On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today, write about finding something. Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.
Another scene from Book Two: Traipsing Light and Shadow. This takes place a few days after the scene I wrote about for day four of this writing challenge. I should clarify that Zarrek and Eledrynne met on a large sailing ship, which took them from their respective kingdoms to Kaj’Darem, where the academy is located. Day four’s scene took place on a small rowboat, out on a lake a little more inland. Zarrek has had a hard time figuring out his emotions, especially when it comes to what he thinks of Eledrynne. Still, she is very important to his development.
Zarrek took a seat on one of the ornate garden benches, and the princess joined him. Few others were in the garden that day, so they would not be eavesdropped upon. She held his hand, looking down at his ruby ring for a moment.
“Eledrynne,” he sighed, shaking his head.
“What is troubling your mind?” she implored, laying a hand on his cheek.
He took the hand into his, looking her over mournfully. “When you helped me that day on the lake… did you know that you cared about me like this?”
“I…” she stuttered, suddenly worried. Her face flushed red as her words failed her. “Zar, that day…”
“I am not angry with you, Princess. Please, just tell me.”
“When we met on the ship, I was so intrigued by you. I knew that I wanted to get to know you better. And when I did, I saw that there is a terrible storm raging through your heart.”
“Then why risk getting hurt in that storm?”
“Indeed…” she said, as though admitting fault. “But it was too late. I wanted to learn whether I could soothe your pain.”
“How? You are not a healer. How could you relieve me of my sorrows?”
“Forsooth!” she cried, pouting. “You question everything. Let me tell you, if you will listen, since we are going to the ball together. Your pain is from too many things for me to alleviate them all. I learned that after you revised your vows to Métius and barely came away from it. What I also learned was that I want to see you through these difficult times of yours, whether or not I can stop the pain.”
“Then… you would walk these shadows with me?”
“If you would let me be your light, yes,” she answered, giving him a soft smile.
“El… I do not want to drag you into he Abyss, if that is where Métius intends on dragging me to.”
Eledrynne shook her head. “That will not happen, Zarrek. You have an incredible power inside of you. Do not let fear force you to close your heart.”
When Zarrek did not reply right away, she moved closer to him, and laid a hand on his heart. “Let the past be the past, Zar,” she whispered. “Please… for my sake if not your own? The future will be better, I promise you.”
He could not resist her closeness any longer. “If that is what you really want, princess, then join me. I will protect you from the darkest things as best I can.”
Zarrek laid an arm around her shoulder, letting her move closer still. As she laid her head on his chest, he wrapped the wide fabric of his cloak around her, the way the velvety aether of the night descended upon a bright spring day. His arms held her close, although his heart pounded with nervousness. How he was going to keep her from being hurt, he had no idea. Close to him, she could fall into Métius’s claws, but away from him, he could not protect her from anyone else.
In truth, he wanted to be closer to her, but he needed a way to keep Méylanni and the others from taunting him. Ever since that day on the lake, his scars had not burned and bled, and he had Eledrynne to thank for that. Whenever she was near, even though his heart beat faster, he felt a certain kind of calm. She had seen him on some of his darkest days, and had not fled at the sight of his blood; what other girl would be so brave? The lonely part of him knew the this princess was special, and so he accepted all that she wanted to offer him.