DisclaimerI don't own "The Tamarind Seed" or its characters. Evelyn Anthony wrote the novel, Blake Edwards directed the movie. Only the original parts of the plot and the additional characters belong to me. I don't make any money from this story.

Summary

Movie: The Tamarind Seed, by Blake Edwards, with Julie Andrews and Omar Sharif. The movie is inspired by the novel by Evelyn Anthony.

Mostly missing scenes followed by the first day and first night in Canada, after Judith joined Feodor there. Not sure yet if I'll take it further than that.

Note

Until Judith arrives in Canada, I mainly kept the plot as it is in the movie. I changed one thing though. When in Barbados the second time, I don't believe that Feodor would go for a swim despite Judith's anxiety and disapproval. They are lovers by then and they count for each other. I'd rather see Judith ask him not to go if he loves her, to do it for her and I can't imagine him refusing just for the sake of a swim. So I placed that event one day earlier and I even imagined something special she did… He he! As a consequence, I had to make up a different reason for him to be outside their bungalow when the explosion occurred the following morning…

Thanks a lot to Revsue for being my beta :o)

Pictures et Audio for this story can be found in our fanfiction section on julieandrewsforumDOTcom

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"Here is the place, Ma'am!"

It was around 3:30 PM. After having climbed one last short but steep road, the car had reached a rather wide valley. It was all green hills and darker patches of pine trees and it was surrounded by higher mountains. At this point, Judith hardly noticed the beauty of the site. She was avidly looking around, trying to spot a house in that wilderness.

Only when the car was about to stop did she see him in the distance. He was walking down a meadow towards them. She was trembling when she opened the car door and proceeded to walk in his direction. There he was in the flesh, the man she loved and had thought was dead. She was feeling overwhelmed with joy and impatience and her heart was pounding madly. When they reached each other, they first needed to hold hands and to lose themselves in each other's eyes for few seconds, before hugging ever so tightly. He looked at her again and touched gently the scar on her cheek. She was smiling while grabbing his hand. They were unable to utter a word.

When, after hugging her again, he put his arm around her shoulders to lead her towards the house, she turned back and noticed the car had gone.

"Steven took the track to the chalet. The car will be there in a few minutes with your luggage."

While walking, holding each other, the only words they could exchange were:

"Aren't you too tired?"

"No, I am just happy."

Soon she got sight of a beautiful and rather big chalet, which they had to walk round before climbing the few stairs leading to the side door. Once inside, he helped her take off her coat while she was admiring the spacious and well-lit living room in which they were standing.

In no time, they were in each other's arms again. He gently trailed the scar on her cheek again. "Where else were you burned?"

She pointed to her neck and showed her left hand. He looked at each place, brushing them with his fingers, then he held her tightly against his body. "I will never forgive myself for having exposed you to such danger. You could have been killed and you were hurt... All because of my foolish optimism!" As he felt her body shaking, he looked at her and saw tears running down her cheeks. "I am so sorry!"

"No, it's not that… It's… For two weeks, I thought you were dead…" Still crying, she reached for his cheek. "I thought I'd never see you or touch you again… and here we are…"

She was now sobbing freely against his shoulder. He was holding her even tighter. "For two weeks… The bastards! Later, you will tell me everything about what happened."

She slowly calmed down. He was drying her eyes with a tissue when a knock on the door resounded.

"It's Steven with your luggage." He gently kissed both her eyes and went to the door.

Both men carried her bags to one of the rooms adjoining the far end of the living room. They exchanged few words before Steven left, then Feodor came back to her and his arm around her, he led her to the room where her luggage was. "This is your room. Of course, ignore the bed because you will spend every night in my arms."

She leant her head on his shoulder, feeling her cheeks flushing. It was strange how delighted she was to be reunited with him and how shy she felt at the same time, as if she was not sure the intimacy they had shared for two days, two months ago, was totally real. She wondered if he felt a little shy too.

He then faced her, his hands on her shoulders. "Now, you must be exhausted. Tell me what you would like to do… Take a bath or a shower? Sleep? Have a hot cup of coffee or tea? Make love?"

She blushed again and smiled at him. "I think all of that, maybe in a different order…"

"And what's your order?"

"Hmm… A shower first, then a cup of tea, then make love, and I'll see then about sleeping…"

"Alright, I'll make tea while you are taking your shower."

