Category Archives: Aeramin

The Winter Ball

Aeramin glanced up as his father sat down at his table. He had chosen this table as it was out of the way and quiet. It wasn’t near the food tables nor was it near where other people had chosen to sit. Most importantly, it was far from Imralion. He flicked an ear as he resumed bouncing the baby on his knee, causing her to squeal in delight. She loved watching all the people dance. Aeramin watched as well, not moving his eyes back to his father.

“Not even going to say hello?”

Aeramin twitched an ear, remembering this time to continue bouncing the baby on his knee. “I’m a little angry with you right now.”

His father frowned, “Do you want to talk about it? I’m not even sure what you’re angry about this time. I can’t fix it if I don’t know what it is.”

Aeramin chose not to respond as he watched Imralion approach the table.

“Hi Aeramin, Arancon.”

Aeramin refrained from flicking an ear. He was doing his best to not remind Imralion that he was spending time with his daughter. He couldn’t do that if he was walking up on him like that. He scanned the room for Kavia. Shouldn’t he be with her?

Arancon turned around to face Imralion, “Oh, hi.”

“Enjoying the party?” Imralion asked.

Aeramin brought Lyorri back onto the bench beside him. It wouldn’t be best to flaunt how much she means to him in front of Im. Luckily, Lyorri was really good at sitting now, and only needed one hand on her to make sure she didn’t fall.

“Yes. Are you?” Arancon answered Imralion as Aeramin steadied Lyorri next to himself.

“Yeah. Just getting drinks.”

Aeramin glanced at his wine glass.

“They have juice too.” Arancon said.

“That’s good.”

Aeramin grabbed his glass with his free hand, and took a big sip. He was already on edge just having Lyorri in the same room as Imralion, but she really seemed to enjoy watching people dance. She loved the music too. Aeramin could tell by the way she was trying to sway to it on the bench next to him.

They both looked at him as he put his glass back down.

“There’s a lot of other babies.” Imralion said.

Aeramin looked at him. He wasn’t fooled for a moment. The next thing Imralion said proved it.

“If you want her to play or whatever.”

Of course. He wanted her off in the playroom set up for the babies so that he wouldn’t have to see her.

“Yeah, sorry. I’ll just take her to the other room.” Aeramin muttered.

“I just mean if she gets bored.”

Aeramin got up, balancing the baby in one arm, the bag with her diaper change and milk over his shoulder, and his wine glass in his free hand. He knew what he really meant. Thankfully, he didn’t say it in front of his father. “It’s fine.”

“I should– oh. Okay.”

Aeramin walked briskly to the door and down the hall to the room where the babies were supposed to be. There weren’t any in there. At least, not currently. It was just him and Lyorri for now, and Lyorri was not happy about leaving the ballroom. He placed his wine glass on the table and dropped the bag on the floor. He walked back and forth, bouncing the girl in his arms. “Don’t cry. Look, there’s toys here.” He stooped to pick up a stuffed animal. This one was a hawkstrider. He tried to distract Lyorri with it, putting it in front of her, but she only batted it away and cried louder.

He picked up his wine glass and took another big sip just as his father walked in. He saw the older elf twitch an ear as he passed through the doorway. “Do you have to keep following me?” Aeramin asked over the baby’s cries.

“I was hoping you would want to talk. Maybe it’ll be easier here away from the crowd.” Arancon frowned as he looked at Lyorri, “Why don’t you let me hold her for a bit? I think she knows you’re upset.”

“That’s not why she’s crying. She liked the music.”

“Then take her back to the ballroom.”

Aeramin turned to glare at his father, “No.” He turned back around to continue bouncing Lyorri in his arms as he walked around the room.

Arancon waited silently for a few minutes as Aeramin tried to calm Lyorri. She hadn’t stopped crying when he said, “Your glass is empty. Why don’t you go refill it. I’ll watch her while you’re gone.”

Aeramin hesitated. His father was telling him to go get a drink. This was the same guy who was drunk off his ass for almost 100 years. True he was sober now, but Aeramin didn’t think he had any business telling anyone when to drink. Still, another glass sounded relaxing. He handed over Lyorri and picked up his glass. He noted Lyorri stopped crying almost as soon as she left his arms. He frowned and stormed into the hall.

He almost dropped his glass as he bumped into Imralion and Kavia.

“Hi.” Imralion said.

“Hi.” Aeramin replied.

“Hi.” Kavia greeted him as well.

