Wis tenative touch was rewarded with her being upset and throwing herself into his arms. Fopr an awkward moment, he stood there with his arms held out. Stifly, he lowered them around her, eventually melting into a gentle hold in his efforts to comfort her. He decided at that moment that, despite previous promises not to, he was going to kill her former professor.
"Gem, love...nothing is wrong with you as a person. Not a damn thing. The problem lies in the fact that you were hurt. And probably, if my guess and theories are correct, are still healing from it."
Gemma let out a little moan into the front of Orion's shirt, struggling to wipe away her tears with her own sleeve. Finally, she looked back up at him, her eyes tear-washed but with an odd light in them. "Then fix me," she responded, tightening her hold on him, "Heal me. Go on, I'm ready, I'm not afraid.... not really, anyway... well, alright, I'm terrified, but I also love you, Ri." Her eyes opened wide suddenly, and she pulled back from Orion, though not as a result of fear.
"I also just remembered something important," she went on, a slight gasp in her tone now as she prepared herself for what she was about to do, "I have something to show you, Ri. Would you like to see it?" She waited both nervously and eagerly for his reply, her eyes never leaving his.
As per her orders, Orion went to hold her tight, to reignite the emotions he had just banked. She clung to him, then suddenly sprang away from him with a curious gleam in her eyes. Orion was reluctant to let her go at this point, feeling both protective and affectionate at the same time. Still, she wanted to show him something.
"Alright then, if it is that important..." His head tilted slightly in curiosity, more rotating horizontally than anything.
Note: Mild stripping (removal of clothes, rather) in this post. Nothing much, just thought I'd mention it at the beginning so I wouldn't get in trouble...
A tiny giggle escaped Gemma's lips as she grabbed Orion's hands and drew him over to the window-seat. She wasn't sure why, but she was feeling a bit giddy; maybe revealing her secret was the cause, but she couldn't be sure.
"Sit down, Ri," she murmured, gently pushing him into a sitting position. Once he was down, she crawled into his lap, facing him, and lightly kissed his jaw. "I want to explain first," she told him, "So be patient, darling.... This little story starts after I'd been moved to Hogwarts. I was still trying to... get over what had happened, and in an attempt to do so, I made myself a promise. No-one would ever hurt me like that again, or even touch me without my permission."
She paused to grin at Orion. "No, that's not what this story is about, Ri; you have my eternal permission to touch me, I assure you.... which is why I have to show you this...." Taking his hands and moving them to the hem of her shirt, she continued explaining. "I got this -- or rather, did it to myself, with a spell -- as a sort of physical reminder of the promise. Silly, I know, but I was adamant about it. Anyway, no-one knows about it, not even Gerry or Sofi. You'll be the only one, darling.... just like I planned. Only the man I love, who I used to think would never exist, will ever get to see this..."
Once again using his hands, she gently drew off her shirt in one smooth, swift motion. She was blushing, she could feel it, but she didn't care: she was feeling reckless, and didn't want to waste the feeling. Keeping one hand on Orion's hand, she slid the other around his neck before moving his hand down to her left hipbone and nudging the hem of her jeans out of the way. Her tattoo of four interlocking rings was immediately obvious against her pale skin. Gemma wanted to look at Orion's face to see his reaction, but she found she couldn't: she turned her head down and to one side, waiting for him to speak.
Orion was extrememly confused and beciming mildly frustrated with Gemma. First, she didn't want him touching her, then she wanted him to touch her. Thne, she practically stripped to her underclothing in front of him and tantalized him with a tattoo of four interconnecting rings. Stiffly, Orion held himself back from her, despite her graceful embraces.
"Gemma...please put your shirt back on." He swallowed delicately and continued, trying to keep his voice even while his tratorous eyes took in everything while they still could.
"Despite my complete control, this IS pushing my boundaries currently and I'd rather not frighten you again, especially when you aren't fully clothed."
His voice, he congratulated himself, had remained even and his tone conversational. Still, he had no doubt that Gemma would be displeased that her offering of self would go so rewarded. Better than the alternative, he mused.
Gemma felt herself blush even more, and she removed her arms from around Orion so that she could do as he asked. "I just wanted to show you..." she nearly whispered, "You're not... angry with me, are you?" Her dark eyes flicked up to meet his golden ones even as she bit her lip nervously. Had she really upset him again? He did seem a bit... frustrated. Was it her fault?
