Mabon opened her mail to find a poem with a flower attached to it. She sniffed the rose deeply as she read the words. Blushing, she tucked it away in her pocket, and smelled the flower again. How sweet! She saw the clock in the square, and realized how late it was! She would have to run to get to Ironforge in time. Why hadn’t she checked her mail sooner?
Panting as she raced up the stairs, Mabon nearly tripped over Dipper, as she had called her rabbit. It had just popped into her head as she remembered the time she and Ander had gone skinny dipping. She had told Kel about it, early in their courtship, but had fudged the details a bit. She hadn’t thought her new suitor would appreciate knowing that they had been a bit older than just children at the time.
Ander was sitting on the railing of the balcony. When Mabon stumbled, he turned. “Are you alright, Mabon?”
“I’m fine, just hurrying too much. Sorry I’m late.” She smiled at him, embarrassed.
“I hadn’t noticed. I was just sitting here thinking.”
She joined him on the balcony. “Thank you for the poem, and the flower.” She looked out over the promenade of Ironforge, and her thoughts turned to Kelandros, and the love letters he used to send her. Tears filled her eyes, and she tried to blink them away, but Ander saw them anyway. She turned away as he laid a hand on her shoulder.
“Tell me what’s wrong, Mabon.” His voice was kind, and patient.
Mabon shrugged, trying to compose herself again. “I’m just… so lonely. He said once his training was finished, he would set up a leatherworking shop, and we would be together more. But… “ Her voice trailed off, as she was unwilling to speak unfavorably of her husband.
“A woman as beautiful as you should never be left alone for too long.” He lowered his voice to a whisper, “You never know what might happen.”
Mabon gasped, blushing as she stepped away from him.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.” His grin belied his words. His silly, lopsided grin that always made Mabon laugh.
“I… I… don’t know what to say, Ander.” She tried not to look at him; tried not to think of how close they used to be; how hurt she was when he left, how sorry she was that she never told him how she felt because she was so young.
Gently, he reached out and turned her face to him. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. If I had stuck around longer, things may have turned out differently.”
She shook her head. “You don’t know that. And besides, we were so young. I was only 15 when you left. I didn’t know what I was feeling.” She looked up at his eyes, and that glint was there. The same glint he used to get just before he pulled her hair and ran away. Instinctively, her hand went to her hair, and he laughed, as if knowing her thoughts.
“I’ve missed you, Mabon. I’ve thought about you a lot over the years.” He stepped away from her, and turned to look over the balcony. “I’m going to try to find my parents. I’m sure they think I’m dead by now.”
“Oh, Ander, that’s great. I’m sorry I didn’t keep in touch with them after they left Lakeshire. Maybe Daddy knows how to get in touch with them.” Mabon bent down and scooped up the rabbit, nuzzling her face into his fur. “The twins just love Dipper! Arminas growls as he chases him!” She laughed. “Thank you again for him.”
Ander turned and smiled. “Anything for you, Mabon.”