Chapter 24 - Bonded
Ilyia, the Land of the Gods
I opened my eyes and I was looking at Selene’s face again. She looked as radiant as ever yet there seemed to be a hint of loneliness in her face. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I miss him,” came the simple reply. It was as if she poured hundreds of years of her grief in those three words. I felt all her pain and her suffering. Her radiance dimmed a little and she looked at me with tears in her eyes.
“Maybe allowing me to see is difficult for you... Maybe it would be better if we stop?” She hastily wiped away her tears with the back of her hands. “No. We won’t stop. You should know everything,” she replied.
We sat quietly for a long time and then she started to talk once more. “Aiken and I... I already told you we fell in love, right? And then on the last vision I showed you, Aiken asked me to bond with him...”
“What is a bond?”
“It is like your custom of marriage. For us, once we bond with someone, it is eternal. A part of our essences join. We can communicate with each other through thoughts, feel the other’s pain, feel the other’s emotions... Those sort of things. Few gods bond because they think it leaves them vulnerable. But not Aiken and I...” she trailed off and the dreamy look came back in her eyes.
“When he asked me to bond with him... I was so overjoyed! I never knew I could be that happy. But then I was a bit apprehensive for I did not know if he understood the depth to this commitment. But then he told me he only wanted me and all protests and thoughts went out the window and I agreed...”
“How long were you together before you were... err... bonded?” I asked.
“Forty eight years," she replied and my eyes widened.
“Time passes like a blink of an eye for us. Forty eight years is a relatively short time. Everyone scoffed at us and said that bonding with Aiken was just one of my whims as a spoiled princess. Also, it could not have come at a worse time. My father... he was getting lonelier with each passing day. He longed for my mother. Furthermore, Azrael has increased his efforts at trying to take over Ilyia,” she said.
Suddenly, I remembered Seth and the day that he told me about the myth of the Sun and Moon. I remembered the beauty of the horizon as it was streaked with gold, orange and red. I remembered his warmth and his masculine smell. I remembered the way he held me close and how secure I felt in his arms.
“What happened then?” I asked Selene.
“After I agreed to bond with Aiken, he left the next day for another war with Azrael. But the war didn’t happen in Ilyia. The war was in the mortal realm. Azrael used his power to influence people and turned mortal kings against each other. He created a great war which threatened the human race itself. My father sent Aiken and his golden army to fight and to kill Azrael for good. Aiken was gone for three years...”
“I think I’ve heard the story of this war before. I know my ancestors fought during that war. It was said that it was about a newly discovered land and kings fought over it.”
Selene shook her head. “The reason for the war differs from king to king. Azrael planted the thought in their mind and made them think that they were fighting for whatever it is they wanted the most.”
“Why did Azrael create this war?” I asked.
“He wanted to wipe away the kingdoms that worshipped Rashad, the sun god. Without the people’s prayers and their worship, we grow weak,” Selene explained to me. Actually, I heard the words but I don’t really think that I understood them. My mind was spinning so fast as it tried to digest all the information it has been fed.
“If my father is weak, then Azrael can take over the throne more easily.”
“What happened next?” I asked.
“I think it’s better if I just show you,” she replied and then waved her hand once more.
The Golden Dynasty
The Golden Palace in the Heavens
Ilyia, the Land of the Gods
Anticipation was thick in the air. Today was the day that my father’s Golden Army would return. Today, Aiken would come back and I would see him again. My heart beat faster inside my chest as I scanned the horizon.
I waited the whole day and it was afternoon when I saw a speck of gold in the distance. I stood up and transported myself to the highest tower so that I could be able to see better. My breath caught in my throat as I saw my father’s army riding towards the castle. They were truly a sight to behold. It seemed as if they swept the ground and transformed it into one filled with color.
Then, I felt the familiar energy behind me. I turned around and Aiken was standing there with a huge grin on his face. Without wasting another second, I ran towards him and threw my arm around him. I showered kisses on his face and breathed in his scent.
“I miss you too, li’eras,” he said and then chuckled. He lifted me up from the ground and swung me in his arms. I shrieked with delight and then leaned down and kissed him passionately on the lips.
He kissed me back and I felt as if three years did not pass. It was as if yesterday, we were just standing at the meadow and he has asked me to bond with him. He groaned as he pulled away. “Selene... I have to go to your father and report everything that’s happened.” He said reluctantly.
