A new start

In dreams, I see the young girl sitting beside the sparkling silver…

The birds songs mix with the wind
Softly whispering an autumn prayer
The dark circle of evil shadows fades
And relieves my loneliness

I despise the fiery tears which flow
Directly from the depth of my heart
The embrace of the night will swallow the pain
And will bring a beautiful sunrise

Let us go singing along my dear!
Spinning under the light of the stars
Offering endless love, stopping the pain
Flapping our arms to fly like a dream

On the ground, the pieces of my broken soul
I wake up to realize another life is waiting for me
While you smile to welcome eternity
Step by step climbing up to the stars!

And finally my love, abandoned under the shadow of a tomb stone
The only friend I had…


It’s only a few days to the very big one, and after getting Teg back from his run to Denerim, we have decided to have a last drink at The Merry Mabari before leaving to Highever. While waiting for the rest of our friends to join us, Kyle, bored, takes out his flute and starts playing. I sit by his side and listen to him, fists under my chin, trying to ignore the fact that Tahl is there too, and she has taken her flute too to play with him.

Kyle stumbles upon the melody to adapt himself to Tahl’s rhythm, and I frown. I have the feeling the elf plays out of tune, but of course, I’m not completely objective. Anyway, she doesn’t care, so I finally sigh, lean back on the chair and look around. Maybe we’ll be alone tonight… Adri and George are still in Denerim with Tegnar and Lauren isn’t in the mood to party since Håkan  abandoned her… And I didn’t invite him to MY party, anyway. So I’m happy to see Gem, the beautiful girl from Amaranthine, sitting on the couch by the fire with her usual bottle of rum, and sipping a shot of it, while listening to the improvised flute players.

Then my eyes find the handsome waiter, Jude, and I raise my hand to order a jar of cider for me and a glass of my Kyle’s special wine. It Tahl wants to be included, she says nothing, so I ignore her. Anyway, charming Jude asks her if she wants a drink the moment he comes with ours, but she just shakes her head and continues murdering Kyle’s song. I take advantage of Jude’s politeness and ask an apple pie for us. “We have something to celebrate!”, I wink at him.

Kyle stops playing for a while, but instead of paying us any attention, he looks at Tahl and whispers with a smile: "Now I need a singer"

Tahl looks, rolls her eyes, and leaves the flute on the table. Kyle takes that like a signal, and plays a slightly sad song, while I look at them in disbelief. "Is she going to sing?", I can’t help but snort. Kyle stares at me. “What?”, I ask. Come on. What are those two plotting?

Tahl coughs and, after a first twist of the melody, starts singing: " In dreams, I see the young girl sitting beside the sparkling silver…”

I need to take my attention away from them before I decide to strangle them, so I realize Gem is looking into the fire, a far off look in her eyes, a slight smile on her lips, and I wave at her: "Care to join us? Seems we have a small party tonight!"

Gem stops looking at the fire and smiles to me. "Sure!" then moves over to us.

Kyle focuses on his tune and stops staring at me, and that even bothers me more. He’s paying more attention to Tahl’s song than to me. I feel so jealous...

Tahl's voice sounds, soft and clear, and I wish I knew how to sing myself so I could be the one to sing for him.

"The birds songs mix with the wind…Softly whispering an autumn prayer..."

Kyle glances at me while playing, as if wanting to check my reaction to the song. I won’t give him that pleasure… If Tahl wants to sing her love to him, is not my business. Gem is sitting next to me and puts her glass and her rum bottle on the table

"Would you like some?" she indicates the bottle

"I have my cider, but thanks", I reply, pointing at my jar. "But I hope you'll accept a slice of applepie"

"Oh, I can never say no to apple pie!

The dark circle of evil shadows fades, and relieves my loneliness…", Tahl sings, lowering a bit her tone. I move my ears. Even if I try not to listen to it, the song gets into my brain, touches my soul, makes me sad. It so sounds as if she was declaring her love for him!

" I despise the fiery tears which flow directly from the depth of my heart."

Kyle makes a pause to breath, and continues putting music to the sad verses...

