Return of Starlight

Sequel to Healing Starlight

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8. Kirma Tolto: (Part Eight)

“You may kiss the bride!” Raven had shouted, “And make sure it’s a good one!”


        Sprinkles of laughter from all, human and elves alike moved through the audience.


Natil and Rijiin laughed and he drew her into his arms. A cheer resounded through the open air as it echoed around them and louder when Natil and Rijiin embraced, passionately kissing each other in front of their guests. Applause sounded as they kissed rather heatedly. They held it over fifteen minutes, the same way in front of the other elves at the home.


Hadden, Marsh, TK, Dell, Sana, Heather, Ash, Kelly, and Laurie were smiling openly. The elves glanced at their watches, shuffled their feet.
    

    “Man that elf can kiss…” TK muttered to Marsh, making him and Hadden chuckle openly. There were giggles by the elf maidens when they heard Marsh’s comment. When the couple broke their kiss, Rijiin laughed as Natil blushed, yelping and sarcastically fanning her face.


    “He’s a criminal!” Natil gasped, “Oh dear Lady.”


She fanned her blushing face and there was laughter by Hadden, Marsh, Sana, TK, Dell, Heather, Ash and Laurie. The other elves laughed too along with the audience. Rijiin grinned ear to ear, as he turned to the goddess who stood with them and who laughed too.


         “Thank you my Lady I…” He started to say, but interrupted by a voice that carried over the applause, whistles and cheers.


    “I Object!” A screechy voice had said, and hush fell across the grounds of Tree Star.


Becky, Rijiin, Natil and Mouse, all four of them had turned in surprise when they had heard the familiar voice, not expecting it to be here today. A look of surprise swept across their faces and Becky shrugged as she met Mimi’s confused expression.


All four elves stood staring at the two speakers, a short dwarf of a man who lumbered along side a taller young man with sandy blond hair. Rijiin recognized them immediately as Robert and Dave, Mimi’s friend and her ex-fiancé from De Anza.


    “I object.” Robert repeated glancing at the guests who glared at him.  

           
 “Robert…” Dave whispered, “I think you better take it easy and had better do this with tact. I think we are not…”


    “Shut up Dave.” Robert snapped as he lumbered forward and his face glowering with rage.  The hush that had fallen over the garden had been replaced by low murmurs by the guests and Rijiin had grimaced when he saw them, realizing what Robert was doing.


    “He probably thinks that I am taking Becky away from him and not Natil.” Rijiin thought, staring in silence at the pair.


“It would be like him to be so careless,” Thought the elf.


Dave at this moment had felt a dread-like feeling wash over him when he realized all the guests, the bride and groom who stood in the gazebo had all focused upon them. The sound of a braying ass was sounding somewhere in the back of his head. He had also recognized that it was Rijiin and the young Harper named Natil who stood at the gazebo.


Dave flashed an uneasy smile at the young couple, his eyes finding a very beautiful and different looking Becky who was already in route toward them followed by a very different looking Mimi.  


    “Greaaat and Robert as usual, will make a damn fool of himself.” Dave thought, his face showing silent surprise that Rijiin let Robert continued his tirade.


    “Robert, that’s not Becky at the altar or Mimi!” He whispered, “That’s…Natil, the Harper who came to De Anza a while ago! This is their wedding, like I told you many times!”              


    “Oh…” Dave thought, casting an annoyed glance at his best friend, “Shut up Robert. Shut up, shut up. Please just shut the hell up. Shit! Shit! Shit!”  


Robert continued his tirade, spewing horrible curses and making obscene comments directed at the couple at the gazebo. Insults and comments that made the crowd mutter quietly several times.


    “Who objects,” Rijiin asked, finally fed up with the tirade, “And what business does he have here.”


His voice carried a frightful sharp and frigid tone when he had spoken. “What right does he have to speak at a wedding of strangers?”  


Rijiin glanced at the Lady, who met his apologetic expression with a slow nod. The elves of Denver looked on in surprise, feeling the chill in the air as Rijiin spoke.


          Robert heard the elf and stopped speaking, a look of annoyance on his face as he had felt the sudden chill in the air by Rijiin’s statement. It had been a bold statement, a broad hint to ‘Get lost,’ and as always, Robert had failed to get it but Dave had.


    He had exhaled sharply and had taken a couple of steps back from his best friend. Rijiin stared at Robert, as he sensed the rage welling up inside him.


