Okay, so they're on their way to the Land of the Big PX. It's going to be an interesting flight (as you may have noticed). For those of you who have read other books in the Paladin of Shadows series, you may be wondering when Mike is going to act, well, more like Mike. He's beginning to relax - so this chapter is definitely at least an R, though not up to NC-17, not yet, at least.
Keep the comments rolling!
A little while later, Mike returned forward.
“So where are we?” he asked Katrina, who was still avidly tracking their progress.
“We are near Kaliningrad, in Russia. Why is Russia here, too? It’s all by itself.” By a geopolitical oddity, Kaliningrad and its environs had remained a part of Russia after the Soviet break-up, separated by Lithuania and Belarus. It was a little island of Russia, in effect.
He sat back down next to her. “Couple reasons, honey. The port never freezes in winter, so it’s the Russians’ only ice-free port on the Baltic Sea. Also, unlike all the other little countries around here, Kaliningrad has never been independent. It had always been part of ‘something bigger’, so when everyone was declaring their independence, they didn’t have any kind of tradition or history of it. So they just stayed - Russian.”
She leaned into him. “I like flying,” she said. “Why doesn’t Stasia?”
“She likes flying, it’s just the takeoffs she’s not too thrilled with.” Not until now, he thought. Usually the submissive partner, Stasia had nearly thrown Mike onto the couch as soon as the cabin door shut. She stripped off his pants and taken him into her mouth until he was hard and ready, then slid down onto him. She came the first time in seconds, and again, and again, before he finally came as well. Only then, relaxing atop his chest, did she revert to her usual role. The subsequent punishment session had been good for them both, and left her exhausted and spent, and him stress-free.
“She’ll be up and about it a few hours.”
As the plane crossed over the North Sea, Mike and Katrina talked. Truly talked. She asked him about his past - his life as a SEAL, his ex-wife, his relationships - and he answered. They talked about what Katrina’s life would have been like without Mike’s arrival (“I would have gone to town, for sure.”), and what Katrina wanted for the future. To their mutual surprise, they found that they were more alike than not. Oh, their experiences couldn’t have been more different.
Mike grew up in the most connected, technologically advanced country in the world; Katrina, a small valley in the third world. Mike had gone to school with hundreds of children, thought nothing of going to another town for his little league games; she had never properly attended school, really knew only the people in the Families, and had never ventured farther than Alersso.
Yet, despite these and countless other points of divergence, they had both grown into the one person perfectly suited for the other. He could see that she would steady him, provide an anchor to keep what he thought of as his “dark side” bay; he would give her, in turn, the understanding she would need to face her own demons, the strength to fight against them, and the knowledge that they could be defeated.
By the time they crossed the Faroes into the Atlantic, he was convinced.
Their conversation had pretty well stopped by then. Her body, pressed tight against his, raised his awareness of just how lush her body had become. His hands moved, almost involuntarily, along her sides, and she leaned back into a kiss. Her hands were busy too, caressing his arms, guiding his hands over her breasts. No bra, he noticed absently. None needed. Her breasts were firm and warm, the nipples hard between his fingers.
“I have dreamt of this,” she whispered to him. His hands slid under her blouse and back to cup her tits. She turned fully into him, biting his neck and ear. Quickly, Mike pulled her blouse up over her head, trapping her hands. He held her arms, feeling the goose bumps rise as he kissed the sensitive juncture of her neck and shoulder. Using his tongue, he teased his way down her chest, from one beautiful breast to the other, circling but never quite reaching her nipples. She moaned and writhed under him. When he finally took a nipple into his mouth, sucking and nipping it gently with his teeth, her body arched as she orgasmed. With an expert touch, he kept her quivering on the brink, pushing her over with a flick and then pulling her back. Finally she gasped, “No more, no more,” and he relented. He slid her blouse back down over her chest, and pulled her back into him.
“That was wonderful,” she sighed. “I had no idea it would feel so good!”
He smiled down at her. “That’s just a start, dear. You wait.”
“And how am I to wait, now that I know what I have missed?” she insisted.
“We’ll manage,” he answered. “Remember, I gave my word -”
“- and you deliver on your promises, yes, I know. But it will be hard to wait!”
