Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in The Blue Castle. I have no delusions regarding this matter, don't worry. They belong to Montgomery's estate and I'm fine with leaving them there.

Author's Note: This chapter is the one that earned this story its M rating: herein lies BLUE MATERIAL. I tried to write this with a mind to the characters and the marvelous Maud's storytelling style, and I hope it works. But if depictions of sexual encounters are not your thing, please stop reading here. On the other hand, if that's your bag, please read and review- I long for positive feedback. If you have negative feedback to offer, feel free to do so, but please do it gently. I have a delicate constitution.

Valancy thought she heard a noise- some kind of voice, shouting, railing. Or was it just the wind? She thought she'd become acquainted with every voice the wind carried through and over the trees, across the waters, against the shutters, but this sounded different. Of course, with this storm, the winds seemed to have multiplied and altered their previous existence. Perhaps the voice was a newborn child of the east and west winds currently rattling the slates on the roof.

Just to be safe, she went to the window and could barely discern the sight of an approaching figure. Barney! Her Barney!

Her thoughts far from worry about the welfare of her delicate heart or her promise to both of them to never ask more than he was willing to give, she tore to the door and ripped it open. Unable to stop herself, she screamed his name and ran out to meet him. Ignoring the snow creeping up and around her shoes, the wind biting her face and neck, she ran toward the one thing that mattered, the one person who had ever brought her peace, reveling in the relief of his return.

Barney saw the door open and heard Valancy shout his name in jubilation, but as she ran, all he could do was worry about her uncovered head and arms. She would get frostbite!

But she met him and, absent even a pause of hesitation, threw her arms about his huge coat and held him fast. He was about to say something, but she didn't care. She released him, only to push back the hood of the coat, hold his face between her still warm hands, and hungrily claim his mouth with her own.

Barney paused, Barney hesitated. But then all thoughts were abandoned in the sweetness of her mouth, in the hunger he finally let rise to the surface, long enough to return her kiss and welcome her tongue between his lips, where it brushed his own and caused him to groan.

Shifting his weight slightly, he caught her up in his arms, braced her against his own torso, and then nearly fell over when her legs found their way to wrapping around him, held aloft in his arms as their kiss deepened and deepened, as if it would never end, as if there were no more storm, no more Mistawis, only the taste of one another's mouths and the perfection they found in one another.

Barney moved his head back and broke the kiss. "Darling, we have to get back inside, just let me get us back indoors before we freeze." She murmured a sound that he took as consent and moved so that she was nuzzling into his neck, kissing, licking, and he tried to keep his head clear enough to navigate to the door, trying not to concentrate on what she was doing to him and the fact that she seemed determined to draw all the blood away from his brain.

He walked into their home and shut the door, and she headed once more for his mouth, but he set her down.

"You must be freezing."

But she didn't want words, they were so unnecessary. She reached for the buttons on his coat, undoing them even though her fingers were beginning to feel numb. Under her ministrations, he began to slip sideways, toward their bed, and his clothing fell at intervals along the way, marking their progress, like a triumphant shout.

Once to the bed he knelt before her, undoing the buttons of her dress with an impressive commingling of awe and speed. She wound her fingers in his hair, touching him again and again, sparing a slight thought that she ought to cut it, soon. But then her dress fell to the floor and he drew in a breath, and she turned his face up to hers, wondering if he were disappointed or pleased. In all their time together, he'd never seen her so undressed.

His eyes were large, the pupils dilated as he gazed at her with a sort of worship that stopped her breath in her chest.

"Oh, gods, Valancy- you are the loveliest thing I ever saw…"

She took his hand and drew him to his feet, sliding her arms about his torso, learning every curve of every muscle in his back, not thinking of the flush this brought to his face and the way his breaths came quicker, only knowing that she had to touch, that each new place she found felt sweeter and smoother than the last, as if she were devouring him with her hands. She moved her hands around to his front and the flat of her palms wandered up and down his broad chest, to the ripples of his stomach, dancing to the waistband of his trousers.

As her dress fell, a feast of white flesh stood before him, and he was glad to be kneeling before her. The slight rounding of her stomach lead up to the fullness of her curvy breasts, to the planes of her chest above them, to her slightly protruding collarbone, where he had always been certain such wonders awaited him.

