The Beginning of the End

Description: cole/vesa

Valor Av Odense

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The Beginning of the End
« on: April 07, 2018, 10:34:25 PM »
Shore leave. Valor’s spine hummed with anticipation as he dressed. Not just any shore leave either. Fancy party shore leave that promised a room full of queens! Queens that would need dancing with surely. That alone was enough to make being away from home so near the holiday worthwhile. Add to that none of the queens were related to him and it was basically all he’d ever wanted for Winsol.

Needless to say, he was quite pleased at the prospect. Good thing, too, that he was so over eager he tried on his best suit two days early. At twenty-one he felt certain he should be finished growing. Yet he’d had to ask his dearest Essi to let the suit out across the shoulders. She’d done a brilliant job. In the mirror of his cabin he admired the impeccable stitching. Rolling his shoulders to make sure he wouldn’t accidentally spoil the jacket or embarrass himself splitting it down the back.

White was probably a pretentious choice, but Lady Eydis had promised him it was quite dashing. The padded black lapel and fat bow tie striking at least. He thought it was an overall good effect. Especially paired with thick fur cloak around his shoulders. Brubyr fur to be exact, there was no questioning it. The head was still attached. Resting on his back, it’s teeth glinting in the witchlight orbs as he removed unpinned the ornate silver hawk that kept it in place.

Bright blue eyes scanning the room he smiled at the effect arriving with half his crew had. Their furs drawing attention from the curious. They did not stay in a group for long though. Each finding a point of interest to drift towards. Their captain making a direct path to greet their hostess. Dances, well a dance, promised (but he was very certain one would lead to more). Then he was alone again. For a few minutes. Standing with one ankle tucked behind the other. Long arms crossed over his chest while he surveyed the room for his first dance partner of the night.

He decided quickly. Watching her instead of approaching. His Gray tucked safely away in his psychic cabinet. Only the Green worn, to make sure he was politely approachable. Smile willing, very much, for the pretty queen to do just that. ”Good evening, Lady.” He straightened the moment she was in ear shot. Gliding into a graceful bow. ”I’ll not waste a second pretending, I want very much to dance with you.” She was too pretty not to be swept onto the floor and stay there all night. If he didn’t ask now he’d never get a turn.
⤜yours⟶ ♡ ⟵forever⤛
@dergon

Vesa Reed

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  • Province Ruler of Dendrabelle
    Little Terreille Kaeleer
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Re: The Beginning of the End
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2018, 11:21:43 PM »

It worried her to be there. The press of the crowd. The gleam of the crystal. The wanton displays of wealth and luxury. The emotions. Like the first taste of snow they’d had in Dendrabelle, it broke around her in flurries. Kept her close to Gideon. Turned Vesa into stone. All cold poise with no life underneath.

She felt guilt. For her people. For the crumbling stumps beneath the snow. Did it matter if her gown was demure in comparison? A subtly cut gown in blue charmeuse that appeared simple enough, but had been designed specifically with Vesa in mind. She might have ruled the most bankrupt province in all of Little Terreille, and possibly Kaeleer, but she was still a queen.

No. It probably did not. Not when she still attended the festivities thrown by the territory queen. And had only just read the letters she had promised to reread weeks before. And all their trees were still bitter ash. Hopes and dreams along with them.

So Vesa clung. Let Gideon be the bright beacon. His nature still sweet while hers retreated. Too overwhelmed and too careful to be good company. Flat, dull, rigid. Except she’d lost him somewhere between one table and the next, her escort. A mention of wine and her hand was empty when he swooped in. The eagle from Glacia. He had caused quite a stir upon his entrance. Wearing a bear over his tuxedo.

”Prince.” Too well trained to recoil. Even when faced with a warlord prince who they whispered wore the Grey. Vesa saw only a Green as she returned his bow with a curtsy. Outranked by Jewel in either case. Though her caste remained the forerunner. Her shield when all else failed. And her weapon. A quick glance for Gideon as she smiled. Quite surprised by the offer.

”You do?” The words escaping without her meaning them to. Blindsided, really, by the offer. Especially here, at this ball. Around them a sea of glorious of bodies. Women dripping jewels and wealth. Beautiful women. Striking women. Quite a few of them even queens, such as herself. Yet here he was, this golden haired statue from Glacia settling his attention on her.

