Silver Tears

Silver Tears
by Morgana

Story Notes

Part 4 (last) of the Fairy Tale Endings series. Part 3 was Changes.

Author’s Email: morganalebeau@yahoo.com

Web page: http://www.paranoid.nl/avalon

Main pairing: Ashmael/Silver (OMC)

Side pairings: Velaxis/Caeru, Vaysh/Phade, Pellaz/Cal and Cobweb/Snake

Rating: NC-17

Summary: Ashmael tries to focus on his own recovery, but when a young and damaged har arrives, he finds it impossible not to get involved.

Disclaimer: Not mine. No copyright infringement is intended. All characters belong to Storm Constantine.

Warning: AU of course.

Spoiler warning: Set after book 6.

Beta read by DA, thanks sweetie!

All remaining mistakes are mine.

Silver Tears

Cobweb’s nervousness showed clearly and Ashmael knew the reason why the other har was so upset. The skies had darkened with the ethereal lightning which announced the arrival of sedim. It must be Paran escorting Silver as promised.

Ashmael had decided not to get involved where the young har was concerned since he didn’t trust his reactions yet. At times, he still was in emotional turmoil and that made him the wrong har to be around Silver. Ashmael watched from the side as Cobweb and Snake walked toward the road that led to the house. Cobweb was fidgeting, but Snake seemed calm and in control of his emotions. Snake took Cobweb’s hand in his and lent his chesnari the strength he needed for the upcoming confrontation.

Cobweb tried to catch a glimpse of the har seated on the sedu in front of Paran, but he was wrapped up in a black traveling cloak to keep out the cold that attacked the travelers using the Otherlanes. This was it then. One of Terzian’s sons had found his way to Forever. Snake squeezed his fingers encouragingly and Cobweb drew in a deep, steadying breath.

Paran brushed off the ice that had formed on his clothes and sought out Cobweb’s gaze. He hadn’t been certain Cobweb would be interested in finding out that he had located one of the missing pearls, so when he had sent that message he had distantly thought that he might not get an answer. To his relief, Cobweb had replied almost instantly in offering the young har a home. Paran knew that a rocky road lay ahead of Cobweb, Snake, and Silver since the young har struggled with several issues which wouldn’t be solved in a day.

The har in his arms was motionless and fear poured from him in waves. “We have arrived,” he said. “Just one more minute and I will help you down.” He still had to inform Cobweb and Snake of the most recent discovery he had made where Silver was concerned.

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Tarot

Tarot
by Morgana

Story Notes 

Author’s Email: morganalebeau@yahoo.com

Web page: http://www.paranoid.nl/avalon

Main pairings: Pansea/Skye, Tarot/Lunar

Mentioned pairings: Azriel/Aleeme, Snake/Cobweb, and Flick/Ulaume.

Rating: NC-17

Summary: Paran takes Aleeme and Ponclast’s harling to Lisia and Tarot starts shaping his own destiny.

Disclaimer: Not mine. No copyright infringement is intended. All characters belong to Storm Constantine.

Warning: AU of course.

Spoiler warning: Set after book 6.

Beta read by DA, thanks sweetie!

All remaining mistakes are mine.

Tarot

Paran shivered with disgust and tried to increase the distance between him and the harling he was taking care of. Cobweb had ordered him to take the harling to Lisia at the Harling Gardens because Cobweb refused to have a child conceived from pelki at Forever. During the last three days Paran had cared for the harling, but he would never have volunteered to do so. The child’s presence repulsed him.

The harling sat in front of him on the sedu’s back and Paran tried to keep his hold on the child as loose as possible since he loathed touching the abomination.

The harling was the result of Ponclast raping a helpless Aleeme, forcing him to host his pearl. General Aldebaran had told him how Ponclast had viciously abused Aleeme and had even forced Azriel to watch. As a result, Azriel and Aleeme had lost their minds, but Gelaming healers were doing their best to reclaim them. Cal had dropped Aleeme into a guard’s arms more dead than alive and had then left to get Moon and the harling out of Ponclast’s stronghold. As far as Paran was concerned, Cal should have left the harling there to rot.

The first time he had laid eyes on the harling, he had recoiled in disgust and with the knowledge that the child was Ponclast’s as well. The harling was ugly. There was no other way to describe his exterior *and* interior. His head was too big, the body emaciated, and the feline green eyes had seemed to stare right into his soul. His discomfort had grown the moment the harling had been entrusted to him. He had almost asked the General to reconsider, but in the end, he had remained quiet and reminded himself that this was just another order he had to carry out.