There was an awkward pause before Imralion said, “We’re going to the garden.”

Aeramin held up his glass. “I’m just getting a refill.”

Imralion nodded.

“Have fun!” Aeramin tried to put on a smile, but he was certain the corners of his mouth twitched. He was far from being in a smiling mood.

“Okay.” Imralion replied.

Aeramin quickly moved past them and back into the ballroom where he made his way to the table with the wine. He refilled his glass, and returned to the other room where his father and daughter were. He sat on the floor next to them. While he was gone, his father had gotten out the blocks, and was building towers of three to four blocks tall. Lyorri’s part was to knock them over. Aeramin joined in on helping with the tower construction.

“Are you ready to talk now?”

“About what?”

“Anything. You could start with why you’re angry with me, if you want.”

“Why shouldn’t I be angry with you?” Aeramin looked up with an eyebrow raised for a moment before restacking the blocks that Lyorri knocked over.

“I’m trying my best now. I’m sorry I wasn’t a good father to you in the past.”

“That’s not what I mean.” Aeramin twitched an ear.

Arancon stacked up another three blocks, “Did I do something more recent?”

Aeramin twitched an ear. Did he really not know? “You can stop talking about my ex’s around Imralion for starters.”

“I figured he knew you’ve been with other people.”

Aeramin looked at his father. He looked at his daughter, then back at his father, raising a brow.

“See, he does know.”

“And I’d rather not remind him.”

“Okay.” Arancon nodded. “I see.”

Aeramin stacked the blocks again with one hand while picking up his wine in the other. He took a long sip from the glass before putting it back down on the floor behind himself.

“Is that why you try to keep her away from him?” Arancon asked.

“What?”

“Lyorri.”

“He doesn’t want to be around her. She reminds him.” Aeramin twitched an ear.

Arancon waited a few minutes before speaking again, “That bothers you.”

“Of course it does. I feel like I have to hide her from him like some shameful secret, but she’s not– I’m not ashamed of her. I’m proud of her, but with him, I feel like I can’t be. She hurts him.”

“Have you talked to him about it?” Arancon asked.

“Yes, multiple times. I just really don’t want to bring it up anymore. She’s a reminder, and talking about her is a reminder she exists. I feel like I have to live some crazy double life because I love her, and I love him, but the two can’t be together. I thought I was okay with it, but there’s just so many things I want to share, but I can’t. Not with him.”

“I’d advise trying to talk to him again.” Arancon said as he put up a few more blocks. Lyorri laughed as she knocked them over.

Aeramin shook his head. “This is my problem. I just need to get better at dealing with it.”

“Does this have anything to do with Kavia?”

“No. Not really. I mean, I’m upset and I’d like to be with him now, but that couldn’t happen tonight anyways. I have to watch Lyorri. I can’t be with both. I’m afraid I’ll have to choose for real some day.”

Arancon placed another block on a new tower. “Who would you choose?”

Aeramin glared at his father again. “I won’t tell you.” He reached back for his wine and took another big sip.

“Fair enough. Do you want me to watch her for a bit for you?”

“No, they went to the garden.”

“I mean just so you can have a little room to breathe and relax. Maybe you could go out front. I’ll take her back to the ballroom so she can enjoy the music a little longer.”

Aeramin hesitated a moment before nodding, “Yeah, sure. Thanks.”

Arancon smiled, “She’ll be fine with me. Go get some air.”

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Lunch at the School

Aeramin Firewind read through the answers one of the students had given on the latest test as he took a bite of the sandwich that Tik had brought to him in his office at the school. He twitched an ear as he heard a knock on the door. “Come in.” he said, not looking up until the door was fully open. His ear twitched once more upon seeing who it was. “Hello, Julan. You know I’ve been asked not to provide you with portals for a while.”

Julan smiled, “I thought you might make an exception.” He walked in and half-sat on the edge of the desk with one thigh along the edge and the other foot planted on the floor.

Aeramin sighed and looked up at him. “Julan, no exceptions.”

“Please! I miss everyone there, and I just want to visit for a little while. No one wants to do anything out here! Besides, I’m curious to find out if there’s any news.”

“News?”

“About the murders! I hope no one else has gone missing. The last one to disappear was practically just a kid. I don’t even know if they found him or not.”

“You could just ask Imralion. He’s investigating the murders on the Row. He hasn’t mentioned finding anything new, but if you want news, he’s the one to talk to.” He paused a moment before adding, “And don’t you dare flirt with him.”

