It seems appropriate I start this post with a wedding. My oldest son, a Marine, is getting married in two weeks. He’s flying home this weekend to get a few things tied up before the ceremony.
It’s a simple ceremony—no fancy dresses or big halls. They want a quick ceremony and a cook out after. I’m inclined to agree with them. Sometimes simple is best. Perhaps many of the traditions have gotten out of control? The bride’s dress can cost thousands of dollars. The meal, the entire affair, could pay for a home in many cases or at least a sizable down payment on one.
It seems there are so many traditions. From the bouquet the bride carries, to her maid of honor and the groom’s best man. Many seem to be for show now, but in the past they served a purpose.
In medieval times, bathes were a once a year affair and the bride’s bouquet helped to cover unpleasant body odor. And what about the maid of honor and best man? Getting married back then wasn’t just about love—it usually was more political—a way to increase wealth and family holdings. From the dowry to the food stores used for the celebration, a vast amount of coin changed hands and love had no part in it. Sometimes the participants of the wedding were not willing participants. If the bride fled or the groom failed to show, the maid of honor or groom were there to take their place. Alliances must be made and contracts kept.
So, what would the traditions and rituals of a people on another world be? Would they have ceremonies—celebrations?
In my novella, When Souls Collide—the weddings for the Kalos last four days. Grab a coffee and sit back. Welcome to Third Night of a Kalos wedding.
All rights are the intellectual property of the author. No part may be copied or reproduced without the permission of the author.
***Warning. The following story contains erotic elements, explicit language and violence. Read at your own risk.***
Seventy years later…
Tesza took every lucid thought from his head. Jarod stared at the woman across from him. He needed to feel the heat of her body, the beat of her heart against his and taste her on his lips.
Tonight she wore her hair loose. It tumbled about her shoulders, caressing skin left bare by the sleeveless blouse. He could feel her flesh without touching. Soft. Warm.
The lines of her profile swept gracefully from her jaw to her shoulders. She wasn’t just beautiful, she was more. She was all he could ever dream of—desire. She gave him strength while her laughter filled him with hope. He’d never seen a more perfect woman. Her every action was sexy and innocent.
She was his goddess. His.
His eyes followed the curve of her long legs, pulled up next to her. She worked her toes into the blue sand and tipped her head back, as if she enjoyed the warmth still lingering within its grains. The look on her face, ecstasy.
Jarod shifted in his seat. A restlessness built. It was the same expression she had when he touched her. He wanted to be the reason for that look.
A fine sheen from the humidity clung to her skin, making it glow in an ethereal quality, beckoning him to touch. He glanced around the fire. It was early. To rise now and take her away would give the appearance of being too anxious. He had to hold, be patient, if but a little longer.
His every action was studied and he should never look anxious in front of his people. He must always be an example of strength and power. Their lives depended on it.
The Kalos were a hunted people. They never knew which day would be their last. Bound to the world by his grandfather, a move that saved them and cursed them, they would spend their lives in fear, running from an enemy that wanted their world and their deaths. Often the responsibility he carried felt as though it would crush him, and just when he thought he couldn’t take any more, she’d smile at him, easing the weight.
Gods, he loved her. He’d do anything to protect her, anything to keep her safe. Tesza was his one weakness. For her, he’d die.
Tesza felt his eyes on her and glanced up. The crumbling ruins were packed with family, friends and well-wishers. Weddings for her people lasted four days and this was the third. They’d traveled from clan to clan, place to place. Tonight they sat on the skirts of High City, a place claimed by nature, flooded by the mangroves. The island was a common camping spot for traveling hunters and bridal parties. The clan followed the footsteps of ancestors, honoring them and their memories.
They’d leave soon, abandoning the couple until the morning of Fourth day, when the women of Tesza’s family would retrieve her, help her dress and prepare for Fourth night, a task that could take hours. She’d be bathed and customary bridal symbols would be painted in gold over her entire body to provide blessings for their future.
