Luminary: Here is the color version of the pencil drawing I posted earlier. Watercolor and color pencil on watercolor paper. I am embarrassed to admit how long this one took me to do, but I did have fun. :)
Stay tuned, more to follow soon.
Thanks to my Frisket who writes me stories.
Story by Frisket:
The mare awoke to the far-off sound of the crashing of waves into the sandy shores of Eqqur, her eyes slowly fluttering open as she lay amongst the satin sheets of the large, meticulously-crafted bed. Morning had come like the waves; smoothly, and with great brilliance the rays of golden sun cascaded upon the seaside villa, daring to course along her naked form as she stirred. She brushed her golden mane from her eyes and yawned, looking to her side. She was disappointed to see her prince was no longer lying next to her, yet she was not unfamiliar with the pang of emotion the welled up; rather, the prince's absence was like an old acquaintance. She touched his pillow and pulled it to her, inhaling his scent.
As if on cue, the chamber door opened softly. She covered herself quickly, expecting the chamber maids to begin cleaning Antonio's chambers. She gasped as instead her prince stepped through the portal, his jet black mane and blood-red tabard touseled by a gentle, playful ocean wind from the wide, open balcony doors. His gleaming silver armor caught the rays of sun and bent them it its own design, making the stallion before her shimmer with an unearthly light and grace. Such a powerful frame and such heavy armor should have caused a cacophony of clatters and shrieking metal, but her prince moved as if wearing the lightest of fine robes, kneeling by her side effortlessly. She smiled to him, but his expression withered her smile. His face was grave. His face was that of his King Francesco.
She was familiar with the look. She touched his face once, gently. It softened his hard-set jaw, but his steely brown eyes did not waver. “It is war, then?” The prince chuffed and rubbed his face into her soft, fragrant paw for a moment before answering. She could tell he had not slept well with such a burden weighing on him.
“Yes,” he answered, finally, “the canines move on the new world in force.” He stood smoothly, his body and armor never once creaking in protest. He stepped to the balcony, his shoulders drooping as he looked out over the sea as all the princes of his family had, searching for answers that the vast, roaring blue hid from so many. “I truly wonder what they intend.”
She glided from the sheets and stood at his side, wrapping herself around one powerful, armored forearm, staring for long moments as the sea air drifted inland, his mane catching it like the black sails of his frigate.
“I must leave soon,” he said, barely above the roar of the waves. She squeezed his arm harder and nodded, releasing him, those words being the ones she'd feared. She feared the words more than the heavy sword he wore at his back. Knowing her fear, his eyes looked back at her with the deepest longing – words, then, would have seemed hollow and empty, a representation of emotion that bore to semblance to the truth. She simply looked back, draped in his too-big robes, diving deep into his eyes, until they steeled over again with the weight of duty. They were once again the eyes of his father.
“I will return,” he said to her, one paw coming up to cup her chin. She blushed softly at his words and nodded, the tears flowing freely now as he kissed her once, passionately. How she wished it would last until the sunset – how she wished, then, it would last just one more day. All too soon his lips were gone, and his warmth, his scent were but traces on the sea air. She stood on that balcony for hours, watching as the prince's heavy frigate, Collera dell'oceano, made sail to join the royal armada. All the while she watched the glint of silver and black on the deck. All the while she knew it as he; and he was looking back to her.
When the sails were but specks on the horizon, the sun was well overhead. She wiped fresh tears from her eyes and shuddered.
“Prince Antonio Francesco,” she breathed to the sea, “come back to your princess alive.”