Story for the day: Surprise Package
The Den Asaan sat beside the door of the commons facing the entrance of the winding stair, waiting for the herald to arrive with his daily report. The expectant giant would not have made such an exertion in waiting for news from his brothers while remaining away from the warm aegis of his residence but there was something of great consequence that kept him on his guard and out of his home, something significant enough that would cause him to glare at the stone steps and wait for sounds of the object’s coming. His pointed ears perked when he heard familiar footfalls echo through the hallway toward him. He blinked and straightened when he observed the commander bounding up the stair, smiling in his direction. His gaze softened to see her returning from her duties and when she neared gave her promises of attending her in a few moments. He pulled her close momentarily to devour his favourite space along her neck and then released her, encouraging her into the commons with a firm slap along the tops of her thighs.
The commander laughed and noted the giant’s grin as she began to open the door to their dwelling. She was discouraged from entering when she realized her mate would not follow. He remained sitting with his back to the wall, his eyes unmoving from the archway of the stair, and his pose rapacious as if he were waiting to leap on his prey.
“Shall I ask why you’re sitting outside the commons?” the commander said with a quirked brow.
“I am waiting for your king’s messenger,” the giant hummed, keeping his eyes forward.
“Does the herald warrant a particular punishment for being late with your delivery?”
The Den Asaan attempted to ignore her inquiries with a sideways glance and a dismissive nod. “He has learned to perform his duties efficiently,” he uttered.
“Then one wonders why you should be waiting for him.” The commander pursed her lips, attempting to discern her mate’s reasoning by his subtle movements, and she waited for some explanation for his unusual watch.
The Den Asaan looked at his mate with a grimace. He was hoping to dishearten her by whittling away her patience with silence but her tenacity soon overcame him and he was forced to give her an excuse to keep her from entreating him further. “There is a package that is being delivered today,” he said with a sigh of defeat.
“You ordered something?” she disbelievingly asked. “You don’t order anything without shouting your demands in person. You have artfully neglected to explain why you should be waiting for him outside, unless the package is of disreputable or shameful nature.”
She had determined it and the giant was silent, refusing to admit her precision or inaccuracy on the subject. The package was not for him so much as it was for her and though it was neither disreputable nor shameful, as she had suggested, it was undisclosed and the giant was hoping to maintain its concealment by accepting it himself before his mate had the opportunity to do so.
His silence, however necessary, was suspicious and the commander observed him closely, narrowing her gaze as she attempted to fathom the motive for his reservedness. She construed that the giant would only be so guarded if the parcel was one of grave significance and as he shared every correspondence he received from his brothers with her, she ascertained that this package must be for her if he refused to allow her to see even the address marked on the exterior.
“Iimon Ghaala,” the commander said in warning tone. “You know how I abominate surprises-“
The Den Asaan interrupted the woman’s threat of displeasure by pushing her toward the door of the commons. “Look away, woman,” he growled. “Return to our home and remain there until the messenger has come.”
“If this has something to do with my-”
“Away, woman,” the giant roared. He glowered at her and stabbed a fervent finger toward the commons, signaling his want for her to obey his word.
The commander could see the giant would not be moved from his dedicated vigil and she humored him, laughing to herself as she entered the commons. The door was slammed closed and locked behind her with the key the Den Asaan kept hidden in the folds of his warkilt. She removed her armour and once she was well situated in her tunic and soft leather boots, she crept back toward the door and pressed her ear against it in time to hear the herald arrive.
There was a bustle and a murmur and the commander could hear that the messenger had come and gone but brought Kai Linaa with him. She remained with the Den Asaan in the hallway, giggling as she whispered in her happy manner. The wrinkling of brown packaging paper was heard. The low voice of her mate said little and the small sighs Kai Linaa made said even less. The commander was moved to view the concurrence by peaking through the keyhole in the door but all she was able to see in her view was her mate’s impressive back. Although not an unpleasant sight, it was not the one she desired and she resigned to be unaware of the contents of this mysterious package. She backed away from the door and went to the table when her mate returned.
The commander pretended to be astonished when he entered with no parcel in his hands and though she understood Kai Linaa came as an associate in the plan, she imagined to know nothing of it. Her forbearance was to be tried. She despised surprises for they had always resulted in disappointed hopes. She knew her mate would not dissatisfy her by any means but the knowing of the surprise had ruined her tenacious patience. She sighed and resolved to be as tolerant as her stirred sensibilities would allow for she gained the suspicion that all would be revealed the following day.