Chapter 31: Numinous
Elsa jumped slightly when she heard the lock on the hotel door clack. She watched the door open to reveal the tall, blonde form of Captain Calhoun and the short, inescapably lovely shape of… “Anna!” She ran to the other woman, grabbed her, held her. Without even asking. “Oh, god, Anna, I’ve been waiting to see you! Why didn’t you write me? Why didn’t I hear from you? I sent you all those letters.”
“Elsa, Elsa…” Anna’s hands gripped back, but Elsa could feel tension and insecurity in Anna’s strong arms. “You dyed your hair?”
Elsa pushed back so she could watch Anna’s face. “Calhoun said it would be a good idea.”
“But all the way black? Wow, that’s dramatic! But, Elsa, I did write you.”
“Yes,” Anna said, nodding, her eyes wide with excitement. “Just once. I mean, I thought about sending you a lot of letters, every week or maybe even every day! But I didn’t want your secretary to think I was some kind of crazy obsessive person.”
“Anna, you could never be– well, you’re not a crazy obsessive person. You’re my friend, and the savior of Arendelle, and the woman who came to Rapunzel’s rescue when no one else could, and… ” Elsa blushed.
“Ladies,” Calhoun growled. “Whatever you’re about to say to each other next, you should probably go inside and close the door before it gets said.”
“Oh!” Anna said. “Right.” Elsa nodded and pulled Anna into the hotel room. The door closed, leaving them alone. Anna looked up at her and said, “And … ?”
She reached out a hand for Anna’s jacket, but stopped short. “May I?” Anna’s eyes widened, and she nodded. Elsa grabbed the lapel, pulled the other woman close. “My first and only lover.” She kissed Anna.
The great dam of frustration in Elsa’s heart burst forth in a torrent of kisses and whimpers and a surge of desire that welled up from that warm, liquid secret heart into her chest and down her arms, into her eyes, pushing out tears even as her mouth crushed against Anna’s and their tongues met in the first passionate taste they’d had of each other in months.
She felt Anna relax against her, then tense, then… “Elsa. Elsa!”
“What is it?”
Anna swallowed, then looked down at the floor, trying not to meet Elsa’s eyes. “When Calhoun picked me up, I’d just promised Hans… ” Her shoulders sagged. “I’d just promised Hans that I’d put the ring on when I got home.”
“Oh. I see.” Elsa grinned. “Have you been home yet?”
“Well, no… ” Anna giggled. “A certain dangerously blond woman kidnapped me and took me to her even more sinister not-currently-blond queen.” Her face turned serious. “But I can’t let a technicality like this…” She looked up. “Can I say something crazy?”
“You may,” Elsa said.
Anna smiled. “All my life has been a single rut. That’s the problem with honor. Once you’ve decided you’re going to live your life with honor, the only choice you have is to pick the most honorable path or make a mistake. It was honorable to serve my queen. It was honorable to do so well I became a starship captain. It was honorable to rescue the Peeps at Second Basilisk. It was honorable to jump at a wormhole mission. It was honorable to save my gracious host.” Anna’s smile widened, and Elsa nodded. “If you live your life responsibly and honorably, they give you more responsibility, and more, and more, until you’re suffocating in it.” Anna sighed. “The next honorable thing on my plate is a boring, stuffy, suffocating marriage to a nice man.”
“Anna, surely you don’t think all marriage is suffocating.” Elsa said. She reached out a hand and led Anna to the bed. They sat down on the edge, together. “Do you?”
“No!” Anna said. “No, I don’t. I just… It’s not what’s in the cards. Not for me. Not a winning Hans, you see.”
Elsa smiled, again, at Anna’s terrible pun. “Anna,” she said, looking into the other woman’s face and hoping to meet her eyes. “Anna, I’ve been thinking a lot about what Gothel said to Rapunzel and Eugene, and… Anna, Gothel wasn’t completely wrong. My ancestors did terrible things. They saved the colony, but they destroyed so much in order to save it and cement their power over it, to make Arendelle a constitutional monarchy. The corporatists who sided with Anton were well-rewarded. There’s a reason each of the the original fourteen Duchies have a specialty, they were the company towns near specific natural resources. The ones who didn’t join him were slaughtered.” Elsa looked down at her gloved hands. “We’re generations past that now. My parents, and their parents, each saw expansions of the population, the establishment of new duchies, the rising of new solettas. I hope I’ve been honorable. I’ve tried to keep my population healthy and happy, fed, sheltered and educated, while making sure that my police and my courts are just.” Elsa suddenly giggled.
