old men and young princes

Description:

Henrich Av Norr

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Warlord
  • Played By: dergon

    Glacia Kaeleer
    14 Posts    201 marks
old men and young princes
« on: May 17, 2019, 08:20:28 PM »

At first he'd been afraid they had done something especially stupid. Lost and found again, Henrich was used to that game with Iskra. If the girl wasn't running off, or trying to sneak on ships headed out of Glacia, she was hiding in the garden, or once, in a linen closet. Henrich could still remember the maid's scream. This was different. Not the usual pouting or raging.

It gave him chills and made him chase her with probes and send looks at Honey until both could reassure him. Not broken then. Just... Henrich didn't know what. And he didn't pry, question put to neither queen. It wasn't his way. Neither would have given him a straight answer - if Iskra had answered him at all, the little harpy. Instead Henrich went to the source.

Best to know what was happening when he'd asked Perry to come and take care of their little problem witch. He didn't need the Ebon-gray warlord chafing his ass over whatever was going on.

Henrich rode, to give the danger prince time to prepare. Shaggy pony breaking the crust on the road with his hooves. The sound was pleasant, even if Henrich had never much cared for travel on horse back. Give him a swift ship and a strong Wind any day. But that would just be asking for more trouble than he was already walking into.

Looping his reins over a scrawny, leafless bush, Henrich kicked books on the front stoop and gave Danger a good prod on the Red. *Open up, prince.* Teeth parting his beard as he smiled, Henrich tried to appear unassuming. He had no interest in being shouted into oblivion. He had girls to finish raising, and queen to finish serving.

Danger

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • prince
  • Played By: Jones

    weapon of mass destruction
    Glacia Kaeleer
    63 Posts    575 marks
Re: old men and young princes
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 09:22:32 PM »
To bed. That was the plan. To bed until he wasted away to nothing. It would only take a few days with the Ebon-gray clasped in his hand. Once he reached the room, however, all he could smell was Iskra. Her humiliation a stain on his walls. The faint whisper of lust on the blankets. Which were damp from his damp pants. Stripping down he piled his clothes on the hearth. Warm stone heating them until they steamed. The sweater would shrink, but the rest would be fine.

Danger didn’t care. He tore the bedclothes from the mattress. Dragging them out into the living room where a bucket was called in. He heated water by the pot full on the stove since he knew other way. Dumping a box of soap shavings in to soak with the blankets and sheets and pillow. And the cleaning only escalated from there. All done by hand, no hearthcraft in his repertoire.

He scrubbed the walls. From ceiling to baseboard. Hot water turning his fingers red as he shoved an old rag across every surface in the room. Floors, fireplace, all of it. There was something cauterizing in the motions, the work, the burn it put in his muscles as he caught the dust that lived between the planks on the floor. While it stopped his sniffling, it didn’t help the smell. Rooted in a plane he didn’t know how to clean every footstep and touch sat heavily in the room. And the armchair in the living room sat squat in its corner looking very judgmental. So he dressed again, boots heavy on his feet as he dragged the emptied laundry tub upstairs to hang its contents.

There was a chill that slithered up the sleeves of his coat and through the seams of his trousers. His nose turned red. Then his eyelids. Leaking nose turned to tears as he watched white whales in the distance blow spray into the air. It was a good place for fresh air, crisp as it might have been. It was also a good vantage point. Eyes tracking the approach of a pony rider as the figures swept over a hill. Licking his chapping lips Danger went down.

No one came so far out of the city without a reason. Not to his lighthouse. So he could only assume they were there for him. A punishment? A formal severing of his acquaintanceship with Isk- the Lady? All the aching in his heart felt hollow now. Face soothed with water at the kitchen sink he dried it on his sleeves. Meeting the door just before he was caught on the Red. *Lord Henrich,* He greeted flatly. Door opened wide to invite the old warlord into the humid scent of soap and misery. *are you here for her mittens?* They were called in from his cabinet. One found on the stairs, and one in his bedroom. Neither worse for having resided alongside his bubble trapped sobs.

Henrich Av Norr

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Warlord
  • Played By: dergon

    Glacia Kaeleer
    14 Posts    201 marks
Re: old men and young princes
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 09:59:49 PM »

*None of that, young man.* No one but idiot foreign dignitaries called him Lord Henrich. *Her what?* Eyebrows bristling, Henrich looked down at the mittens offered to him and laughed. *No, but Iíll take them if need be.* And he did, slipping them from Dangerís hand and tucking them away. Folded in half and slipped into an inner pocket on his thick coat. Wool and seal skin with a high collar. It had served him well for several years now.

