Author's Note:

This is the prologue to Steal Away Home, the sequel to Shelter. I posted it here to act as a heads up to those of you who set an Alert for Shelter, thinking this might be pertinent to your interests. ; D Chapter 1 is going up Monday morning.

Somewhere on the wide Waking Sea, two lovers are wandering the Fade in dreaming.

One is dreaming a dream that's become familiar over the last few years, though he is buoyed by the hope that it isn't merely a dream anymore. There is a green hill, rising gently before the mountains and a smell in the air like baking bread as the winter wheat ripens in waving sheets of gold. And he stands on the lea of that hill watching a tumble of children with curling dark red hair and bright eyes, playing some sort of scuffling ball game. And just below them, watching them with wry amusement as she comes up is his love and she looks up to see him and the joy in her smile and the dimple in her cheek fill his heart to bursting and it's not hard to fall to his knees in thankful prayer before reaching for her to bearhug her into the grass with the children.

And one is dreaming of blood and fire and sharp simple things because that is what she almost always dreams, so familiar that she has forgotten it's a nightmare. But recently, those dreams are different and beyond the smoke there is something blazing and blue and maybe it's a lake of cool water or a Harvestmere sky but if she can just struggle on through the mire a bit farther, she'll see what it is. She hasn't made it yet. She almost always wakes up before she even gets close. But it's fine, because she will be twenty nine years old on her next nameday and she can't remember any dream better than waking up next to him, sprawled and snoring softly.

See y'all Monday. Hope you enjoy the story.