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Thread Contributor: SuneA New Fluttering Heart
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#1
Sune was dancing on air as she arrived at the wandering moon. It took most of her effort to suppress the glow she was sporting- for lack of desire to blind the people inside her lover's establishment. Though she wouldn't be against the power burning out the scent of the place and perhaps washing the individuals within. It did put a pause in her step as she forced down the rising nausea to enter the building. It was fine- it didn't matter that the scent of stew made her want to run away to a different universe- she was just here for Arjay, and she could nullify scents in a room once they had a moment to speak alone.

For that matter she could easily turn off the senses of her avatar- though that caused irrational fear that something might affect her child. It was completely absurd- she had already changed her hair and eye colour- and that was more notable than disconnecting a sense from her mind for a few minutes. Arguably. Sune was having a hard time justifying most things right now, and she was grateful that she kept at least one avatar running around that was decidedly not pregnant as she felt more tired and useless with each passing day.

Some days she didn't even want to leave her temple- and wanted to just be waited on hand and foot by her worshipers.

Still- today was an incredible day- and she was feeling well enough to be standing and walking around, so it was an acceptable exchange. Entering the room, she glanced around looking for the silver hair of her Chosen. Noting a distinct lack of his presence in the common area, she continued her trek to his bedchambers where she knocked lightly on the door frame as she opened it. "Arjay." Sune said brightly as she located him in his bed. "I wanted to see you." She murmured in a parody of demurity, a small bite of her lip to try and contain her excitement.

"Is this an acceptable time?"

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#2
Pastimes, to an elf, were something that necessarily could change with the wind. Your professions were things that you generally stuck quite closely to, and generally became unparalleled at. Your pastimes and hobbies, though, could only divert you for so long before they ceased being enjoyable and began to be routine. They may be picked up and put away at any point, usually entertaining you for a decade or so, before something else caught your interest. While Arjay’s bardcraft and swordcraft would never be far from his heart, and would always be advancing, he had to find other ways to entertain himself when the inn didn’t require his work, when no heroism needed to be performed, and when he had no one to pass his time with, a situation he had long grown accustomed to over the past century or so.

Lately, the elf had taken to painting. He’d spent some time at it in his past, of course, a decade or two in his youth, once again while he was traveling. Now he felt the urge to create once more, after seeing some of the various styles of art that were unique to the Earth worlds (or at least, new to his own). At the moment, he had been peering out the window, his canvas capturing the unique sunsets of the Hub, as the various disparate reflections of other worlds merged and spread out beyond him, sometimes shifting in which one was visible in one place at any given time. This painting, he knew, was going to be good for nothing but practice, but it would serve for later when he’d gotten used to the changeable scenery and how it must be painted.

The knock at his door made him pause, then smile, as he turned and saw who was there. A simple spell cleaned his workspace as he stood, walking over to meet his love at the bed. His arms encircled her waist, drawing her small, perfect frame against him, leaning down and pressing his forehead against hers. “Does the morning sky complain about the kiss of the returning sun to return its existence to its rightful brilliance?” he asked with a cheeky smile. “Does the night complain of the coming moon to grant the world its silvery splendor once more?” He leaned in, placing a light, lingering kiss on her waiting lips, resisting the urge to silence any further words with his eager kissing. She seemed excited, and he found that excitement contagious and didn’t wish to divert her from her purpose… yet. “Come, my love, you know that there is no unacceptable time to be with you. The very idea is unthinkable."
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#3
Despite how little Arjay thought of it, it still brought happiness to Sune to see him paint. His art was not perfect, but it was lovely nonetheless. And it took a full moment before her body offered her the strong smells accompanied. Luckily they came with no nausea- just dizzying scent, which was easy enough to remove from the air. The dizzying feel of his body pressed to hers was much harder to ignore.

Or really, even to want to ignore. Sune smiled up at him as he pressed his forehead to hers- and his arms wrapped around her, offering her an entirely different type of comfort than her exarchs gave. She hummed into his kiss, savouring the feel of his mouth on her's before letting out a small huff of laughter at his words. She snaked her arms around his neck and pressed a peck to the tip of his nose. "Considering I've seen both the morning sky and the night complain about those very things..." She replied with a grin.

His following comment saw him rewarded with another altogether too brief kiss- but Sune reminded herself that this mission had a purpose, no matter how much she enjoyed the simple pleasure of Arjay's company. "As much as your words make me happy- it is possible to grow tired of even a Goddess's company. I never wish you to feel as though you are obligated to entertain me." Even if he was. Though she left that part unsaid, choosing rather to pull him to a seat on the edge of the bed.

Sune took his hands in hers, moving them to the almost imperceptibly larger part of her abdomen. "But I came here today because of this." She glanced back up at him, offering him a smile so radiant it was likely that even her suppressed glow was seeping through. "Arjay, would you like to hear our child's heartbeat?"

