A/N: I've just published my first novel, a historical fantasy ebook about Morgan le Fay - the original wicked witch or the original fairy godmother; the legend retold. Arthur's Witch Book I: The Priestess.

Links to Amazon are on my profile page, as are my official Facebook, Twitter and my own website. The sample of the book is free to download, so you really have nothing to lose. Please, give it a chance.

I really have no excuse for why this took me so long to get out - thank you for the reviews, and please enjoy the chapter.


Chapter Twenty - Consummation and Comfort

She did agree, and instantly. Instinct overwhelmed everything, every thought or rational objection she might have had simply running from her mind. Compelled into action by the fierce desire now rising through her, the goddess tore his tunic from his body with unnatural strength. The silk shredded under her fingernails, and she dropped it to the ground in strips. She still wasn't moving fast enough for Nuada though; as soon as she slipped her arms around his shoulders, he moved his hands down from her breasts—she gave a moan of protest at that—to grip her thighs. He pushed them up and around his hips, grinding his arousal into her pelvis. Avani let out a ragged groan and bucked her pelvis against him.

"Hurry," she whispered. "Please, please hurry."

Suddenly he slowed, gentling his hold on her, though he didn't let her go or put her down. She frowned, dismayed at his apparent change of heart. "Nuada, what-?"

He cut her off with another kiss, though this one was tender. When he pulled back, there was a wicked grin on his face. He pulled her away from the door, walking towards the bed. She understood — he wanted to make this last. The idea and image of endless, lazy pleasure was wonderful. But it was also completely against what every instinct in her wanted, right now.

"Later, we have time later, we can-"

"We have time now, pasol," he chuckled, his laugh vibrating against her skin.

He drew his mouth down her neck, then further down her chest. He placed kisses all over her breasts, tongue and lips and teeth everywhere except where she wanted them. Her fingers raked through his hair as she tried to force him, arching her back at the same time. It was to no avail; clearly, he would take his time, had picked now of all times to become a King, and in her bed too. Finally, though, he sucked a nipple into his mouth, hard. His teeth clamped around it as he swirled his tongue over the sensitive bud. His fingers pinched, pulled and stroked the other one. Fire shot over through her veins, a cry shooting from her lips. The leaves which covered her lower half had lost whatever held them together; the bedspread was covered with them, but she now lay completely bare, cradling him between her legs. She rocked her hips against his, half-pulling and half-kicking his trousers away. Finally they were both unclothed, skin against skin and completely as they should be.

When he still showed no sign of joining their bodies, Avani let a tiny whimper escape her lips. She should have been been ashamed; Nuada heard it clearly. He laughed again.

She decided perhaps demanding was not the way to go — she turned soft instead, malleable and pliant. Her hands stroked through his hair gently now, moving toward his ears. On elves, ears were one of the most intense erogenous zones. When she touched the tips softly, moved her mouth to breathe hotly over the skin. Nuada shuddered, then groaned aloud when she fasted onto his earlobe. She used much the same technique he had on her breasts, with much the same result: he was gasping and beginning to tremble. Deciding it was time to take charge again, she flipped them, lying on top of him. Against her belly, his erection lay hot and hard.

"Mi cyrn o jhoji air, sharas," she whispered, suddenly looking incredibly fierce.

He laughed again, but his laughter was cut short. Without any prior warning, Avani moved down his body, bending to take him in her mouth. She sucked the head into a hot, wet mouth. It was all Nuada could do not to lose all semblance of composure right there in her mouth. His hands fisted in her hair now, fingers twisting in the mahogany strands. Avani pulled back slightly, then lunged down again, taking more of him into her mouth this time. She moved her tongue in slow, leisurely strokes, each of which felt indescribable. Patience was what he had asked of her, and she was taking him at his word.

It was not long before he, too, could no longer cope with the pleasure she was inflicting on him. He needed the release he would only find being buried inside her. When he could take no more, he reached down, pulled her up by her upper arms. He kissed her hard, biting at her swollen lips. When she pulled back, she was grinning.

"Ready now, love?" she asked coyly.

He nodded, breathing ragged. She closed her eyes, poised over him for a moment, apparently to heighten the already thick anticipation. With his hands on her hips, he urged her down. Slowly, she did so, sinking onto him. She gasped as their bodies joined, throwing her head back in pleasure. They moved in unison, rocking and bucking together. Neither bothered with discretion; cries echoed from the walls; anyone in the hallway could not have missed what was happening. They built to a crest, moving with increasing speed until finally, orgasm erupted. It hit them at the same time. Whether it was the shock of it, or the complete wholeness of it, both of them were ripped from individual pleasures, and opened their eyes. Far from dimming or interrupting the pleasure though, it only intensified it. Avani's eyes were glowing, and he knew his were too. Then climax forced all other awareness away — there was nothing except light and colour, her soul somehow in his chest, while his resided in hers, and the sound of his name on her lips.

