"That all sounds like fun to me," Vinkiri said. "Why don't you want to go?"
"Galdrian's father owns the Newleaf Café," Hilika said. "And the band he hired is the one that his daughter, Galdanna, sings in. We saw them once at amateur night at the Echo Starsong, remember ... Far Eternity?"
Vinkiri shuddered. "Say no more."
"What's the Newleaf Café?" Tavelorn asked. "I've not heard of it."
"They only serve all-natural vegetarian foods," Hilika explained. "Nothing created, nothing even grown with the help of plant magics. No meat, fish or fowl ... no eggs and cheese ... not even kofa. They claim it's supposed to be healthier."
"I thought they didn't serve wine, either," Vinkiri said. "But there's going to be an open bar? With drinks?"
"If you consider fresh-squeezed juices and clear spring water and herbal tea to be drinks, then, yes."
"What about desserts?" A hint of desperation had crept into Vinkiri's voice.
"Apparently, the specialty of the house is a dish of sliced baby plumfruit, sprinkled with shredded milknut and crumbled bits of honey-toasted almond."
"That doesn't sound so horrible," Tavelorn said, but Vinkiri was aghast. He added, "And this band?"
Hilika wrapped her arms around herself as if warding off a chill. This drew Tavelorn's gaze back to her breasts again, which were lifted by her crossed arms and jutted toward him. "Some things, my dear doctor, are best left unasked."
"Not if you like droning hour-long tuneless ballads about how we're all insignificant specks, parasites on the earth, meaningless whispers in the vastness of time," Hilika said. "If you enjoy that sort of thing, then by all means, you should listen to Far Eternity."
"I rather think I'll pass on that, thank you," Tavelorn said. "So this is to be your cast party? I begin to understand your reluctance."
"You are not going to that miserable waste of an evening," Vinkiri said. "No. I won't allow it. You had a splendid opening night, and you need to celebrate accordingly. With wine. And chocolate. Good music. Maybe dancing. And sex. Lots of sex."
"Is this your professional recommendation?" Tavelorn regarded her with arch amusement. "I thought I was the doctor here."
Hilika leaned toward him, her breath a cool puff against his ear. "What, then, does the doctor suggest?"
"The doctor was not disagreeing with his assistant," he assured them, as he at last understood precisely where this evening was going. "Indulgence, in moderation, in wine and fine desserts, is beneficial."
"What about the sex?" Hilika asked.
"I'm all in favor of it. Good for the nerves, good for the complexion, and good exercise as well."
And he wondered – had they planned this ahead of time? Not that it mattered whether they had or whether it was only happy circumstance ... either way, he had no intention of passing up such a shining opportunity.
"So you're only objecting with my presumption in prescribing?" Vinkiri asked.
"Well, you're not licensed to prescribe."
"But I can suggest a course of treatment to you, and you can recommend it to the patient?"
"That is usually how it works. Need I remind you, however, Hilika is not currently my patient."
"You know," Hilika said, lowering her eyelids and peering up at him, "now that I think of it, my knee does still ache a bit."
"Does it? Perhaps I should take a closer look."
"Have a seat, miss," Vinkiri said, adopting the brisk and professional manner she used in the office.
Hilika sat down on the couch. Vinkiri set the stool from the vanity table in front of her and gestured to Tavelorn. Masking a grin behind his usual aloof bedside manner, Tavelorn took his place.
"Which knee is it?" he asked.
She extended a leg, paying no particular mind to her slip as she did so. It had ridden up, and its lacy hem only barely draped the slight mound between her thighs.
He wrapped his capable and sensitive surgeon's hands around her leg, just as he had done on the prior occasion. Her skin was satiny, cool, flawless. He probed the area of the knee with his fingertips.
"Well, doctor?" inquired Vinkiri breathily over his shoulder. Her breasts pushed against his back. "Do you feel anything?"
"I must make a thorough examination," he said, and applied gentle pressure. "Does it hurt here?"
"No," Hilika said, shifting on the couch. The hem rode higher. Fine wisps of downy spun-platinum were just visible through the lace.
"How about here?" He ran his hands down her calf in a long caressing stroke. Hilika shook her head. He cradled her ankle, ran the ball of his thumb along the arch of her foot. Her toes twitched and curled. "Here?"
"Maybe higher," said Vinkiri. She flicked the tip of his ear with her tongue, making him shiver.
"Who is the doctor, here?" he reminded her.
"You said I could make suggestions."
"And it is a good suggestion." Tavelorn brought his hands back up Hilika's calf to her knee, and then began a mild palpation of the thigh.
