Emma & Siavash

Chapter One

Emma sat in the carriage, her chin resting in her hand. One of her suitors, Cosme, had sent a letter asking for her to visit and since she was bored, she decided it might be fun to go and see him. All of her siblings had mates and she had been feeling a little lonely. She sighed when the Duke Seris’s manor came into view and sat up straight. The minute the driver pulled to a stop, Cosme was stepping of the front porch to greet her. He pulled the carriage door open and she smiled as she let him hand her out. “I’m glad you came.” He said, embracing her. “How was the ride?”

“A bit boring.”

He chuckled. “Would you like a tour of the estate before lunch is served then?”

“Sure.” He held out his arm and she took it, allowing him to lead her away. It felt good to stretch her legs after such a long ride. She listened to him talk as they walked, smiling politely as he spoke about the architecture of his home and what each out building was for. The last building they went to was the horse arena. It was connected to the stables and had a glass dome roof. It was beautifully constructed, the wood sturdy, the glass charmed to keep it from shattering. The smell of horse and dirt filled the air.

“Looks like Siavash is hard at work again, always trying to impress father it seems.”

“Siavash?”

Cosme pointed and Emma’s eyes were drawn to the center of the arena where a man was working one of the horses. The animal was clearly green, but no matter how hard it bucked, the man refused to be dislodged from its back. She was fascinated by his skill with the animal, his purple hair pulled back away from his sun bronzed face. She had never seen an elf like him before. The horse began to tire and finally gave up its fight against the strong willed man on its back. She could hear him saying something to the horse as he climbed off its back, but couldn’t quite make out the words. He rubbed its neck and she could make out the smile on his face as he continued to speak to the animal. Cosme cleared his throat, the sound catching the elf’s attention so he looked in their direction. He patted the horses neck once more and walked over to them, the horse following obediently.

“What a grand display.” Cosme said, the sarcasm clear in his voice.

“Rupa was being far too mischievous today, picked a fight with his brother. He didn’t like being worked so hard to get rid of all that energy.” His eyes moved to Emma and her heart gave a sudden leap of surprise. He had the most intense violet eyes she had ever seen and they seemed to see right down to the core of her being. She blushed and swallowed nervously. “Who is this?” He asked.

“This is Princess Emma Nyguyen.”

“You are half elf.” He stated the fact with ease. “It is nice to meet you, Emma.” He took her hand and brought it to his lips, his eyes never leaving hers as he pressed a kiss to her knuckles.

“I…it’s nice to meet you too.” The horse nudged him and he let her hand go.

“I need to get Rupa rubbed down and give him some water. I will see you two at lunch.”

Cosme frowned and Emma simply watched him as he walked away, not understanding why her heart was beating so fast or why she was so nervous in Siavash’s presence. “I don’t know why father favors him so, it’s a bit disgraceful if you ask me.” Cosme’s words brought her back to reality.

“Hmm? Oh sure. Could we go back to the house, I’m a bit thirsty.”

“of course” he looked at her lustfully and she wondered if she’d have to spurn another suitors advances. She was going to be a virgin for her wedding no matter how many men she had to piss off to be so. It distracted her from the confusion Siavash caused. She had always been a proud woman and never once in her life been nervous around anybody that wasn’t Kepu when he was angry so how did this man have such an affect on her. “My guest needs a drink. Bring it to her in my relaxation room” he said to a servant who quickly walked away. “relaxation room?” she asked as he guided her “yes, it’s a room that is only for me so I may have peace/”

“Oh”

“You do not have such a room?”

“No”

“I see, well, just so you know if you become my bride you are only allowed in this room if I invite you. It’s mine”

She smiled politely, but wanted to wrinkle her nose at his bossiness. She may be single and waiting for marriage, but she wasn’t going to be bossed around. She allowed him to guide her upstairs and the a door at the very end of the hall. The room was nicely put together, though a bit boring for her tastes. There were paintings on the walls, but nothing she found fascinating an old hunting rifle hing over the mantle and she wondered where he had traveled to acquire it. The furniture, the rugs, everything was expensive and nice, but it did nothing to impress her. He pulled her over to a small table and pulled out one of the cushioned chairs.

