The Journal Entries

Erwer, Sulim 23, 01322

Wishing Well: Sisters

Wish made her way from her cabin on the Festive to the terminal and started looking for the SDisk egress to the surface. She knew she was looking for the city of Tiole', and from there hoped that the planetary AIs would be able to direct her to her sisters.

She found a direction sign indicating where she should go, but as she started walking toward the SDisk center someone shouted out, "Wish!"

She turned. Katrina was staring at her, little Wren by her side, clutching her arm. Wish dropped her bag and ran towards them, falling into Katrina's welcoming arms as if she had been born to them, her whole body alight with the pleasure of seeing her beloved Katrina and Wren once more. She hadn't realized how much she missed them until she was in their arms, and she supposed that was a healthy course to take. She loved them, but they weren't staying at Shardik Villa, and she wasn't leaving.

"Oh, I missed you!" she managed to gasp out finally as she looked up at Katrina's sturdy face and knowing smile.

"We missed you," Katrina said. Wren added a hearty "mm-hmm!" and they were together again, old and beloved friends once more.

"Where are you staying?"

"We found a little temporary residence on the edge of Tiole' that we like. It has a nice view of the forest. Come on. Get your bags."

It took them time to walk from the SDisk center in the city out to their apartment. It was late in the day and the weather was hot, sunny, and muggy, replete with buzzing insects. As they walked, Wren pointed out little places they should go while Wish was in town. "Over there," she pointed. "Really good noodles. And there, llerkin pizza. That's all I can think to call it; flatbread with toppings bound together with cheese. And the new Museum of Antiquities is, like, five blocks from where we live!"

Wish sighed, listening to them. She had missed them. Not enough to want to travel with them. Already, barely a day away, the tug of home and hearth and the insular world of the Villa called to her. She knew it did. She wasn't ashamed to admit that.

"When we get to your home, I need to check my schedules for return trips. I want to do one with the ship I came in on."

"'Kay," Wren said.

"Any reason why?" Katrina said.

"Yes," Wish said. "I made nice with the Captain and his First Mate."

Katrina turned and stared at her, then grinned. "You haven't changed."

"Yes I have," Wish said.


Wish reached up to grab the two panels of the light vest Katrina wore and pulled her down, then kissed her hard. Katrina didn't even hesitate, opening her mouth and sharing spit with Wish as if they'd been doing it every day of their lives. Katrina's arms encircled Wish's shoulders as the embrace lengthened until Wren said, "Hey, can't I do that too?"

Wish pulled back from Katrina's mouth to turn and ask, "With which one?"

"Both!" Wren said, bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet.

Wish let Katrina go, then pulled Wren close and kissed her in turn. She was gentler this time with Wren, remembering the fragile girl Wren had been under Whatshisname's care. Wren wasn't interested in being treated gently, though, and backed Wish up to Katrina. "Um," Katrina said softly, "We're making a scene."

Wish opened her eyes and glanced about. Sure enough, a pair of youngsters, probably no older than their mid-teens, were gawking only a few meters about. She let Wren go and said, "You've changed, too."

"I think we all have, a little," Wren said.

"In good ways?" Wish said.

"I think for us, yeah," Wren said. "How about you?"

"Well, she's certainly developed some initiative!" Katrina said. "I don't remember you being that forward."

"It's something I developed with Ken. And I learned something very interesting in the process." Katrina raised an eyebrow. "There's a difference between wanting someone, and wanting to do what someone wants of you."

Katrina was silent for a moment, then nodded. "There is a big difference. And I think you're right. It's funny. I never thought about it until you said it that way, but I wanted to fulfill Whatshisname's wishes. I didn't want him."

"Did you like him?" Wish said as Wren gestured for them to continue back towards their home.

"I guess, in my limited way, I didn't. I didn't know enough to say that then, but I do now." Katrina looked more thoughtful than Wish had ever seen her before. Another change for the better.

"I'm sorry to remind you of him."

"'Sokay," Wren said. "Katrina and I live together. We can't not consider him now and then. A lot of who we are is his fault, anyway."

Wish nodded, understanding exactly what she meant.

They reached Katrina and Wren's home, a small standalone, two floors, three bedrooms upstairs, kitchen and commons downstairs. The walls were a light eggshell blue, the carpet a deeper color. It was very cheerful, and the fact that her sisters had chosen such a happy place to live spoke well of them. "Sorry about the size, but we only expected to be here a couple of months before heading back out. Probably a year."

"It's lovely. I'll come visit you again before you leave, then," Wish said. "Don't let me forget. Reeds?"

"I won't let you forget. Forwarding packet to Dave. It's in the queue," the AI said softly. "And welcome to llerkin, Miss Wish."

Wish giggled. "Thank you, Reeds. Nice to meet you."

"The pleasure is assuredly mine."

"The AIs are on our side," Wren said. "And the llerkin don't care much about what is, from their point of view, a very obscure ethical discussion that's mostly just the Pendorians' to sort out."

Wish nodded. She stepped into the kitchen where she saw a terminal, and in a few seconds of tapping pulled up the schedule for the Festive. She smiled and said, "The Festive will be gone in three days, or seven. How long should I stay?"

"Wish," Katrina said, her voice soft with family, "You can stay here forever if you want. How long do you think you can stand to be away from your family?"

Wish glanced at Katrina, eyes meeting eyes, and she saw that Katrina understood. "I should probably go in three days. But I wanna stay with you as well!"

"There can't be two of you. Well, okay, there can, but I don't think either would happy knowing they have half the solution."

Wish nodded. "I reserved a bunk for seven day."

"I thought..."

"If you guys get tired of me I can always find a hotel. If I start to go crazy I can stasis forward until the ship arrives. Reeds, please make sure I'm on the Festive out of here then. And... I may never see you two again. I... I want as much of you as I can stuff into my heart before I leave you again." Tears started to form in her eyes.

Katrina's eyes mirrored hers, and so did Wren's. They fell, without meaning to, into an embrace that held them there for a time without notice. When Wish looked up, she giggled. It had grown dark outside. Not the way Pendor did, but gradually, with shades of grey between the light and the darkness. "We're still pretty good at doing nothing," she mentioned.

"She's not," Katrina said. "I'm still content to wait, but Wren's developed into a little engine of industry."

Wren gestured dismissively. "I have not!"

"No, you just attend a class on Antiquities at the museum, and you auditioned for the singing group last week, and..."

Wren giggled. "Okay, okay!"

"Singing group?" Wish asked.

"Yeah. An all-girl bubblegum group. I mean, that's what I am, right? All-girl bubblegum?"

Wish laughed. "You are not! That's me!"


"All right, you two. Stop it or the Mom is gonna come down hard," Katrina said, making the two of them laugh. For Wish it was nice to be with her old family once again, sisters all. "Are you hungry?"

Wish nodded. "Good. So am I. The question then becomes: what do we eat?"

"Pizza!" Wren insisted.

"We do too much pizza."

"Noodles, then!"

"You have a one-taste mind when it comes to food, you know that?" Katrina asked. "But, you're right. We haven't done noodles in a while. Let's go."

After stowing Wish's bags in the spare bedroom, they walked back down the street, attracting only moderate attention from the llerkin who streamed around them on all sides. Wish noticed the touch of new construction everywhere, the line of trees that grew up the middle of the street, the small robots that flitted from tree to tree, checking them. The place had a lived-in look that she admired and appreciated. The sidewalk was a little dirty in places, and grasses were trying to poke out from a seam in two concrete retaining barriers about one of the collections of trees. The facings were all brick and mortar and they looked real and hand-laid, and perhaps they were. The railings on the buildings were wrought iron.

Wren led them to a small building made of wood painted bright red with large, paned windows outlined with white. As they walked in, the proprietor spoke to Wren in a loud, attentive voice, in llerkin, and to Wish's surprise Wren spoke back in the same fluid tongue. The proprietor nodded and soon they were led to a table with drinks dropped in front of them. Wren pointed at Wish and apparently ordered for her, because scant minutes later three huge, steaming bowls filled with a pale yellow liquid swimming with noodles were placed in front of them.

The scent coming from them had a mix of meat and vegetables, unmistakable even when alien. It had a spice that was heady, filling and clearing Wish's nose, but somehow it managed to not be hot on her tongue. She liked that touch.

Wish ate until she could barely move. All three of them ate more than should have been appropriate for their sizes, but such was the nature of their retrofits that they had high metabolism demands even when they were doing nothing. She pushed the bowl away from herself and said, "After that, I think I'm ready for a quiet night and bed."

"Oh, good," Katrina said. "We have so much to get caught up on."

"Yeah," Wish agreed. She looked at the tall, dirty-blond Katrina, with the face of a perpetually annoyed angel and Wren, shorter, darker, with small facial features that made her seem younger than she was. "You both seem so content. I'm really happy that you chose to move out together."

