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Author Topic: today will be different, won't it?  (Read 242 times)

Description: Attn: Quinten

Offline Sorinna Roman

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today will be different, won't it?
« on: Sep 12, 18, 10:57:55 PM »
This thread occurs shortly after tally up the damaged goods.

--------

Sora had decided to make an effort to spend more time with Quinten. In the wake of the Decimation, they needed each other. She could never replace Cezar, but she had to remain available for her males that remained. Marius had taken the lead in collecting Cezar’s things and coordinating a time to journey to Darkwood and check on the Urzica family. Mihael required the care of a Black Widow to repair his chalice after losing his Tiger Eye, but he was always bright-eyed and clear-headed when Sora came to visit.

Today, though, she wanted to spend time with Quinten and have him close.

Summer was nearly over, the weather was still nice enough to spend the day outside. She’d promised Elenor that she’d get out more and not let fear keep her inside. The dual losses of Cezar and her grandmother were a stumbling block, so when Mihael suggested that a project would help her get back into the swing of things, Sora recalled the idea that she and Riley talked about shortly after her return from Moesia. Deciding that she needed an escort, she’d reached out to Quinten the night before asked if he would join her. She could almost feel his excitement through their bond. She made sure to clear things with the appropriate adults, because the last thing she wanted was to get herself or Quinten into trouble. Even still, the excitement kept her up half the night.

She woke the following morning and bathed, then headed downstairs for breakfast. She spent the remainder of the morning completing letters and making arrangements for the guards that would follow them for the remainder of the day. She chose a blue sundress and flat shoes, then sent word that she was waiting at the entrance to the family wing for Quinten to join her.

Today would be different.

Today would be a good day.





Offline Quinten Heartly

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Re: today will be different, won't it?
« Reply #1 on: Sep 14, 18, 10:04:35 AM »
It killed him.

Quinten could feel all this pain, all around, winding through the narrow streets, floating into the air, and creeping through the palace. Worst of all, he could feel it inside him, emanating from his Queen. She worked and worked, her back straight, and her eyes forward for the outward world, but he could feel how much she hurt. It upset him. Q wanted to do something, help her in some way, but he didn’t know how. He was struggling with helping the kids in the Shambles in much the same way and it made the young Warlord feel like he wasn’t doing enough. He could feel all the pain around him, but do nothing about it.

So when Kale was not sleeping with him, when he was away training with Vicky, Quinten had begun to wonder down the hallway of the family wing and sit outside Sorinna’s door. He didn’t want to disturb her. She needed time alone. But he just wanted to be close, in case she needed him. After falling asleep a few times on the floor outside her rooms, his Queen realized he was hovering and Q slept on the couch in her sitting room instead. It made the boy feel better, splitting his time between the two most important people in his life, Kale and Sora.

So when she had reached out to him to be her escort, Quinten had erupted with excitement. He had told Kale about it for nearly the entire night, his poor brother falling asleep as the Jack was still speaking. And then the Warlord had laid awake, trying to remember all the Protocol he had been taught and all the lessons Jer had given him on defensive shielding. He didn’t want to embarrass her or give his Queen anything else to worry about. He wanted this day to be relaxing for her.

When the time came for him to meat Sorinna, Quinten had not slept at all, but he was filled with energy. He ran towards the entrance and stopped short just around the corner. He took a deep breath then, pretended he was absolutely calm, and walked slowly around the corner to great his Queen. He bowed to her, like his teachers had taught him, and smiled wide, offering her his arm to take.

“You look beautiful, Sora.” He took a small breathe of her scent. “Where do you want to go today?”


Offline Sorinna Roman

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Re: today will be different, won't it?
« Reply #2 on: Sep 14, 18, 05:01:54 PM »
His excitement made her smile. Her Quinten. Save for one time he was always so happy to see her. Had he been anyone else, she might have wondered if it was just for her benefit. But Quinten was genuinely excited to be near her and that it made it easy for her to relax some and let go of some of her troubles. Did he know how his brother felt about her? Did that matter to him? Sora wanted to ask, but she didn’t want to intrude on his relationship with Kale. She would not be the cause of friction between them, if she could help it.

Thank you, Quinten. That means a lot.” she said, taking his arm. She granted him her Touch, assuring him of his place in her life and her place in his. She was his, just as he was hers. His clothes fit better and he looked better rested and fed. She’d worried the first time that she found him sleeping in front of her door, but was glad when he agreed to come inside and sleep on the couch. Sometimes, she watched him while he slept, wanting to ensure that his dreams were peaceful. Hers had been since Jeremiah provided that web, just after the Decimation. Now she wanted to make sure that those who belonged to her also slept soundly.

