even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight

Description:  arundhati shirazi   fal 

Bhaskara Shirazi

    Blood Opal to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Aster

    Consort to Queen Arundhati
    Hayll Terreille
    8 Posts    0 marks
even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight
« on: June 09, 2019, 11:30:15 AM »

Over the last century, Bhaskara Shirazi had attempted to take a more hands-off approach to his...business. In part, it was because of the shift he'd been making since just before the start of what he privately dubbed The Witch Wars; moving from a drug trade to a somewhat more respectable smuggling trade, at the time dealing mostly in food and medication and other supplies. The larger portion, however, had been because of an unanticipated change in his own personal circumstances. Namely, in meeting and bonding with Arundhati Valli and, after the war, marrying her.

As most Hayllian marriages, it had been a business arrangement more than anything else. Hati was a Queen whose family was looking to make a connection to a stronger, older, more powerful name; Bhas was a Warlord Prince with a powerful name, but from a secondary family branch who was being pressured to submit to a match - it had made sense to make their partnership more official, since it was an arrangement that suited them both. After the war, they had relocated to Ajmer - a province that had been held by some relative of his new wife's. Bhas had settled easily into the Consort's duties, particularly since he'd basically been carrying out that role (sans sex) since they had met. At first, it had made sense to scale back his business so as to focus on the dealings of the Court. He'd made enough in personal wealth to support his family for as long as necessary, should the Shirazis withdraw their support again.

Recently...Bhas had found himself looking at his Queen, his wife, differently. He wanted to be home (home) more and more often, and not just because of the need to fulfill his Court duties, or to prove to Hati that he was capable of supporting her and a child in more than just the financial. Hati had been his best friend since their meeting during the war, and that friendship had formed a solid partnership and a healthy, supportive, marriage. It had also, at least on Bhaskara's (rather surprised) part, grown into a steady kind of love and he found himself actively missing her, whenever he was in Imphal.

All of which explained why he was coming home a day early - and arriving just past a civilized hour. He'd come up with some excuse for Hati, but the truth was he hated stretching out in an empty bed. He missed the way her cold feet always found purchase between his knees, and being able to reach out and touch his wife, just to reassure himself she was there. More than anything, Bhas missed the little rituals they'd found that brought them into each other's paths over the course of a day. It wasn't a passionate marriage, that would never be Hati's style, but they had made it theirs.

His second-in-command had called him a sap, before telling him to just cut loose and go home early; Bhas hadn't argued with either the label or the dismissal.

The house was more or less quiet when Bhaskara approached it; the late hour - just after midnight - meant most of the Queen's home village was settled in for rest. Hati's people worked as hard as she did, and almost no one stayed up into the night unless they were on watch - or the Steward trying to manage his pile of paperwork. He didn't see any guards, but that didn't mean they weren't there. Bhas waited on the doorstep of the building, key in the lock, until he heard the low rumble of a tiger's growl. (In the back of his mind, he could hear his cousin's youthful, excited, voice explaining to him that you could hear a tiger's roar from up to two miles away.)

*Easy, Wagdoh* Bhas sent on a private thread. *It's just me, you can go back to watch, or sleep. I'll take care of the Queen now.*

He could feel the wariness shift to a warmth of welcome and approval as the tiger registered that his friend, the man who had helped raise him, had returned to the Queen's Residence. Bhas smiled at nothing in particular as he turned the key and unlocked the front door; the wash of the Red shield just inside warm against Bhas' skin as he waited for his brother-in-law's spells to recognize him, and then he stepped inside. It was just as quiet here, and that made Bhas hum in low approval, a sound not unlike those Wagdoh had been making just moments before. He vanished the key, and physically locked the door behind him while he toed off his shoes and vanished those as well.

The path to the Queen's room, connected to his own, was so familiar that Bhaskara made the journey in the dark easily. He entered the Consort's room first, where he summoned the packs from his journey and left them on the bed he'd used only rarely in the last half-century since Hati had begun inviting him to her bed regularly. Now it was as much his bed as hers, a thought that made him smile to himself as he shed the dirtied clothes from his day, and ducked into the bathroom for a quick wash.

It would be unfair to expect his wife to be clean when she got into bed, if he didn't also do the same.

