The first time Briar boldly asked about her “mystery girl” she threw her pillow at him and pushed him both out her mind and her room. Sandry she was gentler with; outward refusal would do nothing but make her more insistent. So, she distracted her with talk about her Uncle and the new blanket she was knitting with Lark.
Tris was hard to avoid. Like her magic she was as direct as lightning strike drawn to the metal.
You should formally introduce Aurum. She is becoming important in your life and soon you know Briar and Sandry are going to get tired of waiting. Better to do it on your terms.
She went back to reading her book before Daja came up with a response clearly done with the subject. Like lighting she thought. Quick to strike and quick to leave.
Soon she replied.
Going to the forge always cleared Daja’s head. The familiar rhythm of routine and the singing of metals always calmed her. The steady pounding of the hammer matched with her heartbeat. Following a rhythm, she found years before. Something she expected she could do in her sleep. A theory she wasn’t completely sure she should test. She carefully put the last of the iron into a bucket of cool water. Stepping back taking a breath of cool air she wiped her brow and started to clean Frostpines’ forge. She had agreed to make him a bucket of nails for him while he was out of town.
A hand on her shoulder brought her out of the metal. Without looking up she could tell it was Aurum. Every time she saw her, she thought she grew more beautiful every day. With her shiny back hair, like the river stones she saw when she was younger. And skin the color of warm sand like Briars’. This time was no different. She wiped her hands on the rag handed to her eager to hug her.
“How long were you standing there. I would have stopped if I knew you were there.”
“Not long enough.” She rested her hands around Daja's neck stretching slightly to give her a kiss on the cheek.
“I love watching you work. Besides you looked like you were deep in thought. I didn’t want to bother you.”
Daja smiled slightly drawing her in closer hands on her waist. Thanking the Trader Gods for allowing her to meet someone who liked her silence and appreciated the quality of her words rather than the quantity.
“Well I was just wondering if you would have dinner with me in two days?”
Aurum drew back slightly to look searchingly in Daja’s eyes.
“Is that what had you so deep in thought?” She smiled teasingly “I wonder whats so important about it. But of course, I will.” She laid her head on Daja’s chest content to stay like that for a few.
Taking a slight breath, she tried to build courage and follow the advice of her mother Rosethorn Sometimes you just must do something and let the rest fall into place.
“Its important because I want you to come to the dinner with my siblings and mothers. They’ve been wanting to meet you.” Aurum excitedly hugged Daja tighter with a strength her lithe form didn’t show. She twirled slightly away from Daja.
“Yes of course I would love to come. And I finally get to meet the family I heard so many stories about.”
Daja smiled broadly pleased that her news brought excitement on both ends. She drew her close by the waist, hands wrapping easily around her small frame.
“If I had known you wanted to meet them that badly I would have invited you sooner.”
Aurum cupped her hands gently around Daja’s face, just looking into her eyes with an intensity that almost made he want to look away.
“I know.” She opened her mouth ready to speak then closed it.
Grasping Daja’s hands she tried again. “I didn’t want you to know because I know you would have, and I didn’t want you to feel the slightest pressure from me. I wanted you to extend the invite on your own terms because I’m sure to you its not just dinner.
Her heart swelled. It took her a moment to realize that it was love. Love is action the words of Lark rang in her head. She didn’t think it was possible, but she just fell in love all over again.
She cleared her throat emotion making it tight. “So, I’ll pick you up in two days?”
Aurum kissed her lips. “Ill be there.” She was going to say more but the ringing of the bell caused her to suddenly run out the forge with a wave towards Daja.
She let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding. That went well. Briar spoke from where he was digging in his garden. He felt her relief and correctly guessed about what happened.
It did. She was silent for a moment processing what she just did. Briar as well letting her work through her emotions.
Could you…? she didn’t finish unable to correctly put into words what she was asking. Not even completely sure herself what she was asking. So, she just let him trusting him to see what he needed.
He dusted himself off finished digging as he grabbed a plant ready to be planted.
Don’t worry I got it.