West of the Moon

A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive



Rain and Roses
A June thunderstorm heralds more than just the blooming of Bilbo's beloved white roses at Bag End.
Author: Adrienne
Rating: NC-17


You can't see me, Samwise.

You can't see me here at the window. Normally you would be able to, of course, and I'm not so foolish as to think you would miss me out of the corner of your eye. But I know that, at this moment, you cannot see me. Your back is turned as you trim Bilbo's beloved white roses. With each year that passes, they seem to bloom more boldly and more brightly than before.

They budded early this year. Under your careful tending, that sprawling patch of thorn and glossy greens that tremble in the breeze have sent forth shoots so burdened with unsprung blossoms that you must take some of them with your shears. I detect a tremor in your shoulders. As you end those delicate manifestations of life, one by one--

You are all but sobbing.

I lean forward with a sigh, resting my chin in my palms. The window hangs open, hinge swung wide, circular pane swinging just barely in a breeze that makes this fair June feel like September. September. Has it truly been nine months?

I'm not used to this. Not used to having more space than one hobbit ought to occupy by himself. A Buckland upbringing has left me accustomed to aunts and uncles aplenty, to small cousins underfoot. Even my years here with Bilbo have not erased the memory entirely. There have been times when I've missed it sorely, no matter how I've come to think of Bag End as home.

You softened the blow more than you can ever know, Sam. I thought that I'd be lacking for company my own age. During my first weeks here, it seemed as if sacrificing Merry for an aged cousin's guardianship and a quiet hall to myself was the most selfish, miserable thing that I had ever done. I stayed indoors, much to Bilbo's dismay. Being so terribly fond of him, I couldn't find it in my heart to display annoyance at his constant badgering--"Run along, my lad! There's naught for you here but books and old songs, and those, Frodo, as dearly as you love them, are for a rainy day. Off with you!"

A rainy day, Bilbo had said. A day not unlike today, as a matter of fact. Already the sky has darkened, gone flush with roiling clouds and heavy air. The breeze may have some bite, but I smell the moisture in it. Your hair has gone limp with it, further mussed by the constant, strengthening gusts. You've paused a few times to glance upward, brushing your forehead more out of habit than necessity.

You have also begun to shiver.

My earliest memory of you, Sam: soaked to the bone on Bilbo's front stoop, scarcely able to ask through chattering teeth, "B-Beggin' your pardon, s-sir...I was j-just looking for Mr. Bilbo, but I see I've disturbed you, so I'll j-just be--"

"You're one of the Gaffer's, aren't you?" Who else's, what with your pale hair and quick eyes? I had been in Hobbiton for scarcely three weeks. I had spoken with your father on a few afternoons as he worked in the garden. And I had seen his eldest sons on their way to the Green Dragon. Strange, that I had not yet lain eyes on you.

You nodded, Sam. I remember it as plainly as I see you now, just a terse, assured tilt of your head. "That I am, Mr.--Mr.--oh, is it true, then, that Mr. Bilbo's taken an heir? Not that it's my business, sir, of course, but I was wonderin', you seem not so far off from me, if you..." You trailed off and stared at your feet, which were in as sorry condition as your hair. Recognizing your father's speech in you instantly, I had laughed. I had opened the door wide, waving you inside.

"Please, you'll freeze! No, I'm not, if what you're thinking's age. I've just turned twenty-six. On Bilbo's birthday, at that--were you there, at the party? Dreadful fuss, if you ask me--oh, please don't tell Bilbo I said such a thing. It's just that...well, never you mind my griping. Were you there? Did you enjoy yourself?"

You stood frozen, looking at me with wide eyes, half afraid to speak and half startled at my apparent social starvation. I know now that you saw it, as young as you were. And to think that I did not realize...

I had continued despite your bafflement. "You must be, what? Seventeen?" I asked, sizing you up thoughtfully. Such a strong lad you were even then, just a hair's breadth off my height, tanned and distinctly pleasant to behold. "What's your name?"