    “There is no reason for him to be angry, but he is.” He thought, “He is probably unhappy we interfered in his world and did something that he could only talk about. We helped and healed for real.”


    “Or perhaps it might be because Mimi and Becky are here in Colorado and had left him in California. When it comes to Robert’s motives it is hard to tell.” Rijiin thought silently as he let out a quiet sigh. The elf had learned compassion and patience in his wandering across the world. He had seen a lot of hell in his travels across multiple continents, and through it all, he tried to understand the human race. His anger tempered like the steel that hung at his side.  


    “…I object to the stupidity of this whole event.” He said, “There are no such things as elves or magic. I am Becky or Mimi’s chosen one, not you.”


    “Oh shit now you did it.” Dave thought, exhaling sharply again and this time he backed up three more steps. He had put a distance between himself and Robert, sensing the possibility of something bad about to happen.


The young human had seen the looks of rage on many people’s faces and even a couple of them had taken a couple of aggressive steps toward Robert. Rijiin held up his hand in silence, glancing at TK, Laurie, and even Ash who had taken those aggressive steps.


Robert had seen Rijiin motion them back and had taken a defensive posture on his crutches. The elf sensed his readiness to use them as a weapon, and he knew if Robert was ready to do that, he was dangerously unpredictable. Letting the starlight flow over him, the elf breathed out calmly before opening his eyes and meeting Robert’s hazel eyes in silence. His gray eyes flickered in the sunlight.


    “Peace.” He said, “There will be no battle here today and certainly not at this ceremony, which happens to be my wedding day.”


 Dave, a short distance behind Robert had noted the elf gripping the handle of the blade at his side, ready to draw it from the sheath at any moment. The only time that Rijiin would have drawn his blade was if Robert would have charged in at him using his crutches as a weapon. Rijiin played it smart, knowing how Robert was positioned and not to provoke him.


Dave, standing back behind him sensed an overwhelming calm at this garden, as if a magic seemed to shimmer around it. If he had known the elves better, like Mimi at the beginning, he would have been correct.  He had already started to see strange stuff happening, changes in his physique and the dim starlight in the darkness when he closed his eyes. Omar, and Chris, Even Katherine and Jen had started to see remarkable changes to their bodies and soul too. They were unsure what was happening, only to know it was probably related what they had seen at De Anza.


    Robert glanced at the many of the guests who had come for the hand fasting and was surprised to see Omar, Becky, Chris, Ray and his wife Lisa, Cathy, Jen, Patrick, Steve, Mimi, Katherine and her family and several others. He was surprised to see a few staff members that Mimi worked with too.  He glanced at the gazebo at the bride.


    “Now what the hell are they doing here?” Robert asked himself, “If Becky is over there… and Mouse is over there too… Who is that?”


Robert, something in his limited mind put the connection together. He stared at the Harper, clad in white, back to Becky and back to the Harper several times.


Becky had walked up to his side, nodding a short greeting to Dave who seemed to understand as she stood beside Robert. Becky met Rijiin’s questioning expression and her look said it all.


    “We’ll handle this.” It said, “Leave it to me.”  


Rijiin nodded silently as he turned abruptly back to the goddess and to his wife who had stood watching.


      “Is there anyone else who objects,” Intoned the Goddess and there was silence.      


    “Faila I’ men amin vet ta.” Rijiin whispered and Natil chuckled. The elves turned, both bowing formally to the goddess.


     “Our thanks my Lady,” Rijiin said, “From both of us.”


      “Be at peace,” The Lady told them, “You both have earned this and deserve all the happiness in the world.”


“May I present, Mr. and Mrs. Rijiin and Natil L’Theil.” The goddess announced and a thunderous applause followed, with a few whistles as the couple turned to face the crowd. Becky, Dave, and Mimi had joined in the polite applause. The DeAnza Rat Pack, as Rijiin had nicknamed them a long time ago had also joined in, just as the former students from Bellbrook and others. They whistled and catcalled.


Rijiin turned his head to smile and laugh, grabbing Natil in his arms to give her another passionate kiss on the lips, making them applause loudly in the crowd. The elf made her blush and laugh as he held her firmly in his arms. He waved to the group.


 A moment later, Becky nodded to Dave, taking up Robert’s one arm, and Robert’s best friend understood to take up the other. Both pulled Robert down the aisle, practically dragging him out of the range of the guests. Even through the applause, the screechy voice of Robert still carried from the edge of the Tree Star grounds and Rijiin let out a sigh.


