Recovery - Elaine helped Béla recover, so Béla helps Elaine over an old emotional problem that affects her current relationships.
Béla awoke with a start. The curtained canopy overhead told her she was in her own bed at the manor. She looked down at herself. Her belly was smooth with fresh, new skin. Remembering what she looked like before, Béla realized that someone had done a really good job of cleaning her up. She felt squeaky-clean.
Béla twisted and stretched to get more comfortable. She didn’t remember the bed being this lumpy. More awake now, she looked to see what was underneath her. The lumpy thing she was lying on was her sister, Elaine. Elaine was asleep. Dried blood streaked her neck and breasts. She looked haggard.
Elaine was dreaming. Béla lay quietly and listened to her sister’s thoughts.
Her consort is attacking her with a knife?
No! What the hell is that? She’s pregnant with it!
Holy Fuck! That thing is from Hades!
There’s one crawling on her!
Pick it up! Absorb it with my mind!
It’s hungry! Push it out into the fireplace!
It screams! It’s not a plant! Burning up!
Someone tried to kill her! The fire burns!
Kill them! Kill them all!
Elaine woke herself up with her nightmare. She looked up into her sister’s eyes. She looked frightened.
“Are you all right? What was that thing?” were the first words out of Elaine’s mouth. “How did it get inside you? Are there more of them?”
‘Peace,’ Béla radiated at her sister, smiling to ease her mind
“It was a gown,” Béla told her. “It was created for the evil Count we deposed last spring. I didn’t know it was alive.”
“I didn’t know such a thing could be alive!” Elaine exclaimed.
“I don’t know what he might have wanted it for,” Béla mused. “It’s so dangerous. If Captain Lorraine hadn’t warned me…”
I know what it was used for. Shut down, dammit! She won’t want to know! Oh, Christ! She hears me! She knows!
‘Everything! Now!’ demanded Béla in Elaine’s mind.
Image: The Goddess Jolene is holding court in the entrance hall. Bard Geoffrey accuses a handmaiden. She is discovered fleeing the district and is dragged before the Goddess Jolene by the goddess’ sisters and mind-raped.
The Goddess Jolene sentences the girl to immediate public execution. She is to suffer the same fate as she wished on the Goddess of the Land. She is tied to a lamppost. Leaves of the evil plant from the ballroom floor are placed on her. Water is thrown on them. The plant grows. The woman screams for a long time. What is left and the plant are doused in kerosene and burned.
Béla lay, stunned by her unwanted knowledge, tears running down into her hair and ears.
“We’ve been under martial law for the last three days waiting for your recovery,” Elaine said quietly. “Nobody’s being allowed to do *anything*.”
“I would like to have talked to her,” Béla said, softly, “I thought she was a friend. She hid her intentions well.”
“She was using drugs to hide her thoughts. LaCrosse had them, according to Jolene,” Elaine informed her. “I can show you the record of the sentence. Jolene keeps good records.
"I'm not interested in court records," Béla interrupted. "I just wanted to know why..."
“Béla, Sister,” Elaine said, hugging her, “don’t feel bad for her. She was the former Mistress of this Manor. She was as evil as LaCrosse.”
“Can I talk to Jolene?” Béla asked. “I can’t link with her. Where is she?”
“She’s using the thought dampener we found in the dungeons. Her mind is troubled. It helps her sleep.”
‘She’s thinking the device will protect her from me. She knows I run my district with a gentle hand and wouldn’t have executed Sarah, rather, the Lady Sarah, for tricking me into wearing that gown. According to Captain Lorraine, there was a safe way to wear it. Maybe she thought Jeff knew.'
Elaine watched her sister work the data through her mind. She knew that the bitch ‘handmaiden’ was aware of Jeff’s ignorance and believed that using the plant to execute Sarah was the correct decision. Elaine had enjoyed watching Sarah die as she was slowly consumed, without haste, as only a plant can do.
‘Such hatred, Sister,’ Béla said in her mind. ‘It’s so unbecoming of you. Why do you hate so much?’
‘My sister walks backward to control herself now that she has Carte Blanche,’ Elaine’s thoughts cried. ‘You worry about what you might do to others, but it’s always done to you! You are always being mistreated! You should be happy, but people are always doing things to you!’
