Ashkevron Residence in Askavi
The sting of having lost his home, having failed in defending everything that he held dear and watching the place that he swore internally to defend burn up in flames was weighing heavily on him. He had to flee, and something about that was gnawing on him, making him feel wrong in so many ways. He should have stayed behind. Should have continued the fight until he fell with everyone else.
But he fled.
Like a coward. And he was taking his anger out on everyone else and that further served to do nothing but anger him further. And yet, even now the rain was seeking to muddle his mood even further. But, he couldn’t stay down. He hated it, it was the easy way out and he’d taken that already. So that he could fight another day was the rationalization that he kept telling himself, so that he could make everyone that had brought this upon them pay.
But it didn’t help much. And staying angry about was going to solve nothing. He needed to take his anger out on something lest it fester within him. Usually, that would have been with a spar, but now standing in front this hovel of a house, he didn’t know any other way. He could easily punch a wall but the outer wall but that would be discourteous to the woman that was staring daggers at him and keeping him in the rain. He kept his face passive nonetheless, showing nothing when he felt her probe trying to get into his mind.
But could he blame her for keeping him there? He was… well he was him. An ebon grey with an unknown affiliation. Anyone had the right to be wary, best he could do was --
A sudden tug in his chest gave him pause. His heart started pounding ferociously in his chest and a felt a pull. A yearning to serve. His whole being was suddenly and swiftly brought to heel with this sudden, outrageously random tug. There was a Queen here. He felt his breath quicken when she stepped out of a room. Everything in the world vanished but her.
She started approaching, his eyes glued to hers as his heart lumped up to his throat. Her hand touched his chest, he felt her hand travel up to his face. His mind emptied of all else that bothered him, his entire being was encompassed into this one random woman he had never before seen, and yet...
He was hers.
He dare not fight it. His soul was bound to her as strongly as the mountains were to the earth. HIs hand went up to hers, a shocked, perplexed look still on his face. “My Queen,”
he breathed. He forgot the rain, barely felt it pattering on his body and his wings, forgot that only hours ago he was in a fight to save a doomed city. He didn’t even realize the owner of the house spoke.
His whole being belonged to her. Was bound to it.
He was hers."Lovely. A dreamy meeting in the middle of a rain storm."
The irritated voice of Faeril cut through the night. "Will at least one of you senseless imbeciles have enough sense to get inside before you take a chill?"
The Eryien woman crossed her arms darkly as she stepped from the doorway. "Typical male. All buff and power and little intellect."
This was far from the evening she had been hoping for and with more unexpected and unwanted surprises her patience became nonexistent.
The firm, cold voice of one very annoyed lady of the house brought Fatima back from the little world that revolved around just she and Lucivar. She realized just how soaked through he was and how wet she was getting. She laughed and intertwined her hand with Lucivar's. "Come on in then,"
she said and tugged lightly. "Lady Faeril just made some stew. I'm sure it will warm you nicely. We'll have to find you some dry clothes too."
She looked over his frame thoughtfully as they stood dripping in the hall.
The feeling of this Queen’s hand being intertwined within his own. He couldn’t describe it. It sent tingles throughout his hand and all the way through his body, like a shock of unknown power. It felt right. He felt as though this was the most perfect place he could be, within this Queen’s presence. And then she spoke.
He felt as though honey was poured in his ear. A part of him, deep within, hidden by the fog of whatever had overtaken him was confounded and completely confused. Within the span of a single moment, she had enthralled him. He knew what this was, instinctively knew that he was this Queen’s First Escort, but because he’d never actually been put in such a situation before… he didn’t think it’d ever happen. The strong feeling. He was afraid, scared, the part of him that remained somewhat sane behind the fog wanted to flee. It was happening too fast.
But, he had to keep his composure. He couldn’t break down. Instead,he smiled at the Queen… this Queen whose name he didn’t even know yet somehow would give his life for. “Of course, my Queen,”
he said and stepped inside with her.
Andressa looked at him with slight concern. “Are you okay, Lucivar?”
Her sudden voice broke through the fog in his brain, shattering whatever spell had taken hold of him. And he suddenly snapped back, almost recoiling from the Queen as he pulled his back, a little rougher than he intended to. He cleared his throat, more flustered than he was accustomed to and tried to tidy his wet shirt. He cleared his throat again. “I’m fine, Andressa,”
he said with a tight smile, “Clean, dry clothes, yes. I’ll need that right away please,”
he said to the Healer, his hands clasped together. “If you would please be so kind.”"Kind."
Faeril scoffed with indignation. "Kind is being nice. I, am not nice."
