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The Romance of Mystery: Book One

Chapter Text

This lai that I here set down, it is the story of a courteous and generous Knight of the name of Sir Jean Lanval and the way in which his motto came to be in the Latin, "Clausum Mysterium".

King Arthur went to stay at his estate in Tregennis for the summer feast we call Whitsun. He gave to each count and each baron and to all of the Knights of the table round great gifts. Omegas and land, great King Arthur shared out with a generous hand to all but one. Sir Jean Lanval, he quite looked away from and no Alpha helped his recall.

This was of no fault of Jean's for he was of both brave and courteous heart. He gave freely of what he had with no stinting. Jean was often the victor in the lists, and greatly he brought his heart and courage to the battlefield. As he was a knight without estate, he was used to supporting himself by his skills alone.

He had lately been in the service of a Lord of a wandering heart. Jean followed him first to ancient Alexandria and great Byzantium, and from there to holy Jerusalem. There in battle, he took a blow to his shoulder and an arrow to the leg at Damascus, and having been wounded was then afflicted with fever of the bowels, which forced him to leave his Lord's service. So it was thus that as he washed ashore home, his health found him brown as a nut and thin as a lathe.

With no opportunities in the manor where he'd grown up, and suffering of his illness, he had set forth to find his fortune at the court of King Arthur in Camelot.

Whilst he sought his recovery to his misfortune he was taken up by a court-wise Omega, Lady Verte, who outside of bonded heat, was wont to take up with one or three vassals in courtly love between her confinements.

Then as now, it was understood, that to couple outside of bonded heat was a sin, for such would not bear the fruit that was its purpose. Even greater was the sin of despoiling a noble Omega of their chastity without bond for in bond was the inheritance of estate confirmed, and made sacred to the good Lord God above besides.

Yet, also it was well understood that humours might arise were they not drained, which could lead Knights to that greater despoiling sin of rutting with an unbonded Omega, or bonded Omegas to stray in heat. Also, in the court of Camelot, the wise Queen Guinevere had sought to engender a chivalrous understanding that for an Alpha vassal to take up a love that was generous, patient and kind with a bonded Omega was to enrich the vassal in courteous charity. The end result of that charity would be the love of God.

By this, Jean, no stranger to courtliness, if of no great station being a mere knight's son, sought to live by all that was proper and do as he ought. His good qualities in love he had established upon three continents. Never with other than a bonded Omega of greater estate did he take up, and never at their time of heat. Always he strove to improve his good qualities through the courtesy of his service.

Now it was true, that his injuries had brought him low, but as he was a well versed vassal and skilled in providing satisfaction outside of coupling, it should have been no matter. Had the Lady Verte been true, then his good qualities might have been rewarded. But she asked of him more than in his illness he could provide. To his shame of his injuries, he was unable to play that part.

It should have ended there. Yet with her wicked thoughts, she then did him a wicked turn. She accused Jean before all the court of having an ungenerous heart and granting his service poorly. Further she let it be known that the injury to his leg had left him incapable of serving an Alpha's part entirely, which was not true.

As Jean had been long from Camelot, he had no one to speak for him.

Now it was that Lord Verte took a great affront to this insult for his bonded Omega had borne to him six sons with all the signs that they should be Alphas. In addition, Lady Verte's private Confessor spoke up as well and said he’d heard this spoken by others in confession. So the court deemed then that the Lady Verte's words must be true.

So it was that King Arthur granted him no gifts. Queen Guinevere turned her face from him. The Queen's friend of shared marks, Sir Lancelot du Lac, refused to face Jean in the lists. No Count would take such an Alpha to his court. No Omega would grant him favours. He was not welcome at the court of Camelot. His reputation was quite in ruins.

Even injured as he was, he resolved to find his fortune upon the road.

He set out upon a day most fair and journeyed until he reached the dark forest of Broceliande where the trees were so closely knit that the sun might as well have not shone upon them. Such was the heart of Jean that he tarried not in beams of sunlight, but went down the centre of the road looking only for what might lie ahead.

In time, the forest gave way to a castle black in battlements and ornamented with no colours. The gates had been left to hang open and the walls had fallen into such disrepair that saplings grew where the mortar should have tightly joined stone.

