Ephiny peeked one eye open to the harsh morning sunlight. Groaning, she closed it tightly. 'Never again! I swear it!' she thought to herself as she remembered her drunken escapades of the previous evening. She rolled over to the edge of the bed, fully intending on standing, but her body just wasn't cooperating with her brain right then and she fell back onto the bed with a sigh. Her right arm fell across her eyes as she tried to take deep breaths to clear her fuzzy head. 'Ok, one more try...' With a grunt she hauled herself up into a sitting position and was rewarded by the room spinning out of control. Gripping the bed until her knuckles turned white, she waited for the feeling to pass...which it did, and she shook her head to clear it more. "OW OW OW OW Ow!!!!! Eph, you know better than to do that!" she said aloud as the throbbing became almost unbearable. She raised her arms over her head and stretched, feeling numerous muscles begin to argue relentlessly with her to not do that. "Twenty summers, and it feels like eighty sometimes, geeesh!" she thought amusedly.

Finally, she managed to stand without her knees feeling wobbly and worked her way over to the washbasin in her small hut. She poured some fresh water in and briskly splashed it on her face, feeling the cool liquid begin to break through the cloudiness in her head. Finishing with that, she ran her fingers through the tangled mass of shoulder length, blonde curls, found some clean leathers, and slipping them on headed out the door to Old Cervexa's hut to procure some herbs for her rebelling stomach.


Solari and Eponin sat on the bench outside the healer's hut awaiting their turn for herbs when they noticed Ephiny's hunched over form making its' way across the courtyard.

"Soli...hey...look over there..." said Eponin pointing Ephiny's way.

Solari turned her eyes to see a very hung-over looking blonde amazon trudging up to them. She averted her gaze as Eph practically fell into the spot next to her on the bench, leaned back against the wall of the hut and covered her eyes with her arm.

"Uhhhhh hey there Eph.....ummm one too many ciders last night eh?" commented Eponin with a following snicker.

"Oh! And no thanks to you!" snapped Ephiny. "Or your zombie-lookin' little friend over here either!" she jerked her free thumb in Solari's direction. "And to think I call you two my friends....why did you let me drink so much?? You know how I get!!!"

"But Eph, I didn't realize how much you had til it was too late anyhow." shrugged Eponin. "Besides...you're sooo much fun when you've had a few. You really do some crazy stuff...it's great!!"

"Yeeeeaaaahhhh...." interrupted Solari. "I especially liked your rendition of 'The Dance of the Three Veils'....it was very...ummm....uhhhh...shall we say, inspirational?" She and Eponin burst into helpless fits of giggles.

Ephiny was about to retort when the door of the hut flew open and poor Pony was grabbed by the ear by Cervexa the Healer herself...

"What's with all this racket out here you whippersnappers? Can't ya see there's sick people in here?" She wrenched the ear she was holding so that the face turned her way. "Yep...just as I thought! Been partakin' of the spirits again have ya? Well I've a good mind to just leave y'all out here to suffer!!" She gave them all a warning look as she dragged poor Ep by the earlobe into the hut, "No more noise ya hear?? QUIET!" She disappeared into the hut, slamming the door loudly behind her.

Solari and Ephiny turned wide eyes from the door to each other. They both began shaking with silent giggles which went on for about a quarter candlemark. Eph cleared her throat and casually glanced over at Solari, who was now watching the action over at the practice field. She was really beginning to notice things about her friend lately. Things like her eyes, her smile, her body....'WHOA waitaminute here Eph...her body???' She quickly looked away, but found herself looking back a moment later. She took her time, carefully studying the young woman sitting next to her. 'Yeah, and I'm liking what I see...' she thought as a wry grin unknowingly edged up the corner of her mouth.

She cleared her throat again. Leaning over towards her friend, she spoke softly so as not to bring Cervexa flying out the door to thrash them. "Sooooo Soli....you liked my dance huh?" Her breath tickled Sol's ear and she whipped her head around, only to come face to face with Ephiny.

Before she knew it, she was frozen in her spot and staring into very mesmerizing hazel eyes. "U-u-u-mmm..." she stammered. "W-w-ell, y-yeah I did what's wrong with that?" Solari couldn't remember when her stomach had felt this funny. She watched as Ephiny smiled at her and moved a little closer on the bench.

"So do you think I dance good?" whispered Eph, her eyes taking in all the reactions she was causing in her friend.

Solari's heart felt like it was going to pound right out of her chest. "Yes." was all she could manage to say.

