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Author Topic: Soul Searching (Chapter 18)  (Read 29460 times)
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Mandie
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« on: July 27, 2006, 05:19:51 pm »

Summary:

   An arranged marriage turns into a love of a lifetime.  When they are tragically torn apart, the two lovers’ souls go on a search for each other.  Finally, they find each other again, but the people the souls now inhabit are complete opposites.  Can love find a way through their differences, or do the souls have to continue their search?




For those of you who have asked, I have not forgotten Time For Love.  I will finish it, my muse was just pushing this story on me.  Please enjoy this one until I can go back to that one.  ~M
« Last Edit: October 16, 2006, 09:05:47 am by Mandie » Logged

"Pinky, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"  "I think so Brain, but if you changed the P to an O, my name would be Oinky." - Pinky and The Brain

Read my story Soul Searching!  Tell me what you think.
Mandie
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2006, 01:59:19 am »

April 15, 1100: It was always cold and drafty in the students quarters of the nunnery.  Winter’s chill still lingered in the air.  Mary Elizabeth Marbourne burrowed under her threadbare blanket thinking warm thoughts.  It had been ten years since she had been home, but deep in the recesses of her mind she could almost remember fluffy feather beds and large warm woolen blankets.  Sitting up, she combed the braids out of her thick blonde hair, only to plait her hair and braid it up again.  Sighing, she realized that day was dawning, and Sister Katherine would soon be screaming at them all to WAKE UP!  Deciding to do ahead and get up now, she swung her feet out and cringed as they hit the freezing floor.  She minced her way to the porcelain pitcher on the cabinet, and poured some of the cold water into the matching basin.  Plunging her hands into the water, she had to stifle a screech then quickly washed the sleep from her eyes.  Burr, there was nothing that woke you up like a face full of cold water.

   Mary  had just finished washing up when the expected yell came through the open door.  “Wake up, girls!  Ten minutes.”  Four sleepy faces emerged from their own cocoons.  Elena, the youngest at seven, was the first one out of bed.  Handing the washing cloth to the little girl, Mary tiptoed over to the shared wardrobe for a dress.  All the girls followed, and they quickly and quietly got dressed, and were waiting in a straight line when Sister Katherine finally appeared in the doorway.

   “Good morning, ladies.”  Sister Katherine seemed to be in a rare pleasant mood as her creased face eased into an almost unseen smile.  “Are you all well rested this morning?”  Her gaze seemed to pause on Mary.
   “Good morning, Sister Katherine.”  They all replied in unison.  Nodding their heads in response to the second question, they all exchanged looks.  Why was Sister Katherine being so nice?  Usually she would just lead them stoically to the dining hall, never saying a word except the morning blessing.   
   Following the elderly nun single file, they marched down the stairs and into the dining hall.  Silently, the girls took their seats, bowing their heads as Sister Katherine prayed.  Mary grimaced at the sight of the bowl of watery gruel in front of her.  It might not be so bad if it had any taste to it.  As the first spoonful slid down her throat, Sister Katherine stood up.
   “Today, one of you girls will be heading onto the next stage of your life.”  She seemed to be pleased at her announcement.  Spoons clattered as they were dropped into wooden bowls and five pairs of eyes turned toward the elderly nun at the head of the table.  “Happy Birthday, Mary.”  Sneering slightly, she groaned as she took her seat again.
   Mary gasped.  How could she have forgotten this fateful day?  Not just any birthday, but her fifteenth birthday.  The day she would leave the convent, go home, and marry the man her parents had chosen when she was born.
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"Pinky, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"  "I think so Brain, but if you changed the P to an O, my name would be Oinky." - Pinky and The Brain

Read my story Soul Searching!  Tell me what you think.
Mandie
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2006, 10:45:33 pm »

Every other girl looked at her, sorrow in their eyes.  The nuns had taught them all to be good chatelaines of their households, taught them to be competent healers, but most of all warned them of the pain of becoming a wife.  No woman enjoyed the marital bed, but it was a part of their duty.  Mary did not want to marry, but it was her duty as the daughter of a wellborn family.
   She dreaded the endless nights of pain in front of her.  The pain of submitting to her husband, and the pain of childbirth.  The only break she would have is during her monthly courses when her husband would not touch her.  “... your father’s garrison arrived late last night.”  Sister Katherine’s voice interrupted her musings.  “They would like to leave as soon as possible, So I’d like you to pack your things as quickly as you can.  You must leave within the hour if you are to make it home before nightfall.”  Sister Katherine picked up her spoon and began to eat, assured that she would be one less girl by the end of the day.  Those foolish wealthy girls, no appreciation for the service that the sisters performed for God.  Mary stood quietly, her appetite gone.