"Ahh," sighed Hilika, and slid lower in her seat.
Tavelorn moved from the stool to a kneeling position, massaging Hilika's thigh. "Elevate the leg," he instructed Vinkiri.
She complied. Hilika's other leg relaxed outward. The new posture, slouched languidly on the sofa, one leg up and extended, the other one bent, caused her lacy hem to hike up even farther and expose a silken-blonde triangle and the tender petal-pink lips of her sex.
His fingers crept higher, making small circles on her ivory-smooth inner thigh. Hilika's eyes were half-lidded, her breathing quick and light. Tavelorn's own breath was uneven – Vinkiri, while obligingly holding up Hilika's leg, contrived to continue licking his ear – and he felt the blood rushing in his veins.
"Shall I examine her as well, Doctor?" Vinkiri asked.
"Yes, why don't you. It'll be good practical experience if you decide to go back to school."
She scoffed, but smiled as she knelt beside him and placed her hands on Hilika's other leg. Hilika moaned and let her head loll back on the sofa. Tavelorn probed higher yet, very near to the warm center of her loins. Vinkiri mimicked his movements. Hilika parted her thighs more, granting them access.
"I'm not feeling any abnormalities, Doctor," Vinkiri said. "It might be anxiety. The patient has been under such strain lately. Such tension. She needs to relax."
"Wine and chocolate, wasn't that your remedy of choice?"
"Two of them ... but we haven't either available at the moment."
"I do feel very tense," Hilika said, a statement belied by her blissful expression and tranquil pose.
"Some sort of relaxation therapy is definitely in order, then," Tavelorn said. "Manual relaxation, perhaps."
"An excellent idea, Doctor," Vinkiri said.
Together, they moved their exploratory fingers higher. Tavelorn stroked the soft silvery-blonde down. Hilika opened to him like a flower. His hand touched Vinkiri's as she, too, began a slow intimate caressing.
Beneath these expert manipulations, Hilika was soon gasping with pleasure. Tavelorn and Vinkiri knelt side by side between her outstretched legs, each with their fingers buried in her heat. A half-turn to face each other and they were kissing, kissing as they brought Hilika to climax. Her back arched off the sofa, she cried out, and then she collapsed, limp and quivering.
"The patient seems most relaxed now, Doctor," Vinkiri reported.
"Yes, she certainly does. And without benefit of wine or chocolate."
"Maybe," Vinkiri said, easing herself up onto the sofa, "the wine and chocolate can wait a while longer." She reached up and unpinned the loose, disheveled bun of Hilika's hair, letting it fall free over the cushions in a shimmer of pale gold.
Hilika drowsily, dreamily opened her eyes. "Maybe it can," she replied, and plucked the gold pins and filigree circlet from Vinkiri's hair, spilling a tumble of fiery curls.
The two of them embraced, sliding familiarly into each other's arms with the ease of long acquaintance. Vinkiri tipped her head back and Hilika bent to kiss her. Two pairs of soft lips parted hungrily. Their breaths mingled, their tongues touched. They melted against each other.
When the kiss broke, Vinkiri sat up. Her sly gaze found Tavelorn. "I think we're neglecting someone, Hilika."
"How rude of us. Doctor?" Hilika rose gracefully from the sofa and beckoned.
He moved toward them, and the they enfolded him. His right arm circled Vinkiri's shoulders, his left slid around Hilika's waist. The two were so dissimilar in form, and yet both so lovely and desirable, that he barely knew where to turn first.
Hilika settled his dilemma by lifting her lips to his. As he kissed her, Vinkiri leaned her head against his shoulder. He could feel the shape of her ear through his shirt and the curve of her smile, could feel her quick fingers already undoing his black jet buttons. Her bracelets jingled like tiny bells.
The silk of Hilika's slip whispered beneath his palm as he stroked the long line of her back. Her hair was like the brush of fine feathers tickling over his arm. She pressed herself to him with a willowy swaying.
Tavelorn shivered and pulled them close, holding them tight, one in each arm. He buried his face in the hollow of Hilika's neck, feeling the flutter of her lifebeat beneath her skin, losing himself in the spun-platinum softness of her hair.
Their scents surrounded him. Hilika was powder and lilac, Vinkiri was spice and appleblossom, and both bore the musk of recent and renewed passion. He moved between them like a bee sampling different flowers in the same welcoming garden, kissing Vinkiri and then Hilika again.
