For Disclaimer, please see Chapter 1.

Misplaced People by Devize © 2004 (

* * * * *

Chapter 22: O Taste And See [i]

It was a hot night.

Cool air flowed through the open window, but it did nothing to cool Striker's flushed skin. She kicked back the duvet again, and again felt a rush of heat as she remembered the feeling of Morien's lips on hers, Morien's tongue against hers, Morien's body thrusting….

If she removed anything else she would be naked, and her sanity couldn't afford her being naked right now.

Already she had tried to read, to allow her mind to be guided down paths that did not end in Morien. Except every path ended in Morien, and she would find herself imagining Galadriel and Olwen and (heaven help her) Hermione Granger with the open, child-like face of a pretty Welsh woman.

Already her fingers had wandered down between her legs, to explore the dripping core that seemed to be governing her every waking thought. She had brought herself to a panting climax, muffling the name of her would-be lover in her pillow. It had only made her feel more wet, more fuelled and more frustrated.

And she knew why. It wasn't her pleasure she wanted. For the first time in her sex life, she craved someone else's pleasure more than her own. She wanted to feel Morien writhing under her. She wanted to lick the sweat off her skin. She ached to hear her name on Morien's tongue, cried out in release. She longed to….

She wondered if she would wake the whole house if she had a cold shower. She wondered if she could stand lying in this bed any longer.

Fact is, if she stayed in this bedroom she would either start running up the walls or she would explode with lust. Either way, she was going to wake the whole house. She would risk a trip down the creaking stairs to the kitchen, a glass of cold water and a change of scenery.

In the dim light from the window, she pulled on some boxers and opened her bedroom door. The house was in darkness. Both bedroom doors were shut to the landing. She took a step out and thanked the god of floorboards for staying quiet. She felt her way down the soft carpet of the staircase, pausing at every muted, wooden squeak for signs of life. Nothing, not even the curious blink of feline eyes in the dark. She reached the hall and padded her way towards the half-open door of the kitchen.

And stood stock still on the threshold.

Morien was already there. She was silhouetted against the glass of the back door. The faintest glimmer of moonglow made her auburn hair gleam like a halo. Striker imagined she looked flushed. Her skin glistened. In her hand she held a glass of water. Ice cubes clinked faintly as she rolled the glass against her upper chest.

Striker felt frozen by the vision. Her eyes were growing accustomed to the dark, and shades of Morien seemed to materialise within her silhouette. Striker felt as if she was spying on something as fragile as myth, as if it were a unicorn or a spirit that had just revealed itself in the moonlight. Morien was wearing those striped pink pyjamas but the buttons at the collar were undone, displaying a tantalising expanse of skin that began to swell as it disappeared under the material. The glass rolled again. A bead of liquid, maybe condensation, maybe perspiration, lingered on the revealed flesh, before trickling down to disappear beneath the shirt.

It was all Striker could do to stop herself from dashing forward and following the liquid with her tongue. She found herself clutching the doorframe for support, and the sudden movement caught Morien's attention. Her eyes were wide and dark. There was fear in them. And sadness. And deep, deep desire. For a long moment they simply stared at each other.

Striker started to move forward, but Morien turned, her words half whispered, further muffled by a hand. "I can't deal with this."

Striker stopped. This couldn't go on. She had to make a decision for both of them. Her voice was quiet and fast. "This is crazy…. Morien… I can't pretend that I'm not attracted to you. I can't do it. So… I think it's best that I leave, okay? First thing in the morning." Morien's eyes widened. "I'll go back to London, go stay with…." Except for the life of her she couldn't think of anyone who she could stay with whose position she wouldn't compromise, or whose life she wouldn't put at risk. She waved her hesitation away. "I'll find somewhere to stay…." She turned to go.

"No!" Morien moved forward now, abandoning the glass on the table. "No, Striker. Please, don't leave. Please." She reached out to catch Striker's arm, and with the touch, Striker's pulse quickened almost unbearably.

Striker wondered if she could control herself, but it was Morien who forced her backwards. It was Morien who slipped an arm round the tall woman's shoulders and pulled her face down. It was Morien who sighed a sweet, simple apology against Striker's mouth, and then claimed her lips with her own.

The kiss was hard, bruising and returned with fire. Tongues, hands, bodies melted together until they weren't sure where one finished and the other started. And didn't care. Morien found herself turned and pushed backwards against one of the kitchen surfaces, the edge hard against the small of her back. The sudden pain was glorious, making her gasp and cling to Striker's body still more tightly. She could feel Striker's big hands sliding down her sides, leaving a trail of tingling nerves, and arriving at her backside. They squeezed, slowly, causing a rush of flame to her groin.

