In Which Mackenzie Just Sort Of Hangs Out

After I wrapped things up with Steff, I caught up with Amaranth, who was already heading back to Gilcrease.

“Are you staying in tonight?” I asked her as we rode the lift to our floor.

“No, baby,” she said. “I have to circulate… I was thinking about going to one of the male dorms, since I’ve been taking on a lot of women lately. But there’s something I want to give you first.”

“What’s that?”

“A surprise,” she said. “Though nothing too out of the ordinary. I’m glad you got Nicki to come to dinner. I think we’ll probably be seeing more of her, now that she and Hazel are talking. It gives her a reason to hang out here… another reason, I mean. Not that you aren’t reason enough, but you know some people will always need an excuse.”

“Yeah, I know,” I said.

The bell chimed, the doors slid open, and she led me by the hand to our room, where she sat down on the bed.

“Pants,” she said, and I got my pants off as far my shoes before I realized the problem and started to kick my shoes off. “Oh, for my mother’s sake, baby, you’re going to mess up the carpeting. Bend over and take them off properly.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said, and I stooped down to undo my shoes.

“Actually… turn around first, and I said bend, not squat… keep your knees straight. Undo both of them, then take one off and then the other, then step out of your jeans. Stay bent.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said, my cheeks flushing as I complied. The actions in question were harder to perform than they’d been for her to describe, especially when I was so focused on keeping my knees locked and so mindful of the way my cotton-clad rear was sticking out in the air.

Gilcrease Tower had better environmentals than Harlowe Hall, and even this early in the year the rooms were pleasantly cool… or cool in a way that was pleasant for people who didn’t have ties to the elemental plane of fire. It wasn’t a horrible ordeal for me, but rather bracing… it kept me fully aware of every inch of exposed skin.

I left my socks on because Amaranth hadn’t said anything about them, and I stayed where I was, bent at the waist and facing away from her.

“We’re going to have to do something about your socks,” she said. “The rest of your wardrobe has been slightly more refined, but most of your socks are so… functional. I know you’re inclined to think that anyone who pays too much attention to clothes is shallow, but you can acknowledge that things have a surface even when you’re looking beneath that surface. You know, I think Nicki could be a good influence on you. She’s fashion-conscious, but not… well… fashion-beholden.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said. More so than just obeying her directions, holding such an uncomfortable position was sharpening my submission.

I heard the bed shift as Amaranth got up off of it, though her bare feet made no noticeable sound on the plush carpet. I thought I could feel her standing behind me. Her warmth was not so great that I should have been able to feel heat radiating off her body across the open space, but I was a trained elementalist with an affinity for fire, and so when I opened my senses up a bit I could in fact follow her as she moved back and forth a couple of times, admiring for whatever reason the shape of my ass.

“You’ve always seen spankings as a punishment,” she said. “Which is inconvenient, since they’re also one of your favorite things in the world… they have been from the beginning. You had your first conscious orgasms from spanking, after all. If you were at all naughty by inclination, you would have evolved into a perfect brat by now, but no amount of physical pleasure is worth the shame of being bad for you. That’s why I’m going to try my best to teach you to enjoy it as a reward.”

She carefully pulled my panties in back just enough for the top half of my ass to be hanging out of them, and then she stroked the back of her hand across the now-exposed skin.

“I know you like just about any kind of attention down in this neighborhood,” she said. “So we’re going to start with that. Just some good, affectionate, loving attention.”

She hooked a finger under my waistband and then started to pull me back towards the bed.

“Straighten up, missy!” she said with a giggle, and I did. “Backwards, march!”

She led me back towards the bed and then pulled me onto it, arranging us in the middle of the bed. She closed the curtains around it, leaving us not exactly swathed in darkness but at least enclosed. It made a difference in both the air temperature and my less material comfort levels. Small spaces were comforting. A small space with my loving owner holding me tightly against her body was even more so.

“Okay, you’re going to lay yourself out… face down, head towards the foot of the bed,” she said, and she helped me position myself the way that she wanted, then she laid her own body down on top of mine. I was only mostly naked from the waist down, so while I could feel her chest against my shoulders the primary point of contact between us was the exposed curve of my butt.