"I'm glad you like it." She inched even closer.

"I do..." admitted Soli. Eph's lips were a scant distance from her own. "Very much."

"How much?" replied Ephiny.

"This much...." said Solari as she brought her lips against Ephiny's. She felt arms pulling her closer, and she moaned softly as she did the same. Oooooh, she had wanted to do this for so long....and now it was happening. She traced the contour of Eph's lips with her tongue. Sooooo nice. She deepened the kiss and felt one hand reach up to tangle itself in her hair and another slide down her back. She slowly pulled away and just stared at her friend.

Ephiny's eyes were still closed, so she reached out and touched the side of her face. "Hey..."

The blonde slowly opened her eyes, and found intense blue ones staring back at her. "Hey yourself." She smiled. "Wow...I had no idea you knew how to kiss like that."

"Did you like it?"

"Oh yeah.....very much." She grinned slyly as she turned Solari's own words back on her. "So much I can't wait till you kiss me again..." Their lips met in a second kiss, and Ephiny's world exploded into an array of swirling emotions. And then.....

"ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT! BREAK IT UP!!!" Cervexa stormed out of her hut, shoving a very suprised looking Eponin out in front of her and grabbing Solari by the ear, dragging the young woman off the bench to stand next to her. "I swear! You young ones! Always makin googily eyes at each other.....WELL DIDN'T YOUR MOTHERS EVER TEACH YOU IT AIN'T RIGHT TO BE DOIN THAT IN PUBLIC?" She stumbled towards the hut door, with Solari in tow, mumbling something to herself about what they must be adding to the food lately.

Ephiny managed a weak smile at Solari before she disappeared into the hut with Cervexa. Noticing Eponin's eyes on her, she turned to face her. "What?"

"Oooohhh nothing...nothing." replied Ep. "Except...."

"Except what?"

"Well uuuhhh, what are you going to tell Terreis?" said the weaponmaster-to-be.

Ephiny's eyebrows scrunched at the thought. "Damn. I forgot about that." She caught a stern stare from her friend. "Don't give me that look Pony! I'll handle the Princess just fine."

"I'm not sayin ya couldn't Eph....I'm just sayin she ain't gonna like it much that you picked Solari over her. You know she's had her eye on you for a while now..."

"I know, I know. But I like Soli. She's just going to have to understand is all." replied Ephiny.

Eponin laughed out loud. "Understand? Understand??? She's gonna understand alright....so much I bet she goes straight to the Queen and gets you demoted!"

"Melosa wouldn't do that would she? Oh my....no no. DAMN! Pony...shit what am I gonna do?" Ephiny stared hopelessly off into the distance.

"Eph, Eph...don't worry. Yer ol buddy Eponin is here, and I got a plan......"


Ephiny sat across the table from her friend and just rolled her eyes. "You can't be serious! That will never work Pony, you aren't giving Ter's intellect any credit at all here."

Now it was Ep's turn to roll her eyes. "I swear Eph, you are so negative! Where do you get it from, yer momma? This will work I promise!"

"Sure...sure. And just how am I supposed to make her think I'm not good enough for her? Hmmmm??" questioned Ephiny with an annoyed look.

"Well, there's a number of ways....you could be the village bully..." One look at her not so brawnily-built friend told Eponin that route was out of the question. "Or you could pretend to hate old people, I know she's fond of em..." Ephiny shook her head. "Hmmm ok, how about you become the biggest tease in town? You could really sleaze around....Yeah! She would hate that!" Ep leaned back in her chair, tipping it on two legs, put her feet on the table and crossed her arms, all the while sporting a smug look at her own brilliance.

"You want me to be a tramp?" Ephiny's shoulders shook violently as she laughed. "Oh yeah, that's a good one Pony!" More laughing. "Everyone knows me! You think they would believe that?" Her shoulders began shaking once again.

Eponin's smug look turned into one of defeat, and a pout began as her bottom lip edged out just a smidge. "Aw Eph....why won't ya even just try it? I mean, what do ya have to lose here? Come on! She likes you because you're considerate and caring. All ya gotta do is carry on like a woman possessed, and before ya know it...POOF! She'll lose interest! Then you and Solari can have yer fling in peace." She held her breath as she watched her friend ponder this latest argument.

"Weeeeeeell........." drawled Ephiny.