For all of this, the castle dire was not untenanted. There in the courtyard beside the mossy well stood an Ogre of horrid aspect. Ten feet tall he stood and completely unclothed. So unknown to courtesy was this creature that he stroked the pillar of his pleasure and yelled to the heavens, "Slick. Sweet. Sweet. Slick. The Omega is mine to take and mine to keep. Knight, I will grind you beneath my foot. I will make my bread from your bones and my jam from your blood." The Ogre smacked his lips and picked up a mighty staff of oak all encrusted with rusted iron.

Jean's heart did not waver for even injured as he was, ever true was he upon the field of battle. He rode forward upon his courser red. He held his javelin and true he struck, but the Ogre only laughed and plucked the stick from his flesh. With his sword then, Jean made battle, leaving aside his trusty courser that it might not be injured for such was his courtesy. It was such a battle that many should have seen it, but only the crows perched upon the battlements did.

Jean moved as quickly as he could for his armour was but of boiled leather, so poorly was he equipped. He quite forgot his injuries. Quick were his steps and like the lightning storm were the movements of his sword. Not fast work, but he did his work well upon the Ogre.

Having defeated the Ogre, Jean thought to seek out the Omega of which the Ogre had spoken to see if Jean might be of some assistance.

Jean climbed the blackened stairs of the keep. When he reached the top, the room that he found there was open on three sides with broken windows and the dark forest lay exposed to his view.

But he cared not for such views, for even with the room open as it was, it was sweetly perfumed with the scent of heat as stood before him an Omega of surpassing beauty chained with a length of cold iron to the wall.

The Omega had discarded his wimple to reveal fine curling black hair that lay virgin loose upon his shoulders. He wore a rich surcote of red silk that sparkled with gems laced tightly at his sides and Jean could see that beneath the surcote, the Omega wore a cote that was laced exceedingly tight. About his neck, he wore a collar of gold thick with gems. Upon his arms, he wore thick bracelets of gold likewise so enriched. Upon his bare ankles, he wore enriched anklets as well. From such fineries, Jean knew this to be an Omega far beyond him in station. Still further, Jean's staff, which these months had lain a dry twig betwixt his legs, twitched to life once more, and he rejoiced in it. Had he known this would lead to his folly, he perhaps would have left. But most likely he'd have returned straightway again.

But this tale cannot speak of what he did not do, but only of what he did.

Jean came forward into the room. No sooner than he had entered, than the Omega gazed upon him most searchingly and even before Jean had offered his help, the Omega said in deep rich tones like the deepest church bell, "Were you wounded in Edessa or Damascus?"

Jean was filled with astonishment. "Damascus," he replied. "But how could you know that? But by what magic can you know what was to you unseen? But of greater import, how may I assist you? Who has chained you here and why?"

The Omega closed his eyes as if in pain and stretched the long whippet slender length of his body as if to so grant ease. "It should be quite obvious that I chained myself here that with my heat upon me, I would not go down and shame myself by disporting with the Ogre and so die." The Omega shifted with some discomfort upon bared feet. "As obvious as that even as a knight with no fees owed him, and but lately injured, you have defeated the Ogre and did so on foot. For all that you came here on a red courser."

Jean marvelled. "That is amazing for it is so."

A most becoming flush came to the Omega's cheeks that were like finest bleached linen and as pale as that which had never seen the sun. "I know this by no magic, although the ways of magic are well known to me. The weave of your stockings are quite stained from the grasses grown wild in the yard, where you dismounted. Still further they are enriched with red horsehair." He wrapped his arms about himself then and seemed to take stock of Jean. He breathed in deeply, seeming to like the air. "An Alpha you are and a knight errant, you must ride a courser or a destrier, which must have been killed in your battle with the Ogre. That he bellows no more indicates your defeat of him." The Omega waved a fine hand in Jean's direction and upon his fingers he bore rich rings, but richer yet was the scent that filled the room at his movement. "That you wear boiled leather shows your fortunes are not good. By your skin brown as a nut, I'd know you as a knight errant returned from afar even had you not the ribbons for pilgrimage to the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem upon your sleeve. As you bear on your shoulder and leg injuries that made you so thin, I ask after the place of battle where you took these wounds." He opened his eyes again and they were of a silvered hue more shining than any gem upon his surcote. "Tell me then, is there aught that I missed?

Jean marvelled at the Omega. Jean swayed forward, but restrained himself from touching the Omega for such could lead to sin in the Omega's time of heat. "I dismounted my courser for courtesy's sake during my battle with the Ogre and no injury to him, for even now grazes upon the grass with your palfrey below. But beyond this one fact, all that you say is quite true. Your words fill me to the brim with amazement, so brilliant are the rays of your thoughts."

