Emrys shuffled forwards and gently parted her legs as she steadied herself, supporting her body by placing her hands flat on the bed behind her.
He smiled at her, “you’re all right, my lady?”
“Oh yes,” she said, a fresh fire in her blue eyes, a sapphire fire that somehow didn’t seem entirely natural.
He sank his head down between her thighs and kissed her open flower. He spread the pink lips of her labia were apart with gentle fingers and her clitoris was forced out of hiding. Her body began to shiver again with uncontrollable excitement as he worked his way up to her clit, which was now engorged. Using the same spiral he used on her nipples, he worked his way on her, giving her such incredible feelings, it felt as though her entire world was ablaze. He could see her juices flowing freely out of her tender vagina as he sucked her tiny clit into his mouth, flicking it, caressing it, his tongue composing the sweetest melodies from her senses.
She was now moaning and shivering so loudly, he was worried she might attract attention. But no one else had living quarters this deep inside the castle. Finally, she could stand it no longer. Her pelvis pushed forward, pressing her hot wetness down onto his face as her body began to buck. She was dripping with sweat all over her body, every muscle tightened up. She yelped out loud and then her entire body went limp.
She slept that night in his tiny room in the depths of the castle, too exhausted to return to her tower room.
Her illness left her as the winter ended. Her life became as bright as the sunlight that woke her each morning. As the days became longer and the green leaves sprouted from the revived beech trees outside her window, the storyteller felt she was strong enough to take her outside to see the river and the forests surrounding the farmer's fields.
He spent time teaching her to use a long bow, how to hunt for food and telling her which plants and berries were good to eat and which were poisonous. They found edible mushrooms, avoiding poisonous fungi and caught rabbits to roast over camp fires.
Yet however much she loved him - and she soon realised that she did love him, more than anything else in the entire world - he was the strangest person she had ever met. He told her almost nothing about himself, he spoke fluently many different languages, none of which she’d ever heard before. And his tales never stopped. Most storytellers she’d ever seen had a certain repertoire of stories which they travelled around to tell, but they soon ran out of new tales. This storyteller, her storyteller, hadn’t once told her a story she’d heard before, and every evening there was an entirely new tale.
He must have told her nearly a hundred stories. How could it be?
Her nursemaid began to disapprove of Emrys. After Pentecost, rumours had begun to circulate about witchcraft; although people in the castle had their doubts about the strange man's methods, they kept quiet because they badly wanted Lady Kathryn's health and happiness. But there were stories of a strange blue light that seemed to appear sometimes when the storyteller was there.
Then it all went wrong.
They were lying against a sleepy willow on the riverbank, watching the cool water of the Avon flow past, the emerald green water weed wavering in the current. The Lady Kathryn sat between his thighs, leaning back against him as he told her about a strange land far away where armies used unholy fire to blast through solid castle walls in a matter of hours.
Kathryn turned, and kissed him passionately quite suddenly. “Emrys,” she said softly as they parted, “I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone before. I know I’m small in the world of your travels, but I don’t know if I could ever live another day now without you.”
“I’ll never leave you, Kathryn,” he said, “I think you must realise that by now.”
“But I don’t understand why,” she said, “you’ve been all over the world, you’ve met kings and queens and mighty emperors - ”
“I’ve loved you for my entire existence,” he said, “it’s just unfortunate that I have had to travel the entire world to find you.”
“I don’t understand.”
“The world isn’t an easy place to understand, dear Kathryn,” he kissed her cheek. “There’s a lot you don’t know about me, but there is something you should understand. If you were to love me, you wouldn’t be able to stay here.”
She sighed, heavily, for the countryside around Salisbury was beautiful. “I knew that, of course,” she said. “Not least because my father has plans for me to marry the new Earl of Chichester.”
“But you have to understand that my life is on the road. If I settle anywhere, it soon becomes dangerous for me.”
“I don’t care,” she said, “I’d do anything to be with you.”
She reached for him again, turning to kiss him, the passion between them felt so very right, something that had been meant to be from the very beginning of time.
But they were disturbed.
“What in Heaven and on earth are you doing?”
It was Kathryn's nursemaid, who had been feeling increasingly resentful of the storyteller, who was spending more and more time with the young girl while she was spending less and less time with her. Coming to fetch the Earl’s daughter, she came upon the two of them in firm embrace.
“The Earl shall hear of this,” she said, turned and ran back to the castle.
It was only an hour later that the storyteller was banished from the castle and lady Kathryn taken to a nunnery to repent of her sins.
Emrys took a room at the King’s Head, an inn on the Main Street in the city. With Kathryn forcibly taken from him, his world had fallen apart. He wanted to find Kathryn and simply take her away, now that she was probably well enough to face a few months of travel. But the Earl, Richard, had sent his daughter to a nunnery far away, and no one had been told to which one she had gone.
The rumour was that before she returned to Salisbury, she would be married off to the Earl of Chichester. Chichester was currently just ten years old, that was the trouble, so Kathryn wouldn’t return for at least another four years.
