© Copyright by Cupideros, June 23, 2012
Rolt Howard doesn't feel the love for Celeste any more. He's trying to figure out how to break the news to her on their archeology expedition in Chile when something happens and he encounters the love of his life in the desert.
EYE CATCHING BLUB:
When Rolt went with Ai into the village, all the people respected them. They were in awe of them. Although Rolt didn't know why. Ai's beauty exceeded his expectation, outside in the light of the sun. He looked over her seductively. If she knew about photography, she'd know he was taking mental snap shots of her from every angle with his brown eyes. Ai might be Sadie-Hawkin's foreign cousin. Ai loved to take the initiative.
© Copyright by Cupideros, June 23, 2012
Desert desire meant many things to Rolt Howard. It meant lying next to beautiful blonde Celeste after lovemaking. His arms wrapped around her hot damp skin. It meant on cold nights bundling together, fighting off the sudden drop in temperature. However, accepting, Celeste view of things was another matter entirely to Rolt. Her passionate and romantic leanings made Rolt weary. Her mentioning how his nearness gave her comfort did more to drive him away. She'd talked about knots in her stomach thinking about the children they would have. Listening. Listening to her eyes implore her love for him, them as a couple. Logically they made perfect sense--on paper. Rolt listened a lot laying next Celeste trying to decide, for them both, their fate as a couple. While Rolt came off as a handsome lost mystery man searching for something, Celeste, the graceful beauty, made it clear--she wanted him. She loved him. Celeste held on. Her 27-year-old baby-clock, ticktocking away the two summers in the Atacama Desert in Chile, measured the hours and minutes. He came here in the 1,056-mile desert region to help his company Earthen Resources find new copper and sodium nitrate sources. Rolt needed Celeste because her dad owned Earthen Resources and the opportunity to do real archeology in Ethiopia's Danakil's desert went to someone with more impressive credentials.
Handsome Rolt loved Celeste’s rare beauty. She wasn't the kind of girl that reminded you of the beach. Her kittenish charm, long leggy body, and casual chic clothes spark men's interests everywhere they went. Celeste reminded Rolt of a sales clerk in Macy's or some other high-end fashion store. But he didn't feel the passion anymore. Once he held Celeste tight, face-to-face, and stared into her blue eyes after kissing her for an eternity. Today, Rolt didn't want to be tied down. He needed his space. An ironic statement to tell a girl in the Atacama Desert he thought as he eased out of the sleeping bag went outside. He came back and put on a jacket and leather boots. The temperature dropped again. It was near 32 Fahrenheit now. He paced around their bowl shaped tent.
Long, long ago he heard legends about this part of the desert being a mystical. Nothing but copper and sodium nitrate now. Back then, ages ago, the Chileans told of people with strange powers who traveled time like we walk sidewalks today. He circled the tent one time. He didn't intend on being outside long. Just long enough to find the right wording. If he'd been a poet or journalist, already he have told Celeste it was over. He circled the tent again and again. He thought through every angle. Her dad. His own position in her dad’s company. His career as an often-overlooked archeologist. He never wanted to fit in as child. He liked being alone. He possessed an instinct about people, if they were good or bad for him. Celeste fate and his own didn't click. He kept count. Eight times now. He hugged his arms against the cold as the wind kicked up, blowing sand and dust in his face. He decided. He completed his ninth circled expecting to be back at the tent opening when he realized the harsh desert wind blew stronger, wilder, blinding his path. He groped about, searching. He closed his lips tight against the sand and dirt buffing his face. He square jaw tight. His brown eyes closed. His 5’6 height bending lower, useless in helping him covers the distance to the tent. “It was right here. Right here!” Rolt fell. He got up as the sand blew under the hem of his jacket. He stood and reaching out like a child trying to find a piñatas to hit. Rolt went into the storm further and further in a straight line.
He went on for minutes hoping to stumble upon some part of the encampment. He tripped over the small shrubbery in the desert. He felt long trumpet like flower stems of fragrant flowers in the night. He became thirsty. On he went for half an hour, an hour until he realized something terribly wrong happened. He looked up into the sky for the big dipper as his parch mouth longed for drink. The sky looked different. Listening he realized, even the animals sounded odd, new. On he stumbled realizing how lost and futile his cause. The night darkened. He felt faint. He stumbled one last time over a rock as a bat shrieked in his right ear.
