Tiki was growing exasperated as she came to a halt outside of the mess tent, and she ran a hand tiredly through her hair as she cast an irritated glance around her. She had been searching for Cail for almost an hour and had yet to find him. The camp was full of chaos as soldiers rushed to and fro performing their chores as the day wound down and the night began to creep in, and while she had expected some trouble finding the army’s silver-haired tactician, she hadn’t thought it would be that difficult.
He was usually always in the thick of things, either performing menial chores or in a meeting, but no matter where she seemed to look she just couldn’t locate him. Sighing tiredly, Tiki reached up to play with the dragon wing’s charm dangling at the hallow of her throat. She took comfort in the feeling of the silver rolling between her fingers, and she closed her eyes for a moment as she wondered at the feeling of insecurity and loneliness his absence brought her.
It wasn’t as if she hadn’t seen him before their return to camp, and that moment hadn’t been all that brief. Yet, all the same, being separated from him hurt. Even in the midst of company, of men and women she considered good friends, she was still lonely. Releasing her necklace with another little sigh, Tiki chuckled with defeat at herself. ‘It seems I’m even more hopeless than I had first assumed...’
“Ah, Tiki! This is good timing.”
Turning immediately, Tiki blinked in surprise to see Chrom approaching her from the mess tent with a pleased smile curling at his lips. Lucina was following him closely, obviously escorting her father on his rounds, and she nodded in polite greeting when she met the manakete’s eyes. Confused by Chrom’s good mood and his words, Tiki repeated quizzically, “Good timing? Do you have need of me, Chrom?”
“I don’t, but Cail has been looking for you.” Chrom answered as he came to a stop, and he glanced sidelong at his daughter as she likewise halted beside him. Chuckling when she pointedly refused to be moved, Chrom turned his attention back to Tiki as he explained lightly, “He asked that if I saw you to let you know he wanted to talk to you. He’s also sorry he can’t give you that message himself, but he’s been tied down all day.”
A little spasm of pleasure went through her to hear that, though Tiki felt somewhat guilty to hear Cail apologizing for being busy. She had never seen him not attending to his work in some way, shape, or form, and it sounded wrong to hear the tactician apologizing for that. “How long ago?”
“I just saw him maybe twenty minutes ago. Half an hour at the most.” Lucina answered for Chrom when he hesitated, and she smiled when her father looked at her with raised eyebrows. Ignoring his shaking head and the playful expression of exasperation on his face, she continued, “He’s in his tent right now, if he hasn’t been called out somewhere else already. I think he planned to stay there for the rest of the afternoon, though I can’t be too sure of that.”
“Thank you, Lucina. Chrom.” Tiki nodded to both of them in turn, and she turned to head back south from where she had just arrived from. Cail’s tent lay nestled near the border of the campground, and she knew her way there with more ease than was likely appropriate. She was just about to move when Chrom called her name with a little chuckle that proved he wasn’t completely ignorant about her relationship with his dear friend.
Chrom waited until she’d turned to look at him over her shoulder, and he couldn’t help but smile as a hint of a blush rose into her cheeks as she understood the depth in his laughter. He wasn’t at all blind to how happy the ancient manakete made the silver-haired tactician he thought of as kin, and he was glad to see that Cail brought the exact same warmth to Tiki, too. Still, he couldn’t entirely suppress his amusement as he chuckled, “Take care of him. He won’t let anybody else do it, and I trust you to keep him on his feet.”
Biting her lip to stop herself from laughing and scolding him at the same time, Tiki could only shake her head as she turned around to retrace her steps. The navy-haired lord was a bold man to make assumptions on her relationship with his tactician, but she respected his courage and was touched that he trusted in her so much. From anyone else she would have answered them sharply and probably grown more embarrassed than would be necessary, but... She did have a fondness for Chrom and his daughter, and they were dear to Cail, besides.
Impatient and hopeful, Tiki moved a little more quickly than her usual stride as she passed by the arm’s tent and turned left towards the edge of the campsite. Cail’s tent had been set up just at the border where the camp met the nearby forest, proving his need for quiet despite his urge to always be in the centre of the storm. Tiki sighed in relief as she spotted it with the flap half open to prove he was indeed inside.
Assuming he would likely be working and not wanting to disturb him too much even if he had called for her, Tiki pulled the flap open carefully and called as she stepped inside, “Cail? Sorry to intrude, I–”
The rest of her sentence ended in a sharp gasp as she realized the man she’d been expecting to be seated at his makeshift desk and buried up to the waist in his tomes and other tactical texts wasn’t in the middle of reading. Instead he was standing at his cot, his back to the entrance with only his trousers on. He had a towel hanging loosely about his shoulders as he dried his hair, and beads of water trickled lazily down his shoulders and back to disappear into the tan fabric hugging his lean waist and legs.
