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The First of Many

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Rosemary Anderson
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

Joined: 11 Jan 2017
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2257.48 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:33 pm    Post subject: The First of Many Reply with quote

((Warning - situations of an adult nature ahead.))

In a time of war, there was still time for life. Births and marriages still took place; indeed, many marriages were of the hasty persuasion when life could be snuffed out at any moment. So there was little in the way of complaint as news spread through the rebel encampment in the Forest of Wirth that the king had sanctioned a wedding between Sir Malcolm Anderson and Lady Rosemary Adair, nor that it took place an hour following that rumor taking wing throughout the ramshackle town. It had been obvious to anyone with eyes that a courtship between the pair would not last long, after all, and they were not a pair who required airs and graces to celebrate. Indeed, the gathering that came together as they left the small temple was simply a larger communal meal than was usually enjoyed, with music to spur the celebrants to dance with one another to bless the new match in their midst.

Whether the celebration included a feast or not hardly mattered to the groom, who was overjoyed simply to have made Rosemary his wife. Malcolm had been nothing but smiles ever since they'd said their vows and sealed them with a kiss, the worries of the impending trip to Imbre forgotten for now. Though he didn't consider himself very skilled as a courtier, he was currently found bowing cordially before his new wife and offering her a hand.

"If my dear wife would do me the pleasure of this dance?" he asked her, too happy to remain seated for long.

He had better courtly manners than she did, for all that she had been dressed up in pink and white, her hair combed to flow down her back for once. Rose offered her husband the sweetest of her happy smiles as she took his hand. "Aye, if my dear husband remembers that I dinnae know all the steps."

He had always known her to be pretty, but when she'd appeared before him in that confection of pink and white with her wild mane of chestnut hair tamed and trailing down her back, he had almost failed to recognize her. Even now, as he took her hand and led her toward the others who were already dancing, he could hardly believe his eyes. "Your dear husband could nae care less," he assured her with a grin.

"Just as well then, because you cannae back out now," she laughed, twirling herself under his arm as they reached the dancers. The tune was a lively one, danced hand to hand rather than bodies stood close, more exuberant than romantic. "I mean to have you all night and longer, Malcolm Anderson."

"You have me for the rest of our lives, lass," he reminded her, though it was hardly necessary. "'Til death do us part," or something like that, though he hoped that wouldn't be for a very long time. He held one arm aloft as she twirled herself under his arm, his feet willing, but unskilled. Dancing was not a skill he had spent much time perfecting.

She laughed as she spun back to him, her hand resting firm over his heart as that cheeky smile of hers tilted up to meet his gaze. "That wasnae quite what I was talkin' about," she countered, flicking a wink up at him.

From the grin peeking out from beneath his whiskers, it was obvious he knew that was not what she'd meant. "We'll be doin' a different kind'a dance later, I ken," he replied, with a playful gleam in his eyes.

"Until the dawn," she promised him wickedly, her hair flying about her shoulders as they bounced and spun in the dance amid their friends. Her fingers brushed and held his, teasing with touch as her palms skimmed his sides before retreating, as her smaller form pressed to his before skipping away, knowing perfectly well that she was being a terrible tease all the while.

He wasn't as terrible a dancer as he'd claimed, and yet, he had to focus on the steps and the whirls and the twirls so that he didn't step on her feet. Her teasing didn't help, distracting him to no end, until at last, he caught her in his arms, laughing. "Enough, woman! I cannae remember the steps when you're distracting me so!"

"Och, and what'll you do to me if I dinnae stop, hmm?" she laughed back at him, her hands smooth against his arms as he caught her close. She didn't care that others could see her preference for him, not now the vows were spoken and he was hers; she saw no reason to pretend she did not love the man out of time, the Goddess' gift to them. And being the mischief maker that she was ... she wasn't about to stop teasing him when his mere existence was a tease to her senses.

"I could threaten to spank you, but I have a feeling you'd enjoy it too much," he replied with a grin, pulling her closer in full view of everyone there. They'd already witnessed at least one kiss that had been shared between them, and that kiss had not been a chaste one; but these people were the kind who lived life to the fullest each and every day, and he had a feeling they would not think badly of him for kissing her again.

Indeed, the cheer that went up from the friends around them as Rosemary threw her arms about his neck and answered that kiss with passion of her own was anything but disapproving. Life was meant to be lived, and love was made to be celebrated. Not even their king would prevent them from sharing that love, though perhaps not much more than kisses in front of everyone they knew.

It was the cheering that eventually distracted him from kissing her, face flushing just a little, though he could not help but beam a happy smile from ear to ear. He was half-tempted to hoist her over his shoulder and carry her off to their bed, but the evening was still young. "I have'nae told you yet how lovely you look, Rosie lass," he told her, raising his voice over that of the crowd.

With her own face flushed about a bright smile, it took a little effort to untangle her arms from his neck and let him set her back down on her feet. "Here I thought a man only said such things to his lassie when she's naked and kneelin'," she countered impishly. She was definitely not the shyest woman there.

He chuckled, not wanting to think too much on that comment, as his body would betray him. "Can I nae compliment the woman I love?" he asked, his arms circling around her waist. "You are beautiful, Rose. And 'tis nae just the ale!" he told her.

