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“A little fresh air and real sunlight might be nice,” Gaiane said, smiling at the offer. It was becoming a bit claustrophobic down beneath the waves, and Pallas was grumpier than usual. There was no room to fly safely, no sky in which to soar. There wasn’t even enough room to really spread her wings without having them hit something or someone. Perhaps, then, if Morgana was going up and Gaiane tagged along, Pallas too could come to the surface without getting her feathers wet. Gaiane didn’t have any magic to help her.

“Do you have any way to get up without getting wet?” She asked Morgana, although in reality, she didn’t mind if anyone answered. “My familiar hates water.” Best not reveal just how big an effort any magic needed to get the feather dragon to the surface would be.

The thought trailed off as the wondrous smell from the kitchens grew stronger and stronger until the dishes appeared in the entryway to the room. Despite the cloches to keep in the heat, the smell permeated everywhere and Gaiane could hardly wait to taste the succulent meat. Although it was glazed and spiced, the quail was still simple enough to satisfy Gaiane. So much of the food served at flamboyant events was so rich and complex that it was difficult to eat. The roast this evening, however, glazed with honey and ginger was simply divine. Coupled with her hand in Mordred’s, it was a very good night, and Gaiane moaned softly in pleasure with the next bite.

Gaiane turned to Mordred, embarrassed that he’d passed on her enjoyment of sweets. Although a common condition, Gaiane didn’t want any sort of special gifts from the family. They’d already provided her with more than enough kindness.

“You’re too kind!” she told Nim, again running the comparison between Mordred’s mother and her own in the back of her mind. “I do like lemon, and I’m sure we’ll find room for one or two later. And they’ll definitely be enjoyed by tomorrow.”

”We? said an amused voice in her head, but it was shushed quickly. Gaiane didn’t mind sharing with anyone who wanted cake. If that included Mordred, so be it. If not, Pallas could have one and still make it a “we.” Or anyone in the family who felt so inclined.

When everyone was finished and the dishes were cleared, Gaiane sighed with satisfaction and happiness. “That was divine.”



photo by knowhimonline at flickr.com



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