Here is the story hinted at in Fishing – the promised conversation between Zevran and Luke. For those of you who do not know my characters, Luke is Aedan's eldest, adopted son.


The Birds and the Bees

And that's why birds do it, bees do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love
-Cole Porter

Luke did not consider himself an inexperienced or naïve young man. Aedan and Leliana made sure of his education, and it seemed every time he turned around they handed him another book. The subjects he read were wide and varied. Aedan insisted he read history and politics, Leliana encouraged adventure and romance. Yes, romance. Luke had blushed the first time he'd read the title of one such book.

Handing it back to his adoptive mother, he'd flushed and stammered lightly. "Leli, ah, I'm not sure this is really my thing."

"But Luke it is a wonderful story. When the warrior returns from battle…"

"There's a warrior in it? Then why is it called Capture my Heart?" He had to blush lightly again even reading out the title.

"Well he left his love behind and when he returns she is about to be wed to another, a terrible man, a very…"

"Leli!" Luke held up a hand to stop her. "How much love stuff is in this and how much battle?"

Leliana laughed delightedly and reached out to pat his hair, a motherly gesture he didn't mind so much as the cheek kissing and the hugging, though the hugging sometimes suited. "Oh, Luke, some of the best stories are love stories. Just try it, hm? For little old me?" She held out another volume, inches from him, waving it in a teasing fashion. "If you like it, I will let you read this one, it has Antivan assassins in it!"

Ooh! Luke's brows rose, then he grinned. "Do they fall in love?"

"Maybe one… or two of them."

Luke eyed her teasing and amused expression, groaned, then chuckled.

He enjoyed Capture my Heart, but he had to read it in seclusion. No matter how many blood thirsty battles decorated the pages, the very title required he hide in the second pantry to read it. Luke liked the second pantry. Located about halfway down the cellar stairs, it attracted fewer visitors than the larger pantry just off the kitchen. The small room housed the larger barrels of preserved goods, the spare sacks of flour and barley, the winter stores – jars of fruit and vegetables lined the shelves that separated the room into two sections. Behind the shelves, and away from the door, a comfortable slouch could be achieved by reclining on the sacks of barley. They seemed more malleable than the taut bags of flour.

He hid there to read the occasional romance novel passed to him by Leliana and though he did not enjoy all of them, and often found himself flicking past the mushy parts, he did feel he'd been educated on the subject of love. Sort of. Besides, one only had to be in a room and Aedan and Leliana for five minutes and you'd see how kissing was accomplished. And he had a fair idea what the elves did when they disappeared, Kayley blushing, Zev tugging on her hand and whispering in her ear. Sort of.

There were not many folks his age at Vigil's Keep, a stable boy, a young elven man who worked the grounds, one of the Warden's sisters, a kitchen maid and occasionally, Seneschal Varel's nephew came to stay from Amaranthine. A sensible man steered well clear of Garret's sister and Luke did not have a preference for men. If he were to pick one to kiss, it would be Jessica, the kitchen maid. Not that he thought about kissing, often.

It often only takes a show of interest for it to be returned and the weight of Luke's gaze surely alerted the young woman to his intent. He figured her for either a year older or perhaps just younger than his own seventeen years. Women's ages were difficult to pin down. Though he knew Leliana was a few years older than Aedan, he thought she looked younger, or perhaps the same age as his adoptive father. Then again, Aedan had attained the look of a wearied warrior lately and looked older than his own twenty eight years. But Jessica had the curves of a woman…

"You have the look of a man who is thinking luscious thoughts."

Luke blinked and focused his gaze. Zevran stood in front of him, arms crossed, head tilted, amber eyes twinkling with mischief. Clearing his throat and working to maintain a cool and collected demeanor, Luke made an answer. "Well, if you consider cook's peach cobbler luscious, yes."

Zevran narrowed his eyes before chuckling softly, "Hm," being the only comment to part his lips before he invited the young Warden to spar.

Luke enjoyed training with Zevran. He had adopted Aedan's own dual wield style and as the older Warden did, he peppered his more warrior like strikes with the trickier and more dexterous moves of a rogue. When the opportunity presented itself, Luke could flank and backstab like Zevran and he was not averse to lifting his boot and delivering a well aimed kick.

The Antivan rogue often attempted to distract him during a match by repeating off colour jokes and making ribald suggestions.

