Detlev made conversation with Alheid as she hemmed his ripped up Kimono. He had ripped it in multiple places just to have a reason to come to her home. Alheid mended peoples clothes and created some of her own to sell for her living. He bought a majority of what he wore from her and was always having “accidents’ so he could spend time with her. He loved their talks and didn’t quite know how to ask her out on a date though he deeply wanted one. Alheaid had long since suspected he was ripping his clothing on purpose. She had never met a grown man who truly had this many accidents. Today she finally decided to say somthing “So, do you think me a fool or a woman of good humor?”
“What do you mean? You are far from a fool”
“I know you rip your clothing yourself so that you’ll have a reason to come to me.” he blushed which was obvious on his pale skin. She giggled in her adorable way then said “You spend a great deal of money ripping your clothes all the time to just speak with me so i take it you are probably interested in more than friendship. Why haven’t you asked me on a date?” His heart thundered. “You are a gorgeous and very wonderful woman to be around. I guess it is lack of confidence.”
“so my suspicions are true then?’
“Yes, i wont insult you by lieing… I like being with you. Would you consider going on a date with me or have i made too big a fool of myself?” She smiled “i’ve suspected you a long time now. If i didn’t enjoy your company too would I have humored you? I’d love to go on a date but I’m going out of town to see my sister and her new fiance. They just got engaged and I’ve never met the man. Would you like to come with me?”
“Yes, it can be a really long date” She smiled “Then be ready by lunch time tomorrow. I’ve hired a driver and carriage to take me along. I’ll have her stop and pick you up”
‘I look forward to it.”
She finished mending his kimono and handed it to him. When he tried to pay she shook her head. “Our date will be sufficient payment.”
“Are you sure?”
“Of course and remember be ready by lunch.”
“I will and thank you.” He left her in a state of pure bliss, never having imagined she would want to spend any time with him that didn’t involve her fixing his clothes. When he made it home he put his kimono away and started a fire in the pit that sat in the middle of his house then filled his teapot with water and hung it over the flames. He flopped back onto the floor, just staring up at the ceiling with a big smile on his face.
Alheid put her needle and thread back in her crafting box then got to her feet and went into the kitchen to start dinner. A part of her had wished she had invited Detlev to stay and eat with her. She enjoyed his company, the way he spoke to her and looked at her, and even more so the way he listened. It was like he hung on her every word, never interrupting, never tiring of her voice. It was something she looked forward to when he came to her, his sweetness and gentleness. She had never known anyone like him and knew she never would.
Detlev didn’t leave his position on his stone floor until his tea kettle was whistling for his attention. He sat up with that same buoyant smile on his enlivened face. Tonight he didn’t crave a meal, his whole body was far to jubilant for his stomach to know hunger when it came for him so he slowly enjoyed his tea and then went about packing his bag for his journey with the winsome Alheid. He wished he knew how much to pack but she hadn’t specified how long the trip was meant to be. He decided four sets of clothes was plenty and he would clean them as needed.
Alheid already knew he was a man who cared about his appearance but he didn’t want her to find him overly fussy and a big bag would definitely tell her he was overly needy in the grooming department. When he was satisfied with his bags contents he closed it and set it by the door so he could leave promptly when picked up by Alheids driver.
With all ready he went to his bedroom, changed into sleep clothing and slid into bed for the night. The next morning he jerked awake and checked the time. It was only seven am which gave him far more time than he wanted before Alheid and her driver came by to collect him. He sighed and decided to ready himself for the day. As he dressed in day attire his stomach gave a painful turn as if yelling at him for not eating the night before. He smirked at his boy like excitement the previous evening then finished dressing so he could prepare breakfast.
Alheid made sure she had everything she needed before flopping down on her couch and relaxing. She still had half an hour before the carriage arrived then they would have to turn around and go get Detlev before leaving to her sister’s. She grabbed a book and read to herself, only realizing it was time to go when the driver knocked on her door. She grabbed her bag and pulled the door open, handing it to the driver so she could secure it to the carriage. “We have to pick someone else up before we go.”
Alheid climbed into the carriage and the driver climbed up front, flicking the reins to get the horses moving. Detlev sat on his front porch, bouncing his leg as he waited for Alheid. He was impatient for her arrival, excited to be with her. When the carriage pulled up he jumped to his feet and had his bag secured to the carriage before the driver could even climb down from her seat. He puled the door open and felt his heart skip a beat at Alheid’s beautiful, smiling face. “Someone’s happy.”
“Well yeah, I finally get to spend time with you without deceiving you.”
“It wasn’t that bad of a lie.”
“But a lie none the less. I’ll never lie to you again, unless it’s for your protection of course.”
She smiled and patted the seat next to her. “Come on.”
Detlev climbed in with a smile and sat next to Alheid. With the door shut the horses were soon in motion “so, you never told me how long we’ll be gone” Detlev said as he looked into Alheids emerald green eyes. “Oh, I’m sorry. It should take us no more than two days to arrive at her house. It varies on the driver and her horses. I’ve never used this one before because she’s new to this. I actually hired her because she’s new. Drivers have a hard time starting out so I like to help the newer ones by hiring them and telling my friends if they were good.”
“That’s brave of you. A bad driver can get you lost or worse into horrible danger. I’m glad you invited me”
“Well how’re they supposed to learn when nobody likes to give them a chance. I’ve only ended up in real trouble once due to a driver”
“He took a few wrong turns and we ended up very lost. I was going to see one of my uncles and he about died of worry waiting on me to get there.”
