Caution: This Fantasy Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Ma/ft, Consensual, Romantic, Magic, Heterosexual, Fiction, First, Slow, .
Desc: Fantasy Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Calida Baxenby meets Sean Mullaney. Will he be her soul-mate? Through him, she encounters a young Hamadryad... what will happen to them?
Calida Baxenby suppressed her irritation as she stalked out of the seminar room, watched by one of the other students. The course she was taking – woodland management – as part of her ecology degree was such a muddle of common sense, misguided altruism and plain stupidity that she wondered how she was going to cope ... even whether it was worth coping. But Debbie and Steve would be disappointed if she just gave up on her official identity; to be sure, they'd put a good face on it, but...
The young man followed, fascinated both by her lithe grace and the passion she had revealed during the seminar. Dared he...
'Nothing ventured, nothing gained ... faint heart never won fair lady ... fortune favours the brave... ' He laughed inwardly and speeded up.
She didn't acknowledge him until he was within a couple of yards of her and had called her name again; then she paused, looked round and raised an eyebrow, her expression otherwise neutral.
"I, um..." having gained her attention, he was unsure how to proceed. "Got time for a coffee?"
Calida wasn't really in the mood for socialising, but something about the appeal in his expression charmed her and she smiled, "I've time, Sean ... but perhaps I could have fruit juice rather than coffee?"
A smile spread across his face – a little like a sunrise – and he said, "Anything the cafeteria has to offer."
They sat across a table, each with a tall, cold, glass of freshly squeezed orange juice in front of them. "I love this stuff," Calida commented.
"I just like to watch the machine squeezing the oranges. But it does taste great."
"So..." Calida prompted, after several minutes of silent sipping.
"Oh ... yeah. Sorry. It's just ... you seem to argue with the Prof a lot. Not only that, you're... passionate about it."
Calida grimaced, then smiled a little. "Yeah ... you could say I'm passionate about trees. Prof ... he knows the ... obvious ... scientific stuff, but he doesn't really know trees. Trees ... are ... oh, I can't express it."
"Calida, are you ... a pagan? Wiccan?"
"Not exactly, but in a way. I believe there are spirits in living things. In some that we think are not living, like boulders, too."
"Wow. I've always wished that was true. I used to devour stories from Greek myths. You know, about nymphs and dryads and the rest. The system tried to knock all that out of me, but I still wish..."
Calida frowned and thought for a moment. "Are you up for a date this weekend? Do you like camping?"
"With you?" his voice rose, ending in a most un-masculine squeak. He gulped nervously. "Sorry ... are you serious?"
"Very. Have you a car? It's not far we'll be going."
"Yes. Got a tent and such, as well."
"Oh, we won't need a tent. That's a part of this. Pack a sleeping bag if you really want, but you won't need it." She scribbled her address on a scrap of paper and handed it to him. "We'd better exchange mobile numbers, too. Pick me up on Friday ... about six."
Poor Sean was bemused and didn't absorb much of the lectures for the rest of the week despite trying. His tentative approach to Calida had resulted in more than he would have hoped for. To say he was nervous and excited would be an understatement. He drew up outside our house in Rustlings Road with several minutes to spare and I opened the door before he could ring the bell. Poor lad ... confronted suddenly by his date's father.
"Come in," I smiled, "Calida's ready – she's just talking to her mum." I didn't judge him by his apparent inarticulateness – is that a word? But he was tidily dressed in clothes suitable for the outdoors, clean shaven unlike my trimmed beard. He looked like a decent lad and I trusted Calida to choose carefully. I had every reason to ... this was the first time she'd brought a young man home and I knew she was fussy about who she associated with. "A word to the wise, though," I went on, "you may find this a very unsettling weekend, and not something you'll be able to talk about to other people. They won't believe you, for one thing."
"Oh, I don't believe in talking about my dates, anyway," he said seriously – he got that out without hesitation. In view of his obvious nervousness, I was impressed.
"Good. Enough said, then."