The need for air forced them apart, but Striker took the opportunity to lift Morien up, so she was sitting on the kitchen surface. Taking advantage of the change in height, the taller woman started to explore the span of Morien's exposed flesh in front of her. She held Morien gently, her hands at the small waist, her mouth relishing its journey. She kissed the skin, moth-like touches which made Morien's blood flutter, then gently licked, relishing the slightest saltiness. A groan vibrated against her lips which encouraged her fingers to venture under the pyjama top, wandering up the smooth plain of the smaller woman's stomach. Striker's hands stopped just below Morien's breasts, lingering.

Morien felt words against her skin, drifting up in a kind of sensual haze. "I've wanted this for so long." Palms were warm against her abdomen, sending hot electricity through her body. "I've dreamed about this." Fingers touched the underside of her breasts. "Touching you. Kissing you…." A kiss in the shadowy valley that disappeared beneath the material. "Morien…." Her name branded on her skin with the heat from Striker's mouth. And then thumbs reached up and brushed against erect nipples, and Morien cried out.

Striker lifted her head and again their lips met, this time slower and infinitely more sensual, their tongues almost lazy in their venturing. She could feel Morien's fingers in her hair, as if the smaller woman was trying to merge with her. Striker went willingly, exulting in the softness of Morien's lips moving across her own, and the blissful, liquid heat between her legs. She reached up to fully cup a pert breast, testing the firm weight of it, enjoying its softness and size, dancing her thumb around the velvet aureole. The other hand roamed downwards, playing with the waistband of the pyjamas. Fingers slipped further and Morien gasped into her mouth...

...then broke away, her hands stopping Striker's in their tracks.

Striker swallowed her own frustrated cry. "Morien…?!" she said, half-question, half-exclamation. Her hands still clung to Morien's body, desperate for the connection.

"Striker, don't…." Morien's voice was so full of tension it was almost biting.

"Don't fuck around with this. Please." Morien could feel Striker trembling against her. "If it's something I've done… tell me. Please tell me. But I can't… deal with this… without knowing." Striker looked up at Morien, her eyes entreating.

Morien was as taught as a bowstring. One pluck and she'd be gone. Striker's shaking hands on her bare midriff was almost unbearable. She had to tell her.

"Striker, it's not you. It's me. I can't."


Morien could see Striker suck her bottom lip into her mouth, biting down. She wanted to be those teeth. And she was terrified.

"Please… is it... Sophie?"

Morien found herself brushing Striker's dark locks away from her face, despite herself. It was a gesture of comfort and reassurance for both of them.

"No, cariad, it's not Sophie. Although maybe it should be." That thought was for another time. "Striker… I'm scared."

"You're scared?" Striker's hands lost some of their tension. Thumbs stroked the skin. "Why?"

Morien looked shamefaced. "I'm sorry… I want this… I want you so badly… but…." She met Striker's concerned gaze and then it all came out in a rush. "I haven't had sex since this happened…" She brushed a hand over her head. "I haven't even touched myself that way. I can't. Ever since I was diagnosed…."

"The epilepsy?"

Morien nodded.

"But just because you have epilepsy, it doesn't mean you can't have sex."

"I know… but I'm so scared."

"Why are you scared?"

Morien looked miserable, her face downcast, her fingers now worrying a tangle into Striker's hair.

Striker's fingers made encouraging circles at Morien's waist. Her voice was as gentle as midsummer. "Please, Morien. Tell me. Why are you scared?"

"Because I don't know what effect it'll have on me. If I…."

"When you come."


The fingers stopped their movement, simply resting on skin. "You're scared that it might trigger a seizure?"

Morien nodded.

Striker let out the breath that she hadn't realised she'd been holding. She moved her hands up to Morien's face, cupping her cheeks, lifting her eyes to hers, wanting to kiss her lips again, wanting to kiss away the tears that had appeared in Morien's green gaze. "Those bastards have a hell of a lot to answer for, don't they?"

Morien nodded again and rested her forehead against Striker's, her eyes closed.

"I'm sorry, Striker. I guess I'm the fuck-up."

Striker almost laughed. "No you're not, you're a princess. You're my princess. And I really want to make love with you."

"Striker…." Morien tensed under her hands.

Striker moved her hands down again, so they teased the pyjama waistband. "I want to touch you, and taste you. I want to make you come."

Morien shivered. She whispered against Striker's lips. "I don't want to live like this anymore. I don't want to be afraid of my body anymore. Help me."

"I want to help you." Her mouth brushed against Morien's with the words.

There was a pause as their breath mingled, heavy and slow with expectation.

"But if…."

Striker caressed a soft cheek. "If… if… you have a seizure, then I will be here. I will look after you, and hold you, and protect you, and I will be here when you open your eyes. Nothing will change that."

Blue met green in the dark.

"Striker, touch me," she whispered.

"Morien, are you sure?"

"Be my knight."

Striker's fingers restarted their journey downwards, moving under the waistband of the pyjamas, slowly, slowly touching the skin. Striker watched Morien's eyes flutter shut. Her breathing was coming quick and warm against Striker's face. She could feel Morien's skin trembling beneath her fingers.

