A Blossoming Romance

  I primarily right non-erotic military sci-fi, however, I am currently working on a large fantasy work that may or may not include erotic moments within the book. The stories I submit to Novel Trove are modified excerpts from my Fantasy work. 

  In this story Raphe shows Ahati how he became a Paladin, and the two of them get some much needed alone time together.

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  The serenity of the Cheerful Plain envelops Raphe as he arrives in Kirib Shame.  Ahati’s house stands in its natural glory to his front left.  He hears a loud buzzing sound and sees Marigold hurtle out of one of the windows.  She zooms towards Raphe and squeals happily:  “Raphe’s here!”  She comes to a halt and curtsies deeply saying:  “Good afternoon, Paladin.”

  “Good afternoon, Marigold, Bright and Bold,” Raphe shoots back.

  Ahati rushes around the corner of the house and halts.  She takes Raphe in with bright eyes before bowing and saying:  “You are most welcome, my Paladin.”  She wears a lovely white dress emblazoned with embroidered roses.  It compliments her olive complexion with delicate grace.

  Stepping up to her quickly Raphe folds her into his arms and kisses her with every fiber of his being.  Ahati responds ardently.  After a moment Marigold titters and says:  “I’ll leave you two magpies alone.”  She flutters off towards her village humming happily.

  Breaking the kiss reluctantly Raphe says:  “We have to hurry.”

  “Why?” Ahati asks in confusion.

  Raphe smiles and asks:  “Would you like to see the ceremony of someone joining the Orders?”

  Ahati’s eyes go wide and she says:  “I would love to.”

  Grabbing her hand Raphe starts pulling her towards the field of wildflowers in front of her house.  He says:  “Let’s go then.  It starts in just under two hours, we’re gonna have to push it.”  They reach the field and he lets go of her hand, takes a few quick steps, transforms, and launches himself into the sky.

  In moments Ahati is at his side, her deep brown scales glinting in the sun.  She says:  “See if you can keep up, Paladin.”   Flattening out she pours on the speed.

  It takes every bit of Raphe’s strength and stamina to keep up with Ahati.  The dragon instincts imbued into Raphe allowed him to move easily in his dragon form.  By flying with Rebekkah he had improved his instinctual skill into something even more refined.  As he flies with Ahati he realizes he is still nothing but a novice.  With other dragons Raphe could easily remember that he was dealing with a primordial creature that was not really human despite interacting with him in human form.  With Ahati he often forgets.  With her brown hair and eyes and olive skin she looks so much more like the people he grew up with.  Furthermore, her open and joyful spirit felt so … human.  It will be impossible to forget now, thinks Raphe.  Ahati moves with a power and liquid grace through the air that announces her lineage with every sweep of her wings.  He finds himself smiling, reveling in this added dimension to her uniqueness.

  The Citadels loom up in front of them.  Raphe spots a group of people walking the path from the Noble Citadel to the copse of trees around the Fountain.  He gestures and gasps out:  “Join them.”

  With perfect composure and diction Ahati responds:  “Very well, Paladin.  I shall do so.”  Raphe knows she used more words than necessary just to tease him and he shoots her a fake scowl.  She laughs happily and arrows towards the group.  She sweeps in and brakes for a gentle landing.  Raphe practically crashes next to her.  He is spent, he thinks.  They transform and Raphe bends over, hands on his knees, and takes deep breaths.  Ahati rubs his back and says:  “In all seriousness, you are quite fast for a Paladin, Raphe.”  She turns towards the group and curtsies gracefully.  She says:  “Good Afternoon, Grand Master, Master, and I assume you are Commander Zhao?”

  “What she said,” Raphe gasps out.

  In a polite but firm tone Marduk replies:  “You have me at an advantage, to whom do I have the pleasure of speaking?”

  “Forgive my dreadful manners,” Ahati replies.  “I am Baronet Ahati-waqrat of the Demesne of Flora.”

  “Well met,” Marduk replies absently before adding:  “I must ask, what brings you here?”

  Ahati replies, “I have come to witness …” She pauses looking at Heather.

