“Finally.” He said as he handed me the glass of wine. It tasted wonderful.
“So, how long have you been searching for this legend?” I asked as I took a bite of the Orange chicken.
“Centur… umm I mean a number of years.” He coughed and I looked at him.
“Years? When did you finally find it?”
“The legend, or the fact that Halleren had probably found his mate and magick?”
“Whose Halleren, and both.”
“Vainamoinen’s fourth son. And last year. I happen to be reading an article by a young up and coming professor on another subject, and it hit me all at once.”
“What hit you all at once?” I asked looking up from my plate.
“Stuff, is all.” He whispered and I looked at him again.
“Okay, anyway, where do we start?”
“When you’re finished I’ll show ye what I have. But finish first.” He said nodding to the food as he poured me another glass of wine. I looked at him directly then, and his grin widened.
“So what do you do in yer spare time?” He asked as he took his plate into the kitchen.
“Not much. Never have the time. Very strict rules for myself. Could be my Asian background.” I said as I rose to help him clean up.
“Asian background?” He asked giving me a puzzled look.
“My mom’s African-American and my dad’s Japanese?” I answered and he still looked at me confused. Whatever, I thought. No one knew what it was like growing up with over achievers for parents. I reached for the napkins at the far end of the table, and he was suddenly there to place his hand on mine.
“No need.” He said shaking his head as he took the plate from me. “Ever had fried ice cream?” He asked smiling.
“No.” I grinned.
He cleared the rest of the dishes from the table. When he came back into the room he was carrying two bowls. He handed one to me, then took up his seat again.
I timidly tasted it and was surprised, because it was good. It tasted like there was pie added to it. I took a sip of the wine, and surprisingly it tasted good together.
“Why don’t ye have the time?” He asked as he looked into the bowl. He looked like a little boy checking to see how much ice cream was left. I smiled at his bent head.
“Because I’m pretty busy. I just got published last year and the backlash for it although good, is very time consuming. I think my parents were more excited than I was. To be this far in at the slight age of 34 is an accomplishment. At least that’s what my dad keeps reciting to me every time he calls. Although annoying, they mean well. Not much opportunity for a minority unless they push themselves 150% my mom says. Sometimes I just feel like screaming, and pulling my hair out. So no social life.”
“And what’s next for ye? A husband, children?” He countered and I started laughing.
“Damn you’re nosy!”
“No, just natural curiosity.”
“Well you know the old saying about the cat rite?” He grinned, then took my bowl and his own into the kitchen.
When he came back he had an arm full of papers. He placed them on the table, then motioned for me to come closer. I scooted over till I was at least one pillow away from him. I'd been pissed when I came here, but he'd disarmed me with one smile.
That was bad. Very bad.
I took pride in my skills to scare off the opposite sex.
“Don’t tell me yer afraid of me?” He challenged grinning again, and I frowned. He pushed the papers towards me, then nodded for me to read them. It was the legend, and as I started reading I suddenly felt light headed.
“Vainamoinen, one of the heroes in the Kalevala is a wise old seer who can work magic through the songs that he sings. His mother Ilmatar was the virgin spirit of air, who brought about creation.
Another great hero of the epic is Lemmenkainen who appears as a handsome carefree romantic adventurer. Vainamoinen and Lemmenkainen have certain experiences and goals in common. In their adventures both men meet Louhi the evil mistress of Pohjola (the Northland), and both seek to wed Louhi's daughter the beautiful Maiden of Pohjola.
A third suitor for the maiden's hand is Ilmarinen a blacksmith who constructs a Sampo, a mysterious object like a mill that can produce prosperity for its owner….
The more I read the lighter headed I felt. I looked up at him, and he was in the midst of opening a fortune cookie. I shook my head, but the buzzing feeling didn’t dissipate. I closed my eyes and laid my head against the pillow. It was as if my senses were on overdrive!
“Are you feeling okay?” He asked and I opened one eye to peer at him. I frowned and thought it very ironic, as the song on the stereo changed to J. Holiday’s Suffocate. Something about this man was very strange.
“I think the wine went to my head. I feel strange.”
“Here read this?” He chuckled. “It might make ye feel better.” He replied laughing out right.
I sat up and took the fortune. I gasped, then looked at him.