"Giving Sean the third-degree boyfriend interrogation, Dad?" Calida's clear voice interrupted us. She was dressed in something that would have looked at home on a pre-Christian Greek vase. I thought Sean's eyes were about to pop out.
"No. You know I trust you, Sweetie. Off you go and give our regards to our friends."
"I will. You and Mum could come too, you know..."
"Parents along on a date? I don't think so. Besides, you know Ellie has her amateur dramatics this weekend."
"Oh, my. So she has. I'm sorry, I forgot. Give her my apologies, will you? I didn't want to miss it."
"I think she'll understand. We'll get the DVD anyway. Go have a great time."
I'll just comment in passing that Calida and I have a very good and rather unusual relationship. If you want more detail, read 'The Trees Are Alive' and 'Calida'; so between Calida herself and our other friends, I have no difficulty narrating this part of her story.
As Debbie and I prepared to accompany our younger daughter Elana, to watch her play 'Dorothy' in 'The Wizard of Oz', Calida and Sean set off for Padley Gorge.
"You look ... stunning," Sean told her, "but are you going to be dressed for the weather this weekend?"
"That's part of what this is all about," my daughter told him. "Sean, I heard what you said to Dad. Seriously, if you were to talk about this weekend and anyone did take you seriously, it would cause all sorts of problems. We're not going to be involved in anything illegal, but publicity could destroy something very precious."
"I don't understand."
"No, but you will. You're only here because I think you're one of very few people I think I can trust."
The rest of the drive was silent: Calida wondering if she was doing the right thing; Sean worried that he would do the wrong thing and wondering what was going on. They parked in a line of other vehicles on the hill leading down to the Station Café – which was closed – and entered the woods by the mill-pond. It was a stiff, uphill walk along an uneven path, clambering over large boulders of millstone grit until they came to a silver birch tree.
"Betula?" Calida called, "Father Quercus?" A pretty, silver haired woman; slim and lithe, smiling gaily, stepped round the tree.
"Calida! It's been weeks!"
"I know. I'm sorry. Is Father Quercus about?"
The silvery woman cocked her head. After a few moments, "He's on his way. Who is this?"
Calida pulled Sean forward. "This is my friend Sean Mullaney. He's ... a Seeker After Truth. At least, I think so. Sean ... meet my friend Betula..."
Sean stepped forward and took the proffered hand, warm in his. "Pleased to meet you, ma'am."
"My name is Betula, Sean. No ceremony for me, please."
"Then I am privileged, Betula."
"Ooh, I like him already, Calida!"
An old man, gnarled and weathered, but clearly hale, appeared a short distance away and came up to them. "Well, well. So you've come back to us, Calida. It has been too long."
"Yes, sir. I'm sorry ... I have been studying. This is Sean, my friend. I ... believe him to be a Seeker After Truth."
"Do you now?" He turned to Sean. "Why would Calida dub you Seeker After Truth?"
"I ... I don't know, sir. I just said something about the Greek myths, I suppose..."
"Myths, are they? If they were true?"
"You mean, for really true, not just conveying a true idea?"
"Then, I would be very happy, I think."
"Very well, then. You know that whatever happens here, you cannot discuss it with anyone not of this world? The consequences, both for you and for ourselves could be destructive."
"I understand. I will check with you or Calida if I need to."
"Very good." He turned back to Calida, "My dear, I think it is for you to begin."
Calida dipped her head in acquiescence and held out her hand for Sean. Puzzled, he took it and followed her some yards off the path to a large, stately beech tree. She released him and laid her hand on the trunk. "This is my tree. Once, it was me – we were one. I will tell you the story one day, perhaps when Mum and Dad are there to fill in the gaps. Now, I want you to watch very carefully..." He gasped as her gown disappeared and she spun before him naked and very beautiful. "The first lesson is, naked or clothed doesn't matter. You see, I am only half human. The other half is dryad..."
"Human or dryad, you are exquisitely beautiful, Calida."
She blushed and dipped her head. "Thank you. I am glad you think so. This is the second lesson, though..." she turned back to the tree and pressed herself against it. Sean gasped again as she disappeared.
