Author's note- When the topic of the Shirohebi came up in chat, many were of the opinion that her Blue Fire curse that she used on a husband suspected of seeing another woman was the worse fate that could possible befall him. Being something of a contrarian, I'd think that one of the worse things that could happen to a Shirohebi's spouse caught in such circumstances was for her to NOT use the curse on him.
This fic should go into why. Also, there's some minor lemonus interruptus.
You were warned.
“Thanks for having me over…” the young woman in my bedroom said as she disrobed. For some reason, I thought it was quite humorous that she was willing to remove all her clothing, but her Shimada mage hairdo was off-limits. She most likely worked very hard to get it to stay like that. To my surprise, the beauty mark on her cheek just below her right eye was the real deal, as it turned out.
“I’m afraid I can’t stay for too long, otherwise father will yell at me for skipping out on work.” she continued.
“Just tell him you were talking to a customer…” I chuckle.
The pale-skinned beauty who was now completely undressed save for her fundoshi scowled playfully at me.
“What? It’s not like you’re lying. I bought noodles from him last week and you and I are talking…” I point out.
“Mmm….but I don’t plan on just talking with you. Besides, I certainly don’t talk to EVERY customer like this….”
“I should hope not, Shizuka…. I mean-“
My words were cut off as her lips found their way to mine. After my initial shock at the bold and flirtatious noodle-maker’s daughter, I returned her kiss as I felt her hands starting to undress me.
Shizuka and I had been flirting for months whenever I stopped at her father’s shop, and I couldn’t help but enjoy how young and invigorated I felt just being near her. I thought that maybe she was behaving in such a manner to attract more business to the shop, but soon she began asking to see me after the family shop had closed down for the day. The smart thing to do would have been to tell her that I was flattered, but then tell her the truth. Instead, at the time I thought that a romantic liaison with a younger woman was too good to pass up, along with the fact that other men in the town had been unsuccessfully pursuing her, yet she was drawn to me for whatever reason.
“Mmm….you like that?” she asked, her voice sensual yet hesitant as she pulled her lips away.
I said nothing right away as I remained in awe of her body. “I like ALOT of things I’m seeing right now, Shizuka…”
“Well then….” she said as we both landed on the futon with her on top. “How about I show you a little more?”
“Hey- what happened to ‘I have to get back to my father’s shop before he yells at me’?”
“I can handle it…I’m a big girl now.”
“So I see…” I said lecherously.
I quickly glance over to my right. Looking back at me is a framed portrait of a smiling younger version of me and a beautiful albino serpentine woman who’s looking at my younger self as though I was the only man in the world for her.
Before Shizuka gets a good look, I reach out and put the portrait face down so that my younger self and my shirohebi then-fiancee are now face-down on the nightstand. The next thing I know, I’m helping Shizuka out of her fundoshi.
All along, I knew that what I was doing was a mistake. Yet I couldn’t help myself as I lost myself in the sight of Shizuka’s creamy white skin and her perky breasts as she straddled me.
“Fu fu fu….so eager….” Shizuka teased me as she started to rock back and forth. “Are you-?”
That was as far as she got as the door to our bedroom slid open.
“Sweetie- I’m back from the temple a little early and I brought…..” the shirohebi in the doorway said before trailing off. Her jaw went slack as the bags she was carrying dropped to the floor and her hand was now covering her mouth.
My wife had returned far earlier than I expected.
Shizuka flew off of me as though she had been launched from a catapult. Her wide eyes darted back and forth between me to the albino serpentine woman in the doorway.
“Y-you didn’t tell me you were married!” the human woman hissed as she hastily scooped up her yakuta, fundoshi and obi. Honestly, she most likely could have made an educated guess without me coming right out and telling her.
“Wh-what is this?” my wife asks in quiet shock from the doorway. “Sweetheart, what are you…..?”
My wife’s pleasant, sleek and welcoming facial features now appeared crestfallen and defeated while her red eyes were now open wide and beginning to water. It was finally sinking in on my wife that I was being unfaithful to her when Shizuka hastily made her way past her in the doorway with nothing but her crumpled garments to preserve her modesty. My wife looked at her as she passed, her emotions difficult to read.
“You….I know your father.” she said in a flat monotone. “He would be so disappointed in you right now…”
“I…I know….I’m so sorry, ma’am….” Shizuka said timidly, perhaps relieved that my serpentine wife was choosing to shame her instead of lashing out physically. “I didn’t know…I didn’t mean to….” In the blink of an eye, the noodle-maker’s daughter was gone from my sight as I heard her footfalls recede down the hallway.
“H-how could you…?”
“Awai….please….I….” I could only nervously stammer as she made her way closer. I could see that anger was now clouding her soft and gentle features.
“Sweetheart….how could you…?” she repeated the question to me.
