"Your eyes," he said as their lips parted. "Do you know how gorgeous they are?"
She gazed up at him, and those very eyes were aglow by the light of the forge-fires, burning gemstones. Her pupils were dilated, fuller, with what he hoped was pleasure; a pink blush rose to her cheeks.
"Kayao," she said. "I…"
"What happened before, in the church," he said. "Whatever it was, it wasn't your fault."
She seemed to hardly hear him. As he fit himself in a little closer between her knees, her hands came up to rest against the flat plane of his stomach. He was aware that her nipples had stiffened, now clearly visible underneath the thin cotton of the shirt he'd loaned her.
"Kayao, I don't understand."
He gazed at her up and down, taking in the sight of her soft curves and lithe limbs. When he brought his eyes back to hers, he took her face in both hands and tilted it towards him again for a second kiss.
To his delight, her hands came up, too, tangling in his own dark hair and pulling him closer. He kissed her more deeply, a little harder, a little hungrier, and she surrendered with a tiny moan as his tongue slipped into her mouth to trace hers.
"You know I can never get the thought of those beautiful eyes out of my head," he whispered.
"You are saying that… you desire me?" she asked.
"Oh, quite a bit."
He continued kissing, twining his arms around her and hugging her tightly against his body. She leaned into him, pressing her chest against his—and he realized, a little shamefully, that he had grown hard underneath the leather of his breeches.
Before he could stop her, Aya slid forward, slipping off the anvil to press her whole body against him, and she let out a sudden gasp as she felt the weight of his erection nudging eagerly against her soft belly.
"Oh," she said. Her cheeks flushed redder in the firelight. "Oh, Kayao, no, I can't…"
"Because of your vows?" he said, feeling a hard, smooth stone fall in the pit of his stomach. He wouldn't ask her to violate her faith, her sacred beliefs.
And yet he wanted her so much. The shape of her body against his, the weight of her in his arms, they felt so perfect and right. He wanted to lie her down on the bed in the next room and kiss every inch of her slowly, taking his time with her and savoring the intimate blessing of her nakedness beneath him.
Her breaths were heavy, full of some emotion he couldn't quite name. Her gaze strayed from him a moment and went to the rumpled, outstretched robes drying by the fire.
"You'll have to forgive me for saying this," he murmured, lowering his head to kiss her neck. "But you've put off those robes, Ayasha. You've spoken out loud."
She shivered underneath him and she arched herself slightly against him.
"If you wish to retain your vows, I will stop," he whispered in her ear. "But I want you very much, Ayasha… you've already let me partway in, and I want all of you, if you'll let me have it."
Her mouth opened, but no words came out. Kayao lavished her with his tender kisses, up and down her throat and across her shoulder—he felt her tremble with the sweet bliss that he pressed along the surface of her skin as his lips brushed against her. After several minutes, though, he stopped and straightened.
Ayasha opened her mouth again to ask him why, but he cut her off as he stooped down to gather her up in his arms, lifting her and carrying her towards the other room, and his bed.
He was worried she would protest, find the words to deny him and shelter herself again under the black folds of her mourning instead. She put one palm on his cheek, though, and kissed him—the warmth of her was so welcome, so genuine. He sat her down on the mattress and knelt on the floor in front of her, resting his hands on her knees.
"Aya," he whispered softly. "Have you ever taken a man to your bed before?"
She blinked at him and shook her head.
"Of course not, silly," she whispered. "My vows… I was always true to them, I promise."
"Then," he said, with a glimmer in his eyes. "I will have to make this very special for you."
His hands traced upwards, following the folds of his breeches against the contours of her legs until he found the waistband of them. Slowly he stripped them away, and Aya pressed her thighs together with shy instinct. He realized she was shivering, though the room was more than warm enough against the winter outside. He slid warm palms along the outsides of her thighs, along her velvet skin. Even the tiniest brush of his fingers seemed to intensify her trembling, and she made a soft little noise of pleasant surprise—then, she rolled her head back and uttered a long, low moan, as he slid his hands gently across her inner thighs, nudging them apart.
