-Title:- Linger
-Author:- Ayrki
-Element:- DEBS Feature Film
-Disclaimer:- I lay absolutely no claim to the original material included in this work of fiction, being it a product of Angela Robinson's brilliant mind.
-Pairing:- Amy/Original Character
-Rating:- Aus MA or US R
-Summary:- In the wake of her strangest mission to date, Amy finds herself needing to forget and find some kind of a release.
Date in Calendar: 25 June 2006

-Notes:- This is one of those projects that never should've been written. ^^ It takes place in an AU/What if reality working off the concept of what if Lucy had not made it to Endgame that night. Set about six months before the events that kick of the resulting series dealing with this concept. If you aren't quite understanding the idea behind the Elegant Legacy/Date With the Devil (the original project) you can find it here: http://lextenou.com/ayrki/el.html

Basic formatting guide: astriks for bold, slash for italics, and a new line with an ellipse is character point of view change.

This was born as a result of a friend and fellow DEBS writer and I having our worlds collide unexpectedly. So, this is for Grim, and it's also for me, because I've never written anything like this before.

-Feedback:- ...would be awesome. [grins] You can find me at ayrki@iinet.net.au But seriously, hearing back about this? You'd make me insanely happy.


~~~


It's been two years since Endgame. Two years since I delivered that speech, the words turning to ash even as I said them. Two years since I fed the world that perfect lie. Two years since I told the DEBS and Ms. Petrie on no uncertain terms I wasn't re-upping my membership to the plaid club and what they could do with themselves and offer of international assignment. It wouldn't've been real; every moment of every day, I would have been watched. Examined for the slightest colour of treason.

It's been two years and though I've glanced over my shoulder a few times, I've tried not to look back. I haven't really had the time though; not with accepting another agency's offer the eve of my Graduation. They wanted treason...? Devlan and NWI have been good to me though, accepting me as an operative and thankfully forgetting the perfect spy bullshit. I am an exceptional agent yes, but I have the reputation because I've earned it. Because I've shed blood, sweat, tears, and even my heart for it. I've died, forging the myth of prowess. Died and been resurrected from the ashes of Amy Bradshaw and the 'Perfect Score.' And I do mean that literally. The dying part.

Trudging into my spacious apartment, I kicked my door shut and after a few steps, dropped the heavy holdall onto the convenient bench top that served to separate the kitchen from the rest of my open-plan flat. I expelled a relieved sigh as I did, words unable to explain just how damn glad I was now safely within the confines of my home. The longer I worked, the more frequently the days came that I felt myself pushing against my skin. Most days, I was fine; content with my life and its neatly segmented borders and frames that kept it all from becoming cluttered and messy. This mission, though, had gone through the lovely boundaries and blew them to hell with an RPG. Personal met Professional with catastrophic consequences and now I was left in a massive sea of confusion.

What the hell had that all been about?

I tugged at my coat, pulling it from my shoulders as I let it slide down the length of my arms, wincing as the firm leather scraped over the trail a bullet left grazed upon my forearm. It was bad enough my knee hurt like all hell and a son of a bitch without the added irritations of cuts, bruises, and annoying new gash stitched on my shoulder. Of course, more of a distraction was the memory of the sure fingers sliding the needle and silk in with care and precision. Especially when I remembered what other attention and dexterity was contained within those digits.

GAH! I had to stop thinking about that! About that stupid mission with its insanely implausible twists and turns. But instead of listening to me, my brain chose to replay particular moments and bits over and over again in a torturous collage of sights, sounds, textures, and tastes. FUCK, I was going to go mad before the week was out!

Irritation accented my movements as I unbuckled my belt with sharp jerking motions. I chose not to slide it from the loops holding it in place; half worried I'd either abuse the poor stitching to the point of disrepair or frustrate myself needlessly. I was enough already. Grasping the bottom of my long-necked shirt and yanking hard, I pulled it off, heading towards my bathroom, the intention to scald the memories out of my mind and from my skin. As it was, I still hadn't been able to wash the mission or lingering surroundings from my body yet. I swear I could still /feel/ her. Could still smell and taste her.

With a half-strangled yell, I shucked the last of my clothes, boots flying halfway across the room with the force I kicked them off, my pants and bra following their course. I hit the shower control hard, making the water blast down with unforgiving persistence and before I could steel myself, I ducked under the spray. "YAH!" The yelp was ripped from my throat as I sprang backwards.

Shit, the water wasn't just cold; it was freezing! "Jesus H. Christ. Fuck, that's cold," I exclaimed, sagging against the cold tiles of the shower, just out of reach of the showerhead. Though the white wall was pretty damn cool against my back and behind, it was better than the icy water still clinging to my skin. The good news was it had shocked me enough for a few seconds of peace...but only a few. Then, memory of the freezing cold rain that night after the mission flooded back and I remembered the way form-fitting clothes had clung to her body further, even more of a second skin.

"Oh, for god's bloody sake," I expelled, in a truly frustrated growl, dodging under the spray of water, this time much hotter than before. Thankfully, the state of the art system was lodged with memory settings, granting me a reprieve from having to fight with the temperature to find the right level each and every time. Still, after the blast of frigid water before, the already uncommonly hot water was a quick shock to my system, drawing a gasp from my throat.

It worked though, the water hot enough to leave me half hopping around and dodging in and out of the water as my skin took its time acclimating to the spray that left it a rosy, bright red. Firmly, I pushed any thoughts to the side, not wanting to indulge in my usual post mission ritual of turning over the previous op's happenings while washing its traces from my flesh. As I scrubbed the cloth and soap over my left shoulder, careful to not tug on the stitching on my right, I found myself helpless against the memory of another hand there, soap aiding the slickness of our flesh against one another's.

Tipping my head back, I released a tortured groan. "God, Why the hell can't I get you out of my head?" I asked, something terribly akin to a plea in my voice. My mind quickly replied with a truth I wanted so much to deny. /'Because she isn't just in your head. Not anymore.'/

I let out a frustrated, unworded noise and shoved my head under the water, trying to drown the images out of my mind's eye. It didn't work. If it was at all possible, it made the fragmented flashes of sensation and perception blend together in inescapable waves, each crashing over me before the former truly passed.

The taste of her skin, first with the slightest hint of soap lingering and then later with the salty tang of mixed sweat. The unforgettable give and contradictory firm of her lips against my own. The texture of her tongue sliding against and tangling with my own. The slight nip of teeth against my neck, drawing a gasp from my throat, one echoed in the unforgiving acoustics of the tiled bathroom. The way her hands and mouth knew just where to go and what to do, despite the unfamiliar terrain. The thunder of her heart beneath my palm, answered in my own chest.

"GOD DAMNIT!" My hand slapped at the shower controls hard as I gave up trying and shoved the door open, fleeing the stall and memories that still chased me. "I swear to god, I'm going insane!"

