You met Aimil, the female half of this couple in "E is for Effort." Hope you're happy to see her again!
Please enjoy! I love them alot. :)
“May I have this dance?”Aimil had to bite back the giggle that bubbled up. She smoothed the deep blue gown she was wearing and fought the urge to twirl before she looked into Tristan’s hazel eyes. The smile on his face took her breath away.She beamed at him and placed her hand in his so he could lead her to the dance floor in the great hall of Castle Rowan.The Spring Ball was in full swing. Aimil was enjoying herself, but was missing Ansley and Cera, as both were on long distance message runs. It would have been enjoyable to share the evening with them along with her betrothed, but there was no doubt she would tell them everything when they returned. Except Tristan. For now, she would keep him and how she felt about him to herself. It wasn’t quite real yet.Many knew they were betrothed, they had been from the moment of her birth about a turn after his, and Aimil had never fought the knowledge that she would be his wife. They’d known each other as children, since their fathers had been friends for turns, but she hadn’t gotten to know Lord Tristan Dagget until he’d come to Terraquist.What he did there was a bit of a mystery, but Aimil didn’t push him for information. He spent a great deal of time with the king, as well as Cera’s father, the Duke of Greenwald, Lord Falor Ryhan, but he had been mentored by Lord Ryhan since he was a boy, honing his magic with the other man. She got the impression whatever Tristan did for the king was confidential. He would disappear for sevendays at a time, sometimes longer.But lately when he was home, as he referred to Terraquist, he’d begun to seek her out. Aimil had convinced herself it would be pleasant to be friends with her husband, but soon she wanted more, talking to him hadn’t been enough.She’d started spending all the time she could with him, and looked forward to being with Tristan more than anything. She’d fallen in love with the man she would marry. She’d never expected it. Did Tristan feel the same? Her stomach flipped.She slipped her arms around him and they swayed to the slow love song the bards were crooning. The world melted away as she moved with him.“Blessed Spirit, I’ve missed you,” Tristan whispered in her ear as he pulled her closer.He’d just returned from being gone for over a month. Aimil had kept herself busy with new training recruits and volunteering for long message runs so she wouldn’t have to worry about him, but she’d missed him. Even Isair, her wolf, had seemed to notice everything wasn’t quite right when Tristan was gone. Her bond had always liked her betrothed.Many of the King’s Riders were bonded to animals, but none were welcome at the ball. Isair was in her room, content for the time being sleeping by a warm fire.Her heart stuttered at the emotion she saw when she looked up into Tristan’s hazel eyes. “I missed you, too.” He smiled, but his gaze didn’t waver. He was a bit too quiet. “Tristan, is there something wrong?”“No.” He squeezed her against him. She didn’t believe him but didn’t want to push him.She glanced around the vast room, seeing knights, courtiers and variety of fellow Riders. Many couples were dancing as well. The hall was filled with laughter and bubbly conversation.The song ended and cheers erupted as the bards struck up a popular lively group dance tune. Aimil exchanged a glance with Tristan. He smiled and entwined his fingers with hers, pulling her away from the dancing area.“Can we go somewhere quiet?” Tristan asked. She nodded, her heart galloping. Somewhere quiet would mean she could kiss him. She’d been dying to kiss Tristan again from the moment she’d seen him enter the great hall with King Nathal and Lord Ryhan.Tristan’s gaze swept the room, and Aimil’s followed. On the dais, the king and several lords had their heads bent together in conversation. The king looked up, nodding to Tristan. What could be going on? It looked much too serious for the Spring Ball. The queen, who had not been far from King Nathal’s side all evening, was no longer in sight. Was something wrong?Tristan tugged on her hand and she met his eyes. He’d always been stoic, but she read worry there. Her betrothed was also much too serious for the occasion. He said nothing, just kept her close to his side, slipping his arm around her shoulders as they headed out of the great hall.Aimil wanted to take him to her room in Rider Barracks, but she couldn’t. However, she was more concerned about others being present than impropriety. She was marrying him, after all. Tristan’s room was also out of the question, because he stayed in the knights’ wing of the immense castle, and other than the occasional maid, females were scarce in those corridors. She was a lady, daughter of the Duke of Ascova, and there was too much of a chance that they would be seen. Besides, they’d never even discussed being intimate.He never did more than kiss her senseless. But Aimil wanted to be close to him, she wanted to make love to him. She didn’t want to wait until they were married.Tristan guided her with his hand on the small of her back. Warmth from his touch spread throughout her body and she trembled. They slipped into a small sitting room adjacent to the great hall. It was empty. She smiled and took a seat on the padded bench against the bay window that looked out into the main courtyard.She was about to mention the stars in the night sky, but Tristan yanked her against his chest, stealing her breath and thoughts. His warm mouth settled over hers without a word.Aimil kissed him back, pressing closer to him. She opened her mouth, rubbing her tongue against his. He groaned, kissing her harder. She wanted more, needed more.Tristan yanked away from her and she gasped. Her chest heaved. “What’s wrong?” she breathed.Aimil was far from done kissing him. She scooted closer, but he settled his palms on her shoulders. Once again, his warmth spread over her. Desire pooled low in her belly.“I have to leave.”“But you just got back…”“I know. I’m sorry.” His words were laced with regret. He stared at her, his gaze intense.“When will you be back?”“I don’t know. Listen, Aimil—”“What do you mean you don’t know?” The whisper was accompanied by tears blurring his handsome face. Tristan’s eyes widened and he pulled her back into his arms. Aimil tucked her head under his chin and clung to him. He rubbed her back, his touch soothing and calming.“You’d better not be using magic on me,” she warned, lifting her head and meeting his eyes.Tristan chuckled. “I would never, love.” Aimil froze.“Love?” she croaked. His smile was tender and genuine.“Surely you know that by now.” His tone was teasing, but Aimil swallowed hard. Her heart thundered.“Know what?”“It’s going to kill me to leave you again.” Her face must have fallen, because Tristan squeezed her against him and flashed a smile. “I won’t tease you further. I love you, Aimil.”She threw her arms around his neck and pressed her lips to his. The kiss became heated, desperate.“Aimil,” Tristan groaned. “We need to stop.” He pulled away gently and cupped her face. She didn’t contradict him. Aimil wanted him, but they were essentially in public, anyone else could come into the sitting room at any time. So she nodded and cuddled close to him, content for the moment with his arms around her.“When do you leave?” she whispered.“In the morning.”“And you have no idea how long this time?” Her tone was choked.“No, love. But I will come back to you, I promise.” She stared into his eyes, seeing sincerity and love. Aimil sighed against him, resting her head on his chest.“Tristan?” she whispered.“Hmmm?”“I love you, too. And I’ll be here when you get back.” Tristan grinned and squeezed her against him.
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