"She is making this harder than it needs to be." A murmur of ascent flew through those close enough to hear the comment. Lei'ella and Mei'emma, twin sisters, marked and unmarked, were at the edge of Inverloch with their parents and a few others. The edge of Inverloch was also the edge of the mortal world, where everything started dying. The girls never could tell the difference. They wouldn't let each other go, their light and dark hair running together and their tears on each other's faces.

They had turned twelve just last week and Lei'ella was now old enough to take care of herself. She was about to be portalled to a community where all the elves like her went.

"I will find you," said Mei'emma through her tears. "I promise. Or I will make them bring you back."

Lei'ella was finally pulled away by their mother. Their father was standing off to the side, trying not to get involved physically or emotionally. At least he was succeeding with the former. "Then, I will be expecting you." Lei'ella walked away, and gave her mother one last hug as well, and she returned it fiercely.

"Are you ready now?" asked the elder. In fact, Lei'ella wasn't ready, but she knew he was going to send her anyway, so she chose not to answer. She wrapped her arms around herself and bowed her head, trying to hide her eyes.

The air shimmered as she looked up and caught one last glimpse of the only world she knew.

"I'm not ready yet! Ella, Ella!" Emma was left there all alone, her hand catching the air.