" The embrace of the night will swallow the pain, and will bring a beautiful sunrise"

"Do you have your dress yet, Gem?", I ask, feeling a bit uncomfortable. Gem moves her head, she was obviously listening to the music.

"Oh yes, I picked it up while we were in Denerim. It's beautiful!"

"Ah, can't wait to see you wearing it! You will look gorgeous!", I say, and the conversation sounds hollow, empty…

Gem blushes a bit "Not as beautiful as the bride, I'm sure!"

"Meh, since I'll spend the night awake and nervous I'll probable look like a zombie bride"

"Oh nonsense!”, Gem laughs. “I'm sure Lauren will give you something for the nerves and you will look lovely!"

"I hope she will, because I'm starting to be very nervous..."

Jude brings the apple pie as well as dishes and a knife to serve it, and leaves everything on the table with a sweet smile. Kyle stops a bit to drink the wine and plays again, and Tahl looks into the distance while she sings:

" Let us go singing along my dear! Spinning under the light of the stars"

Gem smells the apple pie "Mmmmm.... that smells good!. Those boys really know how to make apple pies!"

I cut a slice and serve it to Gem, then I serve one for myself. Gem thanks me and starts nomming. Then I look at the musicians and after pondering a bit, I serve two more slices and push the dishes to them. I wish I could put Tahl’s slice directly in her mouth. But she continues singing.

"… Offering endless love, stopping the pain, flapping our arms to fly like a dream..."

I shake my ears at the lyrics of the song again, making Kyle blink. But he doesn’t stop, and he makes the tune even saddest if possible. I turn to Gem again. “I don’t know if I’ll see Lauren before we leave…”

"I'm sure she'll be around soon”, she says. “We can ask her for something for your nerves"

I look at Kyle, offering him his dish. "If you want to take a rest... here's your apple pie, sweetheart"

Kyle glances at me, nodding grateful, but doesn’t stop playing.

"... On the ground, the pieces of my broken soul, I wake up to realize another life is waiting for me", she’s singing with quiet voice.

"You must be extremely excited though?”, Gem continues.

I nod, nomming my apple pie. "It... feelfs wfeird...". I swallow, aware that I’m speaking with my mouth full. "I mean.... I don't know if I'll like everybody looking at me… I have spent my life hidding from people..."

"Weird? How so?", asks Gem. "Oh, you mean all the attention?"

"Ah, yes..."

"I can’t deny it. There are many things I want to say....but you probably already know them."

"Pfft, I bet I won't be able to steal a purse in Highever again, everybody will know who I am", I try to giggle.

"All you need to do is when you get there, look only at Kyle... That will help you forget everybody else"

Tahl sighs while singing: " While you smile to welcome eternity, step by step climbing up to the stars!

My own hand shakes a bit when I get my jar of cider. "Yes. If I don't faint first"

Kyle pays me attention for a short while, stops playing and snorts "You won’t, Mari" and he catches back the depressing verse.

"And don't forget, you'll have all of us with you!”, says Gem, trying to cheer me up “Anyone messes with your day and we'll cut them". She winks, but I’m not in the mood…

" And finally my love, abandoned under the shadow of a tomb stone. The only friend I had."

I drink my cider in a single gulp and ask for another, then I turn to Kyle, desperate: "Maker's sake, can't she sing something happier? This is supposed to be a party!"

Gem giggles at my comment, while Tahl just stops singing… But I have the feeling she just did it because the song had end. She starts pulling out some herbs from her purse, puts them into her mouth and chews them, ignoring us.

Kyle just blinks and puts his flute in his pocket. "Ah yes”, he says, calmly. “But we must sing that. Because it is a farewell"

"A farewell?"

"If you listened to the lyrics..."

Gem looks at him, curious, but he ignores her and starts to eat his pie

"Is she... leaving?" I say, pointing at Tahl with my head, and half hoping to be right.

Tahl, while chewing, pokes her flute and makes it roll and roll back on the table. Kyle sighs more, shaking his head: "Ah, you don’t realize it"

I don’t know how, my hands find the knife I used to cut the apple pie, and start playing with it. "What do I have to realize?". My voice sounds cold as ice. "You said a farewell...", I start. "That means someone is leaving"

Tahl rolls her eyes up, with a blank expression, looking at the top of the roof in the tavern. I wonder if it is a side effect of that weird herb she chews. To show how much I care, I start sticking the knife into the table.

