359: Snappy Patter

on March 4, 2009 in Book 13

In Which Dee Does Not See Eye To Eye

We spent most of the rest of the session on breathing. It didn’t help anything that the focus on the rising and falling of my chest made me intensely aware of the weights that had been freshly stapled to them the night before. I kept feeling the most perverse impulse to reach up and mess with them when I was supposed to be holding a breath in.

All in all, the whole exercise seemed like a lot of effort to do something I’d been doing just fine with for eighteen years on my own, but at the end of the session Dee said that if I practiced it enough on my own time it would become automatic.

“Funny, I’ve always breathed automatically before,” I said.

“But you have never learned to do so correctly,” Dee said, though I hadn’t had any complaints yet. “I gather that you will be acquiring a quarterstaff?” .

“Uh, yeah,” I said. “Apparently.”

“Good,” Dee said. “Eventually we will incorporate that.”

Extra weapons practice every day on top of my classes with Callahan… yeah, this was shaping up to the best in the long line of really spectacular decisions that I’d made lately.

“Have you made any progress towards contacting your grandmother?” Dee asked, just to add to the fun.

“You know, um… my lawyer doesn’t think it’s a good idea to get her involved,” I said. “Since she’d be biased.”

“I do not think you would necessarily entangle her in the legal web just by consulting with her on the matter of the pitchfork,” Dee said.

“Maybe not… but why risk it?” I said.

“Why… why risk it?” Dee repeated. “Mackenzie, if you have a better prospect…”

“Amaranth says that Mack doesn’t have to talk to her grandmother if she doesn’t want to,” Two said.

“Amaranth does not know what is best in all cases,” Dee said.

“I know,” Two agreed. “But she owns Mack so what she says goes.”

“Not in any real fashion, she does not,” Dee said. “She only ‘owns’ Mackenzie because they have decided this between themselves. It is not binding legally or socially or in any other manner that matters.”

“I think you’re mistaken,” Two said. “I think it matters a lot.”

“Thanks, Two,” I said. “But we really don’t have to fight about this because I don’t want to talk to her. My decision or Amaranth’s decision, it’s just not going to happen, okay?”

“Very well,” Dee said. “I suppose I will need to start feeling out contacts with the local temples, then… certainly some of them will not be below making common cause against an infernal artifact.”

“Just so long as you can keep them away from me,” I said.

“That would not be a factor if we could reach out to your grandmother,” Dee said.

“It would be double if you reached out to her,” I said. “Thanks for the breathing lessons and all, Dee, but… yeah. It just wouldn’t be worth it. I mean, she’s not that huge a deal. She exorcised demons in a town too small to have any full wizards or experienced adventurers on hand. I don’t know what she could begin to do against a thing that almost got the best of you with a tiny piece of itself.”

“Perhaps there is something to your words,” Dee said. “But I suppose we’ll never know.”

“Yeah, I suppose,” I said. “Are we done here, or do I need to work on my blinking next?”

“There is no need to snap,” Dee said.

“I’m not snapping!” I, uh… snapped. “I just don’t like being pushed like this… I’ve made up my mind, okay?”

“And I am not attempting to argue,” Dee said. “I am already making alternate plans.”

“Okay,” I said, taking a deep breath… through my nose, holding it in, and then exhaling through my mouth. Yep… still felt awkward and weird. “Sorry. It’s just… I’m trying to leave some stuff behind.”

“That is understandable,” Dee said. She gave a short bow. “I am sorry for… pushing.”

“It’s okay,” I said.

“Now you tell her you’re sorry for snapping,” Two said to me.

“I do not want an apology that is less than sincere,” Dee said.

“Dee… I am sorry, really,” I said. “It’s just… I don’t think we’re going to see eye to eye on it, so we should probably just not talk about it any more.”

“If you truly feel that discussion is fruitless, then I suppose you must be correct,” Dee said. She paused and then shook her head and snorted a tiny little bit.

“What?” I asked.

“I am sorry,” she said and I could see the ghost of a smile.

“What?” I said again.

“It is nothing,” she said. “I know well what you meant.”

“You can’t laugh at me and then tell me it’s nothing,” I said, scowling.

“I am not laughing at you,” Dee said. “I’m sorry. The sentiment is juvenile and unworthy of me. Really, it is nothing.”

“If it’s nothing, why can’t you tell me about it?” I pressed.

Dee closed her eyes and took a deep breath of her own, then said, “Very well. I want you to know that in all honesty it is only through sheer chance that I know this… but… among certain classes of my people, the phrase ‘see eye to eye’ has a decidedly vulgar meaning. It refers to… it refers to a particular sexual act that few would seek out or enjoy.”

“Oh,” I said.

It almost looked like Dee was blushing… there were shiny spots on her cheeks. I didn’t want to ask further when she was obviously embarrassed, but I had to wonder what kind of act would be so kinky as to provoke that kind of reaction from her, considering that she was experienced with multiple lovers of varying physical configurations and that her people considered anal sex to be perfectly normal.

