Santefe and Kane
written by Santefe
He was standing alone, by a small, crystal stream that burbled and sang as it cheerily flowed through the middle of the glade. The moss under his feet felt springy. He sat down. Kane didnt know who he was waiting for exactly, but he knew, somehow, that he was waiting for someone, or something, to walk through the forest of slim, silvery-white birch trees, and find him by the stream. So he waited.
The sky began to turn a hazy mix of colors, purple and blue in the upper half of the sky, brilliant reds and yellows and oranges heading down after the setting sun. Small fluffy clouds hovered overhead, but in time, they too disappeared, like the sun, and shimmering, sparkly stars took their place, along with a cold, pale white moon. As the blue took over the sky, Kane lit a kerosene lamp, spread out his furs, and set his tarp onto some long rods, forming a makeshift shelter.
Just as he was dozing off, he heard a small sound. It was so small, that for a second Kane thought he had imagined it, when again the sound happened. Then a soft voice, like a star, or the moon, or one of the birch trees, or the stream, or even the moss had spoken, whispered, Hush Grayling, he may be asleep. Whatever Grayling was, it gave a small whine, like a dog...or a wolf. Kane hunched under the bearskin, covering his body in its cozy flannel pajamas, and called out, Whos there? There was a pause, and then the soft voice answered, It is Santefe the Silver-Tongued, and wolf friend Grayling. Who are you?
He replied, Kane Llowell . Did you say you had a wolf with you?
Yes. I am from a Creature Clan, and we like to have companions. A wolf chose me. What are you?
Ah. Can you come out, or shall I come in?
Umm, Ill come out. Just a second.
Kane grabbed his pajama top and pulled it quickly over his head. He strapped his belt around his waist, and tucked his knife into its sheath, just in case. Finally ready, he stepped out of his shelter. Santefe gave a small gasp. Kane was tall to her, though he was just medium-sized to most people; the people Santefe knew were all about the same height if they were the same ages. Santefe only came up to his chest, and just barely. Kane had dark, curly brown hair, and dark blue eyes, mixed with gray.
He is very handsome, Santefe thought.
Kane looked at Santefe. She looked to be about his age-- seventeen. She was pretty, with auburn hair that cascaded down past her waist, and a bronze wreath around her head, with gold and crimson iron leaves intertwined. Her eyes were green, with golden flecks in them. Her ears were small, and slightly pointed at the tips. She wore loose khaki leggings, and a white blouse with long, puffy sleeves. She, too, wore a belt, with a sheath and a knife with Celtic designs on the handle. A large pouch was slung over her shoulder. At her side stood Grayling, a she-wolf. Grayling was small, as wolves go, with soft, light gray fur, and a white throat and underbelly. She had piercing, golden eyes, and in her breast was a rumble that Santefe quieted with a touch of her hand. Santefe's companion reminded Kane that he had a horse to be fed, watered, and brushed.
Excuse me, he said, I have to go tend to my stallion, D'rak. He noticed Santefes eyes light up at the mention of stallion.
"Ah, moi aussi!" Santefe exclaimed happily. She gave a shrill whistle, and soon came a gray mare, with gray mane and tail, and white spots all over. Her name, said Santefe with a motion of her hands, is S'kyli."
The two fed their mounts, and then watered them from the stream. Santefe asked to brush them both, and Kane let her, sitting down and leaning against a birch, watching her firm, rhythmic strokes.
When she was done, the horses were shining and looked very happy. Santefe gave them each a final brush, and then patted them fondly. The look in her eyes made Kane feel weak. He wasnt quite sure why, but it felt as if he was falling in love with this stranger girl. She had come upon his camp without any warning, and yet Kane felt as if he had known her forever. Shall we go? Kane came out of his trance.
Huh? What? Santefe laughed, a clear, trilling sound that made his heart pound.
I said, shall we go?
Oh, yeah, said Kane. Santefe laughed again, and mounted S'kyli. Kane mounted D'rak. Grayling stood alongside S'kyli. They trotted out of the glade and through the forest. Along the way they talked of many things.
