Alf 14 Cozytimes Merry xmas people!

Xandria- in love with the darkness

Really? I laughed. "Oh no no, I don't think this is messy at all. I can be much more untidy, Ilkar. Yea you seem really emotional and sensitive but not?" I unwrapped the candy.

Spontaneously he confided, "No, unless my home is under siege, or my friends are in trouble. I cursed, to be frank, (he smiled) at everybody. I can be sensitive, depends… not wrong there. I think you're quite calm and open. What does Reslin mean?" The elf stirred his drink. It must be the herbal drink.

Shit, why had people invaded his home? Maybe I shouldn't pry into it, though I was concerned if they would be fine.

I mused, with a laugh,"I'm not so sure. I have a long series of first names from my granddaddies Q'restia Phoebe Andriel. Somehow, my tutor likes to call me Andriel, so I don't mind. But I might not come right away."

Ilkar nodded. "I see. I like Phoebe, very magical. It is the language of the ancient Ones. Did anybody in your bloodline have mageblood or it's manifested in strength and healing?" He concentrated on me but I oddly felt none of the awkwardness when Algrim and I first met. This mage's air of acceptance made it easier I guessed.

I said yep they were the only talents we had. "Does 'Ilkar' have any significance?"

He didn't know, had been too long ago when they named him.

"Oh are those your art? Very special. And that must be your fiancée?" I wondered.

Ilkar introduced each painting. "I can't do art. Some people wanted to depict paintings of various favorite places. What's the word, commission. Yes that's Rene'rei, a skilled archer. She's on some quest. We haven't met in ages. It's such a pity that phones aren't available there." He absently laid a hand on the cellphone. It was a new model!

If I echoed 'they don't?' would seem disrespectful so I kept silent. Indeed he was going to feel sad and forlorn. Then he beamed and all that seemed to vanish.

"Ah did you know that's a great phone? I'll show you more functions, come." The Julatsan elf nodded attentively while I pressed some buttons. Then I opened up about myself at his urging.

In the evening, in the dorm, Mira said she found a letter for me. Ah, it was in Algrim's handwriting. I opened it.

Dear Res,

I forgot if it's my turn to reply so here's a short letter. Did you like the jewellery? I'm glad you are settled in with friends. But you won't forget to come to my house will you? Usually they term it as house, but it's more like a large room. My mana levels have increased, so if you like I can show you more casting.

Is Hallien's concert going to be noisy? I went for the previous one, but I couldn't take the loud music. Can I give the ticket to you, and you can invite someone else instead? Don't tell him though. Believe me when Hal is upset he would cry.

Somebody gave me a new box of candies. I will keep them for the next visit. It's quite hard for me, my sons died on this day many years ago. The pain does not lessen.

Nothing seems enjoyable to me. Will you recommend some uplifting music? Do not worry about my emotions. Feeling much better…

Write back,


My heart wrenched. I should go to his house today. I asked where she took the letter, Algrim knew where exactly I stayed? "Eh it's in the mailbox. Surely you know about it. Haha!" Mira scoffed. "Ahhhh penfriends. That's nice and sweet, old fashioned but good. It's weird when he just lives one level up from us. A call's more direct isn't it?"

"It's not. I've always wanted to have deep chats with an elf ok? I said I want it and it'd be hurting if I told him no I don't want now I'm back." I went to my desk and put it in the drawer.

"Chill chill. How's the I-elf romance?" I smiled at that and pointed to my head. Mira shook her head. "How could you even suggest that I invade your privacy! Besides nicer to hear ya say it!" I told her that he was already attached and the woman was really hot!

She pouted seeing the last paragraph of the drow's letter. We picked some flowers.

"Coming," he replied when we knocked. His tone was normal. Mira swallowed her shyness and beamed. "Oh hi! Thank you." He accepted the flowers and told us to sit down.

I decided not to mention about death and pain. Algrim showed no indications of crying, his face was not wet nor were there tissues. He produced a box of candies of 500 flavours, unbelievable but true. I took a seat closer to him and quietly touched his black arm. The drow glanced at me.

"I realize I have very dark tan," he said. We laughed. "You no longer fear me at this point, Mirabel?"

She waited for a bit before talking about why she had phobias. "Algrim, I know not all of you are bad. But some Svartálfar attacked our caravans, when we were travelling past. They didn't manage to kill, and we did not dare to look while we escaped. So, I don't mean to see you in that light…." Her blue eyes sparkled as she conveyed this. I was proud of her.

Since he was silent, I showed her a little thumbs-up. Good job!

He answered, "I am appalled at what my race did. Very long ago, I served in the military. All dark elves need to undergo rigorous training as youths. But I chose not to continue in that profession. After- the demise of my sons. I am sorry, Mira."

She shook her head slowly, a lump rising and falling. I opened my mouth but realized I didn't have need to say a word. They were most likely speaking internally. Then Algrim said aloud, "I will get you some soup. It's a new recipe, just relax. Reslin, see if you can have music playing. Over there." I noticed him point to the player which was now outside. I tweaked until I found a gentle lullaby piece. I shaped my opinion, knowing she could receive me well: 'Hey he was already sad. Why did you bring that up?'

She made a hurt face. But I did not hold on to fury for long. Instead my favorite mage came to mind. Ilkar had told me if I liked, we could meet more often as he needed to get acquainted with the place.

Ilkar got in touch with me three weeks later. Believe me, I was over the sun, moons and all at hearing his voice. "I need to buy some gifts for family. Will you join me?"

He was slightly late, because of his poor sense of direction (next time we would be used to this) I almost didn't see him until he tapped my shoulder, dressed in modern human clothes- jeans and a dark green top. He shook my hand.

