There is an unspoken hesitation in the hideout, shared like broken bread at the eve of something new. There are four of them and who knows how many out to get them. They have only their wits, and ‘they’ have wings, beasts, and technologies to stifle even the greatest idea. Even if they succeed tomorrow, what comes after falls in the demesnes of two old deities. Kedvezö – godhead of reunions, lucky happenings, morality, opportunities of power, and the taste of water after thirst – or Megvetés – goddess of curses, fulfilled wishes, impermissible desires, and death. Both divinities are receiving a mess of messages, four chaotic hopes for survival roughly translatable into appeals for salvation, immaterial intervention. Prayer, a custom outlawed by the Alturans when they imposed themselves as the living divinities on the lower world, had never been the pivotal ritual by which to express faith. It wasn’t until those damnable vultures cracked open the sky that the people below began clasping their hands.
Lapasc quivers with poetry. Tonight, we dream of victory. Tomorrow, the taste will spice our wines, or something like that, but not even his inspiring platitudes feel appropriate to say. The tension blankets the black and brown of their skin like ash from a razed city, smothering any levity. Everyone listened to Idö the Wolf as she surpassed the bustle of the spice bazaars and basket markets with shouts of her allegedly cheapest prices. When the wings arrived, her voice became fiery music over the cacophony of war. When she speaks, it is morale. Now, it is a dour, restrained signal. Ketrec, the ragtag’s strategist, has a restless mind. The noise in their head only ever allays when planning the next move and the next. But in the present, they have no details to excruciate over, no nails left to bite. The original plan had twenty members. Four remain, and they still have two stages to go.
It is Tewfik who breaks the silence, the sousland blacksmith rumoured to have survived a personal audience with Adelheid the Undenied. A man with a notoriously playful aggression, with cruel intentions shorn sharper than the blade he is currently cleaning. He holds it against the light of a fickle oil lantern, beholding streaks and cracks of long use with a disappointed boredom. The sword shimmers and illuminates, however faintly, the slovenly conditions of this splintered front. Boxes and bloodstains, inordinate instruments of a chirurgeon, woven sleeping matts and blankets with cultural emblems – the catfish, the man with the cobuza, and the smouldering pipe, representing knowledge, didacticism, and constant reflection. Tewfik takes a drag of the latter symbol.
“I should’ve forged more armour.”
“You could be wearing rock and their war beasts would still drill through.”
“That I know, Idö, but I’d feel better about our dead if I had.”
Lapasc speaks up in protest.
“Let’s commemorate the fallen in more respectful ways, shall we?”
“The dead don’t care how I mourn them. I’d like to feel less bad about this whole ordeal. And even then, we’re the losers and we’re not even done losing.”
“We need all the strength and hope we can muster for tomorrow – can you not deplete our reserves before then?”
“Poet boy, you need to think less about meter and more about how we’re going to get out of this alive.”
“Perhaps the blacksmith needs to temper the flames of his temper.”
Frustration enflames between them. Before a wildfire breaks out, a single interjection: Ketrec’s.
“Tewfik, go jerk off in the storeroom if you need to vent your frustrations.”
The proposition is laughingly crude, but the tactician is not known for their jokes. Decency has little use in guerrilla warfare anyway; stress runs high when you live as paupers fighting for the people. Morale needs to stay afloat, as doubt and despair have done more than any assassin to quell the flames of insurgency. And when your opponent encompass the very skies, the attractive option is to give up. There’s a saying in Ascens (Minden Ugyanazon to those who remember): “despondency pools a lake between twin rivers”. It accumulates and it requires relief. Through means of victory or through more utilitarian considerations, such as masturbation.
Tewfik laughs with customary raucousness, his bristly and black beard outlining his big, curved mouth.
“Thanks, Ketrec. You’re full of good ideas. I’ll go do that right now, actually.”