A hand latched onto Andressa and steered her into the warm light if the front room. The Black Widow's second grip tightening on Lucivar and attempting to budge the Eryien. "I smell a fight on you, Prince so us both a favor and sit on the stool after you e stripped from your shirt."
An order if Faeril had ever given one.
The way Lucivar jerked away from her after his name was called out was surprising. She stared at him wide eyed for a moment. He was obviously embarrassed about their connection, not sure what to make of it. She felt, in a way, the same way. But rather than embarrassed she reveled in this connection. It would take time. “Lucivar, huh? I am Fatima, pleasure to meet you.”
She curtsied gracefully. "And a pleasure to meet you Lady Andressa."
Faeril spoke in her cold commanding way and Fatima had to stop herself hard in order to not roll her eyes. “I’ll get you both some food,”
she said lightly. She needed something to do or she was going to bust out of her skin with all of this energy. She walked off, humming a happy jig.
In the kitchen she wrassled up a few empty, clean bowls and filled them with the stew. Three spoons, a cup of tea, and then everything was set on a tray. As she worked, she made small, peppy talk with the three Eyrien men that sat eating in the kitchen. As soon as her tray was all set up, she swept from the kitchen and made her way to the first room where the strangers and Faeril had gathered.“A pleasure, Fatima,”
he said with a respectful nod, trying to keep the turmoil that was going on inside at bay. He then looked over at the Eyrien woman that was trying to budge him to sit down. At the command to take off his shirt, he gave her an unreadable look and tore the wet fabric off his frame, tossing it somewhere to the side as he sat down the stool, his wings flapping ever so slightly against the heat of the hearth.“Some food would be nice,”
he said then turned his attention over to the Eyrien proprietress of this place. “So. What are your aims?”
He asked, his face impassive, “why bring a Queen and a Warlord Prince here? What are you planning?”
After shooing Andressa after the Queen, her 'family' would take care of the woman with balms the Healer had made. Faeril narrowed her glacier eyes at the man and gave what she hoped was a smile though it seemed to her more like a snarl. "And what are yours? You happen to be in my house, Prince. You know who holds your leash by the pull- yes, I can sense that- but where in truth do your loyalties lie?"
Faeril's hand paused just short of touching the man as she examined his body. There was battle's tell tale sign, she could see, but... "How does a Queen and Warlord Prince land on my stoop within the same day? Who do you serve, and you will answer me Prince. One way or the other."
She hissed softly. The situation was too dire and delicate to be courteous. This man may well outrank her in both Jewels and Caste for the most part, but she still was a Black Widow and aside from Fatima the darkest Jeweled witch in the house.
Lucivar blinked at the smile that was offered him. “My alliances,”
he said gruffly, “are my own and Andressa’s. Whatever will keep us safe, away from the clutches of those demon Queens."
To her second question his head tilted to the side, considering for a moment. “Darkness has a strange way of putting things into place, of bringing convergences and breaking them. A chance meeting this?”
His gold eyes went up to hers as he raised an eyebrow.
Faeril's wings rustled as she sniffed in annoyance and gripped his shoulder, her eyes becoming distant as she sorted through his wounds. "Males."
The woman muttered sourly. She knew this wasn't chance, not exactly. She had spent weeks and days weaving at webs large and small. Calling hope to her, and a way to defend that hope from the shadow that was coving Terrielle. "If you were wise Prince, you'd learn to leash your tongue lest I make it fall out."
Her psychic power slipped through Lucivar's veins healing the minor cuts and bruises. Gen and his brothers, battered as they were would need to be next. As if she didn't expend herself enough already, only to have more work show up upon her doorstep. Faeril wouldn't deny anyone a Healing however, not if she could do it.
He felt the magic course through his veins, felt his body begin to stitch back together as a deep chill went through him. His first instinct was to fight it, to remove her hands away from his own, but he let it happen once the relief came from having the cuts and bruises healed. With his eyes closed, he said, “If you were wise, Healer, you’d know it’d be a dangerous thing to tempt a Warlord Prince,”
he opened his eyes and looked at her, “especially one that doesn’t need you alive.”"I'd say the same to you."
Faeril cuffed the man upside the head with a snarl. Her voice as cold as her eyes. "Fact and point, Prince. You may not need me alive, but the Queen does."
Rustling her wings she stepped away from Lucivar with an annoyed look as she used her Craft to float a log onto the fire. She had been around enough of the most dangerous caste of males to know exactly how lethal they could be and respected it. Though she also had enough of a spine to foolishly challenge it, especially when this brute came into her home and spoke to her in such a way.
