5: Elaria - Part Seven
To his right sat a female elf. She had light brown hair with streaks of grey and white. Her face was kind, and seeing that, Felanar felt welcome. Across from her sat a young elf who appeared to be the same age as Llafáris. In contrast to the older ones, his hair was blond and he had blue eyes. His face showed nothing other than recognition of Llafáris and Ravesfel.
Next to him sat a young female elf. She appeared to be the same age as the young male elf, but her reaction was different. As she turned to see who approached, she brushed a curtain of dark brown hair from her face and smiled sweetly at the visitors. Her eyes, the color of the sea on a stormy day, hinted at intelligence. Her gaze passed from visitor to visitor, seeming to measure each one and to hold their return gaze for a moment of recognition and then passed to the next. When her eyes met Felanar’s, he felt himself blushing but he did not turn away. Deep into her eyes he stared and it was as if he could fall into those eyes and never reach the end of that blue and grey well. Then she turned to Ravesfel and she smiled warmly at the old man. In that moment Felanar thought he had never seen a more beautiful woman in his life, nor one so sure of herself as this young elf princess.
For a princess she turned out to be, as Felanar learned when Ravesfel introduced Felanar to the family. The father was Llarand, ruler of all the elves of Elaria. His wife was Heléste, his son Dalonír and his daughter was Alessa. The travelers were invited to sit at the table where places had been set for the four of them. Llarand called for dinner and two elves appeared and began serving bowls of steaming broth. As was becoming the norm, Felanar enjoyed the elf food and found the soup both interesting and delightful. He couldn’t quite place what he was tasting – was it a vegetable, an herb, a fruit, a nut? – but it satisfied him deeply. The one thing that was unpleasant about the dinner, though, was his constant worry that he was using some utensil incorrectly. He was not used to dining with royalty, or eating with elves, and he continually glanced at Bren across the table to check what he should do.