Author's Note:

Le gasp, what is this? An actual UPDATE?

Yeah, you're not dreaming.

Well my excuse this time is... well I don't have one. I blame writer's block but to an extent I am just lazy.

Oh but today I did have my wisdom teeth taken out (ow). While sitting in that dentist chair I had a great burst of inspiration. Lol.

While I'm at it, gonna do some self advertising:

Please if you enjoy this, or my writing in general, feel free to take a peek at True Path and War for Gallica. I don't like the lack of readers :(

I mean, I don't suck that much, (do I?). Especially when other stories with far less attention to plot/grammar and the existence of Mary-Sues get more reviews. I'm not attacking, but it just doesn't make sense.

Oh god, just read that the last chapter was first part for this. Ah I'm so bad with cliffies and lack of motivation.

Please forgive me!

Reviews are love :3


Chapter 15:

||Confusion ||

xxx


Jenny felt herself move in time with the music and simply let go any worries that mulled over in her mind. She let her thoughts roam free, barely holding on for a moment before she turned to a new idea.

She felt light and happy, somewhere between reality and dream as Gilan expertly led her across the floor.

"This is nice." She noted in a breathy sigh, letting herself lean into his body.

"Mhm."

They hadn't lost any of their dancing prowess and she was proud to see how well they were doing in comparison to nobles and especially their friends.

The music slowed and she glanced up, her eyes meeting his.

She sighed and leant closer.

Jenny thought he was going to kiss her, but as he seemed to be warming to the idea, his gaze snapped forward and he pulled himself back, allowing a polite distance to come between them.

Thoroughly confused, she looked around and couldn't find anyone staring.

Why had he hesitated?

Their dance ended and Horace called her over for a waltz. Unable to refuse, (or wanting to), she shot Gilan one more curious look before accepting the knight's hand.


The tall Ranger, meanwhile, sighed heavily as he watched her being led away.

He was fairly modest for a person and a kiss between a couple wouldn't have been too inappropriate, so long as it was chaste. No, that wasn't the issue at all.

Just as he had seen how happy Jenny was, he felt the gaze of another and had by chance looked up to see Halt watching him with faint disapproval.

To anyone else, the senior Ranger would have looked as he always did. But to Gilan, someone who considered Halt a second father, he had seen the meaning behind that expression.

'Halt wants me to give her up.' He thought despairingly.

A small chill formed on his arms and involuntarily he shuddered with apprehension.

As he mulled over his own gloomy thoughts, he missed the fact that Halt had snuck up on him. Gilan was quite aware of the space around himself, but even so his master had taught him unseen movement.

"You look worried."

The younger Ranger jumped and turned around guiltily, to find his former master watching him with stony eyes.

"Geez Halt," he muttered as he rubbed the back of his neck nervously.

"What makes you say that?" He asked once he had recovered.

"You looked happy not long ago." Halt replied dryly.

Turning his head away slightly, Gilan's shoulders fell. "It's nothing." He murmured.

Halt stood there for a few more seconds, observing his former apprentice as he did. Finally coming to a conclusion, he let a hand fall to Gilan's shoulder. "You need to lighten up, it doesn't suit you." He announced gruffly.

Laughing slightly, Gilan folded his arms. "Becoming sentimental are we Halt?"

The older Ranger glared and then shrugged as he turned to walk away. "Yeah right. You know if Will finds out he won't stop pestering me." He grunted in response.

Despite his unease, Gilan smiled. It was true; Will had a tendency to overreact when a friend was upset.

He knew Halt could set him down and comfort him properly, but that would make the situation more serious. And his attempt at acting like he didn't care raised his spirits.


Jenny watched Gilan interact with Halt through eyes heavy with suspicion.

She noted how he seemed strange and then how suddenly down he looked before Halt decided to comfort him.

Worried that she was being left out of some big secret, she turned her head up.

"Horace?"

"Yeah?"

"Would you tell me Ranger mission details if they were secret and I asked?"

"...why?"

"Just answer."

The knight frowned, obviously in thought. His blue eyes shone as he puzzled over her question. "Probably, I mean I can trust you." Horace answered at length.

Breathing a sigh of relief, Jenny leant into his embrace, feeling both happy with his answer and concerned at Gilan's attitude.

Confused at finding her so close, Horace hesitantly asked, "Um, is something wrong Jen?"

"Gilan's acting strange." She confessed sadly.

"Oh, how so?" Knowing Gilan seemed perfectly fine to him, he was genuinely curious as to why she would say such a thing.

"Horace, if we were dating, would you be too scared to kiss me in front of these people?" She asked.