Cail turned instantly at the sound of her surprise, eyes widening as he moved one hand automatically to the place where his sword usually hung on his hip. His face coloured crimson as he realized who had walked in on him, and he grabbed at the cloak he’d tossed onto his cot to cover himself up. He had no need as Tiki had spun about the instant he had turned around, and she had a hand over her mouth as she apologized in an awkward groan, “Oh gods, I thought you would be working at this hour! Please forgive me!”
Blushing to the tips of her pointed ears, Tiki tried to control her breathing as she heard Cail struggling to decide what to do behind her. He couldn’t seem to find his shirt, and his voice cracked awkwardly as he hastened to reassure and apologize to her, “I-It’s my fault, I forgot to keep the tent closed! It’s okay though, I was just finishing dressing. It wasn’t as if you’d walked in on me bathing or anything...”
She heard the sound of a palm hitting flesh and knew he had just smacked himself for what he’d said, and while she was completely flustered beyond words she couldn’t help but want to laugh at his fumbling attempts to soothe her. He always was surprisingly clumsy when it came to her, and she appreciated that more than ever as it managed to defuse some of their awkwardness.
Still... The urge to laugh was short and died just as quickly as it had come as she listened to him hastily tearing about behind her back in a desperate hunt for his clothing. She bit on her lower lip, her hands tightening into fists at her side as the image of his bare back burned at the forefront of her mind and froze her blood just as it set it on fire.
She had never seem him without his cloak and shirt in such a way before, and while she had attended to him once as an impromptu healer when they had first met, their relationship had changed dramatically since then. She had forgotten the sight of his bared torso, of his tanned and muscled body, and most importantly, of the scars that wrapped about him in a macabre testament of the battles he had won and lost.
Just that instant of seeing him had been enough to bring the memory back of her treating him after the ritual, and she swallowed down the knot in her throat that the sight of his right side had brought to her. While the long wound he had earned defending her in her helpless state during her search to regain her power had long since healed, it had left quite the scar stretching from his hip all the way up and around to his shoulderblade.
Yet that wasn’t the only scar that he bore, and those she didn’t remember seeing when she had been finishing with his already half-done bandaging. As he shrugged into his cloak when he gave up on finding his suddenly missing shirt, she spoke softly when she was sure her voice wouldn’t shake and betray her sudden unease, “Cail, um... If you don’t mind my asking...”
Touching her shoulder to signal he was finally fit for company, Cail fixed the last clasp on his cloak to keep Tiki from seeing his bared chest underneath it. She turned only slightly, keeping her eyes fixed awkwardly on the ground as if he wasn’t wearing clothing at all. He asked weakly when she fidgeted somewhat and curled her hands together behind her back, “What is it?”
This time Tiki looked up awkwardly through her eyelashes at him, biting down again on her lower lip. She didn’t meet his gaze but rather focused her stare on his chest where scars she didn’t know wrapped about his torso. She was overwhelmed with the urge to touch him, to caress those old wounds that she knew were long healed, and she murmured softly in question, “Those... Those scars...”
“Ah...” Cail smiled ruefully as he understood her sudden reason for being so shy, and he took a step back and away from her to give her the space she needed to completely collect herself. His embarrassment slowly began to fade, and he sighed as he ran a hand through his still-damp hair, “That was the first time you’ve really seen me like that... Yeah, I... I have quite a few battle scars...”
“More so than any usual soldier.” Tiki agreed quietly, and he winced as if her words cut him. Instantly contrite, Tiki reached to touch his wrist, and was gladdened beyond measure when he let her slide her hand into his and squeezed gently to show his acceptance. She stepped closer, feeling the embarrassment abating slightly to have concern replacing it, and twined her fingers into his as she mused quietly, “I’ve fought at your side for many months now, and I know you are rarely prone to serious injury. How did you collect so many wounds?”
“Defending comrades. Some were of my own arrogance, but mostly just from defending my friends. Truthfully, I can barely remember where half of them come from.” Cail admitted with a sheepish laugh, and she raised her eyebrows in plain disbelief and annoyance at his attempt to wave off what she certainly believed to be no joking matter.
“Only half? Surely you don’t think me that naive. Answer me honestly.” Tiki scolded him firmly, and he slouched a little under her stare but she didn’t give him any mercy as she crossed her arms. She nodded to his shoulder, as if her eyes could see straight through his cloak before she asked, “Where did you get the one on your left side, just below your collarbone? It looks like an arrow hit you.”
Hanging his head guiltily, Cail unclasped the first two ties of his cloak and slid his left sleeve down awkwardly to reveal his shoulder. A small knot of twisted flesh marked an old injury where his arm met his torso, and the triangular scar was a dark and ugly crimson against his tanned skin. He explained quietly as Tiki raised a hand to touch the mark, “An arrow did get me... Chrom didn’t see the sniper, and I didn’t have time to push him out of the way. I got in between him and the arrow... Lost the use of my arm for a week, but otherwise it wasn’t one of my worst injuries...”