You had faltered so badly that I instantly regretted my thoughtless questioning.

"W-Well, sir--oh! Mr. Frodo, that's your name; recall it now, my Gaffer said somethin' but a few days ago... Mr. Frodo, sir, my name's Samwise Gamgee, and I'm no such thing. I'm only..."

I had peered at you in encouragement, gesturing--at least as I perceived it--kindly.


"You needn't tell me if you don't... It...was terribly rude of m--"

"Fourteen, sir!"

I can't help but laugh at the memory, and the sound makes you turn. Our eyes meet, and so do our smiles, but yours is quickly withdrawn, almost shyly as you turn back to your work. To say that I had been taken aback would be an understatement. I had been utterly shocked. Not yet a tween, and you had carried yourself with a responsible dignity that Merry has yet to grow into. With a mien so polite that I found myself blushing for shame. So few would believe it, Sam, but I blushed in your presence long before you ever found reason to blush in mine.

Your time came soon enough. We talked long into the evening on that rainy day, until your Gaffer came knocking, wondering where you'd gotten off to in the rain. I learned that his arthritis had begun to plague him something fierce, and that you were slowly but surely taking over for him. Only on cooler and damper days, and the first days of my arrival had been mercifully bright and fair. Which explained why I had seen so little of you, but no longer.

There's hardly a day in my memory since then, Sam, that you have not been here, have not been near me. There were days when Bilbo's tireless storytelling interspersed with drills of Elvish and long, over-informative hikes were all that I could stand. I asked you along, when I could. And when I could slip away to aid you, I did. Eventually, you learned your letters and developed a good ear for song and rhyme, no matter how staunchly you deny it. In return, I learned weeds from planting and how to keep the morning glories from choking off the hedges.

You pause for a moment. You stare at the sky as the first cold, tiny raindrops begin their descent. You study the clouds before gazing down at last. The grass at your feet is littered with wilting buds. I hear you cry faintly as you bend to gather them, untucking your shirt without hesitation in order to create a bier with room enough to accommodate them. I see only the curve of your back, your waist, the fluid line of each movement unwinding from your thigh as you bend over and over, until every last one of them is cradled to your stomach, shrouded in your Gammer's homespun linen.

You do not turn to face me.

It pains me in more ways than I understand, to watch you standing there, Sam. Standing with your bead bowed, your profile turned just so. I can see you, and if your eyes were open, a glint of them might find me. But your thoughts are lost in mourning, and mine are lost in a fog that surely must call for it.

I don't know what you see when you watch me, if you even watch me at all. I have never caught you at it, which is...a wonder, and a hard admission to make. You miss nothing, you neglect nothing. As we walk Hobbiton's fields and gullies, your eyes are anywhere but straight ahead. In the leaves, in the swaying grass, in the flowers. Your eyes do not fall on things, as mine do. They pierce and become one with them.

But your eyes are closed, and I have the sudden, wild desire to call out. To force them open, to ask...

Have they ever been within me?

I want to confess, Sam. I want to confess that my own, weak and restless and pale as they are, have been on you. All over you. Sliding like pitiful raindrops off an impenetrable fortress, a place into which they long to soak, if only it were possible.

You're many things that I'll never be. An unsurpassable gardener, a meticulous housekeeper. A cook that even the finest old dames of Great Smials would envy. A healer whose touch transcends cuts with a kitchen knife and teapot-inflicted burns. A friend...

A friend whose heart I had only dared hope to find in a lover.

Which is the source of my own grief, Sam. To have come six years to find yet another crushing loss. To find that I am irrevocably enamored of my best friend. That I have no unguarded glance whereby I might judge your heart in return. And what if there lies nothing in it to judge?

As surely as it rends me to see you mourning those roses, it I am torn by the thought of emptiness. That my silent, foolish longing has never been matched by a parallel in you. Yes, mine are the wishes of a Mad Baggins indeed. I understand now, why those wagging Sackville tongues called Bilbo by such a name, and why they slander me nigh unto it.

