© Nov, 2002
(this story is a vague continuation of another story, Shorts. It's quite summery in Australia right now, as it is in this story. The tree comes later, and Karen returns first, but there is a slow bit in the middle... )
Jiri found it difficult to adapt to life in Adelaide. In fact, after his experience with Karen on that train journey, Jiri was finding it difficult to adapt to life. He felt hollowed out, empty, as if something was missing in his life; actually, as if everything was missing.
During the day, he performed perfectly adequately in his job. The people he worked with were pleasant and efficient, but he did not develop any rapport with them. Time passed, he churned out reports, each day was much like any other.
The nights were worse: the nights were empty. He felt no motivation to do anything. He forced himself to eat and exercise, although he did not really know why, and spent long hours lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling. He felt no urges, he felt no pain, he just stared, and waited for something, anything, to happen.
Although unfeeling, he had a lot of time for thinking about the meeting that had changed him so. Had Karen taken some of himself, taken his soul, in total, or in part? Would he be broken forever, or would Karen someday return to finish off any part of him that she had missed? How would she find him?
His memories of love for Karen, although unfulfilled, and seemingly unfulfillable, still seemed fresh. Perhaps nothing else mattered in his life now, and he was simply waiting for her return?
This thought was all that sustained him, and he relived her seduction, domination, and that sweet devouring, again, and again, and waited, and hoped.
It was four weeks after leaving her that Karen rang Jiri at work.
"Jiri, hi! It's Karen here. I've missed you; would you like to meet for lunch?"
The sunny sound of her voice hit Jiri like a thunderbolt. He was thrown into confusion by her social pleasantry, while all the dark mystery of her consuming love poured back into his consciousness with full force.
His heart was beating wildly, and he tried to compose himself as they made arrangements to meet. Jiri worked quite close to the river, and they arranged to meet in a secluded part of the riverbank precinct. As he put the phone down, he was in a cold sweat. The morning passed in a horrible whirl of impatience in which he did not accomplish anything, and he left the office as soon as practicable.
He found the park bench near the water's edge, as they had arranged, and he seated himself to wait.
Warm hands suddenly covered his eyes, and he could not see. Jiri panicked, and would have jumped up to flee if they had not held him strongly. He felt the strength in those hands, and felt her hunger, and felt like nothing more than prey.
"Shhh, Jiri! It's me, Karen. Sorry I haven't called, but I've had a lot on my plate. Please forgive me."
Stroking his head, she came around to sit beside him. Today she was dressed to kill: black shoes, black stockings, black pleated skirt, black top, white skin, red lips, as if she were a young lover meeting her boyfriend for some young fun. Well, I suppose she was.
The bench was hidden in the shade of some large trees, not really visible to the rest of the park. When Jiri first sat down, he felt that it would be nice for privacy and talking; he now realized that she had him all to herself, and was both worried and excited by the possibilities.
Jiri was soon at ease. Karen entangled her fingers with his, and the next hour was taken up with conversation, as she listened to him pour out his life to her. It seemed strange to turn his life into words for someone who had experienced him so directly, indeed taken so much of himself, but it was also comforting. He tried to ask Karen about herself, and she always answered his questions pleasantly, but also without revealing much information that he could later recall.
He did discover that she had two sisters just outside Brisbane, and the three of them usually lived together in a lovely old Queenslander up in the mountains. Like Jiri, Karen was staying in Adelaide for business, and only for a short time; she would be returning home in a few weeks.
As they conversed, her answering voice was gentle, almost caressing. He fell into a kind of daze, and his field of view narrowed, until her eyes and mouth became his whole world. Jiri was almost hypnotized when he felt her fingers on his fly, gently drawing down the zip. Her eyes did not leave his own as she deftly freed him to the air and drew down his trousers somewhat, and climbed onto his lap.
Jiri groaned with pleasure and closed his eyes as he felt her wet warmth against him, and he surrounded her generous hips to pull her into him. She surrounded him with her arms, and leaned close to his ear in order to speak to him, softly.
"Jiri, I love you, I want you."
