Sequel to Power Play
your slightest look will easily unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose
The first thing she felt was warmth and a heavy arm draped over her waist just how she liked it. Someone had stayed the night. A name leapt into her mind but she pushed it away because it was always the first name that came to mind. She really needed to wake up so she could get this man out of her bed and out of the door. Very strange, she never normally fell asleep with one night stands. Then a voice whispered, words falling into her ear like drops of honey.
“Spoken over your beckoning flesh breaking against reservations… my hands at your high tide, over and under inside you, and the passing of hungers attended, forgotten…”
Venus opened her eyes, drawing in a shuddering breath. Only one man had that voice. Only one man would wake her up with erotic poetry. She turned over and looked up into eyes that held the green of summer leaves.
“Morning,” said Kunzite, that rare wonderful smile spreading over his face. “You slept well –”
Venus didn’t allow him to finish the sentence. She grabbed the back of his head and brought him down for a fierce kiss, murmuring his name even as she slipped her tongue into his mouth. Taken by surprise, it only took a second for his arms to wrap around her waist and lift her to his chest. She felt his hands run up and down her back and arched her torso, wanting to feel the hard, smooth skin of his chest, that hip connection, only then could she be sure this wasn’t one of her infamous sexual fantasies where she would wake up at just the wrong moment.
“Need you,” she muttered, digging her nails into the small of his back. “In me – now – please –!”
He pinned her arms back and thrust inside her at the same time. She cried out, her legs locking around his hips, already half way there just from the sound of his voice and his entry – but then he bit down on the skin between her neck and shoulder and she screamed.
“Kunzite – God –!”
“Yes,” he said, feeling her body jerk as he took her. “I remember. I remember just how much you like that, Venus.”
She pulled one arm free of his grip. Their lovemaking had always involved some power struggle and the long separation only made it worse. “Why?” she panted as they wrestled together. “Why do you always remember? God – Kunzite – why do you have to be so – so – so –!” Her head fell back and he saw her breasts and cheeks flush a delicate pink. Without stopping, he dropped his head and sunk his teeth into the crook of her neck again.
“YES! Right – there – Kunzite…” She threw back her head, the orgasm crashing over her like a tidal wave, blotting out everything except the man inside her. She heard him shout her name and tightened her legs around his hips, forcing him to stay still as he had forced her. For a moment, he stayed above her, shuddering, then he let himself fall on top of her and she moaned and buried her face in his shoulder. Yes, he was real. The weight of him, the smell of his skin, the burn between her thighs and the ache in her hips… “Accept no substitutes,” she murmured, trailing kisses up to his neck and wishing that they could stay in bed for the rest of the day.
He lifted his head, looking at her. “You were saying?”
“Hmm?” She began to nibble on his neck, licking where she’d bitten him.
“Venus.” His voice was husky and she felt a little shiver inside her. “Why do I have to be so…?”
“Good.” She met his eyes for a moment. “Why do you have to be so good, Kunzite?”
His eyes widened and he said nothing for a moment. She grinned at him. “What? Have I finally rendered you speechless?”
“I’m not good,” he said finally, pushing off her and falling to the side.
Venus shut her eyes, controlling the urge to tug him back, and then forced her voice to be light. “So there’s something you’re bad at? I’d love to hear it. Because you seem to be good at everything.” Warming to her subject, she turned on her side and propped her chin up with one hand. “You’re good at taking care of people – like last night. You’re good at making people feel bad when they’ve done wrong – again, see last night. And the Goddess of Love herself is telling you that you are good – very good – in bed. So please explain why you’re ‘not good’.”
He looked at her for a moment and then a small smile crossed his face. “I’m not good at living in the moment. Like you.”
Venus felt a wave of relief sweep over her. So he wasn’t going to wallow and pick at old scars. She buried her face in his shoulder and flung an arm across his chest, feeling the sweat still drying on his skin. “Another reason why we need to sort things out,” she said. “So I can keep you here… in the moment.”
He pressed a kiss on her head and she felt his hand stroke her hair. “Still hungry, then?”
“Hungry for this,” she said, finding it easier to admit the truth now that her face was hidden. “Waking up… with you… and knowing you won’t be tired out. Like all the others.”
“Why would I be tired out? Apart from the jet lag.”
“Because I’m ‘so demanding’.” Her voice didn’t change but he felt the muscles in her arm tense for a moment.
