Title: The Ma’Rani Chronicles – Kadissa’s Faith Restored
Author: Layla_Aaron (aka Luscious_Words)
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 28 June 2011
Fandom: Original fiction; original characters
Content: F/F sexual contact, spiritual woo-woo stuff.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DD11
Disclaimer: Original characters from my fertile imagination.
The redhead blinked. The hint of surprise in her eyes elicited a smile from Kadissa; her first genuine smile in many years. The other woman returned the smile. “I am not queen yet, so please call me Xhalina.” Xhalina grit her teeth, shut her eyes and swallowed hard. “Thank you for your offer. I would be honored to accept.”
“Xhalina?” Lalita stepped closer to the bed. “I am the only one who tends your wounds.”
Kadissa clenched her jaw to refrain from snapping at Lalita, settling instead for fierce stares. She rested a hand on Xhalina’s shoulder; a sign of possessiveness. “I feel honor bound to help her. I am indirectly responsible for these wounds.”
“I have been her assistant for centuries. How dare you order me about like a common servant?” Lalita folded her arms over her chest.
“This is not the time to argue with you.” Kadissa nodded toward Xhalina. “She needs my assistance.”
The other woman glared at her, but Kadissa refused to capitulate.
“Lalita, let her,” Xhalina whispered. “At this point, I do not care who works on my wounds, only that someone does something…” She trailed off with a whimper.
Turning her back on Lalita, Kadissa placed her hands on the most severe wound. As she moved from wound to wound, Kadissa sensed the damage from the older wounds. The other woman either lacked talent as a healer or was deliberately the future queen’s wounds only partially healed. Kadissa suspected the latter with a touch of the former.
She closed her eyes, focused her mind solely on Xhalina then sent healing warmth into the other woman’s body. In addition to healing the newer injuries, she healed as many of the older wounds as she could. All the while, she ignored Lalita. That woman did not deserve an ounce of her energy. Her future queen needed her.
When Xhalina relaxed enough to drift to sleep, Kadissa lifted her hands and let out a relieved sigh. She lifted her gaze and met the maliciousness swimming in Lalita’s. “The sleep will aid her healing. I will stay with her.”
“You think that I am going to leave you alone here with her?” Lalita sneered. “How foolish do you think I am?”
“She sacrificed herself for me; I owe her my life. I’ll begin to pay off my debt by staying with her. You may stay as well, but I am not leaving her.” Kadissa rose from her seat on the bed and closed the space between them. She stood toe to toe with the shorter woman, unwilling to back down.
Petite and striking in her own way, Lalita would be considered a beauty by many but not Kadissa. She recognized the other woman as a shifter, another tigress. In her weakened state, Kadissa would probably lose in hand-to-hand combat although she doubted it would resort to that. No stranger to traitors, Kadissa seemed to have a heightened ability to detect them. She’d even killed a few during her years as a sexual slave. In this instance, she refused to be the first to break eye contact.
“Fine. You sit with her while I make sure the other women are safe.” Lalita whirled about and stalked to the door, slamming it behind her.
Kadissa’s eyes flew to the sleeping Xhalina and she wanted to strangle Lalita when Xhalina jumped in her sleep and let out a soft moan of pain. Kadissa undressed in a rush, dropped all the items on the floor and kicked them aside. She settled on the bed beside her future queen and curled her body around Xhalina’s. In a soft voice, she sang an ancient lullaby while stroking her red hair. She savored the soft feel of Xhalina’s hair against her skin. Unbidden, the tears coursed down her cheeks. A sense of relief overwhelmed her. Freedom, sweet freedom. She lost track of how much time passed. Maybe minutes, hours, but it didn’t matter as long she never had to endure sexual subservience again. Glancing about the room, Kadissa shifted to her tiger form and settled closer beside the injured woman.
Kadissa woke to the sensation of someone softly stroking her pelt. She let out the tiger chuff of pleasure and snuggled closer to the body next to hers. Fingers tangled in her fur; nails gently scratched behind her ears. Another chuff escaped her.
“What a beautiful marmalade coat.”
She opened her eyes to stare at the woman speaking to her. She chuffed again.
The other woman laughed softly and scratched under her chin. “When I shift, I have the marmalade coat, but I’ve never seen another marmalade tiger. It’s one thing to see my reflection in the mirror, but it’s something else entirely to see another marmalade tiger in the flesh.”
Kadissa rubbed her cheek against Xhalina when the other woman snuggled her closer. Was this tenderness? She’d forgotten how to discern tenderness after centuries of pain and abuse. The overwhelming rush of emotion changed her from tigress to human form and she let out a sharp cry.