As they talked, Kane found a growing desire to learn more about this beautiful young woman, whom beautiful couldnt even begin to describe. He asked her about herself, her likes, her dislikes, her favorite foods, about her parents, siblings, pets, house, how she got her knife, what was in her pouch. He found that her parents were dead, and she had no siblings. She had owned a mockingbird that she named Song, but she had set Song free. She lived in a small cottage that was cozy and warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and was by the ocean and a golden meadow full of flowers. She lived in it with her best friend Vickie. Vickie was still at the cottage, Santefe hoped, as Vickie was like her sister/mother/friend, someone that she didnt want to lose. Santefe had left the cottage, vowing to return when she had accomplished three things: become a great, wise, and strong warrior and rider, learn about the earth and become spiritual and able to Heal, and fall in love. So far she had accomplished warrior and rider, now she was working on becoming a great Earth Spiritualist and Healer.
I will look for love when I am ready. For now, I choose to follow the path before me, and not stray, said Santefe.
What if love finds you? asked Kane. Santefe blushed and changed the subject. She said that she disliked superstitions and negative people. Santefe said she loved animals, Spiritual Earth things, like candles and healing and fountains and incense, eating many different kinds of things, reading, singing, riding, practicing fighting techniques, and anything new and exciting. Hmmm, my favorite food...thats hard to say, said Santefe, I think that almost all foods are my favorites. And she told Kane about tamales and chicken and sweet pink rice around soft-shelled crab, cucumber, and seaweed, quiche and so many ice-cream flavors, shrimp dipped in sauces, cheese on crackers, bananas, watermelon, and passion fruit, and best of all cotton candy and desserts that you taste on your tongue even after theyre gone.
The sun started to go down and it made Santefe's hair seem even more like it was on fire. Kane smiled at her.
Santefe, we better make camp.
Santefe nodded and said, Yes, youre right. Well have to share your shelter, because even though I brought a sleeping skin and my bear fur, I didnt bring a tarp. Kanes heart started to hammer against his chest. Sleep? In the same shelter...as Santefe? Santefe had already dismounted, and was taking the sleeping skin and fur out of a pack on S'kyli. Kane swung down, and got out his sleeping skin and fur, along with the tarp and rods. He set them up, and took both the sleeping skins and both furs and rolled them up under the tarp. He sighed, and left his shirt on, only taking off the belt, sneakers, and jeans. Kane was behind a bush. A vest came off and hung over the leaves, then the knee-high brown boots she wore. The belt and pouch were slung on branches by the tethered horses. The blouse went over the bush, and Kane started to sweat. When the navy blue leather pants came over, he had a hard time gulping down the lump of anxiousness in his throat. Go inside the shelter, its time for my bathe, called Santefe. Kane gratefully obeyed. He couldnt help peeking, though.
Out came Santefe, her white body shimmering in the moonlight, her streams of auburn hair flowing down her back and over her shoulders. Santefe held her arms up over her breasts, shivering gently in the cold, and walked over to the stream to a part where it was wider and deepened into a pool. Santefe jumped in, and when she came up it was with a scream full of cold and chilly delight. She swam, bursting in and out of the water, sparkling droplets flying through the air as she came up, shivering. When she was done she stepped out of the water. Her eyes were glowing and streams of water ran down her thighs and throat and face. Her wet hair plastered itself against her back; she shook her head to get it off, and water flew everywhere, like a dog shaking off after a bath. She laughed that trilling laugh, and ran a little around the campsite to dry off. When she was done, she gathered her clothing and stuffed it into her pouch after grabbing a long nightshirt from the pouch. She put it on and Kane ducked into the shelter, his eyes wide, his body shivering, but his teeth shining in the darkness.
Santefe patted Grayling, who was curled up by the horses, and walked inside the shelter. Kane was faking sleep. Through his eyelashes he saw Santefe rest her eyes on him for a moment, smiling gently, and then she blew out the light.
Sunlight streamed into the shelter. Kane woke up, rubbed his eyes, and yawned. He shook his head to clear the sleepiness, and he saw Santefe was gone. He looked out from the shelter and saw Santefe brushing the horses, an empty bucket by her feet. She saw him, and waved. Kane waved back and smiled. Walking out, he said, Looks like youve done all the work. Lets get going! Santefe put her hands on her hips, the smile going out of her face. Oh, um, uh, sorry...thank you? It was more of a question, but Santefe took it anyway and answered, Youre welcome. Now, how about getting dressed? Kane looked down at his boxers and bare feet.
