Tirena readied herself for bed and doused the candles, leaving only one to light her way to the bed. Her bed. The bed that had once been her mother’s. The evening’s events whirled in her mind, conversations with Talven, with Dureil, and with Rafel especially replayed in her thoughts as she donned a sleeping shift and settled into the mattress. As her thoughts drifted more and more she realized that she hadn’t even thought of herself as Alanna, the girl from the village, since the night prior.
Rafel wandered the halls of the keep after leaving Tirena to her slumber. He had not wished the night to end, but knew he could not rush matters. Already it was clear, the growing attraction between them, but he dared not press the clanlord’s daughter. She was too precious to them both.
“You look as though you are lost in the stars, Rafel.” It was Dureil’s voice, and it brought him back to himself. He chuckled, smiling at her.
“I am a bit, sister.”
Dureil reached to touch his hand, squeezing it a moment before drawing her hand back. Her nails were like black talons an she seemed a bit ashamed. “I am glad for you my little brother. You will be good for one another.”
Rafel frowned and reached for his sister’s hand. “That is new.”
Shaking her head, the older witken woman smiled faintly. “Not terribly. Hastened by the last few days is all. It will pass.”
Their marks always became more evident when they used the powers granted them. It was part of the ‘curse’ of their race. They could not proudly use their abilities and pass among normal humans, not for long.
“Go to bed, my little brother, and dream of your princess.” Duriel laughed then. “I am certain she dreams of you as well.” That made the young man’s cheeks color; he tried to cover his embarrassment by rolling his eyes, but Dureil knew him all too well. “You’re a fool if you think she doesn’t Rafel, and especially if you do not hope for it.”
He smiled then, leaning to kiss her cheek chastely, then continued down a corridor to his own chambers. As Tirena had, perhaps at the same time, he dressed for sleep an climbed into his own bed, finding slumber within moments.