Kyle puts his hand over mine to stop it. "But if I tell you the name, you will be sad again, isn’t it?"

I look at him, suddenly understanding. Lindy.

"Depends on the name", I say, looking at the knife again. "But yes... I guess I understand now..."

Tahl tilts her head, not allowing a chance to hurt me to pass by, and slowly says: "He means.... the previous... before you". Kyle scratches the table with his nails.

I look at the damn elf as if she was guilty: "And you think... singing this song in front of me wasn't going to make me sad?"

"It’s not her fault”, he says, ready to defend her. "I suggested it. Just please, for once... don’t be angry at her"

I continue carving the table with the knife. "I suppose she'll always be there. Between you and me.... ". Tahl moves her ears, but I’m not talking about her this time.

"I wasn’t planning to make you sad, just....”, starts Tahl. “Oh, well... whatever you want to think"

“You two plotted it. I can't fight against that", I snort. "All right... as long as her ghost doesn't appear during the wedding and says she objects, I guess I can live with it", I sigh.

Kyle mumbles: "She is not a ghost."

"Whatever". I’m not going to argue about the status of Lindy’s soul.

Gem just takes a sip of rum and stays out if it. Kyle notices it and apologizes. "Oh sorry!!"

"Oh, don't mind me...”, she says “I can leave you alone if you like?"

Kyle shakes his head: "Ah no. Stay!".

But I am faster and grab Gem’s arm. "Ah, no, please! I... We need to cheer up!"

Tahl stares at us, and when I look back at her, she just stretches her arms as if nothing had happened

"How about some dancing then?”, Gem suggests, smiling. “That always cheers a person up!"

"But we need happy music!!!”, I shoot directly at Tahl and her depressing tunes.  “Shall I ask Jude to call some minstrels?"

"Why not?!", Gem agrees.

"Whatever you want", says Kyle, and by his tone I can say he is a bit molested.

"Hey, if you play you can't dance! So it's that or dancing without music", I try to cheer him up. I glance at Tahl, who is scratching a scar she has in the palm of her hand. "Unless Tahl wants to play a happy tune for us?"

"No problem at all if I dance and sing in same time", says Kyle, suddenly happy.

"Exactly Kyle!", agrees Gem, making him smile.

"That's a good change!" I say, smiling too.

Tahl starts to pull out a small guitar, like waiting for us to decide. All right, if she’s going to play for us, I’m not going to complain! I get up and take Gem and Kyle's hands: "What are we waiting for? Let's go!"

Tahl fixes the string on the guitar, and starts playing a happy tune.

Kyle holds my hand, nods at Gem like saying I’m sorry and I look at him and smile like an idiot, ignoring her. "You can dance with the guys here", he suggests. She doesn’t seem to mind, she listens to happy tune while we start dancing. She also starts on her own, but when Tahl makes the rhythm slower and winks at her, she rushes to grab the darkhaired waiter, Jake, and dances with him. Jake is a good boy and always had a soft spot for brunettes, so he smiles, takes her by the waist and dances with her. Tahl starts increasing the speed of the tune, making it happy at first, rushing next. Kyle chuckles and makes me spin around, while the music sounds like a cat jumping on the roof. I laugh. He makes me fly, but holds me tight, and I squeal of pleasure.

Kyle chuckles: "You little girl!", and stops slowly, making me stand firmly on the ground, while Tahl changes to a new song.

"What? You don't like when I enjoy?", I tease. He kisses my forehead and starts dancing slowly, romantically. For a moment, there’s no one except us on the dance floor. Or so it feels even if I think Gem is dancing near us. And I expected a party before the wedding! Oh, well… I’m alone… and I can take advantage, can’t I?, I think, while sliding my hand in his pants in a playful mood. Why waiting for the honeymoon if he’s here, ready for me?

Suddenly he notices and slaps my hand away. I pout. "Hey! You no fun!"

Tahl rolls her eyes, but she smiles while playing. Kyle stares at me, deadly serious, and whispers. “What?! On the dance floor? Hell, no!”

