said_scarlett: (Ming)
Faye ([personal profile] said_scarlett) wrote2013-12-16 09:36 pm

Lost Odyssey Fic

Some Jansen/Ming smut! Humor.



How very strange it was, the way things always seemed to circle back to the beginning.

Ming paused inside the doorway of her conservatory, her smile growing as she remembered the last time she had sat here at her harp. How startled she had been, to look up and find a stranger before her - in the middle of the ocean, in her own private rooms! And how little she had known then, how naive she had been. She understood, in her rational mind, that her failure to curb Kakanas was due to the sealing of her memories. Her strength, her assuredness, her steel had all been sealed away as well. A thousand years of knowledge, a thousand years of quelling rebellion and keeping herself always two steps ahead of the Kakanas's of the world had done her nothing.

But was it truly so terrible? Had she never sealed her memories, had she taken care of Kakanas before his treachery had reached its height…. Well, she certainly wouldn't have traveled to Grand Staff. The 'nevers' seemed to stretch on to infinity from there, so many moments that would never have come to pass. How many looks, how many brief touches, how many whispered words had been bought by her betrayal of herself? She shivered, torn between her own selfish desire and her own regrets.

"Ming? Are you sure about this? Cause, I mean…there's no need to, uh, rush…."

That brought her smile back. Ming turned, reaching for Jansen's hand without thinking. "A queen never takes action unless she's certain."

Though she had been uncertain, in those early years. And then again in those thirty years of darkness - the darkness that Jansen himself had brought her from. But those were behind her now, and she was certain. More-so now, she supposed, at Jansen's fumbled missive. Was he asking for her comfort, or for his? What a fascinating man he was! For months, so bold and roguish…. She remembered the Royal Carriage, huddled together in a frail shell of magic with death pressing in at every side. And even then he had flirted and teased and pressed his affection. And now that she confirmed it all, he blushed and stuttered and swallowed his words in his nervousness.

"Well, far be it from me to question a queen! And if you're taking, I'm giving." He squeezed her hand and Ming laughed, shaking her head and flushing slightly. He always made her laugh. "Wow, that was lame, but…hey, made you laugh. You've got a great laugh."

"Come." She tugged at his hand. "This way." She led him along the curved gradients of the conservatory, ignoring the harp now, to a nearly hidden door off the side of the room. Again she paused. Would anyone be wondering where they were? Looking for either of them? Had Cooke and Mack kept their word, to keep what they saw and heard on the deck to themselves? Ming had no desire to keep this a secret, but there were those who may not take the news…terrible well. She only preferred that she be able to share the news herself. It would simply be better that way.

"I really hate repeating myself, and I don't want to bug you, but…."

"No, it isn't that." Ming waved her hand vaguely, knowing he was only going to ask her if she was certain again. "I'm only wondering if perhaps I should have properly excused myself. If anyone comes to look for me…."

"And by 'anyone', you mean Seth, right?"

"Her name had passed through my mind, yes." Ming shook her head fondly. "I'm afraid that somewhere down the line, she appointed herself the ever-vigilant defender of my honor."

"Yeah…I'm gonna get kicked again, aren't I? And probably not in the backside this time..." He was smiling. She met his eyes and all that she saw in them was the only thing she had ever seen since regaining her memories. Nothing but warmth and love, and all of it for her.

"I promise I'll protect you. I have a vested interest in your...frontside, after all."

They laughed again, and Ming wondered if Jansen too was remembering that first time they met. How fitting it was to consummate what had begun so long ago in the very place. He stepped closer and Ming tipped her head as she had done on the deck, wanting to finish what he had tried to start. This time there were no interruptions and their lips met, him kissing her. Ming's legs threatened to give out from under her and her stomach tightened in a way that was surprisingly pleasant. Her lips parted under his and his arms went around her and he was pressing her against the doorframe….

"Mmm….Jansen…."

The only response was a brief groan against her mouth which sent shivers through her. It took all her willpower to pull away, to look down, to catch her breath.

"…wha…?"

She looked up at him through lowered lashes, coy. "Shouldn't we move to the bedroom?"

