Under a Violet Moon

As his hand touches the last symbol, the door disappears, letting violet light stream in to the small room. Light, and the smell of fresh air and trees.

"That's great," Skye says she cranes her neck to see the newly expanded view of the place. "But do you also know how to close it?" I can't believe they did this. What if this isn't Fiona's? What if it's just a very close facsimile?

Gideon takes a half step forward, hoping to be able to get a whiff of the shadows air. For some reason he imagines the place to smell of lilacs, though this is probably just because of the purple light.

"I… really didn't expect that to be quite so easy," Saffron observes, sounding surprised.

"Nor did I," Bleys shrugs. "But easy it proved to be."

He steps through the doorway, then looks back at the rest. "Well, the doorway's still here, so I'm thinking it's not a trap."

"Or it's a really sophisticated one." Gideon says, stepping all the way forward to join Bleys on the other side.

Skye gives Random a mildly stern look. "You will not be joining them, will you? Your Majesty…."

Saffron reluctantly says, "I probably shouldn't either. There's someone I should go see." She glances at Skye. "Besides, someone should stay so we can Trump you lot home if there *is* some sort of trap we're not seeing yet."

Random chuckles. "No, Skye, I don't intend to leave here. I don't doubt I can return readily enough, but if it is a trap, that could be a faulty assumption. Before this thing closes, everyone make sure you have Trumps of me or Saffron, so we can pull you back if needed."

Satisfied Random wasn’t going traipsing off into the unknown on her watch, Skye relaxes and waits to decide what Bleys and Gideon are going to do.

Stepping back through the portal, Gideon looks slightly disappointed. "I'd love to check that place out, but it probably wouldn't be a good idea while I'm carrying this damn mystery sword around." He smiles at Skye, remembering how she got the drop on him in Arden.

"Besides, Skye is much better at sneaking around than I."

"It may not require sneaking at all," Saffron points out. "It may be the place we think it might be, just with a suspiciously altered moon. If you want to go, I could try taking a look in the library for you to see if there's anything about that particular sword."

"True, but I didn't find this thing. Besides dragging this sword around, I don't want to go elbowing myself in on another persons gig. You two found it, I figure that gives you both first right at cracking it if you want."

Gideon smiles. "That sounds reasonable, doesn't it?"

“Sadly, we have things to do that trump interesting place. Saffron’s mother is still recovering, and I have something that requires my attention first. But I would like to revisit this after we are done with what we have on our plate.” Skye turns to Random. “If that meets your approval, of course.”

Gideon nods. "Alright, then I suppose I can risk a little exploration." He steps back to where Bleys is on the other side of the portal.

"I'll make sure you both get the full story, boring or not." Gideon says toward Saffron and Skye.
"Random, If things go south expect an emergency call."

Random nods to both Gideon and Skye. "Sounds good. Now that I've seen what you've found, I think I should become available again. People don't like it when the king's hard to find."

"Saffron and I would like a moment more of your time once the doorway is closed." Skye eyes the doorway and then raises an eyebrow at Saffron.

"Can you close it?"

"I certainly hope so," Saffron answers. "Let me see…" She studies the doorway again.

Turning to Bleys, Gideon says with a smile, "I hope you're along decently with your sister right now. I think they are locking us in."

Bleys gives Gideon a shrug and a gamin grin. "I'm never entirely sure how well Fi and I get on until we meet again. But I don't think we're getting locked in just yet. I'm sure there's time to go back if you want."

Gideon shakes his head. "No, I'm in not going to ditch on you Bleys. If we get into trouble, don't let me hold you back though."

Random nods to Saffron.

"Well, it looks like everyone who's going to stay here is staying. Unless you want to go with them, Skye?"

The Ranger shakes her head. “No. I have things I need to do here, as I mentioned earlier. You boys have fun.”

Random nods. "All right then. Go ahead and close it, then, if you can, Saffron."

It is, indeed, easy enough to close, and after a moment, the door closes on Gideon and Bleys.

"So, what was it that you needed to speak to me in private about?"

“I am only doing this because Deidre thought we should,” Skye says after glancing at Saffron. “She thought we should tell you officially that Saffron and I are involved in a relationship. Before you decided you needed to marry off a niece for some thing or another. Not that I believe you would do that without talking to us first, but things do happen.”

"Exactly," Saffron agrees. "Not that I don't think you already know. Everyone *else* seems to this week." She pauses. "Well, Julian and Gerard, anyway."