”You’re too kind.” Realizing before she’d almost accepted that he hadn’t actually asked. Merely stated an interest. It made her cheeks flush, the idea of such a blunder. And the interest. ”I’m Vesa Reed. You’re the Glacian delegate, are you not?”

Valor Av Odense

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Re: The Beginning of the End
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2018, 04:29:25 PM »
Was she nervous? Valor hoped not. Her curtsy was perfect but something in her demeanor made him feel she was uncomfortable. Was he was crowding? He checked, aware that he was prone to such behavior. They seemed an appropriate distance apart. So he moved down the checklist, softening his smile in case that was the problem. Focus too intense. He couldn’t put his finger on it. Decided it was just the sight of her standing there, elegant but alone. She just seemed so very small; And wary, too. Trying to look, for her consort he assumed, without drawing attention to herself. It plucked at his instincts.

That she might be afraid of him barely crossed Valor’s mind at all. Warlord princes were meant for queens, and vice versa. Besides, she warmed up rather quickly. Lips parting in a gentle chuckle Valor held out his arm to the strange Little Terreillian queen. ”I do.” He answered, not sure why she seemed to doubt it the first time.

”No, lady, just eager to ensure I get at least one waltz with you.” She blushed pretty too. He didn’t even need to know what about. It was a pleasing effect, the way is spread from both cheeks to meet over the bridge of her freckled nose. ”Indeed I am Lady Reed. Forgive me, I should have introduced myself first. Valor Av Odense, Captain of The Falconer.”

He did crowd then, sliding another step closer. Ready to dance but also quite enamored with the idea of talking more. ”Do you hold a court here in Little Terreille?” Or was she one of the other realm queens he had heard were present tonight. He hoped not. Terreille might as well be another planet, he would never have reason to abandon ship to exploring there.
⤜yours⟶ ♡ ⟵forever⤛

Vesa Reed

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  • Province Ruler of Dendrabelle
    Little Terreille Kaeleer
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Re: The Beginning of the End
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2018, 05:37:02 PM »

Vesa opened and closed her mouth. Her fingers walking up her arm in surprise at his boldness. Fingertips brushing the rough skin of her elbow before she dropped them, and let them rest in his instead. There was no reason to deny him. His smile was sweet and his eyes kind, even if his manners were a little strange.

”How can I say no to that?” She matched his laugh. A small chuckle, quieter and softer than his own. Wispy and sweet around the edges. There was such boyishness in his smile! The charm in his eyes all youthful playfulness. But the tingle that ran from her fingertips to her ears reminded her that he was not a boy at all. A young man, but not a boy.

”Yes, I do think I’ve...” Closer, suddenly. Vesa paused but didn’t retreat. Chin dipping toward her throat before she started again. ”I’ve heard of you, Prince uh... Valor.” Odense was the city, she remembered hardly in time. Chin coming back up so she could meet his eyes. So tall! But then most were compared to Vesa, even when she wore heels to elevate her height.

Brushing her hair behind her ears, Vesa reminded herself that she had agreed to dance. It took some measure of close physical contact to accomplish. That was all. He wasn’t crowding. Just attending. Softened a little toward him.

”I do. I rule in Dendrabelle. We share a border, you and I.” Neighbors of a sort. Looked from him to the swathe of waxed floor the other pairs danced on. Swirls of color moving through each other. The band was quite good. The sound soft instead of echoing in the vast space.

Valor Av Odense

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Re: The Beginning of the End
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2018, 08:49:32 PM »
”Politely, if you absolutely must, or my poor heart won’t be able to stand it.” Valor teased, one hand settling on his chest as if he could protect the organ that way. And while she might not have broken his heart by declining he was sure it would hurt his pride. A lot, if he was being honest. He liked being thought of as dapper and charming. Liked it best when it was being thought by pretty girls.

She didn’t flinch as he came closer. Hesitated though. Quiet for a second, eyes lowering. Tilting his head slightly Valor listened with interest. Smile flashing to accompany an almost nervous laugh, ”Nothing to terrible I hope?” They tried to maintain good relations, with their neighboring territories. It could be difficult though. Odense was willing, but not all of the other cities were. He set his shoulders back just a little. So that he wasn’t looking down his nose at the queen.

