When it came to Imogen, Laudna had always been an open book.
She trusted Imogen implicitly. That trust included the use of her telepathic abilities. In that regard, Laudna had never once withheld information from her, refused her, or said no to having her mind explored when the subject had come up. Imogen had practiced on her countless times. Who else would she use for such things?
It was hard to imagine ever denying Imogen anything, because, frankly, Laudna didn’t ever want to. All Imogen ever had to do was ask, and Laudna’s instinctive answer would be yes before she’d even thought about it. Anything to help her, or give her what she desired.
Imogen was her world like that. Her dawn and her dusk. The woman she loved.
And yet, by the same token, as was perhaps essential to the development of any healthy relationship, Laudna was not blind to the fact that Imogen was not a perfect person (although a small voice in Laudna’s head maintained at all times that she was and she could never do anything wrong because she was incapable of fault). Of course, there was no such thing as perfection. Imogen was only human. An extraordinary human being unlike anyone else, but human nonetheless.
As such, in their time together, little signs had not escaped Laudna’s notice as of late that Imogen had been...letting her mind wander.
Into Laudna’s mind.
The clues started to pile up. Imogen offhandedly mentioned things that Laudna had never said out loud (or at least, she was quite certain she hadn’t). There were times where it felt like she wasn’t fully present in whatever conversation they were having, as if she was listening to someone else speak, although they were completely alone. Or she would get a headache. A headache which, as Laudna understood, could only come about if she used her innate ability to read minds.
There was no one around for miles. So the only mind Imogen could read was Laudna’s. Which meant Imogen was doing it without asking.
Of course, there was a chance she was just being paranoid. Laudna knew well enough that Imogen had faced scorn for her abilities in the past, much as Laudna herself had. Imogen had confided in her before about people she thought she could trust who had been freaked out by her gifts, or used her for personal gain, or told her nice things to her face while secretly despising her for what she could do. Hence Laudna did not wish to confront Imogen without proof.
Frankly, even if she was correct, Laudna didn't consider it that grievous of a transgression. She trusted Imogen. She had nothing to hide from her. And she was partially at fault here herself, if she was being completely honest, given that she had never set any boundaries regarding her own mind. She had always allowed Imogen full access without complaint. Hence, if she had given the impression that Imogen could enter uninvited whenever she pleased, then perhaps she had contributed to the formation of bad habits.
The problem was more that, on some level, Imogen must have known that what she was doing (if she was indeed slipping into her mind without transparency) was inappropriate, because otherwise why would she be hiding it? Why would she not be mentioning it - speaking of it openly - if she truly believed she was doing nothing wrong? And that lack of communication and lack of honesty bothered Laudna more than the act itself.
It was with that intent that Laudna, in a conversation with Pâté, concocted a suitably not-too-serious way of exposing her psychic girlfriend’s misdeeds, if indeed there was anything to expose, in a manner that would allow them both to have a little bit of fun with the whole thing.
Waiting for the right moment to spring her devious trap, Laudna kept an eye out, alert (but not alarmed) for any signs of mental probing over the next couple of days. Initially, nothing happened, to the extent that she almost forgot about her little plot, prepared to write the whole thing off as a misunderstanding on her part. That was, until a particularly boring day happened.
They were rained in at an abandoned farmhouse where they’d stayed for the last two weeks or so. The weather was absolutely ghastly. If either of them stepped outside for so much as a second, they would be soaked from head to toe.
Imogen passed the time by hitting the books, eager to learn either anything more about magic in general, or something specifically connected to her unique abilities. Laudna dedicated the day to repairing a lovely old armoire they’d found in the upstairs bedroom, which they could either keep or sell for a profit to a trader - one of their few legitimate sources of coin.
“It doesn’t bother you?” Laudna asked her girlfriend.
“Hmm?” Imogen glanced up from her papers.
“Me, making all this commotion while you study?”
