Of Stardust and HOT water

OFF: this post is one that has been greatly anticipated by everyone. The meeting and final mingling of Avakhon and Vaanaras as lovers. While this is NOT a challenge post, we believe you will find it MOST Challenging to read and enjoy. Once finished, please leave a comment on how you feel it was presented. And NOW, ON WITH THE SHOW!
ON:
“I’ve never….” Her tongue peeked out, soothing over her lips as she fought to choose her words, “I’ve never shown myself to anyone.” She explained, her fingers tight on the coat that covered her and the disgusting rags that clung wetly to her body.

“Not even Lord Vatterott?” Avakhon mentally chastised himself the moment the surprising words left his mouth. It was simply hard to believe that a woman like her, married no less, was still chaste. She’d never once offered to remove her clothes, not in all the time they’d spent together. He’d often thought that it could be explained by the fact she was a woman of status and rumor always had it that such ladies were often frigid - but he’d never complained nor cared.

Vaanaras nodded, thumbing the rough wool, and offered him a small huff of a laugh. “Lord Vatterott was… Impotent. He couldn’t have even if he wanted to.”

“Oh… Sad that he wasn’t more of a man for you dear.” It was his turn to nod - mainly in deepened surprise - and he did, drawing his fingers along his beard as he tucked away that bit of information. The man would have had to be completely sterile to ignore a wife, much less fail to consummate his marriage to her. “Vaana…” The nodding turned instead to a slow shake, “I could never think anything less of you. You need to get out of those wet clothes and you need to be taken care of. You’re covered in tar and soot and ash and God only knows what else they threw upon you.”

It certainly wasn’t a lie, she could smell the filth and smoke clinging to her body and feel the way the tar rested heavy upon her, dragging on her hair. Everything about it made her skin crawl and overpowered her with the urge to sink deep beneath torrents of hot water. “Okay,” she puffed, “You’re correct and I trust you won’t think any less of me or my virtue.”

Both were silent as the grave, each perhaps feeling awkward and out of touch while she bore herself to the night air and he did his best not to stare, focusing on the act of drawing heated water for her bath and procuring soap - albeit not the finery she had grown accustomed to. It would get the job done, he told himself, slipping free of the room to fetch a washcloth and a robe to swaddle her in.

When he returned, he found her slowly easing herself into the water, the pale porcelain of her skin near shining against the dark cast-iron basin of his tub. At that moment she wasn’t human, she was some ethereal creature born of stardust and condensed into the form of Venus or Aphrodite. Even marred by pitch and ash, she was exquisite and he was consumed by the need to free her from every impurity that dared to defile her skin - the darkening smears of drying blood that had oozed down her neck and across her fine collarbones most of all.

Too close. He’d come too close to losing her… And it shook him to his core, bringing him to his knees before the basin.

A wary set of bright violet eyes watched him as he set the robe down and gathered the washcloth in his hands, “You don’t have to…”

"Shhhh... Let me take care of you..." Avakhon was careful as he dipped the cloth into her water and wrung it out. He was even more careful when he ran it tenderly along the contours of her face, moving on to her neck and tending to the injury to be found there only when he was certain not a hint of muck nor mire remained to stain her. Several more times he repeated the process while she eventually began to relax within his care, watching him from beneath the thick veil of her lashes as he bathed each hand and her stomach. She'd have sworn his cheeks tinged pink when he drew the warm, wet cloth over her breasts and more so when he followed the length of her legs to the very tips of her toes.

By the time he soaped and rinsed the pitch and chill from her hair, there was absolutely no denying that there was more to his touch than simply bathing her. It was a wordless process, one that came along with the silent understanding that he was affirming that she was truly there and alive within his care. That he hadn't lost her and simply dreamed a specter to replace her with. While there was a need for that affirmation, the rush refused to come. The man’s emotions were anything but hurried as he found his fingers trailing through her wet raven locks and along the sensitive length of her neck. He could snap it in an instant the way she’d become putty in his hands, resting the weight of her skull solely within him as he washed and combed the physical evidence of her near demise away - and yet he’d have rather died a thousand ways than ever dream of harming her. Her trust in him, even after all the horrors she had experienced, touched him deeply.

