Chapter Twenty

The preparation for the mating ceremony may have been vastly different from what Sunny would have experienced on Earth, but the ceremony itself and the after party certainly had their similarities.

The ceremony may not have been as terrifying as Sunny had expected, but she was still glad for it to be complete, and to know that nobody could ever challenge her bond with Kilnor again. The party to celebrate their bonding was being held at Kilnor's parents place. Sunny couldn't really call it a house, considering just how large it was. It was more like a mansion, or maybe even a palace. It was funny, one thing that she and Kilnor had never discussed was his wealth, and now she was mated to it.

"Are you happy?"

Kilnor's low voice rumbled next to her ear, and she fought the urge to shiver in delight. He was hers now, and she couldn't be happier about that fact.

"Ecstatic," she admitted, turning to smile at him. "Your family home is beautiful, I was just admiring it and the decorations. Your mother went to a lot of effort."

It was Kilnor's turn to smile. "She is happy that I am happy," he told her. "Or maybe she is just happy to have another daughter, regardless of how she was attained," he added, gently teasing her.

Sunny couldn't help but giggle.

"Here," Kilnor said, passing her a glass of something. "I brought you a drink."

The glass itself was beautiful, Sunny had to take a moment to admire it. It was in the shape of a flower, delicately made and coloured, and shot through with streaks of shimmering gold. She almost didn't want to hold it, in case she dropped it, but Kilnor pressed it into her hands. She lifted it closer to her face and took a small sniff. It smelt sweet and fruity.

"What is it?"

"Fia torhai," said Kilnor. "It is a sweet drink that is alcoholic. Do not worry," he reassured her. "Zalon has tested it to make sure your system can tolerate it."

Sunny sipped at the drink. Bubbles tickled her mouth and she was sure she tasted sunshine. Her eyes flickered to Kilnor's.

"It is good!" she said, her smile brightening.

"Of course it is," Kilnor teased. "Would I give you something disgusting?"

They both laughed together, remembering an instance where Dohssa had cooked one of Kilnor's favourite foods for breakfast, and Sunny had only been able to tolerate one mouthful, before excusing herself from the room to throw it up. Sunny had felt awful too, considering how bad poor Dohssa had felt, but by evening the entire family had enjoyed the joke.

They stood in silence for a while, each sipping at their drinks and listening to the music. They watched Kilnor's friends and family take to the dance floor. Sunny was relieved to see that the dancing seemed very similar to dancing back home, though dancing was strictly done by male female couples. There were no groups of single girls like there might have been at an Earth wedding.

"Well," said Kilnor, placing his empty glass down on a side table before taking Sunny's and doing the same. "Shall we dance?"

"I would love to," Sunny accepted his hand, and let him lead her out onto the dance floor. There was a fast, upbeat song playing when they stepped out, but they had been on the floor for less than a minute when it changed, switching into something that was slower, and reminded her of the blues back home. Her eyes met Kilnor's.

"Was that you?"

He shook his head, and scanned the room. His eyes caught Cade heading purposefully away from the musicians and he silently thanked his brother.

"Cade, I think."

He spun Sunny out for a twirl, and she laughed delightedly, marvelling at how the skirt flowed around her, before he pulled her back in, flush against him.

"You are so beautiful, rianhar," he murmured to her, enjoying the soft pink that rose in her cheeks. They swayed softly in time with the music, and Sunny relished the feeling of Kilnor - his arms holding her close.

"I cannot imagine a better day than this," she replied, pulling him even closer. They drifted around the floors together, enjoying this time where they could just soak in the other's presence. After a few moments, the song slowed to a close, before another one started, this one quicker again, and they slowly released each other.

"I should dance with Cade," Sunny said.

Kilnor laughed. "Do not let him turn you down," he told her. "I shall have to make do with my lovely mother, though she cannot compare to you."

It only took a few moments for Sunny to catch sight of Cade. He was stood against the wall, and Sunny had the vague impression he was hiding. Well, not for long. She skipped up to him and held out her hand.

"It is your turn to dance with me," she told him, and at her pronouncement, Cade almost looked scared, though on Cade it showed as the deepening of his frown. He opened his mouth, but before he could speak, Sunny could, suspecting he was about to argue. "It is my mating ceremony, and you are my brother now."

