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Tally Craven can’t sleep. Again.

 

Despite General Alder and Izadora’s assertions that the frankly nasty potion they had given her would sever the connection between them, Tally could still feel everything. The nightmares, Alder’s memories, were the only thing affected - Tally wasn’t sure, but the snippets she experienced now, snapshots cycling rapidly throughout her infrequent slumber seemed… different. Once or twice, she could have sworn she saw the General, lingering outside the fray, observing it alongside her. Like it wasn’t echoes of memories she was party to anymore, but Alder’s own dreams in real time. 

 

It didn’t make the process any less horrifying, watching helplessly as hundreds, thousands of witches were slaughtered across the centuries. Hearing their screams, their pleas, their skin crackling in flames, the sickening crunch of their necks in the noose. Each time Tally would shoot awake, face wet with tears, she wondered who they belonged to; herself, or Alder? 

 

It had been three full days of maybe an hour of sleep, and Tally was exhausted. Since confronting Alder about Nicte Batan, and taking the potion, Tally had made a concerted effort not to give any attention to the connection between them. Even if it felt like a missing limb to ignore it, to ignore her , she put her focus into War College and Knowing classes as much as she could, but the sleep deprivation was getting so bad, it was genuinely interfering with her work. 

She’d had to take an actual nap yesterday between classes. Raelle had shaken her awake for lunch with a wink and a joke about whoever it is that was wearing her out, and Tally had to bite her tongue to stop the I wish from coming out of her mouth. 

 

That was part of the problem for sure. Tally had idolised General Sarah Alder since she could remember, devouring everything she could glean about the woman from her subscription to Reveille, clips on the news, history books, anything she could get her hands on. Then she joined the army, and seeing Alder in person… she was a force, like standing in the eye of a hurricane. A really, really, intense hurricane with one of the most strikingly beautiful faces Tally had ever seen. 

It was complicated, wanting desperately to be whatever Alder desired, and at the same time knowing that this was a witch who had made some of the worst choices in history, as she had in Liberia. Tally had been so furious realising what she had done, it was like Alder had betrayed her, as well as Nicte. That had changed three nights ago. 

 

Tally could still feel the bile in her throat if she thought about what she had seen in the General’s dream. Fort Salem, or what would become Fort Salem, and the charred bodies of nearly 50 witches. People Alder had loved so fiercely, all gone, destroyed by hatred and violence they should never have had to face. The agony of the loss expressed in sobs and song by the lone witch still left to sing; Sarah Alder herself. Tally felt it all, and she understood now why Alder made the choices she did. And now she couldn’t sleep.

 

The exhaustion was heavy, like the sky itself was crushing down on her shoulders. Tally glanced at the clock. 3 am. She lay on her back, staring up at the ceiling, the soft sounds of Abigail and Rae’s sleep-slowed breathing, her only companion. Well, almost. 

 

Tally closed her eyes, breathing deeply before she allowed herself to probe at the connection to the General. The rush of emotion at feeling her fully again was almost overwhelming, but Tally settled herself, focusing on Alder. The tangled web of her emotions was comforting after denying herself for so long. She is fairly certain that the General has tried to block her out - her Sight can pick out a barrier of light around her end of their connection, but Tally can still feel her. More than likely it is only partially working, and Alder has shielded herself from feeling Tally’s emotions without considering that her own would bleed through. 

 

Knowing there was a time when Alder could feel that Tally was interested in her was objectively mortifying. “ Probably why she did it, dummy,” Tally said to herself, “ now focus up.” Tally allowed her senses to absorb more clearly what Alder was feeling, and what she felt had her eyes open in an instant. She found herself moving with purpose from the dorm towards Alder’s office. She could fix this. 

 

Sarah Alder can’t sleep. Again. 

