The wind howled through shattered, frozen streets as though mourning the immense loss of the colossal metropolis. Two figures fought it, trying desperately to stay upright as they wound their way through the devastated cityscape, dressed in dark hooded coats that protected their faces from the biting cold but couldn't keep the chill from their bones. They each carried huge oversized bags on their backs packed so full that they had to stoop as they walked. It was slow, exhausting progress.
One of them stumbled on the snow-covered rubble as she tried to shift her hood a little to hide her pale face from the flecks of ice being flung at them by the tempest. The other paused to check she was all right before they both wandered on, keeping to the middle of the street to avoid falling masonry, desperate to get home before the sun finally left them.
The brooding sky overhead did not give them optimism: they were still a long way from the village. The snow was beginning to thicken into heavy flurries while the horizon flashed with distant but approaching lightning. One of the figures tapped the other on the shoulder as the sky cracked from far off thunder, and as she jumped, startled at the sudden contact. He indicated that they had to stop; it was just too exposed out there.
She nodded and they diverted to the left, carefully picking their way through a small street looking for a building that didn't look fatally fragile among the decayed apartment blocks that loomed over them like giant rotten teeth. The piles of broken bricks and fragmented concrete grew higher and their climbing more than once caused little avalanches of debris. One figure signaled to the other then, since the snow was falling so quickly that visibility was suddenly cut down to a few feet. It wasn't safe to continue – better to take their chances inside. The other figure nodded, and they carefully headed into the nearest doorway.
It was a great relief to be out of the wind. The sudden still air seemed almost warm without the chill breeze burning their cheeks. They pulled down their hoods and smiled at each other, communicating their thankfulness for the respite from the elements.
They were both young – she was just over one and a half metres tall, with pale skin and jet-black hair tied back in a ponytail. Her pretty brown eyes were still anxious from the knowledge that there was a starving bear still outside their shelter, but as she looked into her companion's calm blue eyes, she relaxed. He was taller than her – he could probably have just about rested his chin on top of her head – and had light brown, almost blond hair cut very short, but his skin was similarly pale, almost anemic-looking. The cold made them so pale, and that was something that they had to watch. Scavengers had died because they had been unable to get home on a winter's night.
"We're very late," she said, her voice soft with a lilting accent. "Our mothers will be worried."
"They'll know we're sheltering from the storm," he replied.
"What if it doesn't let up?"
"Then we'll stay here until it does."
They stood either side of the doorway, leaning against the walls directly opposite each other. The floor they stood on was a mosaic of white marble pieces, now covered in dust, but in its day it must have been quite something. The doors had been glass but were now splintered into a million crystal shards, spreading into the dark interior of the building.
"Must've been a really nice place," said the dark-haired girl, and stood up to casually mill into the darkness.
"Be careful," he warned, "we don't know how stable the building structure is."
"It looks fine," she turned to him and smiled, "look, the ceiling doesn't even sag."
There was concern on his face, but she just grinned and turned to wander around the room, her feet crunching over ancient broken glass, scuffing through the age-old dust that carpeted the place.
"Let's explore," she said, excitement in her eager voice, "this place looks like somewhere rich people once lived."
"We have no need – our sacks are full. If we found anything else we couldn't take it with us anyway."
"Let's explore anyway. We could always come back this way another day."
"The Solstice is in three days – we'd never have time to come back."
"Stop thinking about the Solstice," the chirp drained from her demeanour. "Please – I don't want to think about it."
A sigh. "No, I suppose you're right."
"Come on – this storm isn't going to let up, we're going to have to find somewhere to stay where we can get warm. Come on – these stairs are very solid, they won't give way," he couldn't see her because of the darkness, and that worried him.
Reluctantly, he followed the direction of her voice. It echoed through the empty halls, the cold stone walls doing nothing to give the place a welcoming atmosphere. The entrance lobby was big – he could only see the real extent of it when his eyes got used to the darkness.