Jarod’s eyes hadn’t left her for a heartbeat. She blushed and looked down. Why should she be nervous? It wasn’t like they hadn’t touched. He’d kissed every fraction of her skin, touched her inside and out. He’d been more intimate than she could’ve imagined.
Yet tradition dictated they not consummate the marriage until the fourth night. Each evening the caresses grew more intense, more familiar. Tomorrow on Fourth night, she’d be his queen and complete the ritual.
Heat stirred between her thighs when she thought of the way his mouth slid over her skin and the way his fingers felt as they slipped inside her. He’d kept her up all the night before, with orgasm after orgasm.
She brought her eyes up to his and locked gazes. Her heart jumped and she reached up to still its beat. His gaze drifted to her hand, eyes glowing feral in the light. The corner of his mouth curled. Tesza’s hand dropped, shaking. Jittery. Gods, she was so nervous.
He knew she was already his. Tonight would prove to be almost more than she could bear. She must hold her ground. One more night to prove she was worthy of him.
He rose to his feet. Her gaze returned to the ground and she swallowed. He crept to her side silently, but she knew he was there, could feel the energy before his warm breath touched her ear. A hand softly slid down her neck, brushing her shoulder. “What haunts you?”
Tesza gasped, sucking in a breath, unable to speak. His voice ignited the needs from the night before and sapped her strength. A thousand thoughts whirred inside her head but not a one escaped.
“Do you think of last night?” His lips moved closer to her ear, one finger stroked along her collarbone. “Tonight?” He kissed the nape of her neck. Tesza’s heart skipped. Chills shot across her skin.
Jarod reached down and grasped her hand, pulling her from where she sat. He flipped it over and kissed the underside of her wrist, stroking along the skin of her arm to her elbow with his other hand. He pulled her back against him and wrapped his arms around her. His erection pressed against her backside, hot even through their clothing. “Do you feel it,” Jarod whispered into her ear. “My desire.”
“Yes.” Tesza watched the clan rise to their feet and retreat into the darkness, until only she and Jarod were left. They’d gone early. She’d felt his restlessness and perhaps they did as well. “They leave early.”
“I need you.” His hand slipped inside her shirt, skimming along her ribs. “They know this.”
Her breath hitched. “It isn’t Fourth Night.”
“No, but I still need you. There are other ways to take a woman without consummating the union.” His hand slid up and cupped her breast, his thumb brushing little circles around her nipple.
His hand retreated. “Do you trust me?”
“Why do you ask?” Tesza’s voice came out in a raspy whisper.
“When we’re denied one of our senses, others are intensified.”
A blindfold dropped over her eyes.
“I won’t hurt you, Tess.”
“Yes. I trust you.” The heat of his body moved away.
“Shush. I’m looking at you.”
Tesza turned around. “Jarod?”
Warm breath washed over her cheek. He grasped her hand and laced his fingers into hers. “Come with me.”
She took an unsteady step and stopped. Roots and rocks littered the ground.
“I won’t let you trip.” Jarod gave her a gentle pull and she followed. She inhaled his spicy-wood smell, wild, passionate. A combination of the tree-oils he used to clean his weapons and the soap he washed with, a scent unique to him. One she loved. The smell of a man. Her man.
Step after step, she followed, trusting his lead. It seemed they’d walked forever. Everywhere around her the jungle sang, but it sounded muted, withdrawn.
“Don’t move.” Jarod released her hand and stepped away. “Since we’ve been on this world, every bride of my family has come here on Third night.” His voice moved around as he circled her. “It’s tradition. Traditions keep us from forgetting our past. They’re important. You’re important enough to share them with. This is within the city, secret passages and a place only known to kings.”
“What are you doing?”
Tesza reached up to remove the blindfold and Jarod caught her wrist. “No. Not tonight.” He kissed her hand and released it. “Tonight I want you to only feel. Each touch. Intensified.”