So aroused. So scared.

Striker wanted to relax her, assure her that they would make this work, and this was not the place to do it. But first, she allowed herself just a little treat… just a little taste of what was to come. A wandering finger felt its way to the curls between Morien's thighs, and dipped... just dipped into the moisture there. Morien jumped at the contact, but that was all it was. Drawing the finger out Striker slipped it between her lips. And sucked.

Morien opened her eyes to see her own essence glinting in the half-light on those full lips and Striker's ice blue gaze quiver shut. When she opened them again, her eyes had turned, as if by magic, a deep violet. She leaned forward and kissed Morien gently, sliding her tongue into her mouth so Morien could taste herself.

Morien felt strong arms encircle her, felt Striker's murmur against her lips, "Put your legs round me." She did, pulling Striker towards her, wanting to rub her damp centre against Striker's torso, but simultaneously terrified of her body's responses to that action. Muscles suddenly flexed under her fingers and Morien felt herself lifting off the kitchen surface. Her eyes widened. Words were moist and breathy in her ear. "Hold on, baby. We're going to take you somewhere comfortable."

Morien nestled her cheek against Striker's neck, closing her eyes. This was the bolt-hole she'd found less than twenty four hours ago: the balmy scent of rose and sandalwood and smoke that lingered on Striker's skin. "You smell like heaven," she murmured, then brushed the flesh with her lips. Striker made a whimpering noise, so Morien did it again, this time following up with her teeth and tongue.

Striker's grip around the smaller woman tightened, and she paused in the hallway for a moment, letting out a breath. She could feel Morien's arousal against her, hot and wet, and beginning to seep through material. She could feel a maddening desperation to feel that trickle in her mouth. That brief taste had not been enough. It would never be enough. Her arms were shaking, not with Morien's slight weight, but with the strain of holding herself back. She briefly wondered what Sullivan's reaction would be if he discovered them rutting like teenagers on his hallway carpet. The thought was enough incentive to get her upstairs, where she pushed on Morien's bedroom door and brought them to a halt inside.

By the bed.

Morien slipped out of the circle of Striker's arms and loosened the grasp on her shoulders. She was suddenly a stranger in her own bedroom and she felt at a loss for what to do next. She looked up at Striker. The tall woman's face was hidden in the dark of the room, but her words guided her. "Make yourself comfortable," she said, quietly. She could hear a smile in the voice.

And the bedside lamp burst to life.

Striker's eyes were dark with want, but warmth and reassurance and something like concern danced in there as well. She lifted an eyebrow, and Morien found herself sitting on the bed, clutching the dishevelled duvet nervously. "This is stupid," she said, her quiet voice shaking. "I feel like this is my first time."

Striker sat down beside her, taking her hand in her own. "It is the first time… for both of us." Striker's hand was trembling. Morien was about to speak, but Striker stopped her words with a sweet, lingering kiss that did nothing more than promise. Her hands went to the hem of Morien's pyjama top, and her eyes asked a question.

Morien nodded - a quick, tense nod before she lost her nerve - and raised her arms. Striker slowly, carefully moved her hands up Morien's body, bringing the material with her, lifting the shirt off. She tossed it away, hands hardly losing contact with bare skin. Without stopping to concentrate on what was being revealed, her touch moved down, hooking her thumbs onto the waistband. Again, her eyes questioned.

Morien stood, allowing Striker to sweep the pyjamas downwards, then stepped aside from the pool of fabric. She stood naked in front of the American woman, feeling excited, vulnerable and terrified at the same time.

Striker, her eyes closed with blissful anticipation, inhaled the scent of Morien's arousal. Her mouth watered.

This was it. This was what she'd been dreaming about for months. This was what she'd been searching for... for years. Real, honest-to-goodness love. The kind that comes just before happily ever after. Had she come to Britain for this?

Maybe… just maybe….

She opened her eyes.

And let out a breath. Pale, ethereal, fragile... real. "You're so beautiful," she said.

Morien looked down.

"Hey." Striker stood up, catching Morien's face with a tender hand. "You are. Ever since I first saw you, Morien, you're like something…." For a moment she was lost for words. "You're like something from a story. You are my princess. My magical…," a kiss, "…beautiful…," another kiss, "…princess." And Morien caught the words and swallowed them, diving into Striker's mouth, pressing her naked body against the soft material of her t-shirt. Swollen nubs rasped against the fabric, feeling the answering peaked rigidity from beneath as she reached up. She started to pull the shirt up, suddenly desperate to feel the skin below, but Striker stopped her. Roaming hands persuaded her onto the bed, and she found herself staring up into a deep blue longing that made her breath catch.

"Lie down, baby." Striker's voice was low and deep and breathless at her ear.

She did, wondering how she could feel so apprehensive and aroused at the same time. Striker settled at her side, her clothed body pressed up against hers. For a moment, she did nothing, and Morien could feel her ardent, appreciative gaze melting her body. Then a hand landed, touching a breast, running a finger around the soft flesh. Morien could feel her body respond to just this gentle contact, flushing with heat.

