U'lehclem finds her once more staring out the window, the tiny woman-child, finally coming into the first flush of her womanhood. Kyria's eyes fill with tears, "When will he be back U'leh? Why hasn't he come back."

A hand rests on her shoulder, "I don't know Kyri, hon. I really don't, but you can come with us. We have another game of kick-ball ready and we need our best referee. Selzenyel and Maloshanar both want you to come."

The painfully young woman nods, "all right U'leh, I'll come."

U'lehclem smiles and gives the woman's shoulder a very careful squeeze. "That's the spirit Kyri. I'm sure that if you get out and have some fun the time til Ko returns will be short. And we will have Ko-Ky back again."

Kyria laughs then, "You know just what to say, your not that much older than me, but how did you get so wise?"

"I don't know Kyri. But I do know we have missed both of you. Without Ko we need you more, sunshine." U'lehclem touches her face with something like reverence. "You keep us 'Boys' together when he's not there."


She walks home alone, U'lehclem was right, it had taken her mind off how much she missed Ko. How much they ALL missed him. It had been many moon cycles since he had left, it was getting close to a sun cycle.

The young Tiyrran hums to herself, when she suddenly sees a familiar face sitting on the doorstep. "Ko?" Her voice trembles, then she feels something not right.

The familiar face of her friend turns up to her, his eyes shimmering in the sparse light of the night, Kyria stands there terrified, it doesn't feel like him, there is something....she doesn't have any word for it except wrong... with him. He smiles slowly at her, looking her form over as if....measuring, cataloging, examining. but not as a person, but rather as another form of life.

Those hazel eyes had the energy, the vibrant life, but now there was something ELSE in them. Something ferocious, something that wanted to hurt. It terrified the young Tiyrran so badly she takes a step back and puts a hand to her throat as fear chokes her.

The voice that speaks sounds almost sad, "So distasteful to meet me again, are you?"

"Your NOT Ko!" The cry was terrified, defiant.

"I'm not?"

"NO!" Her vehemence on that subject brought the smile back to his lips, and the young woman, barely out of girlhood backed even further away.

"What would I be then? A mysterious body-double? Here where he is, and yet not him at all?" He chuckles a little, still sitting there on the steps. Quiet except for that one small noise.

The girl shook her midnight red crowned head, "I don't know, but you are NOT KO! YOU FEEL WRONG!"

He closes his eyes for several long seconds, and the girl moves back yet again as she looks for escape, an escape he KNOWS he cannot allow, he tries to calm her, "Wrong? Wrong by WHOSE standard, my lovely Kyria? Yours? And I wouldn't try running, we've both always known I'm faster than you are."

It is to much, he's reading her mind outright....it chills her, the elders might do so, but HE never has. He always waited for her to "Talk about" things. She is even more scared now. She KNOWS he has never just taken something straight from her mind. it's to much and she DOES run, heading for the ONE place she might be safe, if she can make it deep enough into her woods.

he is on his feet, his body moving gracefully after her, hunting her down like a wild cat, chasing her, stalking her hungrily. He closes the gap behind the young girl, so many years his junior. If she would just turn her head back she could see the look of joy on his face as he chases her. His pace deliberately easy for her to outrun until they are in the woods, then he moves ahead quickly.

He slips around the trees watching her, pulling ahead of her and before she can realize what he's doing he's standing before her. She can't stop herself and crashes into him with enough force to stun herself for a second.

with the speed of a striking snake she is entrapped in his arms, like a bird in the coils of a cobra. She freezes and makes a pitifully tiny sound, "please, don't hurt me." And with those words something changes in his eyes. She's only seen something like it ONCE, and it terrifies her, even more, because then it was aimed at another, now it is aimed... her? The darkness in his eyes, the....the anger there. Almost to much for the girl just turned woman to bear.

She wants to scream for Ko, but is this the one who holds her? She wants to scream for her friends, but they are to far away. Then she can feel his hands slow let go, a feeling like he almost has to peel them from her skin as if they had fused there. and she realizes something, even though she had not been able to break free, he had held her gently, not even leaving so much as a mark.

For one moment she thinks she sees pain in his eyes as he turns away, his shoulders hunching almost as if she had struck him. He starts to walk away his body moving like a stalking cat. Kyria whispers softly, "OH father of the heart, what happened to my Ko." not meaning for him to hear.

But the young man in the first flush of his full power turns and looks at his childhood friend, the one thing he cherished above all else and growls low in his throat, "He grew up, Kyria."

She shakes her head not believing it, "Grew up?"

He turns back around slowly, those eyes seem to reach into her soul, she wants to cry, "Yes, Grew up. Became more than what he was." The pain on his face increasing as he can see the terror on hers, "Ah, am I so terrifying now that I'm DIFFERENT!" And he emphasizes the last word with a growl

The tiny woman pushes herself up and puts a tree to her back, "There is something WRONG!" She is in tears again, frightened, terrified. Unlike most of her people she doesn't know how to fight at all, so weak and easily broken, she was never taught.

He turns his head to the side, his voice going soft, gentle, "Wants to hurt? Why would I want to hurt you, dear Kyria?"

She stutters, "I... I... I don't know, I just FEEL it."

