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And to be shared on this night

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Persis sat on the bed, feeling nervous without knowing why. It had rather caught her off guard, her queen inviting her to her stay in her own chambers. There had been the argument of course, and Persis had been upset enough to stay in her room for days. She hadn’t been prepared for her queen to come in to look for her at all, let alone invite her to move to her own quarters.

Still, the prospect had made something start in Persis’s heart: that old hope, that she’d thought dashed by what Jack had told her. That her queen might one day deem her worthy, that she would change her.

She saw now that it would be a long, slow road. But this was a step on it, surely, and either way she was in it for the long haul. She’d already signed up for life, after all.


She started at her queen’s voice at the door. The way she shaped the syllables was softer now than it had been before, not quite vulnerable but not far off.

Persis smiled, tentative. “Yes, my queen?”

“Is everything to your liking?”

“Oh, very much so!” she blurted. The chamber was bigger than her own, than most of the monastic cells, but there was only one bed that she could see. She felt suddenly self-conscious. “I suppose I will just, um, ask Jack for some more blankets and make a bed on the floor then...”

“Don’t be silly, Persis,” said Carla, making eye contact with her. But for all her directness, she looked uncharacteristically nervous. “You may sleep in my bed.”

“With… you?” choked out Persis, hastily rearranging her face into some semblance of composure.

Carla frowned very slightly. “If you’re worried about me being tempted by the smell of your blood–”

“I’m not!” said Persis. “You know I’m not. In fact, I’ve always freely offered you my blood, and you’ve refused me…” she frowned, the recent argument and what Jack had told her still a hurt that hadn’t quite healed, despite Carla’s invitation. “I mean, I know you said–”

“Persis. I won’t drink your blood, or indeed change you into a vampire, no matter how much you ask,” said Carla, her tone unwavering again. “So let this be an end to that. But if you want to share my bed–”

“Yes, please,” said Persis, much too quickly. The ambiguous phrasing made her face heat and her stomach flip, trying to picture herself in bed with her queen. Again there was that deep ache, that want.

But she admonished herself for it, knowing that was probably not what Carla meant at all, and just being near her would be more than enough. It would have to be.

“Good,” said Carla, smiling more fully, though not quite without a little shade of nervousness of her own. “Then let us to bed.”

Persis lay rigidly on her back, looking up at the ceiling and listening to her queen breathe in the darkness. They weren’t the even breaths of sleep, Persis knew. She knew what Carla sounded like when she slept, had cared for her and sat by her bedside for long enough early on.

No. Persis knew that she was not the only person in this bed lying tensely awake.

It was as she was wondering why that might be that she heard a quiet voice in the dark, barely more than a whisper.


She all but flinched where she lay, the tension keeping her on the edge. “Yes, my queen? Do you need something?”

“No. I was just wondering... whether you’re still awake.”

“I am.” There was a short silence, that seemed to stretch on for an eternity. “My queen?” prompted Persis. “Are you sure you don’t need something?”

A small soft sound, coming from beside her. “No. I mean. I was thinking about what Jack told you. What I said.”

“Oh,” said Persis, glad of the darkness hiding her flush. “It’s alright. I’ve already forgotten it.”

“Good,” said Carla. “Because… well. I was wrong.”

Persis blinked to herself, sitting up and turning on the glowing light on the wall with a brush of her fingers. “What? Does that mean… does that mean you’ll change me? Make me like you, and Jack? Make me a–”

“No,” said Carla, voice abrupt and stern as she sat up too. “For one thing, I am not like Jack. For another, I will not make you a vampire. I’ve told you this, Persis.”

“Oh.” Persis’s shoulders drooped.

“But,” said Carla, biting her lip slightly, her eyes slipping to the side, “it’s not because you’re not worthy of it.”

“Oh?” said Persis, frowning. “I suppose… thank you.”

“Aren’t you going to ask me why, then?”

“I, um, assume you have your reasons,” said Persis, distracted suddenly as she stared back at Carla’s face, attention caught by the way the light played across her ageless features. Her collarbones were just visible where her sleep robe parted, a landscape of valleys to map.

