Eye of the Beholder

AUTHOR’S NOTE; The following is a work of erotic/horror not suitable for persons under the age of 18.  If you’re not this old, get off my site!  What are you doing reading erotica?  You should be outside playing or even going to the mall.  Geez, some people’s kids…

            Harold held the phone in his hands.  He could feel its cool plastic bouncing against the side of his face in trembling jerks.  Licking his dry lips he listened to it ring, his heart racing so fast he began to worry it would burst through his rib cage. 

            I should hang up, he thought.  This is desperate, too desperate even for me.

            The indecision raged like a war in his skull but fate intervened when the call was answered.

            “Hello,” a woman’s sexy voice said. 

            Harold’s voice caught in his throat like a half-swallowed piece of chicken.  The lady’s voice was throaty, sensuous and a bit amused.

            “Hello?” she restated.

            “Ah… hi,” Harold said squeaking out the words.

            “What’s your name?”

            “H-Harold… Harold Carter.”

            “Hello, Harold my name is Melaina what’s your pleasure this evening?”

            Harold swallowed hard.  The effort was accomplished by a jerky bobbing of his Adam’s apple.

            “I-I really don’t know how to answer that,” he said.

            “Oh my,” Melaina said, her tone filled with more amusement, “Is this your first time, Harold?”

            He felt a hot chill (a contradiction in itself) wash over his body.  Goosebumps were dimpling his arms and sweat beading on his forehead from what she asked.

            “Y-yes,” he said, a nervous chuckle punctuating the end of his statement.

            “I promise to be gentle,” Melaina replied.  “Tell me, Harold what are you wearing?”

            Another swallow later he told Melaina of his warm bathrobe and soft boxer shorts.  It was a quick expulsed description lacking in many details like a child lying to his parents about who broke the expensive vase in the living room.

            “W-what are you…,” Harold said with a shiver.

            “… wearing?” Melaina said finishing his query.  “Practically nothing at all.  I’m sitting here in a black, silk robe, it barely reaches my mid-thigh.  It’s so hot here in the city I’m completely naked underneath it all.”

            Gulping and closing his eyes Harold tried to speak but the mental images of Melaina (if that was really her name) lounging naked in only a bathrobe made him giddy and weak.  But it was her voice tainted with just a hint of some non-American accent which really fired his thoughts.

            “The fan,” she said, “is blowing across my body.  The cool air is making my nipples hard.”

            “Oh…,” Harold said in a gasp more than a sigh.

            “I’m uncrossing my legs, I’m so hot down there—ah, that’s much better.”

            Harold couldn’t speak again.  But to his relief Melaina kept right on going with what she was doing.   

            “I’m so lonely, Harold.  It’s been ages since I’ve been with a man.  A real man.  Tell me, Harold—are you a real man?”

            “Y-yes,” he said parting his robe with shaky fingers.

            “You sound like one.  A bit inexperienced but I ever so love being someone’s first lover.  Would you like me to describe myself?”

            “Please…”
            “I’m tall, even for most women.  My hair is black, thick and very soft.  It’s a bit curly and falls to the middle of my back.  If I wanted to I could cover my big breasts with it.”

            “Please don’t.”

            “I wouldn’t do that to you, Harold.  My tits are so big and firm.  My poor nipples are the size of quarters and they’re begging for you to touch, kiss and suck them.”

            Harold fumbled around his boxers but finding his now raging hard-on wasn’t difficult despite his anxiety. 

            “My tummy is flat,” Melaina said continuing on with her description. “I have a navel piercing, a diamond.  Oooh, look how it glitters in the soft light of my apartment.  I’m reaching down further.  My fingers are just now touching the soft down of my pubic hair.  It feels so good to caress those delicate curls.”

            “Yes,” Harold groaned.

            “My pussy is wet.  I can see it glistening like morning dew on the grass. Should I touch myself, Harold?”

            “Yes.”

            “Oh that’s nice… I’m so very horny, Harold.  My poor cunt has been neglected for far too long.  Ah!  I have a finger inside it.  Ooooh… so soft, wet and warm my pussy that is.”

            Harold began to stroke his cock with his hand.  It shuffled up and down in quivering jerks.  Melaina moaned in his ear.  It was a long drawn out rasp of sexual need which sent erotic sparks up in his imagination to burst into lusty fireworks.  Her accent grew more pronounced but he couldn’t put his finger on where it was from.

