Soundtrack Provided by: Master of Tides – Lindsey Stirling
Current Reading: The Tudors: The Complete Story of England’s Most Notorious Dynasty– GJ Meyer
Hello everyone! This week’s post is brought to you by the lovely folks at The Figment. This week’s prompt was the following image:
Can I just say how awesome it is to be challenged to think outside the creative box? So I kept looking and looking at this photo and tried to figure out where it put my head. Here goes….
The tides of darkness had receded in the North. Her arrival brought not only Hope but a will that seemed stronger than steel. With winter’s thaw, joy returned to her little corner of the realm. Tatiyana Jade watched the revelers with a small smile. The Adryn season was upon them and this celebration in Lochton was the first of its kind in nearly a century. As the reigning noble female of the North, the townspeople insisted that she be crowned Queen of the Festival. In their eyes, it was she that brought the Light back to the North. By these people, she was accepted in ways she never had been in the capital.
Tanya felt that at five foot two; she hardly held any regal bearing and certainly none of the grace Christiana Morningstar seemed to be blessed with. Among her family, she often felt like the outsider due to not only her stature but her frank way of handling her affairs. Surprisingly, Tanya was not upset but that development in her life. In a way, her distance from the capital, the very heartbeat of their realm, was soothing to her. For her, the realm’s heartbeat was in the mountains where she grew up, these foothills and the port town of Lochton. Tanya gave a polite smile and waved another reveler intent on dancing with her away.
So lost in her own thoughts, she did not see one of the revelers break away from the crowd and come to her side. “I have not danced at an Adryn festival in more than a century. Please humor me…” Her masked admirer begged. An ash blonde brow quirked as Tanya met his eyes. With the amused expression, a challenging sparkle came to her eyes. She too was masked and crowned as queen of the fete. The man behind the mask was not unknown to her, after all. The amusement in his emerald eyes brought a smile to hers.
“Now why would I humor you, beloved?” She teased him. As was typical of her, the holy blade Hope was strapped her hip. She was clothed in a snug pair of black pants and an auburn blouse. Her ash to gold shaded hair was pulled up in a loose topknot that left a few tendrils framing her delicate features. Once, not long ago, a well-meaning member of nobility compared her to a tiny doll because her features and stature were so fine-boned. Tanya did not take the comment as a compliment. Though she was tiny and doll-like she had a warrior’s pride, after all.
“Because you can deny me nothing, my little warrior.” His voice pitched low enough to draw a shiver from her. Dominic Devereaux smiled at her. The smile hid his fangs but did not hide the warmth he felt when he saw her. He could hear the thoughts rambling through her head as if they were his own because of the bond Nicholas Taltos had been able to bless them with. And because you look too blasted breathtaking tonight…if one more towns person offers to abscond with you…I may not be responsible for my actions.
Her laughter was music to his ears and with a smile, she surrendered to his request. Dominic steered her into the gathering crowd and fell easily into a step he thought he had forgotten years ago. “Follow me.” He whispered and danced with her. The dance was lively and joyous. “I will draw you out of that mood yet.” Dominic flashed a warm smile as they moved down the row of revelers arm in arm. “You will be enough for them, I promise you.”
He addressed her concerns long before she could voice them. This was rather typical of their bond. Dominic understood her and her motivations better than anyone except perhaps her twin, Sion. With a smile, he chided her. “Relax, enjoy yourself for once. Let yourself live beyond the next fight.” He knew what her life was before the war and during. Her whole life had been a battle, from childhood until now. “All we have before us is time.”
“I feel like this is the calm before the storm that will swallow us whole.” Tanya said suddenly and missed a step in the dance. Her family ran strong in clairvoyance. At times, they could not determine when their vision would become truth and others they knew precisely when. Her cousin, Alexandra, saw more clearly than she did. Tanya shook as Dominic steered her from the dance.
“Do not be disturbed by the things which you cannot control or predict, Tati.” Dominic hugged her close and kissed the top of her head. “You will never find any peace that way. I love you. Enjoy the moment.” He felt her mind relax before her body settled against his like a glove. They were made from each other—two pieces from the same puzzle.
“Very well Dominic.” She agreed and absorbed the warmth of his embrace. Though he was right, Tatiyana could not help the nagging tickle at the back of her mind that the realm was not settled with the war’s end.