copyright 2006 Zinnia Hope
Roahre gathered their food and empty wine skin. He shook the dirt and leaves from his outer tunic, but stuffed it into the saddlebag since it was saturated with wine from their romp across the leaves.
Watching her husband, Honey stood nearby, her nether regions still tingling and throbbing from their passionate lovemaking. He turned, offering her a pleased smile.
“Freya has left a gift here for you,” he said.
“Oh?” Honey wasn’t sure whether she should be wary or pleased that the goddess had deemed her worthy of a gift, but as Roahre’s grin widened, she soon relaxed. “Well? Where is it?” she asked as a bud of anticipation bloomed within her.
“Go around to the other side of that tree. There’s a hole at the base of it.” He tied the flaps on the leather bags and turned, crossing his arms over his chest. Mischief danced in his eyes as he added, “The goddess was certain you’d choose a life with me and my people, and to prove to me that she was right, she put something special in the tree for you.” He nodded, indicating that she should go look. “Go on, my love. See what Freya has bestowed upon you.”
Honey walked through the thick layer of leaves and climbed over the monstrous roots protruding from the soft earth. On the other side of the ancient tree, a large hole resided between two roots. Upon hands and knees, Honey peered cautiously inside. She saw something tan and furry. At first, she thought that an animal was looking back at her, but as her eyes adjusted to the dimness inside the hole, she realized it was actually a fur-wrapped package.
Gingerly, she pulled it free from its hiding place and brushed small twigs and leaf fragments from it. Cradling it in her arms, she rose and made her way back to the horses where her husband waited. She stood next to Roahre and pulled the strings of meadow grass free, unwrapping the gift to find a dress fit for a queen—for her.
Yards of material the color of a spring sky fell to her feet. Honey gasped in delight. A pair of matching slippers tumbled out and landed in the leaves. In bright embroidery, Freya’s symbols adorned the slipper’s toes, the threads sparkling in the dim lighting. Roahre picked them up, holding them for her so that she could examine the dress. Honey looked back and forth between him and the dress.
“I’ve never seen material like this before,” she said softly, fearing that if she spoke too loudly the dress would poof into magic sparkles and disappear upon a forest breeze. “It’s the purest of sky blues, but it has…” She held it up, allowing the light to dance across its silken fibers. “There are rainbow colors dancing upon it when the light is just right. And it’s so soft! It’s almost as if the garment isn’t even there!”
“The Goddess had the womenfolk of the Dwarves spin its fibers. A little of Freya’s magic went into the color, and the Elven women sewed it together.” He smiled. “Do you like it?”
“It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!”
“It is your queenly gown. The gown you shall hold court in and for when you meet your new people.”
“How will I ever thank Freya?” Honey asked, feeling overwhelmed; her legs even shook beneath her.
“Rule as a queen should,” Roahre replied.