Talla's Temple Ch. 23byxtorch©
Though sweat matted her dirty brown hair and dripped down her face, Talla felt no heat. Her meeting with Shanata had left her with such a chill in her bones that it was a wonder her legs could still move. She might freeze up altogether and become a statue on the road. People would remark upon her as they passed. "How lifelike!" they would say, and perhaps wonder why a statue had been made of one of such low rank. Maybe they would peek up her skirt and find it odd that the artisan had given her underwear.
But she wouldn't be a statue. There were too many things she had yet to do. She forced her stiff legs to walk her home and, with some protest, they walked.
Shanata's lecture had been abundantly clear on the subject of monogamy. From the sounds of it the guard who had appeared at the doorway of the children's dormitory had managed to follow Talla but luckily hadn't managed to identify her. However, from the very private conversation that followed her superior's lecture, it was obvious that – even if no one else knew – Shanata did know that it had been Talla.
What had given her away?
Talla harkened back to the evening when she and Tina, sitting naked and crying on her bed, had been interrogated by that awful woman while surrounded by enforcers in their leather armour. One of those women in leather armour had seemed to possess the ability to tell when people were lying. It was she that had ended the interrogation by indicating that both Talla and Tina were telling the truth.
Did Shanata possess the same skill?
Probably. Maybe it came with the Form upgrades. Shanata was well known for having as many of those as she could get. In any case, it was obvious that Shanata was letting her off easy with that warning. All she had to do was stay out of trouble.
Pain struck her. An empty feeling in her chest that she hadn't felt in a very long time. Staying out of trouble would mean staying away from Zhair'lo. That hurt. Only yesterday, they'd embraced each other. Only yesterday, in the shade of that tree, breaking so many rules, had they come together.
Now she had to give that up? How wrong was that? Why couldn't they be together?
But the answers came, even to her indignant mind. Her body was not hers, nor was it his. She was an instrument of the Goddess. Her vagina was a tool to be used to glue their society together. If women could absent themselves from that – if men and women could choose some and exclude others – chaos would ensue.
Did it have to be that way? It seemed so.
She felt the tenuous link with Zhair'lo getting weaker and weaker the more she thought about it. Distance could do that too, but this withdrawal had nothing to do with the growing physical space between the white skirted Initiate and her most favoured man.
Lost in the depths of her own misery, she hadn't even realized that she'd passed through the Temple's main gates and was entering the Division of Endowment.
Home, she thought with chagrin.
She'd been so happy to have a grown-up place to live. What was that? Two weeks ago? So happy. She'd met Zhair'lo. She'd Served him. Everything had seemed so good. And now she'd have to give up the one thing – the one person – that she wanted most.
Home was an empty consolation.
She passed through Endowment Hall, cool and dark as it always was during the day. Women milled about, doing their work in a slow and gentle fashion out of respect for the intense heat that awaited them outside these walls. More were out in the Tranquil Courtyard, tanning in the nude so as to make sure there were no unsightly lines on their bodies.
Such beautiful women, Talla thought sadly.
Once she had wanted to be like them. Now she wanted a certain other something, and all her previous desires were swept aside.
Grow up, she whined at herself. This is how women live. Deal with it.
The thing for a grown-up woman to do was to go in to the Offices and see if there was anything in her slot.
From heat, nudity and brightness back in to the darkness of serious work and busy women fully clothed. Talla walked quietly to her slot and pulled out the card. No surprise that there was a card. She'd set herself to five Services per week. That worked out to a lot of penises, but she kind of felt like she needed it to make up for not having Zhair'lo.
She wondered who he was. He lived out in Sector one, possibly with the metal workers or maybe the quarrymen.
Very well. She'd go out tonight and fuck his brains out, if that's what they wanted. It didn't matter, really, and there was no point not doing her duty if she wasn't going to have Zhair'lo anyway.
Infuriated was the only word to describe Maksa's condition.