"The…oh! Right! Bedroom. With the bed. Yes. Yes. That would be a really good idea." He was blushing again. Or there was color in his cheeks, at least. Ming opened the door and led him inside. It slid shut smoothly behind them and a strange quiver unfurled itself up her thighs.

"….wow. No cutting corners on luxury around here, huh?"

"Of course not." She supposed her own chambers were significantly more grand than any of the guest suites, but why shouldn't it be? She was forced to admit, in her heart of hearts, that she was a creature of comfort and opulent beauty. The floor was tiled mosaic in blues and whites, covered here and there with elegant handwoven rugs. What furniture there was - desk, end tables, armoire - were carved by masters from rare woods. Tapestries and elaborate pieces of art decorated the walls. And of course, there was the bed. It had never looked quite this big to her, this important. Canopied and dressed in a myriad of pillows and shams, it seemed something almost foreign now. Her stomach quivered.

Does he realize….I've never shared my bed?

She lowered the lights and slipped off her bracelets, laying them on her desk. She heard Jansen moving behind her, the soft rustling of his clothes. What was he doing? She didn't dare look, for fear he would see something on her face, some indecision and mistake it. She opened drawers, drawing out incense and candles. Ming, you're stalling. And being ridiculous. At the very worst, you'll simply have to deal with a flustered and tongue-tied Jansen again. But not just yet. There was one more thing to do and it wasn't stalling - it was simply practical. She lit incense and candles and finally turned back to Jansen.

Ah. He was taking off his shoes. But why on earth is he just standing there holding them?

"You don't mind if I change into something more comfortable? And for goodness sakes, Jansen, you can put your shoes down."

"No, 'course I don't mind. Go right ahead." She moved to her bathroom as he spoke, leaving the outer door open but closing the one that separated her changing area from the bathing area. He was still talking. "…not really thinking right. I'm…I guess I'm still trying to convince myself this is all real. I don't just mean this, now, I mean…you. And me. Us. Holy crap, we're an 'us'!"

"Yes, we are!" Ming stripped off her elaborate leathers and tossed them aside with little care. Oh…bother! Why don't I have a single simple article of clothing? Because she was queen, and a great lover of fashion. Neither of which mattered a whit at the moment. What did matter was finding something that didn't have dozens of buckles or ties or buttons. Finally she found something, white faille embroidered with silver that tied at the shoulders and somehow - bless the miracles of modern textile technology - managed to both cling and fall in graceful waves and folds. She hesitated a moment, her hand over her breastplate, discarded for the moment on the counter. Jansen had already seen what was beneath it, of course, but old habits died hard.

Leave it, the voice in her mind told her. So she did.

"You know," she continued, stepping back into her bedroom. "I've never been part of an 'us' before."

"Oh boy." Jansen had taken a seat at the foot of her bed. He was practically gaping at her, and Ming felt a sudden shyness creep through her. Was he that taken aback by the idea?

"I had thought you realized…. I told you that I never grew close to anyone."

"Oh, were you talking? Sorry, I…uh, kinda wasn't listening. It's just…you look incredible, Ming. I mean, you always do, but…like this…." He was waving his hands and wetting his lips and Ming only bit the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing at him. He'd calm down. Eventually. "Jeeze, how'd a guy like me end up with the most beautiful woman in the world? And you know, it's not just…you're more than that. You're brilliant and elegant and strong and….incredible."

Oh. "Yes, I believe you mentioned something about that before." Ming lowered her eyes and her hand came up to cover her mouth. She could feel her lips twitch, some subconscious part of her mind attempting to force them into what would surely be an idiot's grin. She had been complimented - and even courted - before, but it had never meant anything to her. Men had lusted for her because of her beauty, her body, her power and her wealth. Despite his seeming superficialness, she doubted Jansen cared about any of that. She knew he didn't care about her queenship. Or rather that he did, but only because he had assumed it meant there could be nothing between them.

"You do have rather spectacular luck…."

"I'd say this is more along the lines of a miracle than luck." He stood as he spoke, and Ming knew the tone of his voice and the look on his face. The same look as on the deck, as in the conservatory. Did he even realize that every time he looked at her, his love was as bare as a winter's tree? The smile on his lips, the warmth in his eyes…. He was reaching for her, his hands seeking the curve of her waist.

