The Royal Guardian

By: Sokai

Disclaimer: I, Sokai, do not claim ownership to the workings of W.I.T.C.H. - I leave that honor up to Elisabetta Gnone. Nor do I own Meg Cabot's "The Princess Diaries" series (even though this story isn't even really related to the series. Just don't want to hear law suit claims LoL). However, I can and DO claim to own this story and its inspired ideas FROM said series.

Note: See? Didn't take long at all, this time. LoL

Nothing else to really say, except my ongoing thanks to all of your ongoing support and interest within this story, my Lovelies, and especially for some of the really adorable, really animated reviews I've gotten for the previous chapter! Too cute, I'm telling you, and completely made my evening last night to have read. LoL

Anyway! Enjoy this next chapter, as well as the "big" revelation! =)


This chapter was written/created in February 2012 (and found again, thank God, in November 2013 LoL).


Chapter Fifty Four

Saturday, November 11th, 1:16 pm

"My Bedroom" Inside of the Presidential Suite of the Infinity Crowne Plaza Hotel

My God.

I would just like one day, just one day, where I'm not rudely awakened from out of my precious, glorious, and rare as of late slumber!

I really would.

Between waking up for school, waking up to do schoolwork in the middle of the night because I'd unavoidably crashed into slumber promptly upon arriving back here from school, waking up for Guardian duties (although that's only recently picked up again, to be fair), and nowadays, waking up for God awful makeup sessions and princess lessons, I've only accumulated maybe . . . twenty minutes worth of real, and actual sleep in the last week, alone!

Okay, so obviously I've had much more than that (miraculously).

Still!

My point is, I thought that princesses were supposed to get some sort of special treatment, I have to point out, yet again!

So why can't that include just one full day, I mean the whole freaking day, once a week, set aside purely for being unconscious?

I swear, this is swiftly becoming a steady theme within my journal entries, here, talking about how I never get any shut-eye, in addition to never getting any sort of privacy or free time – Free will, anymore. . . .

However, to be fair, the reason I was reawakened from my ongoing quest for a sound rest was actually a pleasant one.

A very pleasant, very unexpected, and utterly surprising one.

No, it wasn't an email or something from Lord Kendrick, not like I've been waiting on bated breath for one from him, or anything like that. . . .

No. It was Eli coming in uninvited, once more, to alert me that I have a visitor.

In the midst of my beginning to wonder why I'd even bothered to try going back to sleep, why Eli was still around when he apparently has such the busy day ahead of him, why I seriously don't just start locking my door from now on, and who could possibly be wanting to visit with me so early in the morning and why, I will admit that . . . I did think for a brief moment that it could have been Kendrick.

But, it wasn't because oh, he now finds me so irresistible and just had to come see me!

No, thanks.

It was because it was the most logical assumption, given we'd just spent the "all too important" dinner outing together last night, and because Eli was now standing within the entrance way to my bedroom, looking quite pleased and bothering to take the time to personally announce unheralded visitors, rather than let one of his infinite supply of royal staff members do it for him like usual.

But then I started to think that it couldn't have been Lord Kendrick, because there was no way in the world that Eli would suddenly become so "liberal," especially not where his "precious" protege was concerned, and allow a man directly into my bedchambers like that, no matter how much he might have favored him. . . .

That, and if not for that particular reason, then also for the simple fact that Eli is well aware by now just how nightmarish I tend to appear whenever first rolling out of bed. And we all know how important image is to the uptight king of Marsily.

So, after that assumption had promptly been ruled out (thankfully, in my book, since I was not in any mood to already be embarrassed, and at only five after ten o'clock in the morning), I nonetheless allowed my mind to then shift onto still-yummy-in-my-book-even-though-he-might-so-tot ally-be-after-my-mother-now Emin, which definitely made my heart nearly jump out of my chest at the prospect, and caused me to immediately begin blindly patting down my chaotically disheveled hair.

As much as I didn't want to face him, either, not in this incredibly unattractive state, I figured that if he was here now, I could use it as an opportunity to apologize for my . . . slightly inebriated state after dinner last night, and loose tongue.

