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* Plot Information for Nharkava

Rebellion has swept the Territory in the south as Glacia dominates the north. Landen and Blood join forces to spread a message of equality with any method possible while Glacia works to infuse the land with power and the people with their Dark Beliefs. The Rebellion, led by a Council of Eight, is not always in agreement but none can resist the power, and the danger, the movement has generated.
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Author Topic: sewing up a shattered heart  (Read 1029 times)

Description: When Chand met Neesia//Attn: Neesia

Offline Chand Nayar

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sewing up a shattered heart
« on: Dec 12, 17, 09:58:40 PM »
Late Summer 191- Manipur



Chand Nayar was tired of waiting.

He put away the whetstone and then vanished his scimitar. His clothing, black pants and  white tunic, were layered with several protection spells, all ready to go activate at a moment’s notice. Chand grabbed his backpack from a corner of the room. Filled with several days’ food and water, he would need it to make sure that he arrived at Orissa with the strength necessary to fulfil his grim task. His sister, Kavuri, had been talking to him for nearly twenty minutes, but he wasn’t hearing her. He made his decision and there was no turning his mind from it. Ice formed on the walls as slung his bag over his shoulder.

Kavuri fell silent when the temperature dropped.

No more words, Kavi. I’m sick of talking. Papa's killers will pay.” he said, heading for the door.

Chand, please! Don’t do this![ The Glacians will kill you if you go to Orissa!” she yelled. Her eyes were wet with unshed tears, but Chand ignored them. He wouldn't be stopped today. He couldn’t stop as long as the people who murdered his father still walked the earth. Those people had returned to their palaces of power in the far north, probably drinking champagne and celebrating the murders they’d committed. Chand’s rage grew deeper and the the ice on the walls grew thicker and deeper.

CHAND!

He walked out the door, headed down the stairs, and then walked out the front door without a backward glance. His family’s home resided on a small patch of land near the edge of Manipur District that had been in his family nearly a thousand years. Long ago, Mother Night walked this land educating the Blood on how to live in peace with the world and defend the Landen under their charge. Chand loved those old stories and way that things flowed and fit together in those idyllic days before the Purge culled the Blood and gave the Landen dominion over nearly everything.

He headed away from the house, toward the small family crypt on the south edge of the property where the wake was had been held just hours ago. Weeks had passed since the attack and they’d just been informed that his father’s remains couldn’t be found. Mother needed closure so they interred an empty box and sang songs for someone whose soul would never find rest. Chand couldn’t join them knowing all of that. He couldn’t cook for his family and pretend that he didn't want to kill every Glacian in sight for what happened to his father.

Still, in that moment, he needed to say goodbye to his father. He needed to tell him that everything would turn out alright, someday.

Most importantly, Chand needed tell his father that he was coming to join him very soon.

Offline Neesia Ashtikar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #1 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:00:45 PM »
It felt like an intrusion, entering uninvited into such a sacred place. Not because the small burial crypt held some great significance to the Darkness or Priestesses guarded restricted access to its vaults but because of the deeply personal nature of the visit. The family was unknown to her, but her father had been devastated by news of the murders. This wasn't a cleansing as the Glacian Queen Elisif’s closest advisors would spin it, this was the massacre of their people, native blood spelt on their land.

Parul Jhakart had suffered so much already and now his friend Ayush Nayar was lost to the ash left behind by the insane Queen. There was no closure for his family or those who had grown to know a great man. Sia could only assume such by the way her father spoke of him. They had known each other for years, toiled and fought for their territory together. Seeing the hope drain from his face was bad enough but having spent the days after the attack wondering, praying beyond all hope that he had not been amongst their number was worse for Neesia. Seeing his pain, so vividly etched on the strong Prince’s face could have broken her. Though it had been some time since the Friends of Rose Neela had taken the fatal blow leaving those lucky few, like her father to seek sanctuary and lick their wounds some bonds were hard to break. A vigil would be held in his family’s crypt no doubt and the moment Parul stood, back straightening she knew he would travel into Jharkhand to pay his respects.

He would cross the border and never return to young Tanian, to her. Instead she offered to go in his stead. This was an argument that lasted nearly an hour but in the end she won over. As she often did. Yes she was a Queen and yes she had been relatively hidden, or rather unnoticed except for within their village in the Kerala district, but the community was as strong, protective and free as the jungles that that surrounded their homes. It bothered her that she was forced to use her sister as a tool to bend him to her desire, but her words were not false, he had to stay with her for if he was recognized she would be left alone, like Sia had been.

“Lady Ashtikar are you certain? If you are seen...”  The Escort, an older Blood male and close friend of their families wavered at the edge of the property. Uncertainty washed over him as he considered all that could go wrong in their trespass. Nessia held the envelope in her hand, its weight calming. A letter from Parul Jhakart to the Woman of the house. Though she had not read it she knew that her father’s guilt bled into the ink.  Blinking away any trepidation she nodded, pulling a sheer black scarf up over her brow. She wore a black lehenga with golden buttons that wrapped back along the length of her dress. The skirt patterned with earthy tones of sky blue, coral bronze twining into thick petaled flowers and vines. The base trimmed in coral and repeating lines. A simple black belt wrapped around her svelte waist. “I can move sight unseen. It will be only a moment. Stay.” Her words were firm, and the man nodded once, reluctantly.

The crypt where the vigil was held stood empty, gate still open,  her steps echoed in the space and she felt a deep respect for the man who would not be interred with his family. She passed their resting places on her way in and though there would be no judgement from the dead she still felt the grief of the living as if it was her own. Strangely enough she could not shake the deeply personal feeling.  A table was set  with candles, and small gifts. Light danced across the surface of the marble.  The Lady of the the home would find the letter no doubt, among a few. Placing it on the table, she knelt resting a single yellow rose called forth from her Psychic Shelf on the ground amongst the starlight of flickering memories left behind by those who knew Ayush. Brushing the scarf from her dark hair she closed her eyes.  “May Mother Night welcome you into her peace..” Even the whisper felt loud in her ears.  Neesia stood there for what seemed like a minute when she heard heavy footsteps cross through the gates. If she slipped away now, she could leave unseen, but the steps were too quick and she heard them come to a halt at the entrance of the viewing room. Stiffening she turned her head, dark eyes angled down to glance over her shoulder. A man’s booted feet. Shifting she took a step back to slip through where she came.

Offline Chand Nayar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #2 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:05:35 PM »
Chand trudged toward the crypt in silence, glad that Kavari hadn’t followed him out here. He couldn’t take another second of her voice, of her pleas, of her sandness. He was dealing with his own grief, his own failure regarding their father. They’d at least been home when they received the news of his death from Orissa. Chand was in Sikkim for work, and only learned what happened when a neighbor offered her condolences to him. He arrived to find his family preparing for the wake. Ayush Nayar was a casualty of the Territory Court’s provocation of the Gray Messiah, Elisif Brenden.

Now his family has been shattered, reeling from irreplaceable loss.

Chand pushed open the crypt’s door and froze in his tracks.

Many psychic scents lingered among the stone of the tomb, lingered in the dead air, but one scent among them stood out like a beacon, calling to Chand like a lighthouse on a distant shore. He took a second step into the crypt, then a third, and a fourth. He came to stand by small table filled with candles, gifts, small tokens of remembrance given to the family in condolence. Something on the table was new, though, and Chand picked it up, an envelope made with soft paper. He lifted it to his nose and inhaled the scent trapped on the paper. It was the same one that burned itself into his nose and mind, the one that demanded he find it and inhale it until it filled every corner of his being from the tips of his hair to the soles of his feet.

He looked around the crypt, cast his eyes down toward the floor and just listened. The scent, it was fresh, so fresh that it felt like she was here. He knew beyond a doubt that the scent was female and not just female, but the best kind of female, the kind that no one else could match. Later, Chand Nayar would remember this as day, the exact moment when his life ceased to be his own. He would remember a voice in the back of his mind telling him that he needed to run, needed to hide and find another place to be.

That same voice was clubbed in the head and dragged away into the shadows of his mind while the beast beneath his skin sought out the bearer of that scent, because the bearer belonged to him.

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know why you came. But if you don’t come here, I’ll come and find you. If I come and find you, there’s no telling who else gets hurt between here and there.” Chand said, his eyes darting from left to right as the adjusted to the dim light of the crypt.

Come out. Now.

Offline Neesia Ashtikar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #3 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:08:09 PM »
Threats. At least that is what they sounded like but not ones armored in malice. Neesia had slipped back into the small alcove that led through the back gate of the crypt. The halls betrayed her footsteps though she had been known to step lightly. Ceasing to move, her hands curled in the gauzy scarf. Why did she stop? A voice in her mind called to her. This wasn't curiosity, no she knew what that felt like, there was something more, something deeper. The grief that permeated the room before felt even stronger more palpable. Real.

Checking the tension in her shoulders she sought the shadows. The cool marble licked her back, sinking through the fabric of her dress.  Behind her there was twilight, the last rays of the day before the curtains fell into the skies.  Freedom from the enclosed crypt and from discovery. However before her was something else, danger perhaps something new.  Anyone stumbling upon her alone in the viewing area would have been wary. She had been right to think of this as a sacred place, but her task was done and the wisest action would be to leave and meet her escort. Ignore him. His voice burned into her core, there was anger and pain there.

Don't be foolish Sia.

The small voice drifted farther and farther away from her surface thoughts. Why? Because she believed him. He would follow and there would be a cost. There was no way she could have known this to be true, except it was.  “I mean no harm.”  Even gently, her voice carried in the hollow hall soft and feminine. Reminding herself of her Caste made it easier to take that first step, then the next with a bit more confidence.

Dark hair wreathed in honey and bronze hung in loose, coiling tresses along her slender shoulders. She was petite, with soft features, a narrow, delicate nose and full lips. Dark, feathery lashes framed almond shaped eyes.  Her skirts whispered against the stone floors as she came to a stop just into the light.

“I did not mean to intrude just pay my respect.....oh.” The words cut from her throat replaced by a knot. Recognition was slow to form as her eyes lifted to the male. Where she should have felt joy, instead an overwhelming sadness drew her low. Not because she had suffered a loss, but because the male with the sharp jaw and downy hair cloaked himself in it. All at once it felt as though the crypt was locked and the air sucked out of the room leaving them alone in darkness. “Oh I'm so sorry.”  For what she wasn't sure. For intruding in his space, for knowing in that instance that everything changed the moment she stepped into his gravity.


Offline Chand Nayar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #4 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:12:29 PM »
I mean no harm.

He believed her, for all it was worth. She wasn’t here out of malice or spite, but Chand wondered who she was was. Why had she come here? Was she part of the original procession or had she shown up late? The answers mattered but they would not determine the way he interacted with her. Her scent was already burned deep into the corners of his mind. He needed to sit with that scent, study it and learn ever single nuance and variance of that scent until he understood her moods, her thoughts, her feelings as he understood his own. If she was alone, he'd remain beside her. Chand realized that, suddenly, he was considering that she would stay near him and allow him to take care of her. He hoped she’d change her mind, but he could not push or force her into doing what he wanted.

When she stepped into view, Chand’s body tensed. He sucked in a deep breath as he took in the look of the Queen before him. Something inside his mind and heart tumbled into place, recognizing her as the woman he was meant gift with his power and devotion. Now it was Chand taking more steps forward, walking over to loom over her. Chand backed her against the wall of the crypt, no longer concerned with personal space. His hands fell to her hips, then lower as he knelt at her feet. Chand’s head came up to her chest. Her scent reminded him of springtime and its rainfalls, scents that Chan already loved.

Be welcome, Lady. I did mean to startle you. It’s just...I didn’t expect to find anyone in my father’s crypt. I think most of Nharkava has come to pay their respects to him. I’m tired of looking for reasons why this happened. I know why it's going to keep happening. The Glacians want to destroy our lives and our worlds to sate their hunger and spread the cancer that is their religion.” Chand said. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her close to his body. He didn't want to release her. He didn’t want to take her home and explain why she was here or who she was. The very idea of letting anyone else near her right now (or ever) felt wrong to him. Other people meant competitors for her attention, or people that would hurt her given the chance. Nharkava had so few native Queens that Chand wanted to lock her in this crypt until it was safe.

This was the last place I ever thought I’d discover...you.” he said, drawing her closer to him.

Offline Neesia Ashtikar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #5 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:14:45 PM »
His features were perfection, chiseled, handsome, dangerous. Her bonded was beautiful. Even in his angst, he was a beacon of safety. Unsure of how to feel about the flooding of raw emotion that engulfed her she attempted to stamp it down and consider the situation. How in the whole of all Nharkava did she manage to find him here? How could any one have known? Had her father taken the journey himself, who knew if they would ever meet, if he would have found her.

Of course he would. He had to, because he was hers. In that moment she could not think of worse place to have met him but here.

Reaching out with her Craft she inhaled sharply at what she found skirting at the edges of his periphery. A Warlord Prince, obviously enough, but with Jewels so much darker than her own. Dark eyes fell to the hollow of his throat, she could barely see his pulse quicken as he approached. This was hers. He was hers, and not because of how deeply he sank into the Darkness but because he was always meant to be.

The tall Warlord Prince took a step toward her, then another and another as if drawn by some invisible tether that pulled him close. Only when he was upon her so fully that it felt like the next step would sink into her did she take one of her own backing away until her spine pressed to the marble wall. This wasn't fear on her part, he wouldn't hurt her, he couldn't as sure as her next breath. Which held, tightly in her chest like a precious gem when his strong hands fell to the swell of her hips, even his shadow drowned out her own.  The Warlord Prince loomed before slowly falling to his knees in supplication and enveloping his arms around her slender waist.

Then the floodgates opened and his words bled from his lips in confession. They had never met before but somehow they knew one another. Trust was weaving itself into its first tight stitches. Though he welcomed her, she could feel his misery as it was her own, and his Queen mourned with him. Fingers curled, brushing their backs so gingerly against his cheek that it might have been a whisper, when in fact she was casting his face to memory.

Oh...this was his father’s crypt. “I'm so sorry.” She repeated. For his loss, for the horrible timing, for being unable to spare him this pain. But he continued to speak, dangerous words flowing freely. This man could not know where she stood in regard to Glacia and yet it didn't matter because he was holding onto her like a lifeline.

”Your Father was a good man. He was a friend to my own which is why I came in his place. We must learn from them. These deaths were senseless, don't try and find meaning in them, it will only take you to darker places. There will come a time when the Glacians are stopped, know that.” Neesia did not know the right words to comfort him, she wished she did more than anything. The shock of this meeting was still so fresh, but she was overwhelmed with a desire to comfort and soothe him. The Warlord Prince’s arms embraced her against his chest and she smiled down at him, her chest rising and falling with each breath. “Please stand, I would have a look at you. “ Her hands cupped his cheeks, they were cool to the touch and he was so warm. Taking notice of the symptom of her anxiety for the first time, she was impressed that she had remained in the crypt for this long without being overcome. The Bond having distracted her from that creeping fear. When he rose to his full height an appreciative smile would stretch across her lips. Dark almond shaped eyes drinking him in for a moment, head tilting inquisitively. “I am Neesia Ashkitar, your Queen. Tell me your name.” When he had done so, her hands would fall once more to her sides before folding together in front of her. “You are mine...aren't you?” There was a sense of awe in her voice. This was the first bond she had ever experienced and it was nothing like she had ever felt before. How could it be?

