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Old December 20, 2010, 01:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Preparing for the Ball [Private Niven]

TS: 22 of Ponutis Era XVIII Post Fractum

Dante stretched as he opened his eyes. He was home, with his family and best of all Niven was here! He had been separated from her for 3 weeks prior to their rendezvous in Demios again and it had caused him an emotional ache, but all that was washed away with yesterbrightening's reunion. He hadn't slept well this darkening, mostly because his head had been filled with thoughts of Niven, thoughts that made it difficult to get to sleep, as well as the excitement of seeing her again the next brightening. Eventually his exhaustion had won out and the dracon had drifted off.

The candlemark was still early and Dante jumped out of bed. His excitement banished whatever tiredness might still have been lingering. The dracon hurried and splashed water on his face, only then realizing he was still wearing his winged Eshlahier seeming from the brightening previous. He looked out the window and saw that the suns weren't up yet so decided to change to his dracon one again. Sitting cross legged on the floor he placed in his head the image of his Eshlahier self. He then mentally changed the picture in his head, carefully, specifically, and deliberately to that of his dracon seeming. Once that was done he forced the physical change.

The bone popping noises and the physical pain washed over him as he returned to his dracon self, but return he did and it was only a quarter candlemark later when he stood and checked his reflection in the bowl of water on the table in his room. He rinsed the sweat off his body and prepared for the brightening ahead. He put on his loose dracon cut clothes, as well as his armor, daggers, and hand crossbow. Of course the daggers were concealed upon his person, except for the elven long knives that he wore at his hips. He also had his triangle and lucky necklace tucked into his shirt.

Sneaking quietly out of his room he stealthily headed down stairs to the garden area, picked one wild flower and crept back up to Niven's room where he employed his pick pocketing skills to gently open the door. He crept quietly to her bed, testing each step so as to not make a sound, and placed the flower on her spare pillow. Of course if he noticed Juno awake he would motion for the creature to be silent combined with a barely audible 'shhhh' of his own.

He quietly crept back out of the room and gently shut the door behind him. The dracon then awoke the children and had them start getting ready for the brightenings exercises. It was always toughest on them the first brightening after Dante got back, but they eventually got out of bed and assembled down in the garden. The dracon led them through K'tesh forms, dagger drills, matare practice, and crossbow training. The dracon then had them go get ready for Schola while he made them a healthy breakfast of warm porridge, with a little sugar, milk and butter if they wanted it, with extra for Niven and Kala. Kala of course came in midway and took over.

Dante then headed back out the door. He then jogged at a healthy pace all the way to the docks. He had work to do, but also wanted to help the men with the daily crab fishing excursion. Waving to Old Beard as he approached the dracon huffed and puffed a little as he caught his breath, "Serale Old Beard," he said between gasps "What's the weather look like this brightening?"

"Serale to you Commodore. It's as fair as can be expected," he said with a grin. The burly dwarf was as steady a sailor as their ever was and Dante was proud to call the trust worthy dwarf 'friend'. The dwarf patted his friend on the back and the two headed up the gang plank of the vessel upon which they were about to sail on.

"I'm going to change the name of the ship Old Beard. I want to call her Majesty,"
he smiled at his friend's confused look. It would be impossible for the dwarf to know what the significance of the name was, but he didn't really care anyway.

"Can't say I'm surprised Commodore. Figured you would have changed it long before now. Majesty is as good a name as any I suppose. Although I'm surprised you didn't name her after your sweet heart?" He was looking at Dante curiously.

Dante chuckled, "Can't do that. I've already got another ship named after her. She's based out of Diana. Uses the river a lot."

Old beard chuckled to himself, "Fair enough. A river goer too huh? You are a wonder Dante."

The two men helped the rest of the crew get the Majesty ready to sail and they set off on the brightening's work. Dante worked hard to get back as soon as he could. He explained his plan for Melora, he was hosting a ball upon the 14th, to celebrate the holiday, to which they were all invited, but he was hoping to have his Lady Niven assist in the planning for he knew little of such things. They arrived around the 12th candlemark of the brightening and Dante let the men unload the ship so he could work on the accounting. As the time reached about 2 candlemark after midbrightening Dante put his work away, locked up the office and headed toward his home.