‘I have done my share of killing,’ Béla explained, ‘as have we all. What has befallen me in the past was not entirely undeserved…’
‘But I… We… It hurts so much!’ Elaine was crying, sobbing hysterically.
Béla embraced her sister, radiating peace at her. Elaine wasn’t having any of it. She needed to cry, to release the pain.
‘Relax, Sister. We will travel in your mind and find the cause of this unhappiness. What makes you feel the pain?’ Béla asked.
‘When they hurt you!’ Elaine cried. ‘No one should hurt you! It burns me when they hurt you!’
There was an image behind what Elaine was saying. Béla was pretty good at finding true causes. She’d had months of practice as a justice.
‘What is that?’ Béla asked, and dream-walked into the image.
The Espirito Sheba is holding audience in a rocky chamber. There is a sacrificial altar in the center of the chamber. The old medicine man had gifted her with his incense, intensifying her psychic receptivity beyond her ability to control it. She can feel the blood lust of her people. The boy before her must be punished; sacrificed in the place of the virginal sacrifice he had defiled.
The chanting and the drums were intoxicating. The power she felt was unimaginably sating. The boy was carried to the altar. The emotions of the people washed through her and she radiated it back to them. She crossed over the fire pit on the narrow stone walk. The intense heat from the coals blistered the skin on her feet and legs and set her ceremonial gown on fire. It was much hotter than had been explained to her.
She saw the old medicine man grin and raided his mind. He expected her, his competition for control of his tribe, to burn with her sacrifice when she sat astride him. She mounted the young boy anyway, certain that she could survive the sacrificial fires. As he came inside her, the fires roared up around them both. The boy lying beneath her on the altar began screaming as he burned.
The Espirito Sheba, completely surrounded by fire now, plunged the ceremonial dagger into his chest as she orgasmed, then pulled it out. She bent down and drank his blood as it spurted from his wounded heart. In physical contact with the boy, she felt his joy that he was being sacrificed instead of the young girl he loved. He would never have wanted her to suffer like this. It was his last thought.
The Espirito Sheba turned and walked back along the narrow walkway, her robes burning into ashes and falling away from her. Her black and blistered skin rapidly regenerated as she walked, her flesh renewed by the fresh blood of her sacrificial victim. She still carried the sacrificial knife. She planned to use it to cut out the treasonous old medicine man’s heart. Frozen in terror, he watched her approach, finally recognizing her godhood as her skin turned from blackened charcoal back into fresh, healthy flesh.
A movement on her left distracted her. A girl ran out from the chanting crowd and stabbed the Espirito Sheba in her bare breast with a small carving knife. Then the girl was grabbed by a ceremonial warrior and held tightly.
“Throw her in the fire with her lover!” the Espirito Sheba snarled.
She looked back toward the medicine man. He was gone. She never saw him again. That was the beginning of her reign of terror. It would end with her people scattered to the four winds, her temple destroyed, and the reincarnated spirit of Sheba imprisoned inside the Praetor, forever living her life in dreams, over and over again, time without end.
Béla and Elaine sat on the bed, arms around each other. Neither spoke. There was nothing to say. After a time, Elaine pulled away and sat up. Her eyes were dry. Her cheeks were speckled with the tracks left by her tears.
“You rescued me from that hell,” Elaine said, flatly. “But I still live with it. Every time you’re hurt, I hear them screaming; those two lovers. Their crime was that they cared. You care. I’ve never met anyone who cares like you do. At my best, I am so much less than you. I can’t compete with you. I can only worship you.”
‘That’s it!’ Béla realized. ‘Elaine hates herself for what she’s done. She needs to believe that ‘good’ is possible for her.’
Béla had no idea how to convince Elaine she was good. Talking to her wasn’t going to do it.
“You’re starving!” Béla suddenly realized. “Haven’t you eaten anything?”
“No, except for the execution we all had to attend,” Elaine said, “I’ve been here with you.”
“Hasn’t anyone brought you anything?” Béla asked, incredulous that her sister would be ignored that way for three whole days.