She obliged him.
Underneath the white cotton of the shirt he could clearly see the hard outlines of her nipples atop her breasts, which rose and fell as her breathing became a little deeper, and little heavier. One of her hands came up to give her own left breast an eager squeeze, pinching the stiff peak between two fingers with an eager little groan.
Kayao slid himself in between her thighs to wrap his arms around her torso, and nuzzled the tender curves of her lovely breasts through the cloth of his shirt, breathing in the smell of her sweet, untouched flesh underneath.
Ayasha brought her arms up, cradling Kayao's head against her chest, and buried her face in the dark mess of his hair.
"You smell good," she whispered, breathing him in. "Like soap… and steel… and…"
He grunted. Sliding his hands under the shirt he pulled it up over her head, and then she was naked beneath him. He kissed the bare skin of her belly, up to the mounds of her breasts, peppering them with little affections and sending hopeful flutters of anticipation through her nerves. She nuzzled her face into his hair as his tongue explored the pink ring of areola, languidly tasting, musing over the pert little peak at its center. He pressed his lips softly over the throbbing bud, taking it in his mouth with a gentle moan of pleasure, sucking with gentle care.
Goosebumps had risen up on Ayasha's arms. She arched against him readily, craving the heat of his body closer to her.
"Kayao," she murmured. "I… you cannot being to imagine how this feels to me…"
She practically purred as he kissed and caressed her anxious, excited nipples, warming them with his loving tongue, his attentive lips. Soon, though, he was moving lower, kissing a tiny line down the center of her body; she moaned again as he made his way down, past her navel, to the silky thatch of blonde hair that marked her womanhood.
"What are you doing?" she whispered fervently, shivering with anticipation as he kissed the soft mound of her skin. He flicked his dark eyes up to hers; the full, dark desire in her eyes had grown deeper, so rich he though he might drown in them. He smiled with boyish enthusiasm, a mischievous promise that elicited another shiver throughout her whole body. Without answering, he ducked his head, and dipped his tongue into the wet folds of her opening, quickly darting it over the throbbing, thrilling pearl at the crown of her sex.
"Ah!" Ayasha moaned, falling back on her hands and throwing her head back in joy. One hand came back quickly, delving into his hair and pressing him closer to her. He explored her expertly with his tongue, tracing the delicate lines of her flesh up and down, always ringing back to that singular locus of pleasure to kiss it, cherish it, stirring it with the tip of his tongue as she shuddered and cried out softly in mounting bliss. She tasted wild and sweet, the perfume of her body strong and inviting, making his swollen member throb against the crotch of his leggings. She lifted her hips, offering herself fully to him. If there had been any lingering doubt in her mind, it was gone now.
He slipped his tongue into her body and she moaned again. Slowly, oh so slowly, he circled his tongue along the opening before sliding it deeper, then slowly, slowly withdrawing it. A moan of his own joined hers and one hand fell to the bulge in his own pants, nursing the eager erection with a mental admonishment to be patient.
"Aya," he said softly; when he pulled his mouth away from her he replaced it with his fingers, lovingly, gently massaging the little stone of her clitoris. She looked down at him and he rose up to take her in his arms again, sitting beside her and pulling her to his chest.
"Oh, Ayasha," he said again. "I have dreamed of seeing that look in your eyes."
She smiled and kissed him.
"Are you ready for me?" he asked her.
She nodded, cuddling against his chest, fitting herself against the contours of his body—but then she hesitated.
"Kayao," she muttered, a single note of curiosity in the darkness.
"Hm?" he replied.
"Can I see your face?"
There was a long, long silence. The question turned his arousal into sour terror.
The look on Ayasha's face quickly changed, and he realized his silence had made it seem she'd upset him. He inclined his head to kiss her again, his heart thumping wildly as he lifted one of her hands to the hardened leather of his mask.
"Yes," he whispered in her ear. "I think… you should see it. Before you let me go any further."