Caught off guard by her question, he missed the next beat and ended up standing on her toes.

"Why would you ask something like that?" He spluttered.

Jenny smiled. "It's just a question Horace. You're like my brother, but I have to know."

Feeling better off with an explanation, the knight sighed. "Err; well if everyone knew we were together I'm sure it would be okay. But as to if I would..." He trailed off and she smiled again.

Silly asking a very frigid and silent guy to admit he would openly kiss a girl in front of a group of people. She petted his head to show she was content with his answer.

"Gilan won't do anything that shows we're together." She admitted. On a second thought, she dropped Horace's hands and gasped. "Are we even together?"

"Wait, calm down Jen!" Horace exclaimed and grasped her arms, forcing her to look at him. "I'm sure you're totally overreacting here."

She wasn't too sure why she was looking to him for relationship advice, but for some unknown reason, she trusted his judgement. And he had spent lots of time with Gilan after all.

"Gilan isn't the kind of person to do something like that, I know him." He explained. "I'm sure if you go and talk to him about it, he'll clear it up."

"Are you sure?" Jenny asked shyly.

"Well, not really but -."

"Horace!"

The knight winced as she gave him a light slap on the chest. "Ah, I'm sorry, but you should talk to Alyss about this, not me." His cerulean eyes darkened and he glanced down. "I'm really no good at this kind of thing." He admitted quietly and Jenny could have sworn she saw disappointment flash across his face.

Just as she was about to question him on his sudden change of attitude, Jenny heard footsteps approaching. Turning around, she was surprised to see the Crown Princess. And out of the corner of her eye, she swore she saw Horace turn a shade of pink.

"Sorry to interrupt." Cassie apologised.

Jenny smiled. "Thank you for inviting us to the party."

Cassie grinned. "Oh it was no worry; it's so refreshing to have friends here. A lot of nobles are much older than me."

"Were you after something?" Jenny asked. Not long ago Cassie had firmly told her to abandon her royal title, none of her younger friends referred to it. Later on it would be obliged if Cassie were to become Queen.

"Well actually, I've been looking after guests all night and accepting dance offers left, right, and centre." She sighed and a mass of golden hair fell forward. "I know it's my party, but I haven't really done anything that I wanted to yet."

"Is that so?"

"Seems so, but now I have some time free. There's something I wanted to do." Cassie's emerald eyes glowed brightly and she smiled. "There's supposed to be a moon eclipse tonight that Crowley told me about, I would like to see it. Would either of you like to join me?"

Horace merely nodded, causing Cassie's smile to grow slightly.

Ignoring her friend's strange behaviour, she glanced over to where Gilan was. "I'm sorry Cassie," she said at last, "but there's something I have to do, maybe another time?"

"Moon eclipses are quite rare." The Princess reminded her.

Jenny blushed slightly. "Oh right, well in that case I'll have to skip it."

With one last glance, Cassie smiled and gestured for Horace to follow.

Now on her own, she just had to find a way to accomplish her idea.


"Um Gilan."

He looked up guiltily as Jenny came forward.

"Could I please speak to you for a moment?" She asked hesitantly.

"Sure."

She tried not to think he sounded too shy or bored, and that he was acting how he usually did. But it was now obvious that something was amiss.

"Are you okay?" Jenny asked, reaching forward to let a hand fall across the side of his face.

He nodded and managed a smile. "I'm fine."

She whispered, "I was worried, you seemed so disconnected."

He reached up and took her hand away, but instead gave it a small squeeze instead of simply letting it go. "I promise, I'm alright."

Feeling brave and comforted with his response, she stepped forward and hugged him. Slowly, his arms wrapped around her.

"Oh good." She smiled and lifted her head to kiss him.

She felt a shift.

Jenny blinked in surprise as she realised he had moved ever so slightly away from her.

"Gilan?"

He turned his head away, letting out a deep sigh.

Jenny quickly disengaged herself and allowed a good half-metre gap between them.

"I don't understand." She voiced quietly.

"I'm sorry Jen." He answered, but his eyes wouldn't meet hers.

Feeling a rush of anger, Jenny turned around and fled without another word.


A/N: Does anyone else love my tiny Cass/Horace hints? xD I know Will/Alyss have yet to solve their stuff, but it will come. Besides, they're perfect for each other, as if I'll create more angst... or will I?

Cassie isn't being strange, if she hosted a party I'm sure she would have to actually act like a Princess.

I will try and update everything else. *bows to those who control her*

As a gentle reminder, poke me with a PM if you want a desperate update. I mean you can only review a chapter once, but PMs can go on and on... well I don't want that many, but they certainly motivate me.

- Love Mae.