Suga, anticipating her action, parted his legs and cradled Rizla in his lap. She pressed against his girth.
“Begin,” she said simply.
Ah, how the feral beast loves to be stroked!
Moving his hands across her perfect body created an unnamable sensation in Sugar; the sensation it produced in Rizla was quite obvious. She purred, she writhed, she stretched, she lifted herself higher until her chin rested atop his shaved head, giving him greater access. She began to move in a rhythm. Suga began to sweat liberally. There was no friction between them for he was hairless, with skin nearly as soft as her own, but she claimed to like the profusion of sweat, it’s saltiness. She’d licked him more than once, but she didn’t like kissing and had never allowed him to touch her lips.
At these times of intimacy, her mouth would be set in a series of pouts and grimaces, depending on her particular pleasure. Suga had never seen her with another man and didn’t know how she would respond if he could properly service her. He never dwelt on that possibility, for the thought would drive him mad. But he could, and did, provide her with other compensations. This pleasure was one he’d rendered many times over the years.
He loved to feel her vibrate with purrs.
Tonight, however, she could not give herself over; her mind was elsewhere.
Rizla drew back, gripping both his hands; her body tense but not with passion. She looked him squarely in the eye. “Suga, you must bring the green bottle. We may have need of its contents.”
“Are you certain? The contents are precious. We haven’t left a trace for a very long time.”
She hesitated, as though she were only now making up her mind. “I am certain.” Again, she hesitated. “What do you make of Oren Whitehair?”
She released her grip on his hands, and nestled against his shoulder. Suga folded his great arms around her. When she was like this, he liked to imagine the Dark God hadn’t created a blood priestess but a child wishing to be held.
“He is strong and his story will doubtless be repeated. It contains an element of truth, but that’s not our problem. The truth can be remedied with words. The brand is another matter. It is genuine.”
A slip of the tongue and now refused to meet her gaze lest she detect apprehension. When he spoke again, it was with feigned confidence. “The battle draws near and the Elyon is afraid, for this time our master will win. Soon, Tuel will have the power of life. The Dark God will make the flower bloom again. He will give us all he promised.”
“Sweet life that flows through the ages,” she said, dreamily. “And eternal youth. Don’t forget that.”
Suga chuckled. His words had reassured her and so he began to rub a circle on her thigh. The skin beneath his fingers was like none other: soft, yes, but he had felt soft skin before. His skin was soft. Rizla’s flesh always seemed to promise more, as if a second skin ripened underneath. He was careful of his nails, restraining the urge to dig deep.
“The Shautu claims to have seen the Sea Star.” She hadn’t moved, an indication that Suga should continue stroking. “What do you think?”
“For once, I agree with Elymas. It is inconceivable that the Sea Star should appear over a swamp.”
Moment passed in which Rizla stretched across his lap, offering up her silken belly.
“It was the Sea Star,” she said.