The tickles and massages had stopped.
Epani had been having a whale of a time, messing around, sleeping, relaxing and having a small cult of Thraki tending to her every whim. She wanted massages and back rubs and tickles and that was what the Thraki gave her. She was enjoying it all so much that Epani was willing to let the lewd thoughts back into her head. The ones she always buried away because she was too busy working.
Now though, the massages had stopped. Abruptly. The Thraki were supposed to massaging down her back and around the plates on her spine, but it felt like they had all flown off. Epani was about to get…
Oh, it was fine. The massages had continued. Well, sort of. Someone was massaging the back of Epani’s neck. That area was often unattended, mostly because the Thraki were scared of getting massage creams and oils near Epani’s eyes or the tendril on the top of her head. Those areas were sensitive and Epani didn’t always appreciate having them touched.
This new massage though was nice. Hitting just the right spots. Firm yet gentle and soft. And lubricated, making that really nice squelching noise Epani always liked.
Opening her eyes, Epani glanced around. Almost all the Thraki were gone. She saw a couple of them fluttering around a nearby hill, but it was as if they had all suddenly gone into hiding. With a flick of her tendril, the large, glowing orb on the tendril’s tip began to glow. This gave Epani a better look of her surroundings, an almost 360 degree view, without having to get up and move.
Epani quickly realised what was going on. The reason the Thraki had all left was because a familiar face had appeared.
“What are you doing here, little Arkay?”
The Thantophor shrugged, and continued to massage Epani’s back. To her surprise, she could see Arkadin’s actual hands, rather than the black, flame-like gloves that he used to cover himself with. Arkadin was always the sort to hide away behind godly, star-studded veils than to be himself, but he was being… far more open than usual.
Epani shook her tendril towards her younger brother. “Seriously, what are you doing here?”
“I wanted to do something nice for once. I was going to come down here and say that we need to get off this planet because it’s all weird and stuff but I got sidetracked.”
“What do you mean by that?” Epani asked, curiously.
Arkadin shrugged again. “You didn’t notice the, uh, love gas and all that?”
“Oh. That. You want me to… stop and go back to work?”
“Not if you don’t want to.”
Epani blinked. “You… won’t force me to do anything?”
“I was going to, but I saw how relaxed you were and felt bad about it. Then I kinda accidentally scared away all the Thraki and I felt bad about that so I’m here giving you a massage to make up for that. I’m in a very hate-myself and make-others-feel-better mood right now.”
“I thought as much. That too is how I feel. With a few more emotions sprinkled on top.”
Arkadin seemed to frown briefly. “What, like a crushing desire to procreate?”
“That would be inappropriate though.”
Epani sighed a little. “Not really. It is a natural act, and, if the ramblings of Kinisis are correct, you were once mortal, so it is to be expected.”
“Still…” Arkadin trailed off, then went back to massaging Epani’s neck. Epani smiled, then closed her eyes again.
“But I will not force you to do anything. The same way you always left me alone, I shall do the same for you.”
“I appreciate that, Epani…” Arkadin smiled. “But for now, let’s just stay here and relax…”