 

With the latest Camarilla attacks, on top of the growing ambition among her own officers - Petra Bellweather being the main perpetrator, and the problem of Nicte Batan, she simply didn’t have time to sleep. No one else was capable of finding a solution, a way to protect her witches, to keep them safe from the persecution of people that refused to see them as anything but animals, as she had spent her whole life attempting to do. So it was up to her. 

 

She had stared at the reports in front of her for hours, scouring them for any new information, as if they would spill their secrets if she only read them harder. The words held little meaning now, swimming on the page in front of her eyes, but still, she soldiered on. She would find a solution. 

She didn’t even hear the tentative knock on her door until it was already being opened by one of her biddies, and that made her look up for the first time in what must have been hours, because it was dark now, clearly the early hours of the morning, and Tally Craven was standing in her office once more.

 

Sarah sighed, sitting back in her chair. Goddess, was she tired, and Craven berating her for decisions she had made decades earlier was the last thing she needed right now. 

 

Tally didn’t say anything for a few moments, intent on observing Alder, who hadn’t even noticed her presence until the office door had been shut already behind her. Even being this close felt like a relief, something that had been twisted tight inside of her, relaxing in Alder’s presence. It was a brief reprieve before she really saw the woman in front of her. Hair still braided, uniform pristine, every medal and thread in place, and still, Tally would have to have been blind not to see the bone deep weariness that the General was fighting against. 

 

When she did look up, Tally forced herself not to wince at the wave of resignation that poured over her from Alder. Sitting back in her chair, she looked like she was bracing herself for an attack she did not have the strength to fend off, and Tally’s stomach twisted to see it. 

 

“Something else you’d like to shout about, Craven?” Alder asked quietly, gesturing to the papers scattered across her desk as if to say ‘I’m a very busy woman, get on with it’.

 

Tally took another step into the room, sitting quietly into the chair across from the General. This was going to be an odd conversation, no matter how she went about it. “Permission to speak freely? Please?”

 

Alder’s eyebrows rose, and she put her pen down. “Permission granted cadet,” she replied tentatively, “although based on our last conversation I’m not sure how sensible that is.”

 

Tally grimaced. “I know. I’m sorry about that, by the way. I still think it was wrong, but I understand why you did it.” 

 

Blue eyes pierced her, electric even in their sleep deprived state, as Alder tried to get a read on what Tally was up to. “That’s not what brought you to my office in the dead of night, is it.” It was not a question. 

 

“No. And yes.” Tally felt the burden that General Alder held, alone; to be responsible for protecting all witches, and how terribly tired she was, washed over her all at once. She swallowed hard, not missing the way the older witch’s eyes had flicked to the movement, or the quickly repressed burst of desire it had elicited. “How do you do it?” 

 

That caught Alder very much off guard. “Do what?” she asked, brow furrowed in confusion. 

 

Tally thought of the flashes of each terrible event she had witnessed that the older witch had endured. “Carry all of it alone?” 

 

“I’m not sure what you’re implying, Craven.” That confusion was back, but with it a steely eyed gaze, a nonverbal warning to tread lightly. It was at this moment that Tally realised Alder really might not know that her blocking the link had not worked. Shit. 

 

She pulled her lip between her teeth, trying to decide what the best way to explain that, not only had she still been getting emotional resonance through their bond, but was now walking in Alder’s dreams. 

 

They are silent for a moment, Alder’s eyes on her so intense that Tally forgets what she had been going to say. Even when she is clearly struggling, Sarah Alder is undeniably stunning. The fluttering of amusement, and satisfaction, as Alder realises this too.

 

Tally shrugs helplessly. “I’m only seeing it in your dreams, and you lived it, are still living it,” she shakes her head, meeting Alder’s gaze, “The pressure...the burden...you’re the strongest person I have ever met.”



Craven is looking at her the way she had on her very first day; like Sarah had hung the moon personally for her. She hadn’t realised how much she had missed that look in the cadet’s eyes until it was being directed at her again. She swallows thickly. It has been a long time since anyone understood her heart so truly - knowing what Tally does of her past, the biggest mistakes of her life, and looking at the whole rather than the failings? That is a gift rarer than any Work. 

