ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU
A prize for the first Online Winterfest by AND


"City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style..." Catherine sang to herself as she was swept along with the crowds up Fifth Avenue.  It was, indeed, beginning to feel a lot like Christmas New York-style, with lavish window displays and "SALE! SALE!! SALE!!!" signs everywhere you looked.  All around her, shoppers pushed past each other, dragging bags of holiday loot.

Catherine spared a moment to gloat with superior self-righteousness, knowing that she had already done all her shopping, then squashed the feeling before Vincent could pick up on it.  With the Tunnel society such a polyglot of different beliefs (and lack thereof), it was their tradition to give presents at Winterfest rather than coordinate all the religious winter holidays.  And since Winterfest was held early in December, and these days most of Catherine's friends lived Below, well, she was never going to be staggering frantically into a major department store on December 24th ever again.

Actually, she didn't do a lot of department store shopping these days.  Just three Winterfests with the world Below had opened her eyes to so many things, not the least of which was the power of the right gift, as opposed to the expensive gift.  For example, the right gift to the community as a whole was getting William the ingredients for some dishes that he rarely got the chance to make - and fresh food, she had discovered, cost less than a third of the catered meals she was used to eating.  And some gifts didn't require money or wrapping at all.  Samantha, just turning 13 and convinced she was now a young woman, was going to be in seventh heaven when Catherine gave her a manicure and pedicure.

Okay, even in the Tunnels sometimes a little frivolous vanity was just the ticket.

But now, it was time to give someone else a present that didn't come in wrappings... well, not in too many wrappings.  Time to open someone else's eyes to new possibilities.  Time to teach a certain overly solemn someone that there was a time and a place -- and a right -- to have some really serious frivolity.

Catherine's smile got a little wider as she walked into Victoria's Secret.

***

Four years.  Such a very short time in his life... no, in his existence, for what life had he had before Catherine came along?  An endless cycle of books and chess games and nameless longings for things that could never be.  But now one tiny Topsider had filled his life with wonder after wonder.  Experiences that had once been empty words were now magical memories; pleasures as small as takeout food and a VHS movie, pleasures as large as holding the woman he loved. 

Kissing the woman he loved.

She had been the first to kiss, friendly little pecks on his cheek or the corner of his mouth in gratitude and love.  It had taken him so very long to respond, to even dare think he could kiss her back...

And then one day he had.  Catherine was looking up at him so longingly, so lovingly, so closely, and he'd done it.  He'd kissed her.  And the world hadn't ended. 

Father didn't even have a cardiac arrest!

But even though Catherine wanted more, even though HE wanted more, things had gone no further.  To truly... join... with Catherine... that had to be absolutely perfect.  She deserved no less.  And that would be a daunting prospect even for someone who had experience with courtship and women -- two things Vincent decidedly lacked.

Frankly, he wasn't sure he was up to it.

Hopefully, he'd be up to whatever Catherine wanted for her Winterfest present.  He'd been agonizing over what he could give her this year, when she dropped the hint that there was something she wanted him to do for her.  "Anything," he'd told her, and meant it.  He would empty the ponds in Central Park with a teacup - in broad daylight! - if she asked it of him.

But all she'd asked was that he come to her apartment, promising to explain it more when he arrived.  She'd offered to give him his Winterfest present then too, as if he needed any other reward than to spend time with her. 

Dusk might come early in the winter, but nightfall couldn't come early enough!

***

As always, Catherine's heart jumped with joy at the sight of that familiar silhouette as Vincent loomed in the French doors.  Once she would have had to go out to greet him, even in the cold of midwinter, but after a lot of talking and reassurance, she'd convinced him that he was as welcome in her apartment as she was in his chamber.  And at long last, he'd learned to believe her.  Vincent opened the French door, smiling at her as he shook a few flakes of snow off his mane, and stepped inside. 

