Chapter 17

Lorne visited early in the morning, telling John that he was going to visit the nearest village to do the things they had talked about the day before, and after that, John wasn’t really able to fall back asleep. Not that he wanted to; Aracely was still sleeping peacefully and she looked enchanting. He snuggled up to her and softly started to caress her stomach; it was still hard to believe that she was carrying his child.

“You will make a wonderful father,” she murmured, not stirring from her warm and comfortable position. Aracely smiled as she shifted her head to look at him better. She’d been on the border of sleep and wakefulness for some time but she simply was too content to change the peaceful bubble that they seemed to have been in that morning.

He softly kissed her. “I doubt that, but thank you for your faith in me,” he smiled and kissed her again. “Good morning my love.”

“It is not just faith. I see it in everything you do,” she sighed. “Did you sleep well?”

“I did,” John replied and softly caressed her hair. “Did you?”

“Very well,” Aracely replied. “How do you wish to spend the day? Danyel and Vala are having their usual spirits party at their pub today so they will be busy. Halling mentioned that he was looking to spend some time with his children as well. It will generally be just you and I.”

“I don’t know, what do you wish to do?” He smiled at her. “We could go for a stroll, or we could do nothing… or, you could visit Samanthia… I don’t know.”

She scrunched her face at the ideas. As much as she knew she should visit Samanthia, she wasn’t so eager after the parting gift the woman had given John on his visit. She would rather their intimate moments be kept between her and her husband and no one else. “A walk sounds lovely. There is a nice area, a small meadow that I used to sit in when I sought out solitude. I think you would enjoy it.”

“Alright, then let us do that,” he smiled. “We might even could bring us something to eat as well.”

“And another journal to read through,” she added.

“Of course, but are you certain you want to take it out of the house?”

Aracely frowned as she sat up. “There are still a great deal more to read through. If we are to settle the mystery, the quicker we go through them, the more we can discover. It is only one book we bring. I do not believe there may be a threat now that the Chulakkans are gone, do you? Unless of course the danger comes from within the land.”

“No, that’s not what I mean,” John sighed and pointed at the journals. “These are priceless, to you. What if something would happen to the one we bring with?”

She looked at him with a smile. “We need to believe that nothing will happen. Otherwise we would simply end up staying here for the protection of something so tangible. The important thing that I take from these is the knowledge and emotion of my mother’s memories as she saw the events around her.”

“Okay,” He smiled and kissed her softly as he snuck her hand underneath her shirt, caressing her stomach before moving upwards towards her breasts.

“So early?” she laughed as she laid back down in the bed. “Please do not say that you actually took some of Samanthia’s herb this morning…”

“I might have walked passed it when Lorne was downstairs… but no… I didn’t take it, I just…” John shrugged as he playfully squeezed her nipple. “Feel like it.”

“I love you. I do, but I truly do not wish to make love now,” she admitted to him sadly. “I have been feeling a little sore since our last time.”

John smiled and slowly removed his hand from underneath her shirt. Instead, he pulled her into his arms and held her as he settled back into the mattress. “Can I hold you instead then?”

“Always,” Aracely said as she kissed his chin, where she could reach from their position. The scent of food cooking had slowly made its way to the bedroom and she sighed. “Gabriella is cooking. She will likely come to collect us soon.”

“Quick, let’s pretend we’re still asleep.” He grinned.

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They spent the rest of the day out in a clearing in the woods, reading a few more journals and having a meal while they enjoyed the surrounding area. There was no doubt that Aracely was the true heir to the throne of Proculus, not that he ever doubted it, but it was good to have the writings as evidence.

Though it was slightly weird and off putting to read the journals to Aracely, it showed how her father was a real family man and instead of fighting his younger brother, Chaya’s father, he had decided to flee Proculus to save his family and avoid a lot of bloodshed, mostly his own. Eileen and Robert did worry for the people of Proculus and hoped that one day, they would be able to return to their rightful place.

John was slightly puzzled about the fact that his father, and later his mother, knew Aracely’s parents. His father had offered Robert and Eileen to go to war with Proculus to get him back on the throne, but Robert had refused. Eileen often wrote about the Royal balls she and Robert, and later with their daughter, attended and it was idifficult/i to read the words she wrote about himself, how she thought that King George was doing a fine job on raising John, and how the boy was respectful towards Aracely and made sure she never hurt herself when they were playing around like the little children they were.

