The sun set several hours ago now. After a late dinner, I retrieve my computer from the library and say goodnight to Heath. Today held more excitement than I had expected, what with a near accident on the balcony. Thinking about it still raises my blood pressure. I saw an image of his body, splayed across the courtyard below, and panicked. I pushed him back from the rail in time, but the image remains.
I’ve been awake too long, I think. It’s been maybe two or three days. That must be the reason. I lock the door and all the windows, closing off the bedroom from the sitting room and the bathroom. I change into a silk chemise before I crawl under the duvet. Sleep doesn’t hesitate to take me. With the thought-dampening shields I’ve built up around my room, I have some measure of peace.
My peaceful dreams of the moors I grew up on are soon interrupted by images of Heath, in his lava form, storming through the Guild. His burning hands rip through the others and myself, in pursuit of Kaitlyn. I know this isn’t my own dream, and it ends abruptly. I gasp, sitting up in my bed. It’s still pitch dark. I can only assume he awoke as well. As I catch my breath, I consider going to check on him. That is, until a knock on my door echoes through my room.
I slide out of the bed, bare feet silent as I cross the carpeted floor, through the double doors that separate the room, and approach the main entrance. I reach out mentally, confirming that it’s him at the door before I bother to open it. His eyes are wide, dark circles around them, his hair slick and messy.
“I- I’m sorry to bother you… I just… I couldn’t sleep and…” He explains in a small voice.
“With a dream like that, I’m not surprised,” I frown, stepping aside. “Come in.”
“You saw that? Damn…” He rubs his hair nervously. “I’m sorry you had to see that…”
“You don’t need to apologize,” I shake my head. “Come, sit,” I wave to the couch.
He walks slowly past me to the couch, sitting stiffly with his hands on his knees. I close the door, locking it before I take a seat beside him. I angle myself to face him, running a hand through his damp hair.
“I’m so scared, Selene. What if he comes back and I can’t stop him?” His voice shakes.
“You won’t have to do it alone, love,” I whisper. “We will all be here to help you. I will be with you. We’ll tame him together.”
“But in my dream… I hurt them. I hurt you. I don’t want to hurt anyone! Not again,” He looks on the verge of tears, lip trembling, hands shaking on his knees.
I take his hands in mine, looking directly into his eyes. “If he kills me, it won’t be your doing. He may kill me ten times, but I will return eleven. He won’t succeed, Heath. Not anymore.”
“I-” He struggles to make the words sound, his emotions in turmoil. “I’m so scared of him,” He fails to hold the tears back even as he looks at me.
“Shh,” I pull his head to my shoulder, stroking his hair. “It’s alright. It will be alright.”
Shame, fear and pain swirl through his mind. He feels like an idiot for crying, in front of me no less. It’s overwhelming for him. I hold him close, humming a soothing tune as I continue trying to console him. He cries for a while, trying to calm himself. The humming seems to help, and his arms eventually slide around my waist. His thoughts shift from the pain he may cause and the fear to solely on me. He longs to be stronger, for my sake.
“That’s it,” I soothe. “Good.”
He takes a few deep breaths before clearing his throat to speak. Still, his voice comes out with a gurgle. “Could I… maybe stay, with you tonight?” He asks sheepishly, doubting I’ll say yes, but fearful of being alone.
I gulp, my humming stops. My own fears creep in. “I… normally don’t share a bed,” I mumble, but sensing his distress, I relent. “I suppose I can make an exception.”
“Is there a reason? I… I wouldn’t want to impose,” He says, feeling guilty for asking.
I clench my jaw, reluctant to admit. “It’s just… I find it’s safer that way. Falling asleep leaves you vulnerable,” I mumble. “The last time I let myself sleep in the open, with others, I nearly didn’t come back.”
“Oh, I see. I should have guessed. I… didn’t realise it would affect your sleep. I shouldn’t then,” He says with disappointed understanding.
“I can manage one night,” I roll my eyes. “I don’t sleep much anyway. You don’t need to be alone.”
He struggles between what he wants and wanting what’s best for me. He doesn’t speak for a long while as his thoughts bounce. “I’ll stay, as long as it’s what you want,” He finally says.
