BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! B—
The sound of the annoying alarm clock stopped instantly when a hand reached up and flicked the switch to the off position. With a yawn, Rue rubbed at his eyes under the dim shades of light coming in through the baby blue curtains. After confirming the time --ten past eight in the morning-- he rolled over and closed his eyes shut.
There were some quiet noises inside the en-suite, but Rue decided to ignore them and focus on sleeping. After a minute, he heard a voice shout from within.
"THIS [EXPLETIVE] SUCKS!"
He sat up sharply and looked in the direction of Mint's voice. What was Mint doing in the bathroom...? In a swift and sudden movement, Rue sat up, grabbed his underwear and put them on, got out of bed and hurried to the ensuite of the master bedroom.
"Mint?" He called out. "Is everything alright?"
There was no reply. Rue felt a prickle of fear run down his back. Without a moment’s hesitation, he grabbed the doorknob and threw the door open. What greeted his eyes wasn't anything he expected to see, and his body was instantly filled with ice.
Mint was standing in front of the toilet, leaning her head close over the bowl.
"Mint!" He rushed forward to Mint and rubbed her back sympathetically. "What's wrong? Are you feeling sick?"
"No… I'm... I'm fine. Really." Mint said, shrugging him off. A sudden dizzy spell rocked her world and her knees gave out on her. Before she could hit the tiled floor, Rue caught her just in time.
"You need to rest. We both had a late night so I'm taking you back to bed. Don’t worry, I’ll carry you." Putting her arms around his neck, he looked at Mint for permission and after receiving a weak nod in reply, he lifted her up off the floor into his arms -- with one arm around her back, the other under her legs -- and carried his stubborn wife, pajamas, bare feet and all back to their room, handling Mint like a craftsman’s best work.
He set the woman down softly on her messy side of the bed. Rue pulled apart the heavy curtains and opened the window to let some fresh air in.
"Is that better?"
Mint opened her eyes, since she had them closed while Rue carried her, and she tried to prop herself up. She looked ill, and sounded even more so.
“A little..." She tried to keep herself balanced on her elbows, but she didn't yet have the energy.
Rue went to Mint's side and gently laid her back on the pillows. "Hey, take it easy. Don’t exhaust yourself."
"Oh, quit looking so worried! I’ll be good to go in a few minutes, so you better watch out. Ugh… Okay, maybe not..." He nodded, his eyes twinkling, but didn't change his solemn expression.
The two were silent for a few minutes. Rue wondered what the cause of Mint's nausea could be. He knew it wasn’t anything she ate that was disagreeing with her.
Mint turning away and looked up at the ceiling, still not saying anything. He kept quiet, not wanting to make her any madder, afraid that if he said anything she'd snap at him.
"There might be one reason why I’m sick…” she said softly.
Rue looked at her curiously. She turned back to him, her face unsure of what emotion to display. He could tell something else was bothering her, that this was no ordinary flu bug.
"Maybe we should go see a doctor about this. Just in case you could be pregnant. Still, we can’t jump to conclusions... since I’m not entirely human…" he reminded her sadly.
A sudden gleam of annoyance filled Mint's eyes. "You listen here, Rue. You may have been forged by Valen, but to me you are a living, breathing human being. And besides, you taught me a perfectly good lesson on our wedding night." she chuckled.
"What do you— OH!" Turning slightly pink, Rue stopped speaking when he understood what Mint meant. His blush deepened as he remembered the night's events, when he then became one with her for the first time...
"Are you ready?"
"You can open the door now."
He compiled, pushing it open. He did not need to turn on any lights in the room; the moon was shining gently through the window, giving everything a blue radiance. Standing before him in the dim light was his new wife Mint.
"Well?" she blushed and smoothed the fabric of her skirt. "What do you think?"
Rue felt his jaw hit the floor. Mint was wearing a coat of chiffon in blue, brown and white. It wrapped around her shoulders, swept down across her midriff, and spilled over her hands, the sleeves wide and loose at the bottom. The coat was worn over a strapless white bra, and held in place by a wide brown belt, fitted tightly to accentuate her slim waist. A short skirt, also blue with the front parting outward to expose her white lace panties that offered a glimpse of red hair underneath, flowed over her hips and came down to the middle of her thighs, the back a piece that stopped a little past her knees. He felt the heat rise in his own cheeks when he realized the chiffon was semi transparent. He could see the shape of her slender body beneath it, the curve of her calves, her...
"M-Mint?! What are you doing dressed up like that?" He spluttered.
