Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Chapter 54 – Grown Up Full Moon

Nola was going to loose her mind.  Owen was… was…. was a happy puppy.

He liked having fun and snuggling or tearing things up without realizing it and didn’t care if he made a mess, because it was fun.  There was no doubt that just like a when she played with a puppy, she had fun and he made her happy. But her life was a mess.  Then she thought more carefully about her analogy.  Fine. Puppy.  Well puppies also needed training.  That was the key, complete the training and then he’d be ready for whatever the universe had in store for him next.  But then the universe would have to find a different teacher.  Do you hear that universe?  Tago shook his head. Meana hung her head. Bellaria and Settrano managed to smile at her willfulness.


Owen was doing his best to make it through to next Saturday’s Full Moon.  He spent Friday reviewing plans with clients whose jobs would start in 2 weeks. He exercised like an Olympic athlete.  He survived the weekend but only because Roger and Louis were putting together a Fantasy Football League. Thankfully their energy level had pulled him through. What the hell do you do when the woman you want to spend your time with tells you to find another woman and make babies!? Jezz, not one of the guys would believe him if he said it out loud, so he hadn’t bothered. But now it was Monday and he had already exhausted the excuse of checking on existing jobs that didn’t really need anything from him.  Roger looked like he was beginning to wonder what was wrong so he was on his way back home.  Pulling into the driveway past her spot under the grape arbor was the last straw.  He took out his cell phone and started to press the button to call her office.  Then he remembered that she could see the number calling.  Would she refuse to answer?  He called her cell phone knowing that she couldn’t tell who was calling until she opened it and by that time it would be too late.



“Hello Nola.”  Nothing.   “Nola are you there?”

“Yes, Hello Owen.  What can I do for you?”

And he pulled the phone away from his ear and looked at it and thought angrily, What can you do for me!?  I’ll tell you want you can do for me… you can…

“Settle down, son. Just ask the question you want answered.”

“When are you coming back?”

And he heard her sigh on the other end of the phone.  “I will be there Saturday at 9PM for the Full Moon.”

He repeated, “9 o’clock for the Full Moon.”

“Yes, I’ll see you then.  I’m sorry Owen. I have to get back to work. See you Saturday.”  And not a moment before and I am leaving right after the ritual.


He looked at the phone. She had hung up. She had answered his question and hung up.

“She’s coming back, son.”

“I knew that already. You said that already.”

“Well do you feel better now that she’s told you herself?”

“No. I know she won’t miss a ritual. I wanted her back here before the full moon.”  


And Owen was so irritated that as he went inside he slammed the kitchen door shut.


“Owen, Dat bettah be you. Cause if it’s not I got a shotgun and a cell phone. I’ll blow your head off and then call 911.”

He laughed out loud, “Latasha, I know that you do not have a shotgun.”

And as she came down the steps she said, “Yeah, baby but dey don’t know dat.” And then as she came into the kitchen she said, “Why you slammin’ the douah?”

Owen looked up at her. Then he thought, why not. Latasha was a Native New Orleanian from the 9th Ward and a woman. Maybe she could explain what was wrong with Nola.  Latasha still had her hands on her hips waiting for an answer.  Owen sighed.

“Latasha…” and as she heard the sound in his voice she took her hands off her hips and slid onto a bar stool.

“What’s botherin you baby?”

“Why would Nola tell me to find another woman, settle down and make babies?”

Latasha raised her eyebrows.  “She nevah said dat.”

“She did.”

“Crazy white woman.”


Latasha sighed, “You must be makin her way crazy.”


“The only reason why she would say that is because you makin her crazy.”

He just looked at Latasha.

Lastasha could see he didn’t understand, “Owen, you are a really nice man but sometimes you are a boy...”

“She’s got you there, son.”

“… but den most men stay boys. ….

And Owen thought, “Hah, she’s got you too pop.”