Pretty. As blonde as any sweetheart back home. There was a glow to her skin though. Healthy and warm. He could imagine her running around in those orchards that dotted their territory.

”Oh? On the last ship I worked, we set down in the rivers of the province a few times. For trading. I wasn’t allowed shore leave then though.” He should have said he’d like to see it first hand. But he was too busy wondering if she’d like sharing more than a border. Eyes slipping down her length as she looked towards the dance floor. Too overtly, he thought, because someone sent buzzing little probes that whispered he should behave. Valor waved a hand to warn them away. He was quiet well behaved! Looking hurt no one. To hide the gesture as she turned back he motioned to the dancers. ”I’m sure you’re dance card is full. Shall we? The men will be rioting for their turn if I keep them waiting.”

He already had her arm, so he started slowly towards the dancers. Waiting for the song to end. Chatting in those last few minutes. ”We do a lot of trade in Odense, with Dendrabelle. I was sorry to hear it was less... successful than usual this year.”
⤜yours⟶ ♡ ⟵forever⤛

Vesa Reed

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    Little Terreille Kaeleer
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Re: The Beginning of the End
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2018, 06:11:38 AM »

”A yes, then, to spare your poor heart.” A wild flatterer. He made Vesa blush, unbelieving. Let him have his jest with a smile. It cost her so little to indulge him. And he seemed very much to be enjoying himself. Drawing closer, too. Especially when she wasn’t looking. The intensity of his gaze felt on the crown of her head.

Warlord Prince. A foreign Warlord Prince, as well. But his laughter was gentle, an edge of nervousness rather than derision in it. Vesa found it harder and harder to think of him as someone dangerous. To her person or her province. He was not her enemy, even if it was too soon to call him a friend.

”Only horrible things, I promise.” It was not much, in truth. Gossip flowed but little of it about their frozen neighbors to the west. Most of what she knew Vesa had learned that very night while traveling from table to table, group to group. Drifting through niceties with Gideon, who she looked for one last time. Spotted not horribly far off, spied mostly by his hair. Heart easing because he was there and safe.

”I remember one or two of those times. I was not allowed ship leave.” Or anywhere near them at all. Seen from the small rectangle of a carriage window. Dubbed ready to see and know but not deal, not directly. ”I am sorry, my joke is a poor one. No one was allowed on the ship, of course. But why weren’t you allowed off it, Prince Valor?” Curiosity directed at him full force. Eyes nearly white when they reflected the witchlight dripping from the ceiling.

He would have been a boy then, Vesa realized. Bit the tip of her tongue and looked elsewhere.

”The men will do no such thing.” It made her shiver to think it though. Little Terreille had drunk its share of queens blood lately. First their territory queen and then the other. Vesa remembered the Grey thread cast her direction. She’d interrupted poor Gideon at his prayers over it. Vesa gave in gently to his guidance. Let the Glacian captain lead her to the edges of the dance floor. His next topic only slightly less distressing.

”The trade table is not always a peaceful, or fruitful place, Prince Valor.” Vesa wished the song would end and the next begin. Surely he did not wish to talk trade and dance. Looked up at him and thought he probably did. She was not made for such romance. It was for books and young girls. Especially with young men. ”Perhaps next year we will he more successful neighbors.”

Doubtful. Vesa could bleed herself the year out and the new trees coming in still would not bloom in a year. At least not enough to bear fruit for Little Terreille and Glacia. Vesa had to look to her own first. Lady Crag was doing the same. Reworking trade agreements, looking farther afield for ways to keep their own from starving. Vesa had been commanded to ease security along the Askavi border.

”Oh I like this one!” She latched on the new song, which was indeed a favorite. Sorry to disappoint him and glad of this new luck. ”Shall we?” Less shy with the music. People were do often happy when they danced. It made things so much easier. Her fingers curled over his shoulder, the heels keeping the reach from being a stretch, her other hand slipping into his. Palm pressed to palm.

Young girls and books, Vesa reminded herself.

Valor Av Odense

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Re: The Beginning of the End
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2018, 12:57:01 PM »
”Drat!” Valor’s nose wrinkled as he laughed. Immersed in the humor as it bridged one subject to the next. Playful rebuttal about his reputation forgotten when she looked around again. Was she afraid and too polite to say so? He cared, he really did! But he also wanted that dance.

