A little bird chirped on a branch, and then another and again another one followed, this time giving all his power to sing, he sang like the world might end if he stopped. It was love season and no living being was unaware of it, not a plant, not an animal, not a magical being around here. No one except a blonde girl; lying peacefully on her bed, sleeping, her chest heaving rhythmically under queen sized bed sheets.
She was looking like an angel, a soft smile gracing her features, long blond hair falling gently on a white satin pillow.
But suddenly a shadow seemed to pass and in an instant she turned in her sleep, agitated; a frown appeared on her brow, she was obviously upset by something happening in a dream. She was twisting and turning, moaning unintelligible words with a pained expression on her face. She looked afraid and lost then it turned to surprise and wonder. A few minutes later she woke up completely disoriented looking shaken and slightly trembling, she was breathing hard and fast and it took her a couple of minutes to calm down, figure out where she was and that it all had been a nightmare. A very powerful one indeed!... it had seemed so real but now she didn't remember very well the topic...something about a girl in a storm, a halo of light, carvings.....she only could make out some fragments of this dream....
But the one thing she remembered very well were the powerful feelings, she had felt lost, confused, then a presence was there, a comfort, someone near, their hearts beating in synchronicity, and she was not alone anymore.
Well she had a loving family and friends so she wasn't alone, but it was another kind of feeling she got in that dream something more intimate more passionate.
She blushed at the thought of sharing such closeness with someone.
She had no time to ponder all this though for a knock at the door brought her back to the present, "Yes come in" she said while getting out of bed and slipping into her robe.
"I see you're awoke princess" stated a woman with a gentle smile and greying hair.
"Yes Nanny Rose, but please for the hundred times call me Tara" she giggled at the older lady antics, who had always insisted on the fact that she was a princess and that she should be addressed as such even by her nanny.
She knew the woman wouldn't change her mind, but she liked to make her point once in a while for Rose to know that she was family to her.
"Princess, stop arguing about a point you won't win" Nanny Rose added with a smirk "and start dressing up, your family is celebrating today" a soft and tender smile graced her features, she called her Princess, but she would address to her as she would to her own child, this was respect and love for a girl she held dear in her heart and who was destined to rule the kingdom one day.
"I know I know...but why such hurry it's still early in the day..."
"But Princess, it is already 10!"
"What!" exclaimed the young blonde "but how come, it doesn't feel like I slept for so long" she was shocked; usually she was the first one to be up in the castle, at least among the royal family she mused. And now she not only over slept but felt very tired like she only slept for a few hours.
It was strange, this added to the very intense dream she had had during the night. She would have to talk about it to her uncle Giles; he was an expert in dreams and illusions.
A frantic activity had invaded the castle; all the servants were bustling around completely absorbed by their tasks, nearly bumping into each other every time they crossed in the long corridors.
The guards were reviewing all the dispositions that should be made to assure the security of today's festivities. A lot of Lords and Ladies were to come to the castle for the kingdom happiest event of the year. Princess Tara was turning 21, a very important age for she was now ready to play an active role in the kingdom politics. It was also an age at which she could become a queen if her parents were to die, before that she would have been under the regency of her uncle if the situation had occurred.
The royal family was very united; some people would explain that by the terrible succession of ordeals they had to come through along the years and they would surely be right. The war with the Darkan Kingdom, for one, had been terrible, many were lost and the King and Queen of that time died leaving their heirs alone, too young to lead an army or manage their destiny. But the choice had not been theirs so they had fought bravely and with the help of some powerful mages and dragons they had pushed the enemy out of their territories.
Lady Viviane and Lord Giles grew together through that fight and when Viviane became the Queen a couples of years later she could always count on the support of her brother to help her lead their people.
Viviane was a healer, and she used her gift to help all those who were hurt during the battles, she loved to be near her people, to listen to them, to cure them. But she was also very involved in the politics, even though her brother Giles was the army General and the Great wizard of the magical council, she would always be respected with her opinions on the battles strategies. She was very wise and kind, and all her people loved her sincerely so when she married Lady Jenny, a powerful seer from the magical council, the biggest celebration this kingdom had know for years took place in the royal castle.
