Copyright held by Taleweaver
DISCLAIMER: I really need no disclaimer since there are no names mentioned in this little exercise of mine. This is a first for me, but I must admit that I felt more a vehicle for the words than an author of them. I also admit to enjoying the writing of this immensely.
I offer this to the love of my life. She is inspiration, muse and my passion, all at once. I thank the heavens above every day for bringing Betty to me. I am thankful for her, and her love, and this is my gift to her.
WARNING: Here there be passion, desire and love. If this makes your stomach turn, don't read it! Go find an issue of Popular Science, and leave this to those who might enjoy it.
I crave feedback, please sustain my habit and let me know what you think.
STIRRINGS OF A DARK HEART
I watch her from the corner of my eye while she is occupied. She doesn't know how often I do this, under the pretense of sharpening my sword. I watch the way she moves, watch the grace and fluidity of movement that is hers alone; and ache with wanting. Her hair is her halo, golden and fine. Her arms strong and yet tender, her hands capable of great things and yet so gentle, her fingers quick and sure, and able to write such passionate, moving tales. Her mind is sharp and witty, her heart so full of love, compassion and patience...I smile slightly as she turns her back to me to lay out the bedrolls. She does not know I feel this way about her; I feel both safe in the knowledge and yet...cheated as well. I would gladly give up my life on this path to be able to settle down somewhere with her, just the two of us. But I have tried to hide just how my heart really does feel, for her safety. I would happily tell her if I could keep her safe from those who would use her against me, she would be a victim in an unfair battle then. A victim.... in truth she stopped being a victim some time ago.
Somewhere on the road she grew and blossomed before my very eyes; no longer the naive innocent but now a capable, wise and stronger woman than I suspected lay beneath the surface. We've talked about this and she claims that I have influenced her direction; I agree and disagree at the same time. I see how I have given direction to fight for her freedom, taught her how to defend herself and take advantage of an enemy's opening in a battle; but the instinct must come from within. She has an innate passion for fighting a battle that will have meaning; one cannot be taught such a thing no matter how good a warrior. She has a zest for life that is seen so rarely these days, a drive for justice, freedom and the greater good...none of which I put in her heart. It was always there, in wait like an ember waiting for the breath that will give birth to a flame. She has taught me that there is more to being a warrior than the limited visions I had as a warlord. I was so blind then; the realization makes me draw a shuddering breath. She hears this and turns, concern coloring her features. Her soft voice asks if I feel all right and I give her a small smile and nod. She studies me for awhile, judging if I am telling her the truth or concealing some ill I had not told her about. I am more than happy to have her eyes search mine, sea green pools of love and caring that, for a moment, are exclusively for me alone. Finding no cause for concern, she nods slightly to herself and turns to the saddlebags.
I continue to sharpen my sword, finding peace in the mere sound of so simple an action. As much solace as I find in hearing the scratching of her quill on the parchment. The very sound has come to be my home, the one thing that can bring me such bliss... I find myself wishing foolishly that I could tell her how I feel; how my heart yearns to be rid of this secret, how much my arms would like to find a home wrapped around her, how great the desire is to breathe in the very scent of her, lose myself in her soft curves...I sigh and shake with desire to hold her, to let my body love hers, feel nothing but her pulse pound beneath my lips, her fingers in my hair, the caress of her gentle fingers dancing over my skin, her soft lips embrace mine...My breath catches in my throat, torn between the need to tell her all right now, this very moment before my nerve takes flight, and the need to keep my passion for her buried deep beneath my warrior's mask. I sigh once more and set my sword down, kneel at the fire between us and add more wood. I watch guardedly, observing a new war within myself, the war between heart and common sense. Unable to do more than bear witness, I sigh and stand wearily. I claim fatigue and begin to remove the armor that keeps my skin whole. Before I realize she has moved, her fingers are dancing over my own and removing leather, copper and the very nearly the last of my resolve. I turn to face her, open my mouth to tell her my heart's fondest desire and see the greatest love I have ever known peering back at me. I smile gently, run one hand along a smooth arm and thank her. Then I turn tortured into my bedroll to feign sleep, still witnessing the battle between mind and heart.
When I feel her slip beneath the blankets and curl up along the length of me, my heartbreaks and one single tear migrates along my cheek. I hear her breathing change and deepen as sleep overcomes her, and my heart shatters silently among the stars.
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