BtQC-Chapters 11 and 12
Brenna wanted him to stop so she could tend to him, but Garan was worried that the leader might change his mind and it seemed best if they left the compound as quickly as possible. The tribe had forgotten about them already, going about their business as the sun began to set. They passed unchallenged through the gates and headed silently toward the brush at the edge of the foothills, a few minutes’ walk away. Brenna kept glancing over at Garan with concern, but his wound had stopped bleeding and he was walking determinedly toward the foothills.
Finally, Garan stopped near a spring with a small pond, satisfied with the spot he’d chosen for their camp for the night. He dropped his pack and sat down heavily on a boulder, probing gingerly at his forehead. Brenna dropped her pack too, pulling out a few soft cloths and wetting them in the spring to wash the drying blood off Garan’s face, neck and chest. He winced but did not protest even when she applied some salve to the gash and lump, but he pulled away in irritation when she tried to send some healing energy into the wound.
“Keep your witchery off my body,” he grumbled.
“You were fine with my witchery before you marched into battle,” she quipped. “Besides, you were expecting me to heal you after your glorious victory, remember.” She moved closer again, kneeling in front of him and placing her hands gently on either side of his forehead.
He sighed slightly and closed his eyes as the warm, healing energy flowed into his face and head. It did feel good and now that they were clear of the danger, the exhaustion and stress of the last several hours were starting to catch up with him.
He opened one eye slightly, glancing down to see her upturned face, eyes closed, lips gently parted as she concentrated on healing his wound. By the gods, he wanted to kiss her again, to pull her into his arms and feel her willing body against his. She was dusty, disheveled and tired, but she was stunningly beautiful to him at that moment. He knew then that they were meant to be together, that they were meant for each other now and for all time. He would gladly go to the ends of the world for her, would fight for her, would even die for her if need be. He realized that he’d known it from the first moment he saw her at the inn, and he wondered why he was only just now able to admit it to himself.
“What is it about you, Brenna Samuels,” he said.
“Hmm?” She said, still concentrating on sending the energy into him. He reached up, took her hands in his, and pulled them away from his head. Brenna opened her eyes and looked up at him.
“There’s something about you. Something … familiar … but gods know I would remember you if we’d met before.” He leaned down and brushed his lips lightly against hers. The tingle of recognition passed through them both and Brenna caught her breath. She reached her arms up to embrace him and he pulled her gently to stand, their kiss deepening. They stayed like that for a long moment, their lips and tongues exploring, tasting, feasting, her hands caressing his face as his fingers played along her back and hips.
He broke the kiss with a devilish smile and stood up, sweeping Brenna into his arms and carrying her the few steps to the pond before setting her down in front of him. She realized what his intentions were and reached for his shirt, pulling it over his head as he started unlacing the sides of her gown. In a moment, both were free of their clothing and standing at the edge of the pond. Brenna stepped gingerly into the water, expecting it to be chilly but finding it still slightly warm from the day’s heat, despite the deepening twilight. At once, Garan scooped her up again and strode headlong into the center of the pond, chuckling at her squeal of mock protest and stopping in the chest-deep water at the center. The water was cooler here, but not cold, and as he set her back on her feet again she pressed the length of her body against his, trembling slightly as she tilted up to kiss him again.
They bathed and caressed, hands rediscovering each other as their kisses continued. Neither spoke, for words weren’t needed. His body was hard, muscular and strong, and Brenna’s hands found the long, thin scar along his jawline and short, jagged one across his upper arm. Garan seemed to delight in her body’s softer, rounded contours, expertly knowing just how to touch her to give her the most pleasure.
Brenna unfastened her braids and leaned back to wet her hair, and Garan gathered it up in his hands, rubbing it gently in the water to wash away the dirt and smoke of their adventure with the tribes. With her back arched and her head back, Brenna’s hips were pressed into Garan’s, and she could feel his passion stir against her. Her upturned nipples tightened and he leaned down, drawing one into his mouth. She gasped and opened her legs slightly, pressing against him and he slid his hands down to her lower back and hips, lifting her off her feet. She wrapped her legs around him then, opening herself completely to him as he slid into her. He gathered her up against his chest and they kissed deeply again, the water supporting their weight as they began to thrust together.
