Emery sat staring out the living room window at the snow covered forest. The moon bathed it in silvery light and made it glow a haunting ghostly white. Every winter he waited to spot her and every winter he followed her only to lose her in the forest, but not this time. He was ready this time. He watched as the cloak covered figure stepped out of the woods and moved silently across his yard to the dead rose bush. She pulled the hood back, revealing her face. She was beautiful with long red hair and amber almond shaped eyes. She had slightly pointed ears that he was very curious about. She reached out and touched the dead bush. Crimson flowers bloomed on it instantly, so bright against the white world. She did this on the first full moon every winter and he did not know why. She turned and started back into the woods. He hurried out the front door and followed her silently. She was swift, but he manged to keep up with her.
Aideen moved quickly through the snow, her boots leaving no prints. She had to hurry home. Her father, the Elf King, did to know she was gone. She snuck out every winter to bring life to a plant that the man she loved cherished more than anything. He took such good cared of the single rose bush, talked to it and touched it gently. He apologized for cutting off every dead leaf and the plant forgave him even though he could not hear it. He was in tune with the natural world, moved through it with such respect. He asked before cutting down a tree and made it known his intent for the object. He had built his own home with the wood growing around him. She longed to be with him, but feared incurring the wrath of her father. He did not understand the human world, did not think that good people still existed. She made her way to the ring of mushrooms in the middle of the forest and stepped inside. She whispered the words to open the door and take her home. A hand grabbed her shoulder and she managed to catch a glimpse of Emery’s face as they were both sucked into her world. The home of the Tuatha Dé Danann.
She turned to him. “You shouldn’t be here. Why did you follow me?” He was at a loss for words even though he was trying to answer her. She was even more beautiful up close. “I need to take you back home. My father would be furious.” He was looking around. Everything about this place was more alive and amazing. “are you listening to me?” her sweet sounding voice yelled at him.
“Yes I’m sorry, It’s just, where are we?”
“Tuatha De Danann but you need to go back home.”
“Why have you been coming to restore that rose bush?” She turned a little red and didn’t know what to say to him. “You’re a kind man and you love that rose bush so I bring it to life for you. No more questions. Please just let me take you home.”
“No, I have more questions.” He stepped out of the ring of mushrooms and started looking around. The forest around them was beautiful as if it was caught forever in spring time. “This place is amazing.”
“Emery please my father could have you killed.” She grabbed his arm and tried pulling him back.
“What is Tuatha Dè Danann?”
“We’re elves, creatures of nature. We help bring the world back to life when spring comes back. We also stand as nature’s guardians.”
Emery didn’t know what to say or think. He wondered if he was in some sort of dream, that maybe he had fallen and hit his head. He reached out and ran his fingers over her cheek. She was real, her skin soft and warm. He longed to kiss her and hold her, to tell her how he had fallen for her so hard that he would never be the same. “What’s your name?” He asked.
“Aideen.” She answered. She heard whispering on the wind and became instantly worried.
“What was that?”
“Sylphs, wind spirits. They will tell my father you are here. I must hide you.” She grabbed his hand and pulled him through the dense forest. He couldn’t help, but admire her. Even upset she was gorgeous. If she had not looked so scared he would have kissed her.
“Where are you taking me?”
“To my cottage. I had it built so I could live away from the palace.”
She loved holding his hand. It was helping her remain calm. She liked how he was holding hers so firmly back like he enjoyed holding onto her. She hated it but she needed to make him go home before her father came in a rage. He would not be very reasonable in this subject. As they were making their way through the forest Emery was looking around at the beautiful world he had found himself in.
His attention kept coming back to Aideen though. He would’ve just looked at her if he didn’t think it would make her uncomfortable. They finally arrived at her cottage and went inside. She let go of his hand and he had to stop himself from taking it back. “Can I look around?”
“Sure” He felt so at home as he looked around studying each room. Her cottage was comfortable and looked amazing. “So I guess if your father could have me killed he’s a pretty important guy.”
