Talla's Temple Ch. 24byxtorch©
Yua lay beside him, her tiny body heaving with delight.
For a girl who had wanted him to be gentle, she had certainly stepped it up. She'd found it unsatisfying to straddle him the second time around and had rolled over so he could be on top. Zhair'lo had still been gentle. No matter how much masturbating the women claimed to do before their first time out, she still seemed far too tight to just pound away at.
There was a brief silence in which he reached out for Talla and felt ... nothing.
That was weird.
The place where he could usually feel her was gone. He felt his heart race for a moment which, given what he'd just been through, nearly knocked him unconscious.
"That was - ," Yua gasped, drawing his attention.
He turned on his side to face her.
"That was -- I ," she started again and had to close her eyes.
She turned her head to face him and wiped sweat away from her eyes before opening them.
"Thank you," she said, finally. "I didn't know what to expect, but -"
A shudder went through her body, forcing her eyes to close as a light moan sounded in her throat.
"Thank you," he replied when her eyes opened again.
She grabbed him by the back of the neck and pulled him in for a long, wet kiss.
"If I'd known," she said, "I wouldn't have been afraid."
"I try not to be scary," Zhair'lo said. "Y'know, in general."
She laughed the way that people do when they've been under too much stress.
"You're Zhair'lo," she said, stressing his name.
"Do you have any idea how -- I mean -- you're Zhair'lo. You and Zo'kar are, like -," Yua stopped, completely at a loss for words.
"Heroic," Yua corrected. "All the girls you saved from that dorm? They come back and they tell us that you did it; that you're amazing."
She paused a moment before adding in a voice gone solemn, "And you are."
"Oh," was all he could think to say.
"So you can imagine," she went on as her eyes traced the beams in the ceiling, "how intimidating it is to come here."
"Not you," she explained with the faintest tinge of impatience in her voice. "The idea of you."
"Oh," he repeated, trying to see the difference.
There was a person named Zhair'lo -- an actual person who did normal everyday things like shovelling manure and taking a piss in an outhouse. There was also an idea of Zhair'lo, gathered from stories, rumours and the like, that girls in the Temple idolized.
"It's kind of like a statue," she went on. "It's not you, y'know?"
So they had made a statue of him in their heads, all bronze and perfect and never having to do any of the banal things that people actually did.
That was either flattering, unnerving or, most likely, both. It made him dizzy.
Try not to think about it, he told himself.
She kissed him again, at length, and one of her hands slid down between their bodies to find that he wasn't quite ready for a third round. Not to be dissuaded, she wiggled down the length of the bed to put her lips to his flaccid shaft.
Zhair'lo wondered how that might taste. Her juices had thoroughly coated him right down to his testicles. Sweat was mixed in to that and no small amount of semen. Yua didn't seem to care. She took all of him in to her mouth and worked him over playfully. He wasn't nearly the mouthful he had been the first time she'd gone down on him.
Even in his state of recent satisfaction, watching her work him over with such enthusiasm was overwhelming. It was like being tickled too much. It was a rush -- a blood rush. He felt himself coming around.
He hadn't thought a third round would be possible following so closely on the heels of the second, but there was something about the timid little girl who had turned her anxiety to enthusiasm in such a short space of time.
"There we go," she said, admiring the effects of her work.
She flipped a leg over him and positioned herself. He wasn't even really that hard yet, but she was more than wet enough to make up for it. A little bit limp, he slid inside her as she moved her body downward.
The mesh struck and a painful surge of blood flowed in to his penis, hardening it in an instant as her arousal became his arousal. It was enough to make him dizzy. Yua wouldn't tolerate his nausea, trying to roll him into position on top of her.
"On top," she insisted. "Get it in deeper."
She twisted her body so he slid off the bed and had to put his feet on the floor to stay inside her. With her thighs spread as widely as she could manage, she locked her legs around his back.
"Push it in," she begged through clenched teeth.
Her hips were angled perfectly.
Sweating with the strength of her emotions and determination, Zhair'lo slowly pushed. Yua raised her body to meet him.
There was resistance in there, a tight spot where muscles deep inside still fought against his penetration.
