Chapter 81: Trading In Pain

on April 19, 2012 in Volume 2 Book 3: Figments & Fragments, Volume 2: Sophomore Effort

In Which Steff Is Alone With Mackenzie

The rest of the night passed in a blur. I woke up with really fragmentary memories of doing a succession of exercises with the owl-turtle thing, and some snippets of information about the basic points of raw mental manipulation.

I also felt a sense of fatigue. Not physical tiredness… more like the sense that I’d spent a few hours butting my head up against a problem, or trying to wrap my mind around a complicated new subject. I supposed that both of those descriptions could be apt, in a way.

It was either ironic, or just really unfair… spending an entire calendar year at school without a decent break hadn’t been enough to make me dream about studying all night, but now I was doing it for real.

As my bearings came back to me, I briefly had the sense that someone else was in bed with me… mostly because I was closer to the side than I had been when I went to sleep. Even when the bed was full, I tended to sleep in the middle… it was partly a legacy of the time when our bed hadn’t been big enough to have sides, and partly because I really didn’t mind being slept on.

Wriggling out of the blankets, I thought I caught a bit of Steff’s scent, which was hard to describe because it was very faint. It was more of a general sense that a person had been there recently, but there wasn’t Ian’s manly musk or Amaranth’s earthy, wind-over-an-open-field scent. I thought that maybe Steff had come to bed and then left.

I was occasionally dimly aware that my sense of smell was more than what a fully human nose would be capable of… usually when I was hungry or incredibly angry. So I felt a flutter of concern at this bit of olfactory insight, but it subsided when I realized that I felt more or less okay… as human as I ever felt, and completely myself.

Could it be a side effect of the owl-turtle thing’s “training montage”? I didn’t have any impression of having been directed to get more in touch with my physical senses, but it had been encouraging me to stretch out my mind and explore avenues of sensation I’d never consciously used…

I wasn’t crazy about the idea of my semi-demonic powers coming more to the forefront, especially ones that were strongly associated with hunting. Steff and Amaranth were mostly safe, and Dee could literally restrain me with a thought… but I didn’t want to walk around campus with my nostrils full of the scent of humans. All stereotypes aside, there had to be some people on campus who were still virgins.

Then I heard the toilet flushing and the bathroom door opening.

“Good morning, sleepyhead,” Steff said as I poked my head out the bed curtains.

She was naked, her hair slightly wet and her pale skin glistening with what almost had to be water, since she didn’t sweat that much. A warm draft followed her out of the bathroom, carrying with it the slightest scent of honey and vanilla. Steff’s penis was in the process of stretching like it had just had a long nap, though there was no hint on her face of lascivious intentions so I ignored it.

That’s not to say that I ignored her… that would have been difficult, verging on impossible.

Before her transformation, Steff’s wardrobe had been about evenly split between really tight pants and miniskirts that accentuated her frame, and long flowy dresses and billowy blouses and skirts that obscured it. Since growing curves that would scandalize her surface elven kin, she’d mostly given up on the tight clothes… at first for the practical reason that none of them had fit her anymore, but she hadn’t done much to replace them.

“Have you been up long?” I asked her.

“Only all night,” she said, raising her arms and arching back in what could only have been called a titillating display… though probably not with a straight face. “Well, I came into the bed for a bit, but I didn’t sleep. I just wanted some company and everybody else had drifted away. You were really out of it… didn’t even stir when I nudged you over to make room.”

Under other circumstances I might have wondered what Steff would do if she came across me while I was completely unconscious… actually, under other circumstances I wouldn’t have to wonder, because Steff would have volunteered the information. The fact that she didn’t spoke volumes, as was the fact that she’d wanted room to lie down without prolonged contact.

I noticed that her cheeks looked kind of damp… the rest of her did, too, but her eyes seemed really bright in the way that suggested tears. There was some redness there, too. She had been up all night, though, and I suspected she’d been missing sleep before that.

“I hope you don’t mind that I used you guys’ bubbly stuff,” she said. “I knew it was yours or Amy’s because I can’t really picture Dee going for that and I can’t picture Two letting the side of the bottle get all sticky and gunky like that and not cleaning it off.”

“That’s fine,” I said. “The borrowing, I mean, not the personal commentary.”

She stuck out her tongue.

“Are you still going to up for a day on the town, or do you want to wait for tomorrow?” I asked her, getting out of bed. I never appreciated Amaranth’s decision to carpet the floor more than when I first got up in the morning and put my bare feet on it.

