Wednesday, November 9, 2011

580 - I Will Be Careful

Laisa had snowflakes caught in her eyelashes and the fur trim of her hat.  The candle-light gave her a golden glow and my breath caught in my throat.  The family all knew... they all liked her... they told me I should ask her... when we were here last time they told me.

Her eyes were wide and so blue... so blue... her mouth open slightly, wisps of gorgeous hair against her face in the wet. What if she says no? Don’t be stupid, she's been showing how much she likes you... does she love me?  I was holding my breath, holding my bow, light-headed when she leapt to her feet, shrieking “Yes! Oh, yes!”

She slipped on the ice and, hampered by her skirts and the furs and the muff, fell forward into me and I dropped the ring and caught her and despite our training, despite our sparring, we both ended up in the wet snow.  A couple of the snowball candles were snuffed out and we were both soaked through in a moment as my elbow managed to crack through the ice on the rivulet and the water poured out over my sleeve and hers.

“Oooooh!”  She sounded enraged.  “How could I be so stupid?”

I wrapped my arms around her and we managed to gain our feet.  It was so dim I was seized by an impulse surely learned in this country.  I took her wet chin in my hand, leaned down and... paused.  She stared up into my eyes.  Did she know what I wanted to do?  I brought my lips toward hers, very slowly so she could resist if I frightened her.

Her eyes closed and her breath came fast.  "What... oh..."  My lips touched hers as gently as a butterfly settling, gentle as a breath of wind.  Her breath pulled in through her partly open mouth in a gasp as I pulled her closer, let my lips kiss the corner of her mouth, then her cheek before coming back to her lips.  I could taste the snow melting between us and her eyes closed.  I drew back and met her eyes, as they drifted open.  "Oh.  Oh my.  Kallijas!"  But she wasn't frightened.  She was stiff at first but that was because she didn't know.  "That was... lovely..."

“You are not stupid.  Thank you for saying yes.”

“What else was I going to say?  I’ve been hoping you’d ask me for a long time.  I'm glad you kissed me.  Grandmama said it was nice and that I'd like it.  Oh... the ring!  Where’s your ring?”

And she threw off the soaking wet muff and seized one of the last lit candles.  “It’s right around here... it has to be!”

“Don’t worry about the ring, I’ll get another... what’s important is that we’re getting married... Laisa... please...”

She looked up at me, the snowball candle clutched before her chest like she was going to spar with it.  “But... I want the one you asked me with!”

I had to laugh.  She laughed.  I laughed harder.  She laughed harder until we were helpless with it on the mountainside in Yeola-e.  She put the candle down and leaned forward.  “I’m going to be very forward, Kallijas Itrean.”

“Oh?  Really?”  She licked her lips, leaned in and kissed me, bumping her nose into mine.  Her lips were just as magnificent the second kiss. "I'm glad your Grandmama told you that."

"I'm going to have to practice, like sparring, so I can get better at it."  I could feel her smile under my lips as I wrapped my arms tight around her and we kissed and then kissed some more before I realized we were both shivering. 

“We should go up to the Hearthstone and get warm, my beautiful wife-to be.”

“I... suppose... my... my magnificent husband-to-be.”  We were both being terribly close but I loved it, even as my cheeks heated enough to nearly warm us both.  I reluctantly let her go and she was about to join me under my slightly damp coat from the bench when she dove on something glittering on the path.

“Look!”  She came up with half of the split ring that I’d dropped.  “But it’s only one piece!”

“I believe I have the solution for that honoured betrothed.”  The other half had gotten caught in the Imperial seal on my hand and I was able to turn my hand over to show her.  That started her giggling again as she picked it out of my palm.

Since we were betrothed and in Yeola-e it was perfectly proper for me to put my arm around my sodden wife-to-be to try and keep her warm and on her feet as we headed back out to the main path.  Oh, my Ten, she felt so good under my arm and with her arm around my waist.  And I wasn’t drunk.  Of course we’d sparred but that was different.

She raised her eyes from the path, ostensibly to keep her feet, and smiled at me again.  Glorious smile.  “You are blushing husband-to-be.”

“I most certainly am not, wife-to-be.”  I managed as solemnly as I could.  “I am merely overheated in the unseasonable warmth in Yeola-e.”  She giggled as a breath of wind blew damp snowflakes into my hot face.

“I am corrected, husband-to-be.  When did papa give his permission for you to ask?”

“Three eight days ago.”  Her smile dropped a bit.

“And you waited that long to ask me?”

“I... I... couldn’t find a moment romantic enough!”  My protest was weak.

She sniffed.  “I suppose you had to find the right ground to pursue the campaign.”

“Well... yes.”

She looked up sideways at me.  “Good thing for you that your opponent was already vanquished, overwhelmed and converted then.”

“This general couldn’t risk it without perfect preparation.”

“Naturally.  Kallijas Itrean... you do realize I...” she cleared her throat, then – like her father’s daughter – launched straight into the thing that was usually never said by an Arkan wife.  “... you do realize that I love you?”

My mouth dropped open. Aras and Dimae... I mean Muunas and Selinae...  “I... um... I... er... yes!  And I love you too! Er... yes... I do!”  I cleared my throat.  “Watch out for this spot in the path, it’s clearly slippery.”

“Yes, husband-to-be.  I will be careful.”

I nodded.  “Excellent.”


  1. *squeals helplessly* ^,^ SO CUTE!

    *Ahem.* >.>

    Kyash, I HATE squealing...

  2. I love hearing that and I hope you didn't hurt your throat.