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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Fotos Porn Free Sex story

Princes of Mannsborough, Part 5 of approximately 22 by Vulgar Argot
(caution. Additional tags at bottom to avoid spoilerage.)

<authors-note> This is not a new story. It is the second draft of a
story originally posted here entitled "Marigold." However, the edits are so
extensive that I am posting it as a new story.

At some point, this should get easier. The characters will eventually
have to get closer to their final form, won't they? I mean, I haven't
changed them so much in this draft that they're unrecognizable from their
selves in the first draft, have I?

sigh

Ah, well.

This portion of the story was reworked to shape the personality of Dawn
to more closely match how she turns out by the end of the book. I also
took the opportunity to tone down Marigold's Christianity and naivete to
more believable levels.

Oh, yeah. I also took the opportunity to give Holly (Marigold's mother)
at least the rough outline of a personality.

Enjoy. </authors-note>

Jonas must have talked to Holly after he left Marigold's room. A few
minutes later, she knocked tentatively on her daughter's door.

"Marigold, do you still want to shop for your dress today? I can call
Mrs. Copcek and reschedule."

Marigold laughed weakly, "No. I think I want to go all the more now."

Holly smiled gently, "That's the spirit."

Marigold stood up and smoothed out her clothes, "I want Elliot to see
what he gave up."

Holly's laugh was genuine, "You still thinking about the Nordstrom's
dress?"

"As a starting point," said Marigold.

"Jonas might not be crazy about the idea..."

Marigold started to argue. Her mother waved away the objection
unstated, "I was going to say that Jonas might not be crazy about the idea,
but to let me deal with that. He just needs it presented in the right
way."



-=-

"You know," said Holly, even before she'd completely pulled out of the
driveway, "I don't think you have a bra that will work with that dress."

Marigold thought about the statement. Her mother was always subtly
pushing her to buy more flattering clothes. Now that they were of a like
mind, she hated to be contradictory. But, she said, "I was thinking we
could bring the back down a little further..."

Holly stopped in the middle of her K-turn, "How much further?"

"As far as I can go and not get arrested."

Holly just stared at her daughter as if she'd never seen her before.

"But, if you wanted to help me pick out a few new outfits to spice up my
wardrobe, I think we have time."

"Marigold, sweetie," her mother said dryly, "if you've got any more
surprises, you'd better tell me before we get on the highway or I'm liable
to get into an accident."

Marigold took a deep breath, "Do you remember the picture you gave me,
the one I keep on my dresser. It's you, Dad, and me. We were feeding the
ducks in Van Saun Park."

Holly nodded and smiled, "I do. That was a great day."

"Do you remember the dress you were wearing?"

"Marigold," said Holly, shocked. "That's awfully risque. I don't think
you should go crazy just because things aren't going well with Elliot.
Maybe..."

"Mother," said Marigold quietly. "You wore that dress to church."

"I did not," said Holly indignantly.

"Yes," said Marigold. "I remember because you promised we would go feed
the ducks in Van Saun Park. Then, at the last minute, you decided we were
going to church first. I was sure the ducks were going to be full by the
time we got there."

"I did, didn't I?" said Holly. "I remember now. Your father had a gig
on Saturday night that was canceled at the last minute. So, for once, he
was home and awake on Sunday morning. But, Marigold, that wasn't really a
church dress. I wore it deliberately to scandalize the old ladies. They
were such a bunch of bluenoses."

"Well," said Marigold. "Shouldn't I get to scandalize the bluenoses at
least once?"

Holly laughed, then covered her mouth, glancing guiltily at Marigold.

"What?" asked Marigold indignantly.

Holly shook her head, "Nothing. Never mind."

"Mother," said Marigold, a tone of warning in her voice.

Holly sighed. Taking one hand off the wheel, she pet her daughter's
hair, "It's just that I was starting to think that you were one of the
bluenoses."

Marigold straightened her hair, "I'm not that bad, am I?"

Holly kept her eyes locked on the road, "Truthfully?"

"Please."

"I was starting to wonder if you had any interest in boys at all," her
mother admitted. "I mean, it would be okay if you weren't. But, you just
seem so...focused and subdued. I remember what it was like to be a
teenaged girl and, sometimes, you just act like you're a million years old
and..."

"Mother," Marigold sputtered, a flush rising in her cheeks.

For about a minute, they drove without speaking. Then, Holly asked,
"You are. Aren't you?"

"I am what?"

"Interested in boys?"

Marigold laughed, "I don't think you have anything to worry about on
that front."

Suddenly, a light seemed to go on over Holly's head, "Is there a
specific boy?"

Marigold paled at being caught out so easily, "I..."

Holly laughed, "I see. This sudden interest in your wardrobe isn't
about Elliot. Is it? This is about the new boy. Who is it?"

Marigold shook her head, "It doesn't matter. He's not acceptable
anyway."

"To who?" Holly asked. "To Jonas?"

Marigold nodded, "Reverend Lofton says..."

Holly cut her off, "You do know that Jonas and Reverend Lofton don't
always see eye-to-eye, don't you?"

Marigold turned to face her mother, "How do you mean?"

"Well," said Holly, drawing out the word. "When we first started going
to that church, Reverend Simpson was in charge. Jonas really liked him and
agreed with him on a philosophical level. But, Reverend Lofton is a lot
more old fashioned. He and Jonas clash on theological issues frequently."

Marigold was still mulling that over when they arrived at Mrs. Copcek's
house. Approaching her eighties, Mrs. Copcek was still a deft touch with
a needle and surprisingly current in her understanding of prom fashions.
More importantly, she didn't even blink when Marigold described the dress
she wanted and even suggested a few ways to improve on the design. Several
times during the discussion, Holly looked like she might make more than a
token protest, but Mrs. Copcek waved her objections away, reminding her
that, after all, this was for The Prom. Marigold could actually hear the
capital letters when she said it.

Because Mrs. Copcek's house was on the very fringes of Mannsborough,
Holly drove out on a road unfamiliar to Marigold. At one point, she
pointed at an upcoming house, "That's where your father lived when we were
dating."

Marigold looked at the house. It was a smallish, two-story structure
with a screened-in porch. Other than the fact that it was at least a mile
to the nearest neighbor, there seemed nothing remarkable about it.

"Oh, good," beamed Holly. "They left the shack up."

"The shack?" Marigold asked.

"Your father didn't get on too well with his grandparents, I'm afraid.
In order to get out of the house, he built a freestanding building to live
in. It was wired for electricity and everything."

Marigold followed her mother's line of sight, "Where? Behind the tool
shed?"

Holly shook her head, "That's not a tool shed. That's the shack."

Marigold found herself horrified and intrigued at the same time, "He
lived in that?"

"Yeah," said Holly, her voice taking on a tone of fond reminiscence. "I
loved the shack. Tom could come and go as he pleased. I could come over
whenever I wanted. A lot of nights, there were four or five of us in there
at night, jamming or hanging out or talking about how we were going to
change the world."

Marigold tried to imagine her mother as a teenaged girl, hanging out
with her friends at the shack. It sounded more like Thule and his crowd
than anything Marigold had experienced directly.

"This was when you were in high school?" Marigold asked.

Holly nodded, "And afterwards. Once I got pregnant, we moved in to my
parents house for a while. But, there were still a lot of nights that we
came here. This was where the fun happened."

Now, Marigold knew where her horror at seeing the shack had come from.
Before she could stop herself, she blurted out the question that had popped
into her mind, "Is that where I was..."

Holly flushed a shade of red so deep, it was tinged with purple.
Marigold had inherited her fair skin from her mother, but never realized
that her heritage allowed for such deep displays of embarrent.

