1.49: The Inevitable

Get comfy. This chapter took took two weeks to put together, and consequently, it’s longer.  Enjoy the rising tides of lovers, and grab a tissue for the pall that falls.

This chapter contains graphic sexual images and descriptions, and is intended for mature readers.

 

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A hazy sun marched across the sky as Dustin and Ayala headed back toward the village. Today, Ayala had tagged along on one his frequent forays. “I like just walking around and seeing the parts of the island no one ever comes to. It gives me time to think, and get away from the noise of the village. And,” he said, bending over to pluck yellowish berries off a low-lying plant, “stock up on herbs and plants.” The berries went into a packet in his backpack.

“What do you use them for?” she asked.

“Magick.” He winked at her. “Potions for healing, energy, things like that. Balms for rashes and burns, tonics for stomach aches.” Following the death of Kaila, the village currently had no healer, but Dustin had picked up much of the knowledge and ability from both of his parents.

 

 

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“What plant was that?” She pointed at the leafy plant that he’d just harvested.

“Mandrake.”

“That’s poisonous, though, isn’t it? What do you use it for?”

“Yes. Mandrake can kill you. But it has its uses.”

“Like killing people?”

Dustin laughed. “I hope not. It has a few medical uses, such as reducing pain, or putting someone in a sleep-like state. It’s used in magick charms for love and fortune. Used other ways, it promotes fertility, and, well, sexual feelings.” He grinned, not quite sheepishly.

 

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“An aphrodisiac, you mean.” She said this matter-of-factly, amused at his token abashment of the stated purpose. She stepped in front of him, her smile broadcasting the punch line.

“That’s not what I got it for.” His grin turned into a laugh as he dropped his ruck sack and trapped her in his arms, pulling her up against him for a playful kiss.

“You wouldn’t need an aphrodisiac, would you Dustin?” Her tone was teasing as she nipped at his neck enthusiastically.

“There’s only one way to find out,” he said, smirking. “But who needs an aphrodisiac, with you around?”

 

 

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After their trek across the island, they stopped near the bonfire pit and settled down on the beach as the sun lowered in the sky. “Are you hungry? I brought some food,” Dustin offered.

Ayala shook her head, leaning into his shoulder.Turning her head, she rubbed her cheek against his warm skin, and pressed her lips against it. Dustin made a happy sound in his throat and slung his arm around her, pulling her head against his chest. Closing her eyes, she listened to the steady beat of his heart.

 

 

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When Dustin shifted his legs, Ayala scooted between them on her knees, leaning forward to touch his lips with her own. Smiling, he brushed a lock of hair off her face. With deliberate slowness, she lowered her mouth to his fleetingly, then drew back to look at his face in the moonlight. Even in the dim light, she could make out the blue of his eyes. Dustin’s eyelids lowered as his gaze dropped back to her mouth. His hands on her hips tightened, pulling her toward him with as much slowness as she’d kissed him a moment ago. Snaking an arm up her back, he held her flush against his chest. She could feel his breath fanning across the side of her face.

 

 

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The slow motion of the moment grew into a sensual charge, and Ayala felt her body warm in response. With agonizing softness, he kissed her shoulder at the base of her neck, and she tilted her head to give him better access. His lips trailed down her shoulder, then finally he raised his head to catch her lips again. For a long minute, they kissed, lightly, lips barely touching. Dustin lowered his body, pulling her with him, then rolled onto his side leaning over her, dropping kisses to her jaw, tasting her neck. She shivered at the touch of his tongue there. His hand caressed her waist, sliding upward, halting just under her breast, where his fingers stroked her ribs as his mouth returned to hers.

Tilting her head back, Ayala opened her mouth to him, sucking the tip of his tongue, slowing tracing her own tongue around the underside of his. He moaned a little, and his fingers stilled against her ribs, the heat of them sinking through the fabric of her shirt, then swept back down her side.  Hugging her hips against him, Dustin reached down, molding her thigh over his. Pressing herself against him, her free hand gripped his shoulder, encouraging him closer. This time when his hand moved back up her waist, Ayala arched her back, pushing her breast against his hand. Slowly, he cupped the underside of it, tentatively stroking and squeezing it.

