Text Size Large SizeMedium SizeSmall Size    Color Scheme Black SchemeWhite SchemeGrey SchemePaper Scheme        


Finished. Six years after Breaking Dawn, a brutal murder is committed near Forks. When called in the middle of the night, Charlie Swan rushes off to do his civic duty and protect the public. Three hours later, he returns home with a new ward: the only survivor of the double homicide. From the beginning, it is clear that the poor thing needs a new start, a new life- and someone to save her from her old one, especially when ghosts from the past resurface. And, with Nessie determined to overcome her own demons, the two realize that friendship can come from the strangest places.

All of this belongs to Stephenie Meyer. Duh…

21. Chapter 21

Rating 0/5   Word Count 5213   Review this Chapter

Chapter Twenty-One––

If Iris hadn’t believed in God, she would by the following morning. School was miraculously called off as the police investigated the wolf incident. Every high schooler rejoiced while the middle schoolers whined. They got to sleep in, enjoy life and have an off day while everyone else slaved away over work or school. It was awesome.

Iris ignored Seth that morning. She was not up when he tried went to work for the pack, and then later to the gas station. He was not foolish enough to disturb her while she slept, especially after her long night. No, it was definitely best to let her sleep it off, and try again after dinner. Brady wasn’t so gracious.

“Oi! Iris!” he yelled. banging on the door. “Open up!” He knew she was awake. It was after eleven. He didn’t care what kind of night she had; if he had to be up, so did she.

“No!” he heard her yell from inside.

“You open this door or I’m breaking it in!” he threatened.

“I’m sleeping!” she protested.

“Not any more!” he retorted. “Now, open the door!”

A moment later, he heard the sound of feet scuffling on hardwood and the thumps of tiny feet running down stairs. Moments later, the door swung open, revealing a disheveled and disgruntled Iris. Her hair was askew, ratted and knotted, wrapped all around her face. Dark bags hung under her eyes, reminiscent of her early days with Chief Swan. She was wearing boxer shorts, and a large, ratty tee-shirt. She had one knee sock pulled all the way up, and a different, fuzzy sock rolled around her ankle.

“Wha’?” she grunted as she scratched her bony, protruding hip.

That sure as hell was not what he was expecting. “Uh,” he grunted, “Hey,”

Her face fell and skepticism oozed through her words, “That’s all you got?”

“Come on,” Brady ordered. “Get dressed. We’re going out,”

“I really don’t want to put a bra on,” Iris told him.

“Then don’t,” Brady shrugged. “it doesn’t make too much of a difference to me,”

Iris sighed and ran a hand through her hair. “Where are we going?”

“Out,” he repeated.

“I meant where,” she snapped.

Brady cracked a grin. “I know,” he teased.

She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms, consequently propping up her braless chest. “You’re really tempting me to slam the door in your face,” she warned him.

“I know where the spare key is,” he reminded her of the futility of trying to stop him.

Iris sighed. “Fine, give me just a minute.”

Brady grinned. “I’ll wait inside,”


It had not taken Iris a long time to change. She pulled on a pair of short shorts and her favorite hoodie––coincidentally, Micah’s old one––so she didn’t have to put on a bra. Yes, she was lazy and she did not care. Seemingly satisfied, Brady drug her to his car where he drove way over the speed limit to a pizza joint called Eric’s. It was a run down, hole-in-the-wall type place with barely enough parking for three cars and a cracked window. If that wasn’t bad enough, the had written sign propped up on the door: Karaoke and Beer, was enough to make her skin crawl.

“You sure this is a good idea?” she asked under her breath as they walked into the dimly lit place.

“Yeah,” Brady grinned. “Eric’s is the best food in town. Don’t let the sign fool you,”

“I swear, if people start singing…” she threatened.

“Don’t worry,” he brushed aside her warning. “Only the drunks do that and they don’t come in before noon,”

“They’d better not,” muttered Iris.

“You are in a mood, today,” Brady stated with an annoyingly jovial grin.

“Wonder why,” she heatedly retorted.

“No clue,” Brady grinned. “Come on. The others are in the back,”

“Others?” Iris repeated as she hurried to catch up with the giant wolf who took off at unrecorded speeds to get to the back of the restaurant. There, they found three other people waiting for them, one of which surprised Iris.

“What’s she doing here?” she asked pointing to Germain.

