Aria: In the Mountains (part 1)
by Miss Mouse
Aria Silversong awoke at the moment of sunrise, the light just peaking over the horizon and streaming into the open windows of her home. It was a beautiful, warm summer morning in the Forrell Mountains, the eastern wind rising up from the plains and bringing with it the smell of flowers growing wild.
Tossing aside her covers, she stood to walk barefoot across the wooden boards that floored her simple house. She had all the grace and poise of a cat, her motions light and quick as the breeze.
The half-elf wore a simple set of woolen nightclothes consisting of long pants and a loose tunic which tied on the sides to close it. These ties had been extended in recent months, allowing for the growth of her belly, although the extensions now did little to help in her current state. Perhaps she would continue working on a larger shirt today.
In quieter times, Aria lived her with her lover, Beryl, an adventurer and Paladin of Sehanine. She was a beautiful and kind woman, and Aria loved her with all her heart…and so the pain at her departure had been all the worse.
The two had decided to have a child and Sehanine had blessed them through her servant, Beryl, and Aria had become pregnant. It was a joyous thing, for them to create life together, and with each passing day Aria grew more and more pregnant, her heart more and more full, and she looked forward to the day that the three of them would be together, at peace, as a family.
She went out into the garden, following the worn stone steps down to the river which flowed near the house. The flowers Beryl had planted were all ready to bloom, their silver buds pointed skyward to await the full moon. Moonflowers were Beryl’s favorite and Aria loved them for her sake, tending them during her absence.
Beryl was a good woman, a brave warrior and a fighter for good and the freedom of people. She had retired from her work to enjoy a quiet life with Aria, but not long after they had received the gift of pregnancy, her old nemesis had reared his ugly head.
Erazar the Mad was a devil and a tyrant, one capable of enslaving whole kingdoms, an ancient and terrible evil that had been defeated, but eluded destruction. With him back, there could be no peace for them.
Before Beryl had left, she had made a promise to her love: that she would return to be present at the birth of their daughter. This was the bond that would sustain them in their time apart and yet… and yet the days had turned into weeks and the weeks into months…the time for the birth came, and Aria denied it.
She was a monk, the master of both mind and body. Honing her self-control and willpower over decades had made her the woman she was now—serene and graceful, poised and powerful. It is this training—this conquering of the self—which allowed her to maintain the pregnancy, to extend it beyond its normal limits.
And now she was nearing the end of a year of pregnancy.
It was these things she reflected on as she walked down to the little river that served their home. She was not anxious, nor frightened that her love might not return to her, but her pregnancy weighed on her mind as much as it did her body.
She was not a very big woman. Half-elves were prone to thinness, and the gods had seen fit that she should just barely reach five feet in height, and so the pregnancy had wrought great changes upon her body.
Her breasts had grown only a little, the nipples darkening, their curves growing fuller, the skin growing tighter as they began to swell with milk. She was, perhaps, a little rounder in the hips and in the butt, but the defining quality of her limbs remained the toned muscle she had built in her exercises.
The greatest change was her belly, which now swelled out from her torso by over a foot. On such a small girl, it was a sight to see, pale and tight and hard from the pressure within. Her navel had flattened out, reduced to a somewhat dark spot at the crest of her stomach.
She removed her clothes, setting them aside to wade into the river naked, the water still cold from the night before. A gentle chill ran through her at the sensation. It was very easy to grow uncomfortably warm being pregnant in the summertime, and the cool river was a welcome friend.
Aria lowered herself in, dunking her head beneath the surface, her red curls flattening into copper waves about her shoulders. As always happened during her morning bath, the child within her awakened, kicking a little as she stirred. Holding her belly, Aria took a measured breath, her mind going to her daughter as she exhaled.
Kera—that was her name—was a beautiful girl. Aria knew this, had seen her mind, could feel the life within her. They were bonded, had been together in dreams, and the mother knew the child’s heart, her wants, her needs.
In her mind’s eye, Aria saw her daughter, and she loved her.
Kera was an active baby—more and more since the proper date of her birth had passed—but Aria was an active woman, and she handled the pregnancy well. Her level of activity had decreased, but she continued to do her stretches and exercises as much as she could, ensuring her habits remained in place.
Swimming was a wonderfully relaxing experience. As fit as she might be, her body still grew sore from carrying so much extra weight so unevenly distributed. Being in the water relieved her of this burden, and she relished the sense of lightness she now so dearly missed.
