370: Questionable Tastes

on April 10, 2009 in Book 13

In Which Amaranth Is Eaten With Honey (Note: Not Actual Literal Honey)

Amaranth smiled at me, a horribly earnest smile while I struggled to put into words just how bad an idea that was. I hoped the look on my face would be enough to convey that… it always seemed to give away what I was thinking when I didn’t want it to.

Her smile just grew and grew, though, and then finally when I was ready to croak out her name for lack of anything else to say, she threw back her head and laughed.

“Did you forget what I am?” she said, pulling out a pair of cookie-like confections in the shape of hearts. “Honestly, baby… my nature might be plant-like, but the wrapper I’m wearing in this body is definitely not vegan approved.”

“That’s from… you?” I asked as she handed me one of the hearts. It was made up of individual grains or seeds or whatever, all crisped up like breakfast cereal. It kind of reminded me of bird treats I’d seen, where a bunch of seeds were pressed together into a bell shape or something. It smelled sweet and was kind of tacky to the touch.

She shook her head.

“Not me personally,” she said. “They’re harvesting my field now… well, not right now. But they have already started. It’s one of the reasons I’m bursting with energy. From the planting until the harvest, I’m kind of… well, it’s like I’m a little divided, trying to maintain two active bodies at once. But from now until I get planted again, my attention’s here.”

“So that’s what amaranth looks like?” I said,

“Puffed amaranth. It can be cooked a lot of different ways, but one way is to puff it like rice and then stick a bunch together with honey… people make different shapes like that, religious icons and stuff,” she said. “I can’t eat honey, of course, but I thought there might be a vegan alternative. It turns out that nothing actually works as well as honey, except for maybe marshmallows… which have their own issues… so I was just going to get one for you. Then I found out the vegetarian shop had a honey substitute. Normally I wouldn’t approve of alchemical foods, but… it seems like a smaller compromise, and it’s a way for us to share it.”

“Why can’t you eat honey, exactly?” I asked.

“It’s an animal product,” she said.

“It’s a product made by animals,” I said. “But it’s made from plants… or is it because it might be contaminated by bug parts?”

“It’s not about contamination,” Amaranth said. “I mean, I live in a field… I can promise you I’ve swallowed bugs before. It’s about intentionality. I make a choice not to eat any products that are taken from animals.”

“But that’s a sacred directive,” I said.

“Yes,” Amaranth said. “Mother Khaele directs us to make that choice, and I obey. But my body was created in the image of humans… I could feed it anything that humans could live on and it would probably work.”

“So… if you, um, broke with Mother Khaele on other things… would you try meat?”

“Um… probably not,” Amaranth said. “I hate to say ‘no, never’, especially when I never before thought I might seriously go against the goddess on anything, but… that’s one experience I’m just not that curious about. Animals have never been food to me, and I just don’t see much barrier between us and the so-called ‘lower animals’. I don’t think I could take advantage of them in that way, not when there are so many double standards.”

“Fair enough,” I said. I decided to simply appreciate the fact that Amaranth’s veganism was something she believed in for herself instead of asking her to clarify whether she meant it wasn’t fair that she couldn’t have sex with them or that she didn’t get to have her physical form slaughtered for food.

“Well, go on… try it,” Amaranth said.

I started to lift the candy heart thing to my mouth, then stopped.

“What?” she asked.

“I feel like I should have got you a heart made out of, I don’t know, brimstone or something,” I said.

“Don’t even joke about that,” Amaranth said. “A demon is part of what you are, but it’s not who you are.”

“Well, this isn’t who you are, either,” I said. “Your body got my attention, even back on the first day… well, it was what you’d done to your body that really caught my eye at first… but it’s the person I fell in love with. The one who wanted to see the good in me, who wanted me to see the good in me…”

“Oh, hush up and eat your damned dessert!” Amaranth said, blushing an apple red that even I would have been hard pressed to beat.

“Yes, ma’am,” I said, and I took a bite.

I’d expected something like crisped rice, and it was kind of similar to biting into a rice bar, but the taste was different. The taste of honey was unmistakable, and underneath that… it was hard to say how much of the sweetness was the alchemical honey and how much was the amaranth, but it was sweet and kind of nutty.

All in all, it was pretty good.

