Age of the Heart

Age of the Heart


Ann Marie Olson

Story 1999 Ann Marie Olson


      "I'll not bed you nor wed you till you turn eighteen, Kirina!" only lord Kirina Azovanova Sergei could make Sharm Lord Diomid Azovich Sergei screech like a Sime in need. Moderating his tone, "I'm not your father to overlook a woman's health for my own lusts." Diomid clamped down on his flush over his own sharp tone before Kirina could sense it.

      "What does Arkay have to do with this?" nothing was restraining Kirina's temper from the field strike she aimed at him.

      Brushing it aside easily, he grabbed her shoulder. "You know full well I was talking about Avilan." Touching her was a mistake and her need flared at the physical contact. He tried to pull away but Kirina's will held him fast.

      *WANT* her body and mind called out to him. This would be her fourth transfer. There was no way Diomid was going to take advantage of its aftermath.

      "No Kirina," he gently disengaged his field from hers. His head spun with the denial and he sat heavily on the edge of his desk.

      "I want you Diomid. Not some kid." her blue eyes were wide and pleading. The look of desire on her face wrenched at Diomid's control.

      "I've waited this long. I'll be here for you. I promise on my honor as Sharm Lord Sergei." he sat on the ache of wanting her right now. "You have your place at my side Kirina, but you are too young for the other." Diomid's field tried to reengage hers. He drew it back with a savage yank.

      "You bastard!" she snarled. Diomid flinched as her oath accidentally hit home. "You want me at your feet, not in your heart." her slap hurt almost as much as her words.

      So he wouldn't touch her again as his fingers itched to do, Diomid placed his hands in his sleeves. "I love you, Kirina." he pleaded.

      "Then why won't you?" her hand reached for him.

      Her short cropped hair brought him back from the edge of insanity. "You're too shenned young!" he screamed, jumping to his feet to stand nose to nose with her.

      Kirina's face turned dead white. "You are too shenned old and afraid to love, Diomid." she stated flatly. The door slammed shut behind her.

      "KIRINA!" he howled, collapsing to his knees. Diomid sobbed dryly, unable to shed his tears for need of her.


      The stars shone clearly overhead. Kirina's tentacles twined nervously through the soft sable of her coat's cuffs and she pulled her cloak more tightly around her. The sword emblem of Fatima was bright in the moonlight reflected off the snow.

      Finally a portal opened to the side of the doors. "An who mighten ye be at this unholy hour of'n the night?"

      "I am lord Kirina Azovanova Sergei." she threw back her hood. Shivering at the sudden chill, she stamped her feet impatiently.

      "So sorry, m'lord. We wasn't bein' expectin' ye."

      "Neither was I." she mumbled under her breath. The door guard chuckled and let her in. "I think I can find my way." she waved the guard back to her post.

      "Thank ye, m'lord."


      "Vayer!" she gave her older brother a big hug when he finally got around to opening the door.

      "What are you doing here?" his eyebrow rose as he divested her of her heavy outer clothes.

      "The door guard said almost the same thing." she noted again how physically beautiful her brother had become, with his black hair and dusky blue eyes set off by his Fatima black. His looks were so unlike her own, quite plain, blond hair and mid-blue eyes.

      "You didn't answer my question, Kirina." his heavily calloused sword hand was gentle as he kept her from looking away.

      "Where is everyone?" she temporized.

      "Inside" he tipped his head towards the door to the inner suite. "Arkay is with us as well. If you won't tell me what sent you out into the night, in need no less, he'll know."

      Kirina shivered in the knowledge that very little could be kept secret from either of her fathers. "True enough. Diomid refused me and I walked out."

      Vayer snorted, "Figures he would. Come here, love."

      Gratefully she slid back into his warm embrace. "I do love you, brother mine."

      His hand was caring as he tucked her head under his chin. She sighed and relaxed even more. "Well, you can face them post or in need? Your choice. I do have to warn you, the rest of us are pretty post, with Nashen and Arkay still in seclusion."

      "I don't know, Vayer." Kirina held him tighter. "I want Diomid."

      "Well, sometimes we can't have what we want, love." his hands were working out some of the knots in her back.

