Part 5: Theramore

Summary: An unusually harebrained plot of Garrosh Hellscream's involves Sylvanas in a way she had never expected possible. After all, what could the Horde gain by abducting Jaina Proudmoore?

Disclaimer: Characters, settings, etc. are the property of Blizzard Entertainment.

Pairings: Sylvanas/Jaina

Author's Notes: Sorry this update took so long. My head was overrun by Legend of Korra plot bunnies. Well, more like plot rabbiroos. Rabid rabbiroos. Also, I got my third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and moved from Illinois to New Jersey to start a PhD program. Hopefully this longass chapter will make up for my longass absence.

Jaina Proudmoore was lying on her bed, curled up with a book, as usual, when there was a light knock on her door. The voice of one her male servants came from the hallway. "Lady Proudmoore? A Miss Clovenya Scalesand to see you."

Remembering Sylvanas' letter and having long ago figured out the anagram used in that particular pseudonym, closed her book and leapt up. She opened the door, trying to look and sound less excited than she actually was. "Yes, Bomoss?"

"You have a visitor, my lady."

Sylvanas' human disguise was of a rather tall woman who was pretty in an unremarkable sort of way. She bowed deeply, as did the servant.

"Yes, I have granted her a private audience." Jaina could feel her heart begin to race.

"She said as much. I will leave the two of you, then."

"Thank you, Bomoss. You are dismissed."

The servant bowed and left as "Clovenya" moved into the room. Jaina closed the door and flung her arms around the woman in front of her; the glamourie disappeared and Jaina found herself wrapped in Sylvanas Windrunner's tight embrace. Jaina could feel that she wasn't wearing her armor; instead, she was dressed in something made of Embersilk. "Hello, Sylvanas," Jaina whispered. "It's so good to see you."

"Good evening, Neph'a." Sylvanas began to lightly stroke Jaina's hair.

"I missed you."

"I know." A slight pause. "I am glad I get to see you again."

"Thank you for coming to visit me." Already Jaina could feel the coldness of the undead body in her arms, but she did not let go.

"Why don't I drink my warmth potion?" Sylvanas stepped back from Jaina's embrace to put down the bag of her belongings.

"You look lovely," Jaina murmured. Sylvanas was wearing a luxurious black and cobalt gown that was, as Jaina had suspected, crafted expertly from Embersilk. Unlike the dress she had worn back in Orgrimmar, which had looked appropriate for ceremonies, the cut of this dress was less modest. "Something tells me you don't wear that dress very often."

Sylvanas downed the warmth potion in a single swallow. "It is for very rare special occasions."

Jaina took Sylvanas' hand. "Come with me?" She tried to pull Sylvanas toward the bed; Sylvanas resisted.

"Hold on, now. I would have thought you would want to talk."

"Can't we talk while we cuddle?"

"Jaina, the Banshee Queen does not cuddle." Sylvanas touched Jaina's cheek. "Let me look at you."

Jaina obediently tilted her head up to meet Sylvanas' eyes, puzzling over the fact that she was not unnerved by her lover's lack of irises or pupils.

"You look tired. Are you still having trouble sleeping?"

Jaina smiled. "Your cruelty is legendary. It's odd to see you being kind."

"Oh, I can be. It just is very rarely convenient. Now stop dodging my question."

"There haven't been any more sleepless nights. I'm getting at least a few hours of sleep a night with the assistance of some potions. But I'm not sleeping very well."

Sylvanas sighed, and Jaina could have sworn she looked distressed. "My intention was not to disrupt your sleep."

"It's not your fault I got so attached to you after only one night, albeit a very emotionally charged one." Jaina's smile turned sardonic.

Sylvanas kissed her. Jaina had forgotten how good Sylvanas' soft, full lips felt pressed onto hers. "I hope you don't continue pining for me. I am no good for you and you know it."

Despite the warm kiss, Sylvanas' voice was cool and matter-of-fact. Jaina shivered and laid her forehead on Sylvanas' shoulder. "We can still be friends after this, right?"

"Yes." Sylvanas wrapped Jaina in her arms again. "You must not let your feelings for me affect any decisions you make should you or your people be directly involved in conflict with the Horde. I don't plan on our relationship having any effect on how I command my Forsaken."

Jaina clung to Sylvanas tighter. "So if our people were to meet on the would allow me to be slain."

Sylvanas hesitated, threading the fingers of one hand through Jaina's hair. "Considering the fact that you, as a mage, cannot wear armor, I would hope you wouldn't put yourself in such danger."

"But if our peoples were engaged in battle, and you knew your Forsaken would have the opportunity to kill me. Would you allow it?"

Sylvanas sighed. Her hand made a fist in Jaina's hair. "No. And if there were other Horde factions involved, I would likely order that you be captured to ensure that you wouldn't be killed."

"So you lied. You would change your command decisions," Jaina challenged.

"The situation you posit is highly unlikely," said Sylvanas dismissively.

"Still. You do care about me," Jaina insisted. When Sylvanas said nothing, Jaina continued. "I'd never let any of my people cause you harm."

"Never? That is a dangerous statement."

Jaina slid her hands over the subtle, graceful curves of Sylvanas' back. "I don't want any harm to come to you. I care about you."

"Why? Because I gave you your first climax?" Sylvanas' voice was almost snide, but she still held Jaina close to her. The conflicting gestures were endlessly puzzling. Or perhaps they were an accurate representation of Sylvanas' feelings.

Jaina turned the words over in her head before speaking. "Because you rescued me. And because you were kind to me. You helped me realize the truth about what Arthas had become."

"Those are...legitimate reasons," Sylvanas replied haltingly.

Jaina's areas of expertise did not include social subtleties, but she could tell Sylvanas was immensely uncomfortable being asked about her feelings...and being told a prominent member of the Alliance cared about her. "Do you want about something else?"


Jaina took Sylvanas' hand and this time Sylvanas allowed herself to be led to Jaina's bed, where Jaina wrapped her whole self, arms and legs, around the undead elf. "Oh, Sylvanas..."

"This is going to be the last chance we have to be intimate. Have you thought about what you want to ask me for?" Sylvanas' fingertips traced circles on Jaina's thigh.

"I have...but there's something else I want to ask you first."


"Is there anything you're not comfortable with?"

"What do you mean?"

Jaina thought of Sylvanas' reaction when she had asked if Sylvanas had been raped while she was under forced servitude of the Scourge. "I mean, I don't want to remind you of...of...I don't want to bring back any bad memories for you."

"I see," said Sylvanas stiffly.

"So from my own...experience...I'm going to guess. I'm going to guess that you don't ever want to be bent at the waist or on all fours. You probably want to always be somehow facing me."