Tesza’s heart began to race. Could it get more intense?
Jarod led her to a spot and slowly lowered her to a cushioned surface. He took her hand, slid a strip of silk around her wrist and tied it to something.
“Trust me, Tess.” He brushed his hand along her arm to her other wrist and secured it in the same manner and then started with her ankles. “Tonight my touch. Tonight, I only want you to feel.”
His hand slid up her skirt, stroking along the inside of her thigh. Tesza gasped and bucked up. “I want to touch you,” she whispered.
“No. Tonight only my touch. I fear I would not survive yours. Free yourself to me.” His fingers brushed her clit and she cried out. His touch withdrew. Tesza struggled against the restraints.
“Don’t leave me.”
“No. I’m here.” He pressed something cold and wet on her bottom lip. “Taste.”
She opened her mouth. It tasted sweet and tangy. She took a bite and swallowed, licking her bottom lip. He gave her another piece.
“It’s good,” she said. Both sweet and bitter, it warmed as it slid down her throat.
“It’s an aphrodisiac. Every touch, taste, smell is enhanced.”
Tesza felt a buzzing heat move through her body.
“The effect is almost instantaneous. It lover’s fruit.” Another piece slid along her bottom lip, she opened her mouth and he pulled it away and replaced it with his lips. His tongue dipped in and out, teasing, sending jolts racing through her body. “Tonight we take it slow.” He drew the fruit down her neck, kissing the trail of juice it left behind, licking it from her skin.
One clasp at a time her blouse opened. He pushed it aside, licked around her naval and blew across it. The juice reacted to his breath, warming, tingling.
The heat increased. Slow? Gods no. Please. She yanked against the restraints and bucked up. “No. Not slow. More.”
Jarod chuckled and moved away.
“Don’t stop. Touch me,” Tesza whimpered.
He pushed her skirt up higher and ran his hand up her thigh again, stopping short of her lips. Tesza bucked up, trying to move closer to his hand. She needed his touch. Gods she needed him. He pressed on her hip, stopping her. The cold wet, fruit slid up her leg, between her lips and along the aching nub.
His hand withdrew, the fruit with it.
He started low, nipping the inside of her knee. He took his time and devoured her inch by inch, until she wept under him. Just as she thought she couldn’t take anymore, he pulled away.
His teeth grazed her ankle. His mouth, licked, kissed, nipped slowly up her calve, moving to the inside of her knee again. He blew heated breath and Tesza arched up.
“Gods, you’re killing me.”
“I’m letting you know what you have to look forward to Fourth Night.” He continued, up her thigh following the trail of nectar from the fruit. Higher. Jarod blew on the juice he’d left on her clit. Tesza cried out and came. Liquid heat flowed from her, trickling down the inside of her thigh.
Fingers brushed her pussy, rubbing the slick cum, coating his finger, stroking the sensitive nub, but not slipping inside. “Gods, no. Please. Touch me. Inside. Jarod.”
His hand withdrew.
“I can’t do this.” Tesza lifted up, tugging on the restraints.
“I have all night to convince you that you belong to me.” Warm breath, on the inside of her thigh again. “Do you belong to me?”
“Not yet,” Tesza groaned between her teeth. She had to fight. She had to show him she was worthy to be his queen.
He blew again.
“Gods, no! Not all night. Please now. I claim you. I claim you. Please, Jarod.”
“Shhh. There’s time for that on Fourth night. Claim me then. Tonight, just feel.” His voice buzzed against her hip, giving her no warning, no time to brace.
Then he licked her.
“Oh.” Tesza arched off the mattress. A night of this and she wouldn’t survive to Fourth.
The Kalos believed the buildup of lust made the bride fertile and cemented her love for her groom. Tesza didn’t need to cement anything; she’d loved Jarod since childhood, for twenty-five years.
The more pleasure he brought before Fourth night, the more powerful the bond. If that were true, nothing could get between them.