The Gods in the Jungle - online reading

The Naming of the Parts

On her third visit to Varoul's House, Delesse finally looked at a naked male of the species.

As before, she was met at the door by Julyeis, the housekeeper. Devisek had agreed with her mother that it would not be appropriate for the city gossips to be aware of Delesse's tutelage; the whole operation of travelling to and from the bordello was carried out with great stealth.

Once inside the doors, Delesse was free to lower the hood of her cloak. The decor was becoming familiar to her: the hand-woven rugs scattered across the polished wood floor; the tastefully erotic tapestries hung from plastered walls.

'My Lady is welcome!' declared the Servant in her low, even tones. 'Always welcome! Does she require a refreshment before we proceed?'

Delesse shook her head, though her mouth was dry.

'Then please, my Lady, follow me to the relaxing room.'

They walked the length of the entrance hall together, the shorter woman in the lead. Delesse knew that most of the doors in Varoul's House were kept locked, to ensure the maintenance of privacy at all times, so she was not surprised to see Julyeis produce a key from a pocket in her knee-length shift as they reached their destination.

'Thank you, Julyeis,' she said as the Servant closed the doors behind them. This room was decorated in a similar style to the hall, but with the addition of a padded bench beside a fireplace, lit, and a sunken bath to one side. Currently the bath was empty, so Delesse went to sit on the bench.

Julyeis bowed, and then knelt to help Delesse undo her boots. 'Has my Lady been practicing her exercises?'

Delesse nodded, a slight blush touching the sides of her neck.

'Do not be embarrassed, my Lady! The exercises are to help you stretch your joints. A supple body is an excellent gift to offer a gentleman - a husband.'

'Those exercises I have no problem with,' said Delesse. 'I fit them into my afternoon routine quite easily.'

'Then it is the massaging exercises that cause you distress …'

'Not distress - not exactly distress. I have been following your advice, massaging after a warm shower in the evening. I … hadn't expected it to have such an effect on me!'

Julyeis smiled, professionally. 'The Lady's body shook?'

Delesse nodded, and the Servant's smile became a little more genuine.

'This is good progress, my Lady. By understanding the various effects of the massaging on your body, you can begin to learn to control them, to ride them, to make them meet your purpose. You can also learn how to mimic them …'

'Mimic them?'

'Indeed, my Lady! There may come a time when you prefer not to abandon your sensibilities in the waterfalls of sensation, when it would serve your purposes better to pretend that the man between your legs is reducing you to fruit pulp, but all the while keeping your eyes clear of tears. Some say that the congress is a melding. Others consider it to be a war.'

'And you?' asked Delesse. 'What do you consider it to be?'

'The Lady perhaps should not ask a Servant for an opinion. Much will depend upon the man between your legs. I have prepared a light wrap for my Lady to wear for this next lesson, if she would put away those damp clothes of hers.'

Delesse did as she had been asked, slipping her cloak and dress onto the floor. Her undergarments followed, until all that remained on her body were the warding stones she wore around her neck, wrists and ankles. Quickly, Julyeis folded the clothes neatly and placed them in a marked basket ready for cleaning and drying.

The new garment felt rougher than it looked as Delesse picked it up from the couch. She looked at the Servant: 'I thought this was scrivengoat wool?'

'No, my lady. The fibre is coarser, as is the weave. The wool comes from the common goat, from the flocks which roam the higher pastures of the Loa Vreska hills.' Julyeis took the garment from Delesse's hands and shook it loose, ready for the girl to put her arms into the wide sleeves.

'But while the wrap may seem to be of common stock the wool, when harvested from those flocks at the most auspicious time, has a particular warding quality - it keeps away those devils and demons that take a special interest in a woman's first adventures in love.'

A small viper of shock ran along Delesse's spine, loosening her jaw and widening her eyes.

'I had not thought … will someone be joining us today? Will we be … practicing?'

'The Lady has the choice of it.' Julyeis made no effort to touch or calm her client. 'Today we shall concentrate on the naming of the parts, and after that we shall learn the Lady's decision.'

She shook the garment again, and Delesse complied with the unspoken request, placing her arms through the sleeve and then letting the Servant pull it close around her body. A knotted belt of the same material finished the dressing.

'It's a little too short for polite company,' Delesse observed, and the Servant graced her with a thin smile of acknowledgement.

'There are many things a woman can wear in her private rooms, my Lady, but others will be able to advise you better than me.'

