Sorry for the delay in updates. Real life and the trials it hands out really swept my feet out from under me. Also where the story is heading was a bit difficult to pace out… This was originally first half of a chapter but it was getting long and I haven't finished the second half yet so it has become it's own chapter ...

Thank you all for your lovely reviews and I am sorry for not updating sooner ... Please Read and Review, it feeds the muse and the creative soul ....


CHAPTER 20

THE LULLABY AND CRESCENDO OF SPRING

Much had passed in the days, weeks, months, and years behind them. The fall of autumn leaves, the blanket of winter snow, the caress of awaking flowers in Spring. If not for the seasons, she was sure she would lose track of time. By now two more winters had passed by, each colder and longer than the next, leaving the land frozen in time, bathed in white, slowly to thaw away with the green hues of Spring growing out from beneath. Now, as the land woke to a new Springtime, children's laughter was heard as they ran in joyful play, the morning dew sticking to the soles of their feet. The birds chirped overhead as though they were laughing in joy along with the children as the cool light breeze sang through the trees, whistling through the branches and swaying the nest side to side in a gentle dance.

Avaline herself stepped out of her sandals as she let the morning sun warm her from behind. She stepped lightly across the grass, looking over at the twins running and playing with each other before turning her attention to Nuada, a smile gracing her face as she looked tenderly at him. He lay back, relaxed on the grass, despite the cool dew the grass held. He smiled up at the young toddler sitting on his stomach chatting incoherently as toddlers do. The toddler had his mother and uncle's fair skin, with the royal markings etched lightly across his face. His eyes were a startling blue, and his brown hair tumbled down to his shoulders. He refused a haircut, even at such a young age he showed the Royal stubbornness, one could call it, that his uncle and grandfather still showed. It was his way, and his way at the moment was no haircut.

"You spoil him" Avaline spoke up teasingly as she stepped closer and sat down beside the pair.

"I do no such thing…" Nuada spoke as he glanced over at her. "I am raising the little prince as he should be…" He spoke directly to Aidan, as he chirruped in toddler language back to him. Nuada looked back over at Avaline again and defiantly held his chin up to her. It was with a hint of playfulness and seriousness that he did so. Aidan noticing this stopped his chatter suddenly and turned his attention to Avaline before raising his chin up the same way as Nuada.

A playful laugh and heavy sigh left Avaline all at once at that, and she couldn't help but smile as Aidan, intuitive little one, picked up on her glee and fell back into a fit of giggles across Nuada's lap.

"I am serious." Nuada spoke up as he helped Aidan to sit upright again, who was still giggling and reaching out to Avaline, tugging at the bracelets on her wrist.

"I know you are…" Avaline sighed and turned away from Nuada, knowing his reply before even hearing or seeing it in his expressions. "Nuala is looking for him…" Avaline started again after a moment silence. "It's time for his meal and afternoon rest…" Avaline chose her words carefully towards the end there. They'd had their fair share of arguments about who is raising the child, and how as a little prince, lunches and afternoon naps were inappropriate.

"Come on" Avaline said holding her hands out for the little one when it became obvious Nuada wasn't moving. Aidan smiled and with a giggle launched himself into Avaline's lap and snuggled in, pressing himself up tight against her and nuzzling his head into her neck.

"I'll see you in the training room, yes?" Avaline stated as she got to her feet and looked down at Nuada, his face blank of any expression, which lately meant he wanted to argue the benefits of Aidan staying with him and not being fussed over like a baby; that he should be spoken and treated as the heir to the throne. Avaline's reply was always the same, and never verbal, just a simple raising of one eyebrow which infuriated Nuada to where he would hide out in the forest amongst the trees, woodland creatures, and his own thoughts and emotions.

