The boy, seventeen summers old at most, sat back in a cushion apprehensively as he watched the girl. She was his minor by only a year. The garden was quiet at this late hour, with the sun setting beyond the western walls of Gilane, and the air was sultry and heavy with the scents of flowers and spices. The girl slowly walked around the marble fountain, the edges carved elaborately, depicting a legend every child of Hammerfell grew up hearing. The boy saw how she stopped at a certain scene, and placed a flat palm on the exquisite stone. A bird sang.
The girl smiled to herself, something the boy did not miss. But she was a daughter of high birth, and he knew the basic rules of the basic life, and the uncomplicated wisdom that came with such a life, whereas she was a dreamer. But above all else, she was a feast to his eyes. He grinned.
“Come over here. Your family won't be out forever. We won't be disturbed now.”
She paid his words no heed and took another step, to the next scene on the marble. He saw her waterfall of black locks falling down to the small of her back, the shimmering, delicate chains around her waist. He could smell her scent, that smokey, yet sweet fragrance. The boy swallowed.
“Frandar fought ninety duels before he was able to use it. He never lost.”
“I know. Come here.”
The girl stood up straight, peering at the western sky. She narrowed her honey-coloured eyes. The boy sighed. Whenever her mind went into this state, it was like he wasn't here. They had known each other for years, but his words were lost in the warm air now. He saw how she turned over and walked towards the wall of the garden, to the weaponrack. He cleared his throat.
“Haven't you played enough with those?”
Again, she did not listen. A slender arm was stretched out, and the girl grasped the hilt of a thin blade. It belonged to her brother, who often practised with it. The boy saw how she held it up in front of those curious, big eyes. A breeze made the sheer layers of red silk around her dance like smoke. Suddenly, she blinked, and looked his way, as if she had not known he had sat there all along. A grin curled her lips.
“Frandar listed thirty-eight grips...” She tossed the thin blade in the air, and caught it again with her right hand.
“... Seven hundred and fifty offensive stances...” She twirled and pointed the blade at him. The boy swallowed again. He wanted to tell her to be careful, but of late he realized she knew what she was doing. It was madness, but she did. Again, she twirled, and the sword slashed the air. Her red veils danced along.
“...Eighteen hundred defensive stances...” The girl froze, holding the blade up in front of her eyes again. “...And nearly nine thousand moves which he considered essential to master the sword.”
She slowly lowered the blade and looked at him. “Doesn't that fascinate you?” The boy saw how she batted her full eyelashes, how the question was genuinely written in her big eyes. He smiled sadly. She wanted to know if she was alone in this, this silent quest she had made her own from the day she could read.
“You fascinate me.”
The girl rolled her eyes and turned around with a chuckle. She walked towards the rack and carefully placed the weapon back, with a tender care she did not even show to a living being. The boy rose from the cushion, aware she would not join him there – this wild flower, daughter of the one who fed him and gave him work to do, this flame of a girl that flickered and danced and was more than he could ever comprehend. A girl forever forbidden to him, which made her more desirable than she already was. His nights were spent awake of late, as all he could do was lay in the hay in the grand stables, staring at the wooden roof and thinking of the slender girl with her honey-coloured eyes. As he approached her from behind, circled his arms around her waist and buried his face into her waterfall of hair, he felt the pang of desperate loss. For despite her affections, her few stolen kisses and the fact she enjoyed his company well enough, he knew in the depth of his heart that the girl did not love him. Not like he loved her. He knew, somehow, that she would never be capable of loving someone like she loved the fire that burned within her. Her devotion was for her hunger, not for another soul. And he also knew she would leave. Very soon, she would leave. He closed his eyes.
“Can I kiss you?”
She turned around in his arms, looking up at him with a sly smile. He did not need a mirror to see he was less than her – scruffy, stubbled and calloused. He knew he was a trout, wanting to swim with a dolphin. But he could not let go.
“Yes, you can.”
He grinned, and leaned down. Suddenly, they both jolted up. They heard yelling, coming from inside the house. A voice, which belonged beyond any doubt to the girl's father.
She slowly opened her eyes. Dusk snorted as his velvet nose brushed over the sand below him. She felt how the saddle, that had served as her bed that night, had left more than one sore spot in her back. Beside her, the Patriarch retracted his hand from her shoulder.
“The sun's coming up. We should go.”
This post was last modified: August 24th 2013 04:40 AM by Triskele