Alina drifts slowly out of sleep. She stirs, grasps lazily at the last wisps of the dream she’s been having, holding onto that warm, pleasant feeling, like sunlight on her skin. It’s still early, she knows, doesn’t even have to open her eyes to know that there’s barely any light on the horizon, barely enough to seep through the crack in the curtains drawn over the large windows at the far side of the room. In this light, the walls of Aleksander’s bedroom don’t even have their familiar green hue to them, they simply look grey. She blinks slowly, dream forgotten except for the remaining flush in her skin, the room around her appearing in shades of black and grey, somehow calming in the disorienting pre-dawn hours.
It’s only when she shifts her body and tries to roll over that she realizes: this wasn’t just any dream she’s been having. It’s one of those dreams. Curious things that have started to happen more and more frequently in the past few years. Dreams involving wandering hands and soft lips, and things Alina has yet to experience in waking hours and that leave her body in such a confusing state. She knows her cheeks are flushed, even in the coolness of the room, and when she twists her body under the heavy sheets and blankets she realizes that her nightgown has ridden up around her thighs and she’s…. Wet. She can feel the damp fabric of her underwear sticking to her as she moves. The frustrating slickness that appears after she wakes flushed and confused. Slickness that makes her squirmy and desperate for… something.
She hasn’t quite been able to figure out what.
Tucked away under blankets in her own bed, she’s let curious fingers wander a few times, sliding through the stickiness that collects between her thighs, sometimes gliding over spots that feel good, but never able to make sense of the strange change in her body. Maybe there’s something wrong with her, she thinks.
But she’s only ever explored on her own. This is the first time she’s awakened like this in a bed that’s not hers. Rolling over so that her back is to Aleksander, she curses the fact that she was so adamant about staying in his bed last night. Not that he protested. Simply shrugged and answered with an easy “of course, pet,” as he had almost every other time she’s asked since she was little. A habit she knows is childish, but one she never really grew out of, and one that, surprisingly, Aleksander never tried to break in her. She’s always slept better curled up in his arms, head resting beneath his chin, or enveloped fully with him at her back, strong arms holding her little body to his as she drifts off.
Alina’s face burns and she buries her face in her pillow, desperately trying to ignore the strange stickiness between her legs, hoping it goes away, knowing it’s never been that easy. Her pillow smells like him. No, smells like them : his scent that’s comforted her since childhood, midnight snow and fresh ink on paper, old books and cedar wood, and mixed with it the scent of the soap she scrubbed into her hair in the bath the night before. Something from Kerch: a mix of apricots and irises, and some other flower from Novi Zyem that she can’t pronounce.
Somehow the combination only makes her flush deeper, makes the tightness between her legs start to ache.
She tries to stifle her frustrated whine, but freezes when she feels him shift next to her. He rolls over and throws a strong arm around her middle, drawing her curled body back into his. It’s unconscious, the way he reaches for her, but Alina can’t relax in his hold, not this time.
“Alinochka,” he mumbles into her hair, voice deep and scratchy from sleep. She feels its rumble at her back. He’s only half awake himself. “Be still, solnyshka , go back to sleep.”
Alina tries, she really does.
She shifts her body closer to his, tries to settle into a comfortable position, tries again to find comfort against the pillows and wills sleep back into her mind.
But the ache between her legs only grows when she presses back against him. She’s spent countless nights curled up in his bed like this, but for some reason this morning feels different. Her heart won’t slow, her skin feels too hot, she’s growing slicker, can feel it in her panties, even though her dream has ended and she wills it away. She wiggles closer, feels her hips brush back against his, something half hard pressed to her lower back.
She feels more than hears the noise he makes deep in his throat, half conscious, but it’s a different noise than she’s ever heard him make before.
She wants to hear it again.
Alina closes her eyes, willing her breathing to steady and she shifts her hips back again. She presses her thighs together as the ache between them grows, unfamiliar and inconvenient, but she’s always been too curious for her own good. Aleksander makes that noise again, and this time, the arm around her middle tightens, holding her body flush against his before she can wriggle away. She squirms a little in his grip, a small noise escaping her throat.
