Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The last leaf

The sound of metal striking metal over and over again could easily be heard across the first floor of the estate. However, the strikes did not seem to be wild or random. Instead, the experienced kindred would notice a series of clear patterns in the vibrations resonating from inside the master dining room, interrupted only by soft laughter every now and then.

“Can we take a break Ethan?” Brit asked making big eyes, while using an embroidered handkerchief reading ‘E. S.’ to remove little pearls of sweat from her forehead and décolleté. The fencing training dress, clearly coming from Victorian times, had been arranged for her by Ethan to make the fencing lessons seem more like an opportunity to dress up and embraced her form tightly, the laced up corset however was not necessarily as practical, as it was optically pleasing.

“We have two more routines to practice and then of course there is the scheduled sparring for today” was Ethan’s only response to her inquiry. He was well aware that her “break” would mean ending the fencing lesson for the night and just enjoy the opportunity to wear the pretty outfits, that Ethan changed every three lessons, as an additional motivational factor to keep doing them. He was also well aware, that if he started a lengthy debate with his wife, she would most likely get him to eventually do just what she wanted taking advantage of her overwhelming natural charisma, that enchanted him in such a magnificent way since that night over the rooftops of Toxia.

Brit puffed her cheeks, noticing that Ethan was set on continuing the lessons but dutifully followed up the routines that were still planned until the time of sparring arrived, at which point her sparkling eyes made it quite clear that the lessons became fun once more. And how could a game of chase across the whole estate around, over and under the furniture, swinging a sword dressed up like a pirate princess not be fun? Especially since the term pirate princess came from Ethan’s lips describing her most recent outfit, immediately intriguing her. “But a book in the library said, that women on ships were bad luck” had been her first response until Ethan assured her that that did not apply if the woman in question was actually a princess or queen, in which case they were excellent luck!

Ethan thoroughly enjoyed this little game with his beloved who had clearly improved over the years and even though none of the two had ever seriously injured themselves during those sessions, it had surprised him that he had to increase his level of alertness to avoid just that, as the influence of their sharing combined with the lessons resulted in wickedly fast succession of attacks coming from Brit, even more so when she seemed to have the most fun with it.

The chase throughout the floors of their hiding place of the season in the South of France ended in the bedroom, where he lunged back against her in a Celerity enhanced motion, trapping her sword between his torso and his upper arm, while taking a hold of her free arm pulling her to him. “Show mercy princess, I surrender!” he declared in a shocked manner as if her sword had really pierced his chest causing Brit to get all nervous checking to see if that was the case before letting go of it and wrapping her arm around his neck “You are my prisoner then now? What did pirate princesses usually do with prisoners?” her interest was quite sincere and not suggestive as it could have been, had she been another. So Ethan took his time to present her with a series of options spanning from mild torture practices up deserting them on a lonely island to rot. Just as she was going to declare her lost interest in being a pirate princess, he added the marriage and living happily ever after option, which of course increased the interest exponentially again.

Following the reenactment of exchanging vows and some moments of utter tenderness between them as they reached for each other’s wedding bands, followed by a proper bridal kiss, Ethan took the opportunity to present news. “I believe we have stayed here long enough Brit. It is time to return to Toxia for a while. People are beginning to notice and remember us too much here and that is never advisable for my kind.” Brit initially seemed unhappy with leaving as she had truly enjoyed the time in France but the idea of seeing their friends in the city again was enough to lift her spirits and convince her this was a good idea. On the other hand, maybe the fact that Ethan mentioned, that nights would be longer in Toxia and they would have time for longer dates had something to do with her mood swing as well.

A few nights later, Brit locked the front door of the house that had been home for the largest part of 2010. The way she gently touched the heavy wooden decoration elements on it indicated she would miss it but her expression looking at Ethan as he helped her into the car made clear, she was looking forward to returning to the city, where the two of them met. It was the moment Ethan quickly accelerated the car leaving the driveway, that the last leaf fell from the cherry plum, that Brit had so enjoyed watching, once its leaves started changing colors in autumn.