“If they think you’re demanding, they should see what Mars put Jadeite through.”
There was a ticklish movement on his shoulder and she giggled. “Not like that! I’m demanding in bed.”
“You have a high libido,” he corrected, running his hand through the tangled strands of her hair and down to the curve of her lower back. “But I don’t remember you being particularly fussy about how you satisfy it, just that it’s satisfied.”
She lifted her head, her eyes the warm colour of a summer sky. “Or maybe they just don’t have enough stamina.” She bent forward and placed a chaste kiss on his lips then rubbed her nose against his. “Or maybe they want someone who isn’t complicated.”
“Then they shouldn’t be going out with a woman at all,” he said and she laughed out loud this time, the sound ringing around the room. He kissed her, turning her on her back, and she slid her arms around his shoulders, opening her mouth with a happy sigh.
A bell rang and they both stopped, instantly alert. It was the video screen in the corner of the room. They always had one whenever they stayed at a hotel in case of emergencies.
“Is that for you or me?” she wondered.
“Maybe it’s for both of us,” he said, turning and grabbing the remote control. He pressed a couple of buttons to identify the feed. The words flashed up on the screen: Crystal Tokyo.
Venus swore under her breath. “Can’t we even have one day to ourselves?”
He took her hand and squeezed it, then pressed the ‘on’ button. The screen flared into life, but they did not see Mars or Jupiter sitting before them. It was the King.
“Master?” Kunzite said, frowning. “What’s wrong?”
Endymion blinked. “I could ask you the same thing! I thought you were in Dubai.”
“Decided to take a break.”
The corner of Endymion’s mouth lifted. “Are you sick?”
“Maybe,” Kunzite agreed. “Zoisite invited me and I thought I’d accept the invitation as I’ve never been to Prague before.”
“I see…” Endymion’s eyes flicked to Venus, taking in the blanket wrapped around her waist and the flush on her cheeks. He wondered if she’d told Kunzite about the other men before they’d fallen into bed together. Venus inclined her head. The movement let the curtain of her hair fall forward over her chest to spare his blushes. She could guess what was running through Endymion’s mind but she was happy to wait and see how he’d handle the situation. “Your Majesty,” she said, deciding that in these strange circumstances, she would have to be the formal one. “How can we help?”
Endymion paused and closed his eyes. “I… experienced some distress from Nephrite this morning,” he began.
“If by ‘distress’, you mean sheer terror and misery, I’m not surprised,” Kunzite said.
“You were there?” Endymion looked at him, surprised. “Can you tell me what happened?”
“Zoisite and Jadeite, in their infinite mercy and wisdom, decided that Nephrite needed cheering up with some absinthe.”
“What.” The King’s voice was so flat that if they hadn’t known him, they would have missed the anger.
“Not one of their finest moments,” Venus agreed. “But don’t worry… we took care of him. And Kunzite made Jadeite and Zoisite wish they’d never been born.” She gave Kunzite a look of affectionate pride.
Up to this point, Endymion had been debating whether he ought to tell Kunzite privately about what Venus had been up to while they’d been apart. It would definitely be awkward and he would probably have to deal with an angry Serenity later (a prospect that always filled him with dread), but Kunzite had the right to know, surely. When he saw the look in Venus’s eyes, however, the words died in his mouth. He had never seen her look at a man like that before. He cleared his throat.
“When do you think you’ll forgive them?”
“In fifty years. Maybe. If they grovel.”
Endymion allowed himself to smile for a moment at the joke and then sobered. “What… what happened? Why was he so scared?”
Kunzite took a deep breath. This time, Venus took his hand and laced their fingers together, resting her cheek against his shoulder. “I believe… he saw Beryl. Other things, too, but… definitely her.”
Endymion went white and closed his eyes. “Nephrite,” he whispered.
“It wasn’t a vision,” Kunzite said, gripping Venus’s hand so hard that it hurt. “It was just the alcohol. I’m sorry you had to experience that, Master.”
Endymion nodded. He looked as if someone had punched him in the stomach. “Could you ask him to contact me when he’s feeling better?”
“We will,” Venus said, wishing that she could hug him through the screen. She did not often have that impulse with Endymion – their relationship had been awkward since he’d found out about the other men. He’d been angry at her ‘betrayal’ and she had refused to explain as she didn’t think it was any of his business. But now she was reminded that he truly cared about his men and wanted the best for them, she wanted to apologise for being so hostile.