Long, raven hair peeked out from beneath the hood which Paran had pulled over the harling’s head so he didn’t have to look at him. He understood why Cobweb didn’t want the harling at Forever since he didn’t want the abomination close to him either. In a way, he pitied Lisia, who didn’t know yet that he was going to be the harling’s new caretaker.

~~~

Pansea was about to panic. Paran had arrived unexpectedly and had demanded to speak with Lisia at once. Pansea had shown the officer into a room and had then set out on a search for Lisia. It was noon and usually during that time, Lisia tended to visit with several harlings, but Pansea had no idea where he would find the hostling. He had been stunned to see that Paran wasn’t alone. A harling had accompanied the Gelaming. Pansea had wanted to smile at the harling, but the smile had frozen on his face when he had seen the harling’s pitiful state. He didn’t know the harling’s name or history, but it was obvious that the child had been mistreated. He was also malnourished. While searching for Lisia, Pansea made a stop at the kitchen and asked one of the househara to bring food and refreshments to Paran’s room.

“Lis! Wait for me!” Pansea caught sight of the hostling and started to run. He was short of breath by the time he arrived at Lisia’s side. The hostling gave him a worried look and the blond strand that streaked his brown hair swept into Lisia’s face. The hostling immediately tucked it behind an ear as Pansea grabbed hold of the hostling’s sleeve. “You need to come with me!”

Lisia wanted to calm Pansea, but then realized his aide was stressed for a reason. He fell into step beside the young har and asked, “What has happened?”

“Paran arrived with a harling. Oh Lis, the poor harling looks malnourished! He is emaciated and his eyes… You need to see him now!” Pansea was convinced that Lisia could help the harling. Lisia was his *hero* after all.

Lisia frowned. Why would Paran bring a harling to him? He realized there was a hidden story and probably a hidden agenda and he was determined to find out what it was.

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Of Harlings, Hostlings and Chesnaris

Of Harlings, Hostlings and Chesnaris
by Morgana

Story Notes

Editor\'s PickMain pairing: Chrysm/Lisia and Vaysh/Pansea

Rating: NC-17

Summary: A party from Immanion visits Harling Gardens. Among them are Chrysm and Vaysh. While Chrysm uses the chance to further his friendship with Lisia, Vaysh also finds a new friend.
Warning: Alternate Universe.

Author’s Email: morganalebeau@yahoo.com

Web page: http://www.paranoid.nl/avalon

Disclaimer: Not mine. No copyright infringement is intended. All characters belong to Storm Constantine. Spoilers for Breeding Discontent!

Beta read by Patricia and DA, thanks sweeties! All remaining mistakes are mine.

Part 1

Lisia awaited the new arrivals in the main hall. The news that a party representing the Hegemony was arriving that day hadn’t come as a surprise. If he was honest, he had to admit that he had been expecting them to check up on him to make sure he wasn’t breaking any rules. Lisia felt confident he could master any challenges the Hegemony would throw at him.

The former breeding facility had changed into a true home for all the harlings that lived there. Only a handful of very young harlings remained since no new pearls were being created. Only One through Ten were still young enough to be picked up and carried around and that wouldn’t last for much longer at any rate.

Pansea, Lisia’s trusted aid, hurried over to his side. “They’re here, Lis.” Unlike Lisia, he *was* nervous.

Lisia gave Pansea a reassuring smile and patted the harling’s shoulder. Pansea wouldn’t remain a harling much longer. He surmised the harling’s feybraiha would start shortly. “We did nothing wrong, Pansea. There’s nothing here that will displease them.” He had done his best to make his harlings happy. Lisia had overseen the arrival of the new staff and, once he had been certain they measured up to his expectations, they had started to work together. It hadn’t taken Lisia long to realize that they had a common goal, namely making the harlings happy. Once he had realized that, working together had become easy.

Several harlings scooted aside and Lisia drew in a deep breath. He had faced members of the Hegemony before and had stood his ground back then as well. He smiled as he saw at least one familiar face among the hara who made their way toward him. During his short stay in Immanion he had talked to Chrysm and they had gotten along remarkably well.

Chrysm returned the smile Lisia gave him. He had volunteered when the Hegemony had demanded a progress report where Harling Gardens was concerned. He had been ready to head the party when Pellaz had suddenly decided to add another har to the group traveling to Harling Gardens. Chrysm had been stunned to hear that Vaysh, Pellaz’ aid and confidant, was going to accompany them.

