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Mystic Winter

Mystic Winter

In a land of magic and perpetual winter, can romance bloom?

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Topics: , elves, fantasy, original, and romance (Add Tags »)
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Introduction



In the elven land of Caleria, winter is a year round season not seen in any of the other lands. There is a group of elves that have evolved to live in the vast forest of this region. Love is not something that's easy to find around these parts and being attracted to the same gender only makes things more difficult.

Rules

This has romance so if you aren't okay with that don't join.

No god mod, meta gaming, mary sues, or other annoying stuff that you know you shouldn't do.

Adult language and situations deal with it.

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Character Portrait: Drift Everfall "I'm just looking for warmth in the coldest place around."

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Character Portrait: Drift Everfall
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The sounds of wood being split by a sharp axe echoed through the still quiet of the forest early in the morning. It was a few days before the winter solstice and that meant that Drift didn't have much time to get things ready for the festival in the small town in the center of the woods. Drift loved the solstice celebration, it brought families and friends together, everyone was in a good mood, the food was amazing and everyone got presents. It was also the best time of the year for practicing spell-craft, magic rituals and other forms of magic as it was the darkest night of the year and the powers were at their strongest.

After chopping the wood he went back inside and started baking cookies for the celebration. It was a recipe his mom had taught him and this was his way of keeping her memory alive. She had passed a few years ago and he didn't stay in touch with his father very well, he never found common ground with him and it was always like they were from different worlds, but at least he tried which was more than a lot of fathers did when they realized their son was gay. He had heard tales of some clan elders casting gays out of the clan to live in exile.

Drift lived alone and far away from the town, but it was to have freedom and independence, not as a punishment. He was looking forward to socializing again. He was getting lonely out there in his tiny cabin but it wasn't exactly easy to date in this town around here, let alone find another man who was attracted to men.

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The winter solstice celebration created a sense of urgency in the House of Alarian. Servants rushed to cook, clean and serve their young master, whom still hadn’t risen from his bedroom chambers. At the hint of a celebration, Luca knew better than to be seen by any of his servants, or guardsmen. They’d inform his mentor, Raul, who would seek his attendance and force his cooperation. It was still late in the afternoon, when Raul sent the guards to search for their missing master. Luca slipped past a group of guards and a handful of servants, his eyes planted on the exit. The wide double oak doors would move with a brief swiftness, but not enough to cause a disturbance. Perhaps the wind had sent the door ajar, but it wasn’t enough movement to startle the servants into action. They continued to gossip about his disappearance in the entryway and the servants made their way to the kitchen. Raul rose a brow at the sight of the doors movement, but knew that the master wouldn’t be foolish enough to risk such a maneuver. Guards lined the exits and entryways, so it would be almost impossible to escape. With that thought in mind, Raul listened and heard a loud crash at the southern exit. He cursed and moved with a hastened pace. Guardsmen abandoned their post and investigated the scene.


Feminine, petite in stature, Luca had the appearance of a young fragile noblewoman. He created the momentary distraction and watched as the house went into an uproar over the noise. His mentor Raul, would be on the constant hunt for him that afternoon and evening, only to find him in his office later that night. He’d be furious with him, but this was not the first time he attempted a disappearing trick. His mentor knew that he despised public events, even if he had gained custody after his parents death, that didn’t mean they would always see eye-to-eye. More like an uncle, Luca failed to come to terms with his parents death and the strain of his newfound responsibilities. The House of Alarin was known for producing mages, or sorcerers. Since he was the last of his father’s legacy, it was up to him to uphold the family reputation. The winter solstice wouldn’t be performed without his presence, but he wanted to relax and feel a zest for life before he took on his responsibilities.

After he escaped the prying eyes of the guards and servants, he moved with a fierceness through the Caleria woods. As a frost elf, he could blend in with his scenery and dispel an aura of protection about himself. The forest animals reacted to his presence, which was a curse, rather than a blessing.

At the sound of the chopping wood, he knew he had come to Drift’s quaint hideaway. It amused him to see the man work, especially when he used that strength of his. His eyes drifted over the stature of the man and he realized he was no longer using his glamour to be hidden. Drift was familiar with Luca and his antics, but it wouldn’t be long before the guardsmen came looking for him.

The scent of fresh baked cookies drew him closer to the entrance and he peered inside with a look of innocence.