"Also you owe me one”, I insist. “You made me sad with that song, now I want you to make me happy!". I rub my nose with his, while Gem gets tired of dancing alone and goes to sit and watch the show, serves herself another slice of apple pie, and sips her rum. I notice it and comment "So what? Continue cuddling each other with the excuse of dancing, or do we join back the others?"

Kyle licks the tip of my nose, and I rub it against his scarf to wipe it out. "Hey!"

"Hey what, big baby?" he teases, and holds me to move slowly with the dance

“Ah, we're not alone!"

He tilts his head, and teases me: "Ah finally you understand, huh?. What about the thing you did before this?"

I laugh. "But nobody could see my hand. It was in your pants"

He groans. “People could see what you were doing"

I giggle. "I was looking for your sense of humour. I think you hide it somewhere"

“Cheaterrrr", he complains, sticking his tongue out: "Maybe I don’t. Accept it"

“You don't what? You don't hide it or you don't have it?"

"I dont have it, big baby cheater"

I laugh. "Oh, sure", and start tickling him. Kyle laughs, and blocks my hands. "See? I made you laugh"

"But that is because you tickle me", he complains, while Tahl changes the song again, playing a popular tune without words. For a moment I think I like her being our personal slave. Then I think: “Hey. It’s Tahl…”… Gem suggested I should need some herbs to get calmed before the wedding, but for a moment I wonder if she could provide me some to get rid of her…Like hemlock Oh… not a poison, I’m not so bad… But maybe a laxative one… I eye her…She’s like five centimetres taller than me and quite better built… How much will she weight? Fifty kilos? Let’s say Sixty… one doesn’t want to get short! Maybe that’s too much for an elf… but I’m can’t resist the temptation to call her fat in my mind.

Kyle seems to notice it and sighs. “Why do you hate her so much? Give her a chance to explain! Oh wait”, he smiles sadly. “She never explains, does she?”

“Let’s go upstairs, please”, I beg, feeling sad again. He strokes my hair and nods, grabs my arm and leads me to our room. We wave Gem goodbye, she smiles and goes back to the couch, taking her rum bottle and glass with her. Tahl also stays. After all, Gem has no problem with her. We hear her while we go playing her guitar for the customers, and if she sees us go, she doesn’t even moves her eyes in our direction.

Once we arrive to our room, I sit on the bed and look at him…  I hope that deadly serious…

"We have to talk". He stares at me. "Oh don't look at me like that!", I complain.

"But about what?", he says, and continues staring.

"You don't know?"

He shakes his head. I snort and look at my feet.

"You can't even imagine? This explains a lot"

He looks at my feet. "About foot?”

It makes me giggle. "No. About... that song...Why now?"

"What’s wrong with it?”, he says, scratching his head, nervous. “The time had just come."

"But... but we're going to marry next week..."

"Ah, yes."

"And you choose that moment... for such a sad song..."

"Yes.". His face seems confused, as if it was logical.

"Why? We should be happy"

"Because I must do that to be able to focus”, he says. “And yes, we are happy."

"And is it bad?" I feel tears coming to my eyes.

"What is bad?!"

"To be happy"

"No. Maybe you misunderstood what I meant. It wasn’t about being happy with our lives."

"Then? You said it was a farewell. But the song sort of... said she was the only one you loved…"

"I forgot to change a bit the lyric”, he says, shaking his head. “All right. My fault. But at least I’d like to see her, a last time, to talk about these things"

"Did you forget... or did her?"

"No. Not Tahl"

I move a bit back on the bed and hug my knees. "But she sang the song for you"

"Because I suggested it"

"That. You suggest, and she already knew". I look in the distance. "That is what bothers me..."

"I had talked to her about that before, so she knew", he says, standing closer to me. "Why?"

"The things she shares with you..."

"But, she is my daughter?!!"

I look at him, furious for a moment. "Come on! She isn't! Stop saying that!"