The smack was entirely unexpected. Lucivar sat there for a moment, barely hearing a word the healer said as he tried to comprehend that someone actually hit him. This woman, and no doubt she knew his jewel, had balls on her to be sure, but to hit someone that could end her in a moment. It gave him something on her: she was impulsive and short tempered, prone to outbursts. He locked it away in his mind. ”curious little place you have here,”
he said, looking around as he settled back in his seat. ”Why so out of the way? Wouldn’t a healer be more useful within a city?"Little..."
The woman muttered in annoyance as she swung a small kettle over the hearth, using her Craft to call in one of Gen's robes. While she did have shirts, they were not going to fit the giant. "It's been in my family for generations. Ashkevron."
She stated sharply and with annoyance. "Put that on before someone goes blind or you curdle what milk I have."
The Black Widow grumbled as she settled back into the low settee, smoothing the wrinkles from her dress. While she might desired to join the male members of her family, who she could see Denar peering anxiously through the archway to the trespasser on the stool, leaving Lucivar alone wasn't really an option. Yet, anyways.
Fatima found she had been preceeded by Denar. She offered him one of her usual smiles before entering the room. There sat Lucivar all muscle on a stool while Faeril had positioned herself as a thing of beauty on the settee. Her eyes couldn't help but appreciate the musculature and divine grace the Darkness had given the Eyrien man she called hers. After a few beats too long she seemed to wake up and held out the tray. "Dinner,"
she chimmed brightly.
Setting the tray on a low table she offered Faeril the first bowl and the cup of tea as would be expected for her being the woman of the house... Eyrie.... She then gave the still shirtless male the next bowl. For now she ignored her own and decided to work on making her companion comfortable. She knelt before him and gently placed her hands at his knees. "Your trousers are still wet. Give me a moment."
Slender fingers travelled along his outter thighs and down his legs. The warming spell normally used for things like food, blankets, and shawls, was woven over his pants. It took perhaps five minutes of her manipulation to finally dry the garment and left them toasty warm for him. "I can do the same for your shirt if you like.""What do you think?"
she asked of Faeril as she stood, placing her hands on her hips. "Have you confirmed his being good people. Can I keep him?"
Her smile turned to one of childish rougishness.
Faeril ran a hand through her dark hair giving Lucivar a superior smirk flickering across her lips. "I supposed we could keep him so long as you stop him from piddling on the floor."
She sniffed in disdain at this irritating, snarly male. Who for some reason, kept insulting her house!“Well, I’ll stop my piddling the moment you learn the meaning of manners, my dear Healer,”
he said as he swirled the contents of the soup for a second with his Craft, and after sparing a smile for Fatima in thanks, he purposefully allowed the Craft to bloom around him and spread, causing some of the firewood to explode with a loud crack.
He took a sip from the bowl, his eyes still on the healer, “Oh dear me, I seem to have made a mess in your hovel. Please, accept my most humble apologies, I seem to have trouble controlling my emotions after a most recent and horrid massacre. Dear, fortunate it wasn’t anything living, wasn’t it?”
The Black Widow sat up sharply, a look of irritation flickering across her face as she bared her teeth at the Warlord Prince for the blatant tossing of his powers. There were three sets of heavy steps as her adoptive relatives appeared in the doorway. Both Warlord Princes flanking Gen as he frowned down at Lucivar with a irritated look. Belor and Denar both ready to jump this possibly ally, turned threat if the wrong moved was made.
It seemed the Eyrie just couldn’t calm down. Everyone was on edge and a single look or word would turn this home to ruins. The Ebon-Grey energy stifled the room and made Fatima agitated. She was unused to the energy around her being stronger than she. Her smile hardened and her lush lips were set into a thin line. Picking up the shirt that had been discarded, she held the wet thing in her hands and studied it.
What she needed was calm. She needed to do something. Take control in some way? She hadn’t done such a thing before, not really. The Grey she had never worn began to seep from her, mixing and calming with the torrent of unsteady energies around her. Fatima closed her eyes and took a deep breath. First thing was first.“Prince,”
she said in a soft voice that managed to carry around the room. Her honey brown eyes opened, meeting Lucivar’s and she held herself straight and proper. “Attend.”
This word was breathed rather than openly said. Not a true command but an attempt to get the man to snap back to reality.“It would be in our best interest not to belittle or find fault with our hosts’ home. We are guests here and as such we will behave with civility.”
Fatima approached Lucivar and placed a hand on his shoulder. “I know you have gone through great hardship but that does not mean that we get a free pass to behave on the manner. Please.”