"Have I told you the story of the Nevarran goat farmer, Luke?" Zevran asked in a conversational tone as he slipped beneath Luke's guard and stood up behind him.

The young man felt the tap of the former assassin's dagger at the back of his hip and inwardly cursed. He should have shot his foot out, tripped up his opponent.

"No, Zev, you have not. Is it about goats?"

"Not exactly."

Zevran appeared in front of him again and Luke laughed. "One day I will learn to slip between the shadows as you do, Zev, then you will not need to distract me with your humour."

The rogue flicked at Luke's leather and splint mail armour and winked. "Perhaps with a little less metal slowing you down, clanking so loudly, yes?"

But a flash of pink caught Luke's attention and his gaze wandered towards Jessica who at that moment crossed the far corner of the large courtyard.

"Most definitely not a goat, my young friend."

Luke at Zevran and chuckled. The morning's exercise had already brought colour to his cheeks; he doubted the slight flush he felt could be seen. "No."

While he didn't exactly stalk the kitchen maid, Luke did find he often took the odd way, or the long way, to his destination. The kitchen was fairly centrally located and Wardens were known for their appetites, and so he was already a frequent visitor to the cook's domain. Alice, the robust woman who presided over the Vigil's kitchens, always welcomed him with cookies and a smile.

"You must be growin' lad! This is the third time you've been in here today. Those boys not leaving enough on the table for you?"

As Jessica did not appear to be in the kitchen at present, Luke paid attention to the kindly woman. "It's your cookies, Alice, they are too hard to resist," he said, giving her a warm smile.

Alice clucked her tongue. "Listen to you; you're as bad as the Commander. Save your flattery and those lovely brown eyes of yours for the lasses." She patted his shoulder and bustled off to stir a pot.

Luke cast his 'lovely brown eyes' about the kitchen a final time, catching no trace of pink skirts, and made his farewell – taking an extra handful of cookies on his way out.

Of course, when you are least expecting it, things will go your way. The very next time Luke sought the privacy of the second pantry for an exercise in less than manly reading, he found Jessica in there, taking stock of the preserves.

She turned at hearing his step and smiled and bobbed her head in a polite sort of greeting. "Warden. Can I get something for you?"

Hm. Did Luke actually need anything in the pantry? Besides the privacy of his reading nook and the possible feel of her lips on his, no. His eyes scanned the shelves. "I, er," he tried to think of an excuse to stay. "No, I don't, actually, I was just passing by." No one just passed by the second pantry, unless they were on their way to the cellar.

"Did you need the cellar key?"

Luke scratched his neck and grinned. "Well, no." At the raised brow he received from the young woman, Luke indicated the pile of sacks in the corner and summoned an abashed smile. "I actually come in here to read sometimes. It's quiet, private." He shrugged. She might think him ridiculous, but her response could further their conversation and that would work.

Jessica giggled. "Oh? And here I was thinking you might have come to see me." She eyed the book clasped in his hand as if it was a mere prop.

That worked! Luke glanced down at the book and found himself grateful this one did not appear to be of a terribly romantic nature, not on the outside, at least. Leliana usually respected his desire to read good adventure stories and never sent him anything intolerably fluffy. He grinned and slipped the book into his pocket. Looking up he met the challenge of that mildly flirtatious blue eyed gaze and stepped forward.

"You have caught me out," he said in a tone that he hoped sounded similarly coy.

At his admission she blushed prettily and turned to continue her work, talking to him at the same time. "So what do you read about? Heroes of legend?"

Luke took the opportunity to enter the pantry properly and leaned against the wall by the door, crossing his arms. "Mostly. Wardens, griffons, kings, anything really."

"Sounds like fun. I can read, you know," she admitted somewhat shyly. "Just the recipes and stuff. I never actually tried to read a book, a story."

"Oh, well Aedan, er, I mean the Commander has quite a collection. I'm sure he'd let you borrow one."

"Maybe, one day, if I have the time."

Luke nodded at this; she did always seem to be busy. It then occurred to him that he might be keeping her from her task. "Ah, can I help you there? What are you doing, counting the cans?"

Jessica looked thoughtful and then smiled. "Well sure, if you don't have anything better to do."