I was thinking that you and I could visit the city gardens. There is a project I’m working on and I’d like to get some details on making it happen. I thought we could watch the people while we were at it. And maybe we can talk about a few things?” Sora asked.

She waited for Quinten to accept or ask for clarification. Once he was ready, she would follow his lead out of the family ward and through the palace. Sora made small talk, asking him how his day had been and trying to show an interest in his life. They were still learning about each other, so Sora wanted to remove the mystique wherever possible.

At the bottom of the stairs near the family wing, they encountered a Tacean woman being escorted by Lady Petrescu. The Priestess looked in their direction and smiled at Quinten, but when she saw Sora, she quickly returned her attention to the Tacean woman and hustled away. Quinten would feel Sora’s irritation across their bond, coupled with the annoyed look that she gave Stela’s back as the Priestess walked away.

Sorry. I just...I really don’t like her.” Sora said.






Offline Quinten Heartly

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Re: today will be different, won't it?
« Reply #3 on: Sep 21, 18, 05:38:50 PM »
When Quinten slept on Sorinna’s couch, he did not fall into a deep sleep. Instead, he stayed lightly conscience, ready if his Queen made a noise or if someone came inside. It was very much how the boy had slept until he and Kale had run away from their father. It didn’t provide the best rest, but it allowed him to always be ready. Perhaps that is why he did not have his nightmares. Those he saved for when he was curled up next to his brother, for when the sleeping brew could blot them out like dark ink against his mind.

Nodding once, Q offered his arm to the Queen, his stomach dancing with excitement. “We can do whatever you want. Hopefully something that makes you smile.” While he said the words, smiling, the Jack slid a Summer Sky shield over his Queen’s skin. He was not going to be caught on his backfoot this time. At least if anyone attacked her there would be a split second of his shield breaking for him to react.

Q took a deep breath of Sora’s scent and relished this time alone with her. None of her other males to distract her. Just the two of them, the intimacy that the boy craved so available. “Life has been good. Kale and I have been splitting time between here and the center we are trying to set up in the Shambles. Oh! We made a cake yesterday too. It was my mother’s birthday. She really like almond cake, so the cook showed us how to make one and I saved you a piece for when—”

The Warlord broke off, pulling Sora a bit closer as he felt her emotions roll through their bond. He glanced down the hallway at the retreating figures, not recognizing the Tacean woman. “Who? Lady Petrescu or the other one? What did she do to you?” He tried to think of the best way to handle a disagreement in a Courtly way. “I could talk to her if you want? Maybe it is a misunderstanding.” It wasn’t like Sora to not like someone. She was so kind. So patient with him, especially.

Gently nudging her forward, Q continued to lead them to the city gardens. He knew the way there by heart. The brother’s had often gone there to beg when they were little. As they walked, the Warlord used his subtle skill at Calming Craft to wring the tension out of his Queen.   


Offline Sorinna Roman

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Re: today will be different, won't it?
« Reply #4 on: Sep 21, 18, 06:53:39 PM »
Sora wanted to punch Stela in her stupid face and ask her if Mother Night’s plan cost anyone else their lives. She imagined, for a second, pursuing her and doing just that. But the moment passed. Respect for the caste had been ingrained in the Queen in her youth. Not all Priestesses were as bad at their job as Stela Petrescu, and Sora had to remember that. Also, breaking Stela’s jaw would upset Gabri, Jeremiah, and Riley. She could imagine their disappointment with her, the way that they would look at her if it seemed like she didn’t have a handle on her emotions.

So Sora packed away the urge to break Supid Stela’s nose and concentrated on Quinten’s presence. He was trying to help and he had no idea what was going on.

Lady Petrescu and I don’t get along, but it’s nothing you need to worry about. Some people just don’t like each other.” Sora said, noting the irony of that statement to Quinten, especially where she and Kale were concerned.

Come on. I have this idea that I need some input for and I think you’ll appreciate it.” Sora said, smiling at Quinten again. Stela wasn’t going to ruin her day. Not today, not tomorrow, and not ever. Sora had plans and things to discuss with Quinten, and the rest of her males, but first she wanted to just spend some time with him and learn what he wanted out of his life. Kale was an important part of his life, maybe the most important part. There was no assurance that he wanted anything from her other than friendship and episodic companionship. She hoped that he wanted more than that, but she wouldn’t know until she asked him.

They walked, heading for the palace entrance. Sora was ready to get outside, get some air, and forget about the things that troubled her, just for a little while.

It would have happened that way if not for the man who almost mowed them down as he rounded the corner.