She then murmured, "Kiss me."

Before his lips touched hers, he whispered, "Dushinka!"

They first brushed their lips against each other's. She loved feeling again the warmth and the sensuality of his touch and the slight tickling of his moustache. She even loved to smell again his Russian cigarettes. Although she had never before enjoyed the smell of tobacco, this, blended with his own smell, she was finding most sensual for some reason. She was the one who parted her lips first and traced his with her tongue. He held her head to press her mouth even closer to his, met her tongue with his and their kiss deepened until they needed to catch their breath.

"Oh I would ravish you right here… But I don't want to rush it, we have all the time there is."

She was trembling a little but she managed to say: "Yes, show me the bathroom."

OoOoOoOoOo

When she came back into the living room, tea was ready on the low table, in the lounge area, just in front of the large French window. She looked around the room again, then admired the magnificent view through the French window while he was still busy in the kitchen area.

"Did the British find you this?"

"Yes. They have good taste, don't you think?"

"Indeed, it's incredibly beautiful! Well, they owed you at least this…"

"I am not sure I would stay here always, especially in winter. But for now, I am enjoying it very much. Do you like such wilderness?"

"Yes, very much!"

She turned around and looked at the huge bouquet of wild flowers on the tea table. A similar one, although coloured differently, was on the dining table, a little further in the room, by the side window.

"Did you make these bouquets?"

"No, it's someone I'll introduce you to later."

"Oh?"

He came and sat on the couch. He was looking at her and she blushed from noticing a touch of amused desire in his eyes. She remembered that she was naked under her robe and she was sure he knew it. Standing by the window, maybe the sunlight was even making her robe slightly transparent despite its warm thickness. Again she felt strange from feeling so shy. Was she the woman who had done a strip tease for this man only a few weeks ago?

She shook her uneasiness off and joined him on the couch, folding her legs under herself. He filled the cups and presented one to her. As she was sipping the hot beverage, a wave of well being filled her. It had been a tiring and tense journey here, including the last days of travelling. And here she was, having reached her destination at last, sitting and feeling relaxed and peaceful for the first time in two months.

Yet there were a few unanswered questions about the past events. They needed to be out of the way for both of them.

"Feodor, tell me what happened around the explosion. Mister Loder told me you were outside the bungalow and that's what saved you. I know nothing else…"

"It was luck! While you were upstairs, getting ready, I opened the back door for no specific reason. I was watching the fountain and the shady alley leading to the hotel reception. At some point I saw a monkey under the mango tree, just few yards from me. You know, one of these "green monkeys" we often saw on the island. It was licking its leg, slightly groaning and I could see it was wounded. I approached it slowly and the explosion happened just then. The blow probably knocked me to the ground and I fell unconscious. I woke up few hours later in the plane, Mac Leod next to me. In fact they had drugged me so that I would not wake up before the plane took off. They knew that I would not want to go, knowing that you had been injured. They didn't want that complication, they wanted to make me disappear as soon as possible so that I would be considered dead."

He took her hand in his and continued, "I was terribly worried about you. Mac Leod had seen you unconscious and didn't know what your condition was when you left for the hospital. Fortunately, I was reassured few hours later. Mac Leod called the hospital from the airport and learned that your life was not in danger. During the next few days, as I had requested, Loder called me several times to tell me about the progression of your recovery. I insisted that they let you know that I was alive. I cannot believe that they didn't manage to inform you before two weeks had passed."

It was then her turn to tell her story: The hospital, Loder's visit, the arrangements for her to come here secretly… She couldn't help crying again at the memory of believing he had been killed and he held her again, kissing her hair until she calmed down and continued her story.

"So you are here for three months. What are your conditions for you to come back to me and to never leave me?"

She turned further to him, put her arms around his neck and whispered, "That you love me, I suppose."

He held her and softly kissed her hair and her neck.

"That's easy," he murmured. Then he whispered into her ear, "Dushinka, these were painful memories. We don't need to come back to them unnecessarily, but let's promise that if and when either of us needs to do so, we will allow it. We shouldn't keep any shadow to ourselves. Do you promise?"

"Yes, I like that, I promise."

