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Maria leaned her staff against the wall and unfastened her travel cloak. Hanging the azure wrap on the back of the door, she turned and took a good look at her surroundings. A sturdy, simply decorated, four-poster bed dominated most of the small room. To the left of the bed stood a matching armoire and dressing table, a door on the right-hand side of the bed apparently led into a private bathing area, an incredible luxury in a small village like this, from which steam was already wafting.
After three weeks of sleeping on the ground and taking quick cold baths in the nearest stream, the thought of a hot bath was irresistible to the young maiden. In moments she had removed the rest of her trail dusted clothing and was sliding into the spacious, porcelain tub’s steaming waters.
It was only after she was fully immersed, that Maria noticed a second door to the bath and realized that it connected to another guest’s room. This door was open and beyond it the second room’s hall door was opening.
Maria was not sure whether to be upset or relieved when Isaiah stepped into the adjoining room, at least it wasn’t a stranger. She was about to yell at him not to look when he turned and gazed straight at her. It took a second for what he was seeing to register, then Isaiah’s face turned bright red and he quickly averted his eyes.
“I’m sorry,” he stammered nervously. “They must have given me the wrong room number,” and he started to leave.
“Isaiah stop!” called Maria. “You have got the right room. We just share a bathroom.”
Isaiah was already half way out the far door before Maria’s words reached him. “What do you mean?” he asked, keeping his eyes averted.
“Our rooms share the same bath, and I didn’t see the second door until just before you came in. Now, if you would please close the door, I’ll finish my bath and you can take yours next. You need one very badly.”
Moving quickly, Isaiah stepped over to the door and pushed it closed. Not without taking one last furtive glance at Maria’s nude body, she noticed. Maria knew she should have been offended at his temerity, but couldn’t manage to be mad at him. At least he had not tried to spy on her as she was bathing in a stream, as Ivan had the other day. In fact, both Isaiah and Gareth had been perfect gentlemen since she had joined their quest. Gareth was completely absorbed in rescuing his childhood friend and (if Maria was any judge) the love of his life Jenna. Isaiah was more concerned with the dangers the stolen Elemental Stars represented, but had at least shown some appreciation of Maria’s unmistakable charms.
Just past her Eighteenth birthday, Maria was an extremely beautiful young woman, with pale cerulean hair and deep turquoise eyes. A little taller than average with a well developed figure, even though she had been dressed in travel stained clothes, she had caused quite a stir upon entering Bardin. Raised as a priestess of the Mercury Clan, she had the natural grace and regal carriage one usually associated with the nobility.
Luckily for her friends and associates, Maria’s duties as Andel’s principle healer and village midwife had knocked all the arrogance and overconfidence out of her. The first birth she had assisted with had been an extremely rough one, and both mother and child had almost died.
Now as she luxuriated in the deep, hot waters of her bath, Maria’s mind drifted back to the first morning on the trail with her companions, when she had been abruptly roused by the clash of steel on steel. Still half-asleep and thinking they were under attack; she had jumped out of her tent and travel bedding wearing only a light, almost translucent woolen smock. The sight of Gareth and Isaiah locked in apparent mortal combat had greeted her.
Confused, Maria had stood there transfixed until she realized that they were only engaged in a practice bout. Luckily for her, the boys were so engrossed in their practice, they failed to take notice of her decidedly skimpy garb and she had been able to duck back into her tent. A few minutes later, properly dressed, she had reemerged from the tent to find the pair still taking full swings at each other.
Maria had often watched the young men of Andel at weapons practice, but they had always wrapped their swords in cloth and thin slats of wood to prevent serious injury. Isaiah and Gareth were practicing with unguarded blades and, by the numerous whisker thin white scars that covered their torsos, had always done so.
At home a practice bout had seldom lasted more than five, maybe ten minutes before exhaustion would end the duel. Over the next few weeks, Maria learned that a practice session that ended before three-quarters of an hour had passed was considered a light workout. It was only natural that this became the time during which she would prepare their morning meals, and Ivan would break down the rest of their camp. However, that first morning, she had simply sat mesmerized by the interplay of the men’s weapons and the sight of their muscles rippling casino şirketleri under sweat glistened skin.