“Thank you,” She hummed, pressing her toes against the tub’s basin to help propel her backward and more upright - closer to him. She even turned and bent, folding her arms across the rim to be face to face with the man she’d fallen so deeply for.

To him, with her hair plastered wetly against her head and offering no hope for her long, elf-ish ears to hide, she seemed once more like that starlit siren he imagined. Her eyes were large, but where once he’d seen delight and life now were dark with shadow and doubt. The pain had stolen their glitter, but not physical pain. Pain of the heart, of the soul. It was the one thing he couldn’t simply wash away and toss out with the bathwater. “You don’t have to thank me, Vaana.” He replied, reaching to cup her cheek gingerly within one of his massive hands, “You haven’t failed me, you know.”

“I did… I lost the Nebula.” She whispered, her brow creasing and nose wrinkling against the white-hot pin prickles of tears that began to well in her eyes, “Tulde’s murderer will never be found and we’ll never be happy.”

“No, my love, no… WE will find it, I assure you, and then our lives will be as you promised me it would be. I have held onto that ideal now since you spoke it to me.” Avakhon’s head shook as he truly realized the lengths she was willing to go to set them free, “Christ.” He sighed softly, bringing his lips to her forehead and stroking her cheek with his thumb, “We will be happy, Vaana. I’m more afraid of letting you down, having you believe I am not a man of my word. I want you…” He murmured against her soft, warm skin, “I want you to KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a real man in your eyes. I don’t want to seem halfhearted or dim. I don’t want you to think that you cannot have faith in me or that I’ll make nothing but empty promises and half-hearted attempts throughout our life.”

“I never once believed that, Avakhon.” Her head shook as she drew away from him, searching his eyes, “I never ever once believed or thought any of that. Finding the murderer or not… It makes no difference in what I think of you.” She hummed, rising slightly from her watery cocoon to press her lips to his, sealing her thoughts and leaving no doubts. The moment lingered like an eternity between them.

“And what DO you think of me?” He questioned against her lips, his heart began to pound that much harder with her being so close, so open.

“I think that I want you,” Vaanaras barely recognized her voice for the smokiness of it as she spoke and stole another kiss, “I think that I want all of you.”

His mind reeled from those words. He had heard them before, in another lifetime it seemed to him, or perhaps a dream that would not escape him. But now, his mind was settled on HER.

“Now?” Asking felt ridiculous, there was an element of surprise when it came to such a request being spilled so boldly from the lady’s lips. But there she was, stealing kisses the same way she stole his heart and he, in turn, tested the proverbial waters by gliding fingers along the water slickened length of her spine.

She shivered and hummed into his mouth, drawing away only far enough to breathe one word; “Now.”

That word sealed their fates. That word was followed up with a series of kisses that deepened everything in ways that could never be defined as chaste - especially given her lack of apparel and the way his arms closed over her, gently pulling her from the tub and into his safe embrace. From there he found his feet, and - briefly - his breath before his mouth was claimed by her again. Providence alone shone down upon him, allowing him to navigate through the flat with his eyes closed and attention solely placed upon the dainty woman in his arms. She was alive. Christ almighty, she was alive.

It had been awhile since he'd laid with a woman, and of those he had bedded, all of them were satisfied in ways indescribable yet they paled in comparison to Vaanaras. A fine flush had settled over her, and where shadows of doubt and pain had darkened her eyes now rose a certain element of smoke and storminess that begged him for release. She was warm, she was soft. She whimpered in disappointment when he broke away from her long enough to lay her upon his bed - far from caring that she was still dripping wet - and strip free of his own clothing. It was that noise, however soft, that lead to his true undoing.

