Author Topic: Newlyweds  (Read 198 times)

Lorenzo de Bueri

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Re: Newlyweds
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2019, 12:52:31 PM »

"This is a sight only you get to see in comfort," she reminded him fondly, quietly delighted with his apparent fascination with her hair. "Andrea does not count; she has to put it up."

"Andrea is not your husband," he was quick to point out. "You are beautiful, Lena," he told her, his voice not much more than a whisper. Why had he not noticed this before?

"To your eyes," she told him with a smile. "And since yours are the only eyes I care about, I am very pleased to know that you like my looks." There was a hint of mischief in that smile, but only because she saw nothing so very remarkable about her face.

"I am sure I am not alone in that, but I do not know what I might do if I caught another man admiring your beauty," he teased back, mirroring the smile on her face.

"I would not mind if you chose to make it blatantly clear that I am yours," she offered impishly. She reached up, daring to curl her hand to his cheek. "I do love you, Lory. Very much."

"Not like a brother," he said, more statement than question, as if he needed to make doubly sure of that before he claimed her for himself completely. He covered her hand with his own, turning his face to press a kiss to her palm.

"Not at all like a brother," she promised, catching her breath at the soft press of his lips against her sensitive palm. Her thumb stroked over his lips as he drew back, her smile gentle and inviting.

He supposed they had stalled long enough, and they didn't have long before the evening meal was due to arrive, and yet, he didn't want to rush things. It was to be her first time, and he wanted it to be both tender and memorable. "Shall we?" he asked, leaving it completely in her hands.

She nodded, her smile turning shy just for a moment before she turned her hand in his, claiming him with a gentle tug toward the door to his bedroom. That was the best place to start, wasn't it?

Arguably, they had already started in the bath, even if nothing had really happened. As eager as Lorenzo was for his new bride, he did not want to rush her or make her uncomfortable and was perfectly happy to take his time with her. He smiled back, charmed by her shyness and letting her lead the way to his room and his bed.

At least she was not surprised by the room itself, having spent her first night as his wife cuddled up against his side, even if all they had done was sleep. Madalena dropped his hand as she reached the bed, turning to face him. "What would you like me to do, Lory?"

"Do you trust me, Madalena?" he asked, in as tender a voice as he could muster, a hopeful gleam in his eyes. He knew she did, but before they went any further, he needed her to say it.

There was no need to even consider thinking over her answer. "Of course I do, Lorenzo," she assured him, her smile warming. "I trust you with everything I have."

"It is going to hurt a little," he warned her with a frown - at least, he assumed it would, considering the fact that she presumably had never been with a man before. "But I will be as gentle as I can."

"Lory." She reached out, laying her palm over his heart as she leaned into him. "I trust you." She didn't know how else she could say it to make him believe that. She knew there might be some pain, but she also knew him. He wouldn't let it hurt too much.

It would only hurt briefly, or so he'd been told, but he didn't want to hurt her at all. Still, it couldn't really be helped, and it was the first time that would be the hardest. "All right, then," he said, stepping closer and reaching to slide the velvet robe back from her shoulders, his gaze meeting hers.

Her smile seemed to relax as he made that decision somewhere inside to continue on with what she had begun. The sash at her waist came undone fast, the soft velvet sliding back from her bare skin under the gentle pressure of his hands, slipping to the floor with barely any assistance. And there she was, his wife, with nothing to hide behind but her own hair.

She'd lost the towel, too, and he was at a loss for words to find her standing there before him, as naked as the day she was born and as lovely as a goddess. Then again, this wasn't the time for a conversation. He reached out to touch her, surprisingly gentle fingers tracing one bare shoulder before moving to trace the curve of her breast, marveling at the beauty before him.

There was no way to disguise the answering desire that rose in her at his touch, under his gaze; no way to hide the way her skin flushed rose, the way her breath caught in her throat. Her eyes, so sweetly mischievous much of the time, darkened with sultry want as she looked up at him.

Her reaction to his touch was encouraging, and so, he dared take the next step, easing her down onto the bed and moving over her, though the velvet robe was still covering him. He kissed her again, deeper this time, his tongue probing past her lips and exploring her mouth, tenderly, but with barely repressed hunger.

