Welcome to my nightmare hope you enjoy your stay!

This is what I dream. A world full of light and dark. Good and evil. Where wars are fought without guns, but with swords, and magic. I lead the army of good, and in my hand is the wand that controls all the magic in the world. I am the sorceress, the magic keeper. I am the one who holds the key to the reentry of magic. But I am not afraid. For I know, somehow that I will succeed in defeating this enemy. Somehow, some way, with magic. My hair is long, and my ears are a little more pointed that they should be. But, I am Celtic, and proud of my religion, I will do anything to protect it, and my people. At this time the war starts. I raise my staff, up to the beautiful clouds and speak some words, giving the order to charge. And I also am speaking in the native tongue, words that you hear, but disappear with the wind and leave you speechless. Then I charge, riding on my beautiful steed. My hair flying out around me. The bloodlust comes over me. I draw my blade and dive into the fray. Slashing the enemy, using the techniques my master taught me. Soon the battle was over, my side winning again. The enemy retreats, up into the hills. But there will no celebrating until we are home. Many weeks pass as we make our way slowly home. Then on the last day that our provisions would last, we see home. The Kings huge castle towering over the city. It's beautiful red and blue flags flying high to welcome us home. The gate is lowered, and we ride in weather worn and very tired. As we enter people stop from their daily chores to look at us, tears in the women's eyes as they spot their husbands, sons, and loves. My men look to me, longing in their eyes. I nod my head, and they run to their women. After a few minute's I hear their marching again. I smile and look behind me. The men are returning to their ranks in the line, and we enter the castle gate. As, I step down from my horse; a stable boy runs up, bows and leads my trusted stead, to the Royal Barns. Many of the nobles are about, out in the sun, warming their pitiful white faces. It disgusts me. Them and their frail bones. I prefer my look better. Long dark green hair; maroon colored eyes, and muscular body. But, the nobles mean nothing to me. I am here only to protect the King. And my people. I turn to my men.

"Go on! Get your lazy tails to the barracks. And I expect you to be washed and in uniform by dinner. If not, you'll be the ones on kitchen duty." They run to the barracks, laughing and looking back at me. I give them a stern look, but I end up smiling. Happy to be home too. The noble's are staring at me, and I could care less. The Ladies give me looks of horror, disgust, and amazement. But it is the look that the Gentlemen give me. They are proud. And, that fills me with joy. I give different looks to different women, and smile at the men. I enter the double doors, leading into the Throne Room. Slowly, I open the doors and everything goes silent. Stepping into the room, all eyes are turned towards me. Holding my head up high, I proudly walk up and kneel before my king. Suddenly, as I raise my head the king leaps and tackles me. Laughing we role around on the floor play fighting. Breathing heavily, we lay on the floor beside each other. Gaining my strength back, I stand and retrieve my king's crown, which during the mock-battle had fallen an rolled into a dark corner. Brushing it off I hand it back to him. Smiling he stands up replaces the crown on his head and wraps his arms around me in a hearty hug.

"Well, welcome back my friend. It is good to see you home again. But, from the look of you, you need a bath. No. don't start to protest, you will use the Royal Bath!"

So, having to obey obey my king, I sulk off to the Royal Baths. Entering the doors, I sigh gratefully. "Thank you my wonderful king!" Pulling my dirty, sand filled boots off I set them beside the door. Slipping out of my clothes, I jump into the bathing pool. Which in doing so, I splash the serving maid by accident.

"Oh, Sarah, I'm so sorry! I didn't see you."

"Ah, don't fret yo' self over it. It's just a little water. Besides, I'm glad to see you home, again. And in one piece." Walking to a bench, she lays down my clothing. Which I might add are my favorites.

"Thank you Sarah." I called to her as she walked out the door. Ducking my head underneath the water, I come up only to be startled by two huge orange and green eyes staring at me.

"Enjoying yourself?" Said the huge snow leopard. Pawing over to me, he lays down on a dry part of the floor.

"You have no idea!" I say ducking back underneath the water. Then coming back up, I grab the soap and start to wash my hair. It took awhile considering my hair is past my bottom, and filthy. Rinsing it out took a long time too.

"Do you need your towel?" Said the snow leopard. Grinning at me, he walks over to the bench and comes back with it in his mouth.

"Thank you Nariluis. Your too kind." Stepping out of the bath I wrap myself in the towel and sit on the bench.

"Did you have fun?" Nariluis says with a smirk.

"And what's that supposed to mean? Smart ass."

"Nothing."

"No, tell me! Now!"

