Change is in the Air

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Change is in the Air

Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:54 am

It was a warm spring evening and Merylan was looking forward to spending some time with Einor. She and Einor had first met a year ago at a party and had fallen in love with him the moment her eyes met his. Einor was strong, and ruggedly handsome. He was intelligent, hard working, and had a good heart. He was ambitious, but not to the point of neglecting his family. She had been surprised to learn he was a bachelor, but heard through some friends later on that he had once had feelings for Princess Ariana, who had recently run off with a guard named Lucas. She found Einor easy to talk to and within the week he was courting her. Over the past year their relationship had grown, and now she felt that a marriage proposal was forthcoming. She could easily see herself marrying Einor and bearing his children. She understood the difficulties of marrying a soldier, but was ready to fully grasp that life.

Merylan was of average height and build with long, back hair that was nearly perfectly straight. Her eyes were green and her skin was soft and of an olive color. She was a wonderful cook and seamstress and had been well instructed to be a wife and mother. She could see herself taking care of their home and children. She hoped for one boy and two girls and already had names picked out, though she dared not tell Einor that. That evening she picked out a dark green dress to wear that nearly matched her eye color. She had pulled her hair up and looked quite beautiful. She secretly hoped tonight would be the special night she was waiting for. She had received his note earlier in the day asking her to meet him in the North Gardens and she and her friends had begun to think that perhaps tonight could be the night.

She stood in the garden looking at the flowers. The sun was just beginning to set beyond the horizon giving the sky a warm palette of pinks and oranges. Merylan was happy and completely unaware that things were about to change.

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by Conleth on Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:51 pm

Now that Ariana was back into his life, what was he going to do? A love not lost, simply delayed by hardship and happenstance. He had made no promises to Meryl. Well they were implied but nothing spoken. They had shared many kisses though...and a bit more but he had not made an oath to her. But he knew well that actions implied as much. Oh how he hoped she would understand!

He had put on a dark blue suit with a bit of black embroidery on the lapels. In his heart though he felt as if he should be wearing all black and dirges should be playing loudly behind him. But he continued down the path to the garden, his legs feeling heavier with every step.

Would she understand? He hoped she would but he doubted she’d remain patient for long. That and he doubted he’d need long to decide on whom he intended to marry. When he saw her his heart nearly skipped a beat. And his heart began to race. Guilt snaked down the middle of his back as he tried to think on how to tell her what he needed to. They had long decided between them that honesty would play an important role in their relationship and he knew he had to be honest with her tonight.

Graciously he stopped wen she looked toward him and he bowed to her. “Lady Merylan, Your very precedes brightens this garden as if the sun has risen anew,” he said smoothly but hardly felt so steady inside. He drew up to her as she rose and realized he had forgotten the pale, honey rose that he always brought her. He saw her eyes shift down to his hands briefly but he gave her little time to wonder as he pulled her to him in an embrace.

Warm, moist lips met hers and his heady scent of leather oil and clean man sweat filled her nose.

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:29 pm

Merylan heard his incoming footsteps and felt her heartbeat increase. Einor was everything she had ever hoped for in a man. She would be proud and honored to marry him and she knew whatever hardships befell them that they would work through them together. Looking up, she could immediately tell that something was not right. He seemed...nervous and unsure. Was it because he doubted her answer...or was it something else? She rose as he approached her and then noticed he had not brought her the rose he always did. However, before she could question him about anything he suddenly pulled her into his arms and kissed her. She immediately closed her eyes and kissed him back. She loved the feel of his lips against her own. In his arms everything felt right and she felt safe. As he pulled back she opened her eyes and looked into his own.

"Something's wrong...what is it?"

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by Conleth on Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:25 pm

And then there was getting right to it...as an option he thought as he took her hand and sat them both down on a nearby bench that sat amongst the flowers near a row of tile stones polished until they glimmered in the moonlight. He sat to her left and he half turned to face her.

“When we first became friends we made a pact you and I,” He said in a deep, calm voice. He wasn’t looking at her right then. He was looking out at the floral landscape where each passing moment added a change of color and shadows seemed to grow in some places and disappear in others. “We would be honest with one another no matter what,” he said and he cast his gaze down as he took in a deep breath.

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:21 am

Merylan felt Einor take her hand and he led her over to the bench where she had been sitting before. As they sat down, Merylan noticed that Einor was not looking at her, but rather straight ahead. In her mind, this told her that she wasn’t going to like what he was about to say. She felt her heart begin to beat harder in her chest as she wondered what it could be. Dread then filled her when he reminded her of their promise to be honest with one another. She suddenly knew what this was about.