The elf walked toward the crowd and he returned the many handshakes, backslaps and words of wisdom from them. He grimaced as he glanced at the end of the walkway. Natil joined him, still carrying the very beautiful bouquet in her hands.

    
“What’s wrong Rijiin?” Natil asked suddenly, glancing at him curiously.

    
“Nothing, I am going to take care of this madness once and for all,” He said, walking toward the now four, as Mouse had joined them, and muttering under his breath.  A few of the elves grimaced as they saw where Rijiin was headed and knew what he planned which was probably not going to be a pretty sight when it was over and done.


“The reception will start in five minutes, dining dancing and the Bar is open.” An announcement said and there was a rowdy cheer. The crowd walked toward the area that had been set aside for the reception and Marsh and his band began to play as people began to dance, chat, laugh and carry on in celebration.

    
“By our lady, must there be battle on a day of celebration?” Rijiin grumbled and shook his head. He drew his dagger as he moved toward Becky and the others who argued rather venomously. They all glanced at Rijiin, who stood in front of them and all saw the annoyed expression on his fair features.  


        “Enough, what is your business here Ungai?” Rijiin said, cutting Robert off, “Is this how mortals respect a sovereign power?”


Dave heard the claim and he had a strange understanding by the meaning of the statement.


    “Na- ae’ seere, Beckai, Mimitti,” He told them, “Ro va nolya nae amin cael n’umo detholea sii’. Amin cael a’ magh poldor a’ kam ho selya.”


Mimi and Becky had taken three steps back. They quickly got the seriousness and blunt message of Rijiin’s question to Robert. Mouse had grimaced when she glanced at his solemn expression.  Robert started to speak, but Rijiin bluntly cut him off again, his tone ice cold.


        “Dina, Ungai.” He snapped, “Just listen, you are trespassing on let us say that is considered to be holy ground by my people. If you cannot leave your anger at the edge of these grounds, and be here as a guest in peace, you must leave.”


With that statement, Rijiin pushed back his long hair to revealing his slender ears and his eyes flashed as brightly as the dagger or the blade he carried at his side.  Robert stared at Rijiin, and glanced at the others around him.


          “It’s not posted as private therefore it is a public place.” Robert challenged shaking his head at Rijiin who let out a silent breath. The elf grimaced, stepping forward toward Robert and as he did so, kept his guard up. Rijiin kept himself ready for anything to happen.


    “You should reconsider your position young human.” He said sharply, “Before you end up losing yourself in this place. This is a place of business, therefore it is considered private.”


Robert’s eyes widened when he met Rijiin’s cold gray eyes and clearly saw the starlight within them. A light he did not understand. He exhaled as rage welled up inside.  


    “Then why are Becky, Mimi, and all these people here?” Robert demanded tightly.


    “They are here to have fun.” Rijiin said, “And celebrate MY wedding day with my beloved Harper. Just so, not be made the fool. If you do not calm down you must leave this place. Treestar can and will have you forcefully removed by the police.”  


            "Are you threatening me?”


    “Try promising.” Rijiin replied gently, “There will be no violence here. You are at a place of celebration. Do not dishonor yourself by bringing anger or violence to this sovereign and peaceful place.”


    The elf had openly tried to reason with him using logic and tell him of what he faced if he did not abandon his violence and attitude that he had clearly brought with him.


    He had come with Dave, by force, having seen the invitation sent to him by Rijiin’s own hand and the message within. The elf did not want him here if he was going to be an ass, and cause harm to those around him. He had not sent him an invitation in the first place, knowing he would be this way.


    “I’ll show you violence.” Robert muttered and a moment later he stepped in and his crutch headed toward Rijiin’s head. The elf had sensed the motion, almost too late, and an underhanded one to be sure. The elf ducked to let it whip cleanly over his head and spinning away on one foot he spun away, dodging the second one that had come in close behind the first one.  


Around them, the crowd who had moved to the dance area and reception watched in astonishment, a low murmur echoing through the party. At the bandstand, Marsh and his band played familiar tunes of every genre and was well received by the crowd who danced. They grinned as they played the Mission Impossible Theme, making Rijiin glance at them a look of sarcasm on his face.

   
Rijiin turned his attention to Robert and he moved like lightning as he dodged and weaved, narrowly missing the crutches swung at him.  He watched and waited for an opening, already connecting to the stars, as the elves had been able to centuries ago. The dance, the motions, feints and openings clearly showed in the starlight. He let the powers flow over his entire body, seeing past, present and a few future events. Rijiin saw the universe in a whole and answered his question of how the elves were part of the universe, they existed, they helped, and they healed. They had purpose to be there as needed.  