The sun was fully rising now and—her bathing done—Aria came up out of the water and followed the bank a little ways to where the river tumbled over a cliff and became a great spray of orange and red in the morning light. Near to this cliff (which was not far at all from the house) was a flat expanse of slate where she would do her poses.
These were exercises of diligence and concentration rather than muscle, but they promoted flexibility of the body and clarity of the mind. Her usual routine had become more and more truncated as Kera grew inside of her, her range of motion slowly shrinking. Now, with the globe of her belly filling her lap as she sat cross legged on the rock, she could do only a little, and these focused on her arms and legs rather than her body as a whole.
She continued to do what she could, standing, bending, stretching herself carefully, because the routine was as important as the exercises themselves. An ordered mind began with an ordered day.
Aria stood on her tiptoes, her arms raised above her head. Her back was now curved greatly to accommodate the heavy ball of her womb, the muscles tense from the effort of carrying the child. This total extension of her body helped ease the strain, though balancing with her legs together was now a difficult task.
She widened her stance, bending forward, her belly lowering down between her knees. She could feel her pelvis spreading, opening up as the weight of her pregnancy pushed into it, filling the space between her hips. Kera stretched, roused by the movement, her motions causing bulges to rise and fall on the surface of Aria’s belly.
This was a difficult pose to maintain as it was the one which most awakened her body’s desire to give birth, and so Aria moved on, relieving the pressure against her cervix and pelvis. She lowered herself into the splits, her belly resting heavily on the stone beneath her. She braced her hands beneath it, filling her lungs with air, focusing on her breath and the sunlight on her bare skin.
She continued in like, stretching and exercising the muscles of her back, her arms, her legs and pelvis… what mattered most was not the extension of the muscles, but the focus and diligence with which she commanded her body, filled her lungs with air. It was a activity of the mind and the body as a single unit, a wholeness of being.
Her stretches done, she sat again to meditate.
This was an easy thing, though not quite so easy as it had once been. The pregnancy had made her a very hungry woman and she had not adjusted the time of her breakfast, so her attempts to clear her mind were interrupted by the grumbling of her stomach… and the kicking of her daughter.
But she didn’t mind. She loved the feeling of life within her, expanding her, stretching her. She was a mother, and every time her child moved, every time she kicked…every shift and distention of Aria’s strained skin was her daughter saying “I’m here, and I love you.”
And so her meditation became her sitting and watching the sunrise, her hands resting on her swollen belly, her thoughts on the child growing within her.
After her morning bath and exercise (and contemplation of motherhood), Aria dressed and returned to the house to have her breakfast of leek soup and bread. It was delicious, but in recent weeks she found that she could eat only a little before growing uncomfortably full, her womb taking up so much space inside of her. She finished her bowl and sat back in her chair, her hands resting atop her belly, her body heavy and round. Tomorrow, she’d eat a little less at breakfast, spreading out her food out more and more over the course of the day.
The late morning and early afternoon were for doing chores (broken by a short lunch), chief amongst them being the care of the garden where she and Beryl grew their food. The two lived mostly independent of others, enjoying the solitude of the mountains and each other’s company. Now there was just Aria and Kera, who was not much for conversation.
“It’s a nice warm day today,” said Aria as she went out into the garden. Rows of tomatoes, peppers, melons, and cabbage grew along either side of the path which ran from the north side of the house down to the river. “The tomatoes are about ready to pick. I think you’ll like tomatoes.”
One hand sat idly atop her belly, helping aid her balance, while the other carried a basket and scissors. Gardening was a peaceful activity, one she enjoyed doing even into these latest weeks of pregnancy. Bending and crouching was difficult, but she was strong and in no hurry.
“It is a lot of work, though. You have to plant and fertilize and prune and harvest…ooh, oh!” she paused as Kera gave a hard couple of kicks. “Well,” she touched where the motion was beneath her skin. “I don’t think you’ll have any lack of energy for these sorts of things,” she laughed, enjoying the moment.
A few of the tomatoes were already ready and she picked these, placing them in her basket. After harvesting, she set the basket aside and went through with the scissors, pruning, trimming away dead leaves and stems, pulling out weeds. Once, this work would have been simple and effortless, but as big as she had grown, each bend, each squat, each lean was an effort. Her lungs were cramped and she needed more air than ever before… but there was no rush. Whatever she could take five minutes to do, she could take ten minutes to do; there was no need for haste for her or her child.