Sylvanas suddenly clutched Jaina so tightly that the mage almost cried out in pain. Jaina squirmed, trying to look at Sylvanas' face, but her grip was like steel. "Sylvanas?" Jaina reached up to stroke Sylvanas' hair and was startled to find that the elven woman's ears had flattened against her head. Jaina began caressing the folded ears as well; they shivered under her touch. "Sylvanas? My love?" Jaina whispered. Still, Sylvanas did not move. Jaina continued petting her scalp and murmuring whatever soothing things came to mind. "It's me. It's me, Jaina. We're in Theramore. Are you with me? Are you here, my love?"

Without warning, Sylvanas tore away from Jaina's embrace like a wild animal loosed from a trap. She crouched, shoulders slumped, her hands wrapped around handfuls of her own hair and pulling hard. ""

Jaina hardly recognized Sylvanas' voice. She crawled to where Sylvanas was sitting and laid her head in the other woman's lap. "It's all right, Sylvanas. Nobody is going to hurt you."

Jaina felt a trembling hand come to rest on the side of her head. "Jaina?"

"Are you with me now?"


Jaina felt Sylvanas' hand begin toying with her hair. She turned her head and kissed Sylvanas' thigh. "The same thing happened to you just now that happened to me in Orgrimmar, didn't it?" Jaina asked tenderly.

"Not the same thing," Sylvanas whispered. "But...similar. It was like I was...trapped in a memory." She took a deep breath. "Because you are exactly right. It would seem Arthas was a creature of habit." Sylvanas' voice shook. "And I thought...I thought all my tears had been would seem I have a few left."

"Am I your first lover since you were...killed?"


"Well...that might explain it. You never had to confront the possibility of you of the Lich King in that way," Jaina hazarded.

Sylvanas was flexible enough to lean over and kiss Jaina's head. Jaina felt one or two droplets of water fall onto her scalp; apparently undead could weep, but not as prolifically as the living. "Thank you for your...consideration, and your respect. You are very kind, my gentle Neph'a."

"I want you to be comfortable."

Sylvanas kissed Jaina's ear; coincidentally (or perhaps not), the one she had bitten back in Undercity. There was currently a tiny round reddish scar in Jaina's pinna. "Thank you."

"Is there anything I can do?" Jaina queried softly.

"I can't believe I am about to ask this."


"It involves...cuddling." Sylvanas sighed. "I do not care for that word."

Jaina held back a laugh. "What do you want me to do?"

"I'm going to lie down on my side. I want you to...well, fit yourself around me. Even though you're smaller than I am. And put your arms around my waist. Maybe knowing it's you will make me"

"All right."

Sylvanas lay down, and Jaina did as she had requested. Her face ended up nestled between Sylvanas' shoulder blades, the way it had been when she and Sylvanas had been on the wind rider headed for Undercity. Jaina slid one arm under Sylvanas' waist and interlinked her fingers.

"I'll tell you when I'm ready for more intimate things. But for the moment, I am comfortable."

Jaina stroked Sylvanas' arm as they lay still and quiet for a long moment. Eventually Sylvanas turned over in Jaina's arms and kissed her. "You never answered my question regarding whether or not you had given any thought to what you want to try—or repeat—in terms of intimacy? Or rather, you answered very non-specifically."

Jaina paused to organize her thoughts, and kiss Sylvanas as long as she wasn't busy talking. "I actually asked for advice, if you can believe that."

"Really? May I ask from whom?"

"An acquaintance of mine who I long suspected preferred the loving company of women. It turned out I was right."

"I see. Did you learn anything of interest?"

"A few things." Jaina blushed. "I'd like to try satin kissing on you, except...with me on my back, and you kneeling over me."

"Perhaps I should have mentioned that as well when you asked what I found uncomfortable." Sylvanas' expression didn't change, but her inflection did.

Jaina's brow furrowed with confusion. "Wait...why?"

Sylvanas sniffed. "I still marvel at the fact that you manage to fight back your disgust enough to put your lips on my mouth."

"I do not do that," Jaina countered. "There would have to be disgust there to begin with for that to be true."

Sylvanas closed her eyes for a moment. "All right. You may try that. Anything else?"

"I suppose that is the only completely new thing I want to try. Other than that...'" Jaina chewed her lower lip. "I loved what you did with the modified banshee scream. And when you had me tied up and you were on top of me...that was amazing."

"Would you like me to use the silk ribbons again?"

Jaina tried nuzzle closer to Sylvanas in order to hide the little tremor that ran through her. "Please. In some way. But we can't...well, start with that, because I think it's harder for me I can't hold you."

"For a bookish mage, you certainly are a romantic."

"I guess I am." Jaina reached up to stroke Sylvanas' hair; Sylvanas flinched slightly.

"Forgive me. You may touch my hair, but please never pull on it. Or my ears."

"Your ears were folded against your head a few minutes ago."

"They do that," said Sylvanas briefly.

Jaina kissed Sylvanas' neck. "Can you feel that?"

"Yes, a bit. You can use your teeth if you want."

"I don't want to hurt you," Jaina insisted, tracing Sylvanas' hip with one hand.

"I'm undead. If you don't bite too hard, it won't hurt. I want to be able to feel it." Sylvanas eased Jaina onto her back, demonstrating with a line of her familiar light bite-kisses down Jaina's neck and shoulder.

"Oh, Sylvanas..." Jaina shifted underneath Sylvanas, welcoming her into the cradle created by Jaina's parting legs. "Mmm, that's nice. I don't know if I can kiss you like that as...skillfully."

"Don't worry, my darling."

"I just feel so inexperienced compared to you." Jaina sighed as Sylvanas nipped at her shoulder.

"Experience isn't everything, Neph'a."

"I like that nickname," Jaina sighed. "Thalassian is such a beautiful language. And I love its use of datives."

Sylvanas kissed Jaina's nose. "Talking about linguistics while we're in bed together. Only you."

"We should talk about the linguistics of Thalassian, though."

"Later, my sweet. Right now, you are wearing too many clothes."

Jaina couldn't help but grin as Sylvanas quickly dispensed with the simple cloth top Jaina had chosen to wear that day as she hadn't ventured outside much. She tried to watch Sylvanas' face, wanting to see her lover admiring her, but she couldn't keep her eyes open when she felt the now-familiar bow-callused hands gliding over her hips and sides. "Mmm. Clothes are overrated."

Sylvanas traced circles on Jaina's belly. "You've lost weight. Have you not been eating well?"

"Well enough. I've been...spending a bit less time in the library and more time walking. Just walking around Theramore, mingling with my people...and sometimes I do bring a book." She looked up at Sylvanas. "You don't think I look good?"

