Death Raven

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when the lion sleeps

My hips ache and throb from the constant sway and stress of riding for three days straight. That right, Shawn has been running for two days and nights straight. He hasn’t rested or eaten within that time either. Kiela and I had to make do with what we can while we’re on his back. We’ve eaten the food we had in the bag and slept a lot, but the soars between my legs are starting to kill me.

I blink my eyes open to the third sunrise I’ve seen since I got on the back of this lion. A shadow falls across my face, blocking out the blinding light. A thin crescent nail and cold fingertip presses into my check. I turn a sleepily glare up at the intruder. Kiela looks way too happy and energetic for this time morning.

“I... am not a morning person...” I groan, pushing myself into a sitting position. Stretching out the cramps that forced in my arms as I slept clinging to Kiela’s waist.

She runs and hands through my hair, humming contentedly. “I can tell.”

I preen slightly under her attention, leaning into her hands. Kiela lets her fingers get tangled, twisting, and pulling on the long strains. I let my eyes drift closed, getting carried away in the feeling of her delicate fingers in my hair. Then silky lips press against mine, and I gasp a little in surprise. Her tongue gives mine a timid lick. I let her take the lead as she becomes rougher, pulling on my hair harder. I groan and match with her pace, wrapping my arms on her waist.

The smooth rhythmic movements of Shawn’s long legs suddenly jars. Jolting both Kiela and I, causing our head to crash together. I catch Raven’s worried look before turning my gaze on the back of the lionshifter’s head as well. “Shawn, you need to sleep...”

Shawn shakes his head, being a stubborn idiot. I can practically feel his exhausted. His lunges expand and contract between my legs with heavy, labored pants. The physical force it takes him to move his legs is almost painful to watch. At least he finally slows, so he’s walking through the forest now.

I wasn’t satisfied with that. “Shawn... man stop... you need sleep, dude...”

Kiela seems to agree with me but favors the actions speak louder than words because she untangles herself from my arms. She slid off of Shawn’s back and easily outpaced him as she stops before his exhausted form, blocking his path. The little raven’s voice is gentle and alluring like a song. “Shawn, need to rest...”

I get off and join her in front of the stubborn lion. Adding my six-foot stature to help bring Shawn to his unwilling stop. “Two fighters are better than one. You’re useless like this lionheart...”

Shawn tries to push between us so he can continue forward but gives up after the first few lazy nudges fail to move us. He looked up at us, his eyes movements sluggish, and eyelids hang low with fatigue. He’s clearly struggling to keep his body balanced on his paws. Then the thing I was waiting for happened, his knees crumble around his weight, and he crashes to the ground unceremoniously.

“Damnit.” Kiela curses while dropping to her knees near his head, pulling the bits of salted rabbit out of the bag and laying it in front of him. “eat and sleep. build up your strength.”

I look towards the morning sky with an exasperated sigh. Then I speak with the same level of fondness as I would talk to a splinter in my foot, “you fool...”

Even without looking back down I know Shawn’s already unconscious. With a huff, and a small irrigated flap of her wings, Kiela packs the uneaten chunk of what used to be rabbit up. “he’s so stubborn.”

“Did he tell you where we were going?” I peer down at her inquisitively. I could guess the answer with absolute certainty, but a man could still hope.

Kiela gets to her feet, still glowering at the slumbering lion. Her dainty hands come to rest on her hips as she shakes her head. “No.”

I chuckle to myself while shaking my head. Of course, he wouldn’t tell her; that would just make life way too easy. No way the fates could give the man who just got up and left everything behind a break!

She raises her eyes toward me in bewilderment. “what’s so funny?”

“It’s ironic really,” I answer, which only seems to make her more confused. “The reason he wouldn’t sleep was that he didn’t want to slow us down, and now that he’s run himself to this point, he’s the reason we’re at a complete stop.”

“It’s stupid is what it is” Kiela turns her stare back towards Shawn in a very disgruntled manner.

I couldn’t help the small bubble of laughter that left my lips. I wasn’t jealous of the attention the unconscious lion was getting. Instead, I was pleased there was someone for her to get worked up over, that my little Raven wasn’t alone in this world. I was thrilled that she had a brother to depend on though I would be taking over a bit more in that department now that I’m her boyfriend.

The little Raven walks over and snuggles herself into my side. I wish I could relax and hold her, but I can’t afford to right now. Shawn was out for the count, and I was the only one left to keep watch. My eyes watch the shadow under the trees surrounding us. These pools of darkness don’t seem as friendly as those I used to walk through back at my cabin. I guess I couldn’t call it home anymore since it’s destroyed, and I’ll probably never get to go back.