“I know... I’ll wait for you.” I told him and then let go of his hand. He caught my fingers again and tugged me towards him. “Selene... It’s time... Tonight, I’ll ask him for your hand.” Aiken said. Once again, my breath caught in my throat and my heart beat faster but this time because of fear and nervousness.
“I bid you goodluck, li’eras. I’ll await you and the news you bring. Just please... Break the news gently to father. He really hasn’t been feeling well.” I pleaded.
“Yes... I will. I vow that I will do everything I can. This week will not pass without us being mated and bound together for all of eternity.” He declared with sincerity. I smiled up at him with tears in my eyes.
“Go now... I can’t bear the anticipation anymore.” I told him and gave him a light shove. He smiled at me and then winked. I felt his energy once more and then he was gone...
I paced my room continuously and tried to do some things to distract myself. I tried sewing but I just pricked my finger over and over again so I just gave up. I tried reading but my concentration was elsewhere and I found that I’ve been reading a single paragraph over and over again without really understanding it. I then brushed my hair until it shone and until my scalp protested.
Aiken took a long time and before I knew it, I dozed off while sitting.
“Selene...” Aiken whispered. I opened my eyes and looked at him. “What happened?” I asked anxiously. Aiken’s face fell and I was sure something was wrong. He took a deep breath. “HE AGREED!” he shouted. “What?!?” my sleep-fogged brain wasn’t sure I heard him say it right. “He consented, Selene!” he shouted and before I knew it, my arms were around him and we were jumping up and down on the bed.
“When’s the ceremony?”
“WHAT?!?” I screamed.
“It’s your father’s will, Selene. I quite like it. That way, we won’t have to wait anymore.” Aiken said and then he looked deep into my eyes and kissed me. I kissed him back with all the joy inside of me. Again, he pulled back. I saw that desire was blazing in his eyes. “Tomorrow you’ll be mine in every sense, Selene. I’d like to wait until then.” He said and then with another groan, he vanished from my room.
I wasn’t able to sleep at all that night. I heard the servants bustling about the corridors as they prepared for our wedding. Morning came and I heard a knock on my door. A flock of servants came and bathed me. They placed scented oils on my skin and then drew a pattern on my hands and legs using henna.
I really did not care much for the preparations for I had only one thing in mind: Aiken and I will belong to each other from this day forward. I was so looking forward to it that I did not even notice the beautiful white and gold dress they made me wear. It was brilliant and dazzling just like my father’s clothes. My skin looked even brighter and more radiant and I think that it’s a combination of the clothes I’m wearing and the joy contained inside of me.
They left my hair loose and flowing behind my back. My tiara was placed on top of my head. My father told me that it belonged to my mother and said that she would be happy if it would be given to me on the day that I am bonded. I nearly cried as I touched the tiara. Now, I have another thing that belonged to my mother...
“You are the most beautiful bride ever, princess...” one of the servants said and I smiled at her and mumbled my thanks. Would Aiken think that I’m beautiful too? I giggled at the thought.
A few moments later, the servants escorted me down from my room and outside the castle. They told me that the bonding ceremony would be held at the garden I created. They said that Aiken was the one who wished it. He is the best and he is the most thoughtful man!
We rounded the corner to the garden and I’ve had my first view of it. It was beautiful! A golden carpet was laid across the green grass. Chairs were placed on either side of it. On the carpet were scattered some red and white petals. In front, a white silk canopy was erected. I sighed at the beauty of the garden. It looked like something out of a beautiful painting.
“You ready, princess?” someone giggled beside me. It was Lai, my closest friend and fellow goddess. She is the best healer of all and is renowned as the patroness of healers and of health. She winked at me and then handed me a bouquet of flowers. “I picked those myself, I hope you like them.” She whispered. I looked down at the bouquet I’m holding and she really did manage to pick the best flowers. “Thank you.” I whispered to her.
I looked up and Aiken was walking towards the silk canopy. He stilled for a moment, as if sensing my presence and then he turned around. He wasn’t bare-chested today and his weapons were gone from his back. Instead, he wore the ceremonial robes of the general of the Golden Army. It had long sleeves and a row of buttons at the front. A black belt was tied at his waist symbolizing his rank. The hem of his robes reached up to his knees.
He had his sword placed securely on his belt and then he wore white pants and black boots. My breath caught at how magnificent he looked!
This is actually the first time I’ve seen him without his usual clothes that comprised of: the strap that held his weapons at his back, black breeches and boots. He looks every inch the warrior when he dresses like that but now... Now, he looks like a king.
