Girls Will Be Girls
Rating: [R+] for teenage drinking and sex
Veronica and Assai giggled as they ascended in the elevator. The young Zanga woman--until recently still a girl in the eyes of her tribe--slapped playfully at her friend's arm. "Veronica, you shouldn't say such things," she scolded.
"But you know it's true," insisted the blonde, laughing.
"That doesn't matter. It is disrespectful to say an Elder's face looks like a preserved lemon!" But Assai couldn't hide her smile even with her graceful hand.
The lift ground to a halt and the young women stepped out. Immediately they rushed to the balcony to wave down at their escort. Assured that Veronica and the Zanga princess were safely inside, the two tall, broad-shouldered hunters turned and began their trek back to the village. Another escort would return for Assai in three days.
Once the men had disappeared into the dense jungle, the girls returned to the lift and began unloading the supplies.
"The men would have been useful for this," said Assai. "We should have made them help."
"We don't need their help, but I'm happy to have yours, Assai. Usually I have to unload everything on my own." Veronica hefted the last parcel--a large, tanned deer hide--and set it on the table. "That's the lot," she declared with satisfaction. "Let's get it all put away and then go for a swim."
"Without an escort? Do you think it wise?"
"Sure. The pond isn't that far, and I've gone swimming on my own plenty of times."
"What about the ape-men?" Trepidation was clear on the Zanga princess's face.
"Assai, I promise you that I have never had a problem with them. I'm not a threat." Veronica held out slim, strong arms in a gesture of what-you-see-is-what-you-get. "I don't need much, and it's not as if we're competing for food resources." The ape-men were hunters and gatherers. Veronica's parents had raised her as a vegetarian--a practice she had continued after their disappearance. As long as the ape-men stayed out of her small garden and she kept to gathering only such wild plants as she needed for herself, they had no cause to disturb one another. "Come on, Assai. Live a little. You're not here for very long, and I want us to have as much fun as we can!" Veronica wouldn't admit it even to her best friend, but she got bored and often felt lonely on her own in the big Treehouse. Before everyone had gone away, there had always been so much activity, so many members of her parents' expedition, that she hardly had a moment to herself. Nowadays she found herself longing for company, even if it was just the quiet noise of another person going about their daily routine. "Please?" She pouted a little, knowing it was only a matter of time before her friend gave in to her wishes.
Assai shifted uneasily from one sandaled foot to the other, a frown on her pretty face. "Very well, Veronica," she eventually acquiesced. "After we unpack, we will go for a swim."
Veronica grinned. "Good!"
It was past midday by the time they had everything in its proper place. Food stuffs were carefully stored. New or repaired tools were put away in the tool cupboard. The deer hide was draped over the back of the sofa to await the day when Veronica had time to cut and piece it into new leathers. That day would need to be soon. She was growing quickly, and her old clothes were getting tight enough to be uncomfortable--especially around the bust.
"I wish my breasts were small like yours," Veronica said suddenly, surprising Assai.
"What?" The young Zanga woman put down the framed photograph of Veronica and her parents. Assai was always drawn to it when she visited. The thing fascinated her, not a little bit because her father, Chief Jacoba, was vehement in his repudiation of such magic.
Veronica looked disparagingly down at her full bust. "Mine are too big already and getting bigger. They just get in the way!"
Assai giggled. "The boys in the village do not think so."
"Assai!" exclaimed Veronica, her cheeks pinking. She instinctively crossed her arms over her bosom.
"Well, they don't. I see them looking at you, and it's not just your strange fair hair that draws their attention."
Veronica lowered her arms and raised her head defiantly. "They'd better stick to just looking or they'll find themselves looking up at me holding a knife to their chests. Hang on." She disappeared up the stairs and returned swiftly with two big towels and a bag containing a hard, rough bar of herbal soap and wash rags. "It's high time we went swimming, and I could use a bath."
Assai wrinkled her nose. She too felt the need for a good wash and soak. Storing the supplies had been hard work. "As am I. But we need food."
"We can eat after."
Assai ignored her impatient protests and ducked into the kitchen. "I'll get bread and fruit to take. And fresh water." She emerged moments later with a small hamper of food.
"Can we please go now?"