“Please, it would be easier if you just made a portal. Then I could just ask my friends there in person.”

Aeramin sighed, “That would be fine, except that’s not all you’ll do while you’re there.”

“You’re welcome to join in.” Julan flashed a smile and winked.

Aeramin leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. “Julan, I have a boyfriend. We’ve been over this before.”

“And your boyfriend has been seeing one of the ranger ladies, and how long have you been with him? You said a few years, right? But your daughter hasn’t even seen her first year yet. I’m not stupid. I can tell an open relationship when I see one. Besides, I wouldn’t tell. You could take me right now on this desk, and no one would be the wiser.”

“Julan, no, and my relationship with Imralion is not as open as it appears to you. Didn’t the Captain suggest getting an animal or something so you would be able to keep busy and adapt to life off the Row a bit better?”

Julan frowned, “Umm, yeah. I got a book about animals so I can pick one.”

“Maybe you could go read that instead of bothering me for a portal when you know I can’t make one for you.”

“Maybe I’ve already read it.”

“Oh, really? Where’s your animal then?”

Julan grinned, “Right here.” He deftly swung both legs up on the desk and scooted to sit in front of Aeramin in one swift motion, knocking papers on the floor. He let his legs dangle off the desk, one on each side of Aeramin, and his thighs spread. He leaned back a bit, bracing himself with his hands and breathlessly said, “My animal is aching for attention.”

“Julan…” He was interrupted by a knock at the door. He lowered his voice,“Get off the desk. You almost sat on my sandwich.”

Julan frowned, but did as asked. He stood next to the desk as Aeramin went to open the door.

Julan stood frozen with a look of fear as student known as Lhoris entered the room.

“Oh look, there’s two whores now.” Lhoris said, regarding Julan, “Why are you here? Are you teaching dick conjuration or something?”

Julan stared at the student as Aeramin answered, “Alinash Brightblaze,” Aeramin said, making a point to use the student’s real name, “ I see you remember Julan. He recently moved to the area, and joined the rangers. Julan, you remember Alinash, don’t you? He’s going by Lhoris for now.”

“Remember him? There’s wanted posters up for him on some of the boards. You do remember what he used to do, right?” Julan spoke quietly, the fear apparent in his quivering voice.

“No one is in danger here. I’m only here for food.” Alinash stated.

Aeramin glanced at Julan, “Don’t worry. I have a feeling his ruse is almost at an end. He’s in the magic student classes now, and he’s going to have to come up with his tuition money. Unfortunately for him, the rich mother he’s made up doesn’t really exist.”

“Actually, I came here to talk to you about that.” Alinash said, then glanced at Julan before adding, “In private.”

Julan walked close to the wall, putting as much space between himself and Alinash as possible, “I was just leaving anyway.”

Aeramin waited for the door to close, “I’m not giving you a loan or anything. You’re going to have to go somewhere else to eat for free.”

“I’m not here for food.” Alinash took a seat in one of the two chairs on the other side of the desk.

“I figured that wasn’t the entire truth. What are you here for?”

Alinash hesitated and twitched an ear. He leaned forward in his chair, resting his elbows on his knees, “A book.”

“There are a lot of books in this house. Magister Fairsong has built up an impressive library in the few years he’s lived here. I assume there’s a specific book you need?”

“Yes. It’s called Time to Cast, and I’ll leave as soon as it’s found. I have reliable information that it’s here, somewhere. I’ve checked the library, and bookshelves in almost every room. There are three rooms I haven’t been able to even get a glimpse of. The headmaster’s office, practice room and bedroom. I thought you, being a teacher here and his friend, may have access to one or more of these rooms. Will you help me find it?”

Aeramin leaned back in his chair, only noticing now that the stack of papers he had been grading was still half on the floor. He didn’t move to pick them up, opting instead to keep his eyes on the young elf on the other side of the desk. “You want me to help you steal a book from my friend? There had better be something in it for me.”

“You want me to leave, right?”

“If I wanted you to leave that badly, I’d turn you over to the blood knights. I happen to be very well acquainted with one.” Aeramin crossed his arms

“No! I just want this book. What do you want?”

“I don’t want anything in particular. I just don’t want to steal from my friend. Perhaps we can compromise. Do you absolutely need the original copy, or do you just need the content?”

Alinash hesitated a moment before answering, “I need a translated copy, from Thalassian to Common.”