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#4
“Then obviously the sun and moon that they dealt with were not yourself, because not even the most disagreeable time of day could complain of the beauty that you bring to even the most humble of places,” he teased in return. “My attention is never an obligation, either, as you should be sure to remember. I’m as helpless before the calling of my soul as any other poor creature.” He reached up, taking her hand and pressing it over his heart. “There is the joy of love, that we are all helpless before as it fills us.” He pulled her hand away, his eyes going at once sad as they regarded those lovely fingers from a distance, with a sincerity that only the most skilled actor could manage… because the best actors act from experience, don’t they? “There is the pain of loss, even for the moment, as we find ourselves dizzied by that sudden lack of what we might not even have known we needed.” Then, threading his fingers between hers, he pulled her even more tightly against him, his eyes suddenly fixed upon hers as he leaned slightly closer. “And there’s the sudden elation of that love’s return, when we realize just how much we lost by their absence, and how much more we gain by their presence once more.” He leaned down and brushed his lips over hers. “Tell me, my love, which of those am I supposed to conquer? Because I’m certain that such a conquest is completely beyond my nature.”

All the while, he let her navigate him to the bed, sitting him down there, which he found himself completely unopposed to. She had a purpose, though, so he tried to keep himself from appreciating that he was now sitting at eye level with her breasts, turning his attention up to her face with the attention of a man who held hopes of becoming once again acquainted with her in a carnal fashion later. Her question, though, melted that idea from his mind as he found his eyes widening, his gaze sliding down her body to her belly. So many questions started rushing through his head and all crashing together in a jumble of thought that he struggled to straighten out into something coherent. Their child had a heartbeat? How could he hear it? Would it hurt the child? Would it hurt her? Well… obviously it wouldn’t hurt either, or she wouldn’t ask, but…

Blinking and looking a little lost in the swirl of questions, his heart pounding in his chest for some reason, he looked back up at her eyes, nodding mutely.

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#5
Sune knew that Arjay was sincere in his words. She had met the man a time or two after all. But still the inherent drama in his words found her hard pressed to stop giggling. Her smile was no weaker. She gazed up at him happily as she waited for him to finish speaking. "Then I suppose you shall just have to content yourself with conquering me." She whispered against his lips, hesitant to pull away as she was.

His kiss certainly did plenty to inspire ideas similar to the ones he seemed to have in mind when he took his seat and gazed up at her. Even as she was, tired, sore, and feeling decidedly less than her most beautiful- his look still stole her breath away and told her more clearly than any words that he found her no less thrilling than before their child had begun.

Perhaps even more lovely if the way he looked at her very petite bump was any indication. Sune was never really affected by how beautiful people found her- she knew what she was. But there was something utterly different about being looked at the way Arjay did when she didn't feel that it was so cut and dry a subject.

She watched his mute nod with a small speck of amusement- that she had finally surprised him in a way that he didn't immediately have words to respond with. For the most part however, Sune was simply brimming with joy that she was certain was apparent in her countenance. Deftly tangling a hand in the silver locks of her lover, she carefully twisted his head to the side and pulled him forward to rest his ear against her belly.

She waited a moment for him to become accustomed to the position before sliding her hair from his locks to cup his free ear. It may have seemed to him that there was no heartbeat to be heard for that brief few seconds, but as she allowed her power to flow through her hands and into him, she knew that that thought would quickly disappear. Sune smiled and waited for Arjay to understand what was happening, as his hearing grew momentarily much stronger, and her hand and body cocooned him so that he was not inundated with sound from elsewhere in the establishment.

"It's very rapid just yet, but that noise is our child." She offered, voice filled with awe.

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#6
Arjay supposed that he was going to have to get used to these moments of uncertainty, that out-of-his-element feeling that he’d been getting more and more frequently since Sune had become pregnant. He hadn’t expected it to have this profound an impact on him, not yet at least, while the baby was still months, possibly an entire year (he WAS an elf, after all) away. All the same, he found his thoughts drawing to the upcoming occasion more and more, even at times when he was alone with his thoughts and the goddess was nowhere to be found.

His arm snaked around her thigh, his hand splaying across the small of her back as he pressed his ear to her belly, quietly marveling at the small pattering sound that she let him hear. Idly, he wondered if he could be able to see it, but he quickly decided that some things are better left to idle fantasy than finding some way to fulfil them, even magically. The baby was inside her, after all, and one thing he knew about bodies was that they were much, much more appealing to see on the outside than on the inside.

He listened a while longer, then finally spoke up. “Don’t mind me, I’m just enjoying this position,” he teased… because honestly, he wasn’t sure what else to say. He knew seduction, he knew flirtation… he didn’t know fatherhood. While he figured that part out… well, he could still focus on loving the lady who was carrying his child.