It had been while watching them that morning that Maria had first realized how handsome and athletic Isaiah was. Slightly smaller than and not nearly as strong as the burly Gareth, Isaiah easily countered his friend’s powerful attacks with a skill and quickness which amazed her. Because they practiced with exposed blades, she had expected to have to heal their wounds at the end of the workout. Instead, she discovered that the two men were so skilled; the only injury was a very slight cut to Gareth’s right shoulder so small it did not even require healing.
Maria had quickly learned to appreciate her companion’s skill with their weapons, since their party came under attack almost daily by the newly swollen hordes of monsters in the northern woods. In spite of Isaiah and Gareth’s considerable skills, Maria’s healing powers had been in almost constant use during the last three weeks.
Ivan, the smallest and, by three days, youngest of their party had quite often been the object of those attacks, as the monsters tried to pickoff the seemingly weakest member of the group. Born only a few days after Maria, and small for his age, Ivan had been raised as a servant to a southern merchant. He couldn’t handle a sword with much skill yet, but he was far from the weak link in their fighting force. Ivan had mastered some control of the weather and was quickly gaining in strength and ability. His ability to call down lightning strikes, even out of a clear sky, into the middle of the attacking monsters had turned the tide in many of their battles. Giving Isaiah and Gareth time to use their more destructive magic’s, while Maria concentrated on healing any injuries they got. Of course, when the opportunity arose, she was quite capable of striking at the monsters her self.
At least there was no need for Maria’s abilities this night. The Mayor of Bardin was paying for their stay at the Inn in gratitude for their lifting of a curse from a neighboring forest. The fact that it had been his own desire to please his beautiful but vain wife’s demand for a new mansion that had brought about the curse in the first place had not been lost on the Mayor. He was likely to face many loveless and sleepless nights due to his decision to forgo the completion of that mansion, but that was his problem. For the moment, Maria looked forward to a hot meal prepared by someone other than herself, and a soft clean bed to sleep in.
Thirty minutes later Maria decided that she had probably spent enough time lounging in the now tepid waters. Wrapping a towel around herself, she stepped out of the bath and knocked on Isaiah’s door. “I’m almost done in here Isaiah; just give me a moment to gather my things and dry off, and then you can take your turn.” Isaiah’s response was muffled by the intervening door.
Later, as she returned from the dining hall, Maria remembered the glance Isaiah had sneaked as he closed the door to his room. A small smile crossed her lips as she pictured the way his eyes had betrayed his obvious enjoyment of the view. At least now Maria could be sure he knew she was woman, at times he had seemed so focused on their quest, she had wondered if he was aware of her femininity at all.
While she prepared for bed Maria’s thoughts kept returning to Isaiah and that last glance. With her hunger sated and the constant threat of attack removed Maria began to wonder how it would feel to go to sleep with Isaiah’s arms wrapped around her. A delicious little shudder ran through Maria as she pictured herself kissing Isaiah and her body began to tingle as she imagined Isaiah’s hands moving over its soft curves while a strange warmth seemed to grow in her abdomen. Her hands began to emulate the movements of imaginary hands and she had to sit on the side of her bed in order to avoid falling. Slowly an overpowering hunger began to course through her veins and her right hand moved to the apex of her legs
Maria’s imagination and desires were running away with her, she began to move her finger up and down the folds of her sex, stroking her labia through the fabric of her gown. In her slightly fevered brain, it was Isaiah’s hands stroking her body and fondling her chest, which only heightened the intensity of her reactions. In moments she had pulled the hem of her shift up, so her fingers could play directly with her vessel. She began to slide the tip of her index finger between the soft-petals of her flower quickly penetrating the outer reaches of its throat. The feel of that finger entering her body brought Maria back to her senses and a flush of embarrassment spread over her face, pulling her gown back down. She quickly snuffed out the candles and slid beneath the sheets of her bed trying to put the last few minutes out of her mind.
