tagNonHumanFondest Dreams Ch. 06

Fondest Dreams Ch. 06

bylilgirlsix©

Written by lilgirlsix and Archangel_M

Edited by Doctime

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

lilgirlsix: I love this chapter! Of course, I think I love all of these chapters, but this one just made me smile a lot!

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Archangel_M: There are any number of excellent reels I could recommend, but the music suggestion for this chapter is a medley of four reels by the band Relativity. I can't find a copy anywhere for free, so you'll have to either hunt it down or you can send me a PM and I'll email you a copy. The name is (are you ready?): The Monday Morning Reel-Cutting a Slide-Robert the Minnow-Hogties Reel. Like I said, four reels blended together. Without going into detail, let me just say that this song has great sentimental meaning for me. And trust me, it's well worth the effort to find!

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

{Language Note: Hungarian dialogue is in plaintext, <and German dialogue is in carrots.> Thanks once again to Fräulein Anne for her help with the German!}

June 2, 1858

Being able to travel into Willi's dreams had literally opened up the wider world to Zsálya's inquiring mind. It seemed to her that Willi had been everywhere, especially in Europe, and remembered every detail with perfect clarity. He delighted in showing Zsálya a new place each night, and she loved every moment of it.

Over the past four months, Zsálya had explored dozens of cities and towns, been introduced to the Crowned Heads of Europe, climbed up a mountain in Nepal to visit one of the Order's retreats, and met a full-grown dragon. She had marveled at the architecture of hidden Dwarf-holts deep beneath the earth, and her wolf had run free through the purple grasses of the Elven wilds. Each time Zsálya thought she had seen everything, Willi would show her something that made her coo with wonder. And of course, the amazing sights were even better with Willi beside her, holding her hand.

The two had also fallen fully, hopelessly in love with each other. They'd had their moments of disagreement, of course, but were always quick to talk, compromise, and have rousing make-up sex. Their joy spilled over into their waking lives, making the days fly by in happy succession.

Then, just over a week prior, Willi had attempted to replay an entire memory sequence for Zsálya, with complete success. Since then, he had shown her a number of events from his own past, and she had gained a deeper understanding of the pressures and expectations that came with being born into the Helsing family. Willi didn't seem to mind them, however, and had obviously thrived in his intense but supportive childhood environment.

Through all the wonderful nights together, the young couple talked constantly, about any topic imaginable. Willi was a seemingly bottomless reservoir of knowledge, and Zsálya was the epitome of an appreciative audience. Their conversations sharpened Zsálya's naturally gifted mind to a razor's edge, and as time went on their discussions became as much debates as lectures. Though Willi was quite firm in his view of the world, he was both open to and respectful of Zsálya's beliefs and opinions. On several occasions she raised points that he had evidently not considered. All of this only deepened the love each felt for the other. And of course, they expressed that love very, very often.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Often their evenings would begin with Zsálya asking a question that had occurred to her during the day. On this particular evening, her question was simple: "What is the most fun you have ever had?"

Willi paused a moment, staring contemplatively off into the nothingness around them. Even after all this time, Zsálya still found the initial "blackness" when they moved into his dream unnerving. However, Willi's physical and spiritual warmth were more than enough to comfort her, and she nestled into him while he thought about her question.

"I believe it was the evening of May the Thirtieth, 1848..." Willi replied at last, speaking slowly as he dredged up details from his perfect memory. "I was just barely sixteen and in the middle of my Wandering Time. Initiates are often sent off in twos or fours to travel and get a feel for everyday life. We had limited money, of course, so Markus and I—he was my partner at the time—traded our labor for food and lodging as we traveled. We were wandering through the countryside of Ireland at this time, and late on the afternoon in question we arrived at the village of Fenny's Crossing."

As he spoke, the dream-stuff around the couple began to swirl and take shape, the blackness giving way. When it settled they were standing on a dirt road, bordered by rough stone fences on either side. To their left, a flock of sheep briefly appraised them before returning their attention to the grass. The field to the right was filled with orderly rows of potato plants. The road in front of them ran up a low hill, and a few plumes of chimney smoke were visible over the crest. Willi was now dressed in a nondescript tunic, trousers, and boots, all of them slightly the worse for wear. Zsálya was wearing her pretty blue homespun dress that Willi seemed so fond of. Of course they needed clothes if they were to interact with humans, she realized.

