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    Reave -- Year 219


    "She did not wake up one day healed, she was simply moving and she realized that somewhere along the way grief had stopped stabbing her every motion. It’s a strange feeling. She is lighter and heavier at once. She doesn’t know what to do with the time that’s opened before her, what to do without wounds to claw open." --Cordis, written by Cassi

    [mature]  Come to your river (( Hod )) (private)
    Only one thing was missing.

    Nyxa popped a silver-lacquered finger out of her beautiful mouth and hummed in appreciation, satisfied at last with the red sauce for spaghetti night. The dining room in her house had been transformed into a low-lit setting for two, plates arranged for all courses and candelabras to complete the picture. “Ahhh…” She realized, rushing away from the romantic scene and back into the kitchen, where she fumbled through a drawer for a lighter.

    Hod would be home any minute now and everything had to be perfect. This year she’d promised to take the anniversary duties in hand herself, so that the pressure was off his already overburdened shoulders, and honestly she’d enjoyed it. A low-budget, at-home dinner date was exactly the kind of thing she assumed he’d enjoy and as she skirted around the small, decorated table to light both candles, an excited smile beamed up to the ridges of her cherry pink lips.

    Tyr was more than happy to have a reason to stay at a friends house, Adria had been away at uni for a while … the house had grown quiet and unassuming in their absence, hardly aware that two old flames continued to live inside its protective walls. She finished up by laying the food out and curled a stray lock of vibrant green hair behind one ear, suddenly nervous as the hands of her wristwatch edged closer to one another.

    If Hod knew her real intentions he might think she was crazy, but Adria longed for the pitter-patter of tiny feet and soft, sweet-smelling angel hair underneath her nose before she went to sleep every night. She wanted another child.

    The dinner itself might not relay those intentions to her husband, but the fact that she’d turned on their heated outdoor pool and taken care to wear a thin bikini underneath the semblance of a “dress” she was wearing tonight might be a good enough indicator, even for a blind man. The thought made her laugh aloud.

    A noise from outside, suspiciously like the engine of Hod’s vehicle, stopped her from fantasizing further on the topic. She undid the strings of her apron and folded it neatly over the oven handlebar, smoothing out her little cocktail number and hopefully her nerves before the door could rattle unlocked. Clipping in high heels to the entryway of the dining room, Nyxa posed in a sultry lean against the doorless frame, hoping that he would smell the mixture of burning wax and spices before he could get his hands on her.

    If he didn’t, though, she’d hardly be the one to complain.

    @[Hod] Wink

    Hod walked the rest of the way to the house from the bus stop, the tap tap tapping of his cane echoing back the familiar path that led up to the front porch steps. The spicy scent of tomato sauce blended with cool evening air, making him pause at the front door. A smile flickered at the edges of his lips as he inhaled deeply. Nyxa was a fantastic cook. Which was great, because he struggled with anything involving the kitchen. He'd essentially been living on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cereal before they'd started going out, which she had intervened with as soon as she'd found out. 

    Home smelled wonderfully comforting. He couldn't believe they were already on another anniversary, marking one more year of life together. They'd been carefree ocean waifs together as children, growing up in this small town by the sea. When she'd left for college it had hurt more than he'd expected, and he had wasted no time in proposing when she'd finally returned. There are some things in life you just know. Hod knew that the sun rose every day, even if he couldn't see it. He knew that the roses that climbed their unruly way up the porch smelled best this time of year. And he knew that the woman currently waiting for him inside was the absolute best thing that had ever happened to him.

    Turning his notched house key in the lock, Hod let himself in. Immediately he noted how quiet the place was, no TV chattering or music in the background. He hung his cane on its hook by the door and took off his shoes before walking into the rest of the house. One large hand trailed a well worn path on the walls, nicks and notches in the plaster reaffirming his place in the house. The richly seasoned sauce permeated the space with its thick smell, bringing water to his mouth in anticipation. Through it he caught a subtle hint of something cleaner. "Dinner smells wonderful, Nyx." His sea salt voice broke the quiet softly. 

    The hand that had been guiding him paused at the dining room door frame, grazing something satiny warm. An appreciative grin was shot in Nyxa's direction. The hand that had touched her ran up her side deftly, reaching for her hand. With his other hand he pressed the bunch of flowers into her palm that he had bought on his way home. Peonies, he'd been told, in a peach color. They'd smelled the best in the shop, felt strong in his hand. Petals as soft as her skin. "Happy anniversary, sweetheart. Sounds like you got Tyr out of the house?" For the evening or until morning? He wondered to himself. 

