Chapter 1- Goodnight

Lady Knight Keladry of Mindelan, Protector of the Small groaned. 'This is torture' she thought. She'd been trying to block out Neal's horrible poetry for hours, but with no success. For the whole ride from New Hope to Fort Steadfast, Sir Nealan of Queenscove had been attempting to compose poetry for his betrothed, Lady Yukimi. (a/n what's Yuki's full name, I can't find it anywhere)
Even though he was her best friend, enough was enough. "Neal," she finally snapped "No offence, but please shut up" A loud cheer from the rest of the party showed the approval of this comment.
"But Kel" Neal whined "You cannot quiet the love that I feel for the beautiful Lady Yukimi" Kel rolled her eyes at this comment and nudged her gelding, Peachblossom, close to Neal's horse. Getting the hint, Peachblossom gave Neal's ankle a sharp nip.
A small yelp was heard from Neal. "Kel, what did you do that for?"
"Oh, did Peachblossom bite the little knight. Maybe he doesn't like your poetry." Kel said, riding ahead with a small smile on her lips.

A couple of minutes later, they were in sight of Fort Steadfast. "You're late!" a voice boomed from the battlements above. Kel looked up and saw the smiling face of her ex-knight master, Lord Raoul of Golden Lake and Malorie's Peak, Knight Commander of the King's Own. "It's Neal fault, sir" Kel yelled back, smiling "I had to stop half the ride from throttling him because of his poetry." Raoul laughed.
"Hey!"
"Open the gates." Raoul ordered, still laughing.
The gates silently swung open and Kel led her group in. Before Neal's horse had even stopped, he dismounted and ran over to Yuki, sweeping her up in a passionate kiss. Kel shook her head, but smiled as she dismounted and handed Peachblossom to Tobe. She was glad her two best friends had found love.
"So how is my favourite ex-squire?" Raoul said bounding down the stairs, to sweep Kel up in a big hug.
Kel laughed when he finally let her breathe. "I'm your only ex-squire, sir" (a/n i don't know if this is true or not, but it is now)
"Well it certainly can't be a lie then, can it?" Kell playfully punched him on the arm "And I told you to stop calling me sir. It makes me feel old."
"As you wish, sir" Kel said jokingly. "Looking forward to your wedding?"
"Yes, but I'm quite terrified at the thought of getting married." He replied. "I've been a bit on edge lately and I think I've scared most of the Third Company."
"It's true." A voice joked behind Kel. "I've seen countless men cowering in their beds after having a chat with Raoul"
"I'd better get going" Raoul whispered into Kel's ear, a small smile on his face.
Ignoring the fluttering of her stomach, Kel smiled into mischievous blue eyes of a man casually leaning against the stable wall. Sergeant Domitan of Masbolle. Dom was Neal's cousin and someone Kel had had a crush on for many years.
"I heard your comment about Meathead's poetry." Dom said jokingly. "I don't blame the others. I'd throttle him too. How'd you put up with it?"
Kel smiled "Peachblossom has his uses" Dom laughed. He walked over to Kel and hugged her, causing her stomach to flutter madly.
"It's good to see you again Kel." He whispered in her ear.
"It's good to see you too" Kel whispered back as Dom released her from the hug.
"Kel!" a voice yelled from across the courtyard.
Kel smiled "Looks like Yuki and Neal have finally detached from each other. I'll see you at dinner Dom." Kel walked over to Yuki to be swept up in a hug. I sure am getting my share of hugs today she thought.

Walking towards the mess hall, Kel reflected on her day. It had been well spent. She firstly greeted all of her friends at the Fort and then reported the happenings of New Hope to Lord Wyldon of Cavall and Raoul. Afterwards she had polished her armour and weapons while catching up with Yuki. Opening the door to the mess, she immediately spotted her friends. Neal, who was a constant source of entertainment for Dom, was in what appeared to be a stupid debate with him. Neal did not look as if he was winning. Shaking her head at their immaturity, she went to stand in line for food.
"That is completely untrue. They taste purple." Neal said forcefully.
"What are they arguing about now?" Kel asked Yuki, as she slid into the across from her, which happened to be next to Dom.
"There arguing whether food can taste a colour. (a/n got this from Animorphs except they were arguing that cheese tasted green, I found it quite amusing) For some reason Neal seems to think that sausages tastes purple." Yuki answered her respect (the little that she had) for her betrothed obviously diminishing by the second.
Dom turned to Kel, "What do you think on this matter, dear Protector?"
"I think that if you want to live, you should stop calling me that name." Kel replied coolly, looking over at Neal's plate she added. "Neal, eat your vegetables." Neal scowled. Dom just smiled and returned to debating with, and making a sport of, Neal. Neal was getting a little passionate about the subject, which seemed to highly amuse Dom. Raoul who was walking past their table suddenly stopped and turned, obviously hearing a bit of their conversation.
"What are they talking about?" he asked Kel curiously.
"You don't want to know." Kel and Yuki said together.
Shaking his head, Raoul walked to the end of the room and called for attention. "I would like the sergeants of the Third Company, Lady Knight Keladry and Sir Nealan to go to the meeting room after you've finished up here. That is all." He returned to his seat next to his betrothed, Buriram Tourikam (a/n is that her full name? I'm too lazy to look it up).
Kel turned to Neal and Dom. "I wonder what that's about." Dom said.
Kel shrugged. "I guess we'll find out soon enough."

Kel sat patiently, waiting for Raoul to get there so they could all find out what this meeting was about. Finally he and Buri entered. Once the room had gone silent, he addressed the present company.
"Now as you all know, Buri and I are engaged." A loud cheer followed this comment, along with numerous people shouting 'About time, too.'
"Okay, quiet down." Raoul walked over to Buri and put his arms around her, from behind. "The war had slowed down a bit and the King has agreed that our wedding can be held at the palace in three weeks. The Third Company, as well as anyone from your company Kel, are all invited. We will be leaving in two days and will tell everyone their roles in the wedding, when we reach Corus." Chatter broke out at this news. Everyone was clearly surprised and delighted at the news.
Kel however was not delighted. Of course she was happy for Raoul and Buri, but leaving New Hope for so long and for so far away worried her. It wasn't that she didn't trust her knight year-mate Merric of Hollyrose, who has in charge in her leave, but she was afraid that something would happen. Just like Haven.
"You okay, Kel?" Dom asked from the seat next to her.
"I'm just worried about New Hope." Kel replied
"Is Mother worrying about all her children?" Dom teased. Kel, who usually didn't mind this teasing, felt extremely offended. She got up offered her congratulations to Raoul and Buri and left the room, walking towards her room.
"Kel!" a voice called behind her. The voice that belonged to Dom. "Kel, hold on" Kel kept on walking, but Dom finally caught up with her outside her room.
"Kel, look at me" Keeping her eyes cold she looked into Dom's. "I'm really sorry Kel. I wasn't thinking." Dom's eyes were just so hopeful, hurt and remorseful. She melted and just couldn't stay mad.
"I know you are. I guess I'm just a little worried. I don't want to live through that again." Kel said, on the verge of tears. She didn't need to explain. Dom grabbed her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze, sending shivers up her arm. "I'm sure everything's going to be alright." He reassured her.
"You're right." She smiled appreciatory. "Goodnight, Dom"
He smiled and kissed her cheek. "Goodnight, Kel" he whispered before walking away.
Kel, flabbergasted, entered her room. She would have a lot to think about tonight.


This probably needs editing, but I'm really lazy. Hope you enjoy it. Please review.