Other-worldly (Part II)

RECAP:  

‘What’s it doing this far out of its territory?’ 
‘Whatever it is, it bodes ill for that human.’ The sprite slunk back into the tree. ‘Last time one of these came out was almost 300 years ago. The most demonic thing I’ve seen all my life and that’s saying something. Almost killed them all off, those stupid humans.’
Balan stood by the edge of the footpath and studied the strange green gossamer tendrils whistling about the property, snaking out of windows and doors, and floating up from the chimney. ‘And how did they stop it?’ 
‘I have no idea. Seeing how I’m rooted to one spot, I can only tell you what I heard, and this far out, I wasn’t hearing much back then.’
Balan crossed the street and looked up at the facade of the double storey house. The lights had been off for a while now and he assumed they’d gone to bed. He took a few more steps towards the house only to have one of the tendrils flick him away viciously. He flew across the road and crashed into the bush at the front of the house there. The wind knocked out of him. It took him a while to catch his breath and get back up on his feet. 
He glared at the house sickly aware that those tendrils of gossamers were nothing akin to spiders, but a rather strong ward against the other side. His side. The Keepers of Light. As he came to once again stand under the sprite’s tree he couldn’t help but notice a figure by the top window, it’s slightly glowing eyes set on him with a mischievous grin on its black face.
‘Whatever magic that is, it’s not from our…’
‘Realm.’ Balan finished in awe. 



Part II 

For the next two days, Balan followed the Black Widow where ever he could. He changed disguises, put up wards to keep her from seeing him come a mile away. He made no ‘noise’ as this master had taught him, no lingering magic left behind, no stealth spell sent her way that she could smell. For all he knew, none of these mattered when dealing with a Black Widow. He knew so little of them. As far as he was aware, they had been exiled into the monster realm. They were the things even monsters feared. In fact, from how his ward tingled around its edges just mere feet away from his body, forever feeling like his skin prickled, the omens were bad. Horrendously bad. He knew a storm was coming. He could tell from the deepening darkness in the night sky. Energy swirled above that house, slight wind forever pushing down at him as if there were a swirling storm right above it. 

At the midnight stroke on the third night, Balan jumped off the tree branch with a sigh. ‘I got nothing.’


‘I got nothing either. My vision can’t get past the their layer of its ward.’


Balan turned. ‘Third layer?’


The sprite floated out and intently stared at the house. ‘As far as I can tell, that thing is wrapped up like an onion. I can’t tell how many layers it has up.’


This information startled and unnerved Balan. He’s never known anyone to be able to cast two wards with ease. Those skills were the left for the Maestros, who are rumored to be able to put up at least five layers with ok too much trouble, but no one had seen a Maestro in a millennia if not longer. The only thought that was left in his head was ‘What is this thing and how do I get rid of it?’ After all The Keepers weren’t just you regular fairies humans frumped them up to be. They were the last line of defense against countless demonic realms that eyed human realm as desired realty. The Keepers were the Sword-swingers, the bond breakers, and the annihilators of dark energies. The things that protected from the things that go bump in the night.


‘What do you see? In the other layers?’ He finally asked, goosebumps coursing through him. A semblance of fear lurking deep. 


‘Blood. I see blood. And a sense something is coming.’


Balan could sense it too. He’d never mastered the Art of Sight, but he had mastered the Art of Energy, and he could sense the dark heavy ooze spluttering slowly underneath. He eyed the sky above the house and could just imagine the hole building. ‘I have to go.’ He blurted. 


‘You better hurry. You have a month, top to find out how to rid it. Once it anchors, I have a feeling it has bigger plans than just marrying a widow and and growing old with him. A storms coming.’


Balan nodded. That was an understatement. ‘Keep an eye on it for me.’ He placed a small ball of lapis lazuli in his palm and with an utterance fused it into the trunk of the tree. ‘For,’


‘Communication, I know. Not my first rodeo. You just go find a Maestro before the month.’


With a brisk nod and a blink, Balan was gone. All that left, a sliver of gold smoke the height of him that lingered but a fraction of second. 


‘If Maestros even exist anymore.’ The sprite turned its attention back to the house. It had a job to do, and he was going to do it.’ The green ward rippled taunting. Flickering like an innocent candle flame. 



