It was like the waves crashing upon the shore, the way the shimmering water caressed the sand. Nothing could have been more natural, be it the wind or the rain, the moon in the sky, the tilt of the planet or the pull of the tide. No force of nature was greater that night than the joining of the South Wind and the Sky Sprite.

Fumei woke late in the night, rolling over on his side, twisting in the arms of his sleeping lover. He was perfectly content to lie there and watch the beautiful sprite sleeping, so in love was he.

Deep, inky-purple eyes drank in the sight of pale, creamy skin, bathed in moonlight, as if the heavens themselves were making love to the sky child. He was smiling contentedly, black, silky hair spilling across his face. Fumei wanted to touch him; to feel him alive and warm. He wanted to kiss those lips, to feel them against his. It felt good and natural, as if they were meant to fit together in such a fashion. The lord never wanted to forget that feeling.

His small fingers traced the contour of Sorako's upper lip. Carefully, gently; he didn't want to wake the sleeping man. I love you…His mouth formed the words. I love you more than anything…Lips pressed together, tasting, promising, reminding. In the back of his mind, a little voice whispered that he couldn't keep Sorako, but he brushed aside those thoughts, reveling in the memories of soft lips bathing his skin in kisses and the feel of Sora inside. He counted backwards on his fingers, coming to the conclusion that it had been at least nineteen days since they had had the opportunity to pleasure one another.

Nineteen days. Far too long for him to be happy about it. He frowned lightly.

Something would need to be done about this situation.

Arai didn't wonder at her missing servant. She'd been seated on the balcony, idly brushing her long hair, when she saw Sorako pass by, Fumei curled in his arms.

The East Wind did a mental victory dance. She had been right! There was something going on between the South Wind and that pathetic excuse for a servant! This was too perfect an opportunity to pass up…Blackmail would abound.

Her gleeful thoughts, however, were interrupted by a gentle knocking on her chamber's door.

Grumbling to herself over her lack of available servants, Arai crossed the room to yank open the heavy door, ready to lash out at whoever dared to disturb her. Arai did not appreciate being disturbed without prior notice; every one should have known that. Whatever cowering servant who had been sent to speak to her was about to get a tongue lashing.

She was surprised to see the dark-eyed, dark-haired Tayou Nankaze standing in the hall.

She leaned lazily against the doorframe, appraising the deceased lord's wife. She was dressed in gauzy robes of a rich fuchsia color, her dark hair spilling around her pale face. All of the residents of the Southern Realm bore a resemblance to one another; all dark, pale and exotic. All except Nankaze, who was unusually tan.

"What do you want?"

"May I come in please, Higashikaze-sama?" Tayou asked courteously, "I would wish to speak to you."

"What about?" Arai shifted, arms folded across her chest, tone less than polite.

"Please…Can you not find it in your heart to return the sprite to my son?" The woman's head bowed, "I do not request this as a political favor…I ask it of you as a mother. My son is suffering."

"I highly doubt he's suffering at the moment." Came the lofty reply, "You spoil that child far too much. Don't you know? He's rutting with the sprite right now. I saw them pass by not long ago." A snort, "I'm sure the servant enjoys being waited on by his master."

Tayou's eyes darkened and she lifted her head again. "You shall regret saying that. Mark my words, Higashikaze; you shall regret that you ever disrespected my child." A storm raged in her eyes, a frown contorting her graceful features, "I came to you out of love for my child and for that you scorned me. For this, you shall not be forgiven." This said, the woman turned on her heal and marched down the hall.

Arai rolled her eyes, watching the retreating figure.

What could the pathetic wife of a dead lord possibly do?

Sorako rolled over, tightening his hold on his sleeping lover. He was on his back, Fumei sleeping peacefully atop him, snuggled against his chest. He stroked the lord's back, brushed his fingers through his fluffy hair. It crossed his mind for the millionth time that this was wrong on some level; that they shouldn't be doing it, but it was a little late for that now.

He closed his eyes, picturing once again the younger man beneath him, moaning pleasurably. He loved touching the lord, feeling his power, feeling him all around. There was something magical about their joining; something so surreal that it could never really be wrong. Fumei made wonderfully arousing sounds when he was being touched. Sorako was sure the boy didn't even know how enticing he was.

There was no way he could lose all that again.

His hands wandered down the boy's bare back, coming to a stop just above his buttocks. Fumei's skin was soft as silk beneath his fingertips, glowing in the pale moonlight. He couldn't help wanting to touch; the boy was curled tightly against him and he could feel the reaction his fingers were invoking.

"Fumei…" His voice was no more than a whisper; soft, melodious, a siren call to bring the boy back from dreamland. "Fumei, wake up…" He wanted the boy; needed the boy; just holding him wasn't enough.

