When the Bullet Hits the Bone

tree at trinity college, dublin

 It was four-thirty when he arrived at Trinity. He watched Bee Bee as she waved to everyone as she walked out of her building.

She stopped walking when she saw him approach.

“You are off tonight,” he said to her. “We need privacy.”

When the dark settled completely, they were airborne. They landed on a balcony at Ashford Castle. “My suite is here,” he said as he carried her inside.

“I want you,” was all he could manage when she nuzzled him under the chin as he closed the door behind them. “Now…”

His suite, Bee Bee realized through her fog of desire, as he carried her though it, was the entire top floor as clothes were left where they fell.   She had a one-second view of the bridge when she came up for air from a kiss that she felt all the way to her toes. Their journey of passion had continued, his lips everywhere they could reach. In the semi-darkness, the fireplace was lovely and massive and the fire made the dark give way to the light that shone for her in his eyes.

There was a frantic tenderness to him, tonight. There was Gaelic, English, a heavy Irish brogue, and what was probably dragon as he could not seem to hold her close enough and there were not enough words to express what he wanted to say. But it was there in his eyes. She could see it.

He was holding her hand, he never wanted to stop feeling the warmth and life that pulsed through those small, delicate hands that held his heart, his life. He had been holding one every since he had picked her up at Trinity. Even during their love making, which had been very gentle, he had still been holding her hand. He still was, with her snuggled into him while he placed kisses all up and down her spine, chewing with longing and passion on a boney protuberance where and when he could. There were still plenty of things he thought he should do, should say, but it was time to be honest with her.   Righting himself, he turned her and lay next to her, his arm around her, his lips gently suckling at her nipples until he felt her tighten once more, with her fingers in his hair, then breathe out his name when she melted back into him.

“The other night, when you asked me about why you did not leak…” he began, his face earnest as he looked up at her and he began explaining to her the dragon mating rituals.

When he had finished, both of her hands were on top of her stomach, with his hand still attached to hers.

“You think I might be pregnant?” her eyes were searching his.

“Yes,” he nodded, afraid to show hopefulness, afraid not too.

“I did not know about the nest building, honestly,” he said as he kissed her tummy. “I…I…” he stuttered, “I would have done things differently, I promise, if I would have known. I would have been more…or less…whatever it was you wanted,” he whispered. “I would have pleased you, given you more…or less,” there were tears in his voice.   “You could have made an informed decision…Bee Bee please,” he desperately kissed her hands, “If there is a child and you do not want it, please, would you carry it to term and then give the babe to me,” his emotions over rode him and he began crying. “Please,” the heart wrenching sound being pulled from his fractured soul.

“Eitilt,” she put both of her hands on his face.   “What happened?”

The past fifteen minutes had been intense. How do you deal with countless ages of grief? There were no words to offer him comfort. She could not undo the pain and doubt he had suffered. She just had held onto him, her body wrapped around his while he cried and rocked against her. His soul pouring from him and sorrow spilling, pooling out onto the bed and running down onto the floor as he told her about himself and Trudy and the child that never was, and for a child that he had forever hoped for, afterwards.

She was glad Trudy was dead. Otherwise she would have to hunt her down and kill her. Some women were just evil. Evil…

After he had stopped crying, she continued to hold him, placing small kisses all along his shoulder. When he looked at her, she knew he was better. Grief…how…how did he live so long with that much grief? Kissing him, she sat up and pulled his head into her lap. Smiling at him, he placed kisses on her hand.

“So this Trudy, she could have been lying to you, about the child?” she said softly.

“Yes and probably she was and I know that. And that she did this just to see if she could get a reaction out of me. Apparently,” he smiled at her while he wiped his eyes, “she could have. But, I find myself thinking about him, wondering what he would be like. What I would be like. How the world would be different if…if…if I had a son, or a daughter. Or both,” he smiled at her and kissed her hand, again.

“I would never abandon my child,” she kissed him on the nose. “I know what that feels like.”

“You said your granny raised you…” his voice trailed off.

“Yes. My dad was a farrier, you know, shoed horses.   My mom was, well, a rodeo queen. They traveled the rodeo circuit. Him working the horses and her working the bars, I guess. After I was born, my mom ran off with the one of the rodeo clowns and my dad brought me home to my granny. He started drinking and one night when he was drunk he said he was going to shoe a bull. Everyone had a good laugh and they found him the next morning. He got in a pen with a bull that gored him to death.

I am not leaving my child anywhere,” she said gently. “And abortion is not an option for me.”

She watched him as he relaxed. “Is that why you have not let go of my hand?” she smiled at him. “Afraid I was going to run off?”

“Yes,” he finally grinned, “I thought as long as I held on to you, you could not loose me. That no matter where you went, I would still be attached.”

“So just like other couples who think they might be pregnant,” she kissed his nose, “all we can do is wait.”

A shudder went through him and seemed to shake off the sadness that had lingered around him. “Yes,” he smiled, and she could see his old self returning. There was the confidence. “We shall wait.”

A log popped in the fireplace. “Eitilt,” she ran her fingers through his hair, “let me give you the jewels. I am so emotionally tangled up in you…you said you wanted the child,” her voice hesitated, but what about me, she wanted to add but did not. “I…I walk in with your heritage around my neck…you must have trust issues with me. I would rather walk out of this…wounded yes, but not with a gaping hole through my soul, although if I was honest, that might be too late.”

