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Generated: Apr 05, 2021 9:11 PM
Post last updated: Apr 05, 2021 9:11 PM
A Game of Blossoming Pieces
Permalink Mark Unread

The foyer of the Rosethorn Hotel is deserted. A crisp white letter addressed to "Mm. Iron" sits on the front desk. There are no other signs of life.

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She gingerly examines the letter, taking it into her hands. 

She hadn't expected this place to be so... empty, with the reputation the Rosethorn hotel had but...

It was a little nice. 

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Welcome to the Rosethorn Hotel, Mm. Iron. Your room is number 68. Please find your key enclosed and enjoy your stay.

- The Management

There is a small key enclosed, made of a pearlescent pink material.

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She? gently palms the key, feeling the weight of it in her hand and watching it catch the light a little. 

...She glanced around to see what the room numbering scheme was, poking her head into a hall to see what the numbering was like. 

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Neat numbers painted on hardwood doors. The nearest row starts at 60. How convenient.

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She smiles slightly, and checks to ensure that the number system is reasonable - hopefully it's not the sort of one with those odd skipping numbering systems...

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Even numbers on the left, odd numbers on the right. No skips.

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She nods slightly satisfiedly, and presses her key into the door's lock, if it has one, and opens the door somewhat timidly.

 

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Inside, there's a blooming-flower console surrounded by two couches and a lot of free space. Atop the console is a brochure for Club Coze and a picture of a winged, horned girl with a soft, welcoming smile. There's a phone number beneath the picture. There's a small bottle of what's labelled as "Aphrodia Essence", and a teaset set up and steaming with a small platter of chocolate biscuits. There's also a heavy blanket all neatly folded up.

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She sits one one of the couches, relaxing back slowly, grabbing the brochure and the bottle of "Aphrodia Essence", scanning the label for more details and paging through to look through what going to "Club Coze" entails - at a glance it looks interesting but there's no reason not to check it out in more detail. 

The blanket she simply rests against, pressing against the piled up weight against her leg.

After a moment, she presses her tongue inquisitively against the lip of the mug to feel out the temperature and taste.

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Aphrodia Essence is advertised as offering direct pleasure and warming oneself up for other matters. Drink straight for orgasmic pleasure, dilute half-and-half for a warm buzz, or add a few drops to a glass of another drink to make it just that little bit nicer. 

Club Coze is advertised as offering board games, public cuddlepiles, trance music, pet therapy, and a dry bar for meetings and events. 

The tea is quite hot, just barely sippable. It's Earl Grey. 

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She lets out a relaxed sigh at the taste of the tea. Conventional, but comforting.

She blinks hard at the label. 

That doesn't exactly seem like the sort of thing that she would normally expect and the sort of thing that clashed quite a bit with the more conventional tea and such...

The dilution instructions were a touch confusing - she uncorked it, and turned the bottle over, stoppering it with her hand, before rubbing it slightly til all that was left was a thin layer across her thumb and index finger. 

She inquisitively licked her finger slowly. 

Were there any listed meetings scheduled to happen soon? 

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The essence sheens like silver but clings like honey. When she licks her fingers, she gets a pleasant little jolt of pleasure down her spine. 

There's a public cuddlepile scheduled for ten minutes from now. 

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She let out a little tense sigh as she shuddered a little.

It could really use a bit clearer labelling and...

That's a shame, she doubted that it would be a good idea to rush this to be done in ten minutes...

She experimentally dipped one of the chocolate biscuits into the tea, and takes a bite out of it.

 

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It tastes quite lovely. 

The next cuddlepile after that is in two hours. 

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She hums softly as she slowly nurses her teacup.

She pages through the rest of the listings - it might be interesting to try out some more exotic board game offerings or pets to encounter - that's the sort of exotic thing that she was less prone to simply getting as an ordinary pleasure...

The number and listing wasn't especially clear on what exactly the phone number was for so...

She idly dialed the number into the console, and asked. 

"Hello. I saw your number listed in a Club Coze ad - are you the right person to inquire about it's offerings?" 

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"Hello! I think you must have gotten the wrong impression, I'm not affiliated with Club Coze. My name is Tasha, I'm one of the Bower Escorts. I do primarily therapeutic work but sometimes recreational as well, and if the Bowers has given you my card there's probably a good reason. Would you like to set up an appointment?"

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She hyperventilates a little, then takes in a deep breath. 

"I think that would be a..." 

Tense breath out. 

"Good idea, yes." 

She palms the picture of her provided, and lets out a little frustrated sigh. 

"Oh, it appears like it was simply a seperate advertisement..."

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"Take it easy, these things happen. I'm available for the next two hours and then my next availability after that is in eight hours. Or we can book for a later day. What would you prefer to do?"

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"It depends - would you mind dropping by room for the appointment? It seems like it would be a shame to waste the tea the Hotel provided..."

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"I can do an incall, certainly."

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"Okay. My room number is 68. See you soon, then?"

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"Mhm."

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She hangs up. 

She sets out a sitting place for her beside her, setting out her own tea and biscuits, and fidgets nervously. 

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There's a quiet knock on the door a few minutes after she finishes.

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Oh...

She walks over to the door, and slowly opens it. 

"My apologies for not unlocking it for you earlier..."

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"It's hotel policy for staff to always knock before entering a guest room, there's no need to apologize. May I come in?"

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"Oh, of course." 

She awkwardly walks back to her seat, and drapes the covers over herself, but leaves enough that she can come under if she'd like

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Tasha sits across from her in the other seat. She pours herself tea. 

"So, Iron. Would you like to fill me in a little on who you are and what you're here for?"

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She brushes her hair back slowly. 

"I wish I knew especially well myself. I can tell you that I do elemental magic work, or that I'm a virgin and something of a shut in who is not entirely averse to changing that status. I look around a lot of what I see is just rather surreal and confusing - there's a public cuddlepile on offer when there's seemingly nothing preventing say, some Ifrit who is perpetually on fire joining, or the oddness of the procured items - 'liquid pleasure' seems a little odd, as there's so many types of pleasure and it seems like it turns into some lust effect? I just look at this and I'm confused and worry if I'm supposed to be horrified or at the very least asking some pointed questions to someone's manager."

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"Seemingly nothing is correct - space inside the bowers is nonlinear and time is a little distorted too. The fire elementals get their own public cuddlepile along with those who won't be harmed by them."

She picks up the bottle of Aphrodia.

"As for Aphrodia Essence, it's as close as we can get to generic "pleasure", it turns out including even a modest slice of sexual pleasure tends to dominate. And it's "on theme", you might say. It's quite safe and I'd be willing to drink a whole bottle in front of you to prove it."

"And I would expect I'm here both to answer your questions as an experienced priestess and to address the virgin issue."

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She blushes hard at that, and says a little haltingly. 

"I think I would be more comfortable starting with a modest dose with the tea? I d-don't think I'm quite ready to see you orgasming like the bottle seems to imply you would, though you saying that does make me curious as to if there's a non-sexual pleasure variant I could try out as well."

"It's just a little suprising that it's not as... 'user friendly' then I was expecting, and it's definitely a lot overwhelming, I suppose." 

She fidgets, fingers brushing against each other.

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"I'll have a cup of half-and-half, then. That should be about equivalent to fifteen minutes' foreplay." 

She finishes her current cup of tea and pours herself a new one halfway to the brim, then fills the glass the rest of the way with Aphrodia Essence. 

"There are other formulations - one tilted more towards relaxation, one leaning towards awe, that sort of thing - but this one is the most popular, likely because of its sexual effects."

She takes a gulp of her Aphrodia tea and lets out a pleased mmmmm that definitely belongs in the bedroom. 

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She shivers a little, and pours herself... quarter-three-quarters? 

She drinks it in, and lets out a tiny moaning sigh, idly drinking in the taste, too. 

"'Awe' is pleasure? I wouldn't have thought. I was mostly curious as to what the generalized non-sexual pleasure one summed to, but I suppose if I was aiming for something in particular it'd be something closer to contentment or maybe a dash of prideful joy..." 

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"Contentment is one of the formulations and tends to have lethargic aftereffects. 'Awe' like sacredness, like unity, like fitting-in-a-puzzle or regarding great beauty. It's a soaring feeling. Sunaira doesn't like providing it because it's an artificial alternative to real worship." 

She takes a second sip, and sighs happily. "So, you want to graduate from being a virgin?"

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She blushes softly, and adds a little more aphrodia essence to her tea. 

