Warning: I'm trying to keep it in the spirit of YA romance but I go further than YA because I refuse to just tease. It's only mildly explicit but I figured I'd give you a chance to skip to the next chapter If you feel that you're too young for New Adult content. You've been warned.

Now, if you feel that you ARE old enough, dive right in. It's not just sexy stuff. Some serious feels get hit right on the head (our love birds have issues and need to get past them first) plus some delicious magic gets explored.

So, get the Marvin Gaye Greatest Hits album ready and pick a song so you can play it for our love birds when the time comes. Among other things. Buahahaha. Now, pun time's over (only for a moment). Let's get literal. Long, juicy chapter in here.

I do not own Rise of the Guardians.

Chapter 14: Quick! Someone play Marvin Gaye

"I accept you as my mate," Jack said.

Jay's eyes widened and she threw her arms around him, squealing. She couldn't believe it.

Yesterday, she was sure she lost him, but instead, they were finally going to be mated. He returned her hug and breathed in her scent. Her heart bounced in her ribcage and she felt the strangest desire to laugh and cry at the same time.

"I don't feel any different yet," Jack said. "You said that our powers would mesh together or something once I accepted you as my mate."

"That's because we haven't mated yet," Jay said eagerly.

He raised an eyebrow in question and she declared, "We must mate now," and worked on untying her robe. The ridiculous clothing he insisted she had to wear could finally be shed.

She threw the robe down and was about to pull off the gown when he put his hands on hers to stop her.

"Leave it on for now," he said, running his hand up her arm and watching his fingers on her skin as they traced the outline of the lace. "I like the gown."

Jay didn't understand why he didn't want her bare and worried if there was anything about her body he didn't want to see but decided not to dwell on it. They could still mate with it on.

Now, it was his turn. He was wearing too many clothes. She quickly pulled off his sweater before he could argue and grabbed the waist of his deerskin pants, trying to unbutton them. The button was putting up a fight and he chuckled at her.

"Why are you in such a hurry?"

She groaned, "This cursed button. Help me here."

She exhaled, frustrated and he started to work on the button himself and she noticed that his hands were trembling. He finally got it to release, then, another one, and another but when he put his hands on the waist of the pants, ready to take them off, he froze.

She searched his face and saw worry in his features. He avoided her eyes and seemed to struggle with something internally.

She put her hands on his. "What's wrong?"

He chewed on his lip. Finally, he sighed and said quickly, still not meeting her eyes, "No one has ever seen me naked."

Jay didn't understand what the problem was but judging how he made a big deal about her nudity, she guessed that he had an issue with it. She rubbed his back, remembering how much he liked it before. He relaxed but was still frozen in the same position, his nervousness not having passed yet.

He groaned and leaned his forehead on her shoulder. "I want you so badly but I can't…"

He didn't finish but shook his head and she struggled to understand what emotion he was feeling.

"Are you scared?"

He flinched and she wondered if maybe that wasn't the right thing to ask. It sounded as if she called him a coward, didn't it? She was really not good with words.

"Don't be scared of me," she whispered, hoping that she wasn't offending him.

He took a couple of long breaths.

"We're doing this," he said more to himself than to her and finally pulled the pants down.

Jay was curious about his body but decided to not stare at him yet to help him overcome this fear she couldn't quite understand. She kept her eyes on his face instead.

"Darned things. I need to get some new pants that aren't so tight," he muttered, struggling to get them off and she chuckled. She agreed. Those buttons were a nightmare.

After he fought with them for a while, he dropped them to the floor and her heart beat faster. The moment she's been waiting for was going to come.

She settled on the bed with her legs folded underneath her and he approached her slowly. His hand rose and stroke her cheek.

"You know, now, that I'm here, I don't feel that shy anymore," he admitted. "I'm all yours."

She sighed with relief. "We can mate now."

He gave her that lopsided smile she loved so much.

