The Fey Bride of Elfland
Chapter Twenty-Three
Salvation in Dance

As we were being served cups of steaming ale as a final course, the Ice Queen said, "Well, I guess there is no need for the string quartet. Since they have been gathered, I would at least like to hear one piece."

From the main doorway came the voice of Lasotherral. "No, please, I will dance. I however will not dance with Prince Chamorrick, but with Prince Kevin."

It was the Ice Queen that asked, "And the reason for that decision?"

"Because if I am to be joined with Prince Chamorrick, I will need to come to trust in Prince Kevin as well. As yet there are a lot of decisions that must be made, and I feel that time with Prince Kevin will be the less stressing method of resolving some things."

I stood to bow toward her before saying, "I assume that he will need to come to trust your advisors as well."

"No. I have no one. Those I live with have their reasons for existence. I truthfully have none. There is a companionship with them that has kept me with them all this time. There is also a friendship, as it was with their help I came to restore my sanity and keep it stable all these multitude of years. While I will request, demand, that they be shown complete graciousness should they visit, they have their purpose that they will mostly be about. Prince Kevin, I look forward to being graced with your advice along with my husband, assuming Prince Chamorrick and I continue."

I expected some comments from others. They however stayed silent. Realizing that I was standing, I went ahead and advanced to Lasotherral. She said nothing as I approached, although questioned me when I help out my hand.

"I am to take it instead of your arm?"

"You are not to attach yourself to me. It will be a sign of trust if you do, and I promise to never make you regret that. However, at present, simply allow my companionship."

When she did place her hand in mine, I lifted it, then had it sway to the left and right. Her eyes stayed fixated on me as I saw her torso move. I then took some steps, and watched as she managed to move with me. I then dropped our hands while placing the other behind to turn us both toward the table.

She whispered "You were seeing if I would dance with you?"

"Yes, and in what manner. My wife has such a nature that does not allow her such graceful movements. She is an energetic thing that brings out things in her movements I cannot even match. It might sound strange, but I believe that I am going to enjoy my time with you."

"You have never gotten mad at your wife?"

Not a question I suspected, but I allowed that the conversation continued to be on Rabbit. "I doubt one can get mad at someone of her nature. There is a purity in her actions and speech that even when they displease you, getting mad at her is not in your thoughts."

"How about Prince Chamorrick?"

Since I had turned us toward the table, I could look at my half-brother while saying, "Honestly, if we could get mad at each other, or Princess Queanay, it should have happened."

As he stood, Prince Chamorrick declared, "Those words are the utmost truth. Both have challenged me in ways I most honestly felt to be improper, but my anger did not flare. In fact, the evidence is before you that I, and they to their credit, have worked through their feelings to make our limited history most positive. I am of the hope to continue to have their friendship, and much more than friendship from you, sweet Lasotherral."

The lady at my side asked, "It will not anger you to have to dance with Princess Queanay?"

"Or her mother, no. I have danced with both in the past. While I do not desire them as partners, I have no feelings of discouraging their presence in my life."

Lasotherral took a step forward. She then smiled to me in recognition of my having moved with her. Following her steps, she moved up near her original place at the table before stopping to speak.

"Queen Bessinadar, I thank you for sending the further courses to my room. Let me say that I did try them all. I am not in need of so much food, but the experience with food I did appreciate."

The Ice Queen replied, "You are most welcome, Lasotherral. I agree that challenges between one's nature and the life of others can be bothersome at times. However, we must learn. Note that children will cause other demands on one's nature, but that can be a discussion for other times. At present, I believe that my daughter has arranged some musicians to give us something to dance to."

As the ladies stood with Prince Chamorrick going around to escort Queanay, Lasotherral said the word, "Children," in a manner that I felt she wondered about it. I guess that she did, as she then asked, "Prince Kevin, do you have children?"

"No, as my wife says that it is not yet the time for children."

"And you are agreeable with that?"

I did not want to say that I felt I had no choice, so was glad when I came up with a proper reply. "With having the charms of my wife without the bothers of family? I know to enjoy the peace."

"All that I have had for the last uncountable number of years is peace. I actually look forward to children."

"Then I will inform Chamorrick that one question has been answered."

Lasotherral and I had followed the others into another grand room. Once we had progressed close to the middle, Queanay clapped her hands and a simple four-beat tune was heard. As I had Lasotherral match my steps, I heard her say.

"I am told that if anything will renew my anger, it will be children."