"Excellent! Excellent! I knew you'd see it my way!" She raised her arms in the air and began clapping wildly at Ephiny's obvious agreement to her idea. Forgetting the chair was balanced precariously on two legs, she fell over backwards, crashing to the floor and emitting a loud grunt.

This was more than Eph could handle right then, and she doubled over holding onto her stomach for dear life. "P...P....P-Pony...you ok?" She stood and peeked over the opposite edge of the table and found her friend in a heap on the floor, trying to disentangle her legs from the chair.

"Not one word Ephiny.....not ONE word! Or I'll pummel ya, got me?"

All that did was cause Eph to laugh even harder. (if that was possible) She fell back into her own chair, praying to Artemis that she wouldn't bust a gut.

A rap came from the doorway as Solari entered the hut. She stopped in mid step as she witnessed Ephiny laughing hysterically, arms wrapped around herself in a death grip, and Eponin trying to stand with a chair attached to her backside. "What the?" She watched as Ep once again tried to pull her derrier from the chair unsuccessfully. "Forget it....I don't want to know..." She giggled as she pulled another chair up next to Ephiny. Turning to the blonde, she held a small bag out to her. "Here, I brought you some of those herbs for your head Eph...considering you were gone when Cervexa got done prodding me..." A tinge of hurt began to show upon the brunette's features.

Ephiny reached out to take the herbs from her. "Soli, oh I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to just leave you there like that...really." Her eyes softened as she caught the look in Solari's eyes, and she reached over to place her hand atop a smaller one. Solari looked up at the touch and smiled.

Eponin had finally managed to disengage herself from what would now on be known as 'The Trained Attack Chair', and was repositioning it so she could sit down again. "No no no, Solari, it was my fault....I dragged her back here." She put her elbows on the table and propped her chin up on her fists. "See....I know you guys got a thing for each other Sol, but that don't mean you can just ignore everything else ya know...."

"Such as?" replied Solari, raising an eyebrow.

"Such as Terreis." she said emphatically.

"Ooohhhhh, yeah well I guess that kinda slipped my mind." replied Solari, finding a very interesting design on the table to look at.

Eponin blew out an exhasperated breath. "Soli....don't you know what this means?" She turned narrowed eyes upon her two friends. "A scorned Amazon Princess, whose sister happens to be Queen, and said Queen adores her baby sis so much that she gives the Princess almost anything she wants. This could really mess up Eph's chances at getting into the guard." She sat back. "Not to mention yours as well." She crossed her arms again. "It's pretty much a known fact that Terreis has her mind set on joining with Eph ya know..." She watched Eph swallow so hard she almost had to go check to make sure her tongue was still in there..

Now Solari....well...she was speechless. Eponin was right and she knew it. This could cause major problems for them both, and they didn't even realize it til now. "Aww centaur farts Pony! How are we gonna fix this? It's not like this was a planned thing you know..." She stole a look at Ephiny and sighed.

Eponin grinned broadly. "I was hopin you'd ask that Soli." And with that she began to relate her plan to her friend....


"It ain't such a bad idea Eph..." commented Solari as she pulled an apple out of her pack and began munching away contentedly. "Besides, it's not like you have any other options right now."

Ephiny kicked a stone, sending it shooting down the forest path ahead of them. "I know, I know....but come on Soli! There is no way in Tartarus that anyone in the village is going to believe I have all of a sudden turned into a hormone-raging, woman-chasing tramp!" She reached the stone she had kicked earlier and sent it flying down the path again. "Besides, either way I lose. If I do nothing, I end up having to join with Terreis, and if I go with Pony's crazy idea, and it works....well, then the whole village thinks I'm a floozy. This is a no-win situation."

Solari stopped munching on her apple. "Gee thanks Eph..." she said, a look of hurt beginning to paint her classic features. "Nice to know where I stand in all this." She quickened her pace, striding ahead of her friend to hide the tears that were by this time barely restrained.

Ephiny sighed. 'How come everything I say lately comes out sounding like a merchant's spiel at the market?' she thought as she hurried to catch up with her friend. "Soli, wait...wait up...." She placed her hand on her friends' shoulder, stopping her progress and gently turned her around so she could look into her eyes. "I didn't mean it the way it sounded...really." She brought her hand up to trace the contours of the brunette's cheek. "Look at me." Solari slowly brought her eyes up to meet the blonde's. "You mean a lot to me." A pause and a soft sigh. "And despite the fact that I absolutely hate the way I have to go about remedying the situation, I'll do it. In fact I'll do whatever it takes if it means I'll be able to be with you in the end." She cocked her head to one side, looking into the blue eyes that were now setting her soul aflame every time she did. "I'm sorry darling....I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. That's the last thing I would ever want to do." She reached her other arm out and drew her friend into a sincere embrace.