“Thank you.” She said as he sat down across from her. “It’s quite nice in here, must have cost you quite a bit to throw this all together.”

“The most expensive thing was the gun. It’s my most prized possession.”

“Hmm, I’ve never seen one before.”

“Most people don’t own one. That one is simply for show.”

“So they’re dangerous then?”

“Extremely so.” There was a knock on the door and he called for the person to enter. She was happy for the reprieve, already bored with his company. A maid entered the room and crossed over to Emma, sitting a cup of tea in front of her.

“Would you like anything else ma’am.”

“No thank you.” The maid gave a little curtsy and left, Cosme’s eyes following her. Emma picked up her tea, holding back the huff of disapproval at the fact that he was obviously screwing the maid. It was obvious he would be an unfaithful spouse, not one worthy of an eternity. “So, when is lunch?”

“Usually about noon or a little after, no doubt that dirty horse trainer will be there. He usually is.”

“He seems interesting.”

“Oh really?” She could detect the hint of jealousy.

“Yes you know, in an exotic sense. He’s like a rare bird one has never seen before. His features are so different than say my mother’s. I have never seen an elf like him so I was merely fascinated.”

“Oh.”

Siavash brushed down the horses, talking to them, putting them at ease. They were truly beautiful creatures and he had always had an affinity for them. Powerful, agile, and wild at heart, they reminded him of home. “You kind of remind me of that woman.” He said to the mare standing next to him. “Stubborn, somewhat poorly tempered, but beautiful and graceful. She is different than most half elves, than most elves in general. Usually they would be out in the woods, enjoying the natural world, but she seems almost like she’s rebelling against herself.” He smiled. “She’s quite interesting, I think you’d like her.”

Inside Cosme asked “so what happened to the men who were waiting to marry you when your birthday came?”

“there was one reason or another I didn’t want them”

“Aren’t you afraid of being too picky and getting too old for anybody to want you?”

“I’m an elf”

“you can still get too old. Who wants to marry a woman who is over like eighteen” her manners were starting to wear thin with this asshole but she would keep them, she had to as a princess. She could never be so unrespectable as her sister Keltie who just said and did whatever seemed to pop into her mind. She liked Kepu but her wild, unkempt behavior was probably why she was with a commoner and not a royal. She had to admit that even though she thought royals should be with royals, she hadn’t even had a full conversation with Siavash yet and liked him better than any man she had ever considered for marriage.

At lunch she felt a thrill she didn’t present and walked with Cosme to their dining room. When she sat down she was more anticipating Siavash’s arrival than the food despite the fact she was so hungry. Siavash arrived shortly after they did and sat down as near to Emma as he knew Cosme would be okay with. Duke had the final say but he didn’t want to fight with Cosme, not with Emma here.

Duke Seris came in just as their plates were being delivered and gave her a smile as he took his seat at the head of the table. “Princess, forgive me for not greeting you with my son, I was busy.”

“It’s fine, the work of a duke is never done.”

He chuckled. “True and Cosme, have you been being polite?”

“Yes sir.”

“Good and Siavash, why are you sitting so far away, come here to my other side?” Siavash stood, grabbing his plate and moving around the table and taking the seat closest to the duke and across from Cosme who gave him a little glare. “Now, how are the horses?”

The elf smiled warmly at the duke. “Perfect sir, though Rupa had a disagreement with his brother today. I feel it may have something to do with the mares coming into season. You should decide which you want bred and which you don’t.”

“You know which will make the finest foals even better than I do, so I will leave it up to you.”

“Thank you sir, I will not disappoint you.”

“How many times must I ask you not to call me sir, you are a guest in my house.”

“I work to repay my debt.”

“Please treat me as a friend, not as your master. It would make me happy.”

“Very well, I will try to stop being so formal.”

“What debt?” Emma asked after swallowing her food.