 

“It is my greatest honour to defend my sisters. It’s my life’s work,” Sarah feels the heat of tears filling her eyes as she speaks “Terrible and beautiful all at once.” 

 

“You mean that. Even after everything you’ve seen, you still mean it.” The young witch’s whisper is a little awed, but there is a certainty there that most people don’t have when Sarah speaks to them; too used to subterfuge and secret keeping. It is somewhat disconcerting.

 

“Craven?”

 

The redhead winces, cheeks flushing and Sarah wishes she had a drink so she had something to do with her hands that could distract her from the desire to touch. She squeezes the armrests of her chair instead of reaching out. It’s not as satisfying as she had hoped.

 

“The potion didn’t work. Our connection is still there, maybe even stronger than it was before actually, which is kind of ironic. I think you just sort of blocked yourself from feeling my stuff because I am still...pretty tuned in. Sorry.” Tally lets out in a rush of words that have Sarah stiffening in her seat. 

 

So all this time, all the passing fancies, the worry, the heat, the betrayal, the loss, all of the messy emotions she never shared with anyone else, Craven had been swimming in them this entire time? So she had probably picked up on the incredibly inconvenient attraction Sarah had. It had been a long time since a block she put up had failed so utterly. Clearly she was more exhausted than even she knew.

 

“Oh.” Sarah blinked slowly, trying to think neutral thoughts and not be filled with embarrassment. By the look on cadet Craven’s face, not well enough. Great.

 

“I tried to ignore it, I swear, but I haven’t been able to sleep like, at all, and I realised tonight that maybe it wasn’t just my own tiredness I was feeling and sure enough, here you are. How often have you passed out in this office this week?” Tally feels herself babbling but just can’t stop, grasping at straws to try and fight the obvious bubble of embarrassment that is simmering across their link. 

 

Alder’s mouth curls up in an approximation of a smile; an acknowledgment that this is not off base. Tally can work with that.

 

“You look wiped,” Oh goddess why did she say that , “Not that you don’t look good, you always look good, I just meant--” Alder cuts her off with a  raised hand and a wry grin.

 

“No offense taken, if I look even half as awful as I feel, I’m sure I’m a sight to behold.”

 

‘As if you aren’t always a sight to behold’ Tally thinks to herself, and if she didn’t know better she could have sworn that Alder smirked, the picture of the cat who got the cream. 

“You need sleep, and I need sleep, and it won’t happen for me unless you go too. I know it probably isn’t coming easy with everything that’s going on.”

 

Sarah snorts. Understatement of the century. “You have no idea.”

 

“So, let me help you.” The younger witch says, like it is a simple, obvious offer. Nothing out of the ordinary. It is the most startled Sarah has been in years.

 

“Help me?” Sarah sits forward in her chair, a little gratified to see a hint of that blush return.

 

“Yes.”

 

She should say no. 

 

Or at least ask some clarifying questions, but Tally is looking at her so earnestly, her doe eyed gaze absolutely guileless, and Sarah doesn’t want to fight. When was the last time someone had offered to help her for nothing? She honestly can’t remember it. 

She should still say no - this is a cadet, barely 6 months into War College. She is the General of the US Armed Forces. The lines between them had been blurred beyond recognition as it was with this strangely powerful connection that still held strong, saying nothing of the way her treacherous heart lurched at the sight of that dimpled face.  

This should absolutely be a no. 

 

“Okay.” She barely breathes it into the quietude of her office, but it is heard, because the smile Tally gives her in response, soft and kind sends a shudder through her body. There are a great many things that Sarah Alder deprives herself of: food, friends outside of her inner circle at Fort Salem, but particularly lovers - and with good reason.

