Tamlin ran along the hallway of the dawn court happily, his younger companion right behind him. Tamlin was 7 and his companion was 5. They were adorable young lads, Tamlin with his long blond hair and his friend with his dark hair. As the two children raced down the hallway, Thesan stepped in front of them with his arms crossed and a large smile on his face. "Tamlin, Caelum, what did I say about running in the hallways?" The two boys giggled to one another and looked up at the High Lord innocently. "Sorry father" Caelum squeaked in his tiny boy voice and gave his father a grin, his two front teeth missing and his tongue wiggling through the hole. Thesan chuckled and picked his son up, then Tamlin and swung them around a bit. Tamlin squealed in delight and Caelum started laughing so much that he got the hiccups. The two boys loved playing with each other. They were together almost every weekend until Caelum's mother died. Then everything changed and Caelum started growing distant. The boys were upset that their friendship was fading but their lives were changing too quickly......
Caelum, now a 20 year old man, was roaming the streets of the Court of Dawn in a slight daze. He had grown up a lot in the last 15 years but he still had that adorable playful smirk that his mother told him was one of his greatest assets. As Cae walked, he tried not to let his white wings drag along the path. His father always told him that if he didn't keep his wings clean, he wouldn't be allowed to fly anywhere until he learned his lesson. That was the last thing Cae wanted. To be restricted from flying.
As Cae walked, he smiled at the towns people and they smiled back. Some girls winked at him and he gave them a two fingered salute which made them start giggling. He had that charm on women, old and young. He didn't mind. It was better that the towns people treated him as one of their own instead of the Prince that he is. He knew that it was a huge honour to be a prince but for him, it was just a title. He preferred that he was liked for who he was and not who he was made out to be. His father respected him for that but there were always moments when Thesan nagged him to act with a bit more nobility that he was already.
He started flying then. He was near the coast and he wanted to see the ships coming in and out of their port. That was one of his favourite things to fly over because then he could spy on what his father was trading with the other Court Islands. The Court of Dawn was of course his favourite island but he always enjoyed visiting the Court of Night and the Court of Spring islands just because the views were always amazing and the inhabitants were pleasant and friendly. There were other reasons why he liked those two islands but he didn't like listing them all because sometimes labelling put him to sleep.
Caelum flew towards the ports as quickly and as silently as possible, his wings flapping quietly as he got closer. When the port came into view, Cae swooped down to get a closer look at the ships. There were about 10 large ships and maybe 5 smaller ships. He recognized them all except for one large ship. Cae squinted his eyes to focus on the flag blowing in the breeze and realized that it was the flag of the Court of Night. With a small frown, he shot straight back to the castle to consult his father.
As he landed, he ran into the palace and straight towards his fathers office swiftly. He burst through the door breathless and confused. "Father," he said tiredly as he walked towards Thesan who looked up from his papers. "The Court of Night is in port......why?" he didn't mean to sound slightly agitated but it just came out that way. Thesan sighed quietly and smiled "child you know your birthday is in a few weeks right? and we are having a festival? well...I thought to invite the neighbouring islands for the celebration."
Cae let out a small tired sigh and slumped in the chair across from the desk "and when did you think to tell me Father?" again, agitation was not intended. Thesan shrugged and set his papers down gently "I did. Multiple times. All those times, you were too engrossed in work to understand what I was saying so I just gave up and left it alone for you to find out." Cae started feeling a bit bad about it now. He had been too engrossed in work lately to actually recognize the world around him was still there. With a small apologetic smile, he stood up and looked down at Thesan. "Thank you father...I'll be downstairs in the training room if you need me." Thesan nodded and smiled back at his son "I'll send them down there to watch when they arrive."
Tamlin stood on the deck of his ship, his hair blowing around his face too much so he tied it into a ponytail with a piece of ribbon he kept in his pocket. The smell of the ocean breeze satisfied him so he took a nice deep breath and enjoyed it. It was 15 years since Tamlin visited the Court of Dawn and he was actually a bit nervous to get there. He felt like Caelum might have forgotten him and had better friends. Not that it mattered though. Tamlin had many friends and acquaintances too.
Tamlin may have been 23 years old but that didn't mean that he didn't wish his childhood friend would remember him. They had some good years together until the death of Thesan's wife Marisol. Her passing upset all the islands because she made such an imprint on all of them. Apparently Caelum has done the same thing since then. At least that is what Tamlin was told. That's all Tamlin really had though. Comments and rumours was the only thing left Tamlin had of his childhood best friend. It wasn't something he was proud of but at least it was something.
