Heart of Stone Ch. 04



"Take me inside you." His low whisper sent a shiver down her spine, as it always did when she heard such intensity in it. She straddled his hips and allowed him to guide her into position. His eyes were intense and she pressed against him as firmly as she could. Her body resisted at first, but as she pressed against him and focused on relaxing those muscles she felt the broad head press deeper inside her. The discomfort began to grow and turned to pain, stopping Mary from moving further.

"I can't." She whispered, the throbbing pain making her tense and tremble.

"You can." His thumb rubbed the front of her mound and his other hand pressed firmly, ignoring Mary's whimpers and sharp cries until she was completely filled. Mary rested against him, trembling. She could hear the soft rumble of his voice and feel the tiny movements inside her. He brushed away her tears, stroked her back lightly and urged her to move her hips.

At first, it was a tentative motion and his shaft barely moved inside her. His grip tightened around her hip and the pain of his talons sinking into her flesh competed with sensation of his thick shaft tearing and bruising her opening. She began to move faster and more firmly as the discomfort passed more quickly than the first time. She was so close, but it wasn't quite enough to bring Aiden the release that he needed. He grasped her wrist and turned her quickly onto her back, Mary whimpered sharply and trembled at the intensity of his eyes as he thrust hard and fast into her. He pressed her knees back and took what he needed while Mary tried not to cry, by the time his hot seed stung her sore passage she was shivering under him, reduced to whimpering. Mary curled up on her side as soon as he withdrew from her. She reached out for him and for a few minutes he cradled her silently.

Mary relaxed slowly and as she connected with her body again she realized that though she ached, she was not as sore as she had been the first time. When Aiden shifted she wrapped her arms around him tightly.

"You are bleeding, child. I will return to you in a moment." He kissed the top of her head and unwrapped her arms. She could hear him running water and Mary curled up a little tighter. She had begun keeping the big enamel bowl and a jar of his healing herbs in the bathroom. Aiden was still learning the limits of her skin and Mary found that she was often scratched or bleeding afterward. In the beginning Mary had actively resisted his ministrations, or tried to. When Aiden became insistent there was very little that Mary could do to deter him, especially after he reminded her of her duty to obey. As time when on she became more comfortable with it, now when she saw him approaching the bed carrying the bowl she was just glad to see him return. She moved close to him when he sat down.

"I forget how fragile your skin is." Mary winced but held still as he washed the deep scratches on her hip gently with a soft cloth and warm water.

"That stings." She shivered against him, her teeth clenched.

"I know child. It is bad enough that I forget myself and injure you, I do not wish to see you become ill because of my forgetfulness." She turned so that he could tend the scratches on the side of her bottom. Once he was satisfied that she was no longer bleeding he opened her legs wide and pushed her knee back, exposing her completely. Mary turned away and bit back a soft whimper, a deep blush heated her cheeks but she didn't struggle with him. She knew she was bruised, but didn't feel as torn as the first time. His touch wasn't as painful as it was before and Mary relaxed.

"Would you do this for a female of your own kind?" She asked in a whisper.

"With Bergit in the beginning, I would have tried to. I would have probably let her resistance turn my mind away from it." The cloth moved softly, cleaning their fluids from her inner thighs before moving on to her more tender places. Mary closed her eyes and felt the residual tension leave her body.


The next day Mary was a sore, but not confined to her room or bed. She began exploring the library and looking for the books Ambrose had recommended for her to begin with. Finding them was a challenge in itself. The books upstairs were sorted into fiction and non-ficiton, and then alphabetically by author's last name, she could determine no clear way that the books down here were organized. Mary began by making lists of title and location, Aiden might be able to tell her if it made sense in some other context.

The auction was two weeks away and she was still toying with the idea of going to London. If she went she would have to be gone overnight. Aiden said he would accept her going she knew he wasn't happy about it. He was becoming more comfortable with the modern world, but he held tightly to certain traditions. In the end Mary decided to bid by phone, she realized that even if he would let her go without and argument she wouldn't be able to sleep without him.


