Malachi and Kenia
Malachi bowed to Elsea and moved away from her. They both had spoken about the port town the previous day so there was no need to discuss further. It was announced that the paired dances were over and he sighed in relief. He was quite finished talking to others for the moment. He had been hoping to chat with someone new and spread the word. Though he now could wander around and quickly try to find more allies, his heart was pointing him elsewhere.
He never thought that he’d ever crave to dance with a woman again but the idea of dancing with Kenia had not left him all night. His heart started to beat faster. Would she even want to dance with him? Malachi started to glance around the ballroom until he caught sight of her and began awkwardly moving through the crowd, pushing shoulders. Yelps of surprise reached his ears dimly but he was too fixated on her to care. The pessimist in him figured there was a good chance they’d all probably die tonight and he was not going to die without getting to dance with her at a ball. Being a bit of a traditional man, Malachi valued sentimental things like that. “Kenia…”
It was possible his voice would startle her as he approached her, but he had come to her in such a rush it had not crossed his mind. Gently, he took her hand and kissed her palm.
Kenia had bid Ilan farewell and made her way to the refreshments table as she was in need of a drink. Both dances had been rather enjoyable and she’d actually accomplished something, but she’d be lying if she said her mind wasn’t elsewhere. While she knew that they had a job to do, she also wanted to try and have some relaxing fun at this ball too.
As if reading her mind, she heard Malachi say her name from behind her which made her jump a little at first. She turned to look at him and felt her cheeks turn a little red as he kissed her hand, but she couldn’t help the smile that spread across her face. It was a relief to see him and she felt some butterflies in her stomach as if she were some foolish young girl experiencing a crush for the first time.”Malachi…”
She breathed out almost in a sigh of relief of seeing him finally. She then realized she may appear a bit silly and needed to remedy that. ”I’m so relieved to see you, I was beginning to worry that one of your dance partners was going to steal your heart.”
She said playfully with a smirk. Her flirtatious comments had seemed to increase a bit since the night at the bar, but she still hadn’t really spoken to him on what happened that night and still wasn’t entirely sure if their emotions were genuine then or if it had just been the alcohol talking.“Tchh… What heart?”
Malachi asked a bit playfully with a slight smile. He took her hands and pulled her out on to the floor, spinning her around under one hand delicately, “We need to find Corvina. Keep an eye out for her. “ For a moment, what was presented in front of him was swapped for an older image of a brown-haired elven woman with a big smile. He blinked rapidly as things went back to Kenia. After all these years, Cara… I still remember your face.
Malachi thought and smiled faintly. He could imagine how happy she’d be that his stubborn ass was letting himself care about people again. It had been a thought that ached in the back of his mind that Cara always said she never wanted him to be alone yet he had strived for it for so long without knowing what else he could do.
Because as much as Cara longed to be with him forever, she was now gone. No person was promised to stay. Tomorrow was not even promised to yourself.
Kenia and Corvina were not promised.
Malachi out of everyone should have no problem after all the loss he faced understanding and internalizing such ideas but his flaw was that he never truly could. Malachi tightened his grip on Kenia a little. He wanted to promise her protection, but he could never do such a thing. The world was cruel in that way.
He drew off and looked at her again. He found himself smiling a little again. He had her now and he could promise that at least. “So. What kind of people did you end up dancing with?”“Maybe I was imagining the heartbeat I felt when we were pressed up against each other the other night,”
Kenia said with a giggle and wink as he pulled her out onto the dance floor. It was strange, but being there in his arms and dancing seemed to help wash away her concerns she had going into the night. She did nod when he told her to keep an eye out for Corvina, though, as she knew it was important to make sure she was safe as well. It was hard, though, to keep an eye out for her as her mind wanted her to just stay focused on Malachi and living in the moment.
She felt his grip tighten a little and she gave him a small, funny look as she wondered what he was thinking about. As soon as he smiled at her again, though, she smiled back. “Well, my first dance was with an interesting character. He was sweet enough, but he seemed to be constantly looking around for someone or something which I found a tiny bit suspicious. My second dance, however, was with a delightful little fawn who…”
She trailed off as something caught her eye briefly and she glanced over Malachi’s shoulder to see what it was, but she couldn’t figure out what it was. She continued scanning the crowd for a moment with a troubled look on her face, just having a gut feeling something wasn’t entirely right.
Malachi’s cheeks flushed at her first statement, “Err.. Well… I…Oh dear.”
He had not expected her to be so forward and could not stop himself from blushing at her words. It was highly attractive. He cleared his throat awkwardly to try to cover up that he had no idea how to reply to that in the heat of the moment. So she did still like him. That night had been as real to her as it was to him. He finally smiled.
Kenia started to detail her dancing partners only to draw off. His eyes immediately widened as he followed her gaze,“What? What?!?”
Kenia shook her head as she looked back to Malachi and smiled. “Sorry I thought I saw something, but it must have been my eyes playing tricks on me.”
She said with a small laugh, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was a bit off. She opened her mouth to speak again, but then she saw it. She saw Airdan dancing with Cora and she stiffened. Her heart began to pound and she began to tremble. “Airdan…”
She managed to squeak out as she watched the two part ways and he made eye contact with her, smirking, before making his way through the crowd.
Malachi noticed she had taken interest in Corvina and the man she was dancing with. He watched them a moment and watched him smirk and gave him a fierce, threatening glare. Malachi was not the most intimidating elf in the room whatsoever but when he glared, he glared
. He turned to Kenia and began to rub her back gently as he felt her tremble. He seemed familiar. It only took a few moments for Malachi to realize that elf had a stark resemblance to the man in her family painting they had been looking at just a few days ago. She did not seem happy to see him whatsoever. Anger filled Malachi as he wondered what had gone on to make Kenia react this way. He protectively pulled her closer to make her feel safer, thinking about moving her away from the scene but then the question dawned on him.
What was he doing with Corvina?
He looked at Kenia, speaking urgently, “ Let’s go get Corvina.”
Kenia was frozen in place for a good long moment up until Malachi pulled her closer. She took a shuddering breath before she tore her gaze away from where Airdan once was. She then glanced up to Malachi as he spoke and nodded. She leaned further into him, gripping onto him tightly as she worked on calming herself. She definitely hadn’t been expecting to see him here and the fact that he was definitely had rattled her. She now just wanted to make sure Corvina was okay.