"You have no idea," Katrina said gently. "We've discovered so much about who we are. Who I am, who Wren is. We could never have done that if we'd stayed at the Villa."

Wish stared at her. "Even after ten years apart, we're still thinking in sync. I was just thinking the same thing yesterday. But in the other direction. I didn't really care who 'Wish' was outside the Villa. I like who I am." She realized how that sounded and immediately added the qualifier, "When I'm there."

Katrina had opened her mouth to respond, then closed it and smiled. "And we thought, maybe, there was more to us outside the Villa." Katrina blinked for a moment. "Hey! You kiss girls!"

"Huh?" Wish said, taken aback by the shift of conversation.

"When you kissed me, I thought that was just you showing off your willingness to take initiative. But it's more than that. You kissed me. A girl. Is that, y'know, a regular thing with you now?"

Wish nodded. "It's all P'nyssa's fault. People think it's Ken who perverts monosexuals, but it's really P'nyssa who seduced both Aaden and me." She giggled, then settled back in her chair, her imagination full of the indigo-furred fem who occasionally showed her incredible heights of pleasure.

"Wish?" Wren tapped her on the shoulder with a closed fist.

"Sorry. Thinking."

"I can see that. We're ready to go." She waved a monit card over the table, then waved to the reptilian proprietor behind the counter. Wren took the lead, heading back to their apartment. Wish was sure she could find her way back if she needed to, but for the time being she was pleased to have her sisters as guides.

When they arrived home, Wish sat on the couch opposite Wren and kicked off her shoes while Katrina took a comfy chair set corner to the couch. "Would you like the couch?" she asked Katrina.

"Oh, no," Katrina said. "Wren and I get enough snuggle time." She grinned.

"Oh, good." She leaned back and sighed. "So, tell me about your travels."

Katrina started, launching into their trip to Coventry and Tunoda, two worlds outside the llerkin sphere of influence. Coventry was an independent world with some very strange laws with respect to robots, and there had been some question about Katrina and Wren's identity when they'd arrived. Tunoda, in contrast, was a member of The Rangsey Empire, and she'd found the visit there very depressing. The tension between the Empire and the Corridor was growing, especially since the Empire had an enforced policy of what they called "humanity." Only the Emperor was allowed to be immortal, although in practice the Empire was on its third emperor, the first and second having died in somewhat bizarre and suspect circumstances.

They'd been carefully watched while on Tunoda, a world that had been more open in the past but had, like much of the Empire, closed up as the differences between the Empire and the Corridor had become more pronounced. Visas had been very hard to come by and the Imperials had actually insisted on blood samples from the two sisters before they were allowed downplanet.

Wren interjected with her own observations now and then, most of them about the way the Tunodans, for all their claims of being more dynamic, more vibrant, because they permitted death to walk among them, nonetheless seemed so depressed, so circumspect in their speech and actions. They had stayed on Tunoda less than a month, exhausted by their interactions with the natives and drained of the finances they had derived from a stipend from the Villa.

Wish, in turn, talked about quieter things. Her relationship with Ken and the way it had stabilized into an occasional, now-and-then thing. He probably spent overnight with her less than once a month, Wish estimated, but they found time every week to sneak away and make love. She smiled as she said it, happiness suffusing her body even as she remembered it. She described her first encounter with P'nyssa, and the way that had settled down into a similar arrangement. She talked about missing Wren and Katrina, and the way she still saw Freya on a regular basis.

Katrina and Wren wanted to hear more about Freya, and Wish indulged them. Aside from her now permanent residence at Rhysh Castle, Freya was becoming well-known in several arts communities, mostly the practical crafts such as woodworking and leatherworking. Those made sense given her choice of lifestyle. Wish revealed the Freya was also considering studying medicine; another sensible choice, Katrina agreed. But her pre-med studies actually put her into P'nyssa's circle more often, and that suited Wish, because it meant she saw her other Pendorian-resident sister more often.

"Why didn't Freya come with you?" Katrina said.

"I don't know. She said she would come out to visit you before you went off again, but she didn't give me a reason for why she stayed behind this time. I suppose it's okay. She has her own life, and she's tried harder than any of us to put her origins behind her. Maybe this is part of her way of doing that."

Katrina frowned. "Putting Whatshisname behind herself doesn't mean separating herself from us."

Wish shrugged. "She's different now. More confident. More independent than any of us."

Wren sighed and stretched out on the couch. "Still, I miss her." She lay her head in Wish's lap. "Miss you, too." The way she said it left no doubt at all as to how she meant it.

Wish smiled and petted Wren's hair, stringing her fingers among the straight, brown strands. "When we were sisters, I mean, really united in a common cause, we were never interested in each other."

Wren said, "Things change."

Wish bent down close enough to smell Wren's skin and breath. "They do," she whispered, and kissed Wren.

Wren's little mouth pressed up against hers. Wish felt herself flower and was surprised at how natural it felt, how right it felt to be kissing her sister like this. They were no longer of a single mind, but they had spent fifty years together under the influence of the geas biowiring that had turned their wills to the dedication of one shallow man. It had not been slavery at all; they had all been willing because there were no alternatives as far as they had been concerned. With the geas biowiring removed, they were different creatures now, independent women with their own needs and wants.

Wish's hand felt Wren's chest, sought the absurdly large breasts that made Wren the sex toy she had been, and was surprised to find only ordinary-sized mounds. "You had them reduced?"

"I was tired of looking like I stepped out of a cartoon."

Wish slipped her hand down to Wren's waist and then brushed up the material of her shirt, touching the skin of her soft belly, touching up, up until her fingers closed on one of those protruding nipples.

She heard a ruffling of cloth as Katrina settled down next to her, felt Katrina's hands on her shins, reaching up under her skirt. Katrina's mouth warmed the skin of her thighs for a moment, then Wish sat up.

She looked at the smiles on Katrina's and Wren's faces, and then Katrina's turned quizzical. Wish said, "Do we really want to do this?"

"Do you?" Katrina asked.

"You know I do," Wish said softly. "You know I can, now. It's what I do. It's what I am. But you... you two. You have your own life, your own existence. Don't let me come between you."

"You can't," Wren said. "Believe me. We have something special. Something we discovered the day before we left, and have been exploring ever since. Something very like what you have with Ken, and Freya... I think Freya has it with herself.

"Believe me, Wish," Wren continued. "We know you. We know you better than anyone else in the universe. Unlike me, and Katrina, and Freya, you didn't change your name and we understand why. You are what you've always been, what you were made to be. Of all the things Whatshisname bought, you were the one thing that was exactly like what he ordered. It's too bad you weren't what he wanted. Ken wants you. P'nyssa wants you. And now, Wish, I want you. I bet Katrina does to."

"I do," Katrina said.

Wish felt tears well in her eyes. "You guys are going to make me cry."

"No," Katrina said, standing up and taking Wish's hand. "We're going to make you come." Wren stood up, and Katrina helped Wish up as well. "Come on, let's take this into the bedroom.

Wish let Katrina lead her up into the bedroom she shared with Wren. The bed was full-sized and would hold the three of them comfortably. The windows were open to let some air through on a hot summer night, and a breeze blew at the silky curtains suggestively. The bed had only a light spread, white with green vine prints and tiny flowers scattered about. The closet doors were completely mirrored.

Wish excused herself into the bathroom, and when she returned Katrina and Wren were on the bed, kissing romantically but still dressed. "I thought you two would take advantage of the time to get ready."

"We are ready," Katrina said, rising and walking to her. "But I wanted to take care of you myself." She pulled at the hem of Wish's blouse and pulled it over Wish's head. She stroked Wish's bare chest with the back of her hand. "I would have thought with all your complaining that you would have had breasts by now."

"Complaining's easier than living with them," Wish said.

"You've tried it?"

Wish shook her head. "No, but I think I know well enough."

Katrina looked down at her own modest but real endowments. "I suppose that's one way to put it." Her hand slid up Wish's shoulder to the back of her neck, tickling Wish there in ways that made Wish feel moist between the thighs, and then she pulled Wish into a kiss that poured desire into Wish's soul.

She moaned hard against her sister's mouth and encircled Katrina's waist with her hands, pressing their bodies together. She heard a snap of elastic and the soft thud of something cloth hitting the floor, and when she turned her head to look, Wren had completely disrobed. Her body was different now. Gone was the soft pudginess meant to simulate early adolescence. In its place, Wren was hard, solid, proportioned in hips and bosom. Her olive skin was still perfect, still smooth as silk. Only her vulva retained any apparent pudginess, protruding forward slightly.