"Och, you're just scared I've hid my daggers in your bed," she laughed, obtusely refusing to take the compliment. She'd never seen the need or wish to be considered beautiful as other women liked to be seen; she knew her worth lay in her skill, not her looks.

It wasn't just her looks or her skill that defined her worth, and as far as Malcolm was concerned, she was perfect. "Well, that would be a different kind of prick," he teased, the ale going to his head and loosening his tongue. He rarely overindulged in the stuff, but this was a celebration.

"I'd rather play wi' a shaft than a prick in our bed," she countered, her own sense of the appropriate just a little addled by the wine. Not enough to prevent what would happen when they were finally alone, but enough to remove the last vestige of propriety from an already impishly confident young woman.

"I'd rather prickle you with my shaft," he whispered, lowering his head, his words meant for her ears alone. He wasn't normally this cheeky, but he'd behaved himself long enough. She was his wife now, and he doubted she'd be scandalized by his words.

"Prickle me?" Her giggles disappeared into a slow kiss as she wound her arms about his waist, not entirely sure what he meant by that but certainly interested in finding out. Perhaps it was just as well her father and eldest brother weren't here to see just how close the attachment was on this first night to freely show it, for neither one was afraid of being open.

"Aye," he replied with a lopsided grin. Thankfully, he wasn't lurching lopsided yet, though he'd imbibed more than his fair share of ale. It was hard to say no when your mug kept being refilled. "Another drink and then we're off!" he told her, swinging an arm around her waist and leading her away from the dancers.

"A dance for the king, and then you can go off," a warm voice interjected as a firm hand stole Rose from under Mal's arm. Tralin Nairn, true king of Coimbra, winked at his knight, and heaved Rosemary off her feet and back into the dancers, claiming his right to dance with the bride before she disappeared from sight for the night.

Brodie caught Mal's eye with a grin of his own, already holding that refilled mug for his friend. "No more wine or whiskey, or you'll not be able to do your duty, brother."

Malcolm might have protested, but he could hardly deny the king a dance, so long as he wasn't dancing with him. He grinned as Brodie approached with a refilled mug. "Never fear, brother. I can do my duty sober or nae," he assured his new brother-in-law before taking a swig of his ale.
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Rosemary Anderson
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2257.48 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Aye, but you'd rather live t'see the morn with your new wife than have her beat you bloody for goin' at it wi' only your own pleasure at heart," Brodie pointed out with a grin, as much a a warning as anything. Despite the new marriage, Rose was still his sister, and Mal would have to take care not to make her unhappy or risk the wrath of her brothers.

Malcolm's expression changed to one of shock, feigned or no. "You insult me, Brodie, to think I'd think of my own needs before thinking of Rosie's," he said, frowning - the first frown he'd worn all day since saying his vows.

"It's a warning better coming from me than from Duncan or Da," Brodie pointed out to him. "You're a good man, Mal, a good friend. I know you love her, and you'll do right by her. Just dinnae drink so much she's the one doin' all the work, that's all I'm sayin'."

"I am nae drunk nor a fool, Brodie," he assured the other man. "I am drunk on love, if you ken," he added with a grin, before taking another swig of his ale.

Brodie laughed, toasting him with his own mug of ale. "Then I wish you best o' luck with her," he told his friend. "She might be an Anderson now, but you'll both be Adair until you die, too."

"I'm honored to call you brother," Malcolm said, toasting his new brother-in-law in return. Not only had Malcolm gained a wife today, but two brothers and a father, as well.

And more, besides. Despite being a stranger, he was an Anderson, and that clan had accepted him on nothing more than the word of their king. Through them, he could claim kinship with that king, and through his marriage, kinship with the strongest of the rebel clans in the Adairs. Yet it wasn't power or influence that had made this match, and that made all the difference.

Brodie watched his little sister whirling about the dancing circle with the king. "You make her smile," he reflected quietly. "There's not a man alive will ever hold that against you."

Malcolm was smiling, too, as he watched the king whirl about the circle with Rosemary on his arm. He felt no hint of jealousy, as there was nothing to be jealous of. The king was like a second father to the Adair offspring, and if anything, Malcolm was grateful for that. "Did she nae smile before?" he asked, his eyes still following his bride.

"Not with so much joy," Brodie told him gently. "She's always been a focused wee thing, always had her eye on freedom and the Goddess and little else. Oh, there've been dalliances - nothin' ever came o' it. You're the first man she's ever looked at and seen. That means more'n you think."

Malcolm arched a brow. He'd had his own share of dalliances, but nothing serious had ever come of them either. Was Rosemary a virgin bride then, or not? Either way, his feelings for her wouldn't change, but he wasn't too sure what to expect when it came time to consummate their marriage. He couldn't imagine Rose being a shy bride, whether she was a virgin or not. He supposed he was going to find out very soon. "She was never in love before, then," he mused aloud.

"No, ne'er in love," Brodie agreed. Perhaps he shouldn't have mentioned that Rose was not the innocent most men wanted, but he thought he knew Mal better than to expect him to care. She was hardly spoiled goods, after all - the man purported to love her, not to have a pressing need to be the first to paint her womb.

