368: Floored

on April 4, 2009 in Book 13

In Which Amaranth Talks Down To Mackenzie

After getting so wound up by Steff, it was a positive relief to find Amaranth waiting for me outside my door when I got back from the healing center. She looked like she had a lot of things on her mind, but I knew that at least one of those things was going to be sex.

“Hey, baby,” she said, greeting me with a hug. We shared a lingering kiss. “You taste herby,” she said when we came apart. “You didn’t get hurt again, did you?”

“Melee class,” I said. “Just cut up the inside of my mouth with my stupid teeth.”

“Oh, okay,” she said. “Just remember, you need to tell me if you get injured.

“Yes, ma’am,” I said. I got the door open… it seemed to be sticking worse than before, I noticed… and we slipped inside.

Amaranth gestured to my desk chair. It took me a moment to figure out what she had in mind, and then I pulled it out for her and held it while she sat down.

“Good, baby,” she purred. She didn’t make any further indications, so I chose to sit down in my safe and cozy little notional space on the floor at her feet. She smiled down at me, a smile of appreciation and gratitude that I returned to her.

I remembered her declaration that she wasn’t giving me up no matter what… they had been bold words for her, even if they were kind of rash, and they filled with a mixture of awe and joy.

“So you got yourself healed after your fighting class?” Amaranth asked me.

“Yes, ma’am,” I said.

“Good,” she said. “Did Steff take you?”

“No, ma’am,” I said. “She had to go. I went on my own.”

“I’m proud,” she said.

“Thank you, ma’am,” I said, ducking my head.

“How did the class go?”

“I… I think it went okay,” I said. “I did study a book with Steff, and I did my best… but it was cold. Callahan said she’d move the class indoors, as long as I work harder.”

“If you disappoint her, I’ll be disappointed, too,” Amaranth said. “Do you understand me?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“You were better behaved than I was this afternoon,” she said. “I skipped some of my classes, but I’ve been making sure we’re ready for Saturday.”

“Are we?” I asked, then added, “Ma’am.” It was an uncomfortable topic… I wanted to stay in my comfort zone.

“Pretty much,” she said. “But… just in case… well, Two’s going to be sleeping with Dee tonight. I’m not giving up on you no matter what happens, but in case we’re separated for a time, I want to take in as much you as I possibly can.”

“Amaranth, if I get sold to Mercy… that’s it,” I said. “There’s nothing you can do legally, you couldn’t take me back from her by force even if you weren’t a pacifist, and there’s no way in hell you could buy me from her. Not when she considers me her own personal platinum mine and a favored pet.”

“Well, I know all that,” she said. “You haven’t forgotten who my mother is, have you?”

“No, ma’am… but… your mother doesn’t approve of me,” I said. “And she’s made it really clear she doesn’t care about ‘little things’ like people enslaving each other.”

“She doesn’t approve of our relationship,” Amaranth said. “That’s not quite the same thing.”

“Right, that makes her so much more likely to divinely intervene in order to bring us back together,” I said.

“Don’t get snotty with me, baby,” she said. “Sarcasm isn’t going to help anything.”

“Sorry, ma’am.”

“She loves me and wants me to be happy,” Amaranth said. “If I stand up to her…”

“Am… ma’am, you’re talking about a goddess,” I said.

“I know that!” she said. “But she’s also my mother… anyway, hopefully it won’t come to that.”

“I wish we could do more than hope.”

“I’m doing everything I can think of… the last remaining wrinkle is the dress code,” Amaranth said. “Apparently they do turn people away who aren’t dressed appropriately. I checked to make sure my nymphly uniform would be accepted and it’s fine, but you don’t really own anything suitable… and they don’t accept full nudity except under very specific circumstances. Members can bring their subs in nude for closed events, but not guests.”

“So… between now and Saturday I have to get a whole new outfit?” I asked, trying to imagine what would be “appropriate” for a bondage club and how much it would cost.

