A Coming Storm
Lorinas watched the rain fall on the human city of Valenguard. From his vantage point in the castle's quarters he could see far beyond the walls; he had been afforded the highest and most extravagant crib the King had to offer.
Without having to turn he knew who had entered, he could smell her perfume, the subtle scent of honey flirting with his nostrils.
"There is a storm coming." Lorinas spoke into the evening sky.
"I think it's just a shower." Azala replied gently, joining him at the window.
She faced him, an expectant look on her face. Her white hair was a complex display of braids that spiralled upwards, accentuating her sharply pointed ears. She wore a shoulder-less green dress that matched the colour of her skin.
"Well..." She pouted her lips and fluttered her eyelids at Lorinas.
"It's provocative." He said, briefly noticing her. "It makes you look naked."
"Yeah, but is it nice?" A smile illuminated her face.
Lorinas turned and faced Azala, scrutinizing her appearance.
"Very nice." He said, with no trace of emotion.
"Why thank you," She said impishly, ignoring his cold tone. "An may I say, you look delightful this evening also."
His brown tunic was undoubtedly high in quality, but it was rather plain.
"Thank you." Was all he said, his thoughts elsewhere.
"Oh for goodness sake snap out of it." Azala implored. "You're really gonna suck the fun out of this."
"Oh am I?" He walked over to the full-length mirror and began to straighten his belt. "Well excuse me if I have more important things to worry about than eating. When I said there is a storm coming I was not making comment on the weather."
"Don't patronise me. I know very well what you were talking about." Azala sat on the soft bed, able to see Lorinas' reflection as he fussed with his tunic. "Try and remember why you are here. You are an Am-bass-a-dor, not a general. That stunt you pulled with the King..."
"What would you have me do?" His hands paused as he looked at Azala's reflection. "Stand idly by while the humans make this situation worse?"
"Yes!" She raised her hands in exasperation. "We are not here to make decisions for them, we are here to represent our people. We are certainly not here to order around their King, you are lucky he did not turn on you."
"And what would he have done?" Lorinas challenged.
"Don't be so arrogant." She warned, her eyes piercing him, even through the mirror.
He turned, regretful. "Forgive me, I speak out of turn." He afforded a slight bow.
Azala nodded in reciprocation and softened her gaze. She beckoned him over, inviting him to sit with her on the bed. He flinched as she took hold of his hand, she giggled playfully.
"Relax." The female petitioned, slowly stroking his green fingers. "I don't bite."
The Ambassador did relax, the rhythmic strokes soothed him. He felt a weight lift from his shoulders, he had not realised how tense he had become. Looking into Azala's beautiful violet eyes calmed him.
"Tell me what's on your mind." Azala suggested.
"How much do you know about The Serpent?" He asked, trying to remain at ease.
"Well, I know he was an elf who came to live among the humans." She began. "I know he fell in love with a woman, Helina I think, but she did not return his affections. He went mad with jealousy and murdered her entire family. I know he was tricked by Helina's great-granddaughter, the descendant of Helina's only daughter, who had been hidden from The Serpent. She trapped his soul in an emerald that was buried deep underground."
"I see his legend is as fragmented as his soul." Lorinas said cryptically, "I would have thought someone your age..."
"I am only eighty-four years old!" Azala protested indignantly, rising from the bed and checking her face for wrinkles in the large mirror.
"I didn't mean to offend you." Lorinas consoled, "But if you know so little about what we are dealing with, it is little wonder the humans are so ignorant."
Azala returned to the bed, satisfied that her smooth face still retained a youthful glow. "Go on." She said, laying back on the soft feather stuffed mattress.