 

 

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Goosebumps broke out on her arms and ran down her spine at the contact, and she felt her nipples pressing against her shirt. Reaching up, she pulled at Dustin’s hair and kissed the lobe of his ear. His mouth trailed back down her neck, and again she arched her back against his hand, unconsciously moving her hips against his. “Ayala,” he groaned near her ear. She felt an electric ripple of goosebumps again go flying down her body. Cupping her with his entire palm,  his fingertip brushed across her nipple. It grew hard and taut as he simultaneously rubbed the breast with his hand and rolled the nipple between his fingers. Ayala gasped at the jolt to her stomach. Scooting downward a bit, Dustin nuzzled against her other breast, sliding his cheek on the fabric. The friction of his cheek and her shirt made that nipple hard too. His lips closed over it through the fabric, his fingers still teasing the other through her shirt.

“Ah, oh gods, Dustin!” Ayala felt like a ball of screaming senses. Both hands clutched at his hair. He raised his head to look at her, grinning. “Too much?”

“Not enough,” she whispered.

 

 

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His expression grew instantly more intense as he bent to kiss her. Sometimes he still found it hard to believe they were here, together. That she wanted to be with him. Ayala’s lips moved along his jaw. “Touch me,” she whispered in his ear. Dustin’s entire body stiffened when she took his earlobe in her teeth, his breath stuttering.  Sliding his hand beneath the hem of her shirt, he watched her face as his hand skimmed upward. They sighed together when he touched her bare breast.

Closing her eyes, Ayala gave herself up to the sensation. Dustin rubbed little circles around her nipple, rolling the small firm breast in the palm of his hand, sliding it up and down for greater friction. Leaning down again, he found the other nipple through the wetted fabric and sucked gently. She moaned. His free hand slid back down her stomach to the side of her hip, holding it to him for a moment while he suckled her breast through her shirt.

When his mouth released her, the cold night air against the wet fabric tightened the nipple even more, he could see it jutting against her shirt. “Ayala,” he said softly. She opened her eyes, her focus blurred. “if this is too fast…I mean… it’s late, we should…”

 

 

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Finally her focus sharpened, then she smiled up at him. “I guess I should get back. I want to check on Dad,” she said slowly. “But,” she sat up, adjusting her shirt back into place, “I’m starting to think you really do have magick hands.”

He rose a hand to her face, caressing her cheek, sliding it down her neck, reaching to cup her breast again. Kissing her deeply, he traced a circle on her shirt, teasing the nipple again and again.

She groaned, pushing herself into his deftly dancing hand. His fingers drew out sensations in her stomach, groin, and all the way down to her toes. Laughing softly, Dustin got to his feet, and leaned down to pull her up. “Sorry, it seems I can’t keep my hands off you.”

Ayala opened her mouth to protest, but then remembered that she really did want to get back to camp.

 

 

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“Daddy’s been real sick. A long time sick,” Ashlyn confided in their friend Aimee.

“Like, he might die sick?” Aimee asked.

Ashlyn nodded. “Mama said we would have to be strong.”

 

 

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Annika played in silence as her playmates talked about something she didn’t want to listen to. She didn’t like thinking Daddy might die. Angrily, she toppled her pile of blocks, throwing one at Ashlyn. “Shut up!” Annika yelled at her sister. “Daddy is not going to die!” Shoving away from the play table, she knocked everyone else’s blocks over in the process, and didn’t feel bad about it, not one bit. “I’m going to go play at the community center. By myself.” Her chin jutted out, and she started at a run, out of the camp.

Jessie jumped up and swiftly followed. “Annie wait! I’ll come with you! I can push you on the swings!”

Annika just kept on running.

 

 

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But Jessie caught up with her.

The fool boy always did.

 

 

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The afternoon was warm after another trek around the island. When they neared the village again, Dustin and Ayala stopped at the tidal pool and jumped in to cool off. Ayala floated in the water, holding onto his shoulders. Wrapping her legs around his waist, she kissed him in the slanting afternoon sunlight. Dustin leaned against the bank, his hands supporting her butt, and she wiggled against him, arching an eyebrow impishly. “You’ve got a mighty coy look on your face, my love,” he chuckled.

My love. Ayala stared at him, a fathomless expression to her face, then kissed him again, this time demandingly. My love. His hands moved up her sides, briefly cupped the sides of her breasts, then slid around her shoulders. Gripping him tightly with her arms and legs, she poured herself into that kiss, trying to express what his words had stirred in her–her own feelings for him, and how being with him made her feel.

Feeling his hand stroking up her side, she loosened her grip on his shoulders and leaned back slightly, silently urging his hand higher.