I saw him look at me from head to toe and I saw his chest rise with a sharp intake of breath. I smiled at him and he looked as if he wasn’t sure if all of this was real or if he’s dreaming. I approached the golden carpet and the guests stood up and a beautiful melody was heard.
I walked slowly so that I wouldn’t fall. All the time, my eyes were on Aiken as his were on mine. There were no hesitations on my part. No regrets. Nothing but pure joy on my upcoming bond with the only man I will ever love. Today, our eternity starts and I am sure that nothing could ruin this.
I reached the edge of the golden carpet and I was met by my father. “You look just like your mother.” The sun god, Rashad, whispered to me. Tears welled in my eyes once more. My father hugged me tight and said, “You deserve all the best, my darling princess... My little star... Your light will always be the brightest in the heavens. ”
“Thank you father... Thank you for everything.” I answered and he smiled back at me. For the first time in a really long time, he looked relaxed and peaceful like he did all those years ago when I was still a little child.
My father took my hand in his and then gave it to Aiken. His hands were really cold and I flinched at the first touch.
“Take care of my daughter or you’ll find yourself at the mercy of the army you command. She’s my greatest treasure, the brightest of all the stars in the heavens," my father threatened and then softened his words with a smile.
“Yes, your highness. Not a greater treasure could be found in all of the land. I thank you for entrusting her to me.” Aiken said and bowed to my father. My father turned back and headed towards his throne.
Aiken looked down on me and he mouthed the words, ”Is this real?”
I pinched him until I saw him flinch from the pain. Then I smiled and said, “It definitely is.” He grinned at me and escorted me towards the silk canopy. We brought our hands together, palm-to-palm.
“I, Aiken, Patron of Warriors, General of King Rashad’s Golden Army stand here today to pledge myself in bond with this woman. All that I am and all that I have is yours, Selene, from this day forward...” he said and I felt his energy around me. It condensed and then I saw a thin blue ribbon which coiled itself around our bound hands.
“I vow to protect, love and cherish you, Princess Selene from this day forward and until the day that eternity runs its course.” He said so tenderly that tears filled my eyes and ran down my cheeks. By the time he was finished speaking, the blue ribbon was coiled around our hands and I felt it pulsing with life.
“I, Selene, daughter of the Sun and Moon, Princess and Key to Ilyia stand here today to pledge myself in bond with this man. All that I am and all that I have is yours, Aiken, from this day forward...” I closed my eyes and gathered my energy. I imagined my power making itself visible through a thin ribbon. When I opened my eyes, a golden ribbon started coiling itself over our clasped hands. Aiken smiled at me and urged me to continue.
“I vow to obey, honor, cherish and be the perfect wife for you from this day forward and until the day eternity is no more.” I said breathlessly. My hands started shaking as I saw the golden ribbon coil further towards Aiken.
There was a brilliant glow as the two ribbons knotted themselves. The dazzling light enveloped Aiken and me and I felt as if my essence was being split into two. There was a moment of pain and then the feeling of warmth and peace replaced it.
The guests clapped and cheered as the brilliant light faded and Aiken and I were revealed once more. “Congratulations!” my father shouted. We heard more cheers of congratulations and greetings as we made our way through the golden carpet.
I saw my father raise his hand and golden sparks erupted and were showered upon us. The other gods and goddesses did the same and when I next looked up, sparks of every color drifted down upon us. Aiken laughed and squeezed me closer to his side. Then his lips swooped down and claimed mine in a passionate and heated kiss. I clung tighter to him as more cheers and laughter echoed around us.
A large awaited the guests in the hall. Aiken never let go of my hand as we were congratulated by almost everyone. Then, we went towards the raised table where my father sat. I sat to his right and Aiken sat on my other side. I smiled at the two men I loved most in my life and squeezed their hands. They both smiled lovingly upon me.
The servants marched in with trays upon trays of food. I noticed that all of them were my favourites. “I know it’s you who did this, father.” I teased and my father laughed. “I want the best for you, Selene.”
I reached for the dishes but Aiken was ahead of me. He cut the choice pieces of meat and placed it on my plate. He selected the best salads and heaped it on my plate. He retrieved some bread and already drizzled it with butter.
I rolled my eyes at the huge amount of food on my plate when he was done. “My turn.” I giggled. I reached for everything I could and piled it high on Aiken’s plate. His eyes widened in surprise but I just shrugged and continued placing more food.
“So be it.” Aiken said and then dug into the food in front of him. My jaw fell open at the sight of his appetite and how everything in his plate slowly disappeared. “How could you eat like that and not get fat?” I demanded. He laughed and said, “I burn all the food away easily enough.”
