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[X] When he first had me.
We stayed the night in one inn as such.
There was a taproom on the low floor, and since the night was festal, we stayed our time ahead of sleep there. The place was thick with talk and roast-smoke and laughter, but it was the best place otherwise, loud and cheery. Cassy was not so happy with it as me, but for me he weathered the smell and the noise. Ah, I say the best, this I do still, but it is only in hindsight as I say that, since what happened after later on the night and what we then did. There’ll be getting to that, in time. The before comes first.
Anyway, the taproom was flocked with folks of Moriya and the town below mountainside, humans well as monsters. (I did not burn those for they were patrons so much as me and Cassy.) There was roast, too, as I said, stuck and turning on a spit over the firepit, and there was other inn-like food and also drink: apple cider and ale, and wine from some black cellar, and home-brewed moon-shine black-stuffs. I had a taste of some; some I dared Cassy to taste, but never did he do. The thing about Cassy was he misliked alcohol near so much as he misliked vile weather. That is to say he did not think alcohol foul, demeaning or nothing. “I merely do not appreciate the flavour,” he’d insist to me as I offered him the lip of my cup.
I must needs say here I do not drink as a rule—not ale and not wine and not those others. The occasion called for it (and the innkeeper was generous with the tap) is about all why there was so much drinking as there was that night. Cassy licked perhaps two licks of the ale. I had six cups... six as I remember.
That was perhaps reason as I talked what I did. At any rate, on start we’d talked of things as Cassy would talk: the course ahead, the road and supplies and so and so. The more I had, though, the more my own tongue unleashed and I began on myself and my dear family—and my marriage to Cassy, even if we scarcely named it such ourselves.
(I did in my thoughts, though.)
The prime thing was, my respected mother was known to had been wed and bedded on the same day, since was custom of our queer old family. The marriage was ceremonied, then “consummated” soon, elsewise it should be done undone by will of the gods. The gods plainly could not take the bedding off their minds, but after that night, I might not fault them. Only if they should care for their own bedding instead ours, I should be happier also.
I told Cassy as much, too. “The gods—the lot of crooks,” I told him; “never trust a god, never do. They’ll promise you all you may wish, they will, but you’ll not want it no more by time you’re done with them.” “That bedding stuff, too,” I also said, “what’s their business if the maid’s a maid-en or not? Though my revered mother was right enough happy for her bedding... and I should, too, perhaps yes. All same, what’s their care? And what’s so great about bedding anyway? A crock of dung, that it is.” The ale must have blunted my wits and edged my tongue, for I could not seem to quit the issue. “I am maiden, too, I am,” I boasted (to a cheer of half the room), “and like to stay so, too. The gods should bugger themselves if they so much want buggering.” There was more cheers to that, but I didn’t bow, nor laughed with them; I busied myself with refilling my cup and complaining more about the gods and buggering.
By time as that was drained, I’d taken a back-turn.
“The problem,” I told my Cassy, “is it’s all fo—so... forced.” The women-folk in Heaven made it appear chore more than they did it love, as girls down on earth had fancied. That must have itched me quite the black lot, for I tried my husband with hour after hour of this stripe of talk. Why may I not bed whom I wanted and when I very well wanted? Why was it such a grand deal, when folks down on earth had at it all day long with not a care for the world? And what in both the blazing hells was so great about it that they did it day in day out and loved it so much? “All I wish,” I mumbled (for reason I lay on the table by then), “all I do, is have someone, yes, someone nice and golden and bright, show me what’s it all noised about for—for it all ‘pears crass to me, black and crass. Oh and why is it we are meant to kiss on the wedding day but not before, and then go so fast down to bed and do—well, do all that and be happy for it? The gods have some frightful wrong ideas of the maiden heart, they do.” And on I went, again and again, same old cries.
Cassy’s face had been growing darker since I had started first, but it must have been the darkest when he slammed his ale-cup on the table (some of it spilled – he hadn’t touched it at all), and startled my own heart out by saying, “And if I bed you, will you at last be quiet for it?”