As she had expected, those words forestalled any argument Cade might have been about to make, and with a look of grim resignation, he took her hand and let her lead him out onto the dance floor. His movements were slightly stiff, but underneath that was an underlying grace, and Sunny would not have been surprised to learn that his mother had either given him or made him take lessons as a child.

He towered over her - she barely reached the middle of his chest - but Sunny wasn't intimidated. He'd saved her, after all.

"Thank you," she said, eyes meeting his. "For everything."

"It was nothing," Cade said, and Sunny considered everything said. She then threw all her attention into the dance, determined to make Cade enjoy himself, and by the time the song ended, she'd caught a glimpse of at least three half-smiles, and so she considered her job done.

She looked for Kilnor again, and found him already on the floor, this time with Ainne. Sunny would have sat that song out, and kept company with Cade whilst she waited for Kilnor, but Evaan was already there, asking for his turn.

"Of course," Sunny smiled. "I am supposed to do what my father wishes after all."

Evaan let out a loud bark of laughter, and Sunny knew then that was another thing that Kilnor had inherited from his father.

"I get the impression that you definitely did not always do what your father wished you to do," he replied with evident amusement.

"What makes you say that?" asked Sunny, with affected astonishment, and the rest of their dance proceeded as such, with plenty of teasing and laughter. The last note of the song had yet to be played when Kilnor arrived at his father's back.

"I do believe I require my mate," Kilnor stated, and with that, he swung her out of his father's arms, and into his own.

The next song was an upbeat energetic one, and soon Sunny was completely out of breath.

"Mercy," she pleaded. "I need another drink and a rest!"

The words were barely out of her mouth before they were leaving the floor, and heading for a table. Sunny sat down with a sigh of relief, and gratefully accepted the glass that Kilnor passed her. She gulped the water down, and then passed the glass back to Kilnor so he could swap it for one with fia torhai.

She leaned her body against Kilnor, and he tucked an arm around her, his hand playing softly with the red mating ribbon that was now tied into her hair.

"I love you," she said softly, soaking in the moment. Kilnor smiled down at her, before pressing a soft kiss to her forehead.

"You are my world," he said simply.

Time passed by in that pattern, whirlwind dancing interspersed with tender moments, and soon it was time for Sunny and Kilnor to leave. They did the rounds, thanking everybody for coming, and then Kilnor led Sunny out to the transport that was waiting.

After the exuberance of the party, it seemed strangely still outside, but Sunny enjoyed it. It was almost like time was standing still, allowing them this moment of time apart from the rest of the world.

The transport stood just outside the house, and even as Sunny watched, the hatch opened and stairs descended. Sunny cast a quick look at Kilnor, and he gestured for her to precede him. Of course, Sunny had been on ships before, but none that she had chosen to be on, an never unrestrained and conscious at the same time, so she relished in this opportunity to enjoy it.

She ascended the stairs quickly, excited to see the inside. It was like something out of a science fiction movie, all sleek metal lines and glass. She paused though, unsure where to go first, and then Kilnor was there, directing her to a room at the back.

With a press of his hand against a black sensor on the wall, the doors slid open, revealing what was quite evidently a sleeping area. Normally, Sunny supposed that it was quite utilitarian, but someone had obviously been hard at work, and what was before Sunny would not have looked out of place in a five star hotel.

There was a large bed, easily big enough for the two of them, and Sunny could tell just by sight that the covers would be plush and silky soft. Candles would be a safety hazard on a ship like this, but there were little lanterns that flickered so prettily that Sunny was almost convinced they were real. Beautiful, deep red flowers that reminded Sunny of roses were arranged in bouquets all around the room.

She spun around to face Kilnor, who was watching her intently for a reaction.

"Kilnor!" she exclaimed. "Did you do this?"

"Do you like it?" he asked.

"It is beautiful."

"We will be on this ship for a little while," he said. "But the journey is simple enough that I do not need to pilot the ship."

At his words, Sunny couldn't help herself. She tossed her arms around his neck, and kissed him. For a brief moment, Kilnor was too surprised to respond, but that didn't last long, and soon his arms were pulling her closer, his tongue tracing lightly across the seam of her lips, before sliding deeper, tasting her.

He had to pull away too soon, and hastened to explain. "I need to start the ship," he said, punctuating the sentence with a chaste kiss. "Then we can finish this."