She stepped back and looked at Delesse. 'There is nothing to fear, my Lady. Slow your breathing and collect your face. As I said, today we name the parts.'

And with that, she turned and walked across the room. When she reached the wall, she shook one of the tapestries forward, revealing a second door. 'Shapeis! Attend!'

He entered, his stance suggesting that he owned this room. Delesse's first impressions were of a man, almost naked, as tall as she, muscled, short hair, a common face - though faultless and symmetrical. And horns. She concentrated on the horns as he walked towards her, unsmiling. They grew from his forehead, reaching up a hand's length and curving back, slightly ridged, polished and blunted.

A recreational Servant.

She had heard of such people from whispered conversations with her sister, always eager to share the gossip she had overheard. Just as there were Servant farms who specialised in the breeding of ornamental Servants - like Maeduul, her mother's companion - so other farms created recreationals: perfect in form and, allegedly, function.

He stopped in the centre of the room, his hands loose by his thighs, even his fingers still. He did not look at her. Julyeis beckoned her forward.

'Let us name the parts, my Lady,' she said. 'We shall start at the back.'

For the next few minutes Delesse listened as the woman explained the various areas of the horned man's body, and what role each area could play in the act. When invited to, she stroked his body; feeling his firm young skin and the muscles beneath with her fingertips.

'The Lady should be aware that massage forms a central part of the magic. With the correct oils and a supple dance of the fingers a woman can bring the beast within the man to the fore in ways that she can control.'

'And you are to teach me these?'

'Alas no, my Lady. Each man is different, and what works on one man will not work on another. To learn the full range of techniques can take many years, practicing on many men. But you will only need to satisfy one man - at first - and we cannot know what his preferences will be. Instead, we can teach the Lady a few subtle practices, and those areas of a man's body that are most likely to respond to such ministrations. After that, you will need to experiment with your man, explore the possibilities within him.'

Delesse nodded, her eyes still concentrating on the man in front of her.

'Now feel the line of the jaw, and trace your finger from under his chin towards the back of the neck. Most men have stubble here. An unscented oil is often most usefully applied to this area in slow, straight strokes, or alternatively spittle direct from the tip of the Lady's tongue.'

The lesson continued. Throughout the naming of the parts, the explanations and the rubbing and caressing, he never moved - not even a flinch of muscle. His breathing continued in its regular pattern as his nipples were explained, explored, pinched and nibbled. His stomach remained tight and silent as palms and fingernails traced their course between the fine hairs surrounding his birth-wound.

And then Julyeis unknotted a cord and let his loincloth flutter to the floor.

'This, my Lady, is the nub. It is, for a man, a treasure beyond price.'

To Delesse's eyes the nub dangled like a leather hose emptied of water, nestled in a perm of rough hair.

'I expected it to be - well - bigger than that …'

Julyeis arched her eyes: 'And with a simple word, the Lady learns how to kill a man's pride! But do not fear, the nub will grow when a woman coaxes her man to the act with soft words and kisses.'

'To what size?'

'We shall find out. Though the Lady must remember that just as each man has his own preferences for massage, so each man will have his own length and girth of nub. Shapeis here possesses a straight nub - others can curve and bend like a flower stalk seeking the sun - and he is slightly larger than normal. Now touch the nub, my Lady: stroke it. We cannot examine it properly in this sorry state!'

Delesse did as she was told, gingerly running her fingers down the length of the shaft. When it twitched she pulled her hand back, sharply. She looked at Julyeis, who nodded encouragement with a thin smile.

Again, she engaged with the shaft, this time running her fingers behind it, her finger knuckles scraping against the scrotum. Veins appeared along the length, which she traced with her thumb, watching as their net expanded with each pulse.'

'Does it always happen this quickly?'

'No, Lady. Sometimes the man will disrobe already aroused, the thought of his woman enough to inflate him. At other times the same man will barely respond to the most tender of kisses, or will harden and soften quickly. Such are the times that a woman should take care with her words, or move rather to massage the man's back and neck, smiling to her man however disappointed she may feel. As I said, a man's nub is his closest, dearest treasure, but you can think of it more like an untrained puppy that only sometimes obeys its master's commands.'

The image of a puppy made Delesse grin. 'This dog seems to be very well trained!'

'Indeed, and ready to hunt!'

'So, how do we name these parts?'

