Last night’s gaming was lots of fun. I, fortunately, had about an hour or two of gameplay with Dani and my loves. I’m enjoying having Dani in our guild. She adds to our casual, fun-loving and comedic banter. I don’t get to play with Carrot. When I log on, Cayden and Ebba message me to help them some more. Sala and I will have a lot of work to catch up to these two at the rate that they’re levelling.
I go to bed happy that I’m contributing to the guild, and that I have more friends to play with me online. I don’t know why, but I feel it’s important to connect Kevin and Ruby with my friends here. This gives me another medium.
I wake up in the morning to the comforting cool embrace of my love’s arms. As I become wakeful, I realize something is different. I’m not wrapped in Sala’s wings, nor is her warm breath against my neck. No, my head is tucked under her chin…
Luna… “Nettinya?” I whisper.
“Um?” the sound reverberates through my back and into my chest.
“What are you doing?” I frown slightly.
“Snuggling with you.” I feel her smile. “Emmë is resting, and you looked so cute laying here, I couldn’t help myself.”
“Something you wouldn’t have done if Mother were with me. You’re taking advantage of this…”
“Your mother wouldn’t have liked us snuggling last night during the movie either. Yes, I’m taking advantage of not having her nagging presence.” My sister grumbles.
I sigh and give in to my sister’s tame affections. She’s really hard to argue with when she’s cuddly. “What am I going to do with you?” I smile at last.
“I might have an idea or two.” Her voice turns seductive, and I feel her emotions swell with hope.
“You know we can’t do that.” I frown, I was hoping this wouldn’t lead to more…
“Can you blame me for trying?” I feel her pout.
I giggle. “You are too cute sometimes.” I snuggle into her more. “But I need to get up.”
“Awe, but you’re so warm and smell so good. I was enjoying this.” She whines a little.
“I need to wash and get dressed before father calls in an hour.” I retort.
“Do you think he’ll still call this morning? Isn’t he going to be preoccupied?” I feel the suggestiveness in her tone.
I gasp. “Do you ever think of anything else? You are like one big hormone sometimes!”
“Get hit on all day long. It affects how you think.” She frowns a little at my teasing.
“Okay, you have a point there.” I relax in her arms and she hugs me closer. It’s going to be a challenge to get out of bed. I thought Sala was clingy in the morning! I’m quiet for a moment, trying to figure out what my sister will do next. When she tries nothing more, I repeat myself. “I really should get up, nettinya, we have exams this week. I’d like to have a bit of cram time before we leave for class.”
Luna sighs and grumbles. “Fine, but this was so nice and comfy.”
She releases her hold on me, and I slide out of bed. I turn and give her a consolation kiss. “I wish we could do more nettinya.” I apologize and caress her cheek. “But…”
“As long as we’re legally sisters, we can’t.” She finishes for me. “You know, I think this is the one part I regret about us becoming family.” She grumbles, rolling onto her back and looking at the ceiling.
“We didn’t know we were soul mates. I just knew I felt safe here with you and Emmë Ashanna.” I reply.
“I know.” She sighs. “I’ve never had a soul mate. Something made me want to fly that night instead of teleporting, and drew me to you. Like a moth to a flame, you were this bright beacon of life that I couldn’t ignore. I should have known there was something between us that night… I just couldn’t put my finger on it.”
“We’re both practically immortal now. There’s no need to rush into things.” I offer as a consolation.
“Do you think that clingy little Fae of yours will ever let me get remotely close to you, as Ruby is?” She glances my way. “I know what she meant by missing your touch. You’ve slept with your best friend, haven’t you?”
“We weren’t completely naked, well, not in the bed anyway. We did take a shower together…” I start.
“And you accuse me of being one big hormone?” Luna raises her voice with a touch of bitterness.
“I’ve had a crush on Ruby for years now!” I retort. “The only thing that kept us from dating before now was that I was male. How long have we known each other, nettinya?”
“You’re my soul mate. That’s not a fair comparison.” She argues. “We’re drawn to each other naturally. You can’t say you don’t feel the same for me?” There’s a hurt look on her face.
“I… You’re right.” I sigh, “I’m sorry, my love.” I surrender. I lean forward and lay my head on her stomach. She caresses my hair. “I keep telling myself that I shouldn’t love you so deeply. It’s what our mothers want me to believe.” I reach up and caress her cheek. “I wish I could surrender to your touch, dearest, but I have a fiancée. Polygamy only works if she agrees to our intimacy, otherwise I’m cheating on her.” I say sadly.
My head rises and falls as she takes a deep breath and lets out a long, drawn-out sigh. “I know.” She kisses the back of my hand. “I admire you want to stay faithful to your betrothed. You have much better self-control than I do.”
“Even if we weren’t sisters, technically you’re an adult, and I’m a minor. We can’t have a relationship without parental consent. We can’t be a couple till I’m at least eighteen, when I can decide that on my own.”
