~Storage~

For me to store characters/pics/ or posts I want to keep track of
MEMBERS IN THE GROUP
MESSAGES ON THE WALL

 

Dark Age with strawberrywaffles
Trinity was walking along a deserted street, her feet not making a sound against the cool stone.
Desmond was chasing after his little brother who had taken his hat. "Lakota, hand it back to me please!" he shouted as he jumped over a small sized crate. "Nope," his younger brother said simply while climbing up a ladder that led to an abandoned building's roof.
As she walked she heard an odd thumping, like when you were in bed and heard a squirrel hopping around on the roof. Her hand moved to her dagger for a moment, her sharp eyes sweeping over her surroundings. She ducked into the shadow of the nearest building and listened to the sound getting closer.
 
Desmond suddenly appeared in front of Lakota and snatched the hat away from him, his fangs showed as he shouted, "You need to quit doing that!" Lakota folded his arms and looked away. "You've become boring, Desmond," he said in a low voice, being clearly upset.
Trinity watched the pair, stifling a sarcastic chuckle. She didn't move at all at first, then she moves ever so slightly to allow her shadow to dance against the ground.
Lakota stopped his bickering and sniffed the air, glancing in the direction of Trinity.
Trinity smiled to herself, staying perfectly still once more.
Lakota turned so he faced the direction of Trinity and he sniffed the air again. Desmond looked at his brother curiously and sniffed the air as well when Lakota said, "Let's go," in a low voice.
"Scared?" Trinity's voice was a low whisper that echoed a bit in the alley.
"No, just cautious," Lakota replied while standing still to see if he could calculate where she was. Desmond did the same and narrowed his eyes slightly

"Hmm, caution is always a good thing, though too much can be a dreadful disadvantage." Her voice had a slight lilt every now and then as she spoke, but it was no easier to pin point her location than the last time she had spoken.
"Yeah... Well, we should get going," Desmond replied while moving his thirteen year old brother behind him. "A voice... an unknown voice to the light," Lakota mumbled quietly.
A light, tinkling laugh echoed through the still air.
Lakota felt himself being pushed towards the ladder leaning against the building they were on. He didn't really want to leave just yet but he knew when his brother did something like that it probably meant there was something or someone dangerous near by.
"Hmm, what a shame." A girl with blue hair and piercing gray/blue eyes stepped out of the shadows. She had daggers at her hips, suggesting she wasn't exactly a peaceful citizen. She made no move toward them, just stood there quietly, one eyebrow arched slightly.
Desmond looked at her then walked two steps forward, being nearly a head taller than her. "May I ask who you are?"
"Yes you may," she said, her tone unusually polite, almost like a princess. "My name is Trinity." She was a tall girl, and not used to having to look up to people, though she had to tilt her head a bit to meet Desmond's gaze evenly.
"Well then Trinity, i'm Desmond as you might have heard my brother calling me by my name earlier." He seemed to be very calm.
"Yes. I did hear that bit,"she said, a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth.
He nodded and Lakota who was behind him said, "As you know already, i'm Lakota." Lakota moved some of his dark brown, nearly black, hair out of his face since it had grown quite a bit in the past months. "I better get a haircut," he muttered.
Trinity nodded, studying the younger boy for a minute.
Lakota looked at Trinity and wondered what she was thinking since she was looking at him. Desmond watched Trinity who was studying his brother. He was still unsure of her presence there and if she was good or not.
Trinity turned away after a moment, her face not betraying her thoughts. "Well, I should be going,' she said.
Desmond nodded, Lakota still watching her. Bye," Lakota muttered from behind Desmond while turning around to climb down the ladder. Desmond glanced back at his little brother then looked at Trinity again and waved goodbye before climbing down after Lakota. When they both stood down on the ground again Lakota muttered, "She's nothing like Kisho." Desmond looked at Lakota for a moment before adjusting the hat on himself. "Kisho... the choco maniac boy you told me about?" Lakota nodded and in a clear voice said, "The assassin boy."
Trinity had turned around but when she heard him she turned around. "Well, I wouldn't know him. We rarely associate with each other, makes our jobs harder." She smiled, though it wasn't exactly warm, then disappeared into the shadowy alley once more.
Lakota looked up at the roof before sighing. He and his brother headed back to their music shop.
Trinity kept going on her way down the alley until she reached a tiny house. There she knocked on the door and it was opened by a young man that barely reached her shoulder. “Well?” He spoke impatiently. “Relax. The job is finished.” Trinity took something out of her pocket and showed it to him briefly. The man sighed and took a pouch out of his pocket, handing it to Trinity who tied it securely onto her belt. “Will I be seeing you around?” the man asked. Trinity just laughed coolly. “No,” she replied, her tone flat. Then she turned and walked away, out of the alley and onto the main street.
Not many people were actually coming into their shop so Lakota decided to bring out his cello and play some songs that his brother had managed to get on music sheets so Lakota wouldn't have to learn by ear. Lakota stood by the window of the shop which seemed to pop out slightly, creating a small bit of room to display sheets of music and instruments. "Oh, how I love this silence," Desmond said sarcastically while waiting patiently for his brother to play a song. Lakota glanced back at his brother before rosining his bow and taking the endpin out of the cello so it was at the correct length.
Trinity walked along absently, her thoughts busy as she strolled down the street. She seemed to have no particular destination.
Lakota sat down on the stool he had pulled out and he took a deep breath in before exhaling. He began to play and Desmond closed his eyes while resting his cheek on his hand. Desmond sat in front of the window of the shop and those walked by would be able to hear Lakota's small performance
Trinity heard Lakota playing and found herself wandering toward the sound. She remembered when she had played music with her sister. They would sing and laugh. The memories both caused her to feel joy, and pain.
:The gentle sound of the song turned into something that sounded more violent, the sound of the song creating a feeling of pain, hopelessness, and destruction within Lakota as he played. Desmond opened one eye to watch Lakota and he took note of the emotion the song held. He didn't feel like his little brother was playing the music on the music stand.
Trinity listened closely as the music shifted. By now she was across from the music shop, a couple shops down on the other side of the street
The song continued on and soon started to become quiet as the noted were played with the tip of the bow. The notes were short and detached until Lakota bowed one last time, his bow stopping once it reached the end of the bow closest to his hand. Lakota held it there for a moment before looking up at his older brother who was looking at him. Lakota smiled and took a deep breath again, setting his bow on the music stand.
Trinity stood in front of a book shop, her thoughts jumping from past to present as she remembered the tune Lakota had played.
Desmond smiled then bounded over towards Lakota and messed his hair up. "Was that the song you told me you were working on?" Desmond asked. Lakota looked up at him with a smile on his face and nodded. Lakota put the cello on his left side and Desmond suddenly hugged him. "Ah, that sounded amazing Lakota!!" he exclaimed while Lakota tried escaping his older brother's hug. "I-i'm glad you liked it Desmond but please... no hugging?" Demond just grinned and hugged him tighter before releasing him. Lakota gasped for breath and landed on the floor on his knees, his hands pressed against the floor. "Geez..." Lakota mumbled. He stood up and started looking around for a pair of scissors to cut his hair. "My hair is getting really annoying," Lakota sighed.
Trinity wandered over by the music shop, but recognizing the boys out front stopped in the crow,d uncertain as to weather she really wanted to continue.
Desmond looked through one of the drawers in the back of the shop which was hardly big enough for four people to be in at one time. "Found it!" he called out to Lakota as he walked back to the front of the shop with the scissors in hand. Lakota took the scissors from his hand then walked to a corner of the shop where there was a mirror. He began to cut his dark hair, the bits go his hair falling on the ground which he would pick up in a minute or two.
Finally sentiment and memories won over Trinity's doubts and she walked slowly up to the shop.
Lakota turned his head from side to side and gave a small grin so his smallish fangs appeared. Lakota handed Desmond the scissors before getting down on his knees to pick the hair up and dispose of it. He then walked back to his cello and sat down on the maple wood coloured stool.
Trinity dodged a few people as she made her way across the street. She bumped into a woman who smiled at her, the frowned upon seeing her daggers. The woman's male companion winked and Trinity frowned.
Lakota wiped some of the rosin off the cello before playing another song which he had composed.
Trinity stood quietly and listened for a while, enjoying the sound of the music, not realizing how much she had missed her music. Then she slipped inside quietly behind another customer.
A couple of more people entered as they heard Lakota's playing and he had to take a deep breath because he was a little uncomfortable. Desmond looked over at the customers then at Lakota again, not noticing Trinity.
Trinity slipped around the crowd watching Lakota. She found some piano music and flipped through the various books and sheets.
Lakota noticed her flipping through the music books and sheets. He continued playing wondering why and how she had ended up in his and his brother's music shop.
Trinity found a familiar song and not for the first time she began to miss her piano. She remembered playing the song and harmonizing with her sister and bit her lip to keep from tearing at the memory.
Lakota glanced at her again and noticed the name of the piece through the mirror, being able to read it backwards and understand what it said. Lakota suddenly stopped playing, Desmond looking puzzled along with some customers who had been enjoying the music. By memory Lakota played the song Trinity was looking at.
Trinity glanced over her shoulder once, looking a bit confused. Her fingers absently tapped against the sheet of paper like they would if she were at her piano.
It wasn't until half way through the song that Desmond noticed Trinity and the piece of music in her hand. He didn't say anything till Lakota finished playing the song. When Lakota finished, Desmond walked over to Trinity and said, "It seems that my brother and you both know this song." He smiled as he looked at the piece and said, "Many of the customers here don't know the name of it." He was still unsure of her presence there but was kinda happy that she was looking at that piece of music
Trinity smiled a bit, "I used to play it all the time with my," she paused for a moment, her eyes slightly misty. "With my sister." (Getting offline, by!)

(Bye.) He wondered why she seemed to almost hesitate when she said 'sister' then glanced back at Lakota, remembering how he cared a lot about his little brother.
(Well, I have time for one more reply it seems) "We used to play and sing together, usually harmonizing," she said softly.
(x3) Desmond was going to ask "And now?" but he didn't, sensing that the topic may be a sensitive one that she might not want to speak of. "I bet you two played well together," he said in a soft tone.
(and now a third . . . the person I am waiting for is taking a while XD) "We did," she said , not proudly, just stating a fact. "But she is gone now . . . and I haven't touched a piano in a while."
(x3 Hah.) "There's a piano over in our living room which is in our house behind here," Lakota said quietly while walking to the side of Desmond to take the small cloth out of his pocket and gently wipe the rosin off the bow. "It's our hidden house." Desmond flicked Lakota's head and said in a low voice, "You don't just invite people like that." Lakota rolled his eyes and mumbled, "I'm not, i'm just saying that we have a piano."
Trinity barely held back a smile. "Don't worry. I have no intention of intruding." she looked at both of the brothers, but it was obvious her words were directed more at Desmond than Lakota. Trinity was amused by Lakota's telling her about their house, and by Desmond's response, but she also felt some awkwardness, knowing that Desmond didn't really trust her. She didn't blame him, and knew she would be the same way in his shoes, but it still made her feel out of place.
Desmond looked at Trinity and awkwardly said, "Well, you could come to check our piano if you want... but I do warn you that it seriously needs some work on it..." Lakota chuckle when Desmond said 'some.' "Heh... some work," Lakota repeated.
"I don't want to make you uncomfortable," she said, then added, "it seems I already have."
"N-no, you haven't made me uncomfortable it's just... my house seriously needs work..." Desmond replied as he stared down at his feet. "He's just being a nervous young adult," Lakota chuckled while poking his brother's shoulder. "You're welcomed to come."
Trinity smiled reassuringly, her gray/blue eyes sparkling briefly. "Well, you have never seen my house, or you wouldn't be worried."
Desmond chuckled slightly and nodded. Lakota laughed then walked out of the shop door to walk to his hidden house.
Trinity was quiet for a minute, her thoughts racing, though her face didn't betray her inner reflections at all.
"Umm, so would you like to come over?" Desmond asked her while glancing at Lakota who walked out the front door.
"Yes, thank you," she said after a moment's contemplation.
He nodded then walked out of the store and waited for Trinity to walk out so he could close the shop and lock it.
Trinity walked out of the shop quickly, laying the music sheet down where she had found it.
Desmond walked down the street after locking the shop and he made a turn into and alley way where there were some little pillars one on each side of the end of the alleyway. Desmond started walking a little faster and the end of the alleyway seemed to morph into a small stone pathway.
Trinity followed swiftly. Her footsteps never seemed to make a sound.
Desmond continued walking until he stopped in front of a small red house that appeared to be very old and broken down. There were vines curling up on to the porch of it and the light that was on the house created a strange mystical feeling. One of the windows looked like it was being worked on and the door was wide open. Lakota was lifting what appeared to be a heavy box and he was carrying it outside behind the house. There were bricks around the entire area of the house except for the top of the area which allowed sunlight. The grass in front of the house was incredibly green and the whole yard seemed like a jungle almost.
Trinity's only response to the sight of the house was a soft, "mm," and quick once over. C
Desmond sighed before continued on, walking inside the house. It was actually quite clean inside and the piano took most of the living room which became visible once you entered. Lakota ran back inside the house and sat down at the piano looking over at Trinity, a rare smile on his face. "This here is our piano."
"It is lovely for sure," she said, her eyes shining for a rare moment. When her eye shone that way and with a slight smile on her face she looked bright, pretty, and youthful.
Desmond smiled slightly when she looked happy and he headed to the small kitchen to get some snacks, some bread that had been bought and made only the previous day. Desmond set it down on the table near the piano and sat down on a little stool near the doorway. Lakota grinned than pulled out some pieces of music that had been hidden behind the piano. "Want to play it?"
"I . . Well . . . ." Trinity was abut to refuse, but her deep longing soon won over her fears and she nodded. "Yes, if I may."
The young teen placed the sheets of music on the piano and sat down beside the piano, his legs crossed. He waited intently for her to play.
Trinity sat down and for a minute her fingers hovered above the keys. Then she began to play. For a few moments her fingers moved slowly, hesitantly over the keys, then she began to play confidently with skill, her long fingers going over the keys with precision as she played a soft, but lively tune.
Desmond watched and closed his eyes to listen like he usually did while Lakota watched her fingers move over and press the keys. The two brothers were both silent the whole time.
Trinity played the entire song without a misstep. When she finished she was smiling. She turned to face Lakota and Desmond and blushed slightly, almost as if she had forgotten she had an audience.
Desmond opened his eyes when she stopped and smiled. Lakota was grinning since she was the only other person besides Desmond who he had heard play the piano right in front of him. "That was amazing," said Desmond who hadn't seen another person play the piano besides Lakota in years. Lakota nodded, agreeing with his brother.
"Thank you," she said. "I had almost forgotten how much I loved to play."
"You're welcome," replied Lakota who pulled out more sheets of music. "Umm, would it be okay if you played again one more time?" Lakota asked quietly while holding the pieces of music.
Trinity smiled, a soft chuckle escaping her. "I don't mind."
Lakota stood up and replaced the music sheets that had been on the piano with the pieces in his hands. He sat back down once more to listen and he waited for her to begin.
Trinity began without hesitation, her hands flying lightly over the keys. The tune started out soft with a sort of fairy tale romantic sound then got a little more lively like for dancing. By the time she was almost to the end the tune was very lively as if made for dancing to. She finished, the last note seeming to linger in the air even after her fingers had left the keys.
Lakota was about to stand up and clap but he tripped over his foot as he was standing up and fell forward, nearly hitting his head on the corner of the chair Trinity was sitting on. Desmond stood up quickly, nearly thinking that Lakota was about to die. He took a deep breath then walked over to Lakota and looked at the bruise on his head. Lakota sighed as he sat up and said, "I'm fine." He then began to clap like he had originally intended to
Trinity tried not to seem as flustered as she had been when she thought he might hurt himself. "This has been very nice, thank you," she said.
Lakota nodded then stood and said, "If you ever feel like playing the piano just ask us when we're at the shop since you won't be able to come here." When Lakota said that Desmond glanced outside, knowing that she wouldn't be able to come in if they weren't there. After all, their own home was practically enchanted and wouldn't allow her to come back in if she wasn't with them in person.
"Thank you," she said. Deep down she doubted she would see either of them again, and oddly, she felt sad thinking about that.
"No problem," Desmond replied happily while Lakota walked towards the window carefully, seeing a figure outside of their house near where the pillars were. From inside their property they could see anyone within the alleyway. The figure had somehow passed through the alleyway wall and was staring at the house. Lakota slowly moved and walked over to Desmond, quietly whispering into his ear. Demond's eyes widened and he immediately grabbed Lakota's hand and started running, pulling him down the hallway that led to the room in the back. The figure that had been standing there was no longer there, they had completely vanished.
"Uh, should I leave now?" she spoke hesitantly.
A figure appeared beside her, a dark smoke forming a silhouette. Its face was covered by what appeared to be a dark cloak. "Who are you speaking to?" the 'person' asked. Their voice was rough, like rocks being grinded.
"Myself," she replied with a casual shrug. "I tend to do that. I seem to have lost my way and I was just trying to figure out weather I should leave or stay." Inside she was very nervous, but she hoped she didn't seem so.
The person chuckled, their voice deep. "Lies... I despise liars... but you. A killer, hmm. Care to date my brother?" The voice chuckled some more and soon was slowly walking down the hallway, their black trousers matching their black boots that made no sound against the usually creaking floor. Inside the back room which was shut tight, Desmond was covering Lakota's mouth and holding him tightly, shielding him slightly from the door. Lakota's eyes were wide and he was still.
"oh, a brother! Very tempting I am sure," she said sarcastically. She slipped around the figure. "By the way, I didn't catch the name."
The figure stopped and turned enough so that a human mouth was visible. There was a smile on their lips and they said, "Name? Hmph, i'm Ludovic." They then turned again and continued walking down the hallway till they kicked the door open slightly with their toe. "Desmond, you home?"
"Hmm, not familiar." She tapped her chin with one finger, "But you are still alive . . . I think." She glanced upwards, trying to think. "And you are here with a purpose, I gather
Ludovic walked into the dark room and Desmond lunged forward and grabbed Ludovic's neck and hissed his fangs appeared. Ludovic moved his hood off of his face and surprisingly right there was a young looking male that looked to be around the age of Desmond or younger. He had brown hair and grey eyes and had a bored look on his face before grabbing both of Desmond's hands. He pulled his hands off of his neck with ease before shoving Desmond to the ground. Desmond grabbed a sword that was behind the door and was about to get up one again when Ludovic was suddenly beside Lakota. Ludovic pat Lakota's head gently before shoving him against the wall so that Lakota's face was pressed against it. "You must be Lakota?" he asked in a soft voice which was nothing like the voice he had had earlier.
Trinity watched wide eyes, not sure what to do.
Ludovic pressed Lakota harder against the wall. "Well? Are you or are you not?" Lakota clenched his teeth and said, "I am." Ludovic smiled and grabbed Lakota's arm, pulling him up off the ground. "You're going to get a vacation in three... two... one," Ludovic said cheerfully before Lakota suddenly collapsed and fell into Ludovic's arms.
"What on earth did you do?" Trinity spoke out loud, but didn't really expect an answer.
He looked over at Trinity and said, "I made him go on a little vacation." Desmond glared at him and stood up. "Ludovic, give me my brother back," Desmond demanded. Ludovic chuckled before lifting Lakota up on and over his shoulder. "Goodbye Desmond, i'll tell her you say you still hate her." Desmond's eyes widened and he charged at Ludovic, being too slow to grab him. He had disappeared with Lakota.
Trinity was still for a moment, not really knowing what had just happened, and not sure if she should just leave quietly, or say something. She bit her lower lip, taking a few steps back.
Desmond shook slightly, his hands in fists. "She's going to kill him..." he said quietly to himself as he thought of what was going to happen to Lakota. A few tears fell from Desmond's eyes before he turned and ran out of the room past Trinity. He ran into Lakota's room and grabbed his coat which his brother had borrowed then ran into his own room and started putting a belt on which had some small weapons on it and a long sheath.
Trinity stood outside the door for a minute. "Do you need help, or something?" she asked hesitantly.
"Help? I need a lot of help right now," he said quickly while picking up a small bag of coins that was under his bed.
"Well, I could help you, if you want that is," she said.
"Yes, please. Please help me get my brother back or at least help me find more people to help me." Desmond looked incredibly stressed and tense and he let out a cruse word as he walked back to the small living room.
"I will. I'll do my best, I promise," she glanced downwards then asked a question. "Do you mind telling me why he was taken in the first place?"
Thank you and he was taken because my ex girlfriend is trying to make me come to her so she can kill me," he said angrily.
"Hmm, seems like extreme revenge. I do know someone who might help if I ask him," she said. "He is sort of jobless at the moment and bored out of his mind."
"Hmph, he is more than welcome to help if he will help me get Lakota back. I'll do everything in my power to get Lakota back." Desmond walked out the front door and waited for Trinity, his thoughts feeling scattered all except the thought of getting Lakota back.
Trinity nodded. "He is supposed to meet me in the village center soon. I will ask him then." She had followed him to the door and was waiting for him to step outside.
Desmond stepped outside and down the red stairs that led to his green tall grassy lawn. He walked down the small stone path that led the alleyway and he appeared on the other side.
Trinity followed quietly, still trying to grasp all that had happened to her in the span of one morning. She had scarcely seen so much excitement in a month, let alone in under twenty four hours! "I'll go meet my friend over this way,' she said, once they had emerged on the other side of the alley. She gestured to a central plaza.
Desmond nodded and continued walking, still feeling distracted by his thoughts.
Trinity veered off to the plaza. She was only there a minute or two before she heard a familiar voice. "So, you made it at last!" A boy with brown hair and a smirk on his face approached her. "I'm not late," she said, raising an eyebrow. "I know," he said, rolling his eyes slightly. "I just can't help but tease you since you are always so punctual." Trinity just shook her head, smiling very slightly. "Well, I have something to ask you if you don't mind." The boy grinned, "Ask away, dearie." Trinity explained everything to him. "So, will you help?" The boy shrugged. "Sure. I have nothing else to do anyhow." Trinity smiled, "Thanks, Eric." Eric smiled back. "No problem." Trinity led him back to where Desmond had been and they caught up to him.
When Desmond saw Eric his expression didn't change but he held his hand out and introduced himself.
"I'm Eric," Eric said with his usual, friendly smile. "Trinity told me what happened and I'll be glad to help any way I can."
Desmond sighed in relief, "Thank you, just thank you." Desmond glanced over at Trinity then said, "We may need to find a couple of more people to help. I'll go look around for someone who can help and seems trustworthy enough."
"Do you want us to split up or some with you?" Trinity asked.
*Come, not some
"We could all go together that way we'll find someone that we all can mostly get along with."
"Alright," Trinity said. Eric nodded his agreement.
Desmond walked with them to plaza where some people were looking to get hired for a job. A young man who looked to be around the age of 17 or 20 was kicking a small stone and was wearing chain mail as well as tall leather boots. He had beige colored hair and looked slightly frustrated.
Trinity noticed him and paused, looking his way. Eric followed her gaze, wondering what had captured her attention.
The young man who had been looking at the ground suddenly looked up, looking right at Trinity. He had sensed someone watching him. Demond had noticed his new comrades looking at the young man so he walked up to him and started talking. The young man had made Desmond chuckle and after about five minutes they walked back to Trinity and Eric and the young man introduced himself. "I'm Andris," he said clearly.
"Nice to meet you, I am Eric." Eric extended his hand immediately with a friendly smile.
Andris shook his head then said, "So, Desmond says we're going to rescue his little brother... Would you all mind if I came along? If not I don't want to be a bother..."
"It's fine with me," Eric said. "What do you think Trinity?" Trinity smiled a bit, "Fine with me."
(I meant shook his hand.) Andris sighed in relief and then appeared less tense. Demond looked at all of his comrades then said to Trinity and Eric, "Know anyone else that we should include or are we all good?"
(I figured that was what you meant) "I don't know anyone," Eric said with a shrug. "You do not want my . . . acquaintances along for sure," Trinity said. Eric smiled, "Then it looks like we are all good."
(Ah, good.) "Yeah," Desmond replied while glancing up at the sky for a moment. "Let's get going and see if we can get at least halfway to the next kingdom and set up camp before nightfall."

Trinity nodded and Eric agreed eagerly. "So, whats the deal with your ex?" Eric asked. "If you don't mind my asking, he added hastily. 'Seems like she is going overboard on this kidnapping thing."
Desmond nodded and folded his arms. "I decided to stop courting her once I realized she was a complete evil psycho. When I confronted her to tell her I was breaking up she tried killing me and she's been trying time to time to get me to come to her so she can kill me after that."
"Wow, that is serious stuff," Eric said. "My ex just yelled at me a lot. What would she do if you started courting someone else?"

"If I started courting someone else... Heh, I don't think that will happen again. But if that ever did happen my ex would probably try to kill her along with Lakota."
"I figured as much," Eric said. "I tried courting after my ex, but the one girl I could stand didn't want to court anyone," he gave Trinity a sideways glance and she just smirked. "She won't hurt Lakota until she is sure you are there though, right?"
"Yeah, she won't hurt him till she knows i'm there." Desmond sighed then started walking. "Let's go now.”
Eric nodded, following him. Trinity followed behind Eric, braiding her hair and trying it back to keep it out of her face on the journey.
Andris kept quiet beside Desmond until Desmond asked, "Would you mind me asking your age?" Andris was slightly surprised when Desmond spoke and replied. "O-oh, um, I don't mind. I'm seventeen, uh, yeah..." Desmond chuckled then said, "You seem nervous about this rescue." Andris nodded and glanced over his shoulder past Trinity where the plaza was as they walked farther away.
"I guess you haven't really done anything like this before?" Eric guessed.
"I have, actually. It's just...," he paused hesitantly before shaking his head. "Never mind," Andris murmured. Desmond looked at the Andris then straight ahead once again.
Eric didn't push the subject. He dropped back a bit and asked Trinity something in a low voice. She shook her head and replied in a whisper. Eric seemed disappointed at whatever she had said and Trinity moved ahead of him.
After some hours Desmond stopped walking and took the bag he had been carrying off his shoulder. There was some food in it and he looked at everyone. "Anyone hungry?"
"I sure am," Eric said, catching up and standing near Trinity. "A bit," Trinity said.
He pulled out some bread and an apple which he started peeling so they could eat the skin later since it had vitamins in it. He cut the apple and handed them pieces of it, saving a bit for himself to eat. "Thank you," Andris said after he chewed and swallowed one of the apple slices.
Eric echoed Andris thanks. Trinity spoke so softly she could hardly be heard. Eric ate his fairly quickly but Trinity ate more slowly.
Andris sat down and crossed his legs while holding one apple slice up to the sunlight that would be replaced by the moonlight in nearly three hours.
Eric had followed the movement of Andris's hand and noticed the sunlight that seemed to be fading. "It is getting late. Will we keep moving once everyone is done eating?" Eric asked Desmond.
"Yes, and once nightfalls we will rest then head to the next kingdom. Once we arrive we better be extra careful since many citizens there are superstitious," he said to Eric.
"Yeah, I have met some of them when they came here on business. Not the most open minded bunch for sure. Doesn't your aunt live there Trinity?" Eric looked over at Trinity as he spoke. "Yes," Trinity replied. "She lives just outside the main city."
"I can already imagine the older adults trying to put a stake through me," Desmond muttered. Andris tilted his head then said, "Are... you a vampire?" Desmond shook his head. "No, I am a Dhampir," he replied.
"Well, I should be alright, as long as I don't use any sort of magic," Eric speculated.
"Hmph, whatever we all are, we should just simply be careful," Andris said.
Trinity nodded in agreement, seeming to be caught up in thought. "I take it you know where to find Lakota?" Eric asked.
"Of course I do. If I didn't I would have at first been trying to find out where he is before gathering you all to come and help," Desmond replied again. Andris nodded before he stood up and started loitering around so his feet wouldn't fall asleep.
Eric nodded, "Is it a secluded or busy area?"
"Eh... both sort of... I don't know how to explain... where she has Lakota."
"I guess we will see soon enough," he said.
"Beware of a beautiful looking woman with light brown hair and green eyes when we get there," Desmond muttered.
"I prefer blue eyes," Eric said lightly. Then he added more seriously. "But I certainly will keep that in mind." Trinity was thinking to herself that maybe her being a girl gave her a certain advantage in some areas at least.
Desmond nodded then said to Eric, "You better or she'll trick you and sit you down for a cup of tea and chat with you." Desmond shuddered then mumbled, "She's a freaking monster."
 
 "Yikes," Eric muttered. "Just don't be as quick to believe in people as you usually are," Trinity said to Eric. He grinned sheepishly. "Yeah, I should probably be a little more cautious in the future. Especially with this girl."  

Desmond smiled then started walking. "Well then, let's all start walking again and head to the other kingdom." In his mind he thought, "Don't worry Lakota, I won't let that monster hurt you." Lakota had woken up and Ludovic was by his side in an unfamiliar looking place. In front of him was a cello and Ludovic said, "Good, you're awake. Start playing and i'll play the piano." Ludovic was confused and was about to protest when he saw Desmond's ex. He knew better than to argue so he stood up and began to play the cello in front of him after sitting on a chair. Ludovic began to play the piano as well.  

Trinity walked closer to the front this time a and Eric a few paces behind her. He seemed to enjoy the scenery, often smiling at something he saw or heard.  

Andris was walking ahead of Desmond and seemed eager to get to their destination soon.  

Eric whistled occasionally, walking in a carefree manner. Trinity was entirely silent. Her expression shifted occasionally but was unreadable.  

Desmond yawned but continued the pace he was at during the hours they walked. The crescent shaped moon shined bright above them and the stars twinkled.  

Trinity looked up once or twice, admiring the moon. She didn't seem tired, but she probably wouldn't have showed it if she was. "What's her name?" Trinity asked, glancing at Desmond. Her words seemed to hang in the air after the long silence.  

"Adara," he replied in a low voice. The name itself sent a shiver down Desmond's spine as he said it out loud. Desmond sighed and took a deep breath of the cool air, closing his eyes as he took a deep breath and let it out.

"I don't mean to bring up any bad memories, but does she have any particular abilities or powers we should know about?" Trinity asked softly.  

"Well... she can create illusions. She has the ability to make people follow her orders once they hear her play the piano or violin since those two instruments are enchanted... And she is a master at manipulation." Desmond opened his eyes and stared at the ground.  

Trinity held back a sigh. "Okay. So this will be pretty difficult. But we can do it," she smiled a tiny bit in reassurance. 

Desmond looked over his shoulder back at Trinity and noticed her very small smile of reassurance. He himself had a slight smile on his face because of her reassuring comment. "Yeah," he said before looking forward again.  

Trinity was quiet for a while, contemplating the information he had given her. She knew from personal experience that illusions and manipulation were some of the strongest powers anyone could have, and the most dangerous. She glanced over her shoulder and saw Eric walking along the same as before. She sometimes wondered how he could always be so happy and carefree. She looked forward again, noticing that it was getting dark enough that she had trouble seeing the ground too far in front of her.  

Desmond was just about to suggest for them to stop and rest for the night when Andris said exactly what he was thinking. "How about we stop for the night?" Andris suggested while Desmond just nodded in reply.  

Eric caught up to them. "Well, I can tell you right now that I am not an early riser, you may have to shake me awake come morning!" Trinity grunted. "Just remember you said that when morning does come."  

Andris looked at Eric and said, "I'm going to try waking you up tomorrow... but if you don't i'll have to resort to rolling you in a pile of horse dung that may or may not have been left just ahead of us some many hours ago. Basically, remember to wake up." Desmond smirked slightly and said, "Please don't roll him into a pile of horse poop or we'll all have to suffer with his stench."  

"Yes, listen to the man, he is very wise!" Eric smirked. "We could roll you into the nearest river,' Trinity said casually. "You could probably use a bath anyway." Eric made a huffing sound, "What are you implying?" Trinity smirked slyly. "Nothing I am sure."  

Andris laughed quietly and slipped the small bag that was over his shoulder onto his hand and laid it down on the ground. "You must find this conversation amusing," Desmond said to Andris who just laughed a little more and nodded.  

"She treats me so badly," Eric said dramatically, sitting down on a tree stump. "The first time we met she actually threw water at me!" Trinity rolled her eyes. "You deserved it," she said, taking her bag off her shoulder. (Gotta go, by!)  

(Bye) "What'd he do?" Desmond asked curiously while sitting down. He laid his bag down beside him. "Yeah, what did he do?" Andris asked. 

"I was in the middle of the market place on a job and he came up and just started talking nonsense. I think he was trying to be smooth, but I was in the middle of a rather important part of my job and had little time for his antics. He was in my way and wouldn't stop talking long enough for me to get a word in edge wise. So . . . when he wouldn't stop talking I picked up a dipper of water from a market stand and threw it in his face." Eric frowned, "Hey, I was just trying to find a date. I made a bet and finding a date in one day isn't easy." Trinity rolled her eyes. "Well, he picked very bad timing and definitely the wrong person. Not to mention rotten pick up lines." Eric huffed. "I was out of practice!"  

Andris looked at Eric and just face palmed himself. "Idiot... of course it isn't easy! You don't just walk up to someone and ask if they want to go out on a date!" Andris said in an a slightly exasperated tone because of the story. Desmond nodded, agreeing to what Andris said. "Honestly, even I, a young man who is most likely younger that you know that you don't just walk up to a person and ask them on a date or use pickup lines."  

"Well, I kind of lost the bet under those terms,' he said sheepishly. "I was sure to win, but the other guy cheated. So, ultimate embarrassment and a free bath were my punishment. My friend, of course, though he was doing me a favor! The girl I was courting had just dumped me and my supposed best friend said I was far too lonely for my own good. Of course, I had refused to court anyone else, so he took matters into his own hands. He said I had to walk up to the first girl I saw and try to get her to go out on a date with me by the end of the day. I think that was . . . two years ago maybe."  

Andris closed his eyes for a moment then laid down on his back and sighed. "Well, how about another story?" Desmond looked at his feet and leaned his head back to look up at the sky. "Once I accidentally kissed a guy's wife and I got punched in the face," he said clearly. Andris's eyes widened and he sat up to hear the rest of the story. "So, tell us about it," he said. Desmond chuckled slightly and sat up straight before clearing his throat to speak. "My brother and I were just strolling down the market place, looking to see if any merchant had brought music sheets when Lakota, my brother, shoved me playfully and made me crash into a young woman a couple of years older than me. Of course, when I crashed I ended up accidentally kissing her and her husband practically tried killing me when he suddenly came into view since he had gone to get some flowers for his wife."  

Eric laughed, "Seriously?" He wrapped his arms around himself to keep from laughing more. "That is very embarrassing, not to mention dangerous."

Desmond laughed a bit and nodded. "After I got punched in the nose Lakota tried biting the man unsuccessfully. I was... seventeen at the time and Lakota was nine. I think what really made the man extra upset was that his wife didn't try backing away from me and instead thought that she was trying to kiss me back. At the time some things that were attached to my belt got stuck on her dress so she was holding my shoulders so she could try and get the two of us unstuck. After that though... my face was swollen for a while. That man punched me so hard that I swear I got knocked out."  

"Ouch," Eric said, grimacing. "I have only been punched once, and it was no picnic for sure."  

"Hopefully none of us will have to get punched in the face if an incident similar to that ever happens to any of us," Andris said while smiling. Desmond nodded then turned to look at Trinity. "Have any stories you'd like to share?" he asked. 

"Well, one time I almost got married on accident. I was out with my sister and we were supposed to go see if the priest's wife could come over and see my mother for tea the next day. When we got to the church a wedding was about to start, but the bride was late and things were hectic. We couldn't even tell there were people there from the outside. Unfortunately, the groom had never seen the bride as it was an arranged marriage. So, I opened the front door of the church to go inside and the groom's frantic mother thought I was the bride. She practically shoved me up the aisle, saying how much of an upset I had caused. The bride's family were shocked, but before anyone could say anything the real bride walked through the door. When she saw me going up the aisle she practically lost her mind. Called me some rather nasty things too. Her father had to bring her outside to explain and the groom's mother looked at me like I was some sort of demon. My sister found it amusing though. She said the groom looked disappointed I wasn't the real bride."  

Desmond covered his face with his hand as he smirked. "That must have been quite an interesting day," he chuckled, trying to hide his grin. Andris was grinning and said, "Wow, well, I kinda do feel bad for the groom. After all he had most likely been worried about who he was going to marry so when he saw you he must have been relieved since you're good looking despite being supposedly late. Then he realized your not his bride, heh. I feel bad for his mother too." Andris laughed wiping a tear from his eye. "Ah, that was quite the story!"  

"I swear the entire congregation was trying to kill me with their eyes. I felt bad for the groom, he seemed nice, but his bride was neither sweet or attractive. The mother was a woman of high standing and mortified beyond all reason." 

"Heh, i've been nearly killed before on purpose, but people definitely weren't trying to kill me with their eyes," Andris said while his grin changed into a small smile. He seemed to be in thought as his smile slowly disappeared as he stared at the ground. He soon blinked his eyes and focused again on reality, looking up at everyone. "I guess it's my turn for a story. I have quite a few so are there any genres any of you prefer?" he asked while looking at them all.  

Eric chuckled, "As far as I am concerned, anything that makes me laugh is good."  

Andris nodded and started thinking for a moment before he said. "Years ago when I was a small child I once had to go take a pig to my grandparent's farm. I had bought it from the market and as soon as I headed down the road to my grandparent's farm with the pig, it took off and started running to a large corn field. I chased after it for an hour till I could barely move. I had cuts on my cheek and feet from running through the field so when I finally collapsed to the ground the pig walked up to me. It stared at me for what seemed like a minute before it laid down on me. By then it was night time and my grandparents and parents were looking for me. When they finally found me they saw that the pig was laying on top of me while I was asleep." Desmond stared at Andris for a moment before saying, "What happened to the pig afterwards?" Andris shook his head and said, "Sadly... I don't know... I have a good idea though which makes me feel sick to my stomach."  

"Now that really was a long day!" Eric exclaimed.  

Andris nodded before laying back down again. "After that incident though I have never eaten pig again." Andris curled up beside his pack and sighed. Desmond small smile faded when he yawned. "Guess we better go rest. We have a lot of walking to do tomorrow," Desmond said as he laid down beside his pack. He wasn't tried at all but wanted to try and sleep like a normal person would. It wasn't until a couple of seconds later that he sat up and said, "I'll keep watch while you guys rest."  

"That would make me feel guilty," Eric said glumly. "Maybe it is best," Trinity said. She seemed to realize that sleeping wouldn't come easy to him for multiple reasons. Eric looked at her for a second then nodded. "Okay." he laid back. "You better not snore," he said to Andris in a whisper before closing his eyes.  

Andris smiled, his eyes closed. "Same goes for you," he replied. Desmond crossed his legs and looked up at the night sky, wishing that sleep would welcome him quickly although he knew it would not be possible. Desmond felt slightly relieved to have left that day not only because he knew that it would be a chance of getting to Lakota more quickly but because he knew the courting season had just started. He also felt relieved because he loved spring the best because of the way nature looked at the time of year.  

Eric fell asleep almost immediately, Trinity however was leaning her back up against a rock a short distance away, wide awake. She usually didn't sleep much, and tonight she had so many thinks to think about she doubted sleep might ever come.  

In his mind, Desmond was replaying the many songs he and Lakota had preformed. Soon when one memory finished Desmond remembered what Trinity had played on the piano in his house. Remembering the song made him feel a little more peaceful at that moment and he felt his shoulders become less tense. 

Trinity's thoughts were wandering in a similar direction, to her sister and their musical duets, then to Lakota who had seemed so eager to hear her play. She smiled a bit, thinking that her sister and Lakota might have been friends, both coming across as outgoing and confident.  

Desmond replayed the music in his mind and as he somehow was granted sleep he heard Lakota scream his name and he jolted awake. To him, it was clear and loud, like Lakota was screaming a foot away from him. Desmond knew though that his brother was not there. He felt a rising panic as he thought that perhaps someone who knew his ex was making him hear his brother's scream. He felt more panicked as he realized that his brother might somehow be in pain. Desmond sighed and held his head for a moment and thought, "It is probably just an illusion... he's not in any pain. It's just an illusion of some sort..."  

Trinity had slept for a short time before Desmond's stirring woke her. She looked over her shoulder, then forward again when she realized who had made the noise. She sighed very softly, trying to forget the dreams she had been having.

Desmond saw her awaken from her sleep and in a low voice said, "Sorry." After that he stood up and covered his mouth with his hand and tried to calm down.  

"Are you alright?" she asked softly, standing up and moving a little closer, stopping a few feet away

"I heard Lakota scream... and I can still hear him. I know it can't be though..." he replied quietly, his hand moving back down to his side.  

Trinity took a few steps forward and laid a hand on his arm lightly. "Sometimes knowing something can't be doesn't help to make it less real or less painful."  

Desmond looked over at her then back at the ground which he had originally been looking at. He sighed and ran his hand through his hair which appeared to be black in the moonlight. "True," he replied again in a quiet voice. (I forever am going to remember that quote. x3) 

"You are strong though, and I know that you will get through this fine. And I believe Lakota will too." She looked up at the sky, her eyes momentarily betrayed a sadness she was feeling. (Lol^^ It totally just popped into my head as I was trying to think of what she should say!)  

Desmond thoughts and Lakota's scream clouded his mind and he sighed again before putting a small smile on his face which was just the corner of his lips moving upwards slightly. "Thank you for your words," he said to her while noticed a look which he recognized in her eyes. (Make it into a giant poster with a drawing in the backrground! :D I want to do that now for some reason. o.o)  

"I just hope they help, even a little." She smiled briefly then moved away and sat down back by the rock. (I am glad it inspired you^^ That would be cool, go for it!)  

Desmond shook his head slightly and surprisingly Lakota's scream disappeared. He sighed and sat back down again, crossing his legs. He closed his eyes and sat in silence.(Okay, I will. ^.^)  

Trinity was unable to fall asleep again so she took a notebook out of her bag and started sketching. She started with random things, trees, a flower, a pretty stone, then started sketching people she knew or had met. She did one of Lakota from memory, adding his instrument to the picture for good measure.  

For some minutes, Desmond stayed sitting still. It wasn't until he had heard Trinity sketching for a while that he opened his eyes. He looked at the notebook curiously and stood up, sitting about two feet beside her. "What are you sketching?" he asked quietly. 

Trinity tilted the notebook slightly to show him. The notebook displayed two pictures, one of a devious looking girl and a nervous looking Eric, and the other of Lakota playing. "I tend to sketch a lot when I am bored or can't sleep," she said quietly. 

Desmond looked at the sketches and nodded, making a short "Hm" sound. "When I am bored or can't sleep I listen to music." He chuckled awkwardly after that then said, "Well, in my head that is. I remember music and try to relax."  

She smiled a bit, "Music in your head . . . Any kind in particular?"  

"Not really, just the songs i've heard of before like the songs you played today on the piano and the song Lakota made," he replied.

"Those were some of my favorite songs." she said. "My sister used to ask me to play with her for hours. She said it would help her relax, or sleep, or whatever excuse she could think of."  

"Heh, I make any excuse I can think of to hear Lakota play music and he always rolls his eyes while saying 'Just tell me if you want to hear me play music.'" 

"Does he attribute that to your being a nervous young adult?" she teased. 

Desmond rolled his eyes and leaned back, his arms preventing him from falling backwards. "Nope." He stared at the sky for a second or two before looking back at Trinity. "Now that I think of it, how come you were hiding in the shadows when Lakota and I met you?"

"I tend to be careful about how many people I socialize with, and there are a number of people I would like to avoid meeting" she said with a shrug. "I heard you coming and decided to wait and see who you were before letting you see me, or deciding you shouldn't' see me."  

"I probably would have done the same in a situation like that if I had the opportunity to hide in the shadows," he mumbled before he felt a small bug crawl on his hand. He panicked for a moment at the sudden touch of the small bug and he started shaking his hand around to try and fling it off. As he did that he lost his balance and fell over with a small thud. Desmond sighed and just laid there, staring upwards.

Trinity leaned over a bit, looking down at him, "Are you alright?" she asked, struggling to keep laughter out of her voice.  

"Yes, i'm fine," he muttered while lifting his hand up, a ladybug visible on it. If I was a normal person I probably wouldn't have felt this ladybug on me

"They say those are lucky you know," she said.  

"Really? Well then I'm probably going to get a bit lucky since it won't get off my hand." Desmond tried pushing the ladybug gently off his hand with his finger and it slid on to a blade of grass.  

"Maybe you will," she said, looking down at the ladybug with a smile on her face.  

The ladybug flew away after some seconds and then another one appeared beside Trinity and started crawling on her foot. "Looks like you're going to be lucky as well."  

"I wish,' she said, slipping her finger under the ladybug an letting it crawl on her palm. "His feet tickle," she said softly.  

"Hey, I wish too but I don't really know if this lady bug is going to make me lucky," he responded before sitting back up again.  

"I doubt it," she said. "I am sure it is just one of those tales that people like to tell and the superstitious like to believe. But, you can still be lucky all on your own." Trinity had moved over a bit to make sure she wasn't crowding him.  

"True," he said before chuckling slightly.  

"What are you laughing at now?" she asked curiously smiling a tiny bit.  

"There is this huge space between us right now yet you just scooted farther away just a bit." Desmond had to cover his mouth to prevent a laugh from escaping him. "I don't know why I find that amusing," he said in a muffled voice while chuckling still.  

Trinity couldn't help but laugh softly herself. "Well, I am still not sure how you feel about my presence so I am kind of playing it safe.That and I don't want to be in the way if you fall over again."  

"I'll try not to fall over again if a bug somehow ends up on me," he replied before standing up and walking over to the spot he had originally been at. "Well, I guess i'm going to go listen to music and try to see if that lady bug really was lucky."  

"Good luck," she said, looking up at the sky. 

Desmond laid down and surprisingly he did fall asleep for the first time in some many many hours.  

Trinity stayed awake for a while longer before falling asleep for a couple hours. She woke up before anyone else the next morning and quietly slipped away for a few minutes. About a half hour after she left Eric woke up, rolling over with a groan. "Ground is hard," he mumbled.  

Andris was sitting up and rubbing his eyes. "Obviously," he muttered while glancing at Desmond who was sleeping soundly, his breathing the only noise that he made.  

Eric glanced around, his eyes blurry. "I feel like something is missing . . ." He rubbed his eyes then sighed.  

"Trinity is no where to be seen," he said while yawning. "Do you think she went for a walk or something?"  

"Probably," Eric muttered, leaning back. "She's an odd one sometimes." Suddenly Trinity was standing near him, "Odd, hmm?" Eric jumped. "Whoa! You shouldn't sneak around like that." Trinity rolled her eyes. "I wasn't sneaking." She walked over to her bag and sat down. She had washed the blue out of her hair, leaving it dark. 

Andris chuckled while the two talked and Desmond opened his eyes, looking over at Eric and Trinity. He closed his eyes again and slowly sat up, stretching.  

Trinity busied herself with something in her bag and Eric looked over at Desmond. "Well, looks like we are all awake now."  

"Yeah," Desmond muttered quietly as he rubbed his eyes. He stood up and looked up at the sky. Andris smiled and said, "Desmond, you keep looking like some sort of prince from a play every time you look at the sky." Desmond turned to Andris and pulled a large piece of cotton from his ear that he had placed there so he wouldn't have to hear anything while he slept. "Eh, what did you say Andris?" he asked while looking sleepy. 

Trinity stifled a chuckle, Eric, however, didn't even bother trying. "Now I know why Andris's snoring didn't bother you!"  

"I wasn't snoring, Eric!" Andris exclaimed as he stood up. Desmond just stared at them before turning and picking his bag up, taking the other cotton out of his ear and putting it in the bag. "I had a feeling i'd be needing these," he murmured softly to himself after he closed the bag and put it over his shoulder.  

"Hmm, must have been a bear," Eric said with a smile. "Or you," Trinity said, shutting her bag and standing up. "Me?" Eric shrugged, trying to look innocent. "M, hm," Trinity muttered something, putting her bag over her shoulder and braiding her hair again. "Uh, you missed a bit," Eric said, pointing to a piece of hair floating against her cheek. She sighed, giving him a look that said 'really?" before tucking her hair back into the braid.

Desmond walked over to Eric and quietly whispered, "It 'totally' was a bear." Andris rolled his eyes and crossed his arms, a small nearly invisible smile on his face.

Eric blinked then managed and awkward , "Ah-hah." Trinity snickered in the background.  

Desmond sighed then walked ahead of them and said "I'm going to go wait ahead of you guys." He had many important things to think about.  

"Right behind you," Eric said. standing up quickly and grabbing his bag.  

Desmond looked over his shoulder then forward again and continued on.  

Eric jogged a bit to catch up and Trinity followed Eric at a slower pace.  

Andris was behind them all and his fingers were locked together and resting the back of his head. After about two hours a kingdom was visible off in the distance. 

"Almost there," Eric said to himself. Trinity tugged at the end of her braid, looking distant as she stared at the far off place

"Here in this kingdom we'll find people who work for Adara... they will see all of you with me and that means you will officially be involved. Are you all ready?" Desmond asked. Andris nodded, being very ready for their future to come.  

Eric nodded, deciding that a few more people who didn't like him in this kingdom wouldn't make much difference. Trinity nodded as well, looking like she had been deep in thought.

Desmond took a deep breath and continued on. Within a little over half an hour, they reached the kingdom. Five guards were on each side of the huge road that led inside so overall there were ten guards. They watched the four member group walk into the kingdom, one of the female guards eyeing Andris. Andris noticed her watching him more than the others so he hurried on forward.  

Trinity kept her gaze forward but Eric glanced from side to side every now and then, his curiosity roused by the guard who had been staring at Andris.  

(A ladybug landed on my sister today!) Desmond seemed familiar with the kingdom even though it was his first time being there. He headed towards what seemed to be the market place. A group of young woman surrounded a small stand that had jewelry on display. The women glanced over at the group of four and giggled slightly. Desmond didn't glance at them and continued forward. Andris glanced at the women and hid slightly behind Eric, not enjoying the attention.  

(LOL^^! That is so funny:) Eric smiled back at Andris, "Not happy with the attention of these fine ladies, huh?" he asked in a whisper. Trinity glanced around and saw a group of men and women, some of which were watching her. She immediately turned her head and looked in front of her again.  

(It was so tiny!) "No, not really," he replied quietly. Andris appeared less tense when they finally walked away far enough for the women to be out of sight. Desmond looked around to see if anyone had anything worth trading. He hand a couple of small thing in the small bag of his that he intended on selling

(I found one resting on my bed once!) "Hmm, lots of people would love to be in your shoes," Eric said. Trinity saw a few more people staring and held back a sigh. One woman seemed shocked at the sight of a girl with weaponry at her belt, and the man next to her winked at Trinity, earning a pinch from the woman beside him.  

(o.o) "I don't understand why they would," Andris muttered. Desmond glanced at the man that had winked and felt glad that the woman had pinched her partner for some reason. Desmond was going to turn and examine a couple of items on a small crate when an old looking man with white hair and a beard as well as a mustache yelled out, "It is a vampire! Hide the children! He's come here to drink and drain our blood!" Desmond didn't seem to react to the man's comments and he merely sighed. A group of men who had been drinking saw Desmond and pulled out some knives. The old man yelled again and said, "Not with knives, we need stakes! This handsome vampire will trick the young women and drink their blood!" Desmond turned around and suddenly shouted, "I am no vampire!" When he shouted his fangs had become visible. "Liar!" the old man croaked.  

(I felt bad making it move, it looks so comfy^^) Eric grinned, "You will!" Trinity rolled her eyes, "Relax already," she muttered to no person in particular. She was behind Desmond and noticed a woman who had half fainted in her companion's arms. She might have laughed if it weren't for the hostility coming from the rest of the crowd. 

(x3) The old man's eyes widened when he saw Trinity and he yelled out, "The vampire's mistress is here as well!" Desmond sighed and thought, "Well now it will be obvious to Adara that we're here." Desmond walked up to the old man and whispered, "Fine... I am a vampire, but don't you dare involve my companions in your stupid superstitions..." The old man shook and yelled, "Help!!"  

"Well, this just went from bad to a touch worse," Eric said quietly. "Well, their fear is on our side at least," Trinity said quietly. She saw someone in the crowd move toward the old man and fixed him with a harsh look. He twisted his hands together nervously then backed away.  