And now some twenty years later all of them were again celebrating with joy.
Viviane and Jenny had had two daughters Tara and Dawn who where 5 years apart; they were quite different from each other as the older sister Tara was very much like Viviane and Dawn resembled more Jenny, she was energetic and stubborn, always ready to get into troubles.
But they loved each other tremendously, and even through they sisterly bickers it never dimmed.
Lord Giles married Lady Joyce only one year after his sister's marriage and a daughter named Buffy was born from their union. She was two years younger than Tara and got along very well with her cousin. Dawn and Buffy on the contrary were always fighting, but loved each other just as much, they were very much alike and that's probably why they were used to squabbling a lot.
The bond they all shared was a powerful cement holding the family together and thanks to that force they had been able to keep evil at bay. But it was growing, slowly rebuilding itself from its ashes, ready to strike again when the time would come. And the royal family knew it, yes they were happy and celebrating but they were consciously waiting for the next war, preparing for the battles to come but with the serenity of love.
"Tara dear, where have you been" the girl looked up to the stairways as a gentle looking blonde woman walked down with grace.
"Sorry mama" exclaimed the girl with an apologetic look, "I don't know what happened, I overslept"
"Don't worry dear, I am not upset" she assured with a tender smile "I was surprised not to find you already up an running around like all the others, the castle is a real beehive today" she stated with an amused smile.
Tara smiled along with her mother, she loved her so dearly, she always new how to comfort her, to soothe her. Her other mother Jenny, was more the 'father-figure' type if you could say so, she was very tender and gentle but she was a bit more authoritarian, she always made her laugh and helped her with the craft but Viviane was more like her, a kind heart pure and generous, thought she also knew how to use her mother authority when needed.
"I'll go and see if I can find Buffy" announced the younger blonde "would you help me with my ceremony dress later on" being 21 didn't change her ways, when talking with her mother she always felt like the little girl seeking for affection and help.
"Of course sweetie" she was delighted; as every mother she had been afraid seeing her daughters growing older that they would one day move away from her, and stop seeking for her help and guidance. But it had never occurred and especially with Tara who was very close to her. Dawn was more independent, she didn't reject her mothers' support but she felt a biggest need to manage everything on her own, which sometimes led to real disasters. "I'll be in the ball room with your mom; we need to arrange the etiquette for the ceremony."
"Very well mama, I will search for you later" with that they parted and Tara directed herself toward the training room.
The training room was, as its name indicates, a room where knights and warriors trained together. She was sure to find Buffy there along with Faith and Anya. All three of them were there for different reasons of course but at least she didn't have to rummage through the whole castle for hours to find them all, it had its perks she mused.
Faith was the head of the Princesses Guards, she came from a great warrior family and had been appointed to the protection of Dawn and Tara three years ago, since then Buffy and she had been friends. They bickered all the time and everyone wondered how those two had managed to stay friends for so long. Tara knew better of course, she was also friend with Faith and through the years she realized that the young brunette had fallen in love with Buffy who in return loved her just as much. The only difference between the two was that Faith knew of her feelings and accepted them while Buffy was still on the denial wagon. Hence this tension between the two that inevitably led them to fight. But they were attracted to each other like magnet and steel, who was which was still to determine! So if Faith was somewhere, no doubt Buffy was near, a chance for Tara, who needed their help to arrange the magical lights for the ceremony.
Anya was Tara's best friend; they grew up together, for Anya's mother was Viviane lady-in-waiting. They were very different; the total opposite in fact, but it strangely brought them together. Anya was blunt and quite crude but she was a kind heart and her sincerity touched Tara more than anything else, so she didn't care if her friend was a bit too forward, she was honest and that was more than enough for her. On the other hand Anya liked Tara's freshness, her gentle soul and the way she had to always make her feel welcome when everyone else brushed her off. Tara was sincere and that was a quality they shared, so she felt related and understood by Tara. And that's how the most unlikely friendship started. The reason for Anya's presence in the training room! well this was quite simple, she loved to see men in action all sweaty and ...wow, let's not go further in that train of thoughts Tara cause it's a definite yuck, I hear enough of that from Anya herself, no need to replay it in my little inside monologues!!