Even if she had loved someone once, it hardly mattered now. "I love her," Malcolm said quietly, more to himself than to his companion, his gaze following her still, so captivated it was almost as if he was unable to tear his gaze away.

"Aye, I thought so," Brodie mused in a soft tone, his smile gentle as he watched his new brother watching Rose and the king.

Tralin Nairn was a fine example to all of them - a man set on his goal, but not so focused that he had forgotten to be a husband, a father, and and friend. It was in these intimate moments, when he set the crown aside, that they knew what they were fighting for went deeper than simply the true bloodline on the throne and the Goddess in Her temples. They were fighting for their land, their people, their identity. And in the midst of all that, at the very heart, were matches like these, made in love and laughter, of men and women who would stand shoulder to shoulder to see their goal made real.

"I'd be wary, though," the younger man added. "She's a devil of a one for having her way."

Malcolm smiled a little at Brodie's warning. "Aye, I ken that already. Why do you think she married me?" he asked, dragging his gaze away from his wife at last to offer his brother-in-law an almost mischievous grin. Though he was from a time over one hundred years in the future, he and Rosemary seemed cut of the same cloth. He had wanted her nearly from the first moment he'd laid eyes on her, knowing her history in advance and vowing to save her from it.

Brodie laughed, shaking his head. "D'you ken, I think I'll be sleepin' elsewhere tonight," he chuckled. "I'm not lyin' there listening to the pair of you all night." Evidently he had confidence in Mal's ability in the face of alcohol.

"She's threatened to keep me up 'til morning," Malcolm added, emphasizing the word "up" to have a double meaning, that smirk still on his face. If she made good on her promise, it might be better if Brodie did not try to sleep close by for reasons the man had stated himself.

Brodie both winced and laughed at that. Coimbrans were a lusty people, something the other countries seemed to have forgotten in their rabid hatred of the heretics that controlled the isolated land. It was both good to know, and awkward for a brother, that Mal was quite so enamored of his lady love.

"Brace yourself, they're comin' back," was his only warning, and sure enough, the king was escorting Rosemary back to them, hand in hand like family, and both flushed and laughing.

"I will consider myself warned," Malcolm murmured quietly, unable to hide the smirk from his face as his bride returned with the king. "Sire, you make me look like an oaf!" he said, moving to reclaim his wife from the king.

"'Tis the prerogative of a king, young knight," Tralin answered gleefully, handing Rose easily into the circle of her husband's arm. "Once, a king would have claimed first rights to a bride's maidenhead, too. Fancy it?"

Rose stared at the king for a brief moment, and burst out laughing, sagging against Mal's side as Tralin Nairn's twinkling eyes dared her husband to answer.

"Let us be thankful that tradition is no more," Malcolm said, only half in jest. The thought of sharing Rosemary with anyone - even their king - was not a thought he wanted to seriously consider. He reached for her as the king handed her back, one arm going possessively around her waist.

The king laughed aloud at the response, accepting a fresh cup from Brodie's hand to toast the new couple. "The dark has fallen, Sir Malcolm," he pointed out. "Past time you were making that vixen there howl."

Despite her own boldness, Rose did blush at this, her arm squeezing about Mal's back. "He'll be howlin', too."

"Mayhaps we should have built a house away from the settlement," Malcolm remarked, not really caring much who heard them on their wedding night, though he did value their privacy and with any luck, there would come a time when they needed more room than they had now living with the Adairs.

"Och, we'll not be here so very much longer," Tralin assured him, with the confidence they all needed to see in him. "Mark my words - by year's end, the heretics'll be the ones without homes!"

Malcolm frowned, knowing the history that was yet to happen, at least as it had unfolded in his own past. And yet, he felt hopeful about the future now that some things had changed. "I pray you are right, sire," he said, gravely.

"Wipe off that frown, Sir Mal, you're a newly wedded man," Tralin told him firmly. "This is no day for frowns or scowls or spoggies. Elsewise your lady there may take matters into her own hands."

As he said this, Rosie's hand slipped down to squeeze Mal's behind teasingly.

Malcolm smirked when he felt Rose squeeze his behind. "It seems she already has," he murmured, turning to his bride with a grin. "Shall we, wife?" he asked, pulling her tighter against him.

Giggling once again, she raised her smile to his. "Aye, we shall, husband," she countered fondly. "I've plans for this night that dinnae include king and country."
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Rosemary Anderson
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tralin chuckled. "I feel I should be insulted," he commented, looking to Brodie. "What do you think?"

Brodie snorted with laughter. "I'll not enter that conversation, thank you, sire."

"Nae disrespect, sire, but king and country nae belong in the bedroom," Malcolm remarked, leaning toward Rosemary to smooch her cheek. "Good night to you, sire ..." he said with a respectful nod to the king before turning to Brodie to hand him his empty mug of ale. "And to you, brother."

There were no embraces to say a mere goodnight, for they would all still be together when morning came. As Brodie and the king waved the newly-weds away, Rose claimed Mal's hand, tugging him out of the circles of firelight as the spring dusk close in around them, her feet taking them to the place that was theirs alone for this one night.

He didn't make good on his threat to toss her over his shoulder - he thought she deserved more dignity than that - but he didn't tarry as they made their way to the place where their wedding bed awaited. "Are you nervous?" he asked, breaking the silence between them.

