Not Just Another Winterfest

Lynn Wright

Once again Winterfest was over, and once again she felt his arms around her, and the touch of his body. Once again, they danced in the shadows of the Great Hall.

Catherine moved as if on air, eyes closed, feeling with her whole body the nearness of his. Through the soft haze of pleasure, she thought how incredible was the difference in the touch of his body when they danced, in contrast to their usual innocent hug.

Now, because they danced, his hand’s touch was a caress. In the movements of the dance his body touched hers, moving against her, sending waves of pleasure through her. Their embrace lacked the innocence and simplicity of a friendly hug, for dancing was the coming together of man and woman in teasing, suggestive contact, bodies moving together in a sort of distant reflection of the sex act. She loved it, she had hungered for it; she wanted it never to stop.

But as they danced on the warm glow of sensual pleasure dimmed. While she felt that glow, she became slowly aware that he couldn’t be feeling the same thing. Such pleasure was not allowable in his universe, not ever; he bent all of his considerable will to keep it at bay. He could do it; he could ignore the call of his body, make it not real, this dance was proof of that. If he were letting himself feel the pleasure she felt, he’d stop immediately. At the first suggestion of any feeling that could be construed as sexual he backed off, stiff and closed.

Catherine’s attention was drawn away from her pleasure in the dance as she thought about how much this whole question was disturbing her, how much pain she was stifling because of his denial of this most important side of their love. How can he do this? How can he keep himself forever at a distance? It isn’t fair to either one of us! He…

"Catherine?" Vincent looked down at her. "What is it?" He stopped, his hand moving from her waist to take her other hand. "I felt your body become tense, and…" He stopped for a moment, looking down at her with puzzlement in his eyes at what their bond told him. "…You’re…angry?"

She backed away from him until he had to drop her hands. "I…I am disturbed. I’m feeling…I guess it is anger…because…" She hesitated. What would he do if he were confronted with the reason? She knew his usual retreat. He’d head for the farthest corner of the tunnels, and stay there until he could once more warp his feelings for her into simple innocent brotherly love. The thought made her angrier than ever. This had got to stop, and right now she was getting mad enough to do something drastic, like actually talking about it. He couldn’t just turn around and leave her this time, not here in the middle of the Great Hall. She thought, Hmm, this may be the best of all possible times…

Vincent stood waiting for her to finish her sentence, his astonishment and confusion plain on his face.

"…Anger…because you won’t face how you feel about me, Vincent. Because you can dance with me and you’ve got yourself so much under control that you don’t feel anything, except maybe brotherly love." Her face softened. "Do you know what I was feeling? You must, you’re able to know that. What was I feeling, Vincent? It wasn’t brotherly love, was it?"

He wheeled immediately away from her, his face stricken, but she reached out to clutch his shoulder and turn him back. "Don’t turn away from me! I need to have this out with you. I...I can’t do it any longer. Please…please help me, Vincent, it’s eating me up inside!"

He turned obediently at her demand but kept his face turned away. She could feel the tenseness of his shoulder under her hand as she shook it gently. "Look at me, and talk to me, please!"

He turned his head slowly and met her eyes, saying nothing, bewildered and very apprehensive.

She saw his anxiety, but her own pain drove her on. "How do you do it, Vincent? How do you manage to dance with me, to feel your body moving with mine, and still keep those feelings suppressed? How do you do it?"

He was silent, still stunned, his mind whirling with confusion and surprise. How had this happened? How had their lovely dance turned suddenly into a confrontation on a subject he was definitely not ready to talk about? But…she had said she needed his help, and it was the one request he never could refuse.

"Vincent, I asked you a question, please give me an answer. How do you stifle those feelings? They are there, I know it."

"Catherine. I…I can’t…"

The farther she went into this, the more determined she became. They must talk! She looked levelly into his eyes, making sure he knew that this time there was no ducking the truth.

"Vincent, you must."

He saw it, and as she watched he visibly straightened his shoulders, still looking into her eyes. He hesitated a moment, gathering his thoughts, and his courage. Then: "All right. I believe that this is a mistake, Catherine, but I must bow to your anger...and to the pain that you’re feeling." He paused, his head lowered, thinking for a moment. "Let us go back to my chamber. It’s cold here. Agreed?"

