|The Myth of You and Me
Author: ShelbyGT1987 PM
A girl so beautiful the Goddess of Beauty became jealous. A boy sent by his mother to sabotage her, only to find that the God of Love has fallen in love himself.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Edward & Bella - Chapters: 3 - Words: 13,150 - Reviews: 17 - Favs: 28 - Follows: 29 - Updated: 02-25-10 - Published: 01-01-10 - id: 5630291
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer and Greek/Roman mythology belongs to no one
Thought I'd offer up a brief explanation of my gods (the ones mentioned so far) and how they differ from true mythology since, in interest of moving the story forward, I won't in the chapters:
Carlisle: Equivalent of Zeus. King of all the gods. God of the sky, wielder of lightning. Married to Esme. Father of Rosalie, Jasper, and some other lesser gods who may or may not be mentioned later.
Esme: Equivalent of Hera. Queen of the gods. Patron of women and marriage. Married to Zeus. Mother of Rosalie, Jasper, and some other lesser gods who may or may not be mentioned later.
Rosalie: Equivalent to Aphrodite. Patron of love and beauty. Twin to Jasper. Married to Emmett. Mother of Edward and some lesser gods who may or may not be mentioned.
Jasper: Equivalent of Apollo. Twin to Rosalie. God of the sun, music, medicine, and civilization. Married to Alice. Father of some lesser gods who may or may not be mentioned.
Alice: Equivalent to Athena. Patron goddess of wisdom, warfare, intelligence, crafts, and architecture. Married to Jasper. Mother of some lesser gods who may or may not be mentioned later.
Emmett: Equivalent to Hercules. Famous for extreme strength and power, also well-known for his adventurous nature. Married to Aphrodite. Father of Edward and some lesser gods who may or may not be mentioned later.
Edward: Equivalent to Eros. Youngest of all the gods, and most beautiful/handsome male god. Patron of sex and love.
Again, these are only the gods mentioned so far, and they are adapted for my story! The true Greek gods they equate to did not necessarily marry and such as my characters have. Google it if you don't know and want to learn :)
Just close your eyes, the sun is going down
You'll be all right, no one can hurt you now
Come morning light, you and I'll be safe and sound
"Safe and Sound," Taylor Swift, ft. The Civil Wars
3. Safe and Sound
Everything—time itself—had changed so quickly, it felt like I had literally been slapped by the whiplash. First I had been concerned that Father would make me marry someone I would never love, then I worried that Father would never let me marry at all, only to find out that it was a curse sent by the goddess Rosalie to prevent any many from coming forward to ask for my hand. And while never being forced to marry secretly thrilled me, it still hurt the pride to know that no one wanted you. Of course, the best of it all was that I was now to marry a monster. Was this a cruel joke thought up by the Fates before I was even born? I kill my mother, be all the more loved for it, and then marry some sort of demon?
Isabella will never marry a mortal. She shall be given to one who waits for her on yonder mountain; he overcomes Gods and men.
What else could he be but a monster? 'Overcomes Gods and men'—it left nothing else. Unless my future husband was a hero, like Emmett, who had become so strong and famous that he married the goddess Rosalie and became immortal. But heroes like that just weren't born anymore, at least not that I had heard. Then again, I did live in one of the most remote places on the earth. It was quite possible that I had missed some tale or other of a new hero that was conquering lands right and left.
I sighed, shaking my head and trying to focus on my letters again. I still wasn't the best at writing, seeing as I had had to quit lessons in favor of tending to the wounded and children of the ambushed village. What was I doing, hoping for a hero instead of a monster? My Fate had been decided. I was being hateful and disrespectful for hoping for anything other than what had been preordained for me.
And besides, even if I did care to be disrespectful and hateful—what good would hoping do me? Father was convinced there was some way to avoid my Fate. His first 'genius' idea had been to lock me in my room. If I couldn't reach the mountain, he claimed, how could the monster come for me? I didn't need to explain to him that if my future husband wanted me badly enough, he had all the power backing him that he could need or desire. 'He overcomes Gods and men,' after all.
Now my tutors and governess and family came to visit me in my room—locking the doors after them, of course. The windows were shut, locked, curtained and draped within an inch of their lives. My rooms had become so dark that at night, even with candles, I could hardly see my hand though it hung an inch from my face.