Random purses his lips and shakes his head. "Knew? No. I'd heard rumours, yes. Vialle was pretty certain about it, but that was all I had to go on. Neither Julian nor Gerard has said a word to me about it. Likely figure - as I do - that it's your business."

He shrugs. "I'm not Oberon. I don't consider politics so important that I'd sell any of my kin like baggage. I rather like living, after all."

"That doesn't say I won't rule political marriages out entirely," he lifts a hand in an open gesture, "but it wouldn't be without your consent. I mean, seriously. I send anyone of the Royal line into a marriage they don't want, and I'll have to take steps to protect their spouse. Too much effort, too little reward."

Skye stifles the smirk; that was exactly what she had thought. “Still, now it is not hanging over our heads, the possibility.” She reaches over and laces her fingers with Saffron’s. “We still do not plan on making it a big issue, or making out behind the fichus at Court. Goddess knows there are enough sewing circle rejects with their noses out of joint at the mere rumors.”

"Besides, fichus makes me itch," Saffron says with a smile. She squeezes Skye's fingers gently.

Random chuckles. "Trust me, if there were any kind of royal command, it might well be 'make out in court'. Though, out of deference to Saffron, not behind the ficus. Some of those 'sewing circle rejects' need a good kick in the pants."

"Not," he smiles, "that I'm giving that command. I think I'll hold off until I need them incredibly disturbed."

Skye grins. "Just let us know when you'd like that to happen. We are yours to command."

Saffron laughs. "You are such a show-off," she says good-naturedly.

"The word you are looking for, my sweet, is exhibitionist," Skye lectures without a smidgen of shame.

Random chuckles. "I think I'm going to schedule the two of you for more courts. Sooner or later, we'll get that floor show, and I find I'm quite looking forward to it."

“I have come to learn since leaving Scythia, that such a show is high on the list for most heterosexual males,” Skye says with a good-natured shrug. “Just yesterday, Gideon suggested we sell tickets. I’m not sure I’m that generous.” She smiles at Saffron then regards Random again.

“I cannot speak for Saffron, but I at least will be heading out in a bit to run an errand for Deirdre. She wishes her axe.”

Saffron sighs. "You have no idea how long my list of things to do today is. Check on Mom, find her axe, call Aunt Fiona, investigate dark passages, investigate strange women in mirrors, try not to lose my temper when any of the above thwarts me…"

Skye just smiles. She rather enjoys when Saffron gets thwarted. Her temper is delightful. "Well, none of that is getting done while we stand in a dark passageway. I think we should get back among the rest of the world so no one thinks we have kidnapped Random for our own perverted games."

Random shakes his head, chuckling. "Well, I don't think you need to worry about that - anyone who saw us enter saw Gideon and Bleys as well. And I've not heard of any rumours about massive parties in the castle yet, so I think they'll assume something more innocent."

He turns to the ladder. "After you, ladies?"

"Yes, because Gideon and Bleys are certainly well known paragons of virtue," she snorts. Skye proceeds in order to assist Saffron when she climbs off the ladder.

It's a matter of moments for the three to exit the by now well-traveled hidden corridor. Random heads off almost immediately, and as he turns a corner, Skye and Saffron can hear someone accost him - by the voice, it sounds like Morgan. The words are soft, but Random's are easier, as he tells the speaker to tell him more in his office.

Skye wrinkles her nose in distaste and mutters about the bastard spawn before turning to Saffron. �What next? If you want to go have a word with your mother, I�ll go saddle the horses.�

"And I should probably check in with Aunt Fiona again," Saffron answers. "You should decide where we're eating as we head out, too, since I can't think of the last meal we had."

That earns her a smirk from Skye. "I imagine you are talking about food. Alas. We can pick something up on the road if that suits. I believe I would sell a cousin for a pizza. It's been ages."

Saffron laughs. "I didn't think we were drastic enough to sell cousins yet. Yes, pizza sounds fine."

"�There are some cousins I would sell for a Kleenex,"� Skye responds breezily as they head for Deirdre�s location.

There are, as before, guards at the door, but they let the two in without difficulty. Deirdre is sitting up, with a cup of something hot - at least, steam is coming from the cup. "Hello again."

She seems somewhat stronger, though there are still clear signs of injury, mostly in her too-careful movement. "As soon as I can move without too much pain, I'm going to a fast time shadow. So much easier to deal with my siblings when I'm not in pain."

Skye hangs back and steps to the side, allowing Saffron freedom to get to her mother. "Well, we are going axe hunting. If you get to feeling stronger while we'r gone, give one of us a call. We're going to Scythia afterwards to check on my Mother and time flow is faster there. Mother would be pleased to meet a fellow warrior woman who is the sister to her m — to Eric."