"It's funny when you put it that way - like we're a couple of animals in a repopulation program." He chuckled. "That's not what I want."

Her heart fell. He didn't want her?

He gently tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and slowly trailed the back of his finger down her neck.

"I want to make love to you," he said softly.

He leaned in and captured her lips in his and moved in sluggish kisses down her jaw and her neck and she was very confused. She didn't understand what he meant but in that moment his kisses felt really nice so she started to relax. He seemed to like kissing a lot.

She couldn't help but feel like she was doing something wrong, missing some important part of what it took to mate. She groaned internally, frustrated with herself for her ignorance.

She was snapped out of her thoughts when he put his fingers under the strap of her gown and delicately pushed it down, placing more kisses on her shoulder.

She found the sensation of it slowly being lowered down her arm very interesting. Her heart started beating a little faster as she realized that this was how he wanted to take off her gown. Maybe there was nothing wrong with her body after all?

He looked into her eyes then and she noticed hesitation.

"Take it all off," she begged him, afraid he was going to stop.

To encourage him, she placed his hand on her chest and started guiding it under the fabric. He swallowed and looked quite nervous but did not stop. She let go of his hand and observed him as he continued on his own until he exposed her.

His touch felt nice. She liked the feel of his cool fingers on her skin and the tingling they left everywhere they made contact.

Jack slipped her gown up and off of her and she sighed in relief.

"About time," she said, happy to be out of the prison of clothes.

He chuckled in response, whispered, "You're beautiful," and kissed her on the lips.

His hands traveled all over her body now. She pulled him down to the bed.

He chuckled as he fell on top of her and raised himself to hover above her. He started kissing her again and their bodies were barely touching. This wasn't it. She pushed his face away, getting a curious look from him.

"It's time to mate, Jack," she reminded him impatiently, tapping her finger on his shoulder. "Do it."

He smiled at her playfully. "Relax, Jay. There's no need to rush."

She could feel anger creep into her voice. "You said you wanted to mate. Why aren't we mating yet?"

Instead of answering, he was about to start kissing her again and she wouldn't have that.

"Why are you delaying it?" she demanded. "I can see that you want me. Why won't you take me? What's wrong?"

"Jay," he sighed. "It can't be one-sided. You need to want me too. That's what I'm trying to do." He rested his head on her shoulder and added, "I'm trying to warm you up and failing spectacularly."

"You're not making any sense. I already want you."

"No, you don't," he insisted, speaking into her shoulder.

"What are you talking about? I've been waiting to mate with you since I got this body."

"You're trying to skip the best part, Jay," he said, raising himself to look at her. "You want the end result. You don't actually want me."

His voice sounded sad and resigned and she couldn't comprehend why he kept repeating those words.

"Answer honestly, Jay," he said quietly. "What do you feel right now?"

"I'm feeling a lot of things." She thought about it thoroughly. "I'm excited that we're finally going to mate. I'm a little angry at you for acting like this. I'm confused why you keep saying that. I worry why you look so sad right now. And I love you, Jack."

"I know you do," he said, smoothing her hair. "I love you too but do you know what I feel right now and pretty much any time I'm with you?"

Where was he going with this?

"Desire," he answered and his blue eyes were piercing. "I feel hot like my blood is on fire. Me - hot. That's like an oxymoron. I feel like I'm going to crawl out of my skin or explode. I can't stand the thought of not touching you right now and crave your touch desperately. I want to kiss and caress every part of you. I want to be so close to you that we're basically one. That's how badly I want you and I can't wait to see at least a little of those feelings returned."

He searched her eyes for a reaction and her first thought was to dismiss everything he had said and reassure him that she did want him but his eyes warned her to take his words seriously.

Did she feel hot? Did she crave his touch that desperately?

He was right, she realized, she didn't feel any of that. Her only desire was to be mated to him. She didn't care about the mating act.

"What am I doing wrong?"