Aeramin paused thoughtfully before nodding slightly. “I’ll look for it. When and if I find it, I will keep it in my possession. I will allow you to copy and translate it while I’m able to keep an eye on you. Afterwards, I will return the book it’s original location, and you will leave. Does that sound acceptable?”

Alinash frowned, “It would be faster if you allowed me to copy it on my own.”

“I don’t trust you.”

“I don’t really have another option then, do I?”

“No, you don’t. I’ll let you know if I find it.”

Alinash frowned and got up to leave the room.

Aeramin waited until the door clicked shut before leaning over to pick up the papers.

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Aeramin’s Notes

  • I’m so glad the wedding is over. Almost everything went as Hethurin planned, which was quite a feat considering how much there was to coordinate. And guess who had to make sure everything went right. Yeah, me. I had to teleport to the school, and back to town a few times to make sure things were going well and everything was on time. Teleports aren’t easy on me. Luckily, everything was perfectly timed with our arrival at the school’s garden gate.
  • There was one thing that went wrong. Hethurin passed out during the ceremony. It was a warm day and his robe had at least four or five layers. He was also very nervous, which probably contributed to his light-headedness more than anything else. I was standing next to him when he started to sway. I moved to catch him just as Terellion did on the other side. I wound up guiding him towards Terellion. I guess it was a bit symbolic, now that I think about it.
  • Of course, he had three priests rushing to his side as well. His father was already up front as he was officiating. Two of his sisters joined. I stepped back and wound up having to calm Vaildor and Malwen down a bit. Vaildor thought Hethurin had died, and Malwen was worried about him being okay. I had to assure them both that Hethurin was still breathing and would be fine. He wasn’t out for long, but his father and sisters made him lie down for a while right where he was. Tik had a glass of water for him almost as soon as it happened. I have no idea how that man can be so fast.
  • After about ten minutes, the wedding resumed, but Hethurin sat in a chair until the end when it was time for them to kiss.
  • I’ve never been to a wedding so fancy, much less been in one. That’s including the wedding his parents planned when they arranged his marriage to Xyliah. I thought that was fancy at the time, but it was nothing like this. He must have spent a fortune on it. I know he did on the robes. He even paid the tailors to come out to the Ghostlands to his sister’s house to make last minute adjustments! He also had someone come out to do our hair. I wound up hating having my hair done by someone else. They pulled it back in a braid and that was it. Hethurin did tell them to make sure my hair wasn’t prettier than his. He said that! I thought it looked awful, but Imralion said he liked it. Sometimes I can’t tell if he’s just trying to be polite or not.
  • Im and I have talked about most of the things that were bothering me. He said he’d be okay with Lyorri visiting when she’s older, which is good. However, I still feel guilty about mentioning her in any conversation with him. I feel like I can’t talk about her. I don’t know how having her visit when she’s older is going to work, but at the same time, I want to be part of her life. I don’t want to be ashamed of her. Maybe it took a while, but I think I’m finally bonding with her a bit. She has the sweetest little smile, even though she only has five teeth, and the cutest laugh. I’ve noticed she has different cries for things too. She has a hungry cry, and a wet diaper cry. She even has a Kes cry for when she want’s to be held by Kestrae. I don’t think she has one for me. She doesn’t cry a lot while I’m there. She tends to be very serious and observant, but prone to bouts of laughter. I love her.
  • But I also love him, and I can’t talk to him about her because I feel guilty. Maybe I should talk to the confessor soon. I don’t know.
  • Im has been investigating the murders on Murder Row. Well, not all of them, just the ones involving the male prostitutes there. I don’t know if he’s really doing it for them or not. He might just be doing it for me. I don’t know. If he cared about the people there who were affected by it, he would know their names, right? I found him at one of the restaurants in Silvermoon when I went to give him his portal home the other day. We sometimes eat there before coming home, so I knew to look there when he wasn’t at the building. He was there with two prostitutes. I didn’t know either of them, though the one does look familiar. He had bought them food. I ordered for myself, and asked for some extra bread with my order. I pushed it closer to them after it was brought to the table. I kept waiting for some sort of introduction to learn their names. I found out afterwards that he doesn’t even know their names. He doesn’t know them. He doesn’t know the names of the victims. Well, he did say he had those written down somewhere, but he doesn’t remember any without looking at his paper.
  • It makes me angry. It’s just the way people in Murder Row have always been treated. We’re not people there. We’re not worthy of having names. If anyone is sent to investigate anything they’re not doing it because they actually think it matters. They’re doing it out of some obligation, whether they were told to by their supervisor or they think they owe it to their boyfriend, it’s all the same. The murderer is going to get away with it as long as they stick to the Row. I bet if this was happening anywhere outside the Row, they would have called in more than one to investigate. The crime scene would have been searched thoroughly for clues, witnesses would have come forward, the body would be examined for clues, they would have dusted for fingerprints, and I bet there’s a high chance they would have caught the guy before he went on to kill more. But this is in the Row so no one cares.
  • I don’t know why it makes me so angry. That’s the way it’s always been.
  • I’ll be hearing from the mage I sent to find information on Imralion’s parents soon. His mother showed up to see him soon after Hethurin’s wedding. He’s decided that he’s not very keen on a relationship with her. It makes me worry that my own daughter will reject me when she gets older. After all, I’ve given her away so she can have a better life. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if my own parents had given me away to make sure I didn’t have to grow up on Murder Row. My mother was good with me, but she was always a little absent-minded. My father wasn’t good with me at all. I can’t think things were very difficult growing up with the Matron at the orphanage, at least not as difficult as it was growing up on the Row with a drunk and abusive father, and a mother who trained herself to forget about it and constantly forgive him.
  • Imralion’s father never wanted him. He paid Im’s mother to give them up and keep quiet. She placed them with the Matron. She didn’t abandon them to the streets. She didn’t just leave them to die out in the woods. She left them with someone she knew could care for them. I think if I were Im, I’d give her a chance now that she’s here. I guess I kind of understand how he doesn’t want to, kind of. I mean, not really, and the mage is going to come asking for his payment soon. I hope Lin appreciates that I helped find her mother, at least. With my luck, she’ll probably just wind up hating me more somehow.