She must have found whoever she was looking for. Something in the set of her eyebrows softened, or brightened. He wasn’t sure which way described the subtle change best. Following her line of sight he tried to puzzle out who. It was too hard to tell. The room was not crowded, but there were too many bodies to know for sure which she was eyeing.

He pretended he could tell anyway. ”Your Consort? He won’t mind?” Surely sharing was something they taught apprenticing escorts? If he had been made to learn it in untamed Glacia then it was probably considered basic etiquette in Little Terrielle.

”Aha, yes, they’re far less interesting in person than they seem from the ground.” He told her with a wink. Smaller ships were often crammed with sweaty crewmen that couldn’t be trusted to mind their manners. Or to remain fully clothed when a special guest boarded. It was no surprise at all she had been kept at a distance. By her own people as much as his kinsmen. ”The nature of our assignments means I have a much more trustworthy crew than commonly seen. Perhaps your people would allow a little tour in future.”

Not that Valor would give them much choice if she wanted to see The Falconer up close. The combination of hard stare and sensitive question made him a little bashful. Shoulder rolling up he passed his chin across it with a grin, ”I trained under a very cautious captain.” A warlord with a lighter Green Descent than Valor’s Green Birthright. It was not a thing done to be cruel, just a precaution until he had proven himself capable of controlling his emotions. ”No one wanted any... inter-territory incidents while I was learning to master the, um, I’m not sure how to phrase it.” At least not without making himself sound like some sort of dangerous beast. Which he might have been, maybe, but he didn’t feel like one. He’d never purposely hurt anyone in his life. Blushing then, just along the tips of his ears Valor’s smile twisted up tight at the corners. ”the, ah, - well I’m a warlord prince. I’m sure you understand. I had to prove I wasn’t a risk.”

There was almost enough time to recover before he really blundered. ”No. They will not. I’m sorry for suggesting it even playfully.” Had forgotten like a fool that such horrendous acts had taken place in Little Terrielle. He tucked his arm, and with it the lady, a bit closer to his side. Safe there, tonight at least, while he was watching. Every queen there. This one especially. Because... well he didn’t need a reason. It was just what he wanted.

”Sadly not. Better to be lean with friends than hungry while they prosper without you, though.” A subject he had been warned to tread gently over. To keep his ears open for information but his mouth closed. Odense was not sure how to proceed. More experienced delegates had been passengers on the voyage. It was their duty to work out the delicate details. ”Well placed hope, I should say.”

Valor doubted it would come to fruition, though. They were competitors now. Both scrambling to make deals with the same trading partners. In need of the same thing. At least Glacia had fair hunting prospects and domesticated caribou. They couldn’t stay healthy on meat alone, not in places like Odense where the sun might not shine for weeks at a time. He wouldn’t think of the children that would grow ill or the elderly that would die though. Not here when he was supposed to be having a nice time.

”Yes, lets.” Before the first few chords had finished Valor led the way to a clear space for dancing. With a smile he slipped a hand to the small of her back. Quite politely placed, since polite dancing was the only sort Valor knew. His sister was his usual dancing partner after all. Ensuring he was well practiced and knew all the modern numbers. A moment for them to adjust before he spirited them away. Not a very fast rhythm to follow. Too fast, maybe for lengthy conversation. But a fun sort of tune that kept you on toes.

Much as he enjoyed twirling her on the floor it wasn’t long before he wanted her all to himself again. Somewhere quieter where they could sit and talk. Get to know one another. He spotted him then, though, her escort. Dark hair and lanky limbs. Not hovering, but watching with interest. Grinning at them as they moved across the floor.
⤜yours⟶ ♡ ⟵forever⤛

Vesa Reed

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    Little Terreille Kaeleer
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Re: The Beginning of the End
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2018, 02:55:57 PM »

"My escort, and no, he won't." Gideon never minded, sweet man that he was. Well, only minded if Vesa did. And usually she only minded if he did. So they were well  balanced. He was a comfort, which was why he'd gotten the place he had in her first circle. Tipped a smile at Valor as if she were onto his game, though Vesa was wholly unaware of it.

