Adam has the civic duty of doing a little work--on Sunday, on Valentine's day! Truly an estimable public servant. When he gets home, he finds that Loriel is out. But she has left a note on the bed with rose petals scattered all about it.
Adam Pierce, just about burning with curiosity.. and infused with a mood of holiday cheer that seems invulnerable to paper work and excess caffiene.. forsakes briefcase and trenchcoat upon arriving in the bedchamber, stopping to smell the flowers before he picks up the missive.
The note says, "Darling lord and master, I'm at the theatre. Please come join me there. Yours, Loriel." Well, the note doesn't SAY that, but that's what it says. You know what I mean.
Indeed. Adam seems to detect a note of urgency in that letter that may or may not be there. How else, other than obscene doses of caffiene, can one account for his speedy departure for the theatre?
[Adam goes to the theatre]
When you arrive, you see.. no one. There's nothing emptier than a theatre, with those half-imagined whispers of past performances echoing around the hall. There is, however, a chair on the stage. There's a rose on the seat, and what looks like a glass of champagne.
Yes, definitely champagne... chilled, too, you can see the condensation on the glass.
Adam Pierce, perplexed as he is by the emptiness of the theatre, is soon drawn up to that lone chair. He moves to sit.. gripping the rose in one hand, holding onto to.. but ignoring, with ineffable patience.. the cooled champagne glass. One curious sip, and it's otherwise saved for.
He has not long to wait.. the lights of the theatre darken, one misty moonlight key light shines down on him. He hears the faint creak of rope as scenery is lowered down about him. Hmmm. A forest.
Adam Pierce's eyes are drawn up to the ambient light -- not for so long that the background doesn't take his notice. Clad in his black business suit and sniffing a rose, he stares on at what could be the lush darkness of the Black Forest, maybe, or the serene majesty of Northwestern redwood glens. A definite Kodiak moment.
Music begins.. must be recorded music, for there is no orchestra--it would be pretty hard to hide all those people. It's very faint, though..
A voice rises through it, ethereal.. at first you can make out no words, then you realize the woman isn't singing in English. Some Celtic language.
Adam Pierce tilts an ear to those first dim notes. He resists the temptation to break this lovely near-silence.. but one can imagine his musings. "Curiouser and curiouser.."
A spotlight flickers into being, unsteady as if moonlight was being filtered through wind-tossed treelimbs. It lies just past you like a silvery river. And onto the river of light, dances the singer...
Simple, elemental beauty.. black hair with the sheen of a raven's wing long and loose flowing down her back, sculpted perfection of face and form. Ivory skin, rose mouth; impossible black opal eyes. She needs no other jewels. The emerald green of her gauze dress drapes over one shoulder and bares the other one with its collarbone as graceful as a swan's wing. A twisted rope of silvery strands gathers the misty billow of green to her narrow waist, then the belt's ends fall freely. Green cascades over leg and hip like a stream in rills on its bed. Her bare feet are as light and fair as a pair of doves.
Adam Pierce turns about, with a certain wordless grace, to lock eyes onto the singer.. a face half-wreathed in shadow pales in emotion. Deep, boundless, simple. Adoration.
Loriel pauses in voice and dance, affecting to have only now seen the man. She prowls around you like some wild forest creature, smiling with beautiful malice. Her gaze seems to take in every aspect of your being.
Adam appears a man of bearing, of class; though his soft-spoken
tone and polite smile are often betrayed by his gaze. A deep emerald green,
his eyes offer a mischevious glint to the world. He is a handsome man in a
rough, irregular fashion -- an aquiline nose framed between high cheekbones,
a shock of black hair falling over his high, smooth brow. He has grown a
goatee, black hair lending a roguish look to his chin and expressive mouth.
He's dressed in a no-nonsense fashion, appropriately suited to an
important meeting or press conference. A black business jacket over a crisp,
starched Brooks Brothers shirt serves as his top, accentuated by the black
tie that dangles from his neck. Secured by a thin belt, dress pants shaded
the same black as his jacket run down to black loafers.
