Warm summer rain fell from the white clouds overhead, and the sounds of songbirds in the distance struck chords in my soul as I jogged to the carriage. The sun shone down at an angle through a gap in the clouds, illuminating the mist rising from the cobblestones. It was nearing the end of the year, and we’d had a late thunderstorm. The fresh scent of wet soil and bittersweet scent of dying flowers permeated the lush cabin as I’d forgotten to shut the windows tight the night prior (“Again,” Vesuvia said.) I preferred to care for my own carriage, though I left the care of my horses to the experts in the Library’s employ. Luckily the water hadn’t entered too far, and I raised the rain awnings on the windows to prevent any further damage.
I called for a page to sop up some of the water before the Lady Vesuvia arrived at the door. I flipped him a penny for his expedience, and booted him out – in good spirits, of course. No sooner had the tassels of the page’s apron disappeared through the door than the insufferably pink satin frills of Lady Kira’s umbrella appeared in the window. “Thank you, my dear. You may go now.” Vesuvia said, stepping up into the carriage. I grabbed her hand to help her into her seat, and ducked my head out to grab the picnic basket from the two maids carrying it.
I shut the door, and rapped on the ceiling as I settled in to the couch opposite Vesuvia’s. The carriage lurched forward, and its rocking slowly resolved into a steady, smooth rhythm. The new ‘leaf-spring’ ‘suspension’ was all the rage, and anyone that had ridden a wooden carriage down a cobblestone street in disrepair will attest that it wasn’t for frivolity’s sake.
Once we’d cleared the outer gates, Vesuvia and I exchanged devilish glances. It had been several weeks since we met in the Library and we still hadn’t gotten over the burning, overwhelming passion for each other. It was all stoked by our marriage early that morning. There were no clergy, witnesses, or compacts signed, aside from the one we shared together intimately. We gave ourselves to each other in the most complex ritual I had ever seen, melding Psionics and Magic. It was a blood rite that caused a Mind Bond to leave a permanent link between the two participants, as well as a link to any posterity.
I lunged for her, catching myself on the couch’s back and seat with my hands. I steadied myself and leaned forward to kiss her. Her lips parted slightly, excited breath hissing out as I closed the distance. My lips pressed gently but solidly against her luscious lips, not asking for more, and not taking it. The kiss lasted an eternity, but it felt too short when I pulled back. My eyes gazed deeply into hers as I said breathlessly, “Hello, my love. At last we meet again.”
I melted down to the seat next to her, and we sat holding each other, my arms around her stomach, her head tilted slightly and resting on my shoulder. We spoke softly, looking out the window at the passing countryside, and as I spoke I nibbled on her ear, or kissed her neck softly. Every touch we shared was pure bliss. We were headed for a private wood, where we hoped to enjoy our lunch in peace. The drive was long, several hours both way, but most definitely worth the wait – as neither of us wanted to be disturbed. And time always seemed to fly by when we were together. Overwhelmed by the scent of her, I started to kiss her neck slowly, until she looked back into my eyes. They caught the devilish glint again, and she ripped my silk shirt off exuberantly.
The rain slowed to a soft misting, and our carriage moved out of the marketplace, cruising along the dirt highway out of town. For miles and miles, we enjoyed our ‘repartee’ – our give and take. As our ‘conversation’ slowed, I lay her down on the deep carriage seat, one we’d have to have reupholstered eventually, and lay behind her. One arm cushioning her head, as the other simply rested around her torso, holding her close. I lay my head near her shoulder and kissed it, and her neck, and her ear in slow, erratic, soft motions. I could feel her back press into my chest with every one of our breaths, slowly matching pace. She rubbed her soft feet along my calves and feet, caressing them gently, and letting me know that she appreciated my presence. This is the true reason we knew we were meant for each other – soul mates – We feel the most at home and the most whole when we are wrapped up together, no physical ‘pleasures,’ or emotional ‘caressing.’
An hour later we ascended through the layers of semi-sleep we had fallen into and kissed each other deeply. Vesuvia looked outside, and sat up suddenly. “Baby, see that? You know what that flower… that one right there is? It’s…”
Returning to her scholarly personality, she continued to expound on the pros and cons of holistic medicine, and its correlation to modern medical practices, and how it all ties in to certain plants that have healing properties.
>>Picture credit: Maria Jana.