You know, the part where I'd regrettably come out of my face and basically made it clear that I'd rather have my head shaved than conduct any sort of interview, let alone his?

. . . . Eeeyeah.

Well, maybe not "regrettably" in the not wanting to go onto live television and make a complete fool out of myself, as I already know for fact I will do, if I end up drugged by Eli before he manages to successfully drag me in front of the camera.

It's just more on the "regrettably" side because I'd ended up blathering on like a loon and clearly put off my hopefully still future husband . . . or boyfriend . . . an extremely brief endeavor?

Hey.

I know I said I was going to try to let it, let him, go, but I guess I'm just waiting for some sort of hardcore confirmation that the possible prospect of Emin and I getting together within an alternate universe (once I hit eighteen, anyway) really isn't possible . . . you know . . . kind of like the way I'd finally gotten the very much needed, although still quite harsh reality check concerning "Caleb and I. . . ."

Argh!

And here, I was doing so damned well!

Slap me the next time I mention that jerk upon your pages, again, Journal. . . .

Anyway!

After finally recovering from my momentary, delusional state that a guy would be calling upon me, I slowly sat up within the bed and with squinting eyes groggily asked, ". . . . Didn't you say earlier that I have the day to myself, Eli? So why am I receiving so called 'visitors?' It isn't some new royal tutor you've added to your roster of princess lesson instructors, is it?"

I then watched within partial amusement as Eli promptly reached up to pinch the bridge of his prominent nose and sighed, his usual sign, I've noticed by now, for whenever I've managed to break through his so called impenetrable wall of patience.

That'll learn you to mess with my sleep, yet again, damn it.

". . . . No, Wilhelmina, it is not a new tutor, although I can summon one for you to continue on with your lessons today should you prefer," Eli replied with a very fatigued tone and even expression at first, before it all abruptly gave way to an almost zen-like demeanor (which is something I suspect he's been actively practicing to achieve in private ever since first meeting me). "At any rate, it would appear as though I have exercised impeccable timing to grant your brief respite, as the individual wishing to visit with you is, while not one I personally had been anticipating, I admit, apparently a friend of yours . . . something we are currently looking into to further verify. . . . In the meantime, you may enter The Princess's chambers young lady. . . ."

What the heck, man?

Really?

'"Something we are currently looking into to further verify?"'

Like I hang around shady, criminally inclined individuals, right? (Oh, and like that "Not one I personally had been anticipating" comment, as well as the one earlier this morning of, "Enjoy yourself . . . perhaps with a companion of sorts?" wasn't once again excruciatingly clear that Eli now wants things to be "Will and Lord Kendrick Time, All the Time!" from now on. . . .)

I know I shouldn't have been so surprised by Eli's statement, since, hello, it's Eli, and being paranoid seems to come with the territory of being King (which, fine, I'll give it to him, seeing as he is a "very important person," and all).

Still.

It sort of defeats the purpose in even reacting this way if you apparently let the stranger inside of your personal dwellings without even bothering to do a cavity search or something like that (which, of course, I am hoping to God none of Eli's bodyguards even thought of doing that to this particular person, let alone actually attempted it). . . .

". . . . T-Thank you, Your Majesty," I could then hear a disembodied, painfully familiar, painfully shy sounding voice nearly whisper within response as I felt myself slowly raise a curious eyebrow at the sudden developments, while watching Eli give a small smile of acknowledgment before stepping aside to freely allow the newcomer into my bedroom.

It was almost like a parallel universe sort of moment, this, but only because it simply wasn't every day I'd wake up and suddenly find my uncle, the King, standing side by side with one of my best friends inside of . . . well, any room, anywhere, really.

Well, actually, as we all know, I'd sort of hoped to death that that would never happen, him meeting any of the girls face to face, so that that part of my life, at least, could remain separate to my new, royalty jammed pack one.

