Story for the Day: The Shelled Bracer
The Shelled Bracer
The festivities and regalements for the first evening of Ailineighdaeth were drawing to a close with the increasing brilliancy of the moon in the star-ridden sky. All was well and tranquil in the keep and in the capital: Diras had celebrated, revelrous raillery had prevailed, the traditional food and drink were shared, and now came the lull and hem of quietness. Gifts had been given, the last blessings and benedictions of the evening had been accorded, and with closing eyes and drowsy aspects did everyone say the requisite goodevenings and return to the respective corners of the keep.
Though everyone had received something for the day, as everyone must for the purpose of the occasion to be considered fulfilled, one amongst the party who hailed from the islands felt obliged to give his own present to his mate. The commander made no demands for a gift, though Rautu requested his own in the form of excessive bouts of Khopra, but it was Unghaahi who was moved by the Frewyn celebration and felt it necessary to join the festivity and have something procured for his mate. He did have something in the way of a gift for her already and was merely waiting for an opportune moment to give it to her, but as the holiday boasted of the prime chance, he had hindered himself from saying anything of the gift until that evening when they passed the threshold of their room in the guest quarter and addressed Kai Linaa as he closed the door.
“Did you enjoy yourself, Ghaala Kai Linaa,” he purred, raising a hand to her cheek and rubbing her ears with his fingertips.
Kai Linaa curled into his palm and replied with a cooing, “Yes.” She blushed in spite of herself and felt her knees press together with each gentle rub she was granted.
Unghaahi smiled at his mate, and in kneeling to her, took something from the folds in his kilt and held it in his closed fist. “I have something for you to commemorate the Frewyn celebration. I know we are not Frewyn, but it is important to honour the traditions of those who have been generous and kind with us.”
This was generally agreed to, but Kai Linaa’s acquiescence came in the form of quick nods while standing on her toes and endeavoring to see what her mate was concealing within his hand. “What is it?” she said with playful inquisitiveness.
Unghaahi knew his mate too well to know that she would be able to wait for long, for once she was told something concerned her and was being kept secret, the proclamations of dying to know would surely follow if she were kept waiting for any short amount of time. He was far from cruel, but he would make her wait a few seconds longer with a roguish smile and a walking past her to the fireplace.
In the sudden agony of despair that overpowered her from being disallowed the delicious intelligence as to what the present was, whence it had come, and when she was going to receive it, Kai Linaa thus attacked her mate. “No!,” she moaned, trotting after him. “Unghaahi, please tell me what it is at least if you aren’t going to give it to me now.” She hastened in front of the hearth and held out her arms to hinder Unghaahi from kindling a small fire. “Please?” she entreated, hopping up and down. “I’ll melt if you don’t tell me.”
When he was silent, she resorted to more drastic tactics: she clapped her hands together, placed them under her chin, and widened her eyes beyond what Unghaahi had been used to think capable. Her eyes soon glistened with tears, her lip quivered, and the giant could no longer hold his peace. He sighed at her pleading looks and opened his hand to reveal a small leather bracer decorated with Otsbholaas shells.
Kai Linaa gasped and her features instantly brightened. “Oh, Unghaahi!” she cried, her cheeks aglow with sanguine warmth. “I love it! How did you find it? Did Leraa and Otenohi send it to you?”
“I asked Ghodhina to search for something on Sanhedhran some time ago,” he said, sitting on the ground beside her and holding the bracer to her wrist. “I requested something with many of the shells from the shore. I know you are fond of them.” He tied the thin leather straps together and remarked the size and fit of the piece. It was a stunning item, made from materials that only the exquisiteness of the islands could provide, and he declared the article a perfect addition to the collection along his mate’s graceful limbs.
Beset by his thoughtfulness and inundated with his kindness, Kai Linaa pried one of the shells on the underside of the bracer lose and placed it into her mate’s hair. She knew that he must understand the gesture, and after a bow of thanks and a few fervent osculations, Kai Linaa was lifted from the ground and carried to the bed where her silent promise of Khopra could be fulfilled.