Origins-Scene 2

“At the temple there is a poem called “Loss” carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read loss, only feel it.” ― Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

Tea Service

Promises

   Sprawled on the couch, I languished in a daydream staring through the open wall of the house across the East China Sea. The breeze stirred the humid air with the smell of the sea and the scent of the forest below.

   Faith and I were recovering at one of the Dragon estates in the mountains of an island at the tip of South Korea after a hectic trip to several Dragon Enclaves. Our security duties were uneventful, but the constant high state of alert took its toll.

   Exotic birds skimmed across the treetops searching for the rise of wind currents that carried them out over the channels that ran through the islands and out to the sea. Our island looked like a dragon coiled over its tail where the Yellow Sea, Sea of Japan, and the East China Sea came together. The convergence of currents filled the water with fish that fed the appetites of all God’s creatures and stirred the tempest of wind and water.

   The stone and wood mansion with its decorated paper interior walls, tapestries, and Asian paintings looked out over the bluffs of smooth stone. Boulders protected the bluff from the waves like stone guards. The surf always fought with the shore erupting in sea-spray that looked like famished tongues licking at a meager meal. The roar of the surf, wind in the trees, and the chirp and squawks of wildlife was a soothing background to my dream of living out my life in the cradle of this ancient land.  

   Faith entered my field of view in a silk wrap with her Black Dragons brocaded on the cloth among stylized clouds of blue and white. The hem hit her above mid-thigh emphasizing her legs. The wrap held closed by a fabric belt revealed the shape of her body. I felt my breath quicken. My Mnemosyne carried a tray with a tea service arranged like still life art. She folded down on top of her legs; feet tucked under her as she set the tray down on the floor mat.

   The tea and spices of ginger, cardamon, and clove filled the room as my Dragon Yobo kept her head down refusing to make eye contact or break the solitude of the moment with her voice. She leaned over and moved the cup meant for me to the side of the tray closest to me twisting the handle to my right hand.  I eased off the couch to the floor and sat facing Faith.

   I knew not to speak or move once seated on the floor. To violate the ritual of the tea service would bring a sharp rebuke and accusations of barbarism while laughter flashed in her eyes. She would punish me with kisses after scolding me. I was tempted to screw up on purpose just to taste her lips and hear her sharp tongue.  

   After she had poured my tea, she moved around to my side. The touch of her skin against my leg felt like a small trickle of electric current. I took a slow sip of the tea and let it tantalize my palate before swallowing.  I looked over at her and smiled to let her know I was pleased. I poured her tea as she held up the small cup in both hands with her head down and eyes averted to show gratitude for the silence and pleasure we shared.

   We enjoyed the sun reflecting from the sea and the forest that stretched out below us. The pleasures of the surf and wind blended with the spicy taste of the tea. The whole of the experience mesmerized us into a meditative mood. Faith reached her arms around me and rested her head on my shoulder, her face against my neck.

   “Do you love me, Nae Yong?” She breathed the words as her lips brushed my neck.

    I hugged her to me, “I love you like stars love the black night.”

   “Tell me what you love about me.” She asked with a vulnerability uncharacteristic of a Dragon Sentinel. 

   I let her sit in silence and watch as my eyes took in her face, her eyes and lips with their pronounced vermilion border.  Her graceful curves fell under my gaze, next the skin; hairless, supple, and smooth. My fingers trailed over her shoulders, down her arms, across her hips then down her thighs in a wandering lust at the feel of her and the appreciation of the sight of her. I buried my nose in her long black hair next to her ear and inhaled the sweet musk of her perfume.

   I kissed her and retreated while holding her lower lip between mine, letting her slide away. 

   “I love the taste of your mouth, the life in your breath, and your warm scent. I love the feel of your body on mine like a warm down quilt in winter. Most of all, I love the wisdom of your mind, the song of your voice, and passion in your heart. I love you, all of you.”

   “If you knew my past, you wouldn’t love me as you do.” Her face slid off my shoulder and turned away from my gaze.

