butterfly_sunrider: (Default)
I'd been a busy little bee for the past fortnight or so. With many of the druids taking their vacations, there had been a lot of hours to cover at work. The dance Ralenthra was teaching me had kept me occupied for a few evenings as of late. It was time for some harvesting and canning of the fruits and vegetables from my garden. There were, of course, intermittent visits from Methrammar. Finally, I kept myself especially busy thinking of reasons why not to give Magnos that amulet yet:

I'm sure he has a lot of studying to catch up on. And he's probably busy bragging to everyone in earshot about what an amazing job he did during his first assignment. And there are girls, I'm sure, or one, I don't know, that he's wanting to...see. Friends to converse with. New languages to learn. New robes to buy. Halflings to hit on. Suckers to swindle. Besides, maybe I should get this thing polished and appraised, in case he doesn't like it and I have to sell it. And...I don't have anything to wear. Not that I care what I look like when I see him, but when I go out, I want to look presentable, don't I? And my hair is a little flat on this side. Oops, I broke a nail! That just won't do. Is that a dark cloud in the sky? Looks like rain. Besides, he may not even want to see me. And I might not necessarily want to see him, so there! Of course, when I was at the Goat the other night, I looked for him, but that was just so I could avoid him. Yes.

One of the druids that worked the evening shift was sick, so I agreed to cover for her. Not having to report for work till the toll of three, I spent the earlier part of the morning lolling about in bed reading one of my older books, Delilah's Delights #43: The Half-Elven Highwayman. In fact, I had not read that particular tome since I was barely more than a child. Not since I first met Aelthas. I had to give him some credit. It took him two years to break my heart. But then again, maybe he just hadn't the opportunity before then.

Despite the fact that I was 100 years old at the time, there was a certain amount of inequity in the relationship. I looked...mostly mature, but the relationship between Aelthas and I resembled something like a human girl of 13 being courted by a human boy of 18. A handsome, brilliant and charismatic boy of 18. I was starstruck.

Two years. Two years of picnics, stargazing, and dinners and dancing at Helmer's Wall, the Stagstand, and the newly-opened Sorlar's Smiling Satyr...

I pointed up to the sky. "Look, Aelthas! It's Angharradh! Isn't she beautiful?"

Aelthas grinned and poked me on the tip of my nose, "No, you silly little fool! That's Valessea."

Father would have been so upset had he known that I had made such a mistake. Angharradh is especially sacred to moon elves. I frowned. "But I thought..."

Aelthas threw back his head and laughed. "I'm just kidding you, sweetheart. She's both! Come here." Aelthas tangled his hand in my hair and drew my lips to his. After we parted, he produced a pair of shears from his pack. "May I?"

I was genuinely puzzled. "May you what?"

Aelthas' countenance softened. He whispered tenderly, "May I have a lock of your hair, Seledra?"

I blushed furiously. "Aelthas...I've never had my hair cut in my life! I'm not supposed to cut it until..."

"Until your 120th birthday, I know. It's just that..." Aelthas ran his fingers through his hair. "...it's such a long ways off! I'll be an old man by then. Maybe you'll have forgotten me." He pouted. I could never resist that pout.

"You will never be an old man, Aelthas. I know you. You'll be a great wizard someday..."

"I am a great wizard!" he remarked incredulously.

I continued despite his interruption. "...and you'll use the Wish spell to remain as young and handsome as you are now." I lowered my eyes. "Besides, I could never forget you, Aelthas. I love you so!"

Aelthas lifted my chin and looked at me with a twinkle in his eye. "Ha! If you love me, you'll let me have a lock of your hair."

I bit my lip nervously and blinked. "Will it hurt?"

Aelthas caressed my cheek and smiled. "I'll be gentle, sweetheart. I promise." And with a snip, off came a small curl.

I didn't feel a thing, but I had to be sure. "Is there...blood?" I squeaked.

Aelthas laughed. "Oh gods! There's red everywhere!" And then he mussed my hair before kissing me again.


I had truly loved him, hadn't I? And I thought that maybe he loved me too. A scant few days before he betrayed me, he even introduced me to his parents. Perhaps he thought I would have forgiven him. And he certainly didn't see my mother's act of vengeance coming.

