by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold
When the Rose Knight Graham Thomas first fell in love with Eden Rose, he knew the two of them would not have an easy time of it. He was a Yellow Rose of the old guard in the service of the Sun, while she was a White Rose, a servant of the Moon, her colors white and the faintest pink blush. The Sun and the Moon had long been at war, but in the way of youth, Eden and Graham knew that their individual fates would be strong enough to overcome history.
The manner of their first meeting was certainly no cause for such hope. Graham Thomas, the Cornsilk Knight, had been injured in a skirmish at Morningfields. When the eerie post-battle silence had settled over the carnage, he had been able to drag himself to a hiding place in a nearby forest. Somehow he managed to tug his saddlebags with him, soaked with the blood of his destrier. Once safely out of sight, Graham bound the gash in his thigh tightly enough to stop the bleeding. This may have lessened the danger of his life seeping away onto the forest floor, but he was still lame and unhorsed in enemy territory.
Graham propped himself up against a tree and took pen and paper out of the saddlebags. With no way at the moment to help himself further, Graham began a letter to his family.
It was thus that Eden, the Pearl Blush Knight, found him. He was leaning against the wide trunk of an oak tree, and his shoulder-length blond hair was caked with blood and dirt. Even without a squire, he had divested himself of his surcoat and chain mail. One trouser leg was ripped almost to his groin, and a makeshift bandage tied around his thigh.
At the sound of the clopping hooves of her mount, he looked up from a sheaf of paper propped against his good knee.
And of all things, he smiled.