“You don't like it?” Her voice sounded disappointed to his ears. “But that crazy witch told me this would help illustrate what I wanted to give you.” she cursed under her breath at the slip.
“You mean this was Fancy Mel's idea?”
“Uhhh no! Actually, it was mine! I just couldn't figure out how to... Mel helped me, and...”
Mint made a strange noise in her throat as she cleared it. This wasn't going as well as she'd hoped. She felt like running into the bathroom and locking the door, but it was too late to back out now; all she can do was go ahead with the plan.
She took a step forward and said the line that Mel had written for her. “I’m your greatest gift, Rue. Aren’t you going to unwrap me?”
Rue looked at her in dumb shock. A horrible thought came to him.
"Mint, I can't... I wasn't expecting... I-I don't have protection!" He could feel himself blushing as he stood there in his wedding suit. The suit was composed with a pair of long off-white pants with a pattern of gold swirls running up along the outside of each pant leg. A plain green shirt was hidden under a white waistcoat, which had the same gold pattern as the pants. A white jacket topped it all off, the frilly cuffs of the shirt poking out from the jacket sleeves, giving the whole outfit a nice contrast.
"It's alright." Mint pulled out something from a hidden pocket and she held up the small object for Rue to see. "Fancy Mel had a hand in this, remember?"
Rue didn't move. He didn't breathe. He just stared at Mint, scarcely able to believe it. He felt a little anxious that he would make an aggressive move toward the girl-- before Mint had a chance to say she was joking-- and ruin everything.
So Mint moved for him.
The woman, her red bangs hanging into her burgundy eyes, softly padded up to him on bare feet. She wrapped her arms around Rue's neck, leaned up and touched lips to him. Rue was surprised when he was suddenly drawn into the kiss but it felt right. He closed his eyes and focused his entire essence on her lips. They were soft, tasting faintly of cinnamon and ever-growing passion. Her lips began to press more firmly to his and he responded in kind, his arms finding their way to wrap around Mint's body.
Mint found herself guiding Rue to the bed, and the two of them collapsed on it. Desire nibbled at her, begging for more, but she didn't want this to go quickly. She was determined to make their first night a memorable one. Her tongue slipped out as her lips part, tracing over his lower lip.
Not missing a beat, Rue parted his mouth for her, pressing his face more into his companion's as he got more into the kiss himself. He would be lying if he said he didn't want this, but in the past the idea didn't appeal to him. He certainly enjoyed Mint's company; she made him smile and that was worth a lot when he could be so serious at times.
Even now she was making him forget anything serious and just focusing on her.
Mint broke the kiss after a few long moments, eyes hooded as she panted softly. "God Rue... Want you so bad..."
"...." It was like something broke inside him. Rue leaned in and claimed her lips with his own, until they were both breathless. He pressed his body against hers, pushing Mint back into the pillows, straddling her hips. Without breaking the kiss, he undid the clasp of the belt, roughly tugging it out from behind her.
A small voice told Rue what he was doing was wrong, screaming at him to STOP. His body froze, eyes widening in panic. When he realized that he was about to take advantage of Mint, he moved well away from her. Shame burned in his stomach. He couldn't bring himself to look at those pools of red wine.
Mint noticed tears welling up in his eyes. “Rue? What's wrong?”
“It's nothing.” Rue lied quickly.
“That doesn't look like nothing to me.” she persisted. "We don't have to do this if you're not cool with it.”
“N--No! I do want this.”
“Then why are you crying?” she lifted his chin gently, forcing the man to look at her.
“I... I got carried away...” His voice was weak; he could barely get the words out around the constriction in his throat.
“Rue, look at me.” said Mint sternly. Rue reluctantly dragged his eyes up to meet Mint's. She cupped his face in her hands and rubbed his cheeks, wiping away the tears that dribbled down, before kissing him again, eyes closing. He was surprised at first by Mint's sudden jump to action, yet somehow he knew what she was doing was okay. He kissed back, pulling Mint even closer to him.
Slowly, Mint started working at the buttons on Rue's white jacket. She'd fiddle with one until it came off, then drop down to the one below. When she had the buttons undone all the way, she stuck her hands inside the jacket and massaged them across the planes of his chest, feeling the muscles under the thin fabric of his shirt. Then she unbuttoned the waistcoat and shirt, peeling them off of Rue, until his smooth skin of white marble was exposed.
She ran her fingertips over his hairless chest and the ridges of his abs, tracing the faded scars on Rue's lean, handsome body. The marks that he received in battle all those years ago... She pulled away and smiled up at him, knowing how much happier Rue now felt. "Feel better?"
The man nodded. "I don't feel sad anymore."
