The city was slowly calming. As the darkness had pulled a blanket over the sky, people were packing in some of their stuff or stalls and moved back to their homes. It was still a good time to be outside, but it wouldn't be for long. Though the city was mostly safe, walking around alone in the dark was asking for unwanted attention. Though, after today, I doubt they could surprise us with worse things.
Not that I was willing to risk it.
We made our way to the edge of the forest not too far from the main gate. It wasn't easy to decide how deep into the forest we should go, but we felt confident that no forest creature would disturb us. We walked with care, making sure no one else could see where we were going once we were outside the city walls. The lack of torches and lighting, outside at least, made it quite easy to disappear into the darkness.
In fact it was too dark to even properly see where you were going.
Deirdre had a nice idea though. The Light gems could glow a little if you concentrated on them, so she handed me her dagger. It took a moment of concentration to generate even the minutest of glows. It was only on one side of the dagger, which was good as it wouldn't shine in our face like a torch would, but the light was soft.
I tried to concentrate harder, with little effect.
After some more encouragement from Deirdre and a moment of closing my eyes, I finally managed to make the glow useful. It was soft enough to be occluded by the trees, but bright enough to light our way and avoid nasty bruises or falls.
It felt very weird to sneak in the forest this close to the city. Even though we were in the forest this very afternoon, this was very different. Then we were heading somewhere, now we were sneaking away. It was kind of exciting!
Deirdre whispered to me, her hand on my shoulder. "How far are we going?"
I kept looking forward and replied softly. "A little further, I don't want anyone else to be able to find us."
I think we'd been walking for at least fifteen minutes when I finally decided we were far enough. I was aware that we'd have to rise at first light, before actual sunrise. The Twilight.
It wasn't very warm tonight but the ground was dry. Keeping hold of the dagger, we made some space around us to lay down on. The moss was quite nice and soft, quite comfortable once we got down. Deirdre put the dagger back in it's sheath and laid down next to me. We were a little bit nervous about all of this, sleeping this close to town but still outside and of course the big event tomorrow morning.
I hoped it would solve it all.
I turned to Deirdre and wanted to reply. But she kissed me. It was nice, feeling her lips on mine again. It made me forget the chill, the stress, the danger. It made me forget where I was and why. But not who I was, quite the opposite. It made me feel who I was fully. Her lips, sweet and tender against mine, made me feel myself as clear as the blue sky in the noon sun.
"That was beautiful."
We both looked up and saw Eavan sitting near our heads, looking down on us. "You two are so intense together. You don't see it often in humans anymore, but if you do, it's so strong."
"Were you spying on us?" I didn't really think she did, but I kind of wanted to know why she was here and I didn't know how to respond to her compliment.
She shook her head. "No, Maeve asked me to find you. There's been people going into the forest, looking for her. Kind of."
"Well, I don't think they know what the 'Queen of the Forest' looks like. Maeve doesn't show herself that often."
"We'll keep our eyes open then tomorrow morning."
She nodded. "Please do. And..." She hesitated for a moment. "I'm sorry for intruding."
She retreated back into the darkness after that. Almost without a sound, as if she'd never been there. Not to say that her nude body that close after such an intense kiss had no effect on me. But it didn't feel right to do anything to Deirdre now, as it would be associated with Eavan. That and I wasn't at all sure if Eavan would have properly gone away or if she'd still spy on us.
Deirdre whispered softly. "Let's sleep?"
I gave her a very soft kiss on her lips and answered. "Yes."
We embraced each other warmly after that, enjoying the glow of our presence and drifting away. Sleep came much swifter than I had expected, but it felt just nice to be in Deirdre's arms again. I was worried about the morrow, worried about the talks, the possible danger and the many, many unexplained factors.
But now, sleep...