Andris nodded and muttered, "Yep." The group of men with knives started running towards them and he sighed before running quickly towards them in seconds. He took the mens' weapons away and was behind all of the puzzled men. Desmond held their knives in his hands and examined them as the men turned around and stared at Desmond. "You people just don't learn to listen," Desmond sighed.  

"Stubborn lot for sure,: Trinity muttered. "I thought they were lovely," Eric said with fake cheer. Just then a young man stepped out of the crowd, staring at Desmond. "See, the elders were right to tell us not to trust people like him!" Eric squinted then looked at Trinity, "Hey, isn't that . . ."He trialed of as Trinity nodded, frowning.  

"People like me? People like me?" he repeated. "You don't know me. I am an individual person and I am no vampire. I am nothing like how your... elders described 'people like me.' Don't you dare make an assumption about a man you have never met without getting to know them." Andris watched from beside Eric and Trinity. "I feel like that is the most i've heard Desmond speak since we left the kingdom," he mumbled.

"Well, I can see why," Trinity said. "I don't need to know you, you are all the same!" The man shot back. Eric stepped forward suddenly, "So, hey Zan. Long time no see." The young man turned around. "Eric?" He arched an eyebrow. "Yup," Eric said dryly. "Seems like you are making a fool of yourself, just like last time." Zan frowned. "It's no business of yours." Trinity stepped out from behind Eric. "Actually, it sort of is." Zan looked shocked for a minute before regaining his composure. "You sure choose to travel in strange company these days," he said coolly. Eric was about to say something but Trinity beat him to it. "Better than yours," she said, her voice calm, but with a strong undercurrent of fury. "Fine. Have fun with your fanged friend!" He wheeled around and disappeared into the crowd.  

Desmond couldn't help but hiss as the man named Zan walked disappeared off into the crowd. He felt very annoyed by his words. Despite Zan leaving there were still people with weapons surrounding Desmond.  

"Well, I guess it is time for us to go," Eric said. He stepped forward and grabbed Desmond's arm, literally dragging him behind him back to Andris and Trinity, shocking the people that he pushed out of the way in the process. "Well, it has been nice knowing you good folks, but we must be going!" ( Gotta go!)  

(Bye) Desmond was caught off guard when Eric dragged him back and he nearly punched him till he heard him speak. Desmond sighed and stood up straight once he could.  

“Sorry, seemed like a good idea though,” Eric said quietly. “Sorry, seemed like a good idea though,” Eric said quietly.  

"It's fine..." Desmond replied while glancing over his shoulder then back at Eric and Trinity. "Who was that guy that definitely irritated me?" He asked. 

"I only know him from some brief meetings," Eric said. "He rubbed me the wrong way too. Trinity sort of knew him though, right?" Trinity nodded. "Alexander. He was the son of my father's friend. Once they tried to get us to be . . . friends but it never worked out and when I left this area he wasn't too pleased with the way our relationship ended. He is pretty arrogant and has a low opinion of anyone who is different then him. Also, he is one of those people that thinks everyone likes him when almost no one actually does."  

"I can't wait for another encounter with him then," Desmond muttered. After muttering he held his head for a moment. Andris glanced at Desmond then turned to Trinity and said, "I absolutely want to walk up to his face and say that he is irritating... maybe even smack him for saying that stuff earlier."  

Trinity smiled at Andirs. "Well, last time we saw each other he was being a jerk about a lot of people, including my sister, but he was trying to be friendly towards me as if i wouldn't care so I may have smacked him, and he fell into a fountain of water. I hadn't exactly intended to smack him that hard but, oh well." Eric grinned. "I got to see that. It was hilarious."  

Andris smiled slightly. "I bet it was hilarious. I would be more than happy to recreate that moment." Desmond nodded in response to Andris's comment. "I too would especially be more than happy to recreate it," Desmond added.  

"Well, there is a fountain somewhere around here," she said jokingly. "overall, he is not someone you really want to get involved with in any way." Eric nodded. "Definitely not." Trinity looked over at Desmond, "So, how far are we from our destination?"  

"If my memory is correct we should be a couple of hours away from our destination... I suggest that we stay at an inn till we can at least form some sort of plan because we most likely will have to fight Adara and people associated with her," he replied as he crossed his arms. "This all feels a little too easy... and knowing her there is a high probability that something really bad will happen like she takes Lakota to a completely different country and we end up getting captured by someone."  

"Hmm, well. I could use a seeking spell to try to see what she is up to," Eric said. "Of course, doing that indoors would probably be best what with the hostility around here." Trinity glanced over at some people who were still gathered around. "Do you think an inn would be safe?" she asked.  

"It's hard to tell," Andris replied before continuing on. "Even if it were a high quality inn we can't guarantee that we'd be safe seeing as how that crowd wanted to kill Desmond and how everyone seems so hostile. I'm not sure if anyone I know lives here and if anyone I know does live here I doubt they'd welcome us into their home..." "Bribery?" Desmond suggested before sighing.  

"Well, there is one person," Trinity glanced at Eric. "My aunt lives here, and I am certain she wouldn't mind letting us stay with her."  

"We could stay with her for a short time if it's okay with her I guess." Desmond didn't want to impose on Trinity's aunt but he wanted to do anything that would allow him to save Lakota without many issues.  

"Well, she wanted to see me again. And she kept saying I needed more friends." Trinity smiled a bit. "Somehow I think she will count you three an improvement on my mother's idea of good friends."  

"That's good then," Andris said to Trinity as he smiled. In his mind he thought, "So we're all not just comrades but... friends? That's... that is great!" He hadn't really had any real friends for a while so when Trinity said "friends" he felt relieved.  

Trinity nodded. "She has been lonely since my uncle died, so she enjoys company when she can get it." Eric chuckled, "I recall that when she saw me she said loud as anything, Now, I approve of this one! Earning several gasps from your mother." Trinity nodded. "She likes to speak her mind. Her home is down this street a ways then to the right, sort of hidden in the trees. We could either go straight through town, or take the back path through the woods." 

"I say we go through the woods," Desmond said while Andris said, "The woods." They glanced at each other when they both had the same choice. Desmond felt slightly relived when he said woods. That probably meant Andris probably was thinking the same thing as him.  

Trinity nodded. She had guessed that would be their preferred path. It was certainly hers. 'Alright. She moved across the street, much to the dismay of the people nearby, then she paused to wait for the others before walking behind a shop and into the woods. "I feel sneaky," Eric said in a whisper. "Good sneaky though."  

Andris was walking quickly and his footsteps were nearly silent against the ground. He had a grin on his face and he quietly said to Eric, "I feel sneaky as well. Ah, this brings back memories."  

Eric raised his eyebrows, "I feel I shouldn't ask what kind of memories being sneaky brings back," he said, half joking.  

Andris chuckled and glanced over at Eric. "Heh, I don't know if you'd really like to know," he said to him.  

"That sounds complicated," he said with a chuckle. Trinity glanced back briefly, finding their conversation funny. She seemed a little less tense now.  

"Well, the memory of what I did is complicated," Andris replied. Desmond was just silent.  

"Must have been something!" Eric said with a grin. "You alright?" Trinity asked Desmond quietly.  

"Yeah, it was something! My ex comrades and I were on a quest and we had to be very stealthy and silent in order to complete our job," Andris said excitedly. Desmond blinked since he had spaced out and he glanced over at Trinity. "Oh, yeah..." he replied softly.  

"Sounds fun," Eric said eagerly. "And that is the yeah that rarely ever means , 'yeah'." She smiled but looked ahead again and didn't push him. 

"It was," Andris replied. Desmond smiled then looked ahead as well.  

"My best moment was when I had a job where I had to be the distraction! It involved lots of chicken feathers, everywhere!" Eric chuckled merrily. Soon they reached a very large, old looking house, almost like a castle. "Here we are," she said. "Now, I will warn those of you who haven't met my aunt before, she says whatever she thinks and will probably be totally honest and blunt in her opinions about anything and everything." She laughed softly. "She is very nice though. Also, she is a sorceress so her house might be a little bit magical." Eric grinned, "I can deal with magical." Trinity shook her head, "Of course YOU can." She smiled.

Andris glanced at Desmond who seemed to get a little exited when he saw the old house. He then looked at the house and took in the scene. "Wow," he said a little quietly. "Now this is just.... amazing!" Desmond said clearly.  

"It is a wonderful place," Trinity said with a bright smile. "My aunt, uncle, and cousin liked it out here. Sort of away from everything. I spent more time here than at my own home."  

"It must have been great," Desmond said softly as he thought of his own family. Andris smiled then exclaimed, "Well, i'm excited to meet your aunt!"  

"It was," she said, sounding a bit sad. Then, looking at Andris she said, "I am sure she will love all of you. She will probably start telling me who you all remind her of!" Eric chuckled. "Well, she already said I was handsome. I like her quite a bit." Trinity rolled her eyes playfully when Eric turned away

Desmond chuckled and Andris ran ahead slightly, eager to meet Trinity's aunt. It wasn't all the time that he revealed that side of his personality. He used to always be eager to do things and meet new people.  

"I guess we had better follow him," Trinity said with a smile. Eric laughed then jogged after Andris. Trinity maintained a calmer pace.  

Desmond walked after them, being ahead of Trinity but behind Eric and Andris. "I wonder what she will say to us," Desmond thought.  

When Eric reached the door just after Andris he knocked then stepped back. The door opened just a moment later. Standing in the doorway was a tall woman with dark hair and stormy gray eyes with the barest hint of blue. "Eric?" her voice was soft and somehow youthful at the same time. "Is Trinity with you, and who is this?" She glanced behind Eric and saw Trinity. Trinity had barely reached the door before her aunt swept her up in a tight hug, "Oh, Trinnie, I had hoped you would come soon," she said softly. "I promised, didn't I?" Trinity said softly, returning the hug. Her aunt then stepped back. "Oh, you have grown so tall, and pretty since I last saw you! " Trinity smiled, "And you are just as I remembered." Her aunt smiled then glanced at Eric, Andris, and Desmond. "Now, I know Eric, but who are these other young men?" Trinity pulled her aunt gently over to Adris and Eric. "This is Andris. Andris, this is my aunt, Elinor Devereux." Elinor smiled warmly and extended her hand, "Hello Andris, please, call me Elinor, or Mrs. Devereux if it makes you feel more comfortable, though I must say it makes me sound old." She laughed merrily.  

Desmond was kinda shy and standing off to the side of everyone, watching the introduction. Andris smiled and shook Trinity's aunt's hand. "I'll call you Elinor," he said in a slightly cheerful tone to her.  

"Excellent,' she said with a smile. "You know, he reminds me of my brother when he was young," she said to Trinity. Trinity chuckled softly then looked over at Desmond. Her aunt followed her gaze and smiled. "And this is?" she asked. Trinity smiled, "This is Desmond. And this, is my aunt Elinor." Elinor smiled, "Hello. It is nice to meet you Desmond. My, but you do remind me of my late husband. Very handsome to be sure." She seemed to sense his shy nature and didn't make any attempt to move much closer than she already was.  

Desmond held his hand out and said, "A pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Devereux." In his mind he worried and thought, "Maybe she'd prefer I call her Elinor... but me challenger Elinor just seems sort of strange. Eh, hopefully I won't make her feel old by calling her Mrs. Devereux..." Desmond shook his slightly then made a smile appear on his face for he was actually quiet happy to meet Elinor since she seemed like a kind woman.

Elinor shook his hand, "I am most pleased to meet you," she said warmly. Glancing at Trinity she asked, "Will you be staying for here for a bit?" She sounded hopeful, almost desperate. "Yes. And if it isn't a bother could my friends stay here as well?" Elinor nodded quickly. "Of course, for as long as they need." Trinity smiled, Thank you Aunt Ella." Elinor smiled, "It is my pleasure. I have been here alone for far too long! And your mother, bless her soul, she can't stand to visit this place, which you know of course. But enough chatter, all of you are probably tired. Do come in," she said, walking up to the door. Eric followed immediately and Trinity paused just for a moment to make sure Desmond was coming.  

Before he walked in, he said "Thank you Trinity," to her quietly then hurried after Andris and Eric. Andris still had a smile on his face like he had earlier.  

Trinity smiled, his words of thanks making her feel happy, happier than she would have thought they would make her. "While you are here feel free to look around and explore," Elinor said. "I will warn you that you might find some enchanted objects, but none that are harmful. Down that hall," she gestured with her arm to a hall on her right. "Are seven spare bedrooms, all on the right side of the hall." She smiled at Trinity. "You can have your old room back of course, dear." Trinity nodded, glad to hear that it was still her room. "The dining room is to the left through that door," Elinor gestured again. "The kitchen is right off the dining room with the old servants quarters. And the library and studies are all upstairs." She didn't bother waving her hand in the direction of the stairs since the entry hall they were standing in was directly facing a tall, winding staircase. "The third floor is mostly old things, memories and things I keep that I probably should have gotten rid of long ago. The parlor and sitting rooms are all opposite the spare bedrooms. My bedroom is on the left at the end of that hall." She was clearly enjoying telling them about her home. "If you need anything you can find me, or ask Trinity as she knows this house as well as I do. For now, you can feel free to find a room, any room that pleases you. And if you wish to eat I will have a late lunch ready in just a bit." With that she disappeared through the door to the dining room.  

Desmond remembered what Elinor said while Andris was pointing slightly in different directions, murmuring under his breath to remember here everything was.

Trinity smiled, seeing what Andris was doing. "Well guys, I guess you can just pick a room." She headed down the hall where the bedrooms were and Eric followed. She opened the third door on the left and walked inside, leaving the door open. Eric peeked into a few rooms before choosing the fifth door on the right near the end of the hall. Meanwhile, Trinity was looking at her room, amazed that her things were still there. Pictures, dresses, sketchbooks, and her music. 

Andris walked to the right of the hall and chose a room which he thought suite him well. Desmond looked through the seven extra bedrooms and chose one, walking into it. He sat down on the bed and started thinking of Lakota, getting back up again. He knew it'd probably be bad for him to be left alone with his thoughts when he was worried so he knocked on Andris's room that he chosen and Andris opened the door. Before Andris could ask if Desmond needed something Desmond asked him, "Do you know how to play any instrument?" Andris shook his head no.  

Trinity moved about, looking through some things. She noticed her old piano still in the corner and sat down slowly at the bench. She dusted it off with a rag and played a few notes. The song she and her sister had been working on was still on top of the piano, just as she had left it. Absently she began to play the beginning. As she played she began to remember the day they had played it all together for the first time. Little had they known it would be the last time they wrote a song together. A tear ran down her cheek as she remember her sister saying that they would have to make more songs, this one had turned out so well. 

Desmond had heard the piano being played and he was attracted to the sound of the piano coming from the room. Andris noticed the look on Desmond's face when he heard the piano so he shoved Desmond's shoulder lightly and said, "You should go and listen." Desmond nodded then followed the sound of the piano and sat outside of the room where Trinity was playing and closed his eyes. Desmond kept his eyes closed as he relaxed while he forgot about all the stressful things he had been thinking of.  

Trinity kept playing steadily, feeling more relaxed than she had in a long time. After a short time she sang along, the words that she and her sister had worked on. Her voice was soft, but strong at the same time. She hit every not clearly with no sign of struggle or shakiness. Had she known she had an audience she might not have sung along, but she was so distracted by the memories flooding her mind that she might have sung even if she had known. She finished the song and sighed softly. A few more tears ran down her cheeks. She began to play another tune, this one soft and almost mournful at times. 

Desmond was still and silent as he listened. He couldn't hold back the smile that had formed on his lips when he heard Trinity's singing. He let out a soft sigh when she began to play a new song, one which he had never heard of before.  

Trinity hummed along softly as she played. Then the song stopped and she sat back for a moment, studying the music sheets she and her sister had played to. Most of them were their own creations. Even after she had stopped playing she still hummed softly. (Gotta go soon, by!)  

Desmond opened his eyes and raised his head up expectantly before closing his eyes and resting his head back against the wall when she began to hum. (Bye.)  

Trinity hummed along, slow at first then merrily. She began to play a tune she and her sister had never finished. her sister had declared it would be the love song of the century and that she hoped to have it finished before she was married so that they could play it instead of the boring old wedding songs. Trinity smiled at the memory. The tune certainly had that romantic sort of feel, but it was nowhere near as solemn as the songs they generally played at weddings. Inwardly she decided that she should finish it, even if her sister wasn’t there to help. She stopped after a bit. Her sister had never been able to find the perfect ending but had jotted down some ideas that Trinity began to play experimentally.  

Desmond noticed that she was experimenting with creating an ending and he wondered if he should suggest something. It was hard for him not to since he loved the song that song she had played and he had an urge to help. Desmond took a deep breath then stood up and knocked on the door lightly; He couldn't resist the temptation to hear the piano clearly and see it right in front of him as well as help.  

Trinity raised her head and saw him through the partially open door, Oh. Hello." She smiled. "Come on in." Her fingers were still resting gently against the keys.  

Desmond walked in and stood beside the piano, glancing at Trinity. "I heard you playing the piano..." he said quietly. After pausing for a moment he said, "Your voice is really nice."  

Trinity blushed slightly, "Oh. Thank you." She glanced down at the sheet of paper she had. "I am working on finishing my sister's song. She had the words all done, and most of the tune, but not the ending." She looked back up at him, "Would you like to help?"

"O-oh, um yes, sure." Desmond thought to himself for a moment and thought, "Gah, why am I stuttering?" Desmond rubbed his eyes. "What is the song about?"  

Trinity couldn't help but laugh softly when he asked. "Well, my sister wanted it to be romantic, she hoped to play it at her wedding someday." She handed him the sheet of paper with the lyrics written down.  

Desmond chuckled as he read the lyrics. "I'm not sure if I can come up with... 'romantic' lyrics for the ending but I think i'll be able to help with notes. Although if I try to come up with lyrics it will take me four hours just to come up with one line." He read over the lyrics one more time and started thinking, looking like he was deep in thought.  

"Well, don't worry. My sister was very much a dreamer and a romantic. I doubt anyone can ever create lyrics like the ones she created." She noticed his thoughtful look and glanced down, playing around with some of the notes.  

Desmond nodded and looked up from the lyrics sheet when she began to play around with the notes. Andris had heard the piano being played and he left his room and knocked on Eric's door.  

"She mostly had something like this in mind," Trinity said quietly, half talking to herself. "But she was never pleased with how it came out in the end." Eric opened the door almost immediately, "Hey, what are you up to?" 

Desmond stared at the piano keys for a couple of seconds before moving up to them and placing his hands on the keys. He began to play a small part of what he remembered from song and then played a few notes as it came to the end. Andris chuckled then said, "Nothing really but I think Trinity is playing the piano. You should have seen Desmond's expression when he heard the piano being played. It wasn't anything spectacular but it was funny and immediately he looked like he wanted run over to the piano that was being played."  

"You have a good ear," Trinity said with a smile, moving over a bit to make sure he had enough room. Eric grinned, "I guess he loves his music. Or maybe Trinity is secretly a siren of some sort. "  

"Thanks," Desmond replied while smiling. "So... do you want the ending to come out quiet or loud-ish?" Andris smirked then glanced around before saying, "Want to sneak over there and listen to see if she really 'is' a Siren? Desmond is over there listening to the piano so we can go ask him for him to confirm it all."  

"Well, I suppose since the part before it climbs higher maybe a quieter, lower ending would sound best," she said, looking thoughtful. Eric grinned mischievously, "You bet!" 

"Hm..." Desmond played the piano keys softly and gradually got louder before he played the keys closer to the left quietly. Andris grinned back then quietly sped walked towards the room Desmond and Trinity were it. 

"Mm, that sounds good," she said quietly, half talking to herself again. Eric followed hastily, but quietly, coming to an abrupt halt against the wall just outside the door.  

"You try something," he said to her while taking his hands of the keys. Andris pressed himself against the wall and listened to the piano till it stopped and he could hear their quiet voices. He tapped Eric's shoulder then pointed towards the room and held his hand up near his ear to ask if he could hear.  

Trinity played the keys with the note going from lower end to high then she dropped down to quiet and went up slightly higher again. Then she replayed it a little faster so that the notes blended and made a pleasing sound together. Eric shrugged, holding up his hands and shaking his head.  

Desmond smiled then frowned and turned his head towards the door. He held his head up slightly and sniffed the air. "Hey, Trinity..." he said quietly while eyeing the door. Andris pressed his ear against the closed door when he heard Desmond speak. 

Trinity seemed to read his thoughts and nodded, stifling a chuckle as she glanced toward the door. "Well?" Eric asked in a whisper. 

Andris seemed to be concentrating hard before he whispered jokingly to Eric, "I think she ate Desmond!" Desmond walked silently towards the door then stood there and listened to what they were saying

"Ate him? Hmm, interesting theory." Eric joked in return. Trinity sat quietly, biting her lip to keep from making a single sound.  

Desmond stared at the door before smiling slightly. "Oh Trinity! What a beautiful Siren you are! Your voice is so lovely!" Desmond exclaimed, trying hard not to laugh. Andris's eyes widened and he looked over at Eric wondering if Desmond was joking.  

"I just knew you would think so," she said smoothly, making sure she could be heard. She barely contained her laughter. Eric raised his eyebrows, looking genuinely surprised. "Ah, well. . . " he never finished his sentence

"Do sing one more song before we go out for dinner like you asked me to please. You said 'Can I have you for dinner?' and I said of course so please do sing one last song," Desmond said. Andris's eyes stayed wide. 

"I suppose one more could never hurt," she said with a laugh, short chuckle. "She has to be joking," Eric said, forcing a smile. Suddenly he heard the piano playing and glanced toward the door again  

Andris opened the door and suddenly yelled out, "Don't worry Desmond, we won't let you get eaten by her for dinner!" When Andris opened the door, Desmond was laughing loudly. Andris just stared at him then at Trinity and felt his face go red from embarrassment. Desmond was laughing so much that he held his his sides which hurt slightly. 

Trinity laughed. "Don't worry. I would rather not eat him, not yet anyways," she said. "Well, you shouldn't scare a person like that," Eric mumbled. "After all, you never mentioned your exact heritage, so how were we to know you weren't a person eater?"

Desmond's laugh did not reduce to a chuckle; It stayed the same. "Oh man, you two look so dumbfounded!" He exclaimed.  

"Hah, well you would be too!" Eric said. Trinity got up and walked over to them. "Hm, I do find it almost disturbing that you two would actually believe I would eat someone," she said teasingly. "You cheated," Eric said in a sing-song voice. "Well, I think I'll go get my . . . thing, that I left." Eric mumbled something else before ducking out of the room. 

"I need to go check on my bag and see if the stuff inside of it is still okay..." Andris said while hurrying out of the room. Desmond chuckled and tried to suppress his laugh. "Well that was very interesting," he said to Trinity while using a sing-song voice like Eric had.  

"I doubt i have ever seen anyone turn such a deep shade of red!" She exclaimed. "Eat you indeed! Of all the ridiculous things for them to believe."

Desmond laughed more and covered his face with his hand, feeling just a tad embarrassed to be laughing at something that was so ridiculous. "Exactly!"  

"Then again, maybe not so ridiculous," she said teasingly.  

"Oh, really?" he asked jokingly while smiling. Desmond looked back over to the piano and then at the lyric sheet.  

"You never know,' she said with a smile. "So, do you want to keep working on this?" 

"Yes, I do want to keep working on it. After all I haven't done much so let's continue," he replied.  

She smiled, "Alright." She walked over to the piano and picked up the piece of paper, jotting down the combinations they had tried on the back. She looked up briefly and noticed the mirror on the wall across from her. She stared at her reflection for a second before looking back down at the paper.  

Desmond reread the lyrics after playing the piano some more and thought, "Hmph, i'm so relieved that I broke up with Adara." He stared at the lyrics again then began to play something on the piano after replaying the part of the music near the ending.  

"What brought that on?' she asked.  

"Hm?" he asked, realizing he had spoken outloud without meaning to.  

"Never mind," she said, turning her focus back to the piece of paper in front of her, though for a moment she just stared at it, not really reading anything on it.  

Desmond sighed and clearly said, "I'm glad that when I was dating Adara I didn't propose or anything because then this great song would have been there if we had a wedding. Neither of us would have deserved it to be played."  

“Well, I guess that is a good reason. Though, if you hadn’t broken up with her you probably wouldn’t have met me or ever seen this song. Nor would you be here right now.” 

"I'm glad that all of this, all that has happened right now has happened except for the part of Lakota getting kidnapped. I'd probably be under some sort of spell if I hadn't broken up with her." Desmond looked up at the ceiling then at at Trinity and said, "Thank you for coming along to help find Lakota."  

"You are most welcome," she said, smiling. "I had promised my aunt I would head back up this way anyway. And if it was my younger brother, I know I would be absolutely desperate to find him."  

Desmond smiled then sighed and said, "You're lucky that you have such a kind aunt."  

"I certainly am. I think my sister and I would have been lost without her. She, my uncle, and my cousin were more our family than my mother or stepfather. Of course, she likes to be an aunt to just about everyone." Trinity smiled. "I think she scared Eric when he first met her. She acted as if he were her own son!"  

"How was Eric's expression like? Heheh... the first time I brought a friend over to my aunt's house my aunt tried killing them because she thought they were a monster. That was when I was eleven."  

"Eric looked terrified! My aunt had insisted that if my mother force my sister and I to mingle with other young people we might as well do it here. Eric was a guest of my aunt and she took a liking to him." Trinity chuckled softly. "My mother had strange ideas of what constituted as a lady or gentlemen, and the other guests she invited didn't meet with my aunt's approval, which, honestly, is more important to me than my mother's. I think I was about sixteen at the time. My sister, my cousin, and myself played tricks on some of the guests we didn't like. It was a pretty extensive list."  

"What's your mother like? I take it she is different front your aunt based on what you've said about Eric, your aunt, and her?" He asked.  

"She is kind of uptight and particular. She married when she was young for love and had me, but my father died shortly after I was born and she married again for money and position. My aunt said that marrying for money wasn't a wise choice and ended up making my mother miserable. She was very pushy about my sister and I finding husbands quickly and making sure we had good connections and such. I think that was because of my stepfather though. He wanted me out of the house as quickly as possible and he wanted my younger sister to make a marriage that would make a good connection for him. My mother never stood up to him and usually agreed with him on everything, regardless of weather she actually agreed or not. After my sister died I left, but I assume my mother is just as unhappy as before, though she doesn't have to worry about marrying me off to please her husband now."

Desmond closed his eyes for a moment then opened them and asked, "Do you think i'd be able to meet your mother with Lakota?" Desmond then thought, "Ah, what am I even saying...?"  

"I am sure that would be possible," she said, looking a bit surprised. "Might I ask why you want to meet her?"  

"Well, I want to know the mother of the beautiful one and only Trinity." Desmond's eyes widened when he heard what came out of his mouth. "T-that– I did not say that!" he exclaimed. "Heh, and I mean it when I say you're beautiful." Desmond stood up straight and started looking around the room, turning he head slightly, his eyes still wide. He stared at the door before saying, "That was not me, well, it was but not me. That's not what I wanted to say!" Outside the door Andris was saying through clenched teeth, "Oh no! It left the bag!"

Trinity sat wide eyed for a minute then smiled a bit with a soft chuckle. “Well, I guess working on this song might have made you confuse with words you meant to say with the ones you were reading.” (Gotta go)  

(Bye.) "N-no, something or someone made me say that!" He exclaimed again. Outside the door, Andris's eyes winded slightly when he heard Desmond and he opened the door of the room. "Did something or someone make you say something that you didn't intend on saying?" Andris asked worriedly. Desmond nodded and Andris groaned, "Owe, it must be hiding in this room!" "What is?" Desmond asked. Andris sighed and said, "Something that I had in my bag." 

"What was in your bag?" Trinity asked slowly. "And why on earth is it here?" Eric heard the commotion and wandered back down the hall. "Anything interesting going on?"

:

Desmond looked at Eric nervously and said, "There is a strange creature somewhere in this room that made me saw weird stuff to Trinity." Andris ran his hand through his hair and groaned. "I don't know how to explain what was in my bag but just know that if you find a little unusual cat lemur looking creature please tell me so I can put it back in my bag. It's about as big as my pointer finger," he said while holding up his pointer finger. A small noise came from somewhere in the room and Andris glanced around.  

"Weird stuff?" Eric asked curiously. "That small?" Trinity glanced around the room.

"Yes weird stuff," Desmond replied quickly while looking around with Andris for the creature. "Yes that small and it was suppose to be sleeping in my house– I mean... Eh... Bag," Andris replied.  

Eric shrugged then began to look around cautiously. "House?' Trinity murmured to herself. Something seemed to shift in her expression for a moment then it was gone and she was busy looking for the tiny thing. Eric was having no luck and turned around when he bumped into something, or someone. "Whoa!" he exclaimed. Standing in the doorway was a slim young girl with blue eyes that, at that moment, were wide with surprise and fright.

Andris's eyes were wide for a moment because he thought Eric had found the creature. He saw the girl and quickly asked her, "Excuse me, have you seen a cat lemur looking creature that is about as big as my pointer finger?" There was a worried expression on his face as well as Desmond's

The girl stared at him for a minute then shook her head slowly. "It isn't over here," Trinity said from the back corner of the room. "Is it under the bed maybe?" The blonde girl glanced at the bed, looking nervous.  

All of a suddenly a tiny creature sprinted out from under the bed towards Desmond made him say, "Seem like another pretty girl is in the room." Desmond hissed after the creature made him say that and he tried to grab it but ended up slamming his face against the wall in an attempt to catch it. The small creature quick ran past the girl and Andris crashed into her. "A-ah! Sorry!" He exclaimed while quickly slipping past her. Andris ran after the creature that headed to the kitchen.  

The girl's lips parted slightly but she said nothing. Instead she followed Andris down the hall, either to help or to keep him from messing up the kitchen. "Hmm,I wonder how it works," Trinity mused.  

Andris glanced over his shoulder at the girl while he walked quickly around the kitchen, searching for the creature. Andris whistled and tried to lure the creature towards him when he suddenly saw it on the the ground just ahead of him. "Hey, you need to go back, you can't be out now," Andris said softly to the cat lemur creature. Desmond rubbed his cheek then rushed to the kitchen after them.  

The girl moved into the room slowly, making no sound. Eric and Trinity followed Desmond swiftly.  

The creature stared at him then, surprisingly, began to chuckle. It stared at Andris and Andris just narrowed his eyes at it and said, "Don't." The creature flicked it's tail and walked towards him then jumped on to his hand and sighed. Andris cupped his hands together and began to walk back to his the room he chose. Desmond was staring at the small creature and Andris said, "I apologize for anything that he may have made you say." 

The blonde girl frowned. "How does it do that?" Eric asked. Trinity slipped over to the blonde girl and whispered something. The girl smiled very slightly.  

"I have no clue," Andris replied. Desmond glanced at Trinity when she noticed her whispering something then followed Andris and said, "Why was that thing in your bag?" Andris looked at him then down at his cupped hands where the creature was and said, "I've had it with me for a couple of weeks. I'm trying to make it leave me but it seems to have a liking to me. I don't know how it made you say those things you said, but it isn't the first time. They once made this acquaintance of mine say some weird stuff about fighting."  

Eric followed Desmond and Andris, listening intently to what Andris was saying. Trinity spoke for a few minutes with the other girl then returned to her room.  

Andris put the creature away in his bag then faced Desmond and asked, "What did you even say to Trinity?" Desmond pressed his hand against his face and sighed. "Weird stuff that Eric probably said to a girl once," he muttered. Andris laughed and looked at Eric. "I think I know what he said, heh."  

"Must have been pretty bad," Eric said with a chuckle. "Luckily for him, i don't think he is one of the ones she would douse with water or punch in the nose!"  

Desmond groaned and slid against the wall and sat on the floor. "I think... I need to sit down for a bit," he muttered while he placed his hand back by his side. Andris looked at him curiously and asked, "Did you actually mean to say that to her and now you feel worried and sick slightly?" Desmond shook his head and replied. "I just feel worried about Lakota..." 

 

"Well, try not to worry too much. I know it's hard but that will just make you distracted and sick," Eric said. Trinity had moved to another room unnoticed and suddenly popper her head out the open door of a room at the front end of the hall on the left side. "Eric! Would you come here a minute?" Eric nodded, "Sure." He grinned at Andris, "Now I am in trouble," he said jokingly.  

"Good luck, don't get eaten," Andris replied. Desmond suddenly collapsed and Andris's eyes widened. "H-hey, Desmond!" He exclaimed while lifting him up so he was sitting against the wall again. Andris placed his hand against Desmond's head and muttered, "You have a fever." Andris lifted him up with effort and carried him over to his room. "Hey Eric, could you please ask for a small cold towel?" He asked.  

Eric nodded, looking worried. He said something to Trinity who went down the hall. Eric followed Andris into the room. A few minutes later Trinity appeared with the blonde girl. "What happened?" Trinity asked, her brow furrowing slightly in confusion and worry. The blonde girl nudged Eric and Andris, giving them a look that pretty much said, 'move'. She glanced at Desmond and shook her head slightly. She had two cool cloths in her hand and put one over Desmond's forehead immediately. Eric noted inwardly that she was very slim, but short, not nearly as tall as Trinity or her aunt. Probably no more than 5'3 or 5'4. "Will he be alright?" Eric asked nervously, not addressing anyone in particular it seemed. Trinity and the blonde girl looked at each other and seemed to somehow communicate without words. "We can't be sure," Trinity said.  

"He just collapsed suddenly and yeah... he'll be fine," Andris replied while suddenly pulling out the little creature from earlier out of his pocket. He poked the creature with his finger and it hissed angrily then jumped on to Desmond. Desmond stirred slightly and, almost magically, a little bottle filled with a liquid appeared in Andris's hand. "Probably have to give this to him when he wakes up," Andris muttered quietly under his breath.  

"What is it?" Trinity asked curiously. The blonde girl was staring at him closely, her blue eyes narrowed slightly.  

"Just a little medicine that I had in my bag just in case someone else or myself got sick. Seems like I was right to bring this in my bag." Andris placed the little bottle beside Desmond then picked up the creature again and put it in his pocket. Andris smiled reassuringly. "Don't worry too much. His fever should go down by tomorrow." 

"That's a relief!" Eric said. The blonde girl nodded slowly. "Oh, this is Isleen, by the way," Trinity said, gesturing to the blonde girl. "She has been helping my aunt out." Just then Elinor's voice sounded down the hall. "Trinity?" Trinity glanced at the door, "I'll go see what she wants." She ducked out of the room. "I have to check something, be right back," Eric said, going down to his room.  

"Ah- never mind," Andris sighed. "O-oh, um, hi, i'm Andris," he said to Isleen while holding his hand out for her to shake. He had forgotten to introduce himself.  

Isleen shook his hand somewhat hesitantly, holding it lightly. She nodded in acknowledgement of his introduction.  

Andris smiled slightly then scratched the back of his head. "Hey, I guess you've seen the cat lemur creature? I'm going to apologize ahead of time in case he tries making you say anything strange. Hopefully i'll be able to keep him from making anyone say anything..."

She ducked her head slightly for a moment then lifted it, putting three fingers against her lips and shaking her head slowly.  

Andris tilted his head. "You don't speak?"  

She shook her head, tucking back some hair that fell over her eye as she did. Then she mouthed, 'can't'.  

"Oh." Andris wanted to ask her why but he knew that she wouldn't be able to tell him why. Andris glanced around the room then looked back at her and quietly whispered. "Please don't let anyone know this but I'm a genie. Um... would you like to speak?"  

For a moment Isleen just stared at him, her head slightly tilted. Then she nodded carefully, making a crossing motion over her heart.  

He smiled slightly and said, "I'll be right back." Andris went back to his room and placed the little cat lemur creature in his bag and came back to the room. He closed his eyes for a minute or two when he entered the room then said, "Try speaking."  

Isleen bit her lip then said, "Like this?”

His slight smile didn't leave and he nodded. Desmond began to wake up and And is turned around and picked up the small bottle with liquid and held it out to Desmond. "Hey..." he said quietly while looking at the potion. "It'll make you feel better," Andris replied. Desmond nodded and held it in his hand and drank it quickly, not liking the taste.

Isleen didn't seem to be able to register that she had actually spoke at first. Then she suddenly smiled and hugged Andris tightly, "Thank you!" Then she drew back quickly, flushing slightly. "I have to go," she said. Then she left the room. Trinity returned just after she left and Eric followed.  

He was very surprised when she hugged hugged him and he stuttered, "Y-yeah, no problem," before she left. Andris still had a surprised look on his face. He hadn't been hugged in over ten years.  

"What was that about?" Trinity asked quietly. Eric nodded, glancing after Isleen.  

"Eh, nothing," he replied while chuckling nervously, hoping they wouldn't find out he was genie. In his mind he wondered why he had told Isleen that he was a genie. He wondered if he had somehow sensed that she couldn't talk. Desmond sat up in the bed and took the town off of his forehead. "Anything happen while I was asleep?"  

“Eh, nothing really. I think you almost scared Eric into fainting though,” Trinity said with a soft chuckle. “Men do not faint, “ Eric said with a sigh. A moment later Isleen came back into the room. She noticed that Desmond was awake and left again. “I think our food is ready,” Trinity said. (Gotta go!)  

(Bye) "Did you just say that Desmond isn't a man?" Andris asked Eric, knowing that Desmond had fainted earlier

Eric sighed, "No. But men pass out or something, they do not faint." Trinity rolled her eyes, "Sure. Whatever you say."  

Andris chuckled and Desmond just rolled his eyes as well. "Are you not man enough to say that even men faint sometimes?" Desmond asked.  

"They do, but saying faint sounds . . . odd." Isleen had walked into the room and made a slight tsking noise. "Is everything ready?" Trinity asked. Isleen nodded. "Well, anyone else hungry?" Trinity asked.  

Andris's stomach answered the question before his words did. Andris chuckled slightly and scratched the back of his head. "Yes," he replied. Desmond nodded.  

"Are you feeling alright to walk down to the kitchen?" Trinity asked Desmond. Isleen slipped from the room again, walking quietly down the hall.  

He nodded in reply and stood up slowly and stretched. Andris mimicked him and fake yawned, "The Dhampir Prince has awaken."  

"I am going to head down and see if I can help your aunt and Isleen, I will see you guys and his highness once you get down there," Eric said, smiling before ducking out the door.

Desmond sighed and looked at Andris and Trinity. "So..." He trailed off.  

Trinity glanced at Andris then over at Desmond. "You alright?" she asked.  

"Yeah, I was just... never mind," Desmond replied quietly. Andris glanced over at him then laughed slightly and shoved him towards the door. "Come on then! We can't have you looking so tired and statue-like!"

Trinity smiled a bit at Andris's cheeriness, following the two of them out the door.  

Andris suddenly stopped shoving Desmond out the door and slowly looked back at Trinity and scratched his head. There was a small nervous smile on his face. "Eh... Where were we going?"  

Trinity chuckled slightly, "Down this hall and straight across the entrance hall through the double doors."  

"'K... straight across and double doors," he said to himself. He continued to shove Desmond who seemed too tired to bother complaining that Andris was walking too quickly through the hall. Andris shoved Desmond to the double doors.  

Trinity ducked ahead of Andris and opened the door. Her aunt was standing nearby talking to Eric. Isleen was standing near Elinor listening. Elinor heard them come in and turned to greet them. "Ah, there you are. I hope you are feeling better," she said to Desmond.

Desmond gave a low chuckle and shrugged slightly. "I sort of am feeling better but Andris isn't really helping by shoving me around." Andris rolled his eyes and stopped shoving Desmond.  

"Well, you can all come sit down now," Elinor said with a soft laugh. She sat down at the head of the table on the far end and Trinity sat down on her right. "Isleen is joining us this evening," Elinor said to Trinity who smiled and whispered something to Isleen which seemed to make her relax. She sat down two chairs down from Trinity.  

Desmond sat across from Isleen and Andris sat down to Desmond's right.  

Eric came to the table a moment later and sat down across from Trinity. The food was already set out on the table and Elinor told them that they could take whatever they wanted. While Elinor mostly used her hands like everyone else to scoop food, occasionally she would use magic, generally when no one was looking.  

Andris ate the food gratefully just like Desmond and Desmond's eyes were slightly wide.

Trinity glanced there way a couple times, not eating much. Isleen kept her head down through most of the meal, but Eric and Elinor were chatting away.

Once he swallowed the food he was chewing, Desmond quietly said "This is the best food i've ever had," under his breath. Andris chuckled when he heard Desmond say that.  

Elinor heard and smiled. "Well, I used to cook all the time with Trinity and Lillian, and now Isleen helps."  

Desmond looked up from his food at Elinor and seemed to be embarrassed that she had heard him. "I'm not too... good at cooking. Neither is my little brother." He looked back down at his food and a sad smile appeared on his face. "Dad wasn't good at cooking either," he thought.  

"Well, Trinity and Isleen can cook and bake better than I can. I suppose some just aren't talented that way!" Trinity and Isleen squirmed slightly in their seats and Trinity looked at her aunt for a minute. No one could see her face but her aunt smiled and chuckled softly, winking.

"If we were to have a baking contest i'd get last place," Desmond sighed. Andris smiled slightly and said, "I'd probably not get last place." 

Trinity chuckled. "Well, maybe you will have to take some cooking lessons." Isleen's hand flew to her mouth as she stifled a chuckle. She still hadn't let anyone know that she had her voice back and was struggling to stay silent.  

"I'll probably have to take one in a different kingdom because I have a weird feeling that the old man from earlier bakes a lot. He smelled of flour, eggs, chocolate, and some other things. I'll probably get a private cooking lesson so that man doesn't try hitting me with a wooden spoon." Andris glanced at Isleen and noticed how she hadn't said anything.  

"That would probably be best," she said with a nod. "Somehow I get the feeling he would rather bake us then teach us." Isleen looked up briefly and met Andris's gaze. She lowered her head quickly then slipped quietly from the table and out into the hall. Elinor noticed, but was used to her leaving quietly.  

Desmond shuddered at the thought of the silly and slightly scare idea and said, "Yep." Desmond continued to eat his food till he finished.  

Once he was done eating Eric excused himself and asked Trinity to come see something. They left and Elinor smiled. "Well, since everyone is done I'll clear the table." She had hardly finished speaking before the dishes disappeared.  

Both Desmond and Andris said, "Thank you," before leaving to go back to their rooms. Andris was in a slight hurry to get back to his room and check on the cat lemur creature. Desmond calmly walked back and for some reason began to think of harps.  

Trinity and Eric were nowhere to be seen. Isleen was busying herself with doing some dusting in the hall outside the bedrooms, humming softly to herself as she worked.  

Just when Andris opened the door to his bedroom, the tiny creature shot out of the room and Andris dove just in time to catch it on the ground with his hands. "Got ya," he muttered while carefully sitting back up again with he tiny creature in his hands.  

Isleen had been startled by the noise and jumped slightly, her gaze quickly going to the floor. Her eyes were wide with a half amused, half puzzled look.  

Andris stood up then looked at her and noticed her wide eyes and he said, "Beware of this trouble maker," while holding his fist out. In his fist was a tiny creature, only its head visible because the rest of Andris's hand was covering it. 

"It's . . . odd," she said plainly, her voice still as soft as before

"He is odd, and very mean." Andris looked at the small creature and the creature blinked at him with a slightly bored expression. Andris suddenly said, "You have a pretty voice." Andris blinked and looked at the creature who grinned a toothy grin. "How do you force others to say stuff?" Andris thought while staring at the creature.  

Isleen tilted her head slightly, "I had almost forgotten what I sounded like."  

"Well, i'm glad you didn't forget your own voice." Andris smiled slightly then said, "I better go put him back," referring to the creature. Andris walked back into the room he was staying at and placed the tiny creature back into the bag, a two butterflies suddenly flying out of his bag. "N-no, don't you two leave also!" He exclaimed suddenly while getting a net from his bag and running after the butterflies into the hallway. The two green butterflies suddenly shifted into two cats with pale beige fur and green eyes. They began to run around the hallway and Andris was chasing them. Desmond poked his head out of his room and looked at the cats that ran past him then back towards Andris. 

"How many of these . . . creatures do you have?" Isleen asked, sidestepping to avoid the little cats. Trinity and Eric were coming down the hall and Eric nearly fell over backwards when one of them ran between his legs. Trinity moved against the wall. "Should I even ask?"  

Andris threw the net back into his room and said quickly to Isleen, "To be precise, I don't even remember." The two cats suddenly shifted into humans and one was a young man and one was a young woman. They both had beige hair and green eyes. The young man leaned against the wall and looked at Trinity and asked, "Courting anyone?" Andris looked frustrated then tackled the young man to the ground. The young man shifted into a cat again and meowed loudly. The young woman narrowed her eyes at the cat and shifted into a cat and tackled him as well. "You two should go back home! You aren't suppose to be here!" Andris exclaimed.  

Trinity sighed and walked further down the hall. "Well, I am just going to stand over here." Isleen glanced at the two cats with a renewed wariness. "They are shifters? Or are they cat people or something?"  

"They are creatures that are very intelligent and very annoying because they like to mimic everything they have seen or have learned about," Andris muttered while picking the two cats up and shoving them into his bag which seemed and appeared too small for them to fit in. Andris walked back into the hallway and let out a breath of relief. "Sorry about those two other trouble makers."  

"At least things won't be dull around here," Trinity said with a smile. Isleen nodded. Eric glanced at the bag, "I don't know Trinity, maybe you could use a date with someone fun like that cat, er, guy," he said jokingly. Trinity raised a singe brow, "I think not."  

Andris scratched the bag and was glad they didn't question where the creatures had come from. Desmond was looking at Andris and chuckled slightly when Eric didn't know what to call the creature.  

"Well, I've gotta go do something, see you guys later!" Eric had hardly finished speaking before he ducked into his room and closed the door. Isleen glanced at Trinity, "I am going to go for a walk outside." Trinity nodded. 

Andris looked at them curiously before Desmond said, "I'm going to go rest. I'll talk with you guys later about the plan," and walked back into his room. Andris sighed leaned his head against one of the walls of the hallway

"I was going to go work on something, so I guess you can feel free to do whatever you want," Trinity said, smiling briefly at Andris before going into her room. Meanwhile, in his room Eric was tinkering about with a new spell he had learned, and in the garden Isleen was sitting on a bench, running the toe of her shoe through the dirt and making shapes.

Andris nodded then left to his own room and spread his arms out before falling backwards onto the bed. He stared at the ceiling for a minute before closing his eyes.  

Trinity tried to rest, but as usual any kind of relaxation or sleep evaded her. Instead she crept up to the third floor, opening a secret door in the wall and going to her special place. This spot always calmed her, and she and her sister had loved retreating to it. Isleen was surprised to meet several guests coming up the path who wished to come visit. She turned them all away politely, knowing that everyone was probably resting. Besides, those were guests she knew neither Elinor or Trinity would be happy to see.  

Desmond laid on the bed, sleep not coming to him. It was always hard to sleep. He tossed and turned for a while before getting up and walking out of the room to go see the entrance of the castle-like building.  

Isleen was out in front just beyond the main gate talking to en older gentleman and his wife and son. After a few minutes they left and Isleen sighed in relief and boredom. Elinor was in the main hall straightening up some paintings that were crooked.  

Desmond glanced at Isleen when he saw her talking with the people who were at the main gate then he looked back at the castle. Andris was passed out on the bed, completely exhausted. Silently, the cat lemur creature crawled out of the bag and slipped into the hallway.  

Isleen was quiet for a minute then she noticed Desmond. "Do you need anything?" she asked. Trinity had come back downstairs and was talking to her aunt. They chatted for a few minutes then Trinity headed back to her room. Eric was still working on his spell. 

He shook his head and said, "Nope, i'm just seeing this... grand castle," He smiled then looked back at the castle. The small creature crept into Eric's room.  

"Well, it is certainly a nice place, and full of secrets too." She had barely finished speaking before she disappeared into the gardens. Eric was muttering to himself. "This is never gonna work!" He looked around for a minute, looking confused, then he went back to whatever he was trying to do.  

The small lemur creature skipped to Eric's bed and crawled underneath it and watched what he was doing. It made a high pitched squeal.  

Eric jumped. "What on earth!" He abruptly stopped his mutterings to stand up and look around.  

A low chuckle came from the tiny creature and it ran across the room. 

Eric opened the door all the way, his first though just to get it out of his room. He noticed Trinity going into her room and stuck his head out the door. "Trinity, that weird lemur thing is out again!" Trinity walked down the hall. "Where is it?" Eric pointed to where he had last seen it. (I have to go, I will probably be back in about an hour!)  

(Ok.) The creature had moved and was now on the bed, watching Trinity and Eric with its cat-like eyes. 

Eric backed up, closing the door behind him. "Do you think it will stay in there until Andris wakes up?" he asked. "I hope so," Trinity said, glancing at the closed door. If he doesn't' wake up soon we should probably go get him though."  

The creature started chuckling then forced Trinity to say, "Hey, do you have anyone you would like to court?" The creature let out a loud throaty laugh. 

Trinity sighed, "Well, I think I will wait away from here for Andris to wake up." Eric smirked, "I guess that means you aren't interested in me then." He put emphasis on 'aren't'. Trinity rolled her eyes then walked back down the hall. "She didn't say no so there is always hope!" Eric couldn't tell for a minute weather he had actually meant to say that jokingly, or not at all. "Maybe I should move too," he said to himself.  

The creature tapped the door with its paws and meowed loudly. It then began to hit the door with its tail and meow more. Andris stirred in his sleep but did not wake up. The creature suddenly yelled out, "DAD!" Andris opened one eye but then closed it in his sleep

Eric sighed, "I'll get Andris." Eric opened the door slightly then walked over to the bed and shook him lightly, "Hey, Andris," he whispered loudly. Trinity waited just outside the door.  

Andris stirred and opened his eyes and looked up at Eric. The tiny creature yelled the word dad again and Andris sighed. He suddenly rushed into the other room and opened the door and grabbed the tiny creature and said, "I said not to leave my house!" Andris seemed to be upset at the tiny creature and he stumbled slightly as he walked back to his own room and shoved the creature into bag. "Stay," he muttered before throwing himself onto the bed and pressing his face against the pillow.  

"Well, I'll see you when you wake up," Eric said, making a somewhat awkward exit. "uh, well, that's all good now," he said to Trinity. "By the way, do you happen to have that bag I left here last time?" Trinity nodded, "Yeah. It's out in the garden." Eric raised an eyebrow, "The garden?" Trinity shrugged. "Mother said it didn't look clean and you know how stubborn she can be." Eric nodded. "Let's go," Trinity said, walking down the hall and outside. Eric followed swiftly.  

Desmond headed back inside and passed Eric and Trinity. He looked almost like a zombie because he suddenly had the urge to sleep. He was not going pass out on that opportunity and he headed to his room before laying on the bed.  

"He looked tired," Eric remarked. Trinity nodded, "yeah." Eric glanced at her as they walked down the garden path. "You are kind of quiet." Trinity forced a laugh. "Just tired I guess." Eric shrugged, "Yeah, sure." Trinity could tell he didn't believe her but didn't care to talk much about it at the moment. She showed him the garden shed and he retrieved his bag inside.  

When Desmond slept he dreamt of music and the ending of the song Trinity and her sister had been working on. After what he believed to maybe be an hour or half an hour he got up from the bed and hurried to the room with the piano. He didn't want to forget the ending from his dream so he began to play the notes on the piano and repeat them over and over again. 

Eric checked the inside of the bag and seemed relieved. "Everything is here." Trinity smiled, "No one ever comes out here so it seemed like the best place to keep it." Eric grinned, "Well, it is kind of chilly out here. What are the chances of me getting some hot tea?" Trinity chuckled. "You can help yourself. The box is still in the kitchen cupboard, left side." Eric nodded and jogged back to the house. Trinity walked back in and was heading down the hall when she heard the music. She paused just outside the door, listening. She smiled slightly, enjoying the tune.  

Desmond felt too embarrassed to sing even though he knew no one was there in the room so he hummed the lyrics when he started from the beginning and played.  

Trinity listened intently, rubbing her arms slightly as she warmed up after being out in the cool air.  

When he finished, Desmond sighed and lightly pressed a few keys slowly till he began to pick up speed and play a fast song. His fingers danced on the keys and hum which soon transitioned into him quietly singing. The song seemed to be about a person who had lost all hope and was wondering if he should listen to his thoughts about turning into a forgotten ghost.  