Then the voice again, itself enough to make her blood quicken. "It's in your eyes, that beauty. When I first saw you, it didn't matter where we were, what had happened, there was that beauty. You glow with it."

Striker propped herself up on one arm, so she could look down at her lover. Lover. God, the mere word made her hot. The closest hand caressed the back of Morien's neck, simply teasing the longer strands of auburn. The other now cupped the breast, squeezing gently. A thumb drifted over the sensitive tip and Morien gave a soft cry.

Striker's voice caught in her throat, but she carried on talking, her own desire telling in the sound. "I've wondered what you sound like when you're aroused. I've wanted to hear you cry out at my touch. I've wanted to hear my name on your lips."

Suddenly, she bent and took the neglected nipple in her mouth, as her fingers continued to tease the first. Morien cried out again, louder this time: "Oh… Striker…." Her hands caught in Striker's hair to fix the dark head to her breast.

Dazed, Morien opened her eyes to look down at Striker. The full lips were apart enough to see her glistening tongue laving the pink bud. Each sweep of wet pleasure Morien felt radiating outwards, and downwards. Even her toes curled with the sensual joy of it. Striker paused for a moment, and Morien realised that she was looking at her; violet-blue eyes twinkling at her. Her tongue had frozen on her breast, the nipple suddenly an artistic relief against the moist, pink plain. She grinned, and Morien watched as the revealed teeth moved to graze the skin. Another cry, and her toes curled again.

Surprisingly, the fear was beginning to subside: she felt relaxed, and more excited than she had done in months… years… ever. All that was important now was feeling Striker's touch - her mouth, her fingers - and the almost overpowering need to touch her in return. She reached down, again trying to insinuate a hand into the enigmatic darkness beneath Striker's t-shirt. And again, her hand was stopped.

Striker smiled, despite her own nervousness. Her own body felt stretched between apprehension and almost painful arousal. But she couldn't show Morien, so she stayed hidden, instead losing herself in the familiar actions of sex.

Except this wasn't sex. This was almost impossibly different. Her actions, her reactions, seemed heightened. Every caress and every response sent a shiver of heat throughout her body, and through her mind. It was physical… and emotional… and blissfully spiritual…. All feelings concentrated into a burning haze. The boxers she'd so hastily pulled on were beginning to cling to her thighs with the stickiness. It was all she could do to stop herself from lowering herself onto the tempting thigh, just a hair's breadth away, and riding out her release. That would be the easy thing to do. And it would be one hell of a short ride. Striker knew if anything… anything… touched her right now she could not be held responsible for the reaction. The feel of tight fingers in her hair was almost too much.

So she concentrated on Morien. She concentrated on the smoothness of her heated skin, the sounds of desire that sighed into the air and tremored against her mouth, and the taste of soft perspiration and craving that shimmered gently over them both.

And then the voice again, moist against the skin, sentences punctuated by kisses. "You taste so good. All of you." Striker tasted the other breast, nibbling the skin, licking round the nipple before slowing sucking half the full breast into her mouth.

Her hands were journeying lower now, fingers exploring the landscape of her abdomen: tickling along the corrugation of her ribs, palms running across soft pathways. She left a trail of electricity and desire wherever skin touched skin, her progress marked by breathy murmurs, exhilarated hums and sudden, velvet cries. A finger tracked lower, tentatively brushing against a border of soft, auburn curls.

At times like this, Morien wished she could purr. Instead, she moaned in disappointment as the American's hot mouth deserted her breast, her fingers kneading the muscles beneath Striker's t-shirt. An arm came to cushion her neck and shoulders, and there was moist breath at her ear. But, tantalising, a hand still lingered below.

Striker nuzzled Morien's neck, her own nervousness carried away by the need of her actions. She kissed and gently nipped the skin there, burying her nose in the soft scent of flowers and sex. "Jesus, you smell so fucking good. Everything about you…." She opened her mouth over the pumping vein and slowly ran her tongue up it. "I want you so badly," she said, briefly coming up for air, her voice now desperate and panting. "I want you so badly…." And she tasted the life in Morien's neck, as fingers ventured into curls below.



Morien lifted her hips involuntarily, searching out the touch, and Striker let her find it. The hand slipped further. And Morien bucked.

Striker again ran a thumb over the little bundle of nerves she'd uncovered, this time allowing the tiniest drag of her thumbnail and was rewarded with a short cry. Morien again reached out, almost clawing at Striker's clothed body. "Please," she said, "please let me touch you, cariad."

Striker moved her hand away, so it hovered cruelly above Morien's centre - not touching, just hovering like a hawk ready to dive onto its cowering prey. Except this prey was aware and exposed and yearned to be taken.

