Lasha stayed in the Wild Garden, unwilling to go anywhere else. Stavros was out on business and Helena would be joining him in Athens in a few hours. Thank God. She sat on the ground, her back against the bench. She was thrilled to be there, just being quiet, thinking inside her mind of the world so far away, that she had been forced to make unreal. It was unreal, she felt so dazed in her mind nowalmost as if she was in shock. She didn't remember it perfectly anymore. It wasn't clear. Oddly that was a good thing.
Nothing here was real either. She walked around the island, not ever expecting to leave, not even attempting to anymore. She was immune to Helena grilling her, and although she no long verbally or physically fought Stavros's touch, never moved or said anything while he raped her, each time he did another piece of her was taken. And as she lost herself, so now she sat down and tried to remember who she had been, tried to be Laura. The life she was stolen out of, she tried to remember it, what it felt like to take a walk anytime she wanted, to not have to ask permission for anything, how she had taken those things for granted. Yet when she tried, she found out she didn't care. She was too numb to care anymore. She knew she had to give up feeling. She had to!
"Stefan!" she called as he saw him on the other side of the garden.
Her eyes drowned in relief, she always felt something when she was around him.
"I didn't know you were out here," he said walking towards her.
He held out a hand and she casually took it, lifting herself off the ground. Stefan saw her eyes, he'd watched her carefully these last few weeks. She was so empty, her eyes has no emotion, no light, barely even blue. It was almost as though she wasn't a person anymore, truly their prisoner. Stefan looked at her, trying to show some emotion for him, but she couldn't.
He squeezed her hand tightly, and she looked at him, begging him for something, to make her a person.
"Don't let them take you," he said to her firmly.
She nodded. "I'm trying, I really am."
He immediately felt guilty for saying that. "I did not mean to insinuate that this is your fault."
He held her shoulders as she began to look down, feeling guilty, to force her not to.
"Don't feel ashamed," he said, his fingers tipping her chin up, forcing her to look at him.
He cupped the right side of her face and she felt the emotion change from sympathy and caring to physical intimacy. When his hands were on her face he erased the thought of Stavros, and he didn't see her with the bruises. She didn't feel like a woman who was raped, and although that was relief, the emptiness was still throbbing inside her heart. She still wanted to feel more, like she was a person, that she had her own thoughts. She wanted to feel real.
"I don't feel ashamed right now," she said softly, her eyes more strong and determined.
She placed her hand over his, her eyes closed and passionate, her face so flawless and full of emotion. He had never seen anyone with so much expression with every movement or thought. She then moved her tiny hand to his face, stopping just before she met his skin. He almost screamed when she didn't immediately touch him.
Lasha's index finger touched his lower lip, just letting it rest there as her eyes examined it. Her thick lashes lowered, only looking at his mouth. He was gone right then and there. He wanted to touch her so much more but he knew what she endured, and he would never do anything that she didn't invite. Stefan's hand slowly felt its way to her waist. Her eyes never broke contact from where she was touching him. Her finger began to move slowly, along his lower lip to trace up around his mouth, caressing him, barely touching the flesh of his lips. He wanted to grab her and hold her, but the fact that she wanted to be touched at all was beyond reasonable and he refused to do anything to startle her. With her finger gently caressing his lips, she covered his hand that was holding her waist to make him draw her closer.
Her eyes seemed to become a little brighter in color as he pulled her slowly closer to him, and she leaned her head further towards him to allow his lips to touch hers. They barely moved until she did, pressing her body closer to his and opening her mouth a little to play with his. The kiss was very slow at first, until neither one of could remain in such control. They sank into it, and into each other. Her arms went under his to embrace him, pull him closer to her as his hands found themselves tangling in her thick blonde curls.
"Lasha," he whispered against her hair, then looked at her. "Are you sure?"
"Yes," she said softly, but firmly. "Please make love to me. Now."
He honestly couldn't believe he'd heard her right, but she didn't give him much choice, not that his heart or mind had a choice to begin with. Stefan slowly in such a polite, supposedly controlled manner, placed his hands on her face and the kiss became less delicate and less innocent. All painful thoughts left her as she felt the sensations course throughout her entire body, giving her something real inside her that she never wanted to let go of. A small moan escaped her lips as she relaxed her body in his arms to allow him to touch her.
