Dragon Inn IIIb

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					Dragon Inn IIIb

Catherine smiled as the Etherian took everything in. "This place, definitely has its
moments of bedlam." she giggled thinking of a few incidents. "Although at the moment I
think things are actually quite calm considering. After all theirs no food being thrown, all
the wild things are outside...well most of the wild things are outside, the imps are safely
locked up. Oh and whatever you do...don't look in the mirror in the entryway it is a nasty
thing." Catherine said in a burst of words.

The mirror made duplicates, and she had not liked hers it was quite weepy.

She smiled up at Glory, and then waited for the contest to begin. She better not be getting
too comfortable however as she had her own entry to make....if she didn't blow
something up instead.

Seeing that being civil had gotten her nowhere with Cayde, Aspen turned and walked
over to the bar and made herself an ice tea of the best kind.

Leaning against one of the stools she wondered if Cayde would ever notice that she had
waited for an answer but getting none had walked off before she whacked him a good

She could sense that Willow was concerned about the monkey that was making it way
toward the bar with the boys and Drake had momentarily disappeared again. Well, that
was Willow's problem.

Taking another sip of her tea she glanced one more time towards Cayde, shrugged her
shoulderss, and started back towards the library. No one had stepped up to the stage so
why waste her time when she could be tracking down more clues to what she had found

I've been pretty down on my luck for quite some time now. But it looks like things are
starting to take turn for the better. It all started just a few days ago.

     I bumped into an old friend that I had not seen in years. It really was an accident. I
didn‟t see her standing there, and I did help her up off the ground after. As far as how her
purse ended up in my possession, is still a mystery to me. When she got knocked down it
must have flown inside my coat somehow.

     Well anyway, I'm starting to ramble aren't I? That's one bad habit I have,
Rambling. I get rambling and that‟s all I'll do , Ramble ramble ramble . On and on. Never
really getting to the point of What I start to say. I get off on some other tangent and I just
can‟t stop.

      Like just the other day I was telling my good buddy Herb. He works one side of
the street and I work the other. I told him he shouldn‟t leave his shoes under the cot when
he leaves to get in the food line in the morning. But he does anyway and sure enough.
This morning someone stole them.

      Then he says to me that my shoes that I‟m wearing are his! The nerve of that guy!
I always take care of him! If it wasn‟t for me , I don‟t know where he would be. After a
hard day of pan handling I count and hold onto his change for him. And I did have that
bottle of wine under my coat before I took his daily take. No matter what he says. How
dare he accuse me of stealing his money and buying booze! He says to me, “Hey Judd, I
had more change than that. I think you took some!” I don‟t know why he insists on
calling me Judd still. I told him not too any more. If The wrong person hears that. Well
we don‟t need to get into that‟s anyway , he goes on to say, “And those look like my
shoes!” Which is really ridiculous, Because he wears a size 13 and I wear a 10. They just
look big for some odd reason. I tell him. If I were to wear a pair of shoes three sizes too
big for me. I would trip and fall into someone while I was running away from the scene.
Opps I mean jogging

     Hmmm I‟m rambling aren‟t I? Bad habit I have,well anyway Like I was saying. I
bumped into an old friend. And She told me that my old buddy old Pal Galain was here
and I figured I‟d look him up. Bet he cant wait to see me!!! We used to be really tight.
used to have so much fun together!

     Wow a Magic show! Can I join in? I used to do a little magic. I did this trick once
it was a huge success. In fact Galain was my assistant for it. He sure looked funny in that
box of Kebbler cookies!! hehehehehe. You should ask him about it. I could tell you some
stories about that elf...We were best buds.I remember one time.... Oh wait I‟m rambling
again aren‟t I? Bad habit I have.

      Hey What‟s with the monkey? That the elfs new girlfriend? hehehe Why are you
looking at me funny for? It was A joke. I know that the Elf couldn‟t get something that
attractive. Where is the old son of a gun anyway? Oh there he is. What the heck is that on
his nose? Hey I‟ll let you go. I‟m gonna go see Galain.

       HEY ELF LOOK WHO‟S HERE!!!!! Let me give you a big hug. I can tell your
happy to see me by the tears in your eyes. Darn you look good Old buddy! It‟s really
to see you! Hey you wouldn‟t happen to have a couple bucks on you would ya? I‟m a
little short. I could sure use a drink and something to eat. Do you think you could put me
up for a couple days? Just till I find a place................

Ghet raised an eyebrow and leaned forward, a motion that caused something like
continental displacement. It was always... interesting meeting old friends of her
husbands: you could never be quite sure how many times they'd tried to kill him. She was
getting the weirdest vibes...
"Hello," she said, trying not to purr. "I'm Ghetsuhm. I'm sure Galain's planning on
introducing me just as soon as he gets back with the breathing thing."

Had he just been kissed by that monkey? Where'd Aran go? Oh gods... Judd? Galain's
recollection was hazy, but sharpened rather quickly as he realized who'd wandered in. He
just arched an eyebrow and watched his wife greet him.

Okay, he was first. Conor's knees were quaking.

"All right, I'll go first..." he said uncertainly and headed toward the stage. He stared at
everyone and cleared his throat, and then he waved his arms.

"Um... hello everyone. I've been asked to get the magic contest going and so that's what
I'm going to do. I've entered the most colorful category and I'll be performing the
Amazing Azure Accomplishmnet. I suppose it could also be called the Incredible Indigo
Event, but I prefer the first. Uh... anyway. Basically it involves magic powder and a glass
of water, and I guess this should really be called the... oh hells here we go."

Conor reached into the air and pulled the glass of water and a packet of white powder out
of a pocket portal. He flourished both to his audience and from out of nowhere, quite by
accident Elephants on Parade began to play. Conor whirled around, quite startled by the
music and then recovered his composure, giving everyone a tentative smile.

"Behold the water!" He proclaimed. He went to set it down and realized belatedly he
didn't have a table. The glass of water plummeted to the ground and broke, splashing
water all over the stage and himself and those customers sitting closest to him. The
Brendari gave everyone a startled look and then he swallowed.

"And behold the powder! White it is! Blue it shall be!" He opened the packet, looked
within, inhaled too sharply and promptly sneezed. The packet's contents blew out and for
a brief and horrifying moment resembled a huge, angry cloud, complete with angry eyes
and fangs. And then it swooped to the ground, hit the water and exploded. Conor let out a
shout, trying to tell people to duck but it was too late and when the smoke cleared
everyone within a ten-foot range of Conor was electric blue.

And Conor himself? He'd been shot upward into the ceiling by the sheer force of the
explosion and only his dangling feet and legs could be seen. Well, everyone could hear
him bellowing for help though. Although folks could also hear him distinctly say, "That
was NOT how it was supposed to work."

Glory's hand hadn't left Catherine's stomach and he was grinning rather foolishly. He
nodded to etherian and was glad she chose to sit with them and chuckled as Catherine
gave the young woman a rundown on what to look out for here.

And then Conor blew up.
And everyone too close to the stage was turned blue.

Glory stared at Cat and etherian in wide-eyed shock.

The music changed swiftly to Bobby Vinton singing, "Blue on blue, heart ache on heart
ache..." Ymir stepped up and smiled at the collective crowd. His white teeth in sharp
contrast to the irridescent indigo Conan's trick had turned him. The song shifted to "Blue
Moon," apparently an unintended theme.
Quietly, Ymir held up two fingers in a V for victory, showing them to the assembled
audience as if to reassure them that nothing was up his sleeve and no strings were
attached. A drum roll replaced the 1950s tunes as Ymir held his other hand in a fist. The
rapid beat built tension in the audience, not knowing what to expect. Then Ymir popped
one hand against the other and the two fingers magically popped up on his other hand and
disappeared from where they had just been. Just as quickly he popped his hands together
again and the fingers reappeared where they had been before.
Next he held up two fingers on each hand and bumped them together violently sending
the two fingered V on the right all the way to the far side of his left hand! He bowed
once, his warm up act done, then rose back up bringing his thumbs together and locking
hands and fluttering his fingers like a bird. Everyone was not quite amazed... until Ymir
disappeared in a sudden cloud of mist and a white dove flew into the darkness.
Night descended around the stage and the guests found themselves seated in a small
natural amphitheater with the rush of a water fall providing background music. It seemed
as if the moon shined brightly backlighting the water fall. A hush fell on the crowd ---
true magic for the Dragon's Inn crowd --- as a shadow appeared against the silvery screen
of water. The shadow appeared vaguely like a young woman, a woman secretively come
to this hidden place. She seemed to be waiting for something. Ah, there he was. A
handsome young man come to tryst with his beloved. They embraced... YOWL!
The illusion disappeared and the light returned. Everyone turned to see who was
yammering. There was Ymir with a rather large owl clamped onto his hand. Seems you
shouldn't wiggle your fingers in the dark in wild places!! He stuffed the owl back in his
magic pouch, returning it from whence it came and declared his performance complete,
favoring the bitten hand.

Aspen was be nice, he could tell, and that meant he needed to try to
be nice...well, he was actually going to try even harder. After all, he had a magic trick he
wanted to try...and it had nothing to do with the show.

"I'd like something to drink, yes. But...not that fizzy stuff you call Pepsi," Cayde's nose
wrinkled, "What is it Drake drinks? Coke? That would be nice..." Gray eyes danced at
Aspen and a crooked, rougish grin curled one side of his mouth.

and it was then that Conor's magic trick went arwy...

The were-panther was suddenly electric blue...

Great...just much for Mr. Smooth...
Galain had been seated just far enough away that just his knees and the tip of his nose
were blue. He went cross-eyed as he attempted to examine his nose and then burst into

"I suppose I could go help extricate Conor," he said to no one in particular. The
Brendari's legs were waving about frantically and he was yelling something about the
powder being highly volatile.

Oh really? Duh.

Now Ymir's trick was pretty cool...

Jade eyes followed her neice as Lianna left. There were times when screwy timelines at
the Dragon were nice, Mira loved the occassional glimpse of family and friends from
advanced times. Lianna was a lovely young woman, so full of Fire and Chaos, and within
her, Mira had the feeling that this one would find great favor with Brighid and Xraden,
those same two gods.

Yarwin and Rachel must be very proud of her...

The same jade eyes traveled to the stage, Conor's act was truely amazing and for a
moment, Mira wondered if laughing too hard would make her water break...and then
there was Ymir! More laughter, then a pause as a twinge of pain hit her...

Naaaahhhh...still too soon...

Peals of silvery laughter filled the room and Mira had been trying to sit up better, one
hand over the top of her belly, the other gripping the table to pull her up when the souls
with her amulet seemed to go crazy and her skin began to tingle from the writhing spirits.
Curious eyes still full of mirth left the stage...and settled on someone that made her skin

"Its not him, its not him, its not..." Terror almost overrode her common sense for a
moment as fingers covered the amulet beneath her skin, hiding the myriad of flashing,
aggitated colors, then settled on the back of her neck. The scars remained from having the
same amulet ripped away from her once before...and though this demon was not the one
she had met long ago, it was still of the same race...and the dragon-elf was incredibly

As before mentioned Catherine's magic was a little bit hit and miss thanks to being
preggers. But she kept trying. So when Conor hit the ceiling she was torn from laughing
hysterically, and trying to remove the blue from her legs that apparently had been in the
line of fire.
Finally when she stopped giggling and after she watched Ymir's rather breathtaking
performance she decided it was time to try to rescue Conor. She said a quiet word and
Conor's head came unstuck and he began to fall. Unfortunately as he fell a big bucket of
blue paint also appeared. And it seemed that would be his landing spot. Unless he had a
form of magic that worked on the fly....

Barbara ignored the Conor scene. She also ignored the fact that her hair and face were
blue as well as some other body parts. She figured first she needed to congratulate Ymir
for a beautiful water fall.

She walked over to where he was standing nursing his finger. "It was beautiful." she said
with a gentle smile. "Thank you. Oh, and do you need a band-aide, I think I have one
here in my pocket." she said trying not to snicker over the owl bite.

Well Galain had been halfway up the stairs and on his mission to rescue the Brendari
when a kind soul downstairs apparently helped Conor out first. The elf turned back
around and descended in time to witness Conor's spectacular fall into the paint.

Well... Brendari's were known for painting themselve blue before heading into battle --
not that there was any battle to fight today. The elf slipped over to Ghetsuhm's side and
tried to stare at his own nose again.

Galen and Ryan were steadily plying Bo with drink. The monkey was on his third brandy
and making smoochy faces at everyone, much to Galen's delight. He himself preferred
Mai'Tus juice, but the monkey really seemed to like the brandy.

Conor was known as a Magic Man amongst his people, but only because traditional
Brendari Magic Men collected and studied music for the benefit of their people. He was
the first outside of his own father to be able to actually use magic of any sort.

But he couldn't fly.

He could however call upon a part of his nature he rarely used these days and that was the
feline skills imparted to him when Tigra had saved his life. He flipped in midair so he
would land on "all fours" and made a spectacular belly flop into the bucket of blue paint.

When he surfaced he gave everyone a wild-eyed look. He was afraid the water and
powder were still silently at work. Any minute now someone might turn orange. He was
certain of it.

Like Cayde over there.

It sorta suited him.

Aspen had turned to go, but hearing Cayde she bit her tongue to keep her comments to
herself. “It‟s Coke he drinks. I‟ll get you one.” Slipping behind the counter she knelt
down and took one of Drake‟s Cokes from the cooler. Coming from behind the bar she
handed it to Cayde not missing the look in his eyes.

Hearing Conor announce that he was starting the magic show she turned to watch. “Good
gods, “ was all Aspen could mutter. The explosion was something else. There she stood,
looking like a very tall smufette. As for Cayde, well he was the prettiest shade of blue she
had seen in a long time. Laughter escaped from her before she could stop it.

Then she choked as she stared at Cayde. “Oh, my g… , your turning orange!” she

Mak was blue... then he was pink. He just stayed behind Kaelie and tried not to draw
attention to himself... noooo...

Willow looked on with horror at first, ducking and covering Sierra. Looking at Aran after
the explosion was over she was pleased to see that the little guy had raised one of his
wings to cover himself and her too.

“Bless you Aran. You were so quick.” Then Willow looked at her guests. She wanted to
laugh out loud, but that would be rude. Then glancing at Aspen, she couldn‟t help herself
and did the one thing that her sister hated the most and reached out to her, You look quite
good all blue, sister dear.

Ymir was next, and Willow settled back to watch her old friend. It was good to see him
step forward. She knew there was much he kept hidden about himself, though he would
do simple feats of magic on a daily basis, with his endless bag of goodies. The music had
been strange for this world, but she remembered it from where she had been. The
waterfall scene was spectacular and as she watched the couple she again looked for

Then she felt Mira‟s concern. She looked over at her friend and at then the one who had
entered the Inn. Feeling her nervousness Willow pathed, Mira, is everything okay?

For a brief moment the blue settled on her skin and then seemed to be absorbed, or it
vanished. etherian let out a delighted peal of laughter and could not contain herself as the
hijinx worsened. During the giant's illusion, though, she was silent and caught by the
spell. She wished she had some magic, but unless it was conjuring up the energy of her
elemental being, AIR, it was not to be. And though it was fun to send small eddies here
and there to tease, it wouldn't do to bring down a hurricane or tornado.

Okay, so Ghet was kind of distracted now. Galain's nose had gone blue. The most
prominent part of Ghet had also gone blue. She pulled out her shirt, stared down, and
giggled. "Y'know, that's kind of cool."

She watched Ymir's performance with equal delight, applauded the 'rescue' of Conor, and
then a breeze eddied across the table, and she was watching in bemusement as her chest
started strobing blue and orange. She raised an eyebrow at Galain. "It's tempting to ask
Conor to fix this, just to see what would happen."

Ryan giggled as the monkey gulped down the brandy. He turned for a moment to watch
the magic show, and ended up with blue hair.

Ryan studied the monkey for a moment then looked over at Galen. “Do you think he can
do tricks too?” he asked his friend.

Kaelie had been standing in awe over the magic acts. Suddenly, she realized she was
supposed to take the tray of sandwiches to Willow. The food had missed the blue paint,
because Kaelie had ducked when it headed her way. Of course, Mak was behind her and
forgot to duck and she giggled over his blue…then, pink face.

Walking over to Willow, Kaelie set the tray down on a nearby table and leaned over to
look at the baby. “Aww, she‟s so precious,” she smiled at Willow, “it seems like just
yesterday you told me you were expecting!” Motioning to the sandwiches she added
“Furlough made those for you.”

The pixie/elf reached back and grabbed Mak‟s hand, bringing him closer, “This is Mak,
we met at the carnival.”

Smiling at Kaelie, “I see Furlough made them into stars. He doesn‟t like making fancy
things. Thanks for bringing them in. Welcome to the Dragon Inn Mak.”

Looking down at Sierra, “The carnival, ah yes, I remember….” Willow didn‟t finish the
sentence. “I hope you enjoyed yourself.

Looking pass the couple she could see the monkey with the boys. He appeared to be
downing another brandy. As he finished he squinted his eyes at the two boys turned and
headed back to Ghet watching her as she checked where the blue had landed on her. Bo
kept pursing his lips and looked as if he were about to make a flying leap into her lap

Where was Drake?

Galain was mesmerized by Ghetsuhm's... well... he was mesmerized.

"They're going hot pink now... no wait! Lavender!" Galain was grinning, not quite
realizing his nose was undergoing a similar color metamorphosis. He glanced around and
caught sight of Conor in the paint still and he grinned.

"He might explode again if you ask him," the elf observed with a laugh.

Catherine bolted up when she realized she was responsible for the paint. She ran over to
Conor, and began apologizing. "Oh, I'm so sorry, my magic it doesn't work quite right,
and I was trying to help, not turn you bluer." she said giggling. She would have tried to
pull him out, but he was entirely too big for her to pull out herself.

And she wasn't stupid enough to try magic again. "Glory, can you help?" she asked. She
figured he was probably laughing too hard to be a help, but it was worth a try.

Mira's eyes had finally torn from the demon to Willow, her fingers sliding to Aran at his
place on what remained of her lap.

"I'm fine...really...I just, for a moment had a bad memory try to surface, I'll be
fine...Though...I am feeling a tad blue...which is better than orange..."

The Dragon-elf laughed softly as a stray breeze edied through the room, then winced as
one of the twins rolled and shoved the other out of the way...then summarily kicked at

"Oh! Aran...I am so sorry...Here...Mira's fingers slid around the little ones partially blue
body and pulled him up ontop of her well rounded belly.

"Lets play boo!"

The Dragon-elf was in the midst of a hard game of peek-a-boo with the giggling,
jabbering dragonet when Mak and Kaelee approached and slender fingers parted long
enough for jade eyes to peer at Mak, "Suilad..Makilnar...Kaylee..."

Then Aran had her by the nose...


Kids being kids, Aran had slipped out from Willow's arm the minute Kaelie and Mak had
showed up and had leaped back in Mira's lap. Now he had her by the nose.

Willow glanced over at Mira to see if she was still concerned about the guest who had
entered earlier but had remained quiet ever since. Smiling she watched as Aran, quickly
leaped back off her lap and headed back towards her. She had a feeling he was getting

Looking about she caught a glimpse of Drake quietly locking the brandy away while the
boys had their backs turned. Bojangles on the other hand was still staring at Ghet, then
peering over at Galain.

There was no way Willow would be able to stop any shenanigans if Bo tried to do
anything. Instead she pathed to her husband to get some raw meat and milk for their son.

Her list of contestants had disappeared, and Bo, who supposedly was to introduce the acts
had other things on his mind...
Barbara sensed a lull in the entertainment. She finished congratulating Ymir and then
volunteered. "I can go next."

She really had no idea how she'd gotten roped into doing this. She was still quite new at
doing illusions, so wasn't sure what she should do.

She stood up in front of everybody for a moment and then took a deep breathe. She
closed her eyes to formulate the picture that she wanted to show in her head. She then
opened her eyes and smiled.

"I need everybody's help please. I want everybody to close their eyes and concentrate on
the most peaceful place you've ever been. Think of the ball where you met your lover, the
place you played knights and dragons as a child, the laying of your child in your arms for
the first time." Barbara spoke softly waiting for everybody to grasp that minute of true

She knew that Cat & Conor wouldn't be participating they were busy covered in blue
paint. But she calmly and quietly ignored them and the monkey. She continued to talk.
"Take that scene and remember the smells, the sights, the feelings you treasure from that
time. Think of the colors that surround that memory and focus on them, mediate and
remember why those moments gave you such great peace." Barbara said speaking softly.
She watched peoples faces begin to concentrate on these scenes.

"Keep your eyes closed and continue to envision this place." she said softly. She then
closed her own eyes and pictured her favorite scene. The place where she had played with
her sisters as a child. Her mom and dad and everyone frolicking in a green meadow. As
her mind concentrated on the peace enveloping the room. She grabbed at these wisps of
peace and began to weave them into the illusion.

Finally when the room was completely hushed she said. "Now, open your eyes."

As each guest at the inn opened their eyes the scene they had imagined should come to
life before them. Barbara had given each person the ability to make their own vision
come to life. The room was hushed somehow. And she smiled gently she had
accomplished her goal. And it was good.

Ghet smiled warmly at Galain, rather enjoying the look on his face. "You know,
sometimes I get the feeling a couple of explosions would be good for him."

She turned her attention back to the stage with Barbara's arrival. Her voice was softly
lulling, and Ghet could see and feel the effect it was weaving in the room. She gave a
gentle sigh and settled with her head on Galain's shoulder. Peace. There were many
moments she could have chosen, but one thing she knew: he would be with her.

Then she was lying on a blanket on the lakeshore at Ringë, next to her wedding dress,
and saying, "I don't think I have ever been so completely happy in my life." Of course,
that meant she was naked, but hey, it wouldn't exactly be the first time.

Kaelie stepped over to Mira, “Suilad, and who is this?” she asked, tickling the little
dragon under the chin. “Hello little guy!” Turning to Mak, she added “isn‟t he cute!”

She looked back at Mira, noticing her swollen belly, “and when are you due?” she asked,
wondering if something was in the water.

Willow held on to Sierra and now Aran as Barbara lulled each guest into closing their
eyes and imagining that one special moment that was important to them. It wasn‟t hard
for Willow to do, it hadn‟t been that long ago, or had it!

She remembered preparing to leave the birthday celebration for Drake. She had gone out
the door when she heard her favorite melody playing. Thinking to herself, “Oh why not,
she had entered back into the Hall walkinh right into Drake Silverwing‟s arms asking him
to dance. The moment he had taken her into his arms sweeping her across the floor then
gently kissing her, well everything in her life had changed and nothing would or had been
the same since.

"Now, open your eyes." Barbara said.

Willow did just that. There floating before her she saw the image of Drake and herself
swaying to the melody that only she could hear, looking into each other eyes with
promises of things to come.

Glancing over to where Drake stood she saw him looking back at her … had he thought
of the same night, she wondered.

Then a little voice said, "I'm hungry. Where's daddy? I want something to eat."

Back to reality...

etherian really liked Barbara's gentle voice and she allowed herself to fall under the spell.
etherian's pleasant memory involved nothing as serene as a romantic dance, or a
honeymoon frolic. No, it was a tornado. This was one that had occurred away from
civilization on a wide expanse of land. It was huge and danced about like a marionette on
a string. etherian loved creating such energies out of her essence.

She opened her eyes and luckily for her the vision did not manifest as spectacularly.
Instead, the small tornado, more like a dust devil, suddenly swept Galain and Ghetsum up
into the air, whirled them about, and deposited them not quite upright back upon the

etherian's pale cheeks colored and she smiled and tried not to laugh. "Oh my! I'm so
sorry!" She quickly swept the dust devil into harmless particles.
Funny, but he was thinking of the same moment Ghetsuhm was. He known for certain
when they married that it was right and good. That it would mean his whole life -- that
peace would forever rest in his heart. He simply had to remember.

He was grinning to himself, swaying slightly when he and Ghetsuhm were suddenly
blown into the air by a rather forceful mini-tornado and deposited on the couch.

"Well all righty!" The elf exclaimed. He was on his head and staring in shock at etherian.

Mak wasn't too keen on babies, but he had to admit the dragon hatchling was pretty cool.
He nodded to Mira, wincing when she called him by his full name. He always felt like he
was in trouble when he heard it. But he smiled anyway and then backed away a bit,
watching Kaelie in bemusement.

He held up a hand and moaned a little. He was turning yellow now.

Yes, Glory had been laughing entirely too hard to be all that helpful, but he managed to
get off the couch and head over to help Conor and Catherine. Fortunately he left the
couch in time to avoid the crash landing of his father and Ghetsuhm.

"On the count of three," he told the other two.

"One! Two! THREE!" He exclaimed and suddenly all three were tumbling backward,
blue paint flying everywhere. When the three of them stopped rolling Glory just stared at
the other two.

"Wow, well that was exciting."

"Did you see my dive though?" Conor asked first thing after Catherine and Glory helped
him out of the paint. "It hurt, but it was pretty cool." He patted Catherine's face gently,
leaving blue handprints on her cheek.

"It's all right. You were just trying to be helpful. At least it was paint and not cement or
something." He grinned at both of his friends. "I just wish I knew how to stop other folks
from turning different colors." He'd caught sight of a few patrons here and ducked his

Catherine couldn't stop giggling. "AAAAAAck, I'm blue, we're all blue," she said. "Some
help you are Glory!" Catherine said laughing all the harder. As she laughed and squiggled
she managed to get paint all over the floor and everything she touched. She would have
tried to get the paint off magically, but well she tried magic once already and that's how
they'd ended up in this mess. "Okay, Glory it must be your turn to solve the paint puzzle.
Any suggestions?" she said.

And then she got the glint of mischief in her eyes. And leaned in for a kiss. Whatever
none-paint spots Glory had had were now completely gone. "MMM, its blueberry paint."
she said giggling louder. And the more she giggled the less she was able to stop.

"I could conjure up a rain shower...but it would probably come with lightening knowing
my luck...should I try?" she said giggling and rubbing paint through Glory's what was
once blonde hair, but now was quite blue.

Actually, this was fairly typical of what happened when she was sharing a quiet moment
with Galain. It had never been a literal tornado before, but surely it had only been a
matter of time.

Her breath woofed out of her as they landed on the couch, and then she laughed. "It's
okay," she told etherian. "We're always up for a free ride. Conor! I've got a problem. Let
me show you..."

Drake had obviously known that Aran would be hungry again. Willow smiled at him as
he made his way through the guests carrying a bowl of milk and more raw meat.

Aran started leaping up and down, then tumbled off the sofa as Drake sat his food on the
end table.

Willow could only stare at Ghet and Galain as they landed on the other sofa. There
seemed to be more than one kind of magic floating around the Inn.

Looking around she could see Glory‟s son standing on the bar counter and Ryan getting
ready to join him with Bo pushing on him.

“Drake, I think that monkey is more interested in the brandy than being the master of
ceremonies. “ She smiled as he settled next to her. “Your mustache is blue dear and erm,
it seems to be tinged with some pink.”

Trying not to laugh, “I think we have two more magic acts to watch. Here, let me fix
those colors on you.” Touching his mustache, it went back to its normal color.

“There, much better, hmm let me make sure,” leaning closer she kissed him. “It‟s been a
fun so far, let‟s see what the next contestants have up their sleeves…..”

Lightning sounded good to Glory and he grinned.

"Oh try the rain storm. See if you can get it right over Conor though -- okay, all three of
us. Or maybe we should go outside?" He cast a quick glance toward Willow and Drake.
"Or does the rain automatically dry when it hits the floor?"

Meanwhile Galen was not be deterred. He was going to have the drunken monkey do
Conor's head was swiveling as he overheard Ghetsuhm call out his name.

"What sort of problem?" He asked before his jaw dropped open. "Ohhhh..." Now once,
long ago he had considered somehow tapping into the power of Ghetsuhm's cleavage. He
was certain that her current color troubles simply tripled the power as his head lolled to
one side and he just stared.

He could be the one struck by lightning and he'd never notice.

Catherine giggled as Glory suggested lightening should hit Conor. "Now, Conor is my
friend, lightening really wouldn't be nice." she said snickering.

But then she decided the rain must be worth a try. So she said a quiet word and what
should have appeared was a small spring rain shower. Of course Catherine's skills being
what it was this day instead a small but very productive snow shower started up. And
everywhere Conor, Glory, or Cat went the show was sure to follow. Rather like a certain
lamb I know.

Catherine screeched "AAAAAAAAACH!" but didn't dare try to make the wretched
cloud disappear. She ran to try to get away from it only making more snow accumulate
all over the inn. The floor was getting rather sticky and slippery, and Furlough was gonna
kill her. The white snow and blue paint, was making a colorful picture.

The next not-so-logical step was to try to out fly the snow. Catherine of course forgot that
flying caused nausea. She unfurled her wings and flew over Galen and Ryan to avoid the
snowstorm. It was rather a fast little monster. The snow doused them. And the nausea hit
Catherine even faster.

She landed on the ground as quickly as possible and put her hand over her mouth. Her
face turned green at an alarming rate. She ran towards the door hoping all would
understand why and left snow in her wake. She stopped at the rose and emptied what
little was left of her stomache. She dropped to her knees and just stayed there. She was
torn for a moment between laughing and crying, and finally settled for rather hysterical

"Its gonna be a long day." she said not sure if anybody had followed her or not.

Glory was rather prouded of his wife-to-be as she single-handedly wreaked wanton
destruction and mayhem throughout the inn's taproom.

"Gods I love her!" He breathed to Conor and took off after her, a besotted grin on his face
that remained even as he hit a patch of slushy ice left by Catherine's abrupt departure out
the door and slid out the door to collapse beside the pixie. He pulled her hair back and
knelt beside her, not at all repulsed.
"I love you so much, you crazy maniac," he told her. Snowflakes were falling rapidly
over the both of them and they almost resembled two oddly-shaped mounds of snow

Conor was staring upward at the tiny blizzard that now ruled his personal space. He stuck
his tongue to catch a few snowflakes and grinned.

Very tasty.

The Brendari got to his feet and slogged over to Ghetsuhm and leaned in close, dripping
blue, blueberry-flavored paint on her and subjecting her as well to the blizzard.

"Well, I won't need a magnifying glass," was all he could say at first.

Catherine turned to her fiancee and smiled. "I'm not a crazy maniac." she tried to say with
a straight face. She didn't quite make it and started giggling instead. "Okay, it appears I
quite possibly may be, and I didn't even do this mess on purpose." she said giggling

The snow seemed to be causing the paint to drip off, and was slowly turning bluish in
color. "Well, I tried cleaning up, it must be your turn..." she said with a snicker. She
reached into her pocket and found a wet kleenex and wiped her face down. When she her
face was clean she turned towards Glory.

"Do you know, I think I love you too." She leaned in to kiss him, but the snow, yeah it
was the snow made her fall on top of him and knock him into the snow. "MMMMM,"
she said quite content to stay right there.

At first, Ghet was just rather amused at the expression on Conor's face. That was before
he started snowing over her, of course. She tilted her head to one side and wondered at
the mechanics of it. Was it homing on his head? If he did a handstand, would it snow
upside-down? Or was it more a kind of space thing, and could you put something over his

She wriggled down on the couch so Conor's head blocked most of the snowflakes from
falling right down her shirt. "Dear boy. Maybe the snow melting will wash it off. Oh, no,
the snow is changing colour too. And there's Galain's nose as well. At least I can
theoretically cover up my chest. It's been known to happen. Oh no, wait, it hasn't." She
stuck a hand (one of her own) down her shirt and rubbed vigorously. "It's not coming

Outside the Inn the wind howled suddened and then stopped and a large eye looked into
one of the windows. It blinked with amusement and moved away.
A few minutes later and elderly oriental man with a basket entered the Inn and looked
arround at all the snow and blue peole in the snow. He whispered into his basket and
twelve little green dragon heads popped from around the edges. One of them called out in
a high squeeky voice,"Are you.... Blue-ish?" and the other little ones laughed. "It's a
Meany convention, Bahumut." another whispered," Are you sure we in the right place?"

The old oriental gent smiled and nodded slowly. "Dragon Inn, that's where you said you
wanted to go. Yes?" They all nodded. "Then this is the place."

The small dragons poured out of the basket and found the lady Willow.
"We here! Are we too late for the Contest? We brought the baby a present. New baby
here yet? We brought a sock monkey"

The old oriental took the toy from the basket and set it in the middle of the babay
dragons. Quickly they circled around it and began to chant,

"Abby dabby Carol Duvall sock monkey sock monkey stand and don't fall." ,Over and
Slowly the cloth monkey rose to it's feet and stratched it's head. It looked at the chanting
small dragons and patted each one on the head befroe silently locating Willow and
climbing into her lap. It looked up at her, tipped it's hat and sat down on her knee to
watch what else was going on.

And the little dragons GRINNED.

Galain was rather enjoying what Ghetsuhm was doing to Conor. He was an odd fellow
who found humor in the oddest of situations.

And was there a living sock monkey in Willow's lap?

"Maybe if I got in a little closer?" Conor asked, giving Galain a quick look. He wasn't
sure how quickly the Elen's sense of humor could shift, but he was willing to risk it for
the sake of Ghetsuhm's bosoms. As it was, Galain's nose was now bright red and fading
back into burnt umber.

"It wasn't supposed to do this. It was just supposed to turn the water blue," the Brendari
muttered. "What if you rub harder?"

Closing his eyes Ymir's thoughts had drifted to the time before time when gods and
giants had lived in peace. A bit of snow blew his way, but he didn't notice. The giant was
taken back to that place and time so long ago when he had been young and life was new.
Barbara really was becoming quite good at the art of illusion.
As Barbara stepped down from the stage Ymir greeted her with a smile. "That was a
lovely illusion."
Before he could say more his hand cramped, his fingers wiggled. Gadzooks! That was not
a good thing with so much magic in the air. Wriggling fingers were going to get him in
trouble. Again!
All of a sudden the brandy swilling monkey appeared to develop wings and a braided bell
hop's uniform. A breeze blew up and swirled around lifting the monkey in the air,
splashing brandy everywhere, as he sailed around the room. Strangest thing was some
movie music from the Wizard of Oz played loudly from nowhere and everywhere.
"Watch out Dorothy!" the Scare Crow said. Ymir cringed. Catherine had a long red
haired wig with braided pony tails and was wearing a blue checked gingham dress and
ruby slippers.

Ghet shrugged and unbuttoned her shirt a bit more. Conor's head was pretty much
blocking everyone else's view anyway, and it wasn't like he hadn't seen it before. Surely.
He must have. Experimentally, she rubbed harder. "It gets warm," she said teasingly.
"Oh, and look, my hand's turning blue. Could we wash it off with something?"

"Let's just let it all melt off us naturally," Glory suggested. "My abilities don't quite
extend toward paint and snow removal." He laughed and hugged Catherine close when
she told him she loved him too. He was laying back on the ground when Cat's outfit
changed a bit.

"Where'd that wig and dress come from? Who's Dorothy? Wow! Drunken flying
monkey! Duck!" He wrapped his arms around Catherine and rolled away from Bo who
seemed bent on a strafing mission.

Conor's eyes were impossibly big at the moment and his head dipped dangerously low in
to Ghet's cleavage before he recovered himself.

"We could try paint thinner... or maybe just plain water... or water and soap... mineral
oil?" He looked around and noticed that a few folks had been freed of their discolorations
and he wondered how they'd done it. More magic? "We could also just try more magic."

Without thinking Conor put his hands over Ghetsuhm's bosom and thought of... well...
un-blue breasts. Then he jerked away and gave Galain an apologetic look.

"Maybe you should be check and see if that fixed things," he said. He was scarlet beneath
the blue paint.

Catherine giggled as she saw the flying monkey. And the snow cloud slowly dissipated
into nothingness. She rolled off of Glory rather reluctantly and smiled. "Well, melda I
guess its time for me to go blow up the inn, I did actually enter this contest after all." she
said giggling.

She walked up to the stage and smiled. "Well, apparently I should have made rescuing
Conor my magic entry. I'm not sure whether me attempting more magic is a good idea or
not. I supposed the magic should start off by me making new clothes for myself, but that
would quite possibly be extremely embarassing, so take me as I am." she said giggling

Her clothes were mingled with paint, and dripping snow and dirt from her snuggle with
Glory. It was then she put her hand on her head and realized she had a lovely wig on to.
She took it off with a puzzled look on her face and threw it in Galen's direction. It landed
quite nicely on top of his head covering his face. "Score!" she said giggling louder.

"Right, lets get started. I too am going to show you the power of color." she said with a
grimace. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She put her hands in her pocket and
pulled out a slightly squished white rose.

Catherine looked at the limp rose and rubbed it between her fingers. For once her magic
worked and it returned to its originally healthy appearance. She said a quiet word and the
rose stayed white. It was supposed to have turned to red. She looked confused. She
looked up and realized that Ryan's hair was now a brilliant rose red color.

"HMMM, well that didn't work now did it?" Catherine said nervously giggling. She took
the rose again and said another quiet word. It turned a gentle blushing pink. She looked
up and realized that Willow's clothes had done the same thing. She hoped Willow didn't
mind pink.

Catherine smiled she'd gotten part of the magic right. She took another deep breath in a
desperate attempt to continue this magic act. "Now, it is time to make said rose disappear.
For this I use a sleight of hand." she said with no confidence whatsoever. She waved her
hand over the rose to make it disappear. It did...momentarily. But when it reappeared it
was sitting perched in Ymir's hair quite content to stay there.

She giggled at this. "It looks quite nice their Ymir." she said with a snicker. This was
turnabout for the wig.

Okay Catherine had succeeded with her opening magic acts. Well sort of. It was time for
the grand finale. She would rather have avoided the whole grand finale, but she was a
creature of her word. She'd said she'd enter this contest, and compete she would.