If only I could wrap the bare rest of me up in something equally plush and warm…

“I’m fine… it takes a little longer for me to show the effects of anything like sleeplessness,” she said. “A lot of the baggage of mortality is semi-optional for elves. There’s actually a whole village of elves that decided to stop sleeping entirely… well, I say ‘elves’ but they’re all bansidhes now, after they went crazy and killed themselves.”

“That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement,” I said. “And you’re only semi-elven.”.

“Well, I’m fine today and I’ll just be tireder tomorrow,” she said. “And anyway, we don’t want to disappoint Two. So how’d your thing go last night?”

Right as she asked me that, something went through my head like I was remembering a conversation from long ago… something involving the owl-turtle thing and me, standing in front of a stone wall. My vision didn’t quite go hazy, but I momentarily lost the ability to process what was in front of me. A second later it all came back.

“I don’t know yet,” I said, shaking my head. “There was a lot to take in… I’m still sorting it out. Do you happen to know if Dee’s awake yet?”

“Awake and gone,” Steff said. “Girl’s an early riser. She and Two both had to use the bathroom while I was in there.”

“So what did you do?”

“Nothing,” Steff said. “I’m sure they would have asked me if they needed help.”

“They went with you in there?”

“On the other side of a shower curtain. I didn’t peek,” she said. “I mean, I’ve seen Dee in the gathering darkness before. I don’t need to see her peeing. That’s not exactly my cup of warm, amberish colored liquid.”

“I’m not suggesting… I mean, I’m just surprised she’d come in while you were there,” I said. “Or Two. They’re both so… protocol-y about things.”

“Well, before coming to school Two lived in a group home and Dee lived in a giant underground beehive,” Steff said. “So I imagine the protocol included things like sharing bathroom facilities. What, did people just not use the toilets while someone was showering in the girls’ side of Harlowe?”

“No, but that was a bit… bigger,” I said. “And that was a public bathroom. This one is…”


“…private,” I said.

“They both knocked and asked if it was okay first, in case you’re worrying about them bursting in on you while you’re pretending not to masturbate or something,” Steff said. “Hell, they’d probably know better than to try if it wasn’t an emergency, since you’re so weird about this kind of thing.”

“It’s not weird to not want to be two feet away from someone who’s peeing,” I said.

“What’s the difference between someone walking right past the bathtub you’re in to get to the toilets in Harlowe, and someone coming in to use the toilet while you’re in the tub here?”

“Distance,” I said.

“Everybody who’s ever used a public bathroom stall has done that.”

“Well, I haven’t had to do anything like that for over a decade,” I said. “So everything about peeing is weird to me.”

“As long as you know that you’re the weird one,” Steff said.

“Anyway, that’s why I don’t take long baths first thing in the morning,” I said. “It helps me avoid awkwardness on all sides… even if all the awkwardness is on my side.”

“In my defense, it was more like the middle of the night when I started,” Steff said. “So I guess it was a really long bath, really first thing in the morning.” She reached down and touched her now very hard dick with the tips of two fingers, in a casual how-did-that-get-there kind of way. “Anyway, I’m glad to see you’re awake now… because this keeps happening.”

“I wasn’t sure you’d be…” My mind reached for a prepositional phrase that wouldn’t be a double entendre, discarding up for, into, and down with before giving up.

“Come on, Mack,” she said, giving me a slightly pained smile. “This is me you’re talking about.”

“You seemed kind of… down… last night.”

“Even down I’m still me,” she said. “Anyway, I told you I’m fine. Besides, I’m not looking for real intimacy right now.”

“What are you looking for?”

“To fuck you in the ass until I come two or three times so I can walk around town without looking like the world’s worst short sword smuggler,” she said.

“That’s not intimate?”

“What, haven’t you ever heard the saying? Elves masturbate with others and make love by themselves.”

I could tell she meant that as self-deprecation, but the words still stung me. Even the part of them that was aimed squarely at herself stung, because I didn’t like hearing anyone suggest that Steff wasn’t capable of love.

“Don’t even try to pretend like that’s true,” I said.

“Well, not entirely true because I’m not entirely an elf,” she said. She shrugged and came closer, moving in a way that made it seem like her hips were ambulatory entities in their own rights and her legs were just their puppets. “But I have needs… some of them are physical and some of them are emotional, and right now they both say I need to bend you over and fuck you like you aren’t even there, and I wouldn’t be suggesting this if I didn’t think you’d be into it… so are you in or out?”