Offline Zamfir Groza

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Re: today will be different, won't it?
« Reply #5 on: Sep 21, 18, 06:56:30 PM »
Zamfir Groza was pissed off.

How dare Rilandra Vlas just brush him off like that? He was a concerned citizen with at least two family members affected by the Decimation! She’d and her First Escort, that drunken ignoramus, Dragos Cutrov, had sold him a line about their ongoing investigation and then dismissed him like he didn’t matter. He left the sitting room with a desire to find Sebastian Bane and ask the Master of the Guard a few more questions about the status of the investigation. Then he’d find Cristina, pray that she wasn’t so out of her mind with grief that she’d bite his head off for checking in on her, and break all of this news to Irina. Of course, she’d want to be by Valeriu’s side as well, meaning that Zamfir would be on the outside looking in, like always.

He’d left the sitting room, heading in the direction of the Master of the Guard’s office, but the idea that Irina would be glued to her brother’s bedside scrambled his focus so badly that Zamfir lost track of where he was going. There was a scent on in the air that was clawing its way into his mind, but he couldn’t name it. It only registered that something was off when he rounded the corner and nearly trampled some fool witchling and her escort.

OOF!

Mild embarrassment quickly gave way to annoyance, which flared into anger. Zamfir shuffled back and started adjusting his coat. His hands moved slowly and deliberately to prevent him from slamming the little punk against the wall. People in this palace thought they were so important that they didn’t have to watch where they were going. Well, Zamfir wasn’t going to take that lying down.

He looked up at the pair, ready to explain in detail why they were wrong. He might have started talking. He might have even gotten halfway through his sentence. But the moment his eyes landed on her, the rest of the words just died on his tongue. Zamfir Groza never ran out of things to say because he was the smartest person in every room he entered.

Right now, in this hallway, the Warlord was speechless.

Her eyes were the most beautiful green he’d ever seen. The flecks of gold were odd, but not in a bad way. Her skin carried the tan that Tulzbrujans were known to have, but the longer Zamfir watched her, the more he understood that it wasn’t a tan. It was the hallmark of someone who carried long-lived blood. He noted her hair, her simple clothing, even the surprised and bashful smile on her face.

She was watching him, too.

This...this isn’t happening.” he said, gesturing at the two of them.

He didn’t recall saying the words. He only realized what he’d said when the young woman’s expression shifted. She drew back slightly, recoiling as though he’d reached out and slapped her. She’d been moving toward him, hand outstretched to take his. The other guy was probably trying to say something, too, and Zamfir was now registering that the other guy was real and still there, already in the presence of what was his. 

When she reached for him, Zamfir backed away. He backed away from her and everything she represented.

Look, I’m...I’m sure you...this...it’s probably great…

Look, maybe we could sit down and talk for a second? We can sort this out--

I-I can’t do this.” he said, his mind racing. He was supposed to find someone here. He was looking for someone, but he couldn’t recall whom. He wanted to reach out and take her hand. It was right there. But something else screamed that it was a trap, a trap meant to steal everything he’d tried to build, and his mind recoiled at the thought.

No. He wouldn’t be chained to someone he didn't want or need. Not today.

Not tomorrow.

Not ever.

Goodbye.” Zamfir said.

He retreated the way he came, leaving his Queen behind without a backward glance.

Offline Quinten Heartly

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Re: today will be different, won't it?
« Reply #6 on: Sep 28, 18, 10:42:05 PM »
Combat shields sprung up as Sora ran into the Rose Warlord, pushing the male away like Jer had taught him. They didn’t hurt the stranger. They just created a very healthy distance between him and Q’s Queen. The small lithe body of the Jack slid in between the new space, ready to defend her, but it appeared he wouldn’t have too. Quinten felt his Queen shift, her heart racing, the elation of Mother Night’s choice. His gaze switched to the male, sighing.

Of course.

Just when Sora and him were together, alone, hand and hand, another male would come forward. The boy might have grimaced, but then he remembered how sad his Queen had been lately. How much she needed this. Maybe…maybe it was a good thing. He should stop being so selfish. He just wanted what was best for her after all.  Quinten had just put a smile on his face, trying to figure out how to make this new male like him better than Sora’s others, when he felt the pain through his bond.

And then the male was gone, as quickly as he had been there.

Blinking, and seeing how shell-shocked Sorinna looked, Quinten went after the retreated Warlord. “Hey, wait! Stop!” A Summer Sky shield came up in front of the male. “What are you doing? You…you’re making a horrible mistake. You’re running away from the other half of your heart.” And he was so lucky it was Sorinna. She was kind and patient and firm and just. Why would he throw that away? Why would he run? Quinten had known her for such a short time and he could no longer imagine his life without her wound within it. 