“I did,” said Carla. “And… meeting Jack, coming here. It’s made me realise the truth of them. I’ll never go back on this choice. You’re better off mortal, Persis. Eternity is not a kindness.”

Their faces were very close now, as the silence stretched. “My queen…”

“Shhh, Persis.”

And she went quiet, as Carla leaned in and kissed her.
Persis’s heart was in her throat as their lips moved, both quiet in the dim light. The moment seemed suspended in time, longed for and impossible and frightening. What if she got this wrong? What if she ruined it? This was her queen; no matter what Carla said, there was too much distance between them still, surely; no matter what she said, Persis was not worthy, she was nothing.

And yet her queen pulled away from her lips and looked at her with such reverence, enough to make her breath all but stop in her throat. Persis licked her lips, watching those familiar, beloved eyes flick down to watch, before she found another burst of courage and closed the short distance between them again, kissing her deeper this time.

Her queen kissed her back, and Persis let out a whimper as she felt the tip of a fang catch at her lip. Too light to draw blood, but it made her breath catch and her stomach flip, with the promise of more to come. Persis had a sudden, overwhelming urge to touch her, so very tentatively she raised her hand and laid it on Carla’s waist. As soon as she did though, she felt her queen arch her body in towards her, letting out a low moan into her mouth. Encouraged by this, Persis pulled her in on top of her with a nervous laugh, rearranging them in such a way that allowed her to slip her knee up between Carla’s legs where she knelt over Persis on the bed. No pressure yet, but the suggestion was there.

Carla leaned down to kiss her again, eyes dark and unreadable with the lamp behind her head. Persis just closed her eyes and breathed her in, then gasped as she felt Carla’s hand come down and trail down her stomach, dipping down to touch her clit very gently under her linen shift. She was already wet just from kissing, but the hand on her made her even wetter, and she heard Carla hiss with approval as she discovered it.

“My queen,” she gasped out, tilting her head back. Carla licked her throat, moaning against her skin, and Persis wondered whether she could smell her blood; if she could, it clearly pleased her. But still, Persis raised her hand, trying to reach up and return the pleasure that she was being given. “Let me…”

“Shhh,” said Carla, slipping a finger into Persis and crooking it at an angle that made her gasp, a precision strike. Persis wondered – not for the first time – how much she’d practised this, perfected it over the course of her long life. The thought made her shiver with anticipatory lust.

“Please…” mumbled Persis, and she wasn’t sure if she was begging for Carla to continue, or to switch their places, let Persis do this to her instead.

“Hush Persis,” said Carla again, kissing the protest from her lips. “Let yourself enjoy this. You’ve done so much for me, it’s past time I returned the favour.”

“I…” she said, but she swallowed the rest of the sentence as Carla’s fingers made her body spasm around them, thumb keeping up a relentless rhythm circling her clit. “Oh…”

Carla kissed the moans from her mouth, and at last Persis finally let herself relax.

There would be time, she knew. There were still hours to go before the dawn.

The next morning dawned grey and dim, as it always did here. Carla sat up, rubbing sleep from her eyes; she felt a momentary twist of the familiar, vampiric bloodlust at the pleasant smell that surrounded her in bed, combined with enough warmth to make her think she might still be dreaming.

Then she saw Persis sleeping beside her on the pillow. Not that this did much to disabuse her of the notion that this was a dream – she had, after all, had this exact dream on more occasions than she cared to admit since they’d come here, and was actually reasonably relieved that Jack had shut her out of his thoughts, because it would be too easy to slip and let it ebb the other way.

But no, this was real, Carla knew. She smiled to herself, quashing under a little more waking rationality the familiar curl of temptation at the smell of Persis’s blood.

She couldn’t help but smile as she raised her hand to brush a lock of hair aside that had come loose from Persis’s braid and fallen over her face as she slept. Once again, Carla was struck by how young she was; she forgot sometimes, when Persis was working her in the sparring yard or helping Jack with the cooking while they laughed together, or indeed, last night. But now, she looked… peaceful. Sweet and vulnerable. It was enough to make Carla’s heart twist in her chest, with a strength of emotion that surprised even her.