Grinning up at her, he stood, lifting her up, then settling back onto the bed with her straddling his lap. He locked his hands behind her back, holding her against him, smiling affectionately at the lovely face in front of (and slightly above) him. “I’ve missed you,” he remarked, then smiled a bit more widely. “Both of you, I suppose.” Then concern touched his face as he cocked his head, studying her a bit more closely, remembering how he’d needed to close down the inn for a day because of her nausea (well, how he’d ELECTED to do so, he supposed). “How have you been, love?” he asked. “I’m not sure what I worry about more when you’re away… the fact that you’re away with no one who can care for you like I would, or the possibility that maybe you’re away with someone who can,” he added, smiling wryly.

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#7
Sune let the corners of her lips drift up without thought, the soft look on her lover's face inspiring her own. It was hard for her to not focus on their coming child, carrying it as she was, but many of her favourite moments were ones where she was with Arjay. There was something intangible and wordlessly beautiful about quiet times like these. Where just for the briefest pause, her world narrowed down to the three of them.

As Arjay spoke up, she drew the magic back from him before laughing- so as not to deafen him with the way it vibrated throughout her body. "Just the position huh?" She cooed with a smirk before conceding. "Can't say I'm against it."

Her laugh became a giggle as he lifted her up, completely needlessly. Had he just tugged her forwards he could have achieved the same result- but Sune liked it best when Arjay was his lovely, unnecessary, ridiculous self. She bumped his forehead with her own as she met his gaze. "I'd say we both missed you, but I believe that kind of thought is a little bit past what our child is capable of just yet." Sune murmured before stealing a quick kiss. "I however missed you enough for both of us." She added before he could doubt that.

His question was met with a groan as she flopped bonelessly against him. She gave him a small tired smile before nuzzling into her neck. "No one else quite like you. My exarchs will be damned if they don't try anyways." Sune explained, voice muffled from her position, but entirely unwilling to give up the comfortable spot she had been given. Turning her head slightly so that her mouth was actually facing outwards, she did offer the rest of the answer with a sigh. "As for how I've been.... I adore you, and I adore our child, and I'm over the moon with excitement about their coming arrival- but I'd appreciate if they were a little less rough on me." Sune mumbled, feeling entirely pathetic, hardly better than a mortal at all, and she realized with a pang that this was probably completely different from what Arjay hoped for with her presence.

He had stated that he'd love her even if she were mortal- but it didn't change the rising anxiety within her that he may feel differently once he had a chance to see all of the imperfect parts of her.

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#8
“Well, if you are against it,” Arjay mused, glancing up mischievously at her, “I’m sure that I could change your mind. It might take some effort, but I believe that I can manage it eventually, don’t you?” He nuzzled her belly, then kissed it before turning his attention from the baby to the mother that was carrying it. “I suppose that I can forgive our child’s lack of enthusiasm toward me if you’re willing to make up for it,” he teased.

When she slumped against him, he wrapped his arms more securely around her, inhaling the scent of her hair as he kissed the nape of her neck. “Well, it’s good to know that I’m not that easy to replace,” he joked… or half-joked, really, but he’d be lying if he said he hadn’t expected an answer of that type. In truth, he reveled in this sort of visit. He had known many women who ‘loved’ him and wanted nothing more from him than carnal pleasure and the occasional monetary assistance. Nine hells, he’d married one of them. He could easily believe that his goddess would want, possibly need, his passion, but for her to want his actual care and comfort? That was one of the things that did convince him that she loved him beyond just what a worshiper could expect from their deity.

He smiled, lying back on the bed, holding her gently in his arms. Any idea that he’d had that pregnancy for a deity had some special ease had long since passed when he realized that she still suffered the same ills and pains that any woman did… at least with this pregnancy. “This is the first time you’ve let yourself wait through all of the indignities that the baby inflicts, isn’t it?” he asked, smiling sympathetically. He wasn’t sure, of course, but she seemed to be reacting like a first-time mother would from his experience, and he had no doubt that if she chose to, she could simply speed the pregnancy to its conclusion. It was taking its toll on her, as well, though he was positive that none who didn’t see her regularly would even notice. The signs of its physical wear on her were subtle: a bit of a tired look in her eyes, her hair being slightly less than perfect… the thing was, the effect of her beauty was such that those things were easily overlooked by… well, anyone. Arjay, however, knew her now better than most, possibly better than anyone, and this close, with effort, he could pick those things out.

“I’d sometimes doubted what was said that there was some special beauty that expecting mothers had, some radiance that otherwise couldn’t be seen, some love that you couldn’t otherwise feel. I thought that perhaps it was poetic fancy… good poetic fancy, of course, but poetic nonetheless.” He smiled, leaning in and kissing her slowly, the undemanding kiss of a man who simply wanted his lady to know that he loved her. “Thank you for removing that doubt from me, my love.”

