By Megan Finsel
She stanched the bleeding with a piece of silk torn from her skirts and looked into his eyes. They were shining like stars in the darkness cast by the forest canopy.
“You’ve saved my life,” he whispered and touched her cheek.
She tried to swallow but her mouth was too dry. “Well, far be it from me to miss an adventure. You’re insane, thinking you could fight him alone.” she chided.
He began to sit up but she stopped him, afraid the movement would worsen the bleeding. His bewildered gaze was fixed upon her. “Margaret,” he began, but she kept her face turned away and refused to look at him. “I am indebted to you.”
“Rubbish.” She shook her head. “You owe me nothing. It was a lucky shot.”
“Right, a direct shot from between two trees and over my shoulder,” he said, “indeed, that was quite lucky.”
She tried to ignore the body lying nearby, bearing an arrow identical to those in her quiver. Instead she focused on applying constant pressure to his wounded arm, where the ogre’s sword had slashed him below the elbow.
“I did what any friend would do.” she said simply.
He touched her lips. “You know, you are more than a friend to me, my darling.”
She looked up at him then and felt her heart pinch inside her, causing her actual pain. It took all her focus to tie the two ends of the makeshift bandage to his arm. It was already beginning to bleed through.
“You need a physician.”
“I think I’ll survive. You’ve kept me alive for this long already.” As his lips traced her earlobe she turned and pressed her face against his neck, aware of his fingers following along her spine.
“Maggie!” The voice was distant but she still startled at it.
“What is it?”
“They’re calling me back.” She told him and felt a sob rising in her throat.
“You have to leave now?”
She groaned and laid her forehead against his chest, drawing him closer to her. “I wish I could stay.”
He pulled her into his lap. “But won’t you consider it?”
She knew she could always come visit him, but she could never stay for long. After all, I do not belong here in his world, she thought. I belong out there, in the real world, where life is hard and happily ever after isn’t guaranteed.
Lifting her face to look into his own he rested his forehead against hers and wisps of his hair brushed her skin. “I understand.”
“Do you?” She searched his face for any hints of sadness or disappointment.
He showed both of these, as he returned her gaze, and his fingertips traced the curve of her cheek. But he said, “Yes, I understand.”
“Are you upset?” she asked, finding she feared upsetting him more than the thought of leaving.
“I hate to see you go,” he admitted, “but I could never be upset with you. I am as much a part of you as you are a part of me. It would be difficult to separate us forever.”
She accepted the first of his kisses and tried to ignore their calls. But as their voices grew louder, she felt herself growing fainter in his arms. Finally she drew away and gazed down at his chest, tracing the intricate emblem of his kingdom embroidered upon his vest.
“I have to go now,” she said softly.
He sighed. “If you must leave me then I shall say farewell.” he whispered, “but not goodbye, for goodbye is final. Farewell means we will meet again.”
Tears choked her throat as she rested her chin upon his shoulder. “Farewell, Prince Leif.” she whispered. “I will return when I can.”
“Maggie, where are you?”
Reluctantly she closed the book, caressed the cover, and placed it upon the shelf, his kisses still lingering on her lips. “I’m in the library.”
Bio: Words have a great power to me. They can evoke emotions, thoughts, and ideas. They can start and end wars, and they can paint pictures. When I learned I could use words to express myself, I realized I had found my passion. Writing is my way to communicate the complex emotions and thoughts that we all tuck away in the recesses of our hearts. And if I can make at least one person aroused through my writing, then I know I have done my job 🙂