Chapter 31: Betrayal's Knife

No blade is sharper than the broken glass of a friendship shattered. — Laovin Degrasil-Mast

Lily hummed to herself as she sat in one of the front chairs and worked on the embroidery of Nirih’s dress. It was fine detail work using a classic pattern. Penir, the famed seamstress who taught Lily, had made her memorize hundreds of them before forcing her to spend months sewing each one until she could do it blindfolded or while distracted. Now, embroidering the pattern was soothing and calming.

It also meant her thoughts could bob in the sea of her thoughts. Most of them were focused on her morning with Kendrick. Every time she imagined his fingers thrusting inside her or the feel of his thick cock, her pussy grew wetter. It was far more distracting than the embroidery, though her needle never wavered from its design.

After hours of thinking of sex, her needle started to miss its mark. In fear of making an irrevocable mistake, she kicked off her shoes and folded one leg underneath her. She pressed the ridge of her foot along her slit and ground down. It was obscene and inappropriate, but even the small pressure helped relieved the rapidly growing desire to throw everything down and rush back into his arms.

Lily returned to her work, rocking slowly against her foot as the inches of the embroidery slowly formed underneath her needle and fingertips. Her humming returned as she enjoyed the sunlight coming through the store front and the unsteady flow of people walking in front of her without anyone stopping to come inside.

The bell on the front door rang out.

She jumped, pricking herself with a needle. Looking up, there was a brief fear that Djulian was coming for Nirih’s dress. When she saw Mindil standing there, bags in each hand, the surprise flowed away leaving both joy and guilt behind.

“Lily!”

Mindil wore a emerald dress with a cream portrait collar trimmed in white lace. Stretched across her breasts, the collar gave the impression of her about to fall out of it; the effect was magnified when she held up her hands for a hug.

It was the wrong color for the season but Lily knew how to fix that. She smiled to herself and set down her embroidery. She had to take a moment to make sure she hadn’t soaked the seat with her inappropriate thoughts before coming over to sink into Mindil’s embrace.

“Oh,” whispered Mindil, “I missed you.” There was something brimming in the woman’s words.

Lily felt a surge of heat rise inside her. Tightening her inner muscles, she winced when her nether lips slid together with the slickness of hour-long fantasies burning in her head. Blushing, she pulled back but stopped when Mindil didn’t release her. It was a light pressure against her back but one that felt like chains.

The heat rose inside her as she realized how close she was to Mindil’s lips. The urge to reach over and kiss her rose up, filling her with a hungry desire.

Mindil’s eyes flickered as she looked into Lily’s. She was searching for something.

The guilt cut into Lily. She had cheated on Mindil and it was only a matter of time before their friendship was ruined. Tears threatened to form in her eyes. She pulled back, breaking Mindil’s embrace. “D-Did you have a good trip?”

Mindil trailed her hand on Lily’s shoulder before they parted. She cocked her head slightly and a ghost of a frown crossed her face. Slowly, she lowered her arms down.

Lily tensed. She backed away and looked away, afraid that Mindil would see what she had done.

“It was a good trip. The children were in high spirits.” Mindil’s voice sounded subdued. She gestured to the couch opposite of Lily. “Working on the girl’s dress?”

Wishing she had the courage to just tell Mindil before it got too far, Lily nodded and returned to her own chair. She started to sit down with her foot underneath her, but then realized she couldn’t risk touching herself. Despite the slickness between her legs, she sat properly on the chair.

Mindil smiled but there was a little less brilliance to it as she sat down. “Did you have problems?”

Lily flushed and then realized it was a general question. “I… my mother sent for me.”

Mindil frowned. “What did she say?”

I… I…" Lily struggled for the words. “That she will call my loans if I don’t get this dress done.” She held up Nirih’s embroidery. The tears started to flow.

“What a horse-fucker.”

Lily stared in shock. She had never heard of anyone talk about Sarlin that way.

“What? You are a good seamstress and you have an amazing talent for High Society. Your ability to color fabric so easily? There are dozens that would kill just be able to use any fabric or pattern and have it magically fit the season. If she can’t see that just because some cow has her ear, then she’s an idiot for not seeing her talented daughter in front of her!”

As Mindil spoke, she rose off the seat. When she finished, she sat down. Frowning for a second, she looked around and then held out her hand, palm up. “That’s an Evening Tide Curve, right?”

It didn’t surprise Lily that Mindil knew the pattern, it was one of the more elegant and popular ones. She nodded.

“Let me help.”

Lily stared for a long moment, the guilt rising up. She wanted to tell Mindil about Hasan but the words refused to come up. She didn’t want to lose her friend. “I-I should do it myself,” she said quietly.