Solari rested her head against a strong shoulder, bringing arms up to wrap around her friend's waist. "Do you really mean that Eph?" she asked softly.

Ephiny pulled her head back just enough to study the emotions on the young woman's face, and their eyes met again. "Yes." she replied. "I don't ever want to hurt you. You're everything to me."

A weak smile showed itself on the brunette's face as she sighed and once again rested her cheek on Ephiny's shoulder. "Thank you." she replied. "That means a lot." She paused, then added..."I feel the same about you..."

Ephiny felt the arms around her waist tighten in emphasis to her companion's words and smiled, breathing in the now familiar soft scent of lilacs that seemed to be everywhere Solari was. She tightened her own arms around the young woman as she spoke. "Do you?"

Fingers slowly traced a circular pattern along the small of Ephiny's back. "Yes....for a long time now."

"How long?" inquired the blonde, running her fingers through dark tresses.

Solari chuckled softly as she pulled her head back to meet amused hazel eyes. "That is a loaded question Ephiny." She smiled at her friend. "Does it really matter?"

"No....but I'm curious to know." she replied, an eyebrow raising as she took in the hearty blush that was now coloring Solari's cheeks.

"Ummmmm...." She rolled her eyes and looked away. "I think I realized it around the last harvest." Her eyebrows furrowed as she thought harder. "It might have been longer for all I know."

Ephiny's jaw hit the forest floor in amazement. "Soli.....you've liked me for almost a year and you never said anything? How come?"

Solari rolled her eyes more dramatically this time. "You're kidding right?" A shake of blonde curls was her answer, and she took a breath before continuing. "Terreis made it pretty obvious to everyone that she intended on courting you, and I was afraid to say a word. I most certainly didn't want to bring the anger of the princess down upon myself."

"So why are things different now Soli? Why did you pick this time to kiss me?"

"Awwwww Hades Eph!" The blush began creeping back into her face. "I only have so much willpower ya know!" She giggled. "And you weren't makin it very easy one me puttin your lips that close to mine..."

"Ooooh, I see....so it's all my fault?" said the blonde with a chuckle.

"Yes..all your fault."

"Hmmmm....so if I were to do this...." She brought her lips a hairsbreadth away from her friend's. "Then it would be my fault again?" A sly grin appeared at the corner of Ephiny's mouth.

Solari felt a strange warmth beginning inside as her eyes fixed on the invitation before her. She brushed her lips softly across Ephiny's. "Mmmmm yes...all your fault..." She looked up into those gorgeous hazel eyes and was reduced to a pile of jello in a matter of seconds. "Gods Eph....do you have any idea what you are doing to me right now?"

"Probably the same thing you're doing to me..." whispered the blonde, her hands reaching up to tangle in the darker locks. "You're making it very hard to be a respectful amazon Solari." She smiled.

The brunette's blush went from pink to three shades of purple in a matter of seconds. She cleared her throat before she spoke. "Am I? I'm sorry."

"Don't be sorry darling...in my opinion, you're worth the wait." She puncuated her words with a kiss that made Solari lose all sense of time.

"Good gods Ephiny...." said the brunette as they pulled apart. Air seemed to be a precious commodity at that moment, and Solari tried to get some in as she mustered her courage to speak again. "Maybe I wouldn't mind you being a little disrespectful if you kiss me like that all the time..."

"Hmmm, is that so...." replied the blonde, the insinuation hitting her right in her core. She gasped at the intensity of the feeling, wondering if this was what everyone alluded to when they referred to unbridled passion. 'Oh yeah, this has to be what they mean...' She pulled her friend even closer and looked deeply into those amazing blue eyes. "I'll kiss you like that anytime you want me to Soli...just say the word..."

"Please..." she replied, desire now clearly evident in her features and body language. "I want you so badly Ephiny..." Her hands moved of their own accord and settled over her friend's derrier. She squeezed softly, pulling closer and pressing her body tightly against the blonde's own. "Please..." she said again.