“You baked for me! How sweet of you…” He commented and laced his words with honey. Luca had a habit of making himself at home, regardless of Drift’s indifferent attitude toward him. His feminine charm usually won people over, but Drift had been harder to reach. “Since I’m here,you might as well entertain me..” Luca said with an arrogant tone and removed his cape with an articulated motion of his hand. It fell whimsically on the back of his chair and he swiped the dust, or debris off the seat before he sat down.

“Do I need to bring one of my best servants down here? I thought you were going to clean this place up….” Luca’s ice-blue eyes narrowed with a critical gesture. Drift attempted to live well, but he didn’t understand his desire for the woods. Nature always made everything seem so filthy. “Oh, btw. You might want to put a glamour on this quaint home of yours. The guards are trying to drag me to that disgustingly boring celebration.” Luca explained and began to unbutton his dress shirt. The shirt felt like it was confining him, but he knew that Drift wouldn’t mind.

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Character Portrait: Drift Everfall Character Portrait: Luca Alarian
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Drift smiled a little when he heard Luca's lyrical voice.

"Those cookies are for the celebration!" Drift scolded, knowing it wouldn't make a difference. He stopped chopping the wood and followed Luca into the house as he made himself at home.

"Well, I'm sorry my home looks lived in ...I actually live here. I don't need servants to come clean the place you're the only royalty that ever visits and you're just a royal pain in the butt." Drift chuckled mockingly at him.

Drift went to the oven and checked the cookies. He pulled out the tray of tiny little elf-shaped gingerbread men. He scooped them off the tray and onto a rack to cool knowing that Luca was going to grab one the second he turned his back. He flashed a playful glare of his own at Luca, his eye's were more of an electric blue but every bit as intense. He turned to get another tray started and into the oven.

"I saw that!" He growled even though he was bent over putting the next tray of cookies in the oven and facing the opposite direction. He knew Luca too well. He waved a hand in the air in a motion that looked as if he were dismissing someone who wasn't even there and to the outside world the cabin was no longer there, but rather a large rock formation surrounded by a deep snow bank.

"You know I still don't understand you. You can have the whole town eating out of your hand if you talked to them the way you talked to me, but instead you come running to me like you're scared or something. Not that I mind, I know the holidays can be tough if you don't have your parents. I actually feel kind of special, you got a whole town out there that's gonna want to see you tonight for the tree lighting ceremony in the town square, and you just want to spend time with me." Drift smiled a sweet smile.

He noticed Luca unbuttoning his shirt and couldn't help but stare at his muscular, yet toned chest. He forgot how cute Luca could be without even trying, he was always so damn adorable. Drift had always had a crush on him, and some how he was pretty sure that Luca knew that, maybe even exploited it a little, like the current situation, but Luca was always a good friend to him as well. Drift had never tried to get into a serious relationship with Luca or even ask him if he was attracted to men, he always just figured Luca would never go for him because they weren't in the same social class.

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Character Portrait: Drift Everfall Character Portrait: Luca Alarian
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Luca finished teasing with the buttons on his dress shirt. He only unbuttoned two, but it was enough to see the change in Drift’s attention toward him. He talked more, while his body language signaled the tension between them. It was the outcome Luca wanted, but he didn’t know it would be that easy to achieve his goal with Drift.

He took one elf shaped cookie and nibbled the edge, despite the protests from Drift. Luca giggled between bites and savored each one, while a slender finger flicked off remaining crumbs on his shirt. How adorable. It had that homemade flavor and texture, but perhaps he enjoyed it even more because Drift had baked them. Luca smirked at his thoughts and finished the cookie, his tongue licking some of the frosting off.

“It’s not your best, but I’m sure your skills will improve.” He commented, then winked with a deliberate tease. Luca listened to Drift ask why he was even there, when he had servants, guards and personal cooks. It was true, he had all those things, but he enjoyed these private moments with Drift. You couldn’t replace the feeling of freedom with anything else in the world. He had choices here and he could be himself, without worry of upsetting, or offending someone in his social class. There were no rules in Drift’s world. That was what he admired about Drift and his “quaint,” home. He could come and go as he pleased, without worry of consequences.