“That’s not funny.” I snapped as I looked down at the fortune again, then balled it up and threw it at him.
He laughed even harder as he dodged my tiny missile.
It'd said I would soon find a husband.
“I am not in the market for one of those.” I retorted bitterly.
“And why is that?”
“Because emotions only complicate things, and someone always gets hurt in the end.”
“Have ye always been this jaded?” He asked suddenly serious.
“Yes and I like it.” I crackled, and his grin only got wider.
“We’ll just have to change that.” He winked, and I looked down at the legend.
“We’ll see.” I mumbled and concentrated as best I could on the legend.
Soon after Vainamoinen’s birth the evil Joukahainen challenges him to a singing contest after hearing that the hero is noted for his magic songs. Vainamoinen accepts the challenge and wins the contest, causing Joukahainen to sink into a swamp.
Fearing that he will drown Joukahainen offers Vainamoinen his sister Aino in exchange for his rescue. Vainamoinen plans to marry Aino, and her parents encourage the match. But she refuses to wed the old man. When her mother tries to persuade her to change her mind, Aino goes to the sea and drowns herself.
Well that just sucks! I thought, and continued reading.
Vainamoinen follows the girl and finds her in the form of a fish. He catches the fish, but she slips back into the water and escapes. Unhappy that he has lost Aino, Vainamoinen sets off for Pohjola the Northland in search of another wife.
Along the way Joukahainen is still bitter over losing the singing contest, so he shoots at the hero but only hits his horse. Vainamoinen falls into the sea and escapes. He finally arrives at Pohjola where the evil Louhi promises him her daughter the Maiden of Pohjola if he will build a magic Sampo for her.
Unable to do this by himself Vainamoinen seeks help from Ilmarinen the blacksmith. However, after Ilmarinen completes the Sampo Louhi gives her daughter to him instead of to Vainamoinen. To pay them both back Vainamoinen sleeps with the maiden. He disguised himself as Ilmarinen and consummates the marriage.
The maiden gives birth to four sons…
As I continued to read he slowly, but surely got closer to me, until I could easily breathe in the scent of him. I closed my eyes for a second and just breathed him in.
He smelled like cologne, fresh earth almost woodsy, and something else. Something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I looked up then, and he pretended to be looking over the legends too.
What a liar. I thought smiling.
I also noticed Keri Hilson ft Chris Brown's "One Nite Stand" whispered softly into the room. He was one for atmosphere that much I could say.
“Ye know a husband isna so bad.” He whispered.
“Says you. I like my freedom.” I muttered, and he paused to look at me surprised.
“Is that what ye think? If ye merry ye’ll be confined to yer husband’s will.”
“Well won’t I?”
“It depends on yer husband. I know I wud never do that. It's that spirit I’m attracted too.” He said smiling.
Did he just say he was attracted to me?
“You don’t even know me.” I replied pushing half of the legend to the other side of the table.
“Of course I do. I’ve waited years.” He whispered and my head popped up, as my eyes flew to his face.
“What did you just say?” He cleared his throat then moved to the other side of the table.
“I said some would wait centuries for a woman like ye.” He smiled, then reached for the wine bottle.
That was not what he’d just said, and he knew it. I could have sworn he’d said he’d been waiting years for me.
“And why would that be?”
“Just makin conversation. So, what do ye think? Will it be easy for ye to research?” He asked avoiding her question. He felt like kicking himself. He’d almost just blown six months of careful planning. If she knew she’d be pissed. He could feel her anger on the air when she’d arrived, and it had taken all of his concentration to ease it.
This was harder then he’d thought. When he’d left the kings courts after Mid’s tussle with Brokk, he’d believed it would be easy. But after six months of waiting for the right moment, and almost having blown it now, he wasn’t so sure anymore.
He watched her look over the legend and his heart swelled. He knew she was the one for him even if she didn’t. 17 years and she would, be getting a husband.
I looked up when I felt him staring at me.
“What?” I asked and he grinned.
He was the best natured person I had ever met. He seemed like he was genuinely happy with his life.
“Nothin, just thinkin.”
“Well, from what I see here it shouldn’t be too hard to find. The main thing is whether or not we can actually find anymore of it.”
“Is that not enough?”
“Not really. We have to be objective about the whole thing. Especially since we’re dealing with myth here. Where did you say you found this?”
