I could feel Gannara smile against my head where he was leaning as I stared at Farasha. “As you can, Minis. As you can,” he whispered to me. His hand moved softly against the silk on my belly. Surya said… Zinchaer said… I quivered all over my body as Farasha put her hand on me, her bare fingers on the soft skin of my… penis… my hands were…their hands were… I… I…
I burst out wet as in a dream and couldn’t stop couldn’t control it… She’d just touched me and… I was all wet and it was getting cold almost immediately and I was sobbing. I cried wetness out of me top and bottom and it was wonderful but too fast and grieving all at the same time. “It’s disgusting I shouldn’t I …” She put her fingers…they were dry but smelled of me, over my mouth.
“Shhh, Minis. It’s all right. You haven’t hurt me… you haven’t hurt Gannara. You just came, that’s all.”
Gannara… he just let her talk. Her people… they were teachers. She was going to be a teacher as well… They hadn’t let go of me, except to produce another handkerchief from a night table to wipe us all off.
“It’s… it’sss all right?” I managed to pull in a sobbing, breath, over surges of tears trying to come out of my throat.
“Yeha, Min,” Gannara said from behind me. “Nobody took anything from anybody. Nobody made anybody do anything against their will. Farasha and I have been talking about it with Surya, about us and about you. My Haian on the island kind of mentioned this to me, too.” His hands tightened a little on me and shook me a little. “Do you hear us?”
I had to turn more towards him. It wasn’t Rim dawn and I didn’t have that much time… but they seemed perfectly happy holding me between them, holding each other too. “It is love, Minis. Not domination, or use, or abuse,” Farasha said. I had someone’s hair caught in my eyelashes and had to toss my head to get loose.
I nodded but couldn’t find a smile in me, yet. And my arms were full so I couldn’t wipe my face or blow my nose. “I want to sit up. I’m all snot and it’s getting itchy.” They’d wiped up my semen so I wasn’t itching there, just my face, as I scooted up to sit between the pillows and they sat up too, in the dim morning, so we were a circle of three, knee to knee to knee.
We all tied our hair back but in the night it often worked its way loose of the ties, and the three of us all had hair tangled together. I was still crying, almost without realizing it… not sobbing but the tears kept right on. “I’m not surprised, Minis,” Gannara said. “You’ve been wound so tight and now you’ve not been tying yourself down so you can just get erections when your body needs to… I mean sometimes it’s just because you have to pee, sometimes it’s just because. Not because you’re a lust-crazed beast – “ Farasha giggled and broke in “—not like some lust-crazed beasts I know.”
“Oh stop.” Gannara was unpicking a long curl from where it was caught with mine. He was careful because of the fragile extensions.
“He knows I’m joking, don’t you Minis?” She couldn’t toss her head because she’d pull our hair and the three of us started laughing that we had to sit still and un-pick ourselves from each other.
It was funny seeing her tease him like that. It was good to know that their being together was normal enough, fixed enough, that he could be teased. And she knew it. “You know this is too good to be true,” I said.
Gan snorted. “No, it’s not.” He contradicted me. “It’s normal… maybe not for Arkans but for most of the rest of the world. It’s sex and you’re an age where you’re going to want lots of it. So you’d better get used to it.”
“I… suppose.” For some reason that idea made me squirm. “I suppose I wouldn’t be lucky enough to have a low sex drive?”
They stared at me and then just fell over laughing, a tangle of arms and hair and they rocked the bed with it. “It’s not funny…” It was Gannara who pulled me over into the laughing knot of them, I think, and they just held me. Because I wanted to be held. Because I… it was all right that I be just held? It was hard to see but not hard to feel them laugh or smile, against their chests and bodies as if we’d been wrestling, not having… having… sex… I pulled another deep breath and turned my face to one, then the other to kiss them. Innocent kisses but still kisses. I caught Gan on the cheek and Fara on the chin and she giggled.
“You need a little more practice… but not this morning. I have to study for my investigations and scrutinies. They will be coming up just after your election day so I’m going to be a busy woman.”
“And I promised Skorsas I’d roust you out of bed to catch your wind before Rim Dawn, so…”
I wiggled out from the pile we’d somehow become. “Last one into the cascade is a sheep fikker!”
“Ceiling squirter! Hey… I guess I am…”
He hit me in the face with a towel so he could slide into the cascade booth first. “Hey, no fair! You have more time than I do…!”
I pushed on the door and he let it go so I staggered in, past him. “I’ll take second cascade. You’re right, you are a ceiling squirter now!” I threw the soap vaguely in his direction.
Then, of course, I had to be the very adult version of me and fly off to my speaking tour. It was the oddest thing. During the day I was trying to be as old a second thresholder as I could be and at night, in inns and manor houses and once or twice the tiny little flying tents when the weather was against us, I would go over what Surya had said and what my loves had sent me off with, as if I were a much younger boy.
I looked down at myself and did my best just to see those organs as… organs, not vile ones. I wouldn’t despise my arms or my legs or my stomach. I should not despise those parts of me either. That’s what Zinchaer had been trying to tell me. And Surya had repeated when he came back to Arko with Chevenga.
My penis… it wasn’t at fault for what my sire had done. And of course it was sensitive. It was supposed to be. It was pale and sparsely fuzzed around its base with hair now and it didn’t really look like my father’s when I looked at it. I bit my lip and raised it up in my fingers to look at it, pulling the skin down to expose it. It looked tender, the head of it a darker pink. I hid it in its shroud of flesh and it hardened a little but then subsided again as I didn’t keep playing with it. Lines from my illicit Haian book came back, using Haian terms to describe the various parts.
It was difficult just to look and touch without judging or hating. “Surya will get you to do a lot of difficult things, but only as you can bear.” Chevenga telling me that came back to me. Difficult was right.
My sack wrinkled up as I tensed muscles inside, and that whole part of me twitched. I couldn’t see it as beautiful yet. It looked more pathetic and a little ridiculous. I gingerly slid my hand under the sack and hefted it, trying to see it just for what it was. Part of me. I couldn’t celebrate it yet, though that was my goal. And I had people to help me with that goal. I was just not allowed to go down the ugly paths in my head any longer.
I stiffened one finger and poked myself as if I were poking a recalcitrant child. It twitched. “You… just keep behaving yourself.” I said. “And we might just get along after all.”