"No," Striker said. This is about you, sweetie. This has to be about you. I can't come. Although her own words were threatening to betray her, the mere thought of this adding to the throbbing in her own groin. She suckled Morien's earlobe and whispered, "Fuck, Morien. I want to be inside you. I want to feel you round my fingers…." Her hand dipped again, this time meeting heated liquid and they both cried out.

Morien could feel her body buzzing, and now the fear was creeping back. What if this was a seizure? Her body bucked again as a finger flickered across her labia. She was losing control and she was scared.

Striker sensed the stiffening body beside her and stopped immediately. She raised her head, looking down at the small woman. The eyes below fluttered open and she looked down into a deep, forest green. "Do you want me to stop?" Her voice was small, but strong with concern.

Morien looked up into the blue gaze. "No," she said, her voice shaking. "I want this. I'm scared, Striker, but I want this more than anything. But I need you to hurry… please."

Striker gave a smile, and kissed the side of Morien's mouth. Her cheek. Her forehead. Her other cheek. Her nose. A tender shower of reassurance and devotion.

And then Morien felt fingers exploring her swollen folds. She looked into Striker's eyes and knew that, whatever happened, it was meant, and she would be safe. She gave a little nod and a finger slipped inside, and she let out a warm, sighing breath.

And it was Striker's turn to close her eyes. Morien's passage was tight round her finger. The heat and wetness she felt could have been her own. She felt for a moment as if it was Morien's finger so wonderfully filling inside her. She let out a humming sigh and murmured, "God, you feel so good."

She opened her eyes and found Morien gazing up at her, her breath coming in short, panting gasps. "Are you okay?" she asked.

Morien nodded, her hands straining against the duvet. "Fuck me, Striker."

And Striker did, starting slowly, gently withdrawing her finger from Morien and then sliding it back in through the slick lips. Her tongue tingled at the thought of putting her mouth to those folds, and drinking. But not yet. So, she withdrew again, and again pushed inside. A little harder this time. Out and in… and little by little Morien would meet each thrust with her own small push.

So she rewarded Morien with another finger, feeling warm walls clench around the two digits, adjusting to this precious invasion after so many months. And again Morien let out a gasping cry, "Yessssss."

The Welsh woman reached a hand up, clutching at her lover's own where it rested on her shoulder. Fingers entwined. She felt as if her body was burning, her blood foaming with the heat. She could feel herself losing control of her body. Her hips started to ram forwards of their own accord, allowing for deeper and deeper penetration. She tightened again around Striker's fingers, drawing the hard digits in. She wanted Striker all the way inside, until she was completely a part of her. Her body bucked again. She was losing control and part of her felt numb. Her brain was whirring. She couldn't tell anymore if Striker was speaking or not, but words - her own, Striker's, a million thoughts - sparkled through her nerves.

God help me, I'm going to come.

Striker looked down at Morien. Her eyes were closed. Her face tight with tension.

She was holding back. Striker lent down enough to kiss a flushed cheek, letting her lips wander down to an ear. She nipped the earlobe gently, whispering into the shell: "Let go, sweetheart. I'll catch you. I promise."

Morien opened her eyes - dazed, emerald orbs looking up at Striker - and Striker drove her fingers forwards once more, shimmering the digits in the tight space. And reached for the distended clit with her thumb.

A single touch was all it took.

"Striker… Duw… STRIKER…!" It was a shout that echoed round the room. Then Morien went completely still, her body rigid and arched off the bed. Striker could feel trembling beneath her hands, round her fingers, and for a moment she had an image of pouring rain, muted voices and fear. Her hand was wet, juices surging around her fingers and down her palm. She watched Morien's face; it was taut; her eyes shut; her breath coming in short, sharp gasps. But there were words in the air, she could feel her own name exhaled into the night: "Striker, Striker, Striker…," and her own body flushed with reassurance.

So she massaged the throbbing sex with her thumb to prolong the quivering pleasure for both of them; but biting down on her own orgasm. Not yet. Not yet.... Her ears filled with another cry, like a soft carillon in the room. She revelled in the warmth and flood of desire that was bathing her hand. An answering flood was saturating her own centre. This was so beautiful, more beautiful than she had ever imagined: hearing her own name on Morien's lips as she came, watching her lover's lithe body react so passionately to her touch; feeling muscles contracting in a heavenly vice around her fingers. She wanted to scream herself.

At last, Morien seemed to float down and Striker slowed her own actions; at last stopping with a single finger, half-in half-out of the sweet warmth; unwilling to leave.

Morien's chest rose and fell; her skin was mottled with blushing rose. Striker couldn't help but stare at the sight, feeling ridiculously proud of herself. If they had Oscars for orgasms, she'd nailed Best Producer.

Morien opened her eyes to be confronted with the widest grin she'd ever seen. "Hi," the grin said.

"Striker…." Morien's voice was breathy and low. The grin stretched even more, and the night-sky eyes above it glowed. She brought her hand up and rested it on her lover's pink cheek. "I…." She swallowed, not sure what to say, trying to regain the power of speech. "We…."

