Normally, you would expect the guy to steal a kiss from the girl, and the girl’s the one to slap him. When was my life ever normal?
Of course, a man should never hit a woman. And he definitely shouldn’t hit a woman who’s carrying a dagger. Jenny didn’t reach for the blade at her waist, she just looked at me with surprise.
I looked away and stared intently at the ground. I could have apologised and generally grovelled for her to forgive me, that would be the normal thing to do. I hadn’t hit her very hard, but that was hardly the point.
Once I took responsibility, it would be game over. My position of moral superiority would be forfeit and I’d never be able to get it back.
She was the one in the wrong. Yes, I overreacted and did something terrible, but that didn’t take away from what she did. Using the thing I was weakest against—affection—to manipulate me, to get me to do whatever she wanted, was reprehensible.
I did what anyone would do when they’ve made a mistake they don’t want to admit to. I blamed her.
“You shouldn’t have done that. It’s not fair.” I was trying my best to sound pissed off and indignant, like I had been horribly wronged, but it was hard because what I really felt was horribly shitty about what I’d done.
Jenny didn’t say anything.
“You… you shouldn’t use your body to get guys to do what you want.” Great, now I was calling her a slut. “You’re better than that.”
Jenny still didn’t say anything. I looked up from the patch of grass I had been focused on. Jenny was looking at me, very calm. Her lip was bleeding. Not a lot; a red bead had formed on her bottom lip. I must have caught the inside of her mouth on her teeth.
I reached out my hand. “I can heal that.”
Her hand shot out and grabbed me by the wrist. “No,” she was unsettlingly calm. “I don’t want you to heal me. I want you to look at me.”
My gaze immediately returned to the ground.
“Colin, you hit me.”
“I… It wasn’t… I didn’t mean…”
“You hit me, Colin.”
“You kissed me!” It sounded a lot less idiotic in my head.
“What do you think of guys who hit women?”
“This isn’t like that.”
“It’s exactly like that.” She still had me by the wrist. Her grip tightened. “What would you call a guy who hits a woman, Colin?”
“Scum,” I whispered.
“Then why did you do it?”
I looked up at her, angry because she was forcing me to admit my crime even though we both knew I was guilty. “You know why.”
“Because of a kiss? You think that’s why you abandoned everything you believe you are? Would you ever let a girl—me or anyone else—take that away from you?”
She was right. She had kissed me, but so what? Was I a fucking child that one kiss could wreck me so hard?
“What happened while we were gone, Colin?”
“This has nothing to do with that.”
“This has everything to do with that. Tell me.”
She was a smart girl. Physical affection hadn’t worked, but now she had a nice, solid block of guilt to work with. She was out of my league in even more ways than I had realised. I had no fallback position.
It didn’t matter that she had provoked me, that I hadn’t meant to hit her, that I could easily refuse to accept any wrongdoing on my part and stay in control of the situation. The only opinion that mattered was mine, and I wasn’t too impressed with myself.
The laser-sharp pain in my chest I thought I had quashed glimmered to let me know it was still there, waiting.
I took a deep breath. “May-May had a kid.”
Once I started I couldn’t stop. As I spoke, my wrist still held in her vice-like grip, tears rolled down my face. When I finished, the tears turned to sobs.
She let go of my wrist. Her arms encircled my neck and she pulled me towards her. I resisted at first—once I allowed myself to accept her warmth, I’d be lost—but she was ruthless. She drew me into her chest, my face rested on the irresistible softness and I melted.
“I lied.” Jenny kissed the top of my head. “What I said to Claire and Flossie was a lie.”
I was confused. “Which part?”
“The part where I said I don’t know how I feel about you. The part where I said I don’t think about kissing you, touching you, that I haven’t had dreams about you… all of it.”
If she wanted to backtrack a little so as not to hurt my feelings, I would understand, but she was denying it all, which made no sense whatsoever. “Why?”
