Season 1, Episode 7
Written by Tof Eklund
Read by Tawn Krakowski
Scattered thoughts whipped through my mind like loose leaves of paper tossed about by a gale. Thoughts of herbcraft, botany, astronomy, all flew away. Kaye’s dream and my own…were they connected? Unbidden, memories of the dream returned to my mind. I was seated on a throne, simultaneously regal and carnal, as I shrugged off my robe, opened my thighs, and beckoned to a beautiful young man whose face was now clearly the same as that of the handsome Prince before me.
“The pearl without price…” I whispered, then trailed off.
Kaye’s head shot up. “That’s it!” he exclaimed. “That’s what it was called in my dream!”
“Kaye, would you describe your dream to me?”
“Of course, Yelen,” he replied, then flushed, his cheeks turning bright red. He paused for a moment, then continued slowly. “It was strange. I had a dream last night, and in it, I could walk, but that wasn’t the remarkable thing. I’ve had dreams about walking before, and one in which I was a great bird with snow white wings.” He paused again.
“In this dream, I was taken before a dais on which was enthroned the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.” He paused and smiled at me. I may have frowned back—I did not like where this was going. “She called me up to her and then she showed me her body, and explained it to me. It was just like you said the other day, but seeing it, it all made sense. She called the clitoris ‘the pearl without price’, just like you did now.”
I tried to keep my expression impassive, but the heat in my cheeks was giving me away.
Kay continued. “She spoke like a goddess…Yelen, what does the Goddess you worship look like?”
I’d asked him to describe his dream, but now I was relieved to have a chance to change the topic. “She doesn’t look like anyone, or anything in particular. When we speak of the Goddess, we mean life itself, and nature, as an ongoing magical process. That is what we hold to be divine, not any particular human form or incarnation.”
“Oh.” Kaye’s root-deep blush deepened, if that was possible. “I was wondering if she might look like you.”
“Ah…I meant, if she might have your hair and complexion, like any Sister of the Order.”
“Not all of the Sisters look like me. I was born on the Maragoya peninsula, the Order’s home country, but many women come to Maragoya seeking out the Order, guided by the visions that mark the first communion with the Power. There are Sisters of every race and color.”
“So the Goddess doesn’t have a human face?”
“Well, there are stories in which she manifests herself in the form of a loved one, and some Sisters say they’ve felt her presence.”
“Have you ever felt her presence?”
I almost said no. I used to think that those who claimed to feel the Goddess inside them, or to hear her voice, were engaged in wishful thinking. Suddenly, I wasn’t so sure. I replied simply, “I…don’t know.”
I did not tell Kaye of my dream. There followed a somewhat awkward and embarrassing fortnight, as every day Kaye had new questions for me about different sex acts and positions. His knowledge was extensive, as he described almost half of “the seventy paths,” as well as a few things I’d never heard of, but his vocabulary continued to be strange and lyrical.
When I offered to teach Kaye the truth about human sexuality, I had thought that I was ready for any question he might have, but this was something else entirely. He asked a few of the questions I’d been prepared to answer, about the lunar cycle of female fertility, and the importance of respect as well as affection in lovemaking, but the other things he asked about showed a visceral understanding of sex that exceeded my own. We spent those lessons sitting close so we could speak quietly, without risk of our voices carrying. I found myself uncomfortably aware of his presence, the rhythm of his voice, the light in his eyes, the breadth of his shoulders…
On the twelfth day of this subtle torture, I was sitting with Kaye, my legs pressed tightly together and my breathing a little quick as he described a novel approach to cunnilingus that he called: “the supplicant’s approach to the gates as the sun rises.” I was trying, without success, not to visualize what he was saying.
Increasingly desperate for a change of topic, I asked him a question I’d been putting off, afraid of what the answer might be. “Kaye, where did you learn all of this?”
Kaye cocked an eyebrow at me as he replied. “Yelen, I already told you. It was all in my dream.”
“You’ve had more dreams about sex?” That was no surprise, at his age.