He then nibbled at her ear and proceeded to trail very slow kisses from there down her neck. She pulled her head further back to give him better access. She was feeling his hand travelling down and up her side, from her arm pit to her hip. The energy between them was slowly shifting from tender to more and more sensual. The tickling in her stomach, that she had felt present since this morning, became much more intense. She was pressing her body against his, feeling her breasts aching delightfully against his chest.

From her hip, his hand travelled down her leg, and encountering the cleft of her robe, went in and pursued its journey there, stroking again and again the skin of her thigh from her knee to her buttock. Their breathing was getting heavier.

He then shifted his torso and his arm a little so that her head was even more pulled back and kissed her mouth lengthily and deeply. She was holding him, rubbing his hair, his neck, his shoulders, relishing in their recovered closeness.

He parted from her lips and simply said, "Come."

They extracted themselves from the couch, and still holding each other and kissing, they headed to his bedroom. They were still kissing while undressing each other nervously, then entering the bed.

Once under the silky sheets, they couldn't stop rolling over and against each other in a slow motion, skin against skin, using their whole bodies as well as their hands and lips to caress each other, never insisting on any place, just like the flow of a torrent caresses round pebbles, endlessly.

OoOoOoOoOo

They were lying on their sides, entwined and facing each other, their breathing recovering its normal pace. He was stroking her hair. "You know one thing I love about you?"

"Only one?"

"Ha ha, you have your mischievousness back. That means that you are happy and relaxed."

"I am… So what is that one thing you like about me?"

"It is not something I like, it is something I love, something I totally fall for. It is the fact that underneath your reserved, very serious and ladylike appearance, you are a very sensual and passionate woman, particularly in bed."

She was blushing but kept smiling at him.

"I saw it in your eyes from the first day we met."

"Did you?"

"Yes, that contributed greatly to make me fall in love with you. You don't know how that contrast in you is attractive. To unveil your sensuality, to make you give it to me, became my only purpose besides staying alive."

"It seems that you have succeeded, Mister Sverdlov."

He rolled over her, his eyes lost in hers. "Yes, and I am most enchanted by it." He then murmured: "You know what excites me most? It's when you are overcome by your desire and you beg me to pleasure you more… Or when you take initiatives to increase your pleasure or mine. I would kill my own brother to be able to see you, hear you, feel you doing these things.

While stroking his hair, she answered: "Oh Feodor, you make me do the wildest things. I am not myself when I am in your arms… or maybe I am myself only then, I don't know anymore… All I know is that I am happy with you."

He met her lips again and they exchanged another long and deep kiss.

With a twinkle in her eyes, she murmured: "My turn to tell you what excites me most about you…"

"Please!"

"It is the way you take your time to pleasure me. When you make love, it's like you are drawing a painting and like my pleasure is part of yours…" She sighed languorously and added in a whisper: "I feel so in love with you, Feodor."

"Will you believe me if I tell you that I have never loved anyone like I love you? That no woman has ever attracted me as you do?

He rolled them back on their sides. She snuggled up against him, kissing his neck tenderly. After few minutes, she was sound asleep in his arms.

OoOoOoOoOo

When she woke up, it took her few seconds before remembering where she was. When she did, a faint smile lightened her face. She moved her body, searching the contact with Feodor's but she was alone in the bed. She leisurely looked around, loving the space of the room, the warm colour and the smell of the wooden walls, the still blue sky despite the hour and the far away mountains that she could see from the bed, through the window. She thanked God for being here at last, for her past anxiety to be left behind, for the peace and inner joy she was feeling right now.

When she got up, she found a note on the floor, by the door of the bedroom. It read:

Dushinka,

I am in the garden

I forgot to tell you: Please don't call me Feodor in front of anybody,

I will also call you Helena.

Tender kisses,

Christopher

P.S. As simple precaution, please, burn this after reading

Oh Lord! It was good he had reminded her of that. She would have forgotten!

She entered the living room and after she had burned the note in the fireplace, she inspected the outside through the windows. What did he mean by "garden"? Everything around was a garden here… She finally saw him at the side of the chalet, not far from it. He was with Steven. They were measuring something on the ground and planting poles. A dog, a spaniel it seemed, was playing around them. She watched Feodor for a moment and was enjoying it. He looked in his element, doing outside manual work. Definitely a side of him she hadn't seen yet.

After another hot shower, she put some warm clothes on and decided to join him. She was first welcomed by the friendly spaniel which jumped around her and licked her hand.

When Feodor saw her, his face brightened. "Did you sleep well?"