“From an old Finnish family.”
“And did you bring this family with you? I’d love to speak to them on it.”
“Sure, I’ll just pull them from me pocket now. Of course I didna.”
“Wise ass, I was just asking.” I retorted grinning myself now.
“But I can always take ye to them.”
“I said I could always take ye to them.”
“You mean as in flying to Finland?” I cried wide eyed.
“Sure, and the dean would so go for that.”
“Actually I have already obtained his permission. We spoke at length on the subject, and he said ye were entirely at my disposal.” I gasped then frowned.
“I am at no ones fucken disposal.” I snapped and got up.
“I didna mean it that way.” He cried getting up himself. “What I meant wus he expressed a wish to find the legend as much as I did, and said he wud make ye available.”
My eyes widened even more as I looked at him really pissed now. That was twice he’d done that!
“Fuck you both.” I spat, grabbed my kicked off shoes, jacket, then rushed for the door. He caught me before I reached it.
How’d he do that?
He was all the way across the room when I started for the door.
“Tis not what I meant. Fuck!” He yelled running his fingers through his hair as he released me. “Tis much arder then I'd imagined.” He whispered, and I noticed the difference in the accent for the second time.
What the hell was going on?
“Nothin. I just meant I had no intention of offending ye. I only need yer help.” He took my shoes from me, then my coat and placed them on the foyer table. He tugged me back into the room, and sat down next to me.
“From now on I shall be completely professional.” He murmured, and for some strange reason I was a little disappointed.
“Good.” I cheered my chin lifting. I shrugged out of my shirt and he looked at me with a frown.
“Tee-shirt.” I countered rolling my eyes as I took the offered papers.
That same grin was back.
“I’m glad yer feeling comfortable now.” He replied as he brought the wine bottle back to the table.
We worked in silence for about an hour, when I found something.
“Where's the hearth?” I asked looking up only to find he was already looking at me. He moved so fast I actually sighed as his lips took mine. It was a slow measured kiss at first, almost as though he wasn’t sure of the reaction he would get. But then it seemed to build to liquid fire itself.
He placed his hand at the nape of my neck drawing me further into him. I sighed as his lips left mine to travel down the side of my throat, his teeth grazing my neck as he slowly sucked the warm skin in the curve of my neck into his mouth.
A soft moan left my throat of its own accord, and it was as if this was a sign to him, because he brought his mouth down on mine and I was in heaven.
I should stop this I told myself. But that little voice inside me said why?
You know you wanted this. Probably even more then he did. I broke the kiss, moved away from him, then got up.
“I think I should go.” I whispered.
I nearly choked as I looked into his eyes, and saw they seemed to be swirling. They looked three different shades of green, and he looked different, as if there was a glow to him. I shook my head because I felt light headed again. I would swear later there had been a buzzing sound.
He must have noticed my look because he looked away from me. When he finally turned to look at me again they were normal.
What the fuck just happened?
Yeah, I needed to take my ass home! Maybe it was the wine?
“I’ll drive ye tis pretty late.” He said softly and I looked at the clock.
It was 1am.
Where the hell had the time gone?
“Okay.” I put my shoes back on, then my blouse.
He put my coat over my shoulders, and we both left the house. I was surprised when he asked me to wait, and then pulled up in a Passat. I thought for sure he would have a Mercedes or a BMW or something.
We drove in silence, and when he pulled up in front of my apartment he looked at me expectantly. He opened his mouth to speak, and I put my finger to his lips.
“Don’t.” I shushed as I moved to get out of the car. He caught my arm before I could get out.
“Because you know why.” I said and got out.
He watched me walk up my stairs, and when I was inside and the door closed he finally drove off.
I went to the window and watched as he drove off. Well that was just weird as fuck. Never in my life would I have thought I’d have dinner with this complete handsome stranger, and then blow him off.
He was a heart break just waiting to happen. I was so not up for that after Nicholas. No, I was gonna stay clear of professor Gannondorf. He could do me some serious harm. It would be professional and professional only.
Thanks to lard ass I would have to be near him every day from now own.
This was just completely mental. I needed to talk to Abbey. She always gave good advice. I walked into my bedroom, then into the bathroom. I needed a cold shower after a kiss like that.
He was trouble.