“… Nola’s had to work hard. From what Bryant says she even works hard for you and dat landscape business of yours. She’s already a mom. She’s got to take care of her business. She thinks dat you just want to play with her. You’re making her crazy. She wants you to grow up. Nothing like a baby to make a man grow up…”

“Sounds suspiciously like what I said. Doesn’t it, son?”

 “…  Sounds like Nola doesn’t want to do the work it would take to get you babies and grow up so she’s wishin’ you on someone else.”

Owen thought about that.


“I brought you some gumbo. Lemme warm it up for you, baby.” And she took the plastic containers from the refrigerator and started banging around the pots.”

Owen sighed. “Latasha, I don’t want another woman and I especially don’t want babies with another woman.”

“Well then, you betta find a way to make Nola think ya grown up.”

“Grown up?  Grown up?  I own my own house and business. People work for me. I have a payroll and sign checks every week. People trust me to design and repair their houses.  And that is not grown up?!.”

“Well….” and she stirred the gumbo and checked the flame on the stove. “… dat might be grown up for some people but for you it’s more like a game of Monopoly.  You do it ‘cause you like it.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Well, nuthin really… but…  Have you ever done anything for a job just because you needed to do it… to put food on the table, to pay the light bill or put a roof over your head?”

Owen thought about that and said dejectedly, “No.”

“If you can walk away and not worry about da consequences, den you mayaas well be playing.” She stirred some more. The gumbo was starting to come to a boil.  She shook the plastic container with the rice in it to loosen it up.  She got a bowl down from the cabinet.

Owen walked to the refrigerator and opened it and stood there looking at the unopened bottle of San Pellegrino water and the beer.  Latasha put 2 glasses in front of him and said, “Dat’s a refrigerator not an aiah conditionah. Shut da douah. Get us some ice. I made tea.”

He closed the door and started putting ice in the glasses.  Latasha took the first glass from the counter and filled it with tea.  “Here ya go, baby. Sit down. The gumbo’s almost ready.”  She filled her glass with tea, shook the plastic container of rice again.  She opened the cabinet looking for file then finally asked, “Where’s your feelay”


“You don’t have any do you?”

“No. What is file anyway?”

“Spice the Indians taught us to use, sassafras.” She took the lid off of the pot which was now steaming.  She poured the almost room temperature rice in and then stirred it around to warm up the rice slightly and cool off the gumbo. She dished it into a bowl for him. “Tastes better with a little feelay on top, but it’s good if I do say so myself.” And she ran hot water into the pot and added some soap and stirred it with the spoon. She put the plastic containers of gumbo and rice and in the refrigerator.  He took a careful spoonful of the hot gumbo. It warmed his insides and he suddenly felt better. Latasha watched him smile then turned to wash the pot and spoon.

“Latasha, as usual, this is great.”

“Thank you, baby. There’s more left in the containers if you get hungry later.” She rinsed the pot and left it to dry. “I have to finish upstairs and then get going. My sister will be by in a few minutes to pick me up.” Then she teased as she walked up the stairs, “Try not to slam any more doors.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He teased back.

Then he thought, OK, Responsible, Grown up.  When she comes for Full Moon I’ll be all business. We’ll see who’s the grown up.


He finished up and went into office but couldn’t concentrate.  He ended up outside feeding the fish.   He waved goodbye to Latasha and her sister and went inside. The manual was on the table behind the sofa so he picked it up.  He just flipped through and ended up at Aradia’s Words on Worship. He couldn’t really concentrate but he did see the list of days.  August 13th. Festival of Diana – August 13th.  There was a festival, a ritual and Nola was skipping it?! It wasn’t possible.  He looked in the index of the book. Nothing. He tried to remember what Nola had said about it. A torch festival, wishes to Diana. He had a wish. There had to be more.  He went to his office and opened the laptop.  Nemoralia.  There was so little on this. He found the Diana of Aricia book and did some reading there.  He finally closed the book and his eyes and put his head back. 


Should he call her back and challenge her about Diana’s Day? 

“Oh sure, call her, challenger her and pout about not getting a party.”

“Papa Eric.”

“What, son?”

