If We Were Family
"But this one is my favourite," Snake flexed and 'Rosalyn' danced. "Woke up the day after a wild fortnight bender and there she was, my beautiful sultry dancing woman. This and a note from the real Rosalyn saying how much she was looking forward to seeing me at our special place, but that did not happen."
"She did not show at the special place?" Terra asked almost feeling compassion for this bawdy man sitting at her kitchen table. Paul smiled as he watched her getting drawn into his old pal's tales. He had seen all the ink (been there for most of them) and heard all the stories (in all their incarnations), but watching her expressions made it all freshly compelling.
"I never found out." Snake sighed morosely. "I did not show."
Terra's eyes grew wide as her brows knit in surprised. "Why not?"
"Because, I cannot, for the life of me, remember who Rosalyn is, much less where our special place was. I can't remember a single thing about those two weeks." Snake laughed. "It is a real shame. She must have done some amazing things to have me put her on my flesh forever."
Terra rolled her eyes and went back to massaging her boyfriend's shoulders. "No wonder you got into so much trouble, before you met me, hanging out with this one."
"I know," Paul said, playing innocent. "He was a terrible influence."
"Oh, don't you believe that for a second!" Snake exclaimed. "He was every bit an equal partner in my debauchery. I would not have half of these tattoos if he had not talked me into them. Balls! I was not even conscious for some of them! Let me show you this one." Snake stood and started undoing his pants.
"Hey!" Paul said. "Keep that thing in your pants!"
"What's wrong, IronWolfe? Don't want your lovely girlfriend here to see what you had done to my tallywhacker?"
"I do not want her having nightmares from having seen your tallywhacker!"
Indignantly, but with a smile on his face, Snake sat back down. "Why don't you tell her, what you had tattooed on your oldest, dearest friend, while he was out cold and helpless."
"You are never helpless," Paul laughed.
"What?" Terra asked. "What is it?"
"It says," Paul was now laughing so hard he had to catch his breath before going on. " 'Isn't it cute?' and has a pretty, pink butterfly on the tip."
Snake tried to look disgruntled. "Can you imagine waking up with a killer hang over, stumbling to the nearest tree to make water and seeing that? Or worse the first time I had to pull it out in front of a woman! Talk about a blow to the ego!" Paul continued laughing until tears came to his eyes. Finally, Snake cracked a smile. "I keep saying I am going find a wizard to remove it, but then I remember you telling me how painful it was to get yours taken off. It can stay cute for a while longer."
Terra's eyes grew wide, again. "I never knew you had a tattoo. What was it? I am dying to hear this story!"
"I would rather not say." Paul blushed.
"Oh my! If it can make you blush then I have to know!" Terra grinned.
"Go on, Paul, tell her about your impetuous youth!" Snake chuckled. "Or if you prefer I can tell her."
"Oh, No! Who knows what tall tale will come out of your mouth!" Paul quickly said, pulling Terra onto his lap. "Fine, if you must know."
Terra kissed his forehead and cuddled up to him, wiggling her bottom, to get comfy. "Yes, I must know."
"I was onlythirteen when I got the tattoo. Richard, Taarna and Castellan let me tag along to a tavern after a tournament. My older siblings might seem like good upstanding citizens now, but they were very bad influences on an impressionable young man."
Snake let out a loud, "Ha!"
"Do you want me to tell this story or not?" Paul asked. Snake put his hand over his mouth and gestured with his other hand for Paul to continue.
"Anyway, my older siblings decided they would have some fun with little brother and got me very drunk. As it goes with ale, after I while I had to return some of it to nature and wandered off to relieve myself. Somehow on the way back I got a wee bit turned around, ending up nowhere near the tavern. In my drunken state it seemed like hours I wondered around looking for the bloody place, but it was probably only minutes. Richard told me later that he watched me pass by three times, before I spied a group of people I recognized. I snuck over as stealthily as I could, which, as you can imagine, was not at all. Among this group of people was a gorgeous eighteen year old that I had a crush on for a very long time, so I was trying to listen in without them realizing I was doing so. She was telling her friends how thrilling she found men with tattoos.'
"Well, that sealed it. I marched right out and had her name tattooed on me against a background of a beautiful sun up. I was on my way to show her the proof of my devotion, still a bit tipsy, when Richard found me. He had gotten worried when he saw me wonder off into the crowd and not return right away, so he had come out in search of me. One look at the tattoo and he threatened to beat me within an inch of my life. I did not understand why he was so furious, but I had taken a beating from my oldest brother during training, so when he told me to cover it up and not let anyone see it, I did just as I was told.'
"When we got back home, Richard told Mother and Father that he was taking me on a hunting trip, but actually he took me straight to Uncle Dern, to have the tattoo removed. I suppose I should count myself lucky that it was Dern and not Uncle Derhan that Richard chose to ask for help. Dern at least was still young enough to remember doing stupid things to impress women, but I firmly believe Dern made the removal spell more painful than it needed to be, so I would be sure to learn my lesson. I was so pissed off at the two of them at the time, but later I was extremely grateful that my big brother has stepped in."