"I never know what to think if that phrasing - certainly, I enjoy the prospect of sex, and I doubt I would choose this place to vacation if I didn't plan on it, it's simply that I just... don't know what I want, for my first time, and I don't know if it really makes sense to put that much drama into it or anything like that. So for the moment... May I please put my head on your shoulder?"

She's quivering, a little, with a mix of lust and nerves. 

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Tasha smiles. "There's no need to be frightened. I know that doesn't help to hear, but it's true anyway. Would you like to come over here or shall I come over there?"

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"Could you please come to me?" 

She does a small sigh. 

"The specific fear is something like... I don't want to have to compete on this whole different dimension of social activity when it's already rather difficult, and  I'm shy and I don't know why people would really want to touch me or... fuck me." 

She does a tiny warm murr. 

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She comes over and leans against Iron gently.

"You're cute, physically. You care about things a lot, like with the Aphrodia and the fire elementals in the cuddlepiles. Most people aren't so quick as you to see the incongruities here; you're bright. And intelligence is attractive. You're fighting past your fear to be here with me, and that bravery is also attractive. I don't think it's very complicated; it's just about changing what your heart says to you, which right now is something like 'I'm a nobody, I'm not hot, I'm not worth anything to others.' Which is simply, factually wrong."

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She blushes furiously, and nuzzles closer, and cautiously pecks at her neck, shuddering and panting a little. 

"...Yeah." 

She pauses for a moment, and lets her fingertips trace across her hand.

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Tasha turns her hand over and lightly holds Iron's fingers. 

"Mmm. Thank you for the kiss. It's nice, especially with the Aphrodia in me. I can help you get where you want to go, if you're brave enough to ask for what you want."

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She lets out a soft mmm, and leans up to kiss her lips gently. 

"It feels... presumptuous" Kisses at her chin, leaning over to let her lips slide across her collarbone "to assume anything about what could make you" she shivers, and slides her teeth experimentally across her shoulders "feel good."

Tongue lightly presses against her neck, swirling slowly. 

"Even assuming you" stray hand wraps around her shoulder and lets her fingernails slide gently down her neck "are happy to do this, and find me attractive, I don't think there's anything" she presses her chest against hers, rubbing up against her. "Stopping you from just kinking on service and people making an effort to pleasure you, beyond anything involved, say."

Licks up her neck, tongue sliding up 'til it swirls across her lips.

"So... I suppose I'll experiment."

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Tasha giggles and leans in. "I'm a priestess, I'm not supposed to lie. So if I say you're making me feel good, you are. And you are. The fingernails are really good. And being close is good. I'd like more, but I'm holding back to your pace."

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Warm sigh, rises up to meet her nose-to-nose. 

"Another" peck. "Fear I have is..." Fingernails stroke down her chest. "That just because..." hands slide across her dress to gently cup her breasts. "You enjoy it doesn't mean you don't" teeth nibble across her lips. "Enjoy it for some reason like..." Warm sigh, delving tongue. "That it's cute to see me humiliate myself" gasp, fingertips slide down her cleavage, "that you've set up some mental hack to force it" hands flare out, pressing her breasts against the fabric "or for some 'kink' reason I don't otherwise have ability to specifically" hands wander down to her hips "parse, yet." 

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Tasha kisses back and starts to stroke at Iron's front as well, gently massaging her breasts through her shirt. 

"I swear I'm enjoying this because the sensation is pleasurable and being with you is pleasing and that I have no sensitivity or other mental hacks running at the moment to force it. I'm just picked for the position because, well... I like sex. And you're worth fucking."

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She keeps on flushing, wiggling against her massaging hands, letting out a low moaning sigh. 

Fingers trace down to her butt, hands digging in firmly and groping.

"...May I please slice or cut or rip off or just take off your clothes?"

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"Oho, feisty. You can go ahead by any method you like so long as you don't hurt me without a warning. Clothes are cheap, here."

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She conjures a simple knife, palms it in her hand and gently runs it down the centerline of her dress and necklace, easily cutting through the thread before dissmissing the knife and letting ripping it open, letting her clothes fall to the floor. 

She stares at her breasts, a little frozen.

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Tasha reaches out and places one of Iron's hands on her breast.

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She brushes the gap between her fingers around her nipples, gently teasing her aureola as she hums quietly. 

"...I'm kind of tempted to do some elaborate scheme using the Aphrodia essence, a conjured and manipulable vessel I put in your mouth that lets me vary your dosage on the fly to give you extra pleasure, but I don't know if you would be okay with that or if it would be at all adviseable, not to mention the fact that the doses required are probably overly high..."

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"I think it's a little much for your first time, darling. You can experience sex with all the extras soon enough; but you want to know that the base experience is worth your while. Yes?"

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She breathes out and nods and starts kneading the flesh of her breasts with her hands in earnest, carefully avoiding touching the nipples themselves. 

..."Could you please take off my pants?" 

Her pants are tented, her dick pressing needily against the fabric.

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Tasha gets Iron's pants off of her quite deftly, along with her underwear. Her cock is free to stand bare in the air now.

"Looks delicious," says Tasha.

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Her hips buck involuntarily a little, and her stares flick between her lips and pussy as she pants and thinks for a moment, as well as examining how 'ready' she seems to be.

She takes both nipples into the grip of her fingers, rolling and pressing and massaging the hard points as she considers.

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Tasha humms and smiles and presses in closer. 

"I can see you thinking about it," she says. "You're allowed to claim me if you wish."

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She nods and grabs her head, fingernails digging in deeply as she tries to shove her lips around her twitching cockhead.

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Tasha makes a surprised noise, then giggles and swallows Iron's cock. She takes it as deep as she can - which, because she is a courtesan, is very deep indeed.

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"Fuck."

She starts pumping her hips, thrusting in and out, bottoming as far as she can inside her and trying to keep at least a little of her around her cock at any given moment, balls slapping against her cheeks and lips.

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Glk glk glk glk glk - 

Tasha manages to breathe between thrusts and not gag, and lets Iron use her as a sex toy.

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"Good whore."

She's Close - 

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Tasha manages to hum beneath it all. 

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"Oh Fuck!"

She cums down her throat, gasping and trembling and pressing her head against her sex as she rides out her orgasm.

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Tasha smiles around Iron's dick and swallows everything she's been given.

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"Eight out of ten, give or take a half-point, I'd rate." 

Her cock is still mostly hard, and she's fairly controlled, but her chest is definitely strainedly heaving. 

She slowly slides out of her mouth, and her shoulders slump a little.

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Tasha cozes up next to her, and rests a hand lazily on her cock, playing with it lightly. 

"That was fun," she says. "Do you want more, or shall I come back later?~"

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She gently brushes her hand away from her cock. 

"I have two - no three answers. The first one is 'I would like to do more to you, like sticking my dick in your cunt and have you convulse around me as you drink a large dose of aphrodia essence', the second 'I want to get aftercare and talk to you about the experience' and the third of 'I want to try an aftercare potion and see what I think afterwards.'"

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"Let's snuggle and get an aftercare potion into you, then." Tasha pets Iron's head instead of her cock. "Mind if I pop up to do that?"

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"Feel free." 

She curls up, draping covers over her body gently and shivers and jitters slightly. 

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She gets an aftercare potion and a blanket and hugs Iron with it.

"Here, drink."

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She gently drinks it up, taking a small swig of the blueberry-esque potion, and pulls the covers tighter around her. 

She lets out a small sigh, and nuzzles her cheek against the covers beside her.

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Tasha smiles. 

"You're really cute all cuddled up like this."

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She blushes shyly, and stretches out a little, humming softly as she drinks down the rest of the potion.

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Tasha pets her a little more and stays silent.

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She lets out a small murr.

...She appears to be a little low on the capacity to speak, right now.

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Tasha will keep petting her gently for a while, then.

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She lets out a small tired hum. 

"...Is it odd that I want to give you a complete review, and feel like it would be wrong to talk about anything else first?" 

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"No, that's fine. I'm always up for professional feedback."

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She nods slowly. 

"I suppose the comment that I would start with would be that you are beautiful and hot and caring and kind, and I appreciate the dedication you show in your work."

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"Awwwww. Thank you."

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She smiles slightly. 

"You're welcome." 

"But the main body of comment was... I feel like the way you talked about pleasure felt a little pretextual? That yes, you enjoy the way I touch you and so on, but that's not really the point, and that it wasn't about that, and more just the experience of something like 'being maximally available'. I don't feel super reacted to towards the end, beyond the more indecisive moments where you helped me out of that issue. And I can't say that I felt especially comfortable being giggled at in that sort of context." 

