The Furst Equation
The steed was a brilliant white, mounted by one dressed in brown leather. The day was filled with sunshine, the smell of daffodils permeating the air. The stream trickled pure water, a perfect fantasy.
The rider stopped and sniffed the air, wanton only for the dark-eyed woman. Her perfume was in the air, but she was not within the immediate area. She most likely had found herself in the midst of a four-legged friend, but she would be along shortly.
Soon she approached. Neither spoke, for there was no need. It had been a long while that they had seen one another, yet their eyes said exactly what needed to be said. They were so good at that silent conveyance. Then the smiles show. The rider's hand was offered to her, she took it, and was swiftly whisked upon the saddle. The arm held her around the waist and they departed for the woods at the rear of the castle.
They crossed the simple wooden bridge which slightly shuddered as the horse walked across it. It is old and the wood needed to be replaced, yet it had held fast for decades. Birds were singing and the sunlight shined through the trees to cast a glow onto last year's leaves, wet with dew.
They entered a clearing and dismounted. Both clung to one another somewhat longer than necessary, but not unreasonably so. Just as the rider ran the thumb along her tanned jawbone, and she turned her face upward in anticipation, the ravens came squawking by in perfect timing. Perhaps another time, but with them behaving as they were, something was amiss...
…The House of Furst comprised both Russian and German heritage, and the rider certainly resembled just that: tall stock with light eyes and hair. The fingers were long and tapered, arms muscular, thin waisted and broad shouldered. The Estate had been passed from the main to the second generation and it was as carefully tended as it was prior. The castle remained the same, though a little worse for wear, but the grounds were spectacular. The property comprised both hard and softwood, ponds and a stream or two. There was a need to thin it out to some degree, but it was it had been for hundreds of years. It boasted quiet solitude, peace and tranquility, and for those that knew it, gentle purity. The rider wished to keep it as it was, yet add one integral part, but that could be difficult due to birthright. Alas, to havehad something so simple was so difficult.
The ravens were four and were taunting what appeared to be a great creature atop a confer. It was out of view and they kept attacking and returning, carrying on as they usually did when their territory was invaded. The black wings almost entwined each other and their union showed through as they banded together to eject whatever the great creature was that dared to invade. After about five minutes, the creature flew upwards and to the southwest: it was a Bald Eagle. It was sharing a home with the ravens in the same territory and hopefully, it would return soon enough.
As circumstance would have it, two horses came out of the clearing, with two men atop them. One was clearly a lord and the other his page. The dark haired and bearded lord was from the eastern village and was there to deliver a message to the rider. It was a dinner invitation and to discuss the possibility for a temporary union against the Southern Kingdom, according to the sealed document. Rumor had it that the South was going to come in for an attack to attempt to take over the Northern area, and it was time to band together so that life could remain as those presently enjoyed it.
Once the lord and his page left, the rider and the lady continued their ride in a leisurely manner. The lady noticed every living creature that traversed their path, and the rider had to smile: no less of a woman would have been accepted. It was as it should be.
They rode past the great deciduous trees, to the larch that was now a bright yellow, though unleaved. The stream beckoned, and they dismounted once again to pick apples and berries which the woman supplemented with bread and cheese that she carried in a burlap sack. They drank water from their cupped hands from the clear stream while they enjoyed their meal and discussed their lives over the nearly past year. They wrote letters to one another, but delivery was so slow, only two letters each had managed to make it through the several hundred miles that kept them apart. But through the strength of their bond, the year was a minor test for their fortitude which was as strong as it had ever been, perhaps more so.
She was a Lady from the Great South. Her family was from across the sea, as well. She was as dark as Furst was light. Her stature was average, and though she pretended to be well-bred in the eyes of the populace and as ladylike as possible, she was furthest from that as could be. That’s what interested Furst in her in the beginning. What you saw was what you got, no ifs, ands, or buts, but with her semi-rude and crass ways was complete and pure honesty, and that was what mattered most. She was inordinately bright, behaving as more male than female, unafraid to get her hands dirty. She knew how to fist fight, too, having toppled Furst from his footholds more than once, but that was also equally part of the attraction. And the odd thing was that they never lay their claim to one another, but it was the deepest, most caring friendship that could ever be.
...While the rider was on one knee in front of the woman, holding both her hands to the leather clad chest, softly uttering:
"My lowly castle holds no others, I reside alone as I always have. Even when with another, there was always a lonely emptiness I cannot explain. Her body was there, but it was as if she belonged to another and many a time did she. I was her toy and gave her what her betrothed would not nor could not, so she came to me for what her heart yearned for. Once she experienced it, she was gone and returned to her intended and I was left the fool."
Her eyes welled with tears and she finally realized that her callousness was not her intention. The rider released her hands and turned away, confused as to whether or not he should return to his steed or try one last time to convince her of the honor always within.
She knew that she had a decision to make and had best come to terms with her own fears and either take the final plunge or let this leather dressed mystery go. Her future could not end here, in this frustrating manner.
Her bosom heaving and her long dress twisting around her as she hurriedly tried to get up from the fallen log, she fell onto a hidden, sleeping fox. Well, the poor creature awoke with loud shrieks and the woman quickly attempted to extricate what was under her, and in so doing made such a mess of her dress and tore it in several places. As the poor creature fled deeper into the woods still shrieking and carrying on, the rider turned with a look of utter amusement. Laughing uncontrollably, she ran into those strong, muscular arms and was scooped up. Their eyes met and for once, she did not look away. She met that longing mouth with her own, and they both fell to the ground and her hands...
- Kansas Byways
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