Happy Wednesday! Tomorrow we will be able to view a “strawberry moon”. A strawberry moon is the last full moon of June and the first full moon of summer. The term strawberry moon comes from multiple Indigenous tribes of North America who associated the moon with the ripening of the strawberries.
Here is a heads up that next Wednesday I will be taking a break from the story to give a shout out to some wonderful blogs in the WordPress world that are just too good to miss.
PIcking up where I left off last week, the story continues. Content warning: sexual content
Her dreams were filled with dancing. She was in a beautiful gown dancing at a masque ball. There were people all around, yet their faces were indistinct. Near a table loaded with beautiful fruits and cheeses stood Esme in a ball gown. She held up a mask covering her eyes with one hand as she chatted with an unrecognizable man. Jocelyne looked around. Across the ball room were several men who seemed as if they were going to approach her and request a dance. A hand on the small of her back made her turn around and she looked up into the face of Baraqiel. Despite the mask he wore she knew the contours of his face so well that she had no doubt that it was him. No longer in a blue robe, he was dressed for the masque, blending in with everyone. He led her to the edge of the floor, and they began to dance. His movements were fluid, balletic. Even more amazing was that as he guided her amongst the other dancers, she felt herself dancing better than she ever had in her life. She was acutely aware of every place that their bodies touched, and she felt the rising heat of desire again. What was it about this man that he had this effect on her? As the throng of dancers about them grew they found themselves pressed tighter together. She felt the warmth of his body along hers and she pressed herself, unnecessarily, harder against him. His body’s reaction was immediate, and she had a self-congratulating moment in her mind. They danced until the end of the song at which point, he led her by her hand outside to a beautiful veranda. Standing behind her he pointed out the stars above, telling her about each constellation. Jocelyne was only half listening; most of her mind was paying attention to the feel of his warm breath on the back of her neck, his hands rubbing up and down her arms to warm her, and the hard press of his arousal on the back of her dress which was too thick and firm to be ignored. She wanted nothing more than to turn around and face him and as she did so, she reached her arms up to pull him down for a kiss.
The sudden loud snap and crackle of the logs on the fire awoke her. Disoriented, her brain still on the veranda at the masque, it took her several long seconds to realize she was in her bed. Immediately she craned her neck around to see if he had awoken, but he was no longer there. He must not have been gone long-the warm impression on the goose down mattress still retained the shape of his body. She sat up and looked around.
The yearning in her voice surprised even her. Only the low crackling of the fire responded. The shadows in the corners if the room did not hide him; Baraqiel was gone. But why? Why would he come to lay in her bed and then leave without a word? Laying back she scooted over to where he had been laying, soaking up the last remnants of his body heat and smelling that unique smell that belonged to him. She was surprised at how disappointed she was that he had gone. She had known him less than a day and here she was missing and desiring him. Despite his protests, she was convinced that this must be something he was doing to her. Closing her eyes, she fell back to sleep until the morning.
All day she saw clients as was her normal routine. Whilst this had been her life for the past few years, a life that had contented her, now she found it tedious. She wanted to see Baraqiel, and she wanted to see him now. It was all she could do to go through the motions of her readings and make small talk with her clients. The later the hour grew without the appearance of Baraqiel the longer the day seemed. Esme noticed her mood and tried to make her laugh, but Jocelyne remained distracted. She wanted to speak to Esme, to tell her all that had happened, but she was afraid that her friend would think her mad. Or perhaps she would think even worse – that she was some sort of a witch. Already working as a palm reader and fortune teller put her life in danger from those zealots who belonged to The Hammer. The Hammer was a group that retained the fear of the Middle Ages and the Salem witch trials. They believed that anyone who had what they deemed “unnatural knowledge” needed to be killed to protect good Christian society. Because the most she did was advise women, and because she stayed out of the business of men, she had been left alone during their witch hunts. As much as she trusted Esme, she still was afraid to say anything. As of late Esme had begun attending mass at St. Francis Catholic church more often than usual. Jocelyne still went on Sundays; again, more to appease the neighbors rather than a profound belief of her own. Truth be told, she believed in God, but she wasn’t sure how many rules were from God and how many were from men. She had a hard time believing the book of Isaiah-could God really be as petty and judgmental as to say what women should and should not wear in their hair? She also thought that Genesis gave women a bad reputation what with the eating of the fruit of knowledge. After all, God had told Adam not to eat from the tree before he had even created Eve, so why were women blamed when God had not told Eve? She dared not ask this of the priest as these types of questions could make her a target.