"Nope, I'm not. You can't boss me around anymore, I have a new master now." He says walking over to the bench, but stops shortly, and leaps up onto the window above me.

"What! What do you mean new master? I never said you could. I thought." But I stop in mid-sentence, and stopping myself from almost speaking my mind. Glaring at him, I stand up turn my back to him, put my clothes on, and stalk out of the bathing house. Nariluis running out after me, and ignoring everyone else, catches up to me. Bounding in front of me he cuts my walk short.

"What, what was it you were going to say? Tell me! Please?" He says quietly, as if he knew what I was going to say.

"No, you said I wasn't your master anymore, so therefore I don't have to tell you nothing." My voice chokes up and tears come to my eyes. Making my hair fall into my eyes I jog off to my quarters. Leaving a stunned leopard behind me. Later on, as I was dressing for the banquet, someone knocked on my door. Walking to it I opened it to find a tall, thin, long dark haired man standing in the doorway.

"May I help you?" I ask, knowing whom it is already.

"Milady, his majesty asked me to escort you to dinner. Would that be okay?" He fidgets. A sure sign the boy was just entering manhood.

"Oh, yes, I would be honored. Would you like to enter, I'll be ready in just a minute." Letting him pass and leaving him standing by the door, I walk into my room, and choose a hair clip given to me by his Majesty, for my last birthday. When I turned seventeen. Braiding my hair, I place the clip above my braid, and add another one at the end. Walking back to my escort, he opens the door and we walk out and down the hall.

"If I may say so, you look lovely."

"Why thank you kindly. May I ask you a question?"

"What ever you wish, milady."

"Don't call me milady, please call me Thea. And just how long is your hair?" I say looking to his shoulders.

"Oh, . My hair actually is almost down to my, if I may be frank?"

"Oh, yes. I'm not the type to judge how others speak."

"My ass. Now I know why his Majesty said I should escort you." He said smiling.

"Why?" I replied raising one eyebrow.

"You're just like me. You don't judge people by the way they look or act." He smiled and opened a door for me.

"Ah, I guessed that about you when I first saw you. You seemed my type of person to go to a banquet with." We laugh, and enter the ballroom, and he takes a sharp breath at the beauty, of it all. Ladies prancing around in their distasteful huge gowns. So many different colors ranging from bright reds to dark greens. Unlike my gown, which was a dark blue with long sleeves and a red collar. On their necks were huge crystals, and rubies, some emeralds, but mostly little diamonds on long necklaces that reached around their necks at least five times. Something I could hardly tolerate. I stuck to the more simple, things. A simple but large sapphire decorated my neck. My sleeves stopped at my elbows, but a long piece of cloth hung down all the way to the floor. And instead of having the bosom either extremely high or sultrily low, it fit just right. Now, the dresses themselves were made to puff out all around the waist of the ladies. Mine fit snugly around my waist, but flowed freely, when I walked. Everything stopped when we walked in. His Majesty stood and held out his hand. Taking the notion, I walked up to him and let him take my hand. Leading me to the head of the table, he sits me in the seat to his right. Normally the king's right-hand man would've taken this seat. But in this case, I had it.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, if you shall all have a seat, I shall make the toast!" Said his Majesty. They all sat at their seats, slobbering over all the delicious food. Course I couldn't say anything, my mouth was watering too.

"Here we sit, At this table full of love, And starving for this delicious food. Thank you for this feast, We graciously adore you, Lord and Lady." Let's eat!" His majesty sat down and reached for his goblet of wine, but stopped when he noticed that I wasn't eating. "Thea? Why friend, why aren't you eating? Surely you are hungry? You're usually eating during grace!" Laughing that stops abruptly when he sees the look on my face.

"Yes, right. As you always are. I'm just not that hungry, for once. I have no clue what is wrong with me. You eat. We can't have our king small and frail." I smile and pass him some roast chicken.

"True, but what is a king unless he has his best friend and right hand man well too?"

"Ah, you got me there, my Lord. I used much magic during this battle, and I'm afraid it has weakened me greatly." I sigh and lay my head on my wrist, which I'd set on the table.

"Please at least stay for two of the dances? You're my best partner. Besides just looking at the girls and Ladies here makes me sick. They flaunt themselves too much. And those dresses! Disgusting! I don't see how they move around in them. Course, I would prefer your style of dressing much better." He looks at my dress, and smiles his eyes full of mischief.

"Oh, no you don't, not again! I'm not falling for that one. You only want me to dance with you to make them mad. No, not again. True you are my best partner too. not again." I smile back at him and laugh at his disheveled expression.