Oh! He ran back inside the shelter and quickly changed, white T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers again. He took his cloak, the sleeping skins, and the furs, and put them away. Then he took down the shelter and put it away. When he was done, he mounted, and Santefe did too. Grayling yawned and got to her feet. Santefe took out a loaf of bread, two pieces of cheese, two pieces of roasted partridge, some grapes, and a large bottle of goats milk.
This is our breakfast. Here you go! Santefe tossed the food over to Kane, and he caught it.
Grayling will go off in awhile to hunt for her own breakfast, said Santefe.
Okay, said Kane. Grayling departed, and returned with a bloody muzzle and some meat in her teeth. She gulped it down, ran to the stream to wash, and ran back. Kane and Santefe started trotting their horses through the woods. They talked more about the things they had said yesterday, chatting pleasantly along the way. They stopped around noon to have lunch. By nightfall they were asleep, worn out from their day. In the morning things were almost exactly the same. Every day they got a little bit closer, shared a little bit more, and ate a little less. Eating slowed the talking down.
About a week from the first day they had met, they were best friends and good companions, partners. That day at lunch they decided to go for a small swim. This time Santefe allowed Kane to see her with out clothing, and he stripped off his clothing too and joined her. They laughed loudly and splashed each other, swimming around like ducks, as Santefe said cheerfully. Around the end of the swim, Kane dived under water and came up right in front of Santefe. She laughed and splashed him. Kane grabbed her hands, put them down, and kissed her on the mouth, long and full. When they parted, they were both blushing, and laughed awkwardly. They got out of the stream, and before Kane could say anything, even apologize, Santefe grabbed him around the neck, and kissed him, just like he had kissed her in the stream, pressing her wet body against his and hugging him tight, kissing like shed never stop. He recovered from his shock and kissed her back, closing his eyes as their eyelashes clumped together. Santefe murmured with her eyes closed, I love you, I love you, Kane. Kane whispered back, I love you too, Santefe.
When they started again, it was on foot, leading their horses. Santefe taught Kane the beginning of her fighting techniques and some Healing that day. They knew they didnt want to go back to Santefe's friend Vickie quite yet, so Santefe wrote a letter to Vickie saying that she wanted to stay out in the world a little bit longer, and that shed try to be home in a month or so. At night, they watched the sun go down together, and then they went to the shelter and slept. Kane woke up and found Santefe looking at him. He kissed her, but no more than that, for he still felt a little shy around her.
In the early morning Santefe woke Kane up to watch the sun come up with her. Then they danced in the sunlight, got ready, and trotted off into the woods. There wasnt much more wood to go through, and around the afternoon they came out of the birch tree forest. Santefe wept a little, hugged a birch tree, and drank the cool water of the stream before they walked away from the beautiful forest that they met in.
They rode into the countryside, quickly transferred to the tiny dirt road in the middle of all the waving grass and flowers and little houses. They stopped a passerby and asked what place they were in. It turned out they were in Kanes fathers kingdom, the kingdom of Thelia. Kane laughed and Santefe cheered his good luck. Now Kane would someday reign Thelia. But in their hearts, they knew they must first journey to the ocean, where Santefes little cottage by the shore sits. Santefe had fulfilled all her quests, and now they had to travel fast, so they could get to Vickie within the month, as Santefe had promised her friend.
They traveled for two weeks, and it was the beginning of the third week when Santefe spotted her little cottage in the distance, and the ocean, wide and blue. They rode fast towards the cottage, and when they stopped in the back to tether their horses, Vickie burst out of the cottage, cheering and crying with joy. She hugged her long-gone friend, and Santefe introduced her to Kane. They all hugged and cried a little more. Vickie was a girl Santefe's age, shorter and plump, like a little pigeon. Her cheeks were flushed with pink and had dimples, her blue eyes sparkled happily, and her golden hair was in a bun. She was one of the most likeable people Kane had ever met, and he laughed merrily when he first saw her. Vickie took them inside after picking some roses to put in a vase. She baked a blackberry pie, and they all sat down to eat with vanilla ice cream and milk. Vickies white cat, Bertha, had a saucer of milk.