Ephiny groaned and brought her lips against Solari's in a passionate kiss. Tongues intertwined and hands roamed freely, exploring every inch of each other. They fell to the ground, Ephiny's lips seeking the soft skin of her soon to be lover's neck, and hands finding their way beneath the suddenly encumbering top Solari was wearing. Her breath was coming faster and her head was spinning trying to keep up with the emotions that were flooding her senses. She tugged at her lover's article of clothing. "This...." she managed between gasps for air..."has to go..." Solari nodded her head and raised herself up a bit to allow Ephiny to remove the annoying garment. Her breath caught as she stared unabashedly at her friends body. "Solari....sweet Artemis...." she gasped as in turn, her top was being raised and removed...slowly...so agonizingly slowly she thought she would die of anticipation. Then hands were beneath her skirt and making their way up her thigh in an altogether extremely teasing fashion. She closed her eyes to the sensation, intent on feeling everything this moment had to offer.

"Make love to me Ephiny...make me yours." breathed Solari into her lover's ear. "I want it to be you...I've always wanted it to be you Eph, and no one else."

Ephiny's heart seemed to be caught in her throat, making it hard to do anything, especially talk...but this sudden admission by her friend required an admission of her own... "Gods Soli...you mean you've never...."

"No....never. I was waiting for you."

Ephiny swallowed hard. "Me either." Another swallow. "I'm not sure I know what to do..."

Solari pulled the blonde to her and their bodies slid against each other, sending tendrils of pure, sensual pleasure through them both. "Trust me, you are doing just fine...." Ephiny's lips once again attached themselves to her neck, and she sucked in her breath in response. "Oh yeah, just....f..f..fine..." The lips moved lower....across her collarbone and into the hollow of her throat. "Oh gods..." she breathed as those lips suddenly were teasing her nipple, and hands roamed lower.

By this time, Ephiny was completely into what was happening. She forgot about her nervousness, and her inexperience, and concentrated instead on the soft, gutteral sounds coming from her partner. She dipped her head lower, wanting to run her lips over every part of Solari's body. Gods this woman was beautiful beyond anything she had ever laid eyes on. She ran her fingers up her friend's sides and down again, feeling the gooseflesh pop up, and thrilled to the feeling of hips moving against her chest. 'Well, it's now or never...' she thought, and scooted lower, her fingers tracing paths along the inside of Solari's thighs. She felt trembling hands wrap themselves in her hair in encouragement.

"Eph...please...oh gods please..."

That was enough to cast her final fears of incompetence to the wayside, and she softly ran her fingers along her lover's most private of places. She brought her head down to take the place of her hand and was almost slammed into unconsiousness by the feel beneath her tongue. Solari's hips jerked in response, making her think for a moment she had done something wrong, but to her suprise, hips began rocking against her relentlessly, sending her to dizzying heights she had never thought possible. She watched the expressions on her lover's face, thrilled that she was the one responsible for it all. She gently pushed her fingers just inside and hesitated, not sure if she had the right to take this from her friend.

"Do it."

Their eyes met and held and Eph pushed in all the way, feeling the muscles clench around her. Solari cried out and a tear made it's way slowly down her cheek. "Soli...you ok?"

"Y-y-yes....don't stop now..." came the plea, and who was Ephiny to deny it? She gently began her administrations again, and now it seemed more intense...more sensual the way Solari's legs wrapped around her. Then she felt inner muscles tightening, and heard the short gasps of breath from her lover.

"Oh my gods..." uttered Solari as her world exploded into a thousand different sensations. Her back arched and she held onto Ephiny for dear life, wondering if she was going to live through this or not.

When the shaking finally subsided, Ephiny crawled up her new lover, bestowing sweet kisses on every inch of flesh along the way. Solari reached for her and drew her into her arms.

"Was that...."

"Yeah, I think so."

"Wow. I did that for you..." A huge smile broke across Ephiny's features.

"Yeah...I'll say. Boy did you ever..." They giggled as an involuntary shudder shook her again.

"Was it ok?"

Solari took the head of blonde curls in her hands and kissed the lips she found there with every ounce of passion she had in her. She then flipped her lover over, and pinned her arms over her head. "Oh yeah....more than ok."

Ephiny gulped audibly as Solari lowered herself down upon her.

"Don't think you're going anywhere anytime soon there Eph....we're not finished yet..." She was about to help the blonde divest herself of that annoying leather skirt when they heard a twig snap a short distance away...

Ephiny shot up to a half-sitting position, accidentally throwing her partner off her and onto the ground. She grimaced when she heard the thud, and mumbled a quick apology as she fumbled for her clothes. Finding them, she threw her top over her head and took off towards where the sound had come from. She reached a line of high bushes, and peering behind she found a set of footprints.