They made a bit of a game of it, seeing who could count a row the fastest, and then seeing who could distract the other by counting aloud rather too loudly. When Luke finished making his last notes in her ledger, he passed it back and their hands touched and Maker, if it wasn't just like one of those moments out of one of those books Leliana had him reading! His skin tingled and he felt a flush creeping up from his neck and noticed the same thing had happened to her and they looked at one another and said not a word.

Then she giggled, the sound breaking the silence and the moment passed and Luke blinked and smiled.

"Well, Warden…"

"Luke, call me Luke."

"Oh, well I'm Jess."

"I know."

Jessica looked extremely pleased that he knew and she bobbed her head and smiled some more. "Well, ah, Luke. I have to get these figures up to Seneschal Varel, thank you for your help." As she skipped towards the door, Luke felt oddly bereft. She turned just before exiting the room and said in a coy tone, "You know, I might pass this way again this evening, or maybe tomorrow evening, after supper dishes are done."

Luke's aspect brightened and he made a quick rejoinder. "I sometimes read about that time." He never did, that would require a lantern and he usually spent time with Aedan or the other Wardens after dinner. But he could change his plans.

With a final grin and flash of skirt she was gone.

She did not appear that evening, or the next. Luke began to get tired of the sight of flour sacks and cans and he'd not bothered to bring a book with him as the small room lacked sufficient light for reading during the evening. Really, it lacked sufficient light during the day if you didn't position the book exactly right, catching the small square of sunlight that moved across the far wall. Luke had to skip visiting the pantry that third night, several of the Wardens had formed the impression he did not feel well, that he had been going to bed right after dinner. So he spent a night with his brothers, watching them drink ale, not really tempted to have one of his own – he didn't particularly care for the flavour and Leliana's chiding tone always sounded in a corner of his mind if he contemplated a mug. He played cards with Marin, Runir and Zevran, and the elf excused himself at a look from Kayley and Luke watched them go with a certain curiosity.

"One female Warden and the Antivan has her wrapped around his little finger," Marin lamented.

"Yrisa is female," Runir put in with a wink.

"And old enough to be my mother, and a scary mage!"

Yrisa was not quite old enough to be Marin's mother, unless she'd become a mother at ten years old. The three of them laughed, but good-naturedly. Luke also did not find her to be scary, he liked Yrisa, she had been there when Aedan had found him and Brenda, his sister, at their parent's farmhouse and she had always been warm, kind and willing to share stories. He also thought her magic quite fascinating and she had been willing to demonstrate certain spell for him on occasion.

"Besides, I've seen her and Hector disappear before, I think they've got something going on." Runir's own Antivan accent made his comment sound titillating and Luke and Marin chuckled. Then Runir's attention turned upon the youngest Warden. "So Luke, when are we going to see you take some lass by the hand, hm?"

The urge to blush and turn his face away passed, probably thanks to him practicing his poker face, and Luke merely quipped in return, "Perhaps I already have."

Marin clapped him on the shoulder. "That's our boy!"

The two older Wardens shared a laugh and Runir started shuffling cards while Marin cast his eyes about the room looking for another partner. Jared joined them and the game continued.

Luke planned his actions very carefully the following night. He cleaned himself up before dinner so that he could join the men briefly after dinner, at which time Jessica would most likely be occupied with the dishes, and then he would excuse himself, hold up a book or something, and say he planned to read or study, instead of just saying he wanted an early night. His evening progressed as anticipated. His brothers barely raised a brow when he excused himself to read and Luke shoved his prop, an actual adventure story, no romance whatsoever, into his pocket and made his way to the second pantry. Jessica waited for him.

It seemed neither of them had a word to say at first and then they both spoke at once.

"I'm sorry…"

"I had to…"

They shared a laugh and then Jessica made a dismissive gesture with her hand. "We're here now, right?"

Luke grinned and nodded.

Then they had nothing to say for another moment, both of them shuffling awkwardly and glancing about the small dim room.

Finally Luke broke the silence. "How was your day?"

"Fine, yours?"

"Fine." Scintillating!

Luke tried to think of another conversational gambit, but came up blank. Really, though he wouldn't actually mind talking with Jessica, what actually wanted to do was kiss her. He studied her lips and found them pleasing to look at. Pink, full, very soft looking. How did one approach a kiss? Thinking back to his reading, Luke tried to recall a moment such as this, and too many flooded his head, making it hard for him to choose and distinguish.