    He reached behind his head to loosen his coal black hair from where he had plaited it for work. It fell thickly just past his shoulders, strands of silver beginning to show at his temples. When he leaned over to kiss his wife, it mingled with the verdant waterfall that fell around her face. He felt her dress as he pressed her against the doorway, how the fine fabric clung to every curve and hollow. Salt mingled with the clean scent of her perfume. Had she gone swimming this morning? The silver-blue of his eyes shone in the candlelight as he rested his forehead against hers. "So, dinner?" He asked, feeling a different kind of hunger filling his chest. 

    God it was hard standing there in silence. Nyxa bit her lip due to bottled excitement, watching with alert interest as the door handle twisted. She remembered this feeling too acutely: when she first realized how in love she was with him, playing the waiting game at home once she’d returned from her program abroad studying the sea life they both dearly cared for, on through her pregnancies and now here, in the midst of their anniversary.

    Whatever fire had stoked to life between them so many years ago never dimmed, and when he finally brushed through the door in the same old fashion she’d witnessed hundreds of times before this one, she could feel that same inferno rising to a sweltering heat deep inside. God he was perfect.

    The struggle to keep her peace was almost too unbearable, seeing the flowers he held and the way he deftly meandered towards her. Polite as ever, Hod’s comment on dinner smoothed her face and gave Nyxa a smoldering grin. “Just wait until you taste it.” She finally broke, goosebumps rising along her arms as he gifted her with the brightly-colored bouquet and ran a strong hand along her side.

    She’d divulged to her book club (really an hour for the neighborhood mothers to catch up and gossip) that there was nothing more sensuous than a blind man's touch, and feeling him now that statement held up. Hod had managed to map every inch of her skin so he knew perfectly well which spots set her off. It’s why she doesn’t resist when he leans in for a flawless kiss, the fading color of his once pure black hair providing a curtain that soaked her in his particular scent.

    And his embrace … dear God she’d nearly forgotten about dinner when he held her like that. “Happy anniversary to you too, love.” She giggled airily, once their lips had parted and his head came to rest against her own. “Yes … Tyr was happy to go once I told him my plans.” She teased, twining one palm through his to lead Hod away from the entrance and into the dining room. Nyxa bent over the table and placed the flowers in a readied vase, having come to expect this sort of thing from someone as wonderfully thoughtful as her husband, and without losing her grip on his hand she directed him to where the new seat was arranged.

    “You’ll be wanting some energy so I think dinner first and then maybe a swim after?” Nyx smiled, leaning in again to press a hurried kiss to his temple. “Wait here.” She instructed, edging away from Hod to prepare a plate with her signature spaghetti and placing it in front of him before making her own. “Fork is here, spoon is there, and knife is here - on the opposite side of the plate.” His wife explained, guiding his fingers with the lightest of touches before taking her own seat.

    “How was your day? I’ve missed you.” The chef asked, pouring them both a glass of wine and placing his strategically for easy access. In the next instant her mouth was stuffed with food, a tight coil building her gut with anticipation for what would hopefully come afterwards ...

    It was hard to let her go, but his stomach soon convinced him. With fingers twined together he followed her into the dining room. The overhead light must have been off, letting the dim glow of candle light filter into his sight. Warm, fuzzy orbs floated before his eyes, interrupted where his wife moved before them. Light in the darkness, like the woman who was now guiding him to his seat.

    She'd rearranged things a little for tonight. His chair was a foot or so further than usual and he could tell by touch that the dishes were the nice ones, brought out only for special occasions. One brow lifted curiously at her choice in wording as she lifted the plate to fill. "You're going to keep me up all night, aren't you?" He asked, a teasing smile saying he didn't mind. When Nyxa got a notion in her head, there wasn't usually much anyone could do to stop her. And this was a notion he'd felt coming on for a while now.

    Her nimble hands guided him around the place setting, metal and glass cool against his fingertips. He thanked her quietly, then listened as she moved about the room again. The sound of liquid hitting crystal filled the air, bittersweet wine scent accompanying it. Hod enjoyed wine, but had mixed feelings about the glasses. He had knocked one off a table a few years ago, and Adria had jokingly mentioned that the stain had never really come out the last time she'd visited. Oh well. He'd be more careful this time. Taking a sip, his face lit up at her question.

