Heart of Stone Ch. 06bypsyche_b_mused©
Once again, a big thank you to all the kind reviewers. I'm glad you're all enjoying the story so much!
- psyche b.
The few minutes with her strange visitor played on Mary's mind more than she liked to admit. The next day she strengthened the protection spell she had placed on the house, then added another for Aiden and the new statue. Beyond that, she tried to get back to her usual routine of study, but something about her odd guest wouldn't let her settle her mind. Her afternoon vomiting was becoming disruptive and worrisome as well. On a whim, she called Robert Barnaby.
"This is Mary Beeson, I don't know if you remember me." Her stomach began to turn over again.
"Of course Miss Beeson. You called about the statue, I'm not sure what else I can tell you though." She heard him shuffling papers.
"Maybe nothing. Look, this is going to sound very odd, but did your father visit with a stranger before he destroyed the statue?" The line went absolutely silent. Mary waited, listening to her stomach gurgle and her heart beat. "Mr. Barnaby?"
"I won't discuss this over the phone." His voice sounded hollow when he spoke again. "I'll be in London for the next three days. Would we be able to arrange a meeting?"
"Yes. Would lunch tomorrow be convenient for you?" Mary asked.
"Quite convenient." He responded. Mary wrote down the directions to his office.
"Thank you Mr. Barnaby."
"I hope you'll be thanking me tomorrow. Goodbye." His voice sounded troubled, not just busy as it had in the beginning.
"Goodbye." Mary said and hung up the phone and ran to the bathroom.
"Are you alright Miss?" Maureen looked concerned when Mary emerged again.
"Yes, I think I'm just reacting to the thought of my guest. I'll be going to London tomorrow and I need to leave early in the morning, but I shouldn't be too late getting back."
"Do you want Colin to drive you?" Mary learned to drive soon after deciding to stay, but there were times she still felt more comfortable having someone else with her.
"No, I think I'd prefer it if he stayed here this time. Is there any more of that soup you made yesterday?" Mary went into the kitchen and started looking through the fridge. Maureen took the container from her hands and started heating it.
Mary stood on the balcony and watched the sun set. She knew that going to London was that right thing to do, but Aiden wasn't going to like it. It had taken all afternoon to decide how to tell him and in the end she decided that the best way would simply get it out and tell him her reasons and they would have to work it out from there. When the sun disappeared below the horizon, Mary heard Aiden start to stir behind her. She turned quickly, determined to get it out in the open before she lost her nerve.
"Aiden, I-" Mary didn't have a chance to finish her statement, his mouth was on hers, kissing hungrily. Mary smiled and gave herself over to the sensation. She wrapped her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist, her tongue caressed his. Mary barely noticed rain that was beginning to fall as he pressed her against the rough stone wall of the house. She whimpered softly when one uneven stone pressed painfully into her lower back. She ignored it, her hands moved softly over his chest. She pinched his nipples sharply, making him growl against her mouth, his hips pressed forward and she realized how hard he was already. He lifted her skirt and tore her panties away.
"Stop." She murmured against his lips. He responded with another firm thrust of his hips. The rough fabric of his loincloth hung between them and ground against her most tender places. Mary whimpered sharply.
"Aiden please." The desperate tone in her voice broke through his lust and his eyes focused on hers. He kissed her more softly and she wrapped her arms around his neck, her body molded to his, her lips and tongue playing along the side of his neck.
"Mixing your signals, child?" His voice rumbled next to her ear. Mary tightened her arms and legs around him and laughed softly.
"It wasn't your back that was being bruised on a cold stone wall." She nipped his ear softly between the first and second ring.
"Careful girl, or you'll lose your pretty dress." He growled and drew his teeth over the side of her neck, Mary arched against him.
"Well then put me down," she licked the same spot lightly. "and I'll take it off."
"Ordering me now are you?" He chuckled and set her on her feet, then stepped back. His eyes took her in hungrily, his arms crossed over his broad chest. Mary's heart began to pound. "Well?" He said, a little smirk on his face.
