Half Moon Bay Weyr - East Bowl
The eastern end of the crater that forms the Weyr. The cliffs rise to the east, north and south of you, small openings in the face are individual weyrs of dragons and their riders. To the north is the large ledge and cave mouth of the Queen's weyr, with a wide ramp and stairs made by skilled stone masons providing access to the bowl floor. To the east is the Weyrling training area and the barracks, where young riders and dragons learn to work together.

She met her father in the bowl and greeted him with the exact courtesy that manners demanded, moving past him to help her children down from the blue dragon who had conveyed them there, while he dealt with the matter of the rider’s payment. Knowing full well that he was trying to hold his tongue and not ask questions of her – or, more accurately, about the three tiny firelizards who had adopted her shoulders as a perch – she kept her back to him and joined her daughter in quietly praising the agile blue and thanking him for his help.

Xander was more reserved. He always had been, with only his sister seemingly ever able to bring him out of his shell. Standing with his hands clasped behind his back, trying to be the young gentleman he believed he should be, he waited patiently for the adults to finish their respective conversations.

Now, more than ever, Elixyvette felt the pang of guilt when her gaze rested on her eldest child. L’mal’s eyes. L’mal’s difficulty with the written word. She’d known so early in his life that he shared some of his real father’s struggles that she’d started putting together strategies to teach and help him before he would find himself in a class with other children and potentially at a disadvantage. She couldn’t have him feeling as L’mal had – or being treated as he had been.

Just like she couldn’t tell him. Either of them. Not yet. She had never lied to L’mal, but eleven turns was a long time apart; a time in which it felt like she had lived a whole life of her own. And Xander… He still grieved the man he had believed was his father. To pull the proverbial rug out from under him now would beyond cruel. One man could not – should not – replace another.

…Even if it was what she had found so easy to do. It was shameful, really, how easily she had let her oldest friend and lover into her bed. Maybe it was just as well that she had been offered the white-threaded knot she now bore. It kept her from travelling down that road too fast. At least, for now.

Despite the fact that she loved him. Had always loved him. Had got herself married to protect his son. And her reputation.

Tressie’s focus easily shifted from the blue to the baby firelizards, golden eyes lighting up as she asked, “What have you called them, Mama?”

That drew her father’s focus and evident disapproval. He had a firelizard of his own, but three? Frivolous. Unnecessary.

“I—“ Elixyvette started to say, only to be interrupted.

“As long as your mother trains them adequately and keeps them from being a nuisance, I shouldn’t think it matters what they are called.”

Long ago, she had learned to conceal her thoughts and feelings from just about anyone. She was so well-versed in it that it had become her; possessed her. If he had addressed her children in such a way, she would have spoken out. She had never hesitated to tell her clients and colleagues if they were out of line. But for herself…? She wasn’t really a person. Was she? It didn’t matter.

Yet what had Kadesh told her? You never let him disrespect you in-front of your children. Ever.

Xander bristled, while Tressie hesitated, one of her delicate hands just shy of one of the young greens.

“There’s a library here that I’m sure you would find interesting enough to hold your attention until you can remember your manners, father. Thank you for bringing Xander and Tressie to visit.”

Xander smirked.

Tressie stared up at her, wide-eyed, and let that green – Purity – explore the curve of he finger.

Elixyvette arched a brow and turned to move off, holding a hand out for each of her children, who took them and rallied to her side.

What would be a small, insignificant victory to others was still a victory.

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