The Hunt Continues (Episode 2)

The Hunt Continues (Episode 2)

Watch it on YouTube now! The second episode for the original short film I made couple of years ago. Because the demand was there, we thought why not. Wonderful experience as our cast and crew and absolutely hilarious people. 
If you enjoy comedy, watch, share and like. 
The Hunt Continues

Premise: they’re grown children find out their late mother was a millionaire and fight for the wealth in an unconventional way. 

‘Dhago’ shortfilm now on YouTube 

‘Dhago’ shortfilm now on YouTube 

Film: Dhago (The Thread)

A couple of years ago, I on whim pitched this tiny little idea I had for a film that could not be shot anywhere else but Nepal. The idea excited Nitesh Raj Pant (a veteran actor when it comes to Nepali industry) and his wife, and since they were both heading to Nepal, I was invited to come along and we’d make it. I pitched this story in November, and by December the same year, we were in Nepal working long hours in the day on pre-production and shoot, which was hard work but I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

The movie, a 20min short based on local supernatural folktales is now available on YouTube for you to enjoy, English subtitles included. In celebration of Nepalese New Year yesterday, the film was released on the public platform. 

Watch, enjoy and share. 

Writer’s Process: How Stories Evolve Over Time

Writer’s Process: How Stories Evolve Over Time

I know what you’re thinking. I haven’t done an anecdote piece in a very long time, perhaps a little more than a year since my last piece on the writer’s process. There are as many writing styles out there as there are writers and narrators. Our job is to bring you a story, the best way that that story can be portrayed, but by no means should you think that the purity of that story has always been the same as the final product. I don’t mean the multitudes of editing we do. I mean the entire story itself, changing, morphing into something far removed from the initial stories that pop into our heads, or even the one that gets written down by first draft. Even at this point, the likelihood that the story has already changed somewhat from the initial story, or even drastically, depends on the story. 
So how do these stories evolve? In many ways, it all depends on the outline process. When writers obsess over a story, we usually think of the big picture, what happens to start the story off, point A, to what moves the story along, point B, to how the story ends, point C. It’s not so simple once the writing process begins. I’m not an outliner technically. I don’t sit there and write out point by point what the story is and how it progresses, there are other writers out there like myself. The others, the organized ones, will often have few pages of the story outlined from point A to Z, because frankly speaking a story isn’t as simple as A, B, C, it’s much more complex than that. Writers like myself, we will rethink and rethink the story several times in detail in our heads before we feel comfortable enough to actually start writing the first draft. As I’ve said before, we are the seat-of-our-pants kind who write instinctually. It’s odd to say this but, that’s exactly what I do. I write instinctually, free form. I write chapter by chapter, a bit like how other writers look at their outline and follow a bullet point, I start off knowing where I want the chapter to go, but I have no idea how I’m going to get there, I just know that once I start writing, the rest will flow. Bit risky but it works, maybe not for all, but it still works. 