“Why did you come back in here, if all your guests left? I am glad to know you, but I do not want to intrude in such a painful time for you.”

Offline Chand Nayar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #6 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:20:20 PM »
Rain and sweet elderberry commingled to drown out the scent of death in the crypt. Chand focused on that scent, on the touch of this holy woman, made of silk and steel. Her fingers brushed against his skin, leaving trails of gentle flame in their wake. A tingle ran the length of his spine and Chand’s grasp on the Queen, his Queen, tightened twice over. She offered barely-heard condolences while he drowned in her scent. He was beyond sick of everyone saying that they were sorry, tired of people feeling sorry for him now that his father was gone.

After he fell silent, she spoke. He hung on every word, letting the sound of her voice fill him. Each syllable reverberated in his ears. But the longer she spoke, the less her words made sense. He understood that her father was a friend of her father, but the rest tasted like bile in his throat. Don’t try to make sense of his father’s passing? There would come a time when the Glacians were defeated?

Yes, he agreed with that.

The crypt’s temperature dropped, growing cooler the longer she spoke. A month ago, Chand would have sat down and pulled his Queen into his lap and let her talk until his ears fell off. A month ago, he would have discussed the mystical nature of the bond with her, wondered aloud how they found each other despite being separated by miles and stages of life.

On this day, Chand couldn’t contemplate any of that. He couldn’t see anything past the next few minutes or the next few steps. His Queen was everything in the world for him right now, a world that had been picked up and dropped on the floor, shattering into a thousand small shards of glass. He wanted to grasp her shoulders and shake her, ask her what the hell she meant. How could she be so optimistic about everything when it was all so...wrong?

Misery rolled off of him in waves, but he stood when she asked. Unshed tears shined in Chand’s eyes, but he took a deep breath and focused on her face. She was beautiful. She was so beautiful, so real, that it felt like the pain and rage in his heart, for a moment, belonged to another man. He wished it belonged to another man. He wished this entire life he lived now belonged to another man. Except for her.

She couldn’t belong to another man. He couldn’t deal with that.

Lady Ashtikar, my name is Chand Nayar.” he said, looking down at her.

I know that you mean well. I know that you wish to soothe me. But the Glacians murdered my father. They've murdered fathers, mothers, and sons. Patience is what led us here, trapped in the shadow of the Glacians and their Dark Religion.” Chand said, trying and failing to keep the anger out of his voice. He looked away from her, then. He didn’t want her to see the anger in his eyes, didn’t want Neesia to think that his anger was for her. He wasn’t angry at her and he wondered if he could be. He took a deep breath and looked up at the ceiling for a moment, willing the tears not to fall.

I came there to say goodbye to my father. My brothers will take care of my sister and my mother.” Chand said.

I can’t let this go, my lady. If I let them get away with this, they win.

What does it say about us if we let them win?
” he asked, his tone plaintive.

Offline Neesia Ashtikar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #7 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:22:21 PM »
Neesia, so disarmed by this strange but fateful meeting and so inexperienced with these matters did not notice the first signs of his distress. Yes, he mourned, his pain was clear, shared freely through an unencumbered connection. It was like doors being swung upon to let in the elements. She would not be able to shut it even if she tried, but at the moment the instinct was to do the opposite, to experience every sensation, good or bad. Unfortunately right now, all they had was the latter.

The air grew cooler and for a moment she wondered if it was the enclosed space, her proximity to the walls that had just at her notice begun to roll closer together. Neesia could focus on that if she allowed herself to be distracted, on herself, on seeking out the cool night air so she could breathe freely. Except she didn't because there was a need that outweighed her own. That again, was a new feeling.

Confusion marred his handsome features, wrinkling his brow as if sorting her words. This in turn puzzled her as she attempted to soothe him. His anguish ran so deep, bleeding into the air into her, even as she asked him to stand to allow her to admire him.

He didn't answer her question, but he gave his name and his dark eyes sought her face.  Full lips parted to speak, her head tilting inquisitively while he spoke. Pain and anger paired well together, two bitter wines near spoiling. Pressing her back against the wall she took a deep breath, her hands tensing and releasing as a way to keep her centered. The air was so cool now that she wondered if any minute their breaths would frost. That is when he looked away, shielding his eyes from her, a stranger, and yet none at all, his Queen. The anger beat against his words, the tension was enough to let her know it not only existed but cried out for release.

The intent of this visit to his father’s crypt had not been to wish him farewell, but to join him. Alarm clamped down on her heart as warning bells rang in her ears and filled her with dread. Chand would feel it, the panic, the firm denial that led her to reach out and touch his chest with the flat of two small hands. “No, No, Chand.” How could he, they just found one another and even now that rash decision had not been completely stricken from his mind? How could not that change when they both realized everything else would? “Stop and listen to me. You will not be saying joining him.”  For her part Neesia had never been surer of anything else in her life.

Swallowing, her eyes darted about the small room and took a shallow breath. Slender, delicate hands unblemished by the signs of hard labor fell and circled his wrist, squeezing softly. His father’s death was senseless, true, but so was the death of any Nharkavan by the hands of the Glacian’s. Yet there was more and it dawned on her that he did not hold the same sense of purpose that she had, just the agreement of it. “Our fathers fought alongside each other, for our people, for you, for me. He sought justice. His death was senseless, never meaningless but he knew the cost.” It was too steep a price. Confusion and displeasure washed over her through him and she knew that he would not be so easily held at bay. . “You don't know do you?”  She paused taking in the rest of that breath. It dawned on her so clearly. Chand saw his father as a good man who died, but not as the warrior he should have been recognized as.  “Your Father was a member of an organization named the Friends of Rose Neela. They helped bring justice to so many of our people who were wronged. He did not die in vain, he did not die for nothing. They will not win because we will not let them Chand. I can't and I won't let them.”  One hand released his, lifting to his face though she had to extend herself to do so, the desire to soothe him flowing through her Touch with joy, acceptance and love. She poured it so freely from herself and her Jewels that for a second it overwhelmed her.  “You can't go, when there is so much to be done, and I can't do it alone.”

Offline Chand Nayar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #8 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:27:40 PM »
She grasped his wrist, drawing his attention first to the place where their skin met. Then his eyes moved upward along her arm and followed that line all the way to her face. Chand fought the urge to carry her out of this crypt and back to his house. First of all, he had no idea what he’d actually do with her when they arrived at the house. She would be in his home and, if anyone had seen her come here, it would put his family in danger. The Glacians had been seeking Light Jeweled Nharkavans for some time while spreading their religious poison throughout the Territory. A Light Jeweled Nharkavan Queen like his (he would not get used to this anytime soon) would be collared, her control ring given to a family member who’d been blessed with deep standing in the Abyss.

The image of a collar around Neesia’s neck sat ill with Chand, ill enough that he knew he’d kill the first man or woman who even suggested such a thing for her. She was his and she would not be collared or contained to mollify pale-skinned fools who determined the worthy by their jewels.

She wanted to stop him from leaving, through, and Chand couldn’t have that. He tried to pull away from her, but Neesia was insistent, closing the distance between them and capturing his face with her hands. One moment, his rage was close to reasserting himself enough to tear him away from her and send him on to the fateful meeting that would result in the end of his life.

Then the world shifted once more.

The deepest peace he’d ever felt washed over him like a tidal wave, drowning him beneath its strength. His rage fell helpless before it, washed away like sandcastles before the tides. His Queen was here, with him, and all he could think of was leaving her. Her Touch gave him the ability to think about his plan for the first time without the lens of fury to focus his thoughts. Marching to Orissa would grant him minimal peace, but it wouldn’t only get him killed. Dying would only multiply his family's grief. His mother would lose a son in addition to a husband, and his siblings would lose their older brother in addition to a father.

Nessia would be alone without him.

The overwhelming peace of the Touch forced Chand to think of other ways he could help, or other people to reach out to help. Nessia spoke again, though, and Chand’s worldview was challenged yet again.

Your Father was a member of an organization named the Friends of Rose Neela…

That’s...that’s impossible, Lady Ashkitar. My father was a member of the Territory Court. I do not call you a liar, but I tell you that my father wasn’t one of the Friends of Rose Neela. He would not risk his family’s safety to align with such people. The Friends of Rose Neela...I’m sorry, but my father wouldn’t do it.” Chard said, shaking his head in disbelief. That lasted only a few seconds before Chand leaned in to hug her, burying his face in the hollow of her neck. Her murmured in appreciation as her scent soothed him and dulled his hunger for blood.

His hunger for other things, however, only increased. He pressed her backward against the wall and knelt before her, pulling her close against him. His hands moved up the backs of her thighs before settling on the curve of her ass. He hugged hard.

I’m sorry. I don’t want to doubt you. I just want to do this right.” he said, without indicating which this he referenced.

Offline Neesia Ashtikar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #9 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:30:06 PM »
“Such people?” She asked, her tone beginning to take some rigidity. The Friends of Rose Neela did not have a public image problem, at least not according to those who had been directly vindicated. These were bitter-sweet victories but the return in each investment was great to those who had lost family members, land or their livelihoods, While she had her own opinions on why their plan had failed so spectacularly, she could not fault them for taking the leap. Such people, fought for Nharkava while some of their own bowed to Glacia while lands were ripped from their people and Light Jeweled Blood treated like dogs. If their deaths had any meaning at all, it was as a reminder that the Dark Religion would consume them all were Glacia allowed to continue, but there were still those willing to fight.

All of this rushed to her lips, but before she could say more and allow insult to infuse too deeply into such a delicate moment, it was the Warlord Prince who reminded her that now was not the right time for righteous indignation.  The heat of his breath filtered through her hair to wash over her neck. Inhaling against her pulse, he would catch the earthy but fresh notes of her Psychic scent, rainwater cleansing a new morning, intermingling with the sweet but floral tang of fruit blossom, though it was not understated, the intoxicating aroma was her own without the addition of potent perfumes.   Strong, desperate arms engulfed her once more making her feel so small against him. Just a moment ago she had imparted her Touch, peace washed over him, soothing, healing though there was nothing she could do to rid him of the pain, she hoped it would at least ease the haze that kept him on the destructive path.  Chand Nayar would not go down the road of his father, he simply could not throw himself into the Darkness, not like this, and certainly not now.

His Queen’s arms enveloped him tentatively whispering soothingly against his shoulder. As he slid down she grew reminded of the small crypt the walls closing in against the dimming candlelight. Taking in a breath of what felt like warm air, she let her hands rest in his hair, his need still working to override her own. Dizzied she closed her eyes, wall pressed crushingly to her back, this man’s body holding her with suffocating intensity. Her breast rose and fell with shallow breaths. The descent from anxiety to panic was always a rocky one, tumbling carelessly into the next chamber. Willpower was crumbling and she would have dropped had his hands not lifted, gripping the swell of her ass through the back of her flowing skirts and she became startlingly aware of him and how she molded so perfectly into the line of his frame.

Aware of her Warlord Prince. Her guide, her protector.

He clung to her, seeking comfort in likely the only person who could adequately provide it. His hands squeezed into the supple round flesh and though there were barriers of cloth between them they felt like little more than a suggestion of armor.  “Chand...” She recognized the quivering in her voice. What he wanted to do right, she didn't know, but she could not imagine him failing her. At least she didn't want to. They were still strangers, holding one another among the dead and the memories of those lost but she felt in him a desire to do right by all, but especially by her.

Neesia had no need to face her fear alone.  Admitting she needed anyone was difficult for the Queen, but in this moment she required him desperately. “I will explain. I promise you I will, but right now I need you to take me out of here. Please. I... can't breathe.”   The buttons on her blouse felt tight, constricting around her torso, her hands were cool and clammy. If he were to be given a task, an immediate purpose, perhaps then he could find some meaning to form a foundation. In the moment, Chand would find no greater requirement than that which was imposed by Neesia. Out, escape.


“My Lady?” A harsh whisper cut through the stillness of the viewing room. “Lady Neesia!” Her eyes opened, her hand resting on the back of Chand’s neck, his soft hair tickling her palm, lifted in warning as the older Blood male slipped into the tomb. Deta had waited for as long as his nerves would allow but went in search when the Queen did not immediately return.  Though he was well into his fifties, the man was hale and solid, albeit a good half a foot shorter than the Warlord Prince. A razor kept his head smooth but did not graze the lock of hair beneath his nose and chin. It was a shock to come upon the scene and find her in obvious distress, a man kneeling at her feet, crushing her against him. Sia knew his immediate thought would be that she being sequestered. “Remove your hands from her.”  Deta growled in warning, though she knew it was like a old dog snarling at a wolf. Neesia lifted a hand toward the confused escort, his brows smashing together, confidence leaking away at exactly who or what he had just addressed when the Warlord Prince took notice of him. “Deta I am well, we are among friends.” Keeping a purposeful hand on Chand, she looked between the men. Skeptical, the man studied her face.

One more body meant less air, less space and no one who would find them were they to be sealed within the crypt. The olive skinned Lady paled visibly, distress filling her eyes. “Chand, I need to go outside now.”


Offline Chand Nayar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #10 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:35:20 PM »
Chand…

The Warlord Prince’s skin was aflame with her touch. Holding her now, he would have given her anything she wanted. He would have climbed mountains or dug to the depths of the earth. Chand had never cared to please anyone, though he wanted people to be proud of him. He wanted his father’s respect and his mother’s love. He wanted his sister to know what a good man acted like so that she found one for herself someday in the future. Chand fought daily to be dependable, to be someone that the people he loved could count upon whenever they needed to.

He wanted to be that and more for Neesia Ashkitar.

Please. I... can't breathe.

Chand loosened his grasp on his Queen’s body. He thought, briefly, that he’d been holding her too tightly. Rarely did he forget his own strength, but as he drew back from her, Chand saw the look of panic and fear on Neesia’s face. Was she afraid of the dead and their disapproval? Chand stood up, hoping to calm her down with his nearness. The fear within her did not abate. Through their Bond, Chand felt her dread and worry. She needed to be out of this crypt and it dawned on Chand that they had not left the crypt at all. Their union had drawn them to this place, a place of the dead and bound the together on the day that he planned to sacrifice his life for the chance to strike against the Glacians.

He supported Neesia’s small frame, readying himself to take her out of the crypt and help her regain her composure.

And then some idiot decided that he wanted to die.

Remove your hands from her.

The older man dared to command Chand before his Queen, dared to tell him how to handle what was his. Neesia could see her breath now, for the entire crypt was coated in a layer of ice that raced up the walls. This was his home, his Queen, and this man had deluded himself into thinking that Chand owed him some kind of respect or allegiance where Neesia was concerned.  He stood protectively in front of his Queen.

One warning, old man. Get the fuck out of my way, or I’m spreading your remains all over Jharkand.” Chand snarled. He’d conjured a knife to his hand, ready to jam the blade into the man’s neck and then keep stabbing until there was nothing but blood and meat where a human body used to be. It would horrify Neesia, but at least she would know that her male was ready and able to kill in her defense. Every second pushed Chand closer to the Killing Edge. Soon this man’s life would be forfeit.

Neesia called him Deta and said that they were among friends. The male wasn’t looking at Chand directly anymore, but if he did, the Green Warlord Prince was more than willing to forcefully push this man out of the way so that Neesia could get out.