“I’m sorry….it’s just that sometime I miss the touch of a human…” I began to say. It was a stupid excuse and I was caught red-handed doing the one thing that you should NEVER do to a Shirohebi- screw around with other women. My frantic excuses did little to assuage her anger as I was now aware of two spheres of glowing blue flames flickering on each side of her at about shoulder height.
This was a side of my gentle and loving wife that I had hoped to never see- the jealous side that would resort to her blue fire curse and make my body yearn for nobody else but her. The manifestation of the albino Lamia’s infamous jealousy.
“Awai….please….I….I’m sorry….” I’m practically begging her as she’s now looming over me.
Just as quickly as they had appeared, the blue flames that flanked her had disappeared. Her expression seemed to change from anger to something else. Instead of the open-handed slap that I so richly deserved, she gently cupped my chin and looked into my eyes with a mix of sorrow and pity.
“I love you so much, my dear husband…..” she said tenderly.
“I love y-” I began to say before she put a finger to my lips.
“Please don’t lie to me and say that you still love me- that’s just cruel. You hurt me so very badly….” she murmured sadly. “But I still love you with all of my heart.”
I was almost relieved to hear that, but I knew she wouldn’t be so ready to forgive my betrayal of her.
“Awai-” my words were cut off as she pressed her finger a little harder into my lips.
“Why did you do it…?” she asked.
“I….I don’t know. I just….I guess I felt so much younger when Shizuka was flirting with me like that. She didn’t even know I was married.”
“Yet I’m sure you had all the time in the world to tell her that. Did she make you feel the way I made you feel when we first met?”
“Only a little bit…” I tell her, remembering back to the busty and flirtatious serpent girl asking for alms for the Ryu’s temple when I first met her a little over five years ago. I had nothing in the way of alms that day, but we struck up a conversation and I found myself increasingly smitten with her as I peppered her with questions about life at the Ryu’s temple. At one point, instead of answering my numerous follow-up questions, Awai simply led me by the hand to the temple- a short distance away from where we were- and gave me my own guided tour. We had been seemingly inseparable ever since.
Lately, she had been increasingly preoccupied with an increased workload at the temple now that the Ryu that had watched over the region had fallen ill. The more time she spent at the temple, the more neglected I was starting to feel and the flirting with Shizuka had proven to be a welcome distraction at the time. But I wasn’t satisfied with merely flirting with her.
“I never meant to hurt you, Awai….”
“No…” she sniffled. “You never meant for me to find out. Don’t you understand? There’s a difference. Was I not good enough for you?”
“That’s not it, Awai…..” I say defensively. If anything, my serpentine wife was now demonstrating that she was TOO good for me. She was doing her level best to bear through her jealousy and anger as serenely as the circumstances would allow.
“Why…..why did you hurt me like this, sweetheart? Did you ever love me?”
“O….Of course I love you. I still love you….”
“Liar. You may think that, but the fact that your brought home another woman to our bed says otherwise.”
I can only hang my head in shame after such a stinging but quietly delivered rebuke.
“I hate myself for telling you this” she sighed. “But because I still love you, I won’t use the blue fire curse on you, Husband. I couldn’t bear to make you long for the embrace somebody that you clearly no longer care for…”
“But I still….”
“NO!” she said forcefully. It was so very out of character for her to show even a glimmer of anger, but here we were. “If you still loved me you would never have done this to me to begin with.”
“Awai….please….” I’m begging her now.
She gently cups my cheek and presses her forehead against mine as she tries forcing a sad smile. But I can now see that tears are beginning to stream down her cheek. The sweet and devoted shirohebi I called my wife was now in tears and I had nobody to blame but myself. My own eyes well up- not because I was caught with another woman, but because it was finally sinking in that I shattered the heart of the beautiful and gentle Lamia who agreed to become my wife and showered me with affection and love at every opportunity.
“I still love you so very much, husband, but I won’t let you hurt me ever again…” she says. “Instead of using my demonic energy to make it so that you can’t live without my touch, I shall grant you your freedom. You have my permission- from here on out, you can now be with any woman you desire now. Except for me.”
She kisses me on the forehead as she backs away. I want to throw myself down at her and beg her for forgiveness, even though I know that it won’t do me any good.
“No…no….I know you think I don’t love you anymore, but you’re wrong…..please, Awai….what can I do to prove you wrong?” I plead.
I could only watch with this sinking feeling of despair in the pit of my stomach as my wife made her way back to the bedroom’s doorway. Awai paused for a moment, almost as though she was contemplating giving me the second chance that I now wanted more than anything else in this world.
“I hope you can find someone who makes you as happy as you made me once.” she says quietly on her way out.
“Don’t go, away…..please……Awai! I still love you……I know you don’t believe me, but…please…I’m begging you…” Any further words I have for her die in my throat.
She then turned around and looked upon me with the same loving gaze in her eyes as when we spent our first night together. However, what she said next was far more devastating than the infamous blue-fire curse as she looked me in the eyes one more time before leaving.
“Goodbye forever, Husband.”