In this process of outlining, whether in our heads or on paper, this is the first hurdle the story passes. This is the first checkpoint where the story has the potential to change from the original piece we think about. Why? Well, simply put, our minds are very good at abstract thoughts and making connections, however it’s another matter of putting it down on paper in a legible and easily understood manner. Or even something that makes sense. So the story that looks silver screen ready in our head may show kinks in it that needs modifying at Checkpoint 1. 
After this comes a gigantic Checkpoint 2: the writing of first draft. An entirely long and draining process in itself, not without its own problems and challenges. This checkpoint is constantly working itself through the writing process. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of how many little minute changes the story goes through because we are so engrossed in writing it, getting that story on paper first. This is the hardest step. This is the step where several chapters in, we may suddenly find huge problems in story, character, relationships, or dynamics, scenes and settings that simply do not gel. The main thing here is to focus on getting that entire story down on paper and not get bogged down by sandpit of problems. As we write this bit, we may discover new directions the characters take, leading the story entirely in a different direction from what you intended. At this point a writer has come to a fork in the road: do you stick to your outline, which by all means is simply a guide, or do you take the lead the character is giving and go into unchartered territory? It’s a matter of choice. In most cases either one of the paths will lead you to finishing the story and not being happy with it, or unable to finish it and give up entirely, or at least put this story on a back burner. If your are wondering what I myself would do at such a junction, then I will let you know I usually follow the character. After all, it’s their story and if they take you down a certain path, it’s most like for a reason that will show up later in the story. After all, you are the boss. Just because you follow a character for a little while doesn’t necessarily mean you have handed over the reins. 
When that first draft is done and you’ve got the bare bones with a little bit of flesh hanging off it, then you can pat yourself on the back and take a break. It’s well deserved. 
Sometime, we are so engrossed in the whole process that our minds stop working properly and we give into character whims that don’t necessarily need to be there nor benefits the whole story. This is Checkpoint 3. Even if we don’t re-write or even go over our first draft, as writers we have the entire story now etched into our minds. After a few days break or weeks, or sometimes months (yes, I’m guilty of this), we usually work out in our head how to iron out some rough edges, where we need to truly focus on working extensively during the editing process. This is where we are making the next lot of changes that gets put into place when we start editing. Sometimes the changes will only be minor, to small sequences, scenes, or chapters, or characters and setting, and other times you will find that a huge chuck of the story needs to be thrown out and written again from another story point. This happened with my first novel, In Strange Company (on Kindle and paperback through myself). After a long hiatus away from the first draft, when I went back to editing it, I realized most devastatingly that I needed to write the entire first quarter of the book from scratch. It didn’t fit in with the style of the rest of the book, the characters had changed and evolved so much in the end that that needed to be addressed in the beginning, and so a long trudge began. For a writer working on her first novel, this was the hardest time. The time when you question the vocation, question if you are right for the calling, etc. This Checkpoint 3 is by far the most challenging to writers and the gentle egos. 
Stories also change during editing. Time and time again, we will go over the book, and minor things are constantly changing and shifting slightly, honing that story. At this point, Checkpoint 4, stages of editing, your story might have drastically changed from where you began. For example, Charming Mr Stewart (also on Kindle) changed drastically from where the story began, about a widow running away from possibility of love, only to have it chase her in turn, to something more evolved, about a widow who gains her power and her right to heal the old hurt. Not exactly the same story is it?
Checkpoint 4 is as far as a writer can go alone on this road. Up until this time, our journey is lonesome, but no more. Checkpoint 5 requires us to push down our fear of criticism and the premature nature of the final product and invite expert opinions and scrutiny. This is where external editors come into play, and if you are extremely lucky to be affiliated with a publisher, then I’m sure they have been involved from an earlier stage. They may ask you to consider changing some plot points in the story, or character personalities, or given you a heads up on all your strengths and weaknesses in the story. Tell you what’s working and what simply will not do. This is a healthy stage for us. It forces us to take a step back from the story and look at it from a reader’s point of view, which after all is why we are writing in the first place, for the readers. This point may again see various changes through various stages of reading and re-reading and proofing. Ironing out those final little kinks in the story. Making the transition from point A to point Z as smooth and as indecipherable as possible, so that readers like yourself and I can not even sense the difficulty the author may have gone through, from initial point of origin to the final product. 
The final checkpoint in a way is you, a selected group of beta-readers, the genuine pigs or test subjects who get to read the final product and give feedback. This point may prove very valuable to how the book is being received, and if there are any problems, a last change to make the change. 
What you read, is not what always was. What you read is a result of an incredible effort and devotion at various stages. What you read, is an accumulation of faith and self-doubt used well. What you read is simply fascinating, because it started life as a single thought in someone’s gray-matter. A simple thought. And thoughts are powerful. They can suspend us into someone else’s imagination and propel us forward, make us lose hours, or regret reality when we re-emerge.

Travelogue: Rooftop ride in Thailand

Travelogue: Rooftop ride in Thailand

It’s day 4, and I’m reporting on our outings for day 3. Can’t really believe it’s been that many days already but, we are making the most of it. It’s funny that I think the two of us make for terrible tourists. Sure, we have a huge camera that hangs around his neck, and I have my bag full of ‘items’ we may need, like sunscreen, hand sanitizer, moist towelettes, lip balm, and sunnies, and my iPhone handy so I can take quick snaps of the surrounds for my ‘blog’ as I tell him. But other than this, we are the quiet travelers, not getting involved in party scene and funky bars. As much as I’d like to go sit in a pub with a nice ambience and have my one cocktail and pub food while he drinks coke (since he doesn’t do alcohol), we don’t. Like I said, the quiet tourists who would much rather look at the surrounds and enjoy the breeze than try and get it all in the lens, which sometimes means you’ve missed everything cause you were too busy looking through the lens.   

