Partners

Locke, stumbling under the weight of her packs, swung to a halt in front of a wooden door. Her short, reddish-brown bangs slipped back in front of her eyes and she blew up at them to move them. They promptly covered her eyes again. Ignoring them, she balanced on one foot and tried to push open the door.

It wouldn’t budge.

Looking over, she noticed the hinges were on the wrong side of the door and she didn’t have any hands free. Pushing back the minor surge of frustration, she stepped back and tried to focus her thoughts. A low grumble escaped her through before she cleared her throat and sung out a few notes of a song. The noise easily rang off the door for a moment before it clicked and swung open.

The need to scratch under her armor growing, she hurried into the room and dropped everything the moment she entered the door. Her saddlebags landed on their side and the twine holding them together for the last moon finally snapped. Soggy clothes and tiny objects cascaded out of the bag as she watched with helpless frustration. From the bottom of the pack, where she thought she packed it carefully, a thick book slid out. Its edges were ragged and soaked; a few of them were half out from where the binding broke. The leather cover was scratched, burned, torn, and stained. Overall, it looked in worse shape than anything else in the pack. With a murmur, she bent over to pick it up and winced.

One hand automatically flew to her side, where the hard ridges of her armor dug painfully into her side. Her other hand grasped the book firmly and she pulled herself back into standing position.

The book dripped something vile and smelly on her foot.

Making a face, she set the book down on a small table next to the door and took a deep breath. Her armor dug into her side again with her movement until she let the breath go in an explosive sigh.

“You didn’t need to spell open the door, I was about to get up.”

The soft, sweet voice brought Locke’s attention to the room and she looked up. On the other side of the room, behind a small table, was Silp. Seven winters younger than Locke, she was wrapped in a thin, silk robe the color of sapphire. The two small swells of her breasts peeked through the slit of the robe, but Locke was already looking at the table.

In her hand, Silp held a brush. Her palm was pointed away from her with the brush being held near the top by two delicate fingers. The middle of the brush rested against Silp’s palm as it continued to swirl out black letters on the rough paper below.

Brilliant blue eyes, the color of summer peeked out from a waterfall of blond hair and Locke felt some of the stress begin to ease away. The blond noticed the silence.

“Problems?”

“Yes,” Locke’s voice was harsh, almost grating.

“Need to talk about it?”

The blue eyes were starting at her and Locke suddenly felt the need to remove her armor. Fingers fumbling with the straps, she worked at them until her fingers protested from the effort.

Suddenly, Silp’s hands stroked along hers and Locked smelled a faint scent of jasmine in the air. Looking up at the smile, she let her fingers drop as the younger woman easily unbuckled the armor. The smell of jasmine grew stronger before the leather finally slipped apart and Locke felt relief for the first time since the morning.

Letting loose a sigh of pleasure, she shrugged out of her armor and let it clang to the floor. Her breasts, finally free of the painful metal, sagged down against the cotton shirt she wore underneath. Her hand flew to her side, scratching vigorously at the red lines in her skin. Relief in her eyes, Locke sighed again.

Slip looked over her while shaking her head, “Why don’t you wear a heavier shirt? Even the knights do, and they are… men.”

“Not heroic.”

“More comfortable.”

“Not heroic enough.”

Bypassing the growing argument, Silp carefully stepped over the gear on the ground and reached out to close the door. It clicked silently shut. Turning around, Locke could feel the younger woman looking her over and blushed.

She wasn’t impressive looking, far from it. She was shorter than Silp by almost a quarter meter but made up with it in weight. Blowing her hair out of her face, she sighed again.

Gesturing to the armor at her feet, Locke muttered quietly, “I hate that thing. It pinches, gets cold at night, and does nothing toward being comfortable.”

Silp shrugged and glided back to her desk, but didn’t sit down.

“Why do you insist on wearing it then?”

Feeling frustrated, Locke glared for a second, “I told you, it’s tradition: all heroes have to wear armor. Men wear plate armor or loin clothes and women wear,” she glared at the metal breastplate, “this. Otherwise, I’d have to wear a chainmail bikini and that gives no protec-”

“At least it was better than what you were wearing when you first met me.”

