click here to see what you missed in parts 1-6
here for parts 7-12
and here for parts 13-18
|After the Bath, by Edgar Degas|
She sat still, but when she looked up he had his arms propped on the top of the screen looking down at her. “If you can finish your bath, I will bathe as well. That way we will both smell fresh.” He came round the screen holding a drying sheet for her to wrap herself in. “Come, wife” he ordered. “I will see you without clothes. You need not fear me, for I find you pleasing to the eye.” He surprised her by quickly wrapping her from head to foot in the sheet then lifting her in his arms to carry her to sit in his lap by the fire, allowing her to dry and warm. He wrapped his arms around her holding her close. As the water was soaked into the sheet he ran his hands over her body. He stood up placing her in the chair “If you'll help me, I'll bathe now.”
She understood about assisting in a bath. More than once, she had been sent to help a guest prepare for the courtesy of a bath. She wrapped her sheet and tucked it so that it would not fall off. Then she assisted her husband, helping remove his boots and clothes. As she folded the items he wore, she enjoyed the fragrance that his clothes held in them. When she turned round her eyes were presented with a beautiful sight. His backside was glorious, muscles rippling. When he stepped to the tub, she followed to help him adjust his seat in the tub. He propped his stiff leg on the edge of the tub and eased his beautiful body into the water.
“Do you like what you see, wife?” His voice reminded her that she was experiencing many firsts in her life. Her first time to be first in the water, the first time she viewed a man with no clothes on, the first time a man had ever seen her with no clothes on. For the first time since this had all begun, she thought that she might be glad that she had not ended up at Canterbury.
“I like very much what I see,” her voice was trying to leave her.
“Come, wash my back and my hair for me.” Washing his back was an experience, his skin was like silk and the muscles were hard. His curly hair straightened with the weight of the water, but began to spring back as the water drained. His hair was soft, she surprised herself because she had thought it would be hard like his muscles. He asked her to wash the lower part of his leg and foot that stuck out of the tub. His leg had a horrible scar at his knee, but the rest of his leg, she thought, was beautiful like the rest of him. She realized his whole body was covered with a silky layer of dark blonde hair.
Part 20 (rated PG-13)
“You please me, wife, very much.” He took the cleaning cloth and the soap from her to finish his bath. “My drying sheet is there, hold it for me.”
He stood allowing the water to drain from him. He was curious to see what she would do, if she would close her eyes, if she would turn her head, if she was curious and would she look at him. He hoped that she would look at him. She looked, actually she stared. She had a look of shock on her face. “Don't worry, wife.” He stepped into the drying sheet, enjoying her arms wrapping round him. “You'll find I fit quite nicely once we take care of a few things first.”
She had not said a thing to him since he walked into their room. “Don't tell me a chatterbox like you has no questions.” He used the sheet to dry his hair, he shook the curls back into his long hair. “Sit here and I'll comb your hair for you.” He wrapped his sheet round his waist leaving his chest for her to look at, actually close enough to touch. Her fingers seemed to be drawn to touch him, lightly as if she thought she might injure him.
“Can you tell me what you are going to do to me?” She found that being so close to him made it hard for her to breathe.
“Old stores call it the claiming,” he began, “when the husband takes his wife's virginity. You spoke of the parties you had witnessed. Be grateful that we don't have to put up with that.” She nodded her agreement. “I'm sorry to tell you that you will be hurt, but only the first time. After I bed you for the first time you will be sore. That cannot be helped, but all of that will pass. I promise you this, I'll be as gentle as I can be but there is only so much that I can do. After these first times you should come to enjoy it when I join with you. I want you in my bed, not down the hall or upstairs somewhere. I won't be treated as some kind of unwelcome lout barely tolerated in my wife's bed. That would break everything you promised in your vows. There is pleasure to be had in what we do to one another, this is also the way to making babies.” She turned to face him. “This is probably a blasphemy that will get me damned to hell, but it is not a sin for us to find pleasure in each other.”
“Do we put on clothes to do this?” her sheet was slipping low, he could see the tops of her breasts.
“No, Kat. I sleep naked and you will too.” Her eyes grew large. “Don't worry, you'll grow to like it.” He leaned to kiss her, touching his tongue to her lips for the first time. Her surprised reaction caused her to open her mouth and his tongue darted inside. He hoped she would not bite him. The intimacy of that kiss caused her to melt against him. He stood, hauling her up and into his arms. She had been clinging to her sheet but his kisses made her need to put her arms around him more tightly. “Feel how that kiss makes your body tingle way down inside you?” She nodded. “That's your body preparing itself for me. That's your desire for me to make love to you.” He took her sheet and draped it on the screen, placing his there with it. “Come to bed with me wife.” His voice was deep, his hands felt so good holding her bare bottom as he walked her to the bed.
“I'm not sleepy” she whispered to him.
“We're not going to sleep.”