They had lived with Vickie for a little more than a month when Santefe announced that they must leave.
But why? asked a teary Vickie.
We need to go to Thelia, so Kane may someday reign in his fathers place! Now, Vickie, dry your tears, we are leaving you with this lovely little cottage, and we dont have to set out until two days later. If you wish, we shall find a nice little pony for you. Vickie blew her nose on a little embroidered hanky, agreed to setting out to find a pony.
I want a little bay pony, with white mane, a little saddle, blanket, bucket, and everything else a pony needs! shouted Vickie happily. Santefe agreed, and the next day the trio set out to find a pony. They found the pony tack, and then found a little bay pony with a white mane and a cheery disposition. It could carry a lot of weight, and they found it enjoyed pies when it stole one off a pie sellers cart. Santefe paid for the pie, and then they went home, happy and tired. Kane and Santefe jumped into the bed they shared, and Vickie walked to her room with Bertha in her arms, and a pony outside her window.
The next day Kane and Santefe woke early to tend to the horses, eat, and get ready for the trip ahead. Vickie was already up, so they got cocoa and blueberries in cream with sugar for their breakfast. Vickie packed them with new, warm cloaks she had made that were a deep green in color,
For camouflage," said Vickie. There were also leather vests, pants, and billowy blouses for both of them, a pouch for Kane, and enough food to last them both for a month. They both thanked Vickie, with hugs and kisses, and bid her a teary farewell.
Santefe and Kane shivered. The day was a chilly one. The sky was overcast, and Grayling could smell the moistness in the air. Santefe had already put her cloak on; Kane did now.
They had been riding for a week and a half, and there was no sign of shelter or civilization. Then came the rain. It poured down over their heads, as if someone had simply dumped a full bucket of water through the clouds; only the bucket didnt get empty. The rain kept coming, and Kane and Santefe kept riding. Santefe threw down an old cloak to Grayling to keep her out of the rain; then all she could do was huddle up inside the cloak and go on riding until they reached shelter. About half an hour later they saw a small bunch of trees by the side of the road. The trees would form the little protection they needed from the rain. They quickly got off the road and into the trees. Inside it was moderately damp, if not completely dry. Kane set up camp while Santefe went hunting for their food. She ended up catching a young deer, the only thing out besides its mother, brought it back, tossed a raw piece of meat to Grayling, and roasted the rest over the fire Kane had built. She tossed some meat to Kane, along with a couple of berries she found along the way back. Then she settled down, cold and soaking to the bone, to eat her meal.
After the meal, Santefe made a smaller shelter for Grayling out of a spare cloak and some sticks, with the old cloak Grayling had worn inside. Then she undressed outside the trees, threw in her clothes, and danced a little in the rain. After her dance she changed clothing and crawled into the shelter with Kane, where they held each other all night to keep warm.
In the morning there was still a slight drizzle, so they made a fire, ate some of Vickies good food, and crawled back inside the shelter. Santefe decided they should stay there until the rain stopped, or at least until the next day. Kane ran around outside to keep himself warm, tended to the horses, and took D'rak for a run outside the trees, despite the drizzle. When they came back in for lunch, it was all laid out on little paper plates, and Santefe was inside the shelter, eating hers. When she heard them come into the trees, she poked her head out and called to Kane.
Come inside with your lunch, its too cold out there! And then she laughed that laugh of hers, and Kane had to answer to it. He grabbed the plate, and crawled in.