"No, not wrong," he corrected, smoothing her hair tenderly. "I'm starting to wonder if maybe you're not ready for this." He sighed and leaned his head on her shoulder again. "We don't have to do it tonight if you don't feel ready. I can wait. I…"

She felt hot anger boil inside her and cut him off. "No, Jack. You are not getting out of it. We are going to mate. So, just tell me what I'm doing wrong."

He raised his head and smirked at her.

"There's my feisty little blue jay." He gently tapped a finger on her nose and chuckled. "Believe me, I'm all for it."

"So, what now?"

"I have no idea, Jay. I'm improvising here. Can you be patient and just trust me?" She nodded and he added, "Just let me know when I do something that you like."

"I like everything you do. All of your kisses feel really nice."

"Well," he said with that lopsided smile of his. "I'm looking for more than just nice."

He laid on his side and pulled her in until she felt his cool skin along her entire body. It took only a moment for her body temperature to adjust and come closer to his and she sighed when his skin no longer felt cold.

Jack kissed and caressed her body with passion and care. At first, his touch felt familiar and simply pleasant and she let herself relax.

'Trust him,' she repeated to herself. 'Be patient.'

After she released them both from the pressure to mate and allowed herself to just enjoy the closeness of him, she noticed a shift in how she felt everything. Like, when he playfully nibbled on her ear, his cool breath created a rash of goosebumps on her skin and her heart beat faster. Like, when he dipped down to kiss her breast, her fingers entwined in his soft hair and without planning so, she held his head there, wanting more of the tugging feeling that was building up inside her. It was a new type of feeling. With each touch and kiss, she felt more flutter in her stomach as if her body was awakening.

The tide completely shifted when he surprised her by placing her thigh on top of his hip. He kissed her on the lips again as his hand traveled from her thigh to her bottom, gently caressing in circles, his fingertips leaving a tingling sensation everywhere they touched.

His hand traveled further until he found her core. She was taken by surprise, not expecting his touch there but quickly learned that she craved it. His kiss was slower and deliberate now while he explored the sensitive area and she felt a new sensation stir within her which she didn't fully understand yet. It was a warmth spreading through her veins, changing her from the inside.

He kissed her to the same rhythm as his gentle caress and every inch of her skin came alive. Her breathing became ragged and she pulled him in, wanting more. More of him. Closer.

She made a small sound which surprised her. He smiled in satisfaction.

"Do you like this, Jay?" he asked in a husky voice and she loved the sound of her name on his lips.

"Yes," she answered and didn't recognize her voice. It sounded so different, breathy and sensual.

"Better than nice?"

"Yes," she replied, praying he was not going to stop.

A flame ignited deep inside her, burning away all thoughts until all thoughts were him. Her Winter. It was a need, she realized, a desire.

She dug her nails into his skin as the feeling overwhelmed her, searing her with white-hot flashes. Finally, a shockwave pierced her like a flash of electricity, igniting every nerve ending in her body. Her back arched and she held on to him for dear life.

She waited for the wave to dissipate and as she slowly eased back into consciousness, she opened her eyes and found herself looking into his smiling face.

"Better than nice," she said, relaxing her hold on him.

She hoped she didn't hurt him when she dug her nails in before but he seemed to be okay. Maybe better than okay. He looked smug, actually.

He rubbed his nose against hers and she giggled.

She sighed, reveling in the aftershocks of the pleasure and realized how lucky she was to have him as her mate. Was it always going to be like this?

"My mate," he whispered and brushed his lips against hers, teasing her.

She slipped her hand through his hair, hungrily basking in the satisfied feeling that settled in her but then a realization hit her that it had all been about her so far. He'd done so much for her but had she actually done anything for him? Had she satisfied that burning desire he described to her earlier?

She lamented inside, suddenly aware of how much she neglected him. She wanted to fix it immediately but was completely clueless as to what to do. How could she make him feel everything that he had made her feel? What would he want her to do?