“Of course I want you,” his hand caught hers that was in his hair. “See,” he raised his right hand to his lips, “I am still holding yours. I am not letting go.  And trust you…yes.”

“Really?” she sadly shook her head at him. “Is this the big head or the little head speaking?”

“Why…what…” he stammered. “They are both big.”

“Stop it,” she pinched him and was rewarded with a satisfying “Ouch!”

“Of course I trust you,” his voice was soft while he stroked her cheek. “I knew I could trust you when Jorja thought I should not,” he grinned at her. “First of all, I think that she was a wee bit jealous that I wanted you and not her.”

“What?”

“I think she has always wanted me. That is why she fought so many wars with me. For the victory sex. But I never desired her. I have wanted you since you gave the Mer’lyn out-brief.”

“What?”

“When we fought at Crozier’s Canyon, Jorja wanted me to be King. I said no and I think she pouted. I don’t trust anyone who pouts. I have never seen you pout, scream in passion but no pouting.”

“What?” she laughed.

“Then, while I was at Trudy’s, gathering the egg. There was a slight wispy smell of my father about Jorja, where there had not been one before. She thought to cover his tracks by ruffling my hair. Therefore, anything that might smell of male on her hand would be me. My brother and I both smell like Father, family pheromones and all that. She thought I would not know the difference? Please…I do not trust anyone who thinks I was born yesterday. Trust Jorja, certainly not. Have not in ages. Trust you, certainly yes. I would even trust you if you pouted.”

“What?”

“Father,” he continued on very nonchalantly with his story, “he has this bit of a curl that dangles in front of his left eye,” he illustrated by pulling one of her curl’s down.  “All the women love to move it out of his way. You know, brush the back of their hand against his forehead. He delights in it as well.

Yes,” he said very righteously, “that is why my hair is cut so short. I want no stray women playing with my hair. Only you,” he pulled her down for a kiss.

“Only me,” she replied, as his tongue traced the outline of her lips.

“Yes,” he smiled. “Pout for me…push out that bottom lip…yes,” he licked it delicately, “just like that. Now, if you would just pout with your other lips, just push them out slightly…yes,” his breathing increased as his hand wandered down further, “just like that.”

There had been dinner, dancing and sex.

The sex…all she had to do was lie there, he insisted.   He did not object to the screaming, whimpering, pleading, and moaning. At three she heard the clock chime the hour.

“Darling One,” he whispered in her ear, “now that I have the hope of a child, I don’t want to wait.”

Her bones were limp, her muscles non-existent. But she had the strength to do this. “Neither do I,” she whispered back as she felt his hands settle on her tummy. With a lazy smile she rolled onto her stomach and then got up on her hands and knees, offering him the perfect view of her backside.   There was the scrape of his teeth along her shoulders and then ecstasy as he wrapped his tail around both of them and with joy she watched the blue and green lights flash behind her eyes.

When she woke the next morning, he was watching her sleep. Pulling him down for a kiss, she nestled back into the pillows and traced his face with a finger.

“How did you know to stop trusting Jorja?” she asked. “Was there a definitive moment?”

Propping himself on an arm, he leaned in and gave her a kiss, his hand caressing her collarbone. “The first Mer’lyn, she was a 7th of a 7th. In my family’s blood, she still lingers there. I have gifts others in my family do not.”

Nodding, she smiled at him. “No one knows just exactly what you can do.”

“Correct, so all are a bit weary of me. And rightly so because once or twice I have surprised even myself. But outside the family, most do not believe in our human history. They believe that Mer’lyn is just a shadowy figure we made up to strike fear into our enemies.”

Smiling at him, she chuckled. “Surprised one or two, huh?”

“Yes,” he nodded. “When we were victorious at Corzier’s Canyon, there was a push by the troops to have me proclaimed king. I said no and most graciously accepted my wishes. But Jorja wanted to know why. Told me I would make a good king. She harped on it for several days, that we should just go ahead and storm the castle and sit on the throne. That we could kill any and all pretenders. And then my father showed up to share in the victory. That is when I left to come here.

“So, she just did not want you to be king just for you…”

“Correct, there was something for her to be gained by it as well. Whether she thought to be my queen or to rule equally, or kill me on her own, I know not. But I wanted none of it. I believe that is when she and Father started their affair of the heart.”

“Are you going to kill your father?”

“Yes,” he nodded his head. “It is good that he was so kind and considerate of Aed while he was growing up or I would have done it long ago.”

“You have any doubts about me?” she asked.

“Only that I will not be able to love and cherish you the way that I should,” his finger traced her face.  “Marry me, Merlynn, be my mate and mother to my children,” he said gently kissing her lips. “For I have a love for you that I have waited a lifetime of forevers to give.”

“I do not ever want to disappoint you, cause you to doubt me,” she said with tears in her eyes.

“Just love me,” he rubbed his nose against hers. “I think we can survive everything else.”

“I am going to have to call Granny and tell her I am in love with a dragon,” she smiled.

“Good,” he kissed her lightly.

“I love you,” she placed both hands on his cheeks. Her fingers feeling the roughness of his beard, her thumbs stroking the softness of his lips.

There were dragon eyes blazing at her. Ones that could ferret out all her secrets. Ones that would know all her truths. Ones that would hold her above all else.   She could see that also. He would love her with all that he was and kill any who thought he should not.