LN Part 18: Picnic at the Beach by RedPhantom ()
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It didn’t take much to keep Sapphire at the palace. Heavy rains took care of that. Pt’this hoped they would stop in time for the picnic. Emeton told him not to worry, that he could have whatever day he chose. The cook also promised she could have food ready at a moment’s notice. He hadn’t told her he planned to propose. Servants liked to gossip too much, and he wanted Sapphire to be surprised. The cook still thought a picnic was a lovely idea and wanted them to have the best.
Finally, the ring was ready. The rains had stopped, and things were drying nicely. Sapphire was fidgety from being cooped up. She had spent a lot of time in their room. She even went out to the garden and sat in the rain for some peace.
“Let’s get out of here,” Pt’this said as if he just thought of it.
“Go where?” She asked.
“Let’s go flying.” He suggested.
“What about that cut on your hand? Won’t changing hurt it?” Dragons weren’t supposed to change forms if they had an injury. Changing forms often made the injury worse and sometimes even prevented the injury from healing properly.
“Nah, it’s small.” He didn’t tell her he had done it in true form, so he had already changed. “You know, we could take a picnic lunch, make a day of it.”
“A day? Do you think you can get away that long?” Things had been better though he was still busy.
“I can ask.” He did of course, and of course, Emeton said he could go. He returned with a picnic basket and blanket.
With her on his back, he flew towards Baj-tisk before heading south to the ocean. The beach was nestled between two mountains that went right out into the water. It was quiet, and it was beautiful. Sapphire was thrilled. They ate, and they talked. She even took off her boots and went into the water up to her calves and convinced Pt’this to do the same. It was his first time in water larger than a bathtub. She laughed and splashed him, and he splashed back. The salt water stung the cut on his hand, but he didn’t mind.
“You know, I’ve heard that sometimes you can see dolphins jumping from here,” he told her. She was thrilled at that idea. They went and sat on the blanket and watched the water. She sat between his legs, and he put his arms around her, and she leaned back against his chest. Pt’this had never seen her so happy. Pure joy came through the bond.
“Nim and Dae sometimes claim I’m too human. Lately, I haven’t been human enough,” he said.
“Don’t be silly. You’re just right. You have no trouble with human customs,” Sapphire told him.
“There is one custom I’ve neglected, and I’m sorry. All this time I’ve wanted you to be my mate, but I should have asked you to be my wife. Sapphire, will you marry me?” He held out the ring for her to see.
She stared at it, speechless, and then turned to look at him. She was too stunned to respond. He was starting to worry she’d say ‘no’ when she kissed him. “Yes,” she said finally. There were tears in her eyes. The joy she felt grew. She let him put the ring on her finger. They sat in silence for a long time.
“Will you be willing to move to Sen-gan?” He asked her after a while. “Not to the palace, I know you’re not happy there. We could get a place in town.”
“Sell Kith’s place?” The idea made her a little uncomfortable.
“We could live there too. I just don’t want to live in different cities. That’s just too hard.” He had done that with Mirimar so Kithmar could grow up with other dragons.
“How can you move to Thager? Your work is in Sen-gan.”
“I’m a scribe. I copy books. I can do that anywhere.”
“What about being an adviser to Emeton?”
“He’s not going to live forever. I don’t know that I want to be Remtani’s advisor.”
“We don’t have to decide today do we?” Sapphire asked.
“No, of course not.” He put his arms around her again, and she settled back against his chest.
She looked at the ring on her finger. “Is this dragon claw?” Dragon claws could be polished to look similar to metal but contained iridescent properties. They were impossible to get unless you knew a dragon. Dragons don’t shed them like they do their skin. She looked at his hand and the bandage on his fingers. “Is that what happened?”
He nodded. “The knife slipped. It’s not bad.”
They sat in silence and watched the sunset. The cook had packed more than enough food, so they had enough for dinner too. “We should probably head back,” Pt’this said finally. He started packing up. He felt a twinge of fear from Sapphire. He had forgotten she didn’t care for flying at night. She didn’t have night vision and got disoriented not being able to see.
Today had been too perfect to put her through that now. “Can you hold this a moment?” He handed her the basket. Then he pulled her close and kissed her. While they were kissing, he cast a spell and transported them back to the palace. When she opened her eyes, she found they were in his room, no, their room. She looked around in surprise. He laughed as he took the picnic basket back. “Ann’s not the only one who knows that trick.” He felt a wave of dizziness and shook it off. He must’ve misjudged the energy he needed.
“I know, but you don’t...” She didn’t finish. It was a sensitive subject. He had gone into a wizard’s trance for over a week once. After that, he had stopped practicing magic. For five hundred years he had denied even being a mage. It was only recently, during the battle against Lyra, that he cast any spells again.
He smiled. “Sometimes it’s worth the risk.” He felt more dizziness. This wasn’t good.