Chapter 262: Courtesy Call

on November 5, 2014 in Volume 2 Book 8: Elven Holiday, Volume 2: Sophomore Effort

In Which Glory Accepts Compliments With Grace

As incredible as the snowstorm was to watch, there came a point when there wasn’t anything new to see, though in fairness we’d stopped watching it long before that point. Glory’s sex life with me was still very much up in the air, no pun intended, and we were still feeling our way around things… no pun intended there, either.

But closeness was something we always enjoyed, and kissing. She always loved the warmth of my body, as I loved the smooth slickness of hers as we slid against each other.

As much as I would have been content to spend the entire night alone with Glory, she was a much more social being than I was, and she had responsibilities as hostess, even if she was downplaying her standing as queen for the moment.

She climbed down the ladder before I did, so she could help steady me on the way down. It was hard to discern the exact difference between this and her cupping my ass with both hands, but I wasn’t complaining. Anyway, if I fell, she’d make for a softer landing than the deck… and if I fell because she was distracting me, she’d have no one to blame but herself.

I didn’t fall, though I did turn and slide into her arms a bit as I stepped off of what I had judged to be the last rung. It was actually the second to last, which made the whole thing a bit less smooth than I’d hoped.

“Good thing I was hear to catch you,” Glory said.

“Were you?” I said. “I hadn’t really noticed.”

She smiled, and slapped me.

Downstairs, I saw that nobody had moved my coat from the seat I’d thrown it over. There was plenty of other seating, but I didn’t think it would have taken much in the realm of elven cattiness and posturing for someone to have taken the seat anyway, or taken offense that I had claimed it and then wandered off. Instead, several of the elves who were either not romantically entwined or at least less vigorously making out with each other had just settled down into positions near it.

I supposed from one point of view, I’d done them a favor by marking out where Glory was most likely to end up.

She went right to it and draped it over the back instead, sitting down and giving me a rather firm push on the backside in the direction of the food as I started to sit down next to her.

Well, lines were being blurred, but roles weren’t completely erased. I don’t think I would have worked with Glory if I minded the expectation of wordless obedience, and I was pretty sure that Glory would never have gone for an egalitarian scheme if she thought for one moment it would entail fetching her own snacks.

It didn’t take me long to fill a plate with a good assortment of things that I knew Glory would enjoy… heavy on meat and fruit, low on candy and cheese… and bring it back, but when I got back, Wisdom was sitting on her lap, her legs wrapped around Glory’s torso and their mouths . Glory patted the seat next to me, but when I started to slip in it, she took the plate from my hands and put it there, then pointed at the floor in front of the loveseat.

That put me a bit closer to the fire, and I certainly didn’t mind sitting at Glory’s feet, so I didn’t complain

“You’re not even a little bit jealous, are you?” Glory whispered in my ear.

I was still trying to figure out how to answer, if I should, when I realized that the weight on the seat behind me was shifting. I twisted around to see that Wisdom had pulled back from Glory.

“Wait, did you let me do this just to make your girlfriend jealous?” she said.

“I didn’t get to be queen by doing anything for one reason,” Glory said.

“That’s valid,” Wisdom said.

“Also, how sharp are your ears?” Glory said. “I knew you were clever, but I didn’t expect anyone younger than me to catch that.”

“If you think my ears are clever, you should see what I can do with my tongue,” Wisdom said, and then she leaned in again.

“Well?” Glory whispered.

“I don’t have anything to be jealous of,” I said, somewhat quietly. “You’re not dating Ian. It would kind of suck if you were the only one… the only elf, anyway… who doesn’t get a chance to cut loose with everyone else. I’d think as queen, you need that more than anyone.”

“I meant that I’m getting it on with someone else in front of you, not that I’m playing around when you can’t,” she said. “That doesn’t bother you?”

“…did you expect it to?”

“No. But sometimes it’s gratifying to have proof.” She slid Wisdom off her lap, then lifted her plate and patted the seat. “You can hold my food.”

“Thanks,” I said, taking the seat.

“It does… suck… that you don’t get to play, though,” Glory said.

“Well, that will have to wait, if it happens at all,” I said.

“So, have you thought about it, then?”