She whimpered but did not relent, her heels digging in to his back to push him still farther inside her. With a last wince, his pelvis met her cheeks and took up all the slack her skinny body provided.
"Oh gods," she muttered as she closed her eyes and bit her lips.
He could feel the intensity of the experience, the stretching and all the pleasure it brought her. He didn't even need to move. He could feel the muscles in her belly trembling and vibrating all around his shaft.
"Getting bigger," she moaned. "No ... no ... no!"
There was a moment of wide-eyed panic as she approached orgasm. He couldn't imagine pulling out now. What would that do, even if the mesh allowed it, to have the swollen head of his penis yanking backwards at her insides? There was nothing either of them could really do about the situation.
Yua's mouth opened wide in a rictus of pain -- a pain he felt quite acutely both through the mesh and from the amount of pressure crushing his manhood inside her.
He cried out a sharp report of relief as his first load of semen sprang forth. It was painful to her, the involuntary twitch of his penis. It wasn't directly pleasant to him, either. She was so tight inside that there just wasn't room for him to expand or move. The throb as he ejaculated couldn't make any more room.
It wasn't pleasant, but it was intense.
A second throb. Yua squeaked a protest out this time.
With some gratitude, Zhair'lo felt his erection dwindling inside her. The pain stopped. There was enough room, at that point, to finish coming inside her without feeling like they were ripping the skin off their genitals.
"Sweet Madra Zen," Yua intoned as the last twitches of her orgasm.
"Sweet Madra Zen," he replied, tasting the strange words on his lips.
"It sounds funny when you say it."
Talla woke up in a darkness that had nothing to do with her eyes. The decor of her shared bedroom had never seemed so dreary. The white walls which had seemed so brilliant and full of life now seemed sickly pale, never mind the sunlight streaming through the blinds.
Zhair'lo was gone, just plain gone. He might as well be dead for all she knew.
When she'd been in that horrific mesh the night before, she'd torn away the confusing parts with complete recklessness. She hadn't even realized what was really going on or who was at the end of those annoying tendrils. In that little bit of house cleaning, that unfortunate sweep of a mental brush at what had seemed like annoying cobwebs, she had torn herself away from the one boy she really wanted.
Even then, their link hadn't been completely lost. No, there had still been a connection, faint and frail. But she'd ruined that in her haste to warn him of the dangers that her superiors were putting him through.
She rolled out of bed with an empty feeling in her chest, just behind those enhanced muscles. Habit kept her going now, with Zhair'lo erased from her consciousness.
Naked, she needed clothing. So she opened the small top drawer in her dresser.
The scroll cylinder was one possibility. But to make it work, she'd need to write a message, seal it and get it into one of those delivery bags in Endowment Hall. She had neither the resources nor the time to get those resources.
She pushed the cylinder to the back of her drawer, behind her many pairs of neatly folded underwear.
If she had it right, Zhair'lo had done an upgrade two nights ago and would be doing another tonight unless they were giving him a break like they'd said. How many more times could he handle a double before it killed him?
Maybe a hundred times. Maybe once. Maybe his next would be his last.
There was only one way left to get to him in time and it was the most dangerous path. They had planned to meet at the first heat bell that happened this day or later. Even without any connection to his mind, she knew that he would make that appointment.
The wise thing to do, the grown-up thing, was to forget about him. If they couldn't be together anyway, why bother caring so much about him? Why not let him go? Just skip the meeting. He would get the idea, wouldn't he? That they couldn't be together? Monogamy wasn't a nice word and a woman didn't want to be charged with it. Wouldn't it be for the better to avoid the whole problem altogether?
Wise and grown-up or just selfish?
Could she really bring herself to abandon him?
Surely the Temple wouldn't push Zhair'lo to the point of really harming him, would they?
Talla frowned as she pulled on her underwear.
Zhair'lo pulled back on Sunshine's reins and glared accusingly at the horizon.
The stable of horses, all riderless save his own mount, eventually came to rest around him. In the large oval that was his daily run with the horses, this was the closest point to the Temple.