Katrina smiled as Wish let her go to Wren. Wren was about the only woman in Wish's experience, except for one memorable night with a Mustel, who Wish actually had to bend down to kiss. Wren's tongue was hot and involved against her mouth, their bare chests pressed together, Wren's breasts and full nipples prominent against her skin. She felt fingers on her waist, knew Katrina was undoing the button and zipper back there. She pushed her waist back as Katrina dropped the skirt to the floor, and then Katrina was tugging her underwear downwards as well.

Wish sighed as Katrina exposed the last of her skin to the air. Wren was looking up at her imploring eyes and Wish nodded. "I want you."

"Both of us?"

"Yes!" she breathed.

"At the same time?"


"One at a time?"

"Yes," Wish sighed, her imagination flooded. Wren's suggestions were too much for her.

"You smell like sex already," Wren said, her head dropping away as she knelt to the floor and kissed Wish's hidden mound. "Still have no hair."

"I let it grow for a while, but took it off. I still have nothing to see," Wish sighed. "I wish I had a pussy like yours, one that stands out in front."

Katrina whispered in Wish's ear, "Mound envy?"

"Mmm-hmm," Wish said, turning her head to kiss Katrina. Katrina opened her mouth less to kiss, but she was no less enthusiastic for that. Wish felt Wren's mouth kiss her vulva again and Wish stepped her feet apart, giving Wren slightly better access. "This would work better if we moved to the bed."

"Oh, we will," Katrina said. "God, Wish, it wasn't until we were freed that I understood what other people saw in you." Her hands cupped Wish's butt, squeezing the half-globes there firmly. "You have an incredibly beautiful ass."

Wish almost giggled but Wren's tongue sliding up the middle of her vulva made her moan instead. "I thought..."

"What? That you would get to do us?" Katrina said. "Uh-uh. We missed you, Wish. We outnumber you. You get to take whatever we give you."

"Oh!" Wish gasped as Katrina's fingers slid between her cheeks and teased at her nether opening.

"And we know what you like," Katrina whispered.

"Everything!" Wish said.

Wren giggled momentarily, and Katrina smiled with an expression that puzzled Wish. It had a tolerant quality, as if "everything" meant more to Wren and Katrina than it did to Wish.

Katrina left Wish's side and crawled into bed. "Come here," she said.

"Your lover... has me... a little pinned."

Wren backed away and let Wish go. Wish almost lost her balance, but regained it long enough to join Katrina on the bed. Katrina was already lying down, her legs open, her pussy open, the pink folds out and full under a soft haze of blond hairs. "Do you really kiss girls?" Katrina said.

"Let me show you," Wish replied, her mouth watering at the prospect of making her sister come. She lowered her head between Katrina's thighs and kissed at the wet folds of Katrina's pussy, licking her way into the musk between the inner and outer lips, sliding down into Katrina's opening before finding the tiny clitoris at the top of Katrina's vulva.

"Oh, God, Wish," Katrina sighed. "You really have gotten good at that! Yes, Wish, yes..."

Wish was concentrating on the full, sweet pussy before her but that didn't stop her from noticing immediately when Wren kissed her asscheek gently. "Don't stop," Wren said softly. Wish had no intention of stopping, but she didn't know if she could give Katrina all the attention she deserved as Wren's mouth hovered about her ass, kissing and licking in random spots, her tongue pressing just at the top of her cleft and sliding upwards onto her back. The tickling pleasure of it was everything she could have wanted.

Katrina's hands were on her head, holding her in place as she began to flicker her tongue hard against Katrina's clit. She slipped one finger into Katrina's pussy, finding the ridge over the pubic bone, surprised by how gripping and textured Katrina's insides seemed to be. She groped inwards, looking with one finger for Katrina's cervix, but couldn't find it.

Wren's kisses seemed to be encircling her asshole, which all three of them knew was truly the portal to Wish's soul, more than any other orifice, and she knew that if Wren started to kiss and lick her there she would never be able to concentrate on Katrina the way the other woman deserved.

Katrina's body heaved with the tension of impending climax and Wish licked just a little harder, just a little faster. "Right there, oh, higher, oh yes, yes, Wish, yes..." Katrina's voice become a rush of unintelligible syllables as her climax snapped inside her. "Yes!"

Wish grinned as she looked up, wiping her chin with her hand as she covered her sister's body with her own and kissed her mouth. "You're incredible," she whispered.

"Oh, Wish, oh, Wish," she moaned, hugging the smaller girl down onto her chest. "I'm incredible? You are just too good!"

Wish giggled, and then moaned as Wren's little mouth finally descended on her asshole, licking at the little pink wrinkles. "Mmmph!" Wish moaned as Wren's tongue poked and probed, a busy little engine digging between her asscheeks. Wish felt as if her belly was filled with a thousand electrified butterflies, all of them touching just the right places, stroking just the right nerves, as Wren's hand touched her pussy, her thumb finding Wish's clitoris. Other fingers from her other hand probed at Wish's pussy, sliding in, while that tongue, that evil little tongue, was digging into her hole, eating her asshole from the inside out. Wish could hardly breathe.

She knew, intellectually, that Wren and Katrina understood her better than anyone else in the universe. But they were playing with her as if they could anticipate every desire in her soul. They demanded nothing but her ecstasy, and that they demanded irresistibly.

Wren's tongue was plunging in and out of her ass, her thumb pressed against Wish's clit hard, two fingers were buried in her cunt, and Katrina was her bed, her pillow, the breath in her ear whispering sweet words of love and devotion and sisterhood. Her climax started at that tongue pressed into her asshole and flooded through her, a firehose of ecstasy that took those last shreds of her soul and blew them away like the petals of a rose seeing its last morning.

Awareness seeped back slowly from a climax so powerful. She felt Katrina's chest rising and falling against her own, felt Wren slide past her to come up and be with them. She opened her eyes and the first thing she saw was Wren smiling at her, She pulled Wren close and kissed her, gently and gratefully at first, but with more desire as she remembered what Wren had just done for her. Her thighs and Katrina's were smeared with their blended juices and she felt them unstick indelicately as she moved in on Wren.

Their tongues wrestled uncontrollably as Katrina took up the challenge of the one pussy left unsatisfied in all of this. Wish knew Katrina's tongue had landed when Wren's chest arched in response and she moaned into Wish's mouth. She continued to kiss Wren, holding down the small girl with the straight brown hair and the hard curves, as she felt Katrina's hair against her thighs. She pushed up with her knees to give Katrina more room and was rewarded with an "enk-oo" deeply muffled by Wren's bare pussy. She giggled and raised up to watch Wren's eyes as Wren's breath quickened until she was hyperventilating.

Wish had come to appreciate just how much of a woman Wren had become once freed of her geas biowiring, watching her competently deal with the proprietor at the noodle shop and seeing her general carriage. She was an equal with Katrina now, equal to them all. Yet watching the pleasure of Katrina's lovemaking flitter across her face in waves as her desire rose, plateaued, rose again, Wish saw all of what made Wren so desirable to others, saw the openness, the untouchable feminine innocence that some might confuse for the kind of vulnerability to which Wish knew she, herself was so prone.

Wren reached up with one hand and pulled Wish down, not into a kiss but into an embrace, a gesture, a grasp as she came, murmuring, "I love you," into Wish's ear over and over. Katrina moaned with her own pleasure at Wren's climax. Wish giggled as Katrina rose, kissing Wish's butt as she moved past and dropped herself unceremoniously next to the other two girls.

"Wow," was all Wren said as Wish moved off to her other side. Both she and Katrina started touching Wren once more, sliding their hands up from her thighs to her collarbones and then back down once more, fingers intertwining in gestures of love when they met then immediately returning to their tasks. Wren's skin was so smooth as to be polished, her body soft and welcoming.

Wish looked at Wren and Katrina, watched for a while at the way Katrina petted Wren and Wren cooed in response, and she felt a momentary stab of homesickness. That was the way she and Ken were sometimes, and she knew she wanted to go home and experience more of that. She would have to wait, though, until she actually got home. She wasn't envious of Wren and Katrina; they were what they were, a couple. "Can I ask you a question?" Even as she said it, she giggled. Ken hated that phrase and usually responded with, "You just did." "Have you guys been, you know, monogamous, since you left?"

"Yes," Katrina said softly. "We have. You're the first person we invited in, Wish, because you were special. We just... just haven't had much reason to be anything but monogamous in the past ten years."

Wish nodded, thinking of something Ken had said about Random and Christine, his only two biological children. They had had something in common too, something that had resulted in their deciding that they would rather be with each other and stay behind on Warm Harbor than come back to Pendor. She wondered if it was something endemic to the current age, or just something that came out of associating with Ken and the Villa. She didn't know, but it was worth remembering.