When Holly found her voice, she squeaked out, "Probably."

That effectively killed all conversation in the car until they pulled
back out on the highway. Holly asked quietly, "So, did you want to talk
about what happened with Elliot today?"

Marigold considered it. She wanted to confide in someone, but there was
too much she couldn't say. And, her mother had already sussed out more
than Marigold had meant to reveal today. So, she said, "Not really. I
think I've known for a while that Elliot wasn't really right for me. The
whole trying to kill me thing just sort of underscored that."

Holly snorted, "I think it's for the best."

Marigold raised an eyebrow, "How so?"

Her mother gave a single head shake, "I never really like Elliot."

Marigold turned in her seat, "You didn't? Mom, why didn't you ever say
anything?"

"I did," said Holly. "I mean, I didn't come right out and say, 'I don't
like Elliot.' After all, you seemed happy. And, Jonas liked him at first."
She took a deep breath, "And I've noticed that there aren't a hell of a lot
of nice, Christian boys in Mannsborough who aren't Korean. Not..." she let
the word hang for a second, "that I would have any problems with you dating
a Korean boy, but they all seem fixated on marrying nice Korean girls."

"Jeez, Mom. You make it sound like I should get back together with
Elliot."

"Not at all," said Holly emphatically. "I just thought you would be
better off waiting until you went away to college to start looking for a
husband."

"Well," said Marigold. "I'm going to Harvard. I'm not going to have
time to date. I'll be too busy studying."

Holly chuckled, but there was an uneasy undertone to it, "Marigold, I
want you to go to Harvard and do well and graduate. But, I worry."

"About what?"

Holly seemed to be weighing her words carefully, "I worry that, if you
see the world as a balance between studying and...dating, you're going to
decide at some point that the trade-off isn't worth it and...stop
studying."

"In favor of dating?" Marigold couldn't believe her mother thought she
was so shallow.

"In favor of sex," Holly said quietly.

Marigold, who had inherited her fair hair and pale skin from her mother,
found herself demonstrating the same capacity for blushing. Holly rushed
forward, "I realize that it's probably my own fault. Your father dropped
out after a year at Harvard at least partly because it was too hard for him
to be a father and a student at the same time. Considering what a bad job
we did at the start, I'm constantly amazed by how well you turned out.
But, I worry."

"About what?"

"Well," said Holly. "I never meant to teach you that sex was bad.
That's why I was worried that you were dating Elliot for so long. Even
when you started, before high school, I just always thought that...Well, I
was surprised to hear that he cheated on you...with another girl." Finally,
she gave up trying to explain.

Marigold sighed and lowered her head, "Did everyone know Elliot was gay
except for me?"

"Know?" Holly asked. "No. I didn't know until you just told me. But,
I suspected. I mean, you two have been 'dating' for almost six years.
But, you never go out alone. He never keeps you out past curfew. When I
see the two of you together, he seems loathe to touch you. What sort of
teenaged boy behaves like that?"

"A good, Christian one, I thought," Marigold suggested. "Isn't that
what Jonas was like in high school."

Holly started laughing so hard that tears came to her eyes. Marigold
watched her mother like she'd gone insane.

"I'm sorry," said Holly, wiping her eyes. "Your stepfather was a...very
different person in high school. He had to get in a lot of trouble before
he found the church."

Marigold frowned. Jonas never talked about his past to her. Her
curiosity piqued, she desperately wanted to pursue her line of questioning,
but Holly was already out of the car and the mall was really not the place
for that sort of thing.



-=-

Clothes shopping with Holly at the helm turned out to be a revelation to
Marigold. Feeling closer to her mother than she had in a long time and
having admitted her own desire to be pretty, she was reluctant to veto
anything Holly picked out.

Finally, though, she had to plead exhaustion. Her feet ached and, by
her estimation, she was going to have to give away half of her current
wardrobe to make room in her closet.

"Mom," she said as they piled boxes into the car. "I think you bought
me more clothes today than you've bought for yourself in about five years."

"It can be your college wardrobe," Holly said for the fifth or sixth
time.

"Will Jonas be mad that you spent so much?"

Holly laughed, "I don't think so. He's always after me to buy you nicer
clothes. And, it's not like we can't afford it."

Marigold nodded. She'd only inquired into her parents' finances once,
to make sure that they could afford to send her to Harvard. The
conversational pause had become almost impossibly awkward before Jonas had
said, "I'm sure we'll manage."

As Holly pulled off of the main road to the one they lived on, Marigold
saw Thule's car going the other way. He didn't notice them and seemed to
be either talking or singing to himself.

When they got home, Jonas was sitting on the porch, "So, how does the
dress look."

"We made some design changes," Holly said. "Besides, we want to leave
it as a surprise for prom night."

Jonas chuckled indulgently, "Fair enough. Marigold, I can help you with
the rest of those boxes in a minute. Come have a seat. I want to talk to
you for a minute."

Marigold carried her boxes inside, then came back out and took a seat in
the rocking chair opposite the swing Jonas was sitting on. For a minute,
he seemed to be studying her in the half-light of sunset.

Finally, somewhat formally, he asked, "Marigold, what do you think of
Bartholemew Roemer?"

Marigold stopped rocking. She froze stock still. Not only did she not
know the answer to the question. She didn't know which lie she should
tell. Finally, she settled on, "He really helped me out today with Elliot.
And, we've been talking a lot lately--like you suggested."

Jonas nodded thoughtfully. Marigold wondered if she'd said too much.
Finally, Jonas said in measured tones, "I know he wouldn't be your first
choice, but what would you say to the idea of his taking you to the prom?"

Marigold felt relieved on so many levels that it took a few seconds for
her to be annoyed, "Sir, did you ask Thule to take me to the prom?"

"No, no, no." Jonas assured her. "It would never have occurred to me.
This was all his idea. He just came up here to clear it with me before he
asked you. He was concerned because he thought I might disapprove."

"And?" Marigold asked, her heart in her throat.

"And," said Jonas. "He seems like a serious young man. His grades are
good. He's going to MIT next year. He may not share our beliefs, but he's
not closed-minded about them. I like him. I told him that, if you said
yes, I would have no objections."

"Well," said Marigold, as if considering the idea for the first time.
"I don't know..."

Jonas smiled, "I know, dear. You're hoping to find a nice, Christian
boy. Just remember. It's only the prom. You don't have to marry him.
But, he's a nice enough young man. I feel like I can trust him with you.
And, it just so happens that I am an excellent judge of character."

How Marigold kept a straight face, she would never know, "I'll
definitely consider it, sir."

"You do that," said Jonas, rising and striding towards the car. Then,
almost to himself, he added, "I like him."

Marigold barely made it up to her room before her body was wracked with
paroxysms of laughter. Before she wore herself out, the laughter had taken
on a slightly hysterical edge. The whole situation was getting more absurd
by the moment.



-=-

Marigold woke the next morning with a vague feeling of dread. She'd
planned her lie well in advance, dropped hints about it, and considered
contingencies for a million questions.

"This is going to be a slow weekend," she said at breakfast. "So, I
thought I would finally take Aunt Vera up on her offer to come and visit."

Holly and Jonas exchanged a look. Vera was Marigold's father's sister.
She and Marigold's mother had barely gotten along when they were officially
sisters-in-law. To Marigold's knowledge, they hadn't spoken more than
twice since her father had died.

Marigold tried to read whatever wordless communication was passing
between her parents, but couldn't. Finally, Jonas grunted, "You'll find a
way to get to church on Sunday?"

Marigold nodded, not knowing if she would actually be able to keep the
promise. But, if Thule let her, she would find a way to go to church on
Sunday. Somehow, she found lying about this to be much harder than the
rest of it.