“You mean you haven’t noticed?” Imogen gave a wry grin, giving Laudna a deliberate once-over. “I love it when you get your tools out while I study. Keeps me energised, gettin’ to take a break every now ‘n’ then to watch you while you work. You know I enjoy how good you are with your hands.” Imogen winked at her as she took a sip of her tea, clearly meaning that multiple ways.
“Oh? Well, in that case, by all means, be my guest,” Laudna purred in reply, flattered by the attention. Unfortunately, Laudna was so busy trying to look sultry she didn’t notice her hammer connecting with the tip of her left thumb. “Ow. Fuck.” She shook it off, no harm done by the impact.
Imogen chuckled, entertained.
After that, the next few hours were wholly uneventful, as tedious as the dreary, grey weather. Or at least, they were, right up to the point when Laudna felt the tingling sensation on the back of her neck that one gets when one is being watched.
She glanced over her shoulder, and spotted Imogen’s stare directed her way. Immediately, she thought nothing of it, remembering what her girlfriend had said earlier about checking her out every so often while she worked. But then she looked a little closer, and spied something odd.
On further inspection, Laudna realised that Imogen hadn’t reacted when their gazes met (or ought to have met). Indeed, Imogen didn’t seem to be remotely aware that Laudna had turned to face her. It was as if she wasn’t paying any attention to her surroundings at all. In fact, her eyes were totally glazed over.
Laudna’s expression shifted to a mischievous one, consciously not letting her surface thoughts betray her suspicions. Instead, she immediately focused her mind, just as she had prepared, sensing that this was the moment to enact her cunning plan. There was certainly no harm in it if she was wrong, was there? All it would do was clear Imogen. At least in this instance.
I wonder if Imogen knows how irresistible she looks.
She’s driving me crazy.
Laudna bit her lower lip, just to sell the surface thoughts as convincing.
It didn’t escape her keen scrutiny that Imogen’s features immediately snapped out of their blank, zoned-out stupor the second that thought shot through her head.
Ugh. The only thing I’ve wanted to do all fucking day is crawl under that table, push up her dress, and slide her underwear down her legs.
I can practically feel her fingers tangling in my hair while I kneel between her knees, run my tongue up her slit and suck on her clit.
Imogen swallowed, her cheeks turning pink.
Laudna smirked and arched her brow. She was eliciting a reaction.
She’s checking me out. I bet she’s so wet. Begging to be tasted.
I’d give anything to spread her thighs apart and curl my tongue inside her.
I’ll make her come so hard that the juices drip down her legs and stain the floor beneath her chair. I’ll drink so deep of her that I drown in her sex.
Imogen. I could just devour you.
“Ah, fuck…” Imogen gripped the desk, needing to avert her gaze and avoid eye-contact, any pretence of her studies swiftly abandoned as her arousal grew.
If there was any doubt by that point, Laudna had her answer.
Oh, Imogen was listening. Imogen was definitely listening. But she couldn’t do a damned thing about it. She couldn’t acknowledge the deliciously sexy thoughts being beamed directly into her mind, much less act on them. If she did, she would give the game away. She would reveal that she had been a very naughty girl indeed. And she couldn’t do that.
But now Laudna was having too much fun. She had no mind to stop. Not until Imogen was out of her head, anyway.
She has no idea how badly I’m throbbing for her.
Fuck. I need her inside me.
I could toss that table across the room and climb on top of her. Straddle her hips. Grab that yellow scarf of hers. Choke her. Bite her neck. Put her hand under my dress. Let her fill me. Ride her fingers while she fucks me.
Oh, yes. That’s exactly what I need.
I’m dying for it. I feel like I’m going to burst if she doesn’t touch me in all the ways she knows I need to be touched.
Laudna took the opportunity to utter a moan out loud as she stood up from her work on the armoire and gratuitously, immodestly stretched her arms above her head, making damn sure Imogen was looking straight at her as she did. She loosened her dress a little, and rubbed her collarbone, exposing her skin.
She caught a glimpse of Imogen’s gaze, transfixed on her, and tried not to let her smirk become too obvious in the process. She was putting on a performance, and her audience was buying it hook, line and sinker.
