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Late Blossoming

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The farthest back that Altena could remember meeting the youngest Freeji Princess of Alster was at a ball she and Arion were forced to attend when she was fifteen. Partly a diplomatic show of good faith, partly a way to solidify their power and Arion’s engagement with Tahra’s princess. It had been one of her first formal events, as Thracia did not have the means for lavishness that the north flaunted, even under Grannvale’s occupation.

Arion, as the eldest and crown prince, was busy talking with military leaders and patricians of the Manster district, forced to remain lukewarm in his responses under the gaze of Lord Bloom and his wife, Hilda. Personally, with how the night was going, she had wished that their father had decided she would stay with the troops. The dress she wore was something she could only remember wearing as a young girl, long substituted for military garb and trousers so her legs would not chafe against her wyvern’s scaly hide. There was a nakedness to it, even if actual nakedness was under layers of skirts. She felt too many eyes on her, and soon, she could not take it anymore.

“My apologies, but I feel under the weather, and would prefer not to dance.” Altena said for the third time that evening to a man her father’s age or older whose eyes hovered towards her body too much for her liking, and she quickly made her exit from the main ballroom, not waiting for his response. She exited into one of the open balconies, relatively empty due to the chilled winter winds, but she hardly felt them. In the skies, one grew used to the cold.

She looked up at the shining stars that dotted the sky with a wistful sigh. One more night of this play-acting, and she and Arion would be free to return home. Even if home was not as lush with green or many material comforts, its people were much more honest.

As she thought longingly of home, a strange noise disrupted them. Altena turned her head to find, partially hidden by a small potted tree, a girl was crying. She was dressed in a soft pink gown and long formal gloves with silvery lavender hair done up in ribbons of Freeji red, contrasting how pale her face was as tear tracks fell down, how her arms curled around her chest to hug herself, or too keep off the chill.

Though Altena knew that crying was preferably an individual activity, her good conscious would not let her leave the shivering girl alone. Altena walked over, keeping her moments slow but audible enough for the girl to know that she was not alone. Suddenly, her eyes opened, wide with fright.

“I-I’m sorry, I should not have-” The girl began to stutter apologies, but Altena raised her hand to halt them.

“There’s no need for you to say sorry. I intruded upon your privacy.” Altena offered with a smile. “However,” Altena turned around, checking her pockets until she realized she had none, for a hankerchief, then instead took one of the long sleeves on her dress and wiped the material against the girl’s cheek. This close, the girl was obviously younger than Altena by a handful of years. She shrinked away from the touch at first, before standing still as Altena wiped her face. It was probably forward from her, but some misplaced instinct had kicked in, and she followed it through. “May I ask, why are you crying?”

“...My… my mother died. A week ago.” The girl replied, her throat raspy and tears threatening to overflow from her eyes again. “I didn’t want to be here, but… but Aunt Hilda said I had to.”

Altena frowned. The Freeji truly were cruel, if they would allow their own kin to suffer alone like this. “I’m sorry, I wish I could help. My own mother died when I was very young. I… I don’t have many memories of her.”

The girl frowned. “I’m sorry.”

“Oh, please, you don’t have to start that again. It’s fine.” Altena assured her, before taking the girls hand and guiding her to the balcony. Thankfully, the girl did not flinch away. “Though, there are times, whenever I feel lonely, I look up at the stars, and think that she’s watching over me as best she can. In our stories, warriors find homes in the stars with King Dain, lighting our own paths.”

“Your mother was a warrior?”

“Yes! Father… he doesn’t talk about her much, but there are times when a woman flashes in my mind. She is dressed for battle, with a sword in hand, ready to defend. It’s strange, but… I know that it’s her, keeping me safe.” Altena confessed, the back of her head aching for a reason she could not place. She had never shared these thoughts with anyone, much less a complete stranger, but there was something about this girl that made her want to open up. Maybe to show that Altena was not a threat?

The girl let go of her hand, moving to stand beside her, face turning up to look at the sky. “Mother… she was a warrior, too. In a war that took place before I was born. Do you think that, perhaps, she’s up there too?”

