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Belono Sil'aru (shoulder your burdens well)

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Jaina kept her eyes fixed on Anduin, staring at him as though nothing else on Azeroth mattered. It was a doomed effort, she already knew, but she had to make a token attempt to ignore the figure on the other side of the table, the one who truly held her attention.

From what she could glimpse out of the corner of her eye, Sylvanas looked entirely too pleased with herself. No one could possibly be so happy to sit in a hot, crowded tent on the coast. And yet, the Banshee Queen looked every bit like a nightsaber crouched over its kill, assured it wouldn’t go hungry that day.

Sylvanas’s ears pricked forward, but she lounged carelessly in her seat, elbows set back on the armrests to put her breasts on rather prominent display. When Jaina stole the briefest of glances, already chastising herself for it, then flicked her eyes up to see if Sylvanas had noticed, the Warchief ran her tongue across her fangs—a show that could only be for Jaina’s benefit. Or, rather, her torment.

She should be paying attention, Jaina knew. Every ship the Kul Tiran fleet could spare was anchored just off the coast, awaiting her orders. Alliance and Horde champions alike would board them shortly, in hopes of bringing the fight to N’Zoth and Azshara themselves. No longer would they wait to be slaughtered on land, sending reinforcements too late. They would meet their enemies on the seas instead. But Sylvanas wasn’t making things easy — neither the meeting, nor the growing hollowness in Jaina’s lower belly. A hollowness she could easily name, but did not wish to.

“I cannot spare that many Forsaken for the first assault,” Sylvanas said to Anduin, although her gaze bored into Jaina the entire time. Not even into her face, but her décolletage, as though Sylvanas weren’t even trying to hide where her interests really lay. Jaina fiddled awkwardly with the anchor pendant above her breasts. It burned, the metal unnaturally warm against her skin.

“We are, as you know, a limited force, considering the small size of our population. And I suspect the Kul Tirans might be… unsettled… by the presence of so many undead on their prized ships.”

Unsettled. What a polite euphemism. Jaina suspected even some of her most stalwart sailors would be afraid of sharing such close quarters with the Forsaken, while she had gone right past unsettled while sharing close quarters with Sylvanas, and landed somewhere near desperate. Tides take her for making me squirm just by looking at me. She doesn’t get to fuck me every time we cross paths, just because she wants to. She doesn’t own me.

“I wouldn’t ask if it weren’t important,” Anduin replied, doing a serviceable job of ignoring what had to be obvious tension. To Jaina’s nose, Sylvanas’s scent was all sex and enticement, so strong she dared not breathe too deep, lest her omega instincts get the best of her. “The Forsaken have proven resistant to some of N’Zoth’s power. If something goes wrong, we could lose entire crews to madness.”

“Resistant to madness, perhaps,” Sylvanas drawled, “but not so resistant to naga tridents and C’Thraxxi claws. Not all my people share my own physical resilience, and as you know, replenishing our numbers is a complicated matter.”

That was putting it lightly. The circumstances under which humans could, and should, choose to become Forsaken upon their deaths was still a hot topic of debate in Alliance circles, and most had agreed not to touch the subject until the end of the war so as to avoid further bloodshed, even as it became a more pressing issue with all the casualties they experienced.

I wonder how Sylvanas feels about it, having the future of her people’s existence debated by her former enemies…

Jaina shook herself. A few months ago, she never would have caught herself wondering how the Banshee Queen might feel about anything. She hadn’t been sure Sylvanas experienced emotions at all, let alone the way the living did. Their past few encounters had shown her otherwise. Sylvanas and the Forsaken were a lot more like the humans of Stormwind and Kul Tiras than most would admit. Many of the undead Jaina had met of late retained considerable portions of their previous personalities.

Guess that means Sylvanas was a pain in the ass before she died, too, Jaina thought as the Warchief fixed her with another sultry stare. Only the worry that Anduin might notice prevented her from aiming a kick at Sylvanas’s shins under the table.

She was so distracted that she almost missed Anduin’s response: “I’m aware of all that, Sylvanas, and I’m asking anyway. Your people have a skill set the Alliance soldiers lack. We need you.”