I can’t shoo him away in good conscience regardless. I slip out of his grasp to stand up, catching his hands as they fall away. “Come on then. The bed will be more comfortable.” He rises, following my lead into the other room. I pause to close the doors again behind us. “Go ahead,” I wave to the bed, moving around to the opposite side.
I prop myself up slightly against the headboard with a couple of pillows, pulling him up against my side. I lay his head on my chest, wrapping my arm around his neck to play with his hair in a soothing manner. He sighs, content as he draws circles on my stomach. He relishes the feeling when I touch his hair and it lulls him to sleep in almost no time at all.
He feels happy again, the nightmare all but forgotten. His breathing steadies, arm draped over my stomach lovingly. He’s warm, even without the magic. Despite myself, my eyes droop. I find it difficult to keep them open, exhaustion catching up with me. I hate the idea of letting my guard down, but my body doesn’t seem to care. It’s too much effort to keep twisting my fingers through his hair, and my hand falls to the pillow beside him. My mind slips into darkness, kicking and screaming.
The peacefulness of sleep fades away, awareness trickling into my thoughts. I feel warmth along my back, left side and wrapped around my stomach. Images of myself from another’s view flash behind my eyes, accompanied by thoughts of admiration. The memory of the night before comes flooding back to me and I smile.
“Good morning,” Heath whispers softly, recognizing that I’ve woken.
My eyes flutter and I turn my head to find his face very close. “Hello,” I yawn.
“Did you sleep okay?” He asks, a light concern for me drifts through his thoughts.
“Yes. You?” I rub my eyes, brushing away the crusts of sleep.
“Heavenly,” He hums peacefully. What a sweet thing he is.
“I’m glad to hear it,” I reach up to caress his cheek. “You could use a bit of heaven.”
He coughs a laugh, almost smiling as his eyes get a mischievous gleam. “I only wish I could wake up to you every morning.” He wonders if that sounds too cheesy, even though it’s true.
I narrow my eyes slightly. “I will take that under consideration,” I tease, sliding my hand around the nape of his neck and pulling his lips within reach. His eyes fall closed. He is surprised to hear that I will consider it. He meant it as a joke, even though he wants it to be true.
I study his deep blue eyes when I break away, a desperation in them. “Are you not late for something?” I muse with a wink.
“Late?” A sudden panic jolts through him and he cringes with a silent curse. “Shit, Nik’s probably waiting for me!” He sighs with reluctance, torn between training and being with me. He shifts to move off the bed as duty calls.
“Let him wait,” I laugh. “There’s no rush for you to get beaten up again.”
“There isn’t? But…” He’s worried, reasonably. He is always on time and fears his tardiness will be noticeable. It’s almost amusing how he worries Nik will make the connection between his tardiness and I.
“Why does what Nik know or doesn’t know concern you so?” I ask curiously.
“Well, he seems highly perceptive about things that go on between everyone. I am not the kind of person who likes being the topic of gossip…” He shrugs, not sounding convinced himself about why he’s worrying. “That and, I like to be punctual,” He adds, feeling a hint of pride for never having been late for work.
“Nik is not one for gossip,” I assure him. “He’s aware of the situation, don’t worry.”
Heath gulps, “He is?” Heath’s stomach twists with apprehension.
“This is unsettling to you,” I frown. “Why does it worry you?”
“Umm, well…” Being so close to him, I am able to pick up a fair amount of his churning thoughts. It would seem Heath isn’t confident in socializing with others, especially when it comes to matters of the heart, and he’s nervous of what the others might think if they knew. His concern seems to stem from the idea of what he did with Kat and whether or not it has gotten around and that they will start to wonder at why he’s with me. Finally, he presumes old habits die hard and that’s why he’s avoided consorting with people in the past, generally.
“You don’t want to be seen with me?” I ask, sitting up as I speak. “Or you don’t want to be with me?”
“NO! I do! I really do want to be with you… I’m just worried what the others will think of you if you’re seen with me… after what happened before. What if they start thinking things about you?” He finally admits, reflecting on the encounter with Cliff yesterday.
I chuckle. “Sweet darling, what they think of me is irrelevant. I have spent decades doing things people disapprove of, be it for my perceived age, or gender, or what-have-you. I’ve never let their opinion get in my way and I don’t plan to start now.”