"Jansen…."

"Yeah?"

And now what? How on earth could she tell him without any awkwardness? She hardly wanted him worked up into a frenzy of nerves again! But it wouldn't be fair to not tell him. Besides, it was….important. She knew full well that Jansen had had dozens - at least - of lovers before her, but that was of no consequence. He was a young man who thrived on life's pleasures, and that was part of what drew her to him so strongly. And he was mortal. She had been able to wait without fear. Not that she had ever imagined she would be able to take a lover, or would ever meet anyone who slipped so easily and seamlessly through her emotional defenses. Even had she, the imagination could never have lived up to reality.

"I meant what I said, to Cooke."

"Yeah?" Still smiling, laughing, but there was desire as well as humor now. Ming met his eyes from under lowered lashes once more. Her hand reached up, touching him as she had touched him hours before. Too subtle, she supposed.

"When I said that you're the only man for me, I meant it in every way possible." She paused, watching as a curious and perplexed expression came over his features. Still too subtle, apparently. She took a deep breath, waiting for perhaps the pieces to click together in his mind.

"Uh…." Nothing clicked. Ming stroked his cheek, fingers soft as butterflies over his skin.

"Jansen. There has never been another before you. In my heart, in my life, or in my bed."

Ming held her breath, watching Jansen's eyes cautiously. He said nothing at first, nor did his expression change any. He still regarded her with perplexed curiosity, his hands resting just above her hips. She watched as his eyes changed. First widening, then narrowing, then widening again. He almost drew back, his head turning and tilting away from her.

"….Really?"

She couldn't help it. She rolled her eyes and her hand slipped into his hair, holding onto him. She wasn't about to let him pace and flail this time. "Is it really so difficult to believe?"

"Never? I mean…a thousand years and you've never?" Still shocked, still trying to comprehend exactly what she had just told him.

"There is a great deal of trust involved, Jansen. And closeness. And the ability to be open and vulnerable with another person. Those things don't come easily to me. Naturally, at least. I know that when my memories were sealed…." Gods, there was so much to try and explain, and now was hardly the time to do so.

"Yeah." Jansen nodded. "You were…different. I mean, not much, but….I know what you're trying to say."

Of course he did. If anyone had been in a position to notice the subtle changes in her, it was Jansen. For so many months she had relied upon him, in a way. He had always been there, by her side, to help her and support her and protect her. From the very first moment they had met one another's eyes, he had acted with nothing but her best interests at heart. Even his flirtations had been all bark and no bite, despite Seth's repeated warnings. Certainly he wanted her as a lover from the start, but perhaps even then he had loved her truly. He had opportunity after opportunity to take or press advantage, and never once had. When he touched her, it was courtly and chaste. When he stared, or his eyes wandered over her body, she knew there was respect and affection along with want and desire.

It had both pleased and frightened her. Despite no memories, she knew she had never taken a lover. And there was no aching in her heart, no hole left by a lost loved one. When Kaim and Seth spoke of their feelings and knowing that Gongora had ripped those most precious to them away, Ming could only nod politely. She had never had anyone precious to her. Not before now. And when her memories confirmed this - more-so than she could ever have imagined - she had no choice but to face her fear. At least then she was able to understand them. And accept that she was already head over heels in love with Jansen.

"But… I can't believe that no other guys have ever gone after you."

Ming shook her head. "I have been pursued before. But my former suitors may as well have been courting a sculpture for all the response I gave them. Their hearts were not pure and their intentions were…dishonorable."

"All of'em?"

"…No. I suppose not. But Jansen, it hardly matters. You're the first and only man I've loved." Ming could feel her cheeks darkening with a flush of emotion. She felt it inside of her, welling up like a sun that warmed and filled every part of her. She had never realized it felt so wonderful. Perhaps Kaim and the others had spent thirty years existing without living, empty shells that walked the earth. She had spent the entire thousand. She stepped further into the circle of Jansen's arms, cupped his face with her hands.