He unties the knot of his apron before leaving the room. It falls down, revealing the glistening image of his back. Deep and delineated, like a map detailing everything you need to know. Muscles and sweat, tightly packed. He is architecture: his shoulders are like a balustrade, running wide and long with much to hold on to, should you have to. His arms, even from behind, quantify a structural kind of strength, a dominating force, a vector aimed at you. The dimples in the hollow of his back form hallways to rough fantasies where you will be used. Paused in the door opening, he looks to his comrades out the corners of his dark eyes with a faint, expectant smirk.
“Anyone joining me?”
“Too nervous,” replies Ketrec. They usually are.
“You killed any mood I might have had with your hopeless drivel.” Lapasc’s spite tends not to be an objection, but we all have our moments.
“That’s fair. You two should just talk in the meantime, I think. The silence doesn’t do us good.”
“Yes, evidently. You have fun now, Tewfik.”
“Hold up. I’ll join.”
Idö stands up from her potato sack seat. She towers one head over the arrogant man at a comfortable two metres tall. Her figure is sturdy, fat, and large, a syncretism of physical labour, a love for the simple things in life, and a woman’s confidence. The modest off-white tunic she wears grips her figure like paint on canvas, the imprints of her size eye-catching and titillating and artful all the same. Her eyes move across Tewfik’s body, and she feels the heat of any forge he’s worked with seep into her.
“Idö? That’s a first.”
“Let a girl have her desires, boy.”
“You will. I’ll give them, too, if you want,” he says with a wink in his voice.
She slaps his ass as she steps through the door. There’s a grate in it, but that’s of no worry.
“So, how do you want to do this?”
“Is there something to sit on? My back is kind of killing me.”
“Oh, yeah, here. You can sit on my apron.”
She lights another oil lamp and they make themselves as cozy as they can. The storeroom has been cramped with weapon racks, sandbags, half-empty food crates, brine barrels, a surplus of winter clothing and a shortage of medical supplies, fuseboxes and gunpowder, and a vertically-placed, very impractical cannon. The clutter smells like dust and oxidation. He finds an old bottle of diadal date wine, pleased to see it again. But there are more pressing matters than drink at the moment; he puts it on a shelf and offers her a hand to sit her down.
“You’ve been working a lot, haven’t you?”
“In ways I’m not used to. Give me an axe and a battlefield and I’ll do it. But I’ve never been a fan of this, gorilla thing. Gorilla? Guerrilla. Too much running around, too much ducking.”
“Hah, don’t get old on me now, Idö. You’re the one who got me into this mess.”
“I’ll still kick your ass, boy, just wait till my back pops back in.”
“Can’t wait. Hey, need me to massage you?”
“About fuckin’ time you offered.”
She takes off her tunic without much regard for courtesy. Her long, black hair – frizzly from the wool rub – settles between her breasts. It surprises Tewfik – blushing doesn’t fit his face, but it is a good look on him. To pacify the gruff, to embarrass the confident, to stomp down on the ego of high-strung men, Idö is an amateur who has mastered the art of such coquetry. The intention to relieve himself had given off an exciting feeling in his loins, but now, that sensation intensifies with the possibilities before him.
“I thought you were good with metals. Where’s that silver tongue of yours now?”
“I, uh, just didn’t expect the nudity.”
“Weren’t we going to masturbate together?”
“Hah!” He bellows. “True. I guess I’m just in awe. You look good, old girl.”
The sights of each other waken the flame in the both of them. Idö, staring up, takes in all of his front. His hourglass figure, his hairy chest, the grooves of his muscles resemble the fullers of her blade, the outline bulging in the cotton of his slops. Tewfik, gazing down, doesn’t know which part of her he’d like to touch first, although he knows he shouldn’t. They’re old friends, comrades through happenstance, one-time lovers, and the focus of this moment should be on relaxation, not the rekindling of sparks. But even then, when the hot passion of the heart kisses the thrills of a wet memory, the steam clouds even the best judgements. Her stretchmarks, her paunch, her olden face, it is nothing but desirable. He moves to sit down behind her; he wants handfuls of her.