"Yes, like a baby."

"You met Steven. He and his partner work here and live in that chalet."

He was pointing to a smaller chalet, half hidden behind pine trees, twenty yards from where they were. Steven smiled briefly to her and continued what he was doing. Judith realised she hadn't really looked at him during the journey, thankful that he had respected her silence. Now she was acknowledging a dark haired broad man in his early forties, with the same kind of stature as Feodor.

"Are you going to build something here?" she asked Feodor.

"No, we are drawing the future vegetable garden."

"Oh, nice!" she answered with an appreciative look.

Feodor gave some instructions to Steven, then joined her and put his arm around her shoulders. "Come, I'll show you the view of the other valley."

They climbed the mound behind the chalet, the dog accompanying them, and there she discovered scenery at least as beautiful as this valley.

"You see the town down there? It's Pineridge, the closest to here. It's a thirty minute drive." He stood behind her and wrapped his arms around her, smelling her hair. "I want you to be happy here. And if you are not, we will move."

"Oh, Feodor, you are too sweet. But I truly think I will like it here. I do already."

"Dushinka, you need to get used to calling me Christopher, even when we are alone. Tell me that sentence again."

"What! Feodor, you are too sweet?"

"Yes, it's a perfect sentence for your training."

"Ha ha! Christopher, you are too sweet."

"Again."

"Christopher, you are too sweet."

"Once again."

"The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain."

"What is that?"

"Ha ha! Nothing. It's from a musical."

"OK, again with Christopher in it."

"The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain… Christopher, you are a pain."

He bit her ear, which made her laugh. "That will do for now. It will soon be dark. Come, we will drop by Steven's chalet then we will go home."

They and the dog walked down the mound and saw Steven putting tools away in a small shed next to his chalet. After Feodor had knocked at the door, they heard a rather joyful male voice.

"Come in."

The inside was cosy. A fire was burning in the hearth and she noticed at once an abundance of colourful sculptures and paintings of an art that she was not used to. She thought it must be Native American art. An Irish tune familiar to her was playing, which added to the cosiness of the atmosphere and there were several bouquets of wild flowers, resembling the ones in Feodor's chalet. A short and slim blond man with thick curly hair tied up in a pony tail, probably in his thirties, walked out from what looked like a kitchen, wiping his hands on his white apron. He was smiling broadly.

"Welcome to Hedgehog Stone! Ms Worthington, I presume?"

He had a slight Scottish accent.

"Yes."

He presented his hand to her. "I am Alistair, Steven's partner."

Despite her surprise, she shook his hand and managed to say: "How do you do?"

"Do you like salmon, Ms Worthngton? Christopher was not sure." And with a funny imploring look, he added: "Please, don't tell me no!"

"Uh yes, I love salmon!"

"Phew! Tonight, you will eat fresh salmon caught from the river this afternoon and prepared with a sauce "a l'echalotte"… Hmmm…" Saying this, he kissed the tip of his fingers, his eyes half closed.

"Alistair's cooking is real art, you will taste for yourself," Feodor said.

Judith smiled at Alistair at last. "I am looking forward to it."

"Good! Now, you will excuse me, I have to finish the meal. I'll bring it over in half an hour." And looking at Feodor, he added: "You'll only need to heat it up in the oven if you want to eat later."

Smiling, Feodor answered: "That, I should manage."

Alistair accompanied them to the door and while they were heading home, he shouted: "Thanks for passing by!"

It was almost dark by now. They were walking the few yards separating the two chalets, their arms around each other. She looked up at him. "You are cheeky. You knew I would expect to see a woman. You could have told me."

"Ha ha! I like to surprise you… Are you shocked?"

"No, they look rather nice."

When they were in, he faced her and put his hands on her shoulders. "Are you tired? You didn't sleep long, after I left you."

She smiled. "I guess I am but I don't feel it.

"Go and change if you wish. I will make a fire and get champagne ready. I want your first evening here to be perfect."

OoOoOoOoOo

She was looking at herself in the mirror of her room, wondering if her brown one piece outfit was appropriate. Except for the wide bottom of the pants, the thin stretchable material was following every curve of her body like a second skin. The front ended at her neck, wrapped around it, leaving her shoulders and most of her back naked. The fact that it was definitely sexier than anything she had ever worn made her feel shy again. She remembered their afternoon love making and smiled at her own contradictions. She found a way out by keeping the outfit on and by putting on a cardigan over it.