She took her flowered girl bag that she still hadn't traded in for something a little more
grown up. And pulled out a small tree. "I'm going to show you how fairy's make fall. It is
well-known that fae help with the seasons, and one of our jobs is to paint the leaves
brilliant colors each fall. If you see a tree that fails to turn color, you know that a fae has
flunked his or her job quite successfuly." she said by way of explanation.

She sucked in her breath and reluctantly ever so reluctantly began to wave her hands over
the tree. It was something she had been taught how to do when she was quite small. It
should have turned the tree into brilliant red and orange colors. Instead the walls of the
inn began slowly turning red and orange, and green and yellow. As Catherine waved her
hands the couches also joined the color brigade. And then people's clothes, and just as it
looked like people's skin might be next Catherine realized what was happening and

She was torn between giggling and crying once again. And opted for giggling. "Sorry
Willow, hope you wanted something to brighten up your life." she said snickering and
headed off to hide behind Glory. He would protect her right?

"Yes, I'll protect you," Glory told Catherine, laughing hysterically at the further chaos the
pixie had unleashed upon the inn and its patrons. "I sure can't wait to see what you'll do
to Nenlante or Corin or even Alcarinque," he said with undisguised glee.

Ghet was so amused by the prospect of winding Conor up she was hardly noticing what
was going on in the rest of the room. It was times like these she got dangerously carried
away. "You'd have to come up and watch me shower," she told him seriously.

Then he tried thinking about her breasts. She'd never seen that result in magic before. He
seemed kind of too scared to look, so she shrieked and pulled her shirt shut. "Oh my
gods!" She peeked again. "Conor! How big were they when you were thinking about

She watched the look on his face for a moment, then fell about laughing.

Willow was excited to see the old oriental gentleman walk into the Inn. She knew what
was in his basket. The little dragons where always welcome at the Inn. She watched as
the little sock monkey came to life and made its way to her lap. Smiling she nodded her
thanks to the him and his little friends. This would be a special gift for Sierra and Aran.

Then it was Catherine‟s turn. Willow watched the pixie as she pulled out her rose. But,
when the magic starting to go awry she silently giggled. As to the final colors of the Inn,
she looked over at Glory and Cat.

“Hmm, are these the colors you want the Inn to be for your wedding?” Willow couldn‟t
help but tease the couple.

“Drake, I think there is just Cayde left to do his act. I wonder what he has up his sleeve?”

Catherine giggled at Willow's question. "UMM, no I'm not really into these colors," she
said giggling. "Maybe my brother can fix it he should be showing up soon in preperation
for the wedding. He also said that he's going to arrange to make sure that the weather is
good for the day. He hasn't been off-world in a extremely long time. The first time he
went he got off-world he accidentally and ended up with some lunatics on a ship, and
some kind of whacky adventure he's never talked about except to say that off-worlders
were scarey." She said by way of explanation.

"Whatever the adventure was he's been quite content to stay home and learn much more
about his skills then I ever have. But for me he'll leave home." she said thinking with
fondness of her little brother.

She decided it was safe to come out from behind Glory as nobody seemed to be too upset
by her decorating. Although she hadn't heard Willow comment about the new color of her
clothes, or Ryan about his hair. She wasn't exactly gonna point out those mistakes

"Oh, and Willow while I'm thinking of it, do you think we could get a key to another
room? I don't think I'll be sharing with Barbara this time around." Catherine said

Conor was thoroughly wound up and went slack-jawed at the idea of watching Ghetsuhm
shower. And then he was panicking.

"Oh gods! Are they too big? That's all right, yes? Wait! Did they shrink? Are you okay?
Nooo!" He had a mixed expression of horror and fascination on his face that froze when
Ghetsuhm began laughing. He gave Galain an uncertain glance, but the elf was just
laughing as well.

"Well jesu," he muttered, smacking his hand to his forehead.

Glory was wondering about Cat's brother and what sort of lunatics he'd met up with, but
he didn't ask about him at the moment. Instead he was giving Willow a cheesy grin as Cat
mentioned the need for a new room.


Galain was clutching his sides as he laughed so hard he nearly snorted. Conor was just
way too much fun to play with and his wife was doing an admirable job of messing with
the Brendari's mind.

"I'm sure you did fine, Conor. I'll have to do a thorough inspection later," he managed to

Justin had done a lot of growing up since the last time he left home. He was still
mischieveous. He still asked questions, he still liked blondes. But now he had his head
screwed on, and knew how to work his magic. He'd studied harder then any other pixie,
and knew the dangers of magic, and the strength of it. He had enjoyed his visit off world
last time, but what it had showed him more then anything was his need for more. More
education, more answers from his father about the outside world, and more time before
he was ready to try that again. Of course it hadn't helped that a few hours into being on
the off-world he'd watched somebody be killed just cause he was standing in the wrong
persons way. He would never quite forget that callousness, and hoped he'd never go that

He portalled into the gardens going fall. And stood their looking around. It was going to
be hard to walk into the inn. But he knew this is where his sister was to be. And he was
looking forward to visiting with her, meeting her fiancee, and helping out with whatever
wedding plans he could. First though like his sister before him he had to take the risk of
opening the door, and he just couldn't quite do it yet.

Ghet gasped for breath, leaned forward, and hugged Conor. "I'm sorry, love. They're fine.
Just fine. You seem to have a very good idea of what they should look like. Anyway,
you've given Galain the perfect excuse."

She sat back, and curled into her husband's arms on the couch. This was remarkably
pleasant. "Not that you need excuses."

Galain just happily wrapped his arms around Ghetsuhm and grinned at Conor.

"I thank you from the bottom of my heart, but don't you dare touch my nose."

The hug was helpful. Conor managed to detect that Ghetsuhm's breasts were all right
after all and he gave her a pleased, but embarrassed smile.

"All in the line of duty?" he half-asked before he groped for a chair and collapsed into it.

Willow raised her eyebrow at Catherine as she asked for another room and key.
Chuckling, “Sure Catherine,” holding her hand out to the pixie a key appeared, “Here you
go. I think it‟s the room next to your old one.”

Leaning back against the sofa with Sierra in her arms, she looked over at the stage and
then the guests. It had gotten quiet for a moment and she wondered where the drunken
monkey had gotten too and where Cayde had disappeared to.

Turning her head towards Drake, “You know, we will need to slip over to the cottage and
set the kids up … and settle ourselves in … but if we do ....” Willow left the sentence
unfinished she would have to talk to Drake in private.

Catherine smiled her thanks to Willow for the key. And then turned to Glory and waved
it in front of him. "So, when do we get to use this?" she said giggling. She turned to see
the monkey headed in a dive bomb towards Galen. "HMMM, I guess giving the monkey
brandy was probably not a good idea after all." Catherine said with a giggle.

Ghet was beginning to think she might have gone a touch too far with poor Conor now.
He looked on the verge of a breakdown. Still, it was so hard to stop... "Absolutely. The
next time my breasts need fixing, I shall know where to come."

She looked up at Galain. "Are you sure? I'm certain he'd do a nice nose-job."

Ymir smiled at the rose in his hair. Sometimes giants lay down to sleep on hillsides and
drift off for ages. It reminded him of such a time when he woke up he was covered by
rambling red roses. With a breath he reversed time and restored the rose to its glory, then
with an incantation for good tidings and health he sent it back to Catherine. Truth was he
was rather fond of the little pixie and was happy that she was happy. There wasn't enough
of that in the world.

Barbara smiled as Ymir removed the rose. "I kind of liked that rose...thought maybe you
were getting ready to do the tango." she said with a bright smile. But it probably looks
better on Catherine. "So, do you think we're going to be painting from now until
Catherine's wedding to remove her damage?" she asked looking at the bright colored

Justin took a deep breathe. He could do this. His sister had fallen in love with this fellow.
He must be worth it. And she had lived here for years and hadn't ran into any weirdos. It
was okay. He could do this. He said this litney over and over to himself.

He then reached for the door and walked in. He looked around slowly and saw his sister
flirting with someone. He walked a little closer. "You, I know you." he said with shock to
Glory. At least it wasn't the truely scarey one Callan. But he knew this fellow, and he
wasn't sure if he was happy or not. Fortunately however he wasn't his father and wouldn't
start a fight.

Funny thing was, Ghet could go as far as she wanted with Conor and he'd just end up
grinning like a loon. Okay, he was also on the verge of a breakdown, but he was going to


"Oh yes, just come to me. I'm a good fixit man," Conor said with a lopsided grin.

"I'm certain. My nose can just run the gamut of colors and I'll be fine. As long as I don't
end up looking like a clown or something," Galain told Ghetsuhm, giving her a kiss and a

He just had to of course.

Glory was just about to suggest using the key now, but he was interrupted by Justin and
the elf stared at the fellow in surprise.

"Justin! Hello! It's been a while! A long while. What are you doing here -- traveling?"
Glory hadn't quite made the connection yet between Cat and Justin.

Meanwhile Galen was screeching with glee and just narrowly avoided the dive-bombing
drunk monkey.

Drake was nearby, watching the antics of Conor, Ghet, Galain, Glory, Catherine, Bo and
anyone else that was near by. He was sitting back in the corner of the room, staying as far
away from the stage as possable, knowing what went on during one of these types of
"The safest place to watch would be the cottage," he thought as he watched Conor and
Ghet. He was wondering what all the excitement was all about, after Conors trick...sort of
blew up in everyones face. "That boy's just not right," he muttered under his breath as he
looked up at the large hole in the ceiling.

He was surprised when he stood up to find his mustache had caught the tail end of
Conor's trick, turning it blue.

"It's a good thing you're here," he whispered to his wife, winking before saying, "I think
I'll keep you around."

Slipping Sierra into Willow's arms, knowing she was hungry, or needed changing, he
went to see what trouble Bo was getting into, finding him with two young boys. Seeing
that they had given Bo Brandy, he locked everything away as their attention went back to
the stage.

He enjoyed Ymirs magic, and his heart leaped to his throat when he watched Barbara's.
The image of Willow stepping up, asking for a dance during his last B-day party played
before his eyes like a dream. The look in his eyes as she smiled up at him made his heart
stop beating. She was beautiful then, but seeing her sitting on the couch with his
daughter, and son cast a whole new light over her.

"She's more beautiful than ever," he whispered. "She looks great in pink too," laughing as
Catherine turned everything into a fall setting, which included the walls of the Inn.

Walking by Aspen he could not belive his ears. She was talking civil for once. She didn't
snap at Cayde, or him as he eyed the coke in Cayde's hand.

"Beats Pepsi, doesn't it," he whispered. "I think she's starting to like you Cayde. You
should follow her to the library. It's quiet there...and a hell of a lot safer."

Laughing, he walked around to where Mira was sitting, or trying to sit. He felt a shiver
from the bond that they had, causing the hair on the back of his neck to stand on end.
What ever was bothering her was upsetting him.

"Mira? Is everything's alright," as he placed a caring hand on her shoulder. "I'm here if
you need me." Slipping in beside her, he smiled as he gave her shoulder a soft squeeze.

"Is there anything I can get you," ducking as Bo dived bombed him.

"Flying monkeys? These gatherings get more stranger every year..."

Justin smiled at the greeting from the man from his long ago past. He was still kinda
hoping this wasn't the man his sister had fallen for . But was recovering quickly if it was.
He looked around the room slowly and though he thought he recognized a couple other
people. He would deal with those discoveries in a minute. First he snuck between Cat &
Glory and gave her a hug. "Suliad, have you been decorating again?" he asked looking at
the colorful fall walls. He then proceeded to give her a quick kiss on the cheek, he was
Cat's brother after all.

He then turned away from his sister and turned back to Glory keeping one arm wrapped
over her shoulder. "Hello, been trimming any sails lately?" he asked and through his head
back and laughed. Glory had been a bumbling idiot on a adventure he'd taken with him.
Which was probably putting it mildly and in a fit of something Justin had never really
understood had decided to cut the sails to trim them.

Ghet exchanged a laughing glance with Conor, and then squeaked a bit as a hand found a
vulnerable spot. "You look no more like a clown than usual, melda." Actually, it looked
like his nose might be settling down a bit. The air was thick with left-over magic.

She removed Galain's hand and did her shirt back up. Propriety and all that. "Is that
Justin? Conor, look, it's Justin." She blushed. It wasn't that Galain didn't know about the
Lisse, just that it belonged in the 'Y'Roden' section of her life, and she'd had that firmly
locked away of late.

"You're right, it is. I wonder how he found this place?" Conor said. He watched Justin
hug Catherine and started putting two and two together. "They look a little alike," he
observed. "We all met on a ship a ways back," Conor explained to Galain who was
eyeing his wife suspiciously.

Glory stood back as Justin hugged Catherine and his eyes grew wide.

"Cat? This is your brother?" A few things she'd shared a few minutes ago were echoing in
his mind and he burst into laughter when the sailing trimming incident was mentioned.
"Well Sable had said -- 'trim the sails'! Cutting them down with shears seemed to get the
job done rather quickly"Ohhhh... well, invite him over when he's done hugging Catherine
and reuniting with Glory then," Galain said. He was rather sorry his wife had buttoned up
her shirt and was eyeing her buttons with a soulful look.," he said with a shrug. He
winked at Cat then. "I was one of those lunatics your brother sailed with a few years

"Ohhhh... well, invite him over when he's done hugging Catherine and reuniting with
Glory then," Galain said. He was rather sorry his wife had buttoned up her shirt and was
eyeing her buttons with a soulful look.

Catherine couldn't help it she just started laughing. "You, you trimmed the sails? now
why doesn't that suprise me, and so the scarey nasty man that would have been Callan?"
The stories all just made a little bit too much sense now. And she was rather curious as to
how Justin would handle the news. Justin hadn't spoken with anger of his time on the
ship, just of the ludicrousness of it all.
Catherine then turned to her brother and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Do you feel like
cleaning up a mess? The walls here need some ummm help, I tried to change a tree
colors, and it umm backfired, apparently pregnancy and magic just don't mix." she said
giggling. She then looked down the floor and realized all the snow had melted and was
now just a big gooey mess. "You do floors too by any chance?" she asked laughing.

Justin looked across the room and waved to Conor and Ghet. So the universe was small,
and the lunatics from the ship all seemed to be appearing. He'd deal with that revelation
later. "Yep, he trims sails quite well, and lived to tell about it, which is a whole another
amazing story. Do you know how much trouble this man can get into?" he asked his
sister laughing.

He then looked around the inn and saw the messes. And changed tactics. "Do you
KNOW how much trouble my sister can cause?" he said asking of Glory. She gave my
father grey hairs early. "Oh wait, it was me that gave him gray hairs wasn't it?" he said

Ghet took in the expression on Galain's face and tried not to snigger too much. "You have
seen them before. A lot. Really a lot. And some people prefer not to see them. I know
that's difficult for you to believe, but it's true. Not Conor, of course, he likes them."

She waved merrily back at Justin. "Poor kid. Callan scared the life out of him. With his
pants still on and everything."

Slipping quietly up the stairs to the Silverwing suite Willow laid Sierra in the middle of
the bed to sleep. Turning she saw that Aran had followed and made his way over to the
basket that he had spent so much time in. Crawling in he curled himself up in a tight little
ball covering himself with one wing.

Life was going to be different for Willow for a short while she could sense that. Time
would soon be back on it real course and she was anxious to find out just what that
meant. For now, she needed to go back downstairs and find Drake, they had to make
some decisions about the contest that had just taken place.

Opening the door she looked down to see Emily, “Oh, I‟m so glad you're here little one,
could you watch Sierra and Aran?"

She saw the quizzical look in the cat‟s eye. Chuckling, “You can take your real form, if
you like.”

Closing the door behind her Willow made her way down the stairs. She was tired but
there was the judging to do. She glanced about and saw Drake with Mira.

Looking up at Drake, “The babies are upstairs with Emily. Which reminds me I think you
have a surprise coming one of these days in connection with that cat."
“Mira are you okay? I heard Drake ask. Is there anything we can get you? If not, I need to
ask Drake a question or two in private.” Laughing up at Drake, “Let‟s slip into the
kitchen for a moment”

Furlough looked up in surprise as Willow and Drake entered the kitchen. “Can I get you
two anything? Sorry about the mess in here Willow, there was a bit of a problem ….ahh,
oh, never mind.”

Furlough went back to scrubbing the sink and the counters. How could he tell them what
had taken place, they would never believe it. He had purposely stayed hidden in the
kitchen. He knew better than to be around when there was magic in the air, especially a
magic contest.

Glancing over at the couple he smiled to himself—he just wouldn‟t tell.

Glory was just blushing. Sable had said to trim the sails and he'd taken her commands
quite to heart. It had been fun to slide down the mast anyway and he'd cut the fabric
rather cleanly. He blushed even more when Justin asked his question.

"I'm not that much trouble," he protested feebly. But then he was grinning as he stared
around the inn. "She's an incredibly capable woman when it comes to trouble."

Catherine reached out and smacked Glory upside the head for his smart remark. "Hey,
now, you be nice." Quietly to his head she sent. Or it will be a long time 'til we get to use
this key. To Justin she quipped. "I think you caused your own trouble, you were after all
the one who brought home new seeds and planted them in the Garden without checking
with the Gardner first. And almost lost us all of the men on Gardenworld...."

This had been another adventure that Catherine had been on just as she had grown up.
"Fortunately for you, and a few others who shall remain nameless you were rescued, by
Ghet, and Barbara and I...." She stuck her tongue out at her brother after these words, and
then just gave herself to giggling rather hysterically.

Drake's brow arched when Willow came down alone, his thoughts were on the children,
but his bond was trying to calm Mira. Hearing that Emily was caring for the children
made his brow arch more, but he smiled, taking his wifes hand.

"I'll be back," he whispered to Mira before stepping into the kitchen. Nodding towards
Furlough, he chuckled as the man tried to explain away the odd scent that lingered in the

"We understand! That's what we get for letting Galain and Ghet watch the Inn while we
were gone. I'm sure you'll take care of...things. But for now will you excuse us?"

Furlough glanced first towards Willow, then back at Drake before a smile crossed his
face. Drake knew he was thinking of some way to get even with Ghet and Galain as he
slipped out the door.

"I pity those two once he gets his hand on them," he whispered in his wifes ear before
kissing her. Holding her close he could still smell the scent of his daughter on her skin.

"You should be resting with them," he said, placing a finger on the tip of his wifes nose,
"but with the magic show and all things considered I guess I can let you stay up past your
bed time."

Ducking a right hook, he quickly threw his arms around Willow, before pulling her to
him. "Behave now! We have a few acts to judge. Now if I remember right we had five
acts. Now everyone can't be a winner, but some of the things they did fell into the
catagories rather well."

Taking a piece of paper out of a nearby drawer, he started writing down names. Next to
each name was the assigned catagory that he felt would be fair to one and all.

"Well," as he handed the paper over, "what do you think?

Reading the list that Drake had handed her Willow looked up at him, "Perfect!"

Turning to the cupboard behind her Willow pulled out five globes, "How about you
making the announcements and I hand these out?" Stepping up on tiptoe she quickly
kissed him and headed towards the door.

Drake stood there, his mouth open as his wife turned, pulling out five globes from the
cupboard, before turning back, kissing him.

"Me? Why..." but he knew that he was hooked. He would make the announcements to the
winners of the magic show. "No fair," he called out behind Willow, before the door
almost hit him in the face. Taking a deep sigh he stepped out from the kitchen raising his
arms before shouting over the noise.

"I would like everyones attintion please. I have an announcement to make."

Drake waited until the inn grew still before he lowered his hands. Looking around, Drake
could only shake his head before walking up on the stage.

"I would like to introduce the winners for this years Magic show. It was diffacult to chose
the winners, seeing how you all...well you all had a great time here at the Dragon Inn
once again," as he looked up, then at the fall colored walls.

"Here are our winners of this years Dragon Inn magic show."

The Funniest Magic Act- Conor
The Most Colorful Magic Act- Catherine

The Most Original- Barbara

The Best of Show- Ymir

Honorable Mention- Bright Star and the little Dragons

"Willow will pass out your gifts. Thank you all for coming. Food and drinks are on the
house. Catherine...Conor, you two have a mess to clean up," as he pointed up, then at the

"Please try to be more careful next year..."

Stepping off the stage, Drake slipped up behind his wife. "What say we check on the
children. We'll have to get them to the cottage some time."

Seeing the prizes as they were passed, Drake wondered what next years magic show
would bring to the Inn. "I'm not sure if this old place could stand another year," he

"Maybe next year we'll have it outside. Far from the Inn..."

Glory mouthed an "oh!" and gave Cat a wide-eyed look when she smacked him. And
then he grinned, because he thought she looked rather cute when ruffled.

It won't be that long, he sent back to her and grinned even more. And then he stared at

"I heard that story -- Conor told me about it. You're the one that planted that weird

He had to pause a few minutes as the winners of the magic contest were announced. His
eyes went wide when he realized Conor was getting one of those globes. His friend
would be mesmerized by it. And he was backing away a bit from Cat. She'd been singled
out along with Conor after all for cleaning up the inn.

Yes, Conor liked Ghetsuhm's breasts and right now his hands were tingling a little. But
he wasn't about to share that and certainly not in front of Galain. He was now holding a
globe of a very different sort and his eyes had lit up. He hadn't quite won in the category
he'd entered, but he was immensely pleased to have won an award and kept staring into
the globe.

"What makes it do that? Will it always do that? What if I shake it? Or will I break it if I
do that? Are those dragons in there? You wanna see it?" He gazed up at Ghetsuhm and
Galain, unable to stop grinning.
"But loooove... I never get tired of them," was all Galain could say. He gave Conor a
quick look and could tell by the blush on his face that Ghet was right. Well... that was all

"You'll have to tell me more about this voyage sometime," he said just before the awards
were announced and Conor took up his globe with all the usual questions.

"Just don't try to bounce it," the elf cautioned the Brendari.

Justin blushed to the roots of his hair. "Guilty as charged, I forgot how out of control
things can grow at home, and well, it seemed like a good idea at the time." he muttered.
He then excused himself and headed over towards Conor and Ghetsuhm.

"Suliad, long time no see." he said with a smile. Ghet held a special place in his heart as
the one who had kept him semi-sane when he'd landed off-world. He leaned forward and
gave her a quick hug, and smiled at Conor.

Catherine cheered when she realized a prize, and blushed slightly when she realized it
was for most colorful. She umm hadn't meant for it to be quite that colorful. She took her
globe carefully and admired it. "Oh, its beautiful." she said with a smile.

And then Glory started backing away. "Come, now your not gonna leave your poor
abused pregnant fiancee to do all the work are you?" she said attempting to put on her
most innocent face.

"You're not supposed to get tired of them," Ghet said in a horrified voice. "Then I'd have
to... I don't know, change them somehow. And it was a very interesting trip. You'd have
liked it. I spent most of it failing to have sex with Y'Roden."

Ghet hugged Justin back warmly. Later she'd be relieved that she'd managed to get her
shirt done back up first. "Hello, it's good to see you again. Have you come for Cat's
wedding? This is my husband Galain, he's Glory's father. Though I'm not Glory's mother.
The family is simple once you abandon all your preconceptions. This isn't, for instance,
the same husband I had on the ship. Of course, I didn't know you were Catherine's
brother, so we're probably about even. Look, Conor wants to show off his ball."

Justin smiled at Galain. And looked slightly puzzled in regards to Ghetsuhm's
explanations of family. "Catherine has warned me that family around here takes on a
whole new meaning." he said. What she hadn't warned him of was that was a huge
understatement. "I'm willing to learn. My only true concern is that I don't run into the
other nefarious traveler, he was just plain scary." He was of course thinking of Callan. He
had no idea that his father had sworn fidelity to the same scary man. Or any of the other
history that had gone down since then.
Well Galain certainly did like that tiny tidbit of information regarding this grand voyage
everyone but he had apparently gone on. Of course it would have been quite likely he'd
have been too busy trying to put holes in Y'Roden's ship just to be contrary, and that
simply would have ended the voyage far too soon for the fun it seemed everyone had had
-- or hadn't had.

The elf resisted the urge to titter and just eyed Conor and his globe.

Glory couldn't resist Catherine's expression and immediately took mercy upon her,
thoroughly certain he was being hoodwinked.

"You're hardly abused, but I wouldn't want to leave you alone in the cleanup. Think we
should let Conor know he's supposed to help clean up?"

Conor grinned at Justin, remembering the other fellow very well. He leaned over and
tapped Galain's knee.

"Take a look at it, it's got dragons in there," he said.

Conor grinned at Justin, remembering the other fellow very well. He leaned over and
tapped Galain's knee.

"Take a look at it, it's got dragons in there," he said.

Barbara smiled with delight at the ball. It was beautiful, and would be a great memory
piece. She then reached up and kissed Ymir on the cheek. "Congratulations, you deserved
it." she said quietly. "Now, do you think we should head to the kitchen before my sister
tries to rope us into cleaning???" she said laughing.

Glory was more than happy to drag Conor into the cleaning of the inn -- especially since
it was hugely Conor's fault in the first place. The Alcarin was just being a loving and
helping fiance after all.

"Mop detail," he said decisively. "It's easiest to figure out." He was already grinning as
Cat sent her little message to him. He liked her rewards and very much.

Conor stared up at Catherine, dumbfounded for a moment.

"Clean up time?" he asked, startled. But then he stared at the hole in the ceiling and
blushed. Well... he'd done that. He got to his feet and gazed at the globe Galain was
holding with one hand.

"Don't drop it. I'll be right back," he said before heading off to repair his damage.

The thought of polka dots was a little terrifying. He wasn't sure if his sister's magic could
MAKE polka dots, but he really didn't want to find out. It was that and that alone that
caused Justin to contemplate restoring the walls. Oh yes and the fact that his father would
kill him when he showed up for the wedding and found out he hadn't. First however he
stuck his tongue out at Catherine and said. "What's in it for me?"

He didn't actually expect an answer to that question. So he waved his hands in the air and
the color on the walls and the floor was restored. He kindly left the melting snow and
blue paint however, those could be cleaned up all on their own. "Happy now?" he asked
sticking his tongue out just cause he could.

He turned to Ghetsuhm then, "Now, where were we, oh family, complicated ones, so do
you have children yet?" he asked curiously.

Ghet didn't want to talk about Callan, so she didn't. She didn't think his excellent work
aboard ship stopping her getting any was going to be quite enough to redeem him in
Galain's eyes. It was rude not to reply to Justin's comment, but it would have been ruder
to drag him into the middle of a family quarrel.

She went a little pale when Conor gave Galain his globe to mind. "You'll be careful with
that, won't you? And not try to stick it anywhere you shouldn't? Or bowl with it? Or
shake it really hard to see if you can make the dragons barf? I'm not helping. Hey
Catherine. Are you sure you want Conor to help? He does seem to be a bit of a trouble
magnet at the moment."

Justin smiled at Conor's drop it comments. "Oh, Conor is quite good at dropping things,
breaking them, tying things in knots, umm did I miss anything? Oh yes, apparently he's
added breaking ceilings to the list." he said with a snicker. He being male had completely
missed the fact that Ghet hadn't answered his question about Callan. He would ask his
sister later if he remembered, or be rudely suprised at another time. He could however
sense some underlying tension. He wasn't as aware of emotion as his sisters, but he hadn't
grown up on Garden and taken his recent training for nothing. He wouldn't pry however.
He'd just keep his ears open.

"Oh, Catherine will want Conor to work, she's quite a slave driver when she has to be."
he said to Ghet without revealing any of his private thoughts. "She was very good at
tricking me into doing her chores growing up. Still not quite sure how she managed that."
he said shrugging his shoulders.

"So, any kids?" he asked not sure if he'd asked that question or not. But figured it was a
good conversational question....

Catherine snuck into the kitchen careful not to be seen by Furlough, and found a mop or
three. She snuck back out with them and the water buckets. "Here you go, love?" she said
handing him one. "A long time ago Ymir magicked these to clean with, but I seem to
remember that be rather disasterous all in its own right. I think good-old fashioned elbow
grease is probably the best bet..." she said shrugging. She did know how to clean without
magic, it just wasn't nearly as much fun. She snuck in and planted a kiss on his cheek,
and waved the key in front of his face. She then very carefully and as discreetly as
possible with these clowns stuck it in her cleavage to be fished out later.

She giggled and ran away mopping as quickly as she thought she could. But that darn
blue paint just wasn't gonna come up with a mop.

Ghet snickered. "Hey, Conor's a sweetheart. He crashed me into the ground nose-first
once. I was a dragon at the time. And he turned himself into a dragon while we were
having a bath and nearly drowned himself in shock. But he's a sweetie."

At Justin's question, she took a deep breath and ordered her thoughts so that hopefully the
answer would make sense. It wasn't like she had many children, it just shouldn't be this
complicated. "Galain and I have a son, Marius, but he's all grown up. He grew up without
us. He's not really my son, it's... hideously complicated. And I have a little boy who's
eight, Rhagi. He's with his father right now, Y'Roden. And we have another on the way."
She smiled softly, automatically, and rested a hand on her stomach. "A little girl. She's
Galain's, she's our first proper child." She meant, the first she'd borne herself, but it was
undeniable that Marius wasn't proper, either. "She should be born about the same time as
your nephew, actually."

Ymir blushed at being kissed on the cheek. Barbara had a strange magic. She could make
him feel like the boy he had never been, having been full grown. She was very sweet and
he guessed she couldn't imagine the esteem in which he held her.
"Actually, I am feeling like I could perform a little household magic."
So saying he waved his hand and a brigade of brooms appeared. Each broom sprouted a
pair of arms and picked up a host of buckets. A detachment of mops appeared and a small
mouse in a sorcerer's robe kept all of them in line. The began to sweep and dust and
"That should get everything in shape in no time, but lets stay and watch the mouse. Last
time he tried this he made a terrible mess, but always best to give second chances."

Lyra stuck her head cautiously round the door of the inn. She knew by now that this
world was friendly enough in places, but still, you could never be too careful. The sight
that greeted her, though, was very reassuring. The inside of the inn was a bit of a mess,
sure, but it looked like a very friendly mess, and the peculiar little mouse seemed to be
trying to get the place cleaned up.

She withdrew, and fixed her appearance; hair straight, with its natural white colouring as
usual (she could have changed it but rarely did; it kept people on their toes to see
someone so young, at least in appearance, with white hair); eyes, grey; and her dress
black and flowing, covered with a dark cloak, fixed at her throat with a silver pin shaped
like an oak leaf.

A quick adjustment, because the idea amused her, and she wore a belt patterned with a
design of hawthorn and ash leaves. Where was that from? Ah... Kipling. A man from
another time on a different world, who knew and wrote about the hidden people when
most of the world had forgotten. Greater are none beneath the sun than oak, and ash,
and thorn.

With a smile, she stepped through the door, and took a proper look around. She was glad,
in a strange way, to see a few familiar faces; and as she stepped inside she heard Ghet
mentioning Marius. That made her grin. Marius amused her, even more than most people

Justin had to sort-out the family list that Ghet had given him. And then decided it would
just have to make sense as time went on. He puzzled up his face at the mention of a
nephew however. He did know his sister was pregnant, it was rather hard to miss along
their familial bond. He felt along that bond to reassure himself. "Oh, I think my sister is
having a girl too, they should have fun growing up together." he said smiling.

And then he turned as the newcomer entered the room. She was beautiful, and looked
slightly apprehensive. He recognized that look, he probably still had it on his face. He
nodded a smile in her direction, and gestured for her to come over and join them. "Hello,"
he said quietly. He just had never quite gotten used to that word Suli something.

Lyra grinned, the last traces of her nervousness fading away.
"hello to you too," she said, walking over to the man who had spoken to her, glancing
around at the other goings on in the inn. She still could not get over just how much these
people fascinated her, with all their little peculiarities which made them, in her eyes, that
much more fun. "I'm Lyra. What might your name be?"

Justin smiled at Lyra. "Its a pleasure to meet you, my name is Justin. I just arrived
myself. But I know a couple people from the long-ago past." He gestured in the direction
of Conor and Ghetsuhm. "This is Ghetsuhm, and the goofy fellow over their with black
hair is Conor, and this is Ghet's husband Galain, and the blonde twit over their is my
sister Catherine." he said pointing out to Catherine who appeared to be dancing with a
mop. "The giant over their is also my sister...long story as to how that happened." he said
smiling. "What brings you to Dragon?" he asked with curiosity.

Ymir slipped an arm around Barbara and pulled her close, as he relaxed with her on a
padded bench. He pulled achair close so they could prop their feet up and relax against
the wall watching the mouse perform his chores. It was nice to feel Barbara there next to
"Did you notice the young lady?" Ymir commented. "Isn't her hair rather remarkable?
Not often you see hair so white on one so young."

"I've already encountered some of the people here, though wether or not they will
recognise me is another matter." she said, smiling. "I haven't figured out how everything
fits together on this world; by my own personal time I have met them already but time is
such a subjective thing."
She had to admit, there were occasions on which she would chose to ignore time anyway.
It was part of a need for living things to enforce some kind of chronology and order on a
chaotic universe and seemed somewhat silly to her. Maybe her attitude was what you got
for coming from a place -- to call it a world at all was perhaps a little over-generous --
which was for the most part outside of time.

Watching the mops at work, she grinned a little to herself. Not quite enough chaos here
yet. Quickly, and without moving, she enchanted one of the mops to run in circles,
regardless of the odd little mouse's commands; and turned away, trying to keep a straight
face, hoping no one would notice it had been her.

Watching Drake as he passed out the contest prizes Willow couldn't help but smile. It had
been a fun time and those who had attended seemed to have had ...well, fun is not quite
the word. Now the Inn needed to be prepared for Glory and Catherine's wedding.

As Drake leaned down and mentioned going to the cottage with the children Willow felt
at peace.

"Yes dear, it's time we take our leave of the Inn and settle our children into their new
home, our home. Things seem to be in hand here at the moment. Shall we leave Aspen in
charge for a bit?"

Taking his hand she led him towards the stairs, "I left Emily in charge of Sierra and
Aran." Smiling up at him, "Hmmm, I think you have a surprise coming when we get to
the suite."

As they reached the landing, "Oh, you know your birthday is in a few weeks. Is there
anything special I can get you?" There was a definite twinkle in Willow's eye as she
looked at him, she already had something up her sleeve.

Barbara let out a sigh of relaxation. "This feels lovely." she said with a smile. And then
one of Ymir's mops began to do circles around their chair. "Umm, the mop must think we
are really dirty." She said with a laugh.

She then ignored said mop and turned to Ymir. "Well, my sister's wedding is coming up
soon...Catherine would like you to do some kind of illusion for the wedding. Your water
fall is nice, or a garden, or anything else you should choose. She'd ask you herself, but
can't seem to pry herself away from Glory." Barbara said with a gentle smile.

Her sister always did things in excess, and it appeared when love hit her it hit her hard.

Justin nodded his head in understanding. "Time on my world runs rather slow." he said.
"We are a world of peace, and when I was younger that drove me rather nutso, because it
seemed like nothing ever happened. I've come to appreciate the fact that nothing ever
happens however." he said with a gentle smile.
"So, where is home for you?" he asked hoping he wasn't being too curious.

Lyra grinned broadly.
"Home," she said, "is a universe away, and so close you could almost reach out and touch
it. Not that I've been back there for a very long time, you understand." she shrugged a

"Anyway, I sort of know what you mean about nothing ever happening. My world, well,
things happen, but only because the place borrows time and reality from other people.
Guess that's why my folk don't have such a great reputation. We live, to be quite blunt, on
a parasite world. A lot of worlds call it the land of Faerie, if that means anything to you.
I'm prepared to bet you've never been there, as you look fairly... intact... and sane."

Catherine smiled quite big when she realized Ymir had called the mouse out. "Oh look,
he's gonna do all our work for us." she said. "Do you think we could run away and
anybody would notice?" she said and then looked down to where the key was located.
And then back up to Glory.

Galain was managing to wave. He was sure he'd met Lyra before, but he was more able
to properly greet her this time and he mouthed a "Suilad" at her.

It was Glory's mop that had run amok and he was chasing it. Well... he chased it until he
just gave up and eyed Cat. He'd seen where that key had gone and he was thinking that
running away was an excellent idea about now.

He snagged hold of her, scooped her up into his arms and winked at her.

"Up the stairs we go. Let's run away!" He whispered to her as he made his way through
the taproom and up the stairs. He was trying to look as nonchalant as possible, but that
key was gleaming a bit in its little... nest.

Conor was stuck in the ceiling again. He'd thought that if he'd climb up the stairs and then
work on the hole in the ceiling from that way...

But he'd plunged forward and it was the large leather belt he usually wore that had
snagged on the ragged edges of the wood that had caught him before he'd plummeted

"I think I need glue..." he said thoughtfully as the wood creaked and cracked

Ghet clicked her tongue as she realised she'd got Catherine and Helena's babies mixed up.
Mostly, though, she'd been slightly distracted by Justin's suggestion that her and
Catherine's daughters would grow up together. They'd grow up at the same time, but
together? She didn't think so. Gods, Aarien was going to be Glory's daughter's aunt. But,
well... Glory's S'Hean blood seemed to be strong, and that was where she stopped herself
thinking. So she sank quietly back against Galain and just watched and listened to Justin
and Lyra. She remembered the other woman, but not where she knew her from, which
happened a lot.

Her gaze shifted upward a bit, and she grinned, and waved. "Hello Conor! Are you

Justin looked up at Conor. "Did you need help?" he asked curiously. "If you say pretty
please with bread and sugar, I might be able to rescue you." He of course didn't know that
his sister had already "rescued" Conor once from said hole. He waited quietly for a

Catherine giggled and fished the key out. She knew that Glory probably would have
preferred to do it, but their were kids lurking around here somewhere. Although at the
moment Galen and Ryan seemed to be quiet. She hesitated before putting the key in. She
wondered what would appear on the other side of the room. She put the key in the door
and swung it open.