This is my father’s crypt. She is my Queen, Deta. Stand there another second and this will be your resting place as well. Move. The. Fuck. Out. Of. My. Way.” Chand said, his tone clipped.

If Deta remained where he was, or if he didn't move fast enough, Chand would move forward, knife readied, to move this bastard out of his Queen's way.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #11 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:37:34 PM »
Worry, regret, it bent into their ethereal link. She could feel his concern as well as his confusion. Perhaps Chand had thought that he held on too tightly, that his closeness had suffocated her, only that had not been the case. Panic pressed on all sides, they played games with her mind making the room feel so much smaller than it was.  Having supposed to be gone only a few minutes she understood why Deta sought her out, though the man’s timing could not be worse.  Even though her eyes closed to take in a deep, steadying breath, it had been Chand’s presence which had allowed her to endure within the crypt as long as she had. Even now, standing before her a solid, centering presence, all she could think about was removing herself from this place without alarming him.

That didn't quite work out, and Deta did them no favors.

Her skin prickled in the cold, even beneath the thick layers of her buttoned coat enough that she wrapped her fingers around the back of Chand’s wrist, not in a manner to restrain him, but to unify herself with him. Acceptance, calm, need spread into her touch, flickering like motes of warm light. It felt crippling to not offer more, but her own willpower was waning, though she put up a valiant effort.

Chand squared with Deta who grew more uncertain about the validity of his Queen’s claim. Though the older man recognized exactly what Chand was it did not occur to him right away that the only impediment between the Queen and the outside world was through him. The man growled, shifting into a stance that set him just to the right of the alcove that would open a path to her freedom. Craft pulled at the air and she knew Deta was preparing himself.

“Stop this now.” Frustration overrid the fear, if only for a moment, the force behind her words cleaving through the very center of the tension filled room. None of this was helping and while she would have wished to be able to share with Chand at the very moment exactly what was wrong, her eyes would not cease darting to the corners imagining the diminishing space and the stale air that would fill the chamber, and her mouth drying painfully.  Deta looked at Neesia and then  straightened, casting an uneasy eye at the angry Warlord Prince though his words had hit the mark and deflated the man’s resolve.  Though he cared for Neesia he was not heart-bonded like it seemed this knife wielding Chand and he had no qualms that he would not act on every last word. “Of course my lady.”  Deta stepped aside, giving them a wide berth and watching as Chand pulled the Queen before him and lead her swiftly out of the crypt.

Only then did he follow, emerging to find Lady Nashkitar with a hand over her stomach and another on the swell of her hip as she filled her chest with the fresh night air.  Lifting a hand she motioned for Chand to give her a moment before stepping closer again, all but one finger curled as she let the dizziness subside. A twinge of embarrassment replaced the growing panic, spreading like a weed.  Deta rounded the two, watching her carefully and glancing at Chand askance. It was not safe, even for a Queen’s man to be this close to her at this moment. “The lady does not like enclosed spaces.” Deta offered, though he did not elaborate more than that.

Cool air filled her lungs, her eyes opening to push back the pressure that had settled on her soft cheeks. It was not altogether calming, but she would be well in time.  Rolling her shoulders back she checked the tension once more before turning back to Chand and wetting her full lips with a small pink tongue. “My apologies.” She offered, only because she felt as though it was necessary to smooth her wounded pride. “Deta is an old friend and he has escorted me to Manipur, however he is right, I reached my tolerance, I am sorry for having concerned you. I will be well.”  Her eyes lifted to meet Chand’s own, his narrow features were so lovely, strong, watchful. “Tell me you won't go. That you will stay, with me?” It was not an easy thing to ask, nor to feel a duty someone she had just met. Their souls were intertwined through the Darkness and only together could they guide each other from it. Extending her arm, the fingers of her small hand drawn down, she reached for him, willing him to take it, needing him to. 

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #12 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:41:18 PM »
The fool stepped aside and Chand got Neesia out of the crypt. Deta was, for a moment, forgotten while Chand tended to his Queen. He started to move closer, but she held up a hand to ward him back, so Chand’s posture remained tense and alert for any danger. Deta remained in Chand’s general awareness because he spoke up and offered what Chand had already figured out: his Queen hated enclosed spaces. Deta’s mere presence was still raking against Chand’s temper, but Chand wasn’t in Rut. The man was an annoyance, a minor one, and Chand wouldn’t gut him for his temerity. Not yet.

I apologize, Lady Ashkitar. I didn’t mean to worry you. There is a well nearby. I can get you some water, if you want it.” Chand said, attempting to be helpful. He’d doted upon his sister and his mother during their moontimes, making sure that they wanted for nothing. While this wasn’t the same thing, Chand wanted to see that this woman had what she needed.

He turned to Deta.

I apologize for my brusque tone. I was tending to Lady Ashkitar. I did not know that you’d both come such a long way.” Chand said, trying to pull himself back from the dangerous edge. He’d been ready to murder this man solely because he appeared to be a threat to Chand’s Queen. While it wasn’t fair, Blood Law was clear. Chand’s duty to her overrode any logic or respect he might otherwise have shown the man.

My family lives just up the way. There is food and drink, if the two of you don’t need to leave right away.” Chand offered. He had no idea how long they planned to stay, but they couldn’t leave now. Not before he knew everything there was to know about Neesia.

She looked to him, then, and asked him not to go. For a moment, Chand couldn't remember why she’d think that. Then he remembered where he was headed prior to her arrival. Orissa was a day or so away, along with the end of Chand’s life. He needed to avenge his father, his father who was apparently a member of the Friends of Rose Neela. Neesia seemed convinced that Ayush Nayar had been one of these people, striking from the shadows, but ultimately doing little to help the people. On some level, Chand knew it wasn’t a fair representation of the group, but he’d just lost his father to the Glacians.

He took Neesia’s hand.

I won’t go today.” he said quietly.

But I can’t let what happened to my father happen to anyone else.” he said.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #13 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:44:56 PM »
Though it wasn't necessarily humorous, Neesia found Chand’s annoyance with Deta refreshing. Not in such that she enjoyed seeing men fight senselessly and without cause but because she had never felt such protectiveness towards her. Their bond was fresh, raw like nerves just starting to gain sensation and she while she knew they would always be aware of one another she wasn't sure how long it would take for them to settle into it organically.  With heightened emotions it was easy to allow herself to get wrapped up in the embarrassment. Deta had only meant to aid, but his presence was becoming a distraction to her Warlord Prince. It would take time for Chand to accept others in his gravity. It was like obtaining a priceless item and knowing that in his care it could be protected. Naturally he would grow hyper vigilant of its preservation.

“No thank you.” Her head shook, though she stole a glance to the entrance of the Nayar mausoleum before ripping her gaze away. To his credit Deta straightened, scratching at the fine hairs on his chin before folding his arms back behind him and bowing his head. “No need to apologize my Lord.”  Though they both knew there was, Deta was polite albeit distantly. In this case, it was the safest bet.  Sensing an understanding between the two men Neesia addressed Deta while brushing the long waves of cinnamon copper hair behind her shoulders. “Thank you Deta. Please go to the carriage and make sure that the coachman knows we will be a while.” Deta’s lips parted and he glanced at Chand for a moment before looking back to his Queen. It was clear that he thought this unwise, but Neesia was certain of two things, one, Chand would protect her with his life, though necessity did not warrant it at the moment and two she needed time alone with her bonded. “I will see you in a couple of hours. Rest.” Concerns for her safety had kept Deta up all of the previous night even though they had been certain she hadn't been seen and were staying with trusted friends of her father's.

With that dismissal, her fingers wrapped in Chand’s hand and she drew to his side. It was not the response she would have preferred as it left too much in the air and while he did not intend it to come off as such, a pressure to make certain that he did not take that path at any point, not merely today. Grief was a powerful motivator she understood, but how could he still think of going now that fate had led them to the same place beyond all odds? That would have to be decided in time. Reminding him of that rash decision might only settle his conviction further.

The length of her skirts swept against the ground as she walked. The hand held in his drifted up to his arm as he escorted her toward his home. Unlike in the crypt, it was a cooler night than most, the wind kicked off the mountains blessing the air with relief from the daytime heat. “I wish it were that simple.” She admitted, looking ahead, her large brown eyes drinking in the path. Her free hand rose pulling free the top button of her blouse which lay tucked just beneath the hollow of her throat, the last vestiges of anxiety washing away. Chand had made no comment about her sudden episode and she was glad for it, if only it spared her pride. Instead, he had sought to tend to her winning him extra favor in her eyes. “Tell me what I can do for you. How can I help.” Her head tilted, examining his profile , the breadth of his tensed shoulders. “I want to know about your life, you, your family, your father, all of it.” 

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #14 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:51:29 PM »
Chand’s blood no longer boiled, but simmered beneath his skin. He did not necessarily want to kill Deta anymore for trying to bar his way or cause Neesia undue stress, but the other male was far too close to his Queen. Deta stood stood several paces from Neesia’s side, but he’d need to be standing in another Province in order to make Chand less inclined to tear his throat out. Chand forced himself to focus on Neesia, to focus upon the deepening bond that was forming between them in order to find peace. He concentrated on the feeling of her hand in his. He concentrated on her scent, the softness of her skin, the swell of her ass beneath her dress, all of the physical things he’d enjoyed about her thus far.

Deta left them alone and Chand released a breath, turning his gaze back to her.

You don’t like the dark. Or crypts.” he said. It wasn’t a question.

Chand realized that he sounded less compassionate than he intended, so he tried to articulate his thoughts again. He would guide her to walk with him, towards his mother’s house, so that he could get her something to eat and drink. Echoes of her terror still radiated across their bond and that terror clawed against Chand’s inborn rage. He didn’t like anything that could make him afraid. He preferred to kill those things to protect himself and those he cared for.

What happened in the crypt...does that happen often? I wasn’t trying to keep you there. I didn’t even expect anyone else to be there.” he said, by way of apology. Chand felt strange, felt like he was walking on eggshells around this female. If he said the wrong thing, would she leave and never come back? If he did the wrong thing, would she cast him out?

If he said or did the right thing, would she grant him more of her favor?

He waited for her to respond before speaking again.

Unless you can convince the dead to return to life, my lady, your presence will have to be enough. I’m not trying to be difficult but...I’m at a loss right now. My father’s been close at hand my entire life. He and I were best friends.” Chand said, his voice thick with emotion. He fell silent for a beat.

I knew he would return to the Darkness someday. I knew that. I just thought that I had more time.” he said softly.

They walked on for a bit, turning onto a dirt path that led to a squat house in the near distance.

I’m afraid that my family and I aren’t very interesting, my lady. My mother is a rug-maker. Some of her wares have even made it as far as Little Terreille, from what I hear. My younger sister is her apprentice. My father worked at the Territory Court.” Chand said.

I enjoy cooking. If I could open a restaurant, I would.” he said.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #15 on: Dec 12, 17, 10:54:32 PM »
The tension eased as Deta reluctantly excused himself, though he wisely made no further eye contact with the Warlord Prince. The mortal danger he had placed himself in wouldn't take long to dawn on him and though the man had been a faithful servant and friend for many years he was not her bonded but a willing companion to the Ashkitar family. The connection between them slackened, she could feel Chand relax the moment she was placed under his care. That was the nature of a Warlord Prince, protective and prone to governing the space they encompassed, especially when a Queen was present.  Neesia was unaccustomed to being bound by even a restrictive personality, but Chand had not pressed himself more than he needed on her.

Any hope she might have had to ignore the unfortunate episode back in the crypt faded. Of course he would want to know, though her lips tugged, the delivery was less than smooth and she felt his uncertainty as clearly as her own. Being tethered to another would take some getting used to, but as it grew sinuously, she felt more complete than she realized she ever had been.

“I don't.”  then added, “It is not the dark as it gives me the stars and the open sky..”  Fingers squeezed his forearm reassuringly, a silent gesture of wordless understanding as her free hand rose to brush her hair behind her shoulder before letting it fall to her side once more. Neesia felt then receding tremors of her fear and attempted to cox them away, filling her lungs with the sweet air, his fragrance adding a subtle juxtaposition to the earthy notes that carried in the cooling breeze. Usually she would let them settle on their own and give it little effort otherwise, the more she tried to reminded herself that fear could not control her, the deeper and more painful its grip sank. This was different though, there was more to worry about than her fretfulness, now there was a matter of another who could possibly think his Queen weak and incapable for being terrorized by something as common as a small room.  It nettled Neesia that someone else's opinion would have such impact on her, and so suddenly.

Chand was unsettled, though his rage was tempered, he would not be soothed until he understood what had happened. This was not some villain he could stab, or some enemy he could eliminate from her proximity. Such phobias burrowed deep inside a person so that they could not simply be exercised. Offering an explanation of his actions, she shook her head, rejecting the notion he had done anything wrong. Chand owed her nothing, let alone an apology, but he felt obligated to extend one. No amount of reassurance would help him feel any better about what occurred, nothing less than an explanation would suffice.

“You did nothing wrong.”  Again, her hand squeezed, pressing closer to the warmth of his side, her body lent easily to his. The contact was soothing. “You could not have known that I have an aversion to small spaces when I placed myself there to begin with.” Lips tugged into a faint smile as she watched the path as they walked. “When I was a child I was locked up in a closet for three days, until I was discovered. My entire world was but a few feet long and wide, no sounds but my own. Not many know this and I am not sure why I feel I can tell you, but the idea of being entombed, the walls closing in on me, is often more than I can bear for extended periods of time.” The sensation was a akin to unraveling, the panic becoming all too real.

Neesia fell silent, allowing Chand to fill the gap of the conversation. Though she did not offer the most hurtful of those details, she allowed him to probe as he saw fit. The last thing she wished was for him to think her so closed off that it bordered on rejection. Nothing could be farther from the truth. 

He was burdened and he would have to release himself of it little by little. This kind of loss took time to stitch together though it never truly healed, it could drive him to greatness or destruction. “Do you believe in destiny my Prince?” Glancing up at him she smiled softly. “I do, and I can't imagine your father wouldn't be pleased by our meeting, especially at this time. Just knowing you aren't alone...”

He wasn't, and that would have to be enough.

“Do you? Well, I know nothing about rugs, or cooking, so I find myself at an advantage. There is nothing wrong with humble living. I've known nothing but. However, your particular skill has never stuck well. There are a few things I can make, such as pakora, but one cannot survive on that alone. If you meet her you will have to ask my sister how she has managed to sustain herself on that.” Soft notes of laughter rang from her throat, her eyes lifting to the path that lead to the small house, already she could tell it was filled with warmth. “You take care of your mother and sister?” she asked, curious.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #16 on: Dec 12, 17, 11:02:20 PM »
Chand was slim, but solidly built. Each time Neesia squeezed his arm, it felt like a current of the Abyss itself ran through his veins. She explained the nature of her fears to him, so Chand remained quiet. But the longer she continued, the harder it was to stay silent. Who would dare lock her in a closet like that? Perhaps...perhaps it was for her protection. Chand hated the very idea of Neesia being anything but revered, but if locking her in a closet to protect her from something worse was the only option…

He forced himself to breathe. She was on edge, trying to soothe and care for him. His anger thwarted them both. Before now, Chand wouldn’t have cared for being a place of comfort or solace to another person. He wanted Neesia to feel safe in his presence, whether or not other people were around. Chand lead her down the road, keeping his attention focused on the path ahead and behind them to ensure that they weren’t surprised.

