As I hold my peaceful sleeping lover, I wonder what the future will hold for us. The thought immediately brings into me disarray because I know deep down that I have no future.
Whether my plan works, fails, or succeeds beyond belief, it is very likely that I won’t survive its final implementation. Beyond that, my body is a ruin with individual parts can be held together by the Little one’s tendrils at the cost of further fragilizing its foundations.
Whether is it Celyz, the University, or Suxen, I am fully aware that none have the capability to heal me within the very limited time-frame available to me. After all, repairing damage is far more difficult than causing it and, if my oak had a solution, she would have said so.
Amusingly, the approaching end to my lifespan is the very reason I am so determined to destroy Nobility, risking death before my time comes. I wish to leave something of consequence behind, a mark that proves I’ve lived.
What better symbol could stand for me than the obliteration of what has hindered the freedom I so wish to acquire? Still, for Celyz and Leomi’s sake, I must not give up because my oak may be able to save me, not by healing me, but by fundamentally changing what I am.
I do fear the method, less than Leomi, but I do so fear it. Suxen’s words about the death and rebirth an individual experiences with every new thought remain stuck in my mind.
While I disagree, such change is far from death in my opinion, it does not alter the fact that becoming a true hybrid is so significant that I cannot dismiss Leomi’s concerns that I would no longer be myself.
I cannot help but wonder if, after all, it’s possible for us to leave it all behind. For me to give up on hubris and grant Celyz as well as Lance every second of the time I have left.
Yet, neither would agree because it would mean leaving me to die in their limbs. I experience harsher grief and despair at this thought than I have towards the knowledge of my impending doom.
“Jay.” Leomi whispers, startling me because I was too deep in my thoughts to notice her eyes opening.
“Hey there, kitten.” I reply with a smile.
“Are you okay?” She asks gently.
“Always am in your presence, you?” I return, applying gentle pressure to her breast.
“Hm.” She replies with a gentle sigh. “You lie.” She adds.
Leomi pulls her right hand out of her satin blankets and reaches up to my intact cheek to caress it with her thumb. Her tender gesture born of concern for me makes me feel as I committed a fault for making her worry.
“I’m a bit worried there will be a secondary ambush.” I tell her to change the subject.
“I’ve already doubled the patrols.” She replies, frowning. “I might be able to triple them.”
“I don’t think more soldiers will change anything.” I shake my head. “It may cause more confusion to exploit and it isn’t as if they’ll attack with an army. But, we do know that we’re targets so we can set up a network of alarms around the cottage to be safe.”
“Okay.” She nods while biting her lower lip in worry. “I’m sorry about sending you to the Alemplar, I had…”
“It’s okay, kitten.” I interrupt her with a smile. “I understand.”
“As far as I know, he thinks your internal injuries were caused by battle.” She tells me.
“Good.” I tell her with relief.
“You can’t use that blood construct as you did again, jay, you ripped some of your veins open. The construct itself caused the blood to turn black and caused more problems.” Leomi tells me with a concerned expression.
“That makes sense, I won’t.” I reply.
“Good.” She sighs and lightly pulls on my cheek with the tips of her fingers.
“Your mother, she gave us her blessing.” I speak up as I lean down.
“Hmh.” Leomi sighs absently.
I smile, finding her desire to be kissed absolutely adorable. I watch her lips part and bend as far down as I can. She closes the distance, her eyelids fall as our mouths meet and our tongues meld in a slow upside-down dance.
I lose my sense of time as the moment seems to prolong itself towards eternity. In the end, she splits it as she initiated it, by using mere pressure with the tips of her fingers to dictate our actions.
Her erect nipples are pushing up the satin blankets, revealing how it excites her to have such control. Paradoxically, the fact I decide whether or not to entertain her means that I hold more than she does.
I have no interest in pointing this out to her because it would be hubris, vanity. I would much rather make her happy. Lance and Celyz, their love, led me to feel secure and confident in myself, I have no need to feel in control with them, I don’t fear to let go.
“Why is your forearm bandaged?” Leomi questions.