“I found Siavash floating in the ocean, clinging to a piece of debris, after a storm destroyed the ship he was traveling on. He was the only survivor and near death when pulled him from the water.” The Duke replied.

“If not for him, I would be dead, I insisted on working with his horses to pay him back. His last trainer had no idea what he was doing and thought a whip worked better than talking to the animals. I brought the abuse to Jundar’s attention and he fired the man and allowed me to take over. I owe him everything, though he disagrees.”

“What of your family?” Emma asked.

“I write to them and pay ship captains to deliver the letters.”

“that’s good, I’m sure they miss you”

“they do but we get all we need from letters and of course I know I’m free to go see them and they can come see me whenever they wish”

“yes, never hesitate to ask me” Series said. Cosme hated Emma talking to Siavash but knew he would get scolded by his father if he let it show.She had endless questions about his life and family, not even realizing they had spent so much time talking. “Oh, gosh, I’m sorry. This must feel like an interrogation”

“Oh not at all princess, I don’t mind answering. Could I learn more about you too?”

“If you’ll call me Emma”

“well Emma, if I have my information right you have siblings”

“yes, two”

“I’d like to know about them and how close you are”

“Keltie and I are just so different it’s hard and, well, maybe I’ve been a bit bitchy to her at times because of how boyish she acts” she shamefully admitted. She had no idea why he made her want to be so honest but honesty came pouring out of her like a fountain as she answered his every question. When all their plates were clean Cosme said bitterly “lets go somewhere else”

“they are still talking son” his father said with a disapproving look “she’s my guest”

“she’s my guest actually, she’s just here to see you but now she has an interest in Siavash so let them talk. You do not own the lady and will not be rude in my home”

“Oh I”M rude, I’m her suitor and she’s ignoring me for him”

“she’s hardly ignored you. You haven’t even tried speaking. I’m sure you would have been included if you would have spoken”

Chapter Two

“I need to get back to work anyway.” Siavash said as he got to his feet.

“There’s no need for you to rush away Siavash.” Jundar said, his disappointment about his son’s attitude clear in his voice.

“It’s fine, I wanted to go riding anyway. Perhaps I’ll catch us a couple of rabbits for stew tonight.”

“Would you like some company?” Emma suddenly asked, unsure what had come over her. A blush of embarrassment tinted her cheeks and Siavash gave a little chuckle.

“You and I both know dirt and blood does not suit you. Please enjoy yourself within the safety of these walls.”

She felt a little insulted even though he spoke the truth. She had spent so much time rebelling against the wildness of her elf blood that she knew nothing of hunting or hiking. She crossed her arms over her chest and he gave another little laugh. “Roll in the mud for all I care.” She said as she stared up at him. It was hard to maintain eye contact with him, his stare was so intense and bored straight through her.

“Perhaps tomorrow I could give you a horse riding lesson if you truly wish to do something fun. You may smell like stable and horse sweat afterwards though.”

“Tomorrow then.”

“Make sure to wear pants, a dress will be hard to ride in.” He gave a slight bow to Jundar. “I will return later for dinner sir.”

When he was gone Jundar asked “do you own pants Emma?”

“No sir”

“I will have our seamstress get to work then. Go into your room and I will send her to measure you”

“thank you” Cosme huffed “I guess I’m not needed any more today” he walked off angrily and Jundar rested his hand on Emmas shoulder “make sure you tell me if he reacts in a childish way towards you.” Jundar sighed before continuing “I’m not sure where I went wrong raising him but he is a brat, I’m fully aware”

“i will sir and I’m sure it’s nothing you did wrong. Some people are jerks no matter who raises them and how”

“thank you for saying that” Emma curtsied then was guided by a servant girl to her room. Once inside the woman whispered “You’re making the right choice choosing Siavash over Cosme. He’s a whore, no telling what he might have picked up screwing around”

“I noticed he’s sleeping with at least one woman here”

“try three”

“jesus”

“yeah, thats not even including the women that don’t work here”

“and here I thought I couldn’t like him any less”

“Siavash is a great guy. I’m honestly jealous he’s taking you riding.”

