Nights like this were nice, a gentle breeze toying with the wind chimes that hung lazily from the rustic home’s wooden skirting, the air barely a chill, fought off by the warmth that radiated from the hero of Hyrule.
‘Only for tonight’ had been whispered in a desperate tone months ago while the younger Hylian pawed at her brother’s blankets, with the half asleep grunt of approval and a mumbled “only tonight” proving to mean little in the long run. Since that quiet exchange, Lefa had found her spot in his bed each night. She grew familiar with the smell of Link and often found herself missing it when he was away, but a farm boy had to work. Perhaps that’s where the distinct scent had come from.
It was rare that she didn’t massage the overworked boy, even with little knowledge on how to do so properly Link never complained. He would find his way to the bed in which Lefa awaited him, her golden locks delicately woven with flowers or adorned with jewellery from whichever of Link’s trusted friends had visited during the day. Still barely damp from a hard days work Link would sprawl ungracefully next to the dolled up hylian. Her soft hands would find his back and trail his muscles in an awestruck way, occasionally pushing and kneading the spots that felt the most tense. It was those nights she liked so much, reminiscing as she slowly drifted to sleep, the comforting smell as present as ever.
Morning broke in the way it usually would, the sun beating softly against Lefa’s skin, the faint crow of a cuccoo, and the smell of whatever beast Link had slain the night before sizzling against a hot pan. None of those familiarities were quite as comforting as the arm that always found its way around her in the night. Link was muscled, but far from the bulky brickhouse men that she had seen guarding Hyrule castle, he was slender but not as twiggy as the merchants and travelers she would see around. He fell perfectly into the valley of what she liked in a man, or maybe he had sculpted what she liked in the first place. She didn’t stress herself too hard thinking about it, instead placing a soft kiss at the toned forearm of her sleeping hero, fingers tangling with his as she scooted further against him, soaking in his warmth for as long as she could possibly keep him in bed.
Eventually her affection stirred him awake, and Lefa was met with the groggy morning voice of her adored brother
“Mmgood morning to you too”
The comfort of his voice echoed through her body, giving a pleased noise as she wriggled against him all the more, and planted another kiss on his scarred forearm.
“Anything planned today Link?”
“Well I have to free myself from the lay hold of the mystical Lefa” His teasing words were accompanied by a gentle squeeze with the arm that had her wrapped close.
Lefa responded with a bite, playful of course, but letting her teeth sink barely into him as she so often would when the older would tease her. She put on a fake growl, willing to play along with his jokes for now at least. Link settled back into bed, any attempt at moving quashed for now. His nose found its way to the back of her head, a soft sigh leaving his lips as he was all but buried in her hair. Link seemed to sniff her, about as often as she would bite or cuddle him. Long nights of helping around town wore the boy down only slightly, he showed no signs of slowing down or stopping. Be it patrolling Dampé’s graveyard during the day while the odd man slept, or dealing with bokoblins getting too close for comfort. When ever Link would return, a new sack of rupees hanging from his belt, he would bury his face into the golden blonde hair of his younger sister, he would inhale and then give that same sigh.
Lefa had nearly drifted off once more in the morning sun, after their scuffle Link hadn’t attempted to betray her again and she found herself more than willing to let her eyelids droop and the embrace of sleep take her again as his slender but well built frame coddled her. The peace only lasted for so long of course, before the cheerful but rather unwelcome voice of the farmer who had taken the two in called out. She missed his words, but with the speed that Link shot from the bed, she could assume it was about breakfast being ready. Silently she cursed the older man for interrupting her sibling bonding time, sliding herself into the bed and stuffing her face into the messily bunched blankets for one last whiff of his calming scent before she reluctantly began her day. She listened to the chatter of her brother and the older farmer while they sat for breakfast. But not really, their words were more like hums that went in one ear and out the other, though the occasional string of words would catch her attention.
“Well yer’ a growin’ boy! That Impa reckons you’re gonna be an ‘ero like legends tell”
Link didn’t give much of a response, simply giving a polite laugh and a wave of his hand before stuffing his mouth.