That is a difficult experience. I’m sorry it happened to you.” Chand said.

Half an hour after they met, Chand escorted Neesia up the dirt path toward his home. The yard was maintained as well as possible, but patches of dead grass dotted the landscape. The exterior of the house was dated, though it remained in good repair. The land beneath their feet had been in Chand’s family centuries and generations of his family had lived upon it. So far, the Glacians had not tried to take it.

When they came, Chand would bathe in their blood.

My mother will try to feed you. Even if you are not hungry, let her offer at least once. She loves taking care of people and the loss of my father has affected her deeply. We make a good curry, too, so you won’t be disappointed if you try it.” Chand said, offering her a deep and genuine smile.

I do not bring women home, so if they bother you with their questions, tell me. I will distract them.” Chand said.

Oh, one more thing--

Chand! Chand, is that you?” a female voice echoed from inside the house.

Yes, mama! It’s me! I brought someone to eat with us. Someone who knew papa!” he said.

Bring them in! I’m making more food!” the female said.

He looked to Neesia. “Please don’t talk about the Friends of Rose Neela with them. They wouldn’t know. I don’t want to alarm them or hurt them any deeper than they have been.” he said.

I take care of them now. I protect my people.” he said, letting his gaze rest on her for several seconds before opening the door and gesturing for her to go inside.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #17 on: Dec 12, 17, 11:05:39 PM »
They moved together, Chand shortening his steps as to not rush her though he could easily have taken a full stride twice the length of her own. There was no hurry given the circumstances and she was just beginning to come down off of the precipice of her anxiety. Talking about it helped if only a little bit, the tension in his arm signaling the need for comfort and she supplied it.  In no other circumstance would she place herself in such a situation, not willingly and she would certainly never allow herself to be locked away, left to rot as she had been again.  A small lump climbed her throat only to be swallowed down and lost deep within the places where such memories were stored.

“No one followed. I made sure of it” There was little reassurance a Warlord Prince would accept when it came to his Queen, but she hoped that it would aid if only the slightest bit. “I have been able to get around on my own for some time now.” She smiled to herself, perhaps a little more proudly than she ought, but speaking distracted her from the previous conversation and the dark memories left behind in the crypt. For her at least. Delicate fingers draped across his forearm barely shifting, a reassurance of his existence.

The home was exactly that, a place of refuge and solace. The windows glowed with warm light, spilling into the darkness, throbbing with life. It was as Nharkavan as one could get, age, architecture, down to the beautifully curved shutters, flayed open like lashes. Just as the land was virtually untouched, as was the abode, a testament to its history. Looking thoughtful she allowed her arm to disentangle from his as they reached the house and he began to quickly lay out anything she ought to know.

This nervousness was endearing and she smirked softly knowing she would be one of the first women he had ever invited into his family’s homestead.  His smile was infectious and she basked under it a moment, nodding along until the feminine sound called out from within.

Pressing her lips together as if to keep herself from responding she lifted a brow sheepishly, her long neck arching as she listened, smile broadening with his sweet response.  “I would love to try some curry.”  The whispered to him, her smile wilting with a solemn nod at his final request. Though she found it strange to think that Ayush would not have told his partner of his place within the Friends. All at once she considered what words lay within the card, what could her father possibly have to say to his mother? An offering of condolences perhaps, she had not read over it as it felt like an invasion to do so. Now Chand held possession of its mystery.

“I won't. “
Dark eyes lingered on hers seeking understanding. He meant more in them at that moment, a promise as she was his now to protect. Once again the urge to touch him rose in her belly, but she quelled it for now, gathering her skirts so to step up and into the doorway so her shoes would not track in dirt.  The home was welcoming, humble and neat. The Queen smiled as she stepped within, taking in the scent of spices, wood, sweet perfume and wool.  “Good evening Lady Nayar, my apologies for disturbing you and your family at such an hour.” she offered respectfully. On such a day no less.  Turning her head, she glanced at Chand as he stepped in next to her. Blinking she looked back to the Lady of the home, a Hearth Witch no doubt. Chand was not kidding, all manner of savory aromas drifted through the home, reminding her of simpler times with her grandmother. “Thank you for allowing me entry.”

Offline Chand Nayar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #18 on: Dec 12, 17, 11:17:15 PM »
Nagini Nayar was a simple woman who loved her family, took care of her home, and took care of the people around her. She was no Healer, but she believed that a home was a place of refuge and safety from the world, a place where one retreated when the work of the day ended and it was time to relax. Her home reflected that belief and the scents within were designed to remind visitors that they were no longer dealing with work or the other troubles that manifested on a daily basis. The scent of curry was a mainstay of Chand’s childhood and it was one of the few things that still granted the peace the Warlord Prince.

He entered the home after Neesia and watched as his mother and sister turned to look at his Queen. They both smiled brightly at her...and then paused. Mother’s mouth dropped open in shock. Even Kavuri, normally full of quips and saucy attitude blinked several times. They looked between Neesia and Chand several times apiece before Nagini bowed to Neesia in line with Protocol, with Kavuri following suit.

My Lady, please come in. Make yourself at home.” Nagini said, gesturing to a nearby couch.

Kavuri looked to Chand, a question on her lips, but it went unasked as Nagini spoke.

Chand, Kavuri, bring the Lady…

Ashtikar.” Chand supplied.

Bring Lady Ashkitar some water and a bowl of chicken curry.” she said.

Neesia would be provided with food and drink in short order. Chand made sure that she had everything she needed to feed herself. He would take up a seat just a few feet away, watching all three women intently. He did not want Sia to be nervous or put out, but he also did not want his mother and sister walking on eggshells. Chand took a deep breath, released it, then inhaled and released once more. He leaned back in his chair as the women made small talk about a number of subject. Chand didn’t hear them all because he had other concerns. He was considering how to make sure his mother and sister were protected once he was gone.

Can I get you all anything else?” Chand asked, looking between all three women. The words were said without any heat or annoyance. Chand truly wanted to serve, but he also didn’t want to get in the way if they were all talking. He took a moment to look out the window and make sure that there were no other visitors headed to the homestead tonight.

Mother, did everyone leave?” Chand asked.

Oh yes, dear. It’s time for everyone to return to their lives, now that condolences are said. That is the way of things.” Nagini said softly. Chand felt for her.

He knew that his mother wouldn’t return to her old life so easily.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #19 on: Dec 12, 17, 11:18:57 PM »
As uncommon as it was for Neesia to happen into the house of strangers, their reaction was rather expected although far more significant when it was her bonded’s family who were left gawking at the Queen in their home.  The women bowed and remembering herself, Neesia cocked her head to each woman in turn  out of respect. Their scents reached her mingling with the spicy aroma of the home. A Healer and a Witch, surely the Darkness had blessed the Nayar home.

Neesia was unable to utter a single protest to their polite attention before she found herself seated with a bowl of steaming yellow curry laid out before her. Looking up at them she smiled, ignoring the significant looks Nagina and Kavuri pressed upon Chand, or at least pretending to. They would need time to speak but for now she could not help but feel just slightly monitored under the weight of their kind but curious eyes.

Taking the fork, she gently scooped up a small piece of chicken with it before raising it to her lips, fully intending on complimenting the woman despite any opinion to the contrary.Yet the moment the flavors spread across her tongue, her mouth paused, blinking through the rich spice dulled only slightly by soft grains of rice. It was not only exquisite but the best she had ever tasted, her expression shifting to one of pleasant surprise. “It is divine. Your son did not exaggerate your skill Lady Nayar."

Though she was a slow eater, Neesia felt less guilty about it now, enjoying her meal as thoroughly as she did their company.  The women seemed to relax as they discussed the weather, the roads leading to Manipur from the south as well as her time in Sikkim. She asked Kavuri of her work and smiled attentively at the Lady of the house as she explained her presence within their lands and who her father was. She didn't however delve into her husband’s work outside of Court as Chand had requested. Parul Jhakart worked within the Court with Ayush and was stricken by the news.  Nagina accepted the condolences as after the day she was perhaps well practiced in it.  Quick to change the subject however, she asked about their home and complemented its warmth.

“I am well, thank you Prince Nayar.”  She said, giving him a reassuring nod of her head. The Warlord Prince’s eyes shifted to the window and hers followed. Accustomed to being in hiding she felt safe within the Nayar home, but that did not mean that dangers did not loom outside the walls even though she had made every effort to be well hidden.

“You all have had such a trying day. I should be off soon.”  She offered, this was not a night for extended guests, even though they had welcomed her so amicably. It had been quite some time since she had been able to share a meal with a proper matron and their welcome had left an impression.  The land called to her in small ways, a tingling a feeling of need that tugged at the bottom of her feet. Father said it was her imagination, just as she could not feel the rain’s approach in her bones, and yet there it was, that feeling. Moreso, she wanted to do something for Chand. There was no doubt in her mind that he would join her, their bond was spinning together forming a strong textility. It could only grow, only thrive if properly nurtured, just like the land.

“I would like to thank you for your hospitality.” She began glancing around to the family but addressing Nagani. “Allow me to bless your land.”  The grasses would blossom beneath their feet, and though her Jewels were not as Dark as Chand’s she was still well within her power, things plants would grow because the land having been so untended for some time wished it. A Queen’s bounty would sprout up from the ground by next Spring.

“I would also like to offer you an opportunity, your plots would need tending as they disposed  to flourish wildly if you allow them  after a blessing. For years my father would grow wheat, barley, turmeric, ginger and the most lovely orchids in our family home. Those days are behind us though as we were forced to relocate. The seeds are proven, blessed by myself.  I would offer them as well as men to tend the farm in exchange for a small portion of the harvest. What you grow, you keep and help to feed our people.”  Neesia smiled softly, looking at Chand now knowing that the offer carried weight with him if only because it meant strangers on his property. She did not seek to profit, but to aid, to tend to the earth and the people who treaded on it. “No matter what you decide, the offer stands.” He could go with her if he wished, but she would not bargain for his right to chose.  The decision was his.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #20 on: Dec 13, 17, 12:01:32 AM »
Chand watched Neesia eat like he was expecting her to critique the meal with each bite.

His mother’s cooking was top-notch. He knew that. She’d forgotten more than she ever taught him and Kavuri about cooking, about how to prepare a meal and keep a home. Yet having his Queen here, in the home he grew up in, had Chand’s senses and mind on edge. Neesia enjoyed the food, taking some of the weight off his Chand’s mind and heart, but the house felt strangely empty despite the four people residing within. The women spoke and Chand remained quiet unless directly addressed. He heard them all talking, even laughing a little bit. He heard Neesia eating and he heard the normal sounds of the house settling and the creatures of the night coming out to see the world.

The world still felt empty.

His presence filled every room he was in. 

Father would be telling him how to aid his Queen. He would have advice and ideas on how to make her more comfortable. Ayush was an easy man to talk to and he seemed to know every story about Nharkava’s history that ever existed. Thousands of nights saw Chand fall asleep in his father’s arms midway through a story about Mother Night or the old times before the Glacians came to Nharkava. Even as a man, Chand wished he had a tenth of his father’s storytelling skill.

But there would be no more stories told. No more long talks into the night about Nharkava’s past and future. Chand would give back every story he’d ever heard if it meant five more minutes with the old man.

Neesia was speaking again and Chand’s attention returned her to her. She was truly the only person in the room who held his attention in full. Where once his mother and sister held the balance of his attention and focus, Neesia demanded more from him than either of them. His Queen had not asked for it, not aloud, but that’s just how it was. He wanted to reach over and touch her, but he didn’t.

I would like to thank you for your hospitality.” she said, and Chand held up his hands, palms out, to stop her. He would not let her give them anything for doing what they were supposed to do. It felt wrong to him, but he remained quiet to let her finish.

She wanted to bless their land. Not only that, she wanted to help them care for it. Nagini gasped in shock. Kavuri stared at the Queen, open-mouthed.

Chand blinked.

You...you don’t have to do that, Lady Ashtikar. We’d be honored, of course, but you do not have to.” Nagina said, speaking up before either of her children. Chand started to refute her words, but he did not. Neesia had made the offer and, even if he hated the idea of strangers at his home, he understood that Neesia was taking a chance on them with this. She was trying to do right by his family, right by him. Refusing her felt wrong, like it shouldn’t even be a thought in his mind.

“That is most kind of you, my lady.” Chand said.

Do you need a place to stay this evening? We have a room for you, if you need it. We can find room for Deta, too.” Chand said. He would give up his room for his Queen. Sleeping on the floor did not bother him. He’d do whatever was necessary to keep her safe.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #21 on: Dec 13, 17, 06:05:32 PM »
The opinion of his Queen mattered, possibly more than he was comfortable with. Though she did not call attention to it, she would have to be oblivious to not notice the way he had watched her, each bite disappearing past her lips let his eyes trail up to her own. Neesia had never felt so studied, and even so her reaction to every delicious morsel was genuine. It had been a long time she she had savored a home cooked meal crafted lovingly from a mother’s hand. Parul, her father was not much of a cook and she did not dance along her own limitations coyly when she told him that she could cook but one thing well.  Lady Nayar on the other hand was skilled, not only in keeping a warm hearth, but in the love she poured into her cooking, some ingredients were rare and priceless.

Neesia refused to allow herself to harp on these thoughts for too long, or make indulge in the comparisons that crept into the forefront of her thoughts. There was enough sorrow and loss in this house and it was undeserving of the woman who still haunted her memories from time to time.

Chand relaxed a bit as she ate, even more so when her bowl was taken away empty. Her mouth tingled with the lingering phantom of spice, every breath more refreshing than the next. The sting was one of the few pains that could be pleasant as was the heaviness in her body from being so well fed. For a moment she marveled that she had eaten all of it in one sitting. Once again the vested jacket felt tight around her svelte torso, but she made no move to further loosen the buttons.

This was not an offer made in haste or without forethought and all the more worth seeing the looks of shock and awe that crossed over his mother and sister's faces.  For a brief second she had cared for her people, something that had been denied to her for so long. It was such a little thing, something so trivial and well within her power to give and they blossomed beneath the offering their eyes growing wide. 'This is what I was brought into this world to do. This is the calling that Mother-Night has bestowed upon my caste.' One could not imagine what it was like to be a native Queen, to know that the land was yours, to feel it call her, cry for her like a babe, or how its people’s suffering fed into its soil like bruises. Nharkavan’s tended to their land, their sweat watered the plants, their struggle fed its roots and in turn the land gave all that it was, depleting itself if only to repay what was sowed.  Then there were those like her, meant to tend to both.  Neesia’s heart ached for it. More than anything, she wanted to provide.

All but one seemed certain. Chand’s face blanked, an expected reaction. Though they knew so little of one another she could feel his uncertainty, not wanting to ask more of her, though he had done nothing of the sort. Chand was a Warlord Prince at his core, ready to serve, to give freely, but like the land, he also needed tending.  Neesia would do all she could to see his roots spread.

