C’Liandra was up to something. Daroth just didn’t know what. She had been humming some light pretty sounding songs as she wandered about their home with a calculating gleam in her eyes. She had a thoughtful aura about her that shone through every attempt she had made to hide her plotting. There were times when those sapphire blue eyes would settle on him in ways that he recognized as definite signs of a scheme. Yes, he decided, C’Liandra was definitely up to something.
Daroth was so deep in thought, he almost didn’t see Eden or Haylo as they came down the path that led from his house. They giggled at his look of preoccupation and he blinked at them in surprise. Where had they come from? He shook his head in disgust at the question. There was only one place they could have come from. His home. They had been meeting with C’Liandra again. Why was that happening only when he was absent? What were the three sisters up to? Where were their babies?
“Hello Daroth,” Haylo smiled at him. There was a mischievous twinkle in her eyes that boded no good. What was even scarier was the pleased look that shone from Eden’s eyes and lit up her whole expression. Eden smiled pleasantly as she echoed her sister’s greeting. There was something about the looks on their faces he felt he could not trust. Something about that look of utter satisfaction on Eden’s face that heralded trouble. The three sisters were up to no good.
“Haylo. Eden.” Daroth returned their smiles with a slight bow of acknowledgement. “What brings the two of you out on such a cold and frosty day?” Daroth was sure he could play this game with them. He might even come out of it with a little information, if he was lucky.
Daroth wished he knew what it was about the shields that surrounded Eden and Haylo that kept the lives that surrounded them secret. He had never liked that part of their powers. He loved C’Liandra’s sisters, just not the side effects of their talents.
“It is a beautiful winter’s day.” Eden declared as she looked around at the picturesque scenes that surrounded them.
Daroth smiled as he attempted to see the village and surrounding territory, as they must be. They were right. Despite the fact that it was the middle of winter, the world about them was beautiful. The trees lost their leaves, their limbs were coated with a fine layer of snow and frost that sparkled in the sunlight. Those that had kept their color stood out in splendor lending shades of green to the scene. It was a reminder that spring would bring the leaves back to color their world again.
It was a nature’s way of showing the different facets of the seasons of life, and how each meshed with the other during their individual journeys. The older lives sheltering and giving life to the new, as the land gave them life. The air surrounding them was so fresh and clean that it appeared to lend crispness to the snow. It crunched beneath their feet as they walked and resounded through the emptiness that surrounded them as it blanketed the ground.
“This is one of my favorite times of the year,” Haylo almost bubbled with happiness. “We have so much to be grateful for this year.”
“It has been a very productive year.” Eden agreed.
Daroth laughed aloud. He could not resist the temptation to respond to that comment in a teasing manner. Both Eden and Haylo stood in front of him showing definite signs of just how productive the year had been. Their pregnancies were in the stages of being well advanced. It would be just a matter of a few months and there would be several more young Elves to care for. His own twins included. His son was about to have siblings and was showing signs of looking forward to it.
“It certainly has been productive.” Daroth agreed. “I am sure we are all looking forward to seeing the fruits of our labor emerge.”
“There is time.” Eden grinned. She knew exactly what Daroth was talking about. She also knew that he was trying to taunt her, well, it was not about to work. She was in too good a mood to allow him to break it, not that he was trying to anger her. He just wanted her to get careless and tell him their plans. That was not about to happen.
The three sisters knew what to expect. All their Life Mates had been pecking at them, trying to find out why they had been meeting. They had badgered, quizzed, and tried to trick them. Gabriel had attempted to follow Eden, and had run into a bush of stinging nettles that hadn’t been on the path she had taken before. Eden did not have to tell Gabriel how that happened. He knew. He also acted cranky and miserable enough to make her almost regret having treated him in such a manner. Men could be such babies.
C’Liandra and Haylo both complained about their Life Mates in the same manner. They felt as if they were under attack. Were they not allowed a moment of their lives to call their own now that they were bonded? Finding time when they could meet without their Life Mates in attendance had become a challenge. All it had taken was for Gabriel to get the feeling that something was being kept a secret from them. Well, Eden thought, so what if it was? Were they not allowed any thoughts of their own? How could anyone plan surprises if those they wanted to surprise hovered?
“So,” Daroth smiled. “What have you girls been up to this afternoon?”
“The usual things that gestating females get into,” Haylo replied with a sugary smile.
“Now THAT you are going to have to explain,” Daroth replied with an equal amount of saccharine in his voice. “I have absolutely no experience with the actions of gestating females.”
“Who are you trying to fool Daroth,” Haylo giggled. “Not only do you have a son, but you have C’Liandra to watch at home. We are all due to have our children at around the same time.”
Eden and Haylo burst out laughing at the ensuing look of frustration Daroth tossed at them. They moved off to resume their walk and left him to return home. Let C’Liandra deal with his mood when he got there.
“Did you see the look on his face?” Haylo giggled as she leaned closer to Eden.
Eden laughed louder and replied: “You should have seen the one on Gabriel’s face when I said something similar to him the other night.”
“Larek has been easier to handle. He just watches me, and smiles.
“That is one dangerous man.” Eden declared. “You think he has this figured out?”
“Not a chance. None of those boys have a clue what is going on.” Haylo replied with conviction. “It is also time we started to get the other women involved. Make this into an actual event and not just a family thing. I think this will be something we will be able to introduce into our society with little or no trouble.
“I think it will also be something our children will enjoy in future years.” Eden added. “Of course we will do these things in our own way, make the festivities truly Elven.”
“An Elven tradition based on Human practice.” Haylo laughed. “I think you will find that it will still lean towards the origins from which it evolved.”
“Maybe, but it will still be ours.” Eden decided.
Haylo has grown up in the human world where each year they celebrate the Christmas season. There is; however, no Christmas in the Elven world. Instead, the Elven females have decided to take the idea and change it into something for their own people. They are not about to tell their Life Mates and sweet hearts though. Keeping their plans secret is proving to be too much fun. The Elven male population can tell something is being plotted. Gabriel is sure of it, Eden is keeping secrets and it doesn’t take them long to figure out what is going on. Sevil confirms it. Watch how the season comes together, the planning, the games, the craftiness practiced, all in the name of bringing the Elves together for the Celebration of Light.