"I'm sorry, Ri," she said yet again, "I thought you'd be pleased.... I'm trying to trust you, you see, and I thought that.... I thought that would be a good way to show it. Was I wrong?" She tilted her head, much as he had a minute before, keeping her eyes locked on his again.
"I-I AM pleased. Ahem." He cleared his throat and covered his mouth. Did he just stammer? He did. Wow. He coughed lightly again and kept talking, hoping to shed some light on his feelings for both of them.
"Its just...you're so capricious sometimes that I'm having a hard time keeping up, emotionally speaking. As soon as I understand how I feel about one thing, you've gone and pulled a switch on me." He stopped himself again, noting his odd diction. Too common, by far. He rolled his neck and tried a third time.
"As my wandering speech has illucidated, I am rather flustered by the past...three minutes or so worth of activity. Please forgive me while I attempt to catch up to you and discover how I feel."
Gemma couldn't help but laugh at what was Orion's version of a flustered tone. "Oh, Ri, darling," she giggled, resting her forehead against his, "You're so.... unemotional, sometimes. I know I do tend to be too emotional, but.... it's as if you get stuck in one place and can't figure out where I've gone. Eclipse used to do that when he was a kitten...." She giggled again and wrapped her arms around her fiance's neck.
"I don't understand how I can switch so much when I'm around you, either, though," she murmured, "You haven't seen it, but I'm not like this as much around other people. But if you're with me... it's as if I have no control. It's either everything at once or nothing at all...." She paused, biting her lip in thought, before pulling back to meet his eyes again.
"And I've just figured two things out," she told him proudly, "Firstly, I know why sometimes I'm afraid to be touched and other times I can't get enough.... but the second thing is more important." She paused for effect, then stated in a softer voice, "You're an Occlumens, aren't you, Ri? That's why you don't feel emotions like the rest of us... you block them, don't you?"
A small smirk played on his face as Orion evaluated Gemma. He raised an eyebrow as he teased her; he couldn't resist.
"An Occlumens? Now...where would you get such a theory as that from? And, now that you have this hypothesis, how do you intend to test it? It is a rare thing, to be an Occlumens...especially at such a young age..." He tilted his head again, this time in the opposite direction. He let her stare at him for a few seconds as she waited for a straight answer. A pleading tug at his shirt finally made him affirm his training.
"I am indeed...self defense, you see...some things out in the wild hunt not by sight or scent, but by emotion...only in the darkest places of the world are they left, and they would terrify anyone. Actually, thats how they hunt....Dire Fangs, they're called...a lot like warm weather Dementors....they're attracted to fear though, and spike their prey's adrenaline levels with secreted pheremones so that the being is literally paralysed with fear...then, the Dire Fangs swarm them and...well..." He shrugged almost nonchalantly. "Strip their flesh off the bones while their prey's still alive...the pain and terror are supposedly what they're actually feeding on.."
Gemma waited for Orion to answer her. And waited while he teased her. And waited while he simply sat and watched her. Finally, she grew slightly irritated, and tugged on his shirt to make him talk. He did as she wished, and she couldn't help grinning when she found out that she was right. The rest of his explanation had her frowning, however.
"That's disgusting, Ri," she stated matter-of-factly, "I'm guessing this is yet another creature from carnivorous South America?" She couldn't help grinning at this old joke of theirs, but her happy expression swiftly faded again. "But that's not the point, darling... The point is, those things aren't around here.... right? You don't have to hide yourself from them. You don't have to hide yourself from me..."
She slid forward on his lap, bringing her body into full contact with his. She grinned at him before leaning her head into the hollow of his throat. "And, as I mentioned before I've figured out why I sometimes get afraid when I'm touched and why other times I don't. The times I don't are when I initiate the contact... like now..." She gently began to kiss her way down Orion's neck as a demonstration, punctuating her words with the caresses, even as she went on explaining.
"Earlier, you were the one to initiate things... I couldn't predict your movements, and so I became afraid. The same thing happened at the Leaky Cauldron... do you remember? That's also why I panicked when you grabbed me at the gala. But whenever I initiate things, I'm never afraid, because I know where things are going." She raised her head again, but kept her body pressed to his. "But that's not what I want," she murmured, "I want to not be afraid all the time, not just some of the time... that's why you have to help me, darling..."