It was because of Aelthas' betrayal that I spent nearly the next 20 years studiously avoiding men like him. Brilliant, charming, and talented humans were off the menu. And so was anyone looking for a commitment, which left many of the elven boys in Amalith rather put out. Of course, there was a ranger or two that would be gone for weeks, even months at a time that I found...comfort with when they passed through our village, but for the most part, I followed the advice Tathshandra gave me the day I left Silverymoon to train with my aunt: Don't shit where you eat.

Aelthas was my first male lover, and of course I will never forget him if for that sole reason. To give credit where credit was due, though, he was quite good. The second? A wood elf ranger who could have used a bath. Six was on the Midwinter holiday while everyone else was celebrating on the ground below. Eight...Fodoric the gnomish bard. Oh, the giggling. Nine was up in a tree. Not smart, as we fell out of said tree. I twisted my ankle, he broke his wrist. Ten was a sweet half-elf out of Waterdeep. He liked to be tied up. Twelve through seventeen were some of the boys from the village. I only said I'd followed Tathshandra's advice for the most part. Eighteen was very nearly a heartbreaker. Twenty-one...was a dwarf. Twenty-two I think I wore out. He actually fell asleep. That was on a trip to Everlund. Twenty-three and twenty-four? Twins. At the same time. On my birthday. Twenty-seven was a bad call. I very nearly took a vow of chastity after that one. Twenty-eight, Duglan, an old school friend, changed my mind. Thirty and thirty-one were at the Greengrass Festival this year, before I met Ralenthra. Thirty-two was...lovely, delicious, wonderful. And finally there was Methrammar, making it 33.

Nearly twenty years I spent trying to wash Aelthas off of me with the touches of other men. But no matter what, like a madwoman, I kept feeling him everywhere.

But it occurred to me as I looked back on those days this morning that I no longer felt my heart ache for Aelthas. Perhaps it had been some time since it had. And maybe I was just using the hurt he had caused me as an excuse to not, as Ling put it, "follow my heart."

I checked the gnomish timepiece that sat on top of the bookcase behind my bed. It was about to chime the hour before midday. There was plenty of time to get ready, get to the Conclave, do what I needed to do and get back home in time to leave for work. Splendid!

I needed that hour. I spent half of it in front of my closet stark naked trying to find the right ensemble for the occasion. I didn't think my new cheongsams from Shou Lung would be appropriate under the circumstances. Green? You wear green all the time! The white dress with cherry blossoms embroidered on it? So last season. What is this purple shimmery thing doing in here? Is that Mother's? Goodness, that's low cut! Hmm. I need a bit more coverage than that, I think.

Finally, I chose a strapless, filmy, petal pink frock that clung to my every curve, yet was light and loose enough to flutter in the wind.

I bathed, put my hair up, dressed (with matching slippers, purse, and white parasol of course), slipped the ruby amulet into my purse and headed out the door towards the Conclave.
butterfly_sunrider: (Seledra3)
It was a hot summer night.

After an uneventful day at work, I escaped from the summer rain into my favorite pub, a dingy little dive close to the waterfront called The Dancing Goat. I only meant to get a few drinks, maybe catch a show, as they always have great music.

I wasn’t counting on meeting him.

It started out as an accident. I squeezed next to him at the crowded bar in my efforts to get some service, or at least that was my intention, but my cloak caught on a barstool and I stumbled into him instead.

Which caused him to knock over his glass of Cormyrian ale all over my cloak and the floor. Which I then slipped on.

He caught me in his arms and pulled me to my feet (young male, human, wizard), all flustered apologies, his agitated voice betraying a local, but rural accent. I pulled my hood back, smoothed my hair, and looked up into his eyes. He looked down into mine and thunder shook the entire building.

Jasper, the proprietor of The Dancing Goat, bellowed out over the resulting din, “Take it easy, folks! She can handle it!” The Goat had gotten a new roof installed back in Mirtul. Jasper was very proud of it.

The young man smiled at me, and for a moment I was speechless, which never happens. He was very handsome, almost pretty in a boyish sort of way; black hair, dark brown eyes, golden skin. His heritage appeared to be Kara-Turan of some sort. If he was local, I surmised, he was probably of Shou extraction, though something told me there was something else in the mix. He was tall, not too tall, but...just right. I liked him very much indeed.