Frowning deeply, Tiki traced the shape of the scar with one lone fingertip. Though the scar was twisted and raised, it felt smooth to the touch, and she caressed the old wound in its entirety before letting her hand drift over his arm and around to the opposite side of his right shoulderblade. He inhaled deeply as she pressed her palm against the rough fabric of his cloak where a large burn scar stretched across the skin underneath, and she asked softly, intimately as he put his hand over hers, “And here...?”
“That one was partially my fault.” Cail admitted as he felt a little hitch in his breathing from her touch and voice. There was a new edge to her that he’d never felt before, and he liked it even if it made him somewhat anxious. He closed his eyes, holding her hand to him as he let the memory come to the forefront of his mind and out his lips to let her know the scar’s origins, “Lissa was healing Sully, and was too distracted to see the mage. I thought I was skilled enough to block the Elfire spell, but I was wrong... I got sent flying into a tree and quite the burn for my arrogance.”
Her frown grew, and Tiki gave the area she had been touching a long and sensual stroke before her hand once more began to move. He exhaled shakily as she traced the shape of his chest before drifting her fingers down his right side, and Cail knew at once what she was picturing. “This one I know...”
Keeping his hand firmly over her smaller one, Cail gave it a soft and loving squeeze when her brow furrowed and she made a soft noise of discontent. His voice was weary but warm as he agreed with a little nod of his head, “Yeah, I know that one, too.”
“I had hoped it had healed...” Tiki admitted with a slow shake of her head, and her eyes hardened with guilt and pain. While she had no memories of the battle that had taken place while she had been performing the ritual, she had heard from the others who had fought in it how Cail had been injured taking a blow meant for her. Feeling responsible, she had sought him out afterwards in camp in hopes of thanking him, and had remained there to help him fix up the bandage he’d clumsily tied himself in order to spare the overworked healers another patient. “I’m sorry...”
“I earned this one keeping you safe.” Cail stroked her bangs out of her face as she lowered her head to frown at the ground, and sighing when she refused to look back up he felt himself smiling weakly. He loved her for that kindness that made guilt come so easily to her, even if it did cause her pain. She was too gentle, too loving, and it made him want to clasp her close and never let her go. “Don’t apologize for that. I’d do it again.”
She almost groaned at his denial of her contrition, but she knew better than to push. He was twice as stubborn as any man she had ever met in her long lifetime, and his conviction was strong in the things that mattered. When it came to her, she knew with a painful mix of love and bitterness, that nothing would ever sway him. Still... There was pain in his eyes at her attention to his past wounds, and she wanted to soothe him but had no idea how. “All of your wounds... earned defending the people you cared about...”
“Not all of them...” Cail disagreed as he pulled her gently closer, and she came willingly until she was leaning against his chest. He wrapped his arms carefully about her waist, feeling her fingers bunching his cloak over top of his old injury as she refused to let her hand be moved, “Just... most.”
Then she did the one thing he hadn’t expected even with her unlimited kindness. She stood a little taller, nuzzled against his bared shoulder and then pressed her lips to his scar in a tender kiss. He stiffened in surprise, not used to the feeling of her mouth anywhere but on his own, but his body had stopped responding to him as she whispered into his skin, “You’re so brave...”
Her compliment warmed his body but his heart felt cold at the earnestness in her voice. He knew she loved him, knew she cared for him more than anyone she had ever known, and he shared that feeling just as fiercely. Yet... as she nuzzled against his shoulder and again kissed one of the many old marks that marred his body, he found himself whispering hoarsely into her hair, “I... I know I’m nothing more than a simple kind of man. I have no lineage, no wealth, no land... I have little memory of my past, and the details I do know... are ones I do not want. I have so little to offer you... Just a scarred body and my heart, which you already claimed long before I knew it. I... wish I could be worthy of you.”
Her heart gave a violent and angry throb in her chest at his wistful tone, at his pained expression, and her hold on him abruptly tightened as she met his eyes and scowled. He was blind, completely and utterly blind, and she fixed her hands on his collar and pulled him down so she could kiss him. He gasped in surprise as she parted his lips with her tongue, masterfully laying claim to his mouth and quieting him in a single move.
Cail had no time to formulate a physical response before she pulled away, but she remained in his arms and kept her hands tightly curled around the collar of his cloak to keep him against her. He doubted he could let her go even if that was what she wanted, and she proved it most definitely wasn’t as she hissed fiercely against his lips, “Cail, I don’t care for any of those things. Wealth, breeding, homeland... They don’t make a man. What I care for is your heart. Your soul. You are kind, courageous, and good... and those are the qualities that matter. Those are the reasons why I love you so much.”
Sighing, Cail closed his eyes as she stood on tiptoe and kissed him again, though this one was gentle and reassuring as she sensed what he needed. She soothed him as she curled one arm about his neck, and he gave her body a soft squeeze as he answered her just as lightly. Her lips felt warm, and he felt the pain in his heart lessening with each second he spent holding her. Another sigh was wrung from him as she finally pulled back for a breath, and he whispered into her hair as she nuzzled back into his chest, “Tiki...”
