Most likely as a result of the environment in which I was raised, I’ve never really understood the dwellings of the Grasslander tribes, particularly not those of the Karayans. This isn’t to say I don’t like them, naturally. I do think them interesting and pleasant places, and there is a certain exotic quality to them that I have never quite been able to shake my liking of (despite my society’s best efforts). I still have trouble imagining living within them permanently, though. And perhaps my status as a foreigner is not entirely to blame…I secretly suspect that the Karayans aren’t entirely satisfied with their homes, either, for they typically spend most of their days in the outdoors.
These reflections are amongst my thoughts as I ride with my companions slowly through the new Karaya Village on horseback. We draw a few stares from the dark-skinned residents of the tribe, but overall are paid little attention. Ever since the great war over a year ago, the sight of Zexens and Grasslanders mingling in one another’s respective cultures has become much more frequent. Still uncommon, but no longer rare. It is a change I enjoy and have been doing my best to encourage. After all, if Zexen citizens begin to befriend the Karayans visiting their cities and towns, then the council will be forced to become accustomed to it as well. They manipulate and use people, but at the same time, they still must ultimately answer to the common people of our nation.
I frown at myself ever so slightly, realizing what I am thinking. Yet again, I have caught myself thinking angrily towards the council. It’s not that I don’t have reason, of course. I have a full buffet of reasons to dislike them for. But I worry that my steadily-growing distaste for them and their practices is slowly yet surely inserting itself into my manner and actions. More and more often, I find myself at odds with them over matters ranging anywhere from military to civilian. I cannot seem to help myself sometimes, and this bothers me greatly.
My gaze turns from the Karayans and their village to my compatriots riding their own steeds behind me. Two knights, Louis, and Borus. Extremely, no, ridiculously light security considering how dangerous the council still believes Karaya. And Borus is not even supposed to be here--he is forsaking his post to accompany me on this bi-annual conference between Vinay del Zexay and Karaya (which I and Lucia arranged before parting from Orange Castle last year). This light security is likely supposed to intimidate me; a silent threat by the council that they believe they have the means to make my life difficult and put me in danger at any time. That I am expendable if I prove to be too much trouble for them.
Thankfully for me, in this instance, what they consider enemy territory I consider an abode of very dear friends. As my small procession finally makes its stop before the residence of Lucia, chief of Karaya, I dismount calmly, maintaining as professional an attitude as I can when I see who is waiting to greet me.
“Hugo, how good to see you again,” I smile to the young man standing with his griffon outside the leader’s tent. He has grown since I saw him 6 months ago, physically and perhaps mentally, as any his age do. But there is still that boyish gleam to his eyes, the same which he has always had, whether engaging in play with Fubar, chiding Sergeant Joe, or helping I, Geddoe, Sasarai, and Thomas to lead so many in war.
He grins to me. “Great to see you, too, Lady Chris. Lucia has sent me to greet you and your fellow Zexens to our village. Borus, Louis, a pleasure to see you again as well.”
Louis returns his greeting cheerfully, while Borus simply nods his head. The other two soldiers with us have dismounted, and I hide a small smile at seeing how nervously they glance about, how their arms carefully never stray far from their sheathed swords, and how hard they try to hide their unease from myself and Hugo. New recruits, obviously.
“If you’ll follow me,” Hugo continued formally, “Karaya and Vinay del Zexay can begin their discussions.”
I nod. There will be a time for pleasantries with my comrades in this village later, for catching up and for spending pleasant times with them. For now, though, Lady Chris Lightfellow has her duty to carry out, and Hugo has been charged with his. I nod to my companions, and the five of us follow Hugo into Lucia’s home.
The inside is a well-lit, relatively small dwelling filled with the many tools and comforts the Grasslanders enjoy and use. I cannot profess to really know what most of them are. In the center of the main room, Lucia sits at a table surrounded by a few Karayan warriors.
