In the Beginning...

I did a bit of a jump in writing Darian's point and worked up a sex scene between my MC and Morrigan, who according to Irish mythology is either a goddess or the Queen of the Banshees. It's revenge sex for the both of them, and it gets pretty heated. Here's part of the lead up to it...I'll post more, tomorrow...

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Caoimhín stalked through the whole of the darkness and well into the sun's light, unwilling to rest until he had crossed as much of the earth as possible. Be as far away from his settlement as possible. He splashed through icy streams of water without thought. Stormed up and over hills that grew higher and higher and seemed never to end. He cared not where he was or how he would even find his way back. His only thoughts were of how Caera had looked at The Dagda.

And how the man had returned that look.

It wasn't right. That godlike creature was mesmerizing his beloved and, without even a word, had sent him spiraling into feeling like he was nothing, in comparison. Something he had never felt about himself, before. He'd been so shocked and angered by it, he had almost broken his clan's honor.

You did not challenge anyone you were giving shelter to, and Caoimhín was proud of how well he had done with so many, before. Some of whom were foul and rough with their actions, and who treated the women as mere slaves. His father had worked around them, using words and distractions to manage the worst, while the rest were merely tolerated, and Caoimhín had followed his father's lead.

But this blond god. He held to their honor in ways that almost seemed to mock it. Neither did not said anything that could be misunderstood. Not one word that passed his lips was wrong, but deep within Caoimhín sensed a gentle tolerance of their ways, as if he were far above it. As if he were amused by it. That every woman in the clan wished to care for him, be they with mate or not, seemed expected by this man. Even his mother had shown a shocking willingness to ignore Caoimhín's concerns and had shrugged off the creature's interest in Caera.

Caoimhín had missed none of it. Had seen how eyes as pale as ice followed her every move. How his smile became tender when she brought him drink. How his fingers caressed hers as he accepted the cup. And how she blushed, knowing his interest.

And she had done nothing to reassure Caoimhín. The man who was to be her mate after a few more sunrises. When the moon would begin to let the sun spend more time in the sky. What was worse? She had belittled his worries as childish fears. Called him a boy, again.

A boy.

That single word stung him. Cut deeper than any knife could have. The last time the sun had reigned supreme over the dark, staying in the sky twice as long as the moon, his father had told him a similar day had been the day he joined the world. He showed him marks carved into the wood of their hut's entrance. Eighteen of them. Eighteen, and he was only now joining with a woman to build a family of his own, when many of his friends who'd been birthed at the same time were fathers themselves.

Woman? He snorted in derision. Caera had joined the world long after himself. Just after the first mark on the entrance. Yet she derided him for being wary of a man who was old enough to be her father.

No, he chuckled to himself, Grand-father.

Caoimhín did not understand it. He had always followed his duty -- to help his clan, learn from his father...and torment his brother, whenever he could. He knew what else was expected of him, but it was only during the last warm days, before the cold weather came, that he and Caera had begun to think of that other duty...one to each other. It hadn't been for very long. Could she have changed her mind? Could she now see him as less capable of providing for her? Less of a man in comparison to this golden god?

He began to wonder if he was a child, in comparison.

Because to look at this in all honesty, The Dagda could provide for Caera a hundred times better than he, and easily. His cloak, alone, had proven that. How warm it seemed to keep him. How dry against the water from the sky. How easily he had slung it off, next to the fire. And she knew. She knew. He could tell by the manner in which she caressed it as she folded it and laid it by the door. So he had stormed away from Caera and his anger and confusion. Away from Mícheál and his understanding words. Away from his father and mother and their disapproval of his actions. So he had walked. And walked. And walked. Trying to silence the torment in his mind, but it would not stop.

Caera had always been his, and he hers. He had waited for her to be ready and let him know it was time to join. Had ignored his mother's attempts to find him another girl to be with, since Caera was taking her time. Toying with him. Laughing at him. Unwilling to let him know until she was in full bloom and her smiles were more often those of tenderness rather than amusement.

But not one smile had she sent to him since that man arrived. Only anger and scorn, and he felt as if he had been tossed aside like rubbish, not even worthy of being ground into the earth to help the grain grow and...

Suddenly, he had to stop...because to his shock he had reached the edge of the world. There was nothing beyond but the angry water, below him. So far below him, he could not even hear it. And all he could see beyond was more of the angry water, nothing else.

He froze. The nothingness before him was almost terrifying. He had never realized there was no earth for the rest of the world. Nothing solid upon which to stand or build, just the dirt beneath his feet. Finally, he looked down, down, down to where the water was rolling and angry as it rushed up to dash itself against the black, immovable rocks. And between them and him, creatures of the air with wings of white or black or the color of the dirt upon which he stood floated in lazy circles.