Mint giggled. “Good.” she kissed him on the cheek. "You can put those hands to good use now that your mood's improved."
"What do you want me to do?"
"Helping me out of these clothes, duh!” she grinned. "I didn't put them on for nothing; I want you to enjoy me."
Rue eased into a smile.
“As you wish, Princess." He moved towards her, ready to take charge - good thing he didn't mind being assertive.
Letting his instincts guide him, he moved his hands around her back, his fingers tracing over the clasp on her white bra. Mint turned her attention to the silk blue ribbon weaved in Rue's hair and she gently pulled it out. She just loved running her hands through those white locks, as if to assure herself he was really there.
He finally got the small hooks undone, taking off her bra and tossing it aside. At last the bra was gone. Rue moved more slowly, his hands reaching up and under the coat, easing it away from Mint's shoulders... until her soft tan skin was revealed. He could only stare for a moment, a great weight squeezing in his chest.
She gasped when he put his hands on her waist, sliding them up along her ribcage to cup her small, high breasts. There was lean muscle underneath her curves---the body of a gymnast. She wasn't some weak little girl to be protected and locked away in an ivory tower. She was his partner. His equal. He leaned over her, drawing one firm nipple into his mouth, suckling gently while he reached up to massage the other with quiet and inexperienced fingers.
Mint cried out and writhed beneath Rue. Her face flushed a rosy pink, her breath starting to come out in pants. She'd never felt anything like this before. She couldn't move at first, helpless in the quake of new sensations. But she managed to kick out from underneath him, wiggling free from the sleeves of the coat. Sitting up, she began to kiss her way across his chest, her impatient fingers fumbling to unlatch his belt buckle.
Her aggressiveness made Rue blush. "Wait. Let me do it." He turned away and hastily stripped himself of his pants before rejoining Mint on the bed. She laughed at his embarrassment.
As soon as he was back with her, she looked at him in awe. Bright red eyes roamed over his fair skin, his dark brown eyes and his shining silver hair... Her gaze travelled lower, and the redhead felt her cheeks flush when she noticed a prominent bump in Rue's boxer shorts. There was a strange thrill in knowing she had caused that; he was aroused by her. Mint reached down and gingerly touched the area that concealed his excitement from the world, smiling lovingly into his eyes. "For me?"
Rue barely had time to nod in answer when she kissed him hard, working her mouth against his. He resumed touching and caressing her modest breasts. Moaning softly, Mint let her head fall back as those hands made her want to melt.
So lost in this pleasure, she didn't notice a hand wandering down her front. When it reached the top of her skirt, she arched her back slightly. A little lower, Rue...
Encouraged, Rue's hand slipped under the edge of her skirt and he started stroking her panties with his fingertips, while his tongue lapped at the sensitive pink bud. She threaded her fingers through his long hair, hugging him close. Rue didn't mind. He continued to lick and rub, rub and lick, until Mint was panting hard and squirming on the bed.
"Ah!" He pulled his hand away, as if burned. “I-I’m sorry. Was I going too fast? Was I doing it wrong? I didn't mean to-"
Now it was Mint's turn to be unsure of how to react. Here was Rue --sweet, perfect, pure Rue-- actually getting flustered and asking her if he was... bad?
She silenced him with a finger pressed to his lips. "No sweetie. That felt good. Too good."
For a moment, he looked at her with a blank face... then the realization of what she meant hit him. "Oh."
Mint soon realized that she was just as nervous as he was. She began wonder if he could tell she had no idea what she was doing. Her only guidelines were half-remembered comments from her chambermaids back home. Now that she was here it was nothing like that. She couldn't keep a steady thought in her head. All she knew was that she wanted to please the person who loved her back.
Her hands reached for those black boxers on Rue and pulled them down, revealing his most intimate part of him.
Mint's eyes widened. "Wow..." It was bigger then she expected, as she removed her skirt. "How can you handle having that in your pants all this time?" she wrapped her fingers around the shaft, gently touching the seven inch long organ in her hand.
Rue gasped sharply, his hips buckling. "I-I just... made sure to wait till we were ready and... ahhh..."
With surprising calmness, Mint let go of his manhood and tugged off her panties, leaving her legs completely bare. She pulled the ties out of her hair, letting the pinkish-red locks fall down her back. She lay down against the sheets, spreading her slender thighs and giving him a clear view of her uncovered privates.
"You want to take me now?" she whispered.
He couldn't help but find the display rather erotic. "Y-Yes." His hands reached for the small foil packet that had been tossed onto the bed and opened it carefully. He rolled the condom down over his erection, reminding himself there was no need to hurry, no need to rush... Mint, on the other hand, kept distracting Rue with coaxing kisses on his skin, and running her hands up along his back.