She’s too hot, her skin feels too tight, she’s overwhelmed and doesn’t know why.
“Pet,” he grunts out, nose still buried in her hair so his voice sounds muffled, even this close to her ear. “What’s gotten into you?”
Alina wiggles, the press of her thighs creating the tiniest bit of friction and oh . Her breath stutters because she’s never been this wet before.
“I- um, I don’t-” Suddenly she feels ridiculous. Silly for waking him up like this, embarrassed and completely out of her depth. She bites her lip and turns her face into her pillow. Tries her hardest to hold still.
But it seems that Aleksander is awake enough not to let this go, because she has his full attention now, even if sleep still clings to the edges. The hand around her waist begins to trace light patterns through the fabric of her nightgown. It’s a familiar feeling, his hand on her, the soothing gesture, one that’s lulled her to sleep so many nights as a child. It does nothing to calm her now.
Alina whines again, face still smooshed against the pillow, squeezes her legs together tighter. She feels feverish. Skin hot and flushed and she wonders if he can feel it through the thin fabric of her nightgown.
“What is it, malyshka ?” he murmurs. Voice calm and heavy and edged with something she’s never heard before.
“I had um, a dream,” Alina whispers, wishing he would stop touching her like that, wishing the strange spot between her legs didn’t throb each time he murmurs in her ear. What on earth is wrong with her?
“A dream?” he prompts. “Did we have a nightmare?” He asks her so calmly, leans forward and kisses her temple, pauses when he notices how hot her skin is.
“ Oh ,” he breathes, at the same time Alina squeaks, “No.”
Aleksander presses another kiss to her temple, and she can feel how his lips smile when they connect with her skin. “Oh, malyshka . I forget how grown up you are now.”
Alina makes a small noise of confusion as the hand around her middle moves slowly lower, gathering the fabric of her nightgown where it’s mostly bunched around the tops of her thighs.
Alina freezes when his hand eases itself between her thighs, cups her aching center with one strong, sure hand. She wonders, horrified, if he can feel how wet her panties are.
“My big girl. Did this dream make you feel funny here?” He presses his fingers up, just a little, and oh.
Alina gasps. There’s no way he doesn’t feel how wet she is, the gusset of her panties damp and clinging to the soft skin of her folds beneath. He presses again, moves his hand just slightly, and the drag of fabric is enough to make Alina squirm.
She whimpers and burrows her face deeper into the pillows, ashamed and confused and utterly horrified that Aleksander has discovered her awful secret. He knows, he knows . She nods anyway, no point in lying to him, even if she doesn’t trust herself to speak with his hand on her like this.
Alina expects him to be mad. Expects a lecture about her completely inappropriate behavior, expects to be told she’s somehow done something wrong. Or worse, expects to be told that there is in fact something wrong with her .
Instead, she hears a chuckle rumble through Aleksander’s chest. He rolls her onto her stomach, his body bracketing hers and hand still tucked between her thighs. Alina can’t move, but she squirms under him anyway. Each roll of her hips grinds her against Aleksander’s hand and Alina makes a high, needy sound that she wishes she could bite back the moment it leaves her lips.
“Shhhhh, it’s alright, Alinochka. I’ll make it feel better.”
His hand retracts, and Alina finds herself wanting to protest, or sigh with relief, she’s not really sure which. Until it’s back, this time slipping beneath the fabric of her underwear, fingers seeking the pooling wetness between her legs.
Alina jolts in Aleksander’s arms. Something in her hazy, sleepy, confused mind says “no,” says “wrong,” makes alarm prickle hot and scratchy in the back of her mind. He’s never touched her like this. There have been casual, affectionate touches all her life to be sure. He’s held her hand and perched her in his lap, kept his hand on her knee or her thigh while she sat there. Stroked her hair, planted kisses on her cheeks or her forehead, her temple whenever he praises her on the progress she’s made with her summoning, or when she’s made him laugh, or answered a particularly difficult question he’s given her during their private lessons. She’s no stranger to Aleksander’s casual touches, or the way he holds her tight, pressed against him when she falls asleep in his bed. She’s grown up with his touches, has grown used to the reassurance of his hands on her.