The lesson continued, Julyeis pointing out the sexual anatomy and commenting on various methods of stroking and rubbing the inner thigh, testicles, shaft and head. She showed Delesse how a sharp tap to the base of the shaft could deflate it, and how a twist of the wrist as the foreskin was shuffled across the head could bring the whole back to life. She indicated the place between the testicles and anus to press the forefingers which - she insisted - would make a man worship her at the height of the act, and how to cup and turn her spittled hand around the bared head to make a man scream with pleasure even before he entered his woman.

Mention of the penetration brought to mind a question that Delesse was scared of asking. She played with the nub a little more before saying: 'I've heard that it hurts … the act.'

Julyeis reached out and took Delesse's hands, slowly pulled them away and into her own. For the first time, Delesse noticed a glint of concern in her instructor's eyes; the smile she gave her was broad and soft.

'My Lady must not think of the act in this way. Did you not feel some pleasure as you stroked the man, as you discovered his body?'

When Delesse slowly nodded, she continued: 'Think of the act as part of a larger play, a sensual, exciting play where each scene adds to the enjoyment of the next. The penetration will only hurt if you let it, if you fail to relax. Just as you are playing with the man's body, so will he be playing with you, and a good man will never want to hurt his woman in that way! Yes, there will be a little soreness the first time, and maybe for a few times after that, but it doesn't last!'

And now Delesse remembered the Servant's earlier words: 'the Lady has the choice of it.'

'I think it would be useful to learn how a man …' she swallowed, her voice dipping to a whisper '… how a man pleasures a woman.'

Julyeis's eyes crinkled a little narrower to accommodate her understanding smile. She nodded her head and moved her hands up to Delesse's cheeks. 'Yes, my Lady. If that is your desire.' She turned towards the recreational and said: 'Shapeis …'

And for the first time Shapeis looked directly at Delesse - looked straight into her eyes, and through them at her, naked and aching and a little scared inside her own skull.

'I can't,' she said, suddenly. 'What if … what if I fall … a baby …'

Julyeis nodded her head. 'Good, good! The Lady thinks of all things. There are ways for a woman to protect herself, herbs and juices, caps and springs and the like. We can talk about such matters the next time the Lady visits, yes? But there is no need to worry with Shapeis.' She took his scrotum in her hand and lifted it high, exposing the two small scars beneath the wrinkled skin.

'Ah,' said Delesse, not comprehending what she was looking at. Her tone must have made the Servant aware of her confusion.

'A small operation, yet decisive: no seed can progress beyond that point. Does the Lady still wish …'

She nodded her head with a sudden determination. Without knowing why she realised she very much wanted to experience this man, and now.

Slowly, he stretched, reaching his arms above his head and arching his back and just as slowly he relaxed, smiled. Not any smile, but a small smile that pushed through Delesse's chest to pat her heart and pinch her stomach. She didn't even notice him walking towards her - only that his eyes seemed to grow larger: deep, dark brown eyes with wet slate intrusions surrounding pupils wide in this dim light. She felt his hand on her cheek, a dawdle of finger trails from her ear down to her chin.

Then he kissed her. Gentle lips moistening her own, his tongue tipping across the thin, dark line of face-paint so carefully applied around them, triggering reflex responses from muscles across her cheeks and within her own tongue that she had not even suspected to exist. And still his hands explored her, massaging her neck, her ears, her shoulders and backbone; the line between her breasts - lessons she had so recently be learning herself now applied to her own body by a man who had practiced those massage techniques on an unguessable number of other bodies.

When the rough wool wrap slid open, she didn't notice. When she felt his thumb on her nipple she remembered to breathe. He seemed to be playing her carefully: keeping the little fear awake in her bowels, yet taming it - feeding it and soothing it in turn by touch; a palm across her stomach, a thumb across her buttock. Warm hands.

He broke their tongue dance and spoke: 'The Lady desires for me to continue?'

Delesse opened her eyes to stare in his face, open and questioning. Seconds passed, then she took the back of his head in the palm of her hand and slowly pulled his lips back into her own. He complied with her order, the heel of his hand slowly circling her secret nub nestled in its own growth of black down.

The groan escaped her lungs before she could catch it in her throat. Again, he broke their kiss, slowly slid his tongue down the length of her throat and through the crease between her breasts, down further to orbit her birth-wound, nipping, and down again, down so his chin met the thumb kneading her vulva pulsing in its heat of engorging blood. She leaned forward, her hand on his back forgetting to return the massage; the other hand stroking against the curious warmth of his horns, grasping one across its ridges as he started to kiss her nub.

When he stood, when he lifted her up and took her, standing, she lost the last vestiges of control over the beast within him, let it trample her into oblivion.

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