When my sisters came in to talk with me, they often seemed quite satisfied at my recent imprisonment. I tried not to think it of them, but they really did seem pleased with my new situation, marrying a monster and all. When they spoke to me, it was always of my future life, any children I might have and what they would be like. Their voices were quite jarring with barely-suppressed glee at the mere ideas. Could they really have come to dislike me so much?
Governess came up with the next idea of my safety. I was to be always under guard and watch. I was never to be alone, not even for an instant. If I had to do something private, there was always someone just outside my door—so close I could practically hear them breathing. It was getting irritating fast.
I pressed the pen against the paper I had been laboring over so hard that it pushed a hole right through it. Wonderful. I would have to start over. Well, it was only what I deserved for thinking unkind thoughts to those who only wanted to protect me.
It seemed only I saw the futility of my situation. Didn't they know that if a God or immortal wanted something, nothing stood in their way? They might encumber the process, but in the end, it only depended on what the immortals wanted and how badly they wanted it.
I had only two prayers, two true hopes: that the monster would lose interest in me once he saw how willing my people were to protect me, or, that not being realized, that he would be kind to me, even if he did plan on killing me or fulfilling whatever monstrous desires he harbored with me afterward.
If he lost interest, or if he was truly kind to me, I could be quite happy with life. Who needed a real husband anyway? Most required more work than they were worth, or so I had heard. My sisters complained of theirs often enough, and especially about their babies. I thought my nieces and nephew were adorable - they were always so sweet and well-behaved—but if you'd asked their mothers, they could do nothing right.
How was that any way for a child to be brought up? Was that the norm for mothers? If I had children, would I be expected to treat mine that way?
Would my multitude of questions ever be answered?
"Bella," said a voice behind me, and a hand just brushed my shoulder. I jumped, spinning around in my chair so quickly that I fell to the floor. Lauren laughed at me. "Graceful as ever," she commented. "You didn't even hear me come in, did you?"
I shook my head as I got to my feet, closing my writing journal as I did so.
"You'd think you'd have sharpened your senses," Lauren scoffed, rolling her eyes. "Especially you, who has some monster panting after you."
"What good would it do?" I asked her rhetorically, repeating my desolate thoughts from earlier. "'He overcomes Gods and men,' after all."
"True." She didn't even try to give me a light at the end of my ever-growing tunnel. "Father wants you."
I blinked, surprised. "I can leave my room?"
"Yes, Bella, you can leave your room—you're a big girl now, after all," she said witheringly. She turned and strode away without a backward glance for me.
I stowed my notebook away and followed her as quickly as I was able, not wanting to be left behind and risk losing this new opportunity. It seemed like ages since I had been permitted out of my room.
Sue came up to me first when I had entered Father's study. She took my hands in her own and smiled kindly and maternally down at me.
"You're looking well today," she commented. "And so beautiful! It's as if staying in your room as only increased your physical charms."
I rolled my eyes, smiling. "I'm pale and thin—those are assets?"
"Of course, but at the moment, they are irrelevant," Father interrupted. He tried to sound stern, but I knew he was having some troubles with some emotion or other. There was something just behind his eyes that I couldn't quite read. Guilt? Sadness?
"Bella, we've decided that staying locked in your room is not protecting you," he finally said, getting straight to the point. I schooled my face sternly so that it wouldn't betray my feelings. However, I still wanted to scream, Finally! You see how futile it is to go about resisting? Then let me go and spare yourselves the trouble! "We have determined that you will be sent to my brother's castle. He has a better guard than I, and lives so far from here that I doubt your monster would chase you there."
"Father," I began, "you can't bypass what the Fates have decided just by—"
"Bella, do you want to be wed to a monster?" Sue broke in, interrupting me completely. She usually called my, "Your Highness," or "Princess," but it was for show only. It seemed that in her angst she had forgotten to keep up the pretense.
I sighed. "Of course not. But do you really think that fate can be circumvented simply by moving away? It is my destiny. If anything, I'd bet that you're only pushing me closer towards it."
Father's lips tightened, a sure sign that he was seriously thinking over what I'd said. I decided to push my luck.
"I love you all dearly—I don't want to see you put in danger should this monster decide to get violent. And, as I said before, Fate cannot be avoided. So you're only causing my future husband to be in anger with me by evading him. If you only give me up quietly, without a fuss, perhaps I will still be given freedoms. I may still be able see you from time to time. I might have a better chance at happiness in a destiny that is unavoidable."
