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Timeline: April 1st, 2008 (April Fool’s Day)

Lyla was exhausted. She was a Uratha and that meant that she could recover from just any kind of injury or muscle strain with ease. But her mother was also Uratha and knew she could push Lyla to work far harder than most people. As a consequence, Lyla had almost no sleep for the final stretch of the last several days. Even more important than rest was that Lyla hadn’t been able to replenish her reserve of Essence and she was dangerously low. She felt slow, lethargic, and exhausted.

Still the tired, dark smudges below her eyes which showed how tire she was did not dampen her excitement at coming home to see Ramiel again.

Ramiel’s room was empty, the bed neatly made and everything in perfect order. The only thing that was missing was Ramiel. She looked around the house but he wasn’t anywhere to be found.

One thing that she did notice was that someone had repainted the room Ramiel had been working on to turn into a nursery with plain white primer. No indication was left that at one time a baby was expected to be born. Lyla paused and looked at the empty room for a long time before she went to her room.

Deciding to take the opportunity to drop her duffel bag (newly purchased a week and a half ago), she quickly unpacked it and put her clothes away. There were some rather nice, new outfits in there that she’d collected as part of something she had needed on one of the missions her mother had sent her. She smiled as she looked at them again, but a wave of dizzy exhaustion hit her. She put the items on her dresser and decided to take a nap. She wanted to look good when she saw him again.

She lay down on the bed and took a good, four-hour nap. When she woke up, Ramiel still had not returned, and since it was the middle of the day, nor had John. Michael had left some time ago for training with Erin, she remembered.

That reminded her that Ramiel and Michael had their special boys’ clubhouse up the mountain. That, she figured, was where Ramiel might be. Unless he was in bed with some floozy in town. If that was the case, she probably wouldn’t find him. But if he was just hanging out at his men-only club, she knew where that was.

She decided to dress up a little. She took the time to apply shower, apply makeup, and put on some of her newer clothes. She settled on a little black dress that was deeply cut down the front to expose some cleavage, dark hose, and she wore her tall black boots. They weren’t the perfect choice to hike up to Ramiel’s special cabin, but they would do and still look good in her own opinion. After she finished with the lipstick, a bit of rouge, mascara and a bit of eye shadow, she put on the white gold necklace that held the ring he gave her, and something new; earrings.

While between missions for her mother, she found herself with a spare hour or two in a large city. On the spur of the moment, she decided had to have piercings. Of course, for Uratha, that can be a frustrating thing to try to get done. However, she bought a pair of silver studs and pierced her ears herself. It hurt like hell, of course, so she decided to stop with just her ears for now. But they healed quickly and she now had the ability to wear earrings that weren’t clip-ons. Daring to be different, she wore finely worked little danglers that were made of purest silver.

Finally, she called herself ready to see Ramiel again for the first time in two weeks. She tossed on a black leather jacket and stuffed a pocket with the asp she now carried by habit, slipped her knife into her boot, and headed up to the cabin.

As Lyla approached she heard sounds of fighting. Things looked peaceful at the cabin, the sounds were coming from around back. When she looked there, she saw Ramiel working with a wooden practice dummy. It was the kind you see in martial arts films. He was wearing only a pair of loose black material sparring pants. They were baggy but fit snuggly to his waist. His muscles glistened with sweat and strands of his white hair clung to him where they had been caught by the moisture. The rest swung with the force of his movements.

As she watched she could hear the creaking of the wood beneath the impact of his blows. His accuracy and speed had both increased. He had not noticed her yet.

She stood still as a statue as she watched him work. She had a fine appreciation for the male body and, since he was busy, she was loathe to interrupt him. After a few moments, though, she couldn’t wait anymore. She cleared her throat softly.

He glanced out the corner of his eye. Seeing it was Lyla he gave her a little show, turning and doing a back flip to get to her. (athletics check says ok) Keeping his momentum going he picked her up in his arms and backed her up against the house, wrapping her legs around him as he moved.

His lips locked over hers and his fingers discovered she had on no underwear. “Mmmmm.” He played with her until she was wet, kissing her the entire time. Once her body was ready to welcome him he whispered into her ear, “Welcome home,” as he slipped himself inside her.

Lyla was shocked and pleased and excited all at the same time by Ramiel’s response to seeing her. She gasped and sighed in pleasure to feel him move within and against him. She was more than willing to let him take control of their love making. Her body welcomed him at least as much as her heart did and she gripped his waist with her legs to help him keep her there and support her as long as his strength would give out.

They hadn’t had such frenzied, spontaneous love-making in a long time. He could easily compare their activity now to then. Lyla used to be fragile and he’d have to be very careful when he did this that he wouldn’t bruise her or injure her and bring their fun to a crashing halt. But Lyla was many times over tougher now, and not just because she’d become Uratha. Her endurance was such that she could easily keep up with him, her muscles toned and strong for her build. Some things hadn’t changed, though; he was still very much the stronger of the two of them.

They didn’t slow until the long, spasming orgams overtook them in a glorious, mutual surge. Laughing and kissing, they fell to the ground as both their legs finally gave out from under them.

He’d put Lyla on top when they toppled together and she was staring worshipfully down into his eyes with a glowing smile as they recovered. “I missed you so much,” she said.

“I am glad you called. I couldn’t track you, and I was worried,” he said as he leaned back on his elbows.

She kissed him again. It seemed she just couldn’t get enough of him right now. “I know. Mother is strict, but I had to at least call. It would have been horrible if I couldn’t. And I’m glad no one accidentally erased the message.” She smiled.

“I told Ironclaw the truth. Everyone else thinks you were paying back a friend.” He sat up and pulled her breast out of the dress and began to play with her nipple. Then he was biting her breast and kneading it with his hand.

Lyla sighed and dipped her pelvis, pressing against him to feel if he was already wanting to go another round.

He was swollen with need again and moaned in pleasure as she teased along his shaft. “You gonna wiggle your ass or are you going to fuck me?” he asked with a sharp bite.

She hiked up her dress and they began again. When they finished, Lyla lay upon the hard, cold ground next to Ramiel, a good deal dirtier than she was before, and so was he. They both took a long moment to catch their breath and slow their panting.

That was when they realized Chaska had arrived and likely had seen them. Lyla had meant to tell Ramiel more — much more — but time had run out.

Soon they’d see that time had run out for many people.

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