Her fingers found the place where the mask fastened in place, right behind his ear. She let them linger there for long, long moments, studying his face as she'd known it—covered by the stitched, weathered animal skin, a face of hiding, of secrets. She could sense his apprehension, he knew; he was rigid now, holding his breath.
"Are you sure?" she asked.
"Yes, Aya," he said. "Please."
The look he gave her was earnest. She took a slow breath, and undid the buckle on the strip of leather that had hidden his face from everyone around him for years.
As she carefully removed the mask, he realized she did not look right away. She was giving him a moment to steady himself, and he tried to, uttering a long, ragged exhalation. When he touched her hair, signaling her, she finally looked up.
He knew what she saw. The scars were terrible. Twisted and ugly, they marred the whole left half of his face, remnants of burns and blisters stretching up his cheek, the bridge of his nose, almost to the opposite temple. Little knots of warped flesh were shiny and smooth in the tiny glimmer of the lampts—stripped of his protection, Kayao felt his own deep, amber eyes would scream of his anxious worry.
Aya studied the damage for a long time. After several minutes, she lifted her hand up to run it over the scars, touching them gently, exploring the contours of his secret. Finally, her eyes met his again, and she held him that way.
She had nothing to say. Silently, she pressed her lips against his, stroking one hand through his hair.
"It doesn't bother you?" he asked desperately. She didn't answer him, but instead took his face in her palms and kissed the scars themselves, following the twisted injuries with her lips, breathing softly on his skin. He was barely aware of the silent tears that had sprung to his eyes.
"Kayao," she sighed, leaning her head against his shoulder. "I may be falling in love with you."
"Oh," he murmured. "Oh, Aya… "
He leaned close, nudging her down against the tousled sheets with another deep, heavy kiss. She wriggled beneath him just enough to get her hands beneath his vest and strip it off his shoulders as he lay her down.
"It may hurt," he warned her. "If you have never been with a man."
"I know," she breathed. "I'm not afraid."
He paused to kneel over her, kicking his boots to the floor and stripping off his breeches. There was a moment of careful speculation, when she looked on his ready member for the first time, rising up from the thick black hair. It was almost as though it caught her by surprise, and he was sure in that instant that she hadn't been lying: his was the first naked phallus she had ever laid eyes on.
He caught sight of her astonishment and it made him chuckle. Gently he lay down beside her again, slipping one hand under her neck to tilt her up and kiss her while the other hand kneaded the head of his cock.
"I will be," he said. "I want you to enjoy every moment of this."
She nodded. As her initial awe wore off, she reached out to pet him, quietly taking the stiff shaft in her own hand and running her fingers curiously along the length of it.
Kayao uttered a soft moan against her ear, pressing his hips a little closer as she stroked him. He kissed her again, his tongue finding hers and dancing with it, and they traded slow strokes of tongues and hands for many moments, uttering tiny sounds of hushed, eager joy between them.
"Aya," he finally muttered. "May I make love to you?"
"Mm-hmm," was all she said. She let him lay her down and then climb carefully on top of her.
"I think you are ready for me," he murmured between languid kisses. His hand strayed down to her wet cleft and he slipped two fingers inside her, testing her. Ayasha moaned, pressing against him as he slowly spread the digits a little wider, sliding them gently two and fro.
"If it hurts," he said, "if you want me to stop… just say so."
"No, Kayao," she purred. "I am ready. I want you to."
She ran a hand over his face, caressing the length of his scars. He withdrew his fingers slowly and guided the head of his cock to her opening, running it gently up and down the slick petals of her womanhood, and he leaned in to give her one last kiss before he slid carefully into her body.
He could see there was pain—her expression tightened a minute and she went tense—but evidently she had prepared herself, because she relaxed again rather quickly, letting out a heavy, lusty breath. Watching her carefully for any sign of discomfort, he began a slow, steady rhythm in her, and she moaned against his warm chest.
He moved his hips in measured circles, in and out of her, savoring the tightness of her, the heated, wet warmth of her cleft welcoming him. She reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck, continuing to kiss him as his member stirred up a fluttering response in her own passion, and slowly she began to rock her hips with him, opening as he slit it into her, tightening to hold him there.