Sunny liked that idea. Sunny liked that idea a lot, and so she reluctantly let him go. As Kilnor left the room, she turned her attention to the bed again, and she stepped closer to it, running her and over the soft covers. They were every bit as fluffy and velvety as she expected. She cast another glance at the door that Kilnor had left through, and took a deep breath.

Working quickly, she stripped herself of her beautiful dress, leaving her clad in just the silky wisps of fabric and lace that Dohssa had encouraged her to purchase the day before - Sunny did not think she had ever blushed is hard in her life, but she was thankful for it now. The pale white lingerie was a small nod to what she would most likely have worn were she to be married at home, and it was the most decadent underwear she had ever purchased. She could only hope that Kilnor felt the same.

She folded her dress carefully, stroking it lovingly. No matter what clothing she purchased in the future, she could not imagine anything being as special to her as this dress was.

The atmosphere in the room shifted slightly, and Sunny didn't have to look up to know that Kilnor had returned.

"I keep thinking," he began, his voice gravelly. "That I cannot possibly get any luckier in my choice of mate, and i keep finding myself being proven wrong. Rianhar, you take my breath away."

Sunny's own breath caught in her throat.

"I am the lucky one," she said, meaning it with every part of her heart.

Kilnor stepped closer to her, and the heat already flickering between them ratcheted up a notch.

"I have something for you," he said, eyes not leaving her. He took a seat on the bed, and gestured for her to do the same.

She sat down as close to him as she could get, and he tucked her against his side.

"It is a mating gift," he told her. "It is custom among my people for the male to get something for his chosen female on the night that they mate."

His eyes didn't leave hers as he explained, and Sunny thought he looked more vulnerable than she'd ever seen him - and she had seen him tied up and naked. He passed her a small box, and Sunny took it carefully. The box itself was beautiful, made out of some kind of carved animal bone, and inlaid with what Sunny was sure were precious gems and metals.

"It is beautiful, Kilnor," she told him, meaning every word.

"Open it."

Being very gently, so as to not inadvertently damage it, Sunny lifted the lid. She could not help the gasp that escaped her as she saw what lay inside.

"Oh Kilnor," she said, tears springing to her eyes. "Kilnor."

She had no other words.

In the box lay a necklace. The necklace itself was stunning, a delicate gold web encrusted with glittering diamonds, but it wasn't those alone that made it special. No, what made it priceless to Sunny were the sparkling gold scales that were also worked into the necklace. Gold scales that Sunny knew without a doubt had come from Kilnor.

"Is it acceptable?" Kilnor asked, the gleam of vulnerability still in his eyes.

"Acceptable?" Sunny repeated. "Kilnor, it is the most precious thing I have ever seen."

With that, she turned around and kissed him. It wasn't a deep kiss, but it was a kiss that Sunny hoped conveyed every ounce of the love that she felt for the beautiful male before her.

She carefully closed the box, and left the bed to tuck the it carefully into the neat pile that was her prized dress before returning to Kilnor. She didn't sit next to him this time, instead choosing to straddle his lap.

"You are perfect," she told him. "Every inch of you is perfection."

It was Kilnor's turn to kiss her, and whilst the kiss may have been loving, it was also deeply passionate, and straddling him as she was, Sunny could feel Kilnor's response hard between her legs.

The kiss grew hotter, Kilnor's hands spearing through her hair, pulling her as close to him as physically possible. Heat grew deep in Sunny's belly, and she rocked on his lap, pressing against him.

Kilnor's hands swept from her hair to her body, leaving a trail of fire behind them. He caressed the bare skin of her back, enjoying the softness, and Sunny stretched, relishing in the feeling of his hands on her. She twisted slightly, wanting to return the favour, and her hands made quick work of his shirt stripping it off him so she could run her hand along the skin underneath. Where she was slight and delicate, he was all muscles and strength, and Sunny could not imagine anything better.

Kilnor's mouth moved from hers, but it did not leave her skin. Instead, he began trailing kisses down the side of her neck, nipping softly as he went until he reached the spot where he had marked her so long ago and he kissed it deeply.

A rush of lust rushed through Sunny, settling deep in her core, and she rocked again, pressing the centre of herself hard against the ridge of him. Through the haze she was in, Sunny noticed the wicked smile curving Kilnor's lips as he repeated his action and she moaned. In response, she nipped the skin of his neck, feeling him grow even harder beneath her as she did so.