Her hands trembled as she opened the buttons, she blushed dark crimson as she slid the garment off her shoulders. Aiden had begun to walk around her with a predatory smile on his face. Mary forced herself not to turn her head when he moved behind her, but his hungry gaze was almost a physical sensation on her skin. Her nipples strained against her bra and she felt a slick wetness between her legs when she moved. She heard him drop his loincloth and she moaned softly.
"Do you require help with the rest?" He had moved in front of her again, he grinned and held up one razor sharp talon, his thick erection standing up against his firm stomach. He had quickly dispatched a favorite bra of hers only a few days before and she wasn't eager for a repeat performance. Her fingers fumbled with the front clasp of her bra, her eyes on his swollen member the whole time. As many times as she had taken him inside her, as much as she wanted him, his size still made her tremble. She tossed the bra aside and tried to catch her breath.
Aiden stepped forward again with a look of tenderness in his eyes, he lifted her chin. Mary moved into his arms, his hands caressed her softly and his lips toyed with hers gently. He lifted her again, but this time all Mary felt against her back was his strong arms and her soft bed. She sighed and relaxed, her hands wandering over his back and arms. His tongue caressed hers and Mary felt the last bit of tension leave her body. She sighed softly, her hands stroking his head as his lips found her right nipple. He suckled softly and Mary moaned.
His lips and tongue tasted her breasts, sampling her soft flesh with hunger and gentleness that combined to bring Mary close to the edge before he ever touched her anywhere else. She was trembling and near begging when his lips lingered on the front of her smooth mound and she gladly exposed herself for his questing tongue.
Aiden began to explore every fold, every delicate surface of Mary's swollen, dripping sex. She pressed up against his lips, whimpering with need, but he retreated each time until just the tip of his tongue brushed her most sensitive nub.
"Please." She whimpered in a plaintive voice as she arched and squirmed, trying desperately for the release she needed. He smiled at her from between her legs and his tongue flickered faster. Mary's back arched and she clawed at the sheets as her release consumed her. His mouth covered her opening, sucking softly as his tongue pressed inside her spasming entrance. Mary's cries reverberated off the walls and her head began to swim before he took his mouth away. She was trembling and limp, her eyes closed.
She barely felt his weight shift when he moved next to her, but even in her somewhat confused state Mary wondered why he would turn her so that her back was against his chest. For a few floating minutes she lay in his arms, her eyes closed. One of his large hands splayed against her stomach, stroking her skin, his lips caressing her shoulder softly.
"Do you have any idea how beautiful you are when you lie in my arms like this?" He murmured. Mary blushed and shook her head a little. His hand moved up to caress her breast, he pinched her nipple, drawing a trembling moan from Mary, then moved his hand softly over her hip and down the back of her leg, turning her more on her stomach, her leg held out so that she was totally exposed. Mary tried to move but he held her still. Her heart began to race, she whimpered softly.
"Relax, dear one." Aiden murmured next to her ear. Mary tried, focusing on the way his tail caressed her inner thighs, then her slick lips. She sighed softly and some of the tension left her body until that slick appendage brushed against her bottom.
"No!" Mary whimpered. She arched her back and struggled. Aiden held her in place with the weight of his body until she stopped struggling.
"Mary?" His grip relaxed enough to pull her into his body. His thick shaft settled between her legs, but even in her current state she realized he wasn't as excited as he had been. "What frightens you so?" She could hear the concern in his voice.
"I was afraid that you wanted to-" Mary found that she didn't know how to phrase it. "When I was on my stomach-" Words failed her again, one large hand massaged her breast and Mary relaxed.
"Sometimes I forget that our cultures are so different in this respect." His lips caressed the side of her neck. "A male does not require the act you fear of a female that he loves. For my kind it is a perversion that a male will sometimes practice with a concubine, but NEVER with his mate." Mary felt the tension leaving her body. She raised her knees and the pressure on his manhood drew a low moan from Aiden. He moved his hips and the top of his shaft rubbed against her wet sex. Mary sighed, her body easily responding to his touch.
"Give me another chance?" She reached down between her legs and pressed him more firmly against her slick flesh. He was almost as hard as he had been in the beginning. He pinched her nipple firmly and Mary gasped.
"Convince me." His voice rumbled against her ear, and even though she couldn't see him she could hear the little smile on his lips. Mary was smiling too as she turned to face him. One hand found his erection and she stroked him firmly. His eyes closed and he groaned.