He nods slowly then meets her eyes, "I see. And if your feelings could be shown to be based in fears and not in facts? What then, precious Kyria? And he starts to slowly stalk towards her, once more

The girl trembles like a bird before the snake, "I don't know"

He comes up to her, their bodies almost touching, "Mmm. I see." And his suddenly brings one hand down, to behind her knees, to pull her off her feet, twisting her, causing her to be jerked around to fall against his other arm. The action so quick she can't stop him bringing her into his powerful arms.

Then so quickly she can't even bring her eyes to fearful focus on him he throws her up into the air, as high as he often did when they were children, so very high indeed. And a sound that tears at his heart, a child's scream of true terror, he narrows his eyes, watching her carefully and makes sure to catch her in his arms, holding her close, feeling her shake, seeing her eyes screwed shut and her fearful wimper.

He can see she's braced for pain, to be hurt, like such a fall would normally inflict on her frail body, and he holds her for a few seconds close to him then he does something no one has even done with Kyria, he brushes his lips against hers, then kisses her, gently but quickly barely giving her time to register his lips against hers.

Her eyes open, her body still shaking, but now the fear is mixed with confusion as her fingers move up to touch her lips and she can hear him whisper softly in her ear, "So DREADFUL and TERRIBLE, aren't I?" even his whisper is a low growl and then he suddenly tosses her up into the air again

The Terrified girl shrieks, "PLEASE, DON'T LET ME FALL!" Her terror once again obvious. And once more he catches her with ease.

He looks at her then, his expression kind of detached, but it is eye to eye. he looks into that tear-streaked, fear filled, face. and he says softly but firmly, "I AM Ko." It is a tone that brooks no argument, that demands she obey. "And Deep down, you know it."

The girl in his arms shakes her head, "You are but you are not!"

He sets the silently crying girl slowly to the ground, having her lean against him, holding her steady as she regains her balance and footing. "Indeed, Kyria. I'm different, Better!"

She shakes her dark-flame head, "There is something in you that wants to hurt." She doesn't say her unspoken fear, that it wants to hurt HER.

One of his hands starts stroking her back to calm her, "Maybe. Maybe it wants to set things how they should be, set them right, no matter how much price there is to pay."

His eyes seem to follow the tears as they make their silent way down her cheeks, "Should be?" her words asking for answers, even as his hands continue to stroke her back and hair to comfort her. Her next words tear into his heart, "I thought what SHOULD be was you and I, Ko and Ky, forever."

He says it low, not letting the pain out, for that would only frighten her, and he's never wanted to frighten this woman-child, "And you think it won't?" he gentle brushes the fingertips of his right hand across her cheek, little things he knows speaks to her of safety of their affection and trust, "That is not what's wrong, it never was. Other things are."

Again her soft whisper, "Other things?" she is still so very stiff, so obviously scared, and she's never been afraid of him before.

Once more he goes to stroking her hair, her back, like he did when she was a little child and something had scared her, "Yes, Kyria, Complicated stuff." then he smiles lightly, "NO worries for you." The darkness is still there, and she can see it, feel it, as she knows no other Tiyrran can.

"No worries for me?" The distrust in her voice brings pain to the young man's eyes.

"For now, anyways." and he takes her chin gently in his hand, drawing her face up to him, his eyes looking into hers. She can see more years than should be there, in those hazel orbs. And he can see the tears that still flow. His other hand brushes back her hair and he says with almost reverence, "Mmm.... I wonder when the last time was that I reminded you you were beautiful."

He watches her face, her shocked look, and his voice says soothingly, "Oh wait. I hadn't mentioned that yet, had I, beautiful Kyria?"

The girl blushes, not used to compliments, and certainly never told she was beautiful and makes a nervous chuckling sound, "Me? Beautiful? This is Kyria your talking to, the 'Always Bruised.'"

He smiles at her then, a loving smile, except for a slight touch of darkness, "Always?" and he watches her blush again even as the tears stop falling afresh. The smile grows, and except for the darkness radiating from this young man, it would be an ideal smile, a gentle smile, filled with love. But here that love is tainted with something else, but the girl is starting not to care.

It is with infinite care that he runs his hand along the back of her head, gathering up her silky flames into his fist, so very carefully so as to inflict no pain he takes control of her head, forcing her to meet his eyes, those eyes that she can see still care about her.

"Kyria, I Feel Different because I AM different. More POWER for one. And more resolve to do what SHOULD be done!"

She tries to pull away, and he realizes he's spooked her as he hears her plea, "Please don't hurt me, please, you PROMISED Ko!" If it WAS her Ko he would remember that promise, made to her on their first day together, after he had left a bruise on her arm. His promise he would do all in his power to never hurt her again. "If you are Ko, you PROMISED!"

The predatory grin is back as she can't get away, yet his voice seems to carry something else, a promise of caring, even now, "I'll do WHAT I MUST....And you KNOW THAT, don't you?" the hand not fisted in her hair once more starts stroking her back even as he speaks, "And as TERRIFYING as it likely WILL be.....I'll do it, HERE! ANYWAY!"

His eyes are so cold, she tries to shrink back as he moves in closer, and then suddenly his lips are covering hers once more, gently, carefully, half playful, but a true kiss. She stiffens at first, then slowly starts to relax as she realizes he isn't going to hurt her, nor does he seem to mean to, no matter what she feels from him.

He pulls back slightly, maybe a hand could fit between their lips, but not likely, then whispers softly, gently, his voice sounding like it had when they whispered together under these trees. "Shhh....It's ok, your not in danger from me." then he kisses her again, almost exactly the same as before, no demands, nothing but touching his lips to hers.

