Saturday, November 5, 2011

578 - A Fantasy of Icicles

Kallijas was being very gallant.  Of course.  It’s who and what he was.  Oh papa, I was hoping… I am hoping.

“Serina… here… watch your step the snow has made it slippery.”  He offered me his elbow and I clung to it to not slip in my boots.  Arkan cordwainders just had no idea what real boots were, nor what was necessary to keep someone’s feet warm and dry, in Yeola-e.  My feet were completely soaked through, though I would never let on.  Solas endure.  And to have his arm under my hand… oh, he is warm.

His hair was long enough by now that it nearly touched my hand tucked into his elbow.  My own was braided tight from the afternoon to get it out of my way, just in case.  Very plain but Ky said it suited me.

“Sukala reminded me of this place I wanted to show you… I mentioned it to your and your father once…”

“At dinner.”  I said, remembering.  Kall wore a golden coloured fur coat and scarf, that glowed against the silvery blue light of the snow.  We were a contrast because my furs were silvery, with black tips.

It wasn’t the big waterfall, he led me to, however.  The bonfires along the path were so pretty, but there were a lot of people.  He led me around a clump of the miniature trees, that weren’t even as tall as I was and there, in the most beautiful, tiny grotto, was a fantasy of icicles.  How unlike him, to be so improper and ask to show me something, alone.  I could think of two reasons why he would do that.  My heart was pounding but it could be the height.

“In the summer this is a small waterfall, perhaps a hand-width across.”  In the moonlight the whole cliff face glittered in spikes and spires of clear and blue and white and reddish tinted ice.  Right off the path there was a frozen arch, almost completely clear, that had white starburst shapes frozen inside as though snowflakes had been set in glass.

There was a bench and Kall brushed snow off the stone surface with a mitten and took them off.  Then he took off his coat to lay over the bench so I might sit without getting chilled.

“You shouldn’t, you’ll catch cold yourself,” I said.  I couldn’t pull out my fan in this gloriously icy little palace on the mountainside.  I wouldn’t have anyway because my hands were shaking so badly.  I really wanted to be on the training ground rather than wrapped in all these furs, like a good girl.  I really hope he didn’t bring me out here to tell me we would always be good friends…

“I shall be perfectly fine,” he said.  He was nervous, I could tell.  “Isn’t this beautiful?”  Someone had made largish snowballs and hollowed them out to hold single candles.  The moonlight faded and a sudden flurry of snow gave this place a feeling of having gold-flecked shimmering walls all around us.

He stared down at me, his golden furs frosted white, speckles melting on his hot-blushing cheeks… though he looked at me seriously, a smile blinking across his face, flickering in the snowy candle-light.  I wanted to be daring and reach up to pull him down next to me.

Kall reached out and gently brushed his – bare… finger over my cheek.  “Snow.  Laisa… my friend… my sparring partner…”  I held my breath, my hands clenched trembling in my muff.

He spread his arms and made the most elegant bow and held out his hand… the Imperial Seals shining, but not shining as brightly as the split ring in his palm. “Laisa Si Rusa, will you do me the honour of becoming my wife and the mother of my children?  Will you fill my ring with your marriage lock?”