'What have you done with Talla?' he mentally queried the distant triangle.
He reached out, trying to quiet his mind and listen for that odd mental song that meant he had found her.
There had been that crazy instant of time when he had penetrated Yua. It had been a horrible moment that had reminded him of the time Atani had caught her skirt on the thorned branches out by the shed at the far end of the farm. Frustrated, hot and sweating, she had simply torn at the plants that were clinging to her. Talla -- he was now quite sure that it had been Talla -- had done the same thing. She'd just torn away at the tangled mess that four people meshing together had created.
"A mesh is no place for three."
He heard that phrase, spoken quietly into Talla's ear by someone wise. Because Talla had respected that voice, so did Zhair'lo. If a mesh was no place for three, what kind of place was it for four?
Zhair'lo slunk off his horse and closed his eyes. His excuse for this behaviour was that he was switching horses, giving Sunshine a break on the second half of the run. The true purpose was to give him a moment of peace in which to try to reach for a young girl in a tiny white skirt.
There had been another moment, when he had lain quietly with Yua, that he had felt what might have been Talla trying to reach for him.
Just as it had started working, though, something had happened. What it had been, he couldn't say. Some vague emotion had started to come to him. It was vital, that emotion, but maddeningly elusive. He just couldn't pin it down. She had frantically wanted to tell him something. Something really important.
With a sudden snap, the link had disappeared. Even now, as he tried to recall that emotion, as he tried to clarify what he had felt from her, he felt only frustration. It was like trying to see something in a room lit only by a sputtering candle. If only he could have had a slightly better source of light.
He shook his head. He didn't want to be caught standing out here doing nothing. Although the likelihood was that no one was watching him anyway, there was no point taking even a little risk for nothing.
Standing out here all day wasn't going to get him a gods damned thing.
There was only one other horse with a saddle. No point making the others sweat more than they had to. He mounted up and started the trot back to the stable.
Zhair'lo's life didn't have a lot of certainties at this point. He couldn't even be sure that Talla was alive, for one thing. Was it possible he'd felt her death? It seemed to him that dying would have been a lot worse than what he'd sensed, but he couldn't really say. It's not as if someone had handed him a rule book for this sort of thing.
No, he couldn't be certain that she was alive.
But, if she was alive, he was certain that she would keep her promise. Whatever it was that had made her so frantic that she had broken the link, it would also drive her to keep the appointment they had made.
He was also certain of the heat. This was definitely the kind of day that merited a heat bell.
Last of all, he was certain that he would run up along the river and reach that clearing.
Nothing would prevent that.
Talla was putting away the children's toys when she overheard an Initiate and a Virgin talking.
"You think somebody's in trouble?" the Virgin asked.
"Why else would we get that lecture from Shanata?"
"Some twit probably out fucking somebody on her break or something," the Initiate said with a derisive shake of her head.
"That's stupid. Why would anyone do that?"
"If there's a crime called Monogamy, it means somebody's done it sometime."
The Virgin nodded acknowledgement of this piece of wisdom.
"How do they know?" the Virgin asked.
"That somebody's out there -- y'know -"
The Virgin looked around nervously for children within earshot. Talla pretended to ignore them.
"They can feel it," the Initiate said.
Talla looked up involuntarily.
"Feel it?" the Virgin asked.
"Yeah, the mesh," the Initiate explained patiently. "A lot of higher ranks can sorta feel other people's orgasms if it's in a mesh. The Goddess is supposed to be able to feel them from really far away."
"That's how this girl got caught?" the Virgin asked.
"Dumb bitch if you ask me," the Initiate said. "If you do it at night when everybody's fucking, no one'll know. But if you do it during the day, you'll be, like, the only one."
"So everybody'll feel your mesh?"
"Well, the orgasm, at least, and not everybody can feel it. But for those who can, you might as well set up a big, smoky fire or ring a bell."
The Virgin nodded.
Maksahad managed to get enough out of her charge the previous night that she had been able to sleep. A day of masturbating whenever she could catch a minute and an evening of sex had bought her that much.