“Because it’s embarrassing.” That I could understand. “If I said I liked you and then you rejected me, I’d look like a fool. If I said I wasn’t interested and then I ended up with you somehow, I could always say I’d had a change of heart. They’d accept that.”
I pushed myself off her chest (which took some determination) and looked her in the face. “Wait. Why would I reject you?”
She sat up. “You’ve always pushed me away, right from the first day. I tried everything, but you weren’t interested.”
“So you’re saying you were interested in me from the first day?”
“What are you talking about? How could you have been?”
“I knew it when you had the panic attack.”
“You’re saying that’s what attracted you to me?” Maybe she was mental. It was the only thing that would make it plausible.
“You knew we weren’t back home anymore. You knew before anyone. You didn’t handle it all that well, but you were way ahead of everyone else. I wanted to be on your team but you rejected me.” She gritted her teeth. “I know I’m not a fucking princess, but you could have at least given me a chance.”
The princess thing threw me little. “Are you talking about Laney?”
“How many princesses do you have fawning over you?”
“So? She won’t be for long. And she’s a fucking princess.”
She had a real issue with the whole princess thing.
“I don’t like Laney, I like you. I always have.”
She didn’t look entirely convinced. She leaned forward and began unbuttoning my clothes.
“What are you doing?”
“What do you think I’m doing? I’ve waited long enough.”
I froze. She wanted to have sex. This wouldn’t end well. It never ended well. I’d only had two sexual partners and both had left their mark on me, and not in a good way.
It probably seems like a weird reaction. Whatever problems I might have had in the past, the girl I liked, who I found incredibly attractive, wanted to sleep with me. I should have been jumping up and down with joy. I guess the only way to explain is to tell you about the two other girls.
The first, let’s call her Hiroshima, I met at a Christmas works do. I had only recently left school and started working. I was seventeen. I didn’t know the people very well and was quite shy.
She was the sister of one of my co-workers who was visiting and got brought along because his wife couldn’t be bothered. She was older than me, but not by a lot, and we were both far younger than everyone else. She wasn’t much of a talker either but we ended up seated next to each other in an Indian restaurant in Enfield Town.
Over the course of the evening we started chatting and we got on. You have to remember this is back when I still believed my life was the same as everyone else’s. A job, a girl, a place of my own—the possibilities were endless. And I could even be charming when I put my mind to it. Well, I could fake interest in what other people were saying.
Through a series of cleverly worked manoeuvres—mainly relying on her brother being very drunk—I got her back to my place.
Things followed the normal course of events and we ended up naked and entwined. So far so good. My main concerns were not getting too over-excited too quickly, if you know what I mean, and not making her feel she was just some girl I picked up for a shag. I liked her.
It wasn’t until she started crying that I realised something was wrong. Everything had gone smoothly up to that point, and even the joining together of our two sweaty bodies had passed off without a hitch. I was inside her, things were rubbing together in pleasurable ways, and then the waterworks.
It turned out she had recently broken up with her boyfriend, the love of her life since she was fourteen. He had met someone else and her dream was dead.
I offered to stop but she insisted I carry on. She needed this to get over him.
Finding out she didn’t really like me that way and I was just a means to an end was disappointing, but sex is sex. If this was going to be how my first time was going to be, at least I’d have got it out of the way. I’m all about the romance.
The problem was she couldn’t stop thinking about him. Or talking about him.
The things they liked to do together, the plans they had for the future, the names of their kids they’d decided on. Weeping and talking and occasionally encouraging me to keep going. It wasn’t very sexy.
Here’s the thing about masturbation. No matter how many times I’ve done it, I’ve never had a really bad one. I’ve never felt like, “Oh, that was a bit disappointing, think I won’t bother any more.” But my first time, when I did eventually orgasm, it didn’t so much explode as pop.
The fluids drained out of me and that was that. I had lost my virginity but it felt more like I’d been robbed.