He stepped forward and one of those weird moments happened again, the stretched out silence and tingle of anticipation. Jessica stepped forward and then they were leaning towards one another and their lips touched. Birds did not sing and time resumed its course, but Luke found the experience thrilling enough without the extra descriptive paragraphs in his memory. Jessica's lips were as soft as they looked and surprisingly warm, somewhat pliant. They parted momentarily for breath, and then resumed their course, each kiss becoming a little longer and more confident.

The next step had him slightly confused however. While pressing his lip to hers held a wonderful appeal, he knew there were all sorts of other activities were involved with kissing and seeing as she wasn't objecting to the continued contact of their mouths, perhaps she would not object to…

Her lips left his and a palm stung his cheek as Jessica stepped back. Luke's hand dropped from the front of her dress and as he tried to stammer an apology, a familiar accent called from the doorway.

"There you are, my friend. Did you forget our lesson this evening?"

He'd had a lesson scheduled with Zevran for this evening? Luke turned and Jessica took the opportunity to flee the pantry and the two men watched her go. After he caught his breath and steadied his thoughts, Luke looked at Zevran. "Lesson?"

"In how not to get slapped by a young woman." Creases appeared to each side of those amber eyes as Zevran offered a sardonic grin. "Unless that is your intention, of course. A slap here and…"

Luke held up his hand, choking out a soft, "Zev, please. Not now."

The slender Antivan rogue slipped an arm about his shoulders, something he did only with Luke, and wouldn't be able to do much longer if the young Warden kept growing at his current rate, and led him back into the hallway. "On the contrary, Luke, I think now is the best time. Come, I will be gentle." Luke cast an askance look at his companion and Zevran threw back his head and laughed. He patted Luke's shoulder. "I have book you might be interested in. Care to see it?"

Another book.

Waving a hand in the air, Luke informed Zevran, "Leliana keeps giving me books, romance stories." Blowing out a quick sigh, he admitted, "But it seems thing happen a little differently off the page."

Zevran laughed. "Ah, our bard tries her best, but it is not always about love, Luke, sometimes it is purely about desire."

Really, the way Zevran said the word desire made it sound completely sinful. Luke struggled between chuckling and flushing a little more and ended up sort of doing both.

"So what is your book about?"

"Ah! The mysteries of… courtship," Luke could see how Zevran had had to struggle to use a decent word, "and it is illustrated." Zevran winked and Luke coughed.

Luke found he could not deny his interest in this book. Initially, he just wanted to confirm it actually existed, and then his imagination took hold. It was illustrated?

"Alright, show me this book."

He followed Zevran to his rooms, which were next to his - part of Aedan's plan to keep an eye on him at all times. Luke's own room sat between the Aedan's and Zevran's and when both Leliana and Kayley were in residence, Luke felt he got all the education a young man could handle. He'd heard Aedan's yell countless times and the sound of Zevran's seduction more than once. Really, did he actually need to see this book? He'd sort of reckoned he had a fair idea of what went on in the rooms to either side.

As they walked along, a thought occurred and Luke asked, "Zev, why were you following me this evening?"

"Well the cellar stairs are dark and narrow; you did not take a lantern. It is part of my job to protect you from harm."

"You knew I wasn't visiting the cellar, right?"

Zevran paused and tilted his head. "Kitchen maids can be fickle and dangerous creatures…"

Luke touched his cheek, a wry grin stretching his mouth. Zevran had known where he was going and who he intended to see. Sighing, he looked over at his friend and asked, genuinely curious, "How did you know where I was going?"

"Three previous nocturnal visits to your favourite reading spot?"

"Is there anything you do not know, Zev?"

"I doubt it."

They reached the rogue's room and Luke stepped over to the couch and dropped himself gracelessly onto it, as comfortable in Zevran's quarters as he was in Aedan's or his own. Generally the three men, and whether Aedan or Zevran agreed with him or not, Luke considered himself a man, sort of, spent a lot of time together, though usually in Aedan's quarters.

In contrast Zevran dropped gracefully into the chair opposite and gestured the large book sitting on the table between. He'd had it out, ready. Luke shook his head, sighed and then chuckled.

"How long have you been planning this conversation?"

"Since it became obvious Leliana did not intend to share her more colourful stories with you." Zevran arched a brow.