      "I know that." she grumbled in irritation. "I'm not a kid anymore, Vayer."

      He chuckled, "Try to convince Diomid of that. As far as I know you weren't a kid long before you grew tentacles."

      "I've been trying." she sighed. "He won't listen. He's as stubborn as Arkay sometimes."

      "Not surprising."

      "How so?" she leaned back to look at him. There was something no one wanted to talk about in regards to Diomid and she was determined to figure it out. Kirina had no idea, other than how well suited he was to the position, why Diomid suddenly became Sharm Lord Sergei in place of her brother.

      "If he'll tell you, then well enough." he pulled her close again and his breath ruffled her short hair. "No one else will."

      "Why!?" Kirina stomped her foot.

      "Because it is his business, Kirina." his tentacles worked at the taut muscles of her neck. "I don't want to hurt or embarrass the man. Can you understand that?"

      "Yes and no. I can understand your not wanting to disclose delicate information about someone else, but I desperately want to know the big secret everyone else seems to share." she rested her head against his chest.

      "Not everyone, only the household of Fatima and Diomid himself."

      "Thats everyone who counts." she grumbled at being kept in the dark.

      "Now why, of all nights, did he turn you down?"

      "Because, well ..." she felt her face grow hot. "This is my fourth transfer."

      "So it is." Vayer gave her a wicked chuckle. "And he couldn't let you go to another or take you for himself, is that it?"

      "Close enough. I don't want some kid." the idea of trying to talk sense with some youngster who was barely grown away from their parent's apron strings was disgusting. The thought of actually being intimate with them was worse.

      "You also don't want to end up with a child yet, Kirina."

      "Bearing one would be better than bedding one." she said acerbically. "Do you think Diomid thinks I would be so ignorant as to try to bear a child so young?"


      She snorted in indignation. "It isn't as if I don't know where babies come from, Vayer."

      "In our family it would be hard to miss." his chuckle was deep and soft. "Avilan is not always the most discrete individual in the world."

      "Neither are Arkay or mother when it comes down to cases." Kirina didn't much care for the way so many people would joke about Avilan's enthusiasm for life. She had always been closer to him than many of her sibs were, possibly because he could be so much fun. Arkay and Karola were usually far too busy with their work to simply play sometimes. Avilan had never forgotten how to have fun, which was something Kirina realized she often forgot herself.

      "True enough. Remember the time Arkay got so post he forgot they had left the door open?"

      "Wasn't Ivanya born about nine months later?" she grinned against his broad chest. She and all her older sibs had snuck in and watched the proceedings with enormous curiosity. It was nothing like the farm animals, at least in some ways. Although Kirina thought she was the only one who noticed Avilan's wink towards the door.


      "Taught me to pay attention to those so boring lectures on contraception and other, at least at the time, trivial issues." she still wasn't personally sure what all the fuss was about. It seemed like such a lot of bother for so very little gain. I'll find out soon enough she supposed.

      "If you wish. With a Lord's transfer I can hold back enough so you won't be overwhelmed by it as if it were with a sharm lord."

      "I think I would prefer that." she realized. "I have never been much a one for losing control."

      He laughed softly, "Indeed, my darling sister. I think I can count the number of times on the fingers of one hand where you relaxed enough to not want to drive everything and everyone around you since you were out of diapers."


      This isn't overwhelming? Kirina's breath caught at the sight of Arkay's holding Nashen's head by his hair so he could kiss him even more deeply. A strange beast seemed to have taken residence in her middle and was trying to squirm free. Intellectually she knew this is what would happen, the reality was a great deal more distracting and annoying.

      "Ahem" Darya cleared her throat and tapped the two men on the shoulder with her field. "We do have company."

      When Nashen finally looked at her his silver eyes were almost smoke grey. She bit her lip to keep from reaching out to him in a highly inappropriate fashion. He does not prefer women Kirina reminded herself. When Arkay turned his attention on her, however, her entire body shook with wanting to go to him.

      "Is it warm in here or am I imagining things?" she muttered to Vayer.

      "Some of both, I would think." he reached out towards Darya, making her heart beat even faster zlinning the way their fields intertwined. This is insane she blocked out all the non-physical sensory information trying to overwhelm her.

