THE FLAMES OF DESTINY: STEAM BENDING (DELETED SCENE)

(CHAPTER 4: NO REGRETS)

Slowly Katara put her hand to the scar over his eye. Zuko closed his eyes in silent pleasure. That had always been their most intimate gesture. Katara felt a tingling in her spine as she felt the familiar, coarse skin of his scar. She sat up straight. Her other hand found its way to the other side of his face. Zuko did a small intake of breath as Katara held his face in her hands. Their eyes met. The next second he felt Katara's lips come crushing down on his. She kissed him hard and Zuko returned her intensity. He couldn't think. All he could do was kiss Katara like he never kissed her before. It was several moments before they released each other for a breath. Panting softly Katara pulled Zuko back to her and kissed him even harder than last time. (Z) This isn't right! (K) This is so wrong! (Z)But I can't stop myself(K) I can't even stop myself!(Z)…I don't want to stop myself (K)…I don't want to stop myself.

Katara wrapped her arms around Zuko's neck and he kissed her deeply. He felt dizzy. It was like being intoxicated. He pulled her even closer but even that didn't feel close enough. He needed her closer than was humanly possible. He released her lips only to find his own lips gently trailing kisses on the soft, supple skin of her neck. A soft moan escaped Katara's lips and Zuko felt his desire for her rise. His gentle kisses became gentle nibbles and Katara tossed her head back in pleasure. She couldn't think. Everything was spinning. Zuko was now kissing down to her chest. He scooped her into his arms on top of him and buried his face in Katara's bosom, planting soft, breathless kisses wherever he could. He could feel her heart thudding as wildly as his was. Katara's hands found his hair and pulled gently. Zuko hazily lifted his head until he was staring into Katara's face.

Her eyes were dark with desire. In a swift movement she pushed him flat on his back and pressed her lips to his. She kissed him hungrily. Her need for him was insatiable. She bit softly on his bottom lip and she was rewarded with a low groan from Zuko. As she pulled away to catch her breath she looked down at him. The longing in his eyes made her temperature rise to even more dangerous levels than they were already at. Without hesitation she undid the clasps on his tunic to reveal his perfectly sculpted pale chest. He was breathing heavily. She paused for a moment before she dove in raining soft kisses down on him starting at his neck and moving down the length of his torso. Zuko gently lifted Katara's chin and leaned up to kiss her again. His hands found and held her slim waist. When they released each other, Zuko slowly moved his hands up from her waist to her torso and pulled her top upwards. Without a moment's hesitation Katara raised her arms straight up so he could lift it over her head.

Zuko undid the wraps that held her ample breasts and felt Katara tremble slightly. As he laid the wrap to the side, he realized he was trembling too. He leaned Katara back and kissed her from the middle of her breasts down to her naval and he felt Katara's muscles tense from pleasure. He rolled Katara onto her back and started to slide her britches off of her. Katara complied by lifting her legs. Zuko could barely stifle his intake of breath. Katara was the most beautiful creature in existence! Starting from her ankle, Zuko kissed up the length of her leg. He wanted to kiss her everywhere! Katara sighed in pleasure. When he reach the top of her inner thigh he could feel heat radiating off of her. And from that close, the scent of her womanhood was enough to drive him crazy. It had to be the most scrumptious thing he had ever smelled. He couldn't help himself. He moved his face closer and began to explore her wetness with his tongue. Surprise and intense pleasure overwhelmed Katara, causing her to cry out blissfully. She was on another plane of reality. Zuko lapped at her greedily. He had never had anything more delicious and addictive.

With every movement of his tongue, Katara's moans became more and more pronounced. Reluctantly, Zuko moved back. He didn't want her to reach her peak just yet. When he looked at Katara she was the picture of unbridled desire. She leaned forward and kissed him hungrily. Distantly she thought of how interesting it was to taste herself on his lips. Aang had never done anything like that before! But if she was hot before, her body was now on fire. Her need for Zuko was so strong she felt like she would weep if she didn't have him right away. She tugged at the waistband of his pants and Zuko immediately stood and removed them. Looking at his naked figure Katara was in awe. He was perfect. Katara gripped Zuko's now swollen member firmly and Zuko groaned out loud. She studied it for a second. Even that was perfect.

Obviously Katara was no virgin, but after what Zuko had done to her, she realized that she really was not experienced in the ways of lovemaking. Aang had been her only partner and he was not up for "discovering" as much as she would have liked. The fresh memory of Zuko's tongue exploring the depths of her womanhood was almost enough to make her moan out loud. (K) Maybe I could…try something similar?Without warning, Katara leaned forward and flicked her tongue over the tip of Zuko's manhood. The resulting groan from him was all the reassurance she needed. She continued to lick around the tip and finally brought it into her mouth. Zuko felt like he must have been having an outer body experience. Everything was distant except the pleasure and warmth of Katara's mouth.