The walk to the pond was as uneventful as Veronica had promised it would be. When they arrived, Veronica quickly scouted the area and declared it free of ape-men, raptors, or other threats. A warm breeze rustled the high leaves of the tallest trees, but it failed to cool the young women standing on the jungle floor.
Assai felt a mix of fear and excitement at being out without an escort. She kept having to remind herself that she was an adult now. She had experienced her first womanly courses six months ago. The ceremony of her transition into womanhood had been celebrated by all the women of the tribe. She'd been pampered and at the same time the women had taught her much. But she hadn't learned what she was most curious about. The Elders had laughed and told her not to rush, that time would come.
"Did you celebrate when you became a woman?" Assai asked Veronica as the two undressed by the pond.
"Celebrate? No." Veronica shook her head, her blonde waves of hair brushing bare, tanned shoulders. The lines of fair skin where the straps of her top protected her from the sun drew Assai's eyes. Her gaze followed the pale skin down to Veronica's round breasts. Assai fought back a jealous sigh at their fullness and looked away. Veronica didn't notice the scrutiny. "It's not something that's celebrated where my parents are from. From what my mother told me, it's hardly even talked about in England. Even in private." She slipped out of her skirt and drawers and tossed them on the pile with her top and sandals.
Assai's eyes widened in surprise. "How strange!"
"Yeah," agreed Veronica. "My parents told me a lot about the world beyond the Plateau. I think I like it better here. I just wish they'd come back." Her tone was wistful. Five years had passed since they'd gone out and not returned. She shook off the melancholy moment, breaking the somber mood with a grin. "Come on!" She dashed towards the pond, calling back over her shoulder "Last one in's a rotten raptor egg!" and splashed into the water. Assai untied her sarong, tossed the brightly colored fabric onto the grass, and quickly joined her friend.
They spent some time paddling about and cooling off. The pond was warm, but not nearly so warm as the heavy afternoon air. They splashed one another playfully and took turns dunking one another under surface, coming up each time laughing and spluttering.
They took a break to share the food and water Assai had wisely packed. Sitting naked next to one another on the warm grass, they munched contentedly.
"I'm ravenous!" Veronica sliced a wedge of mango with her belt knife and bit into the soft orange flesh. Juice ran down her chin and she wiped it with the back of her hand. "Messy."
"Then it's good we have soap to wash with," said Assai.
Veronica rolled her eyes, but it was as much amusement as annoyance. While both girls had learned responsibility at young ages--Veronica due to her parents' disappearance; Assai due to her position as princess--Assai was much more practical in some ways than Veronica. She was always thinking ahead to consequences and ways of dealing with whatever arose. Veronica, on the other hand, preferred to take each moment as it came and deal with cleaning up the mess afterwards.
They finished their meal and disposed of the pits and peels several yards away in the bushes. There birds could come and snack on the scraps of fruit still clinging to them.
Veronica picked up the soap and wash rags. "I'll scrub your back if you'll scrub mine."
"A fair agreement," smiled Assai.
They waded back into the pond, staying near the edge. Before was for fun; now was for washing up. As promised, the young women scrubbed one another's backs, and then took advantage of the opportunity to wash each other's hair.
Veronica sat shoulder-deep in the water, luxuriating in Assai's attention. She closed her eyes and smiled. "My mother used to wash my hair for me when I was little."
"It is something my mother does for me, too, but now only for a special occasion--like my womanhood ceremony."
"I'm glad I was there for that. When I got my first period, my mother and I spent the whole day together. We talked and she explained a lot to me. It was nice, but it wasn't like your celebration. There weren't any other women in the expedition for one thing."
"Did she tell you about men and women together?" Assai's tone was shy and hushed, but at the same time eager and curious.
"She told me some things." Veronica didn't want to admit that she still wasn't wholly clear on matters. She had read a little in the few novels the adults had left behind, but those were far from properly instructive.
"What ? What did she tell you?" Assai's hesitant question brought her back to the present.
"Didn't you learn all that from the Elders?" she asked, hoping to deflect from her own ignorance and maybe even learn something from her friend.
"Some, yes. They told me what must happen to make a child, so that I am ready when it is time to take a husband. But they did not say what " She blushed and was glad Veronica faced away from her. " what it feels like."
