A/N: Alright you guys, none of this may make sense, but it's my happy fantasy, so you'll just have to put up with the inconsistencies. Thanks!!

Disclaimer: Don't own Sandry, Daja, Briar, Tris, Vedris, Pasco, *takes deep breath* Lark, Rosethorn, or any other character in the story that I might have missed.

Oh, and Please! No flames about the whole Sandry/Briar thing. I warned you about it in the summary, so if you decided to read this story, then it's your own fault!

* * * *

"My Lady?"

"Yes, Susan?" Sandry said without looking up from the household accounts.

"There's a young man outside for you. He says that it's urgent."

"What's his name?"

"That's just it!" Susan said, throwing her hands up in exasperation. "He won't tell me!"

Sandry frowned. "Tell him that if he won't give his name, then I won't see him."

Susan nodded and left the room. Sandry could hear muted voices out in the hallway and cocked her head, straining to hear the conversation between the maid and the strange young man. She could here Susan's voice rise in anger, but she still couldn't make out the words. Sandry smiled; her little maid may have been only twelve, but she was excellent at getting rid of unwanted visitors.

With a bang, the door suddenly flew open and Sandry jumped in surprise as a lanky figure backed into the room, an angry Susan hanging onto his arms.

"I told you, sir, that you can't see her until you tell me your name!" she was saying stubbornly.

The man laughed, and Sandry's heart stopped. It had been two years since she'd heard that laugh.

"Briar?" she whispered.

He turned and grinned at her shocked face. "Hey," he said, raising his arms and practically lifting a loudly protesting Susan right off of the ground. "Can you get this little vixen off of me? She's harder to get past than a passel of bulldogs."

"What? Oh, oh, Susan let him alone." Susan let go and backed off, straightening her skirt as she looked suspiciously at Briar. Briar winked at her, and she sniffed.

"Do you need anything, Lady Sandry?" Susan asked.

"No thank you, Susan. Could you leave us alone for awhile? I would like to speak with him." Susan nodded and gave Briar one last evil look before leaving the room.

Sandry grinned as the door shut. "Briar, you little sneak!" she cried, punching him in the shoulder. "Why didn't you tell me you were coming?!"

Briar laughed. "What? And miss that look on your face? Not in a million years."

"Well, let me look at you," Sandry said, stepping back to look him over.

Briar had grown a lot in the past two years, for he was about 6'1 now. He was well muscled, tanned, and nicely dressed, though his hair was tousled and fell over his forehead. His eyes still had the same mischievous sparkle and his smile was still as roguish as ever. She hadn't expected the strange effect that smile seemed to have on her knees.

"Well?" Briar said, making a small bow. "Do I pass inspection?"

Sandry laughed. "With flying colors."

* * * *

Briar, at the moment, was hoping desperately the Sandry couldn't hear the furious beating of his heart. When he had decided to surprise Sandry with a visit, he certainly hadn't expected to feel this off balance. But Sandry had unquestionably changed; she had gone from a pretty fifteen year old girl to a stunning seventeen year old woman. When Sandry smilingly looked him over, Briar surreptitiously did the same to her.

She hadn't grown any since the last time he saw her, which meant that her head barely reached his shoulders. The pretty blue dress that she was wearing fit her snugly and showed off her tiny waist and full figure. Golden brown locks tumbled past her shoulders all the way to her hips. Her face had matured, but she still had the same sparkling blue eyes and spine- tingling smile.

"You look great," he told her.

Sandry blushed. "Thanks." Looking around, Sandry gestured to the small table. "Would you like to sit down?"

Briar nodded and they walked over to the table. He pulled out a chair for her to sit in and pushed it in once she sat, which, much to his pleasure, seemed to delight her.

"Well," Sandry asked, once he had settled into his seat. "What are you doing here? I thought that you and Rosethorn still had all that work to do in the east."

"We finished early," Briar said with a shrug. He watched her glowing face, surprised at how much he had missed seeing it. "You seem to be keeping busy," he said, indicating the piles of papers, books, and folders that covered the large oak desk.

Sandry nodded. "A lot of it is for a banquet that we're having this weekend. You wouldn't believe the amount of planning that goes into one of those things."

"A banquet, eh? And I bet that you're the hostess."

"Yes," Sandry said, and then grinned. "Hey, you will be here this weekend, right?"


"Then I have a favor to ask of you."

"Anything for a beautiful lady," Briar quipped.

Sandry smiled. "I need an escort, and I thought that maybe you would like the job."

Briar's heart practically leapt out of his chest. He struggled to keep the excitement off of his face. "I'd love to," he said, but then his spirits dropped. "But don't you need some dashing young lord with a fancy title?"

"Briar!" Sandry said with indignation. "If I did, why would I ask you?" Briar shrugged - girls did weird things sometimes - but before he could say anything, Sandry continued. "Besides, I think that a dashing young mage will be enough to still the wagging tongues, don't you think?"

Or set them off at a faster pace, Briar thought to himself, but he only grinned. A dashing young mage, she said. That was nice. He stared at the wall, trying to imagine what the banquet would be like.

"You'll need new clothes."

Briar started. "What?"

"Well, you certainly can't wear that," Sandry said. Briar looked down at his loose, cream colored top and green pants.

"They're not stuffing me in any of those stiff, stuffed jackets," Briar said stubbornly.

Sandry grinned. "Of course not. I'm going to help, so I'll make sure that your outfit is perfect, alright?"

Briar looked at her doubtfully. "Sure."

"Can you dance?"

"A little."

"I'll have to see what you know then. And I'll have to show you the right etiquette for my escort."

Briar groaned. Maybe the banquet wouldn't be as fun as he thought it would.