The Artist's Muse
Prompt: "The artist's muse. "
The rough linen canvas and the brush in his hand felt familiar, comfortable. The daubing of paint was an action he was long used to, and with quiet earnestness, he sat in the gardens alone to work. The face that slowly took shape was one he knew well, with lips that spoke of how to bring happiness to a nation, hair that fell in soft waves, cheeks that flushed just so when speaking to certain people about certain things.
Hours passed, and he painted small, gentle hands that were adorned with calluses, boots whose soles had been worn through, and light armor that was covered with scratches and dents.
When he was finished, he tossed down his brush, his palette, and he stared at the painting. Eirika stared back at him.
Not Princess Eirika of Renais. Just Eirika, the princess, the friend, the woman.
He had to stop himself from reaching out to touch her lest he smear the paint across her lovely face. He did not often paint portraits; he found that few could capture a person's essence in color on an ugly off-white canvas when they sat stiffly in front of the painter, false smiles on their lips.
As the sun began to sink on the horizon, he continued to look at his creation. He would give it to her on the morrow, he decided, and perhaps he would say that it was how he had always seen her: strong and capable yet still quite feminine, a kindhearted, beautiful woman who happened to be the princess of a nation, who loved and led with all her heart and soul and wasn't afraid to fight the good fight.
"Princess," he said, as if the canvas miniature could hear him, "a reminder in case you ever forget."
He shook his head and tried again. "Please accept this, Princess Eirika. It is a token of my..."
Forde paused as a small frown tugged against his lips.
"Princess Eirika," he finally said, softly, as the light faded from the sky, "this is the woman I fell in love with."
For FE Fest over at LJ.