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A Very Desirable Problem

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When Tamma came to her door, Jovvi had sensed her first with her Spirit magic, and her emotions were roiling like water in a kettle.

She stood so long at the door without knocking or asking to come in that Jovvi's curiosity overcame her politeness, and she opened the door onto Tamrissa, blushing furiously, fist raised to knock.  "Oh!" said Tamma, stepping back.

"I heard you outside," said Jovvi.  It was roughly adjacent to the truth, and she didn't want to make Tamma self-conscious; she obviously had enough on her mind.  "You can come in if you'd like.  What's wrong?  Are you all right?"  She did her best to soothe the little spikes of fear and worry that kept hitting Tamrissa.

"I, um.  I wanted -- I was thinking about -- about what you said, earlier."  A little thread of hope rose up within Tamma, but it was surrounded by worry and guilt.

"What did I say?" Jovvi asked.   "Come in, sit down," she added, as though she wasn't a guest in Tamrissa's own house.  She took Tamrissa's hand gently, and she could not help but notice Tamma stiffen in response, and then relax.  "I don't mean to be rude, but you look terrible," she added.

She got the response she'd hoped for; Tamrissa gave a genuine snort of laughter.  "Thank you, I guess."  She sat down on the bench next to the bed, and Jovvi settled in next to her.  She was still very flushed.

Jovvi looked at her expectantly.  She could keep asking, but it would be best for Tamrissa to come to whatever it was in her own time.  Whatever she was so hesitant to say, she'd come too far to not say it.

"I was thinking about what you said about us maybe… maybe opening up a house together?"  She went even more scarlet, and it all began to make sense.  "And, and, I'd like that, but --"  She was staring at the floor, and Jovvi suppressed a fond smile.  "I don't want to be useless!  And I thought, I thought I should probably, ah, see if… see if I enjoy sex when it's not with… and then!  And then I thought maybe I would ask one of the men but I know Lorand is very… old-fashioned and Vallant Ro is -- ugh."  She rolled her eyes.  "And he seems nice but I barely know Pagin Holter.  So really the only safe one is Rion and he's -- well, not that there's anything wrong with him, he's just… inexperienced."

"Aah," said Jovvi.  She did smile now.

"So I thought… that maybe you could --"  Tamma broke off.  "I know it's not done," she said quickly.

"It is absolutely done," said Jovvi, her smile faltering.  "Whatever gave you that idea?  No, don't tell me, it was your parents and their obsession with getting all their daughters married off profitably to wealthy men."  Not that she objected to profiting from wealthy men, but not at the expense of others.  Tamrissa looked at her now, anxiety and curiosity and hope and guilt all warring within her.  This might be tricky, but Tamma was a good friend despite being such a new friend, and she didn't deserve any of what her past had heaped upon her.  "Of course I will help you.  If you would like."

Tamrissa took a long breath.  "Yes.  That would be… thank you."  Panic spiked within her again.  "Is -- is there anyone listening?  I keep forgetting --"

"No, not that I can sense," said Jovvi, now a bit indignant that poor Tamma had to worry about being spied upon in her own house.  "Everything you're saying -- everything that happens here -- is just between the two of us."  It was amazing how much of a difference that made in Tamrissa's expression, much less the bundle of nervous emotions Jovvi barely had to reach out to sense.

"Well, then.  I."  She took a deep breath.  "Yes.  I'd like you to, uh, help me."

Jovvi laughed.  "You're so nervous!  I promise I won't do anything I don't think you'll like.  And I promise I'll stop if you aren't enjoying yourself.  I'll know immediately -- you don't even have to ask.  But you're absolutely terrified now.  I think things would go more smoothly if you were a bit calmer."  Jovvi didn't mention the desire she could also sense from Tamrissa.

Tamrissa cringed.  "I'm so sorry, it's nothing against you, it's just --"

"Tamma, I'm asking permission to soothe you."

Her face lit up again, with relief this time.  "Oh!  Oh, yes, you can do that.  Yes, I think I would like that better."

"All right," said Jovvi.  She took Tamrissa's hands in hers, stroking her palms, and worked on all her nervousness and terror.  Gently, slowly, she lessened Tamma's worst feelings, and turned a bit of her nerves into excitement.  The desire started to show through more plainly now to Jovvi's sense of Spirit, and when she looked at Tamrissa's face she saw that her healthy flush had increased, and she was smiling a little.  "Does that feel better?"

"So much," said Tamrissa.  "That alone was worth coming to see you for."

"Really?" Jovvi asked.  "We haven't even started yet."  She leaned forward to kiss Tamrissa.

Her response was not immediate, but she relaxed into the kiss after a moment, and leaned into it of her own accord, her lips soft and warm.  Jovvi soothed a little spike of anxiety she felt returning, and began to undo the buttons on Tamma's blouse.