Passing into the old lighthouse, Henrich took his time looking around. Head twisting about on his neck, body rocking from heels to toes. But his eyes didnít much leave Danger. The boy looked like hell. Or something that had been run over by it. Humming to himself, he fanned his coat, hands clasping the front seams. *Nice place you have here. Very tidy.* And freshly scrubbed. It smelled of soap and hot water. The air tasting of something like desperation. It made Henrich uncomfortable.

Something had obviously happened between the two. If the harpyís behavior hadnít warned him, the lingering discomfort in the lighthouse would have. *The stairs look practically new.* Tone conversational as he tried to judge Dangerís mood. Make sure he was calm and not simply simmering beneath his wet eyed expression. Henrich really didnít want blown to fuck. Especially not for Iskra.

Poor fucker. Henrich took mercy on him. Body relaxed as he moved toward small window and took a peek outside. *So. What happened?* He asked as if he were commenting on the weather. Henrich looked over his shoulder, dark eyes sympathetic beneath his eyebrows.

Danger

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • prince
  • Played By: Jones

    weapon of mass destruction
    Glacia Kaeleer
    63 Posts    575 marks
Re: old men and young princes
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 11:10:45 PM »
Eyes widening around the corners Danger pressed the inside of his lower lip down with the tip of his tongue. *Alright, sorry then.* Not Lord Henrich. Just a fool dancing around rules he didnít understand. Again. Stomach flipping wheels he tried his best to give the older warlord an opening. To just have out with whatever message he was there to deliver. Banned from Court? City? Territory? Shoulders hitched in the middle of his back he gave over the mittens- and his only excuse to see Iskra again.

*Might as well.* He told them both. She didnít want to see him, or be seen by him. Scratching a hair free from the salt on his forehead he stood awkwardly near the foot of the stairs. Waiting while Not Lord Henrich took a long look around the broad cylinder that built up the lighthouseís center. Or pretended at it. Eyes flicking back and forth as if he expected Danger to implode while he watched.

Truth be told he felt like he could. Barriers bruised by the waves of emotion they could not hold back. Keenly aware that he wore his heart was on his sleeve compared to most Blood, Danger fidgeted under the attention. Gentle as it was. *Thanks. Canít take much credit, really.* He had done some repairs. Paid for others. Maintained the place after. Swept the floors when he remembered. But the aptitude of building design and material were done by someone much wiser than he ever thought to be.

Feet shifted towards the inner door he was a breath away from inviting him in. Perhaps he thought it best they sit before breaking into hard news. Before he could offer, Not Lord Henrich commented on the stairs. Swaying slightly with the half taken step Danger rubbed the back of his neck. *They were sealed well when the place was built. I just sanded them and refinished the wood.* He said. It didnít perk him up, but the passion he put into the restoration was an obvious undertone to the words.

Not Lord Henrich had moved off to peek out of the window. Turning his back to him Danger wondered if he was waiting on more men. Send someone familiar to gauge the volatile temper. Then let them know he was being distracted. How ironic would it be, he thought, to die for doing something he had enjoyed when he had tried so hard to die for things he had not. Distraction or not the question rippled through Dangerís gut and made his throat thick all over again. *I- made her mad?* He asked. Did Henrich know? How much had Iskra said? When she said no one knew about her extra features, did she mean no one at all?

*Or made her embarrassed? I donít know anymore. She was- I found- itís complicated.* He lamented. Chin stroked by nervous fingers as he tried to remember the order of events. Words picked and discarded because he didnít want to say too much. When he ran out of ideas he simply turned to the warlord with his eyebrows tipped sadly towards one another. Frown pulling the ends of his mouth down. *She didnít let me take her home. I donít think sheís going to come back, either.* Not with how thoroughly she had said goodbye.

Henrich Av Norr

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Warlord
  • Played By: dergon

    Glacia Kaeleer
    14 Posts    201 marks
Re: old men and young princes
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2019, 07:54:45 AM »

There was something in the young men of Glacia. Off center and off set, Danger seemed to sway in place, and inside. All ate up by whatever had happened between him and the little harpy. It was in the air, drifting up from the floor boards. And radiating off the prince. Henrich had seen it before. That sick sense of dread in young men when they'd done the wrong thing or spoken the wrong words with a girl, queen or not.

Queens just made everything worse. And more wonderful.

*You did a good job.* Other young men floated past Henrich's eyes. Tall and strong with a passion for things. Wood. Ships. Freedom. Heights. Battle. Women. None half so shrinking as this prince. He was like a living nerve, throbbing with worry. And beneath that was the ever present danger. Henrich did not forget. Frightened dogs often bit without meaning to.