"And now, if it isn't too much trouble, I would very much like it if you made love to me."

He kissed her then. It wasn't like the kiss on the deck or the kiss in her harp chamber. It was soft and brief and close-lipped but it sent tremors and shivers through her all the same. When he pulled away, she thought she was going to fall.

"I'd…be honored, Ming."

And now they were simply standing there, blushing and looking at one another. How silly they both were, and over something so easy! She had to laugh. She tried to stifle it, lest Jansen think she was laughing at him, but…they were being ridiculous. And far too serious!

"You're very cute when you're being courtly."

"Just 'cute', huh? I think I can do better than 'cute'." Jansen moved before Ming could even register what the sudden, sly look in his eyes meant. One moment she was standing, her hands on Jansen's shoulders and the next she was swept off her feet and cradled in his arms.

"Oh!" Again, Ming was reminded of the circle they had made. She laced her hands around his neck, shivering at the warmth of his hands against her.

"Still cute?"

"Mmm….I'd say you've moved to devastatingly seductive."

"Devastatingly seductive, huh? I think I like that. And speaking of moving…." He turned and tossed her onto the bed and she gasped in surprise and pleasure. Her faille gown rode up her legs and one strap slipped from her shoulder. She could feel her hair loosening from its tail, already loosened from the long night and wind of the port. She felt young and new and exhilarated, and all because of the sweet and silly man who had barged into her life one unsuspecting morning.

"Jansen!" Ming laughed as she sat up on the bed, her arms stretched behind her. Jansen scrambled onto the bed with her, on his hands and knees. Her legs were stretched out under him and a blush rose up in her cheeks once more. She wasn't an entire innocent, but she had never quite been in this position herself. It was rather surprising how much a all those years worth of romance novels had prepared her for the moment. Of course, romance novels were always full of knavish rakes with hearts of gold who kidnapped courtly maidens that were destined to fall in love with them.

Apparently life really did imitate fiction.

"What are you giggling about?"

Ming wet her lips, aware of how close Jansen was. Of course they'd been closer on the deck, even in Ghotza, but now they were in her bed and Jansen had leave to cease being such a gentleman.

"I was just thinking how you remind me of a hero from a romance book."

"What? Are you kidding me?" Jansen laughed and shook his head. "Aren't they all pretty girly boys who say 'thee' a lot?"

"They most certainly are not!" As she spoke, Jansen inched forward slowly. It was playful but predatory at the same time. She was nearly trapped beneath him now and she leaned back to allow him to move further up her body.

"Oh yeah? So you've got a lot of experience with romance book heros, huh?"

"A fair amount, yes. And my favorites were always the handsome scoundrels who whisked the fair maiden away on adventure." She was practically laying on her back now, Jansen angled over her. Her breathing was coming very rapidly now and she could feel her heart fluttering in her throat.

"Really?" That one piece of hair that escaped his tie hung over his eye, and his lips were curved in a wicked grin. "Well look at that. We've got a handsome scoundrel and a fair maiden right here. And we're on an adventure."

"And you kidnapped me."

"Hey, you told me I could! S'not kidnapping when the kidnap-ee is willing."

"Then you….spirited me away. Which does sound more romantic."

"Exactly! And hey…when we're telling people how we met and stuff, could you maybe not mention the…spiriting away stuff?"

"You mean that you kidnapped me?" Ming couldn't resist the chance to tease. Jansen was terribly adorable when he blushed. Once again she wrapped her hands around the back of his neck, holding him.

"Yeah."

"Twice."

"…we have got to make up a new story about how we met. And stop saying 'kidnap'! It makes me sound really creepy." His head bowed as he laughed and Ming pulled him close, holding him against her as she joined him in laughter.

"I think it's very sweet, actually." She played with the fine hairs at the nape of Jansen's neck, threading her fingers through them. "I thought you were very sweet, the first time we met. Foolish and at least half-mad, but sweet. Your words were ridiculous flattery, but your eyes…." She stroked his hair, feeling the warmth of him against her and the gentle heat of his breath against her bare shoulder. "You had such kind eyes. And I knew that you spoke the truth in the boiler room."

