Thursday, December 31, 2015

Not Perfect

She wasn't complete yet
She wasn't perfect
She was the pearl growing in the shell.
She wasn't ready to be brought out this soon
But oh she longed to be.

She was the pearl that was still hidden because she didn't have the strength
to open the shell she was in.

When she came out she wasn't like the others.
She wasn't like the pearls who gleamed pink and glowed in the sunset
She wasn't like the pearls who were crazy colors and everyone noticed
She wasn't like the pearls who were little and gold and everyone wanted one on a ring
She wasn't even like the pearls who were so different that they stood out
She wasn't like the ones who were pure white and perfect.

She was the pearl who was so hard to pry out of the shell
that when she popped out she fell and rolled under the furniture
so that they had to get on hands and knees and fish around until they found her.

She was the one who was covered in dust when they finally picked her off the floor.
She was the one who still didn't seem right when they wiped off the cobwebs.

She was the pearl that was covered in a hard black layer that had formed over her in the shell.
The pearl it would take hours to finally be able to actually see what she looked like
because first the crust had to be cleared away and
It would take hours to remove.

So no one did
and they sent her to the jewelry shop where
she wasn't a pearl that stood out from the crowd of other pearls.

She wasn't a pearl that made jaws drop and everyone scramble to buy.
Not a pearl that appeared to be anything special
in fact she appeared to be rather ordinary.

She was a pearl that looked like a regular old pearl and most people went after the other pearls, the ones who were unique at first glance.

So she sat in the jewelry shop surrounded by a thousand other pearls that seemed to be destined to shine.

She was waiting
but no one wanted the ordinary-looking pearl
when they could have the perfect pearly pink one.
Or the rainbow pearl that people used to think was weird but now
was all the rage because it was different.

Some people know the pearls that don't stand out are often the best.
They're timeless
The ones that you see in family jewelry from hundreds of years ago
and will be in family jewelry hundreds of years from now.

Someone like that found the pearl and lifted her out of the dust and brushed her off
and smiled.
Someone like that put the pearl in a necklace where she could shine
Someone like that polished the pearl for the first time
removing layer by layer
the hard black casing.

It took hours of careful and patient work but slowly
the pearl started to shine through.

No one else would have taken the time.
No one else would have believed there was anything under the layers worth keeping
No one else would have come to love the pearl enough that the layers didn't matter
but they wanted the pearl to meet the sunlight
for the first time in her life.

No one else knew the pearl was even in there.
It didn't matter that the pearl didn't catch the eye
It didn't matter that the pearl didn't stand out
It didn't matter that at first glance the pearl didn't seem very interesting.

The pearl didn't have to do anything to be found and polished
and the reason she was loved
wasn't because she changed into the pearl everyone wanted
or because she improved over time.

She wasn't loved because she had tried to be loved
She was loved because someone saw her and knew there
was more to the pearl than a black layer
and someone loved her not because she was the pearly pearl
but because she was her
and she didn't have to do anything to deserve it.

It wasn't earned, it was given.

Love wasn't born because of something she did.
Love came to her because love was there already
and even if she never shone she mattered.

But she did shine even though it took a very, very long time.
and it turned out when she was held in the right light,
She turned purple.
Soft, violet purple.

But only sometimes and in the right light and
it didn't really matter anyway because
she was special no matter if she never turned purple again.

And the reason she could turn purple
was because she didn't have to.
And that was what
set the pearl free.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Lost You

So here I am on the outside
Watching you through the glass
You don't notice me 
I pretend not to care
But the truth is it hurts me
More than I can say

We used to be inseparable
But now we're worlds away
And I don't know how
To reach you again
And you're doing just fine 
Without me

So here I am alone
Just about given up
The glass is so thick
And I can't shatter it
But even if I could
Would it matter to you?

Don't know...
I can't
Keep waiting
It hurts
To see you
When we don't say a word
But know
I miss you...

So this is me saying goodbye
I will no longer hope
That one day 
We'll be close again
But just know
You matter to me

And if you ever need me
I'll be right here
I love you
Even though you don't know
Maybe this is my fault
But if you ever reach out
I'm here

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The White Wolf

December 1934, Northwestern Montana

A long howl rose above the wind, not far away from the cabin, followed by another. Wendell McCrae got up from the table and shrugged into his coat. He knew what the sound meant. That huge Alaskan wolf was back, the wolf known as the White, who had killed numerous sheep and attacked two ranchers. No one had been able to take a shot at him yet.