As she drew him to a standing position and her hands wandered over him, he gave in to the desire to delve his tongue into that tiny nook, the nape of her neck, in the center of her collarbone, and it must have pleased her as much as him, for she reflexively paused and clenched her hands slightly, pushing her fingernails into the flesh of his chest- another chain reaction of sensations that pleased them both so much that they could only whisper each others' names again and again, filling each word with the love and meaning they'd both felt for so long, but had forbade themselves from voicing. It all spilled out now, in a mingling of touches and sounds, filling the cabin.

He pulled her closer, licking her shoulder, then letting his teeth gently follow the trail his tongue had left, and her breathing began to border on the frantic as he found nerves she'd never realized existed- and if she had, she would never have believed that each place of her shoulders and neck was linked so exquisitely to the area between her legs, that each nip of his teeth caused another pang there, the place she'd never considered before, but she now suspected was the part of her crying out for satisfaction. She spared a moment to consider what would happen if his skilled mouth were pressed there instead of to her neck- even though she knew that "nice girls" would never consider such an option. But, having, months before, waved goodbye to the idea of being a nice girl, the she instead found the resulting mental image so thrilling that she simply moaned aloud, causing Barney to lift his head.

He gazed into her eyes once more, this time his desire naked and painted across his face as well as his eyes. The fact that his burning need was reflecting back to him from her face made him light-headed. She seemed so quiet, so reserved, but there were holocausts in those eyes, in their dreamy, dark depths.

Her hands finally found the buckle of his trousers and undid them, letting them join her dress on the floor, and her wandering hands trailed lightly across his hips, the tops of his thighs the small of his back, and then lower. She made him turn slightly and pushed him into a sitting position on the bed, and it was her turn to kneel before him.

She had no idea what she was seeing exactly, but the sight of his erection caused her to close her eyes for a moment, anticipating what would come of that. She pushed him back so that he was laying back on the bed, and though he resisted at first, finding it so hard to stop kissing her, her hands pushed him down, brooking no refusal, and causing his member to twitch once more at the sternness there. He made a mental note to explore the possibilities of that later, but the thought was abandoned her teeth gently brushed against his stomach and he was unable to stifle a loud moan.

He was so embarrassed- he sounded like an inexperienced schoolboy, one who was being touched for the first time, and he wasn't. She'd never asked, so he never told her about his experiences with other women, but everything about her- her inquisitiveness, her easily discarded innocence, the deep love he had for her- banished all thought from his mind as she licked and sucked her way across his midsection.

She didn't especially avoid his penis, she just had other things to try first. The line of his hips, the curve of muscle that went lower, to his groin, was calling out for her tongue. She obliged and his hands took hold of the blanket on either side of them, holding on as though her mouth was going to make him fall, off the bed, off the world, away from any reality but the one where she was touching him and making him feel more, and make it feel sweeter than he'd ever imagined possible.

Turning her attention to his erection, she found that, though having no experience with something like this, ideas were plentiful about how she would like to treat it. She opening her mouth and traced the vein running down the side of it, following it to the base, and then back up. With one hand she held it steady, as its responses seemed to move it further away with every flick of her tongue, and she finally captured the tip between her lips. With her other hand, she gingerly reached into the nest of curly dark hair and began to stroke the skin underneath, the delicate pouch of his scrotum.

With slight sucking motions, she took the tip of his penis slightly further into her mouth, seeming to know that her teeth would not be appreciated in this endeavor, and wrapping her lips around them to avoid contact, and every touch, every movement she made, drew another gasp and moan from him, as if he had moved to a place beyond words in response to the sucking and flicking of her tongue again and again over the slit she found there.

He lifted his head enough to watch her, and the sight of her full, rosy lips, happily clasping his penis as one hand slid up and down the shaft, stopping only when it met her lips and then repeating its path, combined with the slight, sweet stroking of her other hand around his balls made him almost come on the spot, but he forced himself to calm down and forestall.

She felt his eyes on her and opened hers. She raised her eyebrows and removed her mouth, while continuing to touch him up and down and over and around again and so on, with her hands.

