The wind was rushing past me, faster and faster as my horse increased speed. This was almost as fun as dancing! Plus it was something he enjoyed and that we could do alone together or with friends if we felt like it. My mare's name was Oya, It means Wind Warrior Goddess. She was a beautiful cherry bay appaloosa that I had owned since she was two years old. Lerato was riding a dapple gray stallion named Mizu whom he had raised as a baby when the little foal's mother had died.
He was beautiful when he was riding, he moved as one with his horse, both of them pure undulating muscle. I enjoyed riding but I wasn't as good at it as he was, he had always had the advantage there. He turned to look at me with his beautiful gray-green eyes. He was so handsome with his black hair and muscular build, he was six foot five to my mere five foot eight. I remember what he used to tell me when we were alone together. You look beautiful with you fiery red hair and dazzling green eyes, my little Safara. I laughed at the memory.
"What's so funny" he asked quizzically.
"I was just remembering what you used to call me when we were courting." I said smiling slightly.
"My little Safara?" He asked, seemingly amazed and awed.
"Yes." I said now it was my turn to give him a weird look.
"You remember that?" He asked incredulously.
"Of course I do." I answered slightly abashed that he thought I would have forgotten.
"Do you remember what it means?" he asked so quietly I could barely hear him as we slowed down to a more gentle pace.
"Yes, it means My little Flame, in reference to my hair." I said as we dismounted in our favorite clearing and tied up the horses.
"I really missed you all those years you were gone." He whispered into my hair as he held me close. "I always wondered why you had left, what I had done to lose you."
"I missed you too." I said kissing him. "And now I know you never did anything to deserve what I did to you."
"Let's promise never to make assumptions again and always be truthful." he proposed, quietly.
"I agree." I said, smiling up at him.
He kissed me again.
"Now that that's settled shall we eat?"
"Always hungry aren't you?" I asked teasingly.
"Of course." He said laughing right along with me.
We mounted the horses and went back to the castle. We went to court and listened but rarely commented.
That night I found a present and a note on my bed. The gift was a beautiful large Emerald ring with ivy engraved on the gold around it. The note said, "To My little Safara. I love you, Lerato." I looked at it in amazement. It was beautiful. And I knew then that I loved him too.