    "It was great! I think we're really making a break through with the audio guidance systems! Stella's pod actually responded and changed course when we played the sequence we've been working on. Deep sea trials are right on schedule." He could have gone on all night about the work his team was doing, developing sound systems to guide  porpoises, whales, and other cetaceans away from shipping lanes and other high traffic sea ways. Hod was the head of their sonar technician team, piecing together sounds and their meanings from the watery origins. Next month they'd be taking a weeklong voyage to give their equipment a proper run through.

    Taking another sip of wine, he picked up the fork by his hand. "How did your day go?" He asked, wondering if things had gone as smoothly as she implied. A coiled bite of spaghetti made it to his mouth. It was warm and just as delicious as he'd known it would be. He blotted his mouth after every bite, a little compulsively. Better to overuse the napkin than to make a mess of himself with the sauce... as she spoke, he found his mind dwelling on how she'd draped herself across the door, impossible to miss. How the ties of her bathing suit had felt between fabric and skin. Of how much he knew she had been thinking of babies lately.

    He treasured the time they spent together. As teenagers they'd spent whole days on the beach, waiting for just the right waves to carry them. She'd taught him how to surf and how to swim. Being blind never seemed to matter as much in the water. When they'd realized Adria was on her way, Hod had been afraid. Was he going to lose the vibrant woman he loved to motherhood? Fortunately, those fears had proven unfounded. Their lives had changed for the better when first Adria and then Tyr were born. Walks on the beach gained the addition of seashell collections and tidepool explorations. Tyr had not quite inherited the family's affinity for the sea, but even he was a strong swimmer. Having kids had done the incredible, and somehow brought them even closer together. Musing over pasta, Hod had to admit that he did not love the quiet as he once had.

    With this knowledge, Hod felt a twinning anticipation in his chest, unfettered heat filling his gaze as he looked towards her voice. Making love to Nyxa had never been anything less than perfect. By the time dinner ended, he knew they'd be lucky to make it to the pool.

    Who could blame her for wanting to keep him up until all hours of the morning? Just watching the shape of his mouth express a days worth of information was enough to set her off. He had the kind of lips women could get jealous of, and when they smiled or quirked to one side Nyxa felt physically weak. “Especially when they taste my skin.” She humored herself, silent with a mouth full of food.

    Swallowing back her thoughts with a sip of wine, Nyxa grinned hazily. She’d almost forgotten about the other woman in her husband's life - Stella - and the mention of her and her family pod brings to light the fact that next month, Hod would be absent from the house as well. The spaghetti felt like a lump in Nyxa’s throat. She wasn’t sure if she was prepared for such an empty nest.

    “Fairly normal for a Friday.” His wife replied, a hint of exasperated mirth in her tone. “Honestly they can run the aquarium without me. I was only needed for a show of good faith, since some heavyweight investors came by for a tour today.” She rolled her eyes, rising from her seat to gather up the now empty plates. It had been nearly ten years since the aquarium had opened up with Nyxa as its head and had (much to the surprise of larger competitors) grown exponentially even without gaudy attractions like dolphins, Orcas, sharks or whales.

    Children and visitors wanted immersion, not a halftime show, and Nyxa delivered that while maintaining an insistence that wildlife be kept that way. Wild. “Besides the point! Seems like we both had a pretty good day.” She called from the kitchen, dumping the plates into the sink before taking a moment to steady herself.


    Her two free hands slid around to the back of her dress, deftly untying a simple bow knot that held the number together. In a smooth brush of fabric, the cocktail getup fell onto the tile at her feet, leaving Nyxa bare but for a slender water suit and heels. Anxious as she was, a wicked smile bloomed over her usually subtle mouth and silently the green-haired beauty pulled off her shoes to tiptoe back into the dining room.

    “Hod. There’s something I want to talk about.” She murmured, blowing out one and then the other candle. “But I think that showing you would be the best way.” His childhood love whispered shyly. In the dark, her warm hand found his and gave it a squeeze. Easily she moved into his space, bracing herself against his shoulders and chest to lean down into another windswept kiss. He tasted like salt, and reminded her of everything she’d ever dreamed could be true.

    “Will you come with me? For a swim?” His wife pleaded softly, not specifying where. It was true they had a backyard pool, a lovely one, but better yet the beach was just a simple walk down the shoreline from their home. Neither she nor Hod could have imagined living far away from it. Hesitantly Nyxa waited, curious to see which he’d pick and whether or not he’d be favorable to her … idea.