She slid her way down my body, hugging me from behind. Her hands caught on my panties and she pulled them the rest of the way off. Then, kneeling between my legs, she began to massage my backside, firmly kneading it with a hand on each cheek.

“I want you to understand this and everything that follows as a reward,” she said. “You did so good today, baby… Ian was impressed with how confident you were. He likes it when you’re confident, you know. It makes your submission to him more meaningful.”

“I didn’t feel particularly confident,” I said. “I wasn’t really nervous, because I wasn’t the newbie at the table, but I didn’t feel especially confident.”

“You’re not new to any of us, but you weren’t worried about impressing Nicki… and you barely made faces when they were talking about their game,” Amaranth said.

“I was trying not to make faces at all.”

“Someone who didn’t know you as well as I do probably wouldn’t have picked up on it,” she said. “I was watching for a reaction, in case you needed a reminder to behave… but you didn’t. Now, you mustn’t count on getting rewarded just for common civility, but this is for the whole package, you might say.”

She slowed the rubbing, and then stopped it. The bed shifted as she bent down and deposited a pair of gentle kisses, one on the outside dimple of each side of my rear. She straightened again, and then there was a pause and I held my breath, guessing the general shape of what was coming.

I was not disappointed.

Amaranth was a relatively large girl, not overly muscular in a bulging way but with the muscle of an athlete or a farmhand underneath her soft curves. She could put a lot of force behind the swing of her hand, and she did. She followed that first hard smack against my bare and unprotected ass with a gentler slap using just the tips of her fingers, then she bent to kiss me and did the whole thing over again.

Masochist or not, pain hurts. I don’t want to give the impression that the repeated impact of her hand against my backside was anything but painful. But it was a pain I could relish, and what sprang up in its wake was undeniably pleasurable. The massage had felt nice, but the spanking felt good… so very, very good.

The tears that welled up in my eyes weren’t purely from the pain, though. Amaranth was right. This was too close to a punishment for me. I thought it probably always would be, regardless of her expert ministrations. The tender kisses did something to quiet the voice inside my head that wanted to tell me that I was bad and I deserved it… as did Amaranth’s voice urgently cooing that I was good and I deserved it.

Amaranth knew how to work me to build up to a climax without anything more than repeated strokes across my backside… okay, with the occasional shot going meaningfully astray… but she wasn’t doing any of that tonight.

“I don’t really have a dramatic stopping point in mind tonight,” she said. “So I’m just going to wind things down. Ian talked to me while you were talking to Steff. He’s been taking charge more when the two of you are together, hasn’t he, baby?”

“Yes… ma’am,” I said, as she gave me a still firm but somewhat gentler stroke.

“Like I said, he liked seeing you a little more poised than usual,” she said. “It makes him want to take a, uh, firmer grip on you. Specifically, he asked me not to get you off for the next few nights. I told him it wouldn’t be a problem, because I probably would be spending my nights out anyway, but once I started thinking about it more, I thought it would be more fun to work you up a bit every day… I mean, there’s not giving someone an orgasm, and then there’s withholding an orgasm. I pass by lots of people every day without getting them off… at least not directly and right at the moment… but you’re special, baby, so I should be doing something special for you. To you.”

She giggled.

“It’s going to be a challenge, given how tightly your bow is strung,” she said. “But I look forward to meeting it. I can’t tell you exactly what Ian has in mind, baby, but I’d get ready for some intense frustration.”

She couldn’t tell me, but I thought she probably knew, or had a good idea… when it came to sex, a nymph was the next best thing to a mind reader. It was possible that Ian’s desires didn’t correlate perfectly to his plans, but they would be in the same neighborhood.

Amaranth bent over and planted delicate little kisses all over my bruised-feeling backside. There wouldn’t be a mark on it, because my invulnerable flesh would not do more than momentarily dimple a bit after a non-magical, non-sanctified impact, but invulnerability to harm was not the same thing as invulnerability to hurt. I felt everything the same as anyone else would.

I figured we were probably done, but after helping me upright and giving me a long, lingering kiss on the lips, Amaranth started to take the rest of my clothes off me.

“You don’t have any reason to go out tonight, do you?” she asked.

“No, ma’am,” I said.