“I just remembered, I had to sign off on the removal of a judge from the Queen’s Bench just a few days ago. He…” Elsa giggled, and blushed, remembering. “He was caught wearing a device in his pants that would pleasure him during hearings.” Anna’s eyes goggled, then she clamped her hands over her mouth. “I’m quite sure it was of Manticoran manufacture, although the technology was easily available to even hobbyist builders on Arendelle. But apparently–” Elsa giggled, unable to contain her mirth– “Apparently, the reason it came to anyone’s attention was because it made this pumping, hissing sound with every cycle.”
Anna returned her grin. “A kind of shoonk-hiss, shoonk-hiss, I bet.”
Elsa’s smile went all the way to her eyes. “Yes! Terrible, thinking about it.”
“Terrible.” Anna reached out one hand, hesitated until Elsa nodded. then grasped Elsa’s fingers in her own. “But I would think he needs counseling, not firing. He’s a pervert, but I don’t think that qualifies as corruption.”
“I wouldn’t have thought so, but he was overseeing domestic disturbance cases. Spousal rape. Child abuse. That sort of thing.”
“Oh. Eww,” Anna said. “Eww. Now that you put that way, that’s… Ew! That’s very disturbing.”
Elsa shrugged. “He may have been a pervert, but he thought his position and his cleverness protected him from censure. He acquired a little power, and it corrupted him. Money and power corrupt, Anna. You have to start by assuming corruption will happen to you, and try to build in reminders, cutouts, and firewalls to protect your honor and your duty. That’s why I still go to church. I don’t know how much I believe, but I respect its mission to remind me. That why I have Kai and Gerda. That’s why I want…” She searched Anna’s face. “That’s why I want you.”
“You want me?”
“Yes, I want you.” Elsa blushed. “You have character, and duty, and honor. Those are rare qualities for someone to have consistently.” She reached up, her hand trembling, and trailed the back of her fingers along Anna’s cheek. “And I thought we connected.”
“I thought we did too.” She shook herself. “But what will happen to my Earldom if I move to Arendelle? What will happen to my father, or my people?” Elsa’s hands clenched in frustration. Anna saw the little fists she made. “What is it?”
“Youthful indiscretion,” Elsa said. “The corruption issue. That’s the other thing about you that I need, Anna. You need to be able to walk away from me if things get bad. You need to be able to leave.”
“But I wouldn’t leave. If I did move to Arendelle, if things did get that bad, Elsa, I’d need to do what I could to protect your people from whatever the badness was. That’s part of what honor and duty is about. There are always people in power, and there are always people with their hands on the levers and the triggers. Transparency, honor, duty, and presence are necessary to fight back corruption. If you sent me away… You’re not going to send me away. But what’s this about corruption?”
Elsa smiled. “You deserve so much better than me, Anna. I’m wicked, Part of that’s your fault. I suppose I started it. Now that I know what… what you’re like, I’m having trouble keeping my hands to myself.”
Anna reached out her hands, and Elsa took them. “Then don’t.” Anna leaned in, and Elsa mirrored her gesture until the two of them met, lips pressing against one another. “God, Elsa, I have missed you.”
“You missed me?” Elsa said, gasping. “I don’t know how I lasted four months without you, Anna. I swear, it wasn’t until I’d met you that I figured out how… how… ” She blushed. “How the shower massage really works.”
She expected Anna to giggle, but Anna instead closed her eyes and sighed. “Tell me about it.”
Elsa was silent. She looked up and said, “Hmm?”
“Tell me about it. How you use your shower.” Anna’s hand touched Elsa’s lips. “With your voice.”