She shivers, but not in fear, it feels strangely pleasant, this new sensation of someone touching their lips to hers, especially since it seems to be HIM. Her friend, her companion, her protector. His right hand holds her head firmly, his left traces gentle and familiar patterns on her back, soothing her fears. Then he pulls away, "Do you like that, at all?"

It is with a trembling voice that she answers him, "I....I....I think so. It felt kind of nice."

He smiles at her fondly and says gently, "You remember better than that, kyria...and you know it. That with me you either like something or you don't." He brushes his fingertips over her cheek once more, "You Do like it, don't you?" surprisingly he sounds unsure of himself almost as if he needs her approval.

She nods slowly, thinking it over carefully like he's taught her and Pathshiner has reminded her to. then she looks up at him, "Yes, I liked that lips on lips thing."

He smiles, "You mean my kissing you, to show my affection?"

She nods to him, "Yes, this Kissing, I like it."

He actually breaths a sigh of relief, "Good. I had hoped you would." and he leans forward once more and kisses her very gently, and to his pleased surprise she tries to kiss him back this time, though she's obviously still very scared of him. he continues to stroke her, but it doesn't seem to be helping anymore, and he pulls back.

"No. You dislike what I am now, and it's unmeant isn't it." His gaze darkens a little, his eyes hurt, or so it seems to her.

She doesn't try to get away, "You still frighten me now. I'm scared, like I've never been scared before. I want to scream for you, yet it IS you that is scaring me."

He looks deeply into her eyes and says quietly, "Why do I scare? because I have come to be empowered by new means, by aggression and force?" He looks into her eyes as if he wants to see into her soul.

Kyria takes a deep breath, arranging her thoughts, "It is because I can feel your desire to hurt. And I'm afraid. What if you DO decide you want to hurt me?"

He holds her close to him then, "I desire to HURT what is WRONG! And to KEEP hurting it." He then tilts her head back so he can look into her eyes, his own filled with concern for her, and hurt, "Your not wrong. Now, anyways."

"Not now? What do you mean, and what is wrong?"

"No, not now, for now, you are fine. Acting without concern for being afraid of what will come if you step out of bounds. Not even THINKING about such things, even. You don't, so your right." His eyes seem to beg her to understand, to not be afraid of him anymore, "And what is wrong is the incessant devotion to obedience and order amongst so many, in existent. Always demanding that trust be given and for NO REASON!"

The girl looks up, "Giving trust? Like I gave you that first day?"

"Yes." He touches her cheek, looks into her eyes, "That you gave because you wanted to, not because you were Ordered. What is wrong is the crushing down of what is called 'passions,' for the purpose of keeping their form of 'Order'. That and more."

She tilted her head, her confusion making her like like a child again, "Passions?" She says the word as if tasting it, "Kissing. Passions."

He smiles as he watches her think the words over like she always does with a new word. It is a sweet smile, a smile from his boyhood, a smile that causes his young friend to reach up and caress his cheek, he leans into her hand, "My dear Kyria...what have you to be afraid of, from me? Is the night so terrible a thing?"

she shakes her head, "NO, but the dark feeling in you is terrible. this desire in you to hurt everything, it frightens me, Ko."

His voice is low, yet she can hear in it his need for her to believe him, "The DESIRE to HURT what NEEDS TO BE HURT!"

Her voice trembles, "Will you hurt the boys?"

The hazel eyes meeting her nearly black ones flash with intensity, yet a laugh escapes his lips, "Hurt them?" he shakes his head, "No. Help them, more like it. Help," he pauses for a moment as he takes time to pick his words, "Fix...them."

She looks confused once more, "Fix?"

"Make them better. Solve what troubles them, deepest and furthest down."

She smiles, "You mean you might actually teach U'lehclem and Seb'rech'athin to laugh?"

And at that he bends over laughing, a strangely musical version of a predatory growl, "OH yes, Kyria. Something like that indeed."

She chuckles as well, "Now THAT would be a sight," and they both knew she was right, "I don't think U'lehclem knows HOW to laugh. He could tell you WHY one should laugh, but never seems to do it himself. And as for Sebi....If you can get his nose out of a book long enough to play kick ball your doing good, let alone something as trivial as laughing." Then suddenly she sighs, "They all tried to cheer me up, while you were gone."

He brings his hands up to her cheeks, one at a time and slowly works at wiping away the last signs of her tears. it's important to him, they are not to stay, "They are fine warriors, at heart. Knowing when to take care of one who matters most." His voice is earnest.

She is much more relaxed now, "They said they needed me."

"Did they now?" at her nod he smiles, "Excellent 'taste', then. Knowing a priceless girl when they see and hear her." He gazes into her eyes and lifts a single eyebrow, "I want to hear you say that Kyria. that you are special."

"But I'm not Ko. Girls like Ravenrare or Winterlight are special." her smile is wistful, "Unless you mean I need extra care because I am not like the others."

He frowns slightly, "Are the gems in the palace walls special, when they sparkle and shine, when touched, or sometimes echo with notes of music?"

"Yes, they are."

"Are they more special than stars?"

She tilts her head to the side, "The father of the Heart says they are not."

his hand comes to the back of her head, holding it gently as he says, "Then know that you are like the stars, that way. So very special." Slowly his hand clenches drawing her hair into it, firmly, slowly, but never painfully, using that grip to bend her body back slightly as he leans over her, staring down into those black pools, "NOW! SAY THAT, beautiful! Speak it aloud, that you are as special as the stars."

