Hello everyone! This is my first Black Magician's fic, so please go easy on me. Be warned that it gets a little steamy towards the end. Many thanks to Laura Scofield for helping me come up with this idea and beta-ing it for me! Reviews would be appreciated, and I hope you enjoy it :3
"Tayend, what are you up to?"
"You'll find out in a moment!" Tayend replied, struggling in vain to hide the glee and excitement in his voice.
The corners of Dannyl's lips lifted up a little. He rolled his eyes, but the action was hidden by the cloth Tayend had wrapped around them as a blindfold. Tayend was fond of surprises, and so Dannyl was accustomed to playing along with Tayend's little games. However, today felt different. He didn't know whether to be dreading or anticipating this… whatever "this" was.
Dannyl was acutely aware of Tayend's hand gripped tightly around his own as he guided him forward. Although his touch felt warm and reassuring, Dannyl squirmed with anxiety. "Tayend, you're holding my hand. What if someone sees?"
"Nonsense!" Tayend retorted. "No one's around! Besides, this is Elyne – anything and everything can happen here, and I don't think the sight of two men holding hands is something people would be disturbed by."
Dannyl frowned. "Tayend, are you alright? You sound nervous."
"No, I'm fine!" he responded back a little too quickly. "It's just that I've put so much effort into this, and I don't know whether you'll like it or not, but I really hope you do, and-"
"Tayend, you're rambling again" Dannyl cut in, smirking.
"Oh, yes, you're right. Sorry about that." They walked a few more paces before the stone beneath Dannyl's feet became wood, his boots echoing off the thick floorboards. His nose twitched and he could smell some strange fragrance filling the air. Something floral but spicy. He was itching to take the blindfold off, but waited patiently until Tayend had stopped.
He heard Tayend take in a big lungful of air and then exhale loudly. "Alright, you can take it off now."
Dannyl reached behind him and untied the knot, blinking a little as his eyes adjusted to the sudden brightness. Although, to be fair it wasn't much brighter without the blindfold on. The room he entered he recognised as the dinning room of their own house, but the curtains were drawn to block out the light, and instead little waxy candles smouldered around the room in little points of brightness. It turned out that the exotic scent he'd smelt earlier came from some incense burning in a brazier, probably something shipped from Vin or Lonmar. The table was set with a fresh white table cloth and spotless cutlery, with plates laden with steaming food.
"What's this all about?" Dannyl asked, a laugh in his voice as he faced Tayend again.
"You mean, you don't know?" Tayend answered, genuinely surprised and blinking with bewilderment.
Dannyl shook his head. "No," he said, then paused. "Is there something I ought to know about?"
"Yes!" Tayend cried, flapping his arms about hysterically. "Today is extremely important!"
"It-it is?" Dannyl stammered, taken aback by the scholar's sudden outburst.
Tayend turned around and crossed his arms, pouting. "I can't believe you forgot."
"Forgot what?" Dannyl demanded with exasperation, talking a step closer to Tayend.
He tilted his head to face Dannyl and a soft smile tickled his lips. "It's our anniversary."
"Anniversary?" Dannyl echoed, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh, Dannyl, are you always this dim-witted?" Tayend laughed. "I thought magicians were meant to be intelligent!" He sighed lightly and added "It's the anniversary of the beginning of us. It's been a year since Armje."
Realisation slapped Dannyl hard in the face, and embarrassment rushed through him from his scalp to his toes. "Oh" was all he could say.
"Oh, indeed" Tayend answered sarcastically with a grin.
Dannyl placed a hand over his mouth, stunned. "Oh, Tayend, I'm so sorry. I…I didn't mean to forget!"
"It's alright," Tayend said, wrapping his arm around Dannyl's waist. "You're forgiven. Besides, you do look awfully cute when you're flustered."
Dannyl laughed. "And you look awfully cute all the time."
