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Red Blossoms From The Boughs

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She was a queen before she was a woman; and always, always a lady. And although her subjects were now many, her responsibilities greater and more pressing, his lady always had time for her Mister Tumnus. And he always thought of her as his, for he was the first to ever meet her, the first to welcome her, the first to treat her. Hers the first bright laugh to shake the ice from the trees, in those years when winter hung heavily on their shoulders, kissed their eyes in cold sleep. A child, then, but maturity comes quickly to a daughter of Eve; although, as in all creatures, not quite as swiftly as wisdom.

So that when her fingers wound round in his hair, when she lay her head in his lap and when she explored what she found there, he saw no need to deny her the knowledge of him.

She loved more than anything to feel him against her cheek, even though he was not soft. She loved more than anything, his hands and how he made her dance. Even though he was not rough, and how the tufts at his wrist and elbow tickled her. And he loved her, and loved her well, more than anything.

So that when she was truly a woman, when she had carried her crown for six more winters and opened her arms wide for him in spring, he saw no need to deny her what she asked of him. He kissed her closed eyes, her back and bare shoulder; and her shouts, her hooked fingers, their love shook the red blossoms from the boughs.