Her voice shakes slightly, "I am as special as the stars."

and with those words he pulls her back slightly, letting her look into his smiling face for one second before he kisses her. Kisses as if sealing those words into her heart, those words he needs to have her say, that he all but forced her to say, the words he would have forced her to say, so she would realize..... Her fear fades as she moans softly, he pauses in the kiss moving away just enough so he can speak, "Mmm....nothing to be afraid of, is there...?"

Her voice is soft, "Promise you will never hurt me?"

He shakes his head, how he wishes he could promise her that, instead he says, "I promise I'll never want to hurt you. I'm not quite all-knowing yet, beautiful."

She nods and smiles like her other nickname, sunshine, "I will take that." and the last resistance leaves her form, and it is like their earliest days, the complete comfort and ease, the trust. As her head rests on his shoulder his arms come around her as if shielding her from everything that could cause her distress or pain. "If I lost you or the 'boys' I think I would no longer want to exist. And if you ever wanted to hurt me, Ko, I KNOW I wouldn't."

he closes his eyes for a moment and says softly, "I won't lie to you, though, dear Kyria. I DO want to hurt some. They make me angry."

She looks confused at that, "Angry? Why Angry?"

He carefully modifies his voice, not wanting his rage to frighten her again, "Because they want to crush that which is deep inside so may. Ambition to rise above what they think we're ready for...or what they think we deserve." and with that he hugs Kyria protectively close as if he expects her to be taken away.

"If you say so, Ko."

He starts rocking her steadily back and forth....something within him is held tightly in check, that seems on the edge of "steaming out" slowly...but in the end, held in check all the same.

She takes her head off his shoulder to look up at him, "Ko, what is wrong?"

"Merely some of the desires you spoke of, lovely Kyria," his eyes seem to stare beyond her, sad hazel orbs. their color unchanged only because of his will, his desire not to frighten this special girl.

"Desires? What do you desire, Ko?"

"Yes. Desires....to hurt. Hurt others around. Things you spoke of frightening you." he doesn't say the words "I don't want to frighten you" he doesn't need to, they both understand.

"But you'll never want to hurt me."

"No, I won't. Hurt them, likely. But not you." in his heart are the words "never you".

She smiles at him once more, that smile that caused others to call her sunshine, "So I have nothing to fear, I have your word, and you NEVER lie to me."

He nods, "Not knowingly, no. But if someone lies to me, and I tell you, then nothing can be done. but your right, never willingly."

Kyria nods, "I have never minded an unmeant hurt." And she touches one of the new bruises on her arm, the sight of which causes the alien green to touch his eyes for a moment, "You know that, Ko. If I minded I could never play with any of you."

He looks at that hated mark on her flesh, and forces his eyes to go back to normal before he answers her softly, "Indeed." he doesn't say that he wishes he could make every last bruise go away. that her being so frail is one of the "wrong" things he wishes to fix.

Kyria just shrugs, "I break easier than everyone else. I have learned to deal with it." Her smile is sweet, wistful, yet never showing a sign of regret.

He gazes back at her, "I know that Kyria, For a long time now." Almost all her life, she was maybe three cycles old when they first started playing, he was six almost seven cycles her senior.

Almost as if his thoughts summoned then, She says softly, "I remember when you followed me to the woods because I was lonely and wanted to play with the only ones who WOULD play with me then. The wild things, the one-horns, and great flying fire-beasts."

"Indeed, and then one more than you thought, perhaps." He had followed her, not liking to see tears in such a small and lovely girl's eyes, wanting to dry them and comfort her.

"You always played with me, every afternoon after that."

"I did" and he enjoyed every moment of it. Her joyful disbelief that he would show up once more touched his heart. Every time he played with her she was as pleased and surprised as the first time.

"I remember when your other friends wanted you to play with them, and you said you couldn't break your promise to me. Then U'lehclem said that I could come and keep score and judge plays." She giggles, he can remember that too. And how grateful he was to U'lehclem then. Her face shines as she continues, "Then Seb'rech'athin and Ravenrare put me in that....I think you called it 'Practice Armor' so I couldn't get hurt by any stray balls." she sighs and they meet one another's eyes, knowing that their lives had changed yet again at that moment, "You and the 'boys', you helped me to be able to play with others. And you, you always take good care of me."

His voice is thick with emotion, "And I intend to continue doing so." in the back of his mind are the words, "even if you do reject me now, your mine Kyria. mine to hold, mine to guard, mine to protect, mine to cherish forever and damn anyone who gets between us."

The comes a move that surprises him as the woman-child he loves so much hesitantly brushes her lips against his. It's not really a kiss, she doesn't even know how to kiss, but he knows it's meaning and kisses her back, deeply now, since she is the one who seeks it, and he feels her body shiver in pleasure

"Yes, I like this....kissing. Please Ko, teach me more about it."

He pulls back, he wants more than just kisses from her, yet he can't bring himself to hide what will happen if he takes what he wants from her. "It might get scary, eventually. Scary for a little bit."

She looks curious now, "How scary?"

"Scary enough to be uncertain as to what is really happening, other than me being with you. Not just in kissing and being kissed, but in other, further things as well."

Her words touch him, "I trust you Ko, You have never hurt me, even when I was so terrified of you just now."

He chuckles then, "When you ARE so terrified of me, no."

