109: Mock Combats

on December 3, 2007 in 04: The Body Politick

In Which Mackenzie Winds Up On Her Back

By an astounding coincidence, the exact moment when I figured out exactly what Ian had been thinking of when I’d been eating the contents out of the honey packet came after my second lab, during my weapon proficiency class… when my sparring partner, Gloria, was standing over my prone form, having just “killed” me again.

Her stroke, aimed at my neck, had been a little bit off in both aim and speed, and so her spectral weapon had taken a sort of slow diagonal path through my shoulder and chest. The pain made the world gray out a bit and I fell backwards on grass slick from a mid-afternoon rain, and came to with her standing over me, her body framed against a dark gray sky and the tip of her mock sword hovering over my throat.

“I apologize,” she said, tilting her head deferentially. “If I had performed that maneuver correctly, your pain would have been both minor and brief.”

She pulled the sword aside and all of a sudden my focus, which had understandably been on the point of the blade, suddenly found itself locking onto a point beyond where the blade had been. Gloria was wearing a pair of those black sweatpants that are all tight instead of loose and baggy, and given her religious proclivities, she probably would have been embarrassed if she had realized the level of… topographical detail… that they revealed to me at that moment.

Oh, I thought as a blinding flash of insight went off in my head. So that’s what Ian meant.

That’s getting ahead, though. Let me jump back a bit.

This time I was present for the beginning of class, which consisted of demonstrations of technique in front of the whole class. Professor Callahan and Dobbs showed a variety of stances, and different moves and counters that could be implemented with a variety of weapons, calling volunteers from among the more experienced students to show how they might be adapted with knives, swords, axes, and other weapons.

Callahan called on Steff fairly often for this, and Steff was very clearly showing off for her, though the instructor looked far from impressed with her antics.

“I really think I’ve got a chance with her,” Steff said when she returned to the line, on the other side of me from Gloria.

“She looked like she wanted to spit on you,” I whispered, not really keen on the professor noticing I was talking during her demonstration.

“Oh, not me,” Steff said dismissively. “Maybe you, though,” she said. “That would be hot. You should try to provoke her, Mack.”

“Are you kidding?” I asked. “She’d probably just flatten me again.”

“That works for me, too,” Steff said, and she surprised me with a pinch on the ass. She had to stoop down a bit to do this, but I didn’t even see her move. Elves: they’re just more annoying.

I jumped and squealed, then clapped a hand over my mouth to stifle the squeal… after I’d already let it out.

“You got a problem, Crybaby?” Callahan asked, looking over.

“No, ma’am,” I said, sheepishly. “Professor,” I added, then remembered that fighters don’t really like being called that and corrected, “Uh, Coach.”

“Well… keep it that way,” she said, and went back to her demonstration.

After that, we broke down into our groups to practice. Dobbs, the T.A. who was in charge of newbies like me, had apparently decided to pretend I didn’t exist. I didn’t care, though. Gloria was probably a better teacher than he was.

I begged off taking offense. Aside from being far more comfortable with defense, I hadn’t actually absorbed a lot of the demonstration. Actually, except when I’d been watching Steff, I hadn’t really been paying attention at all. In my defense, though, Gloria was pretty distracting. It might seem odd, after having spent a couple weeks in the presence of cereal nymphs and elfbloods and animal folk, to say that a “mere” human seemed more exotic…

Wait… is that racist?

Is it racist to say that an islander is exotic? I mean, I’m not just talking about the color of her skin… which really was lovely… but rather the fact that her culture was completely different from mine. The Argentus Archipelago had never been a part of either the old Imperium or the Imperial Republic. I knew as much about it as anybody who paid enough attention in world history class, but that wasn’t the same as experiencing the culture, or meeting somebody who’d grown up in it.

You know, I’m just going to say she was from a culture that was exotic to me. That’s probably safest.

So, yeah… Gloria was from a culture that was exotic to me.

That was distracting.

“Is your surname really Blaise?” she asked after we’d both warmed up a bit.