"Don't worry," Betula's voice behind him startled him. "She's catching up with her tree. They've been apart for several weeks."
It seemed a long time, but was probably about five minutes before Calida reappeared. She stood naked in front of Sean, a curious mixture of confidence and anxiety. "So ... now you know. Do you want to go home?"
"Why would I want to go home? You promised me a weekend camping with you." He reached out and brushed a tear from her cheek. "You've brought my fantasy to life, Calida. I'd be pretty wimpy to run away from it. Besides..." he looked her up and down.
She giggled and blushed some more, stretched up to kiss him on the lips. "Later..." and twinkled at him. "Um ... Sean?"
"Do you ... are you bothered about being nude?"
He coloured darkly. "I've never tried it. It's ... kind of embarrassing, you know?"
"Well, everyone will be sky-clad this evening."
"Don't you get cold?"
"Oh, no. Nor will you ... get cold or wet, unless you wish to. If there are outsiders around, we cover up, of course. You would want to duck out of sight, since you can't do what we can..." As he blinked, she was once more dressed in a flowing gown, one that stopped a few inches above her feet. "Just now, there are some other people I'd like you to meet. Let's go down to the river..." She held out her hand and, when he took it, led him along a path to the little, lively, brown river rushing over rocks. There was a place where the water was deeper, wider and slower, next to a level area covered in leaf-mould. It was surrounded in an incomplete semi-circle by a little cliff of rough rock; lichen and small plants nestled in ledges and cracks. It was a quiet, sheltered place, the only noticeable sound the moving water.
"It's a ... peaceful place. Calm. Serene." Sean spoke, unsure of what was expected of him.
Calida smiled, and he was immediately reassured. "There's someone to meet here," she said, then, facing the river, called, "Phoebe?"
Sean had thought he was beyond surprise by that point, but the appearance of a figure in the river, child-sized but clearly an adult, still managed to shock him. The figure, barely five feet tall, was brown with hints of green. That was okay. A pretty, elfin face, however, was topped by a spiky head of electric blue hair.
"Ooh! Calida! Where've you been? And..." the tone of her voice changed, becoming lower, richer and undeniably sensual... "who have you brought to see me?"
"Hands off, for now, Phoebe. This is Sean. Sean, this is Phoebe..."
"Who is a naiad," Sean breathed.
"Exactly!" Phoebe giggled.
"Though," Calida interrupted, "I often think some sprite has crept in at some point. Quite a lot of sprite."
"Oh, Calida. What sort of impression will this lovely young man get of me?"
"A true one, Phoebe."
"And here I thought we were friends."
"We are friends. I'm sure Sean will be friends too, if you don't overwhelm him before he has a chance to adjust."
"Er ... excuse me, ladies..."
"Oh, Sean, I'm sorry. Phoebe is lovely, and she is my friend, but she's ... uninhibited ... and..."
"And you're introducing me to a world I've longed for, but which is strange to me. I'm going to be very careful not to upset you..."
"You don't understand. I'm not worried about you upsetting me. At least, not with my woodland friends."
As they'd been talking, the naiad had moved out of the river and was standing next to Sean. She laid a soft hand on his forearm. "Relax, Sean. I won't do anything to hurt Calida, and I want to be your friend too." With a twist and a flip of her body, she was gone.
"Wow," was all the reaction Sean could raise.
They made their way back, away from the river, thought they could still hear it, and hadn't got far before they met a young man with a shock of orangey-red hair. He was slim and lithe, and gave the impression that he was ... flighty. Calida greeted him. "Hey, Rowan! Meet Sean ... I'm introducing him to the Woodland Way. Sean, this is my friend Rowan."
The two males exchanged 'pleased to meet you's' then Calida said, "Rowan, I was just about to take Sean to the Dell. Would you mind arranging some privacy for us? Until dusk, anyway?"
Rowan smiled a knowing smile. "Certainly, Calida. I think the bushes will listen to you, anyway, though."
"I've not had reason to ask, before."
They walked a little further before turning aside into a dip, perhaps fifteen feet across, lined with moss, but with some leaves and pine-needles scattered as well. Rowan stood at the rim. "Why don't you see what you can do, Callie? I'll step back."