As he moved her beneath him, she raised her hands, tasting his breath in his kisses even as she slipped those hands beneath his own robe. There was no hesitation in her; only her desire for him, and to please him, and her trust that he would never hurt her.

It seemed the shyness they'd both felt the night before had finally given way to desire. Maybe it was partly because of the bath, but he thought it was more likely because they had confessed to each other their feelings and fears, their hopes and dreams and wishes, and most of all their love, though he had yet to say it plainly. Perhaps actions really did speak louder than words though, as his kisses and caresses were those of a loving partner, as concerned for her pleasure as he was for his own.

And he had an apt and eager pupil in his inexperienced wife, though she knew little of the act itself. What little her Cicilian tutor had been allowed to teach her had given her the confidence to reach this moment, but her marital education lay in the hands of her husband. When he touched, she touched; when he kissed, she kissed; each time learning something new about him, learning to please him even as she shivered with pleasure under the loving stroke of his hands.

He knew enough to go slow, to take his time in his tender exploration of her body, savoring and memorizing every inch of and leaving nothing unexplored. But he let her explore, too, as they shared kisses and caresses and slowly learned each other, inch by tender inch. Inevitably, the robe that had covered him fell to the floor, leaving him as naked as she was, but he hardly cared - too intent on pleasing her, on showing her that this was not something to be feared, but enjoyed.

As the first moans finally made themselves known from her lips, there was no denying that she was learning exactly what he wanted to teach, clinging to him through wave after wave of pleasure, wanting to give that pleasure back to him even as she shook in his arms, gasping for breath. There was no pain, no blood - Lorenzo had done his job so well that there was nothing but pleasure for them both in their marriage bed.

Lorenzo de Bueri

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Re: Newlyweds
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2019, 12:52:47 PM »
Tangled together, they rode the waves of pleasure that rocked between them, clinging to each other like one couldn't live without the other, which was, in a way true. It was only when he had collapsed against the bed, trembling and gasping for breath that he realized for certain what he'd been feeling and what he'd been terrified of, and he laughed. Right there, in their marriage bed, he laughed, not at her, but at himself.

Caught up in the euphoric aftermath of that first experience, Madalena laughed with him, her breathless giggles blending with his laughter as they fell to the bed, side by side, sated and warm with each other's heat.

"I'm sorry," he said between fits of laughter, wiping the tears from his eyes. He wasn't really sure if he wanted to laugh or to cry or both, as he let go of the fears and the worries he'd been harboring, his heart bursting with joy. "I just - I realized ... Oh, I'm such an idiot!"

"Did we ... did we forget to do something?" she asked, as breathless as he was, though less giddy. She smiled as she rolled onto her side, propping her head on her hand to look down at him. "That was wonderful."

"It was, wasn't it?" he asked, beaming a smile back at her, eyes bright with happiness and a little something more. "It didn't hurt too much, did it?" he asked, a concerned expression on his face for a moment.

She shook her head, her smile brightening at the joy on his face. "Not at all," she promised. "Truly, tesoro ... I never thought it could be so wonderful."

"I am glad, bella," he told her, his voice soft, as was his touch, his fingers in a soft caress of her cheek. "But I realized something ... I love you, Lena. I truly love you."

The sweetness on her face somehow became even softer, more radiant, in the face of such an honest declaration. She had no words to describe how happy she was to hear him say that. Which was why he suddenly found her on top of him, peppering his face and lips with giggling kisses, utterly delighted and unable to say it aloud.

He laughed at her reaction to his declaration, her youthful enthusiasm both amusing and endearing, his arms going around her to hold her tightly against him. "If you keep that up, we might miss dinner," he warned her, eyes bright with humor.

She lifted her head, bumping her nose to his fondly. "They are bringing dinner to us," she reminded him. "And you did tell them to knock when they do. I do not think your people will let us go hungry, tesoro."

"So I did," he said, with a smirk. He hadn't forgotten; he just didn't want them to knock on the door when they were otherwise engaged. Then again, not only did they have all night; they had the rest of their lives. "I must confess ..." he started, his smile softening. "I was worried you would only love me like a brother."