When he finally rejoined her, his hands nearly shook as he caressed her shoulders and trailed his fingers across the elegant sweep of her collarbone. Beneath his hands she felt like live satin, warm and silky smooth. Touch her just right and he could feel her heart hammering away within her, picking up pace at the same rate of her arousal. He could both hear and see that beneath his ministrations, Vaanaras’ breath hitched when the last tines of his own hesitation broke and he allowed his fingers to trace the contours of her breasts, her body responding instantly much to his delight. Tiny sparks of electricity flew from his fingertips onto her skin sending her shivering with anticipation of the coming event. And when he ducked his head low, bringing his mouth to cover and savor the blush rosebud tip of one of her breasts, her fingers positively tangled themselves in his hair. His tongue darted around her nipple ever so lightly, yet the sparks sent her into a frenzy of excitement still yet.

The sweet gasp, truly a breathless moan, such actions elicited, only served to drive him further on in what was swiftly becoming a mission to obliterate her fears and insecurities and - if he was being honest with himself - to affirm her place within his life... And in his bed. It was much to the Detective’s true delight, that her skin positively quivered as his lips searched along her heaving ribs and across the taught plane of her stomach for clues of her desire and he certainly found them with the way her thighs gripped at him, urging him on with an unspoken permission to do whatever with her he so chose that left him breathless. In his long lifetime, he had found the way to please many a female, but this was something he truly WANTED to do and not because he was required so to do.

With that permission granted, and her body positively buzzing with sweet anticipation, Avakhon’s mouth roamed lower yet and Vaanaras splayed her fingers across his scalp as it moved lower still, nearly pulling from her touch as he traced a moist line over that sweet spot just inside her hips on south to truly uncharted territory. When he paused over her womanhood, her breath caught sharply in her throat and the fingers in his hair tightened their grip. There was no denying the way her spine arched as the heat of his breath fanned her thighs or the way a breathy moan escaped her or how she flushed ever so hotly as he placed a lingering kiss against her core, shocked by his boldness as much as by her shameless enjoyment of it..

There was no denying the irrefutable evidence of her desire as he, so emboldened by her reaction to his touch, he continued with his mission, steadily coaxing her and teasing her while her heart leaped wildly, and her hips bucked against him. It felt as if she were coming out of her skin, and with him refusing to be denied, she found that her movement against him only served to heighten the contact as he continued to lavish the heat of her with masterful skill, truly setting her afire and driving her to an impassioned delirium.

“Avakhon, please…” She positively whined, releasing the thick locks of his hair only to find her fingers tangling in the sheets, officially begging him to sate the fire he’d set within her.

That trust was there again, tainted by lust no doubt, but trust so blind and faithful it squeezed his heart within his chest. "I love you," he whispered against the inside of her hip, repeating the sentiment after each and every kiss he rained down upon her body, pausing only when his body covered hers and he found her eyes once more near his, "Forever, Vaana. When I say forever, I mean it. This is the oath of a KHINSHARRI"

“I know.” She replied, “I promise you that I know.”

There was no going back. No chance of walking away. She was a fever in his blood, and her kiss that final signal in a series of blaring beacons that she was, in fact, so very his and - as mentioned - not a figment of his imagination he had created in response to the trauma of losing her on that damned ship. Being slow and gentle was truly going to be the hardest thing he'd ever done. Every bit of him demanded to take her hard and fast, erasing any bit of doubt that she belonged to anyone else - especially the mutant dwarf that had spilled her blood. Such a thought made his grip on her hip tighten and draw her instinctively closer to him. He knew better.

He knew better than to betray her trust even when his control of self barely existed. It was still a savage test of his resolve as he settled within the cradle of her thighs with her continuing to knead her fingers against his shoulders even when he knew she felt the heat of him pressing against, and slipping within, her femininity.

