Cerin ::Zahara ... my love ... where are you?:: Cerin asks as he sets down his quill on his desk, setting the paper he was writing on aside to dry.
Zahara ::I am in the Hearthstone Chamber, Love. Do you need me for something?:: She continues her meditation, and contemplation of the events recently passed.
Cerin ::I will join you there. I have a surprise for you.::
Zahara ::A good one, I hope.:: Her tone is light, but soft.
Cerin sends the complex emotion that corresponds to a mysterious smile over the Unity that only they share. A few moments later there is the sound of a footstep behind her.
Zahara looks up and rises smoothly to greet him with a warm kiss.
Cerin kisses her back softly, slowly then breaks the kiss, taking her hand. "Walk with me."
Zahara does so, walking quietly along with him and simply enjoying his company until he breaks the silence. She is still a little hesitant around him.
Cerin leads her through the manse and to the garage, not speaking, to the flying vessel they had recovered in Rathess. He kisses her again then whispers "I'm going to blindfold you now, if I may, I don't want you to see the surprise from the window."
Zahara looks into his eyes for a moment, then nods her assent.
Cerin draws a length of black velvet from his pocket and ties it gently but securely about her face then guides her into the skyship and to one of the seats in the cockpit, helping her to sit.
Zahara folds her hands neatly in her lap, and sits back in the seat. She knows the flows of the skyship well, since she had repaired it. She opens her mouth to ask where they are going, but then shakes her head a little and smiles.
Cerin grins "It won't be a long flight." He says as he takes off, circling the skyship a few times before smoothly accelerating away.
Cerin And then he lands, settling the craft carefully on to the ground. "We're here." He announces, and then helps Zahara to stand, leading her to the door of the skyship. "Ready?" He whispers in her ear
Zahara smiles again "Yes." she replies, matching his whisper.
Cerin undoes the blindfold, pulling it away from her face leaving her blinking slightly in the light.
Zahara waits til her eyes adjust then looks to see where they are...
Cerin Before her sits a vision from another world. The glade she is looking out upon is boardered with great tall trees that reach up into the light. From the boughs of the trees though, there hangs alien looking, beautiful flowers in shades of white and black and orange. Still more of the strange flowers carpet the floor of the glade, a twisted path leading through them to a circle of bushes at the centre.
Zahara blinks at the garden, then looks at Cerin, and back again, "It's beautiful! Where... are we?"
Cerin "We have not left the Sunlands." He smiles, and holds out his hand to her.
Zahara takes his hand and steps out of the airship. "Apparently I should keep better track of the Sunlands," she replies with a laugh.
Cerin "It is a ... very recent addition." He says, leading her down the path. The flowers they walk past are at once recognisable and unfamiliar to Zahara.
Zahara "Where are these from?" She pauses to run her fingers over a blossom
Zahara shivers, the alien nature of the blooms becoming clear. "I...did not realize they had such beauty there."
Cerin "They do. But this is the only garden of its kind in bloom in all Creation. The jealously of the Yozi has ensured that."
Zahara "I would imagine they would not be pleased that you have stolen them, but then, they have better things to be angry about now."
Zahara looks over the garden slowly, her senses taking in the beauty that should not be upon Creation. She feels a stab of guilt for her part in it, but catches and mutes it before it filters through the Unity, trying not to disturb the moment.
Cerin "Their anger more than anything is why they cannot see this sight now." He leads her around the bushes, to reveal the inner garden. There is but one type of flower that blooms here. Brilliant red chrysanthamums, possessed of glorious colour and a strange beauty. "These are the flowers that incite the Yozi to such jealousy. These are the flowers that drive them to destroy all that blooms in the garden. These I brought back for you."
Zahara walks slowly through the garden, looking upon the flowers in wonder. "...Thank you, Cerin." She says, the words bringing with them awe and gratitude, and words left unsaid tinging them with sorrow. "I am so glad you are back."
Cerin smiles softly and kisses her, amongst the blooms that belong below a mad green sun, and then he murmurs in her ear. "For what you did, I could not forgive you whilst I still draw breath." He kisses by her ear.
Cerin "So I stopped breathing."
Zahara kisses back, embracing him, then leaning her head against his chest. Absent the usual rise and fall of breath, it is a strange feeling to hold him so. "You did this for me?" She reaches up and runs her fingers through his hair gently, then pulls him close again. "I do not deserve you, Cerin, but I love you with all my heart. Thank you." A tear touches his cheek, but he can feel only joy.
Cerin "For you." He whispers. "Because I love you." Because if you were not here, I could have loved her, and down that path would have been madness.
Zahara draws him down with her amidst the blossoms of a dead world, and every so often, a gloriously red petal drifts down upon them.