 

The WitchFather meant little to her, he was a convenient means to an end for Beltane, but she didn’t care about the man. Or any man for that matter, which it didn’t, because Sarah was not about to allow anyone to get too close again. Loving had only ever led to pain, one way or another. Elizabeth Parris had been the first, and getting caught kissing her by Reverend Parris had almost gotten Sarah killed for being a ‘witch’. Elizabeth had been in the crowd at the gallows, yelling vitriol with the best of them. Good witches and even mundane women had died in their hundreds, and Sarah had sworn off. It was far too dangerous, and now she was the General, instilling both terror and respect in the hearts of witches, but nothing more. She had her duty and her biddies to keep her company these last 300 years, and it was enough. Except...

 

Had a few bright witches turned her head over the years? Of course. Did Tally Craven, with her quick smile and refusal to be cowed, saying nothing of her beauty, pique her interest? Of course. If, over the past few months, and the intimacy of making and breaking the biddie connection, that interest had solidified itself without her intending it to, what was she meant to say? She was a soldier, not dead.

 

“Ok,” Tally smiled, standing up and moving around the desk that had separated them. “I’m going to touch you, is that ok General?” She stands in front of the General with the desk at her back, just barely leaning against it to steady herself when Alder reflexively parts her knees so Tally can stand between them. 

“Sarah. I think we passed General a while back, don’t you?” Sarah looks up at her, a wry sort of half smile on her face, and Tally is struck by their positioning, the unintentional intimacy of it as she stands there, inches away. 

 

She has to clear her throat before she can reply. “Sarah then. Tally.”

 

“Go ahead, Tally.” Sarah gestures with one hand for her to begin, and Tally takes a deep breath. Now that she is so close, this seems like a terrible plan. There’s no turning back now though, and with barely steady hands, Tally reaches for the tie that binds Sarah’s braid, slipping it free and beginning to unravel sheets of dark silken hair. 

 

It’s soft between her fingers, the lengths coming loose easily, like they have been waiting to be released from the tight braid for a long time. As she gets closer and closer to the scalp, the scent of what must be Alder’s shampoo drifts through the air, and Tally breathes it in; it’s like rain in the woods, earthy and grounding, hints of pine. She likes it. 

 

Once the lengths are fully undone, Tally brings her hands to Sarah’s scalp, taking her time, massaging as she goes. She can feel the relief of it like it is her own. Under her hands, Sarah is like putty, her face falling forward to rest against Tally’s stomach as she works her way up the back of her head. 

 

Tally can pinpoint the perfect spots, the exact pressure she should use, like it is second nature. She works in uncharacteristic silence, trying to maintain a soothing, sleep positive atmosphere, and for a little while that seems to be working. 

 

The silence is broken by Alder, her little bitten off gasps and huffs of air that send shivers through Tally, the flush in her cheeks more vibrant than ever. Between the noises, and the heat of her breath puffing against Tally’s stomach, Tally finds her own hands stuttering in their movements. She reaches the end of the braid, loosing the last strands, and runs her hands through Sarah’s hair. Relief is superseded by pleasure, zinging electric across their connection, and Sarah arches into Tally’s touch, looking up at her with a gasp. 

 

“Is this okay?” Tally whispers, her thumbs gently smoothing Alder’s brow. Sarah nods up at her, transfixed for a moment by the striking image of copper hair haloed in the firelight. 

 

She closes her eyes and hums low, the flimsy barrier she had put up to keep Tally out of her head crumbling to dust, and then all of her senses are filled with her; a feedback loop of desire that has both women blushing. “ Oh, ” Alder takes a sharp intake of breath at the sensation, “I didn’t realise it would feel so…”

 

“Intense?” Tally offers, hands still sunk into her hair. Intense is one word for it. 

 

“Intimate,” Sarah corrects gently. “Feeling you in my head…I put up the barrier the first day, I thought it might make separation easier for you. I’ve been missing out.” Alder lifts her hands, wrapping them around Tally’s hips - and the burst of want that surges through Tally to her is almost instantaneous. 

