The King

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The King

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:50 pm


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It was the time of decadence, and Ulisse Aylehart spared no penny. He had come to stay at the palace with the intention of getting the recently opened position of the royal navy commander. The death of his brother, Jacob, had weighed heavy on Ulisse’s heart for a month before he headed to the palace. The title of commander thought it suited him and his flourish: it would go along well with his love of bright colors and gold necklaces and rings. Jacob Aylehart had not been one to delve into the prosperous field of privateering, despite Ulisse’s encouragment for him to do so, but Ulisse had kept with it during Jacob’s career. Ulisse was hired by many lords to hold threats to their means, and Ulisse took the blame.

He wasn’t certain how the King would take his suggestion to hire him as commander. Ulisse wanted to believe that His Majesty would overlook or feign ignorance of his privateering, but the man had the shade of doubt in the back of his mind. Ulisse always had that doubt with many things--he was a very doubtful person--but had learned to never show it in his demeanor or face. It was not shown when he turned toward the open door to say to the servant, “Come here a moment.” The girl came over to him and he took her hand to feel the calloused palms and pruney fingers that showed her work was in washing. She was young and blushing, and Ulisse smiled in an attempt to detract from her nervousness. “My dear, please retrieve my sister Almara for me. Do you know where she is?

The royal servant nodded silently. Ulisse was handsome with olive skin and dark eyes that were striking to her. He looked rare to her sight, but she did not receive the way he touched her well. She wanted to slip away, but like a trapped deer, remained frozen. Ulisse kissed her hand and thanked her, to her relief. Almara appeared in the doorway without the servant. She was, like her brother, dark skinned and eyed, but her hair was an auburn with red highlights hidden beneath. She had dyed it in the tub and left stains all over the washroom in her own room, and had not attempted to wash it out. She was certain the servant her brother had sent was cleaning it now. “What do you want?

Shut the door, if you would please.” Almara did so. She was hot-headed, which her brother had grown so used to through their years. He smiled patiently, though, as he began to speak, “Have you thought about what we’ve discussed?” Almara tilted her head, side to side, and glided across the room. She stopped beside her brother’s chair and traced her fingers across the arm of the furniture piece. “I did. But I’m uncertain what exactly I get out of it.” “The bed of a King, and power for our family. Do you want me to pay you?

Almara chuckled, and her laugh had a little snort in the middle of it. “I think that would make me a prostitute, not a concubine.” “That doesn’t make a difference to a King. If you want, you can try for power, for the crown, but you’re competing with the best, and…

I know.” She cut him off. She didn’t have to hear again or be reminded of their family’s fall from power. They were not in the court any longer, but they hoped that Ulisse’s strong influence would get them in court. Jacob had been too meek in gaining that power and respect back. All their family was good for were boats and fire, which meant that they still were able to get the power in the navy, but not in the royal court. It wasn’t good enough for either of them.

I’ll probably do it. It might be easy to gain access to his study. It won’t be easy to get noticed above the rest of his suitors…” She rolled her eyes. The court had gathered for the annual event--which the King had yet to announce whether it would be a dinner, a play, or a ball--and for the chance to gain the King bachelor’s hand. Almara was a bit of a different suitor in the way that her hair was worn down, and she did not attempt to look the same. Ulisse had gifted her with silks and jewelry to goad her into coming with him to the palace, and she had taken them and wore them gladly. Almara did not hide her smile when Ulisse reached up to touch an end of her hair. “Good girl.

Even his sister could not see the doubt in his soul.

The pressure was mounting for Emerson, who was now wondering how he had even gotten this position. The man was not one of gifted lineage, which meant he had no power, no defense. All he had was his wits, which at his age of 30, he felt like were leaving. He was supposed to keep the guests in order, keep an eye on them, as he had special instruction from the King to do so, but he felt so inferior to all of them. Although he was stoic on the outside with no expression even in his eyes to show his nervousness, he frowned when he was. And he was frowning now.

Where is His Majesty?” he asked a passing servant. They pointed in a direction and he followed. He found the King and Emerson, despite his wishes to conceal his emotions, was giving his traditional frown. “Your Majesty, I must confide in you privately for a moment.

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      music: x
      ooc: AND IT BEGINS



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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:44 pm

The King was in his study.

It was late in the morning and the King, Clovis Roshaun, had much to contemplate. Anxiety gnawed at his heart. He was attempting to relieve his mind with language study. At that moment he was writing a poem to commemorate the tradition of choosing a partner among other noble families. He was writing the poem in Latin.

As he wrote it, however, the names of each family came into his head; of course, he knew the names of the bachelorettes, but most of them he had not seen--it was all an effort, really, to capture the curiosity of the King, to drive him to passion and reverie, but it would be soon before he would be presented to them and the courting games would begin. They would all dine separately; the King in his own chamber, and the bachelorettes with their families in the dining hall. They would then all gather at the ballroom, which was in the North Wing; each noble family introduced by the Council of the King and the Ambassadors, if it was necessary. Then Clovis would dance with each girl, woman, hag, whatever it was he was presented with, and then . . . oh, then, it was the worst part!

For after the Ball, the wicked game would begin. Clovis' own mother told him what it would be like, how she had suffered the whimsy of the men presented to her. The bachelorettes would live in the castle and have their parties, give their gifts to the King, invite him to ride horses outside or do whatever it was they wanted to do, all as courtship demanded. It would all go on until the King decided who it was he would like to marry. It would be unpredictable. The worst that could happen was one bachelorette murdering another, a coup of envy and frustration; a bachelorette could seduce him and he would not even know if it was the real woman or an illusion. They were all power hungry, Theresa Roshaun had said to her son.

Clovis could not concentrate any longer. He sat back in his seat and put out his hand in front of him. Light began to flicker from it, whisping up into a pool of saturated brightness. If he looked closely he could see a million different colours in it. The light lit his face in the study (he liked to keep it dark, had always preferred a solemn, dimly lit environment to a bright one), one which was handsome, clean shaven, and fair. He looked a little older than what he was, which was twenty-four. His eyes were gentle, albeit serious, and a deep brown. His hair was whispy, wavy, cut to his jaw, and a copper-like colour. His masculine throat was characterised by its pronounced larynx, the vulnerable Adam's apple. His body was clothed in bright silks and high quality cotton fabrics, which made it difficult to know exactly what his stature was like. He was dressed to look not intimidating, but large; if he already had a boxy stature, one would not be able to tell the difference. One thing was for certain, however: he was tall, and this was apparent through the length of his legs.

His fist closed shut when Emerson came into the study, completely evaporating the light. Clovis looked on Emerson with a steadfast, serious, but sympathetic gaze. He did not smile at him, but he was listening. When Emerson stated he needed the King's confidence, the King sat up in his chair and nodded.
'Of course, Emerson! Please. There is no need to be so formal around me, you are like my older brother.'

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:09 pm


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Emerson shut the door behind him and came closer beside Clovis. He sighed quite heavily. His intuition was telling him to give Clovis his opinion, but even as King’s Regent, Emerson attempted restraint. He tugged slightly at a sleeve as he spoke. “I’m not entirely certain if you’ve been informed, but two of the Ayleharts have been housed in the castle, Almara and Ulisse. Ulisse is brother to late Commander Jacob Aylehart, who passed last month at sea.” Emerson cleared his throat. “I’ve been assured that they’re going to ask for their place in the court again.”

The Ayleharts were the least royal of all the families, in Emerson’s opinion, and had themselves removed from court around 1280 for reasons of treachery and lawlessness. Now, 300 years later, it amused Emerson to see their attempts rise again, even though their family was known for deception at the seas. Jacob had been different, had seemed regal in style and manner, but unfortunately, had been too timid for his command and had gotten himself and his crew killed at sea. Emerson had noticed that Almara Aylehart had not been dressed for mourning. A month is all she needs, apparently, Emerson thought to himself.

“There are gifts from the families waiting for you in the dining room. One family did not give a gift, but asked me to give you this.” He reached into his coat and extracted a parchment, folded with the seal of the Cabrera family on top. The Cabreras only had one daughter, Elisa, who was an odd one. All the other females had been sent to the convent or into other places of the cloth. When she had handed the parchment to Emerson, she had looked at him with pleading eyes. “It’s very important. If you could please keep it a secret,” she had said. Emerson had assured her that he was trustworthy and only the King would see it.




        Your Majesty,
        I can give no gift besides my own clarity. If you are ever in need of guidance, please call on me to give it to you. I also have one wish to ask of you: please, do not marry me. Forgive my insolence, and forgive my disobedience to my family. Do not let your opinion of me shape in regards to this letter. And please, burn this after you read it.

        Your Obedient Servant,
        Elisa Cabrera




Emerson knelt down beside Clovis, which he had a habit of doing when he was in private with the King. He did not trust the walls to keep his voice enclosed. “Clovis, I beg you to watch yourself around these men and women of the court,” Emerson said. “I know you’re well aware with your mother’s guidance...we’ve talked of it before...but they will do anything to get to the crown.” He reached over to touch the King’s hand in a brief sign of affection. “I would rather lose you to death than a treacherous heart.” Emerson smiled. “Although I’m sure you would never let either happen so soon.”

Hart Volten was impatient. He wanted to be in the same room as the King, but he had yet to see him. For now, he gazed at the portraits of the royal family in a gallery, and his eyes stopped at King Clovis. The corner of Hart’s mouth curled a little, but he could read no emotions in a simple picture of the King. His long fingers splayed on his hip as he stared at the King, and then he moved on to his mother, going up through his lineage until the portraits stopped. Hart had not been invited to the palace. He had tagged along with his family to have a part of the fun. Hart left the gallery and walked down the hall. He wet his lips and ran a hand through his red hair. He wondered if the rest of the Voltens had realized he had tagged along.

