Before the Ball

Lily is sitting at her vanity, putting the finishing touches on her makeup when she hears a soft knock on the door and then Amyra talking to someone. After a moment, her great-grandmother walks in the room and smiles.

“You are so beautiful Liliana.  I am so glad I could be here to see your first ball and am able to personally give you this,” Talinia opens the box she has, showing Lily an exquisite and intricately designed hair comb. It was pure silver with dark brown owl feathers that come up over the top of the comb, a tiny crown made of oak surrounded by a couple of small oval moonstone crystals, and the tines have elven runes etched into them.

Lily gasps as she turns and reaches for the box.

“It’s gorgeous great-grandmother!”

Talinia takes the comb out of the box and motions for Lily to turn back around.

“No touching. Let me put this in your hair and then get going to the ball. The sooner we get you there, the sooner it will be over and then you and Taanyth can be public with your relationship.”

She smiles and nestles the comb in Lily’s halo braid so that the feathers laid against her hair, the dark brown of the owl feathers a beautiful contrast against the blonde.  She holds the hand mirror up so that Lily can see how it looks.

‘Thank you so much for this Great-Grandmother!’ Lily stands up and hugs Talinia.

“You are most welcome, my Starflower. It has been passed down to every female of our generation and since you and your mother are…..” she pauses for a moment with a slight frown, “well, on the outs at the moment, she asked me to give this to you for your special night as your father has suggested she not come to the ball so as to make things less stressful for you.” She hugs Lily tightly, a lone tear falling down her face.  She clears her throat and backs up and looks Lily over.

“Amyra. Bring Queen Liliana her cloak please. We must get going.”

Lily smiles at her grandmother, reaches up and gently wipes the tear away.

“No tears, Great Mother. This is supposed to be a happy occasion remember?” Lily rolls her eyes then laughs. “Let us go then, shall we?”

The guards open the doors and Dmitrie and Khilseith stand waiting to escort them. The two men are like night and day in their finery. Dmitrie is dressed like a forest god, dark green coat with a gold leaf design,a white shirt with billowy sleeves beneath, dark brown pants, and soft brown boots upon his feet. Khilseith in contrast is dressed in stone blue and light sapphire archmage robes. Archaic elven runes look like they were magickally sewn into the fabric as they give off a soft glow and an oval moonstone sits at the base of his throat hanging on a silver chain. Intricately designed, deep azure blue boots adorn his feet. The sides of his long silvery white hair is partially pulled back off of his face, clasped with a silver hair clip.

Lily raises an eyebrow at the two men.

“Where is Father? I thought he was supposed to bring me?”

Khilseith steps forward, offering his arm.

“Your father will be late and asked me to escort you instead. He is trying to …”he pauses a moment, his face thoughtful, “calm your mother. I am sure Great Mother has explained that he suggested it would be best if she stayed home this evening and let you have your night in peace since things are volatile between you at the moment.”

Lily nods and takes Khilseith’s extended arm as she shrugs at Dmitrie and Talinia.

“I know this is a bit off of tradition, but that is how my queen wishes most things, and since your father could not be here, he and I felt I was the best suited to escort you. I am an elder, I can protect you quite well, and you trust me completely.”

Lily looks up at Khilseith, her eyes shining and she nods.

“I do indeed. Shall we go then? I need to get this over with before I change my mind.”

“As my queen commands.”

Khilseith leads them through the Sanctuary to the main ballroom and stops right in front of the doors to let Lily prepare herself.

“Are you ready Lily?” He whispers.

She takes a deep breath and nods. Khilseith nods at the guards and they open the doors.

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