When she walked out of her room and into the living room, she was stunned by the love with which he had filled the atmosphere. The curtains were closed, a fire was burning in the hearth and a piece of melancholic East European gipsy music was playing softly. The dining table was laid with flowers and candles arranged on the white table cloth and plenty of other candles were burning in the lounge area.

He was busy in the kitchen area, his back turned to her. She joined him silently, put her arms around his body and leaned her cheek on his back. "You are treating me like a princess."

He turned within her embrace, resting his arms on her shoulders, careful not to touch her with his hands which were sticky with food. He dropped a kiss on her neck. "Yes, I am." And noticing her make up, he added: "You are very beautiful."

"Thank you… Let me help you. What can I do?"

"Alright… Would you like to finish spreading the pâté on the toast? I will take a shower meanwhile."

Thanks to the fire, it was very warm by now in the chalet. Before she began her task, she took her cardigan off and started to spread some pâté on the toast. He must have turned around and seen her naked back while heading to his bedroom because he walked back, put his hand on her hips and trailed kisses on her shoulders, which made her shiver.

"What a sight! Are you wanting me to make love to you before dinner?"

"No, I only wanted you to kiss my shoulders."

He resumed his kissing, sliding his hands up, along her side. She gasped when he cupped her breasts and started to massage them.

At that very moment, a knock on the door resounded.

"Mm…" Feodor groaned, "it is Alistair with the meal."

He dropped a last kiss on her neck, released her and turning to the living room, loudly said: "Yes?"

"Wow, it's the one thousand and one nights here!" Alistair said while walking decidedly across the chalet, towards the kitchen area.

Feodor chuckled. "Right you are!"

"OK, you preheat the oven for twenty minutes, then you put it on medium heat and the meal will be ready after fifteen minutes. It's still warm, so not more than fifteen minutes, ok?"

"All right, chef!"

As soon as Alistair had come in, Judith had turned to the sink, aware that her cheeks were burning and that the arousal of her breasts was visible under the thin material of her outfit.

"Have a good evening, lady and gentleman."

While he was walking back across the living room, Judith turned around and said, "Thank you for the flowers, Alistair. It was you, wasn't it?"

He turned around and bowed ceremoniously. "Yes, Ma'am. You are welcome."

She smiled at him. "Please call me J… Helena."

"You are welcome, Helena." And he went out.

"That man is too funny," she said, her eyes still looking towards the living room he had just left. Looking back at Feodor, she added, "Will you tell me about them and how they got here?"

"Of course! I will tell you during dinner. Now, I had better not approach you again before dinner or we will spend the whole night in this kitchen. You look far too attractive tonight... I will be with you in fifteen minutes."

OoOoOoOoOo

"I hope you don't mind that I am in my nightwear…" He was wearing black silky pyjamas and a robe.

"I wouldn't mind any nightwear, but I definitely don't mind this one… You look very classy and cosy too."

He smiled while pouring champagne into the glasses. They were sitting at the dining table, facing each other. The fire and the many candles were the only lights in the room and the languorous gipsy music was still playing.

"To us, Dushinka!"

"To us, my love!" she responded gravely.

They kept their glasses against each other for few seconds, brushing each other's fingers, before drinking their first sip, not leaving each other's eyes.

She then handed a small wrapped box to him. "I have this for you."

"A gift? For me?" He took it and chuckled. "Will you believe that I have something for you, too?" And he pulled an even smaller box from his pocket and presented it to her.

"Aww," was the only thing she could say while taking it, before adding, "You open yours first."

"Alright."

"It's nothing original. It was difficult to choose something. I realised that I didn't know much about your habits or your tastes yet. I still don't, really."

He was now holding a black Montblanc pen, with "With love, D." engraved in the platinum garnish He took her hand and kissed its palm tenderly. "I will always keep it with me."

She was now opening her gift, finding a small golden locket hanging from a thin golden chain. She looked at the locket closer and recognised the human shape of a "magic" tamarind seed. The jewel was half the size of a normal seed.

"You had it made?"

"Yes! No jeweller had ever made this before I asked for it, I'm afraid."

He stood up, walked around the table and did the chain up around her neck. As he was softly kissing her shoulder, she turned and rested her lips on his cheek.