“Don’t worry… I’ve been running my behind off all afternoon taking care of this stuff,” Amaranth said. “Two can alter some of her things to fit you better… if she just changes the color scheme, you should fit in reasonably well. I don’t think they’ll turn you away.”

“So now Two’s involved,” I said.

“She doesn’t know anything except that you need her help,” Amaranth said. “The alternative would be to have Sooni make you something… I asked myself, who would you rather I turned to?”

“Okay, you made the right decision,” I said. I added, “Thank you, ma’am.” It sounded forced even to me, but expressions of gratitude still weren’t an ingrained habit for me.

“You’re welcome, baby. I do know a little bit about my toy, thank you very much,” Amaranth said, beaming with pride. “But on the subject of outfits… what are you doing for the Veil Ball? I know that might seem a lot less important, but… well, I don’t think it would be at all helpful to spend the next forty-eight hours fretting things we can’t control or change, you know?”

“Yeah,” I said. “I don’t really know… we got out of town so fast after the thing with Caron, and it’s not like I’ve had a lot of chances to go shopping.”

“Have you talked to Ian?”

“Ian?”

“You do remember that he’s going with us, right, baby?” Amaranth asked. “I thought maybe he might have suggested something a couples’ theme.”

“Oh,” I said. “No, ma’am, he hasn’t said anything.”

“Well, if you’re not doing the couple thing with him… or with Steff… I thought maybe I could go as a housewife and you could go as my doggy?” she said. “I would be able to put together my costume just by borrowing clothes, and that would let us play with the leash and collar idea a little, in another context?”

“I… I’d prefer to stay away from anything like a puppy,” I said, shuddering. “If that’s okay.”

“Darn it, and I liked that image… stupid Mercy,” Amaranth said. “I also had the idea of compromising on the clothing thing by painting my legs and nipples and going as a mermaid, but that might also be weird under the circumstances.”

“You mean the circumstances where the real mermaids are plotting my murder?”

“Oh, honey, they aren’t plotting your murder, exactly,” Amaranth said. “They’re plotting to eat you… the killing’s really incidental. If there was some way for them to accomplish their goal without it… well, there really isn’t. At least, not for you. For somebody like me… but Feejee didn’t seem too interested in the idea of a menu substitution.”

“Wait… you offered yourself to her?” I asked. “Amaranth, you can’t…”

“Why can’t I? They were planning on waiting until the holidays, and I’d like a chance to get home and actually have time to see all my sisters before getting on the coach to get back here,” Amaranth said. “Plus, I think it would be a fascinating experience. And if you all enjoyed it…”

“Wait, are you including me in this scenario?”

“Baby, you are what you are,” Amaranth said. “I’m just trying to figure out a safe, sane, and consensual alternative to…”

“There’s nothing sane about what you’re talking about,” I said. “When I hurt you… I couldn’t do that on purpose, Amaranth.”

“What if I was cooked first? Then you wouldn’t be hurting me.”

“I couldn’t do that,” I said. “And I can’t support you doing it with Feejee and Iona.”

“As much as I value your opinion, baby, it’s my body and I’ll do what I want with it,” Amaranth said. “Especially if it helps save your life, and maybe helps bring mermaid-human relations into the third century.”

“I don’t think a trade’s going to cut it with the mermaids,” I said. “Don’t you see? They think they’re entitled to eat. They aren’t going to honor any conditions you put on it… Feejee had a hard enough time wrapping her head around the idea that I had conditions for our play… she never quite managed to accept them.”

“I think I know what you mean,” Amaranth said. “When we talked, I kept trying to tell Feejee that I understood where she was coming from and that I didn’t want to see anything happen to her as a result of her… giving in to temptation… but I think that’s all she heard, that I understood and didn’t want to get her in trouble.”

“I know it’s your way, but I don’t think you can equivocate about this with her,” I said. “At all. Feejee’s brain just isn’t set up for this. I think she’s trying to understand, whether out of friendship or an abstract understanding that she could wind up in serious shit… but she’s not getting it. And there may be something else in play, too.”