She drew her knuckles along his cheek affectionately. "I have never looked on you as a brother," she assured him. "We knew when we were children that we would be married one day. I could never marry a brother, after all."

"Si, but when we were children, did we really understand what it meant to be married?" he asked her, his arms clasped about her waist to hold her snugly against him, despite the risk of his body betraying its reaction to her closeness.

"Perhaps I loved you some way close to a brother when we were small," she conceded, "but it grew deeper and warmer as we got older." She blushed as she added, "I cannot tell you how many times I have fantasised about clawing out Donata's eyes so she would not be pretty enough to have your attention."

"Donata?" he echoed, brows arching upwards. "There was never anything between me and Donata," he assured her, though not what he thought about it, the other female like to lavish attention on him, almost to the point of annoyance. Though he'd certainly shared a few beds in the past, there had never been anyone he'd cared for the way he did for Madalena.

"She was always there," she reminded him. "And she likely will still be. She wants you, Lory. And I'm too much of a mouse to fight back openly. I'm afraid I may be a bit of a coward."

His expression changed, brows furrowing to know she was worried about someone he had never thought of as more than an acquaintance. He sighed, his expression softening as he pulled her closer into his embrace. "My heart belongs to you, Madalena. There is no one else."

"I know," she promised softly. "But I cannot help feeling possessive of you. I love you. I belong to you, as you belong to me. Anyone who seems to threaten that will always be my enemy."

"Well, then ..." An almost wicked smile appeared on his face. "We shall just have to find her a husband of her own," he remarked. Preferably, one who lived far from Pont-Elise. He made a mental note to speak to Giovanni about it later.

Madalena stared at him for a moment, and burst out laughing. "That is devious!" she exclaimed, charmed by his solution to a problem that was entirely her own. "I never knew you were so sneaky!"

He shrugged, though it wasn't easy wrapped up in her embrace as he was. "Neither did I," he said, with a smirk. "I blame Giovanni. He is a bad influence on me," he told her, though that was not entirely true.

"You and he are as thick as thieves," she pointed out. "I think you influence each other." She grinned, leaning down to brush a kiss to his lips just as a knock sounded on the bedroom door.

"He is like a brother to me," Lorenzo remarked, as if that, too, was an excuse. It was likely she knew that already, as he had known Giovanni nearly as long as he'd known Madalena. He furrowed his brows at the knock on the door. Was it time for dinner already?

"I had best answer that," he told her, though he'd have to untangle himself from her and don his robe first.

"He has always treated me like an annoying little sister," she agreed, reluctantly rolling off him so he could climb out of the bed and answer the door.

Lorenzo de Bueri

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Re: Newlyweds
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2019, 12:53:09 PM »

"Un memento!" he called toward the door, rolling off the other side of the bed, as soon as he was able to look for his robe, which he'd dropped somewhere on the floor.

A voice called back, too indistinct to understand, though it sounded as though it was coming from beyond the drawing room, within the hallway itself. Madalena sat up, tucking the sheets demurely about herself, curious to know what was going on out there.

Lorenzo grabbed the first thing that looked like a robe from the floor and slipped it over his shoulders as he stalked toward the door, a little annoyed that they'd been interrupted, though at least they'd knocked. Unfortunately, he didn't realize that the robe he'd grabbed belonged to Madalena and was about three sizes too small until he reached the door.

"Milord?"

It sounded as though it was Matteo on the other side of the door; he seemed uncertain quite what his reception would be, but apparently whoever was making the noise was not someone who could be put off.

"Si, si, what is it?" Lorenzo asked, as he struggled to fasten the robe about his waist, frowning to find it was not quite large enough to cover him completely.

At least his valet had the decency not to open the door, despite the fact that the contessa had suddenly erupted into a fit of giggles at what she could see in the privacy of the bedroom.

"You have a visitor, milord," Matteo called through the door. "Signor della Rossi is come to extend his good wishes upon your marriage."

Lorenzo grumbled under his breath. "Tell Signor della Rossi that we are otherwise engaged and he can extend his good wishes another day," he told his valet, raising his voice loud enough so that their visitor could hear him clearly.

Before Matteo could pass this on, Giovanni's familiar voice rose to comprehension levels through two doors.