The thing was, it wasn’t unheard of for monarchs of the Twelve Planets to go to bed with their handmaidens. Not talked about in polite company perhaps, but it was reasonably common in the history of her ruling dynasty. It was seen as mostly harmless on the typical scale of royal indiscretions, as long as no one became pregnant or tried to extort or leverage power above their station.

But this… this was not that. This was something altogether different, and not only because they were in exile together. The depth of feeling expanding in her chest as she looked down at Persis almost gave her vertigo, like standing at the very edge of a cliff and looking over and realising there was much, much further to fall than you thought.

But still she looked, and she let herself touch ever-so-gently. Persis stirred as Carla caressed her hair, eyes fluttering open. For a moment she frowned, still bleary-eyed with sleep, and Carla drew her hand back, feeling that inexplicable nervousness again.

But a moment later, a brilliant smile was spreading over Persis’s face, and she leaned up on her elbows and kissed Carla. “Good morning, my queen,” she said, looking rather overwhelmed.

“Good morning, Persis,” purred Carla, letting Persis pull her close in her arms. The Vida, it seemed, were more reliant on touch than her own people. She’d have to remember that. She put her hands on Persis’s waist, pulling her in under the blanket and kissing her properly.

Things, it seemed, were okay.


Carla fell hard on her back on the rain damp sand of the makeshift practice yard as Persis knocked her off her feet, her staff clattering away to the side. They had been sparring, and though the day was cold, fast approaching winter, their breath expanding out in clouds, Carla felt warm, her body filled with adrenaline with the exertion. Recently, she’d almost been enjoying these practise sessions.

As she fell she grinned, darting out her foot to catch Persis’s ankle. Persis was caught off balance and went over too, falling right on top of Carla, who had not been expecting this. Persis yelled, and she found she was shouting too with the thrill of it. The two of them rolled to the side until they came to a standstill, panting and sharing breaths between them in the chilly-damp air. She caught her breath, staring up at Persis’s face above her own, all wide eyes and apprehension; Carla knew that Persis still thought she’d overstepped sometimes, even though they spent every night these days in bed together. Carla gave her a reassuring smile, but before she could kiss her, Persis was already springing back onto her feet.

Carla got up too, brushing sand off her training clothes.

“You’ll be needing this back.”

They both whirled, seeing Jack standing under the archway that ran along the courtyard, holding her dropped staff. Carla met Persis’s gaze; how long had he been standing there watching them? Had he seen how close their faces came? Did he know? Did it matter? She felt the sudden onslaught of questions come all at once, but rather than let them consume her she drew herself up to her full height, assuming her queenly posture as she reached out for her staff from Jack.

“Getting a little better,” he told her, with a grin and the hint of amusement in his face. “Persis is a good teacher.”

Persis was blushing furiously, avoiding Jack’s eye. “I do all I can.”

“You do just fine,” said Carla firmly, turning her back on Jack and his smirk. “Come, Persis. I’m ready to try again.”

But from then on, Jack was there more, watching them. They’d be sparring in the yard and he’d be watching from the archways or from one of the windows, or the upper walkway that ran around the temple courtyard, arms folded across his chest and his expression thoughtful. They’d have their meals together more often too, and Jack and Persis had taken to going on long walks around the lake together; Carla didn’t know what they talked about, and she never asked Persis, but she couldn’t help but feel a little left out.

But she couldn’t quite feel jealous, was the thing; Jack was too easy to like, if one saw past his irascibility during their first days here. Now, she got the impression that had been a thin veneer anyway, that had collected on him like rust with the years alone.

But underneath, she was beginning to see that Jack was… good. Well, he was irritating sometimes, and right far too often for his own good, and he had some strange ideas about things, but Carla could see a little of the man from the stories there, now.

And he was rather attractive too, which helped; she knew Persis thought so too. They’d spoken about it one night, lying sweaty and satisfied amidst their blankets, Persis clinging to her as though she never wanted to let go. Persis was always so warm, and always clung so, but this time she seemed to be doing it to hide her face from Carla as they spoke about Jack.

