"Riften is drowning in a sea of sin and wickedness and it's my personal mission to let everyone know that the warmth of Mara can see them through." – Quote, Dinya Balu

Tai caught his breath as he laid his eyes on Serana; somehow he wasn't prepared for Serana to be this stunning. His luck had changed. He couldn't believe it, Farkas and Vilkas had both greeted him as brother with joy. He had been torn up but he heard that he had been gaining a name for himself, as the man who refused women but also as the man who stood up to the vampires that everyone now knew about.

Tai's eyes couldn't leave Serana, dressed in a beautiful blue silk gown, tight around her body yet flowing freely from her waist down. Low cut, revealing a fair few of her faint scars Tai now saw so clearly, also revealing a large amount of her cleavage. Tai however was not staring there; his eyes were on her long flowing black hair that had been untied and released like a vision of death. Tai also stared at the shadowing in her eyes, somehow the girls had put something called eye shadow on her, she looked incredible. Her eyes shone so brightly the full moon and stars above and the flames surrounding the training yard seemed dim. Her beautiful pale skin caught the moon and shone like her eyes, a ghost, maybe magic itself. Nothing Tai had ever seen made his heart beat so fast, or ever made him catch his breath so quickly. He felt his knees quiver weakly; still he remained on his feet somehow.

He ran his hands nervously through his wavy hair which had been brushed out once more, something Tai had thought was designed to torture prisoners… how women did it daily he had no idea. His armour had been replaced by a dark blue doublet, black leather pants and some bind up boots. Tai looked wealthy, but not ridiculously so. His style was older, a few centuries older but he drew the eyes of every woman in his garb. Unfortunately, for them, his eyes were only for the shining Serana.

He roamed the crowd to the shy Serana, a smile on his face as he came to her side.

"Enjoying the homecoming?" She asked without even looking. Tai was startled. She couldn't have seen him, or smelt him. He had bathed after all, and been soaked in a strange oil that smelt like roses faintly. Apparently women loved it. Serana smiled as if just noticing his confused look, her eyes rose to his softly.

"I heard your footsteps, and your heart beat" she answered his unspoken question. Tai blinked.

"How could you know me from the entire city?" his voice was soft, Serana blushed slightly.

"I was listening for you" her words came out a double timed mumble. Tai seemed to understand as he looked to the empty space next to her against the wall, hidden in the structure's mass. He smiled again.

"May I?"

"Please do"

Tai stood close to her side, chuckling as he stared into Serana's face for a moment twisting his body to face her while his eyes roamed the crowd, as did hers. The smell of several well scented men and women wafted into Tai's nose. He was then acutely aware of the smell of cooking meat, fresh bread and mead. The lights flickered in the soft breeze, the cool air biting playfully, pleasantly at Tai and Serana, and at the dancers as the festivities continued. Tai never knew how to dance, and by the looks of it neither did Serana. The bards' voices were beautiful, duets of the best. It had been a week since they had arrived; bards had travelled to celebrate with Tai for more than he would willingly say. Serana smiled at him, she knew all too well as she whispered to him.

"These people, they scare me"

"It's alright" Tai whispered, placing his hand close to hers, not touching as Serana turned her eyes to the changing music. Tai's never left her face.

"I will never let them hurt you Serana. Remember I promised. I'm the knight in shining armour" he smiled again, reassuringly as Serana's shy smile became suddenly different, Tai had never seen this smile before. Judging by how short it was Serana had never used it. A smile just for Tai. He couldn't help feel special, almost blushing. Almost but not quite. Serana noticed his slight reaction and leapt upon his daze with a cheeky smile.

"Come on" Serana suddenly laughed her confidence back as she griped his hands, hers beneath his as she stepped backwards, forcing Tai to get off the wall and follow her laughing slightly.

"Where are we going?" he asked laughing slightly at Serana's childlike, innocent face. Serana smiled that strange smile again. Tai liked it, actually, he loved it.

"It's time for my dancing knight to sweep me off my feet" she replied laughing into the crowd. Tai didn't complain as he stood nervously in front of her before shrugging, after a moment Serana sighed, shaking her head with a disbelieving smile.

"But I can't dance!" Tai exclaimed a moment too late, his mind catching on. He was already in the middle of the crowd. He looked desperately to the grinning Serana.

"I can"

She took one of his hands and guided it to her waist. Tai stared as Serana tightened her grip for a second then removed her hand, Tai begun to move but a stern look from Serana made him pause. Nowhere he hadn't touched her before, right? Her hand wrapped around his bicep, Tai automatically flexed it, a fact Serana seemed satisfied about.

