It was late, the exact hour unknown, unnoted, but not necessarily unimportant. It was one of those nights – one of our nights.

After Vespers, we'd had our free time in the chapel, curtained off from the rest of the world in the colorful tent of scarves. The reason I like those scarves so much, I think, is because they are Felicity's scarves. They smell of her, the remind of her – even if, god forbid, a day should come where she will not be present in her Sheik's tent, she would be there; in those scarves.

We'd followed, or, I should say, led, the fifty or so girls of varying ages upstairs toward our own separate room. They'd parted like water at the top of the stairs, as they did every night on the hour, each scurrying off with the day's gossip to share, and perhaps secret scandals of their own, to spill out in their different chambers under the soft protection of night, their words heard by none but the walls, who would never tell what they'd overheard to anyone.

Felicity had let herself in before I, carelessly unpinning her hair before even the door was shut - not that I minded; such was just her nature, and I would be a fool to pretend that I didn't revel in it a bit. I watched as she shook the rest of her white-blonde hair free, letting a small mound of hairpins drip from her hand onto the vanity and mirror set we shared. I did the same, though carefully, one-by-one, as my mother had taught me when I was small. At least she was good for teaching me something, because that was right around the time I'd stopped paying attention to her and her ambitions.

"Pip darling, unlace me, will you?" Her smoky, sensual voice was made light and carefree, just for me, as she stepped closer and turned around to better my access to her corset; lifting the tresses at the nape of her neck to get them out of the way. I smiled to myself, taking care to brush the exposed skin of her neck with my fingers before trailing them down her back, where they found the corset laces just above the curves of her behind.

The dressing screen in our room would be better suited, and doubtlessly used more, to protect modesty in a bawdy house. It leaned against the wall to the far left, we never have used it, Fee and I. After I had unlaced her corset, she whipped it off along with the rest of her garments, and gathered them all in her arms to be put into her wardrobe, which she started toward – all the while, her fair skin glowing in the candlelight, completely exposed and shamelessly naked. I was quite used to it, in fact, it was added to the list of things I loved about her when we first met. Most of the time, she would be in the middle of a sentence or two when she did this, and I never have felt offended or scandalized at her brashness, it made her who she was.

Tonight, however, it was relatively silent as I undressed, and she helped me into my nightgown. We'd exchanged no more than little smiles and purposeful brushes of sensitive places before bed. Then, we'd gone our separate ways, bed. Bed, but not sleep, for I know that I was wide awake, and I both sensed and heard the restlessness of her being of the same state.

Which brings us to this, the late hour, we both have yet to sleep, because we know, the feelings are there. It is one of those nights – one of our nights. I hear her now, hear her throw back her covers with an annoyed sound, hear the quick pads of her feet as they slip across the floor – coming closer. I hear the excitedness of the steps, the repression of it. I feel her, the cold rush of air as she pulls back the covers of my single bed, and the replacement warmth of her as she wordlessly slides herself between them and closes the gap. I sigh.

Her arms are soft as they wrap around me, softer still are her kisses which rain my cheek and jaw. I turn willingly toward her, smiling a smile that I know she sees, or rather, senses, even through the darkness of the room. Perfect, bow-shaped lips find mine, gentle and coaxing. I give completely under them, allowing them to take me places that English schoolgirls should not toy with, least of all with other girls.

Perhaps that's why this effects me so, perhaps that's why I shiver with need as she rises, crawls on top of me. Perhaps that's why I desire her so much, and her me. Perhaps that's why we've been able to exceed these English schoolgirl boundaries, the boundaries of any friendship, for that matter, for years, right under our headmistress' nose. Right under everyone's noses.

Felicity has taught me things, but not only physical things. Years of this ravaging, this heat and passion that passes between us in our secluded room, only at the latest of hours, have taken place – but she keeps me chaste. Physically, I am still quite virtuous. She has said before that she refuses to do to me what her father did to her, will never oppress her like my mother does to me. "We keep our damages out of what we do, only heal them." Was something she said to me once. Damages, she called them. Afflictions, blemishes, our mutual brokenness. We see one another as others do not. She says it's important to understand the rarity and, in turn, beauty of our relationship. But to also understand its dire hunger for secrecy.

I do, and that is why her lips trail down my neck, the hem of my nightgown pulled and bunched around my stomach, her hands teasing circles into my thighs. Not only do I understand, but I choose this, as her fingers slip into me, keeping rhythm, our rhythm.