I should set up a simple alert spell around this area before giving in to the sweet temptation in my arms. I peer down at Kiela, curled up under my arm. “Hey my lady, can you please stay here with him?”

Confusion clouds Kiela’s soft brown eyes, “why? is something wrong?”

“No love, I want to look around the area and put up a few spells. We don’t know how long will be here.”

“ safe, ok?”

I smile at her warmly, “I always am.” then I carefully remove her from around myself.

“You will come back...right?” Kiela asks nervously. Her eyes seem scared, like she thought I would disappear into thin air.

“As long as you wait for me, I will always come back. Even after death,” I reassure her, satisfied as I watch her eyes light up, brighter than the Northern Star. “You own my undead heart, little raven.” A blushes creeps up the back of her neck and settles in her cheeks, turning them the color of rose petals. It takes all my control not to return to her side and encase her in my arms. Instead, I forced my feet to walk away from her as I felt comfortable leaving her.

I take a deep breath, letting the forest air fill my lungs. Whether it be my forest at home or this one, the strength in the trees and the Earth’s steadiness always made my muscles relax. The whole world drifts away, leaving only the fluttering of a bird taking off from a tree and the soft rustle of leaves moving in the wind.

In that serene moment, the magic comes easily to me. Not my Father’s sinister death magic but my Mother’s bright moon magic. I can only use her magic when I’m at my calmest, any other time, and Father’s darkness always overpowers her pale shine. However, the few times I can use her magic, it always makes me feel close to her. Warmth fills my chest with a mother’s love, and light extends down to my fingers. My fingers glow white with power instead of black shadows.

The words fall easily off my tongue as the pure magic spreads away from my hands. A thin shield wraps around the area we’re camping at. It was a simple spell made stronger by the grace of my mother. If anyone were to cross it, I would know immediately. When the barrier is complete, the white light turns invisible waves ripple across its surface as small birds fly out of it.

I turn and start to walk back to Kiela and the camp. The short walk back was even faster when I basically ran the whole way back. I was just over-eager to get back to raven winged women. And then there she was, sitting in front of a fire, heating the scraps of meat. Shawn sleeps soundly behind her; his massive chest rises and falls with the breath of sleep.

I happily come over and smile at her when she looks up at me. “want some of the hares from earlier?”

I nod, “yes, please, my love that would be amazing.”

I sit down next to her as she cuts off some of the meat from the legs and offers it to me. I wolf it down gratefully while Kiela picks at the last of the meat. She seems happy, peeling the meal from the bones with her fingers. I couldn’t help but lean down and press a kiss to her button nose. I love the cute little shocked look that flickers across her face before it turns that delicious shade of red. She looks down as she finishes her food, sparing a few flickering glances up at me from under her long eyelashes. Every time I caught her, it sent lightning bolts of desire to shoot through me, making jeans feel way too tight.

I scan the surroundings, finding it mostly clear of rocks and twigs that would be too uncomfortable to lay on. “When it comes to places for the fool to collapse, this isn’t the worst one..” I comment.

Kiela giggles, and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the sweetest sound I have ever heard. “Yeah, it is.”

My eyes drift to the sleeping lion and weigh the need to touch my chosen over the beating I would receive if I was caught. “do you think he’s out cold?”

“probably...” Kiela pokes Shawn in the nose. The oversized house cat doesn’t twitch an ear.

“Good,” I growl darkly, hearing the lust enter my own voice as I lunge at my Lady’s small body. I gently pin her under my much larger body, careful to support all of my body weight on the arms.

She lets out a soft yelp of surprise and immediately pauses to make sure this is ok with her. Kiela’s slender hands come on my chest, and her eyes slightly wide. The plump rose-colored flesh of her lips gets trapped in her pearl white teeth. The surprise leaves her face and is replaced with understanding while her blush deepens. I take her, not throwing me off as her signaling that I could continue. With my movements so slow as I could make it, I lower my head to her lips, giving her every chance to turn away, and I would stop. However, when our lips finally meet each other, she gently returned my kiss.

I shift my weight onto one hand, letting my other hand lightly brush against her face like she was made of porcine. Then I trail my fingers down the slender colon of her neck, over the ridge of her collarbone, feeling the bumps of her ribs through the thin shirt. I marvel at her beauty, the way she fits against me like we were two puzzles pieces. Her skin felt like rose petals and just as delicate. I’m almost nervous that if I touch her wrong that she would shatter in my hand. Kiela shudders slightly, reacting well to the attention I shower her in. Her hands move into my hair, sending heat into the growing tent in my pants and milking a soft groan into her mouth. I run my tongue across her bottom lip, and to both my disappointment and intrigue, Kiela keeps her lips sealed to me. Instead, she seems to opt to tug on my hair. I gasp as my hand comes to rest on her hips, whether it’s to help restrain myself or to hold her closer to me, I’m not sure.