"You have never hurt me, except that one time." He remembers that. their first day, he had grabbed her arm like he would a normal Tiyrran, it had left a horrible bruise and had her actually sobbing in pain, "And then you made sure you would never hurt me again, So I'm not afraid anymore, you promised."

He nods slowly, "I did." And he takes a deep breath, "But if the pleasure of kissing is extended completely, Beautiful....there will be a painful price to pay...for a short time. It would HURT. Possibly very much." His eyes show his desire to share this with her, yet his complete unwillingness to hurt her, unless she permits it.

"But you want it, don't you," her hand caresses that face, her eyes soft, trusting, loving.

"To hurt you!? NO!" he touches her face reverently, "But it would happen anyways. There would be MUCH hurt....then less. Then less. Until it vanishes away, leaving only the better feeling." At least he hopes this is true. he hasn't shared this knowledge he's learned with anyone else. He wants to share it first with HER, always with HER.

She says only a single word, "Promise?"

"Promise what, that it will hurt?"

"That the hurt will go away."

He nods, "Eventually. You will have to be strong, through it. Have to want to be strong, that is"

"I don't know if I can be strong, Ko. But I'll try for you, if you want me to."

His voice matches the reverence of his touch, "Very much, Beautiful, I want you to, to show you eventual pleasure."

Even though she trembles she nods, "Then show me, I trust you Ko." Her hand once more caresses his cheek, so very gently, "Please show your Kyria what kissing is all about."

He gives in to the other desire he was holding in check and kisses her wildly, savagely, tilting her head back slightly as he kisses her more hungrily than ever before, his tongue tasting her lips, her mouth, his hand fisting her hair, the feel of her back under his other hand, how her body moves against his, tasting EVERYTHING. And what makes it better is that SHE follows his lead, her hands mimicking his, following his lead like she has for so many cycles. Giving her trust, her very self to him.

He guides her now, never pushing, letting her experience and respond as she wishes, letting her decide when to break this first true kiss. And she finally does, breathless her knees shaking, "You say there is more than this?" Her eyes are disbelieving as her fingers run through Ko's raven black hair, her body trembling on it's first flush of need and desire.

"Now....am I so sinister and frightening?"

"No" her voice is soft, no fight left in it, only trust, "You bring me pleasure."

He leans forward, his lips touching hers as he says, "And your pleasure brings it to me." then he kisses her, not as savagely as before but with every bit the hunger, and now she knows what to do and returns the kiss, no longer afraid of this strangeness, this darkness in her friend. He enjoys the taste and smell of her as it grows stronger as her needs build under his hands and lips, he pulls away, stroking back her dark flames and saying softly, his lips brushing hers, "Beautiful, indeed."

Her voice is a husky whisper belonging to a young woman half again her years, "If you say so, my dear handsome Ko."

"Handsome, even though I've come to enjoy the shadows?"

"Yes, I have your promise, my friend is there, and I trust him with everything I am."

"your friend is HERE, not 'within'. Though I have changed. Admittedly."

"But you still love and care about me."

He nods, "But my satisfaction from being around you....has not. And quite true, I do still care, more than you know."

Her head moves to his shoulder once more, "Then I am safe and home. Home to me will be in your arms."

She knew what to say to set his soul on fire with desire for her and how to make him want to protect her, keep her, cherish her all the more, "Even when I seem Frighting, Kyria, and even when pain will come, when I do not wish it?"

her answer is everything he wants to hear, "Yes. You will protect me."

He smiles then, a smile as bright as any of hers, for one brief second the darkness seems to go away as he says, "Indeed." And he takes her hand in his, raising it slowly, to kiss the back of it, watching her shiver in desire, not yet knowing what she wants or needs, "As lovely in touch as you are in taste, eh, Beautiful."

"If you say so my love."

He doesn't speak, mere words for the moment would detract, he pulls gently on her hand, he stepping backwards, luring her to follow him. wanting to take her back to the very steps she had first seen him on, the steps she had run away from in terror.

She follows without protest, her eyes on his. He can feel her soul slip into his grip as he smiles at her and finally speaks so softly, "I prefer the assurance of privacy, when with the beautiful young woman," and he emphasizes that word slightly, "that I know....Rational No?"

"Yes Ko. Did you want to go back to your home or my house?" He notices she doesn't speak of the place she was given to dwell as her home, but doesn't question it yet.

"Mine, Nothing to fear at all, if in my own place, is there?" and he smiles reassuringly at her.

"No, there isn't" and the small woman slips under the larger man's arm and quickens her pace. They walk out of the woods together, her firmly under his arm, in his protection, back to the steps where she first felt so much fear and terror, and then proceeding up them, to the building that she's known so often, for some time before...the place where Ko has lived all the time she's known him, even before his vanishing and re-emergence.

When he enters he is surprised, someone has been taking care of his home. everything is clean, there are fresh flowers on the table, fresh tea waiting beside his favorite chair, every last bit of dust banished by what could only be a loving hand.

He looks at Kyria, "You've been here many times, I see. Caring for things in my absence." and he is touched. He didn't think anyone would care for his home while he was away. But she had, she had.

"I would come to clean and see if you were back. And sometimes I would even sleep here, when I got to missing you to much."

He drops to one knee so he can look her full in the face without her having to strain her neck, "I am honored, dear one. and I am pleased to know you're not averse to sleeping in this building then, rather than your own. That is well."