"Your response is not the general reaction." It seemed as a flush came to the pale cheeks of the Omega, that he was pleased with Jean’s praise.

This tumbled Jean to curiosity,."What have others said, when you've laid their past so clearly bare?"

The Omega glanced more swiftly then. "When I was younger, I was much fawned on and behind my back was mocked. But in later times my observations have been met with coarser responses."

Jean shook his head at this. Then as the Omega clearly bore no mark on his neck, but still it were good to ask, he said, "Such responses I cannot imagine. What does your bonded Alpha say, or is it possible that you are as yet unbonded?"

The Omega almost snarled his response, "I have sworn never to bond and have no desire to breed. To the exploration of mystery, I set myself long ago and it is to this exploration that I consider myself bonded. When my family a bonded Alpha proposed, I left as the strongest rejection of this idea." The Omega paced to the rattling of his chain, and groaned in some discomfort as the perfume of his heat grew stronger yet. He moved to sit in a stone window seat below a gaping opening to the west.

Now though Jean and the Omega could not see it, a battle was even then being fought between gentle Chivalry and burning Desire, while behind them stood the objects of their affection, Chaste Action and Nature. Chivalry bore a blade of shining courtesy and a shield of stout honour. Desire wielded doubled weapons, a mace of ardent love and a whip of consuming lust.

As Chivalry brought down his blade upon the mace, Chaste Action said, "It is not mete for a knight without a penny to breed a gently raised Omega of noble estate out of bond. Therefore he should leave even now and stand guard at the front of the keep."

As Desire parried then and brought forth his whip to flick round the edge of Chivalry's shield and made Chivalry hiss with the touch of it, Nature said, "When I created Alphas, I granted them the gifted curse of rut with no intention that they should then use my gift while standing guard alone and seeding fallow earth rather than a nubile Omega."

Chivalry lunged with his sword, as Chaste Action said, "You are an unnatural mother, I grant, but it is I who guide Knights on the path to a sterling reputation."

Nature only smiled as Desire with a beat threw back Chivalry's blow and with one hand furiously lashed Chivalry so he dropped his shield and with the other brought down his mace upon Chivalry's chest, so he fell back upon the blow.

Chaste Action said, "It is no matter, I created courtesy as a blade that cannot be broken." Chivalry lunged in a mighty attack to Desire's heart.

Nature only smiled and said, "And I thank you for its creation, as it is a blade that cuts both ways for Courtesy's sake Nurture teaches Omegas to stay silent when they mean no. Although, this Omega has been let to grow without such intervention and we'll see what then results." As she said this, Desire stepped into that blow and took it to his heart, for courtesy could not kill Desire so long as he lashed Chivalry with infatuation and scorched him with love.

So smiling Nature cast Chivalry and Chaste Action from the room and instead invited in Chaste Intention, and in doing so turned to Jean standing by the door. The two of them, Chaste Intention and Desire each took Jean by the hand, while Nature laid a hand upon his shoulder, and guided him to sit next to the Omega.

Nature kissed his brow and an unnatural mother as she was sat to watch what would then unfold.

Jean and the Omega sat beside each other for a time a time. With a groan, the Omega listed as a tree might do towards Jean, such that his head rested upon Jean's shoulder. Here truly Jean's thoughts were only guided by Chaste Intention as he brushed his hand through the Omega's curling locks and felt his heart thunder a stopping start in his chest as skin met skin for the first time.

Often he had heard that an Alpha would know their one true love at the first touch of flesh to flesh. He had heard poems of Alphas and Omegas, unbonded, that exchanged ever furtive caress, but never had he credited it for true. Credited or not, love broke over him like the oncoming of a storm at the heedless shore. His fingers moved of their own accord across the Omega's high cheek, and his chest released a boiling sort of sigh as the Omega turned his face to the touch and like a cat lightly licked of his palm.

Jean swallowed and raised his eyes up to heaven. He prayed for strength, but his hand kept on in its motion through tangled tresses and soft skin that fair burned him with want. He turned and pressed a brief kiss upon the Omega's brow. Truly, his intentions were entirely chaste in that kiss and the string of others that he then bestowed like gems of a crown cross the Omega's face.

Then knowing his actions tended in a direction not good, he pulled back and to distract himself, he asked, "As I have not your great skill at observation, will you tell me how is it that you come to be in this sorry place, alone, and at such a time?"

