disclaimer: The characters belong to Tamora Pierce...
Author's note: I am not sure why I wrote this. I read the book over a year ago, maybe more. I am pretty sure that I don't remember the details of the story very well, but this just popped into my head and I wrote it down, so...I think I assumed that the characters are closer in age than they are in the book.
Kethlun Warder guided his former teacher, a beautiful redheaded young woman, into a private alcove of trees within the garden. He had suggested that they take a walking tour of the luscious gardens for her birthday. He wanted to find somewhere beautiful and secluded to give Trisana the gift he had made for her. The idea had struck him a few months ago, after he had returned from a date with one of the local women. She had been tall, skinny, and blonde, like the rest of the women of the region. When he had returned to find Tris sitting by a fireplace, curled up in a chair reading, he couldn't help but compare the two. She probably weighed at least ten pounds more than his date, but was much shorter. He had definitely considered it a good thing. He still did. Trisana had a much more curvaceous figure than the local women. It reminded him of the women he knew when he first met Tris. They were very attractive women, and like Trisana, they were kind and caring despite a tough exterior. She had a temper, but he grew to love it, too. But Tris had something no other woman he had ever met possessed. She was thoughtful and intelligent. He respected that; he grew to love it as well. He had been pushing aside the feelings he had developed for her for a long time. But since he was no longer officially her student, he had decided to reveal them to her.
The way that she reminded him of the women he used to know had provided the answer. The dancers had worn bracelets that jingled as they moved. He decided that he would make her bracelets of glass to adorn her arm. And he would bestow each one with an emotion that she stirred within him. He had made five of them, each one a perfect circlet of glass. They now rested in a silk cloth in his pocket, as he debated whether or not he should go through with it.
He sat her down on the grass with him in the little alcove of trees. He took a deep breath and brought out the gift from his pocket and placed it in her hands. Her face lit up a little at the surprise.
"You didn't have to get me anything, Keth," she said, slightly embarrassed at the gesture. She was still confused as to the nature of their relationship. She had been his teacher, although she was more than several years his minor. After he has regained control of his powers, they had remained friends. At least, that's what it seemed like. He had asked to travel with her and her master, Nikolaren Goldeneye. She wasn't sure why he chose to do that. And there were times when she felt there was something more between them. She enjoyed the time they spent together, discussing their shared lightning magic, or any number of other subjects. She had definitely been looking forward to the walk through the gardens he has suggested they take in order to celebrate her birthday. And now she was intrigued by the gift he had presented to her.
She unwrapped the blue silk cloth, revealing the five perfect circlets of glass. They glowed faintly with magic to her acute vision, and different colors swirled in each one's depths to the laymen's eyes. She picked up the top one and silently called upon its magic to work. It glowed a brighter red and she felt an emotion flow from it into her fingertips and through her body. She felt anger. No, not anger. She felt a passion, slightly angry, but there was something more beneath it. It was like when she got into an argument with Keth. There was the anger, but underneath it there was another feeling, too. She thought it a curious gift, and placed it back on the cloth. Keth was looking at her eagerly.
Trisana, even more intrigued than before, picked up the next glass circlet. It flared a golden yellow as she engaged its spell. A warmth spread over her. It was a feeling of pure joy. She smiled involuntarily, and then set it down. She looked at Keth, but he provided no explanation. He just sat there looking pensive.
The next bracelet flared blue-green under Trisana's touch. It took her awhile to figure out the emotion that it was conveying to her. It was like love, but different, definitely different. She finally pegged it as respect and admiration. She returned it to the silk cloth as well.
The next one overwhelmed her. The blue circlet filled her with a sense of loneliness, or longing. It felt like her heart was breaking. A tear began to form on her cheek before she set it down. Why would he give her such a gift? Maybe she could understand the others, at least the one filled with joy. But why give her one filled with such a sad emotion? She looked at him with confusion on her face.
"They're my feelings for you," he explained quietly. "That's how I feel when we're apart."
He looked away from her. There was only one bracelet left. He couldn't bear to watch her pick it up. He had had second thoughts about giving her that one. He didn't want to scare her away. But he had chosen to reveal his feelings for her, so he decided to reveal them all. There was no turning back now.
She picked up the final bracelet and it flared purple. She dropped it at the overwhelmingly intense flood of emotion. The emotion it held was stronger than any of the others. She took a breath and tried it again, picking it up off the blue silk cloth and calling its magic. She was flooded with emotions of passion and love, desire and lust. She had no idea that he felt that way about her, that he found her to be physically attractive. It startled her, but enticed her at the same time. She set the bracelet down and took a few moments to think about what had just been revealed to her.
Keth sat with his knees pulled up to his chest, his head resting on them. He couldn't watch her reaction to the last bracelet. He couldn't face her for fear of rejection.
She put the inactive bracelets gently onto her right arm, squeezing her hand through the perfect rings of glass. She turned towards him and placed her hand on his arm. She had come to her decision.
"Keth," she spoke softly to him. He stirred but could not bring himself to face her. She squeezed his arm gently. "Keth? Please look at me."
Remembering her temper, he finally faced her, in fear that she would grow angry at his childish behavior.
"I had no idea you felt his way," she said, blushing slightly at the knowledge she had gained.
"That's why I made them," he said, indicating the bracelets delicately encircling her forearm. "I wanted you to know."
He was overwhelmingly nervous. He desperately wanted to know her response would be, what her feelings were. She gave him an answer by leaning in and kissing him lightly on the lips. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into a more passionate embrace that she willingly returned.
Clouds began to stir overhead and the wind began to pick up speed. A massive thunderstorm raged overhead of the two lovers. Lightening and hail rained down upon the surrounding city. The storm raged upon the region for several hours, finally dissipating as the two lovers fell asleep in one another's arms amongst the trees of their secluded alcove.