He leaned against the wall beside the window as Danger tried to explain. All his misery flooding to the forefront. Henrich didn't know what could have been so bad. There was no violence in the air. Just a mixture of emotions overlaid by soap. He couldn't tell them all apart, but he knew the feel of violence. He'd walked and waded the killing fields, and stood in the aftermath.

Palm up, Henrich shrugged. *We all do from time to time.* Mad was not enough reason for this sort of anxiety. The boy couldn't be so new as to think a little anger would lose him everything, especially from a queen. Though they could be terrifying in their anger. And Iskra was furious little bitch when she got worked up.

Danger stuttered on. Embarrassed. Mad. Henrich nodded, thinking he understood now. Somehow the little games young ones got up to had gotten out of hand. One of them not ready enough for the plunge. Or one too ready. The prince tried to explain while maintain his queen's privacy. Henrich had to commend him on that. Some liked to brag, he knew, having had to drag enough young escorts off by the ear to give them a stern talking to.

And if that didn't teach them, bits of gossip always found themselves to the girls for mutual spreading.

*It's alright, prince. You shouldn't be telling your lady's business.* Henrich smiled at him, pushing off the wall and clapping the poor bastard on the shoulder. *I've never known the girl to not do something. We always know to expect trouble come day four.* He gave the lad a little shake, and jerked his chin toward the door Danger had been about to walk through earlier.

*Got somewhere to sit down in there?* He asked, amusement rumbling across the thread. *I'll tell you a bit about queens. Especially this little harpy we have masquerading as a healer at court.* Not coming back. Poor idiot boy. Henrich had a little bit about being a man to tell Danger about too.

Danger

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • prince
  • Played By: Jones

    weapon of mass destruction
    Glacia Kaeleer
    63 Posts    575 marks
Re: old men and young princes
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2019, 12:33:44 AM »
Lips pressed together in a wistfulness expression Danger wished he could explain it outright. Perhaps then Not Lord Henrich would understand. If anyone would have advice, it would be Eydis’ guard master. The situation was just so… unique. Even if he had known every social nuance expected of him, Danger was sure he would have fucked that one up regardless. There had been a lot of hurtful looks and words in Danger’s life. From fear to hatred. Iskra’s eyes as she mouthed the word betrayal was the worst of them all.

When he had struggled and failed to get the point across he gazed over at Not Lord Henrich in silent question. Eyebrows low across his brow then turned up where they nearly met above his nose. At the very bottoms of his pocket his thumbnails clicked nervously over his index fingers. Felt but not heard. By Danger at least. He didn’t budge as the warlord shouldered up from his lounging. Though he did give a hard twitch at the unexpected thump.

Men were rarely so amicable with Danger. It made him anxious. Too raw still to be glad for the understanding in the old sky captain’s eyes. *You would know better than I.* Who and what Iskra got up to. Knew her better. Most people, he realized, would. They had not felt like strangers, even when they first met, but now he felt it down to his bones. All the unknowns they had rushed through. One desperate for… pleasure? Adulthood? He didn’t know. He recognized now that he had been desperate for the attention. The wanting to be wanted. Her boldness.

*Of course. Sorry.* Glad for the disruption of the topic. He didn’t want to breed false hope that would be doubly painful later. Not Lord Henrich’s interest in staying did just that, however. If he thought Danger beyond Iskra’s forgiveness, he wouldn’t be offering. Unless he supposed Danger might be useful to his own queen. *Should I open a bottle of whiskey then?* Then asked- only half joking- as he slumped over to lead the way into the house part of the lighthouse.

The floor still had a damp ring where the tub had been situated. Equidistant between the three armchairs that made up the bulk of his sitting room furniture. He chose for himself the most slender. Because it sat in a conversational angle to the best chair in the room. It’s low arms and slight recline perfect for resting, or stroking kittens masquerading as girls to climax. That smell, at least, had dissipated in the time since. *You didn't bring a lynch mob so I assume she made it home safe?* He finally asked as they crossed the room. Unable to contain the worry in his chest anymore.

Henrich Av Norr

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Warlord
  • Played By: dergon

    Glacia Kaeleer
    14 Posts    201 marks
Re: old men and young princes
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2019, 08:16:21 AM »

The boy was having a pout, Henrich realized, stuffing a smile into his beard so as to not insult the prince. Their fight must have been a mighty one for both to be so out of sorts. Iskra, at least, should have had better sense than to run off and leave her male so shaken up. Henrich would have to whisper in Eydis' ear that the girl needed a good spanking, if she wasn't getting one already.

