Chapter 26 - Emmalyn
Emmalyn woke the next morning to find Kell’s side of the bed cold. She reached over and felt the spot he’d been lying in and was surprised to find it still warm. That meant he’d only left the bed a few minutes before. She hoped he’d fled when he sensed her stirring, it would show he was taking her feelings into account. She was still mad at him, but she was grateful he’d spent the night. She’d slept like a baby curled up against his chest.
Emmalyn threw back the covers and searched the room and the adjoining bath area. The bathroom was as far behind in the times as everything else in Kell’s world. It contained a metal tub, a crude wooden table holding a basin, a pitcher of water and towels, along with a chamber pot. She eyed the chamber pot with disgust, but gave in and used it. Once she’d had a quick wash, she drew on the pretty pink dress she found on a chair. She could only assume her mother left it for her and she smiled at the thought. It was long and made of a soft material. The top looked like a white corset and was extremely flattering. Short sleeves billowed out and lace trimmed the top.
Next, Emmalyn headed for the balcony. The glass doors were locked, but that didn’t mean Kell wasn’t out there. Throwing open the doors, she stepped outside and grinned as the sun bathed her face, and a slight breeze tickled her skin. After being outside for the last little while, she missed it. Sleeping inside had been both a comfort and a burden. After a minute she turned her attention to the tree. She studied it, figuring it was a good thirty feet away. She knew the tree had bent and touched the railing, but the distance was crazy far. The next time she saw Kell she’d be asking how he got it to bend like it did.
Emmalyn decided now was as good a time as any to try out her own powers. She’d gotten a cat to come to her room last night, but that wasn’t anything to brag about. Closing her eyes, she concentrated on Zephyr and thought about him galloping up to her and stopping just below her balcony. She kept concentrating, and it only took a few minutes before she heard the pounding of hooves coming from the north side of the castle. She opened her eyes and turned in that direction, giggling when she saw him break from the trees. He was running flat out, and would be under her in a second.
Then she heard a loud curse and a painful grunt. Warily, she leaned over the railing and peered down. She couldn’t help the gasp that escaped her when she saw a man pinned against the side of the castle. Zephyr was pushing against him and staring up at her, and she could swear the horse looked happy to see her. But the castle guard that was trapped and pushing against his unmoving body was shouting obscenities.
“Uh oh,” she cried in a panic as the horse refused to move.
“Emmalyn seriously call him off,” the guard shouted, and she narrowed her eyes at him.
“Oryn?” Emmalyn called, and when he nodded she huffed. “Why are you dressed like a castle guard, and what are you doing under my window?”
“Following orders,” Oryn grunted in reply. Then a laugh sounded from behind her, causing her to scream in surprise. She turned around to see Behr standing there dressed in a similar outfit as Oryn.
“Well you don’t see that every day,” the ass smirked, at the same time Kell came barreling out of the trees. Both turned to see him stop and stare at his horse.
“What the ever living hell?” Kell shouted as he eyed his horse and Oryn. When Oryn simply pointed up with a scowl Emmalyn thought it best to step out of sight. Behr of course chose that moment to step forward, effectively blocking her retreat.
“Hey honey,” she stupidly called as she waved at him. Kell immediately lost his furious expression and grinned up at her.
“Trying out your powers my wee warrior?” Kell chuckled.
“I was,” she confirmed. “It turned out well until Oryn got in the way.”
Kell laughed. “I was brushing Zephyr and feeding him some hay when he took off like a bat out of hell. I thought something scared him, so I gave chase.”
Emmalyn nodded, then finally remembered she was mad at him. She placed her hands on her hips and glared down at him. “Why am I surrounded by your men? And why are they dressed like that?”
“Hello, a little help,” Oryn bellowed. “My legs are losing feeling.”
“Zephyr,” Kell called. “Step back.” Then he raised his brow in surprise when the horse ignored him.
“Zephyr my beautiful horse,” Emmalyn sighed. “Please move away from Oryn.” Immediately the horse neighed and stepped to the side. “Thank you,” she grinned down at him.
“I’m not leaving,” Kell reminded her, something he’d already told her last night, as he answered her earlier question. “And that means my warriors don’t leave either. They will protect you, and they need to blend in so as not to alarm the villagers.”