“I’m sure she is.”

Something happened, then, that Altena, when she thought back on it, made her think of the times she saw a flower that survived along the crags and terrain of Thracia: something rare and precious. The girl smiled up at the sky, then at Altena. “Thank you.”

“... You’re welcome.” she replied. “Uhm, apologies, but may I ask your name?”

The girl’s face flushed the same shade as her dress as she bowed her head. “O-oh, it’s… my name is Tine.”

“Tine.” Altena repeated, more to herself than the girl. She wanted to remember the name.

“Yes. May I ask yours?”

“Oh, It’s…”

“Altena!”

Arion’s voice interrupted her as he intruded onto the balcony. “Come on, we’re leaving.”

“But…”

Her brother grabbed her hand and whispered in her ear. “I saw Bloom talking with some of the guards. It could be a trap. We need to go now.”

Her mind switched gears. So much for diplomacy.

“He’s right. You need to go.” Tine spoke up, her smile turning into something more sorrowful. “Please, don’t let them catch you.”

Altena wanted to say ‘come with us,’ but Arion pulled her away before she could spout such nonsense. If they kidnapped a princess, that would be a surefire act of war. Thankfully, a group of their own squad slammed through the doors, disrupting the party and giving them a chance to escape.

Hours later, when they were safely in the air and flying far away from Alster, Altena had more time to think. She bid her wyvern to glide closer to Arion’s.

“Brother, who was Tine? She looked Freeji, but…”

“The girl you were talking to?” Arion answered. “I don’t know much, but apparently, her mother was in Sigurd of Chalphy’s army, and she got captured a few years after that massacre at Bellhalla. That’s all I know. We have to report to Father about this. It’ll be dangerous to try and enter the Alster territories for the moment…”

Altena half-listened to the battle logistics, but her mind wandered back to that balcony, and the young girl’s tears. Perhaps it would have been better, if she had spoken up when she had the chance.

(~)

The next time Altena met the Freeji Princess, it was in the heat of battle, though not with an army she would have expected. Riding her wyvern, the Gae Bolg grasped in her hand, she felt assured in her place among the ranks of her squad. Manster had shaken her, yes, but if she was to stop Father’s ways, she would have to prove herself an equal warrior, and earn that respect. At least, that was what she told the nagging thoughts in her head. A barrage of wind magic and arrows began their onslaught, and she urged her mount forward, it’s wings missing the attacks by an inch. She grit her teeth as the soldiers under her care dropped from the sky, before ushering the wyvern’s wings in to dive bomb the threat. She would not fall without a fight.

Altena saw one of the mage’s was not as protected as the rest as they sent bolts of thunder magic to the sky. She raised the Gae Bolg, preparing to strike, but then, close up, she saw the color of the mage’s hair, and the ribbons that kept it tied back-

She had to pull up, but she was already too deep in her dive, which forced her wyvern to land awkwardly, claws raking the dry earth while she was thrown from the saddle, and landed on the ground, teeth gritted in pain. The wyvern curled around her prone body, hissing as figures came close. However, instead of another attack, Altena felt a soothing wave wash over her that could only be magic from a staff. The pain had been dulled to a manageable amount, allowing her to stand. The girl in mage robes lowered her arm, her face cautious. Now up close, Altena was sure.

“Tine, what are you doing with the Liberation Army?” She asked, but before Tine could answer, another person stepped forward. The shade of his hair and the shape of his face also rang familiar in her mind.

“Altena, are you Princess Altena?” The boy asked, his voice ringing with hope.

“She is, Prince Leif.” Tine affirmed. “I would recognize her anywhere.”

Altena readied her lance, growing more confused at what was happening. “If you are going to kill me, be quick about it!”

“I would never allow that.” Tine said as she stepped forward. Unlike their last meeting, she held her head high. “Altena, there is so much you don’t know.”

(~)

Hours later, she was at the outskirts of the Liberation Army’s war camp, thankfully left to her own devices. A thousand thoughts raced around her head, trying to sort out memories, words that she had always taken as truths now slashed and lain bare for the plunder. Father was not her Father. Arion was not her brother. Lies, all lies.