Once that little ritual was complete, Bhas wrapped a towel around his hips, and padded quietly into his wife's room, closing the connecting door between their rooms behind him. He approached her side of the bed, bending to drop a gentle kiss to her forehead. "Hey, it's just me." Bhas kept his voice low, hoping not to startle her. "I just wanted to let you know I'm home."


Arundhati Shirazi

    White to Tiger Eye
  • Healer Queen
  • Played By: Fal

    Ajmer Province Queen
    Hayll Terreille
    10 Posts    0 marks
Re: even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2019, 01:28:05 PM »
The day hadn't been a total waste, Arundhati decided. Nor had it been particularly productive -  at least, not in terms of the things the Healer Queen meant to have accomplished. She hadn't found any new leads on where the twins had run off to, the ground had been too hard for her tired hands to work, and she had yet to come to a decision as to how best to break the news - any of it - upon his return, in a day or so.

With a heavy sigh, Hati stretched, then slumped back into the chair behind her desk. She reached into the darkness at her left until her fingertips connected with a scruff of soft fur, soon replaced by the drag of whispers, then a warm dry nose, then a fuzzy round ear. Wagdoh uttered a soft chuff as he leaned into the touch, the twitch of his tail disturbing the curtains at Hati's back.

"What do you think, Wagdoh? Time to turn in?" She already knew what the tiger thought, but his grumble of approval was the extra push the Queen needed to rise from her seat. According to Wagdoh, it had long since been time for bed - for her to go to bed, anyway. Unfortunately, all of his valiant attempts at staying the workflow in Hati's office - hiding her apprentice's slippers beneath a nearby bench, using his tail to accidentally knock a stack of papers off his Queen's desk - had been thoroughly thwarted by Arundhati's honed ability to blow past any diversions and carry on with the business at hand.

Now, though, Arundhati had to admit: She'd been nodding off into the book in her lap for at least the last hour, if not longer. The book itself was hardly to blame, full of exploration and discovery - a favorite of her young cousin, Queen Kailash. The Queenling had gifted Hati a copy before leaving Ajmer, either as a token of appreciation or a final jab at how supposedly boring her province was. That it had taken the disappearance of Kai and her brother to make Arundhati read the book sent a pang of guilt through her chest and into her stomach. She had hoped to find some sort of clue within the pages, maybe - some inkling of where a pair of young Hayllian aristos with imaginations beyond her wildest dreams might want to go. All she'd found so far were more reasons to worry.

With care, Hati picked up the old cloth bookmark atop her desk, settled it between the pages of the book, and closed it, before tucking it against her chest. A cursory probe told her that even Gautam had retired for the night. Vihaan…well, it was often more difficult to parse out exactly where her blood-brother was, and what, pray tell, he was doing. She made a point not to be bothered by it; it would only encourage the warlord.

"Goodnight, Wagdoh." Bending over at the waist, Arundhati pressed a gentle kiss to the top of the tiger's head. Then she padded barefoot through the dim light of the room, and down the hallway to her quarters.

It was telling, perhaps, that she noticed the absence of the rituals she and her husband shared. She was too tired to draw a bath for herself - much less, to wake someone else to do so, and be forced to socialize with anyone who walked on two feet - and she hadn't done any proper work the entire day, so there was no real dirt or grime to mention. Besides, she had another day before Bhaskara would be home. She'd make sure the sheets were changed before then.

Still, as she unraveled from her gown, slipped on a thin shift, and sunk into bed, Arundhati couldn't help but wish that her husband's fingers were sinking into her hair, instead, ridding her of the day's worries, and tension, and grime. 

She resented the chill of the blankets, which faded only after Hati had tossed and turned enough times that the friction had warmed them. She soon found herself brightening the slight witchlight that glowed atop her end table, and picking up her book, which rested alongside it. Next she knew, there were lips pressed to her forehead. Arundhati woke with a slight jolt, registering Bhaskara's voice with fatigued confusion.

"Hm - Bhas? You're home early, I thought - oh!" Shifting slightly upright, Arundhati caught the book just before it slipped off her chest; remembering why it was there, she bolted upright and replenished the witchlight that had since gone out, blinking painfully at the sudden brightness before her wide eyes found her husband's, expression grave even as she stifled a yawn.