Inside the shelter it was warm and well lit. Santefe was under the furs, happily eating the white bread, partridge meat, cheese, and grapes. Kane sat down by her, and ate the food. Then he changed into his sleeping clothes-boxers and thick socks-and snuggled under the furs. He looked at Santefe. She had finished her meal and was reading a book from out of her pouch. Kane though of his pouch, and wondered what was in it. He leaned over and grabbed it. Inside were things much like Santefe's-books, herbs, powders, soap, a brush, and some sugar cubes; he supposed the last was for the horses. Then, deep inside, he felt something furry. He pulled it out; it was a small pouch, a little smaller than his hand, and made of rabbit fur. He opened it up, and inside was a plain wooden ring. He tried it on his finger. It fit! He took it off and looked on the inside of the ring. Carved on it was his name: Kane. Then there was another on the other side: Santefe. In between all this were vines and Celtic designs intricately carved on the inside. His eyes widened. He turned to look at Santefe's slim hands and long fingers. There was a wooden ring! Santefe felt his gaze and looked up at him.
Yes, she breathed softly, You are the one that I was to find. It was four years ago. My parents had died just the year before, and my best friend Vickie, who was a bit more mature than me, and able to take care of her and others, took me in. After a year and a half had passed, I grew restless. My father had been a great warrior, and my mother had been a great Healer and Spiritualist. They had found each other in a battle; my father was a fighter, and he got seriously wounded. Luckily my mother had been employed to Heal those with injuries, and after she had Healed him, she stayed with him, sharing his tent and bed. They had fallen in love during the weak that she Healed him, and soon after the battle they eloped, and went to live in the cottage Vickie is in now. Nine months after they eloped, I was born. They died when I was twelve years old. I decided I wanted to be like them, a great warrior, and a Healer. I already was a good rider, I just needed a little more practice, so I told Vickie of my three goals, and she sent me off with food, clothing, and S'kyli. I found Grayling a few months after my departure. Along the way we went to many villages, and completed my warrior quest, then we learned a bit of the Spiritual and Healing. In learning, I came upon an old woman who would teach me, in return for my work as a guard for her. I stayed with her until her death. It was at this time she gave me the ring.
Take this ring, she said, It will guide you in your quest for love. I know you are the Santefe that is in scripted within the ring...you must find Kane, your destined life companion, and give him the exact copy of the ring. She then handed me the ring you hold in your hand. This Kane will be a boy of dark hair and eyes like the night sky. He will be your age. Those are the only things I know-I hope it helps you in your quest. Then the old lady died. For two years I have been following my quests of Healing and love...and now I have completed all my quests.
With that she tossed down the book, and threw her arms around Kane. She kissed him like he had never been kissed before, harder and fiercer and more wonderful, even, then the day of their swim. A fire burned through his veins; he flung his arms around her slim body, and kissed her back just as powerfully. They hung on tight, as the drizzle outside turned to a storm, and the day went into night. Thunder boomed overhead, lightning flashed, the sound of rain beating on the tarp was softer than the pounding of their hearts as the storm raged on. Outside Grayling turned her lovely head up towards the sky, and a howl burst forward from her throat. An answering cry came. Grayling smiled wisely and ran silently off into the night toward her wild kin, wind whistling through her fur. The horses neighed frantically, rearing and pawing the air. Inside the shelter Santefe and Kane were furiously grabbing at each others clothing, tearing it off and leaving them both bare and cold. They clung to each other as their bodies merged like liquid steel, mercury. When they parted it was a brief five minutes; Kane stroked her lovely white body, while she ran her hands up and down his back and shoulders. Then they grasped each other again, as the skies cleared, stars came out, and a cold moon hung in the sky.
Santefe woke up early the next morning. She was still clinging to Scott, but their bodies had parted. She smiled at him as he awoke, his hair damp and matted, eyes hazy, sweat covering his body in a glistening sheen. He looked at her and smiled back as his eyes cleared. She had the furs around her, her shoulders and breasts showing slightly, as she clutched the bear fur. Kane drew closer, and they kissed. He gently touched her, and they kissed again, murmuring their love to each other. Outside, the horses had stopped neighing, and the shelter Grayling had inhabited was empty. Santefe wrapped a cloak around her, and stepped out into the morning, a cry of joy escaping her lips. Rain was dripping from the leaves and needles of the trees, and the horses were wet, but the sun had come out, and the raindrops looked like sparkling jewels. She patted the horses and looked for Grayling. When she looked inside the miniature shelter, she gasped, and a tear rolled down her cheek. But Santefe was determined not to let it keep her down, and to be cheerful for Kane. She looked back at him, who had come out of the tent. He came up and hugged her, saying, Look, Santefe, the suns come out! She nodded and looked at him, her eyes shining radiantly, a glow to her face and body. Her cheeks flushed a deep crimson, and Kane felt himself turning a little pink too. They both began,
Umm, what-- and stopped. A giggle escaped Santefe's pink lips. She started, Whatever happened last night was beautiful-I loved it. I love you, and I think...well, we should...