"Just relax Tai, follow me for a change" Her hand took his free hand as the music started. She turned; Tai simply followed his eyes lost in hers. Tai was aware of Serana's sudden scent, sweeter than anything he had ever smelt. Her hair breezed against him, soft and silky.

The music was a deeper, slower tune than he was use too but Serana was taking charge. She spun in his arms, he caught her again worriedly. He was painfully aware of how hard she had pressed against him; he noted she had toned more. Her own hand left his, her fingers breezing down his collar then under his shirt, touching over his heart. Her hand however was soft, taking in every contour of his muscular chest as she explored him swiftly. Tai swallowed at the look on her ageless face as she looked down to his heart, her hand by then completely down his shirt, feeling over his scar. She then swiftly returned her hand to his and looked away, her ear over his chest as she closed her eyes a look of complete peace over her face. She felt complete, her ear to his heart with his fluttering beat as she sighed, the little skip earned another happy sigh.

"I can hear your heartbeat" Serana said softly, dreamily. Tai wondered, he had been cured for a few days now and yet Serana only just mentioned it. She sighed softly, peacefully, again.

Tai also sighed; aware Serana felt the rumble through his chest by her cheek. He inhaled her scent slowly and quietly he then looked and noticed how most of the men were crassly handling their partners.

His eyes flashed with rage as one man went to slap Serana's behind. Tai had spun fast enough that the hand had instead connected with his leg, his eyes flashed dangerously as Torvar; a drunken companion simply stumbled onwards after spitting a curse.

Serana took his hand gently at her waist and slid it down slightly, his hand was on her buttocks as he looked worried as if he had touched fire and offended Serana. She smiled at his confusion, the little crinkle above his lip she always enjoyed in his face.

"You can be personal now, it's a slow dance" she whispered, her head against his chest again as she deeply inhaled his scent. Still the dance continued.

Tai just wrapped his arms around Serana, his hands gently caressing each bone of her spine, his hands eventually feeling the muscular curve of her shockingly small buttocks. Toned, tight and yet still soft to the touch. Maybe it was Serana's relaxing to Tai as she leaned heavily into him, her ear still over his heart. Tai lifted his hands to the small of her back again, feeling Serana's almost disappointment and astonishment that Tai had chosen a less invasive place to pause his touch. Strangely Tai didn't have any desire to grope for her, he didn't try the vulgar hip thrusting and mouth licking others around him did be it the cause from lack of love or an over indulgence of mead.

Finally Tai excused himself from the scene, his eyes still on Serana as she strolled straight to the mead, her nose obviously expecting the drink to be sweet and honey. Tai chose not to warn her, despite his longing too. He knew that some things, Serana would have to learn from experience. Still he whispered to Vale and Aela to keep an eye on her, they told him they had no intention of staying after exchanging some very sly looks, Tai blushed and departed in his hunt for a suitable guardian. In the end it was the kind hearted Farkas who promised to keep an eye on her, his wife still singing softly the sweet ballad Tai fled from fearfully, he had been fleeing this his since his branding. A ballad of the mines cave in 20 years ago.

It was a while later Tai lay on his bed, his mind as always on Serana. He stared at the beams as the torch flickered and shone. Tai had not stopped thinking about what Serana had said while dancing, what Tai couldn't understand is why she had allowed that. Did she love him? Was she asking him for something? Tai's thoughts were interrupted by the floor as it creaked, footsteps drew closer. Then the knocking came.

"Come in" Tai called, Serana entered. Her hair completely let down, her makeup washed clean. Tai caught his breath at her beauty. She was the most handsome woman he had ever seen.

"I'm sorry. I was put in Vale's room" Serana explained.

Tai played along. Why would he complain? The woman of his dreams, and his nightmares alone in his room with him at the early hours of the morning. He had at first planned to conquer her but instead she had tamed him, easily. Tai smiled at the comforting thought the sun had a while longer before it would rise.

"I'm guessing Z and Farkas are at it again" he sighed.

"You guess correctly" Serana replied. The two laughed as Serana came to sit next to Tai.

Tai was acutely aware of a sweet scent about her, honey on her breath. Obviously Serana had been drinking, had a few mugs by Tai's judgement. There was something else on her scent as well, it wasn't the fragrance. He couldn't place it but he himself felt nervous as the sweat formed in his palms as he shuffled, swallowing back a lump of longing. She was so close, so teasing and yet so far away from him. She was untouchable.

Exactly the way she should be Tai comforted himself silently.

The two sat there for a while, not talking. Not touching. They were barely breathing for fear of disturbing the peace, not a sound echoed in the halls.