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"Sorry, I was just... happy that you were doing well and expressing yourself. You're right, I need to control my giggles more. And yes, I was focussing on signalling that you could do anything with me you wanted because I thought that was what you needed. We could do tantric practice instead next time, if you wanted to focus on emotional connection and specific sensations?"

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"You did perfectly well, I'm just... a touch disappointed, I suppose." 

She sighs and nuzzles against her chest. 

"I think you probably could have spent more time feeling out my willingness to have sex and comfort with that sort of thing before straight up propositioning me, and I confess that I'm modestly confused that I read to you as averse when I jumped on the first opportunity to do so, without much further preamble. Mostly, I was looking for a chance for something... 'shared', or similar? I want fufilling my desires to be something that is productive rather then just... a stepping stone for a chance to do more until the process is complete? I'm not the expert on sex or relationships here, but I hope this at least an adequate start for a chance to thing it back over."

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"Alright. I'll try to be more on my game, and I apologize; normally I'm sharper than this."

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She nods slowly, and reaches out and nibbles on her biscuits slowly. 

"That being said, I would still be happy to use your services again, sometime, and your company for at least a while longer would be appreciated - I might have instinctively tried to raise my magic resistance against the aftercare potion, or similar, and having someone there with me is... nice, regardless." 

She reaches out to pull the warmth of her against her chest hesistantly.

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She nuzzles in.

"I care about you. I realize it may be hard for you to believe it, being as we've barely been in the same room together for an hour, but I do. And I would love to have that second scene with you sometime soon."

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She blushes brilliantly, and lets out a long contented sigh as she nuzzles back.

She shivers, a little, but this time it's a nicer one.

"I think it would be wisest for me to reserve judgement as to whether I 'really' care about you 'til I have a bit more experience as to what..." 

She gestures broadly. 

"All of this is like, but if I ignore that consideration, I would say that I care about you too, Tasha. Perhaps sometime tommorow we should meet again?" 

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"Alright. But for now we have snuggles."

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They do indeed have snuggles. 

She strips, and snuggles against her naked skin.

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Tasha smiles and holds her close, skin-to-skin. It's warm and real and nice.

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She beams softly, holding herself against her lightly. 

There's no need for words as they rest together. 

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Tasha draws her wings over to add to the snuggling.

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She presses into them, and idly strokes her hands across her wings, little tracing soft lines of metal instinctively forming and brushing against her faintly. 

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Tasha shivers and smiles and kisses Iron's neck.

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She lets out a warm sigh, and stretches out her neck languidly. 

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Pet pet pet.

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She coos quietly, her eyes half-lidding with contentment.

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Tasha stretches her wings and settles in a little closer.

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She rests her head against her neck, and her hand dangles beside hers, fingertips tracing across the back of her hand.

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Tasha shifts her hand in to interlace her fingers with Iron's.

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She squeezes her hand firmly and smiles.

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Tasha smiles back and kisses Iron's skin again.

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She sighs quietly, and shifts against her, hips pressing against hers, and mmmmmms happily.

Her fingers play with her hair idly.

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Tasha smiles and makes a little cooing noise back. She leans into Iron's fingers.

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She strokes her hand across the top of her head, following along the part of her hair, brushing lightly against her horns.

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Dragons can purr. She knows this now through empirical evidence. 

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She lets out a small bright laugh, and keeps on petting her.

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Tasha purrs more and grins. She kisses Iron on the cheek.

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She leans into the kiss, and hums contentedly. 

"I suppose your two hour time slot will be done soon..."

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"I do have therapeutic work waiting, but nothing urgent. Take as long as you need."

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"I'm... okay, I think? I still feel a touch disoriented, but mostly I just feel comfortable and warm and pleasant, and I'm not sure how much more of this would help? I enjoy your presence, but my case is hardly urgent, either."

Her fingers trace over her shoulders. 

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"Then I can stay - perhaps a half hour more? Would that be alright?"

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"Of course." 

She kisses her forehead gingerly.

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She smiles, and gets back to cuddling.

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She rests with her, for a while, brushing her fingers across her ears, her neck and her chest as she enjoys her slowly fading afterglow.

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And eventually...

"That was thirty minutes," says Tasha regretfully.

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She nods, and moves away to give her room to leave.

"Good skill, Tasha, and see you soon." 

She tenses a little, then shyly blows her a kiss. 

 

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Tasha grins. "Glad you enjoyed. See you again, perhaps?~"

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She blinks confusedly. 

"I believe we negotiated a notional appointment for sometime tommorow...?" 

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She flushes. "Oh, yes, apologies. It slipped my mind, I put these things in my daybook and forget them instantly."

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She laughs a little. 

"It's alright."

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"See you then, then."

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"See you!" 

She waves her off. 

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And out the door she goes.

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Alright then...

She might as well look around the room for a bathroom and to see if the hotel has anything else for her...

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There is a small bathroom with a sink a bath a toilet and a mirror.

Nothing has been left on the counter for her.

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She checks out the bath's supplies and features, and the state of her muscles and skin. 

She's excersised a good deal before, but somehow it's different looking at it after... that

It's not even that her skin is raw, or that she's all that physically worn out, there's just that faint lingering warmth and stretched-out feeling lingering, and the idle niggle of arousal at the back of her mind. 

 

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The bath is a jacuzzi, and also has a shower head in case she'd prefer to shower. There's bath bombs, scented oils, rose-perfumed and nonperfumed soap and shampoo and conditioner. Toothpaste by the sink and a disposable toothbrush in a little sealed package. Cups and a pitcher of water.

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...She blinks. 

People brush their teeth here?

Really? 

Do cleaning wands not address that..., or at least skip the requirement for toothbrushes to be disposable for hygiene?  

She types a search into the console on that subject.

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Some people like to keep in the habit even though it's not strictly necessary, apparently. And the plastic covering is more of a reassurance than anything.

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She shakes her head and laughs a little, and takes care of that with a cleaning wand she procures.

She steps into the bath, and turns it on, grabbing the rose scented soap and one of the bath bombs to try - hopefully if she doesn't like the interaction of them she can just cleanse the water and start again. 

 

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The bath bomb is carefully calibrated to work with the Rose soap. It's not the most energetic one she's seen, it mostly fizzes and dyes the water pink. But it certainly smells nice. 

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More pleased humming as she takes in the scent deeper, lying back against the gentle jets. 

...She requests a genital shifting potion from the console.

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It produces the potion without complaint.

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She drinks it down, and melts against the back of the bath, pressing herself up against one. 

It's surprisingly... relaxing to do this, she finds. It can be more right to have the other set but really...

This is excellent too, especially with the interesting things that the pressure of the jets and moving bubbles can do to her when she's doing this....

She methodically massages the soap into her skin, enjoying the slight slickness and the way she can relax back into this.

"Ahhhhhh..."

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She did her hair too - despite what she tended to think about for all this, it didn't especially matter that she could probably procure and 'wand of shampooing' without going through this. There was snothing wrong with htat sort of convenience, but considering the way that she enjoyied the way that it settled in to her hair, there wasn't really an edge for going for that sort of thing, she expected. 

She let out a small snort, and looked to see if there was an option for getting rose petals in the bath itself - if she was going to have that theming, why not go all in? 

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Of course there's an option for that.

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The petals form from light amongst her warm bath, and she lets her hands stroke through the water, feeling the way that the petals drift around the movement of her hands. 

...This is good, to actually rest and indulge, even if she was only letting herself do this on her own though...

If there's a public bath, she might want to try that, as well. It's important to have a chance to enjoy this a little more properly, beyond just doing it 'because she could'. 

She rests in the bath for a while, smiling a little. 

After perhaps half an hour, she leaves the bath and towels off. 

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It's been two and a half hours since she arrived in the Bowers. Plenty of time still left ahead of her. What shall she do? 

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She looks in more detail at the listings at Club Coze - what's going on there now? 

 

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A tabletop game meetup, apparently.

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Excellent, at least assuming it's open table.

If she remembered correctly, the dress code for the club was fairly modest, so she threw on a simple black bra, tan t-shirt and somewhat tight black yoga pants, and set off to the club. 

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The meetup is fairly well packed, with thirty or so people all in a modestly sized room. People are playing Heart of Crown and Starfall and Namer's War and Carcassonne and a half-dozen other games. 

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There's an androgynous woman in a suit waiting for someone to come play Namer's War with her...

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And over here there's a pink-haired woman in a hoodie kicking back and waiting for someone to play Carcassonne with her.

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...Is there a listing of what those games are like? 

She was thinking about a tabletop rpg, or perhaps something from a larger franchise to talk over.

