Of Ash & Blood

First Sight

Oh, how I loved her. The curve of her nose into her lips, the way her mouth curled as she awoke next to me. My arm dying beneath her head and that I don dare move in fear of waking her. I loved her only as they spoke about in poems and great novels. I loved the way she walked, as if the earth glowed beneath her every step as though it knew she was the very one to bring the light in for me. I spent the mornings watching the light fall in on her face, savoring the moments that I could before I had to get up and prepare.

Prepare to leave.

I shook my head of the thought and went back to admiring Amabel, wondering what she was dreaming about now. Im sure she would tell me once she woke, she always remembered every detail, always wanted to understand why or what it meant. To me, they were always just dreams. Crazy things our minds made up to make the time pass while our eyes closed for the night. Finally, once the sun was up enough to indicate I should prepare to leave, I gave her a stroke on her cheek. I leaned into her lips as she breathed out a goodmorning, and pressed my lips to hers gently. I hated to wake her from a deep sleep, to interrupt her from her dreams that she cherished.

Our love was not always, in fact, Amabel hated me at first. Our families joined together in expeditions, our fathers fighting side by side to defend our homes and citizens. Banquets were often held at each others castles, weddings shared and summers spent together while our fathers were away. Amabel was probably about ten when I first saw her. Back then, her legs wobbly and her smile crooked – although I would not tell her so now. She had long brown hair that fell like a vines around her face-twisting and curling every way. I was only twelve, following my father around like a lost puppy. I was his only son, and he had to ensure I was ready to take over once he was gone.

I laid eyes on her across the banquet hall. She was wearing a dark green dress that fell right above her ankles. She looked bored, sitting next to her mother who was speaking to one of the servants about the meal being served. I watched her carefully eyeing her mother and the rest of the banquet hall. She carefully snuck off the chair and walked slowly out of the large wooden doors. I was curious where she was going, I snuck a glance at my mother who was speaking to a friend, my father not in sight. I walked out the hall and looked both ways looking for her. I saw her taking a turn and I followed short. I made sure to stay behind, not wanting her to hear my steps echoing in the long hallways of the castle. I tiptoed around the corner and – she was gone. I looked around, walked swiftly down the hall. After I couldn find her I turned around and went to go back to the banquet.

”Why are you following me? ” I heard from behind. I jumped back to look, and there she was. Starring me down with her arms folded across her chest. ”I was wondering where you went, is all. I saw you leaving the banquet hall, ”

”Can I not take a walk in my own home? ” She frowned. I didn know what to say. Of course, she could, what else was I to say?

”Such a son of Bayard was easy to startle, ” She smiled. She was mocking me. ”It – it is dark. ” I defended. ”There are candles, ” She pointed. I frowned. ”What are you doing out here? ” I asked. ”Why should I sit in on a banquet when I have already finished eating? ”

”To celebrate the victory of our fathers! ” I exclaimed, ”I already gave praise to my father. Send it to yours as well, for me. Im bored and going to my room. ” I wondered if she had even let her maidservants know she was tired, of course the lord would be angered to know his youngest daughter was wondering the halls alone at night.

She turned to leave and I reached out, taking a step forward. ”What is your name? ” I asked, hoping for more conversation.

”Amabel. ” She said, her wide, blue eyes showing dimly through candle and moonlight from a window. She turned, and I let her leave.

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