May all the barriers be crossed so freely tonight, Catherine thought as she stepped forward to greet him with a wordless hug and kiss.

"So," Vincent said when they finally parted.  "There's something you want me to do for you?"

"Actually, Vincent... it's something I want you to do for us."

He cocked his head, puzzled.  Catherine took him by the hand and led him to the sofa.  "Vincent," she asked as they sat, "do you trust me?"

"Of course!"

"How much do you trust me?"

He didn't hesitate.  "With my life."

"And I trust you implicitly."

"I could never hurt you!"

"I know.  But... Vincent, there's one thing I want that you have never given me.  Because you -- YOU! -- think you'll hurt me.  And by denying me what I want - what we both want - you are not only hurting me, you're hurting yourself."

"I don't know what you're..." Vincent's protest broke off in a squeak when Catherine squeezed his knee.  "Catherine!  You know we can never--"

"Yes!  We can!  There was a time when you thought we could never have any relationship.  When you thought you could never visit me, or never come in here.  When you thought we could never kiss.  All of those 'nevers' have gone away, and we're not only still together, we're happier than we ever thought we could be."

Vincent sighed, bowing his head as his shoulders slumped.  "This is what you want, then?  For me to make love to you as your Winterfest present."

"Not quite."  That brought his head up with a snap!  Catherine smiled gently at him, stroking his cheek and taking heart when he didn't flinch away.  "You're always so serious!  So worried about doing things the right way, making sure everything's perfect... and as you keep telling me, everything you know, you learned from books.  Well, if there's one things that books always get wrong, Vincent, it's sex!  They make it sound like some solemn rite, like it's illegal to actually be having fun.  Or worse, they make it sound so... effortless!  How many stories have you read where the couple had never done anything like it before but they 'just knew' what to do?"

"Umm..."

"Right.  Let me guess, you were reading and thinking 'but I don't!  What if I do it wrong?'"

"I plead the Fifth," Vincent said with as much dignity as he could muster, but she could see the faintest glimmer of laughter kindling in his eyes.

"Well, even if you won't admit it, that's sure what I thought when I first read stories like that!  Vincent, I've had sex, and you know what?  That isn't it!"

He cocked his head.  "Then what is it?"

"Fun.  Not perfect - never perfect, I think - but with someone you love, who loves you back - lots of fun."

"Was that to be your Winterfest present to me?  Fun?"

"Yes!  But not necessarily what you're thinking."  She reached over, pulling one of his unresisting hands to the tie of her wrap-around dress.  "Vincent, my Winterfest present to you is my body, but you don't have to have sex with me.  What I want - what I'm offering - is a chance to look.  Explore.  Touch.  Taste.  Play.  But no pressure.  I don't want you to feel that you have to make love to me tonight.  This is YOUR present.  You don't have to worry about satisfying me, you don't even need to worry about pleasing me.  This is YOUR night to do anything you ever wanted to do."

"But... what is in this for you?  If I... and then I don't... won't you just be more frustrated?"

"Vincent, when I dream of a lover, I don't dream of some perfect, scripted sex.  How boring!  Books talk about women as if we're interchangeable and we all like the same things.  Well, I've had some pretty graphic discussions with my girlfriends, and I promise you, that's not true!  So when I dream of my lover, I dream of a man who has taken the time to find out what *I* like.  A man who has taken the time to find out what he likes, too, and will show me how to please him.  Don't you see?  This is the first step.  A little frustration along the way will be more than paid back later."  She laughed.  "Besides, I don't think you're going to leave me high and dry.  I trust you."

Vincent stared at the cord in his hand as if it were a snake about to bite him.  "I don't trust me."

"I'm not Lisa, Vincent. I'm not going to tease and then try to run away.  I mean this.  If we're going to be lovers, then we need to be comfortable with each other.  What better way than to play like this?  You know my emotions.  You know I love you.  You have to know how willing I am to do this."

