Lys: Goodnight

Aithne nodded. "I suppose so. Goodnight, then."

She made her own way out, back to the cloister and her quiet cell.

It was evening- things were going quiet outside, inside held bustle of nighttime preparations, and she was sitting with Cathair in an unassuming corner, talking and laughing. The wedding was just over a week away, and both of them were giddy with impatience. It would’ve been long before now, but her father demanded that Cathair have a house of his own first, and Brother Parthal├ín required them to be well-read in the Christian marriage.
Not that she minded either, but it did slow things down. Meanwhile, she sat in her beloved’s lap as they spoke in low tones and stole a kiss or two. Anyone could look over and see them- it wasn’t as if they were hiding.

Cathair interrupted her thoughts with a short tickle. When she protested, she was met with a kiss, then he rubbed noses with her. She laughed. “You were right, Cathair. I like this ever so much better than studying.”

Cathair laughed at that. “I should hope so. I’d hate to think my wiles weren’t working on you…”

Spluttering, she playfully punched him in the arm. “You…! You’re impossible.”

“Ah yes, but you still love me.” He leaned close and kissed her again, and she was happy to let him. But suddenly a call rang out. “Aithne! Time to go, child.”

She pushed off and stood, brushing out her skirts. “That’s my da.” She looked up at him. He’d risen when she did, and he gave her one last hug before pushing her in the direction of the door. “Better go, then. I’ll see you tomorrow.” She grinned and nodded. “Tomorrow. Sleep well, Cathair.”

“Sleep well, Love.”

And they both went home, each of them content in the fact that the wait would not be long.

But he had not seen her the next day. Nor did she see him. They'd had no way of knowing that there would be raiders in the rath that night, nor that they’d kidnap the bard’s only daughter, almost on the eve of her wedding. And no one expected her to be sold away from the entire Scotti territory, handed over to foreigners for a price.

No, the last she'd seen of him was him fighting desperately to save the house and cattle that were to be theirs, while she was hauled from her father’s house, thrown over a saddle, and carried off into the night.

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