“I must not injure him. I must keep him from harming others and himself.” Rijiin thought, glancing at the concerned, almost saddened look of his wife who stood beside the Creatrix of the elves. She realized he was his friend of long ago, and she saw the seriousness of the conflict on her husband’s face. He did not want to take this action to keep the peace and knew he wanted to resolve it differently. It had been the same when they fought on De Anza’s campus, the same consequences and actions.  Robert just did not want to listen to reason. The other elves of Denver looked on in silence, as did Becky and Mimi, everyone showing equal concern on their faces. He dodged many strikes by Robert and his crutches, just as he had when they fought before.  This time the elf vowed to keep the blade at his side sheathed. Robert in turn kept swinging and the whistle of his crutches moved past the elf. He grimaced when he realized his crutches were not reaching the elf.


A moment later, Rijiin saw an opening, and he dropped to one knee, lancing out with an open palm to strike cleanly into Robert’s sternum. Stunned, Robert stepped back a few steps for a brief moment before lashing out with his crutches. Rijiin continued to dodge, letting the crutches whip wildly over his head, and coming a few inches short of his body. He sensing another opening had sidestepped to trip him, knocking him to the ground.  The fight suddenly was over but Rijiin had grabbed his arm to help lower him to the ground, making sure not to injure him. He refrained from drawing the blade at his side or the dagger at his side, and he put a knee on the young man’s chest, pinning him on the ground, to hold him there.  


“Yield and I will not harm you.” Rijiin demanded, “You would not listen, Robert, and you gave me little choice. I asked you if you could leave your anger and attitude at the door, and you refused therefore this request will not be so nice.”


Rijiin nodded to Hadden who was on his cell phone, quickly summoning the authorities.


When the Denver Police finally showed up, they escorted him to a squad car, promptly removed as Rijiin had promised. Dave had glanced at him as he watched his friend hauled away.


“Do you wish to press charges?”


Rijiin shook his head in response to the officer’s question.


“No sir, just hold him until he calms down, Tree Star will not press charges against him unless he does actual harm to anyone here at this celebration.” Hadden replied, letting out a sigh.
 

“What about him?” the officer asked, as he motioned to Dave. Rijiin shook his head. The officers saw the blade at his side but did not comment.


“It is the other gentleman who took the swing first.” Rijiin said, “This gentleman…”


Rijiin motioned to Dave, “Mister Riggen… is a welcomed guest and he has an invitation.”


The elf glanced at the officers who peered at the blade, sheathed at his side. He grimaced.


“Fear not, the blades, although real, remained sheathed the whole time.” Rijiin said, and the officers showed astonishment that he knew they had questions about the dagger and sword at his side.


Becky nodded, and Mimi did too.


“I… We… can vouch for that.” Becky added and smiled.

    
Mimi and Becky had been standing nearby when the fight had broken out and had stepped back when the crutches began to fly. Across the short distance, the goddess and Natil looked on in silence. Natil, Becky, Mimi and the others found themselves impressed by his handling this disturbance.


Rijiin had handled it with tact, wisdom, compassion, and understanding, making every effort not to harm Robert, despite what happened before and ended the battle quickly without injuring him. It would not like the battle at DeAnza in which Rijiin was forced to draw his blade and cut Robert’s chin, almost taking his head until Natil called out, making him pull back the stroke.


 Rijiin had earned a respectful nod by the Goddess and Natil. He turned to walk over and he knelt before the goddess. The middle-aged woman smiled and placed a loving hand on his broad shoulder. A moment later in a flash of brilliant light, the goddess was gone even though he asked her to stay and take part in the festivities with his thanks.  


When the second officer had gone, Dave heard a quiet laugh from Mouse who stood beside him.


“Mr. Riggen?” Mimi asked quietly, and he glanced sideways at her, rolling his eyes. She laughed at him warmly and embraced him.

    
“Come on Dave, let’s dance.” She told him and Dave laughed as they joined in on a slow dance. Rijiin put out his arm and the Harper who had joined him at his side, laughed as she took it. The couple headed to a table near the dance floor. There was applause as the party started to jump and the bride and groom approached the reception.


Rijiin bowed formally, they took a seat on a nearby bench.  A few minutes later, Robert returned, and he stood before Rijiin and Natil who sat together at the party.