In the next room, Isaiah was also trying to control his imagination, from the first time he had seen Maria as she tended to a sick old man in her village, He’d been in love with the casino firmaları beauty. Every night, his dreams have been filled with images of Maria, Most of which ended just as he leaned in to kiss her perfect lips. Many times he had caught himself staring at her walking beside him as he tried to picture what Maria’s body looked like under her robes, Every time he had silently chastised himself for his mental indiscretions, certain that Maria would be offended by the mere suspicion of his wayward fantasies.
In an effort to control his Imagination he had tried to stay focused on the task before him. Certainly having the fate of the world resting on his shoulders helped, but the urges of his maturing body kept intruding on his good intentions. He had managed to keep from sneaking after Maria when she went to bathe in nearby strings, but just barely. The fact that Ivan had indulged his own urge to see her naked had not helped matters. Isaiah had found himself having to chastise Ivan for something he wished he’d done himself. And now that fate had granted him a view of Maria’s perfect form, he could not get the picture out of his mind.
All through dinner he had found himself sneaking peeks at Maria and picturing the smooth curves of her body under the graceful sheath of her dress. He had found himself holding a fresh peach and wondering if the smooth skin of the fruit was comparable in softness to that of Maria’s. As young children Gareth, Jenna and he had shared a bath often enough for them to be aware of the basic differences between the sexes. The three of them had even snuck off together and gone skinny dipping in the rivers south of Vale as recently as two weeks before Jenna’s abduction. But Isaiah had always thought of Jenna as nothing more than a friend and her growing affection for Gareth had been unmistakable. He even suspected that the young couple might have snuck off a few times, for more private assignations. The mere thought of which brought visions of similar activities with Maria to mind.
Although he always woke up on his back, Isaiah usually found it easiest to fall asleep face down on his bedding, but this was currently out of the question. Try as he might Isaiah could not get the image of Maria’s nude form out of his mind. And now the memory of Maria’s expression as he snuck that last peek at her half submerged body came to mind.
With a start, Isaiah realized that Maria had seen him steal that look and she had been smiling back at him. He had been so caught up in the sight of her sitting there naked, that he had failed to notice her apparent pleasure at his regard. For the first time Isaiah entertained the idea that Maria might find him as attractive as he found her. As he thought about the expression on her face he realized that not only had she been pleased at his glance, but her smile had actually been slightly hopeful.
Isaiah threw his covers back and climbed out of his bed. With quick nervous strides he began pacing back and forth in front of the dwindling flames of the hearth. After a few moments it began to seem like a small soundless voice was calling to him from the door to the bathroom. Maria’s room is just on the other side of the bath. It seemed to say, all he had to do was slip into the bath, crack the door to her room and he could gaze on her sleeping form. It wouldn’t be the same as seeing her naked again but at least he could see her for a moment. He would not even have to step into her room, the door was probably right by the head of her bed. The same as it was in his room
Isaiah spent the next 10 minutes wrestling with his conscience. As appealing as the idea was to his aroused libido, he just could not shake the idea that this would be a violation of a totally different order from his accidental glimpse earlier. In the end, his conscience won and he sat down on the end of his bed to try and calm himself down. Maybe some of the mental exercises his weapons master had taught him would help curb his desire. He began running through the first of the many centering chants he had learned.
“Isaiah?” It was said so softly, that at first he ignored it as only his imagination.
“Isaiah,” he heard again. “Are you still awake?”
Still half believing his imagination was playing tricks with his hearing; Isaiah turned and looked toward the bathroom door. Standing In the half open doorway, wearing a white linen shift which came just to her knees, was an obviously nervous Maria. In the flickering glow of the firelight, her tentative smile was the most glorious thing Isaiah had ever seen. Her unbound hair fell over her shoulders and back in one continuous wave, almost obscuring the tiny points of her nipples where they pushed against the fabric of her gown. All in all, it was possibly the most captivating sight his eyes had ever beheld.
“Um, yeah,” he said. “I’m awake. I was just doing some thinking,” he added as he tried to unobtrusively pull some sheets over his straining cock. “Is something the matter?” He asked rather lamely.