The Sorceress of Pussy had put her newest Adept into the Stacks with the genealogists, giving the whole bunch of them the goal of trying to codify what it was that Maksa understood with a glance. It was hellishly difficult to explain to them. Every time she pointed out something that was obvious in a matrilineal line of descent, they would give her a counter case – an instance where a woman had voluntarily chosen not to follow in the path of her mother.
Maksa would look at those odd cases and most of the time she could patiently explain why each one did not invalidate her theories. In some cases she could not. The records were so old in some cases that there were no annotations regarding the quality of each of the boys the woman doing her Initiation had used. Perhaps, Maksa would tell them, there was an especially powerful boy that caused the young woman in question to change Disciplines? This type of answer did not satisfy them.
"Just-so stories," they would criticize.
At first she had found it offensive and so had to reminder herself that this was a scientific endeavour. If her theories were valid, they would stand up to scrutiny. If they could not stand that scrutiny, they would fall or be revised. Such was the emotionless way of the physician.
And none of that had anything to do with her utter infuriation.
Her pussy – or as the men would say, her "pubic hair" - was starting to grow back as an itchy stubble. On top of that irritation was the effect of her recent double upgrade, causing the hair to grow back faster, thicker and, eventually, softer.
That was bad enough.
But something else had happened during the upgrade. She hadn't been able to curb her sexual arousal. Having tried to ignore it all night, she had eventually given in and masturbated her way to several orgasms. Then she'd woken up in the morning and fingered herself again.
Her labia were now red with irritation from all of the stroking even while they were dreadfully itchy. The fortunate thing was the amount of salve that she had access to. There was quite a bit left over from her recently terminated career as a teacher of Virgins. It was meant for use on their lightly stroked rears, but the aloes it contained did a pretty good job soothing the irritated skin of her genitals.
Even now, sitting here in the Stacks and pouring over genealogy charts in an attempt to mathematically define what her mind spat out without any apparent calculation, she was still horny. Sitting as she was now, with her thighs pressed together, she could feel the stiffness of her clitoris compressed between her swollen lips.
She tensed and relaxed her quadriceps, pulsing them against her genitals. Just two giant, wooden tables away from her, there was an Officer of Pussy studiously working away at something or other. Maksa could hardly afford to have a go at herself given that situation and forced herself to concentrate on her work by biting down on the tip of her tongue.
It was clear from what she was seeing that the circumstances of an Initiation could influence and even override a woman's genetic inheritance. All it took was an accidental fall with a short delay for a bandage and a woman who should have gone in to Lips or Pussy would be forced to take Strength or Facial. That didn't take any complex mathematics to comprehend. There was more, though. A lot more. The newer charts would show how much each of the nine boys ejaculated, and that certainly had an effect in making the young Initiates choose a Discipline. But – and this was a big 'but' – the boys seemed to ejaculate the most on the body part that should have been favoured anyway.
What did that mean? Did the girls know which boy was best and point him to their favourite body parts? Did the boys simply tend to ejaculate more on the locations that were best for each girl? Were the best boys naturally attracted to the best body parts and somehow found a way to hint to the girls where they wanted to be pointed?
There was a lot about the social dynamics of what went on in those closets that Maksa didn't know. She vaguely remembered how she acted, but she couldn't remember why. How did most young girls act in that situation? It wasn't talked about very much, for some reason, but someone had to have studied it, right?
The Officer heaved a sigh and stood up from her work. Maksa watched nervously out of the corner of her eye as the other woman walked to the torch-bracketed exit and stomped up the grey, stone stairs.
Alone? Oh, gods, could she handle another one?
Her lips were so sensitive that it wasn't funny anymore. She couldn't even wear underwear at this point and had chosen to wear her softest, stranded skirt to be as kind as possible to her tender flesh.
But she was alone again and her arousal had long ago worn away her willpower. First she parted the soft, cloth strands of her skirt. Then, with the utmost care, she splayed her fragile lips to give her fingers access to her clitoris. At least that little nub hadn't been rubbed raw – the saving grace of her state of constant arousal was the abundance of vaginal lubricant she had available.