Elsa blushed, hesitated. But then she looked up, and Anna’s face was open, trusting, interested. “I, um, that is…” She blushed again. “I couldn’t stay standing. It didn’t work that way. But the hose wasn’t long enough. It didn’t go all the way, um… so I had to back up and the tub spout was rubbing against my side.” She reached over and rubbed her left flank, right below her armpit. “I took the shower head and dialed it all the way down, and played it over my, um…” Anna nodded. “It was too strong directly on my clitoris, so I played around it. I was thinking of you the whole time.” She shuddered with the memory, and although she was blushing, she felt a sweetness in her belly where she thought about how she would say more. “While you were gone, I read a lot of stories that were racier. You were right, they don’t really show it the way you did, not most of them anyway. I still tried a lot of the acts that seemed, um, reasonable. Possible. I never knew what my body was capable of, what it could do.” She lifted her eyes to meet Anna’s wondering gaze. “I wished so hard for you to write me. To come back. I wanted your hands–” She grabbed Anna’s hand and pulled it toward her breast. Anna went willingly. “Everywhere.”
“I’m not afraid anymore.” She took a deep breath. “I also never knew what it felt like to say it like that. To just tell someone, to have her listen, to have her know that I needed to be, to be touched. It’s amazing, isn’t it? When you realize that being sexual isn’t strange.”
Anna nodded, blushing, then leaned in again. Elsa welcomed her approach, and the two of them fell onto the hotel bed comforter, kisses tumbling out of Elsa, kissing Anna’s lips, her cheeks, her earlobe. Anna had taught her all about how sexy ears could be. Elsa’s lips nibbled Anna’s, and Anna turned out to be just as sensitive, responded just as strong, as the other way around.
Piece by piece, their clothes fell away. Shoes hit the floor with trebly thumps, followed by the silence of socks. Elsa kissed Anna’s neck, then one by one she opened the buttons on Anna’s blouse, exposing the skin underneath, kissing the space between her breasts, down to her belly, until Anna sat up and shrugged it off, her bra going with it. “There.”
“Help me?” Elsa said, turning her back. Anna knelt and unzipped the dress, letting it puddle to the bed around them. Elsa pushed up to ease it off her hips, but as soon as it was down her thighs Anna’s hands came around Elsa’s back as her lips came down on the back of Elsa’s neck. Elsa collapsed into a sit. “Ooh, you tricked me.”
“I did,” Anna said, her voice a husky murmur of desire. “You said ‘everywhere.’ You have the most beautiful shoulders, Elsa.”
“That’s another thing you taught me. Beauty isn’t just in faces or boobs or whatever.”
“I think we need a repeat lesson.” Anna’s hands reached around to cup Elsa’s breasts as her mouth slipped down Elsa’s back.
Elsa’s body shuddered and trembled as Anna’s lips kissed her waistline, evoking powerful and strangely tickling sensations. “Too much. It… tickles.”
“Further down, then,” Anna murmured, skipping past the small of Elsa’s back until her kisses were right on the top of Elsa’s butt. Anna’s hands slipped down, too, and then Anna pushed Elsa over until she flopped onto the bed face down.
“Wow,” Anna said. Elsa had no idea what she was admiring, and then Anna kissed Elsa’s exposed left cheek directly. “You have an amazing butt, your highness.”
“I guess telling you to ‘kiss my ass’ wouldn’t work as an insult, then?”
Anna kissed the other globe, then said, “Elsa don’t ever use that as an insult. Your ass is gorgeous. Kissing it is a privilege.” She peppered Elsa’s butt with a few more kisses, then relented and lay down beside Elsa.
Elsa almost missed Anna’s kisses, but then Anna’s lips were right in front of her. “It’s nice to know I’m appreciated.”
“I will always appreciate you, Elsa.”
Elsa rolled onto her side to kiss Anna again. She didn’t know if she believed Anna when she said something like that. Elsa had read that things said in the bedroom weren’t always to be believed. Sometimes, passion pushed words past one’s lips that weren’t meant completely.
It was past time Elsa took the initiative. She wasn’t sure she had the will to kiss all of Anna with quite the same fervor, but there was one thing she had to know. “Let’s get the rest of us naked.”
Anna tossed off her pants while Elsa peeled her dress the rest of the way down past her knees. She giggled. “I wanted to ask you last time if what we did was normal.”
Anna’s eyebrows flickered down, then up. “Yes!” she said, crawling toward across the bed to where Elsa sat. “Yes, we haven’t done a single abnormal thing.” She reached up and kissed Elsa, and Elsa leaned into it, her heart beating loud enough for them both to hear. “Why? Is there something you want that you think is abnormal?”