Humbled, Nagini was quick to respond, giving her the option to take back the offer though the women knew she would not.  There was an understanding with such things, a dance in which everyone knew the steps. A gift freely offered could not be walked back on.  “I know I do not.”  Neesia agreed, leaning forward, her elbows rested on her knees as she met the elder woman’s eyes. Nagani struck her as a woman who understood the joy of giving of oneself.  Extending her hand, palm up, she offered it to Chand’s mother and once taken, squeezed foldly, the second joining to cup her hands. “I want to. So much is taken from our people, if your family has the resources to fill empty stomachs like you have mine, then you will be doing my work for me. Also, you will find I am stubborn enough to argue the point all night.” Almond shaped eyes softened. “You've been so kind and it gives me yet another excuse to return, see your beautiful home and get a delicious meal out of it.” Laughter spilled silkily from her throat. “Thank you for a lovely evening.”

Releasing her hand, she sat back up before rising to her feet. Smoothing the length of her skirt, her hands rested at her side. “Usually I have a Priestess with me for such things, but as none is available I believe Lady Kavuri could serve in ones place instead. I will need a skilled Healer at my side.” Nodding her head respectfully at the girl her smile did not falter. Tomorrow they would have a Queen bless their land and if properly wrought, the Nayar family would rewarded with abundance.

A thread reached out into the night, the affirmative response was almost immediate from Deta. The carriage would be brought along toward the house to gather her. “I am staying at the home of a trusted friend of my father’s. They are currently in Jharkland fortuitously enough. I think tonight is a night best left to your kin. Escort me to await the carriage?”  Wishing them a restful evening, she slipped back out into the night with Chand once he was ready to walk the gravel path where the horse drawn carriage would meet them.  Once again her hand slipped into his arm, their connection flaring bright and potent with the touch. Small insects serenaded the night with tiny harps, the sound of a nightingale crooning in the distance at a nearby lake cut through the stillness like a songstress.

“You are allowed to voice your opinion, though I hope you let me have this.”  She confessed to him, her smile spreading with anticipation, the contour of her lips lifting to brighten her lovely smile. “But if you have any concerns, please address them. I will give you the night to think, yes?” Neesia did not want to go, not so soon after finding her bonded, already there was an ache at the mere thought of it which would only grow with distance. The Nayar’s were strong, but they were also in mourning and taking space in their house felt like an intrusion so soon after the wake.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #22 on: Dec 19, 17, 11:18:12 PM »
Chand was floored at her offer to bless their land. He hadn’t expected it, nor would he have even mentioned it if she hadn’t brought the matter forward first. But she had and now there was no way that he could refuse without shaming his Queen or disappointing his family. Father was a far better diplomat than I, Chand mused. Not for the first time, regret ate his calm. Even as a grown man, there was still so much he needed to learn from his father, questions he needed answered that he’d only now just thought of. Instead, he’d wasted time on unimportant matters. He’d set himself to chasing after money and status, rather than learning to be the man of the house.

I’m not ready.

Your offer is most generous, Lady Ashtikar. We will, of course, accept.” Chand said, bowig deeply and respectfully toward his Queen. It struck him that, today of all days, Mother Night would bring to him the woman he was bonded to for the rest of his life. Now she was here and willing to help his family maintain their land. Her caste bid her to tend the land, but would she have revealed herself if he was not bound to her? The questions chased each other around and around in Chand’s head until he no longer wanted to think about it.

Nessia asked him to accompany her outside while she waited for Deta to bring her carriage, so Chand followed her without question. Stepping outside, Chand scanned the area for other presences and jewels. His Queen was in his home, in his charge, and he wished to ensure her safety. He wanted nothing more than to take her back inside, though, lay her down on his bed and simply hold her in his arms until the sun rose. He wanted to feel her skin against his and memorize the scent of her hair.

Clouds covered the sky, making the oncoming evening just a bit darker. He smelled the scent of rain in the air and smiled. He stood there, briefly, and just let the feeling run over his skin. The rain was coming and would probably start any time now. Once they were far enough from the house, he turned to regard her.

I do have concerns. I don’t think you should be going to another town with a storm coming in, Lady Ashtikar. The roads are treacherous at the best of times. If the rain starts early enough, or comes in hard enough, you could be delayed or trapped.” Chand said, looking at her.

You need more than a single escort, in any case. I should go with you.” Chand said, his tone making clear that he was seeking only her acceptance of the situation, rather than asking permission to join her.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #23 on: Dec 20, 17, 05:25:57 PM »
No sooner had she stepped off the threshold to the Nayar home and her feet touch their soil than she felt the slight tremors of expectancy reach up to greet her. It took her a moment to realize the source as she was prone to looking down before up. Chand was none the wiser to it, why would he be? The land spoke to their Queens and she would like think Nharkava’s own favored its native ones.  The land’s energy chittered with excitement.

Peace extended itself through their bond. Chand’s head turned toward the sky, his angled features  so sharp, even in virtual repose.  The corners of his lips curled into a smile. It was then she took note of the sky, the darkening clouds that concealed their view of the stars. They churned, not violently, but in a slow deliberate movement around the moon. A mummers dance of rain. Of course it would be the rain that had the land all a twitter. Water meant life, cleansing. For a brief moment, examining Chand’s smile, she wondered if the same wasn't true for him.

He was so beautiful, so hers.

“I am glad you accept. Your land it's calling to me like a babe asking for milk. Though in this case it could also be the rain. You feel it? The ozone in the air? Mother Night shines on us, a night of rain before a blessing is an omen of great things to come. If only we could enjoy it together.” Neesia’s eyes turned down toward her secretive smile as she spoke. Fingertips squeezed his arm, seeking the closeness he too felt. There was trust between them, given freely though they had never met before. It was a strange sensation that threw her off balance. Neesia had never been a clingy woman, though she loved her family dearly and spent as much time with them as she could, this was different, a sense of belonging and completion that she could not begin to place into words. A part of her wanted to ask if he felt it too, maybe they would make sense of it together.

Soon, not now but soon.

The Warlord Prince turned toward her, allowing her hand to fall away as she regarded him with the seriousness that he demanded. It was her fault really but she did not begrudge him his honesty. Chand fell into place with his duty right away, the moment she had felt alarmed in the crypt his one and only focus had been to free her of  her discomfort, then he set to tending to her.  Chand did not realize how much his care was impressed upon her, even if she had never asked for it. The point was that she hadn't needed to.

“You should absolutely go with me. I agree.” Dark eyes rose to meet his, her hands reaching out, fingers sliding into each of his palms. The touch was so perfect, enveloping her small hands as she held them. Tucking her chin down so to get a better look at his face she smiled tenderly. “But you won't, because your mother and sister have need of you and you of them tonight. I think there is much that you need to discuss.”  It would surprise her to find that his mother Nagini did not know of his father’s activity within the Friends of Rose Neela. The letter her father Parul had sent was addressed to her and the men had known each other very well.  If she was right, he would need to process this information for himself. He would need to come to terms with it if he were to follow her. Learning this about a man he adored would not be an easy thing, but in the end he would know him better for it.

Neesia had never needed any one person by her side before, but she needed Chand.

Her chest tightened, fingers squeezing against his hand. A cool breeze ruffled her hair off her right shoulder then back again. “Prince Nayar, do you think that a Dark Jeweled Warlord Prince escorting a Lady at this hour will not gather attention?” She asked a little sheepishly. “I will return to you first thing in morning, or you can come collect me. If there is more I can do to assure you of my safety I will do so.”  she compromised. His concern was not thoughtless or unrealistic. Releasing one of his hands, she reached up to rest her fingers over his collar, then up to his cheek, though he would have to lean into her touch as her reach did not extend that far. The wiry hairs on his chin tickled her palm.  Hers.  “Right now, and perhaps for the last time in a long while I am not the main priority in your life. You are, they are. Take it.”

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #24 on: Dec 20, 17, 10:13:38 PM »
She wasn’t making it easy for him to protect her. Chand understood, on one had, that she would be guarded. They’d only met today and she was likely processing these new and complex feelings for a stranger just as he was. Neesia was a beautiful woman. Her laugh was infectious. Her calm radiated across the bond, compelling him to do the same despite his instincts. He understood that she’d be bakc in the morning, but if something happened to her outside of his presence, he’d never forgive himself.

Lady Ashtikar, I know it would draw attention but your safety is my only concern. Prying eyes can be removed, if necessary.” Chand said, following up his statement with a smile not unlike that of a tiger who relished the idea of the hunt. He would not mince words for her; she needed to understand how far he would go in order to keep her safe and whole.

He started to say something else, but fell silent and let her speak. He did not want to be talked out of being near her. He also wanted her to know that he was capable of listening and having a conversation, rather than merely imposing his will. He’d not always give her this chance, but it was important here, at the beginning, that she understood where he was coming from.

In the end, he understood her point about his priorities. Though he’d would have the final say over those priorities, it was also important that he obey Protocol and Blood Law. Deta had seen her this far without letting her be harmed. He leaned into her touch, a soft sigh escaping his lips. He could press the issue, force her to let him accompany her to his heart’s content. That felt wrong to him, though, to force his presence upon her. Just has he had to accept her as his Queen, she had to accept his service in turn. Forcing her to do his bidding would not endear him to her.

Very well. I want to know exactly where you are staying. I will be there to collect you at sunrise and bring you back here. In return…” he said, pausing while he conjured the words, “I will remain here tonight with my family to mourn. Tonight has been hard for my mother and my sister.” he admitted.

Kavuri would wake up sobbing in the middle of the night. Mother would not find sleep, as he had not for several nights over the past few weeks. Chand did not know how either of them pressed onward with life. He was hurting deeply, but Neesia’s presence made his hurt tolerable. But when she went, the night would come.

Even the rain would not wash away his hurt and guilt.

He looked up at the sky once more.

I hope that we can enjoy the rain together sometime. My father....he and my mother used to dance in the rain together, before Kavuri and I came along.” Chand said, a small smile upon his face. That smile faltered and vanished as soon as it arrived, though.

Thank you for indulging my family. I appreciate your kindness to them.” Chand said softly.

"Be warned, though: my mother will insist upon cooking for you anytime we're here. She will mention something about being 'too skinny' and attempt to feed you until you explode. I think she took it easy on you tonight, but don't be fooled." Chand said, smirking at her once more.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #25 on: Dec 20, 17, 11:09:27 PM »
His smile was all teeth, a quiet warning she would need to extend to any who would dare approach her with malice. It was strange to be looked after by someone not related to her. Of course there was her village, the love of the people who knew her well and kept her. As a Queen, their most precious Caste, they would protect her, linked to the land and the people who served her, but she was far from home and where she was not willing to dwell on the dangers, her newly bonded was now just tallying them in his head.  That was the burden of her Warlord Prince, to see threats in every shadow if only to ensure her safety.

Understanding this and allowing him to put it to action were two different things. Leaving him here would would her. Their bond was so fresh and new it was only beginning to stitch together, his reticence to see her go was warming, but she wanted him to understand that she only made this decision for his benefit, not her own. When she said he should absolutely come with her, she meant it, the desire to be close was so overwhelming and yet she excused her silence for his sake.

Disapproval leached into their bond, he did not have to speak it for her to know, she could feel it within the delicate fibers of their union. Moreso, he did not want to be alone. It called to her to feel so needed, though he never confessed exactly why. Grateful that he did not interrupt until the very end, she smiled gently at him the corners of her eyes lifting. There were sharp lines coupled with  smooth and wiry divergences to the architecture of his face.  Though she could barely reach up to touch his cheeks without his head bowing to meet her hand, it only gave her a better excuse to press close and study the narrow tip of his nose and the disconsolate depth of his dark eyes.

No matter what he said, she knew that her will was his to receive, but she wanted him to have a voice in the matter.

Full lips pressed tighter together fighting against a frown. Perhaps leaving him was not the best plan, for a moment she faltered, torn between granting him some privacy and falling prey to what she considered selfish desire. “Mark me.” Her hand  fell away, resting on his chest a moment before sliding down to her side. The other still holding his, her thumb tracing circles into the center of his palm. “So you know exactly where it is I will stay, you may mark me before I depart and I will have Deta give you instructions to where I will be staying anyways, that way you can be assured of my safety.”  If something happened, which she doubted, and she were to be taken in the night he would be able to find her. The tiger could take his weight in eyes.

Though she wouldn't admit it, it would give her a sense of security for him to do so. This time at least. His smile, though brief and flitting was the last rays of sunshine in the horizon, beautiful, placid, distant and untouchable. “You should never stop dancing in the rain. Though I have to admit I tend to spend those stormy nights inside reading a book. Some of the post peaceful times I can remember were doing just that.  We should...” She paused, feeling a little childish for rushing to make plans with him. Again her timorous smile cast down toward the earth. “Indulging? It was me they so graciously hosted. I have never had curry so delicious in my life.  I already told them I will be looking for excuses to return for such sumptuous fare.” Matching his grin, her teeth plucked at the corners of her lips as the carriage rolled up the gravel path, pausing several yards away. Two chestnut horses shook their necks at the reigns as the coachman folded his arms over his lap and looked away from the pair. Obviously, Deta had given him the warning regarding keeping a safe distance. Even so, they did not rush them.

“Wait, am I too skinny?”  She asked, long neck drawing back, narrowing her gaze playfully. Sure she was lithe, but not unhealthy. The smile tugging at the corner of her bitten lip was the clear giveaway. Mirth tiptoed between their bond.  Then as if remembering herself, moistened her lips by drawing them into her mouth before continuing. “Honestly, they were lovely, you are blessed to have such strong women in your life, and they you. My family was never whole, so having your mother welcome me so warmly in such a desperate time did more for me than they could imagine. It was a good reminder.” Of what she was meant to do, who she was meant to serve, and what she never had.  Her throat pulsed as she swallowed, pushing back the melancholy that was no doubt triggered by the pain she still felt in their link. Though it had dulled some, she knew it lay in wait.  “I should go.”  But I don't want to.

If he chose to mark her, she would wait, hand still lingering in his. “Sunrise, it is.” It would not come soon enough, he would be at her side, and perhaps that was what frightened her the most.

Offline Chand Nayar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #26 on: Dec 27, 17, 01:32:21 AM »
The moment Neesia told him to mark her, Chand focused and expended the necessary Craft to do so. After several seconds, he sensed her directly in front of him. He’d locate her no matter where she went until he released the mark upon her. Once he felt his mark secure itself to her, Chand allowed himself to relax a little more. None of this would assuage him in the same way that being near her throughout the night would do, but he could live with this arrangement for now.

But only for now.

Chand understood that Neesia was respecting his family, and him, by not allowing him to join her where she was headed. She wanted him to grieve with his family before devoting himself to her service. Chand’s mind understood that. His heart understood it. And yet, he still wanted to drop everything and go with her. In the end, however, he reminded himself once more that Deta would be with her. He also reminded himself that he could ask Vinay, his childhood friend, to come and stay with his mother and sister while he was away. Chand relaxed further when he remembered that Vinay would come and stay at the house at a moment’s notice, so close to the family was he.

There, done. I will come to you at sunrise, but will you at least let me walk you to your carriage? I will coordinate with Deta so that there are no surprises like today.” Chand said.

He would place his hand at the small of her back and guide her toward the carriage. Night was coming and he wanted to make sure that Deta had enough light by which to navigate. He didn’t want the man losing the way and stranding himself and Neesia away from their intended location.

I will get you to dance in the rain sometime, Lady Neesia. You cannot spend all rainstorms inside. The rains are too much fun.” he said.