Calida nodded and closed her eyes. Sean blinked, unable to process how a screen of bushes had appeared, surrounding the Dell. "Oh..."
"I didn't know I could do that," Calida sighed.
The two faced each other over a few feet of separation for some seconds; to both it felt a lot longer. "Calida..." Sean hesitated. "I..."
Calida took a step toward him and spread her arms so they were at forty-five degrees from her body. Her posture was saying 'Well? Here I am ... do you want me, or not?'
Sean closed the gap and suddenly they were kissing, totally involved. It was Calida who began tugging at garments so she could get at Sean's skin. Her own gown did not lend itself to such treatment – there was too much of it – and after a few minutes more kissing, as her hands stroked his cool, smooth skin, she stepped back, breaking contact. Sean appeared shocked, for a moment, at the abrupt movement, but then Calida stood straight and shimmered as her gown disappeared. He gasped, as who wouldn't...
She took his hands and guided them to her breasts, holding them there for a few moments until he began to gently stroke, tracing her curves; then she began to unbutton his shirt ... Undressing him took some time as they contrived to maintain contact, but eventually they were both naked in the centre of the dell. Sean lightly stroked Calida's cheek with his finger-tips. "What do you want from me?" he asked, gently, his eyes on hers.
She chuckled quietly. "Isn't it obvious?" Then, as he shook his head, went on, "I want to be friends, first and foremost. Whatever happens this weekend, I'd like to be friends. Right now, I want to make love with you, which isn't something I do lightly, despite how quickly we've got to this point..."
She didn't ... couldn't ... say any more, as he was kissing her and guiding her down to lay on the springy moss. When his mouth left hers, it was only to move to her breasts where the effect of his lips and tongue drove rational thought out of reach. She felt she was being lifted on a wave of pleasure until he moved to her pussy...
Her breasts, he thought, were perfect ... in shape, size and proportion. Firm, yet resilient, with nipples that grew and hardened in his mouth. He felt he could continue to explore them indefinitely as she expressed her pleasure in inchoate groans and sighs, but there came a point where it felt right to move to her centre. She was very wet and her pussy blossomed open as he gently teased her with his tongue. It only took a short time before the orgasm that had been growing from the moment his lips closed on her nipple exploded in her. The wave of pleasure broke and her body shook and arched up; a scream escaped her lips and consciousness fled.
She came to, seeing his face wearing a worried expression. "Wow. I mean ... just ... wow."
His face cleared. "Are you okay, Callie?"
"Oh, yes. Very okay. I have never – I mean never – come like that before. Kiss me? Please?"
Having administered the kiss ... and several more ... they were lying side by side, with Calida half on top of him. Her hand found his penis which was rigidly erect and brushing her hip. Her hand on him made him groan with the pleasure that was almost pain.
"Hm, yes, Callie?"
"I don't usually let anyone except my family call me that..."
"Sor..." she cut his apology off with a kiss.
"Sean ... now you know ... what I am, what I'm a part of, do you ... what do you think? That I'm not, you know, a hundred percent ... human?"
He chuckled. "I think ... you are exquisitely beautiful and very special. I think I want to know you much better. I think you are entirely human enough for me, and probably more human than a lot of people I know who might technically have a better claim to the description. And ... I think ... I might ... be ... falling for you ... hard." His hesitations as he finished speaking might have been something to do with her hand, which was enclosing and stroking his rampant erection.
Her lips descended to his and he never quite worked out how she ended up on top of him with his hardness sliding into her pussy instead of her hand. Neither did he understand why he, primed as he was, didn't come the moment he hit bottom ... but he didn't. He didn't come until Calida's pussy spasmed around him and she went limp on top of him. His own climax was irresistible at that point.
Sean lay on his back, on the soft moss with Calida sprawled, splayed over him, her breath warm on his neck. He was very conscious of her breasts pressing on his chest. Almost unbelieving what was happening to him, his hands traced her sides to her bottom.
