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He didn't know what had led him to discuss it with her now; he didn't know why he had asked. There were other things they could have talked about, were other things he could have said. He groaned just slightly. Why had he ever let their conversation wander *there*?

Michael was at home in bed now, was remembering the day he had just spent with Nikita. They had started it out at the museum--had shared lunch together at its cafe--before finally drifting on to dinner together, as well, as the hours had passed--neither of them quite willing to part so soon. . . . It had been lovely.

He supposed, though, that the real joy of it all hadn't really been in anything particular they had done but more in the simple fact that they had been together--had been able to just enjoy each other's presence. It had, after all, been a long time since he had been able to take part in such a simple pleasure, without the ever-present worries of an on-going mission.

He sighed--part-wistfully, part-happily. Nikita had suggested that they try to be friends after their last mission--had suggested that they try to just spend their time together, even if they weren't able to be sexually close. It had been a suggestion which had caught him--heart and soul, had entranced him completely; it had been *so* long since he had been able to just talk to someone without an agenda. . . . To be able to share such a beautiful but simple pleasure with the woman he loved had, indeed, been the fulfillment of a long-held fantasy.

He stared up at his ceiling, as he thought back. He supposed it hadn't been since Rene, really--since before his own recruitment into Section, that he had been able to just enjoy the company of a friend. . . . He had forgotten, indeed, how much he missed it.

He put his hands behind his head. Still, being with Nikita, of course, was entirely different, too--was even more wonderful. While, it was true, he no longer had the spontaneity of his youth, he was also able to appreciate his time with her more--was able to understand just how precious each moment spent near her truly was.

Their day together had been so simple, on some levels, he knew, but that very simplicity had made it perfect. There had been no games, no manipulations, no missions, no agendas--for either of them; they had been able to just . . . be.

He ran his hands a little up and down the back of his tired neck. Of course, in some ways, however, their trip to the museum had been utterly wasted on him; he had spent *far* more time examining Nikita than he had any of the paintings. Just to be able to watch her as she took in the art, as her mind examined and analyzed--as she reacted to each piece's beauty and complexity, had been a joy. Even after all her training in hiding her emotions, her face still expressed so much--still showed so many thoughts and reactions. . . . She was so beautiful.

He realized that the touch of his hands was making his skin a bit too alert--was awaking too many memories of her touch; he moved his arms then--crossing them over himself. It had been hard today not to touch her--had been hard to avoid just reaching out to run his fingers lightly over her cheek, taking in her thoughts through her skin. He had ached to be close to her so often, indeed. . . . It hurt him that he had to try to keep himself so physically distant.

He found his fingers lightly tracing the skin on his sides and forced himself to stop; just the thought of her was arousing--was enchanting. It was hard to keep his mind away from remembering what it was like to touch her--or to have her touch him.

He shook his head a little. He didn't regret this day--not at all, but the mental intimacy they had shared in it--the strong intimacy of friends--was a torment to his sensual side; it reminded him altogether too strongly of his need to be close to her--on every level.

He wished he could have invited her home tonight--wished she could have accepted. He would have been happy just to hold her, just to bury his face in her hair--to breathe in the scent of her skin, feeling her body against his. They didn't have to be lovers, just . . . together.

He felt himself becoming aroused at the very thought and laughed slightly, ironically. Who did he think he was fooling? His love for her wasn't--had never been--based in the sensual, but it was impossible to be close to her without wanting to make love to her, nonetheless. . . . She was just too beautifully angelic.

He realized that he had begun softly stroking over his skin again and uncrossed his arms, stretching them down to either side of his body. His desire for her--the sensuality she always, effortlessly brought out in him wasn't helped, either, by the fact that he was lying nude against his sheets--was lying on the sheets he had shared with her. Although they had certainly been laundered many times since then, he liked to think that they still carried her intoxicating scent . . . or maybe that was just something he always kept fresh in his mind.

He sighed. He had changed around--had furnished--his entire apartment since the week she had spent with him here, but she was still always here with him, anyway. He couldn't escape her. Sometimes, he would find her memory in a remote corner--sometimes in his bed. . . . Depending, too, on what he had done to her lately, she would sometimes seem angry as her vision floated toward him; other times, she seemed to hold him close. He closed his eyes, shaking his head slightly. She had imprinted her presence on his home--on his life; she was his living ghost.

Still, she was a very beautiful one. He opened his eyes once more. And, today, he had been able to spend all of his down time with this gentle, loving spirit. . . . It was the best day he had had, indeed, since their one week of bliss.

He smiled slightly. Today had been made even more beautiful, as well, since he knew that she had enjoyed it, too. There had been a sense of deep pleasure which had radiated from her; sometimes, when she had refocused on him from a painting she was examining, her eyes had held such quiet happiness that it had taken everything in him to keep from reaching out to her. And that feeling had only increased, in beautiful torment, when her eyes would work past the second of shock they would register at the rapture his own shown at her to reflect the incredible depths of her love.