Regardless, a small part of me did figure it would happen one of these days, whether I liked it or not, but more along the lines of Eli having each of them kidnapped one by one, and then interrogated into oblivion over their "intentions" concerning being my friend, or something. (Well, maybe not so much Cornelia, at least, seeing as she presently doesn't seem too fond of me and all. But, then, even if she did still super love me, Eli would most likely be no match for her, since various ways of intimidation is not usually one of her weaker points . . . the lucky one.)

And I really did begin to think something close to that effect as my eyes surprisingly widened, then locked with those of a very flustered looking Taranee's, as she seemed to be internally struggling with what to do with herself next. Within a few moments, however, she must have managed to center herself, or something, because her nervousness appeared to completely evaporate (well, most of it, anyway. It is still Taranee, after all), as she calmly shifted her gaze between Eli and myself before stating, "It is both the pleasure, as well as honor for you to see me this morning, Your Royal Highness. And it is very much appreciated that you would afford me the opportunity to do so, Your Majesty. Thank you, again. . . ."

Next thing I know, I'm feeling my face growing incredibly hot, with quite the strong desire to bury myself deep underneath my bed at that moment, as I unfortunately watched as my dearest friend gracefully extended both of her arms on either side of her snugly dressed, Winter attired body, gently tucked her head down a bit, bent her left knee and tapped her right toe behind herself into a curtsy. . . .

A curtsy.

Taranee just gave me, and Eli . . . a curtsy.

Gave me a curtsy.

. . . . Inside of my hotel bedroom, while I'm still within my pajamas and look anything but a princess.

It doesn't get any "better" than that, folks. . . .

Eli, on the other hand, looked positively impressed, as though utterly thunderstruck that I could be capable of having such a well mannered friend.

Sure enough. . . .

"Well! What a fine display of etiquette! A fine display, indeed! And my furthered compliments upon a well executed pay of obeisance . . . hmm. . . ." he trailed off, clearly struggling to recall the name of the now profusely blushing girl standing before him, however apparently not wishing to possibly offend or give off an air of ignorance. (Heaven forbid, right? An ignorant leader? That'd be the end of the world, right there.)

Taranee didn't seem to be bothered by the fact that the sovereign had already failed to remember the name I'm sure she'd most likely given to him not but five minutes prior, as she merely straightened her posture, smiled back and then nodded.

"O-Oh, my name is Taranee, Your Majesty. Taranee Cook. It . . . is not terribly the common mention, I must confess, so please do not be bothered," she answered within renewed reminder to the now curiously beaming king standing before her, as he gracefully raised a traditionally bejeweled hand up to his chin.

"Ahhh, Tah-rahn-nee, yes. Beautifully unique a name, and melodic upon the ears," Eli practically cooed, clearly completely won over by Taranee's continued projection of respect, which, to him, has always seemed to be at the utmost top of his list of "Must Dos" while within his presence. (It's a good thing, then, that 'Ranee wasn't secretly packing some serious heat – No pun intended - or anything malicious in nature as that when she came to visit, or else Eli would have been screwed, eh?)

I probably would have started snickering over the way he evidently says Taranee's name and the shifted area of emphasis, thanks to his Marsilian accent and all, if I wasn't too busy being positively grossed out by the overall proceedings.

I mean, yeah, sure, 'Ranee's always been known for having the "bests" out of the five of us in "W.I.T.C.H.," with Cornelia usually bringing up the very close rear.

Well, where manners are concerned, anyway.

You know, best posture, best elocution, and all that crap.

It's just always been second nature to the girl.

And so, because of that, I know that about ninety-five percent of what I was currently witnessing really was Taranee "Au Naturel," as it were.

But it didn't make it any less . . . horribly unnatural and disgusting to see her utilizing her God given sense of universal regard toward Eli of all so called people!

I mean, come on, here!

What, exactly, have I done to deserve such punishment? And at only five after ten o'clock in the freaking morning, I say again!

I couldn't stand it any longer.

I was just about to float a rather . . . "colorful" early morning mental message Taranee's way when Eli, after having accepted yet another quiet murmur of gratitude from the now plum-cheeked Fire Guardian, at last excused himself from our presence, however not before informing her how it was quite "the pleasure of making your acquaintanceship, Taranee! I shall hope to do it again, soon, alongside the remainder of The Princess's closest comrades!"