And that was all there was to it. When Jonas dropped her off at school,
she brought her suitcase with her, then waited nervously for Thule's car to
pull into the parking lot so she could stow it in his trunk for the day.

At lunch, Thule seemed somewhat subdued. In spite of the fact that he
was relatively quiet, Marigold still sensed that he was the nucleus of
conversation. In marked difference to what she had seen in Brianne or
Randy Vandevoort, he seemed not only uninterested in exploiting that fact,
but blissfully unaware of it.

He also seemed to be paying a lot more attention to Marigold. Unlike
his usual brash and somewhat domineering nature, he was almost solicitous.
Marigold wondered if he, sensing that she had surrendered to him far more
completely than either of them could have expected, was now being
magnanimous in his victory.

On her way to her next class, Marigold suddenly found her way barred by
Brianne. For a change, the head cheerleader was without her phalanx of
underlings, accompanied only by her three lieutenants.

"So," Brianne said by way of introduction, "I hear that Elliot tried to
pry your ankles apart and you kicked him in the balls."

Marigold smiled as sweetly as she could manage, "Brianne, you get the
strangest ideas sometimes. Why would Elliot want to pry my ankles apart?"

Brianne ignored the question and the insinuation, "I hear you didn't
waste any time making a total fool of yourself. June saw you putting your
suitcases into Bart Roemer's car. You know, maybe if you went back on your
knees with your legs spread..."

Marigold raised her hands in alarm as Brianne came barreling towards her
as if to attack her. But, she went past Marigold and collided hard with a
row of lockers. Turning around with blood trickling out of her nose, she
stumbled and fell. Standing over her like an avenging angel, panting
heavily, was Dawn.

"You stop telling lies about me, bitch." Dawn shouted. She was panting
heavily, sweat or tears rolling down her cheeks.

In spite of her position, Brianne gave a feral grin, "Who's telling
lies? Everybody knows you did the whole football team at Randy's last
party."

Dawn gave an unintelligible shout of rage and aimed a swift kick at
Brianne's head. For a sickening moment, Marigold thought that it would
connect, but Brianne got her arms up in time, partially deflecting the
blow. She caught Dawn's ankle, bringing her down in a pile. Soon, the two
of them were on the floor, biting and scratching. Dawn was protecting her
face in between well-timed and well-placed body blows. Brianne was clearly
getting the worst of it, but neither girl seemed willing to stop the fight.
Marigold was afraid they were going to kill each other.

By that point, they'd gathered quite a crowd, most of whom were shouting
for blood.

"Somebody stop them," she yelled over the tumult.

Thule materialized out of the crowd. Marigold realized that he'd been
there all along, observing but not interfering. With a seemingly practiced
move, he caught Brianne by the hair and pulled her away from Dawn, forcing
her to stand.

Dawn lunged for Brianne again. Marigold, realizing she was unlikely to
get any more help from the crowd, wrapped her arms around the taller girl's
waist, falling to her knees in the hope that she could slow her down enough
that Thule could keep them separated.

"Hall monitor," someone called from the back of the crowd. Immediately,
people began scattering.

Thule shoved Brianne into Randy Vandevoort's arms, "Get her out of
here."

Marigold started to struggle to her feet. Dawn twisted to look down at
her, "You can let go now."

Marigold looked up. She realized two things. The first was that
Brianne had deliberately torn Dawn's blouse down the front, taking most of
the buttons and revealing the green silk bra underneath. The second was
that she was looking at said bra through her own splayed fingers. She drew
her hands away as if scalded. Dawn smiled down mischieviously.

"Come on," said Thule, taking each girl by a wrist. "Let's get out of
here." He kicked open the door to the cafeteria kitchen, led them through a
service corridor, out into the teachers' parking lot, and onto a side road.
It seemed to Marigold that, any second, someone would yell at them to stop.
But, they moved so quickly and surely that no one had time to.

Within about two minutes, they were in the student parking lot. If
they'd had to go the regular way, it would have taken ten.

"Okay," said Thule. "Act casually."

Dawn cleared her throat. She was holding the torn halves of her blouse
together with one hand. With her other hand, she smoothed her hair back.
Thule looked down, "Oh, yeah. All right. Marigold, go back to class.
Tell them I'm sick. I'll give Dawn a ride home."

"No," said Marigold without thinking. Thule raised an eyebrow at her
disobedience.

"Give me your keys," she said. "I have extra clothes in the car. If he
asks, tell Mr. Talbot I took Dawn to the nurse."

Thule's smile was sardonic. Digging into his pants pocket, he brought
out his keychain, "I'll see you there, then."

"Good," said Marigold. "Now, hurry. And take good notes. I'll need to
copy them later."



-=-

Marigold led Dawn to Thule's car and sat her down in the back seat. She
considered the other girl with a critical eye.

"We don't have the same coloring...and you're a few inches taller than
me, but I'm sure I can find a top in my luggage that will fit you well
enough to get you through the day."

"I've also got a smaller chest than you," Dawn pointed out.

Marigold scrutinized Dawn's chest, "Not that much smaller. Let's see
what I can do."

Dawn followed her to the trunk, clutching her shirt closed again, "One
of your famous sweatshirts would be fine."

Marigold flinched a little. She hadn't realized that her sweatshirts
were famous or even than people had noticed them. She opened her suitcase,
"It's getting too warm for sweatshirts."

Dawn's eyes widened at the sight of the folded clothes, "You two going
away somewhere?"

Marigold nodded as non-commitally as she could.

"Looks like you're expecting a romantic weekend."

Marigold sighed inwardly, "Maybe. It's complicated."

Dawn raised her hands, realized she'd let go of her shirt, and dropped
one hand to catch it, "Sorry. I don't mean to intrude."

Marigold held up a cream-colored blouse, "I think this will do. I was
going to wear it to church, but I'm sure I can find something else."

Dawn nodded, "It looks good."

Sitting in the back seat, Marigold watched Dawn contort herself out of
the shreds of her own blouse, unbutton her jeans, put on the new blouse,
and reassemble her clothes. It was, she had to admit, a fascinating
athletic display.

Not looking Dawn in the eye, she asked, "Can you keep a secret?"

Dawn did make eye contact, "Have you ever heard me gossip?"

Marigold thought about it, "No. You've always seemed sort of oblivious
to that sort of thing."

By the look on Dawn's face, Marigold realized that she'd actually
insulted the other girl. Before she could apologize, Dawn said, "It's not
obliviousness. I just keep hoping that, if I mind my own business, people
will mind theirs. I guess it doesn't always work that way."

"I wouldn't worry," said Marigold. "Nobody believes what Brianne says."

"They don't believe," said Dawn. "But, they behave like they do. To a
lot of people, what Brianne says is more important than the truth."

"If you don't mind my asking, what is the truth?"

Dawn eyed Marigold carefully, "You don't gossip either, do you?"

"I don't," said Marigold. "But, in my case, it really is obliviousness.
The last couple of weeks have been a crash course in all the things going
on around Marigold that she didn't have a clue about."

Dawn sighed, "June invited me to Randy Vandevoort's last big party. I
went. I got a lot drunk. I let June talk me into making out with her and
Arkady Antolevich. The next thing I know, June's not there, Randy is, and
I'm all unbuttoned. I managed to beat feet before anything happened
though."

"Wait," said Marigold. "You were making out with June and Arkady?"

Dawn looked at her, "You said you could keep a secret. Right?"

Marigold nodded.

Dawn sighed, "Normally, I wouldn't have anything to do with Arkady.
He's kind of skeevy. But, I wanted to be with June and she gets real
uncomfortable if we get too one-on-one."

Marigold's mouth dropped open, "You're a lesbian?"