A giggle escaped Locke’s lips, “Boiled leather breastplate, about four sizes too big. I never thought I’d see Prince Youvin’s eyes grow so big.”

A faint smile crossed the blond’s face, “Probably not as big as when we stole his jewels and ran for the border.”

“Nor when you turned him down for marriage, in front of the entire court.”

Both women shared the brief memory, of their first adventure almost five kilodays before. Locke finally looked up as saw Silp looking at her, with a strange emotion she didn’t recognize. Feeling the sky-blue gaze on her, the older woman found herself looking down to avoid blushing. Spying the armor, she stared at it while avoiding Silp’s gaze.

“Maybe if I keep wearing it, I’ll get used to it.”

Silp spoke softly, “Why don’t you take a bath instead?”

Feeling stubborn, Locke picked up the armor, “No, I think if I keep wearing-”

“Take a bath,” Silp’s voice took on a strange, almost haunting quality. A breeze of jasmine washed over her and the spectral words hummed in Locke’s ear. She tried to shake her mind clear, but her body felt distant for a moment.

Then, the world came back. Blinking, she looked around in confusion. She was in a bathroom, standing next to a huge bath. Steam rose from the surface and bubbles rose up from the center of the water. The scent of jasmine hung heavily in the air as she turned around.

Silp was standing there, still wrapped in her robe. Locke looked down and noticed she was naked. Nasty red lines ran along her sides, where the armor dug into her side and she sighed unhappily.

Then, a flicker of thought crossed her mind. Looking up, she narrowed her eyes at the faintly smiling woman.

“You charmed me!”

Silp shrugged, her fingers toying with the sapphire belt to her robe, “You were about to put on the armor.”

A brief surge of resement flared up, but Locke pushed it down. Even though the young priestess was right, she didn’t have to agree with her. Her eyes slide over to examine the steam drifting off the water. A hesitant look on her face, she stepped over and dipped on toe in the water. Her body ached for the bath, after so many nights of dirt and grim, but she hated when Silp was right.

Giving the priestess her best glare, she signed, “…wasn’t going to take a bath.”

Silp just smiled.

Turning away from the young woman, Locke stepped into the water, her toes briefly tingling from the heat before she moved deeper into the large pool. The steaming heat began to sink into her as the soft water lapped up against her body, tracing the curves as thin tendrils of dirt swirled away from here. Locke moved deeper into the pool until she could barely sit on the bottom with the water lapping at her breasts.

Her body finally relaxed and she let her shoulders slump. Then, the soft rustle of silk piqued her senses. Part of her felt a slight flush of excitement while another part of her dreaded the sound of Silp gently entering the water. In her mind, she could imagine the delicate pose, the briefest of pauses, then the soft gasp as she slipped into the water. A mere moment later, Locke smiled as she heard her friend of many years stepped into the water with a soft, almost inaudible moan.

Still feeling betrayed by Silp’s charm magics, Locke stared into the water and at the bubbles as the jasmine smell of Slip brushed up against her. A moment later, a hot, soapy spone pressed against her back.

Even as she resisted, Locke felt her stubborness melt and she leaned back against Silp’s firm hands. The delicate fingers rubbed at the hard knots of her muscles even as the sponge began to scrape off a moon’s worth of grime and dust.

The young woman’s voice broke through the silence a moment later, “What happened?”

Sighing, Locke shrugged, “Same thing as usual. Tried to find the hero and ended up with a loser. Thought I got it right this time, he wore the loincloth and had the big sword.”

“Big swords aren’t everything.”

“For the stories, they are. No one ever writes about a man with daggers.”

“Nightshade.”

“Besides him.”

Silp’s amused reply came after a moment, “Golis.”

“And him.”

“Erin Rockshid.”

Mentally cursing Silp’s formal education, Locke quieted for a moment as Silp dipped the sponge into the water and squeezed it over Locke’s back. Hot water cascaded down her back, leaving behind a faint tingle of pleasure.

