The zephyr blew her thick hair back as she stood on the balcony of their bedroom. The sun painted the jagged sky a gorgeous palette of crimsons and oranges. She breathed in the cool air in contentment.
The rugged fortress home appealed to her. It reminded her of the Aerie in that was cradled in a valley of those same rugged mountains. The forest was tame here, but it was still a breathtaking sight.
Below her, in the main hall, she knew that the zakuski were being plated and the zitherist was giving her instrument the last bit of tuning. Tonight was the anniversary celebration of their marriage. The jubilation would commence the moon’s zenith.
Two years. She said a prayer to thank the Zeitgeist for giving them such zephyrean benevolence. Only the minor conflicts between lords and petty disputes between neighbors had plagued them. The diplomatic relations between the bordering countries were strong.
A knock sounded on the door. “Enter.”
The door opened and a loving rogue strode into the room. His eyes lit up as he saw her come into the room, closing the balcony doors behind her. A scar curved over his left eye, a permanent reminder of Phaeris.
“How is my zaftig woman?” he asked as he touched the obvious bump with a gentle hand.
A snort escaped her as a second person entered the room. “My wife would much better off if you would quit manhandling her with such zeal all the time.”
“But, coz, she doesn’t mind it. Do you, Ruya?” Garrick asked with a pathetic puppy look.
“No, I don’t mind,” she answered as she gave his hand a tender squeeze before approaching Nándor.
Nándor pressed a kiss to Ruya’s temple. “Don’t encourage him. It only makes him worse.”
Nándor gave Garrick a speaking look. “Don’t push your luck, coz, or you’ll find yourself on the training fields with the first years.”
Horror washed over Garrick’s face. He raised his hands in supplication and backed toward the door. “Oh no! Anything but that!” he groaned. “Will you let your husband torture me?”
Ruya giggled. “Why not? They could not ask for a better teacher. The story of your scar is legendary. They will flock all over you in worship.”
Garrick made a disgusted sound and said, “You’re as bad as he is.”
They watched as he hastened out of the room; their laughter ringing out into the corridor.