Characters: Knight!Baekhyun and Noble!Reader
Genres: Romance, Fluff
Birthday surprise for @pyonsuke ♥
“Where did she run off to again?” Baekhyun grumbled as he marched through the tall grass of the forest. The summer sun beat down on him and his black hair stuck to his forehead. He already regretted not wearing lighter clothing, and so he did all he could to avoid the heat, seeking out the shade beneath the trees.
He rested one hand on the hilt of his sword that was attached to his belt and gazed around attentively. To anyone who might have spotted him, he would have looked exasperated, but he was already used to your antics and sometimes, they even amused him. You belonged to a wealthy family of nobles, and your safety was very important to your parents, so they had a knight assigned to protect you whenever you left the house. That knight was Baekhyun.
He was well aware of how important his job was, so after losing sight of you in the dense forest, he had panicked. Baekhyun kept a close eye on the vicinity as he continued to search for you. Somewhere behind him, he heard the whinny of your horses that you had tied to a tree. The faint songs of birds reached his ears, and their cheerful chirps would have made him smile had he not been so worried about you. He still hadn’t found you.
“Where are you, my lady?” he called into the woods. “Please answer me!”
Had something happened to you? He hadn’t paid attention for two minutes and then—
He paused upon spotting the top of your head behind a bush. You wore an elaborate violet hairpin with a flower on it; he would have recognized it anywhere. Letting out a sigh, he marched towards you, not caring to be silent. When you heard his loud footsteps on the grass, you turned around to shoot him a warning look.
“Shhh, not so loud!” you whispered and held your index finger to your lips.
Surprised, he slowed his steps and snuck closer to you, wondering what had caught your attention. He crouched down and followed your line of sight. Your excited gaze was fixed on a small rabbit that nibbled on a leaf. Its long ears were perked up as it glanced around, hopping back and forth to look for more food.
“It’s so cute!” you breathed, pressing your hand on your mouth to hold in a little squeal.
Baekhyun snorted, his attention focused on you rather than on the animal. He studied your smile, the rosy hue on your cheeks. You radiated happiness in such a way that he thought you were glowing. The corners of his lips curved up and his eyes twinkled. He loved to see you come out of your shell when you left your home and the snobbish nobles who resided there. You were like a different person when you were with him, and he cherished those moments the most.
You didn’t notice Baekhyun’s lingering gaze, too focused on the little rabbit. Leaning forward to get a better look at the brown furball, your sleeve got caught on a bush. The noise it caused spooked the rabbit. It shot away with astounding speed and vanished into the undergrowth of the forest. Sighing, you deflated and pouted.
“Aww, I wanted to watch it a bit longer,” you mumbled to yourself before you returned your attention to Baekhyun. He had been staring at you in a rather obvious manner—that you hadn’t noticed his burning gaze earlier was hard to believe, but now that your eyes had met, you became flustered.
“What are you looking at?” you asked.
“Someone pretty,” he replied, winking at you and causing your cheeks to heat up. “And someone who’s a troublemaker! I’ve been looking for you and I was worried something happened when I couldn’t find you.”
The concern swimming in his eyes had you swallow your retort—you realized that it had been stupid of you to run away without telling him. “I’m sorry, Baekhyun. I wanted to follow the rabbit, and you were still busy with the horses, so…” you explained sheepishly.
He shook his head, a sly grin breaking out on his lips when he got up. You took the hand he offered you and got up too, dusting off your long dress. It was violet just like your hairpin and its light fabric was perfect for hot summer days like this one. Holding Baekhyun’s hand, you walked back to your horses at the lake. Whenever he took your hand, you couldn’t help but get excited. The butterflies in your stomach made it more than obvious that you had a very strong crush on the knight. You loved being with him and you loved your outings in the afternoons.
With him, you felt free; liberated from your duties and the overbearing nobles that lived in the capital. When your parents had told you that they would hire a knight to guarantee your safety, you had at first been appalled at the idea of being followed around constantly. However, Baekhyun’s company had turned out to be a welcome change and you had quickly warmed up to each other.
He was the son of a duke and he had chosen to become a knight when he had turned eighteen since he was a skilled fencer. The latter you had seen with your own eyes when you had gotten in trouble months back. He had defended you from a group of bandits and singlehandedly defeated them all. It didn’t surprise you that he was one of the King’s most well-known knights. That, unfortunately, meant that he was pretty popular among the female residents of the capital—and you didn’t like that too much. Therefore, you were relieved you could spend time together in the afternoons without disturbances. You didn’t know if Baekhyun was aware of your budding feelings for him. So far, you had been too shy to confess to him.
“Can we stay outside for another while? The weather is gorgeous and I would love to ride a bit further,” you chirped, hoping he would agree.
“As you wish,” he said, squeezing your hand, “My lady.” His lips quirked up, forming a teasing smile that made you blush in the shade of a pink rose.
Your smile widened and you returned your gaze to the path winding through the trees. It led you back to the crystal-clear lake you had discovered before, hidden deep in the forest and you would have never found it, had it not been for Baekhyun. He had spent a lot of time exploring the area and getting to know it.
You stopped when you reached your horses and untied the reins from the tree. Baekhyun helped you in the saddle, and you smoothened your dress before you picked up the reins. You had named your horse Candy because she liked snacking on sweet fruits. Her fur was white and shiny since you had brushed it this morning. Baekhyun mounted his horse, a pretty mare with chestnut fur and a lighter mane. He turned and followed the path that would lead you deeper into the forest. You caught up to him and let your horse w