Disclaimer: Warren, the X-Men, and all related characters beong to Marvel and are used without permission. Eithne, Shalidar, and the Moon Bull belong to me. I am not making any money from this, so there is really no point in suing me.
Author's Note: Another Eithne and Warren story!! I know, I am obssessed with Warren, But at least I can admit it!! And of course, this takes place in a reality of my own creation, where everything is based on my whims!!
As always, feedback is welcomed and hoarded at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The middle of the night in Shalidar, all was peaceful and still. Within the stone walls of Arden Castle, not a single creature stirred. Even the king's pack of wolfhounds slept quietly; forsaking their usual squabbles over the best spot by the hearth. Deep within the castle, in the princess' royal suite, Warren Worthington slept fitfully. Eithne knew that he suffered from terrifying nightmares; and she wanted to be close by to comfort him. Her large fairyhound, Tristan, slept in the floor at the foot of the bed; as if watching over Warren until his master's return.
Eithne was, at that moment, ascending the spiraling stone steps of the castle; her almost imperceptible footfalls awakening the dog upstairs. She was returning from the final solstice ceremony, the calling of the Moon Bull. As the bull maiden it was her job to call forth the Moon Bull from the mists of the sacred lake. His coming signified a plentiful winter harvest for the people of Shalidar, or so the legend said. Eithne, who had spent her whole life in the mortal realm, tended to doubt it. But still, she loved her fairy family; and was always eager to please them. Besides, calling forth the Moon Bull had always been such a simple task for Eithne; until now. This year had been different, she had lacked concentration; and the ceremony had taken hours. She had been distracted by Warren's presence, despite the fact that he had not been at the ceremony. Mortals were strictly prohibited from attending such important ceremonies; so he had stayed behind, in the castle. Despite his absence, Eithne could still sense his presence; and the need for added concentration had brought her to the edge of exhaustion.
As she climbed the stairs, the train of her white silk gown trailed behind her; like the long tail of a pale peacock. It seemed almost unbearably heavy, threatening to pull her down with every step. Her head hung down heavily, as if unable to carry the weight of the golen circlet ringing her fiery curls. Her gossamer wings, only visable in Shalidar, hung limply down her back. They drug the ground behind her; as if Eithne, in her exhausted state, was too weak to hold them upright. The truth of the matter was, she was simply too exhausted to care; wanting only to find her own soft bed.
Reaching her suite, she opened the door of Warren's room; intending only a casual check on him. Warren seemed to be in the midst of a horrible dream. The bed covers had been kicked down to the foot of the bed; leaving the man in its center completely revealed. The pale silvery moonlight splashed across his naked body, glimmering in the beads of sweat on his skin; transforming them into flawless diamonds. His body writhed on the bed, as if he were fighting some great epic battle. He seemed to be on the verge of a soul shattering scream; one that would no doubt chill Eithne to the bone.
Moving to sit on the edge of the bed, Eithne reached out and gently shook Warren's shoulder. He jerked as if he had been shot; his hand grabbing Eithne by the wrist. As his grip tightened, she bit her lower lip to stifle the yelp of pain rising in her throat. As his eyes focused on her, recognition dawning in his beautiful azure eyes; Eithne felt his grip loosen.
"Eithne, what are you doing here?, he asked; seemingly unphased by his lack of covering.
"You were having a nightmare, and I wanted to....", she trailed off; totally mesmerized by his azure stare.
"Wanted to what?", Warren asked; his hand reaching out to stroke Eithne's cheek.
"Wanted to....", she began before lowering her head to brush her lips against his.
Putting his hand on the nape of her neck, he pulled her head down closer. His tongue slid into her mouth; running lightly along hers. Eithne returned the kiss, her tongue dancing and twining intimately with his. Breaking the kiss, Warren sat up in the bed. Reaching behind her, he slowly began to unbutton the small silk-covered buttons of Eithne's dress. Her breath caught in her chest as his fingers brushed against her bare skin. Lowering his mouth to Eithne's shoulder, he ran his tongue across her skin as he bared it. She shivered at Warren's touch, a low moan escaping her lips. She had waited so long to feel his touch, longed for it with every fiber of her being; wanting it so badly that it didn't matter if it was only a passing fancy on Warren's part. Silently she prayed that it would turn into something more; something greater.
Pushing him away, Eithne slowly rose from the bed; surprised by the fleeting look of regret in Warren's eyes as they locked with hers. Sliding the dress off her other shoulder, she let it fall to the floor in a shimmering pool of silk; revealing her naked body beneath. As she turned to place the golden circlet on the nearby dressing table, Warren caught sight of her gossamer wings; his breath catching in his chest. He so rarely saw the wings, that the sight of them now was breathtaking. He could tell by the way that they trailed along the floor, that Eithne was exhausted. Reaching out to take her by the hand, he gently pulled her into the bed.
"You're exhausted Eithne, you need to sleep."
"I'm not that tired.", she lied; as her head came to rest in the angle of Warren's neck and shoulder.
"Well, perhaps I am then.", he replied calmly.
Eithne snuggled down closer to him, her head resting on his chest. Warren felt her arm slide around him, finding the soft feel of her skin against his electrifying. Almost immediately he heard her breathing fall into a steady rhythm, as she drifted off. He lifted her hand to his lips to kiss it gently, content to lie with her in his arms. He was, as always, in awe of her presence. He wanted so much to share his life with her, share all his dreams and desires with her. But he had never given himself completely to anyone before, and he was afraid that he could never find the words to make Eithne understand. How could he express to her the depth of emotion that she stirred in him; all of the love and confusion. How could he tell Eithne that when she was near him Warren found it hard to speak , to think, to even breath. How could he tell her his love for her was like a story that had no end; that it was eternal. He supposed that he could simply tell her "I love you". But for Warren that seemed so inadequate; far too simple to express the truth. He could not know, of course, that for Eithne it would have been more than enough. That with three simple words, he could speak volumes. Warren only knew that he his fondest dream was to be the great love of Eithne's life; as she was the great love of his. And tonight, like so many nights before, he would pray that; like so many others, this dream would not perish in the bright light of day.