But here… he’s never touched her here. The secret place between her legs that she hasn’t given much thought to until recently. The place she doesn’t understand. The place that scares her a bit. The place her own fingers barely know, but his have now claimed as well.
She whimpers, body trying to wriggle away from the soft stroke of his fingers, legs trying to clamp shut around his hand, mind trying to catch up with body, trying to make sense of it all.
“There, there, pet, it’s alright,” he soothes. She’s heard him use this tone with his horses when they’ve spooked, heard him use this tone before with her when she was little, had awakened from a nightmare, or fallen and scraped her knee. That calm, level voice, deep and rich and familiar, and despite herself, she starts to relax, the press of her thighs loosening, giving him easier access, letting his fingers move farther.
“Good girl,” he praises low in her ear, as he dips two fingers between her folds and gathers her wetness on them.
Alina whines, wiggles her hips at the strange sensation. She squeezes her eyes shut and tries to make sense of the warring panic and calm, tries to understand why her heart is beating so fast.
Aleksander strokes her slowly, letting Alina adjust to the wet glide of his fingers against her. Every so often his fingers will brush a spot that makes Alina jump, makes her muffle a surprised sound into her pillow.
This seems to please Aleksander, if his low hum is anything to go by. He presses his hips against hers, the hardness at her back much more pronounced now. “Spread your legs a bit more, pet,” he whispers. She barely has to think and her body complies, one leg bending at the knee and resting open against his bed, granting his fingers easier access. “There’s a girl. So good for me.”
He plants a kiss to her temple, arm tightening around her as he lets his fingers explore more. With her legs spread like this, her folds part further, and he finds that special little spot almost immediately, circling it with the pad of a finger.
Alina can’t muffle the breathy moan that leaves her lips. It feels…. Good. Strange, and new, and shivery, and frightening. But… Good. His fingers feel slippery as they glide against her but each circle both relieves the ache between her legs and somehow makes it worse and Alina finds her hips moving without her intention.
She ruts down onto his fingers, gasping and, to her surprise and shame, moaning openly at his touch.
“Does it feel good, solnyshka ? Do you like when I touch you like this?”
Alina nods, frantic, face burning and still half hidden in her pillow.
He increases the pressure of his fingers, circles them maddeningly slow. Alina keens, high and much louder than she intended.
Aleksander breathes a laugh, she feels it on her ear and he dips his head, kisses just below her ear and murmurs, “Sssshhhh. It’s still early, remember. We don’t want to wake anyone up, now do we, little one?” His voice has a raspy edge to it that she’s never heard before. She’s not sure if she likes it.
Alina shakes her head, tries to keep her voice steady as she answers him. “S-sorry. Feels- ugh! Feels so g-good!”
Alina shakes in Aleksander’s arms as something builds, low and hot in her belly. She can feel her body headed towards it, building momentum, the ache between her legs rising, blooming into a fire, a burn that spreads outwards from her hips, up her spine. It makes her back arch and her breath catch. Makes her toes curl and her focus narrow to Aleksander’s breathing in her ear, the fingers circling slick and sure between her legs.
“Sweet little thing,” he coos, that same soothing tone with just a touch too dark of an edge. “Have you never touched yourself before? So sweet and soft and new. I wonder…” Alina wants to cry when his fingers stop circling, slide lower. She jolts in his arms again, a startled squeak leaving her throat when suddenly one of his long fingers presses inside and she doesn’t- she can’t-
“It’s alright, pet. Breathe, little one, you’re alright.” Alina feels herself clench around his finger. Inside her up to his second knuckle, the stretch new and confusing and once again making panic blare in her mind. Some distant, small voice saying no, wrong, out , even as he slowly moves his finger back and forth, letting her adjust, until her hips match his rhythm, allowing him to press his finger in further. He curls it forwards, brushing a spot inside of her that feels… strange, so strange, but good in a deep, secretive way that makes Alina arch into his touch.
