This is just a quick short from Brigid and Carwyn to wish you all a happy St. Patrick’s Day! Enjoy yourselves, be safe, and please do not, for the love of all things Irish, dye any beer green.
That’s just unnatural.
Green Beards Are As Bad As Green Beer
Brigid woke quietly, her eyes fluttering open to dim lights and the familiar warmth of the fireplace in their bedroom. She could hear Carwyn in the attached bathroom, fiddling with something or other and humming a tune in his low voice. He always woke before her, being so much older in immortality. He started the fire, readied the coffee she still loved, and played with the dogs while she finished her sleep.
But he was always in their room when she woke.
She smiled and let her eyes slip closed again, thinking that there was little she enjoyed more than waking to the sounds of a happy man every evening.
And Carwyn was invariably happy. Her husband could face the worst of problems during the previous evening, handle the intricacies of vampire politics and the threats of mortal enemies, but when he laid down next to her in the morning—daylight barred from their cozy rooms—he wrapped her in his big arms, cuddled her to his chest, and whispered a quiet prayer before he fell into day-sleep.
He let it all go and woke refreshed, ready for another night in his endless life.
It was a skill Brigid hoped to learn from him eventually.
His humming grew louder and she felt the bed move. Her eyes were still closed, but she smiled and felt his lips touch hers.
“Good evening, love,” he whispered.
“Mmmm. Good—” Her eyes fluttered open and she let out a scream. “—WHAT DID YOU DO TO YOUR BEARD?”
Carwyn grinned. “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!”
“Your beard! Is green!”
He scraped a hand over the short beard he’d spent the previous year growing. Vampire hair did grow, but very slowly.
She loved his beard. Loved the deep russet color of it that made his eyes so brilliant. And now…
It was a garish Kelly green.
“What did you think you were doing, Carwyn?”
“It’s for fun! You told me if I dyed your beer green again, you’d throw the pitcher over my head because it was against the laws of all men and gods to abuse beer that way. Don’t you like it?” He winked. “You dye your hair all the time, and I think it’s great fun.”
She felt like crying. “Is it permanent?”
She grabbed a pillow and beat him over the head with it. “It is! You dyed your beautiful beard green for some ridiculous American holiday!”
He wouldn’t stop laughing. “I’m fairly sure St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish holiday, Brig.”
“We don’t dye things green for it! Beer. Rivers. Now beards!”
“It’s wrong. Wrong on so many levels.”
She wouldn’t cry. She wouldn’t. It was just a beard. Just a formerly beautiful, rugged, manly…
She tried to hold in the sniff, but couldn’t.
Carwyn’s mouth dropped open. “Are you crying?”
“I loved your beard. And now it’s green.”
“So you don’t want me to keep it?”
“Green. Bright, ridiculous green.”
“I’d like to point out that I often wear bright ridiculous things, and you love them.”
“I don’t.” She wiped the pink-tinged tears from her eyes. “In fact, that’s why I try to keep you naked as much as possible. So you can’t wear Hawaiian shirts.”
His laughter shook the bed. He rolled next to her and gathered her up, kissing her forehead before she buried her face in his chest. She closed her eyes so she wouldn’t have to see the green.
“I’ll shave it off tomorrow night.”
“You’re keeping it for Murphy’s party, aren’t you?”
“This all could have been avoided if he hadn’t insisted on making this dinner formal.”
Brigid rolled her eyes. “So you dyed your beard green just to get back at him for making you wear a suit?”
“In fairness, I had no idea how much you liked the beard. You never said, love. I’ll grow another, I promise.”
“Thanks.” She smiled against his chest and he looked down.
“What’s that smile for, eh?”
“Nothing.” She was too embarrassed. If she could still blush, she would have been.
“Oh…” He grinned. “I know that face.”
“I know why you like the beard.” He leaned down and nibbled her ear. “Like the way it feels, don’t you?”
She pushed him away, but he only grabbed her again and laughed. “Shut up!”
“Naughty girl,” he said, tickling her ribs until she gave up trying to squirm away. “My girl. Don’t be embarrassed. I’m not. By anything.”
“Clearly. Your beard is green.”
He voice dropped. “Love you so, my Brigid.”
She turned to him and kissed him softly. “Love you too, my wild man. My Green Man.” She tugged on the beard and shook her head. “But please shave it off tomorrow. Please.”
He smiled. “I will.”
She took a deep breath and laid her head against his chest.
“Yes, Green Man?”
“Next year, can I just dye the beer green?”
“Geez! Yes. Fine. You can dye the beer green.”
Copyright 2015, Elizabeth Hunter