In stark contrast to her son, Lucia seems not to have aged a day since I last saw her half a year ago at one of these conferences. Nor, for that matter, even since the very first time I ever saw her several years ago. Time seems sometimes to have as little malice for her as it does for a holder of a True Rune. Her strong face holds no clues to any who wish to know her years; it could just as easily belong to a Karayan my own age. Her strong, lithe limbs are taut and smooth as ever, and her eyes still burn with that fire that knows no age. As usual, Lucia continues to look nearly my own age despite her nearly 20 years seniority.
“Welcome to my abode, Silver Maiden of Vinay del Zexay,” Lucia says, rising from her seat to smile and extend her hand to me. “It is good to see you well, Chris.”
I smile back at my friend, taking her hand happily. “Likewise, Lucia. I’m pleased to see that your village now seems to be completely rebuilt and functioning.”
She nods, pleased. “Yes, it has been for a few months now. We’ve all become quite settled in our new home.”
She sits back down, motioning for I and my companions to do the same. “Well, Captain, shall we begin?”
I nod, and Borus, Louis, and I all sit, while my two knights stand at attention in their slightly nervous manner. Hugo goes to take his place beside his mother, and the meeting is commenced. This conference is an idea that she and I had before parting ways from Orange, fairly shortly after we’d had sex that day. The idea had been that whether in war or peace, the two military leaders of Karaya (which is the closest to leader tribe that the Grasslands have) and Vinay del Zexay should meet for a single conference to discuss the status of relations between the Grasslanders and Zexens, and see if any solutions could be brought about to whatever problems might be plaguing relations between our peoples. Because of their recent veto on actual peace-talks and treaties with the Grasslanders despite Salome’s best efforts, the Zexen Council was at least willing to compromise and allow me this request when I brought it forth.
At the moment, though, Vinay del Zexay and the Grasslands are actually on fairly better terms than usual, even from the perspective of the overly aggressive council. This comes mainly from the actions of Tinto to the south. They have so far been testing their boundaries, and it is feared that they will soon want to expand into Zexen territory, having failed several decades ago to rout the Grasslanders from their lands. Thus, most military attention and discomfort of my country is directed at this new problem, and not so much at its traditional Grassland foes. At the same time, the Grassland nations are showing less aggressive interest in Vinay del Zexay as well, for they still carry a heavy grudge against Tinto and its people. There may even come a time when both sides cooperate against this common enemy. If there must be conflict again, I hope that this will be the case.
Thanks to the unusually-agreeable circumstances of our nations’ relationship, the meeting’s contents are mostly focused on smaller troubles, such as economic difficulties and minor incidences of disturbance, along with possible plans for the future. Though Boris and Hugo both occasionally participate in the discussion, it is mostly a talk between I and Lucia. She is an enjoyable conversationalist, even on such professional a subject--enthusiastic, energetic, and eager, always persisting for the best situation she can get from me for her tribe. Even as we argue, I enjoy the fact that we can do such without open hostilities now, as two friends on differing sides of a debate rather than enemies. Though I must admit that my two knights do look increasingly tense as time goes on; still, all things considered, they’re handling themselves fairly well for all the propaganda has prepared them for.
Finally, the discussion wears down as the window pane shows the sun’s slow descent down to the horizon is nearly complete. Some fair progress has been made, I believe, as Lucia suggests that we end this meeting for rest and preparation for our return to Vinay del Zexay. Her side of the table and mine all rise to leave, but Lucia stops me and asks that I might stay for a time for a private discussion between commanders only. Boris turns to me questioning, and I nod, wondering what Lucia might want further of me. Boris nods back, and soon the dwelling is empty save Lucia and I.
Lucia smiles in a tired way and stretches her arms a bit, not making any motions for me to sit back down. “Phew,” she sighs, “I really do hate formal meetings like this…”
Seeing that Lucia’s letting herself relax, I do as well, dropping my usual stiffly formal posture and allowing myself to stand at ease. “I’m not too fond of them myself,” I answer her. “I do appreciate your being willing to go through with these talks twice a year with me. It could be very important someday.”