I will become just like him, and I will fill this hole to the brim with loneliness enough to wash away the pining that I have hosted for far too long. I cannot afford to drive you away.

I cannot afford to lose you.

With this thought, this leaden dread that would otherwise stay my tongue entirely, I call out to you.

"Sam, shouldn't you come in? The storm'll be raging before you know it."

You snap out of your reverie with a gasp bordering on fright. "Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. Frodo! You're right, I'd best come in and see to the windows and--"

"The windows aren't of any concern to me. You are. You've caught your fair share of colds, and mark my words, it shan't happen again this time. The verge can wait, can't it?"

You cast a rueful look on the snipped buds. "Well, sir, I suppose--but you see, I was hopin' I could--well, may seem a fool's notion and all, but--"

I laugh before I can stop myself, and bitterly. "Sam, nothing that you could possibly say will strike me as trite. You were hoping...?"

"That I might take these down to the brook, you know, an' toss 'em in...give a burial that won't be all dark an' likely to choke 'em right off, if you..."

Your words trail off, lose form. I am caught in another memory, one infinitely sweet: an evening nearly two years ago when you carried a bowl in from the garden, an unusual sight. I had put my book down, sprinted across the room out of sheer curiosity. Perhaps you'd caught another salamander that had strayed up from the creek. I'd always been so indignant--never quick enough to catch them, but your sure, deft hands... There was no four-legged creature in that bowl. There was a frosting of delicate, icy petals, a sea of floating roses in full bloom, interspersed here and there with tiny bubbles.

"Tadpoles, Mr. Frodo. Some poor frog left 'em to hatch in that deep puddle down behind Sandyman's, an' I couldn't pass by without thinkin' you might--"

"Mr. Frodo?" you ask, bringing me back to the present. "Mr. Frodo, may I just go lay these to--"

"Bring them inside. I have a better idea. How big a bowl do you think we'll need?"

Your eyes brighten instantly, and the dread in my heart lightens. "Bigger'n the one I used last time, for certain!"

I offer a tentative smile and beckon to you as I turn from the window. You head with surprising speed out of my line of vision, and I race from my room through a warren of halls to reach the front door, praying I will get there in time. No such luck. As I skid to a stop, breathless, you are already knocking. I fumble with the latch and admit you, panting.

"Mr. Frodo, you needn't strain yourself so. I can take a bit o' rain with the best of your posies."

"And...they're so, because you...you see to them..."

I shiver involuntarily as your free hand creeps gently to my wrist. We have never withheld the simplest of touches, whether they be camaraderie or comfort. We have never denied each other the right to embrace...

To hold.

"Mr. Frodo, you ought to sit down. You're shakin' somethin' awful. Have you got a chill? An' what's all this warnin' me against it?" you ask, an affectionate jest, but beneath your eyes I see faint lines of worry.

I can see...

And for a moment, my foolishness crashes upon me tenfold. The things right before my eyes that, in my blind distress, I passed over. Those very gestures of worry that color nearly every day you've tended me as diligently as you have tended my garden. Cut flowers on my table, my mantel, my nightstand. Breakfast prepared perfectly on time, my shutters thrown cheerfully wide. Things that I have for too long taken for granted.

I raise my eyes to yours slowly, gently pull my wrist from your grasp until I can slide my fingers through your own. Gently, almost casually, I clasp them.

"If you'll sit with me," I respond softly. "But let's see to the flowers first. They may bloom yet, Samwise."

Hand in hand, we walk to the kitchen. Neither of us leads, exactly, and I find myself on edge, desperately aware that my palm is growing damp against yours. I panic when I realize it prevents me from discerning if perhaps it's both of us. Which only makes the situation worse. You stop, letting go of my hand, lifting it by the wrist to examine gently, and your eyes meet mine. I can scarcely hold them still.