Dawn looked her in the eyes, "I don't like labels."

"But, you're so pretty," Marigold blurted out.

Dawn stared at her in disbelief. Then, she pantomimed a telephone
receiver, "Bring bring. Hello." She held out her hand to Marigold, "It's
for you. It's the 1950s. They'd like their attitude back."

"I'm sorry," said Marigold. "That came out all wrong. I just meant
that you didn't look like a lesbian."

"We look like everybody else, sweetie."

"I'm kind of sheltered," admitted Marigold. "I've never met a lesbian
before."

Dawn started laughing.

"What?"

Dawn shook her head, "I'm sorry. Like I said, I don't gossip. But,
trust me when I say that bisexuality has become very fashionable in the
nineties."

"Like I said," Marigold sighed. "It's clue-in the clueless week for
me."

Dawn was chuckling and shaking her head. Finally, she said, "Okay.
This one isn't even gossip. Don't you know Laurie McCaffrey?"

"The mezzo-soprano in choir?" asked Marigold. "I used to sing with her
at church. Why?"

Dawn looked at her as if she were particularly dense.

"She's...? No. Really?"

Dawn laughed, "How could you not know. She talks about her girlfriend
all the time. They've been together forever. They danced together at the
spring fling. It was really hot."

"I just thought they didn't have dates."

"Wow," said Dawn. "You really are naive, aren't you."

Marigold sighed, "I guess I am."

"So," said Dawn. "You've got my not-so-secret secret. Now, what gives
with you and Thule? Are you two an item."

"Like I said, it's..."

"I know," interrupted Dawn. "It's complicated. So, how is it
complicated?"

Marigold started to explain, avoiding the delicate areas. The more she
explained, the less she avoided. Dawn asked a few questions, but was for
the most part non-judgemental. And Marigold desperately needed someone to
talk to.

After Marigold had poured out her heart, Dawn said, "I know that should
be awful, but you make it sound so...romantic."

Marigold sighed, "I think it's both. I can't describe how good it feels
to be with him, but he's warned me that he's not done punishing me. I'm
afraid of what comes next."

Dawn nodded sagely. Seemingly out of the blue, Marigold said, "Open
your blouse for a minute please."

Dawn's eyes widened. Jokingly, she said, "That was a quick turnaround."

Marigold blushed at the implication and held up her first aid kit, "I
just meant that I wanted to get something on those scratches on your chest
and stomach. I wasn't..."

Dawn smiled and started unbuttoning the blouse, "It's okay. You packed
a first-aid kit for a romantic weekend?"

Marigold nodded, "Like I said, I don't know what this weekend will
bring. It may be romantic. Or, it may be really awful. Besides, I don't
like to be more than a minute or two away from a first aid kit ever. It's
the doctor in me."

"Doctor?" Dawn asked.

Marigold smiled as she gingerly dabbed witch hazel on the other girl's
chest with a cotton ball, "It's sort of a family thing. My mother's father
and Jonas's mother were both doctors. I've wanted to be one ever since I
was a little girl."

Dawn nodded and fell silent. Finding the silence and situation
impossibly awkward, she asked, "Can I ask you a personal question?"

Dawn nodded, "Anything you want."

"Are you dating June Kane?"

Dawn laughed ruefully, "It's..plicated."

"So, how is it complicated?"

Dawn frowned, "Well. I follow her around like a heartsick puppy-dog and
she, for the most part, pretends that I don't exist. Then, every time I
start to lose interest, she throws me just enough of a bone to keep me
around."

"That sounds pretty awful," said Marigold.

"Well," said Dawn. "I think that I really am over her since that party.
Besides, I've got a new crush now."

Marigold stopped applying the witch hazel, "Oh?" She managed to say it
casually, even though she'd stopped breathing. "Who?"

"Oksana," said Dawn.

"The greasy-haired redhead?" Marigold asked, vaguely disappointed.

"She's not greasy-haired...usually," said Dawn. "Sometimes, she gets so
wrapped up in her work that she forgets to sleep. And, she's got two
sisters with only two bathrooms for the whole family."

"I take it you two hit it off," said Marigold.

Dawn's laugh didn't convey a lot of humor, "Oh, yeah. We're good
friends now. So good, in fact, that she can't stop telling me about all
the boys she's interested in."

"She doesn't have a clue?"

"Until today, I would have said she was the most clueless person at
Mannsborough."

"Okay," said Marigold. "You can button up."

Dawn buttoned up while Marigold applied witch hazel to her forehead.

"So, when she talked about the boys she's interested in, did Thule's
name come up?"

Dawn laughed, "She already dated Thule, sophomore year. That's not
gossip. It's common knowledge. They're just good friends now. You have
nothing to worry about from Oksana."

Marigold's laugh was loud and abrupt enough that Dawn looked concerned.
In explanation, she said, "I'm sorry. I just think it's ridiculous that
I'm worrying that Thule might get bored with blackmailing me and go chase
after some other girl. But, I don't want to lose him."

"Well, like I said, you won't get any competition from Oksana. After
they dated, she lived at his house for like three months and nothing
happened. If she wanted another chance, I'm sure that would have afforded
her one."

"Would it be really screwed up of me to say that was a load off of my
mind?" Marigold asked.

"Probably," said Dawn. "But, I won't tell if you don't."



-=-

When Marigold got back to class, there was less than fifteen minutes
left in class. Mr. Talbot gave her a look when she came in and there was
a wave of hushed conversation, but class continued more or less as normal.

Lowering her head to copy the diagram on the chalkboard, Marigold got a
chill. There had been meaning in the look the teacher had given her. And,
the meaning was suddenly clear to her. He knew about the fight. But, he
had no intention of saying anything. Glancing up from her notes, she
caught several people who abruptly stopped looking at her and started
looking anywhere else. Suddenly, she realized that everyone knew what was
going on around here except her. The teachers, the administrators, her
parents, the coach--everyone knew that something big and rotten was going
on in Mannsborough, big enough that they didn't want to tangle with it.
She wondered if anyone had the whole picture.

She paused in her writing, trying to figure out how everything she knew
came together. It seemed like everything led back in one way or another to
Randy Vandevoort and his family. But, as she began to put the pieces
together, she began to feel ridiculous. A few simple assumptions could
make it seem like the Vandevoorts were responsible for almost anything.
The family was huge, wide-spread, and secretive like the Carnegies or the
Vanderbilts. They'd been mixed up in the slave trade to the New World.
Those she'd met all seemed a bit sinister in hindsight.

She wanted to laugh. At least in her own head, she was starting to
sound like one of those conspiracy nuts who blames everything on Microsoft
or the president or little, green men. It might make for a good episode of
the X-Files. But, that was about it.

When the end of the school day finally rolled around, Marigold stowed
her books, closed her locker, and jumped back a step to see Brianne
standing there. The head cheerleader was glaring at her angrily. But,
instead of quailing, it was all Marigold could do not to laugh in her face.

Not entirely believing her own moxie, Marigold stepped closer to
Brianne, invading her personal space to the point that she could have
kissed the cheerleader before she could react. Getting the visual in her
head, she had to fight the urge to laugh again. She was close enough to
see just how poorly the concealer Brianne had used was doing its job and
the bruise in her cleavage that she hadn't bothered to hide.

"Don't even begin to think this is over, you holier-than-thou cunt,"
Brianne growled, her voice low, but not so low that it couldn't be heard by
at least a dozen onlookers.

Instead of being cowed, Marigold went up on tip-toes so that her lips
were almost touching Brianne's ear. In an equally dramatic stage whisper,
she said, "If you ever try to lay a finger on my boyfriend, Elliot, I will
skin you, cut your well-marbled flesh into bacon-sized strips, fry them up,
and feed them to you."