“Yes,” I said. I didn’t mean to be terse, but it wasn’t that natural for me to converse while trying not to get hit by a sword.

“There was a demonhunter with that name,” Gloria said. “Brimstone Blaise.”

“I’ve never heard of him,” I said, stepping to the side to avoid her thrust.

“‘Him’ was a her,” Gloria said, her beatific smile twisting sardonically. “She was quite famous, once. I thought perhaps you took the name to mock her.”

“I got it from my mother,” I said. “And there’s no demonhunters in my family.”

“I guess that there wouldn’t be,” she said, a little grimly, and let it drop.

Nothing actually changed, but somehow I was suddenly less comfortable with the arrangement of me more or less standing there while she took swipes at me with a blade, phantasmal or not.

“What about your family?” I asked, trying to fill the gap. “I didn’t think there were a lot of Khersians in the islands.”

“There are not,” she said. “But Lord Khersis’s blessings are for all men, even those who labor in ignorance of it.”

“Or opposition to it?” I asked.

“That is ignorance,” she said. “No human can willfully do evil, once he has seen the truth.”

I couldn’t help laughing a bit at this, even as I was doing my best to fend off her attacks.

“You think that is funny, demon?” she asked, her dark eyes suddenly blazing. “You should not… for that fact will be the ultimate undoing of your kind.”

“No!” I protested, holding my hands out wide. “I just… I laughed because you reminded me of my… well, of Amaranth.”

“Of who?” Gloria asked. Apparently, she didn’t listen to salacious rumors as much as Ian did.

“She’s a cereal nymph in my dorm,” I said. “She doesn’t believe anybody’s evil, either.”

“I see,” Gloria said. I guess I must have hit a nerve, because her attacks became a good deal faster, and a lot less graceful. Eventually, after a particularly wild lunge-and-miss that carried her almost all the way past me, which would have left her totally vulnerable to a counterattack even from me, she stopped to catch her breath and calmed down a bit.

“My father was converted by missionaries,” she said, as if the previous conversation had never been interrupted. “He became a missionary in turn, and he and my mother and brothers traveled the Archipelago, carrying the news to all who would hear it. They settled down when I was born.”

“Why?” I asked.

“It can be dangerous to travel between the islands sometimes, and there are a few–a very few–who are hostile to the brothers of Khersis,” Gloria said. “It’s no kind of life for a young girl.”

I agreed, but I also thought it wasn’t the best kind of life for young boys, either. I didn’t say it, though. I had no idea how much older her brothers were. Maybe they’d already been nearly grown. It sure sounded possible that her parents hadn’t been fully expecting her arrival. Maybe they’d figured they were nearly done with childrearing when they decided to get a boat and take a tour of the Argenti. I didn’t know enough to judge.

“Oh,” I said, instead.

“Are you glad to hear that?” she asked me.

“To hear what?” I asked, confused.

“That my parents stopped spreading the word of Khersis because of me,” she said.

“Um… am I supposed to be?” I asked.

She looked at me long and hard for what felt like a good thirty seconds.

“You seem like such a nice person,” she said.

“Thanks,” I said, though it somehow sounded extremely uncomplimentary. I don’t know why. There was no sarcasm in her voice, no unusual emphasis. Maybe I was just reacting to her somewhat superior attitude, the regal, dignified bearing that grated so badly on Steff.

We didn’t really talk after that, except for a few pointers she gave me. Then, Callahan called time and Dobbs repeated it. That was when Gloria tried to “decapitate” me and, well, I’ve already told you what happened after that.

I should have been embarrassed to have found myself staring at her faunfoot as long as I did, but Gloria seemed oblivious of it to a degree I would have thought was impossible if I hadn’t ever met myself. When I realized that is when I really did become embarrassed, and immediately raised my eyes, trailing them up the length of her torso, passing over her breasts–okay, passing eventually over her breasts–and up to that haughty, noble face with the intense, sincere eyes.

