Full Circle: The Tale of Si’ian and Maiandria

Book One: WINTER

By: Susanne M. Beck (SwordnQuill)

Disclaimers: The characters in this novel are of my own creation but will most definitely bear a strong resemblance to the wonderful characters created for us by RenPics and the beautiful actresses who brought them to life for us. The story itself is owned and copyrighted by yours truly (that being moi) and may not be shared without my express permission, and so forth, and such like that there stuff.

Subtext Disclaimer: Yup, there’s that too. This piece deals with the love and physical expression of that love, between two adult females. There are some graphic scenes located within this piece, but I have tried to make them as tasteful as possible so as to not offend anyone’s sensibilities. Let me know if I’ve succeeded.

Genre Disclaimer: I’m taking a bit of a turn here from my usual "present day" ubers to give you one that is in the past. Way in the past. Way way in the . . .well, you get the picture. I like to think of this as a "pre" Uber. Detailing, after a fashion, the lives of Xena and Gabrielle before they were Xena and Gabrielle. Heck, sounded like a fun thing to do at the time. J

Important Pronunciation Disclaimer: The name of one of the lead characters, as noted in the title of this here piece, is Si’ian. The correct pronunciation—for reasons which will become evident as this novel progresses-- is "sigh-ann", better known as "Cyane".

Serialization Disclaimer: Like Topsy, this story just growed. It’s hit over 300 pages and they’ve just started. For this reason, I’ve decided to break it up into four books, named for the seasons that they travel in. All four books will be direct sequels of one another, continuing the journeys of these women until they reach their ultimate destination. This first book, Spring, is complete, down to the last punctuation mark. I will be posting it, as I always do, in parts, one part a night until it’s done.

Feeback: As always is more than welcomed. You can reach me at Swordnquil@aol.com  with any comments, questions, concerns and/or criticisms.


Part 11

The bath was quickly completed and, though it took an effort worthy of a Titan, Si’ian was soon installed on clean, dry furs atop the table. Though still trapped within the fever’s strong grip, its bite was somewhat lessened by the combination of cool water and herbs, and Si’ian was able to look around the confines of the hospice with a bit more clarity.

The pain was still with her, but it was the more gentle ache of healing, rather than the sharp agony of fresh, untreated wounds.

Her intense gaze softened and warmed as she sighted Maia calmly laying the rest of the cloths by the brazier to dry. The young woman’s face glowed in the light of the smoldering coals; her hair was a fiery halo set perfectly about her features. Her face was calm, beautiful in its composure. The ever-present innocence was now mixed with a quiet, confident strength; a combination that was powerfully attractive to the watching warrior.

Finished with her task, Maia straightened and walked back to the table. Looking down, she brushed tender fingers along the back of Si’ian’s splinted hand. The swelling almost gone, and only faint bruises remained, a silent and already fading testament to all the warrior had endured. "It’s amazing how fast you heal," the young woman said softly.

As if those words were a catalyst of their own, her eyes filled with tears. Of relief, mostly, and of grief necessarily delayed. With all she herself had been through, she was a woman at the end of her emotional tether. The last of the strength which had allowed her to survive drained away suddenly, leaving her feeling empty and numb.

Too much. It had just been too much.

Gazing on, Si’ian was flooded by such a wave of emotions that she was left, temporarily, breathless.

This is love, she thought to herself with a sort of wide-eyed wonder. Not that she was just now realizing that she loved Maiandria. She had accepted, if fought against, that simple fact quite some time ago. But the power of that love, the very essence of it, utterly consumed her, leaving her stunned.

This was not a feeling implanted in her by some far off goddess as part of a larger plan for her destiny. It originated in her very own heart, given birth by very own soul. She owned it completely, beginning to end, and everything in between.

The feeling brought with it an ache, a hunger, a need to touch and to protect and to cherish.

It was an need she could never before remember experiencing. It was, in equal measure, soft and hard; gentle and fierce; cool as a mountain spring and hot as a searing flame.

It was a power unto itself, and she could no more resist it than she could will her heart to cease.

Reaching out, she cupped a hand to Maia’s cheek. One strong thumb brushed the tears from her eyes in soft, soothing strokes. "I’m here," she whispered.

"But I almost lost you," Maia protested, eyes shut tight against the emotions threatening to overwhelm her.

"I’m here."

