In Which Mackenzie Rests Assured

I’ll have to leave the details of that terrible and wonderful evening up to your imagination, since they were pretty much left up to mine… I don’t think I could begin to reconstruct anything like an order of events, anyway. Would I try to describe what I thought was happening, or just give a straight report of what I heard?

I think it’s one of those “you had to be there” kind of things. I was there, but I didn’t see it… and the experience was pretty much indescribable.

At one point I got so worked up that in desperation I started sort of bucking my body like I was trying to get some kind of satisfaction from the wooden crossbeam underneath me. It wasn’t really logical or voluntary. It got me a brief reprimand from Amaranth when she noticed it, and that was the only attention I got until sometime after most of the noises behind me had stopped, subsiding into slow, heavy breathing.

My excitement didn’t end with the exertion behind me, but I’d long since passed into the subbiest of sub-spaces. Until I was acknowledged again, I would remain an object… a horny, dissatisfied object, but one that was oddly content to remain dissatisfied.

Don’t ask me to explain it. Words don’t even come close.

“Wow,” Ian said after a while. “I don’t know why we didn’t do that sooner.”

“Well, I did just get the sawhorse,” Amaranth said. “I was hoping for something more like a set of stocks, but this was a lot cheaper and easier to find. Apparently, there’s more call for sawhorses?”

“I didn’t mean that,” Ian said. “Though… yeah, that was good, too. I meant you and me… and, well, I guess I do know why we didn’t.”

“For starters… you never asked,” Amaranth said.

“Yeah,” he said. “Like, I know you’re pretty casual about sex with people…”

“I like to think I’m very professional about it,” Amaranth said.

“If I wasn’t in a relationship that included you, then maybe I wouldn’t have thought anything about just going up to you sometime or getting in on the action when you’re making the rounds,” Ian said. “Like, if I’d met you before the first time I made a pass at Mackenzie… which, by the way, is not a memory I un-repress lightly, because Khersis, I was pretty awful… but if I’d happened to run into you before getting involved with her, I might have said something, done something. But being with her… it kind of puts me in a weird place.”

“It really doesn’t, though,” Amaranth said. “We’re friends… intimate friends. You have the same rights as anyone else does. If anything, you have more of them.”

“That might be how it works in your head, but not mine,” Ian said. “We’re not casual, you and me. We’re part of… an arrangement. And doing something that’s not already part of that arrangement, or altering it, it’s a bigger deal than if we were two brand new people coming into a brand new arrangement. You know?”

“I can understand that,” Amaranth said. “But even if it’s a big deal to make a change to our arrangement, that’s no reason not to.”

“I guess I was afraid of messing things up,” Ian said. “And… well, you’re hot and all, and I’ve been given little hints here and there that it would probably be pretty good… but it’s never been something I’ve wanted. Wait, that came out wrong. It’s not that I don’t want this…”

“You’re talking passive versus active,” Amaranth said, giggling slightly. “You mean you didn’t want it in the sense that someone might not be thinking about pizza for dinner, but then someone suggests it and it sounds like a good idea. It would be accurate to say they didn’t want pizza, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want it once it’s on the table. In contrast, someone who’s told there is going to be pizza for dinner but doesn’t like pizza or is in the mood for something else actively doesn’t want pizza. You could use the same words… ‘not want’… for
both concepts, but they aren’t the same at all.”

“You came up with that example really quickly,” Ian said.

“Yeah, well, when you live my life, trying to navigate desires and the language we use to articulate them is something that’s going to come up a lot,” Amaranth said. “Pax can be pretty inadequate for the task… actually, I think most spoken language is. It’s like trying to paint a picture… you’re always going to lose some detail, compared to the actual thing you’re looking at.”

“Yeah,” he said. “Anyway… I’m glad we did that, and I’m glad we’re talking now.”

“Me, too,” she said. “And for what it’s worth, I don’t think you were awful back at the beginning of freshman year. You just thought you had something to prove.”