When they arrived at the carriage, Deta slipped from the driver's seat and opened the door so that Neesia could get inside. Chand resisted the urge to simply get in with her and force them take him along. He had a feeling that it wouldn’t go well, especially after what she’d conceded after his lobbying. He would see her at sunrise and then he would check her over from head-to-toe to see that she was safe and whole.

"Wait, am I too skinny?"

The question was playful, teasing, and Chand’s grin returned, but he shook his head. “Nice try, Lady Neesia. I am not the smartest man in Nharkava, but I’m not touching that question.” he teased.

He would help her into the carriage, but he did not let go of her hand until he kissed it softly.

Be safe, Lady Neesia. If at any point I think you’re in danger, I’m coming to find you, sunrise or not.


Offline Neesia Ashtikar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #27 on: Jan 05, 18, 03:36:54 PM »
Her Warlord Prince did not need to be convinced to press his mark on her. No sooner had she suggested it but he seized on the opportunity.  Ethereal ribbons of Craft grazed her her skin, and deeper still, there was a flare of heat and then what she could only consider a sense of branding  that she would not simply wash away.  Had she not requested the mark in order to put her bonded at ease it might have bothered her how quickly he had risen to the moment. As it was, her patience was rewarded with his greater sense of ease.

Chand did not wish to leave her side as much as she dreaded leaving his. Never before had she felt such a pull to another soul, something ripe and unfinished, fragile but binding. It slowly wove itself into her every nerve until she felt a need to be near him, to touch him and wash his sorrows away. This was completely unlike her to feel so dependent on another and a part of her wanted to rebel and claim her space.  Even so, she did not insist on leaving his side for that purpose. Chand would need to know the truth before he followed her, he would have to mourn and leave his suffering family. These were not easy choices, but if he wanted to stay by her side, he would have to make them for now.  Neesia hoped that by extending not only her gratitude, but her blessings that it would not only provide him with a sense of relief that his family would flourish and be cared for, but that they would indeed return to the home he loved so much.

Prince Nayar walked her toward the awaiting carriage. The coachman looked down, bowing his head respectfully as Deta held the door open with a bit of Craft for the Queen. Neither made any motion to rush the pair. Sunrise it was, her Prince would come and collect her in just a few hours. A strong guiding hand pressed to the small of her back, protective for even a short distance. The closer they came to the coach the more she wanted to allow him to change her mind and take him along with her. To lay her head against his chest for the rest of the night. How absurd. They were strangers and yet she could not imagine a day without him.  It was all too new, too fresh she reminded herself. Surely this connection would settle into something more comfortable.

“Hmm.”  A sound of pleasant approval preceded her words. “I look forward to that day then, if only because we will be close enough to enjoy it together.”  And he would not have such a dark cloud looming over him.  “There is a lot to say for sitting indoor, enjoying drink and a warm hearth with a book as well.” It was a lot less cold too, but she knew he would have to but grace her with a smile before in order to convince her to walk into a storm with him.

His refusal to answer her question won him a mischievous grin. Try as she might he did not fall prey to such a stereotypical trap. Still, she might have liked to hear that she was not that skinny and then watch him back track to reassure her that she was not so thick either. It was entertaining when men floundered that way. What it did earn her was a grin that stretched beneath his narrow nose, brightening his handsomely sharp features.  It would only take the quality of that grin to shift toward malice before he would look like a cat. Such a dangerous, beautiful man.  “Well practiced in avoiding trick questions. I like that.”

Their hands  clasped, he steadied her as her skirts were gathered and she bent into the carriage.  Lips brushed her fingertips and she paused, struggling with the idea of leaving him behind, if only for a few hours. It felt like a self inflicted wound, and already she winced with the trepidation of the pain it would cause her.   It was for the best, it had to be, Chand needed his family and time to set his affairs in order, no matter how much he protested it she knew she did it for him.

“I don't have a doubt you would ever not come for me Prince Nayar.”

Having jumped down from the coach Deta approached the Warlord to offer him directions on how to reach the home where they would be staying. His demor shifted greatly from before understanding that the Warlord Prince’s instinct to protect his Queen outmatched his own experience in the matter, though Chand would gather that Deta was not a man who would abandon the Queen, bonded or not easily.

The rains greeted them on the road tapping insistently on the roof of the coach and slicking the well beaten paths that took them away from the Nayar farm and into the village proper and would not subside until morning. The ground would be saturated with life giving water before her blood spilled. It could not be more perfect for a day of blessing.  They arrived safely like phantoms in the night, and though Neesia enjoyed the rather homely rooms she had been provided, this was the first time they had felt utterly void of a significant presence.  The logical part of her argued that a bond such as theirs was dangerous, and put her at risk of losing who she was, but her heart screamed and gnashed against it with a single word, mine.  Sleep had came not long after, Deta taking extra precaution to secure the area and raise shields, it was clear he had no intention of incurring the Warlord Prince’s wrath.

Rising well before dawn, excitement percolated in her core not unlike the days she knew were meant for her father’s homecomings.  The night before she had dressed in a rather conservative and respectful heavy jacket and long skirt that covered her from neck to ankles. Today however, sh inspired by the celebration of lif life and growth that would take place, she wore a light pink, short sleeved top that molded high above the waist. Silver and gold beads sewn into the Sari’s top in delicate floral patterns. A bright red skirt, just  a shade below crimson lined top and bottom in the same pink and gold hem.  A translucent pink pashmina wrapped across her left shoulder down to the length of her skirt.  Her dark, cinnamon colored hair swept back in thick well defined waves, a silver necklace hung around her slender neck, rose colored teardrop rested against the hollow of her throat. Where so many layers and buttons once concealed a svelte frame, how the breadth of her full hips and tight waist could easily be seen. Her olive skin smooth and unmarred glowing with health.

Breakfast was served at sunrise upon Deta’s insistence that the Lady not provide blessings and weaken herself on an empty stomach. A bowl of fruit, cheese, naan and sweet rice pudding were set at the table though she awaited Chand's arrival.

It would not be hard for Chand to spot the home even less so if he was guided by the mark. It was a two story structure, well lived but unassuming with a wrought iron gate throughout the property. The home stood in the shadow of a hill, overlooking a small pond where all manner of waterfowl cut through the waters among tall reeds.  There were several windows in the house looking out to the north and the south but none on the sides. True to Nharkavan construction, the entryway opens into a small courtyard with rooms surrounding it.

Once he arrived he would find his Queen standing just beyond the threshold, her hands clasped quietly before her. As promised, he wasn't late, not even by a second, the sun had just begun to yawn in the distance. Deta opened the door for the Warlord Prince, standing just aside as Neesia, perhaps in jest readied herself for Chand’s careful inspection of her. “Good morning Prince Nayar.”

Offline Chand Nayar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #28 on: Jan 05, 18, 10:49:22 PM »
Chand watched Neesia’s carriage pull away into the deepening night from the front yard of his mother’s home. He watched the carriage venture further and further away until it was out of sight. Once it was out of his sight, he still did not go inside immediately, struggling with the urge to follow her anyway, despite knowing that he needed to speak to his mother and sister. They needed him, tonight of all nights, but Neesia needed him, too. He lost track of time, standing there. Eventually, he recognized that cold rain had started, soaking him through.

At some point, Kavuri started calling his name, though it took several tries before he finally answered her.

Chand, get in here! You’ll catch your death standing in this rain!” his sister said, stepping to the edge of the porch. She remained just beneath the house’s awning, unwilling to venture further and get drenched like her brother.

Chand could not tear his eyes away from the place where Neesia had vanished. It took his mother’s imploring tone, joined by his sister’s, to finally bring him inside the house. He bathed and got warm, then ate his fill of dinner. All the while, his thoughts were occupied by her. The Queen bond felt good, but something inside him still struggled against it. Chand felt his freedom slipping away, but it did not terrify him as he thought. He wanted to see her again, to know that she was truly safe. While he bore Deta no (further) ill will, Chand simply could not take for granted that Neesia was safe without him.

In the end, it was a difficult night for him. Between his worry for his Queen, and his mother’s revelations about his father’s true work, Chand did not recognize the world that he eventually closed his eyes upon to pursue sleep. Despite being present every day, he’d known so little about his father’s life and goals. He’d had no idea how well his mother could keep a secret. The only thing that brought him any peace was knowing that Kavuri had been just as clueless as he. If she’d known, while he hadn’t, Chand wouldn’t have been able to hold his temper at bay. Not with Neesia out there and the open wound of his father’s passing still seeping from his soul.

He woke early, finding the world still dark. More sleep was considered, then discarded. He’d made a promise. He would keep it.

He dressed, grabbed his sword and some provisions, and left the house a few hours before sunrise. Deta’s instructions had been clear, but Chand simply concentrated on Nessia and let his mark guide his path. The connection between them felt like a faint tug in his heart that strengthened with every step in her direction. He ran in some places. He walked in others. He sang softly to himself to keep from counting his steps. He drank water when needed. Hours later, he arrived in the village where Deta said they’d be staying. He saw vendors and others bringing out their wares for the day. He saw children helping their parents.

He paid them no mind, once they were determined to be non-threatening. He did not smile at them, nor did he engage anyone in smiles or discussion. His objective was to reach Neesia and sunrise and keep his word. If they considered him a snarly Warlord Prince because of that, he wouldn’t dissuade them. He had no time for games.

He arrived at first light. His hair was tied back in a ponytail to keep it out of his face. He wore dark blue trousers, with a white long-sleeved shirt, and a blue vest. When he sighted her, Chand stepped forward and willed himself not to simply take her into his arms and hold her there. When she extended her arms in greeting, he took hands, placing his beneath them, and paid her same tribute that he’d give nearly any other Queen as befitting the highest of the Castes. Village Queen or not, she was worth of his respect and devotion. Chand couldn’t demand that any other male respect his Queen if he did not first do the same.

For the moment, Chand did not acknowledge Deta or anyone else in attendance.They were all standing to fucking close to Neesia, so it took all of his willpower not rend them limb from limb. He breathed in her scent, letting it drain some of the tension from him, but not all.

Lady Asktikar, good morning. I’m glad you’re well and awake.” he said.

Have you eaten? I would like to make sure that you do not exert yourself today without care and precaution taken.” Chand said. He didn’t see Deta and the others smiling over Chand’s voicing of the very same thing that they’d all just discussed. Chand wouldn’t have cared if they’d just spoke of it, anyway. It was his duty to tend to her and he would see it done.

I have heard stories that the rains will be back soon, and much stronger. Winter is coming soon. How long do you plan to stay here?” he asked her.

Offline Neesia Ashtikar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #29 on: Jan 05, 18, 11:43:57 PM »
Seeing Chand again was like finding her breath. Neesia had no idea how long she had held it, but it could have been since the moment she felt him draw close. It was like a tension reaffirming itself in their bond, a ripple in the surface of water expanding wider and wider. Every disturbance made her ache to see him, reminding her once again of that empty space in this home.

When he arrived he would find her smiling vibrantly, her dark eyes appraising him. Even in blue he was striking to look at, though she was well aware that her opinion was biased, however seeing him again outside of the crypt was like looking upon a new man.  Neesia would not easily tire of his face. Her fingers itched to touch him, but it was Chand who stepped forward, gathering her hands in his respectfully.  They lingered there for  a moment, looking at one another, each she noticed taking a bit of extra care with their appearance.

The day was humid thanks to the previous nights rains, and she beckoned him inside to sit with her.  The doors closed, Deta unaware his presence caused the Warlord Prince any grief, crossed the room past them to stand by another set of doors leading into a dining area that opened into a small kitchen. Smirking to himself he did not interrupt them.

Untangling one of her hands from his, she reached up pressing her palm against his cheek though she nearly had to rise to her toes to do so.

“Did you think to find me unwell and asleep?” She teased, her smile becoming playful. “I have not had a bite to eat.  Deta has prepared us a light breakfast, I was just awaiting you.”  She was glad to find that even now he thought ahead of her comforts. “Come we can discuss while we eat. Did you walk all the way here?”  She asked noting the heat of his skin. “A coach would have come for you.”  tsking she drew him into the next room, nodding to Deta who bowed his head back.  A small table sat in the far right of the space surrounded with lovely latticed windows that looked out at the courtyard on one side and the pond on the next. As the breeze skirted the waters, the room cooled significantly.

The table was low to the ground and surrounded by plush pillows for sitting.  Two place settings were set, a bowl of cut tropical fruits, cream, tea, naan, cheeses and sweet rice pudding offering them a variety of items to try. Releasing him she motioned for him to sit while she pulled her skirts and folded her legs beneath her in one graceful movement across from him.

“I can feel them. It is the touch of Mother Night to receive rains before and after a blessing, there is no better omen. “ She smiled at him. “Unfortunately, tonight at most. Ive come and done what was asked of me, but I should go back to Sikkim. If I tarry too long I will worry my father and sister. Its time that I settle his affairs in Sikkim and then Jhkarland”   Almond shaped eyes lifted to his handsome face. Something felt off, even if they had only expressed a few words. “Have you given any thought to your choices? I would have you come with me, if it was solely up to me.” she paused. “Its a foolish question considering last night, but is everything alright?”




Offline Chand Nayar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #30 on: Jan 08, 18, 01:46:13 PM »
You, asleep? I need to see proof of this mystic state.” Chand said, teasing her a little. The tension in his body abated some, though not completely. This place didn’t seem secure to him. On some level, Chand  recognized that no place would be safe enough for her in his eyes. She confirmed that she hadn’t eaten, though, and that was enough to draw his attention back to the present. He was keeping her from eating.

Then let’s see that you’re fed. The rest of the day can be handled from there.” Chand said, sighing at the touch of her skin against his. He noted Deta’s movement in the corner of his eye, grateful that the older man hadn’t thought to speak with him or intrude on his time with Neesia. Despite hs gruff demeanor, Chand didn’t actually want to kill anyone today. The older man’s canny avoidance of being in Chand’s direct path was a boon unsought but appreciated all the same.

I said I would be here. A few miles of walking never hurt anyone.” Chand said.

He followed her to the table, acknowledging Deta’s presence with a bow of his head, but no more. He studied Neesia as they walked, making sure that she was, in fact, in good health and spirits. They sat and Chand noted the pond outside and how tranquil this place appeared. Despite his hunger, he waited for her to start eating before he joined  in, taking up a piece of cheese first. She spoke of the blessing that she would grant to his family’s land and, once more, Chand was humbled by her generosity. Words seemed too little gratitude for what she planned to do.

But her announced plans to return to her village stole away the words he would have offered. The thought of her leaving drew forth a growl that he tried (and failed) to disguise as a grunt of consideration.

Hm.”  was all he said for a minute.

Have you given any thought to your choices? I would have you come with me, if it was solely up to me.

I have, Lady Ashtikar. I spent most of the night thinking it over.” Chand said, once he’d finished chewing.

Before I address that, however, I hope you’ll indulge me by answering a question.

My father was a member of the Friends. Are there any of you left in the wake of the failure at the Territory Court? Did anyone speak against this plan?
” Chand asked. There was no accusation in his tone, just genuine inquiry. He fixed his gaze upon her, ignoring the food completely for a moment.

My father is dead. My mother knew what he had planned and did not stop him. I want to know if anyone else considered the cost of this scheme before it was enacted.