She began to gently squirm against him, and Jiri held her tight. Soon he felt the warmth and the strength of her lower tongue as that wet muscle began to emerge to lap against him.
"But Jiri, you know my love. You know my love is consuming, is all-consuming."
The tongue gave his penis a gentle squeeze and began to work lower, caressing his balls as she began to cover him. Soon her wet labia began to cover his head, and her passage moved down to slowly surround him.
"I cannot love you if there are any questions, if there are any complications. You must disappear Jiri, you must lose yourself."
Each point was emphasized by a slight thrust as she impaled herself on him deeper and deeper. As he found himself fully ensheathed, that tongue sidled past and slipped lower, and began to wriggle between his cheeks. She covered his mouth with hers, and for a time, they kissed.
"Nobody must come looking for you Jiri, nobody must care. Nobody must know, and only then will I take you, Jiri. I will cherish you and love you, Jiri, and my sisters will love you too. You will want for nothing, Jiri, it is a paradise on Earth. Give yourself to me, Jiri, promise yourself to me, seal me to yourself"
With her talking finished, she lifted her head and held Jiri against herself. With everything happening down below, Jiri could only burrow his head into her warmth as she stroked his hair with her hands and gently cooed. The lower tongue caressed him underneath his balls, warmth spreading through him with each delicious stroke. Jiri slumped in the seat a little to give it more space, more skin.
The tongue gently positioned itself against his entrance. Karen ceased all movement and gazed at him. They were two young lovers gazing adoringly into each others eyes.
Jiri exploded within her as the wet strength began to split him, to expose his soul, to penetrate the core of his being. Even as his fluids were exhausted, the sticky sweet ecstasy of Karen's surrounding him, and the terror of that penetration, kept him coming, kept him pulsing, on and on. But even the release of that orgasm was only a prelude, a preparation, for Karen's true hunger.
She simply held him as the tongue penetrated deeper, and Jiri was limp as once again he prepared to let himself be devoured. He reveled in it; the excitement was palpable as he realized that he was to feed his love once more, that she would take his offerings, his self, his soul. All that was needed was his consent, his love, and these he gave, he gave for the blinding pleasure he knew would be his reward.
Then the drawing began again. The tongue pricked him deeply, freeing a flood of feelings and memories, and Karen sweetly drew them into herself, tasting them with reverence, but then pressing forward, hungrily, for more.
For a long time, Jiri was trapped in a moment. He was totally focused on the ecstasy of giving, and his penetration of Karen was forgotten as she filled him and fed from him.
He learned to find feelings, from deep inside himself, and offer them up to the greedy blind worm, that snaked inside him, slowly drawing, slowly sucking, slowly penetrating deeper and pushing up, he knew, towards his heart.
This time, Jiri felt himself begin to empty. With each drawing, he was finding it harder and harder to offer himself, to find himself, as his self was slowly slipping away.
When the tongue began to withdraw, Jiri was exhausted. It left a coolness behind it as it began to uncoil and return to Karen's body, like a cool breeze blowing against the wetness of his vital organs. His penis began to stir as the tongue's friction caressed him in passing, and the warmth of Karen's cunt comforted him as he began to regret his loss.
"Don't worry, Jiri. This is but the first part of your transformation. I want every part of you, your mind, your body, your soul. But now you must lose yourself, disappear. Then we can be together, Jiri, then my sisters and I can take you, take care of you, hold you forever. Come and find me in Brisbane when you're ready, Jiri, it's time for you to settle down."
Karen gently disengaged, kissed him, zipped him up again, and was gone.
Travel was Jiri's route to oblivion.
Selling all his possessions, he made himself quite a tidy sum, obviously very attractive to the scum of the earth who were to be responsible for his "demise".
Obtaining a selection of false papers, he contrived to leave a trail of false clues pointing towards a fatal business venture in Thailand involving trading in artificial sapphires, before leaving that country as someone else.
His family and friends would of course search for him, and would find a tale of corruption, sadness and hopelessness that touched him with its pathos. His ruined reputation, the likely repugnance of his associates, did not concern him; indeed, the more odious he appeared the better, as far as becoming a nobody was concerned.
