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Old 03-22-2005, 11:43 AM   #1
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In the maze of her imagination - pt 10

Hello there! You can't know how much your positive responses means to me. I'm glad you like it.

Disclaimer: Sigh...not true. Pure fiction



Gioia snapped to attention.

Bono spun around in horror and saw at least a half dozen horsemen watching them from the riverbank. A few had crossbows trained on them.

What the f*ck!!

He instinctively shoved Gioia behind him to protect her from the ogling stares of the men. She peeked around his shoulder in shock.

A woman’s deep throaty laugh broke the awkward silence. A horse and rider moved forward and Gioia got a look at the woman.

Her age was indeterminable, but she was stunning. She sat the horse with ease and pride. Her hair, which flowed over one shoulder in deep waves, was a rich auburn with golden highlights. Her almond shaped eyes, which were fixed on Bono with interest, were emerald green. Her body was swathed in luxurious fabric, as was her horse.

“Put down your weapons”. She said with authority. The men obeyed her almost instantly. She was eyeing Bono with appreciation. She let her gaze boldly travel from his handsome face down to his wet briefs, which had but a moment ago been stretched taut by his desire for the girl. She smiled as he stood there and didn’t waver under her obvious perusal. She was impressed that he showed no fear.

She motioned to the man beside her, who was also on horseback. “Andrew, is that him?”

He chuckled. “Yes, that is he.”

She was delighted. He was more than she imagined.

“And the girl?”

Andrew cleared his throat uncomfortably. “She is the one with the amulet.”

The woman’s eyes widened and then narrowed in disgust. “Drat! This won’t do!” She snapped her fingers at one of her men. “Throw them both a cloak and bring them along.”
She turned to Andrew. “I will deal with you later.” She turned her horse and rode the path back up to the main road.

He didn’t seem worried. Instead of following her, he looked over at Gioia , who, after slapping a guard a stinging blow, was trussed and tossed over a shoulder. Andrew watched her struggle and heard her let loose with a string of expletives. He grinned, a dimple appearing deep in his left cheek. Things were becoming very interesting.

Gioia was soon dumped into the back of a three- wheeled cart. Bono was enraged. He had been unable to prevent her mishandling. As soon as the guard grabbed for her, another had the tip of a cross-bowed arrow pointing at his bare chest. Gioia ’s heart clenched at the danger that he was in. He now stood proudly in front of the woman on horseback

“Get in the wagon.” The woman demanded evenly.

Bono tried to stay calm. He hoped that what he was feeling inside would not cause his voice to quiver. “I’m afraid we’re not going anywhere with you, unless you explain who you are and what you want with us.”

The woman was silent for a moment. She was impressed by his impertinence. She looked over to her companion who nodded slightly.

“I am Queen Creide. And you have been brought here by my will to serve me.”

She directed this statement to Bono.

***


Bono and Gioia sat in the wagon in silence. Gioia was barefoot, half naked, and uncomfortably damp. She wrapped herself in the scratchy cloak given to her, shivering with the coming of night. She was staring off into the distance. She was still a bit stunned. Her heart rate had returned to normal just a short while ago. Her mind kept revisiting the erotic scene by the falls, even though she knew she should devote some thought to their present circumstance. She didn’t want to. Their present circumstance would do it’s best to infest their lives without her giving it too much help.

Bono was furious and fuming but there wasn’t much he could do. He had to stay calm. His arms were tied behind his back and his feet tied at the ankles before being tossed into the wagon. A guard rode behind the cart to make sure that he stayed tied. His cloak had slipped off of him and thankfully Gioia wrapped it around him so that it stayed put for warmth. He sighed. He put himself into this position. He shouldn’t have struck the guy that gave him the cloak. He’d been told time and again to control his temper.

He looked over at Gioia . They made a great team. He almost laughed when he had heard what she was calling the poor bastard that grabbed her.

She sneezed. He could tell that she was cold. “Psst.” She looked up and he motioned her over to him with his head. She shimmied over and laid her head on his shoulder and wrapped her arms around him.

Bono couldn’t believe this was happening. He was getting used to the idea of dealing with one goddess, and now here was another one thrown into the mix. He had heard of Creide, and was trying to remember what she represented. He couldn’t figure out why she wanted him.

Wanted him????

Oh God no! He recalled the way she looked at him. He hoped it was just his big fat ego that made him consider this possibility.
The sky was beginning to darken and night was descending once more.

“Are you ok?” He whispered to Gioia .