Mary won the auction easily and she began to make arrangements for the statue's arrival. The picture, even though it was clear enough to tell that it was likely one of Aiden's kind, provided little other information about it and Mary was anxious to see it on the balcony. So anxious that she hired an engineer to make certain that the balcony would support the weight. When she told Aiden he was not as thrilled as she was with her idea of where to place it. There were two weeks before the statue was to be delivered and in that time they had debated the issue angrily several times, but he had refused to tell her why he was so against it.

"I will not allow another so close to our private space." The statement came out of the blue. She was laying on his chest after making love and his large hands were roaming over her back, his talons tracing light patterns on her skin. She sensed that he was relaxed enough that they might be able to discuss it without argument.

"Is it our space that you feel like you have to protect, or is it me?" Mary arched against him comfortably. She was much more accustomed to him being inside her and the forceful way he took his pleasure, but she still ached after. For some reason, this was the most comfortable position she had found.

"You are mine. If I were to allow another male to be so close to you from the very beginning it would give him the impression that you are my concubine, not my mate." His hand moved down between her spread legs, his talons tickled her inner thighs. Mary squirmed against him, the sensation bringing a little smile to her lips in spite of what he was saying. Her aching opening quivered.

"You didn't tell me about that." She kissed the side of his neck softly, and his arm tightened around her. "If a male does with his concubine what he does with his mate, how does anyone know the difference?"

"A concubine is stolen from a rival clan, won in battle or is the female child of a concubine. She is branded as property, much as your kind might mark an animal." His tail stroked her pouting lower lips and Mary moaned softly, her eyes squeezed shut. "It is understood that any who ask her owner might use her. He might ask a fee for her services, he might not."

"I'm not branded." The thought made her tremble, she opened herself wider to his gently probing tail.

"But you are human. When we were cursed your kind was the ultimate rival." He pushed the tip of his tail inside her and Mary whimpered softly. "You will find a different place for the other." As if to punctuate his statement he withdrew his tail and then pressed it inside deeper. Mary gasped and bit down on her lower lip.

"I'll find a different place." She moaned softly and squirmed against his invading tail, just as she was getting used to it, needing it, he pulled it away. "Don't-"

He turned her on her back, rubbing the broad head of his newly hard member against her entrance. Mary's need struggled with her apprehension. She reached down between them and stroked him.

"Let me-" He grasped her wrist and pinned it next to her head.

"You will submit." His voice was soft and his lips were gentle on hers. Mary closed her eyes and trembled under him.

"I'm sore." Her voice was a nervous whisper. The broad head rubbed lightly against her, Mary arched her back and moaned.

"I know." He pressed forward slowly and Mary whimpered as her body yielded. As he pushed deeper she struggled to pull her pinned arm away from him. "Relax, child. Trust me not to hurt you." He held her wrist in place but stopped advancing, his lips moved softly over the side of her neck. The tension drained away as his lips moved. He rocked softly against her until she was completely, achingly full, he kept up a constant light pressure on her cervix that made Mary arch and squirm.

His lips found hers and Mary melted, moving her hips tentatively. He looked down into her eyes and began to move gently, drawing almost his whole length out and pressing in just as deeply again. Aiden continued his slow, torturous rhythm until Mary was clawing at the sheets, begging for more. He made her wait for what seemed like an eternity before giving her the release she craved. She felt him pulse inside her while she was floating and she knew that he had gotten his release too.


Mary stood in front to the new statue in the fading light and frowned. It looked good sitting in the garden, and now she was even more certain that this was another like Aiden. What she hadn't been expecting was that this was a female. She looked at the photo again and realized that the angle and position of the statue somehow hid the statue's more than ample breasts. She was still staring when she heard Aiden's leathery wings flapping. His arms slipped around her waist and his lips found the side of her neck. She had begun sending Mr. and Mrs. March home before the sun went down, their cottage was on the grounds, but far enough away that she was comfortable Aiden wouldn't be seen.

"You smell wonderful this evening, child." He murmured next to her ear. Mary turned to snuggle against his chest.