She gasped with delight. It was a perfect replica of her home. It had been a long while
since she'd been home, and apparently she'd been craving it. A lovely grass meadow of
delicate purple clover appeared, and surrounding it on two sides were never ending rose
gardens of every color imagined. In front was the ocean, and as she pulled Glory in and
closed the door behind were the mountains. She hadn't gotten to take Glory home, so this
was the closest they'd get for now.

She then smiled with a glint of mischief in her eye and very carefully put the key back
where it had been. She didn't want to ruin all of Glory's fun after all.

"Yeah, I'm okay... just hanging around you know," he replied cheerfully before the wood
gave way by another inch. "Whoo!"

The Brendari was just thinking that maybe if he found purchase with his hands he'd have
a better chance of survival than if he simply undid his belt. Justin caught his attention and
he waved at the fellow.

"Yes, I guess I do need help. But why would I need bread and sugar? That's a very
strange mix unless of course you've toasted the bread and buttered it and added
cinnamon... and oh!" He slipped another inch as the wood supporting him groaned and
snapped in pieces.

Justin supposed he shoulda have finished at least one of the conversations he was in. But
a guy hanging from the ceiling seemed to take precedent. Just as Conor began to fall he
snapped his fingers and Conor should find himself bouncing instead of breaking himself.
Of course this probably would cause a lot of other damage if or should I say when Conor
got carried away.....
In the meantime he looked up at the ceiling and quietly and calmly fixed that hole. It
wouldn't do to have another guest get their head stuck in their.

Oh yes, Glory would have liked to have fished for the key regardless of children present.
Galen was so busy with Ryan... but his betrothed was correct and so he impatiently
waited as Cat opened the door. His jaw dropped when he saw the expanse opened before

"This is your home... it's your home! It has to be!" he exclaimed. The elf turned to his
Lady and grabbed her up in an embrace and then stepped forward, letting her go for a
moment. "So soft..." he murmured. He turned in time to catch a glimpse of where
Catherine had replaced that key and he grinned. He sidled back to her and caught her
waist loosely, doing a naughty shimmy.

"This is perfect," he whispered.

Well, no answers, but definitely immediate action and Conor bounced a bit, bowling
through the taproom until he hit the bar itself.

"I'm bouncy!" he exclaimed. Immediately he got to his feet and jumped a bit. He bounced
some more of course and so he did a very jouncy cartwheel and bowled right back into

"Heya! This is cool! How'd you repair the ceiling?" the Brendari asked.

Catherine smiled when Glory recognized her home. "It is," she said with a smile of deep
pleasure. And then some shrieking and giggling pursued while the key was umm located.
"Hey, now, and that isn't the key." were some of the words that occured in the next few
minutes. Some how a few clothes got rather lost, and the two settled down onto the
meadow of clover. Catherine pointed up in the sky where song birds of every color flew.
"Look! If we're quiet they will entertain us." she said. She suspected however Glory was
probably looking in the wrong direction.

Justin grinned at Conor's question. "Well, I've been studying since the last time I was off-
world. And the pixie's are able to restore things to their original state when
concentrating." he said not sure how to explain.

"Oh, and have you met my new friend, this is Lyra. Lyra this is Conor." he said smiling at
the beautiful woman beside him. "She is new, and we were discussing fae. I guess
because my wings aren't out she didn't know that I am pixie." he said attempting to
remember his manners.

It was all that shrieking and giggling that got Glory going of course. All right, it took less
than that, but all the fun of searching! Seeking! Homing in! The screams involved! Yes!
And all the lost clothes! Excellent!

He was looking down of course when the songbirds were pointed out, but he managed to
look up.


Catherine squirmed away from Glory for a moment and managed to watch the song birds
for a moment. A purple one was quite lyrical and began to do its best to distract the

Catherine however had decided that possibly they should explore Garden just a bit. She
escaped Glory's clutches managing to loose what was left of their clothing, and headed
for the surf of the ocean.

She skipped down the path past the meadow and over the sand and quickly dove in. It felt
so real, it was hard to believe that they were still in Dragon. "Come, on in the water's
fine." she said with a giggle. "Ever been body surfing?" she asked. She dove throw a five
foot wave and reveled in the feel of the saltwater. It washed out the rest of the paint, and
whatnot that they had picked up down stairs, and restored her in a way that never ceased
to amaze her.

She finally got past where the swells were breaking and began to float on the waves
waiting for Glory to catch up with her.

Lyra grinned at Connor, looking him up and down. "Hi!" she said, "what species are

It occured to her that she probably could have said that a little more politely. Oh well.
Politeness was not exactly one of the traits Fae were famed for. Anyway...

"A pixie, Justin?" she looked delighted. "Hmm..." she added, "you're a little larger than
our pixies. Not that ours aren't enough trouble anyway, despite being all of 5 inches

She suddenly realised that she was talking about home as if she belonged again. Odd...

Justin nodded his head at Lyra's question. "Well, you see my father is elven, and that sort
of explains the height. We also have the ability to shape-shift, and found its safer to
function big. In some of these worlds fae are treated rather rambunxiously and its just
safer to be a bit taller. And now we're just used to being 'adult' size." he said not sure if
his explanation would confuse or explain.

Lyra nodded. That made sense, though she was still convinced he must be a different
kind of pixie to the kind she knew. He didn't look like he'd ever stolen a cow in his life,
and he didn't have enough tattoos either.

"Where are you from?" she asked, just to be sure. "Any relation to the pixies we have in
Faerie?" She found herself hoping he wasn't. She'd rarely got on well with the pixies. All
they were good for was stealing, for the most part cows and alcohol. Shortly after Faerie
attached to a world, every pixie in the place would be out of its head. She'd never quite
dared to ask what they did with the cows.

Justin shook his head. "Not that I know of, my family originated from a small planet
known as earth. Its rather a backwards place. They immigrated from Ireland over a
thousand years ago. It had gotten to be a poor place to be magical, and when the
Gardener invited them to his world, they decided to take him up on it." he said explaining
a bit of his family history

Taking his wifes hand in his, Drake smiled before kissing her. "Yes, lets leave Aspen in
charge for the time being. We'll know the Inn will still be standing when we get back."
His brow arched as Willow mentioned Emily. He had not seen the cat around for some
time, knowing that Salem had kept her locked away in his room.

"Do you think it safe, leaving her in the room with Aran? He doesn't know what a cat is.
He might eat her."

Seeing the look in his wifes eyes while she smiled, he knew she was hiding something
from him. Letting their bonds slip tighter together, he read her mind, forgetting all about
the birtday remark.

"No way! She's not a...She a...No way!" He never suspected Emily being anything other
than a cat, but his next question caused Willow to giggle.

"Does Salem know?" He watched as his wife only shook her head while pulling him up
the stairs. "No! Really? Does he know?"

Only a soft giggle was given for an answer.

Drake ran those thought through his mind as he reached for the suite's door handle.
Slowly opening it he caught a flash of white before entering. There sat Emily in her cat
form, sitting by the door.

"Cute one love," Drake whispered. "I may be getting older, but to trick me into thinking
Emily is a genie is just plain evil. I'm glad I didn't rush to tell Salem. Poor man would
have had a heart attack."

Stepping past Emily, he went to check on his children, still in shock of being a father.
"They are beautiful. You...we did good! Didn't we?"

Brushing a small strand of hair from Seirra's face, he turned to cover Aran, his hand
brushing across the small Dragons head.

"They will know honor, their bond will be strong. We'll have a hard time prying them
apart you know," as he looked over his shoulder.

"Thank you Emily! You may watch over them as much as you like, but no stealing the
babys milk. I'll be sure to have a bowl set out for you during their feedings. Ok?" Emily
looked from Drake to Willow before she ran out the door, her tail held high.

"She's a genie huh? Maybe I should ask her to grant us a good night sleep," laughing as
he slipped the basket up in his arms.

"He's heavy! You best take Sierra. Someday we'll take them to the...field. Where they can
run and pick the blue roses."

Conor was surprised by Lyra's answer and was about to reply, but Justin beat him and he
stood back, swinging back and forth on his feet. He was definitely not a pixie, but he
wasn't thinking about that -- he was just paying attention to Justin and Lyra. Lots to learn
when one was quiet!

Willow smiled at the white cat as she stepped into the room. For whatever reason Emily
had chosen not to show Drake her true self. Sierra was sound asleep as was Aran.
Watching Drake with his son, “They‟re bonded. He will watch over our daughter when
we can‟t.” Willow sighed, “My concern is for when they get older, what fate has in mind
for them.”

Looking at Aran asleep in his basket Willow could only smile, “I wonder what he will
look like in his elven form. It will be elven, won‟t it Drake?”

Picking Sierra up she saw Emily slipping out the door as Drake commented, “She‟s a
genie huh?”

“Yes dear, she‟s really a genie and you better believe Salem knows!” Pausing Willow
stuck her head out of the door, "Emily, would you let Aspen know that she is in charge of
the Inn for a few days, at least until Catherine and Glory's wedding."

Turning back to her family Willow made a portal for them to return to the cottage.

"I've been there!" Lyra smiled delightedly. "Several times actually. Once upon a time it
was ever so rich in magic, you know? I remember the old days. England and Scotland
and Ireland and Wales were full of the old folk, who'd arrived and decided not to leave.
Europe too, to some extent. And America had a different kind of old folk. But I think it's
like Puck once said, these days... poor land for gods and for spirits. For all things
supernatural really. I know the pixies loved it. Especially Ireland." she rolled her eyes a
little at that, remembering the rabble of them discovering whiskey. If it was possible to
get thrown out of Faerie for unruly behavior they would have managed it.

She turned to Connor, who seemed to be listening in on their conversation with a fair bit
of interest. "Not going to join in this little discussion on heritage? I notice you haven't
answered my question yet, either."

Lyra sighed a little at his surprised look. "I'm being rude again, aren't I?" she said,
looking a little despairing. It shouldn't be so hard to pick up some basic manners. Even
humans managed it, and they only lived a few short years.

“Dang it woman, do you have to scare me like that?” Furlough had been in deep thought
when Aspen entered the kitchen.

“Don‟t go snapping at me Furlough. Willow and Drake left me in charge while they take
the children to the Cottage.

“You! You don‟t know nothing about the Inn let alone my kitchen. You couldn‟t boil
water if you tried.” Furlough was ticked. Once again the Silverwing‟s had overlooked his
ability to take care of the Inn.

“Watch it Furlough. I know more than you think. So drop the attitude.”

“Attitude! Look who‟s talking. Miss Attitude herself. Now what do you want in here?”

“There‟s a wedding here this week. Catherine and Glory‟s. Are you prepared for the
reception? Are we doing the reception? Has anything been said?”

Furlough looked at Aspen. “See, I told you, you know nothing. Things will take care of
themselves. They always do. Now out of here. This my kitchen. Go do whatever it is you
do in that library. Out!”

“If you weren‟t Willow‟s favorite cook I‟d kicked you butt!” Aspen retorted as she left
the kitchen.

“He‟ll get his one of these days.”

Barbara realized the wedding was creeping up on them, and excused herself to Ymir. She
headed to the kitchen to Furlough. "Hi, I guess I'm the wedding boss," she said with a
smile. "Cat is rather umm occupied," she said. She'd helped at other weddings brides
were notoriously useless the closer they got to the wedding. "She is hoping for a
reception if its not a problem. And you can pick the food." she said with a gentle smile.
"My father and a crew of pixie's will be coming with the decorations and roses. And
Justin my brother whose currently out their visiting will be in charge of magical damage."
she said with a snicker. "Is their anything you need me to do." she asked of Furlough. She
was figuring she *should* be on Furlough's good side seeings she'd helped him clean up
ode de skunk.
A shimmering emerald green portal opened just outside the Dragon inn, expelling a
young boy with golden red hair, and his Father. The King of S'Hea was wearing a pair of
soft black trousers that tied at the waist, and a matching shirt trimmed with D'Riel green.
His feet were, for once, bare, a sharp contrast to the circlet that perched on his brow. Ro
was a strange combination of casual and formal.. which rather befitted the upcoming

"Go on in Rhagi," he encouraged his son, "Your Mother is inside." He coudl feel Ghet
along the web, and Galain too. For the thousandth time he wondered if he should have
brought Fadil along to frisk all the guests for weapons. The day promised to be...
interesting... if nothing else.

There was no sign of An'Thaya on the web yet, but then, Y'Roden had arrived a little
early to lend a hand with the wedding he was officiating. A smile flickered across his
features as Ro watched his son enter the building. Something ... some day soon had to put
a smile back on the boy's face. Hesitating he looked back through the portal towards
home ... waiting for his wife.

Conor gave Lyra a surprised expression and ducked his head a little.

"I was just listening and I'm Brendari -- well, half Brendari and half Elen -- so half
human and half elf. That's my species." He gave her a quick smile. "Some people would
argue that I'm just all thumbs."

Aspen sat in the library with her mouth hanging open. Emily had just appeared before her
as a genie. It was unbelievable. That cat was a genie! Why hadn’t Willow told her before?
Then she thought of Salem, Well that sly old devil.

Tapping her pencil on the document before her it hit her what Emily had just said. She
was in charge of the Inn for a few days. “Oh, great! They go off to the Cottage and there
is a wedding to take place. “Dang, I better check with Furlough to see he has everything
ready. I wonder who is coordinating this thing?”

Wandering out of the library she noted that the fall colors that Catherine had sprayed
about were now gone. The floors where more or less back to normal. Passing Conor and a
couple of guests she hadn‟t met yet Aspen overheard the word earth. She smiled at them,
be it a bit sarcastically, and continued to the kitchen. Earth, she would like to get back
there someday. She had been here longer than she had planned, but the old manuscripts in
the library had fascinated her, and discovering that Willow was her sister had caused her
to delay leaving. That she was related to the Merlin‟s was even more fascinating, that her
sister had all the magic was fine with her. She recognized the time warps that occurred
around the Inn and was just waiting for the right moment and time to ask Willow and
Drake what they had found out about her parents. Well, Willow‟s too. Just what was their


Melaina looked down at her bare feet as she stepped through the portal. Conlan and
Kaylee were coming behind, Cassey and Carrick in tow. There was a decided sparkle
back in Mel's eyes and her smile came much easier than it had even a few months past.
She wore a dress, though it was still casual. The peach sundress floated about her slight
frame and the skirt twirled around her bare legs. Her feet were light on the grass as she
looked around, smiling and waving to Y'roden.
Carrick tumbled through, almost knocking her over. With a grin, she picked up her
nephew and kissed his forehead. He was active, and full of energy, and most of all,
happy. She turned to face back through the portal, waiting on her twin and his wife and
Cassey, their daughter.
Brianna couldn't leave Ingraleis for the wedding, things were too complicated with the
recent births, but she'd also not known if Jase was coming and so Melaina was the official
representative of Ingraleis as well, though members of the royal family could show up at
any time...

Kaylee was trying to bite back her laughter as her brother tried his best to keep up with
Cassey and her questions.

“Why does Omma hit Grand-Da after he‟s turned into a snake? Why does Daro Kaltaur
and Lhach and Aaron and you pick on Sparrow so? Why doesn‟t she just haul off and hit
you like Omma says she should? Is she afraid of hurting you? Why does Grand-Da Dar
say Raven is so much like Omma?” On and on she went until Balan thought his head was
going to explode.

“Dae doesn‟t like snakes…We pick on Sparrow because its fun…She doesn‟t hit us
because…well, you‟ll have to ask Sparrow that sometime, I don‟t think she‟s afraid of
hurting me, and its because Raven has taken after Dae quite a bit.” He paused to take a
deep breath only to see Cassey open her mouth again.


“Cassey? How much do you love your Daro Balan?”

The little girl paused and turned thoughtful chocolate brown eyes up to him. “This
much.” She gestured, spreading her arms out as much as she could.

“And how much do you love your Dara Mel?”

The little girl repeated her answer to Balan, and he couldn‟t help but grin.

“You know, I think that means that Dara Melly can answer just as many questions as I
can.” He grinned as the little girl took off towards Melaina, giving Balan a much needed
break. He could identify with the blonde. Cassey was a curious child who Kaylee often
sent after Conlan, Balan, or even Einar when she couldn‟t stand answering the questions
any longer. And to have her asking her questions, while Carrick discovered the art of
turning into an elven bowling ball around your feet, life couldn't get more hectic in the
Alcarin/Raven house…Unless you tossed in a few Soronturs and a Barrimtor…Luckily
the former had decided to stay home, but the latter…

Balan blanched, forgetting that he had promised to take care of Naur if Taim and Laucian
decided to come. Questions, elven bowling balls and fire didn‟t go together good,
specially if both little girls had a habit of either freezing or exploding things…Today
promised to be fun.

Taking a deep breath, he let it out slowly and looked around him. He wasn‟t use to
leaving the forest, matter-of-fact he preferred not to, but Kaylee and a few other women
that he knew had threatened him with the promise of different painful procedures. Finally
he had taken Conlan and his father‟s advice and tagged along.

Upstairs two people who were about to get married were still a little behind in the time-
space continuum and they were exploring the magic of the room they now had. Glory
was familiar with the magic here and followed swiftly after Catherine, skidding to a halt
when he caught sight of her diving into what appeared to be an ocean.

"Actually... strangely... not ever in the ocean," he answered though his words were lost in
the crash of the waves. He wasted no time running the rest of the way into the water and
diving in after her.

"Rude? Not at all!" Conor was quick to reply. "You're very lovely and informative and I
was the one being rude by not answering right away." He gave her his most charming
smile, looking up once when he saw that more people had entered the inn. He stared at
them all a moment and then he realized that threads of time were reweaving themselves a
bit. Shreds of memory hit him and he realized with a grin that he was about to be some
sort of attendant in his best friend's wedding.

Cassey headed towards her aunt, new questions forming in her mind as she did so. She
wasn‟t stupid, she knew that her Uncle had just sent her away so he could get a
break…he did that sometimes. It was all part of an on going dare she had with her cousin
Naur…They were both to see how fast they could drive their family nuts…Of course
Naur was winning, setting her studies on fire was a bit tactic of hers.

“Dara Melly? Daro Balan said I could ask you some questions for awhile…” She started
out, avoiding her rolly polly brother, “Where are we? Whats it called that we‟re here
about? Do I know them?” Sometimes it was best to start off slow.

Galain was still holding Conor's prize and was gently shaking the thing. This resulted in
upsetting the dragons inside of course and he was grinning gleefully. He shifted just a bit
and nipped at his wife's ear as he noted the arrival of Y'Roden and several others -- all
definitely dressed for a wedding. He rubbed his forehead and gave Ghetsuhm a bleary-
eyed look.

"I just hate it when this happens," he said with a wry laugh. "Why don't you say to Rhagi
and I'll pop upstairs. I think there's some decorating and catching up to do within the next
24 hours."

Lyra grinned at Conor, amused by his response.
"Nice try at making me feel better. I'm so completely guilt-stricken at the thought that I
might have offended you, though..." she winked.

Catching up with the latest turn of events, she looked at the group who had just entered
with interest. Something was evidently going to happen soon; the number of people in the
place just appeared to have doubled.
"Is something important happening here?" she asked Conor, taking in the clothes of the

Ghet gave her husband a warm hug and a slightly guarded look. She'd felt the arrival of
her son and his father on the Web, and her feelings were mixed. She was always happy to
see Y'Roden, but this time it meant... things that were going to be very difficult.
"Alright," she told Galain gently, "But then you have to come back downstairs." She bent
and kissed his heart. "I'm always here, you know that. Always."

She untangled herself from her husband and stood. "I need to get changed, too. Gods, do
they have step-mother of the groom maternity clothes?"

She made her way across the room and collected her son. He didn't run to her any more,
but she hugged him anyway. She hardly had to bend any more, and he was only eight.
She looked up, through the door, and met Ro's eyes. She smiled, but the lines of strain
showed, she knew. Well, she knew he would be able to see them. It was probably best,
just at the moment, if they didn't speak to each other too much. Maybe later. They were
going to have to do something about Rhagi soon.

She turned her attention back to her son. He was staring through her at about stomach
level, and his face was closed. "Have you had a nice time with your father."

He shrugged. "I guess."

She gritted her teeth. "Here, why don't you come with me and meet some friends? And
your cousin Galen's about somewhere. The place will be full of family today. Lots of
cousins and daros and daras you haven't met yet."

He flinched like she'd hit him. "I'm tired. Can I be excused?"

"No you bloody can't. You're going to be nice today if it kills you, understand? You can
whine about what a cow I am later. But for every time you're sulky today I'm going to tell
people one more story about things Galain made you do when you were little. Okay?"

He gave her a hard stare, at odds with his childish beauty. "When you're old, I'm not
going to come and visit you."

"I know, honey. But I won't be old for a very long time. Now come with me, and smile,

It made no difference to his face, so she took a deep breath and practically dragged him
over to where Conor was talking to Lyra. Lyra would at least pique her son's curiosity.
"Conor, honey, are you okay? This is my son Rhagi. We gave him a dissecting kit for his
seventh birthday. Rhagi, this is Conor. Who apparently may be a kangaroo. And this is

Rhagi eyed them both for a minute, then stared at Lyra and said, "Was your hair white
when you were born?"

Furlough looked at Barbara and smiled, “Well, I do have things under control here. There
will be plenty of food for the reception. That always seems to take care of itself
somehow. I‟ve never run out of food.”

Taking a step towards a plate of sandwiches Furlough felt a tingle go down his spine.
“Dang it,” he murmured, “every time that happens people arrive here looking different or
have more kids or …”

Then remembering that Barbara had asked if there was anything she could do he turned
and looked at her, “Hmm, there is one thing that needs to be done and I done Aspen
won‟t even think to do it. Could you make sure there is some punch for the kids to drink.
Something bubbly maybe?”

Aspen stormed out of the kitchen and stopped in her tracks. People were appearing from
everywhere. “Damn Furlough,” she murmured.

Forcing a smile on her face she made her way through the crowd. They had all been here
before at one time or another. She recognized most of the faces, though there were
several new ones.

Looking in the taproom she was glad to see the stage had disappeared and that the tables
were back in place. She knew there would be a never-ending supply of drinks for
everyone and those that had been there before knew to make their own. No standing on
ceremony here. Stepping over to the fireplace she tried to relax.

"Finally" Silverthorn murmured, stepping through the portal to join her husband. Slipping
her hand into his, she squeezed his fingers gently as she noticed the expression on his
face. "He'll be alright in the end, he and Fechine both. They have to be. Right?" the dark-
haired elf murmured. Her jade green gaze slid to her eldest son as he herded the twins
through the portal after their parents. B'Roden had been left behind in S'Hea with Beth,
but Drysi and Yseult had been desperate to come to the wedding. The eight year olds
were almost bouncing in their excitement, jade and emerald eyes wide.

"Ooh... look" Drysi exclaimed. "Isn't it pretty? Where's the bride? Will she have a pretty
dress? Bride's have to have pretty dresses... and flowers."

"Even if they don't want them" her mother muttered drily, remembering her own

Silverthorn herself wore black trousers and a jade green shirt. Like her husband, for once
she was barefoot. Her raven dark hair flowed unbound down her back in soft waves. In
her free hand she carried a circlet to match her husbands.

She was considering places she might be able to lose it in.

Melaina placed Carrick on the ground, grinning as he immediately started rolling around
some more and groaned under her breath as Cassey told her that Balan had said she was
next for question patrol...
"Well, sweetie, we're on Berelath for your Daro Glory's wedding. He's your Atto's and
my younger brother but I don't think you've met him yet. I think you'll get to meet a lot of
family today..." She smiled and caught Balan's eye as she bent to retrieve Carrick and
brushed him off before handing him to his father.. who was, as usual, lost in Kaylee's
eyes. And they wondered how they end up with children...

Y'Roden smiled down at his wife, instantly brightening at the sight of her. "Time heals all
wounds? I suppose it must." A low laugh rumbled out of his chest at her last comment,
and he leaned in to kiss her. "You looked absolutely breathtaking," he murmured, "but
then, you always do." Taking the circle from Silverthorn's hand with his free hand, the
King settled it onto his Queen's brow. "I know what you are thinking, but if I have to
wear mine, you have to wear yours."

"I love being barefoot!" Yse crowed, "Who invented nasty old shoes anyway?" The
platinum blonde eight year old zipped across the lawn and through the front door of the
Inn. "Rhagi! Oo! Look! That big man isn't wearing a shirt! By the light of Arminiea! He
has no hair there! Did someone shave you? Did you get something sticky on it and have it
ripped out? My Cousin Glory is getting married! Do you want to marry me? You are
rather cute... hairless, but cute. Heya Auntie Ghettie!"

"What if I pointed out you were being an official type of person and that I was just here
as a bystander?" Silverthorn said with an impish grin as Ro settled the circlet on her head.

Her daughter's exhuberance brought a faint groan from the dark-haired elf and she closed
her eyes briefly. "She's going to be the death of me, I swear" she muttered. On the bright
side both Yseult and Drysi were wearing green shift dresses, one jade and one emerald to
match their eyes, so at least any grass stains wouldn't show up quite so badly.

Drysi trotted quietly after her louder twin sister, her emerald eyes wide as she stared
around the inn. The dark-haired girl had rarely been away from either Corin or Nenlante
and so this was a grand adventure.

Fechine, meanwhile, was trying to work out how he had gotten saddled with baby-sitting

“Oh…” For a moment, Cassey went quiet and watched as more children came and she
stared after them. “Dara Melly? Who are they?” She asked, digging her toes into the dirt
as she chewed on her bottom lip feeling rather shy. It was one thing to be around adults
for family she knew, but being around anyone outside of who she was use to and her
questions came to a screaming halt.

“When do you think Naur will be here?” She asked, fidgeting with the simple lavender
dress that Kaylee had put her in.

A portal opened and fae began pouring out. G'den lost count after fifty. All the pixie's of
home had been quite offended when Catherine had decided to have her wedding off-
world, and all determined to show. He'd finally given up protesting and let them come. If
nothing else they'd help make the day nice, which could always be a little tricky.
Fortunately, they'd also promised to be on their best behavior, of course this didn't
exactly mean much, they all had their own different ideas of what behaved meant.

Catherines granny a pixie who had decided one day she was tired of looking young, so
had taken on grey hair and wrinkles just for a new look was particularly excited about
going off-world. It had been ever-so-long after all, and she was rather on the make. Of
course if she'd ditched the wrinkles it would have helped. She made her way around the
room rather quickly for a 'granny' and pinched the rear's of every male in the room, kings
no excluded.

As she got behind Ro she was particularly entranced. "Nice cheeks young man." she said
in her best granny impression, and then fluttered away cackling like a banshee.

G'den just shuttered closed his eyes and kept the portal open until all had arived. The last
arrival being his last daughter Sharee. She'd grown up a bit, but not a lot. She was all of
300 or so, but had quite decided that five years old was a good age to stay. She was also
miffed at Catherine, but only 'cause Cat had returned her to home, instead of letting her
stay with her.

Finally the contigency of pixie's had entered, and G'den was able to close the portal. Most
of the rascals would stay outside and enjoy the sunshine, for amazingly enough the
weather felt like a late sunshiny day in May. Each of the pixie's fluttered around and got
the roses to do their best until the garden had never looked quite so good. And the setting
for the wedding was perfect.
G'den himself headed into the bar and found himself a nice rum. It was early, but he
figured he'd need it. After all his daughter was marrying an Alcarin.

Barbara swirled around and realized family was pouring in. "Oh dear, it looks like we're
out of time." she said. She quickly helped Furlough make the punch, and then excused
herself again.

It was time for her to find her sister. And she was definitely NOT looking forward to that.
She took a deep breathe and headed upstairs to find the room. She knocked on the door of
their room, but wasn't surprised when they didn't hear her. The room had a tendency to
ignore people. She was trying to decide what to do next when she remembered she didn't
have to 'talk' to Cat. Catherine, umm out here time has changed and its your wedding
day. She sent with a taste of urgency.

"I'm counting on you always being here. And I promise to come back downstairs," Galain
had told Ghetsuhm before he handed the globe back to Conor. "I'm just going to get my
brain together, find the requisite wedding clothes and maybe hunt my son down in a bit."

He returned her kiss, but on her lips instead and then he headed upstairs for short amount
of time.

Catherine was having a lovely swim with her fiancee. And she was quite convinced the
wedding wasn't for at least a week. She showed Glory how to ride the waves, and their
was a lot of *innocent* giggling involved as waves caught him unaware and made him
swallow water. She had missed home, and though the ambiance was wrong, the scenery
was right, and she was feeling ever so good, and quite excited to share it with Glory.

And then her sister's mind came crashing into hers. She jumped as much as you can when
your feet aren't touching the ground, and then shrieked. "Oh, oh, oh, umm time has
changed, and we're getting married today!" she said in a rush of words. "I guess play time
is over." she said giggling. "I love you, but I really, really must get dressed." she said.
She kissed him and headed for the door, but then she stopped, she needed at least one
more kiss before she would get dressed. Barbara could wait.

Conor took the globe back from Galain and then eyed Lyra suspiciously for a moment
before he burst into a grin. Just before Yse approached, he answered Lyra with a nod.

"My friend, Glory, he's getting married today," he said. "He and Catherine and --" He was
cut off by Yse's marriage proposal and stared at the little girl with a dumbfound look of
surprise. Hairless, but cute?

Glory was feeling a bit distended in the stomach at the moment and he had decided he
really didn't like the taste of saltwater. But he'd been thoroughly enjoying playing with
Cat and was startled when she shrieked and ran to the door. The room shifted abruptly to
simply a sun-filled room in an inn and the elf watched Cat race to the door before she
raced back.

"You *kiss* sure *kiss* it's *kiss* today *kiss*?" He asked breathlessly.

Catherine cast her mind around and could sense that the population of the inn had greatly
increased. "Definitely, sure." she said. "And I guess we just blew the whole its-bad-luck-
to-see-the-bride-thing." she said giggling. "Not, that I actually believed it." she said in
between kisses. She was really not intrested in leaving Glory. But then Barbara's ahem
dress? details? Meghan? Came over loud and clear. And she forcibly moved herself
away from him. "Right then, I love you, melda, but apparently my sister is being a nag."
she said giggling.

She was just turning to head out the door when she remembered a rather important
details. "Clothes! I almost went out their starkers." she said blushing. She said a quiet
word and a t-shirt and pink jeans appeared. They were practical, and probably wouldn't
be on her long anyhow. She then turned gave Glory a rather memorable kiss and headed
out the door.

Glory was pretty certain that seeing his Cat on their wedding day was about the luckiest
thing possible and he grinned, but let her go -- albeit quite reluctantly. He burst into
laughter when she nearly charged out the door naked and happily accepted one more kiss
that left his head spinning.

Gods... the wedding was really today? Glory sat down on the bed, a stunned expression
on his face.

Yet another portal shimmered open outside the Inn and the young Elf that barreled out of
it ran smack into Y'Roden's back. "Sorry Daro Ro! Wil! Come on!" Cully's head
dissappeared as he stuck it back through the shimmering vortex, "You look beautiful,
no... I DON'T think you need to reveal more cleavage than that, really. Caety leave the

Well big brother Glory was getting married, so of course the entire mixed Alcarin/D'Riel
clan was coming out of the woodwork. Well, out of portals really, but who was being

A tall willowy strawberry blonde was the next to arrive, sea-green eyes sparkling merrily
as she spied her eldest brother with his head stuck through a portal. "Cully, are you
coming or going?" Mena asked, "Its tough to tell from this angel."

The diminutive redhead beside her rolled luminant emerald eyes and sighed. "Suilad
Daro Ro. Are you alright? You look rather... shocked... or something." Vanyalin was the
quiet one out of Galain and An'Thaya's small flock of children... quiet being a relative
And Ro? Damn right he was shocked, he had just been pinched by an aged pixie. Oh the

The yard of the Dragon Inn virtually sparkled with opening portals and the D'Riel web
was singing madly. Y'Roden likely had one heck of a headache. Anelain poked her firey
tressed head through the vortex she had just opened and peeked about, "Alright Kalab,"
she turned slightly to address her bondmate, "It isn't to bad yet. I'm sure you'll be fine.
You don't have your boots on do you? We are suppose to be barefoot."

"No, no boots, they're rather water logged, as it is, from the last unexpected dip." He
chuckled, stealing a moment to drop a kiss on her crown before they headed on through.

"Lote, anywhere that your family merges is dangerous." He remarked following her
thorugh. That was the first lesson he had learned and one he kept with him. Once on the
other side he grinned, well at least it wouldn't be entirely dangerous, he decided when he
spied Balan and Kaylee, two of his pack mates.

"You know, all these portal's in one place is a receipe for disaster," Ki announced as he
came through a newly formed one and grinned at his Cousin Anelain.

"Will you shut up and keep moving," Valin growled, nearly knocking his little brother
over as he stepped through with Ce'Leste in his arms.

"Grumpy," Ki shot back, "You know, that crown has really given you an attitude."

"That's because it's too tight and it's squeezing his brain into mush," Si'Lyen said lightly
as she followed Ki and Valin through the portal. "Of course he's very good at being
grumpy too. You should have seen the time I stuffed oatmeal into all of his favorite
boots. He nearly blew a gasket then... and then there was the time he was teaching me the
proper way to make spitwads and I got him in the eye..."

Sil was fairly lighthearted today. She was going to watch her cousin get married and her
heart lifted even more when she spied so many pixies flitting about.

It was bound to happen, of course, and the two spikes of flame that burst into the air,
followed by that of a bouncing fire ball that skipped across the grass, none of which left
any scorch marks, was the incoming Barrimtor family. As soon as the flames lept to life,
they died away, leaving the small family standing on the lawn.

"Naur, remember, no exploding things or freezing, is that understood?"

Large dark green eyes turned up to her mother and father as she picked herself up off of
the ground and dusted off the leather breeches she wore under a tunic that matched the
colour of her eyes. Shoes hadn't been any problem, she rather hated them anyway.

"Yes Momma."
"And nothing to do with flames."

Naur blinked and stuck out her bottom lip, "But Daddy..."

"No Naur."

"Not even a little fire?"

"Not even if it doesn't do any damage."

The little girl frowned and sighed before she spotted her best friend. "Cassey!" She
squealed and shot off towards the other little girl.

"Are you sure this is enough cleavage? I think it's too confining. That's right Catey, leave
the shoes. You have to go potty again? Oh honestly, just a moment, Cully-love," Wil
called back. Ten taut minutes later both Wil and Catelyn stepped through the portal and
the Brendari's eyes widened with excitement.

"I just realized! Conor's going to be here! Isn't that delightful?"

A set of quadruplets and one frustrated older sister arrived outside the in first. They
seemed to be a spinning cyclone at first and Jaiden had tried to discourage the quads, but
they'd been determind to make quite an entrance.

"But we're outside! We're not making an entrance!" Eos could be heard yelling just
before she broke away from the spinning mass of arms, legs and laughter. She was totally
mussed and unhappy about it. She'd donned a lovely light blue shift and worked hard on
her hair, but of course her younger siblings had conspired against her.

"Mother!" She said heavily to older woman who appeared in a more "conventional"
manner via a doorway in the air that blew gently open.

"I'll fix it for you, don't worry," Jaiden replied with a low chuckle. The Windling was
dressed in a simple creamy gown -- nearly a first for her. She drew her oldest daught to
herself and repaired Eos' coiffure expertly before she pointed a finger at her twirling
quads and they abruptly tumbled to a halt.

"Clean yourselves up, now," she said in a voice that brooked no challenging.

"Yes ma'am!" Came the chorus.

Catherine? well she flitted outside, and down past her stairs before her long-suffering
sister could clip her wings. She swirled around and greeted everybody quickly, and rather
dizzily. She then swirled outside to find her granny checking out more D'riel deireire's.
She was particularly entranced by Ki. "Oh, you are particularly fine." she said admiring
the view with great intensity. She'd stay here thanks.

But then Cat saw her. "Granny! do you want to go home and miss the wedding? Cause I'll
send you their if you don't mind." Granny blushed and headed for another view point.
Their were just so many, many things to admire.

Cat would have loved to play with all the little girls coming out of the wood work, they
looked ever so fun, and she just was about to, when Barbara caught up with her.

One look from Barbara, and she decided that she should probably go upstairs to her old
room and find her clothes right, that's what she should do. She started to head up the
stairs, but then stopped when she found Ghetsuhm.

"Ghet? I umm," Cat stammered she knew this day was going to be hard for all involved,
but didn't want to have this woman who'd been such a part of her life to feel left out.
"Would, you feel comfortable, and I won't be offended if you won't, but would you like
to come upstairs and help me get ready? Tay won't be their, and its quiet, and well." Cat
stopped, she so didn't want to hurt Ghetsuhm, and she knew things were awkward, but
she would really like Ghet to come if she would.

G'den was currently looking for a nice quiet corner to hide in. Their were just way way
too many people here for him. He took a good chug of rum, and reminded himself not to
drink too much of it. And then he decided their must be something to do way down by
the creek. It would be quiet their right? He snuck out the door, and headed to hide until
somebody called for him. He missed his wife dreadfully, and knew she should be here
today. And he felt very single and unattached, and worried about the choices his daughter
was making, and he stopped himself, and just went down to the creek to throw rocks.

Lyra looked at the child who was questioning her. "Hmm, that's an interesting question,"
she contrived to look serious, "because I don't really remember being born, and I
certainly don't remember my parents. But I would think that my hair has always been this
colour. "

She looked around; the inn was getting more and more crowded. She wondered if she
should leave; it seemed like she was intruding on some kind of family event.

Justin could see that Lyra was considering running. "Don't run, your more then welcome,
my sister loves everybody, and if she wasn't being rather twitty she'd welcome you
herself. You can be my guest if you wish, being brother of the bride, I'm rather here for
decoration, and not much else. Although I have my own little plan for attention after the
wedding is over." he said with a glint of mischief in his eyes. He turned to Conor then.
"Would you like to help me carry on a old pixie tradition, and kidnap the bride? Your
welcome to join me to." he said turning to Lyra.