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#9
Sune ignored Arjay's remark about changing her mind. They both knew it was completely unnecessary- to the point that she had initiated the hold. She did grin at his follow up about her missing him however. "Give them time, and I'm sure they will be just as excited to see you as I am." She wiggled from her position straddling him with a wink and a kiss to his cheek. "Albeit for different reasons."

She did chuckle softly at his comment- pressing a feather light peck to his neck in reply. "You are utterly irreplaceable, Arjay Lo'ran." Her words were more serious than she made them sound, as was oft the case. Sune knew the truth about loves- no two were ever exactly alike. Even if she had come to hate Arjay he would be irreplaceable- but as it was. Sune would never love another the exact way she loved Arjay. A blessing and a curse to go into a relationship knowing that. Especially since Sune was also aware that the nuanced differences would likely go over the head of her loved ones.

Sune cuddled into Arjay's embrace, twining her legs with his to prevent any attempt at freedom, though such a thing was unlikely. She hummed a response into his skin, content to ignore his question in exchange for enjoying his hold longer. That being said, she genuinely enjoyed Arjay's insights into her thoughts and she was happy to share. "Well, since this is the first time I have asked for a child, instead of the opposite, it is also the first time that my lover, you, has been wholly unprepared for there to suddenly be a child. As well, a mother and child form a- a bond. In the time they share a body. I tried to avoid that- it was hard enough with how much I already loved my children." She explained softly, wondering if her logic would sound as absurd to him as it did to Sune.

It was her opinion, and she understood it in a convoluted way, but she wouldn't deny that it was more than a little strange. "And- no matter how frustrating it is, I... want to have as much normality as possible with you. I don't want the time we spent together to be made up of magical visits and nothing else- such that if you decide to..." Sune sighed and pressed in closer to Arjay's chest, trying not to look him in the eyes. She didn't doubt his love for her, as was her nature it was perfectly clear to her, but the lasting of it- that, she held fear for. "If you one day find you no longer wish to be with me, I very selfishly want for your memory to be filled with more than just a haze- one that you can't even focus on when with other women. I want to make as many memories with you as possible. Carve a space into your heart that can not be filled by another." She murmured softly, surprising herself with the tears pricking at the corner of her eyes. Sune had had so many years, and Arjay so few, that it was clear to her that one day, she may be left hanging on to dreams of the past while his once devotion proved faulty.

She knew him, and she knew he wouldn't hurt her intentionally, but to Sune's immense woe- no mortal lifespan would give her all of the memories she wanted. Mortals grew and changed in a way that she did rarely, and even without intention, they hurt her more than she'd like to admit. They could 'grow apart' from her. Sune would always love them fiercely. Even if they turned their backs on her. Even if they became unrecognizable. Even if she was forced to turn away from them. Even if that love became tainted by disgust or anger. But a mortal could have one opinion one day and be of an entirely different mind the next. Love was fickle like that. In a year Arjay could be a different person, and want different things, things Sune may not be able to provide him.

Then Arjay was offering her sweet words that soothed aches she didn't care to admit to and she let the tension fall out of her shoulders. Living in the now was what mattered. If Arjay changed his mind about her, then so be it, but Sune would have everything she could until then. She smiled at him and returned his kiss automatically. "Your words heal more than you know." She replied softly, moving a hand up from between them to cup his cheek and kiss him again.

Though it did occur to her that she ought to offer him the other latest news. "Your mother has heard of your status now- as Chosen of the Goddess of Love." She added quietly, stroking his cheek while watching his expression.

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#10
Arjay chuckled quietly as he slid his fingers through those fiery tresses, smoothing them back out of her face as she buried herself in the comfort of his arms. “I would submit that anyone who says that they are prepared for a child is deluding themselves. I watched my parents strut about as confident as they could be when I was about sixty, and then she went and had twins, throwing all of the careful planning they’d been so proud of into disarray. We used to tell Joleth that his name had been ‘the spare’ for a few months. Obviously a lie, but it irritated him sufficiently to be one worth telling.” All the same, the revelation that none of the other children had been her choice left him feeling… worried? Flattered? Definitely not used, her continued presence proved that. And this time, she was doing everything properly, the child that she had decided to bond with and not keep an emotionally safe distance from was the one that she wanted him for.

At the very least, he supposed, he had some position that he never needed compete for.