A little dirty and somewhat fishy he headed into the house. By this time the older children would have been at schola and only Chariras and Kala would have been around. Of course Niven was staying with them which made Dante's pace quicken to get back, but in all fairness he wasn't sure where either woman would be at this point in the brightening. He usually was at the office much longer than this. When he got inside he hollered to see if anyone was home, "Serale? Anyone around?"

oocSorry for the long intro, but I wanted to make sure everything significant got in there before we got to the heart of the thread :)
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Old December 20, 2010, 08:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Niven awoke to the sounds of children's voices wafting up from the kitchen downstairs. They were clearly all up and eating before they headed out to Schola for the brightening. Niven turned her head to find a pretty pink blossom laying across her pillow. A smile spread across her pale pink lips as she brought it to her nose and breathed deeply it's sweet scent. Her eyes sparkled as only one person would have been so kind as to make sure she found such a sweet gift first thing. She got up quickly, washed and dressed, and then made her way downstairs, though not before adding her gift to her freshly brushed blond hair.

The kids were all finishing up, and warmly greeted her, but she was a little disappointed to find that Dante had already left. Masking it well, Niven smiled and bid them all a good brightening and, after letting Juno out back, took the bowl of porridge that Kala handed her. Sitting herself down next to Chariras she tickled him a bit before digging into her meal. Niven finished quickly and then saw all the kids off to Schola, waving at the three eldest and giving hugs to Nelly and Nikki.

Returning to the kitchen, Niven helped Kala clean up and helped Chariras get cleaned up. Once the boy was clean, she knelt in front of him and said, "I had an idea for today. How would you like to go out and play with me in the garden?" The boy nodded eagerly and she took his chubby little hand in hers and led the boy out back.

Together, Niven and Chariras played tag and looked at ladybugs and followed an army of ants back to their nest and tried to guess how many were inside. Somewhere around midbrightening, Niven even had him on her lap under a tall oak and read him a story. About the time that Dante came home, after searching the house, he would have found them still in the garden with Niven showing Chariras how to weave flowers into a crown and placing it on his head, dubbing him King of the Gardens. When she saw Dante, Niven would turn and smile brightly at him and point him out to the sweet little boy she wanted to kiss all over he was so adorable and sweet. "Look who's home," she whispered in his ear.
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Old December 21, 2010, 12:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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OOCNiven has my permission to mod for Chariras for this thread.

Dante was worried. He had searched the house and no one was around. He sent out the call and hadn't found Nelly, who he expected to be at Schola, but he also didn't find Kala. Now he wasn't normally at home during this candlemark so it could be that they were out doing their normal thing, but he wanted to be sure. He closed his eyes and listened for a moment seeking out with his senses for any trace of sound. He heard the dropping water in the cistern, the sound of an insect buzzing about, and... he heard a giggle and a melodic laugh from outside.

With a grin he headed out the kitchen door and looked around. Sitting picturesque underneath a tree were Chariras and the lovely Niven. Both had flowers in their hair, Niven's the wild flower from this morning and Chariras' a crown. The view was heavenly and Dante found himself wondering how anyone could doubt the existence of the queen Goddess when such moments were found on Telath. Dante's heart warmed and he felt like he had started floating. He wanted to remember this moment forever. If he died now he would be happy for the image before him would sooth his soul for eternity regardless of Ioannes' judgment. Dante had no doubt the Queen of Mercy was blessing him and it was all he could do to not sing a hymn of praises to her.

He smiled at them and sighed contentedly, "Hi bud! Where did you get your nice hat?" He gave him a big hug, careful not to ruin his crown. Then leaned down and gave Niven a kiss on the cheek. "You look like an Angel from Aetheria. Do you know what you do to me Niven Soliel?" He stood back up and gave her a sincere smile, "I'm going to go clean up, but I was hoping I could talk to you about something after? I need your help with something if you wouldn't mind?"