Some days while Link worked, Lefa would find conversation with the girls that came to visit. Be it Mipha or Malon. They’d often talk while the adults did business, and more often than not, they would watch Link work. She’d heard her brother referred to as a hero more than once. Heard that he’d be famous one day or that he had some destiny. It was hard not to listen especially when the king would visit. What business did a king have visiting farmers anyhow? Still she couldn’t imagine it, Link being some world renowned hero. Sure he was good natured and strong, handsome too. But surely not.
The morning that had started so sweetly was interrupted. The king again. His almost gargantuan sized guards now standing in the dining room, they didn’t pay any mind to Lefa of course. After a short pause, the rather stout, bearded man half waddled his way in with his veiled daughter in tow. He was quick to come closer to the man of the house, whispering something that had his bushy beard wobble in time with the movements of his jaw. The king then gave Link a pat on the shoulder, and the three made their way outside. Not a single word to Lefa. Princess Zelda was still left in the room, whatever was being discussed outside was clearly for adult ears only. Her fork prodded at the slab of meat that sat on her plate, letting it slide effortlessly through the rich smelling gravy that it sat in.
“You know- I have heard that the royal chefs believe a rich gravy should only be paired with meat it won’t overpower”
Lefa didn’t bother looking up from her plate as Zelda spoke
“Your father has excellent taste I mean to say”
Blood boiled in the tip of her pointed ears at the words of the princess, but Lefa knew better than to say anything untoward. She stabbed the meat a final time before pushing her plate away. Her anger felt unwarranted, Zelda was only trying to be nice. She always was.
“Thank you your highness”
Was all she managed out in return, biting her tongue.
It wasn’t clear how long the men had been talking outside, or about what. But it had been long enough that sitting at the table with three uneaten plates of food seemed silly. Lefa excused herself, in her own home. Having to hold back a sigh as both the princess, and the heavily armoured guards followed her.
Zelda spoke once more, a little embarrassment in her tone this time, “I do apologise most sincerely for intruding on you this morning. My father- I mean the king. Had business is all”
“What business” Lefa couldn’t place the venom in her tone, or just what it was about Zelda that put her on edge
“Well- I shouldn’t say but. I have heard traders speak of a male Gerudo travelling the lands”
“It’s said that men of the Gerudo race are rarely born, hundreds of years between them they say”
Lefa could hardly force herself to care. The Gerudo lived leagues away, at least a week’s ride on horseback to get to their territory, let alone a city.
“And what has it to do with Link?”
Zelda’s good nature was clear, she didn’t throw any of the snark back at the young Hylian, nor did she seem to hold any malice toward the girl. There was however a pause before her next response
“Hm” she started “A courtesy I suppose”
The air between the two was cold for a few uncomfortable moments, Zelda was far from confident when it came to speaking with strangers, and Lefa was rather unwelcoming when it came to people poking at her brother to do increasingly dangerous things.
The silence was only broken when Zelda finally let slip the persona of royalty that her father had tried so hard to condition her to.
“Lefa I- if I may.” Her delicate pristine hands met with the thin tiara that topped her head, the silk veil that draped from it dancing in the morning sun before the princess removed both and laid them in her own lap
“I mean you no disrespect, I’ve no fighting prowess nor have I had success as a diplomat”
The princess sighed, her words clearly missing their mark while she stumbled over the language hurdles her father had set for her. She began once more
“I’m frightened by the sightings of this Gerudo man. Whisperers say he’s a warlock, others say he holds the Triforce of power. I.. I want Link to be my knight. I’ve seen him in the field, he’s brave and loyal. He’s selfless. Any man can learn to wield a sword.. but the courage he shows” Zelda trailed off slightly, her cheeks dusted a soft pink
Lefa held her tongue. None of this was news to her, she knew of Link’s bravery and honour. Clearly she didn’t need to say as much, the look on her face prompting Zelda to get on with it.
“Lefa. I would like to ask Link to be my knight, but I doubt his honour would let him leave you here. My father has procured a property in Hyrule Castletown. All of your needs would be taken care of”
That was the last she heard of the princess’ plea. The two girls were interrupted by the laughter of the two jovial father figures erupting back into the house. King Rhoam clapped Link on the back, his voice booming out, “I look forward to seeing more of you my boy!”
The hulking guards collected Zelda, and just as quickly the house was silent again but for the noises of animals grazing, breakfast now well past cold.