Chapter Thirty One: Fresh Memories
Alexander's Memory Flashback, Year 1600, Heaven, Before the Angels' War
He saw Anastasia coming toward him. Her billowing white robe blowing behind her in the wind. Yes, her eyes were bright with excitement, and those were the most expressive and beautiful things he had ever seen.
Her eyes locked with his, and a seductive, sexy smile quirked up on the corners of her lips. God forbid, that smile was temptation itself. She might have been an Archangel, but she had all the sexuality of a seductive Eve in Eden.
He returned her smile, and reached out with his hand, his own sky-blue robe, a perfect contrast with the pale skin of his hand. She raised her hand too, and entwined her fingers with his. She was so beautiful then that he was lost for words for a second.
"Alexander, are you feeling alright?" She cocked her head to the side, puzzled.
"Yes. Yes, of course." He composed himself and shook himself together. He pulled his lover into his arms and buried his nose in her silky hair, feeling so right, and so amazingly safe with her in his arms. "Did they know you sneaked out?"
Anastasia laughed in a seductive giggle.
"Of course not. I am always very careful, Alexander. I will never get caught." She hopped out of his arms, much to his disappointment, and did a little dance in front of him, twirling her robes and spinning on the spot. He smiled in spite of himself.
"Come on, walk with me, Alexander. You look so sad today. Is anything wrong?" She frowned prettily. She held his hands and raised them to her lips. "You know you can tell me."
He sighed at the touch of her full red lips against his hand, and tugged her close.
"Oh, Anastasia," He sighed, "How long are we gonna meet in secret like this?"
Her eyes shadowed with sadness, and she lowered her eyes.
"Hey, hey, don't be sad. Please." He tilted up her face and ran the back of his finger down her cheek. "Please. I am sorry."
"No. No, I will only be sad if you leave me." She caught his hand and kissed his palm. She rubbed her face against it.
He raised his other hand to her face and brushed her hair back from her face. He cupped her cheek and leaned in close toward her.
When his lips touched hers, she responded almost hungrily. She wrapped her arms around his neck and took control of the kiss, pressing and kissing, and sucking, and biting. Her legs moved to the other side of his waist, and he had to put his arms around her bottom to keep her from falling. They tumbled down into the flower beds, with him beneath her and her hands moved down his neck greedily and ran all over his chest. Her lips dragged down his lips to his face, and down to his neck, when she pressed her lips on the hollow of his throat and suckled.
His eyes fluttered with her passionate kisses, and then he grabbed her shoulders and pushed her a little away.
"Anastasia." He gasped.
She looked down upon him, her eyes bright with desire and passion. Her hands moved down his chest, and lay upon his muscled stomach.
"I am sorry." She said softly, touching her lips with her finger. "I just… I am so scared of you pulling away from me like this. You seemed so far away, Alexander. I couldn't… I had to bring you back in any way I could think of. And… I thought you wanted me. Don't you?" She asked almost pleadingly, her bright eyes shining.
He chuckled softly, and tucked her hair behind her ear. He gazed up at her, the most beautiful Archangel of all. The Archangel who every male Archangel wanted to mate. And she wanted him. She desired him. And he told himself, it was only desire he felt for her. She certainly desired him, but none of them ever touched the topic of love and affection. Sure, they were both possessive and jealous if anyone came near one another; but love?
He did not deserve her.
Because he knew what would happen if he grew to love her. He could want her, and play with her, and spend their time with one another. But if he admitted that he was in love with her, then… then he would have to fight the Archangels for her.
But she didn't love him. He could see that. He knew that well.
It saddened him, somewhat.
Her fingers touched his face, and traced his cheek.
"And what is my good Lord thinking about with me on top of him?" She smiled.
He caught her hand on his cheek, and raised it to his lips.
"Yes, I do want you." He whispered, gazing up at her beautiful eyes.
She smiled, such an innocent, warm smile. Her fingers proved otherwise though, they ran down his chest to his stomach, where they traced the shape of his naval.
"Well then…" She whispered, bending down toward his face and blew across his eyelids, "what are you waiting for?"
He rolled over, and then she was beneath him, her breasts rising and falling rapidly. Her eyes widened with excitement and apprehension. He touched a finger down her cheek, and then bent his face close to her lips.
"I love you." He whispered.
She gasped, and sat up suddenly. She laid a finger upon his lips.
"You mustn't ever say that to me. Ever again." She said in a fearful tone.
"Why not? It is the truth, you know." He breathed into the pad of her finger. Deep down, he knew she was right. Hell, he knew HE was right when he guessed that she doesn't love him.
Who was he kidding? THEY don't even love each other.
He had to keep telling himself that.
When he came back into focus, she was staring at him with puzzled eyes. He smiled, and shook his head.
"If you don't want me to say that again, I won't Anastasia."
She broke into a relieved smile, and pushed him back down beneath her. She caressed his face, and kissed his jaw. Her fingers began running down his chest, and then he hitched a sharp gasp as he felt her hands slip under his robe.