Meghan had found the mass exodus into the Dragon Inn unnerving to say the least. The
Elf maid, despite having grown up, was still uncomfortable around large crowds, and
while excited that her dear friend Catherine was marrying today, decided to beat a hasty
retreat to the open grounds of the inn.

Dressed in a pale blue, simple linen dress embroidered with flowers, butterflies and other
airy things, Meghan Ilessandra was barefoot and wading in the shallow stream behind the
inn, her indigo eyes watching a stray leaf float by, spinning and drifting on the slow
current, and like the leaf, Meghan's memory drifted along, thinking first on Catherine and
the first time they'd met, of the stories dear Ymir would tell them as the snuggled on the
couch in the taproom...and eventually, her thoughts ran to the first time she'd waded in
this very creek.

At Willow and Drake's wedding. Now there had been a merry time, right up until she'd
lost the crawfish she'd worked so hard to catch and the hem of her flower girl dress had
gotten frozen in the stream by Flake, the ice-dragon.

"Now, why couldn't life had just left us all alone? Happy and innocent?" The Starlight-
born elf muttered just as the sound of children's laughter echoed through the woods that
concealed her hideaway.

A soft smile lit her face, "And so the next generation of mud-slinging, crawfish catching,
clothes mussing children arrive."

As for the dragon-elf, Mira was upstairs, in the room that had expanded long ago for two
more children. Muirne and Caolan were with her, the twins squirming and complaining
as Mira ruthlessly made them brush their teeth, comb their hair and put on their better

"No...Muirna...not the overalls, yelda. those back...Muirna! No jeans! For
the last time."

Mira gave an exasperated groan and wrapped the towel around her hair better, then
attacked the armoir.

"This, love!"

The littlest dragon-elf wrinkled her nose and tossed her head, making her pale, sunny hair
fly, "Mamma! I HATE dresses! Can't I wear trousers like Caolan? Why does he get to
wear them and I don't?"

"Well now, that's a valid question, drago nae'dah, and the answer to that is, Caolan
would look silly in a dress, don't you think? I'll make a deal with you...wear the dress,
and I'll let you change as soon as the wedding is over, instead of wearing it through the
party afterwards, okay?"

The fair haired dragon-elf eyed her mother, then jade eyes peered into the closet, "Can I
wear that one instead? That other one just looks stupid. I'm NOT a little girl anymore."

Ever the dealer, your daughter is, melda. She's not yet 10 and thinks she's a woman
already. Mira sent her husband and pulled the second choice out. "Alright...this one it is."
Mira spread the well-worn, but still lovely shift out on the bed, "Yell if you need help."

Mira closed the door to Muirne's room softly, and eyed her son.

"Your turn...has your atto gotten your better clothes out yet? Or am I to do it?"

Ghet laughed openly at the look on Conor's face. "Relatively hairless, Conor. Remember
who her father is. D'Riel men all run to ridiculous amounts of body hair." She thought for
a moment. "Well, okay, I don't know for sure that all of them do. But D'Riel genes are
dominant as all hell, so..."

She turned to Catherine, and stared. "Um, are you sure? I mean, I can, but..." She winced.
"Sure I can. Rhagi, stay here with Yse, okay?" Frankly, she hoped his sister rubbed off on
him a bit. "And keep an eye out for Marius, okay? He's supposed to be bringing Melian
and Elerina, and he may forget. 'Cause I hear he's also bringing Foxx. The kids will be
fine," she told Lyra and Conor airily.

Then, rather shyly, she took Catherine's hand. "Okay, let's go. I'm good at this, I've been
married twice. Wait... let's pretend I didn't say that."

Rhagi gave a flash of a smile when Yse came up. She was nice. Oh, and there was his
mother, taking off again. She never had more than five minutes at a time for him anyway,
and once that baby was born...

He looked up at Lyra, bright green eyes wide. "You don't remember your parents? Who
brought you up then? I have four parents; Mummy and Galain, and Atto and Silverthorn.
Mummy has white in her hair, but it's kind of new. She got it when she was trying to fix
what was wrong with Atto's head." He considered, then nodded shortly. "Your hair is

Conor was sort of glad the child hadn't said more. He was still eyeing and then his own
chest when Ghetsuhm made her comment. He stared over in Y'Roden's general direction
and then bent down to Yse's level, giving Ghetsuhm a quick grin before Catherine took
her away.

"Beautiful one, I have most of my hair here... or when I'm a very big kitty cat. As for
marriage... you realize how serious that is? Or do you know what 'serious' means?" he
grinned and probably didn't help matters any when he kissed the girl on her cheek and
then grinned madly up at Justin and Lyra.

"DO stay! We'll keep close to you and you'll have some fun," he told Lyra before he
nodded to Justin. "I'd love to help out."
Trouble! The fun!

And then Rhagi spoke up and Conor's jaw went slack.

Now having Marius bring Elerina and Melian was all right, but despite how much Adarin
seemed to regard Galain's son, Summerlin would have been happier bringing the twins
herself with Reece. But as it was, she was content with her husband as escort and leaned
into him as they exited the portal from Alcarinque. She was dressed in the gauziest dress
she could think of, the fabric flowing around her tall, slender form as if it were alive. Her
strawberry-blonde hair was unbound though strands of pearls and emeralds were artfully
wound through her thick tresses.

"I think we're here... and it's been so long since I was last here. You'll love Willow... oh
goodness! And Drake. You'll just love this place period. Reece-love, look at all the
children. I think that's an omen of goodwill for this marriage," the Elen mage said with
satisfaction as she looked into her husband's dark eyes and kissed him.

“Oh sure, I know what serious means,” Yse said solemnly, “or I have a pretty good idea.
It means you are just about to give up. Right? Atto always says to behave ourselves or
he‟ll send us to our rooms. Then a little bit later, he says „I‟m serious!‟ and then, he gives
up and gives us kisses. Just like that,” she nodded after Conor kissed her cheek.

The little girl looked terribly confused for a moment. “Does that mean you want to marry
me?” At that moment Rhagi‟s sentence clicked in her head and she turned her head
slightly to look at her brother. “Amil says there is no fixing what is wrong with Atto‟s
head. I think she means the silver streak, but I can‟t be sure.”

Ebony eyes were sparkling merrily as Reece watched his wife, shifting away only once to
look at the children. “Oh I love anyplace I go, as long as you are in it,” the Sandshadow
chuckled, “you think so? It looks like an omen for a really good babysitter to me.” A soft
laugh was lost against Summerlin‟s lips as her husband leaned in for a kiss.

Pulling back he finally took a good look around. “Good gods this family is huge.”

Calloused fingers ran through dark, wavy hair as Callan paced back and forth in the
chambers he now shared with An'Thaya at the Keep. He was dressed in house colors,
black trousers, new boots and a black military style jacket with black thorns and silver
dragon knotwork at the collar. A two new colors were threaded into the simple black and
silver shoulder knots that draped over his broad shoulders, crimson and emerald green.

"This is ridiculous." Slightly hazed topaz eyes shifted in the direction of An'Thaya's
movement. "I can't let you lead me around...and if I look through your eyes, I get
nauseated." the Emperor growled as he tried to wear a path in the granite floor. The same
fingers that had just scrubbed his scalp started to tap a dagger that normally hung at his
hip, a gift from Akavian, but that same dagger, and for that matter, all his blades, were
not to be worn today.

Today was a wedding, and a wedding of a very special friend, someone he felt fiercly
protective of...the son of the same elf that had left the Black Dragon Emperor blind less
than four months ago. Perhaps their relationship would never be the same, and Callan
knew that, but he would be there, nonetheless, unarmed, to witness Glory and Catherine's

Finally, Callan stopped his tirade and paused, his head turning to follow the nervous
sounds of his red-haired mate. "Listen to me...worried about looking helpless when you're
a nervous wreck. Come here, and let me look at you..." The dragon caught An'thaya
around the waist gently and leaned down to kiss her softly on the forehead. "Gods you
smell good..." Callan breathed as he slipped into her senses, felt the room spin then re-

"Now, where's the floor length mirror I had installed?"

It was just as well they didn't have to find room for the portals to queue, or park, 'cause
they were stacking up quite nicely. Next was Marius, Foxx, and the children he was now
heartily wishing they had sent with Summerlin. They hadn't freaked Foxx out nearly as
much as he'd hoped. He kind of felt sorry for them, and the only good thing he could see
coming out of today (apart from the whole getting-married thing) was that they'd get to
see their mother again.

"Wow," he said absently. "I thought I was getting the hang of these things, but there are
still people here I don't know. Oh hey, there's Cully and Wil!" He hugged Foxx to him for
a moment. "I should probably warn you. Today could be really really horrible. My
parents are promising to be on their best behaviour, and I'm just hoping I've never seen it

Conor's attention was drawn back to Yseult and again his jaw dropped. He was going to
have to get a sling for his jawbone at the rate things were going.

"I give up? I mean, you think I..." the Brendari rocked back a bit and ended up on his
back end as Yse continued to speak and this time to Rhagi. How could an eight-year old
undo him so quickly?

One of her baby boys was getting married … no matter that he already had a son and was
over six hundred years old, Glory was still Tay‟s little boy in her mind. Add to that the
fact that she would be seeing Galain for the first time since they had broken their bond
and their marriage… the Amazon was a frazzled mess.

Dressed in a soft emerald dress of S‟Hean design, An‟Thaya‟s nervous movements
caused the layered gauzy fabric of the skirts to dance around her slight form and her rapid
breathing felt constricted by the silver thorn adorned bustier. Her hair hung in loose
waves over her bare shoulders, though a pair of fire emeralds peeked out of the flaming
mass, a gift from Mira on the redhead‟s birthday.

A soft gasp had her nearly popping out of the dress as Callan caught her by the waist and
she smiled up into his blind gaze, coming undone as he breathed in her scent and feeling
her body relax under his touch. Small hands rested on the Dragon‟s chest as her soulmate
merged with her, leaning into his strength and seeking reassurance. “It‟s over here,” she
said hazily in answer to his question about the mirror.

Turning slightly in his arms she faced the object in question and suddenly laughed
lightly. “You are suppose to be barefoot my love. What do I have to do to get you out of
those boots?”

Rhagi nodded solemnly at Yseult. "That's what Galain said. Well, actually, he said there
was nothing wrong with Atto's head that dec... decapit... oh, decapitation wouldn't fix."
He shrugged. "I guess it's a doctor thing."

“You know, I‟ve heard Atto say the same thing about Galain. Except he used the word …
oh… what was it … new… new-tutoring? Maybe he thinks Galain needs some sort of

The sound of Conor hitting the floor brought wide jade green eyes back to bear on the
Brendari. “Did that hurt? Amil always kisses my booboos better; do you want me to kiss
you better? Amil and Atto kiss a lot; it is what you are suppose to do when you are
married. But we aren‟t married …yet, so maybe I had better wait? I‟m not very patient
though. Beth always gives me trouble for eating my dessert before my dinner.”

Conor caught the "new-tutoring" comment and starting coughing hard, trying to choke
back laughter. But then Yse was focused on him again and he gave her wild-eyed look.

"I'm okay. I just sat down hard. It's not cracked. I'm... no... I... how old are you? You're
Y'Roden's child? by Silverthorn?" He was not dessert. At least not for this child. He was
sort of... no, he was VERY curious to see what she would be like in just another ten years

Foxx hugged Marius back and tossed in a bit of back rub "It'll be fine, they just seem like
complete raving lunatics, they actually just mild lunatics, with lots of stark raving tossed

"At least I think it will be fine, Galain can behave when he has a reason, sometimes, your
mom is markedly good at steering clear of trouble, when she wants too, and 'Thaya well
She's relatively sane, comaratively, sometimes, Y'roden will probably be keeping an eye
on her anyway, and uhm I think her presence will probably keep Callan partially in line".
Foxx realised exactly how dubious an expression her recount of the persons involved had
produced. Shaking it off she grinned "We could just try to keep them on opposite sides of
the party"
Then she turned and looked at the two children. They were eerily well behaved. "So guys
anyone ever teach you to run around madly, cause havok, and get your clothes dirty? On
this one planet where I used to live we would tackle people to say hello . . Basically it
consists of running as fast and hard as you can and jumping on someone with all your
weight, landing on them elbow first, without breaking bones is worth double points, triple
if it causes them to empty lungs abruptly . . Theres your uncle Y'roden . .!".

Melian and Elerina looked up at Foxx with a practiced air of disbelief. "Too much time
with Galain eh? I'll getcha candy, Lots of candy, LOTS".

“I‟ll be nine years old next month,” Yse proclaimed proudly, “Atto says I‟m a little lady.
Yes, I‟m Y‟Roden‟s child. Oh! I see, you want to ask him for my hand in marriage that is
very gentlemanly of you, but highly unnecessary considering we are already engaged. I
mean, you DID seal the deal with a kiss. Though a ring might have been more

Sometimes… she was very much her Mother‟s child. Cool and logical right to the end.

"Oh... nine... very old..." Conor said, completely at a loss. "I did what? I'd want to do
what?" They were what? Oh he had to talk to Y'Roden and fast!

"Ring? Well do I look like I have a ring on me?" He cast a wild look at Lyra and Justin.
What he need right now was to be kidnapped himself.

Justin had lost it. It started with the decapitating, and after the new-tutoring he had tears
coming out of his eyes he was laughing so hard. As for the whole engaged thing, he
really wanted to help Conor out, but he was laughing too hard. He got his mirth under
control eventually, and finally managed to blurt out. "Oh, little one, I think you should
wait until you get engaged, after all, you barely know Conor." he had no idea how this
would be received.

He'd go see his son in a moment. Right now he was listening to the buzz of action
surrounding this place. It all felt blurry, but it was all still there for Galain and it hurt and
ached. All this family that he could feel along the web. It was alive and bubbling though
he felt like a bit that had been cut off and was just hovering nearby. He wondered what
his uncle felt and then chose not to dwell on it. Adarin had buried himself in affairs of
state lately, affairs of the heart having so deeply failed him twice it seemed.

Galain pinched the bridge of his nose and willed himself to slough off the inherent
sadness and grief that hovered next to his heart and soul all the time. This was his son's
day. His Glory's day.

Involuntarily he remembered the day Cully and Glory were born. He and his wife had
been such a confused and excited mess. But it had happened and the joy had been perfect.
After the loss of Tisane... so perfect and precious.
"This is my boy's day. It is precious and experienced only once," he told himself fiercely.
"I will be a father." For damn once came the involuntary echo.

The Elen prince stood and dressed, not quite in the wedding clothes he'd worn for his
wedding with An'Thaya. He still wore a simple shirt and trousers. There was a very
slender coronet of Elen silver that gilded his brow. It hurt deeply because of its
connection to the Aeglos, but he wore it anyway. It was a potent reminder of who and
what he was.

And he was barefoot. Where he walked today would be consecrated to his son and Cat's

He left the bare outline of a gown for his Ghet. It was of Elen design -- gossamer light
and gently conforming to her suddenly more pregnant form. The light fabric would
undulate about her figure and meld to her as she saw fit.

He headed off to find his son.

Yse blinked slowly and studied Conor from his toes to the top of his head. “Well… I
don‟t know, I haven‟t seen what is in your pants.”

“Pardon!” All right, Y‟Roden had finally made it into the Inn and he was staring
dumbfounded at his fair-haired daughter.

“Oh… Suilad Atto, have you met the shirtless man? We are engaged.” Something
suddenly occurred to the young D‟Riel and she turned back to the poleaxed Brendari, “I
don‟t even know your name!” And then Justin helpfully blurted it out and Yse beamed.

Catherine breathed a sigh of relief at Ghet's acceptance. And she too suddenly went shy.
She smiled at Ghet's prooffered hand, and said..."Come, on lets go." She took the stairs
slowly as if the reality of all of it was sinking in, and walked into the sunlit room that she
had shared with Barbara so long. Laying on the bed in all of its beauty was her dress. It
had been her mothers once a long time ago. And had been altered to form around her
barely showing stomache. She turned to Ghet. "Thank you for coming. It means a lot to
me. I know that this day is going to be awkward, but know that you are loved by more
then Galain." she spoke slowly forcing the words out of her.

"You have been along on so many of my adventures, and never treated me like the child I
was. You have become a dear friend, and I've never had the courage to say so. I came
close at the tournament, and Glory chewed me out for not doing it. He was wise." the
words continued to be stuttered out. "Anyhow, thank you." she said slowly coming to a
halt not sure where to go from there. She turned and walked over to the dress touching it
gently and with great joy.

Rhagi wrinkled his nose at Yseult and rolled his eyes. She might be nearly a whole year
older than him, but she was such a girl. "Yseult, that's icky. Conor doesn't want to do
yucky slobbery things with you. Anyway, it hurts." This conclusion he considered quite
sound, well grounded as it was in aural observation.

Ghet didn't know what to say. She was blushing fiercely, and close to tears. She'd had a
number of close female friends over the years, but they'd mostly been the more outgoing
exhuberant falling out of their dresses kind. After a couple of deep breaths, she had
another go at speaking. "Thank you, Catherine, I'm glad. I'm sorry if I seemed reluctant, I
just... I don't want anyone to feel like they have to choose, you know? I'd just planned to
stay out of the way. I still have a lot of anger and hurt in my heart, and it's not

She gave her face a little rub and stood straighter, trying to find a smile. "Glory's a
sweetheart, and I'm very glad, after all he's been through, that he's found someone that
can make him happy. Everyone's so fond of him, even Callan, I know they'll all try really

She put an arm around the other woman's shoulders gently. She was a touching person
herself, but she respected Catherine's shyness, and she was gentle. "I know I can be kind
of... intimidating sometimes. I've just always treated you as you deserve to be treated.
You're a gentle giving person, and that's something to be treasured. I know you will have
great joy of your husband, and your baby. Now, let's see about getting you into that
dress." A little grin twitched at her lips. "What do you have for under it?"

"No way," Marius said firmly. "If we're keeping them on opposite sides of the party, that
means we'll be in the middle, which is exactly where I'm planning not to be. I was
looking for more of a "completely out of it" position."

Watching Foxx with Elerina and Melian, he gave an evil grin. This woman was pro: she
even left his father in the dust when it came to corrupting small children.

Catherine understood Ghet's desire to hide. It was part of the reason she had decided the
way to involve her in the wedding was the dressing. It was personal, but it didn't force
Ghet to deal with things she wasn't ready or able to deal with. "You have the right to be
angry and hurt. Everybody does in this whole terrible situation." Catherine said gently.

She then turned to the dress. "Underneath? Well, let's see I think Barbara laid out
something somewhere. I'm gonna have to remember to thank her profoundly at a later
date." she said thinking of how many pieces her sister had picked up. Catherine
rummaged around and found a long slip, lacy panties and bra. "Ahh, here we go." she
said with a smile. She quickly changed into these, and then stared at the dress. It had a
gazillion buttons on the back. Somehow she didn't picture Glory having the patience to
undo those later. "Oh my, we could be here awhile." she said grimacing.

Granny got bored of Ki quite quickly. And was quite pleased when fresh meat portalled
in. She fluttered over to Marius, and let out a nice wolf whistle. "Oh, beautiful, its a work
of art, on a scale of 1 to 10 I give you 150!" she said cackling with great glee. And then
just to make sure she reached out and gave his rear a nice patt. "Yep, feels as good as it
looks." she said smirking revealing her decaying teeth. She'd added this look just recently
just to see how people reacted.

Foxx grinned at Marius "One of the many things I've learned is that you're less likely to
be killed if you run towards an explosion, because the blast will carry you back, ahead of
the shrapnel or something I'm not really sure how it works, but I'm here and it does
definitly work . ."

Then Granny Rain appraoched Foxx offered the two kids who were her cousins(? Kind of
sort of? maybe? heheheh) one hand a piece "Here! I'll show ya how it works!" Exactly
who she was talking to was unclear, til she ran away. Marius would find her later.

Elerina and Melian found themselves being dragged along. One of them managed just
about half a second before they were dragged into a dogpile on top of Y'roden. Someone
protested . . Elerina, probably Foxx guesstimated, based on the fact that Melian seemed to
have gotten into it and was happily bouncing on Y'roden while Foxx moved out of
immediate range "Triple points Melian!!!".

Then to Y'roden she grinned "Y'know I didn't teach him the bouncing thing . ." Elerina
meanwhile was looking around like everyone was nuts, then she joined in.

Foxx felt proud, almost weepy. Briefly she wondered if she could get Silverthorn . . Kids
were GREAT. So many things to teach them. Pepsi, these kiddos needed Pepsi!, And The
blonde on top of Conor, Yeah, she looked like she could use some too. She seemed
capable of real havok. Foxx grinned "Yse? Right? Ever have Pepsi? I'm Foxx."

Sharee had come out of the portal, and she was already to have a nice sulk. She was mad
at her sister, and didn't like the dress she was in, and her dad had made her come, and life
just wasn't fair. And then she saw somebody with a bigger scowl then hers, and realized
how unbecoming it was for a 300 year old girl to poubt. Sharee appeared to be about 4,
and tended to act that way, but she wasn't just as her sister she had a bit of a problem with
growing up.

Sharee fluttered over to Aspen, and said. "Hi, my names, Sharee, my sisters getting
married today to some yucky boy with a girls name. And I'm mad at her 'cause I wanted
to live with her, and play with all the lovely people at Dragon, and I wanted to meet a real
live dragon, and now my sister's babys gonna be a dragon, and its not fair 'cause I've
always wanted to be a dragon, and I can turn into a dragon do you want to see?" she said
in a burst of words. She'd decided this scowly lady needed to be entertained and she was
the girl to do it.

"Well, the whirlwind was Yseult and the one behind her was Drysi.. They're Y'roden and
Silverthorn's daughters... So I think that makes them cousins for you, Cassey love." And
then Taime and her husband and daughter were here, and her niece was smiling once
more. Carrick was looking at a flower the pixies had just passed by and was really quite
fascinated by it.
Melaina looked around, noticing the arrival of her younger siblings and waving to her
sisters. There really were a great deal of children around, though she wasn't sure how
many were children and how many were pixies. Carrick gave up on his flower and
wandered off towards a pixie who looked like a girl about his age.
The children being occupied gave Mel a chance to breathe, calming her worries about
certain family members being in close proximity. And then she was looking around for
something to do, suddenly at a bit of a loss.

Conlan looked around as his family appeared and then turned his gaze back to Kaylee's
eyes. Two children had blessed them since their own wedding, and he still loved her
more every day that she was by his side. He did keep track of where Cassey and Carrick
were, and what they were up to, despite Mel's teasing to the contrary.
A shimmery silver-green portal opened beside Mel and Conlan smiled as Amilyn made
her way through. The redhead wore a loose blue shift and wore tiny forget-me-nots in her
hair as she padded barefoot onto the grounds. She lightly gripped Mel's shoulder before
hugging her and then hugging Conlan. "You didn't think I'd miss Glory's wedding, did
you?" She smiled and watched her niece and nephew for a few moments. She'd seen them
on occasion, but most of her life had been spent on Whispin, sheltered and protected until
the Web had shattered and Mysti had turned.. Then she had begun training with the
Amazons. She waved exuberantely to Jaiden, Eos and the quads and then looked around
some more.
Conlan chuckled. "Our family is huge, little sister... More so than most realize.."

Cassey nodded as Mel explained who was who, and then her pack mate arrived, and her
Aunt Ami, and then for her it was like everything had to stop right then and there. The
little girl held a finger up to Naur then spun around to hug her aunt.

“Dara Ami!” The little elf giggled out, throwing her arms around her.

Naur stood silently, bouncing on her feet and rocking from her toes to her heels and back
again as she waited for Cassey to finish. She knew that her parents were somewhere, just
where that somewhere was though, there wasn‟t any telling. But Laucian wasn‟t right by
her side, so she figured that her mother trusted everyone that was here…either that or she
had fried one too many rears and they were afraid of her…Which could have been a
possibility, there was rarely anyone that went unscathed.

A startled squeak escaped her when she was tapped on the shoulder and the little girl
spun around and hugged Balan, then Kaylee and anyone else in the group that she
knew…or didn‟t know for that matter, they were all related in one way or another.

“Conlan? Can Cassey and I go play?”

Cassey turned soulful chocolate eyes up to her father. “Please Daddy?” She had learned
that „Daddy‟ was the magic word and that she could usually get what she wanted when
she used it.
Mel couldn't hold back the giggle when Conlan's face turned to mush. His muttered,
"Sure honey, have fun" was priceless.. It really was. Amilyn tagged along with the girls,
not being all that much older herself. Carrick was still investigating the pixie...

Ghet gave a self-deprecating chuckle. "Bad things happen when I get angry. Right or not,
I'd rather just be at peace. I have this child coming, and I have to be so strong..." Her
voice petered out into a whisper, and she swallowed hard.

She smiled when she saw Catherine's dress. The contrast with what Ghet had worn for
Galain lept to mind, and she had to fight down a snigger. "That's okay, I have very
nimble fingers. This is a beautiful dress." She ran her fingers over the fabric and smiled
gently, then she went to work on the buttons. "You and Glory will have to come and visit
us in Alcarinque some time. Once the babies are born."

Marius squawked. Which wasn't bad going, seeing as he'd been about to scream like a
girl. Then he stared in horror, dimly aware that Foxx had valiantly run off and left him to
fend for himself.

However. He had fabulous manners, and it was only a couple of minutes before he could
speak again. "Erm, hello. How, um, nice to meet you. Should I know you? I'm Marius."

Naur grinned and grabbed Cassey‟s hand who in turn grabbed Ami‟s and off they went,
until they realized holding hands while running wasn‟t all that easy because if one tripped
then they all tripped.

“Race you inside!” Cassey called out as she made a bee line for the door.

Catherine was actually quite curious now as to how Ghet would act when she was angry,
but she stowed that thought deep deep down inside. "You can't always be strong,
everybody has to have a shoulder to cry on." Catherine said gently.

And then she started to climb into the dress. She pulled it up, and seemed to be fitting
quite nicely, except for those gazillion of buttons that had to be done. "I'm sure you
fingers are nimble." Catherine said and then blushed slightly 'cause that just sounded
wrong somehow. "I promise to hold quite still, sides it will keep me from puking. And
somehow blushing bride and pregnant woman throwing up doesn't quite go together." she
said chattering nervously.

She then switched back to Ghet's words. "I'd like to visit sometime, Glory loves Whispin,
which I realize right now is rather a hard word to deal with, but I'd love to see how the
other half of his heritage fits in." she said trying not to squirm. The conversation was
good it was keeping her from becoming nervous. Nervous was not good, she'd flutter, and
then she'd throw up. And then their was the whole scary Callan thing which she was also
not thinking about. It seems like a whole lot of people were trying hard to *not* think
about that.
G'den smiled when he saw the young maiden skipping down the creek bed. He didn't
wish to startle her, but it seemed the two of them had the same idea. He thought he
recognized her as his daughters friend, but couldn't quite remember if he'd met her or not.
"Hiding?" he asked quietly. "And aren't you in the wedding and supposed to be upstairs
with Cat?" he asked curiously. "I'm hiding too, there's some rather scarey pixie's out
their." he confided. "I should know, I'm their ruler, and they scare me all the time." he
said chuckling softly. And trying to draw Meghan out.

The attempt to look serious had long since ended; there was no way she could keep a
straight face with the way Conor was being treated. She smiled at Rhagi, trying to at least
avoid giggling for the moment. "I grew up very quickly. A couple of years, I suppose, as
you measure time before I looked like this. After that, I looked after myself."
Quickly, she turned away, covering her mouth, before nodding to Justin to indicate her
approval. Causing a little trouble was always fun.

And while she was sure Conor would appreciate some help, the whole situation was just
too amusing. But oh well, all good things must end...

She leant over towards the girl and whispered in her ear. "You don't want to be engaged
to him," she glanced sidelong at Conor and giggled a little, "he's not very well-endowed.
We're not talking horse-like here. More like..." she held up two fingers, very close
together, to indicate what she meant. In a way, she sort of hoped the girl didn't
understand. Conor was going to kill her. If he could catch her...

Ghet shrugged, pausing to pull the bodice of Catherine's dress into line before she went
on with the buttoning. "Galain needs me. He needs my strength and my love to help him
keep it together. I'd be hurt if he didn't lean on me, knowing how badly he is... broken.
And there have been times when I was broken, his strength kept me together. When he's
better, then I can think about me. I'm sure people will excuse you anything today, even
puking. I got a little bit drunk the first time I got married, but then of course I wasn't
pregnant, just very, very nervous." She smiled fondly. "I was nervous again when I
married Galain, even though it was just the two of us. There, we're done, turn around.
You look beautiful. What are we going to do with your hair?"

She gave a little frown, and thought a moment about what she really wanted to say.
"Whispin is beautiful. I have a home in S'Hea that I was given when Rhagi was born. For
a long time... I couldn't go back there. It reminded me too much of Y'Roden. Every
memory I had of the place was twined with loving him. Going back made the pain of
losing him too fresh. It's like that now for Galain, I think. An'Thaya, on the other hand,
won't set foot in Alcarinque. Too many bad things happened to her there. For a while, it
was a place you just didn't go. I saw Galain executed there. Now it's the only safe place
we have. And I think, every time a child comes there, a little more life comes into the
place. I'm not the kind of woman to have hordes of children, so it'll have to be other
people's." She laughed. "Though you won't catch me calling them grandchildren."
Conor may not have caught Lyra but Silverthorn certainly had. Elves had very good
hearing after all. Cold fire sparked in the jade green eyes that had been dancing with
laughter at the antics of the children. "Suilad" she said coldly to Lyra. "I don't believe
we've met. My name is Silverthorn. Yseult is my daughter. And you would be?" A dark
brow rose in query.

"Atto put my clothes on the bed" Caolan said to Mira in his usual quiet manner.

"Now I just have to persuade him to put them on" Bran added drily, giving his wife a wry
smile. "Having fun with Muirne? I heard the commotion over the dress."

The fair-haired elf was himself dressed in loose-fitting dark green trousers and a loose
white shirt. As with the other guests he was barefoot. His pale locks shifted against his
shoulders as he glanced over at his dark-haired son. "Time to get ready I think, yondo. I
can hear the others starting to arrive downstairs."

"Will there be other children there?" the boy asked, trotting obediently over to the bed.

"From the sounds below I think so. I know your Dara and Daro were thinking of letting
Drysi and Yse come along" his father said, helping him to pull his shirt over his head.

"Lots of children?" The jade green eyes that regarded Bran as the boy's head popped out
of the neck hole held a tinge of anxiety.

The fair-haired elf's heart clenched slightly. "You'll be fine" he promised his son,
kneeling to hug him for a moment. "Most of them will be your cousins remember. You've
met most of the Alcarins too as well. Amil and Atto will be there, so will Muirne."

Small arms crept around his father's neck. "I love you, Atto" Caolan whispered.

"I love you too, yondo."

Drysi watched a little wide-eyed as her father was pounced by Foxx and two of her
cousins. The dark-haired little girl had stood shyly behind her twin, slightly over-awed by
all the people. Her bouncy excitement had died somewhat, dampened by the presence of
so many new faces. She had never been able to just chatter like Yseult did. Sometimes
she wished she could, and could only watch with a tinge on envy as her platinum-haired
sister made friends with total strangers.

Edging closer to Rhagi, she whispered "Who is the lady with the white hair?" Emerald
eyes looked from Lyra to her half-brother and back again. There was an air of carefully
controlled anger about her Amil as she spoke to the white-haired woman that made the
little girl edgy.
Taking advantage of the chaos surrounding the arrivals at the Inn, Fechine sneaked off.
Crowds still bothered him a little. He knew that most of the people here were friends and
family, but they could still be a little overwhelming in large numbers. Most of them were
just so loud.

The chestnut-haired youth drew in deep breath of the fresh air as the sounds faded
slightly with distance. Almost twenty years old now, it had been awhile since he had had
occasion to come to the Dragon Inn. That had been for the last wedding that had been
held here. With everything that had happened since that seemed almost a lifetime ago. It
was hard to believe that he had ever been that carefree and innocent.

Shrugging away such thoughts, he paused at the sound of voices. "Suilad Meg" the youth
said, a genuine smile curving his lips at the sight of his friend. "Its good to see you." He
nodded to Gden. "Suilad. I'm not sure if we've ever been introduced. My name is Fechine
D'Riel. You would be the bride's father I believe?"

Lyra looked up at the elf. Catching the subtleties of emotion was not a strong point of
hers, but the tone of her question did not seem... friendly. She bowed a little, and stepped
back. "I am Lyra... apologies if I caused offense," she added, hoping she was not about to
get thrown out, "I was just fooling around. It's sort of in my nature." she looked awkward
and apologetic.

Evidently children should not be allowed to play with Faeries even when they were on
comparatively good behaviour.

"Fooling around is in the nature of virtually all of those present here" Silverthorn said in a
soft tone that was somehow all the more deadly for its lack of volume. "so you should fit
right in. However, innocence can be a precious thing. Children have to grow up all too
soon. So, if it happens to be my children you decide to 'fool around' with, then keep it
within those limits. Otherwise you may find yourself on the receiving end of a distinctly
unpleasant surprise." The smile the dark-haired elf gave the faerie was far from

Lyra nodded, half-understanding. For all the time she had spent among 'real' folk she still
hadn't entirely grasped what was and wasn't allowed. It had got her into trouble so many
times, and sometimes more seriously than this. At least Silverthorn hadn't actually tried to
lock her up or kill her. Yet.

Silverthorn gave a short nod and turned away from the faerie to glance down at her
husband. "Having fun, melda?" she asked drily. Her gaze met Foxx's with distinct
warning. The dark-haired elf was not in the mood to be pounced on and the speculative
expression in the redhead's eyes was not a good sign. "Suilad Foxx. You brought guests
this time I see? Suilad Melian, Elerina. How are you both? I imagine Galain must be
around here somewhere so you could practice pouncing on him too at some point no
Yseult stared up at her mother with wide jade eyes for a moment, then switched her gaze
to Lyra when Silverthorn turned her attention to Y'Roden and Foxx.

"What," she asked the white haired woman, "does endowed mean? Wait... ok, Atto is a
King, and he often endows people with land, and the Lords endow their children with
dowries. So you mean he doesn't have much land? Or a very big dowry?" The girl
beamed proudly, having obviously figured it out, then frowned, "Why would a horse
need a dowry?"

Y'Roden had gone down with an ommph, lovely how gravity works. The King of S'Hea
stared up at his bouncing nephew and blinked. "Sulaid Melian, have you been a good boy
for your Atto? Where is Elerina? Oh! There she is! Ommph!"

Y'Roden the trampoline ... well, it was far from the first time.

Will a yodel the half-elf tackled the pair of miscreants and tickled them within an inch of
their little lives.

"Yes!" he crowed to his wife, "lots of fun!"

He had quite forgotten his intention to kick Conor's behind.

"Barefoot?" Callan snorted lightly, then looked through An'Thaya's eyes at his mate's
reflection in the mirror. "Sweet Brighid...You are beautiful." The Emperor's fingers
closed around her delicate waistline as he stood behind her and leaned forward, putting
his eyes on the same level as hers and for a moment nuzzled her ear. "And there is more
to this trip than just watching your son get married." Callan rumbled softly.

Gods, it would be the first time either of them were in the same room with Galain Alcarin
since Callan's blinding in the forge and An'thaya being with the elf at her cottage on
Whispin...the day the shard of Galain's essence was removed from her soul.

"We'll be okay, you and I. Eventually. And, I swear by the bond between us that Glory
will have nothing but good memories about today."

"Just remember..." Topaz eyes that had been closed flickered open, and he met his own
blind gaze through An'Thaya's emerald eyes, "I'll be here..."

The mirror began to seem almost fluid, like melting ice and Callan could see the faint
outlines of a busy Inn, its grounds packed with people.

"After you, M'lady Empress...and the boots stay on..."

It was a little known fact...but the bottoms of Callan's feet were incredibly ticklish after
thousands of years of wearing boots in half-elven form...and he'd be undignified enough
having to listen, feel for air pressure changes, and rely on everything BUT his sense of
sight to get him through this without making an embarrassing scene.

Not to mention...

It wouldn't be good for him to inadvertantly find a sticker patch...or worse...a stray tack
or two left by a certain Elen Prince...

"OH!" Meghan started at the sound of the soft voice behind her, stumbled on the water
slick pebbles and nearly fell completely over as indigo eyes lifted to see the man who
surely was Catherine's father, and directly behind her was a voice she'd known since the
first time a wayward group of wedding-dressed children had found this hidden place. Her
soft smile she'd been wearing whilst wading was replaced with a wide grin.

"Suilad G'den Rain...I assume you are Miss Catherine's father...and malishm, Fechine
D'Riel." The elf maid gave G'den a conspiritorial wink and signed.

"I lost track of time...I...I've always found large groups of people...suffocating. I just get
incredibly nervous."

The sounds of laughter and soft music drifted down to join the sounds of the stream and
indigo eyes peered around G'den and through the trees.

"I suppose you are right," Meghan's eyes turned as she looked over her shoulder, "I
should be going...but, could I have an escort? I might feel braver with the father of the
bride on one arm and a Prince of S'hean on the other."

"There I was trying to escape myself" Fechine teased gently, "and now you're just going
to make me go back again." He smiled at his friend, moving forward to join her and
Gden. "But I would be delighted to escort m'lady" the chestnut-haired youth continued,
bowing and offering Meghan his arm. He looked every inch the Prince he was, despite
the casualness of the loose black trousers and emerald green shirt that he wore, barefoot
as were all his family. That was until he glanced up again and the mischievous laughter
could be seen dancing in his emerald gaze.

"Aaaagh!" Muirne scrabbled at the gauzy dress and yanked ruthlessly at the fabric that
threatened to drift up her nose and down her throat.

"Why?! Why do I have to wear these stupid..."

