Of all Oriel’s many lovers, she admired Rasmus the most. He possessed a sexual allure that shone from the depth of his emerald eyes to the soothing expressions of his voice. He was generous and honest with his affections and she loved the way her heart quickened when he caressed her face as they kissed.
But she needed to be certain his love was true, that it emanated from his heart and soul, that it was not simply a mask he wore to bed her. Never being one to hide her feelings, she expressed her concerns to him.
“Forgive me in my haste,” Rasmus said. “If I have taken possession of your precious gift before you were prepared to offer it.”
“You have not stolen anything from me that I would not willingly share,” answered Oriel. “I simply desire to explore what makes you special.”
“By all means.”
“I have your permission then?” she asked.
“Dig as deeply as your heart desires,” smiled her lover.
And so she did. Layer by layer, she examined the substance of the man who at one time she thought to be different than the rest but as she inspected the glistening skull in her hand, Oriel found Rasmus to be quite ordinary in the end.
Crestfallen, she continued her quest for true love.