Maia’s eyes opened then, and the desolation in them swallowed Si’ian whole. "But for how long?"


It was a truth, a promise, and an unbreakable vow.

"C’mere," Si’ian said, gesturing to the other side of the table.

"What . . . ?"


Wiping her tears with the back of her hand, Maia did as requested, and circled the table to come to stand on Si’ian’s uninjured side, her eyes an unasked question.

"I need to hold you."

"But I’ll hurt you."

"You could never hurt me, Maiandria. Never."

"How can you be so sure?"

The corner of the warrior’s mouth curved in the endearing lopsided smile Maia so adored. "Because I am."

Unable to resist the lure of that smile and the surety in that velvet voice, Maia scrambled carefully atop the table, and settled her hips between Si’ian’s spread legs, and her back against the warrior’s chest.

Si’ian’s good arm came up and around Maia’s lean waist, and her hand came to lie on the wrapping of the younger woman’s loincloth. Cradling Maiandria close, she rested her chin atop the fine, golden hair, and closed her eyes, bathed in the contentment of their connection and the love that she felt for this woman in her arms.

A contentment which finally allowed her tongue to loosen and her thoughts to come forth unfettered. "I love you, Maiandria," she whispered. "I think I always have, and I know I always will." Without waiting for an answer, she cradled her closer still. "Sleep now. I’ll be here when you wake up."


Si’ian’s fever broke early the next morning. She awakened to the soft, warm weight of Maiandria in her arms, still deeply asleep. Smiling, she tightened her embrace just slightly, pleased when the young blonde murmured and nuzzled against her neck before relaxing once again into full slumber.

A soft shuffle off to her right drew her gaze in time to see Qian Xi enter, drawing the snow-covered furs away from her slender frame.

"Your fever has broken," Qian Xi greeted, almond eyes smiling.

"Just now," Si’ian confirmed in a whisper. Her sharp gaze assessed her sister, taking note of the pale, gaunt lines of her face and the streaks of snow white threaded through her hair. A hard sliver of grief lanced through the warrior’s heart, causing her eyes to close in pain.

They opened again at the soft, gentle touch to the back of her injured hand. Qian Xi looked down at her, love written across every feature. "Don’t grieve, bo," she whispered. "It was the most wondrous thing I have ever done, and I would have given up much greater gifts than this to see you safe and well."

"You shouldn’t have had to give up anything at all," Si’ian growled.

Qian Xi spread her arms wide, her smile broadening. "It is simply the way of things, bo. No matter what I may have lost, I have gained something far greater. I feel only joy in my heart."

"Will . . .you ever be able to heal again?"

Qian Xi shrugged, unconcerned. "That is not yet known. In time, perhaps. Yanit seems optimistic. If it is not to be, then I shall happily use my knowledge to help others master the techniques needed to serve in my place. The world will turn, regardless."

Si’ian’s eyes narrowed in disbelief, but her own empathy, especially toward her sister, showed her that Qian Xi was telling the simple truth. Shaking her head slightly, she looked down at her heavily splinted hand. "I don’t have your strength, bo. If I knew that this was permanent . . . ."

"You do have that strength, and so much more. You fought death itself, my sister. You fought it and won."

"Not without help." Si’ian’s voice was raspy and Qian Xi knew her sister was close to uncommon tears.

"From the moment the avalanche took you to the moment you arrived here you fought alone." Reaching up to Si’ian’s bicep, she gave it a gentle squeeze. "There is no shame in needing help, Si’ian. You taught me that when we were very young. Do you remember?"

The warrior’s shoulders slumped as she sighed and nodded. "I remember."

"It’s good that you do," Qian Xi said in a teasing tone.

Maiandria had awakened shortly after Qian Xi had entered the hospice, but had remained still and quiet, simply listening to the two sisters converse. While she couldn’t understand any of the words they were speaking, she could feel the emotions behind those words quite well. Peace from Qian Xi. Grief, and resignation, from Si’ian.

Though she wanted to comfort her partner, she also didn’t want to intrude, and so she continued to feign sleep and let their melodious talk drift easily over her.

"How are things on the outside?" Si’ian finally asked, straightening her shoulders, lifting her head, and leaning more comfortably back against the cave wall. Maia was once again gathered close in an unconscious gesture that made Qian Xi smile inwardly.

"Cili’s blizzard started some time ago. She predicts it will go on for four or more days."

