What'll I do With Leftovers, huh?

NOTE: I'd written this chapter, see, and I wanted to add it to the lovely and lyrical story Of Love and Gold as Chapter Three, see, 'cuz it's not that often we old codgers get to write about ladies in the bath, see. The the talented trio of RejectedMuse, RiverTalker, and Jait jumped in and slapped down their excellence. By the time I could get a few words in edge-wise, they had her long out of the bath.  So into SoundsFishy's scrapbook it goes.

       "Of course, M'Lady, should you wish to share such bounty," replied Melina with a small smile that never reached her dark eyes.

      "Of physical matters we shall speak much later; of those great heaving trivialities which roil men's souls," said Lady d'Argent as she gently caressed her raised thigh with ointment. She nodded for Melina to dress, and spoke so quietly that Melina kneeled by the great tub to hear. The fragrance of the ointment was lilacs and spring rain and honeyed magic.

      The Lady spoke of great lords, of their lives filled with oceans of nothingness.

      "They mount great steeds saddled by others, and ride after stags flushed by their minions. They spend lavishly of monies earned by others, and dine of beef and mutton raised in the toil of servants."

      Melina's widened eyes betrayed her surprise at such talk about the masters of the land. Lady d'Argent laughed softly.

     "Dear girl," she said, "To beard a dragon in its cave, it is best not to think of its breath of flames or its talons of blood. 'Tis better to consider the soft spot wherein to drive the sword." She wiggled her toes playfully. As Melina used long, slow strokes to brush henna into her chestnut hair, Lady d'Argent explained the ways of rich and powerful men. In their vast emptiness, she said, every solid thing and person became as spent arrows, "eyed and strung and used. Then forgotten."

     She rose from her bath and turned slowly to face Melina, her bare arms by her side and her right leg cocked ever so slightly towards her left. Melina gazed up at the full body that glistened with ointment and beads of water.

     "The first step, dear girl, is therefore simply this: to become ethereal, a phantom, a being as ungovernable as the very air. To the empty man of circumstance in his world of expendables, this is unbearably attractive."

     Lady d'Argent asked for her robe and turned again. As Melinda rose, she noticed a tiny purple design above the gentle rise of her left buttock. At a quick glance, it resembled a set of crossed goblets, with two asps entwined on the stems.

     "Come, girl," said the lady as she stepped high and out of the bath. "I shall show you the alchemy by which we turn mere men into gold. Then we shall speak of The Find."

The End

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