He closed his eyes again. He didn't deserve her, of course; he never would. But he prayed, nonetheless, that there would be many, many other days of blissful torture like this one--days that he could share with his heart's only friend. . . . It was only these times, after all, which would keep him sane until he could--he hoped--be her life's partner once more.

He refocused on the ceiling again. No, he regretted nothing which had happened today, but that didn't mean that he truly understood all of it. He still, indeed, couldn't even begin to comprehend why he had asked her--why he had told her--the things he had.

He thought back once more. It had come during their supper together--the supper they had shared because neither of them was yet willing to part, was willing to end their wonderful day together as *friends*. . . . They were both so aware, truly, that it had been a miracle that it had happened at all.

Still, there had been a point during dinner when they could no longer stretch out their discussions of the art they had viewed--had been a point when such "safe" subjects, for all he had adored hearing her speak about such things, were behind them. Usually, too, when they had found themselves in such situations before--if they had nothing particularly important which had to be worked out between them--they had simply allowed themselves to drift into a companionable silence. But today, he remembered only too clearly, Nikita had changed that plan--had taken the situation into her own, beautiful hands:

*****

She had smiled at him quietly, but with a look--he had analyzed--almost of mischief in her eyes. "If you don't start another line of conversation soon, I will," she had challenged.

He supposed, then, that, partly out of fear--partly out of curiosity, he had asked her what he had. "Tell me about your first boyfriend."

She had blinked at him, surprised. She had smiled, though--intrigued but a little confused. "Why?"

He had smiled at her a little, in return. "Because I want to know."

Her eyes had shown an incredible warmth at him. But, when she had looked down at the table, her face had become a little more grave.

He had read its meaning, understanding what she was remembering--not her own choices, but the men who he knew, although she had never told him, had hurt her; they could *never* qualify as "boyfriends," of course--and he knew she didn't think of them this way, but he suspected that they were all tied together somehow in her mind, when she thought about the earlier periods of her life. "The first *real* one," he amended, trying to keep her from such unhappy thoughts.

She had taken a deep breath and looked up, refocusing just over his shoulder--shaking her head. "There's not that much to tell." She had looked back at him.

He had been focused on her with love. "Tell me anyway."

She had nodded a little, agreeing. "His name was Gary." She had seemed to be thinking back more deeply now, a smile of wonder on her face. "I don't know *what* appealed to me about him." She had looked back at her dinner companion again.

"How old were you?"

She had glanced down at the table. "17."

He had been surprised. "Your first boyfriend was at 17?"

She had shrugged, refocusing on him. "Late bloomer, I guess." She had smiled at him.

He had suspected there was more to it than that but had held his tongue, unwilling to ask her to go into more painful memories. "What was he like?"

She had looked up at the ceiling, cocking her head a little, remembering. "He had long, kind of stringy hair--thin body." She had paused for a second. "Nice smile." She refocused on him.

He had leaned forward a little, enraptured with her details--loving this small look inside her mind, inside her life before they had met. "What attracted you to him?"

She had thought about it for a minute, sighing when she finally came upon the answer. "His eyes. They were kind--they reflected his heart." She had smiled at him. "They were very green, too."

He had smiled to himself and looked down at the table.

*****

Michael groaned slightly and covered his eyes. But that was when it had happened--when he had asked it--had asked the question. He shook his head--his hand landing on the mattress again, as he focused on the ceiling once more. . . . What in the hell had possessed him?

***********

"Was he the first man you were intimate with?" He had looked back up at her.

Her eyes had grown wide. Her mouth had opened a little to answer, but a sudden sadness had appeared in her gaze; no sound had quite come out of her.

He had chosen his next words carefully--knowing, again, the sort of trauma she must be remembering. He hadn't wanted to set off the bad memories along with the rest of them, but he had wanted her response--nonetheless, was suddenly possessed by the need to know. "Was he the first man you chose to have sex with?"

The sadness had disappeared from her eyes; perhaps she had consciously dismissed it. Her look had become a little teasing then; she had given a half-smile, attempting to not answer the question. "I don't know that you could have called him a `man.' He was only about 17, too."

He had still been focusing on her carefully, his soul suddenly enraptured--hanging on the details she was revealing. "Was this when you were on the streets?"

She had nodded a little, then stopped--staring off for a second to think about it, before looking deeply back at him again. "Do you really want to know about it?"

He had nodded. "Yes."

She had taken a deep breath. "He was the first."

"How was it?"

She had laughed a little and shook her head--apparently a little surprised by his question again, looking away for a second once more before refocusing on him. "We were *17*, Michael." She had shaken her head. "He was sweet and gentle, but it wasn't exactly the romance of the century."