“No, I thought sex was something guys got for showing up at college,” Ian said. “I had some fucked up beliefs about the girls who were there to hand it out versus the ones you’d treat nice and settle down with… well, I say ‘beliefs’, but it wasn’t like I would have stood up and declared anything about the subject. I’d never thought about it, I’d just… learned things. Things I needed to unlearn.”

“I guess we couldn’t have made it easy on you,” Amaranth said. “I mean, we never made it hard for you to get sex.”

“That’s true, I guess,” Ian said. “But it’s not like it was your job to fix what was wrong with me, either… and anyway, I found out that Mackenzie was someone I wanted to have a relationship with… and that took work, even if the sex came easily.”

“I guess we all had things to learn… myself included. I cringe when I think about how I behaved my first few days here… I mean, I cringe about a lot of things from those days, but I really didn’t know how to act in public. I just wanted everyone to see how progressive and accepting and open and radicalI was about everything, but I didn’t even know what those words meant outside of theory and books.”

“Yeah, well, I think people are more inclined to forgive a beautiful naked woman who doesn’t know how to act in public than a guy,” Ian said.

“I know what you mean, but that’s part of the problem,” Amaranth said. “I mean, the people back home treat us differently. It’s not that they don’t hold us in a certain regard, but if one of us says or does something that would be inappropriate, it’s just… well, it’s not inappropriate, because it’s a nymph. And with guys like… well, in a lot of ways, people are ready to forgive guys who act the way you did. You were just acting the way you thought guys were supposed to… that idea didn’t just come to you from nowhere. Even a lot of people who would have thought you were being a jerk would have asked if anyone could blame you.”

“I guess you’re right,” Ian said. “So… should we, um…”

“Give her a few more minutes to cool down,” Amaranth said. “She’s going to need major snuggling in a bit here, but she’s still worked up to the point that a lot of touching would just get wound up even more.”

“…you really have a way of taking the guesswork out of these things,” Ian said.

“Well, one shouldn’t be relying on guesses, anyway,” Amaranth said. “Communication, knowledge of yourself and your partner… maybe that’s been part of our problem, though? Some things come so easily to me that I’ve never had to do the work.”

“You still try,” Ian said. “Even if you do sometimes like the sound of your own voice too much, you care more about communication and stuff than anyone I know.”

“Thanks, I think.”

“Never ruin a moment by lying when you can ruin it with honesty instead,” Ian said.

“You goof,” Amaranth said, and it sounded like she hit him with a pillow.

The thing was, she really had been dead right about my state… and hearing her describe it like that helped jar me out of it. After a minute or two of silence that was probably comfortable for them but increasingly less so for me, Amaranth said, “Okay, let’s help her up.”

Getting me out of the bondage set-up was more involved than just untying some ropes. I didn’t have to worry about rope burn or splinters, but my limbs could go numb the same as anyone else’s. They loosened my bonds slowly, one at a time, rubbing life back into my muscles as they went and then supporting me when I was no longer being held up by ropes.

“How are you doing, baby?” Amaranth asked as they carried me to bed.

“Okay,” I said.

It was the most I could manage, and it seemed a little inadequate, though it summed up the situation if you averaged everything out. There were no problems that needed addressing or anything causing me distress, so… okay covered the important bits.

The massage treatment continued once we were in bed together, with the addition of gentle, tender kisses all over my body that had so recently endured so much want and privation. There was no urgency to it… this was not foreplay, it was postplay. I could feel Ian’s cock stirring sleepily as it brushed against my leg, but it never rose more than halfway to hard. It was just reassuring there, not pushy or insistent.

I felt very floaty and disconnected, but also firmly tethered… safe and loved. I could see why Amaranth had wanted to wait… the shock of moving directly from that extreme to being comfortably contained between two lovers would have been a bit much. All the words I’d heard earlier were washing over me, but some in particular kept swirling back around to nest inside my ear:

…I found out that Mackenzie was someone I wanted to have a relationship with…

It was maybe the least romantic way anyone had ever expressed that sentiment, but it filled me warmth all the same. In the back of my mind there had always been that bit of doubt, the thought that Ian had latched onto me because I was available or because our arrangement made things easy for him, or even just because I’d latched onto him.