"Oh, I wouldn't say that." She found them rather charming, and mysterious. Ships floating through the sky like the sea. She'd never actually seen one in flight. His offer made her wonder if she just might. "Well, I am no longer a mere apprentice. Some rules I get to make myself." Never so bold as to wink, but the look Vesa gave him was as good as. It lingered, too, watching the way he squirmed.

"Yes. I understand," Vesa agreed, gently, having listened very patiently to his explanation. "I assume you proved yourself not, being now a captain yourself." Wondered if these manners were hard taught or natural born. He was a bold flatterer, but there was something else about him that didn't quite match. The image it conjured was not a very kind one, but he reminded her of a blustering dog. Coming in fast and loud, but only looking for a good scratch behind the ears.

"No, it is alright, Prince Valor." Vesa soothed him, hand over the arm that drew her closer. Just a touch of queen's craft to show there were no hurt feelings. An honest mistake. He had just been trying to flirt. Vesa was not so young or foolish to not know better. Sensed no hint of malice or threat in the words. Just a playful young man wanting to dance and make her feel pretty.

"No one is looking to let the other starve for profit." But they all had obligations. And their priorities were the same, but in reverse. Valor for his people, and Vesa for hers. Twice so since she was a queen. The failure was a stain on her soul and caste, not just on politics and station. "Hope is always well placed, Prince." Glad to leave the topic behind and be tucked in close.

And lead spinning around the dance floor. Not too fast. Hands polite and his stride nicely matched to her shorter reach. Vesa's cheeks grew flush with the movement. She enjoyed dancing but did not regularly partake in exercise, found herself breathless as the song began to wind down, forehead, briefly, touching a dark lapel, her hand having moved from his shoulder to almost his neck.

He was a good dancer, and Vesa thought about asking for another, after a drink, but he wasn't paying attention. Followed his gaze to see Gideon. Let go of Valor's neck to wave to her escort. Probes closing the space her fingers could not to check and make sure nothing was amiss or that she wasn't needed elsewhere.

"A drink after that, I think, Prince Valor." Looking up as her probes raced off elsewhere. Handsome young man. "If you don't mind." Sure she could handle another pass of the dance floor if he did. Always ready to please when she could. And sometimes when she shouldn't. "That's Lord Loch, my escort." She explained, eyes only a little far away.

Valor Av Odense

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Re: The Beginning of the End
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2018, 12:50:39 AM »
Escort she corrected. The length of Valor’s grin growing. Lips kept tightly closed. Too many toothy smiles made people nervous. He wasn’t supposed to get nervous. His queen had taught him well, taught him how to navigate social graces and interactions with confidence. Nevertheless his hand swept up to pat down hair that was no longer there. Trimmed short, just for the occasion.

Lady Reed shot him with a knowing smile. Made Valor nearly hesitate. Not sure what she thought she knew. Or what he wanted her to think she knew. An excuse to laugh was welcome. Eyebrows whisking up into deep arches, ”Oh-ho very good, my lady. I’m no longer a mere apprentice either. I get to make- and bend- a few rules too.”

What harm was there in showing off the pride of Odense? Their ship was a testament to the glory of the city, and Glacia as a whole.

That look in her eye was back. Sharper now. Valor wondered if maybe she did know something he ought. It had been a long time since he felt any sort of flustered, and he wouldn’t let her get him now. Even if his stomach danced in the pit of him as she agreed. He wanted to heap it on, all the things he’d proven! Tell her about them one by one. They didn’t like that though. Listening to his list of accomplishments. So he rolled a shoulder at her again, ”Proven it several times over, earned the name, and bound myself by blood and will to Lady Eydis who can assure it.”

Safe. Valor was good, he was good at keeping everyone safe and protected. And he was glad they’d kill him if that ever changed.

”I’m still sorry.” He told her again, lip bulging out in one corner as he tucked his tongue hard between it and his teeth. Leaning into the gentle weight of her hand, warm even through his jacket sleeve. Very willing to accept the craftwork. Let it calm his pulsing energy down to something more appropriate. Which was well and good with the conversation taking a heavier turn just before they started to dance.