“No. Well, um, yes,” he was blushing again, “but they’ve been normal dreams.”
“Wait, are you saying—”
Kaye cut me off, speaking in a rush. “All of the things I didn’t know before, all of that was from the dream with the woman on the throne. We did all of the things I’ve been asking about—in the dream, I mean.”
I almost slipped and said, “But that didn’t happen in my dream.”
Kaye continued, explaining how the woman in his dream—the woman who looked like me—had guided him through one position after another, explained and demonstrated technique after technique, an entire erotic novel played out in a single night. Even more remarkably, Kaye remembered it all with crystal clarity.
As amazing as this was, my attention was already divided. This dream of Kaye’s could mean a lot of things. Competing ideas clamored for my attention, as curiosity, worry, and arousal battled amongst themselves within the confines of my mind and body. With a colossal effort, I pushed them all down.
Kaye finished speaking, and looked at me. He was so close, I could have put my hand on his rosy cheek. Despite the blush, his gaze was intent, and I found myself counting the bright flecks of green in those hazel eyes, like emeralds in the dark.
“Yelen.” Kaye leaned in even closer as he spoke, his full lips parting around my name. I found myself staring at those very kissable lips.
I bit my tongue and I shook my head violently. No. Not this. Not now. “Kaye,” I said, trying to keep my voice even, “I think we’re done for the day.”
Kaye shrank visibly. “Did I offend you?”
“No, Kaye. But this dream of yours may be important. I need to think about it.”
As I stood to leave, he stretched out his hand, beckoning me to stay. His bare fingers brushed over my gloved palm before clasping mine. There was the briefest moment of silence as our fingers touched and we gazed at each other, then I gasped and jerked back, shocked by the intensity of the sensation. I turned on my heel and rushed off before he could say anything else or pick up his crutches to come after me.
I threw the bolt on the door to my room, slipped off my shoes, stripped off my gloves, and threw myself facedown onto my bed. There was inarguably something supernatural about Kaye’s dream, and the connection between our dreams was something I couldn’t dismiss as coincidence. If Brinna hadn’t come pounding on my door, my dream would probably have continued to mirror Kaye’s. A night spent dreaming of sex, teaching him how to touch me—that was literally a seductive thought.
I rose a little and lifted my skirts out of the way, so I could slide my left hand, the hand that Kaye had held, between my legs. I groaned as pent-up desire washed over me, and my hips thrust on their own, grinding the dark curls of my pubic hair into the palm of my hand. I was so worked up that it didn’t take me long to bring myself to a shuddering climax. Afterwards, I tried to relax and let my thoughts drift, but they kept coming back to Kaye and his dream. There were bigger things at stake here than my reckless libido.
There was the possibility that I’d been drawn into Kaye’s dream merely by proximity, a side effect of his wyrd. It would only be reasonable for Kaye to associate me with learning about sex, as I’d taken that responsibility willingly—I just hadn’t imagined where it would lead.
That’s what you get for involving yourself, I thought. If you’d just remained the observer you’re supposed to be, you wouldn’t be caught in this mess.
Of course, if I’d remained a strict observer, Kaye would be dead, and that was unconscionable. I liked him, I was attracted to him, but that didn’t necessarily mean anything. We’d been pushed together by circumstances and the fact that most of the other people in the palace were inappropriately educated, prejudiced, or simply moronic. I’d watched him grow from a child into a dashing young man, and he’d known me, I hoped, as a stable force in his turbulent life.
It was my responsibility to maintain an appropriate relationship. My duty to the order, to Queen Theobel, whom I respected, to Kaye, and my own self-respect all required that. Any attraction he might feel towards me would surely soon fade, as he experienced more of the world. There is precedent for people learning new skills in dreams.
Perhaps he will need to seduce some poor girl to accomplish his fate, I thought. I don’t know whether to pity or envy her.
Two days later, my period began. At the time, I thought nothing of it.
© 2012 Copyright Tof Eklund
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