As he traveled around the world, adopting several identities as he went, the feeling of emptiness from his last encounter with Karen slowly disappeared. Jiri had even begun to enjoy himself again. It was as if his soul had been pruned, leaving space in his existence for it to grow again in different directions, and he began to take a renewed interest in the world. By the time he returned to Australia, he was invigorated, and his love for his succubus was undiminished.
When he finally found himself in Brisbane, he began to wonder about his reunion with Karen. He had never hesitated in doing all that she asked of him, and never regretted throwing away his old life for her love. On the contrary: in the months it had taken him to "disappear", he had found a new sense of freedom and purpose in his life.
But he did wonder about his future. He knew that unchecked, her hunger could lead him to death within a few days of him giving himself over to her.
All the experience he had gathered in his travels he would gladly give up to her in a single orgy of sacrifice, if that was what she wanted; but he also rather hoped that she would keep him for a while, and he would come to understand her mysteries a little better.
Although this prospect did not hold any fear for him, her attention to him seemed to presage something more important; otherwise, why would she not have left him desiccated and anonymous in that train carriage, or in that park? There seemed to be genuine affection on her part, and he suspected that her stringent requirements for his disappearance would lead to some deeper, long-term relationship.
There was also the question of her sisters; what interest would they have in him? He knew that there would not be enough of himself to share around, although the experience of being consumed by three succubi simultaneously would certainly bear thinking about as a quick, but somewhat pleasant, route to the afterlife.
Jiri spent a lot of time in bookshops in the West End of Brisbane. He was searching for old books on the occult, in the hope of finding some information to help explain his predicament. Unfortunately, being such a new colony, Australia was a terrible place for old leather-bound books.
He felt a touch at his elbow. He knew that touch immediately.
"Jiri, so nice to bump into you here. So you've returned from your travels at last?"
Karen was again dressed for comfort; tee-shirt and shorts. Jiri also noticed her companion. She was somewhat taller than Karen, and seemed undefinably older, but otherwise they could have been two peas in a pod, with the same pale complexion, dark, lustrous hair, and red lips.
"Jiri, this is my sister, Gina. I have told her such a lot about you."
My fate was upon me, and Karen was again playing pleasant social games. I could never get used to our meetings.
"N... Nice to meet you!" I stammered, as pleasantly as I could, and managed to take her hand in a handshake. She took this opportunity to draw me closer for a kiss on the lips.
Karen was soon inviting me into her family.
"Well, Jiri, we've sort of been expecting you. Our sister, Helen, is very keen to meet you. Would you like to come and join us for dinner?"
My months spent traveling had given me a feeling of independence. I knew that I loved Karen with all my heart, but I also knew that I would likely be throwing my life away if I wanted to fulfill it. In a burst of rebellion, I decided that I would delay my reunion, and keep my life of relative normalcy a short time longer. At the time I thought it was courage, or masculine independence; I now realize it was cowardice.
"Ah, no thanks, I have a prior engagement". The three of us knew that this was a lie, of course, but it suited me fine. I would turn around, walk out of the bookshop, and escape, for now, to freedom.
Jiri had neglected that touch at his elbow. Karen's grip tightened. Gina stepped forward, and slid her hand around the other elbow. With such simple gestures, Jiri was immobilized.
Gina stepped forward, and, conspiratorially, whispered into an ear,
"Come on, Jiri, it will be fun."
His will crumpled. He had missed Karen so much, and knew that he would give his soul for her. His sister seemed pleasant enough, and after months of lonely traveling, their family life, however dark and mysterious, was beginning to seem appealing. By their demeanour, a cooked dinner and a bed seemed not too unreasonable an expectation, and an immense weariness descended upon him.
"Ok, of course I'll come." His rebellious little fib was forgotten, and the three of them were soon in Gina's car, traveling to their house in the mountains.
