May 26, 2016

In Which Celina Hadn't Considered

May 26, 1200

More for appearances' sake than anything else, Celina had agreed to wait until the wedding night to consummate her relationship with Marsden. That said, not everything in the realm of the sexual was, by strict definition, sex. They had made good use of those technicalities thusfar and would continue to do so. Making out on Celina's bed while most of her housemates had classes? Not sex. Marsden lowering his braises or Celina lifting her skirts for a welcome hand--or a welcome mouth? Not sex. Sexual, yes--but not sex.

Besides, the technicalities only fell between the two of them. Celina was not so naive as to think that Marsden wasn't as prone to the occasional brothel visit as any other man his age (hell, she'd seen him at the nearest one once!), nor did she see much point in caring given her own activities. She doubted he suspected anything, but it didn't matter. She'd be a virgin on their wedding night.

A virgin with men, anyway. Or, if a bit of gossip she'd overheard about Congren Indruion was true, then a virgin with men as a woman.

"Where'd you learn to kiss like that?" Marsden moaned between partings of their lips. The scratch of his beard against her face was enough to make her yearn for it in a much lower region.

"Mmm... I'm a Kemorin." That, she justified as he dove into her neck, was true. "I come by it naturally."

His hand ventured from her side toward her breast, but stopped with the knock at the door. "The walls aren't soundproof, you know."

It would of course be the case that of Celina's seven housemates, the only one home at present was Dani del Marinos.

"Dani, it's not a small house!" Celina laughed as Marsden eased off of her, if only to mask her discomfort. "Surely there's some corner where you can't hear us."

"You'd be surprised--but I'm not here about the noise. You have a visitor."

"Really?" Gennie, perhaps? Somehow, she'd decided that the best way to figure out how to love Wolf was to learn to love the rest of his non-Dalston family. "Who is it? And you can come in, I suppose; the door's unlocked, and we're fully clothed."

"I don't know where you get the idea that I care," Dani muttered as she entered anyway, as if her suspicious amber eyes didn't answer her own question. The rest of the girls at Scorpio House thought Celina as ordinary as any of them, but Dani--whether she knew it or not--had an air about her that betrayed an insight to something unfathomable. "It's Mistress Ildaras. She's in the sitting room."

"Mistress Ildaras?" Neither Dani nor Marsden needed to know that Celina knew Aydelle any more personally. "My Aunt Leara's maid?"

"Apparently." Dani sniffed. Celina didn't blame her; who received social calls from their aunt's maid, after all?

But if the brothel excursions had a less obvious benefit, it was an increased ability as a liar. "Oh! I'd forgotten; my aunt had this new dress a while back, and I just adored the fabric. I asked Aydelle about it, and she'd said she'd see if she could get some for me."

"You must be out of luck, then; she's empty-handed."

"Maybe not, if she's sent it to my grandfather's keep and just wanted to tell me." Odd, maybe--but Dani didn't press further, and Marsden didn't appear to be so much listening as he was waiting for Dani to leave. "Well, if she came all the way out here, it would be terribly rude of me not to greet her. Marsden, do you mind waiting a few minutes? I'll make it worth it," she added to her betrothed with a wink.

Marsden smirked; out of the corner of her eye, Celina watched as Dani prowled off to wherever the hell Dani spent her free time. "I suppose I can manage a few minutes..."

She paid him one more quick kiss, then rose from the bed and hurried down to the sitting room. Sure enough, Aydelle was there, seated on one of the benches. "Aydelle?"

"Celina." The older woman flashed her a smile, then stood. "I hope you don't mind my dropping by."

"Not at all." It was a lie--she was eager to get back to Marsden--but it was the least she could do for her confidante. "What brings you to campus?"

"There's something I thought you should be aware of, and I think we'd both rather you heard it straight from me." Aydelle stepped around the back of the bench and approached, mouth held shut until she was only a few feet short of Celina. "I just came from a consultation with Arydath."

Arydath. The midwife.


--that midwife. "You don't mean--!"

"Relax. You're not... the only candidate. I'm just not sure if it occurred to you that it might be possible."

Well, it had now! "I--I had figured it was just--well, I don't know about anything internal--"

"Well, for all either of us know, maybe there's truth in that and you had nothing to do with this. But you did..." Aydelle improvised some gesture that involved a sudden flexing of the fingers. It wouldn't have been intuitive without context, but it was more than enough for Celina. " know."

"Ah--right." Shit. And here she'd thought her abilities had given her a unique opportunity to have her fun while still postponing motherhood for a few years yet. She hadn't even considered... fatherhood.

It would take quite the performance on Marsden's part to take her mind off of this.

"Obviously, even if I knew for sure it was you, I wouldn't expect anything. Acknowledgment, at least, would have to be out of the question."