Solari had found her own clothes and ran up to her friend. "Was someone here?"

"Yeah...." replied Ephiny with a scowl on her face. She reached over to a leaf and pulled something off of it. She held the strands of long red hair up for Solari to see. "Terreis."


Ephiny's long strides were eating up the ground. She had long since left a huffing and puffing Solari behind, and was racing headlong towards the village. Rounding the last turn in the path, she saw the princess fling open the door to her hut and rush inside, slamming it closed behind her. "Aw rats!" She pumped her arms harder trying to draw out some last reserve of speed, until she came skidding to a halt in front of Terreis' hut. She just stood there for a moment trying to figure out what to stay when she heard a loud crash come from inside, followed by two more crashes and a clang. Swallowing, she tentatively knocked on the door frame....

"Terreis...it's me Ephiny...we need to talk."

"Go away Ephiny! I have nothing to say to you."

"Please Ter...let me explain..."

"Explain?" was the reply, followed by a very hurt sounding laugh. "There's nothing to explain...I think what I saw explained quite enough thank you."

She heard the choked back sobs, and with a wrenching gut she opened the door and slid inside, only to be greeted by a dagger whizzing past her ear and embedding itself in the door frame. Her eyes whipped to where the knife was still shaking from it's impact with the frame, then over to where the princess had secluded herself in the corner of the room. "Hey! Ter, now that was close!"

"The next one won't miss Ephiny....leave me alone."

"I can't....we need to talk this out."

"Like I said, there is nothing to discuss."

Ephiny took a deep breath before continuing. "I never intended to hurt you ya know..."

"Yeah? Well guess what, you did. And what hurts the most is that you felt you couldn't even be up front with me about it." A sigh. "Instead you run around behind my back and go sleep with her." This time she couldn't stop the tears from falling, and she buried her face in her hands.

"Now just you wait a second here!" replied Ephiny. "It's not like you and me were ever an item...you seem to be forgetting that."

Terreis's hands moved away from her tear-streaked face and her eyes shot up to confront the blonde's. "But you knew how I felt about you Ephiny!" More tears came. "You knew and you did it anyhow..."

Eph sighed. "Yes I knew....but honestly Ter, have I ever returned those feelings?" She crossed the floor to kneel down beside the Princess. "Have I ever once told you I felt the same?" Her question was answered by a reluctant nod of a head. "Then how can you justify what you are doing to me right now? Yes, I was wrong in not telling you first, because I knew how you felt for me, but then again I knew this is the reaction I would get!" She stood and began pacing the floor as she spoke. "It's not like I planned on hurting you, and it's not like I planned how I would feel for Solari! I can't control who I fall in...love......with...." She stopped in mid-pace, realizing what she had just admitted.

Terreis's head fell forward as the words echoed in her head. "So you are in love with her then." She sniffled and wiped at her eyes.

"I....I....I guess I am...." Her eyes met the princess's. "I really didn't know myself Ter.....honest."

"So there is no chance for me at all then?" Forlorn green eyes peered at her from under swollen lids.

Ephiny's conscience was having a helluva grand time messing with her now. But she knew she had to end it here. "I can't see into the future Ter, but as of right now the answer is no." She crossed the floor again, knelt down and took a small, trembling hand into her own. She raised it to her lips and brushed a gentle kiss across the knuckles. "I do care for you...just not in the way you want me to I'm afraid."

Terreis cleared her throat. "I'm sorry I acted so childish."

"It's ok....we all have our times." Ephiny stood and reached down to the redhead. Her forearm was grasped and she hauled the princess to her feet. "Friends?"

Terreis looked warily at Eph before finally answering. She nodded her head. "Yes...ok friends."

Ephiny's face broke into a wide smile. "Thank you."

"For what?" replied the princess.

"For not killing me with the dagger."

Terreis returned the smile. "Oh....well actually I was aiming for you, I just missed." She turned towards the door of the hut, and heard the gulp behind her. As she exited, she turned back and added with a wink..."Just kidding..." And she was gone.

Ephiny made her way outside into the sunshine, feeling like there was nothing in the world that could ruin the euphoric feeling inside of her at that moment. She was now free to pursue her relationship with Solari, and not have to worry about the consequences. Ah...life couldn't be better. She made her way across the compound towards her own hut, where she was hoping to find her new love waiting for her....

Continued in Part 2 ------}