Never had Hart been one to be a part of the family. As a cousin, he had visited his cousin and his Aunt and Uncle but had never been so touchy feely with them. But he felt the tug on his heartstrings to help them now. Hart found himself down in the great hall and saw some of the families walking through, or speaking with each other as they attempted to hide their motives (or, in some cases, reveal them.) Hart saw his cousin and went to her, smiling gladly. “Cousin, surprise!” He took her hands and kissed them. “I came to see you capture the King’s heart,” he whispered. “How are you feeling about it all?”

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:49 pm

Clovis was rather underwhelmed with all of the information Emerson provided him. It came as a slight surprise, of course, that the Ayleharts wanted the favour of the court and King. He did not put it beneath them or above them to try for it again. This information only meant that Clovis would have to undergo a thorough inspection of the characters of Ulisse and, of course, his sister Almara. It seemed that either way, they wanted some kind of reckoning. Clovis resisted any feelings of resentment or judgement for the family; he had no way of knowing their character, but he knew that they would be ambitious.

When Emerson handed him the letter from the Cabrera girl he opened it as delicately as it had been written. He read over the letter twice over and puckered his lips slightly in a frown. He understood the letter, and the girl’s intention was somewhat of a relief, but it was another matter he would have to investigate privately. He put the letter back in its envelope and placed it in the inner pocket of his shirt.

Clovis seemed to be entirely focused on whatever he was contemplating, but when he realised Emerson had been offering sentimentality (through the affectionate gesture which had been made), he looked at the man he considered his older brother and smiled warmly.
‘Emerson, my brother! I appreciate your concern for me but do not be too anxious. I only ask that you keep your ears and eyes open, and to tell me if you find anything suspicious. I will heed to you. O, those women won’t get to me. I’d more easily succumb to a seductive poetess than a fledgling witch. You know I’m more prone to poetry, anyway.’ The King laughed quietly, but then paused.
‘I would rather not receive my gifts in the dining hall, but in my own chamber. It would make it more intimate. As for the Aylehart boy . . . if he would like to counsel with me privately about business matters, he can have my company tonight in this very study. Is there anything else I should do?’

---

It was not at all surprising to the bachelorette Cosette Voltren to see her cousin Hart at the Hall of Grace; the waiting room as each guest was brought to their own rooms in the Eastern Wing. Cosette was a tall, meek, and delicate thing, with tousled red hair and frightfully pale skin, much like her cousin. She wore a pale blue dress, the colour of emotion, which was a statement of the nature of her family’s ability. Her most electric feature were her violet eyes, which compromised her in their deep and violent sensuality, much like molten lava.

She received her cousin with a polite and fluid smile. Her hands were relaxed when he kissed them, and she took him by the arms to kiss both of his cheeks. ‘Cousin Hart,’ she said in a tone that was almost a whisper. She liked her cousin. She could remember the time they spent together when they were very young, playing with the barn animals nearby her parents’ castle, sometimes playing pranks on the stable boy--but it was always Cosette who would cry about it afterward, because of their family’s sensitivity to emotion.

‘Feel? It is impossible to feel anything. Do you sense all the chaos in this room?’ she asked amusedly. It was true; living as a Voltren meant you were intuitive and felt emotions like unseen auras. It took much discipline to distinguish one’s own emotion from those surrounding, if you were a Voltren. The family was notorious, because of this familial challenge, for its suicides, substance abusers, manipulators, and impulsive characters. But their most redeeming qualities lay in their wit and loyalty. They were hardly stirring up obvious fights; they worked much more passively than that.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:17 pm


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Emerson’s heart lifted to see Clovis smile, and it seemed to heal his worries. He had, so many times, said his worries to Clovis about his inadequacy, and the fact that Clovis called Emerson his brother was so honoring to Emerson, that his heart always felt as though it would burst around him. Without a gift, Emerson often felt so inadequate--but the Roshauns’ gift was small and humble, and Clovis seemed to resemble that in his human qualities. Emerson nodded. “You know I tell you everything, Your Majesty. My knowledge means nothing, as it all goes to you.”

He stood and nodded to Clovis. “It will be done. I’ll have the gifts brought up to your chamber. I’ll also inform Aylehart to be here at...eight o’clock tonight, if that is satisfactory.” He nodded his head, as if confirming it himself for Clovis. “In the meantime, I’ll look for the poetesses,” he added, and smiled. He shut the door and went down the hall. He passed by a man who was quite beautiful. He was smoking a pipe in the hallway, and it alarmed Emerson that he was so close in the wing of the King’s quarters and study. Of course there were guards outside Clovis’s door, but the feeling of intrusion was around Emerson with all the people and guests in the castle. Emerson sucked in a breath.

“My Lord, can I help you find your way?” Emerson asked. The spoke in the pipe was strong and made Emerson’s eyes water, but he tried to hide it by blinking hard once. The man looked up. He had sparkling blue eyes and blonde hair that curled behind his ears. His face was heart shaped, thin with sharp cheekbones and pale skin, although his cheeks were flushed. His lips looked flushed as well, wet and red, and Emerson had to keep his eyes on the man’s. “Lord Asa Azarola,” the man said and held out his hand. Emerson shook it and Asa smiled. “My mother Fiona is here for the ball. You’re the King’s Reagent, aren’t you?”

“Yes, Emerson is my name. Pleased to make your acquaintance, and I’m sure Lady Azarola will as well.” Asa pursed his lips before taking another puff of his pipe. “I would like to hope so, but I have a feeling he’ll find my company much more enjoyable. Speaking of which, would you be willing to grant me audience with him?”

Emerson tried not to laugh. Aylehart had gotten audience because Clovis had asked for it, but the knowledge of letting Clovis be alone with any other person other than himself was laugh worthy. He hid his emotions, though, like a royal servant should, and the reagent shook his head. “He won’t be taking audience with anyone until after the ball. You’re welcome to ask him yourself if you’re capable of meeting with him tomorrow.”

Emerson felt uncomfortable as Asa stared at him. He was not staring at him normally, but looking over every part of him. When Asa’s eyes reached his lower body, Emerson cleared his throat, and the man smiled brightly. Emerson noticed a faded scar on his cheek that only seemed to be an indent from the past that was accentuated with his cheeks being lifted from the smile. Asa’s scar was from his one of his family’s pet foxes, which was his family’s crest. Asa had eaten the fox’s meat after he had shot it in the courtyard.

“I thank you for your honest response,” Asa said as he bowed his head. Emerson walked past and disappeared down the hallway. Asa’s eyes lifted toward the direction Emerson had come. He pulled back into the room that was behind him and thought of Emerson. He smiled to himself. Asa covered his face and rubbed it until it felt raw, which he knew was when it was ready. He ran his fingers through his hair until he had Emerson’s dull, brown hair, and rubbed his eyes until his eyes were Emerson’s muddy brown ones.

When he exited the room, he was Emerson, besides the clothing. Asa tugged a bit at his collar and walked down the hall. He saw the guards outside the King’s study and Asa smiled. He nodded his head as he let himself inside and shut the door behind him. “Your Majesty, I’ve forgotten something.” Asa had planned everything up until this point. In doubt, he walked closer to Clovis’s chair. “One of the family’s have offered a male courtesan as their gift. I wasn’t entirely certain how you felt on the matter, but they ensured complete secrecy and subtlety.” Asa had to hide his smile, and it was difficult.

__

Hart smiled weakly. “I can feel it all. It’s difficult, isn’t it?” He always remembered Cosette by her eyes. He felt relieved to see her. “I hope my Uncle isn’t upset I’ve followed after you. I couldn’t help but make certain to see your success here.” She always felt so warm to him, and the man sighed happily. “Please, come with me. Let’s get away from this mess.”

Despite how much he tried to control it, emotions were always so overwhelming for him. He felt his forehead breaking out into a light sweat when he was around so many people. He tried to concentrate on just his own and Cosette’s as he took her arm and led her to a quieter corner of the room, at least a bit away from the crowd.

“What gift did you bring His Majesty?” His eyes were full of curiosity, hoping to learn everything about their plan and what he could do to help. He knew Clovis was an artistic King, one for plays, one for literature and all to do with the golden age of the renaissance. He was a representation of the age, and Hart was proud to serve underneath him. He was positive his family would be good for the crown.

“My God, Cosette,” Hart suddenly spoke breathlessly. “You have grown so much. I can’t believe how old we are.” With themselves alone, he felt as though he had such sudden clarity to their history, their age, and where they were. She was so beautiful, and he felt so strong and one with himself. He was happy with their King. He felt as though nothing could go wrong, even though there was a feeling of madness, uncertainty, and lechery among them. That was why Hart wanted to stay away from them all, except Cosette.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:16 pm

As Emerson left, Clovis could not help but laugh out: ‘Thank you, Emerson!’
When he was alone, the King took the letter out from the Cabrera girl, Elise. He looked over it a few more times and sighed. With it in one hand, he went to the hearth that was in his study and put the letter on top of the mantle. Bending over, he saw that there were a few embers. He placed a couple of small logs on top and, using a poker, stirred the fire. It began to swallow the wood, eating it up, and as Clovis reached for the letter once more to put it in the fire, Emerson had come back into the study.
He turned to Emerson. If there was more light, he would have found something off about his friend’s appearance--most notably, the clothing.

When he heard the offer, he became serious.