"No, Governess," I interrupted. "There is no avoiding the inevitable. Are we agreed on that much?" Reluctantly, they nodded. "So why put yourselves in danger? Why risk my future? Just give in, Father. There's no use fighting. Let me go to the mountain. Spare yourself the trouble of fighting a losing battle."
Lauren shot me a sidelong glance. "It really does sound as though you want this future for yourself."
I closed my eyes briefly, asking for patience from whatever deities were listening to me, and didn't even look at her. I kept my eyes trained on my father, whose countence was slowly collapsing into despair. I knew I had won this argument, though part of me, the more selfish part, wished I hadn't.
Father sighed, refusing to meet the furious eyes of Governess. "I think, perhaps, you may be right," he conceded. "I want to wait a little longer, though, just to see. The monster must know that we have heard of your fate through an oracle. If he grows angry that you do not come to meet him within a fortnight, we'll escort you to the mountain. However, if there are no signs of any anger or impatience from him, you stay. Are we agreed?"
It didn't sound like I would get anything better, so I nodded, albeit reluctantly. I still thought Father was only going to infuriate the monster by thwarting him, even for another fourteen days.
But those fourteen days passed rather quickly, all things considered.
And there was indeed a great show of anger from the heavens, and while I wasn't entirely certain it was my monster causing such a fuss, Father's stipulation had been met. There were signs of tempestuousness, and now I must be taken to the mountain.
It was ridiculous, but most of the country accompanied us to the mountaintop, making a sort of parade out of it. Only, everyone was so morbid and depressed, it couldn't be given a gay term like 'parade.' It was more like a funeral procession. Tears, sobs, and white faces were all that really came with me, and all that really left an impression on me.
I was confident that I could handle whatever was coming for me. I was sure that it couldn't be too terrible. But all these dramatics were starting to scare me, I had to admit.
The oracle had said specifically that I must be left on the mountain, meaning everyone must return to their homes. Not that there were many objections to that rule. The idea of meeting the monster seemed to terrify them all, more so than even me.
Father and Governess hadn't wanted to leave me, and they put up a big fuss over it, but eventually my sisters and I convinced them they had to leave. And then there was the issue of what to leave with me. Governess was afraid that the monster might not come for me today, or even tonight, but wait for a bit as punishment or just because he was busy with his monster tasks. What would I do when the night grew bitterly cold up on the mountain?
But I was sure my future husband wouldn't make me wait, and so I finally bade them goodbye, and they left nothing with me but the clothes on my back.
In the deafening silence after they were gone, I began to feel afraid again. What if my future husband didn't come tonight? What if I had been left up here, to wait for him for days, as punishment for making him wait? It was already growing colder and my body shivered involuntarily under my clothes, though they were designed to deal with cold weather.
And the cold wasn't the only thing that soon began to trouble me. With the wind howling about the mountainside, shaking trees and whistling through rocky, icy crags, I had never felt more alone. Usually, I liked being outside by myself. It gave me time to think, and just be myself. But this was a whole other story. I wasn't in seclusion by choice.
I wrapped my arms tightly around myself, shivering again. I could only hope my husband would come soon.
What felt like the same instant, my eyes snapped open. I groaned, looking around. The sun was lowering in the sky, growing closer to sunset, and just in front me sprawled a dense, beautiful forest. It felt like I had only slept for a minute, most likely less, but it seemed I had truly been sleeping for hours.
And now where was I? What had brought me here, wherever I was? I knew I didn't sleepwalk, so I didn't come here myself.
Whatever the case was, I found myself to be in an ecstatic mood. It was a forest! A real, green, alive forest! Growing up in the Winterland, I had only seen pretty birch-tree forests, from which the leaves and bark had long since been stripped. This was beautiful. So many flowers, so much lush, green grass...
I stood, shedding my thick coats down to my simple tunic. The weather was lovely and warm. As I draped them over my arm, I walked into the woods, eager for the protection it offered me from the bright, hot sun. It was even more breathtaking once I was under the shelter of the trees. The sunlight cast down through the canopy and turned the light into a muted, sparkling golden color, that seemed to dance around me in selected spotlights.
And the wildlife! I heard noises from more creatures than I'd ever heard in my life in that one instant. Then, under the sounds of the woodland creatures, I heard the sound of running water, and promptly realized that I was, quite literally, parched. How long had it been since I'd had a drink?
