The Quest. A Tale of Vengeance, Torment, and Love.

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Catching up on history. A protective baptism.

We re-joined again after that. I went back into her cautiously; both of us still naked, of course, as she settled slowly down upon me, adjusting our bodies to accommodate each other.

After a brief pause, assessing our ability to go on... which direction we would go (to make love again immediately, or to delay a while), we opted for the latter course, and we read together, with her leaning back into me, her head slightly above the level of mine with her sitting where she was upon me... skewered so delightfully there.

She moved around upon me, adjusting, settling lower onto me to get me deeper into her, squeezing, as she tensed up, unused to this strange invasion of her body, causing me momentary spasms and raising doubts about my ability to hold myself back.

She well knew what she was doing to me.

She held the book open for me and turned the pages as I held her breasts in turn, feeling her nipples harden under my palms and my fingers, kissing her on the neck as I snuggled into her, reading over her shoulder, sometimes pausing to nibble at her ear, or to move my hands lower down to investigate more of her, along her, and to feel where I was buried in her. Most of her weight was on my upper body by then, with us lying further back on her pillows against the wall.

The old French in that document was my first language—something one never lost—and I read it easily, with her following along as I spoke each word. I tried to tear my mind off this other distraction between us.

I even ‘came’, with her barely noticing I think, other than for a deep pause on my part as I held her close, and with much more strenuous breathing, and then my head falling upon her shoulder as I recovered. I was already so deep into her that I could not have pushed, to let her know what was happening, but my groans and letting out my pent-up breath soon told her.

She learned of me, and of all of my history then, and of that earlier family... the Chambertins... from which she’d descended, and which had caused this irreconcilable rift between us. Irreconcilable, until now.

Neither of us understood how any of this was possible, developing as it had between us, but we accepted it. To me, she was my Rossignol of old, and we loved each other. I did not question it, while knowing that it was not possible. To question it, might see it taken from me.

She learned the worst of my past in those few hours; what I had done to be revenged upon her family after Robert, her brother, had tried to kill me, and had then seen to my own family being murdered before I could return home to stop him... to stop them.

She learned how the church had directed it all, and of my revenge upon that licentious Bishop after that, and upon the Holy Inquisition too.

She seemed to agree with all that I had done, cheering me on with a squeeze of my hand, or on my leg... or in another way to wake me up, even caressing my balls as I took over holding the book for one of those moments we paused... a dangerous thing to do.

She cheered me on, much as children in a cinema in Delhi had cheered on the invading, occupying British as they’d put down—Hollywood-style, with glitz, glamor and unbelievable panache, violence, and bravery— a rebellion of their own people against them. They were ‘cheering on’ the wrong side. Few of their shots had hit the British, while every shot from their enemies’ weapons—never needing to be reloaded— scored a 'kill'. (I travelled widely with my business and had seen it all).

It took me hours to read it to her (with suitable pauses, as the mood overwhelmed us yet again... I lost count), but time meant nothing to us. Her knowledge of that ancient French, by the time we finished, would make her an authority on the subject, though she already was becoming that way.

I then brought her forward another few decades from where that document left off, as she listened.

I told her of her namesake, Rossignol, my other Rossignol; her distant ancestor... and how her grandfather had sent her away after we had married, after I’d learned of her pregnancy; though those two events, had not caused the other; her being sent away to Deux Églises.

I also needed to protect this new, re-born Rossignol, better than that crucifix could ever do. I needed that to go with me when I left, as I would soon have to, so that I could see my own story ended properly, finally, and long overdue, while her life was just beginning. I could not take her with me, but I did not have the heart to tell her about that, or how my story would end.

I would leave her a note to explain all of that when I left, possibly on Sunday night, late.

Mine would not be a pretty or a peaceful ending, I knew that, with so many of her dead relatives held in limbo, still slavering for my blood after what I’d done to them. They would get it too, or I would not be able to die, but would be forced to hang onto life, as now, and watch this other ‘love of my life’, this other Rossignol, fade and die in front of my eyes, as I had watched the first, age, and then die. I had wanted to kill myself then, but I knew better than to try, had I been able to.

For me, it boiled down to the story of two women. They were one and the same woman... I was convinced of that.

She had much to think about after we’d read that document of mine, and after I’d told her more of my history.

She eventually spoke.

“Guillaume? How, did we get to meet like this and to get this far with each other so quickly, as though I had no morals whatsoever? It was not just that document I stumbled upon, was it? There was something deeper than that.”

I could not easily answer that, but I tried. “I think I will persuade myself that it was that first Rossignol, the other love of my life, that may have engineered this from the other side, giving neither of us a choice.”

She said nothing. It was all, impossible.

“You are descended from her. That is the how, and the why, though I do not understand it.”

We both tried to wrestle with it as she tried to analyze it logically, but logic had no place in any of this.

She stated what she knew. “That first Rossignol was pregnant with your child. She gave birth. She had children. Your children.”

“Yes. She gave birth to two children. A boy and a girl. Fraternal twins.”

This new Rossignol said their names. “Bernard and Bernadette”.

I had not told her their names.

“How would you know...?”