Lighting a lantern and grabbing his Winchester, he went out into the snow. Stars filled the vast sky, and his breath frosted in the air.

He stumbled clumsily up the slope in his snowshoes, moving as fast as he could. The bleating of sheep filled the air. Scrambling the last few feet over the deep snow, he swung the lantern's light across the sheep pen.

The ewes milled at the far fence, trembling. In the middle of the pen, crouching over the body of a dead sheep, was a huge wolf, twice the size of an average timber wolf. His ribs showed sharply through his white fur. And the snow beneath him was stained with the blood of Wendell's sheep.

It was the White. The animal lifted his head, and the skin of his nose and mouth wrinkled back in a soundless, menacing snarl. He did not run from the light.

Wendell swallowed hard. This wolf was no ordinary wolf. He set the lantern down carefully and straightened up, but a sudden gust of wind snuffed out the flame. He gasped and groped for the lantern. But as his hand bumped it, he felt it topple and it rolled beyond his reach. There was no use searching for it in the dark. He clutched his rifle tighter, and felt along the fence, following it the short distance to the sheep shed door.

No sound came from the White.

Wendell fumbled for the latch and swung the door open. It creaked loudly, shattering the stillness. A low growl answered. Slipping inside the shed, Wendell reached for the lantern he kept on the wall. Outside, the sheep emitted fearful bleats.

Wendell grabbed the matches from his pocket and tore one off. His hands shook as he lit the lantern and turned up the wick. That wolf was out there threatening his sheep, waiting.... He strode to the other shed door, which led into the pen. Slamming open the door, he thrust himself out as a ring of light sprang from behind him. It lit up the White's eyes as he slowly rose to face Wendell.

Wendell aimed the rifle, his finger on the trigger, but then he stopped.

 Something was around the White's neck. The lantern light gleamed on what looked like a rope tightly twisted around the shaggy throat. And he heard, for the first time, the wolf's hoarse, raspy breathing as he stared intently at Wendell.

Wendell studied the White, ready to pull the trigger, but hesitating. Had this wolf, this wild, vicious thing, ever been tame? Could that explain his lack of fear? And did he prey upon the sheep ranches because he was unable to hunt?

The White returned his look. Then he lowered himself to the snow beside the dead sheep, keeping his eyes on Wendell. He was quite thin. Licking the carcass, the wolf began struggling to eat, the constriction of the rope around his throat making it extremely hard for him to swallow.

With a sigh, Wendell lowered the rifle butt to the snow. He realized now that he didn't want to kill this big wolf after all. It would truly be a shame. He was such a magnificent creature, and Wendell's compassion had been stirred at the sight of the wolf's suffering. Was there a chance that the White would let him remove the rope? He wasn't sure if that was even a possibility, but he was determined to try.

Squatting down but keeping his rifle close, he rubbed his hands together to warm them. The wolf had risen again, his gleaming eyes following Wendell's every move.

The sheep were quiet now, except for an occasion baa.

Softly, Wendell began to talk to the white wolf. “That be a tight collar you got there, me lad. Not the sort 'o thing for a wild one like you to be wearing, now. If you'd let me, I could take it off for you. And then you could breathe again. You could eat all you wanted then, for sure. Aye, to your heart's content, laddie.” 

He continued talking gently, saying whatever came to mind, but hoping that if the wolf had ever been tame, the sound of Wendell's voice would reassure him.

Ears forward, the White seemed to be listening. Deep growls rumbled low in his throat, and he stood braced tensely, but made no move to attack.

Still murmuring quiet words, Wendell picked up his rifle and walked carefully toward the wolf, who kept growling as he watched. A few yards away, Wendell stopped, squatting down again. This time he stretched out his hand toward the White. Warily, the animal crouched away.

“I'm not going to harm you, me lad,” Wendell spoke soothingly to him. “Come, now.”

Then, cautiously, never ceasing his growling, the wolf took a step forward. He twisted his head to the side and flashed his fangs, and Wendell prayed he would not attack. He waited, his heart pounding. He had never been this close to a wolf before. “Good lad, that's right,” he praised.

