It was some time after Tarmon Gai’don, and the world was finally coming back together, picking itself up once again. It had been a rough time, without much of anything. Even food was hard to come by. But not now, things were looking up.
We had a house by the River Erinin, so I could fish and sail; she could pick wild flowers and ride her horse in the fields. We were a good two days ride south of Tar Valon. We had a happy and peaceful life together now, but she deserved more. This year, she was going to have some surprises.
I awoke one morning to find her staring at me, though she seemed to do it a lot when I was second to wake.
“Good morning” she said sweetly with a grin. I knew what she was expecting, but I wasn’t going to say it; not yet anyway. I leaned over and gently kissed her before saying in return “Good morning.” She opened her mouth to say more, but I pressed my lips to hers, stopping any words from escaping. I laughed as she pushed me back.
“Light Siuan, sometimes I think you should have been a man!” she threw the covers off herself and slid off the bed, beginning to dress.
“Would you still love me if I were?” I asked teasingly. She shot me a side-long glare before rolling her eyes and continuing with what she was doing. I laughed again while climbing out of the bed and started looking for my own clothes.
As we sat eating our breakfast of porridge and fruit, I asked her what she was going to do today.
“Ride, I suppose,” she shot me a look as to suggest something else, but I merely smiled.
“Sounds pleasant. I think I’ll busy myself with, well, I’ll find something.”
She sighed annoyingly as she got up. I knew why, of course, but this was all too fun, and it’d make my plan even better. She grabbed her cloak and started for the door.
“When will you be back?”
“That’s not an answer, Moiraine.” She sniffed and continued for the door.
“Well, at least take some food with you, just in case.” She stopped, her back still to me, and crossed her arms impatiently. I got up and put some things together for her. I wrapped my arms around small waist to hand her the parcel. She took and tired to walk away, but I held on.
“Let me go, Siuan,” she demanded.
“You’re so adorable when you’re mad,” I said then kissed her temple.
She elbowed me in the ribs and I let go. Very nearly running to the door, she was muttering something about me being ‘impossible’ and ‘wool-headed’. I laughed to myself as the door slammed behind her. Yes, tonight is going to be good. I knew she wouldn’t be back ’til late afternoon, so I had plenty of time to do what I needed. I cleaned up our breakfast dishes then set about on start the first task: the cake.
It was a good thing I had had Sheriam teach me how to bake all those years ago. But this wasn’t going to be just any cake. It was to be a double layer chocolate cake, with plenty of frosting. Moiraine really did love chocolate.
With the cake now baking, I could go off to get the her next surprise. It was a bit up river, but wouldn’t take me long. I had bought it the day Moiraine had asked – more like begged – for it, though she didn’t know. I had told her no, pretending to be stubborn. She had regretfully nodded, but I had my plan. I felt bad, but it was for the best, and her momentary sadness wouldn’t last long.
Now with her second surprise in hand, all I really had left to do was wait. The cake was finished, displayed nicely on the table between her other two surprises. One was wrapped very neatly with brilliant paper. I had gotten this some time ago, and had hidden it away quite well. The other was just a plain box. I hope that stays on the table, not decides not to wander off.
With everything set, I took a seat outside for Moiraine’s return. The later part of the afternoon was now approaching, so I knew she’d be back soon. I hadn’t been sitting long, admiring the view and being entertained by two birds, when I heard her come galloping into the stable. As she came walking up, I held back a grin. She eyed me carefully, probably hoping the time alone today had jarred my memory.
I stood as she came up next to me, asking casually, “And how was your ride?”
“Enjoyable,” she answered almost bitterly as she reached for the door handle. I quickly moved around her, placing my hands over her eyes.
“Siuan….what?!” she said, startled and not at all amused.
“Well, actually, I can’t.”
I snorted. Also was so sarcastic. “Ok, you’ll see in a minute. Now, open the door.” With a sigh, she turned the handle and I walked her inside, setting her down at her table. Good, the box is still there.
“Surprise,” I whispered in her ear as I removed my hands. She gasped and her eyes grew wide, I noticed, as I sat beside her.
“Oh Light…Siuan!” She reached over and took my hand, her gaze still on the objects in front of her. I smiled and squeezed her hand.
“And you thought I forgot.” She turned and smiled back at me before kissing me sweetly.
I giggled softly. “Don’t thank me yet, you haven’t even seen what you’ve got!” She looked back at the two boxes and cake. “Well, go ahead!” I urged.
She picked up the pretty one and placed it in front of her. She began taking the paper off, her eyes growing with anticipation. As she opened the box and looked inside, her eyes grew even more, her cheeks coloring.
“Please tell me you didn’t…” I continued to smile silently. She pulled out a leather strap and buckle then lifted it partially out before dropping it back in.
“Siuan Sanche!” she spat, incredulously.
“What?!” I said helplessly, throwing my hands up in defense but my face betrayed me.
“This isn’t for me, this is for you!” she said with almost a laugh.
“Not true! You can use it, too! Besides,” I added with a bit of a smirk, “I believe you quite liked it.” With that, she gained more color in her already pink cheeks.
“Even so, you’re still horrible!”
“You still love me for it.” She hrmphed with an amused smile.
“Alright, open the other one. I promise it’s better.” With a skeptical look first, she took the other box. But this time, it made a sound. A sound Moiraine knew. Her mouth half open, she tore the top open to find the contents: fur, tail, ears, and eyes. She reached in, plucking it out.
“Oh Siuan…” she breathed, smiling from ear to ear.
“So do you like it?” I asked, knowing full well her answer. It was the one she had wanted after all. It was grey with a hint of blue shading. The tips of the ears and tail were white, as were its paws and nose. The eyes were bluer than my own.
“Of course!” she lifted the kitten up, touching its nose to hers. It meowed then licked Moiraine’s nose, which made her squeal. Squeal!
“So what’s its name?” I asked, enjoying how happy she was.
“Her name is…Lady.” She placed her new found joy in her lap and turned to me. “Thank you so much.”
Taking her by one hand and picking up the sa’sarn in the other, I stood, pulling her up. Lady jumped off her lap and set off to explore the house.
“It’s not over yet,” I said, smiling slyly. Moiraine licked her lips as she lay down on the bed.
Later, when we were curled up together under the sheets, sa’sarn laying on the floor, and the cake almost half eaten, Lady joined us, balling up on top of Moiraine.
“Happy nameday, Moiraine. I love you.”
“I love you too, Siuan.”