Day 22 already – who would have thought it? Naturally, (apart from the fact that I feature on the 24th), I’ve been saving the best until last with today’s and tomorrow’s posts. Luckily one of my favourite writers is also one of my very best friends – and the wonderful Malin James has written this exquisite story especially for the advent calendar. Malin writes effortlessly and incandescently, and you’ll find more of her work – fiction and nonfiction – at Malin James.
The Green Lady
At least this one is handsome, she thinks as she slides the robe over her naked shoulders. They very often aren’t. Handsome knights are rare. A fantasy for girls.
Dawn is cold in December. She shivers despite her heavy, velvet robe. It is a rich, forest green—green for the Green Lady. Her husband killed the ermine that lines the cuffs with his own loving hands. Wearing it reminds her of when those hands were not so rough. Those memories, and the soft, white fur on her naked skin, are the only pleasures she takes in their annual game.
Her maids know to stay in bed on Midwinter’s Eve, whether or not they truly sleep. Her husband, likewise, left before dawn to hunt the boar that will crown the Midwinter feast. So much feasting this time of year. Eat, drink, hunt, make merry. Her mouth curls as she unbraids her hair. Make merry. Such a civilized way to say fuck. They are all just animals wearing armor and pretty gowns.
She sighs and leaves her chambers. The corridors are icy, but she does not rush. The cold makes her cheeks bloom like petals under snow, and she knows the effect is becoming. Even if it weren’t, she enjoys the cold. She is ignored for most of the year. Like fur against her naked skin, tight, aching nipples are a rare pleasure for her—a pale reward for her role in the game.
The first knight, years ago, had lost his head. The second and third did too. Nearly all of them end their lives that way—the cost of losing the game. Those who don’t are honored by serving her husband, their new, sovereign lord. Her body proves their loyalty, and buys it too. She receives little in return—the shame of being spurned by virtuous knights, or the indignity of being fucked by coarse, unworthy men. And all for a husband who no longer loves her, if he ever did. At least he keeps her in furs….
And yet, for all her distaste, she scents potential in the air. Perhaps this knight will be different.
He is well made for one thing, with shining arms, despite wandering for weeks in the snow. He should have looked like a vagabond when he’d arrived at their door seeking an opponent that does not exist; but he is beautiful in the way of stained glass—flawless and pure. Magnificent if purity interested her. But purity, on it’s own, does not. Beneath his chivalry lies the potential to fall—a corruptibility she knows. He is goodness and light surrounded by shadow, just as she once was.
At the knight’s door, she pauses and listens. The chamber doors are thick—oak surrounded by stone—but her ears are keen. She can hear him all the same. He is praying to the Virgin. For salvation? Strength? How lovely, she thinks. And bittersweet. There are no virgins here.
The Lady licks two fingers and slides them between her legs in preparation for her task. But she draws back, surprised to find herself slick. Perhaps it was his praying….
She enters without knocking, very quietly, so that he might pretend to be asleep. They often do, and so does he, but she knows his sleep is feigned. She can see his eyes flickering beneath pale lids fringed by lashes as thick as a girl’s. The effect is so sweet that she smiles. His pretense of sleep and pretty face defy the scars that mark his hands. He has hands like her husband’s, and a face like hers used to be.
She knows her role so well that she could play it in her sleep. And yet, as she bends over the bed, she feels a swell of arousal that she hasn’t felt in years. She kisses his cheeks, relishing the brush of his beard against her lips before moving to his brows and mouth. He stirs unconvincingly, like a boy caught in a dream. She chuckles in spite of herself. The tension coming off him shatters any illusion of sleep.
Normally, she would have roused him with every appearance of virtue. But her arousal makes her impatient. Watching him carefully, she draws the covers back and climbs up on the bed. He shifts as she straddles him, but does not open his eyes, so she moves aside the folds of her robe so her skin touches his.
How long can he pretend, she wonders, rolling her hips. His cock is hard against her softness. How good it would feel to fuck this stone carved saint…. He shivers, bringing her back. The room is cold, but she is warm—too warm for fur-lined robes. Tilting her head, she undoes the clasps. Normally, she would give him a chance to resist, but the ache in her is so novel and new. She can’t bear the thought of him passing the test.
She cups her breasts, teasing, as she slides her silky cunt over his straining length. He moans and shudders, eyes still shut, as she rolls her hips again. Sweet, she thinks, stroking his cheek. Sweet and so very hard. She bends and kisses him, all soft lips and gentle need, like she used to kiss her man. Finally, he opens his eyes.
There is goodness there, and kindness too. But beneath his virtue lies the vile humanity that keeps him away from God. She can see it. She knows, even before his hips push up against his will. Her heart beats heavy in her chest as she shrugs off her robe.
She is naked beneath it, except for a golden belt—the girdle her husband gave her the first time they played the game.
“Please me, knight,” she says, draping the golden length across his chest, “and you shall have it for a prize. Its magic will keep you safe.”
The lie falls easily from her lips, and she almost takes pleasure in the taste of it…almost. Though less so with him than with other men.
He opens his mouth to speak and she prepares herself for prayers, but he fills his mouth with her breast instead, sucking and tonguing her nipples until it is she who cries out for God.
She rises up on her knees and pulls the hangings closed, cocooning them in the bed. Then he rolls her onto her back and hovers above her on strong, hardened arms. His cock is slick with her juices but he holds himself still, nudging at her slit like a starving man afraid to eat at a feast. She tilts her hips but still he withholds, watching her eyes as if sensing the bait but unable to see the snare.
Virtue bleeds through hunger, and he begins to withdraw. Something in her shifts. She is neither a pawn nor a wife as she spreads her legs wide; she is primal motivation. It has been so long since she needed to be filled…. His cockhead slides in, just slightly, a thick, promising hint of how it will feel when he fills her. It’s enough, that inch of slick warmth. Rapt, she watches his virtue fall away, groaning as he buries himself in her tight, lonely flesh.
The girdle her husband gave her digs into her hips as she clamps her legs around his waist. He thrusts, accommodating, feeling her need. Every thrust pushes resentment deep into her core where it burns, like coal, with a heat stoked by years. So many, so many years. Nothing to do with him, but burning all the same, fueled by his weight and the thrust of his cock.
This is mine, she thinks. This body is mine and this man filling it, he is mine too. He is mine. Not my husband’s. Mine. This is mine.
She comes, ugly and unexpected, as years of longing rage like glory in her veins. The reclamation shatters, even as it heals, and she is as breathless, nearly panicked, by the freedom she feels. She is no longer a pawn or her husband’s wife. She belongs to herself. And he belongs to her.
Sensing the shift in her sovereignty, the man fucking her comes, bucking and biting, accepting her claim. When they stop, she fingers the golden belt that she has gifted countless times, only to receive it again soaked in red. The knight, still panting, lays his head on her breast.
“Have I pleased you, my lady,” he asks.
By the rules he should have the belt so that her husband might see. By the rules this man should die. But the rules have never been hers. She will begin a different game.
“Yes,” she says, playing with the golden cloth. “You have pleased me, my knight. But I shall reward you in other ways.”
If you’ve enjoyed today’s or any of the other stories on the advent calendar, please visit Crisis, The Albert Kennedy Trust or Coalition for the Homeless to find out about their work or make a donation.