“I must not have known you then. I would have been worried too” Alheid gave a shy smile “yeah, I met you about a week after finally getting home.”
“How’d you find your way?”
“A very wonderful woman named Humble helped us. I haven’t seen her since though. She apparently lives in a different world”
“what species was she?”
“Demon” Detlevs voice took on a nervous tone as he asked “since this is a date, may I hold your hand as we talk?” Alheid took his hand in hers “of course, it’s sweet how shy you are with me and believe it or not I found it sweet you ripped up your clothing just to have a reason to talk to me. Not only that but my conversation was worth so much to you that you were actually paying me for it.” Detlev blushed “I have never been a nervous man but meeting you showed I do have it in me to be nervous. That first time we talked was amazing and I found myself needing to be around you. I should have just said so”
“You should have. I look forward to when you come looking for me to mend your clothes or to buy somthing from me so we can talk. Do you really like the clothes I create?”
“Oh yes, that wasn’t a lie.”
“Now that you aren’t using those things to come and see me I will start making you new clothing for free”
“Oh no, you deserve payment”
“Your presence is payment enough Detlev”
“Then I will make sure to fill your house with it even more until you get tired of seeing me.”
She let out a soft laugh. “You should know by now how impossible that would be.”
They sat there in silence for a few moments, just enjoying each others company. It was easy to slip in and out of conversation with Detlev and they were able to express just as much with silence as with their actual words. “So, what is your sister like exactly?”
“She’s sweet and funny, terrified of snakes. When she was little she fell in a pit full of them. None of them were venomous, but it scarred her for life.”
“That’s too bad.”
“Yeah and no matter what I did, she couldn’t get over it. She would scream like she was being murdered every time I brought a snake close to her.”
“I’m sure, in time, she will see that they’re not so bad and are essential to keeping vermin at bay.”
Alheid smiled and rested her head on his shoulder, making his heart beat quickly in his chest. “You know, I really like your smell. I don’t know what it is, but it’s very soothing.” She said and he blushed.
“I’ve never noticed my smell before.”
“Well whatever it is, I like it. I smell it every time I mend your clothes.”
“Thank you, it’s better than you telling me I stink. I guess it could just be my soap.”
‘well then don’t change your soap” Detlev smiled “wouldn’t think of it” Detlev slowly laid his head on hers and soon they found themselves lost in a morning nap they were so comfortable. They stayed resting until they felt the carriage stop. The driver called to them “I’m letting the horses rest and drink. If you two want to get out and stretch or something go ahead. I’ll tell you when they are ready and you two can tell me when you are ready”
“what time is it?”
“why don’t we eat then? I brought some fruit and nuts”
“outside or in here?”
“outside” They stepped out of the carriage and Alheid removed a basket then they walked over to the grass to eat together. “Martha, what did you bring to eat?”
“I’m ashamed to say so mam but I was so nervous about today I forgot to bring the sandwiches I made. I’ll be fine though. I’ll find somthing around here before we take off.”
“Nonsense, when you’re done with the horses eat with us”
“thank you” Maratha gave the horses each a carrot then left them alone so they could graze on grass and drink from the small pond. Alheid gave her a paper plate “take what you want. As you said, there will be opportunities for food along the way”
“I’m so ashamed mam.”
“don’t be, when I first started making and mending clothing for my living I made mistakes all the time, most caused by stressing myself and over worrying”
“Thank you, I’ll try to stay confident.”
They ate and chatted happily, Detlev enjoying the sweet sound of Alheid’s voice. Once they were finished eating they made sure they had everything picked up before the driver took her place on the bench up front and Alheid and Detlev climbed inside. “It was nice of you to make her feel better.” Detlev said as he laced his fingers through hers.
“She’s already doing a good job, she just needs keep her chin up.”
“You’re such an amazing woman.” She smiled and kissed his cheek, making him freeze and his cheeks turn a light shade of pink. He looked at her and found that she was also blushing. “What was that for?”
“Because I wanted to do it.”
He smiled and pulled her into a hug. “Then may I kiss you too?”
“Sure, I don’t see why not.” He pressed a soft kiss against her lips, keeping it brief but sweet. He brushed his knuckles lovingly over her cheek, enjoying how warm her face was.
“what a sweet kiss” Alheid said in a honey soaked tone. “I don’t think I could kiss you in any other way” Detlev answered, wanting to kiss her again but not wanting to go too fast. He did however put his arm around her to keep Alheid close to him. He had been craving this contact for so long and wanted to enjoy as much as she would allow him. The day went by without any trouble. It wasn’t surprising though since patrols were sent along this road frequently to keep monsters and demons from coming anywhere near travelers. Most knew better than to try attacking along this road.
A small hint of disappointment hit Detlev when Alheid had separate tents for them. “if you two want to ready camp I can go find us somthing to eat” Martha offered. “sounds great” Alheid answered then got to work with Detlev to set up the three small tents. They were just finishing the last one when Martha came back with fish. As Detlev began to prepare them Alheid asked Martha “so what got you wanting to be a driver?”
“I love seeing the world so its a perfect job for me. Why do you make and mend clothes?”