Vinkiri had opened his shirt from collar to belt, baring his chest. Tavelorn was by no means as muscular as some, but he prided himself on maintaining a general fitness regime and practicing regularly at swordplay. He was lean and trim, and both girls caressed the exposed skin with appreciative murmurs. They each took an arm, undid his cuffs, and the next thing he knew his shirt had been flung carelessly aside.
Hilika combed her fingers through his short midnight-black hair. She flicked the tip of one ear, then ran her fingertip along the rim. He groaned softly, feeling more than a little bit light-headed.
"A moment," Hilika said, and dashed fleet as a doe to lock her dressing-room door. She set her back to it, as if barring it against intruders, and smiled at them. "We wouldn't want to be interrupted."
"No, we wouldn't," Vinkiri said. Her fingers were hooked over the top of Tavelorn's belt. "Would we?"
"Absolutely not," he said. He took a bunched-up fistful of her hair and held her head in place while he kissed her again, with more force. Vinkiri's lush figure pushed against him, firm and warm and springy.
Releasing her hair, he cupped her buttocks and held her snug against him, his erection pinned between them. When her breasts rose with each breath, they strained at her bodice and threatened to overspill or burst out of the confining fabric.
Hilika sidled up behind Vinkiri, stooping and lifting aside the masses of flame-red hair to plant a line of kisses down the nape of Vinkiri's neck and spine. When she reached the thin crisscrossing cords that supported Vinkiri's dress, she untied them. All that now kept the garment from falling off was the fact that it was caught between Vinkiri's body and Tavelorn's.
He moved back, and the springtime-green dress dropped straight to the floor. Vinkiri stepped daintily out of it, naked except for her jingling gold bracelets and anklets and her high-heeled glittering shoes.
She stood without a trace of self-consciousness, shoulders back and breasts thrusting proudly. Her taut nipples were large and a pale blush-red. Her hips were wide but comely. Her moist folds peeked through the scarlet puff of her pubic hair.
Not to be outdone, Hilika tugged her slip over her head and tossed it away. The lithe promise of her form was fully revealed, with small but exquisite breasts like pale doves, the nipples erect and the color of ripe berries. If Vinkiri was a robust flame, Hilika was a misty summer's morning.
"Someone," Vinkiri said, "is overdressed for the occasion. And despite my shoes and jewelry, I don't think that it's me."
"It can't be me," Hilika said. "I haven't a stitch."
"Then it must be Tavelorn."
They turned to him, and he looked down at himself with a deprecating air. "I seem only to have misplaced my shirt," he said.
Hilika pointed to the sofa. "Then sit, and we'll take care of the rest."
He sat in the very spot where, only a short while ago, Hilika had been sprawled in such demure indecency. Vinkiri knelt by his right foot and Hilika his left, and they had soon divested him of his boots. Then his belt. Then, working together, they whisked off the rest of his clothing. His arousal was prominent, rising eagerly from the dark tuft at his loins.
"It may not be wine and chocolate, but we might have found a likely dessert after all," Vinkiri said. She licked his shaft in a hot, wet swipe from base to tip, sucked him deep into her mouth, then ran her tongue savoringly over her lips. "Mmm ... you try, Hilika."
Hilika leaned across his lap, her long hair trailing, and took darting feather-light licks that nearly drove him mad. "Delicious," she said.
They shared him then like two little girls with a sweet, alternating turns licking and lapping and sucking, sparing moments here and there to kiss each other with fervent passion. It was wonderful torture, agonizing joy. The sight of them, the idea of them, Vinkiri and Hilika together like some secret fantasy come true, was even more powerful than the feel of their mouths.
For the second time that evening he found himself unable to hold back. He gripped the cushions, groaning, his breath harsh and ragged, as his crisis neared. When it struck him, when he shot forth, it was Vinkiri who held him and worked up and down in a slick grasp while Hilika drained him.
When he was spent, he lay lolling on the sofa much as Hilika had done. A warm flush had spread over his fair skin, and he felt as if he were adrift on a mild sea. It would have been easy to float off into comfortable sleep, but the knowledge that the evening remained far from over made him lift his drowsy eyelids.
They stood over him, the two nude beauties. Hilika had her arms crossed and one finger tapping thoughtfully at her lower lip. Vinkiri's fists were braced on her hips, breasts jiggling saucily.
"This won't do," Hilika said.
"It won't do at all," Vinkiri agreed.
"That sofa is much too small for three."
"It'll have to be the rug, then."
"Can he move in that state?" Hilika asked.
Vinkiri shrugged. "We'll see if he can muster the strength. Or perhaps he'd just like to watch for a while."
