| Aimee', Chapter 6
Bethsany examined herself in the mirror. "I still look pretty good.
Don't you think, Lilli?"
"Yes, Miss," the tall encapsulated in leather responded
"Be honest, Lilli."
"At your age, Miss, you will not bring in customers except for those
with certain... desires, but no matter. I wish to have your body and
health when I reach your wisdom, too."
Bethsany turned around and stroked Lilli's face gently. "You say the
right things, Lilli." She kissed the taller gently. A knock at
the door interrupted her fingers' probing between Lilli's legs. "What
One of the younger appeared at the door. "My apologies, Miss,
but Aimee' is here."
Bethsany sighed, trying not to smile simultaneously. Loving Lilli was
a privilege neither one permitted often, temptation being what it was,
but she also could never pass up an opportunity for kindness with
Aimee'. "Lilli, will you forgive me?"
The nodded. "I understand. I need some commission today
Bethsany laughed. "Forever the opportunist. That's why I like my crew.
Could you let Aimee' in on your way out?"
"I will," Lilli promised, leaving slowly. As she walked out, she held
the door open, revealing the small, shivering form of the who
came to visit every week. "Aimee'! The Gods, you must be chilled to
the bone from your walk. Come in, come in, please, sit down by the
fire. Page, get us something warm for her to drink. Nothing with
liquor, dear, just chocolate or something." The who had
first peeked in to announce Aimee's presence looked in, nodded, then
disappeared. Bethsany positioned Aimee' on a short, padded stool by
the fire. The reappeared with a tray holding two steaming mugs.
"Here," Bethsany said, handing one to Aimee'. "Drink. You need it. You
look positively white!"
"I am sorry to distress you so, Bethsany," Aimee' said softly. "Master
Teltirray is more confident of me; he says in this weather thieves do
not get out so much."
"Nor should healthy like yourself!" Bethsany countered.
"Besides, in winter brigands need their sustenance like everyone else
and with pickings slim you make a lovely target. Be careful!"
"If any such brigand were to lay a hand on me..."
"You would what?" Bethsany grinned. "Lay them low with a bolt of
wizardly power? Are you to that point, my lovely Mage's student in
Aimee' blushed. Bethsany cupped Aimee's chin and pulled it up to look
into her eyes. "There is nothing to be ashamed of, Aimee'. Confidence
is the first measure of any success, be it in Magic or Business or
Sex. But you must know your limits, too." Aimee' nodded and sipped at
her drink, shrugging off her cloak and easing to the floor before the
Bethsany joined her; however under her robe there was no further
clothing. "Let me tell you another story, Aimee'... of what happened
to me after my rescue. Is that acceptable?"
Aimee' grinned and nodded. "Please!"
Bethsany leaned back and began.
"There, there," said my rescuer as she handed me a bowl of warm soup.
"You will be all right."
"Who... who are you?"
"My name is Cyl'Dia. I am a woman of Darachmod." That last word made
me look up and take notice of her, Aimee', because I had heard of
Darachmod. It was a city, rumored to be in the very mountains through
which my had been riding when the bandits had attacked. She
smiled tightly. "I see you have heard of us. The legends are mostly
true. Drink up. I will return in a little while."
She was gone again, and only Huna and I were left together. I held
onto Huna and she let me, being the only thing in my recent life that
had had any stability and kindness to it. I watched the women in the
camp moving about easily, seriously; there seemed to be little humor
about them. Slaughtering a camp, even one filled with spirits as ugly
as Styur's, could have held no glee to them.
They were all beautiful, tall, strong. All of them wore heavy armor
that hid what sorts of bodies they had underneath, but as they
stripped it off they revealed tightly fitted, warm clothing that
showed the shapes underneath to be very obviously female. I wasn't to
learn just how female until later.
Cyl'Dia returned shortly with another woman behind her. "We are
returning, so your eyes must be covered until you are trustworthy. Do
I nodded, still frightened. She reached out and stroked the dog's head
for a moment. "Huna, huh? She's a good dog. What's your name?"
"Bethsany." I blurted it out as one word.