"Mm…" Fumei stirred, not quite waking, and burrowed closer to the pale body beneath him. He was having a wonderful dream; Sorako was touching him all over and he could barely stand it. He shifted again, fingers curling, eyes blinking open. "…Sora?" He mumbled, yawning.

" 'M here, Fu." Sorako soothed, running his fingers through the boy's bangs. The little lord smiled, craning his neck upwards to kiss his lover tenderly, and Sorako nearly melted beneath him.

Fumei stretched out atop him, propping his chin up, elbows planted on Sorako's chest. "Cun you not contain yourself long enough for me ta get a proper night's sleep, Sora?" The dark-haired boy teased, "You wear me out, then you wake me right back up…" He smiled impishly, peering down into the sprite's silvery eyes. "I need m'beauty sleep."

Sorako laughed. "Oh, Fu…I know ye want this as much as I do." His fingers teased across the boy's skin again, dangerously close to his naked bottom, and Fumei shivered.

"Mm…You know me too well, I believe." Fumei sat up, straddling his lover's hips, stretching enticingly. He yawned delicately, licking his lips, and looked down at Sorako, eyes bleary with something other than sleep.

Sorako simply smiled in reply, sitting up and spilling the boy from his lap into the tumbled sheets. It seemed his work was never done.

Arai was pacing her room, trying to figure out how she could use her now-confirmed suspicion to her advantage. The Lords were not supposed to fraternize with their minions. It just was not right. It made them all look bad and Arai would not stand for it, no matter how innocent it seemed. Or, actually, it was all right, so long as no one else became aware of it. She herself had looked to the lower classes for release on occasion in her younger days, but to flaunt it; to be so bold about it, here in the palace of Kamikaze-sama!

It really pissed her off. Nankaze was breaking every taboo that had ruled the Lords since the beginning and no one was doing anything about it. She would have to take matters into her own hands. This could not carry on as it was.

Of course, there was Kamikaze-sama's party…Oh, it would be perfect…

She smiled to herself as a plan began to formulate.

Fumei didn't wake again until the bright morning sun came pouring through the window. He stretched, basking in the sunlight, letting it wash over his tanned body. He felt good; he felt different. Something had changed. He couldn't quite put his finger on it, but something was different.

He felt so warm; happy; content.

Sorako shifted beside him, yawning and pushing silken strands of hair from his face. He watched, a smile dancing across his face, as his small lover stretched, relaxing in the morning sunshine like a kitten. "G'morning, Fumei." He murmured contentedly.

Upon realizing the sprite was awake, the little lord rolled over to face him, snuggling close. "It's been too long since I woke up with you…" He pouted cutely, pushing out his lower lip. The pout, however, didn't last very long; Fumei was simply too happy for a bad mood to last.

Sorako sighed, rolling over and pulling the boy into his arms. He didn't want to think about that this morning. It was bright; it was sunny and he had Fumei. For a moment, it would be easy to forget that they didn't wake up this way every morning. He planted a kiss on the lord's forehead. "Dun think 'bout it, Fu. We've got right now…S'what matters."

"I know." Fumei smiled at him happily, purplish eyes glittering. "As long as we're both here at Obaasan's palace, we can stay together." He snuggled up to the sprite, almost purring. "I don't have ta worry about it now."

"Right." Sorako agreed, sitting up, the boy cuddled in his lap. Fumei crawled back off, sprawling among the silk sheets, a sly expression crossing his face.

"I think I'd like breakfast in bed this morning."

Sorako looked down at him. There he was, tanned, compact body spread shamelessly across scarlet sheets. The dark-haired sprite wanted to laugh. This was so unlike his lover, who was usually quite submissive and shy in the midst of passion. "Y've been quite unlike yourself, Fu." He teased, "I've never seen you so brazen in m'life."

A pale blush spread its way across the youth's face, his bashfulness suddenly returning. He rolled over, burying his face in a pillow, anything uttered muffled by the plush fabric.

The sprite giggled, stroking his lover's side fondly. "Oh, dun be like that, darling." He leaned over, placing a kiss on his beloved's shoulder. "It's time you get up…Kamikaze-sama will be expecting you for breakfast un' I need ta be gettin' back ta Higashikaze-sama…" His face clouded for a moment, but he forced a smile, pressing another soft kiss on tan skin. "I'll see y'at breakfast."

Fumei didn't look up as Sorako rose. He felt the bed move beneath him; heard the rustle of silk as his sprite pulled on his robe. Soft footsteps seemed to echo through the room and the lord's dark head rose only as he heard the door open. "I love you…" He murmured after the departing sprite.

Sorako froze; this was something he had dreaded. He knew in his heart of hearts that it was love, but hadn't been willing to admit it even to himself. Love only made the matter worse; made it more wrong. It was okay if the lords found pleasure with a servant, but the second any one found out they loved a servant…It was all over; it was going to end.

After what felt like an eternity -but in reality was no more than a single heartbeat- the man found himself able to respond.

"I know."