"You looked lovely a month ago and you look lovely now. My concern is for your health, although I am used to seeing dwindling weight and it being completely normal. I've lost track of the subtleties of what it means for a living body." Sylvanas slid her hands upward until her knuckles were brushing the undersides of Jaina's breasts.

"Sylvanas, don't tease."

"You think this is teasing? This is nothing." But Sylvanas yielded to Jaina's wishes and began kneading the mage's sensitive flesh, holding back a smile as she felt Jaina's nipples stiffen under her touch.

"Mmm...I almost forgot how good that feels..."

"My darling, before we get all wrapped up in this, perhaps you should make use of a soundproofing charm?" Sylvanas took her hands away from Jaina's chest.

Jaina made a moue, but she sat up and performed a quick spell. "You're right; I do get a little...noisy when I'm with you." She blushed. "Oh, gods, am I blushing again?"

Jaina squealed as Sylvanas pulled her into her lap. "You are." Sylvanas' lips brushed Jaina's cheek. "And you look quite fetching."

Jaina sighed as Sylvanas nuzzled at her neck. "You know, Sylvanas, this isn't fair."

Sylvanas leaned back. "What isn't fair?"

"Now you're the one wearing too many clothes."

Sylvanas shrugged lightly. "I suppose you're right."

Jaina had never undressed anyone, but wasn't opposed to the idea. Still... "I'd like to undress you, but knowing me, I'll somehow muck it up."

Sylvanas helped Jaina out of her lap and turned around, pulling her hair out of Jaina's way. "My gown unfastens down the back."

Jaina ran her palms over Sylvanas' back, enjoying how the soft silk shifted beneath her hands in contrast to the firm muscles. "You're so lovely. So strong."

"That's an...odd combination."

"You're an odd combination." Jaina kissed the base of Sylvanas' neck.

"My darling, as intelligent as you are, that made no sense."

"Yes, it does." Jaina began undoing the little hooks that ran down the back of Sylvanas' dress and kissing the pale blue skin as it became exposed. "Back in Undercity, I remember thinking that you're a combination of muscles and curves." The human woman pushed the sleeves off of the undead elf's shoulders; Sylvanas pulled the sleeves off, and her gown fell to her waist.

"I suppose that's true," Sylvanas mused. "Jaina, I assume you're petting my back right now?"


"I know it is in your nature to be gentle, but I can't feel it."

"I'm sorry."

"It's all right." Sylvanas turned around, but before she could get any more words out, Jaina had clambered into her lap again and was hugging her tightly. "I thought you wanted to bed me, not cling to me for hours straight."

"Hmmm," said Jaina noncommittally, her face buried in Sylvanas' neck.

"Jaina? Neph'a?"

"This is nice."

"Jaina. Are you even awake?"

"You feel so good," Jaina whispered.

Sylvanas sighed, half in pleasure and half in exasperation. "It really does astound me that you are so fond of my breasts and yet you never found yourself interested in a woman before me."

"But they're so nice."

"My darling, your cognitive faculties seem impaired when you are this close to me, and it is genuinely disconcerting."

Jaina made a disappointed noise and let go of Sylvanas. "It isn't my cognitive faculties. It's my ability to form words eloquently."

"That's better." Sylvanas kissed Jaina lightly. "Now, regarding the silk ribbons. I know you like to hold onto me, which would be a problem if you have limited mobility. So perhaps I will start with a chest harness."

"What's that?" asked Jaina shyly.

"I'll tie the ribbons around you in a pattern. You'll have to tell me if it's uncomfortable or too tight, and don't refrain from saying anything if you think it might upset me."

Jaina nodded. "All right."

Sylvanas got up and rooted through her bag briefly, coming up with the familiar pale blue silk ribbons. Jaina shivered inadvertently; Sylvanas noticed. "Are you nervous?"

"I don't think 'nervous' is the right word." Jaina smiled. She felt her heartbeat slowly begin to increase.

"Why don't you stand up?" said Sylvanas, her voice a low purr. Jaina could do nothing but obey. Sylvanas stood behind her, lightly trailing the ribbons over Jaina's hips and waist. Another little tremble ran through Jaina's body. With deliberate slowness, Sylvanas wrapped one of the ribbons around Jaina's waist and pulled her close. "Are you ready for me to put the ties on, my Neph'a?" Sylvanas whispered close to Jaina's ear.

Somehow Jaina got the words out. "Yes, Sylvanas."

Jaina let her eyes drift shut. Sylvanas looped and crossed the long ribbons, passing them between Jaina's legs and around her waist but leaving her arms unhindered. Occasionally she paused to caress or kiss Jaina's skin, earning a tiny noise of pleasure almost each time she did that. "Let's see, then," Sylvanas murmured when she was finished. Jaina opened her eyes to watch Sylvanas' reaction; the undead woman stepped back, one hand resting on Jaina's waist. For a moment, she said nothing, her face impassable, but then she spoke again. "Do you have a full-length mirror, my darling? I want you to see this."

"Yes, I do." Jaina went to her closet, enjoying the light pull of the ribbons on her body when she moved. Wearing the ribbon bondage was oddly comforting despite the restraint, perhaps because it reminded her that Sylvanas had tied it onto her. She didn't often use her full-length mirror—she was not one to indulge in vanity—but for more ceremonial occasions when she had to look put-together, she would give herself a glance in that mirror. It hung on the inside of the door to her closet; Jaina opened it.

"Look at yourself," said Sylvanas softly, having seemingly materialized behind her.

Jaina did. The ribbons did match her eye color nicely, but that wasn't what either woman was looking at. The ribbons came from behind Jaina's neck to circle and lightly squeeze her breasts, passing through an artful knot at the center of her belly to her waist and angling down to the join of her legs in a long, thin diamond. It was as if the pattern demanded the onlooker's attention and said, "Admire."

Sylvanas planted a kiss at the base of Jaina's neck. "By the Old Gods, you look beautiful in those."

"I...I do." Jaina felt—and saw—herself blushing again.

Sylvanas wrapped her arms around Jaina's waist and pressed another few kisses onto the human woman's neck. "You look stunning, my darling. Truly stunning."

Jaina turned around in Sylvanas' arms and kissed her, a deep, long lover's kiss. "May we go back to bed now?"

"We may." Unexpectedly, Sylvanas hooked an arm underneath Jaina's knees and picked her up, carrying her bridal style to her bed. Jaina wrapped her arms around Sylvanas' bare waist and covered her mouth with kisses, trying to pull Sylvanas down on top of her. Sylvanas obliged, resting her weight on Jaina's hips to keep from pressing on her lungs and making it difficult for her to breathe.

"You feel so good," Jaina whispered.

"Again, you say that when I'm not doing anything."

"You're kissing me, and you're being careful enough to not crush my lungs." Jaina stroked Sylvanas' cheek. "That's something."

