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Sneak Peek into Valencia


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It was 3 months till the man came back. Magdalene was laying on her bed, resting, when it happened. Not many people came for her anymore, now that she was in the last stages of her pregnancy.

 

The door had opened, and she started a little when she saw him. He shut the door quietly. "Hi, Magdalene," he said.

 

She sat up on the bed and started to unbutton her shirt. He stopped her with a gesture.

 

"I'm here to check on you," he said. "I told you I'd be back, remember?" He sat down on the bed next to her.

 

"Hi," she said shyly, looking up at him, not knowing what to say.

 

There was a long, uncomfortable pause. "How have you been doing?" he finally asked.

 

"I'm ok," she said, quite gravely, "and you?"

 

"I'm fine," he said, and then there was another awkward pause.

 

"Have you been beaten again?" he ventured.

 

"Just one time," she said, relaxing a little.

 

"One time too many," he muttered. "What happened now?"

 

She grimaced, memories coming back. "I was sick from my pregnancy," she explained, "and a client came and I didn't...." she flushed, "I didn't give him a good enough time. Or at least he didn't think so. And he complained to the master and said I wasn't worth what he paid for me." And then her voice broke.

 

"I tried my very best!" she wailed. "I kissed him and tried to be attractive, but I was so sick," she moaned. "And then the master beat me." A shudder went through her body.

 

He squeezed her hand, and then pulled her down against his shoulder. "Was it really bad?" he asked gently.

 

She nodded. "I'm not allowed to scream," she whispered, "and that's hard."

 

"You're not allowed to scream?" he asked, disturbed.

 

"He doesn't want anyone to hear," she said. "I just bite my lip."

 

He looked down at her in pity. "I'm sorry," he said.

 

"It's ok," she said. "It was a whole month ago, and I don't have many clients anymore and I get more rest." And then she jumped a little.

 

"What's wrong?" he asked quickly.

 

"It's baby," she said, giggling. "It's doing gymnastics."

 

He looked confused. "You can feel the baby move?"

 

She laughed. "Oh, yes. It keeps me up at night....sometimes it feels like it's doing somersaults in there." She giggled again. "It's kicking," she said.

 

His blue eyes showed a shy interest.

 

"Can I feel?" he asked slowly.

 

Magdalene grabbed his hand and pressed it against her abdomen. "Hold still," she said. They waited for a few seconds and then they both laughed as a tiny jolt went through her body.

 

"That's cute," he said, his eyes warm. "When is the baby going to be born?"

 

"Another month," she said. "Maybe two. But it's really soon."

 

"Are you excited about it?" he asked.

 

She shrugged and her face grew sober again. "A lot of women die giving birth," she said. "And

especially when you're young and it's your first. And birth is painful. And the baby's father is not here."

 

"Who's the father?" he whispered.

 

She paused. "I don't know," she said. "It's either the man who raped me--the one that came and slept with me last time you were here--or it's the man who wrecked my life in the first place."

 

he nodded. "Go on."

 

"He was my friend," she said softly, "and he seduced me and someone caught us together. And then I got thrown out onto the street. But I hope it was him. I don't want the other guy to be the baby's dad. The steward is old and bald and creepy." She made a face. "But Gil was handsome and young and charming." She looked out into space. "I wonder if he'd care if he knew about the baby...if he knew it might be his."

 

"I'm sorry," he said. "I'm sure he'd care now, if he could see you like this."

 

She nodded. "I'm not excited about having a baby," she finished, "but then I'll have something to love."

 

"Aww," the man soothed. "I hope you'll have a safe delivery, and I'm sure your baby will bring you lots of joy. I assume you'll get some time to rest afterwards?"

 

"I don't know," she said. "I hope." There was a long silence, but it was a comfortable one. She leaned against him and he rubbed her back.

 

The silence got really long, and he slowly stood up and then pulled her up off the bed. He hugged her more, but it occurred to M that he would probably leave soon. She looked up at him, not wanting him to leave, and then she remembered what had happened last time.

 

"Kiss me," she teased, coquettishly pursing her lips and looking up into his face.

 

"With pleasure," he laughed, and bent over her. A tingling feeling swept through Magdalene's body as

their lips met, and she impulsively kissed him again. And then again.

 

And then they were kissing passionately, over and over.  She wrapped her arms around him and kept on kissing him, aware that he was gently unlacing the front of her shirt.

 

Something tingled, warm and sudden, inside of her chest as he fondled her, and she realized she hadn't felt like this about a man since that night that Gildore had done this to her. He kissed her rapidly on the lips, bringing her face so close to his she could feel his warm breath.

 

Her face was burning with excitement and she was breathing heavily. She couldn't get enough of him. She pulled his shirt up to his chest, and then he let go of her and slipped it off, and they resumed kissing. Her hands ran up and down his back, and his passion increased. She started fondling him, but she was doing it for her own pleasure, just as much as his.

 

When they were finally too out of breath to make out any more, they stood there again, with her face pressed against his chest. She took deep breaths, and the man, who was just as out of breath, wrapped his arms around her, and they stood quietly and cuddled each other for a few minutes, tired, but delighted.

 

He smiled at her, and kissed her lightly on the head, in the same complacent, brotherly way he had treated her only a few minutes before....a few minutes before their explosion of passion. He slowly pulled himself away, and his face looked calm, but his blue eyes were still burning.

 

"I've got to go," he said, "I've been here too long," but his voice lingered. He started to move away from her and Magdalene reluctantly let him go.

 

"Magdalene?" he said suddenly. "I've never told you my name before. I'm Bracken."

 

"Bracken," she whispered and smiled into his eyes.

 

"I'll come back after the baby's born," he said. "I really hope everything will be ok, and you'll be safe."

 

He leaned over and hugged her. "Goodbye, Magdalene," he said.

 

"Goodbye, Bracken," she said, still breathless and glowing. He smiled warmly at her, and then he was gone.


 
 
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