   “I’ll just go pack, then.”  With Sister Katherine’s nod, Mary left the table and trod back up the stairs.  Most of the clothes that belonged to her were not really proper attire for the daughter of an English Lord.  Even less so for the wife of a Baronet.  As she folded the few things that actually belonged to her alone, she laughed wryly.  Ten years of her life had been spent in this drafty convent, and what did she have to show for it?  Knowledge yes, but not enough possessions to fill the small trunk that she had arrived with.  Soon, all too soon, Mary was finished packing.  Physically ready to leave, but emotionally never wanting to face the real world.  Just as she had hardened her heart to leave the room, the other girls burst in.

   “Oh Mary!”  Elena threw her arms around her stomach and cried hot tears onto her tunic.  “You can’t leave us!  Not to be married!”  Yes even Elena had been exposed to the horrors of marriage.  All the girls had tears running down their faces.  Mary might as well have been sentenced to death.  Every girl took a turn to give her a bone crushing hug, then it was time to leave.
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"Pinky, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"  "I think so Brain, but if you changed the P to an O, my name would be Oinky." - Pinky and The Brain

Read my story Soul Searching!  Tell me what you think.
Kielen
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2006, 05:49:32 pm »

Awwww....so cute!! More soon??? Please??
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Mandie
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2006, 06:08:51 pm »

The sun was peeking over the mountains, bathing the land with the pale colors of dawn.  John William Blake stood at the window, lost in thought.  Brushing a black curl out of his eyes, he leaned against the wall.  He was unable to sleep any longer.  April 16, a date that had been burned into his memory for the past fifteen years.  At twenty-one, John was more than ready to marry and start a family, but he wasn’t looking forward to marrying a girl he had never laid eyes on.  As the eldest son of a baron, he had always known he didn’t have the luxury of choosing a wife, but he would have liked to know the woman before marrying her.

   He dressed quickly, preparing for his day.  Tomorrow was his wedding day.  One day, while his future wife traveled home.  One more day of freedom, only one more day.  Forgoing breakfast, he headed for the stables.  As he saddled his horse, the stableboy emerged from his room, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.  Upon seeing who was in the stall, he turned, yawning, and found his bed once more.  John prided himself on being self reliant.  The servants knew to leave him alone unless he specifically asked for help.
   Once the horse was ready, he swung up into the saddle and galloped out of the stable.  The wind whipped through his hair as he tried to outrun his troubles.  He knew he would have to face his future eventually, but for now, he was free.  He had one destination.  The time had some to say goodbye to Sally.
   The saddle creaked as he lowered himself in front of the small, one-roomed hut.  Many men, most in fact, had mistresses.  He was not going to be one of them.  Men in his family were faithful to their wives, whether love was involved or not.
   He tapped softly on the door.  A pair of almond-shaped brown eyes looked through the crack that opened up.  “I was expecting you this day.”  The door opened fully, revealing the petite curly brown-haired woman within.  Her cherry red lips curled into a wistful smile.  “This is it, then?  This is goodbye?”

   Wrapping his burly arms around her small frame, he kissed her forehead.  “As much as I care about you, I’m afraid that I must say goodbye.”
   The woman sadly nodded against his chest.  She had known this day would come.  She had been warned, but it had never seemed like it would ever actually happen.  These last few years had been the best of her life.  John was a wonderful, thoughtful man.  Never one to delude herself, she knew they did not love each other, but she had been happy, and comfortable.  She wasn’t sure she was ready to return to her previous life of poverty.  “Do you want to join me one last time?”  Her tone was hopeful.  She wasn’t ready to say goodbye, not yet.