“Okay,” she said. “Then tonight is a naked night. I don’t know when Ian’s planning on coming over, but I want you to be naked when he does. If someone knocks on the door, you can put on a robe. Same thing if Two needs to talk to you. Don’t cover up for Dee, though, since your nudity doesn’t mean anything to her.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said. I blushed at the thought of going about my business buck naked, while people came and went through the hall just outside my door all evening long.

The thing about dorm life was that sounds in the hall carried everywhere. I could hear doors opening and closing all the time. People hanging out and talking anywhere in the vicinity of my door sounded like people hanging out and talking right in front of it. I’d learned to block out such things as the ordinary sounds of dorm life, but the thought of sitting naked and exposed… not just incidentally or momentarily naked in the course of changing or getting dressed or doing anything that made nudity appropriate, but just… being naked…

“There,” Amaranth said, smiling radiantly at my growing embarrassment. “Now you’ll be ready for Ian. Don’t hide in bed, either… still do whatever homework or other things you were going to do. Just… like that. Now give me one more kiss goodbye, and wish me luck.”

“Good luck, ma’am,” I said.

“Goodnight, baby,” she said.

I stayed in bed until I heard the door close and lock, and then it was only the force of orders that got me out of it. I did my best to forget that I was naked, but the cool air made that impossible. My piercings in particular made me acutely aware of my nipples… sometimes the fact that I’d literally risked my ass along with the rest of me to get enchanted ones but hadn’t thought to have some kind of temperature-moderating spell layered onto them struck me. I did have homework to do, though, so I focused on that.

I wasn’t expecting Ian to come over until near bedtime, but I’d barely started revising spells for my grimoire for Acantha’s class when I heard a knock on the door. Any question that it wasn’t Ian was all but dispelled by the way it happened: one slightly quiet and uncertain knock followed almost immediately by a firmer one.

Ian had his own insecurities. One of the reasons we worked well together was that we had complementary ways of dealing with them.

I went up to answer the door and immediately realized there was no space for me to stand behind it while pulling it open. So instead I unlocked it and then stood on the other side, saying, “It’s open.”

It was only a second later that I realized I hadn’t checked the peephole, and my confidence in my ability to recognize Ian by his knock plummeted into the pit of my stomach. I felt the splash when it hit bottom.

Luckily I had been right, though.

“Hey, what’s… oh,” he said, when he saw me. He closed the door and held up his backpack. “I, uh, actually wanted to bring my homework over, if it’s not going to distract you… but maybe you have other things on your mind?”

“I was actually doing my own homework,” I said. “But… Amaranth…”

“Loaned you her favorite outfit?” he said. He kissed my forehead. “I approve. So… if I sit here and do homework and talk to you, you’ll just… you’ll stay…”

“Yeah,” I said. “That’s the idea.”

“Okay,” he said. He put his book bag down on the little two-seater couch that Amaranth had replaced one of our desks with. “Is this… something you’re going to be doing often?”

“If you want me to,” I said. “Amaranth said it’s a ‘naked night’, so I don’t think it’s going to turn into a new rule or anything.”

“I do really like the thought of you meeting me at the door naked all the time, but it’s kind of… a dorm’s not a great set-up for something like that,” he said. “You know?”

“Yeah,” I agreed. I had to admire Amaranth’s ability to set it up so he’d get what he’d want without having to orchestrate it for himself. She did sometimes misjudge the gap between sexual desire and reality, but she was generally pretty good at it.

I realized that Ian was focusing his attention rather intently on the book he’d pulled out of his bag.

“You… you know you’re allowed to look at me, right?” I said. “I mean, this is basically… I’m basically here for your benefit.”

It turned me beet red to say that, which is another way of saying that it really turned me on.

“I know,” he said. “But… I really do have homework to do, so I think I’m just going to enjoy the fact that you are naked and almost shivering for my benefit for a while. I mean, that’s the fantasy, really. Availability. Willingness. Convenience. At the end of the night we could still end up in bed even if you were fully dressed right now and I was sitting in my own room. This is just like foreplay. Anyway, it’s good to practice a little self-control.”

“Okay,” I said. And for a while, we sat in relative silence, him scratching words out in pen in a notebook and me writing lightly in pencil the lines of symbolic runes I would trace over in ink. A grimoire was meant to be permanent, but because it was permanent, it also needed to be perfect.