He looks at me, mulling over my words. He sees the wisdom in them and wants to become less worried about what others think of him, and of us. He sighs, laying back down on the bed next to me and closes his eyes. “I see your point. I’ll try to be less worried about what others think,” He says softly, thoughtfully.
I rest my palm on his bare chest. “What is it that you want, Heath? What would you like to come of this?”
He looks up at me, tilting his head so he can see my face. “Like, in the future? Where do I see us?” he confirms.
“Yes,” I turn over, laying on my stomach with my arms crossed on his chest, watching his expression carefully.
He thinks about it, mind jumping to an imagined future with me and the possible things he sees a couple doing. He wonders what kind of life we’d have, being mages. He considers his images to be somewhat ignorant, but feels a spark of happiness at the thought. He’s never before thought that he’d find someone who he could love and be loved in return. He considers what we have to be very special and dear to him and hopes that it could continue, even after the lava returns, but he worries about that and how it will change him. He’s worried if I will still like him if he changes.
He finally looks into my eyes and says in his deep voice, “I see us together, if you would like it to be so.”
“I see,” I hum. “But I wonder if you realise, just how long our lives may be, should we survive this conflict,” I draw small circles on his skin. “I have known many men; I’ve known good men and I’ve known evil men. Most of them want the same things from woman – so I ask you again. What is it you want? Do you dream of children, of adventures across the world, or perhaps settling down somewhere?”
His mind races at the possibilities I’ve opened up to him. He’s not really contemplated these options before as he felt he was stuck in a seemingly bleak situation prior to us ever meeting. He seems to be confused by the length of our lifespan, unsure how long that might really be and how it might feel to be alive that long. It’s all new to him, but beneath all that I sense his true desire forming, growing. He begins to realise that he might not mind whatever it is we do together. No matter how long we are alive, as long as he is with me, he wants to become better, for me, and to make me happy. He doesn’t know if he has the right answer yet and thinks it might take time, but perhaps he can be good for me if he tries hard to fight back the lava’s deceptive intentions.
“I know you probably heard all that…” He mutters, “I don’t really know yet what it is I would want with this life. But… I do know that if it were with you, I’d want to strive to make you happy because just being with you makes me happy now.”
I smile, shifting to peck his lips quickly. “Now, the next time you ask me why I think you’re a good man, I want you to remember what you just said.”
His eyes widen in shock and his cheeks colour. “I see,” His lip twitches into an almost smile as he reaches a hand up to my hair, brushing it behind my ear. “So, if we’re going to keep him waiting… did you have anything in mind to… pass the time together?” His eyes sparkle wantonly.
I drop my gaze coyly, watching my fingers trace spirals on his pale skin. “Oh, I don’t know. What should we do…” I sing, feigning innocence.
“Hmm, I might have a few ideas,” He lets his thoughts wander purposely, dwelling on how he’d like to make love to me. I sense a playful tone to his mood.
“Do you?” I play along. “Why don’t you enlighten me?” He rolls his lips, hiding the would-be smile from view. He lets his hand glide down my shoulder as he looks into my eyes.
I sense the excitement in his mind as he wonders how to start. He struggles with two options, sitting up, which would push me off his chest, or just craning his neck to kiss me. His hand runs up and down my arm, producing goosebumps. He finally settles on his way.
He brings his other hand up and grips both my arms with his hands, pulling me up to him as he sits, taking my lips with his. As we kiss, he wraps his arms behind me and flips me onto my back, rolling over me. He slides his hands out from under me and holds himself up as he takes my breath away.
He pulls away briefly, with something he wants to say. He hopes it’s not too early to think so. “I’m in love with you, Selene,” He admits as he’s looks deep into my eyes.
I stroke his cheek with my thumb. There’s a flutter in my chest, movement I thought I had squashed a long time ago. It’s strange to feel things again and a large part of me wants to retreat, to pull back. Emotions, relationships… It’s always messy. This time, though, it’s not just about what I want. This boy, this young man, he’s in need. He needs someone to show him love, to lead him away from the path of violence and pain. Who better than me?
Letting my guard down isn’t easy. I smile at him. “You’ve only scratched the surface, my dear. Love… is an ocean. We have only just dipped our toes in the waves.”