A worry that, apparently, she suffered from as well, which struck him as much more odd than her childbearing decisions that she was so worried about explaining properly. Cocking his head slightly, he slid his fingers up under her chin, turning her misty eyes up to his. “If you are asking if I will hurt you… then yes, I probably will at some time, and you will likely hurt me as well. These things happen. To love is to place someone’s hand on a dagger piercing your heart, letting them twist it when they get careless. I would have it no other way, though. Be as selfish as you like with me, my love, and I’ll do my best to not let myself be selfish with you.” After all… it was much different to cling selfishly to a mortal lover than it was a goddess whose very nature meant that she would probably need to be inconstant at times. “I hardly need to tell you that I haven’t ever let a love die. I’ve seen it die at the hands of another many, many times, when it’s ever truly been reciprocated at all, but it’s never been my doing. Personally?” He leaned in, laying light kisses over her eyes, “I’m rather interested in how love will grow in this very unique situation. I’d imagine that this is different enough that even you might not have a full idea.”

The news from the divine realm, however, made him pause, stock still, for a moment, then he began to laugh quietly. “Oh, goddess… I’d have loved to have seen her face. I imagine it was something like…” He considered a moment, then let out a very exasperated, long-suffering sigh, imitating that expression he’d seen on his mother’s face so very many times. “I’d imagine that the tribe is being kept under a very strict eye this week. Ahhh, mother, never change…”

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#11
Sune snickered slightly, nuzzling into his hands, letting her eyes close at his touch. "I never said fully prepared. Just not wholly unprepared." She said with a laugh. "You forget that I could still read your mind at the time. Despite agreeing, you were still rather perturbed by the idea that a child was on the way." Her smile turned ever so slightly mischievous at the information he imparted. "Joleth- the one who is likely to offer skeptical prattle. Now I know what to call him if he annoys me." She murmured, remembering their past discussion of introducing the news to his family. She traced her fingers along his skin, wondering idly how long it would be before she could report to him that all of his siblings knew as well.

Hanali was finally allowing the information to be spread- but to make it spread quickly would be to draw attention to the fact that Arjay was more than a mere champion to her. For that matter, while Hanali had made certain the announcement came from her, she hadn't exactly specified that Arjay was the chosen of the elven love goddess...

Sune focused her thoughts once more on her aspect, and the words Arjay offered. Words which took entirely too much time to be spoken, but she savoured every syllable of nonetheless. Her lover turned awful things to poetry, turned bitter to bittersweet. She could forgive him a tendency towards being long winded. (Sune knew she was not one to speak, but she was a Goddess and when every word you spoke was a literal divine revelation, it was hard to feel bad about it.)

Blinking the growing tears away, she kissed the tip of his nose lightly, content to keep the contact brief so she could enjoy the sensation of his showered affection instead. "Let's compromise- I shall endeavour to only hold back a small amount of my selfish wants- and you allow yourself to express a small amount of that same desire." Sune whispered, certain that with his face so close that he would hear her. "I'm not sure I would feel terribly desired if you weren't selfish once in a while." Came the added tease- though she knew he spoke words truer than he was aware.

Love was a seed- that even planted beside each other, made up of exactly the same flower, given the same water, sun, air- would still grow differently each time. Sune offered a simple hum of acknowledgement, and a knowing smile, rather than put that into words.

Then laughter came and she allowed herself to share in her beloved's amusement. "Oh I'd share the image with you, but I can't help but think your picture will be more amusing for not knowing for certain." Adding a playful nip against his mouth, she added a thought. "The next question is what information you'd like me to slip out next, and how long a break you think your mother ought to be given before I drop that next piece."

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#12
Arjay laughed quietly, thinking back to that night. “That’s only part of the story, though. If I remember correctly, I was perturbed that it was already done and I, paragon of wisdom and foresight that I am, didn’t see it coming when it should have been blindingly obvious. To my credit, though, I was being rather masterfully distracted from my thoughts at that time… still, it’s a feat that no one else has managed with me. I suppose I should feel proud of myself that it takes a goddess to finally distract me that fully.”

If there were anything that convinced Arjay that yes, the love between them was real to her as well, it was the tears he saw when she considered the possibility of their love ending. At the very least, she didn’t seem one to dwell and cast doubt on his reassurances… but then, considering who she was, he wasn’t surprised. “Oh, I’m sure you’ll know you’re desired,” he mused. “The fire always knows whom it’s burned, does it not? But yes… I’m rather sure that I will be selfish, despite my resolution to not be. I’m as imperfect as the next man, which naturally makes me question my suitability again…” He smiled impishly to show he was only joking, then leaned down and kissed her again.