The journey took an hour or so, and Gina was fascinated by Jiri's tales of deception, disappearance and delivery. She seemed to know all about Jiri and Karen, and Jiri's elaborate disappearance was an interesting topic of conversation, but, somehow, otherwise unremarkable, as if it was only to be expected of him.
Karen was silent during the journey; Jiri and Gina were in the front, with Karen seated behind Jiri. Soon after Gina and Jiri's conversation started, Karen reached forward and gently pulled his hand back, out of sight from Gina. The ensuing game of "handies", with rubbing and gentle stroking, seemed somehow childish, but it brought all his physical yearnings for Karen back to him with full force.
The hour passed more quickly than Jiri expected, and they were soon driving up the driveway and through the gate; it was a substantial block of land.
The house was beautiful. It was a classic Queenslander, built of wide, painted wooden planks, a high pitched corrugated iron roof, and the verandah was ten feet wide and extended around the whole house. The house was mounted high above the ground.
It provided coolness in the summer and protection from the torrential rains.
Wooden palings hid the underneath; Jiri imagined all the rusty engines and gardening implements, perhaps an old FJ Holden, that might be stashed there, forgotten.
Memories returned of lazy school holidays spent at his Grandmother's old house, and Jiri immediately felt at home.
"I'll take him for a tour around the gardens; you catch up with Helen" Gina suggested to Karen. Jiri was a little surprised, and perhaps a little disappointed; he had wanted some time alone with Karen to get reacquainted. Karen accepted Gina's suggestion without demur, and Gina linked Jiri's arm.
Jiri really began to feel welcome, and began to believe that the three sisters were planning on sharing. Gina was quite intimate in her manner, and would often lean in close when talking. Jiri often felt her body press against him whilst the two were walking, and the linked arm was soon around his waist.
The gardens were impeccably maintained, and very old-fashioned. A high wooden fence surrounded the property, and flower beds followed the fence around and enclosed a wide grassy area. Gina walked Jiri around the perimeter, pointing out her favourite flowers and inviting him to smell the delicious Daphne.
The centrepiece of the garden was a single tree, and Gina walked them to it last.
It was magnificent. It was broad and tall, and had fat, fleshy leaves bigger than your hand. It was in full bloom, with bright red blossoms everywhere visible in the foliage. Jiri had never seen anything like it. The blossoms had the complexity of an orchid, being a very unusual shape. When Jiri looked straight at them, he saw a rather strange but beautiful flower. Out of the corner of his eye, however, the shapes seemed to become like faces, curious, staring at him. He was somewhat disconcerted.
Some of the blossoms held fruit, which resembled large mangoes, but dark red, almost black. Where the fruit had dried and fallen away, large seed pods remained in the branches. Even with Jiri's limited knowledge of botany, he knew it was unusual to have foliage, blossoms fruit and nuts on the same tree.
"Unusual, isn't it?" asked Gina, as if she could read Jiri's mind. "You know, I don't know what we would do without the tree. It's a bountiful provider. There aren't many about in the tablelands, but we're hoping to propagate it. Like us, it's been here for hundreds of years, it's always been a part of my family.
"You can eat the leaves for salad, and the flowers are full of nectar, enough to feed a household if we wanted. The fruit is a bit of an acquired taste, but we've come to like it. The nuts are great, too; easy to hull, and make a great loaf. Here, you can help me pick some provisions for dinner."
From behind the tree she produced a basket. There was plenty to pick that was low-hanging, and Jiri and Gina were soon making their way back to the house.
Karen was setting the table, and she stopped briefly to hold him and give him a kiss. Jiri was surprised to see two women in the kitchen. One was short, and round, but by her features Jiri could tell that she must be Helen. The other was tall, and slim, and beautiful in a willowy kind of a way.
Gina made the introductions: "Helen, Rachel, this is Jiri, Karen's new boyfriend from Adelaide. Jiri, I'm sure that Karen's told you about Helen. Rachel's a new addition to our family, like yourself. Helen brought her home a few weeks ago, and I think they make a lovely couple."
Rachel smiled shyly, as if she were surprised that her relationship with Helen was being brought out so casually. Once again, everyone kissed lightly, and with Gina's supervision, everyone was kept busy until dinner time.