“Oh- I- ah! ” He keeps his fingers on the soft, spongy spot inside of her, rocks the heel of his hand against her clit. Pressure builds in her belly again, stronger this time, a rising tide threatening to pull her under and drag her out to sea.
Frightened, Alina fights it, struggles in Aleksander’s grip, even as she keens and moans, grinds against his hand. Caught somewhere between wanting more and desperately trying to escape the inevitable something growing just out of her reach, Alina feels tears prick in her eyes, feels them cling to her lashes.
As if sensing her struggle, Aleksander doubles down. He rocks his hips into her from behind and he’s fully hard now, she can feel it pressed to her back. She’s pinned between his body and his hand, fighting strange new sensations and desperate for the tension to break and suddenly it’s entirely too much.
Alina begins to cry.
Undeterred, Aleksander quickens the rhythm of his hand. “Oh malyshka , I know. So young, so new, you’ve never come before have you?”
Alina sniffles, small sobs wracking her body, the pillow below her face damp with her tears. She’s flushed, but shivering, hands fisted in the sheets around her, afraid if she doesn’t cling to them she’ll be swept away. Wants to twist away from the relentless thrust of his finger, the heavy press of him at her back. At the same time wants more . Doesn’t know why, but desperately wants the building wave to break. Is terrified of what will happen when it does.
Aleksander’s lips press to her temple, against hair that sticks to her with sweat. “Don’t fight it, pet. Relax, there’s a good girl.” Alina lets herself go limp in his arms, lets her legs splay apart farther beneath him, fights the urge to clamp them shut and pull away as she feels him nudge another finger to her dripping entrance. The stretch of two is too much; intense, fiery pleasure mixing with a pinching, burning pain, and it’s more than she can bear.
Alina presses her face into her pillow to muffle her sob. He’s told her to be quiet after all. She bites the fabric to muffle her cries, adding spit to the already wet spot where her tears have leaked into the fabric.
“So good for me, little one, taking me so well,” Aleksander croons in her ear. He rubs his fingers against that spot inside her, pulls the heel of his hand away and presses his thumb to her clit instead, rubbing in small circles to match.
Alina shakes, body pinned, unable to move. Unsure anymore whether she wants to press closer or shove him away, and a small part of her mind is grateful that the decision is not hers to make, that the choice has been kept from her, that all she has to do is lie there and take it. Lie squirming on her belly and let the dark, yawning chasm of release grow before her.
She finds herself teetering on an unfamiliar edge. There’s something just out of her grasp and she whines, gasps, moans, confused and utterly blind to what awaits her beyond it.
And yet some deep, base need within her reaches desperately for it.
“P-please-” she whines, unsure of exactly what she’s asking for. Wanting to reach that curious peak so badly but unsure of how to ask for it.
“So polite,” Aleksander breathes. His voice sounds deeper than before. Not the usual gravel from sleep but something else. It sends an electric current down Alina’s spine, pushes her even closer to the edge. “Go ahead and come on my fingers, milaya . Want to feel this pretty little cunt come for me.”
His words shock her enough that she loses her grip on the last of her control. Such a dirty word, one she’s heard whispered by the other Grisha students, one she’s never said out loud, now falling from Aleksander’s lips as he holds her close and thrusts his fingers into her, presses her clit with his thumb.
It’s too much. It’s too many new sensations too fast and Alina feels herself trip and fall over the edge.
Her orgasm steals her breath away.
She chokes on the surprised squeal, the sound strangled and desperate in her throat. High, and needy, and broken as her cunt clenches around his fingers, just as he said. Her body shakes as waves of pleasure radiate from between her legs. She squeezes her eyes shut, a few more tears slipping free, and grinds her hips down onto Aleksander’s fingers where they stay inside of her, stroking her lazily through her body’s spasms. She feels the flood of new slick leak from her, coating his fingers.