“I’m good at it. I made what Detlev is currently wearing”
“wow, you are then” Detlev smiled “you should go by her home and see what she has for women”
“I may when I have some extra money. It’s been tough getting started”
“You’ll get there, just keep working hard.”
“Dinner’s ready.” Detlev said and put them each a fish on a plate. When dinner was over Detlev cleaned up while the girls got ready for bed. He put extra wood on the fire to ensure it burned bright enough to keep predators at bay then went into his own tent and pulled his kimono off then tugged on a pair of night pants. He stretched and went outside, not quite tired yet. He sat down in front of the fire and stared into the dancing flames.
“What are you doing out here all alone?” Alheid asked, startling him. She sat down next to him, the gentle breeze tugging at her hair.
“Just enjoying the night. It feels nice out.”
“It was a warm day today.”
Detlev inhaled the air. “It’s going to rain tomorrow though, I can smell it.”
“It’s subtle, but the smell is there all the same. Rain is definitely coming this way.”
Alheid laughed. “I think you’re making that up.”
“Alright, lets make a bet. If I’m wrong and it doesn’t rain tomorrow, I’ll give you whatever you want, no questions asked. If I’m right and it does rain, I get to sleep with you, just cuddling, nothing weird. Deal?”
Alheid thought about it for a moment. “Fine, deal and you can’t back out.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.”
They talked a little longer then both returned to their tents for rest. Detlev was ardent about tomorrow night since he knew full well he was right about the rain and he’d get the opportunity to hold Alheid. He hoped without his soaps from home he would still smell pleasing to her. Furthermore he hoped they would fit together easily so it wouldn’t be awkward trying to settle into a cuddling position. These thoughts played in his mind until he was sound asleep. The world around them was quiet that night, save for the occasional passing animal just going about its business.
The mornings song birds roused them all from slumber the next morning. They ate more of the fruit and nuts Alheid brought then broke down camp before getting the horses ready for travel. When all was ready for them to take off Alheid and Detlev situated themselves in the carriage while Martha sat in her drivers seat.
Detlev took in the air as a sigh, a smile tugging at his lips since he knew it would rain very soon. “don’t smile like that. It hasn’t rained yet” Alheid said with a smile of her own. “Oh but it will and I’m very much looking forward to cuddling with you” They were only a few hours on their way when rain started to fall. Detlev smirked uncontrollably and looked at Alheid with a glimmer in his eyes. Alheid laughed “well i didn’t really lose. Cuddling with you will be a nice way to rest”
He chuckled. “Well if I knew you were going to accept defeat so easily, I would have asked for more.” He pulled her closer and kissed her temple. “I can live with cuddling though, being close to you is all that matters.”
Alheid blushed and he kissed her cheek. She could feel his smile and tipped her head up, pressing her lips against his. When she pulled back he was just staring at her wide eyed. “That’s what you get.”
He tangled his fingers in her hair and kissed her again, his tongue slipping into her mouth. He moaned and she gripped his shirt, her whole body growing hot. His lips drifted over her chin and down her neck and she pushed at him. “Wait, stop.” She whispered.
“I’m sorry.” He said softly back and pressed his forehead against hers.
“No, it’s okay. I just don’t want to end up having sex in the carriage and to be fair this is our first date.”
“I know, I’ll be good from now on. Forgive me?”
She gave him another small kiss. “There is nothing to forgive.”
He smiled “I can keep my arm around you as I did yesterday right?”
“I’d be sad if you didn’t” Detlev was still embarrassed over what just happened. He’d be a liar to say he had never thought of being with Alheid in a sexual way. He had been talking to her for months and growing more in love with her every time they spoke. How he would enjoy traveling her body and making her feel the passion of his love. It could wait though. Being with her now and having the opportunity to cuddle tonight was much better than having sex.
It was shortly after their break for lunch when the carriage began to stop. They heard Martha ask “what’re you doing out on this road alone in the rain?”
“I was exploring and got lost.”
“where do you live?” Martha asked and the young girl said “Silinta” Alheid got out “do you want to ride with us the rest of the way? You are only about ten minuets from your mommy. We’re driving right through there”
“thank you” The little girl climbed in the carriage with Alheid. The girls eyes were pulled to Detlevs ears right away “Oh, you’re an elf”
“Yes” she looked cold so Alheid grabbed the small blanket from under the bench. She handed it to the little girl who wrapped up quickly. They made small talk with her until they were in town and had dropped the girl off. Witht he door shut Detlev said “you should wrap up now.”
“I was barely in the rain a moment Detlev. I’m alright”
“Please, for me.” She sighed with a smile and allowed him to wrap the blanket around her and pull her into his arms. “There, now you won’t get cold.” She just relaxed against him, her face pressed into his shirt. “So how long until we get there?”
“We’ll probably arrive just as the sun is going down.”
“Why don’t you take a nap then?”
She giggled. “Any excuse to keep me close.”
“I love having you close so just sleep and let me hold you.”
She gave a happy sigh. “Okay, if you insist.”
Detlev turned sideways in the seat and Alheid brought her legs up and laid between his legs, he head resting on his chest. She relaxed completely into him and before she knew it she was asleep. Detlev’s heart melted at the sight of her sleeping face. He brushed his fingers gently through her hair and kissed the top of her head. “My dearest Alheid, I am so madly in love with you. I’ve never been so in love with someone in my life. I plan on keeping you forever if you’ll let me.”