"What ever happened to the gorgeous eighteen year old?" Terra asked. "Did you ever find another way to impress her?"
Paul shook his head. "A few months after that incident she married Castellan."
Snake and Terra both laughed. Paul pouted at his girlfriend, who kissed his pout away. "I cannot believe you had Dawn's name tattooed on you."
"I guess it is a family trait with my brother's and I to fall for the same women. First Castellan and I both falling for Dawn, and later Ringo and Fairborne both falling for Felinea. I was just a lovesick teenager. Luckily Richard saved me from making an utter fool of myself."
"So," Terra said running her fingers through his hair, "when are you going to get my name tattooed on you?"
"As soon as you get my name on you," Paul grinned.
"Oh," Terra said as she stood up. "Dinner anyone?"
Paul laughed. "That is what I thought."
Terra smiled at him with a wink.
"Nothing too filling for me tonight. I do not want to go to bed with an overfull belly. I have to get to sleep early tonight. We have an early shipment arriving tomorrow and I want to set sail before the morning grows too late." Paul explained. "You want to join me on this run, Snake? Should be rather routine, but I will try to keep you from getting bored. Eight ports in just over a month of travel."
"Nah, I have places to be, but I will take you up on the offer another time." Snake said. "I can't believe you leave this beautiful specimen of womanhood alone while you are gone. What is to keep another man from dashing in and having off with her?"
"I will keep that from happening." Terra stated as she started making preparations to make dinner. "This beautiful specimen of womanhood comes from a tribe of warriors where the women are often far more vicious than the men." She wagged a paring knife at him. "You keep that in mind young man."
Snake grinned. "Yes ma'am."
"Besides I will be heading to visit my family while he is gone. Paul will be joining me there after he is done with this trip. Isn't that right, Paul?"
Paul groaned and shrunk down in his chair. "Yes, Dear."
Snake laughed. "What has you so intimidated?"
"It will be the first time he will be meeting my father," Terra said nonchalantly.
"Her father who hates me." Paul corrected.
"He does not hate you. He just does not know you yet, that is all." Terra stated.
The two men exchanged knowing glances. Snake shook his head. "You two have been living together for how long? And this will be the first time he has met your father. I have to agree with Paul's assessment. Your father hates him."
"I am sure he will love you and be glad to see you, once I tell him you are coming." Terra said, coming over to kiss Paul on the cheek.
"Wait! You have told him that I am coming yet?" Paul said in horror.
Terra chuckled and gave him another kiss. "It will all be fine. How could anyone not love you?"
Snake let out another barking, "Ha!"
Terra fell exhausted off of her boyfriend, sliding up next to him, pressing her body close. Paul gathered her up in his arms, kissing the top of her head as she rested her head on his chest. Hot, sweaty and trying to catch their breath they contently curled up with each other, still caressing and basking in the residual energy of their lovemaking.
"I love you." Paul said, meaning it with all of his heart and soul. She was the first woman in his young life that he thought he would love even if he were never able to have sex with her. Lucky for him they were not only able to have sex, but he had found his match in bed and then some with Terra.
She shifted, as if she were trying to get even closer to him, a soft sultry moan parted her lips, becoming a groggy, "I love you, too."
A comfortable silence settled between them, as Paul's mind went over everything he needed to get done in the morning, as well as all the events of a day spent with a good friend and the woman he loved. The more he thought the more his mind worried. At last he whispered into the darkness, "Terra?"
"Are you awake?" He asked.
"No, Love. I always answer you in my sleep. It is when we have our best conversations." She giggled and kissed his chest.
He chuckled and tickled her side. She yelped, swatting at him. "Stop that!"
He smiled and held her tight again. "I really am worried that your father will not like me."
"Stop worrying, dear." She said confidently. "It might take him a while, but he will like you."
"I know he does not approve of people like my family. If I had been born in a mud shack he might give me a chance, but I wasn't. I was born in a castle and for some reason that makes me less of man in his eyes. I am really worried he will never like me." Paul said.
"Why does it matter?" Terra said comfortingly. "I love you, so no matter what he thinks now, he will have to eventually come around. I do not plan on ever leaving you, so he will have you in his life for a very long time."
"But what if he does not come around?" Paul argued. "I know how important your family is to you. You have said yourself that he is not happy that we are not married. What if he never likes me and is so upset that we are living together without being married that he makes you choose? I do not want to see you in that position. You should never have to choose between your family and me."
Terra moved up to kiss him tenderly on the lips. "Shh. It will be all right. I love our life. I am happier then I could ever have imagined being. You make me that happy and I would not change a thing about our life. Nothing and no one will ever come between us."
"But…" Paul began, but she shushed him and kissed him again.
"Sleep, Love. You have a long, tiring day ahead of you."
Paul sighed, knowing the matter was settled in her mind, so there was no point in trying to continue the conversation. He let it all slip out of his mind for the night and drifted off into a comfortable sleep, wondering what he had ever done to deserve such a wonderful woman.
Original work and all revisions © SAM Blaize and Self-Spirit Jo Dheilly Abbott