Part 22 - Rated mature, 18+ adults
“Are you sure?” she asked, looking down at him
“I'm sure. Now, crawl up in the bed, get in the middle.” He had to sit and lift himself so that he could accommodate his leg. He spent the first several minutes moving her hands from trying to hide and adjusting her legs. He'd never really thought of this before, but women really had to expose themselves to their husbands. He was trying his damnedest to be gentle, but he wondered how many times men just rutted on their wives like some kind of animal. He reached down to touch her.
She drew in a deep breath — partly passion and partly shock at the intimacy of what he had just done.
“Kat, you are wet. That means your body is as ready as it can be to accept me the first time.” He returned his fingers touching her. Feeling her move toward him, he slipped a finger inside her, moving it in and out allowing her to become accustomed to the motions he would use. When he felt her muscles begin to contract he eased in a second finger, to stretch her as much as he could. He left his thumb on that place that he had discovered that ladies really liked to have touched. His little, inexperienced wife, came apart in his arms with her first climax. He smiled. While she was still pulsing, he eased his fingers out and moved to her opening, He could still feel the pulses when he touched her with his manhood. Drenched in the fluid from her body and his, he pushed and she grew still.
“Oh, Drew.” Her eyes seemed to lose their focus. He pushed again, she moaned and she pushed back. Her barrier stopped him.
“This can't be slow.” He held her hand, their fingers twining together. “Know that you are pleasing to me, wife.” And he pushed breaking the barrier.
She grew still, then she pushed against his chest. It hurt, he knew it had hurt, the thin barrier had torn, he could feel the blood draining from her opening. Her eyes had closed. He gave her some time.
Her eyes opened and the hate and anger he thought might be there was not there.
“Do I still please you?” she asked.
“You're right,” was the first thing she said to him, as he pulled them to their side, still connected.
“What am I right about?” He was pushing her hair back out of her face.
“You do fit me very nicely.” She wanted to touch him, but he explained that she needed to wait several minutes, that everything was extremely sensitive.
“Look.” He caressed one of her nipples and that's all it took for her to understand what he was talking about. He reached for the cover so that the drying sweat on their bodies would not cool them too fast.
“How many times can we do this?” she asked.
“As often as you want, after you recover from this first time.” He was getting ready to carry her to the tub to clean her body.
“What if I told you that I want to do it again before the soreness sets in.”
He looked at her face.
She was all smiles. “Please.”
He thought to himself what a waste it would have been to send this woman to a monastery. She might kill him with her demands, but what a sweet death. She actually talked him into two more times. The water they used to clean themselves was quite cool, but delicious. He hung the draw sheet to dry so it could be folded and stored in case there were ever a question as to her virginity. He found that she enjoyed cleaning him as much as he enjoyed cleaning her.
She helped him dress, he helped her select one of her very plain dresses. Ester came in and braided her hair like a crown on top, letting the rest fall down her back. They snacked on fruit and cheese because they had missed the evening meal. They had plenty to talk about, they were coming to know one another. He made sure to hide his smile when he watched her settle into a seated position very carefully. She did surprise him, she only waited a day before she was demanding that he make love to her again.
It was on a cold day two months later that they went riding. She preferred to ride tucked in front of him. On days like today, they shared warmth wrapped in his cape. He rode out to the top of the hill so that they could look back at the castle. Sitting quietly, wrapped in one another's arms he said, “Kat, I love you so, you are my heart” That was the first time he said it. He made sure to tell her several times a day every day after that.
She took his right hand — the one that made him a hero — to her and placed it over her abdomen. “I love you, Drew. We've made a baby.” He threw back his head and laughed for the sheer pleasure of it. Then he turned back to caress and cherish her, kissing her deeply just the way she liked to be kissed.
There were always to be the rumors that a monster lived in the castle. The scars on his face and the leg that never really regained its flexibility disturbed people who had some kind of stilted ideas about beauty. They only saw his scarred face, never the heart of the man who had risked death to save his king. He preferred it that way. He did not have to entertain shallow people who might misunderstand his outspoken, chatty wife who collected swear words and would occasionally let one soar to the heavens. For instance, when he dared to insist she ride side-saddle rather than nestled in front of him on his huge battle beast of a horse, she let one fly, in front of the master of horse, no less. Or, when their oldest child decided to see if he could walk around the keep walls on the outside barrier — it was believed that everyone in the bailey heard that one. She used two when the king asked Drew, personally, to be his advisor in a battle he wanted to launch against Spain.
He did advise the king, but he did it from their castle, while the king fought in the mud and rain in Spain. While the king was at war, they conceived a set of twin girls who thought their father was the most wonderful man and each wanted to be smart like her mother.
The last thing she had said to him was, “Drew, I love you more than anything on this earth. Thank you for loving me.” He had kissed her and held her in his arms. The next morning she was dead. Drew died a month later in his sleep. They lie, side by side, the monster and his keeper. To their six children the only legend their parents left was one of love and devotion.