A good dance too. They were both quite graceful. Even when she got a little pink around the edges. Not a girlish sort of blushing Valor realized right away. Momentary daydreams about wooing her on the dance floor giving way to soft concern. She held on to the end. Held on after the music had stopped. Up until she caught him looking at her escort. Valor could tell. There was an affection in the way he had watched them dancing that gave it away. But no jealousy or lust, just as she had promised. He didn’t seem to mind.

”Of course, let’s find a server.” Valor turned his gaze back down. To the rosy cheeks and way she spoke carefully while catching her breath. Led her back into the softly chatting crowd. Not bothering to look again as she gave her escort a name. ”Ah, what a pleasant looking fellow. I’ll not keep you, Lady Reed.” He could though, a little voice whispered. Could ask her for another dance, or twenty. Hell, could keep her all night if he really wanted to work for it. And he did, in a way, but didn’t too. A warning, perhaps, in the base of his spine. Damn it all, he didn’t know. Didn’t know how to tell himself no. ”I hope you’ll think of me, though, if you want to dance again.”
⤜yours⟶ ♡ ⟵forever⤛

Vesa Reed

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    Little Terreille Kaeleer
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Re: The Beginning of the End
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2018, 10:07:22 PM »

”Yes, thank you.” She very much needed a drink to unstick her tongue. Probes slowly retreating. All was well. No crisis needed her attention. Or court member her diversion. Vesa relaxed as she was lead off the dance floor. Glad it was only companionship and interest that made Gideon linger, watching. She was truly grateful to be so well attended. By Prince Valor too.

”He is pleasant in manner as well.” Quite the comfort. Vesa’s smile faltered, however, as he made his excuses. She sutured it in place, let a single probe linger at his barriers. Perhaps she was too soon winded for his preference. ”Oh, of course, Prince.” She had told herself. Sometimes she did not listen to her own good sense. Too caught up in everyone elses amusement to look to herself.

”I will.” Vesa lied. ”I very much enjoyed our dance.” She released him carefully. She would find her own drink and see to recuperating quietly somewhere. The desire to dance quite gone now. She never did like parties anyway. Too many emotions running rampant for her to be sure of anything. It was all quite overwhelming. Smiling, she tucked her hands into each other. Wondered if it was too early to go home.

”I hope you enjoy your stay in Little Terreille, Prince Valor.” Her fingers criss crossed each other, the flat of her hands pressed lightly to her stomach. ”I will look forward to that tour, the next you’re in Dendrabelle.” A dozen years from then when she had trees again and fruit to pick from them. Knew it wouldn’t be that long, but it felt like an eternity. Even with the new, faster growing tree.

Short lifespan but it flowered sooner as well. Her people and province would survive. Just as Vesa would. Disappointment would not kill her. Besides, he was meant for young girls and high romance. Straight out of a book, that one, with his easy confidence and sweet assurances that he had proven his own safety.

Gideon Loch

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Re: The Beginning of the End
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2018, 11:44:08 AM »

Gideon kept a close eye as Vesa was led from the dance floor. Looking pleasantly flushed from the dancing. Though he doubted anyone would blame her if the color rose up for... other reasons. These Glacians were certainly, um, well built. Hands in his pockets he stood by patiently.

There were plenty of people for him to speak entertain himself with. They had been making the rounds all evening, in fact. Making sure Vesa was enjoying herself was much more important than keeping her on his own arm all night. It was nice to see her a little breathless. He ducked his head in silent acknowledgment as the Glacian captain met his eye. There was no challenge there, thank Darkness.

Ack! And he thought they were hitting it off so well. What was this pup doing? Arms untangling. They both looked rather uncertain. A cool sort of politeness filling the space where linked arms and smiles had been a second before. His eyes flicked from one to the other. The boy must have said something stupid... Now he seemed set to leave her standing there! Well, that wouldn’t do. You didn’t walk away when Vesa wanted you to stay. Any queen really, but sweet-natured Vesa most especially.

Shoes flashing with their fresh coat of polish he sidled up between them. A hand on the small of Vesa’s back to keep her from wandering. The other extended cheerfully to the Warlord Prince. Bowing properly before a quick introduction. ”I must say, the two of you cut a pretty picture dancing. Most graceful pair I’ve seen in ages. I hope you’ll have another? I do enjoy dancing with Lady Reed, but my feet aren’t nearly as sure as yours Prince Valor.”