Vaysh remained at a distance and watched Lisia greet Chrysm. He had seen Lisia when the hostling had visited Immanion to plead his case, but had stayed in the background, like he was doing at the moment. He had no desire to draw attention to his person.

“Lisia, it’s good to see you again!” Chrysm boldly took Lisia’s hands in his and squeezed them. “You look well!” The last time he had seen Lisia the hostling had been thin, pale, and exhausted looking. But Lisia had gained a healthy color, put on some weight, and the caramel hair had taken on a shine.

Lisia returned the compliment happily. “And so do you.” All Gelaming hara possessed the power to dazzle and Chrysm was no exception with his ocher-colored hair and warm chestnut-brown eyes. Dressed in gold and orange textures, Chrysm looked striking and Lisia fought the blush that was about to color his cheeks. He had liked Chrysm during his stay in Immanion and wondered if there was something more where his feelings were concerned.

Chrysm regretted having to share Lisia, but etiquette demanded he introduced his traveling companion. “Lisia, may I introduce Vaysh to you? Pellaz asked him to report on the progress you have made here.” He hoped Lisia understood how important Vaysh was and that Lisia should try to befriend him.

Lisia turned so he could greet Vaysh. He had heard rumors about the har during his stay in Immanion and realized he had to be cautious. It was said that Vaysh was Pellaz’ spy and couldn’t be trusted. The har had a reputation of being haughty, distant, and arrogant. “Greetings, tiahaar Vaysh.” Lisia inclined his head respectfully and hoped he was making the right impression.

Lisia studied the other har and was surprised at what he saw. Vaysh reminded him of how he had looked once when he had been hosting his last pearl. Vaysh looked drained, too thin, and in general, unhealthy. And yet, the har possessed a phenomenal beauty. The high cheek bones, the pallor of his skin, the lively eyes, and the har’s posture gave him a noble appearance. But then the fiery red hair registered with Lisia and seeing it reminded him of a chance meeting he’d had in Immanion. He hadn’t realized it at the time, but he had been talking to Thiede on that balcony. “I hope everything here will be to your liking. We already readied a room for you and tiahaar Chrysm.”

The Harling Gardens was the last place where Vaysh had wanted to be, but he forced himself to reply. “I’m sure the room will be satisfactory.” The fact that he was surrounded by harlings made him nervous. Even when Loki had been growing up, he had made a point not to spend any time with the harling. It was too dangerous for he had feared he might have grown attached to the child. He would never have a harling of his own. Thiede had burned him from the inside and had made him barren. Hosting a pearl or siring one had become impossible. “I’d like to freshen up now.” The curious looks the smaller harlings were giving him made him uncomfortable. Contrary to Chrysm, who had sunk onto his heels and was talking to them, Vaysh stared straight ahead and pretended the harlings weren’t there.

Unfortunately for Vaysh, there was one harling who was determined to be noticed.

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Contentment

Contentment
by Wendy Darling (Wiebke)

Notes

About half-way through writing Breeding Discontent, I got an idea for a sub-plot that could development regarding Lisia and Cobweb and although it was somewhat explored within the story itself, that was just the beginning. This is the story of what happened after.

Alternate Universe Note
This story was written when Breeding Discontent existed as an online fan fiction novel, essentially a draft. It was also written prior to the publication of Wraiths of Will and Pleasure and any new Wraeththu novels. Because of this, it’s become an “alternate universe” fic that’s not entirely consistent, and in fact contradicts, what is now “canon.”

Characters
Cobweb, Lisia (original character from BD), Swift, Seel, harlings at Forever, harling and hara at Harling Gardens, former breeding facility staff.

Spoilers
Containers spoilers for Bewitchments of Love and Hate (Book 2) and Fulfilments of Fate and Desire (Book 3) in the Wraeththu trilogy.

Sequels & Tie-Ins
After this story, I couldn’t resist doing another sequel, so there’s also Perennials to read! There’s also Not Far From the Tree, which focuses on Pansea and Ivy.

Chapter 1

Morro, the night shift housekeeper, opened the door and immediately Cobweb stepped inside and set the stack of packages down on the entryway table.

For most of the afternoon he’d been out shopping in the Galhea markets. Much of what he’d been looking for he’d found easily, but two or three items had required more vigorous hunting and he’d worried he’d be returning to Forever too late. Not only did he want to have a bit of time to rest before dinner, but given present circumstances, being away from the house for any length of time made him nervous.