His attempt at flattery was rather obvious, but Sylvanas seemed to enjoy it nevertheless. She was far too dignified to preen, but she did wear a smug smile, and Jaina caught a glint in her ruby red eyes—a look of pleased mischief that made her stomach squirm in uncomfortably pleasant ways.

“Very well, little lion. You shall have your extra forces, although I do hope our campaign proves as successful as you seem to believe it will.”

“I have faith in our combined efforts,” Anduin said. “I have to admit, I’m impressed with what the Alliance and Horde have managed to achieve so far by working together.”

Sylvanas merely offered a mild hum of agreement. “Let us hope our cooperation continues to provide results. The alternative is death for you, and a true death for me.”

“Speaking of which,” Jaina said, recalling her earlier thoughts, “we might want to consider putting a system in place for, erm, raising fallen soldiers as Forsaken. If they so choose.”

For the first time she could recall, Jaina saw a look of surprise cross Sylvanas’s face. Her eyes widened slightly, and her tufted brows raised almost imperceptibly, but the signs were there—perhaps because Jaina was studying the alpha’s face so intently. “That is a bold suggestion, Lord Admiral,” Sylvanas said, with a note of admiration in her voice, “and surprisingly progressive of you. However, you may be pleased to hear that it is very difficult to raise an unwilling spirit.”

Does that mean some part of Sylvanas wanted to return, when Arthas raised her? Was it fear of death? A selfish desire to live? Or did some part of her hope she could still prevent Quel’thalas from falling? Jaina could barely contain her curiosity, but she reminded herself this was neither the time nor place to interrogate Sylvanas about the nature of undeath, or her motivations for returning.

“That’ll be a difficult sell,” Anduin admitted, scratching his chin in thought, “but I’ll talk to the other Alliance leaders. Some won’t like it—”

Sylvanas waved a careless hand. “If you concern yourself overmuch with the misgivings of that cantankerous old dog of yours, we will never launch Jaina’s fleet at all, let alone arrange for willing humans to be raised under my command.”

Anduin stared at Sylvanas in a state of utter shock before his eyes flicked to meet Jaina’s. It took her a moment to realize what had surprised him so, but when she did, she blushed furiously. Fuck. She used my first name!

To her relief, Anduin didn’t point it out. He simply cleared his throat and said, “Er, well then. Now that I’ve got you to sign off on adding Forsaken soldiers to the Kul Tiran crews, Jaina and I will see about putting them on the ship rosters. Won’t we?”

Jaina swallowed. “Of course.”

Sylvanas dipped her head in acknowledgment. “I shall send one of my Dark Rangers over with a list.”

Anduin gave her a forced, toothy smile. “Well then. No time like the present!”

Sylvanas rose from her chair with the same languid grace as always, standing tall in her armored boots. “Enjoy your little chat,” she said, looking between the two of them. Her eyes eventually settled and lingered on Jaina, who tried to ignore the quickening of her heart and the odd, discomforting dizziness that came along with it.

Before Jaina could offer some kind of parting shot, Sylvanas strode from the tent without waiting to be dismissed, leaving her to stare after. Not for the first time, she cursed Sylvanas for wearing such tight armor. She had no idea how elves made functional battlewear that also happened to be form-fitting, but it was frustratingly inconvenient for her, as well as her smallclothes. 

“Ahem.”

Jaina gave a jolt, then shot Anduin a sheepish look. “Yes?”

He sighed, blowing his blond hair off his forehead with an upward puff of air. “You could at least try not to drool.”

She pulled a sour face. “I wasn’t,” she protested, but as soon as she said it, she realized she sounded like a petulant child.

“Of course not,” Anduin said, in a deadpan tone that suggested he wasn’t buying it for a moment.

Jaina sighed. “It’s complicated.”

“I should say so, Auntie.”

The pet name softened her mood somewhat, and she decided to offer him a heavily censored version of the truth. “It’s nothing you need to worry about,” she insisted, willing Anduin to believe her. “A lingering physical attraction since Stormwind that obviously can’t go anywhere, due to our respective positions.”