Elaine raised her eyebrows and shrugged her shoulders. She hadn’t thought about food, except for what sustenance she could provide for her wounded sister. Since she hadn’t broadcast her need for it, no food had been offered. Besides, she knew where the dining room was – it wasn’t like she was helpless or anything…
Sighing with new frustration, Béla closed her eyes and expanded her awareness, taking ownership of everything she absorbed. There was a human in the hall bringing food to the guard outside her bedroom, another human. She didn’t know either of them.
‘These must be Jolene’s servants, set to insure my safety,’ Béla thought. ‘Well, they’re mine now…’
She reached in and changed the intentions of both the servants. As the server arrived with the tray of food, the guard opened the bedroom door and ushered the server in. He waited by the door while the server placed the tray on the bed, bowed, and left.
“Wow!” Elaine said, totally surprised. “That was fast! How do you do that?”
She looked at Béla with new wonder.
“How do you know all the stuff you know? Like dream-walking and teleporting and, and finding stuff in people's heads, and that mind-pain separation trick. I could’ve used that when I was in that fire. That really hurt. It took all my concentration to keep from screaming while my robes burnt off me.”
Béla gazed lovingly at her sister, not quite knowing how to explain the way her mind worked. She wasn’t sure she understood it, herself – at least, not well enough to explain it. She simply did what was needed. The methods usually worked themselves out. She could usually explain what happened, ‘after the fact’, but she never really understood ‘how’ she got there.
It was all too confusing, anyway, and Elaine was sitting on the bed, naked, gazing at Béla in rapt admiration and looking much too cute and sexy to just let her sit there with all that luscious blond hair and do you have any idea how good you look right now?
Elaine grinned as she felt Béla's admiration of her body. Reaching down, she picked up an orange and bit into the peel to break off a piece with her teeth. She took a bite of peel, then spit it out. Then another, and another. When she had the orange about half-exposed, she bit into the flesh and sucked quite a bit of juice out of it. She took another bite, the lay back on Béla's bed and squeezed the rest of the juice out on her belly.
‘Yeah!’ Elaine thought at Béla, throwing her head back with a great burst of lust.
Then their faces nearly collided as the two sisters greedily reached for each other. In their enthusiasm, they didn’t even notice when they rolled off the bed and onto the thickly carpeted floor as they wrestled playfully, each trying to draw first blood on the other.
Béla won, but she had spent the last three days resting and sucking on Elaine’s neck whenever it was offered, while Elaine, although excited and aroused, was much nearer to exhaustion.
“Ooh,” Elaine murmured as she lay on the floor. She giggled and tried unsuccessfully to fend off Béla’s sharp little teeth piercing her left nipple, then finally just lay there and let her dark-haired sister have her way with her. It was pleasant, anyway – all that sucking sensation in her breast going right to her pussy…
“You’re really wiped,” Béla declared, releasing her extended nipple after a moment. “You’ve never given up that easily before.”
“Umm,” Elaine replied dreamily. “Feels good…”
She weakly radiated her lust up toward that sexy female that had her pinned to the floor.
“Do me…” Elaine murmured, and tried to pull her legs out from under all that weight to make herself more available to a warm, wet tongue that owed her a great deal.
Béla grinned down at her almost unconscious sister and bit her other nipple, trying to wake her back up.
“Ah!” Elaine cried out and tried to push Béla away, again.
“Can’t finish what you started, huh?” Béla asked, then sighed in friendly frustration.
Elaine felt that warm, wet mouth moving down her stomach and shoved her pelvis forward to meet it.
“Yeah… that’s it,” she murmured as Béla reached that special little nub of pleasure.
Béla licked Elaine’s clitoris directly and a little roughly, trying to get a more active response. Elaine twitched several times, then completely relaxed. She didn’t even move when Béla bit down on it, drawing blood.
“Oh, well,” Béla sighed.
She crawled up next to her sister and dropped down beside her with one arm over Elaine’s warm, soft stomach. In another moment, she was asleep with her lips pressed softly against the side of Elaine’s now-healed breast, seeming to kiss it as she dreamed.
The food tray sat on the edge of the bed, forgotten, for now.