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Backwards in Time | Forwards in Time

Title: None The Wiser
Abhorsen Trilogy
Characters: Lirael, Sam
Prompt: # 04 - Chastity
Word Count: 2’640
Things were so much simpler before she knew who he was. Lirael/Sam.
All rights belong to Garth Nix and his publishers. I own nothing.
Author's Notes: No 4 in my 7 Heavenly Virtues Series. Rated for scenes of sexual content. Implied incest, but only because the series says so …


None the Wiser

Her face was growing hot just thinking about him. Running a trembling hand through her hair, Lirael bit down hard on her lower lip and continued to stare unseeingly out of the Tower window.

He was on her mind, yet again. No matter what she was doing or who she was with, her thoughts continuously strayed to the wayward Prince, robbing her of her breath until her desire was almost too painful to bear. Keeping herself ‘busy’ was a pointless endeavour. And even her duties as Abhorsen were not nearly distracting enough.

Lord, how she missed the old days. Things were so much simpler, back then. Back when it was just the two of them and Mogget and Dog, back when they travelled and had adventures, back when they were young, carefree and … and together.

He was her first friend. Her first real friend, at any rate. The Dog, bless her, was wonderful. Lirael loved her a great deal, and by all accounts she was the first friend Lirael had ever had … but … well, she wasn’t human, so Lirael wasn’t too sure whether she could really be counted as a proper friend or not.

ButSam … he was human. And he accepted her. Was amazed by her strength and apparent power. From the very first moment they’d laid eyes upon each other, Lirael had felt the sudden spark that flew between them. Her lack of knowledge at the time was now her biggest regret. If only she’d known, right back at the start, what it was that she was feeling for him. Maybe then they could have had at least a little bit more time together …

But now it was too late. Now, they both knew the truth. Now, she knew that she was his Aunt, and that any feelings she’d previously had for him were well and truly forbidden.

And that was the thing that hurt the most.

The knowledge that they could never be together.

And try as she might, she knew she would never be able to truly settle with anyone else.

Which is why she was sitting in silent darkness, staring out at the setting sun from her room in one of the highest towers of Belisaere Palace. Brooding on the things that could never be.


Sam suppressed a shudder with difficulty and straightened up, dropping his tools back down onto the work bench before clambering ungraciously to his feet. The candle was burning low and his workshop was beginning to be eaten by the growing shadows as the sun set outside. Walking slowly over to the window, he bit back a gasp of surprise as he spotted a lone figure leaning against the window-sill of Lirael’s personal quarters.

Only one person would be in that room, and his heart began to pound erratically beneath his chest as he pictured her, every detail so sharp and clear within his mind despite his futile attempts to try and forget her.

Because they couldn’t. They were related, now. And there was nothing either of them could do to change that, no matter how much they both wished for the impossible …

Chewing on his bottom lip as he struggled to keep his body under his control, he ran a trembling hand through his hair and mutely argued with himself over what his next move should be.

Hesitating for a few seconds that seemed to drag on for hours, he finally made up his mind and shot out the door without a backward glance, the candle blowing out in silence as it swung shut behind him.


The short, sharp knock on her door almost sent her jumping headfirst into the ceiling. Regaining her composure, albeit a little shakily, she hastily ran a hand over her face to dispel any tears that may have succeeded in their escape attempts and brushed a hand down her dress to smooth out the stray creases. Glancing up in mild curiosity, she willed her voice to sound stronger than she felt.

“Come in,” she called out politely, eyes determinedly fixed on the turning door knob.

Only for her to inhale sharply, eyes widening in disbelief as the door was gently pushed open to reveal the one person she didn’t think she could handle seeing, right at that particular moment in time.

Immediately turning away to stare resolutely out of the window, she willed her pulse to return to normal, an order that her body refused to obey as she heard the door click shut behind him.

Don’t look at him,’ she thought firmly, clenching her hands in her lap as her muscles tensed painfully. ‘Whatever you do, don’t look at him.

It was all she could do to force herself to follow her own advice, refusing point blank to turn away from the window, even well after the orange glow of the setting sun had stained the distant horizon a silky, royal red.


The silence between them was an uncomfortable one.

