by Ruth Davis Hays 2011
After finding what she could about her step-brother ‘Khiall from the household staff and her mother, Lauralei is eager to find out ‘Khiall’s feelings on the topic of their non-family relations. So, a few nights later, as the dinner dishes are still being cleared from the feast hall, the two youths escape for a private talk…
PART FIVE — Investigating Possibilities –
Lauralei curled up near ‘Khiall in a secret meeting place beneath the main hall stairs. It was a small, slanted, broom closet that ‘Khiall had showed her before dinner when she approached him to ask where they could talk without interruption. He explained how he would occasionally hide inside to escape finishing his chores. She giggled and told him to meet her here after the meal. They had squeezed in, both giddily uncertain about what was about to happen, but both eager to be alone together once more.
For a few moments, they stared into one another’s eyes, waiting to see what the other would do, each anticipating something but reticent to say what exactly. Looking at his shifting expression, Lauralei wondered many things about the young fae. She had felt so close to him when she was younger, yet as she stared deeply into the vast ocean depths of his eyes with a fire of mystery and longing in them now, she realized just how little she knew of him. Her full, round bosom rose and fell faster as her heart pattered at the thought of learning all she could about him. Finally, she shifted to face him full on and decided to speak her questions about his past. But, as her mouth opened, only one thing tumbled out.
“Have you ever kissed another girl?”
Taken aback, he asked, “Is that why you asked me here?”
Blushing, she was acutely aware of his proximity. Their knees touching in the cramped quarters with the underside of the stair boards close over their heads. “No, not really. I was just wondering,” she mumbled.
He glanced down at her fumbling hands, then back into her beautiful, dove-blue eyes and shook his head.
“Did you intend to kiss me? I mean, did it mean anything to you when we did?” She stumbled with the words. Her heart was beating fast and her head dizzy with his allure. He slowly reached out, picking up her tiny hands in his own and brought them to his warm cheek, brushing his face against them as cats do. She giggled a bit, feeling his searing lips against her fingertips as he kissed them tenderly. Her emotions were fast overwhelming her, and she wished to taste his mouth again. “Do you wish to kiss me again, ‘Khiall?” she asked breathlessly.
The answer was clear. His hand cupped the back of her slender neck and pulled her to him. They met in a fevered kiss, her hands escaping into his ebony hair to trace around his soft, cropped ears. His lips tickled hers with a quick moan as her fingers brushed the scabs atop each ear, but he did not pull away. Brief moments stretched into stolen eternities of awkward adolescent fumbling, as they shifted to find the most comfortable embrace in this constricting space. Lauralei got her long dress caught up on a nail, and a broom handle struck ‘Khiall on the head several times.
The mishaps only slowed their ardor; they did not bring a halt to it. Finally, sitting side by side and panting with their exertions to find a safe position, they smiled into each other’s face, their hands intertwined firmly. His eyes were dancing in the light sneaking through the slatted door.
“I can hardly breathe,” Lauralei giggled in a restrained whisper. “This dress is so tight, I can’t even move.”
The illumination filtering the shadows into tangible possibilities outlined the curve of her bosom in her bodice, and his first instinct was to offer loosening her lacing. He heard her whisper his nickname; the low, soft sound called him back from his fevered musings.
“Don’t call me ‘Khiall anymore,” he said with a rough breath. “That’s what Sarrah named me.”
“Why don’t you want me to call you ‘Khiall?” Her voice sounded hurt and confused. He tried to explain his feelings, though he was not entirely sure of them.
“Because you called me that as your brother, and I don’t wish to be your brother,” he said petulantly. His face was downcast and his fingers picking at hers, the strange nails pinching a little where they were starting to grow out. He had clipped them a week ago and already they were looking like claws again.
“You aren’t my brother. Not really,” Lauralei said happily, though there was an edge to it.
“I know,” ‘Khiall grumbled as he turned back to face her. “But, I was in my twelfth Agen the night you were born. They brought you into my room and said, ‘Here is your little sister Lauralei. Love her and protect her.’ And I did. I rocked your cradle. I sang lullabies to you. I did my best. Because that was what was expected of me.”
“Yes, I remember,” Lauralei sighed wistfully, remembering all she could of his sweet devotion. “I grew up with you as my best friend. I love you and that can’t change.”
“But, you are changing,” he insisted. “It’s been twenty years, Laure. I liked playing games with you…I liked seeing you grow up. But, now you’ve grown past me! You’re not my little sister anymore.”
“Then what should I call you? Your whole faerlin name is so long and complicated.” She was at a loss for what he was looking for with this discussion. Wanting to keep their time together pleasant, she tried to placate him quickly, knowing their privacy would be far too brief to satisfy either of them.
“You don’t like my real name? Then make something up, I don’t care.” He seemed put out at her comment.
“That’s silly. A name should mean something.”
“D’harro Mar Rie Khiall does mean something,” he pouted.
“Really? What does it mean?” In truth, she was interested in this and tried not to sound like she was only mollifying his disgruntled mood. He still would not look at her.
“Mi Nomei’s people give meaning to everything,” he said of his mother. The faerlish words sounded so lovely to Lauralei’s ears. “My name means The Darkening Sun of Deepest Winter.”