Even though Marigold had borrowed the threat word-for-word from a
conversation she'd been laterally aware of on the steps among the dregs, it
had the desired effect. Brianne backed off, leaving Marigold with a look
of supreme satisfaction.

"Psycho," Brianne said. It was probably meant to be an insult, but it
came out tinged with respect. Before Marigold could respond, Brianne
turned one hundred eighty degrees and flounced off.

Satisfied, Marigold practically skipped to Thule's car and whatever
awaited her in the coming weekend.



-=-

When Marigold recounted her encounter with Brianne to Thule, he clapped
his hands, "Absolutely brilliant."

Marigold found herself grinning broadly at his approval, but said, "Of
course, it won't last long. Brianne doesn't strike me as the sort of girl
who leaves a man's sexuality in doubt for very long."

Thule laughed, "What a delightfully convoluted way of calling her a
slut."

"Of course," said Marigold, "maybe he'll end up sharing her with Randy
Vandevoort. It would serve her right."

They were on the road leading out to the Vandevoort estate. Thule
turned off onto a road leading over the aptly-named Big Green Mountain.

"So," Thule said, rolling down his window to let a cool breeze in,
"aren't you the least bit curious as to where we're going?"

Marigold smiled, "Of course I'm curious. But I know I'll never get an
answer until you're ready to tell me."

"I'm ready to tell you now...if you ask."

Marigold clasped her hands in front of her, as if in prayer. Raising
her voice to a falsetto she said, "Oh, please, Thule. I would like e'er so
much to know where we're going if it pleases."

Thule laughed out loud, "Little Flower, are you getting a sense of humor
about this?"

Marigold shrugged, "It makes no difference to crack jokes on the gallows
stair. The dour and the irreverent both swing the same. A heavy spirit
will do nothing to split the noose."

Thule chuckled, "Is that from something?"

Marigold shook her head, "That's me being all poetic and goth. I
thought I would try it on for size."

"An excellent effort," said Thule. Then, more seriously, "Does it
really feel like going to the gallows?"

Marigold was earnest now, "I know it should. I expect that, if I were a
better Christian, it would."

"So, how does it feel?"

Marigold sighed, "I'm terribly conflicted, particularly if I think about
it too hard. I know it should be awful, but I'm really looking forward to
spending the weekend with you."

Thule pulled off the one-lane road onto an unpaved one. After about a
minute on it, he pulled over to the side, turned and gave her a piercing
stare. Finally, he said, "You are not at all what I expected when I got
into this."

Marigold considered her possible responses, then decided to change the
subject, "So, where are we going this weekend?"

"New York," said Thule. Marigold looked around meaningfully at the dirt
road and the trees. Thule added, "As soon as I take care of something,
we'll be headed out. Tomorrow and Sunday, I need to spend about four hours
each day demoing my product to potential clients. But, the rest of the
time, I plan to spend...enhancing our friendship."

The sentence had come out breezily, but the last three words were heavy
with dark mischief. Thule gave Marigold a grin to match, then got out of
the car.

"Wait here," he said. "This shouldn't take more than twenty minutes.
If anyone comes by, you stopped here for a nap or something. There's
pepper spray in the glove compartment."

Marigold nodded, then watched Thule go around the car, take a green
duffel bag out of the trunk, then trot into the forest and disappear out of
sight. She stared after him for a while, wondering where he had gone.
Realizing that she was unlikely to get an answer, she dug out her calculus
textbook and started to review the chapter she would be tested on Monday.

In roughly the time he'd said, Thule was back, lugging the bag behind
him. He was also whistling a jaunty tune.

"So," asked Marigold, "what was that all about?"

"Just something I had to take care of," Thule said cryptically.

Marigold looked at him critically, trying to will him to be more
forthcoming. But, Thule just restarted the car and became very intent on
his driving.

Marigold shrugged to herself. She wasn't going to find out anything
Thule didn't want her to know. So, she dropped the subject.

For the rest of the drive, the conversation remained light. It was easy
for Marigold to pretend that she was there entirely of her own free will,
that Thule was her boyfriend, and they were on their way to spend a
straightforward, uncomplicated romantic weekend in the city together.

The hotel turned out to be surprisingly nice. It wasn't five star, but
fancy enough that the valet sneered at Thule's car as if it were about to
leap onto the lobby carpet, shedding mud and rust all over the guests.

In the lobby, Thule registered under his own name with Marigold listed
as "plus one." Marigold chuckled at her own foolishness. She'd been
secretly hoping that he would sign it, "Bartholemew and Marigold Roemer."
It fit the script she was writing in her head better.

Upstairs, Thule flopped down on the couch, arching his back and
stretching. Marigold took the opportunity to examine her surroundings.
The room was another pleasant surprise. It was actually a suite with
living room, two bedroom and a small kitchenette. She opened the door
leading out to a broad balcony. Placing her hands on the wrought-iron
railing, she looked out into the twilight. From her vantage-point, eight
floors up, she had a remarkable view of Bryant Park.

She had dressed for the day in a calf-length denim skirt, simple, white
button-down blouse, knee-high black boots, and one of her new, more
flattering bras. There was nothing particularly risque about the outfit,
chosen for comfortable travel, but it somehow added to her growing sense of
furtive sophistication.

Behind her, Thule was chuckling over something the bellhop had said.
Then, she heard the door click shut and they were alone.

Thule came up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders. Towering
over her by almost a foot and a half, he had to lean down to kiss the top
of her head. Marigold leaned back against his stomach and closed her eyes.
Then, surprised by her own forwardness, she turned in his arms, wrapping
herself around his waist.

"Would you like to get out of those boots, Little Flower?"

Marigold realized that she would, very much, like to get out of her
boots. She nodded and let Thule lead her into the bedroom. She sat on the
bed and extended a foot. With strong hands, he gripped one boot after the
other and dislodged them from her feet.

Then, he sat down next to her on the bed. Marigold felt her breath
catch in her throat. Somehow, she had thought there would be more preamble
than this.

"Lie down," Thule ordered. "Put your head on the far pillows and your
feet to my right."

When Marigold had done so, Thule took an ankle in his hand, lifted her
foot onto his lap, stripped off the sock, and began to knead the bottom of
her foot with just his thumbs. Marigold let out an involuntary groan of
pleasure and release. After he'd worked every possible bit of tension out
of one, he switched to the other.

While he was rubbing the second foot, the tension and pressure of the
day finally started to take her toll. Her eyes closed and, before she knew
it, she was asleep.

She woke alone in the room, the only light spilling in from the living
room. Thule's voice came clearly from that room, the words unclear, but
the tone one of a sales pitch. When she heard him replace the phone on the
hook, she padded out into the living room.

Thule was sitting at a desk making notes. Marigold walked quietly over
to him, stood behind his chair, and wrapped an arm around his chest. When
Thule didn't respond, Marigold started unbuttoning his shirt, running her
fingertips over the muscles of his chest. She'd advanced down to his belly
when he finally looked up.

"Do you want a shower before dinner?"

Marigold kissed the back of his neck, "I thought we were going to dinner
tomorrow. Are you sure you don't want to stay in tonight?"

Thule chuckled, "Little Flower, we will stay in tonight. But, I stink
and I have no intention of fainting on you. That means I need to eat and
bathe."

Marigold had to admit that Thule was a bit fragrant. She suspected that
she must be as well, "All right. I guess I could use a shower too."

"Go ahead and get started," Thule said. "I just want to make a few more
notes."

Marigold stepped away from the desk and began to undress for the shower,
trying to catch Thule's eye. Thule remained intent on his work. When she
was naked for all but her bra, Marigold cleared her throat.

