"Why do you deserve her?"

"I did not choose her, my father did."

"You didn't answer the question."

Allem sighed. Garrak and him had been at this for what? An hour now? Either way, Allem needed to get to the gardens before his soon-to-be lover felt stood up.

"Look, I have to go. You can keep bantering, or I can cut you down instead to move you out of my way."

The lumbering Rar'Nock took a breath. "I did not come to fight; I simply desire to know what you have done to prove your worth. You may go, but expect another conversation."

Finally! Allem thought to himself. He made his way around the large bear-like creature. He was always careful with words when it came to Rar'Nock. Of all the beast-men the Rar'Nock where renowned warriors, honorable but tough.

But, on brighter topics, Allem had a woman to meet. His father was a good matchmaker and found a good girl for Allem. Her name was Genevieve, a huntress for the Rak'Shash clan. She could cook, had beauty and grace to match her fighting and intellectual prowess. Their meeting point was the sacred gardens of Tallasha, the goddess of love and fertility. The gardens are a sacred place, visited only by monks, priests, and lovers who come to pay their respects. Allem was in a lowly clan. Mas'Aret clan was a clan of mice beast-men. They were good with their words and had a knack for social graces, making them the best politicians. For all their talking abilities, they are still looked upon with suspicion and disdain. The Rak'Shash are known for the best hunters and healers.

Damn! Father told me she was beautiful, but I didn't expect this! Allem thought when he looked upon Genevieve for the first time. Her long golden hair flowed down to her waist. Four horns stood angled back on her head, jutting through her hair. Her gorgeous dark emerald dress had tight sleeves on her upper arms, but the sleeves loosened on her forearm. A golden belt was clamped on her waist with a V shape reaching down to her ankles at the center. A dark green skirt draped across her legs with matching high-heels to go with the outfit. Her lizard tail poked out from the back part of the skirt. An ivory bracelet wrapped around her left wrist and a silver cord hung from her neck. She turned her head to look at Allem, and he nearly collapsed right there. Her red-orange eyes pulsed at him with such adorable innocence. Were it not for his Mas'Aret heritage he would have forgotten all social graces and stumbled up the stairs to the gazebo on his approach to her. His attire consisted of an off-white coat and a matching button-up under-tunic. The matching pants were complimented by obsidian-colored boots. His brow hair was neatly trimmed and kempt, with his mouse ears poking out. His tail was standing up and curled as always. "Hello, Genevieve."

"Hello, Allem. I see my father's words were not false."

"Same here. Who did you kill to get your beauty and grace?"

Genevieve giggled a bit.

"We're only friends at the moment, let's not get flirtatious."

"Very well then." Allem moved next to her, the Epée at his waist smacking against his thighs.

"So, I hear you're a huntress."

"And I hear you an Aristocrat."

"Family business."

"Same here."

"Do you know the story of this gazebo?"

"No, I don't come here often."

"This gazebo is where Tallasha was conceived, born, and ascended. Fable, legend, and stories say that when two lovers prove their affection to each other, Tallasha will bless them with an ever-lasting relationship."

"Convenient how we're to fall in love here then. Will you walk with me for a while? I've been standing around for a while."

"Of course." Genevieve walked down the step with Allem. The duo wandered around the small Koi pond in the gardens. The rocks were set up in a vertical fashion around the pond, so as to prevent fishing. The Koi were brilliant colors of orange, red, white, and grey. The Koi swam in a small pond, blissfully unaware or their symbolic importance. Koi were the sacred fish of Tallasha, but the fish had no idea.

"Isn't it odd that these fish move about, feeding, swimming, breeding, and so blissfully unaware of the title we have given them?"

"I do find it odd at times. The ignorance of the world, do the creatures of nature know that with their death, others prosper? I always think that when I hunt."

"Life is a mystery, it's a thing for the monks to piece together and determine."

"True, though we should still be concerned; for if only some carry weight, the world will fall into chaos."

"Wiser words never spoken."

