Title: "Still before the Gale"|
Characters: Kess, Sisi, Bo
Rating: Hard R
Warnings: femmeslash, quasi-ESP-twincest, semi-graphic sexuality
Summary: As the people of Manth sleep, Kestrel Hath finds an intimacy with her friend and with her brother that she never could have imagined. Set during the early chapters of Firesong. 1500 words (approx.)
Still before the Gale
It is the third straight night that the nomad people of Manth have slept on barren ground rimed with frost. Their firewood has run low, and what little there is must be conserved for cooking, and so they huddle for warmth. Children sleep with their parents. Creoth, erstwhile emperor and born-again cowherd, sleeps with his cattle, for their comfort and his own.
Kestrel and Sisi share their two thin blankets and the meager heat of their tired, thin bodies. Sisi, who, like Creoth, grew up resting her head on pillows so soft that they hardly seemed to be there, makes do, now, with her friend's rope-tight shoulder. As usual, she had fallen asleep before Kestrel was even through saying good night. Kess makes do with the ground. She is watching the stars wheel overhead.
Bowman, her brother, her other self, is on guard duty, a half-mile outside the camp on a low rise overlooking the dry riverbed along which they have been marching for days. His thoughts are agitated--whatever they may be, he does not wish her to touch his mind. He does not wish to share with her.
And so she lies there, the least isolated person in the camp, wrapped in her friend's arms, sensing the buzz of her brother's thoughts; and yet she is utterly alone.
In her sleep, Sisi's body gives a quick jerk. A dream. The former Jodhila twists her head to one side, and Kestrel can see the fever-white scar on her cheek, one of the pair of cicatrices that Sisi had chosen to accept, to give up her station, to give up her perfect beauty, in order to join with the homeless people of the former city of Aramanth. To be close to Bo.
Sisi rolls, burying her face in Kestrel's neck, and throwing an arm across her. Her feet kick. Still dreaming.
Soft sounds begin to seep into Kess's ear, sweet susurrations that aren't quite words, but which spill out, barely audible, unintelligible, from the lips that are lightly touching Kess's chin.
Kestrel grins in irritation. Sisi talks in her sleep many nights. Usually, she gives a brief burst--an order to her one-time handmaiden, Lunki, or a defiant refusal to Zohon, commander of her guard who had attempted to marry her to secure his own seizure of the throne of Gang. Sometimes bell-toned giggle. Generally, she falls immediately back into silence. But this evening the former princess mutters on, and soon it is clear where the urgency of this dream is directed.
"Bo," Sisi sighs into the crook below Kess's ear. To her annoyance, Kestrel feels a pulse in her brother's consciousness, as if he has heard Sisi.
O unhappy people, Kestrel thinks, as her friend's arms tighten around her. Soon, there is a gentle rocking as Sisi begins to rub her clenched thighs together.
Prophet, Kess groans inwardly, she's not!...
But she is. Soon, the frost-bitter air gains a new scent--the scent of Sisi's arousal, delicate as sea-foam. Under the thin, rough-spun shirt, the perfect princess breasts harden against Kestrel's arm, and Kess is distressed to find that her own nipples are answering them.
Fine, thinks Kess, fine. She'll bring herself to pleasure soon enough, and then we can get some sleep...
But her own body betrays her. Her heart is racing, and she can feel herself growing damp between her legs. Prophet!
Almost against her will, she slips her free hand beneath the waistband of her loose trousers, as she has not been able to do for days. Generally she uses her left hand, but that one is trapped beneath Sisi's rolling hip... The first touch of her middle finger against her own lips is so raw and cold that she gasps. Please don't let me wake her...
As she strokes herself, Kess can feel, can almost hear her body howling a welcome to its own desire. The lips part gently, and her finger soon is slick. A touch at the small nib... Yes.
Sisi groans and throws her leg across Kess's, so that the princess's damp sex is pressed up against Kess's thigh, and her knee pushes down on Kestrel's hand. Insistently, in time with Kestrel's own ministrations, Sisi begins to rock her pelvis against her friend's leg.
Now it is Kess's turn to groan. Unable to stop herself, she throws her outer leg over Sisi's invading one, and soon the two young women are pleasuring themselves, each against the other's thigh. Prophet, Kess thinks, her eyes pressed closed, never...
A wandering hand flutters across Kess's breast and begins to pinch the nipple that is ripening there. Kess opens her mouth to tell her friend to stop, asleep or no, but finds her mouth stopped instead, by a delicate, sharp pair of lips. A new moan vibrates between their tongues, and Kestrel does not know whether it is hers or Sisi's.
Her hands now free to move, and giving up all resistance, Kestrel lets her fingers dance across her friend's back, counting the ribs. The pressure of Sisi's leg against her sex, of her hand against her breast are so insistent that as her own body moves mindlessly against Sisi's, Kess's mind is filled with images of the body she is exploring--the high, round buttocks, the breasts, high as well, and aching to be nibbled at, the flat gap at the top of her legs where she so longs to plunge her own rigid flesh into Sisi's...
O Prophet. Even as the dance of their bodies continues, Kestrel realizes that all of the desire that has been possessing her has not been her own. This is why you wanted me to stay away! Kess thinks, as the vivid image flashes through her mind of Bowman pushing his keen shaft between the dewy lips that are sliding against Kestrel's thigh.
YES! comes back the call, O YESSSSS!
In answer. Sisi's body begins to convulse, and Kess's legs squeeze together of their own accord and her sex pulses against her friend's leg. O, yes! comes the cry, and Kess has no idea whether it is from her brother's mind, or her own, or from her friends lips, still pressed to hers. She feels a flowing outward, as if something had stopped the wind that had been blowing so insistently through their lives, so that suddenly everything is very still.
And then all three of them fall back into themselves. Sisi rolls over and curls her back against Kestrel's side. Kestrel spoons up behind her, dazed, her forearm pressed between her friend's two perfect breasts, her womb still pulsing gently. And she can sense Bo, weeping. His seed is cooling against his thigh, his tears are cooling along his cheek. I'm so sorry, Kess...
They, who have shared everything, have always allowed each other this privacy. When they were pleasuring themselves, they always gave each other the space to dream, and enjoy. And now Bo has not only broken that barrier, he has pleasured himself through Kestrel. I am so sorry...
It's all right, Kess sends the thought. I love you.
I want her so much, Bo's mind screams.
Then tell her, you idiot, Kess thinks, and she isn't irritated now, only loving. She wants nothing more in the world but you.
But I have to leave, Kess! Bo howls. You know that. How could I do that if I shared myself with her? What a horrible thing to do to someone so...
Perfect, I know, Kestrel sighs.
Now her brother's thoughts come quietly: And how can I come to her and keep what I have with you?
Kess sighs, and she can feel Sisi give a gentle shiver as she relaxes into deeper sleep. I don't know, Bo. And then she begins the troth pledge: I will pass my days within the sound of your voice, and my nights within the reach of your hand, and none shall come between us... And she whispers this to Sisi, whose buttocks are pressed against her stomach, even as she thinks it to Bo. Love you.
Love you too, Kess.
And Sisi mumbles something in her sleep, but as always it is unintelligible.
AN: This story is set during William Nicholson's Firesong, the third volume in the Wind on Fire series, between the end of the second chapter ("View from the Sourgum Tree") and the third ("Sisi's Kiss"). Sisi has, it turns out, been bitten by what Bo calls 'the passion fly' that tends to bring out your suppressed emotions--which may or may not have something to do with this piece. :-)