Willi and Zsálya joined hands and walked up the road.

Zsálya noticed a young man walking beside Willi as they arrived at the outskirts of the village. He was a bit plain, she thought, but he had a kind and trustworthy air. "Is that Markus?" she asked softly.

"Ja. As you can see, we came to this village on the best possible day of the year," Willi continued.

There were people hurrying every which way, carrying baskets full of food, hauling pieces of rough-cut lumber, or rolling barrels out to a large meadow near to the center of town. Great tables were being carried out of houses, and it looked like a large wooden platform was being finished just in front of a weathered stone pillar in the middle of the field. Everyone seemed very excited.

Aside from the bustle, though, the feel of the place appealed to Zsálya very much. The clutter of houses that formed the village was quite modest, but obviously well-built and lovingly cared for. They were very different in style from the cottages where her pack lived, but they gave off the same sense of warmth and community. Were it not for the human scent that pervaded the place, Zsálya might have thought herself back home. "This is a nice place," she remarked, more to herself than to Willi. "What is happening?"

"They are preparing for the... well, 'the Spring Ball' is perhaps the best translation from Gaelic. There is some ancient tradition behind it, but," Willi smiled, "I believe that is simply an excuse to have a party. All the villagers and the farmers from the surround come, and each brings something for the party—food, drink, music, and so forth."

"Music?"

"Yes... music. Singing is music, of course, but there are also an astonishing variety of musical instruments in the world."

"I... do not understand."

"Music is... music. 'Vocal or instrumental sounds possessing a degree of melody, harmony, or rhythm' is the dictionary's explanation. I am uncertain how to describe it otherwise," Willi admitted, "but you will hear for yourself soon enough. To continue, Markus and I arrived with nothing but our clothes, a few coins, and a flask of water apiece. We offered our labor as contribution to the festivities, though, and spent several hours helping to set things up. The ball did not begin until late in the afternoon."

He waved a hand, and the scene around them changed. The sun had dropped from its zenith and the village green was full of smiling people. Long wooden tables seemed to sag under huge platters of food and great barrels of drink.

Zsálya took a deep breath, savoring the wonderful scents on the air. There was the mouth-watering aroma of many different kinds of meat—she still did not understand why humans insisted on "cooking" perfectly good meat, but it still smelled amazing—as well as fresh-baked bread and all manner of other food. There was the sharp, nostalgic smell of woodsmoke from the several bonfires lit around the large field. But most of all, she could smell the people's joy and excitement, hanging like a wonderful perfume over the whole village. It reminded her of the scents at home just before a full moon. This village and its people had a warmth and vitality to them that Zsálya found extremely comforting. If this is what all humans are like, she thought, living with them would not be so bad.

As the excitement reached its zenith, the villagers finished the last of their preparations and streamed out onto the field, chattering and laughing. Willi and Zsálya were swept up willingly in the flow, holding hands so they wouldn't get separated. Once on the green, Willi wrapped his arms around Zsálya's waist from behind and she covered his hands with hers, leaning back into his warmth and soaking up the atmosphere. She felt his erection pressing into the small of her back, and smiled to herself at the reminder of how desirable he found her.

On the raised platform near the center of the field, a matronly female raised her hands and called for attention. Zsálya didn't understand the language, but she was too caught up in the moment to care. The lady told what Zsálya presumed was a joke, judging by the roar of laughter from the assembled crowd, then opened a case at her feet and withdrew two wooden objects. One was an oddly shaped stick, while the other resembled nothing that Zsálya had ever seen.

Zsálya continued to hold Willi's hands and stared as two males, one older and one younger, hopped up on the stage, each holding a different, but equally bizarre object of his own. The trio traded a few words, then the female rested the larger of her two items on her shoulder and delicately moved the stick across part of it, while the men began to work their items in different ways. In so doing, the three produced a complex set of sounds more beautiful than anything Zsálya had ever heard.

Willi heard Zsálya's gasp and gave her one of his big, heart-melting smiles. "That is music," he whispered. He identified the instruments: the lady was playing a 'fiddle,' he explained, and the men were playing an 'accordion' and a 'guitar,' respectively. Willi also described, briefly, how each instrument worked.

