"Lightning," he growled, gripping her ass tightly in a beefy hand. He pinched hard with nails, ramming Lightning to him again with the other hand at her hip, controlling the thrusts as he shoved back in. Lightning winced with the harshness of his thrusts against her vaginal sores. On her forearms and knees with him servicing her from behind, Lightning bucked, drawing in a great breath to soothe the burning at her core, coming from more pain than pleasure in this instance, but he was big. Bigger than most guys, anyway, and Lightning judged the extra inch and girth couldn't hurt her chances that he might be the one to finally get her pregnant.

What was his name? Shit. Lightning stiffened and closed her eyes as she burned more with every thrust, the pain excruciating. She fisted her hands and bit down on her teeth. He couldn't last much longer now, could he? A hand gripped her shoulder hard with only a momentary reprieve as the man at her backside ordered. "Come for me."

Shit. He was one of them. Lightning squeezed her fists. It was the last thing she felt like doing at this time and so hard to manage when she was in this much pain. Fingers dug into her shoulder roughly, hard into her skin. "You hear me?" His rough voice demanded, snarling the words at her.

"Yes," Lightning panted, sweating for all the pain. "Keep going. I'll come." She almost cried out when he shoved back into her again quickly, quicker than she'd been able to clamp her jaw again. A pained moan emitted instead. Lightning clamped her mouth shut as quick as she could, stifling the whimpers that threatened. She wouldn't be able to come like this, and he'd be mad and insulted. It wasn't his fault; Lightning's sores were just acting up too much. Maybe another had opened and bled with the chafing. She struggled to control her mind and focus out of her body again, a technique she'd mastered long ago for when men demanded she'd come for them.

Focusing her mind away from her current partner, which was much easier said than done when she had a man chafing into her burning vag, Lightning took her mind away to a place away from the burning and pain. She slowly drifted into that oblivion. When she'd carried herself as much as she reckoned she would get in this instance, Lightning pictured Odile instead at her ass, slipping in a thick, warm implement in and out of her as she grabbed Lightning's breasts and purred. "That's right, lovely."

Lightning cringed as she grew wet, the heat both blanketing and burning her sores as Odile pushed it in again and again. "It hurts," Lightning whimpered, eyes shut so tight, head down on the bed as she painfully squeezed over Odile's toy she'd crafted for this practice.

"Shhh," Odile hushed, squeezing her breast. She flicked the tip, making Lightning cry out as a rush of heat doused the object. "A little more, luv." She squeezed again, then thrust in hard and deep. Lightning squeaked loud as she panted, coming out of it with a hard gasp as her innards clenched too tight around his dick and she came, came hard enough to go limp, which resulted in a shout of protest as the man suspended her with an arm around the belly and gushed, seeping into her with a warm, hot flood of relief. Lightning could practically taste his seed as he emptied into her, thankfully giving up his release. His cum soaked inside her, absorbed right up with barely any leakage but for the position alone. Lightning was too deep for that. She collapsed to the bed, heaving when he finally let go. Finally. She panted. This stint was over at last.

Lightning got a precious few, blissful moments of rest. With her suitor half sprawled on top, sweating into her skin, Lightning half dozed in her daze, happy that was all done. She wished that hot seed inside of her good luck. The weight shifted on her back and Lightning let herself be turned as the man regained his breath again. A SMACK resounded with his sudden backhand. Lightning saw stars and didn't look his way again until he clamped her jaw between fingers and turned her face towards him. Lightning tasted blood. He looked angry as hell. "Who's Odile?" he demanded, snarling at her then. "You thinking about another man as I do you, bitch?"

Lightning took another hit. His mouth mashed over hers and suffocated her from saying anything. He tongued hungrily, stinging her split lip, then bit down greedily. Lightning choked on the whimper that came, snuffed out by his tongue that explored the depths of her throat. Lightning relaxed with the assault of mouths, much less pained by this. She cupped his cheek and mmmed. Predictably, this satisfied him.