Alheid woke about two hours late with Detlev staring at her lovingly. It was a look that made her heart flutter and body tingle. “how do you get such a sweet look on your face? You’ve looked at me just like this before”
‘I’m just looking at you with adoration. You are so beautiful Alheid, a genuine treasure in every way”
“How long was I resting?”
“I’d guess around two hours. We can stay like this can’t we?” Alheids smile widened “this is comfortable and I have absolutely zero want to move away from this position” Detlevs face somehow became even more adoring as he ran his fingers across her cheek. Alheid captured his hand and held it against her face. “thank you so much for letting me come”
“I would have missed you coming on this trip alone. You are with me so often at home”
“and now you wont be able to make me leave” he answered and she giggled softly “I wouldn’t ask you to” His heart seemed to melt again, making him need to kiss her. When their lips met it felt like a jolt went through them. It was an exhilarating, wonderful feeling. When they arrived at Alheids sisters that night her fiance came out to help with bags. Luckily the rain had stopped so they didn’t have to tote things in with rain toppling down.
Martha told them she would be staying in the closest inn and took the carriage away. “It’s so good to see you again sister.” Ashley said as she hugged Alheid.
“It’s good to see you too and this must be the fiance.”
“Crispin ma’am and it’s nice to finally meet you. Ashley talks about you all the time.” They shook hands and then Ashley and Crispin turned to Detlev.
“Who is this?” Ashley asked.
“Oh this is Detlev, he’s my date.” Alheid answered and Detlev shook Crispin’s hand while Ashley insisted on a hug.
“Where did you meet him?”
“He comes to my home to have his clothes mended. We’ve been talking for awhile and become pretty close actually.”
“Like close or you know close close.” Ashley winked.
“Not quite that close, but close enough and be good. So, did you make us anything to eat?”
“Ah yes, chicken salad. I hope that’s okay. We figured you’d want something easy to eat.” Crispin answered. “Then you can get some rest, I’m sure you’re both exhausted after such a long ride.”
“Oh yes, and before you go with your jokes later I want to go ahead and let you two know Detlev and I will be sharing a room tonight. Not anything you think, just cuddling” Ashley gave a smile that was holding back a laugh and teasing which made Alheid smile and shake her head. They talked about Ashley and Crispins wedding as they ate until Ashley asked Detlev “Elves get married differently dont they?”
“Yes and once you’re married you can feel everything your husband or wife feel. There’s no secrets between you”
“wow, that would suck at times”
“there’s really no reason to hide anything from your loved ones anyway.”
“True” Wanting to throw it out there since Alheid was listening he said “and if we marry a human they become immortal like us”
“I haven’t seen many elves with someone other than their own race. Does it happen often?’
“More often than you probably think. It’s not somthing that goes on a lot but it happens. The prince of my homeland was a human before he married princess Aideen. Also, one of the knights is engaged to a wonderful human girl named Zelda”
“What’s your world like?”
“Gorgeous, vibrant and alive. We live more with our nature than a lot of other worlds so the air is cleaner and everything looks much more beautiful because of it. It’s also a bit friendlier where I’m from. It’s rare to meet a person there you can’t trust.
“Why would you ever leave then?”
“To see other places. I moved quite a bit before I met Alheid. I’ve only lived in her village so long because of her” Alheaid gave a small smile “really?”
“Yes, there’s be no reason to stay there without you. There is also no reason to leave with you there. I want to always be with you” Detlev answered as he looked into Alheids eyes. She blushed and he hoped she had any inkling of what he was saying to her. “would you look at the time. We all need to go to bed” Ashley said with a fake yawn, wanting to give them alone time. “goodnight, I love you”
“Love you too. I’m so glad you came to meet my soon to be husband”
“I should have been here sooner”
“Don’t worry about it. You are here and meeting him now and that’s all that matters” Crispin and Ashley walked into their bedroom leaving Detlev and Alheid at the table. “are you tired aswell?” Alheid asked, suddenly feeling a bit shy. “yes, where do we sleep?” Alheid stood then guided Detlev to the guest bedroom she always slept in. She rummaged in her bag for sleep clothes then went into the bathroom to change. When she came out Detlev went in and was soon ready for bed himself. When Detlev came back out he slipped under the covers and pulled Alheid into him so that her head was resting on his chest.
Alheid had been thinking of nothing but his words at the table so had to ask “did you really mean you want me around you for all of my human days?” Detlev sat up so they could be looking at eachother.
“No, I want you around forever. I haven’t said so until now but I love you Alheid. It would take so many words to really tell you how you make me feel but know this. Once you asked me what the most beautiful thing in the world was and the answer is you, both in and out. You had me falling all over myself since the first day I came to you with clothes that needed repairing. I’ve never talked to anybody like I talk to you. Our conversations were never long enough for me. I was always willing your hands to work just a bit slower so that i might get more time with you. Over the months I’ve awaken in the morning thinking of you and laid down at night dreaming of you Alheid. My love for you feels so mighty at times I fear every now and then my heart wont be able to handle it. I want to do more than just go on dates with you Alheid. I want you to be mine always. I want to know that I’ll have you near me for all of eternity.”
