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Blackhawk Hall Ch. 02

Cerebus prepares for a journey while Christi helps Ari explore her feelings.
The Duke and Duchess had just dressed after bathing when Arilee walked into the bath room. She marveled for a moment that there was no evidence of the battle that had occurred there only a short time before. She found that she had to concentrate to maintain her composure in light of Christi wearing only a thin nightshirt, and Cerebus clad in only a pair of cotton pants.

"Excuse me – Ashtar wishes to speak with you."

Mindblind grunted and nodded his head. "That's a good sign for you, Ari. If Ashtar recognized that you're taking over for Gwen, you've got to be on the right track."

"Ari... I like that, Dear. How about you, Arilee?"

Arilee smiled. "It was always my nickname, but it has been a long time since anyone used it. I was always fond of it."

Christi smiled back at her. "Good. Do send Ashtar in, Ari. You might want to stay if he hasn't spoken to you about what happened. He's very thorough and he'll want to talk to us both about what we saw."

Arilee turned to fetch the man, but Ashtar appeared in the doorway and walked inside before Ari could take a step. "Many pardons for my most bad manners, but I am being much to anticipating seeing you again, my friends." He then turned to Arilee. "I am to be thanking you for conveying my greetings and asking please that you do remain."

"Okay," Ari responded with a nod to the dusky-skinned man. Even if she hadn’t known that he used magic, his crimson robes trimmed with strange arcane sigla would have certainly alerted her.

He stroked his goatee and smiled wide, revealing a perfect set of shining white teeth to her before turning back to the Duke and Duchess. "Very much bad magic has been bringing the wood trolls into your home. It is being very much strong Art to be breaking my wards, and stinking of evil blood magic it is being."

Christi threw up a hand in an exasperated gesture. "It doesn't make any damn sense. Why in the hells would a necromancer waste the energy to break our wards, and then teleport in wood trolls? Why not undead, or even a couple of imps?"

"Very much strange it is being. I am to be thinking a distraction it is being, but for what I am not knowing. Notice anything odd to be happening did any of you?"

Mindblind only shrugged, but Christi said, "I felt the wards break. That's what alerted me that something was wrong. That was unusual enough, because I'm not that strong in magic and I didn't have anything to do with the spell when it was cast."

Ashtar nodded. "Very strong magic being turned against your wards was, not strange is it that you were feeling its chilling touch. The wards I have been restoring, but thinking I am this is not being over."

Mindblind grunted and scrunched up his nose. "Wonderful. You got anything to help protect Ari here? She's new, doesn't have any training to fight, and it's just us up here. I'm not so concerned about the servants downstairs. Most of them can fight, and the guards do their job."

Ashtar flashed his bright white smile once again. "A new spell I am having made which should be helping. Bringing her to your side when in danger she is it will, if letting me cast it upon her she will."

"I would feel much better knowing that you would be with me if anything happens again. So, can Ashtar use his magic on you?" Christi inquired, looking over at the blonde servant.

"I think I would feel safer too."

Ashtar turned to Arilee. "Be not afraid. Being feeling nothing you will, and to be protecting you my magic shall."

The wizard intoned a chant and waved his arms in a series of complicated gestures in front of Arilee. She started when a faint glowing nimbus of light surrounded her for a moment. It vanished as quickly as it appeared, and she otherwise felt nothing.

Cerebus walked over and clapped Ashtar on the back. "Thanks. Your room is ready for you, like always. Stay as long as you want. We don't see enough of you now that you've ran off to study with Darkni."

"Good it is being to be here in Blackhawk Hall, old friend. From my studies, I am needing a break, and with good friends is that best to be taken. Intriguing this mystery is, and most interested am I being in its solving."

"Let me know if you figure anything out. Actually, you'll probably have to let Christi know." Cerebus then turned toward her. "There's some tough set himself up as a governor down in Darius. Considering I didn't appoint him, I thought I'd go down and ask him what the hell he thought he was up to."

Christi put a hand on her hip and scowled. "Nothing but an excuse to go carousing with the boys. I suppose you want me to stay here and keep this place in one piece while you're gone?"

"Well..."

Christi laughed. "I'm only kidding. Go and have fun, Cerebus. I got out of the Hall to go see Alicia a while ago, so it's your turn for a break. I'll take care of things while you're gone."

"I'll stop along the way and see if there’s been anything weird happening anywhere else."