She took a deep breath and lifted her head so she could look at him. "Are we okay?"
"Very okay. Just so we stay that way."
"The party should be starting..." even as she spoke, they were aware of quiet music. "We ought to have a quick wash, I think. Come with me?"
Sighs. Quiet smiles. Standing, linking hands, the bushes parting, walking down to the river. Sean's surprise that the water just felt cool on his heated skin. Hands tracing curves ... too many hands.
"Phoebe! You're at it again!" Silvery, tinkling laughter, reminiscent of the water tumbling over the rocks of the river bed. Calida got Sean's attention. "Darling," she said evenly, "were you enjoying that?"
There was a ... loaded ... pause.
'What the hell. If in doubt, tell the truth.' "Um, yes, actually."
Sean didn't actually sigh with relief out loud, but it was a near thing.
"Tonight," Calida went on, "I'm feeling a bit more human than dryad, and I'd like to keep you to myself. Another time, some of the others would like your attention, and that'll be all right... if you want to. But not tonight. Phoebe."
"Promise?" The little naiad's voice was still like flowing water, but it was smooth and sensual.
"Promise. As long as Sean wants to. Come along, Lover..." and she towed the speechless, overloaded, young man out of the river and up the slope.
For the next hour or so, Sean found himself involved in a party unlike anything he'd experienced before. There was drink, light wines as good as anything he'd tasted previously. There was dancing; semi-formal, reminiscent of Medieval courts – sarabands and pavanes – though he never did see where the music was coming from. There was food, tasty, but clearly vegetarian in nature. The other participants were varied, but each had a subtle suggestion about them of various trees; stately beeches, tall, slim, somehow prickly, firs, silvery, flighty birches, solid oaks ... mountain ashes, larches ... on and on. There was a teasing sensuality about it all, though the only contacts were by hands and arms. Calida was never far away.
There was a dream-like quality about it all, and Sean could not say what time it was when Calida drew him away from the clearing and led him to her beech, where she pulled him down and embraced him again. She pushed him onto his back, straddled him and rode him until they both came, then snuggled beside him to sleep.
Waking involved disorientation. Grey dawn? Naked? Leaves? Outside? Wind in the trees? Naked woman!? Voices, not too far away. Momentary panic.
"Shhh. It's alright, they won't come here." Calida's voice, calming, reassuring; her face, beautiful, but troubled.
"It wasn't a dream?" His voice was more a croak.
"Not a dream."
"How ... how are you feeling, Sean?"
"Feeling?" He paused, groping for the right words. "I'm suddenly living a fantasy that's better than anything I ever imagined. But..." he paused again and Calida's expression, which had lightened considerably, dropped again. "I suppose ... since this is true, the other stuff is as well? In the myths ... I mean in the stories ... I mean ... you know what I mean. There didn't seem to be much happiness. There always seemed to be a catch, usually a god or goddess waiting to spoil things."
"Call them myths," Calida said. "That's probably best. And ... yes. There are dangers in my world. But courtesy and circumspection will avoid most of them. But ... if you'd rather not be involved..."
He pulled her close, held her face against him. "Do you want me to be involved?"
"Yes," she whispered into his chest.
"And will you teach me what I need to know?"
"You are beautiful, fascinating ... enigmatic ... and I love you already. I think I'm willing to take a chance."
Her face lit up and she scooted up to kiss him, her hardening nipples scraping his chest on the way. His penis, half hard, hardened immediately and she got very wet in response. Lowering herself on him was inevitable as the sensations of their joining overwhelmed them, and Calida ended sprawled on top of Sean as they drifted off to sleep.
It was much lighter when they woke again. At first they just enjoyed the physical and emotional comfort of the intimate position, but then they heard voices nearby, which worried Sean more than his lover.
"They won't come here," she whispered, "but perhaps we might take a dip and get some clothes on."
"But," Sean began to protest.
"The others will run interference for us. And after, we can get some breakfast in the café."
Sean thought it all sounded like a fine idea and decided he needed to just trust his companion...