“I’d never say this if you were still physical but… Shut up.” And he heard his Papa Eric chuckle and hated that his grandfather was right.  All right then. Fine. I’ll celebrate Diana’s Day without her and wait for the Full Moon.


He managed to make it through to Saturday.  He had continued to do research on the Nemoralia and on the 13th ended up sitting in the Jacuzzi with a candle burning and wishing to Diana that Nola would come and not leave.


But now he was waiting and pacing between the fountain and the driveway.  She had asked him, told him really that she needed to just be his teacher.  Teacher.


He knew now that he’d been pagan since he was born, probably before.  He did not doubt his grandfather had been exactly the same way. Except that Papa Eric had figured out how to walk his own path.  Owen knew that he wouldn’t have figured it out without Nola.  But now he had… the Ways. The Ways were so appropriately named. Following this path required that you weave it into the rest of your life.  And he smiled at the term Nola used for ritual: smells and bells.  But, because of how she had taught him, he knew that the rituals had helped align him with something greater.  He no longer felt driven by the expectation of others because he now had a life philosophy informed by the Ways. He felt whole and comfortable with how he lived his life. Nola had been part of this.  But had it been just as teacher?  Was it just because of what he had learned from The Ways? Or was it because of Nola, as Nola the woman? 


He went inside using the library door and locked it behind him.  He remembered the last time she was here. He had been so afraid that she wouldn’t return. If he was honest with himself he still was.


It was only a few minutes after 9PM. He heard her pull into the driveway.  He waited until he heard the truck door close and then he opened the kitchen door.

“Evening, Nola.” And he thought he saw her hesitate and then steady herself but it was very subtle. Maybe it was his imagination.

“Good Evening, Owen.”  She could do this. She could do this. If there was one thing her marriage had taught her it was how to slide by on pleasantries.

Owen looked up at the sky.  Diana, are you going to help me?  “The rain has past and the sky is clearing. The backyard is perfect for moonlight.”

“I bet it is.  I guess I should go inside and get ready for ritual.”

He opened the door so she could go inside. “Ok, I’ll meet you in the back yard.”

She swallowed. “Ok.”, and walked toward the downstairs bathroom. Owen went around into his office. 

She wondered what was going on. He was reserved, detached, still a gentleman but … well maybe she had pushed him far enough away. Maybe he was going to let her just be his teacher and ritual partner.  But what Owen was thinking was that tonight he was the one who would be doing the teaching.


He was already in the backyard in the moonlight.  She took a deep breath and went outside. He didn’t turn or smile. He just waited.  She walked up until she was even with him and looked up at the moon. He started the Rite of Union and she realized that she was following his lead. Then she focused on the rite and it steadied and aligned her like it always did.


He turned and walked slowly to the door assuming she would follow and she did. He opened the door and said, “The altar is waiting upstairs.”

She walked through the kitchen and up the stairs to his bedroom.  Her ritual folder was on top of her storage chest. She picked it up.  Owen said, “I’ll cast. Are you ready?”

“Yes.” And she moved behind the altar and he cast the circle.

She felt the Grigori come. They were… strong. Tago was powerful and insistent. Bellaria was determined. Settrano was all fire and passion. Meana, Meana was… was that disappointment or hope?

“The circle is cast.”


Nola opened the binder and read, “We gather on this sacred night of our Lady, beneath the Full Moon…” And as the words washed over them the world fell away and left only the 2 of them in a circle of protection.  When they chanted over the Brunello in the chalice and Owen felt Diana come to him. When Nola drank the wine she felt a warmth seep into her that had been missing for a long time.   


They both settled into a comfortable position on the floor before Nola led them on a meditation.


"It is a rain cleared night… The moon is high in the sky… it colors the pathway in a silver blue light…  you walk over the edge of a bowl shaped valley... you hear the sound of the stream… the oaks and pines create pale shadows along the soft path.... you step out of the trees to a smooth silver lake...  you breathe in the moonlight... and then slowly make your way to a round temple.... where you step into the pool of moon light…  and align yourself with its energy.......  You leave the temple and make your way up a path that takes you to a high ledge in the side of the bowl-like valley.....  As you lay down on the ground under the moon and stars and you open yourself up to the universe......"