It was a simple matter to slide two fingers around her entrance and then to rub the fluid from there between her inner lips and around her clit.
Feverish with desire, and knowing that she would pay for every moment of pleasure with hours of excruciating burning in her genitals, she began making gentle circles between her lips, twirling her clitoris round and round. As much as she kept her sensitive, stubbled lips out of the way, she knew that even pulling them open like this was causing them some degrees of stress.
Faintly the desperate woman wondered if someone might detect the scent of her later. It didn't matter. Something between the double upgrade and her shaven genitals was overloading her senses and it left her helpless as she squeezed her clitoris between finger and thumb.
Not good enough.
She abandoned the pretence of treating her body kindly. Her tortured lips would have to look out for themselves as she need both of her hands – the left to work her engorged clitoris and the right to plunge two fingers to knuckle depth in her vagina.
Gods help her if that annoyed Officer came back in now.
Maksa was panting, squeezing her eyes shut against the stinging pain she was inflicting upon herself.
Let's get this over with quickly, she thought with a wince as she jabbed at herself. Oh! There it is.
She thrust her fingers up inside herself in a manner most unkind – and again – and again. Clenching her teeth against the screams that begged to escape her throat, she held herself to a faint and pathetic mewling as her vaginal muscles wrapped themselves snugly about her fingers and pulsed away while the fingers of her left hand pushed her clitoris down.
The spasms passed in a short period of time and she became aware once more of her surroundings. Still in the Stacks; still sitting in front of numerous documents spread out before her.
After baring out a post orgasmic shudder, she took a deep breath and wiped her fingers off on the waist band of her yellow skirt. She hoped that the candles would cover up the smell of the vaginal juices she had expelled before anyone else came down those stairs.
That should sate her lust for at least an hour. She could work now, possible, and save the rest for whomever she would be Serving tonight.
"Patah," Talla called out in to the large stone hall.
The quarrymen lived in a building with a style and flavour that set itself well apart from the structures in the rest of the town. This place felt more like a cave than a house. The grey stone that was found in few other places was the main construction material here. Even the tables on which the men played their games and set their ales were made of rough edged sheets of stone as thick as any three of Talla's fingers.
The men themselves were much like their buildings – rough around the edges of built like walls. Smashing and picking at rocks all day, then lifting the big blocks they'd cut on to the backs of carts left them all in a state as cleanly carved as that which they produced. She'd waited with some anxiety as the older members of her group called out names and were led away through doorways to smaller caves.
They're not actually caves, she reminded herself. It's just the grey stone throwing you off.
A lifetime of exposure to the brown and beige varieties of sandstone had left with her with some assumptions.
Where was Patah? Most of these men looked much too old – and too frighteningly large – to be in her range. What would it be like to be in the arms of someone with muscles like that, grunting and sweating over top of her? Or underneath her? She gulped nervously, trying not to let her worry show through. Why hadn't Patah answered?
A head poked out of a back room. It was a young man with darkish skin, slightly slanted eyes and the strangest hair she had ever seen. He had shaved his entire skull except for a strip that went from his forehead straight back to his neck. From this strip of hair he had made a jet black ponytail into which was woven his blue ribbon.
At least he was Talla's age and, if she were to guess his build based on the one arm and shoulder she could see, he did not count himself among the gigantic stone throwers who lived here.
"Oh, sorry!" he shouted to her, most inappropriately.
Her confusion was cleared up when she saw him shuck off an apron and hand it to someone out of her sight. A kitchen boy, then. She breathed a sigh of relief. The monstrous men, the primary population of the quarry house, were not in her line up for tonight. Some other day perhaps she might be ready for someone like that. For now, they ignored her and she tried not to think about them.
Patah dashed out and took her hand, his eyes sheepishly meeting hers.
"Sorry about that," he said in a quick babbling voice. "I was Served two days ago and didn't think I'd be up again so soon."