 

“Oh, you like that, I can feel it.” It’s not a question, they both know that to be true, but Tally nods breathlessly anyway, brown eyes dark and wide. “And this?” She presses her face into Tally’s stomach, breathing her in; wildflowers in the sunshine. Another surge of want, but tempered. Interesting.

 

“Y-yes,” Tally stutters above her. Alder pulls back, meeting her eyes with a heat she hadn’t allowed another woman to experience in hundreds of years, and there is the heady desire she had hoped for. Suddenly, she is more awake than she has been in ages.

 

“Ah, I see. You like it when I’m looking at you, don’t you Tally?” Tally nearly chokes at that. She can feel that Alder is enjoying this as much as she is, and the veil of exhaustion disappears with every millisecond that passes.

It’s hot in the office, and the urge to just unbutton her jacket is becoming increasingly tempting, but then she would have to stop touching Sarah, and she very deeply doesn’t want to do that. It might break the spell of this moment that is stretching out between them. If sexual tension could be picked up by her Sight, Tally is pretty sure they would be aflame.

 

She nods, and it is the space between blinks before Alder is standing, and Tally is sitting on her desk with Sarah between her knees. Alder leans in, and Tally can’t breathe as she runs a hand slowly down her cheek. 

 

“Our connection is unique, and powerful. I know you’ve felt it. I’ve felt it. So if any part of you is uncertain about this, about where it is going, I urge you to tell me now.” She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear, and Tally shivers. 

 

“Where is it going?” She breathes, and Alder’s eyes drop to her lips, raking down her body like she could touch her just by looking. Tally wouldn’t doubt that she could. 

 

“Anywhere you like, Tally.” Alder all but closes the distance between them, speaking the words into Tally’s slightly open mouth. “I have a few ideas I think you might enjoy.” 

 

Tally can’t think, can’t breathe over the flames of desire that burn from one to the other. She is made of want, and Alder is waiting for her say so to devour her. Tally has never been more certain of anything in her life. “Sarah, please I--” and Alder is kissing her. 

 

Their lips meet, and if the connection had been sparking before, it was a full blown forest fire now, like Beltane on salva as they kiss, hard and desperate. Alder’s hands are everywhere, her touch setting Tally alight in a way that nothing ever had before. It makes the nights she had spent with Gerrik seem ridiculous by comparison. Thunder rolls outside, nearly deafening, and Sarah breaks the kiss for a moment, clearing her throat.

 

“You’re excused,” Alder murmurs, and the biddies take their leave. She had forgotten they were even there. The office door opens and closes, and Sarah turns back to Tally, taking her chin in her hand. “You, on the other hand…”

 

“Goddess protect,” Tally groans, surging back against her, arching until their bodies are pressed together from shoulder to thigh, panting into their kiss. She is always beautiful, but like this, Tally is incandescent. Their kiss breaks again, both breathing raggedly in each other’s space, and Alder needs to feel her skin on skin. Another wave of need roars to life when Sarah begins to unbutton her jacket, tossing it aside roughly while Tally watches with a lip between her teeth. It is gratifying to know that the attraction is very definitely mutual. 

 

Tally follows suit, much more clumsily, determined to watch every second of Alder’s undressing as she slips off her sleep shirt and shorts, leaving a pair of now very damp underwear alone. She wanted Alder to take them off her. 

 

Alder peels her own shirt off, revealing a black corset beneath, hugging her perfect form like a glove. With the dark waterfall of her hair cascading down her shoulders, the muscularity of her arms contrasting with the fullness of her breast, she looked like a classical painting. Tally couldn’t tear her eyes away if she wanted to. 

 

Sarah’s eyes darken even further, irises all but disappearing as she takes in Tally’s form, lounging back on her elbows on her desk. She’ll never be able to work at it again without this image invading her thoughts. Her creamy skin nearly unblemished, the softness of her curves, everything about her is inviting. Alder wants to ruin her. 