He had waited, wanting her to continue. She had sighed and looked down once more. A smile had lingered around her lips. "We were in a basement--in some building. I think, originally, we had just been huddled together more for warmth than anything else." She had laughed a little before refocusing on him. "You don't really want me to get graphic, do you?"

He had smiled a little. "Not really."

She had returned the smile and looked away again. "The short version would be, then, that there wasn't too much foreplay," she looked back at him, "and it all seemed to last about two minutes."

He had laughed slightly and examined the table for a few seconds. "Not long enough?" he had asked, facetiously--refocusing on her.

She had laughed a little, as well, and nodded. "Probably just about right, given the partner." She had smiled at him warmly, as she shrugged a little. "We cared about each other, but we were a *lot* better as friends." Her eyes had suggested that the same couldn't be said of her present companion.

They had sat for a few seconds then, lost in each other's gaze, before his look had grown more serious--his thoughts turning. "How many were there, Nikita--before . . .?" He had trailed off, knowing she would catch his inference.

She had been leaning onto the table, one hand propping her chin; her eyes had been curious and a bit more serious. "Why do you want to know, Michael?" She had obviously not been following his thoughts.

It had been a question, however, which he couldn't entirely answer, at the time. He hadn't been jealous, and it hadn't been idle curiosity. He suspected that he had been feeling . . . protective.

He had shaken his head at her. "I just want to know."

Her eyes had become very sad, as she had thought back. "There were a lot of nights when I just needed warmth, Michael." They had both known that she wasn't just referring to the physical kind.

*****

He closed his eyes now, remembering. He had wanted, so desperately, to just hold her then, had wanted to take her in his arms--had wanted to be able to give her the warmth she had been searching for for so long. It had made him feel a sort of self-rage, irrational as he knew it was, that he hadn't been there to look after her then. And he had felt an anger, as well, at God--at the universe--that it had separated him from her when she had needed him most. . . . It all just seemed too cruel.

He felt no sense of jealousy over her past, however; he knew that these men, these boys, had meant very little to her, as a whole. And, unlike--in his mind--some lesser men, he had no feeling of inadequacy--of anger toward her--for having shared herself with those she had felt the need to. That choice, after all, was only hers to make.

While he hated, then, that she obviously hadn't been made more happy in some of her partners--wished that he could have been there to show her what tenderness he possessed, he had no qualms about her needs. His beloved, indeed, had always needed to feel some tenderness to remember that she was truly alive--had needed to know that someone cared, even if that knowledge was, occasionally, a lie.

He sighed, though--still remembering. This hadn't been the whole of their conversation this night, however. Not only had he enquired about things he should probably have just left unsaid, he had told her far more about himself than would ever be safe--given their current, awkward situation together. He shook his head, opening his eyes once more, and continued to think back.

*****

Nikita had decided, probably wisely, to shift the focus of their conversation slightly; she had pulled herself away from her less-satisfying memories and looked at him warmly, slightly teasingly. "So, if we're recalling our first sexual experiences, what about you?" Her smile had taken on a flirtatious warmth which had made his heart beat faster. "Tell me about your first time, Michael."

He had looked down at the table, a slight smile on his face. He couldn't say he hadn't asked for this.

He had forced himself to look back up at her, his gaze honest--and a little deeper than she had obviously been expecting. "Her name was Josephine."

Her eyes had widened, but he had just given her a small smile in return; she had appeared to be glad she hadn't choked too badly. "And?" she had prompted, coughing slightly.

He had looked up at the ceiling. "We were 17, as well." He had smiled back at her.

"Were you in love?" Her eyes had been enraptured; his look had grown sad, however, and she had amended her question--obviously understanding the truth, for now: that he had only ever loved two women in his life--and that she was the one he had loved the most. "Did you care about her?"

His eyes had unfocused slightly, as he thought back. "We were," he had shrugged, looking for the right word, "friends." He had looked back at her.

"How did it happen?"

He had smiled a little, remembering. "We were at her parents' house; they weren't home." He shook his head slightly, not quite able to explain it. "It just happened."

Nikita's eyes had been warm. "How was it?"

His look had unfocused again. "Interesting." He had looked back at her, when her silence had prodded him to continue; he had gone on then to tell her things he knew now that he shouldn't have. "I don't know whether it was more the pleasure of discovering the softness of a woman's skin or the happiness of hearing her moan in ecstasy," his eyes had shone at her a little, "but I liked it."

She had laughed a little at this obvious understatement, before he had seen her thoughts growing dark. He had known that she had been thinking--as had he--about how their masters had discovered this trait in him and had turned it against him--had taught him to use it for their own ends. . . . By the time he had finished his valentine training, indeed, he had learned to take no pleasure in anything sensual anymore.

She had looked down at the table, while his mind had whirled around, had been captured by, one single thought--one he had felt undeniably that he had to tell her. "I wish it had been you, Nikita," he had whispered, barely audibly.