“How?” I asked.
“I’ll show you one of the ways later.” He said in a husky voice, winked at me and then went back to eating. I felt my face flame as I dug into my own plate.
“Aiken... They said that if we’re bonded we’d hear each other’s thoughts and feel whatever the other one is feeling... Why can’t I hear you? Is there something wrong?” I asked anxiously.
“No... It’s just that our bond isn’t complete yet.” He replied.
I reddened even further as realization sunk in. I know just what he was talking about. I may be untouched but I am the Goddess of Marriage and Fertility after all. I know what happens after the festival in my honor.
How ironic is it that I am the Goddess of Marriage and Fertility yet I’ve only been bonded now and that I am still a virgin? A little giggle escaped my lips at the thought and I saw Aiken look at me curiously.
“What?” he asked.
“Nothing.” I shrugged.
The feast went on and on and we ate, drank and danced until the sun has set. Aiken never let go of my hand during the entire time. A few hours after sunset, a servant approached and handed Aiken a large basket. He accepted it and thanked the servant. Then he stood up and took my hand.
“It is time for us to retire for the night.” He announced. The room erupted into cheers once more and lewd comments and suggestions were shouted. Aiken just grinned at all of them. “Goodnight everyone. Please enjoy the feast.” He said and then took my hand. We went out the castle doors in a shower of multi-colored sparks.
“Where are we going? My bedroom’s that way.” I pointed upwards towards one of the castle towers.
He shook his head. “We’re going someplace special.” He took my hand and before I could reply, his power enveloped me and I felt myself floating. I opened my eyes and we were in my most favourite place in the world: Elune’s meadow.
“What? W-Why?” I asked Aiken.
He looked really uncomfortable. “Err... I wanted our first time to be... uhh... perfect... And I know that this is the place you... you like the most...” he stammered.
He slowly opened the basket he brought and spread a sheet on the grass. “Sit with me?” he said and patted the spot beside him. I sat while he unloaded the contents of the basket. There was a bottle of wine, some bread and cheese, slices of cake, slices of roasted pork and beef and some fruits.
“Have I told you how much I love you?” He chuckled and then shook his head. “Well... I’d say that I need you like a drowning man needs air. I want you like how the greediest man on earth wants the rarest diamond. And... I love you as much as the stars in the sky, the grains of sand, the amount of raindrops all added together...”
As soon as my words were finished, he pulled me to his arms and kissed me. His eyes blazed with a deep emotion as he stared at me. ”Vel eras mira.” He whispered in that husky, passion-filled voice of his.
He stared into my eyes as if searching for something. I stared back at him and showed him all the love I have for him. I touched his face and transferred all of my fondest memories of our time together. This would be the first time he’d see them in my eyes. I showed him our first meeting and how intimidated I was by his height... I showed him our first kiss at the garden... I showed him the exact moment I fell in love with him.
Then, we forgot all about the food prepared for us. We forgot all about the wine and the bread as our lips met and desire flared within us. Aiken’s arms tightened around me as if he never wanted to let me go.
His hands roamed my back as he plunged his tongue inside my mouth. My hands were curled at the lapels of his robe as if trying to pull him closer. I nibbled on his lower lip and I heard him groan. His hands drifted lower until they settled on my hips. With a groan, he lifted me from the ground and settled me on his lap.
I sighed with pleasure as the closer contact that I craved was handed to me. No one could separate us right now. No one could even wedge a piece of paper between us at how close our bodies were pressed together.
Aiken’s lips trailed down to my neck and then to my collarbone. I arched my back to give him better access. His hot breath tickled my skin and then I felt the touch of his fingers as he untied the laces that held my gown together.
The fabric slipped from my shoulders and then I felt cold air on my skin as my breasts were revealed to his gaze. I felt a last-minute sense of modesty and tried to cover myself with my arm but Aiken stopped me. “Don’t... Selene... You’re beautiful...” he said every word as if it was a half-groan and a half sigh...
I placed my hands back on his chest and he kissed me once more. I shivered but not because of the cold but because of the things that his mouth and hands were doing to me. I felt his tongue on my bare nipple and a soft moan escaped my lips. He opened his mouth and suckled. “Aiken...!” I moaned and my hands went up and buried themselves in his hair. Instead of stopping, he just moved to its twin and gave it the same exquisite torture. By the time he was done, I wasn’t trying to push him away anymore. Instead, I was trying to bring him closer.