Below him! Not above him, as they always had been. Even now, they could drift up and be at the same height as he, with no trouble whatsoever. Some looked at him. Eyed him with curiosity and wariness. Called to him. He almost laughed.

Were these the same rocks he had seen them from their settlement? True, it have been from a distance, while helping pull in nets filled with fish, but never had he even wondered what he would find atop them. What he would see.

He had not once thought of making the journey here. It had seemed pointless. To go someplace just to see what could be seen? It was like a denial of duty and refusing to do what needed to be done.

But now? To finally be here? To finally see the edge of the world for himself? It overwhelmed every thought in his head. Drove his fears about Caera and The Dagda to nothingness. He stood upon the packed earth, unable to move thanks to the sheer wonder of it all.

The wind tore at his back. Pulled at his pelt. Wanted him to grasp its fur-covered edges and leap and see if he could become one with the floating beings. It seemed to whisper, Do it. I will hold you. I will show you how they fly. He felt dizzy from the mere thought of it.

The sun grew bright, though not enough to warm. Clouds parted and the water gleamed...and revealed there were, in truth, more small strips of earth floating atop it, in the near distance. Far but not far. Perhaps close enough to reach in one of their boats, on a quiet day.

He looked to his right, the same basic direction from when he had come. The earth slowly drifted lower and lower to the area his clan lived upon. He could see a hint of the water where his people cast their nets. Surrounded by hills so green and peaceful. So perfect.

He looked to his left to see more of the towering black rocks, all of them just as tall and upon which was more green. His clan could not have seen this, from their part of the earth, because it circled away as it continued. Could it be leading to an edge without the water before it? He had no idea...but might it not be fascinating to learn?

He howled, long and loud. He no longer felt like Caoimhín, but like some new creature born to be master of all he could see. All of it. And he felt tender towards it all. Protective. Loving, almost. He released another howl, longer and more filled with meaning, his mind now clear and his heart pounding and...

"It is beautiful, isn't it?"

The voice jolted him. Came from behind. Instinct drove him to crouch and spin and have his sword ready in hand, ready for any attack. But it had been a soft voice. A woman's. And he saw her, instantly.

She was as tall as he, with hair like fire being whipped in the breeze. Her eyes the color of the grass. Her skin like milk. Her form the vision of a dream. She wore a dress made of some material he did not understand. It was the color of sand and trimmed in the finest gold, and was lighter than that of The Dagda. It caught the light of the sun and held it within as it clung so gently to her...in all the right places. Her breasts. Her hips. Her legs. Her cloak, as dark as the earth, was rich and warm and regal in its beauty, but she did not hold it tight to herself. It was as if the cold did not cause her discomfort.

She gazed upon him, almost amused.

"You would attack me?" she asked, her voice hinting at mockery. "I have no weapon...well, except for this."

She held up a silver dagger, gleaming in the sunlight.

"It would be of little use against your mighty sword," she continued, her tone gentle yet with a hint of mockery.

Caoimhín rose to stand straight, facing her. The wind continued to pull at him.

"You surprised me," he said. "Where did you come from?"

"Over there," she said, smiling as her right hand motioned vaguely behind her.

He huffed, keeping his sword at the ready. "That is our land. You are Tuatha d'annan."

She gave a soft chuckle. "I am Morrigan."

He nodded, wary. "You, I have heard of."

"And you are?"

"Caoimhín, of the clan Ui Briúin."

"Ah, and you...I have heard of."

He snorted. "I don't see why. Your sort pay little attention to us."

"Not always."

"All right, except when you want something. Then you are close and caring. One of you is with us, now."

Her smile became both haughty and amused. "And is he wanting something?"

Caoimhín growled, the peace of a moment ago now long gone. He started to walk away.

"Where are you going?" she continued.

"Home."

"Why? Have you some reason to be there?"

He glared at her. "Why would I stay here?"

"You were happy a moment ago. I heard it in your voice. I like to see young men who are happy. It's so rare to find."

He hesitated. "I have duties..."

"And yet, you are here."

"As are you."

"I have nowhere else to be."

He eyed her, careful. More than wary. "I hear you are The Dagda's mate."

Her expression grew haughty and cold. "I am no man's mate." She spit the word out. "I am Morrigan. I am a Queen!"

Caoimhín sneered as he backed away, down the hillside. "Well, your King is with us, now."

"No longer," she all but murmured. "He got what he wanted."

He froze.

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