Luca flipped his blonde tresses behind his right shoulder and thought of an explanation. Drift was the type that noticed these things, which was another trait he admired about him. Unlike his servants, not much got past him. He wasn’t easily fooled, or tricked. Luca hated a willing fool and that was something Drift was not.

“Oh, yes. THOSE people.” He expressed with disdain. His face twisted into something unpleasant and a darkness became a lit in his ice-blue eyes.

The fake smiles, well-wishes and pitying looks from party goers always disgusted him. He was of age to practice magic on his own and perform the rituals, yet they still treated him like that delicate boy, who lost his parents all those years ago.

Luca moved around the room, his pace slow and deliberate. He admired what little artwork Drift had in his home, or curious baubles. His slender hands picked up items to gaze at their simple creations. Even his choice in decor reflected back to the personality of Drift. He held onto the bauble and kept himself distracted with its shimmer. Light refracted from a nearby window and brought the object to life. It was a small globe, more than likely some sort of trinket left over from last years celebration. He shook it and watched the snow fall inside the object. Luca turned the petite golden key on the back of the globe and listened to the music fill the room.

He continued to hold the object and watch the snow fall inside the globe. The scenery in the globe was nothing more than a resemblance of their forest. Yet, he didn’t have objects like these at home.

“Those people don’t know me, Drift. They only know what my magic can do for them. So long as I exist and keep the magic alive, that is all they will see me for….a utility.” He put the snow globe down and let the fake snow settle on the makeshift forest inside. Luca turned and looked toward Drift with a pained expression and felt vulnerable. Since he was attracted to men, there would be no future heir and thus, no magic to continue the celebrations. Unless he found a way to transfer his abilities, he didn’t know how he would keep the legacy alive to continue their ridiculous traditions.

“I would do anything to live the way you do.” He paused, thoughtful with his words. “You have freedom.” Luca held his arms against his body in thought and glanced around the room. He was the cheerful one, but Drift had a way of making him talk in an honest way, but even then it made him uncomfortable. Luca continued to walk around in thought, then he decided to share the one secret nobody else knew, not even his mentor Raul.

“I’m gay, Drift. There will be no more heirs after I am gone to carry on the celebrations, or produce more magic.” Luca said, his body tensed. Fear was in him, but he knew he could trust Drift not to judge him the way the townspeople, or his mentor would. He had a sense that Drift understood him on another level, but he looked toward Drift with an unsure look in his eyes.

Did he just compromise everything by his confession?

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Character Portrait: Drift Everfall Character Portrait: Luca Alarian
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Drift stood there for a second, his mouth agape in shock at what Luca had just told him. There was a part of Drift that thought this was some sort of prank, meant to get Drift to confess his own feelings for Luca only to be met with a "Gotcha!" and a lot of pain at Drift's expense.

Drift turned around and was about to scold Luca about how inappropriate this was. It was then that he saw the look in Luca's eyes, there was a pain and uncertainty there that even Luca couldn't fake.

"You're ...gay? You? This is just my luck. I go around for years torturing myself for having a huge crush on you... and you're gay. I stood a chance with you and I held myself back. " He seemed to be scolding himself more than anything.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't be focusing on myself here. Your situation is terrible, Luca, but your family still holds rule. You can name your own successor to the throne, you don't require an heir. Granted, passing your magic on might be difficult, but if you find a worthy person who already has powers, that won't be a big deal. The biggest issue is the other Royal houses trying to take power, but they haven't even tried yet and you're the last of your line." Drift explained. He was pretty good at keeping a logical head on his shoulders even in the most stressful situations. He finally stepped out of the kitchen and into the living room where Luca was still tense. He looked at him now with a soft stare.

"I'm honored that I was the first person you told. I'm gay too and yes I've had a crush on you for ... well as long as I've known you. I understand what you're going through." He reached out and gave Luca a hug. He held him tight and felt closer to him now than he ever had before.

"Whatever you do, I'll be here for you. Maybe you should just let one of the other Royal houses take power and come live out here with me and be free." He chuckled.

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Character Portrait: Drift Everfall Character Portrait: Luca Alarian
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Luca stood still and the music lulled off into silence. He laughed. Then once more, but with absolute mirth. His laughter replaced the silence and Luca looked at Drift with an incredulous gaze. He had always treated Drift like any straight male, the fantasy in the back of his mind, but he never thought it would come to his reality.