Alheid swallowed the lump in her throat then gave Detlev a slow, passion filled kiss. “I’ve fallen in love with you too Detlev”
“Would you let me marry you in the way of my people so that I’ll never lose you.” He asked as he ran the backs of his fingers across her cheek. Alheid nodded and a happy tear ran down Detlevs cheek. He pulled her into a hug “some first date” she said with a smile in her tone. “well, in a way I’ve been dating you a long time. All of our days together have meant the world to me”
“we need to put a pin in it until after my sister marries.”
“I’ll wait as long as you want Alheid.”
She smiled and snuggled as close as she could, brushing a quick kiss against his chest before letting herself fall asleep. Detlev laid there for what seemed like the longest time just enjoying the warmth of her body pressed against his. He ran his fingers up and down her arm and stroked them over her temple, loving the feel of her skin. He held her a little tighter and allowed his eyes to drift closed. The next morning they were woke by Ashley knocking on their door. Alheid blushed at Detlev’s smile and the look of complete adoration shining in his eyes. She could live for that look. “What?” He said as he ran his fingers through her already messy hair.
“Just the way you look at me, I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of it.”
“I promise to always look at you like this my love. I really love you.”
“I love you too.” He kissed her then they got out of bed and took turns in the bathroom changing and doing their hair. Alheid laced her fingers through his as they made their way downstairs and blushed when her sister grinned at her. “Oh shush and be happy for me.”
“I am, I didn’t think you’d ever choose someone.” Ashley replied.
“Well I couldn’t just go dating anyone, it had to be the right someone and I found him or well he found me.”
“Help me make breakfast, the guys can spend some time getting to know each other.”
Detlev and Crispin went into the living room, leaving Ashley and Alheid to cook. “He’s really handsome” Ashley said as she pulled eggs out. “More importantly he is sweet and smart” Alheid responded then asked “so what’s been going on around here lately?”
“Oh nothing but drama”
“Yeah, This fifteen year old girl named Becca is pregnant and not telling who the father is which is only making her parents more livid”
“Yikes, fifteen and pregnant. Must be scary for her”
“Of course you’d be concerned with that as am I but you know how everyone else is acting. I mean yeah, a fifteen year old girl has no business fooling with men but at the same time those men have no business fooling with her either. She’s not terrible she just made a terrible choice. Poor thing, they are making a hard situation harder”
“Why do you guess she wont tell who the father is?” Ashley shrugged. “I tried reaching out to her but she’s not much interested in talking to anybody about it”
“her parents haven’t kicked her out have they? She’s got a place to stay?”
“No they’re keeping her but making her life miserable. They act as if they can punish her into not being pregnant”
“Do you think she wants to leave her house?”
“Why are you asking?”
“Maybe her parents will let her come home with me and let me take care of her. She needs love and understanding, not to be treated poorly.”
‘Can you afford her and the baby she’ll have?”
“I’m making very good money now. My clothes had gotten popular. I’d like to see her and her parents. If its the Becca I’m thinking of I doubt her parents would care. They never seemed to love her. Isn’t that the same Becca who disappeared for almost a week and her parents didn’t notice until that traveler brought her home a few years back. She couldn’t have been older than eleven at the time”
“same one, I tell you all that girl was probably looking for was someone to love her when she became pregnant. Before you go home if youre serious we can go over and see if they’ll let you take her home with you”
“you know I am. No child should have to raise a child alone and she will if I dont bring her home with me”
“I thought about bringing her here myself but within the same village she would still face all the scorn and Crispin wasn’t having it. He’s barely more understanding about it than the other villagers which of course was a fight but we decided to agree to disagree”
“You don’t think he could be the father do you?”
“No, but maybe he knows who it is and doesn’t want to say.”
“Maybe I or Detlev could get him to talk.”
“So are you excited about getting married?” Detlev asked.
“Yeah and a little scared I guess. It’s such a big step and sometimes it makes my heart want to explode. I was told that’s normal and that it’ll pass.”
“Are you two going to have kids?”
Crispin nodded. “Yeah, well I hope so. I’ve always wanted to be a father and I know Ashley will be an amazing mother, she so caring and attentive.” He smiled at the thought. “So uh what about you and Alheid, is there a wedding in your future?”
Detlev leaned closer. “Don’t tell Ashley, since we don’t want to take away from your wedding, but I’ve asked Alheid to marry me in the way of my people and she said yes, but she wants to wait until after you two are married.”
“That’s fantastic news, congratulations.”
“Thank you. So, what is this town like anyway? I’ve never been here myself.”
“Small, cozy, everyone knowing everyone can be a bit of a problem. Some people just get nosy, a lot of drama going on right now which sucks, but what can you do.”
“Anything that will effect your wedding?”
“Not really, there’s just this girl, fifteen years old and pregnant. Here it’s frowned upon to be underage, unwed, and pregnant. Ashley wanted her to live with us, but I said no, I didn’t want to cause her any trouble.”
“Why would it matter, you’d be doing a good deed.” Crispin opened his mouth to reply, thought better of it and closed his mouth again. He shook his head and frowned and Detlev could tell he was worried about something. “Forget I asked Crispin, lets move on to lighter things. You shouldn’t be stressing so much.”
“i guess, I am excited to be marrying Ashley. She’s an amazing woman. I just want our wedding day to be happy”
“doesn’t matter if the town is happy or not, just that you two are getting married and will be happy”
“so, what do you and Alheid normally do together?”
