Talla's Temple Ch. 13byxtorch©
Nadine was going to be different. Zhair'lo had realized that almost immediately.
First off, she hadn't tackled him at a run as Talla had. Nor did she have the bright eyed eagerness that had made Natta so ... so very much like Natta had been.
Nadine's eagerness was in a wholly separate class. It was in the way she called out his name, the way she took his hand. She wasn't any slower than Natta had been. No, that wasn't it. In fact she seemed even more certain in her desire to drag him off to his bedroom.
There was just something odd to her – a faint touch of darkness to which he wasn't accustomed.
He half expected an attack at the doorway. But no, Nadine was not Natta. He would have to remember that. Instead, she peered around the door frame before carefully walking in to the dark room.
He took the candle off the dresser and lit it from the torch in the hallway.
Nadine was looking around his room, apparently admiring the tiny, plain cube. She pushed open the shutters and looked out toward the Temple.
Weird. Not at all like Talla or Natta, then.
She turned to face him, leaning her butt and her hands on the window sill and letting the darkness of the sky silhouette her.
"Thank you," she said, looking him right in the eyes
"Um. You're welcome."
She took another look around his room – wall to wall and floor to ceiling.
"You have a place all to yourself," she observed with admiration.
"You don't?" he asked.
It wasn't as if his room was particularly luxurious. He'd had more space living with the blacksmith.
She shook her head.
"Four to a room at my rank," she said, shaking the fabric of her long, white skirt.
The two of them weren't that far apart, physically. The distance from his dresser to his window wasn't more than a step for either of them. If felt awkward, though, despite – or maybe because of - the clear look of desire in her eyes. Standing there, he couldn't figure out what to do with his hands.
"I've waited," she said. "A long time."
"Three tries, they told me," he said, deciding to fold his arms and wait her out.
"They let a month go by every time," she explained without ever letting her eyes deviate from his. "Three months I've waited for that upgrade. And for tonight."
Zhair'lo, now growing quite self-conscious, gulped involuntarily. He wanted to look anywhere other than her eyes, but neither did he want to show fear. That was a lot of pressure she was piling on.
Her mouth opened slightly as if she needed more air. Her right hand went to the tie on her skirt, loosening it and letting it drop to the ground. She wore underwear – a tiny, white pair – which she daintily covered with both her hands.
She tilted her head down to look at her hands. Then turned her eyes to him and smiled, her eyes lit with some inner delight as she watched him through delicate eyelashes. He remembered her eyes from the night before. Oddly enough, he remembered them more than anything else about her.
"Wanna see what you did?" she asked, the burning in her eyes adding unnaturally to the reflection of candlelight.
He nodded, not trusting his vocal chords to be coherent or his brain to avoid some entirely unclever diversion. She seemed so far away and wasn't making any move toward him. How frustrating.
Her top was simple, much like the one that Talla had worn the night of her Initiation and Natta when she had visited. Just a rectangle of cloth that she pulled off over her head, revealing a very slim pair of breasts with wide, reddish-pink nipples.
"They're still very sensitive," she said as she touched one lightly with her fingers. "Y'know, from the upgrade."
She ran her finger gently around the edge of her areola. The nipple started to become erect. Her finger traced across her chest to the other side, where she repeated the gesture.
"They barely have time to get soft before they start getting hard again."
He nodded again in quiet awe. Point. He had given her a Point upgrade.
"You gave me two upgrades," she said. "Did you know that?"
His eyes went wide.
"This is what two upgrades in Point looks like," she said.
He looked down at her chest – albeit briefly – before turning his wide-eyed gaze back to her eyes. He thought of Talla, shrieking in pain. He thought of his own wave of debilitating dizziness.
"Did it hurt?"
He hadn't felt any pain, at least nothing like what had gone before.
"Only a bit," she said. "Nothing more than normal, I guess."
She lifted her body off the window sill and gently slipped out of her underwear, careful to keep it from touching the floor. She folded it up in her hands, making a small, neat triangle. Taking very small steps, she approached him. He could feel his heart pounding by the time she came close enough for him to feel the heat of her body.
"Three months I've waited," she said, her eyes burning at him.
