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Chapter 5

The Green Monster

Noon of the same day found them on a beautiful sand beach, complete with dunes, on the far side of the island. They had just consumed a very nice picnic lunch of roast lamb, bread, cheese, and grapes, all washed down with a very nice wine provided by the Caliph. Now they lay on their backs side by side against the slope of one the dunes, out of the very warm sun. Maeve was snuggled up so that her head rested against Sinbad's chest and he had his arm wrapped around her waist. He was idly tracing his finger up and down Maeve's bare arm. Maeve had her eyes closed and was enjoying the closeness but then the thoughts started again and she could not keep them away. She was wondering how many other women had lain this same way with him, maybe just after a session of lovemaking. Finally the assault of thoughts prompted her to speak. "Sinbad," she began softly, "I want to know something about last night."

"Yes," he murmured, obviously only half listening. He had been watching the clouds above them forming and changing shape.

"Were you happy?" Maeve asked.

"Happy? Of course I was happy. Wasn't I with you?"

"I don’t mean that. I mean happy … with me."

"With you? Maeve, you're a beautiful woman. Why wouldn't I be?"

"I mean happy with … with what I … with the way I …" She couldn't finish the sentence. She was a very private person and this was difficult for her to talk about.

"Oh," he answered, pausing. "That kind of happy." He stopped a minute, considering why she was asking. "Maeve," he began gently, "Is this about you, or is this about the others?"

She paused for a moment before answering. Her heart was hammering in anticipation of his answer. "Both," she finally replied.

"Well, okay." Now it was Sinbad who needed time to consider his response. "Last night was quite unique. No one has ever been so …active … as you. I never knew all of that was packed away inside you. Do we really have to talk about this?" he asked.

"No," she said. She considered what he had said. Did that mean he liked it that way? Or did it overwhelm him? Maybe active was not what he wanted. Should she ask? She decided not to. He had paused before saying it. She decided that was not a good thing. Maybe she shouldn't have been so … responsive. She decided that next time she would not try so hard.

Sinbad lay there wondering why she had brought this up. It hadn't been the first time someone had asked how he had liked them, or more specifically, what they had done. He would not have expected such a question from Maeve. She was so strong and confident. That was one of the things he admired most about her. And yet at the same time, she seemed so feminine, so vulnerable and in need of protection. He remembered back to the night before they landed on Rumina's fortress. Maeve had come to his room because she'd heard him calling out her name during one of his nightmares. And they had kissed as lovers would kiss. That was the first time he had any inkling of the depth of her passion for him. And then she had broken away, all upset saying she wanted to, but she couldn't, that it wasn't him, but her and she couldn't explain. He hadn't understood what she meant by her words then besides their obvious meaning, but now he wondered if it had another meaning.

His thoughts were interrupted by Maeve disentangling herself from him. She rose. "We'd better get going," she said, "or we won't get back before sunset."

"I guess you're right," Sinbad agreed.

That night, after another sumptuous supper prepared by Daria, Maeve and Sinbad went out and watched the stars come out and the moon come up. Sinbad stood behind Maeve with his arms wrapped around her waist. She leaned back against him, resting her head against his shoulder, very content. After a while, his hands became active, gently sliding over her body. And she felt herself going from completely relaxed to aroused. She murmured slightly now and again, and then at a certain point Sinbad squeezed her hands as a signal and they headed in. Maeve decided not to repeat last night's performance. She would be more passive this time.

That was her plan. But after a few moments of hard kissing and Sinbad's hands roaming over her, she started responding in kind. She had to force herself to wait for him to take off her clothing, even though she felt like just ripping it off the both of them. And once they were on the bed together, locked in an embrace, she just reacted instinctively. Too many times she had denied her feelings and now they took over and pushed her decision to be passive away.

 

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Chapter 6

 

Double Troubles

 

 

That night, after another sumptuous supper prepared by Daria, Maeve and Sinbad went out and watched the stars come out and the moon come up. Sinbad stood behind Maeve with his arms wrapped around her waist. She leaned back against him, resting her head against his shoulder, very content. After a while, his hands became active, gently sliding over her body. And she felt herself going from completely relaxed to aroused. She murmured slightly now and again, and then at a certain point Sinbad squeezed her hands as a signal and they headed in. Maeve decided not to repeat last night's performance. She would be more passive this time.

That was her plan. But after a few moments of hard kissing and Sinbad's hands roaming over her, she started responding in kind. She had to force herself to wait for him to take off her clothing, even though she felt like just ripping it off the both of them. And once they were on the bed together, locked in an embrace, she just reacted instinctively. Too many times she had denied her feelings and now they took over and pushed her decision to be passive away. She loved Sinbad fiercely with both heart and soul and now she loved him just as fiercely with her body as well.

Afterward, they both lay exhausted but happy in each other's arms. The depth of her passion did not surprise Sinbad, as he had experienced it the night before as well, but now he wondered if this were the way that it would always be between them. He wondered if there would be any gentler moments with her. Maybe this was just the way she liked being loved. Not that he objected to her intensity; on the contrary, he found it very exciting, but he knew there were other ways to be together. From her actions on these two nights Sinbad suspected that she was relatively inexperienced, perhaps even totally inexperienced. And if that really were the case, then perhaps she would like to learn other ways. He had started out with the idea of making tonight different but his own desire combined with hers had not allowed it. He shook his head. Maybe he was just thinking too much about all this and they just needed more time together to learn about each other. He gathered Maeve to him and closed his eyes. He was asleep almost instantly.