“It’s a little embarrassing but I would rip up my clothing to have an excuse to talk with her. I was too afraid to tell her how I felt atall. Finally she called me on what I was doing. I wasn’t fooling her atall” Crispin smiled “well it was an easy lie to catch. I don’t want to offend you but only men who do hard labor frequently ruin their clothes and judging by your light skin and smooth looking hands you don’t do hard labor.”
“That wasn’t offensive. I am fluent in many languages. I teach them to people who want to learn. Aside from that I polish a dragons treasure. Of course not all at once. I rotate doing different piles once every two weeks. He pays me greatly for it.”
“Dragons are more trusting of elves than humans. They don’t assume we’re going to hurt them or steal.”
“I think humans kind of earned that reputation with them” Crispin answered then asked “why doesnt he polish his own treasure?”
“Much too busy. He’s rarely home but still wants it tended to”
“How does he pay you when hes not home?”
“As I said, he trusts me not to steal. I’ve never taken more than the payment arranged and I never will”
“have you taken Alheid with you or do you always go alone?”
“Alone, I was always too shy to ask her to go anywhere with me and I don’t have permission to bring her. I couldn’t disrespect him in that way”
“Would he eat you?”
Detlev laughed. “No, I don’t think so, but he might bare his teeth at me and that is terrifying enough.”
They chatted a little longer then Alheid called them into the dining room. They all sat down together and had a nice big breakfast that filled them up quickly. “So Detlev, would you like a tour of our village?” Ashley asked as they cleaned up.
“I’d love one, maybe you can show us where you’re planning on getting married.”
Ashley’s eyes lit up and they quickly finished the dishes. They left the house, each couple walking hand in hand and Detlev only partially paying attention to what Ashley was saying about the many buildings. He was focused on Alheid and she blushed when she noticed, making him smile and bend down to kiss her cheek. “Your face looks so beautiful when it’s red.” He whispered in her ear, his warm breath causing goosebumps to cover her entire body.
“You better stop that.” She whispered.
He arched an eyebrow. “Stop what?”
“Trying to seduce me with that voice and your good looks, bad elf.”
He smiled as he raised his hand and brushed his fingers over her cheek and down to her neck. “I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone as soft as you.”
“Hey if you two are going to flirt instead of listen then go back to the house and get it out of your system.” Ashley said and both of them blushed and laughed at the fact they had been heard.
“Sorry Ashley, I’m being a rude guest. Please continue.” Detlev said with a warm smile.
“it’s fine, I’m happy to see my sister happy with someone” She continued the tour until they were just about to pass Beccas home. They could hear her parents screaming at eachother even though they were across the way from the house. “maybe I should go over now” Alheid said in a worried tone. “go?’ Detlev asked. “yes, i want to take her home with me if I can. Everyone around here is being cruel to her and she needs help. She’s only fifteen and going to be a single mother. Love and understanding is what she should be getting. She made a bad choice but she can’t change it now” Crispin just ducked his head with a frown. Detlev was worried about her going in there with such angry sounding people so said “can we wait until they aren’t screaming?”
“they rarely aren’t fighting like that” Ashley interjected then took her sisters hand “I’ll go with Alheid and you boys wait right here.” Detlev nodded and stood by Crispin. As the girls approached the house Detlev said “I can tell you know who the father is by your reaction just now. Please tell me it isn’t you”
“I’d never cheat on Ashley. I know who it is and she knows because she’s only slept with one man but he will call us both liars if either tells and then she’ll be labeled a liar along with a whore. Its not even her fault. My brother seduced her, she was vulnerable and he took advantage of her. Now he wont step up to the plate. Becca doesn’t want me to tell. She says if he doesnt want to be the father thats fine” Detlev felt anger “I’m sorry but what a low life”
“I’ve never been ashamed of my brother until now”
“You are a grown man, how old is he?”
“too old to be sleeping with a fifteen year old if thats why you’re asking” The men were starting to get concerned about the girls when suddenly Ashley and Alheid came out. “well?” Detlev asked. “she’s coming home with me. I’m going to teach her my trade. For now she is staying in her home. We’re to pick her up before we leave. I’m really excited about this Detlev. I hope you wont mind her in ou..my house” Ashley looked questioningly “what was that?’
“Don’t hm me”
“I’ve never lied to you and I wont start now that I’ve put my foot in my mouth. Detlev has asked me to marry him and I said yes. We just wanted to wait to tell you so I wouldn’t take away from your excitement” Ashley squealed and hugged her sister, swaying from side to side ‘thats amazing! You’re so crazy! I’m excited and I dont feel you’re stealing my thunder. Where are you getting married?”
“we havent discussed details yet”
“I’m so excited for you, I can’t wait we have to start planning now. Lets have a double wedding, it’ll be so much fun.”
“If you really want to.”
“Of course I do, is that okay with you guys?”
“Anything you want baby.” Crispin said with a smile.
“I agree, if it’ll make you happy then we’ll have a double wedding.” Ashley gave another squeal of delight and hugged her sister tighter.
“Ashley, you’re suffocating me sweetie.”
“Sorry, I’m just so excited. Maybe you could make our dresses. Please?”
“Alright, but you have to take care the flowers and food because making dresses takes time.”
“It’s a deal.”
They turned around and went back to the bakery where they purchased some banana muffins then went to the river that ran along the East side of the village. “This is a very beautiful place.”
“Alheid and I used to play here as children. I actually fell in once and she pulled me out. It was the most terrifying five minutes of my life.” Ashley said as they ate.
