A/N: Hey guys! I know that is been a while, but I think you guys who have read my previous story deserve this one! Consider it a early Christmas gift from me to you all. I seriously hope you enjoy this, and I am very sorry how long it has taken me to make another.

In case any of you are wondering, this is a direct sequel to my previous Eragon/Arya one-shot, Nen ono weohnata, Arya Dröttningu. If you have not read that, I advise you to do so or some of this might not make much sense at all. I tried really hard to make sure it was good, but it if wasn't please do not hesitate to say so.

Words: 11,103

Rating: M

He Will Not

The sun rose through the window on the wall, casting shades of light across the two sleeping figures. Snow drifted lazily outside, cascading all around the massive keep, bringing with it the cold of winter. Slowly opening his eyes, Eragon waited for his eyes to adjust to sun light, and the moment they did he had nearly forgotten how to breathe. Eragon was lying on his side so that his back was pressed against the wall, attempting to make as much room as he could for the sleeping goddess beside him.

Although the blanket covered everything but their faces, Eragon could help but roam his eyes over her. Arya's face held such a serene expression that Eragon had wondered if he had truly ever seen her relaxed before. Her face was tucked below his own, enough that if Eragon moved he would be kissing her between her eyes. Arya's raven hair fell over much of her face, giving her such an unkempt look that Eragon wished to forever remember it. One of her slender arms was lazily resting on his naked side, while Eragon had one of his own hugging her in a loose embrace. Their bodies intertwined, Eragon could hardly believe the information his eyes were presenting him with.

The feel of her naked flesh tantalized Eragon, and each place their bodies touched tingled with recognition of the previous night's activity. The damp sheets were still stuck to his body, but Arya's own heat was enough to make up for it.

Eragon had never witnessed Arya actually sleeping, as her being locked into a self-coma didn't necessarily count to him. Barely making a move lest he wake her from her waking dreams, Eragon let his eyes continue to roam over her features before he felt a presence press itself gently into his own.

Knowing that it was Saphira, Eragon opened his mind to her, feeling multiple emotions flash across their bond at such a pace that he was unsure of exactly what he had felt. Good morning, little one.

Eragon smiled, his mind in complete peace knowing that he was surrounded by his loved ones. Good morning, Saphira, Queen of the skies.

He felt Saphira glow at his praise of her, but she continued on with whatever she had wished to speak with him about. Snow has fallen, Eragon, enough that it could bury small children. It had begun late last night, after you and most of the keep had fallen asleep.

Eragon glanced at the window that was situated on the wall near the head of the small bed, seeing the falling snow still continuing his journey to earth. Ah, I was unaware that it had snowed at all last night.

He felt Saphira give the mental equivalent to a snort, indignation flowing through her briefly. I had noticed, for when I awoke in the middle of the night I was buried underneath enough snow that Blödhgarm had thought I was just a massive pile of snow.

Eragon's chest jumped as he tried not to laugh out loud, for fear of waking Arya. It seemed, however, that Eragons slight movement had awaken her, for she quickly opened her eyes and picked up her head to hear what had disturbed her sleep. Her eyes settled on Eragon, before going so wide that Eragon feared she would leap from fright at their close proximity. She did nothing of the sort, and Eragon watched in amazement as recognition flowed through her eyes, before laying her head back down against their shared pillow. Eragon chastised himself, knowing that she would not have acted last night as she did unless she truly meant too. Idiot, he thought.

The abruptness of her voice startled him. "You are not an idiot, Eragon."

For a few brief moments Eragon hadn't been sure how exactly she had knew what he thought, before he realized the soft melody of her mind within his own. Saphira laughed within the recesses of his mind, and said, forgive me, Emerald-eyes for that rude awakening. I had not meant for Eragon to act as he did.

Arya's thoughts flowed through their connection, her soft voice tantalizing Eragon; it is of no consequence, Saphira.

Saphira's mind withdrew from their own, leaving only a hint as to the fact that she was still listening through Eragon at their conversation on some level. The rider and princess spent a few brief moments gazing into each other eyes, before the harsh pounding on the door alerted them to that fact that they were not truly alone.

Grunting with obviously annoyance, Eragon drew up the sheets closer to their naked forms, and he heard Arya stiffen next to him. Her posture reminded Eragon that not everyone would be as accepting as some to their relationship, and Eragon opened his mouth to speak to the unknown guest before he was interrupted by another sharp knock.

Roran's voice echoed within the small room, "Eragon! I know you are in there! I'm opening this blasted door whether you want me to or not!"

Roran had burst into the room with such speed that only a white flash alerted Eragon to the fact that Arya had drawn the sheet past her head. Her action surprised him, making her seem like a child hiding from a lurking stranger.

"Roran!" Eragon exclaimed. Worry filled Eragon's mind as Roran's eyes slowly drifted towards the cloaked figure on his bed, and Eragon saw puzzlement flash across his face.

"Who... is that?" Roran asked, taking a cautious step towards the bed.

Throwing the rest of the sheets over Arya's prone figure, Eragon quickly leapt off the bed before rushing past Roran to close the still open door. Once he closed it, Eragon turned to quickly face Roran, ignoring the fact that he was butt naked in front of his cousin. Cursing himself for forgetting to ward his room, Eragon watched as Roran slowly stopped before the bed, before turning back towards him. An eyebrow raised, Roran took a few moments to himself, obviously shocked at the fact that Eragon was not alone in his personal chambers.

What came out of his mouth was not something Eragon was exactly expecting. "I thought you said you'd love no other than Arya, and that she'd not have you?"

Swallowing, Eragon noticed a slight shift in Arya's prone form. Attempting to keep Roran away from her hidden figure, Eragon retrieved his pants, which had been through hazardously across the room towards the door. Quickly pulling on the leggings, Eragon muttered, "Aye, I did say that."

Roran nodded, glancing back towards Arya once more. "Were you lying, then? Or have you stopped pursuing such a baseless quest?"

Eragon shook his head, and softly responded, "No, I wasn't lying."

If Roran noticed Eragon's lack of answer for his second question, he didn't mention it. "Then who is this? Is this someone to pass the time, to provide you with that you cannot have? Or have you forgotten that you would not take mortal women?"

Eragon scowled, annoyed beyond end at Roran's persistence. "I have not forgotten what I have said. I will not take a mortal woman to be my bride."

Roran walked towards Eragon's wooden desk and sat on the edge, seeming to not care that there was still someone hidden under the sheets of Eragon's bed in plain view. "Can you, well you know… Are you still capable of having children?"

Eragon's eyes widened and he had to grasp at the wall to keep him steady. "What?"