"Mr. Frodo, me dear, you're a bit flushed, if you'll pardon my pointin' it out. Are you sure you're feelin'..."

Me dear....

"...right? Because I think we ought to forget about these roses and get you tuck-..."

Tucked in...

"...nice and cozy, an' I'll have none of your protests, I swear I--"

"Sam," I manage to croak, taking your hand firmly in my own once more. "I'm quite well, so let's just--forget--and..."

I can't finish. Your eyes are fixed on mine, glazed. I've never seen such a look in them, such a strange, clouded, impenetrable...

I barely have the presence of mind to realize that I've finally caught you.

My jaw slackens, useless. After several seconds, I hazily continue: "...And see to these flowers."

"I...s'pose that's best, Mr. Frodo. Of course..."

You turn away too quickly for comfort. I don't bother to stifle my gasp of alarm as I dash after you into the pantry. You're already rummaging in a far corner, where Bilbo's oldest crockery is stashed. You hold up a large, deep bowl, clutching it tight against your side, as if you fear to drop it.

"Will this do, Mr. Frodo?"

"Perfectly," I murmur with a slow nod.

You lead the way back, trying your hardest to bring your eyes to rest anywhere but on mine. You know what I've seen, and you're not sure what I make of it. Just as I was never sure of what you would make of me. Surely you must have noticed by now, time and again.

I can't keep up with you. You're running now, almost, dropping a few blooms in your haste, struggling to keep hold of the bowl. I gather them as best I can, teetering after you, yelling in alarm when you pass the kitchen, reach the front door, wrestle it frantically open, burst out, out into--


The sky overhead erupts in white flame. We're standing in the raw, wide open, gasping, staggering on the flagstones just before the gate. I watch you gather the blossoms so tight to your breast that I fear you may crush them, your shirt hanging free now, far more skin than ought to be free offered to the driving rain. The lightning shudders once more, and your next movement is fractured, as if in slow motion. My breath flees as you raise the bowl high in tremulous offering.

I do not move, do not speak.

I can do nothing until it is filled.

I do not know how many moments have passed. You turn to face me at last, and as you do, lightning fragments the vision of your arm lowering, heavily burdened. Another flash silvers the surface of the water you've collected, its surface marred by unrelenting drops. Wordlessly, your gaze rises to meet mine. Without looking, you let your shirt go...

"That'll be the day, Frodo my lad. When roses fall with the rain!"

Never mind what Bilbo had meant when he used that expression. It was something ridiculous, something childish that I had once asked him. A question without an answer.

And I am scared to death that I might misread yours.

We're frozen, locked in this moment. Drenched. Your arms fall lifeless at your sides, but your eyes are charged, indescribable. Now I understand.

Now I know where lightning is born and slain in a single, breath-defying shout.

I can't tell whether it was yours or mine.

I run to you. I can't stop myself, can't possibly hold back such a terrible ache. Whether you cried out or I cried out makes no difference. But this moment does, and when I collide with you, your arms are open.

You're already there.


We don't fall, somehow. You manage to keep us standing. My arms are around your neck, shaking. Your arms fasten about my waist--taking.

"Mr. Frodo," you say softly, and I hear your voice crack.


"I think we ought to go inside...leave the roses till...till it's drier out, I'm...that is, I think they'll be--"

"So do I, Sam..."

I take your arm hastily, sprinting back to the door. This time the struggle is yours, trying desperately through the mud and surprise not to slip, not to bring us both down. We skid inside; again, without falling. I'm gasping hard for breath, clutching your arm as if my life depended on it. Which it does...

"Mr. Frodo," you murmur, and I turn, startled.



Can't breathe again. Your hands have somehow come to be trapping both of mine, and you're pulling me forward. Tears streaming down your cheeks. Eyes clear of everything, everything but your own wild light. I couldn't tell in the rain. Couldn't tell that you're weeping. And when you raise a hand to my cheek and find tears, I realize that I am, too.

That we are.

We are.