Something was coming, Carla knew. Things wouldn’t stay like this forever. But whether things were to change for the better or for the worse, she had to admit that with Persis’s head a warm weight on her shoulder, and Carla’s hand stroking her hair, then perhaps things were alright to be going on with.

It was a few months later when Jack walked in on them.

“Well,” he said, a slow smile spreading across his face, as he only half averted his eyes, “I’d say this is unexpected, but…”

Persis was adorably flustered, grabbing for her clothes. “Sorry!” she babbled, “I swear, I can explain–”

Jack snorted. “I dunno, I think it’s pretty self-explanatory.”

“Persis. It’s not your fault,” said Carla, throwing a blanket around her shoulders and glaring at Jack imperiously, pulling the cloth about her shoulders like a robe. “You know, Captain, walking in accidentally is one thing. But some might say that simply standing there and watching, once you’ve realised your mistake, is quite impertinent.”

“Ha. Been called worse,” said Jack, but he didn’t turn away immediately, eyes roaming across the two of them for a moment more.

In that moment, Persis’s eyes met Carla’s, and something ran between them, an unasked question. But a moment later it had passed, as Jack turned away to the door, holding up his hand as he left. “Have fun you two,” he said.

After that, there were three days when things felt different between the three of them, a sort of brittle tension in the cold air around the temple that was new. A stiff kind of silence just waiting to be broken.

It was Persis that broke it in the end, as it usually was.

“Come to bed with us, Jack.”

Jack blinked, his glass poised at his mouth, about to take a drink. It was the dead of winter, just past Christmas, or the date they’d chosen for it years ago now; near the planet’s winter solstice, as close an approximation as they could get. It was only light for a short period each day, the nights stretching out cold and endless under the opaque roil of the night clouds.

But here… here there was a warm hearth, and the three of them were together, and Persis was looking a little flushed with the measures of berry sherry they’d had and Carla was holding her hand, unguarded for once. It was Persis that had spoken, and in that moment when Jack stared at her she blushed a little under the lamp light, exchanging an apprehensive look with Carla, as though checking she had not stepped too far past some boundary. Those two didn’t need telepathic communication to talk to one another without words, Jack had often thought, and yet somehow they still had so much that stood between them.

But Carla nodded almost imperceptibly, and Persis smiled and took a breath, staring up at him with beseeching eyes.

“Jack,” she said again, reaching for his hand too. “Come to bed with us. Please?”

He could feel the calluses on her fingers, from her short few decades spent working and practising constantly with her staff. She squeezed his fingers, mouth turning up at the corner.

He chuckled, looking between her and Carla, who was staring at him with an intent but unreadable expression. “I mean, I don’t know if you really want–”

But he was interrupted as Persis leaned forward and kissed him.

For a split second he froze, caught by surprise; it had been so long. Even for long years before he’d exiled himself here, the kisses he’d received had simply been hungry things made of lust and little else, impersonal. Persis was different though; she’d spent a significant portion of her life here with him and Carla now, though the years were barely a blink in either of their lifetimes.

And that was what brought him back onto track, kissing her back, yielding to the pressure of her lips. He’d always been weak for the brave and young and devoted, the kind of person who cared so fiercely with all their heart and life too. Persis was one such person, and Jack felt a pang each time he looked at her and Carla because he knew the way she looked at her, knew it would end in tragedy. These things always did.

But not yet. This was another thing he’d learned the hard way: that tragedy might be inevitable, but that one shouldn’t let that ruin the joy first. He’d made that mistake before too.

And so he kissed her, hand coming up around her supple back; she pressed into him under his touch, sending a frisson through his body.

But too soon she was drawing back, lips parted and blinking, a nervous laugh on her lips. She tasted of berries, her lips still a little shiny from where he’d kissed them and she exchanged a glance with Carla, as though to check it was alright. Carla’s mouth quirked at the edge, the beginnings of an impossibly affectionate smile. She pressed a surprisingly gentle kiss to Persis’s mouth before turning away from her to kiss Jack too.

Carla was different to Persis; for a start her skin was a fraction cooler, her vampirism making her body run a little cold. He opened his mouth, feeling the light scrape of a fang and moaned into her lips

A moment later, Persis’s clever hand was on his chest, undoing the front of his robes. It didn’t take her long to get through and touch the front of his linen trousers underneath, by which time he was already growing hard under her exploratory touch.