With a final soft kiss pressed against the mating mark, Kilnor continued following the path laid out by the sparkling gold body paint until he was hindered by the wisp of lace she was wearing. Sunny's half lidded eyes watched as leaned down to place a soft kiss against her nipple through the fabric. The sight was so erotic that she found herself grow even hotter, and her inner muscles clenched tightly in anticipation.

His eyes flickered up to meet hers, and without breaking eye contact, he took the peak in his mouth, laving the soft nub with his tongue, until Sunny was sure she would die from the pleasure of it. Whilst his mouth was teasing one breast, his hands were busy stimulating the other one, and after a moment, he swapped, drawing the other into his mouth and toying with it much as he had done the first one.

"Kilnor…" Sunny moaned his name, and Kilnor did not think he had ever heard anything better. With a quick movement, he pressed a final kiss against her breast before he flipped them, leaving Sunny reclined on the bed, and himself crouching over her.

He reached his hand up to cup the side of her face, appreciating the sight of her lust hazed eyes and kiss-swollen mouth looking down at him.

"Beautiful," he told her, and it was the compliment that made the flush in her cheeks grow even darker.

He kissed her deeply again, tongue plunging into her mouth to claim and possess, before he once again began to trail kisses down her body. He didn't linger over her breasts this time, instead he kept moving, pressing light kisses over her stomach, lightly dipping his tongue into her navel. Sunny quivered as he did so, the sensation delicious.

He continued down, peppering kisses over her hairless mound, and just when Sunny thought he might reach where she so desperately wanted him, he shifted slightly and began to kiss down one of her legs.

"Kilnor, please!" Sunny cried, aching with need.

He flashed her a wicked grin, but did not heed her, and kissed back up the leg again, before he made his way down the other one. It was only once he'd kissed his way back up the second leg that he finally, finally pressed a kiss against the centre of her.

Sunny moaned and bucked her hips as a bolt of pleasure shot through her, her hands clawing into the covers beside her as Kilnor swiped his tongue along the seam of her, before he found the bud that was her centre of nerves and began to trace it with the tip of her tongue.

Wound as tight as she was, it only took a few moments for the coil of pleasure to release, sending waves of euphoria rushing through her body, as her inner muscles rhythmically clenched and unclenched. Kilnor continued his ministrations as she climaxed, stopping only when she lay replete and soft eyed before him.

Sunny watched him as he slid up the bed, and as soon as he was close enough, she pulled him to her and kissed him deeply, before she motioned for him to lie back. Smiling, Kilnor did as he was bid, and it was Sunny's turn to kiss her way down his body.

She did not tease him as he had her, and in one swift motion, she took him in her mouth, relishing in the groan he let out as she did so. The act revved her own lust up again, and she only made a few strokes before he was pulling her up until she was once again straddling him, though he was lying down, the hard length of him pressed against her damp folds.

"Now rianhar," Kilnor's voice was harsh with need, and Sunny did not hesitate to sink down upon him. Sunny let out a breathy moan at the feel of him thick inside her. She took a moment to adjust to the size of him, before she began to move. Kilnor's large hands flew to her hips, and he encouraged her in her motions as he thrust his hips up into her.

With every pump of his hips inside her, Sunny grew closer and closer to her climax. The look on Kilnor's face said he was close too, but obviously not willing to come until Sunny had. Realising she need a bit of extra help, he slipped one of his hands round to the front of her, and began to thumb the small nub where she was most sensitive.

That final bit of stimulation pushed Sunny over the edge, and with a cry she came, her muscles clamping down on Kilnor inside of her as she rode out her pleasure. The added tightness was enough for Kilnor, and he too came, even through her own haze of bliss she could feel him pulsing deep inside of her.

With a sigh, Sunny relaxed all of her muscles and lay down against Kilnor's chest, where he softly stroked her hair. The repetitive motion, and the excitement of the day soon caught up with Sunny, and within a moment, she was asleep.

Long after Sunny had fallen asleep, Kilnor stroked her hair, the strands as soft as silk beneath his fingers. The weight of Sunny on his chest was comforting, and he basked in the knowledge that this was to be his future now. It was nothing like he had imagined, and the both of them had endured much hardship to get here, but he would not change it. He continued stroking Sunny's hair, and before he knew it, he too was asleep.

A/N: Let me know what you think!