Oh, Imogen, darling, you always make me come so hard.
Bend me over that fucking table and fuck me to within an inch of my life.
Destroy me, Imogen.
Absolutely fucking destroy me.
Imogen’s eyes were as wide as saucers, and her jaw slack. “I…Uh...”
“Hmm?” Laudna glanced up, playing dumb as soon as Imogen made a sound. “Oh, I’m so sorry, Imogen, dear, did you say something?”
Imogen blinked out of her daze, evidently remembering herself. It was at about that point that Laudna estimated roughly a minute, or the usual duration of her ability, must have passed. She was probably out of her head by then.
Imogen turned a brighter shade of red, no doubt realising anything she said carelessly would mark her as guilty as a cat with a canary in its mouth.
“Uh. No. No, I uh...Nothin’. Nothin’. Um. I’m fine,” she stammered, clearing her throat to get the rasp out of her voice. She toyed with her quill, attempting not to look suspicious in her efforts to follow through on Laudna’s dirty thoughts. “I was just thinkin’. It’s, uh…It’s gettin’ kinda late. Did you maybe, wanna--”
“Oh. You’re right. It is late.” Laudna cut Imogen off before she could even start to drop hints, swiftly shooting down those endeavours. “I should tidy all this up, and start working on dinner!” Laudna said chipperly, knowing very well where Imogen intended for that to go and heading in a completely different direction.
Imogen’s face fell flat. “...What.”
Food had not been what was on Laudna’s mind literally a second ago. Which was the whole point of the plan. And why Laudna found it so amusing.
“You know. Dinner. Food. That substance we need to live. Or, rather, you need it to live. I’m not sure ‘live’ is the right word for me. But I do still require it. For now,” Laudna stated rather ominously. Although, if the voice in her head was trustworthy, then she was working on potentially overcoming that limitation eventually. “We are also running a bit low on firewood. It’s looking like it will be rather a cold night. We do have some more out the back. Would you mind, love?”
Imogen clucked her tongue as her fingers unhappily rapped against the table. But she couldn’t say anything to the contrary. “Firewood. Great.”
Imogen reluctantly donned some more clothes to protect herself from the elements, going out to fetch more firewood for the rest of the evening as Laudna prepared dinner on the inside. Only when she was safely alone did Laudna let the wicked grin she’d been concealing come to her face.
Oh, she’d caught Imogen, red-handed. And her plan was working perfectly. This was so far just as much fun as she’d thought. The question was how long she could drag this out before Imogen realised what she was doing at her expense.
Laudna didn’t have to be a mind reader to know that sex was on Imogen’s mind all evening, particularly given that she was the one who’d put it there. And Laudna had quite a delightful time low-key toying with her, acting blissfully ignorant and totally no-selling it anytime Imogen tried to flirt with her, or hint at anything intimate with her, acting as if she’d never even heard of sex, much less implanted the idea of it and how badly she herself wanted it in Imogen’s mind earlier.
Once it was time for bed, Imogen finally had her excuse to be direct, however. With all other distractions out of the way, and no reason to have to be coy about her intentions, she no longer had to beat around the bush.
Laudna undressed and perched on her side of the bed (another item of furniture she’d restored when they found the farmhouse). She’d just let her hair down when she felt familiar arms encircle her waist from behind. “Oh, hello, darling.”
“Hello, yourself,” Imogen purred, lips pressing against her girlfriend’s neck. Fingers worked their way beneath Laudna’s loose undershirt, tracing delicate circles on her stomach. Laudna allowed it. “I’ve been thinkin’ about you all day.”
“Have you now?” Laudna relaxed, lying back against the pillows.
“Mhmm,” Imogen confirmed, hovering above her. “Watchin’ you work up a sweat over that armoire. Been thinkin’ ‘bout doin’ things to you. Unspeakable things. But very, very doable things.” Imogen’s teeth grazed her jaw, fingers deftly ascending to the underside of Laudna’s breast.
