Extra #1: Alec and Lori
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To everyone's surprise, puberty hit Lori hard but with a whole lot of love.

When Eylir saw her after half a year, he had whistled with raised eyebrows. Every few passing months transformed the little tomboy more and more into a blooming flower.
Small waist, curvy body with a proud but lively look on her face. 

She had the makings of a huntress, with lean muscles and smooth, elegant movements. Since she was still accompanying Farin as his servant, she was supposed to be wearing the temple's robes, but Farin had talked to the old master and convinced him to let Lori wear whatever she liked.

Her outfit of choice was pants made of soft, flexible leather and a long-sleeved shirt with a belt around her waist. She often put up her hair in a wildly tied ponytail, decorating it with small, self-made accessories that suited her perfectly.

Alec was swooning.

He had grown into a young man, somewhat similar to Cyrille, but due to Lori's and Farin's influence, he had a bit less of a noble's air and a tad bit more of a commoner's.
Farin had to admit they looked great together, and he was relieved to see Alec keep his word. Alec didn't try to push her, but everyone could see he was honestly courting the woman of his dreams. If Lori agreed, he'd not just turn her into a docile housewife, he'd let her be by his side, no matter what he did.

And Lori was tempted. Farin didn't have to ask, he saw the way she looked at Alec whenever he wasn't watching. But the carrier just observed quietly with a smile.

Alec's father had come over more than once, complaining that he wanted Alec to come back and marry a wife of high status, but his words fell on deaf ears. Alec was absolutely stubborn.
One time, his father had considered using guards to drag Alec away, but the youth had just drawn his sword and stared at them mutely. If they tried, he'd fight, and there was no way to ensure that Alec wouldn't get badly hurt during the struggle.

So his father postponed the talk, hoping Alec would lose interest all on his own.
Funnily enough, the opposite was the case: Lori would be around when his father tried to teach Alec about the responsibilities he had and learned alongside him. It took four months for the man to notice that Lori had ideas that he himself would never have; often ideas that would lead him to find much better ways to solve his problems.

Since Lori was beautiful enough, could still be taught high-class manners and was talented, the man decided to take the decision that would keep the relationship to his son stable and accepted her.
Not officially, of course, since Lori was still underage and hadn't agreed to marry Alec yet.

Both of them kept their mouths shut about Alvarr. On the contrary, they even helped hide the matter, telling stories of the earth shivering when they once tried to cross the boundary without being allowed to, of seeing shadows and hearing weird sounds. They were close to being adults, so their words accounted for something and the interested man decided it wasn't worth the risk.
Besides, Cyrille was agreeing with them, and Cyrille was an adult already.

Cyrille was a bit grumpy about the mess Alec was causing by wanting to marry Lori, but he softened over the years and gave them his blessing.
Lori still hadn't given her agreement though.

When the day of her birthday came, the day that she was supposed to be giving an answer, she had nervously spent an hour in Farin's arms.

"I'm worried", she whined. "I want to be free. I'm worried about what I'll have to live like when I marry into his family."
"I doubt he will let you be unhappy. Why don't you agree to an engagement first and ask for a year of time to see what it's like?", Farin coaxed, caressing over her head.

After a while, she agreed, fidgeting while Farin helped her put on a beautiful dress that Cyrille had bought for her birthday. It was her answer - a dress that didn't belong to a forest, but rather one that belonged to a greater city.
When she stepped out, Alec made a happy sound, then ran over and swooped her into his arms, twirling the squealing girl around.

"She'll be fine", Ives whispered to Farin, eyes warm as he watched Alec's overjoyed pampering of his now betrothed.
"I know. It just feels a bit like giving a daughter away", Farin answered wistfully, sighing. Ives couldn't help but laugh.

"Farin, can you come along to the wedding?", Alec asked, ignoring Lori's flushed face. Ah, she hadn't yet agreed to marry him for certain... Well, that wasn't too important right now.
Lori opened her mouth to remind Alec that Farin needed to continue his task when she was interrupted.

The old temple master nodded in Farin's stead. "He can. He will stop being a carrier in a few months. We are already searching for someone else to do it."

That earned some surprised sounds, but Farin just grinned.
They didn't need to know the full story and while Cyrille, Alec and Lori were a bit doubtful as to what was happening - considering they knew he had a lover in the mountain - they didn't ask but relaxed at seeing Farin's peaceful expression.

"That's right, I'll come over with Skari and Eylir, if you don't mind."
"Not at all! I'll be happy to see them!"
"What should I write on the invitation, then?", Alec asked, confused.

Farin clicked his tongue. "I'll only tell you my name after I've given the task away, until then, you will have to guess."
Lori clapped her hands. "Oh, right! Your real name! I bet it's a beautiful one!"

Farin laughed, giving no comment.

Everyone in their room gave their congratulations, especially since it was Lori's birthday, anyway. The atmosphere was warm and gentle, despite the critical look of Alec's father. Lori was an orphan, so the people of the temple were her family.

With a soft, bashful smile on her face, she reached out to grasp Alec's hand, gripping it tightly.

Farin looked at them, satisfied.
He was sure it would be a beautiful wedding.