Chapter 36 - Laying Aside Differences

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Chapter 36 – Laying Aside Differences

Shadows danced around the walls of the bedchamber as Sylara lay staring at the ceiling. The day had been very long and tiring yet here she lay, wide awake with her mind recalling memories of the past few hours. She and Rhydian had dined privately with the queen and king in their royal apartments, with Riven and Malin in attendance as well. They had met the twins briefly before the babies were put to bed. Carina seemed to take on role of nanny easily and seeing that Nomi was back home to pick up where she left off, it was probably for the best. They were beautiful babies despite their small size. She could tell everyone one doted on them already as it should be, she thought smiling into the inky darkness.

What surprised her the most though was Rhydian's demeanor with the little ones. Usually men, especially those who had no children of their own, shied away from infants, but Rhy eagerly held them, taking turns with each. She watched his face light up as he cooed to which ever babe he held. And strangely, he was at ease doing so despite the fact he dwarfed the newborns who were only a few weeks old at the moment. Sylara couldn't help but wear a broad grin watching the man she loved show his tender side. He would make a great father one day, she thought rolling to one side. But quickly added, that day would not be anytime soon, as heat rushed to her cheeks even though only she lay there in the dark of her room.

The visit with the queen and king wasn't the highlight of their day though, even if it did include the royal newborns. She had played and replayed their trip to the vault more times than she could count. Following their meeting with Arabella earlier in the day, they traversed the underground corridors where the new vault was housed in a very unassuming passageway just off the dungeons. If you passed it going down any other hall or passage, there would be nothing about the plain door that would scream the most priceless treasure in Votierra lay behind it. And furthermore, when opened, a square room only a few paces wide in each direction lay before them. Directly in the center was a tall stone platform with a large cushion on top built perfectly to hold the Heart of Votierra.

She, Dov and Duerrak each removed their pieces of the godstone, placing them one by one on the oversized cushion. The stones shone brightly, lit from within by a force none of them had ever seen before. With all three laying side by side, you could see how they easily fit together. The group locked the door, recited the words to enact the Khavi's enchantment and watched as the door faded. Sylara wondered aloud if it worked much like a glimmer, or cloaking but seeing as Arabella had both gifts and she couldn't see the door, they crossed that explanation off the list, finally agreeing that the ways of the Khavi were strange and not meant to be understood.

A yawn tugged Sylara out of her memories as she listened to the quiet of the night. Sweet sounds of night birds and insects floated up from the gardens below as she lay still trying to calm her riotous mind long enough to drift off. Tomorrow would be another long day but for totally different reasons. Tomorrow both she and Rhydian would face people they'd rather not. She would speak to Dhovar while he had to meet with Finnec to officially begin communications with the Kona-Mir region as representative of the council of the realms. She knew if it were anyone other than the smug sea captain, Rhydian would enjoy being a liaison. He was intelligent, cunning and a very good diplomat. Hopefully, he could pull himself together enough to not let Finnec irritate him, or illicit another fist upside his jaw, during the process.

She on the other hand made no promises when it came to her upcoming talk with her longtime friend. She and Dhovar were known to speak bluntly with each other even to the point of angering the other. A small tugging in her chest told her something had changed though. She had changed. She was no longer the Champion of Miiradon but a woman in love. The thought anyone had power to destroy that love caused the aching in her heart to grow. She rubbed a hand over her chest hoping the pressure would cause the cold ache to stop. Dhovar, if he should choose, could cause trouble if he did not accept her choice of Rhydian as a mate. Would that stop her from continuing down this path she was on? No. It wouldn't, not now. Maybe a few months ago it would have, but what she had with Rhydian was real and pure and honest. She wouldn't throw it away.

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