Inglorion paces for another hour after Virginia flees the sitting room in tears. He dreads joining her in her bedchamber. His stomach is churning. There’s no chance he’ll get into trance. He has to saddle up and ride out in less than five hours, well before dawn.
Finally he climbs the stairs, his steps heavy with dread and shame. He stops in her dressing room, strips off his clothes and hangs them up, then enters her bedchamber. She’s absolutely still — too still for trance. He can’t hear or see her breathing.
He slips under the covers. She’s curled up with her back to him. He snuggles up to her. He can feel the tension in her neck and back. She’s clenching her jaw. He’s touched to realize that she’s still fighting to hold back tears.
He buries his face in her hair, and even though she’s angry, the smell and feel comforts him. “I love you so much, Virginia,” he whispers. “Please try to understand. I’m sorry. I wish —” He breaks off. What does he wish? “I wish I were someone else. I wish everything were different. I’m sorry.”
He feels her soften a bit. She half-turns towards him, and he kisses her ear, her cheek. It’s natural to him to try to win her back with kisses, even though he knows that passion confuses her. He murmurs, “I’m sorry, darling. I love you so much. I wish I were better at everything. I wish you could forgive me.”
They’re both silent for a long time, lying there anxious and miserable, only half-reassured by each other’s touch.
Finally she says in a low, hoarse voice, “I’m terrified I’ll lose both of you. I feel helpless when you’re out there.”
He pulls her closer, kisses the nape of her neck reverently. “I love you more than life itself. I’ll always come back to you.”
She turns to face him in the dark and says in a small, sad voice, “I wish you would love your own life and preserve it. Inglorion, please be careful.”
Her eyes search his face in the gloom. She sees his profile as a vague glow, while he can see every detail of her expression — the tears cooling on her cheeks.
“Oh, my love,” he says. “I’ve never been good or careful. But I always think of you.”
He strokes her hair, feels her incline towards him. He twines his fingers in her curls, kisses her lips. He rolls her onto her back, pins her arms over her head. She’s wearing a silk dressing gown, and it’s easy enough to tease it open. All the while, he feels her giving way before him, conceding with her very body that this is what she wants, that she chose him and he cannot change. She’s tiny and lithe and warm, and he adores the feeling of her nipples hard against his chest. His cock presses against her thigh.
She’s just starting to get wet, but there’s a bead of fluid on the tip of his cock. She deftly rubs it over the head and shaft — a delicate sensation, the touch of her fingertips, cold, slick, sticky. He starts to press into her, trailing kisses down her jaw and throat, sucking her nipples.
She spreads her legs wider, rears up towards him. It’s as if she wants him before she’s truly ready. It’s rough, almost painful — his control is imperfect.
He reaches down to caress her, feels how tiny she is, how wide her legs are spread, and freezes for fear of losing control. Her eyes are closed and her face is slightly averted. Her strongest desire is to give in to him, to surrender entirely and recklessly in the face of fear and sorrow. He moves gradually, working his way in more deeply with each thrust. “I love you,” he whispers sweetly.
He’s all the way in now, and he’s overwhelmed with mingled excitement, tenderness and remorse. He kisses her face and neck and shoulders, murmuring, “I love you, Virginia. I love you.”
She turns to him, and he sees her eyes flutter open. Though nothing has changed and he’s done nothing to earn it, she looks at him with naive joy and trust. This is what he’ll treasure later, over the days ahead: The sight of her tear-stained face alight with joy.
What did she see as she looked up at him? His vague gaze, his earnest and hopeful expression, a stray lock of white hair falling across his forehead. He’s entirely strange to her — exotic, brilliant, fiery. She chose him, and no matter how rash or high-handed he may be, she can’t imagine allowing any other man to hold her like this and lose himself within her.
As she watches, he drives himself deep into her and holds for a long moment, rocking his hips gently, striving to bury himself further, to fill her entirely. His brow is knit, he’s biting his lip. Suddenly, she’s overcome. He feels her lifting her hips eagerly, straining against him.
He pins her down and slams into her, long, hard, pile-driving strokes. His sweat drips down on her, and he comes with shattering force, crying out.
There’s a long, blank moment of utter intoxication, then he finds himself lying on his back. Her head is resting on his chest, and his arms are wrapped around her.
She feels abject, slavish adoration, blind feminine devotion. She’s speechless as he runs his fingers through her hair, and says softly, “I love you so much, Virginia.” Soon, he’s in trance.
She follows him down, allows her breath and heartbeat to mingle with his.
For the first episode of Inglorion’s adventures, click here.
For a linked table of contents, listing all of Inglorion and Valentine’s adventures, click here.