Water sparkled against the lowering sun, the last glint of daylight present as the Lord of Winter felt a gentle breeze blow past. Sitting upon a bed of grass, he found himself deep within his own mind.
"Lord Milori?" interrupting his thoughts was Queen Clarion, standing a few feet from him with a gentle smile on her face. Her
blue eyes sparkled and her brown hair shined in the last rays of the
sun's light. A faint glow emitted from her golden dress. She looks as beautiful as ever. Milori slowly stood.
"Your Highness," he addressed her formally, bowing low in the
process, forcing a laugh from the Queen's lips. "Is anything the matter?"
"Of course not, Lord Milori." she smiled. By the crinkles at her cheeks, he grinned at the knowledge that this was a genuine smile, that she was truly happy in that moment.
"You know," he began slowly, approaching her, "You don't have to address me so formally, Clarion." he paused when they were almost touching, his skin mere inches from touching hers.
"I'm sorry." she apologized, her smile fading. Milori grasped her hand within his.
"Well," he rested another hand under her chin, lifting her face to look into his eyes. "Don't be." gently, the Lord lent forward and planted a
kiss on her soft lips. A grin formed on both leader's faces, Clarion's genuine smile appearing once again. Milori intended on keeping it there.
Dusk was beginning to settle over the Home Tree as Clarion and Milori poured themselves over different ideas
and plans, their efforts seeming frustratingly futile as they could not find a solution.
"Maybe Fairy Mary will
know…" Clarion thought aloud, an action she often did when she was alone with Milori. She felt as though he saw through her formalities and her tough exterior, seeing only what lay within her soul.
"Perhaps," he agreed. Due to many complaints about the service of Pixie Dust-talent fairies, the Queen had enlisted the help of the Lord, hoping that together, they would would be able to find a more efficient way for the Pixie Dust to be delivered. This was to no avail.
Clarion summoned her most trusted summoning-talent fairy. Moments later, the wrap of knuckles against the door alerted the two. "Enter." a young fairy stepped into the room and
gave a long bow, her blonde hair tucked messily under her hat.
"You're Highness," she smiled, always eager to help her Queen. "How may I assist you?"
you summon Fairy Mary? I must speak with her as soon as possible." Clarion spoke gently, a gracious smile touching her lips, hands neatly tucked in front of her. Milori watched tentatively, admiring her pale complexion contrasting elegantly against her chestnut hair.
Viola had noticed this, suppressing the giggle in her throat as the Lord realized his thoughts seemed to reflect in his features.
The Queen, intelligent and wise, suspected a change in the air. Her young servant tipped her head discretely at her Queen's lover, with Clarion craning her neck to see what she could not understand. Milori cleared his throat sheepishly as Viola fluttered away silently, a trail of golden dust left in her tracks.
Flittering towards the Lord, Clarion spoke, "I seem to have misunderstood what just happened." her eyes lit with curiosity.
"You misunderstood nothing." he stated plainly in response.
"Is that so?"
she mused, touching a warm hand to his icy skin, "I'm sure that finding the Lord of Winter staring at the Queen, must be rather..." her words trailed off, careful not to anger or upset the sparrowman.
"Amusing?" he grumbled, his voice quietened with embarrassment. Clarion gave
a sympathetic smile. Leaning into him, she placed her lips upon his own, Milori responding with great passion as he deepened the kiss. Draping his arms around her waist, they each allowed themselves a moment of serenity.
Neither fairies heard the wrap of knuckles against the wooden door, the slight creaking of hinges, or the fluttering of wings. The two had become entranced in the touches of each other, a feeling of deep wanting present from the many years they had spent apart.
"Oh, Queen Clarion!" upon the words of her closest friend, Clarion was swift to compose herself, her hands brushing briefly down her dress in an attempt to calm her dwelling embarrassment.
"Apologies, Fairy Mary," she breathed, her face coloured with shame. The plumb fairy gave a brief nod of understanding, the Queen forfeiting the explanation she had begun constructing in her head. "As you may know, there have been complaints about the service of Pixie Dust deliveries." she explained, her hands moving as she talked, approaching the Tinker fairy slowly. "I summoned you here to ask if you had any ideas that may help." to her disappointment, Mary shook her head.
"Sorry, Queen Clarion, but I'm afraid not." she sighed, a discouraged look painting her face. An idea quickly formed within her head. "Perhaps you should ask Tinkerbell."
"I will. Thank you, Fairy Mary." the Tinker nodded and flew out the door, closing it quietly behind her.
Milori, from beside Clarion, asked with suspicion, "I thought that you did not mind people knowing, Clarion?"
long as it doesn't interfere with royal duties." she corrected him. As he attempted to approach her, she moved away, her intentions clear to him. She picked
up a pile of clothes from the bed that lay in the room, carrying them quietly to the
bathroom in the adjoining room, her head low. Milori decided against following her, instead, abandoning the uncomfortable and unwelcoming silence in favour of the river; a favourite spot of his. This way, he could think.
Clarion, upon returning minutes later, found the room desolate.
called nervously, "Milori?" though her voice only bounced off empty walls. Sighing, she flew out
towards the balcony, peering over the stone railing to find her lover beside the flowing river. He was pelting small stones into the water.
Clarion decided against following him, fearing she could accidentally worsen the situation. He'll return on his own accord, she thought to herself, closing the balcony doors behind her glowing form. In her bed, she found it cold and lonely, missing the sparrowman who had shared it with her for the past week. Nothing feels the same without Milori.
At first light, Milori awoke. He lay still, staring at the ceiling, his thoughts overwhelming as he waited for Clarion to stir. When she did, finding that her lover had returned safely, a part of her was relived. A second half of her was anxious of his mood, wondering if he was upset or angry. His expression was neither, however. It was almost soothing.
At last, Milori gave in to the unbearable silence, "Clarion?" he called.
"Yes, Milori?" her voice croaked as her word were barely audible, clearing her throat and turning to face him.
"I'm sorry if I caused you any embarrassment last night." he spoke softly, his gaze avoiding hers. The Queen felt her lips tug into a small smile. "I did not intend to."
"Nonsense," she assured him, a smile forming on his face at her response. "I love you, Milori." leaning into him, she pressed her mouth to his, warm breath colliding with cold. Wind blew against her arms in the morning air, goosebumps arising as she tugged the blanket to her shoulders. Milori wordlessly reached for her hands, pulling her into his embrace and quietening her insecurities with his icy touch.
Together, in that moment, they felt powerful; as if nothing could stand in their path. Pixie Hollow and the Winter Woods were not easy places to rule at times, though hand in hand, it felt possible. That in that moment, their love knowing no bounds, that each struggle they faced would cease to exist so long as they were together. Nothing could ruin that that moment. And nothing did.