He uncorks a flask of clove oil attached to his belt and lets the liquid pool in his palms. The difference in metallurgy and massaging seems as clear as the divide in the skies, but, as Tewfik is about to demonstrate, the disciplines are closer than one may assume. Be it metal or flesh, the will to work a body into a better arrangement is the essence of both. Tewfik’s hands, rough and calloused through years of gripping hilts and hammers, feel surprisingly soft on Idö’s back. She hums softly in surrender to the ticklish, moss-like movements that sink into her skin. Her trapezius muscles are wound taut and stiff, as if actively resisting the smooth grip kneading into them. Her body must keep itself primed for battle – it has remembered the constant, sudden danger it is in, and has trained the appropriate reflexes. But slowly, surely, firmly, she finds it in herself to relax. The sigh becomes a whimper, releasing the wear of rebellion and some of the buried pain of conquest.
“Teffica, do you remember Hűtő Vödör?”
“Towers made of houses and mansions, shops and guilds, banks and gambling parlours, fanes and tabernacles, plazas and parks, stacked heavensward as preordained as a building set. The smells and sounds, the people you’d befriend on the winding stairs, the enemies you’d make bumping into them. I felt safe. Now reminds me of then.”
Tewfik hands have moved on to rub her thick upper arms with long strokes.
“That’s all gone, isn’t it?”
“Aye,” he concedes. “Most people were evicted, forcibly conscripted even. Most places were cleaned out. They’re smokestacks for a factory now.”
“We were sold out.”
“Aye,” he regrets. His thumbs move in tandem across her shoulder blades, toward her spine. She moans under the gradual strength, hotter than she’d wish to admit. Breathing through her nose barely cuts it anymore.
“Cel D’Altura had been around long before they invaded. Hell, they’d already invaded us.”
“Tudom. My husband died in the first ambush.”
“And I was too young to fight in it. I had to sit out the occupation. I kept hoping for a chance, but all hope was gone by the time a vulture told me I’d be a blacksmith for the rest of my life.”
She hears him shuffle closer to her. His hands drift from her backside to her front. She can feel his beard and his pecs press against her back, and something hard nestle against her buttocks. They move across her breasts, such a cheeky lad, letting each individual finger leave oily trails over her nipples.
“Ah… what, what did you want to be, before they reassigned you?”
She looks over her shoulder, the suns in his eyes radiate a memorable lust. As their eyes connect, so does he roughly start applying oil to the places she’d been aching for. Her mouth hangs open, his mouth slants into that trademark, dominant smirk. He palms her breasts, bucking against yet flowing along, he is a caravel on the ocean of her skin. She is beginning to drown within herself, but, like a diver thought lost to the waves, she snaps out of it.
He does not, the insolent man.
“Teffica, I mean it.”
He releases her, confused.
“Don’t you want this?”
“I don’t think I can.” She curses her body with a chuckle. “I love what you do with your hands, but, let’s just watch each other.”
“Very well.” He swallows his pride like mud. He leaves her body, still craving every inch of it. But he knows: this is bigger than him. This is about her, them, and the revolution they will unleash. If he cannot come to learn to abide the boundaries of others, there would be no justice in him fighting for freedom. As a man, he must take care not to replicate the same systems that have shackled his people to the Alturans. Liberation means for everyone, especially for women, from men.
He moves to face her. He has an idea.
“Would you like me to dance for you?”
Her face flushes over at this. In all her years, she hasn’t been picky in what her partners would do for her, as long as she got off. But Tewfik, who she has known for well over a decade, the brusque and ungracious princox that roughed up every vulture he saw, the smith who armed two rebels for each blade the Alturans commissioned, had never acted in service of anyone. His life can’t be tamed, every breath is a defiance; now that same breath inquires in acquiescence, offering to humble his body in subservience to her. It is chiasmic, going against everything he is known for, an offer extended just to her. It is such a turn on.
