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Riena Faire’s Story
Remembrance of a special day, by Riena Faire and MacDeath Cross

Riena Faire sat in the Golden Brew tavern, listening to the voices of the Fools as they shared tales of faraway lands. Though she found the descriptions of the newly discovered world fascinating, she could not fully concentrate on the stories.

Where was he?

She absently twisted the plain gold band she wore on her finger. He would be here. He had promised. It was her birthday. Ah, but did he know what that meant? She closed her eyes, and remembered the words of her father, Elder of her people…

"A child is one who cannot be expected to take full responsibility for his or her actions. One is not judged capable of making informed decisions until one has the maturity of age, the wisdom of twenty years of life experience. While one is a child, one watches. One listens. One learns."

"One does not make promises, until one understands all that is promised."

She opened her eyes and smiled, running her thumb over her ring once more, the promise that she did understand, the single argument she had ever won with her father. Or perhaps she had imagined the argument, that night on the tower when she had spoken with his shade. It did not matter, for today was her birthday. This was a day meant for promises.

She blinked. Gates were being created. Was it time to go already? Things seemed to be quieting down at the bar…perhaps she should be heading back to town as well.


The sterile eyes of the shoppekeep pointed at him not so much coldly as formally. He vaguely remembered buying his first house from this same provisioner so many years ago. That house had turned to dust with its misuse and collapsed along with any hopes of ever having a home again. An annoying pull pulsated within his heart somewhere as if to question why this chapter was again being reread. Why now did he think that the life of a wandering nomad, seeking a vessel in which to pour his goodness, would warrant a house, let alone a warm one. Some part within him clung vicariously to the notion that someday he would again live in a home. Conscience and denial had effectively buried the thought in the recesses of his consciousness where only passion could find it.

The line had grown long behind his cape and the look in his old friend’s eyes had dropped a few degrees.

"I must be sure friend" he said, for what seemed the thousandth time. The wind escaped from the sails of the shoppekeep. He would not feel the gold in his sack and his friend would again deny himself the chance to grow roots. Some remote part within also hoped the time would come.

Pushing past the impatient, bustling crowd within the British shoppe, cooler air licked his face from the streets. 3 pages held scrolls for him as he crested the hill on the way to the bank. His close friends would have to wait. Waving the pages off, he remorsefully placed the gold back in his bank box. Perhaps he would have the strength to ask when he saw her. If her majestic gaze, tinted with a randy playfulness did not again melt the logic from his heart, leading him playfully into the next frivolous exchange. If her playful and youthful exuberance did not again sweep away that which had settled upon his shoulders. If the startling depth in her eyes would not envelop him again in the soft darkness. Perhaps then he might still have the strength to ask…..


"I will definitely be sore after this," she winced, rubbing her tailbone. Her new horse whickered softly in agreement, tossing his head. She laughed, thinking that carrying a totally inexperienced rider all the way from Yew to Avalon could not have been comfortable for him either. She reminded herself to do something nice for the Fools, for all they had done for her this evening. Gazing out over the town, she wondered...now, what would a Fool want?

MacDeath stepped out of the shadows at her elbow, startling her. Her surprised expression quickly turned into a joyous smile. He was here, as promised. Could he hear the pounding of her heart, from up here? She would be amazed if he could not...she leaned down unsteadily from her horse. "Happy Birthday, M'love," he whispered. A soft kiss, strong hands lightly touching her face...yes, surely he could hear.

Now, if she could only manage to get down off of this beast without falling...

Again his cloak of tempered misery was obliterated by the purity of her presence. All questions vanished as the simplistic beauty of the privilege to stand beside Riena settled upon the moment. It threatened to not release its grasp on those to come. He conceded happily as he watched his love feign balance on the horse which was still trying to figure what she was doing on his back. The magical scent of leather and wildflowers lightened his head. She tugged upon his hand….the sweetest beckoning. He followed without question.


It was her turn to laugh at his expression of surprise when she unlocked the door to the small, one-room house and went inside. "Another present," she explained, leading the horse to a corner, finally figuring out how to get down without ending up sprawled on the floor. MacDeath watched her, a slight smile on his face. Ah, where to begin?

Deep breath.

"MacDeath, we have Hunted together for some time, now…" she started out.

"Aye… the happiest time of mine life"

"I am glad that you think so, for I have been happy as well…" another deep breath "As you know, I am 20 today…and that means I am no longer a child. A child is allowed to Hunt, and no more. When one is an adult, however, one has…options not available to children."

She felt her face flush. Damn, and she had been doing so well, too. Interestingly, MacDeath seemed to blush too. Deep breath.

"MacDeath…may I name you as my Chosen?"

His immediate smile gave her the answer before he spoke. "What would that entail, milady?"

She tried to put the concept into words. "Naming one as Chosen is saying…You and you alone, this night, and ‘til the end of days. It is a promise…

Deep breath.

"…and an invitation."

His eyes held hers softly, questioning. Abandoning words, she stepped close. With trembling hands, she reached up and unfastened his cloak. The soft rustle of fabric as it hit the floor could not mask the slight catch in his breathing. Small fingers slipped underneath plate mail, searching for the elusive straps. Metal armor hit the wooden floorboards with a loud clatter, and was soon joined by various pieces of metal and leather tossed aside by two pairs of hands.

Eyes widened slightly. "Old man?" she laughed, running her hands over well-muscled shoulders. "Young girl?" he countered, lightly kissing her neck.

Oh gods…soft kisses burned like fire in her blood. Strong hands ran lightly over bare skin, then pulled her tightly to him. She closed her eyes as he loosened her braids, then opened them once more as he lightly held her face in his hands. "Riena," he asked, his voice none too steady, "are you sure?" Her answering smile was like the sun. Struggling to find her own voice, she managed to whisper, "My love, I have never been more certain of anything."

His slight shift of weight. Her sharp intake of breath. Everything outside of the small cottage ceased to matter. Her world was comprised of smooth skin and glorious gray eyes. Warm kisses and amazingly gentle hands. The smooth flex of muscle and the soft whisper of breath.

And then there was only the soft, insistent pull of Yes…


The ceiling of the thatched roof blurred into focus as he risked opening his eyes….the world was still there, she was resting her ivory cheek upon his collarbone. He almost longed for her to sink her teeth through the flesh, a sweet pain to ensure him that he was still indeed upon mortal plains. The fur from the soft rug tickled the back of his neck as her fingers traced the scars along his arm and chest. Paralyzed by the beauty of the perspective, the slightest convulsions of electricity dissipated as other senses returned. Perspiration mixed with her sweet natural scent and he heard her breath steadying.

The sun was beginning to rise in the east as the noise outside started to rise like his feeling of peace; for hope had triumphed it seemed. This house held too much already to conceivable turn to dust in any near future. The pulling subsided as the chapter came to a close…..the right ending this time. Perhaps the love he had found and the heaven known as Avalon spelled the last of the days of being a nomad. He had found his vessel. He had journeyed this far to find the place in which he could pour his goodness. Never had he fathomed the existence of such a reciprocal good so compatible to his own passion. He had not needed the strength to ask. Conscience had exhumed the part of him long buried and placed the dirt over his wandering. Passion had found his destiny for him and given him the power to be a part of it. The sun rose with a renewed vibrancy. His father’s poetry thrust its way into his mind….

Many will pursue her for she holds what they covet.

We have touched on much loftier planes.

Thus she will keep me entranced.

Powerless yet empowered.

The most tragic of victories.

The sweetest of destinies.


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