Roran gestured towards Eragon, and said, "Well, since the elves changed you, are you still capable of having children with a human?"

Eragon made to respond, but the lack of a response towards Roran forced him to close his mouth.

A drawn out sigh escaped the hidden Arya, and before Eragon could protest, she removed the sheets covering her head and sat up, drawing the sheets up as she did around her to cover her naked body.

Roran, whose head was turned to look at Eragon next to him, moved towards the nearly naked elf sitting upright on Eragon's bed. Eragon watched with mild amusement as Roran's jaw fell slightly open, and his eyes became so wide they looked as if they'd pop right out. Saphira snorted at his observation deep within his mind.


Walking softly towards Arya, Eragon gently sat down on the side of the bed, so that Arya's sheet covered legs were touching his exposed back. The mere contact frazzled his nerves, nearly causing him to forget Roran's presence. Eragon half expected her to slide up next to him, but realized she would not do so in front of others. He was immensely happy, however, when she comfortingly pushed into his back with her leg.

A quick glance at Arya showed her annoyance at the situation, but Eragon was unable to make out anything else she felt. Eragon's eyes traveled back towards his cousin, watching as Roran glanced uneasily between the rider and elf. Quicker than Eragon gave him credit for, Roran bowed his head towards Arya, and said, "Forgive me, Arya, I did not realize it was you."

Arya expression remained the same, but stiffly she nodded head. Eragon stood from the bed, before grabbing Roran by his arm. "Excuse us for a moment, Arya."

Not giving her the chance to respond, Eragon opened the door to the corridor, dragging his cousin by the arm behind him. Quickly shutting the door to give Arya privacy, Eragon glanced around to make sure no one was around. A quick scan of the area revealed no one, but Eragon opened his mind to make sure. Arya and my relationship is not one that should be public knowledge, Eragon thought.

Once he was satisfied that no one besides him and Roran were around, excluding Arya inside, did Eragon finally begin to speak. "This cannot become public knowledge, Roran."

His cousin frowned, but nodded his acceptance. After a moment of quietness, interrupted only by the soft sounds of Arya inside his own chamber, did one of them finally speak their mind.

Softly speaking, Roran said, "I'm sorry for what I said, Eragon. I did not mean to embarrass you."

Clasping Roran on the shoulder, Eragon responded lightly, "It is of no consequence, cousin. You did not know, and I doubt you expected to be Arya at all."

Chuckling slightly, Roran remarked, "No, that I did not. You will have to tell me one day how this happened. I am happy for you, Eragon, that Arya had given you a chance."

Smiling, Eragon muttered, "I am too."

Roran clasped Eragon on his shoulder and turned to leave. "Ah," he said, turning back towards Eragon, "Before I forget, Nasuada has asked for Arya's and yours presence at a meeting after dinner was served. I had asked why she sent me to find Arya, since she usually is up before the rest of us, but now I see why."

Roran smirked at Eragon, and heat rose up in his ears at his cousins suggestions. "Thank you, Roran. Why, though, did she send you instead of a messenger?"

Shifting his weight to his other leg, Roran replied, "She told me she sent a messenger to Arya earlier, but the messenger said that Arya was not in her chambers. I had to speak with her about something previously, so I told her that you might be able to find her and that I wished to speak with you anyway. So, here I am."

Nodding, Eragon asked, "Thank you Roran. What did you wish to ask of me?"

Shaking his head, Roran said, "It's not important. I already learned my answer."

Eragon was confused, by didn't push the issue, instead grasping Roran's arm. "I'll see you later, cousin."

Roran nodded once more, before turning to walk down the desolate hallway. Eragon turned towards his chamber door and opened it, jumping back as Arya stood on the other side of the doorway, her entire body wrapped with his bed sheet. The sheet pronounced her curves greatly, and she held them up with only a hand in front of her chest, leaving little to Eragon's imagination.

A hand came up to the back of his neck, rubbing at the sudden rise of heat at her appearance. It amazed him how he had seen her previously with any clothing, yet seeing her wrapped in his bed sheets sent him crazy. Arya's green eyes were drilling into his own, searching once again for something hidden within. The look she gave him reminded him one of earlier, when Saphira had accidently knocked her over on top of him. As he remembered the incident did more heat rise up inside. A hand grasped his wrist, dragging him back into the room before quickly closing the door behind him.

Arya dragged him over to the bed before sitting down herself, allowing the bed sheets to fall gracefully around her, revealing more and more flesh to Eragon as she moved to make herself comfortable. Eragon sat down to the barely clothed elven princess, watching her expression for any changes.

She seems troubled by Roran's appearance, Eragon thought.

Eragon placed a hand on her bare shoulder, feeling the softness of her skin, the heat that radiated off of her, and the strong muscles that lay underneath. He was glad she did not shrug off his contact, but instead leaned slightly into his arm.

Speaking softly, Eragon said, "What is troubling you, Arya?"

"Is what Roran said true?" Arya asked in the ancient language. The fact that she asked it in that language told Eragon magnitudes. She wished for the truth, and he would provide her with nothing less.

Responding in her native tongue, he said, "Which part, Arya?"

Her eyes continued to peer into his, and Eragon allowed her to see all that he could express through them. "All of it."

Reaching over to grab her hand, Eragon said, "I meant all that I said to Roran. I could love no other."

Arya nodded her head, but Eragon could tell that his answer did not truly appease her. Squeezing her hand gently, Eragon asked, "But that is not all that is bother you. What else?"

She shook her head and turned away, her eyes furrowed and a small frown pronounced on her face. Eragon stood, shocking Arya with his sudden movement, and knelt in front of her, so that he was placed between her two legs, continuing to hold her hand. Hoping that she would rebuke him for such a bold move in her current mood, Eragon said, "We are mates now, are we not Arya?"

Her gazed slowly fixed onto him, her emerald eyes captivating him with their swirling emotions. "Yes." She whispered, and Eragon could barely hear it over his own pounding heart.

"Then tell me," Eragon said, "What is truly bothering you."

Her eyes remained upon him, and it took her several long minutes to respond to his request. Even then, her voice was low and stiff, and she spoke each word delicately, as if she did not wish to pain him with what she wished to convey.

"Elves believe that the highest form of love is to have children, and as such, consummation between mates should only happen when that point is reached."

She paused in her speech, but when he remained quiet, she continued. "You are young, Eragon, and human, though you may be immortal. You must understand that I have given this part of myself towards you, something that I have given to no other. In five years, you may not feel the same as you once did, but I will continue to feel the same for many more. It was foolish of me to allow this to happen so quickly, blinded as I was by the feelings of lust. In what has taken centuries has happened within a few months, and I fear it has ruined us."