"Tell the conte that I am prepared to camp right outside this door and make a nuisance of myself for as long as it takes," he declared cheerfully. "And that since I am the one in front of the only door into his married quarters, I will eat his dinner!"

Behind Lorenzo, Madalena giggled into her hand, knowing that this was no empty threat.

"I could have you arrested for that, signor!" Lorenzo called back, putting an emphasis on the "signor", almost as if it was insulting to call his closest friend by such a formal title.

"Not without upsetting your wife!"

That was enough to set Madalena's giggles off once again. She pitched down onto the pillows face first, shaking with laughter at the ridiculous situation they found themselves in.

"Can you not offer your congratulations from there?" Lorenzo countered, furrowing his brows as he tried to fasten the damned robe, wondering how it had suddenly shrunk before realizing with a sigh that he'd grabbed the wrong one.

"I can't hug the new contessa through two doors," Vanni objected. His grin was audible - no doubt he was providing quite the entertaining spectacle for the servants even as they tried to respectfully get him under control.

"You cannot hug the new contessa beyond the doors either," Lorenzo pointed out, considering Madalena's current state of undress. "But if I allow you to enter briefly to offer your congratulations, you must promise to then leave us alone until morning. Is that agreeable?" he asked, with just a hint of teasing in his own voice. Vanni was, after all, one of their closest friends - a man they had both known since childhood.

"Do you mean dawn morning, or after breakfast morning?" Judging by the nearing sound of his voice, Vanni knew he'd won and was making his way across the drawing room to the bedroom door at speed. Madalena let out a startled squeak and scrambled on the floor for the nearest robe to cover herself hastily.

Lorenzo moved to intercept the man before he could barge into their bedroom with Madalena only half dressed, despite his own appearance.

"I mean morning morning, tu idiota!" he called back.

"Ah, so closer to midday, then." Vanni chuckled his cheerful laugh, apparently pausing just outside the door. He wasn't cruel enough to just barge straight in.

And what a pair he was going to walk in on - Lorenzo in Madalena's robe, flashing his legs from the knee and generally only just covered up; and Madalena in Lorenzo's robe, absolutely swamped by the material gathered at her waist.

"Well?" Lorenzo said from the other side of the door, arms crossed against his chest, which was only barely covered by Madalena's robe, one bare foot tapping impatiently against the floor. "Are you coming in or not?"

"Ah, permission granted. Grazie!" The door opened, and there was Giovanni della Rossi, tall, blonde, and grinning widely at the sight of his two friends, the newly-weds. It took barely a second for him to absorb the mismatched robes before he howled with laughter. "Oh, this is so much better than I could have hoped for!"

"One word of this to anyone, fratello," Lorenzo said, poking a finger against his friend's chest, "And I will make sure you never speak to anyone again," he added in a hushed voice, so that Madalena did not overhear. Of course, it was an idle threat, but a threat, nonetheless.

"As if I would ever tell the world that I found the great Conte de Pont-Elise prancing around his own bedroom in his wife's clothes," Vanni scoffed, neatly bypassing Lorenzo altogether to pick Madalena up and spin her around. "And how are you, little contessa? Still playing with dolls?"

Giggling, Madalena batted at his hands as he put her down. "I am not sure you could call it dolls anymore, Vanni."

Lorenzo turned, hands on his hips and brows furrowed in a partly-feigned look of annoyance as he shoved right past him and presumed to swing Madalena into his arms. "Ahem," he said, reminding the two of them that he was still there. "Do not forget your place, Vanni. The little contessa is my wife now," he said.

Lorenzo de Bueri

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Re: Newlyweds
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2019, 12:53:30 PM »
Giovanni took one look at his friend's expression and snorted. "Oops." He stepped back, throwing himself onto his knees before Lorenzo. "Oh, forgive me, mighty conte, for having the temerity to lay hands upon the contessa without your written invitation to do so!"

Madalena stepped to Lorenzo's side, muffling her laughter against his arm.

Lorenzo rolled his eyes at his friend's overly dramatic apology, but then, he knew he was being just as dramatic. He held out his hand, as if he was expecting his friend to kiss it, even as he tugged Lena close.

"I will think about forgiving you," he told him, trying hard to keep a straight face.

