Here you go! My Serrin Is born to a land and a folk which was still healing after horror and bloodshed. She learns what that means early. Not by experience or sendings. But by catching soft cries in the night that have nothing to do with pleasure. Does not look like her parents. Her skin is paler than mothers and her hair’s darkness can rival the night sky. Is theirs by scent, softness and prowess in the hunt. Was scared of recognition. The feeling was too intimate, too scary to comprehend. Knows what she must do. But it isn’t before Talmah winks at her, and tell her to “go get that lad” that she picks up her knife and descend the stairs. Emerges with two lifemates and a growing life inside her. Loves them all equally. Watches how much Bowki resembles her. And Dart. And Talmah. And the desert. Lets Dyrr go, knowing that no one can give him what he needs. The death of her son came quickly, in a hunt gone wrong. She spent the following night howling her grief to the moons, and the wolf within remembers. That night she feels things she did not know that she felt. Watches a grandmother, grandfather and eventually a father die of old age. Misses them all. But they are around her in spirit, just like her kitling. Keeps the task of filling the jars, waiting patiently for the Palace to return. Feels almost empty when it finally does. Meets many new faces… one of them belonging to those who attacked them before she was born. Finds herself looking at this Chot, thinking of how the violence he brought with him has affected Ahnshen, Minyah, Ingen, Jarrah… how it affected Dart. Thinks unkind thoughts, thoughts no elf should feel towards another. Especially one that looks so lonely when no one else watches. Is still glad when he goes away. Has known the aftermath of violence since she could walk. She has heard it in the cries coming from Ahnshens hut every night. She has observed it in Minyah’s shaking hands. Has felt it in a recognized lifemate. But it is different to seeing something that close to what an elf looks like running towards you, wishing to inflict violence. She shivers in the dark shelter when it is over, worrying about Savah. Grieves over Ahdri. Lives in the Palace now. Recognizes that she is not the same elf as she was, knows that Dart knows too. Is still alive. And that is all that matters.