159: Hot And Bothered

on February 16, 2008 in 06: A Period of Conflict

In Which Mackenzie Reaches Out

Tuesday morning, Amaranth came to my room while Two went to the bathroom to get ready for her day, and she gave me a spanking to make up for our lack of contact the night before. She took one of my socks to put on the doorknob, then took the rest of my clothes and turned me over her lap.

It was barehanded, but with some good, sharp stinging slaps as added punishment for having missed her last night. Not fair, maybe, but it was just… I was Amaranth’s toy and she was my owner. I took the penalty she decided.

After that, she stroked my ass in a far more gentle sense, tracing her fingernail from down between my legs up to the base of my spine and playing with my cheeks while I told her about Steff. Her other hand reached beneath me to squeeze my breasts and pinch at my nipples. When I thought I was going to explode, she gave me a set of rapid, backhand whacks that finished me off.

“I think you did fine, baby,” Amaranth said, after I voiced a concern that I could have done or said something more. “I think you did just fine.”

“Has Viktor said anything yet?” I asked. “About us dating?”

“Mmm, nope,” Amaranth said. “I haven’t spoken to him since before your little interview, though. Maybe I’ll head over to the boys’ side tonight and see if he’s in a good mood.”

When we opened the door, Two was standing patiently outside it, with a towel for a robe and her hair up in another.

“Hi, Amaranth,” she said. “Hi, Mack. I thought maybe Ian was over.” Her brow creased the tiniest bit when she said Ian’s name.

“I don’t know if Ian’ll be coming over any time soon,” I said. I realized Two was still just standing there, so I pulled my sock off the doorknob and she stepped inside the room as soon as I was out of the way.

“He still needs time to think?” Amaranth asked, frowning.

“Well, I haven’t talked to him since Sunday, but it’s only been like a day,” I said.

Amaranth pulled at the corner of her lip.

“Well, baby… I’m sure he’ll come around,” she said.

“I hope he doesn’t,” Two said, taking her towel off and hanging it carefully over the back of her chair.

“Twoey!” Amaranth said.

“What does Mack need a boyfriend for? She has you and Steff,” Two said. “And Steff has a penis.”

“I like Ian,” I said. “He was there for me when I needed it.”

“If he hits you again I’m… I’m… I’m going to hit him with my mace!” Two said. “Maybe.”

“That’s enough of that,” Amaranth said. “Twoey, don’t hit anybody with your mace.”

I mouthed “ignore that” from behind her, and Two nodded, then headed to her dresser and began picking out her outfit.

“You’re so smooth, honey,” Amaranth said, watching Two as she bustled around. “Do you shave or wax?”

“I do not,” Two said, without self-consciousness. “I was made this way.”

“Oh,” Amaranth said, sounding a little disappointed. “I was hoping you could help Mack shave her pussy.”

“What?” I said.

“Just so I can see what it looks like,” Amaranth said. “I think you’d be cute bare.”

I blushed.

“Then we’d match,” Two said, pulling on her panties.

“Can we not talk about this in front of… ever?” I said.

“I’m sorry,” Amaranth said, eyes downcast but a smirking smile on her lips. “I guess I thought you were mine to do with as I pleased.”

I blushed and buried my face against her.

“I think you were correct,” Two observed. She finished dressing, and then we went to breakfast. Steff seemed more herself… a little subdued, but mostly okay.

I saw Ian in my first class of the day, elemental invocation. We exchanged hellos. I wanted to ask him if he’d had time to think, but I didn’t want to press him… or distract him from the class, which was an important prerequisite for his declared major. The fact that I was doing so well in it while he floundered hadn’t helped our relationship.

The suggestion from Professor Bohd that I should tutor him hadn’t, either.

“I’ll be coming around to talk to each of you individually about what step you’re going to take next,” Bohd said at the start of the class. “Your midterm grade will be based partly on your ability to codify a spell for each element. The second quarter, we’ll focus on functional spells using these basic techniques, but there’ll be little point in that if you can’t invoke consistently.”

When she was done addressing the room, Ian pulled a couple of quartz-capped studs out of his pocket and stuck them in his ears. He closed his eyes and began to tap his hand on the desk.

