Chapter 2

Wyvern's Court market was bustling for the holiday celebration. In the last twenty years they managed to make a perfect mix of avian and sepriente culture for the day. Dancers danced on their diases and even though the avians never truly aproved of the display they learned to cope and the serpiente performed more respectible dances for avian eyes.

All around the market decorations from both cultures were hung and placed to make the place an explosion of color and exotic peaces. Both were beautiful on their own, but together they were able to take the breath away. Lights and banners hang from the trees and stands that lined the rows of the maket, the bright colors of the serpiente and the golden browns, reds, and tans of the avians all together.

Elva loved the sight of Wyvren's Court market at this time of the year. Slowly, the woman made her way to the middle of the plaza where the symbol of Ahnleh and the Seal of Alasdair were combined on the marble floor. Ariston was seated under the statue of the Wyvern, with her wings outstretched and her head raised.

He was beautiful. Ariston Cobriana, like all of his line he had the pale skin and black hair that fell around his face over his shoulders, which was common in the Cobrianas as well as the beautiful garnet eyes. Elva found herself allured by those eyes, unlike others who normally flinched from them.

Around Ariston's waist was a melos, a silken scarf worn by dancers. Like his father, Ariston had taken up the art of dancing in Wyvren's Nest, however considering his stance as Diente he was no longer able to continue, but he did enjoy dancing.

When he saw Elva approach his face lit up and he stood, leaving the small group he had been speaking with.

"Hello there, little viper," he teased, wrapping his arm around her waist and pulling her against his chest as he placed a kiss on her cheek. A familiar action that the serpiente took too, one of course that caused the avians of whom he was speaking to turn their heads. Despite the years, avians still found such displays shameful, but they let the serpiente be just as the serpiente dealt with their irritating reserve.

"You seem in a good mood, Ariston," she mused with a smile. He returned it.

"But of course! It is the grand holiday after all," he laughed and touched her hair. She nodded.

"Are you sure that is your only reason for being incredibly loud, Ariston?"

The two of them jumped apart at the sudden, yet very familiar voice behind them.

"What else could it be, Nikolas?" Ariston playfully sneered.

Nikolas Sharade, only child of the Tuulli Thea Sive Sharade and her alistair Prentice. Like all other hawks before him, his eyes and hair, which was loosely held in a ponytail behind his back, were as golden as the setting sun. His eyes held distaste for the pair's close interactions, as of course all avians were.

The three of them had grown up together and become friends on accident when Elva was caught prying around the Rookery halls as a child. The two young princes had happened upon the guard that held her and relieved him of the charge. They had been friends since.

The sound of Nikolas' smooth voice, shook Elva from her reverie, "Perhaps a bit to much wine?" he inquired, "You serpents dip a little to heavily when celebrating." On normal circumstances, had this been any other avian and serpiente, the two would most likely get into a brawling match for such words, but Ariston simply laughed.

"You are always good for a laugh, Nikki!"

Nikolas returned the smile, then looked to Elva.

"And how are you fairing this fine day, Elva?" he asked.

Elva smiled at him, "Perfectly well, my lord," she cooed and bowed to him.

In Wyvern's Court, though the people usually looked to their respectible monarchs, it wasn't uncommon for the two races to bow to the other.

The three of them spent the rest of the day together, enjoying Wyvern's market and whenever they found a moment free from their people, Elva and Ariston would dance together. Of course, Nikolas looked on with a displeased look on his face at the display. He was an avian through and through, no matter if his friends were a pair of serpants.

Once the sun had set and the three were growing weary, Elva said her good-byes to the boys and headed to her home in the southern hills of Wyvern's Court. Ailbhe was already there, sleeping soundly in a chair near the fire in the middle of the small home. She smiled at him a threw a blanket over him, giving him a light kiss on the cheek.

"Goodnight, father," she whispered, then climbed a ladder to her bed in the rafters, a small nest of wood and blankets. She curled up in the pile comfortably, and was soon off to sleep.