I do not regret what we shared, only that I may have acted too rash, too eager to give you a chance you so desire. You are important to me Eragon, much as the past few months since the Burning Plains have shown. I feel that I have tarnished our friendship, and when you find someone younger, someone who is less scared from battle, I will be unable to bear it."

Gazing at her, Eragon could tell that she was truly scared that she had ruined it, and that whatever he said or did now could very well change their whole relationship.

Arya turned her gaze away from him, looking out the far window onto the snowy backdrop of the castle grounds. Gathering up the courage inside of him, Eragon spoke softly, choosing each word himself with great care and thought."I love you, Arya. That much is true. I may be young, but these events in my life have aged me greatly. I feel as if I am older than I really am, yet my body shows no evidence. Perhaps we did act to quickly yesterday and last night, but that does not change how I feel towards you. I know these may just be words to you, but I will continue to feel the same, even after fifty years."

I do not know a way to prove it to you, but I would travel all across Alagaësia to find a way. You have helped me become the person I am, and without you, I would never have met Saphira. And you need not fear of distracting me from my duties, for you already had captivated me before we became a mated pair. I know you are able to protect yourself, but I will always feel responsible for your well being."

Arya's face had softened during his speech, but her gaze remained fixed on the window at the head of his bed. Sighing softly, Eragon said, "If you wish for me to wait, I shall wait until I am turned to stone."

Standing up in front of her, Eragon gently cupped her chip with his free hand, and slowly turned her face towards him. Her eyes remained fixed on him, but he could still see the seeds of doubt and confusion within. Smiling softly, Eragon leaned in, and instead of kissing her lips, kissed her on her forehead. Releasing her hand, Eragon walked towards the foot of the bed and grabbed the tunic that was lying on the floor, not caring that it was dirty and had patches of dried blood on it. He swiftly pulled it over his head and grabbed his discarded boots, before walking over to his desk.

He was keenly aware of the fact that Arya was watching him with a piercing gaze as he pulled on his boots before grabbing Brisingr from its position on his desk next to Arya's own blade and strapped it onto his hip. Eragon walked towards the door, and before he opened it, glanced back at Arya. Her gaze had never left him, and a part of him told him it was stupid for him to leave.

But he knew he would make a fool of himself if he stayed any longer, and that Arya needed time to think to herself. It seemed ironic that yesterday she was so determined about their relationship, yet today expressed doubts if he would feel the same for her in the future. It surprised him, however, how much he actually understood what was bothering her. He knew that before he would have been angry, possibly even furious, that her mind had turned so rapidly.

Once Eragon crossed the doorway and finally closed the door behind him did he hear Arya move from her spot on the bed.

The only sound that met Eragon's sensitive ears was that of his breathing, and the soft crunch of the snow under his feet. In the distance he could hear the footsteps of his body guards, no doubt keen enough to see that he wished for some measure of privacy. He had ventured out of Belatona and into the surrounding forest, intending to find somewhere peaceful where he could think. He had casted a spell upon himself to help keep himself warm, and for that Eragon glad. He had attempted to talk to Saphira about what Arya and he had talked about, but found that his dragon was otherwise preoccupied with a conversation of her own. He could not exactly tell whom she was talking to, but decided that it would be best if he didn't try again to pry.

Even Roran was otherwise occupied, moving large amounts of timber with the Urgals to provide firewood for the Varden during the winter. The storm that had hit earlier now was long past, leaving behind so much snow that it made it difficult to walk. The amount of snow they received was extremely uncommon for the area, and many of his elven guards had taken it upon themselves with his and Blödhgarm's permission to investigate the matter.

Entering a decently sized clearing, Eragon found a large tree trunk lying on its side, extending to nearly halfway through the clearing. After clearing a spot of any snow did Eragon finally sit down. In the shadows of the trees around him Eragon could barely make out the six members of his elven body guards. He would have to thank them later for providing him with some much needed privacy.

It was several minutes of quiet meditation did Eragon hear someone approaching. The sound was most definitely elven, but Eragon couldn't tell who walking towards him. Turning towards the edge of the clearing, Eragon finally saw a shape materialize out of the convoluted mess of forest that was around him.

Blödhgarm softly made his way to Eragons side, and Eragon was slightly surprised at the elf's boldness as he softly sat down next to him on the fallen tree. For several more minutes did they remain in quiet company, each listening to the faint signs of life in the winterized forest.

"There is talk," Blödhgarm said, "among many of the kind of relationship the Varden's dragon rider has with the elven ambassador."

Stunned by the wolf-elf's forwardness, Eragon remained silent.

"Normally I am not one for prying into the affairs of others, but this it seems is warranted. You and Arya Dröttningu are close, are you not?"

Eragon nodded.

Blödhgarm sighed, then continued softly, "She is old, and you are young. But I have seen how much you have changed even in these past few months. At first I was intending to tell you to not have your relationship with Arya Dröttningu interfere with your duties, but Saphira Bjartskular has assured me it will not."

Frowning, Eragon said, "Then why are you here, then?"

Blödhgarm smiled, showing several sharp pointy teeth. "I am here to help you, of course."

Blinking, Eragon took a moment to shift his position before asking, "How do you plan on doing that, exactly?"

Blödhgarm turned back towards the forest, still keeping watch as an ever vigilant body guard.

I plan to help you," Blödhgarm said, "by telling you how most elven relationships work. I have been convinced that this will benefit us all. Now, you know that elves will take mates for as long as they please, but they very rarely if ever become intimate in anyway. Even those who have been mated for centuries have barely had any if no intimate moments, and some probably never will. For an elf, most will not take a mate until their second century of life. They will, however, have those who are close to them as do humans, those who are potential mates, if you will."

For any elf to become intimate during after their first century is rare, and often very confusing, much as it is for you right now."

Eragon swallowed, caught unaware of the fact that Blödhgarm knew that him and Arya had been intimate. "I… I see."

Blödhgarm nodded, as if expecting that reaction from him. Glancing up at the sky, Eragon found that the sun was past its mid point in the sky. The elf continued with his explanation, oblivious to the fact that Eragon was blushing madly. "It is made even worse that you are human, and are considered young even for your kind. You are a rider though, and that has granted you maturity than most humans could never accomplish at your age. You must give her time, Eragon, for her to decide what she will do."

Eragon nodded, extremely happy that Blödhgarm had finished his explanation. Blödhgarm rose from his position next to Eragon, and after a short bow, left his side to rejoin his brethren in the surrounding forests. The sun had reached the edge of the forest line by the time he heard footsteps again, allowing trickles of light to filter in past the surrounding trees into the clearing where he had sat. As the footsteps approached, Eragon's heart began pounding incessantly as the faintest smell of crushed pine needles reach his nose.