"Better," he growled when he lifted away. "You have a good mouth. Good at sucking, yes?"

Lightning nodded slightly. "I've been told so, yes."

"Good. Give me ten, and you'll suck me real good. Then you can go to the physician's and treat your sores right."

"Thank you." Lightning said, for his allowance to proceed to her original destination before she'd bumped into him hard and wanting sex. "Will you come by again?" Lightning asked, hopeful with this one. Only decently brutish, this guy was heavy and thick. If she couldn't get pregnant this time, he would be good for future attempts. No one fit Lightning the right ways that she'd like, that was part of the curse of her Umbra-half, being too deep for the likes of men; deep and stingy with maturing eggs, but if anyone had a chance of it, Lightning reckoned it would be someone bigger like him.

"Depends how you do on my blow job," the man stood from the bed. "I'm gonna wash my dick. Keep you from festering on me. Clean up your face and get ready for me by the time I get back."

Lightning did as he asked and learned his name was Rick. She prayed for the pregnancy none of the others had blessed her with as of yet.


Fang stood from the bed where the curled up Yun lay, holding herself in. She covered herself with blankets at the entry of another one coming in, displaying uncharacteristically reserved shyness for a Yun. Fang didn't blame her; she'd have been fragile too, if she'd been a courting Yun, forced to sleep with someone else to get pregnant and have their kid instead. Fang had been as gentle as possible with that one, but there was only so much she could do in situations like this one.

The next girl walked boldly in. Good. It was always easier to do this when the Yun chose to resent her instead. The ones that started crying were the worst for Fang. Fang helped the pathetic mess of a Yun she'd made get to her feet again. She picked up her clothes off the floor and handed them to her. The girl didn't remove her sheet as she took them, not looking at Fang.

"Ragnarok," the other woman said, summoning Fang's eyes and the turn of her head. She was an especially beautiful one, this girl. With chestnut hair and mahogany flecks, her eyes burned into Fang, so beautiful and dotted with light, amber flecks. The way she stood and how she looked radiated the great confidence of a Yun and a full woman, beautiful and eye-drawing in everything. This woman was used to dropping jaws as she passed, and it was probably that same beauty that'd brought her here, stuck with Fang.

When Fang's eyes turned on her at the call of her title, those stunning eyes searched her and grew sadder yet. "So, it's true…" the woman spoke softly, almost reverently in quiet sadness. She hadn't been the first one to be stunned by the revelation and she wouldn't be the last.

"One minute," Fang requested, trying to help the skittish Yun, who shied away when she reached for her. "It's okay," Fang tried to ease. "I'm just gonna hold up the sheet." The girl flinched again when Fang touched her and curled away to dress. Fang lowered her head to give her a few moments of privacy before her shuffling ended. She lowered the sheet, tentatively at first, then fully when she saw the girl had dressed. She didn't make to touch her like she had with some of the others.

"Umbra are waiting outside," Fang informed gently, repeating words she'd used to sooth other Yuns she'd had before. "If our time was successful, your family will go under watched protection and will care for any needs you might have. You'll go into a separate settlement for a short time so we can be sure of your safety." Fang hoped she didn't have to see this one again. It was a shame to witness members of her proud clan like this, made frail from her duty to reproduce for Gran Pulse's sake. If she didn't see her, she'd gotten pregnant and it'd all be okay. If she did see her, Fang would have to try again. It was best just to get it first shot with these things. The girl was Yun; hopefully fertility would take fast.

"R… Ragnarok," the girl inclined her shaky head and rushed past Fang and the new Yun out the door, stifling her cries of embarrassment and shame. Fang sighed and turned around again, facing the second Yun she'd have today, which was unusual in itself. Her lovers varied through the tribes, the most being Umbra, of course, followed by a steep drop of Yun lovers that she could breed and a few other high-ups from each of their surviving tribes. It'd been a long time since she'd had two consecutive Yuns.

"What's your name?" Fang asked, naked already, but used to a little more space between her lovers so she could change the sheets at least. She'd showered already when Primrose had passed out, but the sheets could still use a change. It was one of the small things Fang could do to feel less inhumane about the rapes.