Deirdre nods slightly. "All right. Say hello to your mother for me, will you? I don't think it's quite fast enough for my purposes, but once I'm back to approaching normal, I'll likely take you up on that offer."

Saffron settles on the arm of a chair after a moment of indecisive hovering. "I'm glad you're feeling better, Mom," she says. "We were considering stealing you - and the sofa, if you couldn't get up yet - off to somewhere fast ourselves. Or at least to somewhere with better medical advice than what amounted to 'she'll walk it off'." She huffs a little in irritation.

Deirdre gives her daughter a smile, laughing lightly. "Honey, for us, most of the time, that's really all it takes. If I'd been stabbed or cut, I'd generally only need bandages and bed rest. We don't even usually require splints. We use them where needed because it speeds things up, but even without them, one of our blood will heal limbs straight and clean. I've lost track of the number of times Gerard or Corwin or Eric broke their arms or legs doing something foolish. None were down more than a couple of weeks, at most."

She gestures briefly at her legs. "All my injuries are down to greenstick fractures by this point. I don't dare put too much weight on them - can't walk, lift anything heavy - but as you can see, I can move them more or less normally. In about a week, give or take, I'll be able to put some weight on them. Another week, and they'll be almost entirely healed."

"Corwin or Eric would achieve the second level in a few days, and both would be entirely healed within two weeks, unless there are other conditions slowing them down."

"Well," Skye muses. "After we get to Scythia, I can Trump back and carry you through another Trump with Saffron on the other end. We could go there first and then go get your axe."

Saffron sniffs. "They still could have tried being nice about it instead of staring at me like I'd lost my mind. I like that plan better than mine; the sofa is unwieldy and we'd have to figure out what to do with it afterwards."

Skye flashes her a grin. "Bonfires are lovely things."

The dark-haired sorceress laughs. "And here I thought you were trying to encourage me to set less things on fire…"

"I just thought it best not to light the King on fire," Skye protests cheerfully. She turns to Deirdre. "I should take my leave and go prepare the horses. Just let Saffron know if you would like us to aide in your desperate flight from overbearing siblings."

Skye bends down to give Saffron a light kiss. "Don't blow anything up in my absence."

Saffron smiles at her. "I'll try. You know I can't promise…"

"As you wish," Skye nods. She runs a hand down Saffron's hair, then takes her leave of the pair, heading for the stables.

The guards outside give Skye an amiable nod as she leaves. The folk about the palace seem to be more animated than usual - certainly they're scurrying faster than most times, anyway.

When she gets outside on the way to the stables, the first thing Skye notices is that there's a purplish cast over everything. A cast explained easily by the full moon glowing violet above her.

Skye skids to a stop and gapes at the sky. "Oh, by the seven veils of the sky goddess…" She hasn't drunk anything recently, so it pretty much clear the water supply; unless it has a delay built in. She frowns and gives the general area of that doorway Bleys and Gideon went through a suspicious look.

What she says next isn't fit for the delicate ears of men as she turns on her heel and strides for the stables. "Prepare Equinox and Sage," she calls to the first stablehand she spies loitering. She again eyes the moon before adding: "We may be leaving shortly."

The stable is fairly busy, as messengers from various places around Amber have been coming in, but the stableboy nods.

"Might take us a few moments, milady, but they'll be saddled and out before another mark."

"That's fine," she replies with a distracted nod. Skye steps back, frowns at the moon again, and pulls out a Trump card without looking at it. She uses it more then the rest and keeps it in front. Shaking her head, Skye focuses on the dark haired image of her lover. But espite the physical closeness, Skye finds that trying to reach Saffron is like trying to push through thick syrup. She's there, 'visible', as it were, but Skye is unable to reach her through the Trump. It is as if there is some interference.

Muttering dark curses, Skye glares at the moon before stalking inside to return to the sitting room for Saffron. Quickly.

No one gets in her way - probably fortunate for them that they don't - and she's quickly back outside the tiny room. The guards look at her, surprised.

"Is there a problem, milady?"

"Very likely!" she barks in response before knocking on the door. "The moon is purple."

The guard looks at Skye like she's been drinking or something. "I'd heard the staff gabbling on about the moon, but hadn't heard anything more. Purple? That can't be good, can it?"

She sighs and looks at him gravely. "I do not know. I do know that the Trumps, they are not working at all like they should. Best stay alert."

