Poison's Bend: Chapter 19
Warnings: partial nudity, implied sex
And I'd like to give props to strange_tomato , who, in her wonderful story, showed me how gosh darn perfect Vidcund's new outfit is for him. ;)
Edited to put back the photos that were banned by Photobucket. ;)
Exactly at ten the next morning, the telephone rang.
“Aerin? It’s Vidcund Curious.” A pause, then he cleared his throat. “I, uh... I received your message.”
“How are you, Vidcund?”
“Fine. Just fine.” He cleared his throat again. “Um... Aerin? I have today off at the lab, and I was wondering if we... Well I... I thought we might.... I mean in your message it sounded like...” He trailed off hopelessly.
“Vidcund, do you want to go out with me?” I finished for him.
“Yes! Yes, I would,” he said with obvious relief. “Um... where would you like to go?”
“Surprise me,” I said with a laugh. “I’ll see you around seven.”
That evening, Vidcund arrived promptly at seven and escorted me to dinner.
I soon discovered he was nothing like either of his brothers, really. Oh, he was meticulous like Pascal, I could see that... but whereas Pascal had been open and friendly, Vidcund was more reserved, and I found myself the initiator of not only the conversations, but also the beginnings of romance.
I didn’t mind.
Neither, it appeared, did he.
And so, it commenced.
We began to see each other on a regular basis over the next several weeks. Mostly we would have dinner together, or take in the sights... but always there were long conversations sprinkled with flirtations and gentle kisses.
As time wore on, I was sure I was falling in love with him, and despite my daughter’s misgivings, I began to feel hopeful for the future. I had never felt so connected with another man like I did with Vidcund, and I knew he felt it too.
Only once did he speak of his brothers.
It was a chilly winter’s evening, and we had elected to stay in at my house, relaxing by the fire in the library, instead of going out. Catherine had gone to her room early, and Vidcund and I had the house to ourselves.
“Would you like some coffee?” I asked.
“I’ll get it, Aerin,” he replied. He seemed to be grateful to have something to do. Within moments, he returned with two steaming cups.
“Aerin,” he said slowly, “I... I’ve been wanting to tell you that I think it was terrible of Lazlo to leave you like he did.” He shook his head and gave one of the cups to me.
Sitting beside me, he sipped his own. “It’s not like him, you know... and I’m sorry.”
“Vidcund, you don’t have to apologize for him,” I whispered, curving my cold hands around the cup. Winds were howling outside. It sounded as though a blizzard was in the making.
“I know,” he replied. “...but after Pascal died in that accident, there was so much I wanted to say to you, and I could never bring myself to call.” He sighed. “Then, when Lazlo moved out to marry you, I told him one thing, Aerin. Only one thing.”
“What was that, Vidcund?”
“That he better not ever hurt you,” Vidcund said, “or he’d have to answer to me.” He sighed again, and stood up quickly, a blush creeping across his face. “Are you finished with that cup?” he asked, and, not waiting for an answer, he snatched it up and rushed off to the kitchen.
I remained seated only a second before I followed him.
That one sentence had told me so much.
“It’s really snowing out there,” Vidcund commented when he heard my footsteps.
“Yes, it is,” I murmured, not at all concerned with snow.
“I should probably start home before it gets too deep,” he mused, staring out the window and frowning.
“No, mon cher,” I said softly. “You’re not going anywhere.” I crept up close behind him and slipped my arms around his waist. “It’s not a fit night out for man nor beast.”
He gasped. “Aerin, what are you...?”
“I’d be worried sick about you if you tried to go home,” I whispered into the back of his neck. “...so you can’t leave. Not tonight.”
He turned and gazed at me with intense blue eyes. “Do you mean you want me to stay? Here... with you?”
“It’s so cold,” I said softly. “I can think of no better way to stay warm.” I tipped my lips up to his and kissed him with more fervor than I had ever before shown in all our weeks of dating.
how could he not?
His hands hesitantly crept around my waist and drew me close. “Aerin,” he breathed huskily. “Are you... sure about this?”
“Oui, I’m very sure,” I whispered. “Vidcund... please... ”
“Aerin...” he said shakily. “I... I...” He took a deep breath. “I want to make you happy, Aerin, but I’ve never... I mean I haven't ever... uh... I... ” his faltering words trailed off as I continued kissing him.
Was he trying to tell me he'd never been intimate with anyone before? That he was a virgin?
Unbidden, an image of what his life must have been like thus far crashed into my mind... how lonely... how isolated he must have always felt, having only his work, and his studies... and watching his brothers have what he felt he never could...
“Don’t worry,” I whispered, gently leading him to the bed. “I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.”
The very next day, Vidcund placed what remained of the Curious family possessions up for sale and moved in with me.
We could not legally be married; my marriage ties with Lazlo had not yet been severed by time or the courts... but in all ways but on paper, we were man and wife.
More than that, even...
We were âme sœur... soul mates!
All of our lives we had been waiting for this, even though we had not known it, and this time…
This time I was certain it would be perfect!
It would be!
To Be Continued...