My cheeks were red hot in mingled frustration, arousal, and embarrassment… because damn if she wasn’t right. Amaranth gave me a lot of gentle intimacy and Ian gave me stern demand, but sometimes what I really needed was just to be used… to be taken advantage of, not in the way that a vulnerable person would be but in the way that a conveniently placed public facility would be.

“In,” I said, closing my eyes.

“Of course you are,” Steff said, her breath right up against my face, as close as she could be without any physical contact.

She took me by the shoulders and spun me around, bending me over the bed and handling me until I was in the position she desired. I remained completely passive, staying where she put me and uttering not a sound, not of protest or of agreement.

Lube was a sometimes thing, as far as Steff was concerned… my invulnerable body was immune to the more dire outcomes of raw, dry sex.

That wasn’t to say it was pleasant, but not all pleasure was physical, and we both had more than one itch that needed to be scratched.

I didn’t need to be told that this time was going to be pain, and nothing but pain… joking aside, Steff did not need a partner to masturbate. She wouldn’t need me for this if she didn’t, well, need me. I could take anything that she could dish out, and I could give her pain.

There was no doubt that Steff was a sadist, but I think there was more than a bit of projection involved. She drew up lovingly detailed sketches of grisly endings for others because devising them for herself got boring, or her imagination tripped her up by pointing out that such things would necessarily be a once-in-a-lifetime event.

She forced her way in. I knew it couldn’t be much more comfortable a fit for her than for me, but she didn’t mind physical pain, either. It just hardened her resolve… as well as the other thing.

Ian and I had tried to do this, on occasion and without much luck. Steff seemed to have some knack that he lacked. Maybe it was a quality of elven grace… they were supposed to be able to step into spaces between spaces, after all.

Whatever… it would be hard to describe what she did as graceful.

And as she pounded away at me, I think she was pouring her pain into me, as well… trying to take whatever she was feeling and push it out. I don’t know if it worked. I don’t know if it made her feel better. But even if I didn’t get anything out of it, I still would have submitted to it on the chance that it would help her.

I did get something out of it, though. The pain… it wasn’t pleasure. It was pain, and at least while it was ongoing it was way above the threshold where it was possible to cherish the little warm glow that came along with it.

But I liked the pain.

I needed it.

I craved it.

I drank it in.

The pain hurt, but it hurt good… and I felt a fierce and growing sense of pride as I realized how easily I could withstand it. Well, I’d been run through and chopped up and bashed to bits in mock combat… what was a little internal impalement, between friends?

I didn’t exactly grin and bear it, but I did bear it, and I bore it well.

Steff didn’t last long… needs aside, she clearly wasn’t in an amorous mood… and when she finished, the sensation of her pulling slowly out of my ass gave me a gut-wrenching burst of pleasure that left me gasping. With the source of stabbing pain gone, I started to feel the familiar tingle, like the aftermath of a spanking or a pinched nipple. Tendrils of warmth spread out from the red hot pain, and I started to laugh as I realized that I was getting horny now myself… hornier than I’d been before or during what was technically sex.

“Um… I guess I had to be there?” Steff said.

“Sorry,” I said. turning around and sliding down to the floor. It was easier than standing up. “I just… I’m starting to get all worked up, and there’s probably not going to be any chance of doing anything about it for a while..”

“I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds that hilarious,” Steff said. “Also… thanks. I really needed the chance to unload, so to speak, and with no one in the rooms on either side of us, this is as close to being alone with anyone as it ever gets in a dorm, and you’re the least threatening person in the world.”

“You’ve been afraid of me before,” I said.

“I’ve been scared in your presence, but not of you, Mack,” she said. “Never of you… and I’m sorry if at the time it seemed like I didn’t know that.”

She sounded embarrassed as she said this, and the vulnerability just made her more heart-achingly beautiful. I was glad that I didn’t feel up to standing, because if I had been, I probably would have tried to hug her.

“You should probably shower or something before getting dressed,” she said. “We still have a big day ahead of us.”

“Oh, right,” I said. “And you’ve made yourself fit for walking around town at the expense of my ability to do so.”

“Right!” Steff said. “Priorities… anyway, you’ll be able to walk. You just won’t be able to do it without thinking of me.”

“As if I need a reminder.”

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25 Responses to “Chapter 81: Trading In Pain”

  1. Alico says:

    Ah Steff. Quick, Blunt, and to the point. Good to hear Mack is getting all her needs filled with all her partners!

    Current score: 0
    • pedestrian says:

      I dunno, I think everybody brings something to the table for Our Mack to enjoy, in her own peculiar way.