‘He’s the king.’
“I guess that’s fitting.” He said as he smiled at her. “How is that fitting?” She looked genuinely confused. “Well, you’re so beautiful it makes sense you’re a princess.”
She was taken back and stared at him in shocked silence for a moment. “That is a very bold statement.” She said when she finally found her voice.
“Would you prefer I was less honest?” He asked as he turned away from the beautiful architecture of her home.
“No, of course not. I appreciate honesty. I’m just used to people taking orders and keeping their thoughts to themselves.”
“What’s the point in having a brain and a mouth if you never get to use them.”
She had never thought of it that way. In her world there was royalty and then there was everyone else. The king, his queen and their children answered to no one. She had never thought of putting herself on another person’s level. It made her feel selfish. “Please make yourself at home. There is food and water and if you get tired you can use my bed. I have to see what my father has heard and until then please stay in this house. I used cloaking magic to hide it from everyone.” She turned to leaved and he grabbed her hand. She stared into his eyes. They were a deep brown with flecks of gold and green. His thumb brushed over her knuckles and then he released her. She left as quickly as she could, her heart threatening to beat out of her chest.
Emery stood in the silence of the little cottage. He had not realized how suffocating being alone could be until that moment. He had to keep himself occupied. Since he could not go outside he would read. He had noticed she had a large bookshelf. He grabbed Peter Pan. It was how he felt right now. Like he had flown to Neverland and was stuck in a strange world.
She ran through the forest. She was worried about how much her father knew and how he would react. Her cottage was pretty far from the castle. She didn’t like it there and wanted to be far away. Aideen was torn on her way to her father. She wanted Emery to go home so that he’d be safe but she loved his touch and actually speaking to him. She grew red playing through her head him calling her beautiful.
When she was almost there she slowed to a walk. She wanted to be calm and collected when she walked into the castle. She needed a level, clear head. She stopped for a moment to catch a deep breath. She soon arrived at the gate, the guards bowed and opened it for her. She walked in and asked a servant where her father was. “He’s in his room my princess.”
“Thank you” The servant was shocked, she had never said thank you to him before. She decided after Emerys comment to atleast say thank you to the people they commanded. “You’re welcome my princess.” She walked twords his room and then stood in front of the doors. Before she could knock her father said “come in Aideen” Him already knowing she was coming troubled her.
Her father closed the door and she felt very nervous. He walked around her and sat at the large oak desk on the left side of his room. “Father, how has your day been?” She asked as she sat across from him.
“Word has been brought to me that a human has entered our domain via you. Generally I would not believe that one of our kind would bring a human here, but I know for a fact that you have a soft spot for their kind and have been sneaking out to see them.” He said and her cheeks turned red. “Please tell me the truth daughter.”
“Father please, you don’t understand.”
“Then help me understand.”
“You know how I feel about humans. They are not all the same, but this one is special father. He’s like us, he respects the land. He asks for permission for anything. Even the plants in his garden are not trimmed without him asking.”
Her father slammed his hand on the top of his desk, but she did not jump. She stared at him as he stood, an angry look in his eyes. “They are all monsters. Open your eyes child before it’s too late. This human must be dealt with. You with tell me where he is so I may send Arrow to get rid of him.” He snapped.
“No, I refuse.”
“You will do as your king commands.”
“If you kill him then I too wish to die.” She blurted out and his eyes widened. “I am invoking my right to bind him to me. His flesh is my flesh, his bone my bone, his blood my blood. Whatever you do to him, you must do to me.” Her father flopped back down, his face pale. She got up and walked around the table to him. She grabbed his hand in hers and dropped down on her knees next to him. “Let him prove himself. He is not bad. Let him open your eyes and your mind to the possibility that there is still some good in the human world. Please father, I’m begging you. I have never asked for anything, not once, but give him a chance.”
“Please stand Aideen. You have no reason to bow to me.” She stood, still holding his hand. “Bring him here tomorrow so I may look at him. I promise he will not be harmed. We’ll do the blood ritual to tie him to you.”
