Continuing Tales

Hakama Dake

A Rurouni Kenshin Story
by Indygodusk

Part 8 of 16

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Kenshin could feel himself smiling against Kaoru's barely parted lips. They were moist, slightly chapped, and felt heavenly. The feel of her soft lips and delicately muscled form pressing and rubbing against his heated body made Kenshin decide that from now on he'd welcome any and all surprises she sent his way. If his mouth wasn't much more happily occupied, Kenshin would have laughed out loud in exultation. Oh yes, she was his now. She'd had her chance to back out and refuse his advances. Instead she'd seized him. She wouldn't get a second chance. Even if her grip on him slackened, his wouldn't. He had her now and he was never letting her go. Never.

Bringing his hands firmly around her back, he slid his fingers into those dimples at the base of her spine that had so enticed him. Inserting a knee smoothly between her legs, he tightened his arms, bringing their bodies even closer together. At the intimate press, Kaoru gasped and jerked instinctively backwards. However, the arms he'd wrapped around her held fast and his mouth clung to hers.

It was time for this Shihandai to teach him a lesson. He wanted to know which places on her body would make her writhe and how many different sounds he could coax from her sweet lips. From the way she'd pressed their mouths together, he guessed that she didn't have much, if any, experience with kissing. A small part of him felt disappointed, since it meant he'd have to go slower with her than he wished.

On the other hand, that primitive possessive part of his soul rejoiced, feeling fiercely glad. This feeling and taste would be his alone, his secret. To be the first to lead her step by step down into that spiral of pleasure filled him with violent anticipation.

Control yourself, Himura, or you'll scare her! Take it slow. Remember, step by step.

Running his tongue along the now parted seam of her lips, he flicked lightly against her teeth. Slowly he drew his hands up her back, pausing occasionally to caress and massage her sakura-soft skin. Bringing his hands around her body, just barely brushing against the outside of her breasts in passing, he smoothed his fingers over her shoulders to curl around her throat like a golden necklace. As he nibbled on her lower lip, he used his thumbs to gently tilt her head until he found the precise angle he wanted.

Kaoru's hand tightened its hold on the hair at the nape of his neck as she opened her mouth wider at his urging. Satisfied, he stroked his tongue teasingly into her mouth. Smothering her next gasp with his lips, he licked along the inside of her teeth. For a moment he would have sworn that his tongue caressed the moist flesh of a cherry instead of the inside of her upper lip.

The hand she'd held tight against his side became loose, sliding down languorously until the tip of one finger came to rest on the sensitive skin just inside the bunched fabric at his waist. Even though he knew it was only a fingertip, it felt like more. That bit of skin slipped beneath his clothing felt magnified, as if both her hands and lips touched him there so intimately.

Growling, he thrust his tongue deeper inside her mouth, devouring the taste of her. She had always smelled of jasmine, but he hadn't known that she tasted of it too: jasmine with a tangy and wild undertone of grapefruit, cherry, and orange blossoms.

Ravaging her mouth, he brought his hands down her back over the rough fabric binding her chest to the petal soft skin along her ribs. His thumbs rested just below the weight of her bound breasts. Barely brushing the cloth edges with a fingernail, he fuzzily wondered how much of his hand could be insinuated underneath it. Would the skin there feel even softer?

Before he could find out, his feisty Kaoru began fencing her tongue with his. He'd never enjoyed a swordfight more. Trying to keep it slow because of her inexperience, he was firmly put in his place by the little Shihandai when she deftly tangled her tongue around his. When she unexpectedly closed her lips around his tongue and sucked, his mind flared blindingly white. For a minute he feared he might explode.

When he came back to his senses, he found himself holding Kaoru tightly up against the dojo wall, forcing her to ride his thigh as he savaged her mouth. Ripping himself away from her swollen lips, he pressed kisses along her rose blushed cheeks and over her long eyelashes. The eyelashes tickled his lips, and he had to return from exploring her temple to repeat the feathered brush. Noticing a drop of water trickling down her far cheek, either sweat or windblown rain, he felt moved to follow the path it traced over the planes and hills of her face and neck with his lips and tongue. After catching the damp bead at the base of her throat, he made sure to run his own eyelashes along the curve of her jaw in a tantalizing caress.