Sometime in there was the moment that I realized Gloria wasn’t simply exotic… she was hot. Moreover, I was hot for her. Which was okay, because I had a boyfriend. I knew I wasn’t a lesbian so I could be secure enough to admit that I was a bit attracted to Gloria.

I would probably be a little bit more secure if I could get my mouth on Ian’s dick sometime in the near future, but I was doing okay even without it.

I was still pretty secure.

I kind of thought–hoped, really–that Gloria might reach down and offer me a hand getting up. It certainly seemed like something she would do, given that she started our sparring sessions with a respectful salute, in lieu of a blessing. The thought of her hand around mine was more than a little thrilling… but it wasn’t to be. She simply stared down, her eyes digging into mine like there was a prize inside them while giving absolutely nothing of their own away, and then she turned and strode away across the field, leaving me lying there with an increasing awareness of moistness in places not in contact with the wet, grassy ground.

Of course, the entire back of my clothes were soaked through, too. Getting off the ground was probably a good idea.

Steff came over and gave me a hand… or rather, both of her hands, rocking backwards on her heels to help pull me forward and up.

“Steff, how do you know if… I mean, can you tell if a person… is…?” I started to ask, then trailed off, leaving the question hanging… but totally hoping she’d get my meaning and save me from having to complete it.

“Thinking really hard about investing in goldfish futures?” she said. “Totally.”

I rolled my eyes.

“You know what I mean,” I said, and I was pretty sure that she did.

“I do,” she said. “And sometimes, it’s obvious. Sometimes, not so much. A nymph could, for sure… but listen, honey, you have to forget about her. She’s just not on the menu, okay?”

“What do you mean?” I asked. “Who isn’t?”

“Your tropical princess,” Steff said.

“But you said you can’t always tell,” I said.

“And I said sometimes it’s obvious,” Steff said. “Even if Glory had a single lezzy bone in her body–which she doesn’t–she would never act on it in a million years.”

“Her name is Gloria,” I corrected.

“‘Her name is Gloria’,” Steff repeated in a gushy, overwrought voice, clasping her hands and holding them to her chest. “Oh, Mack, you are crushing so hard… and honestly, it’s adorable, but I think you should probably think about getting a new sparring partner next week.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because staring at your new lady-love’s rack for an hour isn’t going to teach you anything you don’t learn from hanging out with Amy,” Steff said.

“What, are you jealous of her or something?” I asked.

“Jealous? Of her? Oh, no, honey… no,” Steff said. “I don’t do the whole jealousy thing if I can avoid it, and I wouldn’t do it for her. I could order you to look for a new partner, you know… I’m not sure it’s a good idea for her to have too much insight into your fighting style.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked. “I don’t have a fighting style.”

“I’m just saying, if I had your particular heritage, I’d be a little nervous about letting a hardcore Khersian spend a couple hours a week practicing getting through my defense,” Steff said.

“You are jealous,” I said.

“I’m not!” Steff insisted. “And I’m not going to push this… but just… think about it, okay? I don’t want to see you getting hurt here, in any sense of the word.”

“You were getting all hot and bothered by the idea of Callahan decking me,” I reminded her.

Harmed, then,” Steff said. “You aren’t emotionally invulnerable.”

“I’m tough,” I protested. “Sort of.”

She laughed.

“You really are, though,” she said. “Sort of. I mean, Amy and I both have gone to pieces in different ways and it’s you who puts everything back together… with a little prompting sometimes, maybe, but in a lot of ways you are the strong one in the group.”

“In one way, maybe,” I said. “Physically.”

She punched me on the arm. Really hard.

I didn’t so much say “ow” as much as just shriek in pain.

“What was that for?” I asked, rubbing around the spot that felt bruised.

“Making a point,” she said. “Or trying to, though you don’t make it easy. Anyway, just because Glorious Gloria’s out of reach doesn’t mean you have to go without… you know I’m always here for you.”

She looked at me, with her eyes that filled so quickly and completely with longing.

“I know,” I said, trying unsuccessfully to tear my eyes away from hers. “And I want to… but… it will be better if we wait.”

