Alan responded calmly but his face was stiff as he said it. Liar, thought Siana, I should have stopped when he called my name. Siana felt worried and stupid. She had thought she could help him. She thought maybe she had offended him by not doing it right.
Siana wanted to apologize but didn’t know how to get around to it. Siana bit her lower lip anxiously and clenched the blanket. Alan looked down and tried to calm down. He knew he was stressing Siana. He lifted his head and looked at her.
“I am really not angry, Sia,” said Alan.
“Okay…,” said Siana, half-heartedly.
Alan could see that he was convincing no one. She was right. He was angry. But not at her. He was angry at himself. He walked to the bed and sat on the edge. He took her fidgeting hands in his own. “Sia…,” he said.
“You are angry at me, aren’t you?” she said in a soft voice.
“No,” he said, “Why would I ever be angry at you? Believe me…” He despised himself for the words he couldn’t say. He clenched his fists. Even when he had said he didn’t want to subject her to something like that, he hadn’t resisted it. He hadn’t been able to resist his desire. And he had gotten aroused and let Siana do it even when it was her very first time. She had gotten sick; she had vomited, and he thought it was all his fault.
Alan knew she would be overwhelmed with the smell. And yet, he hadn’t stopped her. He felt guilty about it. He thought he should have stopped her, but he had given in to his own desires. She had made him feel such pleasure that he had wanted her to do it. He would like it if she did it again, and for that he felt like a monster. He was disgusted with himself for liking it, for wanting more. He wanted Siana to be comfortable, to be happy. All his promises sounded hollow to himself.
“I, uh…,” began Alan. He couldn’t utter the words he was thinking. He scowled. An agonized expression came over his face. He didn’t know how to say it. The only person he was angry at, the only person he despised, was himself.
“I am so sorry, Alan,” said Siana when his silence became overpowering, “I thought I was helping. I thought it would make you feel good. I am so sorry. I won’t do it again if you don’t want me to.”
“It is not that, Sia,” he said.
“It’s okay Alan,” said Siana, “You don’t have to lie to make me feel better. I know I overstepped. I know you didn’t like it. I should have stopped. I am sorry.”
“No, no,” said Alan, “How should I say this?” He sighed, wearily. His messy hair added to him looking even more frustrated than he felt. He ran his fingers through his hair a few times, trying to tame his disheveled hair and trying to compose himself.
“Listen to me, Sia,” he said, finally, “It’s not that I didn’t like what you did. I… liked it. And you are right. I am angry. But not at you. I could never be angry at you. I am angry at myself.”
“What?” asked Siana, confused, “Why are you angry at yourself?”
“Because…,” stammered Alan, “I let you do it all alone. I know it was your first time doing something like this. And yet, I just let you. I knew that it would make you gag. I knew it would make you sick.”
“I am sorry,” said Siana, “I didn’t mean to vomit. I knew it was my fault.”
“No!” said Alan, “Sia, it is absolutely not your fault. I know the smell was overpowering and disgusting. Don’t blame yourself for it.”
“Then what’s the matter?” asked Siana.
“You really want to hear it?” asked Alan, looking helplessly at her.
“Yes,” said Siana, determined.
She knew it was hard for him to talk about, but she wanted to have this conversation. In married life, difficult conversation shouldn’t be avoided. Besides, she wanted to know for sure if she had done something wrong. If so, she wanted to apologize.
“You have always answered my questions honestly,” she said, “I want to listen to whatever you have to say.”
Alan stared at Siana for a long time with pain in his eyes. He was trapped in a predicament. He took a deep breath finally and said, “I have always wanted to offer you only good things.”
“Yes,” said Alan, “Even before I proposed to you. Even when I was in the battlefield, I had already made up my mind that I would offer all that is good in this world to you.” He clenched his jaw and took another breath. “But I couldn’t control my sexual urge. I am angry at myself for that.”
Siana stared at him. She noticed that the thing she had mistaken for anger in his face had been shame. “What if I am okay with that?” she asked. “What if I am happy with what I did for you? Can’t you be happy with it if that is the case?”
Alan looked even more agonized. His piercing blue-eyed gaze seem to be questioning her. She looked at him unwaveringly until he could stay silent no more. His lower lip quivered.
“I didn’t mean it like that,” said Alan.
“I enjoyed what I did for you,” said Siana, “And I felt good too. I don’t understand, did you not like it? Is that the problem?”