“Human laws are so bloody inconvenient,” Luna grumbles, then sighs. “Okay. I’ll give you and your clingy betrothed three more years. I doubt our mothers would consent to us being together before that, so I’ll play your game.”
“It’s not a game, nettinya!” I frown. She must be really wound up this morning. I feel her frustration. She wants release and I’m denying her.
“I… I know.” She frowns. “Sorry.” She pushes me off of her. “Go take your shower before I get tempted to push my luck further.”
I give her a sad smile and nod. I would so love to see her happy right now, but I can’t give her what she wants. I get up and saunter over to the bathroom. Her eyes are on my back. The silk nightie I’m wearing can’t be helping her mood. I decide to not tease her more and wait till the bathroom door is closed before I get undressed. After all that emotion, I need a shower. I only imagine how she feels.
When I come out of the bathroom, drying my hair, Luna’s no longer in our room. I feel her downstairs in the media room, probably taking out her frustrations on a game. At least I don’t have to deal with any more of that this morning.
I comb through the clothing my father brought me. Some of this I won’t be able to wear for school. Some dresses are sleeveless, others the neck-line plunges too low, as my bathing suit did. In each of the cases, the top is too tight to wear a silk blouse underneath. I settle for a corset dress. A cotton olive peasant tunic goes almost to my knee in the bottom layer. The long sleeves are loose and flowing. The top layer is a black, skirted, soft leather corset with green silk ties in the front. It’s fancy, but casual. I love it! I use my magic fingers spell to hold my devices far enough to take full-length photos. And then post my fashion blog for the day.
The comments on my Grid page are still going on about the beautiful love song video I posted. I’ve even gained more followers as it’s reached more into the music community. I even have a few comments from my two favourite Elven bands asking if I’m looking to do something more contemporary. One of the lead singers even sends me a private message.
-= Lalcanorsa =- My High-Druid, we have a song that would suitable in your range. When are you next coming home? Would you want to record with us?
I sit there and blink, stunned. The lead singer for Panyan Fanyarë wants me to sing with them?! Oh, my gods, this is incredible! I can’t help it. I let out a high-pitched, happy squeal. There is no question I am no different from any other teenage fan girl.
My family and my aides are quick to arrive in my room. Normally, I don’t lose control of my emotions. I’m vibrating on the end of the bed. I’m so excited! I hand them the Grid device with an enormous grin on my face.
“No way!” Luna’s eyes grow wide. “That’s some big band back on Arvandor, right?”
“Only the second biggest Elven modern music band of the century.” Hrivë grins. “Think of this as her getting asked to sing with some popular band here.”
“Like singing with two-time platinum singer and composer Angel Goodson?” Luna winks at me. Oh, my gosh! She’s right, I’ve already done that here on Earth!
“That was a live event at a club. That wasn’t a permanent recording by a label.” Lairë comments. “This could well launch her career as an Elven performer.”
“What do I say?” I gasp. “I won’t be going back to Arvandor till my birthday in May!”
“I’d say that performing with a top band on another world is an amazing birthday present.” Ashanna smiles.
“Oh, no! What will father say?” I gasp. “He wants me to be a leader of our people, not just some entertainer or sex symbol.”
“Dearest daughter, this gives you the chance to make a visible impact on your people. You won’t just be some diplomat to be admired. You could win the hearts and souls of Elves across the cosmos. Showing them you are more than just a pretty face, more than just someone following in your father’s footsteps. You could become a star!”
“You are already at two million fans between Earth and Arvandor, armarcurunya. Why not go for the big time and expand on your popularity?” Hrivë smiles.
“Armar — what? What are you calling my sister now?” Luna frowns.
“Armarcurunya,” Hrivë repeats herself. “My High-Druid, just like how Lalcanorsa wrote it. How rusty is your Elvish?”
“Well, in Drow that would be ‘my high earth witch’, which I guess is close enough,” Ashanna replies.
I’m sort of not paying attention to their conversation. I’m still stunned. I look up, my eyes wide with excitement, and I grin. “Yes! I’ll do it!” I wave to have them hand my Grid device back. I send a private message back to Lalcanorsa. I’m so excited I’m having trouble responding in Elvish.
-= Laurëafanya =- I won’t be back on Arvandor till the middle of Lotessë. Is that too late for your recording?”
I gasp as he answers right away. I wasn’t expecting that!
-= Lalconorsa =- We’re not releasing the album till this summer. That is perfect! We’ll reach out to you in two lunar cycles, and sort out a time and place.
“Arvandor has no moon, yet the elves still track the passage of a month as a lunar cycle?” I think out loud. “No wonder the Elven calendar is so hard to figure out. They’re still tracking time by the Lunar calendar system.”
“Like the old Sumerian calendar, the Drow and the Elves had a 354-day calendar, following the lunar cycle. After a few millennia, that difference would add up to our days and months being different.” Ashanna adds thoughtfully. “To account for a solar year, they would periodically add an extra month to ‘catch up’ — like how we have leap years of an extra day in February. It must be hard on your father to have our seven-day week that he has to plan separately than what the Elves follow.”