That passage had him and Aracely speechless for a while. They both remembered that particular event, although it was slightly hazy due to them growing up, never remembering names when being young and their distaste of Royal balls – which reminded him that he, at some point, had to have one too.

When they returned just before supper time with Halling and his family, he saw Lorne return from his journey, who informed him that the village was similar to San Franciskus, but they had never been attacked. There were a lot sick people there and Lorne didn’t see a young child anywhere. John told him to go and rest and that they would meet the following morning to check out the lake that supplied the villages with water.

“John,” Aracely smiled as she pulled him into a hug. “As much as I admire your ability to stay true to your word… you don’t have to personally check out the water supply to this village.”

“If we find the source of the contamination I might even go into the water myself and rip it out of the water.”

“John…”

“No.” He softly kissed her before they cleaned themselves up and joined Halling and his family for supper.

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The next day, John watched how David the herbalist splashed about in the water with Lorne and a few soldiers, getting rid of the poisonous plants that had started to embed themselves in the flanks of the lake while a lot of other plants were drifting in the middle of it. John wanted to dive in and help out, but David had started to ramble about even though the King was in good health and in no need of Samanthia’s help to stay healthy despite drinking the water, he was not going to allow him to bathe himself in the plant filled lake. Lorne agreed, and by then it was two against one.

Of course, they would free the lake of the plants, burn them once they’d dried up, but that wouldn’t guarantee that whoever was poisoning the lake and the villages wouldn’t come back. When the night was falling, John decided to leave three soldiers behind until they would catch whomever was responsible for the ill health of the villages.

John had a feeling that it might be someone from Proculus or someone for hire. David had suggested the same thing, as had Samanthia, the alchemist. He was a patient man, and should the person, or persons, get caught, they would be brought to the castle. The more he could use against Chaya and her parents; the better. John did not want to start a war.

Aracely stayed at the house for the majority of the day, with Vala dropping in when she had the opportunity to take a break from helping her own husband run their tavern. Still, she worried greatly for John when he was away. While she knew he could defend himself, and that the village was again safe from attack, she still found herself feeling anxious.

He had never thought they would have stayed away this long and he was actually a little hungry when he arrived back at the house. Night had fallen and he felt guilty for not having been around for supper. John found Aracely sitting at the fire, reading a book. He stood in the doorway for a while, loving the sight of her being immersed in her book, forgetting the rest of the world and just smiled widely.

“You are so beautiful,” he said after a while, not moving from his spot.

She looked up and smiled warmly. “John! How did it go?” she asked, quickly setting aside her book to rise to her feet to meet him.

John walked towards her and pulled her into his arms as he planted a kiss on top of her head. “As far as we can tell, the lake is clear of all the plants, and David says that in a couple of days the water will be pure again.” He softly kissed her on the lips. “How was your day?”

“Long,” she smiled in response. “And loud. Vala came to visit for lunch. One would think that she might take it easy herself while expecting a child now. I think she managed to find herself a whole new level of strength and energy!”

He chuckled. “Did you enjoy yourself despite the long and loud day?”

“Yes,” Aracely answered as she leaned in to kiss him on his jaw. “You must be hungered. Gabriella made a lovely dinner for us.”

“But it is late, you shouldn’t have waited for me, you must be famished.” He said as he ran a hand through her hair. “You don’t have to wait for me to have your dinner.”

“I had something earlier to hold me over. I wanted to wait for you. Unless you are not hungry? We can turn in for the night if you prefer?”

“Oh no, I am hungry,” he grinned and kissed her greedily. “For you and food.”

She grinned up at him before glancing over at the door that led to the cooking area. “Then go find yourself something. I will be in the bed, waiting for you my King,” she said, brushing against him briefly before making her way towards the stairs.

He watched her walk up the stairs and made his way towards Gabriella, who was smiling from ear to ear. “I’ve been keeping your food warm, sire.”

“Thanks…” he cocked his head and sighed. “What?”

“Nothing.” She giggled as she pointed towards a chair for him to sit as she scooped some food on a plate.

“Have you seen Teyla?” John asked as he eyed Gabriella suspiciously. “I haven’t seen her in days.”

