An excerpt of another time, before troubles and tribulations require a decision. Dal and Ellspeth are in his mother’s ancestral land, in quarters begrudgingly given them by the local postmaster of the House of Cszabo.
★*´✫*★* A Night, and A Tune ★*✫*★*
An ancient lover’s melody drifted from Dal’s vicinity. One chord led into another, then another until a tune formed in Ellspeth’s mind. Splashing from the tub provided the tempo she needed for the chorus. Taking up her flute, she played the composition until it was set in her fingers and her mind.
“I’ll write it down in the morning,” she muttered to herself, her soft voice not disturbing the serenity of the atmosphere.
“That song is very good,” Dal said. “I could see the two lovers asleep in each other’s arms, the mountain sprites dancing around them.” He tossed Ellspeth the pouch containing her writing tools. “What do you plan to do with the music? We should get back to Katheul long enough before the holiday that Timmel can use it for the turn’s end celebration.”
“That’s all right,” she said, playfully lobbing the pouch back at him. “I have both the melody and words firm enough in my mind I can write them down whenever I please. There are a couple of verses I think I’ll change after I’ve slept on them.”
Ellspeth’s brow creased as she broached a subject she wanted to discuss. “I did have a thought earlier.”
She waited until Dal crossed the floor and put his arms around her waist before she answered his question. Even then she delayed, leaning back against his chest. His skin still damp from the bath cooled the heat rising in her own. Taking a deep breath, Ellspeth quietly said, “Karora.”
Although Ellspeth could not see his face, she felt his arms tighten.
“She’ll be a good mate for Fraunces,” he whispered into her ear. “Although there has been no formal declaration, I’m sure she will travel with us. Vanora already agreed to be Karora’s mount. And Greum said he thought Aranin would make an interesting companion.”
The pressure eased as Dal raised an arm and pointed out the window. “Aren’t those stars Iol and Pelra, the lovers who were turned into shipfish? You told me the tale on our first sail together.”
“I remember something else about that sail,” Dal’s voice held a hint of mischief.
Ellspeth closed her eyes at the memory of how she had rejected magic. “I almost lost you.”
Dal’s arms moved to Ellspeth’s shoulders to turn her around to face him. “There was no way I would have let you go. From our first meeting on the dock, magic or no magic, I knew we would spend our lives together. The servants are gone for the evening and Eilidh stayed at Kurrin’s clanhold. We have the house to ourselves tonight.”
Moonlight showed the desire on his face. She became aware of the heat rising on her skin where Dal’s hands lay on her shoulder. He lowered his mouth to hers. Ellspeth’s lips parted to welcome him. His kiss sent her afloat on a wave of emotion.
Long moments later, he pulled back enough for air to pass between them. His hands traced patterns on her skin to Ellspeth’s waist, slipping the gown from her shoulders as they went. Lines of fire followed the path. The feather light touch of his lips as they followed the curve of her neck sent shock after shock racing through her nerves. Before her senses overloaded, Dal’s strong arms picked her up and carried her to the bed.
“That is a nice outfit you bought in Letralia,” he murmured. “Too bad it never stays on long.”
Whatever response she had planned to make was lost as Dal’s lips again pressed against hers.
★*´✫*★* Windmaster Legacy ★*✫*★*