Only Stone on the Outside

by Dreamsinger

Only Stone on the Outside

a Slayers fanfic

by Dreamsinger

2003

I do not own this terrific series; I just wish I did.. Please let me know if you'd like to print or archive my story, though, just 'cause I like to know people are interested.

Many thanks to my friends Shell Presto and Marie!

PG-15 for a bit of kissing

Note: Ame- Zelgadis' nickname for Amelia. It means 'sweet' or 'sweets' in Japanese.

Chapter Eighty-Two: A Child of Mine / First Kiss

(STILL IN FLASHBACK MODE-THE ORACLE'S CAVE)

Zelgadis: (manages to wrinkle his stone nose) "So what is this 'mothball' spell, exactly?"

Oracle: (glows a medium blue color) "Basically it sort of pulls the non-human components from yer body and holds them in suspended animation until ya need 'em."

Zelgadis: "Holds them where?"

Oracle: "That's the beauty of this spell. You can store 'em almost anywhere-in a piece of jewelry, in a weapon, or a statue, or even inside yer body. The vessel only has ta be the size of a grain of rice, so you can keep yer Boost Brothers almost anywhere."

Zelgadis: (rolls his eyes at the blue-and-pink tinged globe and smirks) "'Boost Brothers?'"

Oracle: "Well, what would you call them?"

Zelgadis (opens his mouth and then looks stumped) "Well, anyway, I'd rather not store them in something that could be lost, or stolen by an enemy, but how would I... "

Oracle: "Keep them in yer body? That's easy. Modify the spell to make them dormant unless you say a certain phrase. Pick something you won't say by accident, like 'It's time to do the bunny hop! I am Zelgabunny!'"

Zelgadis: (looks horrified) "No way!"

Oracle: (chortles with pink pulses of light) "All right, so pick something more dignified. Just make sure it's not something you'd ever usually say."

Zelgadis: (scowls the way he does when his friends are teasing him) "Listen, what I meant to say was where would I store the Boost-I mean, my demon and golem components? And is it really safe to keep them literally inside of me?"

Oracle: "They've been with ya all this time and they haven't hurt you yet, have they? Mind you, I can't guarantee anything a hundred percent, but if the spell's done right they ought ta sleep quite peacefully until they're needed. And as to where, let's see... since you've got two to mothball, why not keep 'em in something you've got two of?"

Zelgadis: (looks pensive, then utterly panicky) "You mean my-"

Oracle: (snorts, with a ripple of green disgust, tinged with pink amusement) "Men! I meant your ears, dummy."

Zelgadis: (looks relieved) "Oh."

Oracle: (fades back to blue) "I figure if ya modify the spell just right, ya might just be able to keep some of that super-hearing of yers."

Zelgadis: (his pointed blue ears twitch a little) "I can? How?"

Oracle: "Put the Brothers-they'll be merged together, by the way; it'll be hard enough ta separate your human side from the mixture, let alone the two magical components-inside the bones of yer ears. That way a bit of the magic might leak through, and help keep yer ears working the way they do now."

Zelgadis touches the knuckle of his index finger to his chin, deep in thought for several minutes) That would definitely help me gain an advantage in battle...

Zelgadis: "Miss Oracle, if I do this, are you sure nothing will go wrong?"

Oracle: (solemnly, her voice echoing around the chamber) "Nothing in the four worlds is guaranteed."

Zelgadis: (gazes at the Oracle with his usual somber, unblinking stare)

Oracle: (a pink tinge of humor swirls through the blue globe, followed by an affectionate deep rose color with a twist of purple confidence) "Except death and taxes. Or at least taxes. But if ya want my opinion, you'll have no problems, sweetie."

END FLASHBACK

Zelgadis sat beside the young princess on her bed, still holding her hand, explaining, "So that's what I meant by 'other options'. I decided to accept her suggestion, since she was offering me the best of both worlds, and because she seemed so sure that everything would work out all right. Of course, at the time I'd assumed that I would be the one casting the spell. When I heard about you, it kind of threw me off."