"If you’ll promise not to leave until I say it’s all right. Do I have that promise?"

His eyes lifted swiftly to hers, looking for any softening. There was none; there was going to be no escape that way.

"…Yes." He gave the promise reluctantly, knowing he’d probably regret it.

***********

They stopped in the kitchen while Vincent made tea.

When they were settled at the table in Vincent’s chamber, sipping the hot liquid, Catherine began doggedly, "It’s time, Vincent. I want to hear what you propose to do about the way we feel about each other."

He looked up from his cup. His face was expressionless; he was beleaguered and defensive. "What I propose? Catherine, you’re the one who brought up this subject. I have no proposals to offer."

"Are you going to stonewall?" He said nothing, only regarded her with shuttered eyes. "Well, I sure hope not, because that’s not going to make it go away. All right, I’ll tell you what I propose." She smiled a little. "I guess I should say ‘I’ll tell you my proposition’, ‘cause that’s what it is. I propose that you…take me to bed."

He jerked in his chair at her words, then stood up immediately, looking away from her. "…Catherine, I need to go away. Release me from my promise, please!"

The answer came quickly. "No." As she said it his body slumped and he sank bonelessly back into his chair.

Her face softened, and she smiled tenderly at him. "I know this is difficult for you; it shows in every line of your body. But my dear, we’ve got to have some resolution; I’ve got to. It’s making me crazy, and I can only imagine what it’s doing to you."

He raised his head slowly to look into her eyes. "No…I don’t think you can imagine…" His voice was a whisper, his face strained. He bent again over his cup.

There was a pause, while she digested the fact of this most important admission. Then she spoke softly, her sympathy for him evident in her voice. "That’s the first time I’ve ever heard you admit, even indirectly, that you have…sexual feelings for me."

He straightened slowly from leaning over his teacup, and met her eyes. His demeanor changed subtly; in his eyes she saw a flicker of anger for the first time, and when he spoke his voice was firm. "Well, let me be direct then. I have those feelings for you. Feelings so overwhelming…" His voice changed as he spoke, became rougher, louder. "…So overwhelming that I must go away, leave you, or I’d…"

He paused, the muscles in his jaw working. His fists were clenched tightly; suddenly he raised them and brought them down with a loud crack onto the table’s surface, making the cups rattle. "Catherine! Let me go!"

She jumped, but she answered quietly. "No."

"Are you sure? Are you sure you want to face the consequences? Believe, me, there are consequences. Perhaps you’re not taking into account what those consequences might be." His voice was almost a growl, and his body’s tension was evident.

"I’m not afraid. I’ve told you that before, and it’s still true. I’m not afraid. I know you, and I want you. Please? …Please, Vincent…"

He threw his head back, his hands clutching the table edge. "…For God’s sake, Catherine…" He half-rose. "Let me go! Release me from my promise! You must! It’s not safe for you…" His anger was gone, now, submerged in his agony of apprehension for her.

"I’m not afraid, Vincent." She rose, and came around the table to him. Her hands pressed down on his shoulders, and he subsided into the chair. She leaned over him, very close. "Please…kiss me."

He turned his head away from her as far as he could. She could feel his shoulders tense, iron-hard. "No! You don’t know what you’re asking, Catherine. You don’t know the reality of what I feel for you! Please, please…" His voice was shaking.

"All right, tell me, then. Tell me why I must be afraid of you. I warn you, though, it won’t work." She straightened slowly and returned to her chair. "Tell me."

He relaxed slightly as the distance between them widened. He sat for a long moment silent, looking down at the cup in front of him. Finally: "What you’re asking is…impossible." He shook his head, looking up at her for a moment, before returning to his scrutiny of the teacup. "…I…cannot tell you! I…I am not even able to make myself look at my feelings for you. You have no idea, Catherine! There is…such lack of control, such violence, in my thoughts of…of…what you want me to do…I’m not certain that I could keep from hurting you. I’m not even certain that you’d…" He couldn’t say it, the worst of his nightmares; that he’d kill her in his violence.