"You don't remember me," the woman said, surprising Fang. She did sleep with a lot of women, that was true, but Fang usually recalled those she'd been with already. Especially the Yuns.

"I'm sorry," Fang apologized, unable for the life of her to recall her pretty face amidst the myriads she'd already had. "Were you pregnant with me already once?" Fang asked, thinking that the most likely route to explain this, if she had been from a few years ago.

"I'm not one of your women, Fang." The woman said, startling Fang by knowing her name. The Yuns weren't privileged to that information. Some of the Umbra called her that, preferring to whisper it in bed, but her identity as Fang was hidden from everyone but them. Fang had lost that privilege when she'd been revealed as Ragnarok.

"How do you know my name?" Fang demanded, more than a little flustered by the revelation. Bad things happened to a Yun who knew too much, bad things worse than Fang. No one but the Umbra called her by that name, and only in the private sanctity of home or bed. "Who are you?"

"It's me, Fang." The woman said, "It's Summer. From your past."

Fang stiffened straighter than a board at first mention of her name. It was a name that she remembered, one that came with memories back in time when she'd just been a girl back then. Fifteen and little, she'd become friends with this older woman and joined her hunting trip a few times. Summer had been kind to her and Fang, hopelessly crushing on her four-year-older friend. Summer had joined her for dinner more than once, sweetly, and doted on Fang. She'd made love to her the following year, so heartstricken with her friend, she'd intended to mate her once upon a time. That'd been before Fang had been taken up a few days later when she'd been discovered to hold Ragnarok within.

Fang had had sex so many times since then, with so many instances of heartless, sex for sex and reproduction, she'd forgotten the face of her childhood best friend. Twenty-nine now with thirteen years passed, Summer, who'd once meant everything to a village-raised, orphan Fang, had completely gone. Meaningless sex for reproduction had punched the memories out of Fang, who was not a little girl anymore and had lost those romantic ideas a long time ago.

"Shut the door," Fang finally managed to hiss through choked teeth. Summer did so quietly behind. Fang was at her back and latched arms around her waist, fervently whispering in her ear quickly. "Speak of this to no one."

"Why?" Summer challenged, not very moved by the grasp. "Are you ashamed you're not dead like they told us?"

"They'll hurt you," Fang hissed, squeezing her arm around Summer's middle to emphasize what she was saying.

"More or less than you're about to?" Summer cast over her shoulder coldly, stinging Fang. Fang turned her in her grasp till Summer faced her again, back to the door, closed in by Fang.

There were so many things Fang wanted to say, things she wasn't permitted that'd put Summer in danger to say. Much as Fang yearned to spill her guts about the last thirteen years, it wouldn't do either of them a spot of good, except maybe to ease Fang's conscience in what she had to do. She wasn't going to put Summer at risk for that, so she said instead. "This doesn't have to hurt."

Summer slapped her. Fang grabbed her arm to keep it from happening again. "I mourned for you," Summer spat, little ambers burning like fiery coals burning straight into Fang. "For this." Summer looked into her with those strong, seething eyes full of clouded, angry pain. She ducked under Fang's arm and made to the middle of the room. "Let's get this over with," Summer said, undoing her jeans as she stepped away from Fang. "Make your bastard babies and be done. How many times must you come in me?"

The question was cold, but something else struck Fang worse than that. Summer had said bastard, which meant… "You're mated?"

"What?" Summer loosed her jeans and took them off cleanly, "Is that bonus points to you?"

A painful stab pierced Fang's dwindled heart. She was destroying another life, one she desperately didn't want to. Summer was mated… she was happy before Fang.

Summer scanned the bed with growing disdain. "I'll change that," Fang started to say, but Summer simply covered it with a sheet.

"What for? You'll have another woman after your six hours with me. Why waste the sheets?"

