CHAPTER 5 - RETURNING HOME.
Espin had requested they rest before they headed back to the village. Going back tired wouldn't have helped her mood in any way. Serenity agreed it was a good idea, and they spent two days resting.
They enjoyed each other's company. Espin had great fun in trying to make Serenity blush with her stories, and as much as Serenity found these uncomfortable, she also found them just as equally arousing. Not that she let on to Espin.
It was soon time to leave, but Espin had only just got around to recounting the time with Cara. In every explicit detail.
"She let them put it in where?" Serenity gasped. Espin laughed. The shock on Serenity's face was priceless.
"In her bumhole," Espin said. She tilted her head back and ran the fingers of both hands through her long blonde hair.
"That's not a thing, surely?" Serenity said. Not taking her eyes off Espin's slender throat. "I can't see how that is pleasurable in anyway."
"Don't knock it till you've tried it Red," Espin said, her head coming back down. She winked and Serenity screwed her face up.
"You've tried it?" Serenity asked, leaning forward.
"Only a finger or two," Espin replied. "It feels good."
"Disgusting," Serenity said. "No one's putting anything up there on me."
"Ooh I like a challenge," Espin said. Smiling.
Serenity shook her head. She stood up and brushed down her flimsy white dress. Giving Espin a chance to ogle her slender body. "No chance," Serenity said. "You stay away from that hole."
"Does that mean the other one's fair game?" Espin said. "I might have to take you up on that."
"I'm going to find some berries," Serenity said. Her face now matching the colour of her short red hair. Her pointy ears burning bright. "I wish you wouldn't tease me." She flew off.
"I wasn't teasing," Espin mumbled. Why do I have to be such a cunt, she thought. She was annoyed with herself again. She liked Serenity, a lot, but she was battling against her fear of commitment. She got the feeling that Serenity liked her too, but would want something more than just a fling. Espin wasn't sure she could put her emotions on the line again.
Serenity cursed herself too. Annoyed that she let Espin wind her up, but even more annoyed that she wanted Espin so badly. She wanted Espin to do the things to her that she teased about. To do whatever she wanted with her body. She had fallen in love with her and couldn't do anything about it.
She knew now that Espin was innocent of what she had been accused of. Her beauty was so encompassing that she didn't need magic to make someone fall for her. It wasn't just her looks though, which were undoubtedly incredible. It was the strength that emanated from inside her. Yes, she had a mischievous streak, but Serenity knew that wasn't really her
That was because of the way she had been treated. Deep down she knew Espin was good.
She wanted to hear Espin's side of the story of why she was banished, but knew Espin didn't want to share. Maybe eventually she'd open up.
When Serenity got back they ate and then left. They took off and flew at a steady pace. Espin was in no rush to return home. They had been flying a while in silence until one of them finally spoke. It was Espin, who had been thinking hard about what she was going back to.
"We really loved each other you know," she said.
Serenity turned her head towards Espin but didn't say anything. Espin smiled weakly at her.
"We tried not to fall in love," she continued. "We knew it was wrong. She was a princess. I was....." she paused for a minute. "Well. Who knows what I am, but you all looked down on me for it."
Serenity didn't say anything again. She hadn't been there when Espin was there. She hoped she wouldn't have treated Espin like the others.
"They never would have allowed us to have a relationship so we kept it quiet," Espin said. "For months we met in secret. Sneaking into each other's bedrooms. Then we got too carried away and were careless. We escaped from a ball one night and rushed through the village hand in hand. We thought everyone was at the village hall. We went into Folell's house, where I lived. She was one of the only ones that really cared for me." Espin wiped her eyes. She was trying not to cry, but she felt her eyes welling up. She hated showing weakness.
"One of the Princesses' friends had spotted us. She followed us, saw where we went and ran to get some more witnesses. They all hated me. She must have been as happy as a pig in shit to know she had finally got me. She knew full well what she would find in that room."
Words spilled out of Espin now. Relief too as she finally let it all out. A lone tear ran down her cheek and the wind took it from her. It fell like a tiny raindrop.
"We should of heard them but we were too consumed in lust. They snuck in, and when they opened the door, there we were. My head between her legs. Her juices dripping down my chin. I can still see the shock on most of their faces, smug faces on the others. I looked to the princess to tell them to get out." Espin stopped flying. Serenity flew on a few feet before she realised and stopped too. She hovered back. They faced each other. Another tear ran down Espin's cheek.