Then she steps inside the sitting room. Deirdre looks at her in surprise.

"That was quick, Skye."

"Well… things." Skye's brow is furrowed and she flops down in an empty chair. "Sweetheart… do you recall that amusing rumor about the violet moon that Bleys and Gideon scoffed at? Look out the window."

Saffron's expression goes straight through baffled and amused to exasperated. "Please don't tell me that," she says, rising to head for a window. "Today cannot possibly get any worse."

Saffron's expression goes straight through baffled and amused to exasperated. "Please don't tell me that," she says, rising to head for a window. "Today cannot possibly get any worse."

"Think again, dear," the Ranger grumbles. "Try Trumping someone."

Saffron heads out into the hallway to the nearest window. Skye and Deirdre - and the guards - can probably hear her muttering about rumors and people who ought to be around and aren't.

In the meantime, Skye looks to Deidre to explain. "Earlier today, Saff and I were privy to a host of outlandish sounding rumors. Among them was should the moon rise violet over Amber, Tir would become permanently visible. Well, now the moon's violet. I'm not sure what to make of this, frankly."

Deirdre lifts an eyebrow. "Interesting rumour. Can't say I ever heard that one. So, what next? Check out Tir?"

"I don't see why at this point. We won't know if it's staying until sunrise. Saffron might want to go have a closer look though." Skye cocks her head thoughtfully to one side. "It would probably be wise to have a guard on the stairs. But I'm sure Random already knows that."

Saffron comes back in, looking annoyed. "How many more of those rumors do you think are going to come true?" she asks conversationally. "I give it one more before I'm in way too far over my head, which probably means doom, since Dworkin and the Jewel are gone and at this point, it wouldn't surprise me if Aunt Fiona is too."

Skye shoots her a grin. "Well, we can try and catch Aunt Bleys in the bath, and I could always ask Julian if it's true he wrote the Beatles catalogue."

Deirdre grins. "Aunt Bleys? If that's one of your rumours, I can definitely scotch it. When we were younger, Corwin, Eric, Bleys, Fiona and I went swimming in one of Arden's ponds. There was skinny-dipping. Bleys is definitely a man."

“Aww, that was Saffron’s favorite one,” Skye replies. “What was that one about singing in Corwin’s tomb?” she asks Saffron.

Saffron smiles slightly. "No, no, you're mixing two of them up. It was hiding in Corwin's tomb and singing the right songs in the right places."

"Right," Skye nods after a moment spent scowling thoughtfully. "Corwin's on the new moon, and the right places' to sing - although how do we find the right places, I ask you?"

She gives Deirdre a piercing look. "So. I don't suppose you know if Fiona and Llewella are lovers, do you?"

Deirdre shakes her head, smiling. "Not specifically, no. But I can say that it's not impossible. Fi's always been rather omni-sexual. When she was a lot younger, she went through several of the guards in the castle, so Dad brought in some female guards from another Shadow. She went through them, too."

She shrugs. "As for Llewella, I've always gotten the impression that she turns that way, but I've never seen any evidence."

“We should go,” Skye says, standing. “Especially since Trumps don’t seem to want to work. Saffron should call Fiona about this, and we need to leave to do it. Plus, I am now very certain you will need your axe. “

"Wait, wait. The Trumps aren't working?" Saffron demands. "When did that happen? “

Skye puts a hand under her elbow and gently directs her to her feet. “I assume when the moon come up. I tried to Trump you from the courtyard, and nothing.”

Saffron is wearing that bullheaded, 'I've had enough' expression she gets sometimes - usually when the pressure has built up enough that she's about to indulge in at the very least some shouting. "So let me get this right. Dworkin has been kidnapped," she starts ticking points off on her fingers, "Random has lost the Jewel, Fiona may or may not be missing but we can't tell yet, we just let Bleys wander off to explore Fiona's pet Shadow because *it* had turned purple, Gideon has a sword that can cut holes in reality, we have ghosts that may or may not be relatives wandering the castle, there are secret passages that used to be locked, there's a not-quite-our-Pattern in one of the secret passages, and oh yes, we have a guy from Chaos coming to report to Random that was on fire with a Power that isn't ours either and that Fiona went off to investigate."

Skye gives Deirdre a look of long suffering amusement when Saffron starts up. When the sorceress finishes, the Ranger very calmly wraps her fingers in a handful of Saffron’s long hair and kisses her soundly. Deirdre may as well not be there.

Deirdre watches, grinning. When they're done, she looks to Skye. "Seems to work. Better than grounding her, anyway."