      "I thought you said it would be less intense." Kirina grumbled, fighting the momentary urge to take off her too constricting clothes. She sat warily on one of the large chairs far away from the bed.

      Vayer had wrapped himself around Darya, "This is."


      "What do you think you are doing to my sister?"

      Diomid looked up to see Vayer glaring at him from the door to his office. "I would think you would appreciate me not violating your baby sister." he placed his hands firmly on his desk to keep them still.

      "As a matter of fact, my baby sister, as you so negligently put it, is at home right now wrapped around a hot water bottle because you couldn't see your way to even be so considerate as to think she might want your sorry ass."

      "She's too young, Vayer." he looked up into Vayer's eyes, black with fury.

      "The she wouldn't be in so much pain right now she's tied in a knot, would she?"

      "Kirina should be playing with other adolescents." Diomid stated. "I won't touch her till she's an adult and that's final." he crossed his arms in defiance of this young, too young, to his way of thinking, Lord.

      "Then all you'll be touching is her casket, Diomid." he said flatly.

      "Thats not true." he glared at the obviously exaggerating young Lord of Fatima.

      Vayer shook his head, "She fell for me once. I doubt she'll take anyone but you, next month."

      "I'll find her someone her own age."

      "Mark my words, she won't take them." Vayer's lips tightened. "You know Kirina better than I do, Diomid. When was the last time she changed her mind?"

      "There's a first time for everything." Diomid hoped. "Besides if I am off schedule ..."

      "Stop right there." a wave of pure, unadulterated need washed over Diomid's raw nerves. Despite all his control he had to swallow heavily as his mouth watered in reaction. "You'll not risk her life by being unavailable and I'll make sure of that."

      "You don't seriously think Kirina would suicide over this, do you?"

      "Yes I do." Vayer stated bluntly, still tempting him.

      "But she's so damn young." Diomid protested.

      "Exactly." Vayer's eyes went hard again. "She's so young she is very likely to abort off anyone to try to get what she wants. I almost did."

      He felt his eyes narrow as an idea came to him, "We'll do what Nashen did for you and parade a whole group of sharm lords in front of her."

      Vayer snorted, "There's only one Darya and I didn't have myself set on anyone."


      "You think you can give her over to someone else so easily?" Vayer's question stung it was so accurate.

      "It isn't a matter of easy or difficult, Vayer." He shot to his feet, "I won't rape an innocent child!"

      "I know you wouldn't, Diomid." Vayer cocked his head to the side. "Whatever gave you the idea I would think of such a thing?"

      "Aren't you the one trying to pimp her to me?" he sat back down and put his head in his hands.

      "Hell no. I just know she wants you like no one else. Besides, it isn't rape if she's willing."

      "What do you know about it anyways. You're hardly older than she is." Diomid scoffed.

      "Legally, I'm as much an adult as you are, Diomid." admittedly Vayer did look older, particularly with the beard he now wore.

      "I don't care about legally, I care about ethically and morally. Besides she hasn't been ascended, so she isn't a legal adult."

      "Thats why I'm here and she's at home. Arkay is still in seclusion with Nashen." Then Vayer leaned forward again, "We didn't think you would want Avilan and Karola dragged into this."

      "No, no, I don't. Particularly since I know how much Avilan dotes on Kirina." this didn't even consider Avilan's history with underage young women. Diomid sighed, "What did I do wrong, Vayer?"

      "Other than turning her away, nothing."

      "I meant what did I do to lead her on?" he leaned back in his chair and rested his chin on his clasped hands.

      "I think you were being yourself." Vayer walked around the heavy oak desk.

      Diomid didn't want the young Lord too close, but couldn't think of a polite way to put him off either. After hiding his hands in his sleeves, "How was I supposed not to do that?"

      "Why are you being so damned stubborn?"

      "Family trait." his hands clenched his own forearms till it hurt to try to distance himself from Vayer's public field set to display need.

      "True enough." Vayer grimaced. "Stop that!"

      Diomid felt his fingers being lifted off his own forearms. "It's my body."