Feeling strange, and blissful, and a bit like she’s floating, Alina realizes she’s forgotten to breathe, finally gasps in lungfuls of air as the shuddering in her body finally stops. She blinks her eyes open, letting the room come into slow, dizzy focus. Tears still cling to her lashes but at least she’s stopped crying.
Only then does Aleksander remove his fingers. He slides them from her slowly, the wet sound of it far too loud in the room where the only sound is their panting breathing. With his hand gone, her panties fall back into place, the now soaked fabric uncomfortably damp and cool where it touches her skin. Alina didn’t think her cheeks could burn any hotter. The tear tracks on her face feel cold against the deep flush.
Aleksander brings his hand up, above the covers, and Alina jumps when she hears the undeniable sound of him licking them clean from where his chin rests on her shoulder.
“You taste divine, pet. Better than I imagined.”
Before she can ask, he’s snaked his arm back around her waist and is holding her against his chest. Alina’s pulse hums, heartbeat surprisingly slowing, the fevered heat of her too-hot skin cooling. There’s a familiar hum just under her skin, like when she’s summoned for a particularly long time, and when she peaks beneath the covers, she sees that she is indeed glowing faintly.
Aleksander kisses her cheek.
“Such a good girl.”
Alina’s belly flip-flops strangely at the roughness in his voice. He’s her Aleksander: familiar, comforting, holding her as he always has. But somehow, everything is different.
But her eyelids are beginning to droop as the calm, sated feeling spreads through her body.
She smiles at his praise, snuggles back against his chest.
She feels his smile when he presses a final kiss to her cheek. “Do you feel better, solnyshka ?”
Alina nods, but her brow furrows with questions, even as her mind begins to drift back into a content, sleepy place. “Sasha?”
“What- um. What was, um, that?” She knows he likes it when she’s direct with her questions, but hopes just this once he won’t press, will understand her meaning, despite the vagueness.
Aleksander adjusts his grip on her. She can feel the hardness between his legs pressed just above her bottom. “That, Alinochka, is our secret.”
“Oh.” She supposes that’s okay. She’s always liked secrets. Especially when they’re Aleksander’s secrets. It makes her feel special. Still, she frowns; he didn’t answer her question. Though, she figures maybe that’s her fault. She didn’t ask very directly, after all.
“I want you to come to me when you have dreams like this, alright? So we can fix it together.”
“Alright.” She opens her mouth to ask her question again, to ask it better this time, to try and be more direct. But how did you fix it? Why did it feel like that when you touched me there? What was that feeling? Will it feel like that if you do it again?
But he cuts her off with a question of his own.
“Did it feel good? When I touched you like that?” His breath tickles her ear and she squirms at that deep, almost dangerous roughness in his voice. She likes this new Aleksander, Alina decides. Likes how he makes her toes curl and her belly flip.
She nods, barely keeping her eyes open. She stops fighting, lets sleep start to take her. It’s an easy question to answer anyway. “Yes.”
She’s glad he didn’t ask her if she liked it, or if she wants him to do it again. She’s still not so sure about those answers.
He’ll answer her questions soon, she’s sure. He always does. She’ll just ask him later today, when they’re both awake.
“Good girl,” he says as she slips under, both of them eager to get just a bit more sleep before the sun climbs over the horizon. “My good girl, all grown up. I have so much to teach you.”
It’s not until hours later, when she’s slipped from Aleksander’s room, dressed in her black and gold kefta and headed to classes for the day that she begins to wonder what that means. Earlier that morning feels like a dream. Aleksander didn’t mention their “secret” as she left his bed, only gave her a kiss on the forehead and told her “make me proud, pet.”
She thinks she might be able to call the whole thing a dream if not for the lingering wetness, the dull soreness between her legs.
“ I have so much to teach you. ”
Alina wonders, as she replays his words in her mind, as she thinks about the way his fingers felt between her legs, the way she shivered while pinned beneath him, why those words sound so much like a threat.