She wasn't patient, but allowing him to take her in his arms and let him be the one to be with her was something he thought he'd never have. She reached to caress his face, then up to his hair, running her fingers through it, the kiss becoming desperate and almost rough. The strokes of their tongues and the dueling lips made them both feel that there was no other foreplay needed than that. Placing her entire heart and mind into this moment, into him, he broke the kiss she gripped his shirt tighter because she couldn't let him go.
Her eyes were now determined and in need as she stared up at him. The desperation and almost fury inside her for stopping made him ache inside.
"Lasha, I can't take any risk of having you be discovered with me. Helena is here, she will do anything to rid you in the first place, and I won't let her discover any fault in anything you do."
She knew he was completely right but it mattered about as much as the color of the bark of the tree they were next to. Who cares what Helena does or thinksshe needed him to not let her go. Stefan didn't understand, nothing had mattered and finally when he touches her and something does matter he's going to turn away? No, she needed him, she needed him to hold her, she needed him to be there so she could feel.
Lasha shook her head, Helena could burn her at the stake if she wanted because she probably wouldn't feel it away. This was what she felt. And she'll be damned if she's gonna let that go now.
"Stefan," she said desperately, her hands clenched his shirt. "I'm safe here, we are safe here, please, I need you. Please, please make love to me. I want younow."
"You are in a lot of pain and you don't know-"
"Don't act like I don't know what I'm thinking or feeling! Don't patronize me Stefan, don't act like you'll be taking advantage of me! I know exactly what I want," she whispered fiercely. "You can't take advantage of me if I know exactly what I want is you. I want you, I saw the way you looked at me when I first ran into you right here and I don't wanna let that go or waste it when it's all I want," she whispered lovingly. "Please."
She reached up and pulled his mouth more firmly against hers. The spark between them she initiated made him unable to refuse holding her which he wanted to do every bit as much as she did. She opened her lips and outlined the line of his mouth with her small tongue. Then she ran her tongue across his lips as a caress, tormenting him purposely. His hands grasped her upper arms and pulled her up towards him so she was on her tiptoes and the already loose straps of her gown fell across her shoulders. Stefan deepened the kiss, then pulled her into a more intense embrace bending her head back to tease her lips.
His hands began to roam her body, gliding and stroking the silky material that rested against her slim back. Leaving one arm strongly supporting her back as the other slipped to the front of her body, from her waist up her ribcage and then he cupped her breast through the delicate material of the dress. She gasped into his open mouth, exciting him all the more.
Running his thumbs gently over the sensitive nipple, she kissed him more urgently, arching a little to tell him she wanted more. Dragging his heated lips down her neck, down her chest, he took her tightened nipple into his mouth, through the material of the dress. He held the back of her head in one hand, which she threw back as he created the luscious waves inside her.
Removing his mouth from the now dampened area of her dress, he came back up to meet her eyes, which were inviting him to continue. He trailed wet kisses along her jaw, gently nipping the shell of her ear and then darting his tongue at the indentation at the base of her neck. Pushing the gown further away, the wind came through the garden, hardening her nipples even more as he bent down to take one into his mouth. He held the other in his hand possessively, as if to protect it from the cool air. She gasped lightly, looking down, she ran her fingers through his hair and his mouth became less delicate.
Suddenly a twig fell from a nearby tree, instantly making him break the kiss in fear, she could've cared lessthe only thing that mattered to her was him. He turned back to her.
"Lasha," he said. "I want you, I want you now but I'm not going to take any risk to place you in any other situation that could hurt you just because I want you so badly. We won't have to worry tonight, but right now we do and I don't want to hold you and be cautious at the same time."
"No, Stefan don't go-" she said almost frantically, he was taking the one real thing from her.
He let go of her. "Tonight there will be no regret no matter what you choose. I'll come to you."
Letting go of her hands he walked away. And she felt physical pain in her heart. As well as fury, she wanted to strangle something, and hurt it! Just like she was hurting because of what Stavros and Helena did to her and how Stefan still walked away! It felt like she couldn't breathe because he had taken another choice away from her. He was walking away when he was the only thing in the world she cared about, that mattered to her, that she wanted to save as much as be saved. And he had just pushed her away.
