The palace was just the same as when I left it. Everything was clean and tidy and the rooms had the same elegant furnishings thay'd always had. I took a little walk around the palace, watching familiar faces pass me by, some waving, some stopping to say hello and others not noticing me at all. The once face I didn't see was the one I wanted to.
'There you are!' I felt arms go round my shoulders and someone hug me from behind. 'I was so worried about you after you disappeared like that.' I turned round and smiled at Kynan.
'Just keeping you on your toes,' I joked.
'Well next time could you at least warn me. You forgot your bow and sword by the way.'
'Oh damn!' I muttered screwing up my face.
'Don't worry, I thought you'd be back so brought them with me. They're in my room.'
'How have I survived without you?'
'I really don't know. It's a miracle you've made it this far without being killed.' I pushed Kynan lightly on the shoulder and he stumbled back in mock suprise. 'Oh my you're so strong!'
'Shut up. Just because you know I can beat you.' We both laughed as we walked towards Kynan's room. We got a few funy looks from disapproving old elves before we managed to stop laughing.
'You know this place isn't the same without you,' Kynan confessed. 'Everything is a lot more dull.'
'Could this possibly mean you've missed me?'
'Maybe just a little.'
'Well, don't tell anyone,' I leaned in, 'but I missed you too.' I smiled as we turned the corner.
'Then don't stay away so long,' Kynan begged. 'For all you say you love this city you don't come here nearly often enough.'
'You know I would visit if I could. I'm not even meant to be here now, I should still be at home with Naria and the reat of the court.'
'Yes I heard. Naria's father isn't happy.'
'With me or with her?' I asked.
'Not sure. You're meant to be the good influence so I don't think he blames you for making her want to go, but...' I cringed.
'But what?' I wasn't sure if I wanted to know the answer.
'He thinks you should have tried harder to stop her.' I shook my head.
'H e knows how much of a free spirit she is. How can he expect me to stop her when she has her heart set on something?'
'Well maybe he doen't know Naria as well as he thinks he does.' Kynan stopped to open a door on the left hand side of the corridor. 'This is me. Come on in.' I followed Kynan into the room.
'Well I don't think this place has been tidied since I last left.' I looked around in amazement at the clothes strewn everywhere and the unmade bed. 'Doesn't anyone tell you to tidy up? Surely you have a wife by now.'
'No, you know what I think about marriage.'
'I know a waste of time, blah, blah, blah. It's still no excuse to live like a swamphog!' I carefully picked my way over to where Kynan had put my bow, quiver and sword.
'Well I hear you're travelling with humans.' Kynan's voice was flat as he said this, almost accusing me of something. 'They arrived last night.'
'What's wrong with that?'
'Nothing, I just didn't think it was in your nature to... tolerate them.'
'Since when were you so anti-human. Are you not the same person who I slipped out of the city with to watch the humans hunting in the forest? Did you not once say to me you wanted to be one?'
'Time changes people Armes. I've seen humans do terrible things and I don't want you or Naria to get hurt.'
'I can look after myself thank you Kynan.' I turned around and stalked towards the door. 'Now if you don't mind I'm going to see my friends.' I heard Kynan calling after me as I marched down the corridor, trying to keep a lid on my temper. I didn't stop.