Amelia bounced a little on the mattress, her eyes wide, looking more than ever like a little girl being told a story. "'Threw you off?'"

The stone man smiled a little at her enthusiastic response. "I'd intended to ask the Oracle to tell me what I would need if I decided not to attempt her suggestion, and just did a de-cursing spell instead, but I got distracted. First she told me that someone loved me, and when I realized it was you, I got a bit flustered. Then she told me I'd have to ask Xellos to help... and you know how I feel about that-that-"

He censored the curse words that wanted to emerge from his mouth, not wanting to get sidetracked-however satisfying it would be to go off on a Xellos-bashing spree-and took a deep breath to calm down. Amelia's understanding grin helped.

"But what really sent me off the deep edge was when she told me about the danger to you, Amelia. I was... stunned, I guess. Angry. Horrified. To be told that I'd actually won you, and stood to risk losing you, almost in the same breath... Not to mention that I'd be the one putting you in danger by asking you to risk casting that spell... "

Amelia opened her mouth as if to argue, then hesitated, seeming to sense how much he needed to tell this to her, and simply gave him a sympathetic, tender smile, squeezing his hand, and he loved her even more.

"I felt as if the Oracle had betrayed me, after I'd put my trust in her... She'd gotten my hopes up, and then dashed them to the ground." He looked away, staring at the far wall of Amelia's room, and finished quietly, "I didn't want anything to do with her after that."

Amelia waited for a bit, to make sure he was finished, her throat aching with sympathy. Oh, poor Zelgadis. Torturing himself, his cure so near and yet so far, afraid to hope... Finally she said softly, "I know how hard it is for you to trust someone."

He nodded, glad that she understood him so well. I don't know how I ever got lucky enough to find someone like her. She's so kind, so understanding, such a good person... Wait a minute. "No. That's wrong," he said aloud.

"Mm?" Amelia gave him a quizzical look.

"I do trust someone," he said softly. "I trust you, Amelia."

Oh, Zelgadis! Amelia's ecstatic smile could have rivaled the sun in all its brilliance. Her sapphire eyes shone with adoration as her small hand tightened on his.

His heart pounding, Zelgadis was overwhelmed for a moment by her beauty. The urge to pull her to him, to wrap his stone arms around her and clasp her tightly to his hard chest was so powerful that he was literally shaking, intoxicated by her loving ambiance.

Suddenly he felt the need to demonstrate his trust. "Amelia... dearest... " He released her hand and reached out to set each of his hands carefully on her shoulders. "I want you to choose a phrase that you can use to activate my curse."

"What?" She jerked backward in astonishment, landing with a bounce on the yellow bedspread.

He repeated, "I want you to be able to activate my curse in case I can't. In case I've been knocked out or seriously wounded and can't do it myself."

She seemed stunned, staring up at him with wide eyes, at a loss for words-unusual for her. Zelgadis waited, giving her the same courtesy she had afforded him earlier.

Ameliawas almost in shock. He hates his curse, more than anything! I can hardly believe that the Oracle talked him into keeping it at all, much less that he wants me to be able to- Does he really trust me that much?

She pushed herself into a upright position, holding herself up with her arms behind her on the bed. "Zelgadis," she breathed, looking up at him with soft, wondering blue eyes, "Darling, do you really want me to have that kind of power over you?"

Abruptly Zelgadis remembered his earlier ruminations about this very subject, and realized that he finally understood what Lina had meant. You don't worry about control, when it's someone you trust. You know they'll never deliberately use it to hurt you.

And then all of the tension, all the fears and worries and agonies he'd lived with for so long were suddenly gone. His mind was at ease, his emotions serene. His tense shoulders relaxed, and he reached out with his free hand and tenderly cupped her cheek, careful to keep his touch light. His voice was gentle as he said, "I do."