Locke concentrated on her story and spoke up again, “Anyways, most of the stories are about two heroes. One man and one woman. He swings the sword and she has the magics.”

“Hagis and Sorn.”

“They were gay.”

“Laresin and Jivola.”

Locke frowned, “They got killed, fighting off that army.”

Silp didn’t say anything, so Locke continued, saying the words she’s been repeating for years, “And if I want to be a legend, I need to listen to…”

The words caught in her throat for a moment. Silp leaned forward, the tiny points of her breasts brushed against Locke’s back. Her arms wrapped around the older woman and gave her a brief squeeze.

“You’ll do it. So, how did this hero fail you?”

“Besides the usual?”

Silp made a noise of agreement and Locke sighed again. As she spoke, she brushed the bottom of the pool with her fingers.

“Apparently his big sword was to compensate for his inability to fight. I could fight better and I only use a short sword. And he had no respect when I was in pain.”

“Your time of the month?”

Locke nodded. Silp’s fingers, slick with soap reached up to massage her shoulders. The fingers were strong and firm, working at the tight knot of stress gathered at the base of Locke’s neck. The older woman sighed for a moment before continuing.

“I was feeling bad, so I wanted not to explore the dungeon that day. But, he kept pestering me to keep going and to do another run. So, I did. There was a nasty fight at the end, but we finally beat the thriban chief.”

“Was it a gray?”

Locke grunted in agreement before leaning back against the hands. Silp’s fingers moved out, working along the tense shoulders. Locke closed her eyes for a few moments and enjoyed the massage.

“So, we won. I was feeling cramps, but I couldn’t leave him alone with the treasure, so we went through it together. I found this doll…”

Memories flooded through Locke and she felt tears begin to gather in her eyes. Wiping them aside, she forced out the words, “And I started to cry, right there on the ground. He left me there, after telling me to get over it. When I got up, he was gone. He took most of my share of the treasure before he rode off and left me alone.”

“How did you get home?”

“Tesseract, he stole my horse.”

“Thought I felt your magics. So, you found another hero you can’t trust?”

“And he seemed to think that traveling together gave him rights to my bed.”

“They usually do. And…?”

“I tried to stab him with my sword. Would have succeeded, if the armor didn’t pinch so much.”

“Might be why he left you.”

“Should have listened to me when I said no.”

Slip’s fingers moved down, massaging Locke’s flanks as she changed position. The older women felt the smooth legs brush against each side of her as the younger woman made herself comfortable. A low warmth began to build inside her as she remembered the last time she was this close to Silp and naked; that last night before the battle was one of the most memorable in her life, but it always made her uncomfortable to remember it.

Lost in though, Locke almost jumped as Silp stroked her soapy hand around her neck and started to rub her throat from behind. Her fingers pressed against the ground until she realized the younger woman was being just as gentle, stroking along the line of her chin and move up her jaw. The words were lost to her as she leaned back slightly; the soft mounds of Silp’s breasts pressed against her back but she resisted the urge to pull away; with all the stress in her life, Silp’s affections didn’t seem as uncomfortable.

Firm fingers rubbed and caressed Locke’s jaw and moved up into her hair. There, they began to massage her head and Locke felt the breath in her chest catch for a moment.

“Umm, what are you doing?”

“Washing your hair,” came the sweet reply. The fingers continued to massage her scalp as the young woman rubbed closer against her body. Locke felt the surge of growing excitement, a tingling that reached to her toes, and leaned back slightly, letting some of the tension escape with a sigh.

Locke had nothing to say for a bit and she rested the back of her head on Silp’s shoulder as the young woman continued to massage her with quiet movements and a soft breath. To her surprise, the pleasure was building inside her, bringing her thoughts back to the erotic memories scattered through the time she and Silp were togeather.

The caressing hands slipped down along her back, tracing the line of her spine until they splashed into the water. Locke could feel Silp soaping up her hands once again under the water but she was too caught in memories to care; her body was beginning to warm up, sending a sensual pleasure to build inside her. The sponge came up and dribbled wate along her shoulders and neck, washing away the sweet-smelling soap into white cascades of bubbles.

