Disclaimer: All the various gypsies that you don't recognize are mine. Everything else is already copyrighted.

Clopin at fifteen:

"Mother, why did you have to tell all of those embarrassing stories in front of Talaitha? I really wanted to make a good impression!"

Jaelle smiled at her fifteen-year-old son fondly. "Now, mon amour, you must remember: she was there for most of them."

Clopin turned red. "That is bad enough as it is! Now I have no chance of impressing her!"

"CLOPIN!" Talaitha called from a little bit behind them on the road.

Jaelle smiled at her son again. "Go on."

He smiled back at her and ran to Talaitha. They had a short conversation which ended in a kiss. Jaelle smiled; at least he wasn't still a strange child.

Clopin popped a puppet out of his tunic and it kissed Talaitha's cheek. Jaelle sighed and thought, Well, at least most of the time.