"Should I be?" she asked in return. What she felt wasn't nerves exactly; more an excited anticipation than any kind of dread at what was to come. She twisted to walk backwards, smiling up at him as her fingers tangled with his own. "You'll be the first to see and touch," she told him, sensing some need to know buried inside. "But I'm not innocent."

He arched a brow at her confession and her honest answer to a question he hadn't asked. "Rose, I would be lying if I said I didnae care who's come before me, but it doesnae matter. We are together now, you and I, and I will allow no one to tear us apart."

"Mal ..." She stopped, drawing her arms about his waist as she held his gaze. "It doesnae matter who came before," she told him. "I'm still a virgin, just not a shy one. And it's your name I've taken for my own, you I've given my heart and being to. You're the one that matters, not the faceless ones in my past."

"Aye, Rose, I feel the same," he told her, though he didn't mention the fact that he'd been with other women in the past, assuming she knew that already. It hardly mattered now anyway. She had no competition for anyone past, present, or future. He drew her close so that he could kiss her lips, assuring her there was no one else but her in his heart or his thoughts.

What began as soft and tender soon grew in passion, his new wife impatient to claim and be claimed as she ravished his lips with her own, tugging on his belt to drag him along as she stumbled backward toward the little house that was their destination. Patience was definitely not a virtue of Rosemary's.

He grinned against her lips as her kiss turned passionate, and she tugged him along to their nightly refuge. By comparison, he was far more patient than she, and yet, he seemed in as much a hurry to claim her as she was to claim him. Still, it was something Brodie had said that gave him pause. He didn't want to rush things so much that all the pleasure was his, with none for her.

Still, it seemed he might have to rein his diminuitive wife in a little. As first one door, and then another opened at her back, the second one closing to shut them into a bedroom that was now theirs, her clever fingers were already opening the belt at his hips, the laces on his tunic and braes. She was eager and wanting, her kisses offered with wild smiles, and breath laced with his name.

How was he to slow her down when she was as eager as he was and did he even want to? He eagerly traded kisses back and forth, while his fingers, too, worked at the many laces and trappings that kept her from him. "Rose," he murmured, his voice husky with desire, in a weak attempt to interrupt and slow her down a little.

Her overdress fell with little ceremony, leaving only the voluminous shift beneath, hanging off one shoulder as she gripped his shirt to drag him close. Her back found the wall beside the window, her kisses deepening with mewling desire, unwilling to slow down, to wait. She'd been waiting for months; now, when there was nothing to hold them back from one another, she needed him like air.

Despite Brodie's warnings, it seemed Rose was as eager and as impatient as he was, if he only didn't listen to the noise in his head but the proof right before him. It didn't take much effort to push Brodie's voice from his mind when Rose's needs and desires were so obviously being made known to him. Instead, his kisses matched her passion, surrendering to the desire that had been slowly building inside him all day. His hands found her waist, reveling in the feel of her curves as his hands traveled upwards to divest her of her shift.

She might not have been the most voluptuous woman, nor even the most well-endowed, but she was his. Whether she knew it or not, she'd been his since he'd first read of her fate in the history books of his own time. Standing with him, bare and longing, there could be no doubt of that now. Her shift fell away, her hands rising to pull his shirt from his shoulders, her lips soft against the prickle of his chest hair. "You're stallin'," she accused him teasingly, nipping at his skin.

"We have the rest of our lives together, Rose," he reminded her, though there were no certainties in life. He knew as well as she did that life was too short and that things could change in an instant. One could argue that was all the more reason to take his time, or that it was reason for slowing down. Either way, her accusation surprised him a little. He didn't feel he was stalling so much as taking his time.

"Aye, we do," she agreed, tracing her fingertips up along the line of his back as she pressed close to him, no barrier of his shirt to prevent him feeling the warmth and softness of her body so close to his own. "Please, Mal ..."

Brodie's warning or no, he could not say no to that, not to a woman he loved who so obviously wanted him so much, especially when he wanted her, too. Without so much of a warning, he scooped her up in his arms and carried her toward the bed, assuming she'd prefer the comfort of a bed to a hard wall at her back. He said nothing more but touched his lips to hers, his kiss deepening as he laid her back against the bed and allowed his hands to explore the soft curves of her body he so craved.

For a woman who was so accustomed to the harsher side of life, she was all softness and boldness in his arms, happy to be enveloped in his embrace, to surrender to his kisses as he laid her back against the kinder cushion of the bed. Yet her hands were no less busy, even as she thrilled openly to the touch of his, pulling open his braes, pushing the sturdy leather and linen down to uncover his hips, his backside ... hooking her legs about those hips to pull him so close they could almost have been joined in that moment. Her low moan of wanting painted the air as she clung to him, insistent that slow and gentle could come later. What she wanted most now was him.

He heard himself groan, almost without realizing it, as she hooked her legs around his and pulled him close. It was almost impossible to resist her or try to slow down, even if he'd wanted to. "Rose," he murmured again, as his lips grazed the soft line of her neck and he buried his face in her hair, inhaling her scent, which only made him want her even more. "It will hurt ... a little," he warned her, as he held himself back for just a moment longer - a moment that was like so much torture.

