|The Truth About Nate||His Revelations|
|Young Celtic||All About Trust|
|Celtic and Nate||Heartbreak|
|Flying With Dragons||Trust Issues|
|A Reunion||Remembered Memories|
|A Dinner Guest||Epilogue|
-about a month later on the Island of Fire and Cold-
Celtic had just returned to her cottage from the forest. Bane had left early that morning to start Zarzara’s training. Heat, Frost, and Andy were joining her for dinner so she wanted to make sure she had enough time to cook something. Just as she was about to pull the ingredients out of the icebox, there was a knock at the door.
“Come in!” She called. “I’m in the kitchen.” She added when she heard the door open.
“A little trusting there, Celt?” Nate entered the kitchen.
“If you had been any kind of threat, Claddagh, Sonnet, and Irish would have alerted me and you wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near the cottage.” Celtic hugged him. “Bane isn’t here.”
“I know. He stopped by the Training Island for lunch.” Nate leaned against the wall. Nate would often visit the Islands for work but he usually stopped by Celtic’s cottage more often, especially when Bane was on the Seasonal Island.
“Did my husband ask you to check in on me?” She teased.
“Not in so many words.” He replied. “You know how he worries, especially given everything that’s happened. It’s only bee a month since the Silence, we just want to make sure you’re not overdoing it.”
“It’s good a good thing I love all of you, otherwise I’d feel smothered.” She narrowed her eyes at him. “Between you and my husband and then Frost, Andy and Heat, plus the dragons – I feel like I can’t do anything without being watched.”
“Heat? I thought he left again.” Nate could understand what she was saying – he also knew she was teasing a little.
“I did, but I’m back for a little while.” Heat, Frost, and Andy entered the kitchen.
“You know, Nate, if you keep showing up like this people are going to start talking – especially when you show up when Bane isn’t here.” Andy said. Nate was starting to feel like Andy didn’t trust him.
“People already are.” Celtic said. She’d overheard a conversation the other day in the Market.
“What?” Nate wasn’t sure what to say. “What are they saying?”
“That you and I are having an affair. Then some are saying that Bane has no idea and others are saying he knows but seems fine with it.” She didn’t turn to face the men. It made her blood boil just thinking about it.
“That’s ridiculous.” Frost shook his head. “I guess there’s nothing before for them to talk about than idle gossip.”
“Nate fuels the gossip.” Andy said.
“Do not put this on him!” Celtic slammed her fist on the counter.
“Celt, it’s okay.” Nate tried to calm her down.
“No, it’s not okay.” She leaned back against the counter with her arms folded across her chest. “It sounds to me like Andy doesn’t trust Nate – or maybe he doesn’t trust either one of us?”
“…” Andy didn’t have a response to that.
“It’s not just Nate and I that is filling the Market with idle gossip.” Celtic sighed.
“Can you three give us a moment?” Nate knew the look on her face. Frost pushed Andy and Heat out of the cottage. “It’s about Bane, isn’t it?” She nodded.
“He’s only been home for a total of two weeks – and now he’s gone again – I’m sure you can figure out what the gossip is.” She looked at Nate. “I know what they’re saying isn’t true, but what do they need to drag him through the mud?”
“People haven’t seen what the rest of us have. I think if they saw the two of you together they would know the truth.” He ran a hand through his hair. “Does he know what’s being talked about?”
“I haven’t mentioned anything to him and he hasn’t said anything, so I’m not sure if he knows or not.” She looked out the window. “You know we still haven’t had a honeymoon?”
“I know. Bane mentioned it when he stopped by.” Nate understood how hard it was for Bane and Celtic to find time for just the two of them. “Can I ask you something?”
“Anything.” She went back to fixing dinner.
“Why do you think Andy is acting the way he is?” Nate had noticed a discord when Bane and Celtic had decided to get married before defeating the Silence.
“I honestly have no idea. And I have no idea why he seems to distrust you. You’ve never shown any reason for distrust.” She glanced at him. “You’ve been like a brother to me.”
“I’m going to go talk to those three while you finish dinner.” He kissed the top of her head and then headed outside.
“What’s your deal?” Andy questioned as soon as Nate stepped outside.
“Celtic and Bane are my friends and Celt is like a sister to me. What’s your deal?” Nate replied rather forcefully. “Bane knows my friendship with Celtic and he trusts me to check in on her from time to time, especially when he’s away.”
“So he doesn’t trust us?” Andy countered.
“He trusts us, he just doesn’t want all the worry to be on us.” Frost spoke up.
“Andy, you need to chill. We have no reason not to trust Nate.” Heat added.
“I don’t need this.” Andy spun on his heel and headed away from the cottage. “Heat, you can have your job back.” He said before taking off on his Solstice dragon.
“That escalated quickly.” Heat said after a few minutes. They headed inside and explained what happened.
-meanwhile on the Seasonal Island-
“Are you sure you want to do this now?” Zarzara asked Bane.
“We need to get started. The faster you learn everything the sooner you can take over. The sooner you can take over, the sooner I can stay home more.” Bane replied. They were finishing up the night’s harvest when a familiar Solstice dragon landed nearby.
“That’s Andy, isn’t it?” She asked. Bane nodded as panic set in.
“Andy, what’s…?” Before he could get the question out, Andy punched him in the face. Arbor raced to Bane’s defense only to be stopped by Summer. “What the heck?” Bane was completely taken off guard.
“I knew the two of you getting married was a mistake. Your marriage is a joke. No wonder villagers are talking about Celtic and Nate having an affair and you not wanting to be at home with her.” Andy spat. “Are you having an affair too?”
“No one is having an affair.” Bane knew what was being gossiped about. Bane trusted Nate and Celtic more than anyone else in the world.
“You should have let someone else have her.” Andy glared at Bane.
“Who? You?” Zarzara spoke up.
“Someone who could be with her everyday. Someone who could protect her from all these rumors.” Andy rolled his eyes at Zarzara.
“Andy, Celtic thinks of you as a good friend, maybe even as a brother, but I’m sure your behavior right now is putting a strain on things.” Bane said. Things had been tense between Celtic and Andy since the wedding.
“That’s okay, I’ve already given Heat back his job. I don’t plan on returning to that Island anytime soon.” Andy replied.
“Why are you being like this?” Zarzara asked.
“I’m tired of people talking about Celtic and her husband not doing anything about it.” He answered.
“And what would you have me do?” Bane was getting irritated. “Do you want me to tell Nate that he can’t be friends with us anymore? Do you want me to neglect my responsibilities or for Celtic to neglect hers?”
“Yes. Especially about Nate.” Andy spat.
“That’s not going to happen.” Bane tensed. “I have known Nate for a long time and I trust him with my life. Seems to me that it isn’t just the villagers who have trust issues.”
“Or maybe you’re too trusting.” Andy said before spinning on his heel and leaving.
“That was weird.” Zarzara said after a while.
“That’s for sure.” Bane shook his head.
“We can postpone a couple days if you want to go home.” She looked at Bane and noted his facial expression.
“Celtic wouldn’t want that. But I do think I need to put something on my face.” He could feel the throbbing around his eye.
“Hey, where’s Arbor?” Zarzara looked around. “He was blocking Summer but where did he go once Andy left?”
“Probably to the Island of Fire and Cold.” Bane shook his head. It wouldn’t surprise him if Arbor went to alert the others to what just happened.