"Yeah?"

"Yes. You might have attempted to seduce me with flattery and then knock me out with a sleep spell, but you were honestly concerned for my well being. It was so strange to me! We'd never even met, and yet I saw more care for me in your eyes than in those of my so-called 'trusted advisor'."

"So why'd you turn my legs to stone?"

"I believe I told you. I'm a queen, I couldn't just run away with you. And despite trusting your intentions, I had no idea who you were or where you came from or how you got onto my ship in the first place. Two countries were already at war with unrest in the third. Magic energy had been going mad. As sweet and handsome and determined as you were, I had a great deal of things concerning me." All of which turned out to be intertwined after all. Thankfully.

"Is that why you sounded so sad on your harp? All the politics stuff getting to you?"

"No." Ming cupped Jansen's face in her hands and lifted it until their eyes met. "It was not politics that saddened my harpsong. It was my own loneliness. Perhaps they were just silly words of flippant flattery, but…you did as you promised, Jansen. You took away my sorrow."

"Ming…aw, damn it!" Jansen was pulling away, sitting back on his heels and raking his hands over his face.

"What? Jansen, what is it?" Had she said something wrong? Was it too much, too soon? She hadn't thought….

"It's just…you're so good with words. And I'm…not. I mean, not really. I mean…when you speak from your heart, it sounds good. When I do…well, you've heard me."

"Yes, I have. Perhaps your words aren't eloquent or studied, but they won my heart even so."

"See, you're doing it again."

"I am a queen."

"Yeah….hey, about that…I'm not breaking any laws here, am I?"

"What?" Ming had to laugh, so taken aback was she by the question.

"You know. Kissing the queen. Touching the queen. Jumping into bed with the queen….I'll be honest, I really don't know how dating royalty works. I don't want to wake up with my neck in a noose."

"That's ridiculous, Jansen. We don't even have hangings in Numara. We execute those criminals who require it with knives."

"…that's not even remotely better."

"You aren't going to face any consequences. Except perhaps from Seth, but I honestly can't imagine she'd do more than give you amiable grief."

"And kick me."

"Just tell her that Cooke already took care of it."

"Oh ha ha, that's funny. She left a bruise, you know! Those damn little pointy feet of hers…"

"You poor thing." She kissed the corner of his mouth. He turned his head and caught her mouth properly, and then she was on her back in bed with Jansen stretched out over her. There was a momentary flash of fear - she was vulnerable, she was exposed, she couldn't afford this! - but it passed before it could take any real hold. The familiar feel and scent of the man in her arms kept her grounded. She had denied herself this for a millennium, vehemently, and her memories warned her as her body rose to Jansen's touch. The memories be damned. There would be pain down the road, unimaginable pain, but if that was the price to pay for this beautiful warmth that had filled her, so be it.

Jansen had moved on to kiss her throat. She tipped back her head, shivering as his lips and tongue moved over her skin. She reached for whatever edge of clothing she could find, tugging at hems and sashes and ties and stays and scarves. And she'd been worried about her own clothing! She tore at knots and pulled at fastenings, but to no avail. And the trail of passioned kisses that Jansen was trailing up her neck to the shell of her ear wasn't making it very easy to concentrate. The way he was running his fingers over the curve of her shoulder didn't help, either.

"Jansen…."

Whatever reply he made was too muffled against her skin for her to make out, but clearly he understood what she was interrupting him for. Managing to balance himself on his knees over her, Jansen didn't even move his lips away from her. He only reached between them with the hand not on her shoulder and did something to his belt that caused it to fall open and slide off of him. With the belt gone, Ming was able to simply reach up and slide his heavy robe off. Which only left her with more clothing to grapple with.

