By Painter

Episode 61

Two days passed too quickly in our private little getaway.

It was so easy to pretend all of the bad stuff didn’t happen, or that we were both just normal people in love with each other, while we were out here.


The only wrinkle was when Calvin would excuse himself to go outside for a couple of minutes so that he could keep his thirst in control. But aside from that, no one bothered us, and we had no obligations. It was perfect.

When he’d first told me we had three days here, I thought that sounded like a long time to be away, but once we got passed the tension, it flew by.

Every hour felt more like a minute, and I wanted our pretend perfection to last an eternity, but as I rolled over in bed, I looked at his sleeping face with sadness because we would be leaving soon.

I eased out of bed, not wanting to wake him just yet, and walked over to the little kitchen and started preparing us a nice breakfast just like I had the other two days here, give or take the ‘nice’ part.

At first Calvin had servants bringing us food, but I pointed out the fact that we have a working kitchen and that I’d like to learn to cook, so he had them bring me groceries and a couple of cookbooks instead. The first attempt was a disaster.

I thought the 5 star baked chicken and quail sounded easy, but I had over cooked them both and the potatoes I made with it were so runny that they were practically soup. Calvin didn’t complain, he smiled and ate like it was the best thing he’d ever had.

I smiled thinking of him literally lapping up the potatoes.

“You’re adorable.” His voice startled me and I nearly dropped an egg on the floor.

“God, Cal!” I laughed, steadying myself. “I’m going to get you a bell to wear so that you can’t creep on me anymore.” I joked, pouring my bowl of eggs into the skillet.

Calvin sat down on one of the stools at the counter and just smiled. “I wouldn’t wear it.” He informed me. “I enjoy watching you jump too much, and besides, collars aren’t really my thing.” He winked and I rolled my eyes. “What’s for breakfast?” He asked, tilting his head to eye my eggs that I was already letting get burnt to the skillet.

“Dang!” I shouted, pulling the skillet away from the heat. “You’ve got to stop being so distracting! I’ll never learn with you around.” I laughed, then my eyes greedily roamed his body. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, and his hair was a brown mess on his head, yet he still looked beyond perfection.

In a flash he was gone, then suddenly standing behind me, his hands on my hips and his mouth at my neck. “You see, I can’t do anything about distracting you.” He whispered. “I can’t help that you are just powerless to control yourself around me.” I could hear the smile in his voice and I whipped around to face him, looking into his playful eyes.

“You think really highly of yourself, don’t you?” I asked.

He grinned down at me. “Oh, this isn’t about me, this is about you and your complete inability to keep your eyes away from me.” He chuckled. “Honestly, love, you do realize I’m not just a piece of meat, right?”

I dropped my jaw, trying and failing not to smile. “Oh, so you aren’t affected by me at all then?” I asked, raising my eyebrows and his lips twitched as he slowly shook his head.

“I am completely in control of myself when I’m around you.” He slipped a quick smile. “I don’t ever find myself distracted.” He said flippantly. “I guess I’m just a lot stronger is all.”
I took a step back. “Is that so?” I asked.

“Uh-huh.” He nodded his head, smiling wickedly.

I watched his face as I grabbed the hem of my shirt. “Ok, then.” I told him as I slowly pulled it up and over my head, dropping it on the ground. “I guess you’d have no trouble with making our breakfast then, right?” His eyes were wide and you could see the concentration on his face. “I’ll just stand right here.” I said as I bent down to slide off my shorts too, and he had to tilt his eyes up to the ceiling. “Go ahead.” I prompted him. “Get to cooking, your highness. Be careful, though, that stove is super sensitive.”
I said with a smile as I leaned back against the counter, reveling in the way he was trying so hard not to look at my body.

He turned away, dumping the burnt eggs from the skillet and he skillfully cracked four new ones into a bowl and beat them before pouring them into the skillet and putting it back over the heat.

I was annoyed at how good of a job he was doing, so I decided to up the difficulty by walking up behind him, and hugging up to him, my skin pressed against his. “Now that is just unfair.” He groaned, his breathing hitching.

I kssed him between the shoulder blades. “Who said I’d play fair?” I asked breathily. “This doesn’t bother you, right?” I smiled against his back. “You’re so much stronger than me, I bet it doesn’t.” I answered for him.

I jumped a little as he tossed the skillet into the sink with a loud clanging. “Screw breakfast.” He said loudly, grabbing me up quickly and kssing me hard. “You win.” He panted before he threw me down on the bed.


Hours later, we stood in the doorway of our little cabin and we took one last long look at it. I sighed, really wanting to stay longer. “We can come back.” Calvin assured me, leaning down to kss the top of my head. “We can’t disappear forever, though, as much as I would love nothing more.” He smiled sadly.

I really do believe getting everything off of his chest had helped him some, but I could still catch glimpses of that sadness still inside of him.

The most upsetting part of it for me was that the times I saw it in him were times when I caught him looking at me.

I hated that something about me dredged up bad things for him, but I knew he loved me, and that’s all that matters to me anymore.

We both sighed together, then closed the door behind us, following the little lights on the path to walk back to the little city.

Calvin looked down at me nervously as we walked through the city and I wasn’t really sure why, but he was definitely acting strange.

He stopped when we were by the fountain, staring over at it and chewing his lip again. “What’s the matter?” I whispered, looking up at his guarded expression.

He shook his head, avoiding my eyes. “Do you still think about leaving?” He whispered back, and I noticed his hand in his pocket was holding onto something that looked like the tie I’d made him, then it clicked for me.

The blindfold wasn’t so that I’d be surprised when he took me to the cabin, it was so that I wouldn’t know the way out of Castrum de Petra.

My heart stung a little that he obviously didn’t trust me, and that he was stalling from going back because he still didn’t want me to know the way.

“Of course not.” I told him. “But even if I did,” I added. “It wouldn’t be right for you to keep me captive, Calvin.”

“I know.” He nodded. “I don’t want to do that, I just don’t want for you to leave either.” He said softly, tucking the tie back down into his pocket. “I don’t want to keep anything from you.” He said seriously, turning to face me, holding my face in his hands. “No secrets.” He said firmly.

“No secrets.” I agreed.

He had such a torn expression on his face. His eyes were intense, but his brows were pulled together. “Are you happy here, Rachel?”

I kept my eyes firmly on his. “I don’t love this place, Cal, but this is where you are, and I love you .” I professed. “I’m happy with you.”

He looked a little more at ease, but still a little conflicted. “You would tell me if you wanted to leave, right?”


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