Sam could sense her unease as she purposefully avoided his gaze. He watched in silent amazement as the first tendrils of a fresh evening wind began to tease her rich, loose-hanging locks, exposing the pale skin of her neck whenever a particularly strong gust ran true through the wide-open window.

Licking his dry lips in unconscious anticipation, he closed his eyes in restraint and shook his head to try and clear his thoughts, suddenly all too unsure about what to do. His plan had been a simple one; knock on her door without running away before she could answer. Well, he’d done that, and here he was for his efforts – standing closer to her now than he had since their return to Belisaere all those months before.

But he hadn’t planned just what he was going to do after that.

And his body seemed to have acquired a fair few ideas of its own as he stood immobile just in front of the door, watching in entranced admiration as her slender fingers clenched and unclenched on top of the silken snow-white gown clinging delicately to her perfect figure.

In his mind, he knew he had to say something, but it seemed that her beauty had succeeded yet again in robbing him of his voice.


Ignoring the chill of the evening air as it whipped at her face, Lirael shuffled restlessly on the window seat and tried to still her hands. Why had he not spoken, yet? Why was he watching her? Oh, she knew he was watching her; she could feel his eyes burning through the back of her head and was more than a little irritated by his persistent stare.

Or was she?

A part of her relished the attention, if she was to be truly honest with herself. And she could feel her own body responding to the silent but apparent plea of his own – he wanted her, she knew that all too well. He wanted her as much as she wanted him …

Finally unable to take the prolonged and uncomfortable silence that was stretching out between them, she wrapped her arms around her shoulders in an unconscious attempt to protect herself from the cold and blinked, licking her lips.

“Did you want something, Sameth?” she asked softly but curtly, inwardly cringing at the use of his full name. By calling him that, she was reminding herself as well as him that she was his Aunt, that she had authority over him, that nothing more could happen between them …

Too bad it wasn’t working to convince either of them.

“Yes,” was all he said, before she finally turned around in time to see him approaching her, one foot resolutely pushing in front of the other as he crossed her room, fingers of his left hand absently trailing over her bed railing before falling to his side as they reached the end. His eyes locked with hers and she suppressed a silent shudder of delight, suddenly lost within their seemingly timeless depths.

Her head was telling her that nothing good could possibly come of this.

Her heart couldn’t have cared less.

As he stopped so close to her that she could feel his breath ghosting across her cheek, as he reached a hand out to hers and gently tugged her to her feet, as he leaned in and whispered the one word that made her knees go weak, she cursed the day she’d learned of her relation to the one man whom she loved with all her heart.


Did you want something, Sameth?

Oh, did he ever.

She was trying to remind him of the complications. A tiny, nagging part of his mind almost wanted to turn and run as she said it. But he stood his ground, refusing to buckle, now that he was so close.

This was it. He was finally going to say it.

“Yes,” he replied quietly.

To Hell with the Charter, to Hell with rules and regulations, to Hell with the ‘relation’ complication. He simply didn’t care, anymore.

He didn’t know what was going to happen, what the consequences would be. He didn’t know where their relationship would go from this point on, whether they would simply forget about this moment and let things return to normal, or whether things would change for the better. Or for the worse.

He didn’t know what his parents would say if they ever got wind of what he was doing, nor did he know how Ellimere would respond to hearing about his outburst and to whom he’d revealed his innermost feelings.

But he did know that he could no longer keep them to himself.

Did you want something, Sameth?

Steeling himself and making damn sure that he was staring her dead in the eye, gaze one of open sincerity and the utmost love, he inhaled a calming breath, squeezed her hand and, in a soft but determined voice, gently whispered, “you.”



The word echoed around her head, leaving her breathless, confused and aching with a desire so strong that her teeth ached.

He wanted her.

Of course, she’d already known that, had known it for a while, in fact.

But hearing him say it, hearing him admit it straight to her face …

The world around them was suddenly insignificant. If only for a few moments, there was only the two of them, hands entwined and gazes locked, the breeze flying in through the window sending the skirt of her dress billowing around her ankles, teasingly licking at his heels as he closed the gap between them.

His face inclined painstakingly slowly, his lips parted and his face flushed with excitement. Lirael could feel something pressing into her midriff and immediately felt the excitement building in her lower abdomen - that aching need to touch him, to taste him returning with a vengeance.

