“Good morning keairrah, how did you sleep?”
It was hard to concentrate to form a coherent reply when he was trailing kisses like liquid fire across my skin, and so I did not try. I turned in his embrace and pressed my lips to his and relished the feel of his arms tightening around me, locking against my back and crushing me to him. My body came alive under his touch and my breath escaped me in a startled gasp as he lifted me bodily and laid me on my back so reverently, his hips matching mine and his hands finding my wrists. His grip was firm but not tight or frightening as he stared me in the eyes and raised my arms above my head, pinning them to the mattress. I was not afraid and it showed in my eyes, this must have reassured him because he kept me at his mercy and bent slowly and gently as if waiting for me to stop him, but I didn’t and he continued his descent to lay a kiss over the beating pulse in my neck. He trailed kisses down the line of my collar bone and continued even further down my body, his hands sliding softly down my arms when he could no longer reach to hold my wrists.
I left my hands above my head my eyes closing as I relished the feel of him moving his lips across my breasts and along my ribs, trailing down my stomach until finally with a final press of lips on the jut of my hip bone the feel of him stopped. I opened my eyes and let out a breath I hadn’t known I was holding, finding he had retreated to kneel on the mattress beside me. His hands rested on the tops of his thighs and an odd little smile graced his lips. I tipped my head to the side and let the query into my expression and his smile grew wider.
“I’ve longed for this moment before the tower fell, and I have longed secretly for it ever since… I wish to never forget this. A moment to drink you in, allow me that?”
I nodded, slowly and remained as I lay relaxing and did the same, watching him watching me and I felt the mirror to his smile on my own lips, until with a joyous laugh he leaned forward as I did, his arms circling high on my middle as my own went about his well muscled shoulders and we held each other and laughed for no other reason than we were happy until the laughter dissolved into kissing and the kissing grew heated, our hands lightly caressing one another until neither could stand it any longer and we made love, slowly savoring one another for as long as we could.
We finished and I lay breathing heavily, Elethor’s ear pressed above my heart his eyes closed in pure bliss as he listened to its frantic beating as it fluttered in my chest. I combed gentle fingers through his hair allowing them to trail down the mane at the back of his neck before trailing them across his shoulder only to repeat the motion over again. His back rose and fell above me as he caught his own breath and I smiled so contentedly and tried very hard not to think about my return to Elysea.
After long moments he rested his chin on my chest between my breasts, gazing up my body into my eyes. I smiled at him and quirked an eyebrow.
“I do believe we need a bath.” He said finally and I laughed loud and clear and full throated and he smiled broader and raised himself off me, for which I was heartily sorry for. He pulled on a pair of soft worn in cloth breeches and I stood up. He gathered the top sheet from the bed and wrapped me in it, laughing as I spun in an obedient circle to twist myself into the cloth, tucking the end in close beneath my arm so I was sheathed in it from armpit to floor. He drew me close, his hands light on my hips as he bent to kiss me and I kissed him back reverently.
I let out a whoop and laughed again as without warning he stooped, placed an arm beneath my knees and the other at my back and lifted me easily spinning me in a full circle. I wrapped my arms about his shoulder and kissed him, drawing back one hand cupping the side of his face, and smoothed my thumb along the strong line of his jaw.
“I can walk now my love.” I whispered, leaning my forehead against his, closing my eyes and absorbing the feel of him so near to me.
“Yes, but perhaps I feel the need to carry you.” He said. “Besides, the sheet is too long, you may trip.” He murmured. I drew back so that he may see where he was going.
“We wouldn’t want that.” I said with a mock severity to my tone, letting him have his way.
“Indeed we would not.” He smiled and strode for the door stooping a bit so I may open the latch. We followed the same route we had taken so many months ago only this time we did encounter people in the halls and with varied and mixed reactions. At first it was the Shugos of the Legion House, retained to care for the building. Some bustled from room to room changing linens much like at an inn, others filled the oil lamps at head height to keep them burning through the never ending dark of Asmodae. Some stopped and stared a tail or an ear twitching in curiosity, some went about their business as if nothing were amiss. Some whispered as we passed, but most remained silent.
The Legionaries of Pantheon we encountered were very few though I stiffened in Elethor’s arms at their appearance. Two of his men stopped cold in their conversation in one hall and put their backs to the wall, both struck dumb at the appearance of their Brigade general carrying an Elyos woman down their hall. Another carrying a stack of books and scrolls tripped over his own feet, the papers and tomes crashing to the wood floor. The man knelt dumbfounded and tried to gather them though his eyes remained locked to Elethor’s back as we passed by. I looked into my beloved’s face as he continued on his path, so unconcerned and I let myself worry for the both of us. After we passed yet a third set of his legionaries a man and a woman who both jumped back in surprise the woman exclaiming something in the Asmodian tongue I raised my concerns.
“Elethor, should we be doing this?” I asked, the worry tingeing my voice.
“These are my people, I trust them and they trust me to lead them. We have nothing to fear this time. When you were injured so badly before, I feared I may lose you forever and so I secreted you away until I could get you the help that you desperately needed.” He bowed his head and continued on. “I’ll not lie to them again.” He finally said, bending to allow me to open the catch on the door to the subterranean bathing chambers. Laughter filtered up from below, the laughter of comrades at arms after a hard victorious fight. The sound was familiar no matter what the language spoken between the spates of laughing was.
Elethor descended the stairs and the laughter died. I held tightly to him as he traversed the room to a smaller pool that steamed gently in the low lantern light. The pool where the laughter had come from held six individuals, two women and four men. All with either astonished or stricken faces. One of the men gathered his wits and spoke sharply, the sentence he spoke ending in a very clear question. Elethor, his back to them stiffened with me in his arms. His expression clouded over and became very dark, his voice low and threatening he made his reply. The man who had spoken to him blinked and his shoulders dropped. Elethor set me on my feet and smiled at me though it was tight around the edges and I could see he was being very controlled in his actions.
Slowly a low conversation among his legionaries picked up again, though I could tell they watched us curiously and with no small amount of hostility. The place between my shoulders positively itched with how their eyes burned a hole through me. Elethor took a seat on the bench set below the waterline, his back to the wall where he could see the rest of the room and keep watch. He trusted his people, yet he was still not without caution. He held out a hand to me and I took it, gliding through the water noiselessly to him. He had me sit in his lap, straddling his waist so that I could look only at him and it helped ease my nervousness.
“No harm will come to you under my roof keairrah, I promise you.” he said, and I believed him.