She wanted to scream, but channeled her energy into practice with the Gae Bolg until her limbs ached and she was covered in sweat. When she looked back up, Tine was standing a few feet off, holding a plate of food and a leather waterskin. Altena stared at her and the offering for a moment, not comprehending it until Tine sat down, ushering for Altena to join her.

Altena slumped down beside her, draining the water skin in under a minute, then she began to shovel the plate of food into her mouth with her bare hand. It was still warm, and its taste brought tears to her eyes. Soon, she could not stop them from falling, and the plate slipped from her hands as she buried her head into her knees, and cried.

When she looked up, Tine was still there, gloved hands folded in her lap.

“I’m sorry.” Altena apologized.

But Tine shook her head, her eyes filled with sympathy. “You have nothing to be sorry about. It’s hard to swallow the truth of things, about your heritage. I would know.”

“What, that everything that you thought you knew was a lie?” Altena replied, bitterness and a desire to lash out coloring her words.

“No, that you have a brother you never knew existed.” Tine answered flatly. “That your true heritage was taken from you before you could barely walk.”

“...Shit, Tine, I’m sorry-”

“Like I said before, don’t be.” The mage began to draw figures in the dirt between them, mostly swirls, before pausing in her work. “... You know, the day we met, I also lied to you. Not about my mother, but…”

Altena watched as she unrolled her long gloves, revealing that the entirety of her forearm was an angry, blistering red. Altena had seen terrible injuries before, but something about these particular ones made her stomach lurch.

“When I didn’t stop crying, Queen Hilda gave me my first lesson in fire magic.” Tine replied. “And it wasn’t the last.”

“I should have asked you to come with us.” Altena answered. “I wanted to, but I wasn’t quick enough.”

Tine rolled her glove up once more, and pat Altena’s shoulder. “The kindness you showed me gave me courage. If I hadn’t known that such kindness existed, I would have been too scared to believe Arthur, my… my brother. And I wouldn’t have met other such kind people.”

Altena couldn’t help but smile, and wrapped an arm around Tine’s shoulders, hugging the girl. She could not hold back her laugh with the girl yelped in surprise.
“Then I guess we’re even.” Altena answered. “Though, you physically saved my life, so still think you have a leg up.”

“I-it’s not a contest.” Tine objected lightly, but leaned into the hug. Altena was not sure where her life was heading now, but, perhaps, it was the direction she was meant to go, even if it lead her away from all that she could remember ever having known.

Her wyvern’s head had perked up at the commotion, and was now eating the scraps of her meal she had let fall to the ground. Tine giggled at the scene.

“What’s your wyvern’s name?”

“He doesn’t have one.” Altena answered, also finding some amusement. Wyverns were natural scavengers, and much like their riders, did not turn up the opportunity for a meal. “Fath… King Travant forbid it. He said it would make you too attached if the beast fell in battle.”

“...I think it’s a bit too late for that.” Tine answered. “Back during the battle, he tried his best to protect you. It shows that you both have a strong bond.”

“I suppose you’re right.” She smiled as the wyvern looked up from his meal, his head cocked to the side like a curious bird. “How about you help me think of a name.”

(~)

Altena had just finished securing her pack to Magni, her wyvern’s, saddle when Tine burst into the courtyard, her chest heaving. She must have run all the way from the main hall.

“Altena!”

For a moment, Altena wanted to turn back and take off immediately. This is what she had been avoiding, was it not? The hard goodbye. But then she felt Tine crash into her back and wrapped her arms around Altena’s waist, holding her fast.

She sighed. “Leif must have told you.”

“Don’t go. Arion… Arion could kill you!”

“I am going precisely to make sure that does not happen.” Altena replied, her free hand resting on Tine’s. “Prince Julius’s reign is at an end, and I am going to convince him that to try and fight the Liberation army will be meaningless. The curse of the Gae Bolg and Gungnir will end, here and now.”

“...Let me come with you, then.”
Altena felt her heart stutter in fear. “No! I can’t bring you into potential danger like that!”