Hearts pounding, they collapsed back onto the mattress together, sweat on their skin and breathing hard. She reached up once, to kiss him softly, murmuring something in a language he suspected was millennia older than his own. It had the sound of love to it though, and complete relief.

He stroked her hair from her face, pressed his mouth to her forehead. "Too long…"

She nodded and shivered slightly against him. "Far, far too long."

"As good as you remember?" he asked softly.

"Mmm…better."

She smiled, kissed him again, and then closed her eyes. Within moments, her breathing had slowed and evened out, and she was asleep. He intended to remain awake for a time; watch her, think about things. Now that they had Nuala back, and the humans were no longer in danger, the remaining obstacle to his assuming the throne of Bethmora had gone. He was unsure how he felt about that — only a few weeks ago, a few days, it had been an unwanted burden. Now, it felt more like a necessary responsibility. But there was still one insurmountable fact: he had killed his father. Committed a terrible crime in pursuit of what, if Avani was to be believed, would have been an even greater crime. Yet she had forgiven him. Yet she loved him. Perhaps everything else could be overcome.

With that happy thought, and with utter contentment singing through his veins, Nuada shut his own eyes, and slept.


Avani woke to find the room had changed colour. It was now completely green. Flowers had crawled up the walls, creating splashes of brightness that opened even as he watched. Perfumed honeysuckle hung down from the ceiling, while the floor was carpeted by grass. She smiled, looking up at Nuada—he still slept, his face relaxed. He had done all this in slumber? It was remarkable. True, it was not conscious use of the magic she had given him, but neither was it an inconsiderable achievement. It was beautiful. She wondered if he would believe her when she told him he had done it. Probably not.

Stretching, she manoeuvred herself out of his arms, moving to the edge of the bed. Behind her, Nuada stirred, and a warm arm encircled her waist, anchoring her. She smiled, and turned to kiss her lover. "Go back to sleep, Celebhyanda. There is time for everything."

He let go of her after some persuasion — more kissing, which she had absolutely no objection to—and she dressed, in purple orchids this time, and went outside, intending to visit Princess Nuala, and ensure the BPRD agents were not interrogating her trying to find something that no longer existed inside her. She also wanted to try and explain the situation. And then think of ideas on how to get Bethmora back from the humans. She could not at the moment. At least none which did not involve, as Elizabeth Sherman had put it, simply asking seven million of them to leave their homes. It did not seem likely they would agree.

When she left the room, she got another shock: the hallway was a forest. Fully mature trees, bluebells carpeting the floor, ivy up the walls. Avani stopped in complete shock. There was even a small spring running through the corridor. How was this possible? She put her head back into the room, but Nuada was still asleep. Another possibility occurred to her — they had done it, together, at the height of climax. In a moment of pure energy and pure creativity, it was conceivable that they could have done it. Nature had simply poured forth. So in order to fully rejuvenate Bethmora, perhaps all that would be needed was sex. She really had no problem with that.

With a soft smile, Avani waded across the stream and down the hallway. At the end of the corridor, there was a thicket of trees, densely packed. Too densely for anyone to break through them, which she supposed explained why they had not been interrupted by agents demanding they get rid of the forest. When she got to them, the trees bent out of her way, then snapped shut again behind her. Immediately, the forest thinned, though there were still sapling sprouting all along the corridors, and grass growing over the floor.

"Sir, she's come out!"

Within seconds, Agent Manning had come running over, very clearly out of breath, and clutching a stitch in his side. "Finally! How did you- D'you think you could- I mean, do you think this is funny? Because this is not funny, I mean, it's a mess. Well, not a mess, but you know what I mean, forests should not be inside buildings, how did you even-"

"I suspect mid-coitus," she interrupted smoothly, effectively stopping Manning in his stride.

The human coloured. "Um…"

"However, I can remove them from the building, if you wish."

"Oh it's not just in the building," a voice said. She turned to see Hellboy, walking toward them with his arms folded.

She blinked. "It isn't?"

Manning shook his head and held out several images for her to look at. They were all of trees, and appeared to show the surrounding land from the air. "It's most of the state of New Jersey."

"Uh, Agent Manning?"

Called away, Manning left with another imploring look at Avani to fix the situation. Hellboy simply stared at her. "So, you and the prince, huh?"

"Yes."

"And he's okay with Abe and the princess now?"

