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Old December 1, 2011, 12:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Even the best laid plans only last until the battle starts [private Niven Soliel]

TS: The end of Junctior Era XVIII Post fractum

Dante was stunned. He looked at the letter in his hands not daring believe that it was possible. Diana, the Lady of House De Lylles had sent him a letter inviting him to her estate. Was it sincere? Everything Dante knew about the woman suggested it was. Was it a trap? By that same token Dante doubted it. If she wanted to terminate Dante the messenger could have simply stuck him with a dagger while he stood there stunned. Aetheria knew that Diana de Lylles certainly had the resources to order a hit on one fugitive dracon. He shrugged in bewilderment slowly shaking his head, causing his Eshalhier seeming hair to wave back and forth. The dracon made his way back up to the office and collected his things, telling the fishermen he worked with that he was leaving for home when he saw them.

The dracon in Eshlahier seeming made his way up the street, only occasionally watching where he was going until it finally kicked in, "We might have a safe harbor where I can marry Niven?" His head snapped up to the road as his feet took off racing almost as fast as his heart did. He dodged through the streets of Demios toward his manor on the hill side stepping around pedestrians that got in his way and leaping over obstacles, it was so much easier when one was wearing pants rather than long priestly robes. His K'tesh training helped to, because it meant he could leap full body over a person, especially with the wings to help.

He reached his front door and burst through it yelling as he did so, "Niven!!! Niven my love!!! Where are you?!" There was no hiding the excitement in his voice. It filled the house as his voice grew in a crescendo and the sound waves echoed about the place.
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Old December 4, 2011, 04:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Anyone who knew Niven at all could see plainly that she was happier when she was in Demios. The Island was a special place to her. She had many special memories here, with both the children and Dante. Playing on the beach with Chariras, the Corinalia Ball, dates at the Resort…. it was magical. And it had beach and woods, both places Niven loved to spend time. Demios was Aetheria itself to the elf.

She had more cause to be happy, now that she and Dante were finally engaged to be married. If she was happy before, she was borderline euphoric now. It wasn't uncommon before to hear her humming to herself as she cooked or cleaned, but it happened a lot more frequently now.

When Dante arrived home, Niven was in the kitchen, humming to herself as she arranged some freshly clipped flowers from the garden in a vase. She heard him called for her and laid back onto the table the flower she'd had in her hand. Pushing open the door into the main foyer, Niven smiled as she saw him. "I'm here," she said, letting the door swing shut behind her. "What has you so excited? I've not seen you like this in a while? Has our fortunes changed? Has the church relented?" Niven would be truly surprised, indeed, if the latter was true. Either way, she smiled large as she enjoyed seeing the love of her life so happy.
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Old December 4, 2011, 06:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Dante couldnt' contain himself. He rushed forward and wrapped his arms around the woman he loved pulling her into a passionate embrace. After a moment he broke off the kiss, "Nothing so Grandoise. Actually we've been invited by my friend Diana de Lylles to stay at her estate. She's offered us safe harbor and lets be honest if she can't keep us safe from the church no one can."

He kissed her again, enjoying the feeling of her against him. "If this turns out well I'd definitely consider this a stabilizing of our situation, wouldn't you?" Dante queried with a teasing suggestive grin. He inhaled deeply the sent of the flowers she had been cutting and ran a hand through her hair. "What do you say? Sound tempting at all?"
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Old December 6, 2011, 01:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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News of the church relenting would have stunned Niven. Being invited to Diana de Lylles' was a close second. The elf's green eyes widened, "You're kidding," she breathed, unable to say anything else. Could they truly still have friends in such high places? Was something actually going to work in their favour?

Kissing Dante back, Niven smiled as he suggested that perhaps this constituted a
'stabilizing of their situation'. She loved that he was so eager to marry her. Her feelings on the matter matched his. "Well, I think that will have to be judged once we get there, don't you? Perhaps she is in need of your help?" Niven couldn't keep a smile off her face, but wasn't sure if she was ready to believe that everything might just be falling into place for them.
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Old December 6, 2011, 01:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dante smiled at his fiance, passing over the letter. "See for yourself! I couldn't believe it either when I first read it." The dracon just stood back for a moment and let the beautiful Niven read for herself.

Niven's assessment of the situation seemed logical, but Dante had trouble thinking of anything someone like him could do for someone like Diana. She was nobility, practically a Royal. Aeternia, in Lauryl she was a royal. The chances she'd need his help was small, weren't they? Regardless was this opportunity something they could afford to pass up? Probably not.

