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Why else
are we here
if not to live with
passion for 

Everything is white.

The entire forest is covered in a layer of hoarfrost. Orestes has never seen anything like it, and as they trek deeper into the forest he maintains, for the most part, a reverent silence. The day is early enough the sun has barely crested the distant, unseen horizon; the forest remains shadowed and cold, even as the sky paints itself in the colour of Sweet-Brier roses. It is nearly entirely silent; save for the crystalline tinkle of the creek, still unfound. 

Orestes glances back occasionally, to ensure Marisol is following. The sun continues to rise and as it does, the desert king’s tattoos begin to glow the molten gold they are known for. This sight is nothing compared to the hoarfrost; wind through the treetops dislodges particles, white and glistening. The rising sun catches them in orbit, and the silent forest takes on an ethereal, magic quality. Orestes can hear their breathing; intimate whoofs of air, that cloud like fog; even their footfalls are relatively silent as they progress up, up, up, following still the sound of the stream. They walk through drifting hoarfrost, lit to gold, and Orestes feels as though they walk among the stars. The cold does not reach him and there in his eyes there is a mischievous, clandestine promise; Orestes glances at Marisol as though they are conspirators and in the morning light they have discovered an untellable secret. 

They walk until the sun has risen and the hoarfrost as settled; the forest remains perfectly white, however, and the creek reminds undiscoverable because of the fact it runs beneath a sheet of ice. At last Orestes settles in a very small clearing—it can barely be considered such—where the creek once ran in a small waterfall through the rocks. Now it is frozen, and brilliant, and it makes him think of poetry and how everything will reawaken in the springtime.

It is now and only now that Orestes sets down the pack he had been carrying across his shoulders. He draws from it several pieces of dry tender and lights a fire. Nearby, Orestes sets down a tarp and a blanket above it, to protect them from the snow. Finally, Orestes produces a bottle of wine and a various assortment of cheeses, breads, and fruits from the pack. It is clear there the pack is not yet emptied; however, he pulls out only one more item.

Then, with an impish glint to his eye, comes a bouquet of celosia, zinnias, bells of Ireland, with accents of Queen Anne’s lace. He happened to know a florist capable of growing flowers from nothing, and he presents them now with a decorative flourish. Orestes rises for a moment, only to uncover from a nearby alcove a snow-covered tarp, beneath which is a stack of pre-staged wood, dry enough to tend the fire. 

It begins to blaze and at last, with utter shyness, Orestes says: “I wanted to…” he stammers for a moment. It was much more eloquent in his mind. Orestes had thought of everything he wanted to say as they had walked to the location he’d chosen and… everything he thought now escapes him. His silence is filled by the tinkle of the water beneath the ice; the quiet wind through the trembling, frost-covered pines; his breathAfter a long and self-conscious pause he settles on: “I wanted to share an experience neither of us has had before.” 

For a moment he is struck with a fear that, perhaps, she has had this type of experience before… and it would cheapen this moment. Orestes is taken aback at how mortal the thought is, how… vulnerable. It is something he has never thought before. 

What Orestes does not even realise is in all the time they have been walking, he has not thought of his Court, and more significantly—

He has not thought of the sea. 

Of course, good things can never last; and from his peripheral he sees Ariel drift, ghostlike, through the trees. The lion's gaze, although impassive, feels as leaden as Atlas's burden. There is disapproval there, and Orestes knows the lion believes his time better-spent attending to duties in Solterra. Yet, Ariel says nothing. He merely leaps atop a fallen tree and settles, the snow sizzling from the luminous heat of his fur. 

Orestes only dwells on his companion's presence for a moment, before redirecting his attention to Marisol; if anything, the lion's arrival diminishes some of the tension the desert king feels. It is not often that Orestes is nervous when discussing emotions; but today, today... He wants it to be perfect, and knows that things rarely are.

@Marisol || “Speaking.”

Messages In This Thread
two together, under the trees - by Orestes - 01-10-2020, 12:37 AM
RE: two together, under the trees - by Marisol - 01-21-2020, 01:26 AM

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