A loud rip...possibly a seam tearing down the back of the dress echoed through the fair-
haired dragon-elf's room.

"Darn it..." Muirne flopped down on the bed, dress around her neck and lay there looking
at the ceiling for a moment then picked up the stuffed dragon that lay on the bed with
her...a gift from the pixie Catherine. Muirne and Caolan had been unborn when the gift
had been given, but Sunsong (Muirne was privately enamored of the golden Alcarin
dragon and had dubbed the pink, squeeky teddy-dragon after him) had become dear to

"So, its a dress then...aye...I'll wear it, but not like this."

Muirne sat up and resummed tugging, then heard laughter and giggling drifting up to her

"Drys and Yse! Ohhhh..."

Slim, pale arms slid through the pale green sleeves of the dress even as the back changed,
the wide straps becoming something more slender and criss-crossed like her overalls
did...allowing room for silvery black wings to slip out. Full skirts swept down and
brushed the tops of her toes and black ravens threaded around the hem in intricate

Mamma wasn't the only one who could change her clothes to suit herself.

Muirne was a princess...and darn it...she wanted to look like one. Gold hair fell in a loose
sheet between her shoulders and down her back as bare feet carried the headstrong Badb-
Catha child to her door, strode past her atto and amil, and went downstairs, her head held
high...leaving Mira to gape at her daughter in the room above.

" down, one to go, melda..." Mira muttered and shook her head when she'd
finally stopped laughing silently.

When Muirne finally decided to do something, she did it...all the way. The only thing
marring her daughters more...mature...look, was the pink squeeky dragon she was
carrying by the tail.

"Let's make that two down. Right, yondo" Bran said, smiling at his son as he made final
adjustments to the trousers and shirt that the boy wore.

Caolan nodded silently, his jade green eyes following his twin as she made her way down
the stairs, pink dragon in tow.

Rising to his feet, Bran took the dark-haired boy's hand and slipped his free arm around
his wife's waist. "All set, melda? Shall we go and face the hordes?" He stole a quick kiss
from her and then the trio headed towards the stairs themselves.

A faint blush had colored An‟Thaya‟s cheeks at the compliment and one hand lifted,
fingers lightly touching Callan‟s jaw as he nuzzled her ear. The stray thought whispered
through her mind, that if he kept that up, they wouldn‟t be going anywhere.

Thank you… a smile curved the edge of the Amazon‟s mouth, How could I possibly
forget? Emerald and crimson shifted within black, sending a slight shiver down the
redhead‟s spine as the mirror changed. I love you, Callan.

“Such a gentleman Milord Emperor,” Tay said aloud, grinning slightly and giving in on
the boots dilemma. They passed through the shimmering surface and emerged near the
door of the Dragon Inn, the noise of chatter and laughter nearly overwhelming. Added to
that, was the vibrating web which both were firmly attached too.

Yet, in the chaos of it all, there were two presence‟s that stood out immediately for the
diminutive woman and a small cry of joy preceded the appearance of two running eight
year olds. Having escaped their tickling uncle the pair had sensed their mother on the web
and mobbed her in unison, nearly taking the slight Amazon off her feet in their
enthusiasm, and may very well have, had it not been for the solid wall of Callan at her
back. Melian and Elerina were nearly as tall she was now, though with their shining
blonde tresses they could hardly have looked more different.

“Amil!” The pair had a terrible habit of speaking at once, and it brought An‟Thaya to
laughter tinged tears. Gods… had it really been over four months since she had seen

“Hello my sweetlings. Gods I‟ve missed you. Have you been good for your Atto?”

“Yes Amil, Alcarinque is beautiful! Are you going to come visit us there soon?”

For several reasons, Tay went a little pale and hugged the twins a little harder. “We will
see, now give Amil a kiss before you go running off again.”

Melian did so, then paused to stare at the hulking dragon emperor behind his mother.
“Suilad, I‟m Melian. Who‟re you?”

"You seem to have lost your victims, love" Silverthorn said softly, glancing down at her
husband. Jade green eyes had followed the twins progress across the room to where
An'Thaya and Callan had just appeared. The dark-haired elf spotted the emotion in the
redhead's gaze and a twinge of sympathy went through her. This could not be easy for
her, or anyone involved for that matter.

Looking down at Ro again, a smile curved Silverthorn's lips. She was lucky, and she
knew it.

Eyes wide Aspen stared at the children running pass her. It always amazed her how the
Inn could sense, if that was the word, that it needed to expand as more guests arrived.

One thing Aspen couldn‟t deny was the different emotions she felt lingering in the air.
There were stories being written here. Planting a smile on her face she made her way
over to Silverthorn, feeling she should at least try and be sociable.

“It‟s good to see you Silverthorn, Ro. Can I get you two anything?”
Y‟Roden had felt An‟Thaya‟s arrival at the same time as the twins and released his hold
on them, watching them burn a track in the floor on the way to their Mother. He was
smiling rather stupidly when Silverthorn looked down at him. “Ah, well, it was to a good
cause. And…” one massive hand darted up and grabbed his wife‟s wrist, pulling her
down on top of him, “there are always more victims.” The half-elf stole a kiss, then
zoned in on her ticklish spots.

At that point a voice cut into his tickle frenzy and the King froze, looking rather like a
deer caught in the headlights as he stared up at Aspen.

"Oh.. ahem, hey there. Something to drink would be nice... Brandy maybe?"

"Hey! Cut that out! I AM NOT A VICTIM" Silverthorn was exclaiming as her husband
attacked. "Ack! Noooo!" Giggling madly and slapping at his hands, it was a slightly
breathless elf that looked up at Aspen. "Suilad Aspen. Don't give him the brandy. He's
bad enough without it" she said with an evil grin.

Lyra grinned a little at the child. Silverthorn probably didn't need to worry -- it seemed to
have sailed straight over her head anyway. "I think," she said, "that your mother might
just kill me if I answered that question. Why don't you tell me who you are?"

Aspen stared at the two, "Well I have to admit I've never seen you two, ah, quite like this.
Maybe a brandy for both of you might work." For once the smile that appeared on
Aspen's face was not sarcastic. She liked seeing the king blush a bit ... so much for

Silverthorn made a faint grimace. "I appreciate the offer, Aspen" she said, "but I've
always said that brandy was a disgusting substance. Its far too sweet for my taste. I'd
rather have whiskey for preference." She grinned and took advantage of the distraction
the other woman had provided to tickle her husband. Revenge was called for.

Drake had let Willow sleep in as he made his way back to the Inn. He was barefooted,
just like his wife had explained the night before, but still he watched his step. The first he
saw was Emily making her way to the cottage.

"You'll find Willow asleep. The children are in their room."

Shaking his head as the cat stopped, blinked then went on, drake mumbled, "She a genie!
I think I need to check on that pepsi Willows drinking. It might have gone bad."

That's when he heard laughter as he exited the forest.

Lots and lots of laughter.

"By the gods! Did everyone suddenly have children? And look at all the pixies. Galain
must be in seventh heaven, trying to capture them all with twine so he can fly them like

His thoughts quickly fell on poor Furlough. He knew the cook had to know about the
wedding, but if he saw all the people that showed up, he would quit for sure. Sneaking
into the kitchen, he found Furlough busy at work, making sandwiches, fixing punch, and
was just bringing out the last layer of cake from the oven. Without saying a word Drake
snuck past him, grabbing a sandwich on the way out.

"Suilad everyone," Drake called out as he made his way over towards the bar. "Where did
all the children come from? They all don't belong to they?"

Grabbing a coke from behind the bar, he quickly opened it and took a deep drink. "I hope
everyone's finding everything they need. If anyone needs a room, the keys are at the end
of the bar there. Just take one, but I must warn some of you, the rooms once unlocked
will focus on your feelings and moods. So don't be surprised if you walk in to a forest, a
beach, or anything your mind can amagine."

Stepping up to Tay and Callan, Drake looked down before shaking his head. "You'll have
to lose the boots my friend. As you can tell by the others here, it's a barefooted wedding.
You wouldn't want Willow to pounce on you, would you? She made me go barefoot," as
he looked down, wiggling his toes.

Laughing, Drake took a swallow of his coke. "But feel blessed. It could have been a
naked wedding," as he winked at Tay.

"You're welcome to the food and drinks. The bill for everything's going to Catherine's
father, so the custom goes. The wedding will be outside, by the Rose arbor. I myself
wanted it to be in the middle of the stream, but Willow didn't care for that idea. Now
have a great time, and behave yourselves."

Slipping away, he found a nice...but not so quiet corner where he could sit and watch the
children run past.

"So many children. Now who belongs to who..."

By the end of the day he would be at his wits end, trying to remember who's kid went
with who.

"Maybe I should have woken up grumpy? Naa! I'm glad I let her sleep in..."

Galain had found Glory's room and knocked on it, waiting patiently for his son to finally
answer the door. Sea-green met emerald as the door eased open and Galain donned his
brightest smile as he stepped into the room and clapped a hand on his son's shoulder.

"Well yondo. You've done it now," he said as the door swung closed.
Conor's face was permanently stuck in an expression of shocked surprise and had
somehow endeavored to make his six foot six frame as small as possible as he narrowly
avoided Y'Roden's attention and then Silverthorn's. It had been the whole "I haven't
seenw hat is in your pants" statement that had left the Brendari floored. Where had she
heard such a thing? Did she know what she was saying? He gave Rhagi another surprised
look and then just groaned when Lyra decided what was in his pants was fair game in
trying to convince Yse that she was better off without Conor.

"I'm just going to stay right here on the floor," he mumbled to himself though he
supposed he should eventually go find Glory's room.

Somewhere in the midst of all this was Mak and he'd lost track of Kaelie so he was by
himself and peering into a mug of beer in a useless attempt to see if he was still orange
and blue. He could feel the hum of the D'Riel web and knew when certain people arrived.
He pivoted slowly about when he saw his mother arrive, but simply watched her from his
little corner of the taproom. Then he turned back around, a thoughtful expression on his
face and peered back into the beer.

Wait... he was still orange!

Still with the smile plastered on her face Aspen left and retrieved the drinks that
Silverthorn and Ro had requested. She spied Drake as he entered and looked for Willow.
"Hmpf, probably left her to deal with the kids on her own. Men!"

Returning she stood next to the couple as they continued with their tickling fetish and
waited to hand them their drinks.

G'den was outside so he didn't hear Drake's comment about the bill, but he was well able
to deal with it. He was faced with the lovely job of escorting Meg. He linked his elbow
with her as he had with his own daughters so many times, and elegantly helped her move
towards the inn. He smiled at the introductions. "Yes, I'm Catherine's father. And you
must be Y'Roden's." he said turning to Fechine. "Its a pleasure to meet you both." he said
with a gracious smile. "We must be the three most anti-social ones here?" he said almost
to him self. He'd come back to the creek later, for now he had a daughter to find, a
wedding to do and so on and so forth.

Lyra shot Conor an apologetic look. The poor guy seemed to be in a state of complete
shock. She was going to have to make it up to him somehow.

Catherine got a bit dreamy when she thought about children. And got the sappy bride
expression on her face, and quite forgot where the conversation had been going. The
question about hair and headpiece brought her back to reality. "Hair? long, and natural,
but I have a head piece somewhere here." She went over to her trunk that had somehow
arrived back at the Inn, she supposed she had her sister to thank for that too. And began
to rumage. "Ahh, here it is."
She pulled up a white veil, that she would be attatching to the crown of her head, and
letting it trail over the top of her hair. The veil was made of white lace in a beautiful rose
pattern. It had been in the family since Ireland. She breathed in its smell. It reminded her
of home. And for a brief moment she wondered why she had decided to have the
wedding here, and not home. And then she remembered the last time off-worlders had
came to Garden, and decided Dragon was just find.

"I'm not exactly sure how to attatch it to my hair. I have a couple combs, how are you at
hair?" she said with a smile.

And then she remembered the original conversation about Galain and healing. She kept
hearing tidbits of history, and really wished their was a book or something to read that
would help her understand everybody's pasts. But she pushed that thought aside, and
hesitated for a moment. "Ghet, I gave you a gift at the tournament, to give you the
strength you needed to deal with something I still don't quite understand, and am
probably glad I don't."

As she talked she made her way to her trunk once again. She dug down deep looking for
something she had kept wrapped up. She finally found it, it was a dried rose similar to
one she'd given Mira so long ago. This one wasn't attatched to her friends wedding. But it
was tied indelibly with the peace of home, and gave its honor strength when they needed
it most. "I'd like you to have this. It will act similarly, and give you the strength you need
when you find yourself struggling." she said. She handed the gentle and delicate pink and
white dried rose to Ghet.

She then turned away to give the woman time to deal with what she had done, and began
fussing with the headpiece

Willow had awakened to the sound of Sierra demanding her breakfast. "Ah, young lady
hold on mommy is coming. Let's get you fed and then I can set up some bottles for you
for later and milk and steak for your brother." Nursing your child had some advantages
but there were disadvantages too. She peered down at her daughter as she set in the
rocking chair knowing that time would play its tricks here and when she and Drake
returned from the wedding Sierra would be up chasing Aran around. She would cherished
this moment and file it away as a special memory.

Hearing a knock on the door she put Sierra back in her crib. "Emily, thank you for
coming. Did you see Drake on the way?"

The young woman standing before Willow chuckled softly saying that all Drake had seen
was a white cat. She was going to wait and let him see her this way when Salem was

Laughing Willow showed her where everything was, then ran to the bedroom where she
slipped into a gauzy emerald green dress that reached to the ground. She looked in the
mirror pleased to see that she was back to her old self. She hoped that Drake would be
pleased too.

Peeking once more at Sierra and Aran she slipped out of cottage and made her way to the

She heard the laughter of children and saw many of her friends mingling about. Seeing
Aspen with Ro and Silverthorn she chuckled. Her sister would find a way to get even

Heading for the bar first she grabbed one of her "Diet Pepsis". Glancing about she
wonder why Conor was on the floor. But decided she better not ask.

Now where was Drake? Spotting him sitting in a corner watching the children she quietly
snuck up behind him wrapping an arm around his shoulder as she kissed him on the

"Thank you for letting me sleep in. You know dear, the extra time with the children as
they are now was special. You do realize when we return they will be older?" Letting out
a sigh, "Time has been so out of kilter here lately."

Willow was silent for a moment as she stood next to Drake, watching more guests arrive,
thinking of her own wedding and all that had happen since. For now the Inn was full of
laughter and merriment as it should be for Glory and Catherine's wedding.

Smiling down at Drake as he sat next to her, "Is there anything I can get you? Another
coke? Or …"

Taim watched as Naur made a bee-line for Cassey. She was still a little uncertain about
being here, but someone had to be there to represent the Silverleaf family. Gent couldn‟t
make it, Shadow was having problems dealing with the Dolen‟er, and Devin…well, he
just tended to be reclusive. He always felt so out of place towering over people…which
just left her

Laucian prodded his wife. “Don‟t you think we should interact more or do you wish to
bring ill tidings upon the couple.”

The fire mage looked up and frowned slightly, she only wished the best for Glory and his
soon to be, “It‟s a little late to comment about ill tidings, I married a demon remember?
Come on.” She laughed out and headed off to join the others.

“Well, if it isn‟t my good friend Conlan…” The look on her face and the tone of her
voice said she could easily be up to her old tricks.

Conor caught Lyra's expression and finally just had to grin.
"I'm okay. Are you okay? Should we plan this kidnapping? I... " He eyed Yse again and
got to his knees. Hey! He was getting closer to getting back to his feet.

"It is..." Summerlin was actually finally feeling a tad overwhelmed and positively hung
onto her husband. "You think they're all..." Her eyes were large as she tried to take
everything in.

"Maybe if we stay outside it will be less crazy," she murmured just as she caught sight of
Jaiden with her five children. Eos was surprisingly grown and Summerlin's jaw dropped.
She carried herself very much like an Amazon and the Elen smiled to herself.

Lots of children, but they were all growing up.

"Well, I suppose first of all we need a place to hide her. Any suggestions? I'm new here,
not sure if theirs any secret cranys fit for a pixie sister." Justin said with mischief in his
eyes and face.

And then it happened.

You may have all been wondering where Cham was. See he was supposed to have been
left home. He had caused enough damage the last time Justin had been off-world. But
Cham had seen his chance and snuck in when all the pixie's had, and had just been
quietly biding his time.

Cham for those who had never met him is a purple dinosaur. He's grown a little bit, but
has finally reached his full height of approximately five feet. He entered the room and
found all the kids, and was quite delighted. He came over to the one peskering Conor and
growled and wagged his tail looking for all the world like a puppy dog. He'd been
practicing a good long time, and could now talk human. Allbeit quite slowly. "Want to
play? Play by creek?" he asked of the little girl.

Glory raised his eyebrows at his father's words and then he realized what Galain meant.

"I may have done it now, but I'm glad," he said. "It's still so amazing though." He gave
his father a quick smile and stared at Galain's clothes.

"Looking sharp there," he observed. He himself was dressed as well -- that was the
blessing of being male -- not so many buttons to deal with.

"Thanks," Galain replied with a smile. "Conor and Cully know you're up here?"

"Probably not. I'm not sure when I'm supposed to go down or if I should stay up here or if
I'm supposed to talk to Daro Ro or what," Glory replied, suddenly looking very frazzled.

Galain burst into laughter and hugged his son close.
"You're exactly like I was on my wedding day with your mother. I was just sort of in a
daze until the right moment came and then it was all clear. Don't worry about details.
Okay? All that matters is you're marrying the woman you love and who is going to give
you such happiness you'll wonder how you existed before you met her."

Glory nodded and gave his father a careful look. Galain just shrugged.

"Don't say a word. This is your day. Enjoy it. I'll go find your brother and friend. Okay?"

"All right. One of them has to have the ring anyway. I think... right?"

"Oh sure," was Galain's airy reply as he headed to the door and left his son alone for a
few minutes.

Where to hide a kidnapped bride... Conor was thinking hard and eyed Cham for a
moment, surprised by the creature's size and its ability to speak. Well, the speaking part
was an improvement over the last time he'd seen Cham and he grinned a bit. Would Yse
"bite", so to speak?

"Well all of the rooms are enchanted here -- keyed to whatever your imagination or
desires are. So I bet any of the rooms would be a good hiding place -- I take it you don't
want to freak Glory out too much?" Conor offered.

Justin thought back to Glory trimming the ship sails with sheers, and Glory playing
dragon fire balls with Callan, and then he stopped. "No, the object isn't to hide her too
hard, sides their bonded he'll find her eventually if he follows the heart beat, the object is
just to startle him a bit. And Cat will play along as long as we don't get carried away, its
all tradition you see." he said with a big grin. "Though scarying Glory has its side
benefits...he did almost drown us." he said snickering.

Well, Yse had finally decided that no, Conor definitely did not have an engagement ring
in his pants, and… adults were very, very strange. And now, now she was trying to figure
out what the purple thing was. Giving it a dubious look she turned to look at Rhagi and
Drysi. “Want to go play in the water?”

All three being S‟Hean, the answer being yes was a safe bet.

Foxxes look went from *Calculating* to *Stunningly Innocent* as soon as she realised
Silverthorn was watching her. She even whistled a few bars.

Then she just grinned madly. Briefly she wondered about Marius and whether or not he'd
escaped Granny. The thought of those teeth gave her the heebie-jeebies. Over to one side
she could see Melian and Elerina with 'Thaya and Callan . . something was off, Ah On
rather. Boots.

Foxx wiggled her toes and continued her survey.
Then she began to sidle across the innalmost in range, almost almost, angle correction to
avoid flying beer . . Foxx tackled Mak "Y'know when I picked this dress out I was mildy
afraid it would impair my abilities" She began while looking at a minorly splattered Mak
"But it seems to work just fine". One hand reached out and ruffled his hair "Y'know its
Glory getting Married not you . . Is the orange a contact nervous reaction? I mean, I know
you're an Alcarin n'all".

Granny fluttered up so she'd be eye level with Marius. "Know me, of course not sonny, I
just arrived with that lot of fluttering idjiots. I was just admiring a good view, you have
make one you know." she said and cackled with glee. "I should know, I've been admiring
for a long, long, time." She fluttered around him a couple times, she was quite unaware of
Alcarin's tendancy to fly fae. "Yes sirree fill out those britches quite nicely." she said
with a toothy grin.

Mak was startled by Foxx's appearance and then he blushed beneath the orange.

"It's Conor's fault. He was doing a magic trick for the magic contest and it backfired and
a whole lot of got turned orange and blue and... so no, it's not a nervous reaction," he
replied hurriedly. He stared at Foxx's dress and grinned. He thought it was stunning.
Well, she was stunning -- in all meanings of the word. He tried to straighten out his
ruffled hair and pinched the bridge of his nose.

"Everyone else got their colors sorted but me. Am I blue yet?"

Sharee was quite miffed. Aspen had acted as she hadn't been seen. This was not a good
thing to do to a pixie, especially one who was already feeling rather ornrey. So she
decided Aspen was in for it. She fluttered around trying to decide how to deal with this
rude person. She finally decided that the first thing to do was give her a hair change. She
snapped her fingers and some static electricity arrived, she sent it hovering over Aspen's
head. It would make her hair stand up quite nicely. She skirted back and waited to see
what rude lady would do now.

Foxx grinned wickedly "I dunno, How do you feel? Personally I find tequila sunrises a
markedly good cure for the blues . ." Then she winked.

"Actually most oddly coloured drinks work. Now you're . . " Foxx tipped her head "What
colour do you get when you mix blue and orange? I don't think that colour has been
named yet . . Its pretty horrible . . Ah there it goes. Now you're blue, well blue-er than
that intermediary colour"

"You're quite fetching in blue. I could try and undo that for you . . Or I could just get you
a drink, Yours seems to have spilt". Foxx got up and very gallantly offered Mak her hand.

Her eyes definitly twinkled as she scolded "You shouldn't play around on the floor in
your wedding clohes you know, you'll get messy"
Okay, he was losing Yse, but he couldn't complain. She sort of frightened Conor and he
definitely didn't have a wedding ring or whatever in his pocket. He had a pencil... and his

He stared up at Justin and Lyra.

"Okay, startling is good and I very much remember what Glory did on that... that wasn't a
cruise... what was it?"

"Drinks? I should try a drink?" Mak stared at Foxx, feeling a tad confused. He thought
about blue and orange and could only think of black and shuddered. "I'm blue? Now?" he
exclaimed with dismay. "What do you mean intermediary?" He'd indeed spilled the warm
beer and grabbed Foxx's hand instinctively.

"I can't be blue-er," he muttered, but he was worried. And then she blew his fuses. "What
wedding clothes? I'm in them already?!"

Sometiems Foxx wished she was tall enough to pat Alcarins on the head reassuringly. As
it wa sshe jsut patte dhis back "There, there . . its okay . . you'll be fiiiiiiiine" Then she
laughed, which was really not all that reassuring.

"Intermediary is the middle . . Drinks are always good. When all else fails, and usually
before, I try drinks. It works for me. Or at least makes me forget the problem which is
almost the same thing. I just assumed you were in wedding clothes. It strikes me of
something you should be more certain of though. I've never been to a S'hean wedding
before so I've no idea if anyone is supposed to wear anything, well I'm fairly sure they're
supposed to wear something but I'm not sure exactly what the something is, unless they're
not suppposed to wear anything . . Should we be wearing anything? Everyone is wearing
something . .".

"Ah well Callan's in boots so I won't get in trouble first. Lets get a drink. And you are
blue-er I think its because you're panicking, its kind of purple now but I think thats just
natural blood flow under blue skin . . "

"Is that man turning blue?" Justin asked looking over in Mak's direction. He hadn't met
him yet, and was a little startled by the color. He had thought he'd cleaned up all the
magic mess, but apparently Mak had been missed.

"Umm, no definitely NOT a cruise." Justin said laughing a little too hard. "So, these
rooms, do we need a key, or what?" Drake's announcement had rather been missed in the
crowd of people.

Galain made it halfway down the stairs and then his courage failed him. He could sense
so much and in some ways it was comforting, in other ways it was sickening. He leaned
against the railing and then sat down a moment, ducking his head between his legs. He
was good at acting for his kids, but not very good for himself. He took a few deep breaths
and then stood up again, descending lower and batting a few pixies out of the way. He
stared and found Conor and then looked for Cully. Oh yes, he was with Wil whose
bosoms were liberally revealed. Despite it all the elf had to grin.

Then he had to sit again. He'd get Cully first he supposed.

Hey boyo, he sent quietly.

"I will? You sure?" Mak was not at all sure. He was certain he was blue though. "Just...
help me find a drink then," he said. He stared down at himself and figured it was time to
at least don said wedding clothes and a moment later he was dressed in a soft blue outfit
sans footwear. He blanched at bit at the blue, but didn't say a word.

"I am in wedding clothes now," he offered to Foxx who had successfully spun his mind
into tight crazy eights.

"We should be wearing something," he said decisively. "Am I panicking? I'm purple?!"

"You will, I'm certain" Foxx took Maks hand and glided for the bar "Your wedding
clothes are lovely, they ahm, complement your complexion" She grinned.

"On the panic, you were, you might've and you could be, You're much less purple now
though so I guess you feel better" Then she laughed. "For now."

Foxx wiggle dher nose blatently ripping off a terran tv show and eyed Conors spell "Oh
my that is a trick . . I could make you a different color if you wanted . . How do you feel
about . . Mauve or Teal? Sage? Tiger stripes?"

As for Cully, his attention was on those liberally exposed bosoms of Wil‟s, so he failed to
notice his Amil‟s arrival. He did hear his Atto‟s greeting though and finally looked up.
Suilad Atto, I’ll be right there.

It was then that he noticed his mother and her… well, and Callan. The young elf froze a
gamut of emotions flickering over his face, among them guilt. It had been Cully that had
helped his mother return to the Diirlathe. He hadn‟t known at the time what her reasons
were for going, and he loved An‟Thaya too much to deny her anything she wanted.

Too late he had found out whom she was going to, and why. The titian blonde blamed
himself for much of his Father‟s pain. If he had told his mother no… she still would have
been in S‟Hea when Galain returned. Maybe things would have been different …

Or maybe not…

Sea-green eyes focused on Callan for a moment, the possessive set to the Dragon‟s hand
on the redhead‟s waist, and the way An‟Thaya leaned into him … even when holding her
youngest children.

“Come on Wil,” he said softly, “I‟m expected inside.” Taking his wife‟s hand the Elf
made his way towards the door, their daughter skipping ahead of them.

“Suilad Gramma!” The little blonde elf stopped beside An‟Thaya and hugged her before
running through the doorway. “Grampa Galain!”

The Elen shortly had his hands full of a bouncing grandchild.

Cully laughed and shook his head, pausing beside his mother and kissing her cheek,
“Suilad Amil, its good to see you.” He ruffled his little brother‟s hair and grinned at his
sister before meeting Callan‟s eyes, unaware that the Emperor was blind. “Suilad…
Callan. We would stay to talk, but I‟m standing up for Glory, have to get going.” Smiling
he winked at An‟Thaya and tugged Wil on through the door, wondering if he should
rescue his father from the rambunctious Caety.

Galain buried his nose into Catey's hair when she tackled him, embracing her warmly.
Well his call had nicked him one little Alcarin and he looked up to see that his son was
coming after all. He gave Cully a quick smile.

Glory's alone. I'll escort your wife and Catelyn and find that Conor of course. S'okay? He
sent, watching his son and his wife make their way through the crowd. Of course that
meant standing up again and the Elen was having a hard time staying on his feet. He'd
work it out though. He'd just suck in a lot of air, stand and... he was standing and there
was a pixie in his face. Galain blew at the wee one and it fluttered away with a scream of

He was purple. He was sure of it. Mak felt miserable and just followed Foxx. He settled
on a stool and watched her wiggle her nose.

"No mauve, no teal. I want my own color back. Tiger stripes?!"

How did Marius deal with her? Or did he...

Cully studied the sea-green eyes that his own matched so perfectly for a moment, then
put a hand on his Father‟s shoulder and squeezed gently. Hantale Atto.

Pulling Wil forward he turned and kissed her, “You stay here with my Atto, if he gets
fresh, just slap him.” The sparkle in the depth of his gaze was impish when he turned
back to wink at Galain. “Ok, I‟m off. Be good Catey.”

Taking the stairs two at a time the young elf ran to the next floor and used the web to
track down his twin, knocking on the hard wood of the door. “Gloooooooorious, I‟m
Meghan had been doing just fine until she'd seen that spark of light dance in Fechine's
emerald eyes. It always gave her this little nervous flutter that left her blushing slightly
and tangled her tongue in the most embarrassing yet glorious manner.

"I...Thank you, M'lord G'den, and my gallant prince..." Meg was struggling to form
sensible sentences, and finally fell silent, happy to simply listen to Fechine and G'den
converse as they escorted her as far as the foot of the stairs inside the Dragon Inn.

Fortunately, the stairs had far fewer people than the grounds and the taproom had had,
and the elf maid turned, as her two dashing lords released her, gave Fechine a shy kiss on
the cheek, smiled at Catherine's father, and darted up the stairs to the bride's room, where
she slipped in and closed the door with a near silent snick.

"Sweet you think you'll have enough family to have a decent get
together at Yule time?"

S'allright, yondo, Galain told his son silently. A lot had been shared without words and
Galain had forgiven his son a while ago. He'd just done what he was supposed to when
asked. He caught his son's upper arm and squeezed a bit, then let him pass by. Galain's
eyes glittered when he spotted Wil's dress and extreme decolletage, but he would of
course behave. It was just fun to tease and flirt.

"I'll make sure she gets one slap in at least," he told Cully before he winked at Wil who
just jiggled for him.

Okay, two sons together... now to snag a Conor.

"Okay Wil, I need to get that big bruiser of a Brendari who seems to be rooted to the
floor. Wanna help?"

Ghet sat down, rather unceremoniously. In everything that had come afterwards, she'd
rather forgotten about the tourney. It was all very well to have your own private demons,
but when they were real... "I don't think I ever thanked you for that. That was a terrible
day, and when it was done all I wanted to do was run away and hide." She'd wanted her
husband, of course, to make the dreams of what had been done to her go away. Before
too long, surely, he would realise that choices like that would never be forced on him

She gripped the gift Catherine had given her tightly, while she fought to master her grief.
She would not fall apart today. "Thank you, for everything. This is silly, you're getting
married, and you're giving me presents. Here, let me do that, I've been prettying up
women for over a thousand years." She chuckled. "You'll have to sit down, though, I'm
too short to reach your head."

Rhagi took one look at Silverthorn's face and kind of faded into the background. "There's
no point in me telling you who the blonde lady is," he whispered to Drysi. "Cause she's
sooo dead." Rhagi treated Silverthorn with a deep respect, much as he would a hunting

He nodded at Yseult. This seemed like an awfully good time to take off. No-one was
going to notice. "Let's get the f'nark out of here." He was already wriggling out of his
shirt and heading for the river.

The activity in and around the Dragon Inn was like a whirlwind spinning around her from
Tay‟s point of view. She had managed a bright smile for Drake and laughed lightly.
“Well… if we had gone for true S‟Hean tradition,” the Amazon teased, "we would all be
starkers." The redhead cast a look over her shoulder at her mate‟s boots and sighed. The
idea behind bare feet was so that the guests would be in contact with the power of the
land itself, in touch with the energy of life. But, Callan was a stubborn Dragon, and it was
futile to argue… even if you were An‟Thaya D‟Riel.

The Knight had distracted her youngest son at least, and then her eldest boy was there
and kissing her on the cheek. “Suilad Yondo, we‟ll see you by the arbor then.” Watching
him enter the Inn Tay caught sight of Galain. Fortunately his head was down, his nose
buried in their granddaughters hair. Tearing her gaze away the Amazon returned her
attention to her children.

"Can we go with Yse, Drysi and Rhagi?" Elerina asked, watching Rhagi wriggle out of
his shirt, "They are going out back to the water."

"Of course you can sweetie, just don't get too dirty alright?" Soft emerald eyes watched
the twins dash off after their cousins and Tay sighed softly, leaning her head back against
Callan's chest.

Y'Roden was attempting to defend himself from a wife gone mad. Laughing insanely he
managed to grab both of her wrists in one hand and catch his breath. "Good gods woman!
Are you trying to kill me? Look! Alcohol!"

Emerald eyes glinted with amusement, espeically when he noticed the rather irate looking
fae trying to get Aspen's attention.

Rhagi's comment reminded Yse that the white haired woman had asked her a question, so
she answered it, completely out of context. "I'm Yseult," she said brightly, "Yseult
D'Riel, and those are my parents." The little girl pointed at the wrestly royal couple.

"I have to go now!" Cupping Conor's face between her small hands the Princess dropped
a butterfly kiss on his lips, then ran away giggling, grabbing Drysi's hand on the way.
"Rhagi! Wait up!"

Glory didn't need the call to know his twin brother was here and he quickly ripped the
door open and tackled his brother in a wild hug.
"Cully!" he exclaimed with pure pleasure. "Get in here! Where's Conor? You get to hold
the ring. I have a ring... not as spectacular as her other ring, but I have one. Oh gods. How
are you? How big's Catey? Wait, is she like Galen's size? He's downstairs somewhere.
How much family's shown up -- wait, never mind, I can feel it."

He held his temples for a moment and then embraced his brother again.

"We have to get you and Wil properly married," he said with a wicked grin.

And downstairs? Galen was lurking with Ryan and just staring. He was in awe and
wondering if Willow and Drake had put on a half-price sale or something.

That little butterfly kiss left butterfly flutters in Conor's stomach and he watched the child
run off to join her cousins and brothers and sisters and whatever. He fell backward a
moment and just stared up at the ceiling, dreading meeting that child in a decade, and
suddenly his vision was clouded by the sight of one Elen elf, a rather gorgeous blonde
and a child.

"Wil!" Conor sat straight up as he realized the blonde falling of her dress was his very
own sister. "Galain! Catey! Hello!"

Aspen thought she had heard someone speaking to her earlier but with her mind on other
things she had ignored it. Now, this childlike pixie was flitting around her and suddenly
her hair was on it.

“Dang,” she reached out quickly as the fluttering object skirted backwards and grabbed it
by its little wings and looked her straight in the eye.

“Fix the hair nice and I‟ll talk to you. Deal?” Aspen biggest relief was seeing that Willow
and Drake were back. Looking back at the pixie. “Haven‟t I seen you before … only
smaller, tearing up magazines?”

Okay, being nice to this woman might kill him. And was that Foxx on the wrong end of a
Thorny glare? "Erm, thank you." He blushed at the pants comment. He knew trousers
were bad. No-one ever commented on how well you filled out a tunic. No, just about
when it rode up, or when it got wet... "So, I guess I must be keeping you from family,
then? I take it you're on the bride's side?"

Rhagi paused on the bank, in the process of removing his pants, and waited for Yseult.
Melian and Elerina were coming, too. They'd even asked permission. If his own mother
could have seen him now, she would have pitched a fit. She hated it when he messed up
his clothes, which was totally unfair, because he was taking them off. It was hardly his
fault if they got wet and dirty when he wasn't wearing them.

He finished undressing and waded into the stream, which he then stared at indignantly.
"It's cold! That blows." He was slightly conscious that he'd been a bit mean to Yse
before, and he felt a bit guilty. Otherwise he would have just shut up and pushed her in.

Cham was quite delighted at all the kids to play with. He trotted along behind them, and
jumped in right after Rhagi. "Fish, like Fish." he said and ducked his snout in the water
trying to catch one. This of course splashed the little girls on the side, and they hadn't got
their dresses off yet. "You like fish?" he asked in his gutteral talk.

Catherine was going to sit, but first she had one last bit of business. "Hey, its my wedding
I'm allowed to do what I want you said so right?" she giggled at this. "And you thanked
me, it was enough, and we were rather pressed for time." she said trying not to think of
the tournament. It had been when she bonded with Glory, but she didn't like to remember
the reason why.

She then pulled out a chair and was getting ready to sit down when Meghan came in.
"Suliad, Meg. And is my family behaving? I scolded Granny once, but she rather has a
mind of her own." she said shuddering to think of what kind of mischief she could be up
to. She scooted over to Meg and gave her a hug. "Thank you, for coming, I know how
much you struggle in crowds, and I'd rather forgotten how many Alcarins and D'riels can
crawl out from the woodwork.

She then made herself sit before Ghet had to tie her down. It was getting closer to the

G'den smiled when his duty was done. He knew their was still a bit of time before he had
to do his duty to his daughter. He turned to Fechine. "So, shall we go hide at the creek, or
do you need a stiff drink, oh wait thats me, or shall we part ways?" he said with a gentle

G'den could see much that he admired in this young man in front of him. And also could
sense some sadness that he didn't understand. He waited quietly for the answer, and
wouldn't be offended whatever the answer.

Sharee was holding very still. She'd never had her wings pinned down before, and it hurt.
"Ouch! Okay, I'll restore your hair. She pulled the static cling to herself and Aspens hair
was quickly restored. "See hair better, now, if you smile pretty, I'll even promise not to
do any other things for the rest of the day, and I'll even go away if you want me to." she
said trying not to squirm, and wondering if permanent damage was being done.

"Oh yes, I think I was the one you remember, the magazines were quite fun." she said
giggling which almost made you think of Catherine.

Granny flitted away, she'd scared Marius quite enough, and sides she really had to have a
second view of that Ro man. She headed over to Ro, and circled him with great delight.
"Yes, sirree mister, you are one delightful picture of humanity. And I think that you and
me could make beautiful music together." she said smiling with great delight. She then
snuck behind and pinched one more time just to double check, she was incorrigable. "Oh,
yes I was right, quite delightful." she said and then rocked back and forth cackling rather

Cassey was getting confused as she watched person after person swirl around them as
they went this way and that. And one of her cousins pounced their grandfather and…

“I wanna go back outside.” She said suddenly, “Trees are more fun.” She just had a gut
feeling that she wouldn‟t get a chance to play with the other children her age, and she told
Naur that.