Trinity half felt like she should somehow let him know she was there, but for some reason her body and her head didn't seem to be able to cooperate and she stayed rooted to the spot.  

Desmond had sort of sensed Trinity was nearby but his mind didn't seem to care as he continued on with the song. At the end of the song he played on the left side of the piano then ended the song with a loud combination of notes.

When he finished Trinity stepped into the doorway quickly. "Hey," she said softly

Despite knowing Trinity was near by, he jumped slightly when he heard her voice. "Oh, u-um, hey," he replied while looking at her.  

"That was good," she said, stepping into the room and standing near the piano. "And you sing well too." She smiled.  

"Ah, thanks," Desmond said while he slowly turned his head back towards the piano to prevent her from seeing his slightly red face. "So she was listening to me like I was listening to her," he thought

"Are you busy?" she asked suddenly.  

"N-not really, no," he replied again while glancing at her.  

Trinity was slightly confused by his sudden stuttering but chose to ignore it. "I have something I want to show you," she said, hoping he wouldn't be offended or think her statement odd.  

He nodded and wondered what she wanted to show him.  

"Alright, follow me," she grabbed his hand for a minute to pull him gently out of the room. Once in the hall she let go quickly and walked down the hall to the stairs.  

Demond followed after her,  

Trinity walked all the way up to the third floor. The third floor was like a big, circular balcony looking down on the second floor and some of the first. She walked over to a large tapestry on the wall and put her hand against it on a certain spot. The tapestry rolled up and the wall swung back to reveal a thin, gauzy curtain. "Come on," she gestured, stepping through the curtain.  

Desmond looked down at the second floor and continued to follow her. He stepped through the curtain, unable to hide his smile of excitement.  

On the other side of the curtain was a huge, round room with large windows. The curtains were pulled back and the sun shone in the room. One window served as a door out onto a balcony where flowers where growing everywhere. The room had two sitting areas with chairs and a table, and best of all, instruments were everywhere in cupboards, and cases. A piano stood in the corner of the room by the window. Just about every instrument one could think of was right there in that room. "This was a room built for my sister, my cousin, and myself," Trinity said softly, looking around the room that held many, many memories. A few paintings hung on the wall, most containing two or three girls.  

"It's beautiful," he said while he looked at the paintings, flowers, and of course the instruments.  

"Aside of myself and my sister, only my aunt, uncle, cousin, mother, Zan, and Eric know about it," she said.  

Desmond eye's were wide with wonder as he looked around. "Trinity, this is amazing," he said in a clear voice and he walked to the center of the room and spun in a circle while he looked at the ceiling.  

Trinity smiled, "I know. I spent so much time here before I left. I didn't want it to go unused for much longer." She walked further into the room. "I had a feeling you would like it.”

"My father would hate to see me so happy like right now," he quietly said as grinned and looked out one of the windows.  

Trinity chuckled softly, "Well, I am glad you are happy." She walked over to a window and looked out at the woods and flowers. "I don't think I am going to leave her again," she said, half to herself.  

*Supposed to be leave here, not her 

Desmond looked down at his feet and thought.

Trinity glanced over at him, wondering why he was suddenly silent.  

Desmond shook his head then scratched it and chuckled slightly. "Heh... I spaced out again."  

"You do that a lot," she said with a soft chuckle and smile. "But then, so do I at times."  

"I think i've been spacing out a lot just because i'm worried. Although I use to space out a lot anyways." Desmond smiled slightly.  

She smiled. "Well, I have no excuse except that I get caught up in my thoughts."  

"To me, my mind feels like a jumbled mess of thoughts, stress, and music."  

"Are all your thoughts and stress related to what happened to Lakota?" she asked. "or are there other things bothering you?"  

Desmond glanced at her before looking over at the window to consider if he should answer truthfully. "Other things," he said simply.  

"Ah," she said, guessing that he wanted to keep whatever else was bothering him to himself. "Well, at least once you have Lakota back some of the stress will alleviate."  

"That'll be great once he's back..." Desmond murmured before his eyes suddenly widened as he heard someone speaking to him. He frantically looked around then said, "Hey... we should head back downstairs now. . . “

She nodded, "Are you alright?" she moved toward the door as she spoke.  

"To be honest... no." At that moment a man in his mid forties appeared right behind Desmond and in a deep voice said, "Desmond, where is my son?" Desmond's eyes widened and he turned around quickly. "D-dad..." The man who was Desmond's father narrowed his eyes and said, "You're no son of mine. Now then, where is my song Lakota?"  

Trinity blinked once slowly, trying to adjust to the fact that a strange man, apparently Desmond's father, had just appeared out of nowhere. Once she had somewhat grasped who he was and that he was there she stood quietly, not sure weather to stay or leave.  

Desmond backed up slightly and nudged Trinity for her to leave. Desmond's father looked over Desmond's shoulder at Trinity then hit Desmond across the face. Desmond winced slightly and rubbed his cheek. "Where," his father paused for emphasis, "is my son?" "I-i'm trying to get him right now..." Desmond replied quietly. His father frowned and said, "It doesn't seem that way," before smacking him across the face again.  

Trinity disappeared. But she never actually went through the door, she very literally disappeared right where she had been standing. 

Desmond narrowed his eyes but looked sideways at the ground. "I'll bring him to see you when I rescue him." His father sighed and said, "Very well... His mother is worried about him so you better make it quick or you're dead. O will tell your brother if you mess up that you... are on a trip.”

The room was silent, and seemingly empty except for Desmond, his father, and a black cat beneath a plant in the corner.  

Desmond nodded and his father disappeared just like how he had appeared into the room. Before his father left though he had cut Desmond's cheek with a small dagger. Desmond stared at the ground and rubbed the blood that was sliding down to his chin.  

A few minutes later Trinity was next to him again. She dabbed gently at the cut on his cheek with a cloth, staying silent.  

Desmond closed his eyes and turned his face only slightly away. He allowed her to dab at the cut with the cloth.  

“Sorry if it hurts,” she said softly, taking her hand away once the bleeding had stopped. “I don’t think it will scar.”

Desmond opened his eyes again and said, "It's fine... and thank you again Trinity."  

"It's alright," she said with a slight half smile. "I know what it feels like anyway."  

Desmond sighed and said, "That's not too good if you know what it feels like.."  

She shrugged, "I survived. And everything more or less worked out in the end."  

Desmond spaced out again before suddenly saying, "You're cool." He blinked after he said that then walked over to one of the instruments in the room.  

Trinity raised an eyebrow, looking a bit confused. She shrugged slightly to herself, twirling her braid around her finger, something she generally did when she was thinking and couldn't seem to keep still.  

Desmond stared at the instrument for a bit before walking up to the piano. He imagined Lakota playing it while he closed his eyes. 

Trinity watched for a minute then walked over quietly, glanced from the piano to the nearest painting on the wall. The painting contained two girls, one was Trinity when she was younger, the other girl had flaxen blonde hair and blue eyes. Both were smiling, glancing at each other with a knowing look.  

He opened his eyes after some seconds and asked, "May I play the piano or no...?" There was a sort of empty look in his eyes that hadn't been there before his father appeared.  

"Of course you can," she said with a soft chuckle. "I wouldn't dream of bringing you into a room full of instruments, only to tell you couldn't play them."  

A small smile appeared slightly at the edge of his mouth and he sat down on the chair in front of the piano before placing his fingers on the keys. He began to play a slow song that was light and soft sounding. His throat had a burning sensation for some reason as he played.  

Trinity leaned against the wall, smiling slightly, her thought drifting back and forth. 

When he finished he began to play the song Trinity and her sister had been writing together.  

Trinity listened intently, glancing out the window ever now and then. Lots of memories surfaced whenever she ;listened to the song, some she had almost forgotten.  

Desmond wanted to keep his mind from thinking of his father so he began to sing the song. He didn't really care of it was suppose to be a romantic song and he continued on singing and playing

Trinity's smile grew a bit brighter when he started to sing. She was glad that he felt comfortable enough around her to do so. She hummed along softly once in a while, so caught up in her thoughts once more that she barely realized she was humming at all.  

When the song came to the ending he began to play the bit of the song that was from his dream but he mixed it with what Trinity had suggested to do when they were playing the other piano. 

Trinity 'zoned in' once again, listening closely and liking the way the tunes blended together and flowed with the rest of the song.  

Desmond completed the song then covered his face with his hand as he began to quietly laugh in embarrassment.  

Trinity bit her lip to hide her smile but failed and a soft chuckle escaped. "That was nice," she said.  

He began to laugh more and said, "Yes, me playing the piano was nice. My voice... to me my voice sounded horrible!"  

"You aren't horrible," she said, trying to stifle a laugh. She found that she was rarely able to not laugh when he was laughing. 

His face was slightly red and he couldn't stop laughing. "Oh, anyone help me!" He exclaimed while trying to stop laughing and hide his embarrassment.  

"You may be beyond help," she said, chuckling softly and moving a little closer to the piano.  

Desmond smiled and ran his hand through his hair and closed his eyes tightly before opening them and looking at Trinity. He suddenly grinned and he had to look away and cover his face as he began to laugh again. "Why am I laughing?"  

"I don't know, but unless you stop I am going to start, then you will really have a problem!" She smiled, biting her lip again to stop another round of laughter.  

Desmond tried to play the piano and stop laughing but he laughed more as he failed to play because of his laughter.  

Trinity started laughing, sitting down on the opposite end of the long piano bench. After a minute she managed to gain some control and played a few notes to try to focus on something else.  

Desmond managed to soon stop laughing but he ended up with having a smile on his face. He held his head with one hand and played the piano with one hand, making a sort of skipping pattern on the piano. 

Trinity did something similar on the other side of the piano with lower sounding notes, still smiling.  

Desmond skipped some more before playing with his other hand as well. His fangs were visible when he grinned

Trinity once again did something similar, changing it up a bit at the end to harmonize.  

Desmond continued playing when Andris's voice said, "You two are amazing." Desmond continued to play and he glanced over his shoulder at Andris before saying, "Thanks."  

Trinity nodded slightly, though she was rather intent and didn't say anything because she was so focused.  

Desmond turned his head back to the piano and he began to play to the far right of the piano with his right hand and between the center and end with his left hand.  

Trinity played softer notes that blended and harmonized at different times.  

Desmond felt lost in the music as they both played and his eyes seemed to no longer have an empty look. Andris left after some minutes.

Trinity kept up what she was doing, feeling more comfortable and relaxed than she had in a long time. Her eyes, which were usually gray and blue in equal parts were more blue now, something that generally only happened when she was happy. 

Desmond began to slow down his playing before he suddenly stopped. His eyes looked slightly clouded and he was holding his head with one hand. 

"Are you okay?" Trinity asked, touching his shoulder lightly with one hand.  

He glanced at her before quietly saying, "I'm going to go lay down... excuse me." Desmond silently stood up and headed downstairs.  

Trinity sighed, worried over his odd behavior. For a while she was quiet, thinking about many things. then her aunt joined her, wanting to hear about their trip. Trinity told her aunt about the trip then went downstairs to help her with some things. Isleen found them a few moments after they came downstairs. "Some people are here to see you Miss Elinor, and you Trinity." Elinor frowned, "Hmm, whoever is it?" Isleen looked like she was trying to sound civil when she said, "The Blackthorns." Trinity sighed and her aunt looked a little less than pleased. "I suppose we must see them." Eric had just been entering the room and heard. "Yikes, already?" Trinity nodded. "Already." "Let them in Isleen," Elinor said. A few minutes later the Blackthorns were escorted into the sitting room. Eric and Isleen stayed with Elinor and Trinity. The Blackthorns consisted of Zan, from the market place, his father and mother, and his rather absent minded brother, Harry. The four of them sat down, surveying the room. After the normal pleasantries there was an awkward silent until Lady Blackthorn said, "So nice that you are back Trinity, dear." Trinity tried not to cringe when she said 'dear'. "Thank you," she said, politely but without warmth. "Do you plan to stay?" she asked. "No more of these journeys of yours?" Lord Blackthorn added. "I am not sure yet," Trinity said, glancing at Isleen and Eric. Eric was staring at Zan and Harry with a hard to read expression.  

Desmond was laying down in his bed and he suddenly exclaimed, "The cat lemur!" Andris who had been sleeping again suddenly ran out of his room to Desmond's and the tiny cat lemur creature ran towards Trinity and ran around her feet. Andris looked up at the guests, but quickly ignored them and scooped up the cat lemur into his arms.  

"What on earth!" Lady Blackthorn exclaimed indignantly. "A pet," Trinity said quickly, "It's . . . exotic." Lord Blackthorn didn't seem pleased and huffed. Zan had gone a shade paler and seemed very uncomfortable. Elinor spoke up. "Well this has been a lovely visit, I hope you will send our regards to your sister Lady Blackthorn." Lady Blackthorn rose stiffly and Lord Blackthorn followed. They left the room with a curt nod to Elinor. Harry wandered after them, looking dazed. Zan followed, but not before he slipped a piece of paper under vase on the table nearby. Isleen made no move to show them out since they were already half way to the door. Eric was chuckling, covering his mouth with one hand. Before going out the door Lady Blackthorn turned and said, "Good day Elinor. My sister will love to hear that Trinity is back, and with so many . . . friends," she said the last word with a touch of disdain in her tone. Trinity forced a smile and Elinor said,"Good day!" While Lady Blackthorn had been speaking Trinity had picked up the piece of paper off the table and put it in her sleeve.  

Andris was holding the cat lemur creature tightly and he glanced at Eric and quietly asked, "Was that the... Zan guy?" Desmond came out of his room quickly and walked past everyone till he left outside in case he got more sick than he felt. Andris was surprised by Desmond's speed since he was only walking.  

Eric nodded. "Yeah. His parents have been friends of Trinity's family for a long time, and now that she is back there will be lots of questions and everyone will want gossip. Not to mention that there are some things that are . . . unsettled between the two families." Isleen frowned and left the room to go into the kitchen. Trinity moved away from the group and slipped the note out of her sleeve. She read i quickly, her brow furrowed in concentration. Then she shook her head and walked outside.  

"Oh..." Andris replied while nodding. Outside, Desmond over to a tree and placed his hand against it and leaned forward. 

Eric sighed, "Nothing good happens when he is around." Trinity went to the garden and returned about ten or fifteen minutes later. She was preoccupied and almost didn't notice that Desmond was there. She jumped slightly when she saw him because she hadn't been expecting it. "Are you sure you are alright?" she asked worriedly.  

"I need to get Lakota back..." He replied while lurching forward after he spoke. A small bead of sweat formed on his forehead and he took in a sharp, quick, breath.  

"Making yourself sick over it won't help," she said softly, playing a hand lightly on his back. "You need to try to calm down just a bit. Once you give us your plan we can get started."  

Desmond held his head with one hand and quietly said, "Even if I tried telling you guys my plan, Lakota would most likely get killed on the spot. She'd probably kill him right away." 

"What if someone could get into her home unseen and try to figure out where he was first?"  

"If we did that how would one of us get out safely again? Once you take a step into her home you're immediately in danger even if you don't know it." Desmond sighed then muttered, "Her stupid followers will make sure we can't even walk in so we'll probably have to disguise ourselves." 

"What about if someone got in, say, as an animal? Maybe one or two people?"  

"She'd probably keep them as a pet or have her chefs prepare them for her first course." Desmond took in a sharp breath again and shivered before quickly walking off into the woods. "I need to take a walk," he muttered while holding his head.  

"Someone is depressed," a voice said behind Trinity. Trinity jumped slightly. "I wish you wouldn't do that," she said without turning around. "It makes things more fun," the voice said lightly. "Anyway, are you going to give me a chance?" Trinity sighed, "Maybe. We'll see." The person behind her chuckled. "Well, I guess that will have to be good enough for now." Trinity nodded. "Well then, I will see you later," the voice said,  

Desmond continued on his way and walked around the forest. When he had stopped to look at some mushrooms, he felt the warm breath of someone behind him. Desmond turned around quickly and was about to hit whoever was behind him when the person hit him in the chest and knocked the air out of him. He fell over and grunted in pain as he quickly got up but was kicked to the ground. "You can't even come up with a simple plan, can you? I'll definitely get rid of you once my son is back," Desmond's father said. Desmond felt a sharp and cold knife cut his skin and he let out a short scream. His tolerance to most pain was above normal and the knife his father had used to cut him with was not a normal one. Desmond felt his father kick him hard till he could barely even stand up. "D-dad... Stop," Desmond said through clenched teeth. His father looked down at him and said, You're no son of mine," before stabbing his arm with the knife. His father left the knife there and disappeared in an instant.  

"Wait, did you hear that?" The voice came again and suddenly Zan dropped out of a tree, landing on both feet. "Yes," Trinity said with a puzzle look. "Should we go see?" he asked. Trinity nodded and let him take the lead in the general direction of the sound.  

Desmond let out a curse and he tried to get up but couldn't. He laid there and watched as the blood soaked his shirt. Desmond pushed himself up and let out a loud curse word as he felt a lots of pain in his side. He took a deep breath and tried to sit himself up.  

Zan walked through the trees and saw him. “Oh. It’s him.” Trinity gasped slightly and walked over to him. “What on earth happened?” She winced when she saw the blood. Zan stood nearby, hanging back.  

Desmond narrowed his eyes when he saw and heard Zan but then he closed his eyes and clenched his teeth for a few seconds. "It was some... man. Some fanatic guy who said he wanted to get rid of impure creatures." He spoke. He didn't want Zan knowing that it was his father, a vampire, who hurt him. The knife was still in his arm and it hurt too much to reach over and pull it out. "Hey Trinity, could you pull this knife out please?" He asked.  

Trinity seemed to gather why he had been talking about some fanatic and just nodded. She put on hand on his arm above the knife and pushed down enough that when she pulled the knife out she wouldn't pull his arm with it. Using her other hand she withdrew the knife as swiftly and carefully as possible. After that was done she tore a strip off the end of her skirt and wrapped it tightly around the knife wound to stop some of the blood flow. (I have to go, but will probably be on again alter tonight)  

(Okie.) He let out a deep breath when she pulled the knife out and he just mumbled the words, "Thank you so much." He felt sort of dizzy and he kept his eyes closed as he breathed.  

Trinity glanced down at the knife then frowned, pushing it under some leaves. She tore off another strip of her skirt. "Zan, take this and soak it down by the stream," she said. Zan hesitated only a moment before nodding and taking the strip of cloth. He returned a few moments later and handed it to her before retreating once more. Trinity laid it against his injury to soak up some of the blood and keep it from soaking into the bandage or his clothes to much. "Zan, would you please go tell Eric what happened?" Trinity asked because she thought he should know, but also because she wanted Zan to go before he started asking questions, or saw the unusual knife. Zan nodded with a slight sigh, heading back to the house. Thankfully, it would be a short trip.  

When Zan left, Desmond quietly said, "It was my father." 

"I had a feeling,' she said. "I assumed you wouldn't want him to know that though." 

"Yeah," he mumbled before forcing himself to sit up against a tree.  

Trinity scooted back to give him room then moved forward a bit once he was settled back. She glanced at his arm and was relived that the blood wasn't bleeding through the makeshift bandage too badly

"Coming out here was probably my fault but either way he probably would have stabbed me so I guess it's good that I came out here and I wasn't inside the house." 

Trinity frowned. "I wish people weren't like that sometimes." She spoke quietly, mostly to herself. "How are you feeling?" she asked, looking up at his face.  

"How am I feeling...?" He asked himself before saying, "I feel so shaken up that I swear I might throw up. "  

She winced, "Oh. That bad, huh?" She tucked the torn hem of her skirt under her knees, shifting slightly so that she was more comfortable. "Do you need anything? A drink or something?"  

"A drink would be nice... but I don't want to bother you. After all, you already had to deal with my singing," he chuckled, wincing slightly because of the pain of moving a bit.  

She laughed. "It's no bother. Besides, you had to deal with my singing, and my playing." She stood up, shaking leaves off her skirt. "I'll be right back." She disappeared into the trees and returned moments later carrying a flask of water. She sat back down by him and handed him the water. "Here you are."  

"Thank you," he replied as he took the flask of water and took a small sip. "I got to enjoy your singing, not deal with it as if it were some sort of terrible noise like my own voice. Your playing is nice as well and I know for a fact that my playing is better than my horrible voice." Desmond drank more of the water before quietly chanting, "Zan, zan! He isn't man! He is just a little lamb that I will devour because i'ma super scary vampire!"  

Trinity bit back a smile, "You two definitely didn't get off on the right foot. Not that it is any fault of yours of course. He didn't used to be that way though," she said, looking distant for a moment. "He used to be . . . nice."  

Desmond chuckled slightly, still wincing as he chuckled. "To me, it seems like everybody is changing so quickly," he said softly while his eyes lost their alive look when he said that. Somehow in a couple of seconds, Desmond got up and hurried over behind a tree and vomited, out of sight from Trinity. "Seems like i'm getting sick because i'm stressing myself," he said in a slightly loud voice. "I'm such an idiot, heh..." Desmond wiped his mouth before slowly walking back next to Trinity. He leaned against the tree and clenched his teeth; his fangs were slightly visible. "I don't know if it's my Damphir instincts, but I think you got mushy feelings for Zan or at least used to and still sort of have 'em."  

Trinity raised both eyebrows. " He was more or less engaged to my sister. We were good friends, but I never loved him that way. When my sister died, my father tried to push me to marry him instead. The entire marriage was sort of a deal between his family and mine. But I refused to do it and my step-father was very angry with me. Very, very angry. It was for the best that I left when I did." She rubbed her sleeve over her wrist, looking like she was remembering things.  

"My mistake," he replied softly before completing falling so he sat against the tree. When he landed on the ground he just kept his eyes closed like he was sleeping. "I'm going to disappear after we get Lakota back." He mumbled while resting his head against the tree.

"Disappear?" she repeated slowly. "And just how to you plan on doing that?" She moved sideways a bit so she was facing him.  

He raised a finger to his closed lips before saying, "It's a secret." After saying that he opened his eyes and stared at the blood on his arm. "One secret that only one person in the world would be happy about."  

"That really doesn't sound very good," she said, tilting her head slightly. As she tilted her head a wisp piece of hair came out of her neat braid and tickled her nose, making her scrunch up her nose for a minute before pushing the hair back.  

He looked at her and smiled before closing his eyes again. "That makes sense that it doesn't sound good," he said quietly, his smile still sort of on his face.  

"And why are you smiling?" She asked curiously.  

"I'm not sure," he replied while his smile seemed to get wider. Desmond shifted slightly so he sat up more straight than before. "Think you could teach me any recipe before we leave to get Lakota? Lakota would definitely appreciate it since he'd get to try something knew and better tasting than what I make." Desmond sighed then shook his head and began to think of how they could get to Lakota. He imagined the layout of Adara's home and tried to think of where in her home Lakota was.  

"Sure," she said with a soft chuckle. She became pensive for a moment then said. "There might be a way you could see where Lakota is without actually being there."  

HIs eyes widened for a moment before he remembered she said 'might.' His eyes lids lowered and he said, "Really?"  

"Yes. I don't know if you have ever seen a seeing ball. But usually it will show you whatever you ask to see." She reached into her bag and withdrew a medium sized, round, glass ball that looked surprisingly sturdy. "You could always give it a try."  

He stared at the glass seeing ball for a minute. "I'll try if it means I can know the condition of Lakota and I can know if he's okay..."  

She nodded and handed it to him, holding it carefully on her outstretched palm. "All you have to do is ask it to show you Lakota, just like you would speak to a person."

"Okay..." He stared at the glass ball and said, "Please, show me Lakota." He bit the inside of his lip slightly while he waited for what would happen. An image of Lakota suddenly showed and Desmond could see him playing a cello beside a piano. He couldn't tell who the piano was but he could tell Lakota seemed to be okay since beside him was a small table with food on it. Desmond let out a breath of relief.  

Trinity smiled, releasing the breath she hadn't realized she had been holding, relieved that he didn't look like he was suffering too much.  

"Thank goodness he seems fine..." Desmond said at last after the moment of silence when they saw he was okay. Desmond held his head in his hands and felt so relieved.  

"I hope that helps your stress level, even just a little," Trinity said. 

"I feel light headed just because the tension i've felt in my head has disappeared," he muttered. Desmond lifted his head up from his hands and looked at Trinity. "Trinity, is there anything I can do for you? You've helped a LOT and I haven't really done anything...so is there anything I can do for you?"  

She shook her head. “I volunteered my help, I would never ask for anything in return. Besides, I doubt there is anything you can do, or at least nothing comes to mind.” 

Desmond closed his eyes to think and he opened them after a couple of seconds. "I'll make a song, one with no lyrics though since my voice is not good." In his mind he already began to imagine the beginning.  

Trinity smiled, "Alright then. if you want to."  

"Yeah, I want to," he replied. Andris came running up to them and he exclaimed, "What happened?! Who did this to you!?"  

"Finally," Trinity muttered. Eric came up right behind Andris. "Whoa, that is some serious stuff," he said, wincing. Zan held back. "You sure took a while," Trinity said, mostly speaking to Zan who just smiled at her and shrugged. 

"It is serious... but i'm sure it will heal up quickly. Anyways we found out that Lakota is fine and he doesn't seem to be in any danger so far." A look of hope was in his eyes as he mention Lakota.  

Eric smiled. "Great. I guess right now we should get you back to the house. I cant imagine the ground is terribly comfortable!" Trinity chuckled. "Not terribly." She stood up, dusting some dry leaves off her skirt. "By the way, your mother is here," Eric said. Trinity froze in place, "She is?" she asked with a slight flinch. "Yeah," Eric said. "She is talking to your aunt." Trinity shook her head, "She always seems to pick the worst times to come visit." 

Desmond kept quite and wondered what her mother would say about them all. Andris bent down beside Desmond helped him stand up. There was a pained look on his face when he managed to stand. "The guy who beat me up hit me hard a bunch of times. He definitely got my knee... geez."  

Trinity winced. Eric moved next to him on the other side to help give him support. "Will you be able to make it you think?" Eric asked. 

"Of course." He replied as he took a step forward and felt his knee buckle before he just about fell over. He didn't fall because of Andris and Eric but he nearly did. "Doesn't really seem like it," said Andris.  

"Maybe I can be of help." Trinity's aunt suddenly emerged from the trees, smiling. "I saw you leaving and thought I would come see what the trouble is while Isleen entertains my sister." She glanced at Desmond's knee and made a 'tsking' sound. "Do you think you could sit on a wagon?"  

He wondered what she was thinking but he nodded in reply.  

"All right then. Very good. Just a moment." Elinor clasped her hands together and walked back through the trees. She was gone for only a moment or two before she returned with a wagon. "You can sit either in the back, or front,g take your pick!" 

Desmond smiled then made his way to the front with the help of Eric and Andris. When he sat down in the front he said, "Thank you." "My first real friends..." He thought to himself.  

"Absolutely no problem," Elinor said with a soft chuckle. "Now, I think the rest of you can fit in the back. Oh, and Trinity. I asked Isleen to distract your mother so you could change or something if you want." Trinity smiled, "Thanks, Aunt Elinor." Eric hopped onto the back of the wagon. "Come out of the shadows Alexander," Elinor said, clucking her tongue. "You can hop on the back too." Zan nodded, "Thank you."  

Andris hummed while he sat in the back of the wagon. "I apologize that you had to see my annoying... pet cat lemur," Andris said to Zan. "He is quite the pain."  

"Yeah, I kind of guessed, " Zan said with a shrug, hopping onto the back of the wagon. Trinity got on then Elinor started the horses.  

Desmond stared at his feet and replayed the words of his father his mind. He shuddered and looked over at the trees to his right.  

Eric was on the far left of the wagon and looked out over the landscape, watching the birds flying by. Trinity was sitting on the far right side of the wagon attempting to tuck loose bits of hair back into her braid so that she didn't look too bedraggled.  

Desmond suddenly chuckled as he realized how horrible he must look. His hair was probably sticking up and he knew that his clothes were dirty. "Hey Eric, I look like terrible right now, right?" He asked.  

"Well, you aren't exactly looking like a prince," Eric said with a smile.  

"Pftt, I never have looked like one. I guess I look like a crazy looking man who has escaped from a dungeon and is on the run."  

Eric chuckled, "Well, soon you will be back to normal."

"Ah, maybe I should stay like this and see if Adara doesn't recognize me when we go get Lakota back. Maybe she'll think i'm one of her comrades," he joked. "You better wash up or my cat lemur may try to lick you since they'll smell your blood," Andris said to Desmond while sighing.  

"My mother will probably think I have given up being a lady entirely,' Trinity said with a groan. Eric grinned, "Well, a disappointed mother and a blood thirsty cat-lemur, what joys await us, eh?"  

Andris and Desmond both groaned at the same time in reply.  

Elinor chuckled. "I will warn you Trinity, your mother has a . . . surprise of sorts waiting for you." Trinity bit her lip, "A surprise?" Elinor smiled. "I promised I wouldn't tell what it was." Trinity sighed, "Just tell me this surprise doesn't walk on two legs!" Elinor smiled, "Not quite." Eric raised a single brow. "Sounds intriguing." Glancing at Zan he asked, "Are you going home now?" Zan was quiet for a moment then said, "I think I might stick around."

Demond and Andris glanced at each other when they heard the word surprise. 

 

When they got back to the house Elinor went inside immediately to keep her sister company. Isleen came out and offered to help Trinity look more like the lady her mother would expect and both girls went inside. Eric waited to see if he could help Desmond.

Desmond was holding his head while he sat on his bed and he said, "I don't think I should go out an introduce myself later..." he muttered. Andris was standing up beside the bed and he was saying, "Well, you should clean all that blood and dirt off of you... Hey, when did you get that cut on your cheek?" Desmond looked at his feet and replied. "It was the man who attacked me."  

Isleen picked out a clean dress for Trinity then went to get something. Trinity slipped into the blue dress with long, fitted silver sleeves and a matching silver belt. She chose to carry just one knife, feeling uncomfortable without at least one of her weapons. Isleen came back moments later and helped her re-braid her hair in a french style. Eric stuck his head in the open door to Desmond's room. "Hey, how is it going? Are you coming with the rest of use to see Trinity's mom?"  

"I don't know..." He mumbled quietly while holding his head in his hands. Andris looked over at Eric and said, "He'll come in a moment." Andris closed the door then looked back at Desmond and sighed quietly before he suddenly made the blood and dirt disappear off of Desmond. Desmond was still staring down at the ground before he quietly said, "So you're a genie?" "Yeah," Andris replied, knowing Desmond wouldn't say anything about him. Andris helped him up off the bed and helped him walk back to where everyone else was. Desmond's hair looked less of a mess and the cut on his face seemed to be healing quickly.  

Trinity let Isleen help her a bit then stepped out into the hall. "Your mom will want to see you in about five minutes," Isleen said softly. "Great," she said nervously.  

Desmond still had his weapons attached to his belt so Andris suggested that he take it back to his room so he'd have less weight to carry. Desmond gratefully let Andris take the weapons to the room. When Andris came back, he saw that Desmond had pulled his long sleeves up. Andris noticed a few scars on his arm and gave Desmond a concerned look.  

Isleen fluttered around Trinity like a worried mother duck. "Isn't is a bit hot wearing fitted sleeves?" she asked worriedly. Trinity shook her head, "Not really." Isleen glanced at her hair, "Did I put your braid up tight enough?" Trinity smiled, "Everything is perfect, Isleen, thank you." Isleen blushed, then smiled

Andris glanced around before he made a suite appear on Desmond. Desmond stared at the suit that had appeared on him and he looked at Andris. Andris just smiled and said, "Hey, at least these clothes aren't dirty." Desmond nodded then smiled and said, "Thanks... Also you seem suspicious. Why a suit?" "My cat lemur doesn't like guys wearing suits," Andris replied. Desmond smirked and thought, "So will the creature leave me alone or hate me for wearing a suit?"  

"We have just a couple minutes," Isleen whispered. "Oh, and here, you can wear this." Isleen took a necklace out of her pocket. It was a small, silver pendant with a blue gem in the center on a thin chain. "I haven't worn that in years, I doubt if it even fits," Trinity said softly. Isleen smiled, "I think it's time you wore it again." Trinity smiled and took the necklace, fingering the pendent. Isleen helped her claps it in the back. "It still fits," Isleen said with a soft chuckle. Trinity nodded, "Yes. It does."  

Desmond looked at the suit again and shifted uncomfortably. He hadn't worn a suite in over five years. "I feel like i'm being forced to go to that courting island or whatever it is suppose to be called," he muttered. Andris laughed then said, "Luckily i've never been there. I'm not at the right age to court." "It's terrible." Desmond grumbled before rubbing his eyes and saying, "Thank you," again.  

“Isleen, how is my mother?” Trinity asked hesitantly. Isleen was quiet for a moment “She seems tried, sad.” Trinity ducked her head. Sometimes she wished her mother had never re-married, but then, she never would have had her sister. “We should be going,” Isleen said with a smile. “Okay,” Trinity said, straightening up and taking a deep breath.  

Andris tilted his head slightly before he turned it and looked around for Eric. "Where'd Eric disappear off to?" Desmond shrugged a bit before he leaned his head back so he stared at the ceiling.  

Eric appeared n the hall. "I think your mom is ready now, 'he said to Trinity. Trinity nodded and she and Isleen walked down the hall together.  

Andris both looked at each other suddenly and Desmond asked, "Remember your way around this place?" Andris smiled and said, "Nope, no idea." Desmond blinked then sighed and chuckled, "Same."  

Just then Eric appeared and knocked on the door frame, "Hey guys, you done in here?"  

They both sighed in relief and replied, "Yeah."  

"Let's go then," he said with a chuckle, turning and heading down the hall. "Isleen and Trinity are ahead of us."  

Andris nodded and made sure Desmond didn't fall over like earlier when he almost did. "I wonder if there is a fire place somewhere around," Andris thought to himself. His hands were cold despite the home being warm and cozy.  

Eric led them through the hall and into the main hall, then he went past the stairs and through a door to the right. Isleen and Trinity were sitting on chairs talking to Elinor who was saying, “Your mother will be here in just a moment.”

Desmond held his head with one hand and laughed slightly. Andris laughed slightly as well. "We're terrible at remembering where we're suppose to go," he said.  

Eric grinned, “Well, I know the place pretty well. Besides, Isleen and Trinity told me where to go ahead of time. They had a feeling you two would forget.” Isleen and Trinity looked over and noticed them. “Come on in,” Elinor said with a smile, gesturing to the empty seats. “My sister, Charlotte will be here soon.”  

Desmond and Andris nodded before sitting down in empty seats.  

Right after they sat down a tall woman entered the room. She looked to be about the same age and height as Elinor with the same dark hair, but her eyes were gray with no trace of blue, and some lines appeared at the corners of her eyes. She smiled at Trinity, almost shyly. “Hello, Trinnie.” Trinity stood up and smiled, “Hello, mom.” Charlotte sighed, “I have missed you so.” She glanced at Andris, Eric, Desmond, and Isleen. “I see you have some new friends,” she said slowly. “Did you take your step-father’s advice and start courting someone?” Trinity cleared her throat. “No, I am afraid not. But these are my friends, Isleen and Eric you have met, and this is Andris, and Desmond,” she said, gesturing to each one as she said his name. Charlotte smiled, “Nice to meet you both. I am Charlotte Danton.” Trinity seemed relived at her mother’s friendly manner.  

Andris smiled and said, "Nice to meet you too, Mrs. Danton." Desmond felt slightly nervous again but then said, "It's pleasure to meet you." Desmond took a slight bow then felt stupid for doing that since he could see a slight smirk on Andris's face.  

Charlotte seemed pleased with them both and Elinor grinned broadly. “Well, I have a surprise,” Charlotte said to Trinity. “What is it?” Trinity asked nervously. “Wait right here.” Charlotte ducked into the other room and when she came out, she was holding a baby, maybe two years old, with soft blue eyes and peachy blonde hair. “You have a little brother now,” Charlotte said softly, sounding a bit anxious. For a minute Trinity was too stunned to say anything, then she managed a soft chuckle. “Well, Aunt Elinor, I thought you said it wasn’t on two legs. Elinor smiled, “Well, he isn’t exactly using them yet.” Charlotte walked over to Trinity, “His name is Zakai,” she said. “Do you want to hold him?” Trinity almost refused, feeling a bit uncomfortable and nervous with the idea, but seeing the hopeful look on her mother’s face she nodded and let her mother give her the baby. “He is very friendly,” Charlotte said as he grabbed a wispy piece of Trinity hair and held it gently, putting his other arm around her neck and making a contented gurgling sound. “He will be staying here with your aunt for a while, ‘Charlotte said, forcing a smile. “But, why?” Trinity asked, swaying slightly to keep Zakai from getting bored like her sister had when she was a baby. “Well, I will be staying here too. For now.” Trinity frowned but didn’t say anything, though she looked worried.

“Have you seen the Blackthorns?” Charlotte asked. “They said they would visit.” Trinity nodded, “They did.” Charlotte seemed to hesitate before saying, “You stepfather has been away for about seven months, but he is coming back and wants to see you.” Trinity froze. “Why?” Charlotte ducked her head, “I don’t really know. But please, don’t tell him that I am visiting my sister, or about Zakai, please.” Trinity nodded, “Okay. I promise.”

Desmond watched Zakai and Andris thought Zakai was probably the cutest baby he had ever seen. Desmond couldn't hide his smile as he looked at Zakai. Andris noticed how Desmond's fangs were slightly visible. Desmond was now grinning and said, "Zakai is adorable."  

Charlotte seemed pleased. “He was certainly a welcome surprise,” she said affectionately. Trinity was smiling as Zakai attempted to reach the ribbon keeping her braid together. He would have crawled over her shoulder, smiling the whole time if she hadn’t been holding him securely. “Mama?” he asked, grinning. Charlotte laughed, “It’s the only word he knows and he calls everyone he really likes, Mama.” Charlotte glanced at her sister. “You aunt and I have some things to discuss, could you watch Zakai for me?” Trinity nodded, “Of course.” Charlotte smiled. “Thank you.” She and Elinor were about to leave when Charlotte turned to face Trinity again, “You have grown very lovely, my dear, and I am glad you are wearing your necklace.” Trinity blushed slightly, “Thanks mama.” Charlotte smiled the left the room with Elinor.  

Desmond was still smiling and Andris laughed and said, "You look so stupidly happy!"  

Trinity chuckled and moved over by Desmond and Andris. “I don’t think I have ever seen you smile so widely,” she said. She sat down on a stool in front of them, letting Zakai sit on her lap. Isleen moved next to her, watching Zakai with bright eyes. Zakai giggled then reached out toward Andris and Desmond, smiling widely. Trinity let him step onto the floor where he balanced by holding onto the chair arms.  

Desmond shrugged and looked over at Trinity before looking back at Zakai. Desmond held his arm out towards Zakai, waved, and softly said, "Hi."  

Zakai smiled and toddled over to him, grabbing Desmond's hand with chubby fingers. "Mama." Trinity chuckled softly, watching Zakai with a smile. 

Desmond laughed quietly and said, "Nope, i'm Desmond, not Mama." Andris looked at Zakai's small fingers and hand and said to Eric, "It's hard to imagine that we were all like him, right? It's... amazing."  

Eric nodded, “I don’t think I was as cute as him, or as smiley!” Zakai made a happy squealing noise then shakily said, “Deh . . . Dehzi. . . Dehzeemon!” Trinity laughed. “Good job,” she said with a smile. Zakai seemed pleased and repeated it again.  

"You're so smart," Desmond said happily while he gently patted his head. "I don't think I was a very happy baby," Andris chuckled. 

Zakai smiled then sat down by Desmond’s feet. He reached a hand toward Trinity and she sat down on the floor, hoping her mother wouldn’t come in just then. Zakai giggled and bumped her knee with his foot, seeming to find it interesting. Then he scooted forward a bit and put both hands on Trinity’s knees, nearly losing his grip due to the silky material of her dress. Trinity put her hands under his to help him get a better grip and he stood up slowly. Then he laughed and plopped into her lap, nearly landing head first. Trinity smiled and helped him sit up properly. He giggled, grabbing hold of the end of her braid and staring at it as if it were something very interesting.  

Andris and Desmond watched Zakai. "I wonder what if he'd like to eat pasta," Andris said while rocking back and forth. 

Isleen raised her eyebrows, “Pasta? Mm.” Zakai dropped Trinity’s braid then sat still for a moment, watching her necklace intently. His gaze fell and he was suddenly looking at her wrist were her sleeve had come up a bit, he pointed and made a grunting noise, looking curious. Isleen bit her lip and Trinity pulled her sleeve down further. Zakai immediately lost interest and rolled off her lap, sitting on the floor with a grin.  

"Pasta keeps me warm..." Andris trailed off as he day dreamed of eating pasta. "Hey Isleen, have you ever tried some of the world's hottest peppers? They are so tasty!" Desmond raised an eyebrow when Andris mention that the hottest peppers in the world are delicious. "I take it you have tried them?" He asked while Andris just nodded happily. 

"I can't say that I have," Isleen said, laughing softly. "But I have tried Pasta, it was my mum's favorite thing to make and she taught me at least a dozen different recipes." Trinity looked up, noticing her mother and aunt entering the room. "Is he behaving?" Charlotte asked with a smile. Trinity nodded, "Yes." Charlotte glanced at Elinor then back at Trinity. "I have to go out for a bit, so I am leaving Zakai here with you and your aunt. I will be back as soon as I can though." Trinity nodded, "Be careful." She wasn't able to keep the worry from her voice. Charlotte smiled, looking tired, "I will, Trinnie." Charlotte then said goodby to Zakai and left the room. Trinity looked at her aunt who was unusually solemn looking. She forced a smile, but Trinity could tell she was faking it. "I have to get started on supper," Isleen announced, standing up

Andris grinned and said, "I'd be more than happy to try those recipes when you do make the pasta. Desmond rolled his eyes when he saw Andris's face then stretched. He looked at his own dark brown hair and pretended to cut his hair with his fingers.  

Isleen laughed, "Well, that's what we are having tonight so you wont' have to wait long!" Trinity had bean glancing between Isleen and Andris, her expression unreadable, but her thoughts clearly busy. She looked forward again and noticed what Desmond was doing. She failed to contain a soft chuckle and quickly ducked her head to look down at Zakai and try to hide her smile.  

Andris stood up straight and did a little twirl just because he felt like it. "Thank you!" He exclaimed. Desmond smiled slightly then looked over at Zakai after he finished pretending to cut his hair.  

Isleen shook her head slightly while smiling then made her way into the kitchen. Zakai was clinging tightly to Trinity, looking half asleep. Trinity had her right arm behind his back and her left hand resting on the pendent on her necklace. She was still smiling slightly. Elinor had slipped away when no one was looking and Eric had disappeared.  

Desmond walked over to Trinity's side and quietly said, "Seems like he's sleepy." Andris was sitting in silence on the floor.  

She nodded, "I think he just fell asleep." She moved her left hand to gently untangle some of her hair from his fist. He stirred slightly, but didn't open his eyes. Isleen popped her head out of the kitchen door. "Could someone tall, or at least taller than me give me a hand for a minute?" she asked in a whisper.  

Desmond was going to help Isleen but Andris got up and quietly said, "I'll help." Andris looked over his shoulder at Desmond and gestured to his arm. Desmond nodded, understanding what he meant. Andris walked to the kitchen to go help out Isleen. Desmond watched as Andris left before he looked back down at Zakai. "I remember when Lakota was that small... he would always hit me in the face."  

Trinity smiled, "When my sister was small she would bite me. She was a sassy little thing, but I loved her all the more for it." Isleen thanked Andris then gestured to a shelf above the stove that was also just above her reach. "I need the third bottle from the right, but I am afraid it it out of reach of my stubby arms." She chuckled softly. "Oh, and be careful of the pot on the stove, it's very hot."  

Desmond sat down a few feet in front of her and rested his cheek on his hand. "My mother once told me that I was very quiet for a baby. She said that whenever my father would try speaking with me I would cower and close my eyes." He laughed softly and said, "I guess I haven't changed much." Andris smiled when she said the pot on the stove was hot because he then held his hands close to it since he was freezing. "Ah, nice and toasty," he murmured with a smile on his face as he stretched and reached over to grab the bottle that she needed.  

"My mom said that when my dad, my real dad, sang to me or played the piano it always calmed me down. She said I was always happy when he was alive. She used to be too." Isleen smiled, "Thanks." She took the bottle carefully walked over to the counter next to the stove. Some sort of sauce was in the bowl and she shook the bottle over it, adding some sort of spice mix. She began to mix the sauce carefully. 

"When I was ten, I ran away from home and tried to find a traveling musician who had stopped by in the kingdom. I searched for hours and finally found him. For what seemed like... hours he played me songs. In then end when my parents found me they... um... they– My mom took me home and said that as soon as my dad went to speak with him, the man disappeared." Desmond stared at the ground as he remembered the words that his mother had told him. "Yeah... The man disappeared," he thought in his head. Andris stood off to the side and intently watched her mix the sauce.  

"When I was about seven my mother told me stories about my dad, and how good he had been, she said he had a voice like a king and could play the piano beautifully. She obviously loved him very much. But my step-father came in just then and told her she could never speak of him again. I asked him, or rather begged him, to let her tell me the stories but he . . . he got very angry and after that I avoided him as much as possible and asked my aunt and uncle to tell me the stories about my dad." Trintiy rubbed her cheek with her left hand, sighing softly. Isleen noticed him watching. "Would you like to help?" she asked with a smile.  

Desmond watched Trinity rub her cheek and in a low voice which sounded like it had some slight anger, he asked, "Did... did he hit you?" Andris nodded and shuffled his feet.  

She nodded, ducking her head down, "My mother wouldn't have let him, but he wasn't kind to her either and when he lost his temper there was little anyone could do. ." She looked down at Zakai. "Probably why my mother wants Zakai to stay with me,' she said softly. Isleen smiled. "Here," she handed him a box of another spice mix. "You can add three teaspoons of this to the sauce then mix it in. She handed him a spoon and moved over to give him room.  

Desmond stared at her and he just felt a simple feeling; he felt angry. "How could any jerk hit you or your mother? Why would..." He trailed off before looking at Zakai again. "Yeah, no wonder she doesn't want little Zakai around that man..." He thought. "Hey, once we all get Lakota I could help out with Zakai. Well, if any help is needed." Andris did as he was instructed and softly said, "I swear, once I eat this pasta i'm going to just... I'm going to feel way warmer. It looks so good."  

Trinity smiled, "Thank you. I have a bad feeling . . . my mother has been getting more and more run down over the last few years, and I have a feeling she is going to find my stepfather now. Maybe I should have tried to talk her out of it, but she can't really know . . . well, I just hope she is going to be careful." Isleen laughed. "I have never seen anyone appreciate pasta so much! Except maybe my dad, but I think he just loved it so much because he loved my mom."  

"Your mother shouldn't go alone..." He muttered as he felt slightly sick because of memories. Andris smiled and said, "Well, I don't really love anyone besides... my family. I'm the only one in my family who loves pasta, not likes it. I really do love pasta!"  

"I would go with her, but that would make things much worse. Last time I saw him he was very angry, even angrier than when he caught her telling me about my dad. But I have a suspicion my aunt may have done something to help, she is very protective of her younger sister for sure." Isleen chuckled softly, "Well, I hope you enjoy it." She looked wistful. "I miss my family," she said, her voice barely audible.  

"Good... That's good that your aunt must have done something," Desmond said softly. Andris glanced at her and softly asked, "Do you want to see them...?"  

Trinity nodded, “I came to see her before I left and told her everything so that she could watch after my mom. She was very angry about everything he had done.” She frowned. "I can't imagine what he wants to see me about. Last time we saw each other I think he wanted to kill me, literally." Isleen looked over at him, "Their is only my baby sister left. The sorceress who killed my family and took my voice also took my baby sister away from me."  

"That's... terrible. That is really really bad." Desmond said while he looked at Trinity in the eyes. His stomach churned slightly as he began to think of his father. Desmond took a deep breath and looked away from Trinity before he closed his eyes and placed his hand over his mouth just case he really did get sick. Andris stared at Isleen for a moment before he asked, "Do you know the sorceress's name? What was her appearance? Was there anything that stood out about her?"  

"Well, I escaped that one at least," she said, giving him a reassuring pat on the arm, hoping to calm him, just in case. As she reached out her sleeve pushed up a bit again and she quickly withdrew her arm. "She was my next door neighbor, she called herself Lorelei. My father went hunting on her property because he needed food for my mother and the baby. But she got angry and killed all of them, then took Angelina away. She had dakr hair streaked with grey and a large freckle or something on the end of her nose."  

Desmond took a few breaths before he quietly chuckled and said, "Do you have a weapon hidden in your sleeve? You've been rather... I forgot the word, hm." Andris nearly burnt his hand when she described the sorceress and he didn't speak after she said that. It wasn't until a few minutes later that he said, "I may have seen that woman in one of the kingdoms during my travels."  

"Well, yes. I always have at least one knife up my sleeve, but I sort of modified my dresses to make it work. But I also have a scar on that arm so I generally try not to let it show if possible," she looked down at Zakai then glanced up at Desmond. “Really?” she said, looking alarmed. “She is an awful person.”  

Desmond was staring at his sleeve before he pulled it up and revealed a few scars on his arm. "There's nothing I can do about hiding these scars and for some reason whenever I wear a short sleeve shirt, the female customers of my store always start whispering stuff. I think this one girl said I was a fighter." He smiled then scratched the back of his head and said, "That girl sort of was right since I am a fighter besides a musician. Seems like I'm going to get another scar on my other arm though because of my dad." Andris shuddered before he muttered, "She talked with one of my mentors."  

"Hopefully it won't scar," Trinity said. "Mine was from my step-father. it pretty much goes from the underside of my wrist to me elbow." She slid her sleeve up a bit to show a thin line running from her wrist in a jagged line. Isleen grimaced, "I hope I never see her again." She shuddered slightly.  

"Scars leave memories," Desmond sighed. "Perhaps Zakai should go sleep in a bed so he's more comfortable?" Andris rolled his shoulders before saying, "If you don't, how else will you get your sister back?"  

"He can sleep in mine for now," she said. "I think I still have the cushions my mom used to keep my sister and I from falling off when we were young. She chuckled softly, 'I am going to need a hand though, I don't think I can stand so well with him in my lap like this." Isleen sighed, "I don't know how I would if I did see her. I don;t think my abilities can rival hers and she might hurt my sister."  

"I can carry him," Desmond offered. Andris nodded then after some silence he asked, "Is there anything else the pasta needs?"  

"Alright, thanks," she said, smiling for a minute before shifting him around so that she could give him to Desmond. Zakai was deep in sleep and barely made a sound, though she kept having to pry her hair out of his searching fingers. "Just a pinch of this," she handed him some small, leafy green bits.  

Desmond looked at Zakai in his arms and felt his heart melt slightly. He smiled and made sure Zakai would not fall out of his arms. Andris looked at the leafy green bits before he closed his eyes and took in the scent of them before he added it to the pasta. He had a smile on his face after he took in the scent of the leafy green bits and opened his eyes.

Trinity smiled at the sight of them then led the way back to her room, setting two body length cushions on either side of the bed. They were enchanted to keep the occupant from falling off. Isleen chuckled softly. “You enjoy this, don’t you?”  

Desmond placed Zakai on the bed and closed his eyes for a moment. "Man, I hope my kid in the future if I have one is as happy as this little guy," he murmured before he slowly headed out of the room because of his knee.  

Trinity lingered a moment and kissed Zakai's forehead softly then she left the room and closed the door slightly before walking back down the hall. 

Andris had spaced out and he blinked a couple of times before he said, "Hm?" In Desmond's mind he then thought, "Wait... i'm never going to have a kid in the future. I'm going to disappear... I forgot..." Desmond shook his head when they walked back down the hallway. "Hey Trinity, what would you do if you had once chance to do something right but you failed and ended up having to have a horrible consequence? In the situation there is no one who can help you so... what exactly would you do?" 