“I love you two,” I said as my brain slowly loosened its grip on my words.

“We love you, too,” Amaranth whispered back.

“You coming back to us?” Ian asked.

“Never left,” I said.

“I think we’ll start the, uh, homework assignment tomorrow night,” Ian said.

“That’s a good idea,” Amaranth said. “But we will start it then, won’t we, baby?”

In other circumstances, the voice she’d used might have triggered a reflexive “yes, ma’am”. But I was feeling more reflective than reflexive, so instead I said, “You know, that’s not something I really have much experience doing… at all.”

“Not consciously,” Amaranth said. “But your body knows what it likes. I think once you get going, it’s going to take some real self-control to avoid breaking the rule.”

“It’s getting going that I’m worried about,” I said.

“Hey, I know this is something new for you,” Ian said. “But that’s why I thought it would be a good idea. You’ve really come a long way from the girl who was so afraid of sex she’d set people on fire…”

“That’s not what happened!” I said, though it was a testament to how far we’d all come that I was able to laugh at it.

“…but there’s still something in you that doesn’t believe that sex can be good… or that if it is, you that you can’t possibly deserve it,” Ian said.

“You’re right,” I said. “But… masturbation… isn’t usually used to cure shame.”

“I don’t think it’ll cure anything,” Ian said. “I just want you to think of… okay, I don’t have Amaranth’s powers, but I’ll bet when you think about sex, you think about your mouth, your hand, and even your ass before you do your pussy. You’ll think about spanking before you think about fucking.”

“Spanking is sex, the way we do it,” I said.

“It is,” Ian said. “But sex is also sex.”

“He’s got a point, baby,” Amaranth said. “Remember last year, when I tried to teach you how to eat pussy?”

“That would have worked better if it would have been a private lesson,” I said, though I knew it was more than that. That particular experiment had been doomed from the start.

“It wouldn’t have been a big deal that it didn’t work, except you wanted so badly to please me,” she said. “Which you do… you do it very well, in other ways. But you badly wanted to be able to give me the same oral pleasure you give Ian and Steff, and you just weren’t comfortable enough with the terrain to do so.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, because I had felt bad about it… and still did, when it was called to mind.

“You don’t have anything to apologize for,” she said. “I’m just saying that if you ever want to try again, then what Ian’s asking you to do is a good way for you to feel things out… so to speak… ahead of time and learn to be comfortable with it.”

“I guess,” I said.

“And if it doesn’t work… well, a week’s long enough to say that you tried it,” Ian said.

“I guess you’re right about that,” I said. “Even if you’re not right about everything”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Earlier, when you said you’re bad at this stuff?” I said. “You were dead wrong about that.”

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18 Responses to “Chapter 140: After Care”

  1. Tapestry says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t go into a long monologue after sex or this just something Kenzie Circle of Sex-philes does? Hah

    Current score: 0
    • Celti says:

      I dunno about most people, but I always get talkative after an orgasm.

      Current score: 2
      • pedestrian says:

        yeah, that is one of the most important {personal priorities list} things I miss about my deceased wife. We talked a lot…before, during and after sex. About a wide range of subjects, sometimes about what we were actually doing.

        I think that is why I have withdrawn from dating. The women I meet, in my age and community are just not very interesting or able to express an interest in anything outside the self-limited POV of their social cliques.

        I suss that the men in their lives have never been willing to listen to them. Or willing to tolerate differing opinions from women.

        Current score: 0
    • Kataklysm says:

      For me, sometimes aftercare involves just comfortable silence. But – especially after a scene with new elements or high emotion – there’s usually a decent bit of reflection, discussion and feedback. I’m an especially verbal person, though, and tend to attract especially verbal lovers. I think that’s the case with Mack as well. :3

      Current score: 0
    • Ducky says:

      We’re usually pretty quiet. We’ll have those halting-type conversations in bed though, after the lights are out.

