Finally Lilith could no longer stand the muffled cries that came night after night, and slid from her bed clad only in a lightweight cotton night shift. Padding out of her room, she quietly made her way down the hall to the second bedroom.
Pushing open the door, she peered into the room lit only by the moon shining through the open curtains. The bed took up most of the space, and in it, beneath twisted sheets, thrashed her husband.
He was nude from the waist up, and the moonbeams bounced off a lightly furred muscular chest. As she watched, he arched his back, agony and terror crossing his face.
And screamed her name.
Lilith's breath caught in her throat, exiting her mouth in a gasp.
It was enough to wake him.
She tried to draw back into the shadows, but her white gown gave her away.
"Lilith?" His voice was hoarse, his breath coming in sharp pants.
"I...I heard you crying out..."
"Nightmares," he dismissed brusquely. I'm sorry I disturbed you." He started to sit up, only to freeze as she replied, her voice soft and worried.
"You screamed my name."
Severus looked at her, then looked away, unable to lie. "It was the Dark Lord...killing you."
"It's always the same." He swore under his breath. "Every night. I...fail." Pushing himself up, he swung his legs over the side of the bed and put his head in his hands, rubbing his fingers over his aching temples.
"They're just dreams," she murmured, coming farther into the room. His anguish was a palpable thing, rousing her need to comfort. Sitting next to him, she hesitantly placed a hand on his shoulder.
Severus froze, and didn't look at her as he said softly, "You really should go back to your own bed."
"You're suffering because of me. I can't leave you like this."
"There's nothing you can do." He tried to flinch her hand away and all that did was make her press herself against his side and rest her cheek on top of her hand. "Lilith, please..." There was a shudder of emotion in his voice.
"Severus, let me help you, please."
Suddenly he turned on her, grabbing her shoulders in a deceptively gentle grip, his eyes ablaze with need and fear. "If you don't leave, Lilith, I don't know what I might do."
She frowned slightly and replied with conviction, "You'd never hurt me."
"How can you be so innocent after all you have been through?" he asked, wonder creeping into his voice and dark eyes. Slowly he drew her closer.
And she didn't resist.
"Do you really want to help me, Lilith? Ease my fears? My pain?"
As she nodded, her breath caught again in her throat, and heat burst into flame in the pit of her stomach. He was looking at her like he wanted to devour her and it was arousing something in her more than just the desire to comfort.
Lilith wasn't surprised when his mouth came down over hers in a hungry, carnal kiss. She was surprised when she returned the kiss with equal fervor. Severus groaned and dragged her against him, his hands freeing her arms and sliding down her back. Lilith lifted her arms around his neck and pressed her suddenly aching breasts against his chest.
"Lilith, you can't want this," he gasped out when he finally broke the kiss.
Gazing up at him from desire-glazed eyes, she dragged his mouth back down to hers.
If she thought he'd be gentle with her, she was wrong. She quickly found herself sprawled across the bed, her hair dripping off one side, her knees bent and her legs spread around his narrow hips. As their lips remained locked, her hands roamed down his back, finding him nude from the waist down as well. His hands found the hem of her gown, pulling it up and over her stomach, revealing a slight mound beneath simple cotton panties. Long fingers caressed her stomach, then slid lower down beneath the elastic waist band, finding hot swollen flesh.
Lilith moaned and arched into his hand, her fingers digging into his back, as he manipulated her body for long minutes, his mouth never leaving hers. She kissed him back desperately, rocking herself against him, the need in her suddenly much more intense than she'd expected.
With a sharp cry, she came, shuddering and bucking beneath his hard body and knowing fingers. As she collapsed limply, gasping for breath, eyelashes fluttering on flushed cheeks, Severus swiftly stripped her of her gown and panties, baring her to his hungry gaze.
Lilith was a goddess, slender, yet gently curved, her skin pale yet glowing. Kneeling between her quivering thighs, he lowered one hand and placed it gently on her stomach, awe filling him at the knowledge that his child rested there. He bent down and kissed her navel and nearly smiled at her whimper of pleasure.
Feeling her knees beginning to rub against his sides, he glanced up and saw her watching him, desire evident in her eyes and every tremor of her body. "I can't stop."
"Don't stop," she begged softly, her hands reaching for his strong shoulders, bringing him down to her as her long legs wrapped around his hips. As his mouth found her throat, suckling along the sensitive cord of flesh, his fingers parted her soft, wet folds and he slid inside her.
That was the last slow move he made.
