Innocent Heart: Friends First

Feira unhooked her arm from Lalaith’s as they walked and skipped over to a leafless tree. “Mind if I walk you to the crossroads?” she asked as she jumped up to snag a thin vine of little flowers that clung to a branch.

Lalaith heaved a sigh, catching her breath. “Not at all . . . but isn’t it out of the way for you?” she asked, looking up at the vine.

Pulling the vine down with her, Feira broke off a length and turned back to Lalaith. “Not too far,” she responded with a shrug. “Besides, you have to be back soon. I don’t have to be back to work till breakfast is served.”

Lalaith smiled and nodded. “Alright. What have you got there? Tenacious little thing, isn’t it?”

Feira grinned as she fished the ribbon from their lunch box out of her pocket. “Not sure,” she chuckled. “These always bloom late, though.” Weaving the flowering vine with the ribbon, she then tied the ends and offered the circlet to Lalaith. “Here!”

Lalaith laughed and accepted the little wreath. “Shall I hang it on my door?” she asked, amused.

“You can. You do whatever you like with it,” she said as she clasped her hands behind her back and strode forward. “I don’t know the rules with Sisters, but if Emeleth made flowers I would think he would want you to enjoy them.”

“Well. Elmeleth did not make the flowers, but I am sure she would have enjoyed them,” she said, settling the circlet jauntily on her head as they walked on.

“She . . . I knew that,” Feira muttered with an embarrassed smile.

“What will you do if that boy finds you again?” she asked, adjusting the crown so that the flowers did not droop over her eyes.

Feira walked beside her with an dance-like gate. “He probably won’t,” she said with a shrug, a hint of regret in her voice. “The girls like the stern honorable knights or the sailors with broad shoulders and easy smiles. He probably has a new girl on his arm every day.”

“I forgot. You want a wild Rohir,” Lalaith teased. “A saucy sailor won’t do.”

Feira rolled her eyes and grinned. “I never said that . . . I dunno,” she said a bit more sheepishly. “Auntie says sailors are trouble, but he’s the first boy to ever call me pretty.”

“Any sort of boy can be trouble, if one doesn’t keep her wits,” Lalaith said. “I should know,” she sighed. “If his intentions are honorable, you’ll know. And if they aren’t, you’ll know. Trust your feelings.”

Feira nodded confidently, but a few steps later she shook out her arms and skipped a step. “It’s so silly,” she grumbled, “feeling nervous at the small possibility that a boy might call. Work couldn’t come sooner so I can get hi — it off my mind.”

Lalaith smiled faintly. “It’s a thrilling feeling. That isn’t wrong. It just is.”

Feira hummed thoughtfully but sidled over and hooked her arm ’round Lalaith’s. “Well boys are exciting, but I’ve had too much good all at once. Don’t want to dive in too deep when I’ve just gotten my feet wet.” She then squeezed the young woman’s arm. “Boy or no boy, he can wait. Friends come first.” The wind picked up as they left the walls of the city behind and broached the peninsula which housed the Temple.

Lalaith smiled, touched. “Oh Feira,” she sighed. “I am very glad to call you my friend.”

The wrought iron gate of the Temple grounds loomed before them. Feira beamed a warm smile, her lower lip trembling faintly. “Before I’d just hoped to end up as your servant forever, but this is much, much better. I’m glad you’re my friend too.” The young woman looked to the Temple before them with both awe and regret. It had hardly taken any time for them to walk there, and she wished good days did not pass by so swiftly. “Today was so wonderful. Thank you for spending it with me, Lalaith.”

“I would much rather be your friend than… your mistress,” Lalaith said, and hugged Feira tightly. “I hope we will spend many more days together.”

Feira hugged her back just as tightly. “I hope so too. You truly are the best. If anything exciting happens I’ll write. Otherwise, see you next month?”

Lalaith’s smile brightened. “Even if nothing exciting happens, I should like very much to hear from you. I will write too, if you like. Perhaps I’ll be given an errand in the city and might meet you for lunch. A short one, anyway.”

Feira bounced on her toes as she grinned. “Oh that would be splendid! Here’s hoping that you do. And, I will be sure to write. If that boy show’s up you will hear all about it!”

Lalaith giggled. “Good! Goodbye. Be careful returning.”

Feira hopped a step and turned, walking backwards as she waved. “Goodbye for now. I’ll be careful! Cross my heart. Have a good night!” Watching Lalaith disappear through the tall gates Feira turned back around and sauntered down the path. A lively waltz playing in her head she hopped atop a low retaining wall and pranced over the stones as she set her path towards home.

 

(Taken straight from mail RP, and edited for tense and grammar.

Thank you Feygil for rping as Lalaith!)

 

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