She shook as she sat down on the bench slowly, trying to contain and control the immediate anger she felt that he had walked away. No, she thought, no, he's just trying to protect me, he thinks he's making it better for me. He is giving me a choicebut I had already made it and it was now on his termsmy choice is gone. She had to think rationally, not just with her anger, but with her mind. What mind? What mind did she have left? She'd lost most of it. She didn't deny that much of her sanity was gone. She didn't have enough sanity left to deny it.
Stefan was trying to protect her but she didn't care about that. Why didn't that matter to him? Why didn't what she said matter to him if he wanted her so much? He knew she didn't care if Helena killed her, what was that about? She breathed, shaking her head free of these thoughts, and fell back into shock, the only way to survive

That Night

Stefan knew Laura had seen Helena earlier today. God help her. Mother was probably grilling her more and more at what a whore she was for taking Stavros away from her. As if Laura wanted that.

Laura sat in front of the mirror, looking at herself hard. The woman in the reflection, she could see right through her, she wasn't fully there. She brushed her hair very mechanically. She wore a spaghetti strapped, low cut, white nightgown and a see through robe. The candles lit around the room captured her, as if to overtake her and melt her. Laura felt nothing as she placed the lipstick on her full, dark lips. Her hair glistened in the candlelight yet she felt nothing. Not afraidtoo dark in her heart to be afraid of anything.

Very slowly, she stood. She looked around the room, a guestroom, but it looked exactly like any other. Beautiful, dark, spacious. She heard him then. No fear when she turned and looked at him. Slowly, as if every movement were a strain if done too quickly. Her expression was not surprise, happiness, or hesitance. She watched him walk towards her and he watched her. The medallion on his chest didn't bother her. He was a Cassadine and so was she now, though she had hers off tonight. It was erotic in a way, to be trapped in a world together with someone like him, in the way they could create their own. His bare chest and the look in his eyes showed there was no pretending, there was no surprises or make belief in this.
He reached her, lightly touching her face as she lowered her head. He placed a soft kiss on her forehead and she closed her eyes, now needing. He was asking permission. Tilting her head back to look at him, his hand against her cheek, her eyes begged him to make her feel. Her lips were full, her eyes intense yet subtle. He leaned down and kissed her, the kiss was deep without excess motion. After that she didn't move, she stared at his chest, her head bowed a little. She was sad, almost weak and needing a way out of it.
Knowing he was going to have to guide her, take care of her, he did. He wanted to make her feel, make her breathe again, she hadn't breathed in weeks. Hell, she hadn't breathed since she was on this island. He turned her slowly so her back was facing him. His hands went under her robe and very slowly drew it off. Possessively she felt his hands cup her shoulders and turn her around. The breath was caught in her throat at how truly sexual this was. So slow, but so intense. She felt no need to do anything, he made her feel just by turning her around. The strap to her nightgown fell slightly down her shoulder as he took a handful of her hair and moved it aside.
No words were needed, they knew exactly what they were saying to each other. She felt his hot lips on her neck, his hand touching the skin of her back. His hand roaming her skin more as his mouth trailed further down her neck. Still not moving, her eyes closed slowly, too overcome by passion to hold them open. She tilted her head back, her hands reaching his torso to lightly hold him. She shivered as he took her in his arms, placing her on the bed. He didn't remove the nightgown. She felt a loss of control, as if he was the only one that could move, if either of them had power, it was him.
He looked down at her face, her eyes almost blank and her body not resisting, he placed his hand between her breasts, over her heart. Pressing on it with a little force, she gasped at the first true jolt of feeling. It felt good, tears nearly streamed down her face that she felt something beautiful. She was so tired of fear and hatred, this was a revelation. Her heart was protected, he showed her her heart was still there, and that it still lived. Slowly leaning down he kissed her soft lips, which rose and responded very slowly. Pushing a little more on her heart, she opened her mouth, returning the kiss he urgently demanded. Her body rose and fell with the kiss, and he slipped his hands under her body to draw her up off the bed, so he could hold her close.