"Beth'Sany, huh?" Her voice had a curious stop indicating that she had
divided my name into two parts like hers. "That's a pretty name. Beth,
this is my commander, Dyn'Valas. Dyn, this is Beth'Sany, who we
rescued from the centaurs."
Dyn'Valas knelt down and examined me closely. Then she smiled. "We do
not kill slaves, Beth, even male ones, although we see to it that they
make their way in a direction other than following us. Do you wish to
come to Darachmod with us, or is there a you want to go home
I shivered. "I... I have no family. They killed them all." I managed
to point down to the ruined and burning centaur village where I had
spent the past months.
"All of them?" Dyn'Valas looked shocked. She recovered momentarily and
said, "I understand you killed their leader rather... gruesomely."
I managed to shiver another nod. "He... he used me." I began crying,
sniffling in the cold, wet of falling snow. "I wanted to get back."
She patted my head gently. "That's understandable. You want to come to
Darachmod with us, then?"
I nodded. "Please."
"Cyl, make it so."
I was placed on the back of a and blindfolded. "Wrap your arms
around me," Cyl'Dia said softly. "Reach into the jacket. Go ahead. I
won't bite and it will keep your hands warm."
I did as she said, my fingers reaching in. Between my hands and her
body were but one or two thin layers of cloth, and underneath it I
could feel her torso. Even there her muscles were hard, rippling,
strong. She was clearly a powerful woman in her own right and I envied
her. I wanted to be like her.
We rode on through the day. I felt strangely at peace, Aimee'. The
blindfold kept me from questioning my surroundings in any great detail
and the best feelings I got at all came from Cyl'Dia, who gave me
warmth and comfort and spoke to me along the way. She asked me for
details of my life before the Centaurs and I gave that information
freely. I enjoyed my talks with her; they meant much to me. After so
many months of nothing but drudgery in the day and cruelty at night, a
voice of kindness was something to hold onto.
We mostly spoke of my life. Not as if hers didn't have as much for
discussing, but as if she held back on discussing it at all until we
reached her city.
A hollow sound surrounded her voice and the sounds of horses. The dry,
winter smell was replaced with a slight staleness and I recognized
that we entered a tunnel. No-one spoke a word until the air returned
to the bright coldness of winter. "Cyl'Dia, you are excused from your
duties to take Beth'Sany to the chirgeon. See to it that she is looked
after and then, I will find you this evening at your home."
"Thank you, my lady," Cyl'Dia replied. "Beth, you may remove your
I did, getting my first glimpse of the city of Darachmod. It was a
large, walled square with houses scattered according to a pattern. On
each wall was a large, rectangular building built up against the wall,
and the houses and other buildings seemed clustered around those. The
center of the town was very open. Each building was carefully
regimental in construction, pleasing to the eye, ordered. Cyl'Dia led
the into a stable where about my age took the and
gave it blanketing, food, and water. "Come," Cyl'Dia said to me
softly. "I will show you the chirgeon, and then to home."
The chirgeon was a kind, elderly woman who looked me over carefully,
taking special care to examine my eyes, tongue, and sex. "She has
suffered no permanent harm," she finally assured Cyl'Dia. "She needs
proper food and a bath, however. This thinness is not natural for
"Senva?" Cyl'Dia asked, or at least I thought asked, the doctor. It
was not a word I knew.
"No, no, not quite. A healthy middle, I think. Bengesk."
Cyl'Dia smiled and nodded, but her smile was tainted slightly with
sadness. "I understand. Thank you, Chire."
"My pleasure. It was sweet to meet you, Beth'Sany."
Cyl'Dia lifted me into her arms again and Huna followed us out into
the streets. We made our way into a small home off a side street. Once
inside, another about my age came running up. "Cyl!"
"Myr!" she shouted, straining to hold me with one arm while with the
other gathering the into her clasp. "Oh, it's so good to see
"Are you... are you home, finally?" Myr asked. "Who's this?"
"Myr'Dia'Nan, meet Beth'Sany. We found her with the centaurs as their
"Unwilling?" Myr seemed to recoil. "You mean, they didn't give you a
"Slaves don't get choices," I sighed.