      "And Kirina's is hers." Vayer's long fingers worked their way into the sleeves of Diomid's robes.

      "Will you stop! I'm sick of hearing about her as if she had any say in the matter." he fought the temptation of Vayer's hands on his arms.

      "Isn't that attitude another kind of rape, Diomid?" Vayer's question was like a slap in the face. "You have taken away her ability to choose, right or wrong."

      "She doesn't know how to choose yet." Diomid hissed.

      "She'll never learn if you don't let her try."

      Diomid looked over Vayer's shoulder at a tapestry on the wall. "She should do her trying with someone her own age."

      "Look at me Diomid." Vayer's hand was hot against the side of his face for a moment and he resisted the caress. "Why should I insist my own sister bed some callow, ignorant youth who very well might hurt her when she wants and loves you? I know you won't hurt her, at least physically, in the same way.

      "Let me tell you a story of how it usually is ..."

      "I know Vayer." but a small ripple of fear went down his back at the very idea of bedding a virgin.

      "I don't think you do. Darya was injured so badly by her first male lover she almost never bedded another man in her life." Vayer paused briefly, "Do you want Kirina to go through the same thing?"

      "No, I don't." he looked away again. "Why do you think I would be any better for her?"

      "Because you love her." Vayer's hands shook Diomid's wrists in emphasis.

      Diomid looked back and scoffed, "Great lot of good that will do with biology. Every time I've had her in transfer I wanted to fall on her like some kind of ravening beast."

      "You didn't though." Vayer's tentacles laced about his wrists. "You aren't sixteen, Diomid."

      "I wish I were." he tried to pull away but Vayer's handling tentacles clamped down. Give! his body called to him at the familiar sensation. Easily he quashed it and looked at Vayer quizzically.

      "You have just made my point, Diomid." Vayer grinned.

      "What?" he forced his heart back to its normal pace.

      "If you were as young and brash as someone Kirina's age you would have jumped me, true?" his tentacles went back to their gentle questing.

      "True." Diomid let Vayer slide the sleeves of his robes back. "What does that have to do with deflowering a virgin?"

      "Everything." Vayer stroked Diomid's forearms with his hands. "You have the self control to wait until your partner is ready, unlike someone her own age."

      His bracelets jangled in Vayer's hands. "I'm not feeling particularly patient at the moment."

      "But you know if you wait it will be even better, true?" Vayer's projected need teased at him even harder.

      "Of course." he growled and pulled Vayer into his lap.


      Kirina paced nervously in the hallway outside Diomid's suite. After the debacle of last month she had stayed with her brother and his family for almost two weeks. When she had returned to Sergei, Diomid had seemed even more attentive to her needs and wants than before. Shivering with wanting him and knowing she couldn't have him after transfer, Kirina dreaded hearing him refuse her again.

      "Please, come in." Diomid sounded almost diffident, as if unsure of something.

      Silently, Kirina opened the heavily carved wooden door and paced inside. "Its beautiful." candlelight sparkled off the paired crystal champagne flutes. The warm light of the candles echoed off the gold embroidery in the tapestries lining the walls and they glowed in the heart of the golden oak paneling. She closed the door behind her.

      Then she saw him.

      Diomid was dressed entirely in white and gold, taking her breath away with his beauty. Snow white, form fitting breeches clung to his heavy thighs. High, soft indoor boots of smooth white leather, were embroidered with gold maple leaves. The open sleeves of his silk shirt were only caught at the shoulder and over the backs of his hands, displaying his sculpted arms with their heavy silver bracelets. Over it all was a skin tight tunic of white doeskin which outlined every substantial muscle of his torso and his gracefully narrow hips.

      Feeling more than a bit shabby next to Diomid's finery, Kirina nervously stepped forward. She opened her mouth to apologize for not having dressed up but Diomid's finger to her lips gently told her to be silent. Hesitantly she touched the tip of her tongue to it. Cool mist with a hundred watching eyes refracted the warm glow of the candles.

      Bubbles danced up the stem of the champagne flute as he handed her one. The sweet, sharp bite of summer's honey filled her mouth. Her eyes met his in question over the rim of the glass.

