And there he was, standing in my garden as if nothing had ever happened. Yet, oceans of time stood between us. Scarcely believing my eyes, I ran down the garden path faster than I had ever run before, throwing myself into Tycho's arms. Just to make sure he was really there.
He kissed me all over, face, arms, head. He saved my lips for last, kissing me as passionately as when we parted ways in the forest, all that time ago.
"How I missed you, my love" Tycho murmured in my ear, peppering my freshly washed hair anew with kisses.
I had forgotten the smell of his clothes and the faint hint of cologne on his skin, but as I stood in my mother's garden, wrapped in my prince's arms, it all came back to me.
Even though I had met this prince only twice before, plus a handful of appearances in my dreams, I knew that I had more of a connection to him than I would ever have with Edmund Bedwell in a thousand years.
Tycho pulled away and held me at arm's length, studying my face. I flushed under his piercing gaze.
"You have only grown more radiant since I have seen you last, your beauty surpassing all the fairy-folk and humans alike" I blushed even more.
"Please, Tycho..." I mumbled.
"Coriander, you know as well as I what oceans of time I have crossed to be with you" His words brought tears to my eyes, such was the tenderness in his face. We leaned in close as his words hung in the air, speaking more than a whole conversation.
Our foreheads touched tenderly, and I continued to just enjoy the feel of being with him, my prince.
"Ann?" Edmund's obnoxious voice sounded from the garden gate. I peered over Tycho's shoulder to see the foppish noble picking his way down the path through the clusters of enchanted flowers, handkerchief firmly glued to his nose. When he looked up and saw Tycho, his face paled.
"Does this foreign cur dare defile your honor, Ann?" Edmund asked, puffing his chest out. I sighed.
"I see no Ann here, Edmund. Go back to the festival" I said patiently, trying not to grit my teeth. Would this fool never take my words seriously?
"We will return to your father together, and tell him of our marriage" At this, Tycho recoiled as if stung.
"Coriander, what is this?" his hand dropped to the hilt of his sword.
"My soon to be wife" Edmund said with a smirk. At this, my temper found he better of me.
"By God and all above, Edmund. How many times must I tell you that I will never marry you, Not even if he king himself decreed it!"
"But-" I reached over and unsheathed Tycho's sword, pointing it straight at Edmund's heart.
"Get out of my garden this instant, you Puritan plague, or I will gut you like a fish"
Edmund didn't waste a moment, speeding down the street as if I were on his heels. I held him in my sights until he disappeared around the corner. Tycho chuckled, coming up behind me and taking my waist in one hand and the wrist holding his sword in the other.
"Well done" he said, taking back his sword then slipping both arms around my hips.
"When are we to be married?" I asked after a moment. Tycho laughed.
"One step at a time, my love" He said in my ear. "I still must meet your father"