The Guardians
Chapter 1
The Death of a Giant

A/N - As an original, this is my work. Please do not use it without permission from me. Also, this story contains a male/male pairing. If this offends you, please do not read this. Thanks.


Fires crackled hotly in all four of the great stone fireplaces of the manor house, and the occupants of the room were sated and comfortable after a good meal. The table at which they sat could easily accommodate a hundred, and more if needed. Enormous tapestries tried vainly to color the cavernous room, and even the fires couldn't light the room by themselves. Three chandeliers hung from the ceiling, sparking with the light of a thousand candles. But the room was cold, and the raging storm outside the leaded windows did not help matters.

There were three at this gathering, and the host knew that there was only one other that he could trust implicitly, or as much as anyone could be trusted in a land where politics was the very blood that coursed through their veins.

One of the two was a count, of a proud and ancient family, recently fallen on hard times. The second was a duke, duke of an ancient province whose family had just seized control of it, and who had been propelled into the Emperor's Privy Council.

Margrave Holton fal Pectra, the host sat facing his guests, contemplating them. He was nearly sixty, but time had treated him well. Pectra had long white hair pulled back harshly into a knot behind him, smooth skin, almost unravaged by the passage of time, and deep pools of brown for eyes. He was a cunning man, opportunistic, but when he was loyal, he was loyal. The Margrave regarded them once more, and thought about what he was about to say. He was cautious when dealing with people who he could not fully control.

Lords, I thank you once again accepting my invitation here for dinner. I know that it was a sacrifice for each of you to come.

Count Philion fal Roson laughed fiercely. He was a formidable enemy, even if his families finances were not what they had been. What do you want from us, Pectra? I have no time for this, and you know it.

Agreed. Why have you asked us here? Duke Harplo Harscot chimed in, playing his appointed role. He was known to be a man of few words, and many actions. His own philosophy was that actions, accentuated by a few hundred archers and foot soldiers spoke louder than mere words. Harscot knew exactly why they were here, and what would be expected of him afterwards.

The Margrave knew at that moment that they both were interested, for he knew that both of them knew why he had asked them. He made no great secret of his opposition to the Imperial Family. I want your support at the next Diet.

Do you take us as fools, Pectra? My family has been ruling since yours scratched out a living in the dirt, and you know it. I for one will not support any imperial ambitions that you may have. Emperor Maxil, while far from perfect, is certainly preferable to me and my family than you are. Count Roson stood up, pulling on his woolen tunic to straighten it before leaving.

Pectra waved his hand at the count laxidasily. Sit down, Roson, and hear me out. I don't want to sit on the moon throne. Yet, he thought. I want to depose Maxil and set his son up as emperor. He is far more agreeable to me, and my interests.

Roson was adamant, and Holton sighed. Sit down, Roson. Think of the advantages for yourself, and the extraction's that can be made from such a repositioning.

Roson sat there, staring at Pectra for a long while, and shook his head. No, I think not. I, and my lands are not interested. With that, he stood up, and crooked his head forward slightly. Good evening gentlemen. I will see you in two weeks at the Diet. The click click of the wooden soled boots echoed off the stone vaults of the room, and neither Harscot nor Pectra said anything while he left.

He will not speak of this to anyone. Harscot remarked, and Pectra nodded.

Roson is a fool, and we will have to deal with him in our own way. But to the true business at hand, eh Harplo? Margrave Pectra smiled thinly, and the other man nodded.

They both stood, and went deeper into the manor. The two men at a seemingly random point, stopped in front of one of the tapestries, that covered from floor to ceiling. It was a scene of a fantasy castle, floating on air, high above the famished ground. A battle between three armies had been woven into the artwork, and the hundreds of figures was each an individual. The Margrave raised his hand and thought, pushing his mind outwards. He was not a mage, but this particular tapestry had been woven so that if someone knew the thought needed, they could enter.

As he thought, the tapestry changed. the knights and horses drew together, and slowly pulled themselves on one another, leaving a large space in the middle. The castle on the cloud floated downwards, leaving only a blank piece of sky where it had been. When the cloud reached the top of the knights, a click was heard, and the space in the middle fell to the ground, revealing a doorway, with a set of stairs just beyond it.

Pectra and Harscot stepped over the woven cloth, and began their descent. They both knew that the canvas would rise, mend itself, and the figures would retreat to their own spaces. This was something that had happened many times before.