"Am I doing this well enough?"

He laughed- he couldn't help it. He reached down and stopped her hands from their business and her face fell.

"I am, aren't I? You're laughing at me…"

"No! No- you are, indeed, doing that too, too well, darling." Not loosening his grip on her wrists, he pulled her gently up. "If you keep that up much longer, I'm afraid that will be the end of this encounter- I will have my satisfaction in your mouth, and not in the place where I would rather find it."

He moved her to the bed and laid her down, feasting his eyes on the beauty of her nakedness as well the sweet, lustful look in her impish eyes and trusting smile playing across her face.

"Well, as long as I get to do more of that later, it's all right. I was enjoying that."

He laughed again- had he ever laughed in any other tryst? No- they had they all been awkward, uncomfortable for one reason or another, and over as soon as possible. Then again, with no other woman, no mere strumpet or trollop, had ever wanted to linger, to revel in their bodies as he longed to lose himself in Valancy's. He wanted, needed to find all the ways to stop her smiles with gasps of surprise and pleasure, as happened now, when his large, rough hands began to roam all over her body, and mouth followed, kissing across her chest, down her stomach, and then…

But, before other things, he turned his attentions to her breasts, weighing them in his hands, watching her delighted face, as if she were having someone tell her a secret about herself she hadn't known but was finding to be pleasant. He lowered her head and licked the underneath of the breast nearest him, mirroring on the other his actions, only with fingertips instead of tongue. He gently dragged his teeth where his tongue had been, trailing under the breast, then up and around, before drawing the reddish nipple directly into his mouth and sucking.

The smile left her face in response to this, and she wondered that such tremors could span her whole body from a touch in so small a place, but then she forgot to think and just gave in to the waves of pleasure building in her pubic area. He moved his mouth to her other breast, again teasing her by nibbling the parts around her areola, but knowing what awaited her, she grabbed his head and directed his lips to the nipple instead, and she could feel his smile against her warming flesh as he acquiesced to her demand.

He took her breast between his teeth, gently dragging back, until only the nipple was held in his toothy grasp and he deliberately dragged his tongue against the prize that it was. This action coincided with his thumb finding her other nipple and stroking it more rapidly, until he tweaked it ever so slightly. The combined sensations sent a red-hot rush all through her entire body- she twitched up into a sitting position and a small scream escaped her lips as she found herself in the throes of her first orgasm.

She didn't know the word, but it knowing it couldn't have rendered it any more than it already was. A piercing twinge of sheer pleasure shot from her vagina and up all over her body, searing her flesh, causing her breathing to come out in startled gasps and strangled groans and she screamed his name as her vision blurred and gravity seemed to cease its hold upon her.

Barney wasn't expecting so strong a response so early, but seeing what was happening, he quickly moved a hand to the nub between her legs, softly sliding up her dripping folds and pressing again and again, gently, that place where it would bring her the most pleasure, then sliding his whole finger up and down it again and again.

Helpless against anything she was feeling Valancy could only fling her arms around him as the second orgasm hit her before the first had even fled, causing her to rake her fingers down his back and shriek as he brought forth twitch after twitch, finally culminating her unknowingly sinking her teeth into the part of him that was nearest- his neck.

The pain of her teeth only caused him to become even more aroused, and Barney realized he would soon finish, just from watching the intense flush of her cheeks and glaze in her eyes as an entire world of pleasure and possibility claimed her as its newest inhabitant.

He withdrew his hand and her panicked breathing started again- neither had even noticed that she'd stopped breathing entirely. She drew back from him slightly and looked at his face with enraptured eyes that were still carrying her consciousness somewhere in the stratosphere- this drug was heady, indeed, and she laughed with it as she kissed him and let him lower her back to the bed.

"Oh, Barney-" her speech slurred slightly. "Is there more? I want more…"

He moved so that he was kneeling between her legs, and she spread before him, offering him all that she had, showing him what lay in store, where his hand had just been, where he would soon be venturing. The vivid redness and wetness of her arousal had already opened her, stopping all breath and thought as he humbled himself in wonder of her beauty.