"I’m not surprised that you have violent thoughts about us making love, Vincent. I have a few myself." She smiled as his head jerked up in shock. "It’s true. Sometimes I think I’d like to rip off your clothes." He flinched. "And bite you…oh, sometimes I think about biting and scratching and leaving my mark on you. The way you keep me at a distance has its effect on me, you know. Sometimes I’d love to slap your face, hard! And more than once!" Before she finished this sentence, he was shaking his head in disbelief. "It’s true, Vincent. After all, we’ve both been holding this inside for years. It’s no wonder we’re frustrated to the point of violence."

She smiled suddenly, and shook her head. "It is true. I have such…longing for you…. You’re not alone in this, believe me. I want you…so much…" She reached her hands across the table and took his, opening his fists and stroking his fingers. "Tell me how it is for you, why you’re so afraid. Tell me, love."

The tenderness in her voice and her actions had an effect on him. There was a pause while he quieted under the soft stroking of her hands on his. Finally he turned his hands over and grasped hers while he spoke hesitantly and more calmly, meeting her eyes this time. "I’m afraid…that you will be disgusted by the things I think about, at the very least. I’m afraid that I will destroy the relationship that we have by reaching for more."

"Nothing, nothing can destroy my love for you. Believe it, for it’s true." She held his gaze while she spoke. "Now come, love, tell me. Tell me what it is that you think about, that you dream about, that you think won’t be acceptable to me."

"Catherine, you don’t understand! There are things...things that will make me lose control to speak about." He looked away from her, shamed at having to admit such thoughts.

She considered that for a moment. "OK…start at the beginning then, with something easy. Start with kissing me. Do you think about that?"

His gaze returned to her, and to her surprise his expression changed; he smiled a small wry smile. "Thinking about…kissing you…does not qualify as ‘something easy’!" His eyes fell to her mouth, and he paused, looking, before he went on. "…I think about it…yes…" His gaze at her mouth was dreamy and tender, and his voice was pitched low and very soft. "Sometimes I think about…if I could just touch your lips with mine, just touch them, it would be enough…but Catherine…before I know it, in my thoughts I’m crushing you in my arms, and I’m...I’m forcing…my God, I can’t do this…" as he ended his voice had changed to a strained whisper.

"Yes you can. Forcing…?"

"Forcing…your mouth open, wanting…"

"Stop. No force necessary, believe me, my mouth wants to open!" She smiled cheerfully at him. "What would you do next?"

He looked dazed suddenly. "How did this happen, Catherine? How did I come to be telling you this? I can’t do this…" His head dropped into his hands.

"You can. Look at me, Vincent. Look at me and go on. What would you do next?" Her tone was quiet and reasonable.

He had great difficulty in refusing her anything she wished at any time, and somehow she had trapped him into this. He sat up a straighter and his eyes met hers. "There is more, Catherine." He tried to hold his gaze to hers, but he couldn’t look at her while he told her his thoughts, his shame wouldn’t let him. His eyes dropped to the tabletop. "There is more…I have wanted…to use you, with violence, to drive the breath from your body, to…to make you my instrument, manipulate your body as I will, to…make you no more than a slave to my wishes…" As he spoke his head dropped lower with each confession.

Catherine’s voice was still cheerful. "That’s not all bad, Vincent, I like the part about driving the breath from my body; sounds good to me! And slavery? As long as I get equal time to make you my slave, to make you moan and shiver with what I’m doing to you, to…"

"Oh Catherine, stop!" He stood up hastily, wheeled and began to pace the room while he spoke hurriedly. "I cannot control the way I feel, you must leave me…NOW!! Get out! Go!!"

"I won’t."

"You must not stay here! I’m not responsible at this time!" He wouldn’t look at her, but paced steadily, looking only at the floor.

"I certainly hope not."

He wheeled suddenly and stared at her. "You want this to happen, don’t you? Right now. You want it…right now."

"Yes." She smiled tenderly at him. "I want it to happen…now. Let it happen, Vincent, please!"

He groaned. "Oh, God, I want it to!" He whirled and began again to pace.

Catherine said nothing. She watched him pace, giving him time to get himself under control. When she thought enough time had passed she stood up but didn’t approach him, not wanting to frighten him into breaking his promise to her. She knew he might flee regardless of having given his word if he thought she was in immediate danger, and he was very close to that point.