No wonder clothing in romance books was always just torn off! She imagined it would be rather tedious to write the whole awkward mess. Though she supposed that men in romance books didn't wear a dozen different shirts and robes and vests…

At least she seemed to be down to the last one. A brightly colored undershirt that tied at the shoulders and hung loosely on Jansen's wide frame. He had lovely arms. Ming realized she'd never seen Jansen without his robes and vests. She knew that he was in good shape - she wasn't a small woman, and he carried her about as though she weighed nothing - but she was simply so used to the scant clothing favored by Numaran fashion that she'd never even thought about it. Now, fascinated, Ming ran her fingers lightly up Jansen's arm. She traced from his wide wrist to the curve of his elbow, stopping a moment at each faint scar her fingertips found. Jansen went still under her touch, his cheek pressed against her shoulder. She traced the curve of his bicep to his shoulder and loosened the simple knots that held his undershirt on. She loosened the other ties and reached for his scarf, still wound about his neck. She unwound it slowly, coiling the soft silk around her fingers. Jansen shifted, moving to lay on his side next to her, angled over her. His shirt fell away and soon so did the scarf, and Ming simply looked at him.

At least all of that effort is well rewarded. Ming's hand reached out again and she ran her fingertips from the scar on Jansen's neck down to his collarbone. She pressed her palm against his chest, feeling the heat of his skin and the pulse of his heart beneath. Her other hand rested against his shoulder on the bed. She idly stroked her fingers against him, fascinated with his broad build. He wasn't particularly muscular or finely-cut, but he had strong arms and shoulders and a wide frame that suited him quite well.

"Um…sorry to, uh, interrupt, but…going back to what we were talking about earlier, you know, about you and…. Just can't help but notice you got really intense and…You've seen…I mean….I know you said you're a…."

Ming smiled and ran her hand over Jansen's chest, down to his abdomen, feeling his muscles jump and twitch under her touch. "Yes, Jansen, I've seen men without their clothes. But I've never before seen you without clothing, and I'm quite enjoying what I'm seeing."

"Oh. Right. Well…look away!" With that, he rolled over onto his back, hand behind his head as though striking a pose. Ming drew herself up, tucking her legs under her.

"One more thing," she mused, before her hand darted out to pluck the green band from his hair. He grabbed her wrist playfully, bringing her hand to his lips for a brief moment. His hair spilled down from its high tail, falling around his face and shoulders. The candlelight showed the glints and gleams of faint ruddy that ran through it.

"Hey. C'mere." Jansen held out his arms and Ming gladly moved into them. She allowed herself to be pulled into his lap, sitting sideways with her hands on his bare shoulders. One broad arm encircled her, holding her comfortably in place. He kissed her soundly, and this time she felt his hand very carefully brush against her breast. She arched into the touch, sighing at the fleeting hint of warmth. His tongue parted her lips and his hand cupped her breast gently and she felt as though all of her strength was rushing down to burn in her stomach and between her thighs.

Ming closed her eyes as she felt Jansen reach into her hair, carefully untwining the cloth and wire that held it up. She felt it cascade down against her cheeks, her neck, her back. She felt his hands in it, buried in it, raking it back from her face….

"Man. Oh man. You're just…so beautiful." Jansen's forehead rested against her own, both of them breathing in shallow, heated gasps, his hands still tangled deeply in her hair. She was afraid to speak, even to open her eyes, until the moment had passed naturally. Never had she even idly contemplated anything like this. She had indulged in her share of romantic fantasies, certainly, but nothing that came near to creating the feelings she was taken by when Jansen held her and told her she was beautiful.

"Um." Jansen gulped and his hands fell from her hair to her shoulders. To the straps of her gown. "Um. May…may I?"

She was proud of herself that she didn't flush or lower her eyes or otherwise act like a skittish mare. She only smiled and nodded. "Of course."

Jansen's fingers were trembling as he undid her fastenings. He slowly peeled down the front of her gown, and she swore he wasn't even breathing as he hesitantly bared her breasts. Now she was subject to the intent scrutiny of a new lover. Again she had the sudden, shy impulse to raise her hand and cover herself. Not her breasts, but the mark above them. He was staring openly, his lips parted and his breathing almost painfully quiet. She had to look away, turn her head and take a breath to steady herself. Whether he understood or it was simple coincidence, she didn't know. But he lowered his head and pressed his lips softly to the mark upon her chest. She shivered. She pulled his head up to crush their lips together, his hands found her breasts and they collapsed in one anothers arms, tangled and twined together. This time Ming on top, stretched over Jansen. His hands roamed over her back and her hips and her buttocks, gripping at her gown.

