“Are you sure you have everything?”
“Yes mother: the wine, the bread, the medicine, the dried meats, my boots, my knife, my gloves, and my other knife, am I missing anything else?” Said the young woman exasperated as she tied her russet cloak.
“I’m sorry sweetie,” said the older woman, “in my eyes you will always be my little Rouge”
“I’m not so little anymore mother.” Rouge said with the roll of her eyes. Still she took a moment to hug her mother, hoping to dispel her fears.
Though temporarily relieved, her mother’s fears still clung in the back of her mind, and she had good reason to be afraid. Her daughter was beautiful. She had long wavy hair, the color of dark strawberries. She had brilliant crystal blue eyes that nearly looked as though her irises had been made from ice. Her skin was flawless there was not even a hint of freckles on any part of her body. Her daughter was also built strong with a body tough enough for the grueling work of daily chores, yet it did not lack for feminine curves. Despite her best attempts to hide her daughter’s features, it was impossible. Even if she did find a way to hide her daughters, hips and rear from the hungry eyes of men, she could never hide her daughter’s ample bosom that had already caused several accidents since she was fifteen.
Rouge’s mother kissed her daughters forehead before letting her go, “Be safe, and say hello to your grandmother for me.”
“I will mother,” Rouge replied before picking up her basket and walking out the door.
Rouge, had barely been able to contain herself, as she had walked through the village. She had done her best to be friendly with the town’s people as they stopped to chat or flirt with her. Yet as she put a bright smile on her face and flirted with the men both young and old she felt like a little girl before her birthday waiting for that one special present. Finally, she managed to make simple excuses and moved past the people beyond the town’s gate and beyond the first bend of the hill.
Once she knew that the town’s eyes were no longer on her, she lifted up her skirts and ran. She nearly slipped and fell several times because of the sludge of mud and ice but her excitement and determination to be, where she needed to be, kept her on her feet. The beauty of the frozen paradise around her lay unnoticed to her gaze, not even the chill of the air that kissed her skin or filled her lungs could garner her attention. Her mind was focused with getting to her spot in the woods, to run around the grouping of trees and seeing, him.
Rouges mind couldn’t help but wander to the day she met Bardolph. The world had been awash in the darker hues of autumn. The dying light from the sun washed the world with its red glow as it struggled like a dying warrior to stay on its feet and fulfill its duty to its people. Rouge was running later than she should have been, because she had found a small clearing with herbs that she knew her grandmother could find a use for. Yet along with the medicinal herbs, there were wildflowers of such beauty that she couldn’t help but admire them. Now she walked briskly to make up for lost time, when she came around the cluster of trees that blocked the bend in the road.
The sight before her startled her, there was a moose on the path. It was common to see animals in the forest, most of them kept away from the roads and pathways were it was more likely for them to encounter humans, but every once in a while you could see them crossing the roads or walking along side the paths, but no creature other than horses ever stood directly on the path.
Rouge instincts went on hire alert upon seeing the animal, though moose’s tended to be temperate creatures. Moose’s were known to trample over full-grown men, when startled. Many times these unintended attacks ended up being fatal. Yet it was not only her knowledge of this subject that had her instincts on hire alert. The Moose was dirty as though it had rolled around in the mud like a common pig, something hung off its antlers, and some foam was dripping from its mouth. Rouge was convinced that some part of her mind had seen this before that was why her instincts had reacted so fiercely. However, at the time she had failed to notice all of these things all she saw was a moose. A moose that saw her and was about to charge at her.
The moose bellowed its call before it charged at her. Though there was, some distance between them it was nothing a moose couldn’t cover in a few strides. Rouge saw the animal charging at her and though her instincts yelled at her to move to jump out of the moose’s path, her body was unwilling to move. The creature loomed over her looking monstrous as it closed the distance between them.
Then the moose collapsed in midstride, its body slid across the carpet of leaves as its momentum continued to carry it forward. The beast came to a halt at her feet. Its nose, bleed as its eyes looked around wildly as it struggled to catch its breath. It took Rouge gölbaşı escort a moment to see the arrow protruding from the beast’s side. Her mind was having a bit of trouble trying to make sense of all that was happening around her, that it also it took her a moment to see the dim shadow that fell upon the creature.