Dee projected what I thought of as her psychic “throat-clearing” as she flipped her hood back up over her head, pulling the cowl low to hide her face.

“I believe I hear your amikan in the stairwell,” she said. “Perhaps you would like to greet her before she goes all the way up the stairs.”

“Yeah, sure,” I said, and I went out into the hall and hurried towards the stairs. Amaranth was a floor and a half up when I got there… I might not known it was her if Dee hadn’t told me… but since I was looking for her, the sound of her bare feet and the traces of her scent were both unmistakable. I called her name.

“Baby?” she replied, stopping in her tracks and then heading back down.

“Yeah,” I said, coming up to meet her on the landing. “I was meditating with Dee.”

“Oh, good,” she said, giving me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “I got you a staff… it even has a weak defensive enchantment on it, so at the very least you won’t have to worry so much about it breaking if you hit hard with it. I’d like to put it up in your room so you’ll have it even if we don’t see each other for lunch.”

“Why wouldn’t we see each other for lunch?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she said. “But just in case… I’m trying to be responsible here. I mean, you should have had one already… and don’t forget you’ve still got to find an instructional book and get started on it.”

“I know, I know,” I said.

“And don’t forget that you’re to obey Coach Callahan from now on,” Amaranth said. “I still want to talk to her before your class today.”

“Do you really think that’s a good idea?” I asked. “I mean, you don’t have any kind of, you know, standing or anything… you’re not my guardian, so it’s not like she could talk about my performance or anything.”

“No, but I can talk about you,” Amaranth said. “I think if she understands where you’re coming from… and you start making a genuine effort… then things might go more smoothly for you.”

“I don’t think Callahan’s interested in knowing what’s going on in anybody else’s head except in a ‘know thy enemy’ kind of way,” I said. I thought about Two saying that Amaranth didn’t always know best, but that it mattered that I chose to belong to her, and I added, “But do what you think’s best.”

If Callahan decided to take whatever Amaranth said as an excuse to be even more of a raging bitch… assuming that was even possible… it would be her own doing, not Amaranth’s or anyone else’s. Amaranth was trying, in her own way… which meant putting her faith in people even if they would inevitably disappoint her.

I didn’t want to discourage that, and not just because it was pretty inevitable that I would disappoint her again… it was kind of a beautiful thing in its own right. The real world would doubtlessly wear Amaranth’s optimism down eventually, if she remained in contact with it enough. She didn’t need me to hasten the process.

We went upstairs and Amaranth pulled out the staff, a simple wooden pole with blue leather caps on the end.

“From what Mike said, if you’re trying to defend with it, it’ll guide your hands,” Amaranth said.

“Mike?” I repeated. It was a fairly common name, of course, but she said it like she thought I might be familiar with him.

“Yes, he’s a friend of Ian’s in Weyland Hall,” Amaranth said.

“And he knows it’s for me?” I asked.

“Oh, yes,” Amaranth said. “See, I thought Weyland would be a good place to find somebody sympathetic to you, or at least not hostile, since they’ll know Ian… he said there’s no hurry to get it back to him.”

“Seriously?” I said. “I don’t have a real clear memory of everything that happened that day, but I thought he was kind of a jerk.” I looked at the staff, still in Amaranth’s hands, suspiciously. “Why would he turn around and do something nice?”

“Well… maybe he realized he came off as a bit of a jerk,” Amaranth said. “He seemed very sweet, and very enthusiastic. Some guys get shy about sharing, especially all at once, but he’s actually been nursing a fantasy about a gang bang.”

“Yeah… why am I not surprised?” I said.

Mackenzie Jo,” Amaranth said, glaring fiercely over her frames. “You act like you’ve never enjoyed a little group sex.”

“A little group,” I said. “Two other people, only one of whom has a penis, is not a ‘gang bang’.”

“You’re still in no position to be throwing stones,” Amaranth said. “Not that you should, even if your only relationships were conventional… and when the boy you’re passing judgment on is doing something nice to help you out in a class where you’ve done so little to help yourself… I hope you weren’t planning on sitting down to a nice breakfast this morning, missy.”

“I thought you wanted me to eat every… oh,” I said, my cheeks heating up as I realized what she meant.

Her decision to power on through the threats to our future had apparently not cooled her fervor for stricter and more frequent discipline, as she demonstrated quite firmly and at length with a series of paddlings that went on long enough to bring me over the edge even without any of her skillful teasing.

When she finished, she got the bottle Caron had given us and did my nipples for me.

The combination of the pain in my backside, the post-orgasmic glow, the sensation in my breasts, and the knowledge of the reproach that had brought on the punishment was enough to leave me in a sort of glowing haze of submission and languor.

I felt bad for disappointing Amaranth, but I felt good about accepting my punishment… and great about being hers to punish.

“You will thank Mike for the generous loan,” she said. “I’ll leave it to you to decide how… I think you know what I would prefer, but of course that has to be up to you. I want you to be sincere and courteous, though.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said.

“Once our situation with Caron is resolved, maybe we could go over there together some evening,” Amaranth said. “Just to be sociable. I’m sure Ian would like to see you more than he does… Steff and I get to have you all that we want because we all live here, but he’s kind of left out.”