"Abraham Sapien did save her life, and the lives of every human on this planet. If he is not 'okay' with it, then he should be."

"And you're just gonna tell him that?"

"Why wouldn't I?" she asked. "How is Princess Nuala?"

"Still sleeping."

"Unmolested?"

"Yep. Liz managed to convince them that they didn't have to run tests."

"Good."

She made to walk away, but he caught her arm. She raised an eyebrow, unaccustomed to having anyone touch her unless they had been given explicit permission to do so. The red demon seemed unaffected. "You are still planning on keeping that promise?"

"Of course," she said. "An oath is not something I take lightly, Hellboy."

He seemed convinced by that, letting go of her arm. She continued on her way, heading for the room she knew Nuala to be in. It was a relief to be able to sense her once more, and the awareness of her got stronger the closer Avani got. She knocked on the door, and got a shock when a creature she had not sensed opened the door. For a moment, she and Abraham examined each other with equal interest. She suspected (though had no way of knowing) that there were many questions he wanted to ask, though it was not a feeling she shared. She still had not forgiven him for revealing her true identity to everyone — especially Nuada — before she was ready.

"I wish to see the princess," she told him.

"She isn't awake yet."

"She will not mind being woken by me."

"Well I mind."

"That is your mistake."

Abraham drew himself up with an affronted noise. "I assure you, you must get past me before you-"

"Abraham," Nuala's soft voice broke in, "please, let her in, paesaer."

He cast another suspicious look at Avani, but did step aside. When Avani entered, Nuala sank down into a deep curtsey. "Majesty."

Avani crossed to her, pulling her upright. "Please, there's no need. I have relinquished what I was."

"But-"

"Avani is my name now." When Nuala looked at Abraham, Avani nodded. "They know my identity, yes. Your love is…skilled at ferreting out secrets."

"And my brother? I can no longer feel him."

"No. The link was broken with your deaths, and when I resurrected him, you were already in the world. Now you are merely siblings, not twins. The only link he has now is with me."

Nuala looked about ready to collapse in relief, and Avani quickly sat her back down on the bed, looking back at Abraham. "Leave us."

"Nuala?"

The princess nodded faintly, and the strange blue man left them alone. Immediately, Nuala took Avani's hands, and sank to the floor on her knees. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I tried to stop him, tried to warn him of the consequences, but-"

"Enough, iníon. Sister," Avani corrected herself softly, joining her on the floor. "It was not your fault. The bond between you never should have been in the first place. Your parents disobeyed the gods' law, didn't they?"

Nuala nodded. "They should have left one of us to die," she said, "I know. But my mother pleaded with my father not to do it. And twins had never been recorded in elvish history before, so no one knew why the law existed."

"To prevent what happened to the two of you," Avani said. "To prevent a telepathic bond which would have driven you both mad in the end. To prevent the corruption of your feelings for one another."

"We never-"

"I know," Avani said compassionately. "And even if you had, it would not have been your fault." She bit her lip hesitantly, before saying, "I know something of that, Nuala. Or I have known it, in the past. It's why the law was there."

"Thank you," Nuala whispered, tears falling from her eyes. Avani wiped them away and then kissed her forehead.

"No more regret now," she told her softly. "All is well. Humanity is safe, you and your brother are both alive, and you were reunited with your love. And this time you will face no opposition, I promise. I hope you will help me all the same though."

Ten minutes later, the princess and the goddess came out of the room, each looking happier than when Avani had gone in. When Abraham reached for her hand, Nuala squeezed back comfortingly. Avani left them to it and set about clearing the BPRD of the trees which had sprouted up. She had decided to leave the rest of the state as it was. There were that many trees in New Jersey anyway they had hardly added to them. She worked backward, heading to the bedroom, and did not chose the quick route, which would have been simply to drain the life from all the plants and leave them shrivelled and dead. Unable to bear that, she had taken the slower route, and reduced them all back to their seed forms. That way they could be replanted later, no harm done. In her concentration, she did not notice Nuada's presence until there were arms wrapped around her waist, and a warm mouth against her neck.

"Good morning."

She tilted her head back to let his lips explore a little further along. "Good morning."

"What are you doing?"

She turned to him with a handful of acorns. "Cleaning up. It seems we were a little…unbridled last night. You may have noticed."

"Yes, I saw you decided to redecorate the room," he answered amusedly.

She laughed. "No, tia voli, I did not do that. You did."

"But I've no idea how to do anything like that."

She grinned wickedly. "Apparently I inspire you."


pasol - darling

Mi cyrn o jhoji air, sharas - See how you like it, bastard

paesaer - dearest

iníon - daughter

tia voli - my prince

A/N: Review please!