He sat up straight and then waved his hand and all the food vanished and was repacked into the basket. Gently, he laid me down on the sheets and was even thoughtful enough to place a pillow. I reached for him and then slowly undid the buttons on his ceremonial robe. My hands were shaking very badly and it was a long time before I got his robe off. Aiken was very patient with me and his eyes were on mine the whole time.
I pushed the robe off his broad shoulders and roamed my hands on his muscled chest and his hard abdomen. His breath caught when my fingers drifted lower and I was able to feel his hard, throbbing manhood. “Selene...” his voice sounded as if it was half-warning and half-plea. His eyes were closed and his head was thrown back as I shyly explored him through his breeches.
He jerked when my fingers finally enclosed his length. His eyes opened and he tugged on my gown until it was off me and I was left in nothing but my chemise. “Sheska...” he whispered and then covered my neck and shoulders with kisses. He sat up and removed his breeches and I was able to gaze at his entire length.
Keras! No wonder maidens prayed to me on their wedding night! No wonder they were scared because of the pain! How is all of that going to fit?
Aiken must’ve sensed my fear for he gathered me in his arms once more. “Do not be afraid...” he whispered soothingly. His body covered mine and I felt his hand on my thighs. With his knees, he nudged my thighs apart and then he was touching me there. There, where no one has ever touched me before...
I moaned loudly as he touched a spot that seemed to be made for pleasure. He touched it again and my hips lifted off the sheets. Another touch and I felt wetness and heat flood between my thighs. The sensations were getting overwhelming for me. I wrapped my arms around Aiken’s neck and pulled him to me. His lips were parted and I slipped my tongue inside and tasted him.
He continued touching me and I felt pleasure climb higher and higher. My breaths were coming in gasps and my entire body was taut, as if waiting for something.
Then... Aiken slipped a finger inside me. And that was when I shattered. The pleasure reached its peak and I rode the first waves of my orgasm.
“That... was... amazing...” I whispered between breaths. “It’s nothing yet, Selene...” he whispered to me. He sounded as if every word pained him. Right now, Aiken was lying on his side with his elbow propping up his head as he stared at me. I rolled to my side and faced him. I drifted my fingers from his chest and then down to his stomach and towards his arousal...
He closed his eyes once more. “Show me, Aiken... Show me how to touch you.” I commanded. His eyes opened and they were now blazing with desire once more. He wrapped his hand around my hand and then slowly moved it up and down his shaft. “T-That’s it...” he groaned. His head was thrown back and his eyes were closed.
His breath came faster and faster and I tried and increased the rhythm of my hand. After a few more moments, Aiken rolled on top of me and brushed my hand away. “No more.” He said through clenched teeth. He reached for the hem of my chemise and then tossed it over my head.
Both of us were completely naked and deep with passion now. Aiken gently nudged my thighs apart and settled himself between them. “It’s going to hurt the first time but afterwards there is only pleasure...” he whispered and I nodded. “Do you trust me, Selene?” he asked. “Yes, Aiken. I trust you.” I replied.
“Wrap your legs around me.” He said and I obeyed. His lips descended once more and captured mine. Then, he lowered his hips and I felt his hard shaft probing my entrance. I wrapped my arms around him and hugged him tight. He gave one hard thrust and then he was inside me. It was uncomfortable so I tried to squirm away. Aiken held me and murmured soothing words in my ear. He gave another thrust and he was able to breach my maidenhead. I screamed but he caught the sound with his mouth. ”Firren, li’eras...” he whispered and stroked me soothingly. He stayed still inside me and I saw the effort at control etched on his handsome face.
After some time, I wriggled my hips and Aiken groaned. “Selene.” He groaned and then kissed me again as he first began to move. Sparks of pleasure shot up my spine and replaced the pain that made me scream. Soon, my hips were rising and I was thrusting back. ”Firren... I... I can’t hold back...” he moaned.
“Let yourself go...” I said as I felt my muscles tightening as I climbed higher and higher once more. “Together.” He said and then started pounding harder and faster. He brought his hand lower and then rubbed that spot once more.
“Oh!” I shouted and then let go and I soared and crashed once more. “Selene!” Aiken shouted and then he was still as my muscles spasmed around him. He collapsed on top of me after he spilled his seed inside me. He was breathing very heavily and so was I.
“Now that definitely was something.” I told him and he chuckled in reply.
We rested for a few minutes and then ate and drank the food that’s been packed for us. And afterwards, we made love under the stars once more and then over and over again...
Vel eras mira- I love you
Li’eras- My love