She spoke softly from where she stood. "You know, there are degrees of intimacy, Vincent. If you are afraid you’ll hurt me…in the act…we could start a little bit more slowly, just…a kiss?"

He had had enough time to bring himself back to control, for he stopped pacing and faced her. He shook his head, and the wry little grin appeared again for an instant. "It’s not just a kiss. I thought we’d been through that."

"You have incredible self control, Vincent. Your strength of will is always a wonder to me. Are you telling me that you can’t control yourself enough to kiss me? Not even if I help? I’ll be there too, you know. And I’m confident that no matter how…excited….you may be, you’ll hear my voice. Remember the past. We’ve been through some bad times, Vincent, but always, always, you’ve heard my voice, no matter how far you’ve gone away from everything else. Isn’t that right?"

He nodded slowly. "…Yes, that has happened in the past…"

"And love must move forward, Vincent. Remember that also…"

"Yes. I remember." He moved across the room and sat down again at the table, his anxiety level lowered by the interval of rational thought. "And I know, Catherine, that I have not allowed our love to move ahead. My fears have made it impossible for me to step forward, although I know, I know, that this cannot go on forever, this stasis, this refusal to face the reality of how we feel about each other…" He looked up at her with his love and his desire plain in his eyes. "But I’m so afraid…"

"I’ll help, Vincent." She smiled tenderly and began to walk toward him slowly, watching him carefully, afraid to panic him into flight by any precipitate move. But to her great amazement and delight, he got up from his chair and came to her.

With a groan, he pulled her to him. He looked down at her for a moment, pliant and willing in his arms, and suddenly tenderness was in his eyes. "I’ve dreamed…the way you look now, your lips parted, the softness of you in my arms…Oh, Catherine I love you…I love you." Slowly, his head lowered until his lips touched hers. Just touched, then he pulled back, looking into her eyes.

"Your lips are the softest thing imaginable." He bent again and touched her lips with his, holding it just a beat longer. When he raised his head this time, he was smiling a little, a look of wonder on his face. "…I can do this."

"Vincent, I love you so much!" She raised herself on tiptoe to kiss him. When she did so, her mouth was open, just enough for him to feel its moisture. His arms tightened, and he bent further into the kiss. It bloomed between them then, lips opening, tongues just touching. He began to tremble, but he didn’t break the kiss. It progressed no further, just a soft open-mouthed kiss, tongues exploring each other’s lips without moving any deeper into passion.

After what seemed an endless time, he raised his head, looking down at her with aching tenderness. After a long searching look at her face, he spoke in a half-whisper. "Oh, Catherine, oh my love...I want…so much more…but how can I know that this tender loving will stay that way? How can I be sure?"

She spoke slowly and softly, with earnest gravity. "Oh Vincent, trust in me. I’m sure. I have not a doubt in the world. I know you. I know your love for me. Believe that it will be all right, that it will be wonderful, because I do. Believe in me."

Vincent stared down at her, speechless, while his eyes welled up with tears of love and gratitude at the confidence she showed in him, in his love.

She smiled, with a wicked gleam. "To tell the truth I wouldn’t want it to stay this way always. I want to feel your passion as well as your tenderness, Vincent." Then as she paused her smile disappeared and her passion for him spilled over. "Oh, I want to feel your passion….please, please….make love to me, please…" Her hands lifted up to his head, pulling his face down to her. "I want you so much…"

His blue eyes gazed deeply into hers, his mouth only a breath away. His look held her captive while the shared gaze stretched over many seconds. Neither of them moved, held in a motionless moment of arrested time.

At last he shut his eyes briefly, breaking the enchantment. He looked down at her again, breathed a long sigh and spoke: "Catherine…Catherine… God help me, I’m going to give up!"

As he said the words she felt his body relax, iron hard muscles softening as he released the tight control he’d been holding. His arms pressed around her closely, holding her fast against him while he bent his head that small distance more. His mouth turned against hers, opening it wide, and now he kissed her without holding anything back. His tongue slid softly into her mouth, wandered over her teeth, caressed her tongue, while he moaned, giving soft voice to the pleasure the kiss gave him.