“I wonder if that will change?” I look up from my Grid device. “The modern-day solar year is 365 days, nine more days a year than my people are used to… Will my people adapt to how we track time here on Earth?”
“To be honest, your father fully expects you to outshine his leadership. Once you become the more popular to follow, your example will lead our people. Just give them time to adapt, and they will.” Hrivë smiles. I look at her, shocked. I knew I was to lead our people here on Earth, but she’s talking like I’ll be leading all of our people someday! “Don’t worry about that yet. You’ll know when the time is right.”
Luna senses my panic, and looks at our mother, worried. Ashanna picks up on it. “Now, now, my dear. That is some years away. Think of the big picture. These are long-term goals. You won’t have to worry about that for some time.” She says softly, sitting beside me and pulling me close to her. “Quit scaring my daughter. She’s not ready for that kind of responsibility yet!” she snaps at my aide.
“I’m sorry milady, I didn’t mean to cause you undue stress.”
“Just let me get through my exams this week before you throw long-term expectations at me?” I give her a hurt look. She bows in apology. I take a deep breath and relax in my mother’s arms. “Thanks.”
My sending stone sings. My father’s calling a bit late this morning. Luna gives me a smug smile. Yeah, yeah. So he was distracted by having his wife with him this morning.
“Mara arin Atya.” I happily greet my father in Elvish.
“And a good morning to you too, my darling daughter.” I hear the smile in his voice. “Your melodic greeting always lifts my day.”
At this point Luna gets bored. I sometimes wonder if she only gets half of the conversation. Hrivë is right, my sister’s Elvish is nowhere as fluent as mine. Maybe I should suggest she take a language course with High Mage Calithlion next term? Or at least next year… The more I’m around my people, the less of the common tongue I’m going to use.
Of course, because it’s fresh on my mind, I tell father about Panyan Fanyarë’s offer of my recording with them this spring. It would be the offer of a lifetime, to have my voice on an album release for all of our people to hear. My parents are quiet as my family here excitedly talks about the possibilities of Elven fame.
“I don’t think I like that idea,” Father says in the end.
“Husband?” Even Mother is surprised by his answer.
“She’s to be the leader of our people.” I visualize his gesturing. “Who would take her as a serious Council Druid if she becomes a performer?” Father exclaims.
“The same people who followed me as an Arch Druid, even after being a virtuoso performer back on Earth — or do you forget I was a famous musician before I became a member of the Druid Council?” Mother argues. I knew I’d have her support for this.
“I… Darling, you’re right.” Father says thoughtfully. “Our people knew and loved you, and were more than willing to follow your counsel.” He takes a deep breath, trying to fight back his own internal arguments. “Very well, one album with the young performance band, and we’ll see where this goes.”
“Oh, Father! I could just hug you right now!” I squeal happily.
He chuckles and sighs. “I do love hearing you happy.” His voice is light. I imagine the smile on his face.
“Lalconorsa said to give him two months, and we’ll talk further. I’m guessing they need to finish hashing out their musical selection, arrange studio time, hopefully, time everything in the weekend I’ll be there…”
“One-weekend recording with Melody Rivers and you are suddenly an expert in a musical production?” Father teases me.
I blush. “I’ll be leaving the planning up to them, Father. I only have an idea how it works… I’ve never done a label production. I wonder what kind of equipment they use?”
“The modern music scene is sadly not my cup of tea, my child,” Father replies. “I believe Hrivë knows more. She’s the one who introduced you to that music, was she not?”
“I was. It’s going to be so amazing watching Laurëa perform with them! It’s like a dream come true!” she swoons.
Okay, Brielle was right, my blonde aide is so much more like an older sister than anything. I smile at her enthusiasm and start getting wrapped up in it as we excitedly talk about recording, concerts, and going out with the band.
“Wait, concerts, going out with the band?” Father interjects.
“Okay, so I might have a slight crush on Lalconorsa, Father. But have you seen him? He’s so gorgeous! I’m so looking forward to meeting him in person!” Hrivë beams.
“I sometimes think I have two daughters when you go on like this…” He chuckles.
“Well, outside of her having blue eyes, they look close enough to be related.” Ashanna comments, looking at us. “They act more like siblings often enough.”
“Yes, I’ve heard what she’s let my daughter get into…” Father scolds. “You were supposed to protect my daughter, not introduce her to adult clubs, dancing and alcohol. I’m questioning your assignment as her aide.”
“Father, no!” Hrivë gasps and suddenly pulls me close in a protective hug, even though he can’t see it. “I love Laurëa like family. Please don’t take me away from her?” Father is quiet. “Please! This has been the best experience of my life, I beg you! I promise I’ll behave better! I love it here on Earth. We have so much planned. Don’t take me away from all this!”