I just love Juliet Marillier's stories. At every chance, I rave about them to everyone I know. I don't know why she isn't more popular because although I like Twilight, Marillier's books are the whole package that leave no one unsatisfied. Her stories are ones that I read and reread over and over again. Ok ENOUGH of the crazy fan squeals! Or is it?
Jena and Costi are so adorable together because even though they've known each other forever, their relationship in the book is a little shy and awkward since they are just getting to know each other in a romantic way. I wanted to expand on this a little so here's my story! Possible sexy chapters when I get the chance to do some more writing. :) If you haven't read the book...READ IT!
Sunlight peaked through the windows of the north tower, bringing warmth to the stone walls and playing across the shelves packed with scrolls, weathered books, and yellowing papers. A young woman in a dark green dress sat hunched over her papers in concentration, ignoring the temptress call of the birds and the gentle rustling of trees of the sweet summer day.
Jena ran her fingers through her soft brown hair as she flipped through the documents and financial trade papers. Ever since she married Costi, he had allowed her the freedom to take part in whatever positions she wanted within the household and treated her equally in every sense of the word. He knew her better than anyone and never said a woman could not handle the job. She loved him for that and as much as she wanted to focus on her work today, her mind kept wandering. It was still hard to image that only a few months ago the spell was broken and Jena's whole life had changed. Her ever-constant companion on her shoulder was transformed from a little green frog to the man of her dreams. Her dearest sister on the brink of death escaped with her lover despite the tangle of hardship the fairfolk had woven for them. She closed her eyes and sighed as she laid her head on her arms thinking about the chaotic times such magic had put her family through. In the end it was all worth it, wasn't it? Everyone was happy. Behind closed lids she could still see the other side; magical nights filled with gossamer wings, the whirl of cloths in every color, the music, laughter and endless nights of dancing in revelry. She missed it sometimes. She sighed again at the memory.
A smile formed on her face at the sound of her name. She knew his voice better than her own. Jena opened her eyes without raising her head from her comfortable curl to find him leaning crossed armed on the doorframe. His unruly dark hair falling across his forehead, tanned cheeks crinkling near the corners of his crooked smile, bringing light to his leaf green eyes. Costi was just beautiful.
"Are you trying to sigh the day away? I'll let you know that I can think about a hundred ways we could spend it better." He took three strides and came around to sit behind her on the bench, wrapping his long legs against hers and curling his strong arms around her waist, pulling her close so their bodies were touching in a million places. Jena laughed at his playful affection and leaned her head back so it rested against his shoulder, enjoying the solid warmth against her back. Costi lifted her hair so he could place a soft kiss against her neck as a greeting and reminder of their story. They held each other for a while just enjoying each other's company and the feel of their steady heartbeats thumping together like they were one all along.
"Costi? Do you think about the fairfolk and the dancing glade now and again?" Jena asked breaking the small spell of silence. " I'm so happy now, but I always wonder why our journey had to be so hard? Why did we have to hurt so much? Was it just amusement for them? Lessons. Rules. Trading this for that! I understand the end, but the path to happiness was lined with more briars and hidden twisting ways than I could ever believe."
Costi stroked her hands gently and held his mouth against her hair as he listened patiently.
"Magic is unpredictable and we know little about the ways of the fairfolk and the games they play with us. We can only do our best while they throw the dice of fate. Even through all of the pain, I cannot say I regret a minute of it."
Jena looked at him with reproach. "Really Gogu? Not one?"
He smiled at his pet name. " No Jena. Never. Not one second. Because if I did then I would have never known I could love you this much or learned to cherish being able to hold you in my arms instead of being only able to be held in yours. I would have taken for granted my kingdom and my position if I had not learned such humbleness, and then never gained such wisdom and knowledge from you."
Jena blushed at his praise. "It's been a difficult journey but those adversities have shaped us into who we are haven't they? I miss and fear that magic sometimes but I believe all of it was worth it too. Every night I am so thankful to have you next to me I almost forget all the pain it has taken us to get here, and for that I feel guilty."
"I know, I've gotten better and making you forget a lot of things when we are in bed together Jena," Costi spoke teasingly.
"Costi!" Jena shrank back from his embrace in embarrassment. "I'm serious!" she cried, though all smiles. "So am I," he answered as Costi pulled her back to him so he could capture her lips. He kissed her deeply and passionately with his lips lingering and brushing against hers clingingly so no contact was lost in between haggard breaths. He paused a moment to whisper against her mouth. "If anything, we deserve this happiness and it is not shame to enjoy it all Jena." Her face grew hotter as she gazed into his bright eyes. He looked at her as though she was the most wanted and precious person in the world and she believed him. But this did not help her breathing at all. "Then we should not waste a moment should we?" she quipped, kissing him lightly and twining her fingers through his. She pulled him up and seductively kept his gaze as they headed to their quarters. As Costi closed the heavy wooden door he bent down to his lover intent on spending the rest of this beautiful summer day, sighing~