  “Dame Ahati-waqrat, Heather.  Heather, Dame Ahati-waqrat.  She prefers Dame Ahati.”  Raphe spits out between gasps.  He stands up and tries to control his breathing.

  “It is a pleasure to meet you, Heather.”  Ahati says pleasantly.  “I am most excited to witness your ceremony.”

  “That dress is amazing,” Heather replies.  “You look like Jane Eyre.”

  Ahati laughs delightedly.  She returns:  “How kind of you.  I love that novel.”

  “Oh, I never read the book,” Heather replies.  “I just watched it on Masterpiece Theater.”

  “It has been brought to film?”  Ahati asks eagerly.  She turns to Raphe:  “I simply must see this.”

  Finally able to look around Raphe sees that Marduk has a stunned expression on his face, Zhao stares at Ahati like he’s stumbled upon Bigfoot, and Rebekkah grins hugely.  Heather says:  “Oh you’ll love it.  It’s just so romantic, and the costumes are super elegant.”  She pauses before adding:  “Uh, Dame Ahati.”

  “Well,” Ahati replies.  “If my lovely Raphe fails to show me this film, perhaps I can count on you to help me fulfil this desire.”

  “I promise,” Heather returns instantly.

  Ahati smiles at Heather and says:  “I shall hold you to that, madam.”

  Finally regaining control Marduk says:  “The ceremony is a private affair, I’m afraid I must ask you to not attend.”

  “She’s nice, I want her there,” Heather says.

  Rebekkah adds:  “I was unaware of any rules limiting attendance to the ceremony, Grand Master.  The only rules that I am aware of involve those required to attend.”

  “Is it something we wish to hide?” Raphe asks in well-feigned confusion. 

  “The Four shall be there,” Marduk returns with uncharacteristic fluster.

  “All of them?” Zhao asks.  “Why?”

  “Yeah,” Raphe shoots.  “What’s going on Grand Master?”

  “I am curious myself,” Rebekkah adds quietly.

  “As am I,” Ahati says.  “I was under the impression that only one of The Four was required.”

  “Am I in trouble?”  Heather asks nervously.

  Marduk glares at all of them for a moment.  His eyes settle on Rebekkah and she returns his gaze calmly.  His face softens under her gaze and he says calmly:  “I can’t tell you yet.  The Queen was most specific in her orders.”  He relaxes and lets out a deep breath.  “But, I will tell you that I look forward to discussing this in the future.”  He takes in the group.  “With all of you.”  He breathes deeply and says:  “In the meantime The Four await us.”  He turns to Heather and adds:  “The Four regard you with favor, Heather.  You have nothing to fear from them.”  Turning to Dame Ahati he says:  “And I find that I care not a fig for what The Four will think if you attend.  No rule forbids it, and if you wish to attend I welcome it.”  He smiles.  “It is actually quite exciting.  I still feel a chill every time.”  He gestures down the path and turns his smile on Heather.  “Shall we, Heather?”

  “Let’s do this,” Heather says with determination.  Marduk leads them all down the path and after a few silent minutes they enter the ceremonial clearing to the gurgling music of the Fountain of Favor.  The Four stand tall in front of it and they scrutinize the group closely as they enter.  Spotting Dame Ahati Queen Belit says in surprise:  “Dame Ahati-waqrat, what brings you here.”

  Ahati curtsies and the rest of the group bows.  She says:  “Paladin Raphe invited me, Your Majesty.”

  Queen Anuntiu, the greatest of The Four, looks at Marduk and says:  “Please proceed, Grand Master.”

  Marduk again bows to The Four before turning to Rebekkah and saying:  “If you would, Master Paladin.”

  Nodding Rebekkah approaches the fountain.  The Four step to either side, allowing Rebekkah plenty of room.  She reaches into the fountain and pulls out the stone cup and carries it over to Heather regarding her intently.  In a serious voice she says:  “First you must take the oath.  Please repeat after me.”  Heather nods solemnly. 

  “I swear to do good in all things,” Rebekkah states.

  In a strong clear voice Heather repeats:  “I swear to do good in all things.”

  Rebekkah:  “Large and small.”

  Heather:  “Large and small.”

  Rebekkah:  “I swear to confront evil.”