At the same time, Germain leapt to her feet with an indignant look on her outraged, puggish face. “Who invited her?” she yelled.

“Ladies,” Collin said from the end seat. “Sit down,”

Iris rolled her eyes and looked at the silver wolf with angst. “I don’t like her,” she informed him.

“Ahh,” he nodded. “I never would have guessed,”

Chuckling, Iris pulled up a seat, sitting as far away from Germain as possible. Brady slid into the other side of the booth, the only other available seat, next to the whiny princess. His face wrinkled in disgust. Pleased, Iris turned to Cheyne, “Welcome,” she said.

“So this your pack now?” he asked as he sipped his Coke.

Iris shrugged. “Not really,” she said.

Brady snorted. “By not really, she just means she’s our shaman,”

Cheyne nodded. “I remember that. You were doing some neat trick yesterday with your fingers,”

“Of all the stupid things,” Germain muttered under her breath, but everyone ignored her.

“I’m new,” Iris explained. “Only been at the job a few weeks,”

“Is it hard?” Cheyne asked.

She shrugged again, “Might be, if I tried.”

Brady laughed loudly. “And we all know you’re too lazy to care,”

“Cheers to that,” Iris said as the waitress brought her a Diet Coke with no ice.

Their glasses clinked together. Cheyne smiled, completely at home in these new surroundings. For him, it was like a part of his life had been missing and was suddenly found. He belonged in the pack; he was born to be a wolf. Sure, he had only transformed once, and was liable to do it again at any moment should his anger strike, but currently, he was happy. The others readily accepted him; he had spent the night with Collin and Brady. It felt like they had been friends for a long time. Now if only Germain wouldn’t be such a stick in the mud.

“So,” Brady said as he grabbed a thick slice of meat lover’s pizza from the table. “What got your panties in a such a knot?”

Iris stiffened. “I really don’t think that’s any of your business,” she hissed.

Germain snorted. “Oh, please. You barge in to our lives,” she motioned between her and an uncomfortable looking Cheyne, “And announce that you are some mystic shaman for a pack of werewolves, and expect us to readily believe it, but you won’t share any of your personal life with us?”

“That’s because I really don’t like you,” Iris snapped.

“The feeling is beyond mutual, dear,” Germain commented.

“I think I’m going to cry,” Iris retorted.

“Please, take my hankie,”

“What the fuck is a hankie?” Collin interrupted the brewing catfight. All three boys sighed as the two girls settled into dark, but silent glared.

“It’s like a napkin, dude,” Cheyne said. “Germain loves them,”

“Huh,” Brady grunted. “Weird. So!” he clapped his hands loudly, “Back to the question at hand,” he stared pointedly at Iris.

She sighed. “I got in some stupid fight with Sue, and it ended with Chief Swan kindly informing me that my mother is a cheating whore and that he can’t keep his dick in his pants,”

Cheyne rubbed his forehead. “What?”

Her lips curled in loathing. “He’s my dad,” she explained.

“No fucking way!” Brady exclaimed.

“Holy shit!” Collin added.

“Like mother like daughter,” was Germain’s sly, assed comment.

“Oh, come on,” Iris drawled. “You all knew, didn’t you?”

“What makes you say that?” Brady asked evasively.

“Because Seth knew,” she said pointedly. Staring them down was harder than she expected. Her gaze was cold, firm, but there were four of them. Iris knew that Cheyne and Germain had no clue what she was talking about, but her gut told her Collin and Brady had known all along. The panicked looks on their faces told her everything she needed to know.

“Don’t worry,” she said, shoulders hunched. “I’m not mad. Not anymore,”

Brady clasped her shoulder. “Sorry, dude,” he said, “But you get why we couldn’t tell you.”

“Yeah,” Iris sniffed loudly as she nodded. “I do. And really,” she grinned at them, “I’m not mad at you,”

“We know,” Collin replied gravely. “We know,”

“Yeah,” Brady agreed.

Iris brushed past them with a wave of her hand. Once more, there was pity in the room, and she did not want their pity. “Let’s talk about the pack,” she changed the subject quickly. “I’m sure you have a ton of questions that Sam had a hard time answering,”

“Yeah,” Cheyne grinned. “Like, when do I get to meet these Cullens?”