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Aeramin’s Notes

  • Hethurin and Terellion’s party went well, I think. Nobody got really crazy, but then I didn’t expect that anyone really would.
  • I sat with Hethurin and Terellion for a bit while Imralion spoke with Kavia. However, when Hethurin started licking the icing off the cupcakes, and it’s worth mentioning that the icing was done in the shape of penises, I decided to wander off for a bit. I don’t think he even realized how he looked, but I didn’t appreciate it much.
  • Julan did a good job dancing. I knew he’d be perfect for it. I didn’t know he’d be asking any favors of me. When I went to find him for the portal to the Ghostlands to the party, he said he wanted to talk, so we did.
  • There have been some murders lately on the Row. Yes, shocking, I know, but these seem to be someone targeting male sex workers. Naturally, Julan was worried about this. From what he has heard, the murders are particularily gruesome with the victim being kept alive during most of it. I’d be worried too if I still lived there, and so I completely understood his reasoning when he practically begged me to help him find work elsewhere.
  • Of course, there was no way I’d hire him for anything. We have some history together, and I’m sure Imralion wouldn’t trust me with him. He wasn’t a boyfriend. I didn’t love him and he didn’t love me, but sometimes the Row was quiet, and we were bored. It happened more than once, but we were able to remain friends without either of us wanting more.
  • Anyway, I knew it wouldn’t go well with Im if I hired Julan for anything, so I asked Hethurin first. I asked him at the party, which was probably a mistake because Julan was right there, dancing half-naked. Hethurin insisted that he didn’t need any more help at the school, all the while he was licking penis icing off the cupcakes. It didn’t take me too long to decide to ask someone else.
  • So I asked Sath’alor. I found him outside chasing Rylad around. He seemed a little confused at first, stating he didn’t need a dancer. I had to explain the whole situation, and reiterate that he was looking for any job. That means he’s willing to train as a ranger. Sath’alor eventually said yes. Julan stayed there at the ranger building that night.
  • I went to see him in the morning and made a portal to Murder Row so he could get his stuff. He kept thanking me. I kept reminding him to hurry because I had lesson plans to go over, as well as a meeting with Maerista to go over the schedules. I’m glad he’s happy, and I hope he’s thanked Sath’alor as well.
  • At the party, I did sit with Imralion and Kavia for a bit. She seems nice. I’m sure they’ll be happy together. I did my best to be pleasant and welcoming, but in my head I kept imagining what their baby would look like. I wandered outside after a short while of sitting with them. I sat and watched the undead guy for a bit. I had the thought that he was lucky because he doesn’t have to worry about things like that. I guess it’s not really lucky that he probably doesn’t worry about much at all. His mind is gone. I don’t think he worries or wonders about much at all.
  • I’m still trying to figure out what’s right for me. I love Imralion, but I don’t see him ever wanting to be around Lyorri, and I do understand why. I just don’t think it’s fair to her. I’m worried that what’s right for me is actually what I think is best for her.