"Oh, Zelgadis!" Her arms came around him in her familiar enthusiastic hug and he found himself welcoming the sensation of being knocked backward onto the bed. Amelia lay on top of him, her face buried in his chest. "I'll never say it unless it's a matter of life or death, darling, I promise! Wild ogres couldn't drag it out of me!"

He let himself lie there, appreciating the weight of her body, which not even his insensitive skin could keep him from feeling, and slowly reached up to wrap his arms around her, lightly embracing her. A smile of pure contentment spread over his face. "I know, Amelia."

Amelia let herself relax happily against her chimera, utterly at peace for the first time in months. She felt the welcome touch of his arms on her back and tried to listen for the sound of his heartbeat, breathing in the beloved smell of sun-warmed stone. She would have been content to stay like that for hours, but when she felt his hand touch her hair she looked up at his face, and was instantly lost in his eyes.

Sapphire blue met blue-green as the young couple in love gazed at each other, their faces mere inches apart. Two pairs of eyes shimmered, full of long-withheld emotions. Amelia could feel his breath on her face, and without thinking she began to lean toward him, half-closing her eyes.

Zelgadis watched the young princess move toward him, the red flush on his cheeks matching hers. His breathing stopped, his heartbeat thunderous in his own ears as he watched the exquisite pink lips come closer and closer, but at the last possible moment he said quietly, "Amelia."

She opened her eyes, looking surprised and a bit self-conscious. The two of them stared at each other, both blushing up a storm. Zelgadis cleared his throat, feeling guilty for having broken the mood, and said awkwardly, "I'm sorry... but there's something else, something really important that I think we ought to talk about before we go through with all this."

He could read the disappointment in her eyes, but she said gamely, "Okay," and moved off of him, sitting next to him on the bed, her legs folded decorously to one side in a way he found extraordinarily attractive.

As he rose to his former sitting position, his countenance became serious. "Amelia, if we... that is, in the future... " His voice trailed off awkwardly as his courage failed, blushing yet again as she gazed up at him with those trusting eyes that disarmed him with their innocence.

Then he saw the beginnings of worry in her face, and decided to come at this problem in an oblique way. "Well... first of all, you do realize that as a human, my powers might not be as strong, and I definitely won't be as good a swordsman."

The uncertainty in her eyes firmed. "Then we'll practice together, won't we?" She smiled. "And as for your magic... Look at Daddy. He can't use magic at all, but he's one of the best rulers Seyrune has ever had."

Zelgadis frowned, slightly annoyed at being compared to the flamboyant, sometimes overly-vociferous Prince, and realized for the first time that he might have to compete with the big man for Amelia's attention, since she'd always been 'Daddy's little girl'.

He looked away, grumbling, "Well, I'm not exactly useless as a mage-I am Rezo's grandson, after all." He blinked, surprised at his own remark. How things have changed, when I can claim such a lineage with a certain amount of pride. I didn't realize that what the Oracle said about it being Shabranigdo's fault for cursing me, not Rezo's, would ease my hatred of the man... but the heavy burden I've carried for so long feels lighter now.

He smiled slightly as he gazed across the room at the quaint collection of knights and horses arranged in dramatic poses on the cherry dresser. And Amelia has a lot to do with it, too... I feel calmer, more at ease than I have in so many years. I think one day soon I'll be able to let go of that weight completely, and move on with my life... and that includes planning for the future. Our future.

Amelia watched the gamut of emotions run across the stone man's face, and was glad when he seemed to settle whatever had been bothering him. His shoulders straightened and he turned to her with an open, oddly apologetic expression, tinged with embarrassment and just a hint of longing.

"Listen, Amelia... I know... " he paused to swallow, and took a deep breath, "that as a member of the ruling family, you will be required to... produce at least one heir to the throne... "

Amelia's eyes widened and she looked down, feeling her cheeks burning. With everything that's been going on, we haven't really had a chance to talk about any of that... but he's right. Eventually...

She nodded in affirmation, wondering where he was going with this.