When the Court of Dawn came into view, Tamlin couldn't help but smile. It was exactly as he remembered seeing it last. It was a bright sunny place and the port was huge. He could see that two other Islands were already there. Seemed to be the Court of Night and the Court of Autumn. Why Beron actually took the time to come early Tamlin would never know. The ship pulled into port and he hopped off the ship silently. Tamlin bowed his head to the women and men that curtsied politely. He hopped on the horse he brought with him and didn't wait for Lucien or Elain to follow him to the palace. He was in an antsy mood and wasn't in the mood for lovey dovey conversation which Elain and Lucien produced constantly.
When Tamlin got to the palace, he hopped off his horse and let the stable boy take his horse to the stables. The steward lead Tamlin and his small entourage into the palace and let them know that Rhysand and Beron were already here with their entourage. He just nodded along without really listening because his memories were flooding back into his mind as he looked around. The palace was exactly as he remembered it. Nothing really changed except for the colour of the carpets and the curtains and maybe a new chase lounge or something like that. Nothing major.
The steward lead the group downstairs to the training room where apparently everyone was at the moment. By the sounds of what was going on inside, Tamlin guessed that there was training going on at the moment. He opened the doors quietly and stepped inside, seeing Rhysand first with his entourage. Rhys' mate Feyre turned her head to look at him and gave a half smile then waved at her sister Elain happily. Rhys acknowledged them with a slight nod and then went back to watching the training. Tamlin and his group stood next to Rhys and his group, Beron and his entourage standing on the other side of the fighting ring.
When Tamlin finally focused on the fighting at hand, he saw with slight awe that it was Cae who was fighting. Cae was using just his fists whereas his opponent had a chain. The fight was very interesting. With each swing from the opponent, Cae was dodging and side-stepping fluidly almost like he was a breeze. The crowd was cheering as the two men fought tirelessly. They both looked like they were going to get bruises after but it also looked like they didn't care. They were going full out. Cae turned his back to his opponent, catching Tamlin's gaze and giving a lopsided smile. It was an adorable smile he had to admit but he'd never say that out loud.
Tamlin didn't even notice the opponent sneaking up on Cae until he had judo-flipped the opponent over his shoulder with a small grunt and throwing him to the floor. The opponent finally muttered a quiet "I give" and Cae let him go gently, helping him up.
Caelum wished his heart wasn't racing when he looked away from Tamlin to help Jasper, his opponent, up from off the ground. "Sorry Jas....didn't mean to flip you so hard." Cae smiled sheepishly as Jasper stood up and rubbed his sore arm with a small groan and a chuckle "it's alright Cae. I probably deserved that for sneaking up on you....." That was true too. Most of the guards knew not to sneak up on Cae when he was in fighting mode or when he wasn't paying attention because they all gave different results depending on his mood.
Cae finally looked up again at his friends, glancing at Tamlin only once just so it didn't look like he was ignoring him. "Hello everyone." he said politely as he turned to smile at Beron too. "I'm so glad you guys could make it. It means a lot to me." that part wasn't exactly true but it wasn't exactly a lie either. He felt pretty neutral. He didn't like Beron at all yet here he was and he had mixed feelings about Tamlin being here.
His friends smiled in gratitude and he made his way around greeting everyone one by one until he finally made his way over to Tamlin. They stared at each other for a moment in silence, just observing how much they had changed over the years. Tamlin was till a good head taller that Cae and his hair was longer than before. That didn't bug him though. After a small moment of silence, Tamlin gave him an sheepish grin and finally spoke in a low voice that ran a shiver down Cae's spine "Hey there rêveur. Did'ja miss me?"
He finally smiled and gave Tamlin a bro hug. This might be better than he thought. The two had reunited at last and it made Caelum feel good inside. He lead his group of friends out of the training room and towards the great hall where his father would be waiting to assign them their rooms to stay in for the few weeks that were coming. Cae offered to lead everyone to their rooms just so he could have an excuse to chat with Tamlin for a bit. It worked. Tamlin was the last room so he let Tamlin into the room and Cae just stood back, leaning against the door frame.
"It's been a while Tam....how have ya been the past 15 years?" he asked politely, glancing at his friend with a small smile. Tamlin turned to him and shrugged, shoving his hands into his coat pockets. "Breathing I guess...My life isn't as eventful as yours I assume." Cae shrugged in return and took a step into the room "You've been hearing the rumours I suppose?" A nod was Tamlin's reply.
So maybe their way of communicating has changed. They used to be way more enthusiastic but now they seem more mellow around each other. Cae kind of expected that. They hadn't seen each other in 15 years and their lives had changed drastically. He didn't expect Tamlin to be his usual funny self around him as he knew Tamlin expected the same reaction from him. They'd just have to rebuild their friendship slowly. Catch up on what they missed. Can't be that hard.