It was the dream that she loved and hated; her greatest fantasy that would never come true.
Yunami was stretched out on the bed, naked beneath the sheet pulled up just above her breasts. Her auburn hair was scattered around her head on the sumptuous pillows like a halo. The sheer curtains hanging around the bed allowed her to see the rest of the room but hid her from the eyes of her approaching lover.
She watched as Daeghen walked towards the foot of the bed. He was naked, his body sculpted to perfection. She had never really seen him like this, so her imagination filled in those details. It was always a pleasure to watch him move and she imagined that her ideal wasn't too far from reality.
"Yunami, my love." He spoke with a voice that made her quiver.
"Sweet Daeghen," she said, reaching out to him, "come to me."
Daeghen was teasing her as he slowly parted the curtains, letting her see his body more clearly. He went down on all fours, crawling across the bed towards her, up along the sheet that covered her until he caught her hand in his own.
When their hands clasped and their fingers twined together, Daeghen moved suddenly and was on top of her, his body pinning her to the bed. She gasped as he moved his hips against hers, the sheet preventing her from feeling the naked skin around that hard shaft.
"Please don't tease me, darling," she pleaded, "I've waited too long for this."
He smiled at her playfully. It was the look he always had when he knew he was about to get his way, and she was so willing to let him have his way with her.
Yunami slid her free hand into his hair, pulling his lips to hers in a hungry kiss. She felt his hands pulling the sheet down between their bodies; the hard points of her nipples pushed against the smooth skin of his chest. Her hips thrust up as the sheet moved lower and she reveled in every new inch of their bodies that touched.
Daeghen stopped pulling the sheet down just above her hips, teasing her again, looking into her eyes as he whispered to her. "You need to get up. You're going to be late."
Yunami gave him a confused look. "What?"
Then he was screaming at her in a woman's voice. "You need to get up! You're going to be late!"
The dream shattered into a rude, early morning awakening. The urgency of the voice made Yunami sit up suddenly and slam her head into something hard. Pain rocked her skull and she fell back on the bed, groaning as she pressed a hand to her forehead. Someone else was cursing at her as she opened her eyes and saw her roommate standing above her, scowling.
Celedri was rubbing her nose, tears in her eyes. She had been standing over Yunami's bed, trying to wake her from the erotic dream that she had been so wrapped up in.
Yunami wanted to hit her best friend again. Mother Titania, if only she had given her a few more minutes!
"What time is it?" Yunami asked. A headache was already settling across her brain.
"It's past second dawn!" Celedri said "If you don't get up now you're going to be late for botany lecture!"
Yunami swore, threw off her bedcovers and quickly pulled her rumpled nightgown over her head. Celedri had already opened the small trunk at the foot of her bed and was tossing her clothes to her. She slid the black trousers on first, quickly lacing up the front before dragging the tunic over her head. She fastened the three clasps on her shoulder and smoothed out the dark green fabric before moving to her trunk.
Celedri had already gathered her own things and had all of her tools in the satchel she was wearing. Yunami had the fortunate habit of putting her tools into her satchel before she went to bed, so she simply grabbed her bag and threw it open to make sure she had everything.
Yunami was still half-asleep, though the fear of being late to lecture was doing an amazing job pulling the cobwebs out of her head. By the time she got to the lecture hall, she would be fully awake and, with a little luck, she wouldn't be late and would avoid the punishment for it.
She turned and headed to the door.
"Stop!" Celedri yelled.
Yunami looked back at her friend who was standing there pointing at her hair. Celedri had her black hair pulled up on her head in a braid that wrapped around itself and was held in place by a few hairs pins. Celedri always preferred styles that could be undone without too much trouble but would take more than an errant school boy grabbing a single pin.
Yunami felt her face go white. "Mother Titania, my hair!"
Her satchel hit the floor and she rushed to the vanity that they shared in their room. Her long, brown hair, which hung low on her back, was a tangled mess. She snatched up her brush and quickly tried to smooth the mess down, wincing as some of the tangles were yanked out by the roots instead. Then she was pulling it back and up on her head, grabbing the set of pins she kept on her side of the vanity and sliding them in place as she spun her hair in a quick and intricate weave. It was something she could do only because she had been doing it since childhood.
Wouldn't the boys living in her resident hall love to see her with her hair down? Even worse was the way it looked, all disheveled and awry like she'd been trysting before she even got out of bed. The Harridans would talk about it for months, maybe even years, and her mother would be furious at such a scandal.
Sometimes being a woman was such a pain. Being a nobleman's daughter made it worse.
In less than a minute her hair was done and she whispered a few words as her fingers brushed down some errant strands she didn't have time to fix properly. She didn't like to rely on magic to hold her hair in place but there was no time for more.
She turned to her friend and held her arms out for inspection. "Is there anything else?"
"Yes, boots," Celedri said "and you owe me lunch for hitting me in the head."
Yunami sighed and smiled ruefully. "I know. I'm sorry. And thank you."
Celedri smiled at her and with that all was forgiven. Yunami slid her boots on, grabbed her satchel and ran to the door.
They locked the door behind them and ran down the corridor. Lecture would be starting soon and if they were lucky they would be in their seats before the master began the lesson.
"That must have been some dream," Celedri commented as they ran.
Yunami felt her face turn red from more than exertion. "You have no idea."
The halls of the Royal Academy were practically empty since the morning lectures were about to start. Only the proctors were still about, looking for students who were purposely trying to skip lectures or get into things they shouldn't.
Yunami thought about the dream again. Daeghen Su'Firago was often the center of her dreams because she couldn't help fantasizing about him even when she was awake. He was a handsome, young, charismatic nobleman who was also a forth year student. She had seen him in her first year at the academy and since then had never been able to get him out of her mind.
Unfortunately, he was also one of the most unattainable men in the school. Aside from his charms he was also exceedingly wealthy, was the heir to a dukedom and would be joining the Majisarries, the king's elite warriors, when he finished his schooling.
She had less interest in his titles and station and more interest in the man himself. Her face grew warm thinking about all the other dreams he had been in through the years, the better ones where things progressed much further. Until now they had only been dreams but all that would soon change.
The Heartseeker Festival was a holiday of love, romance and passion. Although it wasn't officially sanctioned by the chantry, who oversaw all other holy festivals, it was still popular among the people and always saw widespread participation.
Heartseekers were a mythical race of Fae who, according to legends, had the power to make people fall in love with each other. There were hundreds of old stories about lovers who fell under the Heartseekers' spell and threw themselves into each others arms, letting nothing stand in the way of their desire. There were just as many stories about marriages and courtships being destroyed by malicious Heartseekers who would make husbands or wives or lovers betray their vows.
Because Arcadia had a long and bloody history with the races of the Fae, particularly the violent elven tribes, some found it surprising that they would hold a festival to honor the Heartseekers. In those cases, people argued that the Heartseekers didn't limit themselves on their targets and that the other Fae races had just as many stories as the Arcadians did about their antics.
The truth was that it was an excuse to hold a festival that condoned excessive drinking, partying and sex. That was the main reason the chantry didn't sanction it.
Fortunately, the Heartseekers had disappeared into legend since there had been no records of their existence for hundreds of years. So people held grand parties, danced in the streets and generally let themselves be as wild as they wanted.
That was how Yunami planned to have Daeghen.
Nobles celebrated the Heartseeker Festival by holding parties that were lavish and excessive even by normal standards. Many didn't even acknowledge that they held such parties because they were frowned upon by more conservative members among the aristocracy. That didn't prevent the hypocrites from attending; it simply meant they would have good alibis to cover themselves in case things got out of hand.
.... There is more of this story ...