He tilted his head, smiled and asked, “Do you like pineapple?” The accent was gone. Curious.

I stood up on my own power and finally found my tongue. “Hello, what an odd question! I don’t think I’ve had the...pleasure.”

The young man raised an eyebrow. “You should.” he replied.

I smiled at him. “Like pineapple or...have the pleasure?”

The mage winked and chuckled. “My lady, why not both?” He motioned to Jasper. “Pineapple. Ruby Port. Mint. Pineapple. In that order.” Then he dusted off the stool next to him and gestured for me to take a seat.

Jasper spoke. “Will do. And hello, Seledra! What will you be having this evening?”

I was still looking at the mage. I quickly turned my head. “I’ll have a glass of elverquisst-”

The mage interjected, “Ooh, make that two.”

“-two elverquissts, and we’ll share the pineapple dish.” I looked at the mage and smiled before turning back to Jasper. “My treat.”

The wizard shook his head. “Oh, no. I couldn’t possibly let you pay.”

I replied, “I have a discount.”

He tilted his head again with a smile. Which was adorable. “No, really. I insist.”

I winked at him. “You can pay for the next round. I’m not going anywhere.”


I love music. But I don’t remember much about what was playing as we sat and talked together, just a scant melody here and there. The mage's charm was not a polished thing. He did silly things like trying to read my palm and telling funny stories about pranks that he pulled at school...

“Seledra? That’s a nice name. You know, you don’t look like a moon elf. It’s like there’s...something else there I can’t put my finger on. Oh, wait!” He delicately stroked the tip of my left ear with his fingertip and I shivered with delight. “Hey, would you like to have your fortune told?”

And I like to drink, especially when I’m with a man, as it does wonders for...breaking down one’s inhibitions. But I didn’t actually have that much to drink that night and neither did he. We did eat quite a bit of pineapple, though. And when the band kicked off a lively tune, there we were whirling about on the dancefloor...

“Look at you! I thought druids were supposed to be stoic and serious.” He laughed after a particularly vigorous jig left us dizzy and leaning into each other for dear life.

“You’re thinking of Silvanus druids. They’re the real sticks-in-the-mud. I’m a Mielikki druid. We’re much more fun!” I giggled, and would have told him about the even wilder Shiallia followers, but I didn’t want to give him any ideas. “I mean, do Silvanus druids ride bareback on unicorns? They do not.”

“You ride bareback?” He asked, with a little flush to his cheeks.

“On occasion.” I winked.

He showed off a few of his magic tricks...

“Here, let me get that for you…” He raised his finger, and the piece of pineapple floated up towards my lips, I moved to grab it in my mouth at the same time he did. I bit down, he tugged, and slurped the remainder of the fruit into his mouth with a grin.

And he was able to keep up with me on a wide variety of topics, in fact, it was the exchange of information that seemed to excite him the most...

“Between Azuth and Savras for First Magister? Of course it was no contest! But you know what’s really suspenseful? Netherese. Wizard. Duels. They could wreck whole cities! Karsus bringing down most of Netheril was, in essence, just an elaborate duel with Mystryl. Which he lost. Well, they both lost, but She got better…”

He dressed richly, but did not carry himself like a rich boy. I should know, as I grew up around money. For one thing, he was too neat to be rich. Cleanliness of that magnitude is something servants worry about (unless like me, you had strict parents), but he had an almost compulsive bent to him the way he brushed dirt off or picked away lint from his garments.

What did irk me a little was that his eyes seemed to flit to anything in the room wearing a skirt, but as I had no claim on him, I brushed it off. Mostly...

“You know, if there’s someone else you’d rather talk to…” I started, with a raised eyebrow and what I hoped was an appropriate expression of disdain.

“Why would you say that?” He stared at me with a wide, innocent eyes.

I gestured at the various women he had been looking at. “You keep looking at other girls while I’m trying to have a conversation with you. It’s...unnerving.” I pouted.

He winked at me. “Ooh, you’re jealous!”

I looked away and crossed my arms over my chest. “Shut up.” Then I got up from our table. “Or better yet, just go do what you want, I’m going-”

The mage stood up, grabbed me by the wrist, pulled me towards him and kissed me.