"But she is, in my point of view, and that will never change"

Oh great. Sink it deeper in my heart. I snort. Let’s change the issue, he won’t change his mind. "Anyway it is not what I mean. You share things with her I will never share"

He puts slightly his hand on my shoulder. "But you wouldn’t have accepted to sing that, if I had asked you. And that's a different thing"

I snort again. "Pfft, I can't even sing. That's not the point. You never tell me. And you probably don't tell her either... but you don't need…Because she knows"

"Yes, she knows”. He looks at his hands, not sure about what to say. “But if you continue disliking her, I don’t know what else must I explain to you"

"I don't want you to explain...”, I reply, feeling exhausted. “I'm trying to explain myself. I want you to understand why I dislike her. Why it hurts me so much that, suddenly, she sings for you a song about Lindy, …a week before we're going to get married"

Tears are now running down my cheeks, but I had not noticed until now, because he gently wipes them with his hand.

"I just want to focus from now on in our happiness”, he says. “I don’t want to see you sad. I... I know I’m not easy to understand... I never was good with words... to tell stories or to explain things like other people do”

I sniff, and wipe my tears with my fist. "Still I don't understand. Why now. Why in front of me"

"That" he sighs. "Oh, I’ve been a stupid. I should have done it alone"

Alone means alone with Tahl, of course.

I get up, walk forward and lean on the window to look away, to the starry sky

"No. Not alone. With me…”

“But you said not in front of you", I hear him behind me, confused.

“WITH me, not IN FRONT of me", I whisper, almost to myself


I glance at him, a sad smile in my lips "You still don't understand, do you? You made it be something between Tahl and you"

"No!!", he tries to deny. “Not about Tahl and me!"

"Oh, it was. I was out of it..., you both left me out"

He slightly shakes his head "Why should you be involved in this?"

"Why shouldn't I?”, I say, still looking at the starts. “My life will be your life from now on"

"I mean why should you be involved in the sadness of old events!?"

"All which involves you, should involve me too", I try to make him understand.

"But you can’t stand it, don’t you?"

I look back at him. "Why do you think that? I'm stronger than you think"

"But every time it seems to affect you so much. Always

I get back to him. "Yes. That's why I say it involves me".

He sits on the floor, and I walk towards him. "You were the one who wanted to be married. Deal with it... Your fate and mine... now will be the same” I kneel in front of him. “Don't you even dare to think otherwise…Because I'm not allowing you to do that"

"Do what?!". He rubs his forehead, without looking at me

"To face your past alone. Or with anyone else which is not me" I take his face between my hands. "Is it clear now?"

"Are you sure?!" He finally looks at me, maybe because I forced him to do so.

"If I wasn't, I wouldn't marry you"

He coughs. "Are you still angry with me?", he says, like a lost child.

I grin. "I wasn't angry with you". I touch his forehead with mine. "That's what you thought? That I was angry with you?"

He rolls his eye. "Yes. I thought you would leave."

I smile sweetly. "A year together, and you still don't know me"

“I'm not a mind reader", he complains, shaking his head

I hit his chest with my finger. "You won't get rid of me easily, Ser Kyle Mallory. You have to try harder"

He coughs again, then clears his throat. "Or are you angry with Tahl?!!"

Mentioning her makes me stop for a moment. "With Tahl?". He nods. I need to think about it.

"I'm... I'm not angry with Tahl", I manage to say at last. Because it’s true. It’s not what I feel now.


"Well.... not now...”, I admit. “Ooooh, she definitely gets on my nerves....But... No. Right now I'm not angry with her. I just... I envy her... I envy all the years she has been with you, all the things she shares with you...And the way she just... seems to enjoy showing it to me. She surely knows how to make me angry.... But... you know... it doesn't last for long"

"Oh, you must not listen to her”, he tries to explain. “Because... that’s what she wants. At least that’s something she can feel. Just a small thing... to move her soul. And no”, he adds, determined. “She doesn’t share things like a lover… like you. She's my daughter"

I glare at him, trying to stab him with my look and warn him with a "Don't say that again". Can’t he realize how much does that hurt me? No. He can’t, obviously. He tilts his head

"She shares many things” I try to make him understand. “You don't realize it... but she does...And I think she knows, and uses it to piss me off"

"Oh, you want to share a curse like hers?…To be like a half tranquil, huh?!”, he says in a hurtful tone.

