Sometimes the nascent Maker in Ayla would get lost in the artistry of her. Her inner lips, smooth, unruffled, but still soft as velvet. Her uncanny symmetry, inside and out, that persisted through the transformations arousal brought and every vibration from Ayla’s busy hands. Because she’s fake; because she’s a leech, came the angry thought sometimes, but when it did it came alone, without any of its anger – a thought only, easily ignored when what she was feeling was so much the opposite.
Crier would always bring her out of such dazes, finding Ayla’s silence terribly distracting. “Conversation or climax, Ayla,” she said on this particular occasion; the picture of poise for a human but breathing heavily for the automa she was.
Ayla turned her head up but did not lift it from Crier’s naked thigh. “We both know that’s not an ‘or’ for you.” Crier grinned amiably – for they did indeed both know that – then gasped softly when Ayla stroked her left thumb once over Crier’s hood. After that Ayla’s choice for their next subject of conversation did not require a great deal of creativity. “Did you ever wonder why you have this?” she asked, wiggling her two fingers inside Crier to indicate what “this” was.
An indication that Crier appeared to completely miss. “This?”
Ayla huffed in annoyance, but definitely no embarrassment whatsoever. “Where my fingers are,” she finally said, as those fingers resumed their slow movement in and out, and she strummed Crier’s hood again with her other hand for even more emphasis.
The soft gasp that caused did nothing to hinder the amusement growing on Crier’s face. “It’s called a vagina, Ayla.” She lifted the hand that had been combing through Ayla’s hair and began pointing. “Clitoris. Labia majora. Labia mi–”
“Shut up,” Ayla interrupted with a groan – and another brush of her thumb across the first thing Crier had pointed at. It was embarrassing how difficult Ayla found it to speak the names for… certain things. Also rather strange, given the book she was writing. But that’s not what she wanted to talk about, so she asked again, “Did you wonder?”
Crier gave it some thought, only slightly hindered by another movement of Ayla’s thumb. “I suppose like most automae I actively tried not to wonder. Which basically means yes, I did.” Then she smiled, and that smile – and the words that followed it – contained not a glimmer of flirtation or lust; just pure sincerity. “At least until I met you.”
After all their time together, including almost a year of marriage, Ayla’s impulse to yelp and flee the room in moments like these was almost non-existent – almost – and easily resisted. Instead, she lifted her head to grin back crookedly – the corner of one lip between her teeth – then closed her eyes, pressed her mouth to the bud of Crier’s flower, and gave it a long, deep kiss.
“Oh,” said Crier’s voice, soft with wonder, before releasing a gentle breath of giggles.
Ayla’s grin was much less crooked as she returned her head to its place on Crier’s thigh. Her left hand, also moved back into place, and strummed once, twice, as her right hand continued its motions uninterrupted. As if it too were uninterrupted, Ayla picked up the conversation where they’d left off.
“Well, I still wondered,” she said. “So I asked Jezen.” Ayla’s thumb stroked again just as Crier opened her mouth, presumably to ask how many tries that had taken. “It turns out that, without a sufficiently human-like body, the human pillars become unstable. Not always, but often enough that the old Makers finally threw up their hands and said, ‘Fine! Let them have genitals!’”
“I’m sure that’s exA–,” strum, gasp, “–ctly what they said.”
“Exactly,” Ayla confirmed.
“And furthermore how they would have chO–,” strum, gasp, “–sen to write it down, to be remembered for all time.”
“Word for word.”
“Hmmm,” Crier hummed.
Ayla’s right hand was getting tired, and she’d been about to switch it out for her mouth to give it a break – which would make their dialogue more intermittent, but they’d made it work before – when she heard the hum, and her plans changed. She kept her hands where they were, kept them doing what they were doing – in and out, strum, strum – and kept talking; changing nothing so as not to scare off a second hum. Crier’s release was often a skittish thing, coaxed out with only the utmost patience.
“Dinara’s ma wrote back. About the book.” Ayla spoke as normally as she could, trying to keep any hint of eager expectation from her voice.
“Hmmm,” Crier hummed again. “Does she want to contribute?”
“Yes,” Ayla answered happily, both at the addition of another contributor and something more immediate: the second hum. It meant Crier was close. Relatively speaking. With the right next steps the outcome was now guaranteed, and Ayla knew those steps well. She moved her head once more to the apex of Crier’s legs, replacing a strumming thumb with a strumming tongue. She started over the hood, before moving under it; first shallowly, then as deeply as she could. When the time was right she wrapped her whole mouth around, alternating forceful licks with gentle, careful suction.