‘Damn it,’ he said to himself. What family could have made such an offer? It was a strange thing to give. He was not sure if he could trust it. A male courtesan--Clovis had never even dreamed of having any sexual affairs with another man. He knew what this offer was, and since it was a gift, it would be in terrible taste to reject it.

‘Before I accept, I have to see this male courtesan. I am not sure I entirely trust this offer, and I think you would agree that it could be dangerous, Emerson. It likens to . . . giving the host of a grand party a very dangerous animal as a pet, and the gifter says it’s domesticated. Wouldn’t you agree?’ Emerson said, turning away to poke at the fire some more.
‘I want to know which family is offering, and if I might meet the courtesan for myself before I make any decision.’


---


Cosette did not refute her cousin’s bringing them to another part of the Hall. She looked on at him; yes, he had grown very handsome indeed, with a softness not uncommon in her family. She saw the sheen of sweat on his forehead. She felt him, and touched him on the back to comfort him silently. It was an incredible experience, to be near another Voltren--there was much that remained unspoken because they could understand one another so well. In a way, it could be so comfortable that being around ones without that gift left Cosette feeling turgid without any release.

She continued to smile at him. When he asked her what she brought for the King, she touched something on her neck. It was a necklace, its chain made of silver and its stone was a black opal, the rarest of its kind.
‘I have another sister piece of this--’ she began, but was interrupted with Hart’s sudden burst. She smiled as she listened to him, and felt him vibrating, his emotions coming to her like water.
‘My darling cousin,’ she said to him, taking his hands in her own. ‘We have grown. It’s quite a journey, isn’t it? It’s been a while since we have last seen each other. I hardly had grown into my brassiere!’ she laughed lightly. ‘Let’s have some wine together at dinner tonight. I am not sure what this King looks like, but I hear he is very handsome and kind. I think, if I am not picked, I would like to try for his counsel. What do you think? It’s a secret, Hart, so don’t tell anybody.’ Cosette continued to smile at him, her eyes swimming with wishes. She was very composed--it had taken a while for her to be able to control herself so succinctly.

---

Baldassare Almaviva was standing with his daughter in the Hall of Grace. They were the next to be brought to their own room, their luggage had already been brought up by the servants of the Castle. He was cheery and optimistic. His hair was dark, though he was an obviously older man, and his eyes were a bright and happy blue. His daughter was young, flowering in her pubescence, and she was very lovely. He was quite proud of that, having attributed it to the girl’s mother, whose beauty had been incomparable.

He had explained to his daughter everything that would happen in the course of this choosing of brides. She had seemed optimistic about it as well, but any dislike of the idea she had would have been sounded out by Baldassare’s own optimism. Their family, though seen as eccentric by some, was generally very likable and regarded as noble by many.

They were led up to their chamber suite; it was a suite upon his request, as the father was quite protective of his daughter. His daughter had been asking questions all night about the people who were there, all of the families she had never encountered; there were even some people who Baldassare did not know about. But he expected there would be more questions when they were alone.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:21 pm


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Damn it.

Asa was certain he had him. He kept his hands behind his back, tight together, as he breathed strongly through his nostrils.

Asa reassured himself. He needed to be patient. The problem now was whether or not to tell him of which family, which endangered revealing the plot. Asa wanted to lick his lips, but he, again, restrained, and remembered Emerson’s movements. “I would normally note the dangerousness of it. But, in the spirit of the festivities, I wouldn’t think it a bad thing to at least take a risky gift. As long as you remember that he is, as he should say, a mere courtesan.” At this point, Asa was hoping he didn’t sound too educated for the reagent. “A great King would never be so little as to fear a little warmth in their bed at night, I would think.”

He adjusted himself and his eyes looked over to the fire. “But, whatever you wish, Your Majesty. I can arrange a meeting tonight for you to meet the courtesan. I’m unsure who the family is, as the lady who told me of the gift pulled me aside quite quickly to tell me. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t recognize her. Is there a time tonight you would prefer? I’m supposing later in the night would hold preference.”

-

There was a secret fear that if Cosette married, she would be miserable. It was difficult to imagine being with someone whose emotions you could feel every moment for the rest of your life. Hart was determined to stay a bachelor for the rest of his life, living off the tiny wealth that came with inheritance. He didn’t want to burden a wife with the weight of his knowledge. When Cosette was with him, though, that feeling of burden was not with him, and their emotions just seemed to melt together into an understood silence. “I’m sorry,” he said softly with a flush and smile as he lowered his eyes and head. “I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

His eyes dropped to opal around her neck. It was beautiful. “The King is kind. As for handsome I cannot judge for you,” Hart said as he stared at the opal. “I’m sure he will love it, and I am certain he will love you.” He was also positive he would be just as heartbroken if the King didn’t, as he could not understand anyone who did not love Cosette. She seemed so strong, stronger than Hart could ever be, and even now, she held herself so well. The hand on his back had been such a comfort to him, and Hart had calmed significantly.

“You can succeed at anything, cousin.” He lowered his voice to a whisper, his smile reaching through his voice. “I won’t tell a soul of your plan. But I believe you can do it. I’ll help in any way I can. And dinner with you sounds wonderful.” He was surprised how excited he was with Cosette. Their childhood seemed eons away, but seeing her life this, so grown and happy and composed, made him want to be his best. It invigorated him. He looked back at the other families that were waiting or heading through the hall. One young girl caught his eyes, and she immediately looked away. She was certainly striking, with raven hair down her back and a lithe frame. She was walking with an older man, and they disappeared behind a wall.

Another woman was all alone by herself. His eyes were downcast. She was all in white with her hands folded on her lap. She did not look at anyone. Hart tried to feel her from afar, but he couldn’t. He did not look back at Cosette as he spoke, “Everyone is so interesting to watch. Some of them felt so miserable. I tried to spend time alone in the gallery. I’m interested to see the King in particular, though. I cannot wait to see him.” He looked back to Cosette. “I may be more excited than you about it. Perhaps I’ll steal him away before you. I am a bachelor.” He grinned at his cousin.

-

Ravenna walked with her father and tried to stop quivering as much as she was. Everyone looked older than her, and wiser. She wanted to disappear, which would be so very easy to do with the touch of a mirror, but the overwhelming thoughts of her father’s disappointment was too much to bear. She had refrained from sounding any pessimistic views, or any doubts, but her father’s encouragement had given her a bit of hope.

She watched the back of the royal servant as they were led up to their suite, and she felt out of breath by the time they got up there, whether it was from the walking or her nerves, she did not know. When they reached the bedroom, she held her father’s sleeve to pull him back from doing some extravagant movement to introduce the suite. “Father, I’m so nervous,” she exclaimed. “Everyone down there is older. They’re beautiful. Some of the girls are.”

She knew that her family was noble, one of the highest they could get, but the King seemed kind and wonderful, and she wasn’t sure how much he would pay attention to status. She pushed past her father to the mirror and looked at herself, then began to plait her black hair. It seemed like an unreachable dream to be the Queen of the kingdom. Her blue eyes looked over to her father. There was a question on her mind: Was she expected to find a husband here regardless of the King’s choice? She was frightened to ask her father, and instead returned to the mirror.

The gift had been her idea: a beautiful carriage from the 19th century with gold accents. Of course, they had paid heavily for it, and the transportation through a large mirror in their family’s household, and the delivery had also been a great pain...but the Almavivas were confident of the King’s favor for it.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:11 am

Clovis began to think Emerson’s mannerisms were strange. Before he mentioned it, however, he thought twice. He knew of the Azarolas, who could shape-shift. Was he expecting them? . . . Ah, yes, he was. A Fiona Azarola. Clovis’ mind was quick and connected. He would not accuse, but simply be a bit more enthusiastic about the offer. The real Emerson would have known that Clovis had something of a disdain for the male form. Perhaps it was a bit backwards in noble society, but Clovis’ love for the scent of the female sex, especially when it was in his mouth, was profound.

The King listened to all that Emerson had to say. He continued to poke around in the fire thoughtfully, and when Emerson finished, he turned to face his Regeant.
‘Of course a warm bed is most desirable,’ Clovis replied, smiling. ‘And yes, I would like a meeting with this courtesan, late at night, in my own chamber. Tell him to wear a smile for me.’

The King went back to his desk, where he began to look at the poem he was writing.
‘Thank you, Emerson. You can go.’

---

Cosette could feel her soul swelling with happiness as she could feel Hart’s own. She had always admired her cousin, his sensitivity, and his apparent vulnerability. Even though it was the opposite when they were younger, it seemed--he would often console her--he looked to have embraced his sensitivity, and she could see it. It was very soothing to be in his company.

She looked at him for a while and had to look down, because she was flushing. She was very flattered; he was very happy for her. Her mother and father had not necessarily approved of her presenting herself to the King, probably for the same reasons Hart had worries about. But Cosette had been solid in her decision: she could offer a great blessing to the court, which was her intuitive power. It did not matter if she enjoyed it or not; her dreams were prioritised.

The Voltren girl looked up at him to see that Hart was observing someone else. Then he began to speak of the people there, and made a jest about the King. She laughed as he grinned.
‘We would both have to share him, then. Only one of us can bear children, my dear Hart. Could you imagine that?’ she asked. ‘It would be quite a religious experience. Of all the families, I hear the Roshauns are the most sensitive in bed.’
Cosette then took her cousin’s arm, so that they could walk down to the portrait gallery.
‘The Almavivas are very adventurous lovers, the Azarolas the most dangerous . . . that’s what I’ve heard. Don’t ask how I know,’ she giggled. ‘But yes, there are a great many who are miserable to be here. You would think that they would be elated! But I believe there are some sneaky things happening. Let’s promise to protect each other, Hart.’

