Disclaimer: I don't own Narnia or any characters you may recognize from the books or the movies, I wish I did but I don't...
Summary: Getting the General to celebrate was a little tricky. Sequel to To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate.
A/N: This story is part of my A Light in the Darkness universe. Enjoy!
"You are going to persist in this, aren't you?"
I gave the Kentauri my most innocent look as I placed the cake on the blanket. "Persist?"
Oreius scowled at me. "What did I tell you about cake?"
"Oh that." I looked from him to the cake and then back to him and shrugged. "If I recall this morn's conversation correctly, you said you didn't want your cake to be riddled with candles because you're the only person in Narnia who doesn't have a birthday."
"Oreius." I crossed my arms and bit the inside of my cheek to keep smiling. It had taken forever for me to get the stubborn creature to even agree that two picnics in one day was not silly. Now I had to get him to cooperate for this first picnic. The Kentauri was getting ready to dig his hooves in. I decided to deny him the chance. With a slightly dramatic sigh, I uncrossed my arms. "Fine. We can have our picnic without any afters. I just thought that since this is a very small cake and it does not have candles or writing on it that you wouldn't object. I did make it yesterday after all before I knew you were going to be a stick in the mud regarding my plans." Placing the cover back over the cake, I glanced at Oreius. He arched an eyebrow. I stuck my tongue out at him and then picked the cake up. "Open the basket. I'll give it to Edmund later. He'll eat it without protest."
"Too late." I nodded to the picnic basket. "Open it."
Oreius stared at me and then shook his head. "Stubborn mare."
I laughed. "You started it. I'm just finishing it."
The Kentauri snorted and then looked in the basket. "What else do you have in here?"
"Nothing of interest."
"Oh?" He reached in and pulled out a square box. "Then what is this?"
I hurriedly placed the cake in the basket and then snatched the box out of his hands. Holding it behind me, I backed toward the blanket where the rest of the picnic was already laid out. "Never you mind."
Oreius raised both eyebrows at that and then a glint of roguish amusement appeared in his dark eyes as he approached me. "No. I think that is meant for me, is it not?"
I immediately shook my head. "No."
"It is a gift, no?" Oreius' mouth turned up in a self-satisfied grin as he started to circle around to my right, forcing me to turn as I continued backing away.
"No. It is a birthday present and since you do not wish to acknowledge your birthday, you obviously cannot have it."
My retreat was foiled when I felt the tree trunk at my back but I kept the box between me and the tree as Oreius braced his hands on either side of me and ducked his head so we were looking each other in the eye. I could hear the amusement threading its way beneath his stern tone as he ordered, "Let me see it, Wife."
"No." Then I ducked under his arm, clasped the box to my chest, and pelted for the other end of the garden.
Oreius let out a shout of mock rage and then galloped after me. I led him around the garden then circled the large willow tree where we had set up our picnic, laughing all the while. I circled left around the willow and then tried to make a break for it. Oreius gave a shout as his arms went around me, lifting my feet off the ground. His breath tickled my ear as he growled, "Surrender, you little minx, and I'll grant you mercy."
I snickered. "So you'll pull me into the bath instead of throwing me into the sea?"
"Mockery?" His grip tightened a little as he carried me over to the blanket and then pinned me with the box between us. "That was most unwise and you shall be forced to cry mercy for your treacherous dealings."
A snicker escaped before I could stop it but then I widened my eyes and affected a breathy voice, "Oh mercy. Whatever shall I do now?"
One of us was going to lose it. Neither of us were very good at keeping up these silly charades with straight faces. Admittedly I usually cracked first but based on the way the corner of Oreius' mouth was twitching I had high hopes that he'd lose it first.
He gave me a stern look and then deadpanned, "I have a list."
And I completely lost it. Between peals of laughter, I managed to gasp, "You would!" Still laughing, I rolled over onto my side and clutched the box harder while Oreius watched me with a great big grin. I finally had to place a hand over my eyes before my laughter began to die down. I felt the Kentauri tug at the box and tightened my grip on it. "It's a birthday present. Do you admit today's your birthday?"
"Alambiel, I never denied that today is my birthday. I merely said it is of no consequence."
I lowered my hand and let him have the box as I propped myself up on my elbow. "But it is of consequence to me."
Oreius smiled softly. "That is why I am opening this today. What did you-" He broke off as he lifted the lid and then he gave me a startled look. "Where did you get this?"
I sat up completely and then leaned against his shoulder as I wrapped my arms around him and whispered in his ear, "From Alcippe."
He lifted the dagger out of the box and freed it from the leather sheath that was tooled with a simple sunburst. Blue specks in the silver steel shone in the sunlight lending life to the etched design of a Centaur warrior charging with his blade drawn. The hilt was smooth with a single ruby etched with the rampant Lion decorating the pommel. Oreius examined it from every angle and then he turned his head. "This was my father's."
I nodded. "And it was given to him by his grandsire who received it from his sire who had it from the hand of the King of Narnia because it was originally gifted to King Frank the Third by Chiron himself."
"Alcippe told you its history then." Oreius touched the flat of the blade with a single finger. "It was partially ruined when my sire last wielded it."
In battle just before he had been killed. I tightened my hold on the Kentauri and pressed my cheek against his. "I wanted to give you something special. It was supposed to be for our anniversary but since the damage was mainly to the original hilt and then making sure that the etching was fully visible, Cephas finished it sooner than he had estimated and then I learned what today was . . ." I trailed off then sighed, "Well, I thought you would enjoy having it."
Oreius sheathed the dagger and then wrapped his arm around me, pulling me close. "Thank you." Then he kissed me.
We had nearly finished our picnic lunch when I remembered what else I had in the picnic basket. I grinned up at Oreius. "Close your eyes."
He gave me a skeptical look but for once he cooperated. "You had best not throw something at me."
"I would never do that!" I hesitated then added, "Today." Prize in hand, I knelt in front of him. "All right, open your eyes."
Oreius opened them and immediately scowled, "Alambiel."
I ignored his grumpiness. "You said I couldn't write anything on a cake. This is a pie." The Kentauri just shook his head and I knew I had won. Laughing softly, I leaned forward and kissed him. "Happy birthday, Oreius." I kissed him again. "I love you."
He pulled me into a tight embrace then traced his lips down my temple. "And I love you even if you do insist on making a fuss over this very ordinary day."
"Hey, having you around is definitely a good reason to celebrate."
Oreius smirked then handed me a folded sheet of parchment. "And this is for you."
"What is this?" I unfolded it and then started laughing. "You actually wrote a list!"
He nodded with a smug grin firmly in place. "And you have the rest of the day and this evening to fulfill every item on it."
I looked at the list again. "Why is the first thing on here 'write a report for how you ignored my wishes regarding cake?'"
"Look at the rest."
I looked. I blushed then giggled. "Ahem. Okay, that makes sense. But what makes you think I will go along with the rest of the list?"
Oreius wrapped his arms around me again and breathed warm in my ear, "Because it is my birthday."
"Oh sure, now you want to celebrate."
A/N: Please Read and Review! So yes, Oreius was forced to celebrate his birthday. ;) Leave a review and let me know what y'all thought about this one.