"What can I possibly do to redeem myself, my lord?" Vanni declared, grasping Lorenzo's hand and licking his palm, just because he could. It was a wonder Lorenzo had ever found his serious side with Vanni as his playmate growing up.

Lorenzo scowled, yanking his hand away and wiping it against Lena's robe - the one he was still wearing. "What am I do to with you? You are impossible!"

"You'd die of boredom without me," Vanni said, rising to his feet. He offered his friend a hand. "I am sorry I wasn't there yesterday. I would have given much to have stood beside you as you both made your vows, but Father had other plans for me. Congratulations."

Lorenzo's expression softened, the look of irritation changing to a fond smile as he not only took his friend's hand but drew him into a brotherly hug. "You are here now. You are forgiven," he told him, the obvious affection between them clear to see.

"I won't stay long," Vanni promised, winking at Madalena as he drew back from the embrace. "I simply wanted to see you, to offer my congratulations ... and to let you know your wedding presents are in the stables."

"Come, you must at least have a drink to help us celebrate!" Lorenzo told him with a clap on the back, letting go of Madalena, so that he could find his trousers and shirt among the clothing that was scattered about his chambers. "And what, may I ask, did you leave for us in the stables? I hope they are horses and not pigs!"

Madalena squeezed his hand gently, rising up onto her toes to kiss his cheek. "I will join you both in the drawing room," she promised softly, moving to the door that connected this room to her own chamber, where she could call on her maid for help in dressing quickly.

Lorenzo frowned, as his bride departed. "See, now? You've scared her away," he told his friend, though he assumed she was only retreating so that she could find some clothing and make herself presentable again. "So, tell me ... What was so much more important than your best friend's wedding?" he asked, as he climbed into a pair of trousers.

"Hardly." Giovanni threw himself into one of the chairs. "She just doesn't want me to see what she's hiding under that robe, the modest little minx." He grinned at his friend, but the smile faded at the question. "My father's dead, Lorenzo," he said quietly. "He was thrown from his horse three days ago. Something ruptured, the physicians said. He died yesterday morning, just as you were taking your vows."

Lorenzo made no comment regarding what his wife was hiding beneath her robe. He might have commented on it, but what his friend said next shocked him into momentary silence. "Dead," he echoed, tugging a tunic down over his chest, a look of confused concern on his face. "And your brothers?"

"Cosimo made it back in time," Giovanni said, idly toying with his own sleeve. "He'll inherit the title and the villa, and Mother. Lucius was detained in Gelre - he's only just ordained, you know how they like to keep the new priests and priestesses close for a while after ordination. It's likely he'll return for the funeral and then go back to his new life in the church."

"Hmm," Lorenzo murmured, as he poured them both a glass of wine that had been meant for him and Madalena. "And you? What will you do?" he asked, wondering if there was a way he could keep his friend close, here in Pont-Elise.

"I get the farm and the house just outside the city walls," Vanni told him. "Not such a huge change for me, but I'll be closer to the people I consider my true family, and that is what matters." The farm he was talking about actually bordered the de Buerni estate on which this villa was situated; more of a ranch than a farm in all honesty. It wasn't large, but it produced some of the best horses in the country.

None of that came as a surprise to Lorenzo, as he and his friend had discussed what might happen once the elder della Rossi became deceased. They had just not expected it to happen so abruptly. "And that is agreeable with you?" he asked, just to be sure.

Vanni tilted his head, a rueful smile on his face. "I could have wished to have been allowed to settle into the farm before he died," he said with mild irritation. "But this is agreeable, yes. After the funeral, I need not go back to that ghostland again until Mother dies. Why, do you have some objection to having me so close now you are wed?"

"No, of course not," Lorenzo replied, handing his friend one of the glasses of rich, red wine. "I am sorry about your father, but I am glad you will be close. You must know that, Vanni," he told his friend.

"Am I a terrible son for feeling relieved at his passing?" Vanni asked, looking down into the glass in his hand. "For not wanting to be at my mother's side as she grieves? Am I terrible person, Lory?"

Lorenzo sighed, frowning at his friend's question and knowing he had not been close to his mother and father the way Lorenzo had been. "I do not think so," he told his friend, taking a seat across from him. "You have done everything your father ever asked of you. Now he is gone, and your life is your own. That does not make you a bad person, Vanni."