“So, what do you think about Nicki?” Ian asked after a while, which surprised me… it seemed like something I should be asking him.

“I like her,” I said. “She’s fun.”

“I mean… never mind.”

“No, what?”

“I mean, do you like her?” Ian asked.

“I don’t… not… like her,” I said. “I mean, she’s… cute.” I blushed. “I’m really not used to talking about girls… or guys.”

“Well, you spent most of your life not really seeing yourself as a sexual person,” he said. “You know you are now. I don’t think that means you have to start checking people out and talking about them, but I just thought… you know… if you wanted to but maybe didn’t have anyone you knew you could talk like that with… in theory, being able to talk about girls is supposed to be one of the perks of having a bisexual girlfriend, so I just wanted you to know I’m cool with that.”

“Honestly, I’m not looking to date anyone else, and I’m not interested in casual sex,” I said. “I mean, with people I’m not dating. I don’t think sex between us should always be formal.”

“Good thing we’ve apparently relaxed the dress code, then,” Ian said.

“What do you think about her?”

Ian stuck his pen in the spiral of the notebook and set it down on the arm of the loveseat.

“Well… I’m honestly not surprised that Steff wants to nail her,” he said. “And when I started that sentence I was going to say because her ass is her best feature, but now that I’ve said it I’m trying to think of someone or something I would be surprised about Steff wanting to nail, and I’m not really coming up with anything. A bucket of cole slaw, maybe?”

“I meant as a person,” I said.

“Well, she seems a little desperate,” Ian said. “For approval, I mean… and not in a way that makes her annoying. She’s not like clamoring to be the center of attention all the time. She’s almost wary of it, in case she screws up.”

“That seems pretty perceptive,” I said.

“Yeah, well… it’s not like she’s a simulacrum of you, but you’ve got elements of that,” Ian said.

“We’re definitely not simulacra,” I said. “She’s more sociable, even if she feels like she’s faking it. And I think Steff’s way off base in thinking she’s, um, hot for me.”

“Do you?”

“You think Steff’s right?”

“I think Steff’s wrong in thinking it’s going to happen,” Ian said. “But I’d say from the way she looks at you that you’re her type. But I think she’s more actually interested in making friends.”

“I don’t know,” I said. “She seemed pretty interested in getting a girlfriend. I mean, she asked me how to meet girls. I’d think if she was interested in me, she’d cut out the middle… lesbian.”

“A lot of people who aren’t nymphs can look at someone and say, ‘Yeah, I’d fuck that’,” Ian said. “Or some more tacitly respectful version of that. And maybe if the opportunity came up they would, but ‘the opportunity’ doesn’t just mean you’re both in the same place and willing to have sex, because there’s so much baggage and expectations and stuff that goes along with sex… and honestly, not all of the baggage is bad.”

“So your non-professional opinion is that Nicki wants to have sex with me, but wouldn’t,” I said. “Because what she really wants is a girlfriend.”

“Yeah, exactly,” Ian said. “I mean, it’s not like she’s burning a hole in your clothes with her eyes, or groping at you all the time.”

This made me think about my deal with Steff, and I started to blush.

“From the looks of things, you wouldn’t exactly mind that?” Ian guessed.

“I’m actually thinking of something else,” I said. “Anyway, I think she’d be too shy to do that.”

“But dancing with you would have been the perfect cover,” Ian said. “I think the bottom line is that when she looks at you she doesn’t see someone she could have a relationship with.”

“Yeah, my life is pretty complicated already.”

“Well, that’s why you wouldn’t have a relationship with her,” Ian said. “From her point of view, I think it’s more a matter of reach and grasp.”

“You think… you think I’m out of her league?”

“Well, if you weren’t naked and mine I’d probably feel the need to lie and say totally,” Ian said. He shrugged. “I like you, but I have to defer to Amaranth’s Principle here. You have nifty shapes, but a random person could easily find one or the other of you hotter than the other because that’s how it works. The thing is, she thinks you’re out of her league, and that’s what matters.”

“I… you may be right,” I said, when I thought about the fact that she’d needed to work up courage to talk to me. “So, what do I do with this information?”

“You’re not looking for another girlfriend, right?”

“No.”

“Then you don’t really need to do anything,” Ian said.

