Why may you not kiss me? she had demanded. Am I a corpse?Of course not.Do you find me less attractive now that weather and wind have scoured the bloom from my cheeks?Skaytha, it’s nothing like that. If anything you are more beautiful now than when we lived on Skyrl. Often enough I have no breath when I look at you. You rob me of any other thoughts.So you’re afraid my kisses will take what little brain you have left?I’m afraid the angels will do something I don’t want them to do if I fly in the face of their commands, commands I can only assume are divine as well as angelic.Did you ever think to ask them the reasons behind their demands?When it is an angel I just want to get out of the conversation alive or at least without being struck dumb. So I don’t prolong the chat.You might have wanted my kisses more than that. If you had any romance in you you’d have told them you were ready to fight ten legions of angels for my love.Hawk had reached out to hold her. If I’d told them that they might have taken me up on it. Angels are not just useful for gallant flourishes the moment you declare your intention to battle all comers for the woman you love. Angels burn like fire and blaze like a hundred suns – they strike fear in my heart.She had pulled away from his embrace and jumped to her feet. Oh, no, you don’t. If I’m not good enough to kiss I’m not good enough to take in your arms either. It’s angels or me. Make up your mind whom you fear more. Or love more.I don’t love the angels.Clearly you don’t love me either.They had been in a tipi. She’d gone to the opening, lifted the flap, bent and stalked away, passing by warriors of the tribe with her head as high as a goddess and her back as straight as the shaft of the spear. The chief had poked his head in.All is well, Hawk?’ he had asked.Hawk had learned their tongue.It couldn’t be better, Hawk had responded. Only being slain in battle would be greater than this.The chief had thought this over and laughed. That would bring you great honor.I am in short supply of honor right now and such short supply never pleases a woman like her. Better to die at the end of a spear and have it for a few moments and win her back.The chief had nodded. Sound wisdom. Would you like to join a raiding party against our enemy tonight?I couldn't be happier.(from The Name of the Hawk, Book 2)
Murray Pura