   He softly stroked her cheek.  “I am sorry, Sally.  This is the only goodbye I can give you.”  His lips touched her cheek, then he turned to leave.
   Sally leaned against the door frame and watched the tall, dark man mount his horse and ride away.  She wanted him to stop, look back, and realize he was doing the wrong thing, but of course he didn’t.  As she turned to pack her things, she hoped that his wife truly deserved him.  While John wasn’t her future, surely something good waited for her around the bend.

   John rode around the estate, trying to enjoy his last day of freedom.  While he consciously made the effort not to think about tomorrow, he couldn’t help it.  As he rode past the crystal lake, he wondered if his fiancee liked to swim.  Would they shed their clothes in the summer heat and play naked in the water?  Would she be willing to make love to him in ths cool waves, or would she only accept his advances in a darkened bed chamber?

   The morning flew by as he tried to picture his life with a wife, and soon he headed back home for lunch.  His brother, Robert, was already eating when he entered the dining room.  Sliding into the seat adjacent to him, he waited until one of the serfs had delivered his lunch and retreated again before remarking, “Well, it’s done.”
   Robert paused, his food halfway to his mouth.  “You really said goodbye to Sally?”  At his brother’s nod, he continued, “I didn’t think that you’d actually do it.”  He chewed his bite slowly, then swallowed loudly.  His dreams had finally come true!  Sally was free!  With a muttered curse, he leapt from his chair and ran from the room.  John stared after his departing brother with confusion until he disappeared.  Shrugging, he turned to finish his meal.
   After he had eaten, John strode into his father’s bower to help him work on the books.  Baron John Robert was losing his eyesight, and couldn’t handle the running of the estate by himself anymore.  All the more reason for John to marry and take over.  The elderly man smiled vacantly as his son entered.  “Are you looking forward to tomorrow, son?”  John glared at his father.

   “Oh yes,” he said, sarcastically, “It’s the day every man dreams of.  Marrying a woman he has never met.  A woman he knows nothing about.”
   Baron John looked at his son, confusion shining in his cloudy eyes.  “What do you mean, John William?  You are the son of a Baron.  The oldest son, in line for my title.  This is the way it’s done.  It’s the way it’s always been done.”
   Just because it was tradition didn’t mean that John had to like it.  Robert was going to be allowed to choose, why couldn’t he?  He patted his father on his frail shoulder as a way of apology, and sat down to work.  No more words were exchanged as father and son worked at their individual tasks.
   As the sun was disappearing beyond the horizon, a serving wench bustled into the room to light the candles.  “Supper will be served in an hour, milord.”  Sometimes the men got so involved with their work, they would forget to eat.  Baron John nodded his grey head, and John stood, stretching the muscles in his back.
   “I’m going to go for a walk, father.  I’ll come back here to get you before dinner.”  At his father’s nod, John left the room.
   At dinner, the entire family gathered at the table.  Baron John was hunched and frail in his old age.  

Baroness Charlotte had crinkles around her bright blue eyes and laugh lines around her mouth.  Although she was short and reaching her dotage, she was still able to corral her strong, tall boys.  

Robert looked much like John, only his hair was brown and he wasn’t as broad in the shoulders.  He looked much more like an English Lord than John himself.

John had curly black hair, his eyes the same bright blue as his mother’s.  His shoulders were broad, and his upper arms were almost as thick as his thighs.  Muscles bulged on his arms and legs, his chest and stomach rippled with every movement.  He was a handsome man, but built more like a knight than a Lord.  His complexion was tanned from spending so much time outside as opposed to his brother’s and father’s pasty complexions.  He always felt like Robert was more inclined to be the Baron.  He actually enjoyed working with the books, whereas John only tolerated it.

   After eating, the men enjoyed a tankard of ale before turning in.  Morning would come soon, and the family planned on leaving at first light.