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Aeramin’s Notes

  • I did it. I put a hole in our roof. To make it look good, I put a hole through the stairs too. That way it looks like it came from the basement. I’ve been telling everyone I forgot to ward the stairway because I didn’t think I’d be practicing that way, but I miscalculated a spell and it wound up going through the stairs and right out the top of the roof.
  • So we needed a place to stay while we wait for it to get fixed. I asked Hethurin and he gave me a lecture on being careful with fire magic. I’m an instructor, I shouldn’t be carelessly burning my house down. I pointed out that the house wasn’t burned down. There’s just a hole in the roof. He said it was the same thing. I said I disagreed because the house is still there. He wanted to know how I had control over where the fire spread if I had miscalculated and had it go the wrong direction. I just shrugged, and he continued to lecture me. I let him. I can’t tell him that’s what I meant to do!
  • I had to ask him for a room, and I guess the school is really full right now. Im and I are going to take a corner in the ballroom. Tik set up a temporary bed for us there. There’s a toilet right across the hall, but we have to go upstairs to use the bath. The ballroom windows, and there’s a lot of them, aren’t very well covered, but we set up some dividers so we have some privacy around our bed.
  • Hethurin offered to ask the workers to work on my house next, but I told him I had already talked to Ordinicus and he said they could do it during some of the downtime. There’s times when you need to let cement dry, or paint dry, or other things like that before you can continue working, so they’ll have the opportunity to stop by and see then. I’m hoping it won’t be too soon, but not too late either. I’ll go work on it myself if it’s well into summer and hasn’t been fixed yet.
  • All this to watch a kid from Murder Row. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t think he could be very dangerous. At the same time, I want to believe what he’s told me, and that he’s just here for food. Of course, keeping a close eye on him isn’t a bad idea. Now that I’ll be staying at the school, I’ll have plenty of time to follow him around, and since he’s posing as a student, I can easily pretend I’m trying to tutor him in fire magic theory. At least, until Hethurin figures out he has no money to pay for the summer semester and asks him to leave.
  • In other news, Imralion is still thinking about looking for a girlfriend. I’ve asked Keyalenn if his parents know of any social little parties going on in Silvermoon soon, and he came back to me with a whole list of them. I’m trying to stay out of it as much as I can. Imralion’s the one looking, not me. However, I am trying to coach him into being a little more confident. I think women tend to like confident men more, and he’s not going to meet anyone if he’s too scared to talk to them.
  • I want him to be happy, but I’m wondering if it’s coming at the expense of my own happiness. He keeps talking about having a girlfriend, and then maybe in a few years having a baby. I don’t know how he expects me to be able to do that. How can I take care of someone else’s child when mine can’t live with me? I suppose it was my decision to give her away, but I don’t think he would have stayed if I wanted to keep her, and at the time, it was too much of a shock to me to even consider it. Funny thing is, he feels strongly about making sure I go to see her, which I don’t mind, but she doesn’t do much yet except vomit on my hair. Anyway, he doesn’t want anything to do with her himself. I don’t know how that’s going to help things when she’s older and starts asking questions. She’s just going to think I preferred staying with a guy who wants nothing to do with her, rather than having her around.
  • I guess that’s kind of what happened though. It’s the truth. I don’t think there’s any way that she’s going to end up not hating me after all of this. Yet I’m somehow expected to forget about that, and raise his baby, but still go visit her.
  • I’m just not feeling good about any of this. I mean, the whole thing with the girlfriend is going to be tricky from the start. What if he likes her more? What if I get moved to the second bedroom every night? At first, I thought I’d be okay with it, but now I’m not sure. I keep thinking I’ll end up being the third wheel, and then it would just get more awkward if they had a baby.
  • But at the same time, I want him to be happy. I can’t say no because he’d hold that against me forever.
  • I don’t think it’s going to end well for me. I’ve been left before. I guess I can handle it again, but I’d rather not.
  • I don’t have anyone to talk to about this. I could tell the Confessor, but I don’t know if he’d really understand. He’d probably just say I should talk to Im about it, but again, that will just be me saying no, and I don’t want to do that. I want him to be happy, and if he’s happier with a girl, then I’ll have to deal with that when it comes. So I guess I kind of have a plan to wait and see, but that doesn’t stop the worry.
  • I guess I could try talking to Arancon. He’s done nothing but agree with me the last few times I’ve gone to see him.
  • The last thing I wanted to mention is that I’ve gone back to Silvermoon and confirmed with Julan that he’ll come dance. We have the date now, so I gave him a couple pieces of gold for advance pay. I just hope Imralion doesn’t ask Julan how he knows me. Maybe I could give Julan a few more silver to keep his mouth shut and just dance.