---

‘You shouldn’t be nervous at all!’ exclaimed Baldassare to his daughter. Her question had easily distracted him from doing anything that was too playful. He seemed genuinely upset with her show of insecurity. The servant closed the door behind them, and Baldassare watched his daughter go to the mirror to play with her hair. He sighed, and looked at the trunks in the room, full of clothes and knick-knacks to give to the King. Baldassare had asked the servants not to put any of their things away.

‘Sweetheart,’ he said. He went to the trunks to see that the servants had not rummaged through them. ‘I know you feel there’s no chance for you, but you are beautiful. You look just as old as the women you saw, and a hundred times more beautiful. You are your mother’s image. Really! It’s an awkward time for you right now, but I think you’ll see . . .’ he trailed off. So far, nothing seemed to have been rummaged through. ‘You’ll see, during and after the ball, you’ll have everyone gawking at you and then you’ll hate it.’

Baldassare smiled, because these were complaints that Ravenna’s mother, Renata, had had.
‘You have a beautiful present for His Majesty. He will love it, and he will adore you. You act and appear older. I don’t think age really matters much, anyway,’ he said.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:01 am


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Asa was getting the sense that Clovis was too clever for Asa’s own good. He wasn’t too sure if he had figured Asa out, though, but he couldn’t take a chance. I won’t be able to use my own face tonight. Pity. Asa went to bow as he left, but stopped himself. “Will do, Your Majesty.”

When he left the room, he looked straight down the hall and kept his eyes on the end of the hallway. He was swearing in his head at his own uncertainty. He hated being uncertain. He went to his chambers and looked in the mirror, bending forward and quirking his brow. He changed himself back to his normal face, and he was thinking about how he would have to change his face to something equal or better. It would be difficult. If only he was able to read Emerson’s mind as well as taking his face. He smiled to himself in the mirror. Instead of changing his face, he would change his face in court. He had no reason to impress the courtiers, but he had to put on his best for the King. And Clovis would have no idea of what he looks like, and wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

The man sighed and turned towards the window in the room. He hated having to give away vanity for power, but leaders had to make sacrifices.

-
“Cosette!” He genuinely looked surprised at her language and mentioning the way the Roshauns were in bed. It was as though one minute she had been 7, and now she was a woman. It was a shock to him and her knowledge of sex made it all the more prominent. The Azarolas. He didn’t know much of them, but his curiosity was peaked. “The most dangerous? How so?”

Once again, his eyes laid on the Kings and Queens of old, and he tried to imagine Cosette up there as a portrait. “You know, if you’re made Queen, you wouldn’t be suited up there.” He hesitated in trying to think of how to describe his explanation. “You weren’t meant to be captured in stillness, I think. You shouldn’t be frozen in time.”

He lowered his head, though, when he whispered to her, “But tell me more about the families and what you know.” He knew plenty about most of them, and nothing about others, so he wanted to hear all that Cosette knew. He hoped she didn’t feel the dread of knowing that her innocence was gone, that she was no longer a naive girl.

-

Her fingers were trembling as she plaited her hair, and brought it over her shoulder. She didn’t like the way it looked, and remembered someone saying, somewhere, that men liked hair down, and she undid it again and twisted the sides back. When she met her eyes in the mirror, her expression was in an eternal pout, and it turned into a frown. Ravenna then sighed. She turned her eyes to her father in the mirror and ended up smiling at him. He was kind enough to her, and she was grateful for it.

“Father, do you hope I find someone here, whether it be a king or just a lord? And...is there anyone to be careful of? Or anyone I should look for?” She had to agree she probably would end up hating people gawking at her. She was so conscious of why people looked at her, or spoke with her. She had a neverending fear. She wished she could be like her father, ever confident, ever faithful in the human race. She loved him more than anything, though, and could not imagine finding a lord who treated her better than him.

She reached out to the mirror and let her fingers dip into the glass. The glass shimmered for a moment, but she pulled back before she felt the strong temptation to dive in. She could bring the king to another time, she thought. When they were alone. “Would they let me take His Majesty to another time?” She turned, suddenly, looking at her father with excitement. “Do you think he would like it? Do you think it would be interesting enough?”

-
Emerson prepared all Clovis had asked for. By the time he directed the servants to bring the gifts up to Clovis’s chambers--some of the gifts, like a giant carriage from the Almavivas, just written on a piece of parchment to replace the gift for the moment--he had a shine of sweat on his face. He took out a handkerchief and wiped his face in the hallway as he gave a deep sigh.

Dinner would be served to the great dining hall, but it would be separate for King Clovis and his guests, the king taking his meal in his chamber and the guests getting the entire service by themselves. It helped the guests to have excitement and suspense for the rest of the plans.

Emerson watched as the last of the guests were shown to their chambers. He stood at the corner of the room and tried to pick out who was trustworthy, who wasn’t, but there were all nice to his face. After all, he was their ticket to the king. If he didn’t like them, Clovis wouldn’t.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:07 am

Clovis had completely forgotten about the letter he needed to burn. His mind was too distracted--the threats were becoming very real, and he had to mentally prepare himself for this trial. He knew there were families who would not resort to trickery, and he was very thankful for them, as they offered less stress for his already heavy mind.

He flipped through the pages of notes he made for the poem. He then proceeded to look at the poem itself.

“Et factum est, ut hoc tempore,
Et in ea sanguis veteris
Eget fonte dulcis mihi.
Omnes flores iuventutis;
Quod pervenit ad fontem
Qui bene accepit.
Flores apparuerunt in limine primo . . .”

---

‘Ah, the most dangerous . . .’ Cosette repeated to herself. They were in the Hall of Lineage, now, and she looked at the paintings much in the way that Hart did. She found herself extremely flattered with his comments; she had never received such frank flattery, it was almost as if her cousin had spent much of his time in Italy or Spain.

She had felt his surprise in her maturity, her loss of naiveté. There was no dread in it; when she received her period, when her mother used to force her to watch animals slaughtered which later they would eat, when her father explained to her what she would expect as a noble involved in the court; these were all event that characterised her loss of innocence. She did not feel impure, however. Cosette had experienced passion a few times, discreetly, and these experiences melted and reformed her in ways that left her feeling more invulnerable than ever.

‘Well, I would say the Azarolas are the most dangerous because they can make themselves look like anybody. I’ve heard they like to trick people. I heard a story once about a jealous Azarola who shape-shifted as his partner’s secret lover, and killed him when he found the rumour to be true.’ She stopped to look at a painting of Mira Roshaun. ‘I know that the Roshauns are delicate, in a way. But they are fierce, and have, for the most part, made good decisions. The Ayleharts are ambitious and a little impatient. I think they are a little lost; maybe that is why they like the sea so much . . . I have heard that a good sailor never fears the abyss, only embraces it.’

She looked up at her cousin. ‘The Azarolas are much more mysterious. The Seagraves are rather bourgeoisie and a little revolutionary, maybe as misled as the Ayleharts. The Almavivas are harmless. Their moral hearts are very sound. But if you want to know about love-making, dear cousin, I would go for an Aylehart or Azarola if you wanted danger; a Seagrave if you like surprises; an Almaviva for good-natured fun; or Roshauns for a most delicate union.’ Cosette paused, her eyes looking to the side. ‘But I do not know what it would be like to make love to a Voltren.’

---

Despite Baldassare’s occupance, he was still listening to his daughter and her questions. His features remained open and easy-going, and he seemed delighted to answer her questions.
‘Well, sweetheart, I not only hope you’ll find someone, but I am very certain you will. And yes, of course there are those you should be wary of. I’ll let you know if anything smells bad, but don’t accept any offers from strange people with strange smiles. I’ll tell you what. During the ball, if you’re talking to someone, I’ll wink to let you know they’re all right. I think you can almost make these decisions for yourself, but you’ll need my help at first.’

He continued shuffling around luggage. When he was finished, he sat on a trunk and looked at his daughter when she asked her last question.
‘I’m not sure if they’d let you take him, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. I would only do it if you were comfortable enough with him. You have to remember the rules, too, sweetheart.’
Baldassare wiped some sweat from his brow.
‘Would he like it? Well, it varies. Some people get overwhelmed by it. You know, it’s hard to know where you’ll end up and all. Sometimes you end up coming out in the middle of a war. You know that, Ravenna. Just make sure he’s comfortable with the idea of it!’

He smiled at her. ‘Anyway, are you hungry? Do you want to take a nap? What do you want to do?’

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:19 pm


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The Seagraves were not so far away in the royal lineage, Hart thought, and his eyes turned to King Alaric in a portrait with his family. He looked out of place, like a pig dressed to be a dog, and Hart felt sad he could notice it. He looked away to Cosette when she continued to speak, and her last remark sent him into a feeling of curiosity.

He imagined the union with a Voltren would be passionate and intimate, and like no other. And then his thoughts went to the wonderment of a union between two Voltrens, how transparent and loving the match would be. He wondered if Cosette would lay with him, if she had laid so many times as to know the secrets of so many families. Suddenly, Hart was blushing, and shame washed over him. At no point was he meant to think of Cosette in that way, especially when she was meant to be courting the king himself.

“I fear to ask how you know all of this,” he remarked in a tease, but it seemed like a weak attempt by the time it left his mouth. He cursed his family inside of his head and their gift. Most likely, Cosette felt every part of him, and could nearly read his mind in what he thought.

His eyes looked up when he felt another emotion that was not their own, and he saw a servant in the doorway. The servant bowed. “My Lord and Lady, dinner is served in the dining hall.” Hart felt relief and he held out his arm for Cosette to lead her way.

