who disapproved, in the same way she frowned on people who disapproved of people of different races having relations. That was one of the things that had driven her away from the Magistrate. She'd learned a childhood friend, a young man she had grown up with, had been excommunicated for carnal acts with another man. She knew he was a good person, and simply could not reconcile what the Magistrate said about him with what she knew in her heart.

This, though. With Bella. Now. It was something that had simply never crossed her mind. It wasn't immoral. She knew that in her mind. Somehow though, she had never been able to shake free the feeling of judgement and disgust in her heart. It still felt wrong. She could ignore it in every other case. Pretend it wasn't there. Say that what people chose to do with whom simply wasn't her concern or her business because she knew that was the right answer, and ignore the discomfort that had always welled up when she really thought about the idea of two women together, but now there was no ignoring it. Bella had offered exactly that. Two women. Together. Her. And Bella. She had to think about it now, and she could not ignore the fact that it did not feel wrong in the slightest. Bella made everything feel... right.

The leftover judgemental conditioning was suddenly dragged out of the dark where she hid it. She felt it wither and die as it was forced into the light by Bella's playful smile.

"It's alright," Bella said.

Janie's eyes focused again. She had no idea how long she'd been lost in her thoughts. "What?" she asked.

"I'm just teasing you. I'd never ask you to do anything you didn't want to," Bella said gently.

"I know," Janie said quietly, some of the redness starting to fade from her face.

"I didn't push it too far, did I?" Bella asked, a bit concerned. "I just wanted you to see how ridiculous you were being. No one can owe anyone an orgasm."

Janie swallowed. "No. You're right. I was being ridiculous."

"I'm glad you can see that. I just wanted you to see that if you want to sleep with Will again, you should," Bella smiled.

Janie blinked. "Will?" They'd been talking about Will. She'd completely forgotten. She sighed and put her face in her hands, rubbing her temples. "This is so confusing."

"It's alright, really," Bella said, coming around the desk to stand behind the chair Janie was slouched in. Bella's soft fingers slid to the sides of Janie's head and found her temples. She applied a little bit of pressure and began to massage. Janie tipped her head back, at a loss of what else to do. It did feel wonderful. "Now tell me what's on your mind? All of it. I promise I can help. I want to."

Janie was quiet for a few moments, then words just seemed to pour forth. "Yesterday was stressful and full of... confusion. It started with me catching you on the table, and got more insane from there!"

Bella couldn't help but laugh. "Honestly, that was kinda fun. Sorry."

"For you!" Janie huffed. She rolled her head further into Bella's hands, enjoying the kneading fingers on her forehead and scalp. She hadn't realized how much tension she carried there.

"Well, yes. For me." Bella admitted.

"For me it was the start of the longest day of my life! We put three times as many clients as usual though, worked late, and then we were attacked!"

"What?" Bella said, her hands stopping. She moved and sat on the edge of the table so she could see Janie more clearly. "No one told me that! What happened?"

"Timmonds! The man who hassled Will when the two of you came out to go shopping yesterday. He came back with two thugs. They attacked us. They held me hostage and forced Will to make them a map." She stretched her neck so Bella could see the faint red line where the knife had just barely cut her. "They held a knife to my throat. I thought we were going to die."

All of Bella's playful demeanor was gone. She took Janie's hand and held it fiercely. "Tell me the rest."

"I caught them with a Truthtelling," Janie said. "The gun went off, but Will managed to get out of the way. I'm surprised you didn't notice the bullet in the table."

"That table has a lot of gouges in it. Some of them are from bullets already." Bella shrugged, then shook her head. "Not important. Keep going."

"Well, they were trapped after that. Locked in the power of the Telling," Janie said. "We were safe by then. We waited for the Guard to show up, and that was it."

"Like the hells it was," Bella exclaimed. "You had three people contained by incredible power, which, by the way, I had no idea you were capable of, or that you'd set up a Telling circle in this stupid old lighthouse! That is some serious spellbinding! I thought you were only an Acolyte?"

"I am. Well, was. Not many Acolytes can do it, but there are a few of us. And it was only two," Janie said, frustrated.

"Two what?" Bella asked, not following.

"Two people caught. Timmonds got away. He had some kind of spellbreaker talisman." Janie put the last bite of her lunch in her mouth and chewed slowly, not really tasting it.

"Timmonds? How? I've seen him before down at Merry Mary's. Word is he's some kind of second rate smuggler. Where would he get that kind of magical backup? That talisman would be worth more than his ship."

"He's working with a powerful spellbinder. His thugs said he smuggles Ashana's Tears." Janie looked a little sick at the thought.

"Rahat," Bella cursed, shaking her head in disbelief. "That would be upsetting to find out even on a normal day."

Janie was starting to feel better. Bella was right. Talking was helping. "Yes. By then I was not at my best."

"Understandable," Bella nodded.

"So the Guard came and took them away and it was over but I was... I just kept thinking how close we'd come to dying, and about how Will was leaving and might not come back, and..." She trailed off for a moment. "So I kissed him."

Bella grinned. "Excellent seduction technique. The aftermath of danger is a powerful aphrodisiac."

Janie started to go red again. "That was not my intent!"

"Sure it was," Bella teased. "It might have been spontaneous, but that doesn't mean you didn't know exactly what you wanted."

Janie looked torn. "Seduction doesn't seem like the right term."

"Who initiated?" Bella asked.

"I did," Janie admitted.

"Who was calling the shots along the way?" Bella continued.

"Well, I was. At least at first. It changed a bit once we... finally made it to bed." Janie felt like she was being grilled by the Grand Inquisitor in the Circle of Truths.

"Oh, turned the tables on you a bit, did he?" Bella snickered.

"Well, yes..." Janie blushed again, then huffed, frustrated at Bella's gift for breaking her composure.