“I’m glad he is”

“well, I’ll be leaving you now. Mindy will be in here soon” Emma waited patiently for Minday to come, hoping up from a seated position the second her door opened “need help taking off your dress so I can measure?”

“yes please” Mindy undid the back and helped Emma slip out before taking multipl measurments of her size “I’m making you a shirt too”

“great”

Siavash saddled up his favorite horse, a beautiful stallion named Midnight. He was the most well behaved of all the horses, responding well to his rider’s commands. He pulled his quiver and bow over his head then lead the horse out a smile on his face as they stepped out of the barn and he swung himself onto the horses back. “Come on boy.” He gave Midnight a light tap with his heels and the horse started forward, heading out over the countryside.

Emma pulled her dress back on after the seamstress left, not knowing why she was so excited to be getting a riding lesson from Siavash. She glanced out the window as she zipped herself up and saw him riding away, off on the hunt. She had no idea why she found him so intriguing. He was strange looking, from a whole other kingdom of elves she was sure, and he seemed like he wasn’t afraid to go after what he wanted. He didn’t treat her like he cared that she was a princess and seemed to use the title only out of politeness. He was so far from what she had imagined wanting, his greatest gift being his skill with horses. Even that was amazing to her. She watched him until he was out of sight, letting out a sigh as she left the room and went to the library. He had said he would be back at dinner time and she wanted to keep herself distracted until then.

She wasn’t in there long when Cosme came in looking irritated. She kept her eyes on her book, not really wanting too deal with him right then. “Oh what, now I don’t exist dear princess.” He said as he crossed the room to stand in front of her. She ignored him and he jerked the book out of her hand. “Answer me.”

“I do not spend time with children.” She replied as she got to her feet and moved past him, taking a second book down and taking her place back on the love seat.

He grabbed her chin and tipped her head back, forcing her to look at him. “You just want to fuck that purple haired bastard.”

She slapped his hand away. “What I do with my body is none of your business since you are not my husband nor are we dating. Besides, it’s not like you have any room to talk, I’m sure that little thing between your legs has seen more action than a breeding mare.” He glared at her and she glared back. He made a sound of irritation and left her, allowing her to get back to her book.

Emma read undisturbed until the seamstress Mindy made her presence known. “It’s about ten minuets before dinner and I just finished your new clothes so I was hoping you’d try them on so if I did anything wrong I can work on it straight after dinner”

“Oh thanks” She dog eared her place and quickly walked with Mindy back to her room. Once again Mindy helped her get out of it then waited patiently as Emma pulled on her jeans and tshirt “Nice, they fit so well”

“oh good, so I’ll leave those with you”

“if I paid you would you make me two more outfits like this incase I need them”

“I’m paid very well and live in a very nice room so I can be on hand to make whatever is needed of me. You don’t need to pay. I’ll just get right on it”

“Okay, I just didn’t want to be rude”

“I appreciate it. I would just feel crooked accepting your money since I already feel I make too much. I will have those outfits as soon as I can” When Mindy left she admired herself in the tall mirror. She was surprised at how much she liked herself in somthing that wasn’t a dress or skirt. She practiced different hairstyles, trying to decide how she would look best for Siavash tomorrow. She still hadn’t quite decided on one when she needed to switch back to a dress. Emma changed then gracefully walked to dinner.

She hadn’t remembered the way her hair originally was so she just left it in the final hairstyle she had tried since it looked good on her. Jundar was already sitting and was the first to say “very pretty”

“Thanks, I was just trying a few things with my new outfit”

“Mindy did well?’

“yeah, I’m having her make me two more outfits like it” A maid soon came in “I can’t get your son to come for dinner” Jundar groaned “How embarrassing, I can see why you don’t have much interest in him. You have no idea how embarrassing his behavior is to me’

“I don’t see it as a reflection on you” Jundar stood and walked off, obviously about to force his son to come. When Siavash came he looked confused “Where is everyone?”