A/N WooHoo my first FB!  Thanks!  Please contine to R&R!
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"Pinky, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"  "I think so Brain, but if you changed the P to an O, my name would be Oinky." - Pinky and The Brain

Read my story Soul Searching!  Tell me what you think.
oddball011
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2006, 03:32:05 pm »

yea!! I lovee your storys and im eager for an update
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Mandie
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2006, 08:38:23 pm »

A group of four soldiers waited outside in the bailey.  Mary shyly approached them dragging her small trunk behind her.  The leader, a large man with bad teeth, grinned at her as he threw the trunk on the back of the pack horse, lashing it down with heavy ropes.  After securing it, he turned slowly to face her.
   “We have to get going if we’re going to get you home before dark.  It’s going to be long and hard, and we can’t make many stops.  If you must stop, speak to me.”  His low gravelly voice was slightly frightening to Mary.  She had spent the last ten years of her life without even seeing a man, other than her father.  Nodding shyly, she was whisked off her feet and placed on the broad back of a large white mare.
   The men mounted their own destriers, and wordlessly surrounded her as they rode away from the convent.  Mary glanced up at the attic window where she had spent so many mornings gazing over the moors.  The four faces of her friends pressed against the crude glass.  With tears in her eyes, Mary raised her hand as a last farewell.

   The men were so silent.  The only sounds were the horses’ hooves clopping over the cold ground.  Since she was so leery of these men, Mary kept her mouth shut as well.  In fact, no words were spoken until the group stopped for luncheon.  Wordlessly, the taciturn men dismounted, forming a circle around Mary.  Each man pulled bread, cheese, and dried meat from their saddlebags, the leader handing her some of his supplies.  “If you need to relieve yourself, do so beyond those bushes before we leave.”  He angled his head toward a large copse of bushes where one of the men was disappearing behind.  A blush rushed across Mary’s cheeks as she nodded and angled her head down.  
   Sitting on a large rock, Mary chomped her food.  Slowly, she realized that the men were quietly talking to one another.  Surprisingly, the low rumble of voices was comforting to Mary after the silent morning.  Her mouth was so dry, but she didn’t want to ask anyone for a drink.  She didn’t know the etiquette out on the trail, but since they didn’t talk to her, she was fairly sure she wasn’t supposed to talk to them either.
   Glaring at the bushes, Mary realized that she really did need to use the necessary.  She didn’t want to do it in front of all these men, and was wondering what she should do.  Seething at her stupidity, she had just made the decision to just do it when the leader gave the signal to mount up.  Winking at her, he nodded toward the bushes then turned his back.  Gathering her skirts, Mary raced across the open grass toward the bushes, taking advantage of the situation.  She finished quickly, then hurried back to join the men.  The leader lifted her back onto her horse then handed her a water skin.  She took several large swigs before handing it back with a smile of thanks.


   As they started off again, Mary hoped that her bottom would come out of this adventure in one piece.  Already, her lower back, her thighs, and of course her bottom ached and burned.  She would need to make a cup of Cananga tea to help her muscles relax before bed tonight.  The thought of seeing her family again excited her.  She hadn’t seen them in almost a year.  Usually they came every year on her birthday, but of course they hadn’t come this year.  Not all the girls’ families visited.  Elena hadn’t seen hers since she had arrived two years ago.  The last time Mary had seen her parents, she had been struck by the fact that they were getting old.
       
   They had only ever been able to conceive the two girls, and when her father passed away, their estate would be inherited by a distant cousin.  Her sister Rebecca was destined to marry him, and their mother would be provided for if she survived her husband.  Rebecca was able to stay at home with their mother, instead of going to the convent with Mary.  Mary often wondered if her mother insisted upon it because Rebecca was her favorite.  She really didn’t envy her sister, though.  Cousin George was bratty and immature.  She hoped her own husband would be different.
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"Pinky, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"  "I think so Brain, but if you changed the P to an O, my name would be Oinky." - Pinky and The Brain

Read my story Soul Searching!  Tell me what you think.
oddball011
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2006, 10:32:56 pm »

i <3 this story!
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2006, 02:26:06 pm »

Great story, keep up the good work! I'm looking forward to the next chapter!
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Mandie
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2006, 05:09:47 pm »

I'm really sorry it took me so long to update.  It's been really hectic around here.  As an apology, here is a longer chapter.


   As slow as the trip seemed to be, they finally arrived at her family’s estate.  The sights tickled her memory, although everything was older and some things had completely changed.  Her family, bathed in the golden glow of the setting sun, stood in the courtyard waiting for her.  Mary tiredly slid off her horse and stumbled into her parents’ arms.  Even though the impending marriage terrified her, she was thrilled to finally be home again.  Each of the women wiped tears from her eyes as her father gruffly excused himself to go thank the men.  As soon as the dismissed men turned to go to their homes, the family entered the house.