Another hesitant step, then another and another. Wendell encouraged softly, and finally, the wolf stood with his nose only inches from Wendell's hand. He seemed to sense that Wendell was not a threat to him, but the deep rumbling in his throat never stopped. He looked almost ready to run, and Wendell didn't try to touch him. He just talked.

The wolf's nostrils trembled. He stretched out his nose and touched Wendell's hand, a cold, moist touch. But he did not flinch, or threaten to attack. He merely sniffed, and his growling died away.

Very slowly, Wendell laid his hand on the furry head. It did not move. He began to gently stroke it. The White quivered all over, and peering up at him, whined. “That's the lad,” Wendell said. “In a wee bit we'll have this collar off.”

Still stroking the thick fur with one hand, he pulled out his knife with the other and gingerly slid it between neck and rope. The white wolf stood perfectly still as Wendell slit the tight fibers. The rope fell to the snow, and the White lowered his head to sniff at it.

“There now, lad. That's gone!” Wendell grinned. “You're not so bad, are you? You just needed someone to help, that's all. Someone to set you free.”

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Swamplands of Haol

The only known passage through this region was a narrow, muddy road. Few travelers ever dared set foot upon it. For these were the dreaded swamplands of southern Haol, thought of, by all, with a shudder.

On each side of the road the deadly, sucking quicksand and black water of the marshes, dark with the overhang of vines and the branches of twisted trees, lay deep and murky, a place where the hidden secrets of old treasure were lost and sunken, never to be revealed. Perhaps deep down in the pits of stagnant water lay the bones of a betrayed bandit leader, or the rusted bands of a wooden chest that had long rotted away. Perhaps a heap or two of golden coins lay sunken near the swords and the bones of those who had fought, vainly, over it.

This was a place where the wind moaned low and deep over the murk and twisted itself through the vines woven overhead, and stirred the creeping moss that trailed the watery mud. It howled hollowly through the limbs of dead and decaying giant trees, as if sobbing over their ruin.

The depths had a stench that wrapped around the wild tangles of vines and branches like a cloak. It rose from the deadly, black water like a mist that could almost be seen hanging in the air.

Even in the summer the swamplands were a place where the sun had been banished, if it had ever existed there. The vines and hanging moss were vague eerie shapes through the strange mist and the thick, grayish shadow cast by the tangled branches above. The trees loomed like crumbling castles lost in a world where nothing lived but the snakes who twisted their way over the faint, uncertain paths that rumor said were in there, somewhere.

Many had been lured by some mysterious draw to the marshes, but they had been swallowed by its depths before they ever reached the interior. Some believed that one day a way would be found into the depth of the marshes, a safe path, to discover the secrets this place held, but no way had ever been found. No one who ventured into that grim, haunting place had ever returned alive.

Some said the people of old still lived, hidden from the rest of the world, in their own villages somewhere in the middle of the swamp. Rumors abounded of the shadowy, bent figures that had supposedly been seen sneaking out of the swamplands whenever there was barely light enough to see by the moon. Many believed that these were the ancients of olden times who lived on stolen grain and meat. The villages of those near the swamplands were repeatedly raided in mysterious ways.

Indeed, during some dark night when lightning crossed the sky, and the tearing roar of thunder drowned out every sound, from the mist of the swamp the indistinct figures would sometimes be seen creeping.

So, I think I wrote this a couple years ago. It has, I admit, a tendency toward drama, repeating itself, and, it appears, an overuse of commas... ;p 

But it's still one of my favorite things I've written. :D

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Pursuit, Chapter Three

Only two hours passed before she heard his footsteps on the rocks outside her cave. She covered her eyes with her hands. “Go away. Please.”

He stopped just outside the cave. She peeked from behind her hands and saw tall, black boots.

“What are you afraid of?” His voice was gentle but determined. Somehow, she knew that he wouldn't leave until she had answered him.

She released a deep sigh. She didn't want to tell him. “Afraid of everything. Everything but my cave.”

Then he bent by the opening, reached inside, took her hands in his, and pulled her out. She resisted, but he was stronger than her.

She wrenched away. “Let me alone! I cant take care of myself.” But she knew she couldn't. And he knew it too.

He sat her on a rock and took out the Key. Once again, he held it out to her. “Go ahead. Take it.” His smile was encouraging, like the sunlight bursting over a gloomy morning, bringing it to life.