Adam Pierce is taken by surprise at this, and is content to stay immobile, at first; you circle about him like the admirer of some leaden statue. His eyes, however.. his eyes take flight, pursue you as ardently as Pan himself.
Loriel comes so close that her hair flutters against your shoulder, then as if the contact shocked her, she leaps to the side, dropping down ferally to all fours. Her hair pours like an inky tide over her white shoulders, frames the oval moon of her face in pure black. "Stranger, foolish stranger.. has no one told you how perilous this forest is? There are those here who answer trespass with death."
"I have heard nothing of the dangers of this forest..." For all the wildness of emotion in his eyes, Adam's voice is a simple instrument, strong and assured of itself. "Only of the beauty of the land, the sweet scent upon the air, the strange and beautiful beasts to be found here." He responds to this seeming threat with a calm smile and squared shoulders. "I will tell you, woman, that I can fare for myself."
Loriel rises, her smile warming. "It's brave you are, then... my pardon. But I speak truly.. the bones of many a traveler lie under the corpses of past autumn's leaves, mouldering to clay. Would that yours join them not." Now her gaze is distinctly admiring.
Adam Pierce murmurs coolly, "I have been abroad.. seen the rot and greed in the Turk's leering smile, heard the chaos that cackles at the Mongol's hoofbeats. This forest holds little fear for me." The cavalier's cautious smile widens as he takes in the warmth of your gaze. "A land with such a beautiful creature beholden to it cannot be so forbidding."
You say "Are you a warrior, then?"
Adam Pierce gives a quiet chuckle. "A traveller. No truly brave man needs to reach for a sword so often."
You say "A traveller only? Have you no home to return to.. no family.. no wife?"
Loriel almost sings the words, her slender body swaying with the music, supple as a branch bending to the breeze.
"A traveller." Adam repeats. "My kin have passed. The road is my only and oath-bound mistress." If there is sadness, the firm stance, the cool set of the lips belie it. "And what of you, sweet creature? Have you not a husband to wait upon, a hearth to attend?"
Loriel laughs sweetly. "I am the breeze that blows where it lists. I am the willow that bends to the breeze. I am the fish that rises to the catkin at the edge of the stream. I am the stream that rises from the dreaming heart of the world." It is, manifestly, a riddle in the ancient sense. Not a mere game, but almost a religious rite--a test of knowledge, a challenge to the intellect.
Loriel dances in the moonlight, dances lunatic..her dark hair, the green gown swirling about her. A challenge in her eyes.. an invitation in her smile.
Adam Pierce's musings are another murmuring note in the wind; immobile in contrast to that wild dancing, but his brain leaps at the puzzling, turns it over near-endlessly and is near-endlessly thwarted by it.
"Delicate creature bound to the forest... too fickle, too pliant to be of the dryads... I have watched such dancing in the Grecian hills, but there is no blood upon your lips. A nymph? I would not tarnish your honor so, sweet lady." His voice seems to make itself a bastion of dignity in this wild land, as if he were courting a lady in her ivory tower instead of standing in the forest, trail dirt staining his feet and the eyes of beasts shining at him from the grove.
"You needn't solve my riddle.. merely enjoy it.
Loriel laughs again, mocking but not cruelly so, and dances about you as if to contrast her woodland grace to your traveller's plodding.
Adam Pierce chuckles softly. "Which is fortunate, lady. It has defeated me." He freely lets his eyes travel with you in that dance. Soon he ventures in his strong, amiable voice "And what froth of blood leads you to dance so recklessly?"
Loriel pauses before you, flushed, her quickened breath making her breasts surge against the fragile stuff of her gown. "Are you all of earth then? It is the full moon on the eve of Spring..all nature quickens to life again. Such a draught is sweet madness in the blood, but no--you sit there like a great lump, or an old tree stump, dead but still its roots cling to the earth." She tosses her head scornfully.