"So do you." Mary whispered, she held him tighter than usual and he stroked her back.

"Something wrong, dear one?" She felt the rumble of his soft baritone as much as she heard it.

"No." Mary lied. He held her in silence a few moments longer.

"This is the new one then." He said finally, releasing her and standing up again.

"Yes." It was the best Mary could manage. She stepped away from him.

"She's definitely one my kind." He stepped closer, inspecting the figure carefully. Mary felt her heart start to beat faster and a flush rise to her cheeks.

"Do you know her?" Mary spoke more quickly than she intended. Her arms were folded over her chest.

"No. I knew few females who were not of my clan." His eyebrows were drawn together as he looked at her. Mary's mind raced to come up with something to say that would head off his next logical question.

"How do you know she's not of your clan?" She asked, trying to be still and keep her eyes on his.

"Because of the shape of her body. Males and females of my clan are warriors, this one does not have the muscle mass of a warrior." He walked around the statue and stopped on the same side Mary was on. "The shape of her ears suggest she and my mother were of the same clan, but I can tell no more with her in this state. What is disturbing you so?"

"Nothing, I'm getting cold-" Mary turned to go in but he grasped her arm hard enough to make Mary whimper. Before she could protest he picked her up and they were airborne. All she could do was hold onto him. The weather was still cold and by the time they got to Aiden's icebound island Mary was shivering. He settled her so that she was straddling his lap. His wings wrapped around her and so did his arms. When Mary's teeth were no longer chattering, he spoke.

"You know I will not tolerate being lied to, and yet you answered two direct questions untruthfully." His tone was even, but Mary bit her lower lip as she listened to him. "You will tell me why."

Mary opened her mouth several times to begin but closed it again when she found that she didn't know how to start or what to say.

"Child if I get no answer you will force my hand. That gives me no pleasure, but I will not be disrespected." Mary whimpered softly, his arms tightened around her. "Tell me."

"I thought the statue would be a male." Mary spoke softly.

"And the fact that it is not upsets you?" His hands stopped moving on her back.

"Yes." He sat back and held her eyes with his. When she saw the pain and anger in them Mary realized how it sounded.

"You want another?" He held her head still and his talons came perilously close to puncturing her skin.

"No!" She answered quickly, tears standing out in her eyes. She was afraid to struggle though, he was already angry. "I'm afraid that you will." His grip relaxed and he pulled her close again.

"Why?" He stroked her back.

"Because she's like you. You're always so worried about hurting me and saying how fragile I am. She isn't so fragile, you could relax and have her however you wanted her-"


"And she could give you a child." Mary was starting to cry. He cradled her and whispered softly to her. When she calmed, she realized he was rocking slowly.

"We do not know that you cannot have my child." He said next to her ear. "It has been a very short time. As to the rest, you are fragile, and I knew that before I took you as mine. I love you as you are."

"I love you too, and I'm afraid of losing you." She shivered again and pulled back from him so she could look into his eyes. "I'm sorry. Please don't-" Mary couldn't get the words out, but she was near tears again. He kissed her softly.

"You test me, child." He pressed her head down against his shoulder again. Mary's body molded to his, as much for comfort as for warmth. He held her tightly. "A male must be the ruler of his mate and to do that he must command her respect."

"I don't want to be afraid of you." She whispered.

"That is not my desire either, but what I require of you is so simple. I would lose my self-respect if allowed open defiance to simply pass without notice." Mary could hear the pain in his voice, and the resolve. She bit down on her lip and stayed silent, afraid of making whatever he intended worse. His head rested against the top of hers, as if solidifying his intent. Slowly he moved his hands under her jacket and into the waistband of her sweat pants and panties, pushing them down. "Slide your hips back." Even though she was humiliated and frightened Mary was afraid not to obey. She moved back and he held her clothing in place. Once her bottom and vulva were completely exposed to the cold air he gripped her hips again, holding them in place.

"Please, I'm sorry." Her voice broke and Mary wasn't able to look Aiden in the eye.