Amaranth watched me eating the point at the bottom of the heart, and then she began to nibble on her own. Her eyes widened a bit at the taste.

“What?” I asked.

“It’s different,” she said. “That’s honey?”

“Yeah,” I said. “Pretty close… I mean, I can’t tell if it’s different from real honey since I don’t know what the amaranth tastes like. I think I’d have to taste them separately, you know?”

Amaranth giggled and blushed a little bit more, then put her cookie thing down on her plate.

“Well, baby,” she said, the cleared her throat. “I, um, didn’t think to get any more amaranth, but I did get this.” She leaned back a bit, reaching behind herself and pulling out a flower-shaped squeeze bottle of golden honey. “I wasn’t sure how you’d take to the amaranth puffs, but I knew you liked sweet things… and there’s more than one way to have honey-covered Amaranth.”

This time I didn’t worry about what she meant… the look in her eyes was enough to tell me that this was about her kind of hunger, not mine. She flipped the cap on the squeeze bottle and leaned back a little more, supporting herself with one arm while she squirted a little bit of the golden gooey stuff between her breasts, then set the bottle aside.

“I thought we’d start slow,” she said. “Also, I don’t want to make a mess.”

“Yeah, I really don’t want to make Two clean up after our sex stuff,” I said.

“Actually, missy, we would clean it up ourselves,” Amaranth said, leaning her head forward to give me a particularly severe over-the-rims glare. “But it won’t be an issue if you come here and take care of this.”

“Oh, right!” I said. I put my own amaranth cookie down and started to lean forward, then realized I’d be crawling over the remains of our vegetarian picnic to get to her. I started to shift the containers out of the way. Amaranth heaved herself back up into a sitting position and started putting the dishes away.

“Sorry, baby,” she said, giggling. “I guess I didn’t think all the spontaneity through.”

I giggled, too. We hadn’t really made the transition from dinner to play time very well… the light was on overhead and I was still fully dressed. I started to get up, then stopped.

“Amaranth?” I said.

“Yes, baby?”

“C… may I turn off the light?”

“Please do,” she said. I got up and went over to the door to kill the light while she cleared away the rest of the food stuff. It was still plenty bright in the room. “Ooh, we’re going to have to remember to look for some of those illusionary candles, like what Steff and Viktor use… could you maybe turn on the vanity light?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said, and I crossed the room and did so.

“That’s better,” Amaranth said, turning to face me. “We don’t really have a lot of gradations of light and darkness available, sadly… you can turn it off again in a bit, but I’d like to watch you get undressed.”

I stood waiting for a further prompt or signal, not sure if I was supposed to just take off my clothes or if Amaranth expected some kind of show. After a moment, she inclined her head and said, “Go ahead, baby.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said, and I pulled off my shirt, kicked off my shoes, shucked my jeans, and then got rid of my underthings. It wasn’t much of a show but I had an appreciative audience. Amaranth gave a very impressive wolf whistle, and twirled her finger to get me to turn around a couple of times. She had me stop with my back to her.

“You’re really filling out in the behind,” Amaranth said. “I really don’t think we need to imagine any extra addictive quality of your flesh to explain why Feejee’s getting more and more into you… I have to imagine you’re looking like a better meal all the time. With even the slightest bit of lesbian tendency…”

“I don’t think Feejee’s a lesbian,” I said. “She’s pretty homophobic, actually.”

“Oh, how soon she forgets,” Amaranth said. I could practically hear the eyeroll in her voice. “Don’t you remember how you were, when we first came here? Add in an outsider’s view of the institutionalized homophobia of the dominant human culture… well, anyway, this is all very far afield of the subject, which is that I can almost see the appeal you hold for the mermaids.”

“I don’t think your butt-biting urge is quite the same thing,” I said, tensing up a little just at the thought of Feejee’s teeth.

“No… and this is our vegetarian night. But… since you mentioned it.”

Her warm hands… so different from Feejee’s… grabbed my hips and she pulled me back as she leaned in, her open mouth pressing against my buttock. She sucked up a bit of my supple, slightly jiggly flesh, and then she slowly pressed her teeth against it, sinking them into the pliable but unbreakable skin. The sensation went from pressure to pleasure to pain, and she latched on, giving a cute, throaty little growl as she shook her head. She pulled a cry out of my throat before she let go.