~~~

I was cross. Actually, to be bluntly honest, I wasn't just cross; I was pretty much fucking psychotic by that point. No matter what I did, no matter what I tried, I just could not get the images and memory from my head. As though by some masochistic streak I'd never known myself to possess, my brain was determined to do what no one else had managed to do through electrocution, drugs, psychological warping, and pain. My brain was determined to break me.

The growl was low and fierce as I hauled the black duffle from the counter and essentially threw it into the bottom of a closet, not wanting to look at it. I might not want to think on anything from the mission or risk triggering another spastic flood of images, but I also knew I could *not* leave trace of my true job simply lying around my apartment. I was half insane, not stupid.

I had to find a way to escape it all though. If I didn't, I was either going to completely and utterly go off the deep end, or murder something. Possibly myself, but a keen sense of stubborn pride would not grant me that reprieve, so I was left with either madness or homicide. True, in my line of work, finding someone to dispatch was extremely easy, but that required being cleared for a mission, and that -in turn- meant all kinds of things that would remind me of the last one. And that way, madness lay with party hats and noisemakers.

A decision was made in the snap of a moment with me backtracking to my bedroom to pull on new clothes suited specifically to my plan of escape. If I couldn't lose myself in the heat of a battle or even the desired combat, then there was one last refuge I could try and seek. Things could still haunt me there, but I was banking on many more distractions to wrest my mind from memory to the present.

Forty-five minutes later after the indignant task of having to show my ID to the bouncer, I inhaled deeply, letting the scents of the packed club reach my nose and hopefully cleanse me of the insanity still cluttering my brain. When it failed to do the trick as well as hoped, I released a frustrated growl and cut a direct course for the bar, ordering something old and in all likelihood lethal. The bartender eyed me with a firm lack of belief that made me snap.

My hand was out and tangled in his shirt collar as I hauled him closer to make sure he heard my every word. "I have had the week from all hell and the only thing I really want to do at this point is forget it all. Now. I'm over twenty-one and I will give you my fucking ID if I have to, even though the dipshit at the door already examined it like the damn Getty Kouros. Just give me my goddamned drink!" I snarled into his ear, released him, and offered a disturbingly bright and sweet smile.

