She doesn't bother even to take a breath before she ducks her head beneath the water, settling hands either side of your thighs and bringing her muzzle very close to you—very close to you, indeed—and looking you over with such intent care as no other person has ever bent on you before. Not there, at least—not even the village doctor, patching you up after a hard patrol, would ever think to examine you there. Not with what you are.

What you are is lovely, dear. Now be quiet and let me concentrate. This is a little difficult

The water—shivers—suddenly. No other word you can find for it, for the way its surface is suddenly crazed by a million tiny wavelets, smoothing again almost before they've had a chance to rise. That, and a thrill of strangeness through your sex and belly—as if the bath, and the deck, and the Bitch, had suddenly impossibly shaken beneath you somehow, and you had shaken with them. And just like that, it's gone—but it has left something of itself behind, for the most intimate parts of you are full of sudden heat that tremor has aroused.

What was that?, you think, shifting your hips a little—the most intimate parts of you, indeed; that of yourself of which you've fought so hard not to think is insisting strongly upon itself now, and you know if you looked down your body you would see it there rising from your belly, just above your cleft. You did that on purpose!

Of course I did, dear Emeline. I needed to know if it had injured you in its enthusiasm—its enthusiasm, and your own. Oh my—catching the edges of her own arousal, now—seeing the two of you together that are lovely, you know. The both of you

I'm fine. It didn't hurt me, it would not, I could have told you that. I know that

Yes, but it is new to the likes of us, and might have hurt you anyway. But didn't—just a few tiny holes, and you wanted those, I'm sure.

Very much! But what was that you did? And— You wriggle again, so close to her muzzle, trying hard to hold yourself back from—well, she'd likely take it amiss. And how has she had her head under water so long, and never minded? And what was that she did?

They have a way of sensing. It tells them what's around them, and I learned to do it too. I could have used my hands and eyes, but— Unmistakable mirth in her thoughts, now—mirth, and aught of otherwise—though your shouts didn't touch me as they did all the others of the crew, I'd be lying to say I wasn't interested—

And just with that, Lu dips her head forward, jaw making room in her muzzle to capture that little part of you between her lips, her tongue making a warm wet soft bed on which for it to rest as she takes you in her mouth and makes you welcome—the part of you you've ever hated, ever wished was not your own, that you've fought so hard not to think about and tried everything to ignore—pretended so long and so well wasn't there that you could almost at times forget it—

—this part of you, she so desires—and you can feel it rising off her suddenly, no quiet mind to her now! so focused she is on you, on it, loving the feel of it between her lips, the heat of it on her tongue, the little twitches it gives as she begins gently to suckle at it and the sudden strong arousal that has you twitching your hips as if to thrust, reaching as if to clutch at her ears and hair and neck—such strangeness, that, you've never felt the like, the wanting not of mind or heart or even lust but simply what your body feels it must do—

and why deny yourself, dear Emeline? You need not comes her thought, shaded with her own lust and her delight in the taste of you—and deny yourself you cease to do, and lay hold of Lu's neck and the back of her head and arch your back and thrust your hips and ohhhhh

—and in the wake of it, ears afire as your whole body is afire, as your mind is afire and your communion with the deep thing ringing with the sheer sudden force of your climax like the reverberations of summer lightning—all you hear from the cabin outside is silence. And you realize suddenly that you have not yourself been silent, just now, a rough harsh coarseness in your throat to tell you that, all unawares, you must have let out a shriek as if to split the sky in two—that, and as absorbed in one another as Hua and Quen have been, to distract even them, if briefly.

"Well done, the both of you!" Your captain's voice—a raucous laugh, and then the meaty sound of a palm striking the curved wantonness of Quen's naked rump, and a yelp, and whatever Hua says thereafter, she's no longer loud enough to hear—well, those words aren't meant for you, anyway.

Nor would you hear them if they were, for with the momentary distraction now past, your mind returns again to the thought of what you've just done—what Lu has just done to you, for you—and something missing. A place in yourself that feels as though it should contain something, as the empty socket misses the tooth once pulled—misses it a while, and then heals over, and you realize suddenly that what you feel missing from yourself is shame. Only the place where it was, and the memory of it—for though the deep thing too has cherished and does cherish that part of you, you could not think yourself less the monster therefore—you could not cherish it yourself.

But Lu—just rising out of the water again to favor you with a warm and gentle smile, licking her lips to savor the taste of you—you cannot think of Lu as a monster, as you have so long thought yourself. No monster she, and yet to favor that part of you so highly—to seek it out and tease it into liveliness, and then reward its enthusiasm so—and now settling herself back to sit on her heels, only this time with your right ankle pinioned gently beneath and between her thighs, and the ready heat of her sinking into your skin as she lets herself rest against you—

—well. It would be to weep, except it feels so wonderful—though emptiness there be in that part of you which once held your shame, it is not the painful emptiness of a drawn tooth, but rather—but rather as if you had carried a sick hot killing thing inside you for longer than you knew—carried it, but found it now no longer there, and the substance of you reaching out across the gap to make you whole once more.