It was sometime before the mysterious stranger had made their way towards him, as they had all the time in the world to approach Eragon. Eragon was still sitting where he was before, eyes cast down to look at his dangling feet. It was only when the footsteps stopped, and a shadow was cast over him did he finally look up at the slender figure.

Arya was standing before him, and the tiny amounts of light that reached them radiated around her, accenting her beauty and making her look as a goddess before a mere mortal. She was wearing her usual leather, no doubt warded to keep the cold at bay. The leathers fit snuggly around her figure, and Eragon felt somewhat privileged that he had the opportunity to caress such perfectness before. As his eyes travelled up her slender body, he could easily tell from her stance that she was both slightly nervous and cautious once more.

The only difference this time was that she seemed determined whereas before she seemed confused, and Eragon wondered, what has given her such determination?

As his wondering eyes finally reach her achingly beautiful face, Eragon saw that instead of having her hair pulled back behind her eyes, as she usually would do, she instead allowed her hair down around her face, slightly covering her pointed ears.

Eragon made to begin the elven greeting, but one look from Arya silenced him.

It seems that she is past such formalities now, came a voice that he had longed to here from all day.

Saphira! Eragon exclaimed surprised at her sudden appearance within his mind, we haven't talked nearly all day. I had missed your presences.

He felt a cascade of emotions flow through Saphira, before she said, forgive me, little one. I was needed elsewhere. But it seems that I was not the only presence you have missed all day.

Eragon nodded, before forgetting that she could not see his action. Arya was watching him, no doubt aware that the rider was communicating with his dragon. He smiled at her, and was glad when a small smile graced her lips as well.

Aye, Eragon said, heat welling up in his ears, I have grown used to her presence around me, no matter where or what I was doing.

Saphira laughed within his mind, and he had no doubt that she was actually laughing from where she was. She has had much to think about the past few months, and I have no doubt that following you around was a way for her to see who you truly have become.

But what sparked her immediate withdrawal? I thought that she was no longer afraid? Eragon asked.


A hand interrupted their conversation, and Saphira withdrew slightly from his mind. Arya grasped his hand in her own, and Eragon had to quell the desires that were welling up within him. A simple touch sent shocks throughout his body, and he was sure that if she were to ask anything of him, he would be compelled to do so.

Just as quickly as she had grasped his hand had she let go, turning away from him to face the way that she had come. Her actions continued to puzzle Eragon, but he knew that she should be the one to begin the conversation.

It seemed like she hesitant to do so, and it was many more minutes before an idea appeared with his mind. Whispering a few words in the ancient language, Eragon sought out the perfect surface for his creation. After a few moments Eragon saw a slight bulge appear a few feet in front of him in the snow, before the whiteness exploded with such a force that some of it hit him and Arya.

Before he could apologize for his action, and large flat slate flew at him, and he had barely enough time to catch it before it hit him. The object was round and perfectly flat, and Eragon began casting the spell that would allow him to imprint whatever he desired on to it. As the colors began to flow on the slate, twisting and turning different ways, Eragon thought of exactly what he knew of Arya. He tried to catch all of her imperfections, as well as the aspects of her that made her so beautiful to him.

Once the fairth was complete, Eragon admired his creation. The fairth was similar to the one he created in Du Weldenvarden, but within it contained all that defined Arya towards him, and he felt he did an adequate job of capturing her image. Smiling sadly, Eragon tossed the slate towards the nearest tree, intending to break the image lest Arya see it.

"Kausta," Arya said, and Eragon watched as the fairth curved in the air back towards Arya. She caught the fairth gracefully in her hands, and Eragon turned his head away, trying to avoid what would become inevitable. Hearing Arya sigh, Eragon glanced towards Arya, watching as she sat down next to him on the fallen tree log. She ran her finger over the fairth delicately, and Eragon wondered at what was passing through her mind.

Reaching out towards Arya, Eragon made to grab at the fairth. "Forgive me, Arya. I did not intend to offend you once more."

Her gaze snapped towards him, and Eragon watched as she drew the fairth closer to her chest. She cradled the fairth with such a tenderness that surprised Eragon. He had half expected her to react as she once did, and shatter the fairth into pieces.

"No," Arya whispered, her soft words cutting through the silence of the winter air. "I must apologize for my actions. Yesterday I was forward, and I believe that we have crossed a threshold that may never be uncrossed. As I have said before, I do not regret what we shared, Eragon."

Shifting his body so that he was closer to her, Eragon gently laid a hand on her shoulder. "Nor do I, but I agree with you on this. We moved too quickly. I understand that elves only… become as… intimate as we did when they reach that highest point of love. If we must, I would wait centuries for you, Arya. I only ask that you do not distance yourself from me as you once did, for I could not take the heartache again."

Arya delicately placed the fairth onto the log beside her, then scooted her body over so that theirs was touching. "We are mates now, Eragon, and I cherish each of our moments together."

Eragon was unsure if he should, but he softly pressed a kiss to her temple. "You know that I do, and that I always shall."

Arya nodded her head, before turning so that she was gazing directly at him. "I have never had a mate before, Eragon, but I believe I am still more knowledgeable in these affairs than you are. We cannot move backwards from here, but it will still be hard for me to change so rapidly. I fear that my progress will be slow, and that you will eventually tire of me."

Eragon furrowed his brows, "You still doubt me?"

Arya shook her head, and Eragon noticed that her movements were less graceful. "It is a fear that any elf would have with a human."

"I am not human, Arya." When she frowned at him, he continued, "At least, not anymore. I am a rider, and after what the dragons did to me I have become more elven than anything else."

A hand entered his field of vision, before softly caressing the side of his head, "Do you dislike the changes made to you?"

Shaking his head, Eragon replied, "No, I don't. I know that you do not wish to be my mate merely because I look like an elf. But you must understand that I will never leave you. I couldn't."

Arya's eye brows furrowed, and a sharp, "Explain," escaped her.

Swallowing, Eragon muttered, "Your beauty originally enraptured me, but once I began to spend time with you in Ellesméra, and even after the Burning Plains, I began to see who you truly are. You are not perfect, but neither am I."

Arya looked away from him again. "I will overcome this fear in time, Eragon. But I will not squander what little time we may have left. But I do not want this to only happen because of the stress that this war will put on us, and that we may not live to see the next day."

A question came into his mind, and the thought of it made Eragon shiver. "Do you not wish to be my mate, then?"