Or did he prefer Captain? Gideon wasn’t exactly sure how that worked in Glacia. Odd land that it was. Ah well. He hovered, fingers dancing against Vesa’s spine as he waited for another opening. Carefully extracting himself. A fussy probe trying to lure the younger man closer. Nearer. Maybe then he’d see that look in Vesa’s eyes. *It would be polite  and appreciated to see wine in the lady’s hand and offer another dance before you rush off, Prince.* He suggested gently.

”I should find that wine. I’m afraid it didn’t last through watching the dance! Let me find a server. You two find someplace to sit.” He smiled widely for his lady, turning a much more strained flash of teeth and popped up eyebrows to the warlord prince. Moving back into the crowd just in time to conveniently miss a server passing with a tray of wine.

Valor Av Odense

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Re: The Beginning of the End
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2018, 12:39:32 PM »
With his arm suddenly empty Valor locked his fingers around his opposite wrist. ”I usually have a lovely time, thank you. Hopefully we can arrange your boat leave soon.” He tried to jest. Hands resting at the base of his spine. Smile carefully maintained as she tried to put space between them. All his skin tingling in protest. A half step taken despite his best efforts to allow the retreat. Certainly she had to keep up appearances, make social rounds and what not. There was no reason for him to feel so put out.

Danger, his mind whispered. Only the faintest worry that is temper might pique. The vague edge of jealousy he felt enough to make him worry. Especially as her pleasant looking and pleasant mannered escort made a sudden exit impossible. Encroaching with his hands placed possessively on Lady Reed.

Well. She was this Lord Loch’s more than she was his. Wetting his lips with a sour lump in his chest Valor pretended to watch the dancers as another song struck up. Humming and nodding absently at the compliments the lady’s escort gave. Biding his time to pull away again. Was he being rude? He wondered, nearly starting at the sudden tap of a spear to spear thread.

He didn’t answer. There was hardly time. Not quite sure what to make of this fellow with his probes and hints and hands on the lady. Not polite to rush off, but he did just that! Left Valor with his own eyebrows shooting up in mimicked expression. Turning back down to the lady with a bashful sort of confusion. ”Very well, then, I’ll see you to a table? Or a bench if you prefer some place quiet?”

”Oh, where’s he gotten to? Here’s wine.” Valor turned to catch them each a glass from the passing tray. Offering one to Vesa before lightly sipping on his own. Useless on his Green, let alone his Gray really, and he didn’t even enjoy the taste. Still, it was the thing to do at such social gatherings. So he made do. Arm offered back to the lady, ”Let me stay with you, until your escort returns?”

Maybe he would get another dance after all. Her excitable little man seemed to think it was what she really wanted.
⤜yours⟶ ♡ ⟵forever⤛

Vesa Reed

  • Inactive Character
  • Queen
  • Province Ruler of Dendrabelle
    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    19 Posts    0 marks
Re: The Beginning of the End
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2018, 09:33:50 AM »

”Hopefully,” she murmured, doubting she’d ever see his ship from anywhere but a distance.

Vesa all but melted at the touch of Gideon’s hand. Resisted the urge to lean in and hide against his side. It was not the thing to do in public. She was a ruling queen and had appearances to keep. Smiled at his polite compliments. He really was the sweetest. Flash a glance at him at his leading comments.

”Lord Loch is too kind,” and too forward! Gideon! Vesa was content to be left, she did not wish to cause anyone discomfort and Valor seemed most uncomfortable already. Tried to follow Gideon’s fidgeting fingers as he tried to escape. No! He could just abandon her! But she had chosen too well. Escort dodging away to find wine.

Which he waltzed right past. Veda stared after him in some shock. Shock Valor seemed to share, looking at her eyebrows high. The expression made her smile, one she hid quickly behind her fingers lest he be offended.

”A bench would be lovely, Prince, thank you.” Vesa accepted the wine and his arm. Sliding her fingers over his coat and clinging, gently, to his arm. This time she let herself lean in. Just a little, her shoulder brushing against him. The wine was good, Vesa tried it only after he did. Her Opal did not have the resistance of his Green, but she was in no danger of falling drunk or embarrassing herself.