"I know, child." He pulled her hands behind her back and held them at the small of her back, then pulled her head forward to rest against his chest. As he unwrapped his wings she could hear his heart beating faster, and she could also feel how completely vulnerable she was.

Mary heard his tail hiss through the air the instant before she felt it make stinging contact with the right side of her bottom. She jumped and he held her still. His tail continued, the loud smacks echoing off the leafless trees. Mary struggled and began to cry, but he held her still while the tip of his tail that had given her so much pleasure set her bottom on fire with pain. After what seemed like forever he stopped and pulled Mary forward again, covering her in the process. At first she resisted his efforts to comfort her, but he seemed to need her comfort as much as she needed his. He held her there until she had stopped crying. Without a word he lifted her and took her back to the house.


On the way back Mary was conflicted. She knew he wasn't happy about what he had done, and once the initial pain faded she was angry. When they were in the air though, she simply lay in his arms, seething. When they got inside Mary made the excuse of needing to look at the monthly bills and left him in the sitting room upstairs. She devoted a few minutes to scanning the books and then moved on to magazines. Half of her hoped Aiden wouldn't come looking for her, the other half was afraid that he wouldn't.

The one thing she wasn't confused about was her anger. She HAD lied, and she DID know how he felt about that but she was also a grown woman who didn't deserve to be punished like a little girl just because she was jealous. That was something she had never been able to control and probably never would be able to control, no matter how many times he punished her.

Finally she was too tired to stay downstairs any longer. She walked upstairs as quietly as she could, hoping she could slip into bed without him noticing her presence. She wasn't entirely certain how she thought she would sleep without him, Aiden always held her until just before sunrise. She decided to worry about that if it happened. When she entered the bedroom it was empty. By the time she had closed the door quietly behind herself Aiden had appeared in the sitting room doorway.

"Were the accounts as you wanted them?" He asked, keeping his distance.

"Yes." She couldn't meet his eyes and she found that her knees were shaking.

"It is late, you must be tired." His voice was as gentle as it always was. Mary nodded and escaped into the bathroom. She spent longer than usual getting ready for bed. When she was putting on her robe she caught sight of her bottom. It was a dull pinkish in comparison to the rest of her pale skin except for one dark, oblong blue-black bruise on the right cheek. Mary pulled the robe around herself and fussed with straightening things on shelves, and refolding towels, anything to keep from going out there again. When there was no more primping to be done she walked out into the dim room. Aiden was stretched out in bed and she knew he was naked under the covers because they both relished the feeling of skin to skin contact. At that moment, she wasn't sure that's what she wanted.

He didn't look at her but the way the end of his tail twitched she knew he was growing impatient. Mary dropped the robe on the chair next to the bed and got under the blankets quickly. She had planned to rest against him, but not to snuggle like she usually did. His arm came around her though and the feeling of his warm skin brought up all those feelings that she had worked so hard all evening to suppress. Mary whimpered softly.

"Tell me." He said softly.

"I'm so-" Mary's voice caught in her throat and tears welled up in her eyes. "So ANGRY at you."

"Why?" She looked up at him. His eyes were focused on hers, but the tone in his voice told her that he knew the answer, but he wanted to hear her say it.

"Because it was humiliating and you made me feel like I was five years old." Mary sniffled and still felt that way all over again.

"You behaved like a naughty child. If you had simply told me of your uncertainties when I asked I would have had no reason to punish you. I have told you repeatedly that you have nothing to hide from me, but for some reason you still feel compelled to secrecy." His talons stroked lightly through her hair, his tail wrapped around her leg.

"I said I was sorry, and you didn't have to leave a bruise." She was pouting a little now. He sat up straight and looked at her.

"I did not." He pulled her across his lap and Mary whimpered sharply, suddenly terrified that he was going to hit her again. When he lightly touched the edges of the mark, Mary jumped. Aiden released her and when she got up she could see the pain in his eyes. She snuggled against him hesitantly and he held her as if she might break. Aiden sighed deeply and Mary tightened her arms around him, molding her body to his. "It was not my intent to injure you, child. You must know that."

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