Everything was in place. Everyone was tensed, ready. All that waited was the signal. The signal she had to give.
What could she say? Luis had been right, Whether the Goddess or his unfailing intuition had told him did not matter – for Molly had help. With that help, she’d planned a rebellion in little under a tredicem.
Everything was ready. Soon the city would be hers, and Luis would be free.
But she had to wait for the exactly the right moment.
That wasn’t now.
The year would end tonight. On a Jourd’Umbra, no less, considered a good omen for the coming year, which would then begin on a Jourd’Aradia. Good luck indeed, to end in darkness and begin in light.
This time it was going to be good luck, silly superstition or not. As of New Year’s Day, Duchess Danika would be dead, the city theirs, Luis free – and the world would change.
She – Molly, the cripple, the unloved – she had organised it.
She sighed – not an unhappy sound but an exhalation of air – and turned over in bed, letting her body curve against that of her lover’s, code name “Lucy.”
They all had codenames, in this rebellion. She was “Aradia”, named fo the first rebel in their history, the one who had changed things irrevocably so many millennia ago. Her story was so old, no one knew if it was true. The name had power: none but the royal family and the highest order of the priestesshood were allowed to call to Aradia of the Stars in supplication, on pain of death. Nothing stops me from using Her name as a code, Molly thought as she snuggled closer to Lucy.
They were in the safe house, deep in the ghetto, where they went for time alone. Or for planning rebellions.
It had been Lucy who had given Molly the power to do what she’d done. The contacts. The courage. The support.
A miserable day at market, following a miserable day at home, had ended at Lucy’s place, hatching plans of revolt.
“I heard tell,” the woman had said over their tea, “of a stockpile of old weapons, just north of town.”
Molly frowned. “How old? Will they still work?”
Lucy shrugged. “Who knows? But it’s worth a shot.”
“If they’re really there,” Molly said gloomily, unable to believe they could be.
“If they’re not, I know several people who can outfit us with the more standard knives and swords. But the possibility of Second Age weapons is worth a look-see, I think,” she said, drinking her tea.
Molly nodded. The weapons were worth whatever the impoverished rebels could give. The technology of the Second Age had been…incredible. So said the legends. If there was something they could use, the rebellion would succeed.
They’d gone north, in search of the stockpile. There they’d found many strange items, and after testing them out on nearby wildlife (and nearly setting the land on fire) they’d determined what worked and what didn’t. Most of it worked.
Molly could hardly believe her luck. Then again, it had been a Jourd’Selene on the day they’d met, a mere ten days ago. Maybe the Goddess did speak to Luis.
Or mayhap it’s coincidence. She didn’t really care. All she knew was that she’d never been so happy to have someone run into her and knock her down.
She knew the danger, of course. If they failed, she knew too much truth about Lucy for her lover to be safe. And vice versa, she was sure.
Danika’s already taken Luis, and if I fail at this….Then she would have failed at everything, and nothing would matter anymore. At least an attempted rebellion would give the people of Athering hope – if the story got out. It had to get out. It would. She had planned for that.
If they succeeded, however, all was to be kept silent. Aeril could not stand against the forces of Atherton, even if Molly had an ally in the bellica of the Second Regiment. An ally she’d not heard from in too long.
No, there was no counting on Selina, for all that Molly trusted the woman. There were too many variables at work. She just hoped that, when they succeeded, help would come soon enough. Help from where, she didn’t know. She would try. Mayhap they would succeed.
She might have only limited time with this woman who had changed everything. So, despite the pre-dawn hour, despite their need for sleep for tonight’s rebellion, Molly lifted the long tresses that guarded Lucy’s neck and began to cover the sensitive skin there with gentle kisses.
A murmur in response, and Molly intensified her caresses, nibbling where shoulder and neck met; hands roaming over breasts, belly, hips. Lucy moaned and arched her back against Molly, driving her skin against the insistent caresses of the nascent rebel leader.
Molly’s hand found its way between Lucy’s legs, the place that welcomed her fingers as they worked their magic expertly. At this, Lucy turned, facing Molly, and kissed her deeply and passionately.
Lucy’s kisses always made Molly want to surrender completely, reaching and loving as they did some deep wound in the ex-healer, but not tonight. She was determined to remain in control this time. Her hand continued its manipulation of Lucy’s most sensitive part, while her other hand continued its tender explorations elsewhere, until the gorgeous blonde tensed, a small cry escaping her mouth, and shuddered against Molly, collapsing as the pleasure took her over.
Smiling in the darkness at her limp lover, Molly gave Lucy one last stroke, making her convulse, before removing her hand and leaning back. She curved her back and stretched her muscles, the satisfaction she’d given her lover satisfying her.
She was not to be let off so easily. Lucy pounced then, giving lie to her previous passivity and reminding Molly that her lover was far more experienced than she was. Gratefully she surrendered to her lover’s tongue as it laved away the pain of her life. “Mmm,” she murmured against Lucy’s lips, and the other woman gave a soft chuckle before moving her mouth down the length of Molly’s body. She opened to Lucy eagerly, letting the sensations take down her defenses, drifting on a sea of yes.
When she came to, stars in her vision dazzling her night-blind eyes, Lucy was curled up against her, already asleep again. Molly pulled the blanket over them and kissed the other woman on the top of the head.
“I love you, Selene,” she whispered, only daring enough to say it when her lover slept, daring to use Lucy’s real name only in the dead of night, when no one could hear.
“I love you,” she whispered again, safe to be herself only in the perfect anonymity of darkness. There was nothing else to be said.