I tried to tune out the sounds of the wildlife and follow the sounds of the babbling water, but it proved more difficult than I would have thought. At first, I found I had gone in the completely wrong direction. Then, I found I had gone past the water source without seeing it. Finally, after about another quarter-hour with no results, I found it.
And was completely, utterly, and totally stunned.
Standing before me was a beautiful garden, the likes of which I had never seen. Covered in brightly colored flowers, there was a large pond nestled up against a slight hill from which fell a miniature, beautiful waterfall. The vision was completed by what had to have been the oldest weeping willow tree in the world. The lawn—which I still couldn't used to, as menial as it may have been— was a lush green, and there were large boulders, presumably from the mountains still surrounding us, scattered throughout.
Altogether, it was the single most beautiful, natural place I had ever laid eyes on.
But the palace behind the garden took my breath away. Made from the palest stones, it stood two levels high, with a few guard towers above that, and gorgeous, colorful trees and flowers everywhere.
I wondered vaguely who could live so alone and isolated way out here, but my thoughts were cut off by a sudden, disembodied voice. It was motherly and reminiscent of Governess, but far too young, and still too formal and distant to make a strong connection with my nursemaid.
"Your Highness, I bear a message from your husband. He bids me to tell you that this palace is yours, that the servants living in it are to do whatever you ask of them, and that he will see you after the sun has set."
I blinked, confused. "Who speaks?" I asked tremulously.
"I am your housekeeper, my lady," said the voice. "My name is Angela. Orders from your lord husband. You are not permitted to see us yet."
"Not permitted to see you?" I repeated blankly. "What kind of order is that, Housekeeper? Why would he demand such a thing?"
"You will learn in time," the voice replied sagely. "Would my lady prefer a bath her to break her fast first?"
It took but moments before my confusion and slight panic gave way to overwhelming curiosity and delight. Over the next several hours, I spent every minute exploring my new home, absolutely thrilled with all the things I could do. The garden was mine, and I could tend it and do what I liked. Everything was subject to how I wanted it, and the house had already been made exactly to my taste. It was like my dream home.
That night, as the palace and surrounding woods grew dark, it seemed all the servants had better things to do than spend their time with me. In what felt like a mere instant, they were all gone, presumably down to their servants' quarters.
I stayed up in the bedroom Angela had told me was meant for me. It was a beautiful room, all light and airy, everything an off-white, almost cream color with an enormous soft bed that I found myself running and jumping on almost as soon as the door shut behind me. I hadn't been so childish since I had been a child, so I supposed I was acting a little too excited, all squealing and giggling as I jumped all over the mattress.
"I take it you are pleased with these accommodations?"
I froze, my eyes automatically searching for the speaker, but landing on no one. Why must everyone in my household mask themselves from me?
"I'm sorry," the voice said, seeming to realize my alarm, "I suppose I should have alerted you to my presence much sooner."
The voice seemed so kind and amused and tender all at once, that I couldn't help but feel hopeful that this was supposed to be my husband.
"Are you...?" I started to ask, but gave up when I began floundering for the right words.
"My name is Edward," the voice said simply, but I could hear a smile in it.
"And are you the one that brought me here?" I asked hesitantly, hurrying into a more proper sitting position, my legs hanging off the side of the bed under my now-crumpled dress.
"Well, technically, the one who brought you here was Zephyr, my friend—but, yes, you are here because I wanted you to be."
Grateful that he was willing to supply me with answers, I continued my barrage of questions almost without hesitation.
"So... you are my husband, then?"
Again, the voice seemed amused. "Well, yes, but I don't see any reason why we have to go so far tonight. I'd rather just talk with you, if you don't mind."
I breathed a sigh of relief, thanking the gods for such an understanding husband. But not being able to see him was starting to confuse and frustrate me.
"Where are you?" I asked, looking around the room again.
"Sitting in your parlor. Where else would a guest be seated?"
I peered out through the open door, from which I had an entire view of the my parlor room, but I still saw no man, beast, or other. Nothing but my furniture.
"Then... Then why can't I see you?" It was embarrassing how much my voice shook. "Why have you made yourself and everyone else invisible to me?"
The voice—Edward sighed now, and seemed... regretful? Reluctant? In my confusion, I couldn't think of the proper word to describe his sudden shift in tone, but those two came the most readily to mind.