By this time, Kaoru was purring in the back of her throat. Tracing his tongue back down the salty cords of her neck, Kenshin lingered for a moment, savoring the taste of her skin. Intoxicated by the new sensations his mouth was making her feel, Kaoru gasped as he sucked hard on her shoulder and then nipped her sharply. Out of control, her fingers raked down his back as his mouth further marked her body. Soft laps of his tongue soothed the stings as he moved down, until he caressed his lips just above the fabric binding her breasts. Her soft panting teased him, pressing her yielding chest against his famished lips only to quickly jerk it away.

As another whimper escaped out of her throat, Kenshin pulled back just enough to see her. Enthralled, he drank in the sight of her flushed face, eyes closed and head flung back to allow him access to her throat. Shadows kept part of her face shrouded in darkness, as if warning him that although he was starting to know her body, he still had much to learn about the mysterious depths of her soul. The silken waterfall of her hair tickled against the hands he had wrapped around her waist. He could feel the hot pressure of her hands on his back and the sting left by the passionate scrape of her nails.

Through the open shoji to his left, he could hear the torrents of rain pounding down. Thank Kami the wild cacophony wasn't loud enough to drown out the sexy sounds that rose out of Kaoru's mouth as he explored her body. He could feel the reverberations of the cloudburst pelleting the building and flinging raindrops through the open shoji, splattering water along the dojo floor. Luckily the dim, uncertain lighting served to highlight, not hide, the beauty of the woman in his arms.

Lightning flared again, exposing the two red bite marks standing out starkly against her moon pale flesh. His marks, his claim, his woman, HIS.Hungrily he gazed at Kaoru, flushed and panting because of him.

Impatient, she writhed against his body and opened her eyes. "Ahh, perfect," he whispered. Aroused, her eyes looked huge: dilated into deep black pools with a thin ring of brilliant sapphire the color of a Blue Butterfly's inner wings, unseen until the moment it lifts its body away from the earth to soar through the cerulean sky.

Unbidden, he suddenly envisioned himself spinning around joyously with Kaoru clutched in his arms, her iridescent blue eyes staring down into his face as she laughed and laughed. Her midnight black hair flew momentarily across her face, and when it fell, he saw that her face and form had transformed. Now it was a little girl laughing in his arms as he swung her around, a little girl with Kaoru's eyes and his nose who pressed small sticky hands to his cheeks and called him father.

This vision too transformed to be replaced by his room at night, illuminated only by the flame of a single red candle. Its light flickered across the bare shoulders of a woman sleeping in his futon. As she turned over he saw Kaoru's face. Her dark blue eyes twinkled in the reflected candlelight like stars on a moonless night. Lifting the edge of her blanket, she quirked one sword-calloused finger at him in a seductive summons.

Returning to himself with a jolt, he opened his suddenly dry mouth to speak, but had to swallow first. Kaoru was staring into his face with her head tilted questioningly. Her hand had come up to cradle his face during his reverie. "Forever," he roughly demanded, "I want this face, those eyes, and your spirit – forever."

"You do?" she questioned in dreamy surprise. "I'm yo-" but then Kaoru tensed slightly. Blinking rapidly, her languor started to disappear. "Wait, why no- this better not be because," her voice sounded deliciously husky, but those weren't the words he wanted or needed to hear from her. He would have her surrender, her agreement. If this was only about lust for her or curiosity about pleasures of the body, then he would satisfy her so well that she would come to crave his touch, just like he had always craved hers. She was so close to loving him already. He knew he could win her heart. No matter what it took.

Recapturing her lips, he muffled any further protests. He needed time to think up a plan. Unfortunately, he feared that strategizing right now might be impossible. When she touched him, his thoughts scattered like petals in the wind. It was a lesson he'd rather learn at a different time, but he was willing to take the bad with the good, and those lips were very good.