She had refocused on him with amazed eyes, accepting his words for a second, before smiling deeply--trying to add some humor back into their conversation--taking them away from their dangerous paths. "Well, that might have been a problem, since I would have been, what?--seven? at the time."

He had smiled back at her, accepting the--truthful--joke, allowing her to change the thrust of their conversation, but he had refused to break their gaze, nonetheless. . . . Her eyes had held too much love for him to be able to look away.

*****

He sighed once more now, thinking back. They had both seen the truth in each other's eyes--he knew; she had understood everything about him, had understood completely that his true pleasure had only come with her.

He shook his head, trying to assess their night. It had, in the end, been a bittersweet conversation, he supposed--one which they had soon thereafter found a way to veer away from; he still wasn't certain, indeed, what had led him to begin it.

He crossed his arms back over himself. He supposed, really, that he had just wanted to know--had wanted to be able to understand the past of the woman he loved, of his only friend. He knew, too, that he had enjoyed being able to reveal his thoughts to her--the feelings of his youth; he had been so different then--had been so angry, so passionate, and so desperately loyal to his friends. . . . He wondered now where that man had gone.

He smiled a little, shaking his head, as the realization hit him, however. . . . No. He wasn't gone entirely; there was still one person that that man lived with--lived for: Nikita. Yes, fortunately, he was less angry now, overall, but his fury could still be aroused by seeing her endangered--his desire to inflict pain, if only momentary, coming in those instants when he had been forced to watch her hurt.

His passion, too--he knew, lived for her. For her, indeed, all of the sensual desires he had repressed were reborn in aching glory. For her, the teenager who had taken a joyful fascination that he could give pleasure verged into the man who--when allowed to--was bent on doing nothing but, the man who was determined to find ever more ways of arousing and pleasing his one, true beloved. . . . For her, as well, he--for the first time, in truth, fully understood ecstasy.

The boy, furthermore, who had gone to prison alone, rather than tell the names of his comrades--who had suffered more there than he had imagined possible before it--was reborn for her. To his dying breath, indeed, he would look after and try to protect her--would try to be there for her, regardless of consequences. . . . It was what he knew he was meant to do in this life.

He knew there was more to this conversation, as well, though. He supposed that he had also begun it because he wanted to be able to share a true friendship with her--one where they could have more than just polite conversations. Real friends, after all, talked about themselves--about their lives, their joys and pains. He didn't want his new closeness with Nikita to just be an acquaintance--one where they could only spend time in each other's company if they didn't make any deeper connections. . . . No. He wanted them to share themselves completely--to share their thoughts, even if they could only do so in snatches and fragments.

He realized that his fingers were running lightly up his sides again and shook his head. But even the sort of closeness he had begun to forge with her today wasn't enough for him, in the long run. He wanted her close. He wanted to be her lover--to be her husband and her friend. He wanted everything with her. . . . And he wished to God that he didn't have to wait for it--didn't have to wait for something they were meant for--for something he might never be lucky enough to have happen.

He closed his eyes and let his hands roam over his skin for another few seconds. If he tried, he could almost imagine that the hands on him were hers. He took in a shaky breath. . . . But he knew he shouldn't imagine this.

He rolled onto his side, his desire for her already rerouting the flow of blood from his heart. He needed her so much--needed to give himself to her, needed to hear her cry out in joy and release, as he showed her his passion. . . . But he knew this couldn't happen; it was far too dangerous.

He dug his hands into the sheets, trying to keep his mind from taking the path it had been determined to for some time now. He hadn't willingly touched himself--pleasured himself--in many, many years. He considered it a weakness--one he wouldn't allow himself. . . . Just like she was.

He sighed, revising his last thought. No. She was his strength, too--was his reason for existing. She had taught him hope--had taught him love--had taught him pleasure once more. She had brought him back to life after too many years of decay, had helped him feel joy again. . . . It was a gift he knew he could never entirely repay.

He refocused dimly on the room. This day--this new path they were taking--frightened him slightly, in truth, but he couldn't give it up. Whatever its dangers, it meant too much to him--was too important. He had a friend--he *was* a friend--again, . . . and he refused to willingly let that go.

He closed his eyes and continued attempting to ignore his body's thrumming need for her. Maybe his dreams could prove to be enough for him--maybe she would come to him then, would show herself to be the angel he knew her to be. . . . Or, if nothing else--indeed, he could hope so. ************

What seemed to be a half hour or so later, he was certain that he had awoken to feel her presence near him. "Michael," she whispered in his ear, her soft lips brushing his cheek.

He opened his eyes to see her leaning down just next to him, her face near his. "Nikita," he breathed. His hand reached up to stroke her cheek. "You're here."

She leaned in to brush her lips lightly over his. "I'm always with you, my love." She kissed him tenderly. "You should know that by now."