“Yes.” She replied almost inaudibly. Her ragged breath told him otherwise.

He sighed. “We’re going to be fine. If they had wanted to kill us they would’ve done so already.” That sounded familiar. That was what he had said back on the truck after the concert. Jeez! That was only last week! It seemed so long ago.

“Gioia ?”

“Mmmm.”

“I think we shouldn’t start anything in or near water. It just doesn’t work for us.”

Gioia laughed quietly. She looked up at him and leaned in to kiss him.


***


“You’ve been quiet my lady,” Andrew drew his horse up next to Creide to keep her company. He thought it had been a mistake to start out so late, and had suggested that they camp for the night. Creide insisted on heading back to her home, even thought they would arrive well after nightfall.

She nodded sullenly. “He is the one isn’t he Andrew? I need for him to be the one. I cannot take this seclusion much longer. The boundaries of my land are like a noose around my neck.”

“I have it on good authority that he is perfect for your needs.” He cleared his throat. “You are interested in him for those needs, correct? The ones that we’ve discussed all along.”

Creide smiled at him. Andrew was extremely good looking. His light brown hair was thick and wavy; the kind of hair that invited a woman’s fingers to get lost in it. His lips were full and alluring. His eyes were sky blue ringed with a deeper hue and seem to always be crinkled in amusement. His mischievous nature spawned a single dimple in his left cheek, which succeeded in making him look boyish. Most women found Andrew attractive. His height, which was just over six feet tall, coupled with a long sinewy body, made him very appealing to Creide, who was a tall woman herself.

However, Andrew was not to be trusted. Truth, he was helping her, but she still wasn’t sure of his motive.

“Don’t worry, Andrew. Seducing the man is not part of my plan. Not yet anyway.”

Andrew’s smile wavered slightly.

“Tell me, what are we to do with the girl?” Creide continued. “She was not supposed to be here”.
Andrew thought for a moment. “Let me take care of her.”

***

Gioia hugged Bono close to her, sharing her warmth with him. She knew he was deep in thought.

“So—what do you know about this Creide?” Other than she’s beautiful!

Bono shrugged. “I’m not sure. There are a few stories associated with her, but it’s hard to say which one is fact.”

Gioia sat up. “Hmmph…Irish myths need to get their stories straight.” She teased. It didn’t work. Bono didn’t think it was so funny.

“Sweetie, you can’t put yourself through this kind of pressure. You’re doing the best you can do. At least you have an idea of what’s going on. It’s something to work with. So don’t beat yourself up over it.”

Bono smiled at her. No one had ever called him sweetie before.

“You’re right. I’m just sorry that my interpretation and memory of the stories are so vague and possibly, inaccurate. It may make matters worse.”

Gioia shook her head. “Worse than not having any ideas at all? Try me. I want to hear about what’s going on in that head of yours. You can’t think this through on your own.”

He nodded in acquiescence. “Well, from what I recall Creide had fallen in love with the son of someone powerful, but they were not allowed to marry. He had to leave her but before he left he gave her a stone and told her that it contained his life and that she was to guard it carefully. He never returned and in her anguish Creide accidentally dropped the stone and broke it. He died three days later.”

Ok. Well, that was morbid. Gioia tried to associate the story with the woman they had just met. If it were true then Creide must’ve suffered horribly for her broken heart.

“Another version of the story says that Creide had angered his mother with her thoughtlessness and the mother cursed her and cast a spell over her.”

Gioia sighed. “Who was the woman do you think?”

Bono shrugged.

“Aine?” Gioia whispered.

Bono chuckled, surprising Gioia . “All roads lead to Aine, huh? I’ve already thought of that. The only reason I’m considering that is because I still feel that we’re part of some scheme and that all pieces of the puzzle are going to fit together in some way.”

Gioia considered this for a moment. “So. That’s one story. What else do you know?”

“Well”, he continued, “another story I’ve heard was that Creide was forbidden to leave her property or kingdom or whatever, unless she found a man to lift her enchantment. Unfortunately, she was not allowed to actually invite a man onto her property for this sole purpose.”

“So she was pretty much screwed?” Gioia added. Bono nodded.

“Sounds like those two stories could be intertwined, don’t you think? She is the cause of that woman’s son’s death and she becomes cursed so she cannot leave her own land until a specific man comes to release her from the spell. What I don’t understand is why is it so hopeless for her? If any man can do it what does it matter if she can’t invite someone specific? I’m sure there are men already living in her kingdom. Were there conditions and qualifications?”