“Cosme is being a brat and Jundar is correcting”

“ah, he’s not used to the word no from people who aren’t his father”

“I’m surprised even his father is allowed to say no.”

Siavash shrugged as he took the seat on her right side. “He is ill tempered and spoiled. He does not understand the value of hard work.” He rested his chin in his hand and smiled at her. “I like your hair like that, it makes you even more beautiful. Is that how you plan on wearing it tomorrow?”

She blushed. “I don’t know.”

“Will you, for me?” He traced his finger over her cheek and down her neck where he played with the end of her ponytail. “I would very much like to see it pulled up this way.”

“O…okay.”

He chuckled. “So beautiful, like a lovely desert flower and you smell just as sweet.”

Jundar and Cosme came in the dining room, the latter glaring at Siavash. Emma looked away from the elf and he grinned in turn. “So, did you catch us anything?” Jundar asked as he took his seat.

“Two big rabbits.”

Jundar patted his shoulder. “Well done. And how was the rest of your day Emma?”

“Good actually, I read a bit, thought about horse riding most of the time. I have to admit, I’m a bit nervous.”

“Siavash will put you on our most well mannered horse and wouldn’t allow you to get hurt.”

Siavash smiled one last time before disappearing into the kitchen to deliver the rabbits. Cosme rolled his eyes though nobody noticed. ‘well I hope you have fun tomorrow” Cosme said sarcastically. She sighed, trying to be patient and proper like her father raised her to be despite this other side Siavash seemed to be awakening. ‘I’m sure we will. I hope you’re day is enjoyable too”

“since you’ll be gone it will be”

“Cosme” his father reprimanded and Cosme sat silently. Siavash returned and sat by Emma again, returning his gaze to her as he rested his chin within his palm. She didn’t look back but that only made her adorable. He was used to people not holding his gaze anyway. He looked away when their food came and ate wordlessly since nobody else was speaking. After Emma cleaned her plate he asked “was it good?”

“all you fucking did was get the rabbit” Cosme hastily interrupted “fine Cosme, go, just go eat in your room” He shoved himself back in the chair and walked off. Siavash kept looking at Emma like the outburst didn’t happen so she answered “yeah, the meat was very good”

“Wonderful, though he is right in this instance, I did only kill it.”

“I’m sure it wasn’t easy, rabbits are fast.”

“I am sorry for my son’s childishness Emma. Maybe someday he will understand how hard it is to get to where I am today. I wasn’t born a duke by any means and his mother, god rest her soul, was a woman I had grown up with from my original home. It took me a long time to get to where I am, to earn the respect I have, something he has never known about, but something he will find out once I am gone.”

Siavash pulled his eyes away from Emma. “Are you sick sir?”

Jundar laughed. “Oh no, not even a little. I have a lot of years left in me boy so don’t look so worried. I am merely talking about taking measures to ensure he learns a lesson and once he learns that lesson, he will then be allowed to touch what I have earned.”

Siavash let out a sigh of relief. “Please don’t scare me like that.”

Emma smiled at the affection Siavash held for the duke, fascinated by his sudden change in character when it came to someone he cared about. “He doesn’t look even close to old.” Emma chimed in with a teasing smile. “Not even a day over fifty.”

“You flatter me princess, but I am nearly a hundred.”

“I am truly surprised, you really don’t look your age.”

“Like I said, I wasn’t always a duke, I grew up on a farm.”

Chapter Three

“My sister Keltie would have loved to grow up on a farm. Our father could never tame her how he wanted” Jundar chuckled “I’m surprised he tamed you and your mother so. Elves are normally spirited and must be out and about. You and your mother are the tamest elves I’ve ever seen”

“really? I didn’t grow up learning a whole lot about my race. My father had me learning how to be a lady and things I could do to serve my husband.” she smiled somewhat sadly “I guess Keltie wasn’t the weird one after all. It astounded me to no end we could be raised the same way and yet her spirit was always in the wild.”

