She stopped in the doorway, a small voice inside saying, ‘No! No, I can’t leave him. He needs me.’ She turned and took a few steps back toward him. “Vincent,” she said quietly, “I’m not leaving.”
He turned to face her. His illness made it increasingly difficult to formulate rational thoughts, much less put them into words. He even had to concentrate for a moment to understand what she had said. He had thought she had left, and he had begun to loosen his control. The effort of maintaining the veneer of civilization was exhausting. Why must she make this even more difficult? With difficulty, he summoned words to entreat her one last time to leave him. “Please,” he whispered, “I don’t want you to see me like this.”
“I’ve already seen you, Vincent,” she said gently, projecting love and acceptance through the bond.
He had no strength to argue with her further. He tried to focus on maintaining his slipping control. He dropped his head and drew and released a ragged breath.
Catherine couldn’t bear to see him this way. “Vincent, I know what you need. Let me give it to you,” she pleaded.
Vincent diverted his attention once again to her words, and when they penetrated the thick haze created by his fever, he was stunned. He looked at her again, focusing even more intently, wanting to understand. How could Catherine know what ne needed when even he did not? “Catherine, what do I need?”
Tears pooled in Catherine’s eyes. Their relationship had not yet developed a foundation for this conversation. She shook her head. “You don’t want to hear the words, Vincent.”
His control dropped further. She knew what he needed and wouldn’t tell him. Despair threatened to overtake him. Catherine opened her arms. He marshaled his inner forces to regain control, succeeded only marginally. “A hug will not help,” he rasped.
“It might,” she replied, continuing to hold her arms open.
There was something familiar about those words, but Vincent couldn’t remember why, and the fruitless search of his memory consumed the last of his control. He went to her, let her arms encircle him as he leaned his head on her shoulder and held her. He trembled. He sobbed, his breath coming in great gulps.
“Shh, it will be all right. I’m here, Vincent. I won’t leave you.” Catherine had known the illness had taken a great toll on Vincent, but she hadn’t realized how great. She could feel his emotions so clearly now through the bond. Exhaustion. Despair. Confusion. Fear. Need.
It had to be done. “Do you trust me?” she asked. After a moment, he nodded against her shoulder. “Come then,” she said, pulling out of the embrace and leading him to the bed. She turned the covers aside. “Sit.” He complied, dropping his head into his hands. Catherine bent to kiss his head, then knelt on the floor and began to unlace his boots.
Rationality slipped even farther from Vincent’s grasp, and he didn’t try to recover it. He didn’t know what Catherine was doing. Literally. He couldn’t think any more, could only feel. He knew only that Catherine’s presence was soothing. Her voice, her touch, her scent, all comforted him.
Catherine removed the boots and proceeded to loosen the fastenings of his vest. Vincent moved his hands aside as she worked, his eyes closed. She stood and pulled the vest over his head. His feelings, through the Bond, were still very clear to her. He felt lost. Lost and helpless. She hoped what she was about to do was the right thing, that he wouldn’t be too angry with her. She knelt again, and as gently as she could, not wanting to startle him, she loosened the laces of his pants. She rose again and put her hands on his shoulders, hoping to better get his attention. “Vincent,” she said gently, “take your pants off.”
Vincent knew she had made a request and he let himself comply with it without trying to understand the words. But then he began to feel very light headed.
Catherine sat him back down on the bed as he began to sway slightly. She removed the pants from around his ankles, and felt her own desire blossom as she looked for the first time at the furry muscles of his legs. She rose once again. Vincent still swayed slightly. He looked about to pass out. It might be easier that way, she thought briefly. “Lie down,” she said, guiding him to lie the right way on the bed. He inhaled deeply as his head sunk into the cool pillow and then exhaled forcefully and began to shiver. Catherine covered him and then sat next to him, stroking the side of his head. “It will be all right, Vincent. I promise. Just try and relax.”
Catherine quickly stripped her clothes off, keeping her bra and panties on as the sudden thought struck her: What if he comes back to himself and doesn’t want this? It will be less of a shock if I’m not completely nude. She climbed over Vincent’s feet to the other side of the bed, lifting the covers from the far side. She nestled close to him, gently stroking his chest.
Vincent was barely conscious. He’d stopped struggling against the fever. He felt Catherine near and was comforted by her presence. He had lost himself, but Catherine was here. It would be all right.
Catherine opened the buttons of his shirt and stroked his furry chest, her desire escalating as she considered what she was about to do. She knew somehow that this was what he needed, but she felt guilty because she wanted it for herself too. She wanted it so much that she couldn’t be sure she wasn’t deceiving herself in order to justify taking him. She didn’t know what to do. Passion finally winning out, she slipped her panties off and climbed on top of him, stroking his face with the back of her fingers, then kissing him gently, first on his forehead, then his temple, his cheek, the edge of his mouth. Finally, his lips.