Time. Seemed. To. Slow. Down. Everything and everyone but he and I melted away. Whatever elements that make us, the stars, the mountains, the seas - the very universe seemed to swirl together in a great harmonic hum of pleasure that wrapped around us and resonated outwards for infinity.

The building shook again. He whispered, “Did you feel that?”

I licked my lips to taste him again and gulped as I looked into his eyes. I briefly pondered telling him about the stars and the mountains and the harmonic resonance of the universe but decided that I didn't want to scare him off. “I don’t know. Was that thunder or my heart?” I wrapped my arms around him and kissed him back.

I had never met anyone who had even bothered to try to sweep me off my feet before, and though I've been around, it was nice to see someone put in the effort. I hadn't had so much fun in years, not since before I'd left Silverymoon.

When we paused to catch our breath, he whispered hoarsely. “Upstairs. Now.”

I tossed Jasper a few coins and my companion and I made our way up the stairs. Though we had flirted madly all evening I had no idea what to expect behind closed doors. Turned out he was full of surprises. Hells, I surprised myself.

With the door shut and barred behind us, we unclothed each other with reckless abandon. I giggled when he lamented that his robes would “get all wrinkled just lying on the floor like that.” After I sank my teeth into the soft flesh where his neck met his shoulder, he tore the stitched leather bodice of my uniform in his excitement. We struggled for dominance, spinning this way and that, slamming into furniture, knocking over anything lighter than we were; on the bed, on the floor, up against the wall, on top of the table.

He was a giver. Gods, did he like to give. And he was good at it. I was...appreciative, and tried to give as best as I got. This resulted in attentions so intense as to almost be retaliatory, though it was clear there was no malice beneath them, and then the cycle began again. We laughed as hard as we loved, and we loved hard.

Love. I probably shouldn’t use that word. But then again, anything less than that word to describe the events of that night just feels vulgar to me. Perhaps a better one will come to me in time.

After knocking over a bowl of daisies, the mage became distracted. He stopped, bent to pick up the scattered blossoms, and began to weave a crown of them, placing them on my head and turning my face so that I could see myself, and by extension, us, in the mirror. “You look like a Faerie Queen,” he whispered, and kissed my cheek. I watched our reflections; the moment was perfect, and it terrified me.

In bed afterwards, he babbled a bit, telling me his life story for all I know, only I couldn't hear him for all the blood pounding in my ears. After his dark eyes closed, I watched him. I recalled my first, and only other time, with a human; the fallout from our affair led to my being expelled from the Lady’s College and a lot of embarrassment for my family. Father was so disappointed in me, and only intervention from my mother prevented a sound lashing. He said to me, "You can't trust humans. They are nothing but trouble. For all the briefness of their lives they will make their time with you miserable." Worse than that was the threat hanging over my head were I to get involved with another human. Other fathers may joke about harming their daughters’ suitors, but my father is not the joking kind. Like it was yesterday, the pain stabbed at my heart. I looked down at the boy, caressed his face and whispered, "I won't give you a chance to hurt me. And I don’t want you to get hurt because of me. I want to remember you just the way you are, right now." I reached inside my pack. I didn't leave the Lady's College without nicking a few things for my trouble, including a vial of a potion of forgetfulness. One last time, I kissed the boy and as he smiled in his sleep, I put the vial to his lips and poured, just a drop or two.

Then I heard a light tap at the door.

"What are you doing?" Ralenthra, my drow rogue friend and housemate whispered.

"Ssh! He's asleep!” I hissed. “How was your take?"

"Plausible deniability?"


Quickly, I covered up his face and got up. Ralenthra sniffed. "Eew."

I jumped about two feet. "Lurue's horn, you scared me! How did you get in here?"

Ralenthra shrugged. "It's what I do. Who's the human?"

I raised an eyebrow. "Plausible deniability."


And with that, we left swiftly. I paid Jasper a generous sum not to tell the boy who I was and went home, hoping I would never see him again.

I think I finally have words for what it was I shared with him. It was a mistake. A beautiful, wonderful, terrible mistake.


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Butterfly Sunrider

March 2016

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