            “I’m spreading my long legs… putting them over the arms of the chair… yes, I’m wide open now… Ah!  I put another finger into my cunt… so full now.  I wish it was your cock, Harold.”

            “M-me too,” Harold said in a too fast voice.

            “Are you jerking off?  God, I hope you are.  I can see it… your hand roaming up and down on that nice piece of meat rising in your lap.  I want to suck it… taste the salty sweetness of the pre-cum gathering at the very tip.”

            Harold searched his brain for a response.  It was a frantic tossing of replies but like someone going through their dresser for a favorite shirt with no time to be delicate he found nothing to say.

            “I’m squeezing my left nipple with my other hand,” Melaina said.  “Ah!  That was a bit too hard… but it felt really nice.  Can you hear me fingering my pussy?  It sounds all wet and sloppy—hungry, that’s what it sounds like.  It’s hungry for you meat, Harold.”

            Only a gasping whine came past Harold’s lips.

            “Mmmm,” Melaina said in a groan, “I just sucked my pussy juices off my dripping wet fingers.  I tasted marvelous.  Do you want to fuck me now?”

            “Y-yes,” Harold said stroking his cock and licking his dry lips.

            “I’m letting you crawl between my splayed legs… Oh, you’re big.  Be gentle with me, Harold… Oh!  That’s it… slide it in nice and slow.  Oh God!  I feel so full.  Don’t thrust so hard just yet.  Oh! Ah!  That’s it, baby… a nice easy pace…”

            Harold squirted some lube onto the palm of his hands and resumed masturbating.  His nervousness gone, replaced by carnal desire which heated his body like nothing had ever done before.

            “Oh… God!” Melaina said, crying out, “You’re all the way in me.  So good… so hard… so big… fuck me, Harold.  Fuck me until I scream.”

            His hand blurred across the stiff erection it held.  Melaina’s moans husking out of the phone’s earpiece and exploded in his brain.  He could see her, open and welcoming his cock in his imagination.  She let out a small cry—he grunted in response.

            “Oh Harold,” Melaina said.  “Y-you’re wonderful!  A-are you sure this is your… first time?”

            He couldn’t respond.

            “I-I’m going to cum… are you going to… cum?” she said in a throaty warble.  “Please cum with me… it would be so… nice to cum together… Harold, cum with me.”

            “Yes,” he said in an excited shout.

            “Oh fuck me, Harold… squirt your hot cum in my pussy… I-I’m going to… oh yes, I’m about to… oh Harold, I’m c-coming!”

            Her lusty voice rose from a husky contralto into a thin scream of ecstasy.  Harold’s imagination painted a picture of some ethereal creature, an angel perhaps writhing in pleasure and impaled on his lap.  His legs straightened out and his heels dug into the carpet of his apartment.  Harold’s body went rigid, his muscles locking up like he was having the most delicious seizure.  While Melaina let out a continuous stream of soft cries Harold ejaculated all over his knuckles and his left thigh.

            “Oh… Harold… Oh f-fuck yes… Harold, I came… I came so hard for you, baby,” Melaina said in a thick groaning voice.

            “I did too,” he said in a tired tone.

            “I’m so glad.  Was I good?”

            “Y-you were perfect… I’m happy I called you.”

            “I’m glad you called too.  Do you want more?  I’m still horny… I’m always horny for you, Harold.  Would you like to suck your cock?  Or perhaps you’d like to take that nice big piece of meat of yours and fuck my tight ass?  Tell me what you want… I’ll do anything for you, baby.”

            “No,” Harold said after a few seconds of deliberation.  “Not this time… but I’ll call back.”

            “I’d like that.”

            “C-can I ask for you?  I really like your voice.  It’s so warm and wonderful…”

            “Sure, I’d like to see you again.  Just tell the woman who answers the phone you want me.  Do you want me, Harold.”

            “Oh god… yes.”

            “How sweet… I’ll be waiting for you, Harold.  Remember this call will be billed to your credit card, okay?”

            “I understand.”

            “Goodbye,  Harold… sweet dreams…”

            The line went dead and Harold hung up the phone.  The sticky remains of his climax began to make his skin itch and grow tight.  He stood up in the darkness and felt his way to the bathroom.  In his mind, he felt like Melaina hadn’t hung up. 

            Maybe it’s just a fantasy but I could swear I feel her presence, Harold thought.

****

            This time the phone rang and Harold wasn’t so nervous.   He told the operator he wanted Melaina and she told him he’d have to wait. 