He sat up to look at her--to take in her beauty. . . . But that was when he noticed it--them. His hand reached out, slightly tremblingly, to stroke over her shoulder, roaming softly down her back. Then, he touched it--his fingers running along to stroke gently over the wing that grew from her shoulder, its feathers soft as angel's down should be.

He looked back at her lovingly. "I never see them in the daylight."

She smiled back at him. Her hand followed the same trail over his body that he had made on hers. He felt her stroke gently over something he hadn't even realized was there. "You never see your own, either."

He looked up to a mirror which was hanging near his bed. Both he and his beloved were naked--their bodies ones he knew quite well. But--now--there had been an amazing change in them.

Nikita's wings were large, beautiful. His own were rather small--but they were still beautiful, nonetheless. He shook his head at his reflection. "These can't be mine."

She nodded at him sagely. "They are." She smiled tenderly at his disbelieving look. "They're just growing back in." She sighed. "You agreed to have them sheared too long ago."

He turned back to her, shaking his head slightly. "It's you--you gave them back to me." His eyes held incredible love for her.

She leaned in to kiss him lightly again. "No. You decided you wanted them." She smiled, kissing him once more. "I just helped you find that desire again."

He took her face in both his hands, enraptured by her eyes--captivated by her soul. He couldn't even speak.

She smiled and leaned in to kiss him once more. "You're welcome," she smiled merrily--upon pulling back a little.

"Mon ange," he breathed. His eyes roamed hers, devoting himself to her alone. "My wife," he added.

She nodded and began to lean in toward him. "Forever," she whispered. She kissed him. "My husband."

Her soft kisses were captivating him, were arousing him deeply, but he still needed to know something. "I haven't stolen yours?" His hand traced over one of her wings again in amazement.

She smiled. "No." She kissed his temple softly. "They just get a bit singed at times."

He looked back at her. "From flying too close to Hell?"

She nodded. "Yes."

His hands framed her face once more; his heart was beating loudly for her. "I love you, Nikita." He pulled her toward himself, capturing her mouth in a deep, loving kiss. She moaned slightly and circled her arms around his neck, holding his head to her.

He felt as angelic as his wings suggested--felt free of all fears, was bathed in her love; he was determined now to try to show her how much he adored--how much he desired her. . . . He wanted to prove that he could give her joy.

He continued the kiss while leaning her back onto the bed. Her wings, fortunately, didn't cause any problem; they did, though, seem to circle around him, holding him to her, as did her hands.

He moaned, as the kiss grew deeper, more intense. His hands ran back into her hair to hold her to him, as he captivated her mouth--as he showed her the depths of his love in a tender and passionate kiss.

He wasn't certain that he had ever felt more aroused. He could feel, here, all of her emotions, as well--all of the pleasure she gained from his touch; it was a sort of sensual synesthesia, which came to him in fragments. At times, he could feel their embrace from her viewpoint--could sense what it felt like to be the object of his own loving desire; could sense the joy she felt in his explorations of her; could sense his own hands on her body--and the way they stroked gently down her sides; could sense her complete abandonment to him, her desire to be possessed by his love alone.

It was one of the most erotic sensations he had ever had. He had enjoyed--had been captivated--by pleasing Nikita more than he ever had anyone else. . . . To be able to experience it from her viewpoint--to not just be able to sense that her desire was real, however, but to *feel* it--was miraculous.

More than this, too--though, he knew that she could feel things from his own perspective--that she could sense his need for her, his love for her, that she could sense the joy and arousal brought on by lying along her soft body--brought on by her willful, her joyful, abandonment to him--to his love. He knew she felt all of this in him and more--knew that she now understood that his need for her--and her alone--was absolutely real.

He pulled back some to make the kiss less deep, bestowing small, nipping kisses on her lips. She sighed happily. "Michael," she moaned softly between kisses.

He looked back at her, his eyes burning--his arousal throbbing against her. Her look back at him was soft and adoring.

He had never felt more overwhelmed. His angel lay before him, her love and desire flowing into him; he could feel, from their bond, that she needed him absolutely.

His hands stroked over her face with strong but gentle lines; his eyes professed his profound love for her. He could feel her soft wings stroking along his back, just as her hands were tracing lightly along his neck.

He looked into her eyes and saw her soul--saw their future, not in this life, but in ones to come. He could see how they were joined--how they would share themselves for eternity. . . . And he saw, as well, that she wanted and needed this outcome every bit as much as he did.

His eyes gave her his soul--bonded them completely. "I love you, Nikita," he whispered.

She smiled at him, her love flowing through them both. "Make love to me, Michael." She pulled him down toward her lips again. "Join with me."

Their lips touched again, and they both began to ravish each other's mouths--began gently plundering all of the wonderful softnesses there. There was no longer any conscious thought; everything was emotion--was soul. They were simply experiencing the sharing of their love--were meeting on a level they wouldn't find each other on again until after their deaths.