Adam Pierce tilts his head, that look of coolness entering his gaze again. "I was unaware of what you celebrated, lady. I am not made of such weighty stuff.. but the road is long and my feet grow heavy. Neither can I claim to be of air." Adam dares to reach out a hand, fingers moving as if to brush at that wispy dark hair as it flirts past. He murmurs archly, "And surely you do not think me dead. A light eye as yours does not linger so heavily upon a corpse."
Loriel draws back from the reaching hand. "Maybe I don't think you dead, but I've little reason in it..dance like a boulder bouncing down a hillside if you must, but come dance.. come dance, an there be red blood in your veins. Or are you afraid?" She laughs again, lovely arms extended to you in invitation as she dances.
Eyes as verdant as the bordering forests gleam at you, "I misunderstand you, dear girl. I did not complete my lessons entirely. I do not know fear." Adam reaches for you again, trying to grasp your hands; desire lends a definite quickness to his single forward step.
Loriel lets you take her hands, and draws you into her dance. Indeed, she lets you draw close, until you take in her scent with each breath.. feel the warmth of her body, feel its light touch against yours as you both move to the music.
Adam Pierce follows your lead with a surprising grace.. some economy of movement stolen from the road. He is pressed close, if not as tightly as he or this sprite of a girl might like; the stirring of his chest with each breath is an tangible thing to your body. Adam breathes deep, taking in the sweet and musky scents of forest and forest creature.
Loriel whispers hotly, "Stay in the forest and dally with me.. don't be so eager to let the road slip you away.."
Adam Pierce's smile is pure lusty challenge. "I'll not be won so easily. Your breath may be no sweeter than the road's.. perhaps its caress is softer.. but I do wonder."
"You'd have me be a wanton and offer you more enticements to stay? Farewell, modesty.. you may kiss me, sir, and it please you, if you would prove the sweetness of my breath.
Loriel turns her lovely face up to yours.
Adam Pierce cups your slender pale cheek in his hand and seeks out that evidence in your lips. A curious kiss; open, searching, and besides that you'd swear there was travel dust lingering in his hot breath.
It is more than a kiss.. far more.. her mouth is a fount of sweetness, more intoxicating than wine. Slender arms twine about your neck, womanly curves press against you. The kiss rings like a golden bell in your soul, shivering you with inhuman delights. And when her mouth parts yours, her upturned face in the light is a blinding glory.
Adam Pierce offers up a moan into the kiss.. it is like his strength has fled entirely into his mouth, and when the kiss wanes, so does that confidence. Adam nearly crumples to his knees at the sight of your shining face; the radiance forces his eyes.. open. "I am stricken! You have poured your madness into my blood. Spirits dance before my eyes, pagan music plays into my ears. You have done this, woman, rent apart my sanity with your passions."
You say "I warned you of the perils of these woods, handsome traveller.. they were unkind that let you come here unknowing. You are mine for tonight at least.. by right of my power and your trespass. But is it not a sweet madness? You shall little regret it." She takes your hands and lays them to her waist. "I am both spirit and woman.""
"Madness is still madness." Adam laments, the muttering coming from his lips with a lyrical bewilderment, "I shall not look upon that face... I would be beholden to you for the rest of my life. I would not set foot upon my road again." So he does not look into your eyes; he buries his face to your soft belly, usurping the warmth of your body to ease his guilt. "You are not of this world... you are no natural woman?"
Loriel laughs softly, "Does it matter? Am I not woman enough for you? My skin sufficiently soft.. my body formed to please the touch?"
Adam Pierce says "Beauty belies the surface. I do not know this sort of woman." And then his eyes become firey, his voice possessed of a strange wryness. "Fickle, willing to discard my favor at the slightest provocation, or.. feral.. you claim, after all, that I am at your mercy."
Loriel slides down, until you find your face nuzzles to her bosom. "You are the trespasser, after all. Is my toll so dear that you cannot pay it?" Her hands move upon your body, wickedly knowing in their caresses.