He was still hypnotized by the cord.  "If this is your present to me, and I do not need to... please... you, then what is my present to you supposed to be?"

"Your trust."  Catherine leaned forward, kissing him gently on the corner of the mouth.  "Your willingness to try."  She kissed the other corner.  "Your willingness to let me explore in my turn."  She kissed him full on.  "Are you willing?"

Her answer was a warm hand on the back of her neck, drawing her down for another kiss.

***

Catherine opened her mouth as their lips met again, and for a split second, Vincent panicked.  But his beloved didn't force the issue.  It was hard to read her emotions past the chaos of his own, but as he leaned into the kiss, daring to finally slip his tongue past her lips, he felt nothing but welcome and joyous surrender.

Unsure of what to do, he ran his tongue along hers.  She had been eating chocolate and wine before he came; tastes so rare in his world and so delicious.  He suddenly realized he was lapping at her mouth, trying to get every last bit.  Chocolate was a precious thing, saved for the children when they got it, and Vincent had been "too old" to share for decades.  Embarrassed, he was about to break contact - but then he realized through the bond that she was amused!

He licked her more slowly this time, running just the tip of his tongue along her lips before slowly moving forward to fill her mouth again.  Catherine made a sound half chuckle and half moan, throwing back her head to give him full access.  This was a dream, this was surely a dream, just as all the other times had been.  He could not really be here, tasting his beloved, feeling her melt against his body.  Any minute now, Father would appear and start lecturing him or something.  His dreams had become so... Freudian... of late.  He was in his chamber dreaming, and Catherine was... Catherine was...

Catherine was warm and willing in his arms, and she wasn't just amused.  She was beginning to be aroused.

And so was he.

Still holding her neck with one hand, very careful to keep his fingers straight and not scratch her with his claws, Vincent shifted just enough to pull the knot out of her dress.

It did not fall open, much less slide off.  Catherine was right, the books did tend to leave the unromantic portions of reality out, and reality dictated that a dress with ties that wrapped all around the body and threaded through a hole must have the ties unthreaded and unwrapped before opening.  Catherine giggled out loud as he sat back and stared, dumbfounded, at the uncooperating cloth.  She started to take it off herself, but Vincent reached for her hands.

"It's my turn tonight, remember?"

Catherine nodded, smiling broadly at him.  "I'm also going to remember how much you like Bailey's Chocolate Cream liquor.  I have the rest of the bottle, you know.  You can have it later.  I wanted to give you as many new sensations as I could.  I want this to be special, Vincent."

"Everything you do is special, Catherine."  If he had to lean close and take her back in his arms, well, it was the dress's fault, for he had reach behind her to unwind the cord that had held it taut.  And if he had to run his hands slowly up her sides to open it and then down her shoulders to pull it off, well, that was the dress's fault too.  He pulled it roughly out from underneath her and tossed it aside on the floor in a heap to punish it.

Beneath it, she was wearing intriguing little scraps of scarlet satin.  Very little scraps, held on with tiny little strings of lace.  Part of him admired the way the vivid color made her skin look particularly creamy.  The other part coldly calculated how easy it would be to shred those tiny fastenings - and Vincent realized that that was exactly what he wanted to do.

Catherine must have picked his thoughts right out of the air.  "Do it," she urged, wriggling her chest at him provocatively.  "Use those claws!"

"Catherine!" Vincent snatched his hands back.  "What are you saying?"

She grabbed one of his hands, sweeping her cheek along the fur on the back of it and kissing a claw before curling his fingers around one bra strap.  "I'm saying that I don't just love part of you, I love all of you.  Just as you are.  You've been so afraid of your hands for so long that all you can think about is how fur and claws 'aren't made to give love.'  Well, you know what?  I LIKE the feel of fur, and those claws can be useful."  She winked at him.  "Want it off me?  Rip it off me!"