Thule looked up, "Now, that is a sight to warm the cockles of my heart."

Marigold smiled, reached back behind herself, and undid the bra, folding
it in half and placing it on top of the pile of her other clothes. Thule
was shaking his head and chuckling to himself.

"What's so funny?" Marigold asked.

Thule crooked a finger, "Come here. I want to try something."

Marigold walked over to where he sat. Thule placed a hand on her
shoulder, drew her head down so that her ear was in front of his lips, and
growled, "I am going to fuck you until you beg me to stop."

Marigold closed her eyes and felt her knees go weak. Thule gripped her
waist with his other arm and continued, "I'm going to fuck your sweet
mouth. Then, I'm going to fuck your tight, little pussy. Then, I'm going
to have my way with that gorgeous ass."

Marigold swooned. Thule caught her.

She opened her eyes, "Oh, Thule." She looked around the room, "Are you
really going to do all of those things to me?"

Thule nodded, "I may do more. It depends on how imaginative I get.
Now, get in the shower."

"Thule," said Marigold, detaching herself from his arm, "I'm not sure I
want you to do all that."

"Well, then," said Thule, writing something down, "isn't it fortunate
that what you want has no relevance?"

"I..."

Thule looked up, his piercing blue eyes boring into her, "It's too late
to turn back now, Marigold. You snuck out, came to New York with me,
hugged me in front of the desk clerk. I can do what I want to you and no
one will believe you didn't want it."

Marigold felt a chill. She hadn't realized how calculating Thule could
be.

"Now," he said, his voice still intense, "get in the shower."

Marigold retreated to the bathroom, turned on the water, and got in the
shower. She wanted to cry. She didn't know why Thule had to be so mean.
Why couldn't he just relax and let her enjoy her ravishment?

The revelation that hit her was so intense that her eyes flew open even
though she had the shower pointed at her face. That was exactly why he'd
done it. Thule wanted this weekend to be punishment. Marigold was ruining
his fun.

Quickly, she considered her options. She could go along with his plan,
pretending to be miserable. It wouldn't be too hard. All she had to do
was recapture the feeling she'd had a minute before. Or, she could refuse
to be miserable, no matter what he did to her. That would be the riskier
path, since it might force him to escalate her punishment.

But, Marigold had to believe that Thule had become fond of her. And,
while he was capable of some truly awful behavior, he seemed to have his
own internal code of ethics that was as strong as any she'd ever seen. He
would punish her as much as he thought she deserved and no more. And, once
he was done punishing her, she would still be there.

It was an audacious plan, one worthy of Thule himself. That thought
cemented Marigold's resolve to go through with it. When he stepped into
the shower behind her, Marigold leaned back against him, wriggling her
bottom as seductively as she could.

Thule's already semi-erect cock stiffened immediately. Catching her by
the shoulders, he growled, "Marigold, behave."

Marigold gave an experimental wriggle, "That could mean a lot of
things."

Thule gasped, but said, "Well, I suggest you find the correct meaning or
you'll be sleeping alone tonight."

Marigold whimpered her protest, but pulled about an inch away. She was
willing to get into a battle of wills with Thule, but not one she would
regret winning more than losing.

When Thule's hands, lathered with sweet-smelling soap, reached around
and stroked the fronts of her shoulders, there was a noticeable tremble to
them. He pulled Marigold backwards so that his cock was pressed into the
small of her back.

Slowly, methodically, Thule began to stroke Marigold's body, starting at
her neck and working his way down to her ankles and feet. He rubbed hard
enough that his touch was theraputic, erotic, and even comforting.

Every time he rubbed against her, Marigold could feel how hard he was.
She realized that Thule was barely holding on to the edge of self-control.
If she pressed the issue, he would break and take her right there, dinner
and careful planning be damned. Reluctantly, she resisted the urge to push
him to do just that.

Out of the shower, Thule wrapped her in a towel and dried her
thoroughly, his hands taking small liberties as they worked.

As he stood in front of her, toweling off her bottom, Marigold reached
up, drew down his head, and kissed him. Thule made a warning noise in his
throat and dropped the towel. His hands gripped her bottom, lifting her so
that he could stand upright without breaking the kiss.

Marigold's legs went around him, ankles locking together. She was
exhilarated by the sensation of his cock pressed against the back of her
thigh. All either one of them needed to do was shift a couple of inches
and he would be inside of her. Marigold resolved not to be the one to make
the move.

For a moment, she thought Thule had given in. He shifted her in his
arms. She braced herself to be taken. But, a moment later, she was lying
flat on her back and Thule was standing over her.

"Get dressed," he rasped. "We're going to dinner."

Marigold tried to answer, but he'd turned her back to her, opening his
own suitcase, and rifling through his own clothing. His motions were short
and jerky.

"Thule," she asked timidly, "are you mad?"

Thule shook his head as he pulled on his boxers, "Mad? No."

Marigold unzipped her suitcase, "Well, what then?"

Thule pulled on a pair of jeans, then turned to face her, "Bewildered
would be a good word. I expected at least some reluctance. I was ready to
seduce you, threaten you, whatever it took. I wasn't ready for you to be
so...eager."

Marigold pulled on some panties, then threw on a sundress over them,
"Does it help to say that I surprised myself?"

Thule chuckled, "A little. What's gotten in to you?"

Marigold avoided the obvious double-entendre, "If I'm right about the
way the world works, and I'm starting to think that I may not, then I'm
already damned. You only get absolution for contrition. I'm not contrite.
I can't pretend to be. So, I might as well enjoy it."

Thule frowned, then said, "I'm sorry, Marigold."

Marigold raised an eyebrow, "For what?"

Thule got a faraway look. Then, he said, "For making stupid promises."

Marigold was puzzled by the statement, but could see the firm line of
his jaw and knew that she would get no more information from him.

"Come on," she said. "Let's get to dinner."

Thule looked suddenly despondent. He sat down on the bed, staring up at
her. Finally, he asked, "Don't you feel like a whore?"

Marigold would have said almost anything to get that look of anguish off
of Thule's face. But, this was easy. She nodded solemnly, "I do. But, I
find that I don't mind as much as I thought I would."



-=-

Thule's air of melancholy didn't last more than a few minutes into
dinner. By the time their entrees had arrived, he was talking with great
animation. He was at turns witty, engaging, entertaining, and flirtatious.
Marigold found herself warming to him even more.

The hotel restaurant was on the second floor, giving their patio-area
table a clear view of the park. Couples strolled by in the darkness, their
susurrations rising to Marigold's ears.

"Well," Thule said as he signed for the meal, "this seems to have been a
reasonably successful first date."

Marigold laughed, narrowly avoiding choking on her water.

In the elevator, Marigold leaned back against Thule. He wrapped his
arms around her and said, "Once we get back to Mannsborough, I want you to
go on the pill. I know it won't be easy to get, but that..."

"I'm already on the pill," said Marigold.

Thule looked down at her, "You are?"

Marigold nodded, "It was for...medical reasons. I've been taking it
since I was thirteen."

Thule just hugged her tighter. Marigold realized that she might have
been able to get a month's reprieve if she'd just kept her mouth shut. She
also realized that she didn't want it.

Leading Marigold into a bedroom, Thule stood behind her, hands undoing
the buttons of her dress. Despite the fact that he could have easily
pulled it over her head, he worked slowly, but trembled with the effort of
restraint. When the blouse was unbuttoned, he slid it from her shoulders.
His lips came down into the crook of her neck. Marigold moved to turn
around and face him, but he purred, "Hold still. You're not to speak or
touch me until I say so. Just do as you're told. Do you understand me?"
Marigold nodded.