Isleen laughed, "I said you must like this." Trinity was quiet for a moment, thinking. "I guess it would depend on the exact situation," she said. "If I had known there would be a horrible consequence to someone other than myself I would feel guilty, but if I was the only one hurt I would probably feel like I had only myself to blame and deserved it. It is hard to say exactly what I would do as it would depend on the particular situation, but if the consequence only involved me, I would most likely end up facing it. If I had somehow hurt someone else, I would probably want to disappear forever. But I would hope I wasn't alone." She added the last part about being alone very softly. "Why do you ask?" she asked curiously, looking over at him.  

"Oh, yes, yes I do," Andris replied with a smile. Desmond stared at her for a moment before looking away and continuing to walk down the hallway. "I just needed to know," he replied simply. His voice had been low and monotone.  

Isleen took a bowl off the wooden kitchen table and put the dough inside in a pan, sticking it in a compartment next to the fireplace. "Well, I am glad you are happy," she said. Trinity frowned slightly, "You know, sometimes I am not all that sure I like where your thoughts seem to be traveling." She increased her pace slightly.  

Andris nodded and continued to intently watch what she was doing. He wanted to remember how to make the special pasta recipe. Desmond glanced at her and didn't really know how to reply. "Well... it won't matter." Desmond bit the inside of his lip slightly as he realized what he said and he kept a calm look on his face.  

Isleen waited a few minutes then added the sauce to the pasta and mixed it all up thoroughly. Trinity sighed, “I guess not.” She turned her face away so that he couldn’t see her expression. Just then the door to the main hall opened and her mother came in. Her face was pale and she looked to be on the verge of tears. “We need to talk,’ she said to trinity with a slight quiver in her voice. “Alright,” Trinity nodded, looking nervous. Her mother led her into the empty sitting room.  

"You're a master chef," Andris muttered absentmindedly while he watched the red sauce turn and mix with the pasta. Desmond quietly watched them walk away before he began to walk back to his room. Thankfully he remembered where it was. As soon as he closed the door to his room he took the suit off and laid on the bed in silence since he felt like his energy had been drained.  

Isleen laughed, "Not really. My mom taught me everything I know about cooking, starting when I was three! I love nothing more than being in the kitchen." Charlotte was nearly in tears. "Somehow he found out about Zakai!" She sniffled. "And he is threatening to take him away from me. And you know he can do it within the law too." She sighed, trying to gather herself. "He wants to talk to you, he said that he might let me keep Zakai, but only if you cooperate." Trinity groaned, "What on earth can he want now?" Charlotte sighed, "I don't know. But I can't let him have my baby!" She was becoming teary again so Trinity was quick to reassure her. "It's alright mother, I'll go talk to him and see what he wants, alright? I promise I will try to fix this." Charlotte nodded slightly, "Okay. But be careful dearie." Trinity nodded, "I will." She was about to leave when her mother spoke again. "Trinnie, why didn't you tell me how mean he was to you the day you left?" Trinity paused mid-step. "I didn't want to worry you," she said after a pause. "I should be going now." Charlotte said goodbye and Trinity went to her room to her her smaller bag. "Where are you off to?" Eric asked. "I have to go see my step-father about something, tell Isleen I will be back as soon as I can though." Eric nodded, watching her walk down the hall. Charlotte was entering the main hall and when Trinity saw her she said, "And mom, please don't tell aunt Elinor where I am going." Charlotte bit her lip then nodded. 

"My father never let me cook with my mom," Andris said as he remembered never being allowed in the kitchen. "I wasn't even allowed to enter the kitchen when my mom was cooking." Desmond eventually realized that he couldn't move and he soon heard voices. "Desmond shall be killed and you will not interfere!" A voice shouted before it was followed by a slap. He could hear someone weeping and he then heard, "He hasn't done anything wrong! He only left with Lakota because he knew for a fact that him being here was bad for his younger brother!" Another slap. Desmond's eyes were wide and realized it was his parents speaking with each other. "Mom..." he thought in his mind as he felt tears in his eyes.

Isleen laughed. "My dad used to like to help my mom. He wasn't really any help, but she just loved having him around, even if he did spill everything!" Trinity walked most of the way across town before coming to her step-father's house. She took a deep breath then went inside. One of her father's servant quickly ushered her into the main parlor. Her step-father was standing in the middle of the room. "Late, as always," he growled. Trinity held her tongue, not wanting to make him angry already. "Why did you want to see me?" she asked. "Well, it seems like your mother has been up to her old tricks again, hiding things from me, even my own son!" He practically growled at her as he spoke. "She just did it to protect him," Trinity said, trying to keep her tone steady, "And I suppose she also had other secrets?" He came to stand in front of her, his dark green eyes burning. She shook her head, "Of course not. She has never told you anything but the truth." She clutched her bag a little tighter when his shoulders tensed. "Until now you mean!" He picked up a stone figure on the nearby table and threw it across the room.

Andris chuckled. "I'd probably make my wife super upset if I spilled everything. Well, that is if I had one. Hehe, I'd probably burn any pastries too!" He began to imagine himself as a very clumsy chef. Desmond was frozen till he suddenly bit his lip, blood trickling down his chin. He immediately stood up and grabbed the shirt he had been wearing and put it on before grabbing his two weapons and attaching them to his belt. Desmond ran out into the hall despite the agonizing pain in his legs and shoulder and he rushed to the entrance, stumbling slightly. He had an angry expression on his face and his fangs were visible as he clenched his teeth.  

"Well, my parents did more hugging and such in the kitchen then baking! I used to sit on the counter and pretend to cover my eyes while peaking through my fingers. It made them laugh." Isleen stirred the pasta once more then turned the heat down a bit. Eric noticed him going by. "Whoa, you alright?"  

(I don't know why but part of every post is getting deleted on me!) "What about the so-called deal you want to make?" she asked, trying desperately to stay calm. Her step-father grabbed her upper arm and half dragged her across the room to the desk. "This, is the bargain I want to make," he said, shoving a piece of paper at her. Trinity read it once quickly. "Me get married by the end of spring!?" Her voice came out high. "That is impossible." Her father laughed harshly, "Well, if you want your brother and mother safe that's the deal." Trinity frowned, "But how could that possibly benefit you?" Her father tightened his grip on her arm, making her wince. "Connections. And I will be rid of you at last," he said gruffly. Trinity was undecided. "How do I know you aren't lying?" she asked slowly. "You don't," he said flatly. Trinity thought for a minute, "I will do it. But the choice has to be mine, and you have to promise to let my mother go freely, and never come and bother her or my brother again." Her step-fathers' grip tightened once more, "Fine," he growled. "I want you to sign the paper," she said, hoping she wasn't pushing her luck. Her step-father was still for a moment, then he shoved her away and scrawled out his signature on the bottom of the paper. Trinity took it and put it in her bag once he was finished. "Can I go now?" she asked quietly. "Fine." Trinity turned around when she felt him grab her arm again and spin her around. "But don't you dare try your tricks!"  

(That's weird. ._. That happened to me once.) He smiled slightly before he made a grossed out face and laughed. "Wow," was all that he said. Desmond didn't even glance at him before he yelled out, "No! And I never will be!" Desmond exited the house and started to pick up his pace as he ran. "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!" He thought in his mind as he thought of his father. "I'll never let you have Lakota. I'll never let you hurt mom again. No way am I letting you... I don't even care if I have to die as long as they are okay. I don't care if you kill me because you know for a fact that you'll die yourself if you do..." He said through clenched teeth. Desmond was not thinking too clearly.  

She smiled, "Yeah, wow." Trinity swallowed, trying to seem compliant. "I won't try to trick anyone." Her step-father smiled cruelly, "Good." he drew a knife out of his belt and held it along her jawline. Trinity hardly dared to move. "But, remember, if you do, it's your mother that will pay." Her step-father slid the knife once down her jaw, making a short, thin cut. "Now, get out of my sight." He let go of her arm and Trinity left the room swiftly. She hardly breathed until she was out on the street. "What have I done?" she murmured to herself.  

The old man who smelled of eggs, flour, and chocolate was near by and he was waving a cane around in the air. "The vampire is back to take the woman and children!" He shouted in a slightly hoarse voice. As soon as he said that, someone or something, almost like a shadow, ran past the old man. For a moment the shadow stumbled and a human shape was visible for a second.  

Trinity heard a bit of a commotion in the main area of town and wandered that way out of curiosity. "What on earth?" she murmured.

 

There was a crowd of men surrounding the old man who had fallen when the shadow ran past him. The old man's eyes were wide and in a shaking voice said, "The vampire is angry! His eyes... furious red brown eye! His fangs... bared!" "Mom... Lakota..." Desmond thought as he ran, ignoring the people around him.  

"Oh, dear," Trinity said, realizing what was going on. She watched the shape that she was sure was Desmond and walked around the circle of people to see where he was going. A man put his hand on her arm, "best not get too close," he said with a grin. "Safer here." Trinity just shook her head, "I doubt it." She shook him off and kept moving through the people.  

"The energy around him... it burns like a blazing fire," the old man muttered while rubbing his arm. A few of the men folded their arms and narrowed their eyes. "Obviously we must kill it. Having an angry creature like that isn't good for anyone," one man said while others nodded and agreed.  

Trinity heard and frowned. She saw a nervous older man nearby and moved over to him, sprinkling some pink colored dust on him when he wasn't looking. The man's eyes widened. "But, if you kill it, won't he merely come back to haunt us? They say they are more dangerous after death than alive.He will rise from the grave and destroy us all!" The man sounded frantic and those around him looked nervous.

"True..." the older man who smelled of eggs, flour, and chocolate said. "That means we must capture it alive and keep it locked away!" A high pitched scream came from somewhere away from the crowd. A young terrified girl was running towards the group and her hands were shaking. "I-it spoke! It want's to know if any of us have heard of a Mr. Vallie!" The girl's eyes were wide as she spoke to the crowd. "Mr. Vallie? The crazy rich man who dislikes having to be out in direct sunlight?" One man asked.  

"No, no, no," she muttered. She casually moved toward the older man again and sprinkled him with more dust. "Maybe if we help him, he will spare us all!" The man cried out. A few stubborn men shook their heads, but many of the older people seemed to agree. 

"Help the vampire kill a completely innocent man? You must be as mad as Mr. Vallie!" A middle aged man shouted. A path suddenly formed and the crowd of people moved slightly as a tall man with a hood on walked up to the old man saying they should help the vampire. The crowd was whispering as the tall man turned their head slowly and looked at the whole crowd. He took his hood off so that his face was visible. The man looked like an older and ragged version of Desmond. "What is this talk... of a vampire?" The man asked in a low voice.  

Trinity felt a shiver go up her spin,e and she knew it wasn't a cool breeze. She felt some of the people around her moving back into the shadows. "He was here," one person said. "Looking for you!" An angry man's voice rose, "He wants to steal our womenfolk and children away, he will kill us!"  

The man let out a loud laugh and in a booming voice said, "I will deal with the vampire. I'll slay him!" The man was twirling something on his pointer finger and a small ring was visible. "This ring on my finger will prevent the vampire from killing me!" He shouted as he held his finger up with the ring for everyone to see. More people began to whisper. A woman ran through the crowd and suddenly began to tug on the tall man's arm. The tall man quickly turned his gaze to her before he slapped her. Some of the men went silent and others watched with bored expressions. A few women gasped. The woman looked to be in her mid forties but she was beautiful. Her hair was a rich dark brown and her eyes were the color of chestnuts. 

Trinity didn't see Desmond anywhere so she moved toward the man and woman. "How do we know the ring works?" one person asked. Trinity was soon behind the tall man and the lovely woman.  

Seconds after the person asked that, Desmond appeared in front of the tall man and pinned him to the ground. His fangs were bared and the woman beside the man screamed, "Desmond!" The tall man had his left hand wrapped around Desmond's throat and somehow had a large knife in the other hand. Desmond had one hand on his father's hand and slowly pulled it away. 

Trinity moved over by his mother, "Can that ring really protect him?" she asked softly, not wanting to startle the woman.  

The woman didn't answer because as soon as Trinity asked, she broke down in tears. Half of the crowd screamed while the other half suddenly began to cheer. Laying on the ground was Desmond, covered in blood. His father was slowly standing up with a red stained knife. The woman, presumably Desmond's mother, ran to Desmond's side and she fell to her knees sobbing. "My son... my boy..." The old man from earlier was staring at the woman and said, "The mother of the vampire shall be sentenced to death as well." Desmond's father stared blankly before he said, "She is not the mother, she is only a crazy woman. The vampire just looks like her lost son." He rubbed one of the rings on his fingers before he tossed one on top of Desmond and walked away with half of the cheering crowd.  

Trinity was jostled this way and that as the crowd began to disperse. She moved over to Desmond's mother, trying as hard as possible to be calm. She knelt beside his mother and put one arm around her, hoping she wouldn't be offended. With her free hand she put two fingers against Desmond's wrist to see if she felt a pulse.  

"It's all your fault!" His mother screamed before slapping Desmond's face. The woman ignored Trinity and began to murmur, "My sweet Lakota is not with me because of you... You stole him from me!" There was no pulse and the ring his father had thrown at him was on Desmond's pointer finger.  

Trinity stared at the ring curiously, "Mm." She felt a hand on her shoulder and glanced over. Eric had apparently come into town. "I guess he lost it," he said. Trinity nodded. "Yeah." Eric noticed the ring. "What's this?" he fingered it gently.  

The woman glanced at Eric and Trinity and in a low voice said, "It is to make sure he stays dead... Leave it alone."  

"How does it make sure he stays dead?" Eric asked with a frown.  

"It just prevents him from being alive once he's on the verge of death. He is alive but not alive..." The woman sighed before she stood up and waited for someone to take him away. "You two don't seem to care so why are you asking?" She muttered as she kicked Desmond once in the side before walking away.  

Eric sighed, looking frustrated. "I barely understand any of that." He rubbed his forehead, "I don't know what to do now." Trinity wrapped her arms around herself, "Me either," she replied softly. Eric looked at the ring again

An young scrawny boy shyly walked up to Trinity and Eric and quietly said, "Is anyone going to take this ring...? I really need it for my mum... we need money and I want to sell that.."  

Eric raised his eyebrows, "I don't think this is an ordinary ring," he said. "But, it is keeping him dead . . ." Eric took a deep breath and removed the ring suddenly. Trinity went very pale, her eyes wide. "I really hope I am not going to regret this," Eric said, sighing.  

Desmond's eyes fluttered open and he winced and held his side. He was in pain and clenching his teeth. Desmond let out a small short scream of pain. The small boy's eyes widened and he backed up.  

"I need to see if I can heal him with a spell," Eric said softly. "But I can't do it without giving him some life, which I have to draw out of someone else." Trinity tilted her head, "Like what you did with Sara?" He nodded. "Fine, I'll help," she said. Eric nodded. he put one hand on Trinity's hand and the other on Desmond. Healing spells were his strongest ability, and he just hoped it would work now. He began to speak softly, his eyes closed tight in concentration. Trinity felt some of her strength draining but knew it would return in time. Eric did this for a good few minutes, waiting to see if Desmond responded.  

The wound that had proven to be the final blow on Desmond had sealed but the other cuts remained. Desmond's eyes were shut and his breathing was uneven. He held on to his side and tried hard to not scream again. 

"Now, Trinity. I need you to hold his hand while I give him enough strength to keep him from passing out. If you start to feel dizzy tell me." Trinity nodded and Eric placed her hand on top of Desmond's then put his on top of both of theirs. He recited a few words from before over again three times, his brow furrowed in concentration.  

"Stop... stop it, don't do anything," said Desmond while his teeth were clenched. "I'll... heal up in no time... so don't do that. I'm fine."  

"Well, I am done anyway," Eric said softly. "Besides, you look pretty bad." Trinity rolled her eyes slightly at Eric's bluntness. "You can't stay out here," Trinity said quietly. "Are you able to move?"  

Desmond tried standing up but he only managed to sit up before he let out a grunt of pain. He looked extremely frustrated but felt more worried and terrified. He let out a quiet curse before he held his head in his hands and shut his eyes. 

Trinity glanced at Eric who was staring oddly at her jaw. She remembered the scratch and rubbed it, feeling some blood. Choosing to ignore the slight bleeding for now she asked Eric if he was still able to use transportation spells. Eric said he could. "Would you be alright with a transportation spell?”

Desmond didn't reply since he had suddenly fallen completely over. There was a small needle in his neck.  

Eric's head whipped around, looking for anywhere it might have come from. "What was that?" he asked, though he didn't expect an answer.

It didn't seem like anyone had fired it but despite that it clearly had been fired only seconds ago.  

"Okay. its probably either a quick acting poison or sedative, or a dart that releases a poison or sedative once removed," Eric said, trying to remain calm. "Well, since he is clearly not alert it must have already done what it was supposed to," Trinity said, her voice strained. Eric nodded and carefully removed the needle to see what if that would do anything.  

He was still except for the movement of his side rising then lowering as he breathed.  

"I am going to work a transportation spell," Eric said. "Can I take him back to your aunt's?" Trinity nodded and within moments all three of them were back in Desmond's room at her aunt's house. "While he is . . . resting I am going to see if I can fix him up a bit, can you get me some sort of cloth?" Trinity nodded and went down the hall, careful not to be seen. She returned with the cloth and Eric quickly washed the blood off of his skin and clothes as much as he could. "I wonder if I should wake him, he seems so peaceful." Trinity shook her head, "Give it a few minutes at least."  

Desmond probably was feeling the most tired at that moment like when he had first been born. After the day he was born he hardly ever slept.  

"Maybe I should get Andris," Eric said. Trinity nodded slowly, "He might be able to help." Eric moved to the door then looked back at Desmond, "Will you stay here a minute, just in case?" I will be back soon." Trinity nodded, "Sure." Eric left and Trinity sat down. She hardly knew what to do. It had been a long day for sure and she half wanted to cry, though she had long ago taught herself how to do anything but cry. "Just please don't die on me," she muttered, even though she was sure he couldn't hear her.  

He didn't reply but kinda mumbled something.  

Trinity jumped slightly, surprised that he had made any noise at all. She stood up and walked across the room to the pitcher of water Eric had used. She dipped her hand into and rubbed her fingers over the cut on her jaw to stop the slight trickle of blood. Meanwhile, Eric was heading to the kitchen in hopes that Andris would still be there.  

Andris was still in the kitchen and he looked incredibly sleepy since the pasta smell was making tired.  

"Hey, Andris, could you come here a minute?" Eric asked, forcing himself to sound normal. Isleen looked at Eric with curiosity but simply kept stirring the pasta.  

Andris nodded then walked over to Eric, wondering what what he wanted. He rubbed his eyes and stretched.  

"Desmond was kind of knocked about a bit today and I was wondering if you might be able to help out?" he said in a low voice. Back in Desmond's room Trinity was glancing down the hall to see if Eric was coming back yet.  

"Of course." He replied before hurrying to Desmond's room. When he saw Desmond his eyes widened and he muttered, "What...?" Andris walked over to his side and looked at a new thin cut on his face and at the new wound in his other arm. "What happened?" He finally them asked after looking at him  

"Trinity?" Eric looked over at her. "He got into a fight," she said, not sure what else she should say. "But why and how aren't important right now. Do you think you can help?"

Andris nodded hesitantly and took a deep breath before some seconds later Desmond's wounds disappeared. After Desmond's wounds healed, Andris muttered, "I need to go to my room." He then walked to his room and wrapped himself in the blankets since he was freezing cold. Desmond stirred slightly before his eyes opened. He blinked a couple of times before he slowly sat himself up. There was a look of confusion on his face.  

"I am going to grab some drinking water," Eric whispered to Trinity. "There is some across the hall by my room." Trinity nodded, "Alright." Eric stepped out for a minute. "Feeling better?" Trinity asked softly.  

"Yeah..." He replied quietly before he held his head with one hand. "She knows where I am and she's getting pretty impatient," Desmond muttered as he referred to Adara. 

"Maybe someone should give her a re-cap on the virtue of patience," Trinity said jokingly. She sat down on a chair near the bedside table. " Eric is getting some water in case you get thirsty."  

Desmond chuckled softly before he said, "When he comes back i'll have to go say thanks to him." He laid back down and rested the back of his head on his hands which were behind his head. "I must have been a real bloody mess." He chuckled before closing his eyes.  

"You've looked better," she said with a soft chuckle. "If it's all the same to you I would rather you didn't do that again."  

He opened one red brown colored eye and looked at her. He didn't know how to respond and he just kept his eye on her for a moment before turning his head again and closing his other eye. He honestly didn't know how to respond.  

Eric came back in carrying a pitcher of water and a cup. "Got it!" he said to Trinity. Then he glanced at Desmond. "Is he asleep again?" Trinity shook her head and Eric set the water down. Trinity took the piece of paper from her step-father and glanced over it once before stuffing it back into her bag and putting the bag down on the floor.

Desmond sat up again and said to Eric, "Thank you." After that he said, "Seems like you guys saw my father...?" He had an obvious dislike for mentioning his father. "Rich looking man, seems slightly crazy, and obviously wants to see me dead?" He asked again in case they hadn't seen him.  

"Well, I got there kind of late," Eric said, "So I didn't see much of him. So that was your dead, huh." Trinity just nodded, "Yeah."

Desmond nodded then simply said, "Well... yeah, that was my dad. He can't kill me though because for some reason he said that if I die he'll die. He had these strange rings on him though and my mom told me once that she was going to find someone to make those rings so that for whatever reason he wouldn't die if I died. It's confusing... Anyways, now he can kill me I guess..." Desmond sighed and shook his head, feeling overwhelmed. 

"Wow. That's a lot of confusing stuff," Eric said. "How was your step-father?" he asked Trinity. She shrugged, "Same as always."  

"He hurt you," Desmond muttered. He clearly had noticed the cut on her and he didn't seem to happy based on the sound of his tone.  

"I don't think he knows how to do anything else anymore," she said with a slight frown. "But, my mom might be able to keep Zakai, so that should make her feel better." 

Desmond felt uneasy for some reason. He didn't think that her visiting would just allow her mother to keep Zakai. "He must have done something else or made some sort of deal," He thought

"Which reminds me,' Eric flushed slightly. "I have to go talk to your aunt." Trinity smirked. "Tell her I will tell her everything later." Eric smiled slightly then nodded, walking down he hall.  

Desmond watched Eric walk away and he had a confused expression on his face. He shook his head slightly then stood up and walked over to his bag which was laying on the ground some feet away from Trinity. He bent down and began to search for something inside it.

Trinity picked up her own bag and took out the paper once more, studying it twice before putting it away. She was sure there was a catch somewhere, but apparently it wasn’t on paper. She leaned back a bit, trying to figure out what she was going to do.  

It sounded like he was writing something but whatever he was doing wasn't visible to Trinity. "I'll be upstairs playing the piano for a bit if that's okay with you," he said clearly before standing back up again.  

"Sure," she said, looking up from her bag. “I am going to be in the kitchen helping Isleen.”  

"Okay," he replied before walking upstairs to the third floor. When he got to the piano he almost immediately began to play a song. Desmond was playing the song that he had been thinking of for Trinity. Andris had hurried back to the kitchen because to him it felt to be the warmest spot in the house. He rushed in and sat on the floor close to the stove, shivering. 

"Are you okay?" Isleen asked, kneeling down by him. "Why are you shivering?" Trinity made her way down the hall to meet Isleen, then decided to stop by and see her mom first.  

"I'm just cold... that's all," he replied while his teeth chattered. "I've been using my power too much."  

Isleen clucked her tongue, "You should stop then!" She added more wood to the fire and handed him a woolen blanket. She walked over to the table and grabbed a mug, pouring something into it. She handed it to him, "This is warm in case you need a little something extra," she said. Trinity told her mother the news. Charlotte was dismayed at his demands and Trinity had to try as hard as she could to seem okay with the deal. "I will be okay," she said, forcing a smile. Her mother shook her head sadly, "You deserve some love after all this time," she said sadly. "Not another marriage like mine."  

"Thank you," he murmured before quickly drinking half of what was in the mug. He immediately felt better as soon as Isleen gave him the woolen blanket and mug with whatever drink that was inside. He closed his eyes and kept close to the stove, nice and snug in the blanket.  

Isleen kept working. Soon the pasta was done and the bread Trinity had made was done baking. "All set," she said to herself. "Now I just need the thing-a-hoo. . . ." She reached for something on the shelf and put some of it on the pasta, mixing it then putting the bowl on the counter and covering it and the bread with cloth. Meanwhile Trinity left her mother to nap and went into the kitchen where she helped Isleen slice the bread and put a cake into the stone oven to bake. After she was done there she left Isleen to finish what she was doing and went into her room. Isleen was a very meticulous cleaner after she was done cooking and today was no exception.  

Andris seemed to have a sudden burst of energy because he suddenly stood up with he mug in hand and the blanket wrapped around him. "It smells super good," he said clearly while his stomach made a few noises. Upstairs, Desmond was finishing the song for Trinity. He knew it hadn't taken much time but that was because he had sort of been planning it when he was slightly spaced out or doing something else. He didn't know if she'd like it or not but despite that he felt really happy for some reason. He had borrowed some paper and a pen to write the notes on and he placed it on the piano before going downstairs to see if Trinity was still in the kitchen. He quickly looked inside and greet Isleen and Andris before he headed to Trinity's room to knock on the door.  

“Well, dinner will be soon,’ Isleen said, smiling. “You can try some now if you want, just to see if it tastes alright of course.” Trinity stood up and opened the door, “Oh, hello.” She smiled. “Did you need something?”  

Andris grinned and said, "You sure?" Desmond shuffled his feet slightly, an excited look on his face. "Y-yeah. I finished the song for you," he said in a voice that sounded less enthusiastic than he felt.  

Isleen smiled, “Yeah. I am sure.” She handed him a fork. “Here you go.” Trinity’s smiled softened, but didn’t fade. “Really? I can’t wait to hear it!” She sounded enthusiastic for sure.  

Andris had a bit of the pasta with the fork and his eyes widened slightly. "Tell me when the pasta is served so I can have it all," he joked. He clearly loved the pasta. Desmond smiled then motioned for her to follow him upstairs so he could play the song for her.

Isleen laughed, "I doubt anyone else would approve this plan!" Trinity followed him down the hall and upstairs. Meanwhile, Elinor asked Isleen if Trinity had been in the kitchen recently. Isleen said she had and Elinor asked where she was now but Isleen said she didn't know. After Elinor left Isleen began to cut a loaf of bread and said to herself, "Wherever she is, I am willing to bet Desmond is there too."  

Andris tilted his head when Isleen said that and he walked over to her side and stared at the bread since it smelled good. "What's that suppose to mean?" He asked. Desmond sat down on the chair in front of the piano and began to play the song he had made for Trinity. 

She shrugged, "I just noticed that they have been together a lot since you arrived here. So have you and Eric. It's not a bad thing of course, merely an observation." Trinity listened intently, sitting on a chair she had pulled up closer to the piano. 

Andris smiled then asked, "Should I take some of the food to the table?" Desmond had played the piano for at least four minutes till he ended the song, pressing his fingers lightly on the keys. When he finished he let out a deep breath.  

"If you like," she said, returning the smile and picking up the platter of bread. Trinity still face broke into a smile, ‘That was beautiful,” she said softly, standing up. “I don’t think I have ever heard anything so lovely. Thank you."  

Andris nodded and helped her take the food to the table for when they would all eat dinner. Desmond grinned slightly and scratched the back of his head after he shifted in the seat. "Well, i'm glad you liked it," he replied.  

Isleen brought the bread out then grabbed some leafy salad as well. Trinity smiled, "I think that is the first time anyone has ever made a song for me," she said. 

Desmond looked slightly surprised. "Really?" He asked.  

"Yes. That I know of," she replied. "Does that surprise you?" 

"Um... yeah, kinda..." He replied, still looking surprised.  

"Really?" she titled her head slightly. "I doubt anyone I know or knew has the musical talent anyway," she said with a soft chuckle.

Desmond chuckled softly as well. He closed his eyes and muttered, "Dinner smells good."  

Trinity nodded. "it's probably almost ready if you want to head down and see," she said.  

He shrugged and looked out one of the windows to see how late it was. While he looked out the window he quietly said, "We'll get Lakota soon from Adara. I noticed some new people working from her earlier so they don't recognize me. I think we can somehow get them to get us in her house."  

"Sounds like it could work," Trinity said with a nod. Inwardly she was calculating how much time it might take them to get Lakota, and how much time she had to work around that to appease her step-father.  

Desmond shrugged and realized something that sort of shocked him. His eyes were wide for a second before they lowered and he smiled slightly. "I'm going to go head downstairs," he said clearly before standing up.  

"Okay," she said, wondering what he was smiling about now. She reached the door before he did and stepped out into the hall.  

Desmond walked out after and headed back downstairs to go eat dinner with everyone else.  

Trinity sat in the same place as before, but Isleen sat a little closer to the others. Elinor was a little late and Charlotte sat at the other end of the table with Zakai. Eric sat on Isleen's right closer to the head of the table

Desmond was beside Andris like last time and he was wondering why Andris looked so happy.  

:

Isleen seemed brighter than she had the previous evening. Eric was pretty much his usual, bright self. Charlotte seemed less worried than she had before Trinity left, but still a bit tired. Elinor said that nothing interesting had happened at the house but that someone had delivered some sort of letter for Trinity. Trinity had looked less than pleased at the news and changed the subject to the food. "This is really good, Isleen," she said, taking a bite of the pasta. Isleen flushed slightly, "Thank you. Andris helped."  

In his mind, Desmond thought, "Oh... so that's why he's all happy." Andris chuckled before replying, "The only thing I really did was reach a bottle from the shelf. Isleen is the master chef, not me."  

"You helped me mix stuff into the sauce though," she said with a smile. Trinity took a bite of bread, trying to hide a smile. She had never seen Isleen to talkative.  

"Wait, I did?" He asked after some seconds. Andris had forgotten that he helped mix stuff into the sauce. Desmond smirked when Andris said that before he laughed as quietly as he could. "What are you laughing at?" Andris asked Desmond while raising an eyebrow. "Sorry, it's just ridiculous that you forgot that you helped mix stuff into this sauce," Desmond laughed. Andris smiled slightly before he himself smiled and laughed.  

Trinity chuckled softly and Isleen laughed. "Well, sounds like you had fun," Eric said.  

"You both totally missed out," Andris said after he was no longer laughing. Desmond smiled and said, "Not totally, although I would have like to learn a bit on how to cook this delicious pasta."  

"Well, it's Trinity's turn to make dinner tomorrow, maybe you can help her," Isleen said with a smile.  

"Well, if that's okay with her because I honestly am really bad at working in a kitchen..." Desmond had a nervous look on his face.  

"Well, I will gladly try to show you some things," Trinity said, chuckling softly. "You can't be any worse than me," Eric said. "I spill everything and I never measure things right."  

Desmond nodded in thanks to Trinity before looking at Eric. "Hmm... we should try to see who is the worst cook instead of the best," said Andris. Desmond nodded again and said, "I'll win first place." "And i'll win third!" Andris exclaimed cheerfully.  

“I guess that leaves me with second,” Eric said with a grin. Isleen smiled, “So, I guess Trinity and I will have to fight over fourth and fifth.”  

Andris nodded. "Heh, yeah," he said.  

By then everyone was about done eating to Isleen laughed then got up to start clearing the table. Trinity offered to help her but Isleen told her to 'shoo and go check her mail'. Trinity reluctantly agreed and went to her room where her aunt had left two letters on her pillow. Elinor and Charlotte retreated to the study to talk and Charlotte dropped Zakai off with Trinity.  

Andris offered to help before he went to go sleep. Desmond tried to find the study to ask Elinor something. When he found the room they were in he knocked on the door. (I don't know how to explain heating up the water for the baths so I just pretend that in the role play group, some of the baths are like the Roman baths or whatever. Also if you haven't already seen Kubo and the Two Strings, you must watch it. It is an amazing, beautiful, great, movie! Plus the music in the credits is awesome!)  

Isleen accepted Andris's help then went outside when they were finished. "Come in," Elinor called out, her voice light and cheery as usual. (Ah, I pretty much do the same thing^^ I haven't but someone I know might want to see it so I will probably watch it with them eventually!)  

(Hah! xD And yeah, it's a great movie! :D) Andris galloped slightly for no particular reason when they finished. Desmond pushed the door open slightly and said, "Hey, umm, Ms. Devereux, may I please use the bath?"  

(It looked good from what I saw^^) Isleen decided to walk down to her village and see what was going on. Elinor smiled, "Of course. It's next to the old servants quarters. The door is almost hidden behind the staircase." Elinor seemed bright as always. but Charlotte had clearly been crying.  

He nodded in thanks and gave Charlotte a concerned look. Softly he said, "If you... need help I could... help out in any way I can."  

"Thank you, but I am afraid no one can help in this case," Charlotte said softly. "I cant' even help." Elinor rubbed her back reassuringly. "Don't worry. I will do what I can. And you know that Trinity is clever." Charlotte nodded, dabbing at her eyes with a handkerchief. "I know. I just wish . . . you know."  

Desmond gave Charlotte another concerned look before he left to take a bath. Andris had headed to his room but the cat lemur had locked it. He was too tired and weak to use his powers so he sat against the door of the room till he fell asleep.  

After he left Charlotte went to her room to rest and Elinor went to see Trinity, only to find that she wasn't in her room. Confused, but not overly worried, Elinor retreated to her room. Later that evening Isleen came back and found Eric in the front room nearly asleep. She tapped his shoulder and he sat up abruptly. Eric grinned sheepishly then made his way back to his room. Isleen did some more work, deciding not to head home before getting a head start on the next day's work.  

After a few minutes, Desmond came out from the bath with a towel wrapped tightly around his waist he was holding his clothes which had been cleaned earlier in his hands when he walked to his room. He noticed Andris asleep in front of his own room so Desmond shook his shoulder. Andris stirred slightly but other than that he didn't wake up.  

Eric hadn't noticed Andris since he had been so sleepy, but hearing a slight noise in the hall he got up and ducked his head out the door. "How long has he been asleep like that?" Eric asked sleepily. 

"I don't know," Desmond replied quietly. Desmond tried opening the door to his room but it was locked. "His room is locked so he must have been out here waiting for probably that creature to unlock it if that is even possible." 

Eric sighed, 'Well, I am not sure there is much we can do about that . . . thing. I guess he could stay in a different room for tonight."  

Desmond sighed also and looked down at Andris. "I'll go... let him sleep in my room. I can just, uh, hangout in the town or something. I have work to do anyways and I don't sleep well anyways... Once second." Desmond went back to his room to get changed before he came back out to the hall and lifted Andris up and carried him to the room for him to sleep. After tucking him in bed Desmond sighed and rubbed his eyes as well as his damp hair.  

Eric was too sleepy to argue and just nodded, gong back to bed. Meanwhile, Trinity had come back downstairs and put Zakai down for bed in her room. her mother was asleep so she hadn't had a chance to ask where she wanted Zakai to sleep. She tip-toed out of the room and closed the door slightly, going out into the hall where Isleen was. She told her she could go home for the night since it was getting late and Isleen agreed, saying goodbye then slipping out the door. After isleen was gone Trinity took three pieces of paper out of her pocket and sat down in the main room, looking over each of them.

Desmond silently left the house and squeezed some of the water out of his hair before he looked up at the night sky. He let out a sigh and headed to town, his bag slung over his shoulder.  

Trinity grabbed a piece of charcoal and started making different marks on the paper. Meanwhile, Eric couldn't' sleep and suddenly seemed to realize where Desmond had said he was going. He sat up and rubbed his eyes, trying to think.  

Desmond noticed that something similar to a festival was going on so he blended into the crowd of people. Earlier he had overheard that there was going to be a festival. He was wearing a cloak and had a hood on which he had packed into his bag. In his bag he had a small pouch of coins and he was looking to see if there were any clothing shops still open. He knew there weren't many since most people had tailors nowadays.  

Eric was so hazy he barely stayed awake. But he felt funny about letting Desmond go through town alone so he decided to take a little walk, just to be safe. He washed his face then grabbed his bag and got ready to go. He slipped out of the house and headed for town. Meanwhile, Zan was already in town at the festival. Isleen had been going home, but a friend stopped her on the way and invited her to come to the festival with her, so Isleen agreed and went back to the house quick to see Trinity about it. Trinity heard Isleen come in about twenty minutes after Eric had left. Isleen asked her if she wanted to come to town, and Trinity almost said no, but Isleen seemed hopeful so she shoved the papers under a pillow on an unused chair and walked into town with Isleen. Neither of them had any idea Eric and Desmond were there.

(I'm playing epic music and Desmond seems so epic in my mind right now for some reason. xD) Desmond found one shop and quickly bought different clothes and changed into them quickly in a small abandoned shed. After that he headed back into where the festival was really happening and kept his cloak on. He had bought a new bag as well and switched all of his items into there. He kept his weapons close to himself and sort of had the appearance of an assassin. He was mostly dressed in black like last time. Desmond stood in the crowd of people that were watching and/or bidding on a rare item. 

(Cool^^) Trinity stayed with Isleen, then Isleen went with one of her friends to get something and Trinity chose to stay on the outskirts of the crowd and observe. Eric had met someone he knew and started talking. Trinity was watching a small girl dancing with her sister when she heard a familiar voice nearby. "Nice night out." Trinity turned slightly to face Zan. "yeah. I guess. What are you doing out here? I thought you said town festivals were rustic." Zan shrugged. He was silent for a while and Trinity made no move to speak. "So, what's going on with this Desmond guy?" Trinity turned her head, "What do you mean?" Zan glanced sideways and shrugged, "Seems like he is kind of dangerous." Trinity frowned, "He isn't." Zan refused to met her gaze, staring up at the sky. "Just the same, maybe you should be careful." Trinity's frown deepened. "I don't need to be careful." Zan sighed, "I just don't want you getting into trouble or getting hurt." Trinity shook her head, "He would never hurt me." Zan frowned, "How can you be sure?" Trinity knew she looked angry. "I . . . I just know!" Zan sighed, "Fine. Just don't make a mistake." Trinity would have said something else but Isleen had come back to see how she was getting on and Zan had slipped away into the crowd. 

Desmond had heard Trinity near by and he felt surprised once again since he hadn't expected her to even try going to the festival. He sighed quietly and scanned the crowd for the certain people who he knew worked for Adara. He suddenly took a quick breath and winced as he felt something sharp pierce his skin. He fell stumbled slightly before he quickly turned to see who had stabbed him. He saw a figure quickly shoving through the crow and Desmond immediately began to follow them while holding his left side with his right hand.  

Eric had stopped talking by now and had noticed Desmond. He saw him start moving away and moved toward Trinity and Isleen. “Hey, looks like Desmond might be in trouble again,” he muttered. “What is he doing out here?” Trinity asked, looking confused. “Long story,” Eric said. “I am going to tail him, want to help?” Both girls agreed and followed Eric who was following Desmond at a safe distance so that it wouldn’t seem suspicious. 

Desmond hoped that the night would hide his presence and he took his cloak off and wrapped it around himself to try and stop the bleeding of his wound. After that he looked at the blood on his hand then continued to follow the person who had stabbed him. Luckily for Eric, Trinity, and Isleen, their scents weren't blowing towards Desmond.  

Eric was a little worried. It seemed like Desmond might be walking into a trap. Isleen was whispering quietly to Trinity, but Eric had no idea what she was saying.  

"Desmond, don't you miss the times when we were together?" Desmond turned his head quickly and his eyes widened as he completely froze and found himself face to face with his ex girlfriend Adara. She had long brown hair and green eyes. After some seconds of silence he said, "No, I don't miss those times." He stared at the ground till he looked up again and said, "Give me Lakota back." She raised an eyebrow. "Why should I give you my cellist? He's mine," she replied while slowly walking towards Desmond. Desmond glared at her and hissed so that his fangs were visible. Adara stopped walking and looked at his hand. "So... you haven't gotten married or courted anyone after me?" She asked him.  

Eric heard voices and paused. "We better stay here for now," he mouthed. Trinity and Isleen nodded, ducking down behind some trees and listening.  

Desmond scoffed, "Who knows... maybe I am courting someone." Adara rolled her eyes and walked closer to Desmond till he was with his back against a tree. "I was thinking about forgiving you since you're so cute..." She spoke softly. Desmond clenched his teeth and he quickly grabbed a knife from his belt and held it to Adara's throat. She gasped slightly before she narrowed her eyes. A huge illusion filled the area and Desmond suddenly saw his father taking Lakota somewhere. Desmond hissed and tried stabbing Adara but she held him against the tree. "Watch the performance my sweet Dhampir prince," she said clearly.  

Isleen looked very scared, but Eric was used to magic of all kinds and seemed unfazed, except for the fact that the tree he and the girls were hiding behind was a little too close to the one Desmond was leaning against. Since it seemed Desmond wasn't in any immediate danger he decided to hold back and see what happened. (I have to go:( I might not be on a lot tomorrow, but maybe later in the afternoon or evening) 

(Okay. :( ) Desmond watched the illusion while wishing he could look away. He saw his father slapping Lakota's face and saw him yelling at Lakota. Desmond then saw his father destroying their instruments in front of Lakota. "Stop it," Desmond muttered while he stopped struggling. Adara smiled and made the illusion disappear. "You know he'd be safer with me..." she said in a soft and light sounding voice. Her green eyes were locked on Desmond and the silver dress she was wearing sparkled slightly. The material shifted and glittered when she moved closer to Desmond and whispered, "You know what will happen if he gets taken by your father."  

(Well, I might be on for a few minutes now and a few hours later) Eric clenched his fist slightly and Isleen shivered. Just then he heard someone walking down the path talking to himself. Both he and Trinity looked at each other. They were pretty sure they knew who it was. Moments later Zan entered the woodsy area, looking completely preoccupied and oblivious to Desmond or Adara's presence.  

(Okay.) Desmond turned his head quickly when he heard Zan and his eyes widened completely. Immediately he yelled out, "Zan, run! Get away from here!" Adara shifted slightly so she could see whoever Desmond was yelling at. The corner of her lips curled in to a smile and she suddenly was just three feet in front of Zan. Desmond tried to move but he couldn't so he panicked for a few seconds until he remembered it was an illusion. He ran towards Zan and Adara but when he tried attacking Adara, his dagger didn't do anything. Desmond turned and saw Adara walking towards the real Zan.

Zan seemed to be so confused he didn't know what to do. Suddenly a small, black animal barreled into his legs and he tipped over into the woods. Almost before he hit the ground her shifted and disappeared into the darkness. Eric and Isleen watched wordlessly, Isleen's eyes wide.  

Adara had a puzzled expression and she sighed before turning to Desmond. "Seems like you've made a friend or acquaintance," she murmured.

Isleen suddenly noticed that Trinity was no longer next to her and put her hand over her mouth to stop herself from gasping. She glanced at Eric who tilted his head slightly and shrugged.  

"Adara, back off," he muttered in a low voice. Desmond was standing still a few feet away from her. "I want my brother back, he isn't your cellist. I'll never love you, and I think I never loved you. It was all... an illusion. An illusion to hide your true self. I hate you so so much and you need to understand that because if you don't, everything will just get worse." Adara blinked at him and sighed again. "Desmond... goodbye." She suddenly ran at him and lunged forward before she stabbed him. His eyes widened for a split second before he grabbed the large knife in her hand and stabbed her once and quickly. She fell down to the ground and Desmond kept his teeth clenched as he tossed the knife away and wrapped his arms around himself.  

Eric came out from behind the tree and walked over to Desmond. "How bad is it?" he asked worriedly. Isleen appeared a second later, her eyes wide with distress.  

Desmond didn't reply and he only stared at his red colored arms which were wrapped around himself. "Please find my brother for me... he's... in the mansion of Adara, not far from here. Thankfully she's... gone so there shouldn't be many problems. Trinity knows how he looks like." When he finished speaking he had a scared and in pain expression on his face. "Don't let my father or mother find him..." 

Eric looked torn but nodded, "Fine. I will go get Trinity. Isleen?" Isleen glanced at Desmond, "Maybe I should stay here." Eric nodded, not waiting for a final decision before walking quickly down the path.  

He chuckled slightly then winced in pain. "I'm going to die," he muttered while he looked slightly amused. "She didn't even use her full power."  

"How can you be sure?" Isleen asked, glancing at his arms. "Maybe there is something . . . I don't know. Something that can help. or someone . . ." Eric had found Trinity and was relaying Desmond's request. "Are you sure?" Trinity asked hesitantly, glancing toward the woods. Eric nodded. For a minute Trinity looked like she might argue but in the end she just nodded and the pair set off for Adara's home

Desmond sighed and shook his head slowly. 

Isleen frowned, "Are you sure? I really wish you would have let Eric stay." she trailed off. "Wait here a minute." She disappeared into the woods then came out a few minutes later with Zan in tow. "Do you think you two could manage to stay here a few minutes without killing each other?"  

Desmond chuckled and muttered, "I promise I won't." 

Zan just nodded. "Good," Isleen said, walking back through the woods. Once out of sight she used a strong breeze to help move herself along back to Elinor's house. Once there she went down the hall to Desmond's room and knocked on the door ,quietly at first then more rapidly. Zan sat down on a stump, completely quiet. He either had nothing to say, or didn't want to say what he was thinking.  

Andris slowly opened his eyes and got up out of bed and opened the door. "Yeah?" He asked in a sleepy tone while he rubbed his eyes. Desmond didn't say anything for a while till he slowly closed his eyes and breathed, his breathing very shallow and uneven. He backed up and sat against a tree and bit the inside of his lip.  

Isleen took a deep breath, “Desmond is hurt pretty badly, he thinks he is dying and I am not sure what we should do. “ She bit her lip. “Do you have any ideas?” Zan glanced at him. “So, who was the crazy lady?”  

Andris didn't reply for a few seconds till he said. "I could... I could help him out so that that won't happen." Desmond sighed and muttered, "My crazy ex girlfriend..."  

"Are you sure? You seemed in pretty bad shape earlier," she said. Zan raised an eyebrow. "Ah." He glanced at the body nearby then quickly looked the other way. "So, why did Trinity bring you here?"  

A small smile appeared on his face and he messed her hair up slightly before saying, "I'm fine but Desmond isn't so let's get going and hurry." A worried expression became visible on his face. Desmond raised one of his eyebrows and murmured, "What do you mean?"  

Isleen nodded then started back down the hall, and out the door. "She isn't in the habit of bringing people here. I can only assume she brought you here for some reason." Zan glanced sideways at him. 

Andris followed, feeling his stomach churn slightly just because he was slightly anxious. Desmond shrugged slightly and he said, "By brought me here do you mean her aunt's house or here...? I'm sorry, but I don't quite understand..." After speaking he winced and cringed as he felt as if he had been stabbed all over again.  

Isleen moved pretty quickly through the trees. "it's just a few minutes away from here to the east," she said. Zan nodded, "Yeah. To her aunt's house."  

His face felt cold as he ran beside Isleen. The wind was whipping past him and seemed to howl due to the speed of how fast he was running. Desmond didn't reply as he suddenly fell over, a small pool of blood on the ground near his chest.  

Isleen didn't seem to be bothered at all by the wind, actaully, she seemed remarkably at ease. Zan seemed nervous as he knelt over Desmond, not sure what to do. Isleen came into the clearing ahead of Andris and gasped when she saw Desmond and the blood. 

Andris winced slightly when he saw the blood and he stood still for what seemed like a long time to him. He then rushed to Desmond's side. 

Zan backed up, looking pale and Isleen leaned down near Andris, but not too close so that he had plenty of space

It was only seconds later that the wound on Desmond disappeared. Any other scratches were no longer visible and Desmond's breathing had started to become normal. Andris back up slowly and felt his hands shaking slightly till his whole body was shaking. He was extremely cold, almost as cold as ice.  

Zan moved forward a bit and peered at Desmond with disbelief. At the same time the air became warm, very warm. Meanwhile, Trinity and Eric had almost reached Adara's home. 

Andris still shivered violently and he took in a sharp breath. He was staring down at Desmond, relieved that he wasn't dead. Just a few feet ahead of them was a black silhouette in the shape of the human. There was a black cloak covering it and it probably was actually a human. Whoever was in front of them was wearing black boots they turned slightly in their direction.  

Isleen had been looking at Desmond and glanced upwards. She saw the figure and moved a bit closer to Andris and Desmond. "I wonder who that is," she said softly. She doubted she really wanted to know. "What's wrong with him?" Zan asked suddenly, gesturing to Andris. Isleen glanced at him then gasped softly. "Not again!" she whispered.  

Andris glanced at Isleen and tried to smile reassuringly but his teeth were chattering. 

Isleen moved a little closer and touched his hand lightly. "You are way too cold," she said with a frown. She was very warm at the moment so he felt especially cold. "Uh, oh. Who is that?" Eric asked in a low voice. "We don't want to stick around and find out," Trinity muttered. Eric nodded and in a blink both of them were at the servant's entrance of Adara's home. "Transportation spell," he said in a low voice. Trinity nodded. "Very useful." Eric slowly walked through the door which seemed to lead into a not so busy kitchen.  

Whatever or whoever had been in front of Trinity and Eric appeared in front of them once againn and said, "Hey... you're that one girl who was at Desmond's place. Coming for a visit or did you accept my offer about you going out with my brother?" Andris shivered and sighed, "Y-yeah." 

Trinity blinked. "Not exactly. I just thought I would stop by and see what kind of place this was." Inwardly Trinity was wishing she had remembered him, and the fact that he could recognize her. Eric looked confused but stayed quiet. "We should probably get you home then," she said, looking over at Desmond briefly.  

"I'm Ludovic," he replied before saying, "In case you forgot." He let out a sigh which moved the hood covering his face and he turned around and asked, "Well, I guess you two are here to pick up the kid?" Andris shrugged and tried to walk; he stumbled slightly.  

"Kid?" Eric said, looking genuinely puzzled. His meaning seemed to dawn on Eric and he said, "Oh, right. Well, yeah." He hoped being truthful wouldn't land them both in a mess. Isleen walked up next to him put a steadying hand on his arm. 

"Adara's dead now I presume so I guess that means the kid is free to go. He hasn't been doing much but he might get excited or something when he sees you." Ludovic motioned for them to follow. Luckily he was in a good mood which was rare for him. Andris glanced at her then at Desmond who was passed out on the ground. "You should go help him," he said quietly

Trinity glanced sideways at Eric who looked relieved. Eric followed Ludovic and Trinity followed Eric. Isleen nodded, "I will. But maybe you should sit down for a minute or something." She gave him an anxious look before kneeling down by Desmond and shaking him gently by the shoulder. (I have to go:( By!)  

(Bye. :( ) When Ludovic opened the huge doors to a room filled with only a piano in the center, Lakota was sitting on a chair beside a cello. His eyes widened and he had a slight look of relief on his face. "Trinity!" He exclaimed before he suddenly ran towards her and hugged her. Lakota rarely hugged anyone and always acted differently when he saw a familiar face. He was hugging her tightly, feeling extremely relieved that someone he knew had come. Lakota glanced at Eric and frowned slightly before looking over at Ludovic. "Where is Desmond...?" He asked quietly as he backed away from Trinity. Desmond stirred and opened his eyes just enough for him to see Isleen. "I thought I was dead," he muttered sleepily, not quite awake yet. 

“Well, he got hurt,” Trinity said softly. “But he is with some friends who can help.” Eric nodded, “And I can use a spell to get us back right away so you can see him.” Trinity glanced at Eric. “This is Eric, he came with us to help find you.” Isleen shook her head, “Andris helped you. But he is a bit cold, so I think we should all get indoors.”  

Lakota nodded then quickly said, "Yes please, please use the spell so I can see him again..." Desmond nodded and got up before quickly walking back with them all to the house of Trinity's aunt.  

Eric smiled. 'Alright." He placed one hand lightly on Lakota and the other on Trinity's arm since touch was necessary for the spell to work. An instant later they were in the main hall of Elinor's house. Isleen was surprised when she walked in the door and saw that Trinity and Eric were already back, along with the boy she assumed was Desmond's brother.  

When Desmond saw Lakota, Lakota didn't even have a chance to react before Desmond ran up to him and hugged him tightly. After Lakota processed he was being hugged he hugged Desmond back just as tightly. "Dang it, I feel like crying in relief," Desmond muttered before messing Lakota's hair up.  

Eric noticed that Andris seemed to be in bad shape and offered to help get him to his room where he would be warmer. "Do you think a warm drink or something might help?" Isleen asked Andris anxiously. Trinity smiled and backed away to give the two of them space.  