“How old were you?”
“She was eight and lost her footing after I told her that the river bank can be loose and slippery sometimes.” Alheid answered. “I thought my heart was going to explode when I heard her screaming. I ran all the way here and there she was clinging to a rock screaming my name over and over again.”
“I knew you’d save me, though, i was still scared” Alheid smiled “so what color dresses would you like?’
“Hmm, what do you think?”
“Our mother always wanted to see us in white dresses”
“Then we should do that. I’m sure mom will be watching us somhow” Detlev frowned at the memory of Alheid explaining how their mother died and how their father soon followed. He had no medical issues but her death caused him to die of a broken heart. “Mom loved yellow flowers, we should wear them in our hair” Ashley suggested and Alheid nodded before asking “when should we have the wedding?”
“how long will it take you to make the dresses?”
“depends on business. We can decide once they are done since I’ll have to do them secondary to work”
“why don’t you take time off?” Detlev asked. “I’m doing great with business but not well enough to take that much time off.”
“You’re letting me be your husband, let me support you while you make the dresses so it doesn’t take so long” Alheid smiled “are you sure? You’ll be supporting Becca too”
“Yes, please” Alheid returned her attention to Ashley “I want them to be perfect so give me two months so I have plenty of time for any accidents”
“then we’ll wed in two months?”
“yep, I’ll make the dresses then Detlev, Becca and I will return here and hopefully you’ll have the rest pulled together”
“Oh I will, I’m so glad you’re making our dresses. Thank you Detlev for helping her out so she can concentrate on them”
“she will be my wife soon. My money is her money” They sat happily talking until the sun began to fall. Tonight as the previous night Detlev and Crispin went into the living room while the girls were busy cooking. “so I haven’t asked, what do you do?”
“Any projects I’m the one they call. If a house, bridge, barn or anything of that nature needs building I’m normally the first one thats called. Ashley is the village babysitter”
“That sounds exciting, makes me feel lazy in comparison.”
“Not at all, I wouldn’t polish treasure for a dragon so your job is a lot tougher than mine.”
“At least you get out and do things. I should start doing some real labor. I feel like such a wuss.”
Crispin laughed. “Well then you’ll have to help me with some repairs one of these days.”
Alheid hummed as she and Ashley cooked, making a dish their mother used to make. It was a lentil soup with pieces of sausage in it and it always left you feeling happy. “I’m so glad Crispin and Detlev get along, I would hate for our future husbands to hate each other.” Ashley said.
“I don’t think Detlev knows how to hate people. He’s the sweetest man I know and he seems to have a heart of gold.”
“That’s good, so what does he do?”
“Cleans a dragon’s treasure.”
“No way, really?”
“Yeah, he and the dragon are friends I guess.”
Ashley giggled. “Leave it to the man you fall in love with to hang out with a terrifying beast.”
Alheid laughed “yeah”
“are you ever scared the dragon will kill him?”
“He says his dragon friend is nice. I trust Detlevs judgement” The next morning Crispins brother Alex came by for breakfast which was extremely uncomfortable for Detlev and Crispin. Detlev was pissed off while Crispin felt both anger and shame at what his brother had done. The girls could see plainly somthing was up and Ashley needed to know “what’s going on and don’t any of you dare say nothing”
“It is nothing Ashley” Alex insisted. “It’s not, Detlev and Crispin were happy until you came over. What did you do?”
“God, I’m going home” Alheid got up and stood in front of him “don’t you leave, what did you do?”
“Move Alheid” Detlev had already hated his guts but now he loathed him for talking to Alheid with that tone and glare so he spoke harshly. “Why not even resemble a man and admit it” Alexs head jerked to Crispin “you fucking told didn’t you!”
“You know what Alex i did tell my new friend. I have never been ashamed of you in my life but now I can barely be in a room with you because not only did you do somthing asinine you can’t even own up to it.” Ashley froze and Alheid spoke since the girls had both figured it out at the very same moment “You’re the father of that baby”
“I wont own up to it and she will hold her tongue”
‘O my god Alex, you are thirty four you creep” Ashley threw in with genuine horror at the thought. “Men still have sex at thirty four”
“Not with fifteen year old girls” Crispin went to retort angrily but Crispin got up “you will not yell at my wife in my house, especially not when you deserve how upset she is.”
“How’s me taking the fall with Becca going to help anything?”
“It’s not right she’s going through this alone”
“she said if I dont want to be the father thats fine. I’m not ruining my reputation for her or a baby I dont want.”
“You tell or I’m not your brother any longer. I mean it” Alex stormed out, almost knocking Alheid down in the process. “You knew?” Ashley said, now hurt in her tone. Crispin turned to her “yes”
“and you didn’t tell me” Anger creeping in her voice now. “No and I should have. I’l sleep on the couch tonight if you don’t want me in our room” Crispin responded as he looked at her shoulder, unable to look at her face. An angry look that he caused would be too much to bare. “You can be in our room Crispin but I’m really hurt you didn’t tell me. We’re going to be married. There should never be secrets”
“I know baby, if it had been any other man I would have told you right away but hes my brother, well used to be most likely. I shouldn’t have kept it secret” Ashley sighed “I guess I haven’t been put in that situation. I would like to think not buy maybe I would have lied to you for Alheid….just, promise never again.”