The warrior groaned.

"The camp is well prepared."

"I don’t doubt that. I’ve just spent entirely too much time in this place lately. The prospect of another quarter-moon here isn’t the most exciting of thoughts right now."

"Perhaps we can do something about that."

Si’ian snorted. "With Yanit watching over me like a hawk tracking a rat?"

"Ah, but we’ve escaped much tighter surveillance in the past."

Both sisters shared a wicked chuckle, causing Maia’s eyes to pop open. "Do I want to know?" she mumbled.

"So, she finally admits to being awake," Qian Xi teased.

"You knew?" Maia asked, awed.

The empath laughed, a light, musical sound. "I may have lost the gift of healing, my friend. Temporarily, at least. But long will be the day I cannot tell a sleeping woman from one wide awake and eavesdropping."

Maia blushed, then grinned. "Well, I wouldn’t call it eavesdropping, exactly. After all, I couldn’t understand a word either of you were saying."

"True, but I could feel you reading our emotions."

"I’ve gotta learn to get better at that," Maia retorted, scowling.

Grinning, Si’ian hugged Maia close, then dipped her head and kissed her soundly on the lips, only reluctantly pulling away after a long moment.

"Wow!" Maia exclaimed, slightly dazed. "You certainly are feeling better."

"Mm. So are you."

Maia’s eyes fluttered shut as she felt Si’ian’s warm hand stroke gently up her belly, stopping just below the her short top, long fingers brushing against the lower swell of one breast. Her body responded without thought as a liquid heat flowed through it, causing her heart to increase its pace and bring a gentle flush to her skin.

Moist lips pressed their weight against her ear, and when the tip of Si’ian’s tongue traced a smooth path along its outer rim, brilliant sparks of color ignited behind Maia’s eyelids. She moaned, deep in her throat, then froze, finally remembering that they weren’t alone.

Her eyes flew open, but to her vast relief, Qian Xi had turned away to give them a modicum of privacy, and was across the room tending to something Maiandria couldn’t see.

Sensing Maia’s distraction, Si’ian pulled away. "You alright?" she asked with some concern.

"Company," Maia gasped, her body still burning in the most pleasant of ways.

The warrior hid her smile in Maiandria’s hair. For a moment, she’d forgotten that many, if not most, women believed that expressions of sensuality should be carried out away from the eyes of others.

Which, of course, gave her all the more reason to go along with whatever jailbreak her sister was currently planning.

Sensing the women behind her had broken off their activities for the moment, Qian Xi turned. She held in her hand a straight, stout club topped by a thick wooden crosspiece; a perfect cane for her injured sister. "Will this do?"

"Perfectly," Si’ian replied, grinning and shifting a bit in anticipation.

Maia sat up, careful not to accidentally press into any of the warrior’s wounds. "What’s going on?"

"We’re getting out of here."

"Getting . . .but you’re still hurt!"

"And I’d rather be still hurt in the comfort of my own hut. I’ll heal up just as well there as I will here. Better, probably."

"But what about Yanit?"

"What she doesn’t know won’t hurt the rest of us." One long, limber leg raised itself over Maia’s head, and Si’ian swiveled her hips until she was sitting on the edge of the table, awaiting her sister’s approach with the cane. "C’mon, c’mon."

"Patience, sister. The greatest of tasks take some planning to accomplish."

"If you don’t start moving faster, the only thing that’s gonna get accomplished is Yanit and her crones tying me down to this damn table," Si’ian mock-growled.

Laughing at the mental image Si’ian’s words evoked, Maia slid down from the table and rushed over to help Qian Xi shoulder a heavy load of furs and cloth binding strips she was attempting to carry over to the warrior’s position.

Setting the pile on the table, Qian Xi looked to Maia. "If you would, wrap several of these furs around the splint on her leg, then secure them with these strips. I’ll work on a sling for her arm."

Nodding, Maia set to work, and before very much time at all had passed, Si’ian was dressed, padded, and ready for the journey to her hut.

With Maia standing lookout, Qian Xi helped her sister off the table and onto her good leg. Standing at Si’ian’s injured side, she wrapped a thin, but deceptively strong, arm around her sister’s lean waist and easily held her as Si’ian found her balance point.

There was some residual dizziness, and to be sure the pain flared brightly in her injured limbs, but Si’ian rapidly felt her strength return now that she was standing upright.

