The fountain gurgled and changed its flow from ten jets to a single flow, almost like a living thing sleeping, quietly breathing in the dark all around them. “The Fenjitza gave me a little book…” The baths were dreamlike, with the thin shafts of moonlight making spikes of bright contrast. It was so strange, to not have anything pressing on her body, except for the lounge and the soft towel she lay on. The air moved over her bare skin and cooling the last droplets of water. Her wet hair flowed away over the edge of the chaise and for the first time in an eight day, she was cool.
“I… brought a little bit of oil,” Laisa’s voice out of the dark.
“So did I,” Skala said.
Atzana giggled. “Me too. I was scared but I hoped, too…”
“We all did, didn’t we?” Ky smiled. She delicately laid a bare hand on her own belly. Goose-flesh shivered over her skin, her shoulders, as she shivered. It reminded her of Farasha’s touch though it wasn’t as intense as quickly. It was gentler, softer. Her fingertips… she could understand why people wore gloves. Fingertips were so sensitive… “Oooooh.”
“Is my belly suppppposed to be… so…”
Their voices were full of surprise and wonder, it was hard to separate as if they were all together, unseen but only heard in the steamy night, blurring into the dreamlike quality. “Ohh. Try touching your breasts… the nipples!”
“Ooooh that’sssss wonderful!”
“Sh… should I be getting this wet be--- between my legs? Isn’t this what… the priest was supposed to…”
“Shhhhhhh. The Fenjitza says…. Oooh… she says… it’s all right… she says… touch gently. Touch is all right.”
Ky dreamily moved her hands over herself as her friends spoke, calling up foggy memories of what had happened between Farasha and her. Being kissed. Farasha’s lips on her neck as she watched Minis’s face almost frighteningly ecstatic, Gannara’s face, eyes closed intense almost pain creasing his dark brows.
The sounds the boys had made had thrilled her, sent shocks like lightning strikes all through her, connecting to Farasha’s fingers and lips and tongue.
Young women’s voices were beginning to pant, beginning to gasp and sigh as fingertips found their breast-tips and wandered down their own bodies, or up inner thighs, trailing oils until they found the deep folds between their legs.
“Oh, my beloved Goddess!”
“I… haven’t… even touched mmmm… mmmmm…. Wasshshshshshing… mmmmm.”
It is like passion wafting out of our mouths… the way people describe seeing one’s breath… I cannot imagine being cold…
“Do… don’t get scared and stop… it’s all right. It’s good. It’s all good.”
“Selinaaaaaeee! Oooh… ooooh, Goddess!”
“Gran… described something like this with Granpa… she said… he…oooooohhhh…”
“Kissed her? Touched her as if shshsheee were a… a…boy… a lover?”
"You're so bad!" A giggle from someone -- more than one. “Yesssss! Oh… oh… oh my… Oh Goddess!”
Ky knew… she remembered she wanted oh… yes… there… She had all her fingers on that special, slippery, deep place in her folds. Her breath caught and she seized her lower lip in her teeth as someone… Skala? Atzana? Someone made a noise in the night, high like a bird almost trilling. Her fingers slipped over herself and the sound and the memory lifted her up over into the thundering space in her mind where the sensations washed through her like the washing of the streets, flooding every fingerwidth of her skin, from head to fingertips and surging back up toward her head like waves.
“Selinae! Selinae! Selinae! O!”
The waves were mixed with the sounds all around her, her friends all finding the place where she was, sending her back into the climax, into another. The book said women could… more than once. “Oooh oooh!”
“Ohhhh.” A warm, fulfilled sigh from across the room. “That…. Ooooh…. That was… lovely…”
A giggle. “I feel so… so… smooth!”
Another giggle. “The House of Masks teaches these classes to their girls,” Riala said, dreamily. “I… only did… one… and promised Mother… the Fenjitza … I would do more…”
“I’m going to do that a LOT more!” Irrepressible, Skala laughed right out loud.
“SHHHHHHHH!” Everyone shushed her and silence fell except for the whisper of the fountain and a very distant Sereniteer’s whistle, fading out of earshot. Everyone seemed to be holding their breath. Then someone giggled and they all started laughing.
“Laisa… you going to get the Regent Imperator to do such things to you? Your parents have been up to the Marble Palace more than once…”
“Hush! Hush! Maybe… Oooh… he has really strong hands… and the Yeoli Imperator taught him things…” Her voice faded away as she imagined things.
“Oh… I need to go into the water again… and rinse all this sweat off me! How did I get so sweaty?”
“How indeed? You must have been doing something strenuous.”
“Nonsense! It’s the heat. The heat I tell you!”
The highest leaves of the tallest trees in the garden began whispering with a growing breeze as the young women rinsed themselves off and by the time they wrapped themselves in swaddling towels and crept across the garden to get back to Kyriala’s rooms, the wind was beginning to move the top branches, as cool air began to sweep down over the north Rim.