a thousand petals, a thousand paths

She came to him without words, her slender, whipcord body wrapped in a gauzy white thing that did nothing to hide the curves and shadows of hip and breast. She was hills and valleys, darkness between her thighs, breasts high and peaked, skin gleaming over bone like silk and ivory. Gently, she took him by the hand and led him to a bed mounded with pillows and drifting sheets, draped with filmy curtains through which streamed mellow sunlight, thick and hot. Sinking slowly back into the satiny duvet, she pulled him down to her, her long-fingered hands sliding up his arms, beneath his shirt, her lips meeting his, rose-petal soft and tasting of honey.

He sighed, feeling how exactly right this all was, and returned the pressure of lip on lip, moving his mouth against hers, rubbing his stubbled chin against her cheek, watching the skin pinken and flush. Somehow, his glasses were gone, but she was still clear in his sight, her hair streaming ebony across the pillows, her eyelashes black sweeps against her cheekbones.

His lips firmed against hers, his tongue parting her teeth, probing slowly, gently, across her own tongue, tasting honey and mead and freshly baked bread. He sighed again, feeling his muscles expand and contract against her own, and let his own long fingers slide under the delicate curve of her upper arm, caressing skin that felt like chocolate, rich and smooth. The gauzy thing she was wearing slid off, as though it had simply melted from the heat of their bodies, dissolving in lust and longing. He traversed one rounded shoulder with the palm of his hand, across the sharp jut of her collarbone, tickling to the other shoulder like a fluff of dandelion, his lips following his fingers, down the long, pale cord of the neck, between those beautiful breasts, pausing to linger and lick along each rib.

Her body tautened, thrumming beneath his, and her hips pressed up, jolting against his hardness, sharp and urgent. Denying her for the moment, he continued mapping her skin, trailing his tongue down to her navel, nibbling gently into the little concavity, feeling her squirm under his chin, then moving down further, tasting thigh, muscle, and the backs of her knees, salty and sweet like taffy eaten by the sea. She was whispering, whimpering, her hands in his hair, tugging gently. He came back to her lips, still detouring around the curls and mounds, barely registering her little moans, his own clothes melting off him until the two of them were nothing but skin on skin, hot and hungry, thigh pressed to thigh, shoulder to shoulder, and he took her face in his hands and kissed her.

He kissed her and kissed her, rocking his jaw to vary the depth and shading of the kiss, his tongue teasing and luring, their breath heaving through their lungs, the moment extending, distending, burgeoning with their need, swelling like the juice of a berry under tight, tangy skin. Then he separated from her, and let his tongue drive him again, take him down to one breast, then the other, her moans becoming sharp little cries, each nipple in his mouth nibbled and sucked like a sweetmeat until the flesh was hard with desire. Resting the fingers of one hand on the pale curve of a breast, he went down her body again, smelling the lavender of her skin, swallowing beads of sweat collected under her breasts like raindrops, scattered along her waist like pearls. Then he was at that delicate mound, and he blew on the curls, her body tensing, jerking, then he was tasting the very essence of her, and she cried out his name, wrenching and tight. He cupped his hands under her buttocks and sipped from her, her hands curling into his hair again, tense with the effort of not pulling at the slithery strands, vibrating under his tongue.

When her whole body was shivering, he came back to her mouth again, gentle as a feather. Her eyes were like blue flames, burning into his as her knees parted, feet wrapping around his waist, ankles locked. As if it was the most natural and perfect thing in the world, he slid into her, hot, striving, and she tilted her hips to bring him in deeper, and they rocked, together, his hands pressing her wrists into the mattress, their foreheads pressed together as they moved as one. Slow, gentle, deep, deeper, deepest, like the chocolate had melted, was hot, was scalding, was all-encompassing, and the rhythm increased, incrementally, skin sliding against skin, their breath hot on each other’s cheeks, little grunts and moans floating through the air around them. Their breath seemed to glow with the sun and the heat and the sheer molten mist of their desire.

“Miss you,” he whispered, “miss you,” and his eyes squeezed shut, his orgasm wrenching through him as she came as well, clenching around him, both of them crying, their tears mingling on their lips, the shocks of pleasure cracking through them, gut-deep and heart-breakingly tender.


Daniel woke with the taste of ash in his mouth, dry and searing. A heavy weight pressed against him, and he felt Jack’s body shimmy against his as the older man slid to the side and cuddled Daniel up against him.

“Were you even awake for any of that?” Jack murmured, a smile in his voice. His lips ghosted over Daniel’s forehead, leaving a trail of butterfly kisses in their wake.

Daniel just lay there, bewildered, the dream already fading to tatters, then dissolving like sugar in water. All he could think, as he turned to lick the line of Jack’s throat, was, “Trust Vala to leave me to clean up the mess.” Then even that thought left him as Jack kissed him on the mouth, hot and hard, and their hands met on each other’s hips, their legs tangled, the sheets bunched at the foot of the bed, and they sank into each other, the rhythm familiar, but always riveting.


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