Her head turned sharply towards his own, and for a minute Eragon expected her to slap him upside his head. "Why would you think that? That I would share such a part of me with you, something we elves cherish, and then simply cast it aside as if it never happened? No. I want this, Eragon, but I am unsure of how to proceed."

Nodding slowly, Eragon trailed his hand slowly down her arm, coming to a rest on her hand. "Do you wish then to wait until the war is over? To see if this only is because of the war as you said?"

Arya whispered, "That would be the wisest choice, of all."

Eragon nodded , eyes downcast. Sadness poured into Eragon, and he felt that he would be crushed underneath his own misery. "I understand, then. I will see you later at the meeting, Arya."

As he made to stand, a hand shot out and caught him on the shoulder, forcing him back down onto the fallen log. "No!"

Blinking rapidly, watched as Arya stood up from her position and turned so that she was standing in front of him, preventing him from leaving the area. His emotions were running rampant, and Eragon feared that the longer he stayed, the worse off he would be.

His voice was hoarse from the emotions raining through him, and Eragon said, "Then tell me, Arya, what you wish. Yesterday you wished to be with me, yet today you act like it is the greatest sin to simply want to be with me."

Arya placed her hands on his shoulder, holding him down to his spot. Her face neared his, and Eragon could feel her warm breathe even through the multitude of wards between them.

"I want you, Eragon. And it may be frowned upon, but I have grown out of such fears. I am used to disappointing those closest to me, so this will be no different." Her voice echoed within his head, and the words he heard had a sense of sadness within them.

Arya's face was inches from his own, allowing him to gaze deeply into her eyes. Touching foreheads with her, Eragon said, "You could never disappoint me, Arya, for I expect nothing from you but yourself."

A brilliant smile graced Arya's face, and Eragon found that he would devote himself for the rest of his immortal life to having that smile remain there. Arya closed the distance between them, locking lips with such tenderness and affection that he felt Saphira recede further from his mind, and a sense of longing along with it. Remembering to later talk to Saphira about it, Eragon deepened the kiss, pulling Arya to straddle his lap.

A soft snow began to fall around them, landing against their wards with such a frequency that it appeared mist was rising from their bodies. Eragon trailed a hand up her leather tunic, feeling the warm soft flesh against his slightly cold hands. His hand began moving towards her back when suddenly soft footsteps made themselves apparent outside the forest clearing, forcing them to disengage their lips. Briefly pressing their foreheads together, Arya –with as much grace as she could- got up off of Eragon from the fallen log.

Blödhgarm entered in the clearing soon after, and Eragon noted small amounts of snow lumped together on his fur. The elf quickly made his way over to the mated pair, stopping short a few feet away.

Bowing deeply both towards Arya and Eragon, Blödhgarm also forwent the elven greeting, something Eragon noted was happening more and more.

"Forgive me, Shur'tugal, Dröttningu, but Trianna has contacted me, wishing to tell you that Nasuada requests your presence."

Arya nodded, and Eragon stood from the position on the log he had occupied for a few hours. "Thank you, Blödhgarm. Eragon and I leave at once."

Blödhgarm bowed once again, before turning to exit the clearing. Eragon heard faint rustling from the perimeter of the clearing, and saw five other of his body guards leaving their various positions. Arya grabbed Eragon's hand, pulling him with her after Blödhgarm. His body guards fell in step behind them, leaving enough room for some amount of privacy between the rider and princess.

Arya walked close to Eragon, their shoulders nearly touching, but had let go of his clenched hand. Breaking the silence around them, Eragon said, "I had thought the meeting was to be held later on, after we had eaten?"

The elven princess shrugged her shoulders, the movement causing more contact between the pair. "Perhaps something has come up, and requires our assistance."

Eragon nodded. Stepping over an outcropping rock, Eragon misjudged the amount of room he had to step, and as such, his foot hit the tip of the rock. The slippery snow caused his foot to slide, and Eragon felt his whole leg give out from underneath him. Reaching out towards the nearest stable object, Eragon grabbed Arya's arm pulling at her to regain his balance. Arya, it seemed, was not prepared for Eragons added weight, causing her to slip on the snow as well.

Landing on a large snow pile, Eragon barely had time to react before Arya came crashing down on top off him, forcing him deeper into the soft snow. Arya quickly scrambled off of him, and when she turned to face him, Eragon saw her eyes widen at the sight of him.

Laughter escaped her, entrancing Eragon with its sweet melody. A hand reached down and Eragon grasped it with his. Arya pulled a disgruntled Eragon to his feet, brushing snow off of the front of his tunic. Reaching towards his hair, Eragon was surprised when Arya's beat his own, rubbing at the mangy mess of hair atop his head. Her fingers raked through his hair, and Eragon took a moment to enjoy the sensation.

Before he could say otherwise, Arya ceased the manipulation of his hair, turning quickly away from him to continue walking. Catching up with her as they walked, Eragon smiled as he saw a large clump of snow stuck on her hair that cascaded down her back. Reaching over, Eragon softly brushed away the clump of snow, marveling at the softness of her hair for a brief second.

Arya turned to smile at him, brushing purposely against his shoulder with hers.

They entered the meeting chamber to the sight of something truly bizarre. Various council members had taken it upon themselves to each make a point at the same time, resulting in such a loud conglomerate of bickering noise that nearly caused Eragon to cover his ears. Few council members remained in their seats, while others had taken to standing in front of their once occupied chair.

Nasuada sat at the head of the table as she always did, and Eragon noticed both Orik and Islanzadí watching with differing expressions. The former was grinning at the sight, as though thoroughly enjoying the procession as one would a play. The later, however, remained indifferent. Looking at the Elven queen, Eragon noticed similarities between both mother and daughter. From what he knew of Arya, Eragon could hazard to guess that Islanzadí was not pleased by the bickering council members.

Arya and Eragon walked unnoticed into the room, except for Nasuada's always vigilant eyes, which displayed such frustration that Eragon was amazed that the Varden leader wasn't trying to calm the noisy council.

After raising an eyebrow towards his liege lord, Eragon walked around the table towards her side, Arya following. As he moved, some of the council members finally took notice. Most that remained in their seats quieted down as he walked, and others had even taken their seats. Only a couple remained bickering, their loud voices each trying to dissuade the others argument. On Nasuada's left sat Jörmundur, and Eragon nodded his head shortly towards the only quiet councilman.

Moving towards the empty chair on Nasuada's right, Eragon glanced around to see Blödhgarm standing against the far wall, taking the preceding in with a keen eye. Sitting down, Eragon was glad to note that Arya took the seat to his immediate right.

Well, why wouldn't she? She is your mate after all. Plus, it is the only available chair left, unless she takes one of the bickering council members. Although, I doubt they would be happy about that.