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The Dancer

Aeramin Firewind walked along the Silvermoon streets. He’d just gone for the fitting at the tailor who was working on the robes for Hethurin’s wedding, and was glad when he was finally able to leave the shop. Of course, Hethurin had insisted on being there the whole time and he kept going on and on about the wedding, and his robes, and the flowers, and the invitations. It seemed it never stopped with him. Aeramin was less than thrilled about having to be in the wedding, and thought it would be nice when it was over and things got back to normal at the school.

Despite not wanting to be in the wedding, he was enjoying the planning he was doing for the party before the wedding. It was to be a bachelor’s party, but with two bachelors who probably wouldn’t enjoy separate parties as much. Aeramin hoped that was the case anyway as he was planning their parties together.

He turned away from the road leading to the bright market filled with vendor stalls and shops, and passed through one of the gates to another part of the city. The buildings were closer together here, and at the angle they faced, the sun only made a rare appearance on the street below. Murder Row had always been dark, but then, he had never had a problem with that. His pale skin burned much too easily to enjoy the sunlight as much as other sin’dorei did.

It had been some time since he had been back, a couple years anyway. His last trip here was to help see his father out of the city and to the Ghostlands.  Before that, he had shown up occasionally to make sure the old man was eating and that the priests at the Spire were still bringing him food. Now that his father had a job in the Ghostlands, and had quit drinking, he could take care of himself again. While Aeramin was thankful for that, he was angry that his father hadn’t thought to sober up sooner. He frowned as he turned another corner to a smaller path.

It was still early in the day, but they were already out. One woman held a fluffy handbag which matched her fluffy stole which was conveniently not covering her cleavage. He didn’t recognize her. “Hello, handsome.” She said while making sure here cleavage was uncovered and taking a step toward him. She came close enough to put her hand on his shoulder.

Aeramin brushed it away. “Hi. Do you know if someone named Julan still works around here?”

She pursed her lips together in a pout before answering. She pointed first, and then said, “He’s usually down at the other end.”

“Thanks.” He turned before she started pouting again and hurried past another woman who called to him who was wearing a skirt and a vest that were far too short. A group of shirtless men watched him pass. One of them whistled. Aeramin recognized some of them, but didn’t stop. He wanted to ask Julan first.

The other end of the street opened up to another street. This one was slightly larger and a bit busier. He turned the corner to see the person he was looking for leaning against the wall.  “Julan. Hello.”

Julan turned to him, his long, blond curls bouncing with the movement of his head, and one eyebrow going up in surprise. “Firewind, you’re not coming back, are you? I’m earning more since you left. What happened to your face? “

“I got in a fight with a demon, and no, I’m not coming back. I have some work for you if you want it.”

Julan grinned, “You always were fun to play with, but you’re coming back as a paying customer now? I’m honored.”

“It’s nothing like that. I have a boyfriend now.” Aeramin paused, noting the disappointment on Julan’s face. “But I am planning a bachelor party, and we need a dancer. I know you’ve done that sort of thing before.”

“You remember that? It was a lot more than dancing, I’ll have you know.”

“I figured, but this will be just dancing. The bachelors will both be there together. I’ll be there with my boyfriend, and the only other who might consider it is undead.”

Julan shrugged, “I’d do it if he paid extra. I have this guy living in with me right now, but he’s lousy at helping with the rent. I need to make ends meet somehow.”

Aeramin tried not to shudder. Cold undead bodies were way past his limits. “Anyway, the dancing, will you do it? I’ll pay ten gold per hour. The party will last a few hours. You also get free cake.”

“Free cake is good, but I want twenty per hour.”

“Fifteen.”

“Deal. Where and when is this party?”

