Souls' Rebellion: Part 5
Rik reined up his horse. From this ridge, he could see all the way across the valley to the hills and the sea beyond. He was aware of Kaya several horse-lengths away along the ridge. They had been traveling companions for two months now, and he had become accustomed to her odd hot-and-cold behavior. She had a thirst for knowledge, especially if it would teach her how to be strong for her return to the Drow. She was quite accomplished with knives and, to his dismay, thievery. But, she was always intriguing. Although she sometimes seemed almost to provoke him on purpose, and they were quite often at odds with each other, the bond was true.
At some nonexistent signal, they started down the slope together and entered the trees. They would camp here for the night. There was plenty of daylight left, and Kaya still preferred to travel by night and sleep during the day. But they could not always find a proper cave, and it was difficult even for Kaya to sleep in broad daylight with no shelter. They had the tent, but it was stuffy, and this was a special occasion. Kaya had never seen the ocean, and Rik didn't remember much; he had been very young. They planned to retrace their steps to the top of the ridge and watch the sunset together.
When camp was made and they had eaten a light supper, they climbed the slope on horseback, spread a blanket before a large boulder, and sat with their backs against it to await the setting of the sun. They sat quietly as the sun drooped lower and lower on the horizon, spectacular colors reflected on the distant water’s face.
As the last edge of light disappeared, Kaya turned to Rik. “Are you mine, Petrik Ramisan?”
He looked into her eyes. He was always surprised at the depth he found there; he could easily lose himself in her eyes. “I am yours, as I have been for two months now.” He didn't understand her sudden solemnity. It wasn't like her.
She reached into her belt pouch and brought something out, hidden in her palm. “I have a gift for you, but you must know what it means before you accept it.” She opened her palm to reveal what looked like a small medallion made of pale golden crystal. As she suspended it above her palm on its leathern thong, he could see something transfixed inside it; a small, pale, fine braid of hair - Kaya’s hair. “This is a Drow wedding amulet. If you accept it, we will be bound together ‘til the gods say we are not. It does not bind we two exclusively forever, though some choose that as well. It does not bind us to be untrue to our own beliefs of right and wrong; I know we do not always agree on these things. But, whatever may come, whatever storms may tear us asunder, if you accept it, we are bound to come to each other’s aid in time of need, regardless of circumstance. This amulet is only given once by each Drow maiden. It is made at her weening, and is the most binding form of marriage among my people. It is a sign of utmost trust and loyalty... Are you mine, Petrik Ramisan?”
Petrik’s heart was pounding in his throat. “Kaya, I will never forget Sulin and the love we shared, but I have never trusted anyone more completely than I do you. I am yours, Kaya Mu’Lezir.”
He reached for the amulet, but Kaya stayed him with a slight shake of her head. She stood and knelt facing him and, taking the leather in both hands, laid it around his neck. “You are mine, Petrik Ramisan, and I am yours,” she said firmly.
Then she smiled, and he was lost in her eyes again...