Saphira! Eragon exclaimed, glad to rejoin minds with his dragon. Forgive me for not contacting you as soon as we arrived back in the city. Where are you?

Eragon felt Saphira snort through their mental connection. The same place I have been all day. And the fault is mine, little one, for not speaking to you all day.

Noticing the eyes he was attracting at his sudden appearance at the table, Eragon said briefly to Saphira, I could never be mad at you.

Nasuada's voice echoed around the meeting room, quieting the still bickering council members. " Finally you both have arrived, Arya, Eragon." Nasuada nodded to each in turn. "Forgive the council for their disputes."

Arya spoke next to Eragon, her melodic voice causing various council members to turn towards her. "It is of no consequence, Nasuada. I only wish to know what they were disputing over."

Nasuada sighed, and before she could speak, Jörmundur said, "The number of supply wagons has since slowed from Feinster and Surda, and with the storm moving downward towards them, we fear that all traffic will cease."

Nodding, Eragon spoke for the first time since entering the chambers, "I could see how that would be a problem."

Nasuada continued Jörmundur's explanation, her voice noticeably worn, "The dwarves will not arrive for many more weeks, and the elves are too far to help either. We have already run out of food that we have brought from Feinster, and I fear that we will drain Belatona of all its resources to supply the Varden."

Roran spoke up, and Eragon frowned at the fact that he had missed his cousin when entering the room. That's because he was being shrouded by the bickering council, came Saphira's voice.

"So then what shall we do? We cannot deplete the city any more of its own supplies. Nor can the men remain idle for too long."

Nasuada was quiet for a moment beside Eragon, before she stood up from her seat. Beginning to slowly walk around the table, she said, "If we cannot find supplies elsewhere, we must leave the city. The council debates over whether we can chance a move while the snow has abated, or if we must remain holed up in the city and wait for supplies."

"If we were to remain," Eragon asked, "where would we get the supplies from? The nearest city or village is leagues from here, and though I could travel with Saphira, we would never be able to bring back enough to support the Varden."

"I would not ask of you such a thing, Eragon, and neither would I ask of you to raid innocent village of their own precious supplies." Nasuada replied. He had to admire the way she in which she could rebuke certain ideas, leaving the person with no sense of disappointment.

"No," Nasuada continued, "I believe that the best course of action is to leave Belatona to head towards Dras Leona. Still, it is a long trek, and the winter will harshly wear the men."

"Then we must leave soon, while the winter air is calm," said Arya. Her leg briefly brushed against his, and Eragon would have wondered if it was accidental if not for the hand that suddenly settled on his leg.

"Aye," agreed Jörmundur.

"Aye," said Roran.

Various other "Ayes," echoed around the meeting room, although some seemed forced to Eragon.

Nasuada nodded her head, coming to a stop behind Roran's seat. Placing a hand on the back of his cousin's chair, she said, "Very well then. In three days, we will march to Dras Leona."

Shortly after the meeting had ended Arya dragged Eragon out of the room, telling his guards that they were dismissed for the night. Most grumbled about it before leaving, while others seemed eager to leave their presence. Blödhgarm was the last to walk off down the hall, glancing between the rider and princess with sharp eyes. After a seeming moment of indecision, Blödhgarm nodded towards Eragon, following the rest of his fellow guard-mates.

Arya turned in the opposite direction, heading deeper into the castle towards their rooms. After walking down a few deserted halls, Arya stopped before his, and Eragon reached out to embrace her thinking that she intended to leave him to head to her own room. Instead, she surprised him much as she had already done and opened his door, holding it so that he could enter the room first.

Catching her eye as he walked past her into his own room, Eragon attempted to discern her intentions. Arya closed the door behind him, warding his room as she had her own the previous day. Eragon removed Brisingr from his waist and set it down upon his bed, feeling Saphira leave his mind completely. He attempted to reach out towards her, but a sharp shake of Arya's head stopped him.

Sitting down on his bed, Eragon raised his eyebrows at her.

Remaining silent, the elven princess reached down and unstrapped her own sword, setting it down delicately beside his. Walking to sit beside him, Arya nudged Eragon gently over as to make room for her on the small bed. Once she was seated comfortably did she finally speak.

"It is hard for her, being the last female dragon, is it not?"

Nodding his head, Eragon responded, "Yes, sometimes it is."

Arya turned her head towards Eragon before intertwining their own hands. "Then you know why she retreats then."

It was a statement rather than a question, and Eragon felt saddened by his answer. "Aye, I know."

Squeezing his hand, Arya began to gently trace a delicate finger over their locked hands. "Do you wish for me to leave?"

Shaking his head, Eragon responded, "No."

Arya gently pressed a free hand against his shoulder, and it took a minute for Eragon to realize she wished for him to lay back. Doing so, he was surprised when she straddled him, keeping their hands still together. She lowered her face down towards his, and Eragon felt compelled to kiss her beautiful lips.

Deciding to take the plunge, Eragon gently pressed their lips together. Pulling back quicker than he would like, Eragon tried to gauge Arya's reaction.

Her hair fell over her head, framing his own face, preventing him from seeing anything but her brilliant smile. Keeping one hand on the bed below him, Arya used her other to grasp at his tunic, pulling him up to lock lips once more. Wrapping one hand around her back, Eragon used Arya to pull himself closer, pressing their bodies together. His other hand came to cup her neck, slowly trailing down to her waist.

Their kiss became more passionate, and each passing second made Eragon's heart pump faster. Separating their lips, Arya grinned down at Eragon, before leaning up to sit on his legs. Her hands came to the bottom of his tunic and she pulled it up none to gently. Complying with her request, Eragon drew himself up off of his back, forcing Arya to steady herself atop him. Before he could reach down to grasp his tunic Arya had already forced it up his body, causing him to discard the rest of it on the floor below.

Her fingers trailed over his muscled chest in a swirling motion, enticing Eragon with its seductiveness. She forced him onto his back again, her fingers never stopping their magical dance. "You are bigger than more elven men, more toned and rugged."

Raising an eyebrow at her, Eragon asked, "Do you wish for me not to be so?"

Arya smiled and pinched Eragon on his chest, causing him to yelp. "No," She whispered delicately, leaning down so that her mouth was near his ear. "I find you beautiful just as you are."

Heat flowed to Eragon's cheeks at being called beautiful. If it had been anyone but Arya, Eragon would have found the statement rather awkward.

Gently grabbing the back of her neck, Eragon drew Arya's head down towards his, locking their lips in another fiery dance. His free hand latched onto her hip, and he softly slipped his hand underneath her tunic. Arya's motion was so fluid, so graceful, and so quick that Eragon nearly missed the fact that she had separated their lips, and removed her tunic to toss it onto his own discarded one.