Brenna clung to Garan, her body alive and throbbing, her legs around his hips guiding him into her rhythm. His breathing and strokes quickened, and she could feel him,hard and hot inside of her. Her climax neared and she leaned her head back, pressing herself more firmly against him and matching his every thrust. He thrust forward just as her climax surged through her and she cried out in pleasure, squeezing her legs to drive him as deeply into her as she could. With that, his passion exploded as well, and he called out her name, bucking wildly into her.
Their lips met again as their breathing slowed and their passions cooled. Garan slipped from Brenna and she slid to stand before him again, still pressed against him. She gazed into his eyes as it seemed she had a thousand times before as he brushed a stray tendril of wet hair from her cheek, then turned to rest her head against his shoulder as he crushed her to him in an almost protective embrace.
“I’ve found you,” she said simply.
“Yes,” he answered. And they both knew it was true, although neither knew how or why.
Later, as they lay together, they talked about how it could be that they knew each other so intimately, having only just met. Brenna told him of her childhood outside the village of Streestown, of growing up an only child of poor farmers who had encouraged her to enter the Abbey when she was of age in the hopes that her lot in life would improve above their own. Alamara had lived on a neighboring farm and as the only daughter in a family of eight children, had been like a sister to Brenna growing up. They’d both looked forward eagerly to the day when they would become priestesses of the Abbey, but as the time grew near for them to enter their service, Brenna saw less and less of her friend. She didn’t think much of it at the time, but she knew now that Alamara had already met and dallied with the handsome and much older King Alfonse. She’d been happy when Alamara left the Abbey to marry, of course, but it had been so hard to say goodbye to her dearest friend, and if she was being completely honest with herself, she had been a little jealous too. Now, as she traveled to the castle to reunite with Alamara, Brenna wondered how she would feel seeing her friend after all these years.
Garan spoke little of his past, preferring to listen to Brenna’s tale instead. He talked of growing up at Locallen, the oldest son of a knight and a lady of the court of Alfonse and his first queen, Sonnette. He’d been given as a page to Sir Briance, a stern but fair knight who Garan grew to love and respect as much as his own father. He remembered the tragic death of Queen Sonnette and the king’s prolonged grieving and had been newly knighted just before Alamara was crowned queen. He’d been honored to be asked to be part of the Queen’s personal guard, but was frustrated by the machinations and maneuverings of court politics. At that, he grew tense and silent, and would share no more. Brenna knew there was something else, something that had caused his fall from grace and ostracized him from the court, but she wisely chose not to press him about it, gathering him close to her and sending soothing, peaceful energy into him instead.
He sighed almost imperceptibly and changed the subject. “I still don’t see how we’ve met. Everything about you is so familiar to me, and yet …” he trailed off, nuzzling her neck and ear.
“I am of the Old Ways, and we believe that all souls who have ever existed or will ever exist are with us, always. We are all one and we move into and out of awareness throughout lifetimes, never really living or dying, but only having the experience of it as we manifest into consciousness.”
“We are not here? This is not real?” Garan said, nibbling gently on her earlobe.
A delicious shiver ran through Brenna and turned her head to kiss him. “No, this is very real,” she said between kisses.
“I don’t understand,” Garan said, leaving a trail of kisses from her lips to her jaw and along her neck to her chest. He cupped one breast in his hand, kissing the soft swell until he found her taut nipple and probed it gently with his tongue.
Brenna moaned softly and turned toward him, but he continued his trail of kisses across her ribs and down her stomach. His hand still gently massaged her breast, fingers teasing the nipple he’d excited with his tongue as she felt her groin ache for him. “I would explain it to you, but you’re distracting me,” she managed as his lips reached her pubic bone. She could feel his warm breath against her and she tilted her hips slightly, yearning for his touch.
“Am I?” he said, his tongue flicking out to touch her. She gasped, opening herself to him and he slid his hands up her thighs, gently parting her legs and delving into her, his mouth and tongue expertly pleasuring her. She abandoned herself to him, then, feeling her passion rise.
“Yes, like that!” she gasped, grasping his head and pressing him into her. He chuckled and slid his hands under her hips, lifting her off the ground slightly. He took the tiny, swollen bud into his mouth and sucked it and she cried out, bucking wildly against him. As her climax rolled through her, he kissed his way back up her body and slid into her as he found her mouth. Her passion swelled and crested again just as he exploded into her, moaning against her mouth, their nipples brushing against one another.