*I have known her some years, it's true.* He did not know her well. Not the inner workings that made up the girl. Henrich had just grown to know what to expect. The pattern in her behavior apparent, even if the drive behind it was not. Shaking his head, Henrich followed the slouching prince into the next room, which smelled even more strongly of soap. *It couldn't hurt.* Harpies were exhausting business. A fortifying drink might be useful.

Henrich sat himself in the chair across from Danger, elbows to knees as he leaned forward rather than reclining. It would take to long to escape that way, and with Jewel's like Danger's Henrich would need every second he could get. And would probably still die anyway. *No one would blame that on you, Danger. We're all used to her escapades. All of which she's returned unharmed from. Sometimes I think a mishap would do her good.*

Remind her that healer queen or not, she was still as mortal as the rest of them. *Damaged escorts don't seem to have the same effect.* No wonder the Darkness had tied her to a male like Danger. He was probably the only man in all the realms willing to suffer her absolute disregard, since he had no one else. *But yes, she is safe at home, shouting at my lady about things I was not allowed to hear.* Rattled. Pensive. Not at all herself, but home. Having a tantrum with the one person willing to tolerate them.

Honey understood in a way Henrich was incapable of.

*Service is not always easy, prince.* Henrich cautioned. Maybe the boy wasn't suited to it. He'd never be safe for court life, and Eydis was unlikely to let her apprentice run off to live like a hoyden in a lighthouse. But he was still a queen's man, whatever else he was. *Brilliant as they are, queens are not always wise. Or peaceful.* Or pleasant. It was why he treasured his own so much. She had brains and sense. Henrich didn't always agree with her, but she had never failed him.

Iskra was a whole different creature, and he did not envy Danger a lick.

Danger

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • prince
  • Played By: Jones

    weapon of mass destruction
    Glacia Kaeleer
    63 Posts    575 marks
Re: old men and young princes
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2019, 01:49:11 PM »
Some years. While Danger couldn’t claim more than a month. Sucking bitterness from his inner cheeks he nodded his head. Jealous of those years of knowing. Of the knowledge itself, not the time lost because he had been more of a danger then. He just wanted that calm collection the older warlord embodied. It seemed much more comfortable than feeling as if he were about to rip apart at the seams. Not that it would have mattered if he did. There was probably nothing left to fall out.

Since he had none of that composure he poured a stiff glass of it for them both. Passing one across to Not Lord Henrich he sat up straight in his seat. Knees eager to bounce but elbows holding them down. His question lingering briefly as they sipped at the potent liquor he had found at the bottom of the last picnic basket she had brought. The most recent crate was left in the middle of his bedroom. Where it would stay a long while before he had starved to the point of touching any.

Eyebrows puckering in confusion he lost the fight against a restless right leg. Glass clasped tight to keep it from sloshing out he eyed the old warlord warily. If he wasn’t here for punishment, then why was he here? The fact that he had come at all meant the Master of the Guard knew that Danger had upset Iskra. *Please don’t say that.* He said plaintively. *Even if its the truest thing I’ve ever heard.*

She did need a good scare. Maybe his greedy eyes and hands had done the trick. Before he could catch his forehead in his head to banish the thoughts Not Lord Henrich spoke again. With a guilty flush he thumbed the rim of his glass, killing the rest of the whiskey inside in a single shot. *She said he was fine. I tried to apologize, too, but he was afraid of me.* Not unexpected, or unusual. The offer to share a link rejected with wide eyed disbelief that Danger would even try. Maybe she had been fibbing about his recovery. Maybe that was why Not Lord Henrich had come.

*Shouting?* So she was still angry. And hurt. Sadness and guilt folded over themselves inside of Danger’s stomach. Shoved low in his gut where he hoped to feel them less. Lips parted on a deep breath he had to regulate to keep from rattling the house. Iskra was home, safe, where she belonged. There was nothing he could do about the shouting. *I doubt its anything you want to hear, anyway, sir.*

Glass vanished Danger dug his fingernails into the fabric lined arm of the chair. Any stuffing it had been padded with was long gone. His blunt nails hung against the worn threads though, giving him something to look at other than Not Lord Henrich. He picked at a strand until it came loose. Trying not to focus on the stinging words that ground against his heart. He felt the heat under his cheekbones trying to prickle up to his eyeballs again. Breathing through his nose to keep it at bay he offered a short shake of his head. *Service is for men that can serve.*

Not for Dangerous Princes.

*She’ll get there. When she stops getting in her own way.* His tone was too flat to be defensive. He did think Iskra was brilliant. That she didn’t have to be peaceful or wise to be a good person. Which was what he assumed made a person a good queen. But he didn’t know for sure. His whole life had been spent an arms length from everyone. And every time he had found that boundary crossed it had ended badly.