Fortunately he’d managed to find the items in question — except for the pearl buttons, which would have to wait — and make it back well before sunset. And since no servants had come running to him upon arrival, he knew that nothing had happened and everything was in order.

“Lisia is still upstairs,” Morro reported. “Would you like me to help you with these packages?”

Cobweb eyed the unwieldy pile of bags and boxes, which he’d brought from town on his horse, filling the saddlebags and straps. “Yes, I’d appreciate some help getting them up the stairs. As for bringing them in the room, I’ll do that myself.”

“Very well,” Morro replied agreeably. They each scooped up an armful and headed up the stairs. Cobweb felt the comforting presence of Forever around him. Although the house was quiet and empty, Swift and family being out of town, lately it had been the scene of so many pleasant days that contentment hung in the air like an invisible vapor.

At the top of the stairs Cobweb thanked Morro and accepted the rest of the delivery, balancing the pile against his body. He crept down the hallway toward the bedroom and poking his head inside, caught a glimpse of Lisia unawares — exactly what he’d been hoping for.

Nestled in the window seat, Lisia was leaning his head against the glass, gazing out into the backyard, his face relaxed, his eyes dreamy. His hands rested in his lap amidst the blanket he’d been knitting for the past week. Lovely soft gray wool, it was something Lisia hoped to finish in time for the harling on the way.

Slipping through the door, Cobweb quietly set the pile of packages down on the bed. Lisia immediately looked over, smiling brightly. “Ah, you’re back!” His hands went back to his knitting, picking up the needles and taking up the yarn.

“Yes, and I found everything you wanted,” Cobweb responded. “All the different types of yarn and thread, the fabric, the hats and socks and the needles. The only thing I couldn’t find was the buttons, but I can find those later, I’m sure.”

“That’s fine,” Lisia said in a voice that showed he was feeling rather dreamy and languid. Cobweb sauntered over and began to rub his lover’s shoulders.

“Thank you, dear.” Still working the wool, Lisia pressed himself against the ministering hands like a cat wanting to be scratched. “Mmmm, that feels good.”

Cobweb stepped back and looked Lisia in the face, which was happy and still serene although, as expected, a bit tired.

“How are you feeling today?” he asked, picking up the completed section of the blanket and admiring Lisia’s work. Like all his other pieces, it was of intricate design, produced as it was by someone who’d spent years honing his craft.

“Oh, fine. I was just knitting and then… I started daydreaming.” Lisia smiled and, dispensing with the needles, reached out to catch Cobweb’s hand. “About our son.”

Cobweb tugged on the hand and Lisia allowed himself to be pulled into a standing position, dropping the blanket onto the cushion. “Really? What exactly were you thinking?” Cobweb asked.

“Just… well, I was wondering what he’ll look like,” Lisia explained as he walked over to the bed and sat down. “You know, just what color eyes, his hair, who he will take after.” He straightened out his blouse, which revealed the thickness of his waist. Phlaar had estimated the birth would come in the next two to three days.

“Maybe dark hair with a blond streak, huh, Stripe?” Cobweb joked. He leaned over to kiss Lisia on the cheek. Stripe had once been Lisia’s teasing nickname among his peers at the breeding facility; now it was an endearment he’d grown fond of, at least when Cobweb used it.

Lisia kicked off his shoes and moved to lie down. Looking up at the ceiling, he returned to his thoughts of daydreaming. “I just don’t know, Cobweb. It’s all so strange. I mean, I’ve never thought of these things before — what the harling will look like.”

Cobweb picked up on his meaning at once. “Because you were never allowed to see them?”

Lisia nodded, his head against the pillow. “Not even the pearls. I used to think about them a lot, especially the first few, but eventually I had to give up imagining. I knew I wouldn’t ever get to see them.” His bittersweet tone was unmistakable and for a moment his thoughts drifted back to those darker times. Then a smile washed back onto his face and he patted his abdomen. “This is so very different.”

“Well, that’s the idea, isn’t it?” Cobweb asked, settling into the space at the end of the bed by Lisia’s feet. “Starting our own little family.”

Lisia reached out and took Cobweb’s hand. Cobweb was strongly aware of his happiness, feeling it through their bond, but any stranger could have seen it. “It’s wonderful,” Lisia sighed contentedly. “I never thought I could have a family. It’s just like I always dreamed, back when I would dream. I’m living in a house, soon I’ll have my own child who I can actually see and care for as my own, and most marvelous of all, I’m consort to–”

“You’re not my consort, Lisia!” Cobweb interrupted, gently taking hold of Lisia’s feet. “You’re my lover.” He squeezed the arch on one foot, then the other. “Equal, remember?”