Andris nodded slightly and made his way to his room which the cat lemur had unlocked while they were gone. "I-i-i'm not sure, but it will at least warm me up only slightly," he replied quietly while still shivering. Lakota fixed his hair and smiled before he began to quickly say what had happened while he was trapped in Adara's mansion. For hours on end he was forced to play music and he only ate when he felt like it. Lakota lifted his left hand up and showed some of the blisters on his fingers. 

Isleen got something warm from the kitchen and some extra blankets. Eric walked with Andris to his room and got the fire going. Trinity had slipped into the sitting room to retrieve the papers she had stuffed under the cushions.

Andris completely wrapped himself in blankets but was still shivering. To him it felt like his heart was frozen solid and was a heavy weight inside of him. Desmond looked over Lakota's hand and glanced worriedly at Andris when Eric helped him to his room. "My friend over there isn't doing too well... um... could you stay right for a quick moment?" Desmond asked Lakota while looking slightly distracted. Lakota nodded in reply and Desmond quickly walked to Andris's room to see how he was doing. While Desmond was away, Lakota quickly snuck upstairs to explore. The whole place looked even more magnificent than Adara's home. HIs eyes were wide with wonder and he swiftly went unnoticed.  

Isleen asked Trinity if she could help with the blankets and both girls managed to get a couple thick ones down the hall along with a warm drink. Isleen set the blankets down at the end of his bed and handed Andris the drink. "Are you going to be okay?" she asked nervously. Eric glanced over at Trinity for a minute, and she could tell he was pretty worried. (I have to go soon:( )  

(Aww. ;-;) "I don't know, I just feel like i'm trapped in ice or something... E-everthing i-i-is cold, really c-cold," Andris replied while quickly getting the blankets and wrapping them around himself. He took the drink from Isleen and nodded his head in thanks and took a sip of the warm drink. Desmond watched Andris from the doorway and shuffled his feet slightly. 

(I will be on a little longer hopefully!) Isleen sat down on a chair and watched him, trying not to look as nervous as she felt. Trinity heard Desmond in the door and turned slightly to see who it was. She backed up softly away from Isleen where she couldn’t be heard. “He doesn’t look so good,” she said softly.  

Desmond nodded, a look of worry on his face and his brow furrowed. "I wonder if maybe a super hot pepper would help him out or burn his tongue..." Desmond murmured quietly to Trinity.  

“It might work,” she said, glancing over at him. “I think just about anything is worth trying right now and we should have some peppers in the kitchen.”  

"Let's try it then," he replied quickly before turning to head to the kitchen. He motioned with his hand for her to follow since he didn't know where the peppers were and the situation basically was an emergency.  

Trinity followed. Once they were in the kitchen she went immediately to a cupboard near the pantry and withdrew a jar of pepper slices. “This is the hottest we have.”

"Hopefully this might work a little bit," Desmond muttered while staring at the jar of pepper slices.  

Trinity nodded then headed back out of the kitchen and down the hall. Once she had reached Andris’s room she held out the peppers to Isleen and Eric who were closest to Andris. “Peppers?” Eric asked aloud. “It was Desmond’s idea,” she explained. “It just might work.”  

Andris looked at the peppers and his eyes widened slightly. "T-those look really g-good," he muttered while his teeth still chattered. Desmond looked at Andris worriedly and waited to see what would happen.  

Eric opened the jar and Isleen handed Andris a slice of pepper. "Try it," she said.  

Andris took the pepper slice from Eric's hand and chewed on it. He could feel some of the small seeds of the pepper slice on his tongue and the feeling was almost indescribable except Andris summed it up in one word. "Hot!" He exclaimed while he grinned slightly while his cheeks turned slightly red because the peppers were really really hot.  

Isleen placed the jar by him so that he could have as many as he felt he needed and Trinity smiled a bit, seeing the flush in his previously pale cheeks.  

There were some slight tears in his eyes as he ate the peppers but he just seemed to be enjoying it all. Andris's smile widened and he suddenly kissed Isleen's cheek happily. Desmond's eyes widened in surprised when he saw Andris do that and he noticed that behind him was an older looking version of the cat lemur, a more evolved looking cat lemur.

Isleen jumped slightly, looked just as surprised as Desmond if not more, her cheeks flushed slightly. Trinity glanced at Desmond, wondering what had brought that on. Eric had been so busy getting a fly off his finger he hadn’t even noticed. (I have to go now:( By!)  

(Bye.) Desmond walked up to the bed and picked up the cat lemur by the scruff. It hissed at him and tried hitting him with its tail but he just held it firmly and hissed back, his fangs looking intimidating. "Found the culprit," Desmond muttered while holding it and showing Trinity. Andris seemed like a happy go lucky little boy for a few seconds before he snapped out of it and blinked a few times, no longer feeling cold. He looked at Isleen and wondered why she had the expression she had on her face and he wondered why the cat lemur looked older. Andris was confused.  

Trinity frowned. “Of course. I guess we better put it somewhere it won’t be causing trouble.” She glanced at Andris, wondering if he might have a suggestion, if he was able to figure out what was going on of course. “I think your cat-lemur is causing trouble again,” Isleen said with a slight smile, hoping to put him at ease. Eric looked up just then, seeming to snap back into things.  

Andris sighed then said, "Desmond, go put back on that suit and scare the little creature away so it stays in the corner of this room." Desmond sighed and said, "I don't want to have to change into a suit every time just to scare the cat lemur." After saying that, Desmond turned and walked to his room to change into the suit which scarred the cat lemur. When Desmond returned, he had a slightly annoyed look on his face as he stared at the cat lemur. The cat lemur hissed at him and ran into the corner of the room. Its fur stood on end its eyes were locked on Desmond.  

“Why does a suit scare it?” Isleen asked curiously. Trinity had backed up a bit, wanting to keep her distance.

Andris shrugged and said, "I think that its previous owner used to wear a suit and that he was not exactly kind." Desmond sighed and was about to sit down in front of the creature when he remembered that Lakota was still waiting patiently for him to come back. Desmond speed walked back to where Lakota was then panicked slightly when Lakota was not there. He headed back to the room and said, "Hey, Lakota isn't where he was."  

Trinity barely held back a smile, "I'll see if I can see where he is," she said. She took the small seeing ball out of her bag. "Show me where Lakota is please," she said, then handed it to Desmond.  

Desmond looked through seeing ball and he narrowed his eyes. "He's exploring upstairs... without permission." Desmond handed back the seeing ball to Trinity then ran out of the room and went up the stairs to the music room. 

“If only he knew how many people came in here to explore without even realizing the place is inhabited!” Iseen said, chuckling. Trinity nodded, “Yeah. Like that guy Gerald and his sister Susan. They used up every excuse in the book once they were found.” Eric chuckled, “I would’ve loved to see that.” Just then Isleen glanced sideways. “Wait a second, if Desmond isn’t here . . . does that mean the cat-creature isn’t going to be scared?”

Andris's face went slightly pale as he looked at what he just knew was the cat lemur but older. The creature let out a throaty chuckle before it ran forward and leaped on top of Andris. Andris let out a slight yell of surprise and he blinked a few times before he seemed all happy go lucky again. Desmond was back some seconds later with Lakota trailing behind him. Before Desmond could tell Lakota to say sorry, he was surprised to see Andris with so much energy and that he had made a ring in a small box that was slightly open. "Marry me Isleen!" He exclaimed. Desmond raised his eyebrow and ran up to the creature. The creature squealed then ran into the corner of the room. Andris blinked a few times and stared at the ring in the palm of his hand. "What–– Why is this in my hand? Is this a wedding ring?!" Andris exclaimed, his eyes wide. Lakota was trying to stifle a laugh.  

"I think I will go check on my cake," Isleen said, deciding that maybe there would be less trouble if she slipped out for the moment. Trinity moved over a bit so that Isleen could slip out the door. "Is it supposed to grow like that?" Trinity wondered out loud. Eric chuckled, "It's probably natural, but very inconvenient. Wait, where did you, or it get a wedding ring?" Now Eric looked puzzled.  

"I– it just appeared in my hand... I probably was thinking about a wedding ring when the creature was controlling me... What in the world did I say..." Andris trailed off. "Speaking of weddings, Trinity, can you marry Desmond so I can come to the music room here?" Lakota asked before smirking slightly as Desmond gave him a little annoyed look.  

"Well, you may have potentially proposed," Eric said slowly. "I think we can figure out another way to get you here," Trinity said, stifling a chuckle when she saw the look on Desmond's face. She had almost added that before long she would be married, but decided maybe she should just not tell them at all.  

"Eh?" Andris said quietly while processing what Eric said. "Darn little cat lemur..." He muttered. Lakota raised an eyebrow and asked, "Well, how? He's so overprotective and he clearly likes you." Desmond rolled his eyes and said, "I like everyone here because they're my friends."  

"Don't worry, I think she was more amused than anything," Eric said with a bright smile. Trinity smiled slightly but didn't reply, almost afraid of what Lakota might think of next if she said anything. 

"Well, as long as she was only amused, i'm not going to strangle the little cat lemur," Andris replied. Lakota waited patiently for Trinity to reply. He blinked while he looked at her, waiting for her to reply. Desmond sighed and pushed Lakota slightly so he was under the doorway.  

"I am not sure how she felt about you kissing her of course," Eric said, pretending to think about it. "I guess you will just have to visit," she said after a pause. 

Andris's eyes widened and he walked up to the cat lemur, grabbed it, and shoved it into his bag. "You better stay there for an hour and not cause any trouble!" He exclaimed. Lakota sighed then gave a small mischievous grin before he left the room, his fangs visible. Desmond narrowed his eyes slightly. "He's up to something..."  

"Don't worry, I doubt she was angry," Eric said with a shrug. Trinity chuckled softly, "Probably. The question is, do you wait and see what it is, or follow him and find out in advance?"  

Andris groaned and slammed his face onto the bed. Desmond shrugged and glanced at the doorway. "I'm going to find out..." He muttered as he slowly left the room.

"Well, aren't you going back to the other kingdom anyway? You probably won't ever see her again," Eric said. Trinity smiled then went to her room to see if she could find her hairbrush.  

"Huh, yeah, I guess that's true..." He trailed off quietly after rolling over. Desmond searched for Lakota but he couldn't find him. A knock came from the door of Trinity's room.

"See. You will probably forget the whole thing, and she might too." Trinity had just finished un-braiding her hair and was trying to get all the tangles out, wondering if she ought to cut it since it was now just past her thigh. She grabbed her hair in one hand, put down her brush and walked over to the door, opening it

Andris shrugged an sighed quietly. Standing in front of the door of Trinity's room was Lakota. He was holding two manuscripts with notes on them. He waved it around slightly with a small smile on his face. "Do you know what this is?" He asked.  

"Well, if it makes you feel better you could always talk to her before you leave," Eric said. "In the meantime I have to make sure my spell is still in place." And with that he left the room. "Um, no. Should I?" she asked curiously. 

Andris nodded slowly and laid down completely still. Lakota chuckled softly and turned one of the manuscripts over and read aloud some small black words written in ink. "To Trinity, from Desmond. I hope that-" Lakota paused before looking over his shoulder. Standing there was Desmond. He seemed to be towering over Lakota. 

Trinity noticed him as well and simply shrugged, not at all sure what was going on or what Lakota was trying to tell her. Isleen had been coming down the hall but when she saw the trio in the doorway to Trinity's room and decided to go back to the kitchen. She was sure her question for Trinity could wait.  

Lakota shuddered and his face went slightly pale as Desmond slowly took the manuscripts out of his hands and neatly evened out the two papers. Desmond handed the papers to Trinity and said in a monotone voice, "The song, in case you ever want to listen try playing it." After that he grabbed Lakota by the back of his shirt and practically dragged him to his room.  

Trinity ran a hand through her hair. "Well, things are certainly getting interesting around here," she said, laying the paper's on her dresser and scanning them quickly while she continued brushing her hair. A few minutes later Isleen came in and said she aught to be going home. "Why don't you stay? It is probably almost morning anyway," Trinity said. Isleen agreed after some hesitation and picked one of the remaining guest rooms to stay in. Trinity then went back to brushing her hair, glancing at the papers every now and then.  

The words on the back of the paper were hardly visible since the music notes were covering the whole front of the page of the first manuscript. Desmond told Lakota to stay in the room and he exited the house to go and retrieve his other clothes which he had left in a bag in a small abandoned shed. To him, it felt slightly weird to be dressed in all black. It made him feel invisible and he didn't like that. He'd only like being invisible if he was on some sort of a mission again.  

Trinity looked a little harder at the words, absently beginning to braid her hair, each motion of her fingers felt so routine she didn't bother looking so see if it was done correctly.  

Through the paper, she would be able to see the dim words written backwards. "To Trinity, From Desmond. I hope that you come and visit the shop sometime if you ever feel like it. I know it's not much compared to your music room, but... i'm sure that when you visit i'll have some new pieces of music. Also, once again, thank you."  

Trinity tied the braid off at the end and lifted her head, wondering when he had written that. She drew the letters from her step-father out of her bag then sighed. She crumpled them up and put them in the empty waste basket next to her dresser. "Hmm, maybe I should tell them before they leave," she said softly to herself.  

Desmond had reached the old shed and he was searching through his bag that was there to make sure everything was in it. When he confirmed it all to be there, he then walked back to the house of Trinity's aunt through the forest. While he walked there, he wondered what Zan had meant earlier.  

As if on cue Zan appeared ahead of him, whistling softly

Desmond's eyes widened slightly and he opened his mouth to say something but he realized he didn't really know what to say. It took him a few seconds to think of what to say. "H-hey Zan! Um, Adara didn't hurt you, right?" He asked. 

Zan turned around, looking baffled by the question. “Um, no.”  

"O-oh, okay. Well... that's good that she didn't hurt you." After speaking, he was silent and he just awkwardly looked at a tree.  

Zan sighed, "Clearly you have something else on your mind, and should it be about our conversation before you blacked out or whatever let me simplify. I was simply curious as to your relationship with Trinity. She doesn't generally bring home strangers and let them stay at her house."  

"I'm just a musician/fighter who runs a music shop who became friends with her," he replied while shrugging.  

Zan shrugged again. “Well, like I said. I was just curious. Besides, now that her step-father convinced her she should marry and settle down, I just wondered if your arrival was coincidence, or not.”  

"Wait, she's going to be married? Her step-father convinced her to get married?" He asked, while feeling shocked. "Her step-father?" He muttered quietly, still looking at Zan.  

He nodded. "That's what he told my father. It's not like he hasn't tried before though. She actually refused a prince that he had tried to set her up with. I heard he was really mad over that one. But yeah. Apparently she is supposed to be married by the end of spring, though I am not sure how, unless she has been engaged without our knowing. But who knows. I figured out a while ago that I lost my chance. And now I have to go. See yeah!" After talking with hardly a pause he walked off into the dark.  

Desmond was completely still, still in slight shock. Seconds later he found himself silently running back to the house.  

Isleen was busy reading a book and Trinity was un-braiding her hair yet again because she had accidentally crossed it wrong and it was pulling at her scalp.  

Desmond ran inside and ran up to Trinity's door, breathing heavily. He knocked hard on the door despite wanting to have knocked lightly.

"Come in," Trinity said, stopping her brushing midway, wondering who might be visiting now.  

Desmond opened the door, some beads of sweat on his temples. He was still breathing heavily and he said between breaths. "You–'re getting married," he said, sounding like he was asking a question even though he was just stating a fact.

Trinity was so shocked she dropped her hairbrush, eyes wide. "Well, yes. I guess I am. Though I am not sure how you found out. I was going to tell you before you left."  

Desmond continued to breath heavily, still staring at her. He was still shocked and for some reason his stomach churned a bit because he was nervous, or perhaps anxious. He didn't exactly know what to feel. He was only silent till he hung his head in exhaustion and mumbled between breaths, "Well, congrats..."

"It's really nothing to be happy about," she said softly, twirling a bit of hair around her finger. "It was all because of my step-father and his threats and deals."

Desmond closed his eyes and pressed his head against the doorway and quietly muttered, "I'll put that man in his place for all the idiotic things he has done." He was sure he understood why Trinity was getting married. It made him mad, really mad. His hands were in fists and his teeth were clenched, not visible because his mouth was closed.  

"Now I just have to figure out who I am going to marry," she muttered. "Of his most helpful list of fifteen people there are only three on it I even like. Of course, he was kind enough as to say I could marry whomever I wished as long as it was someone." She was still speaking softly but her tone was slightly sarcastic with a hint of regret.  

"I think I might just break the door if I try closing it when I leave," he muttered. Desmond stood up straight again and opened his eyes slightly. "I guess... Lakota and I will be leaving in the morning. Of course we probably won't really be able to sleep... but yeah... We'll leave tomorrow morning so we can say goodbye and thank you all."  

"Alright," she said with a nod, picking up her hairbrush and fingering the handle absently. "See you tomorrow then."  

"G'night Trinity," he said in a quiet voice before heading back to his room. He found Lakota asleep on the bed so he laid down on the floor.  

(Gotta go soon!) Trinity kept brushing, and brushing. By the time she finally got to sleep she was only able to catch a few hours before waking up in the very early morning. She took a bath and washed her hair then got dressed and went to the kitchen where she started baking in hopes of calming her nerves.  

(Aww.) Desmond walked to the kitchen when he could hear movement in the kitchen. He rubbed his eyes and muttered, "Good morning, Trinity."  

(I should be on tomorrow though!) Trinity turned around, “Oh. Good morning,” she said, stopping her mixing for a moment.  

(Okay.) "Um, I know it's probably a little to late to ask, but... Do you think you could teach me to cook right now? Nothing big, I-i, um, as long as your fine with teaching me something small..." Desmond looked down at his feet and sighed.  

Trinity smiled softly, "How about biscuits? They are easy, require few ingredients, and they are filling.You can also stuff just about anything between them."  

"That sounds good... and quite delicious," he replied while looking back up from his feet. "What would you recommend stuffing in the biscuits?"

"Well, if you want to have them for dinner or lunch you can use whatever meat you have and whatever seasoning or gravy you like, also cheese or vegetables which taste pretty good fried inside the biscuit. Isleen and I make this chicken salad type thing we stuff them with. You can also use fruit spreads for a lighter meal or snack." As she spoke she began gathering what ingredients she needed. Unlike Isleen who was probably only about five feet, give or take an inch, she was pretty tall and had no trouble reaching the higher cupboards. "You can also mix cinnamon with melted butter and cover the biscuits with the mix, it makes a sort of pastry like breakfast biscuit. If you fry the biscuits then cover them with butter and sugar that is also more of a pastry like meal."  

"A pastry like breakfast biscuit..." he trailed off as he thought of it. His stomach grumbled and his face turned a little red. "The... the pastry biscuit sounds good," he said in a quiet voice. Desmond felt slightly guilty because he knew he should probably be trying to learn how to make something more healthy for breakfast for when he and Lakota would eat. He wanted to make something sweet and the thought of cinnamon on a biscuit sounded pretty good to him.  

She smiled, "Alrighty then." She pulled out some butter and cinnamon. "So first you mix the biscuit dough.You put an even amount of flower and baking powder into the bowl. It doesn't necessarily matter how much, just think of how many people you are feeding and the flour and powder must always be the same amount. Then you add some milk, which I generally just estimate as I go along." She handed him a measure of flour and a measure of baking powder and pushed the bowl closer to him. Then she retrieved the milk. "Once you have mixed those three together we will make the cinnamon topping, pour it on the biscuit, and bake them until they are golden." (I am kind of just using current ingredients since I am not positive on wheat and rye measurements and such back then^^) 

(That's okay. ^.^) Desmond nodded and did what she had told him. "Okay... I got this!" He said with a determined look on his face. Just a minute later he sneezed suddenly while he was holding the measure of flour and it fell on some of his face as he sneezed into his arm. He blinked a few times and groaned slightly because of what had happened.  

Trinity giggled, "That happens to me all the time. My aunt said I am a disaster with flour." She gingerly used the back of her fingers to brush some flour off his hand and cheek then put some more flour into the cup.  

"Thanks," he mumbled while he brushed some of the flour off his face. "But you have way more experience with handling flour. I'm a mess when it comes to all of this but I need to learn."  

"Well, hopefully you will be able to work off of mastering this one recipe," she said with a smile. She left him to work with the ingredients while she went across the kitchen to get a smaller bowl. Then she put the butter inside and melted it over the fire. After it was melted she came back to the counter and measured out the cinnamon. "The amount of cinnamon you use is up to you. Adding some sugar to the cinnamon is also an option if you like things sweet."  

"Lakota will scold me if I even try to eat anything sweet," Desmond sighed. "But yeah, I like things sweet so i'm going to add some sugar to the cinnamon." After saying that, Desmond began to hum a song as he worked with the ingredients a little longer till they were ready. 

Trinity smiled to herself, getting a pan out from under the counter to put the dough in once it was done. Once or twice she hummed along softly.  

When he finished, in a sing song voice he asked, "What's next?" He seemed a little more cheerful than he had been some minutes before.  

"You put the dough in this pan, then you just add the cinnamon and sugar to the butter then pour it over the dough and it is ready to bake."

Desmond nodded and put the dough in the pan before adding the cinnamon and sugar. He poured the butter over the dough with great care just because he was worried he might somehow mess up and slip somehow. A scratching noise came from beside Desmond and when he looked down he saw the cat lemur. It looked to be half asleep and Desmond gulped.  

"Oh, dear," Trinity said with a soft groan. 

Desmond quickly finished pouring the butter over the dough and then stopped stared at the cat lemur, his eyes wide. "I say we run and lock it in here... but it might eat everything in here." The creature growled softly before it launched itself at Desmond and grabbed his ankle. Desmond said, "Trinity, would you marry me?" Desmond's eyes suddenly widened because the creature let go and Desmond shouted, "What?!" The creature then grabbed him again and Desmond said. "Would you?" It let go again and Desmond shouted, "What on earth did I just say?! It made me say something, right?!" The creature grabbed him again and Desmond muttered, "Well...?"  

"Ooh, my." Trinity grabbed the creature by its neck and wrenched it off of Desmond, half throwing it into the broom closet, closing the door and fastening the lock.  

The creature yowled loudly and Desmond rubbed his ankle which had some little scratches. "Gah, darn creature..." He muttered before saying, "What'd that thing make me say this time?" He clenched his teeth and his fangs became visible

Trinity twisted her braid over her hand, “Well, he may have made you propose, also,” she said.  

Desmond's face turned a little red and he clenched his teeth a little harder before he went over to the broom closet, unlocked it, and grabbed the creature out of the closet by the scruff. He lifted it up and said, "Hey! Don't you go making me or anyone else propose to anyone!" Desmond looked like there was more he wanted to say but he seemed to be holding it in. He took a deep breath and set the shaken up creature down and quietly muttered, "Go back to your room, cat lemur."  

Trinity watched the cat-lemur with a wary eye, but when Desmond mentioned proposals it made her remember something. “What was that?” she murmured to herself. She couldn’t quite think of it and just shrugged her shoulders, turning her necklace gently between her fingers.  

Desmond watched the cat lemur leave and made sure it left. Once it left he went back to the pan with the mix of ingredients which had to be baked. His teeth were still clenched.  

“You seem angry,” Trinity said, looking over at him.  

Desmond glanced at her then went back to what he was doing and took a deep breath. "I am a little angry, I guess..." he muttered.  

"Because of the cat-lemur's tricks, or something else?" she asked. (Do you think you will be on later tonight?)  

(Maybe, I have school tomorrow but I have tor read tonight for school so yeah, maybe.) He felt his face become a little red and he made sure that his back was facing her. "Yeah... that's it, that's why," he muttered again.  

(Ah, okay^^) "Whatever you say," she said, though her tone and expression suggested she maybe didn't entirely believe him.  

:

His face was still a little red and he turned it enough so that he could see her. His eyes were narrowed slightly and he mumbled, "You don't believe me, do you?"  

:

"Well, you are muttering and blushing, and you kind of sound like when you say you are 'okay' but aren't really 'okay', so no. Not entirely. Of course," she looked over at him. "It could just be me."  

"Yes, I am muttering. No, I am not blushing," he muttered again, his face getting a little more red. He let out a sigh and said, "Okay... maybe i'm not entirely okay, but... i'm just fine, I guess." He covered his face slightly and looked back at the biscuits which were still baking.

"You don't have to tell me what is bothering you," she said, truly meaning it. "But whatever it is try not to let it bother you too much, otherwise you will just stress yourself out again

Desmond chuckled slightly and said, "Oh boy, if I stress myself out again I surely will pass out." He smiled slightly and turned around, his face no longer red. "I'll tell you some other time."  

She smiled, "Alright then." She glanced at the biscuits, still not quite golden. "I will probably have to make a trip back to the other kingdom pretty soon. I have been living there for about two years so I should probably go back and get my things before my roommate thinks I've abandoned her. Do you think Andris is going to go back with you?" She asked, looking back at Desmond

"Well... Andris said something about being on the run. I"m not sure if he will go back with me."  

"Hmm. I think Eric will probably go back," she chuckled softly. "I think he hopes to get back together with his old girlfriend."  

"That'll be nice for him if he does. It's not too fun being alone unless you seriously want to be alone." Desmond rocked back and forth on the heels of his boots and hummed some more like earlier.  

"Yeah," she said, glancing at her feet with a slight frown.  

"I like– you," he said suddenly. Desmond's eyes widened and he looked around as if he thought the cat lemur was around. "Did- did I just say that...?" He trailed off quietly.  

Trinity glanced at him, looking confused. “Yes. You did.” She glanced behind him as if expecting to see that awful little creature.  

"W-where's the cat lemur?" He thought in his mind. It was nowhere in sight. "Cat Lemur?" He called out. It was not in the kitchen. Demond's mouth opened slightly as he tried to explain what he meant and he wanted to just disappear for a moment.  

She shrugged, “I don’t know. Apparently he’s somewhere though.” Hoping to ease his nerves she added, “Besides. I already know you like me. You told Lakota you liked us all. Seems like the little creature is just being a pest.”  

For some reason, Desmond let out a huge sigh of relief then hiccuped.  

Trinity chuckled softly then removed the now finished biscuits from the oven. “Well, looks like they are done,” she said.  

"Ooo!" he exclaimed as he appeared to be cured of his hiccups. He went over to the oven and stared at the biscuits.  

Trinity smiled, “They look good. And smell good too!” Just as she had finished speaking a small dog ran into the room, yipping. Trinity looked down at the yellow puppy. “What on earth, we don’t have a dog. . . “She trailed off, looking hard at the puppy. “Oh,” she said slowly. Her mother came into the room just then, looking worn. “Trinity! Have you seen . . .” she stared at the puppy, seeming to forget her words. “I think you are looking for, uh, him,” Trinity said, gesturing to the puppy. Her mother nodded and copped up the wiggly dog before exiting the room in a hurry.  

Desmond didn't know if it was just him, but the scent of the puppy seemed familiar. He thought it probably was just him and he quietly muttered, "Zakai?" He shooked his head slightly then stared at the finished biscuits. He could have sword he had drooled for a moment.

Trinity grabbed a knife and began to hurriedly cut the biscuits, each into a perfect square shape, glancing once toward the door.  

Desmond watched her cut the biscuits and he too glanced at the door. "Would you like me to cut the biscuits?" He asked.  

 “It’s alright, really,” she said. Glancing at the door once more she said, “I am just wondering how my mother will, react to . . . this.” 

"The biscuits?" He asked while wondering what she meant by this. In his mind he wondered if she meant something else. When he thought of what he asked he felt slightly silly for asking if it was the biscuits.  

“Well,” she glanced over at him, wondering if she ought to tell him the one thing her mother had told her she really shouldn’t tell anyone. “My mother is somewhere between a fourth to one half shifter, and my father, the real one, was a shifter, so it kind of runs in the family, though it irritates my mother to no end. And I think she hoped that Zakai wouldn’t be able to shift since his father is an elf. She also didn’t like me telling anyone that I could shift so . . .” she trialed off again, finishing cutting the biscuits and putting the knife away.  

Desmond nodded and quietly said, "Oh" (I just spent nearly twenty minutes dicing tiny tomatoes for tacos. xD)  

She bit her lip slightly, her hands clasped tightly. Most people did not appreciate finding out what she was, and she hoped he didn’t think she was odd. "Do you think that is . . . odd?" she asked hesitantly. (Really? Lol^^) 

"No, I think that's awesome," he replied. "I'm the one who is odd. I keep being mistaken for a vampire because I have fangs." He chuckled slightly after speaking. 

Trinity smiled, looking relieved. "You aren't odd!" She said.  

"I am odd!" He replied. He covered his face with his hand and sighed, "I am odd."  

"You are not," she said with a frown. "You are a very nice person." Impulsively she leaned over and gave him a light hug.  

"Eh-" Desmond's eyes widened for a second and lightly hugged her back. "Um, thanks for saying that."  

"It's true," she said. "And you should start believing it."  

(I'm using a mobile phone right now so I may be a bit slow) Desmond found himself speechless. He just stared at Trinity and blinked.  

(That's okay^^) "I think this may be the first time I have seen you speechless," she said, chuckling softly and looking up at him.  

"Really?" He asked quietly.  

She nodded slowly. "Really," she said softly.  

He nodded slowly then smiled slightly and said, "You're a nice person too."  

"Well, thank you," she said, chuckling softly. 

Desmond chuckled as well and said, "Mhm" He looked over at the biscuits and got two before holding one out to Trinity. He held the other one in his hand up to his mouth and seemed to be waiting for her to try it at the same time.  

Trinity smiled then took the second one and took a bite, "mm," she murmured, swallowing slowly. "So good."  

Desmond smiled after he took a bite and swallowed. "Very good." Lakota burst into the kitchen and ran over to the biscuits. 

“I guess the smell of food reaches pretty far,” Trinity said with a soft chuckle.  

"Yep," Lakota replied after taking a bite of a biscuit. "So... You two love bats made these biscuits?" Desmond chuckled quietly before he laughed a little and grabbed another biscuit and said, "Yep!" He surprised Lakota when he said that.  

Trinity glanced at Desmond once but it was almost imperceptible. “Well, it was mostly Desmond,” Trinity said. “I just measured some stuff.”  

In his mind, Desmond thought, "I know what you're thinking Lakota." He suddenly hugged Lakota and said, "I love you Lakota, don't forget that!" Lakota's face turned red in embarrassment and he shoved his older brother away slightly so he could breathe. "Yeah, I love you too," Lakota replied.  

Trinity had an odd sense of what might be going on and at the rest of her biscuit to avoid laughing. 

Desmond smiled when she nearly laughed and Lakota gave him a weird look. "Desmond wrote a loove song for your!!" He exclaimed. Desmond messed Lakota!/ hair up and said, "It's called a thank you song not love song."  

Trinity chuckled softly and just then Isleen entered the room. ‘Oh, good morning,” she said cheerfully. “Ooh, did you make these?” Isleen asked, eyeing the biscuits. “Desmond did,” Trinity replied. Isleen laughed, ‘Well, your lesson clearly paid off!” (I will probably be going soon)  

(Aw) "G'morning Isleen," said both Lakota and Desmond. They both looked really cheerful for some reason.  

"Well, everyone seems very happy this morning,” Isleen said with a chuckle. “I guess everyone is happy,” Trinity said with emphasis on 'is'.  

Andris walked into the kitchen and said, "Mornin'." Lakota looked over at Andris and Desmond did so as well. "Hey, the cat lemur walked back to your room, right?" Desmond asked. Andris nodded. "Sorry," he said, knowing that the cat lemur probably did something.  

"It wasn’t too bad,” Trinity said, not wanting him to feel bad. “Are you hungry?” Isleen asked. “Desmond and Trinity made breakfast.”  

His stomach answered her question before his words. "Hehe... yeah, i'm hungry," he said as he walked over to the biscuits. Andris sniffed the air and he smiled. "Those smell really good," he said as he examined them a little longer. "Feel free to eat one," said Desmond. Andris nodded and picked one up before taking a bite out of it. His eyes widened and he swallowed it before saying, "Delicious!"  

At that moment Elinor entered the room. “Good morning everyone,” she said cheerfully. In her hands was a basket of odd fruit. The fruits were shaped like apples, but had an odd pinkish color. She put the basket down on the table. “Why are you brining those out again?” Trinity asked her aunt. Elinor smiled, “Well, I am having a guest later and they might want to try one.” Isleen chuckled softly and Elinor did as well. “Who made the biscuits?” Elinor asked.  

Desmond was going to reply but Lakota shouted out, "Trinity and Desmond!" Andris nodded before he muttered quietly, "It must have been all Trinity. Desmond probably only poured in the flour." Lakota laughed when he heard Andris mutter that.  

"Nope. I measured, he poured and mixed," Trinity said lightly. Isleen stifled a chuckle. "Oh, you have a visitor dear, 'Elinor said to Isleen. "Now?" she asked, looking puzzled. "Yes. Outside the front door. Sad he would wait there." Isleen nodded. "Thanks!" Then left to see who it was.  

"That's because my brother can't measure it correctly. He always somehow manages to slip!" A laugh escaped from Lakota. Desmond rolled his eyes and Andris gave him a pat on the back in sympathy.  

"Then I guess you will just have to measure for him when I am not around," Trinity said. Isleen opened the door to see someone she knew. "Derek!" She laughed and the young man called Derek smiled brightly, giving her a hug. "You didn't remember I was coming, did you?" he asked. "Well, I did. But I just didn't realize what day it was," she said, leaning back and looking up at him

Andris's eyes glanced out of the kitchen when he heard another voice. Lakota sighed and nodded. "I guess I will," he replied. Andris suddenly lurched forward and covered his mouth to prevent himself from puking. His eyes were wide and he looked terrified. "Are you okay?" Desmond asked quickly. Andris only gave him a quick glance before he suddenly dashed out of the kitchen and ran to his room to grab his bag. Desmond had hurried after him and immediately said, "What's wrong?" Andris just gave him another quickly glance before he slung his bag over his shoulder and ran past Desmond. As he past him, Desmond noticed that his once light brown eyes contain a hint of orange.  

Trinity had followed Desmond and Andris. "That can’t be normal,” she murmured. Derek chuckled. “You would forget. I did promise though.” Isleen nodded. “I remember,” she said, smiling.  

Desmond ran in front of Andris to stop him and see what was wrong. Andris's eyes narrowed and he shouted, "I need to leave, right now!" Just then he lurched forward again and wrapped his arms around himself. Desmond heard him say a curse word through his clenched teeth. "If I don't leave now, you'll all get easily killed in an instant," he said in a loud voice. "What in the world do you mean?!" Desmond asked. Andris looked up at Desmond and looked desperate before he suddenly ran out of the house. Desmond saw that look in Andris's eyes and knew immediately that he was in pain.  

Isleen and Derek were still out front talking when Andris ran out of the house. Isleen gasped slightly, looking surprised. She peered inside the open door. “What happened?” she asked, her voice wavering.  

"He just say if he doesn't leave now, we'll all get easily killed," Desmond replied quickly. A scream suddenly came from the direction of where Andris had ran in. Desmond ran out and sniffed the air which had a particular scent. Desmond stared straight forward before he murmured, "Burning flesh..." Where Andris was, there was a large group of young and middle aged men. A man with a pair of glowing red tongs had Andris's wrist pinned to a tree. In an instant, Andris healed himself and made himself appear a few feet away from where he had been standing. There were beads of sweat covering his face. A young man, with a black bandana with a red design on it that covered his face, suddenly slapped Andris in the back of the head with his hand. "Idiot, you know you can't run from us," said the man.  

Trinity felt her stomach turning as she stepped outside and heard Desmond. Isleen looked as if she might faint, she was dangerously pale and her eyes were wide. 

Desmond ran back inside to get the few weapons he hand in his bag. He then came running back out in Andris's direction. Andris's eyes narrowed as he backed away from the man with a black bandana. The man was probably only a few years older, maybe near Desmond's age. His dark brown hair matched with his brown colored eyes. The only thing Andris had with him was his bag which the men knew contained his 'home,' or at least where he lived when he was traveling sometimes. "You still have a mission, Andrius. We all know you haven't been fulfilling our wishes. You're family, they still have a chance," said a tall, slim, and slightly muscular man with skin that seemed to have been tanned from working. There were some small scars covering his arms. Andris avoided any of the mens' gaze and stared at the ground. "How's my little sister?" Andris asked quietly. The man with a black bandana chuckled and in a low voice said, "Oh, the little one? She's... well..." Andris let out a soft sigh before his eyes widened when the man said, "Well, she's dead. The weakest of the bunch i'll say." Andris's eyes swelled up with tears and he shouted, "You killed her!" His voice trembled when he then said, "You killed little Cassie..." His sorrow didn't turn into rage because he was so miserable. He knew it was all his fault, deep down he knew. His hand shook as he swung his arm and tried to punch the man with the bandanna.  

The leader, the tall, tan skinned, young looking man suddenly grabbed the red glowing tongs from the man who was holding it. He then held the tongs dangerously close to Andris shoulder. The tongs were hot enough to leave little burn marks on the sleeve of Andris's clothing. "Tsk, you tryin' to mess with us? You have already done that before and look at where it has gotten you. Try anything else and your father will get a beatin' so he can't make money. If that happened, what do you think your mother and siblings would go through? Starvation? Or perhaps they'd get too tired of it all that they'd drink the small bottles we left inside for them." Andris felt more hot tears fall down his face. "Mom... she had a baby didn't she?" Andris cried. The man with the bandanna nodded. "She ended up with twins. Your father works hard to provide for 'em, unlike you. You don't even help out your family." "How long ago?" He asked again. The man with the bandanna answered again and said, "Three years ago." Andris rubbed the tears streaming down his face but that didn't help get rid of the new tears. The leader slowly moved the tongs away from Andris and said, "Time for you to get to work."  

Trinity ducked inside then followed Desmond. “Maybe you should go inside, Isleen,” Trinity said softly. Isleen nodded, but Trinity was already gone. 

Desmond felt himself froze when he saw the group of men who were all around Andris. The leader looked over his shoulder at Desmond and sniffed the air slightly before saying, "Get rid of him." The man with the black bandana walked in front of Desmond and was about to do something when Andris shouted, "Don't!" The man with the bandana paused and slowly placed his hand back down by his side before he asked, "Is this one important, Nayden?" The leader stared at Desmond who was completely frozen. Desmond was not frozen because of fear but rather because he was unable to move. The leader, whose name was apparently Nayden, looked back over at Andris again and said, "Yes."  

Trinity had stopped a distance away, hearing some of the conversation. She watched cautiously from a tree. Though she now had dark feathers and amber eyes.  

"Vakha, you know what to do," said Nayden who addressed the man with black bandana. The man with the black bandana nodded and Desmond suddenly was able to move again. He fell forward though and the man Vakha swiftly pinned Desmond's hands behind his back. Vakha pulled out a strange, thin, wire-like object and made a line mark over Desmond's hands. Vakha then backed up and allowed Desmond to stand. When Desmond tried to stab Vakha, he found himself frozen again. Vakha gave him a bored looked before Nayden said, "Let's go." Desmond began to walk with out control of his own legs and Andris followed willingly, giving worried glanced at Desmond every few seconds.

Trinity sighed slightly, only it was a barely audible chirp that hardly sounded above the singing of the other birds. She flew back to the house and explained the situation to Isleen and Derek as best she could and as quickly as she could before flying back and following Andris and Desmond. Isleen brought Derek inside and told Trinity's aunt what was going on. Meanwhile, Trinity managed to tail them discreetly as a raven.  

Lakota heard everything Isleen had said. His eyes were wide and he quietly snuck into the kitchen to grab a knife that he could use for protection in case anyone would try attacking him. While the group of nearly nine men, including Desmond and Andris, walked, Vakha looked over his shoulder and narrowed his eyes. He moved some of his short dark brown hair so it had a sort flow look before he quickly turned in Trinity's direction. A red/orange bow appeared in his hands and he held it up quickly, pulling an arrow on it back. "I suggest you come out," he said clearly through his black bandana. 

At that moment Trinity shifted into a fly and moved into a high, leafy part of the tree where she at least wasn't visible. She hoped to remain concealed just a little longer in hopes that her aunt and Isleen could somehow find the group on her seeing ball and maybe identify them while they were still close by.  

Vakha stayed still, his bow still pointed forward. He gave a little sigh before he turned and walked back to the group. Andris sneezed and startled Nayden. Nayden narrowed his eyes and gave a low grunt before he slapped the back of Andris's head. Andris rubbed the back of his head and stepped on Nayden's heel. Nayden swiveled around and slapped Andris across the face. "Stop it, Andrius," he said in a low voice. The group watched and Andris scoffed slightly. "It's Andris, or do you still wish to make me sound like a prince?" Andris replied. Nayden slapped Andris again and Desmond found that he could speak. "Hey! Stop doing that!" He shouted.  

Just then a hawk came out of the trees and ripped at Nayden's head with his talons as he passed. Trinity watched from her perch with satisfaction as the hawk flew off unharmed.  

Nayden let out a loud curse word which seemed to have been slurred slightly. He held his head and examined that blood that was on it. Somehow the wound he had received suddenly disappeared and the blood was gone. Desmond looked over at Andris and mouthed, 'Why'd you do that?' Andris just gave a shrug and shook his head before glancing over at Vakha. Vakha was staring where the hawk had flown off.  

The hawk flew off over the trees and toward the horizon. Back at Elinor's house she was tracking them with her seeing ball. "I don't know who they are," she said with a frown. "But they have some kind of magic for certain." Isleen bit her lip, chewing at it nervously. "But what could they want with Andris and Desmond?" Elinor sighed, "I don't know."  

Nayden marched off with his men and Andris and Desmond. He clearly was upset. "I better not have come to this dreadful place all for nothing," he muttered to himself. He looked over at Desmond and gave him a very annoyed look. "Hey, Vakha." Vakha looked up from the ground over at Nayden and said, "Hm?" Nayden pointed at Desmond and Vakha nodded before walking up to Desmond and shoving him against a tree. Desmond could no longer speak and Vakha muttered, "A Dhampir?"  

Trinity winced, well, as much as a dove could wince. She moved a tiny bit closer, but so quietly she couldn't be heard. She was so high in the tree she couldn't see the faces of the men below her, just their heads.  

"You can survive for a while without food, water, and sleep... You'd be useful for us." Vakha sighed and looked into Demond's eyes before he said, "Sleep." Desmond didn't have a second to process what Vakha said because he suddenly had fallen over on the ground asleep. Vakha gave another sigh and then slowly followed the group

Trinity watched, wondering what she should do next. For a few minutes she stayed on her perch, then she shifted briefly into her human form and took her seeing ball out of her bag. "Please, show me my aunt." Since her aunt was looking into her own seeing ball the image went both ways and Trinity gestured to Desmond on the ground. Elinor saw through her own ball and nodded. Trinity followed Andris and the group for a while, worried to let them out of her sight for too long. Meanwhile, Elinor transported to where Desmond was to see if she could figure out what was wrong with him.  

(My 3ds XL which had a crack on the side just suddenly basically split in half. ;-; I'm in shock... and i'm stressing out now since I downloaded a forty dollar game on to it... I need to transfer the data on a new 3ds...) Where Desmond was, he was still completely asleep on the ground. The mark on his hand that had been made earlier was no longer there. Andris knew that Desmond was only temporarily asleep. Vakha had only hypnotized him. "So... I guess you're going to make me steal riches?" Andris asked quietly.  

(Wow O.O I would be freaking out if ti were me!) Elinor knelt down and shook him lightly to see if that made him stir. Trinity listened carefully, frowning a bit at what Andris said.  

(I think tomorrow i'm going to go outside and yell 'AH' just because the fact that the ds broke... In my mind i'm screaming AH! >, 

 (I would find a wide open,secluded field and just scream as loud as I could^^ Did half of your post not get posted?)  

(Yep, and yes, it did get deleted. -.-) Nayden rolled his eyes and said, "No, we-" Vakha cut him off and said, "We're going to find the land that no being has ever touched or seen. The New Land." Andris gave him a look and thought, "Are these people crazy?" Almost as if he had read his mind, Vakha said, "We're not mad men. Well, we aren't when we are not hungry." Andris shook his head and said, "There is no New Land or whatever it is you are talking about." Nayden laughed slightly and said, "There are many unexplored lands, Andrius."  

 (I get so annoyed when that happens!) Trinity was still listening intently and didn't notice a young girl creeping through the woods. She seemed to have no idea that the men were about, but did seem to be trying to hide. She had on a cloak and seemed to be wearing a dress that was bulky in the back.  

(I know, right?) Both Nayden and Vakha at the same time looked in the direction of the young girl. Vakha immediately appeared in front of her in a blink of an eye. He was about to fire the arrow when Andris appeared in front of him with a large golden shield. Vakha winced when he saw the strange symbols on the shield and he slowly backed away, staring at Andris then the girl with a cloak. Andris had a look of rage in his eyes and he loudly exclaimed, "Did you even think before you pulled out your bow and arrow?!" Nayden watched the scene and let Vakha handle everything.  

(Especially when I have a post that is a few hundred words!) The girl looked shocked for a minute, then frowned, raising her head slightly. 'Who are you?" She asked, her voice confident and demanding. She seemed to be addressing them all. Trinity saw what was happening and moved closer, inwardly she could hardly believe the girl's timing.  

(Ah, yes. Hundred words. ;-;) "I'm Andris," said Andris in a low voice. Vakha did not reply so Andris said, "This guy here and the ones behind him are bad guys."  

(Of course, that is a rare post^^) She frowned, "Oh." Generally she would have withheld most information from someone she had just met, but since she seemed to be in a predicament of sorts she whispered back, "My name is Angelina."  

Andris didn't know why, but her name seemed familiar somehow. Maybe she just reminded him of someone. "Seems like you're stuck with me as a sort of prisoner unless these people let you go..." He said quietly when Andris felt his fingers go numb. He dropped the heavy shield and it disappeared. Vakha immediately grabbed Andris's wrist and shoved him towards Nayden before shoving Angelina as well.  

(I have to go soon, so by!) "Be careful would you!" she snapped. Her cloak fell aside as a feathery wing spread out and caught Nayden in the face. At the same time the air around them grew warm. A little too warm for comfort.  

(Bye.) Vakha and Andris seemed to be happy about the warm air even though it was a little cold for their taste. Nayden shifted uncomfortably and said, "Make it stop, Vakha." Vakha rolled his eyes before he walked up to Angelina and said, "Quit it." "Not that way!" Hayden exclaimed.  

Angelina rolled her eyes. "I can't just 'quit it' you fool. It is tied in with how I am feeling, so unless you intend to stop pushing me around and making me angry it will just get worse. And before you think about trying anything to make me sleep or something I will warn you that when I am asleep or when magic is used on me I will probably lose control and the weather might get crazy, or even dangerous." She spoke to them as if she were giving a lecture to children. "And another thing, the more annoyed I get and the more you trigger this change of weather, the quicker my sister will figure out where I am. She and anyone else like me within a fifty mile radius will feel the change in the weather and know the cause." When she had finished speaking she crossed her arms and stared hard at Vakha. 

Beneath his bandana, there was a smile on Valka's face. "Huh, well then I guess there is not much my power can do," he replied before turning around to face his angry leader. "Calm down Nayden. This temperature isn't all that bad if you're used to it." "I am only upset because I haven't adjusted completely to going to a completely different kingdom with a different climate!" Nayden exclaimed. Vakha rolled his eyes and crossed his arms before he turned back to face Andris and Angelina. "Fine, we won't push you around. You'll just have to walk beside him though. We won't control either of you as long as you don't try escaping." Andris sighed and glanced over at Angelina. "Why is a kid wandering around the forest?" He thought to himself. He felt slightly annoyed that she had appeared because he then was stressed that she might get dragged along with his issue. Andris still had his bag with him and surprisingly the men hadn't searched it. The mag moved slightly before the cat lemur creature jumped out of it. It let out a screech when it saw Vakha. "Oh, not that thing again," Vahka muttered. Andris stared at the creature and let out a long sigh as he rubbed his eyes.  

“Oh! I saw you,” Angelina exclaimed when she saw the creature. Then she slapped her hand over her mouth and frowned. When she lifted her hand an odd, tattoo like burn mark was visible on top of her hand.  

Vakha stared at the strange tattoo like burn on her hand and frowned. "What is that?" He asked. Nayden looked like he was thinking the same thing.  

Angelina stared at them for a minute then said, "Well, it could be considered an owner's mark I suppose,' she said. She spoke lightly but there was a careful manner about her now that hadn't been there before. "Come to think of it, she probably isn't far off, and believe me, you don't want to meet her."  

"Owner?" Vakha thought to himself. The creature ran over to Angelina and circled her before growling slightly and running over to Andris. The creature then jumped up on to Andris's shoulder. "Let's get going!" Nayden yelled angrily.  

Angelina frowned. A gust of warm wind blew over them, bringing with it some grains of dirt and some clouds rolled across the sun. While it wasn't too obvious, Angelina briefly looked worried.  

Nayden got frustrated by how slow everyone was moving. He gave Vakha a look in the eyes and Andris suddenly found himself being controlled so he was walking forward without wanting to actually do that. "Hurry up little girl, we don't have all day," Nayden said in a nasty tone.  

"Fine . . . for now," she said, giving him an icy glare before walking up next to Andris. As soon as Nayden couldn't see her face a look of worry came over her again briefly. 

Andris glanced over at her once Vakha allowed him to walk normally once again. "What's wrong?" Andris asked quietly so Vakha and everyone else couldn't hear. 

“Once my mentor realizes I am missing there is only one place she will go to find me. My sister’s house. And I really, really don’t want her to get hurt again because of me.” Angelina bit her lip.  

"She got hurt... again?" Andris asked again in a quiet voice. Wherever Desmond was, Desmond opened his eyes and blinked a few times for his vision to clear.  

“Yes. When my mentor took me in she also took my sister’s wings. It was sort of her fee for keeping me alive and healthy.” She sighed softly. Elinor was still with Desmond. “Well, welcome back,” she said softly. (Are you having any trouble with loading after posting on here?)  

(Yeah, a tiny bit.) Andris shook his head slightly when Angelina told him what happened to her sister. "What's her name?" He asked softly, eyeing the group of men ahead of them. Desmond rubbed his eyes and sat up till he looked around himself and quickly asked, "Where's Andris?"  

(Hmm, me too. Maybe it is because our post is getting so long^^ it seems to be jsut on this rp with me) "Isi," she said softly. "Well, technically Isleen, but I always called her Isi cause I was too small to say her full name." Elinor leaned back against a tree. "Let's see, shall we?" She brought a small seeing ball out of her purse and whispered to it. An image appeared of Andris, Angelina, and the men. "Trinity is still tailing them and she has kept me updated. Seems like they want to use him for some crazy adventure of theirs. I am not sure about the girl though. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."  

(Heh, it is long. ;-;) If Andris had been drinking something at the time, he would probably have spit it out in surprise. "You're Isleen's little sister?!" He whispered while his eyes widened. Somehow, the whole plan of just going along with the men and making sure Angelina left changed. Now, Andris had a plan of trying to reunite Angelina with Isleen. Desmond nodded while rubbing his hand which hurt. He decided he was going to try and get Andris back when he suddenly remembered that Lakota was there. "Lakota!?" He exclaimed suddenly. Lakota was no where around. He actually had grabbed a knife from the kitchen and followed after everyone from a ways away.  

(Yeah, it is probably equal to a short story or novel by now^^) "Yes. I had a feeling you might know her. Lorelai let me see her through a seeing ball sometimes and last time all I saw at first was that cat thing you have, then her looking very surprised." Angelina stifled a chuckle. "I have never seen her eyes so wide. Something must have caught her off guard for sure." Elinor had no answer so she spoke softly again and the image in her ball changed to show Lakota. Meanwhile, Isleen and Derek had both felt an odd shifting. "Are there any other sylph here with you?" Isleen asked quietly. "No," he said, looking confused.  

(Hah, probably x) ) Andris was confused for a few seconds till he remembered why Isleen's eyes had been wide. "O-oh... that incident. It was all the lemur's fault," he replied." Desmond quickly told Elinor that he was going to go after Lakota as he rushed after, Lakota. Lakota was not that far behind from the group of bad guys and Angelina and Andris.  

(Yeah, every time I reply the page freezes and I have to log out and log back in) Angelina raised a single brow. ‘How do you know her? Are you courting her?” Trinity was still a bird, now a dove again. She heard someone approaching in the distance and frowned, wondering who else could be coming. Elinor meanwhile, followed Desmond more slowly.  