"What do you want to try first?"

"Well, you know I need to be holding you at first." Jaina gave a little squeeze to Sylvanas' shoulders.

"Hmm." Sylvanas contemplated, and used her silence as an excuse to kiss Jaina. "Does it please you to be touched between your legs?"

"Historically, no, but by you...probably?" Jaina smiled. "So I can't you."

"We'll figure it out. You'll have to tell me what feels the best."

"I might be a little monosyllabic."

"As long as you get your point across." Sylvanas left a playful kiss on Jaina's forehead.

"I think I can manage."

"That's my good girl." Sylvanas nuzzled one of Jaina's breasts; Jaina squirmed to get the tip of her breast into her lover's mouth. "So impatient," Sylvanas sighed, closing her teeth lightly over Jaina's nipple.

"Mmm!" Jaina tangled her hands in Sylvanas' hair. "I'll be impatient all I want if it gets you to do that. Oh, that feels so good with the ribbons..."

"I thought you would like this harness." Sylvanas cupped Jaina's neglected breast in one hand, squeezing gently.

"Keep that up and I'll start begging for you inside me," Jaina panted.

"You know I'd be only too glad to oblige," Sylvanas whispered against Jaina's skin. Jaina bit back a squeal as Sylvanas suckled her gently.

"Mmm...will you use your teeth a little? Oooh! Just like that!" Jaina scrambled to cross her calves behind Sylvanas' back, glad that the restraint Sylvanas had chosen for her didn't limit her movement too much. She arched and writhed, trying to grind herself against the firm muscle of Sylvanas' belly.

"Tell me what you want, sweet Neph'a," Sylvanas cooed.

"P-please come inside me, Sylvanas," Jaina moaned softly.

"You'll have to let me," said Sylvanas with a tiny smile. "I can't reach with you wrapped around me like this."

Jaina forced herself to unwrap her legs from Sylvanas' middle, gasping as Sylvanas slid a slim index finger into her. "Mmmm...ohhh, that's nice..."

Sylvanas slipped two more fingers into Jaina's quivering sheath. "Too much?"

"No, that's perfect," Jaina whimpered.

Sylvanas began caressing her, slowly, fingers curling as she did so. Jaina cried out sharply with each stroke, her moans increasing in volume as Sylvanas ratcheted up her pace. Sylvanas returned to her treatment of Jaina's breasts, her mouth latched onto one nipple and her free hand working the other.

"Mmm...hmmm...Sylvanas, I can feel you everywhere..."

Sylvanas gave a little quarter turn to her wrist, earning a scream of euphoria from Jaina. "Oooh! Yes! More!" Without the slightest hesitation in any of her other ministrations, Sylvanas slid her thumb over the swollen bundle of nerves that made Jaina squeal again. "Ohh! Yes! There!"

Sylvanas felt Jaina's inner thighs begin to tremble against her hand. "Are you close, my sweet?"


"All right...I think it might be time for another modified scream?" Sylvanas made it a question in order to give Jaina a choice.

"Yes! Yes!"

Both her hands swiftly moving to cradle Jaina's breasts, Sylvanas nestled her face between her lover's legs, spread to welcome her. Sylvanas indulged herself for a few moments, kissing and licking Jaina's most tender places just to enjoy the sensation of the flesh beneath her tongue. "You are exquisite, Neph'a. Exquisite." Sylvanas pressed her lips to Jaina's core, summoning her banshee scream and filtering out the harmful frequencies that would hurt Jaina's ears should she hear them. As the sound vibrations radiated through Jaina's body, she peaked, crying out Sylvanas' name in desperation and elation.

Licking her lips, Sylvanas sat up. "My darling?"

Jaina held her arms out for an embrace. Sylvanas gathered the still-trembling mage into her arms, smiling as Jaina nestled her face against her shoulder. "You're spoiling me."

"I beg your pardon?"

"I doubt anyone is ever going to be able to make me feel like that besides you." Jaina kissed Sylvanas' shoulder.

"Unless you sleep with another banshee, that exact technique is probably unavailable to you."

Jaina moved so she could kiss Sylvanas' neck. "Now what?"

"You're ready for a second round already?"

"Maybe I could try pleasuring you now."

Sylvanas sighed. "I thought you wanted me on top of you again."

"Oh, I do." Jaina smiled.

"If you are able to bring me to climax, I'll be exhausted. I won't have enough energy to pleasure you."

Jaina leaned back to stroke the dark lines on Sylvanas' cheekbones. "You really think I'll have any success pleasuring you?"

"You're a quick learner, and not just in magery or literature."

Jaina blushed. "Thank you."

"If you want, after you're finished with me, you can try grinding yourself against...say, one of my legs while I rest. It should give you a similar sensation."

Jaina tucked her head under Sylvanas' chin again. "I love the sensation, but...that's not why I enjoyed it so much. I liked...I liked watching you. Looking at you and how beautiful you are when we move together like that."

"I see," said Sylvanas. "Perhaps...perhaps we could try something similar to what we just did. At a certain point, I'll tell you to stop and..."

"Then you can make me scream again. It's a good thing I know a strong soundproofing spell." Jaina's blush darkened.

"You're trying so hard to be comfortable with this, but you're still rather innocent, aren't you?" Sylvanas caressed Jaina's cheek.

"Yes, and I'm shy. You're the first person I've ever been comfortable with actually saying what I want." Jaina kissed Sylvanas' mouth gently. "And right now I want to play with your beautiful breasts. You're comfortable being on your back, right?"

"With you, absolutely. You know that."

"Just making sure."

Sylvanas shifted so she was lying down, Jaina draped over her, covering her chest with kisses. "You're so lovely." Jaina laid her head down on one of Sylvanas' breasts, circling the other with the back of one hand.

"My darling, you really need to find a human lover who can actually feel that."

Jaina pinched Sylvanas' nipple, hard; Sylvanas uttered a little cry of surprise. "Mmm! You little trickster."

Jaina took the tip of the elven woman's breast inside her mouth and suckled, biting as lightly as she could. She was sure she didn't have the same dexterity as Sylvanas, but it was easier this time, and Sylvanas helped by holding Jaina's hair behind her head. "How does that feel?" Jaina edged.

"Lovely," Sylvanas whispered.

" you just want to tell me when you're ready for me to try shanre nor'no on you?"

"Your accent on." Sylvanas sighed. "Yes."