-

She kept forgetting how important the king was. It was that she knew he was a man, but often forgot that he was a man surrounded by guards, heavily protected with rules and boundaries. She also forgot she had no control over where they landed in time, as she was normally so excited it worked at all, she appreciated anywhere she landed. Ravenna had yet to experience the bad side of finding herself in the middle of a battle. “That’s right,” she sighed. “I’ll have to see. Perhaps I can ask the reagent, or one of the guards if it would be alright, just to make sure…” Her eyes looked a little more hopeful, though, a little more curious and lighthearted.

She went to sit on the bed across from her father. She returned the smile to him. “I am a bit hungry.” And as though she had called, a servant knocked on the door and said through it, “Dinner is served in the dining hall.”

-

Almara and Ulisse sat together at the dinner and talked with others, and as usual, were great life to the party. They drank wine and spoke loudly and boisterously, but talked seriously when serious topics arose. Ulisse had a great time, despite his nerves deep in his stomach as he planned his conversation with the king.

Ulisse arrived and escorted to the king’s study at exactly 8 o’clock. His fear did not show on his face. He had his jaw set and his eyes dark and kept the face on before he walked inside the room. He bowed lowly before Clovis and spoke soundly, “Ulisse Aylehart, at your service, Your Majesty.” He kept his hands at his sides after and he felt the tips of his fingers twitch.

His sister would do most of the convincing if he couldn’t, Ulisse knew. If he failed here, Almara could recover him. He breathed thick through his nostrils, and decided to get right to the point. “My brother Jacob died serving you at sea. He spoke of you highly until his dying breath.”

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:56 pm

Cosette, though she could not read her cousin’s mind, felt his shame, and wondered if it was because of her openness. She absorbed his feelings and made them her own, somehow, and felt a little bad about it. His remark led her to believe that the shame he had felt had something to do, indeed, with her own forward statements on love-making. She wanted to explain that she had made a friend, a maid in her family’s own castle, who worked as a prostitute in a very high class pleasure and gambling house. The maid, named Elena, had a twin brother who continued to work at the brothel, but Elena had left because she began to think about the corruption.

She did not explain this to her cousin, however, as to seem more elusive. The girl’s own affairs had not been with nobles at all, but with young men--and even a woman--who tantalised her, their emotions being so interesting that she would have to sate her own curiosity. Cosette’s first had been the stable boy that her and her cousin so often pranked . . . she did not know if Hart knew this. Cosette did not want to speak lest she would feel more of her cousin’s shame.

She took her cousins arm as they went together to dine. She wanted to ask all about his own travels, and to discuss the sentiments they were certain to feel around the dining hall.

---

Baldassare was more than happy to give hope to his daughter, but behind his optimism he was anxious for her to obey any rules about time travel. Renata had suffered a lapse on Baldassare’s part when it had come to that phenomenon, and he did not want his daughter to do the same to the King.

He was proud of his daughter, however. She had shown that she was capable of controlling herself. Baldassare believed Ravenna to be spectacularly independent and thoughtful; it did not take much to remind her of the realities of certain situations, and he was very happy about that. Better to have a wise daughter than a foolhardy son. Renata had always wanted a daughter, anyway--this piece of memory, if he thought about it enough, could bring Baldassare to tears.

He brought his daughter to the dining hall with the servant’s guidance. The father did not hold his daughter’s hand--he had no need to. He noticed all of the looks Ravenna received when they joined the other guests, and made sure his daughter was near him, even when he was jovially conversing with others.

---

Clovis Roshaun ate his meal in silent solitude, in his own private dining room. He repressed his anxiety, but felt he needed an outlet. The Ball would certainly be his outlet. He was eager to see how the Aylehart boy, Ulisse, would approach him on business. He was also thinking about the male courtesan and how he would handle that.

After he had dined, he washed his hands and face in a basin, dried up with a napkin, and went to his study fifteen minutes before the arrival of Ulisse. He had a servant start the fire in the hearth, and lit an oil lamp. Clovis sorted through the papers on the desk, and decided he wanted a comfortable chair for Ulisse to sit on. He placed the chair, by himself, at the corner of his study’s table. It would make Ulisse feel more comfortable--Clovis wanted that affect.

Then he waited. It was not long before Ulisse came into the study. The King did not bother to stand to greet his guest, but bowed his head to him in a noble gesture. When the Aylehart came to the point, Clovis smiled faintly at him.
‘Ulisse Aylehart, Captain of the notorious Redlight. First of all, I would like to sincerely welcome you to my Castle. I hope that your needs--as well as your sister’s--have been met withal.’
Clovis gestured to the seat he had prepared.
‘Please, take a seat. Be comfortable . . . I understand that your brother was Commander of a great fleet, and I offer my condolences to you and your family for your loss at sea. It is noble of him to have honoured my name. But I want to know, Captain, why have you requested my company? And, please, do not withhold any frankness. I appreciate honesty, above all. Would you like some wine?’

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:24 pm


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Ulisse felt stiff standing before the king. He feared he wouldn’t do this right. But he forced himself to move and sit in the seat he was offered. He felt his palms burning when he sat. He had not used his gift in the time he had been in the castle. The Ayleharts’ gift was dangerous, to say the least, and they did not like to show it off in fear of looking reckless. Which, Ulisse knew quite well, they were. But they could at least put in effort trying to hide it.

His eyes flickered to the fireplace, but he turned them back to Clovis at the table. His hands were hidden beneath the table, which he was grateful for, as he let them warm and cool for comfort. When they warmed up, his skin flushed hot red. Clovis requested frankness, and Ulisse was grateful for it, as he was not skilled in hiding it. “I would be grateful for wine, Your Majesty.” When the wine was set before him, he reached and took the cup in his hand. His hand glowed and he warmed the wine to the way he liked it.

“I wanted to ask you to consider making me Commander in my brother’s place,” he began. “I’m as skilled as he was, and more confident. I want to continue to prove my family’s royalty to the crown by serving under your name, Your Majesty.” Ulisse drank some of the wine, but never took his eyes from Clovis. He wasn’t sure how much he actually believed in the crown. He knew Jacob had, with resounding confidence, loved the crown and the king. But Ulisse didn’t doubt that nativity was a part of what had him killed at sea.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:48 pm

Clovis could see that Ulisse was a bit nervous. He wondered why the Aylehart was nervous. He thought about what Ulisse was saying, his request to become Commander, but Clovis had never seen this man out at sea. Certainly, the King had no doubt that this one would make a very good Captain, but a Commander’s duties were very complicated.

Clovis also knew Jacob to be patriotic. He was not sure about Ulisse’s patriotism, or if he held any familial resentment. It was a sour deal, having had to be sceptical of these nobles, however unfortunate they were in their own decisions. Clovis did not seem at all affected by the man’s glowing hand as he heated his wine.

‘To make you commander . . .’ Clovis began, and then stopped. ‘Captain Ulisse, my uncle and your brother had a very good relationship. As I was young when Jacob became commander, I could not spend time with him the way my uncle had. My mother also knew your brother and loved him. I am sure that you know he would visit the Castle often . . .’ the King looked down for a moment.
‘Due to the natures of each noble family and their struggle, their desire for power, if you will, it puts me in a very strange position. I think you could understand. I can make you Commander, but we will have to become acquainted more--as we have never met before this meeting--and you will have to take me on one of your ships sometime. I don’t believe I have ever been out at sea.’ Clovis Roshaun smiled. ‘Is this an acceptable compromise?’

The King thought it would be more than acceptable--he was offering a camaraderie to this man, who was a little older than his Regeant. He had no doubt that the man could hold his own in terms of controlling a ship and crew, but Clovis had to be sure about his nature.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:10 pm


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Ulisse almost dropped his wine. Fuck. Shit. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. He tried to look calm when Clovis offered the position immediately. He tried not to let him hear his heart beating so rapidly that it nearly hurt his chest. “Your Majesty,- ….Thank you. Yes. I would do anything you wanted. I’ll have to arrange more visits here. You’re very generous. ” And Ulisse was a fool.

It wasn’t his fault, though, his knack for treachery, for the expectation of a wall from everyone. He remembered his father telling Ulisse that he would have to fight for everything. He would have to struggle and paw for any ounce of respect, and their family had been known to take the hard road to get it. And so Ulisse had. He had ensured he had the upper hand with everyone he met. That was how he had planned this trip with Almara helping him get the title. He had never expected it to be offered to him.

There was great guilt in him when Clovis looked at him so earnestly. Ulisse wanted to tell him everything he had expected and what he had been given instead, but it would have killed him and his family name in the end. “I hope I can make up for the relationship Jacob had with the Roshauns,” he said with a smile. “It is a very hard title to assume in my brother’s stead.”

Fuck. Shit. Fuck. He was a bastard. He was nothing like his brother. He was a fool. He now had to stop Almara from screwing up anything. Jacob had gained this trust in earnest, and now he had been about to shame his dead brother’s name. He had to talk to Almara. “My sister and I will be staying here until the end of the events,” he said. “I’m certain we can get acquainted in between dinners and small chats.”

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:16 pm

Clovis’ expression was enthusiastic. He was completely oblivious to any plans Ulisse might have--he thought that, if this man could be the younger brother of someone so vivacious and generous, his character must be adequately similar.
‘Of course we will. Anyway, Ulisse--if I may call you that--I am sure you are tired and would like to return to your private room. I should not want to keep you for too long. It has been an honest pleasure to finally make your acquaintance. Would you like to join me for dinner privately tomorrow night? If you would rather be with your sister before the Ball, however, I would understand.’