With fingers that weren't her own, she reached for the Key. This time she would take it. She would. The very tip of her finger touched the Key, and the chains groaned. As they began to coil about her feet, she jerked back, shaking her head.

Her visitor sighed, then looked into her eyes with nothing but kindness. “Allow me to help you, daughter.”

She watched in fascination as he knelt by her feet. Inserted the Key in the lock. Turned it. She heard a click.

And the chains fell away. She expected them to resist, but they held no power against the Key. They rattled down the rocky slope and splashed into the sea.

He stood, smile widening. “Now you can dance. Come on!”

“But...” She faltered. “I can't. It's too dangerous. I can't risk it...”

He grabbed her hand and enfolded it in his. “I can't promise there won't be danger, sweetheart. But I can promise you this: I will be right beside you. I will protect you.”

She looked up at him, hope stirring in her heart. “Truly?”


They left the cave behind and walked into the sunlight. At long last, she would dance, free as the falcon. But she wouldn't be alone. He would hold her hand.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Pursuit, Chapter Two

The next day she watched them again. She had crept from her lonely hole where she had slept last night, ignored and alone. In one way, she wanted to be alone. To protect herself. The creatures would kill her.

But what great things are accomplished without danger? All she knew was that whenever she stepped into the open, away from the towering protection of the brick wall that kept her invisible, fear overcame her until she could not breathe, could not move.

She kept her shield up, ready for danger.

Suddenly she felt, rather than heard, a presence behind her. A sharp tingle shivered up her spine, and she couldn't move. Like in a dream, her body refused to turn, to see who or what was behind her.

Mist swirled through the dank alley, and at last her feet freed themselves. She whirled around and blinked, trying to see. A tall figure towered over her, his features indistinguishable through the mist. “Who are you and what do you want?” she asked suspiciously. “I don't know you.”

He extended his hand, silently, toward her.

And her heart stilled at what she saw dangling from his fingers.

The Key.

“Take it,” he said. A deep, soothing voice.

The key to unlock her chains! She longed for that key with everything in her. She wanted to obey the invitation he had given her. So badly.

A sob welled in her throat. She couldn't take it. She started to lift her hand to grasp the keys, dangling before her. But they were just beyond her reach. Could she take a step forward? Could she?


Fear held her back. It paralyzed her. And the chains tightened, tighter than they had ever been before. Pain sprang through her ankles and radiated up her legs. As if the chains knew freedom was close, so close...

“Don't give up,” he said, leaning toward her. He held the Key out further.

“It's too late for me!” she cried in desperation. Then she ran. Away from there. Away to her hole. Her cold, lonely hole, but at least she was safe there. Sort of.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Pursuit

This is the first chapter of a three-part story I wrote last Thanksgiving.

Chapter One
Dangerous Territory

She lurked on the sidelines, watching from behind a ready shield as the hordes milled, their slavering growls bouncing off the thick log walls. They gorged themselves with raw meat and spilled red in sloshing puddles on the bowed plank floor. And she watched, waiting in tense silence, afraid to speak, afraid to breathe.

For many years she had lived in fear, and she had carried her shield. And she had waited for the day when the chains would fall off and freedom would reign.

She shifted slightly, and her ankle chains grated against the brick wall. Fear jolted through her like an electric pulse. She shuddered. The barbarians halted in mid-shuffle and swung their ponderous heads toward her, drool dripping from their slavering jaws. Their teeth, instead of being stained a dark, horrible scratched brown, were instead a sparkling white, gleaming and beautiful. Or they would have been beautiful if not for their long, curved sharpness. She knew those teeth would devour her if her chains rattled again. She trembled.

They stared unblinking, eyes a thunderous, ravaging red. Then, with hulking shoulders rolling, they thundered into their weird dance again. The steps she did not know. Nor was she likely to ever know. Once she had wanted to know how to dance their dances.

But that was before the chains.

Before the beautiful, graceful and strong creatures transformed, slowly, before her eyes, into horrendous creatures that she feared worse than death itself.

She silently cursed the chains.

If not for the chains, she would be dancing with them. And instead of the slavering growls and matted fur, they would have been white, pure and shining, with strength to protect instead of tear down, and instead of red eyes that sent terror winging through her, their eyes would have been warm and kind, inviting her to join them. And she would have. And danced as freely as a bird dancing in the sky.