"I will not treat my children the way he treated us," Vanni said quietly. "I will not marry a woman who will treat our children the way my mother treated us. I'm almost jealous of you and little Lena. You will not have the home that I did."

"At least you are free to marry for love," Lorenzo pointed out, though he had found, as much to his surprise as hers, that he did, indeed, love Madalena. "There is no reason to think you will not have what we have."


Lorenzo de Bueri

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Re: Newlyweds
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2019, 12:53:46 PM »
"I have not been in love with someone since I was seven years old," his friend pointed out with a faint smirk. "Marriage suits you, by the way. How was the wedding night?"

"That, mio amico, is none of your business," Lorenzo replied, but from the smile on his face, it would seem the wedding night had gone well - or at least, things had gone well since then. "Let us just say that we are both happy with the situation."

"Then that is all that matters," Giovanni agreed, his own smile re-emerging. "I'm told you both looked adorable yesterday." His smile widened to a grin. "Lena's grandmother was in town."

"Adorable," Lorenzo echoed, with a snort. "I think I am a little too old to be adorable," he pointed out, though he made no argument for Madalena, who was, in his opinion, just that.

"Well, the city seems very well pleased with your marriage, so I'm glad to find it is the same inside the manor," Vanni said. "What are your plans for your honeymoon? You can't be intending to spend the entire month in bed, surely."

Lorenzo smirked over his glass of wine. "The thought had crossed my mind," he admitted, though he thought Madalena deserved more than that. "I am open to suggestions," he added, before taking a sip of his wine.

"Take her on a tour of the villages and towns around the city," Vanni suggested. "She's never been outside Pont-Elise. She'll enjoy seeing them, and they will enjoy seeing both of you. How long is it since you took a tour yourself?"

"A few years, I think," Lorenzo replied, though he wasn't too sure. It had probably been longer than he'd thought. "Before Father died," he added, though it hadn't been that long since that event.

"The people would appreciate seeing you both," Vanni said confidently. "After all, hardly anyone outside the center of the city has seen Madalena, and she is their contessa now."

"I suppose you are right," Lorenzo admitted, though he liked the idea of keeping her all to himself but a little while yet. Still, it would do both Madalena and the people good to meet her and to see how happy they were. And he didn't want to be one of those nobles who lived off the work of his people and cared nothing for their troubles.

Giovanni chuckled at the look on his friend's face. "I'm not telling you to set off tomorrow," he said. "Give it a week or so; time enough to get her fitted and dressed up for travel, and send word out that you'll be making the tour so the nobles can lay on their own versions of the marriage feast for you."

Lorenzo frowned, wondering why he hadn't thought of all this on his own. Then again, he'd been a little too caught up in the wedding and the preparations for it. "Do you know that she loves me?" he asked his friend, changing the subject, a silly grin on his face as he leaned forward to share that bit of news. "She said so herself."

"Already?" Giovanni grinned, patting his friend's arm in congratulations. "I thought it would take her at least a couple of days to squeak it out. What about you? Did you finally work it out as well?"

"You talk as if you knew already," Lorenzo said, frowning at his friend. How could his friend know how he and Madalena felt about each other when they had only just discovered it for themselves? Or at least, Lorenzo had.

"Of course I did." Vanni leaned back in his seat, taking a slow sip of his wine. "Everyone knows you adore each other. We were just waiting for the pair of you to get it out in the open." He gave his friend a pointed look. "Did you really think all that over-protective nonsense was just because you didn't want her to be played with?"

"I didn't want her to be hurt," Lorenzo clarified. He frowned again, a thoughtful look on his face. "I thought I loved her like a sister, but ..." He trailed off with a shrug of his shoulders.

"My dear Lorenzo, Mother Church would be horrified if brothers loved their sisters the way you love your wife," Giovanni informed him easily.

A soft rustle of cloth announced Madalena's return, dressed once more and with a soft snood holding her hair up and out of her way.

"You know what I mean," Lorenzo said, quickly shushing himself and moving to his feet as Madalena rejoined them. "Cara mia," he said, offering her a hand. "Would you like a glass of wine?"