"Are you well?"

"A lot better than I was lying down," Si’ian replied, pleased when her thigh muscles finally stopped complaining. "Let’s get outta here."

"Right beside you."


Stoic though she was, Si’ian wasn’t able to suppress a groan of relief as she sunk into the deep, warm nest of her own furs. Though she had expected the trip from hospice to hut to take longer than normal, given the effect her injuries had on walking, it had seemed to stretch out into an eternity of its own.

She’d been spotted the very second she’d left the hospice, and within seconds, it seemed as if the entire camp had converged upon her, wanting to reach out, to touch, to share their happiness over her recovery.

It made her acutely uncomfortable, and though she tried her best not to show that discomfort, the ordeal of the past few days had left her in less than optimal condition, mentally as well as physically.

Knowing this, Qian Xi and Maia did the best they could in keeping the crowd away, but nothing worked until Mali came up from seemingly out of nowhere, parting the crowd and setting up, with her warriors and their horses, a living wall that not even the most ardent among the well-wishers could hope to penetrate.

Though the trek seemed to drag on indefinitely, the hut’s entrance finally appeared, and the three women slipped gratefully inside.

The interior was quite warm, and after Si’ian had been settled and the padding removed from her injured limbs, the three women stripped down to their loincloths and brief tops. Maiandria was quite surprised to see the body of a warrior come from beneath the long robes Qian Xi habitually wore. She didn’t have the size and bulk of Si’ian, to be sure, but Qian Xi’s muscles, though leaner, were as wonderfully defined as her sister’s and gave her body a powerful grace which was otherwise hidden.

Caught staring, Maia blushed, and looked away.

Qian Xi smiled, charmed. "You needn’t feel discomfort on my account, my friend. I do not object to your curiosity."

Maia peeked up again. "I’m sorry. It’s just that . . . ."

Stretching, then settling with her back comfortably against one of the support posts, splinted hand in her lap, Si’ian chuckled. "One of our greatest secret weapons. Nobody expects a wildcat to be hiding under those sedate robes. Fools em every time." She dropped her sister a wink, then leaned her head back against the tent wall and closed her eyes, sighing contentedly.

Nodding, Maia looked down at her own body. Though strong from hard work on her father’s farm, her muscles were still covered with a thin layer of softness which rounded the curves and blunted the angles of her compact frame. But then, as she looked more closely at herself, she realized, with some shock, that the layer of softness she’d sported was a good deal thinner than it had been when she’d left home. Well, whadda ya know, she thought to herself with a little, internal smile.

Any further thoughts were interrupted as the hide flap to the hut opened and Malika stepped in, shaking snow from her hair and furs as a dog sheds water from its coat. Her hair was tousled, her eyes twinkling, and her smile rakish as she surveyed the three half dressed women lounging in the hut.

"The harem mistress returns to find her three favorite concubines awaiting her every whim." She then ducked and plucked a very accurately thrown chobo from the place where her head had been the second before. Grinning at Si’ian, she twirled the weapon, then saluted with it.

"Nice move, sluggo," Si’ian teased.

The Hun sketched a grand bow. "Anything for you, my queen." She winked at Maia before drawing off her heavy furs and dropping them to the ground in an untidy pile. "How goes the healing?"

"Healing. And our guest?"

The rakish grin turned evil. "Healing." At Si’ian’s pointed look, her face became serious. "She’s lucky I didn’t kill her outright. If you had died, I would have."

"That’s not who we are," Si’ian replied in a soft voice.

"That’s where you’re wrong, my friend. It’s exactly who we are. We fight for our sisters, and die for our sisters. If need be, we also kill for our sisters."

"In battle yes," the warrior replied with some heat. "Not against unarmed opponents."

"Who laughed as you lay dying on that table! She was at fault for everything, Si’ian, and she laughed!"

Si’ian shook her head slowly. "Revenge isn’t the answer, Mali."

Mali’s jaw set as she reached down to pick up her discarded furs. "Sometimes it is." Donning them, she spun on her heel and left the hut without a further word.

Uttering a foul oath, Si’ian slumped back against the hut wall. Maia stood to go after Mali, only to be stopped by Qian Xi’s upraised hand. "She will be fine. Malika’s temper sometimes gets the better of her."