Xhalina brushed her lips with a tender kiss and tears welled in her eyes. Kadissa tried to pull away from the other woman, but Xhalina cradled her cheek. “Shhh, tigresa. You are safe. I will not let anyone harm you again.”
Nuzzling her face against Xhalina’s neck, Kadissa let the tears flow. After several minutes, she pulled back and wiped away her tears. “I’m sorry, Ma’Rani.”
Xhalina stroked her hair. “Please. I asked you to call me Xhalina. I’m not the Ma’Rani.”
“Not yet, but you are the one. You have the mark.”
“How do you know about the mark?” Xhalina whispered.
“I spent decades being trained as a high priestess to Nysa, and one of a handful trained to officiate over your ascension.” Kadissa bit her lip, hoping she hadn’t revealed too much. She cast a quick glance around the room, looking for Lalita. She did not want the other tigress to know who she was, her role in Xhalina’s future ascension.
Xhalina cupped Kadissa’s cheek, ran her thumb over Kadissa’s mouth. “You’re one of the priestesses? I, I thought, we’d given up hope that any were still alive.”
“I think I am the only one from my temple that’s still alive. And…” She trailed off. She knew of three others from other temples who died; two at the hands of cruel masters and one by her hand. Kadissa swallowed, gazed into Xhalina’s eyes. “I killed another one because she threatened to tell who I was. I knew if Tavian discovered I was one of the chosen few priestesses that he would…”
The other woman nodded. “You would have died a painful death, much to his pleasure. Sometimes we do what we have to in order to survive.”
Kadissa closed her eyes, nodded. “Exactly,” she whispered. She paused, licked her lips then continued. “I learned early on that no one was a friend. I watched women stab others in the back, do whatever it took to survive. I refused to allow any of them to draw close to me because I did not want to find myself served up on a silver platter, betrayed by another woman intent on surviving.”
“When is the last time you experienced tenderness, the last time anyone touched you with a gentle caress?” The future queen trailed the backs of her fingers down Kadissa’s cheek.
“I…” Kadissa shook her head. “I don’t remember. I suppose it was when I was still at the temple, before they…” She trailed off. A rush of adrenaline coursed through her and she pushed herself to a sitting position. Her fight-or-flight instinct kicked into high gear and she prepared herself to flee the room.
Xhalina grabbed her hand. “You are safe. I will protect you. My security force will guard you. They cannot harm you here.”
Kadissa stared at the hand gripping hers. She lifted her gaze to meet Xhalina’s. “How can you be so sure?”
“Because I know those I have in my close circle, and you are safe.”
Kadissa brushed aside her momentary doubt about Lalita. Maybe she was looking for a traitor where there was none due to her past experiences. She wanted to believe Xhalina; she needed to believe the other woman. Her eyes drifted closed when Xhalina brushed another kiss across her lips.
A soft moan escaped when the other woman deepened the kiss. When Xhalina broke the kiss, Kadissa moaned again. She opened her eyes.
“So, the last time you experienced tenderness was at the temple, while you were in training?”
“And was that the last time you experienced pleasure?”
Kadissa nodded again.
The other woman moved closer again, brushed her mouth back and forth over Kadissa’s. “That’s a shame. We answer to a goddess of pleasure. We should worship her in a fitting manner.” The gleam in Xhalina’s eye took Kadissa’s breath away.
“Ma’Rani,” she whispered.
“Xhalina,” the other woman commanded. Kadissa nodded then watched Xhalina’s mouth as she moved in for another kiss. She closed her eyes the moment Xhalina’s mouth claimed hers in a demanding kiss. She surrendered herself to the sensations of the kiss. Any kisses she’d experienced while in slavery were perfunctory at best. This kiss touched her, touched that neglected part of her psyche. She shivered and opened under the tender ministrations of Xhalina.
Kadissa arched her back, pressed her breasts into Xhalina’s hands when she cupped them. A gasp escaped when the other woman squeezed her breasts then teased her nipples. The sensations cascading through her body took her by surprise. She had forgotten how sweet and delicious it could be to indulge in this kind of intimacy. Xhalina trailed kisses down her cheek to her neck before sucking a nipple into her mouth. Kadissa arched off the bed and moaned. She threaded her fingers of one hand through Xhalina’s hair and clenched the bedcover with the other.
