February 22, 2009

In Which Dalston Leaves a Moment for His Life

August 11, 1156

"Well, good afternoon, Dalston," the queen greeted the duke as he strolled into her sitting room. "Nice of you to come and visit me; lately it seems I have no one but this little baby for company."

"Geneva," he acknowledged her. "Aldhein arrived at Armion this morning and told me to come as soon as I could. I've been to Roderick's study, but he isn't there. Where is he, and what does he want with me?"

Geneva frowned. "Roderick sent for you? That's certainly odd, considering he's been out hunting with Severin all day."

"What?" demanded Dalston. If that was the case, this was a complete waste of his time; he hated hauling himself up to the castle, and now that he knew he was not there for any particular reason, he found himself rather annoyed.

"I'm sorry," Geneva yawned, pulling herself into a sitting position, "but while you're here, would you mind sitting a while and talking to me? I'm so dreadfully lonely."

Sighing, Dalston made his way over to the other side of the couch and set himself down at the very end; he figured it would be in his best interests to leave some space between himself and his cousin.

Geneva, however, seemed to have other ideas--no sooner had Dalston's backside met the cushion than the queen had quickly edged closer to him.

"The middle cushion is more comfortable," she explained.

Dalston rolled his eyes. "I'm sure."

She smiled; he had a sneaking suspicion as to what she was thinking about. "So... how are you?"

"Uh... all right, I suppose," he muttered in reply. God, those violet eyes were mesmerizing; the whole world might as well have been tinted with that color. What was it about this woman that made him want to strip naked from the waist down and shove his cock into any orifice he could find? It wasn't even as if she was extraordiarily beautiful; his cousin Alina was much prettier, and yet she inspired no such urges in him.

But there was something. There had to be something.

Suddenly, Geneva stood. "I'm sorry. The baby gets restless when I sit down. I won't be surprised if this one kicks his way out a month early."

Slowly, she began to make her way to the other side of the room. How she managed that sway in her hips like that while carrying four months' worth of baby was beyond Dalston. He desperately tried to distract himself by counting ceiling tiles; studying Geneva's lower regions would be a terrible disservice to Celina, even if she never learned of it.

"Of course, wouldn't you know it? I hate standing while I'm pregnant," she sighed. "I swear, one more pregnancy and my spine will never be the same again."

Unless your husband's steward bangs it straight, that is, Dalston thought snidely. Oh, but it was a cruel thought--she was his cousin, after all.

Geneva moaned softly as she reached behind her back and cracked her shoulders. She then proceeded to attempt to massage her spine. It was clear that she was in considerable discomfort; perhaps he was being an awful cousin to just sit back and do nothing?

Figuring that he would regret it later either way, Dalston pulled himself to his feet. "Geneva?"

She turned slightly as he approached her. "Yes?"

"If you want, I could..." Dalston began, trying desperately to find the most delicate phrasing he could.

"Yes...?"

"Maybe... rub your back?"

She smiled that same mischievous grin she'd worn all those years ago, when they were little more than children. That day, Dalston remembered now, had been the first time he'd ever touched a woman's naked breast.

"Well, I never thought you would offer! Thank you, Dalston!"

He placed his hands on her shoulders and began to massage her, a certain nostalgia suddenly rushing over him. Her skin was just as soft as he remembered, just as silky and touchable as when she had been a mere girl of thirteen. So dainty... so delicate... and yet, this was a woman who would jump a standing man and wrap her legs around his waist, doing all the work while all he did was enjoy.

Oh, it was so wrong, touching her with the hand that held Celina's son, the very finger that bore the symbol of his union with that dearest, sweetest girl. She deserved so much better than he, the poor lamb; if only she had known what sort of sick man she had married.

"How was it?" asked Dalston as he released her, smiling like a fool despite himself.

"Very nice," Geneva purred in reply. "Thank you, cousin."

Suddenly, her long fingers were brushing against his cheek. Her touch was light and warm, like the summer sunlight peaking through a window. If he didn't want her before, he certainly did now. But it was so wrong...

Sorry, Lina, he thought as his lips met Geneva's. I'm a weak, weak man.

But then, suddenly, her face flashed across his mind's eye, shortly followed by their son's.