  Heather:  “I swear to confront evil.”

  Rebekkah:  “No matter the cost to myself.”

  Heather:  “No matter the cost to myself.”

  Rebekkah hands Heather the cup and says:  “Please drink.”

  The euphoria quickly sweeps over Heather and Raphe hears her sigh happily.  With startling speed she grows and swells into a white dragon.  Marduk steps in front of her and says:  “Welcome to the Paladin Order, Squire Heather.”

  Standing close to Raphe Dame Ahati whispers:  “Amazing.”

  In a quiet voice Queen Anuntiu announces:  “We must take our leave now.”  Without another word The Four each transform and launch themselves into the sky.

  As soon as they are gone Marduk turns to Rebekkah.  He states formally:  “Rebekkah El Cofiero, Master of the Paladin Order.  I assign to you Heather Gabrielle Swenson, Squire of the Paladin Order.  Teach her, mentor her and fail her not.”

  Rebekkah bows to Marduk and replies:  “I, Rebekkah El Cofiero, Master of the Paladin Order accept this responsibility.  On my honor I shall not fail Heather Gabrielle Swenson, Squire of the Paladin Order.”

  Raphe starts clapping loudly.  Zhao grins and joins in.  Marduk and Rebekkah also start clapping.  In her dragon voice Heather says:  “This feels so good.”

  Grinning Rebekkah says:  “Are you ready to fly, Squire.”

  “Yes,” Heather replies excitedly.

  “Then follow me if you can,” Rebekkah challenges.  She turns bounds a couple of steps and transforms while launching herself into the air.  With peals of laughter Heather follows her.

  Marduk looks at Zhao, Ahati, and Raphe.  He says:  “I know the ceremony is brief, but I do so love welcoming a new member to the joys of magic.”  He takes a deep breath.  “I know we all have tragedy in our tales, but Heather’s is among the most vile I have ever heard from a recruit.  I also find that I enjoy that she shall never be powerless in the face of evil again.”  Marduk focuses on Zhao.  “Rebekkah provided me a great deal of information on your plans.  I must commend you Commander.  You are seizing the initiative with both hands.”  He smiles.  “I am certain my friend, Field Marshall Nisaba, shall agree.”  He looks over at Raphe and Ahati.  “Unless you object, Guardian Commander I would like to bid my Paladin to take the rest of today off.”

  Looking over at Raphe, Zhao says:  “See you in the morning, Paladin Raphe.”

  Grinning Raphe turns to Ahati and says:  “Let’s go before they change their minds.”

  She grins back and says:  “Why are we still conversing?”

  They take several steps into the clearing and launch themselves into the sky.  They shoot through the trees, but then settle into a sedate pace.  As they gain altitude slowly Ahati says:  “I simply must hear of your adventures since I saw you last.”

  “You know the deal,” Raphe replies.  “I will tell you, only if you tell me what you’ve been up to.”

  “Oh my life is so dreadfully dull,” Ahati replies.

  Instantly Raphe shoots back:  “No it isn’t.  Your life is amazing.  You have really cool friends, and you live in a little slice of heaven.”

  After a long pause Ahati replies:  “I enjoy my life, Raphe, however, I long for adventure.”

  “Then we shall have to go on adventures,” Raphe replies. 

  He looks over at Ahati and she grins at him, revealing her dagger teeth.  She says:  “That is a capital idea, my Paladin.  But, first, tell me what has transpired in your life.”

  As they comfortably wing southeast Raphe and Ahati share the events of the last couple of days.  Ahati asks questions about the Guardians, fighting demons, and she shows particular interest in Heather’s story.  Raphe is unable to get enough tales of the rambunctious pixies and the fun they and Ahati have together and he pulls story after story out of her.  The miles melt by as the sun sets to their right.  Towards the end of the flight Raphe takes a chance and tells Ahati about his and Rebekkah’s plans for Jasmine.  She says:  “That is a bold move, but I believe much good will come of it.”

  Raphe replies:  “I’m glad you like it, we’re worried that if the wrong people hear about it, they would forbid us to do so.”