The rest of the day, after a substantial breakfast, was spent in talking to the old oak dryad, Father Quercus, and the birch, Betula, with an interruption for lunch. As the light began to fade, though, Calida took Sean back to the beech tree, where he sat and leaned back against it and Calida snuggled in his lap. It was surprisingly comfortable, and they basically made out together, interrupted from time to time by other woodland folk.
When the music started, Calida asked, "D'you want to dance, Sean?"
"Do you? I mean, I had fun last night, but ... this ... being here, like this..." He trailed off. "I ... I never felt like this with anyone else, Callie. Not just because, you know..."
"Because we had sex?"
"It wasn't just sex, though ... was it?"
She took a deep breath. "Not for me, no."
"There will be food."
"I could eat."
"Let's go, then. We can come back here any time we like."
It was a very similar night to the previous one; there was food ... no meat, but tasty and satisfying finger food. There was wine, pale white or rich red. And there was dancing. Sean was swept away into the orderly chaos. There were differences, though. Calida was no-where to be seen and the ... let's just call them women, for simplicity's sake, rather than 'female wood or water spirits' ... brushed against him and not only with their hands. If he'd had time to think about it, his erection would have caused him extreme embarrassment. As it was, he merely blushed and felt uncomfortable.
It was Betula who took his hand and drew him out of the dance. "Don't be upset about it. Calida wouldn't mind, you know, if you allowed one of us to relieve the tension..."
He didn't wonder at the time how well he could see her face, but he felt her expression to be somehow ... predatory. "Maybe..." he didn't know quite what to say, not wanting to offend her. "But just now, I'm not comfortable with that. I mean, Callie and I..."
"Are still new to each other. Shall I call her?"
"Can you? Would you?"
Since he didn't see Betula do anything other than stand there holding his hand, it was a shock when Calida appeared next to him.
"Hello, Auntie. Have you finished with my boyfriend?"
She chuckled – somehow it sounded like wind in the leaves and released his hand. "No, darling, but since he seems to be more interested in you than me..."
"Oh yes. But I can wait. Just see if you can persuade him to give me some attention sometime."
Calida giggled. "I'll have to think about that. Maybe I'm a bit more ... human ... than I'd like to think."
Sean coughed. "Er ... excuse me..." The two women turned to look at him. "You're talking about me as if I weren't here. Do I get a say?"
Calida and Betula looked at each other, then Calida took his hand and led him away. "I need to explain some things to you. But, yes, you do get a say. You don't have to do anything you don't want to."
"What about you? Um ... what's her name ... Betula?"
"She ... did she want to have sex with me?" It was almost a squeak.
"She and maybe half a dozen or so others..."
"Doesn't that bother you?"
She was silent for some time. Then, "When I was ... a hamadryad ... it wouldn't have bothered me at all if you'd had sex with every female in the wood." She sighed. "But ... now ... it does and it doesn't. It would bother me a lot if you slept with another human woman. I'm not sure about my friends. I don't think so. But ... oh, I'm confused."
"Callie..." She stopped and looked at him. "Right now, all I want to do is make love with the woman I love. May I do that?"
Suddenly, his arms were full of naked Calida, her lips pressed to his, breasts crushed against his chest. His rapidly burgeoning erection was trapped between them. Abruptly, she broke the clinch, grabbed his hand and dragged him, almost running, back to the beech, where she sprawled, legs akimbo and arms spread in invitation.
Now Sean, notwithstanding his approach to Calida in the first place, had no practical previous experience of sex beyond some necking, but like most young men had plenty of experience of porn. In fact, the modern easy access to porn, not to mention more accurate medical information via the internet, has arguably had a positive effect on the relationships between lovers. Notice, please, I did say arguably. Personally, I think arseholes have always been arseholes, and they'd act that way (and always have) regardless. Anyway. In Sean's case, the effect was definitely positive. Instead of diving on top of Calida and sinking 'the rampant emblem of his masculinity' into the 'velvety glove of her femininity' ... he dived between her legs to taste her feminine juices ... and to tease her pussy with his tongue.