"I have never been with a man" Serana finally confessed. This didn't shock Tai, she seemed too uneasy to have been with a man. Too innocent as well.

"Only Molag Bal, the night I became a vampire" her voice quivered in a haunted way. Still Serana felt she owed him more as she continued.

"The things he did to me… He wasn't even gentle with me Tai. He just forced himself upon me, I begged him to stop, slow down, not so hard, not so soon. I begged for an end to the pain and he laughed. I struggled so much he had the chains burned into me, I screamed and no one came to save me Tai… no one" Tai stared at her.

How dare someone violate her so roughly? She had been afraid of love for the divines knew how long because of this Molag Bol.

Tai couldn't help but feel rage. Molag Bal had kept them apart. It was all this Molag Bal's fault. He had put her life in danger! He had hurt her! He had destroyed her family with the curse of the vampire. He would pay Tai decided.

"I'll kill him" Tai growled quietly, his eyes on Serana's. He saw the amusement flash in her face for a split second. This comforted his thoughts.

"Kill a Deadric lord? That would be a first" she replied sadly her eyes leaving Tai's.

Tai placed his hand gently over hers as she let a few tears fall. His heart ached as the sadness pulsed from her. Her eyes returned to his.

"I still have nightmares. I remember every little movement Tai. I remember everything" she nearly sobbed looking to her feet. Tai pulled her hand to his chest as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders. He noticed how she inhaled, smelling him. Tai threw the thought aside. She was upset.

"I'm right here. Nothing will hurt you" he whispered. Serana raised her eyes to his once more as Tai brushed a tear aside with his thumb softly.

"Oh Tai…" she trailed off. Tai ran his hand across her shoulder, slowly up to her cheek. She flinched, every muscle in her body tensed briefly. Tai couldn't contained himself, he knew what he was doing was wrong as fear briefly clenched in his gut, then released as if telling him the time was right.

"No. Serana, don't cry. It's over. He can't hurt you anymore, no one can. I'm here. I'm not Molag Bal; I am not rough and scaled. I'll do whatever you want me to or not to, no matter my personal desires. I'm not going to hurt you Serana. I couldn't, I love you" Tai was shocked that Serana leaned into him, whispering and whimpering.

"Tai…" After briefly leaning into him Serana seemed sadder still.

"I don't deserve this" she whispered. Tai didn't move an inch.

"The things I've done…" She trailed sadly off.

Tai didn't care. He knew one thing, he loved her. He refused to move his hand as he ran his hand to under her chin lightly, pulling her closer.

"I don't deserve you" her voice was so heavy, Tai swallowed, his body language showing how he didn't believe this. His eyes were intent on her averted ones, they flicked to him again.

"I'm afraid" she whimpered.

Tai simply leaned in, his nose almost touching her as he whispered.

"It's ok"

Serana closed the distance, her lips connecting around his upper one softly. Tai allowed his bottom one to close gently as he kissed her. The magic moment. Serana could have flinched from the burning sensation she felt course through her and yet Tai seemed to be the cold water as well as the flames. Nothing more about their emotions had needed to be said as he kissed her gently, Tai hadn't lied, he was not rough and she knew then just how much he loved her. Serana felt another tear run down her cheek, she was hungry for him but afraid. Tai sensed her fear as he gently ran his hand down her shoulder, pushing the dress aside slightly. Serana leaned back with a frightened gasp.

"It's ok" Tai whispered again, one of his hands still closed around Serana's softly. His eyes were so honest, the hunger barely shone as an animal, more as a man. This was the Tai she had always seen.

The dress fell away slightly as Serana moved her shoulder softly. Tai pushed the dress with his fingertips, followed by kissing where his fingers had been so softly Serana quivered and rolled her head slightly, moaning very quietly. Any sense of Tai touching her was amazing. Not that she could admit it, this was the only way she could even try. The dress fell the rest of the way revealing her breast in the dimming light. Tai respectfully looked into the torch, burning like Serana's eyes. After a moment Serana guided his face to look at her then smiled at him.

"Tai, you can be personal now" she whispered, repeating that line from the dance that sent chills up his spine. Tai understood as Serana gave him that special look. Tai gently leaned in and kissed her again as her hand left his, now her surprisingly fleet fingers undoing his cheap linen shirt.

They didn't even break the kiss as Serana pushed his shirt back, Tai moved his arms to aid her as her hands running down his arms desperately, another building storm. Tai took a deep breath as he leaned into her, guiding her head back slightly. His lips brushed softly beneath her chin down to the base of her neck before Serana straightened her head again, lips once more locking with his.

