Alayne stood on the crest of the hill, her bow slung over her shoulder, her quiver emptied; below her lay the ravaged battlefield strewn with the filth and remains of their enemies. The sun had not yet begun to set and already the battle was over. Beside her stood Cicale, tall and proud; a warrior in every sense of the word. The two women stood in silent companionship for a moment, drinking in the sight of the fallen before them and the cries of victory from their army.
Alayne only had a moment to register the unspoken feeling of pride and gratitude radiating from her friend before the crowd swept her away.
Later they would cut Cicale's hair and bind her breasts; for now it was enough to crown her king on the hilltop amongst the bodies of their enemies.
The victory banquet was a boisterous affair. Together Cicale's army toasted the lives of their fallen comrades and the bravery of all on the battlefield that day. Alayne had never been more full of pride for her friend than in the moment when they laid the crown again on her copper curls, now as short as any man's. Cicale was glorious in the robes of the king, and stood at the centre of the dais as proudly as her father had in the past.
Alayne had always known the day would come when Cicale would rise to take her rightful place as king; she burned with pride and love for the friend she had always known. Yet as she watched the men and women around her raise their goblets to the newly crowned woman-king and the victory which had been hers, Alayne longed for the quieter days when the two women had been friends; nothing could remain the same now.
Around her the banqueting army fell back to their drinking and the magnificent feast which weighed the tables down. They had already lifted their glasses to the victorious dead, the remainder of the night belonged to the living. Already Alayne could see the circumspect groping and sidelong glances which preceded what was sure to be a lust filled night on every warrior's part. Both Alayne and Cicale had taken place in such games in the past, celebrating their victory on the battlefield and calming the hot blood running in their veins by bedding down with a willing man or two. It was the usual after-effect of a battle won.
But tonight Alayne feared things would be different; her blood still burned, and the licentious behaviour around her only served to fuel the longing in her own body, but she knew tonight could bring no release. Any man she took would not have her full attention. Alayne knew she wouldn't be bringing her complete self to the act; to fail to do so was to bring shame to herself and the Goddess.
When the dancing began Alayne allowed herself to be dragged into it, tried to lose herself to the pounding of the drums and the heated turn of bodies around her; she prayed that the wine she consumed would aid in drowning out the fervour in her blood.
Alayne wasn't aware of how long she danced, only of the rhythm of the drumming and the press of bodies in the hall. Sweat rolled between her breasts, the fabric of her skirts clung about the length of her legs. Dance wasn't as satisfying as the release she sometimes knew in the arms of a man, but it had the power to come close.
It took her a moment to realize that the music had ceased and that those around her had stopped dancing and turned their attention elsewhere. Before her the crowd parted, and amongst them stood Cicale.
So proud and beautiful, Alayne thought, watching as the woman-king approached, resplendent in her robes. Her newly cropped hair and bound breasts could do nothing to disguise the powerful beauty Cicale possessed. The dance and wine had made Alayne dizzy, but the presence of Cicale stole the breath from her body. The younger woman knew she should kneel and offer her homage to the new king as the others surrounding her were, but the look in Cicale's eyes kept her rooted motionless; only the ragged rasp of her lungs ceased to still.
Only when Cicale stood before her, towering over Alayne's smaller frame did the woman lower her gaze from the king and bow her head. Her heart beat frantically in her chest as she waited silently for Cicale to act or speak. It dismayed Alayne that she did not recognize the intense look on her friend's face before she averted her eyes; the woman who stood before her had been transformed in the space of a day from the friend she had known and loved her entire life, into something powerful Alayne feared she would never understand.
Cicale's touch was cool on Alayne's heated, bare shoulder. It traced the path from her shoulder up the length of her neck and jaw to her chin, exerting a slight pressure so that once again Alayne gazed into the woman-king's eyes. The intense look remained and then changed slightly with a flicker that Alayne knew. Lust.
As the king, Cicale could have any man or woman in the room that night without so much as a word, Alayne hardly dared to hope that it was she who was about to be chosen.
Cicale reached forward to clasp Alayne's arms; her touch scorched through the thin sleeves of Alayne's best gown. Without thinking she stepped into the king's embrace, tilting her chin up further, wordlessly offering the liege her lips.
Cicale claimed them; her kiss softly curious and gentle, yet there was no mistaking it: the message of the king's kiss was as commanding and authoritative as her actions on the battlefield that afternoon.
Alayne could not have imagined anything as breathtakingly wonderful as the slide of Cicale's lips across her own, the thrust of the other woman's tongue, the welling of answered lust within her body. If not for the king's powerful grasp on her arms, Alayne was certain she would have slid bonelessly to the floor; as it was, she knew there would be bruises there in the morning. The thought excited her all the more.
If the crowd around them reacted to Cicale's choice, Alayne was unaware of it. She felt only the fierce heat as the king plundered her mouth, taking without asking every ounce of desire Alayne could offer. She had loved this woman for twenty-five years, grown with her, shared girlhood secrets and whispered confessions, but had never really known her. Now it was all Alayne could do to keep herself from screaming her pleasure to the rafters. If she had ever felt something was missing between the two of them, it was this.