We were never ending surprises to each other.

She pointed. “That old wooden tube there, with a larger wooden cover, would you... please?” It was standing near the side of her bed. She wanted me to pass it to her.

I could just reach it without coming out of her. I knew about that tube. I was the one who’d made it, and then had lost it from my possession and thoughts.

As I’d stretched out, I felt myself push deeper into her, with other things beginning again for me, and for us both.

We were both distracted for a few moments as I came, once more. This was almost too much for one man to survive. If I were not careful... at my age.... It was a strangely funny thought.

I dragged myself back to the moment as I recovered my breath.

“Where did you...? How do you have this in your possession?”

“It came down to me, somehow, through the ages; through my mother.”

She took an old drawing from it. It had been well preserved over the years.

I, had drawn that picture of my son and daughter. I’d written their names in, below it, and it was dated. They had been just six years old. I had not signed it, of course. No one on that Diderot farm should know who I really was.

The tube and that drawing had survived well. She told me what she knew. “We could not trace our family tree back so far as that time, and there was no other name, or location to trace anything; yet it had somehow come down to me.”

She turned... tried to... as she looked at me. I felt that, again. I should caution her what was happening, but she already knew.

“Could we go there, Tomorrow, Guillaume?”

“Where?”

“To Deux Églises. I want to meet the first Rossignol. I want to see where she lived. I want to ‘feel’ her for myself.”

I understood that. “I see no reason why not. It is not that far on the train. But first... I will need to protect you better. There is only one real protection for me, and you are wearing it, and if we engage too closely on the train, we will be sure to draw attention to ourselves. I will also need to rinse the blood, and ‘me’, as well as ‘you’, out of my shirt. I have no other clothes to wear.”

I kissed her and slowly, very slowly lifted her off me, unleashing another stream of me... of us... from her well-used vagina, and moved her to lie flat out, beside me on her bed, pushing my shirt up into her, between her legs as she smiled up at me, knowing that she now had me in a way I could never escape.

She watched as I picked up that flagon from my bag and poured some of its contents into my hand, passing my damp hand over my own forehead, first.

“What is that?”

“It is more, mumbo jumbo, I’m afraid. I need to cover your entire body, front, back... everywhere, with this...to keep those voices away from you. I suppose one could describe it as, ‘holy water’.”

I poured more of it into my hand and washed her everywhere on her body as she, in turn reached out and held me so intimately, striving to sense my mood, when I changed in her hand; to sense my readiness for her again.

I liked the way she thought.

I passed my damp hand lightly over her hair, over her face, neck, shoulders, breasts (hesitating, lovingly, over those), covering them several times, as I washed around them and down, even to between her legs, repeating that several times between her legs, pausing again, only at that birthmark.

She felt me hesitate and quickly looked at me there, to see if I had changed, and was ready for her again. I would always be ready.

No man had ever done that for her before, but she did not stop me. She could not stop me. She just watched my face the entire time, waiting to see if she could gauge when I would need to go into her again, unable to control myself. She knew me almost as well as I knew myself.

I could do whatever I intended with her, and she would not have stopped me... would have said nothing. I covered every square centimeter of her body, leaving no area uncovered, unlike that ‘vulnerability’ on that figure of Greek mythology; Achilles, whose mother, Thetis had thought to protect him from vulnerability by dipping him into the river styx, but leaving only his ankle, where she had held him, vulnerable.

I spoke to her the whole time in that old French, the same French, written in my early history. It was more easily read, than spoken, at first, just as the old English; that of Chaucer—as originally written and spoken—bore little resemblance to modern English of the last few hundred years. The old French, took some getting used to, hearing it; but I wanted her to understand it, and to understand me.

When I had done her front, I turned her over, asking her permission... given... and washed her again, doing the same for her sides and back, and again, between her legs, lingering there again as I always would, as she changed hands to hold me; not easy to do from her front.

She was almost asleep, never having relaxed so well as she did now.

I turned her onto her back again, and brought the crucifix, from her head, where I’d placed it, rested it between her breasts, below them, and gently pressed it there as I moved my leg onto the bed to sit over her.

She squirmed. It was very warm on her skin.

After a few minutes, I moved it down her body, pressing it gently upon her abdomen and belly. There was a mark of that cross, lightly ‘burned’ onto both places on her body. She would be doubly protected now. Her womb, too... in case. I’m sure no one had fathered offspring so far apart in time before... if I had.

I lifted it off her and dropped it over my own head. “You will be safe now. We’ll get another one like this tomorrow.”

She put her hand on my leg.

“There is one part of me you missed, Guillaume.”

“There is?” I waited for her to tell me.

“Yes. But you can reach it with this.” She held that proud part of mine, with both hands this time. “If you pour some of that water into my hand, I will help you, to help me.”

I knew what she intended, and I did as she asked.

She held under me and bathed lovingly along my penis, if it was still mine. I was not sure.

“Now, while he is still wet, if you go into me, you will also protect me from within.” She was being inventively mischievous, but it would have taken a much stronger man than I was, to resist her.

I rose up over her and slowly went into her again.

I knew that it would be a very busy weekend.

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