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When Ana returned to our quarters I was busy preparing for what the morrow would bring.
“You were a long time, my darling,” I commented.
She came behind me and kissed my neck the way I loved.
“Is that a new perfume my love?” I sighed.
“I believe it is called eau de Tania,” she laughed softly. “You saw us didn’t you, you bad girl? Did you play with yourself?”
“No,” I confessed accurately, “though the Princess did.”
Ana’s hands were beginning to caress my small breasts, making my nipples ache and sending pulses to my already over-stimulated cunt. As she pulled my head back between her breasts, wet with the scent of her sweat and Tania, I sighed deeply. She reached down, and I raised my bottom so she could grip me there.
Lifting me, she carried me to our couch and threw me onto it, face first. Before I could move, she had my arse up and head down, and began to do to me what she had done to Tania. The feel of her tongue on my wet lips sent shivers through me. That she had been doing it to Tania added to the arousal.
“You are wet for me, Rahab, I want you!”
Most often our love-making was tender, loving and long, but there were times when we both craved something rougher and more intense; this was one such time. Aroused by what I had seen in the stable, I pushed my backside at Ana, knowing from the sounds that she was strapping the Sapphic stick to her belt. Gripping my hips, I felt the stick begin to press my swollen lips, she adjusted it to part my lips fully and then … .
There are moments when that thrust, that sense of being taken, of being hers, is so strong that it is all I need; this was one of those moments. Ana knew what I was offering her, and it was what she needed; we were one. In surrendering entirely, I was also asking to be massively indulged. I had no energy to take an initiative, and I wanted Ana to take me. Ana knew that, and she preserved the illusion that she knew I needed; for a moment I was hers, owned, hers to use and abuse; but above all, hers in love. If it was an act of trust and love to offer myself to her, it was her act of trust and love to accept it.
At such times I was conscious of her strength as well as her beauty. Her mound smacked against my backside as she gripped my hips and pulled me back onto her. The Sapphic stick filled my cunt, sending pulses through my body, and I tried to grip it with my muscles, clenching so I felt it fully. Pulling at my hair, she gripped me harder so she could thrust with greater effect.
As I pushed back, I knew that I was making sure the stick pressed against her clit; her moans told me that. Jerking me back by my hair, she told me I was hers and would cum for her when she said. I screamed back I’d do anything she said, before gasping out: “I love you Ana.”
Her laugh, loud, strong and confident had a note of triumph.
“You will, and oh, Rahab, I love you too!”
And so saying she tensed. My tummy was rippling, my climax building as I began to shake. As she commanded my orgasm, a thousand stars exploded and I came as she did. The air full of our scent as we orgasmed, it was only as my eyes began to clear that I realised I had collapsed and she had pinned me to the bed.
“Rahab, we needed that. You know that what I did with Tania was no comment on you, on us?”
Sighing and sweaty under her, I gigged.
“I know, we are one, and I understand your needs and know I am loved.”
“You can have others you know darling.”
It was typical of my Ana. But we had long discussed this, and I was content to be hers, and when she was there, Mel’s. I had no desire for others, though would not disdain a flirtation with one such as Miriam. We understood each other.
As she turned me over and we snuggled, Ana explained that she and Tania had wondered which of them was the stronger and had begun an Amazon wrestling çıtır escort match. I giggled, suggesting that next time they could announce it in advance and secure a willing audience. Smacking my arse she said I was a dirty girl with a filthy mind – which was one of the million reasons she loved me.
That night we slept the sleep of the the just – just exhausted by passion, that is.
As I reflect back on that night, it seems to me to have marked the place where Ana and I became truly one. Her ability to mould herself to my needs, like mine to do the same for her, was the mark of how attuned we had become to each other.
When I first experienced sapphic love, I was looking more for love than for sexual release. My fuse for these things is a long one, and a slow one, which is why I slipped naturally into the more submissive role. It is not that I do not want the climax, more that it needs time to build itself, and that time is best occupied by helping my lover.
Uncertain in a world where, though ostensibly dominated by male sexual needs, female sexual desires were the unspoken secret, I had been fortunate enough to find a patron in Calliope. From Svetlana to Jess, from Damila to Lady Emm, I had been fortunate to find lovers who were attracted to me. In the Winter Queen I had experienced one caught between the demands of State and the needs of the flesh, and to this day, her memory haunts me; more victim than perpetrator, her weakness was in the end one of character.