(Yikes. ._.) Andris was surprised when Angelina asked that and he replied, "W-we're only friends. Why would you think that I-i'm courting her? I'm just... not really... No- Ah, never mind." Andris let out a sigh and just walked. From behind, Lakota blended in with every shadow and he made sure his scent wouldn't be detected. He began to catch up with them all and soon was just a few feet away from Andris.  

(Hopefully it will be fixed tomorrow!) "I asked because you looked like you liked her more than 'just a friend'," Angelina said softly with a smirk. "Even if yo aren't courting it sounded like you wished you were." She looked down at her pouch beneath her cloak then looked ahead again. Trinity saw him and inwardly groaned. She shifted into a human for a moment and dropped out of the tree, landing in front of him. "You shouldn't be here," she said, her voice barely audible as she grabbed his arm and pulled him silently behind a tree.  

(Yup.) Andris felt like he was internally saying, "AH..." Andris cleared his throat before he spoke and said, "Well... we're only friends. So, yeah." Lakota was about to silently protest when Vakha suddenly whipped around and fired and arrow past the tree. Andris's eyes widened when he saw the arrow pass his face. 

Angelina just smiled when he spoke then she frowned when she saw the arrow. Trinity bit her lip, “for the love of all things. . . “ she mouthed to herself. “Just do what I say,” she muttered to Lakota. ‘And don’t make a sound.” She shifted into a dragon, a surprisingly lithe, willowy one. She was barely able to hide behind the tree in her current form. She grabbed Lakota’s shoulders with her front claws, careful not to scratch, then lifted him high into the tree, setting him down on a high, thick branch. Then she shifted into a human once more. “Desmond is fine, and you need to not engage these people. They have magic and you will be caught no matter what you do.” She spoke in a scratchy whisper.  

"But they have Andris... and that one man with the bandana has in his mouth I think. He's covering his mouth so... I don't know. They also have that girl over there," Lakota whispered quickly, being hardly audible.  

"I know. But right now if we try to go down there they will probably just freeze us like they did Andris and Desmond, or shoot at us. Neither of which will allow us to help them. And while I can shift, you, cannot. And, that girl has powers. I think she is more in control of her situation than these men realize." She glanced down at the group. "We need a plan if anything," she whispered.  

"That man is a genie!" He whispered rather loudly. "The one with the bandana thing... he smells similar to Andris, not in a bad way though." Lakota shook his head when he realized how completely stupid he had been acting over the past few hours. It made feel weird when he realized he wasn't acting normally

"Well, his powers can't really affect the girl with negative results to everyone." Trinity thought over this for a moment. "If they were distracted, maybe Andris and the girl could get away." The wind was getting stronger now. Much stronger, and Trinity had to hold on tightly to the branch to stay in place.  

Lakota glanced at Trinity and stayed completely still where he was. One of the men in the group quietly whispered something to Vakha and Vakha looked back over in the direction of Trinity and Lakota. Andris stopped walking for some time and soon he muttered something under his breath and his hands became cold.  

Trinity winced, staying absolutely still. "What are you doing?" Angelina asked in a soft whisper. The winds were picking up speed now.

 

Nothing," he whispered back as a small smile formed on his lips. At that moment, a huge version of the cat lemur appeared in front of everyone. It was standing on it's hind legs and looked more like a bear. Vakha whipped around and winced as well as did the other men. "You idiot," Vakha muttered angrily.  

Angelina gasped, then chuckled softly. Trinity was both relived, and nervous. Relied for the distraction, and nervous at what he might be able to do at that size.

The larger creature hissed loudly, causing the tiny cat lemur to hide behind Andris. The group of men backed up and Nayden raised his hands, ready to attack it with his magic. The larger creature circled them all and everyone's attention was on the creature, all for accept Angelina and Andris.  

(Would you mind if we tried shortening the post a little? My computer is still giving me problems with loading my posts >.< ) "I am going down the tree," Trinity said softly to Lakota. "Can you make it down by yourself? Or should I bring you down?"  

(If I try to shorten the post the whole thing just ends up deleting so... Should we start a new one and I delete this one? I'm not sure because every time I try deleting, the whole conversation or rp disappears.) "Pft, I can go down by myself," he muttered while swiftly climbing down in a few seconds. Andris glanced around himself before he quickly grabbed Angelina's hand and ran off back in the direction they had come from. 

(Mm, maybe we can start a new one at the top with your next reply?) Trinity grinned, "Alrighty then," she said softly. Angelina followed, keeping up surprisingly well." Trinity took a shortcut through the trees, following Andris and Angelina. 

After they made their escape, Andris stopped running and breathed quickly, catching his breath. "Well... Seems like... we're not dead... That's good," he said. Immediately after checking to see if anyone was behind them, Lakota ran over to Andris and Angelina and said, "Hey, you're fine, right?" He asked.  

“Who is he?” Angelina asked, raising a single brow. Trinity was there a moment later but hadn’t caught Angelina’s question.  

"He's-" "I'm Lakota," Lakota replied before Andris could finish. "Anyways... you're okay, right?" Andris nodded before Lakota let out a small sigh. "Seems like this was only a delay for me and Desmond to stay a little longer."  

"Well, we should head back before those guys lose the cat-lemur," Trinity said. Angelina looked eager. "I'm Angelina, by the way," she said to Lakota.

Lakota nodded when Angelina introduced herself and he headed off back tot he house with everyone else. When they got there, Lakota got scolded by Desmond before getting his hair messed up by Desmond.  

(No problem^^ I put it up on the page of my storage group so that if you want to delete the posts we can still go back and read them. I can send you the link to the group if you want) Angelina found Isleen and half threw herself at her. "I have missed you so much!" She said, burying her face in Isleen's shoulder. Isleen looked like she might cry, but didn't. "I missed you too," she said softly, stroking Angelina's hair gently. Derek had slipped out to join the others and let them visit for a moment. He introduced himself ti Elinor and Trinity then to everyone else. "I am so sorry about your wings," Angelina whispered to Isleen. "She keeps them in a big case locked away. Said she could sell them for a lot of money." Isleen smiled, though it was a sad smile. "It's alright. I have you now, and that is all that matters."  

Desmond smiled when Angelina and Isleen were reunited but felt slightly sad as he knew it was about time he and Lakota leave. They couldn't just stay there. They all had so much going on and they couldn't possibly have Lakota and Desmond staying there, taking up... Well, space. Lakota sighed slightly and stayed near the doorway.  

(Here: http://www.dogzer.us/blog/608-vcbbbbb/ the text is in white so you will have to highlight over it until i change it to black) Isleen looked the same as she had that morning, except now she had a thin banded silver ring on the ring finger of her left hand with a small, blue gem in it. Trinity knew Desmond and Lakota would have to be leaving soon and though she tried not to, some of her regret was apparent in her eyes and her smile, which was a touch sad. While everyone was talking she slipped away into the garden to be alone for a few minutes with her thoughts.  

('k) Andris had noticed the ring thought for a moment before he said, "Hey, where's Eric?" Desmond looked around the room but did not see Eric. He shrugged and then wondered where Trinity had gone off to. 

Isleen made her way over to Andris. "His girlfriend stopped by while you were gone and they went into town." She smiled. "He was so love-struck he didn't notice that no one else was around." Trinity was sitting on the bench under the willow tree. She and her sister had played there as children and she enjoyed going there to think and get some peace. She hummed softly, using the toe of her boot to make a flower pattern in the dirt.

 

"Love-struck, aye?" He said quietly before smiling. He looked around the room then saw his small cat lemur running towards him. It jumped right into Andris's arms and looked like it was almost hugging him. "Don't worry you little coward, you're safe," Andris chuckled as he spoke to the little creature. Desmond was going to speak but Andris spoke before him and said, "I better get leaving before those people find me all over again." Lakota lifted his head up when Andris said he would be leaving. The young man with the cat lemur creature had been interesting so Lakota was sad that he would be leaving. Desmond had slipped out of the room and tracked down Trinity to the bench under the willow tree. "Hey," he said in a normal voice. 

Isleen bit her lip, "Alright then. I guess I should say goodbye then." She managed a quick smile then hugged him for a moment, placing a feather light kiss on his cheek before going back inside rather hurriedly to find Angelina. Trinity turned her head so that she was facing him, "Hey. What are you doing out here?"  

A smile appeared on his face and he let out a sigh before he left the house and hurried away, fearing that the men would come and hurt his dear friends. Desmond shrugged slightly and placed his hands in his coat pockets. "Just wanted to see you again in case I don't see you for a long time."  

Isleen went back inside and sat down in the kitchen, looking rather downcast. Angelina found her there. “Gee, you look like you just lost your best friend.” Isleen shrugged, “Maybe I did.” Then she managed a smile. “I am sorry to be so glum.” Angelina smiled. “It’s fine. I think I understand.” Then with that she ducked out of the kitchen and outside. Trinity nodded, her smile faltering for just a second, “Oh.” 

Desmond smiled before he looked over his shoulder and then back at Trinity. He felt like he looked like a happy idiot for some reason since he was then grinning. "I should have a sad expression right now... I don't understand why i'm smiling," he said.  

Trinity chuckled softly, standing up and turning to face him, brushing a leaf or something off her skirt. “Actually, you have been doing that a lot. And I am not sure why either!”  

"Hm... maybe that Ludovic guy did something to me before he kidnapped Lakota. Maybe he did something to me that causes me to smile so much." After he said that, his words sounded stupid and he chuckled.  

“You never know. Maybe something is making you happy and you just don’t know it yet,” she said with a slight smile. “By the way, I don’t suppose you know his brother?”

"Something making me happy but I don't know what?" He thought to himself. "Well, I've seen his brother before... I never actually met him though."  

"Hmm. Just curious," she said.  

Desmond nodded before he glanced up at the sky and said, "I guess... Lakota and I better get going." He gave her a light kiss on the forehead before he turned around and hurried to go get Lakota. At that moment, Desmond had sort of a looked like a playful and adventurous child, happy to have accomplished something. When Lakota saw Desmond coming back with a silly expression on his face, Lakota wondered what had happened.  

Trinity blinked once, then twice, thoroughly stunned for a good minute or two. Elinor was still outside in front with Lakota, Derek, and Angelina. Eric had come back from town as well and there was another young man with him who was tall and dark haired with green eyes.  

When Lakota saw Eric coming back he got slightly excited because he knew Eric could do magic. Desmond knew that if he stayed any longer he'd probably not want to leave so he tapped Lakota and motioned for him that it was time to go. Lakota sighed and nodded before waving goodbye to everyone.  

Elinor smiled, "It was nice having you here. Please, feel free to come back for a visit any time." Eric grinned, "Well, I will be heading back in a couple days so I will probably see you guys around."  

Lakota and Desmond headed back to the kingdom, their journey rather slow. The both were a little sad  

Derek stayed for a while to talk with Elinor then went back home after saying goodbye to Angelina and Isleen. Isleen seemed less bright than usual and Trinity was pretty much the same as Isleen. As it turned out the young man who had been visiting was Michael, and he might just be the answer to Trinity's problem. Eric stayed in town for a while, visiting with his girlfriend before they both headed back to their kingdom.

When they got home it was late and the two young Damphirs, as usual, couldn't sleep. They both had walked down into the old alleyway before the enchanted wall let them into their secret protected home. Lakota laid down in his bed and tried to sleep while Desmond sat next to the piano on a stool, remembering the song Trinity had been playing.  

That evening Trinity pretty much hid away upstairs. Partially because she was still kind of sad, and partially because she was trying to avoid Michael as long as possible. Isleen and Angelina were in the kitchen catching up.  

Nearly a month, or what seemed way longer, past. It was a busy day in Desmond's music shop and he had had no choice but to allow a certain person to tie a blue ribbon around his wrist for the courting season. The fact that the thin blue ribbon was around his wrist bothered Desmond deeply. Lakota was playing his cello off to the side of the shop, trying to attract the attention of the lady customers. He could tell Desmond wasn't too pleased when he saw that a group of women had gasped slightly when they saw the blue ribbon on his brother's wrist.  

Trinity was pretty miserable trying to entertain Michael. She had been courting him for two weeks. He seemed to like her just as much as he had a few years ago, but she still didn’t like him all that much, and she certainly didn’t love him. Today they were in the village because she’d told Isleen she would pick up some herbs and he had volunteered to come along. Eric had postponed the trip home because his girlfriend wanted to stay and visit family. But today he was getting ready to leave and as soon as Trinity was done with her shopping she went to find him. She found him at the dress shop with his girlfriend who was inside buying some things. “Are you leaving soon?” she asked. “Yeah,” he said with a nod. “Do you want me to tell Delila where you are and everything when we get back?” Trinity nodded, “If you could. But be careful, she might bite your head off!” Eric smiled, “I will.” 

He glanced sideways. ‘So, how is it going with Michael?” Trinity sighed, “You need to ask?” Eric smiled a bit, ‘Sorry. I guess I just thought maybe things would . . . you know. Change. Looks like he is pretty serious though.” Trinity nodded. “Yeah, my step-father is overjoyed.” Eric was about to say something, but his girlfriend came out just then and the pair had to set off. As it ended up, they used a transportation spell since his girlfriend didn’t want to travel with her package. They ended up arriving in the kingdom two minutes later in the center of town.  

A group of about three young women entered the music shop, at first causing quite a ruckus outside with their giggling and loud whispers. Desmond was just calmly wiping off the rosin of an instrument. He did glance up at the women though, just to check and see if there were any familiar faces; there weren't. In fact, he had never had any of the women there as a customer or just as someone looking around. Lakota continued playing, sighing when one of the young women knocked over a basket filled with manuscripts.  

Eric asked his girlfriend to wait outside while he went to see Desmond and Lakota. He entered the shop just as the women knocked into the basket. Trying go be polite he walked over and helped pick them up before walking over to Desmond. "hey," he said with a smile.  

A look of relief washed over Desmond's face. "Hey," he replied while Lakota seemed to have sat up more straight. The group of women softly said thanks to Eric and looked from him to Desmond before they noticed Eric's girlfriend outside.

Eric's girlfriend, Molly, a tall girl with pale hair and brown eyes just smiled, having seen the whole thing. "How are you doing?" Eric asked, glancing at his wrist briefly. (I have to go soon and might not be back on tonight after I leave)  

(Oh, okay. :( ) "Okay, although i've been forced to have this ribbon around my wrist. I could just simply cut it, but i'm worried that the king or something might punish me for doing so," he replied. "How are things for you going?"  

"Everything's fine," he said with a smile and a glance at Molly. "Elinor and everyone told me to say hi to you and Lakota.”  

A small smile appeared on Desmond's face. "How are Trinity, Elinor, Zakai, Angelina, and Isleen?" He asked.  

"Well, believe it or not Elinor is planning on getting married herself. Turns out she has been seeing someone she used to know. Zakai is happy as ever, Angelina is settling in okay. Definitely a feisty little thing, not much like Isleen. Isleen is kind of downcast but okay," he hesitated. "But to be honest, Trinity is pretty miserable. She has about a month left to meet her wedding day deadline, and she certainly doesn't love the guy courting her. Frankly, I am not sure she even likes him. But, everything has been pretty peaceful, almost to the point of boredom."  

"Seems like we need Andris's cat lemur to fix that," Desmond sighed. "Well, i'm glad that Elinor is getting married... Not so glad about Trinity getting married though since you say that she is miserable..." Lakota stopped playing and said, "Perhaps we should pay a visit to everyone."  

"I gotta say, I miss Andris. You know, you could pay a visit. Maybe it would do everyone some good."

"Hm, maybe we can surprise everyone later on today if we're quick. I do wonder though where Andris is. He didn't even say where he would be going," Desmond replied. "Forget going later, let's go now!" Lakota exclaimed. He cleared his throat awkwardly after realizing his sudden outburst.  

Eric chuckled. “Everyone will be happy to see you I am sure. Do you want to walk, or would you like me to transport you both there?”  

Before Desmond replied, Lakota said, "Transport please!" The young women who had been in the shop had had a feeling that they would be leaving so they had turned over the sign that said open so it said closed before they left.  

Eric smiled. "Alright then." he waited until they were ready then transported them both to the end of the path leading to the house, that way they wouldn't run into any villagers, or appear too close and scare someone. By now Elinor and Trinity were both home and Isleen was doing some baking in the kitchen. Angelina was outside sitting beneath a tree with a book and Trinity was upstairs in the music room. Zakai was with her, sitting on the piano bench while Charlotte took a nap. Elinor was in her room making a list of things she had to do.  

Desmond didn't want to make a big commotion when they entered so he quietly opened the door, Lakota following from behind. Desmond headed to the kitchen and knocked on the door lightly before coming in. Lakota had quietly crept away and ran upstairs to the music room.  

Isleen saw him come in and smiled. “Oh! You are here! What are you doing here?” She had dropped the knife she was using on the table and was standing up. Trinity was playing parts of different songs and letting Zakai listen and tap a key or two. The playful baby chuckled, balling his hands into fists and giggling. (I probably won’t be back on tonight, but I should be on for a while tomorrow night!)  

"Heh, Lakota and I are visiting. We heard the place was... sort of boring?" He said. Lakota was listening from the doorway silently till he snapped out of the sort of trance he was in and said, "Hi Trinity."  

"Well, nothing much has happened," Isleen said with a shrug. "Other than Micheal coming around and Elinor getting engaged of course." She chuckled softly, "Who would have guessed that she was thinking about marrying again?" Trinity stopped playing and looked up, "Lakota! What are you doing here?"  

Desmond shrugged before he asked, "Is Trinity upstairs?" Lakota chuckled and said, "Visiting with my brother, obviously."

Isleen nodded, "Yes. I think she is up there watching Zakai." Trinity smiled, "I just didn't expect to see you this soon."

Desmond nodded before he looked up and said, "Guess i'll go try surprising her too. Maybe even little Zakai and Elinor." Lakota smiled and said, "Well, we both really wanted to visit and Desmond was very desperate to get away from all the girls with those head bands. It's courting season after all. Anyways he's really worried something will happen if he tries cutting off the blue ribbon tied to his wrist. 

Isleen smiled, "Alright. Good idea." Trinity winced, "I can imagine. My sister and I used to volunteer at festivals in spring, that way we had a very legitimate excuse for not being around during courting season."  

"I'm lucky that I don't have to court," said Lakota with a smirk. Desmond smiled before he headed to the music room upstairs. He gave a light knock on the door before poking his head and saying, "Hey."  

Smiled brightly, "Hey." Next to her Zakai clapped his hands with a happy chuckle. "Dehzeemon!"  

Desmond walked in and lightly messed Zakai's hair. "Hey, little Zakai. Hi Trinity." He a look of relief and a smile on his face. 

Zakai grinned, looking up at him with a bright smile. "What brings you down here?" Trinity asked curiously.  

Desmond grinned back, his fangs slightly visible. "Well, Eric told us things were getting a little boring here and we wanted to visit." Desmond then quietly added, "Plus I wanted to get away from some of the customers."  

Trinity winced, "Yeah, some people are kind of like vultures during spring."  

Lakota chuckled and said, "They're especially like vultures around my brother. For the past few days, the girl customers haven't even glanced at the male customers!" Desmond rolled his eyes and sighed. "It's true," he muttered.  

"Pretty much the same around here. Isleen and I have started playing more and more checkers," she said, rolling her eyes

"No chess?" Desmond asked before lightly playing a quick tune on the piano with one hand.  

Trinity smiled, "Isleen rarely plays because she says she is extremely bad at it and isn't likely to improve. What about you, are you still smiling and laughing at odd times?"  

He smiled and shook his head. "No, not really. I've mostly just been... eh... Mostly been..." Lakota rolled his eyes and said muttered, "Mostly been sitting on a stool being depressed, tired, and quiet."  

Trinity glanced at Lakota once, managing to stifle an amused smile. "Well, maybe it was the water here or something," she said lightly. "At least you are smiling now." 

"Heh, yeah..." Desmond replied. He rubbed his eyes before he bent down do he was face to face with Zakai. "Hi little Zakai," he said softly. Lakota watched from the side of the room curiously.  

Zakai grinned brightly, " 'ello," he repeated, plopping back on Trinity's lap and looking up at Desmond.  

Desmond smiled and tilted his head slightly as he looked at Zakai. "You've gotten smarter, haven't you, little Zakai?" He asked.  

Zakai giggled, ducking his head then raising it again, glancing at Desmond with curious, wide eyes. For a moment he seemed enthralled with Desmond;s eyes and pointed, pulling at Trinity's fingers. Trinity chuckled softly, "Yes. I see. He is used to blue eyes or green, so I guess this is sort of a novelty for him."  

Desmond chuckled and stood back up again and saw how small Zakai was compared to him. Desmond couldn't help but smile when he looked at Zakai.  

Zakai smiled then touched three keys on the piano, playing a short tune that he had apparently just learned. Then he slid off of Trinity's lap, using the skirt of her dress like a slide and holding her hands to steady himself. He then plopped down happily on the floor.  

Desmond felt stupid for feeling so happy when he saw all the things Zakai did on his own. "You're so smart, Zakai!" he said happily as he laid down on his stomach in front of Zakai.  

Zakai nodded, as if agreeing. Then he said, "Wuv you," looking very solemn.  

Desmond rested his cheek on his hand. "Love you too," he replied before he then glanced up at Trinity to see if she was giving him a weird look. He, after all, looked kinda strange since he was wearing his work clothes. Yes, he wore work clothes when he went to work.

Trinity was smiling, looking happier than she had in a very long time. "He has sure taken to you," she remarked when he looked up at her. Zakai seemed to remember she was there and quickly said, "wuv you," to her too. Trinity chuckled softly then said, "and I love you." She got up and sat down carefully next to him. Zakai smiled, seeming very happy indeed.  

Lakota walked over and sat by them all. He stared at Zakai as if he didn't know why he looked so small. "You know Lakota, you were as small as him," said Desmond. Lakota scoffed and said, "I doubt I was as small as Zakai." Desmond chuckled and said, "But you were."  

"I was smaller," Trinity said with a chuckle. "My mom said I was mostly hair and eyes." Zakai grinned, "eyes," he repeated, looking up at Lakota.

Lakota chuckled when Trinity said that and he repeated what Zakai said. "Eyes," he replied to him. Desmond smiled but didn't say anything that his parents had said about either him or Lakota

"Pretty," Zakai said in a very matter-of-fact way.  

"Pretty eyes?" asked Desmond and Lakota in sync.

"He has a fascination with eyes," Trinity said with a shrug. "I guess he likes yours." Zakai just grinned, swaying back and forth. 

Desmond let out a sigh rolled over so he was laying down on his back. Lakota wondered what Zakai would do if he showed him his teeth so Lakota grinned, his fangs visible.

Zakai tilted his head for a minute, studying him, then he grinned and giggled, clapping his chubby hands together. Trinity glanced at Desmond, "Is the floor comfortable?" she asked with a slight smile.  

Lakota raised an eyebrow before he laughed slightly. Desmond looked up at Trinity and said, "Yeah, it's comfortable." There were some slight bags under his eyes, showing that despite him having trouble sleeping, he was having more trouble.  

Zakai grinned, tilting his head and puffing out his cheeks. "You are tired," she said.Then she went on, "How long are you going to visit?"  

Lakota copied Zakai and smiled after letting out a breath. Desmond sat up and rubbed his eyes. "Well, however long we can stay here. My shop isn't getting any new things again till next month so we're not really in any hurry to get back..." Desmond got a little quiet then asked, "Um... we can stay just to visit right?" 

Zakai giggled, seeming unable to stop. "Of course," she said. "You were both missed very much."  

Lakota laughed then said, "Sheesh, you are so happy!" Desmond glanced at Lakota and Zakai before he fell back over and let out a sigh of relief. "You and everyone else were very missed too," Desmond said as he looked completely dead tired, his eyes closed.  

Zakai stopped giggling and smiled, standing up and taking a faltering step toward Lakota. "Should you rest?" she asked worriedly.

Lakota watched Zakai walk towards him and he held his arm out in case Zakai needed to balance himself out while he walked. Desmond shook his head and said, "I'm good, i'm just relieved to be back."  

Zakai took another step, then put a hand on Lakota's arm. Walking right up to him. "I am relived to have you back," she said. Then she looked a bit startled as if that wasn't quite what she had meant to say.  

Lakota pat Zakai's head and laughed softly. Desmond laughed slightly when she said that. "Relieved?" He asked. 

Zakai grinned, " 'ello," he said slowly. Trinity smiled, "Yes. I guess that is the right word. It has been pretty dull around here."  

"Hi," Lakota replied with a smile. He laid down so then Zakai looked upside to him. Desmond smiled and said, "I'm the one who is most relieved." 

Zakai squealed happily then turned his own head sideways. "Really?" she said with a smile. "Was it really that bad?"  

Lakota let out a small squeal to make fun of Zakai then he laughed. "Yes!" Desmond said in a rather loud tone before he cleared his voice. "Well, yes it was. With this stupid courting season i've been stuck at the shop and it's all been so... so incredibly irritating." Desmond held up his left wrist to show Trinity the blue ribbon. 

Zakai grinned, wrinkling yup his tiny nose. Trinity nodded, looking sympathetic. "Isleen and I don't even like going to the town anymore. Seems like every one and their cousin is looking for a girlfriend. Seems like there are ten guys for every girl out here." 

"You're silly, Zakai," Lakota chuckled. Desmond covered his face with his hand. "If it is as bad as you say it is out there then I doubt i'll even want to go into town. Well, unless Andris somehow is there, which I doubt... Is there anything we can all do together to take our minds off of all these stressful things?"  

Zakai chuckled, "silly," he repeated. Trinity chuckled softly, "Don't worry. I think all the girls are already paired up. Hmm, well, Isleen and I are going to the south tomorrow to meet with some of her mother's family. Angelina is coming along as well. The only stops along the way are small villages, so there won't likely be hoards of people looking to find their perfect match."  

"Super duper silly," he replied. "Think we could maybe come along?" Desmond asked. "If you want we could just hang out in town while you meet some of her mother's family."  

Zakai grinned, " sooper, doooper silly!" Trinity smiled, "I am sure that would be fine. Isleen's aunt and cousin will be there. I think you already saw the cousin, Derek, the day you left." She glanced down at her hands, "It will be good to go away for a bit."  

Lakota messed up Zakai's hair again and grinned. Desmond looked at Trinity when she looked down at her hands. "Hey... what's, um... your fiancé like?" He asked in a completely different tone from earlier.  

Zakai laughed, reaching up to grab one of his fingers playfully. Trinity looked up, "Well, technically we aren't actually engaged yet. He proposed, but honestly, I am kind of putting of giving him my answer until I have to. He is okay, but he hates nature, animals, and children. He also likes himself just a little too much. But he is . . . okay. " As she spoke her eyes lost their glow and she seemed a little less cheerful. "I guess I should just say yes though, I know I have to, I just . . . can't."  

Lakota wiggled his fingers and began to count the fingers on his left hand. Desmond seemed to look a little down when she described her fiancé. He stood up and sighed. "I was kinda hoping that even though you'd have get to married, the guy you'd marry would at least not be all the things you described him as... or at least just... not... yeah, I think you get what I mean." He shook his head slightly. "Let's all go outside or something," he muttered.  

Zakai watched, mesmerized. Trinity nodded, standing up then picking up Zakai. “It isn’t so bad,” she said, glancing at Desmond before heading to the door with Zakai, who was making sure Lakota followed.

Lakota followed and Desmond followed from behind. "Oh" Desmond muttered.  

Trinity heard him and glanced back once, one brow raised slightly, but she didn't comment. Zakai kept his eyes on Lakota over Trinity's shoulder. When they got downstairs he said Isleen and began to speak, more or less in baby language. Angelina had come inside and laughed when he said her name, which he pronounced, "Anleenah." When Trinity mentioned that Lakota and Desmond wanted to come along the next day Isleen looked relieved. "Good," she said.  

Lakota seemed amused by it all and he said, "Seems like everyone is relieved about something."  

"Yeah, only some people don't seem to entirely understand what yet," Angelina said with a knowing smile. Isleen raised an eyebrow at her sister, but didn't contradict or agree.

"I kinda they secretly know in their minds," Lakota said quietly to Angelina while eyes Desmond. Desmond didn't seem to have heard what Lakota said.  

Angelina nodded, "Agreed. Now if they would just use those heads of theirs and figure things out everyone would be so much happier." Trinity either didn't hear, or didn't react. Instead she busied herself with stopping Zakai, who was busily un-braiding her hair from bottom to top.  

Lakota sighed and rested his hands on his head. "Yep." Desmond was rubbing his eyes still and he nearly fell over when he stumbled.  

Angelina sighed, "If only we could do something. . . " Trinity put a hand on his shoulder. he was standing close enough that he almost stumbled into her. "Whoa, you alright?"  

Lakota grinned and turned his face away so Isleen, Trinity, and Desmond wouldn't see. "Maybe... there is something we can do," he replied. Desmond blinked a few times before he said, "Y-yeah... I'm alright." 

"Like what?" Angelina asked with a mischievous look in her bright eyes. Trinity nodded, but still looked a little worried.  

"Well... first we need to confirm if what they are thinking is what they're thinking... like," Lakota glanced around before he quietly said, "like how Andris has a crush on Isleen. Something similar to that. If we know what it is that they all secretly know in their minds, then perhaps we can find a way to do something about all of it." Desmond sighed softly and lowered his eye lids.  

"How do we find out? They aren't likely to tell us, and Trinity is a really good hider when it comes to feelings. Even Isleen can't always figure her out." Trinity shifted Zakai to her right hip. "Are you sure you are okay?" she asked softly.  

"Maybe we can some how trick Desmond into tricking trinity to show her feelings? Or maybe we can find Andris and try to get him and cat lemur," Lakota whispered. Desmond shrugged and looked away.  

"Maybe we can try the tricking plan then use the cat lemur as plan b," she said in a whisper. "But how do we trick him?" Trinity sighed softly then went back to untangling her hair from Zakai's grasp.  

"Write a fake letter that says Trinity herself likes Desmond then at night time sneakily drop it off so Desmond reads it. Then the next day Desmond may say something and Trinity will hear what he has to say. Plan b may also be a little complicated since we don't know where exactly Andris is."  

"Right. So, who is going to actually write the letter? And how do we make sure it looks like it is her hand writing? Actually, I guess Desmond probably hasn't seen her hand writing, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem. Plan B would be rather difficult, unless we used magic."  

"My hand writing is fairly good so maybe I could write the letter... but Desmond knows my hand writing," Lakota whispered again. Desmond crossed his arms and glanced at Angelina and Lakota. Desmond quietly said to Trinity, "Hey, aren't those two a little more talkative than usual?"  

"I guess I could do it, hopefully it would look authentic," she replied softly. Trinity nodded, "Yes." She glanced at the pair. "They either suddenly like each other very much, or they are scheming together. I am fairly certain is is probably the latter." 

"Okay, good," he replied. Desmond sighed then said, "Well, at least he's making a friend who is his age."  

Angelina nodded, smiling briefly. Trinity nodded, "Something tells me they will get along very well."

Lakota smiled slightly before he glanced up at his older brother. Desmond laughed softly and said, "Yep."  

Trinity chuckled softly. "Definitely. Finding someone you really click with is hard. They must have gotten lucky."  

"I completely agree. I guess Andris and I also got lucky since we made some awesome friends," Desmond replied.  

Trinity smiled, "I guess there was luck all around." With a teasing grin she added, "Maybe it was the ladybug." Zakai giggled, " Ladybug?"  

Desmond laughed softly and said, "The ladybug... yeah, maybe."  

Zakai repeated the word ladybug again, seeming fascinated with it for the moment. Trinity chuckled softly as he puzzled over the word. Then he suddenly grinned and reached out, touching Desmond’s sleeve. 

"Hm? What is it, Zakai?" He asked curiously, wondering if maybe the little child just wanted to see his eyes.  

Zakai just grinned broadly, either not sure what he wanted, or just not saying what it was. “I am going to go do some . . . stuff,” Angelina said to Isleen. Isleen chuckled, ‘Stuff, eh? Alright then.” Angelina smiled innocently then hurried down the hall to the room where she had been staying. Trinity was watching Zakai with curiosity. “What is it now?” Zakai’s grin grew wider, if that was even possible. “Eyes, pretty,” he said with a soft gurgling chuckle. Trinity smiled, “I know you think they are pretty.” Zakai suddenly pointed to her eyes, “Blue?” Trinity nodded, “That’s right.” Then he pointed to Desmond’s eyes, “Pretty?” Trinity chuckled, “They are brown.” Zakai was quiet for a moment then he smiled, “brown!” Then he suddenly leaned over her arm and hugged Desmond’s arm tightly.  

Desmond laughed softly again and smiled. "Yup, I have brown eyes. Hey Zakai, do you know what color your eyes are?"  

"Blue," Zakai said firmly with a quick nod. "Blue pretty?"  

"Oh, yes. Blue is very pretty," he replied with a chuckle.  

Zakai seemed happy and clapped. Then he frowned slightly, "Green?"

Desmond frowned slightly at the thought of green eyes since they reminded him of Adara but he then said, "Also pretty." 

Zakai seemed to think on that a few minutes then he said, "Gray?" He tilted his head slightly as he spoke.  

Desmond ruffled Zakai's hair up and said, "Yes, gray eyes too." Lakota walked beside them and wondered how fascinated with eyes little Zakai was.  

As if reading Lakota's mind Trinity said, "He heard someone mention eyes and now he can't seem to stop taking note of everyone's eyes. He tends to like the eye colors belonging to people he likes."  

Lakota looked at Trinity and wondered if maybe she had read his mind and new of his and Angelina's plan. "He sure does like eyes..." Lakota said quietly.  

Trinity smiled, "Yes he does." A laugh came from the doorway. "Only certain eyes, of course." Trinity turned slightly to greet her mother. "Mother, how was your rest?" Charlotte Dante smiled, "Just fine, dearie. Has he been behaving?" Trinity smiled, "As always." Charlotte then glanced at Desmond and Lakota. "Ah, you are back!" She looked pleased, almost so pleased that it was odd. "Excellent," she said, walking over to them. Zakai smiled, "Brown pretty," he said. Charlotte laughed. "You certainly have a better opinion of brown than green! I can take him to eat now, if you like," she said. Trinity nodded and Charlotte took Zakai gently, heading to the kitchen. "I better help," Isleen said, following quickly.  

Lakota waved slightly to Zakai as he left the room with his mother and Isleen. Lakota glanced around and wondered if Angelina was working on the letter. He hoped it at least would be convincing. "Looking for Angelina?" Desmond asked while trying to contain a smirk. Lakota's cheeks turned a red and he looked away from his older brother, being slightly annoyed. Desmond just smiled and messed Lakota's hair up. "I'm only kidding, geez," said Desmond.  

Trinity held back a smile. "Should you want to look for her she is staying in the fourth room on the right side of the hall. In the meantime, I am going outside for a bit, should anyone care to join me."  

Lakota thought it the perfect moment to escape from the young adults and he hurried off to where Trinity said Angelina said she should be. "Oi, Angelina? You here?" He asked after knocking on her door. Desmond smirked when Lakota left and he let out a sigh, "I think I won't be able to stop thinking of eyes now."  

Angelina nodded, then realized the door wasn't open so he couldn't see her. "Oh, yes, come in!" She was sitting at her desk, writing away. Trinity laughed softly, "Me either!" 

Lakota opened the door and walked over to her and looked at her hand writing to read the letter. "Heh, I think this may just work." Desmond stretched and rubbed his eyes. He was silent for some seconds till he said, "I actually wanted to hear Zakai talk a little more about eyes."  

"I hope so!" Angelina said. Her right hand was the one with the brand like mark on the top and out of habit she moved it beneath the shadow cast by her body, not liking to have it show. "Really? Any particular reason?" Trinity asked.  

He wondered why she did that but began to read through the letter again just make sure it was just right. Personally, Lakota believed the letter was actually quite silly. Desmond smiled and said, "It was just nice to hear him talk even though he is so little." 

"i am not sure what she would say," Angelina said. "I have just been writing down ideas for a while." Trinity chuckled softly, "He learns pretty fast. Mother said that I did too. I think my sister was the only normal child of the three of us. He certainly likes talking to you, and your pretty eyes of course."  

Lakota shrugged. "Well, I don't know anything about love letters except that love letters about confessing someone's love or something." Desmond chuckled and said, "He only thinks my eyes are 'pretty' because he's never really seen eyes coloured like mine. I find it amusing that he thinks my eyes are pretty. I bet if Andris were here, Zakai would also tell him that he had pretty brown eyes."  

She laughed, "Maybe we should take the easy way and just tell them that they like each other." Trinity smiled, "Probably. He notices when my eyes or my aunts change color even slightly and he loves to watch, as if staring long enough will let him see the change."  

"That'd be simpler and would spare us the time of having to explain where the letter actually came from," Lakota replied while considering that as plan C. Desmond couldn't help but smile at the thought of imagining Zakai staring at his sister and aunt's eyes to see them change color. "He definitely knows how to spend his time."  

"I wonder if they might realize how they feel, if we talk about the other people they supposedly like," she muttered. "Maybe if, say, I talk about Michael a lot around Desmond, and you make something up and talk about ti around Trinity . . . " Trinity laughed. "Does he now? I doubt anyone else would have the patience to stare at someone's eyes and watch them change color."  

Lakota sighed and tapped his his cheek in thought. "Well, making something up like an imaginary fake girlfriend that Desmond might have had before Adara? If I did that I don't think i'd be able to come of with good stuff... So we're going to have to make each of them jealous, right? I think I have a good idea about coming up with this imaginary character..." Lakota began to think some more and he chuckled slightly. Desmond laughed as well and said, "Oh, I can't imagine anyone else doing that! How in the world would anyone else be able to do that? It's only understandable if the person is having a staring contest!"  

"Sounds good," Angelina said with a smile. Trinity smiled. "My sister and I used to have staring contests, but she was far too impatient to last long!"  

"Well then... let's start out by first separating them. We could both be casually talking and i could mention Desmond's 'girlfriend' from before while we're talking. Then we could go to Desmond next and you could tell me about Michael." Lakota felt a rush of excitement go through him and he felt like some sort of spy working for the king. "Heh, Lakota would probably beat me if he weren't too weirded out by the game," Desmond chuckled.  

Angelina nodded, "Alright then. Michael will be pretty easy to use, despite his obvious character flaws he looks pretty good. He is tall with dark hair and emerald green eyes. He is probably about Trinity's height. He is an excellent hunter and a pretty good sword fighter and archer. If we can just convince Desmond that Trinity really kind of likes him." Trinity smiled, "I can picture him being less than thrilled with the game."  

"I don't even think we need to convince him because he'd probably get jealous even if Trinity doesn't really like him," Lakota laughed before quieting down and walking out of the room to let the mission commence. "Hey, Desmond! I just remembered that one of the female customers was walking in to the shop just as we were coming here!" Lakota exclaimed in a worried tone as he ran up to his brother. Desmond was surprised when Lakota said that and he sighed. "Seems like I have to go lock it up and make sure no one will go in it... I can leave now and come back in maybe an hour if I run. I'll be pretty beaten down though when I come back so... Hmm..." Desmond turned to Trinity and said, "Forgive me for not having locked it up earlier." After saying that Desmond hurried out and left to go back to the kingdom to lock the shop. Lakota laughed internally at his little lie. Unknowingly though, they actually had forgotten to lock the shop and a few customers were roaming around in it.  

Angelina spoke from behind Lakota. "Hmm, seems he won't be back for a bit. How about if you stay here and I will bring out some cookies," she smiled sweetly. Trinity raised a brown , "Okay." Angelina sailed into the kitchen, "be right back!"  

Lakota chuckled and said, "Seems like she's getting some snacks for us all before I continue the story I was telling her earlier.”

"What story was that?" Trinity asked, not so much out of curiosity, but out of boredom.

"Well the story i'm telling right now is about Desmond ex girlfriend." He sneezed before continued and said, "His girlfriend before Adara. I can't go on anymore though till Angelina gets back. She'd surely not like me having gone on with the story without her being here."

Angelina returned a moment later and had brought some cookies, which she didn't expect anyone to actually eat. "Now, let's hear the rest of the story," Angelina said eagerly. Trinity hadn't said anything, but a spark of interest showed in her eyes 

Lakota cleared his throat before he began to continue the story. "So not long after the story of Desmond teaching me how to play the piano, he met this girl out at the market. He was about to buy a new song to teach me when the girl grabbed the papers he was going to buy. He was incredibly disappointed and knew he wouldn't be able to get the music so he walked along the places in the market all disappointed. It was later that the girl suddenly appeared with the music in her hands, neatly wrapped with a bow. She had saw how sad he looked so she decided to give it to him instead of keeping it. And, like most people, they began to converse and later on they ended up being really good friends. Later after that, Desmond asked her to court him and she said yes. She was real pretty. Her eyes were almost like a violet color and her hair was a dark brown."  

"Lovely," Trinity said casually. She was almost impossible to read, but something seemed to have shifted behind her calm gaze. Angelina sighed, "So romantic." Trinity just laughed shortly, "Well, I am going to go upstairs for a bit to work on some music. I will see you later." Then she left. Angelina grinned and after she left said, "It just may have worked." 

Lakota let out a quiet laugh which he covered with his hand. "I think this is going well. Now we just need to talk about Michael around Desmond. He'll surely get jealous!" Lakota took a bite out of one of the cookies and smiled.  

Angelina grinned, "So now, we just wait."  

Nearly an hour and a half later, Desmond came back. He looked even more tired than he had earlier and he sat down as soon as he arrived back. Lakota himself was quite sleepy but the second his brother arrived, he sprung into action. "Hey, Angelina. What's this Michelangelo guy like?" Lakota remembered the man's name but he thought that maybe by making it sound fancy he would immediately capture his brother's attention. The second Desmond heard the first part of the name he was immediately alert and listening while his eyes were closed.  

"Well, any girls definition of perfect I daresay. Any character flaws he may have are nothing compared to everything else. He is very tall, and dark. He has the most beautiful green eyes you ever did see. Sort of like a gem. And he is very good with words. He is also an excellent archer, and very romantic I am told. He clearly likes Trinity very much too, and just maybe she likes him. Who knows? He is a smooth talker for sure.” Angelina sighed in a kind of sappy way, just for effect. "If he didn't want to marry Trinity so much, I would try to get Isleen to take an interest."  

Lakota kept a curious expression on his face and said, "I wonder what his proposal to Trinity was like. Heh, that cat lemur sure could probably learn a thing or two from him!" If Desmond had been born a Kitsune, hit tail and ears would have flickered in annoyance. "At least Zakai seemed to have taken more of an interest in my brown eyes that his green ones..." He thought to himself before he found himself slightly puzzled. He didn't know why he thought that. Desmond replayed what Angelina had said about Michael being a smooth talker and romantic. He scoffed slightly and rested his cheek on his hand. "Like that would make Trinity like him." He thought to himself again. Lakota smiled, recognizing the look of jealousy and annoyance on his brother's face.  

“Believe me, he is dreamy,” Angelina said. “Besides, he makes her eyes turn blue, and that is always good. I bet he already kissed her. She probably likes him more than she lets on. He is strong and well . . . perfect!”

When he tried imagining Trinity kissing the man whom he had only once glanced at, Desmond nearly wanted to... He wanted to... He didn't want Michael being the one who Trinity liked. Desmond huffed slightly and face palmed himself. "What in the world am I thinking?" Desmond muttered quietly to himself. He tried to reassure himself that everything was just perfectly perfect and he remembered how nothing in the universe was perfect. 'But some things were close to perfect,' said a voice in his mind. Desmond stood up and headed to his room so he could try to get some rest, clear his thoughts, and recharge his energy. Lakota grinned and said to Angelina, "You definitely made him jealous."  

Angelina smiled impishly, “Perfect. Now if they will just stop talking themselves out of being jealous, everything should go as planned.”  

Lakota let out a sigh and replied, "Yes." He rubbed his eyes and yawned before saying, "I don't understand why only now i'm super tired."  

"Maybe you should try sleeping," Angelina said. "It is getting kind of late. I think Lady Dante already finished feeding Zakai and put him down for a nap. And Isleen is probably getting ahead on some sewing and such." She smiled, "I think we can guess what Trinity is doing."  

"Heh yeah... Well, i'm going to go crash in Desmond's room so... yeah. See you again when I awake from my slumber." Lakota then headed off the hallway where all the rooms were.  

Angelina made her way into the kitchen where Isleen was baking bread for the next day. She was kneading the dough but had an absent look on her face as if mechanically going through the motions of kneading while in deep thought. "Where might you be?" Angelina asked with a soft chuckle. Isleen looked up, blinking owlishly. "Oh, Angelina. I didn't hear you come in." Angelina smiled. "Apparently not. Should I ask what you were thinking?" Isleen just smiled and Angelina sat, down, chuckling softly. "Very well then, what shall we talk about?" The two then began to chat about the past, and their plans for the future. Upstairs Charlotte was getting Zakai into bed for the evening and Elinor was entering the music room. She had wanted to ask Trinity about some things ,but when she saw her sitting on a chair with her legs curled up beneath her and her sketch book on hand, her hand flying across the page, she retreated to her room once more, busily making plans for her own wedding.  

The next day, Desmond woke up early. He wasn't quite sure what time it was and he still had the thought of Michael in his mind. He let out a quiet groan as he walked out of his room into the hall way. He was about to knock on the door of the room Andris had been in but he suddenly remembered that Andris was no longer there. He let out a sigh and covered his face with his hand. Lakota was already up but he didn't really have a clue what to do next until he couldn't plan the rest of the plan with Angelina.  

Angelina and Isleen were in the kitchen making breakfast to eat before they left. Elinor and Charlotte were taking a trip into town and Trinity had gone out early, though she hadn't said where she was going

Desmond was completely tired and had mostly forgotten everything that had happened the previous day all except for when he heard the story of Michael and when Zakai was talking about eyes. Lakota sat in front of his brother and yawned, "Good morning." 

Isleen and Angelina were both busy working in the kitchen when Trinity came in through the kitchen door. “Where have you been sneaking off to?” Angelina asked teasingly. Trinity just laughed, “Nowhere.” She smiled then went through the kitchen and across the hall to her room. She seemed happy and sat down at her dresser, humming softly as she wrote something down on a piece of paper.  

Desmond nodded and laid down lazily on the ground in basically where the living room was. He looked a little depressed and Lakota gave him a concerned look. "Umm... you okay?" Lakota asked. Desmond nodded and said, "Yeah, i'm fine." 

Trinity finished her writing and put a piece of paper in the drawer. She left her room and went out front where she saw Lakota and Desmond. “What are you doing on the floor?” she asked, looking down at him.  

Desmond rolled over so he looked up at her. He stared at her for some seconds as he tried to think of a way to reply. "I think he's depressed or something..." Lakota whispered quietly to Trinity. Desmond scoffed then rolled over again and closed his eyes so he could think. He didn't bother correcting Lakota since he was sort of right.  

(I should be on for a bit now!) Angelina popped her head out of the kitchen just then, motioning for Lakota. Trinity sat down, looking a bit confused by Desmond's sudden depression, as Lakota had put it.  

Lakota sneezed before he noticed Angelina motioning for him to come over. He snuck over to the kitchen and quietly said, "I think we just made him sad or something..."  

Angelina sighed, "Great. Maybe he will talk to her," she said, glancing at the pair. Trinity sat quietly for about ten minutes then rather hesitantly said, "You weren't like this last night before you left. Did anything happen while you were gone, or after you got back?" 

"Yeah, maybe," Lakota replied. Desmond sat up and rubbed his neck. "Well, people were roaming around the store but other than that... Well..." Desmond trailed off quietly. "Nothing really happened afterwards... I guess."  

"I guess we will have to let nature takes its course," she said quietly. "You know, by now I can tell when you aren't telling me everything," Trinity said softly, not sounding at all irritated or annoyed. "Something else is bothering you, and while you don't have to tell anyone, it might help you feel better if you did."  

Desmond looked at her and let out a sigh. "Did Michael... kiss you?" He asked quietly while biting the inside of his lip a little bit. Lakota was surprised when his older brother said that. He had expected him to say something else.  

Trinity looked to dumbfounded for a minute to answer then she said very carefully, "No. Of course not. I actually had some old lady at the market place tell me I would never be able to keep a catch if I kept holding him at arm's length." She stared at him. "Is that why you are so out of sorts?"  

Desmond's face turned a tad shade red and he shook his head. "N...nope. Not particularly." Desmond wondered if maybe Angelina had somehow tricked Lakota into listening to her story about what Michael was like.  

Trinity slid off her chair and knelt down on her knees on the floor next to him. "I can't imagine why you would even think that," she said, sounding puzzled. "He has a bit of a reputation I know, but still." She sighed, "But enough of that. If that wasn't what was particularly bothering you then what is it?"  

Desmond covered his face and wished he hadn't said anything. "Me knowing that you're going to get married..." He replied truthfully. It honestly was the main thing that bothered him.  

"Why does that bother you?" Trinity asked softly, trying to figure out exactly what he meant.  

Desmond sighed and bit the inside of his lip again. "I... I seriously think I like... you." After he spoke, Desmond hugged his knees close to himself. 

Trinity was quiet for a minute, her gaze unreadable. “Truly?” She smiled gently, “Well, I think . . . I know, I like you. Very much.”  

"Really?" He asked even quieter than before.  

She nodded, “Yes. Really.”

Desmond's face was a little redder than before and he glanced over at Trinity. "I'm glad..." He replied. Lakota sighed before he completely walked into the kitchen.  

Angelina had followed. “Well, looks like things may have worked out after all. As of now I am retired from matchmaking!” Trinity chuckled softly, “You are blushing again,” she said softly with a teasing smile.  

"Same, but I never really was part of that business. I was more like the advisor," Lakota sighed as he rested his hands on his head. Desmond hugged his knees closer to himself and hid his face. "Pointing that out just makes me blush more," he muttered.  

Angelina chuckled, "Sure. I guess you can retire from the position of advisor then." Trinity smiled and scooted over a little closer to him, “Well, it makes no difference to me.”  

"Yep. But I wasn't just an advisor I was the top top top of the line advisors out there," Lakota said with a grin. Desmond still hugged his knees but not as tightly as earlier, his face almost completely red. "Still embarrassing though," he mumbled while looking at his feet.  

Angelina raised an eyebrow, “Oh, really? You sure I couldn’t have done a little better?” Trinity smiled then leaned over and kissed his cheek softly. “I guess that probably doesn’t help, but maybe it will distract you.”  

"Bring it on if you want to see who is the better advisor... Maybe we can give the two some advice on something." Lakota was grinning at the thought of competing against Angelina. He would definitely win is what he was thinking. His whole face was red and he then hid his face in his hands. "You're just trying to make me blush more!" He exclaimed while he then glanced back at Trinity. It took him a few seconds before he tried to get pay back and kiss her cheek. "Gah, this is embarrassing," he mumbled as he then hugged his knees again.  

Angelina raised a single brow, "Really now? Such as what?" Trinity chuckled softly, "I will warn you now that I am not much of a blusher, so you aren't likely to make me blush too easily."  

"Cooking advise and making trade deals!" Lakota wanted to take back his words about cooking advise but not trade deals since he actually was a master at that. Desmond sighed and fell over, pretending to have died. "I'm going to have trouble not blushing if you attempt to make me blush again... What are you going to do now about Michael?" 

"Cooking? Don't you think you are at a disadvantage there?" Angelina smirked. Trinity bit her lower lip, "Hmm, well, I will have to tell him the truth. But luckily I never said yes so it won't be much of a big deal. I mean, people tend to change their minds a lot during courting season so no one will think much of it, except maybe Michael. I can almost see him giving the 'any girl would be lucky to have me' speech."  

"Well, eh... Well don't you think you're at a disadvantage with being a master trader?" He replied defensively. Desmond nodded and rolled his eyes slightly. "If he were smarter he'd be saying that he was the lucky one to have had you as his girlfriend or at least nearly girlfriend."  

"I don't know, my mentor was pretty shrewd and made me learn her tricks." Angelina laughed. "Well, he isn't smarter so he will probably make it about him, as usual," she said with a soft chuckle. She was quiet for a minute then said, "There is one problem though, I still have to marry by the end of spring." She bit the inside of her lip, looking serious for a moment.  