“I think it’s best to wait until I’ve checked in with everyone,” I said. “I don’t see a lot of point in making plans based on something that may or may not happen.”

Glory made what was probably the sexiest growl of frustration I’d ever heard.

“I really wish you’d just talk to him,” she said.

“It’s like, six in the morning,” I said. “He’s asleep.”

“We’re totally within the window for times we might have arrived in the southlands,” she said. “If the weather had cooperated, we’d already have landed and disembarked. So he’s either awake, waiting up for your reflection, or he’s ready to be woken up by it.”

“But either way, if I reflect him now, I’ll still have to do it again later when we actually ge there,” I said.

“I think the considerate thing to do would be to let him know that you’re okay, but not there yet,” Glory said. “Otherwise he might be worried.”

“I didn’t make any kind of promise to check in along the way, though.”

“So? That’s just because you didn’t think of it,” she said. “And the only reason you’re not < you don't think it's a good idea is because if you're talking to him anyway, then you don't have any excuse to not ask him how he feels about you fooling around with Nicki, or anyone else." "Who exactly did you have in mind?" "anyone," she said. "It's a party, Mackenzie! It's a vacation! It's a party during a vacation. And it's just kissing, which is what girls do at parties, if you haven’t noticed.”

“Okay, I’ll go check in with Amaranth,” I said. “If she thinks it’s a good idea for me to let the others know, she can do it herself. I’ll trust her judgment. ”

“That sounds fair,” Glory said.

“Is there a mirror on board?”

“In a cubicle just off the passage to the helm,” she said, pointing towards the front of the ship.

“Cool,”I said.

I knew very well that Amaranth… who had more ways of recharging than mortals did, even if her human-like form did need sleep and she enjoyed it… would have been awake all night waiting to hear from me in the morning.

Thinking about that now, I did feel a bit of a guilty start at the fact that I hadn’t thought to provide updates along the way, especially given the variably duration of the trip through the storm. Well, I hadn’t really known beforehand that things were going to be this way, and none of us had had any reason to think of these contingencies beforehand.

The passage to the crew area looked badly out of place for the rest of the boat, but more in place for a boat in general. It was narrow, bare, painted a kind of sickly gray instead of paneled in wood. There was a little curtained-off booth set into the side of it with a mirror pictograph on a peeling placard next to it. I pulled the curtain aside before slipping in, just on the off-chance that one of the other passengers was using it. Or rather, that two of them were.

It was empty.

I slid onto the little stool and invoked Amaranth.

I wasn’t waiting long for the swirling mist to form into her familiar features. After a night of looking at naked elven women, Amaranth’s much more generously proportioned body was something like a religious revelation. Everybody on the boat might have been pretty nice to look at… perfect, by a lot of standards… but not what I would have looked for.

“Baby, is everything okay?” she said, and I realized I hadn’t said anything, and that she had and I’d missed it.

“Sorry, I was just… looking at you,” I said.

“I just asked if everything went okay with the landing.”

“No,” I said. “I mean, we haven’t landed yet! Everything’s okay. We’re just going slow because of the weather, and I thought it would be a good idea to let you know that, and that everything’s okay.”

“That’s good,” she said. “Also, you’re naked… I’m so pleased. And impressed!”

I blushed, both from the praise and with yet another sudden realization of my nudity after having managed to forget it was an ongoing thing.

“Oh, right,” I said. “It’s kind of… I mean, we’re kind of making the best of the slow going with… well, it’s a party boat… so everyone’s kind of…”

“Baby!” she chided. “You don’t have to explain. You’re there with Glory, and more than a dozen beautiful women.”

“I’m not… I mean, I haven’t… I mean, with Glory, yeah…”

“Oh, of course,” Amaranth said. “You said you needed to check in. Obviously you wouldn’t do anything without touching base, especially not so soon after last time… well, you know I’m okay with it, but would you like me to get a hold of the others for you so you don’t have to miss any more of the party?”

“…I…”

I didn’t have a chance to say any more than that, because suddenly, Glory was beside me, almost knocking me off the stool.

“Oh, would you?” she said graciously. “It would be such a big help. We weren’t sure it would be worth bothering the others, but Mackenzie said she’d trust your judgment.”