But what could he do? Marriage to another man was a bad prospect, but one he could deal with when he knew for a fact that Lady Kathryn was only meant to be with him. But four more years when he’d finally found perfection on earth was a long time to wait.
But one evening, when Emrys retired to bed, he found someone inside his room above the inn. It was Kathryn.
“I ran away,” she explained as they kissed ferociously, the months they’d spent apart driving them on into intense passion. “I couldn’t stand being away from you.”
“We must act quickly,” he warned, “if we don’t get out of here soon…”
“We have time,” she assured him, and pulled off first his clothes, and then her own.
He lay on the bed and she straddled him, her burning wetness bearing down on his pulsing erection. She leaned forward, her angelic face framed by her golden locks, her azure eyes filled with delight, her exquisite petite frame pressing against him, squeezing her chest against his, her sweet smile joining with his in an explosive kiss.
“Will you finally be claiming what’s yours, my love?” she asked.
“What’s mine?” he did not understand.
She smiled, the most wonderful sight in all his travels, and whispered into his ear, “my maidenhead.”
She kissed him, and he asked her, “are you ready for it?”
“I’ve been waiting all my life for this moment.”
He held her and turned her onto her back so that he would have more control and could ensure that he wouldn’t hurt her. Between her legs, she felt his stiff heat pressing against her clitoris, and the wonderful feelings throbbed through her body. She beamed her pure delight up at him as he kissed her on each cheek, her lips and then slowly down her neck. He gently caressed her labia and clit with his hard, hot penis, and as he buried his face into her sweet-smelling hair, he coaxed her sweet pink little nipples. She was going to be very wet when at last he would come inside her.
But suddenly, there was a banging downstairs. They both heard it, the sound of the door being hammered. Someone was knocking urgently on the front door of the inn.
“It’s them,” Kathryn was terrified. The two of them broke up and hurriedly dressed. “Is there a back way out of here?”
“No,” said the storyteller. “We’ll have to go out the window.”
But it was too late. There was a commotion downstairs as a number of men entered the establishment. They stormed upstairs and into the room, just as Kathryn dropped out of the window, but before Emrys had the chance. “Go!” He called to her out of the window, “run! Run as far as you can. I’ll find you, I promise!”
The soldiers filled the room and there was no way out for the storyteller. “You should never have come to this fair city, sorcerer,” said the sergeant, “it’s no place for warlocks or priests of Satan.”
He was dragged out of the inn in shackles and chains. They weren’t concerned with Kathryn any more. The Earl had disowned her: but they were concerned with the suspicious stranger, the storyteller who went by the outlandish name of Emrys.
So the Lady Kathryn, hiding in the shadows, followed the soldiers as they took her love to the centre of the city, outside the Guild Hall to where a dreadful tree trunk stood, bare of any branches, atop a pile of firewood. She watched in dumbstruck terror as the soldiers dragged him towards the stake, lifted him up the woodpile and tied him to the pole.
The citizens of Salisbury were out in numbers: she’d never seen so many people together in one place, screaming, “burn him, burn him, burn him.”
As she realised they were all calling for the storyteller’s death, horror and revulsion turned to shock. There was no way out. The one love of her life, the man who made all things wonderful, was to be put to the torch. And there was nothing she could do.
She couldn’t bring herself to watch any more as the fires were lit, and ran, through the empty streets and out into the fields on the floodplain of the river. Soon, she was climbing, up and up, fleeing the only city she had ever known, running north past the imposing castle at Old Sarum, where her entire childhood had been.
A last glance back as she left the valley, and the only light came from the huge bonfire, the flames licking around a central black spot.
An old man sat in the stone circle some fifteen miles north of Salisbury, silent, thinking. His hands were clasped together in the lap of his purple cloak as the sun sank lower, shedding an orange glow through the gap in the dark clouds, reflecting pink over the heavens. The air was cold that evening before midwinter, but he did not feel the temperature; at least it was no longer snowing.
People used to think it was a holy place, this stone circle, and came from all over Wessex - and Mercia and even further than that - to visit. But it wasn’t particularly holy now, not with the old gods largely forgotten. If there was anywhere that an old traveller could call home, though, it was here. No one would disturb him here in his sadness. He could sit and think as he did now with the silent lightning lit up the sky over the horizon, lining the edges of every grey cloud with silver out of the blackness.
Some three or four moments later, a great rumble like the cracking of stone blasted through the air. The brief glimpse of light illuminated the stone circle, showing up every crack and every dimple on the grey obelisks.
The bolts of forked light centred on a spot to the East. That was where he had to go now. It was the final place left for him to try.
The cold, lonely night was sparked to life by the great crash of thunder, which seemed as though the old gods were battling across the heavens in a last ditch attempt to keep the irresistible force of Christianity from overcoming them. A few miles away was the village, and the old man reached it in less than an hour. It was as the local legends described, a house away from the centre of the village, away from the square flint stone church, with grass entirely burnt away by lightning even though the tiny thatched cottage hadn’t been touched at all.
The old man knocked on the badly-made wooden door, shaking it on its rusted hinges.