Her fingers flexed against his back, her breath hot against his ear as his lips brushed her neck. "It'll hurt more without you," she heard herself whimper, unashamed of her desire here in his arms. She'd been so good not to tease or taunt him for months; here and now, she didn't want to be good any longer. She just wanted.

He thought perhaps it was better to take her quickly and put the pain behind them, rather than torment them both by trying to go slow. Should he warn her before he took her, or just merely do it? In truth, he'd never deflowered a woman before, and hence, was not sure what to expect, except for what he'd been told by those who had. But she did not seem afraid or even reluctant. In fact, just the opposite, and so he decided once again to put everything he'd been told before this aside and listen only to his instincts, taking his cue from her. With that in mind, he kissed her again, deeply, passionately, so as to distract her from the pain she was about to endure. Pleasure would then mingle with pain and hopefully become that much more bearable.

But there were some women for whom there was no pain, for hard living had already broken them in, as it were. And perhaps Rose was one of them, for she gave no sign of pain - a simple moment of tension, unused to the sensation of being claimed in such a way, clinging to him even as her lips tore from his own to release an eager cry to the still night.

He exhaled a heavy sigh at that claiming, more pleasure than pain as far as he was concerned. He felt the tension in her unwind as they moved to and fro, in perfect rhythm with the other, smothering her eager cries with further kisses that were both loving and impassioned. There was tension in him, too, slowly building to a crescendo as their bodies moved together in the growing darkness of night. He'd been with women before, but never with one he so loved and desired as he did Rosemary. This, then, was what was meant when people referred to such a coupling as a sacred bond, but it was not just a bond between man and woman as it was a binding of hearts and minds and even souls. In that moment, they were as one in every way, and Malcolm thought he could not feel any greater bliss than this, alive or dead.

And she was there with him, the culmination of longer yearning than either might have been willing to admit, needing only a little encouragement from a touch that seemed to know her without needing to be told to bring her with him to the precipice and beyond, together. Whether they made a babe this night or not, the vows they had shared paled in comparison to this sharing of everything they were and could be.
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Rosemary Anderson
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That first time had been hurried, rushed even, but it seemed to have taken the edge off the tension they had both been feeling and allowed them a moment's respite to catch their breath. "I love you, Rosie lass," he murmured in her ear as they languished in the afterglow of their love, tangled in each other's embrace.

She beamed into the strong line of his neck, nuzzling close for a long moment, hands never quite still on the broad expanse of his back as they lay together. "Loved you a long while, Mal," she murmured back to him, tilting her head to meet his gaze with loving eyes that sparkled from her flushed face. "Knew it when you blushed at me when Morwen teased you at her own wedding."

If a long while could be defined by a few months, then he was just as guilty, though he had always been intrigued by the woman whose life had once been a matter of history. "It was nae that long ago, Rose," he reminded her, though in some ways it seemed like ages.

She laughed softly. "Bein' so close and only allowed to be your friend made it a long while," she pointed out to him, slowly drawing her hands to his chest to give him a gentle push onto his back. She was quick to follow, chestnut hair falling over her shoulder to brush against his skin as she dipped her head to kiss him tenderly. "Many's the night I dreamed of being your wife, Sir Malcolm Anderson."

His brows arched upwards, surprised by her admission, though he'd known she was at least fond of him. "You could have told me," he said, though it hardly mattered now. "I have loved you a long while, too, Rose," he admitted. "Perhaps that's why the Goddess brought me here," he murmured, realizing that only just now.

"Aye, p'raps it was," she agreed softly, each word murmured softly against his lips. "Remind me t' thank Her in the mornin'." She grinned down at him, nose to nose, a rare new wife in how unashamed she was of this nude closeness they shared.

"We'll thank Her together," he assured her with a kiss. He liked the way her body felt against his, the warmth and softness of her and the way their bodies fit together like they'd been made for each other, despite or because of their obvious differences. He smiled as she grinned down at him, his arms going around her waist to hold her snugly against him. He could feel his desire for her rising again and knew she'd feel it, too. "Should we go slower this time, Rosie?" he asked, remembering her promise to keep him up all night.

She seemed to consider this for a moment, as much teasing as loving, proof positive that despite her new place as his wife, she would not suddenly become a subservient woman to his will. "Aye, I think we can manage that," she said eventually, her grin touching his smile tenderly. "We've all the time we could wish for tonight."

Tonight, yes, but Malcolm knew tonight wouldn't last forever. The journey to and attack on Imbre loomed in front of them, and Malcolm knew how important it was. Important enough that whether they failed or succeeded might decide the fate and future of all Coimbra. What they had planned was dangerous, and that brought a worried frown to his face that overshadowed their happiness.

"Are you sure you want to come with me to Imbre?" he asked, reluctant to bring it up again, but needing to, for some reason.

She raised her head, one brow arching above an expression that brooked no argument. "I'm coming," she told him firmly. "Everyone I love will be a part of that siege, that attack. I'll not stand back and be safe and protected while my kin, my man, risk their lives for my sake, Mal."

"I know," he replied quietly, lifting a hand to brush her hair back from her face, his fingers gently grazing her cheek, a serious look on his face, his eyes full of worry mingled with adoration. "'Tis only that I worry about your safety, love," he explained, not realizing that she probably did the same for him.