"Some do," Myr assured me. "I do." The revelation that Myr was a slave
frightened me. That she was Cyl'Dia's slave stunned me. The fear in me
grew immense and suddenly I was fighting Cyl'Dia, slapping at her. But
she still wore the protective padding that went with her armor and I
was doing little more than getting her attention. She dropped me,
however, in my squirming, and I retreated across cluttered room to
kneel against the wall by the fire. I expected Cyl'Dia to confront me,
but instead Myr did. "Wait, you don't understand. I want to be here."
I looked up at her, disbelieving. "You... you want to be here?"
Myr nodded, smiling in unmistakable pleasure. "Cyl is my beloved,
Beth. But I have not the will or control to be a good and equal lover,
Beth. Someday, maybe, I will, but until that day I... I accept her
yoke of power. Maybe I never will."
"That's not right," Beth said.
"Oh?" Myr asked. "I am not a child anymore." She blushed, looking
ashamed. "But I do not want to be unprotected. Cyl'Dia gives me
protection. I agree to that."
"If I have been bad, yes. I could leave Cyl at any time, but I'm not
sure what I would do if that happens."
Cyl'Dia stood behind Myr, stroking the younger girl's hair with her
hand. "You're getting there, Myr. You are confident in your slavery,
at any rate." She looked up at me. "Some women, such as Myr, want
someone to push them into adulthood. Others simply find their pleasure
in another's power and stay there all their lives. And some, like
myself, find our pleasure in being that source of pleasure."
"And having your wants met," Myr said.
"That, too," Cyl'Dia smiled. "I expect none of this, Beth'Sany, from
you. You are my guest until the Spring. You can be whatever you
want... except lazy, I suppose. Whether for my reasons or your own,
you will have to aid in the carrying of food and water, cleaning, and
chopping of wood. I hope that's acceptable?"
I nodded, still a little frightened by the revelation that Darachmod,
the city of women, still kept women as slaves. "I understand what is
necessary," I said.
"Good," Cyl'Dia replied. "Now, let me show you your bed. You'll be
sleeping in Myr's room, an arrangement she does agree to, right?"
"Oh, yes!" Myr replied, grinning. "Easily!"
"Good. Then you get her bedding ready. I have to go meet with Captain
Dyn'Valas." She stood up again and left, taking a long-coat off the
rack as she did so.
"Now, come with me," Myr said. "And I'll show you to your room."
The house Cyl'Dia lived in was a large space broken up into rooms by
taut expanses of white cloth stretched over frames of wood. They let
light through easily, and I could see shadows and the flickering of
lantern light from those rooms that had them on the backdrops of the
cloth. Some of the frames slid to allow passage. Through one, Myr led
me down a short hallway and into another room with such a frame.
Inside, the room was large enough for three or four people to sleep in
comfortably. She had a chest for her possessions. I had to step up to
get in, though, because the floor of the bedroom was a wooden platform
raised almost a foot and half off the floor. "I'm sure Cyl will get
you one of your own. Now, wait here while I get you some bedding. It's
sure to get colder yet."
Myr left me alone for a moment, for the first time since my rescue at
the hands of these women. I stopped to take stock of my situation,
feeling disoriented. I was alive; I had people who seemed safe enough.
I had a sense of comfort for once that was unlike any other. Myr
returned with a bundle of cloth that hid her face from my view until
she dropped it on the floor. "Fhew!" she sighed. "Heavy. And now we
have to get the metal, too."
"Metal?" I asked.
"I'll show you," she assured me. "Come. I'll need help with this."
I followed her into another room with more large chests. "There." She
opened one chest and handed me some metallic slats, about three feet
long and five inches wide, a little less than an inch thick. We made
several trips of these back and forth to the bedroom. "What are
"Sleeping slats," she replied. She pointed to a spot of floor where
wooden slats the same size as the metal ones we had carried were laid
into the floor. With a knife she pried them loose and tossed them
aside, fitting the metallic ones in one at a time. "Heat flows through
metal much easier than it does through wood, see?" She said. "At
night, before bed, we place coals on the floor underneath in these."
