DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to Kim Harrison. No copyright infringement is intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Your Kisses Make My Skin Feel Weak
By Jaina


The warmth of the late-afternoon sun is glorious on my skin.  I can feel the blanket pull tight underneath me as Rachel fidgets next to me.  I focus on smothering the smile that's tugging at the corners of my mouth.  She's been incredibly patient - for Rachel - as we've lain here on a quilt spread out in the middle of our big backyard, just soaking.  But I know Rachel, and she's very rarely happy to sit still and just be.  She always has to be moving and doing something.  It's one of the things that I love about her.

She rolls against my side, throwing her leg over mine, and drops her hand to my chest.  Her fingers tickle my skin and I tense, fighting not to shiver, as she plays with the cross at my throat.

"Ivy?"  Her voice is quiet.  Barely a whisper of sounds.  "Are you awake?"

Something holds me silent. 

A moment later I almost jump out of my skin as Rachel presses her lips to the base of my neck.  The hot warmth of her mouth on my skin startles me into opening my eyes.  Her tongues flicks out to taste my skin and my hands involuntarily clench around her waist, pulling her into me. 

Rachel's teeth scrape over the edges of an old scar; A whimper escapes from my lips an instant before I bite my bottom lip to hold back another incriminating sound.  I'm hyper aware that Jenks and his children are scattered throughout the yard.  One hand crushes the hem of Rachel's shirt into my fist and my eyes fall shut again as I try to battle the urge to slip my hand up under Rachel's one-size-too-small, faded-into-comfort, Takata t-shirt.

"Rachel," Her name comes out far breathier than I'd intended.  "If you don't stop, I won't be able too." 

Her tongue stills, but her lips still manage to brush against my skin as she whispers.  "Open your eyes, Ivy."

I do, blinking furiously as the light invades my dilated pupils.  Rachel raises a hand to block the worst of the sunlight and I smile up at her gratefully. 

She's staring at me accusingly. 

"You were faking!" 

"I was thinking."

Rachel looks at me dubiously.  "Thinking about what?"

"Thinking about how lucky I am that you finally realized that you love me."

Her breath catches as it always does when I use the L-word, just before she gets that wild look in her eyes that I've come to recognize.  I keep smiling and reach out to push back a lock of red hair that's fallen down into her face.  Once it's tucked behind her ear, I cradle her head gently, and as it always does my touch seems to calm her. 

At first it hurt, seeing that look in her eyes.  Then I came to realize that in many ways Rachel is just as broken as I am.  I take hope from the fact that she stays despite it.  That she loves me despite it.

In reply, she leans forward and kisses me gently.  Lightly at first, barely more than a peck, before she claims my lips again.  Rachel puts everything that she feels into her kisses, like she does with everything else.  It gives me a heady feeling, greater than tasting her blood could ever be. 

Her love is a balm for my soul in the same way that the sun warms my skin.  Her kisses make me want to be more than I am - to be everything for her as she is for me. 

In her, I find my redemption.

The End

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