Continuing the kiss, the straps slipped down her shoulders, her breasts being the only resistance to the gown slipping further down. Stefan slowly placed himself over her, one hand holding her naked back, the other holding her face. The kiss was deliberate now, demanding more by them both. She relaxed, closed her eyes and felt his hands and lips on her. She safely lived in this moment, absorbing all the emotions in her body. From her mouth he trailed down her neck, his hands holding her protectively, as if she would fall without them. Her arms wrapped around his beautiful body, loosely as she felt the waves flame up inside her and adjusted to the feeling again. Stefan trailed lower and kissed the top of her breast the gown did reveal. As if by magic the gown slipped lower, allowing him to take a very hard nipple into his mouth. Suckling lightly at first, his hand crept lower, inch-by-inch to move the skirt of the gown up a little, stroking her smooth legs. One of her legs was slightly bent, allowing her to help him stop the skirt from being a barrier. Lifting his head to kiss her mouth again, she opened her mouth automatically, breathing into his mouth exciting him to the point where he couldn't wait any longer to touch her. Reaching lower with his hand, she trembled beneath him. One hand still protectively holding her neck, caressing her hair and skin as he felt the warmth of her body against his.
Feeling her, he removed his hand and slowly but steadily entered her, his lips never leaving hers. Her arms wrapped around him loosely, though her hands held his arms tightly as he slowly moved inside her. His kisses became slowly and more violent, then she felt him leaving her mouth to begin darting his tongue in circles around her sensitive nipples. His strong hands roamed her torso, her stomach, her breasts, her hips as he thrust within her. Reaching his head she pulled his face back to hers, their lips tangling. He wanted to swallow her completely, forgetting that there was an impossible world around him. He dragged his lips to her ear, outlining it with his tongue and tugged on it with his teeth, his breaths of pleasure against her ear drew more fire inside her. The smallest movement on his part coaxed her to greater heights as shifted her hips, constricting her inner walls around him.
Kissing her shoulder, trailing his mouth down her nude arms while pulling her up off the bed slightly to hold her more to him, she gripped the back of his head and tilted hers back so her long hair fell and its tips reached the mattress. His lips soothing her, his hands protecting her and his body inside hers caused their bodies to become sweat-slicked and glossy. With her eyes closed lost in passion she felt his lips come down hard on hers, bruising them immediately with the harsh force that felt only reasonable with the friction gaining so immensely. Thrusting inside her forcefully, Stefan gripped the back of her head she began to tilt back involuntarily.
She literally felt steam leave her as he thrust again, embedding himself more completely into her aching body. The only way to relieve the tension was to feel his smooth skin and muscles with her hands, demanding more from his mouth by initiating tormenting motions with her tongue. Brushing her tangled, damp hair off her face, he kissed her with swollen lips, realizing they were unable to hold off any longer. With a final thrust, Laura still sitting half way up in Stefan's arms, he gripped her sides to hold her against him as they obtained their simultaneous climax.

Stefan placed her lying back down on the bed, her head hitting the pillow with impact as her eyes remained closed, needing to recover. Still on top of her, Stefan held Laura's hand that was lying on the pillow, kissed the inside of it before closing the fingers to place another kiss on her hand. She opened her eyes to see that, looking at him with love. No words were spoken as he willingly held her in his arms as she slept.


Laura awoke to find Stefan getting out of the bed.
"Where are you going," she asked softly.
Stefan turned and caressed her face. "I was going to leave."
Laura shook her head slowly. "No you're not."
He cupped her face with a desperate, terrifying grip.
"Above all, the show must go on," he whispered, scaring her.
"I know that," she whispered back, her lips inches from his. "But I also know that I can't stay away from you, and we have finally been together, and this night is not over."
They were whispering in such a dark, desperate way that it would terrify anyone who watched them. The game they played and the risk they took, the consequences yet the need. The drug that they would take as often as they could. Laura placed her hand over Stefan's and closed her eyes as if in a prayer.
"We will never let them know, we will never let them know," she whispered to herself. "But we will not take away our own life together, no matter how dangerous it is. I will not let them own all of me."
She looked at him with death in her eyes, so determined she could make someone bleed. He needed that, he needed her determination, her need, her strength, her ability to not care who she betrayed as long as she was happy. Why couldn't he let go of his family? She'd let go of hers enough to accept where she was now, she was with him, she was surviving without the world she'd always known.