Offline Zamfir Groza

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Re: today will be different, won't it?
« Reply #7 on: Sep 28, 18, 11:54:12 PM »
Zamfir had made it down the hallway. He just needed some space. He just had to away from here, away from this place, away from her. His world was shifting and adjusting to accommodate her presence in it, bending itself to keep her in it somehow. Every fiber of his being screamed at him to turn around and go back to her, but his feet kept moving forward. His body felt like lead. His head felt like it was packed with sand that threatened flow from his ears, nostrils, and mouth.

He just needed some fresh air.

Suddenly, the way was barred.

He couldn’t advance forward. He pushed outward with his senses. A shield. He was being shielded and prevented from moving. He was trying to walk out of this place and someone was trying to keep him in!

He turned and locked eyes with the male who’d been standing beside her. If looks could kill, Quinten Heartly would have been a stain on the floors of the Territory Court, so intense was Zamfir’s gaze.

Take. Down. The. Shield.” Zamfir demanded. Four words, pointed and direct, but his tone indicated that he wouldn’t be asking again.

Young man, I’m sure you think you’re helping. You’re not. I met the other half of my heart a long time ago. I married her and we’ve been happy for a long time. So, forgive me for knowing that there is nothing else here for me. There is nothing I want or need here.

Now take down your shield and let me go. I’d like to go home to my family.
” Zamfir snarled.

Offline Sorinna Roman

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Re: today will be different, won't it?
« Reply #8 on: Sep 29, 18, 12:16:18 AM »
Sorinna Roman felt very, very small, standing in that hallway.

One moment, she and Quinten were talking. The next moment, the Stranger (for she had nothing else to call him) nearly mowed them down in his flight from wherever he’d come from. Quiten placed himself between them and she was so proud that he’d not only stood his ground, but stood between Sora and this inconsiderate jerkass. She was about to read him the riot act for getting all high-and-mighty with them, because if he was some asshole aristo who thought he could bully them because he had money, he had another think coming.

And the Sora looked into his eyes felt the entire world shift beneath her feet.

He was an older man, but a handsome one. Not like Savi, but he looked great in a suit. She liked the subtle hints of gray in his beard and his tanned skin. She would have staked her jewels on his being Tulzbrujan, because he reminded her a little bit of her father in his serious mien. She had a day planned with Quiten, but now she was excited to sit and talk with this man. She wanted to know his name and hear his story. She could get him to like Quinten and then Marius, Ben, and Mihael.

*Quinten, it’s okay. He’s with us. He’s mine.* Sora said, trying to calm her Summer Sky Warlord. The field of her Touch extended to envelop Quinten as easily as if he’d been holding her hand. She wanted him to know that she wasn’t casting him aside. She wanted Quinten to be a part of meeting one of his bond-brothers from the first moment, rather than later on.

She reached out for Warlord before them.

He stepped back. He stepped away from her.

This...this isn’t happening.

A wave of bone-deep sorrow and fear rolled across their bond and she couldn’t breathe. It felt like the times she was drowning in her dreams, but she was wide awake and it was happening! He was saying something else, but Sora couldn’t hear him. She couldn’t string together two thoughts between the pain and anger in this man’s heart.

And it was all directed at her.

He stepped away from her and it hurt, but not nearly as much as when he turned his back on her.

He turned his back on her and walked away.

Sora didn’t feel the first of the tears fall. She didn’t even feel the second or third. Quinten chased after him and Sora had to lean against a wall to keep herself upright. By the time Quinten returned, he was alone and the man was gone. Sora’s breathing was returning to normal and so she threw her arms around Quinten in a bone-crushing embrace, clinging to him for dear life.

She couldn’t speak, but she let her Touch flow through him. When he needed her, she wasn’t there. Whether or not she’d been ordered to was irrelevant. He’d needed her and she wasn’t there for him.

Today, she needed him and he was here. Quinten had waited for her and he was still here.

Thank you.” she whispered, hugging him as tightly as he allowed. Confusion, heartbreak, and even a little anger burned across their bond. But beneath it, he could also sense her gratitude to him.

Thank you.





Offline Quinten Heartly

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Re: today will be different, won't it?
« Reply #9 on: Oct 08, 18, 08:35:52 PM »
The Jack did not expect the embrace he received. His cheeks blushed and he hugged his Queen back, tightly. He did not know what he had done so well, but he liked the feeling of not screwing up for once. He liked it a lot. It filled his heart to bursting. This is what he needed, he realized. This. The kind of validation and approval he had sought so desperately from his father and never recieved.