   “It’s not your past I love. It’s our now and future I’m in love with.” My words seemed to stab her as my fingers found her chin and lifted her face to mine.

   “Nae Yong, my past is always our now and my future.” She spoke in a low murmur as her eyes saw something that wasn’t of our time.

   “What is it that troubles you, Yobo?”

   “Us,” she said without hesitation.

   Faith went to the kitchen. I didn’t follow her. She was protective of her space and intrusion only made her defensive and angry. What she wanted to tell me had to come when she was ready. She returned with an Asian pear.

   My Yobo sat in silence and used a paring knife to peel the fruit. Every cut took her further away from the pain she felt.  She cut the fruit into cubes then used a small fork to lift the first piece and place it in my mouth. Faith was delighted with my happy expression. To this day, I love the taste of Asian pears and sweet memories.

   Her mood lightened as we enjoyed the diversion together. We made it a game to touch one another as we fed each other and kissed the sweetness from our lips.

   “Tell me about when you were a little girl growing up here on the island.” I ventured to offer her a chance to get whatever bothered her off her mind or let her pursue a divergence.

   Faith got up again and closed the sliding panels of the wall and locked them for the night. She turned on a lamp with paper shades that cast a yellow glow across the furniture and lacquered floor. I joined her on the couch as she lowered her head to my lap and stroked my leg as I rubbed her back.

   “I was twelve when I came here to the island.”

   “How did you come to live here?” I asked, my curiosity peaked.

   “I lived in a small village called Sonid Youqi in Inner Mongolia before I came here. I used to live with a Sunud Mongol courtesan named Rose. She was a beautiful woman; the toy of drunk, wealthy men.”

   “Was Rose your mother?”

   “My parents died when I was a small child. My Apa was a musician, and my Oma was a doctor. A Russian doctor, a friend of my mother and father, took me to Xilingol Prefecture and left me with Rose. The Dragons paid Rose to take care of me. I learned later the money came from an account set up by the Black Dragons from the sale of our home and belongings.”

   “You were a part of the Black Dragons from birth?

   “Not at first. I had to earn my way into the society. I had to prove myself.”

   “That had to be hard as a child.”

   Faith stopped talking and stared at the lamp. She was unsure of how far to go with the truth.  I decided to change the subject. I found in time that the topic of the Black Dragons never changed.

   “They must think a lot of you, Yobo. They let us stay in this mansion and ask nothing from us.” My ignorance stung her.

   “Nae Yong, nothing is free. Our lives incur debt that we will pay with our blood, body, and soul. We will pay with our labor and sweat and incur more debt as we go.” Her voice was strong, almost prophetic.

   “How do we pay out our debt to the Dragon Masters?” I probed deeper.

   “Give the Black Dragons your life, Nae Yong and you will earn your honor and freedom.”

   “I have sworn my allegiance to the Masters. I will hold nothing back,” I assured Faith of my devotion to her and the Dragons.

   “You must prove yourself as I did to gain their acceptance,” she spoke with a hint of the pain acceptance extracted from the followers of the way of the Black Dragon.

   “How will I prove myself worthy to the Dragons, Yobo?”

   “The Master will give you a task. You must not fail him even if it cost your life or mine,” her pain deepened in her throat as she spoke the words with care.

   The insight to our future stunned me. I could not show my concern. I opted for empty bragging. Her hands clasped in mine; I looked into her wet eyes.

   “I won’t fail the Master or you, Yobo.”

   “Then make love to me now and later, I’ll tell you stories about the Dragons and a little girl.”


Image source: pinterest.com

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26 thoughts on “Origins-Scene 2

    1. Thank you, Marta! 😊. Since these are actual draft book scenes/chapters instead of posts they are much longer and one will need a voracious reading appetite to chew through so many words at one time. I hope your appetite stays healthy and strong. Vegetables rule! 😋

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        1. I do like how you are well tuned to your diet of food and prose, Marta. :D. Scene 3 is dark and the flavor sharp but from this darkness emerges our story of the Dragon Sisters. I hope it suits your taste overall. If not, it’s not to late to influence the outcomes. 😉

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    1. Thank you, Natasha. Those Dragons are always up to something behind the scenes. Sometimes figuring out if the are good or evil is just a matter of perspective. You will find out a great deal as the layers in the story are peeled back. 😊. Thank you for the great comment!!!