It was Cicale who broke the kiss first, as it should be. Alayne stood before the king and the entire room shaking with desire and frighteningly weak at the knees. She didn't argue with Cicale's command to be brought to the King's chambers or with the clasp of the guard's hand on her elbow leading her from the banquet hall. The jealous glances and knowing leers from the men and women gathered around the woman-king couldn't touch her. Alayne moved through the crowd with growing confidence, could feel Cicale's burning gaze following her and could still taste the king's desire stinging her mouth.
Alayne had never been with another woman, although such practices were not unknown to her; one didn't grow up in a barracks with other women and not be privy to these things. But Alayne had never considered the exploits herself; had never known that what she felt for Cicale was anything more than friendship. The heated need flowing through her body attested otherwise.
Cicale's things had been moved from the women's barracks to the King's chamber that afternoon, a room which upon entering Alayne realized was as sensual a place as Cicale deserved. Sumptuous fabrics and luxurious furs were everywhere: the walls, the curtains, the floors, the bed. A merry blaze burned in the large stone fireplace, warming the chamber and flooding it with soft, flickering light.
Alayne was completely unaware of the guard's departure; time seemed to crawl and expand at once as she stood motionless in the centre of the room, waiting for the woman-king to come and claim her.
Cicale arrived in a flurry of robes and flashing red curls, dismissing the servants who would enter with her and seeing that the heavy oak door was locked behind her. The king's gaze remained intently possessive as she strode across the room to Alayne.
Alayne moaned aloud as Cicale pulled her into her arms and lowered her lips to meet Alayne's own. The kiss in the hall had been slowly deliberate and sensual with an undercurrent of possession that had melted Alayne's knees and made her want to scream with wanting more. This kiss was wild, aggressive; Cicale's tongue thrusting, searching, taking the very air from Alayne's lungs.
Cicale wrapped her arms around the smaller woman, pulling Alayne roughly against the solid plane of her chest, moulding Alayne's softness against her body, watching through the kiss as the younger woman's eyes flew open in disbelief.
Pressing the rigid length of her cock against Alayne's abdomen, Cicale chuckled.
Her laugh was deep and warm, and standing as they closely as they were, Alayne could feel the vibration of it through her body.
Their lips parting, Cicale and Alayne watched each other wordlessly, their quickened breaths mingling; Cicale's green eyes were filled with lustful mischief, Alayne's blue ones with puzzled astonishment.
"How?" Alayne asked, shaking her head in wonder; her chestnut waves tickling Cicale's hands as they remained possessively about the younger woman's waist.
"Would you like me to show you?" Cicale asked, watching Alayne's face for any glimmer of indecision. Finding only curiosity tinged with desire, Cicale stepped back from the brunette and parted her opulent robes.
Beneath she wore the same form fitting style of breeches all the warriors, male and female, were accustomed to, although these were a pair made of the finest leather. Alayne recognized the shape beneath the snug fabric as one she had seen before on their male counterparts. The sight of the generous bulge of one on Cicale was both surprising and wonderfully erotic.
"Being king," Cicale murmured, stepping forward again and reaching for the younger woman's rounded hips, "has its advantages."
She pressed herself against Alayne, pleased by the tremor of desire the other woman could not contain. "One of which is that I must prove my manhood." The look in the woman-king's eyes was both hot and amused. "Since the female kings before me also lacked the necessary equipment they fashioned this, " she thrust aggressively against Alayne, pleased by the woman's sharp intake of breath. "It is as much a part of me now as the crown."
Alayne could feel the king's deft hands unlacing the back of her gown. Cicale eased the fabric from Alayne's arms, lowering it to free her breasts for the older woman to view.
Cicale traced the soft underside of each breast, the gentle curve along the periphery, before running her fingers lightly over Alayne's already hardened nipples. The king's touch was soft yet possessive. Moaning, Alayne allowed her head to fall back, exposing the delicate lines of her collarbone. Her breasts tightened and lifted; Alayne whimpered, needing more than a light tease.
Cicale took, her hands weighing the soft heaviness of Alayne's breasts, the rough texture of her aureole, the hard apex of her nipples. They were beautiful breasts, perfectly shaped and wonderfully soft. Cicale bent and took the tip of one in her mouth.
Alayne clung to her, touching the king for the first time since the older woman had entered the room. Clasping Cicale's head to her breasts, Alayne marvelled at the softness of the king's bright auburn curls.
The younger woman's breath came in measured, gasping pants; she hardly dared to move as Cicale laved one nipple with the roughness of her tongue before turning her attention to the other. Alayne could feel the wet heat between her legs, the pleasurable tension deep within her. Cicale's mouth hot, her tongue skilful; Alayne had never dreamt that mere breastplay could bring her to her peak, but much more of Cicale's attention and that very thing would happen.
Sensing the younger woman's weakening hold on her ability to remain upright, Cicale swept Alayne up in her strong arms and deposited the breathless woman gently on her bed, taking the time to slowly divest Alayne of her dress and soft leather boots. Earlier it had pleased Cicale to see Alayne wearing her finest dress for her victory banquet and coronation, now it pleased her even more to see the naked body spread before her.
Alayne was flawless; her arms and legs had a sleekness Cicale attributed to the younger woman's position as a master archer, her hips and breasts curved provocatively into a narrow waist, her belly a gently sloped plane above the nest of brunette curls which guarded her core. Cicale could hardly believe the beautiful, shapely woman was lying silently, freely before her.