“It’s in the Ghostlands. It’ll be in a couple of months.”

“The Ghostlands? Aren’t there a bunch of undead out there? It sounds dangerous. I might need more after all.”

Aeramin sighed, “It’s not that bad actually, and the party will be at the ranger building. I can’t think of a safer place to be. All the same, I will be providing a portal. You won’t have to travel along the paths, and you’ll have zero travel expenses to worry about.”

“Is that both a portal there and a portal back?”

Aeramin nodded.

Julan paused thoughtfully before he smiled and said, “I accept then.”

“Good. I’ll contact you again when the time comes closer.” Aeramin said hurriedly. He was eager to leave the Row and get back home.

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Aeramin’s Notes

  • Hethurin’s getting married to Terellion. It’s not that I didn’t expect it to happen eventually. I just didn’t expect it now. Hethurin did talk to me a few times about it. I wanted to tell him that he should wait ten years, and if Terellion hadn’t been driven nuts by that time then maybe he’d ask.
  • He asked me to be in the wedding. I don’t want to really. Who in their right mind asks their ex to be part of their wedding? He keeps asking when I can go for a robe fitting though, so I know it’s really important to him. I told him I’d think about it.
  • I did talk to him a little more today. Luckily, I was able to catch him before he teleported away to get more wedding books or whatever. They’re literally littering every flat surface of the school now. Anyway, I wanted to ask him what exactly I was supposed to do at the wedding. He said I’m his best friend, besides Terellion, and he wanted me there in the manner that friends stand by each other, especially for important things. He also needs someone to make sure the train on his robe doesn’t get dirtied, so I’m supposed to be a friend, and do that for him. He said he trusts me to help him make sure everything goes smoothly.
  • I asked if I was supposed to throw a bachelor’s party for him. He gave me a look. So I said it’s not clear because there’s kind of two bachelor’s. He gave me another look, like I’m supposed to be smart enough to figure it out or something. So I guess the party is for both of them. I can’t have the party at the school because Terellion would most likely figure that out pretty quick and it wouldn’t be much of a surprise. My place is too small to host a party of any decent size. We do have a nice sitting room, but not for more than seven or so people, and there’s so many trees around, we barely have space outside either. I’m going to ask the rangers if they’ll host it at the ranger building. The plus is they have a baker on site who, if I know him well enough, will have no problem at all making a penis shaped cake. The bad part is he’s also my ex, so I kind of don’t want to ask him. I’m going to ask Imralion to ask him, then maybe I can talk to Sath’alor and see what he says about the party being there. I think he’ll agree since Hethurin is his brother-in-law.
  • I haven’t officially told Hethurin I would be in the wedding, but it seems I’m going to end up in it anyway so I might as well go for the robe fitting. I’m already planning the bachelor party for them. I’m just still not sure how I feel about it. I mean, I’ve been engaged a couple of times. When my mother’s mind started going, she tried to exchange me for rent to marry the landlord’s daughter. Then there was a time before that too that was of my own doing, and luckily, didn’t work out in the end as I think I was being young and stupid. In truth, I’m not sure I’ve grown out of being young and stupid. I’ve certainly made some big mistakes in the past year.
  • It feels wrong calling her a mistake, but she was, or rather, her mother was. I guess I’m feeling guilty about a lot right now. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to go there, but at the same time, I want to go there. I hold her and talk to her and she smiles at me, and that’s when I start feeling like shit. How am I going to tell her the truth when she’s older? Then this whole thing with the wedding going on is just reminding me that even if I do stop being young and stupid and wind up marrying Im, how would we be able to adopt? I don’t think I could. I mean technically, I could, but I couldn’t do it to her. I don’t even want to imagine her knowing what it feels like to know that not only did I not want her, but I wanted a different child. I can’t do that.
  • I know she’s safe and happy with Kestrae and Ordinicus. At least, she is for now, but what about when she gets older and starts asking questions? I do want her to know that I’m her father. At the same time, I want her to know that Kestrae and Ordinicus are her minn’da and ann’da. I’m not the one who deserves to be called her ann’da.
  • She’s really got the cutest smile. Yet, this isn’t something I can share with Im, and that hurts too. Everything’s so unsure right now, and I don’t know what’s going to happen. Then there’s this stupid wedding on top of everything else, and I don’t want to be in it, but I’m going to have to.
  • Maybe before I talk to Sath, I’ll find my father so I can yell at him for a bit first. That usually helps.

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