"I'm not sure about the neighbours but we probably woke your dad."

Morien's eyes widened and then slammed shut. Her voice had suddenly taken on a slight squeak. "I wasn't that loud was I?"

"Yeah," Striker replied. A pause. "It was great."

Morien's eyes peeped open again. "Yes, it was. Thank you." She rested a hand over her eyes. "I feel stupid…."


"I was stupid to have been so scared… I…."

"It was a natural reaction, sweetie, you didn't know…."

"I couldn't have done it without you."

"Well, yeah, you could."

A small smile appeared. "True, but it wouldn't have been nearly as…." Fun? Intense? Passionate? Loving? All of the above?

Instead, she moved her hand from her eyes, curving it behind Striker's head to bring her mouth down to her own. She greeted the lips with a sweet, chaste kiss, and then gave out a hissing giggle when Striker wiggled her finger, reminding her where it was. No point in being chaste any more. So she reached up and claimed the lips again, this time slipping her tongue between them.

She felt alive again. Her life made sense for the first time since… for the first time… since… (she wound her hand into Striker's hair and pulled her closer, allowing Striker's tongue back inside to tussle with her own. What had she been thinking of? Oh… yes…) …being alive. She hadn't felt this alive since… and an image of a gentle touch of mouths under the lilac in the Sayce's back garden swum into her mind; then swum away again as Striker pulled back, the next kiss hovering just beyond Morien's reach.

Her sex suddenly felt cold and empty as the finger was finally withdrawn and she watched as Striker brought the hand up between them. The palm was wet, the digits gleaming, and the scent of her own arousal was thick in the air.

Striker raised her hand to her mouth and licked, from the base of her palm to the tip of her middle finger. Then she sucked each digit into her mouth, swirling her tongue round each one, delighting in the taste. God, it was addictive. Morien was gazing at her, rapt, her eyes dissolve into dreamy moss. She wanted to share the flavour. She leant down, her glistening lips barely a millimetre from her quarry.

Morien opened her mouth, more than ready to accept….

And Striker smiled and pulled away.

"Wha…?" Morien reached out and pulled at Striker's t-shirt, but a hand stopped her intention. "Let me…."

"No." Striker pulled away.

"But, I want to…."

Striker grinned again. "There's something I want to do first." And much as she was still desperate for release herself, there was still one thing that was more important.

Morien could only watch as Striker moved her arm from under her shoulders and, cat-like, prowled down her body. All too briefly, she lingered at her breasts again, lapping, as if they were an oasis; then moved further, living a trail of butterfly kisses as she went, her loose hair tickling behind. Despite the t-shirt, despite Morien's position, she could see the muscles in Striker's back and arms moving. It was slow, sensual and predatory. In the dim light, Striker's eyes glowed. A new thrill of excitement tingled down Morien's body, as if following Striker's path; answering the need in the tall woman's burning-cold gaze.

Striker settled herself between Morien's legs; her long frame half-on, half-off the bed. She leant a cheek against a smooth thigh, breathing in deeply. She was seething with need. Two hits and she was a junkie.

That stuff they found in the chapel, anything pedalled by those power-hungry bastards, no drug in the world, past or future could ever be as addictive to her as the rush of Morien.

And here it was, the source, the font: beautiful, pink and winking with liquid. She felt, for a brief moment, like the knight keeping vigil at the Holy Grail, and….

What the hell was she waiting for? Shut the fuck up with the poetry and go for it, jerk….

Morien jumped as she felt the flat of a tongue slam up against her sex. And there it simply held: hot, hard, wet, and wonderfully invasive. Slowly, there was movement, a strong edge of muscle brushing up against an engorged fold, and Morien let out a breath. The tip of the tongue curled, tickling gently, but it seemed to flick a switch that radiated pleasure outwards and upwards. Morien could feel her body glowing, her core thrilling with a dripping delight. And this time there was no fear, no tension; she was simply enjoying it. She felt like laughing with joy. She moved her hands down, just touching Striker's silky head, and stroked encouragingly.

Striker smiled against wet flesh, welcoming the fingers that tangled in her hair, willingly pushing herself deeper, sucking on the folds, supping from them. She rolled her tongue and pushed it into Morien, and revelled in the groaned Strrrikerrr that ran through the body above her. R's rippling across her own skin. Her nose filled with Morien's scent. She was buried in here. She could drown in here, happily.

She breathed Morien in, then pulled her tongue out and plunged it back again, sucking as she went. Faintly, above the constant drone of her own arousal, and the tensed muffler of soft thighs, she could hear Morien moaning.

Slowly, Striker unfurled her tongue, dragging it back up the slick channel and out, replacing it quickly with a finger, relishing again the sink into Morien. She nuzzled the damp curls at her face, wanting to draw the sweet essence from each individual hair. Instead she recovered her breath: hot exhalations flowing over Morien's sensitive centre, causing a hiss above her. Tender fingertips were stroking her hair, not pushing or forcing her forward, just stroking. With a gentle awareness, Striker realised that it was a touch of gratitude.