When Rolt woke up, he lay in a warm cave. His blurry eyes caught the dancing flicker of fire in the background, sticks under it, forming a stage. Someone wrapped a big blanket around his shoulders. He lay on the ground, not to close or far from the fire. He shivered. No thoughts of relationships entered his mind. No thoughts of Celeste. I must be dreaming, Rolt thought. I never left the tent.
"You're going to be okay. Drink this," came a feminine voice. The woman's Asian face loomed large in Rolt Howard's blurry eyes. She was short. Her long dark hair, wild and long, down to pass her breasts, lay flayed over her body. Over ragged clothes, Rolt noticed her A-line body. Clothes worn by farmers. People way back in time.
"This is a dream," Rolt said. "Yes."
"You will be fine." came the sweet female voice. "Sleep."
Rolt doze off after slurping down the hot bean soup.
"Where am I?" Rolt said, feeling his body ache all over. He tried to sit up.
"No. Not yet," came the soft reply.
Her warm soft hand touched Rolt’s bare shoulders pushing him back down. He rested on the thick Chinese blanket, covered in dueling green and red dragons. He brown eyes tried to focus. He heard the crackling of the fire. Although his strength returned a bit, he didn't feel completely clear-headed. The home cave smelled of boiled chicken, tart vegetables and green tea. The tea smells overwhelming all the others.
He thought about Celeste. "Celeste."
"My name is Ai." She held him up in a semi-sitting position. Ai propped him on a large boulder. "You got lost, lost in the desert, by the Yellow River."
"Yellow . . . River." Rolt shook his head. "That's im-impossible." He shook his head no, but could hardly hold his head up. "I'm exhausted."
"You were out in desert for days." She forced more green tea between Rolt’s parched lips. The hot tea stung his lips, but the hot liquid felt good going down his dry throat.
"You lucky I found you. You might have died." Ai went away back to the fire and the pot stewing. "I wrapped your injuries."
"In . . . injuries." Rolt held up his bandaged hand and felt his calf. "Ouch."
"No mustn't." Ai hurried back. "You heal in a few days. I give you good medicine." She nodded. Her wild black hair covering her Chinese face.
Rolt pulled back as his eyes cleared. The woman was hideous to him. She had a really long nose, one eye dropped down half and inch lower than the other did. She dropped one ear somewhere in her life and her skin wrinkled like a century of living took place underneath her pale yellow skin. Her long black dusty hair flew wild, flayed. Uncombed. It wasn't at all like the hair of someone living by the Yellow River of China. Then he realized what she said. "Yellow River!" He tried to sit up as tiredness began to overcome him again. "I worked in Chile yesterday. Flew there on an airplane."
"You delirious. In Northern China."
"I flew here?"
"No such thing as airplane. Bird flight, but not man. Kites fly, too, though. Man cannot fly."
Rolt faded from consciousness.
After two days, Rolt’s strength returned to him. His awareness of his nakedness caused him to blush. Usually he relished being naked in front of a female. However he remembered, as he sat up and looked around, this woman was terribly ugly. No one inside the cave greeted him. He sat up. The fire crackled low and a pot of noodles cooked on it. It smelled really good. His appetite returned and he felt like eating a series of breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. He wrapped the blanked around himself and slowly walked closer to the good tasting brewing when Ai returned with more wood.
"I am." Rolt took a good look at Ai. Her long black hair flowed behind her as she moved, still wild. Her face colored a flawless yellow tint. Her black eyes even and although slanted, sparkled. She smiled as her full set of even teeth flashed. "You feel better."
Her words didn't questions. They knew. "Yes, much better. Thank you." Rolt said returning to his boulder, by his sleeping space. "I need to get back to, Celeste. I have much work to do locating copper and sodium--."
She gave Rolt a curious glance. She squatted and put more small sticks into the fire. "No travel for you. Too soon. You in Northern China. No what you call it, air-plane."
Rolt laughed. "I flew to Chile on airplane in 2011."
"This 8 AD, year of the dragon."
"Did you say 8 AD?"
"Yes. Eight a lucky year. Our village expands. Crops grow much."
