I went for something different this time around, I hope you enjoy this little tale as much as I had writing it. It reminds me of the stories I had read to me as a child and the places I visited and played in as well. I look forward to hearing your critiques, comments and feedback. Enjoy
LESSON 7 – Trust Me.
Stars twinkled in the dark velvet sky and the moon seemed to capture the night with a mysterious glow. Anwen sat on the wooden bench and admired the view from her bedroom window. She recalled how quickly a year had gone by and how much that year had changed both of them. The last time she’d seen Dylan, he was a scrawny spot faced kid and her, a freckle faced, lanky tomboy. When she arrived at Penlan Castle a week ago and stepped out of her carriage, her eyes connected with Dylan’s and saw that he no longer resembled that scrawny kid.
He’d changed and changed for the better.
He was tall and broad shouldered with a mop of dark hair, still wavy but longer, which he’d tied back with a strip of leather. His once boyish looks, we’re now chiseled, with solemn brows that were offset by his sea glass eyes and his nose was strong, like his fathers.
She inspected her reflection in the window, wishing that somehow she was blessed with her sisters dark hair, skin and beautiful features. She sighed, patted down her unruly red hair and hoped that one day her freckles would disappear from her fair skin. Still immersed in her thoughts, she leaned forward and took a long inhale of the crisp night air, when she heard a crack on her windowpane. Anwen peered out and couldn’t see anything, she clutched the window’s handle and was about to close it, when she heard a second crack, she opened the window wide and looked down.
Dylan stood with his arms in the air and asked in a hushed tone, “Can I come up?”
Anwen smiled, she put her finger to her lips and nodded. Dylan took no time in scaling the brick wall up to her window and through it.
“Good Evening Anwen.” He said as he straightened his kirtle and cloak.
She stared at him, “What were you thinking, climbing up here?” She threw a cushion, hitting him squarely in his chest.
He bent down, picked it up and tossed it between his hands, “I see you’ve been practicing?” He chortled.
Anwen rolled her eyes, “You could of hurt yourself, and what if you’d of been seen? She spun on her heels and slumped down on her bed. “Then what?” She picked the tassels on her coverlet and without looking up, she added, “And don’t you dare throw that cushion at me.” she giggled.
He huffed and set the cushion down on the bench.
“So what’s so important, that you had to climb up the wall and not knock on my door to speak with me?” She asked.
Dylan walked over to her bed. “Because freckles, I have something to show you.” He winked, then sat next to her.
Anwen blushed, “And, pray what may that be, Dylan.” A little smirk crossed her lips.
He scooted a little closer to her, “It shan’t take long.” He offered his hand, “you know you want to.”
Her heart fluttered, “Someone may fi –”
“No one shall find us, trust me.” Tugging on her arm, he pleaded, “Let’s go.”
Anwen regarded Dylan’s cheeky grin, his eyes pleading with hers. She’d wanted to sneak out and spend alone time with him since she arrived at Penlan, now the time had come and her head was telling her to stay, yet her heart pounded revealing she should completely trust him. She’d always trusted him, since they were six years old.
“I’ll come.” she said.
Dylan leaped off the edge of the bed, Anwen’s hand still in his,“Whoa,” she giggled, “if you’re not careful, you’ll yank my arm out of its socket.”
He leaned forward, his face inches from hers, “Can you ever forgive me, freckles?”
She could feel the warmth of his breath on her face, his eyes warm and inviting, “Don’t I always?”
He raised his eyebrows, smiled and answered, “Always.” He quickly kissed her cheek and said, “Come, we should go.”
With a couple of big strides, Dylan cracked open the bedroom door and peeked both ways, “All clear.”
Anwen hopped off her bed and sauntered over to Dylan. They headed along the dimly lit hallway, down the narrow spiral stairwell and across the deserted cobbled courtyard, to the stables.
“That was easy,” said Anwen, as she rested her elbows on a wooden ledge next to the horse bay, “Where is everyone? I was sure we’d see someone.”