The woman who answered it was instantly recognisable as soon as the lightning flashed. She had aged a great deal, but the old man knew who she was. Her large eyes were no longer blue, though, they were white. She was blind: no wonder she did not hold a candle at the door.
"Who is it?" she asked, staring vacantly out.
"Lady Kathryn,” said the old man, “I have come back, just as I promised I would.”
“Wh-who…what do you want? Do I know you?” she was confused. “Stop playing games with me. I am tired and I am cold. Please state your business, sir, or I’ll have to say good night to you.”
“Kathryn, open your eyes.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” she said, “I’ve been blind for years. Who are you?”
“Open your eyes, Kathryn.”
She looked quizzically, towards the source of his voice. Suddenly there was an iridescent blue light – something which she thought she had to have imagined. Whatever it was, it made her eyes sore as though she had been cutting onions, and she screwed them tightly shut, rubbing them with her fingers.
“Look at me, my dear Kathryn.”
She opened her eyes and there was suddenly colour all around her – the veil on her sight had suddenly lifted. She saw reds and yellows and purples, a brilliant sunset over the western sky, as black clouds brewed over head, flashing with lightning.
And in front of her, an old man with a long silvery beard. An old man she recognised, whose face had been burned into her memory all those years ago, and which she had recalled every minute of her hard life ever since they had been parted.
"You made me see," she said quietly, mournfully. “I thought you were dead.”
“I’ve been searching for you,” he said, “and now, at last, I have found you. Our lives are beginning again, Kathryn.”
She pulled him to her and kissed him, “if only,” she said wistfully, “if only. You know, I think I was always scared of going mad. But now it’s finally caught up with me, you know, it really can’t be any worse than being sane.”
He smiled, “you’re not insane, my love.”
“But how can I not be? I saw you burning in the flames…”
“No ordinary group of mortal men could ever kill me, Kathryn. I thought you might have known that.”
She traced her hands all over his face, feeling every part of him, still locked in the habits of her blindness. “I cannot believe it’s really you,” she shook her head. “It’s just too much.” Her heart was filled with the most supreme gladness she had ever felt.
He kissed her again, and this time Kathryn gave in to her years of longing, the passion again flowering within her as it hadn’t for so many years. As they kissed, she felt a strange change ripple through her body. All her aches and pains that came from age suddenly dissipated. The air was filled with that peculiar blue light.
She broke apart from him, and held him at arm’s length, shocked as his beard shrank and his silver locks darkened. His wrinkled old face softened, his bloodshot old eyes became clear and sharp again. She covered her mouth with her hands in pure surprise. Emrys was standing there before her, and he was young again – barely more than a boy.
“We have all eternity for each other,” he said to her, and she took a step back.
“But you’ll have to look at me like this,” she said regretfully.
“Kathryn, you are the most beautiful thing in all creation. Look, I’ll show you.” The two of them went inside the tiny cottage, and he found her mixing bowl. He touched it, and it was suddenly filled with the purest pure water. “Look.” She leaned over the bowl and looked down, and her heart missed a beat. Instead of a haggard old woman staring back at her, she saw the face of a young girl, beautiful with perfect skin, stunning blue eyes and a tidy bell of golden hair.
She turned and smiled, that expression that Emrys had travelled for lifetimes to find, and she kissed him again. “We really do have eternity together, don’t we?” she asked.
He nodded and ran his fingers through her hair as he looked into her eyes, “I promise you’ll never be unhappy again.”
“Then you’d better start now,” she grinned, “you have some catching up to do.”
She pushed the straps of her faded dress from her shoulders and allowed the garment to drop to the floor. Her pert little breasts, peaked with stiff pink buds, stood up to his amorous gaze, urging him to touch them. Buy she moved away from him, and stooped to sit down in front of the fire. She took a poker and awakened the blaze, and then looked up, waiting for him to join her on the hearth rug.
He kicked off his worn boots and removed his shirt. Kathryn smiled up at him as he fumbled with the fastenings on his trousers. She leaned back, placing her hands behind her back to support herself, and parted her thighs slightly, as though inviting him. As he removed his trousers, revealing his large, rigid penis to her sweet eyes, he could see that between her legs, under a sprinkling of golden hairs, she was already very wet.
He went to her, and sat facing her, between her knees, slipping his legs under hers. He pulled her towards him, strong yet gentle, and held her in his arms so that she sat in his lap, her burning, soaking labia pressing against his eager manhood.
He kissed her, and she pushed her soft breasts against his chest. Running her hands over his head, she held the back of his neck and their kiss intensified. She rocked her hips slightly to rub his hardness up and down her labia, brushing her clit in the most breathtaking way.
The fire beside them roared suddenly, and they felt the welcome heat on their skin, dispelling the frigid stormy night, yet it was as nothing compared to the heat between them.
“Take me,” she whispered, and he gently laid her down on the rug. “I want to see the world with you.”
Bright blue light exploded all about them as he slipped his soft stiffness into her tight vagina, and as he gently pushed through her maidenhead, she felt herself open up suddenly, as though she was waking up or surfacing from a long, deep swim, drawing in glorious clean air into her lungs, the sweet air of perfect happiness.