The Mer- Lion

The Mer- Lion by Lee Arthur

Book: The Mer- Lion by Lee Arthur Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lee Arthur
Tags: Historical Novel
what he was about, would rush quickly to his aid and push his hand aside. Then, she would take her time, perhaps playing with the thick curly hair on his chest And once the jerkin was off, Seamus could well imagine she would wickedly ignore the turbulence in his codpiece, but, instead, roll his hose down slowly, caressingly, her cool hands brushing against his inner thighs. ever-increasing spasms, it gushed forth in a crescendo of excruciating pleasure.
    His chest heaving with the intensity of his efforts, Seamus couldn't move. He simply lay there, drained of all feeling from the waist down. Nelly raised herself up on one arm and looked down upon him fondly, as if he were but a child and she his mother. Their lips met in a kiss devoid of passion. It was she who broke it. Smiling down upon him, she whispered, "Get yourself dressed my love, and fetch Nanny Goodall. My time is upon me."
    .Nelly did not pop out her babe. The labor was long and hard. In the stable, Seamus kept himself busy cleaning tackle that needed no cleaning, and grooming horses that had not a single hair out of place, and trying desperately not to listen to the groans coming from above. Finally Nanny Goodall came down the stairs. "The child will no' be born without help. Go, you, Seamus, to the father and beg him the use of the bell rope for the night."
    Seamus blanched. "What are you planning to do, pull the babe out like a foal from a mare?"
    The woman laughed and gathered up her skirts to make the steep climb up again. "Nay, nothing like that. But fastening a bell rope to the girdle has been known to shorten childbirth. So, if you would quiet those groans and save your Nelly the pain of birthing what you planted in her belly, be on your way ... now!"
    When the priest was not to be found in the chapel nor sacristy nor kitchen, Seamus climbed the three flights of stairs leading up to the garret. In a room just outside the unmarried women's dormitory were the priest's quarters, so that his presence might act as a deterrent against unexpected male visitors and licentious behavior. He found Father Cariolinus squatting upon the simple pallet that served as his bed, awkwardly and laboriously mending his hose. Quickly Seamus explained his errand.
    The priest sighed. "Not again. Sometime I think that rope spends more time on pregnant women than it does on the bell. Nanny Goodall does rely on it so."
    "But does it work?" Seamus inquired anxiously.
    The priest looked up from fastening his shoes. "Nanny Goodall seems to think so; I like to believe that my prayers are more beneficial."
    "Could you say a prayer for my Nelly?" Seamus begged, following the priest down the steep stairs.
    "Aye, I planned to. She's a good lass, that one. She it is who minds my wash and does my mending."
    When the two reached the chapel, Seamus volunteered to climb up and unfasten the rope from its clapper. As he began, the priest remarked, "We have some unfinished business from your last visit here, friend Seamus."
    Pretending he didn't hear, Seamus kept on climbing.
    "The earl is going to live, Seamus."
    The tricky part was untying the rope with one hand while keeping the bell from sounding.
    "Looks like you could use another hand," the priest called up, then realized what he had said. Seamus glared down at him and would have said something about gallows humor but just then the knot came loose.
    "Stand aside, father, I'm going to let it drop."
    The priest began coiling the rope, but his mind was elsewhere. "Seamus, is it possible that God is punishing you through Nelly for breaking your promise to him?"
    Seamus groaned, a deep masculine version of the sounds he'd heard earlier that night. The thought had occurred to him too, but now to have it said by the priest— It was too much. "What would you have me do, father?"
    "The arm can't stay there forever." His face was calm, his voice that of reason, but the wringing of his hands belied his manner. "Fortunately, St. Giles's feast day is past.

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