#Sunday-Romance Serial: “A New Life Together”

Photo by Andrew Ridley on Unsplash
  • Continuing with: Mila and Belken
  • Setting: Gritty fantasy, it’s getting less generic as I world-build but I still don’t have anything like place names
  • Length: 1,499 words
  • Key Tropes: established relationship, moving in together, horny because it’s been too long
  • Content Warnings: brief allusion to Belken’s earlier torture, depiction of his healing injuries
  • Explicit?: Yes

Belken was home when Mila returned after a morning of training, which surprised her. Despite the unspoken sense they were starting a new life together, as near to married as they might be without the ceremony, he had spent most of his waking time away from their new home. She told herself not to be angry, because he must have piles of work waiting for him, but she could admit to herself a certain disappointment. After they had been kept separate for so long after the rescue, she had hoped to spend more time together.

Even her disappointment was tempered by reality, though, for she had little time to spare herself. Petralla hadn’t been jesting when she promised to work Mila harder than ever before. They were only waiting for information, for a clue to tell them where and when to strike, before going after the Bone Traders.

She set that out of her mind as she stood in the doorway and watched Belken sleep. His pose looked as though he’d been sitting up, but gradually relaxed into slumber as he waited. He was not dressed for work, in one of his fine embroidered tunics, but for a day at home, in a simple shirt and soft trousers, with bare feet.

She wondered if she should wake him, because he must still be exhausted after his ordeal, and trying so hard to make up for it since. She didn’t know enough particulars of his business to properly imagine the disarray he fought against now, but she could see the toll it was taking on him. She sighed and went to the hearth to start a pot of tea brewing. While it steeped, she fetched a blanket and lay it over him.

That was enough–he opened his eyes. “Mila,” he whispered. “I didn’t mean to fall asleep, I’m sorry.”

“For what?” she asked lightly. “Taking a nap while I was training? No harm done.”

“No, I meant to make you lunch,” he explained as he rose. “I don’t mean to be gone so much. Not when we’re getting the chance to start again. Only–“

She stepped forward to embrace him, and his words cut off when his arms enfolded her. “I know, Bel. You still have your responsibilities, and I have mine. Neither of us expected this was how things would go, and if you weren’t ready to … to live with me,” she faltered.

He squeezed her hard, her ribs flexing under the pressure. “I am. Or at least, I want to be. This will need some adjustment, I know. But I’ve been sleeping so well, having you beside me every night. I didn’t realize what a difference it would make, knowing it was our bed, instead of yours or mine.” He relaxed his grip as he chuckled. “And it’s just a fine bed itself. I wouldn’t have expected that. Aren’t you all so hardy and fierce that sleeping in a soft bed is too much pampering?”

Mila laughed. “We’re not monks, Bel, we don’t thrive on hardship. It’s much wiser, don’t you think, to be well rested when we work? Whether that’s guard duty or treasure hunting or actual battle.”

His hands began to roam her back, his fingertips pressing the texture of the loose-woven cloth into her skin. “It’s wise to be well rested for play, too. I think I’m finally caught up on my sleep.”

“We can go out for lunch,”  she offered. “Later. Just let me strain the tea–I can keep it warm on the hearth, but I can’t save it if it oversteeps.”

That simple practicality could have been a mood killer for some, but Bel let her go without fretting.  When she was done, she found him in the bedroom, turning back the bed covers. The expression on his face when she caught his eye was open and devastating. “It’s been too long since I loved you,” he said.

“Yes, it has,” she replied. “Let’s fix that, shall we?”

They undressed each other slowly. Belken marveled over her skin, pressing his face to her, inhaling her scent. “Sometime you should come home dirty and sweaty from training,” he murmured. “I like that, too, you know.”

“Sometime,” she said, not quite a promise. They did have their own little bathing room, but the communal steam baths were such a lovely way to relax after hours of weapons practice or endurance training. “Remember, though, we’d have to change the sheets, too. You have no idea how muddy I can get.”

He allowed her to lift his shirt off, only wincing slightly at the movement. All laughter fled at the shadow of bruises on his ribs, where they must have kicked him hard and often. She sketched her fingers lightly around their edges, faint and fading but still visible. “We can wait,” she said.

He caught her hand and pressed it to his heart. “No, I can’t.”  After studying her expression, which must have betrayed her worry, his face softened, some of the intensity draining from it. “So be gentle with me.”

“How gentle?” She flexed her trapped fingers, scratching lightly at his chest with her nails.

He let out a long, shuddering breath. “So much that I think I’ll die from wanting more of you.”

He meant it lightly, if not jokingly, but a shiver passed through her anyway.  “I can do that,” she breathed, just before claiming his mouth in a kiss she strained to keep soft, in control, not as wild as she felt herself to be inside. He responded with a muted groan, almost a rumble, deep in his chest. When she pulled away, they finished undressing each other, and Mila’s heart cracked open a little further when she saw the ghosts of bruises on the outer flanks of his legs, as well. Very little of him had escaped hurt during his ordeal. Again, she wanted to draw back, to wait until he was more healed, but his member was hard, jutting tall from his body, and already leaking from excitement.

Bel needed this of her, and to be honest, she needed him, too. So she would be gentle, as he had asked. She nudged him toward the bed and he went, laying himself down carefully. She straddled him, arranging herself to glide along his length freely without taking him into her. He closed his eyes, pushed his head back into the pillow, and moaned.

It wasn’t long before he couldn’t stand to be only passive, though. When she didn’t change her speed or motion, he reached for her, hands smoothing over her shoulders, her breasts, her neck. “Is your plan to drive me mad a little first?”

She smiled down at him. “Yes. Is it working?”

“Yes. Can’t you feel it?”

“Well, I’d hate to make you spill all over yourself before I get what I want,” she teased, as she raised herself higher. With one hand she repositioned him so that she could sink slowly onto him, keeping her promise to be gentle even when she wanted to slam their bodies together like swords clashing in the training yard, fast and sharp. The slow slide of their bodies was sweet torment to her.

“What do you want?” he asked, his voice rough.

“I want to see stars, and feel like the only thing in the world touching me is you.”

He let out a sharp cry when she was seated fully on him, and she shifted at once, thinking she had put too much weight on him. “Bel?”

“No, don’t stop,” he panted. “It’s only, I want so badly to roll you over and take you hard, it’s maddening.”

“I know, love, I know.” She wanted the same thing, or even just to ride him hard like this, to feel him straining up into her. She started a slow grind against him. “I don’t think we’ll have to endure this long, though.”

“You’re close? Already?” Even mostly breathless, he sounded smug.

“Can’t you feel it?” she threw his words back at him.

“Oh, I can, and that’s maddening too.” He sat up awkwardly, propping himself on one hand as he wrapped the other arm around her waist, urging her to move faster. “Come apart on me, Mila. I’m the only one touching you, I’m the one filling you up, I’m the one whose name you’re going to scream when you break into pieces.”

He was thrusting now in time with his words, taking some of the control from her, defying his own edict to be gentle. She took him by the shoulders and pressed him back onto the bed, hiking up her knees and changing her angle until she felt pierced more fully, filled more completely. He was right–she did scream his name, while he only shouted roughly, wordlessly.

A loud, rhythmic pounding on the far wall of the bedroom startled them both. “Oh, hell,” Mila muttered. “I didn’t know we had neighbors.”

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