She turned over onto her back, hearing Wren sigh gently as she did so, but Wren's hand was on her thigh still. "Do you want to sleep with us tonight?" she asked Wish.

"Is it... all right with you two?"

"Wish, anything you ask is all right with us, and we wouldn't ask if I didn't want you to."

Wish nodded. "Then I would love to sleep with you tonight." Which, she reflected, was another change in her for the better. She had never wanted to sleep with company when she had been with Whatshisname, and he had never wanted any of his playthings to stay with him past his immediate satisfaction.

They lay there for a while, recovering their collective thoughts and allowing the passion they'd spent revive within them. Wish heard Katrina rise briefly and walk in the direction of the door. She came back with hand towels which felt curiously damp. "Here," she said. "Time to clean up. I'm not sleeping with any sticky faces!"

"Yes, Mom," Wish said, smiling at her beloved sister.

Katrina grinned back. "There are some habits I just can't surrender, and one of them is trying to keep us all nice and neat. Wren appreciates it."

Wren nodded enthusiastically even as she cleaned her face off and then directed the towel between her thighs. "God, Katrina, you've made me wet again."

Katrina leaned over Wren and kissed her lips gently. "I could always stop."

"Nuh-uh," Wren sighed. "Love you."

"And I love you. Now, let's get some sleep. You have an appointment tomorrow morning, and I'm going to be showing Wish around the city and the state."

Wish glanced over and Wren. "Appointment?"

"With the singing group. It's called 'Flaming Anniversary,' whatever that means." She grinned. "We'll see what happens."

"Are you going tomorrow to try out, to sign up, what?"

"To find out if I get picked. I'll take the middle."

Wish grinned and kissed Wren gently. "Good night, sister."

Katrina leaned over to get hers, and then traded kisses with Wren. Wish watched them and was content. The people she cared about were doing a good job of caring for each other. That made her happy. She settled back into the unfamiliar but not strange mattress and closed her eyes.

In the morning, she rose last, finding Katrina downstairs, sitting in front of a terminal and typing the way Ken did. "What are you doing?"

"Earning my keep," Katrina said. "Nothing pays quite so well as journalism these days, and there's a kind of weird nostalgia right now for keyboard journalists. It mediates the experience by demanding that I work on the language by hand. The iterated journals are really quite valuable." Katrina grinned. "And because I'm sexy in my writing while being monogamous, I manage to get a lot of attention. It's an attention economy, and I have a lot of it."

Wish nodded. She had heard the phrase before but had not been aware of what it meant. She had only a slightly more clear idea now, but at least she had someone who could explain it to her.

Katrina nodded her head to the kitchen. "Wren ordered pastries and there's some milk in the cooler."

"Thanks," she said. She found a spiral-shaped thing with a thin frosting and the intense smell of cinnamon and ate it down, going for a second even as she drank a tall glass of milk. Katrina continued her typing for another half hour before she tapped off and said, "Thanks, Reeds. Send that, would you?"

"Done," the AI's voice said. "And quite interesting. This isn't all of it?"

"No," Katrina said. "Do you think the fans will take it well?"

"We shall see. I believe they will. Good morning, Wish."

"Good morning, Reeds," Wish said, looking up at the ceiling the way everyone at the Villa did.

"So," Katrina said. "I'm supposed to meet Wren at lunch in four hours. What do you want to do until then?"

Wish shrugged. "You said you were going to show me around."

"So, I did." Katrina reached out with one hand and held Wish's with it. "I missed you so much."

"I missed you, too."

"Come on. I want to show you the Borderlands, and then maybe we'll go to the Museum of Antiquities, although maybe we should wait until after lunch for that, since I'm sure Wren would love to show you around all the little places you can visit while we're there. And there's always shopping, although the differences in shape between human and llerkin bodies is enough to make buying things difficult without a custom fit. But I'm just talking clothes, aren't I?"

"I don't want too much to carry home, anyway," Wish said with a grin.

"Well, let's go."

They actually ended up at a botanical park near the Borderlands, the place where the city ended and the new wilderness of llerkin where nature had been permitted to riot in strange and powerful ways. Tame examples of the mad vegetation that could be found outside its glass walls decorated gravel pathways, while little holographic signs explained how the llerkin forest regions had exploded in verdance. An insane canvas of competing evolutionary paradigms had produced a vibrant wilderness that had recreated the beauty of a world in less than three centuries.

Wish thought Aaden would have loved the garden and its exhibits but the visitors held her attention more than the greenery. Aside from llerkins, Wish saw a number of Humans, 'taurs, Felinzi, Markal, Sendar. She even saw one Han and a Pamthreat, walking together, and wondered what that was about. She had yet to run into a Shriaa encounter suit, but she imagined it was always possible. She even saw an authentic Illan, distinguished from their llerkin counterparts by the presence of flaxen-colored head hair.

llerkin had become the administrative center of the Corridor almost by default. In newssite editorials the llerkin called the Pendorians lazy and the Pendorians replied that the llerkin were busybodies, and everyone was happy with the situation as it stood. The llerkin felt useful (and arguably, were) running their slightly anarchic democracy and the Pendorians provided the economic and military might to ensure that it all ran peaceably. Tiole' wasn't the capitol city of this capitol planet, but it was a regional center and hosted a surprising number of pre-War museums, which explained the number of "foreign" tourists visiting the tourist traps.

They met Wren at a little shop that offered sandwiches filled with a pasty mix of meats and vegetables that Wish found tolerable even as it was undefinable. She ate it all, naturally, and downed a glass of juice that was a dark purple in color and tasted like ripe kiwi. Wren picked at her meal. "Something wrong?"

Wren shrugged. "'Flaming Anniversary' probably doesn't want me. I gave them my stage name, Rene' DuKatrina, but they figured out who I am. I think that they don't want the kind of controversy I represent." She sighed. "They want a foreigner in their group, but not a lightning rod."

"I'm sorry, Wren." Katrina reached out and squeezed Wren's hand gently.

"It was just a lark," Wren said. "Still, I did want in."

"Are you going back after lunch?"

"May as well." She rose up and gave both of them a hug before heading out.

Katrina shook her head as she disappeared and said, "She still needs to be something else other than my lover. She needs to be that, too, but sometimes..." She looked over at Wish. "I envy you. You're complete."

"You're not?"

"I suppose I am, in some ways. Wren isn't. She wants to be more than her little body can possibly let her be, more than the hours of the day have free for her." She glanced out the door. "These will be good centuries."

Wish smiled and reached out for Katrina's hand. "They will be. And there will be many of them."

Katrina accepted Wish's hand. "I hope so." She stood. "Come on. Let's get moving. I want to go by the mall and see if I can find that shoemaker I met last week."

Just as the day began to dim and cool, Katrina's padd breeped at her. She reached into her pocket and pulled the device up to her face. "Yes?" she asked.

"I got it!" Wren's voice came through clearly.

"You what?"

"I got it! I got the part! They hired two foreigners and made the team eight! They're offering me a year-long contract to be signed on Aldea! Katrina, please say yes! Please?"

Katrina smiled. "It means I won't see very much of you."

"You'll have me every day," Wren said. "Really. I'll make sure you can go with us. We'll only be planet-side, and it's not as if this world doesn't have SDisks! Please, honey?" Wish cocked her head at the way Wren said 'honey'. There was something to her slow intonation, that something extra that Wren and Katrina seemed to have together.

"Of course, Wren. I support you."

"Thanks, Katrina. I love you."

"I love you too, little bird." Wren smiled out of the display, waved and was gone. Katrina looked at Wish and said, "Looks like my life is about to get interesting again."

"Isn't it usually?"

"Sometimes." She picked up the padd and pulled out a stylus from a recess. She scrawled something on the screen. The response came back immediately. "Great. Wren says we can meet her for dinner about eleven."

Wish glanced at a display in her eye. "That's an hour from now."

Katrina looked at her. "Do you have implants?"

"Lenses. Strictly external."

They dropped off what they had carried, changed into evening clothes appropriate for their going out, and went to find Wren at the studio. She appeared dressed in a plaid short-sleeve shirt, knee-length baggy culottes held up with suspenders, and an oversized beret. "How do I look?"

"Ridiculous!" Katrina said, trying hard not to laugh.

"Yeah, but isn't it wonderful? I have to call the school and cancel my courses. I can't study while I'm doing this. But this will be so much fun and so much work, and I can't resist that!" She giggled. "I'm done here for the day. Let me go get something better on, and let's go celebrate!"

After dinner, they found a tourist bar that served alcohol and other mind alterants appropriate for non-llerkin, and Katrina and Wren drank freely. Wish held back; she had learned a thing or two about bingeing from Freya. "We haven't done this in a year," Katrina said, "and besides, it's only wine."