Because they had nothing else to do, they ended up driving down to the Cullen’s mansion only to find out that the leeches had left that morning. They were headed back to Montana to live their eternal lives peacefully. With that fail in mind, the five of them went back to Brady’s house to watch The Office reruns. Iris stayed with them, laughing, talking and forgetting about life’s problems, until three, when Seth came and picked her up.

They drove in silence back to his house, both staring defiantly out the windshield. The silence was awkward, heavy, and tense. It seemed like an impossible feat to speak. So they let the angry silence do all the talking. It was best that way; Iris had no idea what she should say if she suddenly felt the inexplicable urge to forgive him, which was probably going to happen just before Hell froze over.

When they got back to his house, Iris was out of the car before it was in park. Slamming the door, she walked as fast as she could back to the house. She was not going to talk to him. Seth, of course, had other ideas.

“Iris!” he called, tripping out of the car to catch up with her. “Wait up!”

She ignored him as she tossed the unlocked front door open. Hell, it wasn’t her house. Seth chose not to comment as he scurried after her. “Hold on just a second!” he demanded. Reaching forward, he snagged her forearm in his gigantic hand. “I need to talk to you,”

In a flash, Iris spun around. Yanking her arm away from his blistering grip, she snarled ferociously, “Tough luck, but I don’t need to talk to you!”

“Iris!” Seth called as she started to walk away, “We need to talk!”

“Why, Seth?” Iris yelled, conned into facing him again.

“Last night,” he began, but she wouldn’t hear him out.

“No!” she snorted and shook her head, eyes crazily focused on the ground. She was almost twitching with emotion. “That’s the last thing I want to talk about. No, it’ better that we just forget that it happened,”

“You can’t do that, Iris!” snapped Seth. His exasperation was evident. For months he had put up with her, and he was tired. He wanted her to go away, she realized. Forever. Just like Nahuel had said.

Had that been what Nahuel said?

Iris wasn’t sure. It felt like last night had been years ago. It felt like she had slept for years. Felt like that way for her brain and time perception too.

“Why not?” she challenged.

“It isn’t healthy!” he made up on the spot.

Iris held her wrists up, and thrust them under his face. She forced him to look at the hideousness of her body. She forced him to face the brutal truth. “Like I have ever cared about what was healthy!” she chortled darkly. “It’s normally one of the last things on my mind,”

Seth blanched, but he did not apologize. He was learning; thank God. “That isn’t what I meant, and you know it,”

“Yeah,” scoffed Iris, “Totally,”

Seth sighed. “Please, Iris. I just want to help,”

“If you wanted to help, you would’ve told me about Chief Swan!” she yelled. All of the anger and rage that she felt, that she denied suddenly poured out. For once, there were no tears, no threats, no complaints. Just rantings and ravings of a semi-lucid teen aged girl. “You knew! Damn you, you knew! You should have told me! You should have fucking told me!

“Why didn’t you, you stupid, smelly, annoying, over-grown wolf?” she started smacking his chest with her flat hands, so angry she couldn’t see, let alone think straight. “You knew how much my dad meant to me, why didn’t you tell me the truth? Why didn’t you tell me why she hurt me so much? Why didn’t you? Why didn’t you?”

All the while, Seth stood there, emotionless. He let her hit him, smack him, take out all her rage on his body. It did not hurt, and it got her to talk. Though not the best method in the world, he wanted to know what she was thinking, why she was hurting. When she was done, he pulled back. Cupping her face in his hands, he looked her directly in the eye, and answered her adamant question.

“I couldn’t tell you, because you loved Brent Potter so much. I couldn’t tell you, and ruin the last little bit of your early life that you loved. I couldn’t tell you because it wasn’t my secret to tell; it was Charlie’s. I couldn’t tell you because whatever happened back then, was done and we couldn’t change it. I didn’t tell you because I wanted you to be happy,”

Iris sniffed. “Damn,” she whispered. “Those are good reasons,” she muttered darkly through salt rimmed lashes, glaring up at him. “I really want to be angry with you right now,”

“Then go ahead and be angry. I won’t be mad. Promise,” he added with that goofy grin of his.

She pouted. “I can’t stay mad at you,” she confessed, arms crossed under her chest. “That’s the problem,”

Seth laughed lightly. “I don’t think that’s a problem,” he said before pressing a chaste kiss against her forehead. “It’s not a problem at all,”

Pulling back, Iris arched an eyebrow. “Seth?” she asked. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Shoot,” he grinned back confidently.