When Xhalina pressed her thumb back and forth over her clit, Kadissa opened her eyes and stared at the ceiling. She tensed her body and swallowed. She wanted to enjoy the intimate touch but she didn’t trust herself to be so vulnerable. Each gentle touch and caress tempted her to surrender to the pleasure. She didn’t want to upset Xhalina and she wanted to experience what her queen offered, but she struggled to let go.
“Why do you withhold that which is mine, my tigress?”
Kadissa lifted her head to stare at Xhalina. She sucked in her breath when the future queen looked at her. Xhalina’s eyes were no longer a vibrant cerulean blue but a dark stormy indigo. The tigress felt a change in Xhalina.
“You are mine, tigress. My priestess.”
She stared at Xhalina.
The other woman laughed; her laugh deeper and throatier than usual. “Do you remember the offerings you used to make to me while you lived at the temple? You would share yourself with other priestesses and with the priests, giving pleasure, taking pleasure, reveling in pleasure.”
“You couldn’t know that unless…”
“Unless I was the Goddess to whom you’ve dedicated your life?”
The other woman strummed her thumb across Kadissa’s clit. “Do you remember how to focus?”
Kadissa bit her lower lip, nodding.
“Focus on your clit. Every sensation, every drop of pleasure. Think of nothing else except the sensation of my thumb circling and caressing you.”
“I, I can’t…”
Xhalina gave a shake of her head. “You are worried, scared to make yourself vulnerable to me, to the woman who embodies me here. Do you think I would let you be at risk?”
“But, what about…?” Surely the Goddess would know if Lalita were a traitor. She would protect Xhalina, wouldn’t she?
“I have my reasons, my tigress. There are many things in play here, and the one you worry over is part of a bigger plan. But for now, you are to forget her. Forget everything else but this moment with me, your Goddess.”
Kadissa stared at Xhalina for several seconds. How could she doubt the Goddess? Years of sexual servitude had engendered an inherent distrust in her and now she must cast aside centuries of that for a single moment of pleasure.
“I am waiting, priestess.” The firmer tone of the Goddess’ voice motivated Kadissa.
She lay back on the bed, clenched the bedcover in both fists and forced herself to relax. As she took a deep, settling breath, Kadissa closed her eyes and centered herself, focusing all attention on her clit. A moan tumbled from her lips when Xhalina gave it a gentle pinch.
Kadissa’s breath grew heavier with each pass of Xhalina’s thumb. Ripples of pleasure coursed through her body. Unfamiliar but not completely unknown sensations elicited soft cries from her. Tears slid from the outer corners of her eyes as Kadissa relearned the beauty of pleasure given and taken consensually.
She arched off the bed when Xhalina nipped at her inner thigh. The sensations sharp with just a hint of pain only added to her pleasure. This. She had missed this. She had craved this and had wanted to trust someone enough to share this, but her sense of self-preservation had kept her from it.
“You are thinking too much, my tigress. Think no more, only feel.” Warm breath fanned the spot of Kadissa’s focus. Just that hint of air sent shivers up her spine.
Then a gentle suction of a kiss on her clit sent an intense rush of sensation radiating from that one spot to the tips of her fingers and toes to the top of her head. She let out a deep, guttural cry of pleasure. She gasped for breath, riding each wave of satisfaction as it coursed through her.
“Look at me.”
Kadissa lifted her head and watched as Xhalina placed her hand on Kadissa’s stomach.
Kadissa felt the flow of pleasure from her body to the other woman’s followed by a rush of stronger, more intense sensations back into her own body. Her eyes widened and she gasped for breath.
“Just as I take pleasure, I give it too.” The Goddess smiled at her then lifted Kadissa’s hand to her lips to kiss the backs of her knuckles. “Thank you, tigress, for your offering, for trusting me to share this with you.”
Kadissa watched as the other woman’s eyes changed from the dark indigo of the Goddess to the brilliant cerulean blue of Xhalina’s. The smile she offered Kaadissa was different from the one she’d received from the Goddess just seconds earlier.
“You seem more relaxed,” Xhalina said. She shifted her position and settled alongside Kadissa. She draped an arm over Kadissa’s waist and burrowed her face against her neck.
Xhalina chuckled softly. “She comes and goes as she pleases. I am her avatar, the embodiment of her here. I only know when she comes and leaves, but nothing of what she does while here.”
Kadissa wrapped her arms around Xhalina. “It was, well, interesting and a bit unnerving, but definitely interesting.” She let out a quiet laugh.
The other woman nodded. “You should feel it from this side.”
Kadissa giggled. A sense of security filled her. Her instincts about Lalita might be right, but she would worry about that later. For now, she allowed herself to relax and savor the simple pleasure of lying close to Xhalina.