She liked that. A lot. Before the previous evening, it had been several years since anyone had done that for her and, aroused as she was, she went off like a firecracker in an escalating series of orgasms. She had to push his head away as she became too sensitive, and pulled him up to kiss him. As he held her, he realised ... she had gone to sleep. Leaving him with a painfully hard erection. He sighed and settled down, her warm body in his arms.
He hadn't thought he'd be able to sleep, but he did. Unsurprisingly, he experienced an erotic dream involving a lithe nymph riding his stiff cock. Except that he surfaced to find it was no dream. Calida was, indeed, riding him. The sensations were indescribable.
When she realised he was awake, she leaned down and kissed him. "I'm sorry, Lover. I left you hanging ... but I'll make it up to you," took his hands and held them to her breasts.
He came quickly, but Calida used her pussy to hold him and massage him, so he never really went soft. After a few minutes of her gently rocking on him, he rolled her to the side and began thrusting. He was able to go a long time and she managed several more climaxes before he shot in her and groaned... "Oh, I love you so much..."
She sighed, and breathed. "I know. I love you too."
"Tell me something..."
"Quercus ... is the family name for oak. So Father Quercus is an oak dryad."
"Betula ... is a birch dryad."
"But you are Calida?"
"My family name is Fagus. I never fancied being called Fagia."
"We have personal names... long personal names. But they are too ... unwieldy and too personal. You know names hold power?"
He nodded, "So I understand."
"So sometimes we pick a name, or are given a name. A bit like a nickname, I suppose. And sometimes we use a local common name, like my friend Rowan."
They cuddled, silently for a while. Sean wondered about diseases, knowing that the English elm was now almost extinct, but he couldn't think how to approach the subject. It became moot, though, when they dropped back off to sleep with Calida draped over his side.
She woke him in the grey dawn and they walked, naked and hand in hand, down to the river to bathe. Once more, he wondered how he could be so comfortable in water that should have chilled him to the bone, but dismissed the thought and just enjoyed the refreshment ... and the view.
"Your friend not around?"
Calida grinned, her eyes sparkling with mischief. "No ... why ... did you want her?"
Realising he was being teased, he didn't rise to the comment. "Just wondered," he said. "She's ... quite sexy."
"And I'm not?"
He looked at her and decided she was still teasing. "You know you are." He closed the, already slight, distance between them and pulled her glistening and slippery body to him for a kiss.
She accepted and responded to the kiss. "I do know. And I need to talk to you about woodland relationships and expectations. And yours and my expectations."
"Is there a better time than now?"
"I suppose not..." she looked serious. They stepped out of the river and made their way back to the beech.
They settled down, Sean sitting and leaning against the tree, Calida once more snuggled in his lap. There was a slight rustling as they were shielded from view once more.
"Sean," Calida began, slowly, uncertainly, "I'm caught between two worlds. I have some dryad abilities and characteristics, but I'm also part human and I never realised how much human emotion I now have. As a dryad, or hamadryad, I could love you and not be upset if you ... took pleasure ... with my friends. As I am, I am not so sure. I actually feel tendrils of jealousy. I never knew jealousy before. But that's something I have to work out."
"I won't do anything ... I don't want to do anything ... to upset you."
"I know. But if you're to be a part of this world, I cannot just keep you to myself, I don't think. As I say, I need to work things out."
Sean decided to keep quiet and just hold her, which was no hardship. In due course, it was late enough for them to dress and walk to the café for breakfast.
They spent the day walking in the woods and across the moors. From time to time, Calida would stop, reach out and touch a plant, tree or boulder. Sean also noticed that the wild creatures didn't seem worried by them. Once a squirrel leapt onto Calida's shoulder and she spoke quietly to it, though he couldn't make out what she was saying.
Then it was time to return to the city. Sean took Calida home, where she insisted he go in with her. I welcomed them, communication between me and Calida a barely noticeable exchange of raised eyebrows, nods and smiles.
I shook Sean's hand. "You've had a good weekend, I gather."
"Yes, sir. Enjoyable, and instructive."
"Hm. Well, if you need a human, male, perspective on it, I hope you'll come and see me."