“But… if she thinks I’m so much better than her, she could probably stand to have a higher opinion of herself.”

“She’s got some confidence issues, yeah,” Ian said. “But I don’t think it’s a matter of a precise amount of self-esteem. It could go up and down without affecting how she sees you in relation to her, or she could decide you and her are more on the same level without it affecting her opinion of herself.”

“Did you turn into a subtle artist when I wasn’t looking?”

“No,” he said. “I’m speaking from a long experience of thinking girls are out of my league,” he said. “Since you’re hanging out together, there’s about a fifty-fifty chance she’ll get over it eventually, but by that time you’ll be firmly cemented as good friends… though if she’s anything like me, she might still jerk off over you every once in a while.”

“I don’t think that all of your experiences apply,” I said, blushing again at the thought.

“Well, maybe in translation,” Ian said. He’d been looking at me throughout our conversation, and the effects were starting to show in his lap. “Though, um, on the subject of jerking off: if you’re at a good breaking point…”

“You want to do that again?” I asked, remembering how he’d made me watch while he pleasured himself, in lieu of allowing me to. It had been a surprisingly maddening punishment, and I’d loved it.

“No, actually, I want to come in your mouth tonight,” he said. “But somehow, it’s hotter when I think of it as jerking off with your head.”

“Do I… do I get anything in return?” I asked.

“I’ll tell you what,” he said with a smirk that just about skewered me on the spot. “If you do it three nights in a row… I’ll fuck you. But if you get off before then, with me or without me, we start over… and you pay a forfeit to be named later.”

So that was what he had in mind. I counted nights in my head. That would just work out with my arrangement with Steff if he gave me my reward on the third night.. Assuming I could withstand whatever Amaranth wanted to do, the other chance I had of failing was if my dreams took a sexual turn, and that did not seem to be in the cards.

“Steff has me, from Friday night,” I told him.

“Do you want to tell me I can’t get it up twice in one night?” he said, still smirking.

“No,” I said. “And I have to go the next two days without an orgasm?”

“You have a problem with that?”

I had to think about it, but I didn’t have to think long. The prospect of placing myself more fully into Ian’s hands… and Amaranth’s… for a few days was more appealing than straightforward sex.

“No,” I said.

I laid my grimoire aside, Ian stood up long enough get his pants down, and I became a masturbatory aid.

All in all, there were far worse ways to pass the time.


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24 Responses to “Chapter 62: Firm Hands”

  1. Celti says:

    “She could put a lot of force behind the sing of her hand”

    ‘sing’ should probably be ‘swing’.

    Current score: 0
  2. Zathras IX says:

    Mackenzie is not
    Naughty by inclination
    Until bent over

    Current score: 1
    • FMan0801 says:

      Isn’t she naughty by declination, when bent over?

      Current score: 1
  3. anon y mouse says:

    “I don’t know want to give the impression that the repeated impact” – no ‘know’?

    “I mean, it’s not like she’s burning a hole in your clothes with your eyes, or groping at you all the time.” – her eyes?

    Current score: 0
    • Lunaroki says:

      That covers most of the typos I noticed. Here’s two more though, both the same type:

      “Anyway, I think she’d be too shy to do that.”.

      “And I have to go the next two days without an orgasm?”.

      In both cases the period following the closing quotes is not needed.

      On a related note, I was just wondering where Mack’s pants went? Before Mack squatted down to take off her shoes Amaranth ordered her to take off her pants. After she turned around and bent over she talked about her cotton-clad rear sticking out in the air. Not quite sure if jeans are cotton or not, but the clear interpretation here is that she’s bent over in just her panties. Once the focus goes onto the shoes nothing further is said about her pants but it sounds like maybe she takes them off in the same paragraph where she’s taking off her shoes. It’s just not very clear. Here’s the passage in question:

      “Actually… turn around first, and I said bend, not squat… keep your knees straight. Undo both of them, then take one off and then the other, and stay bent.”

      “Yes, ma’am,” I said, my cheeks flushing as I complied. The actions in question were harder to perform than they’d been for her to describe, especially when I was so focused on keeping my knees locked and so mindful of the way my cotton-clad rear was sticking out in the air.