Alas, what did we do yesterday in the island we are calling home for the week, Koh Samui. It’s beautiful, it’s tropical, it has beaches dotted with resorts spilling onto them at every cove and bay, but it’s only so small and we have booked ourselves into most of the tours the travel lady could think up for the ‘quiet tourists’. We went on a safari on the island, visiting landmarks that are the main sights and must see places.

 
Our day started up with a cruise around the islands edges as our guide and driver drove us to the first stop on our list, Grandma and Grandpa rocks, that were miracles of nature and carved by wind and water. Don’t let the name fool you ladies and gentlemen, there was not much grandpa and grandma about them. As naive as I was, I was expecting a rock that looked like little old man and woman, but instead what we saw was a little on the graphic side. Funny thing is, I was so mesmerized by the coincidence of both rock formation being in around each other that I forgot to take photos for you. Instead, I took photo of the info board as we whisked away to our next location, Elephant safari. 
  
When we agreed to go see the elephants we had no idea that it included a ride on the elephants. I still feel terribly about that, but the beautiful, 15-year-old Namphoon who gave us a kind ride on her back eagerly took the bunch of bananas we gave her. My husband and I couldn’t help but give a generous tip to the Hatt of who said ‘you don’t have to but it helps us look after them’. Even if we hadn’t been told this, we would have given anyway for the gorgeous animal. 

   

    
 I’ve seen elephants before, in Nepal we also have some in the wild, and when you go to Sauraha almost every resort has one. After that we were taken to an Elephant and a Monkey Show. I really enjoyed the three baby elephants who showed us how clever they are. There was a 4 year old who was absolutely adorable. She stole the whole bunch of bananas I had for her and the others, as she wasn’t having none of the one-banana-at-a-time nonsense. M said ‘good on her’. 
What I didn’t enjoy nor liked was the Monkey Show. The poor thing was on a lease the whole time. And again, coming from Nepal, we know how clever monkeys are, so the tricks people were getting thrills out of were what they do in life. 

  

Next stop, we were taken to a waterfall, and lining the street to the waterfall were all these little eateries and souvenir shops. Really reminded me of how strips prior to going to temples in Nepal are all lined up with veneration materials and souvenir shops. When we had read the brochure for the tour it had said bring a towel, so here we were, the only two ‘newbie’ tourists who had trudged along with us a complimentary straw bag from our hotel with two towels. There was no need for that as we later found out. A 20-minute stop wasn’t going to be enough for us to take photos and then go for a swim. So instead we made use of our heavy basket and gathered few souvenirs. 
Lunch was a drive through to the top of some mountain at a mountain restaurant, with its bamboo hits and tables set on side of the cliff. Beautiful. The food was delicious as well, though I doubt our companions on the ride enjoyed it as much. They barely touched it and had almost dry rice alone. Perhaps they found it spicy as the green chicken curry did have quiet a punch to it, which we both enjoyed. Lucky for M I’ve slowly trained him over the years to tolerating a bit of chilly in his food. Nowadays he eats more Asian food than I do while at work, but that’s another story. 
Oh, we went to a truly magical place after that, called the Magic Garden. One thing I’m going to say about the trip was, though it was beautiful in many ways, it was incomplete because our guide didn’t truly give us the stories behind each place and its significance. Anyway, I’m diverting. The Magic Garden. I won’t be able to say much about it other than the fact that it was whimsical, it was a fairytale, and it had a sense of lost in time about it. 

  
Something that truly captured both our imagination, seeing how we are both storytellers in our own ways. I looked at the place from a writer-director point of view, thinking how wonderful a place to shoot a film. And M was thinking of it from his 3D- artist point of view, how he could build a place like this in his 3D format for animations. It simply was, captivating. 

     

After this, despite the sun high in the sky, our guide gave us an opportunity to ride on top of the jeep as we flew down the mountain through 15 kilometers of jungle. Though most of the road was paved, there were parts that were truly bumpy, and being on top of the jeep, we had to grip the side bars and duck down every now and then so we do not get thrashed by tree branches that brushed past us. 

  
 
Thank god for the seat belt. We stopped at the top to look at the bay and swapped with another couple who had ridden up there prior to us. We had enjoyed it so much but M and I thought it wouldn’t be fair for us to sit up there all the way. So here we thought, yay, though the scene isn’t the same we were feeling all the bumps, our guide stopped us once more and we swapped seat. There was another couple with us but because they had kids, they declined. So here we were, once more on top of the jeep, flying through the air. It was both exhilarating and exciting. If my mum had been there, she Wouk have had a panic attack. But it was fun, and something we may never do again. 