“It’s no bother… I don’t think anyone is sleeping tonight,” Amaranth said. “I mean, Steff’s around here somewhere, and Ian doesn’t leave until tomorrow… Hazel and Shiel are holding an all-night tournament and I’m pretty sure he’s there. I’m sure I can get a hold of someone who can get him for me with no problem, if you’ll just give me a few minutes.”

“Thank you!” Glory said. “Be sure to find out how he would feel about Mackenzie making out with Nicki.”

“Oh, good for her!” Amaranth said. “I mean, I know he’s thought about it, but that’s not the same as permission… but I don’t think it will be a problem. By the way, I know I’ve seen you naked before, but it seemed the wrong time to comment, so let me just say now that your breasts are adorable!”

“Thanks, I know,” Glory said. “Yours are a bit much.”

“…I’ll go talk to Steff and track down Ian,” Amaranth said, and she waved the reflection away.

“What the hell was that?” I asked Glory when Amaranth’s image was gone.

“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to bag on your owner’s tits,” she said. “I know by human standards they’re awesome and I try to embrace that, I really do…”

“I meant the jumping in and just… springing the question like that,” I said.

“You were going to have to ask eventually,” she said. “And I thought, you’d be all awkward and hesitant about it whether it’s here and now, or later… and it’s like you said about me: you deserve the chance to enjoy yourself as much as anyone else does.”

“I don’t know if I want to!” I said. “I mean… I don’t know if I’d enjoy that. Obviously I want to enjoy myself.”

“And as long as it was a moot point, you weren’t willing to consider it,” she said. “Now it’s not. I’m not going to push you into doing something you don’t want to do, Mackenzie… but I want to make sure you do get a chance to do everything that you want to. Having permission doesn’t mean you have to do anything, just that you can… and that you can’t use the lack of it to avoid thinking about it.”

“Well, maybe that’s what I wanted to do,” I said. “It’s a lot less stressful that way.”

“Really? Because you seemed pretty stressed,” she said.

“Only because you kept pushing,” I said.

“Only for an answer, not for you to do anything,” she said. “And I promise you, Mackenzie Blaise, I won’t do that anymore, because once Amaranth comes back with the answer, it’s entirely up to you. There are… four to six hours… left until we make landfall. It’s not exactly a deadline, because there will be other opportunities on this trip, but it’ll be the end of the party… the end of the time we’re all together in one place with this privacy and no need for clothes.”

“So the cruise isn’t clothing-optional?” I asked. “Because a couple of times at the back of my mind…”

“No,” she said. “And while the rules for non-humans are different, it’s unseemly for elves to take too much of advantage of them, since the point of the distinction is meant to convey human superiority. We won’t be roaming the corridors of the cruise ship in our nymph costumes.”

“Well, that’s a relief,” I said. “I figured it would have been mentioned in the literature, but it’s just, there’s already been a lot more casual nudity on the trip than I’d seen around Oberrad House.”

“Well, it is a party boat,” Glory said. “I think there’s a lot of pent-up desires given vent in this leg of the journey. I should thank you for helping to get things rolling in the right direction at the beginning. I wasn’t fully expecting that.”

“You know if you’d told me what you wanted, I would have done it,” I said.

“I wasn’t sure, beyond the very broad idea that I wanted to blur out some of the lines that we’ve put up between ourselves,” she said. “But me as queen just saying that? It’s going to leave people guessing. You making yourself at home did more than anything I could have done, outside of treating Grace as an equal.”

“I have to admit, I was mainly thinking of myself,” I said. “I don’t want to spend the whole trip cringing and cowering, trying to guess what I was entitled to or not.”

“On that note, if you do want to do anything with Nicki, you won’t really have a chance like this again” she said.

“…there’s still the trip back,” I said.

“Weren’t you the one who wanted to start things off right?”

“We still don’t even…”

But then the mirror began to flash and swirl. Glory accepted the reflection before I’d even fully registered what was happening.

“Yes?” Glory said when Amaranth had appeared.

“Well, Steff said go for it, no real surprise there,” Amaranth said. “Ian…”

“Yeah?” I prompted.

“Don’t interrupt, baby, I was figuring out how to put it,” she said. “The thing is… Ian kind of figured it was a given.”

“What?” I said.