Neither of them knew exactly what they were doing as he knelt across from her, so their movements were awkward, like baby steps to bliss. Rue ran his hands over Mint's hips --touching skin he'd never even let himself think about before-- pulling her closer to him. Mint angled up her hips, rising a little so she caressed the underside of his penis with her slit.
As she teased him, Rue let out a little moan. When she reached down to guide the tip to her wet entrance, however, his body seemed to move on its own. With his hands still tight on her hips, he pushed down as he eased his way up inside of her. It felt so snug and warm.
Mint gritted her teeth, tears in the corners of her lashes. Her hands were tight at his shoulders, every muscle in her slim body tense, and her eyes were firmly closed. Rue's chest constricted. He had forgotten that this was painful to her.
“Oh Mint...” He said miserably. "I'm--”
Mint shook her head sharply, keeping her eyes screwed shut. “No! Don't you dare apologize. I-It'll be better in a minute." she almost whispered. "Just... don't move."
“Shh... be still.” Rue breathed, leaning down and kissing most of her tears away. "I'll wait with you until it stops hurting, okay? Don't cry."
There was s sniffle. “...Thanks..."
So they stayed locked in that embrace, not moving as Mint waited for the sharp pain to fade, waited to adjust to the feel of him inside her. Rue massaged her tense shoulders, whispered soothing words against her ear. He wished there was something he could do, feeling horrible that he was the one causing her this pain. He never wanted to see her suffer...
Mint shivered against him. The stinging, nettle sensation was fading faster now, melting into new pleasures. She twined her arms around Rue. "Ahhh... Now that's more like it." Her breath came out in a happy sigh. She opened her eyes and looked up at him. "You can start moving now," she accompanied the words with a roll of her hips.
Closing his eyes, he began to move, pulling out almost all the way then sliding in again.
Their movements started out gently in soft, small motions. Rue wanted to make this last, taking it slowly. He was certain that it was better slow, though it was difficult not to lose himself in ecstasy so intense that it bordered on pain. Before long he soon got the hang of being the one in control -moving at a comfortable rhythm- and gradually increased his pace. Each stroke brought out a fresh gasp or soft cry from Mint, driving him to make love to her faster and harder.
Mint moaned deeply, their hips meeting with every thrust. "R-right there... So deep... Keep going!" She closed her eyes and focused on the movement, on the connection between the two of them.
His heavy breaths tingled her bare skin, matching the same rhythm as hers. She tightened her grip around his shoulders, nearly drawing lines into the smooth flesh.
Finally, Rue couldn't take it any longer. He cradled Mint's lower back in his arms and he moved them both down to the mattress. Smooth-looking fiery hair spread out around her head like flames that were alive, her soft pink lips glistening from kisses. Their eyes locked, and inside hers he saw passion and need. This vision was more than Rue can take. He drew Mint close and kissed her passionately, tasting every little thing he could have ever desired and more. He didn't care that she wasn't as... full as most her age. At least she had the chest and hips to grant her some curves.
And he wasn't about to stop rocking into her now. Not when Mint was encouraging him to give it his all.
Mint shifted her hips up to meet him. She knew there was something... just out of her reach. The anticipation felt as great as the warm, loving hardness massaging her insides. Then Rue pushed up against her again --and she was there!
Arching her back, she cried out his name as her fingernails dig into him, and she could feel her surroundings fade away. She clamped down hard around his length, allowing her white-haired angel to memorize the feel of her damp heat. The sudden contraction pushed Rue over the edge, and he too fell into release.
His climax soon passed on, as quickly as it came, and he was left sweating and out of breath. He gazed down at his goddess in her afterglow.
Mint smiled sweetly up at him, eyes twinkling. "Geez Rue! I didn't think you had it in you!" she was still panting but not as much.
Rue agreed with a tender smile of accomplishment. "Honestly, neither did I." he said, catching his breath.
She cackled. "And all I showed you was a sexy outfit."
He leaned forward, giving her little mouth a brush. Slowly, they parted, and he looked at his beloved with heavy-lidded eyes. "Oh, I think you showed me more than that." They knew the last barriers had been broken down between them. He was dizzy by her beauty and her scent, and she was nearly weak with the feel of him against her. The awkwardness was gone. "You really are amazing. If you want to do this more often from now on, I promise to let you take the lead. I love you."