"Thank the Darkness you're back."

Bhaskara Shirazi

    Blood Opal to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Aster

    Consort to Queen Arundhati
    Hayll Terreille
    8 Posts    0 marks
Re: even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2019, 02:10:04 PM »
Well, damn. Bhas hadn’t meant to wake the woman, and he suspected (with more than a small amount of annoyance) that now she’d woken up, Hati was going to want to get back to work. He frowned slightly as she sat up and caught the book that had slipped off her chest, and then reached over to tug it out of her hand. A small part of him was pleased to think she might have found it as hard to fall asleep alone as he did, but it was a very small part of him, buried under the more pressing annoyance. A sentiment which immediately gave way to concern by the wide eyes and grave expression and rushed words. Had something happened?

Bhas sank onto the edge of the bed, his hand settling on his wife’s blanket covered leg. When he’d reached out to Wagdoh, the big cat hadn’t indicated that anything was wrong; but then again the kindred weren’t as good at sifting through messy, complicated, human concerns - but what could have happened in a week to ruffle Hati of all people? The Healer Queen had managed to get through nearly an entire war without batting an eyelash.

“I didn’t mean to wake you up,” he said slowly, hoping that it was the start of his unexpected early return that had left Hati so unsettled, as out of character as that would be. “Business wrapped up early, and I figured I’d rather sleep in my own bed.”

His thumb rubbed slowly against the blanket covering Hati’s leg, contemplating what - if anything - to say in order to prompt his wife to confide in him what had happened in his absence. “Is everything alright? It seemed pretty quiet when I came in.”

With any luck, it would stay quiet, and he could convince her to settle back into bed for a little cuddle before they both fell asleep.

Arundhati Shirazi

    White to Tiger Eye
  • Healer Queen
  • Played By: Fal

    Ajmer Province Queen
    Hayll Terreille
    10 Posts    0 marks
Re: even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 02:37:03 PM »

"Oh, I wasn't asleep." Hati dismissed her husband's near-apology with a flap of her hand. There was a newfound breathlessness in the hushed tone with which she spoke, her heart beating at the steady clip of one who'd just finished a light jog, as opposed to a light slumber.  "Or, rather, I was, but - I've been reading.". Another flap of her hand and shake of her head saw the Healer Queen dismissing herself, too, moving the book from her lap onto the nightstand once more so as to make more room for Bhaskara on the bed.
 
Bhaskara's touch was reassuring, and his weight against the bed served to lift some of the weight from her shoulders, as his presence always did. Yet, it did nothing to quell the unfamiliar anxiousness currently egging on her pulse. That made sense. The Warlord Prince was in large part to blame for the uncharacteristic scrambling of her nerves, despite - or perhaps, because of - his absence. When he asked if everything was alright, Arundhati wasn't surprised, anymore. She'd never been particularly good at lying, nor did she make much of an effort to hide anything from the man sitting next to her. She reminded herself of that fact, and continued.
 
"The short answer is no, I think." Hati admitted, shifting forward so that her legs curled around where Bhaskara sat, leaving her no choice but to look at him. She rested one of her hands atop his own where it now settled against her thigh. "There are…a few things we need to discuss." Her fingers drummed atop her husband's knuckles for a moment as she paused. Arundhati's face went blank for a moment - a tell-tale sign that the Healer Queen was making her standard, singular attempt at finding a more palatable manner in which to deliver the words already on her tongue. Once that had - predictably - failed, she blinked hard, looked Bhaskara dead in the eye, and spoke matter-of-factly.
 
 "There are reports of a head blight affecting most of the grain coming out of Seoni District, I'm pregnant, and the twins are missing." If the list bore any order of importance, Arundhati didn't indicate as much, just pressed her lips together and braced herself for whatever reaction was to come.