"So, how was the battle Lady Thea?" Turning I look to the voice and find it to be the Kings faithful servant Darden.

"I don't know? You tell me, or were you to far behind to see?" I grin evilly at his look of disdain.

"Ah, I see your back to your old mean self! It doesn't matter though. Tell us, how was the battle?" Looking at me he winked smiles and nods his head. In other words saying that he wants to hear every detail, even the killing and blood. It takes me about an hour to tell it all, and by that time everyone had long forgotten their food, either from sickness, or curiosity. Finishing up, I look at everyone, a smile on my face. Only their looks are much different. During the tale many had to get up and relieve themselves. And many more just got up and escorted themselves out, the details to gory for them. Shouts went up for our triumph, mainly my men. Akin signaled for the musicians to start playing. Slowly the ones who left started to file back in, lured by the music. Gentlemen chose dancing partners and my men began to move the tables to give more dancing room. When they were done, they went onto the dance floor and started dancing with their partners. Standing I smile at Akin, and wink.

"Going to pick a victim I see. Well, just make sure I'm one of those victims." Smiling at me then frowning at his dancing partner. A petite young girl with short blonde hair, blue eyes, and a pretty smile. But utterly not the kings taste. Walking to one of my men, I tug at his uniform.

"Why aren't you dancing, Sogonis? Surely, I would've thought you had a dancing partner." I raise an eyebrow as he looks at me then pointed to a girl just a few years older than me, sitting at a table rubbing her left ankle.

"Some how during the dance, Nomi hurt her foot. So, now I'm stuck to the wall."

"No, your not." He looks at me, curious.

"Huh? What do you mean milady?"

"Well, if you still have the energy, I don't have a partner for this dance. And it happens to be one of my favorites!" I grab his hand and pull him onto the dance floor. I am surprised he is familiar with the moves and we move like water on ice. Soon the dance ends and me and Sogonis are out of breath. Walking to the table I sit down for the next two dances. They are boring, simple and formal dances. The ladies prefer them because it allows them to get close to their partner. Akin's partner seemed to have disappeared only to be replaced by another. This one was no better. The only thing different about her was that she had long brown hair, and was a lot taller. Picking up my glass, I pour myself a drink. Swallowing it in one gulp, I notice out the corner of my eye, a guy. The thing that drew my attention was his appearance. Tall, long blonde hair, and the biggest green eyes I had ever seen. His taste in clothing apparently was like mine. A long cloak and a black suit, that clearly stuck out in the colorful crowd. He looked at me and I quickly turned away, pretending that my attention was on my glass. I sense magic in the air, strange magic, unlike mine. Suddenly everything is black. Silence. Then a small light appears off in the distance. Closer, and closer, it comes. I reach out to it, but it disappears. A bright flash of light blinds me, and I close my eyes from the pain of it. When I open my eyes I am in a clearing. Trees surround me and butterflies of all colors fly everywhere. Forest animals roam around eating or sleeping. I stand up and start to walk around. I breathe deeply the scent of the forest. Berries of all sorts, trees, grass and flowers all mixed into one sensuous smell. A twig snaps behind me and I whirl around to see the same guy that I saw at the banquet.

"Who are you?" I say reaching for my sword which isn't there.

"I am who I am. And that is all you need to know at the moment. But, we need to talk. I know what you meant to say this morning. I'm sorry, I had no idea you felt the way you do about me. I had no clue. Please, forgive me?" He ran to me and bowed at my feet, his words hitting me like lightning.

"Nariluis? in the world? You're so different." I bent down and took his hands in mine.

"I'm sorry I've had to deceive you, like I have been. But when I said I had a new master, I really meant a new form. When you left I about died, when I found out you had went into battle without me by your side. I.I was about to follow you when Akin stopped me. He said that you needed to do this battle on your own. I didn't believe him, but when you came back with barely any scratches, I guessed he was right. But all that waiting, weeks, got to me. And one day when I changed, I felt different. I was taller. And not only had my appearance changed, but so had my heart." Bringing his head up, he looked at me, his eyes sparkling. I placed my hands on his cheeks and laid his head on my shoulder.

"I knew there was something different about you." I wrapped my arms around him, hugging him to me. Breathing in his very essence.

"And I forgive you. I always will." A tear rolled down my cheek.

"Thank love." He sits up and pulls me into his arms, laying his head on mine. I put my arms around his shoulders and laid my head on his chest, just under his chin.

