The King of Anavrea - Book Two of the Theodoric Saga
(currently in editing)
The climax has passed and all has been resolved, sort of. I can’t give details without giving away the book’s whole plot. Lirth Theodoric, Queen of Anavrea, suffered some abuse over the course of the story. She is blind.
Lirth woke to the sound of hushed voices and muffled movement. Someone dropped something with a heavy thump.
“Don’t wake them,” a voice hissed. “They need their sleep.”
The transgressor didn’t reply, perhaps to avoid risking another reprimand. Instead the two moved out of Lirth’s range of hearing. Other sounds crowded into the stillness. Someone slept close by. She recognized the rough breathing of deep, exhaustion induced slumber. Considering her memories of her last waking moments involved Ipore, the Royal Healer, she suspected that she lay in the ward of the healers’ tent. The sleeper in the next cot was probably another patient.
Carefully, she tried to sit up. She only managed to raise herself onto her elbow before she had to stop moving and catch her breath. The pain in her ribs ached worse than yesterday. The person in the other cot shifted in his sleep with a grunt and fell into soft snoring.
She moved again, more slowly this time. She managed to get upright and one leg dangling over the edge of the cot when the agony stopped her a second time. In the silence, she realized that her companion no longer snored. He was unsettling still.
“Are you awake?”
“I have been watching you a few minutes.” The low, husky voice thrilled her heart. Heedless of the consequences, she lowered her other leg over the side and slid off the edge of the cot.
“Whoa!” Ireic leapt out of his cot.
Her legs buckled beneath her weight. He caught her as she went down and then set her on his lower cot. “Where are you going so fast?”
Reaching up, she found his cheek. The beginnings of a beard caught her fingertips. She smiled up at him. “I was trying to get to you.”
He laughed. The sound deadened the piercing agony of her ribs. She couldn’t remember the last time she heard that sound. Winding her fingers into his hair, she tugged gently.
“You are still healing, Lirth,” he said suddenly serious. “You are not allowed on your feet until Ipore says so. Promise me.”
“Only if you come down where I can touch you.”
He complied by kneeling before her. The action brought his head even with hers. He caught her head gently between his hands.
“Is the rebellion put down?”
“I don’t want to talk about it.” His thumb caught her bottom lip.
“Answer the question and I will drop it.”
Leaning his forehead against hers, he sighed. “Yes, all is under control. Now answer my question. Can I kiss you? Will it hurt?” His thumb brushed her lips again. The cracked surface was tender, but Lirth found she didn’t care.
Slipping her hands up through the circle of his arms, she pulled his face to her and kissed him instead.
Why I love this scene -
After all the two of them have been through as a couple, they still stand at the beginning of their relationship. New love, fresh and innocent despite the bruises, pulls at my heart. They have so much before them. Their hope and joy in each other will make their journey together all the sweeter.