Chapter Eighty-Six - The Cracked Cocoon

Griffin sighed, lips caressing his hip, kissing up his side to his chest. Cool hands slid down from his shoulders, curling around his waist in an embrace. Griffin opened his eyes slightly and moaned deep in his throat as the cool hands moved to his hips, pulling him forward.

Who is the master? Who is the servant?

Strong hands pushed him down to his knees. The same cool hand caressing his cheek lifted his face upward.

Look at me, Griffin

His pale eyes opened completely, lusty darkness swirling with light blue. He looked into her beautiful face, her olive eyes, and her atrous hair falling along her gentle white jaw. Her lips were swollen from kisses, but they curved into a beautiful smile. His eyes glanced at the peaks of her bare breasts, moving above him as she tried to control her breathing.

She is gone nowand I have little time left, she whispered in his mind.

Griffin felt a sting in his chest. He knew that the time was running short, he had always known, but for her to say it so plainlyit pained him. He embraced her hips, pulling her belly toward his face. He sighed softly and pressed his temple to her, closing his eyes.

The cocoon has broken, she has gone to find a love of her ownjust as you are my love

He could feel tears dam behind his eyelids. It was too soon and he tried his best not to curse the one who had come to end it all. He released her and she knelt down before him, pressing her lips to his.

Come to bed, my loveYou will descend in the morn.

Together they rose, his hand enveloping her small one. She was so strong, yet as he looked at her, he could see her weariness. They lay together, side by side, staring into each other's eyes.

This will be that last time, Griffin, the last time we will make love, the last time you will see me like this

Griffin grit his teeth to keep from screaming. Instead he rose and leaned over her, devouring her mouth, pushing her knees apart and settling his weight against her pelvis. She moaned audibly, her hands going to his back, long red nails digging into his porcelain flesh.

He had served her for ten years, ever since he was considered a man. He did her bidding, listened to every word, watched her sleep, watched her eat, watched her stare out to the sea and gaze upon her visions. He had also watched her weep silently, watched throw her head back in ecstasy as he made love to her, watched her grow weak, and was now watching her on the verge of fading away.

He thrust into her eliciting a sharp gasp. She had never spoken to him, and yet she had. No word was uttered in the silence of her mountain cave, but whispers of her mind were heard in his soul. But when she moaned or gasped, Griffin shuddered, pushing into her harder and faster.

He would never see her again She would descend the mountain and give her life to protect the One. Griffin tried not to feel bitter, tried not to feel angry. It was the way. The only way

He began to thrust faster, watching her shut her eyes tightly and bite her bottom lip. She was whimpering, her nails drawing blood on Griffin's back. Leaning forward he gathered her up in his arms, her legs wrapping about his waist. His sweaty silver hair fell upon her collar and she opened her eyes, wide, her brow moving as she shivered.

She felt like heavenit was the only thing Griffin could think to describe her. Soft, tight, wet and warm all at once. He had always been afraid of hurting her in the beginning her body seemed so fragile. He loved herworshipped her His heart thumped wildly as they looked at each other, moving together, as one


He was panting, grasping her shoulders tightly, holding her close. Groaning, panting, crying out, he felt release, pleasurable pain. Together they cried out, her voice raspy from the waves of climax moving through her body. Falling they laid upon the bed, covered in a sheen of sweat.

"You cannot leave me, Ryuuen I forbid it," he wheezed into her shoulder.

She embraced him and nodded, tears in her beautiful eyes. She kissed his shoulder and closed her eyes. If only it were so, she thought.

Soon I will don my armor and fly down the face of the mountain. I will stand behind her, and watch with my own eyes as fate ends. My loveyou will see it as I do.

He rolled away from her, sinking into her bed. Staring up at the canopy he felt fresh tears in his eyes. He loved her with every fiber of his being and now she was going to leave him. He would look like Fenrir, drawn, exhausted and haunted Fenrir frightened Griffin in that sense that Fenrir looked like a broken man or did when he had left from the house far below the mountain. Griffin did not know what all Fenrir had lived through, but he knew that he did not want to be like Fenrir

Your thoughts are open to me, Griffin.

Griffin felt a smile cross his lips unbidden. Ryuuen was the Seeressin all ways.

"Fenrir, he" Griffin began.

is waiting for her to return. He has not realized that he needs her, not the realization that comes with love. Fenrir is damaged, and let us hope that she can mend him.

"Damaged? Such a strong term."

But true. His life has not been easy, he hides much, much that I can see, but wish I could not.

"Why do you say that?"

Ryuuen rolled to her side and rested her head on Griffin's shoulder.

He was abused, severely. Mentally and physically He has found his identity, but for many years he was lost in his own pain.

Ryuuen shuddered, but continued.

Those who should have protected him violated him as a child. He was forced to live as servant when all should have served him for he is a prince after all. He lived a false life for many years and finally when he was beginning to heal, a loved one was taken from him

Guilt washed through Griffin. He had only known of Fenrir as a warrior of the highest skill, strong, secretive and dangerous. Ryuuen's words only added to Griffin's discomfort at seeing Fenrir so broken. Who was Fenrir, really?

Griffin felt Ryuuen's hand trace his ribs and he shivered. All thoughts of Fenrir were driven from his mind at her touch. Along his hip to the hair around his navel, Griffin's arousal returned and he turned to bury his face in Ryuuen's hair. Humming deep in his throat he slowly turned his body to his lover and grasped her in a tight embrace. He kissed her brow and relished the warmth between them, for he knew that after that night he would never be warm again

* * *

Floating in the clouds, she was dreaming. The air would have been cold if she would allow herself to feel it, but instead it was soothing to the heat beneath her skin. It was a vague sensation, not intruding on her dream.
She dreamt of a woman far away, in a chamber far under the earth. The woman was dressed in red robes, shivering before a dark pool of water. Her pale arms were wrapped about herself and she trembled. Tears trailed down her face and her lips moved soundlessly. The woman was afraid.

The dream changed, but the setting was similar, a chamber deep in the earth. Another woman, this time dressed in blue robes, sitting before a large plinth of black stone. Her eyes were sightless, but tears streamed down, unbidden. Her long fingers searched the stone floor before her, as if seeking something to pry lose and throw. This woman trembled as well, rocking slightly where she sat. Fear

Again, the dream changed and another woman, this time in green sat on a ledge high above a gray and tumultuous sea. Her green eyes shimmered with tears, but she did not cry. She had been crying for her eyes were wreathed in red. She held on leg against her chest as the other dangled. Her lips moved as well, wordlessly, unceasingly.

The dream began to fade and she began to wake, beast eyes with dark lashes fluttering open. The clouds were beginning to break apart around her and the air became cooler. She was outout of her cocoon, listening to the lives of three women who of her own blood. They were afraid for her, but they sang in a collective voice words that had no meaning

Reaching out her arms, wings opened upon her back and the wind caught her, forcing her up toward moonlight. Gliding, her fiery hair formed a nimbus about her pale face. She was not cold and she was no longer sleepy. But she was perplexed; there was something she had to do, besides waiting for the dark ones to come Someone she wanted to see

She folded her wings and began plummeting to the earth, hidden by misty clouds. Breaking through the dense cover of mist she opened her wings and flew. Faster than a hawk, she made for the northwest, ever closer to that someone

Time was running low, and she had been idle for far too long. Soon the battle would begin in earnest, and she still had not sated her fiery heart.

Updated: 02.18.04