Through the fog of memories, Locke felt Silp wrapping her legs around her waist, pulling them closer until the firm breasts pressed up against her back; the flush inside her was growing hotter, almost to the point it felt like her body was almost as hot as the water lapping around her.

Locke looked over, seeing the clear blue eyes less than centimeters away. Her breath was coming in soft gasps, “What are you doing now?”

She already knew the answer as one finger slipped down and brushed soap along her right nipple before Silp answered with a smile.

“Washing you.”

Locke’s voice was almost a strangled whisper, “Why?”

Silp shrugged, her other hand dipping below to stroke along the hardening nipple, “For the five years I’ve known you, you have gone through dozens of so-called heroes, each one more violent and self-centered than the ones before him.”

Even as she spoke, Locke realized that her previous passion was fading, “I just haven’t found the right-”

The younger woman interrupted easily, her fingers tweaking Locke into a brief silence.

“And you have focused so much on finding the right man, that you may be missing out on your real hero.”

Looking around with a burning fascination, Locke peered around the bathroom, “A hero? Where?”

Smiling to herself, Silp gently cupped Locke’s breasts and pulled her closer until her mouth kissed Locke lightly on the side of her neck, right at the crook. Emotions flared inside Locke as she froze; her mind felt torn as fear, excitement, anger, and regret raged inside her. Then, slowly the emotions focused on another emotion as she realized that Slip was talking about more than just adventure. Her emotions slid toward a single one, one that sent her entire body tingling with desire, hope, and excitement.

Love.

Her entire world felt alive, sensing every quickly beating pulse of both of their bodies as the warm lips moved up a centimeters and kissed again.

Frozen in space, Locke felt Silp trail a series of tiny, almost hesitate kisses up to her earlobe. The soft lips sucked in the end and bit lightly, sending a quiver of pleasure down her spine. The fingers on her breasts squeezed very gently as Silp’s fingers rubbed against her aching nipples.

“Silp?”

The younger woman hissed softly in her ear, “Shush. I’m finding you a hero.”

“How do-”

“Shush,” Silp punctuated her word with a slight tug on Locke’s nipple. The older woman felt a sudden need and moaned softly, almost unwittingly. The hands continued to stroke her body as the mouth nibbled on her ear. The younger woman shifted her body until her legs tightly held Locke, but her mouth continued to suck and nibble on the ear, teasing the folds as the fingers explore the smooth curves of her breasts.

Silp’s feet pushed down, between Locke’s, and moved out until the delicate toes were nuzzled underneath her knees. Locke barely noticed as she moaned again, the sensations filling her. She felt every brush of skin and even hint of jasmine in the air. And somehow, she felt a warmth racing through her that she never felt before.

The fingers at her breasts were teasing the area around her nipples, sliding close to those aching points and away, never close enough to satisfy the need that was quickly building inside her.

Locke moaned again, licking her lips, as she brought her hands up to her own breasts, covering Silp’s with hers and feeling the younger woman exploring. She tried to guide the fingers to her nipples, but Silp continued to circle around, never reaching.

The feet between her legs began to build pressure, pressing outward. Locke resisted for a moment, then let the beauty spread her legs with almost an expectant hiss of pleasure. She felt the hot water slip along her labia, already flush with excitement, in tiny swirls.

She looked down, seeing only the soapy hands on her breasts and feeling Silp’s breath on her ear. The young woman curled her fingers around hers and gently guided them down to her own sex. Needing something, Locke stroked her fingers against her womanhood, exploring the curves she knew intimately.

Silp’s fingers untangled themselves from Locke’s and slid back up her stomach to cub the breasts once more. The older woman started to pull her fingers away, but a tiny nip on her ear stopped her. Silp’s whisper was barely heard over the pounding of her heart.

“Stay there… love.”

The word “love” swirled around in Locke’s mind as she brought her fingers back to her sex. Her index finger, working almost on it’s own, easily rocked back and forth, parting the delicate folds to reach the hard nub of her clitoris. Her other hand reached further down, stroking along the sensitive flesh until warm washes of pleasure began to curl inside her.