Nodding, Maia eased herself back to the ground, casting Si’ian a concerned glance. The warrior’s eyes were closed and she had a pained expression on her face. Maia knew, however, that it wasn't physical pain her partner was feeling, but rather the emotional anguish of fighting with someone she loved.

"Where is Pavithra now?" Si’ian asked without opening her eyes.

"Mali separated her from her followers and put her in with those from our homeland."

Si’ian’s eyes slowly opened as her body straightened. "She’s with the Ch’in?"

"She is."

Maia also straightened. "But they’re your friends! They’ve known Si’ian the longest! Don’t they have more reason than anyone to wish her harm?"

"They also have more reason to keep her safe, Maiandria. They are honor bound to respect Si’ian’s wishes above all else, as she is to respect theirs. She wishes Pavithra kept safe from harm, and so Pavithra will be. It is our way."

Maia looked to Si’ian, who nodded, face set in stone.

"And the rest?" the warrior asked.

"Those who bear the caste brand are with Corissa and her companions. They are adapting quite well to their new home. Pavithra’s acolytes have been divided up among the rest of our sisters, being placed where there is sufficient room to house them. They, too, seem to be adapting well, though more slowly than their compatriots."

Si’ian nodded, and the hut fell into silence for a time. Qian Xi quietly rose, walked over to the fire burning in the center of the large hut, and prepared green tea for the three of them. As she was passing out the cups, the flap opened once more, and Malika stepped back through, her expression one of chagrin.

"I apologize for my outburst," she said softly, deep brown eyes looking intently at Si’ian.

After a moment, the warrior nodded. It was a curt gesture, but Maia could easily see the decrease in tension all along her form. She smiled in relief, and relaxed as well, enjoying the brisk, almost biting taste of the foreign tea she was beginning to develop a fondness for.

Qian Xi gave Mali her cup and, after receiving a brief nod from Si’ian, the Hun chieftain drew her furs away and lowered herself to the hut floor, sipping the tea and feeling herself warm from the inside.

Talk began then, in fits and starts, gradually becoming more comfortable and lively as past hurts were forgiven and forgotten in the light of newer and more interesting topics of conversation.

Morning ventured into afternoon, which then quickly blended with early evening so that by the time Asimi and two cooks entered the hut bearing steaming platters of roasted game, the world outside had turned dark and snowy.

After the evening meal had been consumed, Malika rose and donned her furs, preparing for an evening patrol of the camp and its denizens. Asimi and Qian Xi rose with her, offering help. When it was gratefully accepted, they too bundled up, and with parting smiles, stepped out of the hut and into the deepening blizzard.

When the flap closed again, Maia looked over at Si’ian. The warrior’s broad back was supported comfortably by the hut wall. Her eyes were closed, her breathing deep and rhythmic. Maia stood, quietly intending to leave her partner to her much needed rest, when Si’ian’s eyes opened and she smiled, a sweet, lazy smile that warmed Maiandria’s heart.


"Hi," Maia returned, straightening. "I thought you were sleeping."

Si’ian sat fully up, crossing her healthy leg in front of her, and straightening her injured one. "Nah. Just resting." She eyed Maia’s position. "Did you . . .need to take care of something?"

"No, not really. I just . . . ."


Gracefully crossing to Si’ian, Maia lowered herself in front of the warrior, unconsciously adopting her position on the furs, though with both legs crossed in front of her, hands folded in her lap. Their knees brushed, and both smiled.

Reaching out, Si’ian took Maia’s hand in hers. Her face sobered. "Thank you," she said simply.

Maia looked up, confused.

"For saving my life," the warrior explained. "And my soul."

Wanting to demur, Maia opened her mouth, then closed it again as the depth of Si’ian’s emotions, and the strength of her truth, flowed through her. Swallowing her words, she settled for a simple nod of acceptance, tears springing to her eyes.

"Don’t cry," Si’ian whispered, wiping the brimming tears away with a gentle thumb.

"I’m happy," Maia replied, smiling. More tears spilled over to be captured and brushed gently away.

"I do love you. So very much."

"I know."

Long fingers danced over her eyebrows and forehead, touching briefly at each temple as if bestowing a benediction before moving to her cheekbones in a warm, tender caress. Sparks of sensual heat followed the path of Si’ian’s touch, trailing over the curve of her jaw, then down the column of her neck to rest briefly in the hollow of her throat.

