Chapter 147: Elf-AwkwardAlexandraErin on April 30, 2013 in Volume 2 Book 5: Nasty Disturbing Uncomfortable Things, Volume 2: Sophomore Effort
In Which Mackenzie Is Overdressed
“So… is she your girlfriend now?” I asked Nicki once we were alone. I wasn’t sure about actual privacy, but I figured if Grace was down the hall and in the shower there might be some interference… plus, as Steff had observed at the start of all this, trying to keep an elf from eavesdropping if she wanted to was going to be a losing battle anyway.
“I don’t actually know,” Nicki said. “There wasn’t a lot of conversation, you know?”
“Falling into bed with someone without talking about it first is not a good habit to pick up,” I said.
Given my history, maybe the advice would seem hypocritical coming from me… but I wasn’t trying to lecture at Nicki from a position of superiority but rather one of experience.
Even with my current long-term partners, I’d done things that we hadn’t threshed out in advance, and the results hadn’t always been horrible but the danger was always there, and things were certainly better when we took the time to clear up expectations and boundaries. There was still plenty of room for spontaneity, as Amaranth’s trick with the sawhorse had demonstrated, but breaking that out on someone who’d never discussed being bound or immobilized before was a whole other lack of proposition.
We’d done bondage before. The hapless voyeur who can’t quite voy aspect had been new, but not really out of bounds… more like a novel mix of other elements that had been agreed to and used before, and it had worked. I wasn’t looking forward to a repeat performance any time soon, but it had definitely worked.
But… I was getting sidetracked. Nicki was already responding to me.
“Oh, we talked about that,” she said. “Briefly, but… enthusiastically. But, I mean, there wasn’t anything deeper or more long-term that we talked about… though I guess this ended up being longer-term than I expected it to. My jaw is so sore, I swear to kosh, I don’t know how you do it.”
“Uh, I think you left the realm of ‘it that I do’ at least a day and a half ago,” I said.
“Shattered your record, huh?”
“I guess. But, you know… and I’m totally not judging you at all for how you spent your weekend, or overspent it… but you really should be judging it on its merits, not by how you think it stacks up against me or anyone else,” I said. “A lot of my life behind closed doors would probably bore you to tears, and even the parts that are ‘interesting’… they’re not necessarily something that would be fun for most people. Like, the last ‘sex’ I had, I was tied up and facing away while Ian and Amaranth… were on the bed together.”
“How is that you having sex?”
“It’s… complicated,” I said. “But it wouldn’t be a sexual experience, for most people, is my point. On the subject of records, though, I’m surprised you kept your bra on for three days.”
She blushed, and the tiger stripes vanished as she lost whatever bit of concentration had been keeping them in place.
“It was kind of a… dress-up thing,” she said. “For variety? Also, Grace has a thing about… unrestrained boobies. She likes them, but eventually they sort of started to… distract her.”
“She seems nice enough,” I said. “I mean, from what I’ve seen of her… well, not seen, I mean, I wasn’t looking… well, I wasn’t not looking…”
“She’s real pretty,” Nicki said.
“Yeah,” I agreed, gratefully. “She is. But I mean, she seems… harmless.”
“You mean she’s more regular nice than elf-nice,” Nicki said.
“I wouldn’t put it that way,” I said.
“Steff would, though,” Nicki said.
I thought that Grace was too genuinely scattered… well, too genuine in general… to be pulling off much of an ulterior motive, at least one that went beyond the scope of just getting laid, but I didn’t want to say as much. It seemed rude to say so in front of Nicki, much less in earshot of Grace.
“I think the girlfriend talk should wait until she’s in the room,” Nicki said, her mind evidently on a similar planar layer as mine.
“And I’m out of it?” I said.
“No, you’re my friend,” she said. “As long as Grace is comfortable with it, I think I’d rather have you around.”
Even after a year of being liked and loved by my little circle, I still wasn’t tired of hearing people say that: you’re my friend. It was… nice. And reassuring. And powerful… the words carried a real charge when they hit my ear.
“Okay, sure,” I said. “But seriously, let’s take the conversation somewhere else. You need to get out in the fresh air.”
I did, too, but it seemed rude to mention that… and also potentially alarming. I could coexist with other people of human blood just fine most of the time, but every once in a while I would get a whiff at just the wrong time and in just the wrong way and there it would be, waiting for me like an old friend: the hunger. The very human smells that were hanging like a fog in Nicki’s dorm room weren’t setting it off, but they were enough to make me think about it, which was almost enough to do so.
“That’s fine with me,” Nicki said. “I’m suddenly very, very hungry. I guess that’s not surprising, though… I didn’t even know today was today until five minutes ago. I wouldn’t swear that the last pizza got here today… I honestly can’t remember the last time I ate.”
“That’s funny, I remember it perfectly,” Grace said, slipping into the room and closing the door with a sound it hadn’t made opening. The towel clung to her like a fitted gown. “Your turn, glam-girl.”
“Wow, that was fast,” Nicki said. “I take forever in my showers.”
“Well, I was only elf-dirty,” she said. There was no barb there, just matter-of-fact… she had been listening to Steff’s primer on elves from her point of view. It was probably one of the less awkward ways to confirm it, and certainly better than letting it go unsaid. She whipped off the towel and threw it to Nicki. “Go wash my pussy.”
The look on her face when the words had left her mouth probably matched mine when I heard them… she was much more expressive than Dee or Acantha. I wondered how old she was and at what age elves learned to freeze their faces, or if this was just a personal quirk.