She nods as she finishes her stretch, strangely fierce eyes slanted in a knowing smile. “Yes, I know. It’s a small price to pay for any potential peace…besides, it gives Hugo a chance to learn a little about peace-talks with Zexens. He’s getting old enough that I need to seriously start grooming him to take over soon. I’m not going to be strong for too many more years, I’m afraid.”
My eyebrow raises on its own as I reply, “Really? You seem as strong and able as any half your age, in battle…or out.”
Her mouth parts in a small grin as she picks up my meaning. “Actually, Chris, speaking of that, the reason I asked you to stay behind is that I was wondering if you’d like to do that again.”
Do that again…? My mind doesn’t comprehend for a moment, then suddenly realizes what she’s asking. “You mean you want to have sex again?”
She nods. “Why, if I might ask?” I say. I do so not out of any unpleasant reaction to the idea, but rather out of simple curiosity, for the main reason that we were together last time no longer really applies.
She shrugs, staring as unemotionally at me as her emotional eyes are able. “None beyond personal satisfaction this time. You’re very skilled and attractive, and I would enjoy the opportunity to be with you again if you wanted. You were with too many companions last time you visited here for me to mention it.”
“Just sex for its own sake, then?” I ask.
She shrugs again. “I suppose you could say that, yes.”
I have to think for a moment about the proposal. Thus far, my occasional intimacies with women have always had a factor of personal attraction and lust involved, but overall been for a more emotionally-centered cause than simply that. It’s actually a fairly new idea to me to have sex just for pleasure.
Not an idea I dislike, though. Lucia may claim to be in late middle age by mental reckoning, but her lithe, taut dark body, powerful and graceful, would be the envy of any woman my own age. The hard, physical life of a Karayan has preserved her skin and form very well from the effects of time that many Zexens feel with their more comfortable, complacent lifestyle. And as I have discovered in the past, she is quite adept sexually (I have remembered being with her on many lonely nights, to be truthful!).
“Alright, Lucia,” I respond agreeably, vocally masking my excitement at this new idea, “I would like that.”
We waste no time after these words shedding our attire. She is done quite quickly disrobing herself of the simple, free Karayan clothing, leaving me to gaze as I also undress at her near-flawless physique. My memories made no exaggerations; if anything, they dampened the powerful effect seeing her has upon me. Her limbs are toned and powerful, her stomach taut and strong, her bosom supple and alluring, her face powerful and beautiful also. Nowhere on her dark, smooth body did she give any indication of being even a year my senior, let alone over a decade. Her skin is a bit darker than I remember, and her hair a bit brighter a yellow. Perhaps the return from the indoor life at Orange Castle to the outdoors life in the sun at Karaya is the cause. Whatever the case, however, the sight of her standing confidently naked before me is quite arousing, and I hurry as fast as I can to divest myself of my remaining armor and undergarments.
After a few minutes, my armor is piled about me on the floor (how Salome would look discouragingly at it so neglected), and I step forward as bare as my friend to initiate a deep kiss. There is no slow beginning to it, no teasing and sweet start. It is hard and strong from the very opening. Our lips crush one against each other as we lift our arms around one another, drawing ourselves together tightly, very tightly. I open my mouth in our kiss to groan slightly as I feel her large breasts pressed hard against my own, and she takes this as an invitation to slip her tongue into my mouth and seek out my own tongue. I raise mine to meet her, and begin to return her oral caresses.
Both I and Lucia let slip an occasional muffled grunt of lust as we kiss, each of us getting further and further aroused as we begin to rub our tightly embraced bodies against one another. I particularly enjoy the warm pleasure I get as my nipples brush against hers every so often and the steady stream of pleasant feelings coming from where my vagina presses and moves against her. It is quickly turning us on further and further.
Finally, perhaps no longer able to resist going on, she pushes away from me for a moment, and we both stand gasping slightly. The moment passes, and she comes forward to lay her hands upon my shoulders and gently push down. I comply, allowing her to guide me lower until I sit with legs spread upon the cool, soft sod floor of her tent, leaning back upon my two arms.