“Yeah,” I agreed. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Would you like to come over to the boys’ side to check on Steff with me before breakfast?”

I hesitated. It didn’t seem like I could keep avoiding Viktor forever… not if I was going to be with Steff… but on the other hand, there was no reason I couldn’t keep avoiding him for now, or for the immediate future.

But… Steff. As sore as my backside was… as agonizing as the thought of any kind of physical exertion was, much less exertion centered around that region… I still ached for her. The knowledge that my pain would drive her on made me ache all the harder.

She hadn’t seen my piercings, either… I had a tiny notion that those might tickle her fancy, too.

In the end, though, it just wasn’t worth the chance of facing Viktor in his lair.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I mean… no, ma’am. I’d rather not.”

Amaranth smiled and ruffled my hair.

“That’s fine baby,” she said.

I realized that she didn’t know anything about the whole bathroom drama, and that she’d want to… both as it related to Feejee and as far as the abuse that the Leightons… and, in a way, Kiersta… had thrown in my direction.

“Um… ma’am?” I said, not sure how else to begin a sentence in the space I was feeling myself in at the moment.

“Yes, baby?”

“I… I have something I need to tell you,” I said.

“Go ahead,” she said, and I did, starting with Trina’s bizarre notions about demon fighting and how it had led to the shower with Feejee, and the fallout of that. I was tempted to skip the part about insulting Trina’s ass, since I’d almost forgotten about it until I started recounting that part of the story, but once I remembered it, there was no way not to tell her.

When I finished the whole thing, Amaranth was silent for a few seconds. She chewed her lip and pinched at her thigh.

Finally, she said, “Do you need me to point out where I’m disappointed in you?”

“No, ma’am,” I said.

“I think another spanking at this point would be a little superfluous,” she said. “But you’re going to apologize to Trina the first chance you get.”

Amaranth held up her hand, ready to shush me, but I bit my lip and restrained myself.

“Trina is not mine,” Amaranth said. “Neither is Kiersta, nor Sara and Tara. If I thought they would listen to me, I’d tell them all they owe you an apology and more, but they’re all on their own in that regard. You’re mine, and I won’t stand for my toy using that kind of language to describe another person’s body. Trina has a lovely ass, in a perfectly ordinary shape that many women have been made to feel uncomfortable or self-conscious about. Regardless of how you feel about her as a person, baby, you’re not going to participate in that culture. Do you understand?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said.

“As for the rest… um… well… I think Kiersta has pretty given up whatever authority she might have had as resident advisor by not doing her job, don’t you?” Amaranth said. “She can’t make a big fuss to Gwen or anything because of the arbitration… the school won’t back her up on an unfair punishment, and Gwen will realize that even if she doesn’t. So, don’t worry about cleaning the bathroom or avoiding Feejee, okay?”

“Okay,” I said.

“Just… don’t think this is an excuse to be rude to Kiersta,” Amaranth said. “You have to respect her as a person even if you’re not going to respect her as an R.A. Do you understand?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said.

“Good,” Amaranth said. “And I’m so glad you told me these things on your own. I’m proud of you, baby.”

As sore… and as suddenly tired… as I was, I couldn’t help bursting with pride and pleasure at these words.


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5 Responses to “359: Snappy Patter”

  1. pedestrian says:

    If Mackenzie is going to “gratitude” Mike, shouldn’t she run that by Ian first? If Our Mack explains that Amy told her to “gratitude” Mike, Ian might just shrug his shoulders as long as he didn’t have to ear the details. And Mike wasn’t a total dick afterwards about bragging about fucking the demon girl.

    Then again Ian might get off sharing Mackenzie with Mike? Including a 3-way event. Or then again maybe the two boys would just try to kill each other.

    And even if it was okayed, there is the real possibility that Mike could fail to ahh, perform. That whole set you on fire thing if you piss off the demon girl. Strong enough to tear a man from limb to limb. Literally shred and consume you as bbq. Could easily disrupt the concentration of all but the most confident of men.

    If Ian wanted to psych out a fight opponent, just describing, loudly, how he beats the crap out of Our Mack as foreplay, then forces his cock down the demon girl’s throat.

    That one over there finger snapping flames for amusement.

    That surely could wear at the fighting spirit of many a man.

    Current score: 1
    • capybroa says:

      Where the hell IS Ian, anyways? Damned boy has become nearly superfluous to the whole narrative at this point.

      Current score: 3
      • zeel says:

        Time isn’t moving very fast. Ian was at the party Tuesday, this is only Thursday – and they have class together (next chapter). Really, he has only been missing for a single day, the perspective is just skewed.

        Current score: 4
  2. MackSffrs says:

    “I think Kiersta has pretty [much] given up whatever authority…”
    🙂

    Current score: 2
  3. Lara says:

    Mackenzie’s attitude to visiting Steff upset me in this chapter… You’re not going over there to have sex Mack, you’re going there to check up on her and make sure she’s feeling better!

    Current score: 1