Intimate Moments

Margot holds him close, reveling in the weight of his body blanketing hers as they both relax. Their legs tangled, her toes caressing his calves. The scent of their love teased her nose, the heady aroma warming her to the core. Softly, not really aware, she hummed a delicate melody as her fingers soothe his back in long lazy strokes.

She chuckles as she wondered to herself if it was wrong that she wanted more, and her lips brushed against the nape of his neck to lap the salt from his skin. "I will never tire of this," she confesses softly. She squeezes him in her arms and her lips travel along his skin to his temple as she sighs, contented.

Kendall lies boneless and sated, head resting at her shoulder. Kisses touch her neck and shoulder in lazy, random caresses while their breathing slows and steadies. Fingers explore the wavy hair that tumbled about them, and he sighs in contentment. "This?" he asks, his voice distant with relaxation. "This what?"

"This!" she reiterates, kissing his temple. "Lying naked with you, contented. Feeling your breath on my skin and your heart beating against mine. Feeling your fingers draw lazily against my skin at random places. I love making love with you. And I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I still hunger, but I am sated for the moment."

He could almost hear her cheeks redden with the admission. "But I love just feeling you against me. Atop of me. Buried within me afterward. Just relaxing. It is very peaceful." She is silent for a few moments, her fingers combing through his hair.

"How do you … take precautions?" She asks, her tone inquisitive and curious as before. "I mean… do you meditate? Do you simply tell your seed to be dormant? Do you actually have that level of fine manipulation over your body?! How does this work?"

"A combination of things, since much in Amber is uncertain," he replies, amusement coloring his tone. "Most generally, I simply determine my…fertility. But until we arrive somewhere that is less resistant to shifting, I also ingest a powder. Rory sees to the arrangements."

"Do you take this powder daily? Like I have to drink my tea?" Margot found this most fascinating.

He slides over to lie next to her, inviting her head to rest on his shoulder. "Every few Turnings. I leave the time adjustment to Rory."

Margot accepts his invitation, pulling the blankets up over her shoulders and around his body. "Does the powder have flavor? And… you really just decide… like that—" She snaps her fingers. "That you're not going to be fertile?! Is it instantaneous? Like… like I'm going to turn onto my left shoulder rather than my right? Does it require much thought or energy?"

"It is not immediate, and does require some effort. Else no attention would be paid to it," he answers. "It involves the redirection of some of the body's energies, away from procreation toward somewhere else. For some, this just means an increase in sexual drive. Others send the energy elsewhere."

She cants her head as she listens. "Oh." She thinks for a few more moments. "OK."

Arms squeeze Kendall affectionately and Margot breathes in deeply. It's a languid snuggle, even as her lips dot his skin with kisses. Gathering some strength in satisfied limbs, she climb back atop him to smile down into his eyes. Her hair framing her face and tumbles over her arms and his chest. He didn't seem to mind her voracious appetite, be it playful or sensual, but lying here and talking was also…nice. She could become very accustomed to this.

"Whatever am I going to do with you?" she ponders aloud.

He blinks, nonplussed at the question, and his relaxed air gives way to alertness. He frowns. "Do? With me?" he questions warily.

"Don't frown." She kisses his mouth playfully. "I was merely trying to decide if I should allow you up from this little cloud of paradise just yet."

His eyebrows arch and he relaxes again. Fingers trace idle swirls over her back and shoulders, delighting in texture of hair against skin. "You have me at a disadvantage at present," he observes. Gripping her waist in both hands, he slides her along his torso until he can reach her breasts with his mouth, flicking one nipple with the tip of his tongue. "Is there some reason you feel we should rise? Or do you wish to mine more questions from your inexhaustible supply?"

"I always have questions," she breathes, pressing herself up just enough to hover twin globes within reach. "I find your methods… interesting. I find most things about you interesting," she admits with a smile. "I also find you very comfortable. And I find myself wondering how quickly the voyage would pass were we to just stay put."

He trades attention to the other nipple, giving it equal treatment before hitching himself up onto his elbows and meeting her lips with his. "No doubt the voyage would be far more enjoyable were we to spend it here alone together," he agrees with a mischievous smile. "Since you were introduced as my companion on this trip, you would not be required to make appearances so much as I am. Perhaps you should remain here in our bed, ready at a heartbeat's notice to be stimulated and sated." His expression takes on solemn seriousness.

"It would save the servants the inconvenience of having to search for clothing," she points out. She sits up and pulls the corners of the blanket around her breasts. "I could just wander the cabin wrapped in a toga or sarong, and spend my time with scented oils and combs for my hair."