   Rebecca chattered excitedly about the next day, but Mary was too tired to participate.  The two girls had always been the best of friends, even with Mary away at the convent.  She longed to share her fears with someone, but felt like Rebecca was too young to understand.  She hadn’t been exposed to the same things, and she was still innocent in her idealistic beliefs.
   Mary’s mother, Sarah patted her arm understandingly and smiled at her eldest daughter.  “Why don’t you go upstairs to your room?  You can take a nice hot bath, then eat some supper.  We will be eating down here, but if you feel too tired to come down, I’ll send one of the wenches up with a tray for you.  Tomorrow morning, I’d like the entire family to meet for one last breakfast.”  She teared up again, sighing, “My eldest daughter, a wife.”  Sniffing delicately, she turned to make sure supper was ready in the kitchens.
   Mary gratefully ambled up the stairs, Rebecca chattering on next to her.  “I’ll show you the way to your new rooms, Mary.  Now that you are going to be married, you have to have new rooms!  Isn’t it lovely?  I helped Mother with the tapestry.”  The girl happily pointed to a beautiful red woolen banner hanging on the wall.
   Nodding, Mary replied, “It looks lovely, Becca.  Thank you for helping Mama.”  Her sister happily skipped from the room, leaving Mary alone.  A soft knock came on the door.  Mary opened it to a bevy of serfs carrying buckets of hot water.  They each poured the steaming liquid into the heavy wooden tub sitting in the corner behind a large screen.  As Mary was, again, left alone, she dug through her herb bag for a handful of rosemary and violets.  Dropping them into the water, she sighed as she loosened her dress.  Placing the soiled clothing in a heap on the floor, she stepped into the tub.  Sighing, she sank into the liquid heat.  The smell of the herbs swirled around her, helping her relax and calm down.  She scrubbed her body and hair with special rose-scented soap she had made at the convent.  When she felt sufficiently clean, she stood, the water sluicing down every curve of her body.  Stepping from the tub, she dried herself with the rough drying-cloth.

   Briefly considering joining her family for supper, Mary decided to stay in her room.  This day had been draining, both physically and emotionally.  She dawned a virginal white nightdress and sat on a chair staring at the tray her mother had sent up.  Her stomach rebelled at the thought of eating, but Mary forced herself to eat a few bites.  Shoving the tray aside, she climbed up into the large bed.  It was just as soft and luxurious as she had remembered.  Had it just been this morning that she was lying in a cold cot in the convent?  It seemed a lifetime ago.  Curling up on her side, she finally let her emotions overwhelm her.  Mary Elizabeth cried herself to sleep.

   It was still dark when she woke.  Walking over to her pitch-covered window, she leaned against the cold stone wall and watched the sky lighten.  It would be hours before she would be expected to awaken.  Mary climbed back into her bed and, to her surprise, fell asleep again.  The next thing she knew, Rebecca was shaking her awake.  “Wake up Mary!  Today is your wedding day!”  Shuddering, she sat up.  By tonight, she would be a wife.
   Breakfast was a celebration for the family, except for Mary.  She tried to enjoy being home again, but she was terrified of what was to come.  Looking around the table, tears came to her eyes as she realized what she was losing, again.  Her father, George, still had black hair, although the temples had greyed.  His deep brown eyes still shone with mischief.   He looked very debonair.  

Her mother, Sarah, had grey sprinkled through her thick brown hair as well.  Her green eyes kept looking lovingly at her daughters.  The creases on her face showed her age.  

Rebecca, who seemed so young, had her curly brown hair tamed to two thick braids.  She had inherited both her father’s eyes, and his penchant for mischief.  

Lastly, there was Mary.  No one knew where her white-blonde hair had come from, but it was beautiful.  She had her mother’s grass green eyes.  She was taller than her mother, but still shorter than her father.  She smiled at her family and picked at her food.

