Another Wednesday comes around and a historic day approaches fast. Tomorrow Britain goes to the polls to determine whether we stay within the European Union. I'm terrified to tell the truth, but trying to comfort myself with writing. Today I take a prompt that many people will find even more terrifying but I hope I have presented her in a positive light for she is beautiful in her own way.
“Mmm.” I am warm and comfortable, my body light, as if I float in a sea of cloud that envelops me in downy arms. Everything is right. Perhaps I sleep in my lover’s arms. My lover. Tian. It has been such a little time and my feelings have grown so fast they should, perhaps, frighten me, as so many things have done in the past, but they do not. It feels absolutely right, this bond that formed inside. If I look it is there, a shining core that makes me feel…safe.
I smile. My lover calls. It is time to wake.
The good feeling lasts until I open my eyes, and for a moment longer, when I gaze into Tien’s adored eyes, but then memory floods me and I feel nauseated. What have I done?
I sit up too fast and dizziness has me on my back again. “I’m sorry,” I mumble as the slow burn of embarrassment touches my cheeks.
My father chuckles. “Easy, boy, you’ll have us all think you’re a weakling and I have had my first true confirmation that you are not. I admit that, in the past, I have found it difficult to find something to be truly proud of but I admit when I am wrong and I admit I did not look hard enough. Today you earned the right to your title and your position at my side. Rest now, and make preparations for in three days we will ride into the heart of the demons.”
“It’s called Coedwen,” Tian says quietly. “My country. My home city is Nestra.”
My father inclines his head without response. “Be prepared.”
I’m sure if I had been on my feet he would have slapped my back so hard I’d have fallen. With a grunt, he swings around and leaves the door open when he strides out. Father never closes a door.
“I still think you’re pathetic,” Jandra snorts, but she helps me to my feet and hugs me before she follows Father. I am left feeling stunned and strangely hollow. Should I not be happy? At last I have earned the respect of my family but they no longer matter. I have shown my true weakness in front of Tian. He is the only one who matters now. I cannot see Tian fainting from stress. And I was so angry with him. What a fool. What must he think of me?
Unable to face him I fix my gaze to the wall. A spider has made a home in the intricate carving of the cross and spins a web from arm to arm. The intricate weave shimmers in the candlelight and appears to be spun of pure silver. The web is truly a thing of beauty, and yet there are so many who would call the spider ugly and would flee from it, crushing its tender body beneath their heel and sweeping away way all her hard work with one flick of a duster. A melancholic sympathy stirs in my breast. We all weave our webs and there is always someone looking to tear them down and crush us beneath their heel. I will not let that be me. I not let the be him.
I turn to find Tian regarding me with tender concern, and perhaps a touch of humour.
“I’m sorry. I was a fool. I should not have doubted you. I should not have been so angry.”
“Your feelings were high. I understand.”
And he does. I know he does. That’s what makes him so special, and what makes me feel like a spoiled child next to his calm maturity.
“You seem weary and it is very late. We should return to your chamber.”
A certain glint in his eyes makes my blood pool in my groin and I am dizzy again. The smile that breaks from me is brazen and even as I send a heated gaze in his direction my cheeks begin to burn and my heart flutters at my audacity.
Tian gasps, going very still. I stare in fascination as the tip of his tongue moistens his lips. Unlike me, he appears to have paled, although it is hard to tell with skin so fair. His reaction makes me falter. Is it attraction or merely shock that this child should play at being a man? Will it turn to disgust or condescension?
“Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?” Tian asks as he takes me in his arms. “When you look at me like that I fear I will explode as the poor shell of my body is inadequate to contain such feelings as you inspire in me.”
I shiver when Tian’s fingers ghost over my cheek. “I’m not really beautiful,” I feel obliged to point out. “You only think so because you…you….” I cannot dare speak the words I cannot dare believe them. If I speak I make myself vulnerable to a response.
“Because I what?”
I cannot look at him. The warmth that had envelops me turns to ice and I shiver in his arms. I know I should speak but fear traps my voice. I was not so afraid when I stood before the Counsel.
“Speak my love. Let me hear your acceptance. I know you struggle with belief in yourself, but never struggle with your belief in me. Speak what you know in your heart.”
It’s one of the hardest things I have ever done to force my eyes to meet his, and my voice to break free of fear’s restraints. “Because you love me?” I whisper and a smile lights his face more effectively than the candles light the room.
“Yes, I do love you. I love you with all my heart. But it is not my love that perceives your breath-taking beauty but eyes that have looked upon many men and a brain that can make a fair comparison.”
And with those words I am warm again.
Now go check out some more flashers who will make you feel warm