"Well, I have to take into account that she can set me on fire," Skye chuckles. She smoothes Saffron's hair back. "In more ways then one."

Saffron, who sounds much calmer now, remarks, "Grounding just let me stew in my own juices. There's nothing like having an incredibly sexy woman," she wraps one arm around Skye's waist, "kiss you to just really derail a bad mood. And I wouldn't set you on fire. Your stuff, maybe." She grins cheekily at the ranger. "But not you."

Skye scoffs. “Think of all the t-shirts you would lose if you brunt my stuff.” She smiles as she turns back to Deirdre.

“You will be alright? Would you like us to send someone to sit with you, or just to be nearby should you need anything?”

Deirdre shakes her head. "I'm okay. The guards check on me occasionally. They're nice boys. And the talkative one has a nice ass."

She says the last bit with an impish grin.

Skye laughs. "I really am glad you are back, Aunt Deirdre."

She gives Saffron a squeeze. "I'll wait out in the hall while you say your goodbyes." After kissing Saff on the temple, she leaves the two alone and goes to wait out in the hall and have a quick word with the guards.

The guard nods to Skye when she steps back out in the hall. "There seems to be much going on, Milady."

Skye gives him a wary look. "Has something <I>else</i> happened in the last 10 minutes?"

The guard grins. "Nothing new - just all that's happened recently, ma'am. Busier than I've seen it in five years."

“Aye,” Skye nods, relieved that nothing else has happened while her back was turned. “I suppose it’s the Universe’s way of keeping us on our toes. Though I would prefer it not all happen at once next time it’s feeling cheeky.”

The guard nods and grins again. "Aye t' that, Milady. Seems the way, though. My pop was here during the moonriders, and sh- stuff was going down all over the place. And then Patternfall, which I'm sure you'll remember."

"Vaguely," she replies dryly. She has to bite her tongue to keep from reminding him that was when her father died. "I would rather there not be a repeat of either of those times."

Saffron steps out of the room then, and Skye is sure the sorceress can read the inner desire in her to tell off the chatty guard with the nice ass.

Saffron smiles to herself and says innocently, "Skye? Are we ready to go?"

"Yes," Skye replies abruptly. She gives the guard and sharp nod and then steps over to Saffron. "The horses should be ready by now."

The guard nods respectfully to the two women as they leave. The stable is still in something of a disarray, but the horses are indeed saddled and ready for them.

After eyeing the disarray of the stable for a moment, Saffron greets her horse with a scratch on the neck and smiles at her girlfriend. "So what did he do, anyway? The guard that you were about to yell at."

“I wasn’t going to yell,” she sniffs as she offers her horse a peppermint. “I was just going to have some sharp words with him over his inability to recall just why I would remember Patternfall.”

Skye swings up in the saddle and flips some stray portion’s of Equinox’s mane in place. “Should we take a look at Tir, or just ride straight out?”

Saffron mounts up and pats Sage before nudging him into motion. "Might as well," she answers with a sigh. "At the rate things are going today, we may not be able to come back into Amber after we leave."

Skye just scowls at that and turns Equinox towards the gates. “Well. That would be a handy excuse for a vacation,” she declared after a moment. “And if the Trumps are being weird, they can’t even call us.”

"Except for the part where it's entirely likely I'm the only available mage if this is as bad as I think it might be," Saffron answers, "that sounds like a grand idea. I guess it depends on how responsible we want to be…"

“Oh, you just had to use that word!” Skye wails. Then she is once again all her usual self as they make for the road.

“Well, we will go check around Tir. Then if any more of those rumors we’ve voiced comes to pass, I will demand a raise because there’s some of them we probably shouldn’t say out loud and they should pay to keep us quiet..”

Saffron snorts. "I don't think saying them out loud will make them come true, or that it has. Although I suppose at least one of them would make life for the Rangers as a whole more difficult, wouldn't it?"

Skye sniffs. “How long has that rumor been around? The one about the moon? All those years, and nothing! But within the hour of us talking about it with other people, Bah! Violet moon. Bleys better be careful out there, lest he come back in a dress.”

"Or we have to question whether he fathered some of his brothers and sisters?" Saffron replies with a laugh. "Not, apparently, that that would be a first in this family."

