That night, when Eric realised he had not made a meal at midday and his stomach was making noises of irritation at him, he came up with the idea for a picnic in his own cottage. He would use his magic to transform the living room into a forest scene and use his cookery skills to create delicious food for this picnic.
Corinne, who was a little tired after two outings, was resting in his bedroom. He took this opportunity to cast a spell which turned the walls of the living room varying shades of green interspersed with dappled sunlight, made the floor like the ground outside though softer because he did not want Corinne to be uncomfortable, and caused various flowers, bluebells, daffodils and - naturally - roses, to sprout up around the room. He then went into the kitchen and made sandwiches out of cheese and ham and poured out elderflower juice into tall glasses. He brought these into the living room, placing them on a rug atop the uneven ground then went to the door of his bedroom and knocked.
Corinne opened the door and looked curious. But then she caught sight of the living room and gasped in shock at the scene before her. Eric stepped sideways so that she could see more of it. She walked out, touched the ground to check that it was really soil and grass, and picked a flower, smelling it, before turning to Eric and asking, “How can this be?”
He smiled at her expression and her wonder-filled tone.
“Magic,” he replied simply.
They sat around the food and helped themselves to what they wanted. Corinne continued to stare at what was around her until Eric asked, “My dear, do you like it?”
She turned to him and nodded eagerly.
“It is beautiful! And so wonderfully done! And I am amazed by and in love with it.”
Eric smiled. Finishing the last sandwich, he moved to her side and kissed her cheek.
“I will do this again and again for you, Corinne. Gladly. I am so profoundly gratified that you like it.”
Corinne sighed contentedly, kissing his cheek before lying on her back. Eric joined her on the ground (which was wonderful in the way that it was actually comfortable) and they clasped one of each other’s hand.
“What a wonderful imagination you have,” she murmured admiringly.
“I was inspired by you to create an idyllic scene,” he replied.
She turned her head and regarded him, her smile conveying that she was touched by his response.
“I love you,” she told him.
“I love you also.”
Corinne moved closer to him, once again sighing.
Eric looked at her as she watched the scene on the ceiling: clouds drifting across skies the colour of her baby cousin’s eyes. She looked so happy, so free: like a joyous little songbird as it chirped out its best, sweetest ever song. Her aura was tangible warmth and her eyes contained the amazing, truly gratifying love she felt for him. Eric remarked to himself that he could stay in this position forever.
As the hours passed, Eric covered himself and Corinne with the rugs that were not underneath the empty plate and glasses, drawing her body closer to his so that she would be even warmer. Stars began to appear in the darkening sky scene and Corinne stifled a yawn. Eric kissed her cheek lovingly.
“Pleasant dreams, my darling.”
“Pleasant dreams,” she murmured to him.
And in that position and in that forest scene the pair fell asleep, content in the delightful embrace of Love.