Outside the cold stone walls a constant blizzard swept past stained-glass windows. Tapestries, carpets, and stuffed high-backed chairs gave the uneven room a warmth despite the weather. Said warmth was added to by the smoldering pine-log fire that crackled pleasantly to the left on the lower half of the terraced room. The raised portion of the room was occupied by an enormous veiled bed, silk, satin, and fur splashed with red and dark green and sewed with golden thread formed the main theme.
But by far the most prominent sight in the room was its sole occupant: a slim girl with a tiara holding back her dark black bangs. She had the rest of her semi-short hair tied into a bun on the side of her head with a silver circlet. Her facial features were striking, sharp elfin ears, angular chin and fiercely pale complexion betrayed the fact that she was indeed an elf.
Myths about her race are rarely close to accurate, most think them to be on either side of an emotional extreme. The truth about this amazing race is this: they are peaceful, living in giant cities in the middle of a winter wasteland. Their wealth has brought them complacency: this is what the girl despises, she is sick of living an immortal existence that has no excitement.
A sharp rap on her ornate wooden door brought her chin up abruptly and she focused her hard gaze on the brass door-knob.
"What is it?" She snapped irritably.
"Triss, let me in." A lilting, yet strongly male, voice sighed outside the door, she could hear his boots scuffing the floor impatiently.
"It's unlocked." She replied; her countenance took on a friendlier composure, her thin pink lips curled into a playful smile.
"You don't have to be so condescending." The voice from before presented its bodily manifestation in the form of a young-looking man with and pea-coat, a knitted scarf, and fur lined boots. He had shining blue eyes, a smooth angular face not unlike the girl's and had light blonde hair that retained its aristocratic poshness despite being ruffled as though having recently been under a heavy hat, and a likely suspect of heavy dark fur was held in the crook of his arm.
"Come now…" She teased, rising from her cross-legged sitting position so she could look several inches upwards into his eyes. "Tell me Jaeson, do you want to go on adventure?" Her eyes flashed.
"Triss… there's a blizzard outside, none of the shops are going to be open, besides, who would be out on a day like this?" He narrowed his eyes with suspicion.
"That's my point." She hissed quietly. "I'm going to go mad if I can't do something, and sitting around has gotten somewhat tiresome after a hundred years."
Jaeson looked at the fire and watched its writhing flames. "You have a point."
"Come on, let's go!" She dashed past him, grabbing his wrist with one hand and picking up her form-fitting fur-lined coat with the other. Jaeson rolled his eyes and took the coat from her. He slipped it up her arms and placed her red-green-and-gold scarf in her hands.
She led the way with a white-fur-lined hood from her coat covering her head as she ran down the Great Stairs built by their ancestors at the founding of the city. Jaeson was just behind her, his long strides keeping pace, only her enthusiasm kept her in the lead.
"Where are we going?" He yelled as the wind bit at his face and drowned out his words.
Triss actually couldn't hear him, but she knew the look on his face. "My favorite tea place!" She yelled in response, but she had to stop and lean into his face a fingers' breadth away and say it before he could hear. Jaeson couldn't help but blush at how close and informal she was, and was relieved that his cheeks had already been flushed with color from the wind.
Together the two elves recklessly ran through the white-out, finding their way by sheer familiarity with the city. After several frantic minutes they stepped through a heavy oaken door, struggling as they fought the harsh wind. The 'tea place' as Triss had so eloquently described it, was an elaborate diner with small candles for each small table that lay tucked away in the dark corners of the room. Boughs of pine and fir twisted around the thin wooden pillars. And right by the door was a large desk built into the wall where a strangely feline woman in a dark green silk dress stood waiting with her hands folded in front of her.
"A table for two it is." The Lady inferred, and motioned for them to follow. She led them up a flight or cherry wood stairs and onto the even more private second floor. This floor had only a couple tables, and each had a small candle and a set of fine chinaware.
Triss sat down in a light brown wooden chair with a red velvet cushion. Both the chairs were the same, but for some reason, Triss made the chair look good. She unbuckled her heavy coat and smiled. She was wearing a black silk vest over a white collared shirt with a silver amulet around her pale neck, and had black slacks with white fur running along the insides of her legs before plunging into her knee-high black-leather boots with fur bulging around her calves.
Jaeson held in his amazement, she was beautiful as usual… and why she would want to spend time with him was beyond him. In Elvin society, a Princess did not go gallivanting with the middle or lesser classes, except for Tristarie.
"Jaeson, you're blushing." She chuckled and flicked her eyes to the corner of the room where a black-coated waiter noticed her attention and sped over.
"I want the Winter's Blossom tea with sandwiches and a scone." When she had finished ordering, she switched her attention to her friend.
"And you sir, what will you be having this evening?" The Waiter glanced at his nearly formal dress and his a smile.
"The Winter Spice tea and the Crispberry pie." Jaeson was proud; he had just recently been able to join the small contingent of lucky elves with the only interesting job in the land: Being t a part of the military force that guarded the city, scouted the land, and dealt with problems abroad. This new job provided him the necessary funds to go to Triss's kind of place.
As the waiter stalked off to the kitchen, Tristarie flashed a pearly-white smile. "Tell me, can I join you on any of your adventures? I've never been outside the city and… it gets a little old."
Jaeson laughed, softly but truly still. "Oh Triss, you could order such an expedition and it would have to be done."
"What's out there, really?" She pushed a little more with unrestrained curiosity.
"Mountains, snow, crystal caves, wolves, and of course the favored by folk-lore and despised by the monarchy: the Outcasts. Well, they started out as such, and they ended up building their own city a couple days ride outside of the mountains. They live on the coast, where their snow is just water and mist fills the streets at night." Jaeson replied, his eyes glowing with cheer at the memory of his stay in the foreign land.
"We should go there." Her tone was almost seductive, and the Jaeson was relieved when their tea was presented with perfect silence.
The Crispberry pie had a light brown crust, and was filled with sweet slightly tart berries that grow on the same trees as their winter tea trees. The pie itself was not an entire pan, but a decent slice about two inches deep, and three inches wide at the most.
Triss elegantly poured her tea from her small china teapot and a hot/cold aroma filled the air. Her tea was a winter tea made from the flour blossoms of the fruit that Jaeson was eating in his pie. It had a cold refreshing flavor, and it cleared ones senses wonderfully, with the exception that it seemed to make one feel light headed in the surreal sense, as if one had never actually been awake before drinking it.
Jaeson's tea was mixed with spice, and had the same effect only with a stronger bite as it passed down one's throat.
They spent the evening sipping tea and eating small delicacies, and it was late in the night, when their candle was simmering in its cup that Triss noticed the light fade around them. It was secluded, dark, and she looked over the small warm table to Jaeson. "Then I will give the order, I want to go on an adventure with you." Though she was an adult, her quiet giggle was almost like a teen.
"I would never refuse my lady." Jaeson spoke with mock humility and bowed as much as sitting allowed.
They paid their hostess with hard cash: small silver coins, and quietly strolled back to the palace that Triss's family had owned for generations. And as she stood on the Great steps she leaned against Jaeson's shoulder and whispered. "I wish we didn't have to say good bye." It was nearly lost on the wind, unintelligible to the one she hugged. She ran up the rest of the way and waved back as Jaeson plodded through the cold to his empty home.