“Sia,” said Alan, “stop saying that. It’s not because of that. It is not only good things that I want to offer to you. You mean the world to me and I want to treat you preciously.”
“But what we did wasn’t anything wrong…,” said Siana.
“Sia, please,” he said in distress.
Siana fell silent at the sound of his voice. He seemed disturbed somehow.
“I fought through it this time,” he said, “I don’t know if I will be able to control myself next time. I might not be able to think. I might shove it deeper into your mouth or grab your head. I don’t want to treat you like that.”
For a moment, Siana was speechless and blank. She didn’t know what the problem was. She then recalled the scene from the book where the young lady had indulged in something like this. The knight had been unable to control himself, grabbed her head and pushed it against his member, shoving it deeper down her throat. The young lady had cried in the book, and the knight had got down on his knees and begged for forgiveness.
Siana recalled Alan’s hands hovering near her head when she was giving him pleasure. He had clenched his hand on the sheets trying to control himself. She figured out what he was worried about at that moment. He didn’t want to do what the knight did in the novel. He didn’t want to be violent.
My throat cannot withstand it, she thought suddenly. Even half the length of his member had filled her mouth entirely. If he hadn’t controlled himself, it would have been disastrous for her.
Alan looked at her. “There is no need to be scared, Sia,” he said, “It won’t happen again.”
“Alan, I…,” she mumbled.
“It’s alright, Sia,” he said, gently, “I know what you were thinking. I know what your intentions were. And I am grateful for it.” Siana didn’t know what to say to that so she stayed silent.
“Just don’t stimulate me too much,” he said, “I might not be able to control myself next time.”
Siana nodded at the warning and the danger lurking behind those blue eyes. His face softened and he embraced her. He pulled her down on the bed. In his arms, Siana thought she should have listened to Alan when he told her to stop.
Siana tapped the dreamcatcher hanging on the headboard. Just a while ago, the priest had arrived to give Alan another injection. Alan had gone outside to see the priest off.
“This is great!” the priest has said, “There is not a single ounce of the curse left.” The priest had looked at Siana with respect. “What kind of magic did you summon to perform this miracle, madam?”
She knew the priest was just teasing her. She was no wizard and he knew that. Siana had smiled awkwardly and confessed that she had used the method the priest had mentioned on his visit before.
The priest expressed amazement at such a fast and effective cure and nodded like he was convinced of it. He had also asked her about the dreamcatcher. When Siana had explained to him, he had advised her not to use it.
“Why not?” she has asked.
“Usually such dreamcatchers only have a slight soothing effect,” the priest had explained, “But if it is as effective as you say, then it is possible that the magic in that forces you to suppress your dreams. Lord Legarde seems to be better. Your treatment is working wonders but if you use that here…”
Siana had not responded. “I am not very sure but,” the priest had continued, “The aftereffects of that kind of magic are not very good.”
The priest seemed to know what he was talking about. Besides, Siana knew nothing about magic. So, she decided to listen to the priest and do away with the dreamcatcher. However, she still felt like it was such a waste to just throw away this pretty thing.
Siana sighed. She took off the dreamcatcher from the headboard and instructed the maid to throw it away. She then thought of the other things she had bought along with the dreamcatcher. The books and the tea.
Despite her failed experiment with Alan, the books were quite interesting to read. She had finished reading them once. But the problem was that she didn’t know where to store them. Somebody might look through them if I put them in the study, she thought. But I can’t keep them hidden in my closet forever!
She didn’t know what to do with the thyme tea either. After talking with Alan, she felt she had no need for the tea. Alan wanted children, and so did she. She had no need to drink it but she didn’t want to throw it away. After all, it was a gift from Yulia.
Siana pondered on her dilemma and resolved to hide the books first before anyone arrived into the room. I will put them back in the closet for now, she decided. I can buy some paper later and wrap them. As for the tea, I will just put it away for now.
Just as Siana closed the drawer, the door to the room was flung open. “Sia,” called Alan.
Siana gasped, startled. “Alan…,” she said, trying to compose herself, “You are here! Where is the priest?”
“Oh, he left,” said Alan. “What are you doing? You look flustered.”
“Oh, I was just tidying up this drawer,” she said, hurriedly, “You just startled me.”
Siana prayed that she didn’t sound suspicious. I can’t let him find out about the novels, she thought. It will be too embarrassing!