Once he had her answer he would set Chariras down tickle his neck. He then headed for the kitchen again and with another look back and a smile sighed again. The dracon then headed up to his bedroom and shut the door. He stripped down and sat cross legged on the ground. He pictured himself in his dracon seeming then imagined the change to an Eshlahier elf with one black and one white wing. He saw the scales turn to skin, his face change to that of an elf, claws turned into hands and feet, wings grew feathers and his tail receded. When he opened his eyes he forced the change and clenched his teeth against the pain.

Dante's eyes opened and he stood up. He checked his reflection by pumping some water into his tub from the cistern and looked at the image. He turned his head back an forth to check the ears and what not. He checked the tail and made sure it was gone and that the wings were fully feathered. He climbed in the chilly water and attempted to scrub the fish smell off. After a good scouring Dante climbed out of the tub and then started scrubbing his clothes with the water. He used the soap and used the back of his arm as the wash board. Once finished he hung his wet laundry on the window to dry and changed into some clean clothes, a white shirt with wing slits, black pants, black boots, and put his belt and short sword on, with his daggers hidden about him except for the long knives that were hanging at his hips. He left the hand crossbow for now, but might wear it under his jacket when he finally went out, better safe than sorry.

When finally dressed he headed back toward the garden to look for Niven...
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Old December 21, 2010, 01:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The moment Niven pointed out his father, Chariras ran for him and leaped into his open arms. At the mention of his crown, Chariras said, "It's not a hat, daddy, it's a crown. I'm the king! MommyFor continuity only. So weird to spell it this way! made it for me." He flashed his father an irresistible smile.

Niven smiled up at Dante as he bent to kiss her. "Ah, you're just being kind. I look no different than I do any other brghtening," she replied, though visibly pleased by his compliment. "And I do nothing to you that you don't do to me." Niven winked at him. At his question, Niven looked at him a little confused and, to be honest, a little worried. All previous times he'd wanted to speak with her about something, he normally had something less than happy to impart to her. "Is everything alright?" she asked him, her concern visible on her face.

Chariras laughed as Dante tickled him and ran off to get out of his reach, though still smiling back at him. Dante went back into the house and Niven turned her attention back to the boy. She got up off the ground and made little claws with her hands and said, "Tickle monster is coming to get you!" The boy shrieked with glees and started to run with Niven hot on his heels.

When Dante came back to garden, he would find Niven kneeling next to Chariras as he was attempting to order a bumble bee to do his bidding. "Bring me some honey," He was demanding to him. "I am the King and I want some honey!" Niven had her mouth covered with her hand, trying not to laugh at the scene. "Sweetie," she said gently, "Bee's have their own queen that they obey. Unfortunately you can't order around someone who is loyal to another king or queen." Chariras seemed upset about this concept and was about to pout when he caught sight of his father again. Running to him he pulled on his father's shirt. "Will you come play with us, Daddy?" he asked, his eyes seeming larger than normal and 'the face' coming out.

Niven, noting what Dante meant by change was seemings and not merely his fishy clothing, stood and turned towards him, inwardly wondering what he had planned that he needed to change seemings. An amused smile played on her lips, but she said nothing but waited for his response to Chariras.

oocCan we assume that wherever Kala is, Juno is as well? I keep forgetting I have the durned dog! LOL
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Old December 21, 2010, 08:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dante spun his son about once as the child leaped into his arms. "Oh a crown. Yes of course I see. Well your majesty looks most dashing in his new ensemble." Dante then tickled the boy just to hear his melodic laughter.

Dante smiled down at her, "Dearest that's because you look like and angel every brightening. I just need to remind you of it once in a while." He ran a lock of her hair through his fingers. "If that is the case beloved then perhaps we have more to discuss than I thought." He was wearing a warm smile, possibly brighter than any she had ever seen him wear. If he didn't have on clothes that had the decided aroma of fish he would have swept her off her feet.

Trying to put her look of concern on her face to rest he smiled and gave her a quick peck on the lips. He then explained, "Yes yes Angel. I'm hosting a ball for Corenalia (14th of Melora) and I need the opinion of someone with style. I admit my weakness in saying that style is not my strong suit."