"Sit," he ordered. Off came one shoe, then the other. He knelt before
her, "Take off my shirt." Marigold fumbled to comply. Wrapping one hand in
her hair, Thule pulled her head back and traced a slow, thorough trail of
kisses down her throat, between her breasts, to her belly. She was on her
back now. One hand reached up to entangle itself in its hair, but a growl
of "hands at your sides," ended their exploration.

He lifted her hips easily, sliding the dress over her hips. The
panties, he pulled free in a single motion. His lips pressed into her soft
thatch of hair, his tongue teasing its way around her clitoris, the tip
darting in and out to either side, licking a broad oval around it before
running along the length of it. Marigold fought to keep from making noise,
but couldn't hold it. The first moan came out of her like a sob. Her
shoulders started to hurt from the effort of clawing the bed covers so as
not to wrap her arms around his head, pushing him deeper. Meanwhile, his
hands roamed freely up her stomach and breasts, kneading, stroking and
teasing the whole way. With her first orgasm came tears, silver in the
moonlight, leaked out of her by the intensity of the moment and the effort
of not speaking or wrapping her arms around Thule. She let them flow
freely.

His head came up, then down again to her face, kissing then licking her
tears as if craving their salt. Almost without her volition, she raised
her hips to rub against his stomach. But, he pulled away, rocking back on
his knees.

"Put your head on the pillows and roll over," Thule said. The tone of
command seemed more natural to him than his own speaking voice now.
Marigold moved where he told her to go, feeling incredibly exposed and
vulnerable.

As she felt him hovering close enough for his breath to be in her ear,
her body quaked in anticipation. Forgetting what she'd been told, she
said, "Be gentle."

"No speaking, my little flower," he said gently. A few seconds later,
his hands were on her shoulders, smooth and oily. As he sat on her bottom,
she realized with some embarrent that he was still wearing his pants,
the rough denim seams scratching against her flesh. As he rubbed circles
down her shoulder blades and spine, Marigold released tension she didn't
know she'd been holding. One by one, her muscles relaxed. Her body began
moving in rhythm with his hands as he rubbed oil into her back, then moved
to her legs, and finally her bottom. Again, his touch was more arousing
than therapeutic and she began to moan in response, her hips rising and
falling under him.

When he stopped, she whimpered.

"Roll over," he ordered. She rolled onto her back. Then, he was on top
of her, naked now, his cock almost throbbing as he maneuvered the head
between her legs, opening her just a little.

"All right," he said, chuckling, "Now, you can touch me." Marigold's
hands slid up his thighs, found his ass and pushed forward as hard as she
could manage. At the same time, she raised her hips, impaling herself on
him. The pain was duller than she expected, the tearing only on the edge
of her awareness. She cried out, her hands flying to his shoulders. He
moved hesitantly inside of her.

"Marigold," he rasped, "are you all right?" She nodded.

He sighed, "You can speak. Are you all right?" She nodded again.

He leaned down, kissing the top of her head, her forehead, her eyelids,
her mouth. His tongue teased hers until it chased his out of her mouth.
Catching the tip of it between his lips, he sucked gently while licking the
underside of it. Her hips began to rise again to meet his. Soon, his
rhythm was more steady, bolder. Marigold started to make small, animal
noises. The pain hadn't gone away, only receded into a background noise,
slowly being overwhelmed by the rising pleasure.

He shifted until he was up on his knees, his hands holding onto her
hips. Marigold lay back, her hips and his still fused together, her bodies
sloping away. His motion went from gentle thrusting to a more insistent
pistoning. Marigold came hard, the pleasure crashing over her like rough
surf.

"Oh, Thule," she moaned, "Oh, God, Thule."

Catching one of her legs in each arm, he pushed them so that her ankles
were over his shoulders. Marigold was too far gone to do more than dimly
realize how obscene the pose was. He was slamming into her now, any hint
of tenderness gone. What he was doing to her was nothing but pure, animal
lust. She was just an object now. The idea made her weak with pleasure,
adding to the jangling cacophony of sensation that threatened to completely
obliterate her sense of self.

It seemed to go on forever and it ended too soon. She felt him grow
even thicker inside of her. His arms flew around her, gripping her to him,
crushing the wind out of her for a few seconds before she felt Thule's hot
seed explode inside of her. She bit down on his shoulder when it did, her
nails raking across his back. She cried out in empathy as it pumped into
her.

Afterwards, Marigold held Thule inside of her as long as she could. She
began to worry that he had broken some sort of regulator inside of her and
that the aftershocks of pleasure would never stop. He lay back, not
talking, just breathing heavily. She lay on top of him, straddling his
hips, her head on his chest. When she fell asleep, he was still inside of
her.



===

Marigold didn't know how much later she awoke or whether Thule was awake
when she did. But, he was stiffening inside of her again. Without opening
her eyes, she began to gently slide up and down against him, taking him
deeper inside of her as he returned to full arousal.

Whether he'd been awake or not, he was awake now. His hands settled on
her hips, guiding her as they rocked together. It took almost no time at
all for her to feel the beginning of the ramp up to orgasm. Marigold began
to ride him faster, her breathing matching the rocking of her body. She
cried out in pleasure, then surprise when he pulled out of her a few
seconds later. He moved nimbly, winding up behind and then over her before
she was cognizant that he was moving.

Taking a pair of pillows, he piled them under her hips, "Lie on top of
these, face down." he whispered.

Thule's obscene promise came back to her, then. Involuntarily, her body
tensed even as she moved to comply.

Thule's kisses were more predatory this time, his hands more insistent,
kneading Marigold's breasts harder. As he positioned himself over her, the
head of his cock slid against Marigold from behind. Thule moved his hips
to try to push in a little deeper. Marigold wanted to let him, but
couldn't. She tensed up even further.

"Relax," Thule ordered. The tone of command was so strong that, for a
moment, Marigold did. But, then he pushed again, burying himself a little
deeper into her. She tensed again, gripping and trying to push him out at
the same time. With a grunt of frustration, he pulled out.

"Do what you're told," Thule snarled.

"I can't," Marigold cried, rising, "I would if I could."

"Lie down," Thule ordered. Marigold lay back down, her hips still over
the pillows. She heard Thule open the refrigerator in the room and come
back.

Taking the back of her head in one hand, Thule half-guided, half-dragged
her across the bed to the edge. He guided her head to his cock, which she
accepted gratefully, kissing, licking, and sucking. But, seemingly less
than a minute later, he ordered her back over the pillows.

Kneeling behind her, he growled a warning, "Be very still."

"What are you doing?" Marigold begged, "please."

"No speaking," said Thule. Then, she felt his finger entering her from
behind. It was coated with something cool and warm at the same time. He
slid the finger all the way in, up to the knuckle, then took it out. He
did it again and again. Soon, Marigold was moaning in pleasure. Her
muscles relaxed.

Then, he was on top of her, his cock taking her from behind. Marigold
cried out and started to clench, but it was a second too late. He was
already inside of her. The pain was intense for a moment, worse than
losing her virginity had been, then replaced with an intense pressure she
could feel in her throat and behind her eardrums.

She realized now that she was feeling incredibly lightheaded. She
realized dimly that she was drunk. What had Thule done to her? Soon, the
question faded, replaced by the question of what he was doing to her now.
His hands were on her shoulders, his hips pounding against her with such
savagery that she was afraid he was going to break his pelvis with the
force. It was an assault, scarier than when he had thrown her on the table
in the newspaper office a thousand years ago and she had been sure he was
finally going rape her.