Dylan began saddling his horse. “Most likely in the great hall,” and with one fluid motion, he was sitting on top of his black stallion, “eating, drinking and becoming quite merry, no doubt.”
Reaching his hand out, Anwen gladly accepted it. She placed her dainty poulaine on the gleaming stirrup. She pushed up and he pulled her in front of him. He reached his strong arms around her slim waist, making her catch her breath. His fingers found the reins and with a gentle tap of his heels, they trotted out from the stables, across the drawbridge and over the lush green hills.
Lately, when she thought of Dylan or said even his name, warm feelings stirred deep within, which took her by surprise. Yet now, being that close to him, she felt the rapid rise and fall of his chest against her back. The closeness of his face next to hers, sent warm flutters throughout her whole body. Unsure if she could keep her emotions in check, she asked, “Are we there?”
Dylan loosened the reins a little and raised his hand, “It’s over that rise, just below the grove of trees.”
They reached the trees, Dylan dismounted first, then placed his hands either side of Anwen’s waist and helped her down. The moment her shoes touched the grass, she took a couple of quick deep breaths, to calm her racing heart, then surveyed her surroundings.
Dylan tethered his horse to a branch, “Stay.” He said, as pattered the horse’s neck, then turned to face Anwen, “It’s time.”
They zigzagged between the trees towards the other side of the copse, he pointed, “It’s through there. Can you see it?”
Even squinting her eyes, she could barely make out what Dylan pointed at, “We’re going through a mountainside?”
Dylan glanced at her and chuckled, “Yes, we are.”
“You’ll see, come on.” He smiled.
They stood at the foot of the jagged opening. Anwen smiled, realizing why she couldn’t see what was so obvious to Dylan. The narrow opening in the mountainside was conveniently covered with thick, heavy green vines, “Did you put these here?”
He laughed and said, “No.”
“Then, how did you find this place?”
Moving the vines aside, he allowed Anwen to walk through, then himself, “I found it by chance. I was out hunting and Duke was following a scent, then he disappeared,” he said and let the vines fall back into place, “I whistled and he popped his dirty brown nose out among the vines. So, I followed him back through the vines.”
Anwen’s eyes took a second to adjust to the darkness of the narrow crevice, she stuck out her arm to the side, feeling the coarse, uneven rock under her delicate hand, “And you haven’t told anyone else about this place?” she asked.
Dylan caught hold of her other hand, “No. You’re the only one freckles, other than duke.”
“Oh. I um…”
“Spit it out, what are you trying to say.”
“Don’t you think I’m too old to be called freckles, anymore?” She asked.
“You’ll always be freckles to me.” He felt for her hand and took it in his.
It made Anwen’s stomach flip. She shook the warm fuzzy feelings creeping up inside her aside and cautiously walked forward, Dylan followed by her side. They walked about twenty feet, she spotted a faint light ahead and they walked a little quicker eager to reach its end.
As she did, Dylan tapped on her shoulder, “Wait, let me go first.”
She turned to the side and allowed him to squeeze past her. He stopped just outside the end of the crevice, “You ready for this?” he asked.
Focusing her eyes on Dylan, she knew he was ready. However, standing there with him in that moment, she could feel her cheeks flush and her hands began to tremble. Her head told her no, yet her heart told her… Yes. She whispered, “I don’t know, if I am.”
Sensing her apprehensiveness, Dylan took both her hands in his and said, “Anwen, don’t be afraid. I’ll be with you, you have nothing to fear. I promise you, you are going to love this.”
She took a deep breath and squeezed his hands, “Alright, let’s do this.”
“Close your eyes.”
With his guidance, she took a couple of steps forward, “Stop. Open your eyes.” said Dylan.
She stopped and opened her eyes. And what she saw took her breath away. At the bottom of the valley was a large lake with its blue water that looked like tar as it glistened in the moon’s glow and nestled along its bank…
Her eye’s wide, Anwen turned and looked at Dylan then whispered, “Dragons!”
Copyright 2014 Freckles. All Rights Reserved.