Characters: Severus, Remus Summary: For Valentine's Day, Remus pays a special tribute to a deity who hasn't gotten enough attention.
Everything was in place, down to the last silk pillow, and Remus smiled, pleased with the results of his work.
It had taken him almost a week to arrange everything, but fortunately no one ventured into the maze in the winter, so he had been free to take his time setting it up, stealing bits of time here and there so as not to arouse Severus' suspicions. Thus the very center of the winding rows of evergreen hedges and bare-branched trees had been transformed into a small, Greek-inspired temple, complete with a columned gazebo sporting carytids, although he'd opted for bare-chested, virile looking males instead of voluptuous females. The marble floor was covered with a thick wool rug in greens and blues, upon which was placed a comfortable, cushioned dais and a few small tables. Now that the day had arrived, Remus had added a warming charm, so that the interior of the "temple", as he'd come to think of it, was warm and comfortable despite the snow. He'd also scattered the petals of red roses all around, and there were wine and sweets and savories in profusion on the tables.
He was dressed in a sheer white toga that left little to the imagination, complete with a crown of laurel leaves, and he sat down on the steps of the temple to await Severus' arrival, hoping that the clues he'd left would be sufficient to lead Severus to his gift. Given how clever Severus was, he had no doubt he'd figure it out quickly.
Remus had sent Severus off to take a long, hot bath, and Severus had gone willingly. Whenever Remus sent him off to do something that would relax him, it usually meant Remus was preparing some sort of surprise, and that, combined with the fact that it was Valentine's Day, let Severus know there was Something In The Works. He took a leisurely bath with lots of bubbles and some scented oil, and he moisturized his skin with a spicy scented lotion of his own making afterward. He dressed in loose robes left open at the neck and didn't bother with underpants, working under the assumption that he wouldn't need them; he thought he would find Remus waiting for him in their bedroom, but the room was empty, and he frowned, puzzled, until he spotted an envelope - dark red and covered with glittery hearts of red, pink, and white - on the bedside table.
He rolled his eyes at the sparkles, but he wasted no time in opening the envelope and reading the note within, written in Remus' familiar script. "A Valentine's Day Puzzle for you, to receive your gift you must solve each clue. / The next can be found with something that shines, although it isn't a jewel, but something that whines." He also found a white gold charm in the shape of a key attached to a matching white gold necklace, which he immediately fastened around his neck.
The puzzle was easily solved, and he went off in search of Winslow, who was curled up in his bed, dozing. Winslow woke up when Severus approached and lifted his head, thumping his tails against the plump cushion in his bed and panting a happy greeting. Severus knelt and scritched behind the criffler's ears as he looked over the bed before noticing the rolled-up red-and-glittery envelope fastened to Winslow's collar.
"That's what I'm looking for," he said smugly, giving Winslow a last scratch before standing up and tearing into the envelope to find another note within: There are houses for Crifflers and houses for wagons, / But the house that you seek seems to be draggin'. This time, the note was accompanied by a white gold charm in the shape of a little girl and set with an amethyst, which Severus recognized as the birthstone for February - Cymbeline's birth month. Remus, he thought with fond amusement, was going all out with the soppiness this year.
It took a moment for him to decide where he was meant to go next, but then he set off to the mausoleum where Gaewyn lived, after making a brief detour to put on shoes, socks, and a thick wool cloak. Only the knowledge that whatever awaited him at the end of this treasure hunt was going to be more than worth it kept him from grumbling as he trudged through the cold and the snow to the mausoleum. Pinned to the door of the mausoleum was another glittery envelope, and this one had hearts that flashed things like "Love U" and "Be Mine", and Severus rolled his eyes again as he snatched it off the door and opened it.
The note in this one read, Don't worry now, it isn't far, go where you might seek a Minotaur, and the charm enclosed was in the shape of a little boy, set with a golden topaz for their Halloween baby, Lysander. Severus took a moment to add both charms to the necklace, sliding them into place next to the key, before continuing on to the maze.
When he spotted another envelope at the entrance to the maze, he grabbed it and silently vowed to give Remus a spanking if he had to freeze his parts off trudging around the grounds much longer, but this note assured him the end was in sight: If love you seek, and warmth in winter, come within and find the center. Enclosed was another charm in the shape of a girl, this one set with a pearl, the birthstone of June, which represented Gaia. He added it to the chain before entering the maze, using a compass charm to help him make his way to the center more quickly.
