Corwin’s Thoughts

Brigid’s entrance into Amber was pretty hectic as she was introduced to everyone. This is how I thought Corwin saw her.

I was sitting in the main dining hall, not feeling particularly sociable for dinner but at least willing to abide the company of my peers, provided none of them wanted conversation. Apparently no one else did, either, as the family were sitting around the dining tables in small clusters or simply as individuals. Random sat lazily with Vialle at the table closest to the front. Julian and Caine were sitting together at a table in the center, quietly arguing over a bottle, their dinner over long ago from the looks of it. Bleys just a little further away was alternating bites of his dessert with turning the pages of a large volume. Fi in the opposite corner was the first to arrive and the first to finish, but she hung around, watching everyone else as she always did. Benedict, on the other hand, who was in his Japanese mode and wearing one of his kimonos, didn’t need to watch us and concentrated on his meal with the same focus as he used when on the battlefield.

There was a burst of noise from the door as a crowd of the younger generation entered the hall all at once, all talking. Tristan, leading the pack and spotting me first, led them towards me. “Corwin, there’s someone here I think you should meet.” He turned and took the shoulder of the woman in the center of the group and turned her towards me.

The lady in question had hair like a conflagration, wave upon wave of deep coppery red hair, highlighted with gold, of a shade somewhere between Fiona’s dark copper and Bleys’ bright fiery hues that spilled down around her shoulders, and green eyes of a most unusual and, more disturbingly, somehow memorable yet forgotten, shade of green. “Corwin,” said Tristan, “this is Brigid: Brigid, Prince Corwin. She’s of faerie blood, apparently a relative of Ombra’s.”

Ah yes, Ombra, one of Grandfather’s more ill-omened pairings, this time with a noblewoman of Faerie, that far-off, far-lost land of mystery and illusion. And Brigid here was another child of that realm. That would explain her tall, lissome appearance and features

She smiled engagingly and bowed her head to me, then impulsively hugged me.

Over her shoulder, Tristan continued: “Kei found her in a Shadow of your Shadow Earth: she’s family, too; she’s also got Pattern.”

That much I had noted when I first saw her. Another family member. “Do you know your parents? Tristan, have you discovered her Amber parentage?” Given her red hair, there is the very definite possibility that she is another child of Brand. Or else Fi or Bleys, which is almost as bad.

Her countenance sobered quickly. “I was abandoned as a baby at an orphanage,” she replied softly; “I don’t know who my parents are. Coming here and finding that I have a family is the best thing to happen to me.”

Family. So little she knows about the troubles family can bring. But at least she’s here and not off getting into trouble someplace else, out of sight.

“Come on, Brigid, there’re more family you should meet.” Tristan dragged at Brigid’s sleeve and led her off down the row, towards where a larger knot of family were gathered.

I sat down back in my funk, but strangely it had vanished under Brigid’s sunny disposition. I followed the procession down the table. I noted Fi watching her, especially her, closely, not unusual for her. I returned to watching her, too. She definitely knew how to work an audience. Charming Random was easy, she said something about music and got his total attention. Julian gave no sign of any emotion when they approached but Caine stood to take her measure against his height and found himself less than a handspan taller. When they reached Benedict, she put her hands together, bowed, and jabbered a moment in Japanese. He stood and returned the bow, and they spoke a few moments in that jabbering tongue. She smiled and actually received a quirk of his lips that is what passes as a smile for him in reply.

Watching her, I finally remembered just where else I had seen eyes of that exact shade of green.

It was on that trip to the Primal Pattern, where Dad in his guise as Ganelon, and Benedict and I were led through the Undershadow, following our common ancestor.

They were the eyes of the Unicorn.

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