Pushing back against the pillows, Lisia sat up. “I remember. You know what I mean, though.”

“Yes, Lis.” Cobweb stood. “Now let’s see about going downstairs for dinner. Yarrow should have it ready by now, as it’s nearly dark.”

“Mmmmm, another of his wonderful soups?” Lisia asked, slipping off the bed and stepping into his shoes. “I loved that soup last night. Soup’s really the best thing for me to eat, you know — easiest for me to digest.”

Cobweb took his lover’s hand and gave it an affectionate squeeze. “Yes, Doctor, you’ve mentioned it a time or two.”

Lisia laughed softly as they walked around the bed towards the door. “Am I that bad? Repeating myself?”

“No, no, it’s just funny. I’m sure you know what you’re talking about,” Cobweb assured. When it came to hosting, there were few hara more expert than Lisia, who had birthed 24 in only six years.

As they passed through the doorway, Lisia paused and put his hand on the door frame.

“What is it?” Cobweb asked, reading the discomfort flickering across the hostling’s face.

Lisia dropped his hand and shrugged. “Oh, nothing, just my back. It’s just a little backache.” He moved down the hallway.

“Swift had that,” Cobweb pointed out. “Remember? I thought it was because the pearl was so large.”

They descended the staircase together, Lisia slightly ahead. “Oh, it’s possible, I suppose, although it’s not always just the size of the pearl. It’s a combination of things. I always found hosting in winter caused it; sitting around so much, catching chill.”

“Hmmmm, that makes sense… but you haven’t been ‘sitting around’ very much, at least up until a few days ago.” Cobweb argued. Before his son and son-in-law had left on a visit to Immanion, Lisia had been up and about playing with their two-year-old harling on a regular basis.

“I suppose it’s all relative,” Lisia reflected. “The first few years I hosted, we never had to work much at all except for helping out with other hostlings’ births, so usually it wasn’t too uncomfortable. Later on when things got desperate I had to do a lot more work. Then I’d get backaches from working in the fields, digging ditches.”

Lisia’s eyes had grown dark as he recalled the painful memories. He had nearly miscarried his last pearl from being forced into strenuous labor half-way through his term.

“Anyway, back to my point, I think this backache comes from sitting all day knitting. That and perhaps the chill by that window.” He sat down at the table. “If it weren’t so cold and growing dark, I’d suggest we go walking.” He paused for a moment, obviously considering the possibilities. “Maybe we could do some dancing tonight,” he suggested.

Cobweb had to laugh. “Dancing? Lisia, you truly are unique. But we can dance if you like.”

“Thanks.” It turned out he was thanking both Cobweb and the servant who set down the bowl of soup before him. “After dinner?”

“After dinner.” Cobweb nodded and gave the servant a few instructions. “And I’ll give you a nice hot bath and then a healing back rub,” he promised.

“Good,” Lisia pronounced, “because I want to get rid of this ache before morning. The birth will be tomorrow.”

Cobweb stopped eating. “Phlaar said two to three days.”

Lisia helped himself to another spoonful of soup before replying. “Well, I know better than Phlaar. It will be tomorrow.” He noted Cobweb’s skeptical expression and added, “I have a feeling.”

Cobweb smiled, conceding Lisia’s intuition was probably worth trusting. “Ah, a feeling. And what else, pray tell, do you have feelings about?”

“Oh, I’m also sure Phlaar won’t make it in time,” he said, his hand unconsciously rubbing his abdomen. “It will probably be very quick.”

“I can imagine, given your experience. I suppose it will be like Seel’s,” Cobweb guessed. “His was only 15 minutes.”

Lisia snorted and shook his head. “15 minutes? No, I mean faster. Probably. Maybe five minutes. My last few almost fell out — be ready.” His look went serious. “And please, until then, don’t leave me alone.”

“I won’t,” Cobweb vowed. “I promise.”

“Good, because I want you to be there. For our son.” He extended his hand across the table, taking Cobweb’s hand. “And for me.”

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Not Far From the Tree

Not Far From the Tree
by Mercredi

Notes

Like Wiebke, Mercredi got really wrapped up in the world created in Breeding Discontent, so much so that she kept on writing, putting together some sequels. Mercredi was particularly keen on following up on some of the minor characters in the story and seeing how things turned out for them. In Not Far From the Tree, she focuses on harlings.

Alternate Universe Note
This story was written when Breeding Discontent existed as an online fan fiction novel, essentially a draft. It was also written prior to the publication of Wraiths of Will and Pleasure and any new Wraeththu novels. Because of this, it’s become an “alternate universe” fic that’s not entirely consistent, and in fact contradicts, what is now “canon.”

