:: Solday Evening, the 97th of Jhyel's Slumber ::
The warm soapy water felt wonderful as he felt Lizbeth's skillful fingers kneed and stretch his tired muscles.
"Mmmm,” said Theo, thinking he might pass out from the mix of pleasure and pain which radiated from his fatigued back. "Lizbeth, never let me forget why we're lovers,” was Theo's response to her tender affections as the pleasant feelings invaded his mind, creating a drowsy warmth.
"You needn't tell me that Theo, as she playfully nipped at his neck"
Theo turned in the bathtub and slowly put his hand to Lizbeth's face. The white suds contrasted with her brown eyes and Theo could feel himself slipping into those dark pools of warm chocolate. He kissed her tenderly at first, holding her face lightly, caressing the short, soft fur of her face and then the kisses become more passionate, full of longing and desire.
Lizbeth, stepping into the warm, swirling waters of the pounded copper tub, let the soapy liquid engulf her slowly. Theo felt Lizbeth's familiar and comfortable weight settle upon him, and as always they fit together as if two parts of whole were coming together after a long separation.
After it seemed that night was blurring to day and day to night, their love making reached a crescendo. Water surged over the edges of the tub and splashed loudly on the cool, tile floor.
"I love you Theo..."
Theo had heard those words many times and Theo had heard those word in many places, but never had he heard these words spoken with such emotion and sincerity and never had these words stuck a chord in him like this time.
A moan escaped from Lizbeth's parted lips and Theo gritted his teeth and groaned as he felt the muscles in his body tense ... and then release. Lizbeth fell exhaustedly into Theo's waiting embrace and the now cooling waters of the tub. Feeling light headed and dizzy, Theo could see blazes of white stars in front of his eyes.
"You don't have to say anything Theo, I know you very well, perhaps better than you know yourself,” said Lizbeth, replying to Theo's very thoughtful and somewhat guarded looks.
Theo's mind was boiling, real love was nothing to tangle with. Infatuation, girlhood crushes and false emotions, these Theo could easily deal with, but this was something different, something more.
"What do you know of the charges of treason against me?” said Theo, indelicately changing the subject, to try and buy some time.
With a sigh that said she'd hoped for a different response, Lizbeth began to tell Theo what she knew about the charges that had been laid against him.
"I don't really know that much, just the bits and pieces thrown my way by father. Apparently, when he was on watch last night, when Master of Arms Rosty came in with the orders for your arrest, as well as a description of you,” began Lizbeth.
As she reached for a towel and stepped out of the tub's water, Lizbeth continued, "Rosty then asked if anyone knew who you were. That was when my father spoke up. As you well know, you and my father have no love lost, but he considers himself a good judge of character. He said that you didn't strike him as the treasonous sort, even though you were impetuous and flaunted the cities laws." Pulling on her blue shift, Lizbeth finished, "Rosty said that word came from up above, and wasn't to be questioned. Father came home this morning and began ranting and raving, as I told you, wanting to know how he could have misjudged you like that and how could you associate with that type of person."
Theo harumphed. Even with all these charges laid against him his thoughts continued back to those words of such a short time ago ... "I love you". Why couldn't he push that declaration from his mind. He looked at Lizbeth, how she turned the extremely mundane action of unfolding a towel and laying it on the battered wooden chair next to the tub, into a graceful action that a young deer might take. Theo truly lost track of time when he was with Lizbeth.
With an enormous effort of will, Theo forced his mind to other matters at hand. "Perhaps we should head for the cellar, Lizbeth. It won't be too long before your father comes home?"
"He will be home soon, I'll get some things together,” said Lizbeth.
Theo reached for her playfully, but she was too quick and avoided his grasp.
"I'll go get some blankets and some food from the pantry. Let Cory wash up, the water for his bath is hanging over the fire know,” she said, in a very lightly irritated voice.
* * *
Theo sighed and spread the thick maroon, wool blanket out on the pallet which raised him up off the damp floor. Settling down he pulled two of the heavy, pilling blankets on top of him.
"Well Theo, we seem to have landed in quite a mess. How do you feel about putting us in the veritable frying pan?” jibed Cory.
"Me? Me!?” said Theo, and then just shook his head in mock astonishment that anyone could even begin to believe such falsehoods.
Theo looked over at the bulky tallow candle which was providing the flickering light in the otherwise gloomy cellar. The viscous wax poured slowly down the sides of the candle, hardening before reaching the tin holder, but making imaginary creatures which clung to the side of the cylinder with the tenacity that only a fanciful creation could muster.
Theo got back to writing in his journal about he events that had taken place within the last eigh. He desperately hoped to get this to the king, for it wasn't just his life in jeopardy, but a scurry life to which Theo felt quite attached.