"Unfortunately, you can never see me," he admitted. "At least, not for a long while off, anyway. The staff will become visible at the same time."
"May I ask why?"
He hesitated before responding, "Because I don't want your opinion of me influenced by who I am or what you see of me and our servants."
While the sentiment of that statement went right to my heart, making it feel rather light, I was now more frightened than ever. What if this really was a monster?
I shook my head, banishing all such thoughts. He was obviously trying to win my favor the traditional way, even if we weren't such a traditional pair, and I admired him for that. Certainly someone so... hopeful could get something as little as the benefit of the doubt from me.
"I understand," I finally agreed. I decided to change the subject, and smiled slightly. "Why don't you come in here so I don't have to raise my voice?"
"I could hear you just fine if you didn't, but I'll accept the invitation." Again, the amusement. I was beginning to think it was at my expense.
"Are you laughing at me, sir?" I teased, but even while my voice was light and airy, my eyes were darting around my bedroom, almost frightened, wondering where he'd taken refuge the second time.
"I wouldn't dream of it, my lady," he returned in the same pompous tone I'd subjected him to. I couldn't help a small laugh from escaping me. It wasn't often someone played so innocently with me like this, like we were almost children. My sisters always thought it was stupid, and the other court children were all truly too pompous to get the point of it.
"Where are you now?" I asked, peering into the darkness. I vaguely wondered if I would have been able to see him, even if he weren't invisible, my room was so dark without candles.
The foot of my bed, a good foot or so away from me, sank a little with the added weight of a body. "Here," he answered calmly.
I held out my hand to feel for him, but then withdrew it like I had been burned. If he didn't want to be seen, why on earth would he want to be touched? But still...
I held out my hand again, my voice coming out far more nervous than I'd intended as I asked, "May... May I...?"
Thankfully, sensing my sudden difficulty with words, his hand took mine. It was an odd sensation, to be able to feel something but not see it. I supposed that was how the blind felt their entire lives.
And I was certain that it was a hand, not a paw or whatever monsters may have. It was larger than mine, much larger, and coarser, but a hand nonetheless.
Edward let me run my fingertips over his hand and arm, knowing I needed to be reassured that he was, at least in body, human. He was incredibly muscular, from what I could tell of his arm and upper chest, much more so than most of the men I had grown up around. I intentionally shied away from his face, though, unsure if he would be willing to let me explore that part of him just yet.
I released him, drawing back into my former sitting position, muttering a small, "Thank you."
He understood, and, seeming to want to loosen the tense atmosphere, teased, "Do I pass the test?"
I smiled, somewhat apologetically. "Forgive me, I was unsure what exactly you are. When Governess came back from Greece with the Oracle's prophecy, she said that you were someone who 'overcame gods and men.' I thought that meant it exluded the two categories, making you some kind of monster."
"It's perfectly fine," he assured me, and the bed rocked a little as he shifted to get more comfortable. I felt him hesitate. "Are you tired?"
I shook my head. "Not at all."
"Excellent. I didn't want to say goodnight to you just yet."
"Me, neither. I only have a few thousand more questions for you."
I heard a smile in his voice again as he offered, "Ask away."
"Well... All right, am I allowed to ask you about your family, or past?"
I heard him take in a small breath and then exhale heavily, not quite a sigh. "You may ask, but I don't know that I'll be able to answer them all. I promise to answer what I can, though."
"You wouldn't be able to answer some because of the same reason?" I prodded. "It influencing my opinion of you?"
"You got it."
I shrugged. "Not a problem. Can't hurt to try, though, right? So, are your parents still alive?"
"Very much so. I can't tell you their names, but... Well, I suppose I can tell you a little about them. My mother is incredibly vain and selfish, and easily offended. I honestly don't know how my father puts up with her, other than perhaps her beauty. But then, I know he loves her despite—or perhaps because of—all her quirks; he treats her like a pet, as if her actions are harmless and meant as entertainment."
"You almost sound like you don't like them," I pressed.
He shifted, and the weight on my bed was centered in two places now, indicating that he was resting on his arms or something. "No, I love them all well enough. My mother is difficult to deal with most times. I stopped calling her 'mother' when I was small, partly because she had never really seemed like a mother to me. She was always like... the selfish older sister, you know?"