Fang swallowed hard, a thick knot in her stomach and throat as Summer climbed pants-less into the bed. It'd once been something Fang dreamed of with her endlessly. Thoughts of Summer had been her escape in the beginning. Now, she had nothing left, and operated like a machine in destroying the relationships of her clan.

Fang crossed the room to the girl she'd once known inside and out, now a stranger who hated her like the rest. Fang deserved it for what she'd done, what she continued to do to her clan like this and the endless babies she'd fathered that she'd never see, to be grown and primed something like herself when they came of age, if they too held her 'gift' of immortality. Fang hated herself too for it, but worse than all that yet was when she saw Summer's face in that bed. Jaw set and clenched, shirt still on and not coming off, with a forced, angry and pained determination in her eyes, so near breaking, they watered as Fang drew near. Summer closed her eyes and breathed as Fang came above her. It took long concentration to get her hard with Summer like this.

"Are you ready?" Fang asked, moving above her to hover. Summer didn't speak, but a tick worked in her jaw when Fang touched her hair near her head. Fang grabbed herself below and worked herself up more, enough to fizz at the tip and to coat herself with it to ease her entry as much as possible and shorten the span of time she'd have to thrust in. Summer wouldn't come for her either way; Fang was trying to make it as easy as possible on her. Still, when she pushed in, Summer's clenched jaw tightened. She opened those seething, hurt, and angry eyes on Fang, who steadied herself with a hand on Summer's shoulder as she began. They didn't kiss, didn't talk, or try to ease each other's pain, but Summer stared through her long and hard with eyes that pierced her withered soul. Not a single tear eased back into Summer's hair during Fang's invasion. Fang couldn't tell if she felt better or worse for the lack of manifestation of Summer's pain.

Hours later when neither could take any more again, Summer rested her head to pillow, spent and probably in a lot of pain. Only when Fang was sure she slept did she push back a strand of sweat-frazzled hair and whispered, "I'm sorry."

Summer would never hear her apologies made in vain.


Lightning inhaled at the cool touch, fingers snug between her legs, coated a cool cream that stung and tickled and felt so good in her hot center, chilling the open sores she soothed over with her finger. Lightning rubbed it in to all she could reach, then dipped for another, two fingers this time. She closed her eyes and moaned with the fantastic, other-world relief.

The bathroom door opened again, revealing Odile coming out with an amused smile. Her long, blonde hair fluttered behind her as she walked, olive eyes dazzling as she looked upon Lightning with favor. Every step bounced her bountiful breasts that attracted so many men. "Sounds like you're getting off, darling."

"This feels so good," Lightning murmured, holding back a groan. "Try it, Odile."

Odile crossed to her bed and picked up the little jar. "New cream?" She speculated, sniffing at the stuff.

"It's very good," Lightning said, finally pulling her fingers free when she'd smeared all she could reach. She went to wash her hands in the sink.

"I don't have any open sores," Odile said, capping the lid to the little jar. "How long are you off sex?"

"I'm supposed to wait two weeks for it to cure completely. Three, if my body's slow to heal with it."

"Three weeks?" Odile questioned as she came back into the room. "That's not so bad."

"Not so bad?" Lightning questioned, wondering at her sanity. "Are you crazy? I can't afford a month off sex. Neither of us can. We're 28 already and have no children. Within two years, we'll be enslaved for infertility." Even being Umbra-born wouldn't save them from that fate. It was true, some men took pity on them because their Cocoon fathers had been raped to conceive them, but if Lightning and Odile couldn't get pregnant within the primes of their lives, they'd be discarded like all other women who couldn't breed. Even Sage, Cocoon's leader on high who'd taken Odile and Lightning under his wing when they'd been born, would have a hard time protecting them when they were known to be an infertile breed. Bad things happened to women who couldn't bear; Lightning had no intention of becoming one of those shameful slaves. She had 36 months left to conceive; she couldn't waste them waiting around like this. Lightning shook her head. "I'm just off my bleeding week too. It's horrible timing. I'm going to try to give it a week if I can manage that."