“Sorry,” she said. “Is it okay if I say that? It’s… ‘mine’ is kind of a term in endearment, in Elvish. I guess it sounds… blunter… in Pax than I expected.”
“…it can be yours,” Nicki said, her face turning a vivid and unnatural orange. I realized she was losing control of a tanning or complexion glamour… I supposed that was the downside of managing your own appearance directly.
“Why don’t you go shower?” I suggested.
Her arcanely-assisted blush only got more pronounced when she swung her legs out from under the blanket to reveal that she was completely bare from the waist down, and I mean completely… evidently she’d prepared for her elven admirer by giving herself an elven wax.
As soon as I’d registered I was looking at Nicki basically naked, I realized that Grace was completely naked. That helped me find a nice, fully-carpeted patch of floor to stare at while Nicki got a robe, got her shower stuff together, and got out the door.
“You want me to leave while you get dressed?” I asked Grace, thinking it might give me a nice excuse to not be standing in someone else’s room alone with someone else I’d just met… it felt awkward and intrusive without the nudity and the scents putting me on edge.
“Why? You’ve already seen me naked,” she said, making no move to retrieve her clothes from wherever she’d stowed them. “Oh, but I should get decent.”
She went and rummaged around in the blankets until she found the panties and the veil that she’d slipped to Nicki the week before, which had started all this. She let the panties fall carelessly to the floor… in my head, I could hear Amaranth sucking in a sharp breath… and carefully tied the scarf-like mask around the lower half of her face.
“Oh, so much better,” she said. “It wasn’t so bad when my Nicollete was in the room , but walking around the hall without my cover, I kept expecting dicks to fall into my mouth.”
“…does that actually happen?” I asked. “To elf girls who don’t cover?”
“No, the ones who chase after cocks have to chase pretty hard to catch one,” she said. “The cover is more of a fuck-you to them… the boyss, I mean, not the girls who want them. They pretty much take it for granted that they’d be welcome anywhere, even places they don’t want to be, so we… tell them otherwise.”
“It’s not just boys who have cocks, you know,” I said, feeling I had to stick up for the existence of Steff.
“Oh, I know that,” she said. “It’s… clumsier… talking about this in Pax. We have more words in our language for talking about these things, but you look them up in a translation dictionary and it’s all just ‘boy’, ‘girl’. Is it really Monday?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Damn it,” she said. “My sister is going to be so pissed… and maybe thrilled, but also pissed. Maybe more thrilled? I don’t know. I don’t care, I got laid… hey, have you ever had sex with Nicki?”
“…we just met,” I said.
“So did we,” she said. “That’s a no?”
“No,” I said. “Never.”
“Oh my shit, you should it’s awesome,” she said, throwing her hands up in the air like a toddler who’d just discovered her mother’s very important papers could serve as a confetti substitute. She threw her jubilation into reverse with surprising speed. “Only don’t now, because she’s mine.” Then the happy came flooding back. “Holy fuck, she’s mine. That’s awesome. But don’t fuck her.”
She punctuated the last bit by giving me a playful prod/shove in the chest.
“I wasn’t going to,” I said.
“Ooh, hey, are you pierced?” she said, cupping my breast through my shirt and bra hard enough to feel the locket piercing over my heart. She kept her hand there… again, there seemed to be no guile or wiles there, just… well, ‘innocent’ was the only word, but innocence could only go so far.
“Grace,” I said. I think Amaranth would have been impressed with how I managed to be forceful without being loud, if she’d been there. Grace stopped actively exploring my chest, but she didn’t withdraw her hand. “I’ve had very bad experiences with people who didn’t respect my boundaries.”
“Eep!” she said… literally, that’s not an attempted transcription of a sound, it’s exactly what she said… and she took a big step back. “Sorry, I’m… okay, I’m not a kid anymore, and you’re not elves, but elven children are a lot more hands-on with each other, and I… I haven’t fully adjusted to not-childhood yet.”
“How old are you?” I asked.
“What year is this now?”
“Oh, then I guess I’m 25,” she said. “No… I will be, this summer. No, 223… I’ll be 24 this summer.”
“How long have you been in school?”
“Three or four years,” she said. “But… not in a serious way? I’m only taking a couple of classes this semester. Both of them on Monday-Wednesday-Friday, of course.”
“Well, it’s early in the semester and you won’t be the only one in either of those classes who creates their own three-day weekend,” I said, trying not to feel too much resentment for someone with the leisure time to take such a trivial course load and then blow it off.
I supposed that technically, I could spend a decade or more to get my degree without cutting into my allotment of years too badly, but in the meantime I’d need a place to stay and a more steady way to make money. And the longer I spent learning my trade, the less valuable the knowledge would be when I joined the workforce. When you got right down to it, I really didn’t see the advantage to putting off starting my life for an easier time at college.
“…you don’t think much of me, do you?” Grace said. “I’m not making a very good impression.”
“No, honestly, you’re kind of… well, I mean, this whole thing was unexpected, but I kind of like how it’s turning out for Nicki,” I said. “It is just unexpected.”
“Oh. For me, too!”
“But… you set it up,” I said.
“I had kind of a little push,” she said. “Multiple pushes. Several big pushes. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be here!”
“You don’t have to explain that to me,” I said. A lot of things about Grace made me wonder if things in middling society were less cutthroat nasty than Jamie and Steff had implied… I hoped they were, or someone like Grace would be a sitting duck.
Suddenly, I actually couldn’t wait to see Jamie Bowman again. Under any other circumstance, he would have been the last person I’d go to for relationship advice, but he could speak from experience as well as I could, and if people I cared about were going to be enmeshed with the elves of Treehome then I wanted to hear the inside scoop.