"NO!", I shout, out of myself. "I don't mean that and you know it!” I sit by his side and hug my knees again, snorting. He’s impossible. I don’t know if laughing, crying or spanking some common sense in his stubborn shem head. Finally I give up. "Forget it. You will never understand"

He hits his head by his hand. "My brain is drown in mud. And I feel stupid."

"All right, all right. I'll learn to live with it" I smirk. "If I can bear you being a beast each now and then... I guess I can bear you considering that... girl... your daughter". I am lying. I can’t. Not now. But I will try to. For him. Because I want to be with him more than anything in this world, and if I must fight every day for him with that heartless blonde… well. That will keep me alive, won’t it? And sooner or later, I will be the one to share his secrets… to understand him just by looking at his eye… to know when is the moment to let him cry over Lindy, and when it is the moment to hug him and take her out of his mind with a kiss.

He finally raises his head and looks at me, a sad shadow in his only eye.

“Seems I adopted a younger brother when my sister went away”, I say, finally.


“Because you may be older than me, but sometimes you’re worse than a baby”, I say, hitting his arm.

“You want to adopt?” he says, and I don’t know if he’s serious or teasing me.

“What? No thanks! I have enough with Tahl”, I burst out.

"Oh, but me... I want my own daughter", he says suddenly, with a mischievous face. I can’t help but laugh.

"Oh, do you?"


"I thought you were so happy with Tahl!"

He smiles. "But I want my own, my personal daughter...” He pauses for a second, and while I try to find the right words to reply, he frowns. "Don’t you understand?!!!"

I finally smile, overcoming the shock "Ah, yes... It's the next step, isn't it?"

"Next step of what!!???" He tilts his head in a teasing "I think I hope in vain..."

"Ah, we get married, and then we have children", I say. "That's what everybody expects"

Then I look at my tummy, and a thought crosses my mind "We'll have to settle down if we want to have children”. Damn. I don’t want to be tied to a housewifing life so soon.

"Ah yes”, he says. “But... I have my doubts about the having children part". He seems thoughtful. "I think I have a problem, maybe" he mumbles, finally.

Now it is me who tilts her head. "Problem?"

"About children", he continues, mumbling to himself. I stare at him.

"Which kind of problem? Another curse?", I say, scared. Now I can believe almost everything.

He startles, like snapped out of his thoughts "Huh?!"

"You say you have a problem. About children", I say, serious. "Apart than having an adoptive daughter which is my age, I can't understand what you mean"

He lets his head fall down. "Nothing"

I can’t help it. I spank him "Wrong answer". He rubs his head and looks at me, puzzled. "What have we been telling you? You know, sharing secrets and all that"

"About the wedding?!", he says, with his hand still in his nape

"NO! About why I don't like Tahl!"

"Ah ,yes?"

"I'm sure you'd have told her!"

"Ah yes, but she knows you don’t like her?!!", he says, and I think he’s talking about something completely different, so I finally speak as if I were speaking to a retarded.

"Your-problem-about-children”, I snap. “Which problem do you think you have? You tell me or I don't marry you". I cross my arms, and close my eyes, frowning.

His face slowly reacts, getting red "Maybe...”, he stammers"…eh.... I think I can't"

"You can't what?  Tell me?"

"About....about... have c....child", he whispers like dead. I must have made quite a face, because he slowly crawls back at my reaction, like terrified. But I’m just... puzzled.

"You think you can't have children? Maker's breath, why???"

"Eehhh. I don’t know". He smiles stupidly.

"Oh, come on, there must be a reason!", I say, hitting my forehead. "What makes you think that? It is not as if... " I can’t help but look at his crotch... "...you're not equipped"

"Huh?!! Equipped? What?”

I smirk: "And you know how to use it", I wink, elbowing him. I still love embarrassing him.

He sweats, red like a tomato. "Ah ehhhh..."

"Now you play shy?", I chuckle

"Bbbbb...but”. I crawl towards him, my face very close to him. I can see his forehead sweating when I put my hand in his crotch, checking that he, definitely, is equipped and able to start making children. Right now, I should add. Very very able. He stares at me, puzzled.

