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In the Arms of the Water

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Freya feels it when spring breaks through winter. The land quickens: trees burst into flirtatious bloom; birds and animals mate in the woods, and some adventurous humans do the same in the fields and the hedges. Everywhere there’s abundance and fertility, and here she is, in a lake shadowy and cool with the remnants of winter, alone.

When she was still human, and before she was cursed, spring would have been nothing more than a faint excitement, freedom and beauty and warmth—and the ability to spend time outside of shelter, with lighter clothes and fewer layers—an incitement to couple but not a need. Now she feels it like the earth does, feels it as a constant tingling beneath her skin, strongest at the tips of her breasts and between her legs but really, always, everywhere.

She’s taken to telling the kinds of secrets she once might have told her closest friends to Excalibur. The ever-present thrum of magic inside it reminds her there is a world beyond this lake, with people in it who understand her. “I’m lonely,” she whispers, and then—because that’s not right, is it, not complete; it’s true but right now as the sun rises and turns the world golden-warm and awakening it isn’t companionship she craves—“I want.”

Sunlight flashes off the blade, winks from the pommel and the bright metal criss-crossing the grip. Excalibur is beautiful, shining and rich, with that deep sweet pulse of magic, and Freya feels the breath she no longer needs catch with desire.

Why not, after all?

She lifts the sword, touches it to her lips as if Excalibur is a lover she should kiss. It’s as if that decision sends a signal through her whole body, and she shivers, hard, suddenly intensely aware of the soft current sweeping over her skin. Her breasts tighten, and when she slides a hand down her chest to roll her nipple between her fingers she’s startled by how hard it is, how sensitive.

For now, she settles Excalibur on the lakebed, within easy reach. Her breasts had never been of much interest to her before, not when she was alone, but now she cups them in her hands and strokes, feeling their softness and their mass, loving the way her body responds. When she pinches the other nipple heat shoots down her spine, gathering in the pit of her stomach.

She slides a hand between her legs, parting her curls and shuddering for a long moment before she can even touch herself as the lake itself seems to circle over the sensitive flesh, trace fingers made of water back and forth against her, setting pleasure racing through her body. It isn’t enough, though, and she puts her own hand to work, a gentle stroking at odds with the urgency she feels.

Another ray of sunlight strikes off Excalibur, and Freya thinks yes and picks it up again, checking her grip on the cross-guard before she sinks herself onto it. The pommel stretches her more than she was expecting, and for a moment, as she waits for her body to adjust, she’s balanced between pleasure and discomfort. Pleasure wins out—the hilt fills places inside her that were empty, as muscles that had been trying to close on water find something solid to grip, and she lets go with one hand, moves it behind her to take the guard again, and turns.

What she means to do is angle Excalibur so that her front arm is lying flat against her body, giving her something to rub against, but when she’s nearly there the pommel presses against something inside her that makes her cry out, sparks flying through her body, and she wants that, she wants it again and again.

She’s almost forgotten anything else as she pulls Excalibur almost out of her, just to the place where the pommel starts to tease at the edges of her entrance, but when she moves it back in her forearm slides against herself and this is wonderful, it’s the best idea she’s had since she got here and she doesn’t know why she didn’t think of it earlier. The magic that fills Excalibur is spreading through her and she almost sobs with it, held by her lake with her body wrapped around a sword, such a beautiful sword, and she keeps moving as the water around her brightens from green to gold, rocking herself down onto Excalibur and against her hand until she comes, yearning and grateful and astonished.

By late afternoon she feels the lure of spring again, feels her body readying itself, and this time she smiles.