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The second gift

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The second gift

Post by Casandra Lightheart on Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:40 pm

(This is being posted with permission of Marques' miun)

Cassie had spent the day with her children. She was very happy to be back with them, they were also happy to see her. They had asked about the man from the day before. She had been completely honest with them in telling them that he was the man that she had been seeing for the last few months. They had smiled and laughed about it. Her daughter kept touching the glass heart. It was after dinner when she went to the Employees room and knocked on the door, she had a favor to ask of Manny, he of course agreed, he had missed Cas' kids and they were happy to see their uncle Manny.He agreed to stay with the children while they slept so someone they knew would be there if they woke up. She put the children to bed after reading them a story. Then she took the time to change into a long flowing green dress, it was sleeveless and made from light linen. She had had her hair in a braid all day so when she took it out her hair was in waves. the left it loose and flowing down her back. She put on a touch of perfume she had bought herself when she was shopping for Christmas presents. Making sure that the necklace was straight she was satisfied with how she looked. She picked up the large crate she had had made to house the painting and went to this door and knocked.

Remembering that Casandra said she had wanted to give him a gift on Epiphany. It was such a time and therefore he was ready when the knock came on the door. He had been sitting next to the open window in his room, a small pad in his hand and a pen. The Marquιs had been writing a letter and it was quiet in his room since he was alone. Leo was out somewhere. Now he rose from his seat and set his writing on the small desk next to the chair, brushing down his shirt and pushing back his hair, he went to open the door. "Greetings Casandra." She could see the room. It was clean and smelled fresh, almost like spring though it was winter still. "I had been expecting you." And he tipped down to kiss her on either cheek.

She smiled up at him and retuned his kiss in like fashion. She moved into the room and leaned the crate up against the wall. "I have put the children to bed and their Uncle Manny is with them, so we have this night to ourselves."

"Let me help you," spoken as he reached down to take the crate from her hands, wondering what could be inside. "You have made arrangements to be away for the evening? How good it is to be amongst friends, where you are able to find people to help with the children."You look lovely." He did. He wouldn't have said it otherwise. "Please, come in."

She moved all the way into the room. "Yes, Manny loves my children like they were his own, he has missed them as well and was more than happy when I asked if he would help me." She had her hands folded in front of her. She was very nervous about the gift in the box.

His room was spacious and airy. Unlike his Manor home, this one had a lot of modern and contemporary style. Smooth lines without a lot of clutter or things that were not needed. Yet, it still had a few pieces that would fit into who he was and his heritage. He led her in and to the living room area, placing the crate on the couch. "Now, what is this?" Looking it over for the best way to open it. "Perhaps I shall require a hammer to get it open." Would he have a hammer? Yes, oddly enough.

She watched as he got a hammer. "Just be careful it is very fragile." It was clear that she was nervous in the way she was moving her hands and playing with her dress. She watched him as he b3egan to open the crate.

Who would have known that this man - the man who was always dressed up and seemed to be so very proper, knew how to use a hammer? Or even that he would have one in his possession. He did, and he had gone back into the bedroom before he came out with the tool. Now he was working the crate, carefully, and skillfully, hooking the flat end of the hammer into the wood and pulling. There was a crack as it broke and he moved the hammer along the frame of the crate until the top was able to come off. Discarding the broken piece, and setting the hammer down, he pulled out what was inside. It was a picture. At first he was a bit taken back, and maybe it gave the wrong
impression by the small bit of laughter he was producing, but it was not to be taken in the negative way. The Marquιs continued to pull out the portrait until it was completely free of the crate and he held it out and studied it. "Even the work of a wonderful painter cannot fully capture the what is seen with mine eyes. What a lovely picture."

She smiled and laughed a bit as well. "I kept thinking about what to get a man who either has or can buy anything he wants; then it came to me. You have different pieces of art all over the manor, and I wanted to give you something no one else could." She moved closer to him and placed a hand on his arm. "Thank you for the compliment. I am very happy you like it."

"I do not know if I could buy anything." feeling her hand on his am he lowered the picture, sitting it upwards on the couch. It wouldn't fall as it was supported. He took his hands from it so could place his hands upon her arms. "I can not buy you." It was said sincerely for he knew that there was no real price tag. "I love the picture. I will fill my head."

She smiled at his words and looked up into his eyes. "You are right Amadeo, you can not buy what is given freely." Her voice was soft. "I am glad that you will enjoy it." She was now relaxing, she was worried that he might not like it.

She shouldn't worry about such things like that. If he didn't like it, he would have said something of the sort. Still holding her, he gave her a kiss before letting go. "Now for where it shall be placed." Once again he picked up the painting. "I shall place it in the bedroom here, so that I will be able to look upon it at night before sleeping. I don't want the wandering eyes of visitors to see that which they cannot have. "

She returned his kiss as he decided where to put it. When he said where he was going to place it she blushed. "Doing that will probably place me in your dreams while you sleep." She paused a moment. "You are also right, I was a bit uncomfortable standing to have the picture painted, and a woman painted it for me, and I would not want another man seeing it."

"I do not have a problem with having you in my dreams and neither should you." Simply put as he carried the portrait and headed into his room. He had the room reconfigured so that Leo and himself could have their separate rooms. He would not take too long in the room for he wanted to get back out to her. It would be rude to keep her waiting in the main section. He spoke again as he came out and ushered his hand towards the kitchen area. "None else shall be able to gaze upon your beauty. Come, let us share a drink together. "

"You already are in my dreams." She waited as he went to his room, it was not long before he came back. She went to the kitchen area and sat at the small table. "I am glad that you will have it. I would love a drink."

