Dancing in the Dark

As Taminwe left the room, Marghak winked at Uzgash, and the two of them stood up from the table.

"On the way here from Anvil, I paid a visit to Gweden Farm," Marghak told him. "And while I was there I talked to all the women. They all remember you. In particular, the three Daedra women remember playing a game in the dark, where you had to identify which was which. That sounded like a lot of fun, and I wondered if we might try something similar."

She dropped a blindfold on the table in front of him. "Don't put it on yet," she instructed, "We have a lot to show you first."

"Uzgash or Taminwe have probably told you that I was brought up in a coven of witches. They spent a lot of their time dancing around naked, and it was clear that it kept their bodies fit and young-looking. But there was more to it than that. I learned that a Master of Restoration can fully repair the stretching of pregnancy and childbirth, if she acts promptly. And after the child is weaned, she can restore the mother's breasts. A witch didn't start to show her age until she couldn't keep up her exercises, and she'd have stopped dancing before that."

"So before I started to produce Gortwog's children, I made sure that there was a Master Restorer in the court. A good workout with a heavy warhammer tones up the muscles even better than dancing, although I still do that to maintain flexibility. I may be twice my daughter's age, but I suspect you'll have a hard time telling us apart."

Uzgash chimed in. "We've all learned to do the same dance moves, even my brothers. It's no good being strong if you're not supple as well. My mother's particularly proud of how she's kept in shape while having seven kids, and attributes it all to what she learned from the witches. I hope you can play that lute I see in the corner. Dancing goes much better with music."

Marghak explained that the dances the witches did were a little different than the ones he might have seen at Houses of Dibella. Those were intentionally erotic, as that was their purpose. The witches were oblivious to the effect their dancing had on any audience, as they were an offering to the gods, not the men watching. They took their clothes off before they started to dance, if they wore any.

"So where did you learn the other style?" he asked Uzgash. He'd seen her in the Tap and Tack - and Gudrun too, who'd learned it all from her. That was definitely the erotic way of dancing.

"Some of it in the brothel in Orsinium, but I made most of that up as I went along," she replied. "You just have to keep your eyes on the audience and repeat what they like." He could see Marghak nodding her head in agreement. That was much the same as she'd done where she worked before she met Gortwog.

She handed him the lute and told him what tune she wanted him to play first. It was the one he'd seen her strip off to at Olav's. He wan't as good a player as the minstrel there, but he made a fair effort.

Uzgash and her mother must have rehearsed this dance, because they did everything as perfect mirror images of each other. And as more and more of them was revealed, he was impressed by how remarkably similar their bodies were. He was starting to forget that Marghak was any older than she looked.

Once they were nude, Uzgash called for a different tune, and they changed their dance to the witches' style. This was a communal dance, not a solo one, and they would swing and lift each in ways that were just as arousing as the Dibella style, but in a totally different manner. He found it hard to concentrate on playing the accompaniment, and they noticed.

"I think he's ready for the next part," Marghak said, and picked up the blindfold. The two women hauled him up the steps to the bedroom in the dome, and helped him undress. While Marghak pinned up her hair, Uzgash made sure the blindfold was in place, and doing its job.

"Now the first thing you have to do is guess which one of us is on the left, and which is on the right." Marghak's voice (or was it Uzgash's?) said from the foot of the bed. He hadn't really noticed how similar they sounded until he had the blindfold on. This might be trickier than he thought without that clue.

He felt each of his hands being lifted and guided, and he tried hard to feel a distinction. He wasn't sure he wanted to find any, as they might stop this game if he did. Still, that wasn't happening anyway, and even the quiet moans of pleasure that escaped the two weren't providing any help. Everything he'd learned about Uzgash in their time at Falkreath apparently held true for Marghak, too.

He admitted that his hands couldn't tell him who was who, and they moved on to the next part. "Who's this?"

"Marghak," he stated confidently. She lifted the blindfold from his eyes and asked him how he could tell so easily. The woman astride him was indeed her.

"Just a well-informed deduction. No matter how detailed Uzgash's reports about me were, I knew you'd want to find out for yourself," he replied. "You're like her in that, too. And I know Uzgash well enough to be certain she'd insist on you going first, just in case two was too many."

"I told you he was clever," Uzgash laughed. "Now I'm going back to the club and leaving you two to play."

Marghak didn't seem too disappointed at having him all to herself.

Marghak might feel just like Uzgash, but something more intangible was reminding him of Taminwe. A well-conditioned response took over.

By the morning, he knew the location of each of Gortwog's children, and a lot more about the politics of the Wayrest and Orsinium courts. He had a unclear picture of the way the Altmer were interfering, but that was a reflection of Marghak's own uncertainty. And she was happy to have confided in a trustworthy friend. After all, look what he'd done for Uzgash.

Marghak may have learned a few new things, too, but she'd soon find out they were common knowledge in the Imperial City.

Taminwe was impressed, although she told him it was all due to her training. "That's why I'm not worried about Marghak getting together with Ocato tonight. But you did much better than I'd expected! I do hope Morgiah decides to come through Cyrodiil. She could be an ebony mine of information!"

"In that case, I'd better spend more of my time with Minx, and less at the club," he suggested.

"On the contrary, she's been living in the Summerset Isle for the last thirty years, and Rinalla hasn't known anything else. I'd think you need more Altmer."

"Who did you have in mind? Ouch! Careful with those fingernails!"