Bhaskara Shirazi

    Blood Opal to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Aster

    Consort to Queen Arundhati
    Hayll Terreille
    8 Posts    0 marks
Re: even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2019, 03:14:45 PM »

The Warlord Prince squinted at his Queen and wife; he wasn’t sure which one he was more wary of, as she sat up a little more and settled her hand on his own. It was her contact that kept him from going cold - and pissy - at the short answer no remark; as a rule, Bhaskara tended to be a more even-keeled Warlord Prince, but he was what he was, and that was a man who firmly believed that rules occasionally needed to be broken. On the other hand, if he got too snarly she’d toss him out by the scruff of his neck; he’d seen her do it to Wagdoh once, and the Kindred Warlord was at least twice as heavy as he was.

So instead of snarl, Bhas settled for calling Wagdoh to stay closer to the suite of rooms that served as Hati’s - and his - private residence, and focusing on his darling wife’s expression. She had that look; the one he privately called ‘Healer Belatedly Trying To Learn Bedside Manner’ which wasn’t anything he would say out loud in her presence for any reason. He knew well enough by now, though, to realize that if he simply waited she would give up and say what she was struggling with plainly so that they could tackle the problem head-on. It was part of what made them a good team, and he was reasonably sure that if she was only mildly worried, it was a problem they could tackle in the morning.

Even with that thought on his mind, Bhas immediately began to fixate on the problem of Seoni’s grain; blight here meant rising grain prices across Hayll at best and that wasn’t something the Territory could really afford, even several decades after the war. It took five heartbeats too long for the rest of Hati’s list to catch up to his tired brain.

Pregnant. Twins missing.

Bhaskara went still, eyes lifting from the idle tapping of her fingers against his knuckles, to meet hers. “You’re sure?”

Bhas wasn’t sure; was he asking about the twins, or the pregnancy? It was a stupid as shit question either way. Hati was a fully trained Healer, of course she would be sure if she was pregnant; she also wasn’t much of a gossip, and if she was telling him the twins were missing then they were, in fact, missing. He cleared his throat and tried again. “Hati...one thing at a time. You’re pregnant?”

In its own way, this was the most pressing news; Bhas had wanted to start a family with Hati for nearly half a century now, and he felt a little lightheaded at the prospect that in a certain number of months there would be a small Hati-and-Bhas child. On a less personal note, if the twins were missing and Hati was hampered by an inability to do Craft at a time when the family might be dealing with an emergency where the parameters were unknown, she was far more vulnerable than he was comfortable with. Bhas turned his hand, catching her fingers lightly against his palm.

“How are you feeling about that?”

Arundhati Shirazi

    White to Tiger Eye
  • Healer Queen
  • Played By: Fal

    Ajmer Province Queen
    Hayll Terreille
    10 Posts    0 marks
Re: even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2019, 03:39:17 PM »
The look of intensity on Bhaskara's face wasn't usually so unnerving; Arundhati had long since grown used to living intimately with a Warlord Prince, and she knew the affects her words and emotions could have on even Bhas, who was arguably more even-tempered than most. Fortunately, he kept himself in check, and Hati found herself relaxing back into the slump of her weariness once more, now that the not-secret (which was only a secret because Bhaskara hadn't been there at the time) was out in the open.
 
As Bhas’ eyes met hers, Arundhati gave a faint, apologetic wince in response. That…had not been the most tactful way to deliver any of any of that information, and -
 
Was she sure? Was she sure?
 
"About the grain? No, we had false reports of blight around this time last year, and it turned out to be something much more manageable. Some odd strain of mildew, I think. I'll need to arrange a visit to see for myself, but we have a few options for restoring the crop. Either way, we're saddled with limited yield for the next two major shipments, at least." Arundhati frowned, gaze focused on some point in the darkness as she dwelled on this much more manageable issue, and waited for the rest of her 'news' to catch up with Bhaskara.
 
It was then the Healer Queen realized that he hadn't been asking about the grain; that the question had, most likely, been directed at the two other newsworthy tidbits she had flung in the Warlord Prince's direction simultaneously. Bhas confirmed it with his focused follow up. To be honest, she'd expected him to latch onto the news of the twins, first. She should have known better. Arundhati lowered her gaze as he turned his hand over, and she closed her eyes as his next question reached her. She let out a silent sigh, and shrugged helplessly.
 
