Chapter 19 - Calix
Attention: This chapter includes mature themes and innuendos regarding physical intimacy. Recommended ages 16+.
I pull him to the bed with me, relaxing on my sheets for the first time in years. It is only the briefest moment before I roll half-atop Raines.
“I am so glad you are here. That you have been discharged. I love you.” My fingers are already knotted in his short hair. It’s grown out a little, but still a significant departure from the traditional Caerinian fashion.
I am pulled gladly into his kiss. Gentle on my mouth at first, then moving, the velvet skin of Raines’ lips brushing my cheek, past my ear, down my neck.
Raines holds me heartbound. In his eyes is pain, fear, sorrow….and relief. “I love you.” A shaky breath. “You…. I’m lost without you.”
Heat sparks my skin as Raines’ hand slips under my shirt and across my torso. I tremble involuntarily, then laugh; a quiet sound, shimmering through the dark. He grins.
“Dancing isn’t quite enough to satisfy that, is it?” All the while his fingers drifting to my hips, the hollow between jutting bone.
“No,” I say, already hopelessly breathless. He gives a little press, and a push with his hips, letting them meet mine. “Yes, please, more of that.”
Raines lets down. His guard, his fears, his trepidation. Gentle but wanting hands lift my shift from my body and toss it aside. Cool air raises goosebumps on my skin and I shiver. He takes off his own tunic and heaps it atop mine on the floor.
Heat radiates from his tan skin as I press us chest to chest. Reaching for him, legs tangle, our breath rasps and pants between kisses. When his hands reach for my waistband, I lean in, the soft material gliding over my buttocks.
Raines takes me in, eyes roving. The air is suddenly very cold, my body steaming with heat like molten lava.
“Is that ok?”
“What? Is this?” Raines reaches between my legs and I gasp. My eyes are so wide I feel like I should be able to see everything, but my vision has narrowed to a hazy tunnel. His hand closes and begins trailing up and down. I gasp, holding onto his shoulders, my eyes fluttering closed.
A light, shivery feeling is hurtling through my veins, lifting me up, up, up to his touch. Through the fog of ecstasy my brain gropes at words. “Wait….wait….” Raines pauses immediately.
“We can stop. I am sorry.”
“No, no…. It’s not that.” I let a devilish smile overtake my face. “It’s just, you still have pants on.”
With his nod of consent, I slide his loose green pants over his pelvis, down his legs, and gently lay them aside. I lay atop him, feeling him, hard, pressing into my stomach. I drift kisses across his tan chest. His hips push up against me and he moans. Breath rushes out of me.
Something shifts inside of me. A deep-seated desire. A need. Raines senses it, rolling us over, pressing into me, length to length.
“Please….” I am silenced by his kiss. Tongues and tangled hands, biting teeth. Our hips grind together, push after push, growing sounds coming from our lips as we shift against, and then inside each other.
Gradually, we calm, all glittering eyes and fast breath in the dark. I take his hand. The covers cradle our backs.
“Thank you,” I murmur.
I feel him shift to his side, looking at me. “What are you thinking?”
There is a quiet hesitation before he speaks. “With the army…. I thought of you every second. It’s unbearable, Cal. The fighting, we hardly did any and yet I know it’s horrible. We’re killing each other! The blood…. It’s still on my sword.”
“I am sorry. I should have done something. Kept you safe in Caerini.” I think of the days I spent lost in dance, sailing with the team; days I had forgotten the dancer he was in. Forgotten to worry. “Raines….”
He’s scooted closer during my thoughts, and presses a finger to my faltering lips. “You did nothing wrong.”
We hold each other then, foreheads touching. Reaching to be closer as I trace my fingers over the pointed outline of his ears. Sometimes it is easy to forget we are elves. Elves do not start wars.
It is warm when I wake in the pitch blackness, cocooned in Raines’ safe embrace. A shadow, almost imperceptible, flickers across the wall. Turning my head, I see a fading light seeping under the door. Someone’s footsteps. Ama.
From under the covers, I slide gently to the floor, snagging my pants and quietly easing open the door.
Mom turns from the front door as I pad down the steps. Her hand steadies a candle.
“Cal. Go back to bed. Everything is okay,” her whisper washes over me, soothing.
“But, Ama.” I reach the bottom of the stairs. “Where has she gone?” Mom reaches me and takes my hand.
“A trip to the big market a few towns over. It’s a long walk.”
She barely reaches my nose at full height. The earthy smell of her hair wafts up as I hug her.
“I missed you, Momma.” We ascend the stairs together. “Goodnight.” I feel her eyes resting between my shoulder blades until I have vanished into my room. The blanket is warm next to Raines’ gently sleeping form.
He stirs, murmuring, “All okay?”
“Yes. I’ll tell you in the morning.” I doze in his arms, not truly asleep as soft light filters between the curtains.
The noise of Mom making breakfast in the kitchen throws me back to my childhood here. A younger Cal, long-limbed and lanky, arising every day to honeyed air saturated with the smell of her bread or stew or eggs.
“That is not your mother’s cooking.” A sleepy and disbelieving Raines pops his head off the pillow.
“It is,” I smile, a hand wandering through his hair. “Good morning, love.”
He blushes. “Love?”
“Yes, my love.” I give him the sprite-like grin that makes him shiver. “Breakfast!” I sweep him out of bed and pull his body close, still radiating heat from the coziness under the covers. “Mm.” I pull back from a sweet, good morning kiss. Threading my fingers through his sleep-ruffled hair, we fumble down the stairs, lovingly bumping each other.
Talia smiles up at us, turning from something over the stove.
“How did you sleep?” She hugs us both, kissing me on the cheek.
“Well. Thank you, mom.” Home. Warm and light and I’m finally here. She places two plates before us and I flashback to childhood. Fresh bread, dipped in eggs and fried, sunberry syrup, all dusted with sage. “Thank you.”
The first bite brings my eyes to a close in pure pleasure. Welling up inside me is a golden swell of love and happy. Of safe. I take Raines’ hand under the table and thread his fingers with mine. He smiles sweetly, teeth indenting his bottom lip. That charming perfect smile….
By the Northern gods. I’m drunk with love.
“No! I’m going after her!”
“Please, Calix! She’s going to come back, she’s just held up.”
“Yeah, that’s what they told me before I was shipped off to Caerini. Come to find out they had you both in the stocks until I was too far gone.” A roiling panic is brewing inside me, washing into my throat in suffocating waves. “Momma, I am sorry. “I’ve taken her face in my hands. My next sentence is gentle, but urgent. “You know we can’t wait here any longer.”
She nods. “Yes. Yes, I know. Be safe.”
I release her with a reassuring smile. “I love you, Mom.”
“I love you, too, Calix.” Her voice is small and soft.
I turn, steal a sweet kiss from Raines, and slip swiftly through the door.