Happy Pi(e) Day!
Aedon introduced Kate to the wonders of the Málliys' cozy bakeshop,
she'd been in Aralan only a week- though she'd taken to the new world as
if she'd always lived there, and to Aedon himself as if he'd been her
best friend since childhood. He led her down the bluestone streets,
tugging her along each time a new sight or sound caught her eager
attention, until they reached the cheerful stone building. The aromas of
chocolate and cherries, of warm cookies and fresh bread, of hot butter
and sharp cinnamon, greeted them as they stepped inside the open door,
and Aedon stopped to drink in the scent.
But Kate darted
forward eagerly to inspect the contents of the glass-front display, to
"ooh!" over pastries and "mmm!" at berry loaves and finally come to a
stop staring at the racks of pies. Aedon joined her there, grinning and
wondering if Kate's exuberance ever dimmed, or if she just worked
herself up over everything so she never had a chance to miss her home.
"Pick anything you like, Kate. All of it's delicious."
Málliy stepped out from the kitchen in the back of the shop, dusting her
hands on the apron and sending little puffs of flour dust up with every
motion. "Lord Aedon! It's an honor to have you here! And is this the
lady we've been hearing about, our visitor from Earth? You're welcome
here in our shop, Miss . . ."
"Katelyn," she replied absently, gaze still fixed on the pies. "Anything, you said?"
"Anything," Aedon repeated, and Mistress
Málliy added, "If you don't mind my saying so, Miss Katelyn, our cherry
pie is very good today. One of the best of the season, perhaps."
pie, then," Kate decided, and Aedon ordered a slice of the same, and
they carried their treat out to eat in the sunshine on one of the
benches in front of the bakeshop. And in between bites, Kate told Aedon
of her home on Earth and of her mother's cooking and of how she always
had pie instead of cake on her birthday- except for one year when she'd
had cheesecake instead.
"And what about this?" Aedon asked,
lifting a forkload of cherry filling and flaky crust. "Is this as good
as your mother's pies?"
"Don't tell her I
said so, but yes." Kate broke off part of the edge crust to munch on.
"Which is saying something, because Mom's pie is the best food in the
history of ever."
"That's a high standard to meet." Aedon set down his fork with a smile. "And what type of pie is your favorite?"
shrugged. "I love almost all kinds equally- and I don't want to pin
myself down." She grinned, and added, "But you can try to guess. If you
get it right, I'll tell you. But I don't think you'll ever figure it
So he guessed- but only once before
the city bells rang out two o'clock, calling them to finish their pie
and hurry away, back to House Meadhra and Kate's first lesson in magic.
And so the guessing game was forgotten . . . but only for the moment.
Three weeks later, they found time to return to the bakeshop once more,
hot and tired and triumphant from a long training session and Kate's
first win in a staff-sparring match. She called it a lucky blow- but was
happy to celebrate anyway with a slice of four-berry pie and equally
happy to tell Aedon that, delicious as it was, it still wasn't her
Many more times they stopped over the next
three months before the war at last called them out of the city and to
their lonely post on the border of Aralan's secured territory and the
mountains of no-man's land. Any excuse they could find- a holiday, a
celebration of another triumph in training or comfort for an especially
disappointing loss, an ease to homesickness for Kate, or simply a desire
for something sweet- they took, and before long, the Málliys came to recognize Kate as easily as they did Aedon.
however, the war could no longer be forgotten- and pie could be, and
was for many, many months. But not forever. For a year and seven months
after they'd left, one month after they'd returned to the city, Aedon
once more led Kate down the bluestone streets to the little bakeshop.
But this was not the same eager girl who'd exclaimed over everything she
saw and heard. This young woman shied from every glance her way; she
pulled away from any touch of Aedon's hand on her arm; and she walked
with slumped shoulders and downcast head. Nor was Aedon untouched, for
none could miss the sorrow in his eyes each time he saw what his lady
But when they reached the shop,
Aedon still stopped to drink in the bakery's scent, and Kate still
darted forward with nervous, eager steps, to inspect the racks of
sweets. Mistress Málliy greeted them respectfully, though with a wary
glance or two Kate's way. When Aedon asked for a recommendation, she
suggested the strawberry-rhubarb pie, and at Kate's nod, he ordered two
slices- large ones, large as Mistress Málliy would cut.
didn't go outside this time, instead claiming one of the small tables
along the far wall of the bakeshop. And they ate, for the most part, in
silence, for neither knew what to say. At last, however, Aedon asked
quietly, "Well, Lady Kate? Is this strawberry-rhubarb your favorite type
For a full two minutes, she
didn't respond, and Aedon wondered if she'd missed his question. But
then she looked up, nodded. "Yes. It is." Her voice was rough from
disuse, but her eyes held a hint of the light that he'd been missing so
for so long. And then she smiled. "You finally guessed. I knew you
I hope you enjoyed that! How are you celebrating Pie Day? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!