The House of the Seventh Minuet CXXXI

**Note: this chapter is NSFW**

Latin: Domus septimae Minuetae

After the shower, we relaxed on my bed together and talked about this and that in between kissing and touching and exploring each other’s bodies.

Once he’d recovered from what he called the best orgasm he’d ever had from oral sex, Stefan was intent on exploring my skin with his tongue. I was perfectly content to let him suck on my nipples while his big hands massaged my breasts. His hands were wide and strong, warm and just rough enough to remind me that he wasn’t afraid of a little hard work. Being in his grasp was a wonderful feeling, and I felt proud to be the one to satisfy his needs.

It turned out that his favorite place to let his tongue explore was between my legs. He showed me the talents he had with his mouth, and I swore my cries of pleasure could have been heard all the way downstairs. I didn’t care though, and not just because Killian and Larsa were still out; Stefan had a way of showing me that he was totally focused on my pleasure, and it seemed as though he didn’t even came up for air.

Stefan quickly learned where to lick to make me get louder, and I’m certain that he was blessed with a long, serpentine tongue, which he wasn’t shy about plunging into the depths of my body while I played in his long, golden hair. He devoured me like a starved man, and I loved every second of it. His mouth brought me to an orgasm that felt like I’d gone supernova; he seemed very proud of himself when I told him that.

Once we were cleaned up, we cuddled and made out more, and just generally relaxed until we heard the front door open to let Killian and Larsa’s excited bantering in.

“I think that’s our signal to get up and go greet them,” Stefan said.

“Oh, don’t sound so disappointed,” I giggled. “They’re bringing us food, after all!”

Stefan gave me a wolfish grin, and I felt myself blush all over again. “Stefan!” I laughed. “You– you’re thinking about making me your meal, aren’t you?”

His grin widened devilishly. “Why wouldn’t I,” he asked, “when the woman I love so much tastes so amazing?”

This was the result of all those months of having nobody to be with, I reminded myself. The way he was acting now, it was almost a surprise that he’d been able to hide his true feelings for so long; that just goes to show how much he values our friendship, and how much he wanted to protect it. Stephen wasn’t just strong physically; the things he felt, he felt very powerfully.

“I don’t know whether to be scared or excited about that,” I said.

“Both,” he replied. “Excited about how wonderful I can make you feel, and worried about how lonely it’s going to be when I have to go back to Portland. And then excited again,” he added as he knelt over me for more kisses, “when I return to you.”

We had talked about a good many things since coming back from Tierney Ríocht;that included the question of our living situation. We were both okay with our relationship moving a lot faster than most other couples did, because we’d known each other for so long. There was no way I could sell my house, and Stefan really liked it too, he admitted. He was willing to live with me eventually, but he couldn’t move away from Portland just yet; he could still compose music and take commissions online, but he wanted to find a source of income to replace what he was getting at the record store.

On the upside, between pooling our resources and having fewer bills, we didn’t need to make all that much money. Really, the main expense that would be increasing was the cost of travel. Even with that information, Stefan insisted that he be able to contribute towards all expenses; power and other utilities, taxes, food, and so on. I’m certain that he also wanted us both to be able to build our savings, and that he intended on taking me nice places. I really couldn’t argue with that; as long as we could live together in the end, I was content to let him make it happen in a way that he was comfortable with. He could work in Portland, visiting me on some weekends, until he was ready to really merge our lives together.

Stefan and I decided to get dressed before Larsa got tired of waiting and came upstairs to get us. We arrived in the kitchen together and found Killian and Larsa putting groceries away. They almost looked surprised to see us.

“Well. ye two came down fast,” Killian noted.

“Yeah, well, I was pretty hungry,” I explained. “Do you guys need help bringing stuff in from the car?”

“Hey, birthday girl,” Stefan chimed in, “you don’t need to be doing any kind of work. Just sit down.”

“What?” I asked teasingly. “You think I’m going to sit down and watch the boys work? I grabbed the pizza boxes and carried them out to the dining room. “Let’s eat at the nice table!”

Killian was asking Larsa to bring out plates and cutlery, but Larsa took off, and I could hear him stomping up the stairs. “I’ll be right back!” he called down.

I figured he just wanted to change or use the bathroom; it didn’t matter; he actually was quick, and soon enough, the groceries were all put away, and we had plates and everything set out on the dining table, and were happily devouring pizza and wings together– plus salad and cold cider. Larsa was giggling and whispering to Killian in between chatting with us, and no matter how much Stefan asked him, he wouldn’t say what was going on.

Once we were full on dinner, Killian asked whether I wanted to go straight into having cake, or open my presents. I opted for presents, since I wants a little extra time to digest before we got started on cake.

Larsa insisted on going first. I had told them before that he and Killian were welcome to give me one thing from both of them, and that I didn’t even need presents anyway, but Larsa had been so excited about giving me a birthday present that I couldn’t tell him no. He plopped a colorful gift bag in front of me, stuffed with glittery tissue paper. He was practically bouncing in his seat, as excited as though it were his birthday. it was adorable, and I gave Stephen a look that said ‘let him be’ when he tried to tell him to calm down.

There was quite a lot of tissue paper in there, plus a card, which I opened first. Some people probably wouldn’t have appreciated getting a ‘How to Train Your Dragon’-themed birthday card as an adult, but I had let drop little hints here and there that I liked the series — books and movies alike. Larsa was grinning wider and wider as he watched me, and when I went back to digging through the tissue paper, I pulled out two plushies, one black, the other white; it was the main pair of dragons from the series.

