Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28
“I want a bit of romance from you.”
Craven arched both brows. “What?”
“You heard me. If Mael can do it, why not you?”
He grunted. “I’m going to throttle that wolf.”
She cleared her throat. “Listen up, it has come to my attention that lately you’re quite hung up on sex.”
He grinned, unable to help himself. “And that’s a problem?”
“There was a time when you wooed me. I can’t remember the last statement you said that had any romantic connotation whatsoever.”
“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding. What about all that stuff I said to you on Kalea?”
She raised her hands to her hips. “I couldn’t understand a word of it.”
He stepped closer, predatorily. “That doesn’t mean I didn’t say it. What else do you want?”
“You’ve studied up on Earth romanticism. How about poetry?”
He laughed. “Poetry? Should I be spouting Shakespeare, honey? He’s probably the only one I can remember from three years ago in the bathroom.
She sucked in her cheeks to keep from grinning. When it came to reading anything about Earth, Craven was, for all intent and purpose, a lavatory scholar.
“I don’t consider old William much of a poet. Willie Blake was more my type.”
“What?” He feigned shock. “Shakespeare knew his stuff.”
She glanced heavenward. “For example?”
“Taming of the Bitch.”
She giggled. “It was a shrew.”
His eyes crinkled at the corners. “We don’t have any shrews in our galaxy. Besides, I like my version better.”
“That’s redundant. Taming of the Shrew was a comedy.”
“I beg to differ, my love. The man was clearly a genius and highly skilled in the art of lovemaking.” A devious smile curved his lips and placed a twinkle in his eyes. He stepped forward. “Shall we speak of tongues in tails?”
She held a hand out to stop him. “What we will do is focus.”
“Very well.” He could play her game for just a little while. “How about Romeo and Juliet?”
He wagged his finger. “No, no. He threatened to profane her with his lips. I do that to you every night, if you’ll remember. And you say I’m not romantic.”
“He was merely begging to kiss her hand, you unruly barbarian,” she rectified.
“Really? Huh, is that what all that garble meant?”
“Craven, you’re making a shamble out of Wil’s work. He’s probably churning in his grave.”
(I’ve cut out the next scene because it gives away important information about Theodora, her real identity, new name, and plot…way too many spoilers.)
“Oh fair Ophelia. Your breasts are lovely orbs bobbing over the waters. The glistening droplets remind me of the tender milk of my youth. I find myself on my knees for the first time in my life. I patiently wait, pleading a silent prayer for your return. The heavens hear me. Now that you’re here in my arms again, my mouth waters with anticipation. I dip my face to delicately have a taste. Shall I sup you, lick you or suckle you once or…thrice?”
She stifled a giggle by pressing her right hand over her mouth. “That was not Shakespearean.”
He snorted. “No, actually it was Cravean.” He paused to hear her laughter. “Do you object?”
She wrapped her arms around his midsection. “Absolutely not. It was deplorable, but they should start teaching it immediately in every school.”
He swooped down to peck her lips. “I love the sweet meats beneath your tongue. That was from the Bible.”
“I know. But you love me anyway.” Then he deepened the kiss.
Craven was everything a man should be. He was immensely tall, ridiculously handsome with a most wicked honeyed tongue, an untamable beast in the sack, and terribly bad at poetry. In his arms she found bliss, not because he was so good in bed, but because he breached her. He penetrated the part of her that was tender, vulnerable, woman and completed her with the force of his strength and passion. Their touching made them one, and for that and so much more she adored him.