Anders reads from the book, casting happy, knowing glances at his kids. "Primal class comprises the elements: fire, ice, lightning, earth. It is the class that causes the most destruction."
Karl steps into Talia's line of sight and waves. "Hey, Talia."
She twitches slightly, a little startled, but smiles up at him. "Good morning, Karl."
"I had a favour to ask."
"Well, we do appear to be the ones to come to for favours, by all means: ask away."
"I want to propose to Anders, and then also marry him. At the same time. And your gardens I thought would be both the safest and nicest place to do that."
"Oh. We'd be delighted to host your wedding! Of course you can use our garden!"
Karl seems to tear up at that, and swipes at his eyes. The weird sense of 'relief' and also 'belonging' is near overwhelming.
"Talia, I can't begin to tell you how much this means to me."
"You guys are pretty much family. Never mind the bonds formed with Anders from surviving the Deep Roads together."
"I won't lie to you, that is what I was banking on, should all else fail."
"Well. You don't have to rely on it. Henri will be thoroughly eager to decorate the garden."
"Redecorate? Looking that shabby, is it?"
"No. My brother just likes an excuse to mess around with things."
Karl laughs. “That sounds far too much like Anders. No wonder they get along.”
"I'd worry about setting them loose on the world, but we kind of already have."
"Thank goodness they've got us to keep them in line, hey?"
"To try at least. They don't always listen to us."
"Well, I can somewhat understand that. I don't like being told what to do any more than he does."
"Does anyone, really?"
"I think people like us feel it most strongly."
"I'm not sure we'd have it any other way..."
"Freedom is worth the cost."
Karl laughs a little awkwardly. "Well, this conversation has gotten melancholy."
"Ah the perils of talking with me. I'm afraid I have a tendency towards melancholy first thing on a morning."
"No wonder you and Anders get along."
"Like attracts like and all that. Care to come and look at the garden, or did you have other plans?"
"Please. Then I at least know what I'm in for with Henri."