      His field opened up to her like a great flower after a late summer shower. She set her empty glass down beside his and entered his arms. Long, silken hair draped over her hands. She breathed deeply of the smells of leather, honey and Diomid himself. So very alive, she heard his breath catch and held him tighter, trying to make her hands meet around his deep chest. Her tentacles twined in his heavy, golden hair.

      After giving it a gentle tug to tip his head back, Kirina nipped lightly at Diomid's throat. His deep baritone rumbled in wordless approval. Through the soft leather, she dug her fingers into the muscles along either side of his spine.

      Safe in his arms, she let her need come to the fore. Wordlessly, he matched her with his own promise of fulfillment.

      Kirina's knees buckled and she felt herself swept up into his strong arms. Trying to tell him it wasn't necessary, his lips met her partially open mouth. Softly, so unlike the previously impersonal lip contact they had shared for transfer, Diomid nibbled at her lower lip. Completely trusting and limp, she concentrated on the contact and tentatively licked at him.

      With a groan his tongue met hers. She tipped her head to try to taste him more fully. Her eyes closed to better zlin his watching field. All the indistinct eyes were focused on the dark core of her need. The room spun as he sat with her on the edge of the bed.

      Diomid's large hands were cool against her ribs as he slid her shirt up. Briefly, they broke off their kiss so he could get her shirt off. His eyes were as black as the void of her need. Despite wanting him so very badly, she didn't want his touch to end.

      Easily she kicked off her low boots. Although when she tried to unlace his tunic, Diomid took her hand away and nibbled at the ball of her thumb. His face was smooth, without a trace of stubble under her questing tentacles.

      Then he slid her loose pants down over her hips and finally freed her of them. Completely nude in his clothed lap, she looked at him in question again, wondering why he had undressed her.

      He kneaded the muscles of her forearms between her tentacle sheathes. A moan rose, unbidden, from her throat. Hands wet with roniplin teased at her need, drawing it out. Kirina's tentacles clamped around his wrists with lightning speed.

      "Tonight only." he whispered and made the fifth contact point. Selyn flared as she pulled at him. Glorious bright energy drove away the shadows and cold death of need.


      Reluctantly Kirina let her tentacles slide home across the soft, fine hair on Diomid's arms. One of her ventrals flipped at his bracelets, making them ring.

      With a sigh of regret she pulled back before her rising tide of desire destroyed all of her control and she threw herself at his feet like a bitch in season. Kirina knew he wouldn't have her and didn't want to face his rejection again. He stirred beneath her and she whimpered at the pain of denying it.

      His hand was shaking as it traced over her arm and then lightly across her breast. The rough skin of his thumb traced over her nipple. She gasped at the sensation. Confused and bewildered she tried to arch against him and shrink away at the same time. "But you said ..."

      "Hush, little one." he murmured and then leaned down to flick his tongue over the where his hand had rested.

      Uncontrollably she twisted in his lap, trying to relieve some of this new tension building within her. She felt his hand slide down to hold her hip in place. Slowly he rocked her hips, showing her how to move. Her thighs slid against each other as they clenched and released in time with the motion of his hand.

      Of its own accord, her free hand pressed his head more firmly to her breast. Fire starting under his thumb, below her navel, crested in her body.

      "So very quick, my sweet." his deep voice called up even stronger yearnings.

      Tentatively she reached for the laces on his tunic again. This time though he let her untie them and it slid off easily. The silk of his shirt was damp with sweat and she looked up into his face in wonder. It was tight with longing as he so intently looked into her eyes. As she ran her hands over his heavily muscled ribs, he quivered. Hoping he wouldn't stop her, she slowly lifted his shirt off. She ran her fingers through the soft, curling hair covering his chest. He hissed as she tasted him, salty sweet, flicking her tongue over one of his tight, hard nipples. She bit at him and he gasped in shock.

      His hand was firm against the back of her neck. Must have been a good gasp she nipped a bit harder and ran her thumbnail under his pectoral muscles on the other side. "Yes" he growled pressing himself against her even harder, pulling her against his strong body with almost bruising force.

      A bit nervous at his strong response, she hesitated. He was breathing heavily and for a moment she was afraid he didn't really see her. Then he blinked a couple of times and took a deep gasping breath.

