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"You did what?"

Lemos stared in disbelief at his sister as she not-so-gently deposited the squirming bundle on the cherry-wood bench by the door. Said bundle fussed, trying to push the blanket off it's head, while Allison calmly lowered her hood, exposing short red hair, before removing her sunglasses and long gloves.

"That's a fine hello, after all these years. Didn't you miss me, Lemos dearest?"

"Not in the slightest." He snapped. His attention was still fixed on the bundle which, upon having managed to escape it's fabric prison, had transformed into a small child. A pale, blond haired little girl no more than two, who was staring up at him with frank curiosity.

"Dada?"

Allison laughed shortly. "God, no. Say hello to uncle Lemos, Galadriel. You'll be living with him now."

"She- what?!"

His gaze jerked back to his sister in shock. Lemos hated this. Allison and her disruptive ways. She never could manage to keep herself out of trouble, and now look.

"I can't deal with her any more, Lem. She's just too strange for me. She doesn't drink blood, for one. If I hadn't started giving her human food, she would've starved." Her nose wrinkled momentarily. "Wonder why I bothered."

Lemos frowned, shifting his attention back to the child as she scooted off the bench, falling onto her knees on the hardwood floor. Instead of crying, she simply pushed herself up and toddled over to him, stopping by his legs to look up at him. Frowning deeper, he motioned her away, only to have her latch onto his pants leg. Sighing in exasperation, he lifted his head to glare at Allison.

"So she doesn't feed. What else is wrong with her?"

Allison smiled, pleased to be able to air her laundry list of her daughter's perceived defects. "Besides the fangs that don't retract? She's absolutely blind in the sunlight- just screams if you put her in it. Her skin doesn't burn though, which is unusual. And she's so clingy...as you've no doubt noticed."

Lemos didn't understand his younger sister at the best of times, but this?

"Aside from her daytime vision, those don't seem to be great hardships. One of us that can walk freely in the sunlight? That's a blessing, Allison, not a curse. Besides, aren't children supposed to cling at this age?" Though he wished she wouldn't cling to him.

Allison shook her head in dismissal, red hair flying. "I don't want her. She's your problem now."

As she began to slip her gloves back on, Lemos managed to free himself from small grasping fingers quickly enough to stride forward and grab her arm.

"The hell she is. What about her father? Or did you take care of him once you'd had your fun?"

Allison smiled brilliantly as she wrested her arm free. "So smart. No wonder you've always been mother's favorite."

"Allison-" His tone was threatening, but she shrugged it off, donning her gloves and pulling her hood back over her head. She slipped her sunglasses on and turned to the door, then paused.

"One more thing, Lem; don't try to bring her back to me, because I will kill her."

Then she was gone, back out into the blinding sunlight, leaving Lemos staring at the thick walnut door in irritation. What was he supposed to do with a child? A half-human one at that. Perhaps Azryn and his wife would be willing-

"Mama?"

He turned at the sound of the trembling voice, to be faced with tear-filled blue eyes. Damn it, Allison.

"Your mother...had to go away for a while. Do you understand?"

She simply stared at him for a moment, and he wondered if she'd inherited the intelligence of a human child as well. Then-

"Mama not love Galadriel. Not come back." The little girl bit her lip, sniffling.

Before Lemos realized what he was doing, he'd swept the child into his arms, cradling her against his chest.

"You don't need her. ...You have me."

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Galadriel Naos

March 2012

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