“Awww, but why not?”

“Because they don‟t stay still long enough… „sides, they‟d probably just laugh or

Naur‟s eyes sparkled, “I could give „em a hot foot or somethin'…Hey, wanna play toss
the fire ball? Or maybe we could go blow things up or somethin‟.”

Cassey eyed her older cousin, who was ten while she was seven, “We would have to go
somewhere so that our parents wouldn‟t see us.”

Naur nodded, “We could follow them…” She pointed off in the direction the other
children had gone in, “If they are going someplace that is out of sight of the adults then
so can we…come on!”

Giggling, they raced out of the inn and towards the creek, making sure they didn‟t bother
the swimmers.

“Ooo Naur look! A stick!” With a grin Cassey made a motion as if she was flicking water
off of her fingers and piece of wood exploded, sending water spraying all over the place.

They would just make their own fun.

Mel looked at Conlan, wondering if he'd noted just what his daughter was up to. She
could see by his look that he had and was trying not to laugh about it... She sighed. It was
hard to fit in with such large amounts of children, especially when most of them knew
each other and you were a little shy...
Amilyn sat on the bank, her feet dangling in the water, one eye on the group down the
river and the other on Cassey and Naur. Carrick had sat beside her for a moment, until he
spotted the purple dinosaur. Then he was off, standing beside Cham's tail, eyeing it
carefully while squatting in the water.

She glanced at Balan and grinned. "I'm about ready to find a tree to hide in.. There's far
too many relatives around... Though I should go say hello to my Atto I suppose...Or I
could cheat.." Which was what she inevitably did, opting not to go into the chaos inside
and just reaching for her father's mind. Suilad, Atto... You've got two other grandchildren
out back by the creek.. Yup, that was laughter he heard with her voice...

Cham liked the little fellow that was looking at his tail. He flipped around. "Hi, fish? You
fish? Me fish? together?" he asked stutteringly. He really wanted somebody to fish, or
splash, or their were so many things that could be done. Playing in the mud was good too.

Carrick smiled as the purple dinosaur spoke to him. "I like to fish! I'm Carrick, what's
your name?" He smiled and reached out to gently touch the dinosaur, knowing he was
different from the dragons he was used to. Course, he didn't see a lot of dragons, usually
just his Dara Melly and his Atto.. And sometimes, if he was really lucky, Dara Ami...

Foxx wasn't quite sure how Marius dealt with her either.

Not that it mattered at the moment. She was having quite a bit of fun looking at Conors
spell "Are you certain on the stripes? I think they'd be cool . . I could do them any two
colours too . . I think. Of course it could always go horribly wrong". Grinning she tugged
at a bit of it mentally rolled it up and put it in a little box just the way Duker taught her.

Blinking she looked up and seen her drink had arrived and Marius had escaped so she
grinned a little larger gave Marius a wave and winked then took a mouthful of her drink.
Then she waited til Mak had a mouthful of his, as a science experiment. "So tell me about
Shean weddings . . Have you ever had one?"

"You're all mundane again by the way . . normal"

Everything was happening so fast. At least Silverthorn's girl had gone now -- less chance
of her getting into yet more trouble with the elf. She looked around to see just where
Silverthorn was. So she could plan an escape route, mainly.

Justin, she realised, had just been outlining plans. They actually hadn't made much sense
to her, as she knew so little about the families here or even about the building and
grounds here -- she had appeared in the woodland, a little way away, where there was a
faerie ring. Those things had always been useful.

"You might," she muttered to Justin, "want to find a place to hide me, too. Unless you
want your guest murdered by an outraged elf."

Ghet blushed a little when Meg came in. She didn't know the girl very well, and the
chinks in her armour were showing. "Hello, Meghan. It must be getting pretty crowded
down there by now." She reached out gently and caught the edge of her husband's delight
in his granddaughter, and tears pricked again. She wished she'd been stable enough to put
a warding on the gathering, but she simply wasn't.

She looked at Catherine's headpiece and nodded. It was pretty simple given what she was
used to. "This'll be okay, if I make little twists in the hair to anchor it. You don't want to
be worrying about it falling off. Still, now." Her fingers worked with practised ease, and
her mind drifted a little. One day, she would have a daughter whose hair she could work.
She brushed against Aarien's soul, as she did so often. The child was her consolation, her
surety that things would work out well in the end.

She brought her attention back to the present, and pushed in the last comb. "There. Give
your head a shake, let's see if it holds."

Rhagi watched the purple thing for a while to work out what it was and what to do with
it. One thing he'd learned was never to rush into things. "I like fish cooked. He said
carefully. Fishing is... okay." By which he meant, it bored him senseless, but he was
much too polite to say so. "Can you breathe underwater?" He grinned at his sisters. "We
could have 'who can hold their breath the longest' contests. Or I could just chuck you in."

Marius took a deep, deep breath and silently wished Ro luck. He was just glad to be out
of it. He watched Foxx and Mak guardedly from a distance until he realised just how off-
balance his brother was. He chuckled, straightened his face, and made his way over. He
smacked Foxx affectionately over the back of the head and stole her marguarita. "You're
completely heartless, you know that? How could you abandon me like that?" Then he
kissed her, and grinned at Mak. "Having fun?"

Foxx blinked innocently, with a hint of wounded, before she realised she was looking in
the wrong direction for it to *in theory* work. It had long since stopped the *in Practice*

She considered deeply protesting the loss of the margarita, but her tequila sunrise was
safe so she smirked in a somewhat self satisfied manner "I'm not heartless, I didn't
abandon you, I would have dropped you off somewhere you couldn't find your way back
from if I was going to abandon you". "I . ." she continued with emphasis "merely ran

Then she giggled "And I'm not heartless". To her credit it only took about five seconds
for her to find a good arguement to end on "I didn't give Mak tiger stripes, for Catherines
sake of course". Then she poked Marius resolutly in the side and grinned. "You made it
out alive, but standing there you're blocking my view of 'Ro . . Mak was about to tell us
about the last time he got married . .".

Foxx gave Mak a little while to sort things out and eyed the surroundings speculatively.
One foot hooked a chair and then using it to give herself the slightest boost she hauled
herself up on the bar and looked down at Marius. "If I sit on the bar I can see over you,
and you get a nice view, everyone is happy, except potentially the bar owner, but they're
probably too busy to complain".

"He's not human, he's a half-elf" Silverthorn said to Granny, giving the elderly-looking
pixie a distinctly cool look. "He's also spoken for so you'll just have to look elsewhere for
the 'beautiful music' I'm afraid." Then, because she did have a slightly evil streak, she
said. "Why don't you try Conor? He's currently unattached I believe. That's him over
there." She waved in the direction of the Brendari.

Drysi eyed Cham warily, taking of her dress so that it wouldn't get any wetter than it
already was. Not that her Amil tended to get upset about that sort of thing. No, she just
tended to pass wet and soggy children in the direction of her husband. She seemed to
think they were his fault for some reason. But then the dark-haired little girl never had
completely understood her parents. Adults were strange.

"I can hold my breath for ages" she said with a grin to Rhagi. "I experimented to find out.
There are things in books about it too. Something to do with lungs."

"Hiding at the creek sounds like a great idea to me" Fechine said to Gden with a grin.
"Although judging from the sounds coming from that way several of my younger siblings
have had the same idea. Technically I'm supposed to be baby-sitting so I suppose I ought
to go and see what they're up to. At least they can't drown each other."

The chestnut-haired youth shrugged as he looked at the older man. "To be honest the
crowd at the inn can seem a little bit much anyway. None of them really mean any harm
but they can seem a little overwhelming en masse." Turning he started to walk back the
way they had came.

Mira watched her dauther sweep imperiously down the steps and get lost in the milling
throng of well wishers...and it was halfway down the stairs she realized in the hubbub of
trying to talk Muirne into wearing a dress, she'd not changed out of her robe and had her
raven hair tied up in the white bath towel.

"OH GODS! BRAN!" Mira gasped and eyed her husband, then smecked him lightly on
the arm. "Why didn't you tell me? I mean, its not one of those naked weddings..." The
dragon-elf spared a small giggle as Galain made possibly 30 trips up and down the stairs
and never once noticed his arch nemisis was still in her silkies.

"Glad he's busy..." A small brush of her hand and the robe shimmered like flowing water,
dropped to the floor in a sparkling champaign coloured wave. The top, waist and hips of
the garment snugged in, became a bodice, draped loosely at the neck line. "There..." The
towel slipped off, was tossed behind her, (she had no idea if it hit anyone or not) and with
the quick work of her nimble fingers, raven locks were pulled into a simple french twist.
Where the combs to hold it all in place came from, who knew....

"Now lets hope we can keep up with the whirlwind, yes?" Mira smiled at her verno and
ruffled her son's hair, "Why don't you find your cousins and sister, m'lo'tha oreb?"


m'lo'tha oreb - my little raven, black dragon speech *and is closely related to Drowish*.
"But I liked the outfit you were wearing" Bran said to his wife with a mischievous grin as
they reached the bottom of the stairs, "although I have to admit that this new ensemble is
rather fetching as well." He ran a finger lightly along one of the straps that held the silky
garment up. He drew his wife into his arms and stole a kiss. "But then you look beautiful
whatever you're wearing... or not wearing as the case may be."

Caolan nodded to his mother and trotted off in an obedient fashion, weaving his way
through the throng in the taproom towards the door. The dark-haired little boy's steps
slowed, however, as he neared the creek. He could see the three D'Riels playing with a
newcomer, and what appeared to be a purple dinosaur, in the water. Nearby some other
children whom he didn't know were playing catch. Jade green eyes held an air of
hesitancy as he paused, unwilling to intrude on either group and yet desperate to join in
with the fun.

Callan had been caught more than off guard, first Drake's jovial teasing had him growling
over the boots comment...yes he was stubborn, "Barefoot wedding? Well, at least its not a
shotgun wedding. Those are always bad, and usually..." Callan stopped there. Was the
dragon nervous? Nooooo...of course not, why would he be? He was blind, in the same
location with Galain, and here to watch the same elf's son marry.

What strange weavings of fate...Callan had met Glory long before Galain and An'Thaya
and now that he looked back on it, had marveled that such a fine young man could know
so little about an equally fine young gold that dwelled within him...and had laid the blame
at the feet of a then unknown father. That had been one of the first times Araxmarr had
had a serious conversation with anyone not of the Keep and he'd always felt privledged to
have been there when Sunsong had named himself for the first time.

"Who are you?" The question had shaken him from his thoughts and milky topaz eyes
lowered...and lowered...

"I..." Callan paused, not knowing how much Galain or Adarin had told An'thaya's twins
about him, if they knew Callan Blackthorn as a sinister Black or simply had never told
them a thing about the whys and wherefores of An'thaya no longer the wife of their uncle
or the bondmate of their father.

"I'm Arax, a friend of your mother," Blessfully, like with all children, this one had a short
attention span and was gone before Callan had to explain further and the Emperor let out
a gusty sigh of relief.

"Which one was that, m'tashnae?" Callan's senses where almost overloaded with
An'thaya's emotions, the sounds of the crowed, the smells of hundreds of people and the
constant shifts of light and shade across his skin. What he'd hoped would get him by
flawlessly at a 'small' wedding was fizzling fast, but he refused to admit it. There were
others here that needed attention other than himself.

"How are you holding up?" Callan knew Galain had appeared several times, fetching
sons and such, the Black had felt the Pull in his blood from 'Lain and had caught a whiff
of the elf's scent. Constantly, Callan had to remind himself he was an Emperor, not some
lowely Sargtln in his Black Guard. Brawling and challenges were beneath him, and
An'thaya was barely holding up as it was and strong arms wrapped gently around her
shoulders as the Amazon leaned against him.

"Nanny nanny boo boo!" A lapis eyed Shai'ay shouted over his shoulder, his and his
twin's portal opening one behind the other. They were leaving that GIRL of a sister with
atto and amil today! HA!

Triumphant in having gotten through the portal before their scolding father could snag
them by their pressed shirt collars, Taylon and Morgan Blackthorn barreled onto the
grounds of the Dragon Inn and right into a prissy, too good to have fun Muirne who'd
been watching the creek goings on with cool interest.

Yse and Drys may be her favorite cousins in the whole wide world, but NO WAY was
she getting muddy in THIS dress.

"LOOK OUT!" Twin pairs of eyes enlarged to huge proportions as the boys saw the
direction they were heading.


One blonde haired dragon-elf was sent headfirst into the creek and two Shai'ay boys
skidded to a halt, teetered dangerously on the edge of the stream, then slowly backed

"Oh man! OH! She is so going to kill us."

"Maybe we should make like a tree and leave..."

Taylon meant that literaly, perhaps now would be a great time for a couple of new trees
to show up before the snarling dragon-child could pull herself from the mess she was in.

Meghan blushed as Ghet greeted her, knowing intuitively that Ghet knew crowds and
loud groups all but terrified her. Sometimes she wasn't sure which was worse, complete
silence and being alone, or being in a crowd so large she felt alone.

"Catherine, you look simply stunning." Meghan managed and fumbled for something
she'd had tucked in the bodice of her dress.

"I brought you something, I...Mira told me about an old tradition, something old,
something new, somthing borrowed, something blue..."

"I think this fills at least three of those criteria."
Meghan held out a tattered piece of blue silk, its edges done in intricate ivory lace. "My
mother...before..." Meg stopped, this was one of the few things Meg had brought from
her long lost home with her, "She..."

"This was a Day of Life gift to me once, and its been with me since leaving home the first
time. I want you to have it, to keep."

Indigo eyes went from the lace to the pixie. "You have been the best friend a lost child
could have, Aerivanya."


Aerivanya - Starlightborn Elvish for "Beautiful Fae"

Drake was so busy trying to figure out whose child belonged to who that Willow could
tell he hadn‟t heard her question. Taking the empty Coke bottle from his hands she gave
him a quick hug.

“I‟ll be right back with another Coke for you. Though I can‟t see how you can drink the
stuff.” Chuckling she slipped over to the taproom retrieving another bottle for Drake.

Walking back she passed Aspen, “Aspen, let go of Sharee. I wouldn‟t be messing with a
pixie if I was you!”

Seeing Mira and Bran coming down the stairs she waved at them as she saw the startled
look on her friends face and her attire from bathrobe to dress quickly change as their
children made slipped into the crowd.

Drake was still where she left him. Handing him the Coke, “Here you go. Got the kids
figured out yet? There are so many this time. Too bad Flake isn‟t here for Catherine‟s

Willow grew quiet as she sensed some turmoil … looking around she spotted Callan and
„Tay and then she saw Galain heading back up the stairs. In her thoughts she said a silent
prayer, Let there be peace at this wedding today.

It would be a beautiful day for Catherine‟s wedding…

Aspen glared at Willow as she walked by. The pixie had put her hair back in place but
she wasn‟t too sure if she could trust her.

Looking at Sharee with a scowl on her face, “You better behave yourself or next time I‟ll
let Galain know. I hear he is famous for flying pixies and such.”

Setting the pixie on the counter, Aspen ran her fingers threw her hair making sure it was
laying right then headed for the library wanting to be sure that things were in order.
Drysi was driven headfirst into the creek as Muirne cannoned into her from behind,
smacking into Rhagi and Yseult on the way. Coughing and spluttering, the dark-haired
little girl resurfaced again. Pushing her long locks out of her emerald eyes, she blinked in
some surprise at her cousin. "Nice entrance" she commented with a grin.

Now he might be small, being only four and a half, but he hated to see his sister upset,
which he knew she was, and then his cousin's outright ignoring him just made him angry.
He didn't have much control over the abilities he'd started growing into, but he did have a
talent for words. Clear grey eyes, so reminiscent of his Dara Melaina, looked right at
Rhagi, "You're mean." His gaze then turned to Yse, and the now wet Drysi, Muirne he
knew to be innocent of the slight to his sister. "All three of you are. First you ignored my
sister, then you ignored me. Just because I'm small doesn't mean I'm dumb. We're your
cousins too..." He turned and waded out of the creek after a final pat to the purple
dinosaur and smiled at Caolan standing by the water, looking from group to group. "Hi,
I'm Carrick. That's my sister, Cassey and Naur playing catch. Do you want to meet
them?" He had a gift for speaking like a much older child, part of his Ali-maera heritage.
He smiled at the Blackthorn twins, remembering them from his Dara Mel's stories.
Amilyn watched all of this with a soft sigh. She knew how hard it could be when the
groups got cliquish, and she was quietly proud of how Carrick had handled himself.

Yse was busy wringing out her dress when Carrick spoke up and she gave him a rather
baffled look. “HOW have we ignored you? We are related how?” She had been so
wrapped up in getting engaged in the Inn, she hadn‟t noticed a thing. With a snort she
decided this haughty little boy needed a good dunking.

Sounding very much like her Dara Thaya, the platinum haired Elf pounced him with a
war cry and dragged him beneath the surface of the water.

Well… she certainly wasn‟t ignoring him now.

Amilyn stood and waded into the water, fishing her little cousin off of her nephew. "Yse,
Carrick is your cousin. You remember your cousin Melaina? Well, her twin brother,
Conlan is Carrick's Atto..." She grinned. "Over on the banks, the two girls playing catch,
that one is Cassey, Carrick's sister. They live on Arlsyn, and haven't been able to come to
Corin or to S'Hea to visit us yet." She smiled again and waded back to the banks, hoping
things were a little more settled now, but doubting it at the same time.

Slightly distressed by Carrick's accusations, Drysi bit her lip and looked at Amilyn. "We
didn't mean to ignore anyone" she whispered. The shy little girl had noticed the other
children, but the two girls had seemed so intent on their game that she hadn't like to
interrupt and she did not really have the confidence to introduce herself if they did not
show any interest in talking to her. "I'm sorry" she said to Carrick, before trudging over to
the bank and pulling her shift back on again.
Carrick saw how he'd hurt the quieter girl and he sighed softly. She reminded him of
Cassey in some ways. He waded back out of the water and lightly tugged on her hand.
"Come on, I'll introduce you. You'll like my sister..." He offered her a smile, his temper
flash gone as quickly as it had come.

Drysi regarded him uncertainly for a moment and then smiled shyly and took Carrick's
hand. "Thank you. I'd like that" she said softly.

That, my love, was Melian, my youngest son, and Cully … my eldest. Tay‟s hands came
up to rest on Callan‟s and the Amazon closed her eyes, taking a moment to drink in the
feeling of security being wrapped in his arms brought. I’m all right. I think everyone is
trying their best to make sure this is a beautiful and peaceful day for Gloraelin and

Delicate red eyelashes fluttered up and she turned her head slightly, “I suppose, we
cannot stand here all day,” the barest hint of a laugh tinged her words. “Thirsty Milord
Emperor? I‟ll need to slip upstairs sometime soon and see Glory as well.” Stepping out of
the Dragon‟s embrace she touched his jaw for a moment before taking his hand and
stepping into the Inn. Choosing the clearest path available Tay made for the bar, letting
Callan use his own senses to find his way along. He was a big boy; he could take care of
himself. Though, truth be told, she discretely kicked a stray chair out of his way at one
point, though it looked more like she had tripped over the leg of it herself.

“I keep forgetting how… massive our family is,” she muttered as they arrived at the bar,
“Oh look, there are Mira and Bran.” The redhead waved at the Dragon-elf and her
husband and smiled, then laughed as she caught the altercation between Silverthorn and a
rather ancient looking Fae. Y‟Roden himself looked rather … startled. “Well, things
seem to be going in the usual chaotic direction at least.”

Galain had quite missed Mira in her silkies as busy as he was with a granddaughter and
finding Cully and now Conor. He helped the Brendari to his feet, winked at Justin and
Lyra and guided Conor to the stairs.

"I'm thinking Glory needs to just check things over with you two before things get
underway," he said as he took the stairs two at a time, much to Catey's delight. He heard a
squeal behind him and realized Wil must have been trying to keep up.

He swung the door open to Glory's room and Conor headed in, but neither he, Wil nor
little Catey went in.

"We should probably go mingle a little," he told his daughter-in-law who beamed at the
idea. At the same time he caught Melaina's silent greeting and smiled to himself. He had
a feeling most of the children were out getting muddy though he'd seen Jaiden's brood
seated at a table and under the eagle-eyed watch of their mother.

Okay... back down the stairs again.
Cassey giggled and caught the small fire ball and tossed it back, trying to ignore what
was going on further up the stream…the reason for the ignoring was because she only
figured they would call her names and make fun of her some how. She really wasn‟t good
with people she didn‟t know.

She was watching what Carrick was doing when Naur threw the ball back, it exploded,
dusting her with red glitter and sent her into a fit of sneezes. The forest elf smiled
sheepishly at her cousin as she laughed.

“Oh no…Carrick!” She breathed out as he disappeared under the water. Silently she sent
a thank you to Ami for retrieving him.

“Naur? Maybe we better go over there…I…err…”

The fire mage looked over her shoulder and tilted her head. “I‟m glad I don‟t have a little
brother.” She muttered and nodded. “It‟ll be okay, Ami and I are here.”

Cassey gave a thankful smile and padded over to her little brother and the little girl that
stood there. “Um, Suilad.”

Catherine shook her head quite furiously, and gave one small flutter. Fortunately, it was
small enough to not make her nauseous. "It's gonna stay!" she said with a smile. It was
her wedding day her heart began to sing.

And then Meghan brought out her gift, and Catherine was overwhelmed at the gift. "Oh
Meg, its too much, thank you." she said and the tears began to fall. The woman standing
before her and the girl who had been so scared were an integral part of her life. She
reached out and hugged her friend close. "Thank you!" she said. "And may some day you
receive your hearts reward." she said ambiguously so as to not embarass her friend in
front of Ghetsuhm.

She then pulled herself away and caught a glimpse of herself in a antique full length
mirror. The tears were still their, but the dress was what caught her attention. She twirled
like the little girl she'd been so long in front of the mirror. "Oh, its perfect, and I'm getting
married!" she said barely containing the flutters. Her wings popped out of the dress and
would stay out for the rest of the day. She was just too excited to hide them, besides they
were here, and didn't need to be hidden.

"Thank you, Ghet. Its perfect!" she said with great joy. "Now, I think its almost time to
get married." she declared just as Barbara rushed in.

Barbara was looking rather harried. She'd pulled pixie's out of all kinds of places, they
were quite fascinated with the toilets, the pool, the stove. You name it they'd investigated
it. And granny! Oh she wasn't even gonna think about granny.
And then she'd remembered that nobody had brought the roses from Garden. So she'd
made a quick portal to Garden and brought armloads of long stem pale pink and white
roses. Her father had tended them and they were filled with love. They would never fade
and would make a lovely momento of the wedding. "Roses!" she said breathlessly. "Oh,
my goodness does Glory have a lot of family." she burst out. "Their are kids everywhere,
and its all quite delightful." she said with a smile.

Coming up for air she smiled at Meg and Ghet. She handed a huge armful of roses to
Catherine, and another smaller one to Meghan. "Okay, now clothes, I need those I
suppose." she said with a grin. She quickly got her dress on. It was a simple affair, that
tried to hide her size, but flattered her proportioned body. And it was light lavendar in

Justin smiled at Lyra's confusion. He could join her in the confusion he only knew a
handful of people, and was rather overwhelmed with all the elves coming out of the
woodwork, or portals as the case may be. "I think its almost time for the wedding to
start." he said. He then looked and realized he hadn't ditched his own boots yet. He
quickly removed then and portalled them to home, so they didn't get lost in the confusion.
"I guess this wedding is a barefoot affair, not sure why, just is." he said explaining.
"Should we go outside, and find ourselves a place to sit?" he asked. He then prooffered
his arm to her to escort her to her seat.

G'den smiled at Fechine and headed in the direction of the creek. They were almost their,
when Barbara informed him in his head that it was time to start getting this wedding
moved, and to please give Tay & Galain, and Ro the nudge as he went by. "Oh, dear I
guess the creek will have to wait." he said to Fechine. "Apparently, my daughter actually
wants to get married today." he said with a big grin. Those words echoed in his head so
strangely. "You might want to go fish all those muddy/wet/soggy creatures out of the
creek before their parents find them." he said with a guffaw. And then headed back
towards the inn.

He could do this, he could. He took a deep breathe and looked for Ro. Of course Granny
was their, and his first words were. "Granny! stop our I'll clip your wings." Granny stuck
her tongue out at him, and wisped away looking for Conor, but it appeared Conor had
disapppered somehow....

G'den blushed for Granny. "I'm sorry, I'm not sure what her problem is." he said. "I guess
the two loons upstairs want to get married, and as your officiating." he said pausing to
look at Ro. "You are probably need upstairs, or downstairs, or I don't know where does
the officiant supposed to be in a S'hean wedding?" he asked rather confused.

Cully went a little wide eyed over his twin's suggestion, but grinned and hugged Glory
back hard. "You look nervous, you'll be fine. What the?" The door hit the titian haired elf
in the backend and he barely avoided getting bowled over by a startled looking Conor.
"Argle! It looks like they are ready to start. Wait here for me love." Standing on tippy toe
Tay grabbed Callan by the back of the neck and pulled him down to her, kissing him
hard. I won't be long, I just need to see my son.

Releasing her mate the Amazon tore off towards the stairs in a swirl of gauzy skirts and
flaming hair and zipped up towards the next floor. The sight of Galain coming from the
opposite direction brought her to a halt for a moment and she bit her lip.

Dammit... this was their son's wedding day... they were just going to have to grin and
bear it. "Suilad Galain, Wil. Caety! Hello honey!" The Amazon kissed her granddaughter
on the cheek, "I'm off to see Glory, I'll be right back down."

And then she was off again in a flash of color, knocking on her son's door before anyone
had a chance to do more than draw a startled breath. The door caught Conor in the behind
this time and the Amazon snorted in amusement. "Sorry! Excuse me..." brushing by the
Brendari the redhead pounced her son and hugged him tight. "Oh! You look wonderful!"

Mak had spewed his drink when Fox so nonchalantly asked him if he'd had a S'Hean
wedding before. He felt his face, but wasn't entirely sure he could trust Foxx's
pronouncement that he was back to normal and gave Marius a cautious look when his
brother approached.

"She's scary," Mak replied. "Damn scary." He started to take a sip of his drink again and
spewed once more when Foxx blathered on about marriage again.

"I've never been married and I'm planning on avoiding that blessed state for a good long
time to come," he retorted.

"Oh! You're very much welcome..." Meghan smiled softly at the mention of her own
heart's desire. "My own? Maybe someday." Though, I'm sure he'll be as thick headed
tomorrow as he is today and always has been Meghan thought quietly to herself. It was
always such a relief and at the same time a might frustration to the elf maid that Fechine
D'Riel never noticed her past a friend.

Never would she give him up as a friend though, and males were notorious for heading
south when they sensed a desire for something more than just that...friends.

"Suilad, Barbara." Meg smiled then looked at both Ghet and the twirling, be-winged
bride. "How much longer? I'm not sure your form can take much more suspense. Though,
had I wings, I'd not be bothering to keep them hidden."

Lyra lifted the hem of her dress a little to reveal her already-bare feet. "Hey, for once my
quirky dislike of shoes isn't a bad thing." she smiled at Justin, and took his arm,
determined to try and get through the wedding without causing trouble for anyone. She
could do it. Of course. Not so hard really... it wasn't like trouble followed her around or
anything. Nope.
Glory was still laughing at his brother's expression when Conor entered and then was
shoved forward by the arrival of An'Thaya herself. He caught her embrace and lifted her
up off the ground.

"Thank you, you do too," he replied warmly. "I was just telling Cully that we need to
make he and Wil legal."

Galain hadn't replied to An'Thaya. He'd been too startled and just nodded in answer
before he hurried down the stairs with Wil and Catey. He set his granddaughter on the
floor and she immediately clung to her mother's gown, further dragging the bodice down.
Galain discreetly looked away as his daughter-in-law adjusted herself.

"I think it's time for me to go outside and see how things are shaping up," he murmured
to Wil. His eyes had settled upon Callan and the same maddened rage that always
simmered deep within him threatened to boil to the surface. He flashed Wil a forced grin.

"Gotta make sure this day is perfect for Glory and Cat," he told her before he headed
straight for the door and fresh air. The sound of children splashing and laughing in the
water settled him down considerably.

A mental image of what Cully must look like came to mind, someone who must be very
similar to Glory, and yet seem quieter, more settled. He wasn't exactly sure why he had
this impression, but he did. Callan's senses swirled as An'thaya left him to fend off the
crowd on his own, and as casually as possible, the Black reached for the chair that had
accosted An'thaya.

"I sooo need a drink. Crown and Coke would be good...more Cown, less coke..." Callan
muttered to himself and stood there, shoulders drawn back, head tilted slightly as he
listened and smiled at those who passed by and prayed he was making eye contact. The
one thing he was most accutely aware of was the tension his presence seemed to add to
the day and it was moments like this the precious price that had been paid for his actions
reminded him there was still interest due.

The feel of Galain passing through the room with a female who must be Cully's mate
from the scent of her had Callan almost choking as he fought the Rage down and finally
relaxed when the elf and his gold had left the building.

"Lots of Crown...forget the Coke..."

An‟Thaya laughed, a genuine, heart felt sound that lit her features with joy. She loved her
children deeply and just being with them cast every dark cloud out of her mind and heart.
Emerald eyes sparkling with mirth turned to Cully and the Amazon grinned impishly,
“Well, we could make it a double ceremony.”

“Oh calm down,” she giggled, “you‟ve lost your tan.” Feet dangling merrily in the air she
kissed Glory‟s cheek, then reached over to pat Cully‟s, “My sweet boys. I‟m so proud of
you both.” Her grin got a little broader and she patted the Brendari too, “yes Conor, I‟m
proud of you too.”

A slightly distracted expression flickered across her face as the part of her soul that was
Callan flared with Rage and she almost tensed for a moment. Then he calmed, the danger
passed, and Tay was smiling brightly again. “Is Catherine ok? Does she need any help or
should I just head out to the arbor like a good little Mother-of-the-Groom?”

Glory loved how his mother thought and grinned evilly at Cully before he blushed under
An'Thaya's praise. He let her down on the ground after she'd patted Conor on the cheek.

"Cat's okay as far as I know. I think Conor might need help with something more
wedding-ish. Then I hope you just settle and have a wondering wedding day oh MOG of

“MOG!” Tay crowed, then laughed lightly. “Ok… lemme at your pants Conor dear.” It
took her a moment to figure out why he looked so nervous. “I said at, not in. Take your
boots off.” She was saying that a lot today… perhaps this overly large male would
actually listen to her. “I won‟t make you wear a shirt, but some clean black trousers
would be good.”

The Amazon touched the fabric of the Brendari‟s pants and he was subject to a rather
tingly sensation as they shifted to a more appropriate pair. “What IS in your pocket?
Boots! Off! Now!”

Conor was indeed looking nervously at An'Thaya and for the umpteenth time today his
jaw dropped. What was wrong with hs trousers? Oh! They were still bearing traces of the
magic trick he'd attempted and he was about to bend over and remove his boots when the
Amazon touched his pants and they transformed. He straightened a moment, his grey
eyes going dreamy.

"That felt kinda good..." he said before An'Thaya reminded him to lose the boots which
he promptly did. "There's nothing in my pocket -- well, a pencil and notebook. I think."

As for Muirne, the pale-haired Princess of the Diirlathe had tried once to extricate herself
from the stream, found herself trampled and pushed back in, then finally found her feet,
sputtering and spraying water the whole time.

"MORGAN!" The dragon-elf's shriek could be heard ringing throught the woods

The pink teddy-dragon gave a burbley squeek of squelching protest has Muirne crushed
the stuffed animal to her and slogged out of the water, her glowing jade eyes finally
turning to Carrick, then Conlan.

"I still don't see how any of this makes either of you kin to me..." The child snapped, then
snorted, her young, enRaged eyes turned on Morgan and Taylon, who were quivering in
their footsteps with mortal fear...or was it laughter.

"OOOOH! You just wait!" Heat shimmed on tiny fingertips as Muirne took two more
steps, the sodden hemline of her dress sticking to her ankles...then promptly tripped on
the same hemline, which sent her tumbling head long into...someone...she had no idea

The result was two Shai'ay boys charging away and yelling the traditional shout that
generally began any war...

"I'M TELLIN ON YOU!!!!!!!"

It was An‟Thaya‟s turn to do the jaw dropping thing and a blush colored the Amazon‟s
cheek. Normally she didn‟t make a habit out of making people‟s trousers tingle.



“Planning on taking notes for your future wedding?”

She recovered nicely at least.

“Ok, I have to go back downstairs. I left Callan lingering near the bar and a drunk dragon
can‟t be a good thing.” Turning back to Glory she hugged him again, then beamed up at
him, “I love you, yondo. Have a wonderful Arminiea blessed day. I‟ll see you outside.”
Turning around she winked at Cully, then slipped out the door and back down the stairs.

She found her mate with a glass full of Crown Royal and raised an eyebrow. “Did I miss
something exciting?” Tay asked as she wrapped her arms around his waist. Are you all

"No!" Conor replied involuntarily. But he did want to ask her why things had tingled
when the trousers had changed. He refrained however and contented himself with
checking over his new duds and putting his boots in a corner by the door for later.

Cassey blinked at the enraged Muirne. She opened her mouth to speak then stopped. The
dragon-elf had just proved her fears right and her chocolate eyes turned glossy with tears
she refused to shed, at least not in front of them.

The little girl turned to look up Naur and Ami. “See? I told you!” She cried out and took
off for the tree line. Her feelings hurt, she scrambled up the nearest tree and curled up in
its limbs.

And what was Naur doing? Well, she did take after Taim quite a bit and she tended to be
overly protective of her best friend, so Muirne was soon going to find out what it was like
to get hot feet.

To say Callan had found a 'glass' of Crown was an understatement, and he suspected it
wasn't Coke at all, but that odious Pepsi that had been added. He'd heard part of his
mate's conversation though, the part about 'double wedding' had him nearly spraying the
mixed beverage out his nose with shock until he'd realized she'd meant someone besides
she and he.

"I'd say a know, they say German steins can hold nearly 2 litres of ale..."

This was his third 'glass'.

"I'll be fine...just fine, m'tashnae.." Callan gave An'thaya a slightly loopy grin, quietly
Sent Sunsong a congratulations, and for giggles, asked the Gold if he were marrying
today as well...

"Catherine is such a lovely young woman..."

Glory watched his mother go and then eyed his best friend and twin brother.

"Okay, Cully, you get the ring as I said before. Conor, you just get to stand nearby, but I
really wanted you to know how much your friendship's meant to me over the years," he
said. At that moment Callan's words came through and he paused.

Thank you, Callan... er... no... just me. The dragon stays single. And yes, Cat is. Are you
sober, friend? The last was laced with a small amount of amusement.

"Okay," he said aloud to Conor and Cully. "I suppose we go downstairs? To the arbor or
whatever?" He crossed over the window and looked outside. Things were coming
together nicely though it looked like some of the kids were fighting.

Well that wasn't anything new. Galen wasn't amongst them at least.

As it was that particular child was still just watching everything with wide eyes and was
desperately missing his father. Glory felt his son's distress and turned back to the others.

"Let's head down -- I need to find Galen anyway," he said as he tossed Cully a tiny
pouch. "Don't lose that or I'll skin you alive," he said cheerfully.

Yse blinked at the back of Muirne and stared around at the rest of the children. Things
were going to hell in a hand basket, and quickly. Jade green eyes followed the fleeing
Casey and she felt a small stab of guilt. As the more outgoing of a set of twins, she had
always been over protective of her quiet sister, and she recognized the same qualities in
the other girl.

With a sigh she pushed Rhagi face first into the stream, then scampered on up it past
Muirne and the others till she arrived at the tree the small girl had taken refuge in.
“Suilad,” she said in a soft tone, “I‟m Yse. I‟m sorry if we upset you; we don‟t really
mean it when we play rough. Do you want to come down and play? I have a Runeball,”
the platinum haired elf reached into a pocket of her skirts and pulled out a metal ball that
was covered in S‟Hean runes. “Would you like to give it a try?”

The Shai'ay had gone on ahead without Rach and Lianna in a mad tear after his escaped
sons, and had arrived in time to see a. Muirne get dumped in the creek, b. a little girl he
was sure he knew run off sobbing, and c. Morgan and Taylon dart by, screaming for help,
Mira, and anyone who could save them.

"WHOA! What the!? Hey!"

Yarwins hands shot out, catching each boy by the collar, then felt rather warm.

Darn warm.

Smoke...he smelled smoke.


The childs hand thrown dragonfire had hit Daro Yarwin's trousers in the seat.

Galain had noted that the children's laughter had turned to other sounds, but they weren't
his children... okay, there were nieces, nephews and grandchildren mingled into the mess,
but his mind wasn't there. He was feeling along his bond with Ghetsuhm and just
enjoying the sensations he found there as he headed to the arbor and settled onto the
grass, sitting cross-legged for the moment. The others would be coming along soon and
he just desperately needed the peace and quiet that this place offered. He noted that he
hadn't even said hello to his own sister, but it was all right. They saw each other almost
daily now.

The day still tingled with an atmosphere of anticipation and the Elen was glad for that.
He was proud of Glory and glad for him. Amazed too. So much had gone wrong so
quickly for his boy, but things had somehow evened themselves out again and that was a
pleasure to see.

He looked up and stared around the arbor as he breathed in deeply.

“Well you‟ll be fine,” Tay said drily, “I‟m not sure about the rest of us though if you keep
knocking that stuff back.” A rather evil grin curved her lip, “Niiiiiice reaction by the way.
Is the idea of marrying me that terrifying? I‟ll just remember that then. Maybe I should
just head back upstairs and go back to making Conor‟s trousers tingle.”

Pilfering Callan‟s glass the Amazon helped herself, “Yes, Catherine is a wonderful
woman. Now … we should be heading outside I think. They are about ready to start.”

