The next day, their luggage in tow, they were back on the train again heading for Munich, the capital city of the German state Bavaria. As the train rhythmically clacked along the track, Malan enjoyed the view of quaint farms and sprawling fields, some of which had cattle, horses or other livestock grazing. He shifted slightly making it more comfortable for his wife who leaned against him as she dozed.
He returned his attention to the small yellow German dictionary next to the thick black leather edition of a R.A. Salvatore fantasy series he had purchased before they left on their German honeymoon lying on the tray table in front of him. For the past 20 minutes, he’d been studying German nonstop but since his beloved tutor politely bowed out to take a nap he’d lost the drive and interest in learning. Licking his fingers, he pried open the cover of the book like it was a pirate treasure that had recently been discovered after a millennium lost beneath the sea and started reading.
Completely losing track of time, he didn’t realize they’d arrived in Munich until other passengers began filing in little pockets of traffic from the train. A serene, dreamy expression was on the face of his sleeping wife. Tucking a piece of paper into his spot in the book, he carefully stuck it in his backpack. His finger gently and repetitively prodded her. “Lathal?”
Stirring from her cat nap, she stretched and yawned, mumbling in answer. “Hmmm?”
“We’re in Munich,” He told her tenderly kissing her lips. “We have to get off now.”
“Okay,” she murmured in agreement following him.
Still sleepy, she stumbled as she shuffled down the aisle to the doorway at the end of their passenger compartment. He got off first, set their baggage on the platform, held out his hand for her and helped her off the train.
Wrapping his arm around her shoulder, he lent his strengthen and support to his drowsy wife. He brushed away her bangs covering her high forehead and tenderly kissed her. “You and I can take a little nap as soon as we get the motel.”
She wanted to take him to Dachau, the World War II concentration camp located on the outskirts of Munich. Shaking away the remnants of sleep plaguing her, she insistently told him. “No, no, I just took a little nap.” Doubts and questioning concern swirled in his chocolate colored eyes. “I’m fine. Honest!” Her tone was firm and full of promise; she locked her eyes on his. “As soon as we check into The Bavaria, we’re getting back on the train and going to Dachau.”
He wasn’t going to argue with her even though he wouldn’t have minded taking a nap. They’d been in Germany for three days and in that time he still wasn’t sleeping well because his body hadn’t completely adjusted to the time change. From how weary she’d been so far that day, she apparently she hadn’t either.
“Alright,” he said quietly as he approached a cab and in German told the driver to take them to The Bavaria.
His independent study served him again as he almost sounded like a native as he talked to the manager during check in at the Gasthaus. In her exhausted state, she didn’t seem to notice him speaking their host country’s language nor did she comment on how well he’d executed it.
After only a few minutes, they were back out into the bustling city. The Bavaria’s manager had told him the No. 5 bus that had a stop a block away stopped at the train station. Even though it had been her plan to go back to the train station, he just let his feet drift in whichever direction they felt like going on the cobblestone streets.
Linking her arm around his, the young couple strolled past the Glockenspeil on the Rathaus in Marienplatz in the heart of Munich. A crowd had gathered, and Lathal paused; her husband stopped too. She glanced up at the large clock face realizing that its hand-crafted and painted wooden figures would perform when the clock struck the hour in about 10 minutes.
At the top of the hour, a beautiful dramatic display re-enacting of two 16th-century stories the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V to Renata of Lorraine and joust and dance in honor of the wedding. The bells and whirring chimes accompanied the life-sized dancing figures in the show delighted the young couple and the rest of the people gathered in the square. The show lasted about 15 minutes, and then they headed back to the hotel.
“Before we go anywhere else, I want to get a camera,” Malan said.
“Okay I’ll wait for you here.” She thought it’d take him just a few minutes.
Five minutes passed; she was bored so she wondered over to a curio shop across from The Bavaria. At the cash register near the entrance, an Asian woman, clad in a red and white traditional gown, smiled and greeted her with a friendly “Gruss Gott,” which she returned.
The store wares included wooden vases, chess sets, memory/jewelry boxes, a variety of jewelry and crystal vases, figurines and candy dishes. She saw a crystal vase and elephant figurine she liked but she was distracted by the necklaces, bracelets and other baubles they had displayed on a plastic swivel rack. In an instant she fell in love with a light blue butterfly on a silver chain and a red and white spiritual clasp bracelet.
The bell tinkled as another customer entered the store. It was Malan with his camera slung over his shoulders. He said something in Japanese to the employee at the counter and with a prideful and pleased expression the woman answered in the same language and gestured toward her.