A look of relief crossed Anduin’s face. “Of course. I’m an omega, too—I understand.” He hesitated, then asked, “She hasn’t… bothered you about what happened in Stormwind, has she?”

“If you mean, has she tormented me by bringing it up at every opportunity for maximum embarrassment, then yes, of course she has. But I can handle Sylvanas. And this might come as a surprise to you, but she occasionally offers me begrudging respect.”

“That doesn’t surprise me at all,” Anduin said. “Only a fool wouldn’t respect you, Jaina, and Sylvanas is no fool.”

Jaina gave Anduin a tight smile. “I’ll take that as a compliment.” Before the conversation could get any more awkward, or he could question her further, she made her departure, heading for the tent flap with a brisk stride. “I’m going to take some air. I’ll be in my tent afterward if you need anything.”

“Of course,” Anduin repeated, in a tone that suggested he still didn’t quite believe her. But Jaina was too distracted to care. She barreled out of the tent, already scanning the campsite for Sylvanas’s dark, lean figure. Like a moth enthralled by a flame, she plowed on, too bewitched by the prospect of being in Sylvanas’s presence to consider whether she might end up burned.

***

Sylvanas watched Jaina’s progress from the shadow of a crookedly pitched tent, resisting the rare urge to smile. The sight of the Lord Admiral blowing through the hastily assembled cliffside camp in a tempest of white and blue was far more entertaining than it had any right to be. She knew instinctively that Proudmoore was searching for her, perhaps to have words, but judging from her body language, other possibilities seemed far more likely.

The prospect certainly wasn’t unappealing. After decades of self-imposed celibacy, Sylvanas found that she enjoyed the pleasures her new form was capable of experiencing—pleasures Proudmoore had reawakened within her, for better or worse. It had been disconcerting at first. Frightening even, if she were being honest, and as the Banshee Queen, her fear was not easily bought. But she recognized power when she saw it, and Proudmoore had most definitely woven some kind of spell over her, even without the use of her usual magics.

As Jaina strode purposefully around a corner, Sylvanas found herself with a decision to make. She could slip away, perhaps to resume the important business of preparing for the combined Horde-Alliance assault on Azshara’s forces, or… 

She suppressed a shudder of anticipation and self-loathing as she stalked after Proudmoore. Have I really become so weak? she asked herself as she glimpsed the blue swirl of Jaina’s cloak disappearing into the dark pine forest that bordered the camp’s other side, opposite the coast. But, yes. Yes, she had.

Sylvanas had always been at home in forests. They felt far more natural to her than oceans, fjords, or the deserts of Durotar, yet her skin prickled with electricity as she crept over the soft bed of fallen pine needles, her feet making no sound at all. The prey she was hunting this time confused her, as did the primal pull deep within her gut. She had made the conscious choice to come here, but it didn’t really feel like a choice at all.

A rustle to her left caused her to cock her head, ears shifting into an upright position. It was most definitely Jaina. She could tell from the overlay of omega-scent on the deep draught of forest air she’d inhaled, despite the fact that breathing was unnecessary. She’d been hoping to smell Jaina. To sense something of the omega’s mood and receptivity as well as her position.

I could still turn back, Sylvanas thought, even as she hoisted herself into a nearby tree, one of the few low-boughed deciduous specimens scattered among the pines. If she revealed herself, she would be revealing more than her presence to Proudmoore. She’d be showing her hand. Admitting to the need that had its iron hooks in her. The need to be in Jaina’s presence. To smell her. Taste her. Fuck her. Bask in her, and all the confusing things Jaina made her… feel.

But even those dangers weren’t enough to dissuade her. About fifteen feet up, Sylvanas caught a glimpse of Jaina. She had been aware of the omega’s position all along—it was impossible not to be aware of Jaina, at all times—but the sight of her would have sent Sylvanas’s heart racing, had she still lived. 