Ashtar stretched and yawned, setting off a chain reaction that had both Christi and Arilee yawning as well. "Doubting that I am being. Targeting the Hall, this seems to me being. To my bed I am thinking I should be going."

"You're probably right,” Mindblind responded with a shrug. “Night, Ashtar."

****

The Duke and Duchess lay in bed after challenging each other to a game of chess that ended in a draw, as did nearly any contest that they engaged in.

"You sure you're okay with me going? I do want to get out for a while, but from what I've heard, there's something stinks about the way this tough is acting. I think Draxnog has his hands in it."

"It's fine, Dear. I guessed that there was more to it than an excuse to booze and get into bar fights. Ashtar is here, and his magic can help balance the loss of your sword if anything happens."

"Gonna be a bit lonely at night though," he hinted, edging in closer to her.

"Mmm – here too... Maybe," Christi said and twitched her eyebrows.

"Oh, so what's that about then?"

"Did you notice we had an audience again this evening?"

He kissed her neck before replying, "Nope. Guess I was too busy trying to win at first, and too busy trying not to lose in the end."

Christi stroked her fingertips over his hard member beneath the sheets as she spoke, "You were a little distracted in the armory too, apparently."

Now it was Mindblind's turn to raise his eyebrows, "Ari?"

Christi chuckled. "Mmm hmm. Birds could have flown in and started nesting in her mouth. I saw her in the doorway when I was bending over the table, and she only left when you filled my mouth up."

"She'll pick up on the cues eventually so she doesn't walk in on anything uncomfortable."

Her hand wrapped around him and squeezed. "I hope she doesn't. She's attracted to women, too."

"So that's what the maybe is about, huh?"

"I hope she wants to try it. She makes me flow like a river. I'm not the only one she's looking at either."

Cerebus let out a little growl and rubbed a finger over her nipple. "It's been a while since we had another girl in our bed."

"I owe you one for sharing with that troubadour, too."

"What was his name anyway?"

"I don't remember." Christi laughed, and then pulled down the front of his pants to wrap her hand around his naked cock. "I remember how good it felt having both of you inside me, though. Would you like to fuck Ari while I'm licking her clit, Cerebus?"

He growled again and bunched up her nightshirt to slip a finger between her legs. She was already soaking wet, and his finger penetrated her easily. "You know I would."

Christi sat up then and pulled off her nightshirt. Cerebus kicked the covers off and removed his pants as well. He barely had time to kick them away from his ankles before Christi straddled him and impaled herself on his cock.

Thoughts of sharing her love with Ari inflamed Christi’s passions, and she bucked up and down on his erection with wild abandon. Her juices ran down his shaft and soaked his balls, as well as the bed below.

The Duke grabbed her ass and thrust his hips upward every time she slammed down, while watching with rapt attention as her breasts bounced. Christi gasped each time his steel slid to the hilt in her sheath, and moaned each time she rose back up in preparation to slam her hips down once more.

Christi built rapidly toward release, screaming her pleasure and turned on to an incredible degree by her thoughts of Arilee – and taking control of the sexual play, something she did not do often. The room filled with the sounds of her cries, the wet sounds of her saturated pussy, and the clashing of bodies.

Christi had just risen to the full extension of her knees when her orgasm gripped her. Her head lolled back and her eyes tightly closed as she screamed her pleasure to the roof. The pitch of her scream spiked as her hips slammed down on him one last time. She fell forward on her hands, continuing to emit gasping cries as the waves of energy from her climax pulsed through her body.

A wicked grin crossed Mindblind's face as he gripped her hips hard. He held her in place, his great strength preventing any chance of wriggling free, and thrust his hips up at her, hard and fast.

Christi's eyes and mouth both opened wide and her breath caught in her throat. This lasted only a moment, however, as she loosed a loud wail immediately thereafter, varying in pitch with each thrust of his hips. Her body quaked uncontrollably as she continued to come, and come, and come.

Despite two closed doors and thick stone walls, the sounds of Christi's passion still reached Arilee's ears in her room down the hall. She lay in the bed that was now hers, her nipples painfully hard and her sex aching for attention. She had almost drifted off to sleep when they started, and the sounds of passion had entered into Ari’s waking dream.

The ache between her legs was too much to ignore, and almost without thought, she bunched up the nightgown she wore. A second later, her finger ran along the part of her moist, pink lips.