"I…haven't felt anything about it, yet." She cleared her throat softly, hoping to rid her voice of at least some of the dishonest tone it had taken. What had she just said about honesty? "It was too early to know, and then it wasn't, but then I got the news about the twins, and Seoni --" Hati sighed audibly this time, free hand lifting to tuck a stray hair out of her face. It immediately fell back out of place.
 
"The point is, it all happened at once, so…I decided to wait, until you were back, to let myself think about it.  To…process." Arundhati gestured at the Warlord Prince, and looked up again. "Then you came back early, and now I'm feeling…" She could feel the tension building in her temples, again. She promptly flopped backwards into multiple down pillows with her eyes closed in an effort to combat it.
 
"I'm feeling as if I need at least one more pillow."

Bhaskara Shirazi

    Blood Opal to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Aster

    Consort to Queen Arundhati
    Hayll Terreille
    8 Posts    0 marks
Re: even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2019, 03:58:39 PM »

Patience was the most important skill Bhas felt he had developed in his century of being a husband; he let Hati talk herself out - about the grain, the pregnancy, the burden she wouldn’t name but hinted at in the spaces between her words. He waited until she had said everything she wanted, and fell back against the pillows she had arranged for reading rather than sleeping. He studied her for a few minutes, and then carefully climbed over her legs to stretch out on the bed next to her.

“I’m sure Guatam has some ideas for the grain,” Bhas said slowly, stretching his arms over his head. “As for the rest of it…”

He let his sentence trail off as he turned his head to look at Hati, taking note of her closed eyes and the slight signs of strain in her face. She was good at so many things, his wife, but admitting to her own stress or unease didn’t tend to be among them. So Bhas scooted a little closer, letting his towel-wrapped hip bump hers. “You’ve got a few options,” he said in the most serious tone he could muster. “You can make do with the pillows you have, you can use me as your extra pillow, or I can plop you into a bath and wash your hair which might help that headache you’re fighting off.”

Now wasn’t the time to press her into discussing her pregnancy, and if there was need for him to assist with the missing twins, Surinder would have dragged him home from Imphal by now - or would beat down his door in the morning - and Bhas was content to wait for that moment. For now, he’d take care of his wife, and let everything else sort out around them.

Arundhati Shirazi

    White to Tiger Eye
  • Healer Queen
  • Played By: Fal

    Ajmer Province Queen
    Hayll Terreille
    10 Posts    0 marks
Re: even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2019, 05:27:34 PM »
It was true: Her adoptive-brother-turned-Steward, Gautam, did have potential solutions regarding the grain and any shortages they would face. Hati nodded in agreement, eyes still closed, hair matting slightly on the back of her head where it rubbed up against the pillows.
 
Her eyes opened when Bhaskara's tone shifted abruptly, trailing to the side where her husband settled against her. The look of seriousness on her face dissipated as soon as he began to list her 'options' - much less daunting options than the ones she'd expected him to offer - and a small grin appeared on her lips, instead. Rather than responding directly, Arundhati simply rolled over onto the Warlord Prince with a particularly graceless flop. One hand tugged at the towel around his hips as she settled her chin against his sternum; once the towel was freed, she tossed it onto the ground and set to pulling down the covers so he could climb under them, too. When that was accomplished, the Healer Queen saw fit to fully ensnare the man in her bed, cold toes curling insidiously into the meat of his much warmer calves.
 
"As nice as a bath sounds, it sounds like too much effort, at the moment. I…haven't gotten very much sleep, the past few nights." She muttered the explanation into his skin, then hastily tacked on an addendum in a futile attempt to redirect. "Unless I smell? I shouldn't, considering I didn't do anything today," That wasn't exactly accurate, but it was certainly how it felt, "But I thought I'd have another day to see clean sheets put onto the bed, so." She smothered a sheepish grin against his chest. "There's a chance you might not want to sleep in your own bed, after all."

Bhaskara Shirazi

    Blood Opal to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Aster

    Consort to Queen Arundhati
    Hayll Terreille
    8 Posts    0 marks
Re: even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2019, 06:15:21 PM »

He hadn’t been braced for his wife’s sudden shift onto him, and a soft oof left him as the air pushed momentarily out of his lungs. Bhas didn’t mind though, and one arm curled around Hati as she worked at the towel around his hips; he shifted his weight to allow her to pull the thing free and toss it to the floor, his eyebrow raising at her as Hati began tugging at the blankets.

