I wrote this especially for the beautiful Hannah Nicole Martin on Christmas. She is a lover of Eristor/Sienna, and she had been asking for a romantic scene. So, with that in mind, I went all out and wrote the scene where Eristor proposes to Sienna. You may remember a few weeks ago, in my Nostalgia post, I mentioned I was writing about them and it brought back so many memories I was overwhelmed. This is what I was talking about.
(fanart by PepperDarcy)
Sienna leaned over the edge of the fountain and studied her reflection in the clear water. The face that gazed thoughtfully back at her had changed over the last two years. Had it only been two? So much had happened, enough for a lifetime. More than enough.
She lifted a finger and tapped the surface of the water, sending ripples away that splashed against the side. This had all used to be an adventure – many adventures, really, tucked inside one another. When had adventures become life? She could hardly remember New York anymore; the days and nights she spent at school, at parties, watching TV in her room and pounding on the wall to get Alec to turn his music down.
She looked over her shoulder. Alec was watching her, smiling but concerned. His right hand rested on the sword belted around his waist, his tunic loose, hair down to the nape of his neck. It contrasted starkly with the imagine in Sienna’s mind of the New York Alec, the fifteen-year-old boy whose goal in life was to annoy the sense out of her at every possible turn. “Yeah, I’m fine.”
“Okay,” he said cheerfully, turning to walk away.
She motioned for him to come over. He walked forward and as soon as he was close enough, Sienna wrapped her arms around him in a fierce hug. “I love you.”
“Whoa,” he said, surprised even though he did not pull away. “You sure you’re okay? I mean, I love you too, but—”
She laughed and wiped her eye with the back of her hand. “I’m fine. Now you can go.”
He gave her a long look before nodding and striding out of the garden. Sienna’s reflection met her eyes again and her lips turned up in an attempted smile.
“Why did you lie to your brother like that?”
Sienna sighed and splashed her hand through her reflection again. “What do you want, Eristor?”
He walked forward, leaned his hands on the side of the fountain. “You’ve been morose for the past few days now.”
“He’s the cheerful one,” she said in her defense, pointing in the direction Alec had gone. “I have a right to be ‘morose’ now and then.”
He turned his head and pierced her with his frigid blue eyes, made even more startling by the black lashes and eyebrows that framed them. “I was not questioning your rights. I was wondering why you felt that way.”
Silence captured her tongue for a moment. “I…just…” She studied her hands, and carefully lifted her eyes to Eristor’s face again. He was still watching her, waiting patiently. “It’s like everything waited until now to really hit me. I wasn’t born in this, you know? Not like you were.” Something wet dripped from her face and she realized she was crying. “I mean, you were a prince, for pity’s sake. I was just a high school student who cared more about prom and nail polish than – we didn’t even have battles! You know? Not where I came from. And I thought I was dealing all right with it – I wasn’t even thinking about it until today, and—”
Her voice was broken by tears and she covered her face with her hands. Stop crying, Sienna!
A hand, long-fingered and calloused, was set on her shoulder. Eristor did not say anything, and Sienna was grateful for the silence and companionship. After a minute or two she regained her composure, though she was certain her face was red and blotchy from crying.
“Sorry,” she sniffed. He shrugged. Sienna glanced over and realized his hand was still on her shoulder.
“Sienna,” he said.
She swung her feet. “Yeah?”
He let out a deep, quiet sigh. “You are…brave.”
Startled, she turned her head to stare at him. “Are you okay?”
He gave her a scathing look. It melted quickly off his face, leaving behind something a little bit gentle and a little bit determined. “When I was your age, I wasted my time. Horses, fighting, women.” He shook his head, causing a strand of blue-black hair to fall from behind his ear. “You are doing far better than I was.”
Flustered butterflies clustered in Sienna’s stomach. It was impossible to imagine Eristor; the quiet, responsible, caustic elf, running wild. He probably considered that his youth, she realized, even though he was still young for an elf-kind. “Thank – thank you,” she faltered. She smoothed the pale lavender skirt of her dress across her knees. “I don’t know, though. I wasted a lot of my time back on ear – Awartha.”
“Whatever you did, Amar prepared you well.” He straightened a little and turned his gaze once more upon her. She fought against the desire to look away from those eyes that seemed to peel away her skin and bone and find what lived behind. “He saw the gold there.”
The gold there. The words, so unexpected and kind, made her heart skip a single beat. It continued to pound for a short moment and then stopped completely when, in a low voice so quiet that she almost did not hear it, he added, “And so do I.”
She opened her mouth to say something, but her mind washed free of any words and she could only breathe as Eristor stood up and turned to face her. He was lowering himself onto one knee.
“Sienna…” He took a deep breath, his eyes boring into the side of the fountain. He brought them back to her face, and this time she could not have looked away even if she wanted to. They had changed, from a stark, pale blue to the color of the ocean meeting a sunset horizon. “You are courageous and beautiful.” Tears filled her eyes. “Your faith has kept me strong more than once. You have disproved my doubts and given me hope when there was only despair.” She covered her mouth and even the fountain behind her faded into silence at the sound of his voice. “You gave me back my heart, and—” his voice was faint, but steady “—if you will accept it, I would give it back to you.”
He opened his hand. A ring of delicate silver vines lay in his palm. “Would you, Sienna Elizabeth Hunter, consent to stay by my side forever, and marry me?”
There are no words that exist in this world or any other to describe how she felt in that moment. It was as if the angers and fears of the past were put out of sight, and she could see nothing but Eristor and feel nothing but what she knew, and had known for so long, was love. She gathered a deep breath. “Yes,” she choked – then again, “Yes, I will marry you.”
A smile lit his face and as he slid the ring onto her finger, she laughed because there was nothing else she could possibly have done. He smoothed his thumb over the top of her hand and, gently, pressed his lips to it before rising to his feet.
Sienna stood up on the edge of the fountain and threw her arms around him, pressing her face into his neck and breathing him in. And they stood there, in the violet twilight, until Eristor lifted her into his arms and carried her inside.