Beneath the unending circle of the white harvest moon, a ring of highland sandstone sentinels stand guard over a platform of sacrifice. Crystal stars cut through the sky like a swath of iridescence that shines down upon the land with a cold, unearthly light. The chilled air of autumn whistles through the fields of grass, the sea sweeping across the dry land upon its wings. No sound, other than that of the wind and the distant sea, penetrates the circled stones.
It is there, standing beside the altar, the sacrifice waits. She has the youth of a maiden: smooth, flawless ivory skin; small breasts, firm yet supple; a perfect figure unmarred by time; and a confidence of immortality only the naivety of youth can hold. Her beauty rivals the glory of the heavens, with eyes the color of blooming heather, a magnificent crown of gilded tresses fall to a pair of shapely thighs, and the aristocratic bones of her face are delicately wrought to be the supreme paradigm of femininity.
She is shivering, but not from the bitter night. It is what lies in the darkness beyond the tall stone guardians that sends tremors of terror through her soul. And yet she awaits her destiny, her courage great despite the overwhelming fear.
A faint rumble of thunder sounds, and a delayed flash of distant lightning illuminates the world beyond the circle. The dark silhouette of a man is absorbed into the rapidly fading light, and the woman knows that he
has come down his mountain for her. The Crom Dubh; god of storm, and lord of eternal death.
She strains to hear his approach, but he is as silent as the death he rules; only knowing his nearness by the throb of his great magic that grows stronger with every stride. Then the gloom of beyond is broken, and, with a whispered enchantment, he steps into the Carragh S ì orruidh.
The air seems to ripple around him, and as he nears, she sees that his face is as terrifyingly magnificent as his formidable form. Smooth skin barely softens the hard angles of high cheekbones and a strong jaw. His lips are sinfully full, and when he smiles, it brings a shock of lust coursing through her. It was his eyes, though, that captivated. Silver as moonlight glinting off water, they seemed to penetrate through to her soul. He is every girl’s dream, every woman’s fantasy; a god in human form.
Remembering her duty, her life for the good of her clan, she conquers her fear, and banishes the lingering vestiges of desire. There was no longer any need for such worldly emotions. She had been born and raised for this purpose alone. Every day for the past seventeen years, she had walked the paths of her village, tended the gardens and laughed with friends, knowing that her life was meant for the gods. Her sacrifice would renew the land as her royal blood soaked into the parched soil, and she refused to shame her family for the desire of a life that would never be.
As if he had read her thoughts, his lips twists into something just shy of a sneer.
Gathering her pride around her like a cloak of indomitable strength, she stiffened her back, and held her head high. With her voice quiet but steady, Eilís spoke: “My Lord,” eyes locked with Crom Dubh, she raised her hand above her head, and a perfectly honed sickle blade flashes in the darkness, “my life for their life; my blood for your pleasure.”
The blade arcs down, the wicked point intending for her heart. Her eyes close, and she draws in a last breath of air, sweetened by heather and salt. In her mind, she calls out to the Lady for a merciful stroke, but a whisper from piercing her heart, a large hand grips her slender wrist. With a sharp jerk, it shakes loose her hold on the sickle, and it falls to the ground with a muffled thump.
“ Eilís, my child,” his low voice warms her naked body as if he had set her on fire, and her eyes flutter open. He towers above her, overpowering her will with his nearness. “It is not for my pleasure that your blood shall spill, but for yours.”
Crushing his lips down upon hers in a bruising kiss, he sears away all thought of death in the face of life. Circling her in his muscled arms, he lifts her against his body. Slowly he lets her slide down his length so that he could feel every part of her. Though she was untried and pure, this was no mere girl. Her body was that of a woman; full of seductive curves and smooth skin.
Eilís inhales in his scent of earth and sea and a dark, underlying musk, that has her body instinctively readying for him. His slippery tongue glides in and out of her mouth; invading and retreating in a hypnotic dance that has her senses reeling. Her knees buckle beneath the onslaught, and he cups her tight derrière with his strong hands to hold her up.
