December 9, 2009
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Azan Rolem watched Alexis and her companions enter his shop with a cautious expression. Alexis hardly ever came to his store and when she did it was for less than pleasant reasons. Sighing loudly he stepped out from behind the counter and made an elegant, entirely unnecessary bow. Only when he heard the sound of girlish laughter did he straighten.
"Welcome to my shop ladies." he said with a flourish.
The two unfamiliar girls smiled but Alexis just rolled her eyes.
"Quit being stupid." she said her face void of all emotion. "I'm here on some serious business."
Azan ran a hand through his dark hair and leaned against the counter.
"I know," he said glaring at her "that's the only reason you ever come around here." The comment came out with a bitter snap at the end. Alexis said nothing and the short haired girl looked away, while the chubby girl pinned him with a sympathetic gaze. He took a step forward and glared down at her.
"Don't look at me like that." he whispered fiercely. The girl flinched away from him, andAlexis came to stand in between them.
"Calm down." she said, her voice soft and threatening. "She didn't mean anything by it."
Azan glowered at her and took a step back.
"I'm sure." he muttered and tilted his head back to look up at the ceiling. Perhaps he should'nt have reacted so but that look angered him more than anyone could ever know. Azan straightened and walked over to the slim oak door behind the counter, pushing it open he called over his shoulder.
"Come on."

Lanna sat awkwardly on a large silken pillow. The room where they were was small and incrediably cliched. it looked like a set straight out of one of those tacky psychic hotline commercials. She remained silent though, she'd already angered the owner once she wasn't about to do it again. So when the older man took a seat across from her she gave him a tentative smile. He blinked at her in surprise and slowly returned it. Lanna blushed slightly, he was an attractive man though he looked in his late 20's. Even in this dim lighting he seemed to notice her admiration and his smile widened.
"My name is Azan." he said extending a hand. "Forgive my rudeness earlier."
She studied him for a moment before nodding.
"It's okay." she said smiling again. Phebe who was sitting next to her stirred.
"No it's not okay." she snapped at him, and crossed her arms over her chest, the man turned to glare at her and Phebe actually winced. Truthfully Lanna didn't blame her. His eyes were an unnerving shade of blue. kind of like the blue of a pool.
"Funny," he said, his voice hard "I didn't think I was speaking to you. Was that my mistake?"
Phebe swallowed and forced herself to anwser.
"No your mistake was being a jerk and expecting Lanna to forgive you."
He turned back to Lanna.
"Lanna," he said as if savoring it "is that your name?"
Wordlessly she nodded.
"Well it's very pretty." he said smiling a smile that was meant to dazzle, and boy did it. Lanna felt a hot blush spread all over her face.
"I'm glad you like it. " she said softly.Azan chuckled and was about to say something before Alexis came over and whispered something in his ear. Almost instantly his mouth closed with a snap.
"Now," Alexis said taking a seat mext to Lanna " how about we get down to business."
Azan nodded.
"I suppose we'd better. So whose the idiot that picked a fight with the King of Faerie?"
Phebe looked nervous all of a sudden.
"I didn't pick a fight with him." she said fiercely " It was just a dumb rock."
Azan's expression was grave.
"Perhaps it was a dumb rock to you, little girl. But to the Faerie all natural things are sacred. For your ignorance you will be punished. there is no escaping that. I will provide you with the tools you'll need to see through most of their charms, but that will be it."
Lanna's eyes went wide.
"We will be punished?" she asked him her voice going slightly shrill. Azan turned to her and smiled.
"Only your friend, never you." he said gently, grasping her hand and kissing it. Lanna blushed hard which made Azan smile wide. Though it faded slightly when Lanna frowned at him.
"That's still really bad news." she murmured. Azan studied Lanna's expression for a moment before turning his gaze on Alexis. Her eyes were down cast and her mouth was drawn into a straight line. I t took a moment but eventually Azan realized that what he was witnessing was friendship, pure and simple. Despite his appearence he's been alive a long time and had long since stopped forming such intimate bonds with people. They weren't worth the heartbreak that would eventually follow.