He was rather sure that his picture of his mother’s expression was accurate, but her next question was one that forced the elf back into a more serious attitude. In all honesty, his patience with his family’s oh-so-delicate sensibilities only ran so far, and he was rapidly reaching that limit. “Honestly? I’d say to just tell your court that they’re free to gossip as they like. I’ve heard that no news is spread faster than among creatures of the upper planes, let’s see just how quickly it spreads. Let their tongues loose and let’s see how long it takes before the task is done.”
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#13
Sune's mouth quirked up against her attempts to affect a serious countenance. After a moment, she gave in and let herself laugh with her paramour. "I'd ask if that meant I had won an award, but I believe we both know the answer is yes." She quipped, using her leverage on his limbs to roll underneath him. "I will point out something that hasn't seemed to occur to you." Sune murmured, tugging his head forward to where she could reach it easily with her lips. "If I truly wished it, I could conceive- without the passionate prelude." She breathed, nipping at his ear with a laugh when her words finished. It seemed to her that Arjay may have forgotten that those who- did not possess the required equipment, were no longer capable of intercourse, or were simply the kind of person who sexual attraction was a foreign concept too- all easily still fell within those she could love.

She continued the roll however, leaving them on their sides, sighing with relief to no longer have the weight of either one of them pressed against her chest. Sune was nothing if not easily frustrated with pain- at least at the moment. "Though I will also offer that calling yourself a paragon of foresight is a bit amusing when you speak to someone who actually possesses foresight." She offered with what could be aptly described as a shit eating grin.

Something that struck another chord with her of how well Arjay and she meshed when he shortly after gave her a smile of similar mischief. "Oh I don't know that the fire really thinks too much about those it burns. To be frank, I don't believe fire thinks much at all." Sune replied, rolling a shoulder forward to bump his with. "I believe your metaphors may be going a tad too strange my love. At least the sky is one of a kind, but fire? You lower me to that of a household hearth." She placed her best wounded face and let out a sigh. "To say that I am something so common that even the lowest of beasts can create..."

She let that hang in the air for a brief moment before her smile once more cracked a line of light across her face. "It is all the more annoying for how apt it is, since even the lowest of beasts can love in a way." Sune added, stealing a quick kiss to make certain Arjay understood her comment for what it was- teasing.

Her eyebrows shot up at his proclamation about his mother and siblings. She stroke up her cheek as she clarified what that would mean. "Love, as amusing as it would be, without proper guidance, my terribly bored exarchs would have every one who could hear know that you were the father of my oncoming child within a few days. I can't even guarantee that the ridiculous hedonists would remember to say that you were the father of Hanali's child, and not the father of Sune's child." Sune did give a small sigh. "Which is to say that my elven exarchs would claim you as the father of Hanali's next demi-elf, and my human ones would claim you as parent to Sune's upcoming child. I love them so, but organization is so hard to instill in those who champion me."
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#14
Conceive… without intercourse? Arjay raised an eyebrow at her. “Well, yes, you could,” he admitted. “You could even give the child my blood, if you so desired, without my participation. I rather think that if events had conspired to remove me from the mortal coil before you’d been given the chance to ask me, you truly might have done exactly that, but the key element of your statement was, I believe, ‘if you had wished it.’” Arjay leaned in, capturing the goddess’s lips in a passionate kiss, reminding them both, if only for a moment and in some superficial manner, of the utter passion they both enjoyed in the true expression of their love. “I make no claim to being as wise in this matter as my goddess, but I believe that I know love, and thus I know you, well enough to know that love makes the very smallest of the elements involved to be of the utmost importance. You could have… but you wanted the matter to be as special, as personal, as complete as it could be.

He let her roll them over further, slipping his arm under her head and cradling her body against his. “Should I note that you don’t seem to find issue with me calling myself a paragon of wisdom? Although… I suppose that the reason would be that that particular statement was so much more utterly laughable that it was beneath your notice to contradict.” He made himself seem to consider this, then nodded decisively, as if his mental faculties being called into question was the undeniable conclusion one could come to.

Her next reply, though, struck him as a bit ironic, and sadly so. Fire as a symbol for love was always apt, not just for passion but also for pain. He already loved her, and so he had felt her burn, that much fit. However, he also knew that being as close to her as he was, he was going to be hurt, and as the years went on there would probably be times when it happened on a reasonably consistent basis. He didn’t attribute this to any particular carelessness she would exhibit, but simple mathematics: Given time, it would happen, and given time, it happening often would also happen. And when it happened, he rather expected that what she did that hurt him, possibly hurt him deeply, would be done without so much thought as instinct, the goddess acting as her nature dictated she would. He knew this, and yet he clung to her, refusing to take the distance that might prevent those burns from being quite so severe… and so he supposed he must be culpable in his future pain as well.

“And isn’t the family the entire point of a household hearth? And is not love the entire basis for the family? You are the fire that nurtures any successful family, and which inspires one to build the hearth to protect those they love. I don’t believe that such a thing should ever be thought of as common, even if the home and hearth are not where your interests truly lie…” Yes, he realized that he was reaching somewhat… but only a bit. He possessed long practice in elaborating on exactly why anything in the world came down to love, and was he going to abandon that habit now? Naturally not. Besides, the verbal sparring was too fun to avoid.