“This has something to do with Princess Ariana, doesn’t it?”

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by Conleth on Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:35 am

Einor tried not to stiffen at her words but his hand did flex slightly and it grew more warmer than it had been. “Yes...Princess Ariana and I...have unfinished business between us,” he said then turned his gaze back to her and looked her in the eyes. he didn't elaborate on what that actually meant or why. “It doesn’t change my feelings for you but I do need to resolve my feelings for her, one way or another. I owe that to her, myself and to you. If I marry you I want you to get the whole me, not just a part,” he explained not certain if she’d understand that at all, speaking of pieces and parts like this.

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:01 am

Merylan had known this was coming, but hearing him actually say it made her feel as if she had been punched hard in the stomach. It was a sickening feeling and Merylan felt a mixture of sadness and pure anger course through her veins. She turned and looked hard at Einor.

“IF you marry me?! I have been with you for a year and I actually thought tonight you might ask me to marry you. But all it takes to change things is Ariana’s return. She has a reputation Einor. That daughter of her’s was conceived out of wedlock. Do you really want to get to involved in all of that? You need to think about yourself Einor and your future. I am not going to just sit around and wait for you to make a decision. You need to decide now. Me or her. But know this Einor. You walk away from me and that’s it between us. I won’t ever consider marrying you again.”

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by Conleth on Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:16 am

“That’s not fair Merylan, and I don’t blame you for being angry with me. I know you are a wonderful woman. And I know what she did. She broke my heart Merylan but I can’t stop thinking about her...or you,” he said honestly. “I don’t expect you to wait around for me. But I do ask you to have a little more patience and give me some time to sort this out,” he said trying to make her understand. He knew this was going to wound her pride and he held onto her her hand even though she tried to pull it back. He brought his arm over and grabbed onto her shoulder.
“I’ve never asked anything of you Merylan but I’m asking now. Please give me a little more time. Not to court her, I will not do that. Just to sort this all out inside my head,” he asked.

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:36 am

Merylan was angry, hurt, and confused. If Einor truly loved her he wouldn’t have to “sort his feelings out”. It would just be her and no one else. She wanted to get up and leave and she tried to pull her hand back but he held onto it tightly and refused to let her leave. She looked away from him and was quite for a long time. Finally she responded.

“Fine, I will give you one month to make your decision, but that’s all.”

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by Conleth on Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:50 am

At hearing her words he kissed her hand and her knuckles over and over. “Oh thank you Merylan...thank you,” he said over and over as he kissed her hand. “I will make it up to you...somehow,” he said and he had no doubt that she would one way or another. And he knew he would too, one way or another. He had a feeling that she was going to make herself ‘unavailable’ to him until he did come to his senses. If he missed her then it would be his own fault. She then abruptly asked him to leave her and so he did though he knew why. She did not want him to see her cry.
That very evening Ariana received a note from Floran. It read…

My dearest Ariana,
I am finding it increasingly difficult to attend my duties knowing you are nearby, somewhere. I yearn to hear your voice and to see your face again, though I hope it will be soon. Perhaps you might favor me with a luncheon, or a walk in the garden soon? You have but to speak a day and time and I will be there. With bells on if it were your desire.

Faithfully yours,

Floran.


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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:18 pm

Ariana had just put Meliara to bed. She stood there and smiled as she looked at her daughter’s sleeping face. She loved her more than anything else in the world and couldn’t believe how big she was getting already. She wished time would slow down so she would forever be this way.

As she walked out of Meliara’s room a messenger brought her a letter. At first she thought that perhaps it was from Einor, but she didn’t recognize the handwriting. She assumed it could only be from Floran then. She sat down by the fireplace and opened the letter. As she read it she couldn’t help but feel some guilt come over her. She needed to tell him about Einor. It was only fair. She would give each of them the same opportunity to prove to her that they were the right choice. She walked over to her desk and got out a piece of parchment and penned a letter back to Floran. She suggested that they go for a walk through the royal gardens tomorrow afternoon. She asked him to meet her there at 2 pm. She then signed the letter and gave it to a messenger to deliver to Floran.

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by Conleth on Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:45 pm

Floran wore a dark blue and silver coat over a dark gray shirt and black pants bloused into high black boots. He wanted to look his best for Ariana on this first of what he hoped were many outings. Regardless of the scandal which he had been told Ariana was a prize. A woman who would transcend it all in time. A strong woman who had nearly lost everything for love. And that was someone Floran could relate to. He had lost everything himself and knew that together they could build something wonderful and true in this life. He needed her more than she could possibly know. He only hoped he could impress her today.

