Chapter 10 Part 4 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2
This section is NSFW.
Then Neya Herself glided up to the dais in all Her nakedness. In a rare display of power, She floated up to Her Brother's side. They joined hands. "Sister," said Nerr in a voice that could not be called loud but that filled the Great Hall's every corner; its force shook the gathering. "As your brother, I promise to protect you even should you fall from Our Father's favor." He gestured to the rows upon rows of flowers. "All of these, I give to You."
"Brother," she answered, "As your Sister, I thank You for Your protection and offer You all praise." She gestured to the two Supplicants at His feet. "Will You accept My gift?"
"Gladly," smiled the God, stroking Temmin's hair. Temmin closed his eyes as bliss radiated from the fingers laced among his unruly locks.
"Then I will be on My way to Our Brothers' representatives, to make My offerings." Jealousy twisted Temmin's insides; Her offerings to the Embodiments of Eddin the Wise One and Farr the Warrior were of Her borrowed body. Farr's priests didn't even like women--who knew how the Brother's Embodiment would use her? Then, she wasn't Allis; She was Neya. No man could hurt Her, not even a great warrior.
Nerr's fingers tightened in his hair and shook him back into the room. "Your allegiance is to Us, little Prince," Nerr growled, "not to the Embodiments We occupy. Mind your manners and your passions. Isn't that what We're here to teach you?"
"Yes, Lord," he stammered. As he and Anda followed the God back to the sumptuous rooms the Lovers shared during Their twice-yearly sojourn in the Temple, he did his best to banish Allis from his mind and keep his thoughts solely on Neya and Nerr.
Lovemaking did the rest; the two mortals fell into the Gods' bed and opened themselves. The golden, rosy haze so familiar from the last times he'd shared the Gods' bed enveloped Temmin, softening his bones and hardening his erection. Everything was so fogged and so clear at the same time. The God's whispering voice in his mind wordlessly planted understanding of the hearts of men and women as he slid his cock into Anda. Behind him, Nerr slicked his ass and without preamble pushed into him, spearing him as he fucked the woman lying beneath him, and all the time the voice swirled through his mind until he lost himself in a soft haze of desire and pleasure, knowing nothing but touch.
At some point in the long day of lovemaking Neya returned from Her offerings, lifting the rosy veil from Temmin's mind. She smelled of other men's semen and sweat, and he fell on Her in a possessive rage. He wanted to fuck away their masculine taint, to replace it with his own. She laughed as he mauled Her breasts, and dragged him down onto the bed beside Her.
The driving need to take Her and make Her his brought the shadowy memory that nagged at him into sharp focus. The Goddess's borrowed face shifted into something more childlike; green eyes changed to wide sapphire blue, and Allis's silken black hair became lush, mink-brown torrents. He knew this woman. Who was she? Flickering Neya's Day torches appeared in the edges of his sight, and he crushed the body now beneath him, clawing at clothes part of him knew were not there. Is this what had happened to him on Neya's Day?
"Gently, sweet Temmin, it is not for you to know yet," the Goddess murmured into his mind. "Now, please Me. Please Me, and forget for now." The wide blue eyes returned to Allis's green, the hair in his fist became black once again. His frenzy shifted from the need to possess the shadow woman to the need to pleasure the Goddess; the rosy fog descended once more.
The next morning Temmin woke up tangled in the sheets on the floor. Anda's odd, musical little snore reached his ears. She'd managed to retain possession of the bed, one arm dangling from its edge. He pulled himself to standing, unraveling the sheets knotted around him. In the center of the bed lay Allis and Issak, her head pillowed on his shoulder. Color had drained from their drawn faces; their breathing was quick, quiet and shallow. The Gods had left them as crumpled as discarded clothing.
Temmin shook Anda awake. "Hzn? Is it over?" she groaned. "Gods, all I want is breakfast and a nice long soak."
"You are of my mind," said Temmin.
Anda rose from the bed and helped him drape the sheets over the exhausted twins. They crept from the Gods' Chamber into its anteroom. On the low, wide couches the two Supplicants found clean uniforms laid out: white for Anda, red for Temmin, and undyed for the Embodiments. The table between the couches contained food for the Embodiments; they would awake from their possession starving and needing immediate nourishment. "Let's go eat and get a bath and a nap in before our watch starts," said Anda.
Once in their own room, the two sipped their morning coffee in silence over a tableful of breakfast. Anda yawned. Her fingers combed her messy brown hair from her face as Temmin demolished a plate of eggs, smoked fish and tomatoes. "Aren't you hungry?" he said as he reached for a fourth slice of toast.
"In a minute. I'm still half-asleep. I'm going back to bed as soon as I'm out of the baths."
"I'll join you."
"Only if you leave me alone. I do believe I am rubbed raw."
"I won't touch you. I think my fingertips are numb anyway."
"Hm." She reached for more toast, slathered it in butter and marmalade, and downed it in three bites. "Gods, now I'm ravenous." She ate two plates piled with sausages, eggs and fried mushrooms, washed down with heavily creamed coffee. Temmin kept pace until they were both sated enough to leave off and waddle down to the mercifully empty baths; neither wished to see or hear another person.
They washed up and soaked in the hot water until their skins were as red as Temmin's tunic; neither said a word. They returned to the Supplicants Chamber, doffed their garb and slid into their respective alcove beds. "I'm almost glad it was my last Nerr's Day," whimpered Anda. "I don't know if I'd live through another."
"So, it's your last one? You've made your decision?" yawned Temmin.
"What? No. Well, yes. I meant the last in the Gods' Chamber. How can something feel like that and leave me like this?" she said, waving a limp hand around her.
"What did you decide?"
"That as much as I love you, I'd rather not be your cousin after all. It seems Our Lord wishes me to stay at the Temple. Besides, I've made my point to my mother. I'm not as pretty as Janetta, but looks aren't the only way to success, even for a woman." Anda turned on her side to face him. "Anything you can share from last night?"
Temmin sorted through his memories. "No."
"No stuff at all. It's just…blank. Not even hazy like last year. Blank."
"Strange," she mumbled. Her eyes closed. Temmin smiled as her body relaxed, her mouth dropping open just enough to let out the tuneful little snore that always made him sleepy himself. He yawned, opening his jaw wide and squinching his eyes closed, and sank down on the pillow.