As Soaring Ibis walked through the comfortable valley night, she started to sweat. It had nothing to do with the weather – the air was crisp without being cold, and the cut of her kimono kept her body at a breezy temperature. No, the cause of her sudden fluster was something else entirely: a bundle of emotions radiating from the house she neared. The Songstress was powerfully empathic, but it was a sense she could turn off with most people fairly trivially. Not so around her Guardians; the strong attachment she held to them had quite nearly bonded them even before her Exaltation, and had only grown after she had created the shared awareness charm that linked them. It was a wondrous power, but it could be…inconvenient…at times.
Which was why, as she arrived at the door of the house she shared with Cinder and Wake, her face and neck were flushed, and she was very nearly panting. The awareness, and effect on her own emotions, grew stronger with proximity, and especially intense emotions. This close, she could easily feel what was going on inside; she was just glad it was late enough that she was alone outside. But she wouldn’t be alone much longer.
Sliding the door open, she heard a long, lustful groan in Cinder’s voice carry down the hall, and felt a long shudder of satisfaction up her own spine. She stepped out of her shoes, and padded toward the bedroom on quiet feet, her heart racing. Cinder was ablaze inside, and her excitement was contagious. Wake was equally charged, but she forced that awareness away for a bit longer. She could hold herself back while feeling Cinder thanks to their shared gender – for reasons she couldn’t explain, it was easier to make room in her mind for the emotions of another woman. Letting Wake in in such a state would make her lose control, though, and she had to be ready before doing that.
Entering the bedroom, she could quite clearly see Wake on top of Cinder. The light of the nighttime sky reflected from small collectors she had designed, and cast Wake’s back in pale illumination. The lean muscles under his skin tensed and relaxed as he thrust into Cinder, and her knees stayed tight around his waist, forcing him more fully against her on each push. Even with the windows open, the air in the room was thick with the scents of sweat and intimacy, and each time Wake rocked forward, their hips met with a loud smack, causing Cinder to continually gasp and moan out her enjoyment.
Ibis was certain they noticed her arrival, but they naturally kept going, and she made no move to stop them. Removing her obi, she shed the layers of her clothing as she moved to a water basin across the room, and used the cool water to wipe down her face, neck, arms, and legs. When she finished, she approached her two companions and lay on her side near Cinder, watching. Her sempai lay back on a pile of cushions, her dark hair fanned out beneath her, arching her back in time with her partner’s movements. Wake’s arms were braced around her sides, while her own looped under his armpits so she could grip his shoulder blades. They were both slick with sweat, and Ibis licked her lips as she watched them enjoy each other. Wake pulled himself closer, Cinder rolled her hips excitedly, and her cries kicked up in intensity as her lover sped up his motions.
Now Ibis opened her mind to Wake’s emotions, and suddenly she felt it all. He was nearing a release, and Ibis enjoyed every delicious second as he coaxed Cinder closer and closer as well, leaning down to lick and suck on her neck as he drove her into the cushions. They climaxed practically in unison, Cinder tightening her thighs and keeping him buried in her, and Ibis nearly joined them, just from the emotional rush. Wake gasped, and rocked his hips steadily against Cinder’s for a long moment, then finally lifted up off of her after a kiss, the woman’s full breasts heaving as she caught her breath.
Before he could work himself out of Cinder, Ibis leaned over and kissed her deeply. Her sempai reached up to bury a hand in her hair, and only let it drop again after a long, wet kiss, closing her eyes and relaxing back against the cushions. “You’re late, kohai.”
“I’m here now, sempai,” Ibis said with a playful smile. “And now you’re warmed up.”
“You can say that again,” Wake commented between deep breaths, sitting up close by. “I think she actually tried to break my hip earlier.”
“Then maybe I should finish the job.” Ibis pushed him over onto his back, and climbed atop his legs, growling sensually. “If you’re no longer fit enough to handle Cinder-sempai, then you clearly need some practice.” Straddling his lap, she stroked him with a hand and one thigh, wantonly preparing him for herself. He let her do as she pleased, looking up to her and moving his hands to her breasts, squeezing them gently as their eyes met and lingered on each other. Ibis let her eyes lid a bit in enjoyment shortly after, and eventually lifted her hips, pulling his arousal to her and slipping him into her body. Even with her excitement, he was still a snug fit, and it was a few moments before her hips came to rest against his lap again.
Wake had been one of her first lovers; she could still remember the night several summers before her Exaltation when the Water Aspect had been in a particularly amorous mood, and claimed her for the first time. She still occasionally blushed when recalling the things they had done in the hot springs that night. But there was no meek blushing tonight. Taking a moment to enjoy the full sensation he gave her, she leaned forward to brace her hands on his chest, and began riding him, bucking her hips eagerly on top of his own. She was in better spirits after clearing her mind and working on Argus, but she was still wound-up, and being able to just let loose was exactly what she needed. So as her motions were met by Wake’s own beneath her, Ibis tossed her head and let the last of her restraint ebb away. Wake’s hands gradually left her breasts, tracing a path along her sides and down to rest on her hips, and he moaned low in his throat as her body swallowed him in each time, pulling her down and lifting his hips up to meet hers. The awareness of his desire for her washed over her anew; she drank it in hungrily, and worked herself on and off of him, raking her nails down his chest and crying out in need.