      Current score: 0
  2. Arkeus says:

    “I love you two,” I said as my brain slowly loosened its grip on my words. <= Ah, this wording…

    Well, at least an important issue was adressed (Mack's whole shame about her sex) so it wasn't quite a useless chapter, but mot of it was highly uncomfortable from where my personal standpoint. Trying not to go back into hating Amaranth, especially as she -is- getting better lately, but these kinds of chapters make it hard.

    Current score: 0
  3. fragzilla says:

    Anyone who’s read AE’s recent blog post about MU being her job may want to consider becoming an editor over at . There are a ton of pages that MU could have a representative entry and does not. For example the born as an adult page could easily mention Amaranth and Barley. I say this because I found MU while on a stint of trope hopping on the tvtropes site while at work, and had never heard of this amazing story until I ran into it on a trope page. So for those of us who are broke as hell its at least one easy way to help AE ramp up her viewership and, hopefully, increase her revenue.

    Also I just have to ask. Arkeus where you beaten or abused by a beautiful naked woman when you were a child?

    Current score: 0
    • Burnsidhe says:

      Fragzilla, that last sentence was unnecessary. Not everyone shares the same kinks, and therefore some of the things Alexandra writes will be uncomfortable for them.

      For instance, the idea that Mackenzie was deliberately pushed aside as punishment is disturbing to me. Abandonment, to me, is actual punishment and emotionally destructive, as opposed to a ‘punishment’; something intended to enhance sexual activity.

      It comes down to individual sexual preferences, and those are not a fit subject for public debate or argument.

      Current score: 0
      • Zerk says:

        Except ‘punishment’ isn’t fundamentally different, the whole enhancing of sexual activity is by virtue of it being painful.

        Current score: 0
    • Flooge says:

      Ahahaha that is exactly how I found MU too. Clicking through TV tropes while I was supposed to be working.
      I the proceeded to archive binge the entire story over the next few days.

      Current score: 0
    • Zukira Phaera says:

      Excellent idea bout tvtropes.

      Please bear in mind, many of us get a hate-on going for Amy when she pulls her know it all stuff. She has a very hard time admitting to being ‘not so smart’ on some stuff and after a while many of us want to smack her with the clue by four. It has nothing to do with all the kink or even a little of it, more, it has to do with how you feel when someone ‘Sheldons’ on you. (I get a hate on for her myself more because she reminds me of myself and the things I’m working on in myself than anything else.)

      Current score: 0
  4. Not her the other girl says:

    Yay! I missed reading the last post so I got to read them together. And I think my last comment was wondering about Ian’s … idea? Agreement? with Mack. I like that she forgot and they worked out a good, memorable punishment for her. I definitely rolled my eyes hard when Amaranth refused to say they were bad at dom-ing. Oh Amy.

    Current score: 0
  5. x says:

    “a lot of touching would just get wound up even more” – get HER wound up?
    “you that you can’t possibly deserve it” – extra “you”

    Current score: 0
  6. Zathras IX says:

    Subsiding into
    The subbiest of sub-spaces
    Is the object-ive

    Current score: 1
  7. pedestrian says:

    When a sub dives
    and a domme spans.
    Then whose lives
    are a noble trans?

    Current score: 0
  8. Stonefoot says:

    Ian said (to Amaranth) “But it’s not like it was your job to fix what was wrong with me….” OK, true, but since his problem was his attitude about sex, and she’s a nymph, helping him ‘get his head straight’ is certainly a task that falls within her ‘job description’.

    ‘“Never ruin a moment by lying when you can ruin it with honesty instead,” Ian said.’ So true. Very, very good line there.

    Current score: 0
  9. Daez says:

    I’m so very glad Mackenzie enjoyed that. 🙂

    Even though it’s not something everyone could handle, we all have buttons that can be pressed, and it sounds like they’ve found one for all three of them, which in and of itself is a very beautiful thing.

    Current score: 1
  10. anon says:

    Personally if I was mack this wouls oddly push my jealousy button. I kinda figured ian was hers solo. no idea why double standards I guess as I have no problems with amy

    Current score: 0