my first attempt at sandry/briar fluff! i hope you like it as much as i do! wow, my first story on this year!

Briar Moss grinned happily at the small cottage before him as he dismounted his horse. His teacher, Rosethorn, was still a little ways back with his student, Evvy. They were moving very slowly, which was why Briar had gone on ahead to Discipline.

With each step forward he took, Briar got even more anxious. Would Lark recognize him? Were Daja or Tris there yet? And Sandry…He got a strange feeling in his chest when he thought of the noble girl. Briar shrugged the feeling away and told himself that he was just nervous about seeing everyone after so long.

Without saying anything, he walked right into the cottage. He found Lark in the kitchen. He leaned on the doorframe and waited for her to notice him. Dedicate Lark turned around and gasped when she saw him. Briar gave her his widest grin as she embraced him. She stepped back for a moment and stated, "My, how you've grown."

Briar laughed. He had had a feeling that she was going to say that some time or other.

"Come, sit down and eat." Lark set down a plate of bread on the table and sat down across from him. "Where is Rosethorn?"

"She'll be here shortly. I just had to get here." Briar explained before taking a piece of bread and eating it. "Are the girls here?"

Lark nodded, "Daja is up at the forge with Frostpine and Tris is at the Hub with Niko. Sandry is at the Citadel, meeting with her suitors."

"Suitors?" Briar asked, trying to sound casual, but there was a creeping feeling in the pit of his stomach that made him want to vomit the bread that he just ate. He put down the piece of bread; he didn't feel so hungry anymore.

This time, This place

Misused, Mistakes

Too long, Too late

Who was I to make you wait

Just one chance

Just one breath

Just in case there's just one left.

'Cause you know

you know, you know

Before Lark could speak, Rosethorn walked into Discipline, followed by a young girl whose pouting face brightened when she saw Briar.

"Pahan Briar!" Evvy cheered as she ran over to him. But she stopped short and licked her lips when she saw the bread sitting on the table. Chuckling quietly, Briar told her to help herself. She helped herself by taking almost four pieces of the fresh bread.

As Lark and Rosethorn caught up with each other, and Evvy ate with pleasure, Briar walked upstairs so he could sit on the roof. He was surprised when he ran into a young boy a couple of years younger than him. The boy backed away from Briar nervously and ran down the stairs towards the kitchen. Shrugging away his curiosity, Briar made his way to the roof once again.

He laid down on the warm roof and let the sun beat down on his skin. It was relaxing to just be back again. To lay on the roof and think of nothing, let the time waste away until it became dark. There were just three things missing…

Sighing, he let out a strand of his magic to Frostpine's forge. Through their magic bond, Briar could feel Daja jump in surprise when she felt the presence of his magic. He chuckled through their connection and Daja spoke through their mind-speak, Briar! When did you get back?

Just now. Rosethorn, Evvy, and I are all at Discipline. Care to join us?

In a little bit. Frostpine and I are working on this very important piece for the Duke. Daja sounded just a bit disappointed when she said this.

You miss me that much, Daj'? Briar laughed through their connection.

Back in the forge, Daja rolled her eyes and got back to work.

Briar tried Tris next. He felt for her magic near the Hub and when he found it, he sent out a vine of his magic and said through their mind speak, Coppercurls…

Oh, leave me alone, Briar! I'm trying to do something now. Tris's harsh reply came. Then suddenly, she thought for a moment and then exclaimed, Wait! Briar…? Where are you?

At Discipline, reuniting Rosethorn and Lark. Daja is stopping by later. Will you?

Briar could tell by her long pause that Tris was thinking. Then, she told him, Niko and I will be there shortly. Can you wait that long or will you die of impatience?

I can be patient! Briar said in defense.

Tris scoffed through mind speak and replied, Right and Sandry actually likes those new suitors of hers.

What are you talking about?

Sandry's been going on and on about how she can't stand the men following her around. A couple days ago she called them a herd of rich pigs. Her description fits, though.

Briar laughed out loud and told Tris, Then I'll see you shortly, Coppercurls.

All right. Oh, and Briar?


Don't call me Coppercurls. She shut off their connection and Briar smiled. Just like Tris.