After the gardening was finished and the crops put away, she ate a small snack of biscuits, sitting in the front room and drinking tea. Her thoughts went to Beryl, out in the world somewhere, and she felt a pang of loneliness in her heart.
“Your mother—” She stroked her belly soothingly. “—your other mother—is a brave, brave woman,” she said. Her skin grew a little tighter, a little paler, a little more sensitive with each passing day. “And she’ll be back soon,” and her words were as much for herself as for daughter. “She’ll be back and here for your birth.”
Aria curled up around the sphere of her belly and shed a few, anxious tears.
She spent a bit of time sewing, adding material to a few of her tunics to accommodate her growing womb. In truth, she had been holding out that Beryl would return before she needed to make further adjustments, but now she conceded and put in the work.
It was nice and peaceful, if a little repetitive.
But in all things—even the least stimulating—of activities, there were opportunities to reflect, to act in diligence, and to find peace. In these times of meditation, Aria found her mind dwelling on her child, reaching out to examine this part that was-and-wasn’t herself.
In her mind’s eye, she could see herself as she truly was, the self not made of flesh and blood, but that singular, unique, and immutable spirit. And within her spirit—and yet outside of it—there was another, and the two shared one life.
She could sense her daughter’s lifeforce, see the stream of thoughts and emotions—infantile though they might be—and she could touch her mind. Aria felt her daughter’s curiosity as she stretched out her tiny hands to once more test the boundaries of her little world, energized by her mother’s snacking. She smiled as Kera began to suck her thumb, giving a few strong kicks as if to remind her mother that she was still there.
As if Aria needed any reminding.
This pregnancy had more than taken over her life as the long months passed. She had gained more than half her previous weight in her belly alone, which affected every step, every breath, every action she took. Kera, now as big as a three-month-old child (at least) had strength and weight beyond those of a normal unborn baby, her movements and kicks being very apparent, even through the skin of her mother.
Aria was filled completely by the life that grew inside of her. A life that got bigger and stronger and more active each day. Where once there was a mere woman, there was now a swelling vessel of life.
It was a pleasurable thing. The sense of fullness, the tightness of her thin and sensitive skin; the strength of the child’s movements as she grew more active with age; the pressure of the milk swelling, overflowing her still-small breasts… these things made her feel part of something more, some ancient and powerful feature of the universe. It made her feel…
Aria’s face was warm and flushed, her cloth and thread draped half-forgotten over her belly. There would be time for such thoughts later, but for now she had more work to do.
She left her sewing only partially done, deciding something more active would help keep her focused. Sweeping had once been a quick and easy activity, but now it was something of a game of angles, her huge belly in the way.
It was lucky that their house was relatively small and not very dirty, but there was still a degree of challenge to sweeping around her bulk without hitting it. She moved gracefully about the house, sweeping on either side of herself, occasionally bumping the swelled-out side of her belly with the handle. This never failed to spur Kera into activity, who would otherwise be fairly quiet at this time of day. She kicked back against the interruptions, stretching a little and adjusting her position. Aria watched the shape of her belly changing before her eyes as her child shifted and maneuvered beneath her skin.
“Quit being so irritable,” she laughed, giving her side a few gentle pats. “Trust me, you’ll wish you were back inside me getting bumped once this becomes your job.” But her words did little to calm the overdue child. Eventually, she set the broom aside and sat down to watch the birds flitting about the garden and let Kera tire herself out.
After eating a dinner of rice and stir-fry, she finished the last of the sweeping. It was now evening and the summer sun was beginning to set, casting the mountainside in shadow and the eastern sky darkened.
There was a small ache in Aria’s heart, a sense of longing, of separation. Twilight was a melancholy time, one which reminded her of the loneliness that lingered about her little, empty home. This particular evening, as the gloaming descended upon the garden and the little stream, she made ready to go on a walk.
Most often she went around barefoot, but for longer journeys beyond the homestead she wore sandals, which she now had to put on blindly, unable to see her feet at any comfortable angle. Knowing she would get hungry, she took an apple and then (after thinking it over) she took another. She put these in a bag which hung across her body, the strap rubbing uncomfortably against her breast as her belly pushed it up.
Walking stick in hand, she set out for a hike in the growing dusk.