Ari stroked her finger in a feather-light caress up and down her parted lips, the sounds from the other room now quieted to the point that she could not hear them. She moaned, still in a near dreamlike state, thinking to assuage the ache just enough to sleep, now that the stimulus of the audible passion was gone.

In the master bedroom, Christi lay atop Cerebus, at last catching her breath. She had been forced to move her hips enough to cause him to slide free as soon as he had released her from his relentless assault. She had experienced perhaps the best string of multiple orgasms that had ever shaken her body, and now that she could think straight again, she was determined to give her man just as much pleasure.

She kissed him, and then smiled while moving to her hands and knees. It was his favorite position to take her, and thus one of her favorites as well, since he enjoyed it so much. When he got up, growling in anticipation, Christi said, "Wait until the last minute. I don't want you to have to touch yourself. I just want to feel you come on my ass and back the moment you pull out."

"You're taking a chance on getting knocked up that way, Babe."

"I don't care. I want it. I know you want it, too. I've got that amulet Devan gave me that can tell me if I'm pregnant, and she knows a spell that can fix it if I do. She would come if I had Ashtar call for her."

She growled then and wiggled her sexy ass at him. "I've got to learn that spell Alicia gave me so I can know when it's safe to just let you fill me up. Just take me, fuck me hard, and come all over my ass."

The sultry sound of her voice and her body offered up to him instantly killed any worries he’d contemplated. He moved forward and slipped between her velvety folds with a skill that revealed just how many times he had taken her this way, and how well he knew her body.

She had told him to fuck her hard, and that is exactly what he did. Christi’s hands and knees occasionally slid forward from the power of his thrusts, her breasts swinging like twin pendulums as she tried to maintain her balance against his power. Christi looked back over her shoulder when she could, her screams of pure pleasure mixed with sultry, carnal encouragement to take her even harder and faster, begging him to make her come again, and cover her in his seed.

Down the hall, the first audible scream jolted Arilee back to wakefulness. Her hand still lay between her legs, and the sounds once again caused her body to beg for fulfillment – even more intently than before.

Ari's fingers penetrated her this time. There could be no denying the need within her now. The sounds of passion from the other room inflamed her, and drifting so close to sleep caused the fantasy that emerged in her mind to take on a vivid life.

In her fantasy, the muffling of the sounds from down the hall was caused by Christi's legs straddling either side of her head. The dark haired woman leaned over Ari’s body to rub the blonde's clit, even as Arilee devoured the Duchess from below. Arilee’s fingers mimicked the thrusts of Cerebus' cock into her depths. Her nightgown bunched up even higher, and she rubbed her nipples with her free hand as her pleasure mounted.

Christi rose to a crescendo on her lover's cock at the same time as Arilee did so on her fingers. The Duchess had ceased to talk, close enough to release as to pass beyond the ability to form any articulate words. The grunts of exertion from the Duke revealed that he was close to his peak as well.

The Duchess tightly scrunched the bed coverings in her hands, every muscle in her body tightening for just an instant, and then she came. The loudest scream yet erupted from her as her entire body shivered from the chill her climax sent through her. Despite the summer heat, the sensation caused her to break out in gooseflesh.

Arilee's climax took her so near to Christi's release that the raven-haired woman's first scream had not yet ended when Ari's choked off one escaped her. Ari's bottom rhythmically humped up off the bed as the waves of her orgasm rolled through her body.

Cerebus pulled from Christi's tightly clenching depths with a loud, sharp growl. The first spurt of his semen splattered on her ass, dangerously close to the very moment when the flared head of his cock slipped free of her folds. With a grunting growl, he nestled his cock in the cleft between her buttocks and laid his hand over it. His next spurt left a sticky trail from halfway up her back all the way to her neck.

Ari was still quivering in orgasm when a faint flash of light shone through her closed eyelids. She opened her eyes and screamed when she saw a wood troll above her, raising a club to strike.

The Duke and Duchess both started when they heard the scream from down the hall. Before the scream ended, it suddenly sounded out even louder as Arilee appeared in the bed next to them, pulled there by Ashtar's spell. She still lay with her body revealed and her hand between her legs, fingers glistening with wetness.

Cerebus and Christi instantly reacted, pulling apart and moving into defensive postures. Twin flashes of light revealed a pair of wood trolls in the room.