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  1. Love how the island looked like a dragon, too! “The surf always fought with the shore erupting in sea-spray that looked like famished tongues licking at a meager meal” – this line really stood out to me among the descriptions of their environment. I look forward to hearing some details about Faith’s life as a youngster. As always, you keep the mystery present and the reader salivating for more. I reread Memoirs of a Geisha not long ago and I find similarities in the writing style with your story and that one. The way everything is described is so poetic.

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    1. Thank you so much, Lauren. My muse has been a bit aloof lately and so I’ve let the story rest. This comment has really brought back the flame to continue. We will learn a great deal about Faith as a young girl. Her story is how a Dragon Sister is born in the heart of a child. I have been captivated by Asian aesthetics, art, literature, and philosophy for much of my life. What started as a fascination became a way of life when I lived in Korea and was introduced to the real Dragon Society. There is a certain beauty and balance that suits my nature and soothes my soul. Life in any Asian country comes with stark opposites. It’s hard for westerners to understand but when one lives with them and strives to understand, it is spiritually enlightening, captivating, horrifying, and impossible to disengage from once it becomes a part of you. I haven’t read the book, Memoirs of a Geisha. I did see the movie and there were certain parts I recognized. They did a good job of capturing the ethos of that lifestyle. I could rant for days on the subject of Asian art and ethos. I feel it to the core of my soul and I’m thrilled I was able to impart a little of it. I’ll work on bringing you much more in the future. Stay tuned 🙂

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    1. Yes indeedy! And, those rascally Dragons have an ample supply of both. I’ve noticed the Asian female workforce at DARPA has doubled recently. I’m expecting some shocking details about them soon. (pun undeniably intended)

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        1. Yes! hiding in plain sight is easy. The number approaches 39% in Silicon Valley and growing in the tech sector where DARPA recruits its workforce. Dr. Aristov’s dream may be realized after all. let us just hope My Dragon Sisters happen to be benevolent geniuses as their parents intended. Talking to one of my Dragon Sisters today about education, she told me America’s A is an Asian F in education. That tells us something.:D

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  2. It is a wonder to think on how did she ever get united with Nae-Yong, made me question the truth behind their relation. How they came together is a mystery behind human understanding because Faith has a hard past and one sees that Nae Yong is the gentle one. Unlikely for a Dragon male, I think?

    But I am continuing this reading … to the next blog … 🙂

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    1. Yes, small truths emerge in each chapter about Hyperion and Faith’s relationship and how it was planned for a long time, since Faith was a child. A little spoiler here. The Dragons are more interested in a child born to Faith and Hyperion and it could be to this end that Faith has seduced Hyperion. We’ll have to see what happens.

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        1. I think when you see who Hyperion and Faith’s daughter is, it will be a good moment and make sense. I sure you will guess it. Faith’s telling of her life is critical for Hyperion to understand his role with Faith and what they must do together. Scene 3 offered a very strong hint why Hyperion was sought out for Faith’s bonded mate. Now we must also learn how he was singled out by the Dragons for Faith. 😀

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          1. Yes, of course, I now that. But the thing will get the more complicated and the more intense when a child came into your life. As an existence of another will somehow change you into ‘someone’ new and different … that will be the same for both Faith & Hyperion.

            I am hunger for more of their love story … Up into the Dragon world!
            (✿◠‿◠)っ

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            1. Yes, you are so right, Sherrie! In Scene 5, Faith hears something from Hyperion that removes all doubt that he is her destiny hinted by Dr. Aristov to Darya, his wife while treating Rose. She realizes Nae Yong is not just a duty to obey her masters but her true Bonded Mate. Hyperion is also becoming aware that Faith is his destiny but he hasn’t internalized the way of the Dragon and he questions Faith’s love and devotion to him versus the Dragon Masters. He is almost there and when his heart is fully invested, the Masters will give him his challenge for acceptance.

