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Gaiane smiled and nodded gently at the invitation. The original motivation had been to understand a woman who was so completely different from Gaiane’s own mother. She recalled as a young kid struggling to come up with some lie about what she had seen in some water imagining life with the sort of person who would take in and care for anyone. Now she was meeting Nimueh in person and she was even kinder than Gaiane had pictured.

She took the glass as it was offered, and sipped at the water. It had probably not been the right choice after all, as her cold hands were being made colder. The warm hand on her arm helped, and Gaiane’s eyes brightened as she looked up at Mordred beside her. And smiled. It was less forced. Her nerves were subsiding with the conversation with Nimueh, and it wasn’t taking much to fall as in love with the family as she was with Mordred himself. Her eyes fell to the king as he questioned her then.

She didn’t realize until the king was being admonished that it had been asked in jest, and Gaiane’s mouth had parted in preparation to answer. She didn’t really know whether she liked kids or not. She didn’t mind the ones that ran around the castle, but she also didn’t really know any of them, nor had she known many growing up. But she closed her mouth silently when the subject shifted back.

Gaiane blushed a deep red, and couldn’t bring her eyes to meet anyone else. She didn’t really think much about her figure except when it was aching from overtraining with Mordred. She couldn’t possibly accept custom work. Besides she had gowns alre- ”If you turn down that offer, Gaiane, I swear I will bite you next time I see you. You can always use more gowns.” Gaiane shushed the draconic voice in her head. The boys and their mother were arguing then, and Gaiane, somewhat uncertainly, interjected her own opinion.

“Still is.” It was quiet and likely drowned by the discussion on teasing, but Gaiane was spared more discussion of her looks by the entrance of the prince. She inclined her head in a pseudo-curtesy, though it seemed to be missed. Beverages were calling harder. When he did join them, Gaiane chuckled at the addition. Of course Mordred had told them about her, or the dinner wouldn’t have been set up, but it still seemed surreal that he was as serious about her as all of that. It was a mutual feeling. “Pleased to meet you as well,” she added.

Once again things turned to her looks. If she was nothing else, at least she looked good enough for the family to approve of her. But she didn’t see why Tristan would ask his question the way he had. Mordred was handsome and far better looking, Gaiane though, than she was. But while first impressions had created a crush, heroism cemented it.

“He saved me,” she said simply. Details weren’t needed, and she didn’t remember much of it anyway.



photo by knowhimonline at flickr.com



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