Offline Neesia Ashtikar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #31 on: Jan 10, 18, 09:22:30 PM »
“Of course I don't sleep, those are prime hours to go sneaking around in the dark.”  She teased back a bit too easily, it wasn't far from the truth. She did get plenty of sleep. Chand was uneasy, she felt it as if tethered to his emotions, which they were, but she did not remember feeling such subtle sensations between them from the previous night.  The loss of his father, the wake, all culminated into an elevated emotional state that was only further affected by her sudden presence. Though he was far calmer today she could still feel ripples on disquiet emanating from him. The bond would take time for her to truly become familiar with, but a part of her wished that she never grew complacent with it.  Being near him, seeing him again was like igniting a spark deep within her soul. Chand would think her a fool for those thoughts she was sure, so she kept them to herself, but it didn't change the way it felt, or how hard it was not to touch him when that was all she wished to do. Neesia couldn't directly say why she was so uncertain of his thoughts, perhaps because when they met he was on his way to delivering himself headlong into the Darkness. He wouldn't know, and perhaps, she would never tell him how she had thanked Mother Night that she had arrived at the moment she had, that her presence was enough to halt the waste that would have been yet another needless death, that she did not know such loss.

Her hand grazed his cheek and he sighed into it, relaxing visibly. Chand did not know what great joy that brought her. Ever the dutiful Warlord Prince he followed behind. Deta did not say a word. This was the Queen’s second meeting with the volatile male and he thought it prudent to give them the space they were denied the previous night, if not for his own well being but out of empathy for the male. Like Chand, Neesia appreciated that she hadnt need to dismiss her stalwart escort as no harm would come to her as long as Chand was at her side.

Now if he intended to stay there was another matter entirely.

Where she should have felt confident in their union, she found only insecurity. Strangers despite their connection, she focused too much on what she was feeling at that moment to allow herself to absorb the vaporous signals between them. In time she would learn to read them, but for now she caught the rumbling of dissaproval from deep within his chest. Expecting her to stay for a long period of time was unreasonable. For Chand, his entire life was here, but Neesia had just set her path and though it was unknown, she knew it was not locked down in Manipur or Sikkim. It meant her father’s house would be hers, that was set in order, but the time for hiding away was behind her. No change would come if she stayed in the shadows.  Spooning some sweet rice pudding into her bowl, she sprinkled pomegranate seeds over the top while he considered her request. It kept her hands busy and her eyes focused on a task.

“Of course.” Nodding once, she set her spoon down, giving him her undivided attention. The way he stated that his father was a member of the Friends of Rose Neela, without reservation or protest immediately told her that her suspicions of his mother’s knowledge on her husbands involvement with the group were founded. Neesia could not imagine that such a loving man and doting father would have kept his dealings secret from his wife. If something were to go awry, as it had, Glacia might seek to hurt him through his family. As it was Ayush Nayar settled the debt on his own. She doubted that Elisif or her triangle had taken stock of the carnage long enough to put names to bodies. While Chand perhaps did not mean to make his questions sound accusatory that is nonetheless how they came off.  The Queen waited for him to finish, to set his questions before her so she could answer them clearly and without emotion.  As well intentioned as his father had been, he had hidden much and kept Chand in the dark, she would not make that same mistake. He deserved to know.

“I'm looking to join. I was not there, nor did I know what was planned until my father returned and confessed it to me. Like yours he sought to protect me. I can't tell you exactly who did or who didn't. My father would have stayed and stood by them had yours not sent him out on what I'm realizing is some flimsy errand.” Her chest rose and fell with a deep sigh. Tucking her legs against her side she watched him, she could not imagine the hurt he had felt last night, knowing what he did now.  It had been her hope that the time to grieve would give him answers, away from the distraction she posed, and now she regretted not having been there to soothe his pain. All she could give him now where a few answers. “There are others, small cells mostly scattered. From what he has told me, there were a few, but the majority were desperate men clinging to an equally impetuous plan. No one could have predicted that the Glacian Queen was so unhinged that she would sacrifice her own parents in order to prove a point.  That her madness was so intrinsically tied to that horrible religion that she would think any of this was Mother Night’s will. They died, trying to make a change, to force one. Some would think them fools, but as horrible as it sounds, they were martyrs. Brave enough to fight for Nharkava. It doesn't mean that their efforts were not with some merits even if it ended so horrifically.The Friends brought some justice back for many before all this. ”

Dark eyes studied his face, the definition of his jaw, the dip of his nose, up to the heat of his fathomless gaze. “My father insists that he has retired, but I intend to join them, but not in the same form. Mistakes were made, a great one of which was thinking they could do it alone. Nharkava needs to be unified if we are to put a dent in that machine. Please don't judge your mother harshly. I'm sure she blames herself more than you know. Until I found you, I thought I would embark on it on my own. It is a lot to ask whether we like it or not Chand, we were born into it.”

Offline Chand Nayar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #32 on: Jan 11, 18, 12:25:36 AM »
Chand had a retort almost immediately after Neesia started speaking, but he held his tongue. Offending her wouldn’t do him any good right now. He knew everything about his father now and, by her words, it seemed that she did, too. She spoke of the Friends of Rose Neela, of the various groups and cells that still existed out there. Chand wanted to pull her into his lap and listen to her plan in detail. He wanted to refute her points calmly and logically, while her hands explored his body. But the tension in his shoulders and his stomach incresaed, growing like a viper coiling deep in his gut. The longer she spoke, the more that Chand could only focus on a single sentence that she’d uttered at the beginning of her statement.

I’m looking to join.

Chand blinked, before his expression hardened.

Absolutely not.

Later, he would cringe at the command in his voice. He would recognize how far out of bounds he’d stepped and seek ways to earn her forgiveness. In the moment, though, he did none of those things. Sitting across the table from his Queen, the food was forgotten. Her quip about sneaking around at night had irked him because it sounded like something she’d say. Now, though, the cold rage in his gut was like ice-cold, stomach-churning bile. She was insane. There was no other expression for it.

Do you hear yourself, my lady? Please, take a moment and think over everything you just said. Now think of what we know. The Friends of Rose Neela were wiped out by Elisif Brenden’s Court. They were slaughtered by her Ebon Gray males. Ebon Gray. My father was murdered by those monsters.

And your response is to join these people? The Friends of Rose Neela are dead. Full stop. End of story. You would just be exposing yourself to unnecessary danger!
” Chand said, slamming his fist on the table in a heartbeat. Only then did he realize what he’d done. He pulled his hand from the table and placed them in his lap. The urge to pull her close once more, to talk her out of this was stronger than he’d expected.     

It ended with the deaths of our people. The best we can do is figure out how to avoid the Glacians and keep our heads down.
   
We can’t join a group that’s already dead.
" Chand said.

Offline Neesia Ashtikar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #33 on: Jan 11, 18, 04:41:17 PM »
‘Absolutely not.’

Those words came down like a gavel, hard quick and final.  They reverberated through her with such force that it jarred nearly every emotion all at once throwing her off balance. Perhaps it was the way her almond shaped eyes widened, her her head subtly drew back or even the hurt that flashed across her eyes just before they hardened that would cause him to rethink his actions later.  His disapproval scraped sharply against her, drawing blood in the surface of her emotions, a pain inflicted through the bond that linked them. For a split second it was nearly enough to cause her to apologize, if only to soothe him. Causing Chand any discomfort felt like holding her own hand over the flame, but it was he who inflicted it on his Queen.   Inhaling sharply, Neesia quieted as he called her mad in not so many words. This was not some childish whim of hers.

“I have thought this through, to an exhaustive degree and I have made my decision. Mine, alone.”  She reminded him who and what she was in such a simple statement. It need no detail, or for her to further explain herself.  While she had sanded down the edge of her voice, it took a breath to clear the dust from her throat that settled there. Father had said that she would need to recognize when she was being stubborn for the sake of her pride if she wished to rule the way she wanted. How could she hope to do that if she put up shields against her very own male? How could she reinforce his trust in her, if she didn't allow him a voice, or at the very least a chance to understand her?

His hand slapped down on the table so hard that the plates rattled, silverware trembling against the delicate porcelain.  Neesia flinched then, only because she did not expect it, but when her eyes raised, they were harder than before.  Trying to center herself her fingers laced together against her lap, so tightly the knuckles grew white with tension.  She could not show him fear, though no doubt he felt it.  Concealing her feelings was futile, but she would not be herself without a brave face. The part of her that needed him to understand winning over whatever good sense she would have to not press the subject. Moreso, she was terrified of doing any of this alone, until Chand, that had felt like the only possibility. Now....would he seek another excuse to leave her?

“Stop.” Her voice was firm but low gentle command that did not need to be shouted in order to be heard. Seeking out the threads of their bond, almost instinctively, she drew upon the cords that would grant him a feeling of acceptance, belonging and safety. Neesia truly cared for Chand, even if only one night had passed since their meeting, her affection coiled about those strings. It was terrifying for her to admit her needs, and he was chief among them now. Her panic in that realization nearly sent her to her feet, but instead she held onto those tentative threads, the instinct to administer to him far too strong for her to deny.

Concern. Fear. Resentment. She felt his trepidation and the anger that chased it like a hound on a hare. It was all the untended Warlord Prince knew, rage was a cushion he could easily fall back on, encompassing all beyond reason.  This was not how she wanted the conversation to go. Neesia had hoped that they would be able to speak after his lands were blessed and his choice would be clear. Only it wasn't and she knew it was because she asked him to make a difficult choice. It hurt her to feel his anger shine on her in any degree and that irritated her because Neesia never sought the approval of anyone who wasn't her father. Chand mattered because he was hers. He was a part of her and his anger was like a stinging wound that refused to close without the salve of his touch.

“I know what happened. I sat in wait in the days my father was missing, expecting the same news that you were so unfortunate to receive. I feel his sense of loss, I breathed it every day and that is what drew me here to you. I don't need to bond him to know...how a part of him wished to have died with them.” Neesia blinked a few times. Pushing the pain away from her voice. She had not surrendered those thoughts to  anyone, not her father, nor Deta nor anyone.  “The reasons you just mentioned are why we can't just sit and wait for the monsters to claim us. It is why we have to keep the fight, even if it means changing our strategies, and that is exactly what I aim to do. This is my land Chand, our land, it does not belong to Elisif or Glacia, it belongs to Nharkava’s Queens and the people. You are right, that chapter is gone, but we can continue the story. It doesn't have to stop because The three Ebon Grays deemed it so.”

Every breath was counted, her chest felt heavy. Chand wanted to protect her, to keep her safe and hale, unblemished by the outside world,  but in doing so he would only keep her hidden the the shadows. It was only a matter of time before every stone was unturned and the hidden Queens unearthed. Gathering her skirts she stood, carefully stepping around the quilted pillows that surrounded the dinner table and made her way to him.  Bare feet, hidden beneath the crimson flare of her saree’s skirt padded soundlessly against the wooden floors. Neesia paused, here eyes locked on his as she lowered herself to kneel by his side. The Queen’s back was straight, elegant like the column of a grand harp. Every breath pulsed against the dip of breast. Dark hair draped across her right shoulder. “They are not dead, I'm not looking to build on the same mistakes, but to create something greater. There are other groups, ineffectual alone yes, but together is the only way we stand a chance.” 

Taking his hands, she studied their weight, the connection felt strongest when she could feel his skin against her fingertips and breathe in his scent.  Delicate fingers hesitantly slipping around the back of his palms as she drew his hands to her cheeks. Inhaling deeply, she felt the gift his touch could offer. Safety. Home. “To keep our heads down means bowing it to the collar.” Swallowing those words, she guided his hands down to cup the sides of her neck and the tender flesh of her throat, holding them there. Those strong hands could easily snap those tiny, delicate bones, or crush the air from her lungs.  “This is my  biggest fear, what keeps me awake at night. I can't live in fear of that day anymore. I would rather fight, than cower, but I need you Chand to balance me. We need one another.”

Offline Chand Nayar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #34 on: Jan 27, 18, 12:05:17 AM »
Chand snarled when Neesia commanded him to stop. It was clear that she’d already made her decision without his input. His anger was echoed in the way that his fingers drummed against the tabletop while his eyes bore into her like daggers. She’d said the decision was hers to make. Hers alone. Chand was tempted to rise from his seat and walk out. Leave her with her choices since she clearly did not value her life or the lives of the people around her. He wanted to walk out on her and return home, just forget the entire thing and move on with his life while he figured out how to take care of his family.

His legs wouldn’t move. He sat there, staring at her, while a thousand thoughts moved through his mind. She was good at talking. She was great with words and drawing an emotional response from people. Chand heard it in the words she chose to reach him. Still, Chand hated the idea that she’d even try to look for the Friends of Rose Neela after all of the pain and sorrow they’d caused. She moved closer to him , took his hands, and placed them at her throat. Chand’s eyes rose as he tried to pull away from her. He couldn’t, though. He didn’t understand her and his anger at her stubborn nature was growing with each passing moment.

You have just informed me that you’ve chosen to find the Friends of Rose Neela and offer aid. You said that it was your decision to make. Alone. I am unsure what my role here would be, save for defending you.” Chand said, taking a deep breath. His anger still clung to him a like a wreath of smoke from a particular strong cigarette.

If you are not careful, you may be the one collared. I will die before I see it happen, but I fear that your concern for your safety is secondary to your desire to be seen doing something.” Chand said softly.

He sighed.

Who else do you plan to work with besides the Friends of Rose Neela? Assuming, of course, that you find anyone else foolish enough to go along with this.” Chand said. His hands around her neck gave him only the peace of having his hands upon her body. He worried that this would bother her soon, too soon and he prayed that he’d be gentle with her. His posture was straight and regal, but there was a hint of fear in his eyes.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #35 on: Jan 30, 18, 01:00:35 PM »
Such anger. It lashed at her though he offered only a snarl that sent her heart racing faster in her chest.  Neesia wanted to very badly to comfort him, to make him understand that this was not just something she wanted to do, but she needed to.  It was a compulsion, at the core of every Queen was the need to rule, to tend, to nurture.  Yes she could be verbose and she chose her words carefully though they were far from rehearsed. Father said he had a way with words when she applied herself a tool she could use to rally allies behind her. Only she doubted his words now, finding the skill deflated when faced with the anger of someone she wanted so very much to accept her. Chand would feel her need, fraying against the heat of his restrained anger as she knelt before him.

Perhaps he forgot that while his thoughts were his own, those basic impulses were not. Their bond held firm, straining the moment he felt like pulling away. Neesia’s cheeks flushed, her eyes studying his face in alarm at what was transmitted. Breakfast, forgotten on the table. No matter what she said it would only get worse. He shielded himself not physically but mentally by trying to pull free, her hand cupping his knuckles against the thin stem of her neck.  He had not moved or given any physical indication he would wrench from her, and yet that was exactly how it felt, the elasticity of their sacred union the only thing that kept him from walking out of the room.

He wants to leave....

Squaring her jaw, she steeled the tremble in her lips and the pain that coiled into her throat like viney thorns. Scratching, cutting into the delicate nerves of her vocal cords on their way to her heart. It was suffocating being this close, not because she felt restrained or claustrophobic, but because there existed the very real threat that he would leave her behind. “I came to these decisions before I met you.“  She explained, hoping it made more sense then the badly chosen words she had used to double down. I need you.  She so badly wanted to tell him, and yet it felt so foolish, even after a single night together it felt as though he always had one foot out the door. She could not force him to stay if he truly wished to go. Maybe after some time when the call became too loud to deny he would find her.

