Very early on that day she had retreated to her clearing. Almost completely surrounded by high thorny bushes it was her own place, impossible for an adult to get into and hard for a child unless they knew the way. Leaves high above shaded the falling sunlight green and here she sat, hugging her legs, with her head resting on her knees and trying not to cry. Alone was such a hollow sounding word but it perfectly described the feeling in her chest. She always knew she was alone, in the same way that she knew her name was Tiasal, but on occasions like today, however, it expanded until it was an almost physical presence. A bubble of silence and isolation, growing until she felt she could nearly burst with the pressure. Of course there was always Inkyrius and Elan and Haley and the rest but they weren’t hers, not really, and they had other people that needed them. On days like today she missed her parents fiercely and hated them in equal measure for leaving her alone.

Dark eyes watched her from a high branch. Blackwing knew the pain and loneliness she would be feeling today as he felt some of it himself. He fluttered down, landing in front of her huddled form, and waited until she looked up at him.

“I know you’re missing your parents and your feeling a bit left out today but, well, I guess I'm just trying to say I know what you’re going through. I miss Vaarsuvius like Hell but I know, one day, we’ll get her back. Just remember there are people here that love you, even if they forget to show it sometimes.”

Raising a shaking hand she wiped the tears from her eyes and offered a tentative smile.

“Thanks Blackwing,” she whispered. “Happy Valentine’s Day to you too.”

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