The following chapter contains romantic sexuality that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of sixteen.
His arms tightened around her, lips pressing so hard she could barely breathe, but she didn’t want to if it meant he had to pull away. They somehow managed to make their way upstairs, where Vilkas closed the door and turned to face her. In the flickering light of the lantern on the bedside table, she reached for him, and he let her, his eyes never leaving hers as she worked her fingers along the ties of his shirt, loosening it enough for him to reach down and lift it up over his head.
She marveled at his chest, the soft patch of hair across his breast, every muscle perfect and lean, just as she’d imagined it would be; his stomach a chiseled wall of stone behind his soft flesh that quivered underneath the gentle brush of her fingers.
His shirt fell to the floor with a whisper, and then he brought his trembling hands up to unlace the bodice of her dress. He drew it apart slowly, gaze lowering, lip between his teeth to disguise the eager draw of his breath as he exposed her breasts. He’d lifted his eyes back to hers, watching her face with eager anticipation as he his hand tightened and he began to slowly knead the flesh, pressing in and upward, fingers pinching until she gasped and then he swept in to steal her breath away with his lips.
Walking her slowly backward, their hungry mouths afraid to part, she felt the edge of the bed against the back of her knees. He pushed her almost aggressively, watching as she fell onto the soft, hay-stuffed mattress and coverlet, a dominant grin stealing across his lips.
She leaned upward and reached for him, her fingertips sweeping across his stomach, just above the belt holding his pants in place, but he grabbed her hand, held her fingers in his, squeezing them a little before pushing her away. He dropped slowly to his knees on the floor in front of her and drew her forward, resting his head against her chest. His bare skin felt like a fever against hers, and she wondered if she felt the same to him, if it was the beastblood inside them that made them burn?
Vilkas slid his hands down her shoulders, along the curve of her waist and hips, atop her thighs, as if he was mapping her body and committing her to memory. He raised his head again, lips grazing her chin, the corner of her mouth before she turned in to taste his kiss again.
When he loosened the belt of her skirt, she laid back and let him pull it away until she was naked and exposed in front him without fear.
“Vilkas, I’ve never…” she started, not sure how to tell him, afraid that if he knew she’d never been with a man before, her lack of experience would turn him away, but his face seemed to brighten as he met her gaze and smiled.
“Neither have I.” She didn’t know why that surprised her, but for a moment it did. Maybe she’d spent too much time listening to Farkas tell stories while they passed the bottle back and forth after a long day; she’d just assumed.
He knelt between her legs, hair falling into his face as he rested his cheek atop her thigh. For a long time he just stayed that way, silent but for the sound of his breath, the arch of his spine rising and falling. He had scars on his back, puckered flesh around a thick, purple gouge that had long ago healed, and a series of scrapes just above his left shoulder blade, as if some animal had taken a swipe at him. She traced her fingers over those old wounds, watching as gooseflesh rippled across the surface of his pale skin.
He didn’t move from that position, except to run his cheek along the smooth skin of her thigh, and after a time she began to feel afraid. Didn’t he want her? Did he think they were making a mistake? It had taken her so long to realize that she’d always wanted him, a part of her needing him so desperately it hurt. If he turned away from her then…
“Vilkas,” she said.
“Shh,” he shook his head. “I want to remember everything about this moment. The way your skin feels, your scent… the heart beating inside you.”
Lowering her hand atop his head, she combed her fingers through his hair, smoothed it away from his face and closed her eyes. She let the sound of their hearts beating soothe her soul, and when he moved to kiss the inside of her wrist, his lips traveling along her arm until he came to her shoulder again, she knew that no matter whatever else she faced in the world, this moment between them was the most important moment in her life.
After what felt like an eternity, he stood, his strong hands working at the buckle of his belt. Luthien slid back into the bed and laid down on her side, watching him undress with a smile. She’d never seen a naked man before, but she’d seen artwork and statues and she thought she knew what to expect, but she’d been so wrong. When Vilkas stepped out of his pants, he stood before her in all his glory, like a god come to Tamriel, and he was hers to worship and adore.
