Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Stoney goes blank. He can't remember what he had been saying to Ob. All he saw was Alise, his beautiful Alli, emerge from the woods like a vision from his most private dreams.

Ob finishes tying off the dark blue sash at Stoney's waist, then moves back. The black pants and pale blue tunic were a perfect match for Alise. Ob mentally thanks Pandora's input with Stoney's clothes.

Stoney's smile is more than his usual small smirk. There is obvious love in his eyes. He takes Alise's hands in his and raises them to his lips, kissing her knuckles. The thud of a hoof draws everyone's eyes to the shadowed woods. Shifters start moving into the clearing, leaving space for the Riders moving among them.

Stoney recognizes Guunnar's bulk, then Ramji's slight form. Brigit leads her mount forward, slowly guiding it to a stop beside the couple. A cloaked form slides off the horse's back, arms reaching up for a small bundle. The second cloaked passenger slips down and waits as other Riders appear.

Keon paces his mount forward. Stoney stiffens as a familiar figure dismounts, then takes a knee before him. His oldest brother looks up into his eyes.

"On behalf of the Kin, I ask forgiveness for past transgressions. This I ask in the common tongue, so all can witness. I ask the Gargoyle, once third son, to once again be my Brother. I ask the Gargoyle, once son to my Mother, to claim once more His place. I ask as Nest Lord, that the Gargoyle, now known as Bloodstone, accept Our formal apologies on behalf of the Kin."

Stoney stares at his brother. Nest Lord... Pa'pan was gone. His eyes take in the others. His mind touches Alise', knowing she can feel his stunned reaction.

"If I accept, what exactly does that mean?"

His brother smiles. "You will be my brother, and welcome to visit anytime. Your Nestkin will be Our Kin, extended and cherished, not under Our dominion, but under Our protection. Your Mate will be Kin and welcome among us." Rem, I'm asking you, please. I miss you, Ma'man misses you, and Pa'pan is not forcing his will. Please Rem...

Stoney offers his hand, gripping his brother's. He raises him up and hugged him, thumping his back. Cloaks are pushed back, revealing Mother, sisters, brothers, finally his grandmother.

"Alise, mon Chaton.... meet my family."

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