"Ooh, Mister Mallory, is that your sword or are you happy to see me?", I tease.

Finally he gets it. "To sink in your thighs, right?!", he says with hoarse voice. Rawrr. Focus, Mari, Focus.

I laugh. "Finally! Now, seriously, do you really think you can't have children?"

"I still do", he says.


"Bbbbbbbb...... you"… He turn his head and looks at the wall as if it was very interesting.

I look at him with eyes very open "Me what?". And then I realize. "Wait a minute... You... you think you can't have children... because during THIS week... I don't seem to be pregnant???". I start to mess my hair, nervous. Come on!, I think… We’ve been making love a lot latelly... but we started quite recently… Not that the chances of getting pregnant, without the grindyroot Lauren provides me, wouldn’t be high…. But… Even if I were… no one of us would have even noticed yet!!!

I start to laugh, while he looks even more embarrassed, if that is possible, not daring to look at me. And that makes me laugh more, I seem unable to stop. He grits his teeth, and I end putting my hands on my tummy and bending over myself, out of laughter.

"You... you can't be serious, Kyle!!!", I manage to say between laugh and laugh.


"You... do you know anything about women???". He hides his face under his shirt, chatters his teeth. "Do you think it is... instant knowledge? We make love, and I get pregnant. Instantly!!. Magic! Moreover!”, I realize suddenly, staring at him. “You really wanted me pregnant NOW???" I push him, laughing "You selfish bastard!!! You wanted me to go to the wedding with a baby in my tummy???"

"Huh!!!! Hurrr..don’t laugh!, I know I am a bastard", he mumbles, expressionless. "From the moment I started making… that forbidden thing".

I giggle. "Not so forbidden anymore". Then I see he’s really having a bad moment with all this and I get serious, sitting over his legs and putting my arms over his shoulders.

"Ah... listen... you... you should talk to the other boys about this... but... things don't work that way, all right? One... one doesn't always get pregnant the very first time they make love... Makers breath, it may take months!!...And one doesn't know it instantly... If... if the moment comes, I'll know because that month I won't have my period..."

He hugs me, trying to make me stop laughing at him. I hug him back, feeling a bit guilty. "All right... you... you couldn't know it..." I whispers. Then I remember something and I add, mischievously. "I guess Ryan didn't explain you THAT part"

He freezes again. "How can you know?!"

"You told me, silly one" I kiss the tip of his nose.

"When?!!". He says, smelling my cheek.

"When I asked you how could you know so many tricks to make me happy...", I chuckle. He confessed Ryan had lent him “a book”, but I haven’t been able to see it yet. Though I suspect it is the book he was reading the day I had danced with Adri… that would explain a lot. I rub my cheek with his, and seeing his worried face, I wonder if I should tell him about the grindyroot... or just wait until we come back from the honeymoon to stop taking it… and let the fate decide…

He kisses my cheeks sweetly "I just want to please you"

I smile, happy.  "And you do... nicely"

He bites my cheeks like a pancake and chews them playfully. I giggle. "So you want to try again?"

"Try what, honey?!". He pretends not to know what I’m talking about, but it is obvious he understands, by the way he continues tasting the pancake he has.

"Mmmh, making babies", I mumble, while looking for his earlobes

"Oh, now I already have a baby", he smiles.

I chuckle. "Mmh, baby demands cuddles"

"So, my baby needs a song before going to bed, right?" he picks me, and carries me like a baby". I hang from his neck, delighted. He leaves me over the bed and kisses my forehead.

“Time to sleep for you, baby"

I look at him, devotedly. Then I take him by the neck of the shirt and kiss him. "Ah but I'm not sleeping alone", I tease, forcing him to lay in the bed with me.

"Because baby wants her daddy, right?", he says, with teasing voice

"Mmh, I love my daddy", I mumble.

"Daddy loves you too", he smirks, and lays beside me.

Broken hearts

That lonely girl,
I held to the wishes of her heart
and met no such thing as a soulless poem,
her innocence blocking the way of what could have been,
reality never being such an important objective.
Nothing flies past her when she goes away,
the moon's light elegant handwriting
chasing after her.
There, she steals my heart and joy, never to return.
I envy her when she disappears, vanishing,
killing the broken heart
I once had.