      Again his hands were gentle on her body. Sighing, she leaned against him. Kirina wanted him so very badly, but she wasn't quite sure of exactly how to proceed. Her fingers wandered down and unlaced his breeches in suggestion.

      Rather than immediately stripping them off, instead he reached down and pulled off his boots. "We have all night, love." his teeth nipping at the side of her neck made her pulse race even more.

      Gently he set her down on the soft, lavender scented sheets. For a moment she thought about hiding herself from his so intent gaze, then realized she was far more fascinated by watching him. "I want to see all of you." her voice was husky, even to her own ears.

      "As you wish." he said. Carefully she ran her hand down his leg as he pulled off his breeches. His blond hair shimmered in the candlelight. Finally he turned to face her again. Fascinated, she reached out and brushed her hand lightly over him. Velvet soft skin rewarded her touch. It twitched and she pulled her hand back quickly.

      "You didn't hurt." his voice was even deeper than normal. Gently, he took her hand and replaced it. In an instinctive gesture, her fingers closed slightly and he shifted in her grasp.

      "It feels like a tentacle." she wrapped one of hers around it delicately.

      "Kirina" he moaned and then pulled away. "You do too much of that and we won't be doing anything else for a while." he blinked heavily.

      She giggled at the power she had held in her hand.

      "Come here, you imp." he slid his arm around her and laid her back on the bed. Diomid's knee was heavy across her thighs, pinning her to the bed. She tried to arch against him.

      "Hush, little imp." his hand stroked her flanks. Strong, broad fingers teased delicately at the muscles of her waist. Slowly, so very slowly his hand worked its way down. She cried out as his finger slid between her lips. Slick and smooth his gentle touch fired her wanting of him.


      His finger slid easily through her soft fine curls and finally brushed over most sensitive heart. It quivered against his touch like the heartbeat of a dove. Her howl of pleasure rang in his ears. Easy he rested his weight on her, waiting for hips to still again. Sweat ran down his face with the stress of holding himself back from taking her at his own body's demands.

      Ineffectively, she tried to pull him even closer. Eventually, her quivering slowed slightly and he slid his hand down further, cupping her in his palm. Her head was thrown back and he leaned down to kiss the pulse at the base of the soft throat. Relenting slightly, he let his leg loosen its hold and she opened to him. Her scent was so strong he could almost taste her on his tongue. He licked the sweet, tart, musky taste of her off his finger. Involuntarily he twitched against the side of her hip and she moaned at the sensation.

      "Easy, little one." her body was fine and slender beneath him as he came to rest his length over hers. Kirina's thighs were tense as they held his hips and tried to pull him closer. Smoothly he slid his hand down her flank to slow her hips again. One of her feet ran up the back of his thigh making him lock his entire body to keep from driving into her. He could feel his whole body shake as he rested against her for a moment.

      Her hot, wetness slid along the underside of his shaft. Too hard he lightened himself so she wouldn't hurt herself. Nibbling up her neck and finally catching her lip gently between his teeth, he came to rest at her opening. She pulled at him. Grasping lips opened to him easily and he slid the very tip into her. Hips rocked against his and he let her pull him in further. Sudden resistance met his entry and he pulled back slightly. Startled, she tensed her whole body. "Relax, my sweet imp"

      His hand rocked her hips smoothly. She caught the rhythm easily and moved beneath him. Resting his entire weight against her, he let her move under him. Patiently, he waited as she was caught up more and more into trying to grasp him. Slick with sweat she slid down against him. Panting with the suddenness of it, he realized she had taken all of him. Pressed against her curls, he shivered in desperate longing for release.

      Held fast within her, he held her face in his hand. Black, unseeing eyes met his gaze and he licked at her lips. Her mouth relaxed as he tasted of her and she released her locking grasp on him. A fraction at a time he slid within her hold. "Yes" his moan echoed her own inarticulate cry. Smoothly, gently he stroked her. Hot steel in a velvet glove wrapped around him. Carefully, he slid within her iron grasp.