She tried to remember if he ever gave her a clue, and finally, remembered his words from just hours before. These were words he spoke to her while trying to comfort her, even though he was the one who nearly died, even though the roles should have been reversed.

I love it when you touch me.

The words echoed in her head. It was so simple and yet the memory of how he melted into her proved just how much he craved her touch. All she did was rub his back, copying what he did to her but the gesture meant a lot more to him than it did to her, didn't it? He spent centuries unseen, unheard and untouched. That's what he wanted the most. That's what he needed from her.

Don't stop, please.

But she stopped, didn't she? She was so focused on herself that she ignored his plea. He needed the comfort of her touch, the assurance that he wasn't alone anymore but she was too self-absorbed to listen to him.

Self-directed anger woke her up and she made a silent vow, 'I will never again neglect you.'

She started with what she knew he liked - rubbing his back in slow lazy circles. He instantly reacted by closing his eyes and melting against her.

She watched him carefully, trying to read his reactions and took the time to really look at him, to fully appreciate her mate. She was struck by how the paleness of his skin contrasted with the dim light of the attic. It made him stand out as if he was aglow. And who knew, they were made of magic, maybe their bodies could glow.

She trailed her hands through his chest, shoulders and arms, following the shadows which accentuated the muscle definition on his lean form. This was her mate. He was all hers. She wouldn't want him to look any different. He was perfect under her fingertips.

He opened his eyes and observed her as she explored his physique. When she met his blue irises, she could see burning hunger in them. He wanted more.

She leaned in and brushed her lips against his teasingly. She pulled herself so close to him that she could feel his whole body touching her. Her heart beat faster as she felt what had to be his arousal pressing into her abdomen. Before she knew what she was doing, her hand slid down his chest until it was wrapped around it. He gasped and she was afraid that she did something she wasn't supposed to but he didn't pull away, instead, he kissed her urgently and pulled her even closer so she continued a new type of exploration.

She noticed that even her gentlest touch got a reaction from him. She repeated the stroke and admired his features as he closed his eyes and scrunched up his brows, lost in the sensation.

She smiled in satisfaction when at one point she managed to get him completely distracted, he abandoned the kiss and moaned in pleasure. She did not stop, encouraged by his response to her touch. She couldn't believe it. She was doing something right.

"Jay," he whispered her name, holding on to her and she was reminded how just moments ago she was consumed by the burning wave and wondered if he was feeling the same thing.

With a final moan, his release came and he leaned his forehead on hers, breathing heavily. His soft hair tickled her skin and his breath was a familiar coolness she'd grown to love.

Jay felt proud of herself for being able to bring him the same type of pleasure he gave her but then gasped by the realization of what she had just done.

"Jack. Oh, no."

He slowly opened his eyes and looked at her, puzzled.

"We didn't even mate. Did I just ruin our chance to mate tonight?"

He chuckled and rubbed his nose against hers playfully.

"Don't worry. I'm definitely not done yet."

She sighed in relief and bit her lip in anticipation. Was the mating going to be even better than what they just did? She wanted to find out.

"Getting impatient again, are we?" he asked, smirking at her.

She giggled. "A little."

She wrapped her arms around him and pulled him on top of her. He immediately kissed her and supported himself with one arm while the other hand caressed her body. She greedily roamed his, thankful to now have two arms for that purpose.

His fingers found her core again and she wanted to ask him why when they were supposed to mate now but reminded herself that she was supposed to trust him.

She felt the now familiar warmth build up in her and felt like all of her senses but the sense of touch were dulled. From her fingertips which brushed his skin and registered everything about it to the feel of his touch and the softness of his lips.

Just when she thought that he was going to push her over the edge again, he stopped and she looked at him accusingly, ready to protest but then he settled himself between her legs and pressed himself against her. She could feel the head of him touching her right there and couldn't wait. She needed him.