At this moment though he just stood to his feet and nodded before making his way towards the compound, leaving Avaline behind with a tussling toddler in her arms trying to reach out for a butterfly flying overhead. Once she had left Aidan to Nuala she slowly made her way to the training room. She could already sense Nuada in there. She could sense his forceful movements, his thrusts and angry paries with his spear. With a deep breath in she stepped into the room and shut the doors behind her before removing her jacket and tossing it to the floor beside Nuada's tunic. She then picked up her kopis swords and making her way to the centre of the room. She had little moment to react before Nuada's spear drove close to her forehead, dodging at the last minute she threw her swords up in defence for driving the handle of one of her kopis swords into Nuada's stomach in retaliation. They parted only briefly before the ringing of metal sounded, echoing against the walls as they attacked and defended and countered each others movements.

She wasn't sure of the time that passed, but as her breath grew heavier and the sweat trickled over her skin she found her movement lagging slightly, enough for Nuada to get the upper hand. He swung behind her placing the long sheath of the spear across her chest and pulling her back against his. The thick metal pressed hard against her chest and she by reflex dropped her swords and gripped onto the spear. Relentless Nuada pressed up tighter against her, his leg edging between hers as he dipped his head and licked at the perspiration on her neck, his teeth grazing against her throat.

Despite the years that passed, he was still insatiable as their first time in the woods. The spear dropped to the ground, barely missing her feet, but was quickly replaced by one of Nuada's strong arms across her chest, his hand gripping tightly onto her shoulder and pulling her closer as his tongue and mouth licked and sucked at her exposed flesh. His other hand deftly undoing the buttons of her shorts before his fingers grazed over her skin, teasingly lightly like a feather, as he edged past her underwear and found her warmth. He let out a sound, a moan, a purr, a heated snarl as he found her wet and slipped a finger in while his thumb made circular motions over the petal of flesh that left her gripping his arm and grinding herself against his hand and back against his own aroused hardness pressing against her lower back. Her body shuddered and she couldn't hold back the moan as he pressed two more fingers alongside the other into her warmth, filling her up but not enough.

She had to admit, she was just as insatiable as him when it came to these moments. She mewled as he removed his fingers but soon found herself on her hands and knees, her shorts somehow around her ankles, locking her legs in place as Nuada came back and pressed himself against her back, entering her slowly in one long thrust, as though letting gravity pull him down into her. His hands came around and under her shirt to grip at her breasts as he grunted and pulled out, thrusting back into her harder, just as slowly. She could feel him grinning as he buried his face into her hair as he pulled out and sunk back in. Every time she would try to speed up, push herself back onto him more quickly his hands would move to her hips, a small chuckle leaving his throat as he would agonisingly drink in the moment and sink into her just as slow as before.

"Please" Avaline finally whimpered as she dug her nails into the rubber matting of the training room floor. "Please."

She missed the heat as Nuada pulled away, his hands staying at her hips gripping her tightly and holding her in place as he pulled completely out of her and stood up behind her, leaning down as his hands traced over her. One hand held her hip tight while the other pushed on her back forcing her to arch up and push her rear up towards him. There was a shuffling sound and she whimpered and mewled as she felt Nuada sit down on her legs. He chuckled again before leaning forward, tracing the tip of his tongue out, tasting her. Licking and moving into her warmth before he kissed his way upwards.

Avaline whined again as she heard him shuffle back, his finger tapping light on her hip before he leaned back in to kiss over her inner thighs and lick up the skin of her rear. Before she knew it both of his hands were on her rear, pushing apart the flesh before without any warning he was licking and teasing the tight puckered flesh that had over all these years remained untouched.

"Nuada!" Avaline cried out surprised, yet his weight of him sitting on her legs, and his hands firmly gripping onto her, kept her firmly in place as he continued to lick and probe at her.

"If you're going to do this you take me back to our room now!" Avaline huffed as she twisted her upper body and thumped him on the head with her fist. Nuada chuckled as he looked up briefly, the mischief and lust evident in his eyes. Suddenly the cold sticky rubber of the training room flooring beneath their knees was replaced by a warm cotton and feathery duvet, yet they remained in the same positions as before. Nuada raised a look at Avaline as she huffed and grabbed a pillow and placed it beneath her as she leaned back down onto her elbows.

