Intricate Designs

Disclaimer: I do in fact own every single one of the characters in here, so no stealing or I will be forced to set Melisune on you.

Chapter 1

" A proposal?" Princess Melisune's voice rang out through the hall with a strangled note of incredulence. " A marriage proposal?"
" I know, Princess, it is a shock of epic proportions." Liira said in a dry voice.
The two elven women exchanged grins and then burst out laughing. Melisune's golden hair slipped from its careful fastenings and she had to stop and rearrange her hair, giving Liira a chance to catch her breath. Her old friend soon sobered and looked at her with those strange grey eyes of hers, gold glinting here and there in her gaze.
" Princess, may I speak bluntly?" Liira asked, arranging her grey and white skirts around her as she sought a more comfortable position in the chair she was seated in by her Princess.
" You always do." Melisune waffled a hand at her, her crystal blue eyes going from sparkling with humor to a cold stare.
" Perhaps you should look into this proposal." Liira started off carefully, and when no guards were summoned to take her somewhere or nothing was thrown at her, she continued. " This man sounds serious about it, he is courteous in his letter, short and to the point. None of this simpering that I know you despise."
" True." Melisune said in a bored tone.
" He is offering a rather steep bride price, one that not even your parents would pay for Leila, and if I am certain of it, this is merely a portion of what he has hidden away in his coffers in his own lands." Liira knew quite well, for the man that was inquiring after her was her own cousin, Donal of the brownies.
It was all because of Liira that Melisune had gotten the proposal. Liira had told Donal that her young friend was in need of a husband because of her wild and impetuous nature and her parents would give anything to take her off their hands. Donal was a man of good impressions, as stated in the offer for Melisune.
" Two hundred ells of hand woven brownie silk, in the house colors." Melisune said, picking up the long letter that Donal had written to her. " Mother would have a field day with all of it. And look at this!" She snorted, a very un-lady like thing that Liira had been trying to wean out of her. " He wants me to be delivered to his lands in a month, and only then will he give the goods to my family, as soon as he has made sure that I am everything he had expected. He would treat me as a broodmare, by the sound of it!"
Melisune threw the letter down, an angry cast to her features now, making her look for all the world like a demented angel, though lacking in the wing area. Liira kept her snort to herself. She knew who had spoken the words for the letter, but also knew that Donal didn't like writing things like this and had his scribes take care of it instead. It was Mornal who had written this, his handwriting apparent, since she was the one who had taught him how in his child years. He always had been an arrogant little fool, and it showed in everything that he did, even writing.
" Don't worry." Liira put a comforting hand on Melisune's shoulder and drew her friend into a hug, one that was stiffly returned. " Donal is a wonderful man, with beautiful lands to get lost in and hawking and hunting as you never imagined."
" You know him?" Melisune drew away, a strange look on her face, of suspicion and fear.
" Donal and I are family. He is the younger by many years, but family nonetheless." Liira put more trust and warmth into her tone than she could ever remember when talking with the Princess. " His intent is true. He seeks a wife to love, to rule by him, and maybe even bear his children. He's not in a hurry to domesticate you, and if you are lucky, you will remain the wild terror that you know you are."
Melisune smiled, a true smile that was rare for her. " I shall write back to him, and if I like the answer I get from him, then maybe I shall consider it." She stood and stepped off the dais, leaving Liira to herself and the letters that she herself had received that day, knowing that her friend liked looking at them in privacy. " Maybe."