“she’d have to be somthing to be married to a man like Kepu”

“you know Kepu”

“Oh yes, I met him when he was just a teenager. Good fellow but I’d imagine not just any woman could keep up with him and Embrae. Your brother seems to be doing amazing with her too. I am proud to be ruled by them” Siavash now spoke “After our lesson tomorrow I could teach you more about your race. It isn’t right for an elf not to know about herself and her peoples customs”

“You wouldn’t mind?”

“It gives me more reason to be with you so of course I don’t”

Her cheeks reddened. “Thank you.”

“Of course.”

They talked through dinner, listened to Jundar tell stories of his youth and parted ways after their bowls were empty. She could feel his eyes on her as she walked upstairs, but when she looked back, he was nowhere in sight. Her heart was beating overly fast by the time she made it to her room and shut her door. He was really getting to her, making her forget about things like rank. She pulled her clothes off and grabbed a nightgown out of her bag then went into the bathroom where she drew herself a bath and relaxed into the warm water. She didn’t know how long she sat there thinking about Siavash, about his intense and straightforward gaze, his honest way of speaking, and how incredibly handsome and regal he looked sitting a top his horse. He was quite amazing and never seemed quick to anger. Even Cosme could not get to him with his immaturity. She sighed, washing herself and rinsing then pulling the plug and stepping out of the tub. She dried, braided her hair then pulled on her nightgown and went to bed.

The next morning she woke feeling refreshed and excited. She jumped out of bed, quickly pulling on her new clothes and going into the bathroom to do her hair the way Siavash had wanted. She grew embarrassed at her sudden need to please him and stepped away from the mirror to pull on her boots. She left her room, smiling when she saw Siavash waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs. “You look gorgeous.” He said with a warm smile and tossed her an apple.

“Thank you, for both the compliment and the apple.”

“We can eat on the way to the stables.” He didn’t move to leave, but reached out and stroked her cheek. “You look like an angel.” She blushed and he chuckled. “Come on then.” He took her free hand and pulled her out of the house. She was warm the whole way to the stables, his fingers laced through hers made her heart stutter in her chest. The inside of the stables smelled of horses and hay, sweet and warm. There was only one left and he opened the stall door.

“Where are the other horses?” She asked.

“Out in the field, stretching their legs.” He lifted a blanket of of the edge of the stall and placed it on the back of the big black horse. “This is Midnight.” The saddle went on next and then the bridle. “Come here.”

The animal was intimidating, but she took a step forward anyway. He lifted her off the ground, surprising her as he deposited her onto the back of the large, male horse. “W…wait, I don’t think I can.”

“It’s alright, trust me.” He handed her the reigns and patted Midnight’s neck. “Come on boy.” He said and the horse walked next to him as they left the stable. She was nervous, her fingers gripping the reigns so tight her knuckles were white. “Relax Emma.”

“I’m trying.” He walked her around, smiling when he saw she still looked terrified for her life.

“Well I guess I have no choice.”

“What?”

He grabbed onto the saddle and pulled himself up behind her, making her scoot forward on the saddle. Her heart leaped at their closeness. “Now, feel the way the horse moves from here.” He ran his hands down her thighs and she felt herself grow even more hot. “If you squeeze your legs against him, he’ll want to go faster so let them relax.” One arm moved up to wrap around her waist, his hand pressing against her stomach to hold her against him giving her butterflies.

They had rode only a little further when Siavash whispered in her ear “Much better” if she would have talked right then her words may have been babbles, mere mockery of what she would be trying to say. Her mind was practically mush and her whole body heated for him. Siavash was absolutely shameless with his attraction and while that may have made her mad with others, she couldn’t get enough of it with him. ‘so you need me to stop being such a flirt Emma?” he asked and she said “it’s good to know for a fact you’re trying to flirt” he chuckled “you are an amazing and beautiful woman. You’ve awakened romance and want in me I didn’t know I could feel”

Her heart stuttered “You are making me more of a mess than I’ve ever been. I’m almost a different person”

“well I like this person and I’m hoping the interest is as mutual as it seems”

“it is” He rode with her awhile longer than gave the horse a break. As he helped Emma down he quickly kissed her cheek. The moment of his warm lips pressing against her was a surprise and it showed in her face as he set her down. He smiled “I wanted to earlier but I didn’t want you passing out or anything on the horse” she attempted to answer but all she could do was stare into those amazing eyes. They seemed a little softer though they were still quite intimidating to look into.