Maeve, on the other hand, lay awake in his arms for a long time before she fell asleep. She too was wondering if this would be the way that it would always be between them every time. Tonight she had felt more at ease, and more of the passion she showed she had really felt. It wasn't that she was pretending last night; it was more that last night she felt that she had been trying to be wild and passionate, whereas tonight she felt more like that passion really was hers. She frowned. This was an area where she did not feel her usual confidence. Everything was trial and error, yet she felt there was no room for error. She worried about being judged. She didn't doubt Sinbad's love for her. She was quite confident about that. But she wanted, no, she needed to be the only one he thought of in this situation as well. The problem was, she had no idea how to be that, and couldn't think of anyone she could ask about it. What did he expect? What did he like? She couldn't ask. It was too risky. She had already tried talking to Sinbad about it, and had failed miserably trying; it was too embarrassing to say the things she needed to say, to ask the questions that needed to be asked. And too, she was so used to keeping everything within that it was hard to now start sharing her innermost thoughts and feelings. She knew that one of the things that attracted Sinbad to her was that he thought of her as an equal in so many ways. She didn't want to appear less so in this area.

She knew that she ought to be happy, and she was on many levels. This was the only man that had ever interested her and here she was with him. That made her happy. They were very deeply in love with each other. That made her happy. But this whole situation - this worried her. She wanted to be and do everything he wanted and expected of her and she had idea how to do those things other than her natural instincts. Finally, she gathered Sinbad's hand in hers and gently kissed each finger of his hand gently as he slept. Then she placed his hand on her breast and placed both of her hands over his, and then she was able to finally go to sleep.

She would not have slept even as fitfully as she did if she had known what was about to happen to her and to Sinbad. Their tranquillity was about to be shattered.

 

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Calypso had been in Basra for three days. She had come disguised as an old woman. She had brought eight of her most trusted attendants with her. In the short time she had already been there her spies had discovered that the Sinbad and his crew had been there, and that the Nomad had left two days later and then returned to port several days after that. It was easy to get information down at the docks. There were hangers-on there that for the price of a few drinks would tell what they knew. She also knew that Sinbad had visited the Caliph. Neither Sinbad nor his pretty crewmember, Maeve, had been seen since the Nomad had re-entered Basra.

The dockworkers remembered her from her first visit. When the Nomad returned, they hung around, hoping to get another look at her. But she had neither debarked the ship nor been seen on deck. Sailors did not usually stay on board after their ship came to port. Calypso figured out that they had gone somewhere. Now she needed to know where. To get that information she intended to visit the Caliph herself and find out. But first she wanted to look presentable again. She had a few of her attendants search the city for a girl that had long black hair like Calypso's had once been, and once they had found one, offered her 30 dinars in gold for her hair. Once they had obtained it, they brought it back to Calypso. She had her personal maid weave it in with her own slowly lengthening hair, until it looked long again. She put on one of her nicest, most revealing gowns, and then sent word via messenger that the Princess Diandria wished an audience with the Caliph.

When the audience was granted she went to see him. She claimed to have an urgent secret mission for which she needed the Nomad and its crew. She had heard that its captain had called on the Caliph and she hoped that he might introduce them.

"Unfortunately, Captain Sinbad is away on a small vacation right now. He is recovering from a severe wound suffered at the hands of Rumina, an evil sorceress. Do you know of her?"

"I have heard she is most heartless. Will he be back soon?"

"Within a week, I would guess, if I know Sinbad. He'll be too restless to stay on dry land any longer than that. Although, considering the company he's with, he may want to stay longer."

"Oh? And why would his company make a difference?"

"Well, you see, he's with a very beautiful woman who's quite in love with him, and he with her, and it wouldn't surprise me if they both forgot the world exists for a while."

"Well, that's most interesting news. But I cannot wait a week. I must have help right away. You say he's a week away?"

"No, I didn't say that. In fact, he's barely a day's sail away, but I would not disturb him unless you tell me the nature of your emergency."

"I can only divulge the reason to Sinbad alone," she said.

"And I will only contact him if I know the nature of your emergency."

"Then I guess my time here has been wasted," Calypso said.

"Yes, it appears so. I hope you do not think ill of me because I am loyal to my closest friends," the Caliph answered tactfully.

"I understand, but I am nonetheless disappointed that I must seek help from less qualified quarters."

"I know that time is important to you, so let me ring for my attendant to see you safely back to your dwelling."

"Thank you, but that won't be necessary. I will manage without. Good day!" With that she turned on her heels and strode out of the room. As soon as she was out of sight of the Caliph, she smiled a huge smile and said to herself, Thank you, my friend. That was a lot easier than I thought it would be. A day's sail away. I shall find them easily. Too bad I don't have time to talk with you further. You would be a most interesting conquest.

Within an hour, Calypso had discovered that there were only three islands a day's sail or less away, and she readied her ship to sail to the first one. If that island did not have the two she sought, it was only a half-day's sail to the next one. For the first time in many months she was smiling. Knowing that her revenge could begin in just a few hours made her impatient. She berated the crewmembers mercilessly until the ship was underway, and even then she kept asking if they couldn't get more sail up or sail more directly to the first island.

 

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On to Part 4 [ Chapters 7 & 8 ]