He couldn't take his eyes from hers, and he saw a desperate sadness there. Three months she'd waited for her first upgrade. Was that what hurt her? No. There was something else.
"You've waited a long time for your upgrade?" he asked.
"Not just that, though," she said and looked down. "It's that long skirt, too."
"What does the skirt have to do with it?"
"The long skirt," she said as she untied his pants. "It means I've never Served."
His pants fell to the floor and she kissed him, trapping his erection between their bellies. Revelation and passion hit him at the same time. Talla had worn a long skirt her first night. So had Natta. No one had ever told him the skirt meant anything. Did all clothing mean something?
The softness of her lips, the texture of her tongue and the pressure of her naked body were an onrushing river, flooding over its banks, threatening to sweep the train of his thought from its track.
But gods damn it, it was important to understand ...
And he lost whatever it was he'd been thinking about. Lust had overtaken thought. Deduction had been ruined by emotion.
She tugged at his shirt, pulling it down off his body, letting those pert nipples press in to the bare flesh of his lower ribs. His hands, compelled by a more primal instinct, went to her rear, gripping her cheeks and pulling her in tighter. She moaned, the delicious vibration of her lips transferring directly to his tongue.
She was skilled at kissing, he noticed, far past Talla or Natta. How was it that she came by such skill? That was important, too. He hoped he could remember to ask her later, but abilities such as that had a way of distracting men from interrogation.
She wasted no more time, dragging him to the bed and pulling him close while she sat on the edge of his mattress.
"Now," she said – demanded really, if he were honest about it. "Like this."
She leaned back to give him access and waited, panting. It was perfect, position wise. The bed was just high enough. He'd never thought to try it on his feet. Wasn't that what beds were for? Nevertheless, there was a clearly wet pussy poised and waiting for him – and the angle was certainly plausible.
He pushed her legs apart so that even her lips spread, revealing that tiny pink tunnel, only the third he'd come across in his short adulthood. He set himself against her, found her as wet as he'd hoped.
Nadine's mouth opened in anticipation, a plea of – of what? Desire? Desperation? Fear? He couldn't say. So he pushed gently, sliding his swollen head past the tight ring at the opening of her vagina and then further beyond.
She winced, but only for a moment, because the mesh struck them. And with the mesh came a whirlwind of emotions. He felt tears welling up in his eyes. They weren't his tears, and they weren't for pain, but they were in his eyes regardless.
Loneliness. Torment. Isolation. Embarrassment. Self-deprecation. It was like picking individual flavours out of a dinner. He could taste each of her emotions even as they washed over him as one. And all were being transformed to joy because of this single moment, this instant of penetration. It was important to her in a way that he couldn't understand, damn the poor quality of this mesh.
The tears, though, were definitely joy; a gushing fountain of it pouring from her heart, ignorant of any crude, merely physical pain. All of that hardship; all of that aching and waiting, and he was somehow the cure for it.
It was a more powerful recipe, that tidal wave of emotion, than anything he had experienced. It was breaking down something inside her much deeper than the tunnel he penetrated and the flesh which enclosed him.
He could only share her joy – and her urgency.
When she locked her legs around his back, and her eyes made another demand of him, he gave what was asked, sending them both headlong in to orgasm. He swelled inside her as she clamped her legs and squeezed him as tightly as she could. He rose up on his toes, lifting her off the bed in his desperate desire to please her.
For a moment – single terrifying moment – nothing happened. They were trapped at the start of an orgasm that just wouldn't happen.
Then it did.
Cross-eyed with delirium, he felt his penis twitch and violently expel his juice within her. She cried out in surprise and perhaps pain. He couldn't feel the pain, not even through her. With his toes locked in this position, he wasn't even able to move, never mind appreciate her emotions. There was just his manhood, trapped in her womanhood, pumping load after load after load as far in as she could force it.
She'd been born M'lar T'Shan. The first name was the one that people used to address her throughout most of her life. There was a point where some started having to call her "Mistress". Then she ascended to become a High Officer and they had all had to address her as "Mistress", except the few who had referred to her as "Lips".
Then she'd become "Sweetness".