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There's a listing of all the games available to take out by title, but no descriptions. Perhaps she'll have to talk to someone.

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She sighed a little, and walked over to the suited woman's table. 

"The hotel is apparently reluctant to share information about these games - mind explaining this one?"

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"Namer's War is a recent game, it's a simulation of the war for Cthonia. You have cards and pieces that you move on the board. Some of your cards are the names of your units and I have abilities that let me steal cards from your hand and thereby steal the names of your units which makes them mine. You have overwhelming force at the start of the game as the OTC, but if you play sloppily you could see your own invasion turned back against you. Want to give it a try?"

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She nods and smiles faintly. 

"That does sound interesting, Miss Morning-Glory." 

She settles into her chair. 

"Though I do wonder what the idea is around having a random hand within influence - it seems like even beyond the level of force, for efforts like that simply being 'beyond reach' is one of the largest advantages that the OTC enjoys." 

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"Yes, well, one has to make some concessions to game balance. And in the real war they managed to get the name of the initial agent, which let them control her, and she gave them more names, and so on. It was the bloodiest war the OTC's fought in the last century."

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She nods. 

"The OTC is excellent at a great many things, but starting at level of force and caution sufficient for the problem is not one of them, it seems. I certainly understand the desire to cut costs, but... Well." 

She gestures at the game. 

"So... How do I start?"

She grabs a rulebook, if there is one present.

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Morning-Glory hands her a rulebook. 

"Set up your initial scouting force, we're in the exploration phase at the start of the game where you investigate my politics and try to discover my Scheme cards. I pick them at the start of the game before you scout and so this is a game where you try to uncover my Schemes and I try to get the Name of your initial agent. After I get your agent's name I make them spill their guts and the War starts. Depending on how many of my Schemes you've uncovered, you're in a better or worse starting position for the war." 

She runs a hand through her hair. "Sorry, it's a bit complicated, isn't it? I'm Morning-Glory by the way." She offers her hand to shake.

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"I'm Iron. Pleasure to meet you." 

She shakes her hand firmly.

"As for the complexity, I confess I'm just more confused about what this is all modelling, rather than anything around how complex it is overall. If I was able to get enough cultural knowledge to know that names were a danger, I would simply strive to ensure that I sent in Agents without names or some such thing. But taking the game as is..." 

She closes her eyes to think briefly. 

"Is seeing more of your scheme cards a purely informational advantage? Could I simply decide to skip the information gathering phase and attempt to overwhelm you before you can implement any conversions, instead of playing the espionage game?" 

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"The exploration phase represents the period before you know that I have name magic. You're investigating the world as a potential and trying to uncover what's going on. As soon as you know I have name magic - represented by my third Scheme Card, which is the same in all games - the war starts. If you uncovered it before I got your agent's name you're in an advantageous position, if you didn't you're in a disadvantageous position. The first and second Scheme cards, Species and Sin, tell you what kinds of units I'll be using against you in the war and therefore let you prepare for that when you're selecting units to bring. So it's mostly informational advantage that you're playing for in the early game. There is a variation, Conquering Consortium, where you come in blind and attack without even knowing name magic exists on Cthonica, but that one is actually weighted slightly towards Cthonica balance-wise because you don't have the Security Measures deck in play until something's been majorly subverted."

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She nods slightly. 

"I suppose that makes sense - Does that mean that I can only initiate the war once I get the Sin Card I need to justify it organizationally, or some such thing? The blind game seems rather harsh - One would hope that in hostile territory one would aim for compartmentalization and mental defenses irregardless of the knowledge of some specific threat." 

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"You need a Sin card to start the war and you can only introduce the Security Measures deck when you get my Name Magic card. There's another variation, Cautious Consortium, where you introduce the Security Measures deck at the start of the game instead of having it be introduced when Name Magic exists, but that skews balance towards the Consortium. You might want to play with it, actually, since I'm experienced and you're new."

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"That sounds reasonable. I can't say I'm experienced in this genre in general, either, so a 'handicap' would be appreciated. Are there any other variant rules you'd like to play with, or should that be all?"

She idly assembles the decks she needs to play.

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"No, I think it's complicated enough on its own for a first-timer. Make sure to read the rulebook thoroughly."

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She pages through it, absorbing it throughly. 

Her early strategy appears to be to do probing cyberattacks, looking for the basic information she needs to more confidently play the rest of the game. She's quick to make an effort to disentangle, disengage, and wait for a chance to get the cards comboing before exposing herself. 

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Soon Morning-Glory's species card is revealed: Gremlin. A species built around manipulating technology and systems, the natural counter to a cyberwar strategy. 

Morning-glory reveals a Honeypot card because a cyberattack was played last turn and draws four. "Let's see if this can get you."

She doesn't pull the Name card with her search effects, but she does discard most of Iron's combo. "Drat."

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"Good combo - but I think that I've adequately exhausted that angle now so..." 

She plays a Listening Stone and Spy card, and looks for her first Scheme Card, though clearly her hand is now a little thin.

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"Oh, nice backup strategy. That'll flip my Sin - it's Pride. Do you want to start the War phase?"

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"You seem pretty well set up for this phase and there's no reason to indulge your Pride, so I might as well. The war is begun."

She starts off with playing a Crippled Communications card and Fearsome Strike to try to impede her response. 

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Morning-Glory shrugs off the Fearsome Strike with Stubborn Pride, and plays a Gremlin Network to deal with the Crippled Communications. She places Asteria Academy, a Pride Edifice that produces Mages each turn, then passes.

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She plays Song of War, Phantom Soldiers and Bardic Campaign, chaining generating Forgotten Song-wielding soldiers to keep a continuous stream of assaults on her infrastructure after an initial spike, then passes her turn.

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Well shit. She needs that Name, damn it. Hacking Campaign, Take Them Alive, Sadistic Tortures. She will get a name this turn or else she'll lose. 

Does Iron turn over any Name cards?

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She gets two - one of the earlier spies, and a low level commander of a teleporting troop squad. Not ideal, but....

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Stolen Equipment targeting Song of War through the low level commander of the teleporting troop squad to hold off the soldiers using her mages from Asteria Academy. Double Agent on the spy to dig for more and higher-level names. Pass.

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She plays her Compartmentalization card - mostly rebuffing the ability to get higher level names, though there's still a good number more soldiers and assets gained. She unveils her Stealthed Mine card, debuffing Asteria academy and somewhat crippling the ability for the mages to respond. Still, she's on the defensive.

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Gremlin Reverse-Engineering targeting a captured OTC Beacon. Offworld Attack. Hostage-Slaves.

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She lets out a small tense sigh as she discards a few cards.

Emergency Summon to get Divine Wrath, and she plays Elemental Storm - Lightning across the centers of commerce. 

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Divine Wrath is a problem, she has no defense except her hostages. But because she has offworld presence, she can play Public Knowledge, revealing the name of a public figure - one of the Directors or a Deity. She rolls; Sunaira. And with her Hostage-Slaves card...

"I hold the Rose Bowers and everything within it hostage. That's a win, pretty sure. Unless you have a counter?"

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She pauses. 

"I'm suprised that's in the game, to be honest. I would expect any deity or director to be able to hold at least a planet hostage but..."

plays Trickster's Artifice then thinks. 

"I think you rolled badly, for that - Sunaira's realm is enchanted to provide safety for the guest through an elaborate domain miracle, as best I understand the relevant magic. It's possible that enslaving her would allow you to radically overhaul the expression of her divine nature, and she could probably eventually break it, but perhaps trickster's artifice could activate some evacuation contingency through that, or it would simply not work at scale...?" 

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"I'll have to consult the rulebook on that one..." 

She looks through. 

"- Oh, you can use Trickster's Artifice to search for Goddess' Grace, an un-enslave effect, and use that to free Sunaira. If you have Goddess' Grace in your deck you win. Do you?"

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She rifles through. 

"It seems I do. Good game."

She holds out her hand to shake.

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Morning-Glory shakes Iron's hand. 

"Well played. So, what are you doing here, hm?"

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"I would say that I'm one of the more traditional new experience seekers, here, including the standard losing virginity component thereof. As you might be able to tell, I'm not exactly the loosest person, and that has made this an... awkward experience. I wish I knew more about what exactly to look for, beyond the more obvious indulgences, and whatever items seem to show up. That Passivity is... uncomfortable, in some ways, and I'm not sure how to shake it."

 

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"I'm a bit tense too. I'm used to much more formal settings, not... casual gaming. I'm trying to loosen up enough to actually proposition someone but it's not going well."

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"I'm sure the Escort catalogue will have someone suitable to your tastes, and well..." 