He gives in at last, giving me a sweet smile as he lowers himself on top of me, pressing his lips to mine. I twist my fingers in his curly hair, riding along the tide of his emotions. It’s nice to make someone happy, for a change.
<Warning, mature content below>
He slips a hand down to slide off his boxers as he ravishes me with kisses, Trailing his lips along my cheek, over my ear, and down my neck. He delights in the shivers his kisses cause. Slipping his hand beneath my chemise and lightly running his fingers over the curve of my hip bone, his lips continue to roam across my collar bone and down to the silk hem. He slides his other hand across the hem, thinking of how it’s in his way.
His touch is warm against my exposed chest and his fingers caress my breasts tenderly as he rubs his hips against mine. He turns his face to my ear with a question. “What is it you like to do? What makes you feel good?”
I giggle playfully. “What I like to do?” I push him back, turning him over to lay down on his back. I hike up the short skirt of my nightgown and swing my leg over him, straddling his hips. I feel him, already hard, pressing against the skin below my belly button. I run my hands up along his toned abs and chest, tilting my head as I listen to his mind race.
“Do you think you’re ready for the answer, my love?” I hum, drawing circles around his left nipple.
He bites his lip, holding back a laugh as he squirms. “That tickles,” He brings his hands up to stop me, twisting under me in rebellion.
“Oh, it does, does it?” I raise an eyebrow. I catch his hand, holding it out of the way as I lean down to instead draw circles with my tongue.
He struggles against my grasp, resisting with his free hand. “Wait, stop! I said that tickles!” He coughs, trying hard not to laugh. I continue, tickling his other nipple at the same time, waiting to lure out his laughter. It seems he’s forgotten about our little bet.
“Unnn, Selene! Stoop…” His chest jumps as he clamps his lips shut, forcing the laugh through his nose. His struggle is amusing, more so than I expected. Who would have thought he would be so ticklish? I wonder if he even knew. I move a little quicker, raising the sensation.
“Okay! Okay! Mercy!” He tries to beg as he chuckles through his teeth. “Stop!” By now he’s laughing between his pleas.
“I win,” I announce in his mind, with no plan to stop. The sound is pleasing and the sense of victory that comes along with being possibly the first to make him laugh is addictive. “I like your laugh. I don’t think I will stop…” I tease.
“What?!” He thinks because he can’t catch his breath. “Noo, stop! It’s too much! Why?!” He rambles, arms flexing to break free of my grip so they can protect himself from my onslaught.
“Because it’s fun,” I smirk. “What are you going to do about it?”
“I can’t! I can’t do anything! Stop! Make it stop!” His abs flex with the effort of his laugh and he gasps for air. “Come on! please!”
I snicker, thoroughly amused now. “You mean to say you’ve been bested by a little girl such as myself? My, how embarrassing…”
His thoughts shift as he recognises the challenge. He takes a deep, ragged breath, and for a moment he seems to relax. Suddenly, he wrests one arm free and twists it around mine, pulling it out so I fall off him, to the side. I gasp as I lose my balance.
“Hah!” He shouts triumphantly, wiggling away from me and covering his chest with his arm as he catches his breath.
I push myself up and crawl after him with a wicked grin. “You think it’d be so easy?”
“I got away didn’t I?” He breathes cowering at the end of the bed. He looks ready to jump away.
I sit up on my knees, facing him, and lift my right hand, looking at it curiously. “Did you?” I ask with a cutesy voice as my fingers twist in the air. With my powers, I create the sensation again, without touching him this time.
His eyes grow wide and his neck muscles flex as his laughter starts up again. His arms are useless covering himself as they are. He rubs his chest in a futile attempt to get it to stop, wobbling on the edge of the bed precariously. I move the sensation along down his sides, up the back of his neck, and down his back all at once, wondering when he’ll snap.
He twitches like he’s in the grips of a seizure, tears streaming from his eyes, and falls backwards off the bed as the edge of the mattress gives way under his weight. He lands on his back with a solid thud, his laugh blending into a groan.
I take pity on him, crawling to the end of the bed to peer down at him as I let the sensation fade. “Are you alright, love?” I snicker, seeing him sprawled out on the carpet.