"Yes, definitely." Acknowledgment to herself would be difficult enough! "But even if it's not... mine... let me know if you need any money or help or anything. It's the least I can do for your keeping my secret."

And for potentially having knocked her up. If Celina managed to think about anything else for one minute before she could see that baby for herself and whether or not any trace of her was in it, she'd count herself coping well.

And the next time she needed to let off some steam, she'd be going to Congren Indruion's instead of the brothel.



Van said...

None of Aydelle's other "candidates" are significant enough to even have specific identities in my mind, therefore Rule of Drama dictates that it must be Celina's--not that Rule of Drama didn't already dictate that it must be Celina's.

Marsden is Danthia and Nythran's third son, which actually makes him Dani's uncle and I definitely did not realize that until I was writing this. XD

Orilon said...

I was curious if Celina had the capability (meaning the male internal "structures" so to speak) to father children during the post we first saw her with Aydelle. Apparently she does.

It looks like she is going to need to be more careful. I'm not so sure anyone will believe that she is going to go to her wedding bed a virgin.

S.B. said...

Well damn. I can't fault Celina for not having considered the possibility since it would involve such extreme internal changes, but she's astonishingly calm about it. It puts Aydelle in such a bad situation. Surely she'll have to do more than toss casual money at her and how on earth is that supposed to work? And yeah, what does this physically mean for her female virginity? Can she put it back into place? It'll be interesting to see if that cool acceptance begins to falter.

Van said...

Aaaaaand I just got home after pretty much eighteen straight hours away. Being busy is weird. :S

Orilon: Heh... I think the thing I haven't managed to do with the atmosphere of Naroni is to well-establish what is and isn't known outside the core characters and their families. The Average Joe Naronian is aware that he lives in a strange place where strange things sometimes happen, but he's never going to buy that Celina is the father of Aydelle's baby unless he happens to see her switching forms with his own eyes. Celina might be able to pass for a wedding night virgin as long as she herself doesn't get pregnant (which--assuming that her internal organs are just as malleable as her external ones--is also possible).

Beth: Aydelle's in a tight spot (though she is--and always has been--a survivor), but the most Celina can really do is to be the best supportive aunt figure she can--sort of the way Alsina is with Cenric. If she did try to acknowledge the baby's paternity... well, for every one person with enough information about Naroni's magical quirks to believe her, there will be at least a couple hundred who deem her confinement-level insane. :S

Luckily, Aydelle has some social protection in the form of Leara and Camaline. You can think all you want about someone, but if they're held in high regard by at least a couple members of the royal family, there's good reason not to mention anything.

Hmm... physical virginity as in the hymen? Well, I'm not a doctor, but any reputable sex ed. resource I've seen has that down as a common misconception. The hymen isn't supposed to fully cover the vaginal opening, to the point where surgical intervention is necessary if it does, since menstrual fluids can't escape. The state of the hymen isn't a reliable indicator of whether or not someone is a virgin; the hymen might tear or bleed during or after sex, but that's not the result of sex itself so much as it is of insufficient natural lubricant (and, by extension, likely insufficient arousal--which could be brought on by nervousness, which might have affected enough political-match brides for the idea of bloody sheets = virgin to become a thing).

Now that it's apparent that knocking a woman up is a possibility, Celina's plans are going to have to revolve around the following rules:

1) Don't get caught changing forms.
2) Pick female partners who are more likely to be taking herbs or other precautions.
3) Don't have sex with a man while in woman form.

Not that self-imposed rules are always effective...

Ekho said...

Well I think it's kinda awesome she can impregnate, I mean if anyone ever has issues conceiving or wants a child but has no partner, Celina could get the job done!
And in regards to the virginity/hymen - I've had sex but still have an intact hymen - I remember researching it awhile ago, as the hymen can be in a position that penetration isn't going to tear it - like mine. Not that you wanted to know that or anything :P

Van said...

Providing that this theoretical person is open to having sex with her, that's a definite possibility.

XD No worries! I think society would be a lot further along than it actually is if we were only willing to talk about sex stuff more.

Yeah, as far as I'm aware (it's not like I can see for myself, after all), my hymen has been more or less unaffected by sex, sex toys, and even internal exams. From what I understand, any blood that would have once been interpreted as "lost virginity" is really the result of stress/tension or insufficient arousal--and, in a time and place where women weren't expected to enjoy sex, were taught that sex is a "duty" rather than a pleasure, and would have been more likely to marry men they either didn't know or didn't like, it makes sense that any indication of a torn hymen (which is just as likely to heal as any other abrasion!) might have been common enough that the misconception of a physical virginity marker became commonplace enough to cause some unlucky individuals a hell of a lot of trouble. :S