|Maella Abbey (maella_abbey) wrote,|
@ 2008-03-01 22:17:00
She turned toward him slowly; his heart ached when he saw how weary and battered she was, though her expression brightened slightly when she saw him. "Alistair." Her next words - the hope in them - hurt worse, by far, than when Dhoulmagus had driven the sceptre through his heart. "Am I dead then?"
"No." He took her in phantom arms, and she buried her face against his chest. "Your friends are waiting for you to waken."
"I can't. What I did...what he did to me...I can't face them." She was shaking. "Don't make me go back."
"All right." He stroked her hair, content for the moment to let her rest and draw what comfort she could from his presence; he knew her far too well to think the Lord of Darkness could truly break her.
In time, as he had known she would, she murmured, "The others need to know what I've learned, don't they?"
"It would help them. You would help them more."
She shook her head. "Not now."
"Do you trust me, Jess?"
"Of course I do."
Alistair cradled her face between his hands. "Then let me take the things you don't need to remember."
Her brow furrowed in confusion, and he leaned down to kiss her, gently at first, then more insistently. She stiffened briefly, then went limp against him; he hated that Rhapthorne had so completely trained her in the futility of resistance, hated that he was going to use what had been done to her in order to take it away.
Still, when he would have stepped back she clung to him, and when she looked up at him the trust he remembered was in her eyes.
His hands ran over her bare shoulders, the bruises and scars fading away. They were not so real, here, for their clothing to be an impediment; it faded as he pushed her back into soft nothingness, allowing him to kiss and stroke until her flesh forgot the wounds Rhapthorne had left on her, until she pressed up against him with a breathless moan.
He would have entered her carefully, but her legs wrapped around him, pulling him deep. He closed his eyes, focused on her beneath him, surrounding him, and felt a brief, bitter moment of jealousy for the men who would know her in the flesh. Then she moaned his name, nails digging into his arms, and he lost himself in the ecstasy of her body clenching around him.
They lay side by side beneath a tree in the orchard behind their house, clothing not even in disarray. Jessica was relaxed, happy; what he had done was gone from her mind as surely as what Rhapthorne had done, and he reminded himself it was for the best. He could no more begrudge that forgetfulness than he could begrudge her being alive.
He studied her for a moment, then reached out and twined a lock of hair around his finger, tugging it as he had since they were children. "Do you remember when I gave you your first magic lesson?" he asked, hoping to delay their final farewell a bit.
"I remember that I didn't know if I was impressed by your skill or horribly jealous of you," she laughed.
The world around them shimmered and faded into memory, and Alistair decided that was better than a farewell.