“Well, that’s the reason why she was unable to lift her enchantment. She needed someone specific. She was supposed to find a man who could create for her the most magnificent poem ever penned. In her heart she had to be impressed by it, and the curse would be lifted.”

It was hard for Gioia to associate this story to a real person. It sounded like a fairy tale. It was bizarre to talk about someone in the past tense when there was the very real possibility that the stories applied to the woman who held them captive.

“Mmmmm---poetry from a man. Aren’t we all looking for such a guy?” She smiled at Bono lovingly, thinking about the soul stirring lyrics he has written in his lifetime. Such talented men were scarce.

“Wow”. She chuckled. “If this is true, then it’s too bad that Creide doesn’t realize that she has the best lyricist in the world right under her nose”.

Bono gasped and looked at Gioia wide-eyed. She cocked her head to one side, perplexed at his reaction. All of a sudden it hit her!

Creide wanted Bono! She wanted him to end the spell she was under. But how had she known about him? Was she the one responsible for bringing them there? Them???? If she wanted Bono, then why was Gioia there?

Sh*t! Sh*t! Sh*t! She was wearing Aine’s amulet! Was Creide defying Aine by using her amulet? But how? They were now on Creide’s property, so she could use Bono for her plans. But how could she have possibly known they would be by the falls?

The Wareings??!!!

Gioia ’s mind was racing with all these thoughts and questions. Her heart was hammering and she was starting to feel faint.

“Bono. What if you were the only one that was supposed to be here? What if I’m in the way?” She choked. “What if that accident by the river, wasn’t an accident?”

Bono was silent.

***

About an hour later, they found themselves staring up at a monstrous castle in the distance. In the darkness, it seemed as if the castle was floating in mid –air. Gioia blinked and looked again. What she saw was the reflection of the starry sky on the smooth surface of a lake, which sat below the castle gates. The castle itself was high on a hill but only the burning lights from the windows could be seen from this distance.

Gioia ’s mouth went dry as she nudged Bono. He went up on his knees to have a look.

“Oh f*ck! Will you have a look at that.” He shook his head. “We’re in a bloody fairytale! Some twisted, ass backwards, Grimm Brothers, f*cking fantasy. Someone, somewhere has to be laughing at this.”

He was losing it. Despite his sardonic sarcasm, Gioia knew that he was disturbed by it all.

A few minutes later the portcullis was raised and they passed through the guarded gates of Creide’s fortress. From what Gioia could see as they passed darkened shops, the streets looked like something straight out of Fantasyland, Disney, USA.

The procession stopped in front of Creide’s home. Gioia took a deep breath and sat still in the cart. Bono was watching her face as she tried to control her emotions.

“Don’t be afraid.” He whispered. “I won’t let anything happen to you.”

Gioia nodded. “I know.”

They heard the clip clop of horses’ hooves on the cobblestone and Creide herself came into view. She smiled at Bono but barely spared a glance to Gioia .

“Bring them into the Great Hall.” She instructed the guards. “I will address them both there.”

A few minutes later they were both standing before a dais with Creide sitting serenely upon her throne looking down on them. Bono’s hands were still tied behind him, although the straps that had bound his ankles had been removed. The cloak had been swept from him on Creide’s command and he now stood proudly with his chin up and legs apart. (sorry--couldn't help myself!)

Creide admiration for him was obvious. She took in his dark hair, which was swept back from his face in waves. His cobalt blue eyes were mesmerizing and his lips, masculine and enticing. She noticed the small scar marring the otherwise perfection of his chin and wondered about it. Although not as tall as Andrew, this stranger held himself tall and confident and had an energy surrounding him that she could not identify nor deny.

“Who are you stranger?” She asked simply. Her voice was deep and smooth with a faint Irish accent.

“My name is Bono if that’s what you mean. ” He replied. He tried hard to keep the derision out of his voice. He wasn’t sure if he succeeded.

She raised an eyebrow upon hearing his brogue. “A pleasure to meet you.”

Gioia wanted to roll her eyes. One would think that they were in an English parlor, having tea. At first she felt so uncomfortable for Bono, for the manner in which he was being presented to Creide. But she soon realized that Bono feels ill at ease only if he allows it.

Creide’s eyes settled on Gioia . “Is this your wife?”

Without thinking Bono shook his head.

“Ah then, your whore?”

Gioia gasped and Bono lunged forward in anger. Many hands stopped him short.

Creide chuckled. Not a wife, but not just a simple paramour either. Were they in love? More the pity.

