Disclaimer: The characters, setting, and concept belong to Melanie Rawn and Daw Books. This work is not intended to infringe on that copyright and no profit is being made from it.

Author's Note: I recently re-read Melanie Rawn's wonderful Dragon Prince and Dragon Star novels. The characters are so rich that I could not resist playing with them.. I wanted to explore what might have happened after the end of Skybowl. This is the first chapter and the first fanfiction work that I have posted. I would really appreciate reviews in the form of constructive criticism (positive reviews will probably speed up the next chapters). Also, if anyone can think of a better title, please let me know.

Dragon's Rest-Summer 738

Pol gazed at the woman besides him on the balcony. Though the moons had not yet risen, icy starlight silhouetted her. Stress and grief had liberally streaked her darkflame hair with grey. Three pregnancies, age, and her natural tendency towards fleshiness had altered her figure so that it was more like the unruly brat who had been the bane of his youth rather than the young woman whose love he had thrown away.

Each of them had created a life and family for themselves, though the Vellant'im war had destroyed that; it had also brought them together for a time. After the New Year celebration, Sionell had journeyed to Cunaxa to begin her duties as Regent for his daughter Jihan, his daughter by his sweet, loving, devoted Meiglan.

In their season of separation, Pol had had much time to reflect on his feelings for poor, sweet, murdered Meggie and the woman besides him now. Sionell was everything his wife had not been: vibrant, clever, and brave. Pol the man had deeply loved his wife, but in the turmoil of the war, the death of his father, the madness and later death of his mother, and his ascension as High Prince, Pol, Ahzrei, Faradh'rei, and Diarmad'rei, had needed someone strong, intelligent, and capable.

Sionell, recently widowed and having loved him for years, was exactly what he had desired. He also acknowledged in his innermost heart that his family's unspoken but not unheard feelings that his Choice was wrong played a role. His beloved mother High Princess Sioned had long made it clear that she thought him a fool for not Choosing her Namesake. He knew now that both Meiglan and Sionell had been wrong for him. Neither woman was a match for his entire self.

During the final battle at Skybowl, Pol had finally been able to reconcile the two types of power within him; his Sunrunner heritage from his father melding with the Sorcerer's gifts from his late unlamented birth-mother. He had once viewed his powers as if his hands, the left bearing Princemarch's amethyst and the right bearing the Dessert's topaz and Lady Andrade's moonstone, as being on separate sides of an impenetrable veil. He had viewed his life the same way, determined to keep his personal life detached from his princely power. No longer.

Poor Meggie had loved him as her husband and the father of her children. He had been the center of her world, but only a part of him. She had resented that his duties as Prince of one princedom and Heir to another took him away from his family. She had feared the part of him that spoke to dragons and could perform arcane magic.

Sionell loved the Prince, and sometimes he thought she hated the man. He did not love her. His conscience forced him to admit to himself that he had used her. He had taken her strength and flattered his ego when they had—he could not call it making love—on the torn tapestry and shattered crystal at Feruche.

He thought of the child who had tormented him, the girl who had pined for him, the young woman who had had her heart broken by him, the wife who had still secretly harbored desire for him, and the widow who had lusted for him. He looked at the woman besides him, aware that she would now hate the Prince as much as she despised the man. " Sionell," he said haltingly, "I'm sorry."