Prompt #6 – Smile

These people had always fascinated him. They had no fear of death. No fear of him either. They regularly honored his feast day with a grand celebration and their offerings were amongst the best. Little surprise that they'd welcomed his companion with open arms.

They called her Copasimie. Shining smile. A definite understatement. That smile was going to be his downfall one day. It was the light in his dark world, the breath of fresh air he hadn't known he needed and all those poetic phrases he'd once ridiculed. Fortunately Aeryn didn't realize just how much power she held over him.

That damn smile was currently responsible for his current predicament. It was supposed to be a simple retrieval of one of the elders. When the requisite celebration invitation came, he'd been set to refuse until Aeryn had looked up at him with those wide, pleading eyes. She'd taken his hesitation as acceptance and flashed a grateful smile. Fine. If she wanted to stay, he would gladly enjoy several hours of peace and quiet.

Somehow, the details were still sketchy, he found himself seated at the head of a banquet table with Aeryn at his side. She was currently involved in a conversation with one of the healers. His scathing glare had no effect on her good spirits. Once he remembered exactly how he'd been conned into staying for dinner, he would dole out a suitable punishment. Make her accompany him on the next few days' worth of early morning retrievals? Tempting but she was grouchy in the morning. Strip her of her powers and order her to clean the house from top to bottom? Worth consideration. Send her to his mother for a week? Liable to get Aeryn, as well as himself, killed.

A sharp elbow jab to his ribs had him sitting upright and contemplating more physical forms of punishment. She simply rolled her eyes at him before gesturing towards his untouched plate. "Eat something."

"I do not require nourishment."

The look on her face was one he'd seen on his mother's every time he or his brother had done something particularly foolish. "Eat before you offend someone."

It was on the tip of his tongue to remind her that he did not care who he offended. He quickly realized just who she meant. It wouldn't do to offend her. She would undoubtedly take every opportunity to throw it back in his face. Biting back a sigh, he speared a piece of meat with his fork and put it in his mouth.

Every head turned to watch him chew and swallow. The ensuing silence was awkward. His mind raced to come up with something appropriate he'd heard these people use before. Ah, perfect! That one. He nodded decisively at the expectant faces. "Tastes like chicken."

Aeryn's laughter bounced off the walls. His anger grew with every passing second. How dare she make fun of him? Especially when he was doing her a favor. Had she forgotten her place? No matter how good a companion she'd been, he would not tolerate such impudence. It was time to make good on his threat to smite her.

Oblivious to his mounting rage, she threaded her fingers through his and rested her head against his shoulder. Her flushed cheeks were streaked with tears but the smile on her face was more radiant than any he'd seen before. "Than, that was chicken."

Ah. Smiting would have to wait. She was a stubborn, impertinent woman with a penchant for getting into trouble. Right now he wanted to bask in the warmth of her smile.