"If my cure is successful and we are allowed to wed, are you sure you-" he hesitated, "Are you sure you want me to be the father of your children?"

He watched her carefully, looking for signs of doubt, reluctance, or even disgust, but instead, the young princess' face softened. "Oh, so that's it," she murmured, her tone relieved and affectionate. "Of course I do, silly... "

As gratified as he was to hear that, he forced himself to say, "Wait, Amelia. Think about this. What if it's dangerous for you to carry a child of mine? What if the child is born... abnormal? Are you absolutely sure it's a risk you want to take?"

Amelia, who had already begun to imagine adorable little sky-blue babies with fluffy black hair and bright teal eyes, was brought up short by the genuine concern in the chimera's voice. His teal eyes shimmered with emotion as he locked his gaze on hers. He looks so worried...

For his sake, she made herself think carefully about the problems he'd posed, unconsciously setting the side of her forefinger against her chin, her deep blue eyes turned inward.

The room was quiet for a while. Zelgadis had to quash his urge to move, to let his feet twitch or do something to let off some of his sudden burst of nervous energy as he waited for her answer. In Gaderi's journal he had three normal children, but then, his curse was completely lifted. Mine will still be with me. Who knows what could happen?

Amelia's face... the last time I saw it look like that was when she was trying to convince me to let her go into Ponmar's cave to rescue the others. She seems so much older now, more mature than she was even just two months ago when this whole amazing, eye-opening adventure began.

He did twitch when Amelia suddenly turned to him and said firmly, "Yes. I'll risk it." Her expression was both solemn and serene, her tone affectionate as she continued, "Not only because I love you very much, but also because I believe that any child of yours will be just as thoughtful, just as caring, just as special as you are-with or without cute pointed ears!"

She gave him a mischievous smile, becoming the Amelia he knew best, but in her eyes he read the underlying seriousness, and knew that, like him, she too had been changed by their experiences. Wisdom. Knowing yourself, and what you want, and being truly prepared to do what you must, with fortitude, to make it happen.

Then she added boldly, "And if a child of ours is born with some... unusual quality, then I say, 'good'!"

He blinked at her sudden vehemence.

She put her hands on her hips. "It's about time the people around here got over what happened to the city because of Miss Lina and those mazoku. It'll do them good. Daddy has worked very hard to improve relations between humans and non-humans, both in Seyrune and in all the kingdoms we trade with. It's been one of his main goals since he came to power, and he's changed so many things in just a generation! I want to do everything I can to support him."

Her father again. The stone man was a little taken aback by the sudden almost-justice speech, not to mention the history lesson that unexpectedly applied quite intimately to himself, and reminded himself once again that Prince Philionel would always be a major focus in Amelia's life.

And despite myself, I keep learning things about the man that make me respect him. It's easy to dismiss him as a sentimental fool, but... he really does know how to rule. He has everyone's best interests at heart, and the people know it. That's why they go along when he proposes things like this 'human-non-human relations' thing.

He found himself relaxing a little. Come to think of it, he'd probably have no trouble accepting an odd-looking grandchild or two. And... He smiled tenderly at his princess, who had turned to gaze across the room at the toy knights on her dresser. I'm sure Amelia will love all of her children, no matter how strange they may look.

"And as for any danger to me," Amelia continued quietly, "Women have always taken that chance to have a family. But I'm a white magic priestess, and we have some of the best healers in the world living right here in Seyrune, so don't worry." She turned back to look at him, her big eyes full of surety. "Everything will be all right."

That optimism of hers. It's her nature to always look on the bright side. But true to his own darker nature, one final obstacle occurred to him. His lips quirked, and one stony eyebrow raised. "Oh, yeah? So what happens if someday I have to use the reverting clause and change back into a chimera?"

Amelia blinked. "Couldn't we just cure you again?"

"I don't-" Zelgadis froze with his mouth open, one finger in the air. Wait a minute.