“I mean, when I talked to him about it, he acknowledged that it wasn’t really the same thing as explicit permission, but he assumed that ‘stuff’ as he put it would happen on the trip, and that it didn’t count, in his words, because it was the sort of stuff that happened when a bunch of elven women took a vacation together, and he’s okay with that.”

“Who says human cinema isn’t educational?” Glory said. “Do you hear that, sweetling? You’re in the clear.”

“Did he really seem okay, or was he just… resigned?” I asked Amaranth.

“Mack, baby… he was way more than okay,” Amaranth said. “I promise you.”
Steff leaned into the frame.

“He said you don’t have to tell him what happens, but honey, especially don’t tell him if nothing happens,” she said. “I think he’d drop dead of disappointment on the spot.”

“How’s my house, Steff?” Glory said.

“I haven’t looked recently, but it was still standing the last time I did,” Steff said. “It’s like a big old sleepover party here… probably not as fun as yours. Also? Phenomenal tits.”

“Yes, this has been established,” Glory said.

“Seriously. A-plus-plus, five stars. Would do bad things to.”

“Thank you,” Glory said, and she waved the reflection away.

“I’m so sorry,” I said.

“No, she’s right,” Glory said, cupping one under her hand. “They are phenomenal. But you have your answer… or at least, permission to figure out the answer. What are you going to do?”

That…

That was the question, wasn’t it?


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35 Responses to “Chapter 262: Courtesy Call”

  1. Yumi says:

    “Thanks, I know,” Glory said. “Yours are a bit much.”

    …OUCH. I’m really not much of an Amaranth fan, but I felt seriously bad for her at that point. This trip is really not helping my impression of Glory thus far.

    Current score: 6
    • Nocker says:

      Keep in mind exactly how Amaranth was made though. She’s not just above average, she was influenced by a crazed adolescent fantasy who spent all his time looking at superhero comics and weird porn. The image I have in my head of her is that if she had an inch or two more it’d go from attractive to looking like a medical emergency waiting to happen. Or given how such things work she’d actually have a bunch of medical problems if she weren’t basically demigod lite.

      Current score: 2
      • Yumi says:

        None of that means that Glory’s comment was necessary though. Like don’t return compliments with insults. Unless Glory felt like she was being insulted and responded in kind, but there’s really no indication that was the case, and even then hers would have more intentionality than Amaranth’s.

        Current score: 6
        • Zukira Phaera says:

          And…. some might have taken it for a compliment. Knowing how elves feel about proportions, vs how some humans do, and that Amy’s structure is meant for more human appeal… a bit much for an elf is not necessarily all -that- over the top for human standards.

          Mack after all, is possibly even well endowed by surface elf standards, but only modestly so by human standards. I’ve always had the feeling a C+ cup size would be ‘over the top’ or ‘a bit much’ to surface elves. As much as Glory has a fetish for humans, she’s still an elf.

          And, Amy being who and what she is, will have considered all that, without thinking about it, and taken what Glory said as a compliment, more than likely.

          Current score: 0
      • Seth says:

        Also a factor is that from an Elven cultural point of view, humans are normally freakishly large in that department. Elves are naturally petite and less curvy than a human of equal maturity.

        Elves are narcissistic to the core, so basically Glory took the compliment as a statement of an obvious fact. It’s reinforced by the fact that she was oblivious to Steff attempting to be creepy.

        Current score: 3
    • Iain says:

      From what I’ve read about the elves of this Universe, though, that sort of frank honesty is what we should expect from most of them.

      Current score: 5
  2. zeel says:

    Please get it on with Nicki. . .

    Current score: 5
  3. Nocker says:

    I’d say “what’s the worst that can happen” but really that’d be tempting fate.

    Current score: 4
    • zeel says:

      Worst that could happen for the characters? Shipwreck.

      Worst that could happen for the readers? Mackenzie and Nicki not hooking up. . .

      Current score: 4
  4. Anthony says:

    Ugh. Steff, go play with a vampiric dagger or something.

    Current score: 4
  5. Order of Chaos says:

    In Macks position I Wouldn’t feel comfortable until I had spoken to Ian. I’ve been in too many situations where that many people talking about the same thing has led to noone talking about the same thing.