“If I was going to go against the goddess’s dietary dictates, baby, it wouldn’t be for honey,” she said, giggling.

“Please don’t joke about that, Amaranth,” I said. “I don’t… it’s not sexy or funny to me.”

“Sorry, baby,” Amaranth said. “I’m just trying to put myself into their position.”

Though I had to admit, if only to myself, that it might have been a little bit sexy if not for the very real situation with the mermaids and with my own dietary needs… absent that kind of context, stripped of the horror of reality, it might have been a sexy idea.

I could perhaps one day eat amaranth that had been harvested from my love’s field… that was, in a way, the flesh of her other body. That was a kind of intimacy. The feeling of Amaranth’s mouth… her teeth… on me, that was certainly sexy.

But there was no way to make the reality of eating another person sexy. Not even Steff, who could ignore just about any taboo that was inconvenient to her fun, had been able to ignore the disparity between fantasy and reality there. Back in the ogre badlands, she’d been able to tell herself that it was because the presentation and cooking had left something to be desired… but when faced with Mercy’s professionally prepared corspes, she’d found desire itself to be lacking.

“Why don’t you go ahead…excuse me,” Amaranth said, and she coughed into her hand. “I want you to turn off the light again.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

I obeyed her, reaching up over the dresser to turn off the light there.

“Now,” Amaranth said, rearranging herself on the floor. She scooted back up against the bed, spreading her legs out in front of her. “I want you to get down on your hands and knees and crawl to me.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said, kneeling down.

“You don’t have to keep responding,” Amaranth said. “Verbally, I mean. In fact, I do not wish for you to speak unless told to.”

I had to suck on my lip to keep it buttoned up, so natural was the “yes, ma’am” response to me now… I’d even used it with other people. I found it both exciting and reassuring, as an affirmation of our respective positions, but I could understand why Amaranth might not want to hear it over and over again, if she was in a mood to direct me in a real hands-on sort of way, as it seemed she was.

I crawled over towards her, my eyes on her. She reached for the honey bottle and applied some more to her chest, squeezing a line from the left side of her right breast to the right side of her left one, then crossing that with one going down from below her neck to above her navel.

I stopped when I got to just before her feet. She’d told me to crawl towards her, nothing else.

“Would you like to taste my honey?” she asked. “Nod if you would.”

I nodded.

“Prove it,” she said. “Show me.”

I looked at her questioningly, not at all sure what she was looking for.

“Beg,” she said. “Without using words. Show me how much you want to taste my honey, baby.”

I lowered my head, lowered my whole body at the shoulders, turning my face up slightly, imploringly. I tried to assume a posture of groveling… not just physically, but in my whole aspect. I wanted to lick the honey off Amaranth’s body… because honey was sweet and I liked it, because it would be incredibly sexy, and not least of all because she wanted me to. It would please her and it would please me… a mutual desire, mutually fulfilled.

Amaranth shifted a leg and wiggled the toes of one foot right in front of me.

“I don’t know if you deserve honey,” she said. “But I’ll let you taste my foot, and if you appreciate that enough, I might just let you come a little further on.”

It was amazing how Amaranth could put just enough of a hint of scorn in her voice, just enough to reinforce how low, how dirty and shameful this was… without wallowing in it. I opened my mouth and prepared to address her big toe when she reached out with her foot and kicked me in the face.

It took me totally by surprise… it was not at all a typical Amaranth move. She smashed my nose a bit, and my vision swam for a moment. Heat rose up inside me… I thought something was going to catch on fire when she followed this with a verbal smack.

“Not so fast,” she said. “Who said you could touch my toes? Start with the sole, that’s good enough for you.”

I swallowed the “yes, ma’am” urge and went to work with my tongue. There was a war in my head between the part of me that knew that every inch of Amaranth was clean and pure as could be, the part of me that knew that what I was doing was filthy and wrong, and the part of me that was just turned on… but before long, I simply blocked out the first part. It was filthy and it was wrong and it was hot. Dwelling on Amaranth’s nature would be like focusing on the protection ring when I had sex with Steff or Ian.

Amaranth cooed encouragement, wriggling her foot and pressing it against my face as I licked. She was really getting into it, even more than she was into everything that we normally did. I was… I honestly didn’t know if I needed anything else. Her breasts… her marvelous, wonderful breasts… could have been smeared all over with sweet strawberry syrup, but I had my tongue on the sole of my owner’s foot and I could have licked it forever. I was past the this is wrong stage and onto this is so right.