Nowadays, they just quivered at the sight of her golden skin and the blue flecks that flashed from her hair and eyelashes and reverently called her "Eminence".
She recalled the last discussion she'd ever had with the previous holder of that office. It had been a deathbed conversation. From her predecessor she had learned many things and, in the learning, been forced to agree that she would have to pull the Sorceress of Pussy up to the position of Queen behind her.
"Keep the genealogists close," her predecessor had said. "Carry on what we have done. We are so close, now."
She'd held that woman's hand in her own and watched the force of her life fade from her body.
So young. Far too young.
Such was the price of Perfection; the weight of it pressing down on a soul. Goddesses had to ascend while young, lest their tenure be cut short to utter meaninglessness. But even then it would be a lot to expect more than six years before the pressure overwhelmed a woman.
Genealogy and Time. Those brought her to tonight.
She sat at her desk, resting. It was important that she rest and not just for the hope of living longer.
Her right hand rubbed her belly nervously.
There would come a point where she and the Queen of Sweetness would have to let the Sorceress of Within in to their circle. It was all well and good to keep as many in Endowment and Form out of the loop, but the personal physician of the Goddess? That could only go on so much longer.
Still, M'lar was loathe to spread such information where it didn't need to go. Neither did she look forward to explaining the whole thing to Within. She could have delegated it to the Queen of Sweetness, but that felt like cowardice – and Goddesses didn't ascend by being cowards.
"Adept," she called out.
An attendant at the far end of her office snapped to attention.
"Summon the Sorceress of Within."
"Eminence," the woman acknowledged and bowed out of the room.
She had a story to tell.
That was the end of Jace.
Talla had managed to rouse him for a third run, but realized she'd hit his limit when he passed out without a word after coming inside her.
She was sitting in the common room of the soap makers' house, having agreed with her companions to wait until at least the tenth bell before leaving. It wouldn't be much longer.
It left her time to think, a luxury she'd been ill able to afford of late.
There was Jace, who had pleased her body immensely. She'd pounded him in to the bed until there was nothing left to pound. That had washed away the last vestige of physical frustration that Tina hadn't quite been able to clear up.
With better mental vision, she was able to see what remained inside her head and it was much more disturbing. Jace was not Zhair'lo. Meshing, specifically, was not the same and she had a pretty strong intuition that meshing with anyone else would never be like that.
She knew Zhair'lo from the inside. She'd been inside his head. The feeling that they were tuned to each other, like musical instruments, was very strong. She doubted she'd ever find anybody that matched her quite so well as that.
Zhair'lo was special. She had to find him again.
At least she knew what her next step in that quest was.
Her mind wandered for a bit as she waited. She tried to adjust her top to accommodate her breasts. The pain from the upgrade had subsided – at least the part that had ached in her over stretched skin and the freshly grown flesh under it. But her breasts were still heavier than they ought to be and it pulled at her chest uncomfortably.
Admittedly, the top was well made. The designers seem to have understood that women could have a lot of Abundance upgrades without the supporting Strength upgrades. As long as she wore that top, it was at least bearable. Removing the top, however, made her chest muscles ache.
She grimaced, wondering if she would manage to get used to the pain before she had a chance to do something about it.
As they lay in bed beside each other, panting from the second round that had followed so closely on the heels of the first, Zhair'lo took a moment to eye Nadine's slim, heaving chest.
Her nipples were gorgeous, nicer even than Renia's. Wide, soft areola. Tight, perky tips. Nicely darkened. He remembered the woman – the Sorceress - who had been the source for Nadine's upgrade. Dark nipples contrasted against skin already quite dark, all of it shimmering in the torchlight with the clear liquid that had transferred her magic to him. Did it even make sense to try to compare two upgrades on a girl with such pale skin to so many upgrades on such a dark-skinned woman?
Propped up on his side while she lay on her back, he reached out to casually stroke one of those pale tips. Was she receptive? Was this a good time?
Nadine, her eyes bleary with exhaustion, whimpered.
"They made you wait so long," he said in his softest tone.
She didn't seem to have any will left. It was as good a time as any to impose upon her.