“If you wanted me naked, you could have just said so,” he teased, though once again Bhas raised the pair of them enough off the bed to allow her to pull at the blankets, and then he eased his body under them. “Pretty sure I’d have just walked in bare asss-”

The hissing cut off the end of his statement as Hati’s cold toes pressed into his bare legs, but the smile that accompanied the sound proved that the Warlord Prince didn’t mind entirely. In truth, he was relieved that she’d chosen to stay in bed, where she ought to be - it was already so late and his wife was the earliest riser he’d ever had to contend with. She was going to be exhausted later. Bhas ran his hand up Hati’s back, and then down again to smooth the wrinkles he’d left in her nightgown. “I didn’t sleep well either,” Bhas admitted. “I never do in Imphal.”

He let the implication - that she hadn’t been resting enough - slip away as Hati hastened to change the subject. It was generally better to let her think she was getting away with working too hard, since that kept her from actually fighting him when it really was time to take a break. “I think we can make an exception tonight,” he finally said, pausing long enough to tuck the blankets around them more securely, and using the movement to cover the signs of the warming spell he put on them. “I’m too tired to go clear off the other bed, anyway.”

The bed that was in his room, but that was used more often by the tigers than by the man. This was the only bed Bhas was really interested in sleeping in. He bent his head to kiss the top of Hati’s again. “If you didn’t get enough work done today, what did you do?”


Arundhati Shirazi

    White to Tiger Eye
  • Healer Queen
  • Played By: Fal

    Ajmer Province Queen
    Hayll Terreille
    10 Posts    0 marks
Re: even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2019, 10:13:18 PM »

A soft pfft sound escaped Arundhati's lips as Bhas joked about his nudity. She was, maybe, a little too pleased by the way the chill in her feet cut off his train of thought, the grin on her face spreading wider against his skin where he could feel it, if not see it through the mess of her hair. The warmth that blossomed in her chest at the reminder that, even when faced with difficulty, the pair could still share moments of levity, distracted her wholly from the warming spell Bhaskara snuck into the blankets. "Oh, I'm certain that you would have." She teased, pinching him lightly on the side. "I can't recommend waltzing around nude in the winter, though. The last thing we need is for you to catch a chill."
 
At his admission that he hadn't rested well on his trip, Arundhati hummed sympathetically, curling around him a little tighter, one arm tucked between herself and the bed, the other draping over his ribs. She didn't think Bhaskara would abandon her for the other room - when was the last time he'd slept in there, anyway? The last time she'd had a fever? No, even then, he'd slept on the floor - but she was relieved to hear him make an excuse to stay, anyway. She didn't let herself think too hard as to why that was.
 
Instead, Hati leaned into the kiss, sighing in resigned frustration at the question. She pulled her other arm out from under her and crossed it atop the Warlord Prince's chest, then set her chin atop it, fixing him with a beleaguered pout. "Well, I was hoping to get a few more soil samples from the northern edge of the estate, but the ground was too hard. I made a map of all of the places we've taken the twins, and any places I could remember them mentioning they liked, or wanted to go. I sent word to a few of the District Courts where we took Kai and Kal before, to arrange visits, but I didn't hear back from anyone, yet. I tended the greenhouse, though there wasn't much to be done. Then I spent the rest of the time reading that damned book."
 
She paused, nodding to the book she'd abandoned at the side of the bed. The fingers of her other hand drew idle circles into the jut of his shoulder. "What about you? How was your trip?"

Bhaskara Shirazi

    Blood Opal to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Aster

    Consort to Queen Arundhati
    Hayll Terreille
    8 Posts    0 marks
Re: even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2019, 12:01:08 AM »

"Oh, don't worry," Bhas teased. "I'm hot-blooded enough to keep Ajmer's winters at bay, at least long enough to show off and then dive into bed."

As Hati shifted against him, Bhas let his hand run up her back and into her hair, where he slowly began to rub circles against her scalp. It wasn't the full nightly ritual, but the familiarity of the movement was relaxing for him - and, he suspected, for his wife as well. "It sounds like you were busy enough, just maybe not as productive as you wanted to be."

