Too Keen On Being Grown Up
by Kate J.

There was an owl hooting in the tree outside. I rolled over in my bed and called quietly out of the window to it.

"What news?"

It turned towards the window, startled, and then it flew away. This wasn't Narnia. There would be no more owls coming to my window to whisper what news there was. There would be no more owls with a message from Caspian.

The blankets were rough on my legs where my restlessness had kicked the sheets away. I sat up, pulling the worn cotton of my pyjamas down over my shins, rubbing the goosebumps away with my palms.

In the next bed, Lucy rolled onto her back and snored slightly, one hand resting on the pillow above her head. I slid out of bed and knelt down beside her, pulling the covers over her and pushing her chin to the side. She stirred, twisting her face into the pillow, and stopped snoring. Just like when we were children.

I walked back to the window. Thin moonlight bleached the green out of my pyjamas and my reflection in the glass was a wraith in pale shrouds, a wraith sent out of my past. I reached out to her- she reached back, her fingers touching mine through the glass.

She was gangly, graceless still. My body had grown graceful, lithe where hers was still skinny. My hand went to the hollow of my throat, where Rabadash had laid jewels, where Caspian had laid his lips.

In the window, she touched the bony end of her collarbone, her bitten fingernails lying against the ribs visible above the buttons of her pyjama top.

Would she grow up the same way, this second Susan? Fumbling, clumsy, I unbuttoned the first button, remembering the fullness of my breasts against the silk of robes, the rich, deep carpet under my feet. Caspian would trace his lips down over the lush skin, his fingers unbuttoning my cloak, my robe. The fabric, heavy and smooth, would slide free, falling to my waist, and Caspian would bend his head to my breasts.

There, in the window, were a child's incipient breasts. Those nipples, barely distinct from the pale skin, were not the ones that Caspian teased with his darting tongue, his teeth.

I could feel the prickle of the short hair at the nape of his neck under my fingers, see the deep red of my varnished fingernails digging into his shoulders, see his face as he looked up at me, hear my own voice telling him, half-joking, half-commanding, to kneel.

In the window, her pyjama top fell to the floor, and she gazed at me, her lips parted, one hand resting on the window sill. Her counted ribs gave way to a flat, flawless belly.

Caspian knelt, his hands tracing my abdomen, his fingers running over the scar that a wild day's hunting once tore in my side. My hands were in his hair, his lips on the smooth bulge of my hip bone, his stubbled chin harsh through one more layer of silk.

"Your Majesty?"

I laughed, my fingers turning his chin up towards me.

"You must beg leave, commoner, to approach me."

The girl in the window hooked her thumbs into the elastic of her pyjama trousers. She looked lost, her gaze distant, her eyes not quite connecting with mine.

"I beg..."

His voice was mocking, and my fingernails bit into his chin.

"You must beg leave."

My voice was not steady. My knees were not steady. His hands stopped in their sure exploration up, and further up, my thighs.

"I beg your leave, Majesty."

His fingers were an inch from where I ached to have him touch me. And now- now was where I wanted to stay, almost more than I wanted to grant him permission. He slid one hand down my thigh, and laid it outside my robe.

"I am bold enough," he said, his hand working the last button, "to beg leave to approach you."

I raked my nails away from his chin, and he lowered his mouth towards me as the silk robe finally fell to the floor. His hands pulled me in to him.

In the window, her legs are straight as sticks, skin shining pale in the moonlight.

A Queen.


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