      Keeping a firm hold on his own desires, he leaned down to take the very crest of one of her fine, delicate breasts between his lips. Their sweat was salty on his tongue as he nipped at it. Exquisite pleasure beyond words flashed through him as she tightened on him even harder for a brief instant.

      *Like this* Diomid opened his mind and his senses to Kirina. Showing her the sweet ache of his longing to finish and his desire to make it last all night.

      *Ahhhh* she sent and Diomid had to hold her tight and still for a moment, lest he loose all control. The sensations of filling and being held fed back on each other in a dizzying spiral. Moving slowly, all of their senses were multiplied by endless reflections.

      He lifted his weight off her onto his hands. Lightly brushing his body over hers, he kissed her softly on the lips. Strong legs pulled him even deeper into her. The contrast urged him on even more.

      Fingernails traced up his spine. He shivered at their promise and hoped she would fulfill it. Yes her teeth bit at his shoulder. The sharp pleasure-pain spurred at him. "Yes" he let her drive him on faster with her marking him.

      Finally unable to hold back any longer under her prodding, he clenched Kirina to his body. Her wordless cries of pleasure with each thrust fired him even more. He mover her against him, each stroke echoing and reechoing into the next until there was no separation between them.

      Crying out his final release he drove himself into her center. "Yes" her acceptance filled his very being with ecstatic fire. White hot pleasure reverberated between them until it eventually, slowly, faded away as they finally came to rest.


      Kirina had no intention to move at any time in the near future. After brushing his hair completely aside, she let her hands caress the length of his back. Muscle shifted and finally relaxed as he settled his weight completely on top of her. She gasped quietly and quivered as Diomid softened completely.

      Diomid propped himself up on one elbow. His blue grey eyes were gentle. "I didn't hurt you?"

      "A little bit, one time, and then you stopped." she stroked the side of his face. "It was wonderful, thank you." From so much of the gossip she had overheard, Diomid had been any young woman's dream come true from their portrayals of how painful it could have been. Of course Diomid was her dream come true.

      "You are quite welcome and thank you." his voice was soft and low. "Content?"

      "For now." she grinned and tried, mostly ineffectively, to wiggle underneath him.

      "Imp" he chuckled.

      She squealed in protest as he rubbed his sweaty face all over hers. Weakly, so as not to succeed, she pushed at his chest. Her arms felt like two over cooked noodles they were so limp. Finally he gave up and rested against her again. His tongue teased at her ear. She sighed and sank even further into the featherbed.

      With a groan of effort he gradually rolled to the side. In appreciation she drank in the sight of his gorgeous body, then it occurred to her, "You look a lot like Arkay, for someone who is not one of Vanya's get."

      His hand stopped its idle stroking of her flank.

      "Did I say something wrong?" she turned to face him more fully. Kirina took his now still hand in hers and kissed the palm.

      "No, nothing sweet." his hand shook, more than it had been. He took a deep breath as if bracing for something, "I am one of Vanya's."

      "Then why are you not known as Sergeyevich?" she didn't really care but his distress worried at her. Talking about it seemed to ease him.

      "Because he was also my grandfather." he tried to pull away and she grabbed his hand, restraining him. The dam of silence breaking had opened that place within him which was the last thing he had withheld from her.

      "Come here, sweet." she pulled him into her arms. "I love you, Diomid. I don't care about who your parents were or were not."

      "But if we, in the future ..." his reluctance to state the obvious was plain.

      "It is in the future." she kissed the top of his head. "Right now I am dreadfully thirsty and very sticky."

      He leaned back. She could see the surprise and wonder on his face. "You aren't upset with me?"

      "Silly goose." she kissed the end of his nose. "Why would I be? I couldn't have asked for more of you."

      "Because I was afraid to tell you before." his looking up at her through his long lashes almost made her loose all resolve to give him a rest for a bit.

      His leg, with its silken hair, was hard under her hand as she pulled his thigh over hers, "I knew you would eventually, when you were ready."

      Laughing, "Oh Kirina, love. I'm supposed to be the one saying such things." The roughness of the ball of his foot sliding down her leg made her shiver in appreciation of his touch.

      "Because you are older?" her hand wandered around behind him and pulled him even more tightly against her body.

