Something isn’t right,Terra says softly.

                “What do you mean?” I ask the small bull.

                Terra shakes his head and looks out the window.There’s something wrong with the star, the power flow isn’t as strong anymore, it feels broken again.

                “But wasn’t it already broken because of Lupis?”

               Yes, but this is different. I don’t think Aries has a side anymore, her power isn’t attached to the star anymore. She’s not taking a part in this.

               “But that’s not possible, is it? This is what we were meant for, she can’t just walk away from this, can she?” I ask as I look out the window with Terra.

               It isn’t possible, but I admire her resolve for trying. She’s too attached to the human male she calls “Jay” to completely let go of her old life. She wasn’t completely looking for an escape like you and Halcyone were.

               “Taurus, can we talk for a minute?”

                I turn around and see Halcyone standing behind me. She’s having a hard time holding my gaze, and she keeps looking around shyly.

                I move a vase from another chair and pull it out for her. “Want a seat?”

                She smiles and sits down next to me. “I was wondering if we could talk about something that Katrina said earlier about the star plane bonders.”

                “Okay,” I nod and wait for her to continue.

                She looks away again before answering. “If that’s true, then that explains why things never worked out before. And I thought that I wasn’t ready for a relationship right now, but I can’t really concentrate for very long before you distract me.”

                “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be distracting. If it would help you concentrate, I’ll practice somewhere where you can’t see me.”

                Halcyone smiles again, and I swear the lights in here get dimmer in comparison.

                “It wouldn’t help,” she says.

               It’s because of your bond, Taurus. Being apart will only make it worse, it’s the same for you,Terra says gently.

                I look from him to Halcyone, then over her shoulder at her Halcyone, who seems to be nodding at me. “So you’re saying you’re willing to try a relationship?”

                Halcyone nods slowly.

                I reach out and put my arm on her shoulder with a gentleness that surprises us both. “Just promise me one thing, that you won’t ever let anything that’s going on with your parents or the stress or fear of Aries and Lupis make you do anything to hurt yourself. Please?”

                She gently traces the most recent rune carved into my skin with cool fingers. “You mean don’t do this?”

                I nod. “Don’t do what I’ve done, I thought it was the only way to help with this. But for you, it’s not. I’ll always be here to talk, okay?”

                Halcyone nods. “Okay. As long as you promise to try and stop doing this to yourself.”

                I shrug. “I can promise I’ll try, but when I have a dream with these runes, I have to do it.”

                “But can’t you just do something else? Can’t you paint your dreams, like Aries?”

                I shake my head. “It doesn’t work that way for me. I’ve tried that, but my skin is the best canvas for me.”

                She sighs. “I guess I can settle for you trying.”

                I smile. Halcyone turns to her bird for a second with a shocked expression on her face, and then slowly looks back to me, blushing.

                “What’d your bird say?”

                Halcyone shakes her head. “Well, she said not to call her ‘a bird.’ She finds that offensive. And I’m not too sure I want to share what she said before that.”

               Just kiss her,Terra says as he turns back toward the window.

                Although I’m probably just jumping to conclusions here, I’m pretty sure that Halcyone’s Halcyone said something along those lines. And so listening to Terra and the unspoken soft request in Halcyone's eyes, I lean forward and kiss her.

The End

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