Faking a sigh that wobbled his chair Danger rolled his shoulder at the old warlord. He didn’t want company anymore. He wanted to curl up in his bed now. The way he should have done from the start. *You didn’t ride up here to admire my staircase or pretend I was fit for serving a queen that’s probably still shouting about my bad manners. So why did you?* Service was for men that could serve, was why. And Not Lord Henrich did serve. He was here to see the other side of the story. Making sure Eydis knew all of the angles. Then maybe he would be punished. Or banished.

Fingertips numb he tried to imagine leaving Odense behind. It made his heart patter weakly in his chest. The lighthouse was not much. Or really his. When he saw it on the horizon after a hard day of earning small coins that didn’t feel like the case though. And unlike other places he had lived the things he put inside felt like they belonged there, instead of like small intrusions on someone else’s space. From the very top he used to watch the City in the distance and feel less alone in the world. Even if now he knew looking would only make him think of one person. He still didn’t want to leave. To be further away from her. If distance helped her hurts then he would go without complaining. *Will it be better for her if I leave?* To where he didn’t know. He had skirted a few of the major cities, which seemed to tolerate him best as long as he never came too close. The Darkness wouldn’t take him yet, he had tried. Maybe Glacia was never supposed to be his home. Maybe no place was.

Burying his woes in the palms of his hand he rubbed the emotion from his skin. Wishing the soap scent could clear it away the same as it did the dirt between his floorboards. *I told her I didn’t know how to be around people and she didn’t listen.* A bad idea! He’d told her at least a dozen times.

Henrich Av Norr

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Warlord
  • Played By: dergon

    Glacia Kaeleer
    14 Posts    201 marks
Re: old men and young princes
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2019, 07:29:27 AM »

The poor boy. Henrich couldn't help but laugh at home. Fingers smoothing his beard down to muffle the sound, even if Danger couldn't hear it anyway. He already had a good idea about his little queenling it seemed. Henrich was glad. He didn't want the lad full up on false hope. Though some hope seemed needed. He was a sad one.

*He is. Don't you worry about him. Or that girl of yourself getting herself hurt.* She did need it though. Or a good spanking. Honey wouldn't let him dole one out however, so Henrich bowed to her greater knowledge of fledging queens and contented himself with training his captains and comforting any escorts that came whining to him about misuse.

Henrich nodded. *That girl is always shouting. You wouldn't know, not being able to hear her. I doubt she has a speaking volume below loud, even in the sick room.* Henrich didn't call her a harpy without reason. She was rude and bossy. Young enough still to think volume would drown out sense and get herself heard. He just left her to her fits like he'd done with his girls as toddlers.

They'd grown out of it. Henrich wasn't holding out hope Iskra would do the same.

*And you think you can't serve?* Henrich asked, holding his glass out for refilling. He pointed a thumb to Danger's. The boy needed another as well. Help wash some of that bitterness down his throat. *Who is supposed to keep her from getting her way, do you think? These poor young fools trying to escort a harpy that outranks and out smarts them? Or a prince who knows better, and can withstand her?* He tipped one eyebrow at Danger.

It wasn't all court parades and politics. Sometimes it was just one, good, stubborn man at a queens back. Though losing one might do Iskra some good too. Having Danger was much the same as having her way. Henrich had seen her possessiveness of him. Body trying to shield him from others.

He really wanted to know what had happened, but Henrich knew not to ask. Danger had made it clear he wouldn't tell. Keeping the business between him and his queen between them. Just as he should. Stupid boy, thinking he couldn't serve.

*I came to make sure you were still alive after dealing with that whirlwind of a girl.* He drank his whiskey down and set the glass aside. Alive but miserable. Henrich pitied him. *Give it time. It'll blow over like any storm.* Pushing himself from his chair, Henrich risked a pat to the boy's shoulder. *Women, and queens especially, are terrible, wonderful creatures. So no, leaving won't help.* Unless he wanted free of her. Henrich stood back and squinted at him.

*You can run if you want, but she's tried to steal ships before for less reason. But if you told her you want to break off, she'd have to respect it. Bond or not, a man is not required to serve. Don't let her bully you into anything you'd rather not.* It would serve her right. Maybe then she'd learn her lesson that people were more than whatever she wanted them to be. They were people in their own rights with hopes and dreams same as her.

*She never does, I'm afraid. Thinks she knows best, like all queens.* The good ones learned to pretend at listening, at least. And the best ones grew to do it earnest, like his Honey. Even if she didn't always take his suggestions, Henrich at least knew she listened when he voiced them.

 

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