"They think it could be the gods," she murmured. "Maybe the gods were saying I wasn't ready."
"So you had to wait."
She nodded again and smiled, saying, "For you."
"I'm just glad it didn't hurt," he said, probing.
"Hurt?" she asked. "Why should it hurt?"
"It hurt a lot, the last time. But that was a quadruple."
He didn't stop stroking her. Her nipple was hard to his touch. At least when they'd done it the second time, she'd been on top. It had given Zhair'lo a chance to do a little more for her than just impalement and hanging on for dear life.
He let his hand wonder down to her belly, palm flat, where he made gentle circles.
"The girl you did before me?" she asked. There was a bit of a grimace in her voice. Maybe it wasn't right to talk about other girls at a time like this.
He made an affirmative noise.
"I nearly passed out, and she went completely out – afterward", he said. That was as daring as he felt like being. He did not want to ruin her informative mood.
His hand wandered up her body, the tips of his fingers passing ever so gently over the farther of her nipples before he slid back down to her belly.
"Nothing like that for me," she confirmed dreamily. She touched her nipples, ever so gently, and made small circles. "Just a little heat here ... and then I could feel it. It tingled. Swelled. So nice."
She closed her eyes in fond memory.
Zhair'lo thought about that for a moment. A double upgrade was barely uncomfortable, but if he were to judge by the intensity of the general reactions to the upgrade he'd done for Talla, it seemed like a quadruple could kill or at least seriously injure people.
"Why's it important?" he asked. "Getting two upgrades."
"Better jobs," she said. "Nicer duties. The gods smiled on me – and on you."
He didn't believe that. If getting extra upgrades was the gods smiling on someone, why would two be pleasant and four nearly fatal? He went back to caressing her, paying special attention to her now solidly stiff nipples.
What duties had Natta been complaining about? He tried to remember that conversation from the eerie morning after the horrendous evening.
"So, um, no cooking and cleaning for you?" he asked.
She nodded happily.
"I've been doing nothing but laundry for this whole time. Virgin scut work," she groused as her eyes sneered just slightly. What a beautiful expression that was with her long eyelashes. "All done with that."
Zhair'lo raised an eyebrow. That couldn't be right.
"All the laundry is done by virgins?" he asked. "There can't be that many -"
"Not that kind of virgin," she replied, laughing. She rolled on her side to face him.
"Virgin – the rank," she explained. "Even after Serving, they would still call me a Virgin until my second upgrade."
Zhair'lo let out an 'ah' of comprehension.
"But because of you, they'll call me an Initiate," she said. "Although I don't think it's that simple."
"I'm not really sure," she said, her head clearing up and eyes setting firmly on his. "I only found out this much by asking around and bugging a lot of people who didn't like being bugged.."
"If I were really an Initiate, I'd get an extra upgrade in Abundance or Strength", she said. "That's what you get at second rank."
She scratched her head a moment.
"But they won't give me that extra upgrade until I meet all my quotas and everything else."
Add that to his store of knowledge: Virgin meant one upgrade and Initiate meant two. Initiates got one other upgrade, too. At the top of the chain were Goddess, Queen and Sorceress – he already knew that. What else was there to know? What did he want to know?
Then it hit him. Virgins wore long skirts ...
"What will you wear now?"
"The shortest skirt you will ever see on any woman," Nadine replied with a wide-eyed smile. She was getting giddy now. It was a pleasant transformation from the depressed girl he had upgraded.
"If I go out without underwear on, you'd be able to – well – see me," she said.
She looked down at her body.
"Though I guess you've already seen all of me anyway."
There was so much joy in her voice when she said it that it made Zhair'lo smile. Her hand slid down her body. A single finger parted her lips ever so gently.
"Do you know what they tell us to do?" she asked. "To get ready for all of you?"
He shook his head, still stroking her nipple with his free hand.
"Two fingers in," she said, plunging slowly in to her flesh. "Every night."
"Every night?" his eyes widened.
She nodded, curving her pointer and middle fingers to push up inside her body.
"Every night," she moaned. "All by myself."
He couldn't see how he could help except by watching and playing with the erect tips on her chest.