   After a leisurely breakfast, she was sequestered to her room.  Her mother had sewn a wedding dress for her, but the last few measurements had to be taken and the last few seams had to be sewn.  Several women from the village had shown themselves to be excellent seamstresses, and all of them were working feverishly at finishing the dress in time.  Time and again, the soft white woolen dress was pulled on, pinned up, and pulled off again.  Finally, Mary was dressed carefully in pretty, soft undergarments, the edges of which were covered in carefully tatted lace.  She was placed on the bed, while a serving wench brought in a tray of lunch.  As the door opened, Mary could hear a loud commotion downstairs.  Several unfamiliar voices floated up to her ears.  Could it be that the Blakes had finally arrived?  Her heart leapt into her throat as she realized that her future had no way of changing.  She pushed the tray away.  There was no way she could eat.  Her stomach was roiling.
   All too soon, the dress was finished.  It was pulled over her head, and laced up her back.  The women murmured in awe of the resplendent bride, and left her alone with her thoughts as her only companions.  She paced back and forth across the room, her nerves making her ill.  Just as she was ready to pull her hair in frustration, someone knocked softly on the door.  As it opened, her father was revealed, tears in his eyes.

   He took her into his arms.  “Oh my sweet girl!”  He swallowed, trying not to cry.  His baby girl looked so grown up.  “I love you so much, daughter.  John William will make a wonderful husband for you.  He has grown up well, as you have.  Be happy, my girl.”  He kissed her on her cheeks and her forehead then released her.  Mary had tears in her own eyes as she returned his kisses.  She allowed him to take her arm in his and lead her out of the room, straight into her doom.
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"Pinky, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"  "I think so Brain, but if you changed the P to an O, my name would be Oinky." - Pinky and The Brain

Read my story Soul Searching!  Tell me what you think.
Jagerjaques
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2006, 05:59:01 pm »

Another story!  Thanks, they are always amazing! Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2006, 05:10:42 am »

This is a really good story, only just found it, and its great!
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2006, 11:17:27 pm »

Great story!
The only flaw I saw in it was a minor one.Did they have phones back in 1100 A.D?
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Mandie
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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2006, 01:20:54 am »

Oh yeah!  Didn't you know?
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2006, 04:39:56 am »

WARNING: Contains PG13 moments.  

   John straightened his deep red tunic once more.  He was more nervous than he had expected.  Standing at the front of the chapel, his eyes kept darting to the door.  When it finally opened, and an angel appeared in the entryway.  John’s breath caught in his throat.  Her long blonde hair fell in thick braids around her waist, and her long white gown seemed to glow.  As the sunlight hit her, a halo appeared in the air above her head.  He was completely unable to take his eyes off her as she came closer.  To him, she seemed small and fragile, while he was big and strong.  He vowed, in that instant, that he would do everything in his power to make sure his angel was always safe.

   He took her hand in his, and a shiver ran down his spine.  He smiled down at her, at her cute little nose, and her full red lips.  Lips that he would soon have the right to taste.  Her grass green eyes seemed apprehensive, and John hoped that she wasn’t afraid of him.  He proudly rumbled his vows as the priest commanded.  Then he leaned down to his bride, to take her mouth with his.  As much as he wanted to take it much further, he kept the kiss chaste.  Finally, he was a husband.

   Mary swallowed past the lump in her throat.  He was absolutely enormous.  He had black hair that curled rakishly around his ears, and the bluest eyes she had ever seen.  Although he had a kind look about him, she knew that looks could be deceiving.  As her father delivered her into his arms, and they stood before the priest, she looked up into his eyes.  She had never seen anyone as tall as he was.  This man seemed to have the power to hurt, and to protect.  As he took her hand in his, a shiver ran down her spine.  The priest started the ceremony, and before she knew it, it was over.  She must have made all the correct replies, but she couldn’t remember any of it.  Her eyes widened as the man kissed her lips.  She was now a wife.

   For him, the celebration seemed to be never-ending.  His tiny angel sat next to him picking at the food in front of her.  He couldn’t keep his hands to himself, feeding her with his fingers, helping her drink from their shared cup.  He wanted it to be over, to be allowed into her bed.  He wasn’t looking forward to the first time when the elders would watch him take her virginity, but he was looking forward to the rest of their life together.  To watch her belly grow large with his child, and to know that for the rest of his life she would belong to only him.

