Happy Friday, Aledans! I hope your Valentine’s Day was as sweet as could be, and to keep the sweetness going just a little bit longer I have a very special Fie Eoin Friday for you. Normally I show you Kindra and Gar (because they are my favorite couple <3) but today I have Kaye and Bryant. I don’t think you’ve met Bryant yet (because he’s probably my least favorite character, ever). He’s Faye (which means he has wings, the “Tarrin” are wingless), and has a formal way of speaking if it sounds a little off to you. Enjoy!
The cave was a mess and Kaye hadn’t left since the flying incident a few days before. Instead she finally unpacked the large bag Abigail sent with her and found a lantern with oil, a package of smoked fish that made the entire cave smell, and clothes too small to wear. She put the clothes on Elett’s cot and began cleaning.
“Kaye?” Bryant hovered in the door and Kaye smiled despite herself. Celeste was so busy with her priestess duties that the past few days had been lonely without him.
He looked in before landing. “You are alone?” Then his nose wrinkled. “What is that smell?”
She laughed a little. “Smoked fish. It’s what everything in Gaerlom smells like. I thought I’d clean a bit since the space is a little tight for three people, and found it in the bag Abigail sent with me.”
The darkness that always passed over his face at the mention of Gaerlom returned, but he didn’t say anything about it this time. “My offer still stands. There is a second cot in my cave if you want it.”
She grinned at him although his expression was innocent. “Do you often bring Tarrin women home? No wonder the Gaerloms fear you.”
His brow creased for a moment. “No. Whoever lived there last had two cots, and they are difficult to move.”
Kaye shook her head—it was impossible to get Bryant to lighten up.
“Besides,” he said, “you are Faye. In fact, I brought something for you.” He held out a strip of birch bark that had been painted with priestess symbols. Leather thongs were punched through each corner to tie it together.
“A bracelet?” She took it from him. She’d noticed before that all the Faye wore white bracelets on their left wrist, but she’d never asked about them.
His smile was sheepish as he tied it on her wrist, his knuckles brushing against her skin. The touch made her flush with the memory of his fingertips across her wings.
“It proclaims you Faye, welcomed into the Tribe of Aleda. Children receive them when they learn to fly.”
“You mean when they’re dropped off a cliff?”
Red crept up Bryant’s neck into his ears, and he kept his eyes on the bracelet as he tied the second string. “I am sorry about that. I never meant to scare you.”
“I know, I know. I need to learn to trust people.” Kaye sighed and turned the bracelet around on her wrist, studying the symbols. They spoke of power—a great deal more power than a regular priestess should have. “How do you know these symbols?”
He shrugged. “I drew what I saw in the wood. Are they wrong?”
She traced one with her finger and shivered as goose bumps peppered her arms. “No. They weren’t what I expected, is all.” In the middle of the bracelet was the circlet of Aleda—the symbol of the High Priestess of the Seven Tribes. And next to it a spear covered in wisteria. A warrior priestess.
“What’s this?” She traced a symbol she didn’t recognize.
He took her wrist in his hand and a shiver traveled through her wings to settle in her stomach. “A winged horse, I believe.”
She didn’t know what that meant. Perhaps it meant the Odion with wings? “Thank you. It’s beautiful.”
The strange look from their walks in the forest was back in Bryant’s eyes. “So are you,” he said and pulled her closer. Her breath caught in her throat as his hand moved through her hair. “I hope you forgive me.”
She nodded and he traced her face with his fingers. “I am glad you returned to Aleda,” he said and kissed her. Not a brush of his lips like last time but a full kiss, heavy with the taste of honey and tea.
Kaye had never been kissed like this before, but she’d always dreamed about it. She wrapped her arms around Bryant and stepped closer so they were touching. He wrapped his arm around her waist and held her so she could feel his heartbeat, rapid, excited, drunk with her. Their tongues danced before they broke apart.
She took a deep breath. “I forgive you,” she whispered.
His hand brushed through her hair again and he stared into her eyes. “Are you sure you will not reconsider living with me?”
She was dizzy. Timin’s kiss had been a sweet goodbye, and Gar had kissed her once in gratitude for saving his life. No one had ever kissed her like they needed her to breathe. She swallowed and looked around the cave. The much-too-small cave full of priestess things that weren’t hers and dresses she could not wear. She nodded. “I’ll live with you.”
He smiled. “Good.” Then he kissed her again with as much passion as the first time.