She held up a metallic pan with a lid. "These put out heat that flows
up into the metal, and then into our bodies, so we stay warm."
I did not understand. "Does the heat know where the metal is?"
"I don't know," Myr said. "It's magic to me." I nodded. "Come, let's
put the wooden slats away and get two more coal pans for you. One for
your legs and one for your shoulders. That's about where they should
go. There are traps in the floor for you to put them down. See?" She
pointed. I did. We gathered the slats and put them away. By the time
we were completing our duties, Cyl'Dia returned.
"I see you two are almost done. Good. Myr, take one of the chests for
Beth." She sat down on the steps of the bedroom. "I have good news,
Beth. It is the opinion of our Captain that you may stay here as long
as you desire, but it is also her opinion that that will not be
forever. As long as you provide your fair share of work, however, you
are welcome here in whatever position you wish to fulfill."
I nodded, unsure of what to say or do next. Cyl answered that for me
by holding her arms out. "Come and hug me."
Which I did, gratefully, throwing myself against her and feeling those
protective arms wrap around me. I was still frightened, Aimee', still
scared of a future without my family, a future I did not know. One
that hardly seemed to lead to where I am today!
That night, as I settled down to sleep, I was to get my initiation in
another woman's arms. I had anticipated Cyl'Dia being the one. Yes, I
think anticipated was the correct term. I wanted to make love with
her, truly. I know that I was misunderstanding my need for protection,
my joy at being saved, with the painful sensuality Styur had awakened
within me, and I wanted to share myself with Cyl the only way I had
known how for month.
But no, it was Myr who started that. That first night as I lay in my
bed I was haunted by memories of the dead Styur, fearing his return
from the grave, the touch of his ghost, come searching for the who stole his sex.
I must have made noise because I remember fighting a hand on my
shoulder only to wake up and find Myr kneeling by my bedside in only
her nightclothes. "Beth! Beth, you must wake up!"
"Beth, you're having a nightmare! Wake up!"
I finally came to my sense, sitting up and taking stock. I was still
in the same place; most of the lights were banked low and I could
barely see. Only one lantern was lit fully, and that in the front room
with the tables and kitchen; suffused through several layers of cloth
it barely lit Myr's features.
I managed to speak. "I... I was remembering the Centaurs. It was...
"I can't imagine. Forcing you to be something you are not." Myr shook
her head. "Do you want someone to be with you for a while?"
I thought about it, then nodded. "If you want to stay with me, I'd
"Good," Myr smiled. She walked back to her bedding and grabbed her
pillow and a blanket, pulling them over to my side of the room. The
pillow fell down by my head, and then the blanket covered me. I didn't
even know what to say as she crawled into bed beside me; this was not
what I had anticipated. Almost immediately I warmed to her presence,
literally and figuratively. The softness of her body pressed against
mine, even through our two layers of bedclothes, put me at ease. Here,
at least, was something I was familiar with, the feel of a woman's
body. I snuggled up close to her out of instinct.
Her hands wrapped around me, touching me. I held onto her close, and
much to her disappointment, I'm sure, I fell asleep against her.
When I awoke, she was still lying against me. Her eyes were closed,
and her mouth was open. I could see her tiny pink tongue filling her
mouth, her upper teeth clearly exposed and just the lower ridges
visible under her full lips. Her breath was ripe, as is everyone's in
the morning, male or female. Trust me on that one, dear.
Extracting myself from her grip carefully, I rose and dressed in
heavier robes, then made my way to the front of Cyl'Dia's home to
stoke the fire back to life. As I was moving wood into the stove for
warmth, Cyl'Dia herself came out into the living room. Instead of
wearing clothes, however, she came out naked, her nipples pointed and
crinkling in the cold December air. "You've started a fire," she
sighed, smiling. "Bless you, lovely Beth. I saw that you and Myr had
gotten closer than I anticipated last night. Was that a practical or a
"Practical. She warmed me and kept the nightmares away."