"I don't know that, either." Veronica shrugged. "I thought about asking the Amazons when I stayed with them, but considering their views on men, I decided not to."
"I imagine that was a good choice."
Assai scooped water in her hands and rinsed the suds from Veronica's hair. When it was clean, the blonde turned and smiled at her. "Okay. Your turn." Assai sat and Veronica knelt behind her. "Dunk your head first. Get it good and wet." The Zanga girl did as instructed and Veronica began to lather her dark locks with the fragrant soap. "Your hair is so heavy. Doesn't it get too hot?" she asked, combing her fingers through it to get out any knots.
"Sometimes, but then I put it up. Simple."
"Hmm. I guess so. But if my hair were this thick, I think I'd just cut it off."
"Oh no!" exclaimed Assai. "That would displease my father greatly." Her tone grew annoyed. "He says I look too much like a boy already."
"Then he's an idiot," declared Veronica in defense of her friend. "Or at least he's not very observant," she added quickly, not wanting to offend. "I think you have perfect girlish curves." She'd heard the phrase once from her mother, and thought Assai would like it now as she had then.
Assai laughed a little shyly. "Friend Veronica, you are too generous."
"What?" She rinsed Assai's hair as she talked, continuing to thread her fingers through it against impending tangles. "You do! I know some of the boys in your tribe have noticed, too." Assai turned to look at her in astonishment. "They have. They're not all interested in blonde curls and big breasts."
"Oh!" Assai put a hand to her mouth, but whether in embarrassment or delight, even she couldn't guess.
Veronica guessed though, and her blue eyes twinkled. "I saw Jarl looking at you just this morning." Jarl was tall and handsome, only a year older than Assai, and already a skilled and respected hunter within the tribe.
"I wouldn't make it up."
"Oh!" she exclaimed again, and this time she was definitely pleased.
After a dinner that evening, the young women settled in on the balcony to watch the sun go down.
"Here." Veronica handed Assai a small crystal goblet with dark red liquid in it. She sat down beside her on the small sofa.
"What is this?"
"Port. It's a kind of wine. It's strong though, so just a little each, you know? My parents brought it with them when they came here. They used to drink it on special occasions--when they discovered something really exciting or made friends with a new tribe."
Assai sniffed the liquor carefully. It was fruity and sweet, and a little sharp from the alcohol. "Is this a special occasion?"
"I think it is." Veronica grinned at her friend. "It's the first time you've stayed with me without a bunch of armed guards camped below. So I say we celebrate." She raised her own glass in a toast, which Assai copied. "To adulthood."
The clinked the glasses together with a tiny bell-like ting! of crystal on crystal, and sipped the liquor carefully. There was a pause and then the two looked at each other with equally dubious expressions.
"Have you had this before, Veronica?"
The blonde shook her head. "No. I'm not sure if I like it or not."
"I am the same."
They giggled and Veronica sipped her drink again. "It's not bad, just strange. But the adults liked it," she said with renewed conviction. "And we're both adults. So maybe we'll learn to like it?" Her dubious expression made Assai laugh harder.
They sat laughing and talking, drifting unconsciously back and forth between English and Zanga. The sun sank and the air cooled. The heat that had lain like a blanket was swept away on the night breeze. As darkness fell, the jungle's nocturnal creatures came out to hunt and forage. They heard a bird calling from a far distance, and an answering song from much closer.
"It sounds like a mating pair," Veronica commented softly.
"Mm," agreed Assai. She sipped at her port and made a face. She wanted to like it. It was almost good. Perhaps Veronica was right and she would learn to like it.
The birds called to one another again, the sound an ethereal music that rose and fell on the gentle wind. "It is a beautiful song."
"A love song," Veronica clarified. The friends fell silent for several moments, listening to the birds. "Wouldn't it be wonderful to have someone sing to you like that?" She sighed wistfully.
"To feel so much that words fail you and you must sing your heart."
Veronica turned to Assai, smiling. "That's beautiful."
"It is how I imagine love to feel--like birdsong. Free of care and full of joy."
Veronica thought about it and took a small swallow of her drink. It seemed the more she had of it, the tastier it became. This was her second glass.