She meant it!  She really, really meant it!  Closing his mind to a lifetime of "Be gentle with your claws, Vincent" and "Don't rip up the fabric, we can use that for something else, Vincent," he flexed his hand and the strap snapped.

Unlike the dress, the only thing holding the bra up was tension and good wishes.  The cup slipped, giving him the tantalizing sight of the top of one nipple.  Something dark and primal rose up in him then, and he set about systematically shredding the cold, slippery fabric that kept him from seeing all of his beloved.  In seconds Catherine sat, laughing and nude, in a pile of red scraps.

There wasn't a single scratch on her perfect skin.

Elated, Vincent pulled her into a bearhug, kissing her deeply and discovering that she still tasted faintly of liqueur.  He ran his hands up and down her back, glorying in the feel of her warm, smooth skin.  But their fronts were kept frustratingly apart by the layers of clothing he still wore.  He should do something about that. 

With a last nibble, Vincent released their hug, sitting back.  He started to reach for his vest, then stopped.  This was HIS night to have every dream fulfilled... 

"Catherine," he whispered, taking her hands in his and putting them on his clothes.  "Please undress me."

"I thought you'd never ask!" she chuckled. 

Perhaps the mere act of peeling off a vest and shirt didn't require that much stroking and hugging.  But Vincent wasn't objecting if Catherine bent the rules of their agreement, not when her movements brought so many new places for his hands to stroke in return, so many crannies for his nose to nuzzle.  When she rose up on her knees to pull his shirt over his head, Vincent found himself eyeball-to-nipple with her breasts, which were bobbling tantalizingly.  Before she could sit back down, Vincent grabbed her by the waist, holding her in position as he leaned forward.  He was still wearing his pants and boots, but this was an opportunity he could not pass up.

At first he just rested his cheek against her, breathing in her scent.  Catherine put her arms around his head, cradling him against her, stroking his hair softly, waiting patiently.

She didn't have long to wait.  Soon he opened his eyes, staring at the breast so close to his mouth.  He nipped at it, not quite daring to make contact with the delicate thing with his sharp teeth.  Catherine pouted, and Vincent couldn't help but chuckle up at her.  "I thought you didn't have any expectations of me."  He kissed along her neck, whispering in her ear, "I love you so much.  I promise, I'll take care of you." 

Then there were no more words.  Once upon a time he overheard some of the tunnel women talking about earlobe nibbling, and how much they liked it.  Now what was it they said... Ah.  He breathed hotly into her ear, nipping delicately at it.  Catherine shuddered with delight and he dared open his mouth a little further,  running the tips of his fangs along the rim. 

Catherine moaned.  He stopped for a second, pulling away and trying to judge her feelings.  Catherine captured his head and pulled it back down to her neck, and Vincent couldn't help laughing.  He moved his face slowly down the side of her neck, trying to rub both the roughness of his beard and the smoothness of his skin against hers.  Suddenly inspired, he came back up with a long, swift lick from shoulder to earlobe.

Catherine gasped, clutching at his back.

"Mmmm, you like that?" Vincent asked rhetorically, kissing along her jaw, across her mouth, and heading towards her other ear, where he did it all again.  "Is this what you want?"

"YES!"  Catherine clutched at him, grinding against his body.  "Do it again, do it again!"

Vincent bent to comply, opening his mouth as he neared her skin.  But just as his teeth touched her again, a sudden revelation froze him.  For so long he had hidden his differences, tried to be just like other men, feared the destructive power of his hands and teeth. 

Yet here he was, baring his heart and flesh to his beloved.  Not only wasn't she repulsed, she was writhing against him with abandonment.  His hated hands, which had once torn into Lisa, were wrapped securely around Catherine.  In his passionate distraction, he'd forgotten to hold his fingers flat and was clutching as desperately at Catherine as she was to him.  At this close contact, with both of them focusing so hard on each other, the bond between them was becoming almost telepathic.  He could feel all of what she was feeling; the prickle of claws across her back, the sweep of fur across her chest, the hard ridges of his fangs.