Iris took a deep breath. “Do you care about me?” she asked. She made sure to keep her voice level and calm, to keep all of her nerves bottled up deep inside her soul. He did not need to know just how important his answer was, how lightly she did not ask this question.

His brows furrowed. “What made you ask?” he answered with a question.

Iris frowned. She hated when people did that. “I just need to know,” she answered evenly. Desperately, she added in her head.

“Yes,” Seth told her squarely. “Yes, Iris. I care about you very much.”

She let out a breath she did not know she had been holding. Her entire posture relaxed as she felt the ground form solidly beneath her feet again. The world seemed right once more. Seth noticed it all. “What made you ask?”

Iris faltered. There was no way to explain it without making him angry or jealous. She needed to know, but she’d rather not get her new friend-slash-stalker in trouble either.

“Iris, please,” Seth said when she stumbled over her words. He picked her hands up in his and pressed them gingerly to his lips. “I don’t want you to think such stupid things when there is something I can do to stop it,”

“It was nothing,” she heard herself say. “Some people were talking about relationships, and how people don’t think that we are committed to each other because we haven’t done anything,”

“That’s ridiculous!” Seth exclaimed. “By not doing anything, if anything we are affirming our commitment, not the other way around! Who said that?”

“I don’t really remember,” the words slipped out before she could think. “I just remembered the words more than the faces,”

Lips pursed, Seth frowned. “There’s more,” he easily guessed. “You think they’re right. You think that since we haven’t done anything, we’re not in a relationship.”

Her silence answered everything. Seth dropped her hands with an exasperated cry as Iris’s head dropped to the floor. Her toenails suddenly became very interesting. After a moment of unintelligent mutterings and the occasionally understandable swear word, he stopped his infuriated pacing to stand back before her. “Iris,” he called to her, forcing her to look up.

She met his gaze, and he said, “Lack of sexual contact is my way of being respectful, and not pushing you into something you are not ready for. It doesn’t mean that I care any less about you. If anything, I care about you more than say Brady who will get into a girl’s pants at any chance he can get. This is my way of being a good guy and showing you that I really like you,” he explained.

“Oh,” her gaze fell.

“You don’t think that way, do you?” he sighed again.

Iris shook her head no.

“Why not?” he asked, exasperated.

She countered with her own question. “How do you know I’m not ready?” she demanded softly.

That one surprised him. “You’re fifteen,” he said. “I’m almost twenty-two! That’s a huge difference!”

“I didn’t say that we didn’t have an age difference. There will always be an age difference. I asked how you knew I wasn’t ready for a physical relationship when I have so adamantly claimed otherwise,” Iris retorted.

“You’re fifteen,” he repeated. “At that age, you just want to fuck anything that walks,”

“So you’d rather me fuck Brady, someone closer to my own age?” she asked.

“No!” he snarled suddenly angry.

This time, she wasn’t scared. She was prepared for his jealousy and his possessiveness. She craved it. “If you won’t, someone else will,” she told him. “And though I really care about you, Seth––” she couldn’t say love yet, “––I can always get someone else to fulfill that need,”

“You sure as hell won’t!” he barked.

“Why not?” she yelled back just as loudly. “I care about you, Seth! But I’m not going to wait around forever! If you won’t, Brady sure as hell will!”

“You are mine!” Seth told her, shouting nearly at the top of his lungs. “And no one else will touch you!”

“Then make me yours!” she screamed at him, daring him.

Grabbing the tops of her arms, Seth pulled her hard against him, into a searing kiss. Her eyes clamped shut as she wrapped her arms tightly around his neck, and pushed herself against his body as hard as she could. He was hard; she was desperate. They needed this. She needed the proof. His tongue forced itself in her mouth, and she let him fight with her. She wanted this so badly, but she wanted him to want it, too.

It felt like her lips were going to chafe. Spit covered both of their faces; kissing wasn’t nearly as romantic as it was in books, especially when they were going at it as frantically as they were. At times, she thought he was trying to suck her lips off, and she was positive that she as going to have red lines around her lips forever. But her blood raced through her veins, and she felt like she was on fire, drugged into a hazy, yearning stupor. It felt horrible and amazing all at once.