He gazes up at me, eyes wet with his tears, face red from being unable to breathe. “I give up. You win,” He announces from the floor.
“I already told you I won,” I roll my eyes. “It’s hardly any fun if you simply give up.”
He gives me a pouty look, propping himself up on his elbows and heaving a heavy sigh. “You put up an excellent fight. I was foolish to think I could outsmart you,” He smirks behind his flat lipped smile.
“You hardly put up a fight at all,” I sigh dramatically.
“What?!” He gasps. “I’ve never even been tickled before! I don’t know how to defend myself and now you’re saying I was going easy?!” He looks at me with big eyes.
I nod largely. “Look at you, all muscled and strong. There’s no good reason a little thing like me should be able to hold a strapping young man down against his will,” I scoff. “What else am I supposed to think?”
“Are you insulting me?” He asks, mock hurt on his face but his thoughts deceive him. He’s planning a counter attack.
“What if I am?” I challenge, goading him on.
“That might hurt my feelings,” He pouts. He folds his legs underneath him and stands, deliberately hunching his shoulders. “It’s not very nice, you know… insulting my effort,” His eyes watch me closely, not matching the tone of his voice.
“I never claimed to be nice,” I shrug, unapologetic.
“I see…” He hums quietly. He pretends to stand there, defeated but as soon as his voice fades, he springs into action, reaching both arms out for my shoulders in an attempt to throw me backward, onto the bed.
I squeal and fall back. Even though I saw it coming, I’m hardly able to resist the force of his momentum anyway. He jumps on top of me, straddling me with his legs and pinning my arms out with his. He looks at me, a sly smile on his face.
“Pinned ya. Now let’s see who’s ticklish!” He snaps his right hand to my armpit, lightly brushing my skin with his finger tips.
I shiver, sneering up at him. “You’ll have to do better than that, love.” He rolls his lips in thought, sliding his hand done to my tummy where he digs in a little deeper. “Warmer,” I sing, taunting him. I sense a bead of frustration in his mind.
He wanders lower, thinking he might try me knees but his fingers stall on my hip. I shake my head, humming, “Ah-uh…”
He frowns, roaming to my sides along my waist. I grin, waiting.
Heath exhales, trying my knees. He can’t take it much longer. When I don’t react, he stops. “I don’t get it. You mustn’t be ticklish,” He complains.
“Oh, I am,” I sigh. “I realise you’ve probably never tried this before, so allow me to explain. Light touches can cause a ticklish feeling, but to really get someone going… Usually you need to be a little more… Aggressive,” I chuckle as I listen to him consider the idea.
After a moment he drops the frown and scans my body, wondering where to begin again. He reaches for my sides, pressing firmer than before. My body twitches involuntarily, a giggle rising in my throat. Now he’s learning.
His eyes light up in surprise and he gets a grin on his face as he continues, pressing a little harder, using his fingers to make me twitch. He is enjoying the payback. I twist against his grasp, breaking an arm free to push against his attack. My back arches with the sounds that escape past my lips. I don’t hold back as I normally would, letting him have his moment.
I sense him become distracted and his hands stop their relentless attack, gripping me tightly as he leans down to plant a kiss on my lips. I feel his palm press against my back, holding me up as he gives be a loving kiss, pulling playfully on my lips with his teeth. I smile against his cute gesture, kissing back harder. My hands lift from the sheets into his hair, twisting the curls around my fingers.
“You asked me earlier,” He breathes against my lips, “If I could handle what you liked. Is that still… a possibility?”
“Of course,” I laugh. “You’ll have to roll onto your back again though,”
“Oh?” He hesitates before leaning back and climbing off of me. I direct him to lay back, with his head on the pillows. I take a moment to admire his perfect body and I see he’s still perfectly erect. Oh, how wonderful youth is.
I swing my leg over him, resuming the same position, before we got distracted. I flick his nipple and wink, teasing him slightly. He starts to complain, but stops as I gather the silken fabric of my nightgown around my hips, lifting it slowly up. His breath catches and his thoughts fall silent, fixated on my ivory skin. I take my time lifting it up over my breasts. He gulps, his heart racing with the anticipation.
