Season 1, Episode 6
Written by Tof Eklund
Read by Tawn Krakowski
Bess stared at the girl. The setting sun cast a red-orange glow over one side of her face and left the other half in shadow. Over her shoulder, he could see the pattern repeated in the half-moon that was rising into the sky.
“Isa,” he repeated her name. “My name’s Bess.”
Her eyes widened and she laughed. “Bess is a girl’s name.”
“No it’s not.”
“Yes it is. I have a second cousin named Bess.”
“Well, I’ve never met a girl named Bess.”
“Have you ever met a girl named Isa?”
“Yes, just now.”
She laughed again. “You’re funny. I like you.”
He blushed, embarrassed by the compliment as well as the laughter. “Well, I think you’re pretty.”
Isa grimaced. “Don’t lie to me.”
“I mean it!”
“Really? Well, I think you look good too.”
It was his turn to frown. “You don’t have to make a joke out of it.”
“I’m not joking! When I saw you…” she stopped, realizing what she was about to say, and her almond skin flushed scarlet.
Bess gaped back, realization dawning. “You mean, you saw me…” Then words failed him as well.
She nodded, her cheeks burning with embarrassment even as her entire being burned with a yearning so bright and hot that it threatened to blind her. As Bess took a step toward her, she looked over her shoulder, irrationally afraid of being seen. She heard him take another tentative step, and she was already in motion. She sprang at him, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and planting an inexperienced kiss on his lips.
Bess returned the hug, pulling her in tight and returning the kiss. He felt the curve of her shoulders though her tunic and touched the nape of her neck. She moaned and then kissed him again. This time, without thinking about it, Bess opened his mouth and tasted her lips. She responded by parting them and meeting his tongue with her own. Neither one knew quite what to do at that point, but they persisted, their hands wandering over each other’s backsides as they figured it out.
Isa finally broke the kiss, and they drew in great, gulping breaths. She looked straight at Bess, drinking in his face, from his large, murky, blue-grey eyes to the chaotic tangle of his auburn hair. His nose was crooked and looked like it had been broken repeatedly. He looked amazing.
Bess leaned in to kiss Isa again, mesmerized by the dark gleam of her eyes on him, and the way her eyelids drew in a little toward the low bridge of her nose. He’d never seen eyes shaped like that before, but he’d never seen hair as dark and straight as hers either. Most powerful was the way she was looking at him. He closed his eyes as their lips met again.
They grew bolder in their touching, loosing laces and sliding hands into each other’s tunics. She was surprised to find hair on his chest, and curled her fingers in it as he ran his hands up her sides. When Bess’ fingers found the sides of her breasts, she gasped. Pulling him in close, she felt the hot heat of his manhood against her belly. Isa ran her fingernails over his back and it was Bess’ turn to groan. His hips thrust, pressing him harder against her, and she found herself gyrating in response, grinding herself against his leg.
The tunics came off and were thrown carelessly to the side. Skin slid over heated skin, her breasts settling in tight against his ribs. Their eyes locked again and intense staring turned into sudden giggling, which then led to more kissing. They collapsed to the ground together just as the last rays of the sun blinked out below the horizon.
The stars appeared suddenly and vividly in the night sky, and Isa thought she saw something pass over the moon. The sensations they’d each felt on the mound before returned, stronger and more clearly than before. Neither Bess nor Isa could have said if the fumbling, touching, grinding, and moaning was that of two bodies or of three.
Bess rolled Isa onto her back and placed his hand on the tie that held Isa’s trousers up, but then he paused, seeing the uncertainty in her face.
“I…I’m not sure if I’m ready for…that,” she whispered.
Bess gave a nod and lifted his hand. Bending down, he licked her nipple, and Isa groaned. It felt as if both of her nipples were being played with, with alternating soft kisses and firm suction. She grabbed Bess by the hips and pulled him down onto her. They rocked against each other as the pleasure built up between them. Their legs, hands, and tongues twined together, and with a great cry, they came together, filling the world with light. The mound itself quivered underneath them.
Sometime afterwards, Bess lay nestled in a hollow atop the mound, spooning with Isa, who pressed her back to his chest.
“Blue,” she replied to his question, “but not any blue. The shimmery light blue of the sky right by the sun at noon. What about you, do you have a favorite color?”
“Not really. Anything but brown, I guess.”