            Is she with another man? He wondered.  Why should I feel jealous?

            He knew in the logical side of his mind it was stupid for him to feel this way about Melaina.  She was, after all a phone sex employee not some girl he’d met at a club or out shopping.  Despite the agreement between his logical and emotion side Melaina was nothing but a whore he still couldn’t stop how he felt.  Emotional whirlwinds of love, hate, need and jealousy swirled around his skull like two primal forces dancing in the desert heat of his carnal desires.

            “Hello?” Melaina said, interrupting his thoughts.

            “It’s me, it’s Harold,” he said.

            “Harold, you called back?  How sweet of you.  Did you miss me?  I know I missed you ever so badly.”

            “Yes, I missed you.”

            “Oh, that’s so adorable.”

            Her tone was condescending at all.  Harold knew she really meant it as sure as he was of sitting in his apartment in the dark.

            “Your voice it’s got an accent I don’t recognize.  Just a bit of one.  Where are you from?” he asked a bit nervous about getting personal.

            “Ah, not many of my callers hear that.  You must have excellent hearing, Harold.  I’m from Greece.  But I came to America a long time ago,” Melaina said with a wisp of amusement.

            “When did you come to the States?”

            “Harold, if we waste time talking about my past you’re bill is going to be outrageous.  Wouldn’t you rather hear what I’m wearing tonight?”

            “No… I don’t care.  Are you really from Greece?  I’ve never been to another country before.  Well that’s not true, my parents and I went to Canada once.”

            “I’d never lie to you, Harold.  Yes, I’m from Greece… born and raised there until I left.”

            Harold’s mental musings went into overdrive.  He could see her getting on the plane, her long curly hair blowing in the Mediterranean breeze in some Greek airport.  The sun making the bluish-black mane she possessed to sparkle in the sunshine.

            “Harold, I’m wearing a soft pink teddy today,” Melaina said.

            “Which part of Greece are you from,” he replied interrupting her.

            “Harold, let’s get on with this.”

            He didn’t like the tone of her voice now.  It was a bit angry and too demanding they get down to business and forget all the personal questions.

            “I’m sorry,” Harold said, “but I just want to know more about you.  I haven’t stopped thinking about you, Melaina.  I know it’s been a week but you’ve been haunting my dreams.”

            “You dreamed about me?  How utterly sweet,” Melaina replied with a throaty chuckle at the end.

            “Every night.”

            “What do we do in your dreams, Harold?”

            “We… talk, go out for coffee or walk in the park.  But we’re always happy.”

            “Now Harold, really do you expect me to believe you don’t dream about fucking me?”

            “Not most of the time.  It’s true!  I swear it!  I would never lie to you, Melaina.”

            His admission of truth ended and the woman on the phone didn’t speak right away.  Harold’s heart hammered against his chest like a caged animal desperate to break free. 

            Have I screwed this up?  Maybe I shouldn’t have told her about the dreams, he thought.

            “Harold,” Melaina said, her tone sounding a bit exhausted, “You’re a sweet guy and all, but honey this is a job.  My employers might fire me if I don’t make you happy.  Get it?”

            “But you are making me happy,” Harold said, “does it matter of I have an orgasm or not?”

            “Well I suppose…”

            “Where are you from in Greece?”

            “It’s a small isolated village just outside of Meteora, near Mount Olympus. It’s called… do you really want to hear this?”

            “Yes!”

            “I don’t see why.  I lived alone for a long time without any friends or family.  Look can we just get on with the sex?”

            “No.  Why did you leave?”

            “I was… lonely.”

            The word came out slow like some freed prisoner finally seeing the light of day.  Her accent softened as she said it.  Harold could hear the anguish in Melaina’s voice and it was a feeling he knew all too well himself.

            “Are you still lonely?” he said.

            Melaina didn’t answer at first.  He could hear her breathing on the other side of the line and he found he was holding his breath.  A full minute (and $9.95) went by before she spoke again.

            “I… yes, I’m still lonely,” Melaina said.

            “I’m so sorry,” Harold remarked, “you sound so beautiful.  You’re voice is wonderful.”
            “Few people who met me would say I’m beautiful.”

            “I’m not as shallow as them.  I could listen to you read the phone book and be totally captivated by it.”

            She laughed.  Melaina’s laughter was rich and full.  

            “You’re just too sweet,” she told him.

            “Look,” Harold said, “I know this is highly inappropriate but I’d like to offer you a job.”