Amelia asked, "Did the Oracle say you could only use your cure once?"

Amelia watched with amusement as Zelgadis imitated a stone statue yet again, obviously flummoxed by what had seemed to be common sense to her. He did ask to be completely free of the curse forever, so why would the Oracle convince him to use this 'mothball' spell unless he can use it over and over?

"I suppose that makes sense," Zelgadis said slowly. "As long as I have the right people available to cure me."

"Oh, you're impossible!" Amelia scowled at him. "Do you always have to look at the dark side? Why can't you just believe that everything will turn out all right for once?"

Zelgadis was startled. I thought I was. "I'm sorry," he said contritely.

Amelia gave him a look of exasperated affection. "Oh, what am I going to do with you?" she half-laughed, patting his knee.

"Love me?" he suggested playfully, watching her hand, which she had not removed from his knee.

This time Amelia's laugh rang out loud and true. "Yes!" she said joyfully. "You need me. You need someone who will love you and appreciate you, who will play music with you, who will make you laugh when you've gone into one of your moods..." Her voice softened. "Someone who will understand you, trust you, confide in you..."

"Ame," he murmured, reveling in the warm, tingling surge of love her words had evoked. In the back of his mind he noted the delighted flush delicately coloring her nose and cheeks. I must remember to use that nickname more often. "And you need someone competent, someone with a better grasp of the dark side of things to look out for you, to protect you from treachery and deceit, someone who will support you when you go off on one of your crusades, and always be by your side."

She gazed at him for a long moment, her eyes shining, and then she whispered, "Are you volunteering?"

For just a moment he wondered why she was asking a question that he had obviously just answered, and then it hit him. That's the same thing she asked me back at the inn. His mind was flooded with scenes from that strange, wonderful/terrible night, when he had felt duty-bound to refuse her, and then spent the rest of the night with her in his arms.

I can't blame her for being uncertain-all I've given her since this whole thing started was mixed signals. Then he had an idea. It might be a bit late for it now, but...

Amelia was surprised when Zelgadis stood up and then turned to face her, taking her hand and gracefully sinking down to set one knee on the shaggy yellow rug next to her bed. "Yes, I am volunteering-for now and forever. Amelia wil Tesla Seyrune... will you marry me?"

His blue-green eyes, looking up into hers, were full of hope, love and desire, eyes that saw nothing but her, and their future together.

"Oh," Amelia stumbled, flustered and eager, "Of course, I-I mean, yes." She gazed down at him with sapphire eyes softly glowing with adoration. "Yes, I will."

Zelgadis was rewarded with the sight of her beautiful smile, lighting her face with joy like a sunrise. A rush of love for her made him feel giddy-the entire world was suddenly a wonderful place to be, full of dreams that sometimes, in spite of everything, really did come true.

Then Amelia slid off of edge of the bed and landed next to him, kneeling on the rug so that her face was directly in front of his. "Oh, Zelgadis," she murmured, her voice slightly husky, halfway between laughing and crying. And she leaned toward him.

He watched in anticipation, gladly waiting to accept her kiss, and only a tiny twinge of hesitation on her behalf made him pull back. "Amelia, wouldn't you rather wait until after I'm-"

"Oh, no you don't!" she laughed, and took hold of the front of his tunic. "I've waited long enough!"

She put her other hand on his cheek and slowly moved in to him, pressing her soft lips to his stone ones, her eyes closing. Zelgadis closed his eyes as well, noticing the gentle pressure against his lips that was Amelia.

Amelia... my Amelia. Rising joy, love and a powerful surge of desire stirred within the stone man, and he reached out to set his hands on her back, fighting to keep from holding her too tightly. He wished there was some way he could feel closer to her.

And then-something happened. Something strange was happening to his mouth-the one place where he still was able to feel-and taste, when he had meals. His eyes opened, and he stared at the close-up view of Amelia, whose slender dark brows were drawn tight in concentration, and then he realized what it was. I-I can feel her. I think-I think I feel her tongue-?