As we browsed in the shopping bazaar at Laytus a big flea market place, I found that I can treat him like an elder brother. Mutually, it was a pleasure to help him out. Along the lines, I came up with "Did you ride a Pegasus before?"

"A what? No I took a shuttle train here. It's real, they exist?" Ilkar looked delighted.

"Yea. Hehe nobody told you I'm the only one who fell from an orange Pegasus? Hallein saw me, so embarrassing!"

Ilkar gasped. "Oh dear it must have hurt! Did you get broken bones?" He held my hand and steered me to the side from a vehicle with goods.

I explained about my tough biology. He nodded and looked relieved. I enjoyed different changes in the mage's expressions from worry to happiness, to surprise. "No Hallien didn't tell me. He is very nice and welcoming. My experience coming here… I was holding my luggage trying not to be sick. The seats are length wise, face each other. It's my first time…At home we usually ride horses or take the ships. If I didn't control myself, I think the floor and some will be angry with me. It's ok to laugh. Don't worry, people always do that." Ilkar smiled.

I chuckled. "No I shouldn't. It must be quite… suckie, um unpleasant." He agreed. Noticing he seemed worn out, I pointed out benches. Ilkar could not afford to overstrain, we should take care of him.

"I'm fine, thanks Reslin. What is it like on a flying horse?" he sounded dreamy.

"It's fun! All the wind in my face, and the bobbing up and down. I fell because she saw something. Not all are that bad. You can still ride one at the Animal Haven. We can go next time, on a weekend if you like." I invited him. He agreed, lifting my spirit a bit more. Ilkar had that kind of affable demeanor rare in most humans. Friends would refuse my invites and hurt me. "How was it like to take the shuttle? At my home there was a field."

"I had to walk to a portal opening, a transparent swirly hole. Waited with a very long line of people. They had luckily given me a ticket, with the package they sent. I waited for someone to get off and I could lie down. I must have looked funny. But sleeping helped. The view was nice, some moons… not sure what they are called, and misty grey sparkles. The sky. The landing felt smooth and bumpy. Immediately people came to guide me. Then, I think we were shown the place."

"Love your accent, is it the Julatsan language? The way you speak is beautiful."

"Thank you, it's a mix of Balaian and Julatsan accent actually. Coming here is a refreshing experience and I can rest from the wars. Oh don't worry, it's not now. I don't think you can understand, but, simply phrased we have a mana-source to give us our magic. So our heart the Centre fell, it was a very crucial structure. They were bloodthirsty savages. My friends are older in age, so it is nice to mix with a different group here."

He beamed.

I said I liked his positive attitude. "I hope you're young!"

"Ah I'm afraid I'm not that youthful as I look, Reslin." He flashed an innocent charming grin. "Maybe lots of decades." Unlike the way the movie of vampires describing the age showing in the expression of youths, his did not.

I sighed. "Never mind let me fantasize about that. I know you're taken but.. can I be like a sister? Please."

His hazels softened. "Of course I don't mind. I've not had a sister before, only a brother. My friends are mostly men. Frankly I don't know how to act with females. Those look nice, let's go see."

He meant a nearby jewellery cart. I suggested what he could buy for his girlfriend who had dark skin. I was so privileged to get to know Ilkar without pressure, or needing magic. The elf was quite serious when I confided this. "Ilkar it's so nice like this… Mostly I don't feel very welcome and, equal to magical folk."

He frowned. "Then that is their fault for making you feel bad. I don't mind, most people I love aren't very well versed with casting either. I am sure you have people who care. Maybe, it takes time for them to express that. It's good about the healing factor, quite rare."

For awhile this made me so shy I didn't talk. Ilkar browsed other things.

The elf had never eaten cold dessert before. I was eating a tall glass of sundae with cherries, while he was trying the taste of blueberry ice cream. His expression became heavenly on the first touch of the spoon. I recommended chocolate. "Ah what's that?"

The shopkeeper gave a sample. On Alfheim, they did have all flavours in case people felt homesick. Ilkar tasted a few samples and said he preferred fruit flavours more. His humour tickled me. I did not feel any age gap between us. We took a seat facing each other with a view of the ocean. I needed to eat.

"This has been a great day! Oh yea there's gonna be fireworks. You should see it too, Ilkar. The colors are amazing. Are you in a rush?"

"All right. No I'm not intending any rush. Do you like it here? How long has it been?"

I tried to recall. "Hmm, I think about two semesters. Yea I like everything. I don't feel homesick at all, couldn't wait to escape from my noisy home. I miss my mum and little brothers."

He nodded. I wanted to tell him please don't go back so quickly. But that decision didn't lie with me. "That's good. Many brothers?" I showed him their photo on my cellphone. "They're cute. I didn't know phones can do this."

"Sure they can. I'm hungry again. Want anything?" I asked, getting up. He opened his wallet. The spaghetti tasted wonderful, mine had carbonara cream.

Holidays for the Christmas, called Yuletidings here had arrived. This meeting was a prelude to the relaxation. It would just be a short two week break, most of us opted to stay here. Hallien continued inviting, announcing,persuading us to go for the concerts. Algrim wanted to give me his ticket. I had finally written a short letter to him, which he had not responded to yet.

I said, "I am not sure who to give it to. Won't your friend be hurt?"

He raised a brow. "Hm no. If nobody notices he won't." Sometimes I came to his house, as Algrim still mourned his family. It was a pity, the drow had been happier recently. I offered to pray for him. He just couldn't talk about that, the closest had been Mira's topic.

They made progress, that my friend no longer wanted to flee upon seeing him. Good to know!

Merry Christmas 2011!