The warrior’s eyes were dark and intent, as if seeing each area she touched for the very first time. Her lips parted as her fingers drew an invisible line along Maia’s collarbone, gently easing the thin strap of her top away as they moved. The skin beneath her fingers was warm, incredibly soft, and smooth as the finest silk ever woven. Si’ian knew that she could become easily lost in this simple act of touching, and her soul welcomed the thought with joy.

Her gaze darted up quickly to take in Maiandria’s expression, and her breath stilled at the sight before her. Maia’s eyes had grown dark and half-lidded. Her skin’s flushed, rosy hue matched perfectly her moistened, barely parted lips. Her well shaped nostrils twitched and flared, and her chest rose and fell with her deepening breaths.

Si’ian’s eyes traveled down Maia’s strong neck and rested at her bounding pulsepoint, easily seen even in the low ambient light of the hut. "Your heart," she whispered. "It’s beating so fast." She looked back up into darkened eyes. "Are you afraid?"

One slow shake of the head. "No," Maia responded on an escaping breath. Reaching up, she grasped Si’ian’s hand and brought it to her cheek, turning to press a kiss into the roughened palm. "I’m not afraid."

As if setting flint spark to tinder, the simple kiss set fire to Si’ian’s passion, and she struggled mightily not to let those fires overwhelm them both. Eyes closed, she banked back the flames to a simmering heat.

A heat which was almost undone when she opened her eyes to see Maiandria pulling the top from her body, leaving her breasts fully bare and shining in the glow of the fire’s light.

"By the gods," the warrior breathed, staring with rapt attention at the treasure naked to her sight. Maia’s breasts were full and firm, nipples taut with arousal and the heat generated between them. ". . . perfect . . . ."

Her good hand came around Maia’s lean waist and eased the smaller woman back against the thick furs. Then she stretched out to lay beside her, their bodies brushing along their lengths. "You are so very beautiful."

Reaching for Si’ian’s hand again, Maia captured it and lay it, palm first, atop her breast. "Touch me," came the whisper, halfway between a command and a plea.

Si’ian moaned deep in her throat as she felt the responsive flesh beneath her hand. Her fingers moved of their own accord, gently stroking skin soft as silk, memorizing each contour and texture as if it were knowledge she needed to survive.

Maia shifted as Si’ian’s hand trailed across the center of her chest to cup her other breast in a heated caress. A heat so full and so deep she was baking it in flowed over her in a molten wave, sinking deep into her bones. She would die without this touch, she was sure. Didn’t know how she’s managed to live without it. She needed more, so much more.

She hungered .

The sound of a soft whimper snapped Si’ian’s gaze back up to her lover’s face, and she was once again utterly captured within the intensity of Maiandria’s smoldering gaze. Their souls flowed together effortlessly, joining, then separating, only to join again in the timeless dance of arousal and seduction.

"Blessed goddess," Si’ian gasped when she realized that their bonding was so deep, it had entered into the realm of the physical. She felt each touch, each caress as if it were her own body being stroked and pleasured. Her body instantly reacted to the phantom touches and the fire within her bloomed out of control.

Their lips came together in fiery union. Maia’s desperate hunger allowed Si’ian full release of her own pent up passions. She moaned again as a questing tongue branded her lips and teeth, twining with her tongue in a loving battle neither wanted to win.

Pulling away at last to breathe, she collapsed again, burying her face in the crook of Maia’s neck, panting and inhaling the heady perfume of Maiandria’s arousal. Her tongue darted out tasting the salt of her lover’s flesh and feasting upon it as a starving man to a banquet.

She moved up, suckling briefly at one perfect earlobe before tracing the outer shell with the very tip of her tongue.

"Yes," Maia murmured, her hands going up to sink into raven hair as her body writhed on the damp furs beneath her. "Yes, please. Yes." Her back arched, hips pinned firm to the ground, as Si’ian moved down her neck, pausing only to nip and suckle before continuing onward. The hollow of her throat was anointed and consecrated, each shoulder bathed by the heat of the warrior’s tongue.

When warm, wet lips encircled her nipple, she cried out in rapture, body dancing in time to the pulling sensations washing through her as her lover suckled tenderly at her breast.

Si’ian’s mind and body were in a thrall, moving purely by base instinct. Every sensation echoed upon her own flesh as if she was making love to both Maiandria and herself at the same time. Her body sang out its pleasure as she switched breasts and nuzzled into the warm, fragrant flesh, drawing Maia’s engorged nipple in between her teeth to bathe it with her tongue.