Catherine’s hands slid around his neck and her fingers threaded through his hair, holding his head in a close embrace, holding his mouth against hers. "M-m-m-m," she moaned softly in concert with his inarticulate sounds of bliss.

Suddenly he raised his head. "Catherine?"

Her eyes opened slowly. "…??"

"Are you sure? I…I’m on the edge, Catherine. I’m going to…lose control here… " He was panting, and she could feel his erection pressed tightly to her belly.

She smiled up at him, her hand stroking his face. "I’m not afraid. Lose control, Vincent. Just…let go."

She pulled his head back closer to her mouth. He looked down at her in wonderment. A t last, at long last, he was holding her in his arms as a lover, and it was going to happen. Now! It’s going to happen now! Excitement drove the blood to race through his veins, and his breath became a series of held moments, followed by a panting gasp to catch up.

He lowered his head that small fraction more until his lips touched hers, reveling in the feel of her warm wet mouth against his. His tongue reached past her lips to caress her tongue, to slide over her teeth, to delve into the depths of her willing mouth. He began to growl softly in the back of his throat, an unconscious reaction to the bliss of her arms and her lips. Could it be possible? Can I just…let go, let myself be…what I am?

His hand traveled slowly the length of her back, smoothing the fabric over her warm flesh, longing for a closer touch. Can this be? Can I…let these feelings be…real? At her waist her felt the edge of her blouse and began to pull it gently from the waistband of her trousers. When his hand touched flesh his arms tightened reflexively and he groaned as his hand moved up the bare skin of her back. I can’t give this up…not now, not when I’m so close…

He lifted his head then, to look down at her face. "Catherine…I’m…I’m sliding into something that I don’t…I don’t know what is going to happen."

"Let it go…let it go, my love…" Her eyes were closed, her mouth shining with the moisture of his kiss. She smiled a little, and her hands traveled the length of his back, sliding across his body, leaving a track of fiery heat wherever they touched him. "I’m not afraid. It will be all right. Just…let it go."

"Ah, God, this is… a dream!" His mouth came down on the soft skin of the side of her neck just under her ear. His tongue came out then, passing over her skin, drinking in the taste of her, the wonderful, arousing scent of her wafting up to his nostrils, driving his desire to a new peak. "Catherine…Catherine, I want you..."

He scooped her up and carried her to the bed, kissing her eyes and her ears on the way. The low growl in his throat strengthened as he straightened and looked down at her, lying soft and relaxed, waiting for his touch… "My love…"

As he stood there, looking down at her on the bed, waiting for him, for his touch, for his body, the last of his control snapped. He began to strip off his clothes, growling all the while.

She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Without a trace of hesitation his clothes were pulled off, his shirt and vest together swept over his head, then his pants unlaced and dropped to the floor. He snarled as the fact of his boots was brought home to him, and sat on the bed, impatiently untying and pulling off first one boot, then the other, with a groan of irritation. When all his clothing was gone, he rose and faced her.

Catherine gazed at him bemused as he stood before her, nude and magnificent. God…he’s beautiful. "Come here, come to me…" She reached her arms up, longing for the feel of that beautiful muscled body against her. "I want you…I want you…"

He knelt beside the bed and began to pull at her clothing. "Get this off…get it off…" His hands pulled at her shirt, shaking with desire, fumbling with buttons.

She was shaking also. The unleashing of his desire, and the intensity of it, had taken her aback a little bit, but she wasn’t going to stop him now! Between them they fumbled her clothing off, and she laid back on the bed.

He was still for a moment, his chest heaving with his panting breath, looking down at her. Suddenly he got up and walked away, going to the table, where he stood leaning over it, his head hanging down.

"Vincent? What…?"

He interrupted her, speaking without turning around, his voice a low growl. "Wait…it’s too much…just wait…I need to…get hold of…myself." He straightened and took a deep breath. "I don’t want to hurt you…just give me a little time..."

"All right. It’s all right. Just don’t…don’t change your mind…please don’t change your mind."