    
“I apologize, I was not thinking, and did not know you and your lovely bride were going to get hitched.” He said, “I made a preverbal ass out of myself, I was wrong for what I did and hope to make up for it.”
    

“Be at peace Robert, You were coming with the illusion of other intentions, as it said on the invitation, Natil of Malvern, and Rijiin L’Theil.” He told him, “Have a drink and enjoy yourself, all has been forgiven.”


Rijiin glanced sideways at Becky, handing Robert a root beer, and here he laughed shaking his head and picked up a real beer. The elf raised his bottle, as did Becky, Natil, Mimi and Robert too, all five toasting. Their bottles made a quiet ‘clink sound’ as they all drank.


“Ms. Mc Gough has been chewing at the bit for a nice slow dance. Perhaps we can oblige her wishes.” Rijiin suggested and Robert managed a short laugh,


“I bet she would.”
 

“I know my young wife would like to dance.” He intoned, “Perhaps I should remedy that.”


Rijiin stood and put out an arm, which Natil took. Both he and his young wife headed to the dance floor.  There was applause again by everyone as the party cleared the outside dance floor.

    
“First dance belongs to the bride and groom.” A voice said. Together Natil and Rijiin walked out on the dance floor and they slow danced a few minutes before everyone joined in around them. Robert and Becky danced, and they were all smiles, as was Mimi and Dave.


Rijiin noted the others in Bellbrook were dancing too and some were standing around chatting with others in their group. After the dance, the elf moved to the surrounding groups making his rounds to chat informally with everyone.

    
Later, Rijiin held Natil as they sat together at their reception and watched the great celebration around them. There were some moments where Rijiin sat with Marsh and TK, jamming with them on sax and on the guitar. He played fluidly, easily as he made an effort to keep up but many times surprised them. The elf played Kenny G tunes on the sax, where Natil broke out the harp and she played a duet with him. There was silent admiration by Hadden remembering another time he had done that, two months ago. The other guests, smiled and listened as the couple played several more songs together.


 He showed his brimming talent, all because of a long time ago and the paths he had taken through history. Rijiin also had surprised them as he sat behind the drums and he assisted as the band did a couple of Phil Collins/Genesis songs. He even jammed with Marsh on the guitar. The young elf also danced with Natil, many dances and the drinks flowed freely as the celebration continued far into the afternoon.  


The couple sat together, Rijiin with his arms around his new wife to hold her, as they watched the festivities.  He grimaced when he felt pain in his face, and realized his jaw hurt from smiling too much.


    A bit later, the couple managed to slip away together for a quiet moment, and both sat together watching the sun began to fall on the western horizon over the shadows of the Rocky Mountains. Several hours had elapsed and the celebration went far into the late afternoon and early evening. The young Harper gazed up at the mountains as she sat with Rijiin’s arms around her and they watched the sun set in the west.


    Natil fidgeted nervously, inside a whirl of thoughts and excitement filled her very soul. Lights were turned on, colored strands along the trellises and the Tiki Torches™ burned to keep the night insect-life at bay.

    
“I have survived the hardest thing I thought I would ever be able to do.” She thought, “Harder than leaving Adria, harder than being in the dungeons of the Inquisition and even wandering for a hundred years. I survived my wedding day to a good man.”

            
 “Amin mela lle, Natili.” He said, looking in her blue eyes, as he held her.

            
“Amin mela lle, Rijiin.” She replied, “Oio vor iire omentien lle I’ yeste’ luume’.”


Rijiin smiled, nodding as he embraced her, his attention returning skyward. The Harper let out a quiet yelp realizing she had spoken Elfish, something she had not done in a while because there had been no need for it.


    “Look…” He whispered, pointing to the sky. “Beloved, ta i’ entul en Mirya astael.”


Staring in wonder, the Harper had gasped when she stared at the sky and saw the star. The very one that she had not seen in centuries that had faded long ago when Mirya and Terrill had disappeared into the forest to stop the forest fire set by the enemy.  She had told him much of what happened during the time he disappeared and learned about the fate of Saint Brigid.  


         “Make you wonder doesn’t?” Rijiin asked, and she nodded continuing to stare at the patterns of starlight that twinkled brightly in the heavens.  The elf casually saw Hadden heading their way and he realized what time it was.


          “Ah yes, its cake cutting time.” Both had returned to the tables where their cake laid untouched ready for cutting.  Hadden stood up and he held up a glass, “I want to make a toast!”


    There was a chant. “Toast, Toast!”  