I explained my theory about my addictive flavor to her.

“That’s interesting,” Amaranth said. “But…”

“What?”

“Well…” she said, and she worried at her lip a little bit with her teeth before continuing. “You know Celia has a really sensitive tongue?”

“Yeah,” I said. “And she doesn’t like the way I smell, at all.”

“So that’s kind of a counterexample.”

“It’s one,” I said.

“And she has predatory impulses,” Amaranth said. “Not for higher animals like the mermaids’, but… well… she really doesn’t like your scent. I think it’s fine, of course.”

“Neither does Viktor, according to Steff,” I said. “Though… Steff doesn’t like the way I smell but she loves the way I taste? So maybe it’s two different things… maybe if Celia had an actual taste of me, and not the air that comes off of me or whatever, she’d be hooked, too?”

“We could do a test,” Amaranth said. “To find out for sure?”

“Yeah, no, we’re not going to do that,” I said. I did not need another carnivore with poor impulse control after my body. With all the potions Celia quaffed, her fangs just might even qualify as magical implements at any given moment. That was kind of a long shot, but I’d been bitten in the ass by longer odds before.

“Okay,” she said. “Well… I think what we need to do is take the mermaids’ interest seriously, regardless of where it’s coming from. That means both of us need to reinforce to them how wrong it is…”

“How unlikely it is they’ll get away with it, more like,” I said. “‘Wrong’ doesn’t enter into it for them.”

“Okay, that, too,” Amaranth said, her brow creasing a little at the correction. She didn’t say anything, though. “And you have to be careful… luckily they’re so straightforward about it all, but you can’t let yourself go off with them out of any sense of obligation or not wanting to make waves or whatever. It’s like I told you when I took your pants: the fact that they were yours was all the reason you needed to demand them. You need to stick to your wands on this.”

“I thought you wanted me to avoid conflict.”

“I want you to avoid losing your temper and shouting,” she said. “I want you to respect the beliefs of others. I want you to not call someone fat when the problem is that they’re mean. But under the circumstances… if you have to yell your head off, do that. I’m not ready to condemn them for wanting something or even talking about it, but if they try to act on this, you can’t be passive about it.”

“I know,” I said. “I’ll try to fight them if I have to… or call for the guards… or whatever. I really don’t want to die, Amaranth. No matter how messed up I feel sometimes, I’m not ready to give up completely on my life.”

“That’s what I want to hear, baby” Amaranth said. “Now… I know it’s early, but at the same time, we don’t have a lot of time before Saturday… and we can’t really do anything more about Mercy or the mermaids right now except keep talking around in circles about them. So why don’t we eat in tonight? That way I can put a sock on the door, and then go to work on one of my favorite job sites… do you like that idea, baby?”

“Yes, ma’am!”


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5 Responses to “368: Floored”

  1. Arkeus says:

    So, Mack didn’t tell Amaranth not to violate her black list anymore.

    Current score: 0
  2. fragzilla says:

    If you had been paying attention to the story instead of concentrating on Amaranth and how much you hate her, you would know Mack updated her black list, and its much less restrictive than before. Especially for Amaranth

    Current score: 5
  3. Matt says:

    I believe what Arkeus was referring to was the fact that Amy going to see Callahan ended up adversely affecting Mack in class, which is still very much on her black list. Could be wrong of course.

    Current score: 4
    • Jechtael says:

      She didn’t expect it to negatively affect Mackenzie’s class preformance, she expected it to positively affect her behaviour and preformance in class (which it KIND of did, if only because it put her and Steff in the right positions for Steff to finally get through her thick skull). I still think it was incorrect of Amaranth to go to Callahan against Mackenzie’s will, but it was technically not against her blacklist (and technicalities are NOT something to fling about with regards to blacklists).

      Current score: 1
      • Sahsa says:

        In addition, they did discuss the matter, and Mackenzie eventually agreed to Amaranth’s idea, albeit reluctantly.

        Current score: 0