She lowered her head, her brow finding a resting place against his as her fingers gently stroked his jaw. "As I worry for you, love," she countered softly. "But I'm not a weak woman, nor a helpless babe. I can fight as well as any man. You'll need me in the town, to find your passageway, to find the safest way to get your men to it. I can hide in plain sight better than any of you."

"Aye," he replied, agreeing with everything she'd said. The plans had already been made, and he had no intentions of changing them. Being married hardly made a difference where that was concerned when he'd loved her all along. "I know you can fight as well as any man, but promise me you will stay our of harm's way," he told her. It was a small request, but one that would mollify him at least a little. The plan was risky, whether she fought or not, but staying out of the battle might keep her safer than if she were in the middle of the fighting.

"I'm not a warrior," she assured him gently. "I'm a rogue, a scout. I'll fight on the edges, not in the heat." Her palm pressed over his heart. "You keep yourself alive, Malcolm Anderson. There's no wish for living in me if it's not with you."

"I'll do my best, Rose," he promised, circling his arms around her waist again, though his hands came to rest against the soft curve of her rear. He wanted to promise to keep her safe, especially from Dalgleish, but there was a good chance they'd get separated, and that was in part what was bothering him. He couldn't very well protect her if he wasn't with her.

"You'd better," she warned, a flicker of a smile rising on her face as she warmed to him all over again. "I mean to make a bairn with you tonight, love, and you'll miss a good deal if you forget to live through what's comin'."

He'd miss more than a good deal; he'd miss everything. "I refuse to believe the Goddess brought me here only to die," he told her, putting voice to his beliefs. It had been through no deed of his own that he'd found himself here, in this time and place, but that of a higher power.

"You're stallin' again," was her response, a soft grin touched to his nose, to his lips, as she slithered over him, peppering his skin with kisses. She'd said she intended to keep up him until dawn, and she was not a woman easily defeated. Words weren't so very necessary right now.

The attention she was giving him hardly warranted words - sighs, perhaps; groans, most definitely - but even as worried as he was, he knew this was not the time for talk. Not on their wedding night when she had warned or promised to keep him busy all night - if he could manage to stay awake, anyway. Her teasing ministrations would test any man's patience, and it wasn't long before he was rolling her onto her back and returning the favor with his own lips and tongue and fingers.

There was passion enough in both of them to last the night, if they remembered to take their time. Yet even if they didn't, they would still sleep in each other's arms for the first time, an intimacy almost beyond the physical closeness they were sharing even now. Rose was sweetly responsive to his every touch, his every murmur, his to play like a maestro as her voice rose in a song that was only sung for him.

In the end, it took half the night. Satiated and content, they eventually succumbed to sleep, tangled in each other's embrace. It wasn't until the first light of morning caressed Rose's cheek that Malcolm's eyes opened and he lie quietly watching his beloved rest, as peaceful as an angel.

Tangled chestnut hair lay over the pillow, over his chest, but there she was, his wife, bare and warm, her arm softly embracing him as she breathed gently in slumber. They had certainly earned their rest, though they would both be up and moving within hours. But for now, in this quiet peace of the dawning, there was time enough for a softer moment of loving silence as her eyes opened to meet his gaze with a tender smile.

"'Tis morning," he whispered, with a faint frown of regret. They'd slept half the night through and now that it was morning, they'd be expected to show their faces at the temple. He knew they had more than just one night together - they had the rest of their lives - and yet, the night had passed far too quickly for his liking.

She made a soft sound of protest in the back of her throat, nestling closer as her arm tightened about him. "S'moonlight," she muttered. "Bright moonlight. Sun can't be up yet."

"We fell asleep," he confessed, pulling her closer and nuzzling his face against her neck, his arms around her waist. He felt as lazy as a slug and as content as a cat, in no great hurry to start their day.

Drawn up against him, Rose's fingers poured through his hair as he buried his face in her neck, a gentle kiss finding his temple in answer. "Waste of an evenin'," she teased, the faintest suggestion of a laugh in her voice.

"Hardly a waste, lass," he said, lifting his head to meet her gaze, finding her eyes matched the sound of amusement in her voice. She didn't really believe that of their first night together, did she?

"Well, half an evenin'," she corrected herself, smiling as her lips brushed his. "Could've been doin' more'n sleepin' if we were more stubborn." She snickered softly, nuzzling to him - it was plain that she didn't consider it a waste of any kind. he was just too easy to tease.

"Or less sleepy," he pointed out, the hint of a smirk on his face as he nuzzled that little bit closer so that she could tell his body was as eager for her come daylight than he'd been in the dark. "How would you like to start the day?" he asked, his lips moving to trail kisses down her neck and between her breasts.

She laughed sleepily, her head tilting with the guide of his lips over her skin. "Seems you've an idea or two about that yourself, love," she pointed out. It wasn't an objection, far from it. She might have been a little sore, but that wasn't going to stop her from delighting in him all over again if he allowed it.
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Rosemary Anderson
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Seems I should do something to make up for falling asleep, aye?" he asked, though he was hardly waiting for an answer as feather-light kisses traveled slowly down her body, until he reached that sacred place at the apex of her thighs.