She lifted her head, looking up the sumptuous landscape of the Welsh woman's body and found herself in Morien's gaze. A lazy smile played across her mouth, which formed words; words Striker couldn't hear, but which she understood nonetheless. "You're wonderful."

Striker flushed, suddenly shy - despite her position. She turned her head and laid her lips on Morien's thigh in a loving, thankful kiss. Then the location, the scent began to work its magic, and Striker couldn't help but kiss the skin again, this time licking the spot, tasting spirit.

Morien trembled at the simple, sensual touch. Her whole body felt on the edge of sweet shock, waiting in ecstatic frustration for the next telling tremor. She felt Striker's lips kissing again, licking - the hot moisture of the American's tongue turning her burning skin to a fervent ice in the night air.

Another kiss directly onto her sex, the probing tongue lapping again, hard fingers stroking inside, and she couldn't stifle the cry that burst from her throat. Her hold on Striker's hair couldn't help but grow stronger. She pushed her forward.

And Striker responded. Her mouth finally settling on the erect nub. She kissed it and Morien bucked up against her, causing her to take it further between her lips, laving it with her tongue, sucking it, gently grazing it with her teeth.

And Morien screamed: "Striker! Striker... Striker...." Striker... strikerstriker.... Until her lover's name became one with the waves of climax that surged through her body.

She came down slowly, the last delicious quivers disguising the fact that Striker was no longer touching her. Dazed, she opened her eyes, to find her lover above her. In almost a single move she had stripped off her t-shirt and boxers, and now naked, hovered above her.

"Striker…," Morien breathed, and Striker descended, her mouth hard, her tongue desperate for entrance, and Morien welcomed the sweetest invasion of her own taste tingling, almost overwhelmed at the feeling… at last… of flesh pressed against flesh. She wrapped her arms around Striker, groaning as the American's pebble-hard nipples crushed into her breasts, and then again as Striker broke the kiss. Her smile was wide.

Suddenly, Striker dived and with juices still coating her skin, wiped her damp cheeks against Morien's face. Morien burst out laughing, a dulcet, lyrical sound that resembled her accent.

"You're fun," she giggled.

Striker grinned. "You're hot."

Morien sparkled. "And you're finally naked."

"Well, thank you for notic…." Morien clutched Striker and rolled, and Striker voluntarily found herself on her back, with Morien above her.

"You're mine now," Morien smiled, a glint in her eyes that only heightened Striker's ardour. She sat up, straddling Striker's stomach, allowing her hands to wander across velvet contours: shoulders, arms, breasts in a slow, sensual massage - writing sonnets with her touch. She could feel Striker shudder under her touch, and she revelled in the sensation. How long had she been wanting this and stopped herself?

She slipped down a little, her hands dragging over Striker's breasts, intent on bending and exploring with her mouth, to suck, lick, worship….

Striker slowly became focused enough to realise that the beautiful, agonising attentions had stopped. She looked up and realised Morien was looking at her open mouthed. And not good open mouthed. And not at her specifically, but at a point somewhere mid-abdomen. "Striker," she said, "where on earth did you get that bruise?"

"Huh?" Striker looked down to where her skin blossomed in purples and yellows. It had been worse a couple of days ago, but she had simply covered it, lived with it, forgotten about it, apart from the occasional annoying stiffness. "Oh… that. Bruce punched me at The Boom."

"Striker!" Morien's eyes were wide with concern. "Shouldn't you have had that checked by a doctor?"

"Nah, it looks a hell of a lot worse than it is."

Morien flashed anger. "And you lecture me about looking after myself."

"You're comparing an epileptic seizure to a bruise?"

"It's a big bruise."

"Oh, fuck the bruise."

The annoyance in Striker's voice was tangible and shivered with tension. Morien realised how much the American had been holding back as she had pleasured her, and how desperately she needed some kind of release. Morien looked at her - apology and defiance warring within her - then suddenly, she smiled. A smile that turned Striker hot and cold at the same time. She moved a little so her centre hovered just inches from the American's colourful skin. "I will if you want me to," she said, teasing.

Striker's only response was a frustrated, "Morien…." But Morien knew exactly what that single utterance meant. It meant: "Fucking get on with this or I'm fucking doing it my-fucking-self."

Morien smiled, stretched up and kissed the soft, full lips. "Poor baby," she whispered, only half-joking.

They both groaned at the thrill of Morien's nipples scraping against Striker's as she bent to nibble the taller woman's skin. She placed a path of nips and kisses along Striker's shoulder.

Striker sighed contentedly and let her hands ramble over Morien's naked back. Her skin felt electric; her centre was beginning to pound with need. Then she wiggled. "If you don't hurry this will be the first time in history that anyone has come from having their shoulder kissed."

