A/N: I've completely overhauled First Arc, which is why I deleted it and reposted it. I've had loads of help from Saturday Smoke, my Beta Reader. I hope you guys like this version better. Can't wait for the reviews!


Behlan let out an angry cry as he made a slash at his father. It had seemed like it was well aimed, but it missed him. Blinded by his rage, he lashed out again. This time he used too much force and Eldar dodged shoving his son onto the ground as he flew past. Eldar spun around to face Behlan and held his sword against the young man's throat.

"That," Eldar said to his son, the dulled blade still against Behlan's neck, "is why you never lose your temper in a fight."

Eldar reached down to help Behlan up before walking off. Behlan brushed his shaggy, dark hair out of his face, then watched as his father made his way up the small slope that led to their house. Eldar stopped to ruffle his daughter's dark hair as he passed her.

"Daddy?" she asked, clinging to his pant leg so he would stop and looking up at him. "When can I use a real sword like 'Lan?" she asked, using her affectionate nickname for her older brother. Her obsidian eyes gazed up at her father pleadingly, and she pouted a little.

Kneeling down, Eldar kissed the top of Ehrian's head and said, "You're still too young for that. 'Lan didn't get to use a real blade until he was six, and you're only three."

"I'll be four in just a few moons!" she interrupted, her watery eyes begging with him.

He laughed as she said that to him, just as she had done everyone else who had dared to say she was 'just three' in the past several moon spans. "You'll have to stick with the wooden sword for now," he said. He stood up before she could protest any further and quickly made his way back to their house and through the back door.

"It's no fair!" she whined at her brother who just looked at her and smiled affectionately.

"Ehri," he said, sitting down and pulling her onto his lap. "Learning how to use weapons properly takes years and years and you've only had your hands on a sword for a few months."

"But--" Ehrian was cut off as Behlan put a finger to her lips. She stayed quiet though, and listened to what he had to say.

"Father will let you move on when you are ready for it, and not any day sooner or later than that." At this, Ehrian buried her face in her arms defiantly. Behlan leaned in and pulled her her head up to look at her. A few strands of her long hair fell to the side and his dark eyes locked wit hers. "Trust me," he said. "Father always does what's best.

"Now," he said, setting her down and standing up beside her, "let's go inside and see if Father needs any help getting dinner started before Mother gets home from the market."

Cheering up a little at the thought of her mother coming home, Ehrian took his hand and ran up the hill. Feigning reluctance, he allowed himself to be dragged behind her.

"Slow down!" he said, laughing, and making himself fall over.

Ehrian merely stuck her tongue out at him and kept running without him. When she reached the house she shut the door behind her and made a funny face at her older brother who was still sitting on the grassy hill.


Finished with the day's shopping, Triin quickly made her way through the market streets. She knew that she was already late in getting home, but she had promised Dayin that she would meet with him. This was one of the rare days that he was able to pull himself away from his duties to see her, for however short a time.

Looking around to see that no one was watching her, Triin quietly slid in behind one of the shops. She walked through a narrow alleyway until she reached a corner. Her heart pounding rapidly, Triin stopped for a moment to calm down and collect her thoughts. Not a day went by that Triin didn't question herself for what she was doing.

Having an affair with the King, she thought, shaking her head in disbelief. Though the affair had started when he was still just a prince, Dayin had been coronated less than a year later. And her strong feelings for Dayin had kept her with him for nearly five years.

Though she was married to Eldar, Triin had never had the same kind of fiery feelings for him as she did for Dayin.

Taking one more backward glance, Triin rounded the corner and smiled at the sight of Dayin's loving face. He stood tall and confident, though he didn't look like much of a King in his tattered peasant's clothes. But beneath his plain clothing, Dayin's body language still spoke of leadership and authority.

Locked in an embrace with Dayin, Triin wove her fingers into his blond locks and kissed him passionately.

"I missed you so much," she said, resting her head on his chest. The sound of Dayin's heartbeat calmed her and made her feel even closer to him.

"I missed you, too." He kissed the top of her head. "But I'm afraid that today's rendezvous has to be a short one, my love."

Though Triin felt her heart tighten a little, she nodded. "I understand. When can we have a longer visit?" She squeezed him lightly while she awaited his answer.

"Tomorrow night, if you can make it," he said.

"I can arrange something to tell Eldar," she said. Triin stared off into space for a moment, caught in the pain of cheating on her husband and missing out on time with her children. But she made herself focus on the present—both of them had to be alert, just in case someone was nearby. "The same place as this time?" she asked.

"The very same. Until then, my love," he said, kissing her gently before turning to sneak away.

Triin watched him leave and waited a moment before going back into the streets. All she could think about on her walk home was how each step, each minute brought her closer to the next night's meeting with Dayin. Though he had only just left her side, she longed for him already. Her skin prickled at the thought of his touch and her heart warmed at the sound of his voice in her mind.