She followed the shadow to its source and found a man standing at the edge of the path. Rouge startled at his appearance because she had not even heard him approach, this demonstrated his skill as a hunter to her. He stood there in a cloak of a grey so dark it was nearly black, which suited him fine seeing how the rest of his clothes were blacks even the worn leather of his boots were darkest shade of brown possible that in the right light they could be confused for black. His cowl had been drawn forward, so his face was covered in shadow and if that hadn’t been enough to hide his face the lower half had been covered by some cloth.
Yet as he approached the beast, he slung his bow over his shoulder before he removed the cloth covering his face and pulled back his cowl and allowing Rouge to get a look at the man for the first time. The first thought that came to her mind, was that he was handsome, but not in the traditional way, he had long dark hair there was a section of it at his temple that was braided. While the rest of it hung wavy and free his jaw was covered with a beard that had yet to fully grow in, making him appear even more rugged. Then there were his eyes under his dark brows, they were like his boots so dark they looked almost black. Rouge had the wondering thought that someone could become lost looking into those eyes.
Rouge push this thought aside as she focused on the look of his eyes. They showed sorrow and compassion, despite the fact that his furrowed forehead made it seem like he was scowling more than anything. He knelt by the moose, the creature tried to lift its head in a vain attempt to fend him off.
“Shh,” the hunter said softly as he placed his hand on the creature’s neck and gently pushed him back down. The moose did as beckoned and laid its head to rest on the ground once again, while the hunter whispered soothing words to it. The hunter kept whispering to the moose making soothing sounds even as he pulled a blade from him person. He slipped it into the moose’s neck, the blade slide effortlessly between two of its vertebrae and sliced it spinal cord. Rouge saw the final shudder the beast gave before its body lay still.
“Rest now and be at peace,” the hunter said as he removed the blade from the moose’s neck and cleaned the blade of its blood, before restoring the blade in its proper place. The hunter rose and focused his attention on her. Rouge couldn’t help the shiver that raced up her spine. She couldn’t decide if it was fear or something else, all she knew was that this man was taller than her not by much, he wasn’t that broad either but somehow from the way that he walked, she knew that he had some muscles on him.
“Are you alright Miss?”
“Yes, thank you sir, what was wrong with it?” Rouge asked. Finally, her mind making sense of what her instincts had warned her.
“Poison, how, why?”
“As for the how, poison tipped arrows and as for why, for sport.”
“You mean someone was hunting animals for sport.”
“That is unfortunately the case, my lady.”
“Please call me Rouge. You did save me from injury or worse after all.”
“As you wish but it is only fair you know my name as well,” With a flourishing bow he said. “My name is Bardolph.”
“So Bardolph, what will you do with him now?” Rouge said nodding to the moose.
“Unfortunately, he is unfit to be eaten by man so I will have to leave him here for the scavengers, where are you off to.”
“I was going to my grandmothers, I have supplies to deliver and pick up.”
“Well I hope you don’t mind, if I escort you my lady, sadly our friend here is not the only one to be in this sorry state.”
“You mean there are other animals out there poisoned like this; will they all become mad like this moose?”
“Yes, it is a slow poison so it could even take days for the creatures to die from it. In that time, they will become aggressive. This is the reason why I am hunting them to stop them from hurting someone and to put them out of their misery.”
“How did you find out about the poisoned animals?”
“Come lets walk and I’ll tell you the story.”
He waited until Rouge was at least ahead of him before he took his place on her right.
“A bear walked into my territory.”
This had Rouge halting in midstride before turning to look at him with a wide eyed stare, “A bear?”
“Yes a bear,” Bardolph said as he nudged her gently to get her to start moving once again. “My territory was next to his, so when he was poisoned he came to me. He knew what I was and we had always been amicable with one another. Yet, when his suffering began, he came to me, keçiören escort to help him end his suffering. I was not happy to oblige his wish.”