Adam Pierce tears himself from that sweet-smelling flesh, putting hands on the ground as if to steady himself, or as if to stand up again and flee. Then his voice is strong again, if no longer calm. "This trepasser has paid his share of penalties, but never before in flesh. Name your toll."
"How strangely you speak. I only wish what is fair. And you are very fair to me. Do you not know my desire?
Adam Pierce murmurs "I know your desire. I wonder about you, creature of woman and spirit. I have heard of demons that take the life from their lovers. I have heard of aliens that steal their lovers away to their bright and misty lands. I wonder about you, and if you mean more than you say."
You say "And I thought you were a brave man.. will you not see the truth for yourself, rather than think on old tales?"
Loriel drops to one knee so that she can look in your face again, gazing at you with longing in those unearthly eyes.
Adam Pierce's gaze is shielded from that beautiful but blinding countenance. "If this.." he begins uncertainly, "If this is a road I must map for myself, so be it." Then he tilts his head, desire has stoked a flame in those dark green eyes. "I am fair to you?"
Loriel puts her slender hand to your rough cheek, cups it. "Most fair.. you heat my blood, traveller..you tempt me to immodesty, to shameless seduction.. and when I offer you that for which a king would surrender half his realm, you spurn me."
Loriel rises and turn from you, shaking her hair like a black veil around her.
Adam Pierce says "Yes, he would. Your beauty would drive any civilized man to rashness.. but I am tendered by my travels, driven to seek out the truth of things. Had I given my love to flesh, lady, my heart would have turned to flesh. But it was given to the road, and turned to granite."
But his voice is not rough.. far from it, it quivers as if all that stone were crumbling. "But no longer. I am mad, and my madness is set upon you. You would not abandon me here with my reason shattered, with my heart enslaved to beauty?"
You say "If you will come with me, then come..."
Loriel turns, holding a hand out to you as she steps back towards the shadows, her face alight with desire. "Come, my fair madman, and I shall feed thy madness to satiety."
Adam Pierce rises, shaking, and grips your hand with a strength unbecoming his former calmness. His steps falter, his eyes blazing with pure animal lust. "Then," Adam moans, "I shall feed."
Loriel draws you after her, running into the darkness..
[they leave the theatre stage and go into a freehold]
Those with eyes to see into the Dreaming can see a trail of glamour leading to a shimmering blue curtain.
The Hold of the Green Room
The Glamour here is all drama and style. It fills this domed space with the faint sound of applause, and the tempo of background music. The show must always go on.
The room itself is circular, edged with an arched front promenade studded with curtained doorways. The tops of ornately carved pillars support a complex frieze along the lowest edge of the domed ceiling. The bronze figures show every aspect of the dramatic art, from Greek choruses to modern performance art. Above, the dome is painted like a stage backdrop of the sky, but it changes with the hour: Morning, Noon, Later the Same Day, Evening, Midnight. When it storms, stage effect lightning and thunder roil the dome, and rain sprinkles down to the emerald carpeted floor. Yet such is the magic of the stage that the moisture dries a few moments later.
The Balefire of the room is kept in a magnificent crystal chandelier suspended from the center of the dome. Its candles never burn down, but are eternally alight with faerie fire.
The Green Room has already responded to the mood of the evening.. it is dark, with the chandelier emitting a pale moonlight glow and torchlight emanating from the edges of the area.. bright enough to see well, with the inconstancy of firelight. The faerie woman laughs and releases your hand, only to run ahead of you to the sweet green.. grasslike carpet. She unknots her girdle and lets her brief garment slide to the floor. If she was dangerous before, she is lethal now, unveiled in her full glory.
His steps may falter, but Adam's speed is something to be reckoned with.. blind passion drives him and only the shock of your nudity is enough to halt his movements. His eyes close, blink, fasten, stare. "Lover... were I a king I'd forsake my realm entire, were I a priest I'd forsake my god..." Promises spill at his lips while, further down on his person, strain is exhibited on those close black trousers. The man is suspectible to ways of the flesh in more ways than one. The pause lasts a second or two longer, and he begins to race up to the green.