When she finally began giving to him -- gliding her tongue alongside his, rubbing her breasts against his chest, pressing her femininity against the steel hardness of his shaft -- their passion spins out of control.
He backs her against the altar, its coldness hardly noticeable for the heat their bodies are creating. The brace of stone at her waist forced her to bend back, and her Lord took the offering of her up-thrust breasts. Holding one in a hand, he sucks the hardened bud into his mouth as he massages the plump globe.
Eilís’s moans echo in the circle, her song of innocent ecstasy weaving a powerful spell that binds the god to the mortal woman in a way he could never have imagined. Never before had he forsaken the sacrificed life blood for the virgin blood of a maidenhead. But never before had a woman entranced him as did she. So, he would take her innocence rather her life, and in return, sacrifice a part of his divinity for her.
Lying flat, now, upon the stone, Eilís looks up at the stars that blanket the lovers. The silent sentinels standing guard above them, watching as her god lavishes his attention upon her body. With his mouth and hands, he caresses and touches every part of her. At her breasts, he soothes her while suckling like a babe. Then, his merciless licking and teasing of the tips has her hips lifting in response to a question she did not completely understand.
Dipping lower, his tongue travels down her abdomen, and a burning awareness in her womb intensifies the lower he explores. When he reaches the nest of pale curls that crowns the apex of her thighs, his tongue slipping between the folds that shelters her throbbing need, she explodes with unexpected pleasure.
Standing tall, he looks down upon her glorious alabaster beauty that glows like the sun in the night. Her long tresses spill like a soft, golden drape over the slab of hard stone. It is her angelic radiance, he told himself, that made his heart ache -- for yes, even gods possess a heart.
Despite her innocence, her responses to him were open and bold. She had cradled him gently as he sucked her breasts, and held his head between her legs as he licked and tongued her into a frenzy. It was that unwavering courage in the face of the unknown, he told himself, that made him want to hold her close and protect her -- for yes, even gods fall prey to emotion.
Finally, unable to resist her wild cries any longer, he mounts the stone, and covers her body with his. He takes her mouth with deep, drugging kisses, until the chaste panic of feeling his hard nakedness pressing down upon her soft vulnerability subsides. Soon, her body begins to move sinuously against his, the frightened naivety of her youth disappearing under his seductive persistence.
Her tongue thrusts in to meet and glide along his. Her back arches away from the cold and into his heat. Her hands slide down the bunched muscle of his back, and her legs open, to at last, accept his need where she needs him most.
With one strong, sure stroke, he plunges past the fragile maidenhead, and delves deep into her wet fire. Eilís gasps at the sharp pain that initiates her into the covenant of womanhood. When she clenches her muscles around the intruding thickness that fills her so completely, Crom Dubh groans from the tight perfection that she was .
Holding still for a moment, the only consideration he gives for her tender inexperience, he allows her body to adjust to his size. Slowly, he grinds himself against her in circles, then retreats. Patiently, he waits again, hovering just beyond the gateway of her well, but this time it was for his pleasure. Then, when her hips rise in invitation, he claims her again.
Together, they move like ocean waves; rushing forward to the precipice of existence, withdrawing to regain the strength to surge forward once more. Each thrust pulls him closer to that which cannot be obtained without her mortal love. Each thrust fills her heart with the wild winds and furious storms of Crom Dubh. And when he empties into her, spilling his divine seed within her fertile womb, they both cry out from the ecstasy of their love.
Cuddling her close to ward off the cold, he feels the frantic palpitations of her heart gradually steady into a languid pulse. Eilís delights in his unexpected tenderness, and, knowing that such gentle care was rare for a creature of the tempest, she loved him all the more for it.
“Mine,” Crom Dubh’s avowal resonates in the circle, before it is swallowed by the night, “you are mine forever, Eilís.”
The magic, that had never ceased in its rhythmic throbbing through their fierce loving, stirs the air; the coming of the storm.
He moves to gaze upon her face, his silvery eyes darkening into polished pewter when she whispers her promise as she pulls his head down to capture his lips with hers, “Forever.”
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