Saturday, January 29, 2011
I rise silently from the bed. Star is sleeping.
I walk naked to the window. At this hour, there's no one to see, and at this tavern, I doubt it would raise much of a fuss, anyway. My mind drifts back over the events of the night - the Fae warrior and her cryptic allusions to elven prophecy… Raina and the Eddas… the new, somehow sinister vampire.
Will a child of mine be the child of promise who will defend two realms against an ancient evil? Odin grant that it be not so; those who fulfill prophecy seldom have an easy or long life, and I would not lose our child to save this realm, far less another. And Star - how could she cope with such a loss? for that matter, how could I?
The bed creaks and Star pads naked to the window, to stand beside me. She doesn't speak, but I can feel her presence.
I turn and meet her eyes. She looks almost solemn, and I take her in my arms, just holding her close. I know what I have to do; I only hope I'm ready for it.
I walk to the bed, take the sword from the bedpost and bring it back to the window. There's a very slight hiss as I draw it from the scabbard. Star's eyes go very wide - and red - the color of fear. What can she be thinking? I go to one knee and take her hand.
"I love you, and I will love you forever." I take a deep breath, let the words come out. "Will you marry me?"
"Me?" Her eyes turn a soft pink, then the tears start. "You want to marry me?"
"You and no other, for always."
Her arms go around my neck. Her voice is hushed, choked with tears, so that I have to strain to hear it - but there's not the slightest trace of a stutter.
I place the sword on the floor in front of my knee and upend the scabbard. The plain gold ring glimmers softly in the pale light of the moon.
"This belonged to my mother. I give it now to you, in token of my love and faithfulness."
I slide the ring onto the third finger of her left hand - the hand of the heart. I sheathe the sword and stand, gather her into my arms.
"Forever, my love."