For a brief second, Kaoru felt a moment of despair. She couldn't think when he kissed her like that. It wasn't fair, and she had a feeling that she really wanted to think about this. The things he was doing and saying seemed too good to be true. Why now, and not before? What if this was because of pity? I will not take pity, no matter how good it feels right now.

Her body rebelled at this thought, contending that it did too matter! The delicious things his lips and hands were doing right now really were the important things, her body insisted. Ignore his motivations, it demanded. But in the end, she managed to argue back, when he isn't touching me, I'll know and it will break me. Moving her hands to his shoulders, she tried to push him away. At that moment, he tightened his arms and moved his mouth from her lips to her ear, sucking and nibbling on her earlobe.

Thoughts scattering like broken glass, she could only revel in the sensation. Slowly she brought the sensitive pads of her fingers down to his corded wrists and then back up, tracing the delineations of musculature along the way. She could feel a slight tickling against her palms from the hair on his forearms. As his mouth moved down her neck, she buried her hands in his red hair again. Nuzzling her nose against his temple, she breathed in the scent of sandalwood, ginger, and something indefinably male and Kenshin.

Clenching one fist in the scarlet strands, she felt a prickling in her hand. Another deep breath brought the scent of invigorating pine. Extricating her fingers, she found herself clutching a mass of pine needles that had gotten tangled in his hair.

Focusing past her hand, a task more difficult than it sounded with an amber-eyed man nibbling on her clavicle, Kaoru noticed the silence. The rain had stopped. From behind a cloud the sun peeked out shyly, sending golden rays sparkling through the water still dripping off of the jade green pine boughs and dark brown roof. The combined sun-drops created hundreds of miniature rainbows that winked in and out of sight like mischievous spirits playing in the dojo.

Ethereally beautiful, the magic of the scene made Kaoru suspicious all over again. It looked too beautiful and Kenshin felt too good. She had not come lightly to her decision to give up on her dream of having Kenshin as her husband and lover. It hurt, but she had thought that was what he wanted. However good this felt, she had to know that when he said, "forever," he meant it. It would kill her if he regretted his words tomorrow. The longer she let this continue, the worse it would be if or when it ended.

For a few minutes she hadn't cared about the future, only the now of his sweet lips and sweeter words. She almost couldn't believe that shehad grabbed him. When she'd finally accepted that he was really there and standing in front of her, she had decided to stop wavering and seize the moment. So she'd seized him. Truthfully, she didn't really have it in herself to regret it. The look of surprise on his face before she'd linked her lips with his would be engraved upon her memory forever. It had felt so good, teaching him that she was a woman with a woman's desires. So what if he knew more about kissing than she did? While she'd felt a bit out of her depth at first, she'd managed to even the score a bit with her tongue work. After all, she was a quick learner.

But she had to make sure that this was what she thought it was. When he'd given her the chance to put her gi on and talk, she probably should have taken it. It had been fun not to, but she couldn't put it off any longer. If she followed her impulses completely, she might end up giving him everything she had, body and soul. And if he left her after that, it would be a mortal wound she'd never recover from.

She had been wrong so many times in the past. Being wrong now was something she could not afford. Be strong, Kaoru. Placing her hands against his shoulders again, she found the will to push him away with all of her strength. He didn't go far, but it was just enough space to separate his distracting mouth from her body.

"Kenshin." At the serious sound of his name on her lips, his eyes came up and paused on her face. "Kenshin, I'm confused. I," Kaoru pulled in a lungful of air, "I thought you just wanted to be friends." His hands tightened around her body. "You've always pushed me away." Reading the denial rising in his eyes, she quickly continued. "I know that you let me get closer than the others. I love that you trust me that much. But, but you never seem to want to get any closer to me. Whenever I tried, you always pulled back. It seemed to make you unhappy and sad. That's why I've tried to stop pushing this last week." Seeing his stricken face, Kaoru quietly finished, "I just want you to be happy. So if this is because you feel sorry for me, I'd feel better if," her voice wavered for a moment, "if you didn't."