Wish nodded. She was still sipping her second glass while she was sure Wren and Katrina were on their fourth. They ended up getting silly and calling a cab to take them back to Katrina and Wren's house. Wish herded them upstairs to bed, then took her place in bed next to them. She looked at the clock and was grateful they were going to bed early; she was sure Wren had someplace to be tomorrow morning.

Wish awoke. She glanced at the clock and saw that it was just before dawn. She groaned and turned over and realized that she was alone in the bed, and then she recognized the sound of the shower. She had seen their bathtub earlier, big enough to hold two large humans comfortably, with an inset seat in the far corner to provide a place to wash up before sliding into the water. The door to the bathroom was open.

She rose out of bed slowly and when she approached she heard soft moans, Katrina's moans, coming from the bath. She smiled and wondered if she should just go back to bed, but curiosity got the better of her and she peeked around the door.

Wren was sitting in the bathtub and Katrina was kneeling over her, kissing her, cradling her head in her hands. They were making out ferociously, with a kind of passion Wish felt with Ken and P'nyssa sometimes, and she smiled. They seemed to be happy enough, and she loved them both and was content to know that they were in love with each other.

She took a deep breath and turned to head back to bed and feign ignorance of their activities. As she stepped away, what she had just inhaled hit her and made her pause in mid-step. She heard Katrina sigh, "Wow."

"You had a lot," Wren said. "That was sweet."

"It was all that wine," Katrina said. Wish continued walking into bed. "We should get cleaned up," Katrina continued. "Wouldn't want to shock our sister if she joined us."

Wish slipped back into bed quietly. It was, she reflected, a harmless kink.

Later, after the shower had turned off, she rose. Wren was already hurriedly dressing and heading for the door, her clothes barely fit for walking out onto the street. Katrina dressed with more care and style, and by the time Wish was dressed Katrina looked wonderful.

They spent that day as they had the one before, walking about, catching up on old times. To Wish's surprise, some of the memories Katrina wanted to revisit were about their former owner and the things they had done while in his care. Wish hadn't wanted to explore those memories in detail and didn't think much on the "Wish" who had lived then, but Katrina didn't accept the "rebirth" notion all that much. She was one continuous creature from decanting to now.

Wish let Katrina talk, sipping a coffee milkshake with some odd local flavorings in it while they waited for Wren to finish with her first day's worth of work.

They all walked back to the house, where Katrina decided to cook. Wish was surprised by the offer; she hadn't known that Katrina could cook, much less that she would want to. But half an hour later they were all sitting in the living room as the smell of roasted llerkin lizard and some kind of wild grass wafted through the otherwise still, hot air.

"I can't move," Wish murmured softly.

"That's because it's hot," Wren said. "I don't know where you found the energy to cook, Katrina."

Katrina shrugged and sipped at a tall glass of ice water. "I was hungry."

"But we could have gone out to eat."

"Nah," Katrina said. "I wouldn't get to show off to Wish if we did that. Since she decided to stay with us, she ends up eating what I get to force down her throat." She grinned.

"Oh, good thing you're not a guy," Wish said immediately, then regretted it, remembering this morning. She barely controlled the scowl on her face.

She may have practiced that control to keep Whatshisname from knowing how she really felt about him, but her sisters knew. They understood her better than anyone else, and they practiced the same tricks she did. It had been the only way to stay sane, stay safe. Whatshisname had never been cruel or abusive, but he had come close, especially later when he had become bored with them and given them to friends. Nobody washes a rented flyer.



"Something wrong?"

Wish looked away for a moment, staring at the shelves opposite with their array of travel and "family" pictures. She saw herself and Freya and the other two, all smiling and happy. Most of the pictures had been taken at Shardik Villa. She didn't know how to answer Katrina's question. What she had seen that morning should not have bothered her, but it did. She needed to get past it, she thought. Get back to seeing her sisters as her systers. She remembered P'nyssa's comment, later, about being afraid of "breaking" her, and she wondered if she could think the same things about Katrina and Wren.

"I woke up this morning while you were still in the shower."

"You saw," Katrina said.

Wish nodded. "Actually, I didn't so much see as, well, smell it. It's hard to miss the smell of urine."

Katrina smiled, and Wren grinned back. "And it bothered you," Wren said.

Wish nodded. She had never been good at confrontation, and to feel this way about her sisters only made her feel much worse.

Wren compounded it by slithering out of the chair in a gesture Wish knew-- had practiced, even-- for many years, and crawled across the floor to her, but instead of head down, she held her head up, watched where she was going, and came to put her head is Wish's lap. "Don't be bothered by it, sister."

"I can't help it. Every time Whatshisname's friends asked that of me, it was... they did it because... because they hated me. They were disgusted by me. They couldn't mark me as territory, but they could show me how much they disliked me." Even as she said it, Wish understood how true the words were. She had always thought that they were just words, that Freya had been saying them about her own experiences because she needed to fill the air. But now she understood how much some of the men she had slept with at Whatshisname's command had not cared at all about her. "They hated us because we were weak. We were under command."

"Geas." Katrina supplied the word.

Wish nodded.

Wren nuzzled her head in Wish's lap, suggestively pushing up the hem of her skirt. "Katrina doesn't hate me. She loves me. I love her."

"Then... why?"

"Because it's what I want." Wren said it so simply she almost convinced Wish just with those words. But there was more to it than that, and she went on. "I like it. I can't tell you why. Maybe he asked that I get something like that. It doesn't matter. It's what I am, and I have looked at it long enough that I've decided it doesn't hurt me, doesn't hold me back, doesn't do anything."

"You like it?" Wish asked.

Wren smiled up at her. "With Katrina, I adore it. Do you know, it was hard to convince her the first time. She kept holding back."

"The only thing that let it happen was how she caught me at just the right time. I really had to go. And she was so insistent. Backed me up against the wall of the shower and kept pushing for it."

"I didn't get to swallow all of it. A lot leaked. I've gotten better," Wren said.

Wish wrinkled her nose. Wren giggled. "I guess I shouldn't drink white wine around you, either, huh?"

"Bleah!" Wish said, but she managed to smile.

"Oh, come on, Wish. You're a better sodomite than Ken Shardik will ever be, and you both know it. There are a lot of people who think that sodomy is icky."

"But I like my butt," Wish said. "I can come from that."

"Then I shouldn't have to justify what drinking Katrina's piss does to me," Wren said, laying her head back down in Wish's lap.

"I guess not. Just Katrina?"

"Until you visited we haven't done anything with anyone else!" Katrina said. A chime rang in the kitchen. "Dinner's ready." She rose and dished out her concoction, passing plates to the front counter. "Come and get it," she said. She put up three glasses of white wine out for them to try as well.

The wine was okay, in Wish's opinion. She wasn't fond of white wines. The lizard looked suggestively disgusting, she thought, but she adjusted to it readily enough and enjoyed it when she finally had a chance to start eating. She watched Katrina and Wren eating and finally put to rest her worries about them. They were a couple. They were allowed their peccadilloes. They were allowed their pleasures without her judgment, they weren't hurting anyone, not even themselves, and she appreciated them for their freedom. When she looked up, they were leaning close, whispering to one another.

On impulse, she reached out for Wren's hand and held it. "I love you," she said suddenly.

Wren squeezed Wish's hand, leaned over and whispered in her ear, "Beloved Wish, I would gladly drink the gold from your body."

Wish was shocked by the simplicity of Wren's promise and the freight it carried for her. She should have been disgusted-- was, a little-- but she also felt the offer down to her toes in a way that she could not put words to. It made her feel powerful, loving, protective, and granted a gift she could not repay. "Maybe someday," Wish said.

"If you don't want to, I understand," Wren said. "But I talked it over with Katrina and you were always one of those people who wouldn't understand unless you tried something. So I thought, maybe, you'd like to try it."

"As top or bottom?"

"Whatever you want," Wren said. "Although I've tried it as top with Katrina. It's not her kink, not from that angle." She thought for a moment, putting one finger on her cheek. "Not mine either, really."

"You mean, topping."


Wish nodded. "I'll think about it. But I'll tell you this: I'd love to take you both up to bed tonight and make love to you both again."

"Actually," Wren said gently, "We had a different idea. You're going to be here for a few more nights. So I thought, maybe, tonight, you and Katrina could go upstairs and let me have a quiet night." She yawned. "And I'll get you tomorrow."

"Do you really want to do that?" Wish said.

Katrina reached across the table and stroked the back of Wish's hand. "Wish, a night alone with you, without being ordered to do it, would be a... a wish come true."

"Promise?" Wish said.

"Yes," Katrina said breathlessly. Wren smiled a sharp little smile at the two of them, watching the exchange of names that ramped up between them excitedly. Wish wondered if she were in for something special. She doubted Katrina would have that many surprises; she'd slept with a few women in the past ten years, after all. But Katrina and Wren had been exploring each other, learning everything they could about turning one another on, and both of them knew her well enough.