Remus' sharp hearing alerted him to Severus' approach, and he silently applauded his mate's skill in figuring out the clues so quickly. He rose to his bare feet, standing on the bottom step and holding out his arms as Severus rounded the last corner. "My brilliant love," he said, smiling widely. "I knew you'd figure it out with all due haste. I hope you like your surprise. I decided that the Slytherin God of Sex deserved a temple of his very own."
Severus looked around, marveling at the changes Remus had made, and then he approached Remus, a pleased little smile curving his lips. "It's about time that particular deity got some recognition," he said, moving into Remus' embrace and sliding his arms around Remus in return. "I assume you've devised a suitable ritual of worship as well?"
"Oh, of course," Remus said, giving his mate a feral smile. "It involves peeled grapes, and pampering, and being shagged until you can't stand up for a week." He moved a hand to touch the necklace Severus wore. "I hope you like the charms. All of our children, and the key to my heart."
"I do like them," Severus replied, drawing Remus closer. "Although it figures you would come up with something so soppy as a key to your heart," he added, although there was neither heat nor scorn in his voice. "I approve of the grapes, pampering, and shagging. It sounds like an acceptable offering."
"I am glad my deity is pleased." Remus chuckled, running his hands down Severus' back to his arse and squeezing. "As you can see, your temple is heated, so I think we can dispense with all these layers. Let me take your cloak and you can sit down on the dais and I'll remove your shoes. That way you can be comfortable, and I can better, um, service your every desire."
Severus wriggled against Remus' groping hands, and he nodded his approval of the idea. "That meets with the sex god's approval," he said loftily.
Smiling, Remus unfastened Severus' thick wool outer robes, sliding them from Severus' shoulders and tossing them over his arm. He slid one arm around Severus' waist, turning his head to nuzzle Severus' cheek tenderly before escorting Severus up the steps and into the temple. "Nefarious purposes aside - or maybe I should say in addition - I though you might enjoy it out here sometimes for peace and quiet. Family togetherness is wonderful, but I know that you need your space, and we need our space as well. The bedroom is wonderful, but it's very restful out here, too."
Severus let Remus lead him inside, looking around along the way. "It is, yes," he agreed. "With the proper landscaping, it could be quite pretty, too. It does make a nice change of scenery from our bedroom."
"Any scenery is improved by the addition of naked Severus." Remus grinned as he stopped by the dais. "Have a seat, and we'll dispense with those shoes and socks. And I have to say you smell very nice, my deity. Edible, even."
"I used that lotion you like," Severus replied as he sat down as directed, and he cast a knowing smirk up at Remus. "I assumed when you sent me off to bathe that something like this would be forthcoming." His smirk changed to a mock-scowl. "I had no idea I would have to wander around in the cold first, though. I hope you have a good way to warm me up."
"I think I can safely say you'll be warm shortly... perhaps even hot," Remus drawled. He placed Severus' out robes to one side, well out of the way, then knelt at Severus feet, slipping off one shoe and then the other before removing Severus' socks as well. Since he was conveniently placed, he stayed where he was and began to massage one of Severus' feet, rubbing his fingers firmly over the instep and then more gently over the top. "I never thought feet were sexy until you... but yours are gorgeous. I can see now why some people develop an inordinate fondness for them."
Severus' answering snort faded into a soft moan, and he leaned back on his palms, his eyes going half-lidded as he watched Remus. "Far be it from me to deny you," he purred, already relaxing from the massage. "For my part, I never knew how arousing it would be to have my feet massaged. I considered them useful appendages, nothing more. Now I know better, thanks to you."
"I enjoy giving you pleasure in many different ways, you know... And you're on your feet for so long every day, you deserve to be pampered." Remus continued rubbing Severus' foot until it was warm and seemed almost boneless, and then he gave the same attention to the other, not rushing, taking the time to let Severus truly enjoy the experience. "I'm happy to do this for you any time, love. You know how I enjoy spoiling you rotten."
"Mmm..." Severus purred happily, savoring the attention. "I do know," he replied, giving Remus a fond look. "I appreciate it, more than I express, I'm sure. But since it is Valentine's Day, I suppose I ought to honor the occasion and tell you that I appreciate all that you do for me."