My fingertips slip under Kiela’s shirt and brush against her skin. I feel her flinch away, and just like that, I pull away from her. Removing my lips, I draw completely away. “I’m sorry... is this too much...?” My muscles are tense, ready to remove myself from on top of her.

Kiela shakes her head, the short strands on hair picking up leaves but looks as gorgeous as always. Her soft brown eyes find mine, filled with so much love and not a hint of fear. “It’s ok.”

I rest my forehead on her. “are you sure?” I whisper, a breath away from her lips again.

Her eyes drift closed. “Yes..” she breaths and presses her lips to mind.

My hand drifts back to where they were before; this time, she doesn’t flinch as my hands brush against her flawless skin. I move to kiss across her cheekbone and down the slender colon of her neck. I feel her breath hitches, and I take the way she moves her head, revealing more of her neck to me, encouraging me to continue. I keep everything slow and gentle as I run my tongue across her collarbone, letting my teeth drag against her skin. My lady moans softly, and the sound is music to my ears, and her hands tighten in my hair. I groan against her skin, letting my breath fan across her flesh.

Her bottom lip gets trapped between her teeth as she yanks on my hair. I nip at a soft spot on her neck to quiet myself. Lust starts to swirl in my head and cloud my eyes and vision. Kiela moans and presses up into my body while I slide my knee between her legs. Her hands untangle herself from my hair and travel down my back, kneading into the muscle with fingertips. I slide my hand farther under her stomach, feeling the smooth flesh give under my touch as they find the line of her bra. I hold my teeth where they are on her skin, holding her still as she starts to squirm under me.

Kiela’s hands find their way to the front of my stomach, dragging her nail up my abs as she lifts my shirt around my neck. I shiver and struggle to stay quiet, not wanting to risk waking the sleeping lion, but gods above and below be damn if her nail didn’t feel good. One of her hands wrapped around my neck and pulled me down, so her clothed chest against my exposed one. I moan, loving the feeling of her breast against my chest, and it only made me want to feel them without the clothing in the way.

Lust blinds me and makes me want to continue but there is a small voice in the back of my mind that annoyingly pipes up to ordering me to stop before I get too far ahead of myself. My muscles tense as I struggle to pull myself away from her. It takes every ounce of my self-control not to jump her again as she sits up. Kiela’s chest is a heave with heavy breaths, cheeks flushed, and her hair is a sensual mess of tangles and leaves. I was proud that I was the one that made her that way. The only thing that killed the mood slight was the confusion in her eyes. “what’s wrong?”

“if we kept going..” I can hear the stain pull at my voice. “I couldn’t have promised you I would be able to stop; you’re just too tempting. I promised you I would treasure you when we are safe, and I’m not going to break that promise.”

“Alright.” she kisses my cheek, the little tease.

“Gods...” I groan, playfully looking to the sky as a smile pulls at my lips. “give me the strength to say no to this vixen next to me.”

Out of the corner of my eyes, Kiela giggles and shifts her weight, shielding her body from my view with her wings. “Better?”

I nod and set about fixing my shirt when I looked down and noticed the obvious tent in my pants. “I-i gotta... go for a walk...”

She smiles knowingly and nods. “alright. I’ll be here when you get back.”

I fix my issue as fast as I can somewhere off in the forest. Am I somewhat ashamed to say it was to my lady’s image, but does the trick.

When I return, Kiela is staring off into space exactly where I left her, eyes lost in thought. I quietly come to sit next to her and wait until she comes out of her mind. After a few minutes, she blinks at me a couple of times and smiles. “Hey.

“what are you thinking about, my lady?” I question, studying her.

She shrugs unconfidently, “random things.” she moves to ays down with her head in my lap, looking up at me.

“Like what?” I ask, running a hand through her hair, detangling and removing leaves with my fingers.

" you, me, Shawn, uncle...” she trails off.

“What about us?”

“Everything.” that one word carries all the stress she holds on her shadows.

“That a lot to think about, little one...” I comment, and she nods before I continue. “Don’t worry about it too much, ok. Shawn and I will keep you safe.”

She smiles warmly. ” I know,” her eyes stare off into the fire. “I know.”

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