That thought alone nearly broke her heart.

Already she planned for the worst even as his fingertips pressed against her pulse and he made promises she was not sure he was intent on keeping. What he felt and what he said we're two different things. Those vines coiled around her heart, tightening. Leaning into his touch her cheek brushed his calloused thumb. Claiming his other hand she let it rest on her lap. Her own hesitantly caressing his wrist.  His touch was a tether. Chand was safe, he was home and he could not make her feel smothered. Her peace was his to share.  The other night in the crypt had worked against them. The freshness of the bond, the suffocating musk of death, the intensity of his embrace culminated into a rather regrettable episode. In truth it had so little to do with his presence and more with the enclosed space promising an eternity of darkness for its occupants.

“Anyone willing to join the cause, but primarily the Rebellion. They are far more organized than I expected and while I am aware that these are mostly Landen, they have Blood in their number. Glacia does not mean to subjugate them, but Landen are still a part of Nharkava, they value their Queens and not some foreign power granting them what should already be theirs.  There are smaller groups as well, pockets of rebels and smugglers. The Friends of Rose Neela made a grave mistake and that was thinking they could go at it alone. Elisif was too big, too insane for anyone to truly predict. They did much good, but I picture them as the pen, and the rebellion, if there is a way to have them work together, the sword.”  A pained look hidden behind her  eager expression crossed her lovely face.  Her hand squeezed against his, chin tilting toward his palm if only to preserve the memory of his touch, those wordless tells conveying the words she could not bring herself to say. Neesia thought she would never need anyone this deeply especially after just a day. She did not expect him to grow so frustrated with her so quickly.

“You might be right. I do not worry enough for my own safety, but it isn't because I want to be seen doing something.” she paused trying to absorb what he said and give it some actual credence. “ Maybe it is a little of that too, but I tire of hiding and waiting for a change thats too slow to come in my lifetime. If you cannot see your role, in any of...this, I respect that.” His hand pulled away from her neck with a tug of her own. Hooking her fingers beneath his she drew his hand up, her lips gently brushing his knuckles with a tender kiss before lowering it as well to her lap. Every instinct told her to hold on even as the fear of loss coiled around her heart. “I will give you today to decide." All she could do was wait.  "We should go, I do not wish to leave your family waiting on such a beautiful day.” A promise was made, no matter her Prince's decision, she would see it through.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #36 on: Jan 30, 18, 11:44:28 PM »
He was ruining this. Chand heard it in every word. He saw it in Neesia’s pained expressions they sat there together. Yet he couldn’t stop himself. He was there, in his body, listening to his words, but his mind could not get his mouth to say the right things. He wanted to tell her that he was safe with him, no matter what she chose to do. He felt it foolish to pursue any kind of alliance with the Friends of Rose Neela or the Rebellion, or anyone who harbored thoughts of standing up against Glacia. The Friends of Rose Neela had just been slaughtered wholesale for their temerity. In Chand’s mind, it was only natural to back off and figure out if rebellion (or the Rebellion) had a path forward that didn’t end in more death or subjugation.

Standing down did not appeal to his Queen.

Chand recognized the fear for what it was then.

Fear of losing her.

Fear for her life.

Fear for her freedom.

Fear that Mother Night had gifted him something--someone--that he was equipped to handle.

She tried to pull away from him but he did not allow it right away. He held her close unless she pulled away again and demanded her space. He needed to use his words, but all he wanted was to pull her close to him and just breathe in her scent. So he did that, attempting to draw her against his chest so that she could hear his heartbeat.

My role here is whatever you need it to be, my lady. It’s just…” he paused, collecting his thoughts.

I lost my father. That isn’t your fault or your burden to carry. But the Glacians have proven that they are willing to kill us to keep their claim on Nharkava. Any of us. All of us. Yesterday, I was willing to march right to the gates of Orissa and die if it meant killing one of them. You asked me not to.” Chand said quietly, inhaling the scent of her hair. He just wanted to breathe her in deep, feel her course through his bloodstream until they were the same person for all time. He could not draw her close enough to him, could not bring her close enough to satisfy his need.

The thing that kept me up last night was this strange new feeling, the feeling that my world had turned upside-down. But the thing that shocked me most, that scared me most was the knowledge that I could lose my mother and sister tomorrow and I will grieve for the rest of my life. I would hurt, but I would get through it as long as you were there.” Chand said.

I refuse to let you do any of this alone. I disagree with your plan, but...I know that I’m a simple man. I’ve lived in the same place all my life. It took you being here for me to get out of bed early enough to come here. If I let you leave without me, I won’t think about anything else.” Chand said.

I’m trying not to ruin this, but I know that I am. Don’t let me.”     

Offline Neesia Ashtikar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #37 on: Jan 31, 18, 04:03:57 PM »
Saying her piece did nothing to soothe the ache in her chest. Letting him go would be like stabbing herself in the heart. Even though he had not said in so many words, she recoiled at the thought of leaving him behind  like one would when imagining bringing their hand close to the flame. It would scorch through layers of skin, the pain would be overwhelming. They were taught as children to avoid fire but there was no better reinforcement of that lesson than getting burned. Neesia did not need to watch him walk away to know it would break her.

It felt so melodramatic to think this way. A day or so ago she would have laughed at the thought of being so beholden to another person that their existence completed hers as romantic fiction. Yes a Queen called to her males and while it was indeed a special affection. What she hadn't expected was the way it latched onto her soul, dragging her to him. Neesia accepted it all, even if her mind battled to make sense of it in some rational way.

Chand wanted her. She could feel it clearly through their bond, but it was also muddled with frustration and fear she didn't understand and took all too personally. He was hers, didn't he want that too? On another day it would have annoyed her to have to explain her life choices. Were he any other man with lesser import in her life she would have called him out and layed him low for dictating to a Queen how she should live her life. He wasn't just any man though and she belonged to him as much as he did her.

Doesnt he want me?

Lowering his hands to her lap she prepared to pull away and give him the space he desired to make his own choices. It felt as though judgement was being cast down and she could only hope to be found worthy. An angry tickle faced up her throat but she quelled it knowing it would do little to convince him one way or another. Chand was his own man and that was painfully clear. But he didn't want her to go far and he held on, calling her attention back to him. Her Warlord Prince drew her closer and she could see the frustration ebbing and giving way to his conflicted thoughts.  Tugging Her close, his Queen allowed herself to be carried toward him, her temple resting against his shoulder as he was hefted onto his lap. The crimson silk of her skirt pooling around them like molten stone. Swallowing a trembling breath she gripped his shirt with one hand. Chand drank in the scent of her hair, fresh spring rain and amber from the oils she used, and pressed her close to his chest so tightly that he could draw her into himself and shield her from all time.

Death was not an option the moment she met him. He would not give up his life like it meant nothing to satisfy a call to vengeance. Chand was too precious, too important to waste himself of such things. Knowing he stayed because she asked him to meant there was some hope they could take this course together and fight for a cause worthy of them. “I don't want you to ruin it, but I have the same fear. I know I'm strong, and willful and I don't exactly pay attention to the things i should. Ive grown up safe in my village, hidden away and protected and sometimes I assume that is the way it will always be. It should be.” Her knees drew up beneath the layers of her skirt as she learned against him, his heart beat, steady and reliable against her ear. “We have both been shielded for a long time.”

He recognized what he was doing by holding her at arms length and pulling her close he felt she would slide out of reach. “I don't want you to regret your decision, regret me. I don't want you to ruin this, it would kill me. “ Literally and figuratively it would end her. The grief would be too much to bear.  Lifting her head, she reached up, cupping his jaw, her thumb tenderly hooking his chin to angle down to her. “Then stay, with me, walk with me, help me be better. I can't do any of this alone. I'm your Queen.”

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #38 on: Feb 10, 18, 11:49:07 PM »
Having her close to him, holding her in his arms helped Chand center himself and focus his thoughts. It helped him remember that he had a duty to her, as her male, to keep herself. That duty, sometimes, would require him to put aside his own feelings for her benefit. This looked like one of those times. They were two people used to deciding their own paths in life and not being accountable to anyone for their choices, save for those they chose. Now, Mother Night had tied their lives and fates together for eternity.

I’ll do what I can, Neesia. But you need to know and understand that I won’t tolerate any danger to you, for any reason. I don’t care if it’s someone you’ve known since you were a child or someone you just met. Anyone who appears to be a threat will answer to me. That must include you as well.” Chand said, pulling back to look at her. He needed her to see that he was serious about his words. He would not have her saying later on that she didn’t know what she was in for. He pushed a lock of hair out of her face and rested his forehead against hers.

I am staying with you, my lady. You have my word. Now can we sit down and eat something before you tell me something else that I don’t want to hear? I’m very hungry." he said, stifling a laugh.

We have a busy day ahead of us, based on everything you’ve said thus far. We must both be at our best. We can discuss the Friends of Rose Neela later and you can tell me everything you know about them. I disagree with your idea, but I will follow you. I will not let you join my father anyone else who thought themselves powerful enough to challenge the Gray Queen and her Ebon Grays.” Chand said.

His duty, his place, was to stand between her and danger. He would do that for as long as necessary, whether not she liked it.

He just hoped that she would grow to understand it someday.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #39 on: Feb 12, 18, 06:42:52 PM »
Neesia understood what he was trying to say. As long as he stayed by her side, little else mattered. If he wanted to vet anyone who came within a half mile of her than so be it. For now at least. Over time, perhaps, he would grow to understand what drove her, what her passions were and how she would do anything to see them come to fruition. A free Nharkava was for both of them, and not simply because her ambition outweighed her sense of self preservation.

Looking into his eyes she saw his need for affirmation. Neesia knew she was flawed, but always considered that those were inconsistencies at best. As of yet she had been able to tend to what little duties she had, rule her village and remain hale. “Trust me.”  She whispered, hoping he would one day soon come to that point. Pressing his brow to hers she closed her eyes  and drank in his scent. The hair he so tenderly pulled away from her face, twined behind her ear, her heart skipping at such a small gesture that meant so much.

The air shifted and she felt him lighten. Something drastic changed, perhaps because he was able to draw her close. Holding one another filled her with a sense of security and home she had never felt before, she could only imagine what it meant for him. When he said he was staying her smile broadened, a gentle huff of restrained breath releasing with the softest of sounds. He wouldn't leave, that was enough. She had not been so sure moments ago, even after he implored her to not allow him to mess up this new and exciting relationship. Could he really have brought himself to.

“Of course.” She smiled, her eyes still closed. Alleviated of much of the tension she felt before it was still difficult to release him. Hopefully he would not change his mind. “I have no intention on falling on that sword, however I will not deny that it will be difficult.” Neesia never thought of herself as someone who needed a keeper and it almost like Chand was preparing himself for that role. It would take time and perhaps by then she would be able to make him see that this was important, they had to start somewhere. Especially if they hoped to build on the ashes of something that failed so disastrously. “You are right however, you've had a very long walk and I have rites for perform today.”  She smiled, pulling away a bit and sliding into the nearby cushions.  It would have been simple enough for her to stand and make her way back around to where she originally sat, but it soothed him to keep her close.

He had spoken her name, without title and she found she still enjoyed the sound of it even if he switch back and forth from time to time. He’d come to use it freely soon she guessed.  Reaching across the table, she gathered her bowl of rice pudding and set to eat by his side, though was content to share in idle talk for now. He would inevitably hear something he didn't like, they could argue about it later.

With breakfast in their bellies Deta held open the carriage doors for the pair to enter before climbing to the steer to ride along. It took only an hour so to reach the Nayar farm, much of which was spent in quiet contemplation of what had just occurred and how their emotions quickened at such a pace around one another. Centering herself for the ritual and not wishing to let any negative emotions slip into her Craft, she smiled at her bonded and watched the landscape shift through the small window.  Deta steered the carriage along the path to the main house. “My lady, we have arrived.” he called out, allowing Chand to open the door.  Neesia stepped out, taking Chand’s hand. His family awaited them on the lawn and she moved forward, without fear that Chand would think his mother nor his sister any kind of threat to greet them. “Good morning Lady Nayar. I hope the sun found you both refreshed.” Taking their hands one at a time she smiled kindly. The morning son bathed her dark hair in amber. The warmth touched her back and even now she could feel the earth stir at her presence, whispering to be fed though it had feasted from the rains from the prior eve.  “Your land is eager.”  She commented, feeling it tug on her like a hungry babe. It compelled her blessings.

Neesia explained that first she had to find the right spot to provide her blessing. It was the perfect point where the land was in most desperate of need and more importantly yearned to grow. Preferring to walk, she toured the farm, listening to the sound of leaves and the way the grasses bent against a light breeze. She passed an old cashew tree whose limbs extended up and out, drying the ground beneath it. The roots were vast, it had to be at least a hundred years old. 

Finally she came across a good spot, ironically, not too far from the crypt, but distanced enough for it to blend into the background. They had walked this way the previous night and she had felt its stirring. You must plant your best crop here. It will yield you if you give it the care it needs.”  She looked to the Nayar’s and conjured a long wooden box. “Pardon me...”  Deta asked Chand when she motioned for him to approach her. Setting the box in his hand, she freed the metal clasp. Within the velvet lined interior was a ceremonial dagger with a curved golden hilt and a very wide sharp blade.  Taking it she motioned for Kavuri to come forward. “I will rely on you for the aid I need after this ceremony. As a Healer, she would be useful though it was more traditional to have a Priestess present. “When I return the knife to you, simply wipe it with this cloth and set it back in the box. Then, you may Heal me.”   She instructed, looking into the young woman’s eyes.

Twisting at the hip, she lowered herself into a squat, her long skirts pooling around her legs and dipped her hand into the earth with her bare fingers. Digging until she was satisfied with one hand, the soil stacked in a neat mound, she prayed to the Darkness to bless the land and the people who inhabited it.Closing her eyes she reached out with her Queen’s Blessing, the Craft leaching into the ground beneath her hand. The one which was not mucked with dirt hovered over the role, guiding it forth to find roots and burrows and any path it could take to spread. “May this land be Blessed and plentiful, may it grow and awaken with excess, let it sow sweet fruit.” She felt the Craft splay forth from her Rose Jewel and wash out around them. They might all feel the pull of Craft beneath their feet but never as strongly as when the knife bit into her palm. The only indication of pain came with a shallow gasp, the bridge of her nose tightening. Holy blood  welled against her palm, feeding the land with its Queen’s nectar.

Closing her fingers, she rose, blood continuing to drip in thick crimson pearls onto the ground. She she smiled, then considered , motioning for Kavuri to take the ceremonial knife, she turned, as if drawn to another point to find herself standing by the cashew tree.  Kneeling, she used her good hand to expose one of its old roots and touched it with her bleeding hand. “Awaken..” The elder tree shivered, if by wind or calling from it Queen one could not be sure. If Neesia knew, she wasn't telling.  Standing she motioned for someone to cup her hand and left herself to Kavuri’s ministrations. “Your land is blessed. Thank you all for allowing me to tend.”  Looking up at Chand she reached her uninjured hand to him.

Offline Chand Nayar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #40 on: Feb 20, 18, 11:16:24 PM »
They ate together in companionable silence and Chand was glad for not having to discuss his feelings any longer. The food was good and Neesia was excellent conversation, even