Marigold cried out, squirmed, and tried to claw. It was all futile.
She was already forgetting the pain and the pressure in the intense
pleasure, more incredible than anything she'd felt so far. Soon, the
pleasure was all that mattered. There was no world outside the room, no
room outside the bed. There was nothing in the world but Thule and her and
Marigold was starting to wonder about them.

It ended suddenly, explosively. When Thule came this time, he cried out
as if he had achieved a victory in battle, then pulled out, spurting the
last gobs across her back. He rolled over onto his back, his breath coming
in moans. Marigold lay where he had left her, feeling violated even as the
pleasure continued to wrack her body.

Before Marigold fell asleep again, she curled herself into the hollow
under Thule's arm. The effort wore her out and, even as her head found
just the right spot, she was asleep.

Princes of Mannsborough, Part 5 of approximately 22 by Vulgar Argot
(caution, edge, reluc, rom, MF, Oral, Anal, Catfight, Drunk)

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Thursday, July 29, 2004

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Monday, July 26, 2004

Fotos Porn Free Sex story

This work contains depictions of sexual acts. If you are not above the age
of 18, or viewing erotic fiction is not allowed in your area, please do not
read any further. All rights reserved by the author. Consent is given for
electronic or printed copies for personal use. Archiving to free sites is
permitted.

Lady Down on Love Heathen57 (MF, rom, bittersweet no sex)
NOTE: This is a submission to a story festival started by

GirlFriday70. The Song is Lady Down on Love and was written by Randy
Owen, and performed by the group Alabama. I make no claim to any
.



Lady Down on Love

It had been a slow night. Many weeknights are, compared to the bustle
of the weekend. I had a small rush of after-work regulars, but they had
already disappeared. The remainder of the crowd had either paired off or
went home alone.

I informed everyone of last call. Part of being the owner of the
Clancy's Pub was that I could close early if I wished. On the opposite
side of the coin I had no chance for a social life outside of the bar, and
decided long ago that I would not get involved with anyone who was a
customer.

There was a young couple in a corner booth that had been lip-locked for
the past hour. I had seen them here before a few times, and had checked
their ID's. They were old enough to come in, but just barely. They looked
like they belonged together and very much in love.

I interrupted them as discretely as possible and waited until they
untangled themselves before telling them that I was closing up. They both
mumbled an embarrassed apology and hurried out the door, arms wrapped
around each other.

I was smiling as I cleared the table when I heard a soft voice behind
me. "That would have been Charlie and me many years ago." I turned to see
Chris standing in the corner.

Chris and Charlie had met here just after I bought the place. Chris had
been a friend since college even though there was no more than friendship
between us we had remained close. My first night here, she had come in to
wish me luck and try and con me out of a free drink. We had been visiting
when a tall, well-muscled man with blonde hair walked up and introduced
himself as Charlie Morgan. He and Chris danced the entire night.

It didn't take long for them to become a couple. Within months they had
set the wedding date. Charlie had always had a roving eye for the ladies,
but everyone hoped that Chris would be able to keep it focused on her. She
seemed to have succeeded. The wedding reception was held right here. They
had danced their first dance as man and wife on my dance floor. Chris
looked as beautiful that day as I had ever seen her. All brides are
supposed to be beautiful, but I had never seen her as happy as she was
then. When I took a turn to dance with her, she absolutely glowed!

For the first couple years they came in regularly, holding hands and
sharing discrete kisses. And every year on their anniversary, they would
come in and dance, and it was always to one of Chris' favorite songs. She
was a country music fanatic and the group Alabama was at the top of her
list. Though not much of the regular crowd played it, I always kept some
in the jukebox for her. The quarters would go in and they would dance
together until she had played every one of the group's songs.

When Charlie got a promotion and a transfer, I felt the emptiness of her
leaving. But she would send me a card or letter, letting me know that
things were going well. These contained her hopes and fears, the same
things that she had been confiding in me for years. Once in a while, on
days special to her and me, she would manage to get a phone call to me and
we would once again drift back to the times that we had shared.

Eventually, we drifted apart as friends will sometimes do. We still
exchanged Christmas cards, and birthday greetings, but that was the extent
of our contact. Months turned into years, and I continued with my life,
never marrying, but feeling comfortable with how my life had turned out.

I blinked again to make sure I was really looking at my friend. Even in
that dim light, I could see that she had not changed much in almost 10
years. The hair was now shorter but still the same curls. Her body had
matured, but in a good way, womanly curves replacing the almost
non-existent figure she had had. And she still looked beautiful.

"Chris, why didn't you come over and tell me you were here?" I pulled
her into a hug that she willingly returned. She pushed back just far
enough to be able to look up into my face.

" I came in while you were trying to get rid of that drunk guy. Last
time you wrote you said you still had the pub, so I came down hoping to
find you here." She leaned in once again and put her head on my chest. "I
really wanted to see you."

I released her and led her to the bar. I poured her a snifter of my
best 75-year-old brandy. I locked the front door and shut down the outside
lights. She watched as I moved behind the bar, cleaning and getting things
ready for the next day. We talked a bit about what had been happening in
our lives.

She surprised me when she said that Charlie had passed away 6 months
earlier from a heart attack. After she had recovered from the shock, she
found herself very lonely and insecure. She had moved back a few weeks ago
to be near the places that she had known since childhood. Here she would
feel safe and sound again.

She held her snifter aloft to show me it was empty. I poured again, her
eyes locked into mine. "Do you remember all the times we came in for our
anniversaries? How we would dance? I think I miss that the most." There
were tears forming in her eyes.

I searched my memory realizing that tomorrow would have been 20 years
that they would have been married. I picked up one of her hands and kissed
the back of it. "Chris, I am so sorry. I just didn't know."

"I know you didn't. I knew you would have dropped everything to come to
me and I couldn't have you do that."

Well, maybe I could do something that would make her feel a little
better. I reached under the bar and turned on the sound system. Back in
the corner, I found the disk I was looking for. I found the song I wanted,
and then pressed play.

Chris heard the opening notes and her tears started flowing more freely.
I came around to the front of the bar. "Chrissie, I know I am no
substitute for Charlie, but a lady should dance on her anniversary." She
was beaming as the tears rolled down her cheeks when she took my hand and
stood. The voice of Randy Owen sang the words as I pulled her closer and
started swaying in time with the beat.

It's her first night on the town since she was just eighteen, A lady
down on love and out of hope and dreams. The ties that once bound her now
are broke away, And she's like a baby, just learning how to play.

She never thought that love could ever end so soon. Her mind drifts
back in time to a mid-summer moon, When he asked her to marry and she
gladly said O.K. And a woman came to be from the girl of yesterday.

Now she's a lady down on love. She needs somebody to gently pick her
up. She's got her freedom but she'd rather be bound To a man who would love
her and never let her down.

"You kept that around all these years?" I could barely make out her
words over the music as I held her close to my chest.

"My regulars don't listen to music much anymore, but I must have kept it
hoping to be able to play it for you again."

Now she's a lady down on love. She needs somebody to gently pick her
up. She's got her freedom but she'd rather be bound To a man who would love
her and never let her down.

Now she's a lady down on love.

As the last chords faded away, Chris reached up and gave me a kiss.
Nothing passionate, but one that spoke of the love and appreciation she
held for me at that moment. "The words of that song; is that how you feel
about me?"

I looked into her deep blue eyes. The more I thought about it, the more
the truth of those words came to me. We had always been friends, and I
guess I had always been there to help her. Maybe it was time to see if it
could be more.

I reached down and touched her face. As she looked up at me, I leaned
down to kiss her gently. She must have liked the answer, because she
returned the kiss with passion. Perhaps it was time for us to move our
friendship forward. I don't know where it will go, but for now all is
right once again.

~~~~ FINIS ~~~~

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