Thanks, Ken, for your wonderful editing abilities. The check is in the mail...
A gentle breeze skimmed over her naked body, playing through the long grass beneath her and calling her from her dreams. She woke, confused by the sight of a canopy of green leaves that stretched far over her head, intermittent glimpses of pale blue early morning sky between their verdant growth.
Thinking back, she could remember climbing into her own bed last night, the chill of winter's frost coming through the old windows of the house that had been bequeathed to her by her late Aunt Hattie. She'd remembered putting on flannel pajamas, hoping to battle the cold of the old house, and slipping into thick woolen socks as her feet shied from the icy wooden floors.
How she'd gotten from the frigid blast of winter to this green haven, she didn't know. And her clothing, what had happened to it? She glanced down at her nude form as she sat up to survey her surroundings. Where it was, she wasn't sure. But it was warm under the bright morning sunlight, and her body, pale and wan from the long winter months, soaked up the heat of the golden rays.
The cry of birds had her shifting her gaze. The sound of water, waves upon the beach striking endlessly, reached her ear, and the salty scent of the ocean upon the breeze teasing her nose. It was in front of her now, the magnificent ocean with its teeming wealth of aquatic life and its infinite mysteries, washing over the pale sands of the beach that lay just beyond her feet.
She rose from the grassy glade she'd been sleeping in, stepping toward the beautiful blue-green of those rollicking waves, wondering if the water would be as warm upon her skin as the sun. Her mind upon the scene in front of her, she never noticed the figure of the man who sat upon a dune a few yards away, watching her every movement.
His eyes caressed the soft curves of her body, the sleek lines and subtle hollows that had made her so very desirable to him from the very first. The oval shape of her face, the slash of black brows in skin so pale, the shining dance of her eyes that had been downcast as of late as she mourned the loss of her beloved aunt, kept him enthralled for the moment as she moved toward the white, frothy waves.
The rhythmic movement of her heart-shaped bottom caught his attention and he suddenly wished to feel it under his hands, the skin giving just slightly as he caressed the firmly muscled roundness. Her legs tapered to slender ankles he could fit his fingers around, continuing to smooth, highly arched feet and pink hued toes that he longed to feel touching and tickling his own.
Her waist was tiny, her navel perfect for a delicious dip of his tongue. He could lose himself in the smell of her there, tangy and salty, a feast for his lips and one he was loath to deprive himself of much longer.
She turned, tossing long dark tresses back from her face as the breeze played with her curls, giving him taunting hints of the firm roundness of her breasts, the taut coral nipples hard tipped. He'd denied himself the pleasure of touching her as he'd undressed her, leaving her upon that grassy bank under the huge oak tree that had spread its boughs to shelter her through the night. He wanted her conscious and willing, as eager for his touch and the taste of his flesh as he was for hers.
Standing, he strode forward, as much at ease with his own naked state as he would be wearing any clothing he chose. He had nothing to shame him, a magnificent specimen of manhood, heavily muscled but with a grace that belied his bulk. His cock rose to its full proud stature from its nest of thick curls, proclaiming visibly his desire for the slender beauty who now frolicked with childlike glee amidst the waves of the ocean.
He stood a few feet behind her, seeing the sea spray coat her skin with its saltiness, tiny diamond-like drops of water shining upon her hair and flesh, making her sparkle in the sunlight. With an eagerness he could no longer hide, he reached out to her, calling her name in a voice as deep as the throaty rumble of thunder.
She turned, startled, poised to flee like a white-tailed deer that had been caught a hunter's scent. Her eyes, large and frightened, met his own, not yet seeing the gentleness in the deep blue depths of his. She tried to cover her nakedness, her arms closing across her breasts, her hand cupping the dark cap of fleece that sheltered her woman's mound.
"Who... who are you?" she managed to say through her fear, her voice shaking and hesitant.