From the cabinets he pulled out a glass, though it was quite unlike any glass she may have been expecting. It was a gourd matι cup with gold floral design on the silver collar. A gold wash accents some of the leaves and the whole thing stood at 4 inches tall. Then there was a straw, it was made in similar design to the cup. Both of these he placed on the table in front of her. "Have you ever had matι before Casandra?" Question asked he started a pot of hot water.

She watched him as he moved around the kitchen and pulled a set of very strange glasses from the cabinets. She ran her hand along the cup as he set it in front of her. "No Amadeo, I can not say that I have." She watched as he put a pot of water on to boil. "What is it?"

"You use herbs, sν? And since you show interest in my culture I will share some of it with you. Matι." He said it slow so she could be able to say it. The word sounded as 'Ma-tay' "It is a drink that we share with our friends. For friendship and health." He pulled out two separate jars. they were clear and she could see that one constrained very finely crushed herbs, almost to powder. The other was herbs but not as fine. "It has a bitter taste that some people at first have to get use to. It.. has been called by some here to be the like of coffee? But no coffee I have tasted can match it. It is very rich. " He took these to the table.
Sitting them on the table he picked up the gourd. "To share the drink of matι with someone is considered to be an honor. In sharing it not only do they confirm you as friend, but they are wishing blessings to be upon your health. The herbs here." pointing to the jars he had brought over, are placed into the gourd, firmly packed and then we add the hot water and shake it. The water absorbs it all. To drink, we use special straws" Looking at it they were not hallow, but solid with holes to allow liquid to come through. "Do you like a strong drink? Others would put honey or sugar but I say no."

She smiled as she listened, she was touched that he would share this with her. "Matι." She tested the word out. "Friendship we have, and health is good." She watched as he set the jars on the table. "I enjoy a good cup of coffee from time to time." She watched as he prepared the matι, she smiled as he explained the custom behind it. "I am very honored, both that you would sre your culture with me and this drink." She looked at the straw it was different. "I will drink it as you do. There is no reason to change the flavor of it."

Water did not take long to boil, while he waited was when he would set about preparing the two servings. Adding the right amount of ingredients. First was the powdered herbs followed by the fuller before another layer of powder was added. "I should warn you that it is stronger than a coffee." Leaving the cups he fetched the hot water and carefully poured it into the cups. Just enough for a thin water layer. Then he picked up one of the cups and placed his palm over the opening and gave it a rigorous shake and tipped it from side to side. The herbs were pressed to the side of the gourd and he set in the straw. Then he did the same to his own. "Traditionally some people would share the same drink but I want you to have the experience of the first drink. But know that it is important that you do not drink from your cup until the one who has prepared it has taken their first drink. Otherwise it is very rude and insulting." He fixed his own as he spoke. She could smell the bitter herbs from the cup. "Ready?"

She smiled softly as she watched him. "I do not like to be rude and I would hate to insult you." She picked up the gourd."I am ready."

He nodded, thinking that she understood what he said. Setting in his own straw he drinks from it. He usually had this drink a few times a day, so the bitter taste of the drink was nothing to him. "The more cups of matι, the less bitter it will become as the herbs are washed." He spoke only after he had finished the first drink. Then, he watched her.

She inhaled the smell of the matι and then placed the straw to her lips. She took a small sip of the strong bitter drink. She made a face as it hit her tastbuds. It was very strong and bitter, but it was good. "I think it would take some getting used to bitterness, but I do like it."

"Go slow at it." he couldn't help but chuckle a bit. "It would not do for you to have an upset stomach for wanting to drink it all. I have been drinking matι since I was a boy of fifteen. "

She smiled as she took another sip. "I will promise to drink it slowly, thank you for sharing this with me." She reached across the table and took his hand.

Taking her hand he gave it a squeeze. "Good. I do nae expect it to be one of your favored drinks. I am only glad that you have been willing to try it. Some people they make joke on a good drink will clear your head of anything." It was to be a joke, though he did have a different sense of humor. "I'm glad you came. How long will the children be here at the Inn?"

She squeezed his hand in return. "I may never be a favored drink but I will be honored to share it with you as often as you make it for me." She laughed softly at his joke. "I can see it clearing your head of anything, as for my children , they will stay wherever I am. For now that is here. I will make arrangements for them to go to the school in New Haven. I will be going back and forth between here and Claremount a lot more now though." She leaned in and kissed him softly. "I am more glad to be here than you know. I missed you while you were gone, not even having my children back will take that away when you have to be gone."

The bitterness of the matι was in that kiss, but as it was a light one. "I am glad that you will have comfort, for I know that I do take long trips away." He paused. "Though I must be off again in near a week for some things that need to be handled. However, when I am around, I will be here. It would be nice to meet your children."

She did not mind the bitter taste in the kiss from the matι. She smiled at him. "I do miss you but I know that at times you must be gone, and it is something I have to accept." She kissed him again. "A week is plenty of time for you to meet the children. She lowered her voice to a whisper. For tonight if you will have me here I would like to stay, I can leave early before the children wake up."

"Of course you may my dear." He would be delighted and it was not anything that he was going to turn down. "It shall be a wonderful thing to lay with you in my arms once more." His bed was big enough for the two of them to be comfortable so they both should be able to sleep. "I shall be able to replace the image of you with the real thing."

She stood from the table and took his hand. Come then let us go lay down." She let him lead her to his room and took her dress off. Under it was a short nightgown. She slid into the bed. After he joined her in bed they shared a few very passionate kissed before she lay on his chest and slept. She awoke early and put her dress back on. She kissed Amadeo on the cheek and left to go back to her own room. She thanked Manny and hugged him before he left.

Casandra Lightheart

Number of posts : 1130
Joined : 2008-09-27
Age : 42
Location : Rhydin

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