Though she heard what Willi was saying, Zsálya only half-listened, as she was absolutely entranced by the slow, beautiful melody, and did not notice the villagers moving to clear a large area in the middle of the field. The music played on Zsálya's emotions like nothing else in her experience, and a strange sense of peace washed through her as she took in the song. Then, at some unspoken signal, the melody began to change. It was still sedate, but definitely getting faster, and it seemed to be building towards something. She could also smell the excitement in the air, and sensed the children and young adults bouncing ever so slightly.

When the tune abruptly burst into a fast, lighthearted reel, it was both a complete surprise and also, somehow, expected. This was clearly what the young folk had been waiting for and, as one, they jumped out into the broad area in the middle of the field and began jumping around, moving in harmony with the song. The adolescents were mainly paired off, male and female, while the younger ones were either by themselves or in small groups. Zsálya had never seen anyone move quite like they were doing, so she asked Willi. He explained that they were 'dancing,' and gave her a quick but comprehensive explanation on the subject.

Dancing seemed to be great fun, but Zsálya didn't think she had the grace to do what some of the children out on the green were doing. She was uneasy at the idea of trying it in front of so many people, forgetting that they were just figments of Willi's memory.

"When you were here in the waking world, did you dance with anybody?" she asked Willi.

Willi smiled and pointed to a breathtakingly beautiful girl who was twirling around the green without a partner. "Her name was Mary-Kate Sullivan," he told Zsálya with a hint of pride in his voice.

Zsálya felt a white-hot stab of jealousy as she noticed Willi's soft little smile. "There must be something the matter with her if nobody else will dance with her," she opined. Abruptly, Zsálya realized that this was the first time she'd ever deliberately said something mean about another person. She was shocked at herself.

Thankfully, Willi found her outburst cute rather than insulting. "Just one thing," he replied with a laugh. "Any boy who wanted to dance with Mary-Kate had to defeat her father in an arm-wrestle first." He raised his arm again, this time pointing to a massive bear of a man sitting at one of the long trestle tables.

That human is as big as Father! Zsálya realized with a start. As she watched, a strapping young man sat down opposite Mr. Sullivan, thumping his elbow onto the table and holding his forearm up straight. Mr. Sullivan did the same, and the two men clasped hands, their elbows pressing down into the table. Zsálya looked on in bemused fascination as they began to struggle against each other. The goal of the contest became clear a moment later when the younger man's forearm was slammed forcefully onto the wooden table. "You beat him at that game?" Zsálya asked Willi incredulously.

"I cheated," Willi admitted. "I used magic to amplify my physical strength." He didn't seem the least bit embarrassed about it. "There is a saying: 'All is fair in love and war,'" he added.

"You... were in love with her?" Zsálya's jealousy had passed, replaced by a vague sense of sadness.

Willi shrugged slightly. "I was certainly smitten. Fräulein Sullivan was nearly as pretty as you are," he noted matter-of-factly, pretending not to notice Zsálya's blush and smile. "And, as it turns out, she was an excellent dancer."

"You only danced with her?" Zsálya asked with a wry little smile.

"The two of us did stay out somewhat late," Willi admitted. "We looked at the stars, talked a lot, and stole a few kisses from each other."

"That is all?"

"That is all," Willi confirmed, pulling Zsálya closer and hugging her, without blocking her view of the joyful dancers on the village green. "You are my first and only lover, mein kleiner Wolf."

Zsálya cooed happily and squeezed her wonderful human tightly.

"May I have this next dance?" Willi asked Zsálya during a pause between songs, as he released her from his warm embrace.

"I... do not know how," Zsálya demurred, running her left foot through the grass and linking her hands nervously behind her back.

"I will teach you," he replied simply. Willi stepped forward then turned back to face Zsálya, holding out a hand in silent invitation.

The musicians had stopped to drink water and stretch their arms for a moment, but Zsálya could see them preparing to start again soon. "I... I am afraid of seeming foolish," she finally admitted, looking down in embarrassment.

"These people are but memories," Willi reminded her gently, his arm still outstretched. "They will not laugh at you. Nor will I."

Zsálya took a deep breath and laid her hand in Willi's. As the musicians checked the tuning on their instruments, he led her out into the center of the field. The memory-people made way for them politely, and Zsálya focused as hard as she could on Willi to stave off her sudden shyness. He took both her hands in his, standing slightly apart from her and waiting for the music. "We will begin simply," he explained.