    Current score: 4
    • Nocker says:

      Agreed. Amaranth sees urges but not active desire(that’s a Satyr’s job). She’s also oblivious as hell and ignores the tones of others to project what she wants to happen.

      Ian obviously assumed it’d happen, he’s not blind. He’s probably at least a little ok with it. But their relationship is on rocky ground and one of the key factors there is the way Mackenzie approaches her relationships to the people around her(read: So long as I don’t talk about or acknowledge a problem it can’t hurt me). For all everyone talks about Ian and his resistance to the whole Poly thing we need to remember that Mackenzie has always been kind of a shit girlfriend.

      Honestly though at this point they’re probably both better off not being together. The lifestyles of a human would-be bard and a polyamorous half demon geek don’t have much crossover when you get down to it. They meet up in a couple of basic spots but they can’t really help or play off each other in a meaningful way the way things are currently set up.

      Current score: 5
      • zeel says:

        I think Steff is probably spot on though:

        “He said you don’t have to tell him what happens, but honey, especially don’t tell him if nothing happens,” she said. “I think he’d drop dead of disappointment on the spot.”

        He isn’t just okay with it, he expects it, and he’s fantasising about it.

        Current score: 9
        • spess imvader says:

          Completely disagree. He is expecting it because it is logically bound to happen, but he dreads it. From what I understand of the character he is not one to get off with being cuckolded, so he can’t fantasize of his girlfriend (and not him) getting tons of sex with lots of hot girls on a wild trip. And he said before he didn’t want to be the sole cause for Mackenzie restraining herself, as that would only lead to her resenting him. Thus he would be dissappointed if she were not to do stuff with Nikki because of him.

          Current score: 0
      • Order of Chaos says:

        One is a bard and the other is self-conscious, which of them should be rethinking their relationship due to the other being unwilling to settel down?

        Current score: 0
  6. x says:

    Typos:
    when we actually ge there [get]
    so I didn’t complain [paragraph ends with no punctuation]
    And the only reason you’re not < you don't think ['<' etc]
    "anyone," she said. [capitalization]
    I’ll trust her judgment. ” [extra space before quote]
    the variably duration of the trip [variable]

    Current score: 1
  7. Readaholic says:

    Well done to Glory, there. And Mack not realizing that Ian is probably fantasising like crazy is very funny.

    Current score: 4
  8. MrD says:

    “Wisdom was sitting on her lap, her legs wrapped around Glory’s torso and their mouths .”

    Not sure how this was supposed to read, but it does paint an interesting picture.

    Current score: 2
    • Trent Baker says:

      An interesting and possibly sanity damaging picture.

      Current score: 2
  9. Cadnawes says:

    “I mean, I know he’s thought about it, but that’s not the same as permission… ”
    Hehehehehehehe. “thought” indeed.

    Current score: 4
  10. Ekuah says:

    Another typo in:
    “Good thing I was hear to catch you,” Glory said.
    “hear” should be replaced with “here”

    Current score: 2
  11. Lucy says:

    “On that note, if you do want to do anything with Nicki, you won’t really have a chance like this again” she said.

    It’s really looking like Glory is going to (try to) sell them to Mercy

    Current score: 0
    • Mo says:

      I’m kinda of getting a sense that the Man put Glory up to getting Mack on an airship. Something about that non-custody pact. We’ll see.

      Current score: 0
      • zeel says:

        Am I the only one who doesn’t think The Man, Mercy, or anyone malicious is involved? I’m not sure if I think Glory has Mckenzies best interests in mind, but I doubt that it’s on a level any more severe than any other relationship.

        Current score: 9
        • Cadnawes says:

          I know, right? Maybe she’s not trustworthy. But that doesn’t mean anybody else made her that way. I’m also not seeing a larger than average indication that she isn’t.

          Current score: 6
        • Nocker says:

          While I personally doubt it, lets not ignore factors here. According to Jamie the worst of elves in Treehome actively do deal with her. We believe that Glory is a good guy and totally on the up and up, but that’s entirely due to the word of Glory and backed up by literally nobody else in Treehome.