Automatically he opened his mouth wider and moved his own tongue to investigate. Amelia's warm soft tongue met his, and he stiffened involuntarily at the intense lightning bolt that shot through his entire body. This is... incredible, he whispered mentally, his fists clenching involuntarily against Amelia's back against the tide of feeling that surged within him. For the first time in so many years, I'm actually touching another human being, really touching her, skin to skin, as all humans were meant to. It's... wonderful!

His tightly-closed eyes stung with tears, and if he had spoken just then, his voice would have broken, so overcome was he by the wealth of sensation. He felt alive again, as every part of his body tingled inside in reaction to the bright hot immediate feel of something touching him, not buffered into dullness by a layer of magic stone.

How long they kissed, he wasn't sure, but when they finally parted to look into each other's eyes, Zelgadis realized that Amelia was breathing heavily-and so was he. Incredible, he thought again.

As he got his breathing under control, he realized that another part of him, much lower, had also responded to her, and he blushed a little, wondering when Amelia would notice. "Thank you," he said to her, deeply grateful. "It... didn't hurt, did it?"

Her expression was full of wonder. "Maybe a little... " A tiny pink flush appeared over her nose, and she dropped her gaze, murmuring, "I think we just need some practice."

He saw her eyes widen as she got a good look at his lap, and she blushed harder and let go of his tunic.

"I... never knew kissing could be like that," she confessed.

"Me neither," he admitted.

Amelia looked up at him with wide eyes. "Was that... your first kiss?"

Zelgadis nodded uncomfortably. Men my age aren't supposed to be virgins...

Amelia beamed at him. "Mine, too."

Zelgadis was a bit startled. She's not disappointed?

Amelia said softly, "I'm glad it was you. A girl's first kiss is really important to her, and I've been wanting to kiss you for so long... I wondered what you tasted like. I mean, your smell... " She looked a little flustered. "Not that it's bad! You just smell like, well, a stone in the sun, and I wondered what you might taste like. I didn't even think about your tongue... "

Her voice trailed off and she gazed off into the distance. "No wonder people like kissing so much! I wonder... if Miss Lina and Mister Gourry have-" She shook her head as if to dispel that thought and looked brightly up at Zelgadis. "I really liked that."

Like a child with a new game, Zelgadis thought, amused, and answered with a grin of his own, "You'll like it a lot better once I'm cured."

"Oh, right! Your cure!" Amelia stood up, grabbed the Oracle's music orb from the bed and headed for the door. "I need to start practicing; will you keep Shiran with you until- Hey!"

As she threw open the door, Lina, Gourry, Shiran and Prince Philionel were revealed. The three humans had their ears pressed against the now-absent door, frozen in guilty surprise.

"How could you?" Amelia cried. Zelgadis, looking over Amelia's shoulder, was surprised to notice a red aura beginning to appear around the young woman.

Her hands clenched, and she growled, "How dare you?"

Instantly her father and friends leaped to their feet and backing away, protesting at the top of their lungs.

"Lina made me-"

"A father has to-"

"You guys were taking too long!" Lina's bellow drowned out the others. "We didn't practically kill ourselves to get back here in time just to have you guys blow everything 'cause you decided to get all lovey-dovey!"

Zelgadis scowled and began to say something, but then he noticed Amelia and decided to keep his mouth shut as the young princess stiffened, slowly turning her head to focus her gaze on the red-haired sorceress. A deadly red aura blazed into life around her, and her shining black hair lifted into the air, fluttering on wings of ire.

Zelgadis winced. Now she's done it! The last time I saw Amelia this angry-well, let's just say this time I'm glad it's not me she's mad at!

Standing behind the enraged princess, Zelgadis Greywyrs was witness to something that few people ever saw: a thoroughly terrified Lina Inverse. Her ruby irises were mere pinpoints in a face rapidly draining of all color, her mouth set in a fear-grimace, her red-gold hair sticking out in all directions like a pincushion. The two men in the doorway were also transfixed with fear, their eyes bugging out, hair on end, with a confused Shiran cowering behind them.

