*Author’s Note – This is a continuation of my May Monthly SimLits Short Story. I apologize for taking so long to get this published. I hope you enjoy it and feel it was worth the wait! Thank you for reading! 🙂
Chapter 1.0 – Time Flies at Knight
“Time flies when you’re having fun.”
“Time flies when you get older.”
I’m not sure who coined these particular quotes, and really it doesn’t matter, but they are very apropos to the life of Leonardo and Iris after their engagement at The Bluffs. Leonardo moved in with Iris and quit his community gardening job at the request of his bride-to-be.
They didn’t need the money now that Iris was raking in the bucks with her stories & poems. Though the main reason wasn’t about money, she wanted him close by her side to share in the rest of her life, however long or short it might be.
He wouldn’t have it any other way.
Parts of their days together were spent filled with simpler, but no less fulfilling activities such as tending Iris’s flourishing garden. Gardening was one of Leonardo’s passions and it made him happy he could share that love with her. She had developed quite a green thumb for having never grown anything in her life before coaxing the seeds Leonardo had given her into rows of thriving plants & trees.
Sometimes they would sit and soak in the rooftop hot tub Iris had installed. They enjoyed the expansive view of the desert from up there and the warm water helped to soothe and ease away the aches and pains of the day.
It was even more effective soaking without any clothes on according to Iris. Leonardo wasn’t going to argue with that claim. She was older and wiser and had more experience in such things afterall.
Most nights they would dress up and go out for dinner, even if only to a local pub instead of a fancy restaurant.
One time they walked inside The Shrieking Llama to find it was Knight Night. Leonardo went to the restroom while Iris ordered their drinks and when he returned, a Knight was chatting with her.
“Hello good Sir Leonardo. I am Sir Johnny from the House of Zest. I was conversing with your fair Lady Iris about the two of you joining me and my friend in a round of “Don’t Wake the Llama.” Are you up for the challenge?” The young man asked in a courtly manner.
Leonardo snorted before he could catch himself, but managed not to laugh out loud at the affected accent. He was a good sport though and it looked like Iris was game. She was beaming and gave him a sly wink.
“We would be delighted kind Sir. But be on your guard, Iris is an expert at yon game. We’ll beat the armor off you!” Leonardo said with a smirk.
The game progressed without incident as the men took their turns. Now it was time for Iris to choose her piece and hopefully leave the slumbering wooden camelid undisturbed.
“Easy, slow and steady wins the race Babe, you got this.” Leonardo whispered.
“Ah HA! Booya! Take that Sir Zesty!” Iris cried in triumph. Unfortunately, in her enthusiasm she accidentally bumped the table with her knee and the tower came crashing down.
“Oh crap, damn it all.” Iris giggled.
Leonardo left the Llama in peace but Sir Johnny’s friend woke him. It was all up to Sir Johnny now. If he woke the Llama, Leonardo and Iris would win; if he didn’t it would be a tie.
Sir Johnny made an unwise choice and the tower fell.
“YES! We win!” Iris cried out in excitement pounding the table with both fists.
“We are defeated. It has been an honor and a pleasure, but we must now take our leave.” Sir Johnny proclaimed as he rapped his breastplate and clicked his heels with a clang.
“Oh for Christ’s sake, cut the Knight crap Johnny, let’s leave these old losers and get a drink.”
“Pfft, Losers?! We won, you lost! YOU’RE the losers. Go, go drink away your sorrows ya lousy tin-can wannabes!” Leonardo mocked as they walked away.
Iris just closed her eyes and shook her head in disbelief. “Come on Leo, that’s enough. They’re not worth it. I thought Sir Johnny was quite gracious. Though his friend left a bit to be desired…. Come on, let’s play some foosball!”
The bartender shouted out last call so the couple quickly wrapped up their game and hurried over to the bar for a nightcap.
“What a great night, this was fun! I wish it didn’t have to end.” Iris said with a bright smile as she touched her glass to Leonardo’s.
“It doesn’t have to. We could check out The Ruins if you want, maybe have a bonfire? It’s a beautiful night; I bet the stars are out.”
“That sounds heavenly. Let’s go home and change first though, I’m a bit chilly.”
“Great fire Honey. If I’d known you were going to build such a big one, I wouldn’t have insisted on changing clothes. I’m not one bit chilly now. In fact, let’s move back a bit, my face feels like it’s melting,” Iris exclaimed with a giggle.
“How’s this?” Leo asked once they’d moved a little farther away from the gargantuan bonfire he’d built.
“Perfect.” Iris said with a soft sigh looking up at the star-filled night sky. “What a lovely night, have you ever seen anything more beautiful?”
“Hmm, well…” Leonardo looked up to contemplate the stars. “They are pretty.” He agreed and then turned to gaze at Iris. “But they’re not the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” He smiled and playfully touched the tip of her nose with a finger before pulling Iris a little bit closer to his side.
Iris sighed contentedly and laid her head on his shoulder. “How did I get so lucky? You’re such a sweet, romantic young man, Leo. I wish I’d met you earlier in my life. So many years wasted without you…”
“Shhh, don’t think about that. We’re together now, that’s all that matters, right? Let’s just enjoy it while we can.” Leo said and kissed the top of her head lying on his shoulder.
“See? There you go again. I love you so much.”
“I love you too Iris, always…”