Verrick, Charlotte, & Amir
Amir had not expected the interaction between the ivory skinned Lady Vikena to extend beyond a shy smile and some quick pleasantries. It was obvious to his trained eye that she had sought the escape of the beverage table as an excuse to leave the poor happenstance her kin had wrought. Even he did not know why he seemed to gravitate towards her. His steps had been measured and seemed to hold no particular destination and yet there he was.
Still, the two could have passed like ships in the night. There had been no need or requirement to address her. Yet his calm, confident voice had passed his lips and complimented her. Kahrem would have praised how brave she had been. After all, he had first hand experience of how harsh his father could be and their mother had told them of the great tales of the Sultan’s bloody past. Only his mother had been able to tame that beast.
Sudden realization made Amir open his eyes slightly. HIS MOTHER. There was a semblance of Esrin Kadir. To any onlooker, the comparison would have been short of the mark. Not only in complexion and body type but Charlotte could never be confused for the Sultana. Yet, there was something about her that had called to the twin.
She offered him a shrimp. HIs suspicious nature would never allow him to eat something not prepared by the cooks he trusted. Yet, he found his very own hand betraying him as he reached for one. The old Amir would have wrinkled his nose at the offer. So why was he now closing his fingers over the shellfish and popping it in his mouth. He chewed once, twice. The juices covering his tongue with the flavor. She was right…the food was delicious.
A slight smile and nod in her direction was the only sign of his approval. It was then that a man approached them. His instincts immediately told Amir that this man was no spoiled youth. There was even a scent about him that was not overpowered by perfume. The man’s eyes were the true indicator. Pale blue, like a cold winter sea. The second born gave the man a slight nod of acknowledgement. The armor that was his calm face returning.
Charlotte could easily tell Amir was very much loving the taste of that shrimp; his expression said it all without a spoken word. ” Aw I’m glad you liked it.”She said warmly as he nodded. He seemed like a quiet person, much like herself, so she thought maybe she’d pick up the work in conversating for a change. She drew a breath nervously before continuing, ”...I am sure if it’s not as good as the food in Alidasht.”
Before Amir could answer her, the sound of her own name took her attention. She changed the angle of her body to address the speaker as well. To her surprise, it was Princess Beatrice’s bodyguard, greeting her kindly. “Why hello Verrick. Long time no see.” Charlotte held out the tray of shrimp out toward him, ”Brave? I feel as if I am the biggest coward in the world standing next to someone like you… But thank you so much. How about a shrimp for the brave bodyguard of the Varian princess ?”
Verrick bowed his head as Charlotte turned her attention to him. She continued on as she offered him a plate of shrimp. He hesitated as he looked down at it, letting a soft sigh come out as he accepted her offer and took one. ” Thank you… He said before continuing with his reply. ”You honor me with kindness. I was only performing my duty. You are far from being a coward, Lady Charlotte. Willing to take upon your stepfathers punishment knowing it could lead to your own death? M’lady. That is the very definition of Bravery. Do not let yourself or anyone else convince you otherwise. ” He finished by taking a bite of the shrimp. The taste did not relieve the awful feeling he had in his mouth speaking so formally. But it was still good.
Verrick glanced to Amir and after he had finished his mouthful, asked. ”“Wouldn’t you agree?”
Amir continued to chew the shrimp that had been offered. Not because he wanted to fully enjoy it, though he was doing that, but to give off the impression that he was an innocent bystander. All the while hearing things about both Lady Charlotte and this new arrival, Verrick. This man was well known and it was due to some valiant act worthy enough to be the Princess of Varian’s bodyguard. Definitely a man to watch.
The Interchange of the two also revealed that the Duke’s daughter was held in high regard in other parts as well. The twin did not like the fact that she did not recognize her own worth. This meant she was either falsely humble, or had a low regard of herself, neither scenario a positive one. When the question was posed to him, Amir answered in his calm and cool voice.
The gentleman here has the truth of it. Even royals need to be wary of when they speak.”. His honey eyes lingered on the older man. “If Mr. Verrick offers his compliments it must be so. I doubt he does it so freely.” . The roll of the twin’s tongue played with the other man’s name. As if trying to learn more from the bodyguard as a sommelier does with wine.