She wondered about that. The needs of the men must be matched to the pace of the women – and the women got considerable allowance for how they wanted to be paced. Men expected sex only once every three days, and Talla was out Serving five times a week? That meant that a lot women Served less than Talla did.
"Must be your lucky day," she told him with a smile.
His eyes never really settled on anything, darting to her eyes, the ceiling, down to her chest, back to the floor and on and on. It was a strange kind of nervous. She hoped that he wasn't going to be like Shen. He wasn't anything like any of the others she'd been with, most especially Zhair'lo.
Zhair'lo, she thought, laid with me in the grass and found a place under a tree.
She possessed only the most vague awareness of Zhair'lo now. He was out there, that was for certain, but no information passed to her - no sense of him at all beyond the fact of his existence.
She had to stop thinking of Zhair'lo. Here was Patah, who led her to his cave – his room, she reminded herself – and expected Service. That was her duty and she would not shirk it.
Shirk it? She needed it at least as badly as he did.
Patah turned his back to the door and pushed it open with his hip, ushering her in.
"You're, uh," he stuttered at her, barely meeting her eyes before glancing away.
Looking at his shoulder, she approached him, waiting until her breasts were up against his chest before looking in to his eyes.
"I'm, uh?" she mocked with impish delight.
He looked down in to her cleavage.
"Uh, well, kinda big," he replied with a nervous laugh.
"Yeah," she drawled out slowly. "I am kinda big. Kinda special that way."
Boys like Patah brought out the best in her. Trust to courage, the teachers had said. This gentleness called on her bravery. The intimidation of that giant stone hall and its population of dusty, muscular statues had passed out of her mind. Here was a boy her age, no more or less experienced than she and captivated by her breasts.
Talla knew how to deal with that and it didn't involve waiting around for this naive boy to make a move. She pushed him backwards onto his bed, a piece of furniture which had the singular distinction of not being made of stone. Tina's top having long since been returned, it was her own plain white piece that covered her breasts. She knelt on his bed, straddling his chest, and removed that top in one smooth go, yanking it off over her head.
Her breasts fell as well as they had ever fallen and the stunned look their sudden exposure had on Patah's expression was all that she could have asked for. He lay before her with his eyes wide and his mouth hanging open.
She leaned over him, grabbing his hands and pinning them to the bed behind his head as her naked breasts hung before his eyes.
Left and right she swung them, letting her nipples dangle just out of reach of his mouth, getting closer and closer with each pass. Rapt in her spell, he tried to reach for her with his lips; tried to capture those tantalizing points. She teased him endlessly, keeping herself just out of his reach until – after one sweep came a little too close – he reached out with his tongue and caught the very tip of her nipple.
Oh! Such a delightful surprise. She had never expected ...
Unable to hold herself back, she plunged her breast, nipple and all, down in to his mouth. He sucked it up greedily, his tongue working around her aureola and wetting a huge swath of her skin. It was so much like what Zhair'lo had done that she a dizzying vision – just for a moment - of being back in that clearing by the well.
Where was Zhair'lo? What was he doing?
Zhair'lo remembered Yua from the night before. He mostly remembered her eyes. Well ... that and the part where he came on her breasts. It was no surprise when she came out to the farmhouse with the usual gaggle of women in their yellow and orange finery. Neither was it a surprise when she quietly called out his name.
She had the dark hair and heavily slanted eyes that told a story of having come from very, very far away. Even the way that she spoke his name was a bit strange, as if the 'l' gave her a bit of a tough time.
He took her tiny hand in his and gently led her to the stairs. She was a much smaller girl than any of those he'd been with before. Zhair'lo had never felt like he was particularly large, but Yua made him feel like a giant – at least once they got out of the common room and left the older men behind.
Yua followed him in shy silence until he opened the door to his bedroom and waved her in.
She gulped nervously at the threshold.
"You all right?" he asked.
She nodded, took a hesitant step forward and paused again.
"You will be, uh, gentle?" she pleaded.
Her eyes briefly met his and quickly shied away.
"Of course," he said.
Taking a breath, she stepped in to his room.
"Are you – worried?"