Mehrnaz of Pator and Lusak of Rak live on the planet Hejmen. They fall in love when they meet at a ball in Rak, but her parents wish her to marry Dromarn, heir to the dukedom of Marn. On their first meeting Dromarn lays down the rules for their married life and how his wife should behave. Mehrnaz informs her parents she wishes to marry Lusak, but her mother has no intention of allowing her daughter to marry a second son and refuses to allow Mehrnaz and Lusak to meet. The couple plan to elope but to meet Lusak, Mehrnaz must cross the desert alone.
The mattporter couldn't take the Pator party all at once and they were lifted to the sky castle in groups. Up in the castle the noble family of Rak had already greeted Duke Osrat and his family, now Tikat and his family moved forward.
Duke Davak, his wife Elisette and their three sons waited to greet them. Patak, the eldest, stood with his wife just behind his parents. Dernak, the youngest stood to one side, trying not to cough. He looked quite sickly and Mehrnaz turned to look at the other son. Her breath caught in her throat. Lusak, the Duke's middle son, looked exactly like the heroes in her books.
Dark auburn hair curled down to his collar, while his skin glowed with a tan which told of a life spent mainly outside. He caught her looking at him and winked at her.
"Mehrnaz. Mind your manners."
Her mother's nudge brought her back to her duties and she curtsied to the ducal family then moved on with her parents. Servants arrived to show them to their rooms. As they left the main dock, Mehrnaz glanced over her shoulder. Lusak watched her and this time he grinned at her and mouthed the word later.