hot breathing, thin moaning and skin gently rubbing on skin.
Bjorn sucked and slurped at Erna, trying to entice her and the stillness eroded away.

   Bjorn’s hands quested onward from stroking Erna’s belly, moving along her small waist and between her legs.
Erna’s eyes opened wide as she felt his fingers move.

   “B-Bjorn.” She said breathily.

   She did not yet have the courage to call his name out as loud as she would have liked.
She could still feel a part of herself holding back.
Bjorn came up from her aching bust and looked at her.

   Erna took the opportunity to push him away.
She was sobbing, she couldn’t help it.
Bjorn frowned worriedly and stopped the hand that hand been pushing a finger against Erna.
Driven by fear that he had hurt her, he withdrew and helped Erna sit up.

   Under his gaze, as he loomed over her, Erna let out the tears she had been holding back. 

   It was painful…

   and from that pain, 

   she was scared….

   It made her sad and she felt pitiful in Bjorn’s shadow.
She covered her face with her hands and the tears grew more intense.

   Bjorn looked at his weeping wife, like a spectator at a play.
It was a pretty emotional situation, but at the same time, he couldn’t help but admire her petite form and firm bust.
His eyes followed the lines of her curves and delicate waist, her slender limbs and puffy nipples.
Even though she was a petite woman, she never seemed immature.

   Erna had exceeded his expectations.

   The sobbing eventually subsided and Erna looked up at Bjorn, as if she was clinging to him with just a look.

   “Bjorn.” She whispered between sobs.

   Her face was blank and emotionless as she spoke his name and with each utterance, her voice became firmer, stronger, louder.
Erna didn’t know what else to say, so she said his name.

   Bjorn sighed and brushed a hand through his hair.
He could smell her and it only added to his irritation at the situation.
He was bewildered by this woman, who was wet and moaning one moment, then suddenly wailing and crying the next.

   He felt arrogant.
He thought he had trained himself well, beating all kinds of drunkards, earning numerous trophies.
It surprised him then, that Erna could deliver this much embarrassment to him and without being drunk.

   Bjorn looked at Erna with narrowed eyes.
In bed, it’s supposed to be fun and he never needed to deal with whiny, clumsy women if he didn’t want to.
If he didn’t want to have to deal with the trouble, he could leave and not feel ashamed.

   That thought had gone through his mind and he was about to, but Erna is his wife.
This is no floozy picked up at the club.
This was his wife.

   In that regard, Bjorn had to face this new challenge, whether he liked it or not.
Erna was his as much as he was hers and he needed to make an effort.
They had promised each other.

   “I’m sorry.” Erna said, finally looking up from her hands.

   Bjorn couldn’t help but laugh at the sense of Deja Vu.
Come to think of it, this was not actually the first time this had happened.
There was a predecessor…..


  Is Erna another Gladys?

   Bjorn laughed at the foul feeling of crawling through mud again.
The touch of Erna’s hand on his shoulder brought him back from dark thoughts of bad times.

   “I…I’ll keep my promise.
I’m not lying.
I’ll keep it.” Erna said, haltingly.

   Bjorn couldn’t shake the thought of how both Gladys and Erna behaved like they were being raped.
It was terrifying to think that it what he was doing.
The situation might have been the same, but the words uttered by the two women was completely different.

    “But, I’m scared.
It’s strange, it’s weird …” Erna’s eyes wandered around the room before finally stopping on Bjorn’s.
“I will keep my promise.”


  Her promise.

   The way in which Erna said it was confused and it confused Bjorn.
It sounded like he was an usher come to collect her debt.
When Earn had owed money for the lost trophy, she behaved like this.
Maybe she still feels like she owes him, maybe, if he hadn’t used the boating as an excuse to write off her debts.
If she was still working to make artificial flowers.

   At that moment, Bjorn recalled the face of the woman who had offered him a flower as a token of promise and let out a deep sigh of desperation. Erna took it as a reprimand and took her hand from his shoulder.
Half turning away, she began to wipe the tears from her cheek.

   Bjorn felt irritation rise up again, but it did not undermine the pity he also felt.
He decided to not judge the extent of Erna’s ignorance.
He took it on point that she did not know anything.

   It surprised Bjorn that Brenda Hardy,  Erna’s stepmother, would have tried to send her daughter off to be married in this state.
It also did not help that Erna lived with her Grandmother before she came to the city, the Baroness is a very conservative woman.
Erna really did not know anything about love making.

   Bjorn had assumed that Pavel might have taught her a thing or two when they ran together.
It was hard to believe that they had not even spoken about sex.
Was the painter a eunuch or something?

   Bjorn looked at his wife, the woman who was rumoured to be a concubine, was in fact as untouched as freshly fallen snow.
She was a blank slate.
Bjorn let out a deep sigh, even in the midst of this annoyance, there was only one thing he could do.

   Erna looked at Bjorn in wide eyed shock as the Prince began to laugh.

   When he subsided the laughter, Bjorn went over to collect the drink and two glasses from the table.
Erna reached down and grabbed whatever gown was to hand and covered her slender, naked body.
They both sat on the bed together.

   “How much can you drink?” Bjorn asked.

   “I, don’t know.” Erna replied as she watched Bjorn pour out two drinks.

   “How much do you usually drink?”

   “One.” Erna said quietly.

   “A single drink?” He held the glass out to her.

   “Yes, after one drink I get all hot and, ermm….
fuzzy.” Erna said quickly, as if to avoid looking like an ignorant fool.

   Bjorn nodded.
Erna’s face was still wet with the tears she hadn’t properly wiped away, but her expression was once again firm and strong, and her eyes were bright and assertive.

   “Here, drink.” Bjorn said and offered the glass again.
Erna took it.
“Drink and bear it, Erna.” His command was smooth and cooler than the touch of the glass in her hand.

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