. . . . Ick.

That's just not normal.

It really isn't.

The guy almost comes off acting like a freaking Bisney character whenever he takes a crack at being "nice," I swear.

And wanting to now meet Irma and the others, "soon," on top of that all of a sudden (which, I'll say once more, will never be happening on my watch)?

Most definitely up to something, without question. . . .

After being forced to take in the sight of Taranee once again giving an admittedly flawless curtsy (especially by comparison to my own) to the Marsilian King as he suavely exited the room, I felt as though my vast meal from the previous evening was about to come back up on me as a result, before somehow managing to calm myself and clear my throat in order to gain the other girl's attention.

". . . . Sooo . . . um . . . welcome to the Presidential Suite. . . .?" I offered a bit feebly as I slowly climbed out of the bed, suddenly feeling very much exposed now that we were at last alone.

I could feel my face growing warmer and warmer as I began to look everywhere else about the enclosed area but directly at Taranee, who regrettably had to go and quickly notice.

Evidently, much to my dismay, she didn't feel it necessary to drop the extremely aggravating formalities, even with Eli gone from the vicinity now, thus succeeding within making the overall situation that much more unbearable for me.

At least, she didn't drop it at the beginning of her reply, anyway.

"Thank you, Your Royal Highness. . . . I'm sorry for coming unannounced and so early like this, since I understand all too well about your intense affair with sleeping in until sunset if you can help it, but I just . . . uh, Will? What's with the jittery demeanor? This isn't the first time I've seen you in your pajamas, after all . . . well, never none so extra luxuriant, anyway."

I immediately looked down towards my current attire of a black colored, short sleeved and Chinese inspired satin pajama set and loudly groaned.

"Ugh . . . would you just lay off, already, T? I had a very, and I mean, very long day yesterday, and by the time I was finally able to crash for the night, I just grabbed the first pair of pajamas this place has stockpiled within the many drawers and armoires you see before you within this room, all right? If I knew it was yet safe and Paparazzi-free to do so, I'd just go back to my real home by now – My real bedroom back at my loft and wear some of my tried and true froggie jammies you're more used to," I grumbled with a huff, feeling myself growing unnecessarily defensive as I turned my back to a now undoubtedly taken aback Taranee.

". . . . Yikes. Maybe I should have called, after all. Forgive me, though, for having taken you seriously upon your offer to hang out one on one very soon, like you'd told me a few days ago after lunchtime in school," I could hear her respond with a sigh and click of her tongue, causing me to whirl back around to look at her and make sure she wasn't severely upset.

I was relieved to see the already broad, amused grin creeping onto her face then, rather than the deep scowl or something I'd initially been expecting, and as though reading my thoughts (which, of course, as we know by now, she very well could have), Taranee quickly adds, "Oh, come on, Will! Did you really think I'd be affected by your grumpy 'tude at the moment? I've known you long enough by now to know just how volatile you can be whenever first waking up in the morning, especially if it's before you're ready."

Yay!

There goes the day to day Taranee I'm used to!

No more excessive, grand gestures of proper etiquette and respect! Just good ol', laid back and playful teasing between two, relatively normal teenaged girls!

Thank God, because I didn't know how much more I could take.

I gradually felt myself beginning to relax after this, and also slowly "warm up" to the idea that yes, one of my closest friends is actually there with me inside of the massive, ridiculously posh suite which has been my mother's and my new place of stay for the last two weeks, now.

Running a semi shaky hand through my continually erratic locks, I carelessly plunked down onto my bed and smiled gently towards my ever-the-understanding companion.

". . . . I'm sorry, Taranee. Really. True, I am still pretty tired and no, don't normally handle mornings well. But it's mainly just . . . well, it's honestly a bit too surreal for me right now to have someone from my previously standard, every day life just sort of become . . . immersed now, I guess, into this insane princess life of mine, you know? You guys all know how much and how hard I've been fighting to keep all of this as far away from you, my loved ones, for as long as humanly possible," I murmured, reiterating my concern for maintaining normalcy, and simultaneously protecting those I care deeply for from the chaos which has become my life.