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              1. A true master has to go through all the life’s cruel trials & great temptations before they earn the noble title. My father always mentioned on that a true warrior (any warrior or soldier) would have bleed first on the battlefield to require certain level of skills and understanding.

                And I made a joke out of it, told him that I just had a battle with a knife while trying to cut apple into cubes. I remembered I told him this … “Papa! I bleed on the battlefield just now. A fair fight between the knife and the apple! I cut my finger with it!”

                Then my father said, “Then who won?”

                I replied, “The finger, of course. It bleeds!”

                hahahaha … Then he tried to smack the back of my head while I running away laughing! LOL

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                1. LOL!!! The finger is now wiser and handles the knife with more skill. This is a true lesson of which your father knew about. I could see this in a vision as I read it. I could see your father’s inner smile and hear your laughing. The cruel trials and temptations is a true explanation. In real battle, soldiers can be very well trained and very physically and mentally fit but in early battles many mistakes are made. The consequences teach the living and in time a battlewise warrior emerges. So many deep philosophical lessons about life are learned in the face of violent death. If one lives, it is their duty to teach the younger or less experienced. That is the first battle, to teach by example and wisdom and for the student to respect the teacher and learn the lesson and apply the skill. Inattentive students concerned only with petty things in life suffer the most in battle. It is often more kind for them to die than live with their unnecessary failure and harsh consequences. Here is where mental toughness, discipline, and focus on important things separates the true warrior from the common ranks. The temptations of easy life is a difficult temptation to ignore for a better outcome. Many fail at that point.

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  3. Oh boy, I love a good old love story 🙂 It seems Faith has mystery hidden in her past, and maybe certain things she’s not proud of. She takes on a role that is usually reserved for men in new-age love stories (such as Twilight and the likes of it), namely the sexy, compelling hero who’s been a villain in the past. I know the effect that has on women, but now I’m curious to see what effect a heroine of the same model has. Very intriguiging.

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    1. Thank you, Ana. My motivations and inspirations are many and diverse. The idea of giving women the position often reserved for men is based on my personal experiences in real life. I’ve met countless women who are leaders and heroes in their own right but are often viewed differently for the sole reason they are a female. I work with women of exceptional skill and talent. They are ex-military and accustom to success in hard challenges. I adore them. They dress to a high standard, are in exceptional physical condition, conduct themselves with a friendly, cohesive team spirit and professional demeanor. I would say these are not ordinary women. They are like Olympic competitors but in their field of expertise rather than a sport. They would eat your previous accountant for breakfast and discretely spit the bones in a napkin. Yet, not one ounce of their femininity is sacrificed to their profession. In fact, I find them more feminine and alluring than most women I meet in the general public. It’s because they take care of themselves and their careers as well as their household and care little for the popular bashing of men and women in social media and print. They set an example rather than fix blame. That’s true class to me and I want to give this class center stage in my writing. Women and men can be so much more than what society and popular opinion insists they be. First, one has to rise above the stereotypes, not give reason to believe they are unworthy of consideration, and realize, nothing comes without hard work and sacrifice. We’ll see that in this story as Hyperion and Faith travel down this path together in a partnership devoid of petty ego and glass ceilings. To me a person that looks up to another not because of wealth and status but because of accomplishment through willingness to put forth the effort to achieve a lofty goal has a chance to achieve their own goals. It’s not what we are born with but what we aspire to be and the effort we put into getting there. It is in this environment we find our unlikely winners and heroes. Anyway, that’s the plan and as you know, things rarely go according to plans. 😀

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      1. The way you describe these women is vivid and makes me totally want to be like them! Indeed, the new-age image of the Woman sure could use some of these values, there are many women out there who would surely make great use of all these qualities, and would wear them proudly. Wonderful comment, super gripping! Your writing talent shines through in your comments, dear cuzz.

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