"So, onto better topics, what's your family like?"

"Well, we are nobles, but not pompous and stuck up over it. I'd give you my father's description, but that's a bit cherry-picked. Everything in politics is annoying, even with how fair we are, we can't expect the same from others. We're stonewalled when we need something, though we've given all we can. The other politicians make themselves seem so pitiful to get the support of the people."

"With the way you make it sound, it seems like your family is being glorified."

"It's not glorified, it's the truth!"

"The truth that you want me to hear."

Allem was dumb-founded by her He had ended up starting a fight that she handily stopped. Any attempt to change the subject now would be awkward, and continuing the fight was no longer an option. He looked her in the eye and saw no more innocence, only certainty of her victory.

NO! That wasn't it! He just wanted to believe that. That was how his clan thought, that everything was proud to beat them. But her certainty was of her words, knowing they were true.

"I'm not taking this argument personnel, and neither should you." Only now did he realize how hard he was gripping a tree limb. He inhaled deeply, taking in the scent of Roselip flowers.

The trees in the sacred garden of Tallasha grew a flower named Roselip. Roselip blossoms lasted for millennium, burning the petals made meditation more restful and the scent changed in accordance to your emotion, the scent can also evoke memories that were buried deep in your head. Whether shameful or tragic, the scent lets you revere in harmony, no longer embarrassed or depressed over the event. The nectar is more refreshing than water and can quench your thirst for months.

Allem grip relented quickly as his control was reeled in. He stepped back to admire the flowers on the grand and sacred tree. "Legend has said that if a blossom falls before it's time in the presence of two lovers, they are destined for the greatest challenge that in the end will bring them perfect harmony."

"And if they do not fall, their love will be unchallenged. There is no danger of losing it in one tragic calamity, but they forever search for some extra layer of their love, an extra layer they will never reach. It will frustrate them, causing turmoil and ending their love. And so is Tallasha's price for her blissful creation."

"You recognize the monasteries words well, and speak them well. Where did you learn this?"

"From my early childhood; Mother used to tell me the stories of Tallasha, I remember little, but still some."

"Some is better than none." Allem looked over subconsciously towards the sundials at the center of the Koi pond.

"How long did the monks permit us in here?"

"An hour, I think."

"It's been more than that. We should be leaving now, lest we cause trouble."

"Of course, farewell then. I hope to see you later."

"As do I. Farewell."

Allem fell into his soft and luxurious bed in his sleep-wear. Genevieve was perfect for him. She understood topics that weren't often discussed. She was adaptable to his constant topic changing. She was beautiful, no, gorgeous, no, flawless. There was no other way to describe her. Her long, golden hair. The beaming, adorable, innocence coming from her soft eyes. Fat, skinny, and muscular only in the right places. She was flawless.

His reverie was cut off from a knock on his door. "Who is it?"


"Come in, Dad."

The door knob turned and the door opened. Allem's father walked in. His father, Kyle, had white all the way through his hair. Politics wore him to his brink, and elder age was beginning to claim him. The faintest wrinkles crossed his face. His step seemed to have a little less zeal in it than a few years ago. Aristocrat society wasn't as easy as everyone thought.

"I wanted to talk to you, son."

"What did you want to ask?"

"How'd it go with Genevieve?"

"She's perfect!"

Allem hopped out of bed and began one of his usual habits when he talks, pacing. He paced his first-class room back and forth. "She was practically an angel from the heavens! Everything about her was just right!"

"I know son, that's why I choose her. Well, more importantly, why she choose you."

"You mean-?"

"Yes. Well I should probably let you go to sleep now, good night, son."

"Night, Dad."

Allem crashed back onto his bed, letting fatigue and dreams claim him as Kyle left.

So, you like it so far? Remember to give me constructive criticism, I don't think I need to explain the difference between hating and criticism. Give me a comment on how good I did. Just remember, haters and ass-lickers help no one!

I'll be posting the next chapter in a month or so. The writing process is a long one for me.