He rises, not letting go of her hand and leads her up the stairs, up to his sleeping chambers, he has always preferred to be high when he sleeps, the top floor lets him see far. He can feel her shiver and it concerns him, he's not going to make the mistake of taking thoughts from her mind again, not til she's ready, so he asks, "Shivering even now, dear one? Such fear, even now?"

"Not fear, I don't know what I feel."

A slow smile spreads across his phase, "Ah. All those feelings that so many don't want you to have I take it."

She can't answer that, "I have no words for what I feel. I have to be told new words, I don't know them the way others do."

"Mmm. What words would you LIKE to use?" And he leads her into his bedroom at last, closing the door behind them, and silently, with just a thought, locking it.

"I don't know, except that I want you to teach me everything you know about this 'kissing'"

"No, not just kissing alone, more. It is part of something larger."

"And I want you to hold me, teach me, like you so often have."

He lets his hand run down her cheek, over her shoulder, down her arm, feeling her dress snag on his slightly roughed fingers. Felt her hands rest on his shoulders over the smooth black armor that covered him, a substance unknown until now in the Tiyrra. He didn't even know what to call it, but he could tell she enjoyed the feel of it. He moves so he could walk behind her and says softly, "Are you sure? as said before. There might be pain, for a little while." and he starts gently kissing the back of her neck, lightly, feather light kisses.

She shivers from them, "Yes, I'm sure, I trust you, Ko."

And she feels helpless as she's spun around and suddenly and savagely kissed, his eyes shimmer in the dim light of the night outside. she can feel her knees grow weak, he pauses only to draw breath then returns to kissing her, more demanding than that kiss in the forest, she can hear his soft growl, she follows his lead, their tongues meeting, playing, then he slowly pulls back and asks, "That feeling in you now, beautiful?"

"I...I want something, but I don't know what?"

"THAT'S the sensation that the 'new me' wants you to feel VERY often!" he kisses her again, wrapping his arms around her slowly, feeling her tilt her head back slightly and pressing herself to his body. he feels pleasure from that and kisses her deeply, she learns quickly, very quickly and he can hear the soft begging whimpers coming from the child in his arms. He pulls back once more, "Mmm...That's it, Beautiful...you like that, don't you?"

He can hear her panting, see the slight bit of sweat on her brow, "Oh yes, Ko."

He moves forward and kisses her, but instead of her lips, it's down her neck, small nibbles and kisses from just under the chin to where her shoulder meets her neck, then to the other side only going up.

"OH! That feels SO good."

He breaths softly into her ear, "It will feel ever better soon enough." and he returns to kissing her neck, then down her shoulders, until the cloth of her dress stops him. then he follows the neckline of the dress to the other side, kissing over part of her breasts as he goes.

"My legs feel weak and my body hot, why is this, Ko?"

He pauses and kisses her cheek reassuringly, "Because you're feeling what many don't want you to feel. Thinking it's not good for you." then he remembers how very young she really is, "Or thinking your not ready for it." And he goes back to kissing her for a moment, kissing her sweet warm lips, then speaks once more, "But we know better, don't we?"

She nods, no longer trusting her voice as she clings to keep her knees from giving out, his hands playing with her body, touching her in places he KNOWS now bring her pleasure, trying to drive her wild with need. Not knowing how he knows it will lesson her pain, but trusting his instincts now.

Their kisses grow more primal, his more aggressive as he deepens the kiss and presses her to him to keep her from falling, feeling her cling to him as her body trembles in helpless and innocent desire. She doesn't even know what she wants, only that she wants it so much. "Do you like being against me like this, Ky?" He switches to the nickname he's given her since childhood.

it is a breathless whisper that answers him, "Yes. I like it very much."

This was a very important moment, one wrong step and he'd scare her way, it is with care he picks his next words, "Then be closer. Help me take the higher clothing off me, so you can be against the REAL me. The real Ko." and he brings him arms outward just slightly, showing example of his intent. Her hands move hesitantly at first, not sure what to do, "It's just like the practice armor Ky, you've helped me out of it before."

She nods and finally figures it out, helping him get out of it, his lean muscular chest exposed to the cool air. she leans her head against it and listens to his heart for a moment.

"Ky. Now...if the real me is against you....the real you should be against me, shouldn't it."

For a moment she looks unsure, she has seen only a few men's bare chests in Tiyrra, usually when playing a very hard sport, like kick ball, or when trying to catch rabbits with bare hands. Then she nods, and can feel his hands move down her shoulders, to the back of her dress, undoing the lacing there and slowly easing it off her, both dress and the slip under it. letting it pile at her feet.

He bites his lip to keep control, he never dreamed she would be so....perfect. she stands there in only her shoes and her long flame tresses, so innocent, so perfect, so ready to be plucked, to be taken and made to scream in pleasure. With slightly trembling hands he removes his pants, letting them drop at his feet as her dress lies around hers.

Finally he finds his voice and asks, "Beautiful and exquisite....aren't you, my dear Ky." He can't control himself anymore and moves in close, reaching down, swiftly bringing his hands behind her knees and back, pulling her off her feet, hearing her small cry of startelment, yet she is limp, trusting as she ends up in his arms. he breaths in her ear, "You look absolutely exquisite, lovely one....Save for still wearing shoes, here. They are fine in there place...but not so much, when like this."