“Earphones, Mr. Mason?” Bohd said, jarring him from his reverie.

“They’re… um… a concentration aid,” he said, pulling them out hastily. “It was sort of Mackenzie’s idea.”

“Ah, well,” the professor said. “Unorthodox, but worth a try. Miss Mackenzie, how do you feel about water from earth?”

I waggled my fingers lazily over the pot, rather like I was playing a keyboard, and little spurts of water shot up in response.

After being way too successful in the first exercise of calling fire out of an enhanced log, Professor Bohd had moved me to invoking water from a pot of moist earth. Having had my rear tended to by Amaranth just that morning helped me slip into the water mindset… for some reason, the (apparently) orgasmic release I felt always seemed to do that.

“Very impressive,” the professor said. “I think it would be a mistake to put you back on the log, or candles or anything else that’s normally flammable. Do you think you could produce fire from that earth?”

I thought about it. There was almost no fire in the soil, and it was rather heavily saturated with water, but fire was mine in a very fundamental sense. I couldn’t necessarily feel any fire, but I knew it was there. I could feel the earth, a solid comforting mass that pressed against my aura when I probed it.

“I can try,” I said.

“If you get stuck, get some water and you can work on invoking air,” she said. She gave Ian a pointed look. “Mr. Mason, I’ll talk to you about your progress after class.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Ian said. I gave him a smile and what I hoped was a look of friendly support. He glowered in response. “What are you looking at?”

“Sorry,” I said. I wanted it to sound sarcastic, but it hurt.

“No, I’m sorry,” he said. He sighed. “I talked to my dad last night.”

“Um… my sympathies?” I said. The way he’d said it made it sound like an appropriate response.

“The Crimson Tongue is lowering the age for novices from twenty-one to eighteen this summer,” Ian said. “Which means I’ll be eligible.”

“Do you want to be a Crimson Tongue?” I asked.

“It’s expected,” Ian said. “My family’s pretty much always been in CT. My grandfather wasn’t, and my dad said his grandpa never forgave him for that. He broke a chain that lasted ten generations.”

“Well, then there’s not really as much pressure on you, is there?” I said.

“I don’t know why I’m talking to you about this,” he said. He put his earphones back in. “Why don’t you play with your dirt and let me work on this.”

Stung, I turned away, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off him. He closed his eyes again and was moving his head in time to the music. If I hadn’t known about the earphones, I would have thought he was chanting. As it was, I couldn’t make out what he was singing–or lip-synching–along to… his mouth wasn’t quite as clearly expressive as Two’s.

He was cute head-on, but he really did have a beautiful face, in profile. Not all lantern-jaw rugged macho manly, but masculine in a way that Steff most assuredly was not. Two might not understand it, but I did. He could be a bit of a dork, but he was also a boy… a man.

He was reliable in a crisis, and hot to the touch, and he had strong hands, and he could play the lute.

And he was mine… sort of.

I watched him move his head faster and faster until he was practically head banging. He moved his hands up and out, over the table, more or less over the log. When his music apparently reached some sort of a climax, he gestured forcefully with both hands and opened his eyes.

The log failed to respond in any fashion, most particularly by bursting into flames.

I was still watching him, and he noticed.

“Will you quit hovering?” he said. “I’m trying to work here.”

“Sorry,” I said, slinking away.

Talking to his father was apparently not the best thing for Ian’s mood, apparently.

I turned my attention to my own work. I definitely wasn’t feeling quite as watery any more, but the earth was still there. I could still reach out and touch it, and I did, physically reaching out and pushing my finger tips down against the dirt.

It was cold to the touch. There was latent fire in it, as there was in all matter, but it wasn’t being expressed. I remembered how I’d pulled the fire element closer to the surface in the showers to make the water steamier. That had been a lot easier than invoking fire completely. I could probably do that with the earth, too, and that should make it easier to get actual fire.

I gave it a try. There was a lot of resistance… it was a bit like shifting a big weight. I figured it was probably that way to get earth to do anything. I pushed and strained… and had a random and not entirely comfortable flashback to when I’d been younger and had a more mortal digestive system… and gradually felt the fire energy rising within the elemental matrix that made up the soil.