Cassey peeked down at Yse from her perch. “I‟m Cassey…” Quietly she slipped from the
branch she was on and landed on her feet. She eyed the ball with open curiosity though
she was hesitant to do anything else.

“How do you play it?”

Meanwhile, Y‟Roden had managed to get back to his feet, distract his wife from the
frisky Fae, and turned around to blink at G‟Den. “Outside … I should be outside by the
arbor I believe. I‟ll just head out there now then.” He chuckled, wrapped his arm around
Silverthorn‟s waist, and escorted her towards the door. “Oh my gods the girls are

Ah well… it was an S‟Hean wedding, the other guests were lucky that clothing hadn‟t
been set as an optional thing.

Yse smiled brightly and held it out towards the other girl, “You press the symbols… see”
the young elf demonstrated, pressing three simultaneously. The ball made a slight
whirring sound and the seam around the middle began to glow. An explosion of light lit
up the trees and images swirled around them, revealing the landscape of Nenlante … so
real, one could almost feel the spray of the waterfalls on their face. “Depending on what
you press, you get something different each time.”

Cassey‟s mouth formed a small „o‟ and she turned around trying to take in all of the
pictures at once. “That‟s pretty!” A smile lit up her face as she turned back to Yes. “Is
this place real? Do you know its name? May I?” Tentatively she reached out to touch the
ball and smiled. It was relatively smooth and was warm to the touch, but not overly so.
“What happens if you push those two symbols?”

Catherine calmed herself. Just a teensy bit. She seriously doubted however her feet would
touch the ground when it was time to actually walk to Glory. She felt herself listening for
Glory's heart beat. She needed it so badly. The tension was mounting and the what ifs
almost got in her mind, and then she stopped. She knew it was right. She loved Glory, he
loved her, and that was all that mattered.

"Oh, my wings are gonna show, its kind of hard to explain, they make me different, and
some days I resent that. But today, my family would shoot me if they didn't." she said
with a slightly screwed up face. "I'm gonna have to start doing jumping jacks or
something. Waiting is killing me, and being away from Glory is worse." she said with
frustration. She turned to Ghet..."I bet someone else is feeling entirely freaked out by
now, thank you for helping, but you better go rescue Galain, this day just is gonna have
hard moments in it." she said with a sadness tinged in her voice.
And then she began pacing the room again, she looked out the window hoping
desperately to catch a glimpse of Glory, but instead saw the kids in the creek. "Oh, look
Meghan, their just like we were!" she said with a giggle. "Oh, and see now you can watch
Fechine, and he won't know." she whispered softly and giggled. She couldn't help it,
when you were this newly in love, you felt it necessary to make everybody feel that way.

Meghan sidled up to the window as nonchalantly as possible. Catherine had known for
years Meg's crush on Fechine...but Ghetsuhm hadn't.

"Why would I want to watch Fechine?" Meghan gave the giddy pixe-elf a pointed look.
"You know..." A smoking Yarwin Blackthorn with two properly repentatant boys
walking mopely ahead and one screaming, kicking Muirne in tow went by the window.

"I think everyone is heading that way." Violet shot indigo eyes peered at the grounds.

"Is Mira's father drunk? He's not walking quite right..."

G'den was trying to think through the list of people who needed to be somewhere. It
appeared he'd done his job. He hoped. It was then that he saw Galen. Catherine had told
him about Galen, but he hadn't met him. He bent down and said. "A bit crowded isn't it?
Has anybody stopped to tell you what is happening? Or has everybody been a little
rushed?" he asked gently. "Oh, and in case your worried about strangers, I'm G'den
Catherine's father. A little strange, but not so bad as say your Uncle Ro, or your grandpa
Galain." he said chuckling.

Catherine continued to whisper. "You goof! she didn't hear me." she said. And then
giggled at the kids in trouble. "Yep, they've been caught. Oh no! who let Cham come?"
she said moaning. He appeared to be fishing Rhagi out of the water afraid he was gonna
drown. Cham didn't know about D'riels and water.

"Hey, you know if we opened the window we could throw things at them." Catherine said
giggling. "But would we throw?" she laughed and looked around the room for something
to pelt. She found some left over roses, they seemed good targets. "Do you think I'll get
in trouble if I hit Callan on my wedding day? Oh, and he better not be drunk 'cause he'll
meet me in all my rage if he is." she said with indignation.

She then chucked the rose and landed it quite neatly on his head. She ducked behind the
window and giggled madly.

"Drunk? Uhm..." Callan paused his thoughts to Sunsong, "Not yet, no." he finally
answered, hoping he sounded firmly convinced of his sobriety, "Okay, just don't ask me
to say the Dwarwish alphabet backwards...I always get the ARDH and the RECHK
screwed up." Probably woundn't be a good thing to ask him to close his eyes, look up and
try to touch his nose either....blindness did weird things to his equilibrium.
"What? My reaction? To? OH!" Callan took his glass back and snagged one more on the
way outside. "Its not that, I'd love to ask you to marry me, but dragons don't usually
marry. But still, I'd like to call you vesse someday, I just, well, its...just now wouldn't be
good. Would it?"

Oh this was bad, he was going down in flames.

"Let me just finish this drink off. Its really hard to drink, think, and talk at the same

"Your full rage?" Meghan exploded in laughter as the rose beaned the dragon on the
head. "The last time he experienced that, I hear you put him in a bunny suit. OHHHh
Catherine, you are priceless." Gales of laughter echoed out of Meghan, "Though," the elf
maid gasped for air and clutched the window sill, "I'd be careful, from what I can tell
from amil, Black dragons are rather fond of fire. And yes..." Meghan's eyes went wide, "I
think he's drunk...or blind...he never flinched."

"Maybe something larger?"

An‟Thaya would have mock glared at her mate, but it wouldn‟t have done much good,
considering he couldn‟t see a thing. “Gods … you have had too much to drink,” she
teased. Then she openly stared at him for a moment in dead silence. “Well yes… right
this moment might be a little awkward.”

Admittedly, he had sent her into a tailspin with that one. Yet again, the teasing thing had
backfired. Maybe she would just stick to the tingly trouser thing from now on. They had
almost reached the arbor by this time and one of Callan‟s glasses had been left on a table
on the way out. This left one of his hands free for Tay to snag as she wriggled her toes in
the grass and inhaled the scent of roses.

“Suilad Ro,” she said, stepping on her brother‟s heel as they came up behind Y‟Roden
and his wife.

The half-elf turned his head and grinned at the couple, winking at Tay before taking his
place at the head of the arbor, giving Galain a nudge with his foot. “Wakey wakey
Mellon, time to get one of your offspring married off.”

"Everybody's in a rush these days," Galen grumbled, but he thought G'den might be okay.
If he was Catherine's daddy he might be cool. After all, Catherine herself was pretty cool
when she wasn't being a girl. "I know atto's getting married and it's to Catherine and I'm
going to have a baby sister soon and everybody's crazy and all my cousins are here, but I
don't want to play with them and the ones I have the most fun with are being told to
behave." He pointed toward Jaiden and her quads and Eos. "But they're older than me

He went quiet as he spotted his father descending the stairs.
"How strange are you?" he suddenly asked G'den.

Meanwhile Glory, Cully and Conor were heading down the stairs and Glory had spotted
his son with G'den. He felt some measure of relief.

"Okay... lemme hug my boy and we'll head on out," he told the other two before he
crossed over to G'den and the seven-year old.

A moment later and things were a little better and Galen's hand was tightly clutching
G'den's as they all headed outside and toward the arbor.

Galain hadn't been asleep... but he hadn't been conscious of the approach of others and
snaked a hand out to grip Y'Roden's ankle, ready to topple whoever had nudged him. He
blinked upward and realized who is was, the word 'mellon' still registering a little.

"Right. Yeah, thanks," he said, getting to his feet in one fluid moment. He moved quickly
away and then stopped, suddenly awkward. Circle. They would be forming a circle. He
had no recollection of where his former in-laws had stood when he'd married An'Thaya
and just stood still, waiting for Ghetsuhm.

Foxx beamed at MAk "Are you Sure? Cause I thinkI remember it".

Then bouncing down off the bar she upended her drink polishing it off and grabbed one
of Marius' hands and looked expectantly at Mak. "Looks like its all getting started, Lead
the way Oh Experienced One"

She was jsut going to keep pressing that button on her new toy til it didn't work anymore .

"I have NEVER been married. I'm positive! How could you remember?" Mak protested,
thoroughly messed up by now. He stared into his drink, downed the rest of it and gave his
brother a wild-eyed look.

"I'm not experienced!" he exclaimed before he colored deeply. "Well not in the ways of
marriage. I mean! I've never been married! Gods!" He stalked away from the pair and
headed outside, figuring they'd follow.

Y‟Roden watched Galain for a moment, then took pity on the Elen and used the Web. It
doesn’t matter where you stand Galain, just as long as you are part of the circle. This
particular ceremony is rather informal, all that matters in the flow of energy, and the
willingness of the participants.

His gaze fell away from his ex brother-in-law to An‟Thaya who was keeping her own
emerald greens averted. “Please Arminiea,” Ro muttered, “a little more positive energy
here would help.”
"You think my rage's are funny do you?" Cat asked with a giggle. "Well, he did look cute
in the suit, and one can hope that the bunnys at the hall aren't still breeding, 'cause the
next party is gonna be a big mess if they are." she said giggling.

Catherine was then stumped as for something harder, and then she magicked up some
nice little stones. They were about the size of an apricot stone. "So, shall we try these?"
she asked giggling. "Ghet, you said I could do anything on my wedding day right?" she
asked turning her head back. She then offered one to Meg. "Quick, you get Ro, I'll get
Callan." It had always been Cat's job to make Meg lighten up.

She aimed carefully and if she was right it should hit Callan right between the eyes. It
shouldn't be hard enough to hurt, just hard enough to grab his attention.....

"Yes," Yse nodded, "It is called Nenlante, we live there now, right there." She spun
around a bit and pointed at the blue palace, "On the top floor." Returning her attention to
the ball she frowned, "I'm not sure... I know if you add that one to the mix, you get the
Diirlathe, or, if you use that one, you get Alcarinque. Atto had this made for us, he said
we should know what our allies homes look like just in case we ever have to portal

Galain's eyes widened a little when Y'Roden's voice slid over the web. He eyed the
S'Hean king a moment and nodded wordlessly. I can flow. I am willing, he replied
silently. It's my son's day after all. He then turned and stared straight toward the center of
the circle where Glory and Cat would bind themselves together in marriage.

Taim looked around at everything going on and realized that people were heading off in
one direction. With a sigh she looked over at the others. “I‟m guessing we‟re suppose to
go that way then?” Her question wasn‟t aimed at any one really.

“It would appear to be that way, shall we?” Laucian offered his arm and feel in behind
those that were heading towards the arbour.

Vanyalin had lost track of most of her siblings somewhere along the way. Likely because
she had stuck her nose in a book and quite forgot where she was. It was a subtle shift in
the web that reminded her where she should be and what she should be doing, bringing
her flame tressed head up in a startled manner. Peering towards the gathering circle she
tucked the book away into a pocket portal, brushed off her dress, and ran across the grass
to join them.

The tiny redhead paused just short of the crowd and frowned, looking from her Amil to
her Atto and back again. Since Galain was alone, she sidled up beside him and placed her
small hand in his. “Suilad Atto,” she said with a smile, then gave his hand a squeeze. “I
haven‟t seen you in awhile … do you mind if I stand beside you?”

Cassey nodded and tilted her head. “Does it have Gala Nodel or Sha‟Dar?” She didn‟t
know if the two places would be or not though she knew how her family felt towards the
D‟Riels, she had often wandered around the memory room in Shadow‟s cottage and
looked at all the different portraits on the walls of different people that was some how a
part of the Head Elder‟s life.

Balan chuckled and poked Mel in the ribs lightly with his elbow, just because he wanted
to, as Kaylee and Conlan headed off with Taimie and Laucian.

“I‟ll go get the girls and Carrick.” He offered, doubting that Ami would want to miss her
brother‟s wedding.

G'den smiled at the little boy holding his hand. It felt so good, and had been awhile. "I'm
actually probably very normal, compared to most, the strangest thing I do is grow
flowers. I'll show you sometime." he said with a big smile.

And then he gestured at Glory to stop. "I wanted to tell you, before I head up to get my
daughter. I've given you a hard time, and I admit was angry at how Cat went about
choosing you. But I am aware how happy you make my daughter. You bring out a
maturity in her I could never quite get." G'den said slowly and thoughtfully. "Treat her
well young Alcarin, because you may have beat me at the tournament, but I will come
after you and I will win, if I ever find you haven't." he said with steel in his eyes. "With
that out of the way, congratulations and welcome to the family! Granny and all." he said
laughing and clapping the young man on his back.

And then it was granny's turn. She'd been looking for a new view and she'd found Glory.
"Ooooooooooooooooo yes, you are perfect." she said cackling. She had no idea who she
was acosting, and wouldn't have cared if she had.

“Hmmm… yes, it does,” she nodded, press these two aannnd… that one there and you
will get Sha‟Dar. Dara B‟Elya has been there and she says it is absolutely beautiful.” She
frowned a little, “she never says much more than that though… I think it makes her sad.
So I don‟t ask.”

Galain was startled for a moment and then he smiled warmly at his daughter.

"Well hello there, little one. It's been too long," he said quietly, bneding his head to kiss
his daughter's forehead. "Did you have your nose in a book? Was it any good?" he asked
in a teasing manner, looking up as the circle began to take form.

"Yes sir," Glory replied to G'den, very serious as he understood just how intense his
father-in-law to be was at this moment. He didn't doubt at all that G'den would come after
him and he bowed his head a moment and then looked up at him.

"She is my treasure. I will never mistreat her or do wrong to her," he said quietly. A
moment later he was being welcomed into the family and relief flooded him. Then alarm.

Who was that pinching his back end?!
Cully had tucked the ring safely away in his pocket and followed dutifully behind his
twin while grinning at Conor. He hadn‟t been sure who looked more embarrassed
upstairs. His Amil, or the Brendari.

Downstairs he waited while Glory went to reassure Galen, and then kept a respectful
distance as G‟Den „had a word‟ with his soon to be son-in-law. That was a conversation
Cully had managed to avoid thus far with a certain Hunter Urdrul… A guilty flush
colored his cheek. Perhaps it was long overdue.

Jaiden had been quietly watching everyone else, not at all upset or worried when no one
stopped to greet her or the children. She largely kept to herself these days and simply
enjoyed watching Tay and Callan from afar, sighing a bit when she saw Galain. When he
next got home to Alcarinque he would find several carefully wrapped parcels and boxes
awaiting him -- all the paintings and paraphrenalia he'd left behind in his studio adjoining
Tay's forge in the jungle. She hoped he wouldn't mind and had taken pleasure in
observing the elf's mind at work on canvas as she'd sorted and wrapped.

Right now it was time for a wedding.

"Eos, I'm trusting you to help me. Kerensa! Do NOT knot your brother's hair. Cadan!
You will not pick your nose. Use this." The Windling produced a handkerchief and
handed it to her son.

And with that the small Alasse-D'Riel troupe headed out of the taproom, not far behind
Taimie and her husband.

“That‟s Daro Cubby‟s kingdom, its by the sea and everything is huge. The only bad thing
about there is Cousin Apolla, she‟s not very nice.” The little girl wrinkled her nose and
blinked. “Why would it make her sad?” She grew quiet for a moment then grinned,

The picture she pointed at showed just enough of her forest home that she could point out
where she lived. “I live there, my room is in the tree house part of the cabin that Daro
Balan and Daro Jaret helped Atto build.” The little girl grinned before she heard her name
being called.

“That‟s Daro Balan.”

Sil had been watching everyone too and was vastly amused by it all. It was refreshing to
be out and about a little and she took a place in the growing circle -- just so she could
catch her father's eyes at the most inopportune moment and make googly eyes at him.
Summerlin and Reece had slipped in beside her and she leaned in against her mother with
a happy sigh.
Granny finally realized G'den was talking to the man who she was admiring, and then put
two and two together properly and realized she was assaulting her soon-to-be-grandson-
by-law. "Who me? well I'm your granny don't ya know?" she said cackling and showing
her lovely yellow and crooked teeth. "Cat probably didn't tell me about you, it was
probably wise....." she said and cackled somemore. "Well she may be ashamed of me, but
she sure knows how to pick 'em!" she said flitting around Glory possibly causing him to
long for some twine....

In the meantime G'den bent down and gave Galen a hug. "Save me a place k? I'll stand by
you as soon as I get Cat here." he said with a smile. And then he nodded his head at
Glory and headed to find his daughter.

"You're my granny? You're Cat's grandmother?" Glory stared at the amazing little
creature with amazement and then laughter. He spun around with her, indeed wishing he
had some twine on himself, but he didn't.

"Okay, Granny, lead the way to the arbor, my brother and friend and I will follow," he
said, gesturing toward Galen who had just nodded to G'den. He'd definitely save Cat's
father a place.

Then the groom's party slowly headed out of the inn and toward the arbor, not too far
behind Jaiden and company.

Ghet drew a deep breath. She was keeping her fingers on the pulse of the Inn, so to speak,
and she was quite well aware of the little flare a bit back. She took the little stone,
snickered, and hugged Catherine gently, so as not to muss her. "You're right, I really need
to run. I'm not even dressed yet, and I have to find my son. Though just finding the
largest patch of water should do it."

She slipped away quietly, back to their room. There was the suggestion of a dress there,
and she smiled, finally letting the tears she'd been suppressing flow. Once she started
crying she couldn't stop. She wasn't sad so much, but there was simply too much feeling.
While she cried, she dressed, making subtle additions to the outline Galain had left her.
She unbraided her hair, brushed it, and left it loose over her shoulders. The dress clung to
her, soft and sheer, and she smiled, tears drying as she rested a hand on her stomach.
Then she took the rose Catherine had given her, and secured it in the waist of her dress.
There had been no circle of friends on her wedding day, and yet she did not regret it.

Her anxiety for Galain growing, she hurried down the stairs, through the inn and out into
the yard. She baulked for a moment when she saw he was with Vanyalin: she was the one
of Galain's children by An'Thaya that Ghet knew least well. She had no idea how the girl
felt about her. Then she took herself in hand, and walked the rest of the way across the
grass, kissing his cheek before she fell in on his other side. It was her place, and people
were just going to have to yield it to her.

She shot an amused glance across at Y'Roden. Everything was going far too smoothly,
and she knew he felt it. For now, she had completely forgotten about both her sons. She
hugged herself tightly to Galain's side. "Hello, Vanya. It's good to see you."

Rhagi stared at the other boy furiously for a couple of minutes. People simply never
yelled at him, and he hadn't done anything wrong, so he was quite indignant. Yse's attack
put him in a slightly better mood, but then she wandered off to play with someone else,
and Rhagi's usual black mood settled back around him.

Once, he had been perfectly at ease dealing with strangers, but no more. Yseult and
Drysi, Morgan and Taylon, and Caolan, that was it for children he felt comfortable with.
It was slowly expanding to accommodate Melian and Elerina as well, but only slowly.

Silently, sullenly, he sludged out of the river and picked up his clothes. He took a long
look at the gathering wedding guests, sludged back across the river, and disappeared into
the trees.

Galain was immensely glad when Ghetsuhm arrived. He took in the dress she was
wearing, his eyes sparkling with delight as he noted how it draped over her curves and
things suddenly tilted back into place for him for the moment. His wife had that way
about her and he held her close to him.

You have to wear that dress again, he told her silently.

Marius sniggered, and tapped Foxx lightly on the nose. "You'll make his head explode,"
he told her softly. More loudly he said, "Mak is never going to marry and settle down. He
can't. 'Cause if he did I'd have no competition. You ever going to come visit us in
Alcarinque, Mak? I'm sure there are people around there who'd love to see you."

Mak paused in his stalking and turned around slowly, giving Marius a jaundiced look.

"I might visit -- one day," he replied, his mind spinning in the general direction of one
Paiden Trayhan. "But he's right -- I am never going to get married or settle down. I like
making Marius work for his reputation."

Okay, he was feeling better now.

Ghet smiled, her whole face lighting up, the shadows pushed away for a moment. Well,
okay. But only briefly. "You wait til you see Catherine," she said aloud. "She looks

Marius looked indignant, for as long as he could sustain it. "Hey! I never had to work for
my reputation. It got here before I did. Come on, you know how it goes. 'Who are your
parents? Ohhhhhh...'. I just haven't actively discouraged it, that's all."

Then he thought about how long it had been since he'd slept with anyone who wasn't
Foxx, and went a bit pale.
Foxx blinked prettily "But I make heads explode all the time . . Rikers . . I get paid . . Oh
wait, You mean in that other way" Then she snickered.

"That competition thing . . Do Alcarin men have like an entirely different brain system?
For keeping track of women? I'd be really interested . . If I promised to put it back
together just the same could I borrow yours for a little while? Or Maks? Oooh There's the
circle". Foxx let go and skipped ahead to bop Galain on the back of his head and give him
a reassuring smile before slipping back to Marius and Mak again . . "So where're we

Well of course only briefly, Galain replied, a first real smile spreading across his face.
And then he was looking around.

"Is she coming down yet? Where's Glory? He should have been here by now," he said.
And then he saw the boy and his brother and friend -- Conor's tall form sort of acted as a
marking point. "Oh wait, here he comes."

A moment later he got a bop on the back of his head from Foxx and he had to smile
again. Little vixen.

"I rest my case," Mak said with massive satisfaction as Marius went pale. Mak knew that
look and his grin was rather smug as they joined the circle.

Marius goggled at Foxx. She did what? For money? He was going to kill his mother.
Slowly. No, quickly, then he wouldn't have to listen to her whinge. "You'll get yours," he
told Mak warningly. "Or not, whatever's worse." He tilted an eyebrow to indicate Foxx.
"Sometimes you think you know what's worse, and then suddenly you're just hopelessly
confused. I still bet you get married before I do."

He eyed the circle warily. "I don't think it matters where we stand. It's all well within the
blast radius."

"She'll be down in a bit, I think. Meghan's with her, I think they wanted to talk girly-talk
stuff for a bit. And I'd been away quite long enough. We could try and wrassle all these
kids into some kind of order, but I really don't think it's worth the bother." Ghet
snickered, and followed Galain's gaze to where the groom's party was arriving. "Besides,
they quite clearly have to stand around and sweat it for a while."

"A little 'sweating it' is good for them," Galain said with a chuckle. He had no intention
of wrestling down a bunch of wet and muddy children though. No way. Let their own
mothers and fathers deal with it.

Watching as the guests began to make their way towards the arbor Willow checked to see
if Aspen was coming. Instead she saw that the library door had firmly closed.
“Drake, it‟s time we head towards the arbor.” As he stood up she slipped her arm around
his waist as they slowly followed behind.

“It‟s a beautiful day for a wedding. I bet Catherine‟s family had something to do with it.”

Drake smiled down at Willow as she looked up at him, their minds in tune with each
other as they remembered their meeting about this time of year, a time when there had
been snow at the Inn instead of this beautiful weather. She hugged him closer as they
neared the arbor.

The gods had blessed her, she wished for that same blessing for Catherine an Glory….

Mak's smug smile slipped a little when Marius pronounced that was sure Mak would
marry first.

"You're on -- the last man standing... wins. Wait, how will this work? Whoever gets
married first loses -- right? Right. Oh look, dead man walking," he said as he spotted

A hand came out from no where and smecked Mak upside of his head, catching one
sensitive pointed ear. "Behave," his big sister scolded as she joined the circle with Kalab.
Shaking her head she smiled up at her bondmate and squeezed his hand. With a raised
eyebrow she watched as Mena rounded up Elernia and Melian, bringing them up to stand
next to their mother. Somehow, the twins had avoided getting mussed up.

Truly a miracle.

"I did," Vanyalin giggled at her father and leaned her head against his bicep for a
moment. The youngest of his children with An'Thaya, she still felt the baby of the family
in some ways... and had no complaints about it. She was a gentle spirit, shy and rather
withdrawn. Especially of late after the things she had witnessed in Nenlante.

Her head came up as Ghetsuhm arrived and wide emerald eyes studied the taller redhead
for a moment. "Suilad Ghetsuhm," she said in a timid voice, "It is good to see you too."
The young elf had no opinion one way or another, she had been very young when her
Father had taken a second wife, most of her life had been spent with the reality of it.

"I did," Vanyalin giggled at her father and leaned her head against his bicep for a
moment. The youngest of his children with An'Thaya, she still felt the baby of the family
in some ways... and had no complaints about it. She was a gentle spirit, shy and rather
withdrawn. Especially of late after the things she had witnessed in Nenlante.

Her head came up as Ghetsuhm arrived and wide emerald eyes studied the taller redhead
for a moment. "Suilad Ghetsuhm," she said in a timid voice, "It is good to see you too."
The young elf had no opinion one way or another, she had been very young when her
Father had taken a second wife, most of her life had been spent with the reality of it.
"You get to live in a tree?" Yse asked in wide eyed amazement, "I would love to live in a
tree!" The S'Hean part of her blood fairly sang at the idea of it. "Daro Balan?" The
platinum haired little girl turned her head and looked through the trees. "Oh! The
wedding is going to start! We should go!"

Looking around she frowned, "I have to find my little brother first though." She pressed
the Runeball into Cassey's hand, "You can keep this if you like. Save a place for me in
the circle, I'll be back in a moment."

Scampering off through the trees she tracked Rhagi through the web. "Rhagi! We have to
join the circle now!"

Amilyn had made sure all of the children were dry and clean when they weren't looking,
not wanting to risk any view of the wrath of her Dara Silverthorn. She had a healthy
respect of the S'Hean Queen...

She joined Melaina, who'd linked her fingers with Balan's, partly to keep him from
poking her side again, and partly because she wanted to, and Conlan and Kaylee, but only
long enough to bring the children close. Then she was off to greet her mother properly, as
she probably should have done sooner. She didn't bat an eyelash at the way things had
gone, mainly because as much as she adored Galain, she knew that her Amil hadn't been
happy and she could see that Callan made her happy. That was enough for Ami.

Melaina leaned closer to Balan. Her voice was a quiet whisper as she spoke, "Things get
too mushy or it looks like heads are going to explode, I'm portalling out.. You wanna
come with?"

Rhagi was up a tree. It was a good tree, with a nice view, but it couldn't hide him from
D'Riels. Nothing could.

He peered down through the branches at Yseult. "I'm not going. I'm staying here." He
was aware that he sounded really sulky and unpleasant, just as he was aware that his
mother was getting steadily more and more exasperated with him. But he was just a kid,
and he didn't know how to put it right. "It's okay," he said, trying not to sound like such a
baby. "No-one will miss me, they never do."

Foxx was just grinning through the entire conversation. "I'll help you dodge schrapnel . .
At least if it looks like it might interefere with functioning, I feel a certain amount of
injury is good for people, keeps'em on their toes. Though y'know if we can position Mak
right, Well Left . . You're still firm with your position on the bacta right? Mak, Honey,
sweetie, you've never heard of bacta right?" She was in a very good mood.

Cassey nodded at Yse before she took off, she looked down at the ball in her hand as
Naur took the other one and the two girls headed off towards the circle.

“She said to save a place for her.”
Naur just nodded, still vexed that they had hurt the other girl‟s feelings. It hadn‟t
bothered her that the little boy called Rhagi had taken off, well, not at first, and then she
felt a little guilty before throwing it all to the winds. He seemed rather spoiled and like he
demanded attention.

Jade green eyes met emerald green through the branches of the tree and Yse gave an
exasperated sigh that sounded all too much like their father. “Rhagi, don‟t be such a
child. You know that Atto loves you, and he worries every moment you are out of his
sight. If it wasn‟t for the Web, he‟d sit on you constantly just to make sure you are safe.”
Nimble as a squirrel the little elf scrambled up the tree and settled in beside her little
brother. “And I would miss you too, I do all the time when you have to go home to your
mothers.” She shrugged and leaned her back against the tree, frowning when she realized
her dress was snagged. “If you are going to stay here… than so am I.”

Balan chuckled and pulled his hand away from Melaina‟s. “Deal.” He didn‟t like the
whole lovey dovey scene either…and the last thing he wanted to do was be in the middle
of a family feud as well. Leaning down he took up Carrick and deposited his nephew on
his shoulders.

“Ack! Carrick, Daro Balan has to see, Carrick take your hands off of my eyes please.”
The forest elf sighed and finally gave up. He was giggling, there wasn‟t much one could
do when he was giggling.

"Don't be dumb, Yse. If you're not there, Silverthorn'll get all cross, and then we'll both
be in trouble." He shrugged. "I don't want to go back to my mum's any more, either. I
don't like it." She was making him think too much. She was right about Ro, and yet...
there was something else as well, that he didn't really understand. "You're nice, though,
Yse. If you weren't my sister, I'd marry you. You suck way less than other girls. Except
Drysi. Are you snagged?"

Now he hadn‟t known Mel for very long, and the whole idea of him coming here, was
Conlan and Kaylee‟s idea. So when he finally gave up on the effort to pry his nephew‟s
hands from over his eyes he decided to try to grab a hold of Mel‟s hand again.

Reaching out, he came in contact with something that really didn‟t feel like a hand, it was
too round and it didn‟t feel right when he squeezed it. “Mel? Where‟s your hand?”

"Well, that definitely wasn't it.. " She grinned and grabbed his hand, twining her fingers
through his in a move that seemed strangely natural. She didn't question it though. Things
that felt right should never be questioned...

If they could have, his eyes would have gone wide and he would have jerked it away, but
she had a hold of it before he had a chance.

“Oh, sorry, Carrick must have forgotten that he was suppose to be playing pilot for me.”
Using his free hand he poked the already giggling boy in the side. He was rather
embarrassed, but that wasn‟t that unusual for him…and he heard feminine laughter near
by. “I could always try again, you know.”

Mel smiled and leaned over to whisper so Carrick wouldn't hear her. "Maybe we should
save the next attempt for a more private time..." She was shocked at herself, surprised at
how forward she was acting and how much she enjoyed his hand in hers.

Mak was grabbing his ear and giving his older sister the look of death.

"I AM behaving!" he protested to Anelain and then he was staring at Foxx again. "What's

"Okay, now the giggling is down right evil..." he commented before he heard whispering
in his ear. Balan turned to look at Mel, but a lot of good it did, he probably looked like an
idiot, but he usually was.

"Is that a promise or a threat?" He only half whispered back. He rather liked having a
hold of Mel's hand.

Conor was doing his best to melt into the background, but it was a little hard when in the
middle of a circle.

"Can't we just stand to one side?" He whispered to Cully. "You know... like behind
everyone else?"

Kalab grinned when Anelain smacked Mak upside the head, though he tried to surpress it.
It was just an automatic reaction really, and he did feel for the younger elf, he knew what
that felt like. Unknowingly, he reached up to rub his ear with his freehand.

Squeezing her hand in reply, he leaned down and stole a kiss. Well, he had to have
something to do right about then.

Marius nodded. "Very firm. I'm very very firm on the bacta. Though it's possible that
with the application of more bacta I may never be firm again." He grinned in Mak's
direction. "You really don't want to know. She keeps threatening to insert other
organisms in me, and that doesn't seem to be as much fun as it sounds. Hello, Anelain. He
is behaving. He's much too freaked right now to be up to anything."

Ghet smiled and kind of folded herself into Galain's side, though she restrained her
normal stroking given his daughter's proximity. Ghet was pretty awful at dealing with shy
people, she never knew what to say. She'd had a pretty hard time with some of Galain's
daughters, a problem she never seemed to have with his sons for some reason. Her gentle
smile included the girl, though. And then she frowned. "Where the heck is Rhagi? Gods,
don't tell me he's run off again, I've had it with that boy." She sighed, and checked on the
Web. "He's not far. If I go after him, I'll only end up yelling at him. Tell me our
daughter's not going to be like that."

Foxx felt confused "Bacta has never been known to make anyone . . Not Firm. Perhaps its
something specific to your genetic heritage . . Though, then again I don't like to put
anything past my brother, and it could always be psychosomatic . . I don't really think
Bacta counts as 'other' organisms though, even if they are . . they sorta do their job and
die . . its not like nanotech or quantum alkatide or whatever its called . . they live in you
and keep doing the same jobs over and over . . Whenever they're needed of course. I
really think you're unneccessarily paranoid about all that y'know. Its quite . . Well very
few people have died, and I never have."

Then she beamed at Anelain "I don't understand why they all get so frightened"

Jade green eyes scanned the children as Silverthorn did a quick head count. Fechine
could be seen herding Caolan and the Blackthorn twins towards the circle. Drysi was
standing with two little girls whom she didn't recognise but seemed to be with the
Silverleaf contingent. A faint frown came into the dark-haired elf's eyes as she realised
they were missing some.

"Yse, you're going to be late" she sent silently along the web, nudging her platinum-
haired little girl gently. "Hurry up please. Bring Rhagi with you. You know your father
can't go after him today."

"It's definitely psychological," Marius said seriously. "The mind of a man is a delicate
thing, you know. And I was never paranoid before I met you. Well... does it count as
paranoid if people are actually out to get you?" He let his eyes drift across the crowd.
There was a very pretty young woman leaning on his father's arm. The other side. Nice

Drysi glanced back worriedly towards the trees into which Rhagi and her sister had
disappeared. The dark-haired little girl was torn. She knew that everyone was supposed to
be gathering together now, and also that her mother had spotted her, but she was
concerned about her siblings. "Rhagi, please come" she sent, tugging gently on the bond
that connected her to all of her S'hean brothers and cousins. "Everyone's here and I'm
sure both of the Amils have noticed you two are missing."

Emerald eyes looked anxiously over at Naur, Cassey and Carrick. "He's nice really. He's
just not all that good with strangers. He didn't mean to be mean. My name's Drysi. Yse is
my twin."

Bran wrapped his arm around his wife's waist and walked over to join the others forming
the circle outside the Inn. The fair-haired elf smiled a greeting at those he knew, nodding
politely at those he didn't. It was certainly an impressive gathering. Hopefully the fact
that so many people would come together to celebrate the marriage of Glory and
Catherine boded well for their union.
Yse grinned broadly at the compliment, "You can be nice too, when you want to be," she
told him, then nodded. She was definately snagged. "Why don't you want to go back to
your Mum's? Have you told her? Maybe she'll let you stay with us more."

Child logic... it seemed reasonable to her.

I'm trying Amil... I've just caught my dress... we'll be along as soon as we can.

Y'Roden had performed enough wedding ceremonies now to be fairly casual about the
entire thing. He was watching their family gather with a slight smirk on his face. All the
bossom grabbing, ear swatting and stone in the forehead pinging seemed... so natural,
given the company.

It's all right, he said softly to his wife, Just leave them, they won't wander off.

He made mental note to spend some time with Rhagi after this was finished. Something
had been off with his second youngest son for awhile now. If he needed a little time right
now, that was fine. Ro wasn't going to force him to be in a crowd if he didn't want to be.

If she's attached to a tree then she's definitely not going to wander off Silverthorn replied
drily, a glimmer of wry amusement in her gaze as she glanced up at her husband. Then
she sighed. Gods know I never expected to have to say this, but if you want Rhagi to stay
with us properly for awhile its alright. I'm not sure that any of the boys have been
completely 'right' since Samara got her hands on them, and with Ghet being pregnant
again... She glanced over at the redhead and then back at Ro before shrugging a little
uncomfortably. He just doesn't seem exactly thrilled about that little fact either.

The dark-haired elf had been known to go out of her way on occasion to avoid her
husband's son by Ghetsuhm. Not that she wished him any ill, but his presence was a
living reminder of things that she would give anything to be able to forget... at least
temporarily. On days when she was struggling anyway he became more like a silent
wound on her soul. Frightened of what she would say or do at those times she frequently
found a reason to be anywhere other than near him.

Y‟Roden stared at his wife for a moment, then suddenly caught Silverthorn‟s face
between his hands and bent to kiss her. Gods I love you. I have to be the most fortunate
fellow on well… just about any planet I can think of. He knew just what the offer cost her
to make, and couldn‟t have been more grateful. His emerald greens sparkled impishly
when Ro pulled back a little, “You are simply the best wife and Queen a King could ask

A wry smile curved Silverthorn's lips. "I'm glad to hear it, although I trust you'll
remember that when I have one of my more irrational moments" she said drily. Not that
he would. Neither would she. Both were exceptionally good at temper tantrums and their
shouting matches were quickly becoming legendary amongst those who lived with them
on a more personal day to day basis.
Rhagi went a bit cross-eyed as he tried to listen to both twins at once. I'll come, he told
Drysi, Probably. He shrugged at Yseult. He couldn't really put into words just why he
didn't want to be around his mother. "Everyone there is... sad. Angry. Mummy just hangs
around Galain all the time, and when she doesn't she's reading and stuff. And now she's
going to have a baby. It's weird. But your amil doesn't want me hanging round all the
time, either. It doesn't matter."

He leaned over in the tree so he could see where she was caught. "That's really stuck. We
might have to tear it. Do you care?"

G'den walked up the stairs slowly and found his daughters room. He knocked to give
them warning and then slipped in. He was quite amused to see the two throwing rocks.
"Haven't grown up yet little ones?" he asked with great affection.

"I think the circle is formed, and all they are waiting for is you. Meg and Barbara join the
circle, and I'll bring my daughter in a minute." He watched as the two left the room and
then turned to his daughter. "I love you Catherine, and you are beautiful." he said. "Now,
shall we do this?"

The stone that bounced off of Callan‟s forehead brought a slight giggle from An‟Thaya,
more so because of his attempt to ignore it. The laughter died in a strangled choke when
emerald greens settled on the pregnant form of Ghetsuhm Alcarin.