"You're annoying when you get like this." Avaline huffed again as she rest her face into the pillow and let Nuada position himself better, raising her rear a little higher as she arched her back for him and rest forward into the pillow. She was tempted to add "wake me up when you're done" but knew that she would probably regret it before it was even said.

"I don't see how this could be any different." Avaline sighed as he continued licking at the tight flesh. It wasn't until she felt a definite pressure push past the tightened flesh that she let out a small cry and looked back to see that Nuada had replaced his tongue with one of his fingers. His eyes fully blown as he watched his finger push past the tightness. It wasn't until he tried to add the second finger that Avaline realised this was going to be quite different.

"Use something." She hissed as she wriggled against his attentions and tried to get away. He leaned over her to hold her in place, an arm wrapping around her and gripping her tight while he slowly pushed two fingers in. Avaline dug her nails into his arm and glared at him as he continued to try and push in. "It hurts…"

"What do you expect me to do about that?" Nuada spoke calmly as he continued to push in slowly.

"Use something to ease the passage" Avaline hissed.

With a huff Nuada stood up away from the bed allowing Avaline time to sit up and finally pull off her shorts, tossing them to the floor before throwing her shirt off beside them. She lay on her back and watched as Nuada muttered to himself under his breath as he went through the cupboards in the bathroom before finally coming back with a bottle and standing at the end of the bed looking down at Avaline. With a heavy sigh she rolled back over and pulled a pillow beneath her once again.

A shuffling noise behind her alerted her to Nuada climbing back on the bed before she felt his body heat as he knelt between her legs, pushing them apart with his own. This time his fingers were slick as they pushed slowly past the tight ring of muscle and eased slowly in a rhythmic motion as he teased and twisted, pulled and pushed, massaging her to a new found ecstasy. Her moans seemed to drive him on, as she heard his breath hitch every so often before finally he pulled away. His hands gripped onto her hips as she felt him slowly ease forward, pushing himself deep into her tight heat, pulling out a little before sinking further in. His breath came out in sharp gusts as he leaned forward, his hands placed on the bed either side of her head as he sunk in fully and let out a shuddering breath. His teeth grazed, his mouth licked as he slowly moved his hips in circular motions before pulling back out and sinking back in with one fluid motion.

His movements quickened as his breath continued to come out in sharp gasps, echoing against the walls with the sound of skin against skin, and the sound of Avaline's moans and cries. Every time together, felt like the first, heated and wanting. At the same time it felt like hunger and starvation, as though they had not been with each other for so long, despite their just being together the night before or that very morning, as though they needed it to quench something deep inside. Even after the years had passed, it was still like this every time

It wasn't long before Nuada pressed down against her, his body riding waves of lust and love as he continued pulsing in her, his heartbeat a thud against the skin of her back as his legs fell to either side of her and clung tight. He pulled at the pillow, throwing it out from under her as he wrapped his arms around her, clutching at her hands, intertwining his fingers with hers. They could each tell the telltale signs of their peaks arrival, the trembles that would take over their bodies, the way Avaline's moans would catch in her throat. The way Nuada's movements would slowly lose their rhythm and become harsher shorter thrusts yet also try to bury himself fully. As they both reached their climax, their cries were muffled as Nuada buried his face in Avaline's hair, and she cried out into the cotton linen of the duvet.

Once Avaline's breathing had returned to normal she rolled onto her side to stare at Nuada as he lay on his back beside her. His breath was slowing, the rise and fall of his chest gentling as sleep slowly took him. Avaline shifted again and her breath hitched as the dull ache between her legs turned into a sharper pain.

"Males …. Reasserting their dominance…" Avaline grunted with some disgust as she got up and made her way to the bathroom. As she opened the door she was met by Nuada glaring down at her.

"What did you mean by that?" He asked.

"You know exactly what I meant." Avaline huffed as she moved past him and into the shower. Turning on the water and ignoring as Nuada stepped into the shower behind her. "Surprised you didn't bite me like a dog would his bitch…" Avaline said under her breath as she gently washed herself with body wash, the soap stinging places it normally wouldn't.