Lakota groaned and face palmed himself. "I'm still going to be the top advisor though," he muttered. "Your step father wants you to marry a rich guy, right?" He asked softly as an idea came to his mind.  

Angelina smiled, "Well, we shall see. Unless you want to call it off of course." Trinity nodded, "That would be preferable to him for sure."  

"N-no! Of course not!" Lakota exclaimed as he seemed surprised that she would even suggest that he wanted to call it off. Desmond smiled and suddenly said, "Andris is the answer!" He realized how strange that sounded so he cleared his throat and said, "Maybe he could make an illusion to make your step father think i'm super rich or something. I'm sure Andris could help."  

Angelina smiled, "I thought not." She nudged him lightly with her wing, pretty much the equivalent of a much softer elbowing. "We don't know where he is though," Trinity said. 'And I only have . . ." she counted mentally. "Two and a half weeks."  

Lakota rolled his eyes and folded his arms. "You knew that I was going to say 'of course not,'" he muttered. Desmond's eyes widened slightly and he rested his cheek on his hand. "I could find him if I looked hard enough... Do you think that the seeing ball could give us a clue about where he is."  

"Maybe so," Angelina said, barely containing an amused smile. "I think so," Trinity said. "But . . ." She trailed off, seeming uncertain.  

"What, are you going to laugh at me?" Lakota asked while raising an eyebrow. Desmond turned so he faced Trinity completely and he said, "I'll find him, really. I'm not lying. I will find him before the two and a half weeks pass." He raised his thumb up and said, "You can count on me to find him in time." After he said that he couldn't help but grin slightly.  

"Nope. You just looks kind of funny when you are being stubborn," she said. Trinity smiled, "I know that. But do you . . . I know you like me, but do you really want to marry me?"  

"Yeah, im stubborn," he muttered before grinning slightly. Desmond blushed and said, "Yes. I mean... if I didn't your step father would make you marry some other guy... But yes, I do."  

Angelina laughed, 'Well, so am I!" Trinity looked relieved, "Good,I wouldn't have it any other way" she said. Hoping she wouldn't make him nervous or make him blush more she leaned forward and hugged him.  

"We'll be the stubborn advisors of the kingdom then. Competing with people across the country and giving them advise!" Lakota exclaimed. Desmond's eyes widened just slightly before he closed them and hugged her back.  

"Excellent idea," Angelina said with a chuckle. "And we shall never give in to anyone. Trinity smiled to herself when he hugged her back and moved her head slightly, her cheek brushing against his.  

"How about we see who is more competitive?" Lakota suggested while galloping around the kitchen since he felt like moving around. Desmond himself was smiling also while they hugged and felt a sense of relief wash through him. He felt silly for worrying if Michael ever did kiss trinity.  

"Competitive in what?' Angelina asked curiously. Trinity leaned back a bit to look up at him, still smiling.  

"Maybe... running? How about we see who can reach town first?" Lakota suggested again. Desmond smiled back at her.  

"I think you have the advantage there," she said with a chuckle. "But then, maybe not . . ." Trinity spoke, "Do you want to come see if you can find where Andris is?" she asked.  

Lakota grinned as he had an idea about what she was thinking. "Who is faster... the boy with fangs or the girl with wings?" He asked. Desmond nodded in reply.  

"I guess it depends on how you look at it," she said with a grin. "I have known few boys with fangs, and I am willing to bet you have known even fewer girls with wings." Trinity got up and headed back to her room where she retrieved the ball. She had left it on her desk and had to remove a lot of papers to get to it. Most of them either songs, letters from Michael and her stepfather, or notes she had jotted down as a reminder.  

"Yep," he replied before running out of the kitchen to go race her. When Trinity brought back the seeing ball, Desmond thought about Andris and how he wanted to know where he was.  

Angelina chuckled softly, following him hastily. "Show me where Andris is, please," Trinity said, holding the ball out so they could both see as an image began to swirl into focus on the ball.  

Lakota ran out to the entrance and waited for Angelina so they could count down before they began their race.The image in the seeing ball was of Andris and his cat lemur. One of his eyes was orange and his left ear was pierced, a small golden loop earring attached to it. He seemed to be biting his lip and he was completely covered in dirt and blood as if he had been fighting and wrestling with someone. Desmond would have gasped but he contained himself, though his eyes widened with worry.  

Angelina arrived a moment after him. "Do you want to count or shall I?" she asked. Trinity frowned slightly, "He doesn't appear to be in good shape," she murmured. "What should we do?"  

"You can count," Lakota said simply. "Find him and clean him up because he doesn't appear to be able to really use his powers..." Desmond said in a hard voice. Desmond stood up and paced around slightly, still staring at the image in the seeing ball.  

Angelina nodded, "To three then. One . . . Two . . . Three!" She took off as soon as the last words was out of her mouth. Trinity murmured something and the image became smaller, revealing more of his surroundings.  

Lakota took off with a burst of energy and the only thing he could hear was the wind blowing past his ears. In the image, Vakha was in front of Andris, equally covered in dirt and blood. Off to the side was a tall woman who had what looked like gold earrings and a thin gold bracelet. She was beside Nayden and the other group of men from before. On her hip was a belt and attached to it were some small pouches that Desmond assumed to be filled with goods. Desmond didn't quite understand the situation and was confused when he saw the woman kiss Nayden's cheek. She was wearing a ring on her ring finger as well as Nayden so Desmond guessed that they were married. He noticed that they all seemed to be in a large, ancient looking, building. He could even see crowds of people near by.

Angelina felt her feet skim across the ground as she moved along swiftly, using the wind to guide her as she always did. Though her wings itched to be used she didn't fly even a bit. Trinity winced, "We are going to have to hurry. This building, it looks like some of the southern ruins and architecture. Maybe we can go with Angelina and Isleen part way to their family's place then veer off and see if we can find this spot."  

Lakota could see the town just ahead of them after about three minutes of running. "Let's go let Isleen know before we go," Desmond said as he stood up straight. 

Angelina was pleased that she had managed to keep up and let her gaze wander sideways once to the landscape. Trinity nodded and went into the kitchen. Isleen had returned and was putting away some bread in the box. "Isleen, are you ready to leave?" Trinity asked. Isleen nodded, smiling brightly. "Yes. Are you?" Trinity nodded and Isleen went to grab her bag. "Should we tell her?" Trinity asked softly

Lakota was about to reach the town when he suddenly felt as if the air had been knocked out of him. He found himself suddenly on the ground, taking a gasp for breath. Desmond bit the inside of his lip lightly before he quietly said, "If we do tell her, she might become a little reckless if she sees Andris's condition. It feels wrong and right to not tell her..."  

Angelina halted immediately, "What is it?" she asked, wondering why he had stopped. "I think she would be okay, but elementals are powerful, and with powers tied into their emotions . . . I guess we should just tell her and hope she can remain calm." Isleen was in the doorway. "Tell me what?" she asked softly. Trinity turned to face her. "It seems, like Andris may be in trouble. With the same men from before." Isleen seemed to process the news. "oh," she said quietly. "We are going to see if we can find him so we will probably separate sometime during the trip." Isleen nodded. Trinity saw that though she seemed calm her eyes were swirling with many different emotions.

Lakota clenched his teeth and and held his side which hurt. "Feels like someone just rammed into my side," he replied. Desmond felt nervous and relieved at the same time and he had to take a deep breath. "We better tell Elinor also so that she knows," Desmond said quietly.  

Angelina knelt down, spreading her wings out a bit for balance. “How is that even possible,” she asked. Trinity nodded. “She should be coming down in a minute or two.” Sure enough Elinor came downstairs a couple minutes later. Trinity explained that their trip was going to be altered slightly and Elinor listened intently, wishing them luck and telling them to be careful. Isleen seemed to be going to great pains to remain calm. 

"I don't know but i'm telling you that someone or something must have rammed into me. It couldn't possibly have been the wind," said Lakota as he stood up again. Desmond patted Isleen's shoulder and tried to be reassuring. "We're going to find him."  

"Maybe we should go," she said hesitantly. Isleen nodded, “I know you will.” She managed a smile.  

Lakota shrugged slightly and dusted himself off. "I-" Lakota suddenly fell over backwards and gasped slightly for air. "T-that time something hit me!" He exclaimed as he frantically looked around. He couldn't sense anything around or smell anything unusual. Desmond let out a soft sigh before he turned to Trinity and said, "Let's get going."  

Angelina looked around, a slight frown on her face. “I don’t feel anything unusual.” Trinity nodded, following him outside. Isleen walked behind them.  

"Maybe there is some sort enchanted object near by that prevents me from coming here," he muttered while rubbing his arm. Desmond hoped Andris was okay and hoped they would find him.  

“Odd,” Angelina said. “Do you want me to find out?” Trinity was quiet, her gaze shifting toward Isleen every now and then.  

Lakota shook his head. "Nah, if anything happens if you try to find out I doubt it will be good." Suddenly, just right out of nowhere, the cat lemur appeared in front of Isleen and jumped up on to her shoulder. Desmond blinked in surprise before he turned around quickly to see if Andris was near by. In the image the cat lemur had been with him but... "This is a different..." Desmond trailed off quietly.  

Angelina nodded. “Do you think you can get back without . . . problems?” she asked. Isleen glanced at it nervously. “What is it doing? Is that his cat lemur, or a different one?” She eyed the creature warily.  

"'Course we can," Lakota replied while glancing at Angelina as if he wondered why she said that. The cat lemur's mouth suddenly opened and Andris's voice said, "This is... eh... something I said in the past. Hopefully whoever is listening to this is Desmond, Trinity, Trinity, or Eric... Maybe even all of you. Anyways, i'm not sure you'll get to see me again. Those men might come for you and right now i'm in a tight situation or at least I was. Just know that you can't come after me."  

“Just asking,” she said with a shrug. Isleen frowned. Trinity glanced at Desmond. “We can’t not help,” Isleen said after a moment.  

Lakota shrugged before he suddenly was running again towards the town. "I'm going to beat you!" he exclaimed. Desmond nodded said, "I know that... but maybe this other cat lemur can help us find Andris..."  

“Hey!” Angelina took off after him. “Does it know where he is, you think?” Isleen asked, glancing at the creature perched on her shoulder still.  

Lakota laughed out loud, looking over his shoulder till he suddenly tripped over a rock and fell over. The cat lemur suddenly opened it's mouth and said. "Rouvnbur." Desmond frowned, wondering why that word was familiar. Suddenly he exclaimed, "The capital of the fourth country of this world."  

Angelina reached the nearest building in town and nearly hit it before skidded to a halt, then walking back over to Lakota. “I think I technically reached it first,” she said with a wink. “You alright?” Trinity frowned, “Do you think that could be where Andris is?”  

Lakota rubbed his face and rolled his eyes as he stood up. "Only because I tripped," he said in a clear voice. "And yes... i'm fine." Desmond nodded. "I think so... I've heard of some famous ruins over there... perhaps that is where he and those other men are."  

"Very true," she said. "So, we can even things out by racing back if you like,' she said. "I almost slammed into a building. Most unpleasant that would have been." As she spoke a tall boy approached them. He looked to be around their age, maybe fourteen or fifteen. "Hello," he said. Angelina turned around. "Hello," she said warily. Trinity nodded, 'Worth a try.”

"Okay then," he replied while laughing slightly. "Seems like you're already able to predict my mind!" Lakota immediately turned his gaze towards the tall boy who was approaching. He closed his mouth so his fangs so the boy wouldn't see them. He gave slight nod of acknowledgment. Desmond closed his eyes as if closing them would help him know where Andris was. The cat lemur jumped onto Desmond's head and laid down there. "Rouvnbur," the creature repeated.  

"Have I seen you before?" he asked Angelina curiously. For a moment she was quiet then she said, rather stiffly, "No. I don't think so." She half dragged Lakota back down the path to town the the boy, whoever he was, walked away. Isleen watched Desmond anxiously.  

"Anything wrong?" Lakota asked while glancing over his shoulder. He pushed Angelina away a bit when she half dragged him. "Let's continue on," Desmond said while walking forward again.  

“No, sorry,” she muttered, looking down at her feet. Isleen started walking, wondering if the cat lemur intended to sit on her the whole way. Trinity had that distant look on her face that she got when she was deep in though.  

"I can sense something is wrong, it's not like i'm oblivious to anything wrong happening," Lakota muttered. He shook a piece of dirt that had got on him when he fell over out of his very dark brown hair that seemed more black than brown.  

"I know," she said softly. "I am sorry if I sound grumpy. I just, more or less know him from times I would rather forget. I didn't want him to know who I was, or where he had seen me." She glanced sideways, at her feet, her hand, everywhere but at Lakota it seemed.

Lakota let out a quiet sigh before he shoved her forward slightly. "Well then, if you don't want to remember him, hurry it up so I can race you back." He shoved her a little harder than he meant to but he still didn't like that she said she didn't want him to know who she was or where he had seen her.  

Angelina nodded, frowning ever so slightly but it was gone in an instant. She counted softly then ran. This time faster than before, hoping that her speed would help her to forget. And hoping that Lakota wouldn't see the tear that slid down her cheek as she ran.  

Despite that she hoped he wouldn't see the tear, he did see it. Lakota frowned and knew something was wrong. He glanced at Angelina and asked her, "Can you play an instrument?"  

Angelina looked surprised by the question but said, "Yes. I play the violin and I can play simple pieces on the piano."  

"Cool," he replied simply as he looked forward again so he could see where he was going.  

Soon Elinor's house was in sight. Angelina sped u pa tiny bit and reached the front steps. She didn't see weather Lakota arrived before her, with her, or after her. She had enough to focus on decreasing her speed quickly. Meanwhile, Isleen was wondering what Angelina was doing just then. If only she knew. (I have to go in a few minutes:( I should be on tomorrow though!)  

Lakota was about to stop when he tripped again and fell over. He bit his lip and surprisingly it hurt a lot. "Ouch," he muttered as he examined the blood on his lip. He wiped it off and stood up again. "I think I’m cursed." 

Angelina smiled, "I don't really think so. A bit clumsy maybe, but cursed I doubt it." She glanced at the door to the house, appearing to be thinking. "Do you care? About where I came from and all that?" She asked. She had sensed a curiosity about him earlier and it puzzled her a bit. "I don't mind telling you, if you want to now that it."  

Lakota shrugged and looked back at her. "I don't really care, well, not to seem mean or anything. I wouldn't really care if you were a tiefling or anything else and if you want me to know, i'll listen. If you don't want me to know, I won't mind not knowing." 

Angelina seemed relieved. “Good. It isn’t a pleasant tale at all, but I didn’t want you to be offended. Also, I am half sylph, half elf, definitely not tiefling.” 

Lakota smiled slightly. "Don't worry, I knew that already," he said to her. After speaking, Lakota looked around and sniffed the air. "Seems like Isleen, Desmond, and Trinity left." 

Angelina frowned slightly, "I wonder why Desmond and Trinity left. I knew Isleen was going . . ." She glanced at the door. "Who knows. I hope things work out with those two."  

"Well, for now we're going to find something else to do." Lakota walked sat down on the ground and just stayed there, resting his cheek on his hand. "I do hope everything is alright..."  

"Me too," Angelina said. She glanced at her feet, her wings fluttering slightly at the tips in restlessness

"For now though... i'm going to go see if we're aloud to play music upstairs." He stood up again and looked around for Elinor so he could ask if they could head upstairs. Meanwhile, back where Trinity, Desmond, and Isleen were, Desmond was looking off in the distance to see if they were getting any closer to the next closest kingdom or at least town.  

Elinor was in the main sitting room and agreed happily to Lakota's request. Angelina seemed ready to burst. Isleen trailed behind Desmond and Trinity, glancing every now and then at the cat-lemur

Lakota grinned and raced up the stairs into the music room. He immediately headed for the piano. "I'd try out any other instruments in here but I'm afraid i'll break them," he said. The cat-lemur was staring at Isleen and licking its own nose every now and then. "Andris," said the cat lemur.  

Angelina nodded, "It's like a mini museum of music." She stood next to the piano. Isleen raised a single brow, "You can speak on your own then? Intelligent words I mean." 

"The perfect sentence for this room." Lakota began to play a happy skipping tune on the piano. The cat-lemur stared at her still and said, "Lovely Andris," in a woman's voice, completely different from its previous voice. "A sibling dead, how dreadful."  

Angelina smiled a bit, "It has been a long time since I saw a room so bright, or instruments so . . . bright." Isleen frowned, "Ach. I didn't know that bit."  

"Basically everything really bright for some reason. Maybe it's because we were outside and it was bright and it is a little dimmer in here so the change in lighting is making everything look strange," Lakota muttered as played some notes with one hand. The cat-lemur yawned and said in a male's voice, "It was his fault anyways. That is why she is dead. He is a coward."  

"Well, where I lived it was always dark. So I guess even shadows might seem light to me," she said. Isleen winced. "I will have to be careful what I say around you," she muttered. "Worse than a parrot."  

Lakota nodded. "At least it all seems a little brighter. To me, everything except this music room looks so dull. It's weird." The creature jumped onto the ground and walked beside Isleen, saying, "Death, death, death, death." When it spoke it sounded like multiple voices overlapping. Desmond looked at the cat-lemur, feeling unsettled by its words. "It's like a parrot," he said before continuing and saying, "It must be repeating things it has heard."  

"Maybe so," Angelina said. "Maybe it is because you like it here so much." She laughed softly. "Your eyes glow like a kid at Christmas time." Isleen sighed, "I don't want to think about why it is repeating that."  

"Seriously?" Lakota asked in a surprised tone. He hadn't really realized he had looked like that when he went there. The cat-lemur sneezed and said, "Pierce his ear and make sure he knows not to ever try that again." The creature opened its mouth while it yawned and a sudden scream came from it. A man's scream. Desmond shook his head and rubbed his temples. "Please stop that," he said quietly to the little cat-lemur.  

"Well, it might just be me," she said with a smile. "But, you don't look like that about much else. Not that I have observed you for that long." Isleen was breathing slowly. She felt her fear and anxiety and knew that she had to not let it grow. At this rate it would, if the cat-lemur kept at it. Trinity put a reassuring hand on her arm and Isleen smiled, feeling a little calmer with the gesture.  

"Hmph, that's unusual," he muttered as he then crossed his arms and legs. The little cat-lemur closed it's mouth and then let out a yell, "Don't you dare hurt them!" After that, another scream. Desmond bit his lip as he bent down and scooped the cat-lemur into his arms. He then placed the creature in his bag and the creature calmed down and stopped talking.  

"That you look like that, or that I think that?" Before he could answer she said rather quickly, "Um. I have to go for a bit." She was staring at a ring on the ring finger of her right hand, It appeared to be glowing. She backed away toward the door. "See you late I guess," she said, forcing a smile. Isleen looked relieved. "I wonder how it got out here," Trinity said.  

Lakota watched the forced smile on her lips. "You shouldn't force a smile just so that I think everything's alright," he muttered as he turned away and stared at the peddles on the piano. Desmond shook his head again and said, "Maybe the original cat-lemur got married and sent his child or something to come find us." Of course he was only kidding but who knew how intelligent the original cat-lemur was?  

 “I know you now everything isn’t fine,” she said. “But if I smile maybe I can convince myself that everything will be.” She didn’t wait to see his reaction before she was out the door. Trinity chuckled softly. “Who knows.” Angelina suddenly popped back into the room, “If I am not back before my sister is, please tell her I will be back as soon as I can.” Then she was gone again

Lakota glanced at the door after she left and sighed. When she came back and left he felt his stomach churn for some reason. He felt nervous when she spoke again before leaving. Desmond sighed and stared at the young little cat-lemur.  

Angelina left through the backdoor. When she was deep in the woods near where she used to live she half tore the ring off her finger. "Ach. Why can't you leave me be!" She made her way back to the house she had been born in ,the one she and Isleen currently lived in. Once there she hid the ring beneath the floor boards of the kitchen. "Please, just stay there," she muttered. Isleen followed his gaze. The creature made her nervous usually, but somehow his presence now made her feel a bit better, though she wasn't quite sure why.  

After nearly ten minutes, Lakota stood up and left the house and followed Angelina's trail. The creatures opened its mouth and Andris's voice said, "Yes, I hope they're okay."  

Angelina sat down on the floor and waited. A few minutes later her old mentor entered the house. Of course, she didn’t knock. She rarely did. “Ooh, Angelina. You look unhappy dearest.” The tall woman’s voice was syrupy and insincere. She might have been a beauty once, but no more. “Why should I be happy? Why can’t you just leave me be?” Angelina stood up, her hands clenched together. “I am simply trying to guide you. I am practically your mother.” Angelina glared, “You are not my mother. Not even close.” The woman laughed harshly. “You cannot escape me dear, I know what your potential is, what you could become. Have I not shown you?” Angelina winced. “I don’t want to be a monster like you!” Her mentor smiled cruelly, “A little late for that now, dearie. Don’t you think?” Isleen looked puzzled. “That is an odd bit of . . . conversation,” she said to herself.

Lakota was not too far away from where Angelina and the woman were and he could hear their conversation. He only heard a few words, but when he heard monster he winced a little. Angelina seemed to be okay... but he decided to wait a little longer in case she would come back out or needed help. Andris's voice spoke again and this time his voice even included hiccups as if he had been drinking. "I like her, heheh, yup! I won't let any of you hurt her or the others." Then there was Vakha's voice, clear and serious. "Andris you idiot, how did Nayden get you in this condition? He must have done something to that water... which isn't water."  

“I don’t want anything to do with you, “ Angelina said slowly, as if that might help the words sink in. “You can’t escape fate my dear, or destiny.” Angelina bit her lip, hard. “What you showed me is not my destiny. You stole the life I was supposed to live. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be good, like my mother and sister.” This was followed by another harsh laugh. “Dearie, deep down you aren’t any better than me. I know it. And so do you.” Angelina crossed her arms across her stomach. “I don’t know any such thing.” Her mentor sighed. “Such a stubborn girl. You are mine you know. You will never escape me. Your training, your life, everything you have ever done has been supervised and instigated by me.” Angelina shook her head. “Not everything.” “Dear, dear me. You have become bold. More so than usual even.” Suddenly she reached out and took Angelina’s hand. “Tsk, tsk. I am afraid I was a little angry with you,” she said, staring at the tattoo like mark. “Did it hurt much?” Angelina yanked her hand back, not answering. Trinity frowned when she recognized the other voice, and the name. Isleen seemed a little puzzled. Something about what she had just heard was hanging about in the back of her mind, but she couldn’t figure out what or why.  

Lakota frowned when he heard the whole conversation clearly and as he moved to get a little closer he suddenly tripped, stumbled, and fell over. He knew that one of them must have heard that and he silently cursed underneath his breath. Desmond recognized the voice and wondered who it was that had been speaking. The small creature jumped out of Desmond's bag and into Isleen's arms and mewed. "Can't guarantee that she and the others will be okay," Vakha muttered. "I can't believe I have to keep this stupid act up and continue on with these horrible things. When it's all over, you will be in my debt."  

Angelina stifled a groan. Her mentor turned her head slowly. “Hmm, company, eh? One of your lovely little friend Angelina?” Angelina shook her head. “Please just leave them be.” Her mentor sighed, “They will only hurt you and break your heart, I don’t see why you bother.” Angelina bit her lip. “I will leave, for now. But mark my words dearie, I will be back. This discussion is not over.” Then she disappeared in a puff of smoke. Angelina sighed and sank down onto a chair. Isleen’s brow furrowed. “I recognize his voice.”  

Lakota stayed still for a long time and after a couple of minutes he stood up again and approached Angelina. "Hey..." He trailed off while looking around. "I know Andris is speaking but yeah, I also recognize the other person's voice," said Desmond. The little cat lemur once again began to speak and in someone else's voice it said, "Vakha." 

“You shouldn’t have followed me you know,” she said softly. “Rather dangerous. She was in a good mood today though.” While his gaze wandered he would probably notice that there was ten of everything in the house from the chairs, to the cups, to the pile of blankets. Trinity nodded, “I remember seeing both of them. “ Isleen shuddered, “Nasty sort of people.”  

Lakota's gaze finally landed on Angelina and some seconds later he asked, "What... what is this place?" Desmond sighed and remembered the man by the name Vakha. "Yeah," he muttered.  

"My home," Angelina said with a shrug. "At least, it used to be." Isleen glanced at the cat-lemur, her thoughts churning.  

"I don't like that woman that was in here," he muttered while shuffling his feet. He felt unsettled being in that room for some reason. Desmond glanced up at the sky and a raindrop fell on his face; then another one, and another. "Seems like it's going to be raining a lot soon," he sighed as the rain drops sprinkled.  

"She isn't kind. She is very bitter," Angelina said, glancing at the kitchen window. "She cares little about anyone." She noticed his shuffling. "What is making you so uneasy?" she asked, looking up at him. Trinity shivered slightly, not so much from cold but the unexpected touch of the raindrops on her skin. Isleen seemed to relish the rain and held out a hand. Several drops of rain seemed to stay whole on her hand for a short period of time before melting away.

"I don't know, the floor maybe? I feel really weird right now," Lakota replied as he stared at his feet. He simply felt unsettled in the room and he almost felt as if he were falling. "Should we continue or find somewhere to take shelter for a bit?" Desmond didn't quite like the thought of getting soaked by the rain for a long time but at that moment he enjoyed the rain splashing against his face and head.  

Angelina frowned. "Maybe we should leave then," she said, glancing at the floor. "I am not fond of this spot myself just now." Trinity glanced at Isleen who seemed perfectly happy. "It is light so far, maybe we can continue on a bit and keep an eye out for shelter should we need it." Isleen nodded, "It is a very nice feel, this rain," she said. 

Lakota nodded and headed outside, finding himself getting soaked as water from a tree suddenly poured onto his head. Lakota had a surprised expression on his face and he squeezed the water out of his hair. "Geez, now it's raining," he sighed. Desmond smiled slightly and continued on walking with them. The water was cool and refreshing and Desmond chuckled slightly. "Andris would totally be shivering right now," he said softly.  

Angelina smiled, “I love the rain,” she said, sounding almost wistful as she held out a hand and let raindrops slide along her fingers. Trinity chuckled as well, “He certainly would.” Isleen smiled, seeming distant for a moment as if recalling something.  

Lakota glanced at her then at the tree which had gathered the rain and dropped it onto his head. "I haven't been in rain for a while," he muttered quietly. To him, it was an usual feeling: rain dripping on his face and hair. "I think he'd love to hibernate during winter so he wouldn't have to go out in the snow," Desmond said as he recalled Andris's love for warmth.  

"it is fun," Angelina said happily. She smiled then the rain began to whirl around him slowly like a veil. "Winter isn't exactly my favorite either," Isleen said with a shiver. "Wind and rain I can take, snow . . . not that fun." Trinity smiled, "Well, it gives one an excuse to stay by the fire at least." Isleen laughed. 'True."  

The Dhamphir boy stared at the rain in wonder. He then looked at Angelina and almost asked her, "How?" Desmond chuckled and he said, "Well, I guess i'm going to be the one hanging outside while everyone else is by the fire during winter."  

Angelina chuckled softly. "I can manipulate the rain using the wind as an aid," she said, as if reading the question on his mind. "Even a half Sylph can be powerful, some Sylph even have the ability to manipulate more than one element. " The rain then formed an arc over his head, somehow staying over him without dripping onto his head or face. "Depends on how good you are at snowball fights," Trinity said teasingly. 

Lakota couldn't keep himself from smiling and he stared up at the water arch above him. Desmond raised an eyebrow and said, "I am fairly good at snowball fights... and you?"  

Angelina seemed to enjoy using her abilities for something fun. The rain began to push away from Lakota and formed a wing silhouette against his back. The drops almost seemed to stick to Angelina's skin and eyelashes like tiny, translucent pearls. Trinity smiled a bit, "Well, I am generally fairly good."  

Lakota covered his face with his hand to hide his smile. "This is so cool," he said in a muffled voice to Angelina. Desmond let out a happy sigh. "Too bad Andris won't want to come out and play. Winter is pretty far away right now though." 

"I can see you smiling," she said with a soft chuckle. "I am glad you like it." A single drop of rain ran along his cheek, moving across his skin lightly without melting. Trinity nodded, "Yes. First we have the end of spring, then all of summer and autumn . . . "

Lakota touched the water that ran against his pale skin. He closed his eyes and let his imagination wander as he imagined cities with water flowing through see-through walls and towers. Desmond smiled and looked forward to the change of the weather and the warmth that came along with it. 

Angelina let the droplet keep moving. Another soon joined it, then another. Trinity seemed to be having similar thoughts, a slight smile on her lips. Isleen looked like she was thinking over something.  

Lakota opened his eyes and looked at Angelina. "What are you doing?" he asked her, wondering what she was doing with the raindrops on his face. The cat lemur ran over to Trinity and stood on its hind legs, wanting to be picked up.  

 “Practice,” she said slowly. “Individual raindrops are much harder to work with.” Suddenly they all combined into one large raindrop that had an almost rubber like texture that dropped to the ground at Lakota’s feet. Angelina seemed pleased. “I wasn’t sure if I could still do that. I haven’t really had much chance.” Trinity reluctantly picked it up. “No more mischief,” she muttered. Isleen laughed softly from behind her. 

"I wish I could do that," Lakota said as he bent down and poked at the rain that had dropped to the ground. The cat lemur purred and opened its mouth to yawn.  

The rain bubble collapsed a bit under his touch then bounced back. “It can be hard too,” Angelina said. “Sometimes it isn’t easy to control.” Trinity watched it. “Sometimes he almost seems like an actual cat.”  

"I'd control it. I'd practice and take control," he replied while keeping his balance as he stayed bent down. Desmond chuckled and said, "He's probably more cat than lemur." The cat lemur shifted and looked over at Desmond. "Desmond and Trinity-" it trailed off quickly in Andris's voice.  

Angelina chuckled softly. "Maybe you would." The rain bubble rolled a bit and Angelina let some more drops meld into it and enlarge it. Trinity frowned slightly, "It's kind of odd. Hearing all these fragments and wondering when he said it, and why."  

Lakota jumped up then slipped and fell face forward. He stayed on the ground for some seconds before he slowly pushed himself up and wiped his eyes and mouth. The cat lemur purred and flicked its tail as it jumped up and ran ahead of them. "W-wait cat-lemur!" Desmond exclaimed as he began to chase after the creature.  

Angelina tilted her head slightly. Being a bit shorter than Lakota she had to in order to see his face. “You alright?” she asked for what seemed like the twentieth time that day. Trinity sighed. “I knew it was too good to be true.” She and Isleen followed the Desmond and the cat-lemur.  

He spit some mud out of his mouth to the side and said, "I... don't like the taste of mud." Desmond scooped the muddy cat-lemur and hugged him to himself. "No, you can't run off," he muttered to it. The tiny creature looked curiously up at Desmond and purred.  

Angelina couldn’t keep herself from smiling. “I am not fond of it myself. Not sweet enough for my taste.” Trinity and Isleen watched the tiny creature. “He looks so innocent,” Isleen said, casting a wary glance toward the cat-lemur. Trinity shuddered. “he proves that looks can be deceiving.”  

Lakota let out a sigh and muttered, "Now I have to wash all of this mud off. I'm so clumsy, geez." Desmond smiled slightly before he wiped some mud off the cat-lemur's face. "It's still cute and cuddly though. I bet it will hate me when it seems me in a suit." 

“Probably just a phase,” Angelina said. “I would probably be pretty clumsy too, but I have wings to my advantage.” Isleen chuckled softly and Trinity smiled. “He is pretty cute,” Isleen said.  

"Yeah, and I only have the ability to conceal myself and show my fangs." Lakota began to wipe away most of the mud off his face. It was caked onto his boots too and had soaked through his shirt. He shivered as he felt the cold mud squish against him as he shifted. "You seem way nicer than your father," Desmond said to the creature. It blinked and said, "My father will be safe, i'll save along with the rest of my family." Once again it was Andris's voice.  

"That;s not true. You can play music beautifully,” Angelina said. “And you have a nice smile.” Trinity watched the creature. “I wonder where his family is,” she said. 

Lakota had always been told that he can play music beautifully but never that he had a nice smile. The compliment gave him a feeling that he had only felt the first time he was told that he could play music beautifully. Lakota smiled slightly and said, "Thanks." As soon as Trinity said 'family,' the little creature began to squirm in Desmond's arms. "Maybe it wants us to hurry up and follow it somewhere."  

Angelina smiled, “You are very welcome. Now, why don’t we get back so you can dry off?” Isleen nodded. “Maybe so. As long as it stays in sight and doesn’t go too quickly.”  

Lakota nodded and headed back with her. As soon as they got back, he took his boots off so not to drag any mud inside the house which seemed more like a mansion. Desmond reluctantly place the cat-lemur on the ground and watch it. It only jumped forward a couple of times before slowly walking ahead

Angelina seemed to dry off almost the instant she was out of the rain. Her wavy hair didn't straighten even slightly, though it was thoroughly damp. "Still gone," she murmured, noticing that Desmond, Trinity, and Isleen weren't back yet. Isleen glanced at Trinity who shrugged slightly.  

Lakota glanced at Angelina when she spoke. "Do you know where the towels are?" He asked her. He too wondered where they had went off to. "Seems like this is going to take a while," Desmond muttered as he squeezed some water out of his hair. Nearly an hour passed and they were still walking after the little cat-lemur creature till it suddenly stopped in front of a large tree and curled up underneath it. The rain had begun to worsen and was pouring onto their heads.  

"Um," Angelina thought for a moment. "Yes. They are in a closet right off of the servant's quarters." She walked briskly across the room and through the kitchen door, then to the servant;s quarters from there. Between the kitchen and servant's quarters was a short hall where the closet was. Angelina grabbed some towels from the shelf and brought them back into the hall. "Here you are," she said. "Maybe we should follow his example and take a break in some shelter?" Isleen suggested.  

Lakota had followed and gladly took the towels from her. He thanked her before he wrapped the towel around his head and began to clean the mud off of him. Desmond nodded and hurried over beside the cat-lemur. The ground was still warm beneath him when he sat down. "It's warm here," he said to Trinity and Isleen.  

Angelina took an extra one and dried her hair off a bit, but it was practically dry already anyway. Both got under the tree. Trinity sat in the middle with Isleen on the other side of her. Isleen was a little tired and had trouble not nodding off.  

Lakota yawned and wrapped the towel around himself, finding it warm and comforting since it felt like a warm hug. Desmond picked up the shivering cat-lemur after he set his bag down. The air was musty and Desmond breathed in the earthy scent.

Angelina sat down on the end of the loveseat, feeling suddenly tired. Isleen managed to draw some warmth out of the air and began to get drowsy. Trinity shivered slightly, pulling her knees up against her.  

After drying his trousers and shirt, Lakota sat down on the other end and said, "Today was quite thrilling." The warmth of the house began to drag Lakota to sleep so he rubbed his eyes to keep them from closing. Desmond glanced at the two and pulled out the black cloak he had bought just a month before. He held it out to Isleen and searched through his bag again before he took his coat off and held it out to Trinity.  

"Thrilling?" Angelina chuckled softly, curling up with her feet under her and her arms wrapped around herself. "I am glad you enjoyed yourself." She was quiet for a minute then she spoke softly, "Back at my house. Did you . . . how much did you hear?" Isleen muttered a thank you, pressing her shoulder against Trinity's. "Will you be alright?" Trinity asked in a whisper, not wanting to disturb Isleen who seemed to be on the brink of falling asleep.  

Lakota knew that whatever had made her uncomfortable earlier that day involved whoever she had been speaking to in her house. He sensed the feeling in the air when he was outside of the house and knew it wasn't a single bit good. "Not really, just a few words but not enough to form a sentence," he replied quietly. Desmond nodded and hugged the cat-lemur. He secretly was a little chilly but he didn't want to let Trinity know. "Then again... she might already know," he thought to himself.  

“But enough I would guess,” she muttered. She was shivering a bit, but not from the cold. Trinity raised an eyebrow, “You look cold.”  

Lakota hugged his knees and glanced at Angelina. His still had a bit of mud in his hair and he had to push some of his hair out of his eyes so he could see. "What's your favorite candy?" he asked her. Desmond rolled his eyes and let out a soft sigh. He curled up beside her and the cat-lemur curled up too. "You guessed right."  

Angelina tilted her head slightly, looked surprised for a minute. “Another thing you are good at. Distracting,” she said, smiling softly. “I like chocolate and caramel better than fake fruity things but I do like apple and or cinnamon flavors. So, anything within that range really. “ Trinity smiled a bit. “We can share then,” she said, curling up and giving him part of the coat. 

"I like those hard candies... like the little animal shapes with bright colors. I like the... um, watermelon, cherry, and apple ones," he said sleepily. He forgot to reply to what she also said. Desmond smiled and held the opposite side of the coat. He then kissed her cheek and the little creature tried to get Trinity to lift him.  

"I like the apple ones," she said with a smile. "You look sleepy." Trinity smiled back then picked up the tiny creature. "Jealous?" she asked jokingly, putting the cat-lemur in her lap.  

"Hmph," he replied while resting his head on his own shoulder. He still had the towel wrapped over his shoulders like a blanket. For a moment he nearly fell over again on the opposite side of Angelina. The tiny creature made a small whining noise and curled up in her lap. Desmond smiled again and pat the little creature's head. 

Angelina chuckled softly. She moved over a bit away from the arm of the loveseat so that she could have some more room. Trinity watched him with a slight smile. She put her hands on her skirt to keep warm, noticing that they were icy cold.  

Lakota let out a sigh and laid down sideways for a bit before he immediately fell asleep, holding the towel in his hands. "Do you think we should tell Isleen about us being together after we find Andris?" Desmond asked quietly.  

Angelina made sure there was enough room for his head then rested the back of her head against the back of the loveseat. Trinity nodded. “Yes. She will want to know for sure. ” She bit her lip so that she wouldn’t laugh as she spoke her next words. “After you guys left she dropped more than a few hints. Her, Aunt Elinor, Angelina . . . My mother.”  

"Apples," Lakota murmured in his sleep. Desmond smiled slightly and tried not to laugh. "Was it that obvious that we liked each other?" He asked.  

Angelina chuckled softly. “I can’t even begin to imagine what you might be dreaming of,” she whispered. Trinity shrugged, “I don’t know. I think Isleen kept trying to find out. I think I drove her crazy with my avoidance of questions and my less than satisfying answers.”  

Lakota rolled over and hugged the towel tightly, his eyelids flickering slightly. Desmond let out a soft sigh and closed his eyes. "How funny," he murmured.  

Angelina glanced down, wondering if he was completely asleep. “I doubt she thought so,” Trinity said softly, her tone betraying the fact that she was holding back laughter. She rubbed her hands together a bit, glancing at the cat-lemur in her lap.  

Desmond smirked and tried not to wake Isleen. The cat-lemur's ears perked up and it stretched.  

"Why are you smiling?" Trinity asked softly, patting the cat-lemur's head with one hand.  

"I just found it a little funny, that's all," he replied. "What's your favorite colour? Mine is red."  

"Hmm, probably blue," she said. "Or teal."  

Desmond nodded and closed his eyes to rest. Lakota shivered in his sleep and curled up.  

Trinity rested against the tree. A moment later she closed her eyes a bit. "How can you be cold?" Angelina asked out loud. She hesitantly inched a little closer to him and used her wing to cover him partially without touching him and waking him. Then she formed a soft, warm breeze that, once trapped between Lakota and her wing formed a pleasant warmth, like being near a fireplace.  

Lakota didn't shiver because he was cold but because of a nightmare which he usually got whenever he fell asleep. But because of the warmth that she created, Lakota stopped shivering and his nightmare changed only a little.  

Angelina began to wondered what was going on his sleep. "Something isn't quite right, hmm?" she whispered. Not sure of what to do she did the first thing that came to mind. She began to hum softly. It was an old Irish song that her mother had sung to her. Just about the only thing she remembered of her life with her family. She softly sang some of the words, most of which were in a Celtic dialect.  

"Angelina," he muttered while he seemed to become less tense. He no longer was curled up and he had stretched out a little more. When he muttered it sounded more like, "An sha leen eh." That was because his mouth was slightly pressed against the cushions.  

(I just noticed that I accidentally put wondered instead of wonder, lol^^) Angelina continued to hum softly, glad that he seemed to be relaxing a bit. When he stretched she began to wonder if she should scoot back again to give him space.  

 

Lakota would have looked almost like a sleeping baby if not for the fact that he was way taller than a baby and that he a full head of hair beside. Of course the only thing that made him look like a baby was the way his arms looked as he slept. 

Angelina relaxed and sat back a bit, still humming. She glanced at him every now and then to make sure he was still resting peacefully.  

Lakota stretched his hand out and let out a sigh in his sleep.  

Angelina realized that the way he was stretching moving at all would probably be pointless. So she stayed where she was, continuing to hum mostly because she was now beginning to enjoy it.  

"I'm sorry," he mumbled, beginning to curl up again. 

“It’s fine,” Angelina replied softly, patting his hand lightly.  

When she did that, he relaxed again and was silent for the rest of the time he was asleep. An hour later he woke up and slowly opened his eyes.  

Angelina was awake, sitting in the same spot. She was tracing her finer over the top of her hand and her arm, following her movements with her gaze.  

"How long have I been sleeping?" Lakota asked quietly while slowly pushing himself up.  

"About an hour," Angelina said, looking over at him. "Desmond, Trinity, and Isleen are still gone."  

"Oh." He rubbed his eyes then stared at his hands in his lap before he softly said, "You have a nice voice."  

Angelina felt herself flush slightly. “Oh. Thank you. I don’t usually sing much or anything.”

Lakota smiled slightly before he closed his eyes and rested against the side of the loveseat. "You're welcome."

Angelina smiled to herself, tapping her fingers against her knee.

"You were, um, singing while I was sleeping, right? I'm sure you were, and if you were then thanks. Your voice helped me... get away. Well, um, like... My nightmare that I was having wasn't as horrible." Lakota let out a sigh, glad to have finished speaking.

 “Yes I was, and you are welcome,” she said. “That was the song my mother used to sing to me, the only memory I have of my family, actually. The only one that I didn’t get by magical means or listening to Isleen that is.”

"It's very nice like your voice." Lakota sat up straight and rubbed his eyes again before stretching. 

Angelina smiled a bit, absently playing with a lock of wavy red hair.

Lakota stood up and walked over to his boots in the entrance. He began to try and wipe the mud off with the towel he had used.  

Angelina slowly uncurled herself and got up, stretching her wings. Then she walked over to the entrance and started helping.  

"Thank you." Lakota continued trying to clean the boots.

She smiled, "No problem." About ten minutes later the boot she was working on was clean.  

Lakota was still cleaning the other boot despite it being already clean. "I wonder what will be for dinner... Do you think Trinity's mom needs any help with anything?" Lakota still did not know how to address Trinity's mother.  

"More than likely she will ask for my help," Angelina said with a soft chuckle. "It is nearly impossible for one person to cook and watch Zakai at the same time."

Lakota nodded and thought for a moment. "Maybe we could watch Zakai and talk to him about eyes."  

Angelina smiled. "He would love that I am sure." 

Lakota smiled slightly and got up to go find Trinity's mom and ask if she could use their help.  

Charlotte was standing in the hall on the second floor, watching Zakai as he rolled around, seeming very amused about something. 

"Hi," said Lakota to Charolette. "I was wondering if maybe you would like our help."  

"I could use some help watching Zakai, just for a little bit," she said, looking relieved.  

Lakota nodded and got down on his knees so he was closer to Zakai's height. "Hi," he said softly.  

"Pretty eyes," he said to Zakai as he pointed at Zakai's blue eyes.

Zakai seemed over the moon, "Yiss, yiss!" he said, clapping. Charlotte went downstairs, speaking softly to herself. Angelina appeared upstairs a few minutes later.  

Lakota held his hand up and began to count. He attempted to teach Zakai how to count to five. When Angelina came upstairs, Lakota glanced at her. "I'm trying to teach him how to count.”

Angelina smiled, "Well, he has gotten as far as two it seems," she said, watching him carefully take his thumb and index finger, repeating "one . . . two." 

"That is still a lot of progress though," Lakota smiled as he repeated and copied Zakai.  

Zakai worked slowly through until he could say one through give perfectly. He crawled across the floor and pulled at the hem of Angelina's skirt. "What is it?" Angelina asked curiously, sitting cross legged on the floor.  

Lakota watched Zakai and wondered what it was that he wanted. 

First he counted for her, seeming determined to show her he could do it. "Very good," she said with a soft chuckle. "Green?" He asked, pointing at her eyes. "Yes. I know it's not your favorite," she said. Zakai offered her a shy smile, "Nice." Then he crawled over to Lakota, "Brown. Pretty." He reached up and pointed to his eyes.  

Lakota laughed softly before he shook his head slightly. "You love eyes, don't you Zakai?" He asked.  

Zakai nodded slowly. "Wuv, eyes!" He looked back at Angelina then at Lakota. "brown and green?"  

"Yeah, brown and green," Lakota replied with a smile. 

 "What color is brown and green?" Angelina asked him. Zakai thought for a moment then said, "Hazel!"  

"Want to draw hazel eyes?"  

Zakai nodded, "Yiss!"  

"Hmm, is there any paper we can use to draw with?" He asked Angelina.  

"Ah. . . " Angelina thought a moment. "I am not sure. Just a second." She looked up at the ceiling as if remembering something then muttered something. A small stack of paper appeared on the floor in front of her and Zakai clapped with glee.

Lakota smiled when Zakai clapped. He then laid down by the paper and began to imagine the shape of an eye.  

Angelina watched curiously and Zakai watched with a wide eyed intensity. Angelina noticed, not for the first time, that his eyes were almost the exact same shade as Trinity's only hers almost always had bits of grey or silver and his were pure, crystal blue. 

Lakota glanced around till he spotted a small pen. "Some ink..." he muttered.  

"Ink?" Zakai followed his gaze curiously.  

"Mhm, or maybe some colored pencils," he replied.  

"Are you having a problem deciding?" Angelina asked, chuckling as Zakai pulled at her hand. She had folded her thumb up and he seemed to be trying to count them to make sure they were still all there.  

"Sort of, but I guess colored pencils would make more sense instead of a pen with ink." He turned to look at Zakai and asked him, "What do you think?"  

Zakai grinned impishly. "Color!"  

"Okay then, color it is!" Lakota began to draw the basic shape of an eyes and he even drew a pupil. He then handed the colored pencils to Zakai.  

Zakai very carefully began to color it in, using a mix of green and brown for the iris.

Lakota watched him intently. Meanwhile, outside the rain had begun to stop. Underneath the tree, Desmond opened his eyes and looked up at the sky.  

Angelina watched as he took great pains to stay in the lines. She heard someone knock at the door downstairs but figured Charlotte would get it. Then the knock came again, and again. . . . "I will be right back," Angelina said, getting up and walking downstairs to see who it was. Trinity was awake, trying not to move too much and disturb the cat-lemur. Isleen was awake, but her eyes were half-closed as she stared at her surroundings.  

Lakota watched her walk away before he looked back at Zakai. He chuckled slightly as he watched him color. Desmond shifted slightly and the cat lemur's eyes suddenly opened and it scream in Andris's voice, "My name is not Andrius!"  

Zakai was just finishing. 'See?" He held up the paper. Trinity jumped ever so slightly, having not expected him to speak so suddenly or loudly. Isleen gave a start as well, her gaze flicking over to the cat-lemur.  

"Pretty eye," said Lakota. Desmond's eyes were wide in surprise and he let out a sigh. He moved so that Trinity had all of the coat and he stood up, the cat-lemur in his arms.  

Zakai grinned, "Pretty, pretty." Trinity stretched out her legs then stood up slowly Isleen did the same, feeling stiff from sitting for so long.  

"It is sooch a purdy eye!" he exclaimed. Desmond stretched, as did the little creature. "We better get going."  

Zakai giggled, "Purdy!" Trinity nodded and handed him his coat. Isleen rubbed her neck, handing him his cloak. "Well, I won't want to sleep against a tree again too soon," Isleen said with a soft chuckle.  

Desmond put his coat back on before he folded the cloak and stuffed it into his bag. "Heh, yeah. It kinda made my neck sore."  

Trinity nodded in agreement and said, “Well, hopefully the rain won’t start up again.” Isleen agreed.  

Desmond nodded then started walking again with them. It was hours later that they arrived to a small village some miles away from the other three villages that were before the next kingdom.  

Isleen immediately noticed the curious stares of several people. While Trinity seemed to ignore it it made Isleen uncomfortable. She saw mostly men, women, and young boys working with animals or crops outside of the village. In the village the women, girls, and elderly took care of their homes and selling their goods to visitors and neighbors.  

Desmond noticed that the number of horses outnumbered the other species of domesticated animals there. "They must sell horses to travelers," he said to Trinity and Isleen. 

"I believe the people that live in this area are supposed to be very reputable horse breeders," Trinity said, recalling some of the lessons her uncle taught her when she was a child. Isleen nodded. "Probably their best source of income since people don't generally come here just to but the usual things like blankets, baskets, or food."  

He nodded in agreement. Just ahead of them to the left, a little girl who was playing with a small doll suddenly stood up. She stared at them all before disappearing into a small wooden house. Desmond stared at where the little girl had been standing and wondered if their presence had scared her.  

Trinity seemed to be having the same thought, her eyes briefly resting on a young man who was watching them with undisguised curiosity. Theo middle aged gentleman with him looked more wary than curious.  

The little girl suddenly appeared again, this time a tall boy beside her. She was pulling on his hand and seemed to be saying something while pointing at Isleen, Trinity, and Demond. It was then that the tall boy lifted his head up and looked at them before running in there direction, the little girl by his side. Desmond glanced nervously at Trinity and Isleen.  

Trinity looked puzzled, thought not overly worried. "This is either pretty good, or pretty bad," she muttered. Isleen seemed uncomfortable, shifting from foot to foot.  

When the two were finally in front of them, the tall boy said, "D-did you come from the Kingdom? I, umm, I mean... Were you... You came from that big kingdom that has one princess and one prince with no queen?" It was when the tall boy spoke that Desmond realized the tall boy was actually just a tall girl with short, brown, fluffy hair. She was covered in dirt and the trousers she were were slightly worn out at the bottom. Her pale green eyes were very wide as she waited for an answer.  

Surprisingly, Isleen was the first to speak. "Yes. Why do you ask?”

"I... I was wondering if you know a young man near your age. He has brown eyes, brown hair, um... He also..." the girl trailed off before she quit talking. She seemed to be trying to figure out what to say next. Her eyes became glassy and she bit her lip slightly before she said, "Do you know any young man by the name of Andris? T-the last I heard... I learned that he was there... In that big kingdom without a queen..."  

Trinity nodded and she answered this time. "We do. I take it you know him as well?"  

"Yes!" she exclaimed while some tears fell down her dirty cheeks, revealing her lightly tanned skin that most likely came from working outside."Oh, I do know him! I know it is a lot to ask but could please take me to him? I-i've got some many that i've saved, I'll pay you if you do!" The girl seemed almost desperate. Actually, she was desperate. Desmond wondered what her connection with Andris was and if she was talking about the same one. He glanced at the little girl by her side who was staring up at him with wide eyes filled with curiosity.  

"We may be able to help you in some way," Trinity said, speaking carefully, glancing at Desmond and Isleen. "is it terribly important that you see him very soon?" Isleen asked, not sure how they might be able to help her with Andris in his current predicament.  

The girl nodded quickly. "It's really important. Very terribly important that I see him soon," she replied.  

Isleen looked over at Desmond for a minute, "What should we do?" she mouthed. With Trinity standing partially in front of her neither of the girls were able to see what she mouthed.  

Desmond didn't know what to do till the cat-lemur burst out from the bag and jumped into the arms of the tall girl. The girl let out a short shriek of surprise before she suddenly was hugging the cat-lemur. The cat-lemur was purring and nuzzling the girl's cheek and Desmond wondered why the cat-lemur liked her so much. Desmond looked back at Isleen and gave a small nod. The girl saw him nod and she immediately smiled before she quickly grabbed the little girl's hand and ran back into the small house, taking the cat-lemur with her. Desmond was going to call out to her but it was only seconds later that the girl came back with a pouch full of coins and the cat-lemur following behind. The girl ran up to Trinity and held out the pouch to her. She untied it and opened it to show her the maybe twenty coppers, three silvers, and one gold piece. "Is this enough?" she asked.  

