I woke up before Roan did. He had slept on the floor, too. Both of us were too stubborn to sleep on the bed. It was a little entertaining, the small bickering we did before we eventually fell asleep.
I splashed water on my face and pulled a comb through my hair, being as quiet as I could so I wouldn't wake him. I wasn't sure what time he woke up and I had to get ready to hunt. Then I hesitated. Should I hunt today? He's a guest in my realm.... But I really didn't want to just sit around all day....
"Go. I'll be fine."
I nearly jumped out of my skin and I turned. He was sitting up, rubbing his eyes sleepily.
"You scared me," I hissed and he chuckled.
"Sorry about that."
"You can read my mind?"
"No, remember?" he yawned. "But you've been picking up your bow then putting it back down for the last three minutes."
"Oh," I muttered, looking at it. "Are you sure? I mean-"
He made a shooing gesture. "I'll be fine," he repeated. He lay back down and stretched. It reminded me of a cat and I tried not to laugh. "Be a dear and bring back a deer," he added, opening one eye and I laughed.
"That was an awful joke, Roan," I said.
He chuckled, closing his eye again. "Yeah, it was."
In just seconds he was asleep again. I put my quiver of arrows on my shoulder and headed out. The sun was rising and I watched it for a few moment. Barely visible, I could make out the outlines of Adelpha's statue. He would be willing to let me commune with her while living in his realm? I could barely believe it.
"Leaving your beloved to fend for himself today?"
I looked over and shook my head at Trevor's attitude.
"Are you coming or not?" I asked.
"Yes," he said. "If only to further prove that you and I belong together."
I rolled my eyes and walked into the trees.
"Shut up, Trevor. We do not. This is further proof that you're wasting your time. There is a she-elf out there for you, but it is not me."
"You're being forced into this," he said snootily. "It is not proof."
"I'm not being forced into it," I argued. "I agreed to it as did he."
"So you're betraying us."
"No," I sighed and stopped walking. I turned to him. His face was stubborn. "Don't you realize what this means, Trevor? By marrying Roan, it will bring peace to our races. This is something that has never been done before!"
"You're willing to live with a monster to join our races?"
"He's not a monster," I said, walking again. "Rid yourself of your prejudice and jealousy, Trevor. We have hunting to do."
I returned around noon time with three rabbits and a surprise for Roan. After dropping the rabbits off, I walked to my hut. I hesitated before going in. I heard him mumbling.
"Her name is Lillian Greentree, Caricus," Roan said. "I know very little about her. She worships Adelpha. Perhaps you can assist me. I have rid myself of the bitterness but the idea of opening my home to an elf is... more difficult to accept than our marriage. Last evening, she communed with Adelpha. Now I commune with you, Caricus."
When he stopped, I cleared my throat and walked in. He was sitting cross legged with a black candle in front of him. He held up a finger without opening his eyes. He put his hands together, lacing all fingers but his pointer fingers. He shut his eyes, muttered some words in a language I didn't recognize, then nodded twice. The candle extinguished and he stretched.
When he saw what was perched on my shoulder, he laughed.
"A deer for my dear," I said, putting it on the table in my hut. He stood up and came over. "Is Caricus your god?"
"Yes," he said simply. "So, Greentree, what do you plan on doing with such a fine specimen?"
"When elves make good kills like this, we have a special feast," I explained. "So, you will get to skin the deer."
I looked at him. "Have you never skinned a deer before?"
He arched a brow at me. "I'm a prince. What do you think?"
"Right," I chuckled. "Okay, come with me."
He followed me out into the main area where we cook and prepare our meals. The current elf, Petunia, was whistling as she chopped up some fruit.
"Hey, Petunia," I said, sitting at the table that surrounded her work spot.
"Well, hello Lillian. I didn't expect to see you." Her eyes traveled to Roan and she bit her lower lip. "Is this...?"
"Roan, this is one of our Chef Elves, Petunia," I said and he stood and gave the vampire salute.
She blinked a few times and looked at me. I just shook my head a little as Roan sat back down.
"Roan here has never skinned a deer before," I continued. "I managed to get one this morning. Would you be so kind as to show him while I make the other preparations?"
She still looked nervous and Roan sighed a little.
"Do you have a last name?" he asked her which only confused her more.
"Uh- Yes, my last name is Oaken."
"Okay, Oaken," he said, rubbing his hands together. "Here's the thing: I'm supposed to know all the rituals and customs of your race. If that means having to learn how to skin a deer, then so be it." He narrowed his eyes at me. "Although, why my lovely fiancée won't help me is beyond me. So, would you please help? If it makes you feel any better, I am forbidden to hurt anyone."
"By your king?" she asked.
"By the gods," he answered smoothly and leaned forward. "What do you say?"
She bit her lower lip again. "Um.... Okay," she breathed. "If-If you're willing. Where is the deer? I'll go get it."
"My hut," I said and she hurried off. I smiled at him. "Well done."
"Why aren't you showing me?"
I saw him wince and looked around. "Wait here."
I went over to one of the tables where Trevor and Opal were having lunch. I gave them a sarcastic smile and took the umbrella we had fashioned from dead wood and thick leaves from their table and positioned it over where Roan would be learning to skin. When I turned to him, his lips were quivering from holding in his laughter.
"Come on," I said. "You'll be more comfortable under here."
"Anyway, I'm not teach you because... there are other preparations to make."
He narrowed his eyes. "Tell me the truth."
I puffed out my cheeks. "It makes me sick," I sighed.
He wrinkled his nose. "How do you know it won't make me sick!?"
"You drink blood," I reminded him and he opened his mouth to argue only to close it again.
"Right," he said.
I laughed. "There really are other preparations, though, so I'll leave you to it with Petunia. Try and behave, please."
"Ruin all my fun," he grumbled then smirked over my shoulder. "I'll save it for Trevor."
I laughed again as I walked away. We may never fall in love, but perhaps Roan and I could become friends at the very least....