"Oh, how you flatter me!" Tayend answered in an overly dramatic voice. Dannyl might have nuzzled Tayend's nose then, but he was a bit too tall and so didn't try it. Instead, he draped his hand over Tayend's shoulder and embraced him tightly for a few moments. Tayend idly tucked a strand of Dannyl's dark hair out of his face, before he pulled away and picked up a glass from the table.
"Here" Tayend said, handing his lover a glass of dark red wine whilst pouring himself one. As Dannyl took it, Tayend held his up and smiled. "To one year of happiness in a yet unfinished lifetime of love."
"That's terribly cheesy" Dannyl smirked.
"I know," Tayend grinned as he tapped his glass against Dannyl's. "I think I've been reading too much of Mayrie's romantic novels again – I ought to be filling my head with something far more substantial from the Library."
Dannyl sipped from his glass and turned his attention back to the food, then froze. He hadn't realised it before, but the food on the plates was – to put it bluntly – a disaster. Most of it was burnt to a crisp, and the rest of it didn't look cooked enough. A flicker of sorry amusement flickered through him. "You made this yourself, didn't you?"
Tayend sighed sadly, his shoulders slumping. "I don't think it's edible."
"Never mind – it's the thought that counts."
This seemed to cheer Tayend up somewhat, as he smiled broadly and took him by the hand again. "There's something else I want to show you."
Dannyl obediently followed the scholar up the stairs before they stopped outside the bedroom – their bedroom. Tayend rested his hand on the door handle for a second to create a dramatic effect, before he pushed it open with a flourish.
Dannyl blinked at the sight before him.
"The bed…" Dannyl began, but couldn't find the words to finish. Dozens of pale pink and red petals were strewn across the sheets. In fact there wasn't much space that wasn't littered with the dainty little things.
"Do you like it?" Tayend asked nervously. "It's not too much, is it?"
"No – I love it!" Dannyl grinned. "It's so…thoughtful and romantic." His eyes softened. "Tayend, you've really worked hard on this, haven't you."
"I'd like to think I did."
"But I feel really guilty. I completely forgot what today was and haven't done anything. How can I make it up to you?"
Tayend paused, then smiled slyly. "Oh, I think I know how."
Before Dannyl could blink, Tayend's lips were suddenly pressed against his own. After the initial surprise had passed, he let his muscles relax and melt into the kiss, feeling a shudder of delight pass over him as Tayend's tongue brushed against his.
Tayend suddenly broke the kiss and shoved Dannyl back, the tall magician landing with a slight "oof!" onto the bed and making the rose petals jump up into the air for a moment. With a laugh, the scholar crawled onto the bed and placed his hands on either sides of Dannyl's head and looked down at him, his long blond hair tickling the magician's cheeks as he tugged it free of its ponytail.
Dannyl felt his heart pound against his ribs as he pulled off Tayend's jacket and tunic – luckily the clothes he was wearing today didn't have quite as many buttons and straps as usual, and nothing ruins the mood more than having to struggle to get your clothing off. Tayend yanked off Dannyl's robe as fast as possible and ran his long fingers over the magician's body. Dannyl couldn't help but flinch a little when Tayend's touch became a little too adventurous.
"T-Tayend!" Dannyl gasped, feeling his face turn red.
"Oh come now, I thought you were used to this by now. Besides, you weren't so shy back at Armje" Tayend teased, his eyes twinkling with flirtatious mischief as he nibbled the edge of Dannyl's ear.
Dannyl's blush turned a shade brighter as memories of their first time together flooded back. He tried to think of a witty comeback, but nothing came to mind. Besides, he was getting distracted by the sensation of Tayend's slender body so close to his.
The scholar leaned in for another kiss, but this time Dannyl took control of it, kissing back more intensely than he had before. He wrapped his arms around Tayend's waist and in one deft movement rolled him over so that now it was him on top looking down at his gorgeous blond-haired lover.
He paused. "Yes?"
"I love you."
Tayend smiled. "I love you too."