Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Truth, Lovingly Told"

This poem is spillover from the February 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] redsixwing and[personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "bites" square in my 11-25-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest, and the "sharing a bed" square in my 1-3-15 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.  It is a sequel to "Echoes of Another" and "Who Finds a True Friend" so is best read after those two.

Note: This poem features some things that might not be to everyone's taste. Highlight for details, some of which are spoilers. It features burgeoning empathic sensitivity, a married couple with an intimate friend, some awkward emotional tension on account of Dénes being demisexual and thus uncomfortable at high speed, sensual activity with quasi-erotic aspects, consensual biting, climax, MFF cuddling (with Dorottya between Csilla and Dénes if that matters), and other zingy stuff. Consider your preferences before reading onward.

"Truth, Lovingly Told"

It was not so large a change at first.

Dorottya noticed that it was merely
a little easier to understand people,
using her improved sense of their feelings
as if turning her face to the spring breeze
and scenting the rich mud to decide
when it was time to plant her garden.

Dénes spent a bit more time brewing,
a bit more time roving the slopes
in search things to brew, and quite a lot
more time keeping records of what he did
now that Victor and Igor had given him
some helpful hints about the science behind it.

So far Dorottya was particularly enamored
of his bitters, which took less time to make
than the beers and brandies that needed to age.
The first gloriously dark example had bitter notes of
barberry and burdock root, mugwort, juniper berries,
and wild cherry bark plus spicy notes of orange peel,
nutmeg, peppercorn, sage, rosemary, and yarrow.

The connection between them, which had always
been strong, deepened a little further as they both
explored the implications of their senses.

It had not seemed like much in the beginning,
just a favor for friends from Dénes and then
Dorottya pursuing her own curiosity.

Csilla's bite had changed them anyway,
in ways they were still discovering.

So when the vampire came to them,
tentatively asking if they might feed her again,
Dorottya and Dénes willingly agreed.

With the children in the house, there was
nothing else to do but leave the older ones
to tend the younger ones, and retreat into
the bedroom behind a locked door.

Dorottya remembered, with shivery anticipation,
the sting of Csilla's teeth and the melting pleasure
that quickly washed away the pain. She did not
hesitate to put the vampire into the middle
of the big bed and climb in alongside.

Dénes was quieter, though, in a way
that concerned both Dorottya and Csilla.

"What's wrong, love?" Dorottya asked him.

He gave her a half-smile. "I thought that
I could do this, together, but," he said,
"it's just so much ... so fast."

"Ah," said Dorottya. "I should have realized that."

"What do you mean?" Csilla asked.

Dorottya looked at her husband for permission,
and he nodded in response to her silent question.
They had always agreed that family relied
on the truth, lovingly told, not on secrets;
but she would not share his intimacies
without checking with him first.

Now Csilla was in this with them,
for better or worse, and there were things
that she needed to know about Dénes.

"He's slow to warm up to people,"
Dorottya explained. "He always has been.
The two of us were friends for years before
we decided to get married. Some other girls ...
just didn't understand that about him."

"It feels like you're already inside me,
and I hardly even know you,"
Dénes said miserably.

"So it is not my bite that gives you pause,
but that I am being ... too forward about it?"
Csilla asked, twisting to look at him.

"I think so," Dénes said. "It was -- it felt good,
at the time, I was so relaxed, it would have been
wonderful if I hadn't spilled over into shame.
I thought with Dorottya here it would be better,
but that just makes it more -- I've known her
for so long and you're so new, I don't know
how to make the pieces fit together."

"I believe I understand," Csilla said.
"Let me test to make certain."
She put hand over his and gave
the barest ripple of power.

Dénes flinched.

Csilla patted him and let go. "Just so,
you need time to form a bond with someone.
I made it happen all in an instant, so of course
that makes you uncomfortable. I have seen this
before; it is not common, but neither is it rare.
We will simply have to wait a while. Dénes,
what kinds of things would help you
feel more familiar with me?"

"I don't know ... talking, going for walks in the woods,
sitting together without anyone pestering me
to do things," Dénes said. "Mostly I need time."

Dorottya soothed him with wordless murmurs,
reassuring him that it was all right,
whatever he decided.

"Then we will take that time," Csilla said,
and Dénes smiled at her, shy but willing.

"You can still feed from me," Dorottya offered.
"I may not have a taste for other women,
but I find you ... appealing."

If that made her peculiar, well, so be it.

It had begun with Csilla's rosepetal lips
and sharp white teeth, but later on,
Dorottya had found herself enjoying
the subtle touch of emotions as well.

The vampire seemed to have
a lasting effect on those who fed her,
the way sugar could taste of vanilla
even after you removed the bean
to bake something else.

"Dénes, do you mind?" Csilla asked.