The Omega slid his arm round Jean's back and nuzzled at his neck, while Jean continued with comforting him with stroking touches through his hair. So with his deep voice near to Jean's skin, the Omega purred forth this response. "I was traveling alone from my home to the Convent of the Magdalene in Broceliande where I am resolved to take up the veil and turn my face towards the exploration of mystery." Jean pressed a chaste kiss to the Omega's cheek. His arm stroking up through the Omega's silken hair, whilst all the while the Omega's long fingers trailed up and down Jean's side. "As I travelled, I heard of the curse upon this place and I resolved to use my knowledge to lift it, which I have done. Only then was laid low by my nature." The Omega paused in his speech to cry out to Christ for charity in his time of trial. Jean sighed in sympathy as his own staff had hardened like an oak shot through with cold iron. On that sympathy's wing and guided by Chaste Intention, he pressed another kiss, this time to the Omega's lips, which parted before his own as a flower. Where like a hummingbird, Jean dared slip in his tongue, as Chaste Intention quietly left the room leaving Desire to take the lead.

Eyes closed, they sat thus for a time. Thigh pressed to thigh and bodies turned exchanging heated kisses. The only sound their gasping breaths and bird song from all around the gaping windows. The Omega's face, Jean framed with his hands and so felt his body rock back and forth in an echo of coupling. Jean clung to this thought, as long as they sat thigh to thigh, naught could occur but ought it should.

Finally, sighing for mercy from the Lord God above, the Omega pulled away looking down with a modest blush. "Sir Knight, you have done me a great service by killing the Ogre, can you not see your way to the sweeter one of easing my discomfort in such a way as would please you well, but would leave me yet unbred?" The Omega placed his fingers cross Jean's lips as he opened them to say that there was no such way. So instead of words, Jean those fingers kissed as the Omega said, "Such is the prestige of my family that I have been granted Papal dispensation for a stroke or twenty from a Beta's staff in my time of heat. I well know that a single stroke from your staff would ease me just as well as that Beta's twenty." He closed his eyes and cried out again as a penitent cries out to God for sweet mercy as his heat gripped him tight.

Now Jean's generous nature warred with his fear that he would be unable to restrain himself to a single stroke, and though he was no stranger to love play, he'd never so much as touched an Omega in their heat. He well knew this proposal was by no means chaste. Though love had struck him a mighty blow that granted nothing where bonding was concerned. Without the blessing of the Omega's noble family, to trammel with a gently bred Omega's chastity would be a grievous sin. But the idea of a stroke, a single stroke, which by its nature could do no harm quite set fire to his thoughts already burning at love's touch, and even further he reasoned, he would do his love a great service.

The Omega placed his hand upon Jean's chest. "Please, Sir Knight, can you not observe how I am suffering." Jean breathed in and all around him was the Omega's sweet scent. His lips tingled from the Omega's kisses. "Please, I assure you it is nothing that I have not done before." These words then gave Jean a sweet relief. For Jean well knew no Omega would seek to take the veil at a convent of the Magdalene that had not some experience in these matters, and if the Omega had such experience of such a stroke before, then it were something that could be done. The Omega said he had Papal dispensation. So such a stroke would even be no sin. So Jean bargained with himself that he might do as the Omega asked.

Yet, there trembled within him one last thread of impediment. "But as you yourself have said, your dispensation is for a Beta, which I am not."

The Omega pressed his face to Jean's as if modesty had overwhelmed him. Into Jean's ear, he murmured, "Having been granted dispensation for one and twenty of a Beta, then surely one from an Alpha would be much the same as a Beta's hundred." The Omega pressed a kiss to Jean's neck, of which he shuddered on the weight of the idea pleasingly presented. "As you possess the key meant for the lock that I hold, how much better the fit and the more likely it will grant ease with one stroke. Please, Sir Knight, will you not grant me the ease for which we already have dispensation that makes it no sin?"

Jean gave way then quite suddenly. "I am no scholar to argue with your logic. I will do it." Greatly inflamed as he was by the thought of this single stroke, Jean shed such of his leathers and his clothes that they would not obstruct this course and turned to find the Omega with his knees upon the seat faced out the broken window. Having braced himself there, he had pushed up his rich surcote and cote to his waist, quite baring his nether cheeks, while leaving his top modestly clothed. This was the position of love that was then, as it is now, called Ruin for any Omega to take it up outside of bond for the double ruin of being a wanton bred and for the shameful reputation of being seen by any who might choose to look up upon the window.

The crows that perched upon the weed grown castle walls looked up and croaked their advice that went unheeded.