Clearly catching the smile upon my face shift from one of temporary relief to one of undeniable sadness and stress, Taranee finally dislodged herself from her continued place in front of my sealed, ivory double doors and gingerly took a seat next to me upon the soft bedspread.

"Oh, Will . . . I really am sorry that you're still having a hard time adjusting to all of this," she began with a waning simper, before raising both of her arms to wrap them around me within furthered comfort, "and I also really wish that your mom could have maybe at least told you about some of this years ago, so it wouldn't be as traumatizing for you once everything started to unfold. . . . But . . . I don't know. I'm trying not to judge, here. I'm not inside her head – Although, yes, I know, I could be, old joke. I just mean that . . . maybe she felt it could have been harder for you back then as a young kid grappling with this knowledge, versus how you could have handled it now, as one who is nearly an adult. . . ."

I scoffed, rather loudly, at this, before raising my previously inclined head to gaze upon a visibly perplexed Taranee.

"No. Please. My mom already told me the reason why she didn't think it smart to tell me when I was younger that we were both Royalty. Said that she didn't want me getting a super big ego and taking Life for granted, being aware of my supreme station and what have you. . . . Whatever," I bitingly explained, abruptly falling backward onto the snow colored bed and folding my hands over my chest as I stared hard up at the broad, glittering chandelier dangling elegantly above us both. "I think that, at this point, I'd much rather take my chances becoming an uptight, overly privileged tart than continue being . . . well, me, and woefully ill-prepared for all this madness. At least I'd have had the confidence and presumably thick skin as the alternative. . . ."

Taranee then mirrored my actions by also lying back, although much more carefully, turning her raven colored head to her left to look at me.

"Aww, Will, no. I don't really think you're as 'ill-prepared,' as you put it, as you clearly continue to believe," she commented with a soft, playful nudge at my side with her left elbow, causing me to lightly giggle in the process. "Yeah, I mean, remember, with no disrespect, how pretty much hopeless you were as a Guardian of the Veil when we all first became one? How pretty much every other day you'd let it be known that leadership was completely off your radar of aspirations and current capabilities? But it's forced you to climb out of your comfort zone and rise to the occasion! So, therefore, if anyone who could handle such a drastic turn of events as finding out they are a member of The deMontaimont Royal Family, I firmly believe it'd be you. . . . Oh, and on a side note? How freaking soft and inviting is this bed? This right here is an automatic perk to being a princess, you have to admit."

Damn it, T.

She never has let me wallow within self-pity and despair for too long.

"Okay, okay! Enough with the pep talks! I've gotten way too many of them in the last several days as it is!" I moaned into my right hand as I slapped it against my face before beginning to chuckle even harder. "And Matt's already given me the whole 'You used to suck as a Guardian, but now look at you!' comparison speech the very day he first found out that I was a princess, so I get that, too. Although, in your case, coming from you, you -"

"- Yes! All right! I was a super, spineless coward who couldn't even handle her own given element, ironically, let alone helping any of you guys out properly in any way," Taranee interrupted with a light pinch to my exposed, raised arm, her turn to mutter and whinge within indignation. "But, if anything, that could be a point to use for me, rather than against within this argument! I mean, if I could learn to calm down and become the well oiled machine you see before you, then there's hope for you as a princess yet!"

"'Well oiled machine?' Is that something Nigel's called you before, Rae?" I couldn't resist asking as a bit of payback for my currently throbbing arm as I delicately rubbed at it, smirking slyly at the other girl and expecting to see her blush and giggle in response.

Instead, however, she swiftly stopped smiling altogether before sitting up and getting off of the bed.

I could then feel the immediate shift within atmosphere as I slowly became upright and watched with growing concern as Taranee suddenly began to pace about the spacious bedroom.