At the mention of the other Royal Houses, he smirked. His eyes shined with an all-knowingness about them, while he moved closer to Drift and took up the space between them. He was close enough to kiss him, but he refrained.

“Ah, those fools. I’m not worried about them.” He flicked a delicate wrist in no particular direction, as though he were swatting a fly away. Luca laughed again, but in a playful manner and gently shoved Drift at the mention of living out here in the woods.

He had no idea how high maintenance he was. This wouldn’t suit him. His current life style was something he couldn’t live without. “Oh, honey, I thought you knew me better? This place is cute, but it’s not my style. Maybe when you move in with me, it can be your little hideaway…” Luca winked and tucked a stray blonde hair behind Drift’s pointed ear. Since they were being so open with one another, he thought he’d take it to another level. If Drift didn’t want to live with him, he didn’t mind staying the night.

Since they were young, he had a hunch that Drift might have feelings for him, but he thought it was his mind playing tricks on him. Now that they understood each other better, he felt the tension rise.

“You are the only one that knows, Dear Drift.” He paused and looked around the place with a critical eye. “I’m staying the night. They can accept my dramatic entrance in the morning. The celebration starts at dusk.” Luca thought about another interesting proposition. Perhaps he should take Drift as his date?

“I want you to accompany me. Not as a friend, but...a date.” He said, then watched for Drift’s reaction. It wasn’t every day that a royal asked you to be their companion, but he had a feeling that Drift wouldn’t refuse. He didn’t want the other Houses to think he had grown weak, or was in hiding anymore about his sexuality. There was a sense of empowerment to having Drift accompany him to the celebration with such openness.

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Character Portrait: Drift Everfall Character Portrait: Luca Alarian
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Drift was taken back by the first comment. Was he serious? Years of fantasies coming to life out of nowhere.

"Yes." He gasped a bit breathlessly. "Yes to all of it. I'll go to the celebration with you, I'll move in with you and you can stay the night too." Drift was caught up in the moment and wasn't able to restrain himself as well as Luca was. He wrapped his arms around Luca's waist and pulled him closer. He didn't give Luca the chance to react before he kissed him.

It was like everything he had imagined it would be. The taste of gingerbread cookies and frosting still on his lips. The warmth and love as he squeezed Luca tighter. Finally, after a few amazing minutes of kissing the man of his dreams, he stopped to catch his breath once again.

"Sorry, I got a little carried away there. This is just so ...perfect. I'm still not sure this isn't a dream." He said as his face turned a shade of red rivaling a strawberry.

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"We could turn it all into reality and announce ourselves as a couple to the Kingdom." Luca said, in-between the kiss. The kiss he shared with Drift was full of warmth and a hint of something sweet. He was sure that was his imagination, but he thought he smelled the scent of sugar, or some sort of exotic berry. Drift was the first man he had fallen for in decades and that was saying something for someone so particular.

Luca embraced him back and traced his hand across his muscled shoulders. He wondered what his mentor and servants would think, should they see him in such an intimate embrace with a man. There had never been an open same-sex couple, so he didn't know how they would be received. Light flashed across the establishment and he used his glamour to preserve their privacy. The guards would trek through the forest, only to stomp past Drift's house. He smirked and teased Drift with the movement of his slender hands, as though he beckoned him closer. They wouldn't be disturbed now, but he didn't know how comfortable Drift felt about him being so bold.

"Please...do get carried away." Luca muttered and traced his own lips with his tongue. The taste of frosting lingered there, but it was enough to bring back the memory of their first kiss. He settled on the small bed near the window and motioned for Drift to sit next to him with a gentle pat of his hand.

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The thought made Drift's heart race. Announce themselves as a couple to the whole town. That could be risky, but the gesture alone meant more than anything. It meant that he didn't care what others thought, and he wasn't going to hide who he was anymore. He kissed back more intensely this time, the scent of warm sugar wafted through the air like cotton candy or waffle cones, it wasn't the cookies, but it was nice.

"You would do that? Tell the world that you want to be with me and let whatever happens happen?" Drift's eyes began to water a little with happiness. "It's more than I deserve, but I won't stop you."

He froze for a second as the guards went past the house, now, more than ever, he was glad he learned some magic as a child from his mother. He watched as Luca made his way to the bed. A devilish grin spread across Drift's face.