The poor man looked like all he wanted to do was back away very slowly from the crazy, dangerous lady, but as I'd already shown myself to possess scary tendencies and a speed to rival Jet Li, he very wisely took to mixing the drink in short order. As soon as he set it on the bar, I passed him the bills to cover it and slammed it down, making a hell of a face as the burning alcohol made quick work of the back of my throat. I barely resisted the urge to stomp my foot with the kick the drink possessed.

I looked up at him, a mildly sheepish expression in the face of his half-petrified one. "Sorry, very bad few days," I offered by way of apology.

He shrugged and gestured at the now empty glass. "You want another?" he asked awe beginning to touch his eyes as the lingering fear slowly started to ebb away.

Shaking my head, I replied, "Nah, I might be back in a bit though." I glanced out over the dance floor. "Think I'm gonna go see if I can forget." And then, before he could call after me or offer his number and more bar service, I was gone, an intense force leaving an empty space in my wake.

...

She moved like a creature possessed, twisting and swaying to the music with sinewy, liquid grace, putting one automatically in mind of mythic creatures of elegance and power. Dragon, gryphon, phoenix, and even the great cats of today were her kin, all possessing that intangible allure. It was impossible to tell who moved for whom -she to the music, or the music for her. Whoever the master, it didn't matter as each moved in tandem, seeming to be a part of one another; the bass throbbing in her heart, the steady rhythm pulsing thorough her veins. It was that way for us all.

For all appearances, despite the most clear, she seemed not of this world, giving herself to the thundering music as a dolphin does to the waves or a salamander the fires. Falling into the trance of the vibrations, she fell into her core, the evocative beauty of the score cleansing her mind and erasing it to an empty slate where only heat, flashes of light, the all ruling beat, and the sway of one's body existed. I knew all this because I felt it too. We all did; in a place like this, we were all seeking the same: a brush with dormant instincts and life. Daily lives shunned this world -that primal barely restrained behaviour- demanding something more controlled. It made the release all the more craved and intense.

Around the slender blonde, others tried to join in her dance, awed and captured by her abandon. They tried, but every one of them learned this intensity, the passion thrumming through her, was not for us. She danced for someone else and we were but mere observers, blessed with a gift of beauty and grace.

Painted on leather conformed to her lower half, the supple play of muscles accented on the hide. Though a bold statement, she easily carried it off with flawless confidence. And some how, when coupled with the leather, the simple white tank top became erotic, clinging as a second skin, stark against the black and healthy tan she sported, even in the early months of spring. Her arms bare and coated with a fine sheen of sweat, she tapped into unspoken desires, something of the primal and otherworldly clinging to her. And as I smoothly stalked, I was yet another of the many score enraptured by her, though I was just as curious as to what brought her here.

Common observation said she didn't want a partner, but something in her gorgeous, lithe body said she didn't want *them.* None had matched up to her and as I watched them all approach, I somehow knew they wouldn't stay. They didn't understand the drive. But I did, and I'd also not been raised a coward. Fortune didn't favour the bold, but a risk at least could pay off if you made the attempt.

Belief of that aside, when I finally stepped up along side the blonde and risked the same rejection as all those before me, the last thing I'd expected had been the whispered invitation. Purred in my ear with the husk and heat of twin salvation and sin, they hit hard; her voice easily one of the most erotic things I'd heard in all my life. Surprised, but not stupid, I barely gave sign that I'd expected anything but the throaty request to stay. The smirk the beautiful woman gave to me held knowledge, amusement, and even smug arrogance.

...

When I finally took a partner, it was one of my own choosing. A woman with dark hair and exotic olive skin; possessing a set of eyes so dark of a green they nearly appeared black. It truly didn't matter though; she was chosen not for her appearance -though pleasing- but instead for the same intensity displayed in her own movements. I recognised something that told me she would understand what drove me in my dance.

For now, she was perfect.

The same instinct that assured me of her comprehension knew it was her eyes I'd felt since entering the club. A gaze different than all the rest pinned to me since I'd slipped onto the floor. I was no babe in the woods, not here, and not anymore. I knew I was desired; could feel the hunger in the very air around me. For me. I knew, revelled in it, and couldn't care less in all the same breath. Rarely, did I let this predatory facet of my nature be sighted unless under the careful guise of Gryphon. This was who I played when an agent. This was my darker, primal self and as I'd been ungently reminded recently, this was still very much me.

...