Fool, Pectra thought about Roson. He knew Roson would not breathe a word to anyone, as he had purchased much of the Roson family debt, but at the same time, many people listened to Roson, and if he were opposed in the Diet's meeting, there might have to be more drastic measures taken.

They reached the bottom of the stairway, and this time Harscot raised his hand, and the wall at the end began to pull back from them, revealing to the left a door of gold.

It had been dulled by the little polishing it saw - Pectra certainly would not have let any of his servants down here, and he wasn't going to polish it. The door was decorated by a single deep image, that of a sunburst. The sun was rounded slightly, and the slits of light gouged into the otherwise unblemished surface of the door. Harscot pushed his own mind outwards, and tapped three times of the door with it.

The door split down the middle, and swung open silently. A circular room, with a high dome was carved out of the rock. Torches sat in ornate wall sconces, and gave a very heavy feeling to the room. A stone altar, with ancient smears of blood dominated the space. Five chairs, highly worn sat in a semi-circle facing the altar.

Pectra closed the doors behind him, and went to a small alcove to the left of the doors. He removed a small wooden box, with a mask engraved upon the top. With a few short steps, he was at the altar, opening the box. Harscot joined him, and together they pulled out a flawless mask, made out of silver.

The mask was heavy, and highly polished. It covered half of the face of the bearer, leaving room for one eye hold and a space for the mouth. It seemed to ripple slightly, having just been taken out of the box, although both men knew that it didn't ripple at this stage.

Put it on. Pectra ordered.

Yes, my master. Harscot intoned. It was only here, in the most holy of holy places that they could be their true selves. Here, they were safe to practice a three thousand year old tradition, passed from one generation to the next, master and student, until her return.

Harscot took hold of the rest of the mask, and began to bring it to his face. When he reached it, he closed his eyes, and set the mask onto his face. The metal was cool, and comforting. He closed his eyes, and relaxed. Suddenly, the silver shifted slightly, and began to melt into his face. It grew hot, burning ever hotter. Harscot screamed as his body adjusted to the changes that were taking place. He shook, and tried to pull the mask off. He did that every time, and every time he failed. Finally the burning subsided, and the metal became once again cool to the touch.

But Harscot's voice was different. Where it had once been masculine, it was now a decidedly feminine voice, but low and gravely.

What is it you want, Pectra? Energy filled the room as he spoke.

Mistress, I humbly ask you to-- He was cut off, and Harscot's hand gripped his throat.

You, of all of my servants, do not humbly ask for anything. What is it you truly want? Harscot asked, the mask growing warm as a minute fraction of the true power of Sendura flowed through him.

I want to rule the Confederation in your name. Pectra found himself saying, though his words surprised him. He had a desire to do so, but it was just a feeling. He found that he was sweating, and felt himself panicking as the pressure on his throat grew slightly stronger. Harscot laughed cruelly.

In my name? You will rule nothing in my name. I will rule. The Setnal will grow strong again. And you will help them do so.

And if I refuse? Pectra felt this welling up unbidden.

Such insolence from you today. My time in this prison grows short, and I will return. Even now there are two who will do this. If you wish to celebrate my return, you will learn to keep your tongue to yourself. A slight thread of power flowed through the mask, and into Pectra. He felt as if everything was on fire, from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head. When your daughter returns to you, send her to Setnal. She will know what to do once there. As for you, you will not ask any more questions. Your time will come. The Confederation will have enough trouble soon enough.

Her voice faded, and Harscot released Pectra's flesh. Margrave Pectra drew in deep, welcome breaths. Soon the mask was glowing, and pulling away from Harscot's face, reshaping itself into something more neutral.

Somewhere high above them, a distant bell rung the chimes for devotions, something at which Pectra, as the master of the house, was expected to be at. He adjusted his collar and watched as Harscot finished pulling the heavy mask off his face and placing it back into the box. His skin was unmarked, save for a slight disfiguration around where the edge of the mask would have sat.

Can you make it back to the palace? Pectra asked as they passed through the golden doors and began to climb the stairs to the tapestry. Harscot, weakened from being a conduit for Sendura simply nodded. He could hold the reigns of Xal'xul even if he had been half dead. They came upon the tapestry. Pressing a button, the tapestry adjusted itself and fell away. The two men passed through the doorway, and replaced the door. In a few moments, the tapestry had repaired itself.