Rolling onto her back, her fingers poured over his shoulders, into his hair, the first flickering of shyness making itself known since they'd tumbled into bed together the night before. Here and now, in daylight, she was his to see. He could see the scars she'd earned over the years, the bony protruberance of her hips, the lack of buxomness at her breast. In the dark of the night, she'd barely given it a thought. In the golden light of dawn, suddenly all her percieved flaws were stark and embarrassing.

Today - this very morning - he would make good on his promise to Brodie not to let Rose do all the work. Last night had been about both of them, but this morning, he wanted her to know what it was to truly feel loved and desired. She needed have worried though - he found her just as beautiful in the morning light as he had by dark of night, perhaps even more so for the love they'd shared together. He poured his heart into his lovemaking, proving that he was just as willing to give pleasure as to receive it.

She may have dallied in the past, but no one had ever given her their time, their touch, their adoration, the way Mal did now. She'd never felt loved, not like this, wound tight to ecstasy only to fall into waiting arms that embraced her tenderly as she gasped out his name in wondering tones, eager to answer his loving with her own if she possibly could. She may not have been skilled, but she was thorough, quick to learn him as he responded to her own touch.

Thankfully, no one thought to disturb them, except for breakfast, signaled by a quiet knock at the door, which also thankfully didn't happen until they were nearly through with each other for the first time that morning. "What is it?" he called, pausing only long enough in his attention to her body to ask who was at the door.

"Breakfast, sir," a robust, if slightly uncertain, voice called from the other side of the door. "Master Brodie said to bring it up. Shall I come in?"

"One moment!" he called back, before tossing a blanket over them both and rolling aside so that he was no longer straddling Rose's body. "Not a word," he whispered, touching a finger to her lips, knowing she was bound to say something to embarrass them both.

"Just the one?" she whispered back to him, giggling at his instruction to keep quiet as the door opened to admit the cook herself, bearing a laden tray.

The woman cast a concerned eye over the bed, clearly wanting to be sure that the bride had survived the wedding night with a husband a good deal larger than she was, and snorted with laughter as Rose offered her a cheerful wave. Setting the tray down, the cook nodded to the pair of them. "Try and eat before it gets cold," were her parting words as she slipped from the room once again.

It wasn't until the cook left that he snorted with laughter himself, amused by both the look on the woman's face as she peeked over at them and the warning not to let breakfast get cold. "Shall we, lass? I'm famished!" he said, looking around for something with which to cover them both.

"Aye, starved am I," she agreed, pushing away the blankets to sit up. Covering herself was easy - the discarded shift from the night before was swiftly snatched up and pulled over her head, hanging loose from her shoulder but still comfortable and modest. She grinned at her husband. "P'raps you should put your braes back on, love."

"You nae think I should strut about naked?" he teased, eyes sparkling with amusement. The cook was right in warning them, as if the did that, they might never get to eating breakfast.

"I think you're too easy to distract when you're standin' to attention," she informed him with a low giggle, lifting the tray to bring it over to the bed. It wasn't likely to be a particularly luxurious meal - hot creamed oats and spiced ale were a safe bet - but it was hot, and a good start to the day for any of them.

He threw off the blanket and swept his trousers up from the floor to pull them onto his legs, though he wondered if he should even bother, as they were likely to be coming back off again. At least, for now, they insured them both against being distracted too much from breakfast before it got cold. "Better?" he asked, as he stood back up, hands on his hips.

"It'll do, aye," she agreed, setting the tray on the bed to crawl back beneath the blankets. Spring may have sprung, but there was still a chill in the morning air. Taking up a spoon and a bowl, she began to eat, glad for the honey that had been added to the porridge. It wasn't her favorite meal of the day, but even Rose knew better than to skip it.

The meal was a simple one compared to the one they'd shared the night before, but it was hot and hearty and would fill their bellies as good as any, until the noon meal. He settled himself back onto the bed and took up a bowl and spoon, unable to hide the smirk from his face at the memory of their evening and morning together. He could still taste her on his lips, the scent of her lingering in the air. "Am I really too easy to distract, or is it you who are easily distracted?" he teased, lifting a spoonful of porridge to his mouth.

Rose laughed softly, wiping a trickle from her mouth with her thumb. "D'you really think I'd tell you that?" she asked him impishly. "You've a mischief streak as wide as mine, and license to play with it now."

"License to play with you, more like," he remarked, licking a bit of porridge from his own lips and hoping he didn't get it all over his beard. Though they were married now, he was still worried about making a good impression on her. He didn't want to be one of those men who got lazy about his manners and appearance once he was wed.

"Aye, well, I wasnae goin' to say that straight out," she laughed back to him, unconcerned whether he got oats in his beard. She'd lived among bearded men all her life; she knew the problems inherent in having one when eating. "You didnae seem to mind getting your beard dirty when you were down below earlier."

"Aye, well, that's different," he said, scooping up another spoonful of porridge. "I dunnae mind a little leftover reminder of you. You taste far better than cold porridge, lass," he told her with a teasing grin.

She giggled, her cheeks lighting up a shy blush as she ducked her head over her own bowl, half-hidden behind the fall of her hair. For all her boldness, she was still a new wife. It would take time for her to be truly at ease with such teasing, even in private, but it was time they now had to share. "Porridge doesnae taste so good even when hot," she pointed out.

