Hello, sorry it took so long to update! I just kept getting more and more distracted, but I always found my way back to this fic. I hope that you enjoy part three.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything that Christopher Paolini created. I only own Alethea and the idea of Murtagh falling in love with a blind girl.

Part 3

"And then there is this one."

"Oh! She'd look lovely in that!"

Alethea was quite board with the shrieks of her maids, as they exclaimed that nearly every dress would look perfect on her. Standing quietly, she gently let her hands flow over the fabrics. She stopped at one that she thought that she might like. It had long sleeves, a sash around the waist and embroidery on the skirt, and some how it felt right.

"Gertrud, come here please." The eldest of her maids came as she bid. "I want this dress, for my wedding."

"Why it's lovely, Mistress. Blue and white would be good colors for you, white being the main on of course. Yes, this will do wonderfully."

"I'm glad that you approve," Alethea said with a bit of laughter.

"Er, begging yer pardon Mistress," Gertrud replied nervously. Alethea laughed again as the older woman scurried to pay for the dress,

"That's quite all right. Though, I do think that I wish to go to my room now, I'm rather tired."

"That is unfortunate, as I was hoping to have a word with you my lady." Everyone gasped and Alethea heard them shuffle down low. Recognizing who it was, she gave a deep curtsy for the king. "That is quite all right my lady, there is no need after all, after next week, and we'll practically be family." Alethea uncrinkled herself as he continued. "Perhaps we could have a walk together?" Alethea swallowed as she replied,

"If it should please the king, then yes, I suppose that we could. Gertrud, please take my things back to my apartments."

"Yes, Mistress," she heard the maid reply. She felt the king gently guide her hand onto his arm.

"Well, shall we, mil'lady?"

"Indeed, my liege." They walked for quite a waze before Alethea felt the sun on her face.

"They are beautiful, the gardens, it's a shame that you won't be able to see them." She raised a brow at his statement.

"My liege, may I say something without it taking offence?"

"Of course, child. I swear it."

"What is your true purpose for asking me here?"

"I was merely going to ask what you would like a wedding gift."

"Your majesty, I am blind not stupid." Galbatorix laughed.

"So it appears. Although you are blind, I sense power within you, but no like that of the ancient language. And yet, you have no barriers against your mind, or no other abilities that I can find. So you are not a threat….for now, but I don't think that the whole truth has been told about how dear Murtagh found you. Ah, here we are. Well then, here are you apartments my lady, I bid you fair well."

"He's a scary one, ain't he?" said Gertrud coming up behind her.

"Yes, but I suppose that it would not bode well to say so."

"I suppose not mistress. If you'll come inside though we've prepared lunch and Lord Murtagh will be in from training in a moment."

"Lunch sounds…refreshing." Gertrud led her to the table and helped her be seated. It was only then that she heard a pair of foot falls entering the room. "Hello Murtagh." She said as he placed a his hands over her eyes. He planted a kiss upon her cheek as he took the seat across from her.

"How could you tell?"

"You're boots were squeaking slightly from your sweat."

"Ah, well, I have a gift for you." Murtagh placed a box infront of her and Alethea's curious hands tracing it. Opening it gently, her fingers slid over cool metal bands and a chain of sorts. "They're an early wedding gift. I thought you might like the wrist bands, in place of what you used to where. And the necklace, well, I thought that you might like something to go with you're dress." She smiled.

"Thank you Murtagh. They're lovely I can tell." The words danced upon her lips and she knew that she should tell him. He would only be angrier if he found out later. She pursed her lips before saying, "The king escorted me here Murtagh." The dead silence of her betrothed frightened Alethea a bit, but not enough to back down.

"What did he say to you?"

"He spoke of the magic within me. How it wasn't like the ancient language, but that I posed no threats because there was nothing else to me but that small bit of magic. I didn't feel him touch my mind, Murtagh."

"Alethea, it isn't that simple, it never is! He always has something planned, always something there, something that you didn't expect! Are you sure of this Alethea? Can you tell me positivily and surely, upon your immortal soul, that you didn't feel him there, proding around into your secrets?"

"I swear it," she replied. Murtagh sighed and seated himself once again.

"I don't want to loose you Alethea, and I know that he'll take you away from me." Alethea allowed a smile to form on her lips.

"That is why I don't intend to be taken, Murtagh. Don't fret, I will be fine."

"I hope that you are sincere when you say so, Alethea, I hope that you are." His warm, caloused hands fell on hers. Alethea kissed them gently, before their lips gently touched, the way Murtagh always was when he touched her, even in the smallest of ways. "I love you, my wise maiden."

"And I, you, my red rider."