She thought on his definition and asked, “Which part of it means The Darkening Sun? I like that. It makes me think of your eyes.”
Her words seemed to calm his tangled emotions and he slowly turned back to face her. “D’harro Mar,” he said softly.
She considered this, tumbling it around on her lips for a moment and whispered, “Dharromar. I like that.”
“That’s not how it’s pronounced by the Faerlin,” he snapped, not angry with her. It was so rare to hear him speak of being Fae and he almost never spoke the word Faerlin. Her tiny smile caused him to look at her curiously.
“I’m not Faerlin,” she replied. “Besides, this will be our secret, special name. Only I will call you by it when we are with each other.”
“Alright,” he seemed to settle with this. “Then what will be my name for you?”
“Laure. What else?” she laughed. He scowled, but she explained, “No one else calls me that, and I like it when you do.”
They lay in a comfortable silence, contemplating the new path they had chosen for their relationship. Then she felt him shift to kiss her again. She accepted it readily. His demeanor was sweet and inviting, his skin warm and soft before the caresses intensified.
He kept her lips, stealing her breath from her as he hunted deeper. One hand wandered to her breast, fondling roughly over her stiffened bodice. She returned his kiss, matching his hungry touch with her own ardor. The stroke of his hand on her was invigorating; she found her eager body pressing against his. She was ready to melt into him when her fingers touched the tops of his fae ears again and he flinched. Their kiss parted.
Gasping for air and pressing her face to the curve of his neck, she whispered, “Do you love me?”
He pulled back a second and looked at her, his face inscrutable. Smirking to the darkness of the closet, he snorted, “I don’t know.” When her eyes scowled with a hot flame, he continued, “What exactly is love, Laure? What does it mean?”
She wanted to reach him, to push past this recent game of nonchalance that he would throw out whenever she asked something personal. A piece of her heart wanted to crumple, but she had been prepared for his shrugs, so she barreled along with her chosen path.
“It’s when you care about someone and their happiness more than you care for your own. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.” She added the last with her own careless shrug. He noticed.
“Then I suppose…” he hedged. She cut in on his thought, a little peeved.
“You suppose? You don’t know?”
A challenge blazed behind his night-blue eyes and he turned to face her. “Well, no, then. I don’t love you.”
His words were a slap striking at her heart. She felt her stomach lurch and twist. Then, her fiery Khnyghtsyde blood rose at the insult. “You don’t?” she hissed. “Why not?”
“Because you say, to love you I would desire your happiness above my own. But, I don’t!” His voice was low, rising to a harsh whisper as she listened with extreme care to dissect his reasoning. “I want you near me because it makes me happy. Your happiness doesn’t matter to me. I want to be with you whether you want it or not. So, therefore I don’t love you, do I?”
Though his tone was striking at her as a malicious boy would strike at a sleeping dog to rile it, some part of her understood his confusion. It was like showing a piece of glacier ice to a desert nomad and then telling him that it is cake. He could feel it, but would not know the proper name.
“But, being with you does make me happy, ‘Khi…Dharromar,” she said softly with one of her warming smiles. “I should think that it is correct to count it as love.”
She watched his face fall back to smooth contemplation until, as his eyes followed her form up to meet her face, they were alight with renewed interest. The midnight blue orbs drew her into their depths, drowning her in a fevered compulsion to feel his skin next to hers. He drew her closer, his arms encircling her. Hotly they kissed; their hands searched for tender bare flesh to elicit exciting responses from each other.
As his lips wandered down her neck, it sent chills flooding her mind and made her ache to enfold his body. He smelled so lovely and the fabric of their clothing was the only thing restricting them. His mouth traced along the top of her breasts, sweet moans fluttering against her skin. She giggled lightly, her limbs demanding him.
He crawled back up to capture her lips again in his uncontrolled urge to devour her delicate flame. His hips pressed down on her as she curled one leg over him; her long, full skirt tumbled open in a crisp cascade. She thrilled at the unyielding pressure of his masculine maturation brushing her thighs, the layers of fabric between them heated by it.
Reaching down with one hand, she searched out this new accomplice, her fingers crawling carefully amid the cloth. His trouser front was taut, and she stroked him with some difficulty. Moaning out a stumbling breath, he pushed appreciatively against her. His arms squeezed her tighter. She felt her own body silently preparing to receive him, when a voice from the outer house intruded on their ardent embrace.
Sarrah’s mewing call for Lauralei could be heard drifting through the mansion’s rooms. They both stopped still, afraid to move as the end of their tryst penetrated their impassioned minds.
Swallowing hard, Lauralei quickly extracted her hand from his crotch and slid away from him. Clumsily, he crept off of her dress and they fumbled over each other to peek out the door. The hall was still and empty.
They glanced back, their eyes meeting and their blood racing with the fear of discovery. She saw his face on fire as he crouched in the shadows; for a moment, she thought he might leap upon her, regardless of their danger.
“Do you want to meet me again?” she whispered, to which he readily agreed. “Then leave your bedchamber window open tonight.”
She flashed a wide smile, her own eyes sparkling with the sensations soaring through her veins. Hurriedly, she gathered her unruly skirt and scurried out the door, leaving him alone in the forgotten compartment with his tantalizing thoughts.