  Her house comes into view in the last glimmerings of twilight and they fall silent as they sweep towards it.  They land in the wildflowers and transform.  Raphe grasps Ahati’s hand and they walk up the path to her house.  As they approach three pixies flutter out of one of the windows.  It is Marigold, Luna, and Marten.  They bow and curtsy and Marigold says:  “We just wanted to give you two a present.”

  “That is too kind,” Ahati replies.  “There was no need.”

  “Need is such a silly word when tied to gifts,” Marigold replies with her bubbly exuberance. 

  Marten holds his head up proudly and says:  “You’re the best dragon in all of Kirib Shame, Dame Ahati.  It’s just that we all love you so.”

  “I took some liberties with your flowers, Dame Ahati-waqrat,” Luna says seriously.  “If it displeases you I shall fix it later.”

  “Later?” Dame Ahati asks.

  Marigold titters and replies:  “Oh we’re leaving now.”  She grins.  “We are of the firmestest opinion that you two need some … privacy.”  She titters again.  Without another word the pixies tear off for their homes, wings buzzing furiously.

  Ahati and Raphe share a quick glance.  Raphe says:  “Your friends are epic.”  They move to the door and Ahati waves it open.  They are assaulted with the scent of rose and cinnamon.  Rose petals cover the grassy floor and lie strewn all over Ahati’s bed.  Beeswax candles imbued with cinnamon burn in clusters on the reading table and the counter.  The rest of the counter is set with a meal of steaming rolls, honey, butter and bowls of fresh fruit.  Two chairs sit next to each other at the counter and have full place settings complete with wine glasses.  A bottle of zinfandel stands decanted in the middle of the food.  In the hearth a small fire burns.  In a quiet voice Raphe adds:  “Beyond epic actually.”

  In reply Ahati closes the door and grabs the lapels of Raphe’s suit coat.  She pulls his face to hers with desperate strength and smashes her lips against his.  Raphe reaches his hands around her waist and pulls her hips into his.  As their tongues dance Ahati moves her hands up to the back of Raphe’s head and clutches his mouth closer to hers.

  When they finally break the kiss they are both breathing hard.  Ahati practically rips Raphe’s coat off before leaning back in to kiss him.  She works furiously at his tie while Raphe rapidly unbuttons the back of her dress.  The tie joins the coat on the floor and Ahati assaults the buttons of his shirt.  Before the first one is done she groans with desire and rips the shirt open shooting buttons everywhere.  She reaches her hands inside the shirt grasps him around the small of his back, her hands scorching on Raphe’s skin, and pulls his hips tighter to her.  Raphe finishes the last button on her dress and she breaks their embrace so she can step out of it.  For a brief moment Raphe just drinks her in.  Her body is flawless, he thinks in wonder.  She rushes into him and pulls his shirt off of his shoulders.  She kisses her way down his chest as she removes his shirt and throws it on the floor.  She stands and pulls one of his hands to her mouth and sucks on one of his fingers.  Her eyes meet his and scream out her desire for him as loudly as if she used the top of her voice. Raphe begins kicking out of his shoes as fast as he can.  Ahati shifts to another finger.  It takes what feels like forever to get out of his shoes, but as the last one gets kicked to the side Ahati lets go of his hand and reaches down for his belt.  With a deft stroke she unbuckles it and attacks the button and zipper.  Raphe leans in and kisses her on the throat while she works.  She moans softly as he nibbles the graceful curve where her neck meets her shoulders.  Once the zipper is down she grasps his waistband and lowers herself, slowly pulling his pants down.  On the way down she grazes a nipple and runs her tongue down his stomach.  Raphe steps out of his pants and she stands back up.  Picking her up Raphe cradles her in his arms, and carries her to the bed, reveling in her beauty, her joy, the feel of her skin against his, and the soft grass and rose petals beneath his feet.

  Ahati wraps her hands around his neck and says breathlessly:  “My Paladin.”