Soaring and swooping like the wild falcon.

She leaned forward in her eagerness.

The chains tightened around her ankles, unwilling to release their deadly grip upon her. They controlled her, and fear rode her like one riding a wild horse, forcing it into submission. A tear slid from her eye and slipped down her cheek. She turned, and tramped away into the night. As she slogged through the driving rain and chilly mud, cold and miserable, she knew. She knew the chains, clanking around her ankles and restricting her step, would someday overcome her.

Until she could not walk at all. And then, how would she ever be free? How? How?


Friday, November 6, 2015

A Pirate's Life

Arr Mates, a Pirate’s life fer me!
A jolly life of Rum and Gold
A carefree life with naught but Greed.
A scoundrel’s life upon the Sea!

Aye! Thar she be, the life fer me!
The cannon’s Roar, the Battle Cry
Waves and Gale, me spirits high!

Who cares if naught but Hell awaits,
To greet me roguish Soul at last?
I'll plunge ter Hell with a bottle o' Rum,
I'll sink wit' a cannon Blast!

Drink to ever sail the Seas!
Drink to Mirth an’ Cheer!
Drink to Fights and Brawls and Death!
Drink to what ye please!

My smoking Pistol brandish'd high,
I mock the Death awaits!
A Pirate’s life forever mine!
Death to all ye Mates!

Me bloody Cutlass slashing wide,
I scorn the Gallows Noose!
Ever ye try to hang me--
The Fires o' Hell set loose!

Arr, when I’ve made me Fortune,
When I’m rich, me Eye!
I’ll stomp about on me wooden Leg
Me head I’ll carry high!

Fer, once a Pirate, I’ll ever be
An’ best ter show it off!
A Lubber’s life is naught but Toil,
At such a life I scoff!

Aye, a Pirate’s life fer me I say!
Great Treasures be all mine
A bottle o’ Rum to cheer me Heart,
Dare not to say me Nay!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Cliff

We’re all rock climbers
Scaling this crag
Weary and bruised

A return
To the base of this cliff
Would be safer
But deep down inside
Our longing is greater
For the top of this cliff

I’m climbing

It’s tough
So very tough
But I know that the view
At the top will be more
Than I ever dared dream
Keep climbing

Muscles burn

Aching fingers
And I fall again
Wanna give up
Keep climbing

When I fall from the rocks

I beat myself up
‘Till I’m too sore to climb

Sometimes it seems I

Won’t reach the top
Keep climbing

Some days I

Don’t even care
Don’t even try
To climb

‘Cause it’s too hard

Crawling back up

Keep climbing

‘Cause if I give up
I’ll lose
They tell me I’m stubborn

Climb again
Fall again
Strength giving out
Maybe this time
I’ll win

Gotta keep climbing

Failure looks me

Straight in the eye
Haunts me
Every glance up
Keep climbing

I’m seeing mirages

I tell myself
But they aren’t
So quickly ignored
Keep climbing

Gotta keep climbing

‘Cause one day
You know what?
I’ll reach the top

When I glance up

This time

I won’t see mirages

Won’t give up this time
I won’t lie there at night
Losing my hope
Vowing to reach
The top next climb…

‘Cause I kept climbing, climbing

Didn’t give up
When it got rough
So rough…

Gotta remember

I’m not alone
Not climbing alone

‘Cause if you fall

Fall enough times
You’ll recall what they told you
Those who went first

‘You don’t wanna go solo

‘Cause tough doesn’t last
Not so strong as you think
And solo is lonely
Dude, solo is lonely’
Keep climbing

If I keep climbing

I’ll get better at this
Stronger and faster
Inch by inch

Sometimes I think

The going’s too rough
Way too rough
And it gets hard
So hard that I
Can’t go on

And I’m dangling

Here by a thread
A thread on the face of this cliff

I’m tired

So tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of fighting

The cliff goes forever

Into the sky
I can’t see the top
Can’t see the bottom
Thousands of feet loom
Between me and the ground
Between me and the top

I’m dizzy

I’m bruised
I’m not as strong as I used
To think that I was
Nails bleeding from clinging
To the face of this cliff

I want to give up

But deep down inside
I know
I’m not alone

Deep down inside

I know
That it never will be
Too tough
For me to scale

When climbing gets tough

I tend to forget
Why I am climbing
I do

I guess when you’re there

The rocks scraping your skin
The cliff seems all
There is in the world
So huge that it’s all you can see

You can’t remember

Don’t even remember
That there’s even a top
To reach

Gotta remember

There is

One day, one day

I’ll crawl up onto
The top of that cliff
Scaled it at last
And go onward

And that cliff

That cliff will be nothing
But a distant

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Ladye and the Knight

This is a short story I wrote last year.

