Chapter Eighteen- Promise Me
Merlin walked around the glen, mentally berating himself for yesterday. "Why did you do that? It's a good thing Blaze walked in, or else things would've gone too far. What am I talking about? My shirt was off and hers almost was. That was too far."
Merlin ran his hands through his hair and perched on the edge of one of the arches. "What is my problem? No, I know what's wrong. I'm in love, and I'm not thinking straight."
"Talking to yourself, Merlin?"
Merlin whirled around and saw Azkedelia. Merlin held his breath. She was beautiful. Azkedelia's long curls were pulled to the left side, covering her bandage. Her hair was held back by a ornately carved copper flame. Her dress was medieval style, floor length. The sheer orange-gold overlay ruffled in the warm breeze. The black silk underneath fell to the waving grasses and whispered as the grass waved in the wind. Merlin shook his head, speechless. Azkedelia smiled and walked closer. Merlin fought to keep himself from kissing her and finishing what they'd started yesterday.
Azkedelia walked forwards, her hand lingering on the trunk of a weeping willow. "Merlin, about yesterday…"
"Az, it was my fault. I should've stopped things before they got too far."
Azkedelia laughed. "Merlin. You cannot be serious. You didn't want to stop."
Merlin looked down. "Az, if Blaze hadn't walked in…"
"Merlin, if Blaze hadn't walked in, things would have gone all the way and it would have been…"
Merlin looked up. "Az, it would've been wrong."
Azkedelia put her hand on Merlin's. "Merlin, it would've been amazing. But yes, it would've been wrong."
Merlin ran his hand through his hair again.
"Merlin. Stop beating yourself up about it. We were both involved. Stop."
Merlin looked in her eyes. "Az, this is my fault."
Azkedelia reached out and cupped his cheek. "Merlin, it wasn't. But will it help you if we promise to never let things get that far again?"
"Merlin, I promise to do my part in making sure things never get that far again."
Merlin smiled. "Az, I promise to do my part never to let things get that far again."
Azkedelia smiled and stepped into Merlin's arms. Merlin wrapped his arms around her tightly.
Azkedelia tucked her head underneath his chin. "I love you."
Merlin held her tighter, suddenly scared of losing her. "I love you, too."
Azkedelia smiled, listening to Merlin's heart beat.
"Az, why are you so dressed up?"
Azkedelia laughed. "Merlin, did you forget? Tonight's the Summer Solstice dance."
Merlin blinked. "That was tonight?"
Azkedelia laughed. "You forgot?"
Merlin nodded. "Well between classes, taking care of you, and killing djamphirs, it kind of slipped my mind."
Azkedelia stepped back and looked at Merlin's outfit, his usual blue shirt and red scarf. "Can I use phoenix magic on you?"
Merlin shrugged. "Sure. Just don't give me flaming wings."
Azkedelia laughed. "Fine."
She walked around him, forming an idea in her head. Azkedelia stopped in front of him and closed her eyes. She had one hand pointed at Merlin. "Dianyae flamaries."
Merlin was surrounded by flames that didn't burn. The flames smelled like Azkedelia, like red roses during a flaming sunset. Merlin closed his eyes and clenched his jaw. When he reopened his eyes, the flames were gone.
Azkedelia held out her arm. "Ready to go?"
"Not yet, I want to see what you did." Merlin walked over to the pool under the waterfall. Azkedelia's fire had transformed his clothes. He was now wearing all black and all medieval. His shirt was loose and melded into his black fitted pants, which tucked into black leather boots. An orange-gold flame was pinned on his shirt.
Merlin smiled and walked backwards Azkedelia. "Ready?"
Azkedelia nodded. Merlin wrapped his arms around her waist and they were flying, off to the Summer Solstice dance.