“Then why did you ask me if I had a favorite color?”
“Because I was looking at your hair and, well, I was thinking that it’s a beautiful color.”
“Black is your favorite color?”
“Not any black. The black of your hair by moonlight.”
Isa sighed, “I like that.”
“I’m glad you came back.”
“Me too. I didn’t think I’d meet a soul in Barrow Wood.”
Bess laughed. “Except maybe for the ghost?”
“I was too desperate to worry about ghosts.”
“Same here. I had to get away.”
“I understand that,” she said. “Now…I can’t go back.”
“Me neither. Not after my mother…” Bess trailed off.
“It’s the same for me,” Isa replied. “My mother…”
“I hate her. When she found out that I was sneaking out at night, she called me a ‘little whore’ and threatened to cut my face so no man would want me.”
“Huh?” Bess jerked up to a sitting position, dislodging Isa.
“What?” Isa looked at Bess, confused.
“I…that’s horrible,” Bess said. “That’s what they used to call my mother.”
“Used to? Wait, you mean, your mother—”
“She’s dead.” There were tears in his eyes.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Isa scooted in to hug Bess.
“She cared for me as best she could.” He pulled her in tight. “At least I have that.”
“Now we have each other,” Isa said, brushing a tear from his face with a fingertip. “We have each other, don’t we?”
“Yes,” Bess replied, and leaned in to kiss her.
As their lips met, the mound rumbled again, then gave a violent lurch, sending them rolling down its side as it cracked open, a great fissure appearing in the grassy slope. Inside the split, something glittered in the dark. But even that shock paled as something like morning mist poured forth from the fissure and shaped itself into an approximation of a person: head, torso, and arms, with a rough approximation of eyes, nose, and a mouth, but only wispy vapor for hands, and more formless mist trailing off where legs should have been.
Isa screamed, and Bess made a choking sound.
“Please, do not be afraid,” the figure spoke in a voice like the sighing of the wind. “I bear you no ill will. Quite the opposite. You see, you have freed me.”
Isa and Bess stared in frozen surprise, so the voice in the mist continued.
“My people lived here long ago, and I was amongst their nobility. My own father killed me because I had two lovers, a man and a woman. He lied about my death and, in doing so, started a war. I was laid here in the manner of an honored hero, bound with earth and lies, roots and secrets, for so very long.”
“It was you all along,” said Isa, finding her voice.
“Yes. Trapped in my tomb with rage and pain and longing, I clung to longing. I have ached with desire throughout the ages.”
“And now?” asked Isa.
“I will scatter. Truly die.”
Bess cleared his throat and spoke up. “Do you want that? Death is, well…final.”
“What remains for me? My people are gone, my lovers dead. I do not even recall their names.” The figure paused. “There is gold in my tomb. Take it, and live better than I did.”
“You could…” Bess trailed off, and looked sideways at Isa.
“You could travel with us,” she completed the thought. “See the world as it is now.”
“Do you not feel that I used you ill?”
“I don’t see it that way,” replied Isa.
“Me neither,” said Bess. “You brought us together.”
The figure in the mist shifted and, for a moment, its face was clear, with a spreading smile and watering eyes. “Thank you both. I shall journey a ways with you,” it said, then it dispersed, breaking up into little puffs of mist that rapidly dissolved.
“Spirit? Are you still there?” called Isa.
“Yes,” the voice drifted out of the empty air.
“What is your name?”
“I do not remember. You may call me ‘Ja’. That was our word for ‘a person’.”
“Ja?” Bess asked. “Were you a boy or a girl?”
“I do not remember. Does it matter?”
Bess looked thoughtful for a moment. “Guess not,” he replied.
Isa grasped Bess’ hand. “Ja?” she asked. “Can you still do those things you did before? When you were trapped?”
“Yes. If anything, I can do more now. I…I like you both very much.”
“And we…” Isa paused and looked at Bess. He nodded. “We like you very much as well.”
Ja’s kisses, soft and simultaneously bracing and warm, landed on their lips. Bess began untying his trousers. Isa’s hand went to her waist.
She paused. “Uh, Bess, I’m still not ready to have anything in me.”
“It’s okay, Isa,” Bess replied. “Leave your pants on or take them off; either way, I won’t rush you.”
“We have time,” Ja’s voice echoed through the clearing.
And they did.
© 2012 Copyright Tof Eklund
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