It was not so far to her destination, but she took her time. She was going to a special place, one that deserved a journey of contemplation and awareness. And it was a beautiful evening filled with the sounds of cicada, the stars just starting to peak out of the gloom of the horizon. The moon was just beginning to rise.
A little south of the house, a trail wound its way higher into the mountains, climbing back and forth along the face of as steep rise. Chestnuts and dogwoods grew along the way, a few of the latter still wearing the last of their late-spring blossoms. Beneath one of these, Aria sat to rest and eat an apple, one hand beneath her belly as it sat in her lap. She liked the sense of weight, the way her skin tingled at her touch. She liked to feel her daughter moving against her palm, feeling the connection they shared.
It was truly getting dark now and she wanted to reach the place before nightfall, so she pressed on, leaving the core of her apple to be eaten by whatever creature might find it. Somewhere, an owl hooted, and fireflies began to ignite amidst the trees, filling the woods with embers drifting on the wind.
At the top of the trail, she came to a sheltered clearing, the remains of an old shrine to some forgotten god surrounded on two sides by a cliff face. This was a place of love, conjuring feelings of warmth and connection in those who came upon it.
This was Aria and Beryl’s place, more even than the home they shared. They might entertain visitors, deal with travelers, or offer any sort of aid people might need within their little house, but the shrine was a place just for them.
And soon, Kera would join them.
Aria let out a pleasant sigh at the sight of the place, painted by the twilight. The focus was a statue carved from a tree trunk, the form of which had mostly been lost to time and the elements. Still, there was enough of it to suggest the form of a woman, and the lovers had spent pleasant nights here, speculating at what it might represent. Before the statue and its embellishments, a few columns stood around a bathing pool that served as the focus of the communal area.
Now and then they would come here and clean a little, sweeping leaves away from the flat, white stones that surrounded the bath, but they let the vines do what they willed with the columns and stone benches. These flowered sometimes in the fall.
The pool itself was clear and clean, never seeming to collect leaves or dirt, never overflowing or drying out. There was some lingering magic to it, and it was a pleasant place to bathe.
Aria stood a little while to stare at it, her hand beneath her belly, feeling its great weight. This is where Kera had been conceived and where she would be born, once the time was right. Just thinking about birth brought that sensation to mind. Within her there was a feeling of pressure, of urgency, a little ember that said “please, it’s time!” and begged to be stoked to labor. Yet she handled it carefully, stowing it away, isolating it where it could not affect her, burying in the sands of her subconscious and leaving it to smolder a while longer.
Near to the bath and the columns, a small ripple of the soft, moss-covered earth made a quiet place to lay. This was their spot, shaded by the trees and the cliffs that rose nearby, looking eastward towards the rising moon.
She left her walking stick aside and went to this place, slowly undoing the ties of her tunic, leaving it on one of the benches. Last, she removed her pants, and so came to their bed of nature naked, just as she had so many times before. She sat down, her legs bent beneath the swell of her belly, and there in the distance was the moon.
Somewhere, Beryl’s out there in the night, looking up at the same moon, she thought to herself. She ran her hands over her belly, a few kicks acknowledging the attention. She laughed and shut her eyes, her mind going back to this place as it had been before when they were together.
Aria saw the shrine in the darkness of an Autumn night. It was not a real thing, a real memory, but a mosaic of things that were and might be, blending together seamlessly as she sank deeper and deeper into this meditation.
And in her mind’s eye she could see Beryl standing in the dusk, her black hair rippling in the wind about her. She was tall and beautiful, with large, dark eyes that seemed to shimmer with the first stars of the night.
Beryl crossed to where her lover sat, and Aria could see her face, could hear her breathing. She held up her hands and the two interlaced their fingers, and it seemed almost that they could really be touching. She guided her lover’s hands to the taut skin of her belly, a thrill running through her body at the thought. Beneath their hands, their daughter moved in earnest within her, her strong motions distorting Aria’s round stomach and causing her to give a little groan at the force of it all.
“She’s getting so big,” said Aria, looking up at her lover’s face.”But—oof—I can hold out. I can do it… for you.” She was breathing a little heavy now, her body relaxing, loosening the tight poise she usually carried herself with. It was exhausting doing all of this alone, but she was strong. “I’m here,” she said to the night. “And we’re waiting for you.”