"I'm sorry, Geneva," he muttered as he broke the kiss. "I can't."

"Dalston..."

Whatever she had to say, he didn't hear it. He was already out the door.

After the long ride home, and several stops at various new little villages to see how they were growing, Dalston was relieved to find Celina asleep in bed. He wondered how her day had been, and wished he could have been a part of it--not that he would have wished that cruel fate upon her.

The poor girl, all innocent and oblivious. She really had no idea... no idea at all...

He quickly undressed, intent on falling straight to sleep. He would not bother Celina tonight, not so soon after he had betrayed her. His touch was tainted now; he would have to confess to Father Quintus in the morning.

Suddenly, there came a feminine yawn from the bed.

"Dalston?" Celina addressed him as she pulled herself out of bed. "What did Roderick want?"

"Nothing particularly interesting," he assured her as they embraced; God, he was unworthy of her warm, loving hugs. "Or important. I wish I could have been here instead."

I should have been here instead, he corrected himself as he gently stroked her chin.

Celina had such a beautiful smile; sure, Geneva's were enticing, but Celina's were positively radiant. There wasn't a man on earth good enough for this woman, that was for sure.

And those lips! Oh, he could kiss her all night! He held her tight and proceeded to do just that--he prayed she wouldn't taste Geneva in his mouth.

He loved kissing Celina. Once, when he was very young, he'd had sex with Geneva; now, he knew he'd rather have just one chaste kiss with his Lina than a lifetime of romps with the queen.

"Dalston?" she asked as they broke apart. "Do you want to... I mean...?"

He smiled. "If you'll have me, Lina."

Sure, Geneva had been fun. She was wild, lovely, and knew just how to leave a man begging for more. But all the same, she was just a moment, a memory. Lina was his life.

NEXT CHAPTER:

12 comments:

Dinuriel said...

Sorry if that post seemed like a bit of a filler. It kind of was. Drama coming up sooner than you think, however...

Also, remember Celina's worries from a few posts prior? Well... come next May in Naroni... :)

Phoenix said...

YES!!!!! Thank GOD Dalston had some sense!! I was SOOO freakin' worried! I was frowning at the computer screen! Hahaha! I'm so glad that she's going to have a baby! Because she sure was stressing about it! And Geneva!! Ugh! Why can't she catch something and leave all the men alone?! Geez!

And what drama?! What drama?!!

Dinuriel said...

Unfortunately, the sad kind of drama :(

Dalston may still yet be susceptible to temptation. I think the only real reason he managed to keep his sense about him was that he was of a clear mind. If Geneva had caught him when he was drunk or distraught or something, then who knows what would have happened?

Logically, it's only a matter of time before Geneva catches something, but this is a period where there are only like, six STIs or something like that. I'm thinking if Geneva ever leaves the men alone, she'll have to come to that decision herself. She's been told off before, even by Medea, but it just bounces right off of her. She's like a stubborn little child.

Penelope said...

Geneva might have been better off if she had been born a man. :p

Is it just me or did Dalston look a little hotter than usual in this chapter?

Dinuriel said...

Yeah, probably. And for a very different reason than Matilda :p

As for Dalston... uh, maybe? I do find him classically handsome, but he's not the type of man I'm attracted to, sort of like Araphel or your Alexei. Give me a Severin or a Jorge or a Lar over a Dalston any day :)

Penelope said...

Mmm Yes, I too enjoy dark, swarthy men.

But I also like them blond and baby-faced.

cheripye said...

Poor Dalston he is so torn with his weak male attractions and his obvious love for Lina. I am proud of him though for actually walking away, could almost imagine Geneva sputtering and stuttering in his wake. LOL! I wonder how Roderick will take to his next child being, uhm... most likely not his. LOL!

Dinuriel said...

Heheheh... actually, this one--against all odds--is Roderick's. Not saying anything about any subsequent children, of course :)

Emaena said...

And the horniest queen ever strikes again! Poor Dalston.

Were both of their first times with each other?

Dinuriel said...

Dalston's first time was with Geneva. Geneva's first time, however, was not with Dalston.

Emaena said...

Why am I not surprised?

Dinuriel said...

Eheheheheh...