Luke had by this stage decided that he might as well just go ahead and blush, this was not going to be a comfortable conversation. But having felt the press of lips against his, and however briefly, the full curve of Jessica's bosom beneath his hand, he not only wanted, but needed to know more. So he went ahead and blushed. Really, he did not want to think of Leliana in that fashion.

With a little shrug, Luke offered, "Perhaps Aedan…"

"Ah, the Commander has more skill and flair than most…"

"Stop." Luke decided he did not want to know about Aedan's skill and flair how Zevran knew about them. He'd heard a mention of a night they'd gone out together, during the Blight. Now, he would not presume to judge others, but he didn't particularly feel that way inclined himself. Luke liked breasts, he wanted a nice pair to be present when he finally… "Oh, dear Maker."

Zevran chuckled and chortled.

Just to be clear, Luke stated, "I am only interested in women."

"As you wish."

"Alright." Luke's mouth curved into a half smile and he rubbed at the back of his neck a little. "Why did I get slapped?"

"Well, my young friend, there are three types of women. There are those that will say yes, those that will say no, and the ones that will hint at maybe. Your lovely Jessica is a definite 'maybe'." He shrugged lightly and spread his hands. "She will blossom into a 'yes' with the proper care."

Of course Zevran knew her name. Luke narrowed his eyes at the Antivan a moment, wondering if he'd had designs on the 'lovely Jessica', and then decided he didn't. Though Zevran's gaze would always be counted as lascivious, in the time he had known the elf, Kayley had been his sole companion. Before he could ask why Zevran had not married Kayley yet, the former assassin continued.

"I assume this was your first kiss?"

In both respects, yes. Luke nodded.

"Now if you were possessed of my own charm and graceful hands, our kitchen maid," 'our'? "might not have even noticed you had undressed her until she became so overcome by the feel of my fingers," 'my'? "dancing over titillated skin."

"But, ah, what about my fingers, Zev?" Luke waggled his less graceful hands in the air.

"You are not subtle; it is your age, your size, your manner. You will have to use your tongue…"

Luke's eyes widened and a weird choking sound came from his mouth. "Ugh, I don't know if I need to…"

"I meant talk, Luke." Zevran nearly always sounded amused, but he sounded really amused at the moment. "But there are many other uses for a tongue. We will get to that too, hm?" And of course, Zevran winked.

Luke fell back against the sofa and sighed. One part of him wanted to thank the elf for the conversation and perhaps make a time to continue later, while another part wanted to get it all over and done with, like ripping off a bandage. When had talking about sex become likened to ripping off a bandage? It was supposed to be fun!

"Right, so talking. Talk for longer?"

"Conversaton is an undervalued tool. Flattery and flirtation will ease those buttons from their buttonholes more swiftly than your clumsy fingers." Zevran flicked something from this thigh his eyes dropping a moment before he glanced up again. "And, in most cases, I would recommend kissing your intended for longer than two minutes."

Two minutes? It had felt more like twenty. Looking up, Luke asked, "Is Jessica a lost cause, I mean, will I get another chance?"

"Oho! Luke, your unfortunate haste has served one good purpose."

"It has?"

"She knows you want to do more than explore her lips." Another wink, holy Maker, Zev was enjoying this too much.

More. Luke had a vague idea of what 'more' consisted of. Now, he knew about sex, he'd grown up on a farm, after all. He'd seen the bulls do it, he'd even seen cats do it, though why in Thedas cats did it, he couldn't say. It did not look like a fun exercise, the hissing, howling and spitting. Come to think to think of it, the bull hadn't looked that enamored of the cow either. Sex was supposed be fun, or so he'd always supposed. Zevran likely would not indulge if he didn't derive some enjoyment out of it and he'd heard Kayley's sounds of delight. And if Aedan could spend his off hours sequestered with Leliana, he would. In fact, he often did. So…

"Sex," Luke said. He'd meant to form it as a sort of question.

"Ah, the main event!" Zevran chuckled and shook his head. "We have a long way to go before you get there, but it could be argued such a thing starts with that first touch of lips, yes?"

They talked about kissing lips for a while. Attention could be paid to each lip in turn, and then when lips were parted… parted? Tongues could dance… dance? Touch. And play. Teeth could become involved and there was pressure to consider, and really kissing seemed to be a lot more involved than Luke had first suspected.

