With her harness securely arranged, and with a little bit of instruction about how the rope system worked with the harness, he made her go down the boulder he'd attached the rope to. The drop-off of was about ten or twelve feet, and he said she needed to go down it to make sure she had the hang of it and get some experience before they went over the side of the mountain. One side of the boulder was slanted with lots of stepping places so it was easy to go up, the other side was almost vertical so it made a nice place to get the hang of things. She loved the patient and self-assured way he showed her how to maneuver the ropes, and how to use her arms, legs, and body to control her descent. He made her come down the boulder twice by herself and when he saw she'd figured it out he walked her to the edge of the mountain, made sure she was hooked up correctly, and then asked her if she was sure.
"Of course I'm sure. You first or me first?"
Once they were over the side and hanging there side by side Eric seemed surprised that she had just gone over without really thinking about it. "Are you sure you haven't done this before? You don't seem comfortable with the ropes, but you aren't afraid, there was no hesitation at all about dropping down and trusting the rope. That's pretty unusual, even hard core adrenaline junkies are usually hesitant their first time, even if only for a few seconds."
"I've watched you making all of the preparations, doing something and then double-checking it, even making me wear this silly hat. You seem to know what you're doing and you are taking safety seriously. I got an idea of what we're doing on the boulder and it all seems safe enough to me, there is this big strong rope and this harness that I can't come out of. And it's kind of exhilarating to be here hanging off the side of the mountain with the view of the city off in the distance. I like this, now watch me a second and make sure I've got the ropes all where they are supposed to be so I can let myself down."
She wished she could just say, "I'm a vampire, I can fly. If the rope breaks I'll just fly back up." But it was too early for that.
They rappelled down a good ways until they were on a natural shelf area and Eric said it was time to get out of the harnesses and hike back up, that if they walked along this shelf a bit it met up with a hiking trail that wound its way up to the top.
"I figured we'd climb back up the way we came. I was kind of looking forward to it, actually."
He looked doubtful. “It's possible, but that's more for an experienced climber. It's harder to look for hand and foot holds while dealing with the rope. This is your first time, you did great, but it might be pushing it to try a climb tonight."
"I'd really like to try. I've done the climbing walls, where you don't have to deal with the rope, someone else does it for you. I was thinking it would be fun to climb back up a real cliff instead of an artificial climbing wall."
He sighed. “Okay, we'll go up about ten feet and if I think you can handle it we'll keep going, otherwise we come back down and hike up. Deal?"
"Deal. Thanks Eric."
He finagled with her ropes a minute, instructing her how to manage them going back up, and then patiently talked her through it as he stayed by her side as she climbed. At ten feet she was figuring out the ropes okay. Climbing was no problem for her, but he insisted she keep working the rope so if she fell the rope would catch her, and that part was a bit tricky. At one point they were near the top and having to pull themselves up by just the rope because the cliff was kind of inverted there, and he pulled her to him and kissed her. Not a gentle first kiss, but a kiss that meant business, it quite literally took her breath away. He wasn't rough, but there was no doubt he was in control of what was happening and she was just along for the ride. When he'd thoroughly kissed her and she had gone from zero to a thousand on the horny scale, he gently let her go, making sure she was situated with her ropes the right way and ready to start ascending again. It took her a couple of attempts to get coordinated again, and when she did the first thought she had was that he'd kissed her like a natural Dom. Hanging in her harness and being kissed by him, with him in control, had practically melted her. She told herself it was just because he was in teacher mode and she was in student mode. She'd never submitted sexually to a human and had no intention of ever doing so. Plus, it would never work for a human companion to be Dominant. Never. She'd need to give him a kiss at the top to balance the scales.
But that didn't happen. As he helped her get out of her harness and they pulled the rope up from the side of the mountain, she found herself following instructions and she was incredibly turned on by his gentle but quietly commanding voice. She had never submitted to a human and hadn't submitted even to a vampire in well over a thousand years. Vampire society is all about the hierarchy, about how powerful you are. And vampire sex is full of adventure – if you live thousands of years, you've got to make it interesting. But a strong vampire would never submit to a weaker vampire. The two might have vanilla sex, but if sex goes off into a power exchange then it just isn't possible for a weaker vampire to exert any kind of power over a stronger more powerful vampire. With vampires it's not so much physical strength as it is metaphysical strength, and Kendra was incredibly powerful both physically and metaphysically. She could have her own territory if she wanted it, but she didn't want that. She was happy staying with Abbot and helping him keep his power base intact. If she wasn't under a Master Vampire who led in a way she could respect, then she'd have taken on her own territory in a heartbeat. But she respected Abbot and had no problems with the way he ran his territory. She was proud to be his third in command.