Jaina’s arms were folded over her chest, and she scanned the forest with obvious impatience. One booted toe tapped restlessly on the forest floor, and with no interruption forthcoming, she took a moment to push back a few loose strands that had escaped her braid and adjust the collar of her greatcoat.

The mundane, very mortal sight of Jaina fussing over her appearance caused a strange, slightly queasy sensation in Sylvanas’s stomach that she deliberately chose to ignore. The thought that Jaina was probably doing so for her left her feeling unsteadier still. Determined to start the inevitable confrontation on higher ground, Sylvanas waited until Jaina was looking in the opposite direction before leaping gracefully from her perch. She made a near-silent landing behind Jaina, causing just enough noise to purposefully startle her quarry.

Jaina’s response both was, and wasn’t, predictable. She jumped, reaching for the ever-present staff on her back before sagging in relief. “Shit! Scare my soul out my fuckin’ body, why don’t you?” In her startlement, Jaina’s carefully constructed mainland accent wavered for the briefest of moments.

Sylvanas offered a smile that held no apology, but lots of fang. “If you truly wish for your soul to be removed from your body, Lord Admiral, that can certainly be arranged. However, I will confess some mild disappointment in the request. It is one of the more attractive and useful living bodies I have seen, which is high praise indeed from the Banshee Queen.”

Jaina huffed in annoyance. “Are you here to banter, or fuck me?”

Sylvanas tilted her head. “I am fully capable of doing both at once, Proudmoore, as you are well aware.”

Shooting Sylvanas the dirtiest possible look, Jaina dispensed of her greatcoat and positioned her back against a nearby tree, hitching up her skirts in a purely businesslike manner. “You’re a lot more attractive when you shut up,” she muttered, but the call of her scent, all the sharper for being mixed with pine, said the opposite.

Sylvanas strode over to join her. Jaina’s scent was even stronger up close, and she made no effort to be subtle as she breathed it in. “Are you always such a terrible liar?” she asked, raking her gauntleted claws along Jaina’s thighs. They were bare under her skirts, and they quivered at Sylvanas’s touch. “Or only when you’re lying to me?”

Jaina refused to answer the question. “Get out of that stupid armor, unless you want me to vanish it off you.”

A heated spark in the omega’s pale blue eyes told Sylvanas she was dead serious. Rather than risk Jaina’s wrath, she stepped back and bent at the waist to unbuckle her cuisses from around her thighs, so she could reach the leather leggings beneath. Jaina’s eyes followed her every move with obvious hunger.

Pleased by her audience’s rapt attention, Sylvanas lingered over the various buckles and straps around her legs, dragging the process out longer than necessary. Her reward was Jaina’s expression. The Lord Admiral’s face was flushed with fiery impatience, and her upper lip curled to reveal straight white teeth—not sharp like a quel’dorei’s, but bared in a threatening manner nonetheless.

“You have five seconds,” Jaina snarled, fixing Sylvanas with a demanding stare.

Sylvanas divested herself of armor and leggings within the allotted time, though she made sure not to give the appearance of rushing. She couldn’t let Jaina seize full control of the situation, no matter how strong the omega’s pull was. And it was very strong. The mere sight of Jaina, leaning back against the tree with her skirts bunched in her hands, lifted to reveal visibly dampened smallclothes, pierced Sylvanas like a blade to the gut.

She took a breath she didn’t need. Two could play at this game. The Lord Admiral was far from immune herself. Sylvanas noted where Jaina’s gaze had landed: on the rapidly stiffening shaft between her legs. Exposing herself to the cool air hadn’t dampened her arousal in the slightest. She rarely noted the temperature at all anymore, but Jaina’s stare made her burn. Only Jaina seemed to possess the power to bring her skin back to life.

“Is this what you want, Lord Admiral?” Sylvanas purred, fisting her cock and giving its length a slow pump. 

Jaina quivered with anger and arousal, both of which Sylvanas could smell quite clearly. She could even hear the almost frantic pounding of the omega’s heartbeat. “Enough, Sylvanas.” Jaina shifted her skirts to one hand and prepared to pull down her smallclothes as well. “Fuck me, or leave.”

