Valkyrie's skin had an almost luminous quality, like mother of pearl. Mirya made a slight gesture, little more than a flicker of fingers, indicating she should continue. Hunger stirred, stretching its icy fingers through her. What would she feel like, pressed close?
Memory flared...sitting in the living room of her old rented house in Boston. A fire crackled on the hearth, dappling Jamie's skin with gilt and shadow. He lounged on his side, stripped to the waist. His earlier shapeshifting had ruined the shirt, broadening his shoulders and chest until the seams split.
And she had stood her ground, fear stealing her voice--but those dark eyes remained the same, as wolf or man. She'd focused on those, making them the center of her world.
Now, those dark eyes laughed up at her. She reached out, resting her hand on his chest.
"Checking for a heartbeat?" he'd asked, his voice a deep rumble in his chest.
"Checking to see if you're real."
"I'm as real as you need, Mirya."
Oh, and how she had needed!
And in Shadowlands...a long dormant spark sprang to fitful life...
A slow smile crept across Mirya's face. Why, Valkyrie appeared almost ...shy. Valkyrie's body had been frozen a mere breath away from the full ripening of her sexual maturity. It showed in the way her body was
more angles than curves, more lean than lush. But that gentle flare of her hip, inviting a hand to follow its curve...
Jamie brushed back her long, dark hair. He traced the line of her brow, down along her cheekbone, then along her jaw. Catching her chin, he leaned up and kissed her, the long, slow type of kiss he knew she loved. In the shadowed privacy of their bedroom, he could run his hands over her, exploring her all over again.
She was soft and warm, figure kept trim by daily workouts in the pool. He wondered if she knew how often he followed her, just to watch her. How the blood-lust flared when he saw how others watched her.
But Mirya wasn't Kin.
His hands came to rest on her still-flat abdomen. He could feel the whisper of life, stubbornly clinging to its roots. Unicorn's Gift had let him heal her, she was whole now, both she and the unborn child. Free of the taint of the disease that could have--would have--snatched them both away.
The child. His child. Their child.
She had the Sight, her family was of the Old Country. How could his Tribe refuse her? He looked up in her deep blue eyes, ablaze with passion, the slight smile that hinted at yearned-for pleasures.
Gaia's tears, how could he
Mirya slid off her stool, strolling towards Valkyrie, as if she had all the time in the world. Well, she did. No-one would disturb them here. Why, in a way, she had Valkyrie at her mercy.
What a surprise, to learn I have some.
Stopping in front of her paladin, she reached up and brushed the girl's cheek with the back of her knuckles. Valkyrie lowered her eyes for a moment, then looked back at Mirya, shivering under her touch.
"I've heard of a legend," she
said softly, looking directly into Valkyrie's eyes, "that
when the Valkyries were not choosing warriors for Valhalla, they
put off their arms and armor, serving in the halls as swan maidens.
And should any man see one of maidens on earth, he could claim her as a wife."
Then she drew Valkyrie in closer. "Of course..." she breathed, "I'm not a man...but I don't think it matters that much."
Valkyrie let herself melt into that embrace, still not touching Mirya with her hands. Mirya hadn't asked or permitted her to. Her unbuttoned and unbelted trousers slowly slid halfway down her hips; Valkyrie didn't even try to catch them.
Mirya rested one hand at the small of Valkyrie's back, just presence, not pressure. "So who holds your feathers, my swan?"
"You do, my Liege," Valkyrie whispered almost inaudibly. "And you always have." She swallowed to wet her throat.
"My Liege," she said softly,
lowering her eyes again, "may I please have your permission