Even though it had been forbidden I did see my Elizabeth again, we could not be parted as easily as her father had so foolishly assumed. She eventually told me of her betrothal, the conversation is one that stays fresh in my mind. She came to me close to tears that evening; she could not bear what was happening to her.
“Oh Thomas I loathe the idea of being given away to some business man because he has ample amounts of money.”
“So refuse to marry him? Surely they cannot make you wed this man if you do not feel that it is right?”
“It isn’t that simple. The union between he and I will be of great benefit to my father, he will have a hand in a new business which could double his yearly intake. To deny this wedding would be to condemn my whole family to near poverty.”
“So you will sacrifice any possibility of love in order to aid your father’s greed? You are a selfless woman Elizabeth; this man would be a fool to not treat you well as his wife.”
“I am not concerned with how he treats me. I will be as cold to him as a woman can be; he will not know anything of me but our wedding kiss. If I can avoid it there will not even be a wedding night.”
“Can you really deny your husband a wedding night?”
“I can certainly try Thomas. I will not be owned by any man” It was that fire in her that I liked the most. As much as she was beautiful, her headstrong nature was her best feature. We both saw that it was, of course, her father’s right to marry her off to whomever he saw fit, but it did not make the reality of it any easier for us both. I remember the last night I saw her, was it really so long ago? Surely time must have passed but…it does not seem possible that she is so far away from me now. Gone for countless years. She was due to be wed three days from our final rendezvous, and she was no happier about it than she had been at the first announcement of her engagement. It was the middle of the night and she stole away one final time to be with me. Our intentions had never been sinful ones; in fact it was rather the opposite. I was anticipating a short but sweet farewell and I can only assume that she intended the same.
As she rose to leave we were struck by a fierce wave of passion which rendered us both incapable of denying ourselves to the other. She fell into my arms, her soft lips meeting mine as we stumbled our way to the front of the fire. There was neither time nor inclination to move to the bed chamber. It was as romantic as such a moment could have been; the fire was hot while it was cold outside, she was in my arms while my lips caressed her flawless pale skin. Before long she was standing before me, a nude goddess worthy of any artist of sculptor, she was waiting for me. It swiftly became clear to me then that it is not possible for a man to undress in such an elegant manner as it is for a woman. I stumbled with the buttons on my waistcoat, and then again with my shirt. She eventually stepped in to help me with my belt and trousers, her movements were so much more fluid than mine she made it seem so very simple as she gazed straight into my eyes. I could not hide my desire from her; at that moment there was nothing that I wanted more than to feel her skin pressed against mine, to show her how much I ached for her. I moved close to her, running my hands down the curve of her back to cup her exquisite buttocks. She was snaking her arms around my neck as I lifted her to bring her eyes to a level with mine, so that I could gaze deep into them before consuming her with a passionate kiss. Without a second thought she wrapped her legs around my waist, pressing herself against me, amplifying my want for her. She pulled back to whisper gently in my ear, “I want you to be my first Thomas, my first and my only. If there is not to be the wedding night that most women hope for I want to feel your desire for me and your passion, before I am sent away to my loveless gloomy union.”
“Are you certain? We cannot undo this.”
“Yes, Thomas, I am certain”
I could never deny her. From that moment on we did not need words, as I placed her down by the fire and lowered myself over her I saw in her eyes that she truly did want me, there was no turning back. The small pain that she felt to begin with slowly subsided into pleasure and we lost ourselves in the wonders of each other until it was nearly light. I will never forget the softness of her skin or the gentle aroma of her hair as we lay together for the last time.
We fell from the graces of both family and God that night, and while I feel that our actions were wrong I cannot bring myself to regret them. In those moments that magnificent woman was mine and mine alone, no betrothal, no abstinence, merely passion…lust. As she turned to leave me she stole a final glance back, whispering that she would miss me as she closed the door. That is my last memory of her. Of my Elizabeth.