Morien's lips skimmed against flesh: "Shut up and keep your legs crossed."

Lips touched her neck. Striker whimpered. Then, "Are you doing what I think you're doing?" Morien hummed against her neck. Striker ran a shaky hand through short, red hair. "I thought you were against bodily blemishes," she said, trying to keep her voice steady.

"Only when I don't make them," Morien murmured against her skin, and she felt Striker's cry against her teeth as she sucked and bit the skin.

She was Morien's now. She was marked. The lovebite tingled. As if she hadn't been Morien's from the beginning. "Jeeesus," Striker hissed.

"You like that?" A moist whisper in her ear.

"Shit, yeah."

"Would you like to see what I else I can do with my mouth, cariad?"

Striker wanted to say something cool and witty.

I thought you'd never ask.

You mean you can do something other than talking?

But with the thought of Morien's mouth hot against her sex, all she could manage was a squeaky and frantic, "Yes!"

Morien shimmied down Striker's body - momentarily lingering at the full breasts, her hands tracing lush curves - making promises to herself to explore the expanse more thoroughly later. Briefly, she detoured to the bruise, laying her lips on it, kissing it better, and Striker caressed her hair with devout thanks. The Welsh woman's sex left a path of scent and essence as she moved downwards, and Striker followed with her hands, rubbing Morien into her skin.

Morien felt Striker's wiry-soft curls tickle her backside, and moving further, she rubbed against them, causing both of them to cry out. She could feel the American's hot, wet desire greeting, combining with her own. Slowly, sex slid against sex. Morien could feel Striker's clit pulsing like a heartbeat beneath her and the feeling made her groan. Through a daze of heat she could see Striker's throat working, fingers clutching at the duvet, clutching at her own body, reaching for Morien, beseeching….

Morien's feet hit the floor.

She settled herself between thighs drenched with desire, lifting Striker's legs, settling them on her shoulders. Then she put a finger to dripping lips. Striker jumped at the touch. Morien smiled to herself.

She knew Striker was already on the edge - was about ready to shatter - but she wanted this to last as long as possible. She parted the lips and ran her tongue from bottom to top, slowly, lingering in places when Striker's little cries of pleasure seemed louder, feeling her trembling arousal, delighting in textures and tastes. Her mouth was full of her lover's rich essence and she drank it in, catching a hint of herself as she savoured. Even here Striker was smoky and Morien wondered if she'd ever get enough of it. "You're so wet," she murmured against the folds, more to herself than the woman above her.

"For you, sweetheart," she heard in reply. "For you…. Morien… please…."

Striker was on the edge of oblivion. She felt taut and desperate. Her hands gripped the duvet. She was too scared to touch Morien. She was afraid she would hurt her. "Please," rang in her head. Please please please….

And in the midst of her storm of sensation she felt a still, small touch. A single kiss at the centre of the vortex, directly onto her clitoris and it was as if she had been set free. She cried out - her voice needing escape in noise, but it was a soft, breathy sound. A gasp: her lover's name on air.

Morien watched in awe as Striker's whole body lifted with orgasm. She arched off the bed, almost sitting up, as her very being thrust forward with the force. Her face was tense, but it was beautiful in tension: glowing and pure, as if Morien was truly seeing the woman beneath.

For Striker, orgasm had always been solitude - the time when she was ripped apart from her bedmate, to travel a journey alone. But now she felt Morien with her: the touch of her, the taste of her, the sound of her name billowing through her as if the word had replaced the blood in her veins. She was flying, and Morien was flying with her, all around her, until….

Striker crashed back onto the bed, pillows cushioning her fall. Her chest heaved. Her heart was pounding against her ribs. Gently, she became aware of a warmth by her side. She smiled. Gradually, she opened her eyes, and with her muscles still tingling and jumping in the aftermath, she slowly rolled onto her side so she was facing her lover.

Morien's face was still glistening with desire. Striker reached up a trembling hand, and caressed a damp cheek.

"Cariad," Morien murmured, playing with a lock of long, dark hair.

"Morien," Striker whispered, her voice breathy and shaking. "Cariad. What does that mean?"

Morien smiled to hear the word from Striker. She meandered a finger across silky, swollen lips. "Cariad...." she murmured, and followed her finger with a kiss. "Sweetheart...," just a touch of lips, "..darling...," she dragged her own bruised mouth across Striker's, "" She was about to kiss her again but was caught by Striker's gaze, as potent and personal as any kiss, and showing every possible emotion. She was held in a breathless blue space, where time and air no longer mattered. Only the two of them.

Hearts merged until there was only a single beat.


And the moment was over as Striker closed her eyes, crushing Morien to her, and they lost themselves in each other.

[i] This is a quote from Psalm 34, which was used as the title for a collection of poems by the late, great Denise Levertov. And I simply couldn't resist it!

Continued in Chapter 23...

Return to the Academy