He got up from his desk to walk Ulisse out, but before he did, he held out his hand to shake the Aylehart’s. He did so without fear of Ulisse’s power; he wanted to show the man that the King trusted in him and their future friendship.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:58 pm


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“It would be an honor, Your Majesty.”

He shook his hand and smiled at the king. A handshake with an Aylehart was an honored thing to them. It was a symbol of trust. The man was heavy hearted as he walked down the hallway. When he returned to his room, he was turning in his head how he would approach Almara. He couldn’t stay still and would not be able to sleep without speaking to her.

He went to her room and didn’t bother to knock before entering. Almara was laying on the bed near the window, looking outside. She rolled over when he came in. “What do you want?”

“A change in plans,” he said. “Leave the king be. He shook my hand.” Almara sat up. “And?” “He offered me the position of commander as long as I get to know him. I want no foul play.” Almara crossed her arms and drummed her fingers on them. She looked impatient. Ulisse went over to the bed and sat down on the end of it. He was joyous with how easy it was, but tried not to show it. “Be happy for me, would you? This means great things for the Ayleharts. We’re one more step to the court again, to another title.”

“Jacob was already there,” she said. “He’d talk about how close he was to the king, and he got nothing out of it except for his demise.” Ulisse gave a sharp look at Almara. He took her chin between his fingers and looked into her eyes. “Promise me, Almara, you will do nothing to the king in my name or our family’s. He was good to me and he said your name in good will.”

Almara pouted, which was no less of what he expected from her. She looked away from him and he dropped his hand, but she sighed. “I swear I will not. But there’s no promises for the other lords and ladies.” Ulisse shrugged. “I have no qualms for what you do to them, and neither will they, I think.”

-

Asa stayed awake until midnight, and that was when he began to move. He hadn’t met with his mother, but felt no need to. She was in her own room down the hall and he honestly felt like avoiding her in this mood. He bit his lips when he looked at himself in the mirror, making his mouth red, and pinched his cheeks for the same effect. He remembered an issue with his plan: Emerson had seen him, and he had introduced himself.

Although, it was not likely Emerson would be viewing His Majesty and Asa in bed together, as a precaution, the young man made himself look a bit different than his normal style. His blonde waves were parted on the side instead of the middle, and he ran his fingers through them once, careless for their tousle. At last resort, he pressed his fingers lightly to each eye to make them a brighter, more alluring blue than his darker blue hues his true self held. He dressed a little more modestly than he did in his lordly status, with a plain white shirt and dark breeches. He wore light slippers on his bare feet.

Let that king’s little chambermaid see me again, Asa thought as he closed his door. The king won’t let him touch me after I’m through fucking him. The king won’t let anyone touch me but himself.

The King’s Chamber...he had the notion of where it was. Asa stayed quiet as he drifted through the halls, and he found the obvious door with a guard posted outside of it. He walked more confidently up to it and asked the guard to let him in with expectation from the king. Once Asa was let inside, he looked at the king with a slight innocence in his eyes and a mischievousness in his smile while he bowed low. He smiled at him in remembrance of the king’s request.

“Your Majesty, the Azerola family gives their regards.” He wet his lips and stood straight. He took a step closer to the king. “My name, although you may call me what you wish, ...is Sabin.” He knelt down on both knees before the king, who stood at his bedpost. He looked up at Clovis. “I am at your service, Your Majesty. The Azerolas begged me to convince you if you were otherwise deterred from my favors, and will do so in any way possible, within reason.” The young man smiled at Clovis with his delicate chin tilted up. His voice was seemingly dripping with honey and his tongue was suggested to taste the same.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:37 pm

Clovis was nervous after the Aylehart left. He had rummaged through his papers again, feeling deeply that he had neglected some other matter of business which he had forgotten about. He could not place it, but he kept thinking about his visit from Emerson earlier--if it really was Emerson-- and this strange male courtesan offered to him.

The King had to come up with something clever. But he did not know whose family it was that offered this gift. He paced around his study, poured himself some wine, and left in the company of his guards. He walked to his room and stopped at his room. Turning to his guard, he said:
‘I am expecting someone to come here. It will be a man. All the same, my brothers, if you happen to see a servant, ask them to fetch Costanza from the kitchens. I will need her tonight.’

With that, he gave them a courteous nod and went into his chamber. He paced some more. He thought about how he should wait--if he should sit on the bed, sit at his vanity, stand by his window, or stand by his bed. Clovis poured himself some more wine and felt the vigour run through him. He did not bother taking off any of his clothes--he wanted to be perceived as powerful, as in control.

He stood by his bed post and leaned against it; he sipped his wine casually and drifted deep into thought. It was only when the door opened to reveal a most beautiful, effeminate creature that he was snapped out of contemplation. Innocent eyes, kissable lips: the prodigy of sensuality, the satyr’s favourite boy. Clovis appreciated the young man’s artistic sensibilities. When he had introduced himself as Sabin, the gift from the Azerolas, the King could not suppress a grin.

‘Gift from the Azerola family, hm?’ he responded, gazing at the creature kneeling below him with some degree of condescendence. Clovis surveyed Sabin like an artist preparing to make a sculpture. He showed no fear or anxiety, though inside he felt nervous--the wine certainly helped with it.
‘Well, Sabin, I can’t say I have ever been attracted to a man. You’re very pretty, however. It would be very rude of me to refuse your . . . offer.’

At that moment, the door opened, and a white form came through. It was a beautiful young girl with plump cheeks. She was in a very simple cotton dress, clean--she had probably changed before coming up--but one could just barely see the form under the cloth. She was large breasted and heavy hipped, her stomach bulging slightly: the direct contrast of sex appeal to Sabin.

‘O!’ exclaimed Clovis, looking upon the girl. He grinned widely and perked up. ‘Costanza! Please, my darling, come here.’

She came forward slowly, looking at the kneeling Sabin with some confusion, before looking up at her King and curtseying deeply. She had long brown hair and dark eyes.
‘Your Majesty,’ she said. ‘D-did you need something?’
It was understandable that she was shy. Costanza was the girl that Clovis enjoyed fooling around with--and they had never included anyone else in their playful romps.
‘Yes,’ Clovis replied. ‘This man is Sabin. He was given to me as a gift, but I wasn’t sure what I could do with him. I don’t think I can please him properly, my sweet Costanza. He’s handsome, isn’t he?’
‘Well, yes,’ Costanza replied, smiling.
‘Costanza’s a very naughty girl, you know,’ Clovis said to Sabin, smiling. ‘What do you think, Sabin? Doesn’t she look delicious?’

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:03 pm


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The way the king stood at his bedpost would have had Asa dizzy if he wasn’t playing a part. But when Clovis looked up behind Asa, and he heard the door open, he turned his head to see a girl, a mere servant, the door. Asa’s cheeks were burning. He tried to hide them and the string of curses that came to his tongue. He could stand a girl in bed, but not some sultry peasant. Asa stood, slowly, and looked at Constanza with confusion--albeit, feigned,--and then back to the king. He would have cut her throat open if he could. Underneath it all, he was seething.

“I’m sorry, Your Majesty,” he began, and seemed to struggle finding the words. “I was only assigned for one. I...If I wasn’t to your standards,...” he tailed off as he looked away, to the floor, and suddenly, Sabin looked very ashamed. Ashamed, as though the man had never dreamt so much as being in the king’s chambers or even in the king’s castle. The young man breathed in and out, and his shoulders rose and fell with the heavy breath.

He looked up at the king and looked directly into his eyes when he spoke his words: “I will pass on the message to the Azerolas that you refuse their gift.”

Which, Asa knew, would give them a great advantage. The most difficult piece of this play was hiding his smile. The courtesan reached into his shirt and looked down at a small folded parchment. His hand quivered as he held it out to the royal, his eyes downcast. “I’m very sorry, Your Majesty.” Within the folded parchment, there was a poem, a dedication to the king and a quiet voice behind the words of the courtesan’s inadequacy to the king. A description of the king’s smile, his kindness, and his great nobility was also within the long poem. “This isn’t a representation of the Azerolas. This is my personal gift. Forgive me.”

How easy it was to find out the king’s preferences through the eyes and ears of others. The fox noble had also taken an extra precaution of giving the king another gift--a beautiful caged white fox from their home. Fiona and Asa, however, had neglected to tell the king and left the gift waiting in Fiona’s bedroom to have it presented personally to the king in all its speciality. If Asa needed to, he could disregard the courtesan as a gift at all, deny having ever thought of giving the king such a frank present. And Sabin would just be the lovesick boy who had snuck into the king’s castle for a peek.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:24 pm

Clovis was legitimately shocked when Sabin took it upon himself to assume that he was rejecting the gift. For a male courtesan, as a gift, he was certainly picky. The King considered this a very bad gift, in part because the King only preferred the sexual company of women, and because this “gift” came with a strange contract. A male courtesan should have been eager to fulfill the King’s ultimate fantasies and desires, whatever it was, as long as it did not include sexual acts which were forbidden: bestiality and physical torture.

The King took the note which was given to him.
‘Stay, Sabin. I am not dismissing you yet,’ he said, and opened the letter. He read it, was flattered, but nothing stirred in his loins for the boy, only in his heart.

‘I did not sign any contract agreeing to the terms of a gift, Sabin. As far as I know, gifts do not come with contracts,’ said the King. ‘You are here to do exactly as I please, are you not? The Azerolas gave you to me with no real instruction, and if you are to be my servant, your demands are very queer to me. In fact, I would say I am a little insulted. I am curious. Guard!’ he called out.