"What is your problem?" Nuada snapped as he grabbed Avaline's shoulders and forcefully turned her to look him in the eye.

"What is yours?" Avaline snapped back as she continued to wash herself before throwing the body wash bottle at him. She tilted her head up, in mock salute of the motion he had done to her earlier that day, then stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around herself.

"You were a willing participant" Nuada stated as he washed himself down, keeping an eye on Avaline as she turned to look at him.

"I was, and I enjoyed it, strangely enough." Avaline stated.

"Then what are you taking issue with?"

A hesitant pause. Nuada couldn't help but notice it. Her eyes darting back and forth and a sharp intake of breath, clearly saying there was something inside she was battling with.

"Nothing." Avaline muttered under her breath as she made her way into the bedroom.

The past year there had been a coil inside, twisting and tightening, between the pair of them. Each of them noticed it, yet neither said anything of it. At first thought it had been the complacency, an almost mindless daily routine that they had slid into, then with Aidan and Nuada's want of a hold of him had added to the tenseness between the pair. Avaline shook her head as the thoughts ran through her mind, it was all of those things, but it wasn't just them that had been keeping her awake at night.

"It is not nothing." Nuada spoke up and took hold of her arm, pulling Avaline to face him. "Speak to me." When she said nothing he shook her lightly then tilted her face up with his free hand, forcing her to look him in the eyes. She trembled beneath his touch, but it wasn't arousal that usually did it, he could tell it was something else. Something underlying, that was slowly bubbling to the surface. "Tell me." He spoke, shaking her harder.

"You…" Avaline whispered, barely audible under her breath. "Why do you have to be so… Why… Why are you like that? Why? Why do you have to be you?" Avaline finally spluttered out all at once before covering her mouth with her hand. Her eyes widened and she trembled and started to fall over her words as she attempted to apologise. Nuada however just shook off the rambling and settled Avaline and sat her at the edge of the bed.

"What have you really been thinking about all these days when you go quiet?" Nuada asked softly as he sat beside her.

"Children. Seeing you with Aidan… Made me think of us…" Avaline looked up into his eyes, searching for a response before she continued and added tentatively "It made me think about us having our own."

Nuada's eyes seemed to widen before a smile graced his face and he took a hold of Avaline's face with both his hands either side. He gently stroked her cheeks as he leant forward and placed a kiss to her forehead, then her nose, before gracing across her lips.

"I would be honoured to bring a life into the world with you." Nuada spoke. He sounded strangely foreign to Avaline as she struggled with her thoughts and emotions.

"I don't… I don't want to."

"Don't want to…?"

"I don't want to bring a life into the world with you."

"You just said…"

"Not when you're like… Not when I see the way you treat Aidan as a pawn, a future king. A child is to be loved and nurtured…" Avaline rambled off and stood up away from Nuada. He didn't move to follow her, just sat on the bed pondering what she had just said to him.

She took some clothes out of the wardrobe and dressed slowly, trying to push the inevitable away. The inevitable being turning around and facing Nuada after her outburst. Finally she did, tentatively, slowly raising her head up to look at him face to face.

"They are the next generation." Nuada spoke as he walked towards her. "They are the heir to the throne and they are of royal lineage. They will be raised appropriately, not cuddled and raised as Abraham chooses to raise Aidan. My child will raise his head high and know his place…"

"Then I will not have a child with you." Avaline stated surely as she raised her head to him.

"I do not think after your family history you can really state how a parent and child should be…" Nuada muttered and quickly caught himself, though it were too late. Avaline's hand connected to the side of his face hard causing him to spin slightly and to unsettle his feet. By the time he had turned the door to their bedroom was slamming shut. Sensing her energy it was like sensing a ghost in dense fog with the heat of a towering inferno. Wisely he kept his distance, leaving Avaline to cool down. He sat down on the bed once again to mill over the conversation that had just rushed past him like a torrent before his comprehension could even catch up. All he could do was sit and wonder in a state of confusion, what just happened?