A few minutes of riding later, she saw Cinder move in her periphery, and then the other woman’s hand seized her chin gently, turning her head so that their lips met in another deep kiss. When Cinder pulled away, Ibis panted out, then whimpered quietly as she felt something else propelling her hips shortly after. Cinder had slid around behind her, and now the woman’s hands were on Ibis’s hips, causing her to pump Wake even harder. In response, she leaned forward and accepted her sempai’s direction, shifting her hands from Wake’s chest to the cushions around his head as her breasts swayed and brushed along his skin.
As Wake neared another release, Ibis’s pulse quickened; she desperately needed one as well, and with Wake’s hungry pumping, and Cinder pressing her breasts to Ibis’s back in-between fondling her, she knew she was getting close, too. He got there first; his body seized up underneath her as he gasped, and she moaned in delight as he throbbed inside of her, his hands gripping her thighs firmly. She wasn’t far behind, and before he finished his release, her body clamped down hard around him, and she tossed her head high, crying out in satisfaction as she shuddered from head to toe.
Long moments passed before she was able to move again. Easing Wake out of her body, she lowered herself to the cushions at his side, and lay on her back, letting her thighs fall open. Cinder crawled over and began first licking, then suckling, her nipple, and Wake joined in on her other one a moment later, until she was rubbing both of their heads and moaning softly. The break was relaxing, and she closed her eyes and smiled. But she didn’t get long to rest. Cinder shifted so that she was sitting near Ibis’s head after a bit, and leaned down to pin her kohai’s wrists against the cushions. Wake slid between Ibis’s thighs, and she gasped, hooking her ankles together behind his back as he started in on her again. Her head swam in the intimacy, and she gave herself over fully to them again, losing herself in the enjoyment until her body tumbled into orgasm again. But Wake still wasn’t finished; as soon as she came back down, he rolled her over, pulled her up onto her hands and knees, and mounted her eagerly, sending her right back into excited pants as Cinder sat back for a while and watched with a pleased smile on her face. Wake was rougher this time, and Ibis arched and purred at the treatment, leaning forward to nip gently at Cinder’s breasts whenever she could, but otherwise letting her body flow with Wake’s pace.
He finally finished with her some long while, and several climaxes between them, later. As Wake leaned up off of her back and slipped out of her slowly, she rocked forward onto her elbows, and took a long moment to just breathe. Her arms were tired, her hips were sore, and she was nearly hoarse, but her body swam in euphoric satisfaction, and she sighed in deep fulfillment. Cinder pulled her close after a bit and shared another kiss with her, then smoothed out the cushions and lay down with her. Wake followed suit shortly after, nestling in on Cinder’s other side, and in a few minutes Ibis drifted off to sleep to the rhythmic sounds of her lovers’ breathing.
Despite the relaxed atmosphere – and the full-body exhaustion – she didn’t sleep for long. A familiar sensation returned to the fore of her mind, and she awoke while the moon was still high in the sky. Cinder had rolled over to cuddle more with Wake, so Ibis decided to go ahead and get up for a little while. She knew better than to try and get back to sleep while in this particular mindset. Reaching for her juban, she wrapped the light robe around her frame, and opened the side door leading to the inner garden of the house, stepping out onto the wooden walk and into the night.
The only sounds that greeted her footsteps were the chirping of insects and the quiet bubbling of the pond’s small waterfall. Sitting on the walkway at the garden’s edge, Ibis dangled her legs over the side, looked up at the moon, and sighed. Through that large, nearly full moon, she could feel someone calling out to her. It was like the bond she had with Wake and Cinder, but it was something far older, and more visceral. And this person could be anywhere on Creation. She had come to know this feeling well since it had started a year before; it was the pull of her Lunar bond.
“I thought I might find you here,” came Cinder’s voice down the walkway a few minutes later. Unlike Ibis, she had not bothered with clothes; as she moved, her skin shone in the pale light, and the sinuous grace of her curves caught Ibis’s eye with each step. She was radiantly beautiful. Whenever Ibis had heard stories of the valor, noble bearing, and general mien of the first Dragon-Bloods during the Primordial War, she had pictured them as looking like Cinder and Wake. They made her heart leap, and sometimes, they were all that kept her from abandoning her wits. “Is it the call again?”
“It is. It’s almost as if I can hear her out there, tonight.”
“Do you think she’s close?” Cinder asked as she came to sit by Ibis.
“It’s hard to say. She’s still…indistinct, too vague to pinpoint. As if something is shielding her from my awareness. But if I had to guess, I’d say no, she’s not close.”