“I promise” his voice sounded lower and sadder by the moment. “I’m sorry guys, let me have a moment in our room with my fiance”
“Go ahead, we’ll go on a walk so you two will have the house to yourselves.” Ashley hugged Alheid then they walked out. “what a breakfast” Alheid said as they sat in a patch of grass. Detlev took her hand “I hope he is man enough to atleast admit what he’s done”
“we can only hope. If he or Becca don’t admit it, us telling wont make a difference”
“I’ve known since yesterday. Are you mad at me?”
“No, you havent known long and its not as if i asked and you outright lied as Crispin did to Ashley”
“he didn’t want to”
“I know, he looked so upset. Alex should have never put Crispin in that position”
“is that big of an age difference really so creepy?’
“I dont care how much older you are than me. Its just the fact shes still a child.”
“Yes, i think thats wrong too. I just wanted to be sure you remembered how old I am”
“one hundred and ten. I’m sure in all your years you never lusted after children”
“I feel so horrible for both Becca and Crispin. I don’t know if I could be mad at someone for doing what comes naturally, protecting a loved one.” She sighed and Detlev stopped, pulling her into a hug.
“You and your sister have a lot of the same personality traits and I am sure she will be just as understanding. She already said she would do the same for you and I think if she keeps in mind that family is incredibly important, she won’t be upset for long. Crispin is a good person and I could see he was beating himself up over holding his tongue.”
Alheid rested her head on his chest. “I hope we never have to hide anything from each other.”
“I would only ever lie if it meant protecting you. I would rather go through the pain of you hating me, than go through the pain of you dying. You are everything to me Alheid.” He kissed the top of her head. “Though I do pray that if we ever have children we never have daughters, I think I would kill the man who did something like that to one of our children.”
Alheid giggled and looked up at him. “And what if we have a son that does something like that, what then?”
“Then he will be taking responsibility for his actions or he will suffer the consequences.”
“I’m glad I’m marrying such a good man.”
“and I’m glad to be marrying such an amazing women with a good family. I really like your sisters and Crispins company. Crispin can’t help he’s got an ass for a brother. I truly wish I would have had the opportunity to meet your parents.”
“Me too, you’ll have to meet my cousins, aunts and uncles”
“anytime you’d like beautiful. I don’t mind anytime you want to take time off. My dragon friend pays me quite a bit”
“I’d imagine with how much money you were tossing into the wind for our conversations” Detlev chuckled “thats going to be a hard one to live down huh?”
“Its just sweet. It means a lot you’re willing to help Becca out. Who knows what would happen to her here.”
“It would be heartless of me not to help her.” They gave Ashley and Crispin a little more time before returning to the house. When Alheid walked in she was happy to see her sister cuddling on the couch with Crispin. “all better?” she asked and Ashley smiled “yeah, there are a lot worse secrets couples have kept from eachother and he promises never to lie to me again no matter what”
“good, don’t look so heartbroken Crispin” He gave a small smile “well thats a start” Alheid remarked. The mood lightened up quickly as they talked and laughed about old memories. They stayed a few extra days and much to their disappointment Alex never confessed to impregnating Becca so Crispin decided he wasn’t going to be invited to the wedding. When they went to collect Becca she was already packed and had just been waiting for them to show up. It saddened Alheid that her parents neither hugged or kissed their daughter bye when Becca tried to tell them farewell. She was glad she came for this visit to not only get to know Crispin but to help this young woman who seemed to have nobody in the world.
Next they collected their driver and paid her hotel fees before taking off in the carriage. Becca seemed nervous so Alheid moved from Detlevs side to hers “hey, nobody is judging you any longer and people where I live are more understanding of these situations”
“I’m just a little sad. I was hoping my parents would atleast care that I was leaving for good. I truly meant nothing to them. I always knew it but it hurts to have that confirmed” Alheid gave her a hug and Becca almost instantly began to cry. “shh, I’m sorry sweetheart.”
“It’s okay, their loss right?” She wiped at her face. “I guess it was a long time coming, me leaving home, me getting pregnant just sped up the process. It’s my fault, I chose to sleep with Alex. I didn’t have to, but he was so nice.”
“Oh honey that’s not your fault. He took advantage of you when you were at your lowest. He’s nothing but a selfish asshole.”
“Yeah I know.” Alheid held her until she stopped crying and Becca told her she was okay. Alheid moved back to her seat next to Detlev and he grabbed her hand. The trip home seemed to fly by and before they knew it they were telling Martha goodbye and that they hoped to see her again. They got Becca settled in to the guest room and Detlev gave the girl some money so she could shopping and decorate her own space. He helped Alheid make a quick dinner and called Becca to come eat. She still looked down, but she smiled when Detlev started telling her about his dragon friend.
“Maybe someday I can meet him?”
“I’d have to ask him first, but I’m sure he would like both you and Alheid. He’s actually very kind and I’m sure he’d be extra nice to you since you’re pregnant.”
“He likes kids”
“a dragon likes kids?”
“They aren’t as they are made out to be”
“well i look forward to meeting him.” They sat there chatting happily together. It was moving to Becca to be in a home with such loving and caring people after what she had grown up with. She was more grateful to these two than she knew how to express. Alheid was honestly excited to have this woman around. It would be fun to have a student and to help this beautiful young woman in obtaining her own life. She saw so much potential in Becca and hoped there would come a time soon that Becca would see her own worth.
~ The End ~