On any other night, that tantalising promise would be a temptation that was impossible for Laudna to resist. But Imogen still hadn’t come clean.
Accordingly, Laudna had to follow through.
Laudna uttered a disaffected sigh and stopped Imogen’s hand beneath her shirt. “Sorry, darling. Not tonight. I’ve got a bit of a headache.”
Without another word, she abruptly rolled onto her side, with her back to Imogen. It was harder than Laudna imagined not to crack up laughing, especially when she could sense Imogen’s utter shock and confusion behind her.
“You...but...a headache?!” Imogen all but spluttered. Not that she wouldn’t have been sympathetic to that answer if it was true, but Laudna didn’t get headaches. Not in the entire time she’d known her. She wasn’t sure it was even possible.
“Mmm. Yes.” Laudna massaged her temples, languishing in feigned pain, somehow managing to deliver a performance that was at once melodramatic and unconvincingly lacklustre. “It’s as if someone has been poking around in my mind without my knowledge or permission,” she pointedly remarked, not even remotely trying to be subtle about her little game anymore.
It was at that obvious dig that everything clicked, as one sly, smug glance back over her shoulder at Imogen’s face confirmed. Message received.
“...I’ve been played like a damn fiddle, haven’t I?” was all Imogen could say, more a deadpan statement than a question. “Well, you caught me.”
Laudna’s act disappeared entirely, a grin spreading across her face. “I’ll give you credit. At least you’re owning up to it.” She shifted and put her arms around Imogen, making it clear that she wasn’t angry with her, and never had been.
“There’s not much to hide, is there?” Imogen acknowledged. It wasn’t like her abilities were a secret. She sighed apologetically, as if she’d expected this confrontation on some level, but had really hoped to avoid it. “Laudna, I’m sorry. This is...This is just what I do. This is a part of me--”
“No, no. Imogen. Before you start, let me be clear,” Laudna cut her off, taking both of her hands to make sure Imogen didn’t evade her gaze. The last thing she wanted was for her to take this the wrong way. “I love you. And I love your abilities. You are unbelievably special. I trust you with every part of me. Even my mind. You know I do. And I never want you to feel afraid that you can’t be yourself around me. But I do also know that you have control over your abilities. Don’t you?”
Imogen somewhat reluctantly nodded. “...I do.” It didn’t happen against her will. Not anymore. Not for a long time. She only detected the thoughts of other people when she chose to open her mind up. Especially when she wasn’t around anybody else except Laudna. “And, no, you know, you’re right. It’s not fair that I’ve just been helpin’ myself into your mind, without so much as discussin' it with you.”
“Don’t think I don’t understand the temptation,” Laudna said, largely just to lift the mood. She didn’t want Imogen to take any of this as an attack. It wasn’t. “If I thought people wouldn’t know that I was snooping on them, and I knew I could get away with it, I’d probably do it all the time. The only drawback is how frightfully uninteresting the majority of people are.” Imogen laughed at that, any fears that she’d alienated Laudna successfully alleviated. “I don’t know what drivel you hear in my head. I’m sure it must be dreadfully boring nonsense.”
“No! No, that’s the thing. It never is,” Imogen assured her, covering both her girlfriend’s hands with her own. “You’re fascinating, Laudna. Why do you think I listen to you when I’m bored?” Imogen stopped, shaking her head at herself. “Sorry. I know that’s not a defence. It's just...”
“Take your time,” Laudna encouraged.
Imogen hesitated, fidgeting as she chose her words. “For so long, this...power I had was always a negative experience,” she explained. “Always overwhelming. Or painful. Or somethin' shitty projected into my head. Or at best neutral. Always findin' out stuff I didn’t want to find out. I…” She paused, glancing up at Laudna, meeting her eyes. “You’re the first person I’ve met where usin' these abilities ever actually feels positive? I mean, sure, I still get headaches. But, when I read your mind and feel connected to you?” Imogen exhaled. “This is gonna sound real fuckin’ embarrassin', but it...It feels like a fuckin’ hug, alright?”