I whisper her name repeatedly against an ear so willing to hear it that it presses against them, but they press right back, biting and whispering. My breath comes quick now, as does hers, and her lips find my neck, but never long enough to leave a mark. Instead, I know she will leave one where no one may see it. My collarbone, now, is occupied with her mouth, still traveling downward, and my fingers mesh into her hair, white on white in the darkness.

She pulls away slightly, draws her fingers out of me. I whimper and push her head toward the ache at the apex of my thighs, but the sound is lost as her lips melt into mine once more, inducing another of similar proportion. Then they lift, almost completely, and brush slowly downward. It is a touch that is barely even existent, and yet I shiver with want. I know what will come, and our feelings seem to mix together, melting through our flesh upon contact.

Her soft, bow-shaped mouth is upon my right breast now, and I can measure the slight force which she applies to her motions, deciding that that is where I will find her mark in the morning. I lose myself in her, lifting to her and bending each way she wills me to bend. Forever, I had always thought, forever we will hold each other this way. Even with husbands and social status and society at our feet, it will always be us, we, our; we would find ways to be together like this.

Even as she kissed my most intimate place, as I did my best to suppress the scream which clawed up my throat, rushing forth in the form of her name, there was an inkling nagging at the back of my mind. What if we are not together forever? What will I do if my strength, my Felicity, ceases to be a part of my life?

As we lay, by this point quite naked, our breaths slowing in unison, in the most intimate embrace imaginable, I deduced for myself, the answer. Deep down, I knew Felicity. I knew what life had made her, and, even deeper still, there was a trace of me that knew she couldn't really be depended on. That was the part which I was also rather conscious of ignoring. I was her Pippa, the one constant in her life. She would not do... whatever it is that frightened me, to me.

Just to be sure, giving in to a sudden possessiveness which crossed me, I turned my face toward hers. There was a hint of question in her pale grey eyes, which, beforehand had held a lazy, blissful expression. Mine must have been brooding and fierce, for it was indeed how I felt, as I gripped the back of her neck and braught her to me. It had to have hurt her, but if it did, she said nothing, only followed my will and bent forward. Not because she knew what I was feeling, per say, but because she sensed my general unease and wished to console me.

My lips crushed down upon hers in one forceful, possessive motion. She was startled, though she did not object, but rather flowed into the kiss as languidly as ever, willfully absorbing all of the ardor and passion that poured out of me through the contact. Satisfied and weary, I pulled away and collapsed next to her, half on-top of her curvaceous figure, and nuzzled my nose into the crook of her neck just below her ear, next to her slowing pulse.

I waited to see if she'd say anything, and when she didn't I did. "Fee," was the single whisper that left me, in the form of a question. I had to be certain. "Pip, darling," came her acceptance, awaiting whatever it was that I was going to say to explain - or not, I could tell she wouldn't press me, not tonight.

"I need to know," I started off awkwardly, drawing my hand across her stomach to press it up next to me. There was a pause, and she awaited patiently, her pale gaze far off as she stared up at the whitewashed ceiling of our room. Then, of course, after the pause had been drawn out, she turned her head and her eyes fell to mine, a fine blond eyebrow raised expectantly. She was quite a picture just now, stretched out on my single bed with her arms up above her, and her head resting in her hands, her head cocked to the side, her hair down and mussed, framing her face, an eyebrow raised and a serious, expectant look on her ivory features. Striking, I thought idly before composing my thoughts.

"If you're mine. Because I'm quite sure that I'm yours, and I just need to know, if you're mine. And if you're not," Another pause, short this time as I inhaled sharply, uttering, "then whose are you," darkly as a conclusion.

I saw a flash of defiance in her eyes before she fixed them on me in an unwavering and gravely serious expression. "Yours, always." There was no hesitation, no faltering in her words, and she continued, pressing her mouth seductively to my ear and whispering, "This will never stop, our nights will always happen. I'll always be here." I was captivated, I was appeased, and I was convinced.

Just to be sure, weakly, I whispered "promise?" She nipped at my ear, and replied, so surely that a judge would have taken her word for it. "Promise." I'd heard what I needed to.

When I reached to find my shift, I found it to be quite dark, and found that I was unable to see. Unable to see anything, that is, except Felicity's ivory white skin, a contrast to the darkness itself. Instead of taking the effort to find it, I curled up against her, and began to drift into sleep. It didn't matter that I couldn't see, it was one of those nights. One of our nights.