Sylvanas didn’t let Jaina finish removing her underwear. She stepped forward and ripped through them instead, letting the shreds of damp fabric flutter to the forest floor beneath them. Swift as an arrow, she pinned Jaina against the tree, seizing hold of the omega’s hips and aligning their pelvises.

There was little need for preparation. Sylvanas dragged her head between Jaina’s lips, sure she’d find some wetness already, but the slickness that greeted her was far beyond her expectations. Jaina was an ocean, overflowing in rivers that ran down her thighs as well. She was more than wet enough to take Sylvanas’s cock, and probably her knot as well.

The thought of knotting Jaina, of feeling the omega stretch to take her and bear down to keep her, caused Sylvanas’s hips to jerk. She tensed as her tip breached Jaina’s entrance, sliding forward into tight heat. Despite their ample wetness, Jaina’s walls had no trouble gripping her. The omega’s muscles fluttered, as if to draw her deeper, and Sylvanas obliged, thrusting forward and claiming Jaina’s lips in a bruising kiss.

Sylvanas had no idea how this strange addiction had taken root within her, but she couldn’t deny its hold. She wanted Proudmoore with every fiber of her being, every spark of life that remained in her undead body, and would take anything and everything on offer, starting with Jaina’s pussy.

***

Sylvanas…

Jaina kept the name clenched behind aching teeth as she accepted, and encouraged, Sylvanas’s slow, brutal thrusts. She wanted to scream her lover’s name to the forests and out across the seaside cliffs, but didn’t dare. Not because she feared discovery—she was too far gone to care—but because she feared what expressing such fervent need for someone so undeniably wrong for her might mean.

Nothing. It means nothing.

That was what she told herself as Sylvanas moved within her, fucking her into the tree with supernatural strength and force. And yet, though Jaina’s hips would bear bruises in the shape of Sylvanas’s claws, and her back was already marred with scratches from rubbing against the tree trunk, it didn’t hurt. It didn’t hurt at all, except in the best possible way, and Jaina realized that Sylvanas was balancing the proportions of pleasure and pain on purpose, with pleasure winning out by a large margin.

If Sylvanas had wanted to make it hurt, to fuck her into true discomfort, the Warchief could have easily done so. Whether due to carelessness or outright sadism, Sylvanas was more than equipped to cause her pain. But Sylvanas’s measured thrusts, though harsh and desperate, were delivered with unexpected care. 

Sylvanas studied Jaina’s face, and responded with minute adjustments. When the angle rubbed too hard against Jaina’s entrance, Sylvanas tilted her pelvis, causing less friction and applying more pressure to Jaina’s front wall. The small action increased her pleasure tenfold, and she shuddered, digging her nails into Sylvanas’s spiked pauldrons.

Before she’d started fucking Sylvanas, Jaina would have never in her wildest dreams imagined the cold, calculating leader of the Forsaken could be a considerate lover. But Sylvanas’s every action, even those designed to increase her own pleasure, took Jaina’s responses into account.

When Jaina raised her chin and parted her lips, hoping for more of Sylvanas’s mind-numbing kisses, the alpha obliged.

When Jaina became dizzy from lack of air and began to see floating spots, Sylvanas released her mouth with seconds to spare.

When Jaina tilted her head back and offered her throat, bare but for the anchor pendant she always wore, Sylvanas clamped a cold, gauntleted fist around it. She didn’t squeeze hard enough to cut off Jaina’s air, nor constrict any blood vessels. Her hand was simply a sharp presence on Jaina’s neck, a symbolic gesture of power that almost made her come on the spot.

Tides, Sylvanas…

Words poured from Jaina’s mouth. Filthy, embarrassing words. Words she never would have uttered in her right mind. Since she couldn’t scream her pleasure, she rasped and mumbled and pleaded, hoping for some kind of mercy.

“Sylvanas…”

“Fuck me harder.”

“Please. More.”

“Sylvanas…”

“Use me, fill me.”

“Knot me.”