          There’s also the fact that no matter how rich she is, she thinks nothing of spending money like crazy and her court’s lowest members have no understanding of the value a piece of solid gold. If she’s mostly cut off from the adult world and taking “soft” courses for the most part(remember, Elves who want to do practical things like Enchantment or Banking just do it the regular way instead of going to Treehome and playing politics) then her income is up for debate. Her court has some woodcraft skill but even others who carve things for money don’t seem to make huge amounts or have that much security. If she’s been set up by a third party it’d explain the money, and Mercy is a businessperson who thinks nothing of spending huge gobs of platinum on projects that don’t go anywhere right away, if at all.

          Current score: 0
  12. riocaz says:

    And Amy’s lack of response indicates she didn’t take offence.

    Current score: 1
    • Silverai says:

      Or rather, the “…” before she speaks again indicates she was very offended and didn’t know what to say that was polite, hence her getting off the mirror as quickly as possible afterwards.

      Current score: 8
  13. Zathras IX says:

    Mackenzie goes to
    Great lengths to keep Amaranth
    Thoroughly abreast

    Current score: 4
  14. dm says:

    Bad feelings about Glory continue

    Current score: 1
  15. Lunaroki says:

    All the “OMG! Glory is evil! She must be in league with Mercy/The Man/Callahan/Embries/Godzilla/Obama/The Flying Spaghetti Monster/etc.” stuff I don’t get and don’t wish to debate, but it’s getting a little annoying. It’s making me think twice about wanting to read the comments.

    Anyway, I was awake early this morning and as usual that meant I was in full-blown “Let’s over-think things! Whee!” mode. I don’t wish to reconstruct my full thought processes, but here’s the conclusions I came up with:

    A lot of Mack’s story seems to revolve around the White Dog/Black Dog concept. The basic concept is that in everyone’s mind/heart there is a white dog and a black dog, and the way you are perceived by others, the type of person that you are, is determined by which one answers the door when someone comes knocking. The way I look at it, it isn’t so much a good/evil thing as it is a nice/nasty thing. Both are valid responses, depending on the circumstances. In Mack’s mind this has long been a good/evil thing, and she has been hung up on A)wanting to be good and B)thinking she is inherently evil because of her demonic side. Now granted she has been making a lot of progress breaking away from these misconceptions, but residue of them still cling to her in places. She still has a tendency to always want the white dog to come to the door, never the black dog. One of the things Callahan’s classes have been about is teaching her that sometimes the black dog is actually a valid response, but that it must be trained to behave appropriately when called upon.

    In the current situation with Nicki, Mack is trying to make a decision about whether or not to accept Nicki’s desire to experiment with taking their relationship to a little more intimate level. The only way I can see this working out well is for Mack to sit down with Nicki and talk things out. She needs to fully articulate all the fears and reservations she has about this step, then listen and consider as Nicki expresses her views on it. If they both take the time to express themselves clearly and listen without prejudging they should be able to come to a meeting of the minds about whether this is a good idea for them or not.

    Current score: 8
    • spess imvader says:

      Or she can ask her masters for clearance and then proceed to do whatever her libido tells her, even after much prior overanalyzing. Then she can always rationalize whatever happens and move on.

      Current score: 1
  16. Michael/Aurielle says:

    Oh Steff 😀 <3 “Seriously. A-plus-plus, five stars. Would do bad things to.” – Im still laughing.

    Current score: 4
  17. Mickey Phoenix says:

    I am vastly pleased with Glory’s relatively nuanced approach to consent, here, especially in contrast to, e.g. first-year Amaranth, or any Steff ever. She (Glory) is visibly aware of the difference between offering and pushing, between having reservations and making excuses, and between being uncertain and bullshitting oneself.

    She’s being quite firm in not letting Mack kid herself about her reasons, but at a level that I think is appropriate given their already-established D/S dynamic. And she is also careful to explicitly call out the distinction between having to make an honest choice, and having to make the choice in a particular direction. She’s going to push Mack to actually think about the choice and make it consciously, but she is explicitly also telling Mack that Mack is free to choose in either direction without penalty or pressure.

    Aside from the “elven superiority” bullshit (which autocorrect rendered, very amusingly, as “elven sorority”), Glory is actually one of my favorite characters at this point. It’s a bit odd, having an MUniverse elf being the voice of nuanced consent. But I like it.

    Current score: 1
  18. Moridain says:

    I can’t be the only person who now wants to see these Tits.

    Current score: 0