She raises her eyebrows and waves her hand down across her chest.

"I would expect that the infamous Rosethorn Matching Service is attempting to link the two of us together, all things considered." 

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"Seems likely. Are you inclined to, ah... try that, or would you prefer not to?"

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"I am, though I think it would be appropriate to talk somewhat more, first." 

She takes a deep breath out. 

"And I suppose we should do this in a more... 'casual' venue - perhaps the Venusian Baths for the atmosphere?"

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"That would be lovely. If you'd lead the way?"

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She gently takes her hand, and walks in a random directly 'towards' the baths, 'til she passes through the arches leading outside to the iddylic garden itself on a stone path to the classical-designed bathing building.

"I might as well review the game experience..."

"I'm a little struck by how swingy it is - it seemed rather easy, or at least manageable and then you were digging for win conditions and I needed a very particular card in my deck to get victory. I'm sure I only won because I had those precautions and traps ready, as well. You did rather nicely, I'd say, and it makes me want to look into more such games - is it part of a franchise of similar 'simulations'?" 

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"It really is quite swingy. Cthonia can blow out a win very easily if you have poor name security. But in my opinion that makes it fun. There are others like it by the same company, but Namer's War is definitely the best."

She stretches her arms above her head, then takes Iron's hand again. "What did you do before coming here?"

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"Yeah - there's something to be said for the battle of wills and minds and such, but unfortunately I've never been an adequate Exalted game player, considering the company I keep, and I like the feeling of having options up my sleeve - both as an underdog and steamroller." 

"By trade I'm a metal elementalist -  which in practice tends to mean that I do weapon, armour and bunker fabrication, but I've served in more traditional 'adventuring' roles upon occasion, or even as a diviner - it can expedite an adventure greatly if you can sense where all the precious metals are - as a horde or simply integrated into electronics - and can manipulate many unshielded projectile and melee weapons to harmlessness."

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"OTC exec, on the planetary level. I've been told by my therapist that I need to take some time off for mental health reasons. I'm... a bit of a workaholic. You kind of have to be, to exist that high in the corporate structure. But doctor's orders, so I finally used some of my vacation time."

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"I have to say I'm always skeptical about... 'always', in this world." 

The gardens glisten with the light of the midday sun, the flowers blossoming beside the path in colors so vibrant that it's difficult to believe they are truly real.

"There's always ways to buy more threads, more time, more delegation, more efficiency. Which isn't to say that you aren't using such things already, but there's a limit to how much you can reasonably push someone vital before it makes sense to make compromises on some dimension to reduce the risks of that sort of burn out or vulnerability. It's not exactly desirable for someone who is expected to lead in a crisis to be living on the razor's edge of mental health, even beyond the normal considerations for why you should care about your own, you know." 

Her hand squeezes hers gently. 

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She squeezes back. 

"Yeah. I just feel like I'm letting people down if I'm away from my desk even for a moment. It's... difficult to lose. Even here I'm playing strategic games like Namer's War because I like the feeling of control."

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"I can understand - that being said... have you looked into getting some sort of spirit-bonded automaton or familiar for that? It doesn't nesscarily need to be exactly, fully you for it to do many a thing as you, I find, and it can let you feel the there-ness, if you need it." 

They are coming close to the bathhouse, now. 

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"Not my style to trust my work to somebody else. There's already enough people who can be almost me, in this world. If I didn't want to do the work I could just get a fork, you know?" 

She sighs. "- I know, beside the point. I've looked into getting a raven familiar to handle some of my more basic work in my stead. It's going well. But it's new."

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"I understand. I think a lot of the reason why this is important is for you to get a chance to become used to the idea, beyond just letting you relax more conventionally."

The doors shimmer out of existence for a moment, letting them see the opulent baths before them. They're in a quieter section - a luxurious jacuzzi bordering on full on swimming pool with no one close enough nearby to hear or disrupt there conversation. 

"I'm comfortable bathing nude, but if you have anything else in mind, I can do that instead."

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"Most likely. Sunaira is sneaky like that."

December shrugs out of her suit-jacket. "The water looks lovely. And I don't mind bathing nude either."

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She smiles softly, and takes a moment to make a bit of a show of shucking off her thin shirt and let her pants fall to the floor before she sinks into the pool and sighs warmly. 

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Morning-Glory watches appreciatively as she shucks her pants and dress shirt. It turns out she has a cock, just like Iron does. She follows Iron into the bath and lets out a little sigh herself.

"What do you know," she says. "I'm relaxing."

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She smiles broadly, and lets herself float backwards, resting back with her head just above the water, cock and floating balls faintly visible below it.

"I'm glad. It's always nice to just... feel the license you can get when trying something new and pleasant that you didn't realize you could before - I've already bathed today, but there's a convenience enchantment that means I don't need to worry about my skin shrivelling up from it so I can just... enjoy, which is quite lovely."

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"Yeah. And... being nude with you feels natural. It doesn't make me blush. It's just kind of a fact. That's nice."

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She smiles, and rolls her head around, letting her hair float around her face. 

"Yeah. It's also nice that if I want, I can be aroused, at least faintly, and that doesn't change it. I'm in the Rose Bowers with someone els who is similarly naked, and that's all the reason I need for me to have that extra bit of emotion inside me, and that doesn't fundamentally change anything."

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Slight smile. "Yeah. I have the sudden impulse to hold your hand, may I?"

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She floats down into a position where she can, standing on the floor, and holds her hand.

"Of course."

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Morning-Glory blushes and grins. 

"Thank you."

She just sits there in the water for a while, holding hands with Iron with a huge smile.

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She smiles back at her, still holding her hand firmly, softly gazing just beneath her eyes.

Her free hand reaches up to her face, moving to brush her hair back before pausing. 

She quietly asks.

"May I...?"

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Morning-Glory ducks her head a little, then nods. "Yeah. Please."

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She strokes her fingers through her hair lightly, brushing across the grain of it, hand tenderly sliding across her scalp.

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She blushes and grins and watches Iron's face. 

"...I think I know whether the Bowers' matching is any good, now."

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She smiles even more broadly and leans into kiss her nose. 

"So then, tell me your verdict~"

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"Excellent. A-plus. Now please let me kiss you."

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She does, her hands gently cupping her cheeks in her hand as her lips mash against her, tongue eagerly tasting at her lips.

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She kisses firmly back, with a little tongue of her own.

"... I would like a bed with you. Not necessarily now, but..." The corners of her mouth quirk up. "Sometime."

She grins. "There we go. A proper proposition."

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She laughs softly, smiling a little proudly.

"And I would like to 'get a bed with you to sometime' as well."

She kisses her again, more gently this time, nibbling lightly on her lips.

 

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Kissssss. Soft mm. 

"I can't believe how hard I'm falling for you."

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She beams broadly, and shivers hard.

"There's whole worlds of sensations and feelings to find, if you ever give yourself the chance to stop and smell the roses."

Her nipples are hard, peeking out just above the water line as her chest heaves with hot breaths slowly.

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"You're a very good one."

She steps in, pressing Iron back against the side of the pool, and frenches her firmly.

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She kisses back passionately, matching her intensity and firmness as she lets her chest slide up against hers, enjoying the feeling of wet skin sliding against wet skin, letting out a small pleasured sigh as she kept on kissing her with tongue.

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Morning-Glory pulls away and sighs.

"... I want to take you right now, but these aren't ideal circumstances. May I leash you and bring you back to my room?"

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She raises her eyebrow, a little, but flushes slightly.

"I don't think I feel comfortable going straight to leashing - doing that feels... presumptuous, at least. But we can certainly move back to your room for a more ideal setting~"

Her fingers lightly play across her chin. 

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Morning-glory smiles and leans into Iron's fingers. 

"And - you can call me December."

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"Alright~" 

She reaches for a Bedroom Charm and activates it, teleporting them to her room.

"So tell me how you would like to be fucked, December."

She strokes her full hand possesively across her neck.

Her cock is pulsing needily, and her chest is heaving with soft lusty breath, showing of the way the water makes her skin shine.

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"I was thinking I would top, but - this works, too. I want to be kissed by you, held by you, feel your body against me - missionary or spooning would be best."

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"Good girl." 

She slides up against her chest, reaching out for a bottle of lube she knows will soon be there to lather it across her dick, letting her gently let the weight of her naked body push her against her bed as she kisses her deeply.

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December kisses back, and lets herself be led where she's supposed to go. Her heart is pitter-pattering; she kisses back eagerly, her slight breasts pressed up against Iron's fuller ones.

