Arthur dreamed. Home, in his winter cottage, and happy, and his wife beside him. They were strong together, always able to handle whatever life threw at them, and she was beautiful. He accepted his need for her, a need emotional as well as physical, and now it was definitely physical. His desire grew strong. He held her close, moving with her, caressing her to wake her passion as well. He rolled on top of her and pulled down his trousers. She smelled so good, so close. His need grew. When he felt her feet on his back he pushed forward and down. They moved together, rhythmically. He looked down and met her eyes, Chaijrild's eyes, not his wife's, but desire was too strong and he continued moving inside her until he was spent with release.
Arthur lowered himself, resting on his elbows. Too long, it had been too long since he'd been with a woman. Woman? The girl wasn't even half his age. At the moment it didn't matter, and he was content lying on top of her, still inside, listening to her breathing in his ear.
She was still hugging him close to her when he tried to roll over, afraid he was too heavy on the thin layer of damp straw. She rolled with him, apparently not satisfied yet, and with but a small pang of shame he lay with her again. It had truly been far too long since he last lay with a woman, and his needs were greater than his conscience.
I'll regret this, but not now. Once again he drifted into sleep, this time curled up in an embrace as if he was afraid of letting go.
Waking up was an embarrassment for them both. Arthur felt relaxed in a way he hadn't in years, but as revelation of what he had done washed over him shame filled him as well. He could see Chaijrild's eyes mirroring what he felt and turned away. Gods! What a thing to do. He could as well have raped her. Forcing himself on a sleeping child. What had he been thinking?
Not thinking at all, Arthur admitted sourly to himself.
"It took long enough for you to couple," Gring said suddenly, and when he looked at her he could swear he saw amusement in her eyes.
Arthur blushed violently, sharing the sudden coloring with Chaijrild. If Gring wanted them to feel warm she'd succeeded all too well.
"You heard?" Chaijrild gasped.
"How could I not? You skinless are not silent like decent humans."
Arthur knew he must be blushing enough for the red to show through the dirt in his face, and embarrassment competed with shame. No matter which feeling would win out in the end it was an internal struggle he was sure to lose.
"I didn't know she was in season," Gring continued unabashed. "She didn't smell as if in heat."
"Stop!" Chaijrild cried out.
Arthur cringed at her outburst, but silently he shared her sentiment.
"Honestly, I didn't." Gring persisted. "I'm very surprised. I usually never fail to smell when a female is ready for mating. Very odd."
Arthur glared at her with embarrassment slowly mixing with surprise. "Please, no more. We hum... halfmen don't have mating periods," he added as an explanation when he saw she was on the verge of saying something more.
Gring gave him a nonplussed look but kept her silence to his relief
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One man to change a life Two to change a world An outworlder comes to Otherworld where words come true where he comes true The Taleweaver Author note: I apologize for the horrid chapter disposition. I got my act together after publishing this novel...