By Mistypaw

Time passes so quickly sometimes. It seemed like no time at all before Melitha grew used to her new home. At school, she was not as obviously excluded as she was at other places. She was instructed same as the other childlings in the fine arts of dancing, musical instruments, and serving afternoon tea. There were also the usual academic subjects, her favorite of which was History. Melitha grew to recognize instances in which she had a hand in how events unfolded. Sometimes the things she discovered scared her. Not popular, nor despised, this suited her fine. When she got home, she would have additional lessons with Alanorn. Lord Alanorn was her teacher, provider, and first secret love. He showed her magics and hidden truths. He comforted and touched her when no one else would. When studying too long she might fall asleep at her books, he would carry Melitha to her bed and tuck her in. And when darker memories flashed before her eyes and drove her into fits of fear and depression, he would soothe her and teach her she didn't have to do or be anything she didn't want to.

The day before Summer Solstice Melitha came home alone. Emma had left with some friends to go shopping. It was an exciting time. The school would be having it’s own mock Court and Ball, but Emma and Melitha would be accompanying Alanorn to the Official High Court function. Emma was thrilled and enjoying her classmates jealously and attention. Melitha almost dreaded it. Surely she would be treated as a child and ignored.

When she entered her room, she saw a beautiful black dress lying on her bed. She stepped closer into the dark room and noticed Alanorn in the corner. “Do you like it?” He whispered. “It is beautiful,” Melitha said, as she looked it over. “I think it should suit you well.” Startled, Melitha turned her eyes to him. “Suit me? But it is much too big…” Alanorn smiled. “Of course it is, and therein lies the test. You recall the Arts I’ve taught you thus far? You can change your size as well as blend into shadows and change your face.” “But how? I don’t…” “Let the glamour deal with that.” He interrupted. He stepped towards the door and looked back. “The real question is, who do you want to be?” His silhouetted form from the door said, “I will be waiting in my chambers. Practice and come to me when you are ready.”

Alone in the dark, Melitha shed her clothes and stood before her full-length mirror. Looking at herself, she remembered the features she longed to wear again. It took much frustrating time gazing and perfecting what changes she wroth. She glided down the hall to Alanorn’s rooms where he beheld her new form. The long black hair, wide black eyes, and flawless pale skin were still the same. But she moved differently. Her curved hips swayed and her long legs moved sensuously under the smooth satin of the dress he gave her.

“You fit that dress as well as I thought you might.” Melitha bowed her head slightly, both in response and to hide the slight blush that crept on her cheeks. “What shall I call you?” He asked. She looked up and met his eyes strongly. “My Lord, I am still the same person inside.” Alanorn met that gaze and stepped forward. “Of course! Indeed you are. But your eyes fit this form much better.” “I thought it was the dress I was aiming to fit, not my eyes. Regardless, it is a form I shall not keep for many years yet.” Melitha was slightly annoyed. How could he dare to tease her so when he knew she couldn’t stay this way? “Still,” he said, “couldn’t we pretend? Would you be my mysterious and beautiful lady tomorrow night?” Alanorn was standing just in front of her, and Melitha shut her eyes denying the temptation, and torn by it. She felt his hands slowly follow up her sides as her eyes flew open startled and her heartbeat quickened. “Alanorn, surely by now you must know who I am…” Her caressed the side of her face lovingly. “How could I not know my little Moriana? And I curse the fate that would have us kept apart.” “Then you should also know what I have done.” Melitha seriously watched his reaction. “Master torturer? Court Infiltrator? I’ve heard the rumors, but I remember before all of that.” He tried to guide her back toward his bed, but Melitha pushed him back. “You’ve been away a long time Alanorn. The traumas of death and birth have stolen such far reaching memories from me.” “Then let me help you to remember!” He begged. “No. Then they’d be lies.” “Give me lies and shadows then, rather than this denial!” Slipping out under his arm, Melitha stood and glared at him from the doorway. “My Lord, I do care for you. I am grateful for all you’ve taught me, and for your company. But this is highly inappropriate.” Alanorn turned and sat on his bed. “Seeing you again as you were was too much for me. You are my Moriana, but you are a child as well and I shouldn’t deny you that chance.” Melitha stepped forward and gave him a soft kiss, which lingered, filled with the longing of a millennium. She dismissed the magic that held her shape and when the kiss was over and they opened their eyes Melitha was herself again. She held the dress against her chest as it tried to slip off and looked up at him. “Someday…” she whispered as she smiled softly. “But this time, let things happen as they will.” Alanorn stood and picked her up. “Alright then. I apologize.” Melitha nodded quietly and laid her head on his shoulder as he carried her to her room. There she changed into nightclothes and crawled into her bed. Alanorn was about to leave the room as she called to him in a soft voice. “Stay with me?” He turned back, shutting the door behind him. And they slept holding each other.

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