Dante kept his face straight at the exchange between the bee and the boy. He wasn't quite sure how to explain the situation to him when Niven said it most eloquently. He found himself 'admiring' her again and chastised himself for acting like a lovestruck school boy. "Sure that's just the kind of man Niven wants one who fawns over her. Better reign it in man lest you scare her away," he thought to himself. Of course he really couldn't 'reign' it in; he loved her too much. Sure he was a priest of Diana, but he sure hoped that the Goddess nor Niven ever asked him to choose between them for that would be the darkest brightening in his life.

Shaking his head of the worrisome thought Dante smiled down at his son. Bowing low to the bow he replied, "Well of course your majesty. Your wish is my command."
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Old December 22, 2010, 02:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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After his reply to her statement, Niven gave him a confused look. What did he mean that they would have more to discuss than he thought? There was a forthcoming discussion that she was not aware of? This puzzled her, but the look on her face only lasted less than a moment. Her entire body visibly relaxed when he told her he needed her help planning a ball and that it was not something more serious. She smiled. "I'm not sure if I'm the best to help you, but I will do what I can," she promised him.

~~~~~

Chariras was thrilled that his father was willing to come and play with him. The boy grabbed his father's hand and tried to drag him back to Niven. Once he got there, he stood up as tall as he could and announced, "Mommy is my queen and she needs help..." Chariras trailed off and looked at Niven for help. She smiled at him and then leaned over and whispered in his ear. A sudden grin lit up the boys face and he proudly continued, "She needs help learning how to dance. You are my servant and will have to teach her so that she can dance with me at the ball."

Niven stood and looked at Dante with a mischievous smile on her face. She really didn't know how to dance and would need to be taught and why not learn now? She curtsied and waited for his response.
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Old December 22, 2010, 11:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Dante looked down at his beloved and tried 'not' to look amused. She obviously hadn't caught what he had meant and it was probably for the best at this point. In truth he really wouldn't feel comfortable proposing to her until after this business with Nera was over and who knew when that would be? Sure he and Carnasch we're going to go take care of it a few brightenings after the ball, but who knew if they would be successful? Nera could be wiley and as they were simply starting their search there it could turn out that she wasn't even in Frigid River.

"My dear you are the only one I trust to do it. You do 'know' the significance of Corenlia right?" He would be surprised if she didn't, but perhaps Sylrosian's didn't celebrate the holiday dedicated to romance? He watched her face to gauge whether she understood that he was trying to construe something that most woman expected in their significant others. He had been planning on buying her a gift for the occasion as well. If she didn't know what it meant 'that' would be an interesting conversation to be sure.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dante was patient and smiled down at this son who was obviously trying to remember something specific. The child turned out to be reciting something that Niven had asked him to say. She wanted to learn to dance and Dante for his part hadn't taken formal lessons, but he had been to a number of dances. He had attended birth brightening celebrations for Straylor and his wife Elmaryia and had picked up a few steps.

With a bow to his son he replied, "Of course your majesty. It would be my pleasure." He then turned to the most beautiful woman on Telath and bowed low. He stepped up to her taking dance position although looking deep into her eyes and whispered, "Anything my queen desires..."

He gently took her right hand in his left and with his right set her left hand at his right shoulder, before gently putting his right hand at the low end of her left shoulder blade. "Okay we shall learn a simple waltz alright?" he said smiling at her. "This dance is on a count of three; slow, quick, quick. You'll step back with your right as I step forward with my left and then will both take two small step to my right. Okay?" Dante slowly and carefully led her through the basic step hoping he didn't accidentally step on her feet.
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Old December 22, 2010, 01:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Smiling at the compliment, Niven's eyes sparkled with excitement. A ball! Niven had only been to Dante's wedding, where, let's face it, she didn't party, and Mixie's birth brightening which wasn't really a ball either, at least not by what Niven would consider a ball to be, more of just a gathering. She was also very pleased that she would finally have a reason to wear the dress she'd bought with Maya and Kala in Diana.

Her brow flickering slightly, Niven tried not so show that she didn't actually know what the holiday called 'Corinalia'. Dante clearly expected her to know and she felt a little silly that she didn't. But if she didn't tell him she didn't know, then when would she learn? Perhaps there was some great significance to the holiday and she would be missing out on something great. It did seem to be that way, considering Dante was throwing a ball that brightening. She thought about asking him and then decided against it. He wanted to change, and, honestly, from the way he smelled, Niven was all for that. She would ask later. Niven just simply smiled at him, and said nothing.