A smile that could only be called soppy curved Remus' lips. "You let me know that you appreciate me in lots of ways, so I don't feel neglected. But thank you, my mate. I'm glad to know that you do."
Lifting Severus' foot, Remus placed a warm kiss on the top, then rose to his feet. Pulling his wand, he cast a cleaning charm on his hands before picking up a silver bowl full of grapes, then he sat on the dais next to Severus, selecting a grape from the bowl and holding it to Severus' lips with a wicked gleam in his eyes. "I must make offerings to my deity, right? I peeled the grapes already, in anticipation of your wishes."
Severus parted his lips and flicked his tongue against Remus' fingers before accepting the grape, a heated gleam appearing in his dark eyes. "Delicious," he said, his voice low and husky.
Remus' own eyes turned molten at the sensation of Severus' tongue lapping at his fingers, and he gave a low growl of approval, moving closer to Severus and holding out another grape. "I want to satisfy your appetites... all of them," he murmured, brushing the grape over Severus' lips. "If you are hungry, I will sate you."
Drawing in a sharp breath as his heartbeat sped up, Severus nipped at Remus' thumb before taking the grape. "You are the only one who truly can sate me," he murmured, holding Remus' gaze, his arousal sparking at the heat he saw in Remus' eyes.
"Good." Remus smiled widely, then leaned forward to lap a stray drop of grape juice from the corner of Severus' lips. "Mmmm... delicious," he murmured, then captured Severus' mouth in a deep, passionate kiss.
Moaning, Severus surrendered to the kiss without hesitation, and he wound his arms around Remus, seeking to close the distance between them as he savored the taste and feel of Remus plundering his mouth thoroughly.
The bowl of grapes dropped to the carpet, but Remus paid it no mind, too busy with pulling Severus closer to him, leaning him backward into the cushions of the dais as he continued the kiss, the taste of Severus more delicious than anything else. He growled again, the interest of the wolf fully engaged, and slid one hand downward to Severus' hip so that he could pull Severus against him. "Tell me what you want..." he murmured against Severus' lips.
Severus lay back in a relaxed sprawl and hooked one leg around Remus' hips as he nipped at Remus' lip. "I want you and the wolf to claim me," he murmured, arching sinuously against Remus. "I want you to mark me and show me how much I belong to you."
Remus bared his teeth, his eyes flashing ferally. "Yes," he said roughly. "I want that, too. We want that." With that, he shifted so that he could press Severus down fully. He ran his nose along the length of Severus' throat, inhaling deeply of his beloved, intoxicating scent, before biting down hard on the soft skin of Severus' throat, worrying the flesh with his teeth and growling as the wolf made its mark on Severus' body for all to see.
Moaning, Severus threw his head back and bared his throat, offering it up to Remus and the wolf; he loved the pleasure and the pain of the mark, loved feeling the evidence of Remus' claim on him, and he clung to Remus tightly. "Yes... yes, that's perfect..."
Remus continued to bite until he tasted the tang of blood, and then he stopped, breathing hard, and laved the mark tenderly. "Mine," he growled, the world a fierce declaration of his possession of Severus, of his love and desire as both man and wolf. He raised his head, looking down at Severus, see his face flushed and eyes dark with need. "So beautiful... so perfect. And all mine."
"All yours," Severus agreed, a small, pleased smile curving his lips. He reached up to stroke Remus' cheek, the light of desire in Remus' eyes making him shiver pleasurably. "Now show me how much."
Remus answered Severus' smile with one of his own, then banished Severus' robe and his own toga with a wave of his hand. He looked down at Severus' body where it was entwined with his own; no matter how often he saw Severus in all his glory, it still took his breath away every time, heightening his need to an almost unbearable degree. "All mine," he declared, then murmured the preparatory spells. Moving without hesitation, he claimed Severus' body, filling him with one deep, sure thrust.
Crying out, Severus clutched Remus' shoulders and rocked his hips up to meet the thrust, wanting to send Remus even deeper; he locked his legs around Remus' hips and moved with Remus, his body pliant and welcoming as he surrendered to Remus' claim. "Yes..." he hissed, his eyes half-lidded and glittering with desire. "Take what is yours."