“Cost of being found worthy by Viki.” I reply, feeling it odd she asks as she should know what happened. Did I misread the events earlier?
“You fought?!” Lance exclaims, sitting up on the bed and spinning to me.
“We did. We probably will again, she taught me much.” I answer honestly.
I was wrong. Of course I was, Leomi wouldn’t have agreed to let us fight after I’ve just recovered, stupid of me to think so. But, then, what did Vikiana tell Yvonne? Likely the truth, that it’s the only way the two of us could understand each other.
“Mother.” Lance utters, so angry her voice trembles.
“Calm down, kitten.” I berate her. “Viki and I are idiots, we are selfish in our love and hopes towards you so talking would never have worked.”
“But…” She protests.
“We figured it out and she gave us her blessing.” I remind her.
“She did?” Leomi asks with a hazy voice. “She did.” She repeats more firmly with a grin on her face.
She suddenly seizes a chunk of my hair and pulls me in to forcefully kiss me as she spins up to her knees on the mattress, somehow keeping the satin blankets on her shoulders.
She pushes me down and presses her breasts against my chest, her body undulating against mine in sultry waves. Her hands find my sensitive spots in moments. A pinch to my nipple, a caress to my buttocks, a bite to my lower lip, thigh to my sex.
Her actions cause me to fall in a stupor of desire. I feel naked in spite of my dress while the mere satin blanket she’s wearing gives her an allure and elegance I could never match even though her tiny round breasts are fully exposed.
“Don’t fight again for such stupid reasons.” She orders me with glistening droplets at the corners of her eyes.
“No promises.” I reply, unwilling to lie.
“Do you have any idea of the terror I felt all week? What if you never woke up?” She asks shakily, piercing my heart with her anguish.
“I, I don’t know.” I reply, unable to hold her gaze.
“What were you thinking about earlier?” She asks, using one index on my chin to make me look back at her.
“If I should give up, spend all the time I have with those I love.” I answer, forcing myself to keep my eyelids open even though I have trouble sustaining the intensity of her light gray irises. “I wonder if Liz forced you onto this path where your life is at risk by seeking your help, if Jess didn’t go too far with nothing when she had no right to impose it on you.” I take a deep breath. “Did we? Are we?” I ask, desperate for answers because doubt hurts, because I don’t feel I’m justified in holding so much influence on my lovers.
“Arrogant.” Leomi berates with amusement in her eyes. “But warranted, you are my everything.”
“But… you would have chosen a different path.” I utter, fully aware that Leomi is rushing her ambitious plans.
“Hm, no.” She denies, surprising me. “I regret not my choice to risk everything with you and, had I held the benefit of hindsight when I made these choices, I would not have picked a different path.”
“Truly?” I ask.
“You know me, my jay.” Lance replies as she leans down to nibble my lower lip. “I abhor mediocrity and that is what my life would have become had I not acted to preserve Izla Meria. I would have become a pawn only able to seek power through others. You’ve shown me the way to realize my dreams by becoming more than I would ever have through a title.” She explains with a rather sad expression.
“Hm.” I murmur, reassured by her words but in dismay towards her expression.
Leomi suddenly lets herself fall atop of me and places her chin on my chest. The satin blanket slowly glides down to follow her. I reach out and place my hand on her lower back.
“Yet, the price you paid…” She trails off. “I would have chosen to wither and become mediocre if I knew, a life with you would have been plenty to make me happy.”
“I, doubt it.” I tell her with a reassuring smile. “That girl, she wouldn’t have been able to handle you. I’m who I’ve chosen to be and I don’t regret the cost.”
“Um.” Leomi exhales roughly, her expression turning difficult. “I’m not sure what to say, how to say it.” She pauses and her traits become determined. “You’re the one dying but I’m making it about me, making you take care of me, of my emotions.” She blames herself with an apologetic tone.
“No, you’re both making it about us which is exactly what I, what Liz and Jess, need to get through this. It’s what has given me hope and kept me going. Love is what I need to conquer the loneliness my mortality inflicts on me.” I tell her with a firm voice.