"Lina." Amelia's tone was low and deadly, and Zelgadis did not miss how she left out the respectful 'miss'. "I appreciate everything you've done for me-for us... but if you don't leave my sight in the next ten seconds I'm going to-!"

Shoom! The stone man blinked at the three vapor trails left in the air by the rapidly fleeing trio.

Shiran cringed in the doorway, not understanding what she'd done wrong but knowing that her bonded one was furious. Amelia looked at the fearful dragonwolf and almost instantly calmed down. The red aura faded, her raven hair sank down to curl around her shoulders and her tense form relaxed. "It's okay, Shirry-I'm not mad at you." She knelt down and the bewildered, grateful animal came to her at once and began licking her face.

After a minute Amelia lifted her face to look up into Zelgadis', letting Shiran snuffle her hair with her large purple nose. "Sorry about that," she said contritely.

Zelgadis gave her a proud smile. "Sorry for what? For finally showing Lina and your father that you're an adult now, that you don't need a keeper or someone to make your decisions for you?"

Amelia's eyes shone with happiness. An adult? Finally, he sees me as an adult! I should have told Miss Lina off ages ago!

"But... maybe you should give the music orb a try. You might need to practice for a while to get it down... " he said tentatively, not wanting to set her off again.

Amelia sighed, her shoulders drooping as she stood up. "I know." She took a deep breath and turned quickly to face him, her fist clenched in front of her and a determined sparkle in her eyes. "Don't worry, Zelgadis-I'm going to work my hardest and master that spell before midnight. You can count on me!"

She took off running down the hall in the direction of the music room, with Shiran trotting smoothly beside her. Suddenly she wheeled around, dashed back to the startled chimera and threw her arms around his shoulders, pulling his head down toward hers. He was too surprised to move as she pressed her lips to his in a quick kiss, said, "I love you," and dashed off again. "Shiran, remain," she called back over her shoulder.

Long after her footsteps had faded, he stood there in the doorway wearing a vague smile, thinking about everything that had happened in the last half-hour, replaying his favorite bits in his mind. When a young maid passed by, giving him an odd glance, he came to himself and realized that he ought to move out of the doorway. I don't know if any of the servants know about me, but even if I were human it's not exactly appropriate to be seen poking around the princess' private bedroom.

He didn't feel quite comfortable waiting for Amelia in her bedchambers. Hm... Maybe I'll go look for Kerrin.

Author's Notes: I'm working on chapter 84 right now. Say, does anyone know of a type of stone other than ruby that has the exact same color as a red rose? I can't think of any, but I need a semi-precious stone that's true red, not orange-red. Why, you ask? (chuckles) You'll just hafta wait and see!

Ichiban Victory comments: I also never had the impression that the other parts of his body's chemistry would have any actual voice. Rezo changed his body, not his soul. That would have to be unnerving to think that perhaps you're not entirely yourself...

It seems logical to me-if you are a chimera, where did the other parts of you come from? Were they sentient before they were merged with you? And if so, are they still here? Unnerving indeed...

I've read a few fanfics that deal with Zel fighting against his demon side-I especially like one called Crush, by Wills, on FF. net. Well-written, although incomplete the last time I checked it. The site 'Deviantart' has a couple of cool fanpics of this fic by Zanne, a wonderful artist who's done fanpics of Only Stone on the Outside, so if you've got time, you might want to check them out...

-Where'd you read that INFPs (hey, that's me!) enjoy writing for others? Might explain a few stories I've written, because if they were solely for me they'd not be the way they are. And you'd better be careful with the cashiering job. I've been doing it for a while now, and I've been losing a lot of my introverted tendencies. (Last time I took the test I was nearly borderline!) -

Oh, I can be extraverted at times-almost no one is at the extreme end of the scale-but overall, I like being alone best.

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