There was no way Remus could have resisted that command, and he groaned, moving one hand between their bodies to wrap it around Severus' length, relishing the sensation of Severus' tight, willing body around him. "Yes," he growled, then began to move, starting with slow, deep thrusts but increasing the tempo as his need spiraled higher and higher. He stroked Severus in counterpoint, never taking his eyes off of Severus' face, drinking in the sight of Severus below him, so abandoned and wanton. He wanted to savor every moment of this, to see the moment when Severus came undone and know that he was the one who had caused it.
Severus held back nothing of his pleasure as his arousal spiraled higher and higher until he lost control altogether, writhing helplessly and crying out beneath Remus as ecstasy overwhelmed him; his skin was flushed and damp with sweat, and his features were uncharacteristically relaxed and open, showing Remus more than just his desire.
"Yes, that's it... let go, let go," Remus murmured exultantly, pleased beyond measure at the sight of Severus in the throes of release. Between that and the sensation of Severus around him, hot and tight, Remus was overwhelmed as well. "Mine!" he cried out, surging deep and then shattering into a million pieces, overwhelmed with love and need for Severus, finding the release he could only find in Severus' arms.
Severus held on tightly and moved with Remus through his release, and then he relaxed bonelessly against the cushions with a sated sigh. "That was an acceptable ritual," he said lazily, caressing up and down the length of Remus' back gently. "I feel adequately worshipped."
Chuckling, Remus rolled to the side, pulling Severus into his arms and sighing with contentment. "Good," he said, nuzzling a soft kiss to Severus' damp cheek. "I am a most devout follower, and I will be more than happy to worship at your altar any time you command."
"Perhaps later," Severus replied, settling comfortably in Remus' embrace and relaxing completely. "The god of sex needs rest and fortification, but then he will be ready for more worshiping."
"As my deity wishes," Remus chuckled, feeling a sense of peace and joy. He cast a charm to clean them both up, then positioned the pillows around them in a comfortable nest. It was pleasant warm and very peaceful, and he smiled, watching the snow drift down around them in lazy flakes as he held Severus close. "Happy Valentine's Day, my love."
"Yes, yes, soppiness and all that," Severus replied, nuzzling Remus' jaw. "When we have recuperated, I will give you your Valentine's gift." He gave Remus an arch smirk. "It is a gift that will keep on giving, I believe."
"That sounds promising," Remus replied, tilting his head to give Severus better access. "I'm certain that I will love it, whatever it might be. You know me so well."
Severus nuzzled kisses up to Remus' ear and nipped lightly at his earlobe. "How does a box full of new toys sound?" he purred in Remus' ear. "I went shopping for things that might be new and novel for us to try, and I found more than I expected. Muggles are amazingly inventive when it comes to sex, it seems."
Remus' eyes widened, and he felt a stirring of his libido, despite the fact that he had just been very well satisfied indeed. "I think it sounds wonderful," he murmured, then kissed Severus soundly before pulling back and grinning. "More things to enjoy with you... and as far as inventiveness goes, I'm certain we can find even more uses to put anything to. Perhaps we ought to keep count of how many extra things we find to do with them."
"Perhaps we should," Severus replied with a wicked smirk. "It will be a way to keep a record of our enjoyable escapades as well as a way to scandalize the children when they find it after we are gone."
"I don't know if we can scandalize our children," Remus said, laughing softly. "They've already seen so much, I suspect that by the time they are grown it will be nothing novel. But I believe we'll enjoy the process anyway, and that's all that matters."
"Indeed it is." Severus nestled closer and closed his eyes, warm and relaxed and growing sleepy. "I will fetch the box later. For now, I will leave you to guess what might be in it - and how we might put things to good use."
"Mmm... Let me nap on it," Remus said, tightening his arms around Severus and sighing softly. "Then we can brainstorm together. We work well as a team, my love. And it's more pleasant that way, too."
"Agreed," Severus replied, yawning as he let himself drift off. His surprise gift had been just as pleasurable as he'd expected it to be, and it wasn't over yet. There would be more shagging later, and there would be more Valentine Days - an entire lifetime's worth. He had no doubt each one would be as perfect as the one before; that was, it seemed, Remus' special talent, and Severus enjoyed every minute of it.