Christi jumped above Arilee and kicked out at the nearest creature, crushing its windpipe and dropping it to the floor, where it choked for breath. The pooled semen in the cleft between Christi's buttocks dripped down onto Arilee's cheek as the Duchess launched the kick.

The second creature appeared within Mindblind's reach, and he took advantage of it. He wrapped his hand around the creature's neck and jerked it toward him. The creature dropped the rusty kitchen knife it held in surprise from the sudden action. The Duke easily lifted the creature above his head with one hand, and then raised the creature horizontal by squeezing his other hand into the creature's crotch. As soon as he had the filthy monster balanced, he hurled it across the room.

The wood troll hit the wall with a sickening thud and an audible crack. It slumped to the base of the wall in a broken heap like a marionette with cut strings. Three more successive flashes of light revealed more of the creatures.

Christi ducked down, pulling a pair of swords and a dagger from somewhere beneath the bed. With an easy grace, she tossed one of the swords to Cerebus, and dropped the dagger on the bed next to Arilee. The pair of fighters unsheathed their weapons and simultaneously sprang into action.

Arilee recovered from her fear and the disorientation of teleportation when the dagger landed on the bed next to her. She scrambled up to a kneeling position and grabbed the dagger, fumbling to remove it from its sheath. By the time she had revealed the blade, Christi had crossed the room to cut down one of the newly appeared creatures. An instant later, a mighty swipe of Cerebus' sword beheaded another. He spun with the follow through and cut a deep gash in the chest of the other creature, which had charged toward him with an upraised club.

More creatures appeared, the Duke and Duchess continuing to dispatch them almost the instant that the monsters arrived. One appeared in close to Christi, too close for her to bring her weapon to bear, and so she brought her knee up into its crotch.

The lack of reaction told Christi that the creature must be female, and she quickly added a punch to the thing's nose before it could lash out at her with its long claws.

Yet another wood troll appeared next to the bed, directly in front of Arilee, but with its back to her. She screamed and grasped the dagger in both hands, stabbing downward and hitting the monster between the shoulder blades. The creature jerked and looked at its arm in betrayal as it tried to reach back to the wound, only to find half of its body paralyzed. It collapsed to the floor a moment later, dragging the dagger from Arilee's hands to the floor with it.

Christi noticed that Ari had lost her dagger in the creature's spine when she dispatched the female troll a moment later, and hurried back toward the bed. Mindblind's sweeping style of fighting required a lot of room anyway, and he was better off not having anyone close so that he could battle unrestrained by friendly bodies in the way.

Cerebus dismembered another four creatures in mere moments as Christi jerked the dagger out of the creature at the base of the bed. The troll was struggling to rise with only half of its body obeying the commands from its brain. She slit the thing's throat before rising to hand the dagger back to Arilee.

No more of the monsters appeared, however, and a growling Kronk burst through the door at that moment as well – with Ashtar right behind him.

Cerebus bent down to wipe his blade on the tattered clothing one of the trolls wore. "Okay, this is getting old fast. Anybody hurt?"

Kronk shook his head in the negative. Ashtar said, "Not that we have been hearing. I will be trying to strengthen the wards, but much power there is being directed against them."

Mindblind looked down at his sword in disgust, the wipe across the creature's clothing having done little to clean it. Christi said, "I'll take care of the weapons. Go check on things."

Cerebus grunted, handed her the sword, and then proceeded to pull on the first clothes he came across. Christi turned to Arilee, "Are you okay?"

Arilee nodded, finding that she was strangely calm despite the chaos. "I'm fine."

"You have to watch out for bone. It will trap your weapon and the last thing you want is to lose your blade when there is more than one enemy about. Nice stab though, and at least you aren't covered in blood this time."

Christi grabbed a cloth from a dressing table near the bed, usually used to clean up after fun between the sheets, and to wipe down the dagger. Arilee reached up and found the dollop of cum on her cheek, thinking it was blood, and flushed in embarrassment when she realized what it was.

Christi smiled and put the dagger down, pulling Arilee's hand to her mouth and sucking one of the fingers clean. "Would you like a taste?" she asked while stroking the back of the blonde's hand.

The flush in Arilee's cheeks deepened, and Christi said, "I saw you watching us in the armory, and you seemed to have been enjoying yourself before all this started. Go ahead – it's alright. Have a little taste of your fantasy. I want you to."