Pressing her cheek against his shoulder, Tiki closed her eyes and settled her arms about his waist. He was holding her like she was made of glass, as if she’d break if he dared to touch her with the hunger she was sensing in him. Yet behind that desire she also sensed his pain, his reluctance, and it hurt to know that he thought so ill of himself. She kissed his shoulder again, letting her lips linger on his scar before murmured, “As for your scars... They only endear you to me all the more for what they prove. I love them, too. Every single one. Please don’t be ashamed.”
Laughing weakly at her reassurance, Cail squeezed her tight and buried his face in her hair. He inhaled her scent hungrily, letting the soothing warmth of honeysuckle wash over his senses and bring him both comfort and anxiousness. She tilted her head to the side, giving him more room to nuzzle, and her left hand curled into his hair to hold him there when he didn’t pull back. He loved her more than he thought it was possible to love another, and his voice cracked painfully as he turned his face to her ear and sighed, “Thank you, Tiki... Thank you...”
Even with his arms curled so tightly around her body, even with his face buried in her hair and pushing against her throat, she knew he wasn’t completely at ease just yet. He was so tense, so unsure of himself, and every inch of her body yearned to give him comfort. It was strange seeing him so uncertain. Feeling his scar against her fingertips, Tiki felt a little jolt of understanding as an idea made itself known to her.
She balked slightly at it, embarrassment and pain rearing its head as the thought brought back more painful memories than she wanted to remember while in Cail’s arms. Still, as his pain was her own, she understood the significance of sharing her secrets with him after he had done so much to let her see who he was and what he feared. She loved him, loved him with an intensity that made everything else pale and dull, and taking in a deep breath, Tiki forced herself to pull away from him.
Cail’s eyes narrowed in confusion as he felt her leaving him, but he let her go without hesitation. Her eyes were troubled but underneath that initial pain was a steely determination he recognized, and he called quietly as she took two small steps backwards, “Tiki...?”
Clenching and unclenching her hands anxiously, Tiki exhaled slowly as she steeled herself for what she was going to do. She explained weakly as she began untying the smooth fabric of her cloak, “There’s... something I should show you.”
“What is it?”
“Just... give me a moment.” Tiki sighed, and she turned herself around as she shrugged wearily out of her cloak and folded it carefully over her arm. She could almost feel Cail’s bafflement, but she tried to ignore it as she reached around to loosen the laces of her dress. Carefully she shrugged it down a little, baring the upper half of her back before she pulled her ponytail over her shoulder and let Cail see what she had been hiding for longer than she cared to remember.
Cail inhaled sharply as he saw the burn scar crossing her left shoulderblade and reaching down across her spine. The mark was old and faded with her great age, but it still stood out harshly against her creamy skin in a pale red symbol of her past. He was silent in his astonishment to see her bearing such a wound, and she explained quietly as she stood with her back to him, “You... already know of that time... long ago... when I fell under the control of the sorcerer Gharnef... When he came for me... before I was hypnotized... I tried to flee. He subdued me with dark magic, much stronger than anything I had ever felt before at the time... and I was scarred because of it.”
Unable to control himself, Cail stepped forward and raised his hand like she had before to stroke the length of her old injury. She stiffened underneath his touch, exhaling sharply as he traced the ragged edge of it with careful fingertips. It was one of the first times she had shown her old wound to anyone, and the feelings of shame and anger that she had cradled like a viper to her heart came roaring back to the forefront. She remembered every cruelty she had suffered underneath the ancient sorcerer’s control, every terrible thing she had been forced to do while her will was snapped.
She was aware that the scar had faded in her old age, but it hadn’t disappeared. While it hurt to know she would always carry the evidence of Gharnef’s abuse on her in a physical form, she also was almost glad for it. It was a badge, a testament of the things she had done and could never take back. The guilt she still felt for things beyond her control, and the weakness that had left her unable to fight back.
Cail’s hand was gentle as it roamed the length of the scar, and it took more effort than she wanted to admit to keep herself still and with her back to him. She wanted to see his expression even as she feared what she might find, but his hand was so tender that it banished many of her anxieties even without looking at him. His voice was quiet, low and concerned as he felt her tensing even further underneath his hand, “Does it... hurt still...?”
“No... The pain... has long since gone...” Tiki answered quietly, and she let out a soft breath as she felt his kindness seeping through his hand and through her skin. His acceptance warmed her to the core, and she didn’t resist when he slowly, lovingly, drew her closer to him. His hand dropped from her shoulder, then settled on her waist and she gasped despite herself as she felt his lips mimicking her earlier display of affection. “C-Cail...”