They separated without saying anything else; there was nothing else to say. Harplo Harscot made his way quickly though the corridors, rising ever higher. Although he was exhausted, he made sure that any servants that were in the corridor stayed out of his way. Finally he found the dragon perch, and nodded to the score of dragon handlers. He was led to Xal'xul and he climbed aboard. Harscot took a moment to acclimate himself to the dragon, and then he was off, the dragon calling off into the night, warning of their rising into the night sky.

*****

Great mountains of clouds piled high above the lonely tower, trying to bury it in their depths. Cracks of lightning and peals of thunder ripped through the driving rain, striking the darkened cliffs and sending floods of rocks crashing into the sea below. The angry ocean boiled high, striking the base of the cliffs, trying to tear the tower down.

Through this maelstrom came the last of the council. The rider fought against the storm, watching carefully as the tower was illuminated against the cloud bank by the lightning, and marking his position by their comings and goings. He rode low on Han'xul, whose bluish nose was obscured by the pouring rain. Not for any real purpose, for he was still dry, as was a small area around him, but simply because the thought to maintain that dry state was exhausting, and reducing the wind sheer would help him arrive in a relatively dry state. He hated getting wet.

Another crack, and he could begin making his descent towards the tower. They dove in a spiral, faster and with more urgency with every revolution. With a great thump, they landed down hard on the slick tower roof. He was home, as no place else could be.

Alop Peytr jumped down from Han'xul, grabbed his pack and waited for a moment while a soaked attendant grabbed the reigns and began to pull the great dragon into a dry pen where she could sleep and rest before the return journey, whenever that might be.

He lifted the goggles from his eyes, and set his eyes upon Roloss. Although both men had white hair, there the similarities ended. Roloss was a gnarled old man, once proud head bent over a carved walking stick. The hair on the top of his head had receded, and great swatches of brown pigment had spread over his body. He moved with an agonized slowness, one suited more for snails than for a human. However, his dazzlingly ice blue eyes had not dimmed a bit, and they shone in the darkness like lanterns. His mind had also not diminished, Roloss was still the sharp mind that he had been almost three centuries before, when Alop had first joined the council.

Alop, on the other hand, was considered a sprightly thing. He was tall and lithe, with his white Mage hair long and braided. Alop had long fingers, and was regarded as one of the best Healing Mages in the millennium since Hector Westion had died. At the very least, he was the youngest member of Roloss's council since it's foundation, but when he asked why he was, Roloss would smile, and say and he did.

Alop's tenor called as he bowed down before Roloss.

Came the reply. The others are inside. We will begin when you have refreshed yourself. Roloss insisted that everyone be clean before beginning any of the yearly councils, and this year was no exemption.

The two men walked across the great roof of the tower and Roloss knocked four times on the wooden door that lead to the interior. Admitting them, the door opened, and they went inside to where it was warm.

When they had descended less than a quarter of the way down the center of the tower, Alop stopped, and with great nostalgia, tapped the eighth brick from the bottom, and a handle appeared out of the stonework.

I will leave you. We will have all the time we need for tonight's council. Roloss entreated, before continuing slowly down the winding stairs. Alop watched him disappear from sight, and then turned to the handle. He gripped it's cold brass surface, turned it, and pulled. Faint lines grew as the door disentangled itself from the wall, he stepped inside, letting the door close behind him.

It was pitch black in his entryway, and he reached out with his mind, trying to find a torch. When he found one, he thought of fire being there, and a moment later it was. With one torch, he lit the rest, and waves of warm nostalgia washed over him.

In these rooms he had grown up, at least until he could go away to the Mage's Academy on Mt. Gall, and even then he came back here often. He plodded into his bedroom, happy to be back, but tired after a night of hard flying. He pulled his pack off, and let it slip to the floor. Alop's room was very sparse - it contained a large bed, a cushioned chair, and a small table. But the view that it gave was one of the best in the world. His room overlooked the high cliffs, and on a night like this, Alop could spend hours just watching the endless cycle of waves hit the rocks. He allowed himself only a moment to do so before sighing and picking up his pack from the floor.

He pulled out robes of snowy white, long and flowing that matched his hair, turning him into a very pale figure. He stripped off his relatively dry robe and set it on the bed. He slipped into the cool white robes, and tied them with a silken cord - also white.