She hadn't been completely honest with her friend earlier in the day, and it had been bothering her ever since. But how would Assai react? She's never judged me, Veronica reminded herself. She's always been accepting of me despite all the differences between us. "Remember at the pond ?" she began.
Assai gave a little laugh. "It was not that long ago."
"No," Veronica agreed with a chuckle. "I mean remember what we talked about? About men and women together?"
"Oh. Of course."
"I said I didn't know what it felt like to be with a man."
Assai's eyes widened in shock. "Veronica, you haven't--" she began.
"No!" Veronica hastily assured her. "Of course not."
"Then what do you mean?" Assai's delicate brow furrowed in puzzlement.
Veronica felt her cheeks flush and was glad the only light was the lantern behind them and the small crescent of the moon. She couldn't remember the first time that she'd woken from a dream with her hand between her legs, fingers and inner thighs wet with her pleasure. Since then, though, she had often gone there deliberately, seeking the rush and release she'd felt that night. "I mean Haven't you ever touched yourself?"
The silence lasted so long that Veronica feared she had gone too far, asked too much of her friend. She had no idea how the Zanga viewed self-pleasuring. It could be taboo. It could be encouraged. It could be anywhere in between.
Finally, Assai broke the increasingly tense silence. "I have thought about it," she admitted shyly. "But I have never tried to give myself pleasure."
"Oh you should!" exclaimed Veronica. She sat up straighter and set her port glass safely aside. "It's " She couldn't find the right words to describe it. "You just should."
"I do not know "
Veronica started to say more, but thought better of it. She had learned much in her time with the Amazons--hunting and tracking skills, fighting and self-defense, and sexual pleasure. Without men around, it was natural for them find satisfaction alone or with friends, and the teenaged women of the tribe were encouraged to it. Veronica had never taken up an age-mate on her offer of companionship, but that didn't mean she wasn't curious. It was simply that none of the girls there were special enough to her to share that experience with them. Finally, she said, "Think about it, anyway, okay?"
"I will," agreed Assai. Then she gave a coy little smile. "How could I not now that you've put the idea in my head?"
"I promise it's a good idea." Veronica grinned.
The next morning dawned warm, but the previous day's oppressive heat was gone. They ate a leisurely breakfast and chatted about what they wanted to do that day.
"If it's not too boring for you," Veronica began, "would you mind helping me cut out some new clothes? It's easier when I have help."
"Of course I don't mind!"
They cleaned up the breakfast stuff and cleared the big table. Veronica laid out the deer skin and found chalk and shears. "We can use what I'm wearing as a pattern. Just a minute." She disappeared upstairs and when she returned she had her leather skirt and top in one hand and she was wearing a large, blue men's shirt. "It's my dad's," she explained, although Assai didn't ask.
"It is a pretty color on you."
"You think so?" Veronica looked down at the shirt and smiled. "Thanks."
They spent the morning measuring and cutting, fitting and sewing. The skirt was a simple matter; they simply pieced in new sections of leather at the hips to compensate for new curves. The top was more difficult. Eventually Veronica got sick of taking off her shirt and putting it back on over and over again, and just left it draped over the back of a chair. It was only her and Assai, after all, and there was no bodyshyness between the friends.
"Put this on again," Assai instructed, handing the bodice to Veronica.
She slipped into it and held the front together over her bosom. "That's better!" The new top was more of a vest than the old one had been, giving her more coverage of her fuller breasts; and it met in the center front where she would either put hooks on or punch holes for lacing. She looked at herself in the full length mirror--a prized possession her mother had brought all the way from London--scrutinizing the picture she made. The skirt fit very well and the top needed only a little more adjustment. "I think the darts under the breasts need to be tightened up. Here." She turned to Assai. "We'll pin it closed and then you can pin it underneath."
"All right." Assai knelt on a small ottoman so that she was at the proper height for the task. She secured the front opening and began to pin and dart the supple leather while Veronica held her breasts up so that the adjustments would give her the best support possible. "It would be easier if you simply wore Zanga clothing," commented Assai around a mouthful of pins.
"Easier for whom? Me or the raptors that sometimes chase me? If I had a skirt that came to my knees it would be that much harder to run and climb trees to get away from them."
"How is that?" Assai sat back and Veronica looked in the mirror again.