~~~~~

Dante bowed to the "king" and strode up to her, placing her in the position that one took when dancing. He whispered to her and she simply smiled impishly at him and her eyes danced with amusement. He tried to explain the simple steps to her and she looked at her feet and nodded.

Fortunately, Niven was a fast learner and with only a few toe stepping incidents (her on Dante's and not the other way around) she seemed to be able to allow him to lead her through this dance. Before long she even got so confident as to glance up at him every so often. She flashed him a smile one, as he counted out the steps and she followed along in her head.


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Old December 22, 2010, 03:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Her lack of immediate verbal response with the accompanying playful slap at his shoulder suggested to him that she didn't know what Cornalia was. He was about to explain when she smiled. Her smile always made him weak in the knees and he momentarily forgot what he was about to say. The smile made him think she had remembered and was pleased by the idea so he let it drop with a grin of his own.

The dracon in his Ehslahier seeming smiled at his beloved's misteps, reassuring her he was fine. He was enjoying the dance and she seemed to as well. "Are you ready for another step?"

Once she was prepared he explained, "This is called the left turn step." He smiled at her largely, enjoying himself immensely. "Okay we do a basic step forward, then I step back on my left and you step forward on your right as I lead us in a quarter turn followed by the quick, quick. I will then step forward on my left again and we do another quarter turn, then another quarter turn back, then another quarter turn forward. If we do it correctly then we should be facing the same direction we started in. Ready?"

Dante started the step again going nice and slow for her benefit. He of course was all smiles as he was truly enjoying dancing with her. It was staggering for him to realize how much more he enjoyed dancing with Niven, even with this simple lesson, than with someone else who already knew the steps.
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Old December 22, 2010, 04:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Feeling fairly confident in her abilities so far, Niven nodded when Dante asked her if she was ready for more. He explained the next step to her and then showed it to her, slowly. Niven cocked her head, and tried to mimick him, only doing the opposite. This step was a bit more tricky and it took her a while, but she did eventually seem to get the hang of it. She smiled brightly at Dante.

Chariras, meanwhile, took a seat on the grass under the tree and watched happily as his father taught his "Mommy" to dance. It made him so happy to see them together and he smiled brightly when Niven laughed at herself when she made a mistake and Dante smiled to reassure her that she was doing fine. He hoped, as only little boys do, that his family would stay as happy as they were now.
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Old December 23, 2010, 01:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Dante was really enjoying himself as the smile he wore was certain to testify. As they continued their practice Dante started going a little faster to help Niven get used to the approximate beat of the music to which they would most likely be dancing. The sylrosian beauty was quickly picking up the steps and Dante had no doubt that if she practiced this with someone who knew the steps really well she'd surpass Dante's limited skill in no time. That thought made him proud that his beloved could be such a natural as something he had found so difficult when he first tried it.

"You are very good at this,"
he gave her a reassuring smile. "Did you want to try a few more steps?"

Dante did still want to talk with Niven about the upcoming ball and what she thought would be best as far as decor, food, and such went. He waited patiently for her to respond before he either resumed the dance lesson or started talking about the other upcoming ball preparations. Stopping to think about it he started rubbing his chin. He didn't want to be presumptuous so taking one of her hands (during a pause in the dancing of course) he kissed the back of it and asked, "Would you do me the honor Niven Soliel of accompanying me to the Corinalia brightening ball?"
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Old December 23, 2010, 02:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It was a relief when Dante stopped teaching her steps and simply focused on allowing her to master the few steps he'd taught her. Niven eventually even got so confident that she was able to stop watching her feet as they danced and watched Dante's face instead. He seemed pleased she was picking it up and it made her happy to see him happy.

He ask if she wanted more and she glanced at Chariras, who was starting to wander off a bit, following some obscure bug. "Um, I think we'd better call it a day for now," she said to Dante, though never taking her eyes off the boy. "Chariras, come back this way, love!" Niven called to the boy. He turned and happily trotted back to them, elated to have caught their attention.