            “Pardon me?”
            Melaina’s response was filled with both disbelief and suspicion and her accent vanished amid the words. 

            “I run a company specializing in audio books for the blind,” Harold said, ignoring his inner voice telling him to stop.  “We’re the biggest company in the business and I’m always on the lookout for voice talents… talents you most definitely have.”

            “A job?  A real job not some excuse to get me alone so you can live out some sick fantasy?” Melaina said.

            “Absolutely.”

            “Can I think about it?”

            “Sure!”

            “Okay, I promise to consider your offer.  Now do you want to know what I’m wearing?”

            “I’m all ears.”
            As Melaina started to describe in vivid details how the teddy clung to her big breasts and tickled her pussy Harold felt he’d won a major victory.

****

            She was angry.  He could tell it in the heavy footfalls as she entered the apartment that his Mother was very, very upset.  Harold didn’t bother to turn around when she entered the studio flat.

            “What the hell is this?” Mother said in clipped, irate tones.

            “What is what, Mother?” he said.

            “You have wracked up a huge charge on your credit card for some… oh my god, a phone sex number?  Harold, have you lost your mind?  How long have you been doing this?”

            “First off, it’s my money.  Second off, it’s really none of your business but for your information I’ve been talking to a woman for three months now.”

            “A woman?  More like some gutter-dwelling, toothless whore!”

            “Melaina is not a whore, well not technically and she is most definitely not toothless nor does she live in a gutter.”

            He heard her stomp over and fling herself into a chair.  The creak and groan of the seat told him she hadn’t lost an ounce despite being on a new diet.  A diet, he had suggested to her after Mother’s doctor told her to lose some weight.  But tipping the scales at three hundred pounds years of gorging on rich food wasn’t going to stop overnight.

            “Harold,” she said, her voice tired, “your father and I have gone along with all these crazy schemes of yours.  Luckily the audio book thing has paid off.  But really, do you think I’ll stand idly by while some ugly slut you met on a phone sex line robs you of every penny you’ve made?”

            “Melaina isn’t ugly and I’m not wasting my money,” Harold said, “Even if I am, it’s my money to spend.  Not  yours.”
            “You’re going to throw that in my face, aren’t you?”
            “I’ve paid off the house, bought you both new cars and made sure Dad’s employer didn’t stop his pension.  As far as I’m concerned this is my business and not yours.  The sales of my audio books are up and growing more everyday.  In fact, Melaina has a unique vocal skill which I plan on using for a particular genre we just picked up.”

            “Sex books?”

            “Erotica, Mother it’s called erotica.”

            “Filthy, disgusting and depraved is what I call it.”

            “Sex sells, Mother.  Even the blind like to read about it.”

            “It’s vile.”

            “So is your butting into my finances.”

            “You dare!”

            Harold didn’t bother to turn to face her, what was the point?  Mother had made up her mind and nothing short of a visit from Jesus Christ would alter it. 

            “Well,” she said, “if that’s the way you’re going to speak to me then I don’t see any reason to continue this conversation.  But mark my words, when this whore takes you for every cent you have don’t come crying to me.”

            “I trust my judgment on this,” Harold said, keeping his voice even and stoic.  “In fact, Melaina is going to visit the studio today and I hope to make her an employment offer.”

            “She’s going to what?”

            “Work for me.  She’s too fine a lady to be spending her evenings talking sex with strangers.”

            “You’re hopeless!  Utterly and completely hopeless!”

            Mother strode out of the apartment like an angry rhino charging at some African tour bus.  The slamming of the door was the punctuation on her stormy exit.  Harold didn’t care, he was smiling.

            Melaina’s coming to the studio, he thought.  I need to get ready.

            It had taken two months to get her to talk about the job offer.  Another two weeks had gone by before she’d accept his business number to call and get the details.  She’d investigated him on the Internet.  He knew, without a doubt the last time they talked Melaina would have no more reservations about his offer.  He’d proven his worth.

****

            The phone rang and she answered it.  Melaina’s voice came over the line as rich and sexy as before.

            “Hello, Harold,” she said.

            “I can’t believe you,” he told her.

            “What can’t you believe?”
            “You didn’t show up!  I waited all morning and half the afternoon to give you the grand tour of my studio and then offer you a very lucrative job offer for nothing!”

            “Harold, you’re upset please calm down.”

            “No, I’m not calming down!  Why did you do this to me?”
            Melaina let out a heavy sigh. There was something in that sound he didn’t expect to hear at this late date in their relationship.  It was the trembling note of fear.