The redhead grinned. "Love you too, doll boy. With that kind of stamina you can take me anytime you want." It was a promise. Mint snuggled into the bedsheets, cradling Rue's head against her heart and closing her eyes. Their hair intertwined, much like their spent bodies. They were soon fast asleep, feeling more at peace then they ever had in their lives.
And outside, even the heavens were cheering for them.
"I never thought you had the backbone to tame a wild thing like me."
The sound of Mint's voice snapped Rue out of his slight daze, him pushing away the past and focusing solely on the now.
"It's all thanks to you spurring me on."
The conversation was cut short when Mint covered her mouth with her hand, startling Rue. She glanced to where a certain green hat (with its missing yellow ribbon) was sitting on the nightstand beside the lavish bed.
Rue followed her gaze and the color drained from his face.
"Honey no! Not in my hat!" Too late; Mint bolted up from the bed, immediately grabbing his hat and she vomited into it. She returned it to the table, stretched and lay back against the mattress.
He let out a wistful sigh. I can’t believe she did that… Claire had made that hat specially for him, and now it was filled with Mint's lost early-morning snack. He decided to accept the mess as an unfortunate accident.
“So, hey, are you going to go or what? I thought I was supposed to rest.”
Rue turned slightly pink and apologized, taking a step back. “I’m sorry, Mint. I’ll go now.” She watched him pick his hat up and walk towards the door. He turned right before he walked out, smiling just slightly. “I’ll bring you a glass of water and a bowl of fruit salad in case you’re hungry. Are you happy to have that for breakfast?”
Mint nodded her approval and realized that she was tired. Fighting every impulse to sleep, she heard the door close and stared after Rue, secretly grateful that he was looking out for her, before her heavy eyelids got the best of her and she drifted back to sleep.
“Mint’s not feeling well?”
“No Mira. Rue called and told me she’s taking it very hard. That girl has the biggest stubborn streak I’ve ever seen. A stomach ache wouldn’t get her feeling so down, but it sounds to me like they’re not coming to the picnic, after all.”
Mira sighed and shook her head. She knew Mint was tough, so they hadn’t expected her not to come along on their outing. A few minutes ago they’d called to ask if Mint and Rue wanted to go on a picnic with Elena and Prima at the park, then they heard from Rue that the usual hyperactive and brave Mint was feeling queasy, and everyone was starting to worry. They also were worrying about Rue: he’d been checking up on Mint’s health since he found out she was unwell, and it was clear he felt responsible for not watching over her properly.
“He shouldn’t blame himself.” Mira shook her head again and the two looked at each other sadly.
Rue finished filling up a round bowl of the chopped strawberries, banana, kiwifruit and apple he prepared in the kitchen for Mint’s breakfast. When he was done, he brought out a serving tray and set the bowl of diced fruit and a glass of water on it, then left the room carrying the tray. He was still worried that Mint wasn’t well enough to get up, and knew she’d try all too soon, but she had wanted him to leave so he did. In fact, he hadn’t really minded watching over her; she was much more pleasant when she was asleep, and he didn’t have to worry about what he said around her.
She’s like a walking timebomb.
He can never be too sure with Mint because she was so unpredictable; one moment she’s happy and outgoing, then bad-tempered and infiltrating the next. Even though she acted rude and obnoxious to everyone on the start of their adventures, he knew deep, deep down she was a nice person. He sighed and decided to stop worrying about Mint, but why couldn’t he?
He headed up the staircase to his bedroom. When he walked in, he saw Mint sitting at the window in her deep azure kimono robe, looking out at the sunrise. The sky was a vivid orange, with hues of pinks and purples mixed in.
“Shouldn’t you be resting?” He asked her, setting the tray down next to the bed and sat in his chair.
“I was growing bored of lying around. Can’t we go take a walk somewhere? I’m sick of bolting to the toilet and feeling like crap.” Mint huffed, getting up to sit on the edge of the bed. She looked at the yummy-looking fruit salad Rue had prepared for her. “Hey, did you… Is that for me?”
“Yes, I made it for you.” Rue noticed she was staring dejectedly at her breakfast. “What’s the matter?”
“I can’t eat anything; I’ll only hurl it back up again…” Mint took a sip of the water.
“Sweetheart, you need to eat something. I'm not going to let my Queen's energy waste away.”
Mint exhaled in frustration. “Alright! I’ll eat your salad! Only cuz you addressed me as your queen.” she took the bowl as the blushing doll passed it to her, and stuck a spoonful of the fruit in her mouth. “Wow, this is good!”
Rue looked at Mint thoughtfully before he picked up the cordless phone on her round bedside table to dial the number for the medical center nearby to book an appointment.