He drew away, reluctantly, gaze meeting Carla’s first; her pupils were wide, and there was something alight behind her dark eyes. For a brief moment Jack had the mad urge to drop the walls he’d set up, to let her in his head again. It had been an invasion the first time, but that had been so long ago, right when they’d started out. And hadn’t so much changed since then? Didn’t this prove it?

But no, he thought as Persis came up to kiss Carla’s throat with fierce ardour, right at the pulse point. It was Persis that was the centre of this, the mortal that bound together two fractious immortals. It would hardly do to leave her out.

And indeed, perhaps they didn’t need telepathy after all; Carla’s look at him told him almost as much. She smiled as she let Persis push her down so that she was resting beside Jack on the bed, and climb up over her thigh to kiss Jack once more, hands on his chest.

This, Jack knew, was going to be an enjoyable night.

They made it to Carla and Persis’s bed at some point later; Jack’s room was too bare, and Carla turned her nose up at it, pronouncing the bed too small for all three of them. Carla had taken the biggest room when she’d arrived here, and Persis, predictably, one of the smaller, barer monastic cells. When Persis had moved in with her, Jack had simply been happy for them but hardly surprised, with the way they acted around one another.

He’d hardly expected to be invited there himself, with the way things had been then. But in the last few years, of course, things had changed.

And now here he was, lying on his back with his legs spread out on Carla’s bed in the lamplight. Persis was kneeling above him as Carla watched them both with hungry eyes, as her hand drifted down his chest, her eyes taking him in with an anticipatory smile. He gasped as her small, clever hand – callused and skilled from fighting with a staff – ran along the ridge of his hip bone, teasing him; it had been so long for Jack, and he couldn’t help but let his impatience show with a whimper of anticipation that slipped out before he could stop it. Carla laughed at him for that, and he shot her a glare over the smooth curve of Persis’s shoulder, brown skin like burnished brass in the golden lamplight.

But a moment later he was distracted again, as Persis leaned down to kiss him, gently at first. It was the first kiss he’d had in so long, and it tasted as sweet as he’d always expected, when he’d thought about her. And he had, and Carla too, and the two of them together. And Jack didn’t need to get into Carla’s mind again to know, now, that the two of them had thought about him, while they were fucking. The idea only made him harder, an electric thrill going through his body as Persis’s hand finally dipped down to where he wanted it, tracing the line of his hip to his cock.

Jack felt a pang as her hand touched him; Persis reminded him of so many people he’d met over the years, sweet and attentive and open-hearted but with a ferocious streak of determined loyalty. He’d seen it for Carla when they’d first arrived, but recently he’d been starting to see it applied to him too.

That didn’t bode well, Jack knew. People who fell in love with one immortal were usually asking for trouble, never mind two. And perhaps if he was a stronger person, he’d have been able to push her away, to keep her and Carla at arms length as he had tried to early on.

But he wasn’t that man; never had been, never would be, and, he was beginning to see, no amount of meditation and sealing himself away from the world was going to change that.

And so Jack surrendered to Persis’s hands, gasping as she touched him, smiling gently in the lamplight. Her hair was in a braid, trailing loose down her shoulder rather than bound up in a tight bun, and he tugged her down gently by it to kiss him. At the same moment he extended his hand between them, using the closeness to sink his fingers into the wet heat between her thighs, making her moan into his mouth. Beside them Carla made a sound, and Persis flicked her head up to meet her eyes, sitting back on her heels but not leaving Jack’s reach. The two of them had another silent conversation, following which Persis drew back, sitting astride Jack’s hips with his hard cock just rubbing gently, tantalisingly, against her, not sinking down on him but just watching as Carla leaned down in her turn to kiss him upside down. Her skin was cooler than Persis’s, but not by much. But she had a wicked mouth, the kiss quickly turning as demanding as everything else about her.

Jack gave as good as he got, tugging her face down and pulling his hand back, running it along her spine to make her shiver. He wondered what she was thinking; again he was half tempted to let down the telepathic wall he’d had in place since the first time she’d tried to use the bloodline on him, to get in to his mind.