Elsa shook her head. “I don’t think so. I just want… to taste you.”
Anna grinned and pushed herself onto the bed, laying down on her back. “Taste away, your highness,” she said, gesturing down the length of her body.
“You’re terrible,” Elsa said. “You make me laugh when I’m trying to be serious.” She lay down next to Anna, kissing the other woman’s shoulder, kissing the hollow of her collarbones, kissing the rising swell of her breast.
“I told you, this isn’t serious. Two of the best feelings in the universe are orgasms and laughter, and I want to give you both, Elsa. Lots and lots of both.”
Elsa hovered over Anna, kissing her breast, taking a nipple into her mouth and testing its firm texture with her tongue. Anna’s breasts were small but her nipples were substantial, and when they stood up the dark pink skin around them crinkled beautifully. “Right now,” she said, her voice muffled by Anna’s flesh, “I want to give them to you.”
Anna squirmed at her tongue’s attack. “Are you sure?”
“Elsa,” Anna said. “It’s not just the person on the receiving end who gets to say ‘no’ and be heard.”
“I know,” Elsa said, and she kissed Anna’s scar. “You taught me.” She kissed Anna’s belly. The skin was so soft there, so round and smooth. Anna’s muscles fluttered, her breath quickening as Elsa moved southward, kissing Anna’s mound. Elsa paused and inhaled deeply though her nose.
Anna smelled like… nothing she’d ever experienced before. Slightly acetic, maybe, but sweet, like.... like…
Anna said, “Is it okay?”
“Yes, it’s fine.”
“Really? I mean, I just finished my period a day or two ago, and I might still spot once in a while even when I think I’m done, and I didn’t expect to be taken away by Calhoun. I’m sure I took a shower this morning, but ....”
“Anna,” Elsa said firmly, looking up the inescapably beautiful length of the redhead’s honey-dark body. “It’s fine.” She grinned. “Remember when you said I smelled like snow?” Anna nodded. “You smell like oranges.”
“I know, it’s hard to explain. You don’t smell anything like oranges, but it’s the only thing I can come up with. It’s very sweet and it has a little tang, too. I don’t know if that makes sense. It doesn’t sound very tantalizing said that way. Sorry.”
Anna reached up and ran her fingers through Elsa’s hair. “No, I get it. I do. God, I love your hair. Even when you’ve dyed it, it’s so soft.”
“Let’s see how I feel about yours.” Elsa bent down and kissed the dip between Anna’s belly and her thigh. Anna’s pubic hair, dark and heavier than on her head, tickled Elsa’s chin as she approached the full, heady lips of Anna’s sex. She had dreamed about this moment, wondered about it, masturbated to it, and told Anna how she had. Her own wetness pooled between her thighs, but she ignored it. This was Anna’s turn.
She pushed on Anna’s thigh, and Anna accommodated her by opening her legs further, exposing herself to Elsa’s spellbound eyes. This was no dry anatomy textbook; this was Anna, waiting, wondering. Elsa could name every body part she saw, and the better words flitted through her mind: labia, clitoris, mons. She bent down and kissed Anna’s mons, the padded mound above her clit. Anna sighed. “Yes.”
“Yes,” Anna said as Elsa eased herself further down between Anna’s thighs, down into the shadowed places now in full sight. They should have dimmed the lights. At least she’d had the sense to draw the privacy curtains. But the illumination let her see as she eased forward.
Anna tasted sweeter and heavier than she smelled. The skin was soft, slippery. Elsa quickly learned that she could mat down Anna’s hair with her tongue and spit. Elsa’s face was soon covered with Anna’s juices and her own saliva, and she instantly learned not to care.
Anna’s breathing quickened as Elsa’s tongue learned the geography of Anna’s most secret places, figured out by rise and texture and shape the size of the redhead’s clitoris, the different resilience of her hood, and as she pressed in she learned how much pressure Anna wanted, how fast, how firm. “Oh, yes, god, Elsa, god, yes, god… more… “
Elsa’s mind was filled with a hunger that she had once known only theoretically, a hunger for a kind of power she could only exercise on the completely willing, only on Anna. Her tongue flickered hard over Anna’s clit until her whole jaw ached. Anna’s hands were in her hair, and she wouldn’t stop until Anna told her to.