Zevran reached for the book. Luke leaned forward. He'd quite forgotten about the book. Hidden between the covers of the otherwise innocent looking volume were the promised pictures, careful illustrations of naked women and men. Luke fought his flush and subsequent dizziness and studied the parts of the female anatomy as pointed out by his teacher. They began with places a woman might like to feel his lips. There were a lot.

"You've kissed a woman there?" Luke pointed out a place he'd rather not consider.

"Oh yes, and a man."

Swallowing, Luke flipped the page a moment, noted that the next illustration was a rather detailed close up of a fully erect penis, and flipped the page back. Maker's breath.

"Er, okay, so to do all this kissing she'd have to be naked. I can't even get those buttons from the buttonholes yet."

"When first kissing the lovely Jessica, your hands should slip about her waist, or her shoulders, if you prefer, but her breasts are at the front, are they not? You do not want to hug her; you want to explore her more feminine curves, correct?"

Correct.

"Then you may slip your hands upwards, slowly, like so." Zevran demonstrated in the air, his hands moving upwards, his thumbs climbing imaginary rib bones. "When the lower curve of bosom is encountered, a pause heightens both your anticipation and hers. A long pause." Zevran tilted his head, his expression becoming thoughtful. "Of course, if you were to grasp her by the upper arms, a gentle movement downwards will bring you to the same place. This is the method Aedan employed when first reaching for Leliana's…"

"Zev!" How did he know these things?

"What? It is a nice move, it can be almost accidental." Yet another wink. "As I stated earlier, Aedan has his own charms."

"I don't really want to discuss Aedan's charms or how you know about him and Leli…"

The elf held up a hand. "I did not spy, Luke, if that is what you think. They were keeping watch; I just happened to be next on duty and came upon them. I tried to be as noisy as possible, but they were a little preoccupied at the time."

Luke grinned and chuckled. "They weren't being very watchful then."

Zevran joined him in his grin. "No, they were not."

"Alright, so this 'hands up' method, what happens after the pause?"

Cupping rounded flesh, thumbs on nipples, and… was it warmer in here? Apparently after a subtle arching of her back was demonstrated, he could move on to the buttons. If they were reclined and more familiar with one another, this feat could be accomplished with teeth! Luke grinned at this and, having 'warmed' to his lesson, waved for his tutor to continue.

And so it went on to that first touch of warm, firm, and many more adjectives than Luke knew could be applied to flesh. He shivered. Before this discussion, Luke had wanted to kiss Jessica. The thought had occurred whilst kissing her that groping at the front of her dress would be good. Now, however, all he could think about was her breasts, unclothed.

But Zevran had not finished with this part of the lesson. After exposing her nubile form, the elf's word, not his, he could then move his lips down to explore curves and nipples and… Oh, holy Maker. Luke suddenly felt the urge to excuse himself so he could seek the privacy of his own room. Instead, he reached for the book instead and intently studied the places he could move his lips to, all except for that one. He didn't want to go there.

"Right," had his voice sounded a little strained there? "So," he cleared his throat, "Ah… why would I want to kiss there." Luke pointed to another place he'd not considered kissing, but he'd heard talk in the armoury, mentions of a certain taste, something about riding?

"Ah, the peach."

"It tastes like peaches?"

"Not in my experience, no.

"Alright, so the kissing?"

And licking and sucking and flicking and nibbling… Luke thought he might actually pass out from lack of blood to the rest of his body while his cheeks burned. Thank the Maker he'd not had another reaction. Given the privacy of his room and the book, he might have! Speaking of reactions, apparently hers at this stage would be, should be, bucking hips, grasping fingers, breathy moans, deep groans, whimpers. She might sound like she experienced pain… How would he know she did not? The bucking hips, grasping fingers, breathy moans… Luke's head began to spin.

"Alright," he croaked. Dare he ask? "What's next."

Apparently in order to fully satisfy one's partner, what happened next included a lot more of the licking, sucking, flicking and nibbling, more kissing, palms and fingers, and… he was expected to talk as well. Whisper, murmur, tickle with breath and words. Luke started to feel a little overwhelmed.

Holding up a hand, he whispered, or murmured, "I need a minute…"

"I could tell you the story of the Nevarran goat farmer."