As I had matured, I had begun to see the conflict between my fleshly needs and the exigencies of the State, and in the Great Elizabeth I had found a lover who lived that conflict and resolved it in her own self-denial. That, I had thought, would be my fate. My Ana seemed, back then, to be a meteor who had flashed across my sky; then Fate had given us a chance. I saw, in Miriam and Tania, the same phenomenon.
Ana and I had reached a stage where love went so deep that it encompassed what either of us needed. I understood Ana’s needs, she was irresistible, and she loved the chase and the capture. Being my wife did not mean bodily exclusivity, though for me it tended that way; but that was MY choice. Love, if it true love be, had room for one’s lover’s needs; Will had taught me that.
Such, now, are my reflections as I look back in tranquillity. The future, as ever, was hidden, and I have always thought that as well; all one can do is shape one’s behaviour by what one thinks is right and then act. The consequences will be what Fate desires, and the reason we have God and not Fate is that the former is not capricious, even if our blindness, seeing as through a glass darkly, makes it seem that way at times.
The sun rose early, and we with her.
Bathing, Ana and I kissed and talked. The plan was to get the Ark and then trace our way back to our ship. A group of Ethiopian warriors had bravely consented to defend the “fake” Ark and, if necessary, die in the process of so doing, The Portuguese would expect nothing more, and if there was not a resolute defence then suspicions would be aroused.
Some of Jacob’s “Guardians” had gone with some of Ana’s Amazons to secure the real Ark; we would follow shortly.
Miriam and Tania would come as far as the Ark, and then, alas, our paths would diverge. Ah, the plans of mere humans!
“Highness,” came a startled voice as we gathered our small force.
It was one of Miriam’s look-outs, posted to warn us of the approach of any hostile force. He was out of breath and clearly frightened.
“They have stolen a march on us Highness! They must have by-passed the road as we had no warning from the last look-outs.”
“How far?” Jacob was immediately alert.
“They will be here in fifteen minutes, there is no time to waste.”
With that, he gave orders to the Ethiopians, escort demetevler and we set off.
Miriam and I rode together, I was small and light enough to ride behind her. I could feel her tremble. Ana had set scouts rear and before, and we proceeded as quickly as we could. By the time we had reached the forest, there was the sound of gunfire in the distance; it was clear that the battle had begun.
If, as we hoped, the Ethiopians could hold out for a while, then we should be able to get a head start on the Portuguese, but Jacob was clearly concerned that they had bypassed his security measures. We should have had at least an hour’s warning. But things were as they were and we needed to make the best of it.
At a cross-roads we met the Guardians and Amazons who had the Ark. Even from a distance my senses trembled; I could feel the Divine; it was the real thing.
We set out to the south east.
The gun fire became fainter, and then we lost it altogether. Horsed and on a good road, we made ground fast. The Ethiopians had given their lives for us and for the Ark. No one can ask better than to die in God’s cause. I thanked Miriam, who said that she had always had faith in them.
By the time the sun was near its zenith, we were into the forest and though, in normal circumstances we should have stopped, these were not those, and we pressed on.
By the time the sun had crossed the sky, we had put miles between us and the pursuers. The little mirrors used by the scouts in the rear to signal to Jacob told him that there was no one within thirty miles of us from that direction. By evening we had reached the outskirts of Asmara, where we set up camp.
Miriam and I were exhausted. Jacob, Ana and Tania organised the defences, and all we had to do was to take some food. It was an effort for me. I felt drained.
Jacob’s scouts reported that there was some activity in Asmara, but they had not been able to get close enough to see what it was and who was doing it.
Feeling weak and useless, I let Tania attend to me.
“Ana told me you saw us. You do not mind?”
Her skin was ebony; she was beautiful.
“How could I mind, you two are perfect?”
She smiled as she fed me some broth.
I slept but fitfully, and when we departed just before dawn I confessed to not caring any more. I was so tired, they should, I said, leave me, I would only slow them down.
Ana laughed, said “nonsense” and put me on her horse. We rode like the wind.
The road followed the river, and once we were passed Asmara, went gently down toward the sea. We should, Jacob guessed, be at my ships by dark – assuming, of course, that Commander Kunt was still there.
We came to a narrow defile, the last one through the which the river ran. I felt uneasy and warned Jacob and Ana.
“Listen to her,” Ana said, “she sees what others do not.”