They both inhaled gently as Tai brushed his hand down the outside of her thigh softly, finger tracing a firm muscle line. His thumb was hooked in Serana's beautiful soft silk dress, guiding it away from where his finger followed. Tai was clearly an expert at this but nothing about his movements were anything like his old self. Tai's old self would have been rough, groping for her, his kisses would have been more violent and less loving. Now Tai was all about matured love, and less about animalistic passion.

Serana looked at him lovingly as she broke the kiss. What flashed in her face could not have been said in words. She reached for his hand as she held it in hers; Tai felt the heat rise from her touch despite her perfectly cool skin. She turned his palm to face her, straightening his finger then pulled his hand to her chest, his wrist between, what Tai found to be, her beautifully formed breasts. Tai was shocked as she held his hand there, his fingers over her dead heart which he swore was beating. Tai swallowed again, he didn't even know what he was feeling. Whatever the feeling was, it was as new to him as this was to Serana.

Serana breezed her finger tips down Tai's chest as she again reached for the cheap, fraying rope holding Tai's sleeping pants up, quickly undoing it. Tai was gentle as he kissed down her jaw to her shoulder then back again, his hand still exactly where she left it, fingers curling softly over her beautiful unscarred skin. Serana tensed again, her only unscarred area was been clawed. She then relaxed, Tai was been so gentle. She trusted him completely.

"Serana?" Tai breathed her name softly. She stared at him again; his face was concerned, all hunger gone from his eyes. He wasn't afraid of her or for himself, he was afraid he was pushing her, hurting her. Serana bit her lip as she stared at his for a moment. Why did he have to be so kind? Why couldn't he have been the first instead of Molag Bal? In a way he was, he was her first man. Serana smiled, this time Tai was the one reassured.

"I love you" She gasped out quickly. Tai stopped dead as he stared at her. She had spoken so fast he barely understood her. He had an idea of what she had said, it struck him. His entire body froze, except his pounding heart. Serana took a deep breath and repeated it slower.

"I love you" she spoke again, her breath rushing from her as if a huge tension had been released from her chest. Tai couldn't help smile as a tear reached his eye.

She ran her hands to his head and kissed him again, her fingers lacing roughly through his hair. There was a sudden hunger to her movements as Tai removed his hand, grasping to pull the dress free down her legs and off her ankles.

"I want you" Serana gasped as the cold air bit her. Her body instinctively aching for Tai's warmth.

Tai realised she was not wearing anything under the dress. Had she planned this? Serana's hands tugged at his pants aggressively as their kiss deepened. Tai felt he could barely breathe as he helped his pants off, throwing them to the ground over Serana's dress.

"You have me" he whispered ruggedly into her ear. Tai gently pushed against Serana, guiding her to lie back completely, her own breathing was fast and heavy.

Tai felt as if he was on fire as he slowly crept over her, staring down as her chest heaved with the heavy breaths she took. Tai had to pause and stare at her; she was a goddess, he never knew how beautiful Serana truly was, almost glowing like when she was outside, her burning eyes illuminating the room. She too paused staring down Tai, an animal looming over her with eyes softer than a horse's. Tai shifted his head as another unknown look crossed her face. She smiled at the sudden shock and worry in Tai's eyes.

"Are you alright?" he whispered, his breathing still heavy. Serana nodded.

"Better than I've ever been" she managed to pant replied as Tai leaned down to kiss her again, one knee bent up around his hips as her toes teasingly trailed down his calf.

Serana couldn't believe it, finally after so long she was getting the man she had read about in books. The stories made sense as she loved Tai. Every word of every epic love poem seemed to resonate within her the more she and Tai continued on, as one split in two, often pausing to reassure each other. She couldn't help think Molag Bal had stolen her so long ago, now Tai would save her. She couldn't have imagined a more perfect way to give herself to him than on the night of the festival, the year after the world had been saved by the two dragon born women. The exact night 29 years from when Tai had been born. This was her gift to him but she couldn't help feel selfish.

This didn't feel like a gift to him, but a gift for her as Tai wrapped his arms around her naked form. Her back pressed into Tai's front as they fell asleep in each other's arms. It was perfect.

The wind howled, the torches went out throwing them into utter darkness and yet Serana didn't care. This was her night. This night was about her and Tai, their love, their joy and their suffering. Tomorrow they would journey together to find Auriel's bow but tonight the world was theirs.

The events of despair and the danger of the sun didn't matter. Serana realised she could die a complete woman tomorrow for the first time in her existence. Tai, such a different man to her and yet she had never felt closer to anyone else. By the way his arms cradled her and he kissed the bone of her neck she knew Tai felt exactly the same.