He shook his head to clear it- just enough to proceed, and gently approached her. She watched him from a little above, not knowing exactly what was to come, only anticipating that he would succeed in driving her to even greater heights of things she could never have imagined. Dear word- did all married people do this? Why had no one ever told her?

He was approaching over her and she lifted up to drag his face closer and keep kissing him, plunging her tongue into his mouth to feel all of it, to feel him give way to her, even as he reached down and reverently guided his penis to her opening. He was afraid to go too far too fast- she'd never done this, and he didn't want to hurt her any more than he had to.

Her eyes grew wide and her back arched intuitively, pushing her breasts against his chest with just the slightest movement, and pushing herself further around him. With her arms around his shoulders her eyes found his and her smile grew wider.

"Valancy, this part may hurt- but just a bit. I'm going to this slowly, so it will be less…"

"I have a better idea," she asserted with that devilish grin, the one that did him in every time and to which he could never deny a single thing. Clasping him down, to her chest, locking her lips around his neck as she began to kiss, suck, and bite, she suddenly reached her legs up, around his waist, pulling him inexorably toward her and, in a quick, fluid movement, impaled herself completely upon him.

He flung back his head and cried her name at finding himself to suddenly surrounded by her warmth, lost in the immense pleasure even as he felt a pang of guilt as his penis thrust through her hymen and her face betrayed the slightest grimace, for only an instant.

It did hurt, he was right, but what did that matter when the pain only increased the pleasure, when she could feel her inner walls closing around him, welcoming him, glorying in his presence inside of her. Something in her soul broke- no, broke free, soared above them both as she gave herself over entirely to rush of the sensation- he was touching her in places she hadn't even known existed, filling her up and the sense of physical and emotional completeness- rightness- brought tears to her eyes even as she touched his face, forcing him to look at her yet again.

No other person had ever looked at Barney with such an intense rush of trust, love, adoration, desire, and a hundred other things at once- Valancy's soul was in those eyes, and she poured it out to him, even as he unknowingly poured his out to hers in the same way.

"I love you, Barney…"

"Valancy, I love you more than my life or the heart that beats within my breast."

"I know, love- I know!" She caressed his face and refused to break the contact of the conversation their eyes were having, even as the depth of the their thoughts and the unspoken promises of both caused tears for them both.

Bracing himself with an arm on the bed, Barney pulled out slightly, only to push back in and Valancy eagerly locked her ankles across his back, pulling him deeper, urging a rythym from him, one he readily answered. He could no longer pretend that his conclusion was not near, and he didn't need to, as he pushed and pushed again and again, and every time her hips rose to meet him, to take him in again, and again. She shifted slightly, not knowing why, but it was so that his pelvis was brushing her clitoris with every thrust and another of those orgasms was coming, to claim her, to drag her down and up and over once again, but her eyes didn't close and her head didn't throw itself back- her eyes were locked on his, and his on hers, and his orgasm was coming now as well, and even within their mutual frenzy, their eyes were still open, on each other, making it better, making it more, pushing it deeper within them both and outward until, helpless in the face of his pleasure, he cried out a wordless sound and she bellowed his name in an voice that was so loud it bordered on the unholy.

Outside, the storm had all but ceased. In the pines outside their door, the wind whispered through still, and the pines alone heard their shouts and cries, and it helpfully whispered even louder, as if to capture their exultant voices and hide them away from any ears that weren't their own and so had no business partaking in the breathtaking joy of perfection found and achieved in the warmth and happiness of the Blue Castle.

The End

Author's Note: I titled this story after the song I was listening to when I wrote it. "Whispering Pines" is a song that, near as I can find out, is from the 1960's and it has a traditional, slightly mountain, bluegrass sound. I highly, highly recommend finding the Iris Dement version, which is available on the soundtrack to the movie The Horse Whisperer. It's a song that I really love, but only after I wrote this did I listen to it again and realize how appropriate it is to the first part of the story.

Also, I know that if this scene truly took place, the entire outcome of the book would be different, so perhaps I ought to list it as AU, but I figure, sod it. I've just always wondered if and when Valancy and Barney consummated their relationship, which I think is a really interesting, multi-faceted question. So, here is one version of my answer. Again- if you liked this at all, please review. It would make me really, really happy.