"Good." She let go of her breasts so the garment could take their weight. "Good," she repeated, turning right and left as she examined her reflection. She bounced a little in place; her bosom stayed put. She smiled. "Very good." It fit well and she liked the way she looked in it.
"Come here. Take it off and we'll finish sewing it." Veronica rejoined her friend, and Assai began carefully removing the pins she'd use to keep the vest closed. As it fell open and Veronica shrugged out of it, Assai's eye was caught by the rosy pertness of Veronica's nipples.
Veronica caught her staring. "What is it?"
Assai blushed and turned away. "Nothing."
The blonde glanced down at herself, guessed what had captured her friend's attention. "It's the new leather," she explained. "It feels good on my skin. It doesn't bother you, does it?"
"No." Assai shook her head. "I I have felt the same. I didn't know if it happened to other women."
Veronica frowned. "Those Elder women left some holes in your education, didn't they?"
"Did your mother teach you about such things?" challenged Assai defensively.
"No," Veronica admitted. "I learned a lot from the Amazons."
"Teach me." The words startled both of them, and Assai quickly clamped a hand over her mouth. "I am sorry." She shook her head and turned away, embarrassed.
"It's okay," Veronica hastened to assure her. She took a step towards her friend and placed a hand on her slim shoulder. "I Do you really want me to?" Her heart beat faster at the thought. This was why she'd never gone with the Amazon girls. If she was going to touch another woman, and let that woman touch her, she wanted it to be her best friend. She wanted it to be Assai. "I will."
Assai turned to face her, allowing the hand to drop from her mouth. Her brown eyes were wide, excited, and a little fearful. She nodded. "Please."
Wordlessly, Veronica took Assai's hand in her own, gently guided it up, and placed it lightly on her bare breast. Then she removed her hand, leaving Assai's resting there. "Feel it," she instructed in an encouraging tone.
Assai ran her palm and fingers lightly over the soft flesh. Her index finger curiously circled the hard nub of Veronica's nipple, making the blonde woman gasp slightly. Assai looked at her, but didn't remove her hand. "Is it all right?"
"Yeah." Veronica smiled. "It's really good, actually. Let me show you?"
It took only a second for Assai to make up her mind. She nodded and quickly untied her sarong and retied it at her waist. Her breasts were small, barely a handful for Veronica who cupped one and ran her thumb over the dark brown nipple, eliciting a surprised squeak and a smile from Assai. The nipple hardened immediately at her touch.
"That is very good, yes," the Zanga woman agreed.
They stood in the middle of the large room gently touching, caressing, and massaging one another's breasts. Impulsively, Veronica leaned in and captured Assai's mouth with a kiss. This was the one thing she had practiced with the Amazons, and she'd been told more than once that she was good at it. Assai stiffened slightly, but didn't pull away. Veronica continued to kiss her and soon Assai relaxed and leaned into her, kissing her back. Heat rose between Veronica's thighs and she wondered if her friend felt similarly.
At last they broke from the kiss a little breathlessly.
"Okay?" asked Veronica hopefully. She had certainly enjoyed the experience, but wanted to be just as certain that her friend had, too.
"Very good!" Assai embraced her and kissed her again. Surprised and delighted, Veronica relished the moment--the feeling of Assai's soft lips, her small, strong hands on Veronica's back. She held the other woman close, their breasts pressing eagerly against each other's.
When they broke apart this time, Veronica laughed. "You're a natural at kissing!"
Assai blushed. "Thank you." She looked down at Veronica's bosom, held one pale breast in her hand, feeling the weight and softness of it.
"That's nice." Veronica sighed happily.
Assai smiled at her. "What more can you teach me?"
Veronica's heart fluttered and she grinned broadly. How many times had she wondered what it would be like to have someone touch her the way Assai was touching her now? How many fantasies had she had about imagined lovers? Usually those fantasies involved her childhood friend Danu. Sometimes it was a young man with blond hair and blue eyes, an invention of her mind's eye. But once in a while her fantasy partner was Assai. "Let's go to my room. I'll teach you everything I can."