Charlotte’s cheeks reddened and her gaze lowered. She set down the tray of shrimp on the table. ”W-Well I just see protecting our families as what’s expected of all of us... But I do suppose in the story of Clarissa and the Creature, Clarissa agrees to stay in the creature’s castle in her father’s place and she’s regarded as heroine in literature… Knowing my father is safe regardless if my actions had any part is enough for me tonight.”She paused her nervous rambling as she took it all in.
Me? Brave? If only they knew I’m still frightened of the dark.
Charlotte’s gaze turned to Amir to inform him as she picked up her glass in hand once again, ”Your Highness. Did you know Mr. Verrick was able to singlehandedly defend the Princess from a group of, from what I’ve heard, ten men?”
Verrick nodded his head. It is supposed to be like that. But rarely it is…especially among the nobles…and even less among the Caesonian’s. If she were to somehow catch the eye’s of one of the princes’s. She might do the family good. He didn't do anything as he glanced back at Princess Beatrice to keep himself updated on her position. Casually turning himself slightly to have an improved view.
Lady Charlotte suddenly then spoke up with more enthusiasm than before. Causing him to look back at her. She brought up the day the princess was almost kidnaped, and with that he winced slightly as a sudden ghost of pain resurfaced. His right hand rubbed the scar on his abdomen, not even realizing he did. Flashes of memories of that fight flashed in his mind. Honestly he couldn’t remember the latter half of it after he was stabbed. Only tiny portions here and there…mostly of riding back to the closest Caesonian castle. The Princess in front of him, helping him stay on the horse. Waking up on the ground of the inner courtyard of the keep after falling off his horse.
He blinked as he pulled himself back to the present. Quickly looking at Amir and Charlotte and realizing she was verifying if it was ten men. Clearing his throat he nodded. ”Yes, it was. ” He said looking to Amir ”Bear in mind it was eight years ago, and mostly luck.” He said, trying to downplay it. ”The shorter version was that Princess Beatrice was on route to Caesonia and a group of mercenaries attempted to kidnap her for ransom. They surprised her guards and slaughtered them. I was on my way to meet them halfway and by a miracle I arrived just before they attempted to take her from the carriage. After I ambushed the ambushers… I escorted the princess to the closest Castle.“ He said raising his hands, palms up. Attempting to play it down even more as if it wasn’t a big deal. Conveniently not bringing up the fact he fought off the second half of them with a short sword in his gut.
From the conversation so far Amir could gather that Duke Vikena’s low regard for himself had either rubbed off on Charlotte or the lady was trying not to outshine her low born father. If only she could see that accepting and enhancing that self worth would only benefit all parties involved. Still, it was not the twin’s place to relay this. Instead, he decided to be frank and short. “Perhaps one day, the lady will see in the mirror what others see through their eyes.”
When the Caesonian lady offered the story of Verrick, Amir gave the man an approving nod. When the man tried to offer excuses why the feat was not that big of a deal, it earned the body guard a slightly raised eyebrow. Only a man wanting to keep inconspicuous would try so hard. Only a man who worked in the shadows would shun the light. The second Kadir would have to keep an eye on the man. “Sir Verrick, I very much doubt luck had much to do with your prowess. I would be honored to request a training session. It would be true test of my skill against such a benchmark.” Out of the Kadi children, probably Mayet or Layla were the most proficient in weapons but as a swordsman, the twin was decent.
The Alidshati had lingered long enough. He offered a polite bow to both. “It was a pleasure meeting you Sir Verrick. Lady Vikena I beg you would excuse me.”Always keep moving, a sitting target is easier to hit. He had seen some people look more than once in their direction, no doubt building up the courage to come and join the conversation. The second son would remain an elusive shadow as long as he could.
Verrick looked at Amir and bowed his head. ”I am honored by your words, and humbly accept your offer. It was a pleasure as well, Shahazde Amir. As the man left, Verrick let out a sigh. So much for staying in the shadows. A training session would surely draw a few to see.
He turned to Charlotte and said softly. I am glad you are doing alright. I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening.”