Elli clopped over to where Ace was standing, his armor shining in the afternoon son.  A mischievous grin wrinkled her muzzle before she leaned her head over to drool on his shoulder.

�…. Hey.  I just had this set polished for our dinner event.�

Elli rumbled in partial discontent as she shifted from stag to worgen.  “Don’t remind me.”  At his smile, she grumped, �I�ll be ready.�

�It’ll be all right. We’ll show up, mingle some, dance some, then leave.�

�I even brushed my fur.� She pointed to her body.

�I … see.�

�What?�

�Nothing.�

A low, rumbling growl vibrated in her chest.  “What?”

Ace raised an eyebrow at her and grinned, saying nothing for a moment.  �Just thinking of how cute it would be if Weedy happened to come by while you were preparing. I’m sure she’d weave ribbons or something festive in your fur after she braided it all.�

She snapped at him, barely missing his nose by centimeters

 �Just a thought,� he said with a smirk.

�… I have a dress.  Aunne found one for me so I don’t need ribbons in my fur.”  She sighed and mumbled, ” Beside, Ygraine already volunteered.�

Both eyebrows shot to his hairline.  �A dress?�

Elli whined and shuffled her lower paws, uncertain.  �That�s what you�re supposed to wear to a formal human dinner, isn�t it?�

�Yes, yes it is.�

“Should I not wear a dress?  I can wear my armor.”  She glanced down at herself, a hopeful look crossing her face.

�No, a dress is fine. A dress is just perfect.�

A frown turned down the corners of her mouth.  Rubbing her muzzle, she eyed him.  “I’ll have to dance with some of them if they ask, won’t I.”

�No. The option is solely yours to decide, Elli. But I doubt any will once they realize that you’re my date.�

The frown changed and lifted into a feral smile.  “Then I doubt the ladies will want to dance with you either when they see you’re my date.”

Ace chuckled.  �Exactly the point.�  He gave her a stern look.  �Unless they’ve drunk enough spirits to drown any common sense they might have.  In that case, a gentle no will suffice. No violence or threats will be needed.�

“Fine.  I won’t growl or snap at them.  Or break anything …�

�That would be a good idea.  We�re guests, remember.�

Sagging a bit, she sighed.  �I�ll behave.  I�ll even not be mean if someone asks you to dance.�

�Thank you, Elli.�

Elli bumped her shoulder against his.  �You�ll just have to owe me one.�

Ace returned the shoulder bump.  �I think I can handle that.�

�I�m sure you can.�

Author Elli
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