Laudna softened, tenderly brushing Imogen’s lavender tresses away from her face. And without another word, she wrapped her arms around Imogen, and embraced her tightly. “There’s nothing embarrassing about it. Don’t ever say that. Just tell me these things. Please. I’m not gifted like you are. I don’t understand what goes on in your incredible mind if you don’t tell me.”
Hearing that, Imogen melted into the hug, threading her own arms around Laudna’s slender frame, returning her embrace. They held each other like that for a good few minutes, in silence, for as long as Imogen needed to be held.
“Thanks, Laudna,” Imogen whispered, appreciating her compassion and understanding as she gently pulled away. “I don’t know why I was reluctant to confide in you about this earlier, or why I thought you’d be mad, or wouldn’t get it. For as long as I’ve known you, you’ve always been...weirdly astute and sensitive for someone who’s barely spoken to another person in thirty years.”
Laudna smiled at that assessment. “I try. And it’s alright. We’re talking now. So, how about some suggestions moving forward?” Laudna offered, working together to communicate mutually beneficial solutions. “If you want to know what I’m thinking, perhaps you could just ask me? You could ask me mentally, or out loud. Either way, I’ll answer. And I’d hope you trust me to be honest.”
“Of course,” Imogen answered. “I mean, I’ve read your mind enough times to know that,” she joked. Except it also totally wasn’t a joke. She really had done it a lot.
Mostly with permission.
Laudna playfully fingered Imogen’s scarf. “Or, how about this? You can still read my mind. But just let me know when you want to do it first. And I can say yes. Or I can say no. But I’ll probably say yes. We both know I have a hard time saying no to you,” she murmured, meaning that in more ways than one.
“You’re saying no to me right now,” Imogen noted, with a mock-pout.
“Of course I am. This is your punishment. Lest we forget, you’ve been very naughty,” Laudna remarked, her large eyes going a little wider as she jokingly chastised her girlfriend, tapping her index finger against Imogen’s forehead in the gentlest scolding imaginable.
“Yeah, well...I’ve gotta admit, the trap you sprung on me was pretty funny,” Imogen conceded. She had been outplayed there. “Although, it would be a hell of a lot funnier if I didn’t want to fuck you so bad,” she purred, leaning in closer to lips she wasn’t yet allowed to capture. Her hands gripped the sheets either side of Laudna’s hips. “So how long is this punishment going to last?”
“Oh, I don’t know. I hadn’t thought that far ahead.” Laudna stroked her chin in thought, enjoying the power of toying with her girlfriend just for fun. “A day? A week? A month?” she said in jest. “Would you even be able to survive that long with me teasing you like this?”
Imogen lightheartedly rolled her eyes, sensing Laudna had well and truly forgiven her and was just messing with her at this point. “How about we call it another five minutes and I spend that time fuckin’ your brains out?”
“Oooh, that!” Laudna enthused. “I rather like the sound of that.”
“Thought you would.” Imogen pressed a kiss to the corner of Laudna’s lips. And another. And another. And with each one Laudna gradually lowered a little further down, until eventually her back was lying flat against the bed.
“See? I told you I can’t say no to you,” Laudna commented between kisses.
“Shut up and accept my punishment,” Imogen said as she straddled her waist.
Laudna’s fingers made deft work of the buttons of Imogen’s vest. In one swift motion, Imogen discarded her dress. Their undershirts quickly found their way onto the floor soon after, leaving nothing but the familiar touch of skin against skin.
“Oh, wait, wait, wait. Before we go any further...” Imogen put a halt to things. Laudna tilted her head in questioning. “Laudna, darlin', may I read your thoughts right now, so that I can make damn sure I’m treatin’ you as good as you deserve?” she asked, wearing a wry smirk.
Laudna grinned. She’d learned. Excellent.
“You absolutely have my permission to use any abilities at your disposal in pursuit of making me come,” Laudna assured her.
Imogen’s voice echoed in her head in response.
Somehow, I knew you’d say that.