“Fingers, Elsa, god, put your fingers inside me!” Elsa squirmed her left hand under herself; it was awkward, but she managed, and as she slipped one and then two fingers into Anna’s willing body, she felt the powerful muscular texture of Anna’s sex close around her as she kissed and licked and made love to this incredible woman. She turned her palm upward and curled her fingers against Anna’s pubic bone almost instinctively, pressing against the rest of the nerves that led to the clit, and Anna’s back arched. “Yes, a little more, god, don’t stop, don’t stop, Elsa, don’t… yes! yes! Oh god! Oh god!” Anna’s body heaved as she took deep sea breaths of air, ragged gasps of ecstasy as she almost seemed to levitate off the bed in sheer pleasure. She collapsed into a sodden, exhausted heap, slowly curling up into a ball, one knee almost knocking Elsa in the head as she did so.
Concerned, Elsa scooted up toward Anna’s head and sat down cross-legged on the bed next to her. Anna, with one trembling hand, pulled herself so that her head rested in Elsa’s lap, her whole body still shaking. “Oh, god, so good, oh god,” she whispered softly.
“Are you okay?”
“Oh, yes, oh yes. God, I haven’t felt anything like that in… in years. What did you do to me?”
“Just… what you asked me for. Was it okay?”
“Oh, god, it was more than okay.” She turned and looked up. “Are you sure you’ve never done anything like that before?”
“I just tried something I read about.” Elsa bent over Anna’s head, stroking her hair gently. Anna’s eyes were closed in contented meditation. Minutes passed, the two of them wrapped in the cooling energies of recent lovemaking. Elsa giggled.
“Anna? I have something very important to tell you.”
“Hmm?” Anna murmured.
“Yes. Vagina is very definitely my thing.”
Anna giggled. In a soft whisper she said, “I was pretty sure it would be.”
She sighed, and Elsa knew it wasn’t entirely a happy sound. “Hmm?”
“Honor,” Anna said, her head still in Elsa’s lap, her eyes still distant and unfocused. “Every time I acted with honor, it felt like a reward. I didn’t get a reward, you understand. I mean, I did, I guess, when the Queen gave me her formal Thanks for my actions at Second Basilisk, while everyone else thought I was an idiot for risking my ship and crew that way. But it wasn’t her award, and it wasn’t their disapproval, it was that I’d done the right thing before God and Kingdom. Every time, except this time. This time, if I act with honor, it feels like I’ll be entering a cage.” She turned her head up. Her face was beautiful. The Prolong Treatment had preserved her, suspended with the face of youth, but the experience in her eyes was real and gave her a depth Elsa wanted to sink into. “If I want to keep my heart, I may have to do something dishonorable.”
“Anna,” Elsa said gently, “One thing I’ve learned being Anton’s descendant is that the choice between death or dishonor is a false one. Eventually everyone is dead or, if you’re still alive, you live among the damned.”
Anna nodded. The wristcomm on the bed stand breeped. Elsa glared at it. Anna sighed. “That kind of timing only means that she was listening.” She wrinkled her nose. “Security.”
Elsa nodded, picked up the watch. “Yes, Captain Calhoun?”
The graveled voice of her senior bodyguard was still a growl through the tiny speaker. “Your majesty, you have one more appointment, and if we’re to make our departure, now would be a good time to suspend negotiations with Captain DuVar and head out within fifteen minutes.”
Elsa smiled. “Understood, Captain. We’ll be ready.” She put the wristcomm back on the tabletop. “Shall we end ‘negotiations?’“
“We’ll have to,” Anna said, pushing herself up into a sitting position with satiated exhaustion. “Whoo. Dizzy.” She put her hand to Elsa’s cheek and kissed the other woman deeply. “You taste like me.” She inhaled. “I’m not sure I get the ‘oranges’ part, but then you probably don’t think you smell like a forest in winter.”
Elsa nodded. “But I understand it now.”
“I’m glad. Wow, I can barely move. But I suppose we have to take a shower.”
“Yes. Especially where we’re going next.”
“Where are we going?”
Elsa grinned. “After our shower.”