Torrullin waved understanding and headed that way.
Coming upon her from different angles, they found Lowen giggling with a bunch of women ranging in age from ten to eighty. Barring the young, the women were fortifying themselves against the cold with some stiff drinks. She saw Elianas first and patted a space beside her. He sat, accepted a drink and was soon the centre of attention and fending off some bold gropes.
Torrullin, watching unobtrusively, smiled. Elianas seemed suddenly younger, more innocent…like the young boy he had once been. Lowen’s, however, was an almost desperate gaiety. His smile slipped, looking at her.
Once he turned his back on Saska for this woman, and now he was doing the same to her for Elianas…then again, the precedent with Elianas existed in a time that was ages old.
Enchanter, where the hell are you?
At the lake, Quilla. We found her.
This place is a madhouse.
Just then a cheer was raised. A team of skaters had taken honours. Lowen looked up and saw him. Leaning over Elianas, she whispered something, and then stood up to make her way unsteadily to him. She virtually fell into his arms, and he was disappointed when she caught her balance in time. A moment later Elianas had laughingly excused himself and followed her over.
‘Lowen, having fun?’
‘Two days ago they just started packing it in,’ she laughed.
Torrullin looked around. ‘Skating competitions, angling, marathons, skiing, hiking, sailing…who’d have thought Valaris would be so popular?’
Elianas had a regretful look. ‘A beautiful world. I’ve never been here as myself.’
‘We could take a tour,’ Torrullin suggested.