Cail nuzzled his face against her scar, dragging his mouth along its edge and through the centre with tender patience and care. She trembled against him, her shoulders heaving as she tried to steady herself. He remembered the look of pain and sadness that had haunted her eyes when she had told him of the Ancient War and the role she had played it in during their many long discussions of history. He had shown such fascination with lore that she hadn’t resisted him when he asked her for stories, and it had quickly become something they bonded over.
Yet he also knew how much it hurt her on occasion to tell him such things, and he understood better than most how scared she had to feel to bare this part of herself to him. Touched by her knee-jerk reaction to give him the understanding he had given to her, Cail wondered at his exasperation with her kindness. “You didn’t need to show me this...”
“I... wanted to. It seemed fair.” Tiki murmured, leaning back against him as he continued to nuzzle and squeeze her lovingly about the waist. His arms were iron bands, strong and secure, and she enjoyed the possessiveness in his hold as much as the comfort. He kissed her repeatedly, marking every inch of the old magical burn with his lips and setting a new fire inside of her body. “Mmm...”
The sound of her pleasure went straight through him like the keenest of blades, and Cail had to take a step back as his body stirred fiercely for her. She was pliant and soft against him, and he could tell she wouldn’t protest if he decided to take his touch further. Not wanting to take advantage of her emotional turmoil, Cail loosened his hold and whispered quietly, “Tiki, I...”
Abruptly her hands flew down to his arms, squeezing tightly and pulling them back around her. Cail jumped in alarm, but before he could retreat any further she turned around and tilted her head up so their eyes could meet. She saw the desire darkening his chocolate-brown eyes, turning them to coal, and she reached to touch his cheek as she murmured, “Please... Don’t pull away... Don’t... let me go. I... I don’t... want to be alone right now. Please... Stay...”
Helpless to resist her touch or her plea, Cail sighed in defeat and leaned into her palm before he turned his face and kissed her fingers. Smiling hesitantly, Cail tightened his hold around her again and let her lean fully against his front. He touched his forehead to hers, staring deep into her eyes so she would know his acceptance as he promised hoarsely, “A-All right... I’ll stay...”
Tiki rose up on tiptoe again, kissing him fiercely before she could lose her nerve. Cail hissed quietly in answer, holding her tight with one arm while his left hand buried itself in her hair and clutched her all the closer. Their tongues met and danced, heightening the hunger in their blood, and Tiki reached up unconsciously to undo the clasps of his cloak one by one.
Cail shrugged out of the heavy fabric as she slid it from his shoulders, and it fell to the ground with a muffled thud. He caught her hand as it moved down his bared chest, tracing the markings he could no longer hide beneath his cloak. She made to withdraw, worrying she had overstepped a boundary, but he held it still and against his heart before he reassured her gently, “No, it’s okay... You haven’t hurt me... I just thought... maybe it would be easier if we take this to the bed instead of standing. I’m not sure about you, but it’s getting a little difficult to keep my feet when you kiss me like that.”
His good humour took the edge off of her nerves, and grateful for it more than ever before, Tiki simply nodded and let him lead her to his cot. He sat down on the edge first, and then with a mischievous smile, tugged her down on top of him. Tiki managed a surprised squeak before she landed safely in his arms, and he steadied her with one arm wrapped around her waist while the other raised to brush her hair back and out of her face.
Laughing despite herself at his boldness, Tiki adjusted herself on top of him and gazed down into his smiling eyes. His cheeks were red with his embarrassment, but the love softening his expression overrode his awkwardness, and her own at the same time. He made it seem so natural, so familiar, and she rested her weight on top of him as he brought his right hand down her back and to the laces holding up her dress.
Sighing quietly, Tiki let him loosen the ties, and she straightened a little as he slowly pulled the crimson fabric down around her torso inch by painful inch. She shivered as he bared her body, and he gently drew her up against his chest as he slid the dress around and off her legs to be discarded somewhere on the ground with his cloak. Her first impulse was to cover herself from his gaze, but Cail held her arms captive in his hands and smiled as he kept his eyes trained on hers. Propping himself up on his elbows, he kissed her gently, whispering earnestly against her lips, “You’re beautiful, Tiki. You don’t need to hide from me.”
Then he rolled her over, taking her hands in his and raising them over her head to pin her gently to the cot. There was no strength in his grip, and she knew he would let her up and away the second she made any signs of discontent, but she lay willingly beneath him as he straddled her waist and gazed at her for the first time.
His stare was like a caress, and she could almost feel it as it swept down from her eyes and to her bared torso. Her breathing hitched as he took her wrists in one of his hands, using the other to drift down her hair, following the shape of her throat and shoulder. Then he moved to her side, brushing along the swell of her chest with his knuckles, and she hissed as she impulsively tried to arch further into his touch.
Knowing what she wanted, Cail ducked his head and kissed the hallow of her throat. He nipped lightly at the skin beneath her necklace, and she groaned a little as he moved his mouth further south. A soft cry of surprise escaped her as he found her breasts, and he felt her hips give a sudden jerk against his at the new sensation that doubled her desire. Gritting his teeth as her core found his erect centre, Cail wondered if she would draw back when she felt the most honest part of him pressing so needfully against her.