But he didn’t. It would be too much too soon, he knew. Too intimate, for what this was here and now.

Maybe in the future; they had a long time together ahead of them, after all.

So for now he just kissed her, before nudging her hip, shifting her upwards a little. She seemed to get the idea quickly, because she shuffled over so she was astride his face, facing Persis who was grinding harder against his cock now. He had closed his eyes as Carla seated herself over his face, inhaling the smell of her for a moment before getting to the business of swirling his tongue against her, bringing his hand up to press his fingers inside her for good measure. But a mere moment later he gasped against her clit as he felt Persis finally sink down on his cock, squeezing him hotly, the delicious wet friction as she began to move. Jack thrust his pelvis with all the leverage he had in his position, at the same time getting into a rhythm with Carla grinding down against his face, one hand braced against the bed and the other pinching his nipple, the sensation mingling in with the rest. He felt her lean forward and wondered if she was kissing Persis in the middle; perhaps the two of them were meeting on every thrust. The thought only made it more intense, when the sensation was already overwhelming.

Persis was the first one to come, and she was loud when she did; she gasped and shook and clenched down on his cock in a way that made Jack want to come right there and then, digging his thumbnail into the meat of his palm to try to distract himself until she was sated. Luckily he didn’t have to wait long; maybe the noises Persis had made had the same effect on Carla because she was trembling and gasping on him a moment later, getting up from his face and turning around to kiss the taste of herself from his mouth.

Again, that nip of fang. That was what did it, in the end. Between Carla’s kisses he met Persis’s eye blearily, a small, triumphant smile curling her mouth, and she nodded at him, giving him permission, encouragement. He was all but whimpering as he came inside her, letting her gentle him through it as Carla bit his shoulder. Hard, but not hard enough to break the skin. Jack sometimes wondered how much she could smell his blood; then again his wasn’t her preference, but had been a necessity in those early days, to keep her alive when she was very weak. It was Persis’s blood that was tempting to her, Jack knew, but she stubbornly refused to drink it.

Still, he wasn’t thinking much of anything now, as Persis climbed off him with a delighted laugh, coming down to lie next to Carla and whisper something in her ear that made her raise her eyebrows.

Jack pushed himself up, still blissed out and pliable.

“Now, Jack,” said Carla, pinching Jack’s hip with a flicker of amusement, “did we wear you out? I suppose you are rather old…”

He frowned. “Hey!”

She chuckled. “Come on,” she said, kissing him briefly, then offering her hand to Persis. “We’re only just beginning.”

Sure enough, some time later Persis sat on the stone chair in Carla’s chambers, settling back in amongst the threadbare cushions and stretching out her strong legs in the firelight, shapely muscles and tendons flickering as she moved. Jack swallowed, watching Carla kiss her thighs, nipping a little at the flesh. Taking her time.

Persis’s chest heaved as Carla worked her up. By the time Carla’s mouth reached her clit, Persis was already leaning back against the seat, clutching at the stone arm rests and clenching her toes, stomach muscles twitching as she tensed with anticipation. As Carla dipped her head down to lick into her, Persis opened her eyes and met Jack’s with a knowing smirk in the lamplight, before looking pointedly down his body to where his hand had gone to his cock, stroking it slowly as he watched them. This time Jack got to watch properly as Persis came, and it was as endearing a sight as he’d expected; the way she shuddered and arched her back and clutched at Carla’s shoulder, not pushing too hard, so polite even as she shook apart in pleasure.

When it was over and the trembling had abated, Carla raised her head and met Jack’s eye, with that implacable smile. Her lips were still shiny-wet from Persis’s cunt and the sight only made him harder. He couldn’t do other than to take her hand, let her bring him beside her to his knees in front of Persis.

“Now, I hope you were watching closely,” Carla told him, guiding his head forward with a hand at the nape of his neck. “If you’ve learned well, I might reward you later.”