“It’s quite a soup, isn’t it?” Skye snorts in amusement. “Now, when my father turns up, remind me to grill him on some of these other ones.” She looks over at Saffron. “I’ll honestly be surprised if he doesn’t,” she explains lowly. “Perhaps that’s wishful thinking on my part. But your mother’s back, the moon is violet, and who knows what else is going to happen? “

"I'd say stew instead of soup," Saffron observes. "Soups tend to go down smoothly." She smiles quietly at the other woman. "I am not hoping for anyone else to come back at this point, but if someone does, I do hope for Eric. I know you miss him, and it hardly seems fair that I've got my dead parent back and you don't."

Their conversation keeps their attention as they ride out of the castle and start up the mountain itself, towards Corwin's cenotaph and the base of the Stairs.

As they head up the pass, the two see two very odd things. First, as they come up to Corwin's cenotaph, they see a bouquet of silver roses laid against it. Just behind it, though, and looking not entirely substantial, but still clear enough to see, is another cenotaph - one that has not been there before. The arms inscribed on it are Eric's.

Equinox skids to a stop when Skye jerks on the reins. The Ranger stares then turns to Saffron and asks hesitantly; "You see that too, right?"

Saffron nods as she tugs Sage to a halt. "Yes, I see it. What is going on around here?!"

"I don't know," Skye says slowly. She hesitates a moment before dismounting and taking a few steps towards the structures. She completely blows off Corwin's and the roses as she continues to move a few steps closer to Eric's ghostly tomb.

Saffron dismounts and follows quickly, issuing a stern, "Stay put," to the horses.

"Sweetheart? We should probably be careful."

Skye stops and turns to look at Saffron. "I know." She turns back to face the image and squats down, resting her elbows on her knees.

"What do you think it means?" she asks quietly.

Saffron stops beside her, dropping one hand to rest on her girlfriend's shoulder. "Future vision, the walls between Amber and Shadow breaking down, or someone screwing with our heads seem likely," she answers, looking down at her. "But I don't know for sure."

She looks over her shoulder back to Corwin's tomb. "Are those flowers real? Or another vision that's part of this one?"

"I… don't know," the sorceress admits. "Let's see."

She moves over to the roses and tries to pick them up.

As Saffron picks up the roses, the newer tomb shimmers, then takes full form, a near twin of Corwin's. There are two differences, though.

First, the new tomb holds, high upon its frame, a ruby stone held within a setting that evokes lightning and stormclouds.

Second, there are some words written along the sides of the tomb's entrance.

Ivory blade grants surcease from grim shade,
Each soul held within the lines of fire.
The fire's center must be allayed,
Where soul rejoins body in a trek most dire.

Skye stumbles as she rises swiftly to her feet; a clear indicator that this has unnerved her severely. She moves closer to read the inscription, then looks up at the red stone, her eyes narrowing.

"Is that…. is that what it looks like? Surely not."

Saffron, still holding the roses, moves to her side. "I hope not," she says. "Because if it is, protecting Amber just got a lot more complicated. Look at this - there's a ring on these roses." She shows it to the other woman. "Same colors, isn't it?"

"Yes, but not the same stone, I don't think," the Ranger says after a moment's study. Carnelian's a generally more brown then a ruby stone. She turns back to the inscription and frowns.

"So. The fire's center must be allayed, and the lines of fire bring to mind the Pattern. I don't understand the ivory blade reference though. But this sounds like a way to bring someone back from the dead. Doesn't it?"

"It does," Saffron agrees. "It almost sounds like a way to bring back more than one, in fact. Like someone has captured a bunch of souls…" She trails off, then, "I really wish I hadn't thought of that. I really need to call and see if Aunt Fiona is okay…"

“You can try her Trump,” Skye says, still looking up at the red ruby. “You may have better luck then I did. It’s like you were there, but I just couldn’t push through to connect.”

Saffron hands her the roses with a wry smile. "I'll try. Please don't keep staring at that ruby while I do, though. We don't know what it does - if it does anything."

Eying at the roses with obvious distaste, Skye takes them anyway then looks back at Saffron. “I want to go in,” she says bluntly. “Perhaps this ivory blade is inside. I will wait for you to try Fiona though.”

"Thank you." Saffron glances around, and then leans up for a quick kiss on Skye's cheek. "And I know you don't care for the roses - but Corwin's not here to object if you steal the ring off them, now is he? Since it's not even technically in his colors and all." She winks. "I won't be long, I don't think. Either it's going to work or it isn't."

She doesn't move away; instead, she pulls out Fiona's Trump and tries it.

Skye snorts, but she looks curiously at the ring anyway. Why would someone leave a ring? It made no sense to her. Sounds like something one of his daft kids would do.

TOC - Moonlight Mysteries

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