Loriel awaits her lover eagerly, her smile radiant. In the distance, the song of a nightingale can be heard...
Adam Pierce stops at the carpet's edge to undress. This is where Banality lays its heavy hand; it's a lovely suit, but there's too many buttons to undo. Once the long wait is over Adam bounds into the grassy clearing and sweeps you into his embrace. This is the sort of kiss that isn't content until your teeth ache and your lungs are crying out in your chest.
Loriel seems not at all to have cooled in her ardor during the endless wait for you to disrobe. She gives you all her kingdom in her kiss, yields up the keys to the treasure vault of her body.
Adam Pierce is all too happy to claim this immeasurable treasure. His hands rake your smooth naked body, violent in his wanting. The kiss brings him to his knees and he pulls you down with him.
Loriel laughs against your mouth, tilting her weight back to bring you down on top of her, both of you spread upon the sumptuous couch of her hair.
Adam Pierce's arm cup your lithe back firmly; your head and upper body elevated to the sweet kiss but those long legs sprawled out on the floor. Adam soon grows to such a confidence that he lowers you, his weight crushing into your body, the growing roar of his heartbeat audible and tangible.
Loriel is more than eager to be crushed.. her anticipation has been building far longer than this scene. Her fevered hands stroke your back, urging you on to further assaults on her fictional modesty.
The final summation comes slow, he's far too eager to drink in the feel of your body, first. His rough hands roam and caress your thighs; lips taking the sweat from the line of your neck when your lips hold no more solace for him, straying even further, kneading the soft breast.
Loriel cries out ecstatically, clasping your head to the heady sweetness of that breasts as she takes her pleasure of you. She groans fit to burst, proving herself a very carnal spirit in her uninhibted delight in lovemaking.
Adam Pierce seems -- after a mere few minutes in tryst with this ravishing creature -- to have forgotten the calmness and stoicism of the traveller's life. Adam is consumed and feral, biting where the skin is ripe, stroking wherever his hot hands find softness. His hips pump rhythmically; the unrelenting heat of his sex is brought against your thigh, he does not bother to direct himself.
Loriel takes you to her fully, but no longer now is she the mistress, the seductress.. she has roused the beast now she is his prey, willing prey, too. Indeed, a woman who can be enjoyed as other women are.. only more fine in her parts.
And enjoy you he does. The penetration comes swift; again he's violently swollen, painfully hard. Adam grabs you strongly about the waist and goes about the business of taking you.. thrusts in as if he had the intentions of slamming you to the floor, his breath hot on your breasts.
Loriel offers up her sweet immortal flesh to hasty mortal lusts.. but she isn't queening over you now, oh no.. she lies there and moans, thrusts her body up to your stroke like any hot-blooded light-skirted tavern wench.
Adam Pierce is exceedingly happy to take advantage of her.. willingness. Throwing any conceptions of caution or modesty to the winds, Adam takes her, and doesn't even bother to hold back the first sweet stirrings of orgasm when it hits at him. The thought might pass his mind that this fickle faerie creature intends on abandoning him once the toll is paid; he might be dwelling, indeed, that any of the other fears he voiced will come to pass. But it doesn't show in his face or in his body.
They strive together, a wild hurly burly of limbs, rolling back and forth.. she rides him astride like a stallion, his maleness deeply impaled to her great delight, the sweep of her hair a cool stormcloud across his skin. The marks of his hands and mouth lay across the perfection of her skin like the atlas of his passions.
They are a contrast, this couple.. flickering firelight shines down on frenetic lovemaking, and it illuminates what differences there are in this union. Rough skin on smooth skin, traces of tan to perfect pale skin, Loriel's lyrical cries to Adam's bestial moans.. what differences there are, though, may be negated by the fevered flush that alights both bodies, the shudderings and low cries that sound when the two of them are claimed and destroyed by climax.
Loriel whispers when she has the breath to do it, softly, urgently: "Stay with me forever.. travel no more, or take me with you.. "
Adam Pierce can find no breath for the longest moment, then, "I will never leave your side. You must keep me in this madness forever... so I can breathe you, dream you, worship you."