Alop took a moment to glance at himself in the mirror - and his stomach promptly fell to his knees. A picture of serenity on the outside, inside he was doing somersaults. It hit him every time he came into this space, and there was nothing he could do about it. He had grown up here, and played with many of the very council members he was now sitting next to. Although this was not his first meeting, he was still new enough to all of this to be apprehensive of the whole process. Just calm down, and everything will be fine, he told himself, while combing his hair, and smoothing it out. Alop took a breath and expelled it. He walked out of his rooms, made sure that the door had closed behind hem, and walked down into the council chamber.

The council chamber was just off the snaking staircase. It was a simple wooden door, unmarked by any sign or notice of where you were. Roloss liked it like that. However, you could only enter the room if you were of the council. If you even tried to open the door otherwise, you would be knocked unconscious for the rest of the day.

The room itself was cavernous, and seemed almost to be carved out of the rock itself. It was round, not perfectly so, but with more of an oval shape. There was a single window opposite the entryway, leading out onto a balcony, which overlooked the sea. Two fireplaces burned brightly, serving the twin purposes of heat and light, with additional torches to provide more light. The room itself was well adorned, with rich carpets and tapestries lining the floor and walls. In the very center of the room stood a small platform, on top of which sat the rest of the council. They sat cross-legged on the floor, with only a large pillow to provide a seat, each of them perfectly erect.

Roloss sat at the head of the gathering, catching Alop's eye as he entered. Keri, one of Alop's early mentors sat on his right. She was the representative of the Battle Mages, and had long fiery red hair, with a streak of blue just above her right eye symbolizing her class of Battle Mage. She was closest to Alop in age, although they frequently argued about the issues that were raised in council. Han'lo Pola sat beside her, all finely sculpted muscle. He was dark, and did not speak often, preferring instead to build things. Han'lo was considered by many to be the finest Construction Mage of any age and he agreed with that assessment somewhat reluctantly. Lastly, on Roloss's left, sat Smil Fordon. Smil was the oldest in the room, save of course Roloss. She was fast approaching her second millennia, and it was whispered in optimistic circles that she would soon be the oldest mage ever to live. Smil was the representative of the teaching mages, and still had an active part to play in the education of mages. Her apprentices were staying with her while she was her.

Alop walked into the room, and sat down on his pillow, shifting himself so that he could sit properly. When he settled down, Roloss took a small mallet from beside him and rang a gong. It's rich alto floated through the air before settling down.

Three thousand, four hundred and seventy eight years ago, we won a great victory against the evil of Sendura. But she was not destroyed, only defeated. Alop's eyes widened in surprise, as the did the rest of the councils. Everyone had been told that she had died, and that the world was safe. She was sent to Erra and Erron, and there she will remain unless she is freed from her prison. You must be on guard against any and all who would wish to let her run wild on our world once again.

I have kept watch over the seals that I have created since our victory. But after tonight, a new Guardian will be chosen, and I will pass up to the Twins.

There was a cry even larger than the first, and everyone began to talk at once.

How will we know who is the new Guardian? Han'lo asked. He was just as versed in Guardian lore as any at the council, the issue had never really been raised before tonight. Everyone assumed that Roloss would be with them for a few hundred more years, at least.

I am sending one of you to find my successor. You will simply know who he is, and what he looks like. Where he is you will have to discover for yourself.

Who, Guardian? Smil queried. Each of them at the table had an interest in finding the Guardian, and each reason varied.

Roloss told the assembled, and every eye turned to his.

How can you let him out on his own, Roloss? He's practically a child still! Keri said, not wavering an inch from Alop's gaze. At that moment, and while in council, she was not a woman who he had played with when he was younger, and she was the newest member of the council. She was his opponent, and one that he could not back down from.

Easily, Keri. Alop alone has the specific requirements to find the Guardian.

Oh, that. She said it in such a way that everyone at that council knew exactly what she was talking about. Keri made no secret of the fact that she most definitely did not approve of his choices, and had tried for almost a hundred years to get him to change. He would not.

Yes, that. Roloss said lightly. He had let Alop grow as he would, and while he was sad knew that Alop would never know a woman's touch, he was warmed by the fact that Alop would be loved. Alop is free to do as he pleases.