"I see." Cyl opened the door and with a staff knocked some snow from
the roof into a bowl, then placed the bowl on the fire. "In that low
set of drawers to your left, Beth, you will find a drawstring bag with
some strong-smelling herbs in it. Bring it here."
I did as she requested, not sure yet of my position in the household.
She poured some of the herbs into a smaller bag and tossed the bag
into the warming water. The bittersweet scent of the herbs filled the
front room and. "There. If the smell of taba doesn't wake Myr up, she
must surely be dead." She was correct; only minutes later Myr came
running into the front room and fell to her knees by Cyl's side,
placing her head in Cyl's lap. "See?"
"What?" Myr asked, looking up.
"I was telling Beth that the smell of taba was a Myr- summoning
Myr smiled. "It does smell good."
"Yes. Myr, fetch us cups."
Myr did as she was told, pouring drinking mugs full of the strange
liquid. I drank it; it was strong in flavor, bitter and hard to
swallow without honey to aid the taste, but I did drink it. It made me
feel much more awake, banishing the sense of sleepiness that went with
"Beth, Myr, please get dressed. We must introduce Beth to the council,
make arrangements for her staying, and the like. And, I think I would
like a bath today. Myr, you may join me, and Beth, if you feel you
would like to you may as well."
"What... what does that mean?"
"I'll explain," Myr said. "Come, dress."
The council consisted of six crones, really, who examined me and
determined by some criteria I was not privy to that I could stay
amongst them. It was all very formal, a passing about of swords and a
handling of spears and a singing of flutes and all that. Nothing I was
really interested in.
She led me to one of the buildings along the wall of the city. Women
passing us, all wrapped as tightly in robes and cloaks and warming
jackets as we were, nodded as we walked by, smiling contentedly. We
walked into heavy granite halls and through a swinging door. Inside,
the heat hit us quickly. "In here," Cyl said, pulling me into a closed
room off the side. "Undress."
I hung up my cloak, and Myr began undoing the belt about my waist. I
helped back, and Cyl watched with amusement as we competed gigglingly
to see who could take whose clothes off first.
"Okay, girls," she said. "Come with me. Myr, behave. I know how much
you enjoy the baths but this is Beth's day."
"Yes, Miss," Myr said, pouting and grinning simultaneously.
The "baths" were six round, wooden tubs, each over five feet tall,
steam rising from them. Women lazed in them slowly, sometimes
splashing, some very affectionate to one another. "We discovered these
when we took over this city; at the time a tribe of barbarians were
using these hovels as caves. No, we did not build this place, although
we have turned it into a paradise." Cyl grinned as she walked around
one of them. "Come," she said, holding out a hand. I followed her and
walked up the steps she indicated and climbed into the water of the
tub. Five other women floated in the water with Cyl, Myr, and me.
After spending the day feeling as if I was freezing, the intense heat
of the hot spring water soaked through me straight to the bone. "Beth,
come meet the others," Cyl said, interrupting my momentary
appreciation of their "paradise."
I looked up as she introduced them. She gave a name for each one, but
none of the names "stuck" to me; I didn't catch the names very well at
all. It didn't matter. They nodded, and I nodded back.
At first, all I did was soak, allowing the heat to pour into me. But
after a while, motionlessness became boring. I'm a person who feels
the need to move, Aimee'. So I did, opening my eyes and looking at the
seven women who shared my tub with me. All of them were beautiful and
all of them were strong. I felt safe here; I felt as if nobody would
touch me the way Styur had touched me, at least not without my
permission. That made me want to be touched, though.
I didn't have to wait. A hand touched my thigh briefly, then slid
away. From the light motion on water I recognized it as Myr's. I
smiled at her and she blushed. She eased through the water until she
sat next to men, then whispered in my ear "Do you want me to?"