"I'll never forget what happened next," Espin said, sadness laced her voice. "She said I made her do it. That I had put a spell on her. She panicked I guess. It hurt so much. They didn't even question if it was even possible for me to do that kind of magic, they just grabbed me. I was dragged through the village like a criminal. My trial was short and I was banished. They all knew the fucking truth deep down, but it was a great excuse to be rid of me."
"I was never bothered before if anyone believed me, I've given up trying to convince people. They believe what they want," she said, still not finished. "But I want you to believe me Red." She looked up into Serenity's eyes. "No. I need you to believe me."
Serenity looked at her for a second and then stepped forward. Espin looked down. She took Espin's hands in hers and pressed her forehead against hers.
"I believe you Espin," Serenity said. Then the sobs started. Espin finally letting go. Serenity pulled her in tight. Espin's head nestled into her neck. She brushed Espin's long blonde hair behind her pointy ear and kissed her on the head. Then she held her.
After a while they released each other and carried on their way. Espin felt a weight had been lifted off her shoulder. She had finally told her version of events and someone believed her. Someone she cared for. As she got closer to the village though her old anxieties returned.
They snuck into the village. Moving quickly and keeping out of sight. The Dryads and Naiads out tending to their woods and forests, or rivers. Normally solitary creatures they did have this village of sorts. Somewhere they knew they could come if needed. Where the elders of the nymphs lived.
Their hierarchy was made up of a Queen and a counsel. Still the same ones that banished Espin. They had been in power for decades, and probably would be for many more. Nymphs were a peaceful race, and there wasn't a lot of presiding over that was needed.
Serenity knew there was no chance they would let Espin in to talk to Folell, so they had picked the best route in that minimised detection.
Serenity breathed a sigh of relief as they finally made it through Folell's back door.
"Mother Earth that was tense," Serenity said, closing the door behind them.
Espin looked around the quaint kitchen. Nostalgia rushed through her like a wave. Some good memories flooding back. She pushed the bad ones away as she walked over to the kitchen tops and ran her fingers over items she recognised.
"Wait there," Serenity said.
"Don't leave me," Espin said. Panic in her voice.
"It's okay," Serenity said. "I'm just seeing if she's here." She touched Espin's arm. Giving it a squeeze. Espin smiled nervously as Serenity left the kitchen.
"Shit," Espin mumbled, quietly. She felt sick in her stomach. Her nerves were all over the place. She wondered if she could just run, fly away. But she realised she couldn't do it to Serenity. She just stood there, her mind whirling.
Finally the door opened and Espin looked up, a smile spreading across her face.
"Hello my child," Folell said from the doorway. A warm smile on her face.
Espin unexpectedly, even to herself, rushed across the short distance between them and hugged her. Well, tried.
Folell had always been a large lady, and as her arms wrapped affectionately around the small nymph, Espin got swallowed up in her large bosom. Espin's arms stretched as far around Folell's waist as they could, and squeezed as hard as they could.
They held each other for as long as possible, before Espin had to come up for air. She took a step back. Folell looked down at her, a tear in her eye.
"I've missed you my dear," Folell said. Her smile kind and affectionate. Espin looked down ashamed.
"I'm sorry I never contacted you," Espin said. "I......." She stopped, she had no excuses.
"Don't apologise," Folell said. "It was I that let you down. I should have fought harder for you. I'm sorry my child."
"You tried," Espin said. "I just couldn't face coming back. I wanted to forget it all." Espin looked up, finally meeting her eyes.
"You're here now," said Folell. "That's all that matters." She moved past Espin and sat in a chair at the table. "Take a seat, my child. We have a lot to discuss."
"Like what?" Espin asked. It must be important if Folell wanted to get straight to it.
"Your birth. Where you came from," Folell replied. "I can't wait any longer. I can't risk you not being told."
"Told what?" Espin asked. She was terrified all the kids were right growing up. Was she truly from the underworld. Did she want to know?
"I'm sorry it took me so long," Folell said. "I had my suspicions right from the beginning, but I could never find the answers I needed. Until recently. I know where you came from."
Serenity sat down next to Espin and took her hand, holding it in her lap. Espin was glad of the touch.