The piece of paper falls innocently from Kyle's book when I take it to reach the letter under it. I take it instinctively, and instead of storing it back in the book, as I should have done, I read it without thinking.

I recognize Kyle's handwriting, as well as the style, like that sad poem he wrote about Lirya when he ran to the Fade, that night. And at first I smile, thinking this is something he wrote inspired on me, but when I arrive to the second half of the text, I already have realized this is not the case. And the last two lines break my heart too. Again.

Because it's clear these lines talk about Lindy.

I can't help it. Her shadow flies over my soul again, and I just want to die too. Because when one dies, young, beautiful and innocent, without giving time for deception, what remains is so perfect, so untouchable, no living being can fight against it. And that's what I feel each time her memory gets between him and me. I will never be able to beat that. It is not that I feel jealous or something. It is something worse. Because I know I will never be able to have his heart. Not the part she still does.

I don't really know how long have I stayed sitting there, the old piece of paper folded into my hand, my eyes full of tears which don't decide to fall, and a knot in my throat which hurts like a knife. Maybe not too much, but it feels like ages. Kyle enters the room and touches my shoulder, a bit concerned.

"Are you all right?", he asks. "You didn't reply when I... Mari! Are you crying?"

When he says so I realize silent tears were falling down my cheeks. Stupid me. I cry too much. I try to wipe them but before I raise my arm he hugs me and kisses them. "What happens, my love?", he asks, between kiss and kiss.

"Nothing", I answer, sniffing, and it's the truth. Because I don't know why I am so sad, but I am. Finally I give him back his poem. "This... this just fell from a book... I couldn't help but read it..."

He takes it and leaves it over the table, not minding it. "It's old". I know. I've noticed the spots on the paper, the blurry ink. But even so. The feelings are still there. After twelve years. He hugs me again, while I try not to cry again. Finally I ask the question which burns in my heart.

"Do you miss her?"

He just stares at me, like pondering the question.

"Yes, I do", he admits, finally, deciding that the truth would hurt less than an obvious lie.

I swallow, and nod. Of course. I shouldn't have asked. Sometimes I seem to enjoy rolling on my own despair.

"And if I die, will you miss me the same way too?"

I know the question is unfair, but my pain is unfair too. Because I want him to treasure my memory the same way he treasures hers. Only that. All that.

"Why do you ask me that?" he says, his eye wide open. "You already know the answer".

"No I don't", I reply. "I don't know if you'll write poems about me, or dream with me in the Fade"

He looks at me as if I had to know it, as if it was clear in his face. And maybe I knew, but I need to hear it. To be sure.

"No. I will not write poems for you", he says, harsh. "Because I won't be able. That time, I'll follow you".

No. I didn't know it. I didn't even imagine it. And the beauty of what he implies, the strenght of his feelings here, just make me cry again, like a lost little child. Why am I concerned for such a stupid thing? She's dead. He's alive. He's mine. I have him now, now, now. Why do I spoil everything thinking about her?

He hugs me again, tight and gently. He strokes my hair and hums a lullaby. I feel like a baby in his arms, but for once I don't mind him behaving like a daddy. I don't get asleep, I can't get asleep, but I feel much better... I sob a bit, and start to feel calmed. He adds a last phrase, something that again, makes the pain come back, but also makes me feel I will never, never loose his love.

"Do you know what do they say in Highever?". I shake my head. "That, if you love and forget, you'll do the same the next time you fall in love".

"So it is good that you don't forget her?"

"She will always keep a piece of my heart, yes. But now you know why it isn't bad".

I hug him tigther. "That will have to do. Do you know what they say in the orphanage? That sharing is caring".

He smiles gently.

"Are you disappointed?"


"Because I won't write poems about you when you die".

"Being dead seems a good reason not to do it to me", I tease faintly. I kiss his cheek and add "I'm sorry. Sometimes I am so silly..."

He rubs his nose with mine and smiles. "It's fine".

"I.. I feel like a stupid"

"A stupid? Why?"

"Because I was crying. And I didn't have a reason to do it".