Suddenly I was afraid to say yes. Although I did want her to, I didn't
know how to tell her. I'd never been taught how. Cyl saved us both by
leaning over and whispering in my other ear, "You have permission to
I looked in her face; she smiled at me patiently. I turned to Myr and
said, whispering, "Yes." Her eyes alighted as she closed the distance
between our faces, her lips pursed slightly to reach out to mine. They
I tell you, Aimee', I shall never forget that kiss. Nor the feel of
her hand as it glided over my body. I nearly fainted with pleasure. As
her palm cupped my breast, I felt other hands reach out and surround
me. Slowly these women lifted me until I no longer rested against the
wood of the tub, but instead lay in their arms, across their
out-stretched legs. I didn't have to move, Aimee'; like a rag, their
hands touched me, stroked me, warmed me and relaxed me.
I felt their soft, feminine hands, so unlike the cruelty of the
Centaur Styur who had mistreated me for so months. Myr's sweet lips
grasped my own lower and pulled playfully, the smile in her eyes and
mouth unmistakable. I could see... she liked me, Aimee', and she was
happy to have a new friend like me. We kissed again, my senses roiling
from the loving touch still swirling about me.
I didn't know what to say. "Don't say anything," Myr whispered in my
ear, as if hearing my thought. Her lips kissed me yet again; this time
I closed my eyes and wished on her kiss, wishing for a future like
this, one with pleasures unending.
Her mouth opened just a little and I felt shocked as her tongue
touched my lips. I didn't know what to do. It pressed gently between
them, as if seeking entrance. I finally let her in, parting my lips
just a little. If I had been shocked before, it was nothing like this,
Aimee'! The... the intimacy of it, the unbelievable pleasure of it, is
I became shocked into action at the feel of warm, slim hands sliding
between my thighs. Myr's hand was still cupping my as her mouth
and mine caressed one another in small, playful circles. I reached out
with both my tongue and my hands, reaching out to caress her tongue,
pressed my hands against the bodies of women I did not know. Their
hands touched back; I felt reassuring fingertips glide along the backs
of my arms and up over my shoulders. When Myr stopped her kiss the
smiled down at me, I looked around quickly at the women who surrounded
us. They were all different; some were and some were young, some
looked so soft and others so hard, Aimee'. They were all women, and
they were all here to love me.
I'm sorry; I guess I get carried away. It's hard not to, even for me,
even after all this experience running a brothel. They were all
beautiful, Aimee', and I think that's why I run such a wonderful
brothel-- I know how to get beauty out of a woman who wants to be
beautiful, no matter how she comes to me. I know how to see it and how
to enhance it. And I know whom to show it to.
As they touched me, the hands became bolder. But always Myr, Cyl'Dia's
slave, was allowed to lead the way. Her hand over my teat slid down my
belly and over my furred mound, sliding over and cupping my entire
cunt the way it had my breast. This, strangely, didn't surprise me so
much. I was ready for it, for since this had begun I had been longing
for it. Craving to be touched there, touched by someone who had given
me permission to give permission for it, and would respect me if I
took that permission away. I craved... love. Does that make sense,
Aimee', to be given the authority to give permission and to take it
away? It was truly a first for me. I looked around at the faces of the
women again, some smiling, some intent, and finally I whispered,
again, "Yes. Yes, Myr. Yes."
Her eyes glowed as one finger slid down between the lips of my cunt. I
could feel those walls touching her finger, grasping her. I
imagined they were trying to pull her inside, and I could feel that
she wanted to go, for her finger bent at the knuckle and suddenly it
slid into me.
I found myself holding my breath and closing my eyes, seeing nothing
and doing nothing but feeling, Aimee', feeling that finger slowly
slide into me. Not like Styur, not one monstrous blunt cruel weapon,
but a gentle finger, one that knew the insides of a woman because it
belonged not only to a woman, but to one I was desperately losing my
heart to. The finger touched me inside, touching me in places where no
gentle touch had ever been. It turned slowly, feeling me thoroughly,
learning me inside and out. As she touched me, I heard a soft motion
of water and felt warm breath above my mouth. I opened my eyes. Myr
hovered above me, and then she lowered her mouth and kissed me again.