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She gently strokes at her chest, fingers running down her chest admiringly, feeling the muscle as she hotly sighs against her lips. 

Slowly, her cock slides up to brush against the sensitive entrance of her ass, leaving little electric tingles as it rubs its' length against her thighs.

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December sighs softly and smiles as she feels Iron's cock press in against her. 

"Someone's eager," she says. "Though, pot meet kettle."

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"Indeed~" 

She kisses her harder, shutting her up with soft lips, warm tongue and soft moans into her throat. 

Her dick slowly starts hilting deeper inside of her, forcing her supple ass to accomodate her pulsing cock, fingertips circling her nipples slowly as she takes her.

 

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December moans into Iron's mouth, clenching around the cock in her ass, and wraps her legs around Iron's hips to bring her even closer. 

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Iron's hips buck for a moment as she moans before driving her dick all the way into her tight hole, balls pressing against her butt as she starts massaging her nipples between her fingers.

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December tenses and lets out a muffled cry as she's suddenly speared into, but relaxes and mmmmmms satisfiedly a moment later. She trails her hands down Iron's back before settling above her hips.

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She grins a little, then starts properly pistoning into her, forcefully thrusting in and out of her ass, one hand trailing down to firmly grab and stroke her bouncing cock.

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December kisses her fiercely and rolls her hips back to meet her, her dick twitching and pulsing and leaking pre, her tongue twining with Iron's as she's fucked hard.

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She grins broadly as her cock twitches and pulses inside of her, hammering her into the sheets as she milks her dick firmly and caresses her thumb across the cockhead as she hums and moans and eagerly dives deep into December's throat.

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December moans hard and digs her fingers into Iron's back and drips onto herself with each thrust and shudders -

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"Cum for me, December."

Her cock bottoms out deep inside her once more, as she grabs her head to envelop it in the softness of her breasts as her handjob pushes her pleasure yet higher as she tenses inside her, ready to orgasm -

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December mewls and comes all over herself. It's pretty undignified.

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"Good girl." 

Her fingernails rake across her scalp as she cums, filling her ass with her own cum, gasping and panting and letting out a low pleasured sigh.

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Morning-glory kisses at Iron's breasts as she's filled up with seed, leaning in softly. "Mmmmm..."

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She grinds against her slowly, then slowly shlucks out of her, to let her now only half-hard cock rest as she leaned back upon her, sighing and wiggling as she enjoys the kisses.

She keeps on petting her firmly as she basks in the afterglow.

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December lets out a soft coo and leans against Iron, her own hands moving to return the favour and stroke and caress at Iron's shoulders and back. 

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She lets out a pleased mmmmnnnnnn.

"You don't have to do anything more, December. You've already done well."

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She smiles. 

"... What if I want to do more, though?~"

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She laughs softly. 

"Go ahead, though I can't promise I'll be especially responsive, after that, and taking the chance to rest we have is important." 

She gestures, and two vials of basic aftercare potion appear beside them.

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"Alright. You were lovely. Mmmmmmmmmmh..."

She makes a small soft affirmative noise. "You are lovely. And I'm rather worried I'm getting attached." 

She takes the aftercare potion and drinks it down. Cupping the empty bottle in her hands, she turns it over. "... what's your opinion on getting together another time?"

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She blushily laughs, smiling a touch shyly. 

"As for getting together again, at the very least I'm happy to keep you in my social and sexual contact list for my duration here." 

She drinks down her own, swigging down the thick white fluid, shivering as it goes down. 

She glances down at sweaty occasionally cum coated form.

"Should we clean up, or just cuddle as is?"

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"Thank you. And... I'd appreciate a cleaning wand." She halfsmiles.

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She procures a simple cleaning wand to get rid of the mess off of both of them, and rests against her shoulder. 

"You're welcome. I've always been someone who's been a little skeptical of the 'manual process' for this sort of thing, but I suppose it's nice to be able to be the one notionally 'cleaning you' as you ask, rather then simply ordering a cleansing talisman that I don't have to 'use' in the same way." 

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"I like a bit of mess sometimes. This just isn't one of those times." 

She cuddles in, leaning her head against Iron. "And it is nice to have you take care of me."

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She nuzzles against her cheek slowly, and smiles. 

"I'm glad you enjoyed~"

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"You're worth enjoying." Cheek kiss.

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She beamily sighs, and cheek kisses back.

"As are you." 

Her fingers play slowly with her hair, twisting the hair around her fingers then untwisting it.

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Soft sigh of her own. Nuzzle. 

"I... want to... definitely want to see you again."

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She smiles softly, and kisses her nose. 

"Then you shall. It's as simple as that, December." 

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"Okay." 

She lies against Iron and lets her thoughts drift.

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She skritches her head slowly and gently, letting her relax against her chest and enjoy the rest she badly needs. 

I hope she doesn't get any silly ideas about aftercare potions and 'resting'. 

She asks the console for a treat to feed her, and gives it to her if it appears.

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December can have a roll of rockets. They're tiny, and kind of chalky, but maybe that's what she needs in order to be willing to accept any kind of treat. She eats them without complaint. 

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She lets out a tiny giggle as she feels it, and gently brushes her fingertips across her lips as she feeds them to her.

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It's nice to feel Iron's fingers on her lips. She kisses them between rockets, and looks up at Iron with a besotted smile. "... This is good," she says. "I don't think I've ever done something like this before."

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She smiles broadly.

"That's a shame - I understand the reluctance to go for something full-on sexual and indulgent, but it's good to make sure that you get taken care of, even if that's just something as simple as getting especially responsive wait service or getting a massage."

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"There's... a level of luxury you get used to, as an exec. But it's not the same. It's not - close, like this. Do you - get it?"

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"Yeah..." 

She feeds her a few more rockets. 

"I just think it's important to remember that you can get that closeness even without a giant crush and 'whirlwind romance', I suppose, and that there will be other chances, even beyond here, for this."

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She sighs. "Yeah. I guess so." 

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She kisses her lips firmly. 

"But for now... please don't worry. I'm here." 

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She hums softly. 

"Okay. I'll trust you."

Permalink Mark Unread

She smiles brightly once more, and keeps on touching her and feeding her, fingers trailing down occasionally to her shoulders and neck, massaging lightly.

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December smiles back and eats her rockets and stays close to Iron.

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They rest together like that, for a while.


"...Do you mind if I excuse myself to go grab a meal? I confess I'm a bit famished, now..."

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"You can always order in, but if you'd rather not dine with me..."

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She pets her head firmly. 

"That's alright." 

She gently passes her a menu, and looks through one of her own. 

"I was thinking of going for chicken wings and fries, and perhaps a handful of more exotic soda options..." 

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"I think I want to try a fingerfood. Chicken nuggets? It seems dumb, but..."

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She smiles softly, and produces some from the console, steaming with freshness, then gently feeds her her first one. 

Permalink Mark Unread

Bluuush smile nom.

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She giggles softly, and keeps on indulging her with the nuggets, occasionally offering ones dipped with the included sauce.

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Of the included dipping sauces, December pronounces the sweet and sour the best. She's grinning from ear to ear.

Permalink Mark Unread

She's definitely smiling affectionately as well.

"Sweet and sour is definitely excellent, though I have to say I really enjoy vinegar, on these, oddly enough."

Permalink Mark Unread

"I'll try that if you'll get me some vinegar? It works for chips, I don't see why it shouldn't work here..."

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Of course the bowers can do it!

The taste is oddly full, with the normal notes you'd expect of a chicken nugget and vinegar mingling together, and making it have a faint hint of the soggy texture and the pureness of the chicken's mixing in her mouth with the ordinary experience.

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"Mmm. Not my first choice, but surprisingly good."

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"Yeah - I admit that to a large extent it's my own particular tastes in the way it stimulates beyond anything else..." 

She feeds her a sweet-and-sour nugget.

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"Mmm." 

She leans against Iron. "What about your food?"

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She lets out a little sigh-y smile. 

"I haven't exactly gotten a chance yet for that, and what I had in mind was rather saucy, so I'm not sure I could continue this arrangement while eating myself..." 

She hums consideringly.

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"I can feed myself you know, I'm not two."

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She laughs softly, and wiggles out from behind her.

"I just didn't want to ruin your fun, or some such thing." 

She procures a handful of honey garlic chicken wings, sitting on the floor in lotus pose and eats it.

Permalink Mark Unread

Morning-Glory gets the rest of her chicken nuggets and sits cross-legged with Iron and eats them.

"Nice," she says. "Kind of basic, but I think I wanted that."