"I am known by many names, my Cassiel, at many different times. I have been known as Apollo by the Romans, at other times I have been known as Zeus by the Greeks. The Irish Celts called me Dagda and worshiped me as father god. The Japanese knew me as Haniyasu-Hiko. The ancient Mayans used to revere me as Hurakon. I've been called Poseidon and Dionysus, Odin and Freyr. I've had so many names, in so many places, and been called on by peoples around the world, but what I am called does not really matter, but only who or what I am. Call me any of those names or one of your own design, as I care not." He smiled gently, ready for her disbelief.
Cassiel stared at the man, fighting the attraction she was feeling despite her mind telling her he was insane. "Okay," she said, trying to figure out a way to flee this crazy man who had interrupted her sojourn into paradise in what surely must be nothing more than a dream.
His smile grew bigger as he saw her take a tiny step back toward the surf. "I didn't expect you to believe my words, Cassiel. I had hoped you would, but I know of the cynicism of this time, of its non-belief in traditions and religions of old. I understand your fears, my love."
"Then you also understand my wish to have you leave?" Cassiel had never felt so exposed, or so turned on. She couldn't help but admire his beautifully muscled body or his chiseled and rugged face, seeming almost to be carved out of rock. The gentle smile that curved his wide lips drew her eyes, and she couldn't help but wonder how they would feel upon her own.
"You may find out if you wish, Cassiel. I vow to you, I will not touch you if it is your desire to kiss me."
"What..." she said, broken from her spell by his words. "How did you... No," she said, shaking her head so her hair fell over her shoulders, covering her arms with its thickness. "I don't want to kiss you. Why would you even think that?"
His laughter made her think of mountain rivers, rushing pell-mell in their haste to reach the sea, tumbling over boulders and around trees in rampant joyous freedom.
"Because it is what you thought, dearest one. I know your thoughts as if they were my own. I know your desires and your fears, your wishes and your deepest regrets. I carry you," he patted the large expanse of his chest, "here. In my heart of hearts as the one that I desire the most. I have since first I viewed you some three years ago of your time."
"That's impossible. I would have remembered seeing you, I couldn't possibly have forgotten..." She clapped her lips shut as she heard the words coming from herself. Words she didn't want him to know, words that would tell him how intensely attractive she found him.
"You were but a child then, Cassiel, and too young in the world of men to know you own heart's desire. I was forced to sit and watch, to wait while you grew to what is considered to be maturity in the present world." He didn't tell her of how he fretted as she grew lovelier, her body ripening into the lush sensuous being she was now. How he worried of her losing her heart to one of the young boys who threw themselves at her, swaggering around her with their cocky ways and inane babble.
He refused to let her know of how he'd cheated the three sisters of Fate and their all seeing eye, casting his wiles upon her as she slept and dreamed her dreams of love and marriage, imprinting his image upon those innocent fancies of childhood so that she would find fault with all who would contrive to win her heart. He'd stolen her away from the one who could have held her true, keeping her, instead, for himself.
He felt a small pang of guilt at his deceit, a small pulse of remorse at the connivance he had employed. But he readily dismissed it if it would garner him her love.
"So you, what, watched me through some kind of crystal ball?" Cassiel couldn't keep the disbelief and laughter out of her voice, not even noticing as her hands dropped to her side, giving him a perfect view of her beautiful body.
"No, my love, no ball of crystal could be of use to me. I use the water to view the world of men." He stepped forward as she just stared at him in confusion. "Like this."
The water at his feet, frothy white with the pounding of the surf, seemed to freeze in place even as the rest of the water kept up its continuous movement. It shone like polished ice, and upon its surface Cassiel could see figures, tiny and indistinct at first, then quickly taking form. A busy street appeared upon the reflective wave, men and women hustling on their way, traffic noises erupting from the surf, loud honking and someone yelling and cursing.
Cassiel jumped back, her hands going to her throat as she gasped in shock. She watched in wondered awe as he again brandished his hand and the wave returned to the ocean once more, no more a path of vision to other things. "What are you?"
.... There is more of this story ...