The second time, the girl, let’s call her Nagasaki, was a student nurse with a very large personality and a stunning figure.
I wasn’t one for going down the pub after work, but I went along occasionally to be sociable. Yes I know, hard to believe I could be sociable once upon a time.
She was very attractive and latched onto me without my having to do anything. Which was great. We got back to mine and she made all the moves, started stripping the moment the door was closed, had me naked on the bed in no time.
The only thing she insisted was that I wore a condom and that it was properly on, which was fine by me. Nice to meet someone so responsible.
The sex started off great. As we were going at it she told me it had been a long time since she’d had sex and how much she missed it.
As things got really passionate, she decided it was only right she tell me she had herpes. But it was fine because I was wearing a condom and also she hadn’t had an inflammation in some time.
Obviously I felt uncomfortable and started to work on an exit strategy. I didn’t want to be rude, but I didn’t want my dick to fall off either. I realise herpes doesn’t work like that, but I was just a kid.
Then she informed me she also had gonorrhea but it had more or less cleared up, and there was also the slight chance she was HIV positive, but she hadn’t got the results back yet.
I panicked and tried to get out, but she wrapped her legs around my waist and wouldn’t let go. You’d think I would at least lose my erection, but she had amazingly well developed vaginal muscles that locked on and pumped me to completion, all the while offering me reassurances everything was fine.
I went and got checked out by the doctor and luckily everything was fine, but it left me somewhat traumatised. I decided to wait for the right girl to come along, but she never did. Until now.
Jenny took control of the situation, at least for the first time. She could see I was like a deer in headlights and did all the heavy lifting. It wasn’t passionate or wild, it was creating a connection and confirming our feelings for each other. It was also over very quickly.
“It’ll be better next time”
I lay on my back, bathed in sweat, every last scintilla of energy blasted out of me. “What makes you think I’ll be able to get it up again?”
She leaned over me and grinned. “Hope.” Her head disappeared from view.
The next two times were much better all around. By the end of the second, with a little coaching from Jenny, I even got her to climax. After that I fell asleep.
When I woke the next morning, the light ache in my cock and the naked girl next to me were ample proof it hadn’t been a dream. She was sitting cross-legged watching me.
I put my hand out and rested it on her thigh. She didn’t flinch or move away, she just smiled and adjusted herself to make it easier for me to reach whatever I wanted to reach.
Her lip was still a little bruised.
“You should let me heal that.”
“No. I want you to remember what you’re capable of when you bottle things up and try to do everything on your own.”
It was mean and calculated, but entirely within her rights. Well played.
“You need to tell people what you want them to do. We all want to help you.”
Was this how it would be from now on? Her giving me instructions. They say behind every great man there’s a woman with blood on her hands. “Can I tell you what I want you to do.” I slid my hand along her thigh.
“Yes, I’d like that very much. And once you teach me how to do magic, I’ll be able to—” My hand stopped moving. “What?”
I looked at her.
“No.” Her look of mild confusion narrowed to one of annoyance. “Colin, you can’t think I slept with you just to get you to teach me magic. Fucker! You do think that. No. No!”
She pushed my hand off her leg and started pulling her clothes on. “I can’t believe you. Fuck you! You really think that? Fuck. FUCK!”
She put the rest of her clothes on in a rage, and then crawled out of the tent. I hadn’t said a word, but it did seem like a possibility. Certainly more likely than her being madly in love with me from the first day we met.
I sighed. Oh well, it had been nice while it lasted. I fell asleep again.
I woke to the sound of Jenny coming back in. I don’t know how long it had been since she stormed out. Not long I don’t think.
She began removing her clothes again. “It’s fine. Forget about the magic. We’ll just stick to sex and watching out for each other. If you feel like you trust me enough at some point, fine. If not, that’s fine too. Just, no princesses, okay?”
Naked once more, she crawled back into my arms and pressed her flesh against mine. Was she manipulating me? Did I care?