Closing his eyes in apparent pain, he spoke softly. "When I'm with you, I am happy. I didn't mean to hurt you. I know that my being here puts you in danger. That's why I tried to keep from being too close. I didn't want you to depend on me too much in case someone finally killed me, or I had to leave again to keep you safe… but maybe I was just trying to keep myself safe."

Opening his eyes, he threaded his fingers through hers and stared down at them. His next words were spoken so softly she had to strain to hear them. "I'm afraid to care that much about someone. They always leave, and when they go it breaks off another piece of my soul, leaving me torn and bloody. I didn't want that agony again. I didn't want you to die."

Looking up, his eyes blazed into hers like a noonday sun, "I thought to keep us both safe, but it was too late. You already mean too much, and when Eni- when he killed you, it destroyed me." Tears gathered like liquid sunlight in his eyes as his hands crushed hers.

Kaoru suppressed a wince as she spoke soothingly. "But he didn't kill me, didn't even hurt me. I'm right here, and so are you. Unbroken."

"It's too late though," he continued, as if he didn't even hear her. "I thought that I could make you happy by staying around, be by your side as only a friend and still keep us both safe. But I can't help caring about you more than I should. I tried to content myself with what I had. You had given me so much to be happy about, you see. But then you pulled away. You were leaving me even though you were still here, and then I knew."

Gentling his grip, he brought their entwined hands up to his mouth and kissed her knuckles tenderly. "I need you. I know that now, I admit it. I don't need air or water or food, I need you. Let me in, give me your heart, and I will nurture it until this body's last breath sends my soul winging up, holding to the memory of your beauty throughout my next cycle of life."

In the silence left by his words, Kaoru could hear the distinct plop, plop, splash of raindrops dripping from the corner of the roof where a beam had been damaged during a fight and never repaired. Randomly, she thought of Hanaike-san and Ishida-san from the market, and hoped enough water had fallen to help their crops. She hoped for a lot of things, not least of which was the man standing before her. Well, you just got your heart's desire. What are you waiting for?

"Himura Kenshin, you've had my heart since the very beginning. You idiot, of course I love you."

"There will still be dangers," he told her, the words torn from his mouth guiltily even as his eyes rejoiced.

"I know. I've known for a long time the cost of having you stay with me. I freely choose to pay it," Kaoru declared fiercely.

Kenshin's eyes were the brightest she'd seen them yet. Like a conflagration of fire stretching from horizon to horizon, blotting out even the sky in its radiance as it burned away old growth from fields to make way for the new. Insistently his eyes demanded the attention of her own, until the sound of dripping rain and the whistle of a lone bird faded, and all she could think or see or hear was a wash of gold.

When he finally spoke, she could fell the intensity of his voice like a touch. "I love you. Whatever comes, know this. Never doubt it, I love you."

Kaoru felt her lower lip quiver and tears form in her eyes. After so long, to finally hear him say it, and to believe it! "Oh, Kenshin," she choked out as a tear streaked down her cheek.

"Kaoru, hush my love, don't cry," he soothed, cupping her cheeks in his hands, but this just made the tears spill faster. Making calming sounds, he wiped the tears from her cheeks with his thumbs. His tender, loving solicitude touched her so deeply. She tried to stop crying, knowing it was a silly reaction. However she couldn't seem to make her eyes obey.

Smiling through the tears in her eyes, she tried to tell him that she was fine. But as the drops continued to fall, Kenshin seemed to become more and more distressed. Consolingly, he began kissing her tears away, smoothing his lips across her forehead, cheeks, and tear-spiked eyelashes. When his kisses caressed her lips they changed, becoming no less tender, but more urgent and intense.

For the first time since the death of her parents, Kaoru felt complete. She felt loved. It was a glorious feeling.

Hakama Dake

A Rurouni Kenshin Story
by Indygodusk

Part 8 of 16

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