She was amazed at how understanding he was seeming to be. Maybe his love for her was stronger than his hate for humans. She may not always like her father or agree with him but one thing she always knew was that he loved her. “Thank you dad” She walked out now worried about if he’d want to be tied to her. Yes he thought she was beautiful but he could just lust for her and not be in love like she was. She had no idea how she was going to bring it up to Emery.
She had to though, she knew she couldn’t just bring him and go “surpirse we’re together forever!” She giggled thinking about the look that might come over his face if she did that. Atleast she could think about this overnight. She didn’t have to bring him first thing tomorrow so she didn’t have to go home and just say “hey do you love me and want to spend your life with me?”
Emery finished the book and was surprised how long he had been sitting there. He put the book back on the book shelf and looked out the window. It was very beautiful outside and the sun was beginning to go down. He wondered if time stood still in his world while he was here or if the sun was coming up. He knew he was supposed to stay inside, but he wanted to breathe in the fresh air before it was dark. He stepped onto the wooden porch, excited by the vivd colors coming from the flowers that lined the stone path that stopped at the edge of the forest. He heard laughter as a breeze blew around him and caught a glimpse of a face in the wind. It made him jump back and the laughter got louder. “You must be the one who spotted us when we came through.” He said.
“I am sorry if I frightened you.” The feminine voice whispered in his ear. “We Sylphs love to have a little fun. I have never spoken to a human before. Why are you here?”
“I came here by accident. I wasn’t expecting to be pulled into this place.”
“You are lucky it was the princess that accidentally brought you through. Fairy rings can be unpredictable if you say the wrong thing. The elves lost many before learning their secrets. They used to live underground you know. They were banished there. The old king, Aideen’s great grandfather, brought them here.” She whispered as she swirled in front of him. “The Salamanders were not happy at first. They are fire beings, prone to fits of rage and overreaction. If you ever come across one you must make sure you are clear of all emotion. They feed off of it and could explode, killing you both if you are not calm.”
“Thanks for the warning. What about Sylphs, should I fear them?”
She laughed. “We don’t tend to be as volatile. We are usually very peaceful. I must go now human. Talking to you has been very enlightening.” She swirled away and was gone as Aideen stepped out of the woods. He smiled at her as she approached. She looked a little stressed.
“Is he angry?”
“No, he wants to see you tomorrow though.”
“Ok” He said still smiling “Why are you not worried atall?”
“Worrying wont help anything and why waste my time with you worrying?I’ve been wanting to talk to you so long I’m not going to waste any time.” She smiled, it made her even more beautiful. They walked in “I thought I told you to stay inside. You shouldn’t be out there.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t help it”
“Don’t lie, I can see by your face you aren’t sorry in the slightest.” He laughed “It’s so beautiful here. I love nature so much. I really wanted to be out again”
“I know, I can tell by how you ask everything if what you’re doing is ok.”
“How do you know that? I only ever see you once a year.” She blushed “I guess I’ll just be honest since I may not have much time with you. I go to see you pretty often. I just don’t talk to you. The plants do forgive you you know. Don’t be so sad when you use them. They appreciate how you explain what you’re going to do.”
“That’s a relief. I do the same with the animals, but you probably knew that. Everything has a spirit. I was talking to one of your Sylphys by the way. She gave me a history lesson and a warning.”
“What kind of warning?”
“Stay away from Salamanders.” He said, looking a little confused.
“They’re not the cute little amphibians that you might catch in a river. They are beautiful, but deadly creatures. You would call them fire elementals. Sylphs are air elementals, Dwarves are earth elementals, and Undines are water elementals. There are also Devas and tree spirits like Dryads. Dryads are the ones you ask before cutting down trees and can easily move from tree to tree so you are never harming them. Tree spirits stay with the tree until death, but they know that you are using them for a good purpose and go freely.” She explained. “Tomorrow morning I will take you out and let you meet a few of the creatures that live here. We have a lot of what you would call mythical creatures. This is the place where they originated.”
