Twilight soon gave way to moon-glow, and both travelers’ eyes accommodated the change in the light. Reed took the lead, following the well worn animal paths that were woven across the floor of the forest. The mosses shone a luminous soft green under the light of the moon, making the paths easy to follow. The singing pixie voices came alive again, and as Marie scanned the leaves and brush on the forest floor she could see movement and the faint golden glow of their wings.
“Marie,,,, kindred, Marie. Come join us. Break free of this mortal, come join us.”
The song was seductive. The air was rich with the scent of pine, and the damp heavy smell of the loam that was broken and disturbed by the horses’ hooves. Marie felt tension build within her chest and her pelvis as her senses were stimulated and aroused. The physical effect within her was pleasing, exciting and building an urgency she had never known before. As she shifted in her saddle with the rhythmic walking of her mount she became aware of a slick wetness in her groin where all of the sensations seemed to collect. An involuntary contraction pulsed through the muscles of her groin sending a surge of arousal through her abdomen. A gasp escaped her chest, and she felt her heart beating faster. The rocking motion under her was constant and rhythmic, but the urgency building in her groin made her instinctively kick her mount to pick up his pace. The horse would not obey. Marie’s frustration and the tension within her grew.
An intense physical need grew within her, but this animal and this man were thwarting its satisfaction. If she could have seen herself, she would have seen the caressing blue tendrils of flame weaving within her long chestnut hair. The lady’s arousal was visible. The pixie’s continued to call to her, but their call was different.
“Free your mind kindred, free your mind. Embrace him kindred, embrace him.” The tinkling laughter tickled her flesh, like the caress of the flame the tingle was pleasing. Instinctively Marie laid her chest down onto the neck of her mount and she wrapped her arms around his neck. She took her feet from the stirrups and let her legs relax and drape under their own weight. With each step the horse took, the rocking and the weight and swing of her legs brought the ache within her groin closer and closer to a crisis she could feel building.
Her eyes closed and all of her awareness shifted to the arousal and tension that was building to a peak within her.
Her hips began to rock in opposition to the movement of her mount. The pixie’s laughter pulsed in the air, matching the cadence of her own pulse roaring in her ears. The blue flame weaving with her hair caressed and licked the skin on her arms and her back. If Reed had turned to see his new companion at that moment, he would have been struck with awe. She was encased in the glow of cool blue flame.
Marie’s rocking intensified. Her head turned side to side causing the flames woven with her hair to caress her skin with more intensity. Marie clutched the long hair of her horse’s main and pushed her face hard against the muscles of its neck. The intensity of her arousal confused her, but her instincts simply pushed her hips faster. She did not question nor did she resist this thing her body and her senses were doing. She embraced and reveled in it.
The crisis finally came and all of her muscles contracted. The muscles of her groin pulsed and spasmed quickly, with a rhythm of their own. Marie felt her breath come in ragged gasps. The tension relaxed briefly only to build again. This time the release came more quickly. Several more times Marie felt the tension build and then let go in this new and exquisite pulsing muscular release.
By the time Reed found a shelter, a cave that would protect them from the elements, Marie was asleep, draped lengthwise over her horse. All of her muscles relaxed, all of her tension relieved, all of her arousal spent. The moon-glow picked up the glistening moisture on her skin, making it shimmer with a soft blue light.
“Wake up imp! We will make ready for a meal!” Reed nudged the girl awake.
“Stop that! Do not wake me you monster!” Marie’s words came from the surprise of being made to wake so abruptly.
“Come down from there. You will help make a fire.” Reed instructed.
Marie sat up and back in her saddle. She swung her left leg over her horse’s neck, and turned to face the man beside her. He took hold of her hips and lifted her down. She was light, and she helped him place her on her feet her with her own efforts.
“I do not do the menial work of kitchen help. I will not help you with a fire.” Marie informed her new companion.
“I rule here imp! You will do as I say willingly, or you will do it under duress. It is your choice!”
Reed spoke sternly. Marie saw a flash of intent in his eyes and knew without question that he was quite prepared to make his threat reality.
“What is it you want me to do!?” Marie spit the word at him.
“First thing? You will ask me again with a civil tongue!” Reed stopped still and faced the arrogant girl who stood only a few feet away from him. He watched her expression shift through defiance and insecurity, anger and again to insecurity. “Take care with what you say and how you say it imp. My patience is thin and you are not in my good graces.”
Marie considered his words and the tone he used to say them. “What is it that you will have me do?” She asked again. This time her tone was subdued. She could not remove all of the challenge that she wanted to show, but she was able to appease him for now.
“Collect wood and twigs and bring them here.” Reed pointed to a place near the mouth of the cave. Marie flashed an angry glance at the man, but did not say the words that crossed her mind. She moved to look for the fuel he required.
Reed was struck by the glow of the woman child’s blue eyes. It was as if they were lit by their own flame. She was a beauty. She possessed a sensual energy and an innocence that he found captivating. But he had found her alone traveling without purpose. The stupidity of that was enough, but add it to her the brazen dance and tease with the beast in the meadow, and she had a severe lesson to learn. A severe lesson Reed fully intended to see delivered.