I was lost to her completely. Our kiss was probably the most
passionate yet, a total abandonment of myself and my dignity. To Neret
with my dignity, Aimee', one should not be reserved in moments like
that. The women slowly lifted me to the water's surface, and as Myr
slid down my chin with her kisses I leaned back and closed my eyes
again. Someone placed their hands under my head, holding it above
water that I might breathe.
Myr's warm kisses touched my neck and finally, for one brief moment,
enclosed the nipple of my breast. Then she vanished beneath the water.
She reappeared between my legs, parting them slowly with her hands to
open me, expose me.
And then, as if the pleasures before had not been enough, she kissed
my mound. At first, I felt the breath of her nose against my skin, and
the press of her lips to my pubic hair, and finally the touch of her
tongue against my lips. I moaned aloud once more as her mouth pressed
to my folds, opening me, exposing me for her tasting. I thought I
would die, and die happy, at that moment. I felt heat flood my groin
and fluid flood my channel, neither water nor menses. I merely wished
She gave me what I wished for as her tongue pressed and opened, licked
and demanded. The women held my legs open. Not against my will, but
because of it; I had given my permission to Myr, almost to do what she
would, and they were here to assist in that permission.
It was simply... indescribable. I am an woman now, Aimee', and
still I cannot forget that night. Her tongue pressed in deepwards and
downwards. I wished for more. She found those places in my body that
few can, where the pleasure is simply far too much for even an body like mine to withstand.
She gave me everything I wished for. When I climaxed, Aimee', I
screamed so loud every woman in the room knew what transpired in our
tub if they did not already. The women held me, restrained me, kept me
from kicking Myr or myself, from hurting any one of them.
Myr ceased her kisses, picking her head up to appraise me. I reached
out for her, my hands trembling without knowing what to do next. She
was just out of reach, and my hand slid down her water- slicked skin,
for just a moment touching her breast. She tapped the arm of the woman
to my right, and they slowly lowered me back into the water, releasing
I grabbed her and held her tight, and then, finally, I cried. Not like
I had the first night when Dyn and Cyl had spoken to me, but total,
utter abandonment to tears. It was the most important moment of my
life, Aimee', because it taught me the most important lesson I had
ever learned; that to leave an life behind, one must cry it out.
One must put it into tears and squeeze it from the body.
Myr held me, and finally all the women closed around us, arms linked,
bodies holding. Among the seven were as as I to crones many
decades my senior. All held me, all touched me. And finally, finally,
Aimee', I was finished.
Myr petted my hair gently. "Are you well, Beth'Sany?"
I nodded. "Yes, Myr. I am. In your arms, I am."
"Mistress Cyl?" Myr asked, her tone confused.
Cyl'Dia reached down and petted both our heads. "Beth'Sany, you are
accepted, and you may stay a friend in my household forever if you so
Blinking through the tears, I didn't know what to say, other than
"Thank you." I reached out for her, and she allowed me to pull her
into my embrace. Warrior, slave, and refugee. I imagine we made a
strange household, even then. But for me, for Cyl, and for Myr, it was
to be a working, loving house for many years.
Silence reigned in the small parlor room for a moment. Aimee' seemed
to realize it was her turn to speak. "What happened to you and Myr?"
Beth's smile was tinged with an intense sorrow. "That is another for another day, Aimee'. Not even the next lesson, but the one beyond
that, I will tell you of sadness that not even love can save." She
stood up slowly. "I see I have managed to pull one of Master Darynn's
tricks. I have kept you much past your usual appointed time simply
because rather than a lesson, I chose to tell you tales. Come, on with
the cloak; although the snows have stopped it is still very cold out."
Aimee' followed Bethsany's directions, collecting up her lesson books
and pulling on her cloak. She looked up at Bethsany. "Thank you."
"Nonsense, child. It's my job. That it is all true simply makes the
telling seem richer. And it's good that this sack of bones relive
her happinesses once in a while. Good night, Aimee'. Give my regards
to Master Darynn when you see him later this week."
"I shall. Good night, Madame Bethsany."
Aimee is Copyright © 1989-2000 Elf Mathieu Sternberg. Distribution
limited to electronic media not-for-profit use only. All other rights
are reserved to the author.