The Bairn of Brianag (Chapter Two, page 1 of 18)

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After the wet winter, the spring was pleasantly dry. The roads became easily passable again, and in response to Cathy's entreaties, August and I planned a long visit with her as soon as planting was done and Kevin could accompany us. I did my best to keep peace with my mother, working on the rug and other needlework without complaint. My mother wrote letters to her acquaintances in Charles Town, expecting to receive invitations to parties where she hoped I might meet some man which she could thrust upon me. I lay awake at night, trying to think of a way that I might see Robbie alone, and to put my plan into motion.

In my dreams Robbie, upon hearing me say I cared for him, immediately answered me that he loved me, also; that he had loved me for so long and had only just realized it, that he wanted to marry me.

But I must do more than dream. Now I made plans. If Robbie did not immediately respond the way I wished, I would take action. I would seduce him. Then he would have no choice but to marry me. I would offer myself to him, and he would take me. It would be inevitable. My love would persuade him.

I tossed and turned in my bed at night, imagining his mouth on mine, imagining his hands on my skin, and my loins ached with the need of him. This state was not new to me; I had dwelled upon these things for years. But now my imaginings progressed beyond kisses, beyond the touching of hands; I imagined his hips pressed to mine, my breasts crushed beneath his weight, and I curled my body into a ball, hugging myself, tears flowing from my eyes, knowing that at last I could do more than dream of marrying Robbie. I would make my dream come true.

I remembered how I had asked Cathy, after she was married to John, what the marriage bed was like; I remembered her answer. I had made a joke then about cattle mating, but my loins had grown weak, thinking of Robbie. I remembered that I had seen a pair of slaves mating at the edge of a field when I was a child; at the time I had paid no more attention than if they had been animals. But now, hot and tearful, I remembered how tenderly they had kissed; and I wanted to hurry to make Robbie love me, and be his in fact, for I was almost mad with my desire for him.

My opportunity arose a few days after our visit to Brianag. At breakfast, a servant delivered a note from Robbie, saying he would come for a visit in the afternoon. I breathed a silent prayer of thanks, and found myself unable to eat.

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