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29 November 2008 @ 08:11 pm
Prompt #1 Kiss  
Starcrossed lovers. They had grown up together, finding hidden places, sharing secret thoughts. They knew each other, what made them laugh, made them cry. Considered inseparable, if only it had been true. They had been the children of allies but they became the friends torn apart by warring families.

For years they were kept apart. He courted and she, too valuable a commodity, was kept in seclusion to keep from being tainted. Neither ever forgot the other however much their families had attempted to persuade them to do so. Her heart was his as his was hers.

Then after a decade of seemingly endless fighting, his father died. Though his grief caused him great pain, the young man saw at last the fog clear and his path open in front of him.

He flew the white flag of truce from every garrison, calling a meeting between the warring sides. At first, her family were suspicious but at length, they agreed to meet in a tavern considered neutral.

He presented his case; it had not been his war, but his father's and now that he had sadly passed he wanted nothing more to do with it. The man before him pondered his comment unsure about trusting him. But he had an open face that betrayed no falsehood. The lord of the opposition asked what would happen if his people kept fighting. The young lord merely shrugged and told him he would be fighting the forest and the weather for his army were going home that eve. The winter was coming in and he wasn't going to risk his men by making them last out the snow. In a week the passes would be closed and retreat impossible.

The old lord went away for a time to think upon the young lord's words. The offer seemed to have come from an unwillingness to fight but the more he thought about the less likely that became. Reports came flooding in of his men's defeats. There was snow falling on the mountains behind him whereas their enemy was camped on the flatlands where snowfall wouldn't hinder transport of food, clothing and reinforcements for weeks yet. . . The enemy could win and soon, yet they were offering a truce. Why?

It was the question he asked at their next meeting; What was in it for him? The young lord shrugged and simply said;

"Once our families were great allies, I grew up with your children, we were strong and it was a happier time. In memory of that, I offer you this truce in hope we might one day, call each other friend again."

The other lord listened to his words, his face blank, giving away no sign of what he was thinking. At the finish he nodded and stood, his hand extended.

"We are of an accord."

The young lord went to take his hand then faltered. He asked how he could be sure the truce would stick, he reasoned that he did not want to lead his men home only to bring them back again.

The other lord hesitated as though gazing how much of a threat he would be in the spring but must've decided against it as he offered a solution favourable to both; his daughter. A beauty, he assured the young lord, sweet and good. The young lord pretended to ponder this before nodding his head.

The Treaty of Crest Hill was sealed with a handshake.

A week later, just before the snow completely shut off the pass, a procession arrived at the border of the lands. The speed with which it had arrived betrayed how eager her father was for the pact to be sealed which prominent figures noted. But not the young lord. He saw none of those subtleties, for him, the carriage had taken a lifetime to come and now that it was arrived his mind found itself agreeably obsessed with seeing the girl inside.

But decorum prevented him here with the old tradition of the bride and groom not meeting til the wedding which was not set until the spring. At night he tossed and turned. His skin itched with knowledge that she was so near to him and yet he could not hold her. His heart would race when he thought he heard her voice, so musical and filled with good humour. It was like a lullaby to him, one he would happily listen to for eternity.

They travelled together to his castle where they would weather the winter. The castle had been divided for him and her to ensure neither saw the other before the wedding and they were kept under close watch to ensure the rules were stuck to.

But the chaperonage was unnecessary. Both wore too anxious about the wedding going ahead that they dazed to jeopardise it. What wore a few moments together if they had to spend the rest of time apart? Nothing, as they had already learnt.

Too slowly for either, the snows melted and the blossom on the leaves began to grow. The grass poked its sleepy heads out from under their thick snowy blanket. The ice melted and the streams ran with as much vigor as ever and just as the tiny woodland creatures were waking from their slumber, the carriages were prepared, the church bells rang and banquets were made for there was a wedding to celebrate.

His breath was stuttered. Her hands were shaky. His heart was pounding. Her mouth was dry. It was not from fear but anticipation, excitement and a feeling of finally. After ten years, the best friends were to be reunited. When they had been torn apart, they had been too young and naive to know and talk of love. It was many years later that, in hind sight, they discovered what they had always known somewhere; that they loved each other.

They were to be married by the sacred marble fountain of the water goddess of fertility, marriage and childbirth. A beautiful canopy had been crafted for the couple to stand under for the blessing. He paced around it, like a cat prowling. He'd been up since dawn, unable to sleep and too restless to stay in the confines of the castle. He had ridden, giving his horse his head, not paying attention to where he was going. When his horse finally stopped, he looked up and found himself there. It had been hours ago. Hours since he'd memorised the ornate carvings, smelt each individual flower and counted the sacred tokens that littered the fountain bed.

At length, the sun rose to it's zenith and he decided it was time to get back. Greeted at the castle by something allegedly ordered and yet looked to him suspiciously like chaos. He was ushered straight into his chambers where valets were waiting to dress him. He sighed and resigned himself to all the pomp that status and circumstance dictated he must endure.

Just as the morning had dragged, the afternoon blurred past. Before he knew it, he was being taken to his saddled, groomed and decorated house.

The fountain shone with the reflections of the hundred and one candles floating on the surface. As he stared at the flickering lights, his heart swelled, he had known happiness before, but all previous smiles dimmed in comparison to the elation he felt knowing that soon, he would be reunited with his love.

The music started, the guests parted and from their midst emerged the most beautiful vision he'd ever seen. It was a picture he would cherish to his death:

Pure white silk covered her body perfectly, her long hair, colours of spun gold, cascades and ripples down her back. She was an angel. An angel with the impish eyes, gleaming smile and laugh like wind chimes that he remembered.

The priest could've been reciting the tale of the Golden Ass for all that he took in the service, his eyes glued to those of his best friend. Memorising her all over again.

They repeated their words by rote not trusting themselves to say anything else. Her hand was tiny in his as they slipped rings of promise onto one another's fingers. Tears of joy filled her eyes and his heart stuttered.

Finally the priest announced what had been true since she had pushed him into the river that time he mocked her dress, so long ago; they belonged to one another.

With a sense of destiny fulfilled, their lips moved together. It was everything that was romance, passion and love in one simple sweet kiss. It was everything that was perfection.
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