She didn’t. She shivered once, and her eyes squeezed tightly shut, but she arched off the bed to increase the pressure that eased the ache between her legs. He groaned and responded to her movement, pushing against her as his hips thrust instinctively into her. Feverish to better the sensation, Cail released her hands and unbuckled his trousers, sitting up to make it easier as he pulled his belt loose.
A tender touch on top of his hands stopped him, and he looked up to see Tiki sitting up with him. Her emerald eyes were molten as she gently pulled his hands away, and she leaned forward to kiss him before she murmured, “Please... Allow me.”
Speechless, Cail found he couldn’t move even if he wanted to as she leaned him carefully back and pulled his trousers down. A coy smile curled at her lips as her gaze flickered up from her work to his face, and he could see her pleasure at his startled expression. She rather liked surprising him, and enjoying the power she suddenly had over him, Tiki slid her hands playfully along his newly bared hips as his trousers fell useless onto the ground next to her dress.
Straddling his waist as he had before her, Tiki followed his lead again as she took a long moment to study him lying underneath her. His chest was heaving as he tried to get his breathing under control, and his eyes were dark and hazy with passion. He was holding himself still for her, but she knew his restraint wouldn’t last, and nor did she want it to.
She raked her fingernails lightly down his chest, and feeling his control slipping away, Cail sat up abruptly under her and pulled her forward for a passionate kiss. She melted against his chest with a happy murmur, but he wasn’t satisfied as she curled her hands into his hair and deepened the embrace. Wanting to please her, Cail reached down between their chests and down to her thighs, and before she could think to protest he slid his hand into her smallclothes and caressed her directly.
Biting down on her lower lip to stifle her cry of surprise and pleasure, Tiki wasn’t sure what to think as his fingers probed and teased a place no one had touched before. Her eyes fluttered shut of their own volition, and she gripped at his shoulders to keep herself steady as he tortured her with long and slow strokes. His lips found her ear as she buried her face against his throat, desperate to keep herself quiet, and his chuckle was low and hoarse as he asked her softly, “How do you feel...?”
“S-Strange...” She answered him in an honest but agonized moan, and her hips rocked subtly against his hand to increase the sensation. Heat was spreading through her, languid and unbearable, and a pressure she didn’t recognize was growing inside of her and begging for release.
Pulling away to see her face, Cail felt his body stirring even more fiercely for her at her dazed and pleasured expression. She was shameless in the way she rocked herself against his fingers, knowing nothing but that he was driving her mad and that she wanted more of him. He could tell though that she was also unsure of what was happening to her, unfamiliar with his touch and what he was doing to her, and Cail kissed her ear as he asked for confirmation,“Good strange, or bad strange?”
“Good...” The word came out in a long and drawn-out sigh, and her head fell back as she surrendered herself completely to the sensation. He leaned her back into the bed, nipping lovingly at her throat, and with more self-control than she wanted to admit she needed, Tiki reached dizzily for his hand before he could drive all sense out of her head. She loved what he was doing to her and she didn’t want him to stop, but a small and growing part of her was dissatisfied. It wasn’t enough for her to take all of the pleasure, and more than anything, she wanted their first time to be shared together.
Cail froze as she squeezed his wrist in a signal to stop, and he did exactly that as he glanced up to see her gritting her teeth and struggling to breathe. Her expression was pinched, and she was trembling as she held herself still underneath him. Worried he had done something wrong, he called quietly in concern, “Tiki...? Are you all right?”
Meeting his worried gaze, Tiki reached up to stroke his cheek before tracing the shape of his frown with tender fingertips. He kissed at her hand impulsively, and she murmured in breathless explanation as each touch brought new delightful prickles through her skin, “I want us to do this together. It’s no good if I’m the only one taking enjoyment. Please... Love me properly.”
His surprise and concern melted away at her sincerity, and he kissed a path down her arm before finding her lips at the end. She sighed deeply in satisfaction as she wrapped herself eagerly about him, and he felt her parting her legs underneath to take him between. They both hissed in unison when they came into perfect contact with each other, and Tiki arched off the bed as he groaned against her mouth.
Reaching down, Cail stripped her of her smallclothes in a long and easy movement. Tiki shivered as his fingers left trails of fire in their wake as he moved his touch down her legs, and she could barely suppress a whimper as she felt him shucking his own smallclothes while she was distracted by his caress. Then his mouth was on hers again, his hands curling in her hair as he nudged her legs further apart.
A startled gasp escaped her as she felt him pressing where she wanted him the most, and Cail pulled away from the kiss and met her gaze. He cupped her cheek gently as he held himself completely still for her. He wouldn’t dare continue without her assent, even if it hurt to keep himself from finding the relief he so desperately needed.
