Homecoming

A young holy paladin from the Agrent Crusade returns to her home in Silvermoon City for a few days after a long and brutal campaign in Northrend. As she struggles to come to terms with what has happened over the last two years new events are taking place that will once again change her life forever.

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4. Moonlight

The sun had started to set and Meril was staring into the mirror wondering what she had gotten herself in to.  She had only been wearing the robes that her mother gave her a few moments and was already wishing she was on a ship sailing away.

 

“I don’t even know the last time he saw me with my hair down,” she said to herself while fussing with a brush.

 

“You look amazing, sis,” said Nariel as she walked into the room.  “Mom was right you should wear more outfits like that.”

 

“I don’t know why I’m bothering with this, it’s not like we’re going on a date or anything.”

 

Nariel just laughed and walked downstairs.

 

Meril stood up to take one last look in the mirror.  The idea of dressing up as her mother and sister did was something completely foreign to her.  She took a deep breath and began to head downstairs.  It wasn’t very long until there was a knock at the door.  She walked towards the entry way as her mother was greeting Thalion, who had also changed into more formal clothing.

 

“Good evening, Meril,” he said after noticing her in the room.

 

She nodded and smiled as she walked to greet him.

 

“You two have a nice time,” said Meril’s mother as she walking into the kitchen.

 

“Shall we?” asked Thalion while offering his arm.

 

The sun had completely set and the moon and stars were quite bright in the clear sky, but Meril hadn’t noticed them or that her grip on Thalion’s arm had gotten very tight.

 

“You don’t have to hang on for dear life, you know,” he said with a slight laugh.

 

“Sorry…”

 

“You know,” he said while directing her attention to the bushes across the street, “I believe there’s a dragonhawk nest in there.  If you want to go stir it up I’ll coming running behind and save you!”

 

Her face started to turn red and she wanted to hit him.  But instead she just started laughing really hard and began to fall.  Thalion pulled her to him in an effort to catch her but instead they both ended up on the ground in each other’s arms and laughing.

 

“I almost forgot,” he said after catching his breath.  He reached into his coat for a single red rose that he meant to give her earlier.  He placed it in her hand but frowned as he realized the stem had broken in the fall.  But then he just simply pulled the broken piece off and instead of placing the flower in her hand as he originally intended he gently put it in her hair just above her left ear.

 

“Would you like to go for a walk in the park?” he asked as he helped her back onto her feet.

 

“I’d love to,” she said.

 

As they arrived the reds, yellows, and oranges of the tree leaves seemed to dance in the moonlight and Meril realized just how much she had really missed Silvermoon.  The thought of being homesick surprised her because becoming a paladin and going wherever that she was needed had been her dream.  Such attachments she believed would only get in the way.  But the more she thought about it she began to realize it may not be the city she missed so dearly.

 

“Everything alright?”

 

She didn’t answer him because for the first time in her life she didn’t know what she truly wanted.  Having the courage and strength to stand up and protect the innocent and the ones she loved was all she had ever wanted to do.  Two years ago she left knowing that she may never see her family and friends again didn’t bother her, but now the idea of leaving again in a few days was.  She never expected something like this would happen.

 

Thalion turned so that he was facing her.  She backed away a little bit and lowered her head.  Ever since their talk earlier in the day all she could think about him and it frightened her.  He had opened up and expressed feelings that she didn’t want to hear because they awakened deep feelings for him that she had hidden away so many years ago.  She had to or she never would have been able to leave him behind.  And she could no longer hide them now that they were back in the open with such intensity.

 

“If this is too much I can always take you home…”

 

“No.”  She closed her eyes and to his surprise rested her head on his chest.  Even if she could bury her feelings for him once more she no longer wanted to.  An overwhelming sadness enveloped her and she knew she would soon have to make a very difficult choice.

 

“Please don’t worry about such things.  I’ve always told you to do what you believe is right and I’ll always be here for you.”

 

“I don’t know what’s right anymore…”

 

“Of course you do, you’ve always known in your heart.”

 

She smiled.  “That’s what my mother said when I told her I wasn’t sure if I should go out with you tonight.”

 

“Meril, I didn’t mean to pressure you.  I was just so happy to see you back home safe and I just wanted to spend as much time with you as I could before you left again.”

 

“It’s not you, you’ve done nothing wrong.  This, this really scares me.”

 

“I know, and I’ve been asking myself all afternoon if we should be doing this as well.  I don’t want us to part again on bad terms like we did last time…”

 

“We won’t, I promise you.”

 

He smiled.  “You know, I forgot to tell you just how beautiful you look tonight.”

 

“Don’t get used to it,” she teased.  And then he saw her lips tremble a little as she maintained her smile.

 

“I know something’s bothering you.  Please don’t hide from me…”

 

She stopped smiling and let him see just how terrified she really was.  “Am I that easy to read?”

 

“Only to me.”  He put his arms around her and held her tight.

 

“Now what happens?” she asked now looking up at him.

 

He smiled and gently placed his hand on the side of her face.  Her eyes widened and her heart began to beat very fast as if it were about to explode.  They moved closer to each other, eyes now closing and both realizing in the next few moments that everything between them was about to change forever.  As they were about to meet the ground began to shake violently and interrupted their tender moment.

 

Falling to the ground they watched in horror as the buildings surrounding the park began to explode and collapse with a deafening roar followed by the screams of the injured and dying reaching their ears.  Meril pulled herself free from Thalion and ran towards them as fast as she could, disappearing into a cloud of dust and debris.

 

“Meril!”

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