She smiled for her husband, slipping her hand into his. "Thank you, tesoro, I would," she said affectionately.

Rising from his chair to greet the little contessa, Giovanni bowed to her, and abruptly snorted with laughter when she elbowed him in the stomach for it. "Haven't lost your touch, I see."

The three of them were old friends, having grown up together, and though Lorenzo had worried his marriage might change things between them, it seemed nothing had really changed, at least as far as Madalena and Giovanni were concerned.

"Forgive him, Lena. He is just jealous because he has not yet found a woman who will put up with him long enough to become his wife," he said, as he moved to pour her a glass of wine, but with only half as much wine as he'd poured for himself and Giovanni.

"How will I ever find a woman who is willing to both pamper me and put sheep dung in my bed when I annoy her?" Giovanni teased, this time lurching out of the way before Madalena could make contact. "So violent, little contessa."

"Only with you, Signor Giovanni," she answered in a giggling tone, taking her glass from Lorenzo with a decidedly fonder glance in his direction.

"It is simple, mio amico," he told his friend, pausing a moment to smile at his wife. "You must find someone who as impossible as yourself," he said, lifting his glass to his friend to toast the challenge.

"Impossible," Giovanni responded, lifting his glass in answer. "I am utterly unique, as we all know." With one hand, he drew out a chair for Madalena to seat herself in, proving that, for all his mannerisms, he was still a gentleman, born and raised.

Lorenzo de Bueri

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Re: Newlyweds
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2019, 12:54:08 PM »

"On that, at least, we can agree," Lorenzo replied, grinning back at his friend before taking a swallow of his wine. Once Madalena was seated, he took a seat for himself, relaxing in the company of the two people he loved most in all the world.

Thumping down into a seat himself, last of all of them, Giovanni raised his glass. "To your long lives and happy marriage," he toasted them both. "All the happiness in the world to you both."

Lorenzo looked from his friend to his wife, a happy smile on his face, and lifted his glass to answer the toast. "Grazie. We wish the same for you, Vanni," he told his friend before taking a sip from his glass. They just had to find their friend the right woman.

"Very much so," Madalena agreed, lifting her own glass to toast and sip. She smiled over at Giovanni impishly. "You knew exactly what you were interrupting, didn't you?"

He inclined his head, conceding the point. "I had to make sure you weren't wearing our conte out with your voracious appetite."

Lorenzo snorted. "He is probably hoping we will name our firstborn after him," he remarked, with a playful wink at Madalena. "But enough if enough, Vanni. We love you, but we cannot make a baby if you insist on remaining," he teased his friend.

"As I believe I said when I arrived, I do not intend to stay long," Giovanni responded in amusement. "Simply to offer my congratulations and deliver your wedding presents. You were the one who insisted I have a drink, amico."

"Wedding presents that are in the barn," Lorenzo said, remembering what his friend had told him. "You still did not say whether they are horses or pigs, amico," he reminded his friend.

"In the stables," Vanni corrected him cheerfully. "I thought perhaps you might like a matched pair for riding."

Madalena lit up at this vague offering. "You gave us horses?"

Lorenzo offered a lazy one-shouldered shrug, as if the choice of words was a minor detail. "Apparently," he remarked, wondering if Vanni was going to offer to help feed and care for said horses, as well, though that was managed easily enough.

"A palfrey and a mare," Vanni clarified for them. "Greys that adore each other, which of course made them perfect for the pair of you." He grinned at them mischievously.

It wasn't as if the conte didn't already own horses of his own, but he welcomed the gift. The more horses one owned, the more rich and powerful one was considered to be, but Lorenzo knew that wasn't the purpose of his friend's gift. The smile on Madalena's face was proof enough that the gift had been a good choice.

"A generous gift, amico," Lorenzo told his friend, lifting his glass to him once again. "Grazie."

"May I see them?" Lena asked hopefully, looking between the two men with excited eyes. She had never had a horse of her own, after all, despite her rank. Being a part of the impoverished nobility was a difficult life for many.

Lorenzo arched both brows in an unspoken question as he took a swallow of wine, before muttering, "Now?" They'd just come in out of the cold a few hours ago and now she was suggesting they go back out into it ... again. He sighed and drained his what was left of his wine before setting the glass aside. "I suppose I should get dressed then." Or at least, properly dressed for the outdoors.