”I would like that,” she admitted, trying to judge if he would too. Tentative probes attempting to get a sense of his feelings. Followed him to a bench where she was able to ease the pressure in her feet. Knees pressed together, wine glass held and cradled in the palm laid across them. ”Are you staying in the city, or on your ship during this visit?” Vesa tucked one foot behind the other and slid them beneath the bench. Observed him with some interest.

Valor Av Odense

  • Inactive Character
  • Warlord Prince
  • Glacia Kaeleer
    15 Posts    0 marks
Re: The Beginning of the End
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2018, 07:28:58 PM »
They were quite cozy together, Valor thought. He had never made anyone that comfortable. There were certainly people that were comfortable despite his presence, but never due to his nearness. And more usually not at all comfortable once he came around. Always the bitter smell of worry on the edges of every psyche.

Was that problem here, he wondered? Lady Reed very well might be torn between fear and fascination. That might have been too strong an emotion in either direction, but it made sense to Valor at least. Made him hopeful he might only need to prove he meant no harm. Never harmless, he had been taught, but always in control of such things.

”Very well then, lady, let’s see to getting settled.” Her arm threaded back around his own. A pressure on his conscience he hadn’t realized was there suddenly relieved. So many people and psyches in one room. All that energy swarming the senses. Queens in every direction. If he were less practiced in such social situations he imagined it would be overwhelming. Having a lady all to himself, or mostly to himself, was a comfort. An anchor. Someone very specific to put his focus on instead of spreading his worries out across them all.

There was no shortage of curtained off alcoves to give the illusion of privacy. Valor found one in short order. Brightened by her assurance, welcoming her timid probes beyond his obliging first barrier. Too polite to try in return. There was nothing for him to hide though. At least nothing that close to the surface. He waited for her to take a seat on the bench before settling by her side, forearms resting on his slightly parted knees. ”In the city tonight, but on the ship for the rest of our stay. It’s much more efficient than trying to get rooms the entire crew.” And if the bulk of the crew was on the ship he was on the ship. They were his responsibility after all.

”What of you? Do you stay here or return to your own province?” He wasn’t sure how late parties went in Little Terrielle. In Glacia they could last well into the dawn. Didn’t know either how long it took to get from Walcourt to Dendrabell. ”I like the ship though. I stay there a lot, even when I’m home.” There was a bit more privacy there. And he could tell Essi to get out of his cabin. His mother would box his ears if he tried that in her house.
⤜yours⟶ ♡ ⟵forever⤛

Vesa Reed

  • Inactive Character
  • Queen
  • Province Ruler of Dendrabelle
    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    19 Posts    0 marks
Re: The Beginning of the End
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2018, 09:01:22 PM »

Vesa dipped into the psychic pool he opened for her. Sipping gently from what was exposed. Soothed to find him just as well mannered behind his barriers as he was outside them. Found a singular rough edge. A little bit of worry that was mostly washed away anyway. Not a deep taste, but she liked having a finger on his pulse, in a sense. A tap into the knowledge of Valor.

Sipped her wine too. Listening and looking with more than craft. He cut a fine figure, bent over himself as if he were the most relaxed man in the realm. Reclining at home instead of attending business in another territory. And Vesa did not doubt that this gala was anything but business for the Glacian crew. Knew it was at least half business for everyone in attendance. Done up as pleasure with pleasure, but business none the less.

”Are there many of them, your crew?” No idea how to even guess at how many it took to run a ship. Made her more keen to see one up close and personal. Maybe a peek below the decks. A chance to guess how they were manned and maneuvered. ”Where are you staying?” No hint of a blush at the forward question. Vesa thought nothing of it beyond curiosity. They had so many nice hotels in Walcourt.

”We’ll decide afterward. Either is a possibility, but Lady Crag is likely to offer accommodation.” It would depend on how tired she was afterward. Or how high tensions ran. Coaches were always available to whisk her back to the peace of her own house. Or she could take a room in a local hotel if she didn’t wish to stay in the territory palace. Or if the unlikely occurrence were to happen, and no invitation was extended. Things had been different lately.

Baited and bloody. Nothing was sure and anything was possible.

”Even then? Is it very comfortable?”  Vesa shifted in her seat, sliding away from Valor but turning so she could see him better. Not sure if she enjoyed the distance quite as much, but it put less strain on her neck to look at him. No need to peek from the corners of her eyes or keep her head turned.

 

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