    Nyxa was quieter than usual, her description of her day brief. That was big news, though. Investors meant funding, and expanding on projects that could really take the aquarium to the next level. They'd be able to grow their conservation department, and maybe upgrade some of the preexisting fixtures. Nyx had always been the brains of this outfit, and it really showed in the strategy and passion she put into the park.

    Dinner passed in much the same manner, the pair enjoying having some time one on one. They'd always made sure to save time for each other, and date nights were a regular occurrence. Somehow, this felt more intimate than usual.

    Nyxa cleared the table, while Hod made a mental note to wash the dishes in the morning.    He didn't hear her return, not until he heard the softness of her voice and saw the dim glow of the candles extinguish on her breath. The fine hairs on the back of his neck prickled as she drew near. The heat of her body came to him through the darkness, hands finding each other like matching shells.

    Suddenly, there was nothing but Nyxa. Air caught in his lungs as she pulled him close. His hands slid over the soft curves of her hips, pleasantly surprised to find more skin than had been there last time. Without breaking the contact of the kiss, his fingers traveled deftly up her sides, thumbs grazing the sides of her breasts before they skated down again. She was the tide, the way she rose and fell beneath his touch, stealing breath from his lungs and making him feel entirely over dressed. At her request he smiled softly.

    "Lead the way, my Heart." Hod murmured, cupping her cheek with one palm. There was a part of him that deeply wanted to simply lay her across the table and remove the little pieces of fabric she'd left in place without further thought. Any other night and he might have. But this was a special night, one it would be worth waiting for. So with a little laughing sigh, he gave his hand back to her, eager to see where the night took them. Reaching the outside he felt the hesitation in her, letting him decide whether it would be the path to the back yard or the sidewalk toward the slowly crashing waves that would draw him.

    It wasn't much of a choice, really. They had been joking for years that they'd move into the sea if it ever became humanly possible. With a gentle tug he set them on course down the path that would take them to the edge of the ocean, tucking his wife's shoulders under his arm as they walked. It was a perfect ed evening to be out. The air was warm against the skin, a gentle, intermittent breeze rustling the leaves of nearby plants. Water birds whistled their goodnight songs, unfazed by the humans walking by. Soon cement turned to sand underfoot, softening the sounds of their footfalls. Hod stripped off his t-shirt and tucked it into the picket fence that edged the dunes. His khaki shorts followed, shoes and socks set below them. Now that he and his mate were about equally dressed, he reached out to her again.

    Sand, mixed with tiny fragments of shell and driftwood, shifted beneath his feet. He'd misjudged Nyxa's location, overreaching and falling to his knees. Grinning ruefully, he shook his head, hand finally feeling what he'd been aiming for. Sort of. Her foot was found, and his hand traced upward along her ankle and calf, up the smooth plane of her thigh. Kneeling in front of her, his smile turned rakish in the moonlight. "What's on your mind, love?" It was a sincere question, belayed by the way he was slipping his thumb under the band of her bikini. How long had it been since they last been like this on the beach? Too long, he was sure.

    There’s no chill inside the house but Hod’s seaworthy fingers manage to send shivers throughout Nyxa’s body. Just the thought of him there and a tease against the budding swell of her breasts rouses goosebumps, along with a gasping sigh and arched back. How silly of her to think he might not want to water their garden again … clearly her man was a storm intent on bursting any moment.

    They wander outside to feel the brush of salt air and breath in the scents of a maritime coast, dark carpets of sea grass waving them along with the bend of the sidewalk. Confident now that walls and obstacles are few and far between, Hod tucks his wife into the crook of his shoulder and she smiles, winding a free palm up and over his clothed stomach and chest. Even covered, the hard build of a man who spent his life on the ocean felt evident enough to her. Years of handling rigging on boats, casting nets, traps, and swimming (nothing deterred him; sometimes Nyxa felt he was unburdened by the open space of a dark sea) had accrued a washboard stomach.

    It seemed impossible that she would ever get enough of him.

    Nyxa sighed to feel the cement change to sand, that last bit of disconnect from the earth gone and taking her worries with it. Her eyes traveled over the undulating beach into the water, faintly lit by a clear sky and high, half-crescent moon. “Incredible to think how far we’ve come and how far we’ve yet to go.” The mermaid woman contemplated with a smile, craning her neck around to see a vision instead of her husband.