I mumble something. Something that doesn't matter. Not as much as your cheek, and my lips fall against it, my quick, ragged breaths. Your fingers are in my hair now, combing at it, fretting and shaking, caught in the soaked tangles. I close my eyes tightly and press my cheek to yours, frightened beyond all reckoning.

"Mr. Frodo, if I might...be so bold as to ask...what...happened? Just...just now...out there...because if it--if it ain't--"

You choke on the words and fall against my shoulder, sobbing freely. And my heart drains in a rush that's part fire and part relief. And I hold you.

"What," I whisper, my voice a mere quiver of itself, "do you think happened, Sam?"

You choke, sob incoherently. I am torn.

"Sam...we can't--"

"No, Mr. Frodo, we can't go on like this. We most certainly can't! What I'm about to say might get me sacked for good, an' well, if it does, you've my word as a Gamgee, it's probably best that way! Because I can't imagine comin' back--day after day--knowin'--" You choke again, shaking your head, your courage washed away by a fresh flood of tears.

I tilt your chin up. I meet your eyes, your dear, familiar eyes.

I ask you questions that only they can answer:

Have you caught me?

Do you know, you've always had me?

I do not know what grace governs your rare sensitivity, your flawless perception. Your eyes hold mine for a vacuous second before response comes pouring--

I blink. I can't believe my eyes.

You've nodded.

I shake my head for a moment, against my will, in disbelief. I bite down hard on my lower lip, gasping: first your name, then a rush of remorse. You open your mouth as if to speak, but you don't. You lean, but only a fraction. And I realize that you've done your part. That you're waiting on me. As you have been for...

"How...How long, Samwise?" I sob softly.

"Longer than you could know, Mr. Frodo."


My voice fades into a wince, a stab of ecstasy. Your mouth. I've covered it with my own, sobbing in fierce dismay. Our lips tremble and falter, mold uncertainly. Curve to curve, gasp to gasp. Lips part, tongues brush. Our noses bump in a moment of heated surprise.

"Oh! Frodo, I'm--"

"--Sorry, sorry, I didn't mean--"


We're quickly lost. No hesitation this time, no blundering, no thoughts of how or why. Fear, still, certainly, but I shan't stop for it. Your lips taste of wind and cold Shire rain. Your tongue is the velvet warmth of home. I fall to your whimpers, your soft, sweet pleas. I swallow every one and nourish you in turn with my own. When at last we breathe, your fingers are wound tight in my hair and my arms are tight around you, dampness and desire binding all as disbelieving one.


"Hush, Sam. Just hush," I whisper, kissing you again, deeply. You melt against me with a stifled moan, and where water once was, I taste fire.

"Frodo." You breathe it weakly. I press a tremulous whisper to the corner of your mouth.

"Don't choke yourself. Oh, Sam."

"M-Mr. Frodo--oooh!"

So light, my lips against your neck. I'm scarcely pressing, my breath but a ghost in passing as a row of kisses from shoulder to earlobe. Your fingers clench and unclench, finding new spiral paths, and it's almost painful. I press at the small of your back, whimper in warning. Your fingers loosen, stroking down gently do the nape of my neck. My knees lose the will to support me; I crush my mouth to your collarbone.

I don't know what to do next, and you're no better off than I.

My mind races. Mustn't fail, mustn't ruin this. Oh, Eru, how far is too--

"I...I feel feverish. Frodo...if...if you take..."

I pull away, incredulous. Your plea fills me with wondering hunger. Not only have you caught me...

You've asked.

"Sam," I whisper, "do you...do you really mean...?"

Your face falls. "You meant it, too, Frodo--don't you go pretending--"

I sob. "No, Sam, no! Oh, I meant...every one of them, every single--"

You kiss me, this time. So hard, so insistently. May inexperience be damned; may a lack of comparison bode no ill. You are the most precious thing that I have ever tasted, and I whisper it hoarsely when at last we ease apart. You blink at me through fresh tears, breath coming fast. I can't help it. I press against you, caress your flushed cheek, and pray that my offering is good enough.

