This is a very long, strange story. It is my story, as well as many others, when we all found ourselves in an auspicious time. This is the story of what we did with that time, and the consequences of those many actions.
Here is where, for my part, it begins:
The summer that Galatea Frick disappeared was also the summer that I learned I was Claimed as a Vessel by the Lunar Order. I received word one afternoon in early July. I had been spending a languid afternoon by the pool in courtyard of the residence where I rented rooms with Talia, my closest friend, and my first lover. We’d been together since we were placed in the same hall at University.
Talia and I had roomed together. For quite some time I’d thought of the curvy blonde as rather aloof, but very beautiful. Though I was a virgin, I was an incredibly desirous and sexual being, though most of this satisfaction, I would later learn, was at the time being found in the astral realms. Still I had definite and distinctive fantasies about both men and women, fantasies that I had many times a day. I would be lying if I said that Talia hadn’t entered those fantasies more than once. I assumed that they would abate soon, and she would be just my room-mate again, and the shadow of some lovely and pleasurable daydreams. However, this, like many other things, was not to be.
Talia was from Londonium, with an accent that seemed to pop and crack and bubble. Despite all my fantasies of her we rarely spoke, and came and went from the room at different hours. There was a pleasant, albeit slightly chilly familiarity to the whole arrangement. But one day in October I saw her walking across the courtyard, tucked into a long black velvet hooded coat with red silk lining that cost more than the most expensive thing I owned. It was a cold day, and the sky was miserably gray. Stray dying leaves ground wetly into the color of dirt decoupaged the ground and the wind whipped that yellowy hair in bright slashes across her forehead. She wasn’t sad, exactly. The emotion in her eyes that day escapes description, though I see her as if that moment still goes on within me. And then she saw me staring. Her expression didn’t change at all at first, Talia simply drew me into it with her, that expression I still cannot name. And then she smiled.
Later that night after walking across campus in that whipping, ghastly rain I stumbled up into the dormitories with wet clothes and shivering, tired bones. I wasn’t expecting the sight that bestowed itself upon me as I pulled open the door to our quarters. Talia was leaning back on her bed, her bare legs spread open atop the blankets, her sex hidden only by a mere scrap of silk. Her erect nipples pebbled beneath the fabric of her thin gray camisole. A hand cupped one of her own soft breasts, the one that was spilling over the top of the shirt, exposing it’s rosy glory to me. I felt lust stab me between the legs like a dart, my own nipples hardened even more obscenely against my wet shirt, this time for an entirely different reason.
The fingers of Talia’s other hand rubbed busily at her mound over the tiny black garment. At first, she was so caught up that I didn’t think she had even noticed that I was there. Her head was thrown back and her face was pinched in ecstasy. My blood ran hot and cold as I could hear the low mewling sounds she was making. She looked about to come, or so I thought, but then she halted abruptly, her fingers stilling and her eyes opening to look at me. Then she smiled and beckoned me closer with those same two fingertips.
She helped me out of my wet clothes. It began like a kind of ballet, despairingly graceful and intimate as she pulled my sopping shirt over my head. Her fingers nimbly worked at the clasp of my bra as I stood there and shook. The garment was soon discarded and then Talia’s warm, warm hands were on my bare breasts, gently cupping and kneading them. The throbbing in my clitoris was driving me wild. I had never been this close to a woman before, except in my fantasies. But she was so inviting, and I could feel the heat radiating off of her. With slightly trembling hands, I reached out and tugged at the hem of her shirt. And then she helped me to pull it over her head. With an almost greedy hand I reached out to touch her. She moaned at the feel of my hands against her skin then leaned forward and brought her lips against mine. Talia ran her hands over my neck and my breasts as she kissed me hungrily, sucking on my bottom lip, gently darting her tongue into my mouth until I was burning up. She broke the kiss, took my hand, and led me over to her bed where she lay down and opened her legs for me.
We were clumsy that first rainy night. My blonde room-mate was, I would learn, both as excited by and inexperienced at this as I was. I rubbed her through the silk of her panties, learning that she liked the friction against her clit. I sucked and kissed her breasts, rubbing my face against their fragrant softness, darting out my tongue to tease the peak of her nipple, loving the sounds she made as I did so, learning what could make her tremble. And she did the same to me. But Talia was bolder at first with my body, just the way that I wanted her to be, delving her fingers beneath my underpants so that she would stroke my wet and burning flesh directly. And once she touched me, I couldn’t get enough. Talia thrust a finger inside, testing me as she pumped it in and out, then slid another in beside it and I came, my hips snapping, my inner walls clutching and spasming in a way that they never quite had before, my juices spilling over her fingers. Then she pulled away as I was still trembling, a hand clamped over my mouth to keep from crying out, and replaced her fingers with the tip of her tongue as she started out with tentatives licks at the still-swollen bud of my clit.
″Yes,″ I begged. ″More. Just like that. Yes.″
Emboldened by my moaning, Talia sucked hard on my slit and then slid her mouth down further so she could fuck me with her tongue, darting it right into my entrance, flicking it in and out of my wetness as I pulled her hair, ground my sex against her face, and came again. We both climaxed many times that night in each other’s arms, and after that we were insatiable for each other. We were, I still now like to believe, in love.
Now the Daily Post arrived this auspicious summer day, including a certified paper letter. These were exceptionally rare, it was only from certain places that one could ever expect to receive a print of anything, and this was usually one of the older Societies or a religious order.
″Open it,″ Talia coaxed as we lay on the large chaise on our balcony, mercifully hidden by vines. She was topless, sliding down my body to put her mouth between my legs. The moons were full, and we were incredibly restless and aroused, me especially. And Talia was only too happy to oblige me, taking every opportunity to ravish my eager body, delighted to see how many times she could make me come.
″Open it,″ she cooed, lifting her lips from my pussy long enough to speak, long enough to slide in two of her fingers and make me groan in pleasure, make the letter clutch in my sweaty palm.
I collected myself enough to gently tear the letter open with trembling hands, Talia smiled impishly at me and then ducked her blonde head back down between my thighs and went to work as I read.
At first it didn’t register through the distracting halo of warmth burning inside of me, it wasn’t until her tongue delved deeply into my cunt with one sharp thrust that I finally understood what I had received. It was a summons to the Temple of the Lunar Order, indicating that I’d been selected as a candidate for the Order. I’d heard of the Lunar Order before, most of us in the Greater Network had: they were an ancient and respected religious society dedicated to preserving the realm through channelling sexual energy in service of the old gods. I knew also, mostly from stories, that once the training process was complete, the priestesses, referred to as Vessels, were fitted with a belt that had a long, dildo-like apparatus which was kept inside of them at all times, to remind them of their purpose and ensure that they were kept in an almost constant state of arousal. As I read over the letter for a second time, I felt only the faintest hint of hesitation. More overpowering was the curiosity that I felt, the strange, pleasant tingling in my loins at the thought of becoming a Vessel.
I had always felt different, I realized, slightly out of place, even here with Talia. I’d learn to live with the idea that there was something greater for me out there, but I’d simply never known what it was before. Now, this letter felt like something was being explained to me, as if the gods themselves were extending an invitation. Even as Talia continued to try to distract me with her busy mouth and fingers, I was making my decision.
I would say goodbye to my lover and leave for the Lunar Temple in two days. The Orientation would be a lengthy process, which would lead to my Claiming, where I would be fitted with my belt. Then I would be a Vessel of the Lunar Order.