“That’s the idea.”
An hour later, Stasia emerged from the rear cabin, looking as if nothing had been amiss. “Ready for lunch?” asked Mike. “The steward prepared plenty; I was about to ask Katrina to wake you.”
“You wouldn’t wake me yourself?” she asked, eyes twinkling.
“Not on a bet,” he laughed. “Sit down and eat. We can talk about our plans between bites.”
“It’s different,” said Katrina.
“Yeah, it is. I didn’t specify a menu, so Chatham gave us a menu of British food, done well.” He pointed. “That’s beef Wellington, those are Yorkshire puddings, and that’s a Shepherd’s pie. Mixed vegetables, bread, and, Tony, didn’t you say something about dessert?”
The steward answered from his miniature kitchen. “Yes, sir, a banoffee pie.”
“Banoffee?” said Stasia around a mouthful.
“A portmanteau -”
“A combined word,” clarified Mike.
“Of ‘banana’ and ‘toffee’,” finished Tony. “A specialty of Mrs. Chatham, sir, she made one specifically for you and your guests.”
“Very kind of her,” replied Stasia, as Mike was busy shoveling. “Was it not, Michael?”
He swallowed hurriedly. “Yes, very kind!” he managed. Tony retired back to the kitchen, and Mike continued. “We’ll arrive in DC about two in the afternoon, local time. Katrina, I’d suggest you get some sleep, if you can. Jet lag is a bitch if you don’t know how to deal with it.” He saw her look. “We’re moving so quickly, our bodies get confused as to what time it is. We left at ten in the morning, we’re going to fly for twelve hours, so that would make it ten at night, right?” She agreed. “DC is so far away, their clocks are eight hours behind. So about the time you’re going to want to go to bed will still be the middle of the day.”
“Ah, I think I understand.”
“Good. I don’t have anything laid on for today; Stasia, you?”
“Yes, Kildar,” she answered. “I made an appointment for late afternoon with Noemi Diakite, Amelia Weston recommended me to her. She will take Katrina’s measurements again, and we shall discuss the dress she will make for her.”
“How long do you expect to be? And where are you meeting?”
“I am to phone her when we arrive, and she will meet us at our hotel.”
“Very convenient. And how much will this convenience cost me?”
“I’m kidding, I’m kidding.” He raised his hands in mock surrender. “Okay, so you two can have the suite, and I’ll rack out in one of the bedrooms.”
“You aren’t going to help me choose?” asked Katrina plaintively.
“It’s considered bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her gown before the wedding,” Mike said, trying to placate her.
“In other words, Katrina, it’s our problem to solve,” explained Stasia. “That’s fine, Michael. You will be surprised on your wedding day - and night.”
Katrina blushed slightly when Mike answered, “I hope so!”
“How long will Diakite need to make the dress? Will she need Katrina to stay in DC?”
Stasia said, “Not terribly long, and I don’t believe she will need her once she has the measurements and we’ve decided on a design. We do not have a schedule, do we?”
“No, we don’t have a schedule, but I’d rather not spend too much time in Sodom-on-Potomac. There’s lots of other things I want her to see.”
“Like what, Mike?” Katrina was eager to hear.
“Yes, Michael, what do you want Katrina to see?” The insinuation was clear to Mike. “And have I seen it, or is it to be something new?”
“Stasia, you’re being a very good girl right now,” Mike said, warningly. “And yes, it will be something new for you both. I’m not sure of the exact plan, but I’m thinking of Boston’s Freedom Trail, Cooperstown, the Alamo, the Gateway Arch, and a couple other stops. We’ll spend a few days each area, so we don’t have to rush, and we can always change our minds. Well, almost always change our minds.” He reached behind and pulled up a briefcase. Opening it, he pulled out two small envelopes. “These arrived two days ago, and they’re the only commitments I’ve made for the trip.”
“What are they?” asked Katrina, as Stasia said, “Where are they?”
“They’re tickets,” he said to Katrina, and to Stasia he said, “Cruxshadows, in St. Louis, and Opening Day at Fenway Park.” He grinned. “Time I took you out to a ballgame.”