One of my favorite parts of THE PAGES OF THE MIND is when Dafne, Jepp and Zynda drink some of Jepp’s favorite whiskey around the campfire and discuss their sex lives. Not that Dafne wants to have that conversation, but you know how Jepp is. Cheerfully relentless and totally without a filter.
Also... there’s something about the girls’ night out. For these three it’s a pause along the journey, a time away from their usual preoccupations and responsibilities to confide those things they might not in the light of day. We carry those secrets around, deep in our hearts, and rarely speak of them to anyone because they might sound silly or shameful or ... simply not that big of a deal to someone else. But among other women, in that bubble of space and time, we can talk with more honesty and trust.
A little Branlian whiskey never hurts either!
Here’s a little snippet of that conversation.
Jepp, Zynda, and I had our own campfire, a bit away from the Dasnarians. Our Vervaldr guard had thrown in with them for the evening and they’d all fallen into some sort of Dasnarian drinking and gambling game. Jepp glanced over at a particularly raucous group shout they sent up, with cheers and groans. “Men,” she muttered.
“You could join them, if you prefer,” I offered. “I wouldn’t mind and I doubt Zynda does.”
“Not a bit,” Zynda agreed. “Though I don’t think Jepp wishes to.”
“No, Jepp does not wish to.” She made a face. “I’ve had enough of male egos for the day, thank you. Besides, the High Queen told me to guard you two with my life and I’m not about to let her down.”
“Understandable. I would be equally loath to face Ursula with a failure like that.”
“Does it bother you,” Jepp asked, “that she’s with Harlan?”
I blinked at her. “Why would it bother me? I think he’s really good for her.”
“I just figured that you’re in love with her and it’s hard when that happens and the other woman picks a man instead. I mean, it hurts when they pick anyone else, but for some reason it’s worse when it’s a guy and—”
I cut in then, not wanting to hear more. “I’m not in love with Ursula. That is...” I searched for the right way to explain my feelings.
“No more so than we all are?” Zynda offered. “She’s an admirable woman who inspires great feelings of devotion.”
“I admire her greatly, yes.” I sounded stiff, even to myself, badly wanting out of this conversation.
“I would do Ursula,” Jepp said thoughtfully. “All that intensity and passion, focused on you in bed? Mmm.”
Zynda snorted. “From your tales, it sounds as if you would do anyone.”
Jepp grinned, unrepentant. “Well, I do have standards. But they’re woefully low. I’m weak—I rarely turn down an opportunity for an honest, vigorous fucking. I prefer cock, in general, but women can work for me, too. I wouldn’t blame you if you did have a crush on our High Queen, Dafne.”
“I do not have a crush on Ursula!”
“I just figured because I never see you with men. And you spend so much time with Ursula. And Harlan.” Her eyes brightened with salacious interest. “Unless you’re in a threeway with both of them? That would be amazing.”
I choked on my tea, face hotter than the campfire. “No! Don’t put images like that in my head.”
“I wouldn’t judge,” she insisted. “I’d be insanely jealous, but you can tell me. In great detail, please.”
*previously published on La Crimson Femme in 2016*
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