 

 

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She wanted him to touch her, and smiled against his mouth when his hand moved obligingly upward over her chest. “Yes.” She barely whispered it, closing her eyes. Her nipples had hardened in anticipation, and he rolled and plucked them through her swimsuit. Their mouths rested against each other, just breathing. Dustin slipped his hand under her top, easing one side down until her bare breast filled his hand, his fingers never still.

“Mm.” Ayala wasn’t aware of making the little sound of pleasure. Apart from the myriad sensations his touches sent sprawling through her body, her thoughts were exultant over the simple fact that it was Dustin touching her, how very much like a woman he made her feel. How very much she wanted him to keep doing what he was doing.

“I love touching you,” he whispered. Ayala’s eyes opened into his. His face was serious, his expression intense.

“I love you touching me,” she said breathed, every bit as intensely.

Reaching behind her back, he pulled loose the tie of her bikini top, and she shuddered when those magick hands returned to her bared nipples.  Hitching her up higher on his torso, he bent and sucked one into his mouth. After the cool of the water, the hot of his mouth made a sensational contrast. That his mouth was intimate with her bare skin made her belly tighten, that his tongue was flicking her nipple…oh gods, please don’t stop. He did stop, but it was only to catch the other neglected nipple in his teeth.

 

 

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“Hold onto me,” he told her, his voice husky. Then he hauled himself backwards out of the water, pulling her with him and rolling her over in the sand. His mouth immediately found her naked breast again, sucking it between his lips, covering the other completely with his big hand. Ayala could only gasp, holding his head to her, moaning as his tongue moved faster. There was a tension between her legs now, and it was almost a relief when his hand left her breast, slowly inching down her stomach. “Ohh,” she moaned, and his hand stilled. Opening her eyes, she stared at him for a depthless moment. “Don’t stop,” she whispered.

He smiled faintly. “Are you sure?”

“I’m sure if I’m with you, Dustin…my love.” She shyly added the endearment he’d used just a little while ago. It was true, and she was sure. Sure that she wanted to experience all this man had to offer, sure that she was happy, sure that she wanted this moment with no one else.

Keeping his eyes on her face, he slipped his fingers lower, beneath her panties, into the slit, and they both groaned when he rubbed into the wetness there. He traced little circles over and through the folds between her legs, and, rather than satisfying the tension, it only became more insistent. She jumped when his fingers circled her clit. Dustin pulled back to look at her face again, continuing the motion. Hmm, that must be the spot. He fingered the nub again, mesmerized by the quivering of her thighs.

 

 

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Ayala opened her eyes and looked at him when he withdrew his hand from her panties, and was almost shocked when he put his fingers in his mouth, tasting her fluids. Surprised by his own spontaneous desire, Dustin’s eyes fell shut when her musky flavor hit his tongue. As if under some hazy spell, the woman beneath him was invading all of his senses. Her responses tangled with his own, pulling him with a primal force he hadn’t known he possessed. More. I need more of her.

“Oh gods Ayala,” he whispered, delving a finger into her again. “I need to taste you.” He rose to knees, his erection pushing against his wet shorts. Impulsively Ayala reached out to touch it and he groaned. Ah, so he liked her hands touching him as much as she liked his hands touching her. It was a heady discovery. Her fingers encircled him through the fabric, and she explored the hard length. He eased away, and moved between her thighs, sliding his body down against the sand. “I need to taste you,” he said again. His fingers plucked at the ties of her underwear, tossing the little piece of cloth to the side.

 

 

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She wasn’t sure what to expect of this. She’d never been naked with him before, much less completely laid out and bared open to him in this exposed manner. He spread her open with his fingers, and lowering his head, gazed down at her. “Beautiful.”

Ayala gasped when his tongue licked up her slit, parting the lips. Little electric shocks popped all over her body. Dustin sucked the flesh into his mouth with a grunt that reverberated up her spine, his tongue sweeping up and down the folds of skin. Any thoughts of shy modesty or embarrassment fled her mind. This was about as intimate as two people could get without actually having sex. “Oh gods, Dustin!” she cried. Her hips moved against his face, the ache growing into a sharp tension.

 

 

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His lips closed over her clit again, tonguing it gently. Urged on by her little cry, he suckled it, swirling his tongue around it with more pressure. He groped for her hands, joining their fingers together as he settled into a rhythm, sucking and stroking his tongue against her, alternating pressure with whisper soft touches, releasing the nub with a wet pop, only to suck it in again. Her entire body began to shudder. Her thighs clenched around his head in a vise. Increasing his pressure, he felt the shock of her orgasm rock him all the way to his toes.