Of course, any talk of family and love was somewhat belied by the way he became exhausted with the subject of his own. “Perhaps I’ve simply reached the extent of my patience for protecting the delicate sensibilities of my family and my people,” he said, offering her a weary smile. “I would wish for things with my family to go well for our child’s sake and for your sake, but I would be lying in the most dreadful manner if I claimed that their ire being drawn upon me would either surprise or deter me from any pursuit I am presently on. I’ve been able to do as much as I have to protect both my family and my very world precisely because I am not burdened by their high regard. It is both liberating and maddeningly depressing all at once.”

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#15
It never failed to surprise Sune how insightful her love was. So many things he said were her thoughts put to word- sometimes thoughts she was afraid to voice herself. She didn't give him confirmation of that vocally, choosing to kiss him rather than explain that she knew she would have done exactly that had he died. There was no other- at least within recent history- or in near future- that she would wish to have a family with. And though Sune was incredibly excited to have Arjay help raise their child, she would have wanted his child either way.

She kissed back with enough passion to scorch, breathing in the way she only did when she was her fullest self. Love, Beauty, and Passion. It eased aches in her, both physical and mystical, (despite inspiring entirely different aches) such that she melted into his touch. "I wonder what may have given you that impression." Sune mused, voice near music with the presence of her humour. "Perhaps that I seek you out even if I feel awful- sometimes even because I feel awful- even though summoning you to my home would eliminate all unpleasant odors, interruptions, and the comfort of my own bedchambers, which entirely outclass yours."

Her breath caught for just long enough for her curled lips to move from smirk to sweetest smile. "Perhaps because I come to see you simply because I want you to hear our child's heartbeat." Sune whispered, stealing another kiss from his willing mouth.

Her smile returned to amusement at the topic of him being a paragon. "You have your moments." Sune offered, not elaborating either way. "Perhaps you should settle for being a Paragon of Love, Beauty, and Passion."

Intellectually Sune could understand that there were many other things in the world that were worth being, but instinctively she couldn't help the priority she put on her aspects. Another day she'd praise him for being a romantic, artistic, enchanting, beauty. Sometimes she failed to see why anyone would wish to be anything but.

She ignored his comment about the hearth- simply because she had been teasing, and she was in the mood for cuddling, not passionate discussions. She often found that said passionate discussions would lead to other more demanding desires- and she was sore.

"Oh love." Sune sighed instead, stroking Arjay's cheek. She leveraged herself up the bed just enough to tuck his head under her chin, wrapping her arms around him to protect her love as the immeasurably old Goddess she was. She pressed a kiss to his forehead before once more bringing his head into the curve of her neck. "I don't care for your family's opinion of me. Our child will have more love than they will know what to do with. My exarchs, my still mortal Chosen, my departed chosen, even some of my other children have expressed desires to meet our young one. Perhaps the majority of those are in my home- all but my mortal chosen- but our child will not feel unloved if your mother and siblings can not overcome their prejudices." She sighed, pressing a kiss to his hair, even as her final words whispered in his mind.

'I only wish it to go well because I want you to be able to have all you have ever dreamed of. I know it hasn't been your dream for a seemingly long time, but it is still fresh in my mind.'

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#16
He wasn’t the only one who could charm with sweet words, not that it was unexpected. The goddess of love would have to, by necessity, far outclass him in making one feel loved, appreciated, even needed. A paragon of love? Very well, he’d have to manage, now, wouldn’t he?

He smiled as she held him close, professing how she didn’t care what his family thought… truly, words that most everyone wanted to hear from their love at one time or another. His problems weren’t so unique, after all. “I really don’t mean to complain,” he admitted. “It’s just that… well, the decision doesn’t quite affect me so much as it does you. My family will be my family no matter what, but you will need to suffer the indignity of trying to fit their expectations if they don’t know the truth, and the manner of the information being released more closely affects your worship among my and other people. Quite simply, it’s not a matter that I am equipped to decide.” He kissed her throat, nuzzling against her, smiling at the thought she sent him. “More lately, my dream is simply to be loved, and for that love to not leave me or be snatched away from me… although I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that. Don’t fret over whether I have all I dream of... I’m rather sure I’m not going to stop dreaming any time soon, there will always be dreams to chase.”