“Sylvanas…”

“Tides, how do you even… no one else has ever… not like you. I never knew it could feel so…”

That last confession was disjointed, but truthful. Her list of lovers wasn’t long, but the names on it were impressive, in a manner of speaking: princes and warchiefs and dragons. Only Pained had been ‘normal’, if normal were taken to mean unknown to the average citizens of Azeroth. In all other aspects, Pained had been far from normal.

As a lover, Sylvanas surpassed them all. There was simply no comparison.

Jaina didn’t realize she’d said so until Sylvanas froze in mid-thrust. Her ruby red eyes went wide, and wisps of oily black smoke poured from her skin, as though she were preparing to abandon her physical form. But she didn’t. She remained perfectly still, one hand pinning Jaina’s hip, the other clamped on her throat.

Jaina panicked. She writhed, trying to escape Sylvanas’s grip, but it was iron. Sylvanas’s eyes stared wildly into hers, two hot coals set into a delicately-featured face of purple-grey. Delicately featured, yes, but contorted with shock, and many other emotions Jaina couldn’t read. Sylvanas’s face looked like the surface of the sea during a storm, turbulent and unpredictable.

This is it. She’s going to kill me. But even as the thought crossed Jaina’s mind, she didn’t believe it. Sylvanas was ruthless, but not a mindless killer. She never acted on impulse, and was never driven by emotion, except for Anduin’s report of the time she’d nearly strangled Greymane.

No, Jaina wasn’t afraid of Sylvanas anymore. The terrifying Banshee Queen posed no threat to her. But for reasons she didn’t understand, she was afraid of the look on Sylvanas’s face, one she’d never seen before and didn’t know how to begin interpreting.

“Say it again.”

Jaina blinked in confusion. “Wha—” she said, her mouth dry and her tongue thick.

“Say. It. Again.”

Sylvanas resumed thrusting with even more force and passion, and Jaina was swiftly swept away. She clung to Sylvanas’s pauldrons, groaning as her head lolled back against the tree. Sylvanas took her hard, fast, and rough, but it still didn’t hurt. It felt glorious. It reminded her what it was like to be alive in ways she hadn’t realized she’d forgotten, in ways a hundred traumas and tragedies had sapped from her long since.

“No one—no one else has ever… made me feel… like...”

Like fireworks are exploding inside me. Like my own body is a wild beast I can’t control. Like I might die without her kisses. Without her inside me. 

Sylvanas sped up. “Not your dragon?”

Jaina’s only answer was a strangled moan.

“Not your prince?”

The question struck Jaina like a blow. Sylvanas meant Arthas. Her first love. Though she’d been the one to leave, his choices had broken her heart. But a broken heart was nothing compared to murder, and Arthas was a murderer many times over. He had ripped life from the body that was driving her mercilessly into the tree. Against all odds, some part of Sylvanas had survived: forever changed, but never vanquished.

Sylvanas had tapped into a wellspring of pain and shame, but Jaina couldn’t deny the truth. She was a better lover than Arthas. Before Stratholme, he had been gentle. Kind. Cautious. Maybe too cautious. It was difficult to reconcile the lover he’d been with the monstrosity he’d become. He had provided Jaina with a sense of safety she’d never been able to find since.

But Sylvanas. Tides, Sylvanas, whose touch razed her until nothing remained, not even regrets—Sylvanas offered more than the violence and cruelty Jaina had once expected of her. She offered freedom.

Sylvanas asked for nothing from her outside of mating. Sylvanas had never once pleaded for all-powerful archmage Jaina Proudmoore to swoop in and save her, though Jaina had done so a few times. For all her pithy comments, Sylvanas never added to the burdens Jaina carried. She forged her path alone, seemingly immune to pain and exhaustion, with endurance Jaina could only hope to emulate.

Yes. Sylvanas was a better lover than Arthas—and, Jaina concluded, to her own immense surprise, perhaps a better person. 

Arthas had betrayed his own people. His once-earnest desire to save them had deteriorated into a mad quest for power. Sylvanas was ruthless with outsiders. Her methods were extreme, even deadly, but she defended her people with unbridled ferocity. She offered the Forsaken a sense of dignity and personhood the other races bestowed only reluctantly, or not at all. All of Azeroth was her enemy, but to her people, she was their protector and savior.