Hadden tapped the glass with a fork, and it rang out clearly.


    “I’ll have wheat with butter and jam!” A drunken voice said and everyone laughed, including the couple.


     “Here is to our friends, the happy couple. May they be together always, not drive each other crazy and have rebellious children together.” There was brief laughter that echoed the garden area. “May they find happiness in each others arms for the times to come.”


Natil glanced at Rijiin with a mischievous grin on her face and she winked. In her mind, the Harper thought she heard his laughter.


           “Hear! Hear!” A voice said, and everyone raised the glasses to take a drink.


      “Thank you all.” Rijiin said, raising his glance to meet his wife’s mischievous twinkle in her blue eyes.


Together they held the knife as they cut their splendid cake, a lemon and white cake with a Celtic design on the top. In Elfish the words, ‘Congratulations, Rijiin and Natil’ drawn in the frosting on its surface. There was applause as the couple held the cake on a fork and both fed each other a piece. Laughter followed as he got frosting on her nose. Everyone dined on the splendid cake and there was conversation that rippled through the garden area of Tree Star. More dancing and music followed.


“Congratulations Rijiin.” Anne said, walking up beside him and he smiled at her. Margot stood with her.


“May I present, Anne and Margot Frank.” Rijiin said formally, bowing wide and low to the two women who stood before him. Natil stared at the elder women who were famous for her diary that she wrote that painted a picture of the adversity they faced by the Nazis, through her eyes when she was only fifteen years of age.


Natil bowed slightly to them as well.


“They are the ones that were famous because she died and her diary got published showing her courage in the adversity of the Nazis right?” Natil whispered, “The ones you saved by changing time?”  


He nodded.


“Thank you both for coming.” Natil told them, unsure what to say to them. Natil glanced at him sharply as he spoke another language fluently other than English and Elfish. It was fluent German.


“How can you speak that?” She asked, “How did you pick that up as you wandered through the world for the last four hundred years?


“I learned many languages.” He replied, “It was to be able to communicate or not eat. Be at peace, I can teach you a few if you like.”


“Now I’d really like that…” Natil declared, kissing him on the lips.


    Many groups cycled around to congratulate the couple, and Rijiin nodded to each one. He embraced ‘Jell-O’ Jen, Katherine, Cathy, and a few from his old class of 1991. He was glad that they had remembered him when he contacted as many as he could.


    They all had remembered him when he had appeared at the school and had fought the evil wizard, Tantras of Thay, not realizing when he reverted time that the wizard had disappeared to where he had been, escaping death at the hands of the elf. He wondered about the others and wished they had come too. A few minutes later, the couple turned when they heard the hooves on the cement and spied an open air, horse drawn red and gold trimmed carriage.

            
 “Ah, how ironic, our chariot comes.” He said and he heard Natil laugh.

    
“It reminds me so much of Adria, our old home.”

    
“This is home.” She corrected, “Adria is long past for both of us.”

    
“That it is beloved.” He said, “But I will always hold Adria as a special place for both of us. It is an ending for me and also a beginning for both of us, not unlike this one after four hundred plus years.”
    
    
Natil realized the gravity of the sentiment spoken by her new husband and his very words that rang true for them both. He had an ending when he had given up his human existence in Adria of the fourteenth century and found change by Elven magic. Rijiin had also embraced the changes and his new existence in, for him, a brand new century. His beginning, as time changed for Rijiin and the Harper.


A fresh page, so to speak and uncertain future that waited for the couple until now.

    
    His family had never been told by Mouse or Becky that the school had a visitor, and had ever admitted that Rijiin had been Nathaniel. It was too ironic and if not crazy for them to speak out indicating the elf’s identity. They had thankfully remained silent.  None of the “DeAnza Rat-pack” had known that Rijiin had been their friend, neither Robert nor Dave, had guessed his identity, which had passed away as he became an elf.


The Harper was silent for a moment, contemplating his words, and she smiled with a short nod. As the carriage approached, a man dressed in black sat on the carriage top and a woman on the back.  Rijiin exhaled loudly when he saw this man, a lean man with fair skin, long black hair and steel gray eyes. His eyes held a strange intensity almost an analytical type gaze to them. His wife, a young woman, fair and beautiful sat on the back. She had a round face, long reddish gold hair spilling across her shoulders and a trim figure. Her green eyes seemed bright and laughing in the light.         


“By the Lady, do you see that?” Rijiin had asked, and had turned his head when he heard his wife gasping. Natil could not believe her eyes either.  