Almost immediately, Tamrissa pulled away.  Jovvi didn't even need to be a Middle in Spirit magic to see she was frightened.  "I'm sorry, I -- it's not you, I just keep thinking of -- can you calm me down again?"

"Of course," said Jovvi.  Poor Tamrissa's husband really had hurt her badly, hadn't he?  "Why don't you lie on the bed and relax while I work?"

Tamma nodded and lay down, closing her eyes.  If her problem had not been so serious Jovvi might have laughed, for Tamrissa had set her mind to being calm, and was therefore more tense than ever.  Jovvi sat on the other side of the bed.  "Don't work so hard at relaxing, Tamma, that's not how this works.  Just let me help."

She worked with more care than she ever had in the competitions, trying to thoroughly clear Tamrissa's mind of worry and memories of cruelty.  She'd probably missed a lot of it in her first pass, because even Tamrissa's happiest emotions were tangled up in guilt and pain.  They would come back, certainly; through her skills Jovvi could only provide her a temporary fix.  But the goal here was to show Tamma that it was possible to have a good time, not to fix all her problems.

"Everything feels so much better when you do that," Tamrissa sighed, a mixture of relief and wistfulness in her voice.

"As burdensome as these competitions have been, they certainly have helped me improve my skills," said Jovvi.  "I'm just glad I can use this to truly help someone.  Would you like to continue?  I think I'll let you take your clothes off at your own pace, though.  That seemed to be what frightened you… unless I'm mistaken?"

Tamma opened her eyes and looked at her.  "Yes, I… my husband used to rip my clothes off, and I realized I should have saved you the trouble and undressed myself before --"

"He used to what?" Jovvi snapped, before taking a deep breath and collecting herself.  "Of course he did, I don't know why I'm surprised.  It sounds like he preferred terrorizing you over all things.  I'm sorry."  She did not add, That man is lucky he's dead.  "While I admit that that kind of rough play can be a lot of fun when you're in the mood for it, I wouldn't --"

"I know.  I trust you.  You're not my husband."  Jovvi could not help but notice the way Tamrissa flushed as her eyes wandered over Jovvi's body.  "You're nothing like my husband."

"Definitely not," said Jovvi, with a grin.  "Here, why don't I undress a bit for you?  Do you like looking at me?"

"I…"  She trailed off, hesitating, blushing even more, but to Jovvi the answer was plainly affirmative, so she went to stand in front of her so as to better show herself off.  These stupid uniforms weren't nearly as flattering to Jovvi's figure compared to what she usually wore, but she did her best to make herself appealing as she slowly unbuttoned her blouse.

Tamma was sitting up now, and certainly very interested in everything Jovvi did, although her guilt was back -- this was going to be interesting practice in and of itself if Jovvi kept having to use her talent to keep Tamrissa calm.  She sat down and leaned forward to remove her shoes and stockings, incidentally giving Tamma a nice view of her cleavage.  Out of the corner of her eye she saw, with some amusement, that Tamrissa was gripping the bed tightly, and when Jovvi looked up again she could see Tamma was flat-out staring.

"I'm so sorry, I'm being very rude," muttered Tamrissa.

Jovvi did laugh at this.  "For what, appreciating me?  I'm not offended.  That's what we're here for, isn't it?"  She undid the buttons on her skirt and let it and the petticoats fall to the floor in a pile, then looked to Tamrissa.  "Well?  Are you feeling a little less vulnerable?"

"To be completely honest I don't know what I'm feeling," said Tamrissa.  "Can I… can I kiss you again?"

"You can do whatever you like with me," said Jovvi, and was pleased when Tamrissa's reaction was almost all desire and very little shame.

She leaned forward and kissed Jovvi, clumsily, but with much more feeling.  Jovvi could feel Tamma's excitement and her lust as her fingers trailed down Jovvi's back, traveling over the laces of her corset, until her hand came to rest just on her waist.  Jovvi pulled away from the kiss and whispered "You can touch me," in Tamma's ear.  Tamrissa hesitated once more.   "Please?" she added, and kissed Tamma's neck.  Jovvi grinned as Tamrissa's hand finally made its way past the corset, to her bottom.  Even more hesitantly, Tamma cupped one of Jovvi's breasts from beneath, running her thumb over the top.

While Tamma's caution was certainly endearing, Jovvi was beginning to get a little frustrated.  Feeling Tamma's lust practically radiating off of her was getting Jovvi fairly worked up as well. She could not help but think about how good it would feel to see Tamma's face and spirit in ecstasy, and she was also certain Tamma's long, graceful fingers would feel very good inside her.  "Mm, I hope you're enjoying yourself, Tamma," she said.  "Are you going to undress at all or are you planning to have me naked without letting me see any of you?"