Finally her body relaxed and he lay his head against her stomach. He could feel the muscles of her lower abdomen and thighs still clenching in little aftershocks. “Thank you,” he whispered against her skin.

“For what?” she asked, surprised.

“For letting me share that experience with you. It was….” He found himself at a loss for words. He moved up, on his side, and lay his head on her shoulder, feeling overwhelmed with tenderness for her. He’d never shared an experience like this with anyone. No one had ever got to him the way she did. Being here, with her, that he’d been able to give her this pleasure…he couldn’t articulate even to himself how this made him feel.

 

 

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She gave a throaty laugh. “I’ve never…  that was….” She rolled on top of him, still naked. He was still hard, she could feel. Scooting backwards, she undid his shorts, sliding her hand along his flat belly, smiling at his intake of breath. “I’ve never felt anything like that before.” He looked puzzled, wanting to ask her something, but immediately forgot the question when Ayala’s fingers closed around him, moving down his shaft.

She’d seen naked men before, but not her man. She moved farther back, until she was kneeling in the sand between his legs. Experimentally, she moved her hand up and down his shaft, then down to cup his balls. Leaning forward, she pressed her lips against the head of his penis, touching it with her tongue.

“Oh gods. Ayala.” His hands dug into her shoulder.

 

 

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Curious at its taste, she sucked the head into her mouth. It tasted a little salty, a little metallic. His hips rose, and she took more of him in her mouth. Wrapping her lips firmly around him, her hand encircling the base of his shaft, she moved her head up until only his tip was in her mouth, and rolled her tongue around it. He groaned when she went back down, taking yet more of him in her mouth. Repeating the motions, she felt him get harder in her mouth. She’d never done this before, never even seen it done, but his body responding to her empowered her. She wanted to give to him as he’d given to her. She circled his head again with her tongue.

“Oh Ayala. I can’t–I’m going to–” his hands dragged her head up. “I don’t think I can hold back,” he fairly panted.

 

 

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“Then don’t.” She smiled, and moved into a sitting position, her hand picking up where her mouth had left off, stroking up and down. He stiffened even more in her fingers. Dustin reached down and wrapped his hand around hers, guiding it, faster. Then his body rose up again, and she felt the throbbing pulses in her hand as he came, spilling over their clasped hands. Leaning down, she ran her tongue over the head again, tasting it, closing her lips around it. She heard his strangled moan as another pulse rocked his hips and the last of it spurted into her mouth.

 

 

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Ayala stretched out beside him and lay her head on his chest, where she could hear his heart racing. His arms came around her, crushing her against him. They lay in silence, recovering themselves. Dustin’s mind was racing, even though his heart had finally settled it’s frenzied galloping. He hugged her to him, burying his face in her hair. His chest tightened with love. It wasn’t the sexual part of it, it was the giving and receiving of pleasure, the intimacy, experiencing this with her, his lover. His love.

She said she’d never–never what? Had an orgasm? Had she and Jake not–?

Holding her now, he felt tears prick his eyes. To think, he’d almost lost her. He combed his fingers through her ponytail, easing out some tangles. So in love, his mind whispered. Yes. He knew that. He’d known it that night behind the community center when he’d finally confronted her. Maybe he had always loved her. It seemed she’d always gotten under his skin, always had some power to hurt him. Thinking back to when he first discerned from her words, after Joel’s wedding, that she had feelings for him too, how she’d responded when he’d kissed her, how they’d grown together ever since, she had the power to bring him joy, too. It was a very vulnerable feeling.

“How do you feel?” he asked of her, at length.

“Loved. I feel loved.”

There went his heart, skipping a beat again. “You are loved,” he whispered, almost to low for her to hear.

 

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Gol Na Mban San Ar – William Coulter, Celtic Requiem album
Dustin and Ayala walked into the courtyard mid evening, hand in hand, and fairly glowing. Ayala stopped short when she saw Carrick sitting at the fire. “Carrick? What’s happened?” He looked up at them, noting their flushed faces, then stood up. Ayala felt Dustin’s arm slip around her waist, and was grateful for the implied support.

Uncharacteristically, Carrick reached and pulled her into a brief hug. “Dad wants to talk to you now,” he said.

