Nowadays

It was a night to be remembered.

Six young men came bustling into an inn to get out of the rain. Laughing. Jesting. Remembering.

Remembering through the laughter that two of them were low-ranking noblemen. That one was an important member of a certain council. That one should have been in exile by now, and one was supposed to be dead.

But they said nothing about it. They just laughed.

 A boy named Logan hung their hooded cloaks by the fire. Despite the inn being full and busy, Lalaine, one of the bartenders, still saw them come in. She grinned put down the glass she had been cleaning, waving the rag like a banner. 

"All hail, the mighty tribe has returned!" She shouted across the room.

"Lalaine!" Landon swept across the room, jumped over the counter, and spun her up in his arms. 

Lalaine began to laugh uncontroably.

"Landon, put me down or you get no free 'welcome back' drink!" she exclaimed through her laughter.

Ah, Lalaine. Still sensible, even when she was laughing her heart out. It felt as if nothing had changed. Landon went around to the other side, still grinning his infamous carefree grin.

"On the house, the best drinks we've got. Mr. Martell would be here as well, but it's his night off, you see. Marcus comes in on his nights off now." Lalaine explained as she mixed drinks.

It was still noisy, Trey thought to himself was he watched Logan running back and forth from the door the coat-stands, as he had once done a long time ago.

"So what news of Dehlyn?" Korman asked eagerly. Lalaine put her hand on her hip, pretending to think on her answer. Then her eyes lit up.

"Well, aside from buisness expanding hugely, the Council growing more secretive then ever, the Norwans taking Kiros, everyone growing up, and your return. . . . hmm, no. Nothing at all is new in Dehlyn." The young men all laughed.

"And Kate?" Derek Thane, spoke up. "Has the greatest female spy to live gotten herself killed yet? Or is she still trying?" Lalaine smiled to herself.

"Look around, and you'll find out for yourself."  Derek felt a hand on his shoulder. He spun around on his stool and stood up to see Kate Martell grinning at him.

"Welcome home, Derek." Derek grinned back.

"Hello, Kate."  Trey also stood to greet Kate, the woman who had brought him into the huge schism. After much greeting, hand-shaking, and insistance that Kate stay for a drink, another familiar face showed up. 

"Korman, hello!" a voice called through the crowd. The six young men smiled as they recognized the voice. Elysia Martell made her way through the crowd to greet her old friends, and there were also greetings for Kate's fair, yet fierce younger sister.

"Nobody said you were coming!" she exclaimed. 

"Well, we wanted to make it a surprise." Trey sipped his ale and grinned mischeviously.  "How is Arowyn? The girl get along well enough, or has she gotten into trouble without us again?"  Darien nearly choked on his ale as this question. Landon began to chuckle under his breath. 

"Well you would know, because she knows you saw her yesterday." This time, Trey choked on his ale. He had known that Arowyn was good, but not that  good. 

'What, did she let us, then?" Darien demanded. Kate glanced from her sister to Lalaine.

"Probably."  four voices said in unison. Trey turned around with a huge smile on his face, yet again knowing he would be happy for just another moment.

The End

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