He pushes the blanket away to leave her bare as he gazes up at her, enjoying the shape of her breasts and the line of her waist. One finger caresses the slant of her collarbone to her chest and then traces a line between her breasts, down past her belly, to tease the curly hair where it met his body. He chuckles at he meets her eyes again.

"It is a tempting thought, my lover, to leave here knowing you await our pleasure upon my return. But you would not wish to miss out on the entire voyage, that I know. In addition to exploring this ship, you will see sights of wonder and terror beyond the tame Shadows near Amber."

"Hm…" She raises her hips while pondering his words, arms draping over his shoulders as she leans forward. She shivers with lingering passion when his fingers slide within to play with her desires. "I suppose that means I will have to simply steal moments to ravish you so that I may enjoy the peculiarities of our journey and private moments entwined. Though I must admit having you as a captive audience is very appealing." A lustful smile tugs at her mouth before she claims his again with playful desire.

"Mmm…" he murmurs as they break apart. "I suspect you would be a most enjoyable mistress to serve. What is your desire now, my sweet?"

Her eyes drift closed as his fingers continue to toy with her, nipples brushing against his chest when she moves in harmony with his thrusts. "Well, you make an excellent argument for staying here," she purrs against his lips. "But, if we linger in the room for any length of time, I insist we have a better choice in wine. Let's go find the wine and anything else we can claim in the name of our love nest."

She wags her eyebrows with mischief and he nods with a smile. "If that is what you wish for now, Margot, then you shall have it." He kisses her once more before he brings his hand up to slowly lick his fingers, staring at her with provocative gaze.

"You make it difficult to leave this bed, My Lord," she chastises him playfully. Sliding from his lap, she nuzzles his neck one last time before she stands up. "Are you as adept at dressing as your are at undressing?"

Kendall rolls onto his side when she leaves the bed, showing no inclination at all to join her. "Not at all," he answers. "But if m'lady mistress would like, I can make an attempt."

"I would rather not dress at all, but I fear the shock would strike my dear Caresse dead. And for all her protectiveness, I do love her so. Not to say I'm interested in parading about the whole ship like some garden sprite, but she'd turn to stone to find me so…pleased at our arrangement." A smile accompanies her blush.

Margot comes back into the bed to kneel next to him, gazing into his beautiful eyes. She nods her head toward the opposite side of the bed. "Do you wish for a change of clothing or shall I collect what you were previously wearing?"

He looks over his shoulder in a languid, unhurried movement to survey his discarded clothing. The outer, visible element had been laid with care over a chair, so what remained on the floor was merely underclothing. "I shall have to evaluate the damage," he decides after some heartbeats of thought.

He rolls over, sits up on the other side of the bed, and leans over to pick up the shirt, all one motion. Margot crawls over to wrap her body around his while he shakes it out so he can have a look at it. Her arms encircle his waist to rest atop his thighs. With her chin hooked over his shoulder, she cants her head. "What is the verdict?"

His face reveals skepticism. Even though he knew the shirt wouldn't be seen, it still went against the grain to wear anything that wasn't entirely perfect. Overall, it really was acceptable and only a little rumpled, but he drops it again without ceremony. "Hopeless."

"Then there is only one solution," she says as she slides her hands up to trace the muscles of his chest. She pauses to press a kiss against the back of his neck. "Well, I must concede there are actually two, but for the moment we will have to find you something else to wear…and we will be left to our own devices on dressing ourselves."

She sighs dramatically against his skin, as if this was a terrible fate. "I realize I am a poor substitute for your dear Rory, but I will endeavor to serve you as best as I am able."

Kendall turns to wrap his arm around her waist so he can pull her onto his lap. "It would be a simpler thing to fetch the servants," he points out. "Unless you have some curious desire to serve that role now." He leans over to nibble the skin of her neck.

Her head tips away from him to expose more skin to his caress, arms draping lazily over his shoulders. "Simpler…Yes…But, convenient…No."

She raises her head to look him in the eyes again. "And it would be a treasured experience for me," she explains. "I have no desire to usurp Rory's role, nor do I believe I could come close to approaching a hint of his shadow if I had a hundred generations of steady practice. But there is something…loving…in the act of dressing the one you care for. Intimate. Tender. To allow yourself to be tended to, cared for by another, and that person sees to your needs with devotion…It is powerful in its symbolism. Beauteous…And I would like to share this with you."

"I…see," he answers, though the reply seems more to acknowledge her words than to indicate understanding of her meaning. One corner of his mouth curls up into a sort of perplexed smile. "You have a curious viewpoint on…most everything."

"If you would prefer…" she backpedals, suddenly feeling foolish and uncertain. "It is nothing to summon the servants. I just—"

He chuckles and interrupts her with a kiss. "All is well, Margot," he reassures her. "If this is something you wish to do, by all means."