Her eyes wide, she cast a glance at Dustin’s concerned face, then turned to go inside.

Wearily, Carrick returned to the fire. Dustin shifted from one foot to the other, wondering if he should leave, but feeling like he should stay. He hated to leave Ayala if something bad was happening. He knew her father had been ill.

 

 

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“Stay,” Carrick said, motioning toward a seat near the fire. “Ayala is going to need you.”

“Then I don’t want to leave.”

Carrick nodded, smiling faintly. He met Dustin’s eyes, and Dustin could see his sadness and weariness. The resignation. “Dad’s been ill, as you probably know.”

Dustin nodded.

“It started with a cold, he couldn’t keep himself from working in the orchard even when it rained, and this time a fever got him. It’s been getting worse. He’s weak now, and can barely breath without coughing blood. He’s not going to be with us much longer. He’s saying his goodbyes now.”

Dustin put a hand on Carrick’s shoulder briefly. “I’m sorry.” Not much he could say. He’d lost his father not long ago as well.

 

 

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Ayala entered the house, pushing aside the leather door covering. “Daddy?”

It was hot in the room. The fire had been built high, its light making the shadows dance on the wall. Despite the heat, Shane lay under a heavy blanket. He motioned for her with his hand. “Daughter.” His voice was hoarse, weak.

Swallowing an ominous feeling of dread, Ayala went to the bedside and took his hand. His wizened face and sunken eyes brought tears to her eyes.

“You were a beautiful baby. I fell in love with you the minute I saw you.” He coughed, and struggled to gain a deeper breath. “And now you’re a beautiful woman. I’m proud of the person you’ve become.”

“Daddy, when you get better–”

He waved his hand, scattering her words. “I’m not going to get better, Ayala. I’m at peace with that, as I want you to be.” He reached to touch the tears on her cheek. “When I’m gone, I want you to celebrate that I had a long life, blessed with love, with children. Seek the same for yourself, daughter.” The effort of speaking seemed to weaken him further, and he pulled the blanket up on his chest, closing his eyes.

 

 

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Ayala sat stiffly on the side of the bed, her throat too tight with tears to speak. He couldn’t be dying.

Shane’s eyes opened again when she squeezed his hand. “You are radiant in the love you’ve found. Remember what I told you. Don’t waste a moment. Build your life on love. Follow your heart, and you’ll end up where you belong.”

She sat there holding his hand until his breathing eased and deepened into sleep, then quietly slipped from the room.

 

 

 

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Outside, she felt her face crumble, and choked back a sob. Daddy is going to die. Dustin opened his arms, and she walked into that safe harbor.

He stroked her hair as she cried, feeling helpless that he couldn’t protect her from the inevitable. “Come, let’s go upstairs so you can lie down,” he said softly, taking her hand and leading her up the stairs to her room. “I’ll stay here tonight, if you want.” He couldn’t take away what was happening, he knew, but he wouldn’t let her go through this alone. He could at least hold her while she cried.

 

 

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Death came in the night.

 

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In the darkness, Dustin’s eyes opened. Shane was gone. He could feel it, just as he’d known it the moment his own father passed from life into death.

Beyond the doorway, he saw that it was still full dark, but he heard the crying down in the courtyard. Angling his head, he could see that Ayala still slept. She’d cried herself to sleep on his shoulder. Briefly, he wondered if he should wake her, but a powerful intuition told him that Lilith would want these initial moments of solitude.

 

 

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Dustin rolled onto his side, settling Ayala’s head in the crook of his arm, and closed his eyes. There would be time for Ayala to grieve when the sun came up. For now, he would hold her.

 

 

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Story notes~

Firstly, sorry about the delay in getting this chapter out! I assure you it hasn’t been due to procrastination. I’ve been working on this chapter every day for 2 weeks now, mostly making several of the poses. Apparently I’m slow as fuck at that.

Some big milestones for Dustin and Ayala as they continue to get closer. Now they are lovers–that’s as close as you can get to sex without having intercourse, and their feelings of love–although not precisely verbalized yet–have begun gaining vocal expression. Love is inevitable. Sex is inevitable.

So, too, sadly, is death inevitable. I fell in love with Shane’s character early on in this story, and his love story with Lilith became such a big part of this legacy that generation 1 has lasted nearly 7 months now. Not every generation will take that long (we all hope!), but it was a fitting start to a legacy.

 Fare thee well, Shane.