Isolde: Blood-Rose Guardians (a supplementary novella)

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William was strong and brutal in performing his duties for his king; in our home alone with his wife, he was tender and sincere. He worshipped me as a goddess and I quite enjoyed basking in his attentions. We were not rich, but we were comfortable. There was always food to be had, and we usually dined in the keep with my father and his newest wife – a woman younger than myself. William brought home trinkets from his exploits. One trinket he claimed to have found was an emerald ring. It was a simple gold band with a decent emerald guarded by a small diamond either side. He placed it lovingly on my finger. He had kept it at much risk to himself, as the spoils of any raid were to go to the king first, after he had taken his pick of the treasures, what remained was distributed amongst his men.

On this most recent venture I had found myself missing him and worrying for him with such great concern over his safe return that I had to check my emotions. I found myself longing for his return to my bed; for his tender touch and his passionate kisses. I found myself loving my husband completely and desiring very much that he returned to my side where he belonged.

The moment he walked through the door, bloodied and covered in the stench of battle, I rushed to his side.

“Oh how I missed you, My Love,” I told him.

“You did?”

“Aye, with my whole heart,” I replied.

“…but I was gone naught but two nights.”

“Indeed, I spent two nights alone in our bed without my beloved husband.”

“Isölde, know you what you are telling me…please say you are not playing with my heart so.”

“I play no games, sweet William, my heart and words are true. I missed you so and I love you dearly,” I told him.

His eyes sparkled and he reached for the clean robe we kept hanging near the door.

“In that case, I had better rush to the ocean and plunge my body beneath the cleansing salt water, for I fully intend to make love to you this night,” he turned and walked out of our home.

I felt such joy in recognising the truth of my heart. I knew not when my mind and heart had been convinced of his worth in my life, but I knew that I had fallen in love with him. He may be scarred by battle, he may sometimes cry out in his sleep during a nightmare, he may have to treat me with a condescension he did not feel in public, but for those few faults he was a man worthy of my love. He blessed me with laughter and love whenever we were alone; he romanced me with wild field roses and hand carved trinkets – four of such stood proudly on the mantle this very day: a phoenix, a falcon, a swan, and a sphinx.

The door swung open with his return and I leapt into his arms. He kissed me and I returned his kisses with all of the love I felt in my heart. It felt perfectly right, our embrace. I could not have wanted for a better husband. He disrobed and I saw for the first time his newest battle wounds. He was bruised and battered and had an angry laceration across his waist.

“You are injured, My Love!”

“…and every scratch worth it to come home to such a greeting.”

“I must tend to your wounds…”

“Nay, I must make love to you,” he cut me off.

“William Rufus, I will tend your wounds,” I said with all the dominance I dared muster, “and then I will make love to you.”

He opened his mouth to protest, but as the full breadth of my statement sank in he closed and simply stood still with a mighty grin.

“Agreed?” I prompted.

“Agreed,” he nodded.

I beckoned him to be seated and got to work preparing a poultice to cover the laceration. The salt-water bath would have been of great benefit, and he would need to do that daily. I prepared a paste of honey and beaten boiled nettle leaves, which I applied to the wound and then I bandaged it to hold the poultice firm. It would heal well providing no infection set in and with the medicinal magic in the honey and nettles that was assured. When I was done, I disrobed myself and stood before my husband naked. My long blonde hair trailed down my body like a waterfall. I reached for his hand and pulled him toward our bed. He came silently, taking all of me in with his eyes.

“Lay you down, My Love,” I directed him.

“Lay you down beside me?” He asked as he followed my instructions and lay naked but for the bandage in the centre of our bed.

“Nay,” I said and moved on top of him, being careful not to press against his wounded abdomen.

His manly appendage stood to firm attention as I mounted his person and crawled forward to place my lips against his. He raised his hands to my shoulders and rubbed them down my arms. I lent backwards and righted myself, taking his hands and cupping them to my breasts. His touch was gentle but unyielding and as he brushed the darkened aureole of my breasts with his thumbs, my nipples stood out firm, excited by his touch. I leant forward again and kissed him tenderly, though my loins longed for a far more intense interaction, I resisted simply sliding his pulsing shaft within my eager depths as I wanted to show him that I truly loved him. I did allow his erection to rub against the swelling folds of my sex though, and as he brushed over the nub at the apex of it, I was thrilled with the sensation of his silken touch. I moved slowly down his body, kissing his bruises. I lingered upon each of his small dark nipples and then followed the trail of his glossy hair lower down his front until I found myself focusing on the area beneath the bandage. I gently took his manhood between my hands and rubbed the silky shaft; he moaned and lifted his hips to my hand. I moved lower so that I could take this most important part of him within my mouth. His hands rubbed against my scalp as he allowed himself to enjoy the sensation.

I had never made love to him. He had always made love to me. I had been a willing participant each and every time, but he had done all of the work and I had simply enjoyed the ride. Tonight was different. Tonight it was my turn to show my husband of one year that I loved him as truly as he loved me and that I could pleasure him as he pleasured me.

I took all of him into my mouth and then slowly lifted my head before plunging it back down his heated shaft. He moaned again and then pulled me forward so that he could kiss me. I straddled his sex and moaned myself as he impaled me on the mighty shaft. He reached for my hips and guided me into a steady rhythm. As the delicious sensation of our connection and the motion of our movements took me on this newest sexual journey I closed my eyes and leant back, feeling every inch of him inside me. I know I moaned as his hand pressed against my belly and his thumb began rubbing the exposed nub at the pinnacle of my sex. I opened my eyes to see him watch me so intently that had it been any other person besides William, I would have been embarrassed for my behaviour, but it was William and I smiled, before closing my eyes and letting the stimulation take me again. The electricity that swept through my groin had me in pleasurable convulsions within moments and I was forced to tip forward by the contraction of my muscles around him. He drew me down tight against him and kissed me with such ferocious passion as he thrust deeply inside me, filling me with his glorious seed as he came hard within my feminine depths.

“You make such sweet love, My Lady,” he told me between kisses, “I should never want to lose you.”

“You never shall, My Love.”

He held the blanket up as I snuggled into the bed beside him. He wrapped me in his arms and held me against his battle-fatigued body. I looked into his eyes; eyes that glistened with tears he was trying hard not to shed. I raised my hand to his cheek and he pressed into it.

“William, how would you feel about a child?”

“Are you with child?” He asked his voice lifting in his excitement.

“I’m not yet sure…but I would like to be, if it pleases you for me to be so.”

“Aye, the thought of you carrying my child pleases me greatly.”

I smiled and kissed him and closed my eyes surrounded in my own bliss. A year ago I would never have thought that being the prize of this man would ever have turned out so well, but he had loved me and saved me from a far worse fate. It had taken a year of his fond attentions and passionate embraces for me to realise my own feelings for him, but now that I had, I felt buoyed with love. He left the bed briefly and then returned to my side bearing a ring.

“Happy anniversary, My Love,” he said slipping the ring upon my finger.

“Oh William, I have naught but to give you…”

“Isölde you have already given me the greatest gift of all this day.”

“I love you, William; you are my heart; my love; my husband.”

He kissed me and I rejoiced in that kiss. The ring sparkled on my finger and my heart sparkled with happiness. I was fairly sure that I was with child, but I had wanted to be sure that William would be agreeable to such an endeavour, before I announced it to him and my father. I closed my eyes on the most perfect day…not knowing that it would be the last perfect day in a very long time.

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