A bell rang in the kitchen once. "Dessert," Katrina said.

"Yes," Wish said.

"No, silly, I mean sweets." She rose and walked back into the kitchen, bending over the oven and pulling out a small pan filled with a flat, brown cake. "Mmm," she said. The smell of chocolate filled the entire home and Wish found her attention drawn to that silvery square filled with goodness.

Katrina cut surprisingly small squares out of the cake and handed pieces to her sisters. "They're not what you expect," Katrina said. "The cheese is a local product and has a different flavor from the usual Pendorian or Terran cheeses. The 'milk' is different. But the chocolate is real."

Wish nibbled and found it delightful. Katrina was right, though: the taste was close to a brownie, but the smell of it was stronger and harder to clarify or explain. It had a deep scent that aroused a strange mix of emotions in her, none of them unpleasant but none of them the same as she would have expected with the traditional offering of sweets.

Katrina came back with mugs filled with a white liquid. "Milk. Bovine," she added hastily. Wish grinned at her. "There's a Terran Ethnic store a few blocks away."

"It's further away than 'a few blocks!'" Wren said.

"Well, yeah. But it's worth it." Katrina sat in her chair and crossed her legs.

They ate in silence until Wren stood up and stretched. Wish watched her appreciatively, enjoying the sight of her sister's taught, powerful body even under her skimpy, summery clothes. "I'm going to bed," Wren said. She crossed to Wish and leaned over to hug her, the top of her tunic falling open to give Wish an eyeful of her healthy endowments. Wish giggled as she embraced her sister.

Wren then stopped at Katrina. The ritual was different with Katrina. She knelt and placed her head in Katrina's lap in the gesture she had used earlier with Wish, a look of full acceptance and surrender upon her face, her eyes closed. "Goodnight, Katrina. Have fun with Wish. I love you."

Katrina leaned over, embracing as much of Wren as she could. "I love you too," she said softly. "Go get some sleep. They're working you hard."

Wren nodded and stood up. "Goodnight, you two." She climbed the stairs and disappeared. Wish sat on the couch and sipped at her milk. Ken and Aaden drank a lot of the stuff and she'd learned to like it, but not nearly as much as they did. "Wish, I'm taking your bed."

"Not that I've had a chance to use it," Wish said. Drinking milk wasn't like drinking wine. It didn't affect her judgment. She downed the mug and put it aside, then got up and walked over to where Katrina sat, her legs still crossed, her body relaxed in that very comfortable-looking chair. She reached down to Katrina and held out her hand. "Shall we?"

"We shall," Katrina said, rising to stand over her sister. "Oh, Wish, every day that we're away I dream of you and Freya and pray that you're okay."

"We are," Wish said, assuringly. "Believe me."

"I do. You seem so happy and healthy. A little lost." She slipped an arm around Wish's waist. "But that's okay."

"I'm not lost at the Villa. Do I need to know my way around the entire universe to be not lost?"

"No, I suppose not," Katrina said, holding Wish close, their bodies swaying to unheard music. "God, Wish, to hold you without having to is so sweet. I always loved you."

"Even when I yelled at you?"

"You were right," Katrina whispered. "And I was wrong. I misjudged Ken and the whole Villa, and it wasn't until you and Wren rubbed my face in my misunderstanding that I realized just how badly I'd mistreated the man who saved our lives and set us free."

Wish chose not to respond. She and Katrina had different interpretations of that day. There was no doubt that Ken had saved their lives. But Wish thought of herself as no more 'free' now than she had been with Whatshisname. Just happier. She had been content but not happy with him, and unwilling to imagine her life any other way, but that didn't mean that she had been any less 'free' then. She had felt as free then as she did now. The biowiring geas had been subtle and effective, and she would never chose such a biowiring now. But her thoughts had always been hers. She didn't feel alienated from her past the way Katrina and Wren did, didn't feel different about the her of then and the her of now. They were just different people. Time has that effect. She had the right, as everyone does, to pick a point in time and say "That's where I started."

But Katrina's arms were about her and their interpretation of the past ceased to matter. What mattered was her love for Katrina, her affection for her sister, for the Big Syster, the one who worked so hard to keep her and Wren and Freya and, yes, even Song, together for all that time. She hugged Katrina tightly and said, gently, "I love you."

"Let's go upstairs."

This time, there was no hurried rush for the two of them. They walked upstairs, Katrina leading, holding Wish's hand as they ascended the steps to the bedroom Katrina and Wren shared together.

While Katrina removed her blouse and tossed off her skirt, Wish unbuttoned the front of the denim summer dress she had worn-- with nothing underneath. It had been that single piece of clothing between herself and the whole world, and she had been thrilled by the suggestiveness of it, the potential of offering herself to any mel within sight. Once, she had been ordered to perform in just such a role and she had done a good job of it, reveled in it. She had loved being in the middle of an impromptu gangbang, an offering to a dozen horny men. But she had not loved them and they had most certainly not loved her.

Now she was an offering to her sister, a love offering, no sacrifice at all. She would receive as much as she gave, perhaps more, from tonight.

"You are so beautiful," Katrina sighed, glancing down the length of Wish's body. Wish started to respond and Katrina held up her hand. "I know, you don't think so. But you are."

Wish ran to her and pressed her head between Katrina's breasts. "You're the one who's beautiful. You have a full figure that men stare at from across the room, you have that dirty blond look that they all adore. I'm just... little. Flat. Aside from the ones who want me to dress up like some prepubescent girl, the rest don't think so."

"Yes they do," Katrina said. Her hands slid down Wish's back reaching almost to her butt, but she didn't have Ken's gorilla arms. Wish giggled softly at the memory. "Oh, Wish."

"Katrina..." Wish tilted her head upwards and offered her mouth to Katrina, who kissed her with such strength Wish felt it all the way down to her soles. She reached for one of Katrina's breasts and cupped it delicately in her hand, caressing it softly, playing with the nipple. It was easy to figure out what she liked and didn't as she, like Wish and all the sisters, had been selected for responsiveness. They all gave off signals that told others if they were happy or sad, content or annoyed. They were meant to be obvious, even while they were being ignored. Wish smiled. She would never be ignored like that again.

Katrina's hands were all over her, touching her chest, her back, her sides. She felt Katrina's fingertips slide along the ridge of her ribcage and down to her navel, and giggled as Katrina tickled her playfully. Wish replied to Katrina's tickling with suggestive probes about Katrina's butt, her long finger delicately probing between Katrina's cheeks and looking for her favorite orifice.

Katrina giggled. "You really do like asses, don't you?"

"Mmm," Wish sighed, kissing Katrina's breast.

"Come with me," Katrina said gently. She pulled on Wish's wrist, leading her to the bed. There, in bed at last, she embraced Wish and kissed her neck, her throat, her collarbones. "God, Wish, I always wished that we'd had a chance to be like this around Whatshisname. But you were always the lonely one." She kissed Wish's chest, teasing the nipples with her tongue and teeth. Wish hissed her appreciation. "Tell me you're not alone anymore."

"I'm not," Wish assured her as another jolt of pleasure from Katrina's teeth coursed through her. "I have more lovers than I can count, plus the core that means so much. Ken and P'nyssa and, well, I suppose I could include Nance in that, but I don't know... Oh!" Katrina nibbled on one of her nipples.

"I'm glad," Katrina murmured as her mouth explored the flat planes of Wish's belly. "I always wondered about that with you. Most women, you can tell where the belly and hips meet, or the hips and legs, but on you, the lines, if they're there, are so invisible. You look... whole.. in a way that a lot of girls don't." Her kisses trailed down Wish's mound until her breath hovered over Wish's pussy. "Open for me, sister. Let me taste you."

Wish parted her thighs, letting Katrina down between into her hidden, hungry lips. When Katrina's tongue probed between her labia, Wish sighed and knew she'd found her calling for the day. She hadn't been sure up until now, but when Katrina's mouth found her clitoris she knew she would love whatever came next. "Yes, Katrina. Eat me. God, yes, my love."

Katrina's tongue swirled about her opening, and every tiny motion sent shivers of pleasure up into her heart. She gripped handfuls of blond hair as Katrina licked between her legs, found her clitoris, closed her mouth on it and sucked down hard. "Oh...." She lay back on the bed and let Katrina work magic on her pussy. She could smell her own juices from there, could hear the slurping sounds. But it was the feel, the sensation, the utter embracing love that Katrina let her experience that carried her away.

Then Katrina's mouth went away. "Don't move," Katrina murmured softly . Wish's hands tensed with frustration as she waited for her sister to return. She had no idea where Katrina had gone, but she wanted that mouth back as soon as she could get it.