"Oh!  I -- I wasn't really thinking!"  Tamrissa's tone was one of a hostess who'd realized she hadn't offered her guests any tea or other refreshment, which was very endearing.  "Should I --"

"There's no 'should' right now, there's only what you want," said Jovvi.  Now that she thought about it, it would be very exciting to be stripped and taken by the primly-dressed lady of the house, even if in reality it was just her friend Tamma and she was just in her competition uniform.

But this whole thing was for Tamma's pleasure, not Jovvi's, and she saw now that Tamma was quickly, slightly fumblingly unbuttoning her own blouse.  In a few moments she stood before Jovvi in a similar state of undress, and Jovvi was able to appreciate Tamrissa's beauty even more than she had previously.  With her delicate figure, she didn't need a corset and didn't wear one, just a light chemise that did very little to hide the peaks of her nipples beneath.  "You can touch me too," she said, quietly but with the sort of conviction Jovvi would have expected from someone volunteering to do a difficult job.

"Only if you want," Jovvi reminded her, but when she reached out and felt Tamma's emotions, her wanting was very plain.  So Jovvi kissed her neck again, and put her hand on Tamma's waist, and waited for Tamma's feelings to go from excitement and interest to a desire for more.  It didn't take long.  Tamma was breathing heavily as Jovvi gradually kissed down her chest towards one of her breasts.  She was briefly startled when Jovvi slowly moved her hand under Tamma's chemise and then under her knickers, to rest on her bare thigh, but she was actually disappointed when Jovvi went no further.

She made a very lovely sound indeed when Jovvi pulled her chemise aside a bit to circle Tamma's nipple with her tongue.  "Jovvi, go on," she breathed, and Jovvi stroked her fingers lightly up Tamma's thigh until she found Tamma's cunt.  Tamma's little noise of surprise quickly became a moan of pleasure.  She was slick already, which made Jovvi more than a little smug, although Jovvi was now having to work to keep Tamrissa's fear from returning even as she searched out how to give her the pleasure she really deserved.  Tamma's little wordless noises and the way she shuddered and clenched around Jovvi's fingers when she explored a little further made Jovvi want to put her free hand to good use on herself, but she didn't want to lose her concentration and let Tamma's fears return.

She felt Tamma's uncertainty growing even as she lost control of her desire, and she decided she'd better pause to let Tamrissa catch her breath.  "Are you all right?"

"It's so good," said Tamrissa, sounding almost pained.  "It's just -- it's just so intense.  I don't know if I can just let it happen.  I'm sorry to be so much of a problem."

Jovvi was struck by how lovely Tamrissa was just then -- hair wild, chemise askew, flushed, sweaty -- but also so concerned, so serious about something that ought to be nothing but joy, and so terribly frustrated with herself.  "You're not a problem, Tamma," she said, kissing her on the forehead.  "You are my friend, and I'm here for you, whether you want to keep going, or whether you'd rather get dressed and go downstairs and never do this again."

"You're too kind to me," said Tamrissa, and Jovvi had to tamp down on a surge of her own anger at the people who had used her so cruelly.

She managed, thankfully, to redirect Tamma's feelings away from the guilt and pain that were closing in on her.  "I could never be too kind to you.  Although I am glad I didn't start using my mouth."

"Your -- your mouth?"  Tamrissa appeared not to have realized this was even a possibility.

Jovvi grinned.  "Perhaps some other time I'll show you, if you'd like.  But we can certainly stop here if you don't want to be overwhelmed."

Tamrissa nodded.  "I don't think I want that, no," she said.  She was plainly feeling very self-conscious, and Jovvi assumed that that was that.  She was certainly not expecting what Tamrissa said next.  "Do you think I could… um… try this on you, though?  With my fingers?"

Jovvi hadn't been expecting that, and she blinked at Tamrissa in surprise.

"If not that's fine!" said Tamrissa hurriedly.  "I'm so sorry, I don't know how to do any of this, I --"

Jovvi cut her off with a wave of her hand.  "Tamma, I'm going to be honest with you."  She met Tamrissa's eyes and smiled slowly, and the little thrill of anticipation she felt from Tamma was amazing.  "I want you very badly right now.  I was trying not to be selfish and suggest that.  This is, after all, so that you can be more comfortable."

Tamma pulled her chemise straight, self-consciously.  "Well!  Good!  But I… I don't know where to begin."

Jovvi watched her.  She had plenty of ideas, but she wanted to see where Tamrissa took this.  "What do you feel like doing with me?  Or to me?"

"I want…"  Tamrissa bit her lip, and scowled at Jovvi as if she was a difficult but very desirable problem.  "I want to see all of you," she managed, finally.  "Let me help you with your corset.  It looks very uncomfortable."