A guard opened the door and came in. The King looked at him and said, ‘Bring Fiona Azerola here. I would like to speak with her. She cannot refuse.’
The guard, without hesitating, left.
‘Both of you will stay here,’ the King said, and sighed, taking another large sip of wine. Costanza, looking frightened, went to sit on the King’s bed.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:14 pm



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He didn’t expect the king to be so cold, which certainly surprised him. Asa watched as he read the poem, but it didn’t get him any mercy. Fiona knew about the plan, but neither of them had predicted the king to have such a subdued desire for men. It was not yet ruined, though. There were other options. If only he could catch him in time. Asa would have to make more sacrifices, including fucking a servant girl. The courtesan bit his lip and spoke a quite loudly, “Wait.”

He hesitated before speaking again. “It’s my selfishness. I’ve had quite a great admiration for you, Your Majesty, and jealousy is an awful trait of mine. Do not blame the Azerolas. The last thing they would wish to do is insult you.” A flash of fear appeared on his face. “Please, Your Majesty.” He turned to Constanza sitting on the bed, and Sabin knelt before her, taking her hand and kissing it. His eyes turned up to her as a smile came across his lips.

“Forgive me, too, my lady.” He dropped her hand and touched her calves, sliding his hands up behind them. “Your Majesty, do you have any preferences in what you wish to be done to lady Costanza?” He pulled her dress up slightly and did not take his eyes off of her.

Asa was furious. At himself, and at the king. But instead of showing it, he rose to Costanza, smiling at her face, and pressed his lips gently to hers. An innocent kiss to test the waters. He wondered if the king would move or even come closer to them, or if he would continue drinking his wine in some sort of droll boredom.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:16 pm

He called the guard to wait when Sabin uttered the vowel. After Sabin apologised for his folly, Clovis said to the guard that his errand would no longer be necessary. It was evident through Clovis’ actions that he was ultimately uncomfortable with the idea of having a male courtesan as a gift, and was struggling with it: he could not afford to reject it, for it would be in awful taste.

He observed Sabin carefully, his brows slightly furrowed. He knew he had to be both delicate and straightforward about this circumstance.
Costanza, however, was delighted. She looked on at Sabin, flushing as he approached her, and averting her gaze when he apologised to her. When his hands touched her calves she closed her thighs; she could feel both men’s gazes upon her. When Sabin kissed her, when his hand brushed up her dress, her chest swelled and she opened her lips to him, her eyes closed.

Clovis thought about Sabin’s question as he watched the courtesan kiss the peasant. He liked seeing it. He thought, perhaps, that this might be fun.
‘I want to see how good you actually are, Sabin,’ he said soothingly. ‘I’ve heard much about what a personal . . . “courtesan” can do, but I’m afraid I’ve never seen it for myself. Make love to this girl the way you think you would make love to me.’
He hoped that hearing this, Sabin would be pleased and eager. There was a smile lingering on the King’s lips as he waited. It was only beginning to turn him on.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:02 am


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As Asa kissed the girl, his eyes opened and glanced at Clovis as he spoke. Asa’s mouth opened to the girl, and he kissed her deeper in answer to Clovis. The man touched her hips and lifted her to lay her on the bed. When their mouths parted, Asa was a bit breathless, and he smiled when he replied in delay to Clovis, “Of course, Your Majesty.” He slid down the girl’s body, his hands following with him down her sides, and pushed up her thin dress. He nipped her thighs in a playful tease and kissed her skin, all while caressing her hips.

I hope she ends up pregnant so I can throw the child and her out onto the streets myself, Asa thought as he felt a headache coming on.

He had to look back at Clovis and his expression to feel his blood warm. His eyes would glance at him sideways, and did so one when he lapped up Costanza’s sex. But he did not ignore Costanza, smiling into her wetness and purring softly, “My darling lady...your taste is divine.” While his mouth worked on her, one of his hands untied his breeches, and he slipped from them easily.

He did not make her come, not quite yet. He wanted to mount her first. But he licked  her with his tongue with long, wet strokes, and would pause when he felt her tremble to just breathe on her. He rose up with his shoulders when he felt her quivering beyond control.

Asa clawed himself up by digging his nails into the servant’s sides, and he pulled her dress off in one movement. He pushed up her legs onto his shoulders with his eyes gleaming at her. He was breathing quite heavily through his white smile, and a light laugh escaped him. He reached with a hand for a thumb to rub against her sex to produce a whimper out of her. “Let’s make His Majesty  envious.”

He thrust into her and gripped her wide hip with one hand, his nails digging into her to get a louder cry out of her mouth. Asa’s back curved as he continued to thrust into her, varying his strokes, but he pushed into her in varying speeds, and his grip didn’t falter. His eyes didn’t leave her to look at Clovis as he fucked her. He laughed as he did at one point, a light jingle of a laugh, smiling and leaning down as much as he could.

It was not long though before his expression fell into pure lust and everything primal was obvious on his face. He fucked her until he came in her, and he held himself until he felt her vibrate beneath him. His groan was from deep in his throat when he released in her, and when he was certain she was finished, he lowered her legs with care and climbed over her to kiss her mouth. He did not take his eyes from hers and touched her face with the tips of his fingers. He looked at every detail of her face, her eyes, her lips, her brows, every premature wrinkle...A hand caressed her breast, his thumb brushing over a nipple. “Costanza…” It was as though he had forgotten Clovis altogether.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:37 am

Costanza, of course, loved it. She writhed the entire time--when Sabin licked her, when he penetrated her, and when he fucked her like some beast of carnal desire. Clovis saw it all, and he was thoroughly impressed. He payed close attention to the way Sabin did it--and when Sabin looked at Clovis, he allowed their gazes to meet, just for some encouragement. It looked like great fun. Seeing Sabin grip the girl’s flesh as he sowed her, the way her breasts and stomach bounced with his violent pounding . . . O, it did certainly affect Clovis--he had the hardened trophy to prove it.

Clovis was tempted to touch himself as he watched. There was something absolutely delicious in the way Sabin had made love to Costanza. It was dirty, but very passionate. Clovis could almost feel himself coming inside of the girl when he knew Sabin was. He could see that Costanza had been coming, too. It was pleasant to see the sensuousness between them, to see Sabin fondle her after the great orgasm, and to see her smile up at him, only to look away in peasant modesty.

‘Very good,’ Clovis said, his voice perfectly even. One would not have been able to tell that he was aroused at all, except if they felt his groin. He was throbbing. The King was unsure of what to do--if he should ask for some form of release, or if he should call it an evening. He was still quite uncomfortable knowing that this man, Sabin, would be very keen to pleasure him. They could both have a little fun with Costanza, but Clovis wondered if that would be unfair . . .

The King took another sip of wine.
‘You and Costanza should become friends. Your chemistry is very natural,’ the King said. He shifted on his feet. ‘I think we should do this again tomorrow evening. Sabin, I trust Emerson has given you a private quarter? After the Ball, I want to come back into my chamber and find the both of you here.’ He was very subtly uncomfortable with his imposition. It would take a keen eye to notice, though he continued to sip his wine.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:19 am


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He wanted to hit the bitch when she looked away from him. He didn’t like the weakness. He wanted challenge. She was modest and shy, and Asa’s hands on her tightened for only a moment when he thought about it. Very good, he heard from the king. He tilted his head to look at the royal and a smile went across his lips. Asa bowed his head to the king before kissing Costanza once more and moved off of her. He pulled on his breeches and rolled his shoulders.

He could not read Clovis, he thought at first. But when he came near the door, the younger met his eyes. “I am well taken care of. And I am so honored, out of all the ladies you could choose to have after the ball…” He smiled at the king and let the insinuation settle. His eyes dropped to between the king’s legs, and the temptation to reach out filled him, but he held his hand back. Instead, he lifted his hand and wiped his face with his sleeve, giving a heavy, delighted sigh.

“Goodnight, Your Majesty.” His brow quirked and he smiled before he left through the door. As he walked past the guards, his eyes changed to a duller blue, his hair losing luster, and he brushed it so it was back to its part. He thought he would have a bit of fun keeping his face normal in court. The king would wonder, but never really know, unless he asked. Asa chuckled to himself. It would all be great fun.

Costanza, on the other hand. His lips curled into a sneer. The peasant. He rubbed his cock in his chambers as he thought of fucking her again. He had to have Clovis. He would never get close to him with the whore in the way. Getting rid of her would prove suspicious. His eyes went toward the door as he heard approaching footsteps.

In a quick movement, he brushed his hair and changed himself, and grabbed a purse on the counter. He threw open the door. “Costanza,” he called, and saw her turn. When she approached, he smiled sweetly. “Please, remember.” He took her hand and placed the heavy purse of gold in her warm palm. “You do have things to do after the ball. You will be quite busy.” He leaned down and kissed below her eye before disappearing down the hall without another word.

-

Ravenna awoke before her father. She had a knack of waking early. She was very quiet when she moved to the adjoining boudoir to change into a white and dark red gown. Her black hair fell over her shoulder, and she put a circlet over her head of silver. She looked into the mirror and felt confident in the dress. She put on perfume that was set out for her and returned to the suite.

She would never leave her father alone without notice, but she still would leave him alone to go on her own journey, however nervous she was. She knelt beside his bed and kissed his forehead. “Father, I’m going downstairs for a bit to look around and perhaps talk with some people. Good morning.” She looked at him in his sleep and parted to leave the suite.

Her steps down the hall were light, not unlike her frame. Her thin frame made her fear her desirability. She was so fragile to look like a childbearing woman. But she was educated and refined. She was smart. She wanted to be clever, but found she was never so courageous as to open her mouth to prove it. Her pale frame entered the ballroom. It was absolutely empty and even her small steps echoed. The large glass windows that were taller than anything she had ever seen enraptured her, and she went to them.