"You do love me." I sigh as the blackness comes once more, and I find myself back in the banquet hall, music still lively. Was it a dream?

"No, no it wasn't a dream." A hand follows the beautiful voice, and takes mine off the table. I turn to see Nariluis standing before me. That same beautiful face staring back at me. A mischief gleam in his wondrous green eyes.

"Join me? The dance is just starting."

"I would love too!" I leap up and pull him into the fray. We start the dance with complicated turns, then into quick little twirls and leaps. Lifting me up into the air by my waist, Nariluis twirls my around, my hair flying around me. Soon the floor is deserted, with the exception of his Majesty and his partner, Nariluis and I, and one more couple. Very few are able to do this dance, and normally the one that follows. We end the dance with the girls flipping over the men, or being tossed into the air and caught with ease. I run and Nariluis tosses me into the air. Catching me in his arms and twirling me, the dance ends. Laughing and panting we bow to each other and the other dancers. I turn to the King who had cleared his throat and smile.

"My dear Thea, please introduce me to this friend of yours." He says bowing to Nariluis who in turn bows to him.

"Huh?" Nariluis nudges me in my ribs. Don't tell him who I am unless it is dire, as far as he knows, I'm still a talking snow leopard. Give him another name. Tell him I am Thais Prince of Shoredane, and that I am here as an ambassador. You met my father on a hunting party, and asked him to join you. But he declined and instead sent son. Please luv? The entrance of Nariluis in my head surprised me, but I quickly recovered.

"Your Majesty, this is Thais Prince of Shoredane. I met his father during a hunting party. I told him who I was and that he should visit, but sadly he declined, and instead sent his son, a few days afterward to follow us. Thais this is his Royal Highness King Akin of Kilmoon." I smile at Nariluis/Thais and then to Akin.

"It is a pleasure to meet you, your Majesty. I have heard lots about you." Again Nariluis/Thais bows to his majesty.

"Ah, the pleasure's all mine. Tell me did you say Shoredane? Funny, but I've never heard that name before." He says motioning to the table. We follow and sit down. I pour Akin and Thais a glass of wine and myself some cordial that the cook brought in especially for me.

"That's the haven't. It's a small kingdom. It was founded by my grandfather, the late Edgar of Dragon Hill." He takes a swallow of wine, puts it down and smiles at me.

"Dragon Hill? I know of that I can't quite place where I've heard it from." Scratching his head he looks at me in wonderment.

"I remember, you heard it from that tale your mother used to tell us when we were younger. You remember. The tale of the Dragon Knights and their battles?" I smile back at Thais/Nariluis and lean back in my chair, exhausted.

"Perhaps we should continue this tomorrow at breakfast? Milady looks rather tired, and should have her rest." The king stands up takes my hand from off the table and pulls me up.

*Meet me up on the North battlement near the tower later. We must speak.* Again Nariluis' entrance into my head surprised me but I nod and leaned my head on the kings' shoulder.

"I shall return, the Ladies shall require more dances with me. And remember Milady, you owe me a dance." Akin smiled as he bowed and retreated down the hall. Closing my door, I turn to the window nearest the North battlements and look out. Sure enough Nariluis is waiting for me.

Slipping into something less conspicuous I slowly open my door. Slipping past the hall guard I make it to the stairs. Only I run into trouble. Three ladies are coming my way.

"Haha! Did you see what she was wearing? Awful! The colors were hideous!" Her voice was sounding as if nails were running down a chalkboard.

"Well, I rather liked it. It looked so much more comfortable than these stupid dresses we have on. Ugh! I can barely move around in them, let alone dance. I wish I could do magic! And participate in the sword fights! It must be so fun." This one's voice was a lot lower, but was pleasant to hear.

"Shut up! God, I wish you would get that nonsense out of your head. If mother or father ever heard you talk such I don't know what they would do. But I assure you, it won't be pretty." This voice was just like the first one's only more childish.

"I don't care. Besides, she's not my mother! She's yours. I only listen to my father. And he says I'm aloud to do what my heart tells me. So both of y'all need to shut the hell up! Or you could always walk home!" Her footfalls become faster as the other two girls stop. She practically ran around the corner, tears falling, and her strawberry blonde hair, askance. I catch her by her shoulders and pull her to a stop. She looks at me surprised.

"Hello. I couldn't help but you okay?" Still looking at me, she suddenly realizes who I am and bows.

"Oh, Milady! No, nothing is wrong! .nothing at all." But more tears begin to fall.

"Here, come with me." I wrap my arms around her, and pull her into my room. Pulling into a corner I make her sit down.