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Sumara awakens to Iorath calling her name, opening her eyes to find herself beneath the boughs of a tree with him.  Right.  The noon sun had been hot, and they'd decided to rest before continuing to their destination.  The horses placidly crop grass nearby, and the remains of their camp still litter the ground.

But she remembers….many things.

"Iorath, I'm awake," she informs him.  Unnecessarily, as he's already seen and ceased calling out to her.  The look in his eyes suggests he remembers much of the same things she remembers.  She does not wish to discuss it at this time, so she sits up, scrubbing at her face.

"Begin packing up.  We must continue on our way, and we've lost much of the daylight."

"Sir Sumara…" he begins, something sad in his voice, and she makes a dismissive gesture.

"I said pack up, Sir Dawes.  Don't make me repeat myself."  She can almost hear him flinch back.  There is a moment of silence, then murmured acquiescence.  He moves away, leaving her to her thoughts.  She remembered days spent there, nights, the court of Morgan Le Fey.  A joust caused by her incautious words.  An ogre.

When Iorath next addresses her, it is to inform her that camp has been packed and the horses have been saddled.  She thanks him and gets to her feet.  They mount their horses and ride.

They arrive late, but their hosts expected they would have wanted to get out of the day's bright sun and are not offended.  The goings-on of mortal court continue, though she notices that Iorath's already low desire for stag hunting wanes further.  She can't say she finds as much joy in the pastime, herself.

They do not speak of the events in the land of the fairies, though that is more Sumara's rejection than Iorath's lack of desire for the topic.  She rebuffs his every attempt.  She did not have the pleasant time he did, after all.

But she does have dreams.  Dreams of searching for something she cannot find.  Dreams where she wakes with the taste of wine in her mouth.  Dreams that make her pray to her goddess for answers that leave her more confused than satisfied.  She did not find the company of the fairy Goronwy pleasant enough to ache so in their absence.

If she keeps reminding herself of that, perhaps she will remember it in her dreams.

Sumara grows more restless the longer they remain, and she can see her restlessness reflected in Iorath's increasing mania.  She bids their hosts farewell after only a month, and they head for home.

It would be a lie to say that she is not looking for the trees they rested under that fateful day, but that is no reason to admit it to Iorath.  He is unsubtle in his search, and his eyes dare her to defy him when he finds it and suggests they rest there a while.

She cannot resist any more than he.

They dream again of the land of the fairies and are welcomed as friends.  This time, she is subjected to mischief by Goronwy, and when she confronts the irreverent fairy about it, they are unrepentant and more beautiful than she remembered.  Perhaps she allows herself to appreciate their company.  Perhaps she jousts with Iorath for the entertainment of the court.  Perhaps she partakes of meals that say more than meals should.

Perhaps Sir Sumara San'Ilustra and Sir Iorath Dawes leave for home one day and never arrive.  Perhaps they disappear from the roads, from the world, disappearing into legend.  Perhaps the next arrivals to Dreaming Avalon find, amongst their many fae hosts, a handsome, dour woman who tips her ear to a beautiful cat-eared fairy.  Perhaps they meet the handsome shapeshifter who is consort to the new young ruler of the Wild Hunt.

Perhaps none of this is true and Dreaming Avalon takes them somewhere wholly different to find their own love story.

Who can say but the fae?