Rouge saw the tightening of his face as he said the last part. Rouge was silent for a while before venturing to say.
“I’m sorry about your neighbor.” For a moment, it seemed as though he headn’t heard her.
“Thank you,” he replied quietly
With this Rouge felt comfortable enough to talk to him. Though he answered most of her questions with simple replies, she was able to learn that he was a hermit and lived by himself in the mountains. He rarely came down to the villages just when he needed supplies. Yet he was well read and loved music, he even hummed the tune to his favorite song. He also made her laugh and laugh with silly stories and jokes, then much too soon for her taste, the journey was over. They stood before the pebbled pathway that led to a house on short stilts.
“Hey, I didn’t know you were related to Baba Yaga,” he said with a chuckle.
“Why would you say that,” Rouge said aghast. Rouges reaction caught him off guard; she could see the moment the meaning of his words made sense to him.
“I’m sorry,” he said running his hand through his hair nervously. “I sometimes forget how superstitious and paranoid people can be and well I have the misfortune of putting my boot in my mouth. Once again I apologize.”
His nervousness is what allowed her to see the truth of his words; he had only been trying to make a joke, he couldn’t help what people thought.
“It’s alright I understand, thank you.”
They stood awkwardly, neither knowing what to do next.
“Well I better go,” Rouge turned to go, when she felt something grasp her wrist. She turned to look back at Bardolph who held her wrist in his hand. He glanced down at his hand then at her, as though he couldn’t understand why he had done that.
“Yes,” Rouge said raising her eyebrow haughtily.
Bardolph blushed, which she found adorable.
“I…I” he stammered this only seemed to deepen the color in his checks before he took a deep breath and looked at her. There was a steel like determination in them mixed with something else she couldn’t read because he didn’t give her a chance.
“Oh, pike it,” he said before he stepped forward cupped the back of her head with his other hand and kissed her. Rouge was surprised by the action for only a moment because the next moment she was extremely focused on the surge of pleasure that seemed to flow from her lips.
The pressure against her lips was awkward at first as though both were unsure of what the other was supposed to do but the simple touch of lips against lips was exquisite, that simple pleasure helped them to find the rhythm of the kiss. Soon they moved as one following the current of it as they tasted one another. She could feel the low heat she had been feeling in the pit of her belly since she first saw him, roar into a blaze of fire, whose warmth seemed to spread through her, making her body tingle with delight.
Suddenly, the kiss was over his forehead rested against hers, she opened her eyes to look at him not even realizing when she had closed them. What she saw in those eyes sent a shiver of pure pleasure run up her spine and settle itself into her skull, like fingers massage away a headache.
“I’m sorry,” Bardolph said between breaths, “But for the love of Ariana, I had to do that. No I needed to do that.”
His word only seemed to saturate her body with even more pleasure. Then she felt an ache open up inside of her, this ache called for more; for more of his words, for more of his kisses, for more of him and the satisfaction he could give her. She wanted to reach out take hold of him and make him kiss her again but he stepped out of her grasp as quick and silent as a cat.
“I better go,” he said his face flushed even brighter than before. He turned and walked several paces before she managed to find her voice.
“When will I see you again?”
He turned so he could look at her while he walked backwards. “I was thinking about noon tomorrow, you are staying at your grandmothers over night aren’t you. I might as well walk you home.”
Rouge couldn’t help but grin, before turning and walking toward her grandmother’s home.
That’s how their secret trysts began with the change in weather from hot to cold many of the people in her village got sick, so she needed to make bi-monthly trips to her grandmothers for supplies and advice in order to help the people of the village. Yet every time she got to that bend in the road where the moose had fallen, he would be there and he would kiss her until they were both breathless and happy. However, the more they saw each other the longer and deeper the kisses became until he had her pinned to a tree. The length of his erection pressing against her through their clothes left her wet and aching.
The last time they had met, she was so involved in ankara escort the kiss that she silently slipped her hand into his trousers and gripped the silky steel shaft within. He jumped back like a cat that had its tail stepped on.