He sat down, his head swimming with all the information. He had to keep reassuring himself he had not lost his mind, that he wasn’t laying somewhere in the snow and would soon wake up and go back to his cottage to nurse an obvious head wound. “This is very overwhelming.” He admitted and she pulled off her cloak and sat down next to him. She was wearing only a thin white dress and boots. He wondered how she had manged to stay warm while walking through the woods outside his home.
“Just take some time. I promise you this is real and you are not crazy. I am real.” She grabbed his hand and pressed his palm against her face. “See, I’m here with you.”
“Thank you. I think I should sleep on everything. Do you have blankets? I can make a bed on the floor so you can have your bed.”
“Nonsense. You can sleep with me until tomorrow.” She smiled.
“Are you sure?”
“Ok” he was happy he’d get to sleep with her. He’d go to sleep wishing this wasn’t a very realistic dream. When they went to her room he asked “How do you want me to sleep?”
“I don’t understand.”
“Well I sleep in nothing generally. That would obviously be inappropriate.” She laughed “Just leave your underwear on.” She took her dress off and layed down. He couldn’t believe she was going to sleep like that. She noticed he was just standing there. “What’s with that look. I thought you wanted to sleep?”
“I I do, I’m not used to sleeping with someone else. Especially someone as gorgeous as you. I’m sorry for just standing here staring. It’s hard not to even with all your clothes on.” He looked so embarrassed. It made her smile and he got undressed and layed next to her. Her bed wasn’t that big and he wasn’t sure what to do with himself. He knew what he wanted to do, he wanted to hold her close to him. “You don’t have to lay like that you know. You’d probably be more comfortable if you layed on your side with an arm around me.”
“Are you teasing me or being serious?”
“Why would I tease you. You don’t have to but I’d think you’d be more comfortable that way.”
He turned over and wrapped his arm around her waist. This way he was pressed right against her. She snuggled close, her hair brushing his nose. She smelled very sweet and earthy almost like she spent her time rolling in flowers. His heart was beating so fast. She whispered something and he raised his head to see she was already asleep. He envied her the ability to fall asleep that fast. He smiled and closed his eyes. It was hard to take his mind off of how soft and warm she was or how good she smelled and how beautiful she was. He knew he would more than likely be going home soon, but at least he got to spend these few moments with her. It was better than he had dreamed.
The next morning Aideen woke to mumbling. She turned over to look at Emery. He was beautiful for a man. Tall and lean, and muscular. He had short blonde curls that she thought gave him almost a boyish look. She brushed some hair off of his forehead. “Get those out of here.” He said. “They’re too fast.” She had to slap her hand over her mouth to keep from laughing loud enough to wake him. She wondered what he was dreaming about. She slipped out of bed and pulled a red dress embroidered with gold leaves on. She found her boots and tugged them on. They were doe skin, soft yet durable. She would make him an apple crisp for breakfast. She was an amazing cook. Even the cooks at the castle let her season and test the food before it went out. She found a leather tie and pulled her hair back out of her face. She was still stressed about what would happen today, but she tried to keep her spirits up by singing.
He woke up to an amazing smell and heard her singing. He layed there completely relaxed. Between the smell and her amazing voice he couldn’t move. He felt like he was in heaven and he never wanted to leave.Aideen was singing a song her mother sang to her when she was a little girl. It was very comforting. Her mother was very sweet and kind. After listening to her for a little bit he put his clothes back on and went to the kitchen.
He took delight in how happy she looked. “So you slept well?” She laughed “Oh good morning, sorry if my singing woke you.”
“Don’t be sorry, it was an amazing way to wake up. You need to stop making being here with you so wonderful so I’ll actually be able to leave when the time comes.” She thought this may be agood time to talk to him. He did seem happy here and with her. She slept better than she ever had before with him near her. Aideen decided Emery should atleast get to eat first before she asked him if he’d like to stay with her forever. She handed him the apple crisp.