Part of güvenilir casino Maria could not believe what she was doing, but another braver part urged her onward. “Can I come in?” She asked. “I can’t seem to get to sleep.” Not waiting for his reply, she stepped fully into the room. The worn linen fabric of her shift was very comfortable to sleep in, but over the years had become threadbare and slightly transparent. Even in the dim light the graceful curves of her breasts were clearly visible through its translucent material. Subconsciously, Maria knew this, and her eyes registered Isaiah’s appreciative reaction. Not quite realizing what she was doing, Maria moved so that she was standing between Isaiah and the fireplace. With the dying fire behind her, she might as well have been naked; the firelight outlined her form perfectly as it streamed through the thin material.
The sight of Maria’s body, so beautifully limned by the fire’s glow, assaulted Isaiah’s already beleaguered senses and he stared openly at her shapely silhouette. Only partially aware of the effect she was having on him, Maria turned and asked, “Isaiah, you never told me. Do you have a girlfriend back in Vale?”
Too numb to think about the thrust of this question and incapable of dissembling in the face of Maria’s overpowering presence, he responded simply, ‘No.”
“So, there isn’t anyone waiting for you back in Vale?”
“No,” he said. “I once thought Jenna and I might get married someday, but she and Gareth started to get serious about a year ago.”
“That’s good,” Maria murmured. “I was just sort of curious. You understand, don’t you?”
Isaiah was too far gone at this point to understand anything. Only his embarrassment at having a raging hard on, was keeping him from sweeping Maria into his arms. What he did not realize was that Maria had already gotten a good look at the Tent of his erection through the cracked bathroom door earlier. It had been the obvious size of that erection that had pushed her over the edge of desire, and to call out to him. She was not quite sure how to arrange it, but Maria was determined to have Isaiah.
Recovering ever so slightly from his embarrassment and confusion, Isaiah’s said, “is there someone you like back in Andel?” ‘God, please say no!’ he thought.
Instead of answering immediately, Maria moved over and sat on the bed next to Isaiah. She sat so close that the sweet perfume of her excitement impacted his senses like a flagon of strong wine. Placing her hand on his leg, Maria turned to look back toward the fire. “No, none of the boys my age could keep up with me in school, or beat me at the games we played in Andel, so they tended to avoid me.” Maria put just the right amount of self rebuke into that statement, that Isaiah could not help putting his arm around her shoulder. “I don’t think it helped them not that pretty either,” she added.
Completely unaware of how skillfully and deliberately, he was being manipulated; Isaiah took Maria’s face by the chin and gently pulled it around to meet his gaze. “I don’t know what was wrong with the boys back there,” he said, “but you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.” with that, he leaned down and kissed Maria softly on the lips. As soon as their lips met, Maria’s arms wrapped themselves tightly around his neck and drew him down onto the bed in a long, passionate embrace.
Responding to the ardor of her embrace, Isaiah wrapped his arms around Maria’s torso. The feel of her body through the thin fabric of her shift, sent a fire coursing through him and his arms tightened around her. In all of his dreams about Maria, he had never once come close to imagining the sheer joy holding her produced in his soul.
When they finally broke their embrace, the couple was surprised to discover that they had fallen back onto the bed. As she gazed into Isaiah’s eyes, and saw the love and respect they held, Maria was astonished to discover that her goals for the evening had changed. Her earlier, almost predatory, desire to seduce Isaiah was no longer the driving force of her actions. Instead she wanted only to revel in his presence and indulge what ever desires he might have. She also recognized the fact that Isaiah would make no move to satisfy his own desires, unless she made her willingness to sleep with him absolutely clear.
Unable to put her thoughts into words, Maria reached down with her right hand and grabbed Isaiah’s arm where it in circled her waist. Gently but firmly she pulled his arm from around her torso, so she could take his hand in her own. Then as she gazed into his questioning eyes, she guided his hand up and placed it on her right breast.
Barely able to believe what Maria was so obviously offering, Isaiah felt the warmth of her flesh through the thin fabric of her shift. Tentatively he squeezed around the globe in his hand, and was surprised and delighted by Maria’s soft gasp of pleasure. As he leaned forward to kiss her again, his fingers encountered the small nub of flesh where her nipples had hardened at his touch. Carefully, but with growing confidence, he began to fondle Maria’s breast through her nightgown. Their tongues began to explore each other’s mouths, as he took her nipple between his palm and finger, gently pinching her.
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