            “Why are you afraid of me?” Harold asked.  “You’ve done the research, saw my website and know I’m no fly-by-night operation.  So why are you scared, Melaina?”

            “It’s just this,” Melaina said in a guarded voice, “if something is too good to be true, then it is.”

            “You think I’m scamming you?”

            “Harold… I don’t know what to think.  The web has stories about you.  How you never are seen in public and how you shun the limelight despite the riches and fame you’ve earned from your business.”
            “There is a reason for that. A very good and understandable reason for why I don’t go our in public.  But I’m not going to tell you over the phone.  I wanted to meet you in public where you could feel safe. How can I possibly get you to understand I mean you no harm?”

            There was a half-sob which bubbled out of Melaina’s end and came over the line tearing a gouge in Harold’s heart.  It was filled with distrust.  Not just some anxiety of a phone sex operator in fear for her life but something much more.  This was a deep-seeded terror of Melaina’s.  Something only years and years of abuse could bestow on a human being.

            Was she sexually abused?  He thought.

            The details were scarce but it was painfully obvious someone had done something to the someone he loved.  This fired his temper but he managed to keep it under control.

            “Melaina,” he said soft and low, “please hear me out.  I will not show up if you promise to come to the studio, meet with my production manager and tour the facilities.  Will you do this?”

            “You promise you won’t be there?” Melaina said.

            “I swear I won’t.”

            “O-okay.”

            “But why are you afraid of me?”

            “It’s not you I’m afraid of but myself.  Our time together has been sweeter than spring wine and I’ve come to treasure it.  I fear the reality of the situation would destroy what I feel.  I know I’m jaded.  Too many years of being ridiculed and mocked by people in my hometown finally drove me out.  I took this job because nobody can see me.  Then here you come into my life.  With sweet words and gentle emotions you’ve penetrated my defenses and given me hope again.  I will not stand by and watch that hope be cruelly shattered when we meet.”

            Harold’s breath hitched in his chest like some emotional hiccup.  He knew it!  From the very first time they talked, he knew Melaina and he were destined to be more than just phone sex buddies.

            “You feel it too,” Harold said, “don’t you?  That instantaneous connection the very first time we talked.  I know you did.  I felt it too and it’s too strong and true to be just coincidence.  Melaina, even if this relationship doesn’t pan out we can still be friends.  I won’t yank away my employment offer.  You can still work without being in public but I promise you the wages, benefits and hours will be all you deserve.”

            She started to cry.  Melaina’s wet sobs tore deeper claw marks in Harold’s heart until he too began to weep.  For a time, a brief minute or two they said nothing.

            “I’m so scared, Harold,” she said.

            “Don’t be, Melaina… please don’t be frightened of me.”

            “None of my relationships have ever survived the first date.  I fear for you… the man who I’ve come to treasure more than life itself.”

            “I know… I love you, too.”

            He heard the gasp Melaina let out.  It was a sigh gasping out of her and breaking down the walls of her emotional battlements. 

            “No,” she said, “I cannot let this be.”

            “Darling,” Harold said, “I don’t think you have a choice.  Fate or destiny has linked us together and no matter where you hide I’ll find you.  If it means my death, I’ll tear the world apart and hold you in my arms.”

“You don’t know the dangers you risk.”
“I don’t care.  Where danger is being faced that’s were life is being lived.”

            “Oh Harold…”

            “Melaine, please come to the studio.”

            “No.  But if you don’t mind I’d like to risk coming to your apartment.  If this is going to die an ugly death I don’t want it to be in public.”

            “How soon can you be here?”

            “Give me an hour.”

            “It will be the longest hour of my life.”

            “You’re so sweet… and I pray you’ll understand when you see this cannot be.”

            “I pray you’re wrong.  Hell, in fact I know you are.”

            She hung up without saying goodbye but Harold knew Melaina would show this time.  Despite this unknown tragic ending she so feared Melaina couldn’t resist the power of the love they had for one another.  He leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. 

            This is the first day of the rest of my life… a life I know I’ll share with Melaina.

****

            Harold paced his large apartment from one end to another.  The phone call from his mother had been the only time he hadn’t walked the floors.  Mother’s reaction was, of course predictable when he told her Melaina was coming over.  Harold hung up on her when she went into a shrieking demand he not let the woman in.

            The doorbell rang.

            Harold hurried over. He collided with the end of the couch sending shooting pains into his hip.  Staggering over he undid the locks and swung the door open.