The stairs were fairly stable - he had to admit she was right. But then – she usually was. They were heavy marble, he could see the swirl in the stone even though the dust, and wondered what they had looked like before, when the place was clean. Refined elegance - that was what he imagined. Polished stone, polished people – you could feel it, even as the wind howled through the gaping doorway.
"Aithran? Come and look at this place." Her voice came from along the extensive, marble-floored corridor at the top of the stairs.
He passed a couple of doors that were ajar – signs of the people having left quickly, and eventually came to a door that shed a little light into the gloomy corridor. It was a huge place – open wooden floors, stylish furniture. There were many personal effects strewn all over the place, as though someone was still living here – photographs of smiling people from before the war, books, papers and hats and coats hanging on the wall by the door.
"Through here." He voice came through another door, which he stepped towards.
"The light's fading," he said as he came into a huge bedroom. "We'll need to make a fire soon."
"There's a fireplace," she flung herself at him, hugging him, "look, they've left some matches!"
"Great." That was a relief. It would be good to get a fire going quickly.
She said, "there are so many things here – it's as though nobody ever left."
"Somebody did leave, though. They took all the valuables. Come on, let's look for something to burn – we'll freeze soon if we're not careful."
Leaving their bags in the bedroom, they scavenged through the rest of that floor of the building, piling up a substantial heap of wooden furniture that they would easily be able to break up and use to feed the fire. The boy, Aithran, used the old matches to start the fire, and some old papers to encourage the first flames. In a few minutes, the flames were flickering all over the small pile of wood in the hearth, and it was warm enough to start removing wet clothes.
He took off his coat and stood up to lay it out in front of the fire while Iona went to close the bedroom door so that they could keep the heat in. He removed all his clothes until he was in just a pair of faded leather briefs – underwear that had never been scavenged, never been worn by anyone else, but had been made for him by his mother. He put his clothes over a couple of chairs that he could place near the fire.
With all of his clothes drying in front of the flames, he pulled the mattress from the bed and dragged it down in front of the hearth so that he could then sit cross-legged and embrace the wonderful warmth.
"Aren't you going to dry your clothes?" he asked.
"In a minute," she was busy looking around the bedroom, peering in cupboards and examining all the things she found. Suddenly, she squealed with delight. Opening a door, she found a smaller room packed full of clothes of every kind.
"Look at all the outfits!"
He smiled, "You'll have to come here after the Solstice with your new man."
"Aithran!" she began removing her garments, but not to allow them to dry – she was going to try on some new ones.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
"I'm trying on some new clothes, what do you think I'm doing?"
"But we haven't room to carry them."
"Who says I have to go home in the worn-out old things I'm wearing?"
Pulling off her clothes, he watched her over his shoulder. He'd always thought she was incredibly beautiful, but there had never been the occasion to see her in less than full clothing. He kept his back to her to hide the fact that the contents of his briefs were expanding and silently cursed the fact that he could not have her.
"How do I look?"
Iona had always loved flirting with him, teasing him, but had never stripped in front of him before. Down to her underwear, she felt a thrill from having his eyes on her while she was so exposed. She left her underwear on – though it was slightly damp – and began looking through the clothes that were hanging throughout the large walk-in closet.
"Aren't you cold?" he asked, holding his hands palm out to the glorious heat of the flames.
"A little," she said, "but have you seen all these wonderful clothes?"
So she began trying them on, all different outfits and combinations, and he watched her, treasuring every glimpse of her stunning beauty, giving his opinion whenever she asked.
After a long while, when she seemed to have worn more clothes in one afternoon than she'd ever worn in her life, Aithran got up to go and look out of the bedroom window. The heavy red curtains were drawn, but parting them let in a little more light – light that was very scarce now the winter sun was finally heading for the horizon. He stood watching the storm, marvelling that the windows still had glass to keep out the cold.
Suddenly, Iona let out a surprised squeal. Aithran wheeled round and ran to the door of the closet. But she wasn't in danger. She was simply excited.