While carrying dishes around and about, Jiri admired the interior. As with the garden, the house was very old and impeccably maintained. A comforting smell of the gas oven, furniture polish and spring flowers filled the house, and he was again reminded of his Grandmother.
Dinner was an unusual affair, being vegetarian; in fact, every dish was based on some part of the tree. Gina was quite right, the tree was a bountiful provider. Jiri greatly enjoyed all of it, especially the nectar from the flowers: it was the basis of a subtle, sweetly perfumed drink. Jiri thought it might have been fermented, it seemed somewhat alcoholic. Certainly everyone became more relaxed and silly as dinner progressed!
Gina, Helen and Karen sliced up pieces of the fruit and ate them greedily; Jiri asked if he could try some, but, as Gina had intimated, he didn't like it very much. It seemed more like flesh than fruit, probably very sustaining, but too red and raw for his liking.
After dinner, they all cleared away and settled down to a game of cards. Again, Jiri was struck by a sense of unreality. After all that had passed between himself and Karen, after he had gone to the ends of the earth to demolish everything of his own life for her, here he was, playing cards with her sisters and her sister's lover. Like a teenager, Karen had found his foot under the table and was rubbing herself against him.
But Jiri reveled in it; he realized that he really liked these people, he was having such a lot of fun. He felt like a teenager again himself, as Karen's unsubtle caresses awakened some unsubtle hormones inside himself that he had all but forgotten.
He noticed that Helen and Rachel kept exchanging meaningful glances (unfortunately, the meaning was lost to him). Gina seemed somehow above it all, and stuck to the cards. She kept the scoring and the enforcement of the rules rigidly correct, but with such an air of camaraderie that you knew that she was only playing games after all.
For a while, Gina left to do some work elsewhere in the house, and left the four of them playing together. Gina's cut of the cards had Helen partnering with Karen, and Jiri with Rachel.
Jiri and Rachel played well together, and almost beat the sisters, who had obviously worked out their bidding systems a long time before. Drinking more nectar, and snacking on the nuts, Jiri began to feel a little in love with Rachel, too. She was laughing along with his stupid jokes, and Karen, although she never ceased her hidden caresses, almost seemed to encourage their familiarity.
When it became time for bed, Jiri was almost disappointed. He felt safe and coddled with this group of people, and knew that he would not be devoured tonight. It was a time for getting to know family, and befriending. Jiri and Rachel, as outsiders, had begun to establish a bit of rapport. Jiri started to suspect that Rachel's liaison with Helen went somewhat against the grain. They obviously loved each other, loved each other very much, but Rachel did not seem to be steeped in the "culture" that seemed so much a part of homosexuality, established perforce by a minority under the gaze of a majority of often fearful, and sometimes hateful, heterosexuals.
Still, Rachel seemed quite happy as Helen dragged her away, and they closed the door behind themselves with what Jiri thought was unseemly haste.
Jiri and Karen's room was next door to Rachel and Helen's, and Jiri was quite happy to be dragged inside by Karen.
Karen was full of questions. He was gratified by her interest, but could not help wondering if she was also trying to establish the extent of his "disappearance". So sunny and outgoing was she in their first time alone together after Adelaide, however, that Jiri could not believe that this was her only objective.
They undressed, brushed and tumbled into bed. In that unseemly tangle of limbs and skin, Jiri felt completed. He had found his other half, and he loved her family. The feel of her skin was magical. Jiri rose to the occasion, but for a while they just held each other. Jiri felt the touch of her tongue, but its gentle lappings were affectionate rather than predatory. Karen soon eased Jiri inside of herself, and they spoke to each other of eternity as they made gentle love that renewed and touched his spirit.
Karen spoke to Jiri again, softly, gently.
"Jiri, you are so special. You have thrown away everything for me, and I will never let you forget it. It requires a special sort of strength to throw away everything for the possibility of love, and this you have done. Sometimes, you will find it hard living here with me, but with your strength, I know you will be saved. Trust us, Jiri, always trust us, and I will keep you until the end of time"
A dark look of sadness crossed Karen's face, and a tear rolled down her cheek. It was dark, and Jiri's head was nestled between her breasts, so he did not see.