Morning, however, had brought her two things: a return of sexual desire and an irritated, burning pussy. How was she supposed to take care of both of those? The pain was enough to keep her fingers away, at least for the morning, and her work was there to distract her through noon. But the more time passed, the more her desire grew.
Working in the Stacks, there were far too many women around to get the privacy she needed. Would there be a heat bell? If there was, she might be able to take a 'nap'. Did women bother with the heat bell when they were working underground? It was never unpleasantly warm or cold down here. The candles seemed to make up for the general chill that a basement ought to have. The other women, pouring over documents and occasionally conferring with her, certainly weren't sweating.
'Just me,' she thought, 'with a burning triangle.'
Shouldn't it be time for the heat bell soon, if there was one? Was it even audible down -
Halfway through her thought, the muffled but clearly identifiable sound of a bell echoed down the stairway.
"Time for a rest," one of the Officers said with a shrug.
"Doesn't make sense," another offered. "Cooler down here than up there."
There was muttered agreement about this, but no actual argument.
'Of course not,' Maksa thought. 'There's a rule about the heat bell, isn't there?'
She followed the crowd of yellow and orange-clad women up the stairs, feeling the heat and humidity increase with each step. By the time they finally reached ground level, they all understood the need for the heat bell.
Not feeling the need for ceremony, Maksa turned as quickly as she could for her apartment. With any luck, her roommate would be asleep before she got there.
Talla stuck her head out of the depot doorway. It was the same place where she and Zhair'lo had nearly been caught just days before. It was empty now, as were the streets. Nothing but blinding white cobblestone in either direction.
The corner of her mouth twitched. Something didn't make sense. If Shanata knew what she'd been up to, and a guard from Form knew that someone was breaking rules, then why couldn't she see anyone? Why wasn't anyone watching her?
Getting caught at this stage would barely merit punishment.
Barely. Huh. When had the idea of a whip on the ass become so trivial?
If they were following her, though, this was the spot where she wanted them to catch her. It would prevent her from reaching Zhair'lo and warning him. But if they were following her, she wanted to pay the smallest possible price for getting caught.
In a way, it would also absolve her of this whole mess.
'Sorry,' she could say to herself, 'I couldn't warn him. They stopped me, after all.'
She gritted her teeth. Womanhood was not about making excuses. It was about making decisions and making them stick. Standing around and waiting for things to come to you, whether instructions or sex, was the domain of men.
Nothing for it. She darted out in to the street and shot to the next corner as quickly as she could. No heads peeked out of the windows. No blinds were drawn aside. She might as well be the only one alive. She glanced around the corner.
Why wasn't she being followed?
Maksa crept in to her room. With her promotion had come new quarters and a new roommate. Still two to a room at this point, but it was a bigger room with nicer furnishings. Blue bedsheets, purchased years ago, adorned her bed. The mirror belonged to her roommate, but the two of them shared it. Maksa would have to buy something of equal value at some point to make up for that generosity.
She didn't care right then.
What really mattered was that Anna's bed, covered in Temple-issued, white sheets, was empty. The woman must have found some place else to take her nap. Perhaps she was assigned to some far flung medical post and couldn't be bothered to make it all the way back. Was she from Within? Maksa hadn't even bothered to ask her yet.
It was the furthest thing from Maksa's mind.
She crawled up on her bed and curled up with her knees under her stomach. It wasn't the most distinguished position, what with her ass up in the air like this, but it seemed the best way to do it. She had realized in the early morning that placing herself like this, with her legs spread just right, she could reach both her hands between her legs. It meant that she could gently spread her lips with one hand and play with her clit with the other.
Slow and easy was the order of the day and this gave her all the right angles for her patience. The stress of the upgrade, followed by repeated masturbation, followed by the pounding she'd received the night since, all summed up to make her extremely delicate. She didn't need to rush. There was the whole bell to deal with her problem and no roommate to worry about.
That was the assumption, at least.
The smallest creak from the door was all the warning she got. In a panic, she yanked her fingers away and quickly pushed herself flat on to her stomach. There was nothing she could about the state of her skirt or covering herself with her blanket, but at least her roommate wasn't walking in on her with her ass up in the air.