Absolute shock turned the Amazon‟s blood ice cold and she whipped around to stare at
Y‟Roden, nearly falling in the process. The world seemed to be spinning and the look she
caught in the depths of his eyes revealed the secrets he had been withholding from her.

You KNEW? She didn‟t need to hear an answer. When? No… don’t answer that either.
She knew exactly when the conception had occurred.

Any and all guilt she had been harboring suddenly slipped away. An‟Thaya had nearly
died, and while she had been in bed in S‟Hea, Galain had wandered off to create a child
with his other wife. Any doubts there had been about decisions made when she had
awoken were put behind her.

Clamping down on a stirring rage Tay dropped crimson lashes, hooding a poisonous look
that never made it in Galain‟s direction. This was her son‟s wedding … her personal
feelings could wait until later. She felt a shift in the web, and realized Ro was shielding
her, or perhaps, shielding others from what she was feeling.

The Amazon‟s hand tightened in that of her mate‟s and she drew a deep, steadying
breath. Her eyes remained closed and she let the anger fade … what Galain did or didn‟t
do had no meaning anymore. Old habits died hard. Instead, she let her thoughts drift to
Callan, things he had said and done in the past few months, how much a part of her he
had become. Turning her head slightly Tay let her forehead rest against the Dragon‟s
bicep, the tattoo there flaring softly in response. He was right… they would both be all
right … in time.

“Well, parents are funny that way,” Yse said sagely, “Amil spends a lot of time with Atto
too. But… they both make time for us. Babyies don‟t have to change anything. They both
still have plenty of time to spend with us even now that we have a new baby brother.”
Well, new might have been stretching it a bit. B‟Roden was two. “But sad and angry
can‟t be good. It was like that for awhile after Gramma and Grampa died… but things get

She eyed the hem of her dress and shrugged, “No, I don‟t care, its just a dress.”

Catherine ran and jumped into her fathers arms almost knocking him over. "Oh, its here,
its my day, and don't I?" she said jumping back down and twirling in her dress. She was
getting married and was barely controlling her excitement. She watched the two women
leave the room. And whispered softly. "I love you father, and I'm sorry mom isn't here to
see this." and then shook aside all doubt, regrets and worry. Glory was waiting in the

Catherine headed back to the window and smiled as she watched Meghan and Barbara
take their places in the circle. And then took a deep breath it was time.

She turned to her father. "Right, lets do this!" she said with excitement. Her wings
fluttering in excitement, and herself forcing them to lay down beside her dress so she
didn't fly and get sick.

She linked arms with her father headed out of the inn, and into the waiting circle. She
parted the circle and stood still for a moment Her eyes had caught Glory's and it was all
she could see. She headed towards him leaving her father with just one thing in mind
touching him again. It was right, and she knew it.

G'den had meant to give his daughter one last ceremonial hug, but he gave up on that
when he saw his daughter was lost in her soon-to-be-husbands eyes. He smiled at the two
of them, and snuck over to Galen. He reached down and snagged the boys hand, and
waited to see what a S'hean wedding involved.

Conlan stood with his arms around Kaylee, his eyes on Carrick, Balan and Mel. He'd
noted the accidental grope, but he wasn't going to do anything about it, Mel could handle
herself when she needed to. Carrick had settled down, his hands holding onto Balan's hair
as the child smiled down at Drysi, Cassey and Naur.
"I just don't like it when people hurt my sister.." was all Carrick said in response to
Drysi's defence of her brother.
Conlan's eyes wandered over to his younger sister. Amilyn had slipped up behind
An'Thaya and Callan and he could hear her soft voice across the commotion, perhaps
because he had developed a habit of always hearing her.
"Amil, I missed you." It was all Ami could say without tears. She had missed her mother
greatly, spending more and more time with the Amazons. Mysti had turned long ago, but
that wound had never fully healed and Mel had her own life that Ami didn't want to tag
along for.

Rhagi thought. She was right, things had got better at his Atto's since everything that had
gone wrong. There were a lot of things he didn't think about, but they came back when he
was asleep anyway. Still. Maybe it would get better in Alcarinque, too. It was something
to think about. He'd been his mother's only child, as Marius clearly didn't count. He'd
never had to share her as a mother before.

Rhagi approved of people who didn't care if their clothes got ruined. "Okay, hold still
then." He grabbed her hem in both hands and tore. He'd used rather more force than he'd
intended, and her skirt was pretty stuffed now. With the shift of force and the branch
letting go, they swayed alarmingly for a minute. He grinned. "Cool. I mean, sorry and
everything. I guess we should get down." He leaned out and looked down. It wasn't really
that far...

Yse giggled like a loon as the branch swayed. Like her parents, fear wasn‟t in her
vocabulary. “Ok.. let‟s get down then.” With a little squeak of joy she dropped out of the
tree, her dress billowing out like a parachute, but hardly acting as one. The gravity was
lighter here, and she hit the ground faster than anticipated, though thankfully unhurt.
“Come on! The bride is in the circle!” She waved impatiently at her brother, the grin
plastered on her face rather infectious.

The voice behind An‟Thaya startled and pulled at her heartstrings all at once. Lifting her
head away from Callan‟s arm the Amazon turned around, a smile lighting her features as
she came face to face with her fourteen-year-old daughter. “Hello sweetheart,” the joy
was back in Tay‟s voice as she pulled the young redhead into a tight embrace. “I‟ve
missed you too sweetie. Shali says you are doing quite well with your training though.
See, I keep an eye on you… even when I‟m not there.”

Aware that Catherine had entered the circle, Tay pulled Ami up to stand beside her and
urged her to take Elerina‟s hand.

Standing to one side with Drake, Willow watched as Catherine and her dad made their
way to the circle. The look of love in Catherine‟s eyes as she stared at Glory said it all.

She wished Aspen would have joined them, but lately she had become even more
reclusive hiding in the library digging through the old manuscripts that had long been
forgotten by those who had given the Inn to Willow.

Slipping closer to Drake, wrapping his soul with her love to him, she stood waiting for
the ceremony to start.
Rhagi grinned, and dropped after Yseult, more used to the lighter gravity than she. "We'd
better hurry then," he replied, his previous reluctance forgotten. "But if we're quiet, no-
one will notice. Except Silverthorn." There was no such thing as too quiet for Silverthorn.
He took her hand quite naturally, so they could run back together.

Giving Rhagi‟s hand a squeeze Yse bolted off with him through the trees and out into the
open. They both splashed through the creek, and up onto the grass, the little girl giggling
madly by the time they reached the circle and located Drysi. Jade eyes widened a bit and
she made a rather strange face when she saw Conor in the middle of the circle.

She was fairly certain that NOW was a little too soon for their nuptials. Gosh he was an
eager fellow.

Drysi was quietly relieved when Yseult and Rhagi appeared beside her. The dark-haired
little girl took her twin's other hand, giggling slightly at the look on the platinum-blonde's
face. "Perhaps he doesn't want to wait until you're older?" she whispered, grinning
mischievously. "Or does he have to marry the bride if the real groom doesn't show?"

A contingent of S‟Hean Fae had invaded the circle, bringing with them the scents of fresh
herbs, witchgrass, willow, violet, thyme, saffron and sage meant to bring health,
happiness, love, wisdom, prosperity and fertility among other things to the happy couple.
From where Ro was standing, it looked like the pair already had the fertility part down
and he was grinning madly when rose and ivy circlets were dropped onto the heads of the
bride and groom.

It was time to seal the circle and begin the ceremony. Every D‟Riel in the area quietly
locked down their conduit at the signal from their patriarch, and Y‟Roden‟s soul spun out
as his opened. Those with the ability, felt a rush of Aethyr, the power of it tangible
against their flesh as the most powerful among them awakened the earth beneath their
feet, and the air against their skin. Fire and water licked over them, and Aethyr sang
along their spirits, sending an emerald green wave of light around the circle of friends
and family.

An‟Thaya was left biting her lip against gales of laughter as Callan‟s boots disappeared
with the light and he was brought into contact with the living magic along with everyone
else. The circuit complete, the circle flared and hummed, bringing a sensation of joy, love
and life to everyone forming and within its circumference.

Galain kissed the crown of Ghetsuhm's head and just once sneaked a look over toward
Callan and An'Thaya. Only months had passed and his heart and stomach still flopped
painfully. He hated what he saw there, but this was neither the time nor the place for
confrontations. He looked down before An'Thaya looked their way and missed the
expression on her face.

It was just as well.
"Rhagi will make it, don't worry," he told Ghetsuhm. "And our daughter is going to be
perfect." Okay, perhaps that was a facetious answer, but heck. The rest of his thoughts
fled as Catherine arrived and the circle was completed and sealed. He lost himself in the
sensation of family and the anticipation of what was to come for his son and Catherine.

Glory had eyes only for Catherine of course. His mouth formed a perfect "0" when she
arrived within the circle and everything else just fell away. He didn't even care when a
circlet of something fell upon his head. It was lopsided, but he didn't notice and just
grinned foolishly at his bride, rocking on the balls of his feet.

Well, the circle was complete, and everyone was still standing. Y‟Roden took that as a
good sign, and plunged on ahead with the ceremony. Usually he just made things up as he
went, but this time, he was going with the traditional S‟Hean rites.
"We have come together here in celebration of the joining together of Catherine Rain and
Gloraelin Alcarin. There are many things to say about marriage. Much wisdom
concerning the joining together of two souls has come our way through all paths of belief
and from many cultures. With each union, more knowledge is gained and more wisdom
gathered. Though we are unable to give all this knowledge to these two who stand before
us, we can hope to leave with them the knowledge of love and its strengths and the
anticipation of the wisdom that comes with time. The law of life is love unto all beings.
Without love, life is nothing, without love, death has no redemption. Love is anterior to
Life, posterior to Death, initial of Creation and the exponent of Earth. If we learn no more
in life, let it be this.
Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought and reflection. As
with any aspect of life, it has its cycles, its ups and its downs, its trials and its triumphs.
With full understanding of this, Glory and Catherine have come here today to be joined
as one in marriage."

"Others would ask, at this time, who gives the bride in marriage, but, as a woman is not
property to be bought and sold, given and taken, I ask simply if she comes of her own
will and if she has her family's blessing. Catherine, is it true that you come of your own
free will and accord?"
The pause in which the Pixie managed a yes was as brief as one would expect and
Y‟Roden‟s eyes were glittering with amusement as he continued.
"Please join hands with your betrothed, let your words come from the heart on this the
day of your joining."
Well there it was, Glory‟s cue … if he could manage to speak that is.

Cassey smiled at Drysi and tugged on Naur's hand to try to get her to smile as well.

"It's okay, I guess I'm not really good with them either. I'm Cassey, and this is Naur, and
that's my little brother Carrick..." She eyed the little giggling boy on her uncle's head and
shook her own. She smiled at Drysi, "Naur isn't usually as grouchy either..."

She grew quiet as things seemed to have come together and started.
Glory's hand tingled when he caught up Cat's hand and squeezed it. He half-listened to
Y'Roden's words until the end and then he gave his uncle a wild-eyed look, his jaw
opening and then shutting. He threw a crazed look at Cully and Conor, but got no help
there, especially from Conor whose eyes were now fixed desperately on the sight of one
Yseult D'Riel. It was rather fascinating that the first word out of his mouth echoed his
father's from several centuries ago.

"Geeeerrrnnnghhh..." he gasped

This ceremony was something far beyond Lyra's understanding. She watched the bride
and groom, half-giddy from the feeling of warmth and something else, unknown and
beyond her experience, that seemed to be tied with the ceremony. In all the years she had
lived -- and there had been many of them, by the count of any world -- she had never
experienced a feeling like this. It was... pleasant... more than pleasant. She smiled, not a
foolish, amused smile for once, but a smile indicating a kind of peace she had rarely felt
since leaving Faerie. This she did not understand fully; but it was certainly magic. She
wondered if everyone else was feeling the same, or if it was affecting them as deeply.
Maybe, she thought, it was simply such a new experience for her. Maybe other races felt
like this more often...

She felt a sudden sense of privilige, and wondered just why she was being allowed to be a
part of this.

Y‟Roden, of course, had been at that ceremony all those many years ago, and he nearly
laughed aloud when son imitated father. He figured it must be in the genes. Emerald eyes
rolled heavenwards in a plea to Arminiea and he smecked the heel of his hand to his
forehead before shooting a look in An‟Thaya‟s direction.

The Amazon was no help, Callan‟s disappearing boots had set her off, and Glory‟s verbal
reflection of Galain had done her in. The Dragon was about the only thing keeping her
upright at the moment as she wiped away tears that weren‟t entirely the result of laughter.

“Uhm, yes, very eloquent Glory,” the King rumbled, “but perhaps something a little more
verbal is in order.”

Glory finally got his brain going, embarrassed to heck as he looked over at his father and
saw Galain stifling mad laughter. He had the terrible feeling he'd just repeated history. He
gave Y'Roden a startled lookes before his eyes shot to his mother and he ducked his head
and quickly returned his gaze to Catherine's face and clasped her hands tightly.

"Catherine Rain... you are the most unexpected and beautiful blessing to fall into my life.
We met a long time ago when neither of us was ready nor prepared for the love that binds
us now. You comforted me at a time that was confusing and frustrating for me. We met
as friends... and somehow and thankfully we've been given the chance to become more.

"You are everything to me. You have changed my life and my heart so deeply I can't
even begin to put it all into words. After the stupid things I'd done in life I thought that
love was something I'd never understand nor attain. I focused myself on my son and
closed my heart to anything else.

"But a dance and a tourney showed me differently. Somebody special and unbelievable
was there for me all the time and I could hardly believe it. My heart couldn't do anything
else but open to you. You are innocence, you are knowledge, you are my friend and you
are my lover. You will become my wife and you will be the mother of our children. I
adore you, worship you and I love you. What I am is yours, what I have is yours. My
future is your future, my life is your life."

He was blushing furiously, the words coming as his heart beat frantically and his soul
yearned toward Catherine's.

Catherine for once in her life wasn't giggling. It had hit her that this was real. And
somehow that took the giggles completely away. Her eyes focused on Glory's, and her
hands were trembling mildly. Vows, right, that's what Ro had said.

"Glory you have brought to me a joy that I didn't know existed. And a love that
constantly amazes me. Our hearts are joined, and beat as one, and now our two lives
become one family." Catherine paused and turned away from Glory for a moment and
clasped Galen's hand not letting go of Glory either. " We are forming our own circle and
a new chapter in our lives. I choose to honor you, to respect you and to cherish you with
each breath that I take." The tears streamed down her face through the words, and she
held onto both of the men in her life for all she was worth.

"I love you." she said from the deepest part of her heart. And then stood quiet listening to
their beating heart beats, and waited for the next part of the ceremony.

"I love you," he mouthed at her, going totally and unabashedly mushy. Glory tried to
recover himself and just blushed further, sensing their heartbeats stretching to meet each
other. It was the most amazing thing. The young elf gave Y'Roden a dazed expression

He'd felt An'thaya's seething over the child, understood why it rankled her...and it was not
only because the state she'd been in when he'd left her to go to Ghetsuhm. Topaz eyes
mirrored her own raging emotions for a moment and the Black Dragon fought it down,
his eyes, unknown to him, meeting Galain's for a flicker of an instant. "Not here...not
now." Large hands closed on her shoulders as she leaned against him, both to comfort her
and to ground his balance some way so he didn't sway on his feet.

"May I borrow your eyes, m'tashnae?" Callan whispered softly along their souls, he
wanted very much to see this, sober or not, then he was barefooted, in the grass, and to
add to his near-drunken surprise, felt something tear open within his soul, a yawing,
whirling chasm that had, until now, been little more than a shadow, a dark place without
form or purpose, a place that he understood was a developing D'Riel conduit, an offshoot
of An'thaya's own, but had yet to feel.
"Whoa..." Callan nearly staggered, tightened his grip on Tay and black wings flared wide
to off set his progress to the ground.

"Sorry...Sorry there..." The dragon muttered to the person next to him as he regained his
balance. He had noooo idea who he'd pegged with that right wing tip, but he rather
thought it was a Fae he'd never met from the smell of her.

"Holy Hells...Tay, what just happened? Was it the Crown and Crown...I mean Coke?"

Gods, so he'd been stupid enough to look over at Callan then and Galain, knowing the
Dragon Emperor was still blind, stared him head on before breaking away.

Stupid, stupid, he told himself, focusing on his Glory and Cat's vows and breathing the
excitement these two shared. Despite how sharp the reminder was of the words to come
he gave himself wholly to the ceremony now, aching at the memories, but just glad...
more than that... for the two in the circle.

Callan‟s heavy hands on An‟Thaya‟s shoulders nearly took her down with him when the
Black lost his balance and her eyes flared wide in surprise. No, Tay fairly gasped within
his soul, Y’Roden surged along the Web, he is using the Aethyr… we have to get that

A glance in her brother‟s direction caught the surprise on the Patriarch‟s face, as he was
set a little off balance by the shift in power around the circle. Tay blinked at him for a
moment then turned her attention back to Callan, gently urging the black hole within his
soul to close in on itself. Are you ok? Sweet Brighid… you scared the hell out of me …
and of course you can use my eyes. One hand gently tugged a great black wing around
them and she smiled an apology to the Fae.

All in all, it was a welcome distraction from the actual ceremony that so closely mirrored
the actions and words spoken between herself and Galain one upon a time. Fresh wounds
break open and bleed all too easily.

Y‟Roden suffered a moment of distraction as the power in the circle shifted and his eyes
darted in An‟Thaya and Callan‟s direction. Tay‟s expression told him just about
everything he needed to know and he could feel her suppressing Callan‟s newly forged
Conduit. The King of S‟Hea frowned for a moment, the implications of that little twist in
events dawning on him for a moment before he returned his attention to what he was
doing. He would dwell on that later.

“Above you are the stars, below you are the stones, as time passes, remember... Like a
stone should your love be firm like a star should your love be constant. Let the powers of
the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage, let the strength of your wills
bind you together, let the power of love and desire make you happy, and the strength of
your dedication make you inseparable. Be close, but not too close. Possess one another,
yet be understanding. Have patience with one another, for storms will come, but they will
pass quickly.
Be free in giving affection and warmth. Have no fear and let not the ways of the
unenlightened give you unease, for the Goddess is with you always.”

“Glory, I have not the right to bind you to Catherine, only you have this right. If it be
your wish, say so at this time and place your ring in her hand.”

Glory was numb to whatever was happening. HIs entire self was focused on the words
that trickled to him by Y'Roden and the decisions he was making deeply within himself.

"I bind myself to Catherine. I have and take the right and it is my wish," he said. He
looked toward Cully, a silent request made for the pouch.

Cully, of course, promptly did the „Oh my Gods I think I‟ve lost the ring‟ routine, pulled
out several incorrect items, then grinned and produced the pouch, dropping it into his
twin‟s waiting hand. At that point, he cast a thoughtful look at Wil, then smiled and
turned his attention back to Glory and Cat.

Mel had been present at the ceremony between her father and An'Thaya as well, though
very very young at the time. She stared hard at the ground, blinking back memories and
tears, both for her Atto and her Atara, and for herself. As she listened to her uncle's
words, her brother and his bride's promises to each other, she unconciously squeezed
Balan's hand, leaning on him just a little.

Amilyn watched with clear eyes, a sense of romance coming to the fore, giving her a rosy
view of what was going on. She fought hard to ignore the surge of power she'd felt and
then to ignore her mother's unhappiness. It would take time for scars to heal there.

Conlan squeezed Kaylee's hand tight as the vows were spoken and as Y'roden spoke of
firm and constant love. The words were ones he took to heart, and had tried to live every
day in his life with his bride. His thoughts strayed from his brother and Catherine to the
joy he'd found in his own life and he glanced to see his children off to the side. With all
his heart, he deeply wished the same kind of joy and peace for Glory.

Ghet shifted her gaze enough to register when Rhagi came into the circle with his sister.
One less thing to worry about, but she was going to have to find time, somehow, to talk
to Ro after the ceremony.

She had no choice but to join in the surge of power when the D'Riel conduits opened. She
would rather have gently excluded herself, but she was what she was, and she couldn't
fight her genes. She was ignoring An'Thaya and Callan with such intensity that to begin
with she had no idea where the unmanaged surge had come from.

She pushed them back out of her mind, steadying Galain, and watched the couple in the
middle. Happiness could never be fully appreciated without pain. What had gone before
would make Glory value the peace and security Catherine gave him. That was its

At the same time, there was a moment of sadness in her heart, melancholy. So much had
been lost, so much was yet to be gained, but sometimes she wondered if she would make
it through the process with her sanity intact. She smiled gently. There were so many
words, but none of them really cut to the heart of the matter like 'I love you'.

Glory gave his twin brother a murderous look, cast a suspicious look at a startled Conor
and was relieved to get the pouch.

The ring he had to offer was far simpler than the magnificent engagement ring of pink
and white stones he'd already given Cat. He poured out the Celtic knot of a ring and
placed it onto his bride's hand.

Y‟Roden shook his head at Cully and bit back a chuckle before the groom slid the ring
onto his Lady‟s finger. What was a wedding without some sort of mild disaster, after all.
In all honesty Ro had no worries about the Ceremony itself…it was the reception he was
worried about.

"Catherine, I have not the right to bind thee to Glory, only you have this right. If it be
your wish, say so at this time and place your ring in his hand."

Drake stood behind Willow, his hands resting lightly on her shoulder while they listened
to Ro. His thoughts went back to the day he and Willow were married, with some of the
words that Ro spoke still ringing in his ears. Squeezing his wifes shoulder, he leaned
forward kissing her cheek.

"Poor Glory! The boy's all tongue tied, but I know how he feels. I was there not that long

He felt some sort of magic flowing around each and every person in the cicle, feeling a
sense of calm and peace that seemed to flow through him rather than around him. He
opened his bond so Willow could feel what he felt, pulling her closer in the process. His
heart raced, his mind reeled as he took in her scent. His palms seemed to sweat when he
brushed a stand of hair behind her ear.

"After this is over," he whispered, "do you think we could sneak off and...Well... you
know," blushing while giggling like a child in a candy store.

"We'll check on the children first of course."

He spotted Callan with no boots on, holding on to Tay, as if something or someone had
just struck the man between his shoulder blades. He watched as the Dragon Emprior
deployed his wings, knocking a small pixie for a loop. He started to rush over, but was
stopped by a gentle hand.
"Maybe it was all those cokes he was drinking! Next time I'll be sure to serve him your

So much for sneaking away...

The feel of Drake‟s hands on her shoulders brought comfort to as she leaned against him
feeling the warmth of his body behind her. She had been deep in thought as Ro spoke
remembering what she had promised to Drake on their wedding day. His kiss causing a
tingling sensation to flow through her body as he opened his bond to her.

Feeling his emotions flow into her she felt a faint blush rise as he pulled her closer. For
the moment time stood still as she heard her own heart racing. Turning in his arms to face
him she felt herself quiver as he touched her, asking if they could sneak off.

She stood on tiptoe and kissed him long and hard in answer accidentally nipping him on
the lip as she pulled away realizing the wedding was still going on. Silly to be so nervous
and so much in love with this man of hers, yet she was and knew she would always be.

Turning to see where Drake‟s attention had momentarily been drawn she frowned seeing
Callan‟s wing hit one of the pixies.

As Drake started to go to help she reached out her hand, “Drake, she‟ll be fine.” With a
chuckle she looked at her husband, “I don‟t think it was the Coke.”

Then she quieted and looked up at him letting her eyes say what her lips could not at the
moment. “Drake,” she whispered as she reached her hand up touching the side of face
letting it trace down to the beard he was growing, “I‟d like to leave ... as soon as the
wedding is over... very much. Hmm, we can't leave a sealed circle." Giving him a quick
kiss she leaned back in his arms and waited for Catherine' response.

By this time Catherine's hands were trembling so badly she wasn't sure she COULD put
the ring on Glorys. She turned and handed her roses to Meghan to hold. And smiled as
Barbara handed her Glory's ring. Barbara needed to be thanked hugely afterwards for
picking up entirely too many pieces. She had found a ring of that matched their bondmark
of dragon and rose so closely.

She took it and willed her hands to be still. Which of course caused her wings to flutter
instead. She managed to keep herself on the ground, but just barely. And placed the ring
on Glory's finger. Her eyes returned to focusing on his. They had magnets in them she
was sure...

G'den for most of his life had tried to convince everyone he knew no magic. And yet he
could make a seed grow in front of your eyes. As the circle ignited in magic, something
in the core of G'den was touched. He absorbed it, and felt strengthened from it. The
power of the love between Catherine and Glory was also something he thought he could
almost physically touch. He soaked in the words that Ro spoke, and prayed for this union
to be blessed.

As he looked around the circle he realized someone else had slipped in, someone he
hadn't seen in a long time. Standing between Justin and another pixie was the Gardner.
He had no idea if anyone else would be able to see him. But it meant more then he could
ever say to know that the Gardner had shown for this ceremony. He wished to run and
hug his friend, his leige, his god, but the circle kept him tied. And he stayed quiet praying
that Cat would be able to at least see him before he left.

In all the hustle and bustle Barbara realized Ymir was quite missing. This saddened her
greatly, and she hoped he would show for the reception. She figured he'd probably
freaked when the crowds showed up. She worried over him, and wished she could seek
him out. Barbara had been a willing servant for her sister, she would have been hurt if she
hadn't been able to do it for Catherine. She enjoyed the exchanging of rings, and was
rather fascinated as to what would happen next.

Justin was aware of the last minute arrival. He had gripped the Gardner's hand and
absorbed the strength of his peace with all his might. He was fairly certain no one but he
and his family would be even aware that he was there. But Justin as was his father hoped
he would talk to Catherine as the two of them had a special oneness between them.

He was also quite delighted to reach up and grab Lyra's hand. He felt her absorbing the
peace, and was pleased with this. Peace was the essence of his world part of its core, and
he always cherished it when someone else found a piece of it. Justin's wings had snuck
out at some point, and were waving in the breeze showing off their pride and excitement
for his sister and his soon to be brother-in-law.

Sharee had been the one who had the misfortune to stand next to Callan. And was
amazingly and for once not upset about not being seen. She could be a chatterbox, and
she could be childish, but she sensed albeit not completely understanding it that
something wasn't right with the couple standing next to her. She had her sisters gift, and
began quietly but very strongly flooding Tay and Callan with pictures of peace. She
didn't know why they needed it, but she didn't want her sisters wedding mucked up, and
besides she was pixie, it was her nature to want to help.

Lyra looked at Justin as he took her hand, childish delight and peaceful happiness
competing for space inside her. She kissed him quickly on the cheek, an impulsive
gesture. She was feeling, for once, a powerful sense of joy at life, at being alive.

A faint smile of reminiscence curved Silverthorn's lips as the ceremony unfolded. The
memory of her own wedding was still as fresh in her mind as if it was yesterday. The
expression on Glory and Catherine's faces as they stared into each others eyes was one
that must have been on her own she knew. That sense of wonder that was found by each
couple in their turn and was all the more precious for being unique, and yet at the same
time one that anyone else who had ever been in that position could understand. Almost
involuntarily her jade green gaze shifted first to her husband and then to her children as
they stood in their places in the circle. She was lucky, she knew that. She could only hope
that Glory and Catherine would be as fortunate.

Bran squeezed his wife's fingers gently as they stood in the circle, watching the
ceremony. The sense of peace that filled the grounds was amazing, the words heartfelt,
but it was the love that could be seen shining in the couples eyes that held the true beauty.
Silent images of Mira as she had walked down the aisle towards him on his own wedding
day danced through the fair-haired elf's mind. She had been the most beautiful thing he
had ever seen, and still was. It was obvious from the look on Glory's face that he thought
the same about Catherine.

Y‟Roden felt watched for a moment, and turned his head slightly to find his wife looking
at him. A soft smile lit his features in response and he gave her hand a light squeeze
before speaking again.

“Please repeat after me,” he rumbled in his soft baritone, “I, Glory Alcarin, in the name
of the spirit of the Gods that resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood
and the love that resides within my heart, take thee, Catherine Rain, to my hand, my heart
and my spirit, to be my chosen one. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee
and be possessed by thee without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my
love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness
and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet,
remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee,
thy beliefs, thy people and thy ways as I respect myself.”

Mira felt the joy and remembrance along she and Bran's bond and leaned against him,
him fingers tangling with his. She remembered well that sudden sense of tunnel vision,
where the world narrowed to just he and she. The trip up the aisle had seemed to both
take eternity and be over far too soon...but the joy of him taking her hands in his, slipping
the ring on each others' that...

That had remained, grown, became something altogether different. No longer just a
fleeting moment, joy had become part of her soul and lifeblood. Never did she forget to
thank the gods for her marriage to Bran, for him being someone she could trust with the
darkest places in her soul...and someone who would walk that dark road with her, let her
play in the puddles on the way, and either join her in getting muddy or pull her out when
she'd gone too far.

"Doste Iman, Bradubh Badb Catha...m'aeosh, m'attar nas nomana."

The Dragon-elf's black, silver and jade soul wound gently around her her verno's verdant
green essence, trailed along the places that were memories and mingled with his, causing
their bondmarks to flare with a gentle glow, warming both their flesh and spirits.

Doste Iman, Bradubh Badb Catha...m'aeosh, m'attar nas m'nomana - I love
soul, my blood and my life.

"Doste Iman, Mira Blackthorn Badb Catha. Aminmela ile, hilde" Bran replied silently,
turning his head slightly to brush a gentle kiss across her temple as his wife leaned into
him. The green and silver hues of their souls wove together into an intricate tapestry, a
design picked out here and there by the darker threads of their beings. The warm
memories added to the sense of love and peace that pervaded the area, the magic created
by all those present increasing as instinctively people sought out those intimate
connections with their loved ones at such a special time.

Yarwin felt the tugging peace of the Aethyr, and finally loosened his grip on a protesting
Muirne, who humphed and folded her arms across her chest, pouting.

The twins, having more sense than their cousin, merely stood on either side of their father
as he spared a sidelong glace to the grounds. Rach and Lianna hadn't made it yet, and the
ceremony was near over.

"'re missing it..."

Lapis eyes shifted to his sire as the dragon swayed, nearly lost his balance, then narrowed
as they watched. The Pull in him was beginning to change, to feel different, and more and
more, the Shai'ay felt around Callan more like he did around Valin D'Riel.

What is going on there? He wondered, then saw Galain's gaze meet Callan's.

Oh he can't see you... Yarwin muttered and then sighed. His father's recent
mess was and yet was not any of his business, but the reluctant heir to the Diirlathe was

He was just hoping the reception would go smoothly and was hoping Rachel remembered
to grab the gift. Fortunately, with a little work, the gift was little more than a card...but
once opened, would turn to a mini-portal, and the combined gifts of those affiliated with
the Blackthorn House would trickle through.

Galain had shut his eyes now and was remembering two wedding ceremonies. Both had
been intensely private affairs for him and to this day he wouldn't have done them any
differently. He remembered the emotions and feelings as the words were said and there
was a faint smile on his lips. When he opened his eyes again he stared straight at his son,
mildly amused when Y'Roden asked the young elf to repeat a long vow. Glory looked
Glory was indeed poleaxed. He had to repeat all of that? All at once? He gave Y'Roden a
stricken look and opened his mouth. Something clicked and before he knew it he was
speaking, repeating the words flawlessly as his eyes shifted back to Catherine.

"I, Glory Alcarin, in the name of the spirit of the Gods that resides within us all, by the
life that courses within my blood and the love that resides within my heart, take thee,
Catherine Rain, to my hand, my heart and my spirit, to be my chosen one." He paused
here and swallowed, taking in a deep breath before he continued.

"To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee and be possessed by thee without
sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee
wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in
poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not
seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people and thy ways
as I respect myself." He finished and suddenly his face blossomed with an impossibly
huge grin. "I love thee," he whispered to her.

Y'Roden had merely grinned at Glory, having faith that the young elf would do just fine,
which he did. Ro turned his emerald gaze on Catherine at that point.

“Please repeat after me. I, Catherine Rain, in the name of the spirit of the Gods that
resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood and the love that resides
within my heart, take thee, Gloraelin Alcarin, to my hand, my heart and my spirit, to be
my chosen one. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee and be possessed
by thee without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I
promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in
plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love
again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy
people and thy ways as I respect myself.”

Catherines face was gonna crack she was sure of it. And a giggle *did* escape at Glory's
caught in the headlight look when he heard all the words. But she stifled the giggle, and
listened to the words that Ro had asked her to say. It was a lot, she didn't blame Glory for
his panic. She took a deep breath, held tight to her beloved's hands and in almost a
whisper, but audible for the entire circle to here she said..."I, Catherine Rain, in the name
of the spirit of the Gods that resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood
and the love that resides within my heart, take thee, Gloraelin Alcarin, to my hand, my
heart and my spirit, to be my chosen one. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to
possess thee and be possessed by thee without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the
purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without
restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we
shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall
respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people and thy ways as I respect myself.” She paused and
said softly so only Glory could hear. "And I, I love thee." and the tears poured down her
cheeks once again.
Y'Roden was ready at that moment with the sacred chalice. On this day, in light of the
Bride's ... condition, it was filled with Mai'Tus juice, as opposed to Mai'Tus wine. Both
were made from the fruit of life however, so the difference was minimal. He had the brief
thought that he could have borrowed one of Ghetsuhm's patches for the occasion... but it
was a little late now.

The King held the cup out to Glory so he could hold it to Catherine's lips. "May you drink
your fill from the cup of love."

Glory took the chalice, pausing a moment when the ring on his finger glinted in the
sunlight. It took his breath away and when he held the chalice up to Catherine's lips he
was grinning helplessly.

Meghan, during the confusion and mass stampede for the grounds, had lingered back,
waiting for the crowd to thin, then found a place in the circle, standing shoulder to
shoulder with her friend Fechine.

A soft smile lit the elf-maid's face...this was a more elaborate wedding than most she
been privledged enough to attend, and yet far more simple than she remembered her own
lost people having.

Now, if the peace and joy in Catherine and Glory's marriage would last...something she
fervently prayed for, and somehow knew she'd been heard.

Catherine had a tendancy to dribble, and today she was ever so careful as Glory offered
her a drink. She really would rather avoid stains today. She took a ritual taste of the drink,
and treasured the taste of the juice. She brushed a way-ward curl out of her face, and
turned to Ro waiting for the next step of directions.

Ro smiled at Cat and winked, a slight gesture of his hand indicating that she should
reciprocate the ritual for Glory. Somehow … he had the feeling that the Elf wouldn‟t do
as well at avoiding stains. The Elvish side of Y‟Roden had been hard pressed not to put
the juice in a gag dribble cup. But, even he had limits.

Catherine took the glass and offered it to Glory. And she oh so wanted to be naughty and
bump it on him. She'd been way too good, for at least a whole hour, and they were
suppose to be setting a trend for the future right? And she hoped their was lots of games
in the future, and silliness. She wanted to, but she was still just slightly nervous of
offending her in-laws, so she resisted. Glory had no idea how close he came to wearing it,
but then again maybe he did seeings how close they had grown.

Glory didn't miss the mischief lurking in his bride's eyes and half expected trouble to
occur at about this point. He had no doubt about the pranks his uncle might pull, but so
far so good and he took a sip, winking at Cat as he did so.

After all, there was wedding cake to feed each other later.
But first there was the bread to be shared as well and Glory took the proffered wafer of
bread from a small platter Y'Roden held forth, feeding a bit of it to Catherine before the
he offered the rest to her to feed to him.

So, she was thinking it was her wedding, and in-laws be hanged, and she took the bread
with a glint of mischief in her eye. She was trying to decide what to do with it, besides
the obvious of feeding it to him. And then just decided he need quite a lot of it. D'riels
always ate lots right? And he was half D'riel, and so the whole piece of bread found itself
into Glory's mouth rather ummm quickly. She giggled as she chewed her nice delicate
piece, and waited to see how long it took to drink dry bread....

Barely restraining the urge to break into mad laughter, Y‟Roden took Catherine‟s small
hand and placed it in Glory‟s, then carefully wound a small garland of ivy and roses
lightly around their wrists. Holding his hand just above theirs he uttered the word Man-
entie. A soft emerald glow lit up his palm, extending to the garland that shimmered
softly, then seemed to seep into their skin until it was gone. The magic searing up their
arms, and sealing the ceremony.

"By the power vested in me by the Gods and the Kingdoms of Whispin, I now pronounce
you Verno' and Vesse. May your love so endure that its flame remains a guiding light
unto you."
Withdrawing his hand the King looked expectantly at the Groom, "Gloraelin, you may
kiss your wife."

Kiss his wife? Glory stared at both Y'Roden and Catherine, his mouth stuffed with bread.
How was he supposed to do that?

"Mmmph!" he said with a shrug before he dove in on Cat, embraced her and gently
dipped her backward as he gave her a bread-y kiss. Whatever he hadn't managed to eat
yet was crumbled all over her wedding dress and when they both surfaced for air Glory
swallowed mightly and gave Catherine a giant, cheesy grin.

"You just wait, Mrs. Alcarin," he whispered to her.

Y'Roden, of course, was snickering madly. But he did manage to dissolve the Aethyr
around the circle and address the assembled guests. "May I present Mr. and Mrs.
Gloraelin Alcarin, please proceed into the Inn where we shall settle in for some proper
mischief... erm... a reception."

Eventually Sharee had managed to squirm out of the Alcarin dogpile, and had headed
inside. She recognized mischief and knew what her brother was up to. She had also got a
message sent just for her to go find Conor, and a picture of who he was.

She flitted over to Conor and smiled. "Hi, I'm Sharee, Cat's sister, I'd love to get to know
you, but Justin says its time to kidnap, and he needs you to distract Glory. You know, tell
him he has to come outside to see his present, or give him a talk about how to treat
Catherine, or anything that will give us a few minutes to hide Catherine away." she said
with a giggle. "I'll help you if you want." she said with a smile, and eager to meet her

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