Then he began to take a much more active stance, disentangling himself from her a bit and settling her onto the bed. He wasn’t blind, he’d seen the telltale signs in the way she had been moving and how those signs matched up to the usual aches of pregnancy. “Now,” he said, “Lie down and let me pamper you like a good goddess.” The fond, almost impish teasing was plain in his voice, but he rather counted on his fingers seeking out the sore muscles in her lower back to put her off of being cross with him for his tone. “You know I can’t stand to see you uncomfortable without trying to fix it.” Granted, he did hope that she stopped being so sensitive to smells soon. Closing the tavern was a rather costly measure to take for her, and he did miss being able to enjoy his establishment with her. Slowly, he let his fingers begin to worm their magic over her body, testing her reactions, finding those sore spots that she wanted seen to. He’d do a very thorough job, without the clothes and with some rather effective oils that he’d learned to use from the tribe’s healers, but first, he’d see just what he was dealing with.
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#17
Sune stroked Arjay's hair patiently as he spoke, listening to his words, and pressing kisses to the tips of his ears- and everything else she could reach. She sighed, her breath ruffling his hair. Turning his head up to her she pressed a kiss to his forehead, his eyelids, his nose, his temples, before finally resting with a happy sigh against his lips. "Then- we'll meet your family. We'll answer the questions as they come. For now, we will let it slip that you are to be the father of a demigod- and give your family time to process that." Sune offered with a smile. She did have to hold her smile to a reasonable size, though her shoulders shook with laughter. "So I suppose, we will likely end up seeing all of your siblings. I think if they know to expect a goddess, they will all be waiting- filled to the brim with trepidation." She added a final thought, whispered against his ear. "Or terror."

She wrapped her arms around his neck. "And, I will not let our love be snatched away. For that matter, there will be two loves that won't leave." She said with a hum. "Because even if they don't always like us- I believe that our child will always love us."

She would have been happy to continue just snuggling with Arjay- but she laughed as she was rolled on to her front. She did make a small noise of discomfort before Arjay noticed and lifted her to place pillows beneath her and alleviate the unpleasant pressure. "Ah!" She started with a wince, sighing as his fingers moved from the most tender parts of his back. Then he was pressing at it in a different way that gave an entirely different noise. "Oh~" She moaned with a small laugh after the fact.

"Is this me being a- Ah- good goddess?" She offered with a giggle, turning his head to her, and winking, before her dress shimmered away into nothing. From there, the small rounding of her abdomen would be far more obvious to the elf's keen eyesight.

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#18
Arjay couldn’t help smiling at her question, and leaned over to kiss her behind her ear. “Yes, this is you being a good goddess. Now… as for being a very good goddess, we’ll just have to get into that later, won’t we?” he teased. He walked over to his cabinet, looking through some of the less-used items he had, finally coming back with a jar of oil. He opened it, letting the light herbal scent of it out into the room, giving her a chance to object, but he didn’t expect her to. This was a blend that was supposed to be excellent for pampering those with sensitive stomachs, and how he knew that? Well, he’d lived a long and eventful life as the son of a druid, he’d just leave it at that.

A couple murmured spells and a puff of flame flickered over the bottle twice, warming it before he poured it out into a bowl, re-joining her on the bed to begin working her fingers over her back and shoulders, working his way down to her lower back where she’d need the most attention. “I suppose that I’m blessed to be the only mortal that gets to see Lady Firehair enduring all of the indignities that pregnancy brings upon you,” he teased fondly. His nimble fingers worked over one particularly troublesome knot in the muscle near her hip, smiling at the sigh of relief he drew from her.

He peered down at her as he massaged her, glancing back once to the easel he’d been working at. He wished for a moment that he was as gifted at drawing as he was with words, because if there was ever a perfect model for an artist’s work, it was the divine form reclining on the bed beneath his touch. As it stood, his skill wasn’t worth of such a pursuit, much as he wished he could claim otherwise. No, his tributes to the Goddess were of a much more personal nature by necessity. He dipped his hands into the oil again before sliding them lower off her back, kneading her buttocks and smiling slightly. “I’ll just have to enjoy you needing so much of my attentions now before the baby is born and you’re free to wander again,” he teased.
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#19
Sune smiled, relaxing more into the bed with each touch of her love's expert hands. What escaped her mouth was less a purr of arousal and more one of sincere contentment. She arched into his touch, offering areas she wanted more attention to with a shifting of her body. Working in concert with his actions to guarantee the best possible outcome.

His teasing was met with a blind smack to his leg, despite her laughter. "Perhaps if you tease your poor pregnant love so- I ought to show you exactly how I earned that name. Here. In your very flammable inn." She teased in reply, not bothering to pretend she was anything other than his.

Certainly she was not solely his- but she was his. Just as he was hers, and any number of romantic cliches that she adored.

And she adored him.

As the massage trailed off, she didn't bother fighting off a yawn, reaching out and hooking her fingers with his and offering him a final sleepy smile. "If you think I will not need you anymore, just because I am no longer pregnant, than you are a foolish man." Sune winked at him and closed her eyes, automatically snuggling towards his warmth.

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