"All right." Jaina felt much more adept with her hand than her mouth, so after a few short moments she switched, giving Sylvanas' breasts equal treatment, trying to remember to pinch and bite so Sylvanas could actually feel what she was doing. At one point she leaned back to notice that, to her surprise, her teeth were leaving little marks, dark blue on Sylvanas' ice-colored skin; she was about to apologize when Sylvanas whispered, almost begging (not quite, though; the Dark Lady did not beg), for her to continue. Jaina did, reaching one hand up to sift her fingers through Sylvanas' hair, which was soft and fine despite her state of undeath. Her hand brushed the base of one of Sylvanas' long ears and she could have sworn she felt a swath of scar tissue where the ear met Sylvanas' head; she made a mental note to ask about that later and went back to hungrily worshipping at her lover's chest.

"Jaina..." Sylvanas' voice was heady with desire. "I'm...I'm ready."

"All right."

Jaina lay down with her head on one of the pillows and beckoned to Sylvanas, who hesitated and reached over to lightly touch Jaina's face. "You don't have to do this."

"But I want to. Come here."

With a little sigh, Sylvanas got up. She moved closer to Jaina, walking on her knees, resting one leg on each side of her lover's head. "I still can't believe I'm letting you do this."

Jaina ran her palms over Sylvanas' thighs, gently digging her nails into the skin. "I love your legs."

"I don't know if I'm comfortable with this, sweet Neph'a." Sylvanas ran the fingers of both hands through Jaina's hair.

Jaina leaned up to nibble lightly at one of Sylvanas' inner thighs. "Please, let me try."

Sylvanas closed her eyes. "All right."

Jaina gripped Sylvanas' hip bones. "Can you come closer?"

Biting back a moan, Sylvanas acceded, lowering herself closer to Jaina's waiting mouth.

Whoever Jaina had gotten advice from had taught her well; instead of going straight for Sylvanas' core, she covered each of her legs with kisses from knee to groin. She quickly turned the soft touches of her lips to bite-kisses not unlike the ones Sylvanas was so fond of trailing down Jaina's neck.

"Mmm...Jaina..." Sylvanas' voice was faint.

Jaina lifted herself up and kissed Sylvanas just above her sex. "May I?"

Sylvanas said something in a language Jaina didn't recognize; if she had to guess, it could have been Thalassian or an elven loanword in Gutterspeak. "Yes. P-please."

Praying she was doing it right, Jaina traced Sylvanas' slit with her tongue. "Can you feel that?"

"Mm-hmm. A little. More."

Jaina obeyed the soft command, trying to use enough force that Sylvanas could actually feel what she was doing. Your tongue is a muscle; use it properly, she chided herself; Sylvanas' only reaction to Jaina's ministrations was the continued caresses through her hair. She moved higher, trying to find the same place on Sylvanas' body where Jaina loved being touched.

Suddenly Sylvanas gasped and clutched at the back of Jaina's head; not pushing, just holding on. "Right there."

"Can you guide me a little?"

Sylvanas reached down, framing the nerve cluster aching for Jaina's touch with two fingertips. "Here."

Jaina tilted her head forward and pressed the tip of her tongue firmly against the sensitive spot; she felt Sylvanas' hips tilt forward in response. "Like that," Sylvanas whispered.

Trying to remember what her friend had instructed her to do when Jaina had asked for pleasure-giving advice, Jaina closed her lips over the crucial little place and pulled the pearl of flesh into her mouth. A soft moan fled Sylvanas' lips; Jaina looked up. After taking a few moments to admire the view she had of Sylvanas' breasts, Jaina noticed that the other woman's head was tilted back. "Does that please you?"

"Keep going. Just like that. Please."

Jaina hungrily massaged Sylvanas' legs and hips, savoring the strong muscles under her hands as she suckled at the tiny, nerve-filled bit of her lover inside her mouth. Sylvanas' trembling hands sifted through her hair, and Jaina soon became aware that Sylvanas was struggling to hold herself still.

"It's all right, Sylvanas, my love." Jaina gave a gentle squeeze to Sylvanas' hip bones. "I think I'm handling this all right. You handle me squirming, after all."

"I don't want to hurt you," Sylvanas panted.

"You won't," Jaina soothed. She lightly closed her teeth over the place she had been stimulating; Sylvanas' hips bucked toward Jaina's mouth.

"Ah! Jaina!"

"I know you're strong. I love your strong hips. But I've got you."

Jaina dug her hands into Sylvanas' firm flesh, holding on to her tightly as Sylvanas' hips rolled in time with her continued careful ministrations. Sylvanas had always been so quiet before; she was not nearly as vocal as Jaina herself, but Jaina still savored the low cries escaping Sylvanas' throat. "My Neph''re such a good little treasure..."

Jaina closed her eyes, wondering how many people had seen Sylvanas like this; bare, sighing with pleasure, vulnerable. So trusting. Jaina was just thinking how lucky she was to be with Sylvanas in this way when she felt Sylvanas' hand reach back to slip between her legs, caressing her in the places Jaina loved being touched most. "Sylvanas, I can't concentrate with you doing that!" she gasped. "Ooh..."

"Then lie down, my sweet." Jaina laid her head down on the pillow; within a few seconds Sylvanas was on top of her, Jaina's burning desire pressed tightly against the join of the undead woman's legs, Sylvanas covering her mouth with deep, warm, grateful kisses. "You were wonderful, my darling. Such a quick learner."

Jaina could still feel Sylvanas grinding against her through the silk ribbon that passed between her thighs. "I'm glad I...oooh!...was able to please you."

"Oh, you did, my sweet."

Jaina wrapped her arms tightly around Sylvanas, whimpering as she felt the familiar and much-loved bite-kisses cover her neck. She angled her hips, pleading for more than the gentle thrusts of Sylvanas' body against her core. "More, Sylvanas. Please. Harder."

Sylvanas acquiesced, rocking powerfully against Jaina, eliciting helpless cries of bliss from the mage. "Neph'a..." Sylvanas groaned against Jaina's shoulder.

"You feel so good, my love!" Jaina dragged her nails over Sylvanas' shoulder blades. As much as she loved watching Sylvanas arched over her, holding her close felt much more intimate. More pleasurable than she had thought possible.

Almost unexpectedly, Jaina's frame shook wildly as her entire self felt as if wave after wave of ecstasy were crashing over her. She clutched Sylvanas' shoulders, squealing breathlessly as she rode out her climax with Sylvanas' body still working frantically between her legs. As Jaina's tensed muscles slowly relaxed, Sylvanas buried her final cry into the curve of her lover's neck. She lay draped over Jaina, shaking slightly.

"Are you all right, Sylvanas?" Jaina whispered, one of her hands finding Sylvanas' hair.

"Mmm," was the only response. Still, Jaina was glad for it; since Sylvanas did not breathe and had no heartbeat, it would have been unfortunately easy to conclude that a particularly warm corpse was acting as her blanket. Jaina's hand found Sylvanas' scarred ear; she stroked it lightly and felt the ear twist away from her fingers and snap back into place, as if perturbed by her touch. Jaina couldn't help but giggle softly.