After we had sex again, I left the tent. It was still early and a bit chilly. The trolls stood silently waiting for us to get ready, like some Stonehenge cosplay. The others were sat around the fire looking at me. There was only one tent and it wasn’t soundproofed.
“Sorry if we made a lot of noise.” My whole body felt different, like something had clicked in my back and I could walk straight after years of stooping.
Jenny came out behind me. The other girls got up and the three of them went off without a word.
“Where are they going?” I said.
“Girl stuff,” said Maurice. “Illuminati don’t even come close.”
I looked at the two of them, Maurice poking the fire and Dudley checking over his arrows. They were relaxed and calm even though death could be right around the next corner. Content men or doormats?
“I suppose you heard everything.”
“And then some,” said Maurice.
“I should coco,” said Dudley.
Maurice pushed his slipping glasses back up his nose. “And then Jenny came out here and started calling you all sorts of names. The girl has a very filthy mouth. Congratulations.”
“Do you really think she only slept with you so you’d teach her magic?”
When put like that it sounded pretty cold and heartless. “I don’t know. Maybe.”
Maurice shook his head. “Well, nobody else thinks that. We all offered to teach her instead.”
“Oh.” They might not have been as proficient as me, but they knew the basics well enough. “That must have cheered her up.” It explained why she came back into the tent.
“Not really. She refused. Said it had to be you. If you didn’t trust her there was no point.”
If she wanted to learn magic, she could easily from the others, but then why hold out for me to do it? Either she genuinely wanted me to trust her, or... maybe she was playing the long con.
“Do you love her?” asked Dudley. He usually said little and even more rarely instigated a conversation, so I was surprised by the direct question.
“I think so.”
Dudley gave me the sad smile of a fellow sufferer. “Then what does it matter? It’s already too late for you. Teach her magic. If she betrays you, so be it.”
“At least she’ll be able to take care of herself after she kills you in your sleep,” said Maurice.
They both had enormously open hearts when it came to the people they loved. Idiots. I had no intention of being defeated so easily.
“We have visitors,” said Keezy all of a sudden, nearly making me jump out of my skin. He was looking high into the air.
I followed his gaze but couldn’t see anything. Dudley stood up and nocked an arrow to his bow.
“Put that away. If you anger them we’re all dead.”
After some intense squinting I could see three figures, maybe more, approaching. “Who are they?”
“The Draconic Guard. Cheng must have sent them.”
As they got closer they looked like winged men, only not men. They had reptilian heads with large crests that ran all the way down their backs and along their tails. Their leathery wings flapped in long slow movements.
The girls returned to find us all staring at the sky and joined in.
“Fookin’ hell,” said Flossie. “Dragon men.”
“Even with a wingspan like that, they shouldn’t be able to fly,” said Maurice.
“Neither should the bumblebee,” I pointed out.
“That’s a myth. If you perform an extremely crude calculation, sure, but a full aerodynamic computation will show that the bumblebee's flight operates perfectly within the laws of physics.”
Six of them landed a few metres away, sending up much dust and debris, and the largest one, who was blue, stepped forward.
“Ah, little Keezy. It’s been a while.” He was larger than Keezy by no small margin. “And the Worm King. Ha ha, who would have thought it would be young Kungen?”
“What do you want, Hitokag?” said Keezy.
“Not you. Which one of you is Colin?”
“Him,” I pointed at Maurice.
Hitokag ignored where I was pointing and walked up to me. He stooped to get a better look. His body radiated heat so intense I had to take a step back.
“Hmm.” He didn’t sound impressed. “Cheng has summoned you. You will come with us.”
“I’d rather not, if it’s all the same to you.”
“He sent this.” He held out a scroll.
I took it and opened it. There was one word written on it:
Which was surprising, but not as surprising as the fact it was written in English.
AN: I'm taking a week off. Next chapter will be up on RRL on Wednesday 27th July. For more details and other news, please check out the next post which can be found HERE.
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