There was a storm raging outside. Through the magnificent domed roof of the Cloister room that revealed the real sky outside, Marion watched the lightning split the sky and illuminate the trees that overhung the coppice where the TARDIS was parked. She shuddered when the thunder bolts cracked and shook in sympathy with the wind and the driving rain.

She was naked, but she wasn’t cold. Far from it. The heat of Kristoph’s body pressed against hers as he made love to her with the same intensity as the storm outside fired her blood. She responded to his passion wholeheartedly, lost in the storm she was watching above them and the storm that he was whipping up within her own body.

They had both woken when the storm was breaking, having gone to sleep under a clear, bright, starry sky with the constellation of Orion directly above. Kristoph’s foreplay stirred her as the first rain fell and the first lightning flashes illuminated the sky. Now, an hour later, the storm was showing no signs of abating and neither was he.

And Marion didn’t want him to. Before she met him, she wouldn’t even have believed that it was possible to make love with such intensity for so long. Even when she first met Kristoph, as the professor in tweed who talked to her of literature and music, she would never have imagined he was capable of such ardour.

Of course, they didn’t make love that way every night. Even he would be exhausted. Most of the time it was just as she first imagined it would be. He was strong, masterful, possessing her completely, but tender and considerate.

But on certain nights, when the mood took him, nights like tonight, he took her breath away with the sheer power that was within him. And he continued to do so for hours at a time. If she didn’t love him as much as she did, it might even be frightening. He was a different species to her, a far more powerful one. She was at his mercy. This kind of love-making ought to have been terrifying. But it wasn’t. She loved to be possessed by her Time Lord, her Lord and Master who drove her to such extremes of sensation.

She enjoyed another half hour of those extremes, her own cries of ecstasy drowned by his in the same way that the creaking of the trees above was lost in the howl of the wind. When the storm above had reached its noisiest, most violent climax, bending the trees beyond endurance, Kristoph reached the climax of his lovemaking and Marion’s own endurance was reached. Her body shuddered and quaked beneath his and her mind was filled with lightning and thunder of its own.

Afterwards, both the storm and their lovemaking subsided slowly, gently. Marion clung tightly, her arms around his neck, her legs wrapped around his thighs as he breathed too deeply at first even to kiss her, his mouth against her shoulder and his hearts pounding in his breast. Even a Time Lord with stamina that was legendary, took a while to calm down after such exertions.

He reached for her lips at last and kissed her slowly and lingeringly. Marion sighed with pleasure as she responded to his kisses.

“That was wonderful,” she told him. “I love you, Kristoph.”

“I wasn’t too rough with you?” he asked. “I didn’t forget myself in the heat of it all?”

He never was too rough. She ached in every part of her body. She felt as if she was one of those storm-ravaged trees. But she didn’t hurt as such. He never left any sign on her body of their intense love-making.

“I love it when you forget yourself,” she answered. “You make me feel so… possessed. You’re… amazing.”

“You’re so beautiful,” he said, caressing her naked body. “So soft and… tender. I should be ashamed to use you that way.”

“It’s why we came away this weekend together, without my little Rodan. So you could indulge your wildest urges like that.”

“And it worked,” he said with a warm smile. “That’s the first time you’ve mentioned her since… ohh… it must have been midnight last night, when you wondered if she was sleeping, and I reminded you that it was only about six o’clock in the evening in Gallifreyan time. And you know perfectly well that my mother adores her as much as you do. She’ll be fussing over her every minute of the day or night, spoiling her rotten. Loving her enough for both of us.”

“Yes, I’m sure she will,” Marion agreed. She sighed and looked up at the fantastic ceiling of the Cloister Room. It looked like clear glass, and she could hear the sounds of the storm outside. There was even rain running down the outside of the dome in great rivulets that caught the silvery moonlight now that the storm was abating and there were gaps in the clouds. It was easy to forget that the Cloister Room was in the bowels of the TARDIS and it was all an illusion. It was such a beautiful illusion.