Cinder nodded, then sat in silence. She knew quite well that one of Ibis’s biggest reasons for wanting to travel was to find her Lunar. For someone as emotionally perceptive as Ibis, being separated from one of her soul mates was torture, even though they had never met. Usually, she could bury that longing somewhere deep. But on some nights, when the moon was just right, it nearly consumed her. Cinder knew these things, but she never pushed Ibis to stop thinking about them. She would just sit with her until they went away. Ibis couldn’t have asked for a better pick-me-up.
“I’m alright,” Ibis finally spoke again. “Thank you for being here.”
Smiling comfortingly, Cinder nodded. “It’s no trouble. I wanted to be here, so I’m here. Wake would have too, I’m sure, but I think we completely sapped his energy tonight.”
Ibis laughed, and smiled brightly. “That’s what happens when he tries to out-drink Lilac. But I love him anyway, the goof. And you, as well.”
Cinder smiled again, and placed her hands on Ibis’s. “And we both love you. Dearly.”
Leaning over to her, Ibis rested her head against Cinder’s chest, just listening to the other woman’s heartbeat for a while. When she raised her head again, she looked into Cinder’s deep indigo eyes, and kissed her passionately. As if on cue, Cinder’s emotions forced their way back into Ibis’s awareness, and the Songstress nearly gasped at how overwhelming they were. This was an important, maybe the most important, reason why she could avoid becoming obsessed with her Lunar bond. Cinder was composed and serene as any candle on the outside, but inside she was a raging inferno, all life and energy and passion. Ibis thought that anyone who watched her and Wake should have seen it; they seemed starkly different, but they were both creatures of true exuberance and elan, and the love they shared was intense. Just a taste of her own portion of that love was enough to keep Ibis’s other longing at bay. When she felt it all….
Cinder’s hand went to the band holding Ibis’s hair up, and a moment later her locks were freed from the tail, tumbling down around her shoulders. Ibis nipped the other woman’s nose affectionately, and then lowered her head, trailing a path down Cinder’s neck and breasts with her lips. She continued on down, and when she reached Cinder’s navel, she slid off of the walkway to the grass in front of it, then knelt and kissed Cinder’s knee, easing her legs open and nibbling on her thighs playfully. Obliging her silent request, Cinder kept her hand in Ibis’s hair, but tilted back a bit as her kohai’s lips approached her pelvis. Ibis nuzzled her nose teasingly against the dark patch of hair immediately between Cinder’s thighs, and then dropped lower, settling her hands on her partner’s legs. Her tongue slipped out to rub lightly on Cinder’s clitoris, and she smiled as she felt Cinder’s fingers fist in her hair. She gradually coaxed it from hiding, and gently sucked on the little nub for a bit, drawing an excited, husky moan from Cinder’s throat.
Ibis then moved her tongue to Cinder’s slick warmth, and lapped along it a few times slowly. Wake’s taste immediately hit her as well, and she felt a lustful jolt in her own body, gripping Cinder’s legs and plunging her tongue inside her deeply as her lover rubbed the back of her head in encouragement, and grew increasingly quick and shallow with her breathing. When her sempai slammed her free hand against the wooden walkway loudly and began to quiver in release, Ibis rode the dual surges of Cinder’s physical finish and emotional rush, then cleaned her up with lips and tongue, finally raising back up and rubbing her cheek to Cinder’s stomach.
The other woman sat stroking Ibis’s other cheek for a long while, then lifted her fully to her feet again. But that turned out to be only so she could playfully push Ibis onto her back into the grass. Laughing happily, Ibis watched as Cinder sauntered down the nearby steps, hips swaying, and walked over to her , dropping to her hands and knees and crawling towards her like a hunting cat. “Your turn, kohai.”
“I’m all yours, sempai,” Ibis purred, her heart leaping into her throat.
Continuing her steady prowl, Cinder came to loom over Ibis, and lowered to fasten her lips to the younger woman’s neck. They then traveled to Ibis’s chin, cheeks, collarbone, shoulders, breasts, stomach, on and on until her skin was flushed in arousal. When Cinder’s eyes cut to below her waist, Ibis parted her thighs and very nearly whined out in anticipation. The other woman smiled and wrapped her arms around Ibis’s thighs, her thick dark locks dangling to tickle Ibis’s skin as she lowered to taste her heat. Cooing in pleasure, Ibis braced herself on her elbows, her juban falling away from her frame, and closed her eyes as she felt Cinder’s tongue go to work on her. It sent hypnotic tingles up and down her back as it danced inside her, and every time its warm touch slipped out to brush her sensitive nub, she arched her body, raising her breasts and feeling the cool air on her nipples.
It wasn’t long before her voice broke out into an eager moan of ecstasy, and she bucked some as an orgasm swept through her, collapsing into the grass afterward and panting heavily. Giving her a long, deep kiss that kept their tongues wrestling for a while, Cinder held her close for a bit, then helped her to her feet. They held hands warmly as they returned to the bedroom, and lay down on either side of Wake a few moments later. Even in sleep, his arms closed around their bodies, and they both looped an arm over his chest, nuzzling against him and drifting back to sleep. The call was once again quiet in Ibis’s mind, and for now, that would do. It would do.