"Look," she showed him what she'd found. A set of drawers full of all kinds of underwear. She began stripping off her latest outfit in front of him, and his jaw dropped as he watched, transfixed. As she removed her slightly ill-fitting bra he couldn't take his eyes off the exotic swell of her young breasts. But then, to his amazement, she dropped her panties. She saw him looking at her.
"Like what you see?" she smiled, loving the attention.
"Never seen anything so beautiful." It burned inside him when he saw her, especially since there was nothing now to conceal the tiny triangle of black snuggling between her thighs, and it was obvious she enjoyed such attention from him.
She threw her old panties at him cheekily. "You'd better take advantage of it while you can – there's only three days until I belong to someone."
"Don't be ridiculous, we're both underage."
"By three days?"
"Three days or not, it's still in the law."
"The law's stupid. How do I look?" She showed him a black silk set of lingerie that made his already hardened penis really strain at the leather briefs he wore.
He held her panties up to his face, breathing in her musky scent, revelling in that hint of spice that spoke of arousal and the very intimate contact of the soft cotton against her exquisite, never before revealed sex.
He knew it was wrong, but that in three short days he would have to leave her and never see her again, and that filled his heart with the most terrible anguish. He loved her aroma – it thrilled him more than anything else he'd ever smelled before.
He said, "You know my grandmother says that in the old days, when her grandmother was still suckling, before the old people were all driven out and killed, that men didn't move from village to village every Solstice. They stayed where they were."
"Really?" Iona turned to show him her new underwear and found him pressing her old panties to his face, his eyes closed as he breathed deeply with his nose buried in her underwear. She silently watched him displaying his love for her with that one obsessive gesture and her heart melted.
He broke off realising she was watching him and slightly shame-faced, stared back at her. He tried to divert her attention away from his behaviour, "You know apparently people used to choose just one partner for life back then. They'd stay with each other forever, until they died. Just them, and the men never had to move on. You look stunning."
"Thank you. I think I'll take some of these clothes home instead of my old ones," she said, but he had wandered off back to the fire. "Oh look, some perfume."
Her new fragrance was the first thing that announced her presence. He inhaled the air as it turned sweet, and then he felt her sit down behind him, placing her legs either side of his as she pressed her body against his back. The air was saturated with an enchanting aroma as she hooked her arms under his, pulling her close to him so that he could feel her expensive white lace against his skin. Her shapely legs, covered up to the lacy thighs by white nylon, paralleled his spreading wide in front of the fire.
He shivered from the pleasure of the contact and she began to rub his broad shoulders, squeezing out the exhaustion from his powerful muscles.
"Don't be sad." She whispered into his ear.
"I don't want to go, Iona. I really don't want to go."
He felt her hands sweep back under his arms and round to feel his well-defined chest.
"I don't want you to go either," she sighed, "But the law is the law. There's nothing we can do about it. The gene pool must be mixed. You can't have two people who've grown up in the same village having children - "
"Who says I'll ever be lucky enough to have children?"
"Don't be like that, Aithran. You know, they think that men have a one in a hundred chance nowadays – that's pretty high in the scale of things."
She hugged him tight, her lacy front pressing into his back, her breasts pressing into his shoulder blades. Her arms swarmed over his stomach, loving the warmth of the fire on his smooth skin.
He said, "It still means ninety-nine out of every hundred of us will never pass on our genes. Our part in humanity will be over."
Her face leaned over his shoulder, pressing her velvet cheek against his. He breathed her wonderful fragrance, which would doubtless attract men who would come from another village at the Solstice. He heard her breathing, slightly erratically as though she was nervous.
"Well, you'll have more chance if you leave the village anyway. If you stayed here with me, chance would be very low that we'd ever give birth."
Her hands moved further down his stomach and he was embarrassed she would find his penis had become very hard in his briefs.
"I'm sorry," he said.
"I'm…you excite me."
"Why does that make you sorry?"
He lifted her hand and placed it onto his erection. "That's why."