"Your ears are adorable."

Sylvanas muttered what sounded like a curse.

"They are." Jaina traced the uneven cicatrice at the base of the once-injured ear. "Did something happen to this one?" She felt Sylvanas flinch and, too late, remembered Sylvanas' request that Jaina never pull on her ears. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "You don't have to answer."

Sylvanas found the energy to move so her legs were tucked under herself, no longer resting so much of her weight on Jaina. Her head still rested on Jaina's shoulder. To Jaina's surprise, she spoke. "The adventurers who came to you after the Lich King was killed brought you that locket, yes?"

Despite the fact that she was still holding Sylvanas, Jaina blinked back tears. "I still wish I truly knew what that meant. I fear that...that what I sensed of him still being alive somewhere under Frostmourne's corruption was wishing so hard..."

Sylvanas rolled onto her side so she could embrace Jaina properly. The human tucked her head under her undead lover's chin and struggled not to cry. "Do you know what was brought to me after the Lich King's death?"

Jaina inhaled deeply, steeling herself for the answer. "No. I don't."

Sylvanas' grip on Jaina tightened. "It was a vial of my blood that he kept on his person."

Jaina whimpered as if she had been struck. In anyone's mind, keeping the blood of a vanquished enemy was obscene. Perverse. But to a well-read mage like Jaina, it was worse. Living beings had long ago lost the ability to work blood magic, but there were still tales. The mingled blood of two people being buried to prevent them from ever leaving each other. Blood being taken from a victim and cursed to make the victim so ill they were within an inch of life but unable to die. It was no longer possible, but owning another's blood was still a representation of the most complete, horrible sort of conquest. Complete ownership meant to torture. "I'm going to be sick," Jaina gasped.

Sylvanas relinquished her grip on Jaina, who scrambled up and kneeled over the edge of the bed. That was the most movement she was capable of before throwing up on the floor.

"I'm sorry, my darling," Sylvanas whispered, gathering Jaina's hair back from her face. She gently gathered the limp woman into her arms. "I didn't mean to make you so upset." She smiled grimly. "I should have waited to tell you that. Or not answered."

Jaina reached up to touch the tear-like markings on Sylvanas' face. "So...your ear..."

"He brought me to the Icecrown Citadel after...incapacitating me in battle. He tortured me until he finally decided he was ready for me to die and be raised as a banshee to serve in his Scourge. The last thing he did before I left this world for the first time was to tear my ear off with his bare hands and store the blood from that wound. I think perhaps he was frustrated that my heart was beating so slowly at that point, all my other injuries weren't bleeding as prolifically, and most of the blood on the floor wasn't salvageable."

"Oh, gods..." Jaina shifted so she could rest her forehead against Sylvanas' neck. "May I please just...stay here? For a while?"

"Of course, Neph'a." Sylvanas ran a hand through Jaina's hair. "As long as you need."

Jaina kissed Sylvanas' neck gratefully. "Thank you." She slid one hand over Sylvanas' scalp to gentle the scarred ear again. "Is this all right?"

"In truth, it feels very strange. Scars have odd sensitivity on living people; it's almost as if an undead brain has no idea what to do when a scar is touched."

"I'm sorry." Jaina let her hand fall to Sylvanas' shoulder. "Sylvanas, is there...anything I can do?"

"What do you mean?"'

Jaina tried to choose her words carefully. "There seem to be ways in which...the atrocities the Lich King committed against you still affect you."

"Ah." Sylvanas kissed the top of Jaina's head. "In that respect, I think only time can heal such wounds. But thank you for your kindness, my little treasure."

"That's a new one," Jaina whispered. "I do keep careful track of your nicknames for me, you know."

"Actually, my darling, I was not entirely truthful regarding the meaning of 'Neph'a' in Thalassian."

"Really? What does it mean?"

"It does mean 'beauty', but it's more complicated than that. There is no Common word that is an exact translation. The most accurate definition of 'Neph'a' is 'beauty that deserves to be treasured'. It's almost always used to refer to people, and connotes inner beauty as well as outer."

Jaina could feel her cheeks flushing darkly again. "And here I thought it was impossible to love that nickname more than I already did."

Jaina stayed in Sylvanas' arms for a short while longer, but it had already been late afternoon when Sylvanas arrived, so night was falling. It wasn't long before a servant knocked on the door and announced that supper would be ready in fifteen minutes.

"Sylvanas? Er...can you eat?"

"I can if I want, yes."

"Will you accompany me to supper in your human disguise?"

"I will."

Sylvanas dressed herself and replaced the glamourie that had caused her to appear human when she had arrived in Theramore. Jaina, feeling too sleepy and content to really move after their passionate lovemaking session, lazed about in bed until Sylvanas pulled her to her feet and threw her clothes at her. "While I'm sure nobody would object to you coming to supper naked, it likely wouldn't reflect well on your reputation."

Jaina got dressed and walked arm in arm with Sylvanas downstairs to the small room where she took meals alone. The two of them ate quietly, trying to pretend they didn't overhear Jaina's servants whispering. They all sounded relieved, or at least happy, that Lady Proudmoore had found somebody. "Is it that obvious?" Jaina whispered to Sylvanas.

"Somewhat. And it's not like we're trying to hide anything," Sylvanas whispered back, with a touch of irony in her voice. Jaina held back a smile; no, they weren't hiding that they were together, but they were hiding the fact that Jaina's lover was the queen of the Forsaken.

"Shall I show you the picture I drew of you?" Jaina asked softly as they headed upstairs.

"I'd love to see it, yes."

When they reached Jaina's room, Jaina lit a few lamps to stave off the impending darkness, locked the door with both a physical lock and an enchantment, then refreshed the soundproofing spell. Jaina was humiliated when she saw that a servant had come in and cleaned her room, so there was no trace of her brief vomiting fit earlier, but at least she didn't have to deal with it now. When she was certain they wouldn't be interrupted, Jaina took up a floorboard to reveal a small compartment.

"That really is quite cliché, my darling," Sylvanas pointed out, changing back to her undead banshee appearance.

"It's also useful." Jaina took out a rolled piece of drawing paper that was tied with a ribbon; she undid the ribbon and unrolled it carefully. Sylvanas glanced over her shoulder at the sketched image of her naked, sleeping self, carelessly sprawled on her bed, long ears slack and poking through still-tousled hair.

"That's a very good likeness of me. You're a talented artist."

From Sylvanas, that was high praise; Jaina blushed (again). "I'm happy with it."

"That's charcoal, isn't it? How did you get it to not smudge? Is there really a sealant spell for charcoal drawings?"

"It's one of the many spells used to preserve art, yes."