Oh, the indescribable feel of his lips! His mouth was slightly open and she opened it further with her tongue. She reminded herself to be gentle with him. He returned her kiss softly and with a languor resultant of his weakened state. She lowered her hips to his and felt a spasm in his body, answered by one from her own. A whimper escaped her and she began to rub against him, feeling him grow beneath her. She continued to gently kiss him, the subtlety of his response making her realize the seriousness of his condition. Her concern grew and she channeled it into her love for him. Love now greater than passion, she was certain again that this was what he needed. As her doubts fled, she sat up to remove his underwear. This took some minutes, considering his size and condition. His assistive motions were so slight as to be of very little help. She ceased struggling with the undergarment as soon as the relevant parts were sufficiently uncovered.
Her desire took dominance, and she covered his body with her own again, placing gentle kisses on his jaw, his cheek, his nose, returning again to his mouth, so different from her own and yet such a perfect match. She lowered her hips to his again, moaning when she felt his warm hardness against her own warm wetness. She felt him spasm again and she raised her body to take him inside her.
Oh, yes, yes, yes! She had wanted this for so long. Conscious thought evaporated as she slid repeatedly up and down his length, savoring the delicious pressure against her feminine muscles. Vincent moaned, and her attention returned to him. Guilt returned as well, and she focused her efforts on pleasuring him. Her own needs were unimportant for the moment. “It’s all right, Vincent,” she whispered, still thrusting. “Relax. Let go.” He was evidently not ready to let go, however, and her body resumed its selfish enjoyment of him. Oh, yes, yes! No, not yet, she tried to tell herself. I’ll collapse into a helpless pile when I climax. Wait for Vincent.
She slowed her movements and whispered his name, tenderly kissing him again. He returned her kiss, more strongly this time, moaning again. She kissed him more deeply, and she felt his body begin to move beneath her, thrusting upward. This was too much for her overstimulated and too long deprived body and she quickly lost herself to a climax like none before, joined immediately by Vincent’s who groaned deeply for long moments and then began whispering her name over and over. Catherine was near tears as joy filled her.
“Catherine... Catherine... Oh, Catherine, what have you done?” he implored softly, lifting her face to look at her.
She brought her hand to his face. “What you needed, Vincent. What we both needed,” she whispered. “I’m sorry for doing this without your consent. Forgive me,” she pleaded.
“Forgive you?” He shook his head. “Catherine, I thank you. But your gift... your sacrifice... is too great.”
Catherine shook her head. “Making love to you is no sacrifice, Vincent.” A tear rolled down her cheek. “I love you.”
“Oh, Catherine, I love you!” Vincent gasped, wrapping his arms around her tightly, bringing her head next to his own, and planting soft kisses against her cheek. Catherine turned her head to kiss his lips again. He kissed her with all his passion this time, and it took her breath away. She kissed him in return, eagerly, hungrily. She wanted there to be no doubt in his mind of her feelings for him. She rocked her hips against him again. He moaned, and she felt him begin to grow again, still within her. She moaned in return and sat up to hold him within her as his erection grew. Vincent cupped her breasts in his hands, squeezing gently. She gasped.
“How does this come off?” he asked, and she responded by reaching back to unhook the bra. He pulled it gently from her arms and set it aside, taking her breasts in his hands again. He explored them in fascination, contrasting the firmness of the nipples with the softness of the breasts themselves. He moaned in pleasure as she made love to him again, and he dropped his hands to her thighs to watch her.
Catherine smiled, feeling his love and desire radiate through the bond. He was taking this whole thing far better than she’d expected. That might change later, but for the moment she was going to enjoy it. “Don’t get too comfortable there, mister,” she teased. “It’s your turn.” He looked at her curiously. “I still know what you need,” she whispered. She adjusted her legs and rolled them both over.
“Ah... my turn.” This time was everything Catherine had ever imagined and then some. He had proper enthusiasm this time, and he was at once tender and forceful. The sounds he made were incredibly erotic and he would intermittently say, “I love you.” It ended, again, in simultaneous rapture.
As they lay together afterward, Vincent’s head resting between Catherine’s breasts, he said, “Forgive me, Catherine.”
“For what?” she asked in surprise.
He sighed and turned his head to look in her eyes. “For underestimating you. For not trusting. For... keeping us apart. I would never have asked this of you and would have refused if you’d offered. Forgive me for not believing in our love.”
“I forgive you, Vincent. As long as you believe now.”
“I believe, Catherine.” He rose to lie beside her and pulled her into his arms. “I believe.”