He was hesitant before he called to Sandry. He was nervous all of a sudden and he remembered a realization he made in Yanjing when he was passing by a weaver's booth at a market. He had looked over the weaver's products and thought of Sandry, of how she would take such a long time to just look over the cloths and stuff the weaver made.

Back in Yanjing, he would get all warm inside when he thought of Sandry. He hadn't noticed until that day he passed by the weaver's booth just how much Sandry meant to him. She was more than a noble, more than a foster sister to him. She was much, much more.

That I loved you

I have loved you all along

And I miss you

Been far away for far too long

I keep dreaming you'll be with me

And you'll never go

Stop breathing if

I don't see you anymore

Sandrilene fa Toren was currently trying to escape from her suitors at the Citadel when Briar's voice came to her through mind-speak. She literately jumped at the voice, not recognizing it at first, but when she found out the voice was in her head, she realized it was her foster brother.

Briar! She cried happily through mind speak. Her heart did several flips as she said his name and she hoped he didn't notice. Without waiting for him to say anything, she cried, You're home! You're finally home! Are you at Discipline? I can get there if I hurry. Do you want me to go there and see you?

Whoa, slow down, Duchess. Yes, I'm back and I'm at Discipline. Aren't you busy, though? I won't make you come here if you're occupied right now. Briar's rich voice was like music to her ears when she heard it.

Looking around at the stiff noblemen around her, she told Briar, I'm willing to escape my duties right now. Besides, I have to see you again.

She excused herself and ran from the room before the noblemen could ask her why. She ran as fast as her heavy skirts would allow her to the stables and saddled her horse lightning quick. Without even bothering to take time to change into riding clothes, she got on the horse and urged it to a gallop through Summersea. It didn't take her long to get to Discipline.

When she got to her former home, she ran inside excitedly and asked the four sitting at the table. Without greeting Lark, Comas, Rosethorn, or the little girl at the table, she asked, "Where is he?"

"I think he went to the roof." Comas said shyly to the noble.

"Thank you, Comas." Sandry ran for the stairs, ignoring the knowing glances between Lark and Rosethorn. She got the roof and sighed when she saw Briar laying down on the thatched roof, staring at the sky above him.

"Briar…" Several emotions hit Sandry when she saw him. Her chest filled with warmth and her heart did somersaults. Tears streamed in her eyes and all of the loneliness she had been feeling drifted away. She had always been somewhat lonely after her foster sisters and brother went away to travel and she was left in Summersea. Some of that loneliness went away when Daja and Tris came back, but a lot was still left lingering. But seeing Briar so close to her now made it all disappear. He was back and he'd be staying for awhile, hopefully.

They were a circle again.

She edged her way over to him and saw his eyes were close. She leaned her head over his and said in a whisper through mind speak, Briar. His eyes popped open and he sat up quickly. Unfortunately for him, Sandry's head was in the way and he ended up hitting her head. Fortunately for him, in the collision of their heads, his mouth somehow ended up on hers.

On my knees, I'll ask

Last chance for one last dance

'Cause with you, I'd withstand

All of hell to hold your hand

I'd give it all

I'd give for us

Give anything but I won't give up

'Cause you know

you know, you know

He pulled back hesitantly after a second when he realized their intimacy. He could hear Sandry gasp when he pulled away and he was suddenly compelled to kiss her again, only this time not by accident. But he refrained himself just in time.

When Briar looked at her, Sandry was blushing furiously, pulling a loose strand of hair behind her ear.

"Duchess, it's good to see you." He teased.

Smiling, Sandry slapped him playfully on the shoulder. Briar laughed and fell back down on the roof. He looked her over and was surprised by just how much she had grown during their years apart. She looked more mature, more womanly, more…beautiful.

He cleared his throat, trying too late to rein his thoughts. She was his foster sister and nothing more. And even though he felt more than brotherly love for her, there could never be anything between them. Sandry obviously didn't feel that way and there was no way he'd make a fool out of himself and tell her how he felt. Besides, even if she did feel something for him, they couldn't be together because of the fact she was a noble and he was an ex-streetrat. It was very complicated.

"Don't call me that. It reminds me of all the things I'm required to do as a noble." Sandry said, smacking his arm again. She lay on the roof next to him and they watched the clouds forming in the skies in silence. After twenty minutes, Sandry began fidgeting, wanting to talk, but she wasn't sure if Briar was in the mood for hearing her rattle on about pointless things.