"W-Whoa, uh . . . it was just a joke, you know. I know that both you and Nigel haven't done anything like . . . that," I offered weakly within consolation, mentally slapping myself as the brief thought of Cornelia and Caleb clearly not sharing within the same sort of wholesome morals popped into my head. . . .

Taranee promptly stopped within her tracks and exhaled lightly, before turning her head toward me to smile faintly.

"No . . . I mean, yeah, I know you were joking, Will. It's just that . . . well, that's actually why I've come to see you . . . and why I've been wanting to see you, alone, for a while now," she confessed, voice barely above a whisper.

I quickly sprang into action, practically catapulting off of the bed and closing the short distance between the two of us, as it was now my turn to envelop my obviously distraught friend within as soothing a hug as I could offer.

"Hey, hey . . . it's all right, 'Ranee. You got me, and I'm listening . . . . I'm just really sorry that it's taken this long," I apologized within a soft murmur of my own as I then proceeded to give the now softly (and thankfully) giggling Taranee a bear hug.

"It's okay, Will, it's okay. I get it, you know? It's just that this is something I really wanted to talk to you, specifically, about . . . well, first, and for now, anyway," she remarked with another sigh, moving away from out of my embrace in order to finally remove the pretty stylish, form hugging maroon colored winter coat I had only just then realized she still had on. (Look at me, sounding ever more like Eli, Cornelia, or the Kalah Twins, yet again, with me actually taking notice of junk like so called "stylish" fashion now. Ugh. Save me, please.)

Which then also made me realize that I had yet to offer her anything to eat or drink as my guest . . . or to offer myself anything of the sort, for that matter.

. . . . Which then, again, made me realize that I had just woken up, and thus still had my rank "Morning Breath" and sleep-gooed face going on this entire time.

Some "elegant" princess I am, eh?

Makes you wonder why Eli's been bothering to drill all these lessons into my brain if it was he, himself, who had uncharacteristically let anyone other than my mother or himself into my private room without first dialing up Malvina and Mabelle real quick like for a complete morning makeup overhaul, or something.

Seems like he could use a refresher course, himself.

But then, I guess he really is trying to play nice with me today. . . .

Feeling incredibly embarrassed all over again, despite the fact that I have seen (and smelled) Taranee during her own less than best times a gajillion times over, now, I promptly held up a finger into the air to cut off any continued dialogue between us, as she was clearly gearing up to do with her reopening her mouth.

"Er . . . sorry. I'd only just now caught on that I've been talking to you this entire time with 'Garbage Mouth' blasted to full," I said with a shamefaced grin, at the same time that Taranee blinked within surprise before beginning to laugh heartily at my expense . . . sort of. "And before you even say it, I so already know you and the other girls have personally sampled my signature brand of stench before, but it's the principle of the thing. That, and I've just already gotten so damned expectant of all these royalty related people pulling, scraping, and tugging away at me at all hours of the day for the past few weeks that it's sort of made me become even more on the super, hyper self-aware side, I guess. Last thing I'd need is to make the front page of Monday's newspaper with some leftover broccolini stuck within my teeth from last night's dinner. . . ."

And with that, with a roll of my eyes and playful punch against Taranee's left shoulder from her continued laughter over my brief meltdown, I lightly jogged over toward my private bathroom and began to do the bare minimum of washing up as quickly as I could so I wouldn't keep my unexpected, although greatly appreciated company waiting.

After I was positively sure that there really wasn't anything unflattering lingering in between my teeth (or within the corners of my eyes), I reentered the bedroom area (also with much more tamed hair, as well), just in time to catch Taranee meticulously twirling what appeared to be a tiny ring in between the both of her index fingers and thumbs, as she now sat, within the far corner and upon one of the several, lush vanity chairs set in front of the lowly lit, golden fireplace I honestly forget is there majority of the time. (Well, what? This room really is unnaturally huge, and with far too many amenities crammed inside for one person to handle.)

I felt my heart lurch within my chest as my brain began to slowly register what that particular piece of jewelry actually could be the longer I looked at it, still stuck within the dual entrance and exit way of my bathroom.