"That sounds like a perfectly executed seduction to me," Bella gave Janie's shoulder a squeeze. "Congratulations."

Janie scowled, "You make it sound so insidious."

"That's only because you think seductions are bad. They aren't." Bella tucked a stray strand of hair behind Janie's ear. "Seduction is a kind of game, where you're trying to get someone to give into you. You try to draw them out. You push them in the direction you want them to go. You nudge and see how they respond. You awaken things in them that they didn't realize, or didn't want to admit were there. Control is important to all of that. The trick is, what all seductions are really about, is wanting the person you are seducing to seduce you back. To get them to take that control from you so you can give in to them."

Janie squeezed her thighs together. A tremble ran through her. She didn't say anything. She couldn't even look up.

"Does that sound like what happened?" Bella asked.

"Yes," Janie said, "Exactly that."

"Good job," Bella grinned, her dark eyebrows bouncing.

A small smile crept up onto Janie's face. "It was wonderful. And I really did want it.'

"Sounds like you really got your world rocked," Bella nudged Janie's thigh with her knee playfully.

Janie looked up shyly and nodded, "That is a very good way of putting it."

"You're welcome," Bella winked.

Janie's brows knitted. "I... don't understand."

"Will learned everything he knows about pleasuring a woman from Jack," Bella shrugged, then she leaned in conspiratorially near Janie's ear. "Jack learned everything she knows from me."

The blush crept back into Janie's cheeks and her mind rebelliously considered the implications of that. She tried not to think about it, but the image of Bella on the table was burned into her mind. Only now, it was herself on the table, and instead of Will between her legs, it was Bella.

"Oh. I see," Janie could barely get the words out. She had no idea what to say anymore. "...thank you." She was rambling.

"I'll just add it to your debt," Bella said with a predatory smirk.

"How can you... why do you always talk... so... lewdly!?" Janie exploded.

"Because it's fun," Bella shrugged. "There's nothing wrong with sex, or with talking about sex. Most people do it. Most people like it. Why shouldn't we talk about it?"

"Because it just isn't proper! Some things should stay private!" Janie was practically pleading, trying to hang onto some sense that her views and thoughts were sane in the endless onslaught of sensuality that was Bella.

The dark haired witch looked around. "This is private. We're the only ones here, right? I'll stop though. I don't want to make you uncomfortable." She got up from where she was leaning on the table, her leg breaking contact with Janie's thigh. Janie's heart dropped. She hadn't wanted to drive Bella away, she just wanted to make sense out of any of this. She could feel the moment slipping away.

"It's about time to wake Will anyway," Bella said, smoothing her skirts. "Thank you for talking with me."

Janie stood up abruptly and reached out, grabbing Bella's hand. She looked at it, not able to look anywhere else. Words tumbled from her lips. "With Will, last night, I just took his hand and dragged him to the bed. The day was so awful, and I just knew that I needed something to make me feel alive and in control and not scared. I am not one who is prone to hysterics or lack of composure. I made a choice, and I do not regret it. It was easy, and fun. I've known what he wanted for a long time, even if he thought he was being careful not to show it, so I knew exactly what to do. I knew what to say. I knew how to tell him."

Janie's gaze rose up the beautiful witch's lush body and fell into the dark pools of her eyes. "I don't know how to tell you..."

Bella leaned in slowly, gently and pressed her plump, soft lips to Janie's. Their hands slid around each other's bodies. Janie shook like she was frost bitten, and a tiny helpless moan escaped her right into Bella's mouth. Her head swam. She forgot to breathe.

Bella broke the kiss and smiled at her. "Sometimes, you don't need words."


Paperwork and clothes were everywhere. Bella's multicolored skirts were draped over a curio cabinet. Janie's sensible high collared blouse hung on the back of Will's big office chair. Her bustier was carefully and gently folded and set on a shelf out of harm's way (Bella had been delighted when she'd first seen it, immediately asking where Janie had gotten such a treasure). One of Janie's stockings was ruined, covered in patches of black, hanging precariously from the ship's wheel mounted on the wall of Will's office. Bella's petticoat was also ruined, but Janie was holding that.

They'd knocked over an ink pot. Thankfully, they had already been naked by then, stretched out full length on Will's big desk, but by the time they'd realized, it was far too late. Somehow, they'd managed to knock the pot over towards them. It had spilled all along Bella's left side, down her hip and slipped under her arched back, creating a substantial puddle. It had also gotten all over Janie's knee and shin, and a bit on her foot. Also the palm of her hand and underside of her forearm. She'd been partially straddling Bella, her other hand cupping a prodigious breast, her other leg slid up between Bella's thighs feeling the heat and wetness pressed against her skin. One of Bella's hands held tight to the back of Janie's neck. The other was between Janie's legs, fingers churning. They'd both been far too engaged to notice the slow wetness spreading over them. Between the two of them, there was already plenty of that. Janie had been the one to knock the ink over. In the throws of her orgasm, she hadn't even noticed.

By the time they did notice, ink was everywhere. They were both covered in smears, dabs, blotches. Janie had leapt up when she saw, practically dumping Bella on the floor, apologizing profusely as she looked frantically around the room for something to clean up the ink with. Bella had taken one look at Janie's pale skin blotted everywhere with smears of black and started laughing like a woman possessed. She had gotten up slowly, looking at the dark rivulets running down her leg, coating her hand. Janie had grabbed a stocking and started trying to clean up the ink. Bella hadn't helped at all. Instead she had slid her arms around Janie's waist and pulled the smaller woman back against her, kissing Janie's neck and sliding an ink stained hand up to her pale breast, leaving a stark black handprint. Janie had been aghast. Bella had kissed her, cutting off the shocked words that had been about to come forth.

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