His fingers were soft as they caressed the shape of her cheek and the curve of her lips, and she leaned into his touch as he whispered for the final confirmation, “Are you sure this is what you want? You can never take this back. I don’t want to steal something precious from you if you aren’t ready, Tiki. I can stop... I know I can, if you ask it.”
“You’re ready to give me something you can never take back from me, I would be ashamed to deny you the same.” Tiki answered him quietly, and taking his hand from her face she curled their fingers together and smiled. There was no more fear in her, no more anxiousness or worry, just an all-consuming hunger that needed to be sated. She loved him, and couldn’t live without him. Nothing else mattered. “I offer myself to you freely, Cail. Everything I am belongs to you now... My mind, my heart, and my body. You just have to claim it.”
Tightening his grip of her hand, Cail leaned down to kiss her passionately as he found himself without words to answer her fearlessness. She shifted her hips, urging him wordlessly, and with a low and defeated groan, Cail found his way inside of her with one hard thrust.
Stiffening in surprise, Tiki hissed as he entered her and her body simply froze as she tried to absorb what had just happened. Pain whispered up her spine, warning her that this new sensation was far from pleasant, but the feeling was drowned out by a strange warmth that exploded from their new connection.
Then he started moving, long and slow, and though it still ached to have him where no one else had been before, Tiki was well accustomed to pain. Millennia of battle had hardened her well, and what mattered more was the feeling of completion between them. It was a strange feeling, similar to what she had experienced before when he’d first kissed her and shown her the pleasure of physical affection, but heightened to a degree she had never imagined existed.
Gazing at him as he rocked himself against her, Tiki bit down on her lower lip to stifle her cries of pleasure as he sank to the hilt before withdrawing, only to plunge back inside with more force than before. His hand and hers remained entwined, gripping desperately as she wound her legs about his hips and urged him still faster. He slid his right hand underneath her hips, urging her to arch even deeper into their newfound rhythm to heighten the pleasure. “Nn...!”
“I love you...” Cail groaned huskily into her ear, feeling her free hand tangling in his hair as he nipped lovingly at the sharpened tip and pulled. Her reaction was immediate, as she jerked her hips hard as he thrust in deep, and he gasped in shock as her legs tightened fiercely around his waist, “Oh, gods...”
Breathless as she urged him faster, Tiki pulled him down to kiss him hungrily as he answered her desire. She could faintly hear the cot creaking beneath their violent pace, but it ceased to matter when his tongue found hers and his hand gripped down on the back of her neck. He knew exactly where to touch her to provoke the best reactions, and not to be outdone, Tiki answered him stroke for stroke and touch for touch.
Her hands roamed his shoulders and back, clutching at him as he pushed himself to the limit. She was moaning continuously into his ear, unable to check her voice, and he didn’t care as his own had long since ceased being leashed. Every thrust earned him a new gasp, a new whimper, and from her fingernails raking down his skin and leaving red trails in their wake he knew she was barely holding on.
Then abruptly she found her end with a desperate buck of her hips, and Tiki bit down hard on her hand as she screamed out his name with the force of her climax. It shredded her from the inside out, overwhelming her with the most intense physical and emotional ecstasy she had ever experienced. For a frightening instant she was lost to the world, and she wondered dizzily if this was what heaven would feel like. Rapture.
She heard him snarling her name, uttering it like a prayer, and he joined her half an instant afterwards with uncontrollable thrusts that heightened her orgasm and drove her over the edge again. She shuddered deliciously as he released within her, sending molten heat racing through her blood and confirming what she’d understood the second she’d shattered. He was a part of her now, and she knew it just as she knew what it was to hurt and smile. She had never felt complete without him, and she knew she never would again.
He collapsed on top of her, weak and spent, and she groaned at his weight and held him fiercely against her as they trembled together in the aftermath. He tried to adjust himself on top of her but his limbs refused to let him, and he sighed against her throat as she cradled him in her arms, “G-Gods, I can’t move... J-Just give me a minute...”
Not minding at all, Tiki was content to curl beneath him and savour his body resting so intimately against and inside of her. When he finally did get his breath back, she moaned softly as he tried to withdraw to give her a moment to regroup. Tightening her grip, Tiki whispered as she pulled him back and refused to let him leave her, “No, not yet... Stay...”
“I have to... You’re bleeding.” Cail answered just as softly, and he kissed her gently as he unhooked her arms from his shoulders and pulled away. She lay back exhausted against the bed, unhappy but docile when she heard the pain in his voice. He ran a hand lovingly down her cheek, then pulled the sheets around her before leaving her in the cot by herself.
Unable to move to watch what he was doing, Tiki was greatly surprised when he returned to her side with a small bowl of water and a dripping cloth. He smiled sheepishly, unwrapping the blankets again to bare her to him before he wrung the excess moisture from the cloth and ran it slowly, sensually, up her thigh to remove the crimson streaks her loss of virginity had left her with. The soft fabric was warm and wet, gently wiping away the evidence of their play and she murmured her pleasure as she relaxed completely into him and let him attend to her.
