his sight now fully restored, gazed upon the beauty of Yorkshire with new
appreciation. He would never forget the unending blackness, the terror of
sightlessness. He had felt so helpless. But now, with the return of his sight,
his security had also returned. There was one silver lining to this dark
cloud: He had learned that he could entrust Alarius' safety to Adena in his
absence. Jonathon, it seemed, after the episode with the Titan, had no
interest left in the affairs of the state.
if on cue, Jonathon transversed the long hallway. His formal apparel fortold
of the night's commemoration, "Are you ready yet, Suralio?" The
question, however, was almost ludicrous, for Iffley was bedecked in a black
tuxedo, adorned with a brilliant red tie.
ignored the question, "I wonder what Adena's doing?"
two seem to have hit it off well." Jonathon said with a blase air.
astute of you, Jonathon," he replied. She is everything that I have ever
sought. She is so intelligent; so witty; so mature..."
torrent of compliments was suddenly interrupted by its recipient. She flew
from the bannister, from which she was riding, and backflipped. She sailed
through the air and landed with a thud at his feet. She miscalculated her
landing, however, and ended up on her backside. She growled under her breath,
"Missed again!" She then realized that she was being watched. She
turned to face Iffley's unhappy countenance.
He stopped and lowered his voice to prevent the entire mansion from hearing,
"are you doing?!"
averted her eyes to the parquetry. Then, as if in sudden revelation, she said,
"What should it matter to you? You're not my boss! I am The Enchantress!
I shall do what I please!"
me!" Iffley retorted, "If you want to act like a child, then I
certainly won't stand in your way!"
don't have to take this!" She stood up and stalked back up the
she had disappeared out of sight, Jonathon said, "Well, Iffley, are you
going to make up with her?"
not, I've done nothing wrong. I am not giving in first, she is."
this change the evening's festivities?"
she still deserves it." Iffley started up the stairs and then stopped;
Adena needed to be alone now.
* * * * *
who had been listening to the conversation, was waiting for Adena to pass her
on the stairs. She could not help overhearing: they were virtually shouting at
each other. Adena raced passed her and only stopped when Dion called out to
Adena, are you going to make up with Iffley?"
don't want to talk about it!" She continued her breakneak pace and
entered her room. Dion, uninvited, followed her.
do you mean 'I don't want to talk about it'?" She retorted.
Dion, if you're so concerned with Iffley, then you can have him!" She
raised an eyebrow for emphasis.
don't want him; you're the one with deep feelings for him, not me."
a pig's eye. You practically fall all over him ever time he enters the room.
that so? Well all you want is his power!"
his curiosity overwhelming him, climbed the stairs to catch any drifting
phrases on his way to his room. The phrase, spoken by Adena, was not quite
what he expected: "Power? I've got more power than you and him
combined!" Iffley, shocked at the 'him', went immediately to his bedroom,
not interested anymore in the conversation.
loud 'HA!' resounded throughout the room. "Let's get a little more honest
You're about as honest as a cat when the cream is out of the reach. By the
way, the 'cream' just went that-a-way."
started to say something and then stopped. She bit her lip, as if her limited
mind was being taxed. Finally she said, "Did you really mean that I could
wouldn't have said it if I didn't mean it." She waved her out of the
room. Dion was only too happy to go, she had finally won her prize.
* * * * *
Scapolite Room had been redecorated for the presentation. Several large
tables, covered with fine, white linen, lay scattered about the room. One
single red carnation gave the table a little splash of color. The finest
silverware and china were meticulously arranged on the table, shining in the
arrived to the dinner, unusually late. Her green dress, however, was
impeccably radiant. Her hair curled and swept in a very becoming style. A
large emerald hung from a silver chain around her neck. She took her place by
the podium. The presentation began.
addressed the crowd, "Ladies and gentlemen, we are here this day to
recognize one of the great forces behind the Fleet. She has remained a
constant and trusted friend to Alarius. She has helped me personally on more
than one occasion. And has been a great comfort during my recent blindness. I
present unto you, Adena Ludit, the Carmine Star Cluster of Thrax."
stood up and permitted 1ffley to pin the medal on her. Iffley then continued,
"Also, I present thou with the Enchantress to serve you and your needs.
Captain," he motioned to the podium, "the crowd awaits you." He
managed to smile, but quickly quashed the impluse.
nodded to him and then to the crowd, "Thank you for this great honor. I
shall try to do my best to serve you and the Fleet." The crowd cheered
wildly, it thought she was terrific. She sat back at her place.
evening ended on a rather anti-climatic note. After finishing her dinner, she
walked alone to her bedroom. She closed her bedroom door to remain in
solitude. Through the frosted window, she gazed into the heavens. The Dark
Time would be over soon. It would feel so good to fee1 the sun on her face
she prepared to undress, she decided to take a closer look at her Carmine Star
Cluster of Thrax. Silver leaves adorned a brilliant ruby. The light caught one
of its facets and reflected inside the stone. It began to glow with some inner
light of its own. RED? Yes, of course it had to be red. Iffley was giving his
heart to her on a silver platter.
| ||© 1984, ||K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|