He had long learned to take everything one day at a time. As he entered the garden he saw the guardsmen and several young women that he had never seen before but seemed to take particular note of him as he entered the garden.

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:01 pm

Ariana was surprised to feel rather nervous that afternoon. Floran was a good man and she didn't want to hurt him, but she knew he needed to know the truth. She would be honest with him about Einor. He deserved at least that much from her. She didn't know at this point what Einor's full intentions were, but he had made it clear yesterday that he did still have feelings for her and she knew that she also still had feelings for him. However, she could also see herself developing the same feelings for Floran.

She was wearing a golden yellow dress that beautiful, spring afternoon. She had her hair pulled half back, with the rest cascading down around her shoulders. She heard footsteps and looked over to see Floran enter the Royal Gardens. The Royal Gardens were not for the public and only enjoyed by members of the royal family. The master gardener took pride in maintaining this garden and at this time of year it was in full bloom. Ariana looked forward to showing Floran around. Her ladies in waiting and guardsmen were there with her, but she had requested that they give Floran and herself some privacy. She smiled at Floran as he approached. He looked quite handsome in his suit.

"I am so glad you could make it. I hope your day has been going well thus far."

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by Conleth on Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:12 am

Floran bowed regally upon seeing Ariana. Proper and yet with his right leg set back it added a debonair flair to it purely for Ariana’s benefit. Only someone who paid attention would see that though but he did it anyway. “How do you, pretty lady?” he said. A very old form and when she presented him with her hand he kissed her knuckles lightly.
He had a black goatee and his whiskers brushed her fingers as he kissed her then released her hand. As he straightened he added, ‘You do belong here amongst the flowers Princess,” Another very old compliment. Floran’s eyes took Ariana in and he sighed audibly to her beauty. He offered his arm to her and as she took it they began a slow stroll down the garden path.
It would be clear to her now that Floran would be a great help to her in etiquette alone. He seemed to know every nuance of how to act and how to speak. He had learned it from dealing with leaders all over middle earth.

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:47 am

Ariana smiled as Floran bowed to her. She caught the way he set his right leg back and she smiled even more. Floran knew exactly what to do and what to say in every situation. She began to realize that someone like that would be of great help in restoring her damaged reputation. She gently took his arm and began to walk with him down the main garden path. As they walked she told him about her new ladies in waiting, which had been the women he had seen earlier. They talked pleasantly for some time before Ariana grew more serious.

“Floran, there is something I must tell you. I wish to be completely honest with you.” She was quiet a moment before continuing on. “Before I met Lucas there was another young man that I was close with. He was several years older than me and I was too young for courtship at the time and so we remained simply friends. I met back up with him recently...and yesterday he made it clear to me that he might want something more between us. He has been courting another woman however and so I am not sure what he will do but I felt I should tell you that I may have someone else courting me as well.”

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by Conleth on Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:13 am

Floran was silent for a long while as they walked and his cheeks flushed slightly at hearing what she said though it fell away in a minute or two. A misstep here could ruin everything he knew though thoughts of jealousy and more than a little irritation entered into his mind. He was not at all well versed in the in and outs of courting but he knew composure in moments like this might make or break a relationship. Courting more or less was a negotiation. Though his relationships with traders, merchant, dignitaries, ambassadors and nobles were usually brief, each one required him to keep his cool when everything hung on a razor’s edge between success and disaster.
“Competition more than not brings out the best in most people. I am not surprised there aren’t more men after your hand. The world is a big place and you Ariana, are a very beautiful and important woman,” he said though it took real effort to come up with all that. There weren’t exactly ‘sparks’ between them, Floran knew that but the more time he spent with her, the more they talked together like this made feelings and thoughts bloom inside of him. He wasn’t known for being a passionate man but he certainly was feeling it now.
“So, how many women does it take to get you to look your best?” he asked abruptly. When he saw her looking at him uncertainly he smiled then let her arm go to move a step ahead then turn back toward her. “That , was a joke milady,” he said grinning. “Oh if you could have seen your face right then,” he added and did chuckle that time. “You must pardon me Ariana, I tend to make fun when I am nervous,” he added.

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:27 am

Ariana looked over at Floran and could see that what she had told him wasn’t sitting well. It wasn’t uncommon for a woman of a status such as herself to have more than one suitor. Her eldest sister Laenaya had at one time had six suitors fighting for her hand (and there quite literally had been fights between them). Of course she had not ended up with any of them, but that had ultimately been her choice. To be honest though, Ariana was surprised that both Floran and Einor were interested in her after all that had happened.