Her attention then turned to the three men, ready to throw themselves off the cliff’s edge and fly into battle to protect their mistress. She raised a hand, palm down and then lowered it to signify that there was no need for a brawl. Calm. Fatima reigned her Grey back in, locking it tightly around her body and turned to Faeril. “I apologize for his behavior and will take responsibility for him. What he does is a reflection of myself and I cannot stand aside while your kindness has been insulted.”
Lucivar gauged the Healer’s response, his eyes focused on her as he let his power out, and then slowly drew it back in. He watched her, wanted to see just how far her anger would push her. Just how far he
could push her when it came to it. And it seemed a simmering was beginning to stir as a carefully hidden smile was beginning to well on his face.
Until Fatima spoke.
Her sudden power exposed to the forces and that word caused him to still. It drew him in and despite how he wanted to continue his little game, he attended. He had to admit however, that he was being rather foolish. He was a guest in her home, he was injured true, and like Fatima said he couldn’t be acting like a complete barbarian in her home and expect her to to continue her hospitality. Alas, but it was difficult not having power in one’s grasp, it was something he was going to have to get used to. He would have to start from the base again, and wasn’t that just wonderful? Work his way to make all these people trust in him, see him as their commander, and make them want to sacrifice their lives and make them believe he would as well.
And he would, the moment he gained that loyalty. The Queen, Fatima, held the power to be sure, but he could make those around her loyal to him. And should she ever step out of line, should she ever go to those damned Bitch Queens he’d be able to at least attempt to dissuade her. Or so he hoped.“You are right, of course, Fatima,”
he said looking at her. Then, looking back at the other woman, “Healer, My actions have been foolish and they are my own. I have no excuse for them, and I should have respected your home. Accept, if you would, my deepest apologies.”
Gen and his brothers stepped back as Faeril settled back against the settee. Her dark wings rustling. This Queen was the Queen she had foreseen in her tangled web. "I am surrounded by snarling males. I think I can withstand another."
The Black Widow waved off the apology, shooting Lucivar what could have been a pleasant smirk. Or it could have been if the tone of victory hadn't been flickering about the corners of her lips. "I accept your apology."
Gen folded his wings, his brothers moving back into the kitchen. "Worry not, Lady Fatima. Ashke can well handle herself against a loud mouthed male." He moved over to lounge on another stool, pulling out a sharp knife and block of wood to begin to whittle.
The air calmed and the young queen felt relief sweep through her. From the look on Faeril’s face to the previous behavior by Lucivar she began to wonder if she had not missed some secret handshake or greeting customary to Eyriens. She’d never met one before today after all. Fatima sighed and brushed her curls from her face. “Ah, I know. I just,”
she responded to Gen but became apprehensive on how she should finish. “I have never ridden a wave that constantly crashed against the edge the way it has tonight.”
She concentrated on drying out the shirt before handing it back to Lucivar. The small woman had to admit to herself she would be sad to see such an expressive display of masculinity disappear beneath the fabric. However, the lines of clothes over the body could be just as enticing. The third bowl of stew, which had been meant for herself, was picked up and she offered it to Gen. “I do not know if you have eaten yet but if not… here.”
She held out the steaming bowl to the Eryien.
Lucivar drank down the rest of the stew. It wasn’t half bad truth be told, far less in quality than what he was used to having lived in a manor at a Queen’s side, but it was doable under the circumstances. He wouldn’t further insult the hospitality he was given by also saying something against the food. The Healer, although a temper was definitely on her, was showing some kindness in her. She was
a healer after all. He placed the bowl on the ground and stood, taking the shirt that Fatima handed to him.”Thank you,”
he said as he put the shirt back on, using the Craft to let his wings slip through the slits on the back, and took a moment to button on it. ]”So healer,”
he said looking back up at her, ”why have your men brought me here? There must be a reason to it, they could have easily left me and Andressa to our own.”
Faeril had shooed the twin Warlord Princes to the settee which looked ridiculous small beneath the Eyriens. Their half wrapped bandages that looked as though it was made from someone's shirt and deemed suitable by the males was torn free and tossed with a extra bit of Craft into the fire. The Healer's hands working through Belor's wings as she began the basic healing on the wounds. It would take some time for them to heal properly, but it was far better than the rags
they had used, at least in Faeril's mind.
As she was moving onto Denar who was sitting quietly and listening to the muttered tirade from the Healer. The woman paused considering her answer as she began working on her friend. She could not tell this 'Lucivar' everything. It would cause trouble, and with the current way Black Widows were viewed... "You were in need of being Healed."