He turned to look at her then. He had regained his balance; she could see it in his face, in the more relaxed set of his shoulders. "No. Oh no, I won’t change my mind. How could I…when you’re lying there, like that…looking like…an angel…"

He walked slowly back, gazing at her all the while, his look intent, searching. When he reached the edge of the bed he stopped. "…You are so beautiful… so desirable…and you are mine. Mine to touch, and hold, and kiss…it’s a dream, a dream…"

Catherine realized that he was deliberately slowing his pace, making himself maintain control. She wasn’t sure that was a good idea; she wanted with all her heart to feel his passion unrestrained. But she thought, as much as she was still capable in her excitement of logical thought, that she’d rather have him restrained than not at all.

She urged him down to the bed, reaching a hand up to take his. "Come here to me, Vincent. Come to me, my love…oh, my love…"

He slid down beside her, stretching his full length out next to her, but not touching her. He spoke tightly, obviously holding on to control. "I want…I want to touch you…" His voice broke, and his urgency was apparent in his next words, "I want to slide my hands all over you…"

"Oh, Vincent, I want that too! So much!" She took his hand, and watching his face, she raised it gently and slowly placed it on her breast. "Right here, oh Vincent, touch me here!"

He seemed to take that as the permission he had needed. His body slid over to press against hers, and his hand stayed where she had put it, moving gently over her breast, while he watched it with fascination.

"So soft…so unbelievably soft…" His head dropped nearer. Slowly he moved to touch her breast with his mouth, and as slowly his lips closed over a nipple. "M-m-m-m." A growling moan said all that she wanted to hear.

Her body was alive with sensation. His mouth on her breast was fire and ice, driving shafts of sensation down to the vee of her thighs, making her gasp and writhe.

"Oh God! Do that, oh, yes, that!"

His hands were closed over her upper arms, smoothing the flesh there with passionate tenderness. He raised his head a last to make room for his hands to curl again around her breasts. "I’ve wanted…I’ve dreamed of this… to touch you…here…"

"And to …" his eyes were intent, following the movement of his hands. Slowly they slid down her body, touching her flesh with gentle pressure. They slid over the bones of her hips, and began to move inward to the place that his eyes were fastened on with ecstatic longing.

He pushed himself down the bed until he was lying between her thighs. His hands now moved over the brown curls of her pubic mound, then moved lower, to part the lips below.

"Ah-h-h." It was a soft exclamation of gratified desire. The years of dreaming and longing were behind now; this was the beloved’s own body under his hands.

Gently he parted the lips further, his eyes following every small movement, and devouring what he saw. "…So beautiful…so delicate…so desirable…" His eyes lifted to meet hers. "??...Is it…could…?"

"Oh, Vincent, yes, please! …Ah-h-h-h!" The exclamation was forced from her by the incredible sensation that his mouth gave touching the very center of her. "Ah God, O-o-o-h…" She was incoherent within seconds.

As Vincent tasted the gift of her body, his hesitation melted. The low growl began again in his throat, and he pushed her thighs wider to gain even more access to the center of her. His mouth opened wide and he took in as much of her as he could, rolling his tongue and sucking, playing with the delicate leaves of her flesh. Exultation arrowed through him as he heard her cries of ecstatic pleasure, and all hesitation left him

Pulling her legs up over his shoulders, he rose up to his knees, carrying her body with him until he was looking down into the site of his every dream. Now his hands moved back down to her breasts, while his mouth resumed its plundering.

Catherine’s body arched and she cried out in an agony of pleasure as her climax tore through her. Vincent shuddered as he felt what she was feeling. The depth and magnitude of her pleasure astonished him, and it was only with great effort that he contained his own climax. His teeth clenched and his face wore a look of agony as he strove with his passion. But he wasn’t through yet; there were many more pleasures to be garnered from this lovemaking, he wanted them all, and control be damned!

He returned Catherine’s body gently to the bed. When she began to take notice of her surroundings again she found that he was gently kissing her face, making soft noises of love.

She took his face between her hands. "Oh Vincent…I can’t tell you how…"

"I know. I was there. It was wonderful." He smiled at her, showing those teeth that she saw so seldom. "I felt it all." He stopped to kiss her, and when he raised his head the smile was gone, and he spoke with intensity. "But…I want more, Catherine. I want it to happen again, I want to lose myself in you, to find your very center, to come into you with… thunder and lightning!"