She whispered into his ear again and her delicate breath against his skin sent a glorious shiver down his spine: "No one needs to know," she whispered and started stroking him through the leather briefs. It felt wrong, yet at the same time so very right. He trembled as the sensations coursed through his veins.
"What do you think of my outfit?" Her hands gripped his hard cock and started squeezing it through the soft leather.
"If I was one of the men coming to your village in three days' time, I'd choose you."
"Mmm…would you, though? You wouldn't rather have Selena or Elena…or Felicity?"
"No, you know you're far more beautiful than they are…Wh-what are you doing?" Her fingers had slipped under his briefs and he flinched when he felt her hot hands bare around his hardness. "We'll get in trouble…"
"No we won't. Nobody's anywhere near – listen to that storm. No one will know…"
He leaned back against her and shifted down to give her easier access to massage his penis. Her fingers on one hand became wet and a little sticky as his pre-cum seeped out.
"You're going to make it very hard for me to leave," he said, his voice husky from desire.
"I'll give you memories you'll cherish forever," she whispered in his ear, then she withdrew her legs from beside his and stood up. She almost danced round until she was standing right in front of him, between his legs, her white lace covered crotch just inches away from his eyes, the dark triangle showing through the delicate lace. "How do I look?" she asked.
"Incredible," he said, and she gave him a mischievous twirl, her hands on her hips, flaunting her irresistible figure. "If I were a visitor at the Solstice," he went on, "I'd snap you up straight away."
"Uh huh?" she placed her feet outside his thighs but remained standing, placing her hands down onto his shoulders and moving so that her flat stomach and the slight rise of her precious mound were close enough to his face for him to touch her if he just leaned forward a little. Through the white lace of her newly acquired teddy, he could see the outline of her little bush, and he could smell the aroma of her arousal, that exciting muskiness similar to the traces he had come into contact with in her old panties. "And what would you do with me after you snapped me up?"
He reached up and placed his hands on her soft behind, squeezing her hot flesh gently as he looked up into her fiery eyes. "Well," he replied, "naturally I'd want to mate with you as soon and as frequently as possible."
"Mmm…" she moved her hips closer so that he came into contact with her body, with just the thin lace, see-through in places, between his face and her small triangle of jet-black. She gently placed her hands on his head and pressed him to her crotch, knowing that if he had liked the fragrance of her old panties, this would be even better for him.
He felt her moisture seeping through the white lace and he nuzzled into her, inhaling her thrilling scent in a long, deep breath. "This is all wrong, you know," he said softly.
"Who made up the Aftermath Law?" she asked. "Not God, that's for sure."
"No, I suppose not."
"It was a group of people like us after the war, looking to save the species. That's the only reason we're not allowed."
"It does kind of make sense, though," he said, looking up into her eyes. "If everyone just fell for people in their own village, there'd be a lot of infertile offspring."
"There already is," she said, a hint of bitterness in her voice.
"Well if men didn't change women every six months, there'd be less chance of offspring altogether."
"But we're breaking laws made by humans, not by nature."
"You know they'd drive us out if they knew."
"So they'll never know…" She leaned down and kissed him, long and passionately, holding the back of his head as she did so. She broke off and he leaned forward to kiss around the bare flesh at the top of her legs he got closer and closer to the lining of her teddy, and she groaned as he used his nose to push aside the garment. He stroked her soft down with his nose, breathing in her intimate scent as he kissed closer and closer to her glistening folds.
She gasped as his tongue came into gentle contact with her swollen little bud, swirling around the tiny pink button in a circular motion that sent shockwaves through her body. She placed her hands on his head and pressed him against her. He broke off to plant small kisses all over her mound and outer labia, and her fingers urged him towards her oozing sex. At last, his tongue darted in between her pussy lips, and he was rewarded with the sudden intense tangy flavour of her arousal.
"Lie down," he said, and she did so, dropping down onto the mattress beside him. He resumed position between her legs and deftly pulled her teddy down her delectable curves to give him full access to her body.