"Well now, I thought you'd never ask." He said before jumping onto the bed with him.

[Fade to Black]

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Character Portrait: Drift Everfall Character Portrait: Luca Alarian
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Morning sunlight dappled across the simplistic bedspread. Luca sprawled across the bed and awoke with disdain for the cheerful sunny day. He rubbed his eyes in a lazy motion and pondered if he should make Drift some breakfast. It was the least he could do after last night. Luca smirked at the thought and then looked over in the sparse kitchen area. He had the basics, but it would be enough to make him some decent breakfast. He slipped past Drift and began to cook in a borrowed baggy shirt. It fell past his small waist, the sleeves puffed outward from the extra room. His thin frame felt lost in the fabric, but it was comfortable enough to cook a meal in.

Birds chirped outside and the glamour had already worn off. They'd have to get dressed and make it to the beginning ceremony, if they wanted to make a dramatic entrance. He scrambled eggs, put in his own seasoning and began to plate the food. Luca gazed over at Drift and wondered how the council would welcome their relationship. It was too early to say, but he had a feeling it would shock the entire kingdom. He knew that he'd be at war with some jealous House's, but he was up for the challenge. His status hadn't been challenged in public yet, but their declaration would give them fuel.

Once the food was platted and the coffee served in rustic mugs, he sat down and crossed his legs, while he admired his home-cooked meal. The man didn't own a single porcelain cup, but he'd live. Luca shrugged and sipped with a refined gesture, then spoke to Drift in a sing-song voice.

"Drift, dear...time to wake up! We want to make an impression with our entrance, remember?" Luca said, while he continued to take ginger gulps of his coffee. It was bitter, lacked body, but he'd be back home soon enough. Then he could treat Drift to a real meal. He uncrossed his legs and recrossed them, then served himself some food. If there was one compliment he could give to this meal, it was the fact that everything had been harvested at his quaint farm-like home. Even though he detested the chickens, he didn't regret the food they could produce.

Luca finished his meal and walked over to the bed, where he nudged Drift with a gentleness. "I want to be fashionably late...not force them to send out a search party!" He said playfully, then stole the covers and opened the curtains so the bright morning light flooded the room.

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The night before had been emotionally exhausting, not bad, but it took a lot out of him. He usually wasn't quite this sound of a sleeper, but Luca knew how to wear Drift out.

Drift finally heard the sweet lyrical voice of Luca and smelled the coffee and eggs. He sat up, not sure yet that last night hadn't been all just a wonderful dream, then Luca pulled the covers off of him.

"It wasn't a dream, awesome!" He muttered. He then reached up and grabbed Luca by the collar of the baggy shirt he was wearing and pulled him down for a big kiss.

"I'll eat quickly, it smells delicious." Drift smiled when he saw the meal on the table and chuckled a little when he saw that Luca had been a bit impatient and ate his already. Drift ate it pretty quickly, but still enjoyed the flavor, before he got dressed all fancy in his party clothes. He brushed his teeth and considered taking the cookies like he had originally intended, but figured that cookies were the last thing that would be on anyone's mind.

He got to the door and took Luca's arm. He took a deep breath before they left. He was actually doing this. He was going to his favorite event of the year with Luca, the man who had been his best friend for most of his life and was now so much more.

"Are you sure you want to go through with this?" Drift asked. He would have been fine if Luca wanted to keep their relationship a secret for now, but he was also excited that and felt so loved that he was willing to confess his love in front of everyone like this.

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With his arm embraced by Drift's, he gazed at him with an all-knowing look in his eyes. The kingdom would be foolish to rise up against him, just because of the type of man he was about to marry. They were treated too well by him. It would be a futile mistake. The main fear, arose when he thought of his mentor and the elders in the council. They had some authority on who he could and couldn't marry. If his mentor saw fit to put his word in about the "match," then he would have to take on a wife, while keeping his love affair with Drift secret from public view.

Luca inwardly shuddered at the thought of being forced into marriage with a woman and producing an heir with them. With a softness in his expression, he caressed the edge of Drift's cheek and reassured him with a gentleness. His long slender fingers felt his supple skin and he withdrew his touch.