He looked at her and gave her a faint smile, as if he could read her thoughts. “Thank you.”
“Oh, and could you also ask Jupiter to contact me? I need to speak with her about something. Not senshi business… personal,” she added.
Endymion waited to see if she would say more. When she didn’t, he nodded. “I’ll ask her to contact you, but it’ll be soon, it’s just past dinner time here.”
Endymion gave them a proper smile, like the sun emerging from behind some clouds. “Enjoy your holiday, Kunzite. You’ve earned it.”
“That’s what I keep telling him,” Venus said, kissing Kunzite on the cheek because she knew it would make him blush.
“You, too, Venus,” Endymion said, and the screen went blank. Venus stared at it, wondering if she’d misheard.
“Did he just wish me a good holiday?”
“I’m guessing you two haven’t been on friendly terms lately?” Kunzite remarked, looking at her with raised eyebrows.
“He… found out I was seeing other men and… he decided to take offence.” Venus traced a pattern on his shoulder.
“And you didn’t tell him that I’d agreed to an open relationship?”
“I’m not sure you can call it an open relationship if only one of us is indulging. Maybe ‘semi-closed’?” Venus joked. Kunzite didn’t laugh and she sighed. “No, I didn’t. I told him that it was none of his business who I slept with and… well, we haven’t spoken much since.” She paused. “Honestly, I assumed he’d already contacted you and told you. But… I was wrong.” She sniffed. “I hate it when that happens.”
“He might have disapproved but that doesn’t mean he would disrespect your wishes. You should give him more credit.”
“I promise I’ll give him more credit if you promise to try and live in the moment,” she challenged.
“Done.” He stood up and stretched. She admired him for a moment and then sighed.
“You’d better go and make sure the kids aren’t causing havoc.”
She giggled. “You do act like you’re their father sometimes.”
“Hmph.” He pulled on his clothes with the same quick skill he’d shown in undressing. “Will their ‘mother’ put in an appearance?”
“Mother?” she repeated, blinking.
“If I’m their father, you’re their mother.”
“No wonder they’ve turned out such troublemakers,” she said with a laugh.
He bent down and kissed her, stopping her laugh. “I don’t know, I think you were pretty good last night.”
She gazed at him, eyes wide and shocked, then she laughed and went to the wardrobe, relieved that he couldn’t read her thoughts. “It’s not hard to empathise with someone when you can feel their pain, Kunzite. When I touched him, I could feel how scared he was, how miserable he is about Jupiter… that’s why I need to talk to her.”
“She has a right to be angry about what happened,” he pointed out.
“I don’t think it’s about that any more! If it were just that… he wouldn’t be so miserable. I think she’s using that as an excuse to hide what’s really upsetting her.”
Venus shook her head, though she was almost certain she knew. “That’s what I’m going to find out. Either way… he’s here to stay and she needs to respect that. Respect him.”
Kunzite nodded and changed the subject. “Are you performing tonight?”
She glanced at him, tying her shirt with a bow to the side. “Why?”
“Thought I might escort you back to your room.”
“Hmm… you could do that.” She turned and walked back to him, pulled his head down to hers and whispered against his mouth. “Then you could escort me into bed.”
“Are you inviting me?” The movement of his lips against hers made her shiver, remembering the kisses of last night and the kisses of this morning.
“Do you need an invitation?”
She kissed him, swift and sweet, then slid her hand down over his groin. “Consider yourself invited.”
He licked his lips as she drew back, his eyes dark. Despite everything, she wanted to lock the door and drag him back to bed, shut out the world. This was the dark side of their attraction, the temptation to ignore everything, including their duty and their responsibilities. She stepped back and broke the gaze. After being separated for so long, it wasn’t wise to test his willpower, let alone her own. “I’ll see you tonight?” she asked, her voice low and husky despite her best efforts.
“It’s a promise,” he said, then he slipped out into the hallway and shut the door behind him.
Venus let out a breath and pushed her hair back. Why did she feel so bereft? Hadn’t they spent the night making love? Hadn’t she woken up in his arms? She should be feeling happy, not alone. Why did she have to need him so much?
“Tonight,” she whispered, turning and heading for the phone. She needed to order some breakfast before Jupiter called: this was not going to be an easy conversation.