All I could do was say, “Cassy?” and stare at him like dumb.
The taproom was crowded yet (though the hour was old), but no one had heard him say it, for there’d have been roar and cheers all about if they had, and I heard none. There may have been, though. I like would never have noticed anyway. “I asked you a question, girl.” There was but few times as Cassy called me “girl,” and those were when either he was seriously angry, or he was seriously serious. I could never say which of the two it was then; my heart slammed in my throat and my head swam all about the place. I could not say neither whether it was because it had swum up and down on accident, or if I’d nodded it on my own dulled will, but sooner than I may deliberate which it had been, Cassy had emptied his cup, wrenched away mine, and hefted me up on his arms like a royal crowned princess—or dead hunted game, depending as you happened to look.
The ankles of my feet knocked the doorframe as he carried me without, but I could never pay less mind. I clung to his neck (though I couldn’t say when I’d even caught hold), and I watched his fearless grey eyes as he climbed the dark stairs, myself filled to brim with fear, then sudden thrill, and then fear twice anew. Not a princess after all, I thought to myself; I’m scared as a doe in a loop, and he’s too big and strong and too very big to wriggle free.
The instance I thought it, though, the thrill came again.
When he tossed me on the bed (more as game, again, than a princess for sure) and went to bolt the door of the room, almost I could hear the voice of my mother saying to me in my ear, “Be brave, child.” I’m not a child, mother, I answered in my head, I’m a woman betrothed, and now about to take even the next step. Mother didn’t see meet to answer.
Cassy came back and eased me down on the rushes, not speaking. A thousand thoughts framed on my mind: “I’m not ready!” “I don’t know if I want!” “Will it hurt?” “Will you not be gentle?” “Say you love me first!” “The lamp, put out the lamp;” but before I may frame them on my tongue, Cassy was on me, spreading my arms, undoing my buttons. Awhile I wondered what I shall do with them—the arms—but Cassy would have none wondering right then. He pulled down my shirts and bared my breasts.
We both stared awhile how they swelled and fell with my breaths. I was breathing hard.
I wished somewhat he’d say a thing: that they were too small, too sweet, too pink; but he never did. I fought to unbind my wrists from the tangled shirts; they’d bound my hands on my back. “Cassy,” I breathed, “Cassy, Cassy, shirts, Cassy...” but he had no words for me. Almost I panicked then, when he bent above the helpless hunted me, and he put his lips to the peaks of my breasts. A ticklish place to kiss, I thought then.
But then he sucked.
And oh gods, I whined then, and not for I wanted. And again he sucked, and pulled up an inch, and my chest and belly and all followed up with him all on their own. When I looked down on him, it looked all but as if I’d been suckling him, as if he’d been only a blond baby boy sucking my milk, from my poor petty breasts, but none woman I met ever had told me a baby should also use its tongue. Cassy did, oh he did, and how. I threw my head back and whined, and squirmed, and whined. Cassy never said anything.
And then he stopped. I got my breath back; I got my breasts back. I didn’t know I wanted either. “Have you had a woman before, Cassy?” I asked him as he wiped at his mouth, “have you not?” “No,” he said, all grey and cool and calm.
That was everything he said to me that night.
Then he flung up my skirts, and parted my shifts, and in the break I freed my hands finally. I felt a flutter down in the pit of my stomach when he found my smallclothes, and when he slid them off tickling down my thighs and calves and feet; but the flutter went away no sooner than I’d caught myself thinking, Oh gods, this is it, I want him. I want him to touch me, to suck me, to lick me. I want him. The gods, the earlier talk, weddings, beddings, customs, all be damned. I wanted only him. Only Cassy.
And the damned wellest part? I had him.
I stuck out my tongue when he slid a finger inside me.
I bit it when he slid in a second.
I should have watched more for that tongue.
