Chapter Ten: Goodbye

It was full dark when he woke to the sensation of a palm gliding across his chest as she nuzzled into his neck. She pressed her lips against his skin, the delicate tracery of her tongue making him shiver. She looked up, her eyes unreadable in the darkened room as her palm wandered lower. She dipped in for a kiss, her breath mingling with his as she coiled against him, heady in her desire. He felt himself responding even in his half-awake state, and he splayed his palm across the small of her back.

"Hello," he murmured, drawing her closer to kiss her again, his fingers tracing curves that would be etched into his memory if he had his way. She smiled against his mouth, her shift sliding across his skin with delicious friction. He slipped her off his chest, ignoring her whimper of protest as he spread her beneath him. The shift's ties were negotiable with only the light from her glowing tattoo, and he pulled the fabric from her, his mouth covering the exposed skin as he lavished her with kisses. She arched against him, a breathy sigh that might have been his name slipping past her lips.

His tongue dipped into her navel, and she squirmed, trying to get him to hurry. He took his time, blowing a soft breath across the curls at the juncture of her thighs before lifting her hips to get at the taste of her. A slow lap with the broad flat of his tongue left her mewling and breathless, and he repeated the motion to feel her writhe in his hands. Her hips lifted from the bed and he curled his tongue against the tender nub of flesh there, sucking on it with gentled lips as she gave a soft cry.

His fingers danced across her hips and legs, massaging and stroking. She parted her thighs wider as he traced a feathering line with his index finger to her center, sliding in with practiced ease as she whimpered under his ministrations. He could see the lines of her face in the blue light that flickered with her peaking arousal, and he watched her as he suckled at her sweetness.

She threw her head back, chest heaving, and he could stand it no longer. He rose over her, tracing kisses up her belly and over her breasts to her mouth. His lips met her, letting her taste herself even as his fingers strummed her tight against him as she shuddered. She was lost, coming apart in his hands, flying to pieces, and he was frantic now. He couldn't stop as he kissed her throat, biting with a growl as she lashed nails up his back. She quivered around his fingers, her exultant cry swallowed by his mouth as he slipped the sleeping trousers from his frame and slid home, her first release still quaking through her.

He lost himself in her, her taste and smell and the tight slickness of her as he gave a slow thrust, his need for her building. He arched his back, stroking his hips along her sex as he gave another rolling snap of his hips against her and she spun away into abandon again. She sobbed his name, and he answered with a whispered mantra of her name in her ear, laving her throat with nips and licks as he slid home faster and faster. He felt the winding thread of his release snap, and his hips stuttered as he thrust a final time, spilling himself deep inside her as he rocked her forward. She clutched him to her even as he balanced on shaky forearms to keep from squashing her under his boneless bulk.

They needed no words anymore; he tipped to the side and pulled her into the crook of his shoulder, boneless and sated. She drew patterns against his chest with her fingers until they drifted off to sleep again.

The ship was ready at dawn, and Ellie and Soludis were the only ones to see them off. The crew was loading last-minute cargo, and Logan said goodbye to his sister in the misty early morning. She hugged him to her, and he placed hesitant hands on her shoulders.

"Be well, little sister." He pressed scarred lips to her forehead. "Albion is in good hands. I'm sure of that now."

She nodded, her eyes bright as she stepped away. He pulled his cloak tighter around his plain traveling clothes and swept past Ben, giving them privacy as he boarded the gangplank. Ben held out his arms, and she stepped into them, laying her forehead against his.

"Be careful," she said.

"Always, sweetheart. I'll send you a letter from every port. You have my word." He placed his fingertips under her chin, an impudent smirk on his lips. "I wonder if I should fill it with all the things I'm going to do with you when I get home."

"You'd better not, or you'll whip me into such a frenzy I'll lock you in my chambers for a solid month when you get back." She gave him an appraising look.

"You're not arguing your case well, love. You're giving me another reason to do it anyway." He laughed as she swatted at his shoulder. "I will miss you, Ellie. Look for me on the docks in a year, hey?"

"Every day," she said. He pressed his lips to hers, the kiss chaste and sweet before the whistle of the ship startled them apart.

"That's me, then," he said. He pecked her once more on the lips and jogged up the gangplank, his pack slung over his shoulder. "In a year, Ellie!"

"I'll be waiting!" she called, her hand arcing over her head in a wave. Logan raised his hand to her too before turning to look at the horizon.

He stood next to the deposed king, watching the sun rise as the ship crested into the waters of the open ocean.

"Looking forward to Samarkand, Logan?"

"A new adventure, Captain Finn? I'm all aflutter." A small smile graced Logan's mouth as he clutched the bow. "It's been far too long."

Ben nodded. For once in his life, he agreed with Ellie's brother. This would be an adventure to remember. "Well then, let's see where it takes us, shall we?"

Six years later, Ben Finn would remember those words and swear he'd meant nothing by them. For now, however, he watched the sun rise with Albion's former tyrant, breathing in the fresh, crisp air of the sea. It was good to be alive.

A/N: All right, that's the end of this one, Constant Readers. See? I can finish what I start. This should leave you with some hope for Aquila and Obeisance, yes? (There is a sequel to this in the works, which will hopefully be done soon. I'm writing in alternating waves, and this took roughly a two-week span to do. If I decide to do this with the other longer stories I do, I could probably finish them. Perhaps I will do that next. At any rate, thanks to all of you who read my writing, especially the ladies of the SSG, who are a constant terrible (wonderful) influence on me.

Til Next Time,