Time passed for Jiri like a holiday with beloved friends. He came to know Karen as a woman, and the desperate physical hunger of their initial meetings did not seem to be a presence here. It instead mellowed into a more comfortable, and nonetheless deeper, love.
The house and the garden had a rhythm of their very own, and Jiri settled easily into the daily routine of gardening, cleaning, eating the lovely food, talking and playing games with his companions, and nights spent falling more and more deeply in love with Karen, as they made love and promised each other the world.
This was not to the exclusion of the others; the relaxed lifestyle and isolation from the outside world seemed to be breaking down Jiri's accustomed reserve.
The three sisters were alike enough that he could not love Karen without beginning to love Gina and Helen a little also. Rachel spent much of her time with Helen, but it was often fun for Jiri and Rachel to make alliances against the bloc of the three sisters.
One or more of the sisters would often be busy doing something in other parts of the house, so Rachel and Jiri often found themselves working or talking together. With their own relationships securely established, and with no-one else to talk to, they became quite open with each other. Jiri had always been a good listener, and Rachel was pleased to have a harmless man to talk to.
Rachel was from Scotland, and had met Helen whilst backpacking in Sydney. Unlike Jiri's meeting with Karen, Rachel's with Helen was very gentle. Helen had started talking to Rachel in a bookstore, and they had clicked immediately. Rachel became a constant visitor in Helen's share house in Glebe, which was small, and with a lesbian couple upstairs to share the rent, very cheap. Rachel was open minded enough not to object, but for a few weeks she viewed Helen only as a well-found friend, and soon moved into a poky room at the back of the house.
It was very convenient for her; being a waitress at a nearby cafe, she kept late hours and liked having accommodation so close to her work. Helen would always be awake when she came home, and they would often talk into the small hours. Rachel had had several disastrous relationships in Scotland, and began to think that she was too shy and vulnerable to find a nice man.
Rachel always began to clam up a bit at this point in her description of their relationship, but Jiri could imagine the effect of Helen's seduction on her. What sweet liberties had Helen taken with Rachel that found her, like Jiri, throwing away her whole life for love?
As with Jiri, Helen had required that she disappear before she could continue her relationship. Being a backpacker, it was relatively easy for Rachel to cover her tracks. She did feel a bit guilty about leaving her grieving family behind her, but Helen, and now her new family, were becoming more comfortable and felt more permanent every day.
Jiri, Rachel and the sisters had several months of idyllic days and loving nights, when the cohesion of the group suddenly began to fall away. Rachel began to spend more and more time alone with Helen in their room, and on some days Jiri did not see her at all. She seemed somehow distracted, or tired, and their usual familiarity seemed strained; sometimes he felt he should give up trying to talk to her. She ate nothing at dinner times, and, unusually, Gina did not complain.
The three sisters began to move around at nights. Jiri would often wake in the small hours and find Karen no longer at his side. He would sneak around the house to try and find them, but they were nowhere to be found. There was a locked door in the center of the house which Jiri suspected might contain some answers, but, knowing the layout of the house, Jiri worked out that there wasn't enough space for another room there. But if there was no room, why place a door there?
The terror and horror of his first meeting with Karen returned to him when he finally saw what Helen was doing to Rachel.
It was morning, and he was walking, alone again, down to breakfast. Passing Helen and Rachel's room, he heard a yelp, as if Rachel was in pain. Without thinking, he pushed their door open; it was already ajar. Helen caught his eye immediately, and held it, and the intensity of that look compelled him to silence.
Helen was seated, naked, on the edge of the bed. Rachel was kneeling in front of Helen, arms around her, with her face buried in Helen's crotch. Holding her by the hair, Helen was slowly thrusting her hips and forcing herself into Rachel's mouth.
Helen held his gaze as she took supreme pleasure in taking. Rachel whimpered softly.