Silp kissed her on the ear and moved her lips, just barely touching her skin, around the back of her neck. Automatically, Locke bent her head the other way, giving her as much access to the region. Silp kissed light at the base of her jaw, then began to nuzzle, suck, and nip lightly along the shoulder. Locke felt the pleasure growing, sending warm heat from her shoulders, neck, nipples, and sex. Her lower finger found her opening, a tiny entrance. The finger pushed inside, guided by a need to release.

Another finger followed quickly, plunging in and out as Locke felt her breath quicken. The soft mouth on her shoulder made thinking difficult, but she lost herself in the build warmth. Silp’s fingers continued to tease and explore her breasts, barely touching the erect nipples before slipping away.

Locke rubbed her clitoris faster, her back arching slightly as she strained to experience every sensation from the warm mouth now reaching her shoulder. The fingers around her breasts slipped to her side, exploring the delicate areas of her flanks. Bordering on ticklish, the light fingers sent the frenzy of heat higher inside her and she quickened her thrusting inside her body.

She felt the stirrings of her orgasm begin to grow. A hint of pleasure just over the next crest of warmth. It grew inside her, linking her nipples to her clitoris to her shoulder. The soft mouth of Silp burned against her skin as the roaming fingers slid down to her hips to tease the curve of her bone.

Fingering faster, Locke tried to pull herself over the crest of pleasure, to reach a release, but the hot caresses seemed to just raise it further away, bringing the heights of pleasure just out of reach.

Silp’s fingers moved inward, stroking along the line of her leg and hip before they brushed against Locke’s frantically moving ones. She pressed her palm against the back of the older woman’s hands, pushing the fingers deeper inside. One delicate finger, neatly trimmed, pushed into the tight opening, joining Locke’s two.

A gasp of surprise and pleasure escaped Locke as she leaned back. Her entire body felt like it was shaking from her pounding heart as Silp pull all three fingers from her sex and pushed them back in. It felt strange, having another woman guiding her fingers, but her body quickly responded with a flush of heat that left her breathless.

Moving her lips back up Locke’s shoulder, Silp drove all three fingers into Locke again, teasing against her labia with her knuckles with each stroke. The motions became more frantic as Locke began to moan and whimper underneath the finger. Even though it was her fingers inside her, it felt different as Silp pushed and pulled, bringing her to higher heights of warmth.

The mouth nuzzled up her neck, sending bolts of heat along her spine until she felt the hot, quickened breath against her ear. The lips wrapped around her earlobe, the teeth just biting in slightly.

Locke jumped from the sensations, but lost herself in a moan as she finally felt the crest of her orgasm racing up to her. The fingers and mouth against her seemed to flare up into a brilliant warmth as her orgasm exploded inside her.

Her back arched as her eyes rolled up into her head. She saw sparks of light, but no longer cared as her entire body tightened. Locke’s breath was torn away as she let loose with a whimper, her body shaking from the effort to experience everything. Her fingers were plunging in and out of her, guided by both Silp and herself as she felt the crest grow higher and more consuming. Her mind lost itself in the pleasure and another whimper escaped her throat.

After a timeless ecstasy, Locke finally slumped back down in the water. Her breasts heaved with her breathing for a long time before she opened her eyes. Moving slowly from the afterglow, she looked over her shoulder into the brilliant blue eyes of Silp.

“Why?”

“You needed to find a companion.”

“You?”

Silp nodded, a brief blush creeping up her cheeks. Locke could sense the woman’s nervousness. Memories flashed through her mind, of their time together. Finally, after five years, something clicked inside her.

“When Prince Youvin offered to take you as his bride, why did you turn him down? To be with me?”

The blush grew even deeper and Silp drew her fingers away from Locke’s skin. In a very soft whisper, almost unheard from the controlled woman, she spoke, “Yes.”

“Why?”

“I want to make our own legends, just you and me.”

Tears began to form in Locke’s eyes as she felt the love begin to burn inside her, growing hotter with passion and intensity with every heartbeat as she found herself lost in the brilliant blue eyes of her lover. A smile quirked her lip.

“What about the armor?”

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