When Night Falls
When Night Falls
The tea was so hot she had to blow on it before she could sip from the small porcelain cup. Its matching, pale-blue saucer, with tiny, yellow flowers winding around its edge, rested on the tips of the fingers of her right hand. With her left hand she raised the delicate cup to her lips. She sipped lightly. The taste of orange blossoms, with a sweet, subtle hint of honey, filled her mouth. The tea's heat warmed her as it trickled down her throat. She breathed in the fresh, cool, evening air that blew across her face as it brought the smell of mint, mixed with hibiscus, to her. And maybe , she thought, a hint of lilac and honeysuckle? The fragrances filled her nose causing her to smile brightly. Peace . This place, along with the time of day, always brought her comfort. She reclined in the oversized chair, on the veranda, as she gazed out on the lush Valley of O'lukaz. Fully leaved trees intermingled with thick stands of flowers in every conceivable color as they filled the valley below. It made for a breathtaking sight from her vantage point. The house had been built along the rim of the valley to take advantage of the beautiful view.
She loved coming out onto the veranda, leaning over the slatted railing, or just nestling into Azmatthamelle's large chair while reveling in that view. Rocking herself slightly, she mirrored the treetops, as the wind turned, then twisted, down into the valley causing them to sway in the breeze.
"Joy of my heart." His voice was deep, with a rich complexity, as if there were other, fainter, voices echoing behind it, just out of hearing. Caught by surprise, she nearly jumped out of the chair. As it was, she spilled some of her tea on the front of her dress. The too-white, nearly sheer fabric shimmered as the tea drizzled down its front. Then, in a brief twinkle of multi-colored light, the tea disappeared leaving no trace. It was the only thing that kept her from giving him a stern look, even if she would not have meant it.
Setting the cup lightly on its saucer she placed both on the small table nestled against the chair while rising from her seat. Turning, she looked at him as he stood in the open doorway leading from the house out onto the veranda. When her eyes fell on him it happened. He had taught her how to mask the effects of the presence so that she would not be so overcome, but sometimes she enjoyed letting herself feel it. He was one of the Glorious Ones. She was only mortal. As he walked onto the veranda, gliding with an unearthly grace that only they possessed, the presence washed over her. Joy blossomed in her chest. She had to fight to keep tears from filling her eyes. She let it wash over her. A slight moan escaped her lips as she swayed almost imperceptibly from one foot to the other. A warm hand cupped her chin then lifted it, tilting her head back ever so slightly. Opening her eyes she let her smile stretch across her entire face. By the Ancient, she was giddy!
He shook his head slightly back and forth with a rue smile of his own adorning his face. His voice rumbled from somewhere deep, almost far off. "Aas, I have taught you how to temper the effects of the Presence yet you still allow yourself to be overcome." He was trying to sound stern and failing miserably. She almost laughed at the faint-hearted attempt.
Aas reached up, placing both of her small hands on his, turning them so that she could lay her head in them. She took a deep breath, inhaling him. "I am sorry my love. I only do it when you have been away longer than usual. My heart leaps that you have returned to me." Ducking under his outstretched arm she threw her arms around him. Even on her tiptoes her face nestled against his body just shy of his chest.
He put his arms around her squeezing gently. She felt as