After a few minutes, Katara felt Zuko tense in her mouth and she pulled away slowly. For a moment there was only the heavy breathing between the two of them before Katara threw her arms around Zuko's neck and pulled him on top of her. His lips crushed against hers and they kissed more fervently than ever. "Katara..", Zuko breathed. "I…need you". In response Katara pushed herself up against Zuko's hardness. Zuko couldn't wait another second. He pressed gently into Katara and she made a sound somewhere between pain and pleasure. He began to build a rhythm and pick up pace. Everything seemed still and silent, excepting their breathless moans. Katara's legs were wrapped around Zuko's back. Her hair had come loose and was now a tumbled mess beneath her. Zuko could feel sweat run down his back. They were lost in each other. Time did not exist anymore. At some point Katara could feel Zuko start to tense and wrapped her legs tighter around him. She was close also. After a few more thrusts Katara felt herself slipping from reality into blinding ripples of pleasure. She started to cry out. Hearing Katara's cries of ecstasy as she tightened around him was too much for Zuko. He pushed himself deeply into her and released himself. Katara wrapped her legs even more tightly around Zuko as another wave of pleasure wracked her body.

Zuko rolled over to the side of Katara. The pair lay there, panting. Zuko looked over at Katara. The pale moonlight shone on her naked flesh, illuminating it. She looked angelic. (Z) She's too beautiful Zuko thought for the millionth time. He leaned forward and kissed her hair tenderly. Katara rolled over to lay her head on Zuko's chest. It was damp with sweat but she didn't care. She traced her fingers along the lines of his abs and Zuko closed his eyes. "I love you Zuko", said Katara quietly. He opened his eyes and kissed her forehead. "I love you too Katara". She pulled his face gently down to hers and kissed him sweetly. As they kissed, she could feel her desire for him rising again.

The next morning Zuko woke hearing Katara's light breathing. She was still asleep. Last night was so blurry. Well no. That wasn't entirely true. Zuko looked down at the bed. He had to untangle himself from a sleeping, undressed Katara. He remembered the events of that….magical night quite vividly. But the events leading up to it were foggy at best. Katara turned toward him in her sleep and her arm fell over his chest. She looked beautiful and deliciously disheveled. Zuko felt his heart rate quicken at the memory of what had passed between them. He tried to gently remove Katara's arm so he could get up but she just clung closer. Zuko sighed lightly and smiled. This was everything he wanted. It was like his wildest dreams had come to fruition. Katara yawned and stretched before her eyes blinked open. "Good morning", she said sleepily. "Good morning". She snuggled close to him and he could feel her desire rising as well as his own. "I…can't believe we did that", said Katara softly. "Neither can I", said Zuko. "Do you regret it?". Katara looked Zuko straight in the eye. "No", she said flatly.

They sat in silence again. "We should feel guilty", said Zuko quietly after a minute. "I do", said Katara simply. "But I don't regret it". Zuko nodded. He covered a yawn in the crook of his arm and stretched his legs. When he did his leg brushed against Katara's and he quickly moved back. He noticed Katara had flinched too. It felt electrifying. Desire welled up in him so quickly and from the looks of it, in Katara too. Such a simple innocent touch and yet…and yet…

CHAPTER 10: FAMILY TIES

Katara was deep in thought. "Okay…I guess that makes sense. It sounds crazy, but I get it". She sighed and looked watched fireflies dancing over the pond. "If Kya water bends on a lunar eclipse…I don't know how I can smooth that over. Even having extra bending abilities shouldn't allow her to do that. Even Azula couldn't fire bend during that solar eclipse". Zuko put an arm around her. "I told you before Kya was born that if it ever came down to it, I would stand by you". Katara looked up into Zuko's face. "Zuko…it's different now. You have Izumi now. If you were to stand by me…it would rip her world apart". Zuko felt his stomach drop. (Z) How could I not have thought of Izumi in this?! Truthfully he had been romanticizing over the idea that he, Katara, Kya, and Izumi could be a family together if he ever had to confess about their relationship. Izumi loved Katara, that was true, but she naturally, also loved her mother deeply.

"I couldn't have you do that to her Zuko. How could I have you choose between your own daughters?", she continued quietly. Zuko felt himself becoming emotional. "So…so what will you do?". Katara shook her head. "I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Right now Aang isn't suspicious. And unless Kya starts firebending one day, he still has no reason to be overly suspicious. Even if she water bended on a lunar eclipse, I wouldn't be able to explain it away, but it doesn't necessarily point to a firebender for a father". Zuko nodded at her logical reasoning. Katara touched Zuko's face. "What did Uncle say to you?". Zuko sighed. "He was disappointed?", asked Katara sympathetically. "You know how Uncle is", said Zuko. "He believes in people finding their own paths and making their own mistakes. He didn't say he was disappointed. He said it was wrong though". Katara nodded. "Well, it is". Zuko grimaced. "I know. It was wrong. But…I love you. I'll never stop loving you. How could love between two people be wrong?". Katara shrugged. "It isn't…it's just the circumstances around it. We're both married. We made vows to love and be loyal to our spouses….and we both disregarded those vows".