"Why not?" She murmured, her lips following her fingers and pressing upon the skin which had exposed beneath it. "There's no harm in it. And I know you want it as much as I do."
"You are seducing me." He realized, and then found himself wanting to smile. He caught her hand and brought it to his lips. "Your sexual hormones are raging inside you, Anastasia, I could feel it inside you."
"Then would you like to feel the fire in me spreading to your body, my love?" She asked, her kisses becoming more passionate and even hungry as they dragged down his chest. "I would do anything for your pleasure, my good Lord."
"Whoa." He tilted up her face and looked deeply into her eyes. "I don't know that you are THAT passionate for me. Funny, by rights it should be ME who does the seducing, hmm?"
He flipped over and pressed her again underneath him. He dragged his hands up both of her arms to her bare shoulders. The summer sun was shining so brilliantly down on the two of them, and her pale skin reflected in the sunlight.
She was breathing heavily as his lips returned to her lips, his fingers danced on her skin, and her own fingers started unbuttoning his robe, fumbling with the buttons.
"You are scared." He said, amused.
"No, I am not." She said childishly, pouting her lips. She gripped a handful of his robes and tugged him down on top of her. "Are YOU scared?"
"Scared of taking advantage of a beautiful Archangel, Anastasia? Not really." He chuckled, gently prying her hands away from his robes. "But you are not ready."
He rolled off her and lay beside her on the flower bed. He knew she was fuming with disappointment, but it will pass. But he was nevertheless surprised. Yes, she had always been curious about… making love. However, today she seemed more enthusiastic than ever.
He could never understand Archangels. Especially this one.
He turned his face aside to face her, and found her watching him.
"I am sorry." She breathed, entwining her fingers with his. "It's just that… I am so scared of losing you. I just wanted to give you something to remember me, when you leave me."
He took her hand and put it upon his chest.
"Shouldn't I be the one saying those words to you, my sweetest Anastasia? I heard things, Anastasia. The Archangels are dying for you. Soon you will have to choose a mate. And…" He stroke a finger down her pale cheeks, "… and it wouldn't be me."
"Alexander, I will choose whoever I want, and I will choose you."
"But you won't be happy with me, Anastasia." He said firmly. "Look at me, how can I give you happiness when you know I am not the one for you?"
She seized his hand and brought it to her lips.
"I know that I want you, and I want no one else." She said firmly, her voice so young but so determined. "Alexander, I will be happy with you. I will go anywhere you lead me, and I will always follow you, whether in Heaven, or in Hell."
He put a finger on her lips and shook his head.
"Alexander, are you in love with me?"
Lie. He told himself point blank. Lie to the woman you love, lie to her that you have no feelings for her, then you will protect her from yourself.
"No, I am not in love with you." He said softly.
He was surprised when her eyes lit up and she clapped her hands together, acting as if he just said the most beautiful thing ever.
"Then it will be alright! Don't you see? You don't love me, I don't love you, we can escape the burdens of loving each other. We have no responsibility for each other. Oh, Alexander." She flung her arms around his neck. "Let's run away. Let's run away now."
He put his hands on her bare shoulders and held her a little away.
"You must be joking." He said, "run away with me? With an angel who is not worthy for you? With someone who you don't love, and who doesn't love you? Are you out of your mind?"
She cupped his face in her hands and kissed his jaw softly.
"Alexander, I am not afraid of what we will do. Are you? What's wrong with running away together? Who would you lose? What would you lose?"
'I will lose you,' he thought.
Her fingers touched his face, and she pressed him down on the flower bed, and moved her hands down his chest. She lay her head on his chest and danced her fingers over his heated muscles.
"Alexander, I cannot live without you by my side. Maybe I don't love you, maybe you don't love me, but we feel something, don't we? And I know you feel something too. Oh, my only love…" Her fingers danced upon his cheek. "I am a selfish woman, but do this for me, please? Run away with me. Take me away."
Her lips found his, and they pressed upon them softly, easing his lips gently into hers. There was no lust or urgency in that kiss, she just cupped his face and deepened the kiss, patiently, seductively…
He sighed inwardly, and slid his arms around her, kissing her back and trailing his kisses down her neck.
"Yes…" She breathed, arching her neck back. "That's more like it, my sweet, sweet love."
"Where would we go? Where would we run?" He murmured against her lips, finally realizing that was what he wanted to do, run away with Anastasia and possess her forever, without anyone knowing.
"We will go to the Mortals, and hide there forever." She said excitedly, her eyes twinkling. "The Grand Archangels wouldn't know, and they couldn't stop us because once we are in the Mortals' World, we are one of them."
He looked up at her, and smoothed her hair back from her face.
"Are you absolutely sure?"
"Yes." She breathed instantly, pressing her lips on his forehead.
"Then we will. As soon as you want."
She wrapped her arms around him and rolled over, rolling him on top of her. She caressed his cheek with cool fingers, her lovely eyes so sexy, and so tempting.
"Will you want me forever though?"
"Oh, lovely Anastasia…" He smiled and kissed her palm, "I will want you, always, and forever."