I laughed. "I have two of those, Jessica and Lauren. I can't imagine two more egocentric people." I sobered up and continued my researching. "So, if your mother never really raised you, who did? Your father?"
"No. He's been my best friend my whole life, but not really a father figure. The ones who really brought me up were my grandparents, my mother's parents. I couldn't have asked for two more loving, nurturing people to be my pseudo-parents."
"Do you have any brothers or sisters?"
"Yes, but... they've all grown and gone. But I do have several cousins, and cousins-in-law, and aunts and uncles. Large extended family, I guess. We're all pretty close-knit."
I sensed something more behind his hesitation about his siblings, but I smiled and ignored my suspicions. "Despite how you make your mother seem, it sounds like you're incredibly lucky."
That smile was back in his voice, and I imagined it must have been beautiful, to enhance an already-dreamy voice to such a degree.
"I know I am." He hesitated. "May I ask you some questions?"
"Well, to be blunt, I already know that you have a father and two sisters, but what happened to your mother?"
"She died giving birth to me," I answered easily.
Instantly, he was backpedaling. "Oh, I'm so sorry."
"It's fine. Obviously, I never knew her. People around our palace used to say I'm just like her, not only in looks, but in mind and soul. I kind of hope that's true. It would make me feel... I don't know, less guilty."
"You blame yourself for her death?"
"How could I not? She wouldn't have died if she hadn't been so intent on saving me. If she hadn't forced the doctors into saving me first, she would still be here."
"That was her choice, not yours," he pointed out. "Besides, if she hadn't chosen so, you may not be alive."
The single word hung in the still air for a few moments, drifting between us as it floated on a rather tense silence.
"You're surprising me," he admitted after a few more minutes. "I knew you were selfless, but this takes it a bit too far. It's almost like you have no self-worth at all."
"Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?" I asked, biting my lip self-consciously.
"Well, I find it incredibly endearing to be selfless, but to the degree of not caring if you died—" He broke off, sighing. "You're making me feel more than a little inferior right now. You talk of dying if it means bringing your mother back, while all I can think is that I'm almost glad she's gone, if it means that I can have you."
I glanced down at the bed, blushing. No one had ever said something like that to me before. While I knew I should be offended or affronted that he thought so little of my mother's sacrifice, I couldn't help but feel flattered that he placed so much value in me.
But my pampered life as a princess and the late hour caught up with me, and I yawned involuntarily.
He chuckled. "I'll leave and let you get some rest."
"No!" I protested, too quickly and too exuberantly. Blush deepening, I clarified, "I mean, I was enjoying talking to you. I don't usually get to just talk to someone. At least, not without trying to figure out their agenda."
"Don't worry," he assured me, his weight leaving the second place as he sat up. "I live here, too. At night, anyway. You'll see me again tomorrow, after the sun sets."
"Where do you go during the day?"
"I have to work, too," he laughed at me indulgently. "Did you think I was just a spoiled nobleman's son, accustomed to doing nothing and getting whatever I want with a snap of my fingers?"
"No, you don't strike me as that kind of person at all."
"Thank you. Nevertheless, I have to work all day, everyday, I'm afraid."
He stood, his weight leaving the bed altogether. I held out my hand, blindly searching for him, and he wrapped his own large hand around mine. Using it as an anchor, my hands found their way to his face, and I stretched up on my toes—he was much taller than I would have guessed—to kiss his cheek.
I knew that he could feel how badly I was blushing from our proximity, and most likely his own eyes, but I had to show some form of my deep appreciation for what he had done for me tonight.
"Thank you," I said fervently.
"For what?" he asked, his voice lower now, and strangely rougher.
"Well, everything really, but mostly for tonight," I explained. "Just talking and listening. Knowing that, even if we're married, I wasn't ready for a physical connection with someone. You have no idea how much that means to me."
"Well, then, you're welcome. I only want to make you happy, of course."
I smiled, kissed him again that time on the hand I held, and backed away a pace, letting my hands fall to my sides. "You have. I don't know why, especially considering I have yet to lay eyes on your or anyone else since leaving my home, but... I feel very safe here with you."
He laughed again, and, while I committed the beautiful sound of it to memory, he ruffled my hair playfully and was gone.
Despite the complete chaos of the day and my homesickness, my dreams that night were filled with hope, and a growing affection and trust for the man I now called husband.