Siavash stroked her cheek again “is your silence good or bad? I didn’t take you for a woman to ever be this silent”

“I can’t seem to make my brain function well” his smile was humorous “Maybe if I kissed your cheek again it could unscramble things?”

Before she could protest he had pressed a kiss to her other cheek. She just stared at him and he chuckled. “Still not unscrambled, maybe your lips then.”

He leaned in and she slapped her hand over his mouth. “I’m fine, I’m fine.”

He kissed the palm of her hand and pulled back. “So cute, have you never kissed a man before?”

“Well, not really.”

He grabbed her chin between his thumb and forefinger, his eyes staring deeply into hers. “Good, don’t let anyone else kiss them but me.”

Her face turned a deep shade of crimson and she had to break her gaze away. “Teach me about elves.” She knew he was smiling and refused to look at him she was so embarrassed.

“Very well.” He lifted her off her feet and carried her over to a cluster of trees. He sat down, crossing his legs and keeping her in his lap. “First tell me why your mother never taught you anything.”

Well…” her heart was beating so fast she thought it might explode. “Well um…”

“Should I try kissing you again?”

“It was because of my father. He wanted a submissive wife and she gave up everything she was to be with him because she loves him. She finally told him how she felt and they reconciled.”

“An elf should never be forced to suppress their nature, being wild is part of who they are. We love nature, we find joy in the music of the rain and the whisper of the wind. Feeling the heartbeat of the earth, the heat of her fire excites us. We dance, we sing, we speak to the plants and animals. We are children of the earth.”

“I’m not, my sister and my brothers are, but not me.”

“You just need to open yourself up to all that is around you. Like you feel Midnight with your body, you should also feel nature.”

“What’s it like, how does it feel when you’re connected?”

“It’s almost like making love, it’s euphoric and exciting, you become one being just getting swept up in each other. Every time an elf hunts or runs through the woods, feels the coolness of the water on their skin and the soft touch of the wind, they get this almost animalistic excitement.”

“Oh.” She twisted her fingers. “Well I’ve never…you know. I was waiting until I got married.”

“Then we’ll just have to get married first.”

Her heart leaped and she looked at him. “What?”

“In the way of our people of course, it’s quite a beautiful ceremony.”

“I’ve seen how it’s done, it’s just so unexpected for you to say something like that.”

“Why? I always go after what I desire most and I desire you, every single part of you. I want to stand before your family and the duke and marry you. I want to show you the joys of being one with someone, of feeling loved above all else.” He curled his fingers around the nape of her neck and leaned in so his lips hovered an inch from hers. “Say yes Emma.”

Her heart was screaming yes so in a trembling voice she answered “yes. I’ll marry you” He pressed his lips into her happily. She didn’t know if all kisses felt like this but if she had been standing Emma felt she may have fallen down. He looked into her eyes cheerfully “I am going to teach you all you need to know about your kind. You’ll soon know the joys of nature and the intensity of love making. I’ve only been with one woman before you but I promise it’ll be earth shattering.”

“is there any way you aren’t confident?”

“I don’t think so”

“You think you’ll be confident when you meet my father and brother Marvin?”

“well your father is no longer king and I’ve heard your brother is an amazing man so I have no worries I’ve heard unpleasant things about Howie but I am not a woman so have nothing to fear”

“His girlfriend keeps him in line anyway”

“I didn’t know he had gotten a girlfriend”

“She’s nice”

“seems like none of you turned out like your father wanted. I’m sure he would have wanted a submissive wife for Howie and Marvin”

“My dads learning to be a better man”

“good, the world is a better place when women are who they are and not just a doll for a man. It’s sad to me any man would want to extinguish a womans light”

“I kind of feel bad for ever wanting to be what my father wanted”

“It was how you were raised”

“Keltie never went for it”

“so, it still explains why you were how you were”

“You are amazing Siavash” his smile broadened “So are you sweet princess”

“When should we go back to the castle?”