Ari hesitantly brought her finger to her lips, and then shivered when she tasted the semen smeared on her fingertips. She realized that she was looking at Christi's nude body as she did so, and found that it didn't disturb her as much as it had before.

Christi shuddered with her. "He tastes good doesn't he?" She smiled and then added, "Help me get these cleaned off, and we'll go see if we can get in the bath. I'm covered in cum and blood and you looked a little sticky down below too."

The blood rose to Ari's cheeks once more. "Do you do it? Touch yourself, I mean?"

Christi smiled and handed Arilee the dagger to finish cleaning, taking up her own sword and another cloth to do the same. "Everybody does, Ari. I don't need to very often, because I always have Cerebus close at hand. I do it when he's away though, when I don't have anybody else to help me out."

The last had a note of suggestion in it, and Ari recognized it. She felt moisture gathering between her legs as she wiped the dagger. "He isn't upset by you being with another?"

Christi shook her head. "Not at all. He doesn't mind a surprise if it's a girl, and if it is another man, he's fine as long as he knows beforehand. We have a unique relationship. We understand that we have needs, and we don't deny them. We're dedicated to each other, and as far as we're concerned that's part of loving each other."

"That's so wonderful that you love each other so much."

Christi sheathed her sword, took the dagger from Ari to do the same, and then picked up Cerebus' sword to clean it. "It isn't all roses, but that is part of it too. We take out any frustrations in the courtyard, and that keeps us from fighting with words that cut deeper than any blade could."

Acting on a sudden burst of resolve, Arilee said, "I want to learn to fight, so you don't have to protect me."

"That's good. Cerebus will be going away for a while starting tomorrow, and I'll have plenty of time to teach you. I think you'll do better than you believe. I'm not just trying to make you feel good by telling you that you handle a dagger well."

Ari’s expression revealed her disbelief. "Do you really think so?"

Christi examined the blade she was cleaning and nodded in approval before sheathing the weapon. "I do. Come along, and we'll see if we're lucky enough to not have a bunch of stinking wood trolls floating in the bath. The water wasn't very dirty, so I left it in for the morning."

Arilee nodded and followed the Duchess down the hall, to the bath.

****

The baths were untouched, Christi speculating that the creatures were purposely teleported near where there were people present. Christi also checked Arilee's room and found that the troll that had appeared there was fortunately killed outside the room, thus avoiding any mess in her room.

After washing, the two women relaxed in the warm bath. Cerebus had peeked in and announced that everyone was fine. Only one servant downstairs had injured himself fleeing the creatures. The Duke dispatched servants to clean up the bedroom, and then went to speak with the city watch to determine whether there were any problems in the city. Ashtar restored the wards on the hall, strengthening them with additional layers of protection. He promised – with his back turned to the doorway – that he would restore Arilee's protective spell as soon as the two women were dressed.

"How did you learn to fight so well?" Ari asked as she lounged in the warm water.

"I had older brothers. I learned to fight them with my fists and my feet when they were younger, and then when they grew out of being brats, they helped my dad train me to use a sword. Dad was a mercenary, and he was training my brothers to follow in his footsteps. He thought it would be a good idea for me to know how to defend my virtue. He was surprised when I started whupping them all and eventually became a sellsword myself. He was a little disturbed by it at first, but once I started developing a reputation as someone who could be depended upon, he was fiercely proud of me."

"How did you meet Cerebus?"

"He, Thakkor, and the rest saw me fighting a couple of goblins and came rushing in to rescue me. I killed both of the goblins before any of them could reach me, and they asked me to join up with them. They looked to be a formidable bunch, so I agreed. Cerebus was the only one not trying to make passes at me – except Thakkor because he was already with Alicia – and he intrigued me. I just sort of crawled in his tent one night when I was feeling hot and things went from there."

"Have you been with a lot of men?"

"Well, being a mercenary lends itself to living in the moment, so I've known a few. How about you?"

Ari's eyes welled up a bit. "Only one. He... He was killed in an accident."

Christi edged over and laid her hand on Arilee's shoulder. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring up a painful memory."

Arilee sniffled and said, "No, it's okay. I brought it up. Have you... How did you..."

Christi guessed where Ari was leading and tried to help her finish, "Find out I was interested in girls?"

Arilee nodded to indicate that is what she had wanted to ask. Christi smiled and answered, "I guess I always sort of was. It bothered me a bit, like it does you, until I met Rochelle. She was a mercenary too – absolutely gorgeous, and a better fighter than me. We got drunk together one night and it just sort of happened. I'm glad it did."