As he approached, her hand slipped away from touching the jewelry like it was a precious commodity. Curiosity flickered across his brown eyes. “Did you find something?”
“No, no,” she said slightly moving from the display to her husband. “I was just looking around while waiting for you.”
“Lathal,” his tone was a gentle knowing rumble.
His wife was different from some women he knew. These women tended to be frivolous spenders and liked their husbands and boyfriends to buy them jewelry, perfume, makeup and other feminine beauty essentials, but not her. Such items and other material possessions weren’t important priorities to her because she was content with the nice and fine things she had and she believed she didn’t need to have an abundance.
She appreciated the fact that he liked and wanted to get her gifts or treats. Exchanging gifts were just a way couples and families showed their love for each other. That’s why she wisely didn’t say anything.
Still, she couldn’t help feeling bad and guilty about him giving her trinkets. He’d paid for the majority of their honeymoon and that was a gift in itself.
“Maybe later,” she told him, her hands on his arms trying to gently guide him away from the shop.
He didn’t budge. “You know I don’t mind. It’s not like you shop or ask for things in excess.”
“Are you sure?” She still wouldn’t look at him.
His fingers crooked under her chin, gently lifting it until her eyes met his. “I love you.”
“I know,” she quietly answered, her fingers wrapping around his fist.
Gently kissing her fingertips, he asked, “What is it?”
Her reluctance and resistance disappeared as she melted into his passionate exchange. She showed him the necklace and bracelet and he bought them for her. Before leaving the store, his fingers brushed her exposed skin as he put on the necklace for her; she clipped the bracelet around her wrist and then gave him a tender kiss.
After that, they boarded the bus and were back on the train and about a half an hour later they arrived at Dachau. A large sign and a few benches were at the small station. The concentration camp was only a couple miles from the station so they walked there. Inside the historical site’s visitor’s center, they paid to take an English speaking tour. Their group had about a dozen people.
Near the metal “arbeit macht frei” gate, the grounds were lush, green and well maintained. She admired a family of squirrels playing in the boughs of an old oak tree. “Look! How cute!” She gushed, pointing to the creatures scurrying around the tree.
His hand stopped carefully adjusting the focus knobs on the lens of the camera at his eye. Wearing a wry smirk, she glanced at him, “Were you taking a picture of me?”
“And what if I was?” He wore a mischievous grin.
“You want to break your camera?”
His amused grin grew larger. “I’ve taken lots of pictures of you on this camera and nothing has happened to it yet.”
She knew he’d taken pictures of her in the past. “Recently?”
Silently he shrugged; it was admission enough. She picked up a small pinecone and playfully threw it at him. Her aim was both poor and terrible that it never came near him. “I’m going to get you, Malan Hamel,” she said in a mock threat.
“Ooh,” his teasing eyes sparked before he hid it behind his camera lens so he could snap photos of the buildings and landscape. “What are you going to do to me?”
“Videotape you singing in the shower.”
His eyes shone with appreciation and interest. “Come on you can do better than that. Make me do a raunchy strip tease.”
“Done,” her eyes gleamed with pleasure and desire. “Make sure you wear lederhosen.”
“Your wish is my command,” he brandished his sloppy grin as he passionately laid a kiss across her lips.
Before returning to the train depot, the pleasant fragrances of food wafted from within a white building with its painting chipping. It looked like a laundry mat but the red fluorescent sign in the front blared “Offenet”, and he couldn’t help investigating what was inside. The smoky, poorly lit establishment had slot machines, jute box, pool tables and bar.
“Malan?” She nearly plowed into him from behind.
Under the table, a great Dane that had been sleeping lifted its head and the restaurant owner regarded them. With the charcoal argyle sweater and matching cap the owner, sporting a bushy gray beard, looked like a sailor; he speculated if the little hole in the wall restaurant served seafood.
“Magst du Essen?” the owner asked them as Malan with ravenous eyes blinked at him in confusion.
“Ja. Danke,” she answered and the proprietor motioned for them to sit at his table. The dog nudged her leg with its wet nose; she reached down and pet it. After helping her husband read the menu, he ordered Cordon Bleu with pommes and she, Jagerschnitzel and spatzel.
The grizzled man talked to her husband about photography and then asked him if he wanted to play cards. Malan wasn’t familiar with any card games so he said, “Poker?”
Sporting a toothless grin, the German man chuckled. “Ja. Poker.”
They played a few hands of poker; the German spoke to both of them but she stayed in the conversation longer than he could. Even though they played for pfennigs or mark coins he lost more than he won. “How do you say I think I’m getting fleeced in German?” he teased; the older man snickered so he knew their host had understood him.
She won the game as their meal arrived; the retired sailor complimented Lathal in German.