Do you really think that he didn't probe her? Thorn asked Murtagh later, as Alethea slept.

I don't know, he replied. She's always honest with me. And why would she lie about this?

I don't believe that she would. All the same, do we know if she's been probed before? How was she able to tell that he was probing her? Murtagh frowned. Thorn had a point.

I don't know.

It sounds that you don't know a lot of things, hatchling.

You sound like our dear king, and you're the hatchling, not me. Murtagh rubbed Thorn affectionately as he said so and Thorn nudged back.

You may want to get some sleep. Tomorrow, you mate with that woman.

Yes you are right. I don't know why Galbatorix pushed for the wedding to be so soon. It's only been two weeks since I brought her.

Perhaps he wishes for hatchlings from your union? He was friends with your sire after all. Murtagh growled.

I will not let them be controlled!

Murtagh, you may not have a choice.

I can send them somewhere that the king will never find.

What place? He already knows of your dame's home? Where else could you send your mate and hatchlings.

Thorn, my dame's brother was not the only family that I have. The dragon thought on this for a moment. Then, on his face was a pure expression of human shock.

You don't mean that your sire—

They're good people, Thorn. Every last one of them. I met them while traveling around, and they welcomed me with open arms. And, their land is protected by a magic that Galbatorix has yet to discover. Thorn snorted.

And what magic can that be?

I can't tell you exactly, but I can tell you that she draws power from the earth and forest themselves. If the shadow of a single tree connects to another, her range will extend and she can be called there. She's saved me from powerful magic, and keeps my people safe.

Wait a moment, she?

Well yes. The lady of the forest. That's all I can tell you Thorn, for truthfully, that's about all that I know of my homeland.

You're dame didn't have any secrets did she?And what about your sire, did he have any more of those precious secrets. This would be good to know as you're dragon partner, Murtagh.

I'm sorry Thorn, it's not that I don't trust you, I simple do not trust our king, quite yet, because he does not trust us.

I know, and I do trust you, Murtagh, and I know that you will tell me when it is apropriate.

Thank you for trusting in me Thorn, it means I great deal.

I know Murtagh, I know, now, go to sleep. You have to go through that stupid ritual in the morning and then you must mate your woman.

Please don't remind me Thorn.

Most men would be thrilled at the prospect of sex, even the virgins. I'm sure that you're insticts will kick in and everything will be fine. I'll even stay out of the link. Murtagh gave the dragon one last pat before retiring to his chamber.

Thank you my friend, you know just what to say.

What can I say? It's a gift. The man laughed at his dragon's foolishness, as he climbed into bed, and almost instantly fell asleep.

But on the other side of the castle, the king was not asleep; rather, he was thinking of many of the same things that Murtagh had thought about., but mostly about the strange blind girl that had come to his palace.

How do I get her on my side...? I must learn of this magic, he thought.

You might try seduction, suggested Shurikan

I could, but I sense that she is very loyal to Murtagh, and would not be easily seduced. Perhaps I should try friendship for now and see where that leads me.

It could work very well, Galbatorix. She seems easy prey, a frightened maiden in a new place with out a friend in the world.

Yes... but still she is wary of me. Very wary infact. Almost as though she can read minds. But she knows nothing of the sort. None of the ancient language, nor any magic of the elves.

She may become less wary with time though, unless my king would have another option?

I will, but not tonight, it's late, I have a wedding to attend tomorrow. It's not every day that your right hand man get married.

No, but it has happened twice already.

Galbatorix laughed at the dragons comment.

Very true, Shurikan, very true indeed. Untill I can convince lady Alethea of myself, however, I believe that she should befriend some ladies of her own station. After all she will be a lady of very high station after tomorrow, won't she.

Indeed, my king, indeed.

ok, now here's a shout out to all of my reviewers!

Gwenhwyvar: Yeah, I know the feeling. But, he had to be that way, because it simple had to be confusing.

A Kiss Before Dying: O.o thank you sooo much! I can't help but always think that I'm doing things that have been done before, so it's nice to know that I am being creative.

Lovebuggy: Yeah sorry about the bars, I was all wonky cause I was happy about putting it up. This chapter comes with bars though.

Hedwig the MilleniumOwl: I understand it about it happening really fast, one of my friends said the same thing and I happen to agree. However, I was just trying to get it out, and may try and go back and fix it later. I might not though, because even though it happens fast, I think it's ment to happen like that. And they are still unsure of their love, even though in this chapter, they say that they love each other. I apprieciate you criticism and I'm glad that you like it (I agree that it is out there though. I don't really think that he'd marry a blind girl, but hey, Paolini's the writer).