They were lost there, every kiss shuddering through them, making them feel whole and complete--making them quake with the desire to be together. They experienced it as a light--as a warmth between them, as a joining of souls. Their tongues mated, caressed. . . . And their souls hungered.

The kiss lasted for several more minutes. Neither one rushed; neither one hurried. They were both almost drunk with the ever-increasing joy that this simple joining allowed.

Finally, though, Michael pulled back and gifted her with one more, soft kiss, before he began to move lightly around her features. He brushed tender kisses over her eyes, her temples, her cheekbones, along her jaw; her hands were in his hair, holding him toward her, as she sighed in pleasure.

His mouth moved down, next, to run small, wet, teasing kisses just under the line of her jaw; she took in a small breath with each one. When he reached her neck, he placed another kiss behind her ear--stopping for a second to take in the joy of her scent at her hair--before beginning to move down the side of her neck. His kisses would each include a small nip of his teeth--just enough to tease, to arouse.

She let out a long, moaning sigh and ran her hands through his hair. When he reached her collarbone, he moved to run the tip of his tongue up her throat till he caught her open-mouthed sigh of pleasure in a deep, captivating kiss.

She moaned through it, as they shared their desires for each other, exchanging all their senses. He let her go again a minute later to give her one more brief kiss and then moved to the other side of her neck, running his tempting kisses down there, as well.

Her hands held him to her, as she sighed happily, a slight moan in her throat. He smiled against her. When he reached her collarbone this time, he ran his tongue along it, and then placed a wet kiss at its center.

"Michael," she sighed. He smiled once more and leaned up to give her another brief kiss before returning once again to his descent.

He was beginning to move his soft kisses down her breastbone, when he felt her wings rubbing up against his own. He stopped to sigh near her breast, the feeling of their wings together being an almost-orgasmic one. He stayed there for a minute with his eyes closed, savoring their shared emotions.

"Yes," she sighed--and he could feel her joy in their wings' touch, as well. He looked at her--their eyes locking, their love transfixing them. When she then smiled at him, however, her heart called out to him, and he lowered his mouth to her breast--their gazes still locked.

He suckled her softly, his eyes telling her the depths of his love, which he knew she could feel too. One of her wings stroked along his soft curves, and he moaned. He ran his tongue out to trace back and forth along her nipple, and he heard--he felt--her soft groan.

Her hands held him to her, her eyes caught by his--entrancing his, as well. He could feel the call of her heart once again, and he closed his eyes to listen to it, suckling her deeply; it beat against his lips. It seemed to be calling out his name--whispering her love to him.

He moaned and pulled back a little, tugging at her nipple slightly, as he did, before finally letting it go. She moaned as well in her pleasure.

He looked up to catch her eyes again and was washed in the warmth of her gaze--in the color of Heaven which was reflected there. He leaned in to kiss her nipple here once more before suckling for a second on its twin--his eyes still focused lovingly on her.

He could feel her desire--her love for him. He could feel her need--and its near-cataclysmic growth--as he tasted her. He could feel himself as his beloved, indeed--lying on the bed beneath him, his hard but silky body stretched above her, his pleasure-bent mouth showing her its love. He knew that she, too, could feel herself as him--could feel his desire and his pleasure in giving her joy. Her soft moans surrounded him. . . He had never felt more right.

He began to move further down her, finally. His eyes still held hers completely--still gazed lovingly at her, as he now tasted the tender skin of her belly--leaving soft, wet, erotic kisses in his wake.

Another small moan escaped from her. He stopped for a few seconds at her navel, his tongue roving into the lovely spot. He moaned then--as did she--as he shared the desire his tongue gave to her, as he felt the lovely, shuddering warmth which flooded through her from his ministrations. "Yes," she sighed.

He gave her one more, intense kiss here--to her louder moan. He then began to trace--to kiss--further down her, his hands roaming lovingly along her sides.

Their gazes were still locked completely, their erotic bond continuing. She could feel his desire to taste her--his need to feel her incredible softness on his tongue, to lap the ambrosia from her depths, as she moaned beneath him; he, too, could feel her incredible desire to be explored by him--to have his tongue run its beautiful, erotic lines down her walls, could feel the shuddering sensation of emptiness in her, as she waited desperately for his love.

His hands stroked softly along the incredible, silky skin of her thighs; his eyes were still locked to hers. When he could see that she couldn't stand another second of anticipation, he lowered his head to take her tender bud into his mouth, suckling it; his eyes told her how much he adored her.

She moaned out, her hips running toward him, begging him for more. Her eyes were wide and bright--were devoted to him; her hands ran through his hair. Her wings fluttered slightly.

They both experienced it all--felt all of one another's pleasure. His desire built further not just from his own joy but from hers, as well; hers did the same.

She was letting out little gasping moans, as he flicked his tongue over this tender place of weakness repeatedly. He had missed, so deeply, being able to please her--had become addicted to it; he wanted so much to feel that again now.

