There was a low hum from the cicadas in the trees around the lake, the trees dancing with the afternoon breeze, warm sunlight filtering through the leaves to dance over the dark water of the lake and the pale figure that reclined against one of the trunks that lined the lake. The wind was warm and dry, reminding him of his homeland, and as he closed his eyes and settled in for a nap, he remembered how much had enjoyed slinking down into the villages to watch the festivals in the warm nights of summer, fireflies dancing through the air as people wove through the streets and dressed up to celebrate his kind with feasts and sacrifices.
He loved the summer, it always put him in a good mood.
Soft footsteps sounded over the forest floor, and he cracked an eye open to peer around for the intruder. He knew from the scent dancing along the wind that it was his new Madam, but if she were not alone, he would relocate. The Residents had all become accustomed to him (in both his forms), but Visitors still reacted… rashly when they discovered what he was.
It was such a nuisance, being unknown in this realm.
“Drayce?” She appeared around one of the thick trees, smiling as she caught sight of him, hurrying to join him in the shade. “I didn’t expect to find you here.”
“I miss the warm winds of Kerishtadt. This is a pleasant alternative, however… You do not have summer as often in this world.”
“Just not in this valley.” She admitted, laying out a blanket and sitting down beside him, tipping her head back to look up into the trees. “I try to keep it cooler.”
“Then the excuse for today?”
“I wanted a perfect summer day.” She laughed, digging her toes into the cool, emerald grass. “So I made one.”
Drayce watched as her eyelids started to droop, the warm air making her drowsy as the cicadas droned on around them, the perfect summer soundtrack.
“No perfect summer day is complete without swimming.” Drayce spoke before her breathing had evened out into the familiar rhythm of sleep. “Would you join me?”
“You swim?” She blinked, surprised, and eyed the water with obvious curiosity. “This lake has bio-luminescent plankton in it. If we swim, it’ll start to glow.”
Drayce stood, stretching, and offered her his hand with a smile. “I was counting on it. Perhaps the glow will bring us fireflies to dance during the night. I would like that.”
“I’m sure they will.” She grinned, taking his hand and standing, hurrying to the water’s edge. “I had no idea you liked summer so much, Drayce.”
“I love the summer.” He replied with a rumbling chuckle. “It always puts me in a good mood.”