Dorottya could have adored her
for that alone, because there had been
few enough girls in their youth who
took any care at all with his sensitive soul.

"I think," he said slowly, "that I might like to watch."

It took a little awkward fumbling to find
a comfortable position, because they were
still new to each other, but soon enough they
managed to make a nest in the bed to support
the two women so that Csilla could feed.

Dénes curled behind his wife,
and the warmth of his body helped
Dorottya settle as she offered Csilla her arm.

The vampire's mouth was warm and soft,
licking the skin at Dorottya's elbow
in a way that gave her delightful shivers.

Dorottya felt a quick, hot pain
like nicking herself with a knife,
and then the soothing swipe of
Csilla's tongue over the tiny cuts
brought numbing tingles.

Gentle hands stroked her,
and Dorottya was too lost
in the pleasure to sort out
which were whose.

This time the delicious bliss
flowed from Csilla through Dorottya
to lap over Dénes and then ripple back
through Dorottya again, so that
she rocked between them
in wave after wave of it.

It rather quickly brought Dorottya
to a climax that had eluded her earlier.

Oh, that worked marvelously.

When Csilla finished, Dorottya lay
sprawled across the pillows,
languid with rapture.

Looking down, she saw
that Dénes and Csilla were
touching fingertips across her tummy.

"My favorite color is blue," Dorottya said lazily,
"the color the sky comes after dusk, with purple in it."

Dénes replied, "Mine is green, with a little silver,
like the undersides of the spruce needles.
Csilla, what about yours?"

"Red, but not a dark red, a light red
from the color of damask roses," she replied.

"Oh, I love those," Dorottya said, enjoying
the slide of their minds together. "I have some
in my garden, for the petals and the rosehips.
You can make syrup with them, or pies."

"Hmm," said Dénes. "I wonder what I
could do with those in brewing ..."

Dorottya chuckled. "You would need bushels,
and I haven't so many rosebushes."

"Igor has a whole rose garden," said Csilla.
"I can't imagine he'd mind sharing it,
especially if you give him a sample
of whatever you make from the roses."

There was another truth, lovingly told --
that the lords who had come to their castle
were intent on taking good care of the village
and the people who lived in or near it,
full of strange and exciting ideas.

Dorottya thought that,
given their odd and adorable family,
Victor and Igor would not mind a bit
that she and her husband and a vampire
had decided to share a bed now and again.

They'd have none of this nonsense about
Dorottya being 'not a proper woman' because
she happened to be good at deciding things
in the first place, nor that Dénes was
'less than a real man' because he wasn't.

She traced a thumb over the long scar
on his arm, all that remained of the terrible wound
that their new lords had healed so expertly.

"We'll go up to ask Victor and Igor about it,"
Dorottya declared, "later, after a nap."

With that, she snuggled into her husband
and her very good friend, and the last thing
she noticed before drifting to sleep was that
Dénes had reached just a little farther
across her to lace his fingers with Csilla.

* * *


"Real intimacy depends on truth -- lovingly told -- especially in the bedroom."
-- Joyce Brothers

Bitters and liqueurs are alcoholic blends made from herbs and spices. You can make your own bitters. Liqueurs are a little trickier, although the bitters may have more different herbs.

Dénes is demisexual, which can bring challenges. Demisexual people tend to prefer a slow pace when building intimacy, and often become uncomfortable if things go too fast.

Making close friendships requires time and attention. Similarly, a good romance takes time to develop. It is possible to turn platonic friendship into romantic love, as with Dénes and Dorottya; but that doesn't always happen, nor does it lessen the value of nonromantic intimacy.

"Gay For You" is (in)famous as an entertainment trope, but it also happens in real life. It can confuse people who don't know about this possibility. However, bisexuality is the middle of the spectrum between heteroflexible and homoflexible, and those shades of orientation are just as okay as all the other ones. Dorottya seems heteroflexible since she's firmly attached to Dénes and also becoming intrigued by Csilla. Dorottya may also be a bit kinky, since she likes being bitten; that's not something she would have had much opportunity to explore earlier, since Dénes is tenderhearted.

Consent can be a delicate issue in sex, romance, and other intimate contexts because people don't always say what they're feeling. It's not even an issue of hiding things, necessarily -- it's just very easy to get caught up in a mental quandary and not know how to fit that into words. A good lover or considerate friend will pay attention, hopefully notice that someone's not really into this activity, and stop to check in. Any relationship has its ups and downs; what matters is how people respond, especially to the awkward situation when things go wrong during a kink scene or sex.

Damask roses are old garden roses in shades of white to light red, popular for cooking. There are several ways to make rose syrup or cook with rosehips. Here's a recipe for rosehip pie.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, romance, weblit, writing

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