Her lips were back onto his in a flash, and Eragon ran his fingers over her warm flesh. His hands traced the curve of her hips, the swell of her breasts, and her taunt stomach. Grasping her shoulders, Eragon flipped them over, allowing him to more readily explore her body. Kissing his way down from her lips to her neck, Eragon savored the beautiful goddess below him. Arya released a small moan at his actions, spurring Eragon to travel down to her chest.

Moving away to look at Arya, Eragon found himself marveling at the sight; her hair was sprawled around her, her cheeks were flushed from being aroused, her breathe was quicken, and her nipples were taunt against his warm breath. Delicately placing his mouth against her breast, Eragon began to massage her nipple with his mouth, before switching to the other to give it the same treatment.

Moans were escaping Arya in such a way that sent want running down Eragon, and he had to strain himself to not take her there. Kissing his way down her curved stomach, Eragon grasped the edges of her pants, looking up at her face for confirmation. Finding no reason to give him pause, Eragon pulled down on her trousers, snaking them down her toned legs. Tossing them aside, Eragon watched as Arya quickly removed her undergarments as well. Looking at her center, Eragon found an idea sprouting in his mind.

Settling himself between her legs, Eragon watched as Arya's eyes went wide with surprise. She opened her mouth to speak, but before she could, Eragon kissed the inside of her leg, mere inches from her center. Her head fell back against the pillow behind her and her body quivered underneath his touch, encouraging him to move onward. Trailing kisses until he reached her center, Eragon listened as she moaned his name. "Eragon," his named escaped her lips, and the sound of it caused Eragon to shiver as well.

His calloused hands ran up onto either side of her hips, holding her in place as he gently kissed her center. Arya nearly jumped off of the bed, and Eragon had to use his elven strength to hold her legs from crushing him. Her hands scraped at his scalp, pulling him closer to her center. Her moans became more frequent as Eragon continued his exploration, the sound music to his ears.

Desire was running throughout Eragons entire body, causing his member to strain against his pants. Arya's hands came down to grasp at his shoulders, pulling him up towards her face. Slightly disappointed at being stopped so soon, Eragon was none the less surprised when Arya forcibly grabbed his pants, tearing them off of him.

She pulled him back over her, using her legs to pull his body so that his member lined up with her. "Arya," Eragon said, fighting through the many layers of desire. He wanted nothing more to plunge himself into her, but he had to make sure first.

Her legs pulled at him again, but Eragon remained stubborn. "Arya," he repeated, "Listen to me."

A sigh escaped her before her eyes reached his. "I want this," Arya said, her voice barely anything more than breathy moans.

Gazing into her smoldering eyes, Eragon kissed her on her lips before plunging himself deep into her core. Their minds joined together unconsciously, making them aware of each other's bodies in such a way that it made it difficult to tell who experienced more pleasure.

Arya's lips parted beneath his own, and a moan escaped her. Her cheeks were flushed red with desire, and her nails scraped at his back as he finally began to move. Every sound that she made as he continued became more apparent to Eragon, and each increased his desire more so. Arya began to buck her hips up towards his own, and his name would escape her lips nearly every time he buried himself inside her.

Increasing his pace, Eragon watched with amazement as Arya's body began to quiver beneath him, her cries of pleasure echoing over his own throughout the small room. Her core clenched tightly at him, attempting to draw him in deeper with every stroke. Wishing to give her the pleasure she brought to him on their previous attempt, Eragon pumped into her harder, enjoying the sensations of her body.

Momentarily pushing his own desire aside, Eragon watched as something snapped inside of Arya, and a loud cry escaped her lips. Her body was glistening with sweat as it quivered and writhed underneath him, her core clenching and unclenching in sequence to his continued movements. He felt her pleasure wash over through their connection, adding to his own as he continued his frantic pace, and building up to his own climax.

He felt the point come closer and closer, and Eragon watched as Arya's body continued to respond to his thrusts as he finally emptied himself inside of her. Immense pleasure washed over Eragon, and Arya's name escaped his lips before he fell on top of her. Their frantic breathing continued for a few minutes, and once he was certain he could move without falling, Eragon picked himself off of Arya, only to fall back beside her on his bed.

The sight of Arya, flushed and looking positively satisfied brought out feelings of comfortableness that surprised Eragon, and he knew that he would always cherish these moments. Arya's breath was still somewhat erratic, and he could hear her heart still pounding away inside her chest, much as his still was.

She turned towards him and smiled, her whole face lighting up before laying her head down on his shoulder, tucked into his side. Drowsiness overcame Eragon, and from their still connected minds Eragon could feel the same for Arya. His hand trailed over her body, coming to a rest on her stomach. A thought entered his mind and panic rose. Their mind connected as they were, Arya picked up on his panic, turning towards him with wondering eyes.

Swallowing a lump in his throat, Eragon asked, "A..Arya.. Can I.. Can I get you.. Well you know…"

Arya frowned at him, before realization made itself apparent across her face. The frown returned, but Eragon couldn't tell what caused it, even inside her mind as he was. "Not that I wouldn't want to, well have children," Eragon said, somehow feeling he had to explain himself, "but I don't think that it would be best to bring a child into such war. And I couldn't do that to you."

A hand came to trace his face, and the simple gesture calmed his fears slightly. "I agree with you, Eragon. War is no time to raise a kid and neither are we ready to have them. I have taken previous precautions yesterday, to ensure that we would temporarily be unable to conceive."

Shock ran through Eragon, and it took him a moment to compose his thoughts. "You can do that?"

Arya nodded, her movement causing her hair to tickle Eragon's cheek. "Our relationship is different from most elves, and though it may be frowned upon, I have chosen to share myself with you. Humans have way to prevent children, do they not?"

Stunned, Eragon said, "I wouldn't know."

Arya seemed to have been accepting that answer, and they fell silent for many more minutes. Arya's breathe slowed down, and Eragon was unsure if she was sleeping or not. "Arya?"

Arya shifted next to him, and Eragon noticed from the way that she drew herself closer that she was slightly chilled. "Yes, Eragon?"

Reaching down towards the end of the bed, Eragon drew the crinkled sheet over their nude bodies. The warmth that the sheet provided was still nothing against the hot body pressed against his side. "I love you, Arya."

Arya shifted her position once more, this time so that she was looking at him with her emerald eyes. "And I love you, Eragon," she said in the ancient language.

Warmth blossomed through Eragon, and he felt happy that she wished to be with him. A low rumbling made itself apparent in his mind, and Eragon opened himself completely to his partner of heart and mind and that of his mate.