I never did figure what I should do with my arms, so I spread them and clutched at the sheets. Never did I know when I’d pulled them free and wrapped myself in them, but I did, all the while Cassy fingered this way and that inside me. I was hearing my voice pushing from my throat, and half of it was his name, and tother half was words I’m shamed to say again.
Then Cassy laid the flat of his hand atop my belly, and, inside still, pushed his fingers up, toward it.
I hadn’t never fancied my own back may try and snap me in half, but it did right then. The scream I heard myself blow out, I wager must have given the folks downstairs a whole ‘nother new reason for cheers. I crossed my arms at the wrists over and atop my head, and I clawed at the wood of the wall aside our bed ‘til my nails ached. I kicked and screamed and bit my tongue (yet again), but Cassy never stopped.
I loved him even more that he didn’t.
When I sneaked a glance on him, regardless he caught it. There was not a change on his face, but I knew he knew what I wished—needed—of him next. Never had been with a woman afore, he’d said; but he’d known anyway exactly where to touch and what to do. Unlike he wouldn’t know a plain thing as this. A string of me trailed after his fingers when he’d slid them out oh, so slowly, and he pinched open the buckle of his belt.
What I saw leapt out was mine, and so very scary, and so warm when it kissed me and bored inside me.
I think there was pain, but what there was of it, I felt not at all. Cassy bulled my legs open with his own and shoved, shoved, and pushed and pulled and pushed again, in and out, in and out. The bed cried with me. I switched and turned and again squirmed to look at him, to have look of his face, to bathe in his cool grey eyes, but he had my wrists, and he had my arms, and held me down and I could but grasp a teethful of the sheets to choke back the moans and the whines. I had his legs between mine, and his hands around my arms, and his nails in my skin, and him inside of me, and there were hot tears in my eyes and on my cheeks. But I wasn’t crying; and if I was, not of sadness, nor pain, nor any else such a thing.
And then he grasped me and spun me ‘round on my back, never ever once slowing nor going full out, nor stopping. So startled was I, I’d have covered myself for sure if he hadn’t been pinning and holding my arms still, and squeezing. There was not a shadow of the things I felt on his face; only there was his straight lips, and a gaze so grey and so studious, so penetrating, that all out I felt so shamed and so naked, though I wore at the least half my dress still. I wish somewhat he’d take off his, I heard some sober part of me thinking. And by gods, I’d so love him to kiss me at least once. “Cassy,” I called him, “Cassy, Cassy, kiss, Cassy, please...”
But he did not. I could not have it myself, nor ask it again when he quickened his rhythm. It was all I could do to close my eyes and clench my teeth not to wake all the sleeping world with my noises.
With the kiss or without, I had him, and I had him filling me, and I loved it so much I couldn’t be sad, not even when he made a grunt, twitched, and fell stonily atop me, panting, and swallowing it, then panting again. Awhile I lay there with him, with his hot breath on me, taking in his smell (or the smell of ale and smoke, to be true), in heaven; ‘til all of a sudden my senses, reason, and thinking came stumbling back and I flew into a black panic. I had forgot. I hadn’t thought he’d have me scream for him, that I didn’t, and, gods, I loved when it had happened. But what will I do if he’s gotten me with child?
Then I pushed out my hips an inch, and felt he was no more inside me. I’d had my head so up the clouds I hadn’t taken the littlest note when he’d gone out and spilled himself on my dress and belly. Of course; Cassy was wiser before me. I laughed at my worries, foolish and happy. I was sticky (and achy), but all same, so very happy.
Then I took his head in my hands (that ached too), and kissed him.
Cassy blinked and questioned me with a stare. “Not a thing,” said I, “only that we’d kiss after the bedding, and not before. That’s funny.” He didn’t give answer, but Cassy rarely gave. Again I kissed him, and this time remembered how he’d not absolutely let me do it earlier, despite I wanted it so.
I closed my teeth on his lip and clamped ‘til I tasted iron and heard him groan in pain.
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