On the alert, we passed through the narrow defile. My nerves were tingling, but there was no sign of an attack. Ana looked at me, I whispered:
“There is something coming darling, let’s keep alert.”
Jacob led our small band, and by the time we reached the end of narrow passage there was a palpable sign of relief. It led out to an open plain, we could look down to the plain – and there it was – a force of horsemen and soldiers. Either someone had outflanked us, or or, worse, they had come up the coast road and we were truly lost.
“You were right, cousin Rahab,” Jacob said grimly.
“Well,” I said, we have the advantage of being on the upper ground, they will have to come to us.” I felt grim saying it, remembering our family history.
“Like Harold at Senlac hill,” Jacob said, his mind reading mine.
“Not the best of omens,” Ana said, “but then he did not have my Amazons!”
“It will make escort dikmen it hard for them to use their muskets effectively, so let’s make our dispositions,” Jacob said, ordering his men to take a defensive position. Ana had her Amazon archers take each flank.
“Give me a bow,” I demanded, “there is a shot here I can make.”
Ana signalled to the surprised Jacob that he should do so.
The Portuguese advanced, the scrubland was hardly going to slow their charge. There was one hope.
I took the phial of oil from my pack and dipped two arrow-heads into it.
“A flame my love,” I asked Ana.
She smiled, telling Jacob not to underestimate me. She had seen what I had seen.
The arrow-head flared as I applied the flame to it.
I fired, long shot, upward, with the breeze. The arrow struck the patch of dry tall grass which burst into a fierce flame; the cavalrymen scattered as their horses were spooked. The Amazon archers fired a salvo. Taking the second oil-tipped arrow, I took aim, lower, allowing for the wind. The breastplate of the Portuguese leader would withstand an arrow at this range, and I could see Jacob wondering what I was doing; but I know my craft. The arrow caught his jerkin, setting it alight; he disappeared into a blaze of fire.
We had broken their cavalry, but the infantry advanced through the flames. The musketeers did not know their craft, at that distance their balls either failed to reach us, or had no impetus when they did. Then I saw what I had read about but never seen – the testudo.
The Guardians locked their shields into the famous Roman ‘tortoise,’ presenting an invincible front to the Portuguese. They advanced down the hill, gaining momentum before the two sides crashed into each other. The Portuguese could gain no purchase as the testudo mowed them down.
For a quarter of an hour the struggle remained in the balance, but the superior of the discipline of Jacob’s Guardians began to tell.
The Amazons chose their moment and then, when Ana saw the opportunity, she gave a great cry: “To me sisters, to me!”
Her blonde hair streaming under her helmet, her sword drawn, her shield deployed as a battering ram, she led her women into the flank of the beleaguered Portuguese; it tipped the balance.
Miriam and Tania had remained with me and the guard around the Ark. We were mindful of the risk that our enemies might make a rush at the object of their desire, and we had no intention of letting them obtain it.
But as the Amazons and the Guardians pushed the Portuguese back, I spotted five men split from the main force and wheel round toward us.
“Theodosia, to the left!” I shouted a warning to Ana’s deputy. We wheeled to meet them. The two musketeers at the front fired, one shot past my ear, the other grazed Theodosia’s arm. Then it was close sword play. Theodosia parried the pike thrust and then used her reach to smash her shield into her opponent’s face; as he reeled, she thrust her sword into his guts. He fell. There was another volley of shots. I drew my dagger and threw it at a man who was trying to approach Theodosia from behind; he fell. We had broken their attempt.
I turned to Tania and Miriam; then I saw it.
Miriam had fallen, a red stain spreading across her dress, Tania holding her, begging her to “hang on!”
I ran to them. Miriam’s eyes were losing focus, her breath was ragged:
“I am done for,” she groaned, “I can feel my spirit slipping to God, look after Tania, Rahab!”
Tania was weeping. As I fiddled with the dress, cutting it open with my remaining dagger, I could see it was too later. The musket ball had shattered her ribs and cut through some vital artery. There was no medicine in this world that could save her.
I held her hand.
“Bid Our Lady welcome from me, darling Miriam,” I told her, knowing she was slipping away.
Behind me I heard steps. It was Ana proclaiming the victory. She gasped.
“My love is dying!”
And so, on that field where we saved the Ark, we lost Miriam. Her gentle soul slipped away into the arms of Our Lady, to whom we commended her.
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