[Story] Candy Hearts

[[ I wanted to do some little Valentine’s Day story things. I decided to use the in-game candy hearts as inspiration. Even if two of them are basically the same 😛 ]]

I’ll follow you all around Azeroth! Vassanta took the neatly wrapped box from the goblin and dropped a couple of extra silver into his palm. Last year, she and Vajarra had just arrived in Darnassus, and she thought the gaudy decorations were supposed to be there. And when she’d met the tracker in the temple, she thought he was an arrogant boor — and that he was trying to impress her sister. Vassanta was happy to learn that neither of those were true, though she didn’t mind the decorations so much now.

Inside the long narrow box were a set of finely-crafted truesilver arrows, fletched with pure white feathers. The goblin assured her that she was supposed to shoot them at the person she fancied, but Vass thought that was silly. She already had Jaeyn, and she could not imagine someone more daring and cunning and handsome than he was. She had a far better idea for the arrows: they’d go hunting with them, maybe at the orc camp where they’d gone that very first time.

They had hunted many things in many places, but she remembered that evening best of all. Even if he hadn’t yet noticed the way she watched him – or maybe he had, but was afraid to say something. He’d had other things on his mind then, important elf things, much more important than one draenei. She thought he was happier now, hunting with her, wherever they wished to go. And she thought he’d like the arrows.

You’re mine! The naaru had said it was so. They were together now, though O’ros had seemed hesitant at first. The naaru had asked him a lot of questions and spoken in its vague way. Zaethir wondered if they asked questions of everyone like that, or only elves. He didn’t dare ask Terivanis. The two kaldorei still didn’t care much for each other, though Zaethir was less worried now that he’d try to give Phaa some potion or other while they sat too close together and talked. From what he’d seen, the druid was busy preparing for his shop.

Zaethir had already got Phaa a necklace, as was customary for a courting gift. The goblins said that she would like any of the wares they were selling in the little booth in Darnassus. He frowned and looked over the dresses, if one could call them that. They were barely scraps of fabric, held together by ribbons. And as much as he liked them, she certainly couldn’t wear them in front of the Sentinels. But he supposed she could wear one at home. The blue one was nice.

“Do a lot of women like that one?” he asked, pointing to the dress in question.

The goblin leered widely. “Sure they do, pal.”

Zaethir considered it. He tried to look at the price tag without the goblin noticing. “Draenei women?”

“Absolutely. I’ll give you a good deal on it.” Without waiting for Zaethir to answer, he started to fold the dress and put it into a heart-shaped box.

Zaethir hoped that he was right.

All yours. The boats would be in Darnassus again. Tathariel remembered riding them last year, sitting close to Jaellynn on the bench that was really too small, but that was probably the point. There were a few other couples on the lake as well, but not many. Jaellynn had been so worried that everyone would stare at them, but no one did — at least not more than usual.

She frowned. Maybe he wouldn’t want to go back. Truthfully, she was hesitant about it as well. So much had happened, and a death knight — even one like Jaellynn — was not really welcome in Darnassus. She wasn’t worried about what people might think. She’d heard the cruel and thoughtless things people said about him, and no doubt about her for associating with him, but they didn’t dissuade her. It wasn’t true. He was no monster, he wasn’t cruel or evil, he had a heart and feelings just like anyone. Better than most people, in her experience. Though they’d just gone away on their trip recently, she wanted to do something else for him.

The most obvious answer was of course another of the dresses that the goblins sold. She’d got a red one last year, and it was still one of his favorites. It wasn’t a very interesting idea, though he’d surely like it. Maybe the black one this time. He liked the little candies too, the ones with words written on them in common. Tathariel thought they tasted terrible, but he ate them all. Or maybe they tasted better because of the words. I love you, they said, and All yours.

Maybe they could find another boat to ride. Not on the coast near their house — naga still slithered up and down the beaches. But perhaps in Feathermoon.

I’m all yours! Terivanis was so busy these days that Vajarra wondered when he ever slept. Probably never. The stock of soaps and perfumes had grown to an impressive amount, taking up a good portion of the common room of their house. They could open any day now, but he insisted on making more. Vajarra thought he might be anxious about the actual opening, but she couldn’t be more excited.

Sure enough, she found him outside behind the house, stirring the large barrels of ash for the soap. “You need a break,” she said, kissing him gently.

“But I’m almost–”

Vajarra took his hand and led him down to the moonwell. He glanced back toward the house but finally agreed to go with her. Some days he was like this, distant and thoughtful, and others he was charming and sweet. He still struggled with a lot of things, she knew, though he didn’t share all of them with her. She folded her legs under her and sat leaning against his side, still holding his hand. The druid smiled briefly at her.

He wasn’t what she had imagined when she thought of the future. He was an elf, for one thing, and a druid. Vassanta always said she’d pick the biggest, most obnoxious paladin for her mate. That would probably be true had they not gone to Darnassus. The whole trip had been Vajarra’s idea in the first place. Maybe that was part of the naaru’s plan. She didn’t doubt anymore, though he might not always tell her, she knew that the druid loved her and would always look after her.

You’re the best! Farahlor was screaming, his little face wrinkled up and his eyes squinted tightly closed.

“What did I do?” Ornasse asked, exasperated. He’d tried to hold the infant for just a minute while Kelanori got into the bath, but his son was having nothing to do with it.

“You didn’t do anything,” Kelanori said gently from the other room. “Try walking with him. And talk to him.”