Keri was silenced, but Alop caught something behind her parting gaze that made him shudder. He was surprised at Roloss's choice to help find the new Guardian, but secretly he was glad that it was him, and not Keri or Han'lo. They wouldn't understand. Smil might, although when asked she was remarkably ambiguous about herself.

The shield around Sental will remain in place, although without support it will fade in time. Therefore Alop, it is imperative that you find your charge, and entrust him with the ring. It is also of vast importance that all of you focus your energies to keep Culia and the Confederation from going to war. They must keep their troops around the shield, especially after it begins to fade. Roloss paused suddenly, and stood up. Every eye was riveted to him.

I haven't much time left. His eyes blazed, and his voice echoed off of every surface of the room. Most importantly, the four of you must remain a council. There are forces all over the world that must be held in check. This time is dangerous as the transition is made, more so than any other time in our history. Roloss's pale skin glowed translucent, and Alop had to blink and avert his eyes from the glare. Roloss's voice grew heavy, and distant. I will always be with you.

With that, his body convulsed, and dropped to the floor, devoid of life. The four remaining people in the room shot up, and ran over to him. Alop being a Healing Mage, crouched down to Roloss and cradled his head, feeling his neck for a pulse.

He's dead.

Tell us something we don't know, Alop! Keri scolded him, which he accepted without complaint. Smil was standing away from the others, not speaking. The three others backed away from the body, and began to pay their respects.

Erra, protect him. She intoned musically.

Protect him. Han'lo, Alop and Keri repeated.

Erra, guide his soul to your bosom.

Guide him.

Erra, bless us as we remember who he was and what he has done.

Bless us.

Har'lo picked up the melody. Erron, protect your servant.

Protect him.

Erron, watch over his deeds, and keep them sacred in your name.

Sanctify his deeds.

Erron, bless us as we remember his deeds and actions.

Bless us.

With that, Keri fled from the room quickly, clearly disturbed by something. Har'lo followed soon after. Smil joined Alop next to Roloss's body. He looked at her, his unmarked face revealing to her just how young he really was.

Tears came unbidden from his eyes, running down his face and forming two wet spots on his tunic. Roloss had been the only father he had ever known, and now he was alone in the world.

Come to my apartment and we will talk of Roloss, and remember him. Smil told Alop, pulling him close to her. In many ways, Smil could have been Alop's mother.

They turned to go from the council chamber, but as they did so, the balcony door flew open, and the mighty wind came in and blew out all of the torches, plunging the room into darkness.

Roloss's body suddenly glowed brightly, a pure white that bathed the room in light. It rose off of the floor, and with a crack, disintegrated into dust. A pale white shadow flew from his body, and through the roof. The balcony doors pulled shut, and the room was silent once more.

Alop was about to turn to leave once more, but he caught sight of a ring reflecting the lightening from it's clean surface. He swiftly crossed the room, picked it up, and pocketed it.

I have someone to give it to, I suppose. He said to no one in particular. Finally, Smil and Alop deserted the room, closing the door behind them.

*****

Long, lanky arms and legs lay curled up under a tree trying to stay dry, even as sheets of rain plastered him. He was not far from his village, but he would never return there. Faltor was not welcome, and he knew that if he ever returned, he would be shunned, or possibly worse.

This afternoon, Marko and he had been watching the sheep. Conversation had turned to Galtia Holer, who was a very pretty girl from their village. She had long fiery red hair, and loved to tease all of the boys with affections. Marko and she had gone off earlier in the day, before the rains came, and he told Faltor that she had kissed him and told him that he was cute.

Faltor agreed with her; Marko was very cute. He, like most of the boys in the village, had strong muscles from working endless hours in the fields, and his skin was a golden brown from the warm summer sun. His brown eyes sparkled, and he was always getting into trouble because of some of his pranks, but he could usually smile his way out of most punishments.

Faltor shook his head, and mentally kicked himself for opening his mouth. He had told Marko that he was cute.

What does that mean? Marko asked, guardedly. It was simply not said that a member of your own sex was attractive. Peytr Prophal's house had been burnt when he had been found with another man, and he was driven out of the village. Faltor shuddered at the memory of that night, which was much like the one he was currently in.

He didn't have an answer for Marko, which didn't suit Marko well at all. His best friend shut himself from him, and refused to speak to him for the rest of the afternoon, and Marko ran ahead and told his own mother what her son had done.