They hurried, hand-in-hand, upstairs to Veronica's bedroom. They'd shared the narrow bed the night before, but this would be something else entirely. The midday sun filtered through the leaves outside, casting dappled green light into the room. "We should--" Veronica started to say, but then simply undid her skirt and slipped it and her drawers off in one move. Assai followed her lead and let her sarong fall to the floor.
They were naked together as they had been at the pond yesterday. Today, though, they took the time to look at one another closely. Examining each curve with first their eyes and then with curious and eager hands.
"Your skin is so soft," murmured Veronica, running a hand across Assai's flat stomach.
"As is yours," Assai replied, exploring the other woman's skin with equal attention.
Veronica took Assai's roaming hand and led her to the bed. They laid down side by side, facing one another, and continued to trail light fingers along each other's bodies. The heat in Veronica's core grew with every touch, sending a zing of excitement though her. One hand still on Assai, she shifted onto her back and let her other hand slide down her own body to the dark blonde curls between her legs. Veronica slipped her hand down over her pubic mound and let a finger slip between her nether lips. She was as wet as she'd expected to be and her finger slid around easily, spreading the slickness. She arched a little into her hand, luxuriating in her touch.
Assai followed the movement with wide and fascinated eyes. Veronica met her gaze and smiled. "Try it," she urged, her voice husky with anticipation.
A little wary and tentative, Assai laid on her back next to Veronica and took her friend's hand in her own. She used the other to copy Veronica's actions, letting it move slowly along her belly and into the dark curls below. She gasped a little as her fingers laced, seemingly of their own accord, though the short, coarse hairs. Veronica smiled again and gave her an encouraging nod.
"Go on. You'll like it, I swear."
Assai nodded once and slid her fingers lower, between legs already slightly parted to receive the contact. She gasped again as she touched slick and silken skin. A sensation like none she'd ever known shot through her belly from her core.
Veronica squeezed her hand encouragingly. "That's it. Just move around a little. Take it slow." She demonstrated, continuing to circle her sex with slippery fingers. She arched into her touch more, aching with pleasure. "Then when you're ready, slip a finger inside." Her voice was almost a whisper, blending with the soft breeze that ruffled the green leaves beyond the window.
"Inside?" echoed Assai.
"Uh-huh," Veronica practically moaned. "Start slow," she repeated, "and you'll know when to speed up." She shut her eyes and freed herself to the delight she gave herself.
Still uncertain but willing to follow her friend's lead--she had after all not lead her wrong yet--Assai closed her eyes, too, and relaxed into the gentle stroking of her fingers over her most private center. She raised her hips, trying to bring the touch closer, and with the motion slid not one but two fingers inside. She let out a groan of pleasure, thought she heard it echoed by Veronica. Together the pair wriggled and writhed, side-by-side, each with one hand between her legs and the other grasped tightly in her friend's.
Assai's heart raced. It felt as if tiny bolts of lightning thrilled through her core, overwhelming every other sense until there was nothing left but pleasure. Her climax when it came was rolling thunder, sunlight rippling on breaking waves, joy and sorrow in the same moment, and above all an indescribable feeling of fulfillment. Assai found herself laughing gleefully while tears rolled from the corners of her tightly closed eyes. She shook with the laughter and with the delight that shivered through her body.
When at last she calmed enough to open her eyes, she found Veronica looking at her, equally breathless, cheeks rosy, and eyes alight.
"Well?" Veronica asked eagerly, speaking in Zanga.
Assai laughed again, her expression one of enchantment and satisfaction, and answered in the same language. "I understand why the women would not tell me what it feels like. I cannot find the words, either!"
Not releasing Assai's hand, Veronica turned again onto her side and kissed her friend's smiling mouth. "Thank you," she said when their lips parted.
"Why do you thank me? You should be the one receiving my thanks!" insisted Assai.
Veronica gave a one-shouldered shrug. She was suddenly shy. "You're my first partner. I've never done this with anyone else before."
"I have never done it at all before." Assai smiled sweetly and gave Veronica a tender kiss, soft as a butterfly landing. "I think we are both rightly thankful. Yes?"
Veronica smiled and nodded. "Yes!" She added with a cheeky grin, "And we have the rest of today, tonight, and all of tomorrow and tomorrow night to show each other our gratitude."
Assai's eyes lit up. "That would be most gratifying, yes."