I let the silk fall away, leaving me completely bare. I slide my palms slowly up his stomach, across his chest, and to his shoulders, leaning close to his lips without touching. I look down at him, eyes half open, my voice a whisper, “Say please.”
“Please…” He says in a wavering voice. His breathing is deep, anticipatory.
I purse my lips. “I’m not convinced, love. Tell me again, how much you want it?”
He grins beneath me. “Please, Selene. I want it!” He begs.
“Do you?” I kiss his lips swiftly. “What do you want?”
He cranes his neck for more. “I… I want you, Selene. I want all of you,” He sighs as he speaks. “Please, love me.”
I smile at him, kissing him again. “Then you shall have it,” I sit up on my knees, positioning myself over him as I lower myself back down. I inhale as I feel him enter, letting my head roll back. I rest my palms on his stomach to keep my balance as I grind my hips against his.
He moans with pleasure, trying to keep rhythm with me as he pushes for more. His muscles contract and relax beneath my hands and he slides his hands across my thighs as we move in time together. I control the muscles within myself to caress him in a way that few women master, the resulting pleasure overwhelming his senses.
“You feel amazing!” He gasps, arching his neck back as he quickens the pace in his hips. “How do you do this?” He can hardly think straight.
“I can’t tell you all my secrets,” I snicker. “That would destroy the mystery.” He moans, calling out my name in the heat of passion. I slow down, leaning slightly toward him.
“Now, your turn. Take what you want,” I coo.
He wraps his arms around me, locking me in place, bent over top of him. He places one hand on the back of my head, pulling it next to his neck. He adjusts his legs so he has leverage and returns to his earlier speed. I feel his heart pounding against my chest. He asks me in a strangled voice, “Does it feel good?”
“Yes…” I breathe. “Give me more, give me all of yourself.”
He drives himself deeper, harder at the sound of my voice. I hear his little moans coming from his throat as he strains to increase the pleasure for me. I whisper encouragement in his ear, biting the lobe softly as I dig my nails into his shoulders. This makes him more excited. He seems on fire at my touch.
“I-I’m close,” He whispers hoarsely.
“Good,” I purr, squeezing him from the inside, kissing his neck. His entire body tenses as he climaxes and he lets out a huge sigh of satisfaction. I cross my arms on his chest, resting my head on top of them without moving off. I feel the last of his twitches inside me and I rest my eyes, quite content.
He lowers his hips, sliding out as he opens his eyes and looks at me. His face glistens with sweat. “You are… beyond amazing,” He smiles.
“I know,” I hum, still laying on his chest.
He chuckles, drawing circles on my back with his hand as he looks into my eyes, pure content on his face and in his mind. “It feels like a dream,” He admits, running one hand through my hair.
“If it’s a dream, we should remain here,” I muse.
“I agree. I never want to leave,” He hums peacefully. I listen to the sound of his breathing, his thoughts quiet for a time. I almost doze off, with the combined sense of satisfaction, until a seed of worry grows in his mind. He’s hesitant to voice his concern, but it’s quite obvious.
“Are you concerned about what people will think, or the practicality of it?” I ask, breaking the silence.
“Uhh,” He stutters, caught off guard. “Practicality,” He decides, though I sense a small concern for the other, now that I’ve mentioned it.
I chuckle. “Relax, sweetheart,” I lift my head up to look at him with a smile. “I haven’t lived long enough to carry a child for quite a while now. Given the state of things, I highly doubt I will any time soon.”
“Ohh, okay,” He says, not sure if that sounds like a good thing or not. His concern is flattering. “Well, even if it did happen, you’d tell me, right?” He asks.
I frown. “You would want to know, despite knowing it won’t come back when I do?”
“Um, well no. I’d like to know because then… I could… maybe prevent you from… or something… That is, if you wanted to… I dunno, keep it… I’m not making any sense. Forget it.”
I smile, watching him flounder, turning redder by the second. When he trails off, I place my hand on his cheek. “Would you like me to? Would that make you happy?”
“I don’t know. You make me happy, so if you’re happy with it, then I am too,” He rubs his cheek in my hand.
“Well then,” I lean to kiss him one more time. “We’ll figure it out if it comes to that.”
By Krystyna Yates