He had noticed her moving every so often and finally asked, "What do you want to say?"

Sandry smiled widely at him, making his heart flip. "How was traveling?"

Briar smiled back, his heart still doing funny things in his chest as he began to talk about his travels with Rosethorn and Evvy.

That I loved you

I have loved you all along

And I miss you

Been far away for far too long

I keep dreaming you'll be with me

And you'll never go

Stop breathing if

I don't see you anymore

It had been several weeks since Briar's arrival, and Sandry's uncle, Duke Vedris IV, had started to plan a ball for the return of the four mages. Sandry, Daja, Tris, and Briar were all against it at first, saying that having a ball in their honor was too much. But Duke Vedris had convinced them all, saying that he would invite the best blacksmiths for Daja, intelligent mages for Tris, and lots and lots of food for Briar. Sandry had been convinced to let her uncle have the ball after her friends encouraged her more and more.

So, exactly four weeks after Briar's arrival, the ball was held at the Citadel. Everyone in Emelan was invited and everyone showed up. It was crowded, but lively, with lots of laughter and happiness. And, like he promised, the duke had served plenty of good food.

Looking over the many platters set upon the refreshment table, Briar's stomach began to grumble. He picked up an apple form a nearby bowl and bit into it as he turned to look at the people dancing in the center of the room. He suddenly lost his appetite when he saw Sandry dancing with one of her many suitors. He grimaced and stared across the room, but his gaze kept sliding back to Sandry. She looked beautiful in the cornflower blue dress that matched her eyes, and the way she twirled on the dance floor made him yearn to be the one who was dancing with her.

He ate the rest of the apple and walked onto a nearby balcony where he could collect his thoughts. He was thinking so deeply that he didn't even notice someone walk up behind him until whoever it was tapped on his shoulder rather roughly. He spun around and saw Sandry, smiling up at him. His heart flipped when he saw her so close to him and he asked, "What are you doing here? I thought you were dancing."

"I was." She answered, coming to stand beside him on the balcony. "But you came out here, so I followed you. Not that I mind, I was getting bored dancing with all those men."

Briar chuckled and said, "Than I guess you don't want to dance with me, right?"

Sandry was grateful for the darkness of the night that concealed the rising color in her cheeks. "Well, if you want to, I guess I'll dance with you."

Grinning happily, Briar bowed and stretched out his hand, saying, "Duchess, would you take this dance?"

Sandry laughed and placed her hand in his, replying, "Why, of course."

So far away

Been far away for far too long

So far away

Been far away for far too long

But you know, you know, you know

Sandry couldn't believe how great it felt to have Briar put his arm around her waist and pull her closer to him. As he twirled her around, she felt as though she was dancing on a cloud, and she never wanted it to end.

Obviously, Briar never wanted it to end either because he just kept dancing, never stopping once to take a break. Their eyes were glued to each other's and neither one looked away. Well past midnight, people had started leaving to get back to their homes, but Briar and Sandry kept dancing.

When they finally were done, each was tired from dancing for so long. Sandry saw Daja and Tris getting ready to leave and waved them over. Daja looked at Briar and Sandry before saying, "You two sure danced for a long time."

Sandry smiled and replied, "Briar saved me from having to dance with all those awful suitors. But they're all gone now, so I don't have to worry anymore."

Tris said nothing and looked at Briar, smirking. For some reason, Briar became afraid of what she was going to say. Luckily, Tris chose to speak with him through mind-speak.

So, thief boy, you and Sandry sure danced a lot.

Briar's tense answer was, Daja already established that, Coppercurls.

But Tris wouldn't back down. Now why would you choose to dance with Sandry while there were plenty of other beautiful girls here tonight?

Like Sandry said, I was protecting her from her suitors. Aren't I just a great bodyguard?

Right. Tell me straight out, Briar, what is Sandry to you?

Briar subconsciously took a step back, embarrassed Tris would just say it like that. Couldn't she pry at it more subtly? Sighing inaudibly, Briar answered her.

Sandry is…everything, Coppercurls. You jealous?

No. There's more to it than that. Aren't you going to tell me?

Why do you want to know?