A feather touch would have made me come boatloads… how far I’d come at even being able to recognize that, much less acknowledge it.

By and by, Amaranth had me move on to her toes, and I moaned my appreciation even as I felt a pang of regret. The ogre social hierarchy recognized Steff’s position as being beneath the soles of Viktor’s feet. I didn’t understand a lot of the attraction she felt for him and his culture, but I could sure get that.

Amaranth didn’t have me dwell on her feet much longer. She had me suck each of the toes on the one foot in turn, then directed me to kiss my way up the top of her foot to the ankle, then up her calf to the knee. She ruffled my hair and rubbed the top of my head for a bit while she had me lick and kiss around her kneecap. I felt curiosity and apprehension building within me. There was a lot of territory between myself and the promised honey treat… including some that was essentially uncharted… for me, from this vantage point.

What would she have me do?

Amaranth seemed to sense my trepidation, or else she expected it, because she led me step by step up her thigh, having me plant a kiss, then lick the spot, and then eventually directing me to move on. She steered my path verbally and with her hands on my head. I became more and more certain that the route was going to move inwards the nearer to her waist I got, but she kept me steady. Finally I was nuzzling the gently convex slope of her belly with the top of my head. She put her hands on the side of my face and pulled me forward and upward.

“That was a very good job, baby,” Amaranth said. “Tell me, baby… do you like my feet?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said.

“Do you like them more Sooni’s?”

I didn’t answer… I justified it inwardly by the fact that she hadn’t told me to answer, but I wouldn’t have known what to say. I’d dreamed about Sooni’s feet. I’d climaxed from the touch of her sandals. Okay, it had been a bit more than a touch. Amaranth’s surprise kick had stirred some of the same feelings, but I’d never thought of Amaranth in that way, in that context… not the way I did Sooni.

Or not the way I had thought of Sooni, anyway. Our “date” together had been a bit of a wake-up call. I couldn’t help being attracted to her, but the more I got to know her… the better I came to understand her… the more it seemed like a true sexual relationship with her would be something like molestation, like taking advantage of the innocent.

Or at least the ignorant.

“I understand that you get different things from different lovers,” Amaranth said, stroking my cheek. “And that’s fine. I can be a lot of things, but I can’t be all things… but I can try to be more for you, since you don’t feel like you can get what you want from Sooni. Would you like that, baby? Answer, please.”

“I don’t want you to be anything but yourself,” I said.

“I couldn’t be myself if I didn’t try,” Amaranth said. “But that means a lot to me. Thank you, baby… and now… it’s time for the taste test. Let’s find out if the alchemical honey is as close to the real thing as they say. Have at it, baby.”

I fell to it. As good as it tasted, and even though Amaranth replenished the supply several more times, I somehow didn’t come away with a clear answer to the taste test question.


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5 Responses to “370: Questionable Tastes”

  1. pedestrian says:

    Birds do it
    Bees do it
    Why don’t
    You and I
    Do It!

    Current score: 0
  2. Khalex says:

    “‘Yeah, I really don’t want to make Two clean up after our sex stuff,’ I said.”

    Are you shitting me? Reading about Mackenzie is possibly killing me. I want to beat the shit out of her, but she’d love it.

    Current score: 1
  3. Grant says:

    These last couple pages have had me reflecting on the number of girls on this floor named after food-stuffs.

    Current score: 1
  4. Jechtael says:

    Nice triple-entendre in the title. I was confused at what kind of non-literal honey there might be aside from Hazel’s cousin “Honey”, or maybe a euphemistic term for vaginal secretions from arousal (to put it as put-offingly as possibly).

    Grant: Hm. Amaranth, Honey (a nickname), formerly Barley… Puddy (also a nickname)… Mariko, if you count jasmine as a food since it’s sometimes used as a flavorant. …um… I think that’s it. 4/25. Or 3/24. Not unusual. Interesting, but not unusual.

    Current score: 1
  5. Jimmy Joe III says:

    “‘Mother Khaele directs us to make that choice, and I obey.'”

    Fucked-up, but it does explain a lot of why Amaranth makes so many mistakes as a Dom…

    Current score: 1