"Maybe I should write you a letter," She pushed him over onto his back, her mouth moving down over his chest. "Explaining my shortcomings as a mate." Her tongue teased his navel and her hand stroked. Aiden arched his back and moaned.
"Course a speech might be better," Her tongue slowly licked around the swollen head of his erection while her hand stroked the shaft firmly. "Just so you could hear my remorse." She took the head in her mouth now, sucking hungrily. His head was arched back, his hand on the back of her head, pressing her to take just a bit more. Mary tried, her hands busy on his hard shaft and the soft sack the hung beneath. Mary could tell that he was close by the tension in his muscles. Her fingers curled in her hair and Mary moved up next to him again. He kissed her greedily and Mary arched up against him when the tip of his tail pressed up inside her, she groaned.
"Will you trust me?" His eyes were on hers and Mary knew that he wasn't teasing this time.
"Yes." She kissed him softly, and moaned deeply as the sensitive tip of his tail found the right spot inside her. Suddenly Mary couldn't be still, she arched and squirmed and pressed desperately against his tail. Just as she was about to get the release she needed he took his tail away and positioned her again. One hand supported her hips up off the mattress, the other arm supported some of his weight. The bed was thrown into deep shadow as his wings spread, creating a canopy over them.
Mary tensed a little when he pressed against her. Aiden waited, keeping constant gentle pressure against her opening, his lips and tongue teasing the back of her neck and shoulder. She moaned and the tension left her body. He pressed more firmly, slowly Mary felt her body accepting his. With every inch that pressed inside she wanted more, her back arched and she groaned.
His hips started to rock, slowly at first, then with a bit more force. Each stroke brought her closer, she cried out, begging for more. Aiden didn't hesitate to give her what she requested. He moved faster, harder inside her, growling with every hard thrust. Mary couldn't hold back any longer, she screamed as her release took her, her head thrown back, her walls gripping Aiden tightly. He groaned and moved with more force, Mary's whole body shook each time but that drove her orgasm to new heights. The pleasure scream that ripped through her coincided with his roar and she felt him push deep and hard. Mary whimpered and squirmed a little but he held himself deep inside her until his own release was complete.
Aiden withdrew from her slowly and Mary allowed him to move her body over his when he sat back against the headboard. She trembled when he pressed inside her again. Mary melted against his chest and both came back to Earth in silence, one wicked talon drawing light designs on her back. Mary's eyes were closed and she listened to his heart beat. Eventually his softened member slipped out of her body and Mary shuddered. Aiden tightened his arms around her.
"That would be a very short letter." He murmured.
"What would?" She asked, still not feeling able to move on her own.
"The one describing your shortcomings as a mate." He chuckled softly and so did she. Mary squirmed against him. He was silent for a moment. "Do you still feel inadequate?"
"No." She sighed. "Sometimes I feel like I don't know all the things anyone else would know, and I worry that I'll break your mood when I stop you."
"You also inspire my mood, dear one. If you need a few moments or a few words to find comfort, then I give them to you without reservation." He kissed the top of her head, then lifted her, carrying her to the recently renovated bathroom.
Mary had always thought her bathroom was poorly designed, but she wasn't sure how to make it better. When she saw a picture of a completely open shower she knew exactly what she wanted. The tub had been replaced and repositioned and the toilet given it's own enclosure, leaving an entire wall free. The cracked black and white ceramic tile had been replaced by honed travertine in a golden color. The floor sloped gently down to two drains. One shower head was Mary's height, the other was more suited to Aiden, but still didn't quite fit him. The builder would have asked too many questions.
At first, Aiden had been unsure about bathing inside, citing centuries of his kind washing in lakes, rivers and snowfall. Most of the time that's still what he did, but at times like this when they were both messy he found the shower convenient at least. He still didn't understand why she insisted on using hot water, but that was the beauty of each having his or her own control. On her part, Mary found that she was still uncomfortable sometimes when he watched her bathe. She was more comfortable being naked with him, but most of that exposed time was spent in dim light. In the bright light of the bathroom Mary felt that every perceived flaw was on display.