"Come on, Tris. I'm tired and Chime's coughing up crystals everywhere." Daja pulled on Tris's arm to lead her to the door. Chime, Tris's glass dragon, was perched on Daja's shoulder, but when he saw Daja pulling on Tris, the dragon flew to Tris and landed on her shoulder.


What now, Coppercurls?

You should tell her.

Briar was silent. He looked to where Sandry was saying goodbye to the other two. His heart spurred and he told Tris, I will, Coppercurls. I will.

Suddenly, it was just Briar and Sandry, all alone. Sandry looked at Briar and blushed when she saw him looking right back at her.

"So, shouldn't you be going, too?" Sandry asked.

Briar shook his head, grinning. He held out his hand. "Can't I have one last dance?"

"Haven't you had enough?" Sandry said. But she took his hand anyway and was surprised when Briar didn't start dancing, but instead pulled her into a tight, warm embrace. She was tense for a moment, but she relaxed in Briar's grip and returned the embrace.

"Thanks for the dances, Duchess." Briar whispered in her ear, sending tingles down her spine. Sandry nodded, unable to talk because her heart was doing funny things that she never thought were possible. She felt tingly and warm all over, just by being close to Briar. She remembered when he came back, when their heads had collided and he had accidentally ended up kissing her. Sandry suddenly felt the urge to have him kiss her then.

They stayed like that for what Sandry thought was forever. It seemed as though time had stopped and she wished that Briar would never let her go.

"Briar," Sandry whispered.

"Yes, Sandry?" he asked her, still not letting go.

Sandry gripped his shirt and leaned her forehead on his chest as she told him, "I've missed you."

"I've missed you, too, Duchess." Briar whispered back, hugging her tighter. He never wanted to let go of her. He wanted her to be in his arms forever, for them to never be apart again.

Sandry could feel tears falling from her eyes. "I never wanted you to go, Briar. I want you to stay here in Emelan with me. I know it's selfish of me, but I really wanted you to stay."

Briar was taken back and for a moment he was speechless. Then, lifting her chin so he could look at her face, he noticed she was crying and his heart went out to her. "I never wanted to go either, Duchess. To tell the truth, I…I love you."

Sandry's heart swelled and happiness surged throughout her body. When Briar leaned his head down, she met him halfway and closed the gap between them. Briar was ecstatic. Sandry's lips were soft and warm and he pressed her body up against his. He pressed his tongue against her mouth and she willingly gave him entrance to it. The kiss was slow and sweet and perfect.

When the pulled apart, Briar wiped away Sandry's tears and held her. She looked up at him, smiling. Briar's heart swelled and he said to her, "I'm sorry, Sandry. I wanted to stay with you in Emelan, but I chose to go with Rosethorn to see the world. I was confused of my feelings for you when I started traveling, but it suddenly became clear that I'm in love with you. But I wanted to tell you how I felt in person, not in a letter, but a I was too far away to tell you through mind-speak."

Briar would have gone on, had not Sandry stopped him by putting a finger on his mouth to silence him. She cupped the side of his face in hr hand and kissed him lightly on the lips before telling him, "Briar, it's all right now. You're here now and that's all that matter to me right now. So, please, Briar, just hold me right now."

Briar obliged and held Sandry closer to him. They kissed again and when they were done, Briar told her, "Sandry, you don't have to worry about me leaving. I'm staying here and that's that. I'll be here for you. Always."

I wanted

I wanted you to stay

'Cause I needed

I need to hear you say

That I love you

I have loved you all along

And I forgive you

For being away for far too long

So keep breathing

'Cause I'm not leaving

Hold on to me and

Never let go

now wasn't that just sweet? i thought so! i hope to get more sandry/briar stories posted soon, but first i have to actually take some time and type it all out first! leave a review if you liked it, or don't leave a review at all! and those of you who dont review me suck! j/k! but, still, you better review!

i am ashamed of myself! how can i call myself a circle of magic fan when ive only read 8 of the books? yes, ive read all of the circle opens and the will of the empress (that one was AWESOME!) and, yet, i haven't read Briar's Book yet...but i got the first 4 books for christmas, so i shall read it sometime soon!

enough of my chatter...

any and all good comments are appreciated. flames are just ignored:)