Dante took Niven's hand and kissed it and she turned her attention back to him, surprised at the sudden gesture. He asked her to the ball, and she smiled brightly at him. The smile turned mischievous and she answered, "Well, that will all depend on if the king will allow it." Turning to Chariras, she inclined her head in respect and asked, "Your majesty, would it please you if I attend the ball with this kind gentleman?" A grin plastered itself on the young boy's face. He was thrilled that Niven was still playing the game with him. "Yes!" he cried happily. Then he thought for a moment and looked at his father. "Do I get to come too?"
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Old December 23, 2010, 05:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Dante grinned at Niven thrilled to be spending this time with her. He chuckled as Chariras was obviously getting bored. "Alright we can pick this up again later my lady," he bowed low to her. He smiled at her response, "Of course, heaven forbid we not have the permission of his majesty."

The dracon grinned at his boy's enthusiasm. "You'll be able to be there for the start okay, but after a little while you'll have to go to bed." He picked up the king of the forest and spun him about. He then tickled his tummy and gave the boy raspberries. He set the boy down and scruffed his head. "We won't ever have a ball if it doesn't get planned though!" He smiled at the boy and shot a wink an Niven.

"So what do you say beloved queen? Will you help me plan this big event so that the king can attend?" He smiled at her, adoration for her in his heart and visible in his eyes.
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Old December 23, 2010, 07:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Chariras was very excited that he was allowed to come to the ball. His sweet face fell a bit when Dante said he would have to go to bed not too long into the ball, but Niven knelt in front of him and said, "Don't worry. We'll still have time for a dance, you and I." She tousled his hair and smiled warmly at him, then stood as Dante picked the boy up and tossed him in the air, blowing raspberries into his belly. Chariras shrieked with laughter and smiled up at his father once he was back on the ground.

Niven curtsied to Dante and smiled at him. "Yes, well then I think we should get to that. For his majesty's sake." Chariras went up to Niven and offered his arm to her, like he'd seen his father do so many times. Niven winked at Dante, her emerald eyes dancing with amusement, and took his son's arm. "What a gentleman," she commented and she allowed him to escort her back into the house.
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Old December 23, 2010, 09:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
Eternal
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Where ever Niven is, Dante won't be far away...
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Dante Asunder is a glorious SuperheroDante Asunder is a glorious SuperheroDante Asunder is a glorious SuperheroDante Asunder is a glorious SuperheroDante Asunder is a glorious Superhero


Dante looked a little surprised, but his surprise quickly turned to a grin as his sweetheart was stolen away by a better looking man. He was actually pretty amused as the child seemed so happy. It was a terrific thing to see. Of course Dante didn't doubt the fact that he would have been heart broken if Niven left. The thought of that scared him to his very core. The season end was fast approaching and he was fully confident that she would stay. He was fairly certain that she wanted to stay, she had clearly shown her feelings for the lucky dracon on more than one occasion, but he didn't think he was ready for the next step... yet, but with as much as she took his breath away maybe he was. Of course when she wasn't in his arms filling up his senses the next step was marriage, well engagement, but when she was in his arms he found himself losing control more and more. Given how uncomfortable he was when not in control of a situation he became scared when he began to lose control like that, but there was a small part of him that wanted to just let what would happen... happen.

He made sure nothing was left out in the garden from Niven and Chariras time there. He wasn't sure why, but he realized he was lingering even after he had just suggested they get moving. The serenity of the garden was something he needed. He needed a second to get his head on straight, that's all it was. He started pacing thinking of Niven. How he wanted to make her happy, but how, when his life was usually so dangerous, could he ask her to deal with it?

Dante saw a flower like the one he had placed upon Niven's pillow that morning. It was beautiful, just like her with a sweet aroma that just made the whole area around it a more pleasant place to be, just like Niven did for those around her. He stood there looking at the flower while he thought about the future. With a deep breath and a sigh he turned and headed toward the house. "Well first things first," he thought to himself.
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Last edited by Dante Asunder; February 13, 2011 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Creating cohesiveness in threads.
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