Crier continued to hum. Her breathing grew heavier, until it was heavy by either Kind’s standards, before growing heavier still. Hums became whimpers. Whimpers became moans; not loud, but not quiet either, and beautifully, beautifully musical.
Then a word. A name. A prayer, as her body arched. “Ayla.”
Again. Quieter. Shakier, as her eyes closed. “Ayla.”
Once more. Broken. Barely a whisper. “Ayla.”
Crier’s breathing stopped and she went automa-still; at least to the eye. Through hands and mouth and thighs against cheeks Ayla could feel the high-frequency vibration that enveloped Crier’s entire body; a hum that was felt rather than heard; rising and falling and rising again in waves, frequencies within frequencies. Slowly the vibration ebbed as her body straightened, and then she lay flat on the bed; truly, completely still.
As it always did, this caused Ayla a small bit – of a fragment of a sliver – of panic. As she always did, while crawling up Crier’s body Ayla held an ear to Crier’s chest, listening for – and hearing – her heart still happily tick tick ticking despite her lack of breath. As always, this eased Ayla’s fear quickly and completely enough that she immediately forgot it had ever been.
Once their faces were even, Ayla set to thoroughly kissing Crier until her eyes opened and she was lucid again – which was probably a bit counter-productive, but Ayla didn’t much care. Crier’s body accelerated rapidly into the kiss, returning it with equal enthusiasm as her throat hummed a song of deep satisfaction. An indeterminate time later she slowly pulled away, her face a kaleidoscope of languid joy and bashful gratitude. Ayla felt her own face form a certain grin again; one that under different circumstances would make Crier snicker and call her a peacock.
Under the present circumstances Crier just continued to gaze adoringly, which did its own damage to Ayla’s smug grin. While her tolerance was much higher than it once was, there was still a limit to how much of that gaze Ayla could take before she started making embarrassed – and embarrassing – little squeaking noises. So she hid before it could get that bad; burying her face in the space where Crier’s neck met her shoulders and quickly losing herself in the unique scent that rose from Crier’s artificial skin when it was heated from within.
Minutes passed. Then, as if they hadn’t – and ignoring a number of other things that had occurred as well – Crier picked up their conversation again. “So that makes four sources for your book, now.” Her excitement was plain. Every one they found made her feel like less of an outsider among her own Kind.
Ayla separated from Crier’s neck to answer, “Yep. Just finished up some personal research, too.”
Crier tried – poorly – to pretend she wasn’t amused. “You’ll have to stop making that joke eventually.”
“Not until the book is finished,” Ayla grinned back.
“Storme,” Junn said with a smile as he entered the room – her room, safely nestled deep in the palace, where no one could eavesdrop who didn’t already know their secrets.
Normally Storme liked it when Junn smiled, but this particular smile had come with trouble in the past. “Junn,” he replied warily.
Rising, she picked something up from a small table he couldn’t see, on the opposite side of her chair. Turning, she kept her arms behind her back as she walked toward him, awkwardly sidling around another chair at one point to keep her front facing him. “I got you something,” she finally said once she stood within half an arm’s breadth.
“Never would have guessed.”
Her mouth twitched with amusement before settling back into mischief. She brought the item from behind her back and held it out to him. “Here.”
It was a book. He took it before reading the title. He wished he hadn’t.
Automae and Sex
by Ayla H.
When Storme could speak, he said, “You got me my sister’s sex book.”
That troublesome smile grew. “Yes.”
“The book about sex that my sister wrote.”
“The book where my sister writes – in some form or another – about some of the sex she has had.”
“The form seems to be part instruction, part editorial essay, and part scientific study; but probably, yes.” When he did not respond further she asked, “Is there a problem with my gift, Storme?” She sounded concerned, but she was still wearing that smile.
After setting the book down on… something – he wasn’t really looking – he answered, “I have never been more profoundly aware that you don’t have siblings.”
“I don’t see what that has to do with anything,” she sniffed. “I just thought it would help you. You have an automa lover, after all.”
Storme raised an eyebrow. “I do, do I?”
“That’s what they say.” Suddenly her eyes widened. He hadn’t even moved yet, but somehow she read his intentions. He’d only done it once before, but still she recognized something in his face or body language. “No!” she shouted, turning to run.
The early warning was not enough. She’d been standing too close. His arms closed around her waist, his fingers quickly moving to her unprotected sides, and then she was brokenly pleading his name through shrieks of laughter.