“Horse shit. I’m decent with a needle and you need help. Don’t worry, I’ll have Hasan bring over dinner and we’ll get it done. We’ll make a party out of it.”

Lily blanched at Hasan’s name but mutely handed over the piece she was working on.

The thread dangled off Mindil’s finger for a moment as she looked it over. “You are very good,” she said before taking up the needle. “I could never get the pattern started when my mum made me do this. But once I got started, it was easy enough.”

Thankfully the topic moved away. Lily breathed a sigh of relief. She picked up the next piece of cloth and started another line of embroidery. As she did, she let color seep through the thread creating a rainbow pattern that made it easier to focus.

They worked in silence for over an hour. Lily peeked over at Mindil as she did, struggling with the need to speak up about Hasan and also with her desire. Mindil looked beautiful, tongue sticking out from her lips as she concentrated and a easy smile on her lips. She looked so comfortable and happy just helping her.

The sight of Mindil only jammed the knife deeper into Lily’s ribs. Why couldn’t she resist Hasan? Why did he have to be so attentive, and loving? Why couldn’t she stop him from touching her in places she craved? Even the brief nights with both Kendrick and Hasan made the longing for Hasan even worse. He was attentive and licked her in places even the Couple would forbid. Kendrick was primal and driven. Both were addictive as much as Mindil’s lips.

“Was something else wrong?”

It was a soft question.

Lily blanched. “N-No.”

Mindil didn’t look up. She was almost done with a cuff. “Did Hasan bring you dinner?”

A stab of guilt. Lily missed her target and pricked herself again. Biting back a curse, she pulled her hand away before blood soaked into it; even if she could make the color go away, the texture would change. She brought it up to her mouth to suck on it.

There was a scuff of movement and then Mindil was kneeling on the couch next to Lily. “Let me.”

Lily’s heart thumped loudly. Trembling, she froze, her finger inches away from her lips. She didn’t know what to do, what to say. All she could care about is how close Mindil was and how much she wanted to kiss her lips.

Mindil leaned forward and took Lily’s hand. “I really did miss you.”

“I-I know.”

With a delicate gesture, Mindil wrapped a lace cloth around the droplet of blood. Lily started to relax but then froze as Mindil used one finger to lift the next finger over up away from her hand. Slowly, she drew it forward and kissed the tip.

An electric surge raced through Lily. It seemed to scratch and pulse all the way down to her clitoris before exploding in a tiny surge of pleasure. Inhaling with a shuddering breath, she could do nothing but stare as Mindil kissed it again and again, drawing the digit deeper into her mouth.

The softness of Mindil’s lips and the heat of her body was almost too much. Mindil inched her leg further up Lily’s thigh, pressing her knee against Lily’s and then moving forward. Her breasts, barely contained by her dress, teased Lily as Mindil crawled closer.

Her lips never left Lily’s finger. She kissed it again before drawing her finger up. “All better?” she said with a smile.

Lily nodded, unable to make the words come out.

Mindil shifted closer, straddling Lily’s thighs. Her own were much thicker but soft, an enjoyable pressure as was the breasts pressed up against Lily’s belly. “Anything else you’d like me to kiss?”

A surge of heat rose inside Lily. She desperately wanted Mindil to kiss everything, from her toes to her lips. “I…”

“If you are willing,” Mindil said, her breath hot against Lily’s throat. “I would very much like to kiss you again. I’ve been thinking about you a lot on this trip.”

Heady with lust, Lily struggled to find some amount of willpower to stop Mindil. She was falling for the woman again and she couldn’t make the betrayal worse. Tears burned in her eyes as she swam between the urge to kiss Mindil back and to crawl away fleeing.

Mindil stopped, the ghost of a frown crossing her face. Then she sat up and away from Lily.

Around her, the sounds of the street came back. It was like the soft sounds had been muted with Mindil’s attention and they slowly returned to their normal levels.

A tear rolled down Lily’s cheek as she watched Mindil stand up. The beautiful woman’s hips rocked for a moment to straighten her dress.

Turning around, Mindil held up the other cuff. “Do you mind if I finish this at home? I’ll bring it back in the morning?” To Lily’s regret, Mindil didn’t seem upset, only concerned.

“I… I…”

“Oh, butterfly,” Mindil reached out to run her thumb along Lily’s cheek. “It’s always okay to say no to me. I understand.”

“T-That isn’t it.”

Mindil watched her for a moment. Then brought her thumb across Lily’s lips. “If you ever want me to kiss it again, just ask.”

Lily’s heart almost cracked. She didn’t deserve to have a friend like Mindil. The guilt hammered into her as she watched helplessly as Mindil gathered up her things along with part of Nirih’s dress, and then headed out.

She managed to keep her composure until after Mindil’s carriage pulled away. Then Lily fled for the back room before her sobs began.