Characters
Pansea and Lisia (original characters from BD), Ivy (original character who also shows up in Contentment) various other hara at Harling Gardens, harlings at .

Spoilers
Containers spoilers for Bewitchments of Love and Hate (Book 2) and Fulfilments of Fate and Desire (Book 3) in the Wraeththu trilogy. The story stands on its own but somewhat presupposes that you’ve read Breeding Discontent; it also has a nice tie-in with Contentment.

Author Contact
To reach Mercredi, you can email: madamemercredi@hotmail.com

Pansea’s Journal

I hate it when Lis and I fight. But he really brought it on himself this time. There’s some big shot, stupid rich har coming here next month looking for a consort and Lis put my name at the top of the list to meet with him! I can’t believe that Lis has gone and done something so controlling and insensitive.

I know he thought it’s what I want, but why can’t he see that I’ve changed. I’m not a harling anymore. I want different things. But Lis just seems to see me as the same old Pansea. Yes, I still want to take care of harlings and have my own one day, but now that I know more, being a consort just seems so boring and pointless. I admit that I haven’t exactly come out and talked to him about what I want, but it should be obvious. I haven’t said anything about being a consort since the Gelaming came – well maybe once or twice, but definitely not since my Feybraiah.

Lis said he honestly didn’t know how I felt. In a way that makes me feel almost as bad as anything else. I always felt like Lis really understood me – like we were close in a special sort of way. I understand that he’s had to be hostling to all of us and I’m glad for the others. I try not to get jealous, but I have to admit that I don’t like feeling like just another one of the harlings. Lis should be able to see that I’ve changed. Even if he can’t be bothered to see it, he should assume it. I’m twelve years old now; it’s really insulting that he thinks I have the same dreams as when I was seven.

I guess he does think I’m still immature. Of all the hara accepted to study high academics in Immanion, I’m the only one who opted to come back to Harling Gardens to complete my caste training. I know everyone thought I was crazy. I guess I can’t blame them. I really, really love Immanion and I’d love to go back one day and maybe even travel more. But I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be. Even though I was just a harling, I know that I helped Lis a lot back when we were all alone out here and struggling. Lis is special because he became hostling to everyone, but I feel a connection here too. I feel like I need to stay here and see everything running according to plan. And I know I can really do a good job. I’ve already got so many great ideas. I just wish that the hara would pay attention to me instead of worrying that they need to send me off and away to some brighter future.

Ivy’s Journal

I almost feel like it’s wrong for me to write this down, but I just have to tell someone even if it’s just a journal. Lisia is my hostling!!!!

I just couldn’t believe it when I saw the codes. I think I checked it over about five times to be sure I was reading it right. But it was Lis all right. And then I thought about how Lis has green eyes too and I figured it was probably really true.

Sure it crossed my mind before but I never, ever thought that he would be the one. I’m not even sure if I still would have asked to see the records if I’d known it would be him. I’m really glad to know, but at the same time I feel like I’m going to burst from being around him and not being able to say anything.

I haven’t been able to think about anything else all day. My Feybraiah celebration is next week and even though I’m supposed to be picking out the har to lead me through my first aruna, it just isn’t as important as it was before. I keep replaying every little thing that I know about Lis. It’s kind of sad that I really haven’t spent all that much time with him – not like in a personal way. There have always been lots of harlings here who are my age and so Lis would usually come and check up on a whole group of us at once.

Even if I did see Lis alone in the hall or something, I never thought to say anything important to him. Well, why would I. He was just Lis. He was my hostling but then he was everybody’s hostling. It was like his job, not personal. I’ve always loved Lis, but now I feel like I should have been loving him more all this time and I missed my chance.

But, it’s not too late. I still have as many as four more years here to do my training. And I can even come back and visit after that. From now on I’m going to be around Lis as much as I can and try to learn whatever I can about him. I guess I should have felt this way even before I knew the real truth about us. But it’s like this news bonked me on the head and got my attention. I’m not going to take Lisia for granted again.

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