“Oh, they’re so cute!” I exclaimed

“You can’t have one without the other,” he insisted. “Oh– and watch this!”

He showed me what happened when I help them face-to-face: they snapped together (no doubt due to magnets hidden inside) in a way that looked like they were kissing. I thanked him, and we exchanged hugs, and then Larsa said that he wanted Killian to give me his gift next. The box he said in front of me was actually pretty heavy, and I looked up at him curiously.

“It’s just a few things for the house, lass. Ye’ll see why it’s so heavy when ye open it.”

I peeled off the dragon-themed wrapping paper, then opened the cardboard box to see several items made of stoneware or metal, each wrapped in bubble wrap and nestled in among styrofoam peanuts. There was a tankard with a simplified version of the Moss coat-of-arms, a brass candelabra with little dragon charms hanging from the various arms, and a couple of wall sconces that look like dragons holding torches.

“Wow, those are really cool, Killian!”

“And now you need to put mead in your cup!” Larsa cheered. He ran halfway to the kitchen before turning back to grab my tankard, and then took it to the kitchen to rinse it. Stefan didn’t even get a chance to say anything before he came back with a bottle of mead in hand.

“Whoa, Larsa,” Stefan said, “why are you giving her that now?”

“It’s the perfect time!” Larsa told him. Then he said to me, “Stefan got you this mead in Portland; it’s really good. Oh, and he has another bottle of it at home– or three.” He opened the bottle and poured a generous serving into my new tankard.

“Okay,” I laughed, keeping a good spirit, “but if I’m having mead, then so are all of you.”

“Yeah!” Lara cheered excitedly before running back to the kitchen to get more cups.

Stefan had a horn cup back at his apartment– one that he’d gotten at a Renaissance Festival years ago. He was probably wishing that he’d brought it with him. Still, Larsa managed to find some cups that were halfway decent for serving mead in. He poured smaller amounts for the three of them, and then we said cheers, and drank it down.

“Oh wow,” I said, looking at Stephen. “This really is good mead!”

“Only the best for my girlfriend,” he said with a grin. Then he leaned down for a kiss, which I was very happy to give him.

Larsa offered to pour another round for all of us, but I asked him to set it aside for now; we could have drinks later. He looked a little disappointed, but I think he understood that mead was something to savor, not something to chug, so he went off with Stefan to bring in my next gift, which wasn’t nearly as heavy as Killian’s, but wasn’t exactly light. either. The paper was shiny, and had a sort of Celtic pattern on it. I wasn’t sure where he had found something quite like it, but he had a knack for finding something special. I opened it gently, and found inside several books wrapped carefully in what looks like some kind of fancy-natural fiber tissue paper. I gave Stephen a knowing grin; I always loved getting books, and he was well aware of that. Even though I already had so many, there was always another title out there that would interest me.

“Wow, Stefan, these look like really great reads.”

They were older books, and looked a little on the rare side. There was an art book about faeries by by Brian Froud, a full set of “Enchanted World” books, and The Ballad of Never After and Once Upon a Broken Heart By Stephanie Garber, whom he’d probably seen on one of my online wishlists. We talked about the books for a little while, and I eventually told him I would read a little bit of one of them to him later, since it had several short stories inside it. As thanks, I gave him a tight hug, and then along, happy kiss. I really didn’t care that Killian and Larsa were watching; they could see us happy together, and we wouldn’t do anything over the top.

Larsa wanted me to see my cake next. I said that we could do that, but I would like to eat the cake and ice cream while we watched a movie. He seemed to like that idea, and said that it since it was my birthday, I could pick the title. Killian managed to convince Larsa to let him be the one to carry the cake, since he didn’t want to have it dropped in all the excitement.

He and Stefan went into the kitchen for a moment, and Larissa turned down the lights. When they came back, they had the candles lit on the cake, and they carried it over to me while singing ‘Happy Birthday.’ I giggled and listened to them as I sat there, feeling a little on the spot. Thankfully, they hadn’t set up 25 little candles, but two candles, a two and a five, to write out my age.

Once the cake was in front of me, I could see in the candlelight the pattern they had gone with– it was ‘How to Train Your Dragon- themed! It was adorable; there were even little plastic dragon and human figurines on it. Like I said before, I wasn’t the type to dislike stuff just because other people considered it to be only for kids. Maybe it was kid-friendly, but I could still like it at my age, and there was nothing wrong with that.

I blew out the candles when they were done singing, and they all clapped, but Larsa also cheered and jumped around. I swear he was more excited for cake than anybody else. Stefan helped cut and serve it, and I was thrilled to see that it was marble cake with chocolate buttercream in the middle; he knew me well. For ice cream, Larsa had picked out moose tracks, and there was also death by chocolate, and Ben and Jerry’s cherry garcia. I was open to most flavors of ice cream, as long as it was a higher quality, but that evening I went with the death by chocolate flavor.

Then we all carried our plates into the entertainment room, and I put on another movie that Larsa had never seen before, “Highlander.”

About Legends of Lorata

Eleanor Willow is the author of the high fantasy series Legends of Lorata, which takes place on a medieval-style world filled with elves, dragons, and faeries. There is also a fourth race, one that is rare and magical: the angelic Starr. Lorata is a distant planet watched over by four deities: good, evil, elemental, and celestial-- and there are plenty of legends about them all! One of the most important ones is the prophecy of Jenh's champion, Loracaz, who is promised to return to the realm whenever evil threatens to take hold. There are currently three books completed, and the first one can be read online. Book four is currently being written, and a fifth will most likely be in the future.
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