It had been a little over half a sun circle since the warrior clan matriarch had met her green-eyed scholar. They had so many peace talks and meals that she felt like she wanted know him more intimately as a person, maybe catch a troubadour show or sit at a bazaar stall drinking herbs and talking.
The midsummer ball was coming up, and she thought that would be a perfect initial pairing. All their friends would be there, but there would be opportunities to spend time alone talking.
She walked across the courtyard to his living quarters when she knew he would be alone. She knocked, and he answered.
“Hey! Do you have a minute?”
“Sure. Come in.” He sat down at his desk, dipped his quill, and began stroking out an outline for the next peace talk.
“You know the midsummer ball is coming up. A lot of our friends are going. I haven’t heard about you having a serious pairing. Would you like to go with me?”
“Ummm, I don’t think so. I have some significant exams coming up, and my family will probably be in town that weekend.”
“Oh. Sorry to hear that. Well, enjoy your outline. I’ll let myself out.”
Outside his door, she sank a little and her blue eyes were welling up. He’d only said no to the dance; she’d wait a bit for other things. But she still had time to find someone else to escort her.
A week or two passed. Everyone had already paired off. She was going to stay home. They were crossing the courtyard in opposite directions when he pulled her aside.
“That dance? I know I said no, but the peace priest said I had to go with you.”
The blow took her breath away. He was going to take her because an authority figure said he had to? Ever a warrior, she found her courage to respond.
“Okay. I will be looking forward to it.” And pigs make great light skirmishers…