"You want to leave," she whispered to him. "This room, fine. Stavros and Helena are gone. Take me to the waves."
Laura got out of bed and put another white, off the shoulder dress with a tight waist and loose, floating skirt. Her hair was wild and glowing in the candlelight, she held out her hand to Stefan. He took it.
"Come with me, the show will go on, but so will we."
She led him downstairs. It was as if they were two kids sneaking downstairs to get cookies. They giggled as they made their way past Helena's guards. Stefan jammed his foot into the corner of a door and made no noise but it obviously hurt like a bitch, and Laura burst out laughing at him trying so hard to be so calm and proper. She couldn't stop laughing so he placed his hand over her mouth as they kept walking. He had a hard time not laughing with her.
Finally outside, he grabbed her hand and pulled her as they ran to the ocean. Running with him they reached the water and it splashed on her legs through the beautiful gown. It was hard to stop running and she grabbed Stefan to come to a halt. They were laughing uncontrollably until he kissed her. Immediately she stopped laughing and wrapped her arms around him to have better access to the recesses of his mouth. Lifting her off the ground a little, she bent her knees and clung to him as she kissed him passionately, forcefully, as if it were the last night of existence. She moaned into the kiss as he twirled her around in his arms, then gently he lowered her feet back to the sand. The water was warm, clear, and calm. The stars shown brightly above them, but not brightly enough they could see perfectly.
Laura broke the kiss, caressing Stefan's face with daring hands, she pulled him back to the shallow water with her. There was a sand bar at the very tip of the shore Laura could rest against. Stefan bent down and took her mouth in his, peeling the straps of her gown down again. Cupping a little salt water in his hands he lifted them to gently splash the water against her chest. She lifted her head to reach his lips and suckled on them insistently as his hands stroked down over her curves. Her nipples burned at his nearness, peaking into throbbing tips that almost steamed in contact with the clinging coolness of her drenched dress.
He pulled her face up to hold her neck in his hand as he claimed her breasts with his hot open mouth. Pulling the flesh deeper into the heated cavern, she arched her torso up a little, seeing nothing but the stars above her and feeling the water swirl around her skin making her all the more dizzy. Trailing down her stomach, he licked the salty seawater from her, feeling her skin tremble beneath him. Turning her over, he peeled the gown to her waist, and dragged his wet lips along the glossy skin of her back. Laura's hands dug into the sand as he moved her hair to one side and bit the skin between her neck and her shoulder. She turned back over to face him.
Laura's hands were everywhere, drifting from his tan abdomen, stopping to stroke the medallion on his chest, slowly making their way to the back of his head, pulling him up without regard to meet her mouth. Lips met and explored, tongues melded in a firestorm of need and desire. Laura reluctantly removed her lips from his, licking her way down his throat, stroking the hollow of his throat with her tongue, proceeding lower to his chest. Stefan took her hair in his hand, holding her head still, looking at her. She looked more erotic and in control than she ever had, and he lifted the soaked gown off of her. Throwing it to the sand, they removed his clothing and she took him into her body. She rested there for a moment, letting the feeling of the water moving around them and the firm grip he had on her upper waist envelope her.
He lied her down against the sand, the water taking her hair and spinning the floating gold strands out like a fan. Barely moving, his hips began to press against hers, sending shockwaves throughout both of them. Laura's fingernails dug into the delicate skin of his ribcage as she began to lower and rise herself against him, showing him the depth of her need. Stefan pulled Laura into his arms kissing her with the intensity of the motions of their bodies. His hands trailed her back, her arms, her sides and her hips as his lips ruthlessly kissed hers. Both nearing the point of return they embraced each other tighter, as if for support for the ecstasy they might not live through. His hand reached to her breast, lightly pinching her nipple as he thrust into her one last time, bringing them to the release they both sought.
Lying back down against the sand, Laura wouldn't let Stefan leave her, she hugged him on top of her, and tears sprang to her eyes. He felt her cry lightly and caressed her face.
"I'm sorry," she said pathetically wiping her tears. "I justhaven't felt anything in a really, long time, and I just don't want to let it go."
She embraced him again, holding him tightly against her, her eyes clenched shut so afraid he would disappear.
"Stefan, please don't leave me, stay here, stay with me, hold me, just hold me. You see me, I'm not invisible to you."