"I think where we were wrong was when we made them", said Zuko quietly. Katara was shocked. "Zuko-I…we both said we made the right choice. We knew why we couldn't be together. For the sake of balance in the world. And we both said we didn't regret marrying other people. We love them!". "I know, I know. But think about it. Lying to them may have started with what happened on Ember Island a few years ago, but being dishonest started way before that". Katara gave him a puzzled look. "We never told anyone that we were in love, Katara", he explained. "We got into these relationships…we got married to other people, and never told them that our hearts were divided. That we could love them, but not fully". "I-I do love Aang fully", stammered Katara. "Of course I do. I love him. I could never regret marrying him". Zuko stared deeply into Katara's eyes. Katara flinched. It was like she could feel him reading her soul. "You know what Uncle said to me?". He did not unlock his gaze from her eyes. "What did he say?", asked Katara. She felt mesmerized by his golden eyed stare. "He said that happiness is found where we find it, not where we seek it". Katara was silent. She looked down at her feet. Zuko gently turned her chin toward him. "Katara, the way we fell in love…it just happened. And neither of us ever expected it. We found happiness in each other. I'm not saying that I don't love my wife. And I'm not saying that you don't love Aang. But what I am saying is that we settled and forced ourselves to be happy apart from each other".

Katara did not know what to say. He was right. They did settle. "Zuko…I-okay. I know you're right. We settled. But what can we do? We've already made our choices". Zuko sighed. "It's strange isn't it? Before that night on Ember Island, we bottled up our feelings for each other for so long…it was like we were just going through the motions. And when we finally let them go…", he shook his head. "Since then, every day I feel the pain I felt when we realized we couldn't be together". Katara nodded. "I feel the same way Zuko. We knew we had to keep a tight rein on our feelings for this very reason". She touched his face and he closed his eyes and leaned in to her touch. "Zuko…is it bad?". He opened his eyes slowly. "What?". "Through all the guilt and the struggle for do the right thing…and the apprehension, I- I can't help myself. I want you. No, I need you. In every way". Zuko bent down and kissed Katara. She felt dizzy with love for him. "I need you Katara", said Zuko. Katara was nearly knocked breathless by his seductive, hazy tone. He kissed her again more firmly.

Zuko's head was spinning. He pulled Katara closer. His thirst for her was unquenchable. She kissed him back just as ferociously. Zuko bit Katara's lip gently, causing the most delicious sound to escape her throat. Katara pulled back to catch her breath. Zuko watched her chest rising and falling rapidly. He pulled her back into him and she acquiesced immediately. He kissed her deeply and pressed against her. He could feel her pressing back. Somewhere, in the back of his mind a little voice was telling him they should stop while they were ahead. He was kissing Katara…which he always did whenever they were alone together. But the way he was kissing her right now could lead to trouble. (Z) I can't bring myself to stop! Through the blazing heat of their kiss, and their bodies pressed together, Zuko could feel Katara attempting to resist also. Zuko tried hard. He tried to picture his wife's face. It was to no avail. He could see no more than a vague outline of her. It was no use for either of them. They were like moths to the flame.

Zuko surrendered. "Katara", he breathed. "I need you". Katara felt a little shaky. His voice and the feel of his warm breath and his soft lips was intoxicating. "Oh…Zuko….we can't", she murmured through breathless kisses. Zuko trailed his mouth down to her neck. Katara's heart was pounding. His heart was pounding too. "No…no we can't", said Katara, half sadly, half pleadingly. She pulled away. It took all of her strength. "Zuko we could be seen", said Katara turning away. Zuko put his arms around her from behind. "Katara...I-I've been going crazy". Katara closed her eyes tight. She could feel the torturous tone in his voice. He was in agony. She was in agony too. It was more than just mere carnal pleasure. Expressing their love in a physical way was a near spiritual experience. It made the world stop.

Katara could take no more. She pulled Zuko to her and kissed him hard. It was almost a relief to have his lips back on hers. Zuko moved her backwards until her back was against a nearby tree. He kissed all down her neck again. Katara's heart pounding hard as he traced more kisses down to her bosom. He pressed his hardness against her and she shivered with desire. Zuko could feel the heat radiating from between her legs. It was driving him insane. He lifted her cloak to reveal her sheer blue nightgown. Katara reached down and grabbed his erect member through his trousers. Zuko moaned softly. She pulled his trousers down slightly and grabbed him again, caressing gently. Zuko couldn't wait another second. He pulled her leg up around his waist and pressed himself into her. They sighed in pleasure together and Zuko began slow, even strokes. There was nothing he loved more than looking in Katara's eyes while making love to her. They were especially beautiful the way they looked now: heavy lidded and dark with desire. Katara's