"Well what do you say?"
he queried as he then swept her in his arms and kissed her vigorously.
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Old December 6, 2011, 02:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Gladly taking the opportunity to read the letter for herself, Niven took it from Dante and scanned it with her eyes, reading every word twice to make sure that it was true. "Wow," she said handing the letter back. This was an interesting development. Definitely one unexpected.

Dante swept her into his arms and kissed her, posing his question just before he did so. Niven giggled as her lips met his and she broke the kiss off gently so that she could answer. "Well, I think that if the Lady de Lylles calls, we should answer. I wouldn't dream of refusing her. I just can't believe she wants all of us, and not just you." Niven wondered if the Lady knew what she was getting herself into, inviting a family of 9 to her home.
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Old December 6, 2011, 02:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Dante grinned at his fiance, "There's no way I'd leave otherwise." He kissed her again, kissing her on the lips then neck.

"When do you think we should go? End of the season? It will be winter, but that means the Church is less likely to have soldiers out. Right?"
he looked at his beloved seriously still amazed that she'd choose him even though it came with the life of a fugitive. He hugged her close in adoration, breathing deep the smell of her. This was his world. Even though everything had come crashing down he'd found his constant. His grip tightened and he kissed the woman he loved on the forehead.

"We should probably tell the children soon to, although I imagine they're still at grammaticus and schola yes?" It was amazing how much he'd come to rely on Niven. He used to know each of his children's schedules backward and forward, almost militantly so, but since Niven was here to help, he'd let her take care of that part and now relied on her to tell him where they were.
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Old December 6, 2011, 03:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The elf couldn't help but beam at her love as he declared that he wouldn't go anywhere without them. Clearly, he'd heard at least some of what she'd said during their fight in Jaedaxia. That was comforting.

Dante asked her opinion on when they should leave and suggested the end of the season. Niven nodded, "Yes that makes the most sense. Hopefully we'll be able to move without them detecting us. How far can we go by sea? I think we should go as far as we can on water before we use land. And steer clear of any major cities. If we stick to the little hamlets and villages along the way, we'll have less of a chance of being detected."

At the mention of the children, Niven smiled and shook her head. "No, they've been home almost half a candlemark already. They headed down to the beach. I was just finishing up with the flowers in the kitchen while keeping an eye on them from the window and then was going to head down myself."
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Old December 6, 2011, 03:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Dante shrugged, "I'll have to find out. I've never traveled there by ship before, but I imagine that it won't be too bad. I know you can reach Frigid River by boat as long as the river isn't frozen over. Beyond that I'll have to look at a chart or something."

The dracon brightened, "They are? Really?" He headed for the beach view window to confirm what Niven had already stated. he had a big grin on his face as he watched them contentedly. It didn't turn melancholy as was the habit of late, because now they had some hope. Hope for a better world. Hope for a safe haven.

Dante turned about and smiled at his beloved. A sincere smile of happiness that he usually reserved for her alone. "I have a good feeling about this," he replied. "Do you need help? Then we can head down together?"
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Old December 6, 2011, 04:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The elf nodded as Dante explained what he figured for the trip. She knew little of travelling by water, so she left that up to him. She did better on land.

Dante visibly brightened at the new that the children were already home and out playing. Niven watched as he immediately moved to the window to watch them and he smiled to himself. She came up behind him and took his hand, and gave it a little squeeze as she, too, watched the kids play.

He turned and looked at her. She smiled back as he said he had a good feeling about this. She did too. Niven shook her head to the negative when he asked if she needed any help. "I don't. You're welcome to stay and wait for me, but I have a feeling that there''s a group of kids that would much rather you go down to the beach and join them in play. I'll be along in a minute. It'll go faster now that I won't have to keep an eye on the kids and I can concentrate on my arrangement." The elf's creamy hand gave her fiancé's another squeeze before she let go to allow him to leave.
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Old December 6, 2011, 05:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Dante looked torn between staying with his beloved and going down to his children. He wouldn't mind waiting for her, he'd enjoy it immensely actually, just being with her, but he also wanted to be with his children and share the good news with them. Finally with a kiss on the cheek for Niven he headed out the door down to their beach.

He started playing with the children, scooping up Chariras as the little boy charged him. He gave the tyke a kiss on the cheek before he set him down and started giving whirly bird rides to his daughters. Jar, Kel and MJ were getting a little to big, well at least they claimed they were, but Meeko had no problem with participating. The dog seemed determined to stop the travesty that Dante was inflicting on his giggling children so the dracon eventually stopped before scooping MJ up and rushing her to the water. Her eyes were wide and she was squealing in terror, but it availed her not. Soon she was as soaked as she possibly could be. Alas Dante was not saved from a similar fate as Jar, Kel and Meeko and dog piled him into the surf.

