The Child

Chapter 9

So here this story ends... for now.

That night as Ethan and Vanessa lay together on her large and soft bed, the moonlight, illuminating the hotel bedroom and their bare and sated bodies, they held each other and he whispered into her ear his own odyssey—weaving for her the tale of his life, leaving nothing out.

It had all started with a child—a child who had been born of love—a forbidden love. In an ideal world, no such thing should ever be forsaken.

A beautiful Golden haired lady with big brown eyes and alabaster skin, White-lace gloves and matching lace parasol—one afternoon wandered through the enormous property of her new husband. The wind blew rather strongly and seemed to howl around her—it tugged on her dress and pulled on her hair as if guiding her through the infinite fields. Before she knew it, the sky was a deep sapphire blue and a giant, glowing and full moon, lit her path towards the river stream. Her steps lead her to a place beyond the property boundaries—she was entranced by the beauty of it. Never had she felt so free and surprisingly unafraid.

Laying on the largest stone she had ever seen by the banks of the river, gazing above at the skies was a man, strong and robust, dark silky hair and a red shade of skin rust-like. Never had she seen eyes so dark and yet so bright. She slowly approached him, only now did her Catholic education and morals begin to kick in. For a moment she hesitated and even felt a bit of fear. But he slowly sat up, stretching his welcoming arms towards her, as if welcoming her home.

She bravely grabbed onto his hands and climbed up the rock with him, not caring that the hem of her dress was all dark, damp and ruined from mud or that the stream of water had taken her expensive parasol away to places unknown. She had never felt so powerful and sure of herself as in this moment, surrounded by nature no one but them to be seen—Paradise this was and they Adam and his beloved Eve—before the existence of sin.

He wasn't a young man—he had at the very least forty springs on his shoulders and she was like a delicate butterfly, a golden goddess of light and sun, soft hands tracing the lines on his face, the scars on his forehead, adoring the midnight of his hair. He wrapped his large and firm hands around her their eyes locking for the very first time. He had never quite loved a woman, not even of his kind, as he had loved that silent, anonymous creature.

She had gently, shyly pressed her lips to his. He had never done such a thing in his life. A kiss, she called it and once again their lips met and soon their tongues. He had never known that one could feel so many unnamable emotions through the simple interlude of tongues, the melding of mouths. Soon he kissed her entire naked body, the white of her skin glowing and not just because of the moonlight. And he gently lay on top of her and never had she felt so much pleasure in her life—probably never would again. They kissed many times again as they traced and memorized every inch of each other—the scent of lavender and jasmine in the curve of her neck, in the valley of her bare breasts.

The gods of the night, of love and all things living blessed their union. They were married in the eyes and realm of the great-spirit Usen—married even if just for a single night.

They had bid each other goodbye as the sun's first rays of light began to appear again in the sky—he didn't understand a word that she said and she hoped to God that just by the look of her eyes he would know just how much she loved him—how she never would forget him.

"And let it be eternal while it lasts." Had been her words to the man. The words that Ethan repeated now to his raven haired beloved. Her blue eyes intent, attention clinging to his every word. "Those were my mother's last words to me before she disappeared… or died, I'll never know. He was killed and beheaded the following day by my father's men. A trespasser they said, but more than that, the animal who had sinned on an immaculate white woman. There was nothing they both could have done."

The moonlit lover's head had sat in front of the Talbot home until the child had been born, strong cries and kicks on a full moon. A fast and easy birth—perfect—just as the conception had been.

"So that man was your father…" Ethan nodded. "Much like Sir Malcolm is mine—albeit reluctantly." For a moment a hint of sorrow appeared in her eyes. He tucked some of her hair behind her ear.

"Have you always known?" She nodded, wordlessly. "Well, you'd have to be blind, huh? You look and act a lot like him—the eyes and the chin—not that I've ever seen your mother to be sure." Vanessa threw back her head on the cushion staring up at the ceiling—trying both not to laugh and cry. She didn't want to risk waking Heloise, fast asleep on the smaller and makeshift bed at the foot of theirs.

"And he tortured you all through your life didn't he—with his harsh words and heavy hands?" There was no need for him to answer—she knew very well.

"Is he dead?" Ethan nodded.

"Not my doing though—old man was sick and battered. Got what he deserved you know—ending his days tied to a bed, thin and frail—shitting in his pants. I couldn't have done it better."

"And what of your other mother, Celeste?" Ethan's eyes immediately fell and she knew that this was a painful topic—the only true mother he ever knew was gone.

"Gone as well."

"And Marie, your sister, is the one who allowed for us to communicate?" Ethan nodded.

"She inherited shaman powers that to her are complete mysteries. The shamans are always men—the oldest and wisest of the tribe. Not young women who barely ever stepped foot in one—that's what she believes anyway. Marie insisted on staying behind—I left it all to her."

"Perhaps she should have accompanied you here…" Vanessa trailed off. Just by the tone of her voice, he knew that she felt something—she sensed that his sister could be in trouble.

"What do you see?" Vanessa's eyes locked again with his.

"They're going to kill her Ethan, no unwed Indian woman can be the proprietor of a white man's land. I believe those were her words." Ethan's eyes closed in pain—tears pooling in his eyes. But Vanessa was there, to hold him, to protect him as well, why not, as he suffered. Loss after loss after loss.

Their lips met seeking pleasure and comfort once again, hands exploring and touching one another—moans difficult to contain. Waves and waves of the best sensations of life.

They fell asleep as the sun began to rise, his head pillowed on her shoulder, the rhythmic pumping of her heart like a sweet and calming lullaby to his ears. She cherished the warmth of him, how when his skin met hers it seemed as though she caught on fire—a fire though, that was ardent but did not hurt.

Vanessa hoped that everything would be all right—that her cursed vision was an erroneous forecast—that Ethan's sister was all right and that she would properly be able to bless their union—their love.

She could barely believe it. Peace had arrived again to her heart—but a sort of peace that made her secure of his presence, that he would always remain by her side, that he would always be there to protect her and she him. Now, the confusion of feelings, emotions and bouts of energy that passed through her just by his very presence a simple glance or touch—none of that brought her peace, but unending desire and passion. She felt completely alive in his presence—the very best version of herself.

She watched intently and discretely as her daughter stirred in her bed, until half asleep and dark curls all over the place she hopped on to the larger bed and clumsily nestled herself between Vanessa and him.

Asleep, but in no doubt a natural reflex, Ethan's arm protectively wrapped around the little girl, his fingers brushing on Vanessa's waist.

"I hope to God she doesn't get used to it." He mumbled almost incoherently in his sleep and Vanessa smiled, a happy tear escaping her eye. In no time she too wrapped herself further into them and fell asleep—a little family, cuddled together.

She prayed to God that this would never end.

THE END

Well, I'm sorry for the long delay. Sometimes inspiration escapes us. I hope you enjoyed this story and I look forward to reading your feedback on it.

Thank you once again for taking part in the "odyssey" of this story with me.

-Theda

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