PART 10: Benefactors
Chapter 57: Charity Ballin’
That night over dinner, after the Carlisles left and we’d finished laughing over their parting exchange, conversation turned serious, therefore silent in the mage way.
We’d intertwined our legs under the table, using our close contact to establish a covert conversation circle run off of our magical reserves, which we knew would last well through dinner, despite the tech drain from the dinette furniture and the table settings.
«I think we need to lay down another rule for you, Chanel,» I sent out into the link.
She just raised an inquiring eyebrow at me. She needed to ask no questions, because my good intent was clear in the bond.
«This stuff with the lieutenant’s investigation has me worried that someone will dig up your past, connect that with our massage business, then decide we’re covertly acting as your pimps, exchanging massage fees and tips for sexual favors.»
Chanel sighed, then sent, «Not the case, but I can see how a twisted mind would make that connection, even without evidence. What do I do, then?»
Kaitlyn picked up my thought smoothly, extending it, refining it. «You cannot do charity bangs on any of our clients, Chanel. You will have to find your gift recipients some other way.»
«Even better,» I suggested, «act as a cutout for us. If you see a client of ours that qualifies for a special visit, put a quiet word into the ear of one of these ex-hookers without telling us about it, so there is no direct connection back to us. For your own work, select from the cases where there is no connection to the massage business.»
Chanel was nodding, sending an accepting feeling through the bond when my wife asked, «How many are there, now? I only know about Amanda, Paulina, and Tiny Tina.»
I knew of them, too. Paulina was now working at the cafe I got many of my lunches at, and Tina — all four foot ten and 90 pounds of her — was doing books for the crew that had installed our solar power system.
«Just them so far,» Chanel confirmed, then brought us back to the salient topic point from her perspective. «But lemme get this straight: I cannot have sex with either of you, I cannot have sex with your clients, and I cannot have sex for money any more. That about right?»
«Also,» my wife sent evenly, «you’re morally obligated to seek out a mage husband. You can’t settle for a mundane spouse.»
“What‽” barked Chanel aloud, dropping out of the bond in her startlement.
“Pass the salt, please,” my wife said aloud, covering our shishya’s slip on the off chance someone was spying on us, then clenched her leg, reminding her of the bond.
When Chanel’s presence rejoined us, a sheepish look on her face, my wife sent, «Chanel, it’s normal for you to need some time to adjust to this new life, but unwanted celibacy is the least of your problems. If all you needed was a boning buddy, there must be a thousand guys in the county who’d be willing to share your bed several nights a week just for the asking. A steady boyfriend might take you a bit of time to find, more because of lack of selection than for any other problem, but as young, beautiful, and experienced as you are, that shouldn’t be a major problem for you either, if you chose to pursue it seriously. No, Chanel, the gravest matter you must address in your sex life is that mages are too rare to hook up long-term with non-mages. The magic is too valuable to squander that way.»
Chanel sighed, then sent, «Y’all other mages are in committed pair bonds, so how do I find a mage of my own?»
I sent, «Well, so far, all of us have some kind of strong natural affinity. Three of us are naturists of one stripe or another, and the fourth is a forest ranger by calling rather than just as a paycheck…»
My wife interrupted, «But what of her, Davie? How did our shishya get her magical gifts? Chanel, we’ve gotten you into a bunch of nature-centric activities you never did much of before: biking, hiking, skinny-dipping, nude sunbathing… You give every sign of enjoying it, but you’re also kind of along for the ride with us; it isn’t a driving passion for you. That puts you outside the classes of people we’ve come to associate with a high concentration of magical talent.»
Chanel sent, «That’s fair. I’m not even clear on what naturism is.»
I explained, «A special class of nudist, one who does it to be closer to nature rather than for some other reason. Of the known mages, I think I’m probably the staunchest naturist, though Carlo’s coming up fast; he could end up more fervent than me soon. Kaitlyn’s got a fair bit of that drive in her, too, but her love of nature is broader than mine, going well beyond naturism. Kristen takes those same differences and pushes both a few stops further so that she has less interest in naturism than my wife here but is probably a bigger nature lover overall.»
Chanel sort of bobbed her head in acceptance of these broad characterizations, backing it with a corresponding feeling through the bond.
I continued, «You, Chanel, are even farther along that same spectrum, but kind of out the other side: you find being naked outdoors fun, but I don’t get the sense that you are any sort of nature lover per se. Fair?»
Chanel nodded, «Being naked outdoors just turns me on. After a session of nude sunbathing, I go to my bedroom and finger myself silly! Which brings me back to why I suddenly have all these restrictions on having sex…?»
Kaitlyn sent, «That’s probably the riddle’s answer right there: sex magic is the most powerful sort, tied deeply into nature. In some sense, sex is the very purpose of nature for every animal that reproduces sexually. Chanel, I think you’re a mage because you genuinely love sex, not just at a physical level, but as a deep-seated avocation. You’re one of nature’s sex priestesses.»
Chanel sent with a loud sigh, «Which once more brings us back to why me of all people cannot have sex! If this goes on much longer, I’m gonna have to steal Kaitlyn’s vibrating egg and start wearing it around town!»
We laughed at that image, then I sent, «You need to be looking for a partner among the categories we just lined out: true naturists, outdoors people, maybe even some of your ex-professionals.»
Chanel shook her head at the last. «I’m too straight to be going after the likes of Amanda. Don’t get me wrong, a cuddle with a girl from time to time is nice, but I’m not marrying one.»