Permalink Mark Unread

"That can be pleasant, yes. Despite the way that the Rosethorn hotel tries to provide everything, it's not exactly a place specialized in dedicated culinary exploration - I'd guess it's more inclined to just make you otherwise comfortable. It's a bit of a shame but well..." 

She shrugs, and procures herself a blue cheese dip and chows down on another few wings in silence.

Permalink Mark Unread

Morning-glory is happy to sit in silence with her. She's still smiling despite herself.

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She smiles back as she continues herself, and grabs the two of them drinks, handing on to her, and drinking down her own pop as she keeps on eating the wings - occasionally mixing in lemon pepper and plain wings with the honey garlic ones.

Permalink Mark Unread

Morning-Glory is just fine with sweet and sour alone, thank you. Though the pop is appreciated. Sluuuuurrrrp.

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She lets out a soft aaah as the taste hits her. 

She mixes in some fries in to complete her meal alongside her wings.

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December steals some of her fries.

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She lets out a little snort at her cheekiness., but lets it pass without further comment.

mmmnnnn...

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Mmmmm.

Eventually, and regretfully, the meal is done. December stares into the bottom of her pop.

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She laughs a little, and reaches her hand over to pet her head. 

"You do realize that you can simply get more, including in that cup, December? Even if you are full, it's perfectly possible to increase your effective appetite and stomach capacity with standard options here as well." 

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"... it's not the food," says December. "It's that I should go soon but I don't want to."

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She nods and hums quietly. 

Then... She concentrates for a moment, and a simple fidget spinner materializes in her hands, which she passes to December. 

"Take this - I know that this is hardly something that you could't get otherwise, but well..." 

She pauses. 

"You've been looking for simple pleasures, yes? This is a good one, I've found, and I hope that it being mine will mean something to you - there's... a faint trace of my soul, in it, that might bring you comfort, as well." 

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December goes and digs in the pocket of her suit, which has been neatly folded and left on the table in the center of the room. 

"Here, I'll trade you." She offers a black pocket notebook to Iron. "I use these to write down ideas and thoughts, they're like my diaries. This one is blank, but..."

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She takes it in her hand, and slips it into the pocket of her limp clothes.

"Thank you for the gift." 

She hums softly, and lies back on the floor, nibbling at the last remnants of the food.

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December smiles. 

"... I guess I'll take my leave, then."

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She does a small nod. 

"See you soon." 

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Morning-glory drapes her clothes over her arm and walks off, presumably back to her room.

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She lets out a small slow sigh as she leaves, letting herself rest flopped back on the floor. 

She can't really help the thought that comes to mind - Well that was tiresome. 

She takes a deep breath in...

And out, closing her eyes to think.

Permalink Mark Unread

Well.

...It was. 

And the fact that she felt herself falling in love with her didn't... really change that, she thought? 

She shook her head slightly. 

She wasn't exactly sure what it meant for her to give her a notepad like that, either - it more felt like she was reaching to do something, rather then something considered and well...

She realized it was supposed to be personal, but she wasn't sure if she had really...

Listened, when she talked about how she liked her product experiences. 

She was sure that she could rig up something to automatically record some verbal thought feed or dictation, especially here, but was it really worth it for the pretence, if that's even what it was...? 

She really didn't know.


After a few minutes, she drags herself up to check out if there's any more recommendations, or perhaps to see if she can do something a bit more comfortable then tending to someone so new to all this - perhaps something to do with playing with the fashion, here, or just someone to talk to...? 

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Her phone rings.

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She perks up a little, and answers. 

"Iron here. Who's calling?"

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"Hannah. You don't know me, I just happened to see you at the tabletop get-together and thought you looked hot. My game just finished, would you be interested in hooking up?"

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She raises her eyebrows slightly. 

"For...?"

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"Whatever. Board game? Snuggles? Sex? I'm up for whatever you are."

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"I'm a touch new to... all of those, really, but I suppose it would nice to have a chance to do that with someone else. My room number is 68, though now that I think about that it's not like that's sufficient to disambiguate for the whole of this place... I suppose the magic handles it." 

She brushes back her hair a little timidly.

Permalink Mark Unread

"The magic handles it. I'll come over, and we can figure it out from there, then?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"Alright. Oh, and before you go, do you have a dress code in mind...?"

 

Permalink Mark Unread

"I usually only wear a bikini bottom. Is that, uh, a problem?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"I was thinking of going naked myself, so something like that is no issue - feel free to wear less or more."

Permalink Mark Unread

"Oh, good to hear. I'll be right over, alright?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"Alright."

She takes the time to do another quick clean and style of herself, before waiting on a oversized pillow by the door.

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A little while later, someone knocks!

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She unlocks and opens the door for her, gesturing for her to take a seat inside.

Her cock is half-hard already, hanging there in the air, and she stares at her breasts for a moment before refocusing, swiftly followed by her taking her seat again.

..."May I make a small confession?"

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She's wearing what she said she would be, her breasts half-hidden by her hair.

Hannah's gaze flicks down for a moment before returning to Iron's face. 

"Nice to meet you. Go ahead?"

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..."I'm kind of terrified, and feel like I'm on some bizzare alien planet. The idea popped into my head that it would be polite to slather my cock in oil of fascination and jerk it off over and over again as you watch while we talk, because surely a place that has people randomly calling you up with the expectation that they have sex would have such a custom. I don't know if it's 'rude' or 'immature' to not spend every moment that I have fucking or bathing, because I don't really understand what actually relaxing looks like. I'm terrified that if I tell you that I don't want to have sex that I will have hit some cultural taboo because you could be from anywhere for all I know, and that would somehow count as some important lesson about 'not making assumptions' that the Rosethorn hotel would facilitate and we would have 'make-up sex' and that would count as being better. I'm scared of the fact that I do in fact realize that you are beautiful and likely quite fun to fuck and that it somehow makes me a bad person if I don't indulge or make some massive conspicious effort to tell you exactly how little sexual experience I have. I don't know what I am supposed to do or how I am supposed to let myself be alone in a place like this if I'm tired of needy people or those that I need to guide, and I'm scared that despite all of that I still trust the Bowers enough that I can rattle of all of this without hesistation simply because you were there to have that interaction in this web of fate."

She lets out a long tense breath.

Permalink Mark Unread

"Whoa. Steady. I've been in the Bowers for months and what you're doing isn't healthy, the second-guessing. The Bowers isn't complex that way, it's made for you. It sends you what you seem to need. Which, right now, I suspect is something uncomplicated. Conversation, sex, whatever you want. And I'm cool with that. Okay? So let's start with what you want. An explanation?"

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She lets herself stay deflated, for a moment. 

"I would like to hold your hand, I suppose." 

She offers it, and some chair-esque thing for her to sit in. 

"I know exactly what I want - but that has no bearing on what I actually can do - or perhaps it's something more like that I know the equation for what I want but there's a term in there that is in some way 'buggy' or missing around cultural expectations or some such thing? But mostly, I would like to know how I'm supposed to make expectations to work from, with... all of this, so yes, an expectation would be appreciated."

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Hannah holds her hand. 

"I can be your native guide if you want me to be. A few answers - first, you can raise privacy screens around your rooms to keep the Bowers out if you want to. Second, you aren't expected to fuck 24/7, Sunaira would be kind of cross if you did. The place is set up to give you time at other things. I personally only get up to about 50% most of the time - I track it with the Bower app - and I'm definitely a slut. Third, ettiquette is pretty simple - respect consent. That's pretty much it, the Bowers handles the rest. Um... The rest of it I'm not sure I need to address, it sounds more like worry being generated from the main issue than something else."

Permalink Mark Unread

"What does it even mean for it to be kept out - I doubt that say, the safety screens would stop applying inside them, say, and that makes me suspicious that it's anything more than a fiction. And I just... If you asked me what feels comfortable to do, then I would tell you that what currently feels that is that I should make sure that I adequately take care of my body in regards to bathing and eating and cleaning, and that otherwise I should be doing something productive with my time, in that it should be meaningfully working to fufill someone else's preferences or else be working towards paying the basic utilities and funding towards immortality. I'm perfectly capable of resting through work, I have no objection to using Dyne or basic mental magic to ensure focus but it just feels like that's not what I'm being asked to do, and there's this nebulous blob of people that I could notionally go out to meet and socialize with and all I can think about is how constrained my basic toolkit for interacting with people is - what if the most compatible person for me is some fire elemental that isn't comfortable in rooms that aren't constantly on fire? What if the best conversations to have require some elaborate set-up around spatio-temporal interface equipment because they don't have traditional understandings or interactions with those things?" 

She takes a deep breath.