“Then at least we’ll be together.” Tine replied, voice going soft. A mix of dread and longing filled Altena. The Gae Bolg gleamed in her hand, as if agreeing with Tine’s fatalist sentiments. “When you joined the Liberation army, I thought… I thought we could keep each other safe, but I can’t if you won’t let me be near you.”

Altena gently pulled Tine’s hands away. Without a word, she hooked the Gae Bolg to her things, before bringing her hands up to cradle the small mage’s face. She moved closer, and pressed a kiss to her forehead.

“Tine. You have given me a reason to return. Even if we aren’t together right now. I swear that I will come back to you.” Altena whispered against Tine’s hairline. “Promise me that you’ll take care of yourself until I return.”

Tine’s breath stuttered. They had never been this close before, and Altena was afraid that she had overstepped boundaries that she should not have crossed, when Tine’s hands covered her own, and she nodded her assent. Altena did her best to smile, before climbing up Magni’s back. As they took to the skies, she steeled herself for the journey to come. She did not look back.

When Altena returned with former enemies now turned reinforcements, most of the Final Holy War had already drawn to a close. The soldiers that had fought to reclaim lost or unseen homelands were granted leave, including Altena’s brother, her actual one.

As the wielder of the Gae Bolg, Altena felt that it was her duty to make amends for her actions, and help Thracia rebuild anew, and to help Leif through the growing pains of kingship. However…

Altena stood in front of Tine once more. This, though not as extreme as the other goodbye had seemed, had come much sooner than either of them had expected. Tine, since her brother would inherit Velthomer, was now the sole heir remaining of House Freege, a duty that Altena knew weigh heavy on the younger woman’s shoulders.

“...Be careful, okay?” Tine replied, her arms outstretched, before folding pulling back and folding them in front of her.

Altena nodded, wanting nothing more than to bridge the distance, but could not. Formalities prevented them. “We’ll… we’ll write to each other. We’ll keep in contact.”

“...Yes.” Tine replied. “I would like that very much.”

There was so many things left unsaid, but neither of them had the courage to say them. Altena thought how ironic it was that the Gae Bolg was still an omen of separation, even if it had reconciled with it’s twin.

With Leif, Nanna and Finn, Altena returned to her homeland. She would not see the Princess of Alster, now the Duchess of Freege, for another five years.

(~)

It was not until another ball that Altena saw Tine again.

Throughout the nightly festivities in Bellhalla, the people rejoiced at in the post-war boom of progress and renewed friendship that were the fruits of their hard earned labor. Altena, comfortable in her formal military garb, wandered along the sidelines. She was here as New Thracia’s envoy, as Leif was held back from attending due to the recent birth of his second child. At first, Altena did not recognize the woman dressed in a long and flowing gown the color of violets, but felt her eyes drawn to the curve of her bare neck and how the swell of her breasts peaked up from the top of her gown. It had been some time since Altena had had a lover, although only in body and never in heart, and she could not stop her eyes from wandering. She felt slightly ashamed, until bright, electric blue eyes caught her own, and Altena knew it was Tine.

However, the woman only smiled enigmatically, and turned her head away from Altena. Altena felt her mouth go dry as she watched at Tine’s hips discernibly sway, even under the mountains of fabric. Whenever Altena attempted to enter a conversation that she was a part of, the woman would politely excuse herself, and walk away. It was maddening enough to make Altena see red, until finally, finally, Tine walked out to the deserted terrace. Altena quickly followed.

“You have been avoiding me all night.” Altena replied, trying to make her voice sound commanding instead of desperate. “What is the meaning of it?”

“Oh, you wanted to speak to me, Lady General?” Tine’s voice was cold, colder than Altena had ever remember hearing it before. “I thought it would make things easier if I did not cause a scene.”

Altena marched forward and grabbed Tine’s gloved hand- she still wore those long gloves, always- “Tine. Stop.”

“What?”

“Stop treating me as if I am a stranger to you.” Altena replied firmly.