Kaitlyn sent, «You know, Davie, there’s another big group of potential we haven’t tapped yet: Native Americans. The sort that still live out on the rez by choice, I mean, herding sheep and such, not the citified ones.»
I nodded, and sent, «Yup, them too. Chanel, you must have lines into all these groups on campus through your former occupation. So yeah, we are encouraging you to get a boyfriend, but not just any old sort. It needs to be one who you can truly do magic with. And yes, I mean that as a double entendre: you’re going to find that sex with non-mages is a pale, weak thing next to what you can do with a mage you love. The only way I’d expect you to be willing to settle for marrying a muggle is if you had an open marriage so you could get your fill of mage sex on the side.»
Chanel sent, «Well, when you put it that way, I suppose… Aspire higher, right?»
We sent a magical hug her way, and she reciprocated.
As the warmth of the moment cooled, Kaitlyn sent, «We should be expecting another call from Ron Franklin. He’s been on about a monthly schedule with us, and it’s been about a month since his last appointment. Chanel, you never did go to him, did you?»
«No, you mentioned it a few times, but I’ve been so busy chasing after my former clients…»
I interrupted her self-critique, sending, «It’s just as well, now that we’re getting this legal attention. How about you send one of your girls to him in the next few days so he won’t arrive at his appointment ready to burst, pining for Kaitlyn’s attention, which she must now withhold? I know it isn’t nice to pity a disabled person, but when you have one laying naked on the sand with a raging hard-on… Well, something must be done, simple as that.»
Chanel sent, «Sounds moral to me.»
I flicked my eyes between both women a few times, then broke my silence on a matter I’d been debating for months now. «Chanel, I want to put another notion into your head, just something to consider, with no expectations tied to it. It’s completely up to you what you do about it. If you refuse, it won’t affect our guru-shishya relationship, nor our rental agreement.»
«Ooookaaaayy…» she replied slowly.
Kaitlyn’s eyes got a little wider for a moment, but then she nodded in apparent understanding. She didn’t interrupt.
To Chanel I sent, «Kaitlyn’s father’s been suffering from ED for years…»
My wife nodded again, and with that she slid fully into rapport with me, our separate thoughts entwining. In a very real sense, the conversation became one-on-one at that point, our unified presence addressing Chanel concordantly, «For obvious reasons, we haven’t been willing to cure his condition ourselves.»
Chanel glanced between us, then made the obvious connection. «You want me to try curing him…with sex magic.»
«Only if you’re willing, shishya,» we sent simultaneously.
She noticed the difference in our mage-comm voice. It was quite unlike two people speaking at once aloud, in different voices. Through the bond, we heard our delivery as Chanel did: it was closer to the way music from stereo speakers sounds like it comes from between them, even though there is no actual speaker between left and right.
«That’d be poetic: using sex magic to cure sexual dysfunction,» she temporized.
Kaitlyn replied, «Davie can’t, not just because Dad would get out the 1911 and poke extra holes in him if he tried, but also because one of our experiments earlier this year told us that Davie can’t do sex magic with another guy. We think it has to do with passion, and Davie isn’t bi in any useful amount.»
At Chanel’s unsurprised nod, Kaitlyn went on, «I could do it in principle, but I don’t believe my father would let me try unless he was dying or in chronic pain, and I’m not willing to push it.»
Chanel replied fervently, «I wouldn’t even ask!» Her response sounded personal to me, not abstractly moral; it was almost angry.
I let that hint be, returning to our proposal: «We aren’t asking you to do this for us, not even primarily for Ramón, but because you think it’s the moral thing to do as a healer.»
Chanel got a crooked grin on, looked at my wife, and asked her, «So you’re not just trying to arrange a top-flight hooker for your father?»
Laughing aloud, Kaitlyn admitted through the bond, «Well, his birthday is coming up soon, and if you agree, it would be a gift of sorts: if you can’t get him hard, he’s a hopeless case. But Davie’s right: do it for your own reasons, not to please me.»
Chanel replied drolly, «You gonna wheel me into the house inside one of those birthday cake props, have me pop out in lacy lingerie, maybe fuck him right there on the dining table?”
In unison, we sent back seriously, «We were thinking more of a Chanel Gift Certificate, redeemed in private somewhere, just the two of you.»
She thought some, then said, «All right, set it up. I’ll do it.»
Through the bond, we could tell she wasn’t feeling pressured, that her offer was willing, so we sent, «We’re deeply grateful, Chanel, especially because you have zero obligation to us to do this.»
Chanel replied, «I think you might be right about the sex priestess thing. The obligation’s to Gaia, my honor-bound duty for the power’s she’s granted me.»
We sent, «All hail Chanel Brantley, Sex Priestess of Gaia!»
«Bow before me,» she joked.
We leaned over and kissed her on opposite cheeks instead.
Then we sent, «See to yourself, too. As long as you’re formally our shishya, if you want a good dicking on any kind of regular schedule, you’d best arrange to get it somewhere else, okay?»
Chanel smiled and sent, «All right, all right, orders from my gurus, go get my field plowed, got it.»
We all laughed and then finished dinner with innocuous verbal conversation.
A few days later, Ron Franklin did arrange another massage appointment, and this time, he only got a few semi-erections, no pulsating stiffies at all.
Chanel never told us who she sent to him, or in fact even whether she sent someone to him, but he’d clearly been seen to somehow.
Talk about a net increase in world happiness!