Before either of them could think of anything else to say that might possibly spoil the moment, Lirael straightened up higher and closed the gap between them herself, pressing her lips tentatively onto his, testing the boundaries. When she felt him smile against her, she suppressed a tiny giggle and strengthened it, nibbling ever so gently on his lower lip, mutely asking for permission which he readily gave her.

Slipping her tongue into his mouth, she wrapped her arms around his neck as he wrapped his own around her waist, drawing her closer to him as he hungrily deepened the kiss, his member straining painfully hard against its confinements as he let his fingers slide up and down her spine. He felt her shiver in delight and couldn’t contain a tiny groan of pleasure as she let her own fingers glide teasingly over the hairs at the back of his neck.

“Sam,” he felt her whisper against his mouth as she slowly pulled away, her tones huskier than usual and her eyes alight with a desire that he knew was mirrored in his own. Gasping for breath, he relinquished his grip on her waist and let the palms of his hands rest against her hips, simply drinking in every tiny quirk that made her ‘Lirael’ ...

But then he noticed the internal struggle waging a silent war deep within her bottomless orbs, and he knew there and then that there would be no persuading her.


“Sam, wait,” she murmured, stilling her racing heart as common sense finally caught up with her. Biting her lip, she shook her head, crystalline tears welling in her eyes as she noticed the look of horrified resignation adorning his handsome features.

With a heavy sigh, he half-nodded and dropped his gaze, letting his hands fall to his sides.

“I know,” he whispered back, voice hoarse and expression unreadable. “I know we can’t.”

She paused for a few seconds, just looking at him, drinking in for what could well have been the last time the person she knew she could have been eternally happy with. How she dearly wished she could give in to her desires, give herself up to him …

But she couldn’t.

Her own chastity simply would not allow that.

And she found it even harder to say what they both knew she had to say, because he seemed to have accepted it without her speaking a word. Suppressing a sob with difficulty, she swallowed her self-hatred, swallowed her disgust that she was giving up a chance for happiness simply because of a familial technicality …

“I’m sorry, Sam,” she tried, but he shook his head, lifting his index finger and gently resting it against her lips before she could say another word.

“I know,” he repeated, feigning nonchalance, while they both knew he dearly wished for there to be another way.

She didn’t know how to say what she needed to, and he didn’t need to hear it, anyway.

Shaking her head again, she let her forehead fall against his chest, drawing him in for a bone-crushing hug, mentally wishing that the moment could last forever.

Too soon for either of their liking, she pulled back with noticeable reluctance and he let his arms drop to his sides once again, turning away to avoid her apologetic gaze.

“I’m sorry,” they said in unison, looking up simultaneously and half-laughing at just how similar they really were … before realising that that was making this even harder.

With a mutual but silent agreement, they pulled away, Lirael dropping heavily back down onto the window seat while Sam turned towards the door, once again.

Ignoring the icy sting of the now bitter evening wind, Lirael wiped hastily at her leaking eyes and returned to staring mock-raptly at the blackened horizon, unable to contain a wince as the door swung closed with a soft click a few seconds later. Shaking her head and wrapping her arms protectively around her chest, she willed her heart to remain in one piece, as she silently wept for the future that she could never have.

Would that they were still living the lie of months gone by. Back when they knew nothing of their familial connection, back when their relationship had no boundaries, no barriers. Back when they were none the wiser about who the other actually was.

She watched with an aching heart as the light returned in Sam’s workshop across the courtyard from her room, watched as his shadow momentarily blocked out the warm, friendly glow of the candles on his desk.

And while she silently yearned for his warm embrace, ached for him to hide her from the horrors of reality, the guilt buried deep within her chest was, if only for a few moments, briefly silenced.

They were doing the right thing.

But that didn’t make her desire for the ‘wrong’ thing any easier to quench.


7 Heavenly Virtues Table

Tag,You're It!:


( 2 comments — Comments are Love )
20th Jun, 2008 18:58 (UTC)
That was wonderful, but it made me want to cry
20th Jun, 2008 23:59 (UTC)

Well, I'm glad you enjoyed it, though I will apologize for the near miss with the waterworks ;)

I'm quite delighted that it succeeded in its aims to entertain, though, so huge thanks for letting me know! :)

Blessed Be,
Yami xXxXx
( 2 comments — Comments are Love )

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