"We're soaked," I murmur, tracing the planes of your face with my thumbs. "There's--There's a fire. In the nearest guest room...where you usually..." I trail off, flustered, but your eyes open wider and soften expectantly. "There's a fire already lit. I judged the way the weather was going...I expected you'd want to stay...seeing as rainy nights are fine for tales...and...Sam."

You raise a hand to my own cheek, brush it with a care reserved for the whitest of petals.


I can stand it no longer.

"I want to...to hold you tonight, Sam. And..."

Your eyes half close as you lean, trembling. I breathe into your hair, my voice a hushed whisper.

"Touch you. Until you're faint in my arms, until you sleep on my shoulder. Sam, I'll...I'll whisper stories in your ear, wrap you in warm blankets...in myself...keep you in bed impossibly late tomorrow, forbid you to set foot in the garden..."

I'm stricken with terror, but it abates with your fervent response.

"And tea," you croak, clasping me as the shiver passes. "I'll make us tea..."

We're stumbling, kissing feverishly. I manage to steer us in the right direction, but not by much. Walls and furniture seem determined to get in the way. Walls are preferable to the latter, and several times I've pinned you, learning the contours of your body with my own, working us into frenzy just short of tears. You gasp and plead, as if you cannot hold me close enough.

"Frodo...Frodo, we've got to get to...Frodo!"

"Hush...yes...right here, Sam--!"

You know the way. You're tugging me into the room before I realize what's happening. I stagger against you, feel the hearth's heat lapping at my back. Your hands are there, too, kneading paths up to my shoulders and higher still, until my head is cradled in your hands and I'm staring into a gaze more searing than the sun.

"You're right, Mr. Frodo," you whisper, letting each word linger, until I am faint with the dearest sound to me in all of Middle-earth. "This room's right cozy. I never noticed before...how..."

"Warm." I swallow hard. You've left me speechless.

Your hands trail back down and over my shoulders, stroke listlessly until deciding upon the small of my back. You're picking at my weskit now. Scared to death.

"Y-Yes, Mr. Frodo...that, too."

My fingers tighten for an instant on your collar before deciding I'm as much a fool as you are. They're smoothing over your shirt, even slipping under your braces, begging silent permission. My lips, too, move of their own accord. Slip a sigh in your ear...

"May I take care of that?"

I barely wait until you've nodded. Your breath hitches, grows shallow as I turn you, urging gently forward until you're staring wide-eyed down at the bed. How many nights you've rested there, I cannot tell. Yet for a moment, I might believe you've never graced that mattress in your life.

I'm with you in this moment. Staring at the coverlet turned down a neat triangle, swallowing hard at the sight of cream-pale sheets. At length, I stroke your hair softly, murmur in your ear.

"Do you find this bed comfortable?" I ask in concern. Never once have I given it a thought.

"That I do...it's just..."

My stomach tightens until you continue.

"...I reckon it'll be even more comfortable with you in it. I've never had such a luxury, s--"

I spin you to face me, silence you with my own wayward mouth. When I step back to look at you, I manage through scattering breaths...

"Not here. Sam."

Gently, I urge you to sit. But I don't stop; I climb onto the bed after you, carelessly pushing the covers back. You sink beside me with a cry that's more relief than apprehension.


"Yes," I murmur, smoothing your hair back against the pillow. "Exactly."

I soothe you until your eyes close in contentment at the brush of my lips against your forehead. You tense but a little as my fingers unfasten your braces, stroke slowly and tenderly over your stomach before unbuttoning your damp, leaf-stained shirt, smoothing it away. My head spins and my eyes sting. I lower my head to your bared chest, my fingers shaking so terribly along the contour of your waist, your hip...

I press my face over your fluttering heart and sob.

"Do you even know...how beautiful...?"

You're so overwhelmed that you can hardly speak.