He set her on her feet and held her until she got her balance again. For a few minutes, both washed in silence and Mary began to think about the fact that she was going to have to tell him about her trip tomorrow. She worked the shampoo through her hair slowly, her eyes closed. She jumped when he took over. She moaning when his talons scraped lightly over her scalp, goosebumps raising on her skin in spite of the hot water.
"I don't know how your fragile skin stands so much heat." He laughed softly.
"I don't know how you can stand that cold." She smiled over her shoulder, stepped away and rinsed her hair. When she turned off the water on her side Aiden pulled her under his icy spray, lifting her so that her toes barely touched the floor. Mary screeched and giggled, squirming in his strong grip.
"I think I prefer the effect cold has on you." He grinned and stared at her hard nipples. Mary blushed deeply.
"You know a lot of other ways to get that to happen." Mary laughed. "Now let me go before I get frostbite."
"Why waste an opportunity?" He kissed the side of her neck and set her on her feet again. Mary laughed, poked him lightly in the ribs and trotted away to get a towel.
Mary dried her hair and then curled up in her chair, still wearing her long, terrycloth robe. She pulled an afghan around her shoulders an toyed with the idea of starting a fire. The longer she waited, the harder it seemed to tell him, especially after the mood was so light. He joined her in a few minutes. When he was holding the crocheted blanket Mary slipped out of her robe and pressed her body to his.
"Your skin is cold." He smirked.
"I wonder why." Mary laughed softly. "How come you can be out in the cold or under cold water and still be warm?" She relaxed against him.
"I have never considered that before. I believe it is simply the nature of my kind, perhaps because of the way we spend our days." He stroked her back softly and both were silent for a time. "Something is troubling you, child." He said softly.
"What makes you say that?" Mary squirmed against him.
"When I woke my consciousness was not completely clouded by desire. You started to say something, but I interrupted you." He lifted her chin. Mary's heart was pounding, she swallowed hard.
"I'm going to London tomorrow to meet with Robert Barnaby." The words came out in a rush. Aiden was silent.
"Colin is going with you?" He asked finally.
"No, I'm going alone." Mary said, her eyes on his.
"No, you will not." He said finally.
"Aiden-" She started.
"There is no honorable reason that a female who is mated would meet alone with another male." He said firmly. "You will not go."
"Why would I tell you at all if I planned this as a tryst?" Mary was angry. She knew his history with Bergit and that he was still not entirely accustomed to the freedom of modern women, but there were times his suspicion was maddening.
"Perhaps that is not your plan, that does not change the fact that you would be alone and unprotected. Why would a man of honor set those kind of conditions if he has pure motives?" His tone was absolutely logical and that upset Mary even more.
"He didn't set the conditions, I called him." Mary responded. Aiden sat back and looked at her with narrowed eyes.
"You will explain this." The tone in his voice frightened Mary. She pulled the blanket around herself again and moved back to her chair.
"You remember that it was Robert Barnaby's father who blew up one of the statues." She tried to keep her voice from shaking.
"Yes." He said cautiously.
"After my visit the other night I started thinking about that again and how it seemed so coincidental that it was destroyed when it was, and I wondered if my guest had anything to do with it." Aiden looked more curious than angry now. Mary went on, more calmly. "I thought I was probably being paranoid, but I couldn't seem to get it out of my head. I called Robert Barnaby and asked if his father had had a similar guest, thinking he would say no."
"And he didn't?" Aiden asked.
"He refused to talk about it on the phone. It was strange, one minute he was shuffling papers, typing something on his computer, moving in his chair, all the little things a person does at work and then the next minute there was nothing. I thought I lost the connection, obviously I hit a nerve but he said he would only tell me in person. If I'm going to have a chance against the thing that visited here the other night, I have to know what I'm up against." Aiden held his chin in one hand, considering her words.
"I see the logic in that, but why must you go alone?" He asked.
"I got the impression that whatever he wanted to tell me was for my ears only, but beyond that I didn't want to leave Maureen completely alone here. I could wait until you wake, but then I'd be meeting him for dinner and that would feel strange. I don't want to stay alone in London for the night, either." Aiden was silent again, then he held his hand out to Mary. She took it and let him draw her back into his lap, Mary settled against him somewhat cautiously. She looked up into his eyes. "Do you really think that I want someone else?"