            
 “She looks like Mirya!” She breathed, “And he looks like Terrill!”

    
          “I am named Miriam.” The woman said, her voice having a thick Irish accent to it.             
            
     “I am Terrance.” He said, “Are ye the happy couple?”

            
 “Aye,” He said, “We are. May the hand of the Lady be upon you.”


Rijiin bowed slightly and cast a look at his wife who rolled her eyes.


He shrugged slightly.
            

“It was worth a shot,” He murmured, cocking his head as if to read her expression in silence. He nodded to Natil in silent agreement.  
            

 “This is a very strange, but humorous coincidence.” She said, unable to stop staring at the coachman and his wife.  Natil sensed something different about this couple and wondered how in time there could be people who looked like her kinfolk from the fourteenth century. Both Rijiin and Natil had remembered the star of Mirya that twinkled high above them.

            
 “Remember what Varden said about renewal beloved,” He said, “Perhaps somewhere Talla, Charity, Roxanne and even Varden have found renewal too.”

    
“Perhaps,” Natil agreed, “It is a good possibility.”


“I certainly hope so.” He replied, and he met the smile on her face with one of his own.


Standing along the walkway, a few of the elves, and a few friends stood beside it, all waiting for the couple to make their way toward them. When Natil and Rijiin neared the steps, they glanced at each other as they saw a group stand rigidly at attention as the others threw rice at them. Laughter and chatter filled the air as it pelted the couple. Rijiin glanced at Natil, who grimaced as they stared at this serene scene.


“Honors HUT!” A voice shouted, and their friends and fellow elves drew the blades in unison and raised the blades over their heads making a bridge of steel. A hush fell over the crowd behind them. The Harper put her hands to her mouth to stifle a gasp and hide a smile.


Rijiin stood beside her with a flattered look on his face. As the couple walked down the bridge of steel together, Hadden and Marsh stood as the last two on the row. They lowered the swords.
    

“Now Rijiin, you be a good boy tonight.”  Hadden kidded gently and Marsh smiled.


“Yeah, don’t do what I wouldn’t do.” He told Rijiin and the elf chuckled quietly as did Natil.
    

“You guys.” He chided as he pushed up the blades. Behind them, Marsh turned to the others, smiling.


“At ease,” He said and they all rest the blades on their shoulders.
    

At the head of the coach, Hadden had walked toward the horses, a gray stallion and a mare that pulled it. Their friend and new clansman stood in the middle of them and he was whispering to them. After a moment, the beasts snorted and whinnied, bearing their teeth. Both bobbed their massive heads.
     
    
 “That is a good lad and lass.” Hadden told it as he patting the mare’s neck and the stallion beside it, “My thanks.”


Behind the carriage, Bright, Fox, Laurie, Wheat, Ash, Bright and Sana helped put a big sign on the carriage.

    
“Just Married --” It said, in big letters and they tied cans and shoes on the end of the carriage. Snickering they returned to the front of it as Rijiin led Natil to the carriage.  He paused a second to motion to Kelly.

    
“Kelly, do me a favor and hand this to your father.” Rijiin told the Elfling as she took the blade and the dagger. “And don’t draw it lass, I don’t want you to be hurt.”


Everyone threw the traditional rice as the couple walked toward the carriage, and both laughed as they climbed on, turning to wave to the others. Natil threw the bouquet and it was caught by Mouse who gasped, blushing as red as the carriage the couple rode in.


Robert blushed beside her and as she held the bouquet, exchanged a kiss with him. She waved at the carriage as it pulled away. Rijiin and Natil, seated in the carriage held each other, staring into each other’s eyes, kissing each other passionately.


          Mimi and the other elves stood around at the Tree Star as they cleaned up the grounds quickly, recycling as much as the paper and everything that had been setup for the wedding and reception. Together, Jen, Mimi, Becky, Omar, Chris, Dave, and even Robert all gazed down the road at the departing carriage. The party continued with music, dancing and entertainment by the band.


         “It has sure been a strange period of time.” Mimi said, “First his changing us, then his disappearance and now all of us coming to Denver.”


         “I don’t know.” Becky replied, glancing at the small group of her friends, “It does not seem too different to me, just a really good ending to a good novel and a long journey with a hitch, there is a new beginning.”

    
“So where do we go from here?” Becky mused, glancing at the others. She peered at old and now very new friends she found in Denver.  There were silent questions by all, which for some would be answered in due time. For the moment though, there seemed to be peace among them.