He crawled across the bed to join her, immediately reaching for her and drawing her across his chest and into his arms. He kissed her, hungry mouth nibbling at the corner of her lips, fluttering across her cheek, down into the sensitive part of her neck until she lifted her leg over his and arched into him with a soft moan.
“I want you,” he whispered. His tongue traveled along that curve, and when his hot breath met with the damp trail he’d left, chills prickled across her entire body. “I’ve wanted you since the moment I first laid eyes on you.”
“I’m yours,” she said, rolling onto her back and staring up into his face as he moved with her. Those were the first sure words she had spoken in months.
He rolled with her until she was on her back and he hovered above her, moving in until his body was positioned perfectly over hers. He edged her thighs apart with his, and when she felt the eager rise of his sex brush just below her belly button, excitement flushed her skin, her cheeks burning with anxiety-laced desire as he came down slow to claim her body as his own.
She didn’t know what she’d expected, but she hadn’t expected it to hurt when he pushed through her tight walls, but it did. She bit her lower lip to keep from crying out, but it was impossible to ignore the pain and soon enough a strangled gasp of pain escaped her.
Startled by the sound, Vilkas paused, lifting his head. His lower lip trembled as worry plagued his expression. The backs of his fingers brushed her cheek and there was such tenderness in his gaze as he asked, “Should I stop, my love?”
She closed her eyes, afraid that if she let him go now, she’d never know him the way she was meant to. “Please, don’t stop.”
He moved slowly, until the pain began to ebb. It was still there, but soon became a dull ache and the quickening of pleasure began to course through her, rising in her belly like a slow flame he stoked each time he joined with her. She matched his movement, hips riding up to meet with his, to draw him deeper and deeper inside her. Vilkas moved faster, harder and she did too, rising up eagerly to match his thrusts as they scaled unforetold heights, explored, learned and came to know one another in ways neither of them had ever known another before.
She was like the shore and he was the waves, rushing through her, taking fragments of her soul into him each time he withdrew, bringing them back mingled with his own essence as he crashed into her again and again and again.
She’d never known anything like what she felt then. Vilkas was hard, and yet so soft, driven into a frenzy of passionate desire that made him nip and bite, growl and moan as she returned everything he gave. And then he would soften, slowing down the descent of his hips to ease through her as he whispered sweet words into her ear, promises, love… so much love it broke his heart when she wasn’t near him, so deep it made him feel like the world would crumble beneath his feet each time he’d sent her away from him. She was everything to him, everything and so much more.
She didn’t know how much time they spent in that warm, beautiful place, hours, days, an eternity of bliss and pain. When Vilkas finally let himself go, she felt empty and full all at once, her sore, tired body awakened by his touch.
He fell in above her, still inside her, his weight heavy atop her, but she didn’t care. Let him crush her, let her body melt into his.
His kisses were soft then, the urgency within him sated for the moment, but the tenderness and infinite longing still there. “Never leave me again,” he pleaded with such desperation it nearly broke her heart. “I never want to feel that way… that fear… I thought I’d lost you before I even had to the chance to tell you that I love you. Tell me you love me too, Luthien. I’ve waited so long to hear those words, to see it in your eyes.”
“I do love you, Vilkas.”
“Tell me again.”
“I love you,” she whispered. “I love you so much it hurts inside.”
Her throat ached, eyes stinging, and though she’d fought so hard before to hide her tears from him for fear that he would think her weak, only there in the comfort of his arms could she finally let it all go. Vilkas rolled onto his back, drew her against his chest and brought the blankets up around them. He ran his fingers her through her hair, stroked the tears from her cheek, comforting her as she cried for her father, her mother, for Skjor and all the lives she’d taken in to avenge them all… it all threatened to overwhelm her, but when Vilkas quieted her with kisses and promised that no matter what she had to face, they would face it together, she felt safe for the first time since the Imperials put a sword through her father’s heart.