"I cannot accept that. I agree with Chamorrick that your anger was not a negative thing. It caused no disruption, no harm. I thus cannot believe that you would do anything to him or your children. Yes, you might get mad, even angry, but not a blind fury that will make you do things you will come to regret – other than just the realization that you had spent time in anger."

"The times were different. Life was different. This world was different. In the midst of my ire, everything also began to change. I truly cannot say what would have happened should things have stayed as they were."

I found it difficult to focus on the dance and the depth of the conversation. I however accepted that I needed to dedicate my thoughts to the discussion with Lasotherral. I was not known to be a dancer, and truthfully put no value on my ability to dance. I thus would suffer no shame should I be ridiculed for how I moved, or even how I led the lady with me to move. After directing my steps to just repeat a certain rhythm, I set my mind back on the conversation.

"Surely, Lasotherral, you were no baby when you were with your past fiancé."

I believe that she found my response funny, as there was a strong smile to her features as she replied, "Baby?"

"Yes, baby. You had grown and developed. Thus, you can tell me of other times you became so angry."

"What? No, I –" She broke from me, then exclaimed, "I'm so... so..."

I stood shocked to see her suddenly look as if she wanted to cry. Having her then flee the room caused me to feel completely dejected. Chamorrick broke from his partner to come yell at me. I however continued to stare at the door while still feeling the shock of Lasotherral leaving.

The voice of the Ice Queen broke the questions of Chamorrick, although she basically commanded the same thing. "Tell us what happened, Prince Kevin."

I did. There was no shame in me for what I had said. I in fact felt that things were going well. I thus wondered at what reprimand I would face as I did as requested.

The Ice Queen concluded, "Lasotherral is obviously facing issues of her own. She returned once before, so I would suspect her to return again. However, it is the end of the day. Let us thus retire in order to give ourselves and Lasotherral some time."

Chamorrick replied, "I doubt that I could sleep."

"Concern for a lady, especially one's potential wife, should deeply concern you. At the moment, however, your relationship is not so deep. There are also concerns that are completely outside of your control."

Attempting to gain my own sense of the situation, I asked, "Queen Bessinadar, may I ask a personal question."

"Let me hear your question, Prince Kevin."

"Did you get angry at the death of your husband?"

"It is a shame of the women of this land that we do not. My title of Ice Queen is partially in reflection to how many see our responses to some deeply felt issues. There are Ice Kings, of course, since my lineage is ancient. However, the history of this land speaks of its harshness in that the men do not survive. We ladies have the grace to live most of our lives within the castle. The men have the duties to be about the land. The land thrives much better with the more direct attention of the men, but the cruelty of this frozen territory often brings about a more dire price for the graciousness shown. No, I did not get angry, but sorrow that my land had again taken the life of one who was willing to give his life to make the land a better one. I still weep for him, for he was a good man and I did love him deeply. Anger solves no problems however, and with the death of my husband suddenly I had the full responsibility of resolving the problems of my land."

I thought to thank the lady for her response, but found my voice however asking another question. "Could you somehow tell Lasotherral that?"

"If the opportunity presents itself. I however hope that she is learning it for herself."

From the door I heard the voice of Ussiquik. "There are a multitude of concerns Lasotherral is having to face. Her past is just one, but she felt it would be a barrier that would simplify this engagement. In finding it being removed or overcome, I am uncertain. She is having to face other concerns that have not loomed so large on her mind. I thus cannot say how things will progress, but that it is progressing is to your credit. Please give her time."

The Ice Queen replied, "It is late, so she should have till morning. Please send word should she not desire Prince Chamorrick to escort her to breakfast."

"No, he should come. If anyone is to persist in having her barriers come down, it should be him."

My half-brother returned, "Glad to hear that something is going according to my own thoughts."

It was next to impossible for me to read emotions into the thin, wispy form of Ussiquik, but his response did have a positive tone. "Of all the people that could have taken on the challenge of Lasotherral, you do seem to have the right mind with good people to support you. Good night, and may the next day continue to give us hope for a good future."

As the pure fey left, I felt a hand of Chamorrick grab my left shoulder. "Okay, Kevin, once again you are off the hook."

Thinking over the situation one more time, I had to admit, "I however cannot say that I was going where I should not."

"You can talk about that with your wife tomorrow. Hopefully, that will enable me to speak to Lasotherral."

Queanay commented, "Maybe we will find that she can get angry."

I thought the words funny. Chamorrick did not seem pleased with my chuckles, but held his features. I cannot say what the Ice Queen thought, as with polite words she simply bid us a good night.

It is good that both Chamorrick and Lasotherral continue to work on developing a relationship.