"I'm ready...I'm tired of hiding and keeping a part of me secret, Drift." Luca explained, his voice strained under his emotional words. He was hopeful that the Elders wouldn't bat an eye at the proposal and public wedding, but he understood that his mentor Raul, had some influence with the more prominent elders of the council. In one quick motion, he could be torn from Drift and be forced into a miserable marriage with some noblewoman, regardless of his own preference. The council was more concerned with producing an heir for harnessing their magic and keeping traditions alive.

The protection of the kingdom relied on it. Like the other Houses, Luca's family had a specific ability and task with upholding the peace in the kingdom, or protecting their people from harm. Only the Heirs of the Alarian family could inherit the magic. Since this was a new venture, Luca was unsure of how the kingdom would greet their hand in marriage, or if this would incite some sort of war on his House for power.

An heir meant everything, for more than one reason. It meant security. Luca knew that if they were able to somehow bestow his gift to an heir, he would never make the child feel like an accessory to some devised plan of fate.

It was closer to evening when they began to make their trek through the woods. The path he took was worn and familiar, so he wanted to savor the moment before he gave up his freedom in the days ahead. At least Drift would have more freedom as his husband, but that didn't mean that this lifestyle didn't come with protocol that even he would have to succumb to. It was enough to drive any one person mad. Sometimes he felt like his true identity was lost in his public persona. Always cheerful, smiling, waving and greeting the crowds, or performing outlandish age-old ceremonies to keep them safe. He shook his head in thought and plucked a nearby rose off a bush alongside the trail.

Luca twirled the flower in his fingers and watched the petals spin. He breathed in the scent of the rose and caught up with Drift. he wondered what was on his mind, but he didn't want to interrupt the silence just yet. He took the moment in and enjoyed their final solitude together.

"We have to enter from the backway." Luca expressed, then pulled Drift by his hand and rushed for the back entryway of the castle. He had his own way of entering and leaving, so he muttered for Drift to stay silent and still, while guards patrolled the grounds. As the guards moved forward to patrol a clearing, he rushed forward and slipped through the entryway with Drift. He was nervous, but he enjoyed this sort of excitement. Luca pulled Drift with a delicateness and pointed upstairs, then hid behind a statue, keeping him close as a group of servants wandered by, their lips animated with gossip.

"Bothersome hens..." He whispered under his breath and then brought Drift to his room, where they would both hide until the next morning when celebrations would begin. Luca sighed with exasperated relief, then sprawled out on his four poster bed with a theatrical gesture.

He watched Drift and wanted to know what he was thinking about all this. This was the first time he had snuck anyone into his castle.

Luca flicked his wrist around his home and asked for Drift's opinion on it all. "Well? What do you think?" He asked, then sat up to brush the snares out of his honeyed colored hair. "if all goes according to plan, this will all be yours as well..."

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Character Portrait: Drift Everfall Character Portrait: Luca Alarian
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For the first time in a very long time, Drift was speechless as they went through the forest making their way to the castle. So many things were going through his mind right now. Would the elders approve of Luca's relationship, would Raul? A public proposal, a wedding? He had always been content to assume that he would never get a wedding public or otherwise. Now he was planning to marry the man he had loved ever since he had figured out what love was. He watched as he plucked the rose and spun it around in his fingers and smiled as the beauty of the rose couldn't compare to the beauty of Luca.

When they finally reached the castle Drift held back a snicker at Luca's comment about entering through the back way.

"Yeah, you'd know all about going in the back way." He laughed inside his head as they sneaked through the castle and up to his room.

"What do I think? This place is huge and amazing. Of course I love it, but then we could be homeless for all I care as long as we're together." He said with a big grin as he crawled up into bed with him. He gave Luca a big kiss.

"So, Ive been giving so thought to an heir. I know we obviously can't conceive naturally, but their might be a way to do so using magic. All I've heard are legends, but it might be possible. If so, then the elders shouldn't have any reason to not allow us to get married." Drift spoke. It was clear he was worried. He knew the other houses, especially the pyro-elves to the East at Mt. Vulcan who lived at the base of the volcano in the sweltering heat, would take any opportunity they could to seize power over the land. He knew that some would see this as a sign of weakness and might chose to attack. While others might see it as a sign of strength that the snow elves were so confident in themselves that even having a gay leader didn't matter. Either way he knew that very soon all the kingdoms would be watching Caleria. They would be watching him and Luca.

Mystic Winter: Out Of Character (OOC)

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Mystic Winter

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