Rolt wondered how he understood Chinese. From his studies, they wouldn't even be speaking modern Chinese in 8 AD. Yet he understood her perfectly. He waited until she went back outside the cave and assessed her. The height and weight matched what he remembered from his delirium. Her face was not ugly though. Rolt shrugged maybe that was the sickness.
Ai came back carrying his clean clothes. "Washed your clothes. You stay here. But tell no one how you got here. No air-plane talk. Man not fly. Kites fly though." Her voice dropped a decibel like a warning issued to someone prone to get into trouble.
"I--" Rolt decided to be quiet until he could figure things out.
"You tell no one how you got here." She pointed her pretty long finger at Rolt. "You promise. We always live in peace and love."
Rolt waited thinking. What harm can it cause? "I promise." After eating, Rolt's satisfied stomach told his body to go to sleep. He stayed nude, wrapped in the Chinese dueling dragon blanket. He slept a good eight hours.
"You better. I see no red dragon on your chest."
Rolt darted his eyes to his chest. "I don't see a red dragon either."
"Red Dragon shows you in danger of losing life."
"How did I get here?"
"You lose love desire, circle nine times and then get here--wearing the red dragon. You call out for help. You promise to stay and we live always in peace and love. No villagers talk."
"8 AD. Until I figure things out, I'll stay Ai," Rolt said, and rubbed his week-old beard.
Rolt explored the area surrounding the small He Tao village near the Yellow River. He went outside when the sun stood right above and listened for airplanes. He listened at night because perhaps some jet might fly overhead. After all China was a superpower in his time, 2011. Making a life, living in love with Ai seemed natural. She loved in an earthly practical way. He didn't feel a lack for anything. She cooked like a chef and understood where to get or buy everything edible. Rolt knew after a month his heart fell for Ai. Soon their lovemaking wasn't obligatory. He didn't feel like he was keeping a promise for his own safety. His desire for his desert love flourished like the strange trumpet golden lily that decorated the hillside, by their mountain cave.
When Rolt went with Ai into the village, all the people respected them. They were in awe of them. Although Rolt didn't know why. Ai's beauty exceeded his expectation, outside in the light of the sun. He looked over her seductively. If she knew about photography, she'd know he was taking mental snap shots of her from every angle with his brown eyes. Ai might be Sadie-Hawkin's foreign cousin. Ai loved to take the initiative. She embraced him. She didn’t so much as say what she wanted, Ai showed it. He loved the way this Asian woman flirted, pressed her small breasts and lower body against his. She flirted. Ai had a way of talking that didn’t seem needy. She complimented his baritone voice so often though Rolt thought of becoming a singer. And Rolt didn't mind her talking about life in 8 AD and the current ruler of Han China. He tried to listen hard to see if the facts matched up with his university schooling. Any discrepancies might be hard to come by though, because Rolt didn't consider Chinese history very important in school. He thought more about Rome in 8 AD. Rome had trade routes all the way to China, but that'd be in the Western, middle part of the country, too far for him to travel to.
He kept his promise and never talked about how they met? Where he came from? Or how Ai knew he wasn't from around here--meaning their period? This alternate universe gave Rolt pause for thinking. What if he changed something by being here? Then he realized Ai said this place doesn't exist. Something already changed. He shouldn't have met her. He unwittingly thought of walking back into time, circling nine times. Perhaps he could circle nine times again and go back. If he knew exactly where he stumbled into this place, he could get home. He questioned Ai several times and all she said was, "You came from far away. Many steps . . . days."
Then there was the promise Ai extracted from him. If he broke the promise did it mean, he'd go back to Celeste? He still didn't love Celeste. Tossing away this love with Ai scared Rolt though. He dared not show it. What he missed centered along the lines of modern conveniences, radio, movies, and books to be read. They lived simple lives here. He toyed with the idea of revealing their secret. Something deep and connective always warned Ai whenever those thoughts surfaced. She'd come really close to him. Sit by his side and hold his hand. Ai then spoke in a low voice about things like magic and charms and the nine times circle bringing great events into being. Ai talked about how people can't avoid their fate, but they could mitigate it by following certain signs. Their fate lay in the promise for him not to reveal his origins. A relatively simple thing until people asked. Then he had to make something up on the spot. Something he could remember and repeat.