He was switching off suckling her, running the whole of his broad tongue over her, and teasing her with just the flicks of its tip. He changed his approach each time he knew--he felt--that she needed it.

Her desire was building unspeakably. He was keeping her hanging on the edge--was holding her as a near-blissful captive to his arousing mouth--to his teasing tongue. Every time she neared the peak, he would switch off again--causing the sensations to build yet further, almost unbearably.

She was beginning to think she might go insane with bliss, when his whole mouth seemed to capture her in just the way she needed. At precisely the same moment, too, two of his fingers slid softly but powerfully deep inside her--seeking and finding the spot which needed them most.

She moaned out from somewhere deep inside her; his mouth suckled even more powerfully on her, causing her pleasure to build by yet another near-insane notch. Her walls vibrated around the fingers which rubbed up against the incredibly-delicate spot which needed them most.

She was moaning deeply beneath him. For a few seconds, he almost thought that she seemed to transform herself into a blissful light, before she once more assumed solid form.

He moaned deeply. The bond they shared made her pleasure too powerful, too intense. Her ecstasy tormented--taunted--him enough when he couldn't feel it in the way he did here; as it was now, it seemed to ring through him--to shudder through his mind, body, heart, and soul. . . . He had never needed her more.

He suckled her for a few more long heartbeats, before finally letting her go. "Yes," he murmured, watching her. He removed his hand and dipped his head down to run his tongue deep inside her, tasting her pleasure.

The light seemed to be enveloping them both. Her ecstasy made him tremble, made him feel wonderfully whole--made him feel real--but he needed now to join with her more desperately than he could ever have put into words.

He could feel how much joy she took in having him explore her--could feel her pleasure in his tongue's tender journeys into her. Her prayerful moans surrounded him; he felt--as though he were her--how much she loved the way he ran his tongue down her walls, and he knew that she felt, too, how much he adored the opportunity to taste her--to share in her treasures, in her joy.

He continued to share her ecstasy with her--continued to let her share in his own--for a few more long seconds before he finally pulled himself away from her, to her mournful, sighing, "Ohhh." He had to join with her--had to be complete soon. . . . He couldn't stand the spiritual separation of being apart from her any longer.

************

He kissed his way back up her body softly, as he came to lay upon her again. He left a lovely, wet, erotic trail along her--moving up her throat finally, before he came back, once more, to her lips.

She opened her mouth to meet him, to join in the kiss they both needed to share. They each held each other's heads tightly, keeping one another deep in their erotic connection.

He could feel her wings wrapped around him completely, could feel the down of them on his back--stroking over his soft curves. He knew she understood his need--knew that she shared it, as the pleasure he had given her still trembled within her core.

He pulled back to look at her for a second. "I love you, Nikita," he breathed. His eyes held such profound adoration of her.

"Michael," she sighed. Her love flowed into him, as well.

He understood that she felt his need--felt his near-madness to be inside her; her wings stroked along him softly, soothingly. They helped lower him toward her--as well, her need for him equally intense--as she leaned up to kiss him tenderly, briefly.

She pulled back again, as their eyes locked--as her wings helped guide him to her. Her soul shared all of his hunger.

They both felt his hard shaft touch her and had to stop for a second, closing their eyes at the overwhelming love and desire of it; their hands pulled each other into a deep, loving kiss then, and he began to slide slowly into her.

They moaned, and the kiss became more intense, as their union continued. They were meant for no one but each other--were formed only for one another's pleasure.

He continued to fit himself into her perfectly--into the home which God had created for him. They both moaned. The down of her wings felt strong on his back, on his curves, as it pulled him further into her softness--further into the comfort which been created for him alone.

Their desire and need flowed through them--each of them experiencing one another's as well as their own. He sensed her ravenous need to have him fill her, to be made complete by him--as she felt his desire to be made whole by the complete acceptance of his beloved.

He entered her completely, finally--filling her as much as was possible, in just the way she wanted. They both moaned out then, as their union was completed; nothing--no one else--had ever felt as perfect as this. . . . No one else ever could.

He had no fears here about hurting her, as he so often had in their waking reality; he could feel undeniably that there was no danger of that. His beloved wanted him, and he was able to please her; he had to be holy, therefore, . . . and holy creatures didn't cause any pain.

He began to move in her then--began to make love to the angelic partner to his soul. Her legs and wings were wrapped around him tightly; her hand stroked over the back on his head, holding him in their deep, moaning kiss. She was encompassing and surrounding him on every level. He knew it was a feeling only angels could ever understand.

They both moaned, as they joined with each other fully in their rhythm. Every stroke shuddered through them both, fulfilled them completely; every one, too, made them ravenous for more.

Their kiss became more intense, more demanding. They were angels, yes, but they were angels who hungered for one another--who needed one another to be complete.

