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The morning after their encounter with the Fairae was cool and damp, as if it had rained in the forest, but not in the fairae circle. As they walked along, Marianne couldn't help remembering how wistfully Talis had looked at the teepee frame, how he had viewed it as more like a work of art than an abandoned house. She was surprised that Elianna had been so quick to slam down Talis' moment of inner peace and joy. At that one moment, Talis had almost seemed to grow an inch taller, and he looked more mature.
Marianne stopped in surprise at the harsh voice that certainly didn't belong to Father. A tall, muscular man with red skin stood in front of their company. He had glossy black hair and searching black eyes. A beautiful blue feather was tucked behind one ear. Marianne wouldn't have found anything strange about the man at all, his red skin looked so... so human... except for the fact that he was completely naked except for a brown skirt that looked like it was made from the skin of some animal.
When Marianne quickly glanced around her, she saw that there were other men like him between the trees, hiding but not quite hidden, their arrows in bows, ready to shoot if their leader (so she guessed - and rightly - who the man in front of them was) so desired. However, each man's feather was different colour, ranging from white to bright red.
A shiver of delight went down her spine. She had read about such people in books before, but she had never seen one in real life before. Even now, she was finding it hard to make herself believe that the real people were standing before her, and not wax statues in a museum exhibit.
In front of her, Father gave a deep, respectful bow before the Indian leader and then stuck out his hand to shake after coming up from his bow. The Indian stared at him a moment, and then nodded, as if pleased by the priest's greeting. He took the hand offered him and gave it a hearty shake. After doing so, he raised his arm in the air and cried a few words in a language that sounded almost like that of a bird's. The men surrounding them lowered their bows and strolled up to the small party.
"My name, in your language, is Running Bird," the Indian leader spoke aloud in English. "You are welcome here."
He gave a smaller bow towards the group. Marianne heard Sam snickering beside her. Even though she still didn't know him well, she couldn't resist giving him a hard nudge. Sam quickly shut up.
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My earlier reason that Talis liked the teepee so much was that he loves to build and design things. However, I think there's an even stronger reason behind this. ;) ;) ;)
And I believe THIS is Talis. And I also believe that I am going to be giving him a bigger role in my story, instead of waiting until the sequel - if there is one.