Katrina never left the room, of that Wish was certain, but she had no idea what the other fem had gone to do. But when Katrina returned, placing her hand on Wish's thigh, Wish let herself get carried away by the promise of more. So she was shocked when she felt the hard, undeniable head of a cock against her pussy. She sighed and opened her legs wider as she Katrina feed her hungry opening what must have been a rather large dildo until she felt the solid surface of Katrina's hand against her lips. "There," Katrina sighed. "I know what my sister likes."

"Yes," Wish said. "Oh, Katrina..."

"You always were straight."

"But now with girls... on the side... but... I... that... doesn't mean I didn't always love you."

Katrina lay down along the length of Wish's body and began to stroke the dildo, gently, within that needy pussy. "I know you love me. And I love you. But what you need now and then is a well-manned cock in your cunt, isn't it?"

"Yes!" Wish cried.

"And you'll love it twice as much if your sister is the one who fucks you with that big, fat cock, won't you?"

"Oh yes, yes," Wish said. Her body was twisting back and forth as if trying to escape that massive tool within her body, knowing that she wanted more of it, wanted every desperate last millimeter of it inside her.

Katrina said, "You want it hard?"

"Yes, oh, yes. Fuck me, Katrina. Fuck me with your cock."

Katrina obliged, her arm a blur as she pounded the dildo up inside Wish's body. Wish reached over and grabbed Katrina's thigh, squeezing hard as Katrina manipulated the plastic toy within her body. "Oh, God, Katrina... I'm gonna..."

Wish came hard, holding Katrina's leg as she cried out her sister's name. She wanted to lie there, her eyes closed, her body warm with the tension and the release of Katrina's love, but she had a duty to perform, one she would more than love to discharge. She looked forward to watching Katrina come, and she wanted more for herself.

"Was it good?" Katrina asked.

"You were wonderful," Wish said. "Do you do that often?"

"Wren does it to me, but she doesn't really like it much, so I don't offer it unless she asks." She smiled. "I thought you might like it, though."

"Oh, I did," Wish sighed, lying back against the sheets. "I'm going to feel that in the morning. Dildos are always bigger than the men who make them."

"Even Ritans?" Katrina said. "What about that mel you met on the trip over?"

Wish giggled, remembering. "He was nice. He could feel when he was hitting bottom. Besides, he let me be on top so he didn't have much of a chance of hurting me."

Katrina rolled closer to Wish and said, "I remember you. What you like." She slithered onto Wish's body, holding herself up by her arms to look down into Wish's eyes. "I remember you liked to be done."

"And you like to do," Wish said. "We fit together well."

"Wren likes to be done, too," Katrina said. "And I'm no stone cold top, not with hair like this." She rose up and turned over, straddling Wish's head. "Make me come, sister."

The smell coming off of Katrina's wet pussy made Wish feel high instantly, that combination of fresh musk of girl and a day's worth of sweat and residue suddenly as desirable as the most perfect rose. Wish grabbed Katrina's butt and pulled her down, Katrina's dangly labia parting with anticipation as the large flower of her pussy closed around Wish's mouth and cheeks. Katrina's outer parts were big for such a small woman, unlike Wish's where everything was small and tucked in.

Katrina settled down to just the right height and Wish licked up at her pussy with abandon, sicking and nibbling on the parts that were easily within reach, licking up to her opening and then "down" to her clitoris, nibbling that little spot until Katrina's body shook. "Mmmm... Wish, harder."

Wish tried to do as she asked, but it was hard to press harder when facing upwards. Katrina complied by lowering herself further until she was almost smothering Wish, her light pubic hair tickling the other's cheeks.

Wish closed her mouth around Katrina's mound and kissed her hard, sucking Katrina's little clitoris in, pressing her teeth to the space around it. "Mmm, yes, yes, Wish, yes..." Katrina groaned loud as she came, fighting to hold her body perfectly still as her climax filled her, then drained away.

Katrina collapsed on top of Wish, her hips on Wish's chest, her ass forming a lovely pair of mounds rising before Wish's eyes. Wish sighed, tempted to kiss them even as she realized they were out of her reach.

She lay back and sighed, her eyes closed, until she felt Katrina's body shift to one side. "One each," Katrina grinned. "Wanna go two for two?"

"Best two out of three?" Wish said. "Or are you tired?"

"I think we should save some of you for Wren tomorrow."

"Fair enough," Wish sighed. "Cuddle me?"

"Always," Katrina said. "Beloved sister."

Wish's fourth day on llerkin flew by in a blur of museums and street entertainment, a fair in one corner of the city showing off small-time artisan works. The sun beat down relentlessly and Wish found herself drinking repeated doses of brewed herbs over ice that tasted nothing like Terran teas at all, but was nonetheless refreshing in the Summer heat. Katrina picked up a small, ornamental object called a dreamcatcher, a kind of webbing that she learned had its origins on 20th century Earth rather than llerkin, but she was pleased with the handiwork and the quality as well as the sentiment.

When they caught up with Wren, she was sitting on the steps outside the dance studio, her head in her hands. "You okay?" Katrina asked.

"Great. Just exhausted", Wren said. "They're slave drivers in there!"

"Well, you did say this was something you wanted to do."

Yeah, I know, but I had no idea that it would be so much physical work. I suppose I could just take a pill or something and get the muscles, but Reeds tells me that there's no way that I could get the muscle memory needed to do it without actually, you know, doing it." She smiled. "Once I've done it I'll be able to tape it off and have it fed back in whenever I want, but I have to do it once, for myself." She grinned up. Her face was covered with a thin sheen of recent but cooling sweat.

Wish sat down next to her. "Does that mean you don't have the energy to be with me tonight?"

"You mean fuck you?" Wren said.

Wish grinned. "Yes! That too. Sorry, but Ken's a little circumspect in his speech and I think I've picked up a few of his habits."

"More than a few," Katrina said. "Come on, let's go eat. I'm not cooking tonight, and neither is Wren, and I've got to be somewhere at two. Do you want to try someplace new, or let Wren pick?"

"Hey, if I pick, let's go to the pizza place."

Wish shrugged, smiling. "Fine with me."

Wren stood up, looking a little wobbly as she rose. "I'll be fine as soon as I get some food. I think that Pendorian metabolism fix is harder than it should be."

"Maybe," Wish agreed. They walked down the street. Wish thought how much like a city Tiole really felt, with its open windows, and the light scattering of utility cars on the roads, and the people walking here and there. They passed an open park filled with greenery-- some of it purple, Wish noticed-- and she watched a couple walking a pet on a leash for some time. They were both llerkin, tall for their species, walking with the kind of self-assurance that she only felt when she was at home.

"Home," she said gently.

"What?" Katrina said.

"Just thinking," Wish said. "I have a home, now. It's a place. It's back on Pendor, and it really means something to me. I couldn't know what it meant to have a home until I had one. I didn't have one with Whatshisname." She was watching the couple. She understood them. Tiolle' was their home.

She turned to Katrina. "You guys are home wherever the other one is."

Wren smiled. "But you need a place."

Wish nodded. "Walls. A floor. A roof. A bed I can call my own and that I can have to myself if I ask. A little space. Just big enough for my bed, a reading chair, a desk for writing. A good light. A padd in hand so I can invite lovers in, and an AI to ensure I can kick them out. And the knowledge that, even if Ken and P'nyssa and everyone else at the village got tired of fucking me, they'd never get tired of me."

"Is it possible to get tired of fucking you?" Katrina asked. In any other mouth those words might have been sarcastic, but Katrina meant it honestly.

"He did."

"He was different," Katrina said.

"I don't know. Ken and I leveled out into a happy routine years ago. It hasn't changed in, oh, seven years now. I guess that means it'll probably last a long time."

"And he still looks forward to it?"

"As much as I do!" Wish said. "And we find little reasons in the daytime to sneak away. It's not as if we're scheduled or anything."

"I'm glad you've found your home." She reached out and encircled her arm around Wren's shoulders. "As have we."

Wren nodded enthusiastically. "And here we are," she added.

The restaurant was a non-descript little place, the smell coming out of it vaguely like pepper. "Whatever they use as a leavening isn't like yeast. It's alive, like yeast, but it has a different taste. You'll like it."

"We'll see," Wish said.

"Well, I like it," Katrina said. "Let Wren order again."

Wren walked up to the counter and spoke to the mellerkin behind it in a rapid kind of speech. Wish, who had heard llerkin being spoken before, realized that she didn't recognize the language. "Is that llerkin?" she asked Katrina.

"It's not Royal Standard, which is what everyone's supposed to speak. It's Southern Standard, the language of the rebels-- and everyone else here. When the llerkin moved back, those who had preserved the old languages kept trying to use them and make them standard. There are still corners of the world where more than one language is in use. I imagine if they wanted to both Wren and the proprietor could speak in Royal Standard if they wanted to. This is more fun."