Cail was quick and gentle, and he finished in a trice. Placing the bowl and cloth on the floor nearby but out of the way, he turned back to join her underneath the covers only to freeze when he saw tears sparkling in her eyes as she gazed at him longingly. Instantly fearful, Cail touched her cheek and whispered hoarsely as a lance of agony struck his heart, “Oh gods, did I hurt you? I did, didn’t I? I’m so sorry!”
Shaking her head vehemently in denial, Tiki held his hand against her cheek and tried to explain through hitched breaths, as he drew her close into his arms, “N-No, I’m not upset, you dolt... I’m happy...” He looked as baffled as she felt to be crying when all she wanted to do was smile, and she wrapped her arms about his waist and pressed her face against his bared chest as she sniffled, “For the first time in my life... I don’t feel alone. I understand completely... what it means to love and be loved... and it makes me so happy...”
Relieved beyond words that he hadn’t injured her, Cail sat up gently and tilted her face upwards. He kissed away the tears clinging to her cheeks and eyelashes, and she held onto him as his lips found hers and pushed searchingly. She answered him eagerly, winding her fingers into his hair, and he sighed when they pulled apart, “I feel the same way... and I promise... as long as I live, you will never be alone. Wherever we go... we go together.”
“I will hold you to that.” Tiki warned him tightly, and he simply smiled as he eased her into his lap and let her straddle him. Unable to resist his warmth, Tiki leaned forward and embraced him fully, enjoying the sensation of his bare skin sliding against her own. He held her firmly by the waist, and she felt his left hand reach up to brush along her back before he gave the ribbon holding up her hair an experimental tug. Confused, Tiki held still as he pulled it loose and sent her hair cascading down her shoulders. He ran his hand thoughtfully through it, and puzzled by his action, she asked quizzically, “What are you doing?”
“I’ve never seen you with your hair down.” Cail answered cheekily, and he pulled away a little to take a good look at her. Her face had reddened as she realized the truth of his words, and she averted her eyes as he studied her. Her long spring-green locks curled about her face and swept down her back, and he felt a possessive sort of joy to know he was likely one of the few in camp to know what she looked like when she unbound her hair. Running it lazily through his fingers, Cail muttered as she leaned unconsciously into his touch, “I like it... You look good with it unbound.”
Her blush increasing, Tiki glanced sheepishly up at him as he threaded her hair continuously through his fingers as if he’d never get the chance again. She preferred it up to keep it out of her way, but the pleasure in his expression and the way he was eyeing her made her ask softly, “Should I wear it like this more often...? I wouldn’t mind... if you like it...”
Chuckling at her suggestion, Cail shook his head and kissed her gently as he began to toy with the ribbon he hadn’t fully pulled away. It hung around her neck like a scarf, and he pulled it slowly down from her neck and across her shoulder. She shivered at the sensation, and he answered her huskily as he tugged it down and between her breasts in a sensuous caress, “I like the fact that it’s something only I get to see. I’m a bit jealous that way.”
His words and the silken touch of the ribbon rubbing up and down her torso rekindled the flame in her blood, and she pulled him to her to kiss him before he had a chance to protest. He groaned in surprise as she parted his lips with her tongue, urging him to reply as he always did. Not hesitating for a moment, Cail answered her hungrily, and tried to remember to breathe when they parted for a moment before returning desperately to each other. His hands gripped at her hips as she adjusted herself on top of him, and his voice was low and hoarse as he asked in a dazed hiss, “Again...?”
“You forget I am dragonkin, my love.” Tiki answered him with a growing smirk at his surprise and obvious delight at her returned desire. Pushing him down unceremoniously, Tiki raked her fingernails lovingly down his chest and elicited a soft gasp from him. His hips jerked up in answer to her search, and she returned the thrust with one of her own as she explained lightly, “My kind’s appetites are quite more intense than your own... I won’t be satisfied so easily. You still have a long night ahead of you before I’m ready to let you go.”
Instantly stirring in eagerness at the lust darkening her gaze, Cail returned her smile as he settled one hand on the small of her back to draw her forward on top of him. He hadn’t been aware that her hunger wouldn’t die out after a single round, but that didn’t trouble him very much. If she didn’t want to let him go he wasn’t about to complain, and he chuckled softly as he tugged playfully at her hair, “I believe I can cope...”
“Good...” Tiki grinned as she ducked down to kiss him lightly as she shifted her hips experimentally. He groaned, arching into her as his lips pursed in sweet expectation, and the look only succeeded in doubling her desire for him. She rather enjoyed knowing what she could make him do and how she could make him look with little more than a touch, and she fully knew he relished the same power. It was a heady feeling, having so much control over the person she loved, and she leaned down against him as she nipped a path down his jaw and murmured with a voice full of promise for the night to come, “The night is young, and we have much to learn from each other... We should get started and waste not a moment.”
“I’m all yours, Tiki...”
“And I am yours, Cail.”