Celta Thursday, cut "Transition" from Heart Change, Chapter 20:
Over the next week, Cratag took his affair with Signet one day at a time. He'd adjusted to his new surroundings and his new responsibilities, and now knew D'Marigold Residence as well as T'Hawthorn Residence – except the secret way to the HouseHeart and the HouseHeart itself.
He'd been in T'Hawthorn HouseHeart two times with T'Hawthorn, but Cratag certainly didn't expect Signet to tell him her Family's most guarded secret.
But they danced together, the old fashioned dances he knew and the equally antique steps she was teaching him that made up "tap."
She was as open a lover as he'd ever had, both in and out of bed, unselfconscious and sharing. She made her caring and her respect for him clear, and though the link between them was there, he wasn't always able to read her emotions. And wasn't sure whether he wanted to read them, either. He'd learned to live in the moment as he had when he'd been a mercenary, and be grateful for the blessings the Lord and Lady had graced him with. He was taking nothing for granted, but his imagination sometimes spiraled out of control and he thought of a long term relationship with her. They were still very far apart class-wise, but they found other areas of extreme compatibility.
He wasn't sure, either, exactly how much her catalyst Flair was affecting him and on what levels, but his senses became sharper and his Flair expanded – not by much, and he was sure he'd never be able to teleport – but life became more comfortable as spells he'd struggled with or had been beyond him were now easily mastered.
As for Avellana, she'd regained her equilibrium but she held herself differently and Cratag believed she viewed herself differently, too. Not a girl who had brain damage and might not survive her First Passage, but a girl who'd overcome brain damage and would survive all her Passages. A positive spin on a negative situation. All to the good.
Vinni T'Vine was often at D'Marigold Residence too.
Signet and the Residence were gracious and graceful in their handling of schedule shuffles, requests for reports, lessons for Avellana, and visitors on short notice.
Laev began dropping by in the afternoons after his journeyman hours to work out with Cratag during his midafternoon training time, and Vinni would often join them. Occasionally he would stay for tea, but all were very aware that his Passage could trigger Avellana's. Laev had had his second Passage fugue and once again Cratag had experienced it. The dreamquest had been both shorter and less intense than Avellana's, and Laev was sure he'd connected with his HeartMate.
He, too, was growing into his new Flair, the new responsibilites as an adult, and the duties that T'Hawthorn was assigning him. The boy was definitely becoming a man, and developing his own opinions.