The power of his first thrust surprised her and she gasped and clutched at him, her fingernails scoring down his back. His hands gripped her hips, lifting her to him as he took her quickly, desperately. Lilith squirmed and moaned and only felt her need deepen. Her open mouth was captured by his in a hard, carnal kiss, then Severus broke the connection and buried his face in her shoulder, groaning her name over and over.
Lilith responded by lifting her head and latching her teeth onto his earlobe, nipping and whimpering as she lost control.
Her body knew his and responded eagerly to every touch, every thrust. In the grip of her need, she went wild, arching with him, clutching him to her, kissing his neck and face, her body tightening and tightening. Shudders began to go through her, and she panted harshly, trying to find air as the scent of musk and sweat smothered her.
His hands remained on her hips, his fingers bruising her as he rode her hard. She arched to every thrust, her body open and eager for him. His chest rubbed her breasts, making her already sensitive nipples ache. His mouth nursed at her throat, nipping and sucking and making her moan, long, breathy sounds of pleasure.
Lilith slid her hands down his sweat-slick back to his buttocks, and she squeezed the hard flesh, pressing him deeper into her as the quakes began to spread from her womb. Severus lifted her bottom off the bed and slammed into her, nearly growling in need.
Her orgasm shattered her and she cried out and trembled, helplessly in his grip as he continued to thrust, driving her down into the soft mattress. As his mouth found hers, tasting her, he groaned and joined her in release, shuddering atop her, but careful not to collapse on her.
Replete, Severus slid to her side on his stomach and propped himself up on his elbows. He panted heavily, his hair damp and covering his face.
Lilith raised a trembling hand and brushed the strands of hair aside so she could look into his turbulent eyes. With a soft curse he levered himself totally off of her and to his knees.
"This shouldn't have..."
Sitting up, she interrupted him, "Don't say you regret this."
He arched one eyebrow. "Why don't you?"
She could feel herself blushing and wished she was more jaded. She'd had only two lovers in her life and this one she barely knew. Scooting around, she slid beneath the sheet and quilt.
Severus watched her in surprise. "Lilith, go back to your own room."
Pulling the covers over her nude and heavy breasts made her more comfortable, and she gazed at him strongly. "I could have stopped you, even when you said you couldn't."
"Then why didn't you?" he asked with a heavy sigh as he gave in and joined her beneath the covers, making sure to keep space between them.
Lilith stared into the dark above her head, feeling the reverberations of a wonderful orgasm going through her, as she thought about why she had stayed.
Or just the fact that he was her husband and she carried their child and their marriage might last a very long time...
It wasn't love.
Her heart belonged to Sirius. But her husband's heart? Where did that lie?
"We're losing the war, aren't we."
"Yes," was his grim reply.
"And we may be the only two survivors of the Order, trapped in the dark." She deliberately moved one hand under the covers and brushed it over his wrist, then, as he started, entwined their fingers. He didn't pull away.
"If my cover remains intact...yes, we're trapped. It would be the height of foolishness to show the Dark Lord my true nature if all is lost."
Lilith smiled sadly. "And you're not a foolish man." She turned on her side facing away from him, but snuggled back against him, pulling their joined hands over the slight mound of her stomach. She could feel Severus' eyes on her as he rolled with her, spooning lightly against her back, his fingers tightening around hers. "I'm not sure I can keep up the act of being drugged for the rest of my life."
"If we lose and everyone...dies, you won't have to. Where would you go?"
The hesitation in his voice made her blink back sudden tears. She could live without being with Sirius, but the thought of him dying...
"You'll be my wife, trapped," he continued, bitterness creeping into his voice.
"I don't feel trapped, Severus. I feel protected."
"You don't trust that anything is real, do you?"
"I trust that your love for Black is real." Severus muttered another curse, as that thought slipped out of his mouth. He tried to pull his hand away, but she refused to release him.
"Yes, and eternal, but that doesn't mean I can't make a good life with you. I can't go back to him unless we win and even then..." She pressed his hand against her stomach.
"Don't lie to me and tell me you'll stay," he said hoarsely, a bit angrily.
"I won't lie, and I don't know. But, I'm so scared and I don't want to be alone. Aren't you scared, Severus?" she whispered.
"Always," he replied honestly and thoughtfully, lowering his face to rest it briefly against the back of her head.
"Me, too." Lilith sighed softly and felt her eyes drift shut as exhaustion finally overcame her. "I feel safe here, though."
Severus' eyes widened at that sleepily spoken statement. How could she mean that? And did she mean the cottage or...his arms?
"I'll always be safe here," she continued, "I've seen it."
As emotion wracked him, all he could do was pull her closer and bury his face in her soft hair.
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