Sitting on the edge of the dock, Silannah blushed. Admitting her love was not something she had planned to do. But it was out there now. “I’ve made you uncomfortable,” she said sullenly.
Gilræn whispered, “My dear lady, you need feel no onus to express such feelings before you are fully comfortable in doing so. And you have not made me uncomfortable, insofar as one can be comfortable with one’s heart in one’s throat.” Silannah blushed fiercely. “I am content simply to bask in the glory of your presence, until such time as you choose otherwise.”
Silannah sat, staring over the water. She chewed on her lower lip. “The…glory of my… You are going a bit far with that one.”
“I chose my words carefully. As I always do,” he stated, matter-of-factly.
Silannah took his hand, lifted it to her face gently and kissed his palm. Placing that hand against her chest, “I just need to figure out what to do with this.” Gilræn watched her with a half smile on his face. He could feel Silannah’s heart pounding hard against her chest. Releasing his fingers, she asked, “Did I just go too far?”
He seemed uncharacteristically at a loss for words, if just for a moment. “Not at all…I am trying to think of what I can say without sounding trite.”
“Oh, just say whatever slides off that silver tongue of yours,” she said, offering a little grin.
Gilræn chuckled lightly, then placed his palm flat on her chest. “This, I will care for and never let come to harm.” Silannah took a shuddering breath. “This, I will value above any earthly riches.” She leaned in, placing her forehead to his. Gilræn closed his eyes.
“Then I will give it to you for protection,” she replied softly.
Gilræn eyes snapped open, going very wide. “Truly?” he whispered.
Silannah eyes shimmered with tears. Nodding, she whispered back. “Truly.”
Gilræn put his hand on her cheek and kissed her gently. Silannah returned it, her tears falling onto his face. He told her gently, “As you entrust me with yours, so I entrust you with mine.”
“I will guard it till my very last days.”
Gilræn smiled. “Do we have to grow our hair out now?”
“Actually…..” she said, tipping her head back and forth.
Gilræn arched an eyebrow. “Hmmm?”
“If we follow Kajeda’s rules…we have to chop it off first.”
“Ah, yes. Well, mine is half gone already.” He ran his fingers through the long sapphire mohawk. “And you, my lady? Do you wish to do this?” Silannah pulled a dagger from her pocket, giving him a meaningful grin. Gilræn’s eye went wide, slightly alarmed. “If it is all the same to you, I would prefer to have mine professionally styled.”
“It’s for my hair!” She laughed. “I hardly need anything fancy.”
“At least let me do it,” he urged. “I fear the result if you do your own.”
She grunted. “I’ve been cutting it myself for most of my life.” The tone of her voice gave the impression of pride. Like it simply was not an issue, it looked fine.
He replied simply, “I can tell.” Silannah narrowed her eyes. “But that is now in the past,” he chuckled. He studied her face a moment before his expression went very serious. “In earnest, my dear lady, all humor aside…”
Silannah nodded, looking a little worried. “Yes?”
“Is this truly your desire? Do you wish us to wed in this way?” he asked, not unkindly.
Silannah bowed her head to him. “I wish only to be with you. For as long as I may. I wish to be yours and for you to be mine.”
A grin spread slowly across his face. “My lady, are you proposing to me?”
Smiling, she teased. “And what if I am? Besides, the whole point of..this,” she reached behind her head with the dagger. “Is to give us time to be certain.”
“Wait!” he shouted. “For the love of the titans, the Light, the Sunwell, and everything else holy, let me do it!” Silannah laughed out loud and jammed the dagger into the dock. “Well, my lady, if you are…I accept.” Gilræn laughed joyously, “Tomorrow, we can remove our hair in the ancient tradition of another people that your people recently stole.”
Gilræn stepped into the house with a small parcel in hand. He found her digging around in the trunk by the bed. Grumbling under her breath, she muttered, “Where the fel did he put my daggers. Gonna take care of this before he gets back…stupid. I don’t need a fancy..” His hand on her back brought her up short.
He pointed sternly to a chair pulled to the center of the room. “Sit, My Lady. Let us do this properly.” In his hand, a freshly sharpened pair of scissors.