Loriel presses her lips to yours again, long and sweet.. when you break for breath, she smiles up at you lovingly, her hand caressing your cheek. "Happy Valentine's day, my dear love."
Adam Pierce says ".. and I thought /Christmas/ with you was mind-blowing." His mind is, indeed, thoroughly blown at this point. He nestles his head at your shoulder, sighs into your ear. "Happy Valentine's Day, beloved."
"You were the mind-blowing one.. you made my heart sing when you took up my theme.. I didn't have to hint, or instruct you... you knew. You .. " she searches for an extreme adjective, "utterly amazing man."
Adam Pierce murmurs teasingly "I'm losing my touch.. it's getting far too easy for you to seduce me, as of late. Firstly, you put in such an effort.. secondly.." adoring little kisses bathe your neck, "You were always too much for me to resist. My devastating temptress."
"I love it when you put up a fight and I have to work to impress you. It's strange how it makes me go all.. all woozy inside.
Adam Pierce says "It's worth it to put up the fight then, love... you can be so very impressive." He tilts his head at you with a sigh of pure contentment, "To think I was just going to take you to dinner for Valentine's Day. Sometimes you amaze me beyond all reason."
Loriel traces your spine with her fingertips. "I wouldn't put up a fight for that.. next year we can do that, if you like.. all traditional, roses and chocolates and a fancy restaurant.. and I'll wear some sexy red lingerie with white lace." She laughs softly. "Maybe we can even take a hotel room instead of going home..for the illicit feel of a one-night-stand. Or be romantic and play on the lily pad."
Adam Pierce noses at the hollow of your shoulder as he murmurs. "I was surprised they called me in for work today.. some damned conference. Why don't you visit me in my office next year? Bring up some of Liz's cooking, or find some fancy take-out.. wear one of my trenchcoats with something racy underneath." he begins to smile softly, imagining it, "We could make love in my car, afterwards. Right down in the basement parking lot of City Hall."
"You kinky civil servant, you. Ooooo.. Adam, does your parking space have your name on it?
Adam Pierce says "Yep.. the entire Council have personalized parking spots. Yet another perk of civil service, even if they only got around to spraying mine on last November."
"I don't know why, darling, but that adds an extra erotic thrill somehow.
Adam Pierce mmms. "There's a night watch, you know.. big ugly rent-a-cop they hire to patrol the lot every evening. If he sees the sedan rockin', he won't come knockin'.. but he'll know what name to report to the tabloids. And how to spell it."
Loriel smiles. "Oh, horrible. Married man caught making out with his own wife."
You say "Your reputation will be ruined."
Adam Pierce nods grimly. "What will the secretarial pool think? They'll never forgive me."
Adam Pierce terminates any protests.. well, for the moment.. with a kiss, laughing quietly.
Loriel giggles. "Poor girls.. if I start having mysterious stabbing pains, search the offices for a voodoo doll of me."
Adam Pierce says "I asked them to take down the picture of you they keep in the staff lounge.. they've been using it as a dartboard." Adam gives a slow, disdainful shake of the head. "It's sacrilege."
Loriel smiles, and suggests, "Put it in the men's room instead."
Adam Pierce quirks a brow, "The wives wouldn't appreciate it.. the men'd probably stop bringing in newspapers to read.." he leans up and kisses you lightly. "You're very lucky to be so madly in love with so wonderful a person. And so is your husband."
Loriel says mischievously, "Oh, who are we in love with? This so-wonderful person?"
Adam Pierce responds blithely "Why we're both in love with me, of course. You practically worship me.. as for myself.. well, haven't I said that to love one's self is the beginning of a life-long romance?" Wilde'd roll in his grave, but he'd probably admire all that faux egotism first.
Loriel ohs! "Well, obviously.. I mean, you have so many wonderful qualities.. modesty, humility, diffidence."
[it goes on a bit after that.. :) but I think I've reached the limit and this is enough.]