“Didn’t she tell you? She went to visit some of her family across the border, she said she’d be back soon.” Gabriella set down the plate in front of him and poured him a glass of wine.

He sighed. “Yeah, she didn’t tell me, for good reason, I wouldn’t have let her go.” John started to eat his food. “Thank you for keeping the food warm for me.” John finished his food soon after and put his empty plate and glass into the tub before making his way upstairs, finding Aracely in her bed, smiling at him. “Hello beautiful lady.”

She stretched out her legs and looked up at him. “Come here,” she said as she reached out for him. “I am cold and wish for you to warm me up.”

He crawled onto the bed and softly kissed her. “And how would you want me to do that, my love? Would you like me to hold you… or to cause a little bit of friction to warm you up?”

Aracely pulled on his shirt until he was closer and able to rest her arms over his shoulders. “I would be pleased with whichever method you choose,” she answered as she smiled into his eyes.

John grinned as he softly kissed her. “No longer sore then?”

“I am, but I’m sure that I would not notice as much with your ability to distract me from it,” she teased as her kiss turned into a light bite on his lip.

He blinked and thought for a moment. His body wanted her, maybe even ineeded/i her, but he didn’t want her to feel sore during their journey homeward which would probably be the day after the next and decided to make iher/i feel good. John chuckled as he softly started to kiss the vein on her neck as he snuck his hands underneath her shirt, only to stop working on her neck to help her out of her shirt.

Once free of the fabric, her kisses increased their intensity, pulling him to her as she wrapped her arms around his shoulders. It was not long that her fingers slowly began to pull on his own clothing to reveal his body to her. “I love you,” she said softly, slowing up a bit for him.

After discarding his shirt and vest that he had worn, he smiled at her. “And I love you, my beautiful wife,” he softly kissed her before kissing his way down her torso, his fingertips gently caressed her skin and he could feel how her body was heating up under his touch.

She sank back into the soft bedding of the mattress as she watched him. Reaching up she ran her fingers along his face and into his hair. Cupping his face, she pulled him back up, wanting his lips on hers again.

John kissed her hungrily as he made himself more comfortable on the bed next to her, still caressing her torso with his free hand, drawing circles on his way down. After a while, he gently broke off the kiss and smiled at her as his fingers circled around on her thighs. “Is it alright with you if we leave the day after tomorrow, my love?”

“It is fine,” Aracely murmured as she tried to catch his lips again. “If you wished to leave tomorrow, I would be with you.”

“I am not that cruel,” he replied and kissed the tip of her nose. “When I took you away from here it was a little abrupt… you should take the time tomorrow to say your goodbyes to your friends more appropriately.”

“Very well. We can have a big supper with everyone at the tavern tomorrow then. I can speak to Vala and Danyel in the morning about it. No doubt that he will wish to have as many choices as he could offer for everyone’s liking,” she said thoughtfully.

“Whatever pleases you, my beautiful wife,” John smiled as he kissed her again as his hand moved towards her hot center.

She grinned as she kissed him back and pulled him closer to her, shifting herself underneath him for more comfort and ease. “Do not tease me like this Husband,” she almost purred into his neck.

“Like what?” He asked innocently as he started to gently press his hand down and used his fingers to tickle her lips below. John softly started to kiss her neck as he kept stroking her. “This is not teasing…” he said as he started to kiss his way down her body, not removing his hand from her. “This is called worshipping…” he playfully bit the top of her breast.

John felt how his self control was waning, but he reminded himself that he didn’t want to hurt her, he didn’t want her to feel sore and uncomfortable on the way back towards the castle, and he told himself that this was fun too; making iher/i feel good and send her flying without the use of his cock.

She let her head fall back to the pillows and let out a sigh. She began to squirm underneath him, her body fighting the need to remain still for his attentions. “John,” she moaned, her head rolling to the side as she let a deep breath out.

He grinned as he kissed her belly button. “Yes, my love?”

“Now.” Aracely tugged on his hair and pulled him up. “I know what you’re trying to do, husband, but I want to feel you inside of me.” She claimed his mouth as she pulled his hands away from her center. Not soon after she finally got him to do what she wanted, ineeded/i, she reached completion and drifted off in a deep sleep.