“I’m sorry Floran, but I felt it only right to tell you about Einor...as I have told him about you. Whatever choice I make it will be based on what is best for both myself and my daughter. However, if you decide that you would rather not be in this situation then I will fully understand. The choice is yours, though I do hope you will not take it. I would love to continue to get to know you.”

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by Conleth on Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:11 am

Once again her words made him blink and his expression took on a more serious look. He shifted and brought his hands up onto her upper arms though he didn’t really realize that laying hands on the woman you courted was quite forward for a first outing.

“Ariana, you and your daughter are not a situation. You are a woman, and Meliara is a child that is loved and cherished by her mother and her family. You are also a Princess and daughter of one of the most honored and beloved men in all of middle earth. Let all who think that they have the right to call you down know the error in their ways. You are a human being first, the daughter of a king second, as it should be,” he said honestly and quite forcefully as well.

“It is my honor to be here with you today,” he added softly with a hint of breathlessness and now his cheeks were red but his eyes were clear. Clear, confident...and something else she might not be able to pick out in them. And then he did something he knew wasn’t exactly right, he leaned forward and kissed her.

His lips were so softly touching hers at first they might have tickled hers but then his kiss grew in intensity and warmth and moisture flooded into his kiss. Whether or not his words were true he certainly believed in them and in her.

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:14 pm

Ariana was surprised but touched by what Floran said. It was clear to her that he meant it. She felt a few tears come to her eyes. Ever since she had returned to Gondor she had been made to feel like she wasn’t even a person anymore. People only saw what she had done and nothing more. She felt as if no one was ever going to see past her relationship with Lucas. However, Floran made her feel differently. She felt like herself around him and it was nice to be treated just like a person again.

She opened her mouth to respond to him, but before she could he leaned forward and kissed her. She was surprised, but didn’t pull back. Instead she closed her eyes and kissed him back.


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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by Conleth on Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:03 pm

Once again Floran didn’t feel sparks right away but as their kiss lingered, a warmth came over him that moved across his flesh, even down into his toes. Her scent filled his nose and he quickly lost himself if only briefly, in their kiss. When they finally broke away his face was quite flush and his heart was beating to beat the bear as thoughts of much more than just kissing crossed into his mind. His breaths came in near pants, an honest reaction to how she had affected him.

Much different than with Einor. There were sparks with him and a certain amount of chemistry. Einor seemed to know he had the upper hand with her right then too which took something away from that, but not much.  

“Well, that was nothing short of wonderful,” Floran said softly. He shifted to take her left hand in his and lifted it up to his lips and kissed her knuckles once more as they continued their stroll through the garden.

He told her of Bree, Dale, Edoras and also, surprisingly the North as well. But he also spoke of his concerns about the Easterlings, the men of the Harad and the Corsairs and other peoples beyond the Sea of Rhun. He had dealings with elves as well and was completely fluent in elvish, or near to it. And also Dwarvish to a lesser degree. His stories were entertaining to listen to and when he mixed in the other languages it made it seem to come to life before her. That and he sang as well. Quite well in fact. He sang a short bit about the fall of Erebor and also of its retaking by the legendary dwarven company led by Gandalf and the Battle of the five armies which he seemed to know well.

“It is their ales and spirits you see. I have no head for such. And in any case, my craft requires a clear head, as you can imagine,” he said. She’d notice though that several hours had passed by how the sun sat in the sky.

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:57 pm

Floran’s kiss was different than Einor, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. There wasn’t the same chemistry between them as there was between herself and Einor, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t develop over time. Floran was a good kisser though and as he pulled back she was left feeling rather breathless. Her eyes slowly fluttered open and she looked into his eyes. Her cheeks and lips were rather flushed and she smiled softly at his remark.

“Yes, it was.”

She then continued to walk through the gardens with Floran. She smiled as she listened to his stories. As they walked she lost track of time. Floran’s tales were interesting and it was easy to talk to him. She learned much about him, including the fact that he could sing and very well. It was a pleasure listening to him sing about the fall of Erebor and as he finished she realized how late it had become.

“Thank you for joining me this afternoon Floran. I’ve had a wonderful time with you. I wish I could stay longer, but I must return home to get ready for dinner.”