It was the best one he had ever tasted “Wow! You are an amazing cook. Thank you so much!”
“I’m glad you like it” she smiled extremely happy.
“This is what I’m talking about. At this point you’re going to have to get someone to help you force me to leave.”
“I’m sure Arrow would love that.”
“I call him Uncle Arrow. He’s my dad’s most loyal servant. He’s Captain of the guard. Pretty much you mess with the family you mess with Arrow. He does whatever daddy says. He’s not very fond of humans, not after what happened to his wife.” She said as she took a bite of apple crisp.
“What happened?” He asked.
“A group of men kidnapped, tortured, raped, and killed her. They said she was a witch. From what my father says, she was a very kind and beautiful woman. She had the healing touch. Arrow won’t admit it, but he still mourns her. He has a daughter named Breena who also has healing hands.”
“That’s very sad. Maybe I can change his mind and your father’s. I don’t want them to send anyone to burn down my house because they can’t stomach my presence.”
“There’s something I need to talk to you about.”
“Can we go outside, I’d love to see more of this place?”
She smiled and agreed. An open space would be better in case either of them decided to run away in a panic. She took his hand and led him through the woods. She didn’t want him to get lost. She took him to her favorite place. It was a series of hot springs where the Undines swam and the Sylphs danced over the top of the water. Every once in awhile you would see a Salamander sitting on a boulder, enjoying the hot steam. This is where she came to relax. They sat down in the grass and she watched his face as an Undine jumped out of one pool and into another. He looked very excited. “Do you like it?” She asked softly.
“I love it. It’s so beautiful.” He found himself wanting to dive into the warm water and swim with the strange water elementals. “What did you want to talk about?”
“Oh yes. Well, yesterday I had to do something to keep you alive.” His eyes widened and she rested a comforting hand on his shoulder. “Don’t worry, no one can hurt you for now. I have to bind you to me.”
“What does that mean?”
“We exchange blood. It’s like becoming blood brothers in your world.”
“So do it.” He held out his hand.
“It’s not that easy. To do the ritual, we have to prove one hundred percent that we love each other. There is a test and it’s not easy. There is a maze, really big and we start out of either side of it. We have to make it to the middle. If either of us stops or admits defeat the test is over and we both have to die. If you tell me now that you don’t want to do it then my father will send Arrow after you and you will die.”
He thought about that. He wasn’t someone who ran from a challenge no matter how big or how small. “Lets do it then.”
“Are you sure?”
“I can die in a maze trying to prove how much you mean to me or I can die by Arrow’s hand. Either way I could die and I would rather die for you than run away.”
She smiled. She was overjoyed he wanted to. It seemed like he did love her but she wasn’t really sure since he didn’t directly say it. He may just be doing it because it was better than dieing the other way. Emery sat there staring again. He couldn’t believe she offered to do a thing like that to keep him safe. “Why did you offer that to your father?”
“Well, I do actually love you even though that sounds crazy since this is the first time we’ve spoken. It’s why I go to see you and why I bring that bush to life for you. I didn’t want to risk you getting hurt so I had to keep myself from speaking to you.” She was afraid for his response. She stared at the ground waiting for him to say something. He lifted her head and turned it twords him smiling. He kissed her gently. “I love you too. I’ve wanted to be with you so badly which is why I was waiting this time. I absolutely had to catch you and talk to you. I wish I would’ve done it sooner.”
She flew into his arms, knocking him back. His yell of surprise startled the Undines so they dove beneath the water. Aideen felt so happy and excited and nervous. She kissed him and he laughed. “Someone’s happy.” He said as he brushed her hair away from her face.
“More than happy. I feel like a hole in my heart has been filled.” She rested her head on his chest and he wrapped her in a hug. She didn’t want to take him to the castle, but she knew by Tuatha Dè Danann law she had too. “We have to go.” She said sadly.