  “My dragon,” Raphe replies and lays her gently on the bed.  He lies down next to her and props himself up on his elbow.  Summoning his power he gathers some water out of the pitcher next to the wash basin.  He twists his wrist and forms it into an oblong piece of pure ice and pulls it into his hand.  Placing the ice on her chest he slowly draws it around one of her molded breasts.  Ahati shivers and sucks in a sharp breath.  Removing the ice Raphe follows the trail with his mouth, warming her skin with his lips and hot breath.  Shuddering with delight Ahati works her fingers into Raphe’s hair and grasps it gently.  He leans back and traces the other breast with the ice before running it over her taught nipple.  Again he leans in and warms her, lavishing particular attention on her areola and nipple.  She grips his hair tightly and pulls his mouth more firmly to her.   She twists her hips and rubs her legs together as Raphe nibbles.  For a final time Raphe leans back.  He runs the ice from the base of her neck slowly down between her breasts, to her navel.  He admires the goosebumps forming on her skin as she shivers with sweet icy pain and pleasure.  Raphe tosses the ice and feeds power into it.  It forms into a stream of water and splashes into the washbasin.  He bends his head to Ahati’s taught belly and blows onto it, evaporating the water before he kisses her navel.

  A primal groan escapes Ahati’s lips and she grasps his head firmly and pulls his face up to hers.  She kisses him and arches her back, while she breathes into him in a shuddering sigh.  Raphe runs his hand quickly down her body and in between her legs.  He places a finger inside her and curls it.  “Oh … ohh,” she says and thrusts her hips against his hand.  Raphe kisses her more fiercely and sucks her lower lip into his mouth as he moves his hand rhythmically.   With his other hand he reaches underneath her back and wraps his arm around and cups her breast.  He gently rubs her nipple with his thumb and increases the pace of his hand at her hips.  Raphe bends his mouth to her neck and works his mouth up it slowly, after a long moment he reaches her mouth and kisses her passionately.  Suddenly, Ahati pushes against Raphe’s hand and stiffens.  She breaks the kiss and her mouth opens in a silent cry as she arches her whole body, breaking contact with the bed with all but her lower calves and her shoulders.  She breathes out in shuddering pants and grasps Raphes hand with both of hers and holds it firmly.  Raphe nibbles on her ear while ecstasy courses through her.  After a long moment she melts into the bed.  Raphe removes his hand and kisses her softly.

  With speed and strength she grasps Raphe, rolls him over onto his back, and lies on top of him along the entire length of their bodies.   She breaks the kiss pulls up her knees and sits up, straddling him.  She places her hands on his chest and says:  “You must take as well.  Not simply give.”

  Raphe reaches a hand up to her flushed cheek and caresses it.  She leans into his hand and closes her eyes in pleasure.  Raphe shifts the angle of his hips and enters her.  They begin moving in rhythm and Raphe watches her face.  He soaks in her every expression.  He says:  “I am taking.  I’m taking your pleasure and making it my own.”

  In a panting voice Ahati replies:  “Do I not have the right to take your pleasure and make it my own?”  She pulls his hand around to her mouth and begins sucking on one of his fingers.  Grasping his other hand she places it upon one of her perfect breasts and holds it there.  She begins adjusting the angle of her hips back and forth and Raphe groans at the magnificence of it.  Her eyes bore into him in an intense mixture of lust and affection.  Her hips settle into a rhythm and motion that is unlike anything he has ever felt before.  He does his best to hold out as long as possible, but the intensity of her expression, her mouth sucking upon his fingers, the feel of her perfectly formed breast underneath his hand, and the feel of her womanhood begins building an uncontrollable pressure and he pants with the effort of holding back his release.  Ahati increases her pace, squeezes his hand around her breast and sucks harder on his finger.  Her eyes implore him to let go and simply enjoy and with that Raphe explodes inside her with a groan.  Ahati squeezes his hand on her breast harder, pulls his other hand out of her mouth, makes two more quick movements with her hips, and shouts out in her own euphoria.  After a moment of pure delight she collapses onto Raphe.

  They lie there like that for a long while, kissing softly.  Eventually Ahati slides off of him and snuggles up to his side.  She places an arm across his chest and sighs deeply.  Raphe turns his head and meets her eyes.  Her face is lit in the soft glow of candles and firelight.  It is a glorious thing to behold, thinks Raphe.  He says:  “I hope you feel as great as I do right now, my dragon.”