"Tell me," Espin said.
"I was there you know," Folell said. Espin did know that, but Folell had never spoken of it before. "The flat rock in the middle of us all as we talked. The clouds broke and a beam of sunlight hit the rock. There was a flash and we all covered our eyes. When I opened mine you were there, a beautiful baby nymph."
"Our leader at the time was a stupid old crone. She claimed you came from the rock, from the earth," Folell continued. Espin smiled at her description. "And so believed, as always, that nothing good comes from beneath the earth. As you grew older your personality fueled their beliefs. You were mischievous and naughty." She saw Espin bristle, anger grow. She held a finger up to stop her. "I saw it differently. You were head strong and passionate. Fiery even."
"I've spent years researching and digging through archives," Folell said. "I never believed you came from beneath the earth. I believe your origin is far more important. I believe you were born from the sunlight. The sun itself gave you life. You're a Sun nymph Espin."
Espin tried to let this sink in. "Why didn't you tell me any of your suspicions before?" Espin asked. "Why now?" She couldn't get her head round any of it.
"I wasn't sure I was right. I didn't want to get your hopes up," Folell said. "As for telling you now. I'm old my child
Too old. Soon I will return to nature and I didn't want to not tell you before that happens." She studied Espin carefully. "There is also the prophecy."
"Oh bollocks," Espin said. Folell gave her a harsh look. "What! It's never good when there's a prophecy. You never get a prophecy saying you're going to stumble across a chest of gold. It's always death and destruction."
"That is true my child," Folell said. "And this one is no different. It mentions a nymph from the stars having to make a choice. To save or destroy. I haven't heard the whole prophecy, but promise you I will find out."
"Yeah I probably need to know," Espin said. She sat there stunned. A sun nymph. What did all this mean? She sat there thinking. She tried to stop it, but it grew inside her. Anger flared its ugly head and started to envelope her.
As she opened her mouth to speak there was a knock on the door. Espin's head spun towards the door.
"It's okay Serenity," Folell said. "You can answer it."
Serenity got up and answered it. She opened the door to a small troop of village guards. All of them dressed in brown leather skirts and matching sleeveless brown leather tops. It appeared they had been spotted after all.
Espin kept her mouth shut and didn't say a word. She buried her anger for a bit. Now was not the time.
"You shouldn't be here," the lead nymph said, pointing at Espin. "You've been banished." Espin studied her. She had long blue hair. Obviously a Naiad, Espin thought. She was lean and toned. Like the other three with her.
"Shit. Sorry," Espin said. Her voice was calm. Serenity noticed the gleam in her eyes. The sly smile. This was going to be trouble, she thought.
"I didn't know I was banished," Espin continued. "It obviously wasn't made clear enough when you all humiliated me in front of the whole village." Espin stood. Serenity moved quickly and put a calming hand on her upper arm. "Don't worry Red. I wouldn't dream of causing trouble."
The lead nymph took a step forward. Folell unsteadily got to her feet and positioned herself between her and Espin.
"There's no need for hostilities Deilla," Folell said. "Espin is here under my invitation."
"Yes Mother Folell," Deilla said. "We have instructions to lead Espin to the Hut of Elders."
"Oh goodie," Espin said, with thick sarcasm. "I love that place. Hopefully I get to see my friends again."
Deilla glared at her. Espin smiled sweetly back. But the eyes made Deilla look away. She was sure she had seen tiny flames. She had expected this to be an easy task. Thrilled by a bit of excitement at last. Now she wasn't so sure.
"We'll come quietly," Serenity said.
"Speak for yourself Red," Espin said. She felt Espin tense in her hand.
Serenity turned Espin towards her with both hands on her upper arms. "Please Espin," she said. "Let them hear what Folell has to say. It'll be alright. Trust me."
Espin looked at her intently, thinking. She relaxed a little. "Okay," she said. Serenity let go and Espin watched as she walked over to Deilla and whispered something in her ear. Deilla studied her hard as Serenity stepped back and walked to stand next to Espin again.
"Well, your friend here vouches for your cooperation so let's take a walk to the Elders," Deilla said.
"What no restraints!" Espin said. "That's a shame. What about you at least use whips?"
Deilla looked at her angrily. "Don't push it," she said.
"Wouldn't dream of it," Espin said, innocently. She turned to Serenity beside her. "You put too much faith in me Red."