“I’m sorry did I do something wrong?” she said as she watched him pace back in forward in front of her.
“No sweet one,” he said, “You did nothing wrong. It’s just…”
“What is it?” she said intertwining her fingers with his in one hand, while the other cupped his face.
He rested his head against her forehead and in a deep husky whisper; he said, “I want you so bad,”
Those very words made the ache between her legs throb almost in time to the beating of her heart.
“Goddess, I want you so bad, that you just touching me the way you did, had me nearly emptying myself, there and then.”
“Oh,” Rouge said as felt herself blush even as she tried her best to stifle a giggle.
“Yeah, go ahead, laugh it up, but if we keep going like this. One of these days I’m going to find a nice deep patch of snow, throw you onto it and take you right there and then.”
Rouge couldn’t only groan at the images that sprang to her mind. Goddess part of her really wanted him to do just that.
“We need to find a bed,” she said in a breathless whisper.
“Easier said than done sweet one, we better keep moving before I do something we can’t take back later.”
“Would that be so bad?” she said shyly as they walked.
“Yes, not until you know everything about me, can I take you to my bed,” he said in a serious tone.
“I already know everything about you and you know everything about me,” She tried to hide the confusion on her face.
“There is something you still don’t know about me sweet one. Something I’m not ready to share with you yet. So I will ask you to have some patience with me,” He kissed her hand, his eyes never leaving hers.
“Alright, I can be patient,” She said with a little impatient huff.
He must have sensed her impatience because not more than a few days later. A courier came to their home. Her father opened the package, which revealed the beautiful russet cloak within. Rouge fell instantly in love with the cloak it reminded her of the bright autumn leaves. The package came with a card with only a single thing written on it. The Letter B in elegant script Rouge knew, that, the cloak was meant for her. However, it took some time to convince her parents to let her keep it. They were more inclined to return it and try to learn, the senders Identity. Rouge used all of her wide eyed little girl tricks and loving complements to her parents until at last they relented and allowed her to keep the cloak. She had squealed in delight, hugged them both before taking it to her room, and gazed at herself in the mirror.
Rouge had to slow her pace, her side ached, she was out of breath, and she would need as much of it to tell him the good news. The winter festival was coming up and everyone in her village would be out and about celebrating it. There would be even people from other villages coming over just for the celebration. She had it all planned out. He would blend into the crowd and dance and drink but not really calling any attention to himself. While she would act as if she was sick telling her parents she caught something from one of her mother’s patients. Her mother would want to stay with her but she would convince her otherwise. She would even prepare a tonic and make it seem that she would simply drink the tonic and sleep for the rest of the night.
Her parents would not return almost until dawn. While they were out celebrating Bardolph would come to her door and would slip in like a shadow unseen by all. Then finally, they would have each other, no more layers of clothes to get in their way no more having to stop before they were satiated. They would have each other until they were both too tired to do anything but sleep. The goose flesh that ran through her at the thought made her stop in her tracks just so she could enjoy the feeling for just a little bit longer.
If there had been anyone else walking that path, at that very moment they would have easily been able to guess where her thoughts lied. The Stupid grin on her face made it rather obvious. Rouge still couldn’t hide her grin as she walked on. Finally, she spotted their bend in the road. Her excitement was beyond restraint so she put forward a burst of speed.
She ran headlong into a strong body, the sudden impact nearly knocked her onto her bottom but she managed to stay on her feet. She looked up thinking to see him. The smile on her face remained but it was a lot less brighter, than it had been before. The man who stood before her wasn’t Bardolph. The man who stood before her was at least a head taller than Bardolph and had wide set of shoulders that helped to emphasize his chest and narrow waist. He had a wild main of dark golden blonde hair that surrounded a classically handsome face. His bright glowing green eyes made his features look regal as though he was some kind of warrior king.
“Excuse me; I’m sorry I didn’t see you. I was-“
“Rushing, from the looks of it,” He said with a bright toothy smile that revealed that one of his canine teeth was made of gold.