|Maella Abbey (maella_abbey) wrote,|
@ 2008-03-04 20:55:00
Spring meant Trodain was alive with flowers, bursting with life and color and light.
Between her memories of the curse which had covered her beloved home in thorns, and her dread of her impending wedding, Medea could find beauty in none of it. Eight visited when his duties allowed, tried to cheer her, to coax her outside. Brought her fresh-bloomed flowers when his other efforts failed, not understanding that instead of bright blossoms she saw only thorns.
The nearer her wedding loomed, the more she regretted their victory over Rhapthorne.
"Jessica should arrive today," Eight said from the doorway of her salon, interrupting the mournful tune she was playing on her piano.
"I shall be glad to see her again," Medea lied. Under any other circumstances, she would have been glad; now, Jessica's arrival meant only that her own departure was far too imminent.
Eight took her reply as invitation to move nearer, far nearer than propriety would allow, had any been there to see them. "Come walk in the garden with me."
"I don't want to see the garden. I had quite enough of plants when the castle was cursed." And I'll have more than enough of flowers at my wedding, she added with the bitterness she seldom acknowledged.
Still, Eight took her hand, fingers rough and warm against hers, sending a thrill through her. "Please? I have something to show you."
Medea sighed and relented. How could she refuse, give up this time with him, when in a few days they would be separated forever?
His hand fell back to his side as they passed through the doorway; all anyone would see was a guard escorting his princess. Medea resisted the urge to recapture his hand, knowing it wouldn't be fair to him, knowing that even after all he had done, all they owed him, he was taking a risk in being alone with her.
Perhaps that was why he didn't lead her out to the broad, well-tended paths of the main gardens, but kept near the castle walls, circling around to the less-visited gardens to the castle's rear, leading her between half-wild hedgerows. For the first time in weeks, Medea smiled, remembering how they had played in this garden as children, hiding from her tutors and pretending all manner of monsters lurked among the leaves and branches.
Eight took her hand again, a shy smile on his lips; Medea glanced over her shoulder and realized they were quite hidden from the castle. She laughed with delight and kissed his cheek, just as she had first done on her twelfth birthday, laughed again to learn he still turned red...but now, instead of scrubbing his sleeve across his cheek, he turned, leaned in, caught her lips with his. Medea closed her eyes and gripped his hand more tightly, as if to keep him from pulling away; her breath quickened when his free hand brushed the side of her throat, curved against the back of her neck and drew her more firmly into the kiss.
He looked just as dazed as she felt when they parted, and his voice was hoarse when he said, "We...we should get moving. What I wanted to show you is farther in."
Medea nodded, because of course they couldn't stay gone long, not just the two of them. She didn't let him pull his hand away, though, as he led her deeper into the untamed garden.
They were near the heart when he stopped beside a spot where the hedges had pulled back from the path in a broad half circle. Not dying, she noted; it was merely as if they were making room for the brilliant red flowers growing at their feet.
"I planted them; I didn't think anyone would bother them back here."
"Where did you get them?" Medea tipped her head to the side; from the right angle, the tiny blooms looked amazingly like dragons, and unlike every other flower in the gardens this spring, these were beautiful to her.
"The Lord of Dragovians gave them to me. After the Trials. He said to consider it an apology for the...mistakes...they made when I was a baby."
Medea snorted - he was far too charitable about that, really - but refused to let her mood darken. "I love them," she said, stroking her fingers across the nearest petals. "Thank you for bringing me to see them."
"I wanted to see you smile again," Eight said. He knelt beside her, hand settling on the small of her back, and she was filled with a sense of wellbeing that reminded her of the magic surrounding the mystic spring. Warmth suffused her, as it had then, but there was no transformation this time. There was only Eight, his flushed cheeks and wide, startled eyes as she reached for him, the soft sound of acceptance he made when he realized what she wanted.
His hands were gentle when he lifted her skirt; Medea feared hers were not, her impatience too great as she freed him from his clothing. She had seen him - seen all of them - often enough when she was a horse, and so she had no need to look at him now, could pull him near for a kiss and then press him onto his back and straddle him; the pain of stretching to accommodate him, too fast, her body given no time to adapt, only added to the heat her skin could barely contain. She pushed down, past the sharp tearing, until he was fully inside her, then paused, breathing hard.
They were crushing the flowers, she realized with a touch of remorse. The scent of mangled petals filled her lungs and made her lightheaded, made her need.
Eight said her name, his voice husky and raw; her world narrowed to him, the way he touched her, stretched her, filled her. His hands were under her skirt, ghosting along her legs, over her hips, across her stomach, making her muscles jump and tighten with every caress. He moved up against her, and after a moment she moved with him, the fullness inside her spreading until she could no longer contain it, her body shuddering apart.
When she came back to herself, Eight had already eased out from beneath her and was straightening his clothing, refusing to look at her. He was still half-hard, she saw, and that was enough to re-awaken the hunger inside of her.
This time, she had the presence of mind to wriggle out of her dress before she touched him, and he pushed her back into the flowers, mouth and hands eager on her breasts, sending an entirely different flurry of sensations through her. Even when he pushed into her, it was different, their bodies meshing and touching in new ways.
The sun was easing toward the west before they finally lay sated, breathing evening out and sweat cooling on their skin. "I suppose I'm well past the point of being able to slip back in without my absence being noted," Medea said.
Eight rested a hand on her hip. "I'm sorry."
"It's all right," she said, surprised to find she meant it. She rolled over and kissed him. "I'm sorry we seem to have destroyed your flowers, though."
"I only planted them to show you, anyway. Besides, maybe they'll grow back."
"Perhaps." The flowers not currently beneath them did seem to be springing back, after all. "Did the Lord of Dragovians tell you what they were?"
Eight smiled. "He called them hope."