For far from turning from this path, the Omega looked back over his shoulder and brushed a finger to the pearl that had formed at the tip of Jean's staff. Taking then that pearl to his mouth, he smiled and turned modestly away.

Jean stood behind the Omega, marvelling at the soft purity of his skin, which had clearly never known the sun's touch or the labour of a day's work. No sooner had Jean performed the teasing touch with the tip of his staff than the Omega cried out, "As you love Jesus, Sir Knight, do not tease me so. I am in great discomfort. A single stroke is all I beg of you. Please give me what you have agreed to."

Jean did not need to be asked again, eager as he was to do as the Omega asked. His only concern was that he'd not be able withdraw after the single stroke and so fall into the grievous sin of breeding a noble Omega out of bond and one so high above him in rank, but that was but a faint thought and dimly felt.

What was fully felt was the Omega's well watered flesh, which parted before his thrust most pleasingly. The Omega exclaimed on all aspects of what they had just done. In a voice of great surprise, the Omega said, "Sweet Jesus, I can feel your knot within me. Never have I felt the like."

This remark was without sense to Jean as his knot was no larger than it ever was. But tightly held as he was by the Omega's channel; all Jean could do was give forth his own praises to the good Lord God above that he had been blessed to make this stroke within his one true love.

He thought to couch in the Omega for a while, as he'd have but this one chance. But it came dimly to Jean as the Omega rocked against him that he had been asked for but a single stroke and so he must withdraw.

It seemed to Jean that the tight scabbard of the Omega was as reluctant to release the blade of Jean's desire, as Jean was to leave his grip. Still for courtesy's sake, he withdrew. But for courtesy's sake, he applied the teasing touch to the Omega's well watered entrance, for surely this were no sin. All the while praying to the good Lord God above that the Omega would desire a second stroke. For Jean reasoned to himself that he'd had done it poorly and not even struck the Omega's pearl of pleasure in his haste, which spoke poorly of his service to love.

He was about to say so when his prayer was answered as the Omega cried out to him as a sinner cries out to God for sweet mercy, "Oh, Sir Knight, I am in great suffering. Will you not give me ease with a second stroke? For which dispensation is already given us. As once you've granted, surely it were no sin to grant again. Please, I beg of you, another stroke is all I ask."

It was Jean's great pleasure to comply. Once more the Omega's well watered flesh parted pleasingly before his thrust. Once more the Omega cried out, "Sweet Jesus, your knot, how it sweetly grips me," for all that Jean's knot was but lightly swelled by the first stroke.

Jean marvelled as well. For he had never felt the like, but then, he'd never so much as touched an Omega in heat, much less been granted the boon of a single stroke.

Again, Jean lingered in that sweet couch. Again, for courtesy's sake, he withdrew, but moved his tip in the teasing touch against the Omega's well watered entrance for courtesy's sake for surely this were no sin. He told himself that in a moment, he would step away, but prayed to the good Lord God above that he be granted the request of a third stroke. For Jean had not yet struck the Omega's pearl and surely if the Omega was to be satisfied with a single stroke, then Jean must improve his aim.

He opened his mouth to say this when the Omega cried out more simply this time, "Oh, sweet Jesus, grant me mercy. It is only through your knotted staff that I find surcease. We have dispensation for twenty more. Please as you love God, fill me again!"

Once more it was Jean's greatest pleasure to do as the Omega asked. As he thrust in, he knew his aim had been true for the Omega cried out in a voice as loud and deep as the largest church bell his delight at being filled so completely to the threshold of his womb. He further marvelled in an unceasing brook of words on all aspects of what they had done.

Whilst the Omega cried out his praises, the Omega's sheath showered the elixir of the heat set down by the great Lord God above upon Jean's staff and burgeoning knot. As Jean pulled slowly forth, that elixir proved no balm, but rather inflamed as oil on a fire.

The proof of which was how Nature gripped Jean tight and he found himself quite unable to withdraw. The proof of which was how the Omega choked out these words of commanding supplication, "Do not stint with your mercy. Again. We have dispensation for five hundred more. Again. Please, again."

From then all thoughts of withdrawal were well and truly flown. No sooner had his Omega cried out, "Again, sweet Jesus, again," but Jean had already granted his Omega's request with full vigour. No longer stopping, but always in anticipation, Jean ploughed forward in advance of the request with answering cries of his own.