Perhaps in other circumstances Jack might have resisted her a little, had a bit of fun with disobedience. Maybe another time. Now, he brought his face forward enthusiastically to the heat of Persis, still hot and swollen and dripping wet from when Carla had made her come just now. Jack smiled as he licked along the seam between her folds, coming up to seal his lips over her clit and circle it with his tongue. Again, it had been a while, but it came back so easily. He’d had a lot of time to perfect this after all.

Sure enough, Persis moaned under his tongue, the relaxed weight of her body tensing as he slid a finger into the wet heat of her and then another, crooking them forwards until she gasped, grinding up against his face and back down onto his hand.

At the same time, he heard an approving hum behind him. He couldn’t see what Carla was doing, but he assumed she was watching, and liking what she saw. Jack smiled a little, arching his back and moaning a bit, putting on a bit more of a show.

He could hear something happening behind him, as though a drawer was opening, and he was debating whether to turn back and look, when he felt Carla’s hand on his spine, the slight coolness of her fingers; he tensed, momentarily surprised, before realising just where it was heading as he heard the click of a buckle, the sound of leather slipping past itself as it was pulled tight.

“Time for your reward now?” he heard her ask, as her fingers dipped down to the cleft of his ass. He felt something else there too, something even cooler; something hard and inanimate, polished, resting against his skin.

“Yes,” mumbled Jack, into Persis who twitched with the words.

“That’s no way to talk to a queen. Even a deposed one.” The tip traced a maddeningly light trail down his ass. Just enough of a touch to empty everything else out of his head except for thoughts of him split apart and riding cock, deliciously filled. He heard the smirk in Carla’s voice, and knew she knew exactly what she was doing to him. “Yes, what?”

“Yes please,” hissed Jack, and Persis giggled; he wondered if she and Carla were exchanging looks over his head. The thought only made him harder.

“That’s better, Captain.”

As soon as he said it, he heard the clink of glass and felt the cool trickle of liquid against him, oil quickly taking on the warmth of his skin. She rubbed it around his hole, fingers slipping in just a little, not enough to satisfy him but stretching, preparing. He moaned against Persis, dipping his tongue down to slip inside her along with his fingers as Carla worked him open, placing the very tip of what felt like a large polished cock, stone or glass, tantalisingly close to where he wanted it, though not pushing it in.

“Please,” he begged, as he felt the tip of the cock beginning to take on the heat of his body, just slightly. “Please…”

“You sound lovely when you beg, Jack,” said Persis with genuinely affection, cradling his face. She dipped down to kiss him, but kept one eye on Carla the whole time.

“Do it,” said Persis after a moment. “He’s waited long enough.”

Jack let out a ragged shout of satisfaction as Carla pushed inside him, her fingers digging into the flesh of his hips. This was welcome, after so long alone; his own hand was one thing, but it couldn’t quite mimic the feeling of being filled like this. Carla was thrusting into him with surprising strength, her teeth against his shoulder biting down just enough to leave a mark – quickly fading of course – but again, to not quite to break the skin. All the while Persis watched them with approval, her own fingers dipping down to touch herself as she watched Carla fuck Jack hard, his arms braced to hold himself up.

He came with a gasp, and Persis was right there with him, pressing gentle kisses to his face, her hands on him to keep him from collapsing in a satisfied, wrung out heap.

After the daze had cleared somewhat, she moved to the side to help Carla off with the harness and quietly, almost reverently, finger her to completion. There was something so tender and attentive about it, that Jack couldn’t help but watch them wide-eyed, his own post-orgasmic haze not quite dulling the old familiar ache in his chest as he remembered people in his past who had cared for him like that too, their faces coming to the surface unbidden like disturbed silt at the bottom of a still pool. One in particular, perhaps.

All dead though, all gone. Like Persis, they were all so frighteningly mortal.

He felt tears in his eyes as the two turned back to him. Persis laughed slightly. “Well, what are you crying for Jack? I thought that was quite fun, myself.”

He kissed her, then kissed Carla as she led them both to her bed. “Oh it was,” he said. “Trust me, it was.”

The Christmas after that, Carla still did not join in the carol singing. But now for the first time, Jack was certain that one day she would. And when that day came, he knew, as he let them pull him into bed tipsy with sherry and lamplight, good food and lust enough to make him dizzy, then it would be more than worth the wait.