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.
Dobrushin and Aksinya married--this is part of the plan Dobrushin believes will rid Aksinya of the demon. For better or worse, they are bound together in this. We are not sure of the outcome. They have come to the room Dobrushin took in the hotel near the center of Wien...
Dobrushin pointed to the door on the left in the room, “There is the bath. It has a toilet.”
At the last, Dobrushin took an open container of incense and placed it before the fireplace. He lit it with the taper then fished in his vest pocket for Aksinya’s surety. He glanced at her and then placed the necklace and locket on the smoking incense. Aksinya could already smell the gentle bite of frankincense. Dobrushin returned to the door. He returned the taper to its holder.
Dobrushin took her hand and blushed, “I’m sorry. I forgot to get you any nightclothes.”
Aksinya trembled, “I won’t need any.” She raised her face to his, “Kiss me. I want you to kiss me.”
Dobrushin took her in his arms and put his lips on hers. Aksinya threw her arms around his neck, “I don’t understand what this kind of love is, but I want to know it with you tonight.” She pressed her lips to his and wouldn’t stop kissing him.
Finally Dobrushin finally disentangled her arms from his neck. His face was red, “Come, my love, we need to ask God to show us mercy and keep us in safety.”
Aksinya’s breath released in gentle pants. She nodded.
They knelt at the side of the bed, he took her hand, and Dobrushin prayed, “We praise you God of our fathers. We praise your name forever and ever. Let the heavens and all your creation praise you forever. You made Adam and also Eve his wife, who was to be his partner and support; and those two were the parents of all human beings. This was your word: ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; let us provide a partner suited to him.’ So now I take this my beloved to wife, not out of lust but in true marriage. Grant that she and I may find mercy and grow old together. Amen.”
“Amen,” Aksinya replied, “Do you love me?”
“I love you. I married you.”
“Help me take off my clothes.”
Aksinya stood before him expectantly. Dobrushin took off his coat and unbuttoned his shirt. Aksinya reached up and fumbled with his buttons. She smiled, “I’m not very good with buttons.” She undid one after the other. A golden cross lay against his chest. It depended from a necklace.
Dobrushin pulled her to him and kissed her again.
Dobrushin gets out the details that are very important to a woman first--perhaps he was coached by Ekaterina. Then he prepares the protection against the demon. Do you remember, in Tobit, Tobias burned the part of the fish in the incense? Now, Dobrushin burns Aksinya's surety in the incense. I use some advanced writing techniques to bring in all your senses.
Once the incense is burning, they take the next step--they are going to bed. Do you sense the usually well prepared and mature Dobrushin's nervousness and inexperience. He forgot nightclothes. Aksinya doesn't care--she may be inexperienced, but she understands what is supposed to go on (or at least she imagines she knows). She demands to be kissed. That's when I get to make a statement through her about love. This is one of the major sibthemes.
Dobrushin is getting worked up too. Aksinya is just too cute. She is filled with desire. He knows what must be done, however, do you remember the scene in the restaurant? They must complete each step like in the book of Tobit. The next step is the prayer from Tobit. If you will note, this prayer is whole in the Orthodox marriage ceremony. It is a simple prayer. The prayer, like the Book of Tobit is a turning point in Hebrew thought about the nature of God. The God of Tobit listens to the cries of his people and answers their prayer. If you look closely in the Old Testament, the prayers are almost always generic and not directed. There are a few examples that are, but most are not. In the Apocrypha, we see prayers to God that are direct and answered directly. These are very much like the prayers we find in the New Testament.
Aksinya's question to Dobrushin: “Do you love me?” Then with his answer, she wants to get down to business. Do you remember that Aksinya seldom took off her own clothing or dressed herself. She asks for help for more than reasons of sensuality. Dobrushin doesn't care. Aksinya begins to help him unbutton his shirt. Do you remember, she has problems with buttons? With these writing techniques, I want to build the tension and the excitement but for another reason--you will see why tomorrow.