“Today, we’ll Jundar so he can get ready to go then we’ll all go together. I want to be married as soon as possible.”

“Are you really in that much of a hurry?”

“Must I kiss you until you can think of nothing else but being with me? I will you know.” He stroked her cheek. “It’s a good thing I am so impatient, it just means I love you and want you to feel all of my love and adoration.”

“You don’t play fair.”

“Why would I when I have the object of my desire sitting in my lap?”

She felt her heart flutter and smiled. “You’re far too charming.”

“I’m honest.”

“Alright then, let’s tell Jundar.”

He pushed himself to his feet, whistling for Midnight who came trotting obediently up to him. He put Emma on the horse’s back then climbed up behind her. He kicked the horse with his heels, making him lunge forward and take off at a run which had Emma’s heart racing. She clutched onto the saddle horn and Siavash kissed the back of her neck to reassure her. He would never allow her to fall from the back of any horse. He pulled on the reigns as the stables so Midnight skidded to a halt then he dismounted and lifted Emma down. “Give me a moment to unsaddle him and get him some water and sugar cubes.”

“Alright, I’ll wait right here.” She sat down on the bench outside the stable and he lead Midnight inside, telling the horse how grateful he was for his good temperament.

He handed her up from her seat when he was done with Midnight then they went inside to find Jundar. When they found him Siavash said “I’m sure your son wont be attending and that this is sudden but I’m going to marry Emma and I want to go to her home and wed her as soon as possible. I’d like you to bare witness to the union” he hugged them both at once “Oh my friend, I’d be proud to. I’ll get ready right now. I’m sure you and Emma need to pack up anyway”

“yes, thank you for being so hospitable and understanding of me not choosing your son”

“You chose a man I respect a lot more than my son sweetheart. I’m elated” When he walked off to pack Siavash followed Emma to her room to help her repack her things. As she zipped up her bag she said “just let me inform the people that brought me we’re leaving when the duke is ready. You want to pack while I do that or come with me.”

“Jundar takes awhile. I’ll come” She smiled and he couldn’t resist letting his lips touch hers again. She blushed a little less than the first time and simply lead him out. She asked a maid where her servants were and was told just how to get to their rooms. They were all quick to start getting ready so they now went to where Jundar stayed so he could bring what he wanted. Emma was surprised at how little he had when he started to zip his bag “that’s it?”

“yes, I don’t like to own a lot” he pulled her so that she sat in his lap again as he sat on the bed “we have some time”

“some time…: she said nervously and he smiled again “kiss me, I promise to behave until we’re married” Emma swallowed then leaned brought his face to hers in a slow kiss that she felt throughout her body. They kissed until Emma didn’t think her heart could take it any longer and she pushed him away “aw, I was really enjoying that”

“la..later” he chuckled and rested his forehead against hers “so cute” They stayed like that until it was time to go but even then he had her right back in his lap when they got in the carriage. “My goodness, you act just like Kepu does with Keltie”

“he must be completely captivated by her too then” Emma blushed again and looked away from his violet eyes. When they arrived back everyone was shocked that Emma was not only getting married but marrying someone who wasn’t anywhere near her rank. They were all excited for her and hoped this was a new chapter when it came to her attitude with people. They held the wedding for two days to allow Keltie and Kepu to come with their children but the moment they were there the ceremony began coming together to join Siavash and Emma.

It was a simple wedding, only decorated with what nature could offer. It was Emmas mother herself who perfomed the ceremony to make them one and bind them mind and soul. Emma had already been crying but it became much worse when she was washed over with how Siavash felt about her even in this short amount of time “Oh my god” she weeped and he pulled her into a hug “I love you Emma”

“I love you too Siavash. So much”

“I know, I can finally feel it” he whispered as a few of his own tears dripped into her hair.

~ The End ~

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