And she could feel him. She lay between his splayed and bent legs, her hips nestled in the junction of his thighs. His hips rose against her as he clutched her, and she felt the insistent warmth beneath his trousers against her belly. she shifted, pulling herself up. Jansen's leg slipped between hers and her hip rested against him and the sensation of his thigh rubbing between her legs made Ming cry out. The heat and wetness between her legs was maddening, and this glorious friction somehow managed to make it both better and worse. She was barely managing to keep herself supported, her head bowed and her shoulders arched and her gown rucked about her hips. She could barely manage to disentangle the different sensations and feelings, but they were all coming to a boil somewhere in her core. It was like being on a ship in a storm, in a way. Everything pounding and roiling and threatening to overtake her any moment.

When it did, she wasn't even certain what she cried out, aside from Jansen's name. The hot, coiled feeling inside of her released and she shook and bucked against Jansen's thigh, her hands twisting in the bedsheets. Almost before she was done, Jansen was turning her, stretching her out on her back. She lay with her rumpled gown just covering her hips and what lay between, sleek with sweat and limp with the force of her climax. Jansen was kissing her neck, her shoulders, her breasts. His hips eased their way between hers before he had even managed to unfasten his trousers. She reached up to help him, shivering once more as the backs of her fingers brushed against the swell of his arousal.

"Oh god, Ming…" He shuddered and Ming, emboldened, swept her hand across him again. "Oh boy, that's…that's…."

Jansen stiffened, dropping his head and gasping for breath. He jerked against her hand and she felt a sudden, startling dampness against her fingers.

"…no! No, no, no!" Jansen was looking with a mix of fear and confusion from himself to her, as though uncomprehending. Ming smiled shyly, flushing and biting her tongue as he flailed and sputtered. I think I should feel flattered….

"Ming, I swear to you, this has never happened before! I mean…to me! I…it's…you know, been a long time, and…and you. Well, you're you. And…I swear, this has never happened before!"

"I'll take your word for it," Ming said, pleasantly. "But I'm not entirely sure why you're protesting so soundly."

"Because I…did that! Or…that happened to me. Or whatever! Damn it all!"

"Jansen." Ming laid a hand on the side of his face, a gesture she'd already become familiar with to calm him. "You've nothing to feel ashamed over. That was….quite lovely."

"…And 'quite lovely' is queen-talk for 'mind blowingly incredible', right?"

"Of course." She leaned in and kissed him gently before curling up against him.

"So let's just pretend that was all planned, shall we?"

"I never would have known otherwise."

Ming closed her eyes, still feeling warm and pleasantly on edge, and faint twinges of pleasure kept running through her body. Jansen shifted to lean back, holding her against his chest. She inhaled his scent, earthy and herbal and musky. The candles were burning down and the incense was long dead, and Ming could feel sleep calling to her. It had been incredible. Beyond description, really. Perhaps Sarah with her mastery of language could manage something, but Ming could only lay there in heated bliss as her body sighed in pleasure.

"Hey…uh…you mind if I get up real quick?"

"Hmmm?"

"Just gotta take care of my pants. Before I fall asleep. Um…is that okay? Me sleeping here?"

"I'd be very disappointed if you didn't." Ming reluctantly rolled away, casually adjusting her gown to something that approached decent. Jansen wandered off towards the bathroom, yanking off his pants and mumbling under his breath as he went. She caught a flash of nicely shaped backside before he was gone round the corner. Already she felt his emptiness in bed beside her. She tugged at the covers, pulling them over herself and sinking properly into bed. When Jansen joined her, he slipped in beside her and wrapped an arm around her waist.

"Mind blowingly incredible?" he asked, mussily against her ear.

"Mind blowingly incredible," Ming agreed, pressing her back against Jansen's chest. She could hear him murmuring nonsense as he drifted to sleep, pressed against her and holding her. She lay on the edge for some time, simply feeling him beside her and listening to his soft snoring in her ear. She would sleep soon enough, safe and warm in her lover's arms, and tonight perhaps her dreams would be of the future.

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