The Ashkevron woman answered quietly. "You have met the Queen, and I ask you again. Will you serve her?"
The other males fell still as they considered the iron steel in Faeril's voice. The icy blue eyes locked onto the Ebon-Grey Warlord Prince. A silent 'Or will I need to deal with you?'
filled the room as she flexed her wings to spread them in part. A display of threat as she spiraled down to the depths of the the Red. Already she had done so much, and there was more to do.
Fatima took the empty bowl from Lucivar, set it aside, and then sat very comfortably in his lap. His largeness made her feel quite small and she enjoyed the feeling of protection his form offered. The tiny Queen met Faeril's eyes and smiled. Did they really need to go over the specifics of things now? Wasn't there time to get to know each other a bit first before they started with the Court shennanigans? The young woman watched Fearil and wondered how hard the woman's eyes would roll. "Would you like help with the healing?"
she asked."I can well take care of Healing these lots myself."
The Ashkevron snapped with indignation. Her wings rustling at the kindness Faeril had decided to take as an insult. But Gen rolled his eyes at Fatima sharing a small smile with the Queen. A subtle signal That Faeril was just being prideful and difficult to prove she could do what she said she would do. "Worry about whether that oversized Warlord Prince whose got a pea for a brain will serve in your Court or not. And if he doesnt swear, I'll just start making bits fall off."
The Black Widow groused grumpliy as she began bandaging Denar.
Lucivar gave the Healer an amused frown. She would tear him limb from limb she said, and a part of him found that more than a little amusing, in part because of how headstrong she was, and how willing she would put herself against one she knew could destroy her in a moment. It spoke of her character, or perhaps made her out to be a complete fool, but something told him the former was truer than the latter, but he would observe nonetheless. He couldn’t deny however that he was mildly intrigued by her. Lucivar gave a shrug, “I rather like my bits on me,”
he said as he took Fatima's hand in both of his, “so Fatima, dear, I’ll have you solemnly swear to keep her away from my bits if I swear myself into your court.”
Fatima clasped her hands tightly around Lucivar’s as he held her. With all the aplomb of a stage actor she brought the hand toward her chest and looked up at him with watery honey eyes. “Of course darling! Your bits are very important after all.”
She reached up a hand and gently stroked the stubble on the Eyrien’s face. “I’ll protect you from the big bad healer.”
Her tone was teasing now, and she grinned releasing his hand and settling back against his chest. He made a fantastic throne!“Faeril, please don’t take his bits. He neeeeds those.”
She turned the watery puppy dog eyes on their grumpy hostess. It seemed to have hardly any effect on her though. The eyes were then turned to Gen. “You have to tell her, tell Faeril how important a man’s bits are to him.”
Her eyes turned back to Faeril and a mischievous grin appeared on her lips. “Though I have to wonder why our magnificent mistress is so interested in his bits.”
She hoped the teasing would be well taken. Maybe she would get her ear yelled off later. Uhg.
Geno's grin grew bigger as he stretched back lazily. "Oh, Fae knows how important a man's bits are. She can be rather fond of them at times, though it does interest me why she's suddenly interested in a man's bits specifically." The loathsome, at least in Faeril's eyes, Warlord looked pleased with himself as the Healer glowered. Her jaw working in silent outrage and indignation. Finally turning an interesting shade of crimson Faeril muttered something unkind about a man's bits being in direct proportion to the size of his brain and having to see to the woman before making a slightly hasty retreat.
She watched Faeril leave the room with her cheeks the color of her jewel. Adorable. It was pleasant to know she could tease the woman and produce another sort of reaction besides chilly disdain. Fatima stretched, locking her arms around Lucivar’s neck and giving him a broad smile with her head tilted back. “I think she likes you!”
Releasing him she stood from his lap and looked over the other three Eyriens in the room. “How about I finish up the job, hmm?”
She rolled the sleeves of her shirt up. “I have energy to spare and I want to make sure our silly lady of the house doesn’t cause herself to pass out.”
Hands on her hips she tried to spy who might need the most healing. It was a bit difficult with the work Faeril had already done. “Who wants to go first?”
Once Fatima was off his lap, Lucivar stood and stretched his wings behind his back, stretching the muscles that allowed them to function for a moment. “I think I’m going to step outside for a minute,”
he said, well aware that it was still probably raining and that Fatima had only just dried his clothes. But, he needed the fresh air to help clear his mind. “If any of you want a spar, you know where to find me,”
he said and walked out the door, his leathery wings unfurling.
Belar muttered just loud enough for Fatima to hear once Lucivar was out of the room. "Like Hell anyone here wants
to spar him."