Fiction Friday: Backstory

   I recently started working on writing a bit of backstory for one of my characters. Ariya is a major character in Prophecy of Peace, but she would not be the amazing person she is if it were not for her father, Uilleam. He raised her with love and he raised her to have an independent spirit. He learned all about love when he met Ariya's mother, Emunah. He also learned what it was like to love a woman with an independent spirit, which is why he would expect nothing less from his daughter.

   Today I am sharing a tiny bit of Uilleam and Emunah's love story. I hope you enjoy it.

 The brilliance of the orange and pink sunset was softened and spread out across the horizon by the mist. Emunah felt as though she were standing within a watercolor painting as the prisms of light and color captured within the mist clung to her skin and hair. Her dark ringlets coiled even tighter with the added moisture. This world was so different from the dry, dusty terrain of her own kingdom.

   Hearing her name called, she reluctantly placed her feet back into their slippers, immediately missing the feel of the soft, wet grass on her bare soles. Starting down the grassy slope of the hill she could already see the scowl on his face and she wondered, not for the first time, if he ever smiled. She was thankful his had not been the first face she had seen upon arriving in the kingdom of Daan. If it had been she may have jumped right back into the wagon and refused to come out until safely back in Khoya Asa.

   It wasn't that he had an unattractive face, he simply seemed to have a permanent scowl that frightened her a bit.. He was actually quite pleasant to look at despite how pale he had first seemed to her. She had soon learned everyone here in this northern kingdom seemed pale. Until a week ago she had never set foot out of Khoya Asa where tawny skin and dark hair like her own were the norm. They rarely had visitors from other kingdoms, and even those that had visited were not from this far north. After three days in this strange land she had come to realize that the ranger was not truly pale, not when compared to others here. His skin actually had a hint of a sun-kissed glow to it. 

   She stared down the hill to where he stood arms crossed, his weight shifting from one foot to the other as he waited impatiently for her to descend. Feeling impertinent, she slowed her gait even more, eliciting a growl filled with such irritation she heard it halfway up the hill. When she finally reached him he merely grunted, "my princess is asking for you," before turning on his heel and leading the way back to the castle.

   When she had first met Uilleam Gillecroids, Daan's chief ranger, on the day she arrived she had wondered if his referring to Princess Elsbeth as, "my princess," was an attempt to make her feel that she was of lesser importance to the princess than he. But she had quickly realized that he referred to her in this way no matter who he was speaking to. He had given the blood oath to Princess Elsbeth and in doing so it seemed that she had become his in a way. His life was now bonded to the princess, he would feel her pain and had a connection to her emotions that would allow him to sense when she was in danger. This bond would last for life unless the princess chose to someday free him of it. Her own place in the princess's life, as her lady's maid, did of course seem of lesser importance when compared to that.

   She had been selected for this position not because of any particular skill necessary to fulfill it, but rather for the small trace of Yehudi blood that flowed in her veins. She was a distant enough cousin to the soon-to-be king that it was not considered inappropriate for her to hold a position of servitude, but held just enough of the bloodline for her to be considered worthy of working so closely with the woman who would soon be Khoya Asa's queen.

   As an emissary of Khoya Asa she knew she should make more of an effort to get along with Princess Elsbeth's protector, but the man was so damnably irritating. Her attempts at conversing with him had been met with hard glares and more grunting and growling than actual words. Even now he strode along silently in front of her at a fast pace, obviously annoyed at having been sent to fetch her. She knew it would be a waste to try and engage him in conversation even if she did wish she could get to know him better, or to know him at all. As the two people sworn to serve the princess they would be spending a great deal of time together and it would be easier if he were willing to at least look at her.

   As though he had read her mind he glanced back at her. Likely though it was only to see that she was making an effort to keep up with his pace. But the glance was enough for her to get a quick look at the steel blue of his eyes. She wished he would look at her more often simply for the chance to stare at those eyes. They were so different from the brown eyes common in her kingdom. His hair was wonderfully different to her as well. It was not only a contrast to the black hair of Khoya Asans, but even differed from the people of his own kingdom. It was not pale blonde like Princess Elsbeth's nor the bright crimson of so many people she had seen here in Daan. Uilleam's hair was intriguingly unique in that it was a woody brown with red flames shooting through it like a forest set afire.

   As they neared the castle her appraisal of Daan's chief ranger slipped lower. His mist dampened shirt clung to him tightly, revealing his well formed physique. And his breeches clung even tighter revealing... "My princess is waiting in her room," he said quietly as he turned to face her. She winced, certain her skin was flaming as bright as the streaks in his hair as she brought her gaze up to his face. The small hint of a smile in the corner of his mouth was the first sign she'd had that he was capable of any emotion resembling mirth. Of course it had to come at her expense as he had obviously caught her ogling him. The smile faded quickly as his impatience with her returned. "Do you need to be led to her room once more?" he quipped, an obvious dig at that fact that she had struggled to learn the layout of the palace.

   "No, that won't be necessary," she said as politely as she could manage. It was just as well that he was pleasant to look at, there had to be something to make up for the unpleasantness of his personality.