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Maybe This Time...

Writers: Eimi, Paula
Date Posted: 28th September 2018

Characters: Merlish, Eilomar
Description: Merlish and Eilomar try to make a baby.
Location: Emerald Falls Hold, Harper Hall
Date: month 7, day 12 of Turn 9

Merlish sat in her chair by the fire, looking deeply into the remains
of her evening cup of tea. Every once in a while she would glance up
at the man sitting across from her, but her eyes would always return
to the cup with a thoughtful stare.

She thought perhaps he looked tired. Was that a grimace? Maybe he
was in a bad mood. It had been a long day after all. She had no idea
what he had done with his day, but it certainly seemed possible that
he had been busy...

**Shards, why does this have to be so awkward?** she thought as she
picked up her spoon to give her tepid tea another swirl. **Stop
making excuses, Merlish! This could be your month!**

Tapping her spoon gently on the rim of the cup she finally said, "I
checked the calendar. Tonight might be a good night for us to...
be... together..." She wanted to sink into the floor. Three Turns of
marriage and begging for sex still just seemed so... dirty.

Eilomar had been inspecting latest piece of music from a promising
journeyman, seeing if it would be suitable to be performed by his
choir. He had done his best not to humm under his breath while he
studied the notes. He didn't want to disturb her. He was enjoying this
quiet moment at home, something he had not done during his first

It took a moment before his brains even registered her words. "Ehm,
what?" he was taken by surprise and didn't connect the dots.

Merlish avoided the temptation to roll her eyes. He always seemed to
make her have to say it! She could feel her cheeks burn as she said,
"It's a good night for us to... come together... as man and wife..."

"What do you mean?" Eilomar was still not connecting the dots. He
never been the brightest glow in a basket.

She took a deep breath, reminding herself that she could not lose her
cool. The last thing they needed was to fight when he needed to able
to perform his husbandly duties. "Tonight would be a good night for
us to lie together."

"Don't we lie in bed every night?" Eilomar asked with puzzled voice.

"Sex, Eilomar. We should have sex tonight," she blurted out. Erassa
was immediately contrite. "Excuse my bluntness."

"Oh, you should have just said that in a first place," Eilomar
replied, wondering why women always have to be so cryptic.

**I did!** she wanted to protest, but it would do no good. "So,
anyway..." Merlish said after a couple deep breaths. "Tonight would
be a good night for... sex..."

"If you think so," Eilomar replied, "Yes, we can have that." Now that
he was losing weight, he found the act less exhausting and more

"Alright," she said, not knowing what else to say. Surely there had
to be an easier way to get pregnant. Merlish wondered, not for the
first time, how other couples navigated such situations. But she
would never in her life ever voice the question to any one. That
would just be so far out of line, and she was a Master's wife! It
would be practically scandalous! "I'll go wash the dishes and get
ready for bed. Please don't feel you need to hurry."

"Yes, dear," Eilomar replied. He also had preparations to make. He
quickly washed himself and brushed his teeth. He tried to make sure
his breath didn't smell. He changed to his night clothes and even
combed his thinning hair.

Merlish had tried not to think about their planned coupling as she
washed the dishes and tidied the kitchen. But she just couldn't help
it. It was like a pile of laundry that needed to be washed sitting in
a corner, or the shirts she had planned to mend. And there was that
black spot on the bottom of the frying pan that with a little elbow
grease she could finally clean up. It was just another chore looming over
her head and she just did not like that. She had much rather just get
it over with so she could do other things.

The whole thing just made her so terribly uncomfortable. From the very
beginning, she didn't know what to say or do before or after. The act
itself was just messy, but she had learned to accept that. There was
no other way to get children, and if she was going to live a full and
meaningful life, it would include children. Of that she was
determined. But she hated the awkwardness that bookended it. She had
tried reading one of those Harper romances once. All those dripping
words of love, the flowery language, the passionate declarations...
She just could not imagine saying them to or hearing them from her
husband. The whole thing was completely unrelated to her situation.
And then when they started tearing the clothes off each other, she had
thrown the book down with shiver of revulsion. Not only could she not
stand the thought of her husband acting in such an unrestrained
manner, she couldn't help but think of the mess and mending required
afterwards! No thank you.

Well, she could hear the bed creak upstairs. It sounded like her
husband was ready for her. "At least you don't have to make
conversation with a pile of laundry," she muttered under her breath as
she untied her apron and hung it on a peg with a sigh. Time to get it
over with.

By the time she came to bedroom, Eilomar had almost fallen asleep.
"Ah, there you are."

"I'll be right there," she said, scooping up her nightgown and
slipping behind the partition for some privacy. She changed quickly,
making sure to remove her undergarments to make things easier. It was
always the last thing she did as even walking around her own room
without them made her feel like a wanton. Merlish was sure it was
something that good girls didn't delight in. "I'm ready," she said,
plastering a smile onto her face and taking the most direct route to
her side of the bed possible.

Eilomar did his best to be quick about it. The faster it was over the
better for her, right? When he finished, he gave her a quick kiss and
rolled to his side of the bed. "Umh, you might want to place a pillow
under your hips, so it won't ran back out," he adviced awkwardly The
idea was a get a baby started
after all.

"I'm sorry, what?" Merlish asked, honestly not sure what it was he had
said. Her mind had been engaged in trying different combinations of
their names in case she might actually catch this time. It was a
little game she played with herself while she waited for him to
finish. She had been trying to picture what "Eilomar" and "Merlish"
might sound like if spelled backwards, and hadn't noticed he was
finished until he said something.

Eilomar gestured vaguedly towards her hips. "A pillow under there, so
the semen rans to right direction."

"Oh, right. Thank you, dear," she said, grabbing one of the pillows
out from under her head and did as he suggested. After all, he had
two children. He should know what he was doing. It left her nearly
flat on her back with her legs in the air. A most uncomfortable way to try to
sleep, but just one more thing she had to do...

"'Ramolie' wouldn't be bad for a girl at all," she thought silently as
she already head her husband's breathing slow into sleep. "But
'Shilrem' really wouldn't work for either..."

Last updated on the October 2nd 2018

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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.