Seth pulled back, panting heavily. She could barely make out his words over her own breathing. “This is stupid,” he huffed out. “Doing this just because of what someone said,”

“I don’t care,” she declared through heavy pants. Shoving her hands under his shirt, she stroked his six-pack and licked her lips. Yummy. “I want it,”

And for some strange, unforeseeable reason, so did he. With a masochistic smirk on his face that sent shivers down her spine, Seth threw an arm under her legs. Swooping her up in his arms, he carried her up the stairs, ravaging her mouth all the while. It was amazing that he did not trip. They did not make it far into his room, just far enough for him to slam the door shut. There was still plenty of time before Chief Swan and Sue came home, but it was best to be thorough.

They couldn’t even make it to the bed. She was utterly useless, Iris would be the first to admit that. All she wanted to do was suck any part of him she could get and rip off his clothes, preferably at the same time. Nah, she wasn’t greedy at all. Just horny.

Seth’s hands slid down her legs. Thank God she had shaved; she wouldn’t want Seth to think she was all gross and hairy. His lips fell from her lips, down her neck, where they attacked them to the junction of her shoulder and her neck. “Ugh, Seth,” she groaned, clawing at the back of his shirt. There were too many layers separating them.

“Iris,” Seth seemed to agree with her moan.

His hands slid down her shoulders, and wrapped around the hem of her sweatshirt. WIth a quick tug. It got caught around her head for a second, but Seth jerked hard on it, and it came off. Of course, her neck snapped back painfully in the process, but at that point, she really did not care. She was too busy unbuttoning his shirt to notice.

When his hands slid up under her shirt, she paused. Her stomach was jittery with excitement and adrenaline. Up and up they slid, so close to her chest, so desperately where she wanted him to grab. She did not mean to slam him down hard on the ground, but his back hit with a loud thump as she ran her hands over his bare chest. Looking at him properly for the first time, she took a minute to enjoy his bright, copper skin, taunt and yummy chest, and those washboard abs that made her wet just thinking about. Lord Almighty, did she ever luck out when picking a man.

“What’s wrong?” he asked her, mid grope.

For the first time, Iris gave him a true smile. “Absolutely nothing,” she told him huskily. “Everything is beyond perfect,”

Seth smirked. “Good to know,” he answered. And then slid his hands up to grab her breasts.

Head tossed back, Iris groaned. It was already obvious that she was going to be a loud one, and that excited Seth all the more. He wanted to hear her pleasure, to know that he was capable of reducing her to such a natural, almost animalistic state. It made him feel good, too. Wanting to hear her more, he squeezed; hard.

Iris rewarded him by arching her back so hard that her long hair tickled his stomach. Consequently, her chest was thrust harder and farther into his grabby, gruff hands. Stroking, pulling, and occasionally pinching, Seth worked his magic on her, making it an experience she would never forget. She was soft, and smooth, supple under his eager to please hands. He would run his hands up and down her stretched stomach, caressing the womanly curves that he had not seen on any other girl, and then softly massages her chest.

Over her moans, he taunted her, “What? No bra?”

“Ooooohhhhhhhhh,” she groaned loudly. “Ahh…Brady didn’t…” she wheezed loudly, “…to…mind,”

Seth squeeze too hard. Iris cried out in actual pain. “Don’t ever mention some other guy’s name when you’re in my bed,” he ordered her. Quickly, he went back to his more gentle ministrations, soothing the quick pain, and giving her something else to focus on.

“We’re not in your bed,” she managed to get the taunt out.

“Close enough,” Seth grunted.

Iris, wanting him to feel something too, ran her hands up and down his fascinating chest. When he groaned, Iris started to thrust her hips, humping his crotch and lower stomach. “Fuck,” he let out.

Iris cracked a grin. “That’s the point,” she said, humping all the harder.

Seth grabbed ahold of her back, and wrapping his fingers in her hair, he pulled hard. Iris screamed, but it was a good scream. And just like that, Seth pulled her cami off her head, revealed to white orbs that bounced effortlessly as she rocked back and forth. Pivoting so that Iris was on the ground, Seth pulled her shorts off, too, and then shrugged himself out of his when Iris started fumbling at the clasp.