His long, deep strokes moved more quickly, as she met him strongly at each one. He was almost overwhelmed by the need he could feel in her--by her desire to be his alone--by her pleasure in the way he filled her completely, in the way he stretched her, in the way he stroked her with total abandon and need. She, too, was overwhelmed by the need he felt for her--by his desire to possess her completely--by his pleasure in the way her soft, tight walls held him, loved him--by the way her soft wings stroked along his body--by the way she responded with such intense need to every advance in his desire.

There was no need for words; they knew everything the other wanted, and they gave it absolutely. He held her in the kiss more possessively, as his large, aroused shaft stroked through her more thoroughly, more intensely; she moaned and wrapped herself around him more tightly--holding him to her, in every sense.

He moaned as well and began to thrust even deeper into her--needing even more of her. The way she accepted him--the way she made him whole and complete in her love and desire for him was almost more than he could bear. That he could please her so deeply--that he could stroke a heavenly light of passion into her furthest depths, could soothe her mind with the complete truth of his desire for her, could fill her heart with his love for her alone, could complete and mesh with her soul as it entangled further and further with his--was almost too much, made him almost too wild. . . . His desire was almost fierce.

He kissed her wildly--passionately, as she moaned out desperately, holding him to her. His strokes commanded her with his love and need; they were deep inside her, were running into her in short, intense thrusts--were creating a flood of light deep within her core. His soul was reaching out for hers--was begging her to join with him.

She moaned insanely beneath him, as they shared all of their need. She felt all of his insane desire--the fever pitch his need was reaching, his mindless abandonment to their shared pleasure--as he was becoming whole with her, at last. He, too, felt her near- breathless anticipation of their approaching union, felt her depths' barely-describable pleasure in his possession of them, felt her soul reaching out to him, as well--begging him to complete them both, to allow them to join together into the state of bliss which was their birthright.

She pulled back from the kiss to lock eyes with him finally. Her breath was coming in short little gasping moans; her eyes locked onto his soul.

His look begged her to be his and his alone--to be part of him for the rest of eternity. And he saw in her eyes--felt in her soul that she not only agreed, but was begging the same thing of him.

He let out a small groan, as he felt their pleasure beginning to crash into one another--felt their souls uniting. He leaned down to possess her mouth in a final, completing kiss, as her wings enveloped him completely--grabbed onto his own, which had now grown larger from the love he had accepted and shared with her; she whimpered beneath him, and he stroked deeply into her one more time, . . . and then everything between them converged into one.

The lines between them finally disappeared. They were exploding into light--into a pleasure, into an ecstasy so complete it merged them together as a whole.

They were no longer in human form; they had united completely into one bright, achingly-beautiful light. Their souls shuddered together as one--twined in, around, and through each other. It was a state of ecstasy unlike anything they had ever come close to experiencing on earth--made everything in human form seem paltry in comparison. . . . They were part of each other and the light; they were part of Heaven.

***************

Michael awoke a few minutes later with a gasp. He found himself covered in sweat, his breathing unsteady, his heart hammering. His soul, however, felt whole--his heart complete. . . . He had never woken up feeling anything quite like it.

He understood, too, though--his logical mind decided, what must have happened. He had been dreaming about her--had been dreaming about her and pleasing himself.

He rolled onto his back and shook his head against the pillow. Only she could do this to him; only she could make him lose control. . . . Only she could leave him gasping in ecstasy, even when she wasn't physically there.

He began to roll over onto his side again--his body incredibly contented, his mind dictating a need for rest to avoid thinking into this further. . . . But that was when he spotted a feather in the bed.

He raised himself up on one arm, as he stared at it for a second, his mind returning to his dream; he knew it had undoubtedly simply come from one of his pillows. He would have to check them for any tears in the morning, he supposed; he would undoubtedly find something.

He gave a half-smile, his logical explanation firmly in place. He ran his fingers over it nonetheless--however, feeling its down, remembering. His logic wasn't able to overwhelm the emotional rebirth his heart still felt, though. Maybe at least, he decided--indeed, this night would help him to stay more in control around her in the future. . . . Maybe he would at least learn to *not* ask her questions he knew would torment him--even if he still spent more time with her than was probably healthy for their lives together in Section; that part, indeed--he had already determined, he wasn't going to change.

He lay his head back on the pillow, the feather still in his hand. Or maybe he would simply keep loving his angel with the abandon which his dream had suggested--regardless of the consequences. . . . Maybe, indeed, that had been its message.

He closed his eyes once more, a slight smile on his face, as he let himself drift back off to sleep. He knew he should be more careful--knew he should be more controlled; he knew he should, truly, have the strength just to keep a safe distance.

None of that, however, really mattered, at the moment. Whatever the truth between them was, he was happy for now--was pleased at their new friendship . . . was contented to fall asleep with the scent of her he always imagined filling his senses, with the touch of her wing in his hand.