Soon each of the kids were being tossed about by their father into the surf, well those that were tall enough, while Nelly and Chariras stayed on the shore. Nelly because she hated even the mild cold of an early autumn ocean and Chariras because he couldn't swim that well yet. The two smallest instead started making a sand castle although Nelly and Chariras both looked at their father with longing. Dante must have spotted this because he soon had the pair in his arms and was carrying them out into the surf with the rest of the family. Chariras splashed as much as he could while Nelly shivered until she got used to the temperature, then it was once again the familial free for all with special care being taken with Chariras so as to not splash him too much, especially in the face. Of course Dante was trying to keep the boy's face covered which left him more vulnerable. Something the bright Asunder children were quick to pick up on, much to their father's mock dismay.
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Old December 6, 2011, 05:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Smiling ask he kissed her and took off for the beach, Niven moved back into the kitchen and continued arranging the flowers in the vase. Now that she had no distractions or other worries, she was done in no time. Placing the full vase on the dining room table, Niven cleaned up the bits of flower debris on the kitchen counter top and tossed them into the compost just outside the back door.

As she moved down to the beach, Niven smiled as she watched the family play in the water. They looked like they were having so much fun and she was pleased to see them all so happy, especially Dante. Just watching them, the good news that they'd received earlier was already making a major difference.

At last she was down within shouting distance. "It'll be you nursing them when they all catch colds!" she called to Dante, grinning. It was possible he wouldn't even hear her, and that was ok. She didn't want to disturb such a jovial picture.
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Old December 6, 2011, 07:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The family all turned, like a pack of wolves eying prey when Niven's shout resonated over the water. Dante passed Chariras over to Maya before yelling "Don't you think Mummy should join us?!"

The Asunder pack charged forward after Niven all with mischievous grins on their faces. The boys looped right and left to cut off her escape, while Dante and the girls went straight for the target. Assuming Niven allowed the children to catch her they'd hold her with wet hugs until Dante showed up to hoist her over his shoulder and carry her back toward Chariras and Maya.

Once they got to the water he just kept going until he reached deep enough and dunked himself and Niven fully in the water. Being that close to her required a cold shower anyway. The splashing ensued yet again with Niven as the primary target for the girls until collateral splashing had them splashing each other again.
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Old December 6, 2011, 08:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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An amused look came over Niven's face as Dante suggested she join them. 'Ahhhh,' she thought, 'That's too funny.' The amused look vanished as the group of them left the water and came towards her. "Oh, no, you're kidding, right?" she said backing away slowly, her hands up in protest.

Indeed they were not. The younger kids, who were faster then they looked, ran and grabbed her, hugging her so she couldn't get away. Niven couldn't help but laugh at their attack. "You got me, you got me!" She said still laughing. She figured that was all that was going to happen. That was until Dante reached them and hoisted her up over his shoulder.

"NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!" Niven screamed as they headed out to the water. Niven squirmed and wriggled and tried to get free to no avail. Dante took them deep into the water. "Don't you dare drop me," she threatened, the farther in they went.

Well, to be fair, he didn't drop her in. He went under with her.

Unfortunately for Dante, one thing he had yet to learn about his fiancée was that she was unable to swim. As Dante took her down, she gripped him with all the strength she had within her. When he came back up, Niven gasped for air as she continued clinging to him. Her already creamy knuckles were as white as a sheet. Here jade eyes were as wide as dinner plates and filled with fear as she looked at Kel, who was the only one in the family who knew that about her.
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Old December 6, 2011, 09:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Dante ignored the feable protests of his prisoner as she was carried into the water. The group were all laughing when she came back out of the water, even Kel who didn't realize that with all of them there and it shallow enough to touch that Niven would be scared. Dante immediately recognized the change in his fiance's posture and clung to her hoisting her out of the water.

"Daddy what's wrong with mummy?"
Chariras asked innocently.

The other kids all gave them some room and Kel looked embarrassed and ashamed. Like he'd let his mother down. Dante had her out of the water entirely and was taking her back to shore. "Niven," he was saying somewhat scared, somewhat nervously "What's the matter baby? What's wrong?"

She had kept her secret well. Especially considering the fact that he'd already tossed her in the ocean once. Admittedly it was slightly more shallow than this time, but there you go. Dante got her back out onto the shore and set her on the sand. "Niven what's wrong?"
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