Ai soon began to tell the story of Nuying to him. About two twin sisters who fell in love with Shun a Chinese God. Rolt wanted to believe. He found religion impossible to live with. Celeste wanted them to get married and always-emphasized marriage was for life forever. Now Ai began to say the same thing only differently. "Nuying is coming and she is a peaceful loving child. You will like Nuying."
Rolt tried to get Ai to stop hinting and say what she meant. Then he no longer needed a mystical interpretation. Ai was pregnant. Nuying was their coming daughter. Rolt never felt happier. His heart felt incredible love for Ai and Nuying. Here wanderlust evaporated--or so it seemed to Rolt. The fondness he felt for Ai overwhelmed his senses.
In this world, a woman gets pregnant at three times the rate said Ai. One month equals three months of pregnancy. When his lips braced hers in a kiss, or he felt her body melt against his own, Rolt wanted to stay forever in the past, 8 AD Northern China. Even all the secrets, at first a burden, began to feel like lightness and heaven. Don't tell anyone where you came from? Don't tell them who you are? Love driven by secrets turned Rolt on. All the connections and their uniqueness drove him to distractions. Was he changing history by having a child? Who was he really? Where do people come from? Love sprung up in Rolt Howard's heart like desert shrubs, hearty and difficult to kill or stomp out. Love pulling from some deep reservoir of water deep inside the soul of the earth or even the universe itself. Rolt loved marriage, even though they had not made it official yet. Ai said they had to go to a Priestess for that. "The Priestess will ask where did you two meet?"
Rolt didn't look forward to that moment. Not that he couldn't lie, he just didn't like being caught in a lie and an event he felt was too big to succeed at keeping secret.
When Rolt moved his hard body over Ai's, allowing his hands to touch her soft flesh everywhere, he yearned for her. As his lust and desire growing strong between his legs, he didn't care about lying or keeping secrets. When imprisoned her in a web of growing wet arousal, Rolt's heart sang happy tunes. He didn't care about fate of mysticisms. All he cared about aroused his passion for the touch and smell of Ai's skin and wild hair. How her pebble nipples hardened from their soft rosy peaks pushed up by her crinkly areola flesh. He always undressed her slowly. He rubbed his lips and tongue over every inch of her Asian body. She, too, took special pleasure in hearing Rolt moan. They both found commonality in listening to the passion aural passions of the other. She delighted in his touch. His hardness moving inside her softness. His own tormented groans signaling to her his acceptance of his fate as their bodies squirmed and rolled against one another. In time, one orgasm after another pushed time away further into Rolt's memory. How long had they been together? Even though Ai explicitly told him how many days ago, she found her love. She instructed him gently how things operated differently. One month equaled three months. So one month of pregnancy in Ai's time equaled three months in Rolt's time.
During Ai's second trimester, only the second month of their meeting, Rolt accepted his fate. In six months, he'd be a year older. In twelve months, he'd be two years older. Rolt no longer listened for airplanes. He did not sit on the local mountain and scan the horizon for signs of modern transportation. He contented himself to answer the questions of the Priestess. He would lie to preserve their peace and love.
Ai's belly status no longer could be ignored.
"It's time to go to the Priestess," Ai said one day.
All the local villagers responded with the utmost kindness. Rolt grew used to the cattiness of the women back home in Boston where he grew up. He expected no less, but the villagers accepted him with open arms. "You are blessed they said."
"Your wife is honest and true ."
"Every man should be so loyal," said another woman, walking away from the well with her daughter to join them going to the Priestess.
"Good thing to see a man happy in love," said the woman who lead the villagers.
Rolt's hand trembled. He flinched and flexed it, forcing the all nervousness out of his hand and body. He tensed his whole body and then relaxed. He stomped his leather boots. He went over and over with Ai saying their arranged lie. "We met at the well in the year of the green dragon, 8 AD."
They sauntered into the temple. People from the village, as was the custom, followed. They waited as the Priestess in her black robe asked Ai several questions. Ai showed confidence and answered them in an even tone. Then it was Rolt's turn.
"You came from what village?"
"I came from He Wang Village in the south."
"Why did you come north?"
"I came north to seek a wife."
"What's wrong with the Chinese women of the south?"
"They are not as lovely as the Northern women." This brought a laugh from the mostly women spectators.
"Where did you meet Ai?"