"It's not," said Jovvi, grinning a bit, "but I think we both know that's not why you've been staring at my chest."

Tamma snorted.  "All right, fair enough."  She undid the laces on Jovvi's corset.  As she helped Jovvi take it off, she said, wistfully, "I wish I was beautiful like you are.  People want to touch you; they just want to hurt me."

"I think between the two of us we can keep that from ever happening again," said Jovvi.  "And, as I told you before, you can touch me."

Gingerly at first, Tamma cupped her breasts from behind.  Jovvi was trying very hard not to be amused by her caution -- she was used to some clients pawing at her, and others being too tightly wound to do anything but look at her body while they pleasured themselves, but Tamma acting as though she'd never seen tits before was strangely funny.

"Well?" Jovvi said, after a moment.

Tamma's hands dropped to her sides immediately.  "I'm so sorry!  I -- I don't know what I'm doing and I don't want to do anything wrong!"

Her nervousness was threatening to overcome her once again, and Jovvi decided enough was enough; she was going to have to take matters into her own hands.  She soothed Tamma with her talent as she turned, caught Tamma's face in her hands, and kissed her deeply, before pulling away.  "Tamrissa.  My dear.  Do you want me?"

Tamrissa nodded hurriedly.

Jovvi pulled off her chemise and knickers, and sat herself down on the bed, her legs far enough apart that Tamma could not possibly have missed the hint.  "Then please, please come and get me.  Because I want you to an excessive degree."

Tamrissa swore under her breath, then hurried to kiss her.  As Jovvi had demonstrated before, she ran one hand up Jovvi's thigh and began to stroke her cunt.  Jovvi seized her wrist then and firmly guided Tamma's fingers inside of her, and her thumb to Jovvi's clit.  She moaned and rocked into Tamma's hand.  "Just a little further in and -- mm."  Tamma had pushed her down onto the bed now and was crouching over her, kissing her neck, stroking her nipple, pressing into her and up, easing just a little further in until -- "There.  Right there, and keep going," said Jovvi.  Tamma's hands and mouth were so warm, her fingers stronger than Jovvi had expected, and every time Jovvi moaned she felt a surge of satisfaction and smugness from Tamrissa, which somehow made it better.

Jovvi tried to hold back and make it last a little longer, but Tamrissa had taken her words to heart and soon the pleasure was too overwhelming for her to do anything but let it take her.  In a few long, lovely moments she found herself sweaty, out of breath, and extremely satisfied, able only to bask in her own pleasure and Tamma's delight in causing it.  "Tamma, that was wonderful," she said.  "But you can stop."

Tamrissa scrambled off of her.  "It was all right?  I did that right?"

"It was very all right," she said, sitting up.  She felt so good now.  "Do you want me to return the favor?"

"I think… not right now, but can we try this again sometime?" Tamrissa asked.  "I -- I want to see what it's like when I just… try it for myself.  Is that strange?"

"No, that's very sensible," said Jovvi.  That eased Tamma's guilt somewhat, but there was still some fear there, strangely resistant.  "Did you enjoy yourself?" she asked, although of course she knew the answer.

"Oh yes," said Tamrissa.  "Much more than I expected, actually.  But…"  She sighed.  "I still failed."

"What in the world do you mean?" Jovvi asked.  She still felt so good in every way that she couldn't understand how Tamrissa could think she'd failed.

"Well, I didn't want to be useless if -- if you went back to being a courtesan and I came with you, and I still can't even --"

"Tamma, please."  Jovvi gave her a wide smile.  "Whatever your reservations about your own pleasure, you certainly showed me a good time.  Besides, if you wanted to come along with me and get away from this madness, I would be more than happy to have you along, whether or not you want to become a courtesan.  Whether or not you want to do this again.  Besides, we needn't necessarily open up that particular kind of business together; it's what I know best but I'm sure we can think of something that uses our collective pool of talents and not just mine."

"Really?"  Jovvi could no longer feel anything but relief and delight coming from Tamrissa.  "I would like that very much.  And… I would like to do this again, actually.  With you."

"It would be my pleasure," said Jovvi.  "Hopefully both of ours, in fact," she added, with a smirk.  "But for now, I think I'm going to need a bath before dinner, and you should probably clean up as well."

"Oh!  I almost forgot about dinner," said Tamrissa, hurrying to get her clothes back on.

"Don't worry, we still have time," said Jovvi, ignoring her own clothes in favor of finding a wrap to use to go to the bathhouse.  "I'll wait a bit after you leave before going to the bathhouse and… if you'd like to join me, do remember that Occupied sign."

"Jovvi, we shouldn't!" said Tamma, laughing.  "Someone will hear!"  But she really was lovely when she blushed.