“It really won’t,” she said, putting a hand on my cheek and smiling wistfully. “But it’s cute that you think so. Can we at least go make out a bit, then?”

“Okay… but we’re not going past second level,” I said. “Or first,” I said, realizing I wasn’t as confident on my definitions as I thought I’d been. “Which one’s the one where you can touch my breasts?”

Steff giggled and I blushed madly.

“You are just too adorable,” she said. “I’m through wanting… I’m officially stealing you. Amy’s going to have to wrassle me for you if she wants you back.”

“Somehow I don’t think she’ll mind the wrestling,” I said, and let myself be led away from the field, into the trees, where I learned that kissing Steff was nothing like kissing Amaranth.

I couldn’t stop myself from wondering if it was a boy/girl thing, but I quickly concluded it was more that Amaranth was Amaranth and Steff was Steff. I couldn’t imagine that making out with anybody else would be like either of them. Steff’s kisses–and her hands under my clothes–were insistent and forceful, restrained but at the point of bursting. There was no missing the telltale sign of her physical sex now… doubly so when my hand went under her skirt and felt it, through her panties.

Aren’t elves supposed to be willowy? I thought, wildly. I wanted to tell her forget waiting, fuck waiting, she could put it in my mouth… but all the words that I knew seemed to have turned to hot liquid and dribbled right out of my head.

I squirmed a bit when she straddled me and began to buck, but there were four layers of clothing between us… her underwear, her skirt, my jeans, and my underwear… and she was rubbing against my midriff as much as… anywhere else. Even with the barriers between us, there were still twinges of panic each time I felt that hard mass brush beneath my waist, but Steff’s mouth was on mine and her hands held my wrists. It was comforting, in a weird way, to be pinned by her.

There was something wild and out of control about her, but I was under control. My body kept wanting to panic, but we–her and I–prevented it, together. Every time I thought it was going to overwhelm me, that I was going to start screaming or throw her off of me or worse, she’d bite my lip, hard, and I’d go limp, my resistance turning to water and flowing out of me.

Okay, I know I’m not making any sense here.

Finally, she made a kind of long sustained push, like she was trying to force herself through my clothes, through my body and possibly through the ground beneath me. She held herself like that, straining, for a surprisingly long time, then suddenly rolled off of me, pulling down her skirt and panties in the front. She was facing away from me, but I think she was coming on the ground. I didn’t try to look. I figured she’d turned away for a reason. It could have been that she didn’t want me to see her doing something so very masculine with her boy parts, but I doubted it.

After all, she’d made it very clear she wanted to fuck me in every way she could… at least one of which would make it very difficult for me not to see her thing. I think really the whole thing was more of her compromise: I said wait, so wait she would… but she’d still get herself off on me.

It worked, but I made up my mind to press Amaranth about asking Viktor, the first chance I got. If I was hot for Gloria, then I burned for Steff. I wanted to give her the pleasure she’d had to work so hard to get from me. I wanted her dick in me… in my mouth, anyway.

Hell, I’d even lick her balls, if she let me. If she wanted me to for some reason, I mean.

“You okay, honey?” she asked huskily, breathlessly… and I heard for the first time the barest hint in her voice of someone who could have been a half-elven boy named Steffain.

“Yeah,” I said. I was shaking the way you do after throwing up or a big scare, though I didn’t feel the least bit scared, except maybe in the rollercoaster or scary movie sense. Well, I’ve never actually been on a rollercoaster–I don’t like heights–but I assume it’s that same feeling.

I felt alive. I felt exhausted, though I hadn’t really done anything but lie there. My lower lip tingled, where Steff’s teeth had cut and dug uselessly into it. My clothes were a bigger mess than they’d been after weapons class. But Steff took me by the hand and we headed back towards Harlowe, and I have to say that mostly, I just felt good.

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One Response to “109: Mock Combats”

  1. pedestrian says:

    I would of expected Steff to make a joke
    about Glory-hole.

    Current score: 1