Portrait

Princess Zelda awakens to the darkness of her bedroom not sure what has awakened her. Turning over she reaches a hand out across the bed. Cold. He has not yet returned. She sighs and walks to her window.

The moon is full tonight. It cuts through the darkness and rest soft on her face. The light spills gently into the castle gardens below. Looking down at the flowers only half seen in the distance she is lost in a memory.

She looks into the smiling blue eyes of the Hero of Hyrule. That day, he was just Link. They were picnicking in the garden. He was telling her a funny story about his life herding goats before he ever fought a monster. She had laughed at the image of him dreaming of a woman only to wake to a goat licking his face and the hearty laughter of Fado who had witnessed the whole thing.

Since then Link had fought many monster and banished eternal twilight from the land of Hyrule. The evil of Ganondorf had been expelled, but stray monsters still plagued the land. From time to time Link would leave to dispatch a monster that had been terrorizing the people.

Zelda absentmindedly played with the wedding ring on her finger. She always worried whenever he left her to fight monsters. She wished she could beg him to stay and let the army handle it, but he was a restless soul. He could only stand by and let others fight for so long before he needed to be a part of the action again. That was his destiny as the chosen Hero of the goddesses. He would never settle down and so she learned to hold the man she loved loosely. To let him go, be there when he returned, and fight by his side if he needed her.

A noise from another room stirs her from her memories. Zelda walks out of her room excited that it might be him coming home. She stops in front of the bathroom. A shadow moved under the door in the light of the lamps that were now lit.

She knocks lightly on the door. "Come in," said a male voice. She smiles as she instantly recognizes the voice as her Link.

She enters the bathroom and sees Link standing by the bathtub.

"I'm sorry if I woke you" he says.

"Don't worry about it," she replies. "I wanted to see you when you came back anyway."

She walks over and wraps her arms around him hugging him tight. She feels his body tense as he takes a sharp breath in. She steps back to look him over. "You're hurt," she says as she runs her hands over him looking for the wound.

He gently grabs her hands and looks into her eyes. "I'm fine", he says. "Really." He leans in to kiss her softly easing her worry.

"I'm just a little soar and a warm bath should help that." Link walks over to the bathtub and checks the temperature with his hand. He takes his green tunic and winces as he pulls it over his head.

Zelda walks over to him, takes his tunic and tosses it on the floor next to his belt and gauntlets. "Let me help." She takes his hand, leads him over to the vanity and sits him down. She gently removes his chain mail shirt and drops it with his other clothes.

"I can undress myself."

"I know."

Next his white undershirt comes off revealing a large dark bruise. It spans almost the entire length of his chest and stops above his stomach. She lovingly runs her hands over it wondering if she should ask him about it.

"The tail caught me." He says sensing her questions. "It was a lucky shot, but it's not as bad as it looks."

"While you were away a package came from the Gorons. Mineral salts that help maintain good health and speed healing. They sent it for you." She told him. "I'll get it for your bath."

She closes the door behind her as she leaves the room and heads down the dimly lit hall. Only a few steps down the hall she finds the closet. Inside is an assortment of soaps, body oils, perfumes, shampoos, bath salts, and towels. She reaches for a row of cartons towards the bottom of the closet. She holds one up to catch the flickering light of the oil lamps. The label reads: "Death Mountain Minerals: For your health, Brother".

Back in the bathroom, Link already relaxes in the tub. Zelda opens the carton and pours the minerals into the warm water spreading them around. Link stirs the water to mix the minerals in. Afterwards he lays back and takes a deep relaxing breath.

"This is so much better than a cold lake."

"I'm sure it is." Zelda replies as she drops the empty container in the trash bin.

She walks over to Link and wraps her arms around his neck. "I missed you."

"I …" His reply was silenced by a deep and passionate kiss. A kiss filled with the longing from all the lonely days and nights without him.

"I missed you too."