The summer was over and fall winds made their arrival. Rowe sat in his private chamber, with Jaren and Kale, debating the latest clan meeting. It had been eight months since he talked to Sarik, and still he had no word on his decision. In the meantime things were beginning to spiral out of control. During his visit to Hy-Brasil, Dugun lorded over the clan as if Rowe would never return. At one point, even Kale was ready to put an arrow through him, but Jaren talked him out of it as it might start a war between Canulis and Eir, something Rowe had strived to avoid.
“My Laird, the clan can wait no longer. You must select an heir, or they will choose one for you,” Kale bellowed, slapping his hand on the table. “And if you leave that oaf in charge again I will kill him myself,” Kale said, gritting his teeth as he fisted his hands.
“And I’m not going to stop him this time,” added Jaren sternly.
“I understand your frustration, but I need more time. If you just give me more time, I promise all will be well and an heir will be chosen,” Rowe pleaded.
Letting out a deep calming breath, Kale responded, “You know I believe you Rowe, but your clan is losing faith in your ability to rule, so I worry.”
Rowe sat silently, his hand on his chin as he mentally hashed out a plan. “Kale, is there any way you can convince Tam to court Lenni, I need for him to buy me more time?”
“You know his heart belongs to Wren, I doubt he would appreciate you playing games with his emotions Rowe,” Kale said with a shrug.
“Lenni refuses to be courted, because she keeps having dreams of a man she has never seen and thinks it is her husband to be. My plan is not for them to marry, I know both of their hearts lay elsewhere, I just need to give the clan hope until I get my answer from Sarik,” explained Rowe.
“I will talk to him, but I don’t like getting the clans hope up falsely,” Kale flustered.
“I don’t like it either, but they leave me little choice and I need more time. I will talk to Lenni, I’m sure she won’t mind spending time with Tam as long as she doesn’t have to marry him,” Rowe reassured Kale. He stood up from his chair, a sign that their business was done for the day. “And Kale, I expect to see Tam over here this evening for supper,” he added.
With a slight bow from the doorway Kale replied, “As you wish my Laird,” before departing.
Within the hour Tam arrived at the great hall, ready to do his duty to Laird and clan. He was greeted by Lenni, who despite her own yearning, really did enjoy Tam’s company. The two sat by the fire discussing the arrival of Edric’s horses earlier that day.
“Tam, you should see the fine horse father has bought for me, she is the most beautiful beast you have ever seen!” exclaimed Lenni as her face lit up against the fire light.
“After Edric teaches you to ride, maybe your father would let me take you on a trip to the cliffs. They are beautiful in the summer and I know you could use the fresh air,” he offered.
“Oh Tam, that would be wonderful, I have always wanted to see the cliffs, thank you,” she said, leaning over and kissing his cheek.
“Can you believe they are forcing us to spend time with one another, like it’s a punishment or something,” she laughed, nudging him with her elbow.
“I cannot say that I am completely saddened by this mockery, as I do enjoy your company. Maybe it will keep us occupied enough from our own love sorrows, that happiness may show upon our brow once again,” he smiled, and then noticed that the cook was serving mead. “Would you like some mead?” he asked before getting up.
“Yes, thank you.”
Tam walked across the hall and retrieved two cups of mead, on his way back he noticed his Laird standing in the doorway watching Lenni. Tam looked him in the eyes and smiled, before giving him a slight nod of approval. He sat back down beside Lenni, and handed her the cup. Tam raised his cup to Lenni and said, “A toast to us, may our courtship be brief but memorable.”
“And if not for Dugun, completely nonexistent,” she added, before they both began to laugh.
“I should not be laughing at the cause of my broken heart. If not for the fact that my father sent me to Monmalor to deliver salt, I think I would have killed him,” Tam confessed as he finished his cup of mead. “Would you like another one?” he asked, raising his cup.
“I really shouldn’t,” she replied, before laughing at Tam, standing before her with an exaggerated frown. “Very well then I shall have another,” she laughed as Tam grabbed her cup to refill it.
He returned to the fire with a pitcher and their two cups in his hand. The two of them sat by the fire laughing and drinking mead the rest of the evening. As the fire died down, Tam clasped Lenni’s hand in his, bent over and brought it to his lips. Her face flushed with drink, she smiled at his gesture and moved closer, then threw her arms around his neck and kissed his lips. Her kiss stirred something inside of Tam, instead of pushing away from her, he pulled her closer, losing himself in her desire, returning her craving with his own, until gently he melted away from her embrace. He leaned his forehead against hers and closed his eyes as he softly caressed her face. “I must go Lenni,” he whispered softly before as he pulled away and walked out the room.
Lenni just stood there, her heart beating wildly as her mind swam with confusion. What the hell just happened? she thought, sitting back down in front of the coals that still burned in the hearth. She sat there motionless and alone, until Jael went looking for her, then walked her to their room and laid her on the bed.
This is an excerpt from “Immortal Voyage” it is the book I am working on this month for NaNoWriMo. Although I have ended this scene with a simple kiss between friends, the consequences of that kiss will affect them their entire lives. Have you ever had a kiss you could never forget? Tell me what you think of the excerpt or just stop by and say “HI”. I love comments.
Author of Spell Checked: Book One of The No Uncertain Logic Series