"I-I can't say as I...do, mm--F-Frodo...Frodo..."

You cling to my name. One shred of familiarity amidst this wonder, this madness. And I cling to yours.

"Sam, dearest Sam...lie still, now..."

You do, but only for a little while as I awkwardly undress you. My hands struggling to ease your arms from sodden sleeves cause tremors and sighs. I take a moment now that your shirt is gone to rid myself frantically of my own trappings. Your eyes are fixed on me, filled with longing and utter fascination. For as much as you have calmed, I have grown desperate.

You whimper in pleased shock as I lean low and press against you, skin on skin, working my arms under you, clasping tight as we roll to one side, wrapped in a breathless embrace. Mouths crushed together, limbs seeking a proper place. You whimper again and shift, as if to wrap a leg about my hip--the other slides between my thighs without warning, and my wits scatter. I take your hips in my hands, begging with silent strokes of breath and tongue. Your soft cry of amazement washes over me as I'm pulled tightly against you. Your hips buck at the contact, and I whine at the feel of your toes curling against my calf. I'm clinging hard to your waist. Shaking.

"Oh, Sam...I can feel you..."

I moan without thinking. We're tangled so tightly. Writhing. I slide until your arousal rubs against my stomach, begging through your breeches. You stifle a groan against my neck. Shivering breath. I thrust against you slowly, my next words nearly lost to tears.

"Can we...do this...without--"

I can't finish. The tension rises in me, urgent, anguished. Incoherent. You're murmuring something, kissing my neck tenderly. Disentangling us, eyes glazed with need and determination as I blink up at them. Tears blur you. Your hands slip down around my waist, work buttons free clumsily. I'm doing the same to you, more a hindrance than a help, but somehow our breeches fall loosened and our hands find hardness and the moment lengthens in a tugging, stroking blur--

You're touching me.

And I'm--

"Frodo, Frodostop--! NO! Wait, nodon't, mmm, pleasemm!..I'll--oh, oh--let me take...your...I..."

You release me and brush my hand away. I'm panting. Mindless, indignant.


"Shhh...in just a...minute. Ah, ah. There. Oh, Frodo..."

You've bared us both entirely. Settled yourself atop me. My chest heaving whimpered fragments. I clutch you and roll us over, kissing you with abandon. Your arms so sure around me, urging, welcoming. I can't think of whether this will actually work. Doesn't matter. You feel so good. Legs tight around me.

So good that I could swoon...

But not yet. Too much to feel, too much to behold. You. Here, beneath me. Fingers clutching at my shoulderblades, sliding over rain and sweat. The rest of you a vise, trapping us in gentle undulations...


You sob my name, too, arching to accommodate my hand at the small of your back. Breath in labored spurts. I rock blindly, gasping in your ear, things even I can't understand, things that draw lovely cries and ragged shouts. Fire. Such a deep, strange ache, sweetness thicker than honey. Your lips, your pleading tongue. Rain. You'll always taste of it,---




Your lightning behind my eyes. Our eyes.


And then mine, several heartbeats later.


...When at last my eyes open, I feel as if mist has fallen over us, cooling and healing. So blissfully heavy, my head as I lift it. Your eyes are still closed, but your lips are parted. I realize that you're breathing half-formed words, thoughts too languid for translation. I kiss your mouth softly, determined not to try.

You moan weakly, contently. Brush my lips with your own, scarcely able to lift your head. I pry my hands gently from their holds upon your skin, drawing one up, molding it to the back of your neck. I kiss you soundly, reassure you with a murmur that you needn't try. All the same, your lips move faintly against mine.


"Mm? To what, Sam?"

You nuzzle my cheek, sending a shiver down my already jellified spine. Whisper.

"The rain's stopped."

"I think your roses will be just fine," I murmur, seeking your hand.

"I think so, too..."

I sigh in contentment, but you have not finished. Your fingers tighten in mine.

"...After all, the sweetest's in bloom."



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