Tewfik slides his thumbs into his pants to lower them a sliver, sliding the rim to eye-level. His hip bones stand out as does his pubic hair, and, even better, the beginnings of his cock. She imagines him wearing the scant outfits of the Romungri, itinerant peoples that travel to the cities bringing culture and leisure. Her husband was romungro, and the performances he’d brought her consisted of passion, wine, and fire. The dancers she saw included all genders; they wore golden bangles and transparent silks, always moving their hips, bodies, and mouths like the whip of a living flame. She would love to see him dress as seductively, slap a choker on him, perhaps, but for now, she watches his striptease.
Tewfik’s choreography shows the hesitation of trying after a long time – vulnerability. Exactly what she wants to see. His hands slide over his chiselled chest, fingering the downward valleys in his abs. Despite the fumbling, he continues to twist and caress. He makes it part of the show. She is enthralled by his erotic yet proud elegance, a spectacle that combines the hearth of a home and the heat of a bathhouse fuck. The clove oil finds a second use – on his body this time. Cascading down the canyon of his chest, the liquid leaves estuaries in its wake until disappearing beyond his slops. The imprint of his dick becomes clearer, bigger, wetter, and his hand sails the river to the source. Her response is to slide off her pants to her knees and opening her thighs to him. “Who needs a thigh gap when I could hold you down there?” she says with her eyes. Lust rises beyond the tolerable threshold and excesses are created. Her hand slips between her legs, as his moves to spring free all of him.
Idö had felt him like a beast inside of her, and she almost wished she hadn’t stopped him. But even looking at him holding his member, she couldn’t resist but to slide a finger up. The Wolf whimpers at her long-ignored needs finally receiving fulfilment. A liberation effort affords little private time and she feels embarrassed to join the others. She is bigger and older than most other of the resistance; she took this to mean less desirable. But with him, it was different. She trusted his affection for her, she remembers how she was thrusted in. He was big enough to hold with both hands, and that’s how she guided him into her that one night. Enveloping him stole both their breaths, yet they spared no moment gasping for more. Slamming down on him made him scream, lost to the sensations that she gave him – a nice corollary, because she had no intention of making anyone cum but herself.
And now, she can witness how it looks – that thick and heavy member sliding in and out the tunnel of his hands. The oil adds a slick, suggestive shimmer to his cock, giving her a private pornography, while also amplifying the pleasure he receives from fucking his hands, easily locatable on his handsome face. His growls are low and contained – is he being thoughtful of Ketrec and Lapasc or does he not want to admit to enjoying this? Idö finds her clitoris, moaning as she fingers circles over herself. They’ve matched each other’s pace, slow enough to last them an eternity, but that won’t do. There is an urgency between them. They lock eyes, daring to go faster. She takes the lead.
Scooping up leftover oil from her heaving breasts, she soaks two fingers of her free hand with the lubricant. Similar to how he sailed downstream himself, she rubs the voluptuous seas of her body all the way down. Arriving at her slit, her eyes force shut closed in delight as she submerges one, then two of her digits. The sound of rustling clothes open them back up. Her vision returns to the man stripped fully nude, partially oiled, and kneeling in front of her, leaning back to give himself a better grip, his cock a slick mast of eight inches from his lap.
“You better not be, mm, trying something again, boy.”
“Jerkin’ off on your feet, is, is, fuck, it’s tiring, that’s all.”
A jolt of sudden pleasure bucks his hips, and drop of pre-cum emerges from the wide, purple head. She bites her lower lip and she picks up the pace with both hands – this boy is driving me wild. She requires ever more ecstasy from her body, rubbing harder and reaching farther, as if the treasure seeks is hidden in the deepest part of her. Her fingers curl with the pursuit of drawing out a scream, caressing those little ribs sends waves of pleasure throughout her body. His eyes are closed but he has no need for fantasy, knowing what is in front of him. His hands grip tighter around his cock. Even holding on, he can’t keep himself still – he takes on a different pose. It’s a limber, acrobatic sight, no less elegant than his dance: legs folded underneath his pelvis, shoulders providing support for this perspiry position, his ass above the ground as his hips begin madly thrusting.