"You mages have a spell for everything." Sylvanas kissed Jaina's hair. "It does look very like me. So many depictions of me seem to want to show me just as a pretty Quel'dorei whose skin has gone odd colors since that insignificant little resurrection as a banshee. It's as if they've forgotten I was Ranger-General, and that I am still one of the best damn archers on Azeroth."

"That's rubbish. You're the Banshee Queen; you're a warrior. You look like a warrior."

Sylvanas tilted her head to one side. "There's one thing about this that puzzles me."

"What's that?"

"I look...happy."

Jaina smiled. "Maybe you were having good dreams. I drew the expression I saw on your face."

Sylvanas looked inscrutable for a moment; then she spoke again. "Would you like to draw another picture of me?"

"I'd love to! The gown has got to go, though, as lovely as it is."

Sylvanas shook her head. "Any excuse to see me naked. You befuddle me. There's a reason so many images of me try to ignore my undeath." But she undressed. "Is there any particular way you want me to pose?"

Jaina thought about that. "Do you have your bow?"

"My Sunstrider's Longbow? Where I go, it goes." Sylvanas searched through her bag, which Jaina had long ago realized was ensorcelled to fit a greater volume than would ordinarily have been possible, and carefully withdrew her bow. "Jaina, don't you need art supplies with which to draw me?"

"I'm sorry, I was occupied with staring at you." Jaina fetched a drawing pad and charcoal.

"Is there any particular way you want me to pose?"

"Just...get comfortable. I'd like to have a good view of your bow, but I want it to look natural. Like the one of you sleeping."

Sylvanas considered that and lay down on her side with her bow halfway draped over herself, one hand at the bowstring and one hand beside the slit where the arrow nocked, as if she were completely relaxed but could be able to fire an arrow in half a second should it be required.

"Ooh, I like that." Jaina knelt on the corner of the bed with her drawing pad, barely resisting the urge to pounce on Sylvanas and kiss her. "That pose suits you. Can you turn your head towards me more? Maybe relax your face a little?"

Sylvanas obeyed. "Neph'a, we are both technically royalty and you're drawing a picture of me. You don't have to phrase everything as a request."

"All right, then: hold still. Please."

Jaina began to sketch. Having Sylvanas awake made her nervous, and she ruined two sheets of paper with careless mistakes before finally getting a start that she thought closely resembled Sylvanas. Sylvanas had told the truth regarding her ability to hold still; in fact, was was somewhat unsettling how completely motionless Sylvanas was. She did not need to blink or breathe, and it was a painful reminder of Sylvanas' undeath. "Sylvanas?"

"Yes?" It was a relief to see her lips move.

"Could you blink? Or move just a tiny bit once in a while?"

"My stillness is unnerving to you?"

"A little," Jaina admitted.

Sylvanas nodded, once. "I'll try to remember to move."

As Jaina kept sketching, Sylvanas still held her body utterly still, but she did blink at intervals, and once in a while she swiveled one of her ears backward as if listening for a noise behind her. Not long after the sun had completely set, Jaina finished the drawing. "Sylvanas? Would you like to see?"

Sylvanas got up to look over Jaina's shoulder, but Jaina held up the sketch for her to see. "It's lovely. Very lifelike."

"Would you like to keep this one?" Jaina offered.

Sylvanas shook her head. "I think you would enjoy having it more than I would."

"So, did you...did you bring any of the incense that helps you sleep?"

"You're tired?"

Jaina nodded. "You wore me out," she said with a small smile. "Oh, don't happen to have a nightdress, do you?"

"I did bring one, yes."

"Could you please not wear it?"

Sylvanas shook her head. "You continue to befuddle me."

Jaina her warmth spells on the blankets while Sylvanas retrieved her sleep-cense. Since Sylvanas was naked, Jaina figured it was only fair that she undress as well; still not as comfortable with her body as she wished she were, she climbed underneath the warm covers. Sylvanas set up the incense burner on Jaina's bedside table and slid under the sheets beside Jaina. Jaina edged closer to her. "Will you be my pillow?"

"If you insist." Sylvanas lay down on her back and Jaina crawled over to her, nestling her head against her lover's breasts.

"Mmm." Jaina nuzzled at the soft flesh pressed close to her face. "You're so beautiful."

Sylvanas ran the fingers of one hand through Jaina's hair. "I hope you won't have nightmares. If you do, snuff the incense and I'll wake soon enough."

She sounded sleepy; Jaina suspected that the incense was already working. It had put Sylvanas to sleep very quickly last time, after all. "Good night, my love."

Sylvanas was already asleep. Jaina reached up to wrap one hand around Sylvanas' scarred ear, stroking the pinna between a thumb and forefinger. She let her eyes drift shut, and the next time she opened them, it was morning. She blinked a few times, surprised that she had slept so soundly and dreamlessly, but the sun was peeking through her window. Sylvanas was still asleep, quiet as the grave. Jaina laid her head down. Sylvanas' warmth potion had worn off long ago, and her body was ice cold. Jaina knew Sylvanas would wake when the incense ran out, but it still felt like she was sleeping on top of a cadaver. Jaina sat up halfway and tugged ever so gently on the tip of one of Sylvanas' slackened ears; the ear pulled itself away from Jaina's hand and flopped huffily back against Sylvanas' head. Satisfied that her lover was still animate, Jaina laid her head down again and dozed until Sylvanas woke. "Hmmm...Neph'a?"

"Good morning, my love." Jaina kissed Sylvanas' mouth gently.

"You never woke me. Did you sleep well?"

"Very well, yes." Jaina laid her head down on Sylvanas' chest again. "No nightmares with you here."

Sylvanas chuckled softly and stroked Jaina's scalp. "My darling...I am loath to say this, but I must leave soon. I said I could stay the night with you, but I must return to my people now."

Jaina tightened her arms around Sylvanas. "Now what?"

"You mean, what about us? The nature of our relationship?"

Jaina closed her eyes. This was going to be difficult to hear and she knew it. "Yes."

"I won't insult you with any nonsense about us being better off as friends. I know you claimed in your letter to me that you're not in love with me, but..."

"I didn't mean to start calling you that," Jaina whispered.

"It slipped out because you were concerned about me. I know, my sweet. And you wouldn't be referring me as 'my love' if you didn't mean it." Sylvanas began to caress the nape of Jaina's neck, sliding her hand down the mage's spine; she knew Jaina found that comforting.

There was no fighting it. Jaina pressed a long, gentle kiss to the center of the Dark Lady's chest. "I love you, Sylvanas."

"I know." Sylvanas' voice was so kind Jaina barely recognized it. "And I would be lying if I said I hadn't grown immensely attached to you. Especially after some of the things I have shared with you."

"What will we do?" Jaina sighed. "I a way...a strange way...the two of us work. But I know it would be unrealistic to think I will ever see you again, at least in this capacity."