Once I got past the initial resistance, it felt more like rolling a boulder down a hill. I could feel the heat coming off the top of the pot in waves. The wet surface was baking dry. Professor Bohd must have felt something, because she returned to our table and observed the pot of earth for several seconds, then carefully held her hand out over it. She drew it back quickly.

Very good, Miss Mackenzie,” she said. “I think you’re on the right track here.”

I beamed at the praise, then made the mistake of turning to check on Ian’s progress with the smile still plastered on my face.

“You are really such a…” he said, letting the sentence trail off and shaking his head.

“What?” I asked.

“Nothing,” he said.

“What were you going to say?” I asked.

“Show-off,” he said. “You’re such a show-off.”

“Oh,” I said.

Ian had anger in him, and his father had brought him up with a certain amount of disdain for women that I don’t think he really felt. These were things that I could respond to, though… physically, sexually. We could be a good match, in some ways.

He was just hung up on the idea of Steff. He could accept me having relationships with women, but not with other men… or girls with non-traditional equipment, apparently.

Class wore on and though I didn’t get an open flame, I continued to practice “stoking” the pot of earth, making it radiate like a furnace, turning the once-moist surface into a dry and dusty desert. I felt like I was close. I was hitting another plateau, another patch of resistance I needed to muscle through. A little more practice would get me there.

If I’d started with a less watery sample, or one that had been fire-enhanced, I would have been there already. That was okay, though, I was enjoying the challenge.

Among other things, it kept me too occupied to keep checking up on Ian. He was so touchy and he got huffy every time he noticed me looking.

He was apparently not getting anywhere with the musical approach, either. I figured he would probably do better if he was actually making music, creating it as he went along… but he wasn’t likely to take a suggestion from me right that moment.

I wasn’t quite exhausted, but I could feel the strain of what I’d been doing and I figured I wasn’t “pushing” with all my strength any more. I knew I wasn’t going to break through the barrier this session. I watched Ian, with as much discretion as I could, while pretending to focus on my earth.

He was trying so hard.

Class was almost over, and Bohd had been to each of the tables, talking to each of the students for varying amounts of time. Some were trying to produce air bubbles within beakers of clear water. Others had pots of soil like mine. Some were still playing around with fire media, or were working their will on nothing but the mixed air in front of them.

Desperation was clear on Ian’s face. He was sweating, and he was scowling and gesturing frantically at the wood. The bell rang. Students who hadn’t already done so began gathering their things. Professor Bohd was heading back towards us.

It was apparently now or never, for Ian, and it looked like it might be never.

I reached out. It was just a little nudge… the tiniest of prods. Well, maybe it was a little stronger than I intended… after working on the earth for over an hour, it was a bit like going to lift a heavy box and finding it unexpectedly empty.

Before Ian’s eyes, his log burst vibrantly into flame. He gave a little whoop and pumped his fist, dancing in place.

I smiled. He was so happy. Okay, he hadn’t actually done it, but I figured that maybe now that he thought he had, he’d be able to relax and that would let him get the hang of it for real.

It could happen, right?

Professor Bohd quenched the fire with a wave of her hand. Then, she turned to me.

I saw death in her eyes.

“Are you planning on following Mr. Mason around and helping him with his fire workings for the rest of his academic career, Miss Mackenzie?” she said, then turned to Ian. “That wasn’t quite what I had in mind when I suggested you ask for her assistance.”

“What?” Ian said, confused. “I didn’t…” He looked at me, and I’m sure guilt was written all over my face. I felt about six inches tall, and lost three or four of those inches under his gaze. “Oh, you cunt. You fucking…”

Mr. Mason!” Professor Bohd said. “I’m sure you both are familiar with the academic code of conduct and the zero tolerance policy about cheating in class.”

“He didn’t…” I said at the same time as Ian said “I didn’t…”

“However, class ended thirty seconds ago,” Professor Bohd said. “Mr. Mason, leave. Find time to come to my office before next session.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Ian mumbled, embarrassment warring with gratitude on his face. He hoisted his book bag. I started to do the same.

“Miss Mackenzie,” Bohd said. “Stick around.”

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One Response to “159: Hot And Bothered”

  1. pedestrian says:

    among the definitions of love are:

    Current score: 1