She bit her lip, torn between going outside to see their new steeds, and staying inside where it was warm.

Giovanni glanced between them, not even trying to disguise his smile. "They'll be restive tonight," he said, offering a gentle way out of Madalena's impulsive wish. "Better to see them in the morning, when they've had a chance to settle into the stable."

"Good idea!" Lorenzo said, getting up from the chair, but only to refill their glasses, not to get dressed. "Morning it is!" he declared, happy not to have to wander out into the cold again today, especially when it would be getting dark soon.

"And I should get myself on the road before the sun sets, or my arrival back home will be dark and chilly," Giovanni pointed out, rising from his seat as well. He bent to kiss Madalena's cheek. "Being a wife suits you, piccola. Try not to break him." As she laughed, he turned to Lorenzo, offering another arm to clasp. "I'm happy for you. Give it a week or so, and I'll be around more if you need me."

Lorenzo frowned a little as his friend rose to make his exit. Though he was eager to spend more time alone with his new bride, he was concerned for his friend's well-being, knowing what he did about the death of his friend's father. He would share that news with Madalena eventually, but not tonight. He clasped his friend's arm, his expression one of brotherly affection.

"You know you are always welcome here, Vanni. Just ... Not so much in the bedroom," he added, with a hint of humor.

"I got Matteo to knock," Giovanni defended himself, squeezing Lorenzo's arm for a moment before releasing him. "I will allow you at least a week before I come barging back in. Time enough to make a new conte, I think."

"Hmm, perhaps," Lorenzo remarked, with an amused smile. He didn't think he'd ever tire of making love to his wife, even if it took longer than a week for them to make a son. "I will see you soon, amico," he promised his friend.

"You will." Giovanni nodded, stepping toward the door. "Have fun," were his parting words before he slipped out, leaving Madalena giggling once again even as she blushed. "He knows exactly what we are going to do this evening, doesn't he?"

Lorenzo's gaze lingered on the door as his friend departed, a hint of worry on his face that he didn't really want Madalena to see. "I'm sure he can make a good guess," he said, the smile returning to his face as he set the bottle of wine aside, without refilling the glasses. "Now, where were we?" he asked, drawing his young wife closer.

Setting her glass down, she giggled as he drew her into his embrace. "I do believe you were telling me you love me," she said sweetly, fingers toying with the laces on his shirt.

Lorenzo de Bueri

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Re: Newlyweds
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2019, 12:54:29 PM »

"Was I?" he asked, the smile warming. He was sure Giovanni would be fine; he always was. "Hmm, should I tell you again then?" he asked, his fingers itching to loosen her hair, as well as her clothes once again.

"I will never grow tired of hearing it," she promised, wriggling her hands up and beneath his shirt, tracing fingers that were just a little chilled against his warm skin. "Hmm ... are you still ticklish, tesoro?" She didn't wait for his answer, going for the kill, as it were.

It had been a long time since she - or anyone - had tried tickling him. She'd had plenty of opportunity over the last few hours, but they'd admittedly had other priorities. He yelped as her cold fingers found his bare skin and he yanked away, reaching to catch hold of her hands if he could.

"That is not fair, tesoro!" he scolded.

Wicked did not do justice to the giggle his protest produced from his wife, who was beside herself with delight at yet another yelp from her husband. "Of course it is not fair," she agreed. "That is what makes it fun!"

"I warn you ... You are looking for trouble, mia cara," he warned, catching her hands between his own, but failing to look fierce at his threat. He did not bother to say what he might do in retaliation, but it wasn't too hard to guess.

"Only with you, Lory." Such a sweet answer had no right to come out of a face that was bright with loving mischief and the underlying current of desire rising in her eyes. Whatever else this marriage might be, it certainly would not be boring.

With that said, Lorenzo swept his wife up into his arms and carried her back to the bed, where he intended to fulfill his threat by showing her once again just how much he adored her.

Their fathers would have been well pleased to know that their half-hearted teasing as boys that their own children would marry and be happy someday had somehow come true. Pont-Elise would be a happy state for years to come, with so much happiness in its heart.