Placing himself in Rachel's position, his arousal began to stir. Like a long-denied addiction, he again felt the ecstasy of Karen's feeding from his own soul, and saw the same promise of ecstasy in Helen's eyes as she held his gaze, raising an eyebrow in invitation.
Helen continued to thrust into Rachel, whose head began to bob as if to force more of Helen inside herself. Helen reached underneath Rachel and slid a finger inside her, as if to show Jiri the extent of Rachel's slick arousal, or perhaps her surrender.
Helen and Rachel became totally focussed within themselves as the pace of Helen's thrusting increased. Both of them obtained a shuddering release, whereupon Helen regained her composure, gently raising the half-comatose Rachel to lie beside her on the bed and across her lap. Pulling her head up to her breast, Helen placed Rachel's head over one of her engorged nipples. Rachel began to suck strongly.
"Shhh, baby, it's not long now. You'll be with Mama soon, she'll have you soon."
As Rachel fed, Helen began to croon, and Jiri was captivated. While continuing to feed Rachel, she opened her legs, giving a show of quiet sensuality. The tongue danced for him, caressed the milky whiteness of Helen's thighs, and left wet, slick trails on her flesh as it crawled.
As Rachel quietened into sleep, Helen gently laid her on the bed, and turned all her attention to Jiri. She reached out two hands towards him, and gestured for him to come closer, to come in to her embrace. The tongue also began to rise, like a cobra, and stretched out towards him.
Her gentle croon became an unearthly song of hunger, and of pleasure, and of sweetest oblivion.
Where was Karen? Jiri felt so alone. Karen was gone and her sister was preparing to take him. This was not love; it was naked desire. Helen was using all the means at her disposal to draw him to her. He fought against the demand of that entrancing song, but he was soon on his knees. As that tongue stretched towards him and touched his lips, he parted his own lips, and suckled on it for a time.
Helen reached behind him, entangling a hand in his hair and drawing him gently in to her center. There was no sense of love, only hunger, and a terrible, fierce, beauty, as that tongue thrust itself forward and Helen held him tight.
There was stillness in the room as her tongue wriggled and squirmed deeper. Again Jiri was paralyzed, and all he could hear was Helen's breathing from the exertion of pushing inside him deeper and deeper, and the pounding of blood in his ears as his body reacted to the assault.
Helen's first drawing made him gurgle with its intensity, and he was engulfed in a fire of ecstasy. Helen began to thrust inside him, as if to take him quickly, and Jiri realized that with the violence of this assault he would not last long.
But just as quickly as Helen began to feed, she suddenly stopped, and released him, letting him collapse and slide free, to lie, crumpled, at her feet.
Helen talked to him softly:
"We are gods, Jiri, and gods need souls, and worship. Karen loves you, Jiri, as I love Rachel. You will never escape from us now, Jiri, even as you find our secrets. We will have you safely inside us, soon, Jiri, but it is Rachel's turn first. She'll be going away tonight. Don't worry, it's only for a few weeks. You will both be reunited, but we need to prepare you for the joining."
Helen tenderly laid the sleeping Rachel straight out in bed, and covered her. Kissing her on the forehead, Helen put on a robe, and left Jiri kneeling on the floor, dazed, weak and confused.
Jiri soon managed to collect himself enough to struggle down to breakfast with Helen, a silent affair. He could not meet her gaze, but she rumpled his hair affectionately when she got up after finishing.
Karen and Gina appeared later in the morning, and did not give any indication of knowing what was happening. Rachel slept all day and reappeared at dinner time. Everyone seemed tired and subdued, as if waiting for bedtime. Rachel was trying to be her usual self again, and Helen tried to make a show of normalcy.
It was pleasant enough, but everyone seemed preoccupied. The three sisters were being very solicitous of Rachel, as if she were sick, or she had heard some bad news. Rachel tried to catch Jiri alone several times, as if to speak to him, but Helen was always nearby, and would always come between them on some pretext or other.
Everyone sloped off to bed early, and Karen enveloped him within herself at once. He had grown accustomed to her wanting him frequently, and their lovemaking had lost none of its mystery, its majesty, its luster.
