Douglas didn't even know if there was a fortune teller, though the Fair seemed the kind of place for it and Kane had seemed convinced. He was content to wander between the stalls and tents with Heather on his arm, enjoying her company as he had not been able to for months.
His whispered question had hardly been an idle one - indeed he'd often mused of an evening when his work was done what a man like him might do for a lady like Heather, to show her how much he appreciated what she had so generously done for him. What could you give the woman who had everything, or could buy it at a whim? Not something that money could buy, obviously. The only sensible answer he'd been able to come up with was himself, in whatever way she wanted him. But she had already laid a claim to him more strongly than he'd ever thought possible, even as she had affirmed she desired no permanent ties. Douglas, being a simple man at heart, took her statement at face value.
So the simplest idea had been to ask her, what way he might show his appreciation. He hadn't quite expected the earnest nature of her reply, and yet in truth it was the conclusion that he himself had come to. Just him. It was the simplest answer, yet the dearest. Did she had any idea of the effect that her words had on him? The way she looked at him with those enchanting green eyes?
Yet before he could reply she blushed and set off again, apologising and explaining, suddenly discomfitted, admitting to a fear that he didn't quite understand. Or perhaps he did. She had spoken in Chelsea of her fear of loosing him, that she had thought he might have been dead in Scotland, and would rather not know, that she could hold onto the illusion that he was alive. There were moments when he wondered whether perhaps they were not good for each other, held too tight a hold on each other's souls for their libertine natures. He had no insight into Heather's very personnal dilemma over summer and it's impact on her, and so assumed that the fear she spoke of was that which she had voiced before. Yet wasn't that the crux of their lifestyle, to be able to have one's cake and eat it too?
"Heather." He said her name, and put pressure on her arm to make her stop walking and look at him. "I willna forsake ye." He said seriously. "I promised ye afore - an' again noo - that I weel allus kim back tae ye." Blue eyes met green. "It micht tak a day, er a month, er a year; but whilk thairs breath in my body I weel kim back tae ye." They both had their own lives, and their own travels that took them places, but like planets around the sun they were drawn back to court, and to each other.
Most men might not care for melancholy, but the Celts had taken it and made an artform of it in all it's flavours. Doulgas had enough of that blood in him to have an appreciation of that humour, to embrace it in his songs and stories; and in his life. So when Heather seemed at a loss for a moment following her words, eyes too bright, her fingers squeezing his arm as though seeking for something, he reacted instinctively. He freed his arm from her grip and wrapped it around her shoulders, leaning in to kiss her temple as he had when they were last reunited at her party so many months ago; a simple gesture of comfort and affection.
With another woman he might have been mindful of their reputation, though he'd had others cry on his shoulder before now. But Heather was more than capable of dealing with her own reputation, and their dalliances were one of the worst kept secrets of court anyway. Right now he was more concerned that she seemed on the verge of tears, and that was something that he couldn't bear in a woman he adored. And he did adore her. Did he love her? Possibly. Would he marry her? Hell no. He had seen what the King's attempt to cage her freedoms had done to her; he would never subject her to the same. Heather was at her most beautiful when she was free.
Like him she had appetites that were unlikely to be sated by just one person. And he didn't doubt that, like himself, she could feel a deep attraction to more than one person. There were few women that he didn't find attractive, each in their own individual way; perhaps that was why he'd proven to have such a soft spot for so many, a care beyond lust that the big Life Guard would never openly admit to. Yet he assumed a similar sentiment in Heather. Something kept her coming back to him, when Kings and Princes graced her bed.
Perhaps his gesture had the desired effect, for her mood suddenly lightened as she suggested they have a picnic. "Aye, if t'wuid please m'Lairdy." He replied with a smile of his own, letting her go and executing a mock-bow. Alas but that his schedule was likely full tomorrow, though he entertained for a moment the idea of standing Kane up. But it would be better to save their outing for a day when they could take their time. "Hou aboot Friday, middae? Thairs a Faerie Ring in the Great Park, that mun be a magical spot if ony."** He suggested.
Then he snorted in amusement as Heather said that she would consider the matter settled, and he must let her spoil him if she wanted to. "Lassie, ye kin do white'er ye want wi' me." He told her, serious behind his smile. "Sae lang as I mak ye happy, that's all I want."*** And it was true. Seeing her smile warmed his heart.
But such things were dreadfully serious, and even as he could hold a melancholy mood he could also feel when such things were best left behind. A sugary scent caught his nose, and drew his gaze towards a nearby stall. "Hou aboot a toffee apple?"+ He suggested.Subtitles
* "Heather. I won't forsake you. I promised you that before - and again now - that I will always come back to you. It might take a day, or a month, or a year; but while there's breath in my body I will come back to you."
** "Yes, if it would please my Lady. How about Friday, midday? There's a Fairy Ring in the Great Park, that must be a magical spot if any."
*** "Lady, you can do whatever you want with me. So long as I make you happy, that's all I want.
+ "How about a toffee apple?"
OOC: Apologies, I seem to have written an essay... <-- Douglas