      I find this chapter an interesting segue from the previous chapter into the next. Where AE can amplify what ROTT and Mack accomplished during the night.

      “her penis”…..”her penis”…..”her penis”………………
      Sorry but I still have trouble getting my head around that concept. I have been deluding myself that I have led an interesting life and in my egotism thought I had sampled a variety of sex. Boy was I wearing blinkers!

      Current score: 0
      • Eris Harmony says:

        I never had much trouble picturing her as a girl with a dick. It’s the boobs I’m having trouble getting my head around.

        Current score: 1
        • pedestrian says:

          damnit! now I can’t get that visualization out of my head!

          Current score: 0
      • Zergonapal says:

        Huh, I am not even into that scene and I had no trouble with that term at all.

        Current score: 0
      • 'Nym-o-maniac says:

        It’s funny, if you’d asked me before I got to know Steff, I would probably have said that I’d have trouble picturing a girl with a penis, but I’ve never actually had any real problem imagining Steff with a penis, or just imagining similar since in other media. I’m not sure if that’s a testament to AE’s writing, or to my own imagination (probably the former), but either way, I’m not complaining.

        Current score: 0
  2. Zathras IX says:

    Do all Elfkind smell
    Of honey and vanilla
    Or is it just Steff?

    Current score: 1
  3. Whataslacker says:

    Thank you.

    Current score: 0
  4. Krey says:

    Oh, how I have missed Steff in the bedroom.
    Let’s hope she starts feeling better, and we can get some really NASTY stuff going. Or maybe I’ll just start writing my own MU Slash… Either way, great chapter!

    Current score: 0
  5. Minty says:

    My girlfriend has told me several times that I’m the least threatening person she knows, and that it’s part of why she likes me. Not quite sure how it relates, but it’s interesting to hear those words from Steff.

    Current score: 0
  6. Brenda says:

    Looking forward to the trip to town!

    Typo report: “Are you still going to up for a day on the town
    (seems to need a “be” or to lose “going to”)

    Current score: 0
  7. TJK says:

    Perhaps my favorite part of this chapter is the fact that “bansidhe” is spelled correctly.

    Current score: 0
    • Kallio says:

      Actually, I’m pretty sure the original Irish spelling is bean sí.

      Unless I’m completely misremembering, which is possible. But Wikipedia seems to back me up, for whatever that’s worth.

      Current score: 0
  8. Readaholic says:

    “World’s worst short sword smuggler” ROFL.

    Current score: 0
    • pedestrian says:


      Welcome to the second decade of my life. And I mean that! I don’t want them back.

      Current score: 0
  9. Tierhon says:

    I like these interstitial chapters where the characters are just being themselves.

    Current score: 0
  10. Sapphite says:

    Fun chapter, but I’m highly concerned about this section – could it be The Man’s construct escaping?

    “So how’d your thing go last night?”

    Right as she asked me that, something went through my head like I was remembering a conversation from long ago… something involving the owl-turtle thing and me, standing in front of a stone wall. My vision didn’t quite go hazy, but I momentarily lost the ability to process what was in front of me. A second later it all came back.

    Current score: 0
    • Brenda says:

      I think that’s from the OTT doing speed-training sessions during her dream.

      Current score: 0
  11. William Carr says:

    At some point, I hope another Fish-Beast comes along and alters Reality for a weekend.

    The Mu equivalent to Frederick Pohl’s “Reverse Wood”, to torture the phrase.

    Stef becomes a Real, Live Girl, to her dismay.

    And Mac changes teams entirely. Demonic, Dominant, and MALE.

    Because Stef has got it coming to her, and there’s nobody better suited to give it to her than Mack NZ.

    Current score: 0
    • pedestrian says:

      oofff, rough trade indeed!

      Current score: 0
    • Rafinius says:

      Steff would enjoy it 😀
      I worry more about Mack. It wouldn’t be her in any way and when the weekend is over she will feel just like when she was possesed, but worse.
      …On hindsight Steff wouldn’t enjoy it because she would worry about Mack. Too much prescedence and stuff on the possession topic.

      Current score: 0
  12. William Carr says:

    I wish I could copyright Mack NZ, but it’s obviously derivative of Alexandra Erin, Inc.

    I hope you decide to use it, AE.

    Mack NZ is a great Demon name.

    Current score: 0
  13. JerK says:

    “I’m not looking for real intimacy right now.”

    This sums up Steff in a nutshell.

    Current score: 0