"I can taste Helen inside you," Karen whispered, as she kissed him, and gave a kind smile.
"She can be harsh sometimes, Jiri. But she is what Rachel needs, and is the only one of us who can keep her safe, and whole. You must forgive her, you must forgive us all for what we are, none of us wear our power lightly"
She rocked herself against him, swallowing him with her love, as any lover would do. They soon reached their gentle climaxes, and snuggling together, he closed his eyes as if asleep.
But Helen's attack had rent him, and he could not sleep.
Karen soon slipped out of bed. Jiri had been expecting something of the sort, and followed her out a short time later. The house was quiet.
He was almost at the door to Helen's room when he heard it opening. Slipping into the shadows, he saw Rachel emerge, with Helen behind her and guiding her.
The two made slow progress; Rachel did not appear to be conscious, although her eyes were open.
The locked door that had previously stymied Jiri was now ajar. He could see now that the door opened on some wooden stairs leading down below the house. Jiri was surprised to recall that he had not thought of this part of the house since his arrival.
After a short pause to let Helen and Rachel move downwards, Jiri peered down the stairs. It was not as he had pictured it at all.
The floor was not earth, as he expected, but a fibrous mat of white roots. By the size of some of the roots, Jiri surmised they were part of that tree.
The ground was not even, either, with the roots covering many lumps spread around the floor. There was a raised mound in the center of the room, containing several depressions, big enough for a person to lie inside. Karen was lying in one of them, face down, and she was not moving.
Helen brought Rachel into the center of the room, and gently sat her down, like a rag doll, with her unseeing eyes staring at the mound. Helen now walked over to the mound, and, shifting some of the roots aside, she also laid herself in a hollow. Jiri fancied that he could see something moving in that depression, but Helen covered it with her face before he could be sure.
Hearing someone, it must have been Gina, from above, Jiri crept down the stairs and hid behind in the shadows. There was no light burning here, but there was enough light to see; Jiri took a long time to realize that it was the roots themselves that were glowing, casting a soft phosphorescence eerily lighting everyone from below.
Gina did not join Karen and Helen in a space at the mound; she just stood to one side and observed proceedings.
For a time, nothing seemed to be happening. But soon Jiri realized that there was movement around Rachel. Those white rootlets had begun to move, and were beginning to feel their way across her legs. Rachel hardly stirred, even as a white fluid began to emerge from their tips, and they began to strike in to her skin.
Jiri realized that this process must have been occurring for some time. It was now apparent that thousands of the tiny white rootlets were now embedded in the underside of her legs, and more were beginning to join them, crawling up her thighs, and Jiri could see the cotton of her nighty ripple as they began to crawl across her back.
The roots pulsated gently as they began to expel more of that white fluid, covering Rachel with a slick sheen, and Jiri could see that some of it was being pumped into her from those roots that were already embedded.
This fluid from the roots began to affect her, with her eyes rolling back into her head, and she soon toppled onto her back. The questing roots were soon moving up her torso and her head.
At her head, they began to snake over her face and, slowly, but methodically, began to enter her nose, mouth and ears.
There was stillness for a time, before she began to make little mewling noises, as I had heard her make with Helen in their bedroom in less complicated times, and although the roots held her immobile, I could see her frame move slightly as her muscles flexed and she attempted to buck her hips. Her constriction seemed to be increasing her ardour rather than preventing it.
She continued to make little noises as the roots crept over her skin, until only part of her face was visible. For a time, all was quiet, but the rootlets soon began to pulse again. This time, instead of expelling that milky venom, a red stain crept across them as they began to draw sustenance from Rachel. Her movements slowed, and after a very visible release, she became still, and did not move again.
Jiri had not noticed Gina move, but she was now standing slightly behind him, looking from Rachel, to himself.
"Jiri, it is too soon for you. Rachel has been preparing for weeks. She is going to be fine. But now you have discovered what is to become of you."
"We must take you tonight, Jiri, but it will be harder for you. You are not ready, but we will do the best we can. Come and let me empty you."