When my arm became hooked around her neck, Iím not quite aware. What I knew was that as my own sweat-slicked wrist slid against the bare shoulders, I wanted to taste the salt on the sun-kissed flesh. Wanted to know just not what this nocturnal goddess of fantasy and desire tasted like, but also wanted the mixed flavours of both our flesh to caress my tongue and slide down my throat. I wanted what everyone else in the club craved, but the difference between them and me was the hunger in silver cerulean was directed at me.

Oh, I knew it wasn't /for/ me. I knew I was a distraction. A stand in for another who -out of some inexplicable reason- was unattainable. I knew all this, but just because I wasn't the initial cause was no reason to reject such a coveted, extraordinary gift.

No, I had my own reasons to be here this night and even though I'd not banked on that particular release, I'd been taught to take a gift with thanks. This wasn't a gift though, this long lean body pressed hard and close against my own was bounty from Olympus itself, brought to this place of shadows on Helios' chariot. I was simply the most blessed mortal of us all.

...

The door slammed back against the wall only to be roughly shoved back in place and locked, an impatient flick of the wrist ensuring at least a small amount of privacy. Rarely, was I viewed as aggressive; my normally warm and friendly nature gentling the otherwise unyielding edge of what lay beneath. As my unexpected partner's shoulders hit the cool sheet of metal coating the stall, my hard thigh separating hers, pushing against her need with maddening pressure, 'gentle' was not a word in either of our vocabulary.

Tearing my mouth away from the shorter woman's, I descended upon a darkly tanned neck, tongue and teeth working the bronze-coloured flesh. Even as I nipped and bruised with exacting care, I was sure to listen to my partner's cues. Though, if the hand tangled in the hair at my nape, tugging at long locks almost painfully was sign enough, she possessed no objection. If anything, from the way she gripped my ass and pulled my hips harder against hers, I was not working with acceptable speed.

That drew a chuckle from me, even as I listened, unbuttoning my partner's fly with aggravating deliberateness. I'd learned both from the best and my own exploration just what teasing did and to my smug amusement, she proved me effective. Hissed in my ear, the words taut and strained as they were made me laugh.

"You enjoy driving me up the fucking wall, don't you?" Her first words to me, but not to be the last I'd provoke.

The grin I pulled back to deliver was feral and predatory before I claimed her mouth again, plundering it with abandon. As my tongue found slippery purchase against and with the dark woman's own, questing digits discovered the same as I slipped passed denim barrier. I took care, but not enough to slow from the gasping haste that pervaded every sense, driving hard and deep, with thrusts that left my partner groaning into my mouth.

...

Desperate and out of my fucking mind for more of her sure touch, I lifted a leg, wrapping it around the blonde's thigh. Another firm push of her hips left me gasping as I tore my mouth away, closing my lips tightly around the cry threatening to rip forth from my throat. "Gahmoh toh; don't stop," was all I could manage, slipping into my native tongue in a way I hadn't with another in years. Something about her made me forget which words were of what language, reducing me even to the point of losing them completely.

It was the very same 'something' that bid me to open my eyes, though I don't remember letting them close with her first stroke. A gaze once the colour of the sky and cornflowers, now as dark as indigo met mine, hitting with a near physical impact. The glittering intensity of passion held a dark demand that drove me faster, harder. Christ, maybe it was possible to see one's innermost desires in another's eyes.

Then, her thumb found me and I was a writhing mass of sensation and ecstasy pushed higher and further. My mouth claimed again, she swallowed my moans, reducing cries to a simple whimper. Her hands were everywhere, giving into some natural predisposition of tactileness -the curse I'd seen in artists driven by the need to record every texture, catalogue every sensation. Intent and skilled, her roaming hand and tongue drove me to madness, but it was her fingers buried deep within me and circling prehensile digit that triggered the explosion across my senses.

Vision white, I pushed us both from the body-warmed steel with my shoulders as I arched fiercely. She continued to muffle me as I called out wordlessly -no name to speak and beyond the use of them anyway. As the crash swept through me, convulsions making me wild, the strange blonde who'd taken such a keen interest in me held my weight with her body and the wall, granting me several minutes to simply climb down and complete the arduous task of returning to myself.

When I finally opened my eyes again, I found myself met by a gaze returned to the inviting summer-blue. Tension and need still lurked there, accompanied by the humming I could feel through my fingertips splayed across one shoulder and another hip. The blonde's eyes were a little clearer, though, having seemed to find some sort of reprieve. Still, there prowled something just barely hidden, a haunting I desperately wanted to banish, if only for a moment. If only to repay this gorgeous creature for the unbelievable gift.