Babies were frightening. Ornasse had never seen Tathariel as a baby, but if she was as loud and messy as her brother, maybe that wasn’t so terrible after all. He immediately felt guilty for thinking so. It wasn’t Farahlor’s fault that his father was clueless. He patted the baby’s back gently, walking back and forth in the doorway.

“He likes you better,” Ornasse pointed out. “You’re his mother.” He hoped Kelanori wouldn’t take too long.

He could hear her getting into the hot water, salted with mineral salts. He would have liked to join her there, as he had before Farahlor arrived, but that wasn’t really possible at the moment. At least he’d stopped screaming, and was now sucking on his fingers, looking up at Ornasse with his bright gold eyes. He was awfully cute.

“Maybe for now,” Kelanori answered. “Just wait until he can walk, then you two will run off into the forest and I won’t see you for days.”

It was hard to imagine him being fully grown, though it would happen eventually. He was already much larger than he had been when he was first born. He’d grow little by little until overnight they’d notice he wasn’t a baby anymore. Kelanori knew how to take care of a baby, thankfully. He didn’t have the first clue. It really was astounding that none of the males in Darnassus had noticed her — before he arrived, anyway. A priestess of her considerable talents and poise, and not to mention her beauty, surely couldn’t have gone un-noticed. She insisted that no one looked, but Ornasse knew that couldn’t be true. She just hadn’t known it. And she explained it away by saying that she was picky.

Whatever the reason, he thanked Elune for bringing her to him — and for allowing her to give him the son he’d always wanted.

Be mine! The Harrier stopped to look in the shop windows as he passed through the streets. He didn’t really intend to buy anything, he was just killing time. Lots of dresses, as usual, but in every shade of red and pink. There were a few black ones, too. This goblin holiday seemed to be all about getting lucky. Not that he minded terribly.

He touched the flower-twined band inside his pocket to be certain it was still there. One of the signs in the shop window said “Be Mine”. What a strange thing to say, as if you could ask for something like that. Mine, as if she belonged to you, like a shoe or a glass. He knew how much Rose fought against that word. In his mind though, she was, wasn’t she? His what? He wasn’t sure how to explain it, he’d stumbled when he was talking to Blackbrew about it. His Lady, his woman, simply his.

But she wasn’t, not in her mind. If that were to change, it would be a very gradual process. Maybe it was already happening. He couldn’t very well ask, or he’d ruin everything. He’d keep the band safe until he was sure.

Hot lips. Latahlali had gone to the park to practice with the flame. Raleth had gently insisted that she not do so inside, with her propensity for exploding things. The last thing he needed was his house burning down. It had been a trying few days for everyone. He was doing his best to keep her studies moving forward, even if they were the last thing on his mind.

He was certain she had no idea how beautiful she was. Last night she’d unbraided her hair and wore it long over her shoulders, with the deep red robes he’d bought for her. In spite of the danger from her grandfather and their worry about the missing Highborne, all he could think of was taking her in his arms and kissing her.

She asked if he liked her. He said he had, but that wasn’t true. You like toast with jam. He adored her, he thought for certain that he was in love with her, but was afraid she’d be frightened off. And perhaps he was a little frightened himself. It was easy to forget that Dalaran was not like the rest of the world. Others might not approve, and in the case of her grandfather, violently so. He thought of his own father, and he could only imagine the things he might say about it. Disgracing the family name, as if there was any honor left of their name to tarnish.

Kestrae and she had been talking about gifts, and Lali said she’d give him one in a few days. He knew what he wanted to buy for her, he’d seen it walking home past the shops. It was expensive, but what else was he going to spend his gold on? And when had he had the opportunity to buy gifts for someone like her? Never. He’d stop by the shop, and perhaps he’d peek into the park to see how Lali’s flames were coming along.

I LOVE YOU. Berries had managed to coax Stormpelt into the town, at least close enough to wash her. She picked the twigs and bits of bark out of her coat, and combed her mane with the nice brush that felt good, like fingers scratching. Then she put new ribbons in, pink ones this time. Berries smelled warm and good, like home. Some of that was the smell of the pup. He was too young to play yet, but soon she hoped she might be able to play with him.

Berries smiled and gave something to Stormpelt. It was small and hard.

“You eat it,” Berries explained. “Look, it has words on it. It says ‘I love you’.”

The worgen held it to her nose and sniffed. If there was any smell, it was too faint for her nose now. She poked her tongue out and touched it to the candy experimentally. It didn’t taste like much of anything, either. Berries smiled and shook her head. “You don’t have to eat it,” she said, stroking Stormpelt’s mane. “I don’t think they taste very good either.” She gathered up the brushes and ribbons and went back up to the house.

Stormpelt studied the thing in her hand. She could not read, but Berries had told her what it said. Love. She knew what that was. That was when Leaves and Berries sat close together and hugged. When she and Frostmoon would hide together under the roots of a tree when it rained. When he touched his muzzle to her ears gently and licked her brow. She picked up Grub Grub and put him into her hand. The worm touched the candy briefly but showed no other interest in it. Did Grub Grub love? Stormpelt was not sure. He liked to be close to Stormpelt, but she thought there was more to love than that.

It was the way Frostmoon looked at her, the way they ran fast fast together underneath the full moon, with the pack but yet not with it, just the two of them. Stormpelt and Frostmoon against the world. Except it wasn’t anymore, now it was just Stormpelt. His eyes looked at her the same way, but they had fear and confusion too. He didn’t understand why. She didn’t know either.

Stormpelt crouched down in the soft dirt. She scraped some of the soil aside, and dropped the candy into it. Carefully, she covered it again.

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