Frogs of Love
Darren and Vancha laughed as Larten blushed crimson red following Evanna's explanation on how he got his scar. Even Harkat was giggling silently.
"Did you really…?" Vancha asked, but he couldn't get his whole question out because he was overcome by fits of laughter.
"Yes; I was in one my beautiful forms and dear Larten over here got a bit tipsy on the ale. He tried kissing me, so I scratched him with my fingernails," she said casually as though she had done this a million times before. "I didn't mean to cut it that deep. Sorry, Larten."
"No need to apologize, Evanna," he told her, stroking the long scar she had inflicted on him years before. "The scar is part of me now."
"Still…" She mused, resting her chin against the index finger of her right hand. "I feel bad about it. I have given you gifts, those pots and pans, but they haven't satisfied me. I have something…"
"Madam, I assure you, that is not necessary," Larten said, waving her down with his hand.
"Shut up and let me finish!" She snapped, causing all of them to jump. Needless to say, Darren and Vancha's roars of laughter died instantly. "Now, as I was saying…" Evanna said with a sigh at being interrupted. "…I feel bad for what I did. And I know Arra Sails was killed during the battle in the Mountains six years ago." Larten eyes softened at the name of his ex-mate. "I don't suppose you kept anything of hers, did you? A lock of her hair or something like that?"
"Why on earth would I do that?" He asked, the softness in his eyes not faltering for even a second despite his irritated tone. "Vampires do not indulge in such nonsense," he explained with a hint of haughtiness. Darren sighed; he always has to be so pompous, he thought.
"Just a question," Evanna said, throwing her arms into the air. "But, I have something for you to make up for the little incident." She smiled running her finger down his scar. He didn't shudder; the only time he shuddered was when Arra did that. He blushed at his thought. "It's not something you can keep, unfortunately; only a little token." Evanna snapped her fingers and six frogs hopped into view. They sat side by side with each other. Darren's eyes widened when he saw what they created. Using different colors, the frogs made a picture of Arra Sails. Even though vampires couldn't be photographed, it looked as if she was. Darren glanced from the picture to his mentor; his eyes were softer now than ever, and they were filled, with sadness, warmth, and… love. Darren smiled slightly. Larten stood staring at the face, unable to form words.
When he finally did find his tongue, he spoke, "T-thank you, Evanna."
"You're welcome," she replied, smiling as well. She turned to Darren, Vancha, and Harkat. "Let us go inside. I think he needs some time alone." They nodded, and followed her, but not before Vancha put his hand of Larten's shoulder and squeezed slightly.
Larten sat with the frogs, staring into the face of Arra Sails; she looked as beautiful as she did six years ago. He always thought she looked beautiful. Even when she was lying on her deathbed, drenched with blood and sweat.
"Arra," he said, yearning to touch the frogs', but he stopped himself, remembering that she wasn't really there. "It has been so long since I have seen your face. I only wish you were actually here, so I could hold you. I miss you… so much."
"I miss you too," her voice said. He stiffened. He listened intently for a couple of minutes hoping to catch her voice once more, but it did not come; it was only a figment of his imagination.
The frogs stayed still as Larten examined the face before him. It was absolutely flawless. They were able to catch every detail, which pleased him greatly.
"You do not have to worry," he said. "Your death will be avenged fully when we rid ourselves of that wretched Vampaneze Lord. And… I will be with you one day. Please, be patient with me, Arra." Larten smiled, getting up and dusting off his black pants. He looked away from the image. "Thank you," he said to the frogs. They croaked and hopped away back to their swamps. For a second, he regretted sending them away and wanted to call them back, but he told himself that even a short time seeing her face was good enough for him.
He walked back to the house where Evanna was serving dinner. Vancha looked utterly displeased with the plate of vegetables before him.
"How could you eat this?" He asked, picking up one and looking at it with a grimace.
"It's healthy," Evanna replied, shooting him a glare.
"It'd be better if we had meat."
Darren groaned; didn't he tell him not to call her witch, and now he was doing it?
"What did you call me?" Evanna asked in a menacing voice. She started toward Vancha, looking ready to kill.
"NOTHING!" Vancha screamed, growing nervous and stuffing the vegetables in his mouth. "Yum! See?" Evanna calmed down and sat down to her own plate of food.
Larten came in moments later, looking somber and sat down as well. Darren handed him a plate, and he grunted, which meant thanks.
"So…" Darren spoke up. "How was it? Out there?" He nodded toward the door.
"Oh… um…" Larten started. "It was painful, I am not going to lie, but it was nice as well. The only time I have seen Arra's face before then and after her death is in my dreams. So, thank you again, Evanna."
"No thanks required," she told him.
He smiled slightly, tucking into the vegetables that were before him.
Now, all that mattered was the Vampaneze Lord.