Getting some help for the Masque

See,”  Taliana remembered the first time she’d seen the threads, how overwhelming it was, and yet, so amazing.”complicated.”

She looked back to the ceiling, the green was stretching, where was he going? James looked so concerned, it was sweet.  Had anyone else even noticed that she had spent so little time actually interacting with the guests.  Had anyone else seen her pulled through the doors?

Taliana shook her head and smiled at James, holding out her hand, “I can take those back, this knot isn’t as bad as it looks… when you know what you’re doing.”  He held out his hand, still looking more than a little bewildered and Taliana took it from him.  It untangled relatively easily and she returned it all to its proper place.

“This is what you’ve been doing?”

Taliana nodded her head, “It’s more complicated than that… but I haven’t the time to explain just now.”  She looked back down the hall, towards the party, “I appreciate your concern, I really do, but I’ll be all right,” she hoped that she was being able to hide her own uncertainty and fears, “this is my job.”

“Untangling magic knots?” A blush rose to his cheeks and Taliana gave a small laugh, it sounded so simple when he said it.

“Well, yes.  There’s more to it but…”  She sighed, the last time she had seen James they had been quite young, he was a few years younger than her but had always been up for an adventure when they were little — before their father’s falling out.  She found herself wanting to explain it to him but… there really wasn’t time.  However…

“I’ll make you a deal,”  She shook her head, “I sound like we’re children again, but I promise you this deal shouldn’t end with any injuries.”

James smiled at this, “What can I do to help?”

“I will explain everything I can to you, after the party at some point.  But, to be honest, it’s kind of overwhelming to do this all on my own.  I can’t have you un-knot the threads, not without training, but…”  Taliana leaned against the wall for a moment, glancing up to the threads again, the green was stretching further away.  “Mother’s job used to be dealing with these threads — now it’s my turn.  I’ve been managing them okay, but… I’ve been neglecting the guests terribly.”

“Unknotting messes like that, and managing such a huge party, that does seem like an awful lot for one person.”

“It is.  Father usually managed the guests, leaving mother free to manage the threads.  I thought I could handle it all myself but…” Taliana felt her face grow warm, it wasn’t like her to admit she had taken on more than she could handle, “I’ll explain everything to you if you would help me manage the guests?  Will you play co-host for me?  Circulate the ballrooms, make sure the guests are having a good time, introduce people?”

“I don’t know people to introduce,” James admitted, frowning.

“Well,” Taliana laughed at this, “you simply introduce yourself to a few people, then you will have people to introduce to others. Can you do that for me?  I’d be forever grateful.”

James hesitate for a moment, but nodded.

“Oh!  Thank you!” Taliana impulsively gave him a hug, “I have to keep…” she motioned to the ceiling, the threads, “Thank you!”


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