Arms tighten around his shoulders as surprise grips her, her smile more brilliant than the sunlight beyond the cabin's portal. Sliding off his lap, she takes his hand to lead him to the luggage. Having no idea what clothing he would prefer, she simply opens his trunk so he can choose. Inside, they find clothes tucked away in tidy categories. On one side are several pair of trousers, shirts occupy the middle along with a green robe, while several belts, another pair of boots, and other oddments occupy the other end.

He stands behind her, rubbing her shoulders with soothing pressure while he looks at the visible items, not bothering to dig into the depths. He rarely chose his own clothes, so he is unaccustomed to making such a decision. Eventually, he leans over to pull out an artfully rolled and folded shirt decorated with swirls of shimmering blue and smokey grey along with a matching pair of grey trousers. "These will do," he says.

Margot accepts the sumptuous fabric, fingers caressing the luxurious cloth with amazement. The fabric is soft, smooth, and almost slippery in her hands. Her eyes drink in the depth of color as she carries the garments to the bed and lays them out with reverent care. "This is…lovely. Are there many fabrics so lustrous?"

"Anything that you can imagine," he says.

Some searching, which left the contents of the trunk still amazingly tidy all things considered, turn up silver cuff links shaped like birds in flight and an elaborately braided leather belt. She collects these from him along with under things and silken socks, making no attempt to hide or temper her delight as she busies herself with the preparations. She hums softly as she inspects each piece for imperfections she was certain did not exist.

And so the process began, Margot attending to Kendall with doting care. Gray-blue fabric rippled over his form as Margot slides the shirt over his arms. Teeth capture her lower lip in concentration as she slips buttons through their anchors. Her hands smooth his shoulders and chest to remove any errant creases. His bottom and legs are quickly covered, the rich grey revealing an endless depth of color and texture as her fingers secure the trousers around his hips.

Time took on new meaning for her; the anticipation of seeing the completed vision seemed as enthralling as the breath-less impatience she felt when she undressed him in the heat of passion. Her intense expression reveals deep commitment to her tasks. Delicate arms slip the belt about his waist and clasps it with studious care. Silver links are threaded through cuffs and secured with thoughtful attention.

All the while, the young Chaos Lord patiently assists as she attends to her task. He did not mind being pampered. He was, in fact, fairly adept at allowing people to pamper him. He moves as needed, giving her access and helping her as warranted, but mainly he remains silent and unobtrusive so as not to break her focus or make light of what appeared to be an important experience for her.

And it was almost unbearably erotic to have her tend him in the nude. His gaze roves freely over her body as she works, admiring her delicate lines and lithe movements while she was too distracted to notice. The scent of her hair mingles with the sea breeze and lingering odors of sex that still clung to them both. It was sometimes difficult to remember that Margot was still an innocent in many ways. She had taken to bedplay like a young krell took to firedancing, and yet these small, private moments were still new to her.

Finished with his clothing, she smiles up at him as she takes his hand to lead him to the chair. Choosing a comb from his trunk, she slowly begins drawing it through his hair to remove any signs of their playful liaison. That accomplished, she leans over for one more kiss just as the ship dips and leans, encountering a deeper swell and a momentary change in its motion.

Kendall reaches up to steady her, warm fingers resting against smooth, bare skin. "Thank you, Margot," he breathes against her lips. "Did you enjoy?"

She nods, leaning into his embrace and enjoying the feel of the moment. "I did, thank you. Thank you for indulging me. Doing for you… It fills me with great pleasure." Her eyes shine with her appreciation and she blesses his mouth with another kiss before she stands straight again.

She hold his hands at her waist and gives him another smile. "And if you are satisfied with my work, I will get into something far less comfortable, and then we can explore."

A smile quirks up the corners of his mouth as he stands. "I am satisfied well enough at present. However, I see that I will in future have need to make even greater effort to sate you, my sweet. Hmm…that may prove a most enjoyable experiment, to see just how much is required to leave you exhausted and unable to move. Which of us will collapse first, I wonder?"

"I wouldn't dare ponder," Margot returns with a playful smile as she returns to her trunk to collect fresh underthings: chemise, stockings, garter, panties and the rib-crushing corset. It was all part of a routine she had grown accustomed to when she was formally dressed. She was, however, far less accustomed to being dressed by someone else.

She tries not to giggle as his hands draw the garter around her hips and secure it at the small of her back. She can feel his breath on her skin and the warmth of him through his shirt, and now she is the one who casts admiring glances at her attendant as he works. Though not imbued with or driven by quite the same tenderness and nurturance of Margot's actions, Kendall can nonetheless appreciate and share the sensual enjoyment of assisting his lover as she had him. Hands stroke her with intimate affection, both against bare skin and through silky fabric, and he never misses an opportunity to taste her lips or skin in gentle, lingering kisses.

