Won't Let Go
The wind blew over the hill in Caelin, ruffling the hair of a man and a woman who stood there together; their gaze was fixed toward the eastern sky where the plains of Sacae waited.
"Milord, we really should return." The woman, a hand on her auburn hair to keep it out of her face, shifted her stance, brown eyes turning to look at the man standing beside her. "It is getting dark."
"Ah, you worry too much." His green eyes were bright as he laughed, and he ignored the breeze that tugged at his long hair, blowing it all around him. "And really, I thought that you and I were close enough that formalities were not necessary, so for Father Sky's sake, drop the 'lord' title."
"Yes, m'lord." A moment later, she flushed as her companion rolled his eyes.
"You haven't changed at all."
"Habit, Sir." A pause, and then, "I will try harder." Her expression was serious, her posture stiff. Bowing low at the waist, she continued, "It is late, and people will no doubt worry for your safety if you do not return to the castle, soon."
"Of course, I understand." He glanced out over the last rolling hill of Caelin, toward his homeland, the place of his birth that also held a high place in his heart. "It's nice here, you know…" He took in a long breath before glancing at the faithful knight beside him. "But it's not the same."
She remained silent save for a slight clank of her armor as she moved positions, resting her weight on her other leg; perhaps she did not know what to say.
Finally, he shrugged, turning to untether his horse from the tree branch its reins had been tied to. She followed suit, and both wasted no time in mounting.
He hesitated, his dark eyes drifting back over the swaying grass and the darkening sky.
She waited, nodding respectfully when his horse came to stand alongside hers, and together, they made their way in the direction of the sinking sun; the red-orange rays of light highlighted her hair and his eyes.
"I tried to let it go," he said softly; she scarcely heard him, "for the sake of others, of course."
She regarded him with a quiet, almost hopeful look. "That is selfless of you, my lord."
He ignored her refusal to call him by name and sighed. "Not especially. It would make things easier, though, if I could forget about it." Reaching over, he took her horse's reins and brought both of their mounts to a halt in the middle of the road.
Confused, she merely blinked at him.
He smiled, gently, brushing his own bangs out of his eyes so that he could see her better. The sharp slant of her nose, the scar across her neck from the war and some fool attempt on her part to protect him…the earthy color of her eyes that reminded him of the soil in Sacae…
"I can't forget it. I don't want to." Carefully, he let one of his hands rest against the curve of her cheek. "It's a part of me, you know, and I will go back there. I am torn, though, between Caelin and Sacae…"
She remained silent, her eyebrows drawn together just the smallest bit as she listened to him, a bit of a blush darkening her cheeks.
A whisper, so low he almost couldn't hear himself, "I can't let go of something—or someone—that I love."
Her eyes widened slightly, and she opened her mouth, but no words came out.
Laughter filled the air, and the next thing she knew, he was kicking the sides of his horse, shouting over his shoulder as he got further away from her that if he beat her back to the castle, she had to take an entire day off, and she had to spar with him, and…
"M-Milord!" she called after him, delayed in pushing her own steed into a gallop to chase after him thanks to her liege's words. Now, she was only more confused than before, and— "Please, be more careful!" R-Really, now what would she tell his grandfather if he fell from his horse and hurt himself?
This. Is. Samuraiter's. Fault.
All his fault.
He requested it.
Okay, so it was kind of fun. :D