'But then again' Azan thought bitterly 'they don't have to deal with the nusiance of an everlasting life.'
Suddenly in a bad mood Azan stood and walked over to the thick intriquet tapestry that covered the entire left wall. Frowning he ran his pale finger over the wide lines that formed the moonlitscenery dipicted by silver, dark green, brown, and crimsom colored threads. Gently he allowed his magic to seep through the tight stitches and run along very individual thread until the entire thing shone with his golden magic. Azan took a step back and smirked as a soft gasp reached his ears. Lanna came to stand next to him her eyes wide and staring at the lovely glowing thing.
"That's amazing..." she breathed before turning to gaze at him. To say that Azan was surprised by the look she gave him would be an understatement. Most non magic users that witnessed his abilities gave him wary or envious glances, but this little teenage girl was giving him a look that stopped him dead in his tracks. For her look lacked any of these things. If anything it was filled with an uncensored perfectly tangiable admiration. Azan blinked at her and felt his earlier resentment fade. Slowly he let a smile claim his lips causing a deep blush to settle on Lanna's round cheeks.
"Would you like to know what this is?" he asked a grin clear in his voice. Lanna smiled again.
"Yes I would."
Azan nodded.
"Well you see this lovely thing was made by Arabella the Spider Queen from her personal collection of fine silks. The trapestry protrays the Mortal Forest."
Lanna looked fasinated.
"Why do they call it the Mortal Forest?"
Azan smiled at her obvious interest and led her back to her silk cushion.
"You have heard of course that Faeries are notoriously fiesty creatures. There is nothing they enjoy more then partying and causing trouble. One of their favorite games is luring unsuspecting humans into their territories and playing with them."
Lanna frowned at this but continued to listen attentively.
"Sometimes sexual or sometimes intellectual games. Or sometimes if they come across a human whose company they paticularly care for they offer them some delcious treat that is almost impossible to resist. And I'm sure you know what happens when a human eats the food of the fey."
"They must stay in Faerie Kingdom forever." Lanna replied grimly.
Azan nodded before letting his gaze sweep over all of them.
"So knowing this I'm sure it goes with out saying that you must stay far far away from whatever treats they offer to you."
He waited for their agreement before continuing.
"Well anyway as you can imagine over the centuries the number of humans in Faerie increased so the Faerie Lord decided to place them all together in some place out of the way but still close enough so that their, for lack of a better word, owners could come and play with them when they wished."
There was a short pause before Lanna broke it.
"So what you're so telling me is that they're slaves." She said the word with such acid that Azan actually cringed.
"Well," he said feeling uncomfortable for some unknown reason " they're a little better off then slaves..." Apparently this was the wrong thing to say because Lanna's eyes flashed.
" Oh I'm sorry please excuse me! They are pampoured prisoners. Forgive me!"
Azan did not know what to say to that so he sat quietly and watched Alexis make her way over to Lanna and place a hand on her shoulder before whispering something in her ear. Lanna bit her lip and glared at Alexis before taking a deep breath and mumbling a soft apology.
"It's alright." Azan assured her. A moment passed before Lanna softly spoke again.
"May I ask another question?"
Azan nodded.
"Why is the tapestry glowing?"
He grinned.
"It's shining because it is a portal to the Faerie realm. Or more specifically the Mortal Forest."
Azan chuckled as he saw two jaws drop and another smirk.
"Whoa whoa wait a second! We're leaving now! But the meeting isn't until tomorrow night." Phebe said, trying but failing miserably to hide her nervousness.
"Yes," Alexis said nodding " but it could take hours to reach the actual palace."
"Which is why," Azan said handing them each a colored cloak and bag (Lanna was perfectly certain he hadn't beeen holding a couple seconds ago)" you should go now."
Lanna looked incrediably nervous now.
"Wait you're not going with us?"
Azan blinked at her before smirking
"I wasn't planning to but if you honestly can't bare to leave me..."
Lanna blushed beet red and went to stand next to Alexis. Grinning knowingly at her Alexis grabbed her hand and pulled her and Phebe into the portal. Only when he was certain they couldn't hear them did Azan yell at them to come back alive.

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