"Does nae compare to you," he insisted, his eyes on her, even as he scooped a bit of porridge from his bowl, only looking away with a startled gasp as the porridge dripped off his spoon and down his bare chest.

It was his reaction more than anything that made her laugh, that unexpected gasp escaping his lips as he looked down at himself. "Och, messy boy," she teased, setting her own bowl safely to one side. She tsked at him through her grin, dipping her head to lick his chest clean just because she could.

He blinked in surprise as she licked his chest clean, which hardly helped him remain patient until they had finished their breakfast, as evidenced once again by the snug feel of his breeches. "If I'd known you were going to clean me up that way, I'd have spilled it a bit lower," he remarked.

Rose snickered softly. "You should know better'n to bait me, love," she reminded him. "I've ne'er backed down from a challenge I was confident to win."

"Just being honest, love," he replied, trying and failing to keep a straight face. He still had half a bowl of porridge to finish, but he had a feeling they were hardly going to get through breakfast before they wanted each other again.

"Bein' a tease," she cackled back to him, picking up her own bowl again. "Behave yourself, I'm hungry for food as well as you. Cannae have you faintin' mid-rut, can we?"

"Says the pot callin' the kettle black," he teased back, attempting to at least half-focus his attention on his porridge so that he didn't suffer another spill.
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Rosemary Anderson
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I'm not the one woke up randy as a breath." She laughed around her mouthful - they both knew if she had been the one to wake first, she likely wouldn't have waited for him to wake naturally before beginning again.

"'Can I be blamed for wanting you?" he asked, trying his best to look innocent. He finished the last of his porridge and set the empty bowl back on the tray. "I always wondered what you'd be like," he said, hinting at the fact that he'd already been partly infatuated or at least intrigued by her even before they'd met.

She eyed him in amusement, finally realizing that she had permission to ask now what she had not dared to ask before. "What did your books say about me?" she asked curiously, setting her own bowl back on the tray to move the whole thing out of their way.

He frowned at her question, unsure how much to tell her, and yet, he supposed she had a right to know. "History said Dalgleish killed your father and Duncan and forced you into marriage. You gave him thirteen children before you died in childbirth." There was more, but she had only really asked about what had been written about her.

She did not look convinced. "Thirteen? They got it wrong, clearly," she argued. "I'd never let that man into my bed. I told you before, I'd kill myself first."

Malcolm shrugged, clearly uncomfortable with the conversation, or at least, at the thought of Dalgleish forcing himself on his beloved. "I only know what I read," he said, not bothering to tell her that what he'd read had purportedly been written by her younger brother.

"Aye, well, you've changed that already," she reminded him, crawling back onto the bed to brush her fingers against his cheek. "But just that was enough to make you wonder about me? You must've thought I was some weak wee woman who'd take any man to her bed just to live."

"I did nae think such a thing," he argued, forced to meet her gaze, as she brushed her fingers against his cheek. "I wanted ..." He trailed off, realizing for the first time as he was about to say the words why the goddess might have picked him. "I wanted to save you."

"And you did." Hitching her shift to her thighs, she settled herself in a straddle over his lap, a soft wet cloth in her hand to wipe his beard clean since he'd already shown concern over it. "I'm not his wife. I'll ne'er be his wife. I'm yours, always."

So long as everything went as planned, anyway. Malcolm was still frowning, the worry returning at the talk of Dalgleish and the hideous things he'd done to Rose after her father's murder. "Now you know why I dunnae like the idea of you coming along, but I will nae stop you. I only ask that you be careful and do nae confront the man."

"Malcolm Anderson, you married me, dinnae forget it," she reminded him all over again. "You didnae marry a fool. I'll stand at your back and defend it, but I'll not go looking for trouble. I know I'm an easy target for anyone bearing weapons. We'll open the gates, and we'll find the bastard together."

"Aye," he replied, seeing no sense in arguing with her when the fact was that they needed her. "The truth is I am nae a proper rebel, Rose. I'm a teacher, a scholar, a historian, nae a knight born to battle, but I will do everything I can to keep you safe," he promised, as honestly and adamantly as he could.

"We'll keep each other safe," she told him, knowing that they were far stronger together than they would be apart. She let the cloth fall to the dresser beside the bed, stroking her thumbs over his cheeks. "Life is short and brutal, Mal. We should take our joys where we can find them, not waste that time on worries."

"Why do you think I married you?" he asked, his gaze dropping only briefly to admire the woman before him - the woman who was now his wife. It was a bit of a rhetorical question, as what he was trying to tell her was that he agreed. There was no point in wasting time worrying about death when there was living to be done. He leaned close and pressed his lips against hers, not waiting for an answer.

"I thought -" But the tease of what she had thought was lost as his lips found hers, her own mouth softening to welcome and answer that kiss, arms wrapping about his shoulders, legs about his hips. She wanted him in no doubt that this was as much her choice as his; that she regretted nothing.

Nor did he. Given the choice, he would always choose her over anyone and anything. Was it any wonder some higher power had seen fit to bring him here, to this time and this place? Whatever the explanation, he had not only been an answer to her prayer, but she had been an answer to his. And now that they were together, no one would break them apart.

No rose without a thorn ...
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