If she'd settled down with a book early enough in the day to be this frustrated about it, Bhas wondered if she'd been driven to it by feeling unwell, or if a certain tiger had made up his fuzzy little mind that his surrogate mother would have her rest now. He made a note to ask the other members of Hati's triangle in the morning - they always had a brief conference whenever one of them had been away, and that was part of the conversation; but he wanted to make sure to ask his wife's brothers as a concerned husband, rather than a Consort. "I'll ask around about the twins in the morning," he said reassuringly. "You know those two, Kalyan's not going to do anything that will put his sister in more danger than they can reasonably handle. We'll know something soon."

His cousin's children were, in many ways, more like niece and nephew to Bhas and his wife; they'd half-raised the twins over the time of their training in Ajmer and it would make sense for their disappearance to upset Hati.

"I'd suggest that my trip was less interesting than your book, but I have no idea what you were reading." Bhas grinned, and tucked his chin against his chest so that he could look down into Hati's face. "Sadly, it was all paperwork and business meetings, and not one bit finding more tiger cubs to bring home."

Bhas let his free hand up to brush several strands of hair from Hati's face. "Feel any better, now?"


Arundhati Shirazi

    White to Tiger Eye
  • Healer Queen
  • Played By: Fal

    Ajmer Province Queen
    Hayll Terreille
    10 Posts    0 marks
Re: even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2019, 01:22:21 AM »
A roll of her eyes was the only reaction Hati gave in response to her husband's cheekiness. She hummed softly in agreement as he spoke of the difference between activity and productivity; that certainly was the rub, wasn't it? There was little the Healer Queen hated more than spinning her wheels, particularly when there were places she wanted - no, needed - to go, metaphorically, as well as physically.
      
"Tomorrow will be better." Arundhati spoke confidently, though she remained somewhat noncommittal as to why or how it would be better. The fact of the matter was, her responsibilities were always easier to manage with Bhaskara there to help maintain balance. She would never deny him the days away he required to keep his business afloat (though, the thought of his balancing Court, business, and family simultaneously, regardless of how very good he was at balancing things, had been both a convenient excuse and a legitimate source of concern whenever the idea of having children had floated through her mind). But Hati would have to lie through her teeth, quite unconvincingly, to claim that her husband's presence wasn't something valued, and reassuring, and helpful.
      
Speaking of reassuring: Bhaskara offered a logic for the twins' safety that Arundhati hadn't allowed herself in his absence. She mulled it over with a thoughtful frown, then nodded slightly, chin digging into her forearm. "I hope so. Queen Abhilasha visited personally to ask after them." That in itself told the Warlord Prince everything he needed to know, she thought. "I did tell her you would see if you could reach them, yourself. Do you still have contacts in Shalador? They think they might've gone looking for - oh." Hati sat up a little suddenly, only then realizing she'd neglected to give Bhas the whole story. To be fair, he hadn't asked for it, seemingly content with saving such things for the morning, when they could discuss it in full. But they were discussing it now - at least, in brief - and so she felt compelled to elaborate while it was top of mind.

"That's the other thing. Ziauddin is presumably away on business in Shalador, and...he took Kalyani with him? I thought it might have had something to do with their recent development projects, and maybe it does, but - they're both completely unreachable, presently." Sinking back into Bhaskarka's chest, Hati looked up at her husband's face, unable to suppress a wry grin despite the concerns still weighing down her features. "If you could schedule your trips around the family's attempts to fall apart, in the future…"

Hati trailed off, eyes closing as his fingers danced their way across her scalp. Relishing the sensation, she kept her eyes closed as she continued. "I'm sorry to hear about the cubs. I hope it went well otherwise? And my book is very interesting. At least, I think it's supposed to be? I was never much one for adventure stories, but it was a gift from Kailash, so, I thought…" Another shrug, then Arundhati turned back onto her side and nuzzled into the space next to Bhas' head on the pillow. She cracked one eye open at his question, uncertain as to when she'd closed her eyes again. She was warm, finally, and her head no longer threatened to ache along with the rest of her.
      