"We met at the well in the year of the green dragon, 8 AD."
"You are now married under the auspices of Lady Kun," said the Priestess.
One day, Rolt and Ai discussed their second child Bo, also a girl.
"I don't know if we can afford a third child, Ai."
"This is only our second child." She smiled.
Rolt looked at her quietly. "We must not keep having children."
"Stop wanting love."
"I--I agree." He sat down and picked up a cup of green tea. "I love you. We must find some goat skins and make condom."
"I don't know what condom is."
"I'll make one." Rolt said, quietly after sitting the teacup down. "If we can own goat--"
"Goat expensive to kill simply for condom." She wrapped herself in a shawl. "I'll see. Someone may give us goat innards for free." Ai left.
She came back after a few hours empty handed. "We must wait until one dies."
"They'll take years. I'll go. I need to talk to a man."
Ai interrupted quickly. "Men gone to war!"
“So that's where they are?"
"Yes. If you ask for men, you may go to war, too!"
Rolt didn't like wars. He didn't mind dressing in fatigues; they made good archeology gear. They matched his leather boots. He blended in the environment.
"Han Dynasty fighting against itself." Ai said, cautiously. Her eyes darting from Rolt's brown eyes back to the fire as night approached again. "We must not become involved. May change something."
"That's right." He realized his love for Ai didn't comprehend his predicament. Condoms might change things, too. "Yes."
While their argument caused a small rift in their happiness, it meant something more. Rolt's growing impatience with domestic life. He wanted to get out in the world and do something. Before Rolt knew it, he wanted to eject his burden, his secret of how they met. Rolt wanted to leave their marriage. He wanted out. He knew it might not last. He tossed and turned several nights in the second trimester of Bo's development. He needed space. Time to be alone. But he didn't know how to survive without Ai. He kept his silence. Rolt beat back the incessant need to escape from his marriage vows. His need for something different, anything pressed him hard. But he held fast.
Seven years drifted by, blowing like the desert sand. Turning up in the heat of newness and leaving cold like the desert nights. They were good years. Good years considering they stopped having sex. They kissed often enough. Ai loved to be caressed. They placed their mouths on one another's most passionate parts to feel unity and relieve tension. But after seven years, Rolt stormed out to get water from the village well. He wanted out. Hiking long distances for thicker wood didn't help. Ai turned over her garden to Rolt to help ease his need for physical activity. Rolt dangerously tested his will to survive against the suddenly arriving sand storms. Venturing out into them, walking in circle, wish on each arc to return home. All to no avail. His influence over the forces of time and fate, mute, fixed.
His strange behavior brought the village women's attention at well. They seized on his vulnerable state, his wanting to leave Ai. Maybe they sensed it somehow. Women's intuition Rolt chided himself. First the marriage rift, now this.
"He's a strange fellow."
"He's too tall to be from around here."
"He fell out of the sky the night of that comet, in the 8 year of the green dragon."
"He's a monster in disguise."
Frightened and shocked, Rolt ran back to Ai and tried to patch things up. But Ai's anger made things difficult and slow. Soon villagers tossed snide and sniggering and hurtful remarks to Ai as she went into the village to get food. Ai ignored them. She fully expected their wrath to erupt someday. Rolt had a harder time of it realizing he caused his own torment. Their torment. He hadn't exactly broken his promise. He must stop thinking negatively about their relationship.
It hurt Rolt to hear the painful comments against his wife and young Nuying. He went to the village and few returning men, mostly injured without a hand or arm, began to throw stones at him. They shooed him away as if he was a negative force. "We don't trust you, monster."
"Alien from the sky comet."
Things got so bad the Priestess came around to their cave one day, "Tell me the truth of how you met."
Ai shook her head vehemently at Rolt, no, no, no.
Rolt's heart hurt from all the comments. He had nowhere to hide or run away to. He needed his space. He often escaped to a small mountain. There he pinned to be back home in his century. He might hop on the Internet or go to festival to ease his tension. Here he didn't age. Back in his time, he'd be twenty-one years older. He'd be seventy-one years old. Celeste would only be thirty-four! Despite the fact, he had five lovely children five girls, beautiful and well-behaved, Rolt life crumbled before him.
Now, people in the village, women mostly, openly showed their jealous claws. "They have everything, money, land, beautiful children and most of all love. Still the alien man is not happy." "Even a witch like Ai is helpless before his boredom."
