Author's Note:
The first part of this chapter gets rather "randy" but the rest is cool though. Under 17s, proceed with caution


CHAPTER 13

I don't know how I let Claude talk me into extending our romantic weekend, but there I was, in his private chambers, huddled on the bed, and wrapped in a hand-crocheted afghan I made for him last winter. Claude insisted that I return him to Paris because he was anxious to find and punish the soldier who embarassed him. I knew Claude didn't...well, neither did I...want to say good-bye too soon.
It had just started to rain; sometimes I forget how chilly the Palace of Justice can be on damp, autumn nights. Claude left to confer with his officers, and I began thinking about our first night together during that fantastic summer. Claude was so sweet; well, to tell the truth, he got a little silly and steamy after I started singing that old Ray Charles song. I couldn't help but laugh at the memory.

Claude returned to the room and sat on the side of the bed. "Don't tell me you're cold, darling", he said good-humoredly, noting my efforts to get warm. "I'm not that cold', I half-heartedly protested, "it's just that I was waiting...."
"Waiting for me to warm you, my love?" Claude leaned over and kissed my lips.
"I'm not cold anymore, baby", I said as I embraced his lean body and let the afghan fall from my shoulders. He chuckled softly in my ear as he began to caress me and held my body close to his.
"Mmmm...Danisha...", Claude sighed while he continued to kiss and caress me. I enjoyed his moans of pleasure, as I returned each caress with equal passion. "Ooh, Claude...", I sighed, my body tingling from his mouth and hands on my skin. Desire rose and stirred in me like a storm.
Suddenly, I whispered, "Claude, what if someone comes? The soldiers..." Claude Frollo, who was not about to stop what he was doing, laughed softly and said, "My dear, no one or nothing will disturb us tonight. I've left strict orders...Ooh, darling, you are so beautiful." And with that, Claude and I embarked on yet another night of passion. The pattering of rain against the window, and the crackling of the fire set the perfect stage for our romantic rendevous. Funny, our first time was not all candlelight and roses; instead, what started as a pleasant visit was soon transformed into a night of shocking revelations....then the fun began...

******

Have to hurry and get things together....There he is! I had just finished supper, tidied the house, and changed my clothes when I heard the knock on the door. Claude was coming over and I wanted everything to be perfect. Although we had seen each other nearly every day since that anguished, tearful session in the bell tower, Claude hadn't set foot in the modest home I shared with Fern, not since that day I offered him cake and lemonade.
I went out of my way, cooking foods I knew he'd never tried but would learn to like. I planned a simple supper of fried chicken, green beans, and cornbread. Cooking over an open fireplace is an experience in itself; Fern taught me a few tricks on regulating the heat and how to keep myself safe when near open flames. It wasn't easy but I finally got the hang of it; nonetheless, I still missed the 20th century conveniences of gas stoves and microwaves.
I peeped through the glass and sighed with relief. "Claude!", I said as I opened the door, "I wasn't expecting you until later." I threw my arms around him and kissed his lips. "But I'm glad you're here." Claude Frollo smiled and returned the kiss. He was carrying a small basket and somthing else: a rolled parcel wrapped in muslin.
"What's that, baby?", I asked. Claude set the basket and parcel on a table, then removed his hat and cloak. "Not so fast, dearest one", he playfully said as he neatly hung his wraps on the hook near the door. How did he know where our coatrack was....
Claude then handed me the rolled parcel, saying, "I saw you admiring this and I thought you'd like to have it." He smiled broadly as I unwrapped the bundle. I gasped in surprise; it was a tapestry! It was a small, but detailed, work, no larger than an average-sized poster, depicting the French countryside complete with the Seine flowing lazily through quiet woods and meadows. I marveled at the intricate stitches and the softness of the fabric. "Oh Claude, it's gorgeous! I don't know what to say...."
I immediately embraced and kissed him. "Thank you! Thank you!" Claude chuckled and returned my kiss, then replied, "You are most welcomed, my darling." At once, I hung the tapestry in a prominent spot near the front window; that way, it would catch the morning light.
I stood back and looked at this work of medieval textile artistry; Claude walked up and embraced me from behind. "Does it look familiar, Nisha?" I narrowed my eyes and examined the tapestry further; then it hit me! "Isn't this the one I was looking at....", I said with astonishment. Claude kissed the back of my neck and stroked my hair as he finished, "On that first day we met. Even after your little outburst, I had made up my mind to give you this treasure."
I turned around to face him. Mmmm...he looks so fine! "Honey, you didn't have to do this." Claude kissed me again, deeply this time, and I couldn't resist responding to him with my own fiery passion. "You deserve the best, sweet darling", he said, "I want you to know that I'd do anything for you. I love you so." We held and kissed each other for several minutes. Maybe, I thought, this would be the night. We had been fighting the inevitable ever since that night we confessed our love. One step at a time, girlfriend, don't rush it.

I then focused on the basket, asking Claude, "Now, sugarbritches, what's in the basket?" Claude Frollo looked at me with sparkling eyes, then took me by the hand over to the table. "I do believe I owe you something; I'm surprised you haven't asked for it by now." I removed the white cover, reached inside and took out a ball: my special autographed baseball!
"The thing that started it all...", I playfully began as Claude started laughing. "And ultimately brought us together", he added. Then I noticed another item in the basket. "What's this, Claude?", I asked as I pulled out what looked like a Mason jar.
Now I was confused. Mason jars did not exist during the 15th century. And what's this amber liquid inside?
Claude nonchalantly replied, "Oh that. Just something I'd thought you'd like. Go on, my dear, open it."
I complied and opened the jar. The contents, the aroma, were unmistakable: Tennessee whiskey. "How?...Where?...Claude...Tennessee whiskey? In 15th century France?!" I was so dumbstruck, so utterly confused, that I felt myself swooning.

Claude rushed over and caught me, taking the jar from my trembling hand. After placing the jar on the table, Claude guided me to the couch and cradled me like a small child. In my dazed state, I heard him say, "Danisha...I'm sorry, my love. I wasn't thinking...it's much too soon." I partially regained my senses and asked him, "What do you mean by 'too soon'? I don't understand."

Claude tenderly kissed my face and mouth; his mood now turned to serious concern. Finally he said, "Nisha, my dearest one, I know all about...How can I put this without shocking you further?" I felt my bearings returning, only to be knocked for a loop again. "You know all about what?", I asked, now feeling uneasy and apprehensive.

"Darling", Claude replied gently, "I wanted to wait, but...I know all about Fern, the...'car'?...your little excursions..."
I felt myself swooning again as I looked at Claude in bewilderment. "You KNOW about us? Why are you telling me this? I thought you loved me! You said you'd never hurt me!"

Tears welled in my eyes and Claude, now feeling guilty about this revelation, drew closer to me, and held me tightly. "I knew this would be too much for you. But, sweet Nisha, everything would've been eventually revealed. I never meant for this to hurt you; I love you too dearly to upset you."

He kissed me, then, finally confessed what would at last explain why Fern brought me to medieval Paris. "Danisha...Your friend, Fern...darling, please don't be too shocked...has been here before...she's one of my spies."

On to Chapter 14!

Copyrightę1997 by FrolloFreak


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