“But aren’t you?” Tine tried to pull her hand away, the mask of calm dropping for one of righteous anger. “I haven’t heard from you in seasons, and you came all the way to Bellhalla without a word. Do you know how awful it was to hear secondhand that General Altena of Thracia was coming this evening?”

Guilt crashed down on Altena’s shoulders. “...I’m sorry, Tine. There, there was a famine, and brigands began to multiply. I was so busy.”

“A word would have been nice!” Tine fired back. “Just a scrap of paper with a word that let me know that you were alright! It was agonizing...”

“You worried that much about me?” Altena asked, her heartbeat rising again, thundering in her ears like Tine’s touch had worked a conjuring over it. Perhaps then, perhaps-!

“Of course, you idiot! I have every right to worry over the woman I love for as long I please-”

Altena pulled Tine into the embrace that she had been longing for for years. Nothing had ever been able to fill that ache in her heart since then.

“N-no, you don’t, you don’t get to just-” Tine shook her head, but did not pull away.

“Why did you never say in your letters? Why did you never say you loved me?” Altena asked. “I would have flown night and day on Magni the minute I knew, I would have fallen to my feet in front of you.”

“You never said it either.” Tine mumbled, now burrowing her face into Altena’s shoulder.

“Then I’ll say it now, so it is clear.” Altena felt like she wanted to sing, but settled for whispering into the other woman’s ear. “I love you, Tine.”

(~)

The door slammed shut, and Tine pressed Altena’s body into the door with hers. Altena quickly gripped Tine’s skirts and pulled her close to capture her lips once more. And more, and more. Altena breathlessly wondered if she would ever be able to stop.

Tine sighed into their kisses, opening her lips to deepen them, and Altena took the offering with relief. Altena’s felt her heart thunder in her chest as her tongue curled into Tine’s mouth; felt and heard the moan that sprang from her mouth. She wanted to get closer to this beautiful woman, to cherish her as much as she knew how. Thankfully, the five years since the war had given her some more hands-on experience.

Deftly, she switched their positions, letting her fingers trail against Tine’s reddened lips, then down her exposed neck, then her chest. Tine tried to continue their kisses, but Altena hiked up the front of her dress and kneeled down, her hand moving far enough to brush against her knee.

“What, what are you doing?”

“Something I think you’re going to like.” Altena replied with a smirk, her hands moving up to stroke along the woman’s thigh, making her gasp at the contact. “May I?”

“...” Tine’s vibrant red face nodded. Hah, so apparently all the coquetteness had been a facade. Altena would have to tease her a little, then.

She ducked under Tine’s dress, sight now in-line with her bare thighs and small clothes. She felt her own face redden when she saw a small stain of wetness on the small clothes, but decided she would not go straight in. Her fingers trailed up and down the pale thighs, feeling the soft plushness, as she leaned forward a kissed along the top. She felt Tine’s entire body quake at the contact, but she gave no quarter, kissing the flesh, as her fingers inched forward, taking hold of her rear with a firm squeeze.

“A-altena, p-please get on with it…”

“Get on with what?” Altena asked, loud enough that the woman could hear and feel her voice, enjoying her exploration of all the soft and hidden parts of Tine’s body far too much.

“W-what you said you would do!” Tine exclaimed, voice high enough that it sounded like a whine.

Altena thumbed the sides of her small clothes, her fingers curling under them, before quickly moving back. “Hm, I think I’m going to need some clarification. What do you want me to do?”
Tine shivered, and Altena heard her take a shaky breath, before watching her thighs part further, and Altena could smell the heady scent coming from between them. Altena’s felt her own legs wobble a little.

“Touch me there. I-I need your fingers, your m-mouth, anything!” Tine exclaimed, voice high and breath labored. “Please!”

Altena could not force herself to tease Tine any longer, quickly pulling the damp garment down and out of the way, seeing the dusting of pubic hair, and Tine’s dripping folds. She moved one finger gently against the reddened flesh, gliding it up and down for a few moments, before moving it gently against the clitoris in slow, circular movements. But that was not enough, as Tine canted her hips down and forward, trying to gain more pressure, which Altena happily provided, adding two fingers rubbing against the top of her folds, as Altena ducked her head down to lap up the juices, moving deeper, wanting to taste more of her. She could hear Tine’s gasps and moans grow louder, and Altena faintly wondered if other people in the castle could hear her, but then kept going. She did not give a damn if people heard, it would only solidify the feelings that Tine was with her and wanted her.