"Oh, Kayao," she whispered. "I love it."
"You are so beautiful," he murmured in reply. "Please, Aya… look at me… let me see the look in your eyes."
She released her tight hold and leaned back into the pillows, meeting his eyes. Their bodies moved as one, coming tougher in slow harmony, lost in each other's gaze.
"I love you," she said, so softly he wasn't sure he'd heard. But he groaned quietly, and when she kissed him again he knew his climax was fluttering to life, the pressure beginning to mount in his rigid, eager cock. His pace quickened a little and he grunted to feel that pressure build, eager and excited, desperate to be released.
"Oh yes," she moaned, and the way her body moved he thought she must feel it too. "Kayao," she urged him. "Do it. Please do it."
He kissed her, and then without warning he rolled with her, putting her on top of him. She gasped in quiet surprise, shifting her hips and taking over the rhythm as his big hands closed over her hips and guided her. She rose up, moaning happily as she sank back down on his member, feeling his shaft filling her. They rocked together, their pace increasing; she grasped at his wrists where he grasped her waist and rode him with mounting fervor.
His body quivered, hot through the core, and he caressed his hands down her thighs and then back to her hips, starting to bounce her up and down on his cock. The sudden change in pitch made her catch her breath with a delighted squeak.
"Come with me, Aya," he panted. "Come with me, let me see your eyes as you do it, look at me, please."
He watched her, enthralled by the sight of her arching her back and pressing her luscious breasts towards the ceiling as she came up and down on his member. She managed a little nod as she rocked her hips down, and then he rolled his own head back with a groan.
Together they tipped towards climax. She twitched her rhythm once, twice, and slowed again, then quickened her thrusts once more. Kayao plunged deeper, desperate to be in her heat, driving himself to the hilt in her hot, sweet cleft. He felt the first shudder of orgasm travel through him, quivering within the tightness of her sex, and that quiver turned into a tremor very quickly.
Suddenly she was crying out in beautiful pleasure, turning her face towards him so he could see the flood of light and joy and heat in her eyes. Her body tightened harder around him and the pressure burst, shooting hot semen deep inside of her. He called out her name, thrusting as deeply as he could manage, releasing himself inside of her over and over again, overwhelmed.
They lay together for long, long moments afterwards, basking in the fading aftershocks of their shared culmination. Ayasha rested her head on Kayao's chest, listening to the rise and fall of his breath, looking pleasantly drowsy as the sound of it lulled her towards sleep.
"Are you okay?" he asked her very softly. "Aya… I don't want you to feel bad about this."
"No, no," she said. "Never. Oh, Kayao…you have no idea how… how freeing this has all been."
"It doesn't shame you?" he asked. "To have betrayed your vows with… with me?"
She lifted her head and looked at him, beautiful affection in her eyes. She caressed the scars on his face and kissed them again.
"I have not known true faith in my vows for some time," she said. "I have clung to them because I have had nothing else of my own… nothing of friends, of family, no training beyond… beyond that which I have little joy in knowing or using."
Her hand drifted down to his chest and rested there.
"You have been my friend," she said. "And now… you have given me something very real, and very good, to have faith in again. Believe me, I am not in the least bit ashamed."
He took her hand in his own and kissed the top of her head.
"Then," he said, "in regards to your living situation."
"My house," she said very softly. "Yes, it's… the damage is bad, Kayao. It may take days."
"What if it didn't take any time at all?" he said. "What if all you needed to do was move your belongings here, with me?"
She met his eyes.
"But… the others. Your neighbors…"
"Do you think I care what they think?" he said. "You are the woman I love. I want you here with me, safe. Always."
"Do you mean that?"
He touched her cheek, and kissed her.
"Of course I do, Aya. And I don't even care if you put those robes back on and hide underneath that hood and never speak a word out loud to me again. I want you here in my house… in my bed. With me."
The smile on her face was radiant.
"Then, I will," she said. "Always, Kayao. My true friend… my love.
"I will always be with you."