 

“You are...beautiful,” Sarah murmurs, running her hand up one warm thigh, “Everything is absolutely where it’s supposed to be, isn’t it.”

 

“Except you. Maybe we should change that,” Tally beckons, and Alder falls into her arms with a groan. Their lips meet in a passionate kiss, surrendering to the hunger that they have been feeling since they met. She kisses and nips Tally’s neck, paying special attention to the witch mark behind her ear, laving it with her tongue and revelling in the way it makes Tally whimper in her ear and clutch at her back.

 

“Tell me what you want, Tally. I want to hear you.” Alder whispers into her ear and Tally shudders, goosebumps rising.  None of Tally’s wildest, most secret fantasies about the General could hold a candle to this. She wants everything, anything Alder will give her, but she is Tally Craven, and above all, she wants to know.

 

“Let me touch you, please Sarah,” she moans, bringing Alder’s face back to hers so she can kiss her again, ”I want to feel you.” The thought of it, of giving herself over entirely to the whims of the redhead should not be as erotic as it is.

 

“Then touch me,” Sarah rolls her hips, grinding them together as the kiss deepens. Tally grasps her arms and pushes lightly, until they are vertical again, and she takes Sarah’s hand in hers, leading the way to the fireplace and bringing her to her knees. Kneeling there, Tally slowly unhooks the clasps of Alder’s corset until it falls away, and she can touch her properly.

 

“I want you” Tally kisses along her jaw, using the gentlest pressure to get her lying down in the carpet, “to give yourself to me,” she travels downward, kissing her neck, feeling the hummingbird of her pulse beneath her skin, “and just enjoy.” Alder’s witch mark is on her sternum, and Tally nips at it before sucking at her breasts, rolling pink nipples between her fingers while Alder trembles beneath her. She slithers down farther, kissing the crease of each thigh, and hooking her thumbs into the lace of Alder’s underwear, a question on her brow.

 

“Tally, please,” Sarah begs, unashamed, lifting her hips so Tally can slide the garment off, and she is bare. Tally trails her hand down Alder’s abs, and spreads her thighs so she can see the core of her, already so wet for her. It’s a heady feeling, laying between the General’s thighs, knowing that she is the one that has made her want to put paid to maybe hundreds of years of careful control. Tally has to taste her. 

 

She licks her way between silken folds, honing quickly in on the spots that made Alder arch up off the ground and focusing her attention there. Her tongue is quick and eager to please, like a heat seeking missile she targets Sarah’s clit, rolling her tongue against it over and over. 

 

“Goddess, Tally!”

 

She can’t help the hum of satisfaction that spills from her lips when Alder’s hands press into her hair, demanding in her pleasure as she was in all areas of her life. Tally is very happy to serve. With little preamble, she slides two fingers into her, feeling herself throb in response to the gush of wetness that greets her fingers. She starts up a slow, methodical rhythm, moving out of Sarah’s heat almost entirely before slowly pushing back in, savouring her. 

 

Alder is moaning loudly beneath her, and Tally can feel the pleasure building like a wave within her. Her hair has started to float upwards as she guides Alder toward her peak, and Tally looks up from her position to find Sarah’s eyes blazing down at her, her mouth open and panting, practically begging Tally to kiss it. Their eyes meet, and Tally maintains the contact as she sucks her clit into her mouth, stroking the spot inside of her that has Alder’s thighs coming up around her ears. 

 

“T-Tally, don’t stop, don’t stop, I’m,” Sarah seizes, shouting her pleasure as she cums. Lightning strikes, and it might as well be midday with how many forks light up the night sky. The bliss that crests across their connection is enough to have Tally squirming, a breeze from climax herself, but she perseveres. Tally strokes her through it, only slipping out when Alder flops back to the carpet, chest heaving. 

