For those who haven’t been following this blog, let me introduce it a little. I am currently blogging my 21st novel that has the working title Daemon. The novel is about Aksinya, a sorceress, who, to save her family from the Bolsheviks, called and contracted the demon, Asmodeus. Her family was murdered anyway, and she fled with the demon from Russia to Austria.
Aksinya and Ernst are having a wonderful and somewhat candid conversation about what he loves and she...
Aksinya mumbled, “Ha, you know nothing about me.”
“But I do know a lot about you now. Everything I know, I love.” Ernst pulled Aksinya closer to him, “Listen to me Aksinya. I want you to be mine.”
She trembled and tried to pull away, “What do you mean by that?”
“I want you to marry me.” He pulled her close again and put his lips on hers. Aksinya allowed him to kiss her. She sunk into his embrace. They stood there for what seemed like to Aksinya for a long time. Slowly he let her go, and she settled back with her feet solidly on the ground.
Natalya rushed from the other room. She grabbed Aksinya by the arm and tried to pull her away from Ernst, “Get back Ernst von Taaffe. I know impropriety when I see it. That was much too forward. Let her go.” She punched at the young man.
Ernst let go of Aksinya’s hands, and she fell back a step. She stared at Ernst with dawning realization, “You…you kissed me.”
“Mistress, you should have slapped him. Otherwise, he will be encouraged…”
Aksinya closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, “No, Natalya. I wish to speak with him further.”
“I will stand right here between you.”
“No,” Akisnya’s voice softened, “No, please, Lady Natalya. Just let me speak with him a moment more. I shall stand away from him, and he shall not touch me again.”
“Only if he promises...”
Ernst growled, “I will promise for now.”
Aksinya pleaded, “You see, Lady Natalya, he promised. Allow me to speak to him for a little longer after that you and I will retire for the evening.”
Natalya scowled at Ernst. She glanced at Aksinya from the sides of her eyes, “Very well, mistress. But he must stand on one side of the room and you on the other. I shall be watching.” She pointed at Ernst, “If you make a single move toward her, sir, I shall scream for her aunt and uncle and tell them everything.”
Ernst moved to the end of the enclosed balcony, “Lady Natalya, you need not fear. I will not attempt to molest your mistress again.”
Natalya glanced at Aksinya. Aksinya hastily moved to the other end of the balcony. They waited for Natalya to return to her seat.
Ernst declares his love...again. He did before and Aksinya blew it off. Now we know why. She didn't believe him. She thought it was all a joke. She thought it was a lie...wait, Ernst was lying. Aksinya is confused. She doesn't know what to believe or what to trust. Does Ernst really love her? She thinks she is unlovable. She thinks she is ugly and unwomanly. Could Ernst really love a woman like her?
Ernst throws down another bet on the table: "I want you to be mine." Aksinya doesn't know what he means. She isn't stupid; she just can't process the information. Ernst makes it clearer and ups the annie. He should have been so straightforward to begin with. He wants to marry her, and to seal his point, he kisses her.
We realize this is not the usual Ernst we have come to know and love. This is very forthright for Ernst. The last two times we saw him this straightforward were, when he approached Aksinya at the Advent party and when he pushed past Sister Margarethe at the door to the house. We know he did both at the encouragement of Asmodeus. We guess that Ernst really does want to marry Aksinya, but his action to kiss her catches us and Aksinya by surprise.
Aksinya like this kind of attention. Didn't we go through this before. The demon wanted to tempt Aksinya with real sex. This is an intimacy that will surely tempt Aksinya. I use some fun techniques to show you how the kiss affected her.
Natalya acts a proper chaperone, but her actions seem a little too intense. She seems a little too ready to protect her mistress. Didn't she prepare Aksinya like a bouquet for Ernst. Didn't she pick the wonderful and beautiful dress to present Aksinya to Ernst tonight. Ernst's action was obviously out of line for the times. Natalya's very fervent response (as opposed to Aksinya's) shows just how far Ernst went over the line. But surely there is more...Natalya knew what was going on--she more than Aksinya. We will find out more about her reaction...soon, but for now, you might contemplate why Natalya's actions are what they are.
Aksinya is amazed more than surprised. Nothing else that Ernst could have done would have made such an impression on her. Natalya advises a slap--Aksinya wants to talk to him more. Natalya's response is right on in some ways and a little too much in others. As the chaperone, she should keep the two from untoward behaviour, but she shouldn't prevent all interaction. Her purpose is to prevent certain things, but speaking and even limited appropriate touching is not some of them. Still she is technically correct in what she requests.
Ernst and Aksinya have had a taste of the physical. Ernst will control himself. He doesn't like it. Aksinya will control herself--she doesn't like it. Aksinya promises to retire with Natalya after they speak. Natalya threatens to scream for Aksinya's aunt and uncle. Now, we know how far that might go. Aksinya's aunt, uncle, and Ernst's father have gone to great lengths to get these two lovebirds together like this. They wouldn't condone physical interaction, but they wouldn't want to do anything to prevent Ernst and Aksinya from speaking and wooing.
Ernst and Aksinya accomodate Natalya--they move to either end of the enclosed balcony. Can you see them move--especially Aksinya's haste. They wait for Natalya to sit. Tomorrow, the rest of the conversation.