Lucia lowers herself to her knees beside me, gives me a quick, if intense, kiss, and then gets on all fours. I watch, breathing rapidly in anticipation, as she lowers her head to hover mere centimeters over my very needy core. Her fingers part my lips, and she moves her mouth closer, almost giving me another kiss on different lips.
Even though I am very eagerly waiting for it, her first tongue’s touch still sends a shock through me as she quickly thrusts it within me. And the first shock is not the last by far. She is quickly lapping at me forcefully, licking my insides strongly and bringing me into a sea of bliss I have too long been ashore from.
As she does this, bringing me slowly but surely close to orgasm, I lean forward (careful not to upset her lovely rhythm), bringing my hands to her smooth, strong back to keep my balance. I lean slightly over, still using her body as my balance, to get a better reach to my goal. Once I am sure I have adequate space, I move one of my arms to rest on her rear cheeks, curling my hand down and inserting my first two fingers into her too-ready vagina.
A tremor runs through her, and I can both hear and feel her gasp into me (an interesting feeling, I assure you) at the unexpected invasion. I quickly set to work, stroking her quickly and moving my digits further in and out at a set pace. She gently begins to move herself against them with each thrust, quietly moaning every now and then into me.
She still has quite a head start on me, though, and her lovely relentlessly persists, performing its wonderful service within me, and now strongly stroking against my clitoris. It’s not long until, unsteadily jerking (to her pleasure) and breathing in small, short gasps, I climax, forgetting all else in the world save the lovely, blissful enrapture that she has brought me. Through it all, I continue to finger her as best I can, and she continues to lick me, now greedily lapping at the small amount of fluid I release. Finally, as I begin to come down from my orgasm, and as she is busily thrusting hard against my penetrating digits, so very near her own goal, I move my two fingers slightly apart, and lightly pinch her erect bud. With a few spasms, I feel her inner walls clench my fingers in orgasm.
We both break away from each other for a moment, breathing deeply and letting ourselves calm down a little from what we just experienced. Remembering how much she enjoyed doing so in our last encounter, I offer her my hand, slick with her juices. She smiles and leans forward to gently lick it clean, an act that arouses me once more.
I slowly draw my hand away from her, lowering it to a position right over her womanhood. I gently brush against it with my fingers, enjoying its feel, and look to her face. She smiles and nods approval, ready for more. Drawing on technique from last time, I draw my fingers together into a single point, and carefully begin to ease them into Lucia. She trembles a little as my hand sinks in up to its knuckles.
Once comfortably inside (better than comfortably from her perspective), I cautiously spread my fingers a little (caution is always a good policy to follow in such matters!), just enough to cause major pressure within her from all sides. As her breathing becomes shallow, I slowly push a little further in, then pull back a little. I begin to repeat this cycle, slowly at first, then with increasing speed and vigor. I keep this up until she is so close once more to orgasm that she practically bucks against my hand.
With my remaining hand, I reach up and lightly pinch one of her nipples, encircling the other with my mouth. At nearly the same time, I give one final thrust, opening my hand inside as much as I dare to, pushing against her walls almost harshly. With a soft cry, she climaxes, her body pushing against my hand with its own great pressure. I wait until her insides have stopped pushing and the rest of her stops shaking to retrieve my now somewhat sore hand.
“Chris,” Lucia tells me, eyes half-lidded, “you are…quite incredible. Thank you very much.”
“And thank you as well,” I reply equally gratefully. “It’s been a long time since I allowed myself this pleasure…far too long, I think.”
We sit for a moment longer, still somewhat recovering from our endeavors, before she speaks once more. “Well, I don’t suppose anyone will be coming to check on us for a little while longer…feel up for some more?”
“Of course,” I respond cheerfully. “After all, I believe that right now you owe me one.”
She smiles deviously. “Why, so I do. Let’s remedy that.”