"I don't know why I'm comfortable talking to you about things like this. I've never been able to talk to anyone about sex before."

"To be honest, I've been trying to make you feel comfortable. I want you to be able to talk to me about anything, so I can talk to you about anything. I had that with Gwen, and I'd really like to have it again with you."

"Did you and Gwen...” Ari paused for a moment to summon up the courage to finish. “Do things together?"

Christi laughed and stretched a bit. "No, she wasn't interested in other girls. She understood I was, and it didn't bother her. She liked hearing those stories as much as she did any of those about Cerebus, or other men."

"I'm not sure how I feel about it. I think about it sometimes, like I was..." Arilee stopped and blushed, realizing what she was about to say.

"Earlier when you were touching yourself – listening to us?" Christi said with a laugh and a wink. "It's okay – it hardly bothers me. I've got no problem with that whatsoever. If you ever feel like experimenting with your feelings, I'm just down the hall."

Ari's breath caught, and she found that she was staring at Christi's body beneath the water. Christi’s eyes wandered over Arilee’s body as well, just the slightest hints of hopeful anticipation in her eyes. Cerebus peeked back in the room again and shattered the moment.

"Everything is fine in town. More of them this time – just like here – but next to nobody hurt. One of the girls at over at Erotine's Arms stabbed one of them in the eye with a wooden dick she had laying beside her bed." He laughed from the memory of that sight. "You two better get out of there or you'll look like raisins for days."

"Fine – shoo then," Christi said with some irritation at him disrupting the moment she had been sharing with Arilee, which she thought might have led to something more.

"Everything okay?"

"Yes, just shoo so we can get out and get dressed."

Cerebus guessed what might be irritating his future wife, and he was no less intrigued by the prospect – or frustrated that he had interrupted it – than she.

****

The next morning, the Duke and Duchess stood facing each other in their bedroom. "I'm not going, and that's final."

Christi put her hands on her hips and stared hard at him. "I beg your pardon?"

"I'm not leaving with stinkin' wood trolls popping up in the Hall every few hours."

Christi's eyes narrowed and the tone of her reply plainly illustrated how she felt about what Cerebus had just said. "We can handle ourselves without you here to baby-sit, thank you."

"Sorry, I don't mean to make it sound that way. I just think I should be here."

Christi lifted a hand to his cheek. "Cerebus, it’s magic that's bringing them here, and you're hardly the best man to deal with that. That's why Ashtar is here. You have a rogue governor trying to set up shop out in the hinterlands, and you need to go check him out or smack some sense into him. You can find out if it's just us having problems with wood trolls appearing out of thin air, or if it's happening elsewhere too. That's where you need to be."

"Okay, but Ari stays in our room with you, and Kronk is staying upstairs while I'm gone. There were more of them this last time, and who is to say there might not be more than you can handle alone next time?"

Christi smiled. “Agreed. Now finish getting ready and get out of here. I'm going to take Ari out to the courtyard and start training her how to fight."

Cerebus grunted and said, "If those two critters she cut up aren't just flukes, she may have a little fight in her, that's for sure."

"I don't think they're flukes. She must be a natural born fighter."

Mindblind grunted again in response and finished dressing, as Christi did the same. When he was dressed, he kissed her goodbye and went downstairs to get his gear for the trip. Christi found Arilee leaving her room, heading in the direction of the master suite. "Do you need anything, Christi?"

"Something to eat. Let's go down to the kitchen and grab whatever they have cooking. I want to start teaching you how to fight today, if that's okay with you?"

"I hope I won't disappoint you."

Christi gestured for Arilee to follow her. "I don't think you will. Let's go eat so we won't be distracted by our stomachs rumbling."

"Shouldn't I change?" Ari asked while gesturing down at the rather pretty gown she was wearing.

"I'll pick you out something appropriate after we eat. Right now, I'm starving," Christi exclaimed and punctuated it with a laugh.

****

Arilee sat on the ground in the courtyard, panting, dripping with sweat, and aching all over. She and Christi had trained in the courtyard for a couple of hours, the second hour coming at Arilee's insistence. Christi had been ready to give her pupil a rest, thinking not to push the blonde too hard on the first day, but Arilee discovered that she enjoyed the training, and wanted to learn more.

