• The woman nodded. Turning smartly, she moved fast and confidently, sure that the young woman would be glad to see him. Through the halls, up the 4 flights of granite steps and into the lord's study she led him, all the while keeping up her brisk pace. She bowed him into the room.

    "Ah, Gabriel, my young soon-to-be son-in-law, how are you? I hope you don't mind waiting for a tad, but Ayla was working in the garden and she wishes to clean up a bit. She is quite nervous about seeing you again after all of these years." the Lord of the house said with a small chuckle.

    "Probably not as nervous as I am, m'lord. I've been sweating like a horse, wondering what her reaction would be to me again." Gabriel gave a small, self-deprecating smile.

    The man guffawed with humor. "I hope you can keep your feelings to yourself, my boy. My daughter will tease you mercilously if you show any sign of weakness."

    "I know. She was quite feisty when we were kids, always diving into dangerous situations." His smile was one of memory now, turning his face into a greek god's.

    Ayla stood at the doorway, laughing silently at his expression. "You look like you're dreaming, Angel. What have you been doing while i wasn't there to take care of you?"

    Turning quickly, he stopped and stared at the beautiful vision standing in the doorway, the light around her in an ethereal quality. "Ah, shucks, Jag, i was just remembering our time together. Can't blame a man for that, can you?" He gave her his best puppy-dog eyes he could, but it didn't faze her.