Her conundrom was a challenge. And a worthy one at that, considering the nature of the issue. Orion mentally slapped himself. Somewhere along the day, a part of him had come to celebrate the random touching. Odd, considering he had never been thrilled with physical contact. With her though, it was becoming a sweet addiction.
"Well, love, I have an idea if you wish it...We could combine the ideas and slowly get you more and more used to random touches. My idea is this...you initiate by telling me WHERE to touch, I add a chance of random by touching that area however I feel like touching. You know where, but not how. If that doesn't work, we can back off the scenario until you are comfortable. Shall we?"
A small smile teased his face. Sure, he had avoided answering her question, but that was up to her to address, not his problem.
Gemma smiled; for once, she was feeling like they were getting somewhere with this issue of hers. "An interesting idea... I think I like it, Ri darling," she answered her fiance, smirking back at him, "It might actually work, since I'll have at least a slight ability to prepare myself...." She glanced down at herself, suddenly remembering something: she still wore her skinny jeans and turtleneck top from the party. Hardly appropriate for experimenting with touching with one's future husband....
"I do believe I need to... er... what's the phrase? Slip into something a little more comfortable, first?" Gemma couldn't help laughing a little as she reached up her sleeve and drew out her wand. After a second, she remembered to reach up and fish around for its holster, too, so the leather pouch strapped to her arm wouldn't ruin the effect the effect of her change of clothing. After a few moment's consideration, during which she tapped her chin with the tip of her wand, thinking, she began the Transfiguring of her clothes.
First to morph was her shirt: it changed from the dark green fabric to white, nearly see-through fabric, with short sleeves and a delicately curved neckline. The waist was cinched in with ties, accentuating her figure. She left her bra alone, not caring at the moment that the deep red showed through the shirt: it only made things more fun, and besides, Orion had just seen it, anyway.
Next, after giving Orion a little smirk, she changed the jeans into a floaty-fabric black skirt that reached to around her knees; at the moment, though, the fabric was a bit bunched up, seeing as she was straddling him, meaning that the hem was more in the range of her mid-thighs, showing off the pale skin of her legs, which she now knew Orion liked. To finish, she simply kicked off her ballet flats, leaving her barefoot.
"There... what do you think? And, Ri, you may begin with... let me see..." Gemma considered, trying to figure out a logical place for her fiance to practice touching her. "My neck?" she suggested tentatively. Was that good enough? Or would he laugh at her for choosing so innocuous a place?
He nodded sagely, letting the barest smirk display his pleasure at her outfit. It was classy, yet flirty. He allowed himself one lingering look over her, appreciating her figure. Lithe and limber, like a cheetah. Gemma approved his idea and issued her first order. Neck it was. Did she know how sensual the neck could be? Did she realize how dangerous it was to assume that such a place was inoccuous?
Gently, Orion leaned forward to nuzzle her neck. He let only the tip of his nose touch the right side first, and then slowly, pressed a kiss to the hollow of her throat. Lightly, he traced a line of light kisses up to her jawline. With his left hand, he mirrored the movement, drawing his fingertip slowly from base to jawline.
Gemma hadn't thought about her choice as completely as she'd thought, for it took her utterly by surprise how easily Orion was able to make her melt. A few gentle kisses and well-placed touches later, and she could've gone all the way with this experiment without any further prompting. She allowed herself the pleasure of melting against him for a few seconds, trying to not lose control.... not yet.
"Mon Dieu, Ri," she murmured to him when she had sat back, "I... I forgot how good you were at that, somehow..." She cleared her throat, trying to remain calm. It didn't seem right for her to feel this... excited, not when just a few moments before she'd been begging him to stop touching her. "Perhaps we should try somewhere where there's more of a problem," she suggested, "I was a bit panicked when you ran your hands down my back earlier... perhaps you should explore that region next?"
Orion nodded quietly and did as his lady bid of him. Instead of starting at the small of her back and working up as he had, he merely took his left hand and continued tracing the line of her jaw to the back of her head, and then slowly down her back. He caressed every vertebral line and divot, surprised at how sad he was that he could feel the contours of every bone.
When he reached the lumbar, he spread his hand and lightly dug his fingertips in, massaging the tense muscles there. He worked his way back up to midback and paused.
"How are you doing?"
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