Be married? asked Kane, smiling. Santefe was confused. Well, yes, I mean, if you want to.. Kane laughed and flung her up in the air, caught her, and she wrapped her legs around his waist. That laugh had thrilled her, that and flying up in the cool morning breeze, and Kane could see it in her eyes and the flush of her cheeks. Of course I do, Santefe. I love you too.
They cleaned everything up and put it away, breakfasted on cheese and grapes, and started off to Thelia. Along the way they sang and laughed. Every night they made camp, and every day they packed it up and rode some more. It was about the beginning of the third week when Thelia came into view. They could see the meadows, villages, people, and the shimmering, pearly white castle, with turrets and towers, flags, and windows of crystal. There was a garden, with a lake that had geese and ducks in it, and arches covered with vines and tiny blossoms. They rode up to the castle door.
I am Kane Ironell, son of King Thelan! called Kane. We wish to see the King! The door opened, and they walked began to walk in. A man appeared.
Hold it! Im the Royal Stable Keeper. Please leave your horses with me, I shall take them to the Stable. His nose wrinkled.
Who are you? he asked Santefe.
I, said Santefe, am Santefe, Kanes human companion, and the daughter of Warrior Jamin, and Lady Cirrol. The man instantly looked respectful upon Santefe's regal air, and the mention of her parents. They left him standing with the horses, and carried on. A young page stopped them, and said he was Jack, and would accompany them to the King. He took them up a flight of stairs, which led to a door. The door was made of fine, smooth wood, with a golden knob. They walked in, and Jack left them. In front of them was a Royal Bed, with jewels and satin sheets, and goose down comforter. The King bade them come forward. Many people were in the room; one seemed to be a doctor, some were minstrels, but most of them were just servants. The King looked ill; his face was pale; he was sweating though the air was cool, and his eyes were bloodshot. He looked at Kane, and the eyes softened.
My boy, he said, my Kane, as you can see, I have become King of this fair place called Thelia. I have reigned here since two years after you left, seven years. A lot has happened; I took a wife, who has recently died, Ive made a fortune, and now I am dying myself. I took sick after that horrible storm a few weeks ago; you must remember it, you were probably even in it. I think I took sick because of the loss of my beloved wife, my heart is broken, and this silly excuse for a doctor says I must have caught something from the storm. Well, anyway, you must take over the Kingdom. Im so glad youve come, because otherwise, Id have to pick some stupid lord or duke to take my place. Now Kane, come closer, because youve come in my final hours. The King of Thelia gave a few weak gasps and whispered, Im awfully sorry for not being there for you. I really do love you, my boy. And with that the King of Thelia died.
Kane went down on his knees by his dead fathers side and wept. Santefe stood silently beside him, eyes closed, thoughts whirling in her brain. After a few hours she hesitantly touched his shoulder. Kane looked up at her, eyes weary, but smiling. A new weight and honor seemed to be on his shoulders; Santefe was in awe. Kane stood, not looking very Kingly with tears all down his cheeks, sniffling and trying not to cry again, but Santefe saw it in his eyes, in the way he stood, and his regal air. They embraced, and Santefe whispered, I love you, Your Highness. Shall we marry now? Kane nodded.
Their wedding was the day after King Thelan's funeral. At the wedding, Santefe wore a beautiful white dress, with a tight bodice, and a huge, flowing skirt billowing out from underneath. She picked a new wreath, and decorated it with pink, yellow, white, and blue blossoms. She carried a bouquet of dark red roses. Kane donned a suit of dove grey for the occasion. In his buttonhole he wore a tiny red blossom. All of Thelia came to their wedding, and Vickie. For two weeks after their wedding they lived in the birch forest, then returned to Thelia and ruled as King and Queen.