Beryl leaned in and Aria thought she could feel her breath on her lips, her hand tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. They kissed, and it seemed almost real, the warmth, the softness, the closeness of the two of them.
She knew it was a lie, but she let herself believe it.
Beryl pressed forward, laying her pregnant lover down upon the mossy earth, holding her hands. She touched Aria’s swollen belly, tracing a line up the underside of it, and the woman shivered.
“Please,” Aria whispered to the night air.
Beryl moved up beside her, cradling her head against her shoulder. One hand caressed Aria’s face, brushing against her lips. Her head gave a little motion to follow it, her mouth opening, rooting after the errant finger.
The hand caressed her neck, her chest, the fingers lightly trailing over the swell of her breasts, cupping one. Aria needed this, moved her hand to cover her lover’s, prompted her to squeeze, to tease at the nipple.
Her body was growing hot, her chest tingling, oh it was like an itch, and she was begging for it to be scratched. At the gentle coaxing of the hand, her milk began to flow, spurting out of her breast in little streams. The other hand came around to touch her untended breast, Aria going limp in her lover’s arms.
She was panting now, her body weakened, already shaking with sensation. Beryl brought one milk-covered finger to Aria’s lips and the smaller woman suckled at it eagerly, tasting her milk, feeling the appendage against the softness of her mouth.
Beryl’s other hand stroked the top of her belly where it encroached on her ribs, its huge swell dominating the small woman’s body. Her skin was tight and shiny, thinning as it stretched over the life growing within her. She was huge and growing bigger by the day. In this position, the weight of the child lay right on top of her, pressing her down into her lover’s embrace.
“Touch me,” she whimpered.
The vision of the woman sat up a little, her hand laying flat against the peak of Aria’s massive belly. Kera sensed her mother’s temperament, growing more active as the excitement increased. She kicked out against her walls, causing Aria to gasp, her hands clutching the sides of her stomach.
Beryl trailed from the flattened spot of Aria’s navel down to the sensitive underside, over the pubic mound, coming to rest over the warm and eager lips of her labia.
Aria was helpless, had given herself over completely to the meditative vision. She had to let go, had to surrender to the needs of her body. So much of her life was control, was diligence, was overcoming the natural reactions of the body and mind.
But it was all too much to do alone.
She needed a release.
Beryl’s fingers began to work between her legs, gently entering, probing, her thumb gently rubbing against her clitoris. The sensation was like a steady electric shock running through the bones of her pelvis and hips, sending branches and flashes up into her torso, her legs squirming.
She wanted more, needed more, her body tensing, her hips bucking against the fingers, trying to push them deeper, to fill her. Yet they retreated a little, ever just teasing her sensitive entrance.
Aria tried to reach, but the width of her belly was too much, her hands only brushing the moistness of her inner thighs. She curled forward and the child within her kicked against her ribs, stretching her belly into an oblong shape. The breath left her lungs and she laid back, gasping for air. She was dizzy, her mind clouding with desire and the heat that was filling her, burning her.
Her hands pressed against the drum of her belly as she neared the cliff, her head filled with a fog of love and lust and amazement at transformation her body had undergone in the last twelve months. She was a cup filled to the brim, a bud begging to flower, a fruit swollen to bursting with the life within.
Beryl’s fingers dove in suddenly, filling Aria, driving her to the edge and further. The small woman convulsed, her legs kicking out, her back arching up, her belly tightening, her mouth choking out a groan as the orgasm thundered through her body.
Within her, their child kicked and stretched, exciting her more, driving her on, a reminder of the bond she shared with Beryl, of the life they had made together. She was completely overcome by the release, every muscle twitching with life and pleasure.
When she was recovered, Aria found herself alone in the sheltered place by the shrine, the ground about her torn by the movements of her hands and feet in the throes of her ecstasy. It was a warm summer night, and she was alone.
Kera gave a little kick, and she remembered that she was not wholly alone, was never wholly alone. As long as her daughter remained within her, she would always have a part of Beryl close by.
She shivered a little, the sweat cooling her skin as the night wind blew across it. Rolling over, Aria wobbled to her feet, her muscles shaking under her weight. She was exhausted, but satisfied, and so made her way over to the little pool to bathe before eating her second apple and returning home.
That night, as she laid on her side in bed, her arm resting on the great swell of her belly, she thought about how lucky she was, and she dreamed of Beryl’s return.