Owen was calm and waiting… in his meditation Diana stepped out of the shadows and touched his shoulder with her bow and said, “You have my blessing. Be gentle.”


Nola lay back and opened herself to the universe.  She could still feel the presence of the Grigori.  “What is it?” She asked. “What do you want me to do?”

But the only answer she got was that they were waiting… waiting for her to… to what? “I am doing all I can. I am teaching… I am trying….”

“Stop trying so hard.”


“You have everything you need to be happy. Stop trying so hard.”

And then it felt like a strong breeze blew everything away.


Nola ended the meditation with, "in the distance you hear the howl of one wolf..... and then the answering calls of others..... you make your way back..... past the temple.... past the silver lake.... through the oaks and pines ....  up... to where you return to the world....."


Owen still felt the presence of Diana and her wolves.


Nola did the Veglia. Then blessed the cakes and wine and offered the plate with the cookies on it to Owen and took one herself.  She took a sip of wine and then handed it to Owen. He offered the traditional toast to Aradia and mentally sent a toast to Diana.  She refilled the spirit bowl and relit the flame. And then gave the Charge.  Tonight the words of the charge that resonated with Nola were, “I have come that you might be delivered from all slavery.”  But the words that reached out to Owen were “all acts of love and pleasure gain favor with the Goddess.”


Nola recited the closing. Owen took her spirit blade from the altar and held it to his chest.  She was forced to go to him so they could charge the blade.  She stepped into his arms and he pulled her close until the blade was wedged between them. He held her close and kissed her very gently. He released her and picked his blade up from the altar. She stepped into his arms again and they kissed and charged her blade. Owen took the handle of his blade and released her.  He set the blade on the altar.


She added a very small amount of spirit fuel to the bowl and relit it.  Owen took the circle down leaving the room dark.  He felt rather than heard Nola breathe and begin to move to the door. He put his hand on her arm and pulled her into a kiss.  He felt her resist and he called to Diana and he felt her resistance begin to fade.  He kissed her slowly, teasing and drawing her to him. She didn’t even realize it when she put her arms around him and the fingers of one hand into his hair.  That was enough for Owen. He lifted her and took her to the bed.  


He laid her down and kissed her lightly again. Then he began to move his kisses slowly down the left side of her neck. He brushed his hand over her right breast and could feel her erect nipple.  When he touched it he felt her breath catch slightly. He moved his hand down to her rib cage pulled her close to him and kissed her again, then started again down the other side. He sucked each breast gently then moved his mouth down the center of her belly and lifted her slowly to him as he slid further down to met her. He licked gently and slowly and then found her hard sex. He licked and then sucked it, slowly. Controlling the movement as his hands moved and controlled her. He felt the muscles in her buttocks tighten. He felt himself stiff with the need to be inside of her.  He sucked her sex and heard her breath catch and she moved her hips toward him and moan. He moved one hand so he could squeeze her nipple and the other so he could tease her with his finger. He put his finger near her opening and slightly inside as he licked and sucked. He heard her moan and felt her push closer to him. He felt her muscles tighten as he sucked.  He pushed his finger inside and he heard a small moan and then an even smaller breathless “…please” He felt himself stiffen more with need. He felt her orgasm with his mouth and then moved to enter her. She rose to meet him, “Oh Owen... please... please.” And he slid into her and felt as her warmth enveloped him and he pulsed and drove to ride the wave of pleasure. Yes, this. This is what he wanted. This is what she needed to give him.  He wanted… wanted… and time stopped, and she held on to him for fear he would disappear, as he exploded.


They lay there for a long time, neither wanting to move. Owen moved first convinced that it had to be impossible for her to breathe.  He rolled over found the pillows and moved his head against them. Then he put his arm around her waist and pulled her back into his chest. She let him.  She hadn’t yet fully returned from wherever he had taken her.  Owen thought, Diana make her stay. And he pulled her closer.