    Every angle and cut line seemed to glow, accentuated by the tumble of dark hair that veiled his shoulders. He took her breath away, simply, and left her quivering with a mixture of hot desire and tingling anticipation. She could feel it in between her thighs plainly, and she doesn’t want to fight it. “Hod!” Her senses rang out in alarm, watching him break stride to fall upon his knees. No matter how many times she’d seen him do this, (and she knew better now than to worry or sound overly alarmed) it still felt as if she was the one being hurt. His pain was hers to bear as well, from a lifetime spent loving him so deeply.

    The stance - with one hand slithering up her thigh - reminded her of something though. She’d seen him down like this before when he’d proposed, and then again when he’d slipped a lacy garter off her leg at their wedding reception. Memories still bright and warm enough to send her sinking down into the ground with him. “I’m thinking we won’t make it for a swim.” His mate teases, easing her fingers over his cheeks to brush the hair away from his eyes. Hungry for action, Nyxa’s mouth covers his, the fire on her tongue breaching his lips until she can taste him and twine their silver breath together. Again her back arches, pressing the womanly curves of her form into the hard planes of his body before she can break contact to whisper, “I’m thinking of how badly I want you right now.”

    As if to prove her words, one slim hand glides down and cups his manhood. Nyxa smirks, kisses his cheek again. “And I’m thinking how nice it would be to carry your child again.” She offers with a heart thundering in her chest. The spandex front of her bathing top has gone awry in her eagerness, exposing both her hard nipples but she doesn’t care. He’s had all of her many times over and the beach in off-season is theirs alone.

    Her knees tremble. “Hod …”

    @[Hod] ok so not the novel it started out as bc I’m never satisfied and had to delete unnecessary crap but here it is, hot n’ready Big Grin
    Lord, how had he gotten so lucky? His hand kept contact with Nyxa's skin as she dropped to her knees with him. Over the curve of her hip, softly up the pattern of her ribs. The gasp of concern she gave brought an affectionate curve to his lips, broadened by the comment she made. "I'm thinking you may be right." The words growl up his throat, only to be hushed by her lips against his. 

    She tastes like wine and spice, heady and intoxicating against his tongue. One hand reaches up to tangle in the thickness of her hair, the other sliding around to the small of her back. Breath hisses between his teeth as she breaks the connection. Already feeling a few degrees warmer than usual, his body reacts instantly to her touch. For a moment all he can do is breath, face buried in the crook of her of her neck as he swells in her grasp. A hard swallow passes his throat as her words penetrated the lusty fog in his brain. Ah. There it was. The heart of the matter that he'd known they were coming to. 

    With a lazy half-smile he rolled back on his heels. Hod had never been able to deny his wife of anything she wanted. Half the time it didn't matter, she would go and get most things on her own. Just one of the many things he'd always loved about her. Her dropped back to his knees and felt his way to cradle the back of her neck, leaning forward to kiss her forehead softly. "As you wish, Nyxa." He spoke the words like a promise. She was the best mother he could have dreamed of to bear his children, and he felt no small amount of pride when she was gravid with the product of their love. The fact that she wished to do so again was a wonderful gift. 

    Nyxa's body rose at his touch, as responsive to him as he was to her. He traced along the curve of her neckline, pleasantly surprised when he encountered more of her than expected. One thumb swept over an erect nipple, kneading the flesh in his palm before dipping his head to take the hard point in his mouth. His own body was getting needful, urging him to find his own euphoria within her. Sometimes it was quick and dirty like that, when they both needed the release. This was a special occasion, however. 

    He switched over to the other breast for a moment, before tipping them both over against a softly rising sand dune. He nuzzled against her neck, hiding his face in the lush jungle of her hair, kissing and nibbling the satin skin along her throat and collar bone. Meanwhile his hands developed minds of their own, wandering up and down the curves and plains of her, tugging at the thin strings that held her suit on. Easily unknotted bows gave way, leaving her body to catch the moonlight on all the secret parts of her. 

    His hips fitted against hers, rocking against the heat of her with only the thin fabric of his shorts between them. His hands moved freely along her skin, giving special attention to the places that made her gasp. When it felt right, he held her close, and rolled them both until he lay on his back with her above him. This was how he loved her best. In bright light he could see her faintly silhouetted, though that wasn't the case tonight. Still, the feeling he got when she rode him like the waves was one of the best sensations in the world. 


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