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by Conleth on Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:20 pm

Graciously, though almost sadly he bowed to his Princess and was led out of the garden. That ofcourse was as if a gong had gone off and Ariana was suddenly flanked by her ladies. Avalion, with her long, brown curls like a mane down her back smiled warmly at Ariana. Her dark eyes pleased that the day seemed to go well. “His voice…” she said in tones that made it plain that she liked his singing, “Was that elvish my lady?” She asked. Sarin’s blue eyes weren’t as expressionless right then as they usually were and a thoughtful look was on her face as they walked out of the garden and began the ascent to her apartments. “I don’t know many men that have a talent like that though I hear tell the King can sing,” she said. “Is that true? Can he Ariana?” The Youngest of them, Kallienne asked.  Behind her as they walked both Caldori and Avalion were whispering about the handsome Captain that was the head of her guard attachment for the palace. “What is his name?” Availon asked. “Einor,” Caldori responded with more than a little affection in her voice. “Now there’s a well set up man,” she added and they as well as Willow agreed on that point.
They hadn’t been close enough to really listen to her and Floran but they did hear the singing. That and they had seen the kiss, if at a distance. They didn’t know about Ariana and Einor. As far as they were concerned he was just a handsome officer. Sarin held her cloak in case Ariana desired it at any time.

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:48 pm

Ariana watched as Floran exited the gardens. She was left with a pleasant, warm feeling and smiled slightly. She wasn't surprised when her ladies were suddenly around her. She could only assume that they had been spying on them to an extent. She began to exit the gardens with them as they began to ask her questions about her new suitor.

"Yes, that was Elvish," she replied to Avalion when she asked about the language he had been singing in. "He is nearly fluent in Elvish and knows some Dwarvish as well. It is necessary for his job in order to conduct business with other races." Ariana of course knew Elvish. She and her siblings had all grown up learning both the Common Tongue and Elvish. However, she didn't know any Dwarvish and so that in particular fascinated her. She smiled a little over at the women when they then asked her if her father could sing. "Yes, he can sing. He doesn't sing often. I think it's mostly for Mother, although she has a beautiful voice as well. I don't know anyone really knew he could sing until Mother almost died giving birth to their last child, who was a stillborn son. She didn't wake up for several days and Father stayed with her the entire time. The servants say he could be heard singing softly to her in the middle of the night."

Ariana hoped, like the rest of her siblings, for a love like that between their father and mother. It was evident in everything they did that they loved one another entirely. Their bond was strong and very deep and nothing could ever pull them apart. They were not immune to arguments, but their arguments only made their relationship stronger. Ariana was amazed and humbled by her parent's love, which had been born and nurtured during one of the most turbulent times in Middle Earth's history. Ariana wanted to feel love again. It had been the most amazing feeling in the world and when Lucas had died it had left a hole in her heart. She felt as if she wasn't whole and longed for the kind of bond her parent's shared.

Ariana was nearly lost in her thoughts when she suddenly heard Caldori and Availon whispering about Einor. Her lips tingled as she thought about that kiss. She could almost feel his strong arms around her. It was a feeling that caused her face to turn slightly warm. She knew that no one at this point knew about Einor possibly becoming another suitor. She glanced back at the girls but said nothing in response. However, as they turned a corner she spotted Einor down the hallway. Her eyes met his and passionate thoughts began to fill her mind again. She allowed her eyes to linger on his for a moment before she pulled her gaze away and continued on down the hallway towards her chambers.

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by Conleth on Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:54 pm

It was kind of an odd procession with Ariana at the front. 6 young women walking down the hall. All of them seemed to change their postures as they approached his position. He had been talking to his lieutenant when Ariana caught his eye. The women approached then passed by, each one looked straight ahead, slight smiles on their faces. All were quite lovely though Einor only had eyes for Ariana. His lieutenant gulped audibly and made a couple of their smiles grow as they passed them. “Princess,” They said in unison and knuckled their foreheads.
In their apartments the women began to get out a display of evening dresses and prepare her dressing room for the changing. Meliara played with her wooden animals that her grandfather had carved for her. An Oliphant, a tiger, a horse and a wolf. Her favorite seemed to be the wolf however and sometimes she said the word ‘woof’ that he had taught her.
Nauriel, the queen entered in right after them. “Ariana, I must speak to you please,” she said and sounded serious. “Kalliene, watch meliara for a moment please,” she said as she led Ariana to her study then closed the door behind her. Nauriel was in a riding dress, dark boots and her traveling cloak of dark green.

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Re: Change is in the Air

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:59 pm

Ariana stepped into her apartments with the other young women, though thoughts of Einor lingered in her mind. However, upon seeing her daughter she smiled and scooped her up into her arms and kissed her. Meliara smiled and kissed her back and giggled when her mother tickled her. She then put her down to play with her toys while starting to get ready for dinner. However, before she could even start dressing she heard the door open and looked over to see her mother walk in. Her mother was not dressed for dinner and the look in her eyes told her that something serious had happened. She felt rather anxious as she walked with her mother into the study. Once the doors were closed she looked at her.

"Mother, what's wrong? Has something happened?"

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Re: Change is in the Air

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