The overwhelming love and eager passion.

She wasn't afraid!  She wasn't afraid!  She didn't WANT him to be like other men!  She wanted HIM!  Just as he was!

***

Catherine could feel the sudden change in him, although she wasn't sure what happened.  Suddenly he seemed to swell beneath her hands - and not just the usual parts; his shoulders seemed broader, his chest rose, and a tidal wave of elation rolled from him over her.  He nuzzled/licked her again - but this time, he suddenly bit the junction of her neck and shoulder, pressing just enough so she could feel the fangs while he gulped in a breath that made her neck go cold and her crotch overheat.

She cried out, her thighs parting uncontrollably, and she almost fell off the sofa. 

Vincent laughed - laughed out loud! - catching her around the waist before she fell.  She went limp as he pushed her down on her back on the sofa, sliding off it himself to kneel beside her.  He stroked down her torso, the furry back of one hand following closely after the warm palm of the other.  Every now and then he trailed his claws along her ribs in a light, tickling scratch.

Eventually his attentions focused on her breasts once more.  First he cradled them in his hands, kneading slightly, but that didn't last long before he was circling one nipple and then the other with a soft, furry knuckle.  They rose to hard peaks beneath his fingers and Catherine arched beneath him, moaning. 

He bent his head to meet her, lightly kissing one nipple after the other, finally taking one in his mouth to suck with increasing urgency.  Catherine writhed and he spread his hands to pin her down.  His left hand circled her other breast, pinching at the nipple in unison with his mouth, while his right ran smoothly down her chest, over her stomach, ending with his claws running lightly through her pubic hair.

Promise forgotten, Catherine spread her legs and bucked, desperate for him to touch her lower yet.  Vincent denied her, chuckling as she tried ever harder to get that hand to move.  With a last nip at her breast, he licked his way down the path his hand had taken, pausing to lap once at her bellybutton.

But when his mouth met her pubic hair, he let go and stood up.

"No!" Catherine wailed, reaching for him. 

Vincent bent to kiss her mouth but dodged her hands as he kicked off his boots and stripped off his pants.  "If I don't take these off now, I don't think I'll get them off," he explained. 

She could see what he meant.  It was a very impressive erection - not so large as to be intimidating, but nicely sized.  Her palms itched to stroke it, but once again he ducked away.  "It's still my turn," he said stubbornly, dropping back to his knees.  "Now where was I... oh, yes."  He pulled her leg over, resting her thigh against his shoulder, leaving her splayed half on and off the couch.

For a moment he did nothing else and Catherine waited, quivering with erotic tension.  Then there was a sudden cold rush of air as he inhaled along the inside of her thigh, heading upwards... but once again he avoided her crotch as he sighed down the inside of her other thigh.  She was ready to cry when a warm, slightly rough tongue started to gently lap its way back up.

And this time, he didn't stop.  Gently, so gently, his tongue brushed against her.  At first he lapped almost randomly, but he must have followed her feelings, for soon he leaned forward and...

OH!  Oh, my, "Yes!  Yes just like... don't stop, just like that, oh... Oh!  OH!"  Oh yes... Ah!  Oh... ahhh... ooooo... Oh!  OH!

As her orgasm started to build, he reached up to play with her breasts again, alternating strokes of fur, skin, and claw tip.  It pushed her over the edge and he had to pin her down as she convulsed.

When Catherine came back to, Vincent was curled up beside the couch, resting his head on her breasts. 

"Wow," she said, running her fingers through his hair.  "I... wow."

Vincent laughed and Catherine's heart rejoiced.  She'd seen him smile, heard him chuckle, but not until tonight had she heard him laugh freely - twice, even!

"Catherine, you have given me a gift beyond my imagining.  It's going to take the rest of my life to show you what you've done for me."

She ducked so she could kiss the top of his head.  "Oh? And what about the rest of the night?  What do you want to do next?"