All that separated them was their underwear. Iris did not have time to be embarrassed because as suddenly as she was on her back, Seth was kissing her again. Her hands threaded through his short hair, grabbing ahold of whatever she could. They were breathing in snorts now, desperate for air, too hungry to let up on their attack. Kneeling over her, Seth pulled Iris up by her back, forcing her to arch. She gasped loudly when he smacked her ass hard. Gasping, Iris clung to him all the tighter, pushing her soft body against his rock hard one.

Lifting her hands up over her head so she could not move, Seth pinned her to the ground. Slowly, he slid one hand over her body, reveling in the twitches and jerks that trailed behind his touch. She was aching for him, more so than she ever had in her life. It set alight a passion in him that Seth had never known. He wanted to please her, to give her everything he had, and in return, take everything she had to give. That one dastardly hand slipped beneath the edge of her pretty lace underwear. Unsurprisingly, it was devil’s red lace. Smirking, Seth jerked them down and off with one movement.

All of the stories she heard said that the girl should be feeling embarrassed at this point. But, Iris realized as he stared briefly down at her, that she wasn’t. She was confident in her body, and what it was. She just hoped that he was not disappointed, that he had not imagined her to be something different. In an instant, it did not matter if he was disappointed or not because he was attacking her again.

This time, he ruthlessly kissed her as his hand gently rubbed between her legs. It wasn’t hard, it was not searching or probing, it was not demanding; he was gentle in preparing her for the onslaught. She winced into his life as his first finger slid inside. It was not too big or painful, but the speed that he moved at was exhilarating, almost too fast to feel anything. If he had not been holding her, Iris was sure that he would have been pushing her across the floor. Second later, she heard a sickening squelching sound that could only mean one thing.

Yes, that part was embarrassing. Especially when Seth pulled back for just a moment and said, “Good Lord, Iris,”

Face flushed and a man uncaring, Iris hid her embarrassment as best as she could. Then, Seth started to scissor her, and she saw stars. “Agh!” she exclaimed. It was supposed to have been a swear, but it was the best she could formulate under the circumstances.

“I’ll say,” Seth muttered. “Iris,” he whispered softly as he finger fucked her, “Are you really sure you want to do this?” he asked.

“Yes!” she cried, pulling at her own hair now. “Yes!Yes!YES!”

He stopped moving, wanting to be sure that she was sane when she committed. Stopping though, was the worst thing he could have done. Her eyes flew open and she furiously exclaimed, “Oh! For the love of all that is holy, Seth! Dammit, either you do it or I’ll get Brady to!”

That little comment pushed him over the edge. Grabbing her hips, Seth rolled over to where he was on the bottom, and suddenly, his boxers vanishing mysteriously, his thick erection pressed against her hip. Her eyes widened as she realized the implications. He was making sure that the final choice was hers. He was giving her an opportunity to back out, to remain chaste and pure. It was all up to her.

For her, it was an easy choice.

Lifting herself up, Iris grasped his penis, for the first time truly looking at it. It really was not all that exciting. From all the talk and hype, she expected something better. It looked like a mud flavored, albeit thick, popsicle. Slowly, not because she was afraid of pain but because she was afraid that she might miss and look like an idiot, Iris lowered herself onto him. It was a strange sensation. It felt like someone––which would be her––was stuffing her full, trying to make her explode. Luckily, it slid in easily enough, so she quickly let go and let gravity pull her down. For a moment, she stopped when she hit a barrier. She had hoped that she had ripped the thing years ago with tampons but no such luck. Determined to keep going, she bounced just a little bit. The head tore through the hymen quickly and easily, as she slid home. Iris winced, but the pain was nothing like the stories. Her most natural reaction was to ricochet back up. Seth moaned at the friction just as she reached the top of the head. Quickly, Iris knew what to do.

She started a gentle rhythm, slowly riding up and down on the hairless shaft, giving him all she had. Soon, her leg muscles were burning; she was tired but she was not going to stop until they were both done and exhausted. Luckily for her, Seth could not keep his rigid self-control much longer. Like a springboard, his hips snapped up, pounding into her open legs. Her eyes flew open wide at the harrowing sensations.

Again. Again. Again.

Snap! Pull! Snap! Pull!

She was groaning and crying out and swearing during all of that, too. Seth’s grunts of pleasure and ecstasy were thrown in somewhere as well. Sweat poured off their writhing bodies, as their cries mingled with the groaning floorboards. All the while, the silver cross that she never took off bounced in the valley of her breasts, its silver sheen condemning their sin.