Night had fallen when Eragon was woken from his waking dreams, and Eragon quickly glanced around the room for the disturbance that had awakened him. As he shifted, Arya jumped up as well, and Eragon briefly admired how quickly she went from his caring mate to the furious warrior he knew that she could be. Looking around the room for signs of any disturbance, Eragon withdrew his hunting knife that he kept tucked under part of his mattress closest to the wall.

His eyes roamed over the room with Arya, but he had not seen anything different. Arya's body suddenly stiffened beside his own, and Eragon followed her line of sight to that of his desk.

Blinking, Eragon didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. Scrolls were laid hazardously on the table, most being crushed by Brisingr's and Arya's unnamed swords weight. Beside them lay the mirror, which held Arya's own image.

Blinking rapidly, Eragon took in the fact that it wasn't Arya in the mirror, but that of the Elven Queen's. Shock ran through Eragon, and he wished for nothing more but to covering himself up with sheets, much as Arya had done that morning. The mirror was pointing directly at the bed, and Eragon had noticed that the sheets he had just thought of were pushed halfway down both of their bodies.

"Hello Mother," Arya said, her voice betraying none of the emotions that Eragon could still feel coursing through her.

Islanzadí's eyes roamed over the rider and princess, taking in the scene. "I had attempted to contact you," the queen said slowly, as though talking to a child, "but you were not in your room neither this night nor the previous."

The statement hung in the air for a few brief moments, before Arya, with nearly no expression on her face despite the fact that both her and Eragon were naked in front of her mother, said, "Forgive me, Mother. I was not aware that you wished to talk."

The elven queen nodded her head, "So it seems. I had attempted to as Eragon if he knew of your whereabouts, for Nasuada said that the pair of you had disappeared after the meeting. It seems I have found out where to."

Trying clearing to dissuade her mother, Arya said, "It is not how it looks."

A frown made itself apparent on Islanzadí's face, and Eragon marveled at the likeness between mother and daughter. Arya would wear a similar frown towards him when he had done something foolish, and he knew that she was trying to contain her anger at him. He had hoped that the same didn't remain true with the queen.

"Tell me, Arya, what my eyes are seeing, for it seems my age has clouded my vision with those of naked riders." It was odd to Eragon, being stuck in the middle of a feud between mother and daughter. He was unsure if he should attempt to speak to explain the situation, but a statement from Saphira stopped him. This is Arya's battle, Eragon. You cannot always fight with her, but instead you must support her.

Silently thanking his wise dragon, Eragon tried to be subtle in his movements as he attempted to place a placating hand on Arya's shoulder, but the elven queen's eyes tracked his every movement.

He felt resolve make itself apparent in Arya's mind, as well as an unwillingness to change her mind about their relationship not matter what her mother said. "Seventy years ago I made a choice you did not find wise or like, and it seems I have once again done so."

I feel like a child sucked into the feud that has happened for seventy years between mother and a daughter, Eragon thought.

That is because you are a child, Saphira said, and that they have had a feud for seventy years.

Right, Eragon said.

"What is this choice that I would not find wise, or like O-daughter of mine?" said Islanzadí, her voice taking on a sharp tone.

Arya grasped Eragon's hand that was still placed on her shoulder, before saying with confidence, "I have taken a mate, mother."

The queen's eyes switched between the rider and princess rapidly, and Eragon saw fury rising in her eyes. "Name him."

Eragon squeezed Arya's hand, sending as much comfort and support through their still linked minds. "His name is Eragon Shadeslayer, mother. Rider of Saphira."

Seems to be some sort of tradition, Saphira said, continuing to listen in through Eragon.


A loud banging noise echoed through the mirror, and Eragon wouldn't have been surprised if the queen had broken a stone table in her anger.

"Foolish daughter! Do you not know what you have done?" Islanzadí said, her entire being trembling.

"I know what I have done,-"

"He is a human-"

"He will live forev-"

"He is too young-"

"The war has aged hi-"

"They are fickle! He will love another in five, maybe ten years!" raged the queen over her daughter. Their half completed arguments were abandoned at the queen's final statement. A silence lulled over the trio, and Eragon felt slightly compelled to end it.

Arya's next words were said with such conviction that it left Eragon stunned, and if he were standing, he was sure that he would have fallen over. "He will not."

The words echoed in the room, leaving an imprint on Eragon's mind as it finally faded.

He will not.

Saphira hummed within Eragon's mind, no doubt happy for her rider.

He will not.

The elven queen bowed her head towards her daughter, her voice showing none of the anger that was previously displayed. He faintly heard a sigh escape her lips through the mirror. Beside him, Arya had relaxed slightly in her position, leaning against Eragon, still grasping his hand.

"It seems that I cannot dissuade you then," Islanzadí said, her voice soft, as if already knowing Arya's answer.

Arya's answer was just as soft, but was spoken with certainty. "No, you can't change my mind about this."

"Tell me, Arya, are you happy? Truly?" asked Islanzadí.

"More happy then I have ever been, mother," responded Arya in the ancient language. Her words made Eragon smile, and even the queen seemed at least somewhat appeased by them.

"Good," Islanzadí said. She turned her attention towards Eragon, and said, "Forgive me, Eragon, for my apparent rudeness. I only wish for the best for my daughter. This you must understand, at least."

Eragon nodded, clearing his voice before speaking. "I do. Arya's happiness means everything to me."

Islanzadí nodded, then asked, "I am loathing asking this, but I must be sure. This will not interfere with either of your duties, will it?"

Eragon and Arya both shook their heads, and said, "No."

"Very well then," the queen said. "Arya, I will contact you tomorrow for your report on the Varden. It is late now, I had intended to speak to you briefly before retiring for the night."

"Good night, mother," Arya said, the stiffness gone now from her shoulders completely.

"Good night, daughter, Eragon," said Islanzadí, before disappearing in the mirror.

Eragon fell back onto his bed, embarrassed by the conversation that had taken place. He could only imagine how Arya felt about it. Said elven princess gently lay back onto Eragon, her head coming to rest on his chest. He ran his fingers through her soft raven hair, enjoying the tickling sensation it gave him as it fell again and again onto his bare chest. Briefly admiring Arya's own nude body next to his, Eragon watched as her chest moved up and down in time with her breath.

A finger gently tapped him on the nose, and Eragon smiled at Arya as she dipped down for a kiss.

A/N: So? Honestly? Tell me what you guys thought. If you notice any mistake, please point them out. I usually give out the advice to reread everything you wrote, but its hard to reread a 11,000 word one-shot and not change to much or just get plain tired of it. And again, I'm sorry that it took so long!