The music began, again a song that began quiet and built up slowly. His voice quiet and calm, Willi began teaching Zsálya a very fun, straightforward dance, showing her how and where to step. As one would expect, Zsálya was not very graceful at first, but Willi's loving smile and gentle encouragement kept her trying. Her problem was more one of nerves than anything else, and she learned quickly thanks to her natural agility and grace.

By the time the song broke into a full-on reel, Willi and Zsálya were dancing together quite well. Now that she had the basic idea down, Zsálya was easily able to keep up with the increased tempo. Sensing this, Willi began to throw in little twirls and spins as the music grew ever more enthusiastic. Zsálya was now completely lost in the happy, playful music, reveling in the pure joy of dancing with someone one loves. She didn't even notice the villagers applauding for all the couples dancing, so wrapped up was she in the dance and in Willi.

When their second song began Willi taught Zsálya a more complicated and exhilarating dance. With her nervousness gone Zsálya learned the pattern in seconds and mastered it in seconds more. The young couple whirled around the grass, putting on a show that would have impressed a veteran choreographer.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

All good things must come to an end, and so it was with this village's Spring Ball. Willi could have kept it going by creating variations on his memories, but that would have taken concentration which he didn't want to divert away from his beautiful companion. She scarcely seemed to notice anything besides him and the music, until it finally faded away for the last time.

Zsálya blinked and looked around. The local musicians were carefully putting away their instruments, looking both thoroughly exhausted and immensely satisfied. The younger children looked ready to fall asleep. The adults seemed to have turned their attention to the food and drink. The full moon bathed everything in beautiful silver light, and the countless stars twinkled merrily above them.

"The dancing part of the evening is over," Willi told Zsálya gently, running a hand through her long hair and giving her one of his wonderful smiles.

"Oh. So what happens now?"

"Children are put to bed, couples slip away to be alone, and the remaining adults mainly drink themselves senseless."

"So, which are we?" Zsálya asked coyly.

"Which would you prefer?" Willi replied with a roguish grin.

"Hmm... let us slip away. I want you all to myself!"

"As you wish, meine Liebe. As it happens, I have a special surprise for you."

"Ooo, what is it? Tell me, tell me!" Zsálya bounced up and down, like a little girl unable to contain herself. She felt ready to run around the world and back again!

"You will see in a few minutes." Willi's mouth curled in a warm smile, and he took her hand gently in his once again. The two walked away from Fenny's Crossing hand in hand, enjoying the wonderful evening. They hopped a couple of the stone fences until they found themselves in open, unplowed fields stretching away to the west.

Willi let go of Zsálya's hand and turned to her with a strange expression. It took Zsálya a moment to realize that her knight in shining armor was nervous! Not much, but it was there. Willi took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. "I have practiced this every day for several months," he told her.

Before Zsálya could ask what, Willi closed his eyes and the air around him swirled and shimmered with energy. His body changed before Zsálya's incredulous eyes, becoming a gorgeous blonde wolf. The air stilled, and the wolf opened his eyes. Willi's familiar blue orbs stared up at the astonished Zsálya, his tongue lolling out in the lupine equivalent of a grin.

"I... but... Willi... you are a wolf!" Zsálya finally exclaimed. "How?"

Unable to speak in his lupine form, Willi cocked his head in such a way that his reply was clear: What do you think?

"Oh! Magic. Of course." Zsálya stood there for another few seconds, just gazing down at this dreamboat of a wolf. Her own wolf-self was going berserk inside her, keening and pleading to be let out to play with Willi in his wolf form. Zsálya's wolf didn't care how he'd done it; the simple fact of his transformation was quite enough for her. Restraining her wolf for just a moment, Zsálya reached down and ran her fingers through Willi's thick, lustrous blond fur. That simple touch removed all doubts, and she kissed him tenderly on the forehead. Then she let her wolf come forward.

Report Story

bylilgirlsix© 2 comments/ 4494 views/ 3 favorites

Share the love

Report a Bug

Next
2 Pages:12

Forgot your password?

Please wait

Change picture

Your current user avatar, all sizes:

Default size User Picture  Medium size User Picture  Small size User Picture  Tiny size User Picture

You have a new user avatar waiting for moderation.

Select new user avatar:

   Cancel