“What did he say?” he asked her, sampling some of the noodles covered with gravy and mushrooms on her plate.
“He said you’re very lucky to have such a intelligent and beautiful wife.”
“Danke,” he blew a kiss to the owner.
It was early evening around 6 when they returned to The Bavaria. At the door to their room, they exchanged a tender kiss. “With all this fattening food I’ve been eating, I was wondering if you minded if I went swimming in the pool.”
“Not at all,” she said with ease, brushing her petals against his lips as they entered the room. “I’ll join you.”
“Good,” he said pleased and he changed into his black swim trunks. She put on a black tank top and dark blue capris and dressy sandals.
Taking her book and notebook with her, she sat in a Greek colored lawn chair alongside the poolside while her husband swam laps in the Olympic-sized pool that had a Greek and Roman style design. Engrossed in her book, her light was eclipsed by a junior high girl standing at the foot of her chair. Her frizzy brown hair clipped on top of her head, the youngster had on a yellow and rainbow colored bursts decorating her string bikini.
“How come you’re not swimming?” The girl demanded.
Amused, she noticed the teen hadn’t been in the pool either. “I didn’t feel like it.”
“I like your butterfly necklace.”
“Thanks,” she fingered the gift her husband gave her, and tried to return her attention to the book but the girl wanted to continue talking.
“My name is Aimee. My parents and I have visited Italy, Austria and now we’re going throughout Germany,” she said sitting on the chair on the left of her. “I’ve not met too many Americans so far.” Glossing her lips, Aimee glanced at her. “What are doing here?”
Her fingers marking her place in the book, Lathal smiled, “I’m on honeymoon with my husband.”
“Is he that hot stud swimming laps?” Aimee’s brown eyes brightened as her thumb jerked toward the pool. “He looks familiar. Isn’t he Robin on ‘Caped Crusaders’?”
“Man, you are so lucky!” she gushed and almost blushed when Malan walked over to them and grabbed his towel from the back of her chair.
“Hello,” he said warmly and Aimee fanned her face with her hands as he wrapped the towel around his waist.
“I wish I got that reaction from people,” she affectionately teased him.
“You get it from me,” he murmured, bending over and tenderly kissing her on the lips. “She’s too young to read your novels.”
“You write?” Aimee looked both fascinated and impressed. “That’s cool!”
Aimee’s parents called her and they scolded her about bothering the young couple. Lathal went over and eased the conflict brewing between the parents and daughter by explaining that the teen hadn’t been bothering them, instead she’d just been socializing. The young lady beamed appreciatively at the journalist when her parents apologized to her.
“You’re truly amazing, Lathal!” He said with pride. “I didn’t know you were so good with kids.”
She mused if he was making some comment about her ability and skills as a mother. Then again it was probably just as a compliment, and she was making more out of it than she needed to. She shook her head to chase away her stray worries and concerns.
After they went back to their room and changed, she turned, laid her hand on his heart and gave him a kiss. “You can’t come to Munich and not go to the Hofbrauhaus.”
Giving her an agreeable look and gesture to lead on, the pair walked arm in arm beneath the starry, moonlit evening several blocks to the famous beer hall and brewery am Platz. A golden HB sign hung above the door of the business that had many patrons even though it was a weekday evening. The atmosphere was rowdy inside; polka band performed on a raised wooden platform at the front of the bar.
They weaved in between the benches and made their way to the front where guests were dancing to “The Chicken Dance.” Her laughter peeled as she clicked her fingers together and did the other steps of the dance. The dance became faster and she messed up, partly on accident and on purpose, because she wasn’t able to keep up with all the motions.
His eyes danced with delight and he laughed. It was a goofy dance that made everyone look like a fool; she didn’t care because she was having fun. Of course her happy, playful exuberance was infectious, and wearing an ear-splitting sloppy grin he joined right in the merriment.
Although he was out of breath after hasty romp, he fumbled with the clumsy steps of an upbeat polka waltz. Her mirth filled him with bliss, and his hands circled her waist pulling her into his bumbling romp around the floor. Her bluish green pools alit with her vibrant life and passion for him. She didn’t care because she was as clumsy as he was. It didn’t bother her that he didn’t know the steps because she didn’t know them either.
Throwing her arms his neck, she embraced him tightly. His face nestled in the curve of her neck breathing in the gentle fragrance of her shampoo and vanilla body spray. His mouth left a hot trail down her throat and shoulders. She reached over to touch him and his chocolate eyes conveyed his fervor. His eyes locked on hers. She cupped his face; she let her lips brushed along both sides of his face until finally she pressed her lips on his mouth. Her steamy kiss sent a sizzling sensation throughout his body, igniting the passion and desire within him.