She huffed, then remembered the tree, and decided now was as good a time as any to get some answers. “How did you bend the tree last night?”
“I can control the elements my wee warrior. I’ve admitted to this. All I need to do is concentrate on what I want and ask politely,” Kell explained.
“Can you show me?” Emmalyn requested, trying to hide her excitement. Kell smirked, and she knew the man could see right through her.
“Behr, how about you retrieve that pitcher of water inside the bath?” Kell requested. Behr immediately turned and disappeared into the room, returning a minute later with it clasped in his hand. “Hold it up,” Kell ordered.
Emmalyn watched as Behr raised the pitcher, then she turned back to Kell. The man raised both his arms, closed his eyes, and whispered some words. Then he opened them again and moved his hands so they were pointing at the pitcher. Emmalyn gasped as the water rose from the pitcher in a swirling stream. Then it rose over the railing and made its way over to Zephyr. It hovered in the air as the horse took a tentative sniff. Zephyr must have found it to his liking, because he lapped the entirety of it up.
“That’s unbelievable,” Emmalyn cried as she clapped her hands. “What else can you do?”
Kell laughed. “I thought you were mad at me? You seem awfully interested for someone who wants nothing to do with me.”
“I’m still mad,” she quickly assured him. “But this is entertaining, and after all I’ve been through, I think I deserve some fun.”
Kell quickly lost his smile and his face turned furious. “Behr,” he growled. “Toss her down.”
“What?” Emmalyn screamed, just as Behr picked her up and literally threw her over the railing. She thought her heart would burst she was so frightened. But she landed safely in Kell’s arms, and he didn’t even grunt from her weight. The man was showing his superhero abilities again.
“You could have killed me,” she yelled up at Behr.
“But I didn’t,” Behr snorted, before turning and disappearing into the castle.
When she glanced around, she noticed Oryn had snuck away as well. That meant it was only Kell and his horse left. Sighing, she leaned her head on his shoulder as he sat and got comfortable against a tree. Immediately he pulled her closer and started running his fingers through her hair.
“Things will get better sweetheart,” Kell soothed. “We’re destined to have a long life together. I can feel it.”
Emmalyn nodded but said nothing, fearing with her emotional state lately she’d only ending up crying again. Instead she lifted her hand and placed it against his heart.
“You need to focus on the positive things. You’ve found your parents, who you thought dead, and they absolutely adore you. Even I can see the love they have for you. You’ve traveled to another dimension and back, which no one else can say they’ve done. You’ve battled assassins and come out victorious. Let’s not forget you have several huge ferocious warriors at your beck and call,” he teased.
She laughed at that one. She’d come to know his men well, and although they were scary at first, she thought of them as teddy bears now.
“And you’ve found a man that will move heaven and hell for you. A man that will love you for eternity. A man that will be by your side even after his death. A man that lives only to see you happy,” Kell swore.
Emmalyn moved back and cupped his face with her small hands. The tears she was trying to hold in were streaming down her cheeks.
“I forgive you,” she whispered. “It hurts too much staying mad at you, and I understand why you kept things from me. I would have done the same thing. But I need you by my side. I’m lost without you.”
Kell leaned forward and kissed her. It was a soft kiss, a kiss that assured her things would work out. But she didn’t want soft. She wanted to feel. She wanted passion. Emmalyn moved her hands to his hair and pulled him closer, then slipped her tongue out to trace his lips. A growl tore from Kell, and then he took over. He pushed his tongue inside and his taste exploded in mouth. It was consuming, and exactly what she needed. When he eventually pulled back she was dazed, but deliriously happy.
“Marry me,” Emmalyn softly demanded.
Kell’s eyes grew wide, and he stared at her in shock. “What?” he whispered just as softly.
“I don’t care about the extra powers you’ll gain from taking a bride. And I certainly don’t care about becoming a future queen. I want the man I fell in love with. The man that holds me when I need him to. The man that shows me the colourful fish just to make me smile. The man that took me to my parents even though it most likely isn’t safe. And the man that catches me when I fall,” Emmalyn grinned.
Kell threw back his head and laughed as she swiped at her tears. Then his eyes turned serious, and they locked on hers.
“You are my everything. I would give it all up for you,” he growled. “I’ll marry you my wee warrior. I’ll marry you today.”