She was questioning her decision now, but only a little. She seemed to be catching on quickly, and though she had never actually managed to land a punch or a kick on Christi, her teacher praised her for her form.

Christi put out a hand to help Arilee rise, which was the polite thing to do since she had planted Ari on her behind with a grab of her ankle a moment before. "I told Cerebus that you were a born fighter, and I was right. With a little practice, nobody is going to want to lay a hand on you without permission."

"I never touched you, though."

"I'd be pretty disappointed in myself if you did on your first day,” Christi responded, and then punctuated it with a laugh. “You missed a lot of opportunities to bring a knee up in my crotch. Don't forget that."

"It just seems cruel."

"If somebody is trying to kill you, why should you care? Kick them where they live. It will make them forget anything else for a few minutes. You can get away, or do more permanent damage then if necessary. I never miss an opportunity in a real fight, and I'll even use it on Cerebus if he's made me mad, or I need the breathing room."

"I'll try to remember."

"Let's go hit the bath. We're both going to be stinking to high heaven in a few minutes, and I'm sure your muscles are screaming at you. They'll be screaming worse tomorrow. We'll work on how to hold a dagger tomorrow, because you probably won't feel like much else. I like that you wanted to stay when I suggested that we stop for the day. It shows that you really want to learn."

Arilee smiled and wiped sweat out of her eyes. "Being attacked twice in one day by monsters makes me want to learn."

Christi grabbed the blonde’s hand and nodded toward the courtyard gate that led back into the Hall. The pair soon arrived upstairs to undress for their bath.

The combat with Arilee had the same effect on Christi that it always had when she faced Cerebus. There was more than sweat dripping beneath her linen skirt. Arilee's muscles, swollen from heavy use, gave her a lithe, sexy appearance that made Christi's mouth water. Noticing that Arilee paid a great deal of attention to her as the two undressed added to Christi’s arousal.

Christi and Arilee washed, and then settled back to let the heat soak into their muscles. Arilee was already starting to groan a little – the first hint of the pain and stiffness she would be feeling before long. On impulse, Christi floated over to massage her servant’s calves. Ari flinched a little at first, but then relaxed under Christi's practiced hands.

Christi moved forward a little, kneading Ari's muscles just above the knee. She moved her hands over the other woman, and as she did so, she let the patch of closely cropped hair on her mound brush over the blonde's leg. Just the faintest smile touched Christi's lips when she saw the catch in Arilee's breath every time her pussy brushed against the other woman.

Christi inched her hands forward a bit more to rub Ari's outer thighs with firm pressure. Ari's eyes had drooped closed, but they opened with Christi’s touch, and the Duchess could see just the hints of arousal in those eyes.

As she continued to knead Arilee's stiff muscles, Christi softly said, "I always get turned on when I spar with someone."

The catch in Ari's breath this time was more pronounced. Christi moved to straddle Arilee's leg, letting her sex rest upon it, and moving her hands so that one was massaging Ari's inner thigh as well. "I don't know why, but it just excites me that way. The heat of battle turns into another kind of heat, later on."

Ari started to breathe more quickly, and the flicker of arousal in her eyes grew stronger. Christi moved the hand on Ari's inner thigh a little higher, and the other to the crease where the blonde’s leg and hip met. "Did it make you feel that way at all?"

Arilee nodded, and Christi smiled when she felt the woman's thighs part. "You could entertain your curiosity and touch me, if you'd like. You'll always be afraid of your feelings and a little scared of them until you do, and they won't go away. If you try, you'll know for sure."

"I-I don't know."

Christi moved over next to the other woman, up on her knees so that her breasts were above the level of the steaming water. "One little touch won't hurt you, and then you'll know. Do you want to know if your feelings are real, or just a flight of fancy?"

Arilee's hand moved slowly, hesitantly toward Christi. She laid her palm over Christi's firm right breast, and Christi gasped from the touch. Ari flinched and pulled back just out of contact with the other woman's flesh, but then reached forward again and cupped Christi's breast in her hand.

"Mmm – that feels good. You have such soft hands."

"Your nipples are so hard," Ari absently remarked as she stared at her hand on the other woman's breast.

"You excite me."

Arilee ran a finger over Christi's stiff nipple and looked up into her eyes. "Really?"

"Gods, yes. You're making me so wet. Are you wet, Ari?"

The fascinated blonde nodded her head, moving her hand across to touch Christi's other nipple.

