...aged her hands; they ached, nimble yet sore, they craved a night of rest. But as long as she was that tribe's bender it was her responsibility to do the job.
She took a lantern that dangled by a chain and set it atop a table by the mattress.
Yes, if there was another girl, then the workload would not be so rough. But what could be done? Retire? Quit? Impossible! It had to be done. For tradition. For the stability of the tribe. Boys, of such need and of such virility, it would be a disaster to the social order and harmony if she failed.
And, anyway, she liked it. No. She more than liked it.
The boys were so different and she enjoyed getting to know all of the details. The peculiarities. It was a very intimate thing despite its utilitarian and, even, its mechanistic nature. Any other ordinary girl would have grown tired of it but not Katara.
She could not grow tired of it.
As if the titillation of the forbidden was not enough, it was the power of watching – making – the boys tremble and cry, almost like babies, while exposing their intimate and vulnerable moments.
Sokka was already in bed, in sleep. She did not want to disturb him but that could not be helped. The ruckus of her stripping out of her clothes, crawling into that mattress, startled the teenager.
"Sorry, Sokka," she said. She kissed his cheek which blushed.
"You're back," he said, half in and out of sleep.
"Yeah, hm, I thought you'd be awake for me," she tea...