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Are you joking, Gaiane?” came the voice in her head. The suite was a mess of fabric and accessories that the dragon had vetoed. Looking through the fairy’s eyes at the mirror as the lady held up yet another pair of earrings, Pallas continued to pass judgment on the entire outfit. Nothing was going to be good enough to make Gaiane look fit for a private dinner with the King. Pallas continued to remind her fairy that royalty needed to be wowed and proper decorum must be maintained.

“You’ve rejected everything, now.” Gaiane stated obstinately. “Besides, I’m more interested in Dred’s opinion than the King’s.” In fact, she wasn’t sure that it would particularly matter what she wore to this dinner. She’d be nervous and mess up and either the royal family would trust Mordred’s opinion of her, or they would reject her on the basis of her heritage. It hadn’t taken long for Gaiane to learn her mother was not the most beloved fairy in Shaman. Or they’d hate her for trying to infiltrate the family. Meeting was a formality, but Gaiane was sure their minds were already made up.

Pallas disagreed and, as the more head strong of the pair, would be correcting Gaiane throughout the night. Everything, from her manners to what she chose to share with the family, was going to end up shredded by the feathered dragon who thought herself the epitome of class and fashion.

I have not. You are in an elegant dress and your hair is done. I approved of both. But if these are all the choices of jewels, I suppose the zircon will have to do.

As the door sounded, Gaiane hurried to put the dangling gems into her ears and open the door. A quick hand through the looser strands returned them to their approximate place, although Pallas was aghast at how relaxed Gaiane was about that imperfect fact. Mentally, the fairy shushed her, and stepped into the corridor. She smiled brightly at her knight in all his finery, steading her nerves by breathing deeply.

“You look very handsome tonight, Mordred,” she said before taking his arm for the walk toward the inevitable.



photo by knowhimonline at flickr.com



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