"He wants a new wife," a young woman giggled.
"Who would want a fickle man monster?" came her older sister's reply.
Nuying started schooling in the village. Rolt and Ai were very pleased. "Nuying is smart." Rolt said one morning, stoking the fire. His original clothes gone now. He squatted before the fire wearing pants and shirt like the village men. Ai buried his leather boots and original clothes some place behind the mountain, for his own safety. Rolt wanted to cry. That was his last connection to his time.
"We can grow together now, Ai." said after returning from behind the mountain. "Wear these."
Rolt knew the wisdom in his wife's action. She was right. He needed to accept his new situation. Still something pulled his curiosity.
"They say you are a Witch, Ai. Is it true ?"
"Unaware people say hurtful things." She came and embraced him. She placed her head on his shoulder. "All people are capable of magic. Women make food--that's magic. Men whittle wood into objects--that's magic. Fireworks are magic."
Rolt held her tenderly in his arm. He realized this small town was never going to accept him and certainly wouldn't accept him if he revealed the truth of where he came from. So he decided to bury the secret within himself. All that matter was love. He loved Ai. He knew her good heart. He knew every inch of her body by now. They had loved countless times. Because he couldn't leave, love came flooding back into his life--love for Ai. "I love you. I think your loving me is magic. Healing was magic."
"Then yes. What the people say is true ."
"We must not be concerned about people watching us, Ai." He smiled and pulled her into his lap. Laying her down, he stared into her soft black eyes. "Alien monster and Witch, we'll go right on living our lives; doing what needs to be done to bring happiness into being.
Rolt's callous hands embraced her small bosom. He molded her flesh under his hands gently. He watched the material slide over her breasts. Ai's nipples rose pressing tight against the garment. His sex began to rise. Ai wiggled her hips. She flashed her romantic smile, smiling with not only with her eyes, but with her mouth as well.
"Alien man finally wants to love Witch again." She laughed. Her silky shy voice renewed the silvery passion waiting inside Rolt's loins.
"I'm not satiate with your yet, Ai." He replied. He could tell his baritone voice sent shivers down her spine. She often said that in the early days of their relationship. Now he relished her choice of sounds. Now fully submerse in this period with Ai, Rolt didn't want to give her up. He wanted to stay. "Maybe I just needed to--" He leaned down and kissed her tiny nose. "Never mind."
He turned Ai around swiftly on his lap. She threw her legs around his waist. Quickly she reached to untie the rope at her pants and pushed them down until the black soft triangle tuff came into view. He moved down and kissed her belly button before going lower. Then his tongue darted inside her secret passion line. Her sex opened like a desert lily flower, the trumpet of her inner folds accepting, waiting for his hard substantial maleness. Her wetness making a way for his manly expression of love to join her.
Rolt tasted her sauce on his tongue and wanted more. Ai lay back fully and raised her legs straight up and together, as Rolt slid off her pants. He held her legs together. He kissed her feet, ankles, back of her calves and thighs. Gentle like years before, Rolt sensed her rising passion as he spread her short legs. The scent of her overwhelmed him, stoking his need to have her completely again, after seven years.
"I don't care if we have another child, and another and another, Ai." Rolt hurriedly unbuckling his pants.
Ai sat up and unbuttoned his shirt. "I love to see your strong, hard chest." She bent down and took one of Rolt's nipples into her sweet mouth. Rolt sighed. He rocked his hips, freeing his cock and lifted Ai up and joined the two of them together in bliss.
Her hot slot did more than warm his turgid tool. Her dewy sinews eased the loneliness in his heart. "I can't think of a better place to be than with you. I've finally attained that mysterious love--that sleeping giant resting beyond sex and passion."
The two of them moved against one another like the heat from the sun moved over the desert sands warming them, heating them to a fiery pitch. They release and clutched each other, heated and cooled one another just like the desert does every day, and every night. Then their mutual cries sounded like some wild desert animals or rabbits as they poured out their love in a mighty climax.
"Every woman is a Witch, Rolt." She lay back panting. "How else do you think women attract men to themselves!"
"You're not just a witch. You're my desert Witch, Ai." He embraced her passionate again. "I'm never going to let you go ever."