The Passions of Gwendolyn
The Passions of Gwendolyn
I lived with these crude and vulgar people many months, finding as I did that their ways, as strange as they were, made sense to their roguish nature. I would never condone the raids like the one where I'd been taken, though no one that cared that I found it evil and corrupt. The reward for my cooperation was the satisfaction in my marriage bed. As rough and cantankerous as my husband could be, he came to me as an attentive lover to satisfy himself. Without fail, he granted me my pleasure as if to do otherwise would dishonor me. It was something of merit in his character to be thankful for.
At first I was timid with him, submitting easily to his every wish. The threats made before our marriage still rang in my ears as a possibility if I were to anger him; so I remained compliant, even though that is not my nature. As time went on, I became more bold with him, challenging his pursuits while we were together in our small home, just before or after we had sex. He sparred with me in a jovial way, acknowledging that I would remain different from him.
"I'm not of your ways," I told him once. "Surely you understand that I can never be."
"I understand that you think too much for a woman," he replied.
"Think too much, no," I countered him. "I just find your manner of living contemptible."
"It puts food in your belly and mine. I would not fault it so. And this. Surely you'll find this pleasing to you." He pulled from his pocket a pendant.
"Where did that come from?" I asked him.
"I come across things."
"Like you came across me?" I shot back petulantly.
He hadn't heard me speak this way since the day I ran away from him. He looked at me surprised by such scorn.
"I consider you my greatest prize," he said.
"That I am a prize at all offends me," I returned haughtily.
"Are you out for a war with me?" he scowled. "Because if you are, you will not win."
"I'll have nothing to do with your pendent," I said, looking at the lovely piece with the beautiful jewels that remained dangling from his hand.
"But it would look so lovely about your neck." He reached out to pull me close and stroke my neck and play with my long fair locks as they fell about my shoulders. He would tell me in the night how he liked them best of all my features. They made me an unusual woman in his midst, such pale hair. But then, he was quite fond of my breasts and well, and of my cunny, of course-all the time he spent there.
"I won't wear it," I retorted. "Give it to Lowen. She'll like it no doubt." Lowen, his sister, enjoyed all the baubles that were brought back from the raids. She had a horde of them that she kept hidden somewhere no one knew. Some of the women speculated that once she had enough, she would bolt the clan, make for a city and sell the items for a lifestyle less crude. She was dreamer, as much as I was, even though I was not fixing on another escape. Despite my private angers with my life, I shared too much happiness in my bed to change it for something that might well be worse.
"You vex me, woman," Erik said, as he looked at the gleaming pendant and then at me. "This would match the green hue that I see in your eyes. But you turn aside my gifts to you." There was even hurt on his face, a furrow in his brow that would sometimes show his despair. When it was not me that caused it, I sometimes kissed it away in the night and made him smile instead.
"You could bring me flowers you pluck from the fields," I suggested.
"You would not think that's stealing too?" he asked annoyed.
"I consider the wild flowers, God's gift."
"This is no less. But Lowen will appreciate it, you're right on that." Gripping the pendant tightly in his fist, he left straight-away to give it to her, as if to keep it longer would augment the offense.
Such were Erik's and my spats. These conversations allowed my soul th