He lays her down in his bed, flipping back the sheets with a thought. then sits carefully on the edge and takes one of her feet in his hand to remove the shoe, then kisses his fingertips and brushes them over the top of her foot, making the girl blush.

She moans softly as the other shoe is removed, her body at once shivering as if freezing, yet so hot she is surprised she isn't soaking the sheets in sweat, and her body feels so strange, at once heavy and light. He smiles at her, that predatorial look having returned to his hazel eyes, yet she can feel pleasure from him, pleasure in her body, her mind, her soul, and his desire to bring her pleasure, and never hurt.

He quietly removes his own boots, then leans down and starts kissing her body. Small kisses, gentle nips, hardly more than his lips caressing her skin. She trembles softly, "Ko?"

He pauses and says, "Pain will come soon, lovely Kyria. Pain as price for exquisite pleasure, in time."

"I trust you."

He returns to his kisses and tiny gentle nips, trying to get her ready for what is to come.

"OH! I'M ON FIRE!"

He smiles, hearing her moans and whimpers of "Oh KO!"

He says softly, "Here is where you'll feel pain, Lovely one." as his lips brush her flesh.

Her body bucks a little, "OH! That doesn't hurt, it almost feels...." She pauses for a moment but can't find a word and settles for "GOOD"

He moves back up, kissing and nipping at the flesh of her stomach, then speaks, "Does it?"

"Yes"

"It will again...in time. But not now." his voice shakes from the knowledge he has to hurt her now.

"I trust you Ko."

Those words ease his heart, "Now it is time for you to pay for the pleasure you'll receive, and purchase infinite amounts of it." and even before he finishes those words he moves to cover her mouth with his, wrapping his arms around her as he thrusts down and "Up into" her. Swallowing her scream of pain as he and she feel the thin barrier of flesh rip and tear, as he feels himself hit the end of her depths as he buries himself to the hilt in her. a part of him wonders at how perfect it is. she fits his length and size perfectly

He growls as he holds himself in for a few seconds. She can feel the remorse he feels at having to cause her pain, his desire to make it all go away, yet there is also a satisfaction there....A satisfaction at... "Spearing her"? Claiming her? hearing her cry out to him in her pain?

He holds her as she sobs, then slowly moves, , she is tense, still braced for pain. he focuses on taking it slow and steady, trying to kiss away the pain, to kill any fear it will cause, fear that could keep her from enjoying this. He can feel her move, finally finding a position that hurts less, and he capitalizes on it. Feeling her body finally relax completely he asks softly, in a remarkably gentle voice, "Is it Ok?"

She is touched by the tender concern there, "Yes, It's stopped hurting."

He looks deep into her eyes, "Are you sure?"

"OH KO!"

For one moment he looks afraid like he might have hurt her again, then she smiles.

"OH that felt GOOD, so good. It didn't hurt at all."

He pulls her body closer to him, one hand fisting in her hair, pulling her head back and he starts learning what she likes, even as he teaches her what her place will be.

Once he's sure he knows he says in a very deep voice, "Then it is TIME to make some things CLEAR, beautiful." And he picks up his pace, listening to her pant in pleasure, "And not just TEACHING of pleasure alone." He punctuates every word with a thrust. "You are GORGEOUS, Kyria, SO so to me."

"OH OH OH" her breathing is just those short words.

"Say it to me NOW!" He has to hear it, he has to.

"I am Gorgeous."

He almost looses control there, and takes a moment to get it back, he's not done yet, he HAS to make her understand how her world will change under his dream, "Again, say it and feel it within, you are Exquisitely beautiful. Say it."

the girl writhes, "I am exquisitely beautiful, Ko loves me."

He smiles even as he gasps and groans, "Mmm. Good girl....So so, again, say that I LOVE you!"

"You love me, and I love you KO!"

He says instintantly. "And I'm going to keep you, aren't I, Beautiful."

"Only if I can keep YOU! Ky owns Ko as much as Ko owns Ky. Isn't that 'Fair'."

"Perhaps," He can feel her arms holding him closer, "But is it the most pleasurable for her?" And he turns them over, bringing her on top.

He watches her throw her head back, take guidance from his hands as she learns what will please them both, "I am yours to protect, you are mine to care for."

He says, "Yes, Beautiful...But Ko controls Ky, doesn't he?." He watches her nod and rewards her with gentle pleasure, "Ko makes sure Ky can feel sensations she hasn't, before. And more."

"Ky belongs to Ko, doesn't she. Accepting his Control over her, and his care for her."

She gasps in pleasure and nods, "Ky belongs with Ko."

"And TO Ko. Knowing that..." and he relishes these words and the effect on the girl he loves, "I love you."

Her voice is a need filled gasp, "Yes, I belong to you, you love me."

He grits his teeth, remind himself NOT to loose control completely yet, she's NOT yet reached her first peak, "And I'm going to continue having you....And loving you...." and he smiles then, "Forever."

"OH yes, I want that Ko."

"Then SUBMIT to me...Lovely Kyria." and he slowly turns them over so he's once more over the top of her, "Submit to me forever."

"How?"

He hadn't realized she wouldn't know how, he says softly, "Let yourself go, and accept all that I am now." and he trusts down into her once more, pressing his body over hers, feeling her relax, trusting him, "Accept the darkness, and the light, and the 'gray'"

He moves with her, teaching her pleasure, she throws back her head, exposing her throat to him. And he leans down and sinks his teeth into the skin of her throat, not breaking it, but showing he COULD, showing his dominance over her, his control of her.