   
   
Next two stops from here were two temples, the Big Buddha and the Lady Monk. By the time we got to her, I ran out of space in my iPhone to snap any photos for you. I’ll show you these when we get back to Sydney. 

  
By the time we got back, we were tired and sweaty and to my delight a little tanned, which is hard for my legs to achieve. We fought and discussed where we should go for dinner and being tired opted for a not so lazy option of walking 200 meters up the hill to a highly recommended (by a eating guide), a bar and grill called Dr Frogs. We had our first none Thai food since our arrival. The ambience was great, the lighting perfect, the live music invigorating and the breeze welcomed. We enjoyed our meal, and I enjoyed my first ever Singapore Sling, all the way here in Thailand. We closed the day off having purchased the CD of the musician, Oliver Jones, who also happened to be Aussie. 
We came back to our hotel and while M watched magic show on TV, I fell blissfully asleep. Not a bad day at all if I say so myself. 

And again, I couldn’t help but take a shot of these cables on the main road through the town. I thought Nepal was bad. This just made M very nervous. 

  
Well, that’s a such adventure we could handle. 

The End.

 
And on the next day, rumor has it I went for a shopping spree and bought goddies. Holiday is such a hard thing! 
P.s. You will not be live how long it took me to write this post and upload all the photos I wanted to show. Alas, 8 hours later, here it is. Hope you enjoy it.

Travelogue: Thailand

Travelogue: Thailand

I guess that’s what this is. I’m not an amateur traveller by any means, but mostly, all my travels overseas has mainly been to visit family in Nepal. The variety of locations on the way there has been to say the least, very limited. When my husband and I decided to take our first overseas travel, it’s not surprising I loved the idea. 

Here’s the thing, I love traveling. I always have. What little irrational fears about traveling, such as location, flights, food that might spell a trip to the hospital, have all paled in comparison with the whole idea of seeing new things, sights that are normally not available to me. Despite my love of travel, or rather extensive daydreaming of jet setting around the world, I do hate one thing – being tormented by ear aches and sinus pains. But, we get over hurdles don’t we? 

  
So here we are, after months of planning and waiting, we flew out to a little island in Thailand. First time for both of us here. We’re here for a fleetingly short stay. The drive from the airport to our hotel was so disorienting for me to the say the least. My tired sleep deprived mind kept searching for landmarks I recognize, and that sounds crazy doesn’t it, the fact that I’ve never been in Thailand before, yet it looked so familiar, the roads, the shops lining the narrow street, the ads of various kinds, the shopkeepers and the people around. The familiarity was so huge that I kept thinking we’ve somehow landed in an alternate version of Nepal. Yeah, sure the language is different, and the landscape lacks snow-dipped peaks that soar into the high skies, but everything else ‘feels’ like Nepal, just a more quiet version of it. I couldn’t help but take photos of things that looked familiar just so I could show my family and say ‘hey, look at this’. 

  
(A temple/shrine dotting the street; so similar to Nepal)

Today, we went to the town in the island we are staying, and it’s small. We walked down the whole strip, and I felt odd that I couldn’t read the writings nor speak the language. It really felt like I should know all this. The stalls that sold salads reminded me of ‘bhaja’ stalls or panipuri stalls in Nepal. The shops with their wares spilling out onto the narrow pedestrian walkway reminded me of Asan and Thamel, just missing people, lots of people. For those who have travelled Nepal, you will know what I mean. Like I said, disorienting to say the least. 

Tomorrow, we go for a tour around the island, sightsee its landmarks. We have our camera ready, and I’m sure tomorrow, I’ll have a harder day of telling my mind it’s not home. How bizarre. It made me wonder how many other Nepali have travelled to Thailand and felt this familiarity, this strange otherworldly déjà vu with the country. 

  
(Apparently I was quite a happy shopper according to him. Lol. Was definitely tired to say the least by dinner time.)