Wish nodded. She wondered how "fun" it could be to deliberately obfuscate communication, but she wasn't one to question the fun of others. It seemed harmless enough.

Wren led them to a seat covered in a white table cloth and decorated with a vase overflowing with purple flowers. They sat under a window that allowed in a constant stream of cool air and they luxuriated in it. A waiter brought over three huge glasses with more of the local tea.

They ate dinner in silence, Wish more than a little surprised by the thin flavor of the cheese and the heaviness of the meat. "It's like a lobster pizza," she commented.

"With some very mutant goat cheese," Wren replied.

"Don't talk with your mouth full." Katrina smiled as she said it.

"Yes, Mom," Wren shot back, grinning.

"Where are you going tonight?" Wish asked Katrina.

"Face-to-face time with some other journalizers. I'm so glad that the word has gone back to its original meaning. For a long time it was a profession, but now it's just that: to journal, to write about what I saw and did that day or week. It used to name names and portray people as the journalizer saw them." She grinned. "I guess that makes it partisan."

"All people are partisan," Wren said.

"Even AIs?" Katrina said.

"Especially AIs," Wish said, interrupting Wren's response. Wren nodded her head in agreement.

Katrina bid them goodnight, kissed them both, and waved to the proprietor before heading out the door. Wish watched her powerful form saunter away. She wondered how she could have survived all those years without Katrina. The distinction between wanting someone and wanting to perform the duty that someone gave her had become so much more clear now. She had always wanted Katrina. She had wanted Wren. She had felt compelled, as a moral duty, to do what Whatshisname asked of her. It was an arbitrarily imposed duty, but it had been as real as any other-- religious, military, familial.

She looked at little Wren, whose olive complexion, short bob of black, thick hair, and cherubic cheeks combined to make her irresistible to lots of mels, and she wondered if she would ever feel as good about her own looks, her yellowish skin, her small, almond-shaped eyes, her mousy black hair. She didn't see it, the face some men gasped at when they saw her, the open appreciation in their eyes. She understood the attraction some men had to her ass, but that was different, she supposed. That was some sculptor's work of art, and it felt good to have hands play with her ass so she wasn't about to let people ignore it.

"You're thoughtful," Wren said.

"Mmm," Wish said. "I suppose I am tonight. I've had a lot to think about on this vacation."


"Just comparing myself to you, thinking about what it means to be home. What it means to be a slut."

"You like that word."

"I do!" Wish said, grinning. She reached across the table and held Wren's hand. "Can we be sluts tonight?"

"Well, I'm not one," Wren said. "I'm a happily married woman." She giggled, as if even she couldn't take a statement like that too seriously. "But I would love to take you home and make a mess out of you."

"Yeah," Wish said, her eyes alight.

"Let me pay for this," Wren said, indicating the remains of dinner about their plate. "And then let's walk home and fuck like bunnies."

They ran home.

In the bedroom, Wish was already on top of Wren when they were falling into bed, two naked bodies entwined with the barely-contained energies of youth and lust. Despite their mature ages, both had been engineered with the hormonal responses of a seventeen-year-old, and they both knew it, and both appreciated it.

Wren surprised Wish with forceful kisses. Wish could smell the pizza on Wren's breath, taste the lust coursing through Wren's veins. She felt the small body under her hum like some kind of dynamo, the naked, smooth skin pressed to her own. "God, Wish, don't ever make me wait this long again. It wasn't until after we'd left that I realized I'd never given you the kind of goodbye I wanted to, and now..."

"I know," Wish said, sliding her hand down Wren's back to her butt. She squeezed the small globes she found there, slid her hands down Wren's thighs. "Oh..." Wren moaned.


"Uh-huh," Wren said. "But in a good way. Especially on my upper back and the backs of my legs."

Wish smiled. "Me, too. I think that's more common than most folks think." She exploited it anyway, running her hand up between Wren's shoulderblades to tickle her at her spine, down the length of it, across her lower back until Wren was flopping against her uncontrollably, giggling and murmuring.

"You're mean," Wren gasped.

"Me?" Wish said.

"Yeah, you!" Wren grinned. Her voice dropped to a whisper. "Wish, the last time we were together, I got to lick your asshole. I know you like that, but can I eat your pussy? Katrina said you tasted so good."

"Oh, Wren, just because I like my butt doesn't mean I don't like anything else! I love everything!"

Wren giggled. "Well, I don't love everything. Did Katrina tell you that I decided I'm a lesbian?"

Wish looked up at her sister, a bit surprised at the suddenness of the decision. She had known that Wren didn't like any of the assignments that Whatshisname had given them, but she couldn't imagine that the underlying reason for it all was an overwhelming preference for women. "No! I mean, there were some hints that way early on, but... Really?"

Wren nodded. "I don't hate men. I just... I don't know. I don't feel like I belong in their world. Y'know?"

Wish, who liked men as much if not more than she liked women, couldn't imagine living in a world without them. "They're just people."

"I know. But..." Wren fumbled for a moment. "I can't explain it."

"Then don't try," Wish said, pulling her sister down and kissing her. Wren's lips felt so soft and warm against hers that Wish thought they might just kiss for a while, but Wren had other plans. She pushed up and glanced down at Wish. "I'm gonna lick your pussy until you come."

"You... do... that!" Wren kissed Wish's belly, sticking her tongue into Wish's navel and then striking a trail of wet kisses down to her mound, then up and over until she was nibbling at Wish's swollen labia. Wish parted her legs and pulled herself open with her fingers, exposing a view of her insides to her sister's probing eyes.

"God, you have a beautiful cunt," Wren said as she lay down on the bed and kissed at Wish's thighs, then back up into the tiny flower of Wish's vulva. She found Wish's tiny pearl and teased it, then trailed her mouth back down to Wish's opening, then deeper. "Lift your legs," she said.

Wish already had a good idea of what Wren's tongue could do to her asshole and she willingly pulled her legs into the air, exposing her pink back door to Wren's willing tongue. Wren's tentative first licks were followed by sure, tickling, wonderful thrusts. Wren ate her ass until Wish felt herself fill with desire, then slid back up and licked at Wish's clit more. She tugged on Wish's tiny labia with her lips and teeth. "Tease!" Wish moaned.

"Mmmm," Wren said. "You do taste good. Katrina was right."

"I don't want to taste good. I want to come!"

"You will," Wren said. "You will." She lowered her mouth back to Wish's pussy and took more direct action, licking around the clitoris, pushing in and hard. It was what Wish wanted, the pleasure of direct contact from a woman she loved. The pleasure from her clitoris filled her, satisfied her even as she wanted more and more of it. Her breath became loud in her ears as she got closer and closer to coming. "Wren..."

"Mmm..." Wren said, a sigh of contentment as Wish's climax finally pushed over the plateau and she came, crying out wish ecstasy.

But Wren didn't stop. Her tongue pulled back and dipped down, tasting more of Wish's juices as she came, then down further into Wish's asshole, licking and pressing inwards. Wish groaned as Wren's persistent tongue found every last nerve ending between her legs and tickled it with ecstatic messages of love. Wish's hands let go of her labia and clutched at the bedsheets, trying to gain a purchase against the unending pleasure.

Wren slid back up to her pussy, touching down at her dripping well before sliding back to her clitoris. She caressed Wish's pussy with her lips and tongue, giving Wish time to recover and keeping her attention at the same time.

Wish thought she had more than enough, but then Wren's fingers touched at her asshole, pressing inwards. Her pussy was wet enough her juices provided all the lubrication Wren needed as her finger invaded Wish's ass. But then there were two fingers. Wish gasped hard, wanting more, wanting more now. But two was all Wren was about to give her for now, her fingers sliding back and forth against Wish's little hole. "Oh, yes, yes, yes, Wren!" Wish gasped. "Yess!"

Wren didn't take the time to answer, her mouth was too busy on Wish's clit. Wish hungered for more in her ass, more on her clit, more against her body. Even in the heat of ecstasy, she knew what she wanted: a man who wanted to fuck her, and fuck her hard. She wanted P'nyssa. She wanted Ken. She wanted... home. Her climax rose and rose, impossibly strong even in frustration, until she came, screaming incoherently.

Even as her body trembled and unwound, she could feel Wren's fingers slide out of her ass. Her whole body trembled one last time as her those fingers emerged and her asshole clamped shut behind them. "Oh, Wren."

Wren lay down beside her. "So..."


"You look tired."

"Not too tired to do you next."

"Really?" Wren said. "What if I said I was perfectly happy with what I've got?"

"I could make you happier," Wish said.

"Take your time, then we'll see."