When Arthas had come upon a group of helpless undesirables, he had purged them for his own idea of the greater good. Upon seeing the same, Sylvanas had become their leader.

“Yes,” Jaina sobbed, hardly conscious of what she was saying. “Yes. You’re. Better. Best.” Raw emotion had overwhelmed all physical sensation, and the flood of old memories passed like water over a freshly open wound. She didn’t know whether to feel happy or sad, frustrated or relieved, proud or ashamed. Sylvanas made her feel all those things, and much more besides.

In the end, it was Sylvanas’s teeth that grounded her back in reality. The alpha’s fangs grazed her shoulder, just shy of breaking skin, and Jaina’s own teeth snapped uselessly against the empty air. She longed to bite down, to feel Sylvanas’s flesh yield until it bore her mark, but then her long-denied peak crashed over her all at once, towing her beneath a wave of wild, conflicted pleasure.

She came with a broken wail, gasping for breaths that did nothing to soothe the burn in her chest. She came in a torrent of wetness, clenching around Sylvanas with sharp, rhythmic contractions. She came and came undone, clinging to Sylvanas all the while.

***

Yes. Jaina had actually said yes.

Sylvanas had regretted the question immediately upon voicing it, but it had burst forth anyway. Sometimes, she wondered about the man Arthas had been before becoming the Lich King. Other times, she was disgusted with herself for wanting to know anything more concerning her jailer, torturer, and murderer. But when the opportunity had arisen, she’d seized it in greedy claws, unable to take it back.

But Jaina had answered yes.

She’d spent years trapped in a battle of wills with Arthas. Battles she often lost. Battles that always resulted in agonizing pain. But she’d won the war, and more besides. She’d freed herself from his influence. She’d become the Banshee Queen, carving a place for herself in a world that continued to reject her. And—a smaller thing, but no less satisfying—she’d fucked Jaina Proudmoore, his childhood sweetheart, better than he ever had, by Jaina’s own admission.

“Say it again,” she rasped into Jaina’s shoulder, the closest she’d ever come to begging since her undeath. But Jaina had lost all powers of speech. The violent squeezing of her muscles told Sylvanas the omega was coming, and the blue chips of ice that were her eyes had glazed over, practically unseeing as the entire length of her body twitched.

Sylvanas took that as answer enough, at least for the present moment. She gentled her thrusts, allowing Jaina to descend from the heights of pleasure before removing her hand from the omega’s throat. She lifted Jaina easily, guiding the limp Lord Admiral’s legs around her waist, and rolled her knot forward. It had swelled to painful proportions, and she needed to get it in, or she would lose what remained of her sanity.

Jaina stirred from her daze, locking her ankles around Sylvanas’s waist and digging both heels into the small of her back. “You,” she moaned, seeking out Sylvanas’s lips for another kiss. 

Sylvanas shuddered. She knew what Jaina meant, and it filled her with pulsating energy, so much she could scarcely contain it all. It almost felt like the power of the Sunwell, or at least her memories of it, before her transformation. Now that she’d tasted such bliss, she feared it might become addictive. 

But it was too late to retreat. Jaina’s body melted, yielding to her own, and on the next thrust, Sylvanas’s knot slid inside with hardly any resistance, despite its girth. She tried to prepare—brace herself, perhaps—but she came the moment Jaina closed around her. She choked on a breath she didn’t need, her hips jerking out of rhythm. Her instincts seized control, commanding her to fuck-fill-breed, and she was helpless to deny them.

Helpless. She despised helplessness. It went against her very grain. It was why she had clung to this farce of life long after most would have abandoned the struggle. But experiencing helplessness in the face of her own desires was different, and not entirely horrible. For just a moment, she gave in. She forgot Arthas, but continued to bask in the praise Jaina offered. She enjoyed her peak uninhibited, filling Jaina with everything she had. She drank from Jaina’s lips and basked in the mage’s aura of arcane energy until she could neither give nor take anything more.