Nola’s head was comfortable on the pillow. She was close to him. She sighed a very small sigh. She was comfortable and oh my gods satisfied and happy. And Owen heard the contented sigh and smiled thanks to Diana.   They both drifted off.


He woke about an hour later. It was just before midnight. Nola was on her side and seemed to be sleeping. He rolled onto his back.  She had called him by name. She had specifically used his given name not his ritual name.  She had wanted him. And he smiled and reached out to her and ran his hand down her shoulder, down the curve of her waist and over her hip. She moved and turned to him.  He moved his hand over her breast and felt her nipples harden. 

“Mmmmm, what have you done to me?”

“Was it good?”

“Yes, yes it was very good” and she ran her hand down his chest and found his sex and closed her palm around it and felt it harden. She moved her palm over the tip of his penis. Why did he feel so good? And then closed her palm gently around his penis before moving her hand around his sacks and then between them. She moved so she could put her mouth over his penis and he lay back and said, “Oh Nola.”


She held him gently and worked her mouth over his penis and then nuzzled him between his sacks and let her tongue find the large raised blood vessel. She moved her palm over the tip of his penis before taking him into her mouth and using both mouth and hands to satisfy him. He moved to meet her. If she kept his up he was going to come in her mouth. He wanted her to want him. He rolled over but she kept her mouth on him as he struggled to get to his knees. He reached around and his fingers found her wet open sex and her hard clitoris. She moaned with him in her mouth as he touched her and he thought he was going to come right then and there.  She let him move her until he was able to get his mouth on her clitoris.  She finally stopped concentrating on him as she came again. He entered her and drove into her to finish what she had started.

He rolled onto his side and pulled her with him managing to stay inside of her. “Don’t move. Please. I want to stay inside of you.”  She did as he asked and put her head on his bicep.  He put his arm around her and sighed.  She lay there happy and actually began to doze off.


She stirred as he slipped from her. She could hear him breathing deeply. She lay there for a few more minutes before she got up to go to the bathroom.

She used the shower to clean up, realizing as she did that her labia were still open and swollen.  He heard her get up and was determined to say nothing and let her leave if that was what she insisted on doing.  He had Diana’s blessing. It was up to the goddess.  


He tried not to smile as she crawled gently back into the bed. He rolled over and pulled her into him, her back to his front.  “I hear the 3rd time is the charm. But I’ll need a little while to recover.” She laughed lightly and snuggled her bottom into him and he moved his hand over her breast as she said, “Ok.”


When he woke the next morning, she was gone.  He had no idea when she had left, but it had to have been sometime after 2AM. And he smiled remembering.

“So have you decided if you are in love with her yet?”

“Yes, pop, I am.”

“So you think that she is in love with you too?”

“Yes, yes I do.  She said my name.  Not my ritual name.  My name. So yes I think that she is in love with me and this is why as Latasha says, I’m making her ‘way crazy.’ and this is why she leaves and tries to push me away.”

Papa Eric looked at Tago and then tested his grandson’s resolve, “If she’s in love with you why would she push you away?”

“Because she’s married and she doesn’t think that she should be in love with me and because she is scared.”

“Married to someone else, with a kid is pretty serious, son.”

“I don’t care, pop. I really don’t care.  She’s not in love with him, so it doesn’t matter.”

“But it does son.  It does to her.”

“So she can divorce him.”

“Just like that?  And then what?”

“Then she can stay with me and never have to leave.”

“You’ve lived a lucky life. I think Nola and Latasha might be right. Are you sure you’re not playing?”

“Don’t insult me pop. I know what I want. I understand the situation. I’m happy and I plan to stay that way. I also plan to make Nola happy for the rest of her life.  All I need to do is tame her scared wild heart.”


And Papa Eric smiled at his grandson and Tago nodded with approval.  But they both realized that a full moon ritual was one thing and that taming Nola’s scared wild heart wasn’t in no way guaranteed.

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