“Everything’s going to be alright, I promise.” He stroked her hair and kissed the top of her head before letting her go. They stood and dusted themselves off. She took his hand and led him out of the forest and to the stone path that led to the castle. He didn’t seem the least bit worried. It was strange to her. He had a happy smile on his face and walked quickly. She saw no fear in his eyes. She was truly nervous, terrified even. She had sat next to her father many times when the maze was run. It was a proving ground for many things. She had seen people die or come close to dying. She would keep her fears to herself. She didn’t want to send him panicking.
He looked at her “stop being so afraid. We can do this. I love you and you love me so we can overcome this easily. Nothing will stop me from getting to you.” She gave him the best smile she could manage as they arrived at the castle. They were let in and she went to see her father. “I’m surprised you two showed up. I was sure the human would try running. You do know what you’re up against right?”
“She’s explained it to me and I love her. I am confident we can do this.” She could see how much trouble her father was having with this. The king looked at her with sadness. It was like a part of him was expecting her to die in this endeavour. He hugged her “Aideen please see reason. How could you love this human? Aren’t their any men from this world you’d rather be with that you wont have to risk your life for?”
“Father I’ve made up my mind”
“I cannot lose you too, it would break me.” He gripped her shoulders.
“If you had the chance wouldn’t you give everything just to be with mother?”
“You know I would.” She hugged him.
“Then let me do the same.”
He nodded, knowing she would never change her mind. “Arrow, take the young man to the other side of the maze. I will take Aideen.”
Emery had not noticed the other man in the room until he moved. He was tall and thickly built with a beard and long dark hair he kept in a braid. He stared coldly at Emery. “Follow me human.” He said as he walked out the door. Emery followed quickly, not wishing to get lost. Arrow said nothing as they moved through the castle. He led him out back where a large stone wall rose up before them. There was an opening in the side. Arrow disappeared inside and he followed. The tunnel seemed to go on forever. Emery was relieved when they were back outside. He noticed a door on this side and Arrow pulled it open.
Before he stepped in he said to Arrow, “For what it’s worth I am sorry.” He thought he saw a flash of sadness in the man’s eyes and he stepped inside. The door was shut and locked behind him. He felt a breeze brush his face and knew a Sylph was near him. “What is it?” He whispered.
“Dragonlings. There is a pool of water with an Undine inside. Toss this stone into her pool and she will push the dragonlings back.” The Sylph dropped a bright blue stone into his hand that he quickly pocketed.
“Thank you.” He said and she blew away.
He took a step then out came two dragonlings. They looked angry and ready to kill him. He wondered if this is what was supposed to happen. Her father must not have agreed with this and was having him killed off without Aideen knowing. He was upset but couldn’t bring himself to be angry at him. He saw how sad her father was and he saw the love in his eyes for his daughter. He lost a wife and he could see why he didn’t want to lose a daughter.
One started running at him and the other blew fire in his direction. He rolled to dodge then scanned for the puddle. He saw it and sprinted over to it and the dragons followed. He let go of the stone letting it plop into the water. Nothing happened at first and it worried him but when the dragon opened it’s mouth to attack again suddenly a burst of water came from the puddle and they were knocked back.
Aideen moved quickly, her senses on high alert. Her eyes darted this way and that. Her ankle caught on something and she tripped. It was a wire and it snapped under her weight. She heard a whistling sound and pressed herself against the wall of the maze and arrows flew past her face. One scratched her cheek, but she held herself still until they stopped. She was back on her feet and running. She felt the ground beneath her rumble as she came to a cross roads. An earth elemental came from her right so she went left. She could hear it behind her. It looked like a lion with plants growing on it. It had a grassy mane full of yellow flowers. It roared as she darted quickly around a corner and it skidded past her and slammed into a wall, breaking apart and seeping back into the ground.