      "Older enough to want some rest."

      "Not from what I can tell." she pressed up against his returning enthusiasm.

      "Imp!" his hands gently unwrapped her arms from around his body. "Shower first."

      "Or at the same time."


      Reluctantly, he let her out of his arms. Her slender grace fascinated him as Kirina got to her feet and he suddenly flinched, She's hardly a woman. His heart pounded madly at the realization of how very easy it had been. Up until now he had managed to forget how very young she was.

      Diomid saw her redden and try to cover herself with her hands as she stood at the edge of the bed. "Easy, love." he stood and took Kirina in his arms. At least touching her, he could let his body override his mental reservations. The heat rising off her made his dismay only that much sharper by its tug on Diomid's desire.

      "You don't want to look at me." she hung her head. "I'm no great beauty, but ..."

      "Not true." he ran his hand down over her slight curves.

      She sighed, "Don't lie, Diomid."

      Involuntarily, his hand trembled, "You are beautiful, love. Too beautiful."

      "Not like Vayer." she pulled away from him. The crystal sparkled on the table. "Then why do you look away?"

      "What?" the remembered feel of her tiny breast just filling his palm made him clench his fist.

      "I should go." her breath caught.

      "No!" he couldn't help but shout. "Don't go." Diomid wanted so much more than she could possibly give. "Maybe you should." he hated it when someone caught him crying.

      She turned away and bent over to pick up her clothes. The smooth line of her arching body called to him to take her again. Holding her shirt to her chest, she turned and looked at him again, eyes wide. Kirina looked so very much like a forest imp with her willowy form. "I love you, Diomid. I'm sorry I'm not what you want."

      "Kirina" he hid his face so she couldn't see the tears spill from his eyes. "Go!" he clenched his hands on the back of a chair, leaning on it to stay upright.

      "There's something more, Diomid." her gentle touch on his shoulder frightened him with its tearing at his heart.

      "Please" he begged, not wanting to expose her to any more harm than he had already caused. Pain of biting at his own lip gave him the control he wanted to face her again. "I love you, Kirina." his voice tried to break and he forced it ruthlessly to behave under her level blue gaze.

      "Then what have I done wrong?" she pleaded.

      "Nothing" but the fact I have taken her innocence.

      "You can't accept me, can you?" her touch against his face undid him.

      "I love you and I violated your innocence." horror at his act reached out to claim him.

      "And now you no longer want me." she turned away towards the door.

      "Damn it, no! I want you even more than before." he caught her. "Can't you see there's something wrong with me?"

      "For loving me? I don't agree." her lip quivered as she tried to smile. "You were wonderful, Diomid. I couldn't have asked for a better lover."

      To have her call him her lover was more than he could cope with, "Why? Now you can never know what its like to discover these things with someone you can share their newness and wonder with. I took that from you."

      "I know what it is to love and be loved, Diomid. You took nothing from me but what I freely gave you." she sighed and started to put on her shirt.

      "Stop" he held her hand back. "I don't want you to cover yourself because of me."

      "I can't very well traipse through the halls naked. Its cold out there."

      "And I don't want anyone else to see you." his answer even startled himself and his face grew hot.

      "Then what do you want, Diomid?" her tentacles twined with his fingers.

      Feeling very much as if he were the younger, "I don't really know." His voice tried to shake again, "I want to hold you and look at you and make love with you again so much it scares me, Kirina. I know its wrong but I can't help my feelings. Can you understand that?"

      "I can't understand why you say its wrong." her finger was hot against his lips before he could protest. "I don't feel I'm too young, or that you have cheated me of anything I could have wanted or desired."

      "But I want to look at your slender, exquisite body and feel your fineness. Not the broad hips and soft curves of a grown woman." he admitted his perversion.

      "Will you not want me when I have grown into them?"

      "Certainly, even more than now." he imagined what she would become with the years and pulled her into his arms again.

      "Then it is me and not simply my age." she chuckled softly at some inner joke.

      "Of course." he froze and then leaned back so he could look in her eyes. They were sparkling with mischief as he finally got her point. "Oh love, what did I ever do to deserve you?"

      "Made me the happiest woman in the world, beloved."