…to be continued…

Epilogue: for those who requested

Epilogue: for those who requested

I don’t normally go back to a novel and muddle with it once published. But this time, I don’t see know I thought why not, an epilogue may be added, perhaps. 
Recently published, Charming Mr Stewart is already getting reviews from around the world from readers and I’ve had a one or two request, or express curiosity of ‘what happened next’.  So for those who have read the book and weren’t ready for it to end, here is a slice, or glimpse into the ever after. If your enjoy it, let me know, so I may be able to add this to the online version available on Kindle. 
Here we go. 
CHARMING MR STEWART

Epilogue: A Quiet Word

Elle stared at the pile of folders waiting for her attention. It grew inches taller every day she swore. Clients and potential clients applying for her to fit them into her busy schedule. Who would have thought that a year and half ago, as she covered one of the biggest weddings of her tiny career, that she would find herself amongst the elites. Whatever happened to Dean wanting to keep a low profile and family privacy? Guess he didn’t care anymore, and frankly neither did she.  


It had been close to a year and a half since her spontaneous trip to Paris to woo the man she kind of loved. After hours of restlessness and extended nausea, a handful of false reading on expired pregnancy tests later, Elle had managed to get in a room alone with Dean in one of the poshest hotels she’d ever seen, and what did she do? She stood there like a silly little girl who had no idea what she was even thinking. 


Fast forward to the present, and she’d moved back to her home town for now, living in her old room with Maya, who had wonderful grandparents to watch over her while mummy dearest was busy transitioning her business into a tiny empire, boutique that attracted all of Dean’s own circle and clients. 


‘You have got to centralize yourself, El. You’re only gonna burn out this way.’ Dean had frowned at the state of her ‘office’, a tiny room at the back of another shop front. ‘Move to Sydney. That’s where all the clients are. Get a bigger office, I can help you with that, and set up a proper studio.’


‘No.’ 


‘No?’


‘No.’ Elle had stood on her tip toes and kissed those gorgeous lips playfully before strutting away in an outfit she was already not comfortable wearing, a pencil skirt with heels. ‘You keep your money and your charms, Mr Stewart, and I shall keep my pride.’


Dean chuckled. ‘Is this about all those bloody awards pumping your head big? Chloe warned me.’


Utterly scandalous, Elle turned around and lowered her voice, for fear her newly hired secretary would hear. ‘I’m making something of myself ok. Do you know how hard I’ve worked for this? I don’t want to be that trophy thing that hangs around your arms. I’m not a trophy.’


Dean laughed his heart melting laugh. ‘Great, and now you get feisty.’ He leaned in and kissed her cheek. ‘You know I love you, but seriously, you pack up like a grandma.’


Elle returned his kiss. ‘So I’ll see you there then?’ He nodded, walking away. ‘Tell them I won’t be too long.’


Dean waved vaguely as he went. ‘Just makes sure you come before you miss everything.’


‘Of course, I’m the bloody photographer!’ Elle yelled off, watching his figure disappear through the front of the shop. ‘Right, Maureen, where’s my camera case?’



‘What a milf,’ Dean whispered into her ears as she cheerfully snapped away at the family. 


‘Excuse me,’ she turned around with a smile. ‘That’s my cousin you’re talking about.’ Elle spied Chloe and Peter from the corner of her eyes, little baby Symphony held loving in Peter’s arms, mingling with their guests in the garden.


‘I wasn’t talking about her, was I?’ He winked, eyeing her head to toe. ‘How about it?’


‘How about what?’


Dean pulled something out of his pocket in that moment and Elle’s heart began to ran. In the hubbub of people, no one seemed to be noticing and no one cared as Dean quietly slipped a ring on Elle’s finger. He leaned in with the sweetest smile on his face. ‘Can I have you for a wife? Say yes.’ 


The ring felt odd in her finger, somewhat home too though. It fit. They fit. 


‘Maya already said yes, in case you are wondering.’ He squeezed her hand in his, nervous as ever. Elle looked around the gathering, people in their own worlds. Her gaze skimmed over how happy a Chloe looked. 


Elle turned to him, and nodded before Dean leaned in for their first kiss that day. ‘I almost thought you were about to get down on your knee.’ Elle laughed. They had talked about it before, perhaps once or twice, and she had been adamant no one should go down on their knee in public. It puts pressure on the whole thing. She wanted quiet. Quiet meant no noise could interfere with the biggest decision in your life. 


She kissed him once more, and squeezed his hand with her newly adorned hand. ‘We’ll tell them once the guests leave.’


Dean nodded and slipped out to mingle with the guests and let Elle get back to her photography.