Lance freezes, her eyes narrow, the corners of her lips fall. She looks unhappy, heartbroken, evidently aware that I’m including Celyz as one of my supports with the same importance to me as her. Yet, she doesn’t torment me, nor act oblivious, nor plays deaf.
“We are absolute. We’ll figure it out, together.” Leomi whispers with pain in her voice.
She’s saying that we’ll deal with the consequences rather than come to a consensus on what to do. Lance and Celyz, neither are willing to compromise about the other, each too stubborn to allow me to mediate, and they hold a secret I can only wish does not involve a truce that will break once I expire.
“You…” I choke because what it feels like I’m about to rip my heart out of my chest. “I’m going to die Leomi. I’m afraid of what it’ll do to you.” I tell her, delaying.
“I won’t allow you to.” She denies.
Lance passes her hands around my back and seizes my buttocks, granting me a feeling of safety, that I can rely on her. It hurts me more. Her lips curl into a smirk, telling me my pain showed on my face.
Unlike when I first met her, I now know that the pleasure she takes in my pain is a sign of how twisted she is but in no way an indication that she does not care. On the contrary, Leomi Lance cares so much it is almost unbearable for her, her affection is painful.
That is her tragedy, she cannot withstand despair while loving life and the world so she takes joy towards pain so as to live with true emotion rather thank sink. I force myself to keep speaking because I have to give her this choice no matter my pain and reluctance.
“Leomi, either of us may die.” I insist with a firm gaze to insist she face this.
“We may.” She reluctantly admits while squeezing my ass, seeming to take what refuge she can in the physical security my presence provides her.
“I, I don’t want you to suffer, to sacrifice yourself by getting engaged to a being on the verge of death.” I tell her, shivering inside. “If you wish it, we can be a couple, merely ourselves to the end so that you can move on. I need not your virginity so long as you take mine, I’ll be yours.”
“…” Lance stiffens at my stunning words but her lips soon twist into a corner smile that reveals a single of her canines, that of a predator about to play with its food. “Would you truly be alright with this? To give yourself to me, completely, yet get much less in return? I would be able to guiltlessly cheat on you even before you’re gone and even more afterward.”
“Alright?” I utter, my throat becomes a ball of nerves. “Never would I be alright with this… but… I’ll be leaving you.”
“But, you’ll do it if I were to agree?” Leomi presses, her breath short, with a voice distorted by the perverse kick she gets out of my distress.
I’m fully aware that she’s toying with me but willing to play along so as to obtain her answer, and because I want to spoil her even if what she overreaches for is my emotional pain.
“I.” I swallow my saliva with difficulty, aware that she is saying she’ll seek lesser love in other’s arms. “I would.” I force myself to confirm because, if that is what it takes to ease my departure for her, then so be it.
I’m unwilling to ask for her hand or agree to her proposal before she’s shown to be fully aware of what it means to accept. Malice disappears from her sharp traits, her smile turns blissful.
“I choose to be with you to the end, my jay.” Lance murmurs with a soft voice. “For you, and for myself.”
I give her a stiff nod of acknowledgment and, deep down, of gratefulness. Her rosy cheeks and the way her hands are periodically squeezing my buttocks tells me that the conversation was as exciting to her as it was difficult and agonizing for me.
I rise up from the bed, knowing that my kitten must be near her limits. She makes a few whining noises but doesn’t resist because we are still bound by our vow of abstinence.
Leomi doesn’t conceal her figure inside the satin blankets as she sits up on the bed, forcing me to take her lust in stride and be the one to resist because her trembling silhouette makes it clear she is completely unable to.
Resisting the moist sensation between my thighs, I gently pull the cloth off her shoulders and unsheathe my hunting knife from my calf. Then, I hold it out to her. As she does not react, I throw a pointed look down at her sex.
I quickly glance back up because of the sticky fluid making her delicate looking lips glisten. She purses her lips in embarrassment at the fact she has a very slight peach fuzz layer of black pubic hair.