His kiss was more demanding this time, and she found herself ready to respond, amazed at the speed of her body’s recovery. When he lifted his head at last from the blazing kiss his new-found assertiveness faltered slightly. "I…haven’t…I didn’t…when you…."

She smiled up at him. "I know. I was there, Vincent." her smile disappeared and her voice thickened, "Come into me; I want you inside of me….show me…the thunder and lightn---" The rest of her sentence disappeared into the heat of his mouth. His growl was back, deep in his throat, a low counterpoint to her small moans of pleasure.

He groped for her hands without lifting his mouth from hers. When he found them, he drew them over her head and clasped both wrists in one hand while the other moved back down to her body. He lifted his head then to look at her, observing her hands tightly prisoned in his, her breasts lifted by her arms’ position to a place convenient to his mouth. With a small inward turned smile, he lowered his head to her nipple.

Catherine watched him with astonished pleasure. He has truly thrown off his fear.

He growled that same soft growl while his mouth slid from the breast to move down her body. She felt his teeth every moment, not biting but making themselves felt nevertheless. Then shivers raced up and down her as his mouth opened further and his teeth grasped lightly at her skin.

"Ah, God, you’re so wonderful, so delicious…so toothsome…" He looked up at her and smiled slyly. "May I have just a small bite? Here… and here… and here…" He nipped gently at her ribs, the side of her waist. the inside of her upper arm.

"You can have anything you want…anything at all." She squirmed under his teeth. "God, Vincent, oh…"

"I want…this." His hand cupped her between her legs. He released her hands and moving lower, inserted his knee between hers and moved her legs apart, making room for his body to lie between them. "I want this….so much…and I will have it…now!"

His penis nudged at her opening, looking for entrance. Lubricated by her body’s moisture, the tip slid easily inside her. "A-h-h-h…" They spoke together, articulating ecstatic pleasure in the fact of their joining at long last.

He was still for a moment, eyes closed, savoring the reality of what was happening. Then he moved purposefully, filling her with measured speed and potent power. When he was fully seated in her his self assured bravura mood broke, and he looked down at her with tears in his eyes. "Oh, Catherine …my love…" He began to move then, making long slow strokes, watching her face, seeing the pleasure which made her gasp and writhe, seeing what his body was doing to her, feeling her body’s response to him.

It was too much. His movement quickened, and quickened again. In a few seconds more he cried out with agonized pleasure as his orgasm came upon him with tremendous power. In its midst he felt the strong contractions of her body around his and cried out again, in concert with her.

 

When Catherine opened her eyes and turned to him, he was lying on his back, arms at his sides, palms out, in an attitude of exhaustion, still breathing hard. She smiled to herself. Took it out of you, didn’t it? It does that.

But when he turned to her, he didn’t look exhausted. On the contrary, he looked elated - triumphant, almost. "You’re not hurt. Not hurt at all. Just…loved." His face gentled. "You are all right, aren’t you...I’d have felt it if you’d been hurt." His arms came around her and he pulled her against him. "What I felt…was…joy. You loved it as much as I did." He scattered soft kisses up and down her face. "M-m-m…you taste so good…you feel so good…" He stopped, looking into her eyes. "I love you with every part of me. You are my breath of life. You are…" Tears sprang to his eyes. "I don’t know how to tell you how much I love you, and how grateful I …"

Her hand came up to cover his mouth. "You have nothing to be grateful for, for goodness’ sake! Gratitude doesn’t enter into it! It was a two way delight." Her face crinkled into a grin with the last sentence.

He smiled his small smile. "As I was about to say when I was interrupted, I’m so grateful that you had such faith in me, when I had no faith in myself. Your love for me, and your faith in me made...this …possible, when I had thought all my life that it could never be." He frowned a little. "I’m not sure now why I was so afraid…"

"Father must take a lot of responsibility for that, Vincent."

He pulled her closer, and began again to kiss her face. "Perhaps. But it’s moot now."

His kisses grew more insistent. Catherine found it hard to care about Father’s concern or lack of it, with Vincent’s mouth covering her breast once again. "Umm…Yes….OK…"

His voice thickened as he became more involved with what he was doing. He spoke slowly, in a half whisper, between kisses. "This is what matters…I’m here, making love to you…and I’m not afraid any more."