He smiled at her, leaning forward for a long, deep kiss.  When he came up for air again, he guided her hand to his erection. 
"I want you to take your turn next."

 

*******

She smiled and squeezed him, and to his horror, Vincent finally lost control.  Sinking his claws into the couch for balance, he thrust wildly into her fist, ignoring both the chafing and the voice in the back of his mind screaming "Stop it!  Stop it!  You're behaving like an animal!"

His climax came with humiliating speed, filling him more with embarrassment than relief.  Forgetting the triumph he'd just felt in loving her, falling back on a lifetime of hiding and withdrawing, he would have jumped up, gotten dressed, and run back to the tunnels as fast as he could.  Except that there was no way he could go anywhere while Catherine kept that painfully firm grip on a very sensitive portion of his anatomy.  He made two abortive twitches in the direction of freedom and then gave up, panting and defeated, afraid of what he'd see on his beloved's face.

So Catherine finally had to cup his chin with her free hand and drag his head up to make him look at her.

"It's okay, I kinda figured it would happen that way the first time," she said softly.  "I TOLD you the books get it wrong."

"I certainly never read anything that discussed the need to steam clean the couch afterwards," Vincent admitted ruefully.

"Well, none of them ever discuss trying to sleep in the wet spot either, which is why we're out here in the first place," Catherine told him.  "And rug burn is an overrated pleasure.  I would have put a slipcover on the sofa, but I was afraid you'd panic."

Vincent's fear and shame were receding in the wash of her loving acceptance, so his sense of humor made him admit honestly, "I seem to have already done that."

She feathered kisses all over his face as she spoke.  "Are you okay now?  Can I get up and get a couple of towels without you leaving skid marks in your rush back Below?  Because I want my turn."

Yes, he was, he wanted her to touch him some more.  No, he wasn't, and his penis HURT and would she please let go of it now?  Yes, he was, he would do anything to please her.  No, he wasn't this was all too much, too fast!

Vincent finally shrugged wordlessly, and Catherine chuckled.  To his relief, she did let go - but when she got up, she stole his pants before he could grab them back. 

"Just to make sure that you don't go running off before my turn!" she laughed, waving them at him.

When she came back into the room his pants were missing, replaced by a couple of large, fluffy towels, a black bottle, and a pair of wineglasses.  She poured him a glass and he stood to drink it.  It was that chocolate thing she'd been drinking earlier; he luxuriated in the rich taste... and in the sight of his beloved's naked body in motion as she spread the towels over the sofa.  

When the towels were tucked in she sat down and reached for him.  "My turn now?"

Wary, yet eager, Vincent put his glass down.  "Your turn now."

With the sunniest smile he'd ever seen, Catherine leaned forward, nuzzling cheek, shoulder, and hands along the pelt on his chest and back.  "Ohhh, I love the way you feel," she crooned.  "All hard muscles and soft fur.  I can't touch you enough."

An odd, old memory bubbled to the surface of his mind.  He'd been five, maybe six, swimming naked in the falls with the other children.  Tunnel society wasn't as prudish as Above; it couldn't be, what with the lack of doors and general lower level of privacy.  Children were taught that nudity wasn't a bad thing.

Except for him.  His fur had been coming in, and the other kids, curious, were stroking him like a cat.  Father had been furious, and tried to ban the swimming.  All these years later, Vincent could look back and realize that Father had only been trying to protect him after all, that he was trying to teach the children not to think of him as a pet.  But all that tiny child had learned back then was that there was something wrong with his body.  Something wrong with the way he'd liked the attention.  He'd cried that night, curled up in his bed with the pillow stuffed in his mouth so Father and Mary and Devin wouldn't hear, wondering why it was so bad to like being touched.

Now he was getting all the attention he could handle, and after a moment's surprise at the return of the old memory - and its attendant feelings - he found himself relaxing.  For a glorious moment he was six again, the center of attention.  And this time, Father wouldn't burst in, yelling.  It was all right.