  “I feel a magnificent languorous bliss,” Ahati replies.  She begins tracing the muscles of Raphe’s chest with her fingers.  “I did not imagine it could be better than the first night.”   She smiles dreamily.  “I am most gratified that I was mistaken.”  She sighs and her face falls.  “Morning shall come far too soon, my Paladin.”

  “We still have the rest of the night,” Raphe responds firmly.  He props himself up on his elbow and grins.  “Let’s eat, drink some wine, and squeeze every ounce of passion out of this evening we can.”

  Happiness reinfuses Ahati’s face and she leans in and gives him a quick kiss.  She rolls out of the bed and Raphe does likewise.  She moves to her armoire growing out of the wall and pulls out her white robe.  She wraps it around herself tightly then shoots a sly glance at Raphe before loosening it to the point that the lapels just partially cover her breasts.  She cinches it loosely and reaches behind her head.  Grasping her hair she fluffs it before letting it cascade over her left shoulder back and chest in magnificent chocolate waves.

  Raphe walks over to his pants and removes the belt before putting them on.  He picks up his shirt and puts it on.  He would have left it untucked and open anyway, but the lack of buttons make that essential.  He walks over to the counter and they both sit.  Raphe grabs some rolls and places them on his plate.  Ahati reaches for some rolls of her own, but Raphe reaches out and gently grabs her hand.  He says:  “Allow me, my dragon.”  He picks up one of the now cool rolls, breaks off a piece, puts some butter and honey on it, and holds it before Ahati’s mouth.  She opens wide and he feeds her.  While she chews Raphe grabs the bottle of zinfandel and pours them each a glass.  He holds hers out to her and she grasps it, brushing his fingers slowly.  Picking up his glass he knocks it against hers and takes a deep drink.

  Ahati matches him and picks up a pear from one of the bowls of fruit.  With lightning quick and deft movements she cores it and cuts it into slices.  The pear is perfectly ripe and juice flows down her fingers.  She holds up a spear to Raphe and he opens his mouth and she places it on his tongue.  Raphe grabs her hand at the wrist gently and sucks the pear juice off her fingers.  Dinner progresses slowly as they feed each other and drink the entire bottle of wine.  They spend a great deal of time teasing out physical pleasure in little things as the food disappears.  A kiss on a chin to remove honey, a gentle blowing on the skin of a neck as the other chews their food.

  After the last of the wine disappears, Ahati gets up and grabs the bottle of absinthe and her stemmed cordial glasses.  She pours them each several fingers worth and holds hers up.  Raphe matches her and she bumps her glass to his.  She says:  “To the Pixies of the Cheerful Brook and their wondrous gift.”  They both shoot their absinthe and savor the burn.  Ahati says:  “I am quite fortunate to have them for friends.

  As the absinthe settles in his stomach Raphe says:  “That cuts both ways, my dearest Ahati.  You see, I agree with Marten.  You’re the best dragon in all of Kirib Shame and the pixies are also fortunate in that they have you as their friend.”

  Smiling shyly Ahati returns:  “You know few dragons Raphe.”

  With an affected casual air Raphe replies:  “Don’t need to.  Finding one better than you is a mathematical impossibility.”  He shrugs.  “You’re basically perfect.  The odds of that recurring are like a zillion to one.”  He sniffs.  “I feel confident in my assessment.”

  “Basically perfect?” Ahati responds, arching her eyebrows.  She turns towards him and leans closer.  Her robe opens giving Raphe an unobstructed view of her flawless breasts.

  Raphe rallies.  He looks down at his shirt and says:  “Well you did ruin my shirt.”

  Grasping said shirt firmly with both hands Ahati says:  “I did not hear you complain at the time.”  Raphe turns towards her.

  “Well I was sort of distracted,” Raphe replies.  His pulse is hammering now.

  “Sort of?” Ahati returns, leaning closer.

  “Perhaps my assessment is wrong,” Raphe replies breathlessly.  “Maybe we need a reenactment so I can attempt a proper evaluation.”  For an answer Ahati kisses Raphe hotly.  They quickly stand and stumble to bed ripping their clothes off as they go.  They crash into it and completely give in to their passion for each other.

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