“It’s okay. Everything is okay. He just needs time.” Quinten let his Queen cling to him, transfer all her weight to him. He ran his hands over her back soothingly, like he did with Kale when his brother was upset. “He said he had a family. He’s just worried about losing them.” It might not be any comfort now, but when the strong of rejection wore off, maybe his Queen wouldn’t blame herself.

The Warlord pulled back from her embrace and looked her in the eye. “Running was his choice. You did nothing wrong. Okay? You are a wonderful Queen.” Quinten was perhaps the only one that did not blame Sora for leaving him when he needed her. He had complete faith in her, his trust shooting through their bond every moment it strengthened. Some had misused that trust, like his father, but Q had not yet learned to be guarded with it. He might never learn that. “Repeat that for me. I am a wonderful Queen.

After she did, Quinten enveloped his Queen in calming craft, the potent Summer Sky blend creeping under her skin and soothing her anger. He gently tugged her outside and to the city gardens. He needed to get her to some land, the soil hopefully a calming presence for her.


Offline Sorinna Roman

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Re: today will be different, won't it?
« Reply #10 on: Oct 12, 18, 11:01:22 PM »
In that moment, Quinten was her lifeline. She’d never been so forcefully rejected in her life, not even when Kale had berated her for not being there when Quiten needed her. This hurt dug and lodged at the center of Sora’s soul and it would take time for her to stop feeling it every time she thought of him. Him. That was the only reference point that she had for the male who’d rebuffed her. He was possibly Tulzbrujan and well dressed. He had to be an aristo, but she had no idea which family he came from.

She could only recall the deep well of hurt that screamed into her soul, begging her to take it away. She wanted to find hm and hold him until it went away, but something told her that her new male would never allow it.

She had to find him, but not today.

Quinten deserved better from her and he would have it. Later, when she had time to sit and reflect, she would talk to Jeremiah about the matter and get his advice. Then she’d put Marius on finding him.

She pulled back from Quinten and smiled as he tried to make her feel better. For his benefit, she repeated the words he’d asked. She didn’t feel like a wonderful Queen, but she did feel a little better for having him nearby. When he guided her out of the palace, Sora took his arm and walked with him, mindful of the guards that followed along at a discreet distance. They left the palace and walked toward the city gardens, chatting as they went. Sora’s mood improved as they moved and by the time they arrived at the city gardens, the Queen’s mood had improved to its previous level.

A few people about inside the city gardens. Sora guided Quinten down the stone path toward the rear of the gardens where Jeremiah and Darcia liked to tend their specific rows. Late summer in Bidea was usually far busier, but in the wake of the Decimation, there was a nervous, nameless fear settling in around the city. Eventually, she guided Quinten to a nearby bench and sat down, waiting for Quinten to join her.

When he sat, Sora took a deep breath and centered her thoughts. She refused to think of her new male right now. This was Quinten’s time. She wanted to honor that, and him, by being present and tending to his needs.

You were great back there, at the palace. When we met, you didn’t like confronting people at all. Today, you stood up for me and I appreciate that, Quinten.” Sora said, reaching out to lay a hand atop his.

But are you okay?





Offline Quinten Heartly

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Re: today will be different, won't it?
« Reply #11 on: Nov 01, 18, 10:25:47 PM »
Quinten was intensely aware of his Queen. Her every breathe. Her every twitch. The way her hair blew in the wind. He constantly checked in, making sure she was okay. Making sure she was not upset, or worse yet, withdrawn. He had seen how she had gotten after the loss of her Bonded and he wouldn’t let her return to that. He wouldn’t.

He pretended to look out over the garden and at the flowers, but he was really stretching his calming craft over her. Working it into her tight muscles, desperately trying to remember protocol for when your Queen was just rejected by a new Bonded. They hadn’t seemed to cover that particular situation.

It seemed they hadn’t covered many of the situations that he found himself in with Sora.

But his thoughts were cut short by her penetrating gaze, the brush of her hand. His heart started to beat just a little faster, his cheeks flushed. “Thanks. I just want you to be happy. I’d do anything to make you happy.” He stared at her with the largest, most caring green eyes. He was worried about her and he felt like he couldn’t do much more than worry.

That’s why her question took him off guard.

“Am…am I okay? Of course. I’m fine. What do you mean?” Did she think he had broken his promise? Did she think he had swirled back into his darker thoughts, hurting himself? He had been trying so hard to be positive, happy, burying the other feelings that trickled through him. Did she mean that? Could she see through him?

“Do you mean about confronting your male? Oh. It’s fine. Jeremiah has been teaching me offensive shielding, so I felt okay. I can protect you without hurting anyone. I think the better question is are you okay?”