"Would you like to see how wet I am?" Christi asked and stood.

Arilee's hand slid down Christi's body as the Duchess stood, and came to rest on her mound when Christi was fully upright. Christi's legs parted, and Ari could feel the other woman quiver under her hand. Moving her fingers downward, she touched Christi's nether lips and shivered as well. Christi's folds felt much like her own beneath her fingers, but the closely cropped hair let her feel them with less obstruction. She slid a finger beyond the gently yielding pressure of Christi's labia, and felt an abundant, hot wetness coating her finger.

"Would you like me to touch you?"

Ari reluctantly tore her eyes away from Christi's sex, looking up into the other woman's eyes. "Yes," she softly answered.

Christi knelt back down in the water and ran a finger down Arilee's chest, over her tummy, and finally over her fuzzy nether lips. Christi didn’t hesitate in the slightest, and slipped a finger between those lips beneath the water.

Ari shuddered, and looked down through the gently lapping water at Christi's hand between her legs. Christi stroked Ari's folds, ready for far more than a touch. She was highly aroused, and she wanted to see this beautiful woman come. She really wanted to taste her, but she wasn't sure if she should push that far yet. Instead, she decided to see if Arilee was comfortable and aroused enough to climax on her fingers.

Christi slid two fingers into the blonde’s depths and moaned, "Mmm you're so tight. Does that feel good?"

"Oh yes."

Christi moaned again and stroked her fingers a little faster. She pulled the digits free of Ari's depths to rub the wetness from within over the blonde’s labia, moving upward to make just the slightest contact with the woman's clit. Then, Christi’s fingers slipped back inside, to stroke a bit faster than before.

The two women’s eyes locked as Christi's fingers continued to dance over Ari, and within her. Arilee's face grew flushed, and her contracting muscles squeezed Christi’s fingers even more tightly.

Christi moved to rub her fingers over Ari's clit, then – fast little circles that stoked the other woman's fires high, as evidenced by her expression of pleasure.

"Oh – oh – oh – gods," Arilee gasped as her pleasure mounted toward a crescendo.

"Mmm – yes. Come for me, Ari."

"I-I-I'm...” Ari squealed in a high-pitched tone, and then she yelped as she climaxed.

Both women quivered as Ari’s emotions were buoyed upward by the swell of her released pleasure. Arilee moaned in deep contentment as her orgasm played out, Christi continuing to gently stroke her pussy until Arilee slumped with a final gasp.

Christi quickly brought her fingers to her lips, tasting Ari's juices and feeling a shiver run through her with even that diluted taste. "Did it feel good?"

"Oh yes – it feels so good."

"I want you to do it for me. Please."

Ari gasped and paused for a moment. She then shifted to face the other woman, who parted her legs beneath the water. Ari reached out and slipped a finger into Christi's warm embrace. "It feels so different from me, without all the hair."

"Mmm I could trim you if you like, or shave you. I would prefer to shave, but Cerebus says it makes me look like a little girl, not a woman."

"Is this right?"

"Very right,” Christi breathed, “You know what makes you feel good. Do it for me."

Arilee began to experiment, now completely absorbed in the feeling of her fingers penetrating another woman for the first time, and the breathless pleasure evident in Christi's face. She moved in the water to sit next to Christi, an angle that was closer to when she sated her own needs. The change seemed to work, because Christi writhed under her touch.

"That feels so good, Ari. Please don't stop."

Both women soon breathed heavily, and Arilee reached out with her other hand on impulse to rub Christi's nipple. The resulting moan told Ari without a doubt that it was a good idea. Christi's hips bucked up and down steadily, and she caressed Ari's face as her pleasure mounted.

"Oh! Ah! Oh, Arilee – yes! I'm there!"

Christi shuddered and a quiet, quavering moan of release escaped her. When her orgasm played out, she turned to see Arilee looking into her eyes with fascination and arousal. Still finding her tongue hard to control after her orgasm, Christi asked, "S-so what do you think?"

Arilee blushed. "I don't think I'm afraid of my feelings any more."

Christi moaned in anticipation of more to come, and stroked Arilee's cheek. "Good, because I would hate to not feel your soft hands on me again."

The pair sat very close together, and Ari's lips slightly parted as she looked at the Duchess. Without a word passing between them, the two women leaned forward together and kissed.

There was certainly more to come.

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