Word quickly spread, and by the time that Faltor had returned to his house from herding the sheep into their pens, the village had turned out. He was given a sack of food and a change of clothing and told to leave. Several of the men gave him good kicks on his way out of the village, and no one spoke to him.

It was worse than the time that he had caught fever and had been in bed for a week; worse than even when he had fallen out of the tallest tree on the common and broken his arm, and a mage had to be brought in to fix it. He felt as if he was well and truly alone in the world, and in many ways he was. He was lost as well, having intending to head towards Fredon, the capital of the Confederation. Faltor knew only that it lay to the south of his village, and that is the direction he took.

It had started to rain a few hours after he had set out, and he had tried to find the best shelter that he could. He shuddered, and drew his coat closer to him, trying not to catch cold.

For a moment, the rain stopped suddenly, and the sky grew bright. He looked up, wondering what could have happened that could have caused such a flash. He saw a great streak of white light burst across the darkening sky, and felt warm.

He felt almost as if someone was watching him; as if someone was watching out for him. Faltor was warm inside, not dry, but warm, feeling like a blanket had been draped over him and he was being held.

Faltor. A voice, deep and warm spread throughout his mind, and he twisted his head around to see if he could see who it was. The forest leading away from the road was dark, and there were no horses coming. Faltor, the voice repeated again, coming from inside his mind. I am Roloss.

Roloss? Faltor asked himself. He knew who Roloss was, after all, there was hardly a person in any of the four kingdoms who did not, but the actual Roloss?

Yes, I am the actual Roloss. You are to be the next Guardian. Faltor felt warm every time that Roloss spoke to him.

Me? he asked timidly. I can't be. I'm...well... Faltor couldn't finish his thought. He felt what little he had eaten for dinner threaten to come up. A warm hand fell across his shoulders.

I know. And you will be good at it. One of the best. For now, rest. I will guide you to Fredon, and to a man that will help you. And I will help you, and be with you always. You've a big job ahead of you, in more ways than one. Faltor was comforted; he kept his dinner down.

But I can't be! Faltor protested. He simply couldn't be a Guardian. They were moral and upright and good and he was...evil. Vile. A thing of revulsion.

A laugh echoed inside of his head. I said the same thing when I was chosen. Not in quite the same way, but Sendura had to be defeated, and I was a Rider. Not a Mage, nor anything else, but a Rider. It was my life, and I left it. You will live for a long time, Faltor, and life is meant to be lived. But first, you will sleep.

Faltor closed his eyes, and leaned against the tree, unaware that he had thought of a shield from the rain and had built one for himself. Although he was still wet, rain was no longer falling directly on him. He fell asleep shortly thereafter, and knew that whatever happened, he was safe for the moment, protected by the fading magic of Roloss.

*****

In a place that was not and yet was, Erron looked up at Erra, after seeing that their new Guardian was safe and resting. They were twins, and not exactly male and female in the strictest of senses. They simply were. Smooth faces led to simple garments of white.

Are you sure that's wise? Erron asked, still unsure of the plans they had set in motion over three thousand years previously.

Faltor will be fine for the moment, brother. Stop worrying and just fix the weather. Some villages on the Endless Sea are having a drought. I understand about wanting Roloss to have a good-bye storm, but isn't repainting the world's weather a little much?

For our Guardian? Nothing is too much, sister. Why don't you just worry about your problems with the friends of Sendura.

Erra inclined her head, and the Twins leaned forward once again to watch the world.

A/N - Well, that was fun, wasn't it? I'm sure that all of you have questions for me about all of this - leave them in your review, and I will answer them as best I can. I hope that you enjoyed the chapter, and if you did (or if you didn't) please leave a review for me.

From the Prologue :

Piri - Yes you have. Hopefully you'll get a sixth chapter out soon...*gazes up hopefully* I'm glad you enjoyed the prologue - hopefully this chapter lived up to expectations. Thanks for the review!

Spike's Girl - Cheers to you! Thanks for everything!

Lilbit - Thanks for your review! And hopefully chapter 2 won't take too long...:)

MicheleLupin - Thanks for the review - did you finish reading it off-line? I will take a look at your works as well.

NAPPA - Geez, thanks for the great reccomendation - hopefully you will stick with the story after this chapter. :) And thanks for the review!

Drake Pendragon - Thanks! What did you think of this chapter?

Kaylin - Here is the next chapter - what did you think? Thanks for the review!