He kissed her deeply and started to rock very slowly, only barely breaching her. She wanted more, she wanted all of him and this teasing felt like torture, so abandoning all patience, she grabbed his firm buttocks and with one strong move pulled him all the way in until their hips met.

She was shocked by what followed. She did not truly realize before what it was going to feel like. She winced at the pain and cursed herself for her impatience. Maybe his way would have been better.

"Are you okay?"

She took a deep breath and nodded. The pain of the forceful entry slowly subsided until all she could feel was a heartbeat. Was it hers or his, she didn't know. At this point, they were one.

He kissed her neck and whispered, "Try to relax, Jay. Close your eyes and just focus on my lips."

She listened obediently and concentrated on the feel of his soft lips on her skin. He kissed her gently, lovingly and she could feel herself slowly loosen up. Only then, she realized how tense she was before.

Sensing that she finally relaxed, he started to rock and she opened her eyes. She found his blue eyes piercing her, seeing deep into her soul, entrancing her. She wrapped her legs around him and basked in what she felt.

She was hyperaware of everything - the rhythm of his breathing, the sound of the bed slightly creaking, the smell of Winter intensifying around her.

And then, everything faded into the background and all she could feel was his magic which radiated out of him and enveloped her like a blanket. A good kind of cold seeped inside her. Her body drank in the new power and reveled in it. She could feel the potential it held and imagine the possibilities of how it could be used.

"Jay," he said, his voice straining, "I feel it. I feel Wind."

"Yes," she answered. "This is it."

Her power over Wind mixed with the power of Winter. Now, the mystery of what abilities the mating would give them was unraveled.

The magic intensified and she saw a vision of herself, holding Jack's hand, flying through the clouds. The two of them combined their powers to create a snowstorm which could span far greater than what Jack could ever do on his own. It was a partnership. He could use Wind to spread the storm and bring his magic to many places at the same time. And she got to feel and use the mighty power of Winter which he was glad to share. When working together like that, she could be a spirit as powerful as her Jack, her eternal mate.

The vision gently eased out of her and she opened her eyes to find his icy-blue irises watching her with wonder. His skin shimmered like a light reflected off of freshly fallen snow.

"You're glowing," he whispered.

"So are you."

She raised her hand to his cheek and he closed his eyes, leaning into her palm. It felt as if her sense of touch was attuned to only feel magic - his magic.

His body was pressed against hers as he laid on top of her but she found that he didn't feel heavy. He just felt so right, so perfectly fitting her.

She kept replaying in her head everything she experienced this evening. Each touch, each kiss, each word, each feeling. She wanted to remember it well, although, she supposed they were going to make many more memories like this. She smiled at the thought, excited to start her new life with him.

Soon the glow of her hand and the shimmer of his skin subsided and their magic stilled to normal levels. He opened his eyes, feeling it too. A small lopsided smile spread on his lips and he swiftly turned to lay on his side and pulled her to curl up against him.

She rested her head on his arm, placed her hand on his chest and sighed at the happiness swelling inside her.

"Well, this was fun and it just proves that you should always trust the fun expert," he said and she giggled, biting her lip.

"I love having fun with you," he added tenderly and kissed her nose.

"Yes. You've always been a fun-lover, Jack," she murmured.

He snorted. She looked at him questioningly and he exploded with loud laughter.

"I'm glad you think so," he said and laughed so hard that he could barely breathe.

She couldn't help but smile, infected by his good mood but didn't understand what was that funny.

Just when he was about to calm down, he looked at her, said "Fun lover" again and started a new fit of giggles, making the whole bed shake.

She sighed again. She had a lot to learn when it came to humor. It was a good thing she had an eager teacher at her fingertips.

It took him a long time to compose himself but once he finally did, he sighed in a long satisfied way and propped his head on his hand.

"So, Jay, want some more of my fun loving?"

A/N: I may have punned a bit. It was too delicious to pass up. I won't apologize for it.

Stay tuned for the epilogue. All sorts of good feels coming up.