“It’s not fair,” he murmured, his lips still lingering on hers.
Her husband’s wants and needs were evident to her; she felt the same way. Still a sense of guilt filled her. That’s what he saw in his wife’s eyes as her hand slide across his jaw. “I’m sorry,” she momentarily adverted her eyes.
As his hand brushed past the curtain of hair and tucked it behind her ear, he said softly, “For what?”
“You know what,” she quietly replied, trying to look away again but he didn’t let her.
“I’m a patient man,” he said gently, kissing her fingertips and spying a couple of vacancies at one of the tables he made a beeline for it with her right on his heels.
The Fraulein, garbed in a blue and white checkered drendel, holding a tray that was damp on the bottom in her hand. “Bitte?”
“Paulaner und Becks.” The beefy and aggressive looking woman took their order and was back within a few minutes.
His hand slid around the dark-colored bottle of the Paulaner, he raised it and clinked it against her green-colored bottle of Becks. “Prost.”
He drank the sweet flavored barley, hops and yeast and it tasted just as good as good as the Beck’s she drank. Their next round they tried Pilsner and Hefeweissen. He liked them all but his personal preferences were the Paulaner, Pils and Becks, so they got a six-pack of each kind before they left.
After changing into a light blue floral summery nightie and he into his gray tank top and black shorts, they climbed into bed. Slithering near him, her sweet petals brushed his lips that still had the flavor of beer on them. “You taste good,” she murmured playfully nipping at his lips.
“Lathal,” he groaned in a husky rumble.
The sound was definitely masculine – a reflection of him, all animal and extremely erotic. She smiled up at him as his heated desiring mouth pressed against hers. His fingers stroked down her spine; she arched and straddled his leg, rubbing seductively against him. Clenching her hands around his hand fisted, she felt his racing heart beneath her hand.
Nuzzling his lips across her baby soft skin as he left kisses along her chin and throat, he murmured, “You’ve been holding back, haven’t you?”
Yes, she was menstruating but that didn’t stop her from wanting and needing him just as badly as he did her.
“So have you,” she whispered, giving him a saucy kiss as her hands deliberately brushed over his shorts in the spot where his aroused manhood was.
Her touch sent a thrill through him; he writhed. “Lathal, I want nothing more than to make love to you,” his fingertips circled her taunt nipples as his tender lips sealed on hers, “but we can’t.”
“We can’t?” Her voice was teasing as she fondled him with her hands.
“Unnhhhhhh,” A soft moan of protest escaped his lips as he rained passionate and inexorably gentle caresses and kisses over every inch of her body. “We have to get up early if we want to catch our tour bus.”
“Is that an excuse?” She purred into his ear and then sat up slightly. Her fingertips sliding the nightie straps off her shoulders, the silky material of her nightie fluttered down like a butterfly gracefully soaring on a summer breeze. His eyes feasted on her aroused mounds as she placed his warm hands on them. “That’s the lamest excuse I ever heard.”
The willpower he had to restrain himself was disintegrating into nothingness as he enjoyed his wife’s seductive kisses and touch. His eyes burning with desire and pleasure rolled back in his eyes as her tongue flick like a whip across the tip of his erection. “Lathal,” he growled in warning and longing.
“Yes, Husband?” She beamed at him.
Heavily panting, his hand cupped her face as he tenderly kissed her. “Call me that again.”
“Husband.” The simple reply was warm and loving. Her eyes conveyed her passion for him as they locked on his and she suckled on him.
He tensed and his stormy eyes portrayed the urges and desires he was trying to contain but he was losing it. “Don’t, Lathal,” he begged his wants and needs evident in his voice. “I need you and if you keep this up much longer you, I won’t be able to stop myself, and you and I are going to be in trouble.”
She was still loving him. “Oooh! What kind of trouble?” She asked him in an innocent and seductive whisper.
“You don’t know how badly I want to show you,” He told her huskily, tracing his fingers along the curves of her naked breasts.
“Tell me,” she gently requested stroking his manhood and pressed her lips against his. “How am I supposed to know what you want if you don’t tell me?”
“I want my wife.” A long howling rasp passed through his tight lips. He kissed her lips hard. “I want to make love to my wife.” He brushed his maleness against her thigh. “I want you, Lathal.”
“I want you too,” she said softly, her lips caressed his.
A knowing look shone in his eyes as he asked, “Are you sure?”
“Make love to me, Malan.”
And he did passionately. They joined their hearts, souls and minds in a timeless wonder where their passion soared in paradise. In their explosion of light and love, something new began.