“Altena, more, more!” Tine urged. How could Altena refuse such a request? She lifted one of Tine’s legs and hooked it over her shoulder, giving her better access, and rested her cheek against the thigh, and lolled her head back to suck and lick against the woman’s clitoris, once, twice, and then Tine’s muscles clenched as she cried out and Altena’s felt slick glide trickle down her chin.

In her post-orgasm, however, Tine was unable to keep herself standing, and slowly slid down the door, enveloping Altena in her skirt while also getting a clear view of all of her lower half, thoroughly wet with their respective fluids. Ridiculous as it would seem, Altena felt pride in her accomplishment that while on her knees she had also brought Tine down to her knees, in a figurative sense.

It took a good minute for Tine to pull the skirts up and found Altena grinning at her.

“Come here so I can kiss you.” Tine ordered.

“Even after where my lips have been?” Altena asked as she unhitched Tine’s leg from her shoulder and crawled over. Tine began to card her fingers through Altena’s hair as she kissed along her neck, making her way to her lips, even though they were in quite the messy state.

“Mmhmm.” Tine hummed, and they went back to kissing, slower this time. Altena had definitely felt the effects of Tine’s voice between her legs that she wanted to handle, but they could take their time. A few minutes in, however, Altena’s knees were starting to get sore.

“Mm, Tine, perhaps-?” Altena’s question got cut off by a moan as Tine tugged particularly hard at her hair to suck along her neck.

“Are you alright?”

“Fine.” Altena replied, her voice cracked. “I, I was say that… we could move to the bed, yes?”

“Oh.” Tine disentangled herself from Altena, and got to her feet with surprising ease, before she offered her hand to Altena. Altena gratefully accepted, and intertwined their fingers as they walked over to the very soft looking bed. Tine turned her head to stare her soiled small clothes near the door, before Altena began to gently pull at her long gloves.

Immediately, she snatched her hand away, and folded them against her chest.

Altena rested her own hands in her lap and created a comfortable distance between them. “Tine, if you want to leave them on, it’s alright.”

Tine shook her head. “No, it’s… it’s probably silly, isn’t it? How I’m acting, after what you just... did.”

“It’s not silly in any way.” Altena replied firmly. She wanted to take the woman again into her arms, but decided it was best to respect their current distance. “I don’t want to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. Anything that happens between us, I want it to feel good for you.”

Tine turned back to Altena. “It is! You’ve… Altena, you’ve done nothing wrong.”

“And you haven’t either.” Altena answered. “Everyone has their own comfort zones, and I will not cross yours.”

“...” Tine moved closer, wrapping her arms around Alena in a hug that Altena readily reciprocated. “Tonight, just… for tonight, may I keep the gloves on?”

“Of course.” Altena replied, then kissed the top of Tine’s head.

“...Are you comfortable with having them inside you?”

That comment brought the very, very wet feeling between her legs back into focus. “O-only if you’re sure?”

“I am.” Tine replied with a new, confident smile. “I’ve done it enough times to myself to know.”

“Oh.” Altena had to gulp up another lung-full of air. She enjoyed that information much more than she should have.

Tine giggled, then began to undo the buttons on Altena’s waistcoat. Altena kept her hands to herself, and watched and felt the gentle strokes and pulls she made against cloth, like unwrapping a carefully done up parcel. By the time all of the clothes on her torso were removed, Her body ached to be firmly touched.

Tine’s lips parted, eyeing up and down with a mix of lust and reverence and that made Altena blush even more. Her gloved hand gently cupped her small breast, her thumb rolling her nipple around in a maddening circular motion.

“T-Tine. I… I need you more… elsewhere.” Altena said, then bit her lip as Tine’s other hand stroked around her abdominals and navel, like she was admiring it.