". . . . T-That . . . what is that, Rae?" I heard myself asking within complete, and utter awe, causing Taranee to jump in the process and nearly lose her grip upon the object in question.

"Oh! Geez! Don't do that, Will!" she scolded with a rough exhale, immediately cupping the small, shimmering ring within her hands and shielding it from further view.

Finally able to find my legs again, I approached my startled friend carefully, taking a seat across from her in front of the warm and inviting hearth, all while keeping my eyes fully trained upon her.

If this really was what I was now steadily beginning to believe it was, also the reason why Taranee has been acting so strangely lately and distracted, and wanting so dearly to talk to me "first," as she previously put it, then there was no way I was going to zone out and miss a moment of it.

"I'm sorry for the scare, T, but, to be honest, you've gotten me all in suspense, now!" I replied within apology for the umpteenth time, now, feeling the inner "girly-girl" usually joyously buried six feet under courtesy of my more dominant tomboyish side swiftly beginning to emerge. "You haven't answered my question, though: Is that what I think that is?"

At this, Taranee let out an extremely shaky exhale, slowly unfurled her hands and weakly smiled at me before blindly raising the curious ring until it was eye level for the two of us.

". . . . Are you asking if this ring means that I am engaged? Then . . . yes . . . it does. . . ."

- End of Chapter Fifty-Four


(A.N. Yay! A semi "long" chapter! Well, at least longer than the previous, anyway, as it had been 3 ½ pages, while this one is 11. So maybe that, in addition to what was revealed and began to unfold therein shall suffice those of you who have craved this story's return for a good while now? =)

And poor Will, and constantly being rudely awakened left and right, as she kept reminding us, at "only five after ten o'clock in the morning!" LoL I know the feeling, I know the feeling... SLEEPING-IN-UNTIL-SUNSET-IF-YOU-CAN-HELP-IT, FOR LIFE! LoL

Moving on! No worries, for I, or Will, rather, will make note of how exactly Taranee managed to just ease on through security like that without anyone super super freaking out, since she just sort of wrote her in, just suddenly...THERE. LoL

Just wait until Eli eventually meets IRMA..holy crap. =p

ANYWAY! Oh, and it wasn't a typo, just in case anyone might have wondered, when I wrote "Bisney" instead of "Disney." Just doing mah usual not wishing to get sued precautions by not mentioning real life crap within fanfiction, yadda yadda, as is against the rules here. LoL Last I knew, anyway. Meh. =p

Oh, yeah, and that whole "Crash into slumber" thing Will wrote at the beginning of her entry was just me being silly and indirectly making mention to Chris Chan. LoL That's one of my hubby's and my favorite moments within his overall "chronicles," as they're referred to as. Confused? No worries, then. LoL

Annnd Will teasing Eli and the way he pronounces Taranee's name is just something my siblings and I like to do with our parents and THEIR accents. LoL Especially our dad, and the way he used to say "Spaghetti," for example. He'd always call it "SPAG-ghetti," instead of the more common "Spuh-ghetti" we're all probably used to hearing. LoL Adorable.

But, yeah! Taranee? ENGAGED? Where'd THAT come from, yeah? LoL Well, I'll just let Will fill you all in about it within the next chapter, I'm sure, with again, ME saying that while it wasn't super super obvious – Something which had been done on purpose, yes – I did drop little bits of attention here and there to Taranee and Nigel's relationship. I was hoping that no one would really make a mental – Or literary, in this case, via reviews LoL – note of it after reading, since I lovvvvvvvvvvvve being subtle where twists and turns are concerned, and thankfully, it's seemed to have paid off in all this time. =p Well, about this, anyway. LoL

But I DO always, ALWAYS enjoy reading all of your wonderful reviews in general, but ESPECIALLY whenever it's a super "animated" one about various theories of what's coming next, or what "just happened," and "how can (I) do that to (so-n-so)?" such. =)

To get your minds going and become so immersed within various tales told by lil' ol' me is something I will NEVER grow tired of seeing, nor appreciating. So, thank you, again, my Lovelies, and please, continue being patient with me for the next installment! =) )