This would be enough, but she wants more.
He does, and again, confused.
“Come have a taste, boy.”
Tewfik immediately repositions to his knees. Like a dog, he crawls toward her with a blaze in his eyes, all the while fucking his hand. His mouth is open in lustful amazement; he applies it to her. The full width of his tongue drags over her vagina, so she may feel as the one who is encompassed. She locks her legs around his head – he cannot leave until his duty is done. He makes no effort to protest. The beard provides extra titillation, but mere exhilaration is not what she needs. She clutches him by his hair and pushes his face further into her. He complies, like a parched wanderer lapping at an empty water canteen. Her taste is on the intoxicating side, like sour grapes – he has a new favourite meal.
The blacksmith dances between her thighs. Her gasps and moans are uncontainable, not that she ever had the intention to remain quiet. The Wolf’s voice is the sound of rebellion, and now it screams to get off. Tewfik has reminded her of how maddeningly erotic she is, and how much she needed this. When his tongue isn’t reaching into her, she rubs her clit. They often change the guard without a word, with only moans, and a three-finger bundle fucks back into her as he laps at her crown. All of her life seems compacted within this moment, the celebration of survival and hope growing with the intense orgasm building up inside her. 53 years of being a fighting woman has come to fruition with the submissive 30-year-old between her thighs. She motions, the sensations, the thought, gods, the thought of it all, it becomes too much.
With a yell, all pressure releases from her. Her eagle eyes go blank, no sound emanates from her open mouth, her body is the pure pleasure of instinct. Her hips buckle against his tongue, treating his mouth like a throne, she can scarcely hear the affirming moans from betwixt herself. The paroxysm lasts for a small eternity (17 seconds, by Tewfik’s count) – and in that blank space of the mind, where ecstasy is the only thing that’s necessary, it seems that Kedvezö has chosen her as their champion.
The comedown lets Tewfik free. He takes a deep, unexaggerated breath – he nearly lost his life to this woman. The room smells of sex and oil and rust. She collapses on his apron, panting weakly.
“Whew. You happy?”
“God… shit… that was, that was… phooooo.” Her head lolls to the side, facing his cock. Still at attention, still begging release. It seems that in their harmonious effort, the both of them forgot about him. She normally doesn’t care – she got hers, after all –, but in her lasting haze, she can’t help but drool at the sight, or what it would look like if he got his.
He notices her admiring stare, his own mind too foggy to ask anything else.
“Can I fuck your tits?”
She lets out a throaty moan. “You’ve earned as much, Teffica.”
She lays down, surrendering to his needs and her exhaustion. His standing over her, the rigidity of his cock, the shadow it casts over her body, the descending motion as he sits down on top of her, she thinks to herself how many times she’ll think back to this moment. The length of his cock weighs down on her stomach, reaching from her navel to the entrance to her breasts’ dell. He places his hands beside her head, priming him to push forward. Both their bodies remain lubricated, a benison to his raging lust. He slides forward, and once again, she envelops his cock with a lewd warmth.
The puckish rashness in Tewfik’s thrusts is apparent – this isn’t to savour the feeling, this is to get what he wants. She’ll humour him for now. Above her, teeth gritted with pleasure, oil mixed with sweat, dripping down on her from those heaving muscles, erratic with the increasing loss of cogency and control. She looks down, watching him piston her like an animal. The head of his cock is like a jewel in how much it shines, covered in copious amounts of prismatic precum. She feels him pulse between her – the boy’s so close. In a fit of mercy, she squeezes her big breasts together, burying his cock entirely. The pressure sends him over the edge almost instantly.
Unlike her orgasm, his is beastly and crude. From his mouth emerges an atonal battle-cry and his hips produce only a fast, arrhythmic beat. His is a dissonance only possible when succumbing to the littlest of deaths, though this feels like the biggest he’s ever died. Were they not a godless colony, his rapid stream of expletives would surely reserve a spot in hell for him. Wave upon wave of cum trickles from her breasts, a white tide rising and falling with both their chests. It takes him nine seconds for his consciousness and his raspy, gravelly breath to return. Looking down at the mess he’s made of her, he can only say.