Emery ripped his sweater off as a little bit of fire singed it. He thanked the Undine as he ran by and she sprayed the dragonlings with more water, driving them back into their little cave. He couldn’t help but find it funny that such creatures would be afraid of a little water. He came around a corner and into a small clearing. There was a strange buzzing sound that he could not pinpoint. It go louder and louder and when he turned around he saw a swarm of red wasp like creatures hovering there. He backed up slowly and accidentally stepped on a twig. It sent them into a frenzy and he found himself running. He whispered for help and he felt wind brush against his face. He felt the wind swirling behind him, kicking up dirt. He glanced behind him and saw a small dust devil unsettle the wasps. He was able to get away before they could reorient themselves. He had never seen wasps that big. He watched where he was going, meeting a few dead ends as he tried in desperation to find the center.
She felt like she was drawing closer. She didn’t know why, but it felt like she was almost there. She had seen the place from above so she knew the basic layout. She managed to hit only a couple of dead ends. She had closed her eyes and tried to remember every twist and turn of the large maze. Her father had built it to confuse and test ones abilities. She took a breath and kept going. She managed to avoid a few more traps, tripping them on purpose in case she had to step back or run to get away from something. They both entered the middle of the maze at the same time. She started for him and the ground opened up beneath her. She gripped the side of the hole. Her fingers slipped and she started falling. She was suddenly jerked to a stop and she looked up to see him gripping the edge, his feet dug in to the side. His fingers held her painfully tight. She could see his fingers starting to slip. “Let go of me.” She said.
“No, no freaking way.” He yelled.
“Let go or we’ll both die.” She tried to jerk loose, but he held fast.
“You go, I go.”
She saw absolute resolve in his eyes. She smiled about to cry. He really did love her or he would’ve cared more about his own life than saving hers. If she had to die she was glad this was the way it was going to be. Unexpectedly someone grabbed Emerys arm helping them both out. Her father was standing there and a few servants. He smiled and she could tell her dad had been terrified. He hugged her “The two of you have passed.” He actually hugged Emery “You really do love my little girl. Thank you for not letting her die. I couldn’t lose Aideen like I did her mother.
He lifted his daughter into another hug. “You just don’t know the extinct of my fear Aideen. Never do anything crazy like this again.”
“I can’t make promises”
After they had a chance to clean themselves and change their close, they went to the main courtyard that was full of people. Aideen’s father asked them to stand in front of him. He told them to hold out a hand and drew a sharp dagger over both of their palms. He ordered them to hold their hands together. They did and blood trickled out and onto the ground. He grasped their hands in his and whispered in a language Emery did not understand. He felt a burning heat move through his palm and up his arm. It was a little painful, felt like fire was crawling over him. He actually broke out in a sweat. They released their hold on each other and looked at their hands. They each had a long white scar. “The ritual is complete. You are one forever. You will share each others pain and joy. Whatever should happen to either of you will happen to the other. Be ready for a lot of pain son.” Her father winked at him. “By Tuatha Dè Danann law you are married, two souls made into one. There will be a week long celebration to honor your union.”
There was a lot of cheering. Aideen couldn’t have been happier. She had never expected to belong to anyone. “We have some planning to do.” She said with a smile.
“We’re going to have to go back to my world you know, to get married in front of my family. My mom is going too be very excited.” He said and pulled her into his arms.
“So we’ll spend a week here then we can spend a little time in your world so I can get to know your family. I’ll tell daddy it’s important to you that I go. He’ll understand.”
“He seems to like me. Even Arrow’s smiling.”
Aideen turned to look at the bigger man. He was indeed smiling as he conversed animatedly with her father. She had not seen that in a long time. She wondered if Emery had some magic of his own that he had been able to work on her grumpy uncle Arrow. She laughed as she turned back to him. “You are the first human he has liked in a long time. I have only ever seen him smile once when I out did the men at archery.” She wrapped her arms around his neck.
“I hope he alway likes me. To tell you the truth he’s kind of scary.” She laughed and he savored the sound. “Oh and maybe we can get me some of my clothes. I feel kind of silly dressed in breeches and boots and this shirt. Why does it have a tie in front. Zorro never tied his so why would I?”
“Don’t worry beautiful, we have all the time in the world to introduce you to Zorro.” He kissed her, happy to finally have the woman of his dreams.