Seating her upon the bed, Kendall kneels to place the arch of her foot upon his thigh as she stretches sheer fabric over her slim legs and secures it in place with tiny clasps. Rising, she hands him the corset next, but he tosses it unceremoniously aside to join its mate on the floor after the barest glance. He could not fathom why anyone would so tightly restrict a body so youthful and abundant.

Instead, only her shift would protect her modesty beneath the silken blouse he pulls over her arms and settles around her neck. He pauses in his buttoning to caress nipples pressed enticingly against the light fabric, smiling into her eyes as she draws a shaky breath. Next was the riding skirt, sliding up her long legs and secured at her waist. Soft blue favored the princess, bringing out the natural rose in her complexion and her full lips. The coat would be added later, and buttoning it around her torso would offer plenty of support without ruining her ability to move.

Once she is dressed, he fetches the comb and sits on the edge of the bed. Guiding her to sit on his lap, he begins pulling it through her long tresses in slow and careful movements to remove tangles from wind and loving. He hums quietly as he works, enjoying the luxury of her hair falling over his fingers and onto his arms to tickle his skin with a thousand kisses. Sadly, it was not terribly untidy, and so the combing takes little time before her locks are straight and shining.

Margot finds herself quite taken with the decadent treatment. The soft kisses, the loving caresses, and the way he looked at her… It was all she could do to prevent herself from pulling him onto the bed and unmaking all of their hard work. But him combing her hair? That was no doubt her most favorite part. Intimate, sensual, and still so very tender; all else aside, this tiny gesture spoke more of affection and desire than any words or overt deeds could convey.

"What shall we do with it now?" he asks once he is done with the comb. He threads his fingers into her hair, rubbing the silken strands against his skin.

Part of her wished to leave it down. Would that be too provocative? But she did not wish to have it drawn back severely either, despite the practical applications of such a style. "Maybe a braid? Tight enough to keep it from unravelling but not so severe to make for a despondant disposition."

He thinks on that idea. "Perhaps plaits of the front only, leaving the rest free," is his thought. "You may need other assistance for that."

Margot turns to meet his eyes, amusement shining in hers. "I have spent years plaiting my own hair. Plaits, braids, twists, buns… it wasn't until I arrived at Amber that I was surrounded with so many extra hands to assist me with such mundane things. I think I can manage on my own."

"Ah. Well, be certain that you will have no lack of assistance once you are settled in Chaos," he remarks. He helps her rise so she can return to the mirror.

"Is there a requisite number of staff?" she asks seriously as she takes her place in front of the mirror.

He stands and stretches before going to the porthole to look out over the sea. "Some require more than others to run a household," is the answer. "At a guess, you will be given the services of a half dozen initially, in addition to your maid and the Lady Dara."

"I suppose it is something that I will simply have to learn," she replies, her fingers quickly working her hair into an intricate pattern across the top and back of her head. The effort holds her concentration for several moments until she is able to secure the rosettes atop her head, leaving her long raven locks to fall in soft waves down her back. Kendall wanders back over as she works, standing behind her to watch her in the mirror. He nods in approval as she turns her head to inspect her handiwork.

"There," she declares, placing the last of her pins. "This will suffice."

He smooths some stray hairs down her back and then leans over to press a kiss to the top of her head. "Are you ready to face the world?"

A delicate hand captures his face, stroking his cheek. The reflection's eyes sparkle with anticipation of adventure. "Yes. Let's go explore the ship and see what it has to offer. Show me the wonders."

He helps her to her feet and tucks her hand around his arm before leading her to the door. Margot follows with an aura of eager anticipation evident in her glowing eyes and radiant smile. It took all of her will not to bound ahead of Kendall after opening the portal out of their chambers.

In the hall, Dara plays with a nest of small white ferret-like creatures. She smiles at her Lady when Margot emerges from the cabin. "We will be passing Cabra soon," she remarks, and the Nira'k sing their greetings before going back to chasing the undesirables in the Underdeck.

Kendall is in far too good a mood for even Dara to bother him right then. Even this early in the journey, after being chained to Amber's stability for so so long, he can already feel the Pattern's grip on Reality beginning to ease its iron grip as the Rhercyn speeds toward Chaos. That by itself was enough to make most anything merely a mild irritant for a little while. He joins Margot in nodding to acknowledge the other woman's words.

"Thank you, Dara," Margot answers, sharing her warm smile with her Lady. "Please join us on deck. We wish to see more of the ship before night falls."

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Attack on the Rhercyn

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