NB: I don't own these characters…except Rayleigh…who is a git…

Also, I've never thought of this fic as being particularly great, but a lot of people on sffworld were fans of it, so I stuck this up esp. for YOU GUYS!! So feel pleased :)

Jealousy - part 1 – The Kiss

There were many things that Cadvan of Lirigon could not brook when it came to Meets and Festivals. He couldn't bear the gossip, for one thing, mostly because it was about him or something he was connected with. He couldn't bear sitting at long tables, exchanging useless information or having to listen to people around him publically dismissing the idea that the Nameless had risen again. He couldn't bear the smell of all the food, or the heat, or the droning of all the old men he was forced to listen to. And, especially tonight, at this particular Meet, he couldn't bear to watch Maerad dancing with and being flirted with by yet another idiotic young boy.

He sat at the high table and watched with narrowed eyes as Maerad was led around the floor by the latest charmer, a young man called Rayleigh, who was confident and cheerful and had hardly enough brains to fill an eggcup, and tried to force himself to stop thinking in this way.

Maerad was the Chosen One, for the sake of the Light, he thought angrily. She shouldn't be wasting her time with these boys - she should be learning more about the world, about herself and her powers, with him, Cadvan...

Not letting herself parade around with silly idiots who knew nothing - nothing - about true Darkness...

He wished he could say that Maerad was deliberately flaunting herself, so that he could be properly angry, with a good purpose. But the fact of the matter was that she wasn't - she was simply enjoying herself. It wasn't her fault that she looked so radiant that every boy in the entire hall wanted to –

Arrrrrgh...

He turned his head away, trying to focus on something else, but somehow the prancing, dancing Maerad and Rayleigh kept swanning across his vision, so that he was forced to watch them.

Maerad was just having fun, he could tell, by the way her eyes twinkled and gazed around her as she swirled around, and by the way she was smiling. But Rayleigh - judging by his smirk - had other things on his mind. Really, Cadvan thought, if that boy gripped her any tighter by the waists - that possessive little - Well, if he did, Cadvan would - he would –

Sit there and do nothing.

Cadvan resisted the urge to groan and thump his head repeatedly on the table, which was lucky because at the moment he was being talked at by Ordil, the most influential and also most boring person in Til Amon, and Cadvan crashing his head into his dinner would probably have given the Bard the wrong idea. Instead, he settled for resting his forehead in his hand and nodding every so often to keep the rattling speech going.

All right, he told himself strictly. You are Maerad's teacher. You are her friend. Nothing more. A father figure if anything. Yes. A father figure.

He had to have fatherly feelings, yes that was right. Fatherly.

Cadvan glanced back up and tried to tune back into the conversation, and thought he was doing quite well until Rayliegh lurched forward and there, in the middle of the dance floor, kissed Maerad straight on the mouth.

All intended fatherly feelings were forgotten. Cadvan leapt to his feet, ready to storm down to the floor and rip the boy Limb. From. Limb...

He realised he was standing, and that Ordil and most others around them - including Saliman, Soron and Hem - were staring up at him blankly. He glared back down at the floor, where Rayleigh had Maerad wrapped in some sort of Laocoon embrace, then did the only thing that an unstable, highly jealous man could do in his situation.

He fled.

And, in so doing, he completely missed Maerad pulling away from Rayleigh in horror, then glancing swiftly up to Cadvan's now vacated seat at the table above with an expression of sudden regret.

End of chapter 1! Review or I'll never write another word!!