'I don't want a knight in shining armor. I want a knight in dinged-up, seen-its-better-days armor. That way I know he's battled my dragons on his way to me.' --Author Unknown

There once was a maiden from a very poor family, but one day she discovered a great chest of jewels and became the richest person in the land. And then many suitors came seeking her hand in marriage, but she knew they only wanted her money.

One day, when she was walking in the forest, a wild beast attacked her. But a knight in shining armor came at the last minute and slayed the beast, saving her life. Then he went down on one knee and begged her to marry him. She refused, thinking he wanted her fortune. The knight went away sadly.

After three months of suitors coming from all the faraway kingdoms, which she all turned away, she began to despair. Would she never come across a man who wanted to marry her because he loved her, not because of her money?

That night, she hatched a plan to stop the flood of insincere suitors. Taking her large chest of jewels, she dumped it into the lake.

The next day when suitors came calling, she showed them the empty chest. They did not believe her when she told them that she had thrown away her fortune. So she showed them the gold, sinking into the silt at the bottom of her lake. At first, they wanted to salvage it, but over time the treasure sank so deeply beneath the mud that it would take incredible efforts to bring it to the surface. And never, she declared, would that treasure be brought up!

Finally, when they realized the treasure would never be theirs, the suitors slowed to a trickle and at last disappeared completely. For two years, she was alone.

But she was sad, for she wished a man would come who loved her, even though she had no more treasure.

One day, she heard the pounding of hoofbeats coming to the castle. Going out onto the ramparts, she beheld a sight she had not seen for two years. A knight approaching.

He rode a war-horse. His armor was dull and and dented and dirty, no longer shiny as it must have once been. He looked weary and battle-worn; his face was caked with dust. He came to a stop and looked up at her. “Do you remember me?” he asked.

"I do not," she replied.

"Do you remember the knight who killed the wild beast in the forest two years ago?"

"I do," she said with a smile. "He wore such shining armor."

"I am that knight," said he.

She shook her head in disbelief. "Can it be? Where have you been these years?

"I wish to tell you a story," he said.

"I have plenty of time, sir, tell away."

"Once there was a poor knight," he began. "And he loved a fair lady who was also poor. But that mattered not to him. He planned to ask her to marry him. The day he went to ask her, he found her in the forest in danger and he killed the bear that was threatening her life."

But when he asked her to marry him, she refused. He learned that she had just come into a great fortune, and believed every man who wished to marry her wanted the money. As she walked away, he knew he had come too late.

But how to prove his love for her? He rode away to war and traveled for two years, trying to find the answer.

And after two long years, he found what he sought. And he rode home to find his lady.”

She was touched by his tale, but she must be sure his love was true. “My great fortune is gone,” she said. “I flung it into the lake, for I wished to find a man who cared for me, not my money.”

"Are you now married?" he asked.

"Nay, for the suitors were all false, and they have stopped coming."

His smile was like the sun. “I am glad to hear that you have lost that cursed fortune,” he said.

She hardly dared to hope that here before her stood a knight who loved her true, who had traveled for two years to find a way to prove it. “Indeed?”

"Aye, for it stood between us," he said.

"Perhaps you think to dig it from the lake," she said, to test him, watching his expression.

"Never," he said. "Let it lie there forever. I hate that gold." Then he took from his horse saddlebags filled with coins. "Over my travels, fair lady, I have gained a treasure larger than the one in the lake. I have no need to marry for money." He knelt on the ground below, looking up at her. "I would marry for love."

She leaned over the rampart. “Would you not suspect me of marrying you for your money, sir?”

"Nay," he said. "For I give half this treasure to you. We neither of us need marry for money."

She came down from the ramparts and out the gate and they looked into each other’s eyes. Then she gave him her hand, and he took it. “I have waited so long for you to come,” she said with tears. 

"So have I," he said.