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once a dream did weave a shade; fin

The air outside the walls was cool on her skin. Although still not fresh, the sun had a hard time penetrating this deep into the ocean, leaving a chill. It was a stark contrast between the warm fires in the castle and the food that was heating her from inside. Her hands had warmed considerably over the course of the meal, so the cold tingled nicely. Of course, her eyes lingered on the rose bushes, heating her again and driving a blush to her cheeks. Mordred wasn’t looking, but Gaiane hoped it was dark enough that he would miss it if he turned around. With a deep breath, she followed him, letting her fingers entwine in his.

The lights began to twinkle to life and colors re-emerged from the flora around the couple. Overhead, the lamps reflected of the water, creating a replica of the night sky far above and out of sight. Down here, however, the stars danced with the tide and the birds swam above them. Gaiane had been in the gardens before, but never so late, and they were never so empty. The peace was nice, with the chirping songs of night birds and insects harmonizing with the fountain and ocean walls. It was perfect out.

She drew closer to Mordred as the chill settled deeper, and leaned into him as they neared the orchids. Of course they were beautiful. Gaiane had had little doubt that anything Nimue looked after would ever be anything less. She nodded quietly, marveling at the orchids in the lamplight glow. But the flowers were surpassed by what was held in front of her.

Gaiane stared wordlessly at the ring before her, mouth agape. The flicked to his eyes and the sincerity and hope held within. Slowly her shock turned to a smile and her hands rose to her mouth. “Yes,” she said, nodding. “I’d love to marry you, Mordred.”

She bounced her knees, giddy as a school girl as he took her hand to place the ring on her finger. When he rose again, she kissed him, uninterested in who might see. They stayed embraced for several minutes before returning to the castle and the waiting family to share the news.

photo by knowhimonline at flickr.com

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