   For her, the celebration seemed to fly by.  Her new husband kept feeding her tidbits of food.  She was not hungry, not in the least, but he was being so nice that she ate everything he offered.  She noticed that he would place his lips on the exact place that she had placed hers, and wondered why he did that.  All too soon, for her, the older women took her upstairs to her room.  She was stripped of all her clothes, and put naked into a diaphanous nightdress.  Then she was placed, like an offering, on the large bed.  All the women were talking at once, telling her what was to come.  Mary let the words slide over her mind, terror filling her at the coming event.  The loud boisterous men got closer and closer, finally pouring into the room practically pushing John in front of them.  Cheers erupted from the men as John lowered his hose and climbed on top of her.

   Apologetically, he raised her gown over her thighs.  He wanted to get this over with as quickly as possible, so the elders would leave and he could make love with his wife on his own time.  Pleasure would have to wait until they didn’t have an audience.  He ran his hands over her legs, gently spreading them enough to fit his body between them.  As he noticed that she was naked beneath the gown, he could feel his member growing with pleasure.  Releasing himself from his drawers, he whispered apologies in her ear as he thrust himself into her moist opening.

   She had been feeling little frissons rushing down her body, settling in her center.  Her breathing became erratic as she felt his nakedness against hers.  She had been expecting pain, but instead, it was the beginning of pleasure.  Then he apologized, and the pain exploded through her.  Though she had prepared herself for this, it was more than what she had expected.  She felt as if she were being spilt apart.  A tear trickled down her cheek as the crowd loudly celebrated.  He moved inside her.  Once, twice, and then was done.  He pulled his thing from her, leaving a gooey, sticky mess.  Leaning his head against hers, he straightened their clothing before standing and facing the elders.
   “It is done,” he announced softly.  John was mortified.  He had planned on waiting to take his pleasure until she could enjoy it as well, but when he had been enclosed in her tight warm channel, he couldn’t help himself.  Never before had he lasted such a short time.  More than anything, he wanted to shoo everyone away and take his wife again.  She was sure to be sore, and the elders needed to take the soiled sheet to the balustrades so all could view the virginal blood.  He turned to sheepishly face his new bride.  To his consternation, she appeared to be crying.  He gathered her into his arms, and carried her behind the screen where a hot bath was waiting.  “Soak, love.  You’ll feel better.”  He paused, making sure to look her in her eyes.  “I am sorry to have hurt you.”  Turning, he reluctantly left her alone and went to oversee the changing of the sheets.
   Mary ached and was terribly embarrassed.  What a horrible tradition!  When she had children, she would never insist on this, no matter what people said.  Sniffing delicately, she shed her soiled nightgown.  She glared at the bloodstains on it, resolving to burn the thing as soon as she could.  She stepped into the bath and sat down, pulling her knees to her chest.  Wrapping her arms around her knees, she rocked lightly back and forth, unable to fathom suffering that pain every night for the rest of her life.  She wanted to cry, but couldn’t stand the idea of John hearing her, so instead she washed her body, scrubbing her skin until it reddened.

   John was relieved to hear splashing instead of crying.  At least the first time was over, and she would be able to enjoy herself the next time.  He wanted to make love to her all night.  His hard member certainly agreed with him, but he knew that she would hurt enough on the ride home without his help.  He lay on the freshly made bed, waiting for his wife to finish her bath.  Even if he would not make love to her again, he looked forward to holding her in his arms as they slept.  As he waited, he fell asleep.

   Mary stayed in the bath until the water had gone cold, and her skin had shriveled.  She didn’t want to face her husband, afraid that he might want to hurt her again.  Resolving herself against the inevitable, she stood, dried off, and dressed herself in the new nightdress waiting on a chair for her.  As she walked around the corner, she was relieved to find her husband asleep in the shadowy candlelight.  Climbing up next to him, she scooted to the edge of the bed, as far away from him as possible.  Blowing the single candle out, she lay in the dark, trying to sleep.  Did she really have to face this pain every night?  Why did women do this, and why did men make them?  Soon, the tears came, and Mary cried herself to sleep again.
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"Pinky, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"  "I think so Brain, but if you changed the P to an O, my name would be Oinky." - Pinky and The Brain

Read my story Soul Searching!  Tell me what you think.
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