            “Hello, Melaina,” he said.

            “Hello, Harold, she replied.  “You don’t look much like your picture on the website.”

            “Disappointed?”

            “No, actually you’re much more handsome.”

            “Please come in.  Can I get you something to drink?”

            “A glass of wine, perhaps?”

            He escorted Melaina inside.  She took a seat on the couch while he walked over to the wet bar.  His hands trembling so much he succeeded in slopping the liquid over the rim of the glass. 

            “You have a nice place here,” Melaina said.

            “Thank you,” Harold said, hearing her set something down on the end table.

            Carrying the wine over he handed to her.

            “Thank you,” Melaina said.

            Harold took a seat on a recliner near the couch.  He didn’t want to frighten her off by sitting too close. 

            “Still scared?” he asked.

            “Not so much now.  You seemed to have left out a few details about yourself,” she said in her rich Greek-accented voice.

            “It’s my curse.  I’ve been this way since birth.”

            “I see know why you shun public speaking.”

            “It doesn’t bother you?”

            “No, in fact it’s a bonus—one that alleviates most of my concerns.  I’m a bit vexed with you for not telling me sooner.  Harold, I think I can say with a lot of confidence this relationship stand a wonderful chance.  Do you think so?”

            Harold started to reply when he heard someone come in to the flat.  The weight and sound of the footsteps identified the intruder better than seeing her.

            It was Mother.

            “Harold!” his mother shouted.  “What do you think you’re doing?”

            “Mother, please go away I’m entertaining a guest,” Harold said warning her off.

            “I will do no such thing!  A-ha!  That whore is here!  Well let me give you a piece of my mind you dirty tramp.  Nobody is going to…”

            Harold heard her stomp into the apartment a rehearsed speech forming on her lips. Without warning his mother’s voice stopped.

            “Please!” Melaina wailed, “Don’t come any closer!”

            A shriek rose from his mother.  It climbed from the depths of her soul low and ominous until it reached an apex of shrillness which all but shook the walls of the apartment.  There was a creaking sound.  Like rock crumbling on a cliff face about to send some climber to his death.  The scream cut off in mid-voice.  Jumping to his feet Harold ran to his mother, his arms extended towards her.

            “Mother!” he shouted.

            His hands encountered a face of stone.

            “I’m so sorry!” Melaina said.  “I tried to warn her not to come in!”

            “It’s all right, Melaina,” Harold said.  “She was always butting into my business.  Mother thought she knew what was best for me.”

            “But how can we explain…”

            Harold reached over and caressed Melaina’s face, it was smooth.  Perfect, in fact. Stroking her cheek he pushed his fingertips into the full richness of her curly hair.

            “No snakes?” he said ending with a chuckle.

            “No snakes,” she answered.  “My mother had them but her children were spared that part.  It’s my eyes… I usually keep them hidden.”

“You took off your sunglasses, didn’t you?”
“Yes.”

“I heard you set them on the end table.”

            Melaina walked into his arms.  A warm and very feminine shape which seemed to fit like it was molded for his embrace. She was just a bit taller than him.  But somehow that excited rather than disappointed him.  Melaina’s ample chest pressing against his throat indicated all sorts of delicious possibilities.

“You’re a gorgon, aren’t you?”
“Yes, I’m a child of Medusa.  I’m afraid I’m much older than you.”

“I don’t care.  I still love you.”

Harold felt her body quake and she kissed him soft and tender.

“I love you too,” Melaina said.

“Then you’ll marry me?”

Harold heard her gasp in surprise.  Melaina began squirming in his arms.  They came face to face.  He felt tears rolling down her cheeks to wet his own.

“I’ll outlive you…,” Melaina said.

“I don’t care,” he replied.

“You have captured my heart, why quibble over such trivial details such as how long we’ll have together. Say you’ll marry me, Melaina.  Make me the happiest man on the planet.”

“How can I resist such a sweet offer?  Yes, I’ll marry you, bear you children if I can and stay with you until you die.:

“After that?”

“I’ll look at myself in the mirror and become a statue to stand guard over your grave.  We’ll be together for all time.”

“That makes me so happy… happier than I ever expected to feel.”

 “My sweet, blind Harold.  I do think this is a match made in Heaven.”

“Or at least on Mount Olympus.”

She laughed that wonderful laugh.  He kissed Melaina and wondered exactly where he could put the new statue.

Maybe in the den, Harold thought.

           

           

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