 Even for Robert who had witnessed the union of the couple and had found perhaps a piece of mind and renewal of his own.

            
 Together the newly married couple rode the carriage, headed to a Limo company that would take them to the airport. There a plane would take them to Los Angeles and then taken to a cruise ship that waited there, chartered to take them to Mexico.


Life began for Rijiin and Natil, as it had for them four plus centuries ago. This would be a second chance that would take up from its interruption long ago.  

            
 “It is a time for renewal.” He murmured, and Natil turned her head when she heard him.


       “Beloved?”


       “Just thinking of what Varden said once.” Rijiin replied as he thought of the young elf that had seen the futility of the world.  The same futility that Rijiin had seen in his travels not long ago, the same as his kinfolk had seen ages ago. Although he knew that May 1, was far off, the young elf knew he had a several months to find renewal for his actions and perhaps peace of mind. This was one start.

 
     “Are you happy Natil?” He asked, and the Harper turned her head, frowning. She embraced her new husband after a moment, a smile on her face.


        “I am.” The Harper told him, as he held her, “I am so glad you are home, my husband.”


       “Vee’ amin Natili,” He told her, “A'maelamin vesse.”


        Rijiin and Natil sat in the back in the carriage and in his arms, he held Natil. He watched as the passed many people who stared at the coach and who laughed seeing the card on the back. As Rijiin held her, the elf was deep in thought as another adventure waited for them and life, for them both was just beginning.


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Literary Notes:

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Story is based on Gail Baudino’s Series Strands of Starlight, Maze of Moonlight, Shrouds of Shadow, Strands of Sunlight, and Spires of Spirit. This story is a fan fiction that takes place in 40 years between first and second book. The next story is taking place a year or more after the last book. It is dedicated to Miss Baudino and the Elves, because something in the story was able to touch me, and allow me a bit of healing too. It uses and features, three dialects of real elvish tomes, based on Tolken, Gray Company and Quenya Elvish.


This is a FICTIONAL, Fan Based story and it may or may not be accurate to the storyline. Amin hiraetha (I apologize to Ms. Baudino and the Elves, in advance)


 Below are some phrases not translated in story.  


(The Elvish phrase) = (English Translation.)


“Natili, Na ta lle?” Mimi asked, “Ya ae lle atara?” – Natil is it you? Mimi Asked, “Who
is your mother.


 Vee’ Amin Natili. He told her Vee’ amin.” – So Am I Natil, So am I.


 Nae saian luume'. Amin sal mela lle.”  -  Be at peace. I still love you.


 “Amin ele- astael” – I can see starlight.


 “Alanae ea Yolisi, Elthia, sii’ naa ten’oio.” He murmured, “Namaarie Annai, nanmarrie Margoti.”

“The hand of the Lady be upon you, now and forever. Farewell Anne, Farewell Margot.”


 “Beloved, ta I’ entul en Mirya Astael!” - Beloved, It is the return of Mirya’s star!


 “Lema ed' ando en' templa.” – “Journey by gate of magic”


 “Amin mela lle, Natili” – I love you Natil.


  “Amin mela lle, Rijiin.” – I love you Rijiin


  “Oio vor iire omentien lle I’ yeste’ luume’.” – Ever since the first time meeting you.


 “Na- ae’ seere, Beckai, Mimitti,” = Be at peace, Becky, Mimi.


Ro va nolya nae amin cael n’umo detholea sii’. Amin cael a’ magh poldor a’ kam ho selya.”  = He will not learn and I have no choice now. I have to use force to make him learn.”


“Faila I’ men amin vet ta.” Just the way I like it.


“Vee’ amin Natili,” Me too Natil


“A'maelamin vesse.” My beloved wife


Seasamin, A’mael = My pleasure Beloved.


“Lle lakwenien Rijiin? Sut alhalman lle quenea tanya yol?”  You joking Rijiin? How can you speak that way?


Arae ea oombra = Day of Completion


Arae ea circa = Day of Beginnings.


Dina, Ungai, Lle vanwa kolien usquentiri huan.”.” = Be Silent Unga, You over bearing smelly dog


Lle Desiel? = You ready?


Amin’ e Desiel. = I am ready.


Aa' menle nauva calen ar' ta hwesta e' ale'quenle = May thy paths be green and the breeze on thy back


Aa' lasser en lle coia orn n' omenta gurtha = May the leaves of your life tree never turn brown


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