The Tiger Within - novelonlinefull.com
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Within the fragrant garden Alexi, Clovis, and Bryson tended the fires, turning the meat spigots over each of the five flaming, bra.s.s basins. Kyera, Lalia, and Raina were setting up the leaf stuffing station while Myra chopped and cooked the extra bits for the filling over a smaller fire. Everyone was laughing and doing their own little group activities as the gates to the garden opened again. Kyera sat down her burdens on the long table and wiped her hands off.
Four figures, two adults and two children made their way up the path. The servant behind them carrying a pair of baskets. Kyera and Clovis went to meet them.
"Prince Damar, Princess Melania, what a pleasure." Clovis greeted them both and Kyera offered a gentle smile. Melania didn't seem to know what to say, but looked uncertain.
"Melania told me what happened in the forest. The boys and I wanted to thank you for rescuing my wife." Damar explained as the two servants came forward. They opened the two baskets, one contained fabrics Kyera hadn't seen before but the other was pie and cookies, treats for after dinner. Kyera clapped and smiled as her own servants took them.
"That is wonderful and the treats look fantastic. Why don't the four of you join us for dinner? Lalia and Alexi are here as well as the Frost Royals." Kyera offered with an enthusiastic energy that was almost infections. The other pair exchanged looks.
"Perhaps that would be a…" Melania was trying to formulate a way of saying no when Clovis spoke up.
"The boys could use some time with their cousins and to be honest, Brother, this isn't war. I think it's time people realize we are a family." Clovis pointed out, meeting Damar's eyes. The battle hardened brother glanced at his wife, Melania looked back at him then at the ground submissively.
"Melania… sisters, remember?" Kyera asked as she reached for her hand. She used her right hand so that her and Melania's bracelets would catch in the sun together. These were more than just jewelry and she hoped Melania would understand that.
"What are we cooking?" Melania asked adjusting so she was arm in arm with Kyera as they both walked toward the tables.
"I think you already know." Kyera chuckled and Melania laughed. The brothers watched as their wives joined Lalia and Raina.
"Can we go play with Raina and the baby, Dad?" Daniel asked honestly hopeful. Damar nodded.
"Don't cause trouble and if the guards or nanny say something…" he trailed off with a meaningful look.
"Listen because sometimes you can't see the forest because of the trees." Daniel and Nathaniel spoke in unison before their father waved them away.
"You raised them well." Clovis commented as he watched the two boys run off to be with their cousins..
"No, Melania did. I just gave her the freedom to do what she wanted to do." He replied with a heavy sigh. Damar scratched his beard and smiled. "Never dreamed that sweet little wife father arranged would be perfect for me."
"You know as well as I do dad didn't arrange that. He didn't care enough to. The Empress Vivian and my mother handled our marriages other than Feya and Bastil." Clovis replied shaking his head.
"This feels like the first time I've seen our families spend time together like this." Alexi commented as he walked up to stand beside his brothers watching their wives and children make some sort of food. His servant handed him a gla.s.s of ale.
"Its because it is the first time. It is strange but feels right." Damar replied shaking his head as he watched Daniel walking with his youngest cousin, trying to help her along.
"Thank Kyera for that. I don't think that woman understands the word 'rivalry'. She came back from the hunt with a friendship bracelet and stories about her new sisters rather than of the hunt" Clovis chuckled as his wife leaned over Raina, showing her how to fold the leaf.
"Speaking of, it looks like your finally over her." Damar replied offering a soft smile. "It's good to see you smile again."
"Yea well, you too." Clovis smacked his brother on the back. Alexi smiled and handed Clovis a cup of ale.
"To our wives." Alexi raises a cup. His brothers repeated it and raised their own before tossing the amber liquid back.