"You're right, of course. I was previously under the impression that there was no point in a long-distance relationship if all it consists of is letter-writing. But what would I ask of you? That you lie about your feelings when you write to me? There would be no point in the correspondence."

"Even if we can't be lovers of the flesh anymore, I want us to be...I..." Jaina trailed off, unable to find the right words for what she wanted the two of them to be.

"I will write to you. However—and I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier—I want you to write in code."

Jaina blinked. "What code?"

"I presumed you'd be bright enough to make one up. And hopefully I'll be able to decode it."

"I'm sure you will." Jaina stroked Sylvanas' arm. "But why?"

"Previously, I asked you to be discreet in your letters to me, but I understand that is difficult to you."

Jaina laughed bitterly, once. "My first letter to you consisted primarily of me gushing."

"And you should feel free to gush. But should your letters be intercepted and someone found out how much you knew about me, and decided to use you as an information source regarding how to bring me down..."

Jaina shuddered. "You know I'd never say anything that could be used to hurt you."

"I know you wouldn't mean to, but someone could still try to get it out of you. I won't see you hurt."

The mage sighed. "'s good to know you care."

"Of course I care. You've managed to worm your way into my heart." She paused. "Although I might have used a different verb. I'm still a bit groggy."

Jaina leaned up to kiss Sylvanas' neck. "Can you stay just a few minutes longer? I want to cuddle with you so I can remember how good this feels."

"I still don't understand the point of...cuddling. I never have. But I know you enjoy it."

"Oh, I do." Jaina kissed the underside of Sylvanas' chin. "Back when I wanted to remember being with...with Arthas, I wished I'd made more of an effort to develop those memories. I want to be able to remember being close to you. I think the pictures will help." Jaina closed her eyes. "Last night...I felt like the two of us were the only people in the world. I couldn't think of anything but you and how I wanted to give you pleasure."

"I'd have to agree," Sylvanas whispered back. "But as comfortable as that is, we have to think of how the rest of the violent-minded world will think of us. And how our relationship could be exploited."

Jaina sat up on her elbows to give Sylvanas a deep, loving kiss on the mouth. Sylvanas returned the gesture, softly touching the other woman's neck as she did so. "You'd better stop kissing me like that or I'll start believing you actually love me."

"The Banshee Queen does not love, my gentle Neph'a." Sylvanas sounded almost morose.

"May I kiss you goodbye? When you leave?"

"Of course. Why would I say no to that?"

"Because...I want to kiss you. The real you."

"You mean you don't want me to be in disguise?" Sylvanas sounded confused.

"Well, you're right that that would be too risky, and it would defeat the purpose of me writing to you in code. But maybe you could appear as an ordinary Forsaken?"

"I could, but it would still be fraught with risks. Even if you claimed I were really a former Forsaken who defected, I might still have offered you secrets about me." Sylvanas sighed. "My, this is point is you might still be targeted by someone looking for information on how to harm me or get to me, where 'me' here means the queen of the Forsaken."

"You're right." Jaina groaned. "I wasn't meant for this...this world of warcraft!"

"You really should have stuck to studying, but of course you didn't have a choice." Sylvanas sat up, gathering Jaina into her arms. "I should go," she said softly, cradling Jaina's face in both hands.

"Don't go, my love. Please don't go."

"You know I have to, my darling."

Jaina wrapped her arms tightly around Sylvanas and buried her face in the undead woman's neck.

"How can you hold me like this? I must feel freezing to you."

"Not only do I not mind being close to you when you haven't had your warmth potion, I really like kissing your cold mouth. It's nice."

Sylvanas kissed Jaina's hair. "My sweet, you really need to find a lover who can appreciate your kindness. I won't bar you from continuing to write me, and I'll learn your code and write back. But you deserve more than what I can give you."

"You saved me. You were kind to me. You listened to me."

Sylvanas gently pushed Jaina away from her and got up from the bed, searching for her discarded clothes. "Except for when I bit you all over. You really want to be with someone who did that sort of thing to you? If you ever end up with someone who hurts you even once, you should never give them the time of day again. They'll only keep hurting you, then apologizing, then keep hurting you, then apologizing..."

"But I know you would never hurt me again!" Jaina got up and ran to hug Sylvanas tightly around the waist.

Sylvanas laid a hand on top of Jaina's. "No, I won't. I'm just cautioning you."

Sylvanas and Jaina both dressed again and, after Sylvanas had put up her disguise glamourie, walked hand in hand down the stairs. She might not have felt it, but Sylvanas saw Jaina shaking, so she wrapped an arm around Jaina's waist and held her close. Sylvanas' wind rider had been boarded by the Theramore flight master; while Sylvanas' beast of burden was being brought to her, Jaina laid her head against Sylvanas' shoulder. As Sylvanas tried to climb onto the wind rider's saddle, Jaina grabbed Sylvanas' wrist. "Wait, my love. promised."

"I did, didn't I?" "Clovenya" stepped down from the saddle to cradle Jaina's face in both hands and kiss her warmly. It was a chaste gesture, but a kind, soft one; a goodbye kiss filled with both sympathy and empathy. And despite the affectionate intention of the kiss, Jaina could feel the coldness of her undead companion's mouth.

"I love you," Jaina whispered, wrapping her arms around her lover's neck.

"I know, my sweet." Sylvanas' hand glided over Jaina's scalp one last time. "I'll hear from you soon, I hope?"

"Yes! Yes, of course." Her lower lip trembling, Jaina stepped back from the tight embrace. Sylvanas climbed onto the back of her wind rider; from the saddle, she reached to stroke Jaina's cheek. "Take care of yourself, gentle Neph'a."

"I will." Jaina stepped back from the wind rider's flapping wings, watching as the animal took off, carrying the woman she loved with it.

"Er, Lady Proudmoore?" said the flight master hesitantly. "If I may inquire...who was that?"

Jaina shook her head. "Someone very special to me."

Later, she would not remember climbing the stairs or pulling up the floorboard; only holding the drawing of Sylvanas in her hand. There was something unfamiliar in one corner, though; Jaina wiped the tears from her eyes and held up the paper so she wouldn't cry on it. The addition to the drawing was a somewhat rough sketch of the Forsaken crest, the icon of torment; but upon closer inspection, Jaina saw that, instead of two perpendicular arrows drawn through the crest, the icon was crossed with the anchor of Theramore. Jaina had no idea when Sylvanas had drawn it, but it could only have been her, for underneath the drawing were three words: "Be well, Neph'a."

A/N: I seriously did not mean for this chapter to be that long. If all goes well, there should be a final chapter consisting of Garrosh getting his ass handed to him by Thrall and, probably, more letters between Sylvanas and Jaina.