“I want to take you in a little first.” Tine breathed out, her hand moving to her other breast, and the sensation of the silky material against her nipple caused it to go erect with very little teasing. It was maddening. “I have dreamt about your body. What it looks and feels like, and I want to get my fill.”

“Y-you’ll have it. You’ll always have it.” Altena had begun to beg. Too much teasing and she would come without Tine having seen all of her. “I need you to fuck me now.”

The tone had gotten Tine’s attention. “Put your feet up and lie back against the bed.”

Altena looked down at her boots, but then did as she was told, her head resting against a pillow as Tine undid the back of her dress with the swiftness and skill Altena could never imagine holding. She stood up beside the bed, allowing it to fall off her before kicking it to the side along with her slippers. The view of Tine’s soft curves made it hard for Altena to keep her from staying put, but then Tine’s focus went to removing Altena’s boots with such precision she wondered if the usual laces that held them up had loosened in their earlier lovemaking.

They were soon tossed to another corner of the room, along with her trousers and small clothes, leaving Altena completely bare. She curled her legs up at the sudden chill, before Tine enveloped her in an embrace and many small kisses all over her face that warmed her up. This was the first time having sex that Altena had truly felt cherished. Tine then pulled away, grabbing a spare pillow from the bed, and motioned for Altena to move her hips up, giving her body some elevation. By this point, Altena felt proper cared for and ready to go.

Tine rubbed her fingers gently along Altena’s folds, before inserting one finger through. Altena gripped the back of the pillow where her head rested with a sigh, finally getting the very necessary need to be filled underway. Tine slowly twirled her finger inside, faintly stroking a nerve that made Altena’s back arch and moan for more.

“You are so beautiful.” Tine whispered as she fingerfucked Altena. Altena felt her body heat up at the ministrations. “You’re so brave and strong, and seeing how you unravel before me is so, so lovely.”

The words caused her body more elevated heat, and she tried to cover her face. The words embarrassed her, yet also made her muscles clench against Tine as she added another finger, filling her up more.

“Altena, let me see your face. I want to see all of you.”

She refused to removed her arm, until Tine’s fingers quickly pulled out. The loss made her frustrated.

“Altena. I meant it. There’s no need to be embarrassed.” Tine’s voice coaxed out.

She peaked her eyes out to look at Tine’s pouting face. “When you talk like that, it’s… embarrassing.”

“But it’s the truth.” Tine replied, resting her non-slicked glove on Altena’s knee. “Do you not like it?”

“I do.” Altena groaned. That was the problem, or perhaps it was not a problem, but something new and unexpected. “It’s just, something I need to get used to.”

But Tine did not leave it at that, moving forward and pressing a kiss against her temple. “Would you like me to stop?”

“No.”

“Then I’ll keep going, but please, keep your eyes on me.”

Altena lowered her arm so her eyes met Tine’s, and her whole body shivered. Tine smiled, before pressing another kiss to the side of her head, and then added two fingers inside her. Altena’s back arched at the feeling of them curling in her, rubbing her in places that felt so good that she quickly felt the steep climb of pleasure build further until she was panting Tine’s name and professions of love and fuck until Tine’s mouth covered hers and all Altena could see was stars.

A few minutes after her orgasm, they were cuddled together under the covers, enjoying each other’s body heat and company to the fullest. Tine had removed her soiled gloves, replacing them with a fresh pair. Altena kissed her palms as there legs tangled together, enjoying how she could feel Tine’s pulse quicken through the cloth.

“So, when do we return to Freege?” Altena asked nonchalantly.

Tine blinked. “Wait, are you serious?”

“Completely.” Altena affirmed, intertwining their fingers. “Now that I know you love me, and that I know Thracia will be in good hands in my absence, I couldn’t bear to be apart from you. Not anymore.”

“...” Tine buried her face into a pillow, and for a moment, Altena worried that she was crying, but then she saw her mouth was forming a smile. She was laughing.

“If I knew it was that easy, I would have said it years ago.” Tine confessed, before pressing their lips together in another kiss.