All thought of restraint gave way as Jean thrust into his Omega as greatly as he had ever striven at the lists. His Omega in turn sweetly met each thrust by pressing mightily back, deepening the power of each stroke. The swelling of Jean's knot should have given them both ample warning, instead Jean praised the good Lord God above for the blessing of dispensation for strokes that made this no sin.

His Omega's commanding cries of, "As you have mercy. Dispensation. Again," dissolved into the simple command, "Again," which Jean joyous obeyed even before the command was given.

However, just as the pilgrim climbing Holy Mount Sinai may struggle even as he approaches the top, as all tightened within him in anticipation, Jean struggled with shallow strokes at his Omega's entrance. For as warmly inviting as his Omega was, the battlements of his gate resisted then the admittance of Jean's well burgeoned knot, which to Jean seemed a great suffering and he prayed to the good Lord God above for assistance in his time of need.

His Omega felt it too for he cried out as one who faces the loss of salvation, "Why do you hold back? The Pope himself has given me clemency for strokes up to the root. For charity's sake, do not begrudge me the relief that is due me. Please. For God's sake, grant me another stroke."

On some last hazy thought, Jean said, "If I do not withdraw, I will knot within." But what he prayed to the good Lord God in heaven for was that he should be blessed to do exactly that.

He received in answer only this command, "As you love God. Sweet Mercy. Dispensation. Again!"

In truth, it would already have been too late had the Omega asked Jean to withdraw. It would have been too late when Jean ploughed that first sweet stroke. Too late when Jean sat down beside him. Nature's hand gripped Jean tight and it was too late for anything but what occurred.

His Omega's command was not yet complete, as Jean gave a last mighty thrust that Jean's knot might pass again into his Omega and be safely couched where Nature meant him to be.

It cannot be said if this thrust was too soon or too late, only that no sooner has Jean's knot gained entry, but it redoubled in size such that he to his Omega, they were locked tight together.

The word, "Again," yet trembled on his Omega's lips, as his Omega cried out, "Sweet Jesus, your knot, it is too much. You are cleaving me in half. I did not ask for this. I asked for a single stroke."

Jean came to himself in panic at what he'd done. He tried to pull out that he might free them of this grievous sin that but a moment before he had prayed to the good Lord God above that he might commit.

These thoughts came too late, as now well watered in truth his Omega's flesh became; for from Jean's knotted staff came forth the river of his seed into the firmly banked fields of his Omega's body, which brought with it such pleasure that Jean could scarcely compass it.

Yet dimly, he felt his Omega struggle to break free. His Omega cried out, "It is too much. I cannot bear it. I did not ask to be bred."

Confusion roiled against pleasure, as Jean's last intention had been chaste. Chaste was not this, but wanton was, while before him his Omega gave further panicked cries.

So it was to courtesy Jean gave way. Jean slid his hand under his Omega's cote and surcote and onto the flat plane of his Omega's belly. "Pax. Sweet. Pax. Unthinking, a grievous sin have I committed with my last stroke, but on my soul, now it's done. I cannot free you of this fate." He stroked his Omega's sceptre firmly until his Omega exhaled a soft sob of release.

Jean tried, but he could not hold back, so sweetly did his Omega squeeze upon him. He gave forth a second river that while pleasing Jean greatly drew still further cries of disbelief from his Omega. As that flood ebbed, his Omega yielded to what was done, and in leaning against Jean, struggle gave way to exaltation to the Lord above. His Omega cried out his pleasure in a voice as loud and deep as the largest church bell such that the doves nesting under the eaves of the tower set to flight and the crows set to calling. Another flood from Jean, his Omega's joy brought forth, and Jean joined the Omega's cries with his own.

As tides paused, Jean rested his forehead on his Omega's still clothed back, hiding his face from himself. He remembered his thought before his first thrust. "Sweet Jesus, and now I know why this position is called Ruin. For well have I ruined you to our soul's peril."

His Omega laughed and threw back his head with its curling locks. "So, this is ruin." He shifted his hips such that he tugged most pleasurably upon Jean's knot. Jean gave way to his cries of release, as his Omega laughed like the deepest rolling sound of a great church bell upon the birth of a future king. He laughed and laughed, and still laughing, his Omega bent his head down and gave way to further release.

Locked as they were, and as mean a space as this was, Jean prayed then for this moment to be never ending for then all would be pleasure and never a price. But this prayer was not meant to be answered for Jean's knot gave way that the tides might recede and trickle back down his Omega's thighs as pale as the birch trees that gleam in the woods.