"I do. Much better, actually." Hati took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. There was a beat of silence, before she asked, tone ever-so-slightly hesitant, "How do you feel? About all of it? I - well, this was a lot to spring on you, the very moment you got here."

Bhaskara Shirazi

    Blood Opal to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Aster

    Consort to Queen Arundhati
    Hayll Terreille
    8 Posts    0 marks
Re: even as I wander, I'm keeping you in sight
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2019, 01:01:32 PM »

"It will be," Bhaskara confirmed; he didn't know particularly why, other than at least he would be here to assist her. It was more or less his responsibility as Hati's husband, Consort, and primary escort to help manage her days so that they didn't sit so heavily on her shoulders; his own were much broader, and could hold so much more. His easy, relaxed, manners slipped a bit however as Hati mentioned that Abhilasha had been by for a visit.

It wasn't that Bhaskara disliked his cousin's wife, though they admittedly had very little in common and didn't spend much time in one another's company. Perhaps it was more fair to assert that he didn't trust Abhi. It wasn't personal, of course, simply that a Queen of the Court of Serpents was a dangerous woman and with the revelation that his own Queen was hampered by a pregnancy he hadn't been aware of - it made Bhas unease. Did Abhi know now, about Hati's condition? Bhas struggled to maintain a bland expression, certain that he hadn't taken the correct message from his wife's words. Abhilasha was worried about where her children had vanished off to, and had visited personally to find out what Hati knew. Bhas didn't much appreciate the distant way Abhi had handled her children; it galled him somewhat to think that a mother wouldn't know where her own child would go in a given circumstance. Hell's Fire, his mother could still keep tabs on him, and he'd been a grown man for centuries.

The news that Zia - and his sister - had also disappeared caused Bhaskara's eyebrow to raise slightly. "He took Aly with him? Honestly, she needed out of that pit of vipers, you know Aunt Padma's going to be the death of that poor girl if Kalyani lets her. Hmmm." Bhas mulled this over, and then nodded. "Yeah, that's a good guess on where the twins have headed then. I'll send word to Hasan to start putting out some feelers - now that he's running the day to day parts of the business, I think he'll have more contacts than I do right now."

Bhas smiled at Hati as she sank against him once more. "I suppose I won't be going out and about as much in the near future."

It was as much as he would mention about her pregnancy for right now; Bhas wasn't even sure she was planning to keep it - they hadn't decided whether or not now was the appropriate time to start the family he so desperately wanted, and he didn't want to pressure Hati in any way. As his darling wife rolled off him and snuggled into the pillow beside him instead, Bhas shifted so that he could lay partially on his side and watch her. "I'm alright, sweetheart. You know me, I can take a lot without blinking and most of this we can break down in the morning." He reached out to brush his finger down her nose. "Maybe for your rest time tomorrow, you can read your book out loud to me - or I can read to you. Could be that for the adventure to be fun, you need a partner."

 

Welcome to Witchlight

We are an AU Black Jewels RPG that is continuously expanding the world lore to truly make it our own. Come join us and play in our sandbox!

Open for over a year, we have 9 unique races, from birds to wolf-shifters. Feel free to drop into our Discord, lurk our wanted ads, and see if Witchlight is the fantasy site you should always have been looking for.

We have an RPG Rating of:

Timeline

WINTER - AW102

The seasons will change on 08/19.

Recent Topics

buttons up by Tobias Marasfield
[Today at 05:53:15 PM]


Earn Your Stripes by Paros
[Today at 04:09:38 PM]


First Exposure by Valeska Spearfang
[Today at 03:54:26 PM]


Protectors by Bryson Elm
[Today at 10:57:58 AM]


Spite by Pella Labeau
[Today at 04:51:08 AM]

Chat

Guest Friendly Discord
login & choose a name, no registration required!

Wanted Spotlight

The Second
Eunuch | Open Jewels | Paon
Second Hand to Mother Priestess

Rumor Mill

Credits

Witchlight is loosely based upon the Black Jewels Series by Anne Bishop though it has been adapted and expanded by our members. All lore, characters, and writing belongs to the members. Site graphics & custom codes were created by the staff. A special thanks to Wolf & Katarina for all their help with the planning of Witchlight and the writing of the base lore.

Community Awards Winner