 

Tally kisses her way back to Alder’s mouth, and the kiss Sarah gives her is claiming, licking her own juices from Tally’s mouth. “Your mouth,” Sarah mumbles against her lips, “I’ll be dreaming about that for a long time.” Tally grins into the kiss. 

 

“I’ll enjoy walking in on those dreams, maybe we can recreate it in the space,” she suggests with a wink, and then Alder rolls her onto her back, straddling her thighs. Tally’s whole body is already tingling in anticipation. Sarah glances at her ruined panties and licks her lips. “So ready for me, you’ve already soaked through those, and I haven’t even gotten to touch you properly yet.” She strokes Tally through the fabric, and Tally gasps, already sensitive, like she’s attuned to Sarah’s touch. 

 

“You made a very,” Tally gulps as Sarah pushes the wet fabric to the side, “ compelling picture. I could feel how much you wanted me, how much you liked my tongue, my hands.” 

Alder dips her fingers inside the heat of the witch between her legs, and is rewarded with a breathy sigh, “ Sarah.

 

“Did you feel how much I wanted to give the same to you? How much I wanted to take you apart, fill you with me until you were ruined for anyone else?” She fucks into Tally, transfixed watching her fingers sink into her, knowing without having to look that Tally is doing the same. It isn’t going to take much at all, Tally is so worked up from taking care of her. 

 

“Yes, Goddess, yes. No one else. Yours.” 

 

A pang of affection fills Sarah’s chest, echoed back to her by Tally, the dimpled smile she has come to hope for lighting up her face. Alder swallows it down, and refocuses on the wet heat around her fingers, building pressure as she coaxes Tally towards the inevitable, her other hand deftly massaging her clit. Tally grinds into her hands, chasing it, on the precipice. Sarah surges up, catching her lips in a kiss that is all teeth and tongues, messy, still fucking into her with one hand. She breaks the kiss, panting into Tally’s ear, “Come for me, Craven. Show me that you’re mine,” and she bites the witch mark. 

 

Tally cums with Sarah’s name on her lips, and flops, boneless to the carpet. Alder extricates her fingers gently, licking them clean, which has Tally groaning again. “Don’t, or I’ll have to fuck you again, and I am very tired.” 

 

“And here I was worried that I might not be able to keep up with a wild young thing like you,” Sarah laughs, propping herself up on an elbow. 

 

“Oh, don’t get me wrong - I’m a sleep deprived wreck right now. Next time I’ll really give you something to keep up with,” Tally quips between yawns, eyes fluttering shut.

 

“Next time?” Sarah whispers, torn between desperately wanting that next time, and long-held fears about letting anyone in.

 

Tally doesn’t even bat an eyelid, settling into the lush fabric. “Of course. I’m yours, remember? Our connection is beautiful. Saw it when we finished. Not white like the biddies,” She yawns, trailing off as she falls asleep, “gold. Feels good, powerful love.”

 

“Gold, huh?” Sarah asks as Tally’s breathing evens out. Alder stretches, and luxuriates in the powerful energy that has suffused her as a result of satisfying, at least for the night, her desire. It feels more intense than any of the Witch Father’s Beltane offerings had, and she allows herself to imagine what it might be like if she and Tally spent the holiday together, drawn by the reel as inexorably as they were by their connection. It didn’t scare her to think it, and Sarah is certain that the gentle affection that Tally exudes to her even in sleep has something to do with it. “You are something else, Tally Craven,” Alder murmurs, not wanting to disturb the well-deserved sleep. 

 

But they cannot stay in her office. She considers her options, and pulls on her vest and underwear, just in case, before scooping Tally up in her arms. The redhead doesn’t stir, just nuzzles into Sarah and stays asleep. Alder shakes her head fondly, and carries her to her bed. She thinks about grabbing the rest of their clothes that have been strewn around the office, but nothing short of an emergency is going to draw her from her bed when it is so delightfully full.

One of the biddies will get their clothes in the morning; she has a much needed night of sleep ahead of her.