While she takes care of herself for us, I seize fifty portions from her reserve and start patrolling the first floor. I set alarm constructs all around the area with different mechanisms and warnings. Some will be triggered by a scanning construct that I set to scan an area for moving metal while others I use as seals which is a more standard approach.
The alarms when an intruder is found are audible, kinetic, or meant to activate more dangerous constructs that will make a lot of noise or cause unconcealable destruction. After all, if a construct can produce sound, it isn’t inconceivable that another can smother noise or vibrations as those I’ve set kinetic constructs to make.
I do the same on the ground floor but use less violent effects because anyone could walk in the cottage for many reasons but I link all of the alarms together in a network so that the activation of a single one will cause an unstoppable chain reaction.
As I put the final touches, Lance walks downstairs in her strict slit dress and joins me in the living room. We exchange a silent glance. I take hold of my umbrella and place it on my half-shoulder as well as pick up the package wrapped in cloth holding the bracelet-ring I made.
Leomi grabs the small box Yvonne left and puts it in her pocket before holding her left arm out to link with mine. I do so rather awkwardly as I do not have enough hands to transfer my engagement gift.
We walk out of the cottage arm in arm and head towards the cliff to stand at the very edge, a single misstep away from falling in the void. We can distinctively hear waves crashing below and know that the sun is setting but our eyes remain locked.
Lance is one of the two most beautiful beings in the world for me, a sunset isn’t worth anything compared to this moment. It is an instant I’ve dreamed about as a girl, and then gave up on as an adolescent. Then, I became other than human and marriage lost it’s meaning.
Yet, exchanging rings as symbols is important to me because they will stand as physical manifestations of our relationship. The act itself of taking her virginity and having mine taken will be a vow we share to love each other
We silently unwind our arms and turn to face each other. Leomi unlocks the small box’ metal clasp. I bring the package holding the ‘ring’ up to my teeth and use them to unwrap the piece of red cloth.
Lance takes out an ivory colored ring with intricate designs composed of thin black lines and a silver band. There are tiny red and light blue jewel fragments inlaid at irregular intervals on the ring, those form a pattern that not only suits me but her erratic nature as well.
She throws her small box out into the precipice. I do the same with the red cloth. Then, we exchange rings without a word so as to inspect the symbols of our loves to ensure that they’re suitable.
I turn the ring she gave me to take a complete look at the design on it, finding a black sharp-looking lance that goes all the way around with the handle separated from the point by a single red ruby that is of one whole piece unlike the other twelve.
It doesn’t take me long to notice that the thin black lines forming her crest are, in fact, hairs from Leomi. It does take me quite a while to realize that the ivory-looking material is polished and treated bone while the silver band of metal seamlessly integrated within it obviously originates from the hilt of the broken sword I refused and then retrieved.
“It’s… it’s my ring finger.” I utter, stunned and touched by her intentions to the depths of my heart. “Held by nothing.”
“This is, the sapphire Father set on Mother’s ring.” She mutters, shaken by emotion. “With your blood, and silver chains to bind us together.”
I raise my eyebrows in surprise at her words and thanking my best friend inside for going the extra distance and finding the perfect jewel. No wonder Yvonne had trouble obtaining this jewel, it must have been difficult to convince Vikiana.
I open my arm at the same as she does hers. We reach out to each other and hug tightly. Tears fall on my cheeks because of how much she understands me, because she gave me a ring made of the same finger Mother and Father wore theirs.
I feel droplets fall on the top of my head, reassuring me as to the fact that she is similarly as touched by my ‘ring’ as I am by hers. We separate and return the symbols we intend to set on the other.
As I carefully set the hanging ring on her left hand’s slender finger while perfectly arranging the location of the three chains, Lance gently takes hold of my right hand to very, very, slowly fit my ring on. She gives me plenty of time to put the spiral-shaped bracelet on her bare wrist so that we finish at the same moment.
“I love you, Jessica Elizabeth Vil Freepath.”
“I love you, Leomi Lance.”