"Someone's got to," Serenity said. She smiled at Espin. It helped calm her.
"Will you stay by my side?" Espin asked her.
"I'll do whatever you want me to," Serenity said.
"Ooh. You'll regret that later," Espin said. Serenity rolled her eyes and Espin laughed. She looked at Deilla. "Let the fun begin Muscles."
Deilla gave her another evil look. Espin grinned at her. Deilla led the way out of Folell's house through the village to a large hut in the centre.
"Here we are," Deilla said, when they reached the entrance to the hut. "After you." She had heard stories about Espin, how naughty she had been growing up, always in trouble. No one had mentioned to her how pretty she was though. Or the passion in her. She could see how tough she was inside the beautiful exterior. No wonder Serenity had fallen for her. She could see the tension between them.
"Okay," Espin said. "Thanks for the company."
"I'm not leaving your side tonight," Deilla grumbled. No matter how much she might admire this nymph, she could see trouble when it presented itself.
"Oh goodie Red," Espin said. "Threesome for us tonight." Espin pushed the door open, not even bothering to see the shock on anyone's face. She walked in and took in the scene around her. The smile on her face turned as hard as stone in an instant.
In front of her was the Queen and next to her were four Elders. An empty chair next to them. Folell made her way slowly over to it.
Standing behind the Queen was Princess Aiader. Espin stared at her, the memories flooded back in a tidal wave. They crashed through her in a blur of happiness, pleasure, hurt, and anger. The Princess looked down, unable to hold Espin's gaze.
"Espin," Queen Rinoa said, her voice loud in the circular hut. "Why have you broken your sentence and returned to the village?"
"What no welcome back party?" Espin said. She should have bowed, but decided not to give anyone the satisfaction.
"Your sarcasm was always very tiresome, Espin" the Queen said.
"I like to think of it as my most redeeming feature," Espin replied. "Muscles here couldn't get enough of it a minute ago." She winked at Deilla, who looked back angrily, but also went a deep shade of red.
"Espin please," Folell said.
Espin looked down chastised. She still respected Folell enough to want her respect back. Fuck it, Espin thought. If they don't want sarcasm they can have the other me.
See, Espin only has two defensive mechanisms when cornered. One is sarcasm, the other is anger.
Serenity stood close to Espin and she sensed the switch take place. She felt her arm tense and her body stiffen. The mischievous look on her face changed to steel.
"Stay calm," Serenity whispered. She knew it was hopeless though. And why shouldn't she be angry, she thought.
Folell was talking. Explaining what she had to Espin. Her research, what she saw on Espin's day of birth, and how they had been wrong all these years. Two other Elders also expressed their doubts of what they believed happened that day.
"Why didn't they speak up before," Espin muttered. Only Serenity heard. Espin felt her take her hand and squeeze.
Queen Rinoa listened, her own face one of concern. She wasn't happy that this had just been sprung on her. If this was true they had made a terrible mistake. She had always had doubts about her daughters version of events. Aiader had been heartbroken when Espin was kicked out, any mother could of seen that.
Only one of the Elders was defiant. The lead elder, Beryn, who had been quiet up to now. She had been a close friend of the previous leader and refused to believe what she was hearing. Branding Espin a trouble maker, an obvious bad apple.
Espin stayed quiet. The anger burning inside her like lava. The pressure building. She felt hot.
"DOES ANY OF THIS MATTER!" Espin suddenly shouted. Making everyone jump. "I'm still different. I'll still be treated as an outcast by all of you. Whether I came from the underworld, or the fucking sun. You all treat me differently because you want to."
"Calm down Espin," Queen Rinoa said. "Sun nymphs are creatures of legends. If you are one then it changes everything."
"IT DOESN'T CHANGE HOW YOU TREATED ME!" Espin bellowed. Everyone flinched. Serenity let go of her hand.
The anger inside Espin boiled and flared more rapidly. She knew she had lost control. She thought back to her childhood, the bullying and animosity towards her. If Folell was right she should have been celebrated, not shunned. All this made her more bitter.
"Fuck all of you," Espin spat. The anger in her now past the point of no return. "You stole my childhood, you turned me into what you wanted me to be." Her voice was eerily calm now. "You want a sun nymph now because it suits you. Well you can fucking have one."