So saying, she stretched out on the floor and drew Hilika with her. They began covering one another with wet open-mouthed kisses.
Tavelorn found very quickly that he could indeed muster the strength to move. He dragged himself upright, the better to observe the goings-on.
Clearly, these two were no strangers to their loveplay. They met each others' bodies as familiar and loving friends. He thrilled to the lovely vision they presented, all feminine curves and soft skin and supple, entwined limbs.
Hilika lavished attention on Vinkiri's breasts, suckling the nipples into rigid crowns, while Vinkiri ran her hands up and down the sweep of Hilika's ears with steady, rhythmic strokes. Soon Hilika was moving downward, coaxing Vinkiri supine on the rug. The long pale banner of her hair caressed Vinkiri's belly and thighs, and then Hilika was kneeling between Vinkiri's legs, bending forward and down, nuzzling into the fluff of hair, quick tongue darting.
Vinkiri cried out, lifting her hips, rubbing more urgently at Hilika's tapered ears. Her head tossed, tangling her curls into a fiery corona around her head. She writhed and moaned as Hilika's tongue teased her to the brink.
Tavelorn found himself unable to sit and watch a moment longer, and slid from the couch so that he was behind Hilika. He stroked her back and she arched like a cat, his fingers running over the delicate bumps of her spine. Her hips tilted, angling her bottom invitingly.
He was ready again, and knew that after his earlier impatience he would at last properly be able to take his time. Taking his erection in hand, he did not immediately enter Hilika but rubbed slowly against her buttocks and along her dewy cleft.
She raised her head, inhaling sharply, and craned her neck to look back at him. Her lavender eyes were darkened with passion, her lips and chin wet with Vinkiri's sweet juices. Vinkiri whimpered, clutching at Hilika, urging her back down. Tavelorn waited until Hilika had resumed her pleasurable task, then, still without entering her, set the tip of his shaft between her slippery outer folds, nudging the nub of her clitoris. He commenced a deliberate waxing-and-waning pressure, holding Hilika by the hips.
Moments later, Vinkiri voiced a wailing orgasmic cry. She thrashed, pushing herself up at Hilika, and finally subsided with a tremulous gasp. Hilika turned again to regard Tavelorn, her need a wordless plea.
And oh, he wanted to grant that plea ... he would grant it ... just not yet. He slowed the pace of his careful movements even more.
When he felt it begin to happen for her, felt the first deep tremors wrack her body, he plunged into her. It was like sudden immersion in warm, clasping oil. Hilika screamed in ecstasy. Tavelorn did not move, only held motionless as she shuddered in spasms around him, her inner walls contracting on his length.
Only when her climax began to abate did he leisurely withdraw, then thrust hard. Hilika clawed at the rug, panting, moaning at him to continue. As he did, Vinkiri made her unsteady way to him, seemingly almost drunken in her afterglow. She leaned against him from behind, nestling his head between her ample breasts while she nipped at the points of his ears. She moved with him as he drove into Hilika again and again.
"Oh, gods, gods, yes!" Hilika sobbed, rocking backward to meet his thrusts.
Tavelorn held onto his control with a will of iron, even when he felt Hilika surrender to another orgasm. He slackened his pace and gradually stopped, loosening his grasp on her hips. Hilika, half senseless from pleasure, slid from him and curled on the rug.
Still erect, still kneeling, he turned to Vinkiri and smothered his face in her cleavage. She sucked the tip of his ear into her mouth, rolling her tongue around until he thought he might be overwhelmed. His arms encircled her waist and he fell back onto the rug beside Hilika.
Vinkiri straddled him at once and sank down onto him. He was swallowed up by her heat again. Thighs flexing and hair flying, she rode him vigorously.
Hilika bestirred herself enough to kiss him, her eyes still clouded and dark with desire. Then she rose up, sinuously, to kiss Vinkiri and toy with her bouncing breasts. Tavelorn ran his palms up the backs of her thighs as she stood over him. His thumbs parted her, teased her.
With smooth grace, she knelt over his head, enabling him to reach her with his hungry lips and tongue. He licked and probed from beneath while she and Vinkiri kissed and caressed, while Vinkiri glided up and down on his stiffness.
He felt it gathering within him, the building storm of his release, and fought it back. Even when his partners climaxed, first Vinkiri and then Hilika, he maintained his erection.
Vinkiri, exhausted but by no means finished, crawled off of Tavelorn and lay side by side with Hilika. They drew him atop them, and he was lost in a turbulent sea of touch and sensation. The room rang with their impassioned cries, with the sounds of skin against skin and flesh on flesh.