It was a long time before Sylvanas came back to herself. When the fog of lust lifted, she found herself panting purely out of habit, with her forehead resting on Jaina’s bruised shoulder. Her cock pulsed, emptying a few final spurts, and she hissed as Jaina clenched, milking her oversensitive shaft. Her knot was still locked in place, and the curve of Jaina’s lower belly pressed against hers. She’d filled her omega well.

Sylvanas waited for Jaina to say something—more banter, most likely—but to her surprise, Jaina remained silent. When Sylvanas risked a glance at the omega’s face, she saw something unexpected, something she had only glimpsed during the heat of battle before. Fear. She could practically smell it wafting from Proudmoore’s pores.

She fears me.

That shouldn’t have hurt as much as it did. All of Azeroth feared the Banshee Queen, and Sylvanas had worked hard to keep it that way for the past two decades. But something about Jaina fearing her landed like a knife in a soft underbelly. She would have jerked away, but as it was, she found herself stuck. Literally tied to this woman, who exploited her weaknesses like no one else—weaknesses she hadn’t known, or hadn’t wanted to admit, she still possessed.

“Sylvanas?”

Sylvanas blinked at the sound of her name. Dimly, she realized Jaina was still staring, but the naked fear in her eyes had softened into wariness and uncertainty.

“Ja—” She almost didn’t catch herself in time. “Proudmoore.”

“Thanks.”

Sylvanas knew she should leap on the comment. Turn it into an opportunity. Seize the upper hand. But for reasons she couldn’t begin to fathom, she refrained. Instead, she asked a single question in a single word. “For?”

Jaina hesitated. At last she said, “Relief.”

Sylvanas licked her lips. “There is little enough relief to be found these days, I suppose.”

“Right.” Jaina’s lashes hid her eyes for a moment, and when she glanced up through them, she seemed younger than her years despite her white hair. Shy, almost. To Sylvanas, that was even more bewildering than seeing her afraid. Jaina Proudmoore was never shy, nor uncertain of her course. She was as steady as the North Star, and her convictions burned twice as bright.

Sylvanas gathered her courage. She had never been a coward either, and the cracks Proudmoore had put in her armor couldn’t change that. “Then we should enjoy these rare opportunities, should we not? Why did I come back from the dead if not to, for lack of a better term, live?”

“To save your people,” Jaina answered.

Right. Of course. For the briefest of moments, Sylvanas had felt the heavy mantle of duty lift from her shoulders. It settled back over her with comforting familiarity. “Staying on good terms with the most powerful mage on Azeroth benefits my people.”

“Are we?”

“What?”

“On good terms.”

Sylvanas laughed. This was safe, familiar territory once more—the banter. “Lady Proudmoore, if we were not on good terms, one or both of us would have entered a state of permanent death by now.”

For once, Jaina did not offer a playful rejoinder. Rather than accept the invitation for verbal sparring, she pushed back Sylvanas’s hood. She threaded her fingers through Sylvanas’s hair, nipping the side of her ear.

Sylvanas shuddered. Her cock throbbed within the warm grip of Jaina’s walls. It appeared the Lord Admiral had no interest in talking, and she was fine with that. She was content to, as she’d said, experience something of life on her own terms, if only for a few minutes.

***

That night, in her tent, Sylvanas dreamt of Arthas.

It was a waking dream, as most of hers were. She dreamt of Frostmourne piercing her, whispering to her, carving pieces of her soul. She dreamt of Jaina, staring at her with wide, fearful blue eyes. The omega reached for them, as if to offer salvation, but when Sylvanas jolted awake, she didn’t know to whom Jaina had offered her hand.

***

That night, in her tent, Jaina dreamt of the Lich King.

He stalked toward her in his heavy metal boots, leaving frosty footprints in his wake. Terror gripped her heart, but then he removed his helmet. It wasn’t the Lich King, but Arthas as she’d once known him, with golden blonde hair and a charming smile. He looked at her with grief plain on his face, as though he knew something she didn’t, and then stepped aside to reveal someone else.

She woke with Sylvanas’s name on her lips.