"You shouldn't." Odile shook her head, "You're never going to heal that way. Even if you got pregnant, the baby would catch the virus and die before you could do anything about it. Keep off sex, Lightning."

"You're probably right…" Lightning looked at the little bottle longingly, willing her healing to speed. "It hurt so bad today, I could only get through one go. And that was while I was thinking of you."

"Your fucked somebody today?" Odile asked in surprise, "With open sores?"

"He had a big dick," Lightning explained, "And he wanted me anyway, so, I figured... good to add to the list, you know?"

"A big dick," Odile mused ponderously, "Who was he?"

"His name was Rick," Lightning shared, fully intending to let Odile use him if she wanted to try to seduce him. "Big, hefty guy, black hair with white scruff, only decently brutish. But... he preferred submissive over your style, if you go after him."

"Hmm, I think I've seen him." Odile considered, looking again at the little cream again. "You should apply more, you know. I'm sure your fingers didn't go deep enough."

Lightning blushed, deeply embarrassed by that fact. It was a flaw both she and Odile shared, this resistance to having children with vaginas so deep. Odile had tested before, of course she had, she had that strange kind of way, and figured both her and Lightning measured far more than the average man could reach.

"Come on," Odile encouraged, grabbing the little jar off the table again. "I'll help. Lie down, Light."

Lightning cast her a furtive look and started removing her pants. "Thanks," Odile just nodded and took the little jar over to the foot of the bed. Lightning kicked off her pants and relaxed back to the bed.

"Legs," Odile patted them, spreading Lightning's out till she was faced with her vag. She smiled faintly. "Your pink is starting to show."

"What?" Lightning asked, leaning up on her forearms to see. Odile's fingers ran through her short strands where the top of the dyed-black coloring had pinkened again. "Ugh," Lightning groaned, laying back to run a hand through her equally-dark hair atop her head, also dyed.

"I like your pink," Odile claimed with a smile, "It's cute."

"That's easy to say when it's not yours," Lightning hated her coloring; it was a constant reminder of her shameful roots from her mother. Odile called her fanatical, but Lightning hated when it showed, and so, 'fanatically' dyed her hairs and roots whenever they showed. Even her eyebrows were darkened. Lightning hid her pink entirely. "I'm gonna have to sleep with Shanks for more dye," Lightning groaned. Shanks was an old, old storekeeper in the castle; with no chance of pregnancy from him, the sex was a total waste of time and painful. He was a kinky old bastard, that one.

Lightning inhaled again as she felt Odile's fingers there, inserting into her warm crevasse with the cool cream. She poked around gently, extending deep with a long finger. "I'll do it for you." Odile volunteered.

"No," Lightning was touched she'd offer, but she wouldn't let Odile waste her time on her behalf. "I'll— "

"You're injured," Odile interrupted, "And shouldn't be sleeping around uselessly while you heal. I'll do it and get your dye for you while you get better."

"It's not that important— " Lightning started to say to Odile's snort.

"It is to you. And I know you'll go off to sleep with him anyway for it. Like I said, useless sex that'll irritate you. You'd do it for me, so, I'm going to do it, Light. You might as well give up."

Lightning breathed out and relaxed back to the bed, mind easing as Odile soothed her deepest crevasses. "Thank you," Lightning finally said after a moment, knowing Odile would do exactly as she said however Lightning put it.

"Mmm," Odile hummed faintly, lulling Lightning into a relaxed, easy state. Lightning closed her eyes after a time and rested.

"You know," Odile said after a little time, when the cool fingers had stopped and Lightning heard the sink. "We should get away." The sink turned off. Lightning murmured against the claim.

"Not worth the whipping for a few days away."

"I don't mean a few days," Odile corrected, sliding into bed warmly beside Lightning, whom she scooted a little towards the wall, then folded around with an arm wrapping around her belly. She whispered to her. "I mean we should leave. Escape."

Lightning rested back into her warm grasp, cuddled and rested against her best friend and lover. "Men would find us. Beat us. Make us slaves. Outside of Sage's protection, we're vulnerable."