Almost at once he was welcomed by the barrier of her maidenhead and complexity of emotions stilled him. A great part of him stung with guilt that he would claim her virtue before he could make her his wife as the church decreed. Yet if destiny conspired that their lives be joined and she meant to be his, was the rest not just a heap of paperwork and a stuffy ceremony? Was her laying there beneath him and begging him forth with her thighs and arching hips to become one with her not considered a union of their souls? Would, in fact, she not be his wife in every way but 'law' the moment he claimed and spent himself within the sanctity of her womb? He reasoned hazily in a cloud of passion.

Vaanaras had offered herself to him, and he refused to take it lightly. Once he coupled with her, she would be his - and he hers - for now and evermore. It would take an act of reverence, no less, and he chose willingly to worship at the altar of the little Goddess writhing beneath him.

"Avakhon..." Vaanaras pleaded, and she reached for him, sliding her hands over the places of his hips her legs didn't cover, urging him to take her, to complete their union. It was more than any man, even the Pope himself, could take.

Impassioned, he whispered his apologies for any hurt he may cause her and pushed forward with a single, solid thrust and, hearing her sharp intake of breath, he instantly regretted the pain she felt but relished in the sensation of being hilted within her - joined firmly as one being. It was a taste of heaven, so sweet, so maddening it would have been so easy to lose all sense of self right then and there with her caught, breathless, at the moment while her body grew welcomed to the sensation of him within her. Too easily. And yet... he yielded, brushing kisses against her temple and into her hair, over and over again apologizing to her until she met him, kissing him long and deep, and rolled her hips tight against his in a powerful demand for more.

He'd, single handedly, shown her a world of sensation never before imagined, the feel of him within her nothing short of simply incredible, and her sensitive body craved his touch and the slow, sensual way he chose to love her. There was no doubt, not with the way her body met his every thrust, not with the way she whimpered his name against the heated flesh of his neck. Not with the way she tangled herself around him, panting and gasping each time he lost his sense of control and bucked against her a little more forceful than he’d meant to.

Her kisses became as devouring as his and just when she thought she could stand it no longer, something within her shattered like star bust, sweeping her away and leaving her limp and boneless as a tide of overwhelming ecstasy carried her away to dizzying heights.

The intensity of her release and feel of her shuddering around him would prove to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, but it would be the impassioned sound of his name on her lips that sent him over the edge. So much so that, with a growl deep in his throat, Avakhon buried himself deep, spilling himself into her in a hard, shuddering surrender to destiny that left their bodies and souls joined forever as one as the fires of passion melded and galvanized their hearts.

And in the end, with her curled up beside him and positively basking in the afterglow of such release, he felt he regretted nothing. His fingers idly stroked circles along the inside of her hip, feeling her breathing slow and settle before becoming deep and even with the promise of sleep. Again… That trust was there… So much so that she allowed herself to sleep, nude and exposed and raw, within his arms. He began to glow himself, seeing her naked next to him. LOVE was as foreign a concept to him as childbirth and many emotional states could possibly be. Yet NOW he understood what it meant to have one such as her in his life. IF only she knew what that meant for her now. Still, there it was, before him, She trusted in him and yet LOVED HIM. So much so that she had given him her mind, body, and soul without hesitation and reckless abandon and disregard for her own honor. After all, no measures had been taken to protect her, neither of them had even stopped to care to think about it. Sliding one of his hands over her lower belly, the very thought of the possibility of her growing big with his child was a thought that compelled Avakhon’s deepest urges to protect her from the worst of the world to shift to the forefront. He’d marry her sooner far rather than later, of this he was certain, but he’d need to keep her alive first and that would mean taming her penchant for finding trouble…
To do that, he’d need to catch a killer… And a dwarf.
And still… He regretted nothing.

OFF: This concludes the event long awaited by so many.

Avakhon Khinsharri, Detective
Avakhon

Lady Vaanaras, Countess of Vatterott
October

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