And it's all that it takes to push the innocent girl over the edge, and she screams, but in pleasure, not fear. He smiles, covering her mouth with his to silence her screams. his own cry of pleasure follows leaving his essance and something else in her, a thin tendril of the power that's changed him, it goes up her spine like an icy finger. But it passes so quickly to be replaced by a heat all but burning out from within him.

"OH KO! OH! OH! OH! I NEVER KNOWN SUCH PLEASURE!"

Her bliss filled cry makes him hold her tighter, roll them over so she can lay down on his chest and his hands start stroking her, one her hair, the other the small of her back, letting her rest and come down from the high. "And more to come in turn...GORGEOUS!" And he leans up and captures her lips, drinking her mouth like fine wine.

Her hand touches his face and he breaks the kiss. He hears her say in the softest of voices, "IT WAS worth the pain."

"As I told you, No?" And he kisses her so relieved, she enjoyed it. and from the sound of her voice.....No he wouldn't push yet.

"No," For a moment he looks striken, then her next words make him smile, "It was better Ko."

"If you say so, Lovely one." Better? does that mean?

"Yes, YOUR Kyria says so, beloved Ko."

He smiles at her, a warm loving smile before closing his eyes, holding something else in. That tight control so easily sensible to the woman-child who rests on his chest, even if they were not so physically close.

"What are you hiding from me Ko?"

"Things that might scare you. Parts of the new me, as it were, the better me."

"What do you mean?"

He blinks for a moment, remaining silent, then closes his eyes again for several seconds, not sure what to tell her.

"Ko, your not going to hurt me, I know that now."

He opens his eyes and they glow with that unfamiliar green fire, "But I might frighten." And as his eyes meet hers she can feel that chill snake up her spine, yet strangely it nearly makes her feel like she did just before the wetness filled her inside, when she had to scream it felt so good.

Kyria arches, whimpering softly, "I don't know what's happening to me! It chills me but brings me such pleasure"

He continues to stroke her back, "It's what happens when you submit to me, Lovely one." His power brings her pleasure, all the better to his mind.

"Then I have done this 'submit'? Does that mean I can come and live here with you Ko, instead of being alone."

He feels the green go out of his eyes, he hadn't realized she wanted to be with him so much she would want to live in his home with him, "I would not desire you to be alone. EVER, if I could help it, unless you wanted to be, and only then."

"Then I should get my things and bring them here, shouldn't I? I used to dream I could stay here and take care of you forever."

He doesn't let go of her and she doesn't try to pull away, "Not sure I need taking care of, Lovely. More like I need a companion."

Kyria chuckles, "Yes you do, KO. Your always getting so into something you forget to eat. Or worse, forget to eat while your eating!" Then she leans down and kisses him. The first kiss that she's done right on her own, no guidance from him.

He chuckles. She knows him to well.

"So shall I go and get my stuff?"

"In time, Ky." He isn't ready to let her go and he can tell she's tired, and fighting it.

She laughs lightly and says playfully, "As you command."

He smiles back, "No need for 'commands" right now, Beautiful Kyria. Only speaking of my desire for you to stay with me here. Now. There will be time for many things," his voice drops to a husky whisper that sends shivers up her spine, "Later."

She smiles, a pleased smile, "I know there will be. I will have to go to my lessons soon too."

"From Pathshiner, I assume." His expression was neutral as he looks at her, not the normal smile when he mentioned their friend and teacher. as she nods there is not the aggression or the darkness of before, but not a smile either. Does he not want her to see Pathshiner, why?

"I also have lessons with Winterlight, she is trying to teach me about weapons."

"Mmm. Perhaps Kivaka and Skyrenalken should assist, soon enough." Those two were masters of weapons. Very little that Winterlight, Pathshiner, or Valarin could put before them that they didn't pick up.

"And Pathshiner is helping me learn what I can do with my ability to hear and speak to rocks, trees, fire and other such things."

That pleased him, she had such a rare talent that no one knew what to do with it, at least SOMEONE saw it was not a thing to hide, but rather a thing to teach, "I see."

Kyria continues on, bringing him up to date, even as her eyes get heavy. "And Cuanleslalar has been helping me with a bow already. He even came up with something so that I don't have to hold the string with my fingers, the device holds the string till I make it stop."

Now THAT makes him laugh, Cuanleslalar was more likely to help you fix your pipes than help you learn a weapon, yet when Kyria needed him...."One can always count on Cuanleslalar."

"Yes you can, and on all the 'Boys' as they have started calling themselves."

He touches her lips and smiles at her, "You mean as YOU'VE started calling them."

She blushes, "They picked it up. I thought they liked it."

He smiles, "They picked it up because YOU introduced it." Would she even see why. Would she even realize that they did it to make HER happy.

"If they don't like it then they can change it."

He sighs internally, she doesn't understand, "Mmm. Maybe I'll change it, to something slightly more rounded. Who knows."

She nods, but her eyes are almost completely closed own

"You should sleep now Ky. You will be busy in the morning. And I am sure the 'boys' love the name you gave them."

"You want me to leave now?"

"Never. stay here, sleep on me, you like it don't you?"

"Yes."

"Good then stay." And he touches her lips to silence her, then goes back to stroking her hair and back, until her eyes close completely. Then he lets her soft breathing lull him to sleep as well, still holding her protectively close. holding her like he's wanted to for ten cycles, ever since they first met.