"Maybe," Odile admitted, "Or maybe we'd get away."

"Get away where?" Lightning responded, tragically realistic. "Everywhere's the same. We'd probably get worse treatment somewhere else. Especially if they knew our heritage. They wouldn't all take pity on us like Sage did."

"We could go to Gran Pulse," Odile suggested, "Blend in there."

Lightning snorted. "The tribes there are even more barbaric. They'd rape us as traitors, and if we came across a Yun?" Lightning shook her head, cuddling further in against Odile. "They're animals. Worse than beasts. Don't you hear things about them?"

"Maybe," Odile confessed with a soft sigh. "I suppose you couldn't be around an Umbra without killing her, too."

"Right," Lightning agreed, "I'd try to kill the Umbra, and then where would we be? Captive and subject to whatever they want."

"You should learn how to hunt," Odile purred in her ear. "We could live alone someplace hidden. Just you and me."

"Shall I ask the next man who beds me to borrow his knife?" She shook her head again softly. "They'd find us wherever we go."

"I suppose…"

Lightning turned in her arms. This had grown more than fanciful. Odile sounded wistful for this, which confused Lightning. Here in the castle, under the Sage's protection, they received the best treatment of any lifetime they could get in this age. It wasn't unusual for Odile to talk or speak fancifully, but she never carried it on like this, like an actual suggestion. "What's wrong?" Lightning read, scanning her pretty face that would seem relaxed to anybody else who didn't know her as well.

Odile lifted a finger to touch Lightning's cheek. "We're getting old, Light." She stroked her chin gently. "Sage knows it… Yet you still look twenty to me, or even eighteen." Lightning's brow furrowed as she pet her cheek. "Don't give me that look," Odile chided, "You hold your youth well. We both do."

"We're not gonna be slaves, Odile," Lightning said, reading Odile's trepidation.

"We've been fucking for ten years," Odile reminded sadly, "Neither of us have borne a son. We haven't bore anything."

Lightning's stomach twisted; this was something she was acutely aware of too. "We've still got time."

"And then what?" Odile posed, "That'll buy us three years before we're expected to give birth again. Even if we somehow both made it to the twenty-five year mark, no way could we pull it off again." Lightning lowered her eyes; it was something she'd been putting off her mind for a long time too. "We could go somewhere else, if not Gran Pulse, then someplace here," Odile said, "Get picked up by another family. Maybe a nicer one. Pretend to be younger again."

"I don't want to run away from Sage," Lightning protested, "If we're going to end up in enslavement, he'll at least try to do something for us about it, and it'd be the best offer we'd get. Besides, you know Sage would find us anywhere we go," Lightning pointed out again, much more drearily this time.

"In Gran Pulse, he wouldn't." Odile repeated, "We could learn their customs there. We both have the blood; we could blend with the tribes, Lightning."

Lightning didn't like the sound of that. It seemed like Odile had really been thinking about this, and when a thought caught Odile's attention, she took it and ran. But neither of them knew; living with the tribes could be so much worse than becoming a slave. Lightning had heard terrible things, like their fascination for all things brutal: hunting, sex, and killing. Men spoke of the barbaric things the clans did, clans like the Yuns especially who lived in savagery all throughout the land. It wasn't an answer to hide out in Gran Pulse, it was a death-sentence from people who lived filthier than cavemen. And Lightning hated their breed.

Odile seemed to read her helplessly angering face, for her lips were on Lightning's in another second in kissing. It softened Lightning again out of her mind of hate. When she separated, Odile rubbed her arm lovingly. "Think about it with me. That's all I ask." She rubbed Lightning's arm soothingly. "I don't want to lose you when we become too old."

"Sage would keep us together," Lightning claimed. If anyone would take mercy on them, it'd be Sage. Odile pulled her in close again and Lightning wrapped an arm around her in turn, cozied into Odile's shoulder all warm.

"Stay with me," Odile coaxed, lulling Lightning back into that comfortable state so easily. Lightning ducked her head into Odile's shoulder and dreamed.