"We don't need any money," Trinity said, not wishing to take it and truly not needing it. "Andris is our friend," Isleen added. "We wouldn't accept payment for helping you find him." She glanced at the girls for a few moments. "I don't suppose he is a relative?" she asked, not sure if she imagined a resemblance of some kind.  

The girl looked relieved but then hid her relief, feeling slightly embarrassed for acting that way. When Isleen asked if she was a relative of his, the girl looked like she was thinking. "Well, I... I don't quite know to be honest... I just briefly remember-" The girl quit speaking then looked down. She didn't want them to think that the reason why she was asking for them to help her find him was because he was some mysterious person that she once met. "What I meant to say is that he's someone dear to me that I haven't seen in for so long. He disappeared." Desmond tilted his head ever so slightly when she said 'dear.' A little boy identical to the little girl who had been there suddenly ran out of the small house and stared at them. The girl in front of them suddenly said, "Oh! I forgot to introduce myself! My name is Adriana."  

"Nice to meet you, Adriana," Trinity said, and Isleen added her own greeting with a soft smile. Trinity couldn't help but smile when she saw the boy. He reminded her of Zakai for some reason, thought it wasn't physical resemblance so much as his age and the way he looked at them.  

Desmond had spaced out and he suddenly blinked and quickly said, "I'm Desmond." He had been thinking of Andris when Trinity and Isleen had exchanged a greeting. Adriana nodded. "Nice to meet you." She then looked over at a house near her own and she said, "One moment," before disappearing into that house.  

"I can't deny I am a little curious," Trinity said, watching her go. Isleen nodded.  

"She seems maybe around Lakota's age but definitely taller," said Desmond as he nodded. After some silence he looked to be in thought. "She said that Andris disappeared," he said right before Adriana appeared again with a small bag. "Okay then, i'm all ready," she said.  

"Let's go then," Trinity said. She and Isleen started walking. Isleen was beginning to wonder if they should warn Adriana of Andris's trouble ahead of time.  

Desmond searched through his bag as they walked and pulled out a small cloth before holding it out to Adriana. She stared at it for a moment before taking it and using it to wipe her face. "I'll clean it when we come up near the river just ahead of here. Thank you." Desmond nodded and closed his bag

"So, what are the names of your brother and sister?" Isleen asked Adriana. "If you don't mind telling me that is." She generally felt uncomfortable around strangers and hoped that if she talked to Adriana a bit the younger girl wouldn't feel that way, if she did at all. Back at the house Angelina had answered the door and come back upstairs. She'd had a pensive look on her face, but when Zakai heard her and turned to see her she immediately lightened her expression with slight smile. Zakai pointed to his picture, obviously wanting her to look. She knelt down next to him. "Very pretty," she said, and he giggled

"Colton and Caitlyn," she replied with a smile. Desmond nodded before he asked, "Are they twins?" Angelina nodded and said, "They just turned three yesterday." When Angelina came back, Lakota smiled. His smile stayed on his face when he heard Zakai giggle.  

Something like sadness crossed Isleen's face when Desmond mentioned twins, but it was gone in just a moment. "Those are lovely names," Isleen said. Zakai suddenly gave Angelina a hug, something he often did to people at odd times on impulse. Angelina stiffened at first in surprise, then she smiled and gently hugged him back. 

Adriana nodded, "I'll tell them that you think that. I bet Colton will very pleased." She chuckled slightly before saying, "And Caitlyn will just shrug and continue on playing with her doll." Lakota watched and chuckled slightly since usually he'd get stiff when Desmond would hug him. "Are you a hugger, Zakai?" He asked. 

"Are they close?" Trinity asked. She thought of her own sister for a moment. They hadn't been twins but they had been very close in age. Zakai grinned, "Yiss!" Angelina chuckled softly. 'Well. I am afraid I am not."  

"Yes, they are very close. Although Colton doesn't quite like going outside that much. Caitlyn drags him outside at sometimes and he wines a bit but in the end he plays outside." She giggled slightly before she quit giggling and cleared her throat. "I myself am not much of a hugger either," said Lakota. He rested his cheek on his hand after crossing his legs. "How are you Zakai?"  

"Are they your only siblings?" Trinity asked, hoping Adrian wouldn't become bothered or offended by her questions. Zakai slid off of Angelina's lap, obviously having perfected his method of using women's skirts as slides. " 'appy!" he said with a grin. He pointed to Angelina and said something very quickly that sounded like it had something to do with girl, pretty, and love. Angelina frowned slightly. "You have been hiding behind doors again," she said with a soft chuckle and Zakai grinned impishly. " 'appy!" he said again.  

Adriana nodded and looked at her feet. "Now they are. I used to have a little sister before Colton and Caitlyn. Her name was Cassie... and she was killed." (Pretends to flip onto page that says Chapter something, Little Cassie.) Desmond felt his stomach churn when she said killed. Lakota tilted his head when Zakai spoke. He didn't get when he meant. "Well, I guess you're just happy," he replied.  

Isleen stiffened and Trinity bit the inside of her lip. "Killed? On purpose?" Isleen asked quietly. Angelina was inwardly relived that he hadn't really caught what Zakai said. She just hoped it didn't show. "Yissssss" Zakai said with a bob of his head. Angelina smiled and watched as he traced made a heart shape on the floor with his finger. A crooked heart, but a heart just the same.  

Adriana looked up at Trinity then Isleen and nodded. "Yeah," she answered quietly. Lakota's brow furrowed as he tried to understand what Zakai had meant. In the end he still didn't get it and he gave up on trying to figure out. "What a nice heart!" He exclaimed in a happy tone as he viewed Zakai's work. "You're a great artist!"  

Isleen frowned. What Adriana said stirred up memories in her. Memories that haunted her nightmares and had caused her more pain than she had ever felt before. Zakai grinned. "Artist." Angelina watched as he traced another heart that looped together with the first.  

The cat lemur, in a brittle tone in Andris's voice, said, "You killed little Cassie..." Adriana's eyes widened and she exclaimed, "Andris!" Desmond wondered if maybe the cat-lemur had the ability to say sentences in other people's voices. Lakota continued to watch Zakai draw.  

“He is in a little trouble, Adriana,” Isleen said softly. Zakai doodled for a while. Then he drew, what appeared to be maybe people. Angelina watched intently. She saw him add puffy red bits to what seemed to be the head of one and said dryly, "I think we can guess who that it." Zakai grinned. He made a few marks next to that one, the figure having exaggerated brown eyes. The bodies were certainly those of a toddler, but the heads and eyes surprisingly well rounded.  

"What do you mean?" she asked Isleen. (When you nod your head yes but you nod your head no, what do you mean? (I think that is what it was. xD)) Lakota stared at the drawing before he quietly asked Angelina, "Who is this?" He pointed tot he figure with exaggerated brown eyes.  

"He is with some people. Bad people, who don't like him," Isleen said. In truth, she wasn't sure exactly how to explain, and she wasn't sure if Andris might have mentioned them to Adriana. (I am obviously, tired I stared at this for like ten minutes before I read it correctly, lol^^) Angelina smirked a bit, “Can’t you guess?”  

Adriana stared at Isleen, not knowing how to describe the feeling she really felt. She could have said that she was worried but it was more than that. Lakota blinked at the figure before he slowly said, "That better not be me..."  

Isleen searched her face, wondering what she might find there. Trinity listened quietly to the exchange. Angelina wasn't' able to contain a smile, "I would bet there is a ninety-nine percent chance it is."  

"I hope he'll be okay," Adriana said quietly after some silence. Desmond nodded and said, "We'll find him." Lakota stared at the drawing before he quietly asked Zakai, "Am I ugly?" He glanced once again at the drawing. 

"I hope so too," Isleen said softly, offering Adriana a soft smile. Zakai seemed to ponder this for a minute. "Ugly?" He glanced at Angelina as if not entirely sure what to say, or maybe what the word meant

Adriana smiled slightly and she jumped in surprise when the cat-lemur leaped onto her shoulder and whispered something to her. Adriana's eyes widened and chuckled slightly, glancing at Isleen. Lakota thought of a way to try and explain to Zakai. "Not pretty– I mean not nice looking." Zakai had said 'pretty eyes' so much that Lakota said pretty. 

"What did it say?" Isleen asked, hoping it hadn't been about her. Zakai grinned, "Angie -- lee-nah pretty, Lah-koh-dah pretty. Pretty, pretty."  

Adriana held back a giggle and said, "Oh, nothing really." Lakota felt embarrassed when Zakai said 'pretty pretty' for some reason. He let out a soft chuckle before he laughed. 

"I have a feeling I would probably rather not know," Isleen said, glancing at the cat-lemur. "Well, at least someone likes my hair," Angelina said, watching as Zakai drew more on his paper and repeated pretty again.  

"Most likely, yeah, you wouldn't want to know what he said," she laughed softly. Adriana looked over at Trinity and Desmond then at Isleen again. "How come you aren't wearing those weird headbands and ribbon?" she asked out of curiosity. Most of the young men and women in her small village –more like a town– that were of age wore those particular accessories. Lakota looked at Angelina and said, "What do you mean at least? You're hair is, as Zakai puts it, pretty. Why would you say 'at least some likes my hair?'"  

Isleen blushed very slightly, "Well . . . we may have very accidentally had our fall into the pond and had no time to replace them," Isleen said. "I may also be wearing my mother's ring to maybe give the impression that I am not available. In truth, I have only been eighteen about a month. Maybe not even quite that." Angelina glanced at Zakai's paper. "My mentor used to call it ugly, and I guess after hearing her opinions every day for nearly eleven years I began to believe them myself."  

"Eighteen? You're around Andris's age," she replied, looking a little more cheerful. She looked at Trinity and Desmond and said, "If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?" Desmond seemed to almost be thinking before he replied and said, "Twenty one." Lakota shook his head. "You'll have to hear our opinions of your hair then so you know it's not ugly. And if that mentor of yours said you aren't pretty, that's also not true. If she said you're boring, that is also so not true." Lakota didn't realize it, but his expression had become more serious.  

Isleen nodded. "Yes. I suppose so." Trinity literally had to think for about five minutes. "Um, I am nineteen since . . . a week ago I think." Angelina was too stunned to speak, maybe for the first time in her life. "Honestly, she said just about everything she could that might bother a person, and I suppose I did begin to believe all of it. But . . . thank you."  

Desmond looked a little surprised when Trinity said her birthday was a week ago. He made a mental note to make sure he got her a late birthday gift. Adriana smiled and said, "I'm going to be thirteen in a week." "She's only twelve?" Desmond thought to himself. "Though I may seem a little older and seem like a boy when i'm out doing work. You probably thought I was a boy from a distance!" She laughed. Lakota shook his head, "No need to thank me or Zakai. I just wanted to make sure you knew that."  

Trinity laughed. "When I was your age my mother said I would be mistaken for a boy if i didn't stop climbing trees, then I pointed out that with hair as long as mine few people would make that mistake." Isleen chuckled. “When I was younger my mother used to cut my hair short because she said she didn’t want to have to brush four heads of long hair every night.” Angelina smiled a bit and Zakai suddenly giggled. "Done!" he said triumphantly.

"The good part about my short hair and working on the crops is that the boys tend to leave me alone. Them leaving me alone gives me time to think about important things," Andriana replied as she rolled up her trousers so they were just above her knees. "I have to do pretend to be the son my parents never had and I have to go work out on the fields all the time and make sure the horses all get taken care of." Desmond realized that her knees had cuts and some bruised on them, most likely from being on her knees a lot. Adriana's stomach suddenly made a loud noise and her cheeks turned red. "Heh..." she said softly. "When's the last time you ate?" Desmond asked. Adriana blinked for a moment as if she didn't understand and then she said, "Eh... I may have... forgotten to eat anything today or yesterday afternoon... But I do have some bread in here!" She held up the small pouch in her hand.  

“I am a bit hungry myself,” Trinity said. “Why don’t we stop and eat for a moment?” Isleen nodded. “Trinity and I brought some food, in case.”  

Adriana nodded and looked down at her feet. Desmond smiled slightly probably because he was glad that they were going to eat.  

Isleen walked over to a fallen tree and sat on the end of it, taking some things out of her bag. Trinity followed and did the same. 

Adriana sat down on the ground and leaned against the fallen tree. She had gotten the small loaf of bread from her pouch and began to eat it quickly. Desmond always kept dried fruits in his bag so he pulled some out and began to eat. He gave a few to Adriana and she ate them happily.  

Isleen handed out some slices of mild cheese with nut bread and Trinity had brought water in tiny flasks. Isleen munched on a piece of bread and cheese.  

Adriana ate the nut bread then the mild cheese in a minute or two, wanting to keep the flavor in her mouth. Desmond noticed how Adriana liked the cheese so he gave her his and he saved the nut bread for later since he didn't need to eat much.  

Isleen was quiet, her thoughts busy. Trinity noticed that she hardly ate much at all.  

"Last time I saw Andris he was... maybe fourteen?" Adriana said softly. "Was he tall?" Desmond asked curiously. Adriana shook her head. "Not really. He was really skinny and was always avoiding people most of the time," she replied. "What is he like now? He's not mean, is he?" She asked.  

"No, he is very nice," Isleen said reassuringly.  

"He used to be very mean sometimes... I remember this one time when he got so upset that he ruined a present I was giving to him so he would feel better... I still don't know why he was so upset." Desmond couldn't imagine Andris destroying a gift that was meant for him. "Why did he do that?" he wondered.  

"What was it?" Trinity asked, her natural curiosity roused.  

"I made him a dream catcher since he kept getting nightmares that made him upset," she replied. 

"A dreamcatcher," Trinity repeated softly.  

"Yeah, but he destroyed it... It seemed to make him more angry." "I wonder what about the dream catcher made him angry," said Desmond quietly.

"It doesn't sound like him,” Trinity said, and Isleen nodded.  

"It was the day after that that he disappeared." The word 'disappeared' hung in Desmond's mind. 

Trinity was quiet, glancing at Desmond briefly. 

He glanced at her as well and then broke the silence by saying, "Well, I can reassure you that he is not mean like he was on that day. He's really kind like Isleen said."  

"Maybe we should get moving again," Trinity said, noticing that the sun was starting to get lower in the sky.  

"Yeah," Desmond replied softly, stretching. He stood up and took a deep breath, taking in the scents that were caught in a breeze blowing in their direction. He smelled a familiar scent but couldn't quite remember where he had smelt it.  

Trinity and Isleen got up. Isleen had an odd feeling that she couldn’t quite place. She shrugged it off though, wanting to focus.  

Adriana stood up and dusted her knees off before walking with them to the next town. It must have almost been midnight when they arrived at a large town made up of tall buildings. As they walked down a road, there was a small sign on the corner of the street that pointed to a small road. On that sign it said, 'The Moonlight Inn.'  

"Should we stay the night?" Isleen asked, assuming that no one would want to sleep outside.  

"Probably," Desmond replied as he walked a little closer to the sign to read it. As he did, the scent from earlier grew stronger. Where had he smelt it before? Adriana rubbed her aching feet after removing her boots. "Oh how lovely it would be if I could just find somewhere to soak my feet in!" She thought to herself.  

"Your feet hurt too?" Isleen asked. There were times when she missed her wings very much and this was one of those times. “What is it?” Trinity asked Desmond.  

Adriana nodded in reply. "I work a lot so i'm used to hard work but... these boots aren't made for walking. Plus I don't usually have to walk for such long periods of time." Desmond rubbed his eyes lids with his ring fingers before raising his head when Trinity spoke. "There is a scent that is really familiar. It's scattered all over this sign," he replied. He hadn't had much time to think about the scent because he was busy thinking about Andris. For all they knew, he could be dead.

"I have been walking for years, but I don't think my feet ever entirely got used to it," Isleen said. "I used to have wings," she added, realizing that her statement would have sounded odd with no explanation. "Good, or bad, or can you tell?" Trinity asked.

Adriana wanted to ask what happened to Isleen's wings but she didn't press forward and ask. Desmond closed his eyes and tried to think of where he had smelt it. "I don't know," he replied simply.  

Isleen glanced at Desmond and Trinity, wondering what they were talking about. "Well, let's hope it is good then," Trinity said.  

Desmond opened his eyes and began to head straight for the Moonlight Inn. Adriana followed after him, hoping that inside they might have some water to soak her feet in. When they walked in, there was a long counter. Sitting behind it was a short girl, maybe sixteen or seventeen. She looked up from a piece of paper she was writing on and gave a small smile. "Welcome to The Moonlight Inn," she said in a light voice.  

"Thank you," Isleen said politely. "Do you have any rooms available?" She desperately hoped that they weren't filled. Trinity got the feeling someone was watching them, or maybe just her and shifted slightly, glancing over one shoulder.

The girl gave a nod and said, "There are a couple of rooms available. About-" An older looking woman appeared from a room behind the counter and said, "There are precisely four out of fourteen rooms available." The older looking woman had white curled locks that hung over her shoulder and a blue tunic as well as black shoes. "How many rooms will you be requiring?" she asked. "Three of the rooms left have one bed while the other has two beds." The short girl cleared her throat and the older woman smiled, pretending not to have heard the girl.  

Isleen glanced at Adriana, "Do you want your own room, or do you mind sharing?" she asked.  

Adriana shuffled her feet. "Um, well I wouldn't mind sharing a room." She had never been to an inn before and she had never slept anywhere else besides her own bed. It felt kinda silly to her, but she was feeling nervous.  

Isleen smiled, “Fine with me. Two singles and the double then?” she asked, looking over at Desmond and Trinity for confirmation. Trinity was still a bit distracted and only became alert long enough to hear Isleen say something about me.  

Desmond nodded the glanced up at the ceiling when he heard something crash. What was that? Some seconds later there was another crash and the short girl stood up, immediately running up the stairs to the second floor. 

Trinity glanced sideways at Isleen who raised a single brow. “Interesting,” she mouthed.  

The short girl came back a few minutes later holding a pile of broken... glass? Desmond blinked and suddenly took an interest in what had happened. "Seems like he broke a few more lamps again... He isn't in such a good mood." She spoke softly to the older woman who let out a small sigh. The young girl headed to the back room to dispose of the glass while the older woman held out three keys to them. Each key was numbered. "The double is upstairs and the singles are down the hallway to your left," she said. Desmond looked up at the wooden stairs that were to the right of the current floor they were on. Who had broken some lamps? Desmond took one of the keys belonging to single.  

Trinity took the other and Isleen took the double. Trinity's curiosity was plain on her face. "Well, let's go," Isleen said, heading upstairs with Adriana. Trinity walked down the hall, finding the right door. "I am never going to sleep," she muttered. Between the odd presence she had felt earlier, and the lamp breaker upstairs this would be a long night she felt.  

Desmond let out a sigh as he head to his room which was adjacent to Trinity's room. As he unlocked his room he said to Trinity, "If you need anything or want to try coming up with a plan for saving Andris, i'll be awake." Adriana hurriedly followed Isleen, her boots still in her hands. When they came to the front of their room, the room in across from theirs opened just enough for a brown eye to be visible. "It must be the lamp breaker," thought Adriana. The brown eye stared at her for a second or two before the door shut.  

She nodded, “Alright. I am sure I will be awake as well.” She unlocked the door and slipped into her room. Isleen shivered slightly. “Well, let’s get into our room.” She unlocked the door and entered the room.  

Desmond stepped into his room and stared at the little desk near the bed. He was about to sit down before he quickly left the room and locked it. He walked to the front desk and pulled out some coins from his bag. The short girl's eyes widened as she took the pay from him. "We nearly forgot to pay," he said to her before quickly walking back to his room. Adriana walked into the room and looked around. "Wow! This is better than my own room!" she exclaimed. Someone banged the wall in the room next to theirs and shouted, "Quiet!"  

Trinity sat down at the chair, absently going through some things in her bag. She heard a sound against her window and wondered if it might be a branch. Isleen smirked, “Grumpy. I shared a room with six people growing up.” 

"Whoa, six people?" Adriana asked quietly, not wanting to bother the angry woman who had told them to be quiet. "Maybe the lady had a bad day and she hasn't been able to get any sleep."  

“Maybe so,” Isleen said. “I wonder who was breaking the lamps . . . Mm.”

"Well, the young girl said that the person breaking the lamps was a 'he.' I also know he has brown eyes since when he opened the door slightly I only saw his brown eye," she replied. Adriana sat on the bed that was to the right of the room. "Maybe we'll meet him tomorrow? If we stay here tomorrow to plan and stuff maybe we'll get to meet the lamp breaker!" She seemed a little excited. Downstairs, Desmond was reading a small book that has been left on the desk. It wasn't until the cat-lemur jumped on him that he remembered it was there.  

Isleen laughed. “Maybe.” Trinity found an old paper in the drawer of her desk and began to read curiously.  

Adriana yawned before wrapping herself with the blankets. "Well, we'll learn more about the lamp breaker tomorrow." She spoke softly before falling asleep. Desmond stopped reading the book when it became extremely boring.  

Isleen got into the other bed, trying to get herself to relax and drift off . . . Trinity read the note once, then twice. "Odd," she said. "Must have belonged to whoever was here before. She heard a noise at the window again and this time looked up curiously.  

Desmond laid down on his bed and stared at the ceiling. There was a faint thump. He closed his eyes and thought, "Someone must have fallen off their bed."  

Trinity got up and crossed the room. She opened the window and a face popped up. " ello, love." Trinity gasped softly. "Delila! What are you doing here?" A young woman, probably close to Trinity's age with dark hair and cat ears was stand casually outside the window. "I saw you and I said, just the person to help me," she said with a grin. "Also, you left your stuff at the house." Delila tossed a bag in the window. "Thanks," Trinity muttered. "Now, what do you need exactly?" Delila grinned slyly, "Complicated, that. " She ducked down and when she came back up she was supporting a man who seemed to be injured. "Can I stow him here while I . .. mislead my followers?" "Delila!" Trinity hissed. "I can't keep a man in here!" Delila sighed. "Pity. I will just leave him outside the window then. Looks like it mgiht rain. Cheerio!" Then she was gone, leaving the man groaning outside the window. Trinity muttered several things all strung together.. "Leave him here indeed," she said slowly. 

Desmond opened his eyes again and sat up. He felt as if something were buzzing past his ear. What was it? What did he hear? Desmond stood up and rubbed his eyes before listening carefully.  

Trinity was debating between closing the window and pretending that the man, whoever he was, wasn't there, or seeing who it was, then closing the window and pretending he wasn't there. She chose the latter. She flicked back the hood of his jacked with one finger. "This couldn't be worse," she said dryly. Of all the people for Delila to turn up with. Michael? "Stay there," Trinity said then she said to herself, "of course he will." She opened the door and slipped into the hall, knocking on Desmond's door. "Perfect," she muttered.  

Desmond blinked a few times before opening the door. "Hm?" He asked quietly so not to disturb the other people who were trying to sleep.

"We have a tiny complication," she said in a whisper.  

"What's wrong?" He asked as his eyes widened just a little. What did she mean by complication?  

Trinity gestured for him to follow her and she went back to her room, standing by the window and gesturing to the man huddled outside. 

Desmond's eyes went very wide as he looked out window. "What's he doing right there?" He asked quickly, glancing at Trinity.  

“Well, Delila, the girl I split house rent with, kind of dropped him off here. I am not sure entirely why . . . But. . . “ she glanced at him, her eyes hard to read. “Well I can’t leave him outside the window all night.”  

Desmond let out a soft sigh before suddenly jumping through and out of the window. He turned around so he faced the window and he held out the key to his room. "If you open the window in my room I can slip him through." A light flickered above and Desmond looked up to see a silhouette looking down at him through the window. The lamp breaker. He couldn't quite see his face. A rain drop dripped down from the sky then more began to fall.  

Trinity nodded and went over to his room to open the window. Meanwhile Michael seemed to be unconscious at the time.  

Desmond tried to understand why Trinity's friend had brought Michael. Quickly so the lamp breaker wouldn't see anything more, Desmond quickly lifted Michael through the window then placed him on the floor as gently as he could before jumping into his room.  

He seemed to waken slightly and began to speak in a soft flow language. Elvish. His eyes opened slightly to reveal a familiar, intense emerald gaze. Trinity said something in the language he was speaking in. He said something, then repeated it questioningly. Trinity replied in a cautious tone then seemed to ask a question of her own. He answered then fell back into unconsciousness.  

Desmond stared down at Michael then sighed. He lifted him up and placed him on the bed before he walked to the desk and sat down. "Is he okay?"  

"I think so. Apparently he got into a fight with someone and got a pretty bad hit on the head. I am not sure why he was with Delila but it had something to do with a job she was working on and she brought him here because it was the nearest place. She saw me by chance and decided her best bet was to get rid of him and do whatever it is she is doing.” Trinity stood by the desk, her gaze flitting from the top of the desk, to Michael, then back to Desmond as she spoke.  

Desmond nodded and rested his cheek against the desk. The scent had been outside as well. Someone's familiar scent from somewhere unknown. Desmond held his head for a moment, feeling a slight headache. 

"You okay?" Trinity asked when he held his head.

"That scent from earlier is giving me a headache," he muttered as he then pressed his forehead against the table. "I keep trying to remember where I've smelled it before but I just... It hurts to think."  

“I am sure it will come to you eventually,” she said. “In the meantime I should probably leave so you can rest.” She glanced at Michael. “Um, will you be okay . . in this chair?” 

"Well, I don't think i'll be sleeping tonight so... I guess this is fine," he replied. Desmond sat up straight in the chair and rubbed his eyes, leaning his neck against the back of the chair. 

“I still feel bad though. It’s certainly not the most comfortable chair in the world. But, thanks. For helping,” she said. She leaned over and kissed his cheek softly. "if you need anything I will probably be awake," she said before going back to her room where she retrieved the bag she had left on the floor.  

Desmond closed his eyes and smiled slightly. "Well then... goodnight, Trinity," he said softly after she left. Thought the night, rain fell. It was around six when it all stopped and a rainbow appeared in the sky. Desmond had locked his room, leaving Michael inside. When he left he was going to go outside to see the rainbow when he heard another crash from upstairs. The lamp breaker. As much as he wanted to see the rainbow, his curiosity was telling him to go upstairs. Quietly, he walked upstairs before he froze. Adriana was standing in front of him and she looked just as surprised as him. "There's a rainbow outside," he said. Adriana's eyes widened and she rushed outside.  

Isleen was awake again for about the fourth time since she had fallen asleep. She kept having dreams . . . awful dreams. Meanwhile, Trinity was taking inventory of everything she was missing that Delila had probably 'misplaced'. "Funny girl," she muttered with a slight smile.  

Desmond let out a small sigh, deciding to investigate the lamp breaker later. He headed outside with Adriana to see the rainbow.  

Michael soon began to wake with a groan as he felt the bump on the back of his head. Isleen got up and tip-toed downstairs where she knocked on Trinity’s door. Trinity opened it and let her in and the two talked for a couple minutes.  

Within two minutes the rainbow had disappeared. Desmond and Adriana were walking back inside when there was another crash from upstairs. Suddenly loud footsteps were coming down the stairs and young man with brown hair and richly colored brown eyes was walking down them. He looked slightly beaten and there was a small golden loop earring hanging from one of his ears. Desmond's eyes widened and he whispered, "Oh go-, it's him..." He went silent before he suddenly exclaimed, "Andris!" Andris turned to look at Desmond.  

(That is a pain >.< I always copy my post before posting in case it glitches) Trinity and Isleen heard the commotion left Trinity’s room, making their way down the hall. Trinity got their first and put her hand over her mouth to muffle a slight gasp.  

Andris looked at Trinity, Isleen, Desmond, then finally Adriana. He didn't say anything but turned his gaze away from him before walking past Desmond to leave the Inn. The commotion had woken up the short girl and she hurried out before saying, "Sir! You forgot your stuff upstairs!" Andris looked over his shoulder and said, "I know. I'm just going out for a bit." "Something is wrong," Desmond thought as his stomach churned. "Something terribly wrong." The scent from before had become significantly stronger when Andris was in the room but it wasn't his scent... It couldn't have been his.  

Trinity glanced at Desmond. “What happened to him?” she seemed to be thinking. Isleen glanced at Adriana, wondering how she was feeling. She knew her own stomach was flipping and her worry had escalated rapidly.  

He didn't know if he had been there to here the young man's name but he suddenly knew and said, "It was Vakha." Andris's posture straightened ever so slightly when he heard Desmond say 'Vakha.' In an instant he had turned around and pinned Desmond against a wall. In a low voice that was similar to a growl, Andris said, "What is your relation to Vakha?" Adriana's eyes widened and she grabbed Andris's arm before being whacked to the ground. Andris looked down at her and glared before looking back at Desmond. Desmond hissed, "What happened to you, Andris?" He grabbed Andris's shoulders before their places switched and Andris was up against the wall.  

Isleen knelt down beside Adriana, watching with a half horrified expression on her face. Trinity moved a little closer, watching Andris closely, trying to detect anything noticeably different about him.  

Adriana's eyes were wide with small tears. She seemed to be more shocked than scared but what was really the difference between the two? Desmond himself felt scared because he knew something was wrong. The only new thing about Andris was the small golden loop earring on his left ear. Andris stared at Desmond before spatting out, "I don't know who you are, but you better answer my question!" Desmond went silent before he loosened his grip on Andris and said, "I just remembered that person's name, that is all." Andris shoved Desmond away from his before dusting his clothes off as if Desmond had gotten him dirty. Andris then walked past Desmond then Adriana. "What are you doing here, Adriana?" He muttered. "You belong on the fields." After that he walked past Isleen and Trinity and out the entrance. Adriana was going to run after him but Desmond put his hand on her shoulder and quietly said, "No."  

Isleen put an arm around Adriana and gave her a light, sideways hug. "There has to be something going on here that we just cant see," she said softly, desperately wanting to believe her own words.  

"You sure he just wasn't tricking you...? He doesn't seem to have changed since the day he... became like that," Adriana murmured. Desmond looked at Adriana and Isleen, wishing that Andris had been okay. Desmond walked up to Trinity and in a low voice said, "That scent is all over him, it's like a mix of two scents. That... can't really be him."  

Isleen bit her lip, her eyes troubled. Trinity nodded. "Do you think someone could be somehow using his body? Either through magic of some kind or the use of a changeling?"  

"Perhaps, but I think it's best that we don't talk here in the lobby," he replied. Adriana looked at Isleen and quietly said, "I haven't... been honest with you all."  

Trinity nodded. Isleen tilted her head slightly, "How do you mean?"  

Adriana shifted slightly then said. "I'm Andris's sister."  

Isleen smiled ever so slightly, “So, I wasn’t imagining the resemblance.”  

Adriana let out a small sigh of relief when she saw Isleen's smile. "I kinda hoped that you wouldn't notice with all this dirt on me. I mean... I don't really think I look like him." She let out a short sigh and hugged her knees. "I don't really know him." 

“You have similar faces,” Isleen said, “Not so much in color but in shape,” she said. “Did you see him again, after he disappeared?”  

"No," she muttered.  

"But you missed him?" Isleen guessed.  

Adriana nodded while staring down at the ground. "I missed the real him. I wanted him to come back home... But now it seems that he hasn't really changed."  

"I don't really know what is going on," Isleen said slowly. "But he was very kind when he was staying with us. I am sure there is something going on beyond what we can see, and maybe we can get him back, the real him. I think he missed you too." As Isleen finished speaking Michael popped into the lobby. For a minute he just stood there, seeming to evaluate everyone he saw. His features were distinctly elvish, but had a bit of a hard look just now.  

Desmond glanced at Michael and quietly said to Trinity, "He's awake." Adriana shook her her head. "Well, that is if he even remembers me." Adriana stood up and rubbed her eyes. "I think... i'm going to go back to the room," she mumbled. The cat-lemur had followed Michael and was now in the lobby, following Adriana.  

Trinity turned around and he said something in elvish. Once again a short conversation in their language resumed. Trinity said something to Michael then she turned and said to Desmond, “We are going to talk for a bit. I shouldn’t be long.” Isleen nodded. “I am going to go to the market and see if Derek is there.” Trinity heard what Isleen said and paused, “Be careful, Isleen.” Isleen smiled, “I will.”  

Desmond nodded then said, "I'll stay here in the lobby in case Andris comes back." The short girl who sat in the front of the lobby at the counter shifted nervously, not liking the idea that a fight might start when Andris returns

Trinity and Michael went for a walk, one that ended up being well over a half hour long. Isleen went to the market and found Derek. After giving him a quick greeting hug the two sat down near the center of the village to talk.  

Desmond sat in the bench in the lobby, quietly fiddling with his thumbs. "Andris, what happened?" He whispered under his breath. Just then Andris came walking back in towards Desmond. "You, me, upstairs. We need a talk about Vahka and how on earth you know about him," he said. Desmond let out a sigh before he stood up and said, "Andris, let's take this outside if we somehow end up fighting." Andris narrowed his eyes and muttered, "Fine."  

At first Michael didn't seem to be able to accept that she was refusing him, mostly because he now knew she preferred someone else. But, after an hour and ten minutes had passed Michael finally let it go and said he would be leaving to go back home. Derek filled Isleen in on her mother's family, and told her about their verdict as to weather they wanted to see her. "They want to see you," he said. "But they might not accept you as family." Isleen shrugged. "It is worth a try."  

Andris and Desmond walked to an abandoned building in the town and went inside. When they were inside, Desmond was going to say something before Andris spoke and said, "How do you know me? Why were those... girls all shocked? ...How do you know Vakha?!"  

Trinity went back to the lobby, then to her room since no one was around. Michael had given her a letter he said she should read after he left.  

"Whoever... Vakha is, I think he did something for you to forget us. My name is Desmond, and I'm one of your friends. Because you didn't recognize us, they were shocked... and I was shocked," Desmond replied simply. Andris stared at him before he shook his head and paced around. "That's not possible," he grumbled."  

Trinity opened the letter which read, “Trinity, some lady approached me yesterday asking about you. Said her name was Sylvia, or something like that. She wanted to know if we were getting married for sure and I said I was awaiting your answer. She then disappeared. I believe she was magical. Anyway, just wanted to let you know, Michael.” Trinity was facing the window and looked up, out onto the street. “Sylvia,” she muttered to herself, trying to think of who she knew by that name. She had very little time to consider because someone came up from behind and stuffed a cloth over her face. If she’d had time to think she might have been able to do something. Anything. But whatever was on the cloth was a strong drug and she instantly blacked out. Standing behind her was an older woman with dark eyes. “Well, well. That was easy,” she said sharply. Then she and Trinity disappeared. The room was left exactly as before, except for a note on the desk addressed to Desmond and the letter from Michael which lay on the floor on the side of the bed nearest to the window. Meanwhile, Isleen made plans to meet Derek again then headed back to the inn. She hummed softly as she walked, trying to sort through the many thoughts she was having.  

Desmond's patience somehow just snapped and he held Andris against the wall of the alleyway. He sniffed Andris, identifying the scent again. "It's not from you..." Desmond muttered while Andris struggled to get away from Desmond. "Back off!" he yelled. Desmond shoved Andris and held him to the ground before he took off the loop earring from Andris's ear. Andris was suddenly still before he quietly said, "Desmond, what are you doing?"  

Trinity woke up about ten minutes later to find herself in a small room without windows. The older woman was there as well. Rubbing her head Trinity said, “Who are you?” She was surprisingly calm. “Sylvia,” the woman said. “But then, you know that precious.” Trinity stood up slowly. “I do?” Sylvia nodded. “Have you forgotten your promise to me?” Trinity was utterly dumbfounded. ‘What promise? I have never seen you before!” Sylvia made an odd clucking noise then suddenly approached her, staring hard at her face. Then her eyes narrowed, and she frowned. “Wait a moment, you . . . you aren’t the right one!” She said something in elvish that Trinity didn’t quite catch. “Who am I not that you think I am?” Trinity asked curiously. Isleen got back and checked in on Adriana.  

Desmond got off of Andris and helped him up before giving him a tight hug. "You remember everything right?" He asked quietly. Andris blinked and patted Desmond's back. "How... did I get here?" he asked. Adriana was sleeping on her bed, the cat-lemur curled up beside her.  

“The girl . . . Pansy, Rosa, something like that . . . what have you done with her?” Sylvia’s voice was a high pitched squeal. “Um, nothing,” Trinity said. “I really have no idea what you are talking about.” Sylva grunted. “Fine, then you can stay here until I figure it out!” She spun around and left through the room’s only door, locking it behind her. “Greaaat,” Trinity said to herself. “Headaches, tiny, dark rooms, and a mad woman . . .” Isleen smiled, tip-toing back out of the room and downstairs. She went to see Trinity, but found her missing. She saw the note and picked it up. “Hmm, might be important,” she said. She put it in her bag then went out to find Desmond.  

"That's what we were going to ask you before you started acting strangely!" Desmond exclaimed before motioning for Andris to follow him back to the inn. Both Desmond and Andris walked in at the same time, a relieved look on Desmond's face.  

Isleen was coming down the hall. In her haste she didn’t even notice Andris. “Oh, Desmond! There you are. Ariana is napping, but Trinity and Michael are still gone, but she must have come back because I found this with your name on it.” She handed him the note. 

Andris felt his heart stop, burst, or he lost the connection to rest of his body. His eyes were slightly wide and he didn't know wether to hide behind Desmond who was taller than him or greet Isleen. He took a deep breath before he quietly said, "Hey Isleen."  

Isleen, having complete her mission, glanced past Desmond. “Oh,” was all she said for a minute. “You are . . . you again?” She asked hesitantly

"I... Think so," he replied while looking down at his feet. Desmond was reading the note.  

Isleen seemed relieved. “Well, it seems so, right now at least.” She stepped around Desmond and gave Andris a gentle hug. “We missed you,” she said. The note read, “Desmond, I am very sorry but I have made a mistake. I cannot marry you. I realize now that I do not love you, and I don’t think I ever did, therefore, it would be impossible for us to marry.” Then it was simply, signed “Trinity.” There was nothing else on the note, and it was written neatly, not at all hurriedly. Meanwhile, Trinity had shifted into a spider long enough to get out of the room under the door. Now she was watching as Sylvia sat in a chair, biting her nails and taking to herself. “I made a mistake. But no, she is the right one, she has to be! No, no. She is wrong. She lied to me. It’s a trick! But she has such dark hair, and blue eyes. . . . But it could still be a trick!”  

Andris stared forward when she hugged him before he hugged her back tightly. "Thank goodness you and the others are okay... I'm sorry. I'm really sorry," he said quietly before backing up and lightly biting the inside of his lip. Desmond stared down at the note before he neatly folded it and slipped it into his pocket. Without saying a word, he walked back to his room and shut the door. Andris was going to say something to Desmond but Desmond had walked away too quickly.  

"It's okay," she said with a gentle smile. "Everything will be fine." Trinity was debating weather to sneak past the woman, or try to figure out who she was. Feeling confident she stepped out of the shadows. "Um, excuse me . . . mam?" Sylvia turned around in her chair. "What are you doing here?" She asked, her voice sharp and high once more. "That room was too small," Trinity said dryly. "Now . . . about this whole Rosa thing. Who is it that you think I am?" Sylvia snarled, "I know who you are!" Trinity nodded, "Fine, and who is that?" Sylvia glanced about wildly. "My pretty little girl. They won't let me near her anymore. No. They said I am dangerous. She is going to be married now, but no! They can't do that to me! She loves me, a man will take my place. . . " Trinity watched her closely. "I think you are a little confused," she said softly. "I am not whoever you think I am." Sylvia suddenly wailed. "You are getting married! And he is not the right one! I can't lose you not now . . but I have." She grabbed her head between her hands. "You are dead!" she began to rock back and forth. Trinity knelt down in front of her. "Please, what is my name?" she asked. The woman looked up. "You said Trinity but . . . that isn't right. Why did you change it? Your name was so pretty . . . Lillian. Yes, that's it. Lillian. My Lillian." Trinity gasped softly. "Lillian." Syliva nodded, tears running down her cheeks. "My Lillian," she repeated.  

Andris let out a small sigh before something clicked in his mind and he rushed upstairs. Searching through his memories, he walked up to the door of Isleen and Adriana before knocking on it. Sleepily, Adriana got out of bed and opened the door, her eyes widening. "P-please don't get mad at me," she said in a soft voice. Andris just gave her a big hug, tears in his eyes. "I am so sorry Adriana," he replied in a brittle tone. Adriana's eyes widened and she felt shocked before she felt relieved. Adriana's eyes filled with tears and she hugged him back tightly, crying, "You disappeared!" Desmond had sat down on his bed and stared at the small desk in the room. He pulled out the note from his pocket and unfolded it to re-read it. He felt a terrible pain in his chest as he re-read the note again. It didn't feel real to him. Was he having a nightmare? But... the note was right there in his hands with the message right on it

Isleen stayed downstairs, wanting to let them have some time. Sylvia was full out crying now. "My beautiful girl. I promise to protect her, then I failed her. I did! But he won't have her, not my Lillian." Trinity was getting an uncomfortable feeling about this. "How can you be sure of that?" she asked. Sylvia blinked as if remembering she was there. "Silly question Lillian darling. I have you, and I left a note. He will never want to marry you now." She sighed. "We can be together again, just like it was when you were a child." Trinity looked around the room for a minute. She saw a door and a single window. "I am not your Lillian," she said softly. "My name really is Trinity. But my sister was Lillian." Sylvia sighed. "No. You must be my girl. But, then, you have changed. . . your hair is so dark." Sylvia blinked owlishly. "Oh, but you aren't my Lillian. How silly. Oh," she began to sob again. "How forgetful I am! My Lillian is dead. She is gone!" Trinity patted her hand hesitantly. "I am sure she loved you. Can't you tell me what happened?" Sylvia shuddered. "They told me not to see her, but I went anyway. And I saw her. Such a pretty girl she grew up to be. Then . . ." she trailed off and her voice became hard. "He killed her. He killed my Lillian! I saw him do it. I cried for days. I remember that. And her sister . . ." she blinked again and her voice became light again. "Well, that was you, wasn't it? You saw it too. But I made you forget."  

Desmond threw the note down on the ground and held his head in his hands. After a minute or two he stood up again and grabbed his bag. He then opened the window of his room and left the inn. Andris and Adriana talked for a bit before they both came back downstairs again, both of them looking like they had been crying.  

"What did I forget?" Trinity asked. "He did it! He pushed her!" Sylvia was frantic now. "And I couldn't do anything!" she moaned. Trinity was getting a panicky feeling. "Who? Who pushed her?" Sylvia became sharp once more. "That man, the one that hated my Dominic!" Almost the minute she was done speaking she became child-like once more. "But you are back now Lillian, everything is just fine. It can be just us, and I will raise you like my own." Trinity stood up, backing away. "I can't stay," she said cautiously. Sylvia sprang up out of her chair. "But you must! You have to stay!" Trinity shook her head. "I can't. I am sorry." Sylvia wailed, then screeched, she appeared to be fighting between pain and anger. "Lillian, don't leave! No one will ever love you like I did! Not even your own mother." Trinity took a step back. "I am sorry, but I am not Lillian and I have to go." For an instant Sylvia seemed somewhat sane again. "Go, go if you want! Leave me to die! But he won't be there. I guarantee he won't!" Trinity frowned, "Who?" Sylvia just laughed. Then, she disappeared in a puff of air. Trinity opened the door and went down a flight of steps. She found a front door in the hall of what seemed to have once been a beautiful house. She opened the door and found herself on the street not too far from the inn. Relived to be in the fresh air again, and worried about Sylvia's note and last statement she headed back to the inn. Isleen smiled. "See? I knew everything would work out."  

Adriana was all smiles and she suddenly exclaimed," He has a crush on you!" Andris's face turned red and he froze like a statue, staying in place. "I thought I told you not to say anything, Adriana!" He thought in his mind. Meanwhile, Desmond was running back the way they had originally came. He could have just ran anywhere but there was only one thing left that prevented him from doing that: Lakota. He could have walked but walking seemed too slow and gave him time to focus on what the note said. If he ran, he could focus more on not tripping.  

Isleen’s mouth was a round ‘oh’ of surprise and her eyes were wide as saucers, a slight blush climbing into her cheeks. Before she could answer Trinity cmae into the lobby. “Isleen, is Desmond here?” she asked. Isleen nodded, “I think so.” Trinity went down the hall and knocked several times on his room. Getting no answer she opened the door. She saw nothing and no one so she entered the room. She eventually found the note. She smoothed it out and read it. ‘oh, no,” she groaned. She left the room and went back through the lobby than out the door without saying a word.  

Andris's eyes were just as wide as Isleen's and he began to stutter when he tried to explain to her what Adriana 'actually' meant. "W-well, she's just saying– I-i don't– um..."

Isleen raised a single brow, seeming to find her voice she said, “Well, you either like me or you don’t. A simple yes or no answer would be perfectly acceptable.” Her tone was light and almost playful. Trinity was tired and a bit drained from shifting into a tiny spider, but she shifted once more into a bird to see if she could see Desmond.  

Scared that he might say something that would make the situation more awkward, Andris just gave a nod. Quickly he said, "Yes." He hadn't noticed her tone since a loud voice in his mind was yelling, "Don't mess up!" Desmond had just ran past the fallen tree that they had all rested on to take a lunch break.  

Isleen smiled a bit, “Well, I guess maybe I shouldn’t agree to court the seamstress’s son after all.” Trinity was trying to figure out a somewhat safe way for her to get him to slow down. She finally decided to try to get his attention long enough that he would slow down. She went up the path ahead of him and saw a partially fallen tree. Through some more shifting and careful maneuvering she managed to push it the rest of the way down over the path. There was no way he could go over it, under it, or around it at his current speed.  

Andris blinked a few times thinking, "Wait, is she saying she likes me back? What does she mean?" He suddenly said, "Wait, what seamstress's son?" His eyes were wide and Adriana noticed how worried he looked. She quietly hurried outside to go find some water for him since he also looked light headed. Desmond stopped quickly as soon as he saw the partially fallen tree and nearly fell over.  

Isleen shrugged, “The one who has thought that he was going to marry me since I turned twelve.” Then she stepped a little closer and said, “But, I don’t think he would be willing to help me make pasta.” Trinity had shifted back to her human self and stepped out in front of him. "I know you are probably mad but please listen to me," she said quickly, not even pausing to take a breath.  

Andris had to take a deep breath because he hadn't been breathing for some seconds. That was probably why he had looked light headed. "Pasta? Why would he not be willing to make pasta with you? Pasta is great and you're amazing, why wouldn't he?" He asked. Desmond stared at Trinity for a second or two before he turned he his head slightly away. Despite his mouth being closed, his teeth were clenched.  

"He thinks cooking is a girls only thing," she replied. "But . . . I didn't really want him toe help me anyway so it doesn't matter much." Trinity’s eyes flashed briefly with pain. “I didn’t write the note,” she said quickly. “I promise I didn’t.” 

"But... you want me to help?" He asked quietly, his eyes still a little wide. Desmond shook his head and ran his hand through his hair. The pain had escalated and he couldn't bring himself to reply.  

Isleen nodded, "For as long as you want to." Trinity looked heartbroken. "Won't you believe me?" she asked softly.  

Andris's face turned a little more red and he looked down at his feet before he quietly asked, "Does... that mean you like me back?" Desmond covered his mouth with his hand when he finally looked at Trinity in the eyes. His own eyes had some tears that were hardly visible. "You didn't write it?" He asked quietly.

Isleen chuckled softly, "Yes," she said. Trinity shook her head. "No. No one word. I never even saw it until I got back to the inn. But you were already gone."  

Andris nodded before he covered his face with his hands to hide his happy expression. Desmond nodded in reply before he closed his eyes.  

Isleen found his reaction funny and smiled, barely containing laughter. Trinity took a step forward and placed her hand on his gently, "You believe me then, don't you?"  

Andris grinned and said, "Don't laugh. My stomach was churning because I was so nervous! It's still churning!" Desmond nodded and quietly said, "I believe you."  

Isleen smiled and gave him a hug. “Well, I wasn’t exactly overly confident myself,” she said with a smile. Trinity looked relived and hugged him tightly. “It’s a kind of long story,” she said softly.  

Andris laughed quietly and hugged her back just as Adriana walked back into the inn with some water. She looked at both of them before she said, "I brought some water in case you two are thirsty." Desmond opened his eyes and looked at her, waiting for her to tell the story.  

Isleen drew back and smiled at her, "Thank you." Trinity took a deep breath. “Well, there was this old lady, Sylvia she said her name was. She wanted to see me about something and pretty much kidnapped me. She thought I was someone else . . . my sister I think and kept going on and on about how Lillian was her girl and couldn’t get married then . . .” Here Trinity paused, looking troubled. “She said that Lillian was dead, and it hadn’t been an accident She disappeared and I left and came back here. That is the short version anyway.”  

Adriana held out two small flasks that contained water. Desmond's expression became more worried and he quietly said, "She kidnapped you? ...And she's the one who wrote it? You're okay right? She didn't hurt you?"  

Isleen took one, taking a sip. Trinity nodded. “I am okay. And she admitted to writing it.”

Andris got a little dizzy when he finally hydrated himself. Desmond let out a small sigh of relief before he hugged Trinity.  

Isleen finished hers off pretty quickly. Once she was done and took her ring out of her purse and put it back on. Trinity closed her eyes and hugged him back, too relieved to speak.

Andris looked at the ring on Isleen's finger before he looked at his own hand and asked, "Should I put a ring only finger too?" Desmond tried to think of something to say while they hugged. "I'm... I am so so glad that that note wasn't written by you. When I read it... I just couldn't believe it but I did because the note was right there in front of me. I can't believe that I believed what was on the note."  

"I never showed you this before you left, did I?" Isleen mused. "It was my mum’s. She used it for two things, one, to help control her elemental temper, and two, to fool people into thinking she was married or engaged when she wasn't." Isleen smiled impishly, "It works well for both." Trinity smiled softly, "I would never do that to you. Even if I did have something like that to tell you, I would do it in person, not on paper. But I firmly believe I will not have to ever tell you any such thing." She drew back a bit and looked into his eyes. "I really truly love you so very much."  

"Hm, I should try the same thing so then no one tries flirting with me," he replied as a ring appeared on his hand. Desmond had probably had one of the relieved looking expressions ever. "I really truly love you too," he replied.  

"It works on almost everyone," Isleen said. "And, there is no specific law against it." Trinity smiled, her eyes practically glowing. "Good. Which reminds me, Michael is going home. A bit huffy maybe but he will get over it within a week maximum I think."  

 

 


Trinity followed her mother down the market path. She was relieved to be away from her step-father, even just for a few minutes while he talked to a business associate. Her mother had been crying a lot lately and it made Trinity feel sad. She knew her step-father played a large part in making her mother unhappy, and honestly, he scared her.
She and her mother visited a few stalls then she heard her step-father coming to join them. Trinity waited until her mother wasn’t looking then slipped beneath the nearest market stall. She tucked her knees up to her chest, holding her breath until her mother and step-father had moved on.
Then she realized she wasn’t alone.
Sitting just a foot or two away from her, also under the stall, was a boy.
He was probably a little older than her.
The first thing that she noticed were his eyes. She couldn’t tell whether they were brown, or amber, or a mix of both.
“Hello,” she said softly. A thick chunk of dark hair fell over her eye and she brushed it away impatiently.
The boy didn’t answer, just stared at her, his mouth clamped shut.
“I am hiding from my step-father,” she said quietly. ‘Are you hiding from your father too?”
The boy still didn’t speak, but it looked like he may have nodded yes and the corner of his mouth twitched slightly as if he might have smiled.
Trinity smiled brightly. “Well, we can hide together then.”
For the next hour Trinity sat under the stall talking to the quiet boy. It was dark and she couldn’t see his face too well, or tell what color his hair was. The whole time she talked he just listened quietly, occasionally seeming to smile slightly, but never opening his mouth.
Then Trinity heard her step-father’s angry voice calling her name. She knew he would be angry but managed to smile at her new friend. “I have to go. Maybe we will see each other again.”
The boy didn’t answer, just watched her as she crawled out from beneath the stand.
Outside her step-father angry voice could be heard scolding and her mother speaking softly asking him to be gentle.
Trinity never saw it, but the boy peeked out from under the table and watched her go. And he smiled. Just a little.

 
Characters for rp:

 

09,

Asha

Ren

Kaia

Willow


Sierra & Cody

Cassia & Dash

Cassia's Puppies
Image result for wolf dog

An example of what many of the city pack dogs tend to look like

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