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Duty Calls

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The Harper Hall of Pern was always most honored to pay the Weyrs their dues. Let griping about tithe be the domain of other crafthalls, thought Menolly with a note of justice as the queen spread her brightly glowing wings.

Arwith's shriek of challenge bellowed across the Southern cape, this most untraditional of Weyrs lacking bowl walls to ring her challenge out loudly. The queens were strikingly unmelodious in their time of need, she thought, but the answering challenge from her bronzes, Monarth loudest of all, would make a Harper brassist swoon. That a player could ever put such ardor into their tones!

It had been an accident the first time she'd come to Southern Weyr, Menolly thought - though these many turns later, with silver streaking through her russet hair, she realized it had been no accident at all. The youngest of their queens at the time had a clutch on the Sands and Mirrim had arranged with the Hall for her to compose a new tune to celebrate. She was not so familiar with Southern Weyr's queens to know to count the months and days - to know that Arwith would soon be in season. Mirrim could hardly be such a fool! Not with her weyrmate sworn and bedded to Arwith's rider.

And now she had come to expect it, to look forward to it. The request from Mirrim for a player, for the week's stay on in warm Southern away from children and husband and Hall. The surge of flightlust and the soft rounds and Threadscars of Mirrim's body. Sebell could hardly be kept in the dark - Robinton would have known, she thought, and her husband was quieter and more subtle still than her fondest memories of her long deceased first Masterharper.

The heated pool lower in her body surged with the distant sense of wings snapping open, legs thrusting dragonweights off sandy shores and into deep blue skies as Mirrim found her hand. She led Menolly to the hut she shared with the absent bronzerider. Path turned her head from her wallow, one faceted eye glinting in almost a pleased wink.

"She doesn't mind, does she?" Menolly asked, as her fair of firelizards burst forth from the rafters and swirled around the couple. "All these years, I've never thought to ask... she could go up for herself and find you someone..." Spritely Mirrim laughed and pulled her close in for a kiss, flightlust making chastity a forgotten virtue. One hand snuck up her blouse and pinched her nipple hard. "Of course she doesn't, Menolly."

Path yawned, showing off her great large fangs and the curl of her forked tongue. The Master Harper was pleased to hear her response for herself. She needs you. You do not have a dragon for me to fly with, and Monarth is busy. I am content, until he returns. The heat of the green's response surprised her - she hadn't thought the lusty females capable of jealousy!

Menolly pulled in as her own hands found Mirrim's taut bottom, sneaking in between the layer of riding leather. No underwear today? All the better to curl a finger in tease in the cleft, her lanky form being well suited to reaching. Years of riding a fighting beast at had been kind to her, Menolly thought, the flesh firm and smooth under her palms here.

The two struggled to the rush mattress on the lofted floor like a pair mismatched, Menolly footing it like a dance and Mirrim like a ringed fight. Mirrim gained the upper hand at first, but the surge of need was stronger in the rider than the Harper, no matter the nine little minds feeding her the story going on above. Arwith dives! sent Beauty in images and feelings, her hand popping Mirrim's trouser buttons. Monarth pushes him aside! sent Rocky, as her fingers did the same.

She fingered her like a Harper aught, in time to the music. "Can you hear it?"

"Faranth," Mirrim cried out as the flight and her playing reached its apex. Twelve firelizards and a green thrummed in time as her greenrider arched her back into her fingers, legs going akimbo in the tossed sheets and all around them, hundreds of weyrfolk did the same. No shame, no propriety dared to brass their queens on their goldest of days!

When both had come to their senses, and the Weyr around them stilled with post-flight hush, Mirrim lifted her eyes and her hand brushed Menolly's chin. "I've left you uncared for this afternoon."

Menolly smiled and said, "I had thought Monarth had caught!"

Mirrim laughed, gayly and said, "HE did... which gives me plenty of moment to see to you!" And then, with a flip of strength more accustomed to tossing heavy bags of stone than aging Harper women, the greenrider set to repaying the Weyr's dues.