The storm was over. The rain that came down was quieter now, gentle. And Kristoph’s caresses were quieter and gentler to match it. She turned her attention to him again, thrilling with the touch of his hands on her body, knowing that he was going to make love to her again in a minute, but this time very tenderly and slowly, like an autumn rainfall in a forest clearing, drawn out for an hour or more of delicious pleasure.

“It’s almost morning,” she said when they lay once more in the warm quiet after making love. The sky above was a paler colour now. Dawn wouldn’t be far away.

“Let’s get dressed and go for a walk in the woods,” Kristoph suggested.

“In the rain?”

“It’s only a light rain, now. It will be refreshing.”

They rose and dressed, with hooded cloaks and warm boots and stepped out of the TARDIS into the near silent woods. A light wind ruffled the trees and there was a sound of water dripping from the branches, and the birds were starting to sing. It was a pleasing sound. The coolness of the morning was nice after the heat of their passion. They kicked up fallen leaves and enjoyed the smells of autumn as they followed a path through the woods.

“I should feel tired,” Marion said. “We have been awake for hours. But I don’t. And it feels good. I feel as if I could walk forcever.”

“You can’t,” Kristoph told her. “You’ll feel it in a while. That’s why we’re not going to walk very far. We’re just going along this path for a while. There’s a tree along here that I noticed last night. Ah, yes. There it is.”

He looked up and reached to pull one of the branches down towards him. With one hand he picked dozens of the prickly green-brown fruits from the branch before letting it spring back, getting himself sprayed with water and leaves for his pains.

“What are they?” Marion asked.

“Sweet chestnuts,” he answered. “Our breakfast from the woods. Twenty minutes baking and they’ll split open and we can eat them hot and delicious.”

“Mmm. Lovely,” Marion agreed as Kristoph took her arm and they walked back to the TARDIS. She was surprised to discover that Kristiph didn’t mean he was going to bake the chestnuts in the kitchen oven. After they left off their wet cloaks and boots he brought her back to the Cloister Room. Instead of the bed, he brought her to a silk-covered couch with satin pillows between two marble columns. In front of it was a great stone basin filled with charcoal. Marion settled herself on the couch as Kristoph placed the chestnuts among the coals and then used his sonic screwdriver to set them glowing hot.

“I didn’t realise how cold I got outside,” Marion said as she enjoyed the warmth of the charcoal fire. “I’m lovely and warm now, though. This is nice. Perfect. Roasting chestnuts on a fire for our breakfast.”

Kristoph smiled and put his arm around her. She lay against him happily as they waited for the chestnuts to cook. When they started to pop loudly he picked them out carefully and they opened the shells to find the chestnuts deliciously soft and crumbly white inside.

“That’s the nicest breakfast I’ve ever had,” Marion said. “How did you think of it?”

“Survival training,” he said. “When I was a soldier. We learnt to eat what we could find. Cúl nut puree was in our ration packs that we carried with us. We ate it straight from the packets. Nourishing but a bit boring after a few days.”

Marion looked at him curiously. He very rarely talked about his time as a Gallifreyan soldier. She knew very little about that part of his life, before he was captured and tortured and came back home a different man in every possible way.

“Yes,” he said. “All that was at the start of the war, when we were young and idealistic, sure of a swift victory. I can remember all of that easily enough. It’s later… when some of my friends were dead, others sent home in the hospital ships, with wounds even a Gallifreyan can’t mend easily, when I was a prisoner… I don’t like to think of that. But earlier… when we were proud of our smart uniforms and going off to do our duty and do honour to our family names…”

He stopped talking. He looked around at Marion. He squeezed her hand gently.

“Days gone by. Long gone. Now… now I really am happy. I have you. We have the future together.”

As she said that there was a lightning flash and a rumble of thunder. They had not noticed that the grey morning sky had darkened again. The storm was brewing once again. And Marion saw the look in Kristoph’s eyes as he turned back to her. His passion was brewing again. She shivered with pleasure as he enfolded her in his arms and his own thunder and lightning possessed her once more.