“Ah, I see that I’ve offended. My apologies. And what is your name?”

Gioia wasn’t going to answer her. She was hurt and humiliated. She doubted that the Queen could muster any less sincerity in her apology.

“Her name is Gioia .” Someone said from one of the entryways into the hall.

Gioia gasped. She knew that voice!

Andrew strolled in and walked up to the dais. He bowed low and kissed Creide’s hand. She reached up and ran her hands through his hair.

Bono caught Gioia ’s eye and gave her a look that said. What the..?

“Andrew! I was wondering if you were going to join us. Let me formally introduce you to our guests.” She waved down to where Gioia and Bono stood.

Andrew looked over to Bono, who met his stare with a scowl. Andrew was curious about this man who could stand there unabashedly in his undergarments and still exude confidence.
Andrew looked back at Creide and saw that she could barely take her eyes off of the stranger.

“Untie this man and give him back the cloak.” Andrew ordered, surprising both Bono and infuriating Creide. The guards looked to their Queen for approval. She knew what Andrew was doing.

She nodded.

Andrew turned his attention to Gioia . She was lovely. He had gotten a glimpse of her by the falls, and he longed to see again what the unattractive, black, woolen garment was covering.

Andrew smiled and sauntered down to where Gioia stood.
He looked down at her and gently caressed her cheek. “We’ve already met, haven’t we love?”

Gioia nodded.

He lifted her hand to his lips and placed a kiss on it. He straightened up and smiled warmly.

“Andrew Fletcher, at your service.”

“Green not your color, Fletcher?” She snorted. Fletcher chuckled.

“That was only temporary, my dear. And despite what you both may be thinking,” he looked over to Bono who was scowling at him, “I was trying to help you both. I was not there to spy on you or to hurt you.”

Bono moved closer to him. Andrew instinctively moved a step away from Gioia. “No? You don’t call our capture hurtful? Or do you maintain that you had nothing at all to do with that?”

Creide stood up. “Enough of this. Guards, take her away.”

“No!!!” Bono reacted instantly and tried to grab Gioia to pull her to him.

Oh God!! What was happening! Gioia saw the fear on Bono’s face as she was being pulled away from the Great Hall by two guards. She experienced full-fledged panic. Where were they taking her? Would she ever see him again? What was to become of them? She felt helpless!

“Bono!” She called out and for a split second she was able to catch his eye. Tell him you love him! Tell him before its too late! But the moment passed and she was out of the room.

Bono was shocked and a chill washed over him. He never felt so defenseless in his life. Watching Gioia being dragged from the room upset him to the point of rage. He turned his focus to Queen Creide. He tried to pull his fury under control before addressing her.

“You have my undivided attention, Your Majesty.” He snarled.

She cocked her head to one side, not surprised at his malicious tone. She shocked him with a smile.

“She will not be harmed, Bono.” She said to him in a gentle voice.

Bono didn’t say a word. He looked over at Fletcher, who looked uncomfortable by what had happened. Bono was disgusted at his deception. As far as he was concerned, he had everything to do with their abduction. He had to have been Creide’s eyes, following them on their course. Why the frog disguise though?

Andrew knew there was nothing more he could say to Bono that night. Andrew nodded slightly to him. He turned and walked out of the room.

“Why are we here? What do you want from us?”

Creide shook her head. Why did she think that he would’ve been a willing participant in her plans? “Not now. You are not open to what I need to tell you. We will speak again in the morning. I will explain then. Sleep well. Bono.”




Toodles until tomorrow.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:07 PM   #2
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Oh the cruelty!!

Poor Bono!!!!

Great and imaginitive writing, but will it be happy ever after for the romantically randy pair?!

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Old 03-22-2005, 12:15 PM   #3
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Yes, tell him you love him! (Oh how I love this story.)
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:22 PM   #4
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*Sigh* That Bono, ever the romantic!!

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Old 03-22-2005, 12:34 PM   #5
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Oh wow! This is really awesome. You are a superb storyteller I say! More more more! Weeeee!
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:49 PM   #6
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More please don't make us wait until tomorrow
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:23 PM   #7
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Yea man...I don't want to wait. I want some now!

But seriously...you are a goldmine when it comes to stories. Man, it's elegant and yet normal at the same time.

Please? More?

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Old 03-22-2005, 03:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by WildHoney
More please don't make us wait until tomorrow
yes, don't make us wait until tomorrow
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Old 03-23-2005, 01:21 AM   #9
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All I have to say is...GIMME MORE!!!!
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