Her hand traveled down the flat plane of her lover’s belly, circled her navel, and was halted by the impediment of a loincloth. Disengaging, she looked up at Maia, her eyes asking the question she hadn’t the breath to voice.

"Please," Maia responded, spreading her legs and bending them at the knee, feet flat to the floor. "I need you."

Si’ian closed her eyes and swallowed hard, well knowing the gift she had just been given, and feeling humbled at the giving of it. Slightly trembling hands brushed the loincloth aside and stroked each thigh in turn, gliding over taut muscle and satin skin until they were poised at the center of Maia’s desire.

Her eyes opened and locked with Maia’s as her fingers moved forward and were immediately bathed in heated wetness. Two breaths gasped as one and two sets of hips surged forward, desperately seeking. Her fingers stroked, long and sure, swirling and teasing, awash in sensation and primal passion, easily keeping up with the sensual writhing of her lover, a writhing that her own body helplessly mimicked.

She moved lower then, fingers circling the entrance to her lover, slowly, gently, but with increasing ardor. In the pause between breaths, she entered in one smooth thrust, filling the emptiness with herself and almost sobbing with joy from the welcome she received.

Her thrusts were slow at first, but deep, so very deep as if to touch the very heart of the woman she loved and hold it beating in her palm. Her thumb moved up to stroke and caress as her fingers continued to thrust deeply within.

Maia’s body soon controlled the tempo of their loving, wanting more, needing to feel the delicious friction burning so brightly within her. Her hips pumped in a timeless rhythm and Si’ian responded, giving her everything she desired. And more.

Their bodies glided together, aided by the shining sweat their dance generated. Moans, whimpers and low growls permeated the still air, and the scent of their loving settled around them, stoking their passions still higher.

One of Maia's hands moved up to Si'ian's shoulder, blunt nails sinking deep into satin skin and corded muscle. Her other hand hooked into the thick plush of the wolfskin beneath her, using it as an anchor to her soul. Her body shuddered and trembled, hips thrusting mindlessly as she felt herself wonderfully opened, stretched and filled.

Her heart pumped molten lava with every contraction and her breath came in ragged pants passing through tightly clenched teeth.

Her climax began to build; a slow burning deep within her belly that gathered in upon itself like a star readying to explode. She moved toward it blindly, dumbly, knowing nothing but her hunger, her need, and her love.

Si’ian, too, began to crest, and when she felt the first stirrings begin to overtake her, she added a third finger and slid easily, strongly, home, her fingers stiffening and hooking as her release began in earnest, drawing her head back and her mouth open in a wide, soundless yell.

Maia quickly followed, caught up in the rapture that was their shared release. She felt herself hurtled through time and space on a tremendous wave of pure pleasure where nothing existed but sensation and in incredible love that burst free from her heart and engulfed the spirit of her most beloved, merging them into one being shining brighter than the stars.

When she came back into herself, it was to find herself with a living blanket. Si’ian’s body covered her own. Warm lips kissed the tears from her cheeks, then moved down to taste her mouth before pulling just slightly away.

"By the goddess, I love you," Si’ian whispered, her own tears drawing silent trails down her beautiful face, her body still trembling with the power of her release.

Unable to speak, Maiandria could only nod, her face shining with all the love in her soul.

She felt . . .reborn.

As if this sharing of their love had been a sacrificial cleansing, searing into the deepest, most untouched parts of herself and restoring them to wholeness. As if this one act had allowed her to give birth to the woman she had just become.

The ghosts of her childhood had been burned to ashes, impotent cinders which could no longer hold sway over her spirit.

It was both sacred and profane, and if she could have, she would have shouted her joy from atop the tallest mountain in the world.

Instead, she basked within the warmth of a love so strong and so profound that no boundaries could contain it. Looking up into the eyes of her love, of her very soul, she allowed the deep, shining indigo to fill her entire world.

Leaning up, she closed the distance between their lips again, needing to communicate her happiness in the only way she could, words having been temporarily lost to her.

And when Qian Xi finally reentered the hut in the dark of a snowy morning, it was to see two lovers locked together in a kiss, both fast asleep and watched over by the last flames of a slowly dying fire.

Her smile, though unseen, lit up the room.



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