He turned around and started walking. I followed him out of the green garden and along to the blue garden, which was full of many exotic flowers I had never seen before: ones with petals in the shape of teardrops, ones with long blue stems and tiny white buds, and some with streaks of blue in their leaves. In fact, the only familiar flowers were the bluebells.
Adam led me over to a flower which stood in a blue glazed pot. The leaves of this one were completely dark blue with spots like dew drops that sparkled in the moonlight while the flowers had petals in the shape of diamonds and were pale blue. From the base of the stem, Adam pulled out a sapphire.
Seeing my face, he chuckled and answered my unspoken question. "No, it's not part of the plant, it's for decoration."
I immediately felt foolish. Heat rose to my cheeks.
"Don't be embarrassed: what were you supposed to think?"
He straightened up and held out the sapphire in the palm of his hand.
"I'd like you to have this."
I frowned. "But it's part of the garden."
"It's mine. My sisters and I each were given four gemstones to place in four of the gardens, for decoration purposes initially, but to give to whomever we chose when the feeling was right."
"Are you sure the feeling's right?" I whispered.
"Why are you giving me presents when we might not be together?"
Adam shrugged. "To apologise for my forwardness, to confirm to myself as well as to you that I want you to have my heart. Maybe just so that I feel a bit more complete."
"You really deserve someone better than me," I told him, shaking my head in wonder.
"I don't think such a person exists," Adam murmured.
I raised an eyebrow. "What about the Dragon High Princess? She's the most beautiful princess in the land."
Adam looked amused. "Tia Terra?"
"Everyone knows she's engaged to Alistair Draconis."
"Really?" I asked, horrified by this revelation, which put my suggestion in a very bad light.
Adam nodded, looking as if he was trying not to laugh.
"I had no idea. I'm so sorry."
"It's okay. If you didn't know, it's not your fault."
"I'm so sorry."
Somewhere in the distance, a bell began to ring.
"Oh dear - the hour grows late," Adam said. "We'd better get back to the castle. I'll go and fetch the book from my bedchamber so that you can continue reading it at home - just don't let any of your family see."
"Of course not."
So we hurried back to the palace, Adam in the lead. George waited patiently while Adam fetched ‘Punishable Courting'. He had been with Eden until now and so hadn't noticed the time go by either.
Before I knew it, George and I were being escorted to the stables by Eden. There was a lot of kissing between the two lovers, at which I averted my eyes, before George climbed onto the unicorn's back, promptly followed by me. Eden gave George one last kiss before we rode off into the night.