      Nothing is said about her taking off her pants here, either by Amaranth or by Mackenzie’s narration, though perhaps it is meant to be implied by the fact that taking off the shoes was precipitated by Amaranth’s orders to remove her pants? I suppose it could be assumed to be implied in the phrase “The actions in question” but it’s just vague enough to be confusing. That’s why when I hit the bit about Mackenzie’s cotton-clad rear I was baffled about where her pants had gone.

      Current score: 0
      • Ha! What happened was I completely sidetracked myself. Shoes are a major bane of erotic writers, especially when there’s no reason for a character to be wearing the kind that just slip off… often they really should be a physical presence in a scene that involves the removal of pants, but they just sort of fade away with no mention of their disposition. I realized the scene was tending that way so I decided to tackle them right up front… and ended up doing the same thing with her jeans. Fixed now.

        Current score: 0
        • Zergonapal says:

          From my ever so slight passing familiarity with the romance genre I always assumed the man only wore pants and an optional white swash buckling shirt.

          Current score: 0
        • Kaila says:

          What? You mean other people don’t run around without shoes most of the time?

          Current score: 1
  4. Kaila says:

    “Well… I’m honestly not surprised that Steff wants to nail her,” he said. “And when I started that sentence I was going to say because her ass is her best feature, but now that I’ve said it I’m trying to think of someone or something I would be surprised about Steff wanting to nail, and I’m not really coming up with anything. A bucket of cole slaw, maybe?”

    My favorite paragraph.

    He really is being perceptive. I love how it’s all sort of off-hand and objective.

    Current score: 1
    • Readaholic says:

      Nah, not even a bucket of coleslaw is safe from Steff.

      Current score: 0
      • Krey says:

        This thought worries me, cuz it seems like you probably wouldn’t notice the… remnants in there. Not eating slaw for awhile.

        Current score: 0
        • Zergonapal says:

          Well I for one cannot see the appeal in a bucket of coleslaw so its safe around me.

          Current score: 0
        • fka_luddite says:

          Amy would be cool with the remnants.

          Current score: 0
    • Zergonapal says:

      Yes, but he didn’t quite hit the target, Steff is more interested in Nicki/Mack rather than just Nicki herself.

      Current score: 0
  5. Month says:

    Heh. Worse ways to pass time.

    Current score: 0
  6. Rafinius says:

    I’m really looking forward to the cloth-burning session with Steff, although I hope that that will only be the foreplay… 😀

    Current score: 0
    • erianaiel says:

      The cannibalism and wild monkey buttsex session turned out to be a lot scarier for Steph than anticipated (as in a lot of scary and a lot less hotness)

      I hope that Mackenzie going all torchy with infernal fire is not going to have the same result…

      Current score: 1
  7. JN says:

    For some reason, I think it would be good for Nicki to see Mack trying to deal with Sooni. What is Mack’s favorite self-centered, spoiled, semi-lunatic doing this year anyway?

    Current score: 0
  8. erianaiel says:

    This is the second time in as many days that Mackenzie just leaves the room without thinking about the fact that she is naked.

    I have the feeling that she is being Checkhoved here …

    Current score: 0
    • …I feel like I’m missing something or you are. As far as I remember (and can tell, glancing back at the chapter), she stays in the room the whole time after getting undressed. If there’s a part where she leaves then I have written something wrong.

      Current score: 0
      • erianaiel says:

        I was sloppy in writing my comment. I meant to write that Mackenzie opened the door without realising she was nude twice now.
        I was probably subconsciously influenced by pondering about if the shared bathroom had to be accessed from the hallway or if it had two doors, one to each dorm room.

        Current score: 0
  9. JerK says:

    I was kind of looking forward to Mack having a cute relationship with Nikki that didn’t involve being treated like dirt for the kink of it like the majority of her relationships but Steff even has to ruin that for me.

    One thing I kind of miss about volume one is there were breaks from the hardcore fetishes where I especially felt the love, especially in the Amy sections. So far in volume 2 she’s kind of pushed to the side and it’s more about Steff and Ian getting their rocks off and Mack feeding her love of shame. I guess that’s always been my least favorite part of the story. That’s just my personal taste I guess.

    That being said the stuff outside of the sexual encounters I’m really digging. I love this universe.

    Current score: 0