Gentler than my lover before, I exchanged our positions. Arching up, I met the blonde in another kiss; she was hot in my mouth, humming her wants and desires through her tongue and lips. Christ Almighty, this was definitely a woman worth staying up all through the night with and long into the next morning. She could do things with her tongue that just... Fuck tying a knot in a cherry stem.

Hands insistently tugging the sweat-dampened tank top from its leather home, and as my searching hand found firm muscles beneath silky skin, I drew in a breath sharply, inhaling our shared scent deeply. Curling the fingers of one hand, I brushed my knuckles against the curve of her ribs as I pulled away from her mouth. Flashing a grin of mischief and promise, I smoothly dropped first to one knee and then the second. Amid my descent, my tongue trailed down the long torso, worshipping gently defined abs with my mouth. Kala oh theh-ohs, I'd always had a weakness for a woman with a toned stomach.

Electric blue eyes widened as her fevered brain connected with my intentions. An exhaled "Oh, god," escaped her lips as she let her head tilt back and rest against the wall, her throat exposed in a way that made me want to groan. She was, it seemed, content to let me take the apparent lead.

My own viridian eyes remained fixed on the blonde's features, reading and interpreting every flicker, twitch, and smooth plane of her face. She was a study in cool control, distant enough to brush at irritation and provoke one to strive harder to make that calm break. She was the kind of woman born with power in her grasp before her first breath taken. Certain communities would give anything to count her among their number...

Instead of insulting or angering me, I chose to take the reserve in the spirit with which it was given. Both an incentive and this mysterious woman's effort to put a distance between what plagued her and her foremost thoughts. It was something I could understand and sympathise with, being a cop. Instinct told me this child of sunrays and shadows carried a similar burden and thus, the need to forget. And I so very much wanted to give that to her.

With skill most on the bomb-squad would envy, my deft hands unbuckled the clasp of the fine leather belt, not fumbling once, even as I eased each set of teeth open. Slipping slender hands beneath the well-loved, butter-soft pants, I revelled in the duel textures of hide. The flexing of firm muscles beneath my palms very nearly made me whimper as she rolled her hips. Instead though, I took the cue and gift of aid, letting the motion help slip the trousers over the blonde's hips and down gorgeously shaped and tanned thighs.

Returning my tongue to the flesh so coveted, I found myself rewarded with a sharp inhale and reflexive jump of stomach muscles, betraying a sensitive area. Brushing it lightly with the bridge of my nose I both filed the knowledge away and used the motion to gasp through the sudden blast of heat running roughshod over me before I resumed my quest.

Nudging her knees apart to grant me better access, I was careful to avoid the hellishly coloured bruising on the left, but otherwise ignored it. The gift of the stranger's body didn't grant me secrets or details, only flesh and passion. Rearing back, I played my part well, a question held within my eyes. The fact that permission was given with a single nod, that she not even opened her eyes to know the request, coiled the tension of arousal deep in my stomach tighter. Kala oh theh-ohs! Who was this woman and how had I ever gained her favour?

The question was pushed from my consciousness, washed away with my first taste of heated flesh. I groaned, humming against already vibrating folds as I took to my task with renewed vigour and then I was everywhere imaginable. Sliding in amongst slick folds, tracing and tasting my way across terrain I learned skilfully with the texture of my tongue, each burst of pleasure heady and thickening to my senses. Another moment saw my hand brushing a path up soft inner thigh, but just as my fingers were poised to enter, a hand on my wrist halted me. The touch was soft but didn't need pressure or grip to contain command.

She gave me a short shake of her head, and I shrugged internally, taking the denial in easy stride. Smooth acceptance aside, I chose to take the request as a challenge of sorts, one I was happy enough to undertake. A swirling pattern employed, I taunted and teased, sweeping in broad and tight, breaking rhythm as it was established until I saw the blonde reach out to grip the hand-hold bolted to the wall, her grip knuckle-white. That was her one concession, the only thing I -the woman kneeling between her knees, whose tongue was buried deep in her flesh- was granted. And by all that was holy, it was beautiful.

...

Diligently she worked, sucking, nipping, stroking for that perfect angle, for the right pressure, this woman I knew nothing of working so damn hard for me. Her tongue curled and flattened, exploring all that she could reach, learning each rise and cleft with skill beautiful enough to make me sob. The sharpness with which I drew my breath and pulsing throb around her tongue exposed my readiness, told of how near I tread.