“Oh shit. Wow, sorry.” There is a pride in the blacksmith’s work, and it is audible in his voice.
“Ahh… if you clean me up, I might forgive you.”
He stands up, legs wobbling slightly, and grabs a roll of surplus bandages to neaten his old friend.
“It tickles,” Idö chuckles.
He can barely resist falling in love with her again. But, he breathes heavy through his nose, ideology comes first. Hell, the effort comes first. There is one thing he cannot resist, however, and that is the urge to tickle her. She begs for mercy, receives none, and as her body convulses with joy. Her eyes fall on the storage room door. Surprise paints her face.
There, Lapsac’s lust-lazy face is clearly pressed against the grate. He makes eye-contact, embarrassed and clearly turned on all the same. His pristine, finely-cut face seems almost corrupted with this perverted visage.
“Teffica. We seem to have a spectator.”
“Make that two,” moans a sharp voice from behind the poet.
Tewfik and Idö stand up. Through the grate, it’s barely visible how Ketrec’s hands are occupied with Lapasc’s body, one rolling and tugging on a nipple, the other rubbing his clit. Leaning a bit closer, Tewfik sees their thin cock pounding roughly and admirably into the poet boy’s cunt. A slick wetness is clearly noticeable during each pull-out, right before they give the young man an overwhelming push-in. He’s well acquainted with Lapasc’s bottoming, so he almost feels jealous of his strategist, but they didn’t get to experience what he just has.
“Changed your mind, huh?” Tewfik says grinning, his arms crossed.
“You were, ah, just so loud… and, really hot.”
“It’s… commendable how you, despite yourselves, weren’t able to, mmm, hear me. I’ve, ohh, peaked about three times from watching you.” Lapasc’s expressive nature often translates to a lack of shame, and he freely lets Tewfik and Idö know how much he appreciated their performance.
“From me fucking you, you mean,” interjects Ketrec.
The wet slapping against the door continues, growing in intensity and velocity. With an energetic playfulness with the confidence of absolute control, Lapasc starts to push against the door, ensuring his leader’s cock slams all the way into his pussy. Ketrec can’t resist the force and speed at which their dick is being serviced; the end in sight, their hands move to grasp his hips for stability as they rapidly ravage him.
“Lap, Lap… Fuck… I’m gonna cum. I’m gonna… I’m gonna…”
With a final thrust, shoving Lapasc into the door. It breaks off its hinges, and the connected couple lunge forward into the storage room. Gravity, momentum, and positioning surprise the both of them – Lapasc lands flat on his toned stomach, and Ketrec’s manages to plunge even deeper into him at a perfect angle, and it’s exactly the spark they needed. The tactician’s cock trembles and quakes within the troubadour, and Lapasc is swiftly delivered to his fourth.
Unclothed and covered in a variety of liquids, the four are unwinding on makeshift potato sack seats. Tewfik pulls out the bottle of diadal wine and passes it around in victorious merriment. In an hour, the mood has shifted from despondent to indomitable. It’s a fantastic thing, what sex will do for morale.
Lapasc, with newfound inspiration, improvises an innuendous poem about the group’s ferocity.
Idö takes a swig, letting her booming voice rally their spirits and scare away any nearby birds.
Ketrec’s mind is at ease – rather, they’re too exhausted and pleased to even form an anxious thought.
Tewfik retreats into an untypical quietude. The guilt of ‘what I could have done’ is a deceptive yet inescapable one – it’s much more attractive to die together than to survive without. His mood is dour, solemn, and reverent, envisioning the faces of his sixteen fallen comrades. He sees Adelheid’s face – he regrets making him cum instead of killing him. The anger balloons inside of him, but before it pops, he shakes all thoughts out of his head, like pebbles in his boot. He looks at the three remaining faces beside him here and now. He steels himself for tomorrow. They all do.