Story for the Day: Alasdair and Carrigh
Here is a small piece from the beginning of Alasdair's relationship:
It had been a wondrous journey to Hallanys: Mrs Averleigh’s permission and happiness had been secured, Carrigh's worries on her mother's account had been assuaged, and Alasdair, having been treated like a son, was now disposed to enjoy their long venture back to the keep.
In the privacy of the closed carriage, they were at liberty to express their easy tempers: they talked, they laughed, they were playful with one another. They had spent the night in each other's quiet security, and now that they were able to speak of the event with warmth and happiness for knowing that there was only more to attend the gaieties of the evening previous, their recollection made ride back to the capital a most joyous endeavour. Their raillery together was a reflection of their budding acquaintance: charitable with subjects, free from opinionate conjectures, and though Carrigh's speech was still laden with sires, she seemed more disposed to speak unprompted than she had been. Alasdair perceived that her opinions must always required the invitation of address, but now she was more open while still maintaining her charming timidity, her countenance was more animated, her person more cheerful, and Alasdair was in a glow of spirits to see her comfortable around him at last.
While Carrigh talked and he listened, everything to him was splendid: the verdure of the kingdom's countryside, his people enjoying their daily exertion in the fields, the conveyers riding their carts to Farriage; it was all felicity and joyousness to him while sitting across from the loveliest speaker in the world. The manner in which her lips moved, her blue eyes glittered, and her graceful armed gestured was a captivating display, and Alasdair found himself speaking less and less and remarking more and more. Her golden curls bounced along her shoulders and breasts, her cheeks dimpled with every smile, and Alasdair soon felt himself in terrific danger of being more engrossed with her than ever.
Halfway through their journey when they had shared their meal, Alasdair could be decided from her no longer: he contrived to take the seat beside his exquisite creature rather than the one facing her, and when there was a pause in the conversation, he felt bold enough to act upon his conviction. He could look at her very well from afar, but he was most desirous of seeing her close and feeling her tender warmth. He waited until she was looking out the window toward the Frewyn country to strike. He at first made it seem as though he were only fixing his high boots and in his motions of ducking and bending over had well-concealed his maneuvering to her side of the chaise.
Carrigh gave a small start when she turned and noticed the king inching toward her along her seat. He took care to move the skirts of her dress aside before taking the place beside her, but in so doing, his hands grazed her thigh and instantly commanded her cheeks to flush with colour. She smiled timorously and turned away, collecting her long curls behind her ear and blushing, but suddenly a hand was taking hers, it was lifting her fingers to his lips, and she turned back so see Alasdair's green eyes smiling and his mouth pressing against her hand. Her breath was instantly lost. She was besieged in a happy panic and could say nothing beyond, "Oh, sire," in a mortified exhalation. Not a moment ago was she speaking and laughing without reserve, and now she could say nothing to him. She could only gape at his handsome features and revel in his attentiveness in silence. He is next to me, she thought, but he has been beside me before. Why should I feel so anxious now? The close confinement and the holding her hand had been the difference. She pressed his hand back, craned her neck, parted her lips, and meant to thank him for such a pleasant journey, but should she say her thanks or show them? Would that he govern her appreciation and make violent love to her- but he was making love to her, and quite without her knowing.
In a moment and a quick gesture, she had been pulled forward, her chin had been lifted by a delicate touch and held in place for the king to consume his devoted object. She was unconsciously returning the gesture, leaning into his embrace and delighting in the taste of his mouth. Her legs were swung over his, she was pushed back, and before she could think of how to act with prudence, he was kissing her neck and her chest without reserve.