Better than all right, as Mouse might put it.  One of Catherine's hands sank low, into the rougher fur of his pubic hair.  Better than better. 

Now he could be touched like this any time he wanted!

Sated with stroking him, Catherine came back up and kissed him, then ducked her head to start working on his nipples.  Vincent gasped, arching underneath her, but she broke contact all too soon.  Forgetting himself again, he reached to capture her head and pull her back, but Catherine ducked him, chuckling.

"Not in such a hurry to run away anymore, are you?

"No," he admitted with a smile.  "But I am in a hurry to see what you'll do next!  Surely you're not stopping now?"

"Of course not!"  She winked at him.  "But I had an idea, and it is my turn to play."

Trying to be patient, Vincent watched her pick up his wineglass and take a sip.  It wasn't until she bent her head back to his chest that he realized that he hadn't seen her swallow.

Ice cold alcohol dribbled on one of his nipples and Vincent nearly shot through the roof.  Catherine pounced on him then, trying to pin him down as best as she could as he bucked beneath her slender body.  The burning ice sensation turned to heat and back to cold as she breathed in and out several times over his sensitive flesh.  With a final nip that was barely more than the faintest scrape of teeth over tip, she leaned back to take another sip and start all over on the other side, finishing the delicious torture with another deep, open-mouthed, chocolate-y kiss.

It took him three tries before he could talk, but Vincent finally managed to say, "Two can play that game, you know."  He picked up the wineglass and Catherine leaned over to top it off, practically sticking one of her breasts in his face to do so.  So of course he had to nibble at it.  It was the gentlemanly thing do to, to partake of what is offered to you.

One particular suck of his almost made her drop the bottle, which gave him an evil inspiration.  After all, the couch had to be cleaned anyway...

Catherine caught his eye and his thought, rapidly putting the bottle down before he could rattle her again.  "Take your drink," she said with coy politeness, sitting back to give him room.

He should have seen it coming, should have picked up her mischievousness through the bond.  After all, it was his idea first!  But he was taken completely by surprise when he lifted the wineglass in a toast to her -- and she deliberately knocked it all over both of them.

Vincent blinked as streaks of brown dripped down her chest and off her taut nipples, shivered as those drips splattered across his penis and scrotum.

"So," Catherine asked him wickedly.  "Who gets to lick who off first?"

Vincent grinned at her, knowing he was showing all his teeth and not caring.  "Let's make it a race!"

He won, and his prize was where Catherine started licking last - a long, slow, mind-shattering suck along his penis, which had finally recovered enough to take a new interest in things.  Too much of an interest, and he didn't want a repeat of that first embarrassment.  It took all his strength of will, but as she went to gulp a new mouthful, he took her shoulders and gently pushed her backwards, until she was lying beneath him.

"Catherine, I don't want to play anymore."  Before she could misinterpret his words, he bent to kiss her, stroking the fur on the back of a hand across her breast. 

Suddenly serious, she looked up at him with wide eyes.  "Are you sure?  I don't want to you to feel pressured."

He had to laugh, looking down at the new erection bobbing between them.  "I feel rather a loot of pressure, but no, I don't feel forced.  I feel ready.  Are you?"

She twined one arm behind his neck, pulling him down to her lips while the other hand reached between them to guide him.  "Vincent, I've been ready for ages!"  She kissed him deeply, stroking him below.  "Happy Winterfest, dearest."

"Happy Winterfest, my beloved Catherine."

She was right - the books left a lot out.  It took a while and a certain amount of maneuvering to find the right angle to bury himself in her, and there were times when he fell out, and even once when they almost fell off the couch.  Or they bumped noses when they kissed, or caught a lip on a tooth, and there was even the point when he started to get a back cramp and they had to stop everything and find a new position.

And still... their first time really was perfect.

-fin-