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"If you're that focussed on 'what is right for the bowers', 'what is optimal', make a run for the Doors of Night and let Sunaira sort it out. Otherwise, chill. Accept your vacation might not be as perfect as it could theoretically be. And take some damn time for yourself. It's not a vacation if you keep putting other people first."

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"..." 

"I kind of want to object that this isn't nesscarily different, fundamentally from how I normally try to live my life but..." 

She shakes her head.

"What I really want to ask you is..." 

She smiles faintly.

"Do you want to know what the harmony of metal is like?"

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Hannah perks up a little. "That sounds cool. Show me!"

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She smiles broadly, and she slowly walks over to her. 

An intricate mass of gears form all across the room, some vast clockwork mechanism slowly and softly clicking as a simple blank of metal and a small sword forge appear from a flower.

Iron herself... shifts somehow, her stride becoming oddly even and imposing as thin curve hugging plates of adamantine form over or almost from her skin, interlaced with runework of orchicalum and many odder metals beside. It's oddly quiet, despite the weight that she must be materializing around her. Her eye is shot through with silver highlights of wire work, and something about her magic shifts. 

"Tell me, do you have any experience with mystical projection...?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"I do not. I've heard some basic theory, but I've never tried it myself."

Permalink Mark Unread

"Alright - I'll start from the beginning and help you along." 

Her hands gently slide across the back of her shoulder, cool and firm yet with softness of her hands. 

An amulet appears around her throat, veins of metal wrapping around it to form the real body of it. 

"There's a lot to this sort of thing, but fundamentally, the best way I can explain it is that it's simply a chance to let an affinity within your soul become dominant without restriction, letting the conception of you bleed into the things that have that nature itself. Everything that you work with is touched by your soul, everything that is held within your worldview is something that exists in the world outside, and like calls to like." 

Something about the amulet makes her vaguely aware of the position of all of the metal in the room, the way the gears interlace, the way Iron's hand feels against her skin, the way she breathes, and of something vague and small within her.

 

Permalink Mark Unread

"Oh this is deep shit. Can you guide me...?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"Of course. Mind if I try a physical transformation to help you along or should I just go for this as is...?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"Go ahead, I'm not a stranger to such things. Just be sure you can put back the furniture later."

Permalink Mark Unread

"Of course - though I assume that the hotel can clean it up without me regardless." 

Her hands settle on her shoulders, and a quick pulse of magic runs through her body - her skin turning to iron in much the way that one might experience with stoneskin or barkskin. But something about it is deeper somehow, as the feeling of her body through the amulet intensifies, but you can tell there's many more steps to go, if she desires.

"There's a lot to see when you meld with the metal - but I think for the moment you should focus in on what it means to you for you to be armoured, to for you to be firm and unyielding and enduring, and what it feels like to have me there with you, in the metal together." 

Permalink Mark Unread

"Alright." 

She focusses. She has a lot of practice with directing her will; that helps, but it's still a slow process for her to home in on the vague feeling. 

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It's sharp, the way she focuses blending into the feeling of her skin and form and the communion, creating an extra pure focus, everything else falling away as she feels the trickling changes flow through her. 

She can feel her nerves slowly change to gold, nerves humming with the feeling of power and sensation running through her, irises shifting to citrine, muscles shifting into something more mechanical as the electricity flowed through her as the conversion continues. 

Every little bit of her body started shifting, turning into a construct of steel and engineering rather then mortal flesh. 

"You are seeing through eyes with a transparent aluminum lense. You ears are turning into microphones, the very hairs on them shifting to steel. You are yourself the metal, you are seeing as metal. You are as much as part of this as any gear, any shaft in these vast machines. Feel it."

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She nods; she's not sure she can manage words right now. And she plunges deeper.

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A mirror of silver unfolds before her, and she can see herself wrought in metal, every part of her changed and altered to become something more, like some beautiful sculpture brought to life through magic then anything organic. 

Her mind quickens, and her thoughts are oddly visible and noticeable, everything being cleanly logged as if her brain had somehow become digital.

Her fingers trace across her shoulders, and wings like an angel sprout from her back, glossy reflective metal changing her appearance once more to look like a cybernetic angel. 

"There's more to this, of course, when you find your way to make this a part of you, a part of the magic that you are, the way that you can make the structure of your soul and form perfectly resonant with the nature of what you have become, when you learn but..." 

"This is beautiful, isn't it?"

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"It is," comes a voice like a bell from the microphone embedded at Hannah's throat. "Also somewhat unsettling. I chose to step out of the Tree because I knew what I wanted to be, and this - it's beautiful, but it's not me."

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She nods slightly. 

"It's not really, for anyone who doesn't earn it themselves. I can show something that is supposed to be it and arguably is but well..." 

She gestures, and the metal in the room dissapears, and there's a gentle tug upon her that lets her cancel the transformation, the magic draining out of her.

"You can't find a harmony if you are making yourself discordant, not really, but..."

She shakes her head and sits back contemplatively.

"I still hope you enjoyed."

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"It was a wonder to see. Thank you."

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She blushes softly, hiding her head a little.

"You're welcome, Hannah."

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Hannah takes her hand. 

"May I kiss you?"

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She takes her hand, a little shakily, looking up just below her eyes.

"...You may."

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She leans in and kisses Iron softly.

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She hums softly as she kisses back, her hand clenching a little to hold her more firmly, eyes lidding a little.

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Hannah pulls back, and smiles. 

"Anything else you want to show me?~"

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She laughs quietly. 

"I've always enjoyed a good knife, but that's more of a specialist thing - and I suspect I'm far from ready to use such things fully, here, and well..." 

She hums contemplatively, and stands up, naked as the day she was born. 

"It's hard to feel like I'm really showing anything, when I know that more or less everyone will have seen the configuration of parts and the general aesthetic, but..." 

She tilts her head. 

"We might want to do something about that - even just seeing the change from oiling up can be... quite substantial~"

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Hannah laughs. 

"I may have seen my fair share of naked girls, but my life has been notably lacking in naked you thus far."

She goes over to the console, selects a perfumed oil in a scent she likes (strawberry).

"I have a friend you might want to share knives with, too," she says, pouring a dollop of the oil into her free hand.

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Her skin is a little flushed, already, and her chest heaves as she takes in the oils' smell.

"There's nothing wrong with the idea of that but well..."

She lets her hand gently slide across her breasts as she thinks. 

"It's so easy to just let myself remember how generateable the images of what I look like naked, with or without some fancy computer system that it's hard to find it... meaningful."

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"Yeah, but no image can be as there as you can. The presence of you, in your altogether, isn't really fakable even by advanced sims. The best ones would still have you operating them." 

She smears out the oil along Iron's back. 

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She shudders a little, leaning in and repressing a moan slightly.

"That's why I said image - there's so much more to it, even if it's just a matter of something as simple as frame rate or small artifacts of the process or just the magical thing but well..." 

"I'm naked to all, in every moment, whether or not they take advantage of that."

Permalink Mark Unread

"Sounds like an exhibitionist at heart."

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"Sometimes I like to think that? But well..." 

She sighs softly.

"Sometimes I want it to just be that I'm not denying the inevitable reality that people can see me naked, in such a vulnerable position, that there's no point in adding needless friction into people's lives even for something that is so automatic and easy and guarenteed to happen. Or perhaps it's just because I'm not sure that I can feel like I'm really... a girl, without the sort of reaction and parsing and connection that you get when you are presented with this."

She stretches out languidly, rubbing her back against the chair.

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Hannah smiles appreciatively. "Yeah, I guess you can look at it like that. It's not how I'd see it, but..."

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She leans up to kiss across her cheek. 

"I never know wht to think of the way that so many people's perceptions just... fall in line. I like being in the moment, even if I'm not exactly the sort of person that you would normally expect that from and just... I like following this all, and seeing where it goes. It doesn't have to be adventurous but well...~"

She smiles a little wryly.

Permalink Mark Unread

"I like a little adventure anyway. Like your magic, there."

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She laughs softly and smiles. 

"Yeah..." 

Her hands slide across her smooth cheeks. 

"And it's good to explore, too, even if it's just an expression of being in the moment and present and keep on showing that you want more."

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"I don't know any way to get all caught up in something without wanting more."

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She smiles softly as her kisses trail up to her forehead, getting softer and more tender. 

"I've always found that it's easy to just... dissociate into what it's in front of me, and just... float away from my capacity for desire? I don't know how healthy it is to be lost like that, but it's always been something that I can do nd always something that is... nice to have, at least." 

Her hand slides up to brush into the falling strands of her hair, stroking them softly.