She saw her reflection in the glass, and willfully, she raised her hand and touched it. Her fingers did not sink in. She wondered how her gift knew which was mirror and which was just plain glass with a reflection. Those were the great curiosities of her family, the great mysteries. She was required to journal nearly once a week to keep track of her sanity, of her history, so future descendents could know what she had experienced, and learn more about the gift. She wanted to think her mother had gone on to learn, but Ravenna, secretly, thought that she found a better life, a better lover, a better daughter.

Her poor father. Ravenna touched her breast in memory. She had no regret in being at his side as much as she was. Past all the optimistic words, she felt great melancholy in him, and it made her heart break.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:30 am

The insinuation was not lost to Clovis, but it did not sit well with him. Still, he smiled politely at Sabin as he left, bowing his head in respect as he usually did with everyone. He did not like how forward Sabin was. It made him very uncomfortable. He much preferred the modesty of Costanza, even though she let the King do the filthiest things to her in bed: it was that look, that shyness, the wistfulness and hesitation that he so adored.

He looked at her after Sabin had left. She was putting her dress back on.
‘Costanza,’ he said. ‘What did you think of him?’
‘O, he’s a fine lover,’ she giggled. ‘Quite rough. It was difficult not to cry out too loud . . . it almost felt, sometimes, like he wanted to kill me.’
Clovis grinned and approached her. He pressed himself against her, allowing her to feel his hard member. She looked up at him and gaped.
‘I need you,’ he said to her, his hand brushing her hair back behind her shoulder, his lips pressing to her neck.
‘Right now, Your Majesty?’ she asked, trembling.
‘No. Not now,’ he mumbled into her skin. ‘My sweet Costanza, tomorrow. Prepare for it--two men will have you tomorrow night. Have you ever been with two men before?’
She stammered.
‘Of course not,’ he chuckled, and pulled away. His good-natured smile beamed as he stroked her on the cheek. ‘Now go. Sleep well. Do not overwork yourself, and come back to me tomorrow evening.’

The King kissed the peasant girl on the lips. As she left, he gave her ass a little pat, and she quickened her step.
As Costanza walked down the hall, she was greeted by Sabin’s voice. She turned and went to greet him, smiling, when he handed her a heavy purse full of coin and said that she would be busy. She left without another word, but with many possibilities on her mind . . .

---

Another distinguished person was also awake at this early hour: Dr. Dante Bartolo, who had arrived that night as a special and honoured guest, and who could not sleep at all. He had had a very long carriage ride to come to Castle Roshaun, and though he was shown to his room, he felt that he should have a long stroll through the Castle and its halls before going to bed.

Dante was not too tall, though his height was sufficient for a man of his title. He stood straight and walked languidly. His face reflected a youth (a classic aquiline nose, thin lips, and opaque hazel eyes) that was estranged from his hair, which was greying in some parts. He wore a Doctor’s outfit: black trousers and a fine tunic, with a cape on his shoulders. He almost appeared as a vampire, or some phantom of the night.

In his stroll, he saw a young girl standing by one of the windows of the hall they were in: he knew she was young, because of her build and height. She was, however, very beautiful. Interesting, he thought; another creature of the night, perhaps unable to sleep herself.
‘Good morning,’ he said to her. Of course, it was difficult to see many features in the darkness of the halls. Not every candle was lit. The ones that were gave the architecture a romantic glow. ‘How are you, Miss?’

He seemed a little unenthusiastic in his greeting, though he stopped to look outside the window. Dante could not see much; he did not know why this young girl had been looking out so dreamily.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:01 am


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Ravenna felt someone with her before he spoke to her, and even then, she jumped when he spoke to her. She turned at his greeting, and the girl’s eyes were wide with curiosity and wonder. He was the most interesting person she had seen thus far: a mixture of young and old, grey streaks through his hair, and he was awake as early as herself. The sun was just beginning to rise by the time she had gained the courage to actually open her mouth to return his greeting. “Good morning.”

She bent down in a curtsy to him before turning her face back toward the window. “Ravenna Almaviva.” She had been told to always speak her name for the sake of remembrance, even if the man only met her for a moment. Her voice was still a bit hoarse with no night use. She lifted her hand to her throat and cleared her voice gently. “Very well, thank you. I woke early to watch the sun rise. And yourself, my lord?”

She assumed he was a lord, but she didn’t recognize him. She had not seen him the night before when herself and her father had been waiting to be brought to their suite. Ravenna looked down at the floor, glancing at her mother’s bracelet on her wrist: a simple thin bracelet encrusted with small emeralds, something her mother had brought back from another time. Her mother, when she had been even younger, had bent down to her height and slipped it over her hand with a finger to her lips. Don’t tell Papa.

It was the early signs of her addiction to the mirrors. Ravenna had not seen the rest and had been spared with her father watching over her so closely. The girl looked up from her daydreams and remembered there was a lord near her. It was nerve wracking being in such proximity to him. She was trying to remember all her manners, her education, and the ladies she had seen in the halls…

She realized, why would he be wearing a cape so early? Her eyes drifted to him again, and before she could stop herself, she was asking with great curiosity, “Are you cold?” When her eyes laid on him a bit longer, she found him handsome. There was something greatly noble by the way he stood with himself, and the cape on his shoulders accentuated that. The girl blushed at what she thought was some sort of childish insolence, thinking him handsome and admiring him so soon, but to make up for it, she did not look away, and kept her eyes on him to gain her own courage.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:52 pm

Ah, Ravenna Almaviva. Dante knew who she was--he knew about the Almavivas very well. He did not smile, however, when she introduced herself (he knew she was daughter of the unlucky Baldassare Almaviva), but he nodded slowly. Ravenna--Renata and Baldassare had decided to name their daughter Ravenna. And it was a fitting name, for the girl’s long black hair could sweep one up into a night full of black, crying birds.

He continued to look out of the window. Water began to spit at the glass, one drop after the other, and the drops increased. Dante raised both of his brows, not seeming exactly surprised, but perhaps he was a little fascinated. It was beginning to rain--would it rain through the day, he wondered? Would it rain through the ball?

‘I could not sleep,’ he replied. ‘I am Dante Bartolo. You need not call me lord, but Doctor is adequate,’ he said, looking down at the girl. He was oblivious to anything she could have been thinking. Dante’s hands were behind his back. He watched her with stoicism, but did not seem entirely impatient.

When she asked him if he was cold, he seemed to seriously consider it. He shrugged. ‘Well, I don’t think I am. O--you’re asking because I am wearing a cape,’ he said, and his eyebrows raised again, much like they did when he was looking out of the window, but it was no substitute for a smile or a scowl. It was an emotionless reaction, something that said whatever had happened was interesting. ‘I wear this cape because I am a doctor. If you look at the brooch holding it together, it has my Academy’s emblem, along with the emblem of medicine. Is your father with you?’

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:45 pm


△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△△

Her eyes looked back when she heard the raindrops on the window. She wondered if the king would be unhappy with the rain. Ravenna’s hand reached up again to touch the glass, feeling the cool temperature on the outside. Bartolo. He was a Bartolo. The only other gifted time travelers of the realm. Ravenna had never met one, but she knew them from her lessons, and her father had mentioned them on more than one occasion.

Dante was difficult to read. He didn’t have much of an expression, and she wasn’t certain if it was his personality of if he was bored. He told her about his cape and the position that came with it, and the girl turned toward him. She came close to him to look at the brooch that clasped his cape to him. Her eyes stayed on it for a moment, trying to memorize it with her light eyes. “It’s very suited for you.”

She pulled back and reached up to touch the silver circlet on her head before running the tips of her fingers lightly through her hair. “Yes, he isn’t such an early riser, but he came with me to stay here. Do you know my father?” A question on her mind that came too late was the fact that she was very alone with a man, unchaperoned. Her father had not mentioned what he expected of her in that matter. If another man saw her, they might think her irresponsible.

But this was a Bartolo, a man from a well respected family. If he was younger, it might have been more of a risk--but another thought crossed her mind. At his age, he must be married, which would be a shame for him. Ravenna’s mouth opened slightly, and she took a breath before speaking a bit rapidly, “I’m sorry, Doctor, I didn’t mean to be here with you without a chaperone.” Perhaps that was what he meant about asking for her father. Her face filled with color, and she tried to hide it by looking at the window instead of him.

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Re: The King

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:19 pm

The brooch was long: it was sterling silver, and was composed of two parts: the first, at the top, was the face of a goat. Its eyes were small rubies, and its shaggy beard twisted into a pole, which made the second part of the brooch. Around the pole was a snake, its scales carefully worked out by an incredibly patient hand, and there were gold flakes adorning the fine work. Dante did not seem to mind the young girl observing the brooch. He was not uncomfortable at all, though he watched her.

‘Thank you,’ he said to her after receiving her compliment. He watched her pull away, followed her hand with his eyes as she touched her circlet and fixed her hair.
‘I do know your father--I know him very well. Baldassare Almaviva is a fine and honest man, and you look very much like your mother.’ He did not seem to believe it a problem to bring up the girl’s mother. ‘Renata was very lovely.’

The Bartolo searched the young girl casually when she had begun to apologise for her being without a chaperone. It was the first time his lips cracked in anything like a smile, but as soon as it came, it disappeared. Ravenna was very self-conscious, it seemed. He took his hands out from behind his back and put them in front of his body, instead. He clasped his fingers together.
‘There is nothing wrong with a young woman walking alone,’ he said. ‘It might be dangerous for her, but it is nothing to apologise for. I am sure the other ladies in waiting will help you with that notion. Do you feel that I could be dangerous, Miss Ravenna?’

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