And then I came, a stiffening contraction and groaning fluid. With skill and grace, the woman rode out the spasm, adjusting her pace but not ceasing her ministrations until I reached down to touch the dark head with my left hand, my right still firmly wrapped around the bar.

My partner smiled up at me, justly pleased at the flush colouring my chest and cheeks. As she rose, responding to the tug from my fingers buried in her inky curls, she slipped my pants up with her, easing them over slender hips as I claimed her mouth. Half distracted by the taste of my partnerís tongue and myself, I stiffened and drew in an involuntary gasp at the sudden intrusion. My eyes snapped open as I pulled my mouth away, searching the face for explanation or motive.

I didn't know whether to hate or be glad for the sympathetic understanding I saw instead.

...

"Shh," I soothed, whispering in her ear. Easing my fingers out, I returned with a gentle stroke that's aching care obvious, caused her eyes to fall shut. Captivated, I watched the blonde work her jaw and bite her kiss-swollen lip, releasing a shuddering sigh I could've echoed. "Just let me. Please."

I recognised the madness clouding those magnificent eyes, miring everything and giving it the weight of eternity and self-damnation. I knew it from feeling it myself when the job got too much. And, I also knew it would take so much more to break this massive storm gathering, but maybe I could take the edge away.

It was this that gave me the strength to weather the gaze I was to find myself pinned with. Eyes so dark and blue flicked open, viewing me with guards I'd not seen before on the dim dance floor or as I'd been taken. Regarded and searched, left coolly feeling naked, somehow I held that shuddering look. Then, she nodded and I nearly wept at the grant.

...

"Oh, Christ," the groan escaped as I loosened a little of my iron control. The choice had lain before me stark and damningly simple in the gentle green gaze. Hold out, fight for that reserve I'd not found once in the last week, or give. Surrender to what we both knew I so very desperately needed. Pride or sanity were my choices.

As with all the times in my life, for all the appearance, these were not of my choosing. The true question was always, when would I bow to a demand I'd given to long before. And between the unrelenting hand buried deep in the apex of my thighs, the other both helping to hold me up and torment a nipple under my tank, and the maddening sharp pressure against my carotid artery, it simply was too much. Sensation and incoherent thought inescapable, I gave in, barely able to bite back on the name threatening to be cried out. My partner saved me from doing so, releasing my breast and neck to curl a hand around my neck and tug me down for an intense kiss.

...

Engaging her mouth in a distracting kiss, my tongue contorting around my lover's, I stroked deeper, drove harder. As I explored the hot cavern of her mouth, I felt the tightly would tension coiling ever tighter and couldn't help but spare the brief wondering thought of if I'd survive the blonde's release. The hand at my hip gripped with bruising intensity, betraying the nearness of it becoming reality, driving me harder, faster.

Just before my hand would've cramped, the woman in my arms came, contracting around my hand, stretched around my still moving fingers. Together, we rode out the crashing, contorting waves; the climax brutal and fierce as it swept through her, leaving her languid and raw in its wake. Still though, I tasted the lingering twists of thrumming tension and knew I'd yet to complete my self-appointed task.

...

A breath before I would have come down completely, the sweet fullness returned, sinking into my depths, drawing a long, low groan from my throat. I had to tear my mouth away, needing to suck in a deep lungful of air, my head spinning in tandem with the eddy of emotion I was defenceless to control. "N'artho, ksanthee ahgahpitee mou."

I heard the whispered words; not knowing their meaning, but able to feel what was behind them. Each stroke as my partner pressed deep, my own body responding with eager need as each brush of hypersensitive nerves cascaded through, drawing the softest noise from my throat. Need coiled too tight, the high-tensile spring of heat and my stubborn grip to control finally snapped.

My cluttered mind of clamouring thought and chaotic emotion finally, blissfully, shut the hell up. I bit my lip hard, the warm rush of metallic fluid an irritating familiarity. Quietly, I choked out my silent release; sure, deep strokes ensuring the last of my passion spent. Dimly, in some part of my mind, I was aware of my so very unexpected lover refastening my pants and belt, leaving my tank untucked as her hand drew soothing patterns across my flat stomach.

Then, I let myself do what I rarely could; I let myself drift for a few minutes, simply basking in the distance to my awareness and warmth, like a cat in a patch of sunlight. It was only the second time in as many years that I was able to let my guard drop to the degree that it had, to allow a momentary lapse in my psychotic vigil. Undoubtedly, I would berate myself when my mind righted itself, but for a few stolen moments, Gryphon was silent and I simply was.