Marie came back to the words the dark man had spoken earlier “Suffer punishment… for foolishness…” What was it the man intended to do? She felt the energy of anticipation and apprehension surge through her. Again she noted that the energy settled in her groin. Her mind went back to the ecstasy she had experienced so recently. She did not think she could withstand it again so soon, but she found it odd that thoughts of discipline would arouse such sensations.
She gathered armfuls of wood and twigs and dropped them where Reed directed. He sent her to collect another load.
Marie felt her anger seethe into her skin. ‘I will surely kill him in his sleep, he angers me so!’ But she knew there was a battle of wills to come between them, and she must fight it through to the end. If her destiny was to be fulfilled, this was a struggle she must see through to the end.
Reed set the fire and prepared a meal for them. It was simple, but sustaining. Marie offered her wine and the berries she had collected that morning. The day came to an end quietly. Marie listened to the man describe his kingdom. She asked him about the city where he lived, and saw in her mind a place very different from the village she had known. She was glad for his arrogance and pride, as she was able to redirect all of his questions about her people and her home, with probes of her own about him. Like all men he was quick and ready to talk about himself and boast about his place in the world.
Reed smiled to himself as the woman child played at manipulating him. She would find out soon enough that he would direct her focus where he wanted it. Morning would come soon enough and when it came she would answer his questions.
They settled in bedrolls for the night, both exhausted from the events and activities of the day.
Reed dreamt of the scene in the meadow. The flames that did not burn etched an image of the naked child on his soul. Marie slept the carefree sleep of the innocent. Her dreams took her flying over the land. The old woman spoke to her, and reassured her that her choices were right. The old lady stayed with Marie through the night. Comforting and reassuring her at every turn her dreams took, until the last moments before she woke.
“Prepare yourself child! Fore the man shall give you your first lesson in the ways of the world you will rule.” The words echoed in her mind, and Marie woke with a startle.
It was daylight and Reed sat on a large stone at the entrance of the cave. He was watching her. He held a thick branch peeled of its bark in the palm of his right hand.
“Take care of your first needs child. We shall waste no more time.” He spoke with an icy tone that Marie did not challenge. She moved past him, curious about what he was about. “There is a stream just beyond those trees. See that you are refreshed fully. We will regain the trail without delay this morn.”
Marie walked toward the trees and let her eyes drink in the mists and dewy shine of the morning. Above her the sky was blue, but still pocked with the high pink tufts of clouds left from the rising heat of the day before. Soon the sun would burn them away, and the mists that swirled around her legs would retreat and hide for fear that they would suffer the same fate.
The forest was a wondrous place. Marie closed her eyes and stretched out her arms. Her breath drew in the clear clean smells, her skin felt the silk of the air, and her ears welcomed the chirps and hums of the sparrows starlings and doves. The wee folk were not about yet.
Her body’s needs satisfied and her skin refreshed by the cool water of the stream, Marie returned to the camp. Reed had a beverage brewing on the fire. Its aroma was enticing.
“What is that?” Marie asked as she came to the fire.
“It is coffee.” Reed answered. “You do not know coffee?”
Marie took a breath appreciating the aroma. “I have heard of it, but do not know it. May I try some?”
“You may.” Reed nodded. “But first you must answer for the dangers you have courted traveling without a guard.”
“No sir I will not! I am responsible for my own protection. I am safe! More than two days on the road and I am safe!” Marie protested.
“You are safe thanks to blind luck and the wisdom of a horse that would not let you dismount!” Reed’s voice bellowed.
Marie’s surprise was evident. “What is this you say?!”
“You tried to make your steed stop. More than once you ignored reason and tried to make the animal betray you.” Reed explained.
“What would be the crime if he had stopped?” Marie asked. Her eyes were wide with the innocence of a child who truly ragid not know the answer to the question she’d asked.
“You owe the animal your soul Imp. The demons of the forest would have taken you for sure. Surely you heard their siren call!” Reed looked into her eyes. He realized for the first time that she may well not know the extent of the dangers she faced. This awareness both mitigated and increased the anger he felt.
To court danger rashly by ignoring reason in the moment was one thing, but to court it blindly with no notion of its faces was worse. The child was rash and bold beyond any measure he could fathom. She had set out to find destiny’ in a land full of danger, with no notion of where she might find it or what she might suffer to find it.
“You truly do not know the danger you placed yourself in do you?” Reed spoke. His voice was stern.
“What danger?” Marie retorted. His questions were growing tiresome. And his imperious manner was making her angry.
“You will know what danger and vow never to court it again imp. Bring yourself here now!” Reed commanded. He lifted the stick that had lolled in his hand when she awoke.
“I will not! What is it you mean to do with that thing?!!!” Marie spat back at him.
“I mean to give you a lesson you will remember for a long time.” Reed answered.
“I need no lesson! Tell me what it is you wish me to know and I will give it consideration.” Marie scoffed at the serious tone in his voice.
“YOU WILL COME HERE AS I TOLD YOU!” Reed’s voice boomed through the forest. Hundreds of pixies were bounced from their beds by the shock waves that generated from the sound.
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