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the portrait, Galen wondered what he would do if he ever lost Isabelle. He wouldn't, he decided. They would die together, as his parents had. He wouldn't let her leave him alone.

By 8 a.m., Ko'Dan had made enough of his "perfect breen" to satisfy his appetite, with plenty remaining to comprise the gift for the Narn captain. He gave them the excess as "samples," reminding them again of the keys to making great breen.

They left the remaining ingredients for Ko'Dan, and he bid them happiness and long life.

At the door, Isabelle hesitated. "Have you ever been to a fortune-teller?"

"A strange question," Ko'Dan said. "I went only once, the night I met Na'Rad. I asked if she might ever love me. The fortune-teller said yes, if I bathed more often! I was bathing three and four times a day until she agreed to mate with me."

Isabelle smiled. "Was there a reason you chose that particular fortune-teller?"

Ko'Dan's eyes narrowed in curiosity. "This teller was not well known, but I passed her table every day in the market. It was unadorned with the trappings used by so many- the lace, the cards, the nonsense. Those things came from the Centauri influence. Because of that, I suppose, I felt she could be trusted."

Galen exchanged embarrassed glances with Isabelle. They should have researched the tradition more thoroughly.

"I know of no fortune-tellers here," Ko'Dan said. "Did you want to consult one?"

"I was curious," Isabelle said.

"One look and I can tell you two will be very happy together," he said.

"Thank you," she said.

When he closed the door, they both laughed again, for no particular reason, then began racing toward the tube with their precious gift of breen. Morning had come, and as they dodged through the cold, busy streets, Galen found he could
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