Luke laughed, heartily. The apprehension he'd begun to feel dissipated almost instantly as the laugh bubbled up from his chest. Grinning at his friend, he quipped, "Does it have a goat in it?"

"I am sure they are about, frolicking in the fields, indulging in their own pleasures." Of course they were.

Luke found himself somewhat relieved to hear that the goats indulged in their own pleasures, he'd heard a rumor. Had Zevran ever? No, he didn't want to know. Squaring his shoulders, Luke decided to press on. He gestured towards his crotch. "So, ah, when do I…?"

Zevran grinned widely, his eyes flashing with excitement. "Do not be in such a hurry, my young friend, sex is about more than just," the elf paused and stroked his chin. "Well, at your age, perhaps it is best to move on before it is too late."

"Too late?"

"Well I imagine by that stage you'll be rather excited, yes?"

Zevran gave the young man's crotch a rather pointed look and Luke shifted his hands there protectively.

"I suppose?" Oh, yes, he'd be 'rather excited'. All that licking and kissing and nibbling? Bucking, moaning and whimpering?

"While a quick romp can be the height of satisfaction, and in some cases is required, slow and steady wins the race."

Now for the big question, or, part one of the big question. "So, um… I put it in there?" He pointed to the part of the picture he meant, and whispered, "The peach?" and then winced, ready for the ridicule.

It did not come. Instead, Zevran looked upon him kindly, those amber eyes actually looked… wistful. "Yes, Luke." And then came the wider smile, the crinkle about the eyes. "But 'putting' is rather uninspired. Such should be accomplished with a joyful thrust and lusty cry of triumph." Zevran stroked his chin. "Or perhaps that is a lusty thrust and joyful cry." He shrugged and winked. "Either works."

Luke swallowed drily. A lusty thrust? When Zevran remained quiet, he asked, "What do I do next?"

"That, my friend, I do not need to tell you. When the time comes, you will know. And likely anything I did tell you would become irrelevant. Not a lot of thought is going to occur once you attain your goal." The familiar grin was back and Luke relaxed. Then Zevran continued. "But after you tire of the simple life, come see me again, we can talk about chapter five."

Chapter five? Luke leaned forward and flipped the pages of the book forward and caught a glimpse of chapter five… in beautifully rendered and astonishingly life like detail. You could do it like that? And that looked kind of painful, and that one…

Zevran reached forward and closed the book. "First things first, hm?"

Luke flopped back on the couch again. He felt exhausted. He felt overwhelmed and underprepared. Or perhaps overprepared.

"Now, on to the matter of your young lady."

"Zev, she slapped me, I don't think…"

"Give her a few days and then make a gesture. Flowers, candies, a poem perhaps? Then might I suggest you ask her to accompany you somewhere more interesting than the second pantry?"

Luke grinned and blushed. "Well, I'm not sure how much time she has off."

"Every Monday morning and Thursday afternoon."

Shaking his head and chuckling, Luke didn't even bother asking how or why Zevran knew this. Thursday was two days away and there were some quite pretty flowers in the garden behind the dining room, if you liked that sort of thing.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed, a sense of purpose and anticipation unfurled within and Luke looked up to catch Zevran staring absently off into nowhere. No doubt planning his own next assignation with Kayley. Standing up, Luke rubbed absently at the back of his neck briefly, before aiming a grin at his friend.

"Thanks, Zev. Um," what else could he say to express his gratitude? The Antivan might have embarrassed him certainly, had teased and toyed. But he'd been tactful, for the most part, informative and very, very helpful. "Really, thank you."

Zevran stood. "Come see me when you want to know more, hm?" A quick wink preceded his next comment. "Or when you decide you'd like to be slapped again."

A final flush claimed Luke's cheeks and he chuckled softly, shaking his head. "Oh, Zev," he murmured. "Well, goodnight then."

"Sweet dreams, Luke."

Luke had no doubt his dreams would be sweet, and filled with illustrations and imaginings. Biting his lower lip, he nodded and made his way back to his own room. He had plans to make! In two days he had flowers to cut, an invitation to issue and some kissing to accomplish. He'd try the talking first, and if the kissing went well, he'd move on to the licking and sucking… or did the nibbling come next? Luke paused with his hand on the door handle and gave a short laugh. He'd figure it out.