"It's such a lovely thought, Feodor. I will cherish it."

While coming back to his seat, he said, "Now you say this sentence again with the right name."

"I am sorry... It's such a lovely thought, Christopher. I will cherish it."

"What's my name?"

"Christopher."

"Tell me something else."

"I love you, Christopher."

"Oh I love to hear that… This name business is easier for me because I can keep calling you Dushinka… But it is only for both of us. In public I will have to get used to calling you Helena… Now try the toast. It's a wild mushroom pâté that Alistair makes himself."

"Mmm, it's delicious!... Tell me about them, will you?"

"It was Mister Loder who assigned them here. I mean, I am their employer. I pay them with the allowance I receive from the British government but Loder found them for me, so that my comfort was assured from the start. At the beginning I knew nothing about them, other that they were British, so I had no idea how Loder had chosen them. They knew nothing about me either. But once they and I were here, we talked. Steven used to work as a detective for Scotland Yard, back in England. A few years ago, he got tired of that kind of life and also of hiding his homosexuality. He and Alistair were already together. Alistair was a chef in a posh restaurant in London. They decided to leave everything and to start a new life here, in Canada. Alistair became a chef again and Steven got involved in what he really likes, forest work. When Steven was approached by Loder's service, they both liked the proposal because they are both nature lovers and at the same time, the wages were attractive. That's the story."

"You seem to get along well with them."

"Yes, they both work very well, whatever they do, they are easy to deal with and they have interesting personalities. Steven is very reserved but you will see that underneath that, he has a fine sense of humour. He can do anything as far as manual work and nature are concerned. They both are passionate about ecology. Alistair has many trades too, besides cooking. He is a very skilled fisherman, especially sport fishing in rivers, which he has started to teach me, by the way. He is an artist too. He got acquainted with Native Americans and he is very much into that art and culture. Besides all that, as you saw, he is the most joyful and original lad to have around, without being invasive at all. I am very happy that they are here. I believe you will like them too."

"Does the dog belong to them?"

"Yes, the only female in the neighbourhood, with you now."

She smiled. "What's her name?"

"Ayiana. It means Eternal bloom in one of the Native languages… Would you like to carry on with champagne or would you prefer some white wine with the salmon?"

"I'd rather stick to champagne."

Feodor cleared the table of anything that had to do with the starter and brought the steaming dish of salmon. She tried to help but he refused, saying that he was treating her tonight. Before they started eating, the music had stopped, so he played the same record again.

"I hope you are not tired of Gypsy music..." he said while regaining his seat.

"No, it's very beautiful… This smells delicious!"

"Yes, and there is a dessert afterwards. Another one of Alistair's creations."

"And what are their respective jobs here?"

"Alistair does the cooking, as you know, the shopping and the housework in this chalet, and in theirs too, I assume. Steven does everything that has to do with outside work and with providing us with wood. He also takes care of any repairs or improvements that need to be done in the chalets. But for bigger projects, they work together. Alistair is rather polyvalent too. Mind you, there were jobs I intended to have done by local trade men, just to not overload the two guys, but usually, they don't want that. They have ideas and they like to carry them through themselves. They are very positive people."

"Mmm… You were right, Alistair is a real chef. This is absolutely exquisite!"

"It is. I am glad you like it. I told you I wanted the evening to be perfect for you."

"You are a dear, F… Christopher. Oh Lord! How difficult it is for me to call you that."

"You are doing well. You will soon get used to it."

"And tell me, who found the chalets? Did you live here from the start? Does this belong to you?"

"The two guys found them. Loder found the guys first, then he asked them to find a suitable place. It didn't have to be this remote. If it is, it is because these two chalets were for sale and they loved the idea of living in such a place. It was all settled when I arrived in this country. It was paid for by the British government, as part of the deal they had with me. The deal was a place and a comfortable allowance. I only had to add my signature in order to officialise my ownership. I must say that Mister Loder has been remarkably efficient with this."

"So you own the two chalets?"

"Yes, and 3000 acres of land around them. I'll show you the exact land tomorrow."

"Let me ask you something. How do you feel about all this? Being in exile, hiding…"

"Well, you see, I am Russian. We believe in fate. As a matter of fact, we invented it, like fairy stories. That way, if anything happens to us, it is never anybody's fault, it is fate… Like me now, yes, I will miss my country. But there is nothing I can do about it. Besides, fate does good things too. It sent you to me and I love you more than my country."

She smiled and leant over the table to hold his hand for an instant.

When they were done with the main course, they had some delicious apple ice cream with meringue, topped with maple syrup and fresh mint leaves. Alistair had taught Feodor how to arrange the ingredients nicely in a glass dish. After this, he refused again to allow her to help him with clearing the table.

"No. After tomorrow, you can help me with these things if you wish, not today. Go and relax in the lounge. It will take me few minutes to do this and to make us some coffee. Or would you prefer some tea?"

"No, I would love some coffee after this perfect meal."

When he joined her with the coffee on a tray, she was sitting on the couch, turned towards him, her legs folded under her again. He added a couple of logs in the fire and after he had poured the coffee into the small cups and they had had a first sip, he sit back comfortably, his body slightly turned to her and with a twinkle in his eyes, let them browse her whole body down.

"It is torture not to touch you when you look like this."

Without getting closer to him, she leaned her cheek against the back of the couch and smiling at him defiantly, murmured: "Touch me…"

"Alright!"

He didn't get closer to her either but slowly trailed two fingers on her naked shoulder, drawing circles, then down her arm. This simple touch made her shiver and feel the well known and delicious wave of pleasure within her stomach.

After a few seconds, he added: "Come and dance with me."

"Oh?"

"Yes."

He got up, took his robe off and went to the record player. When he came back to her, pulled the tea table a little away from the couch and took her hand to invite her to stand up, their dear song was playing. The one during which she had undressed for him two months earlier.

He rested his hands on her hips and she put her arms around his neck. They were softly smiling at each other and were hardly moving, although following the languorous rhythm of the song. He pulled her closer, encircling her lower back within his embrace and his burning lips started kissing her arm and her naked shoulder. She was stroking the back of his neck and pressing her body against his, feeling a sense of delightful relief from being in his arms at last.

He lifted his head and she took his mouth avidly, foraging her fingers through his hair. As he was responding passionately to her kiss, his hands slid up and started to stroke her naked back, his palms gliding over her smooth skin as if they were anxious to not miss one single inch of it. Still following the slow rhythm of the music, she was pressing more and more and slightly moving her body against his, delighting in the warm pressure of his chest against her breasts and in feeling his hard arousal against her stomach. He then brought his hands down her back and proceeded to slowly stroke it upwards with his nails, repeating that movement again and again. The gentle but firm scratching was divine and a very new sensation to her. It made her shiver and moan against his mouth.

As they parted their lips to catch their breath, she undid the first buttons of his night shirt and stroked his chest with her open palms, trailing kisses wherever her palms had just been, loving his smell, his taste, the feel of his firm muscles, of his hair… She then undid the last buttons and pulled his shirt down his shoulder until it dropped on the floor, before losing herself in kissing his chest again and stroking his shoulders and neck and while he was resuming his sensual caresses on her back.

He progressively led their slow steps closer to the couch and when her legs touched it, she had no choice but to lie down, carrying him along in her fall. Still kissing, they managed to undress each other and they relished in brushing their naked bodies against each other and entwining them. The music had stopped by now and the only sounds were their heavy breathing and their intermittent moans.

Obviously, the back of the couch was hindering some of their movements.

"Hold on," he whispered in her ear.

He got up and disappeared somewhere at the back of the room. He came back after few seconds, spreading four sheepskins on the floor, at the foot of the couch. He carried her and laid her delicately on them, before resuming their heated embrace. The thick and extremely soft hair of the skins under her back, her buttocks and her legs felt warm and indescribably sensual to her.

OoOoOoOoOo

She dropped on him, her head buried in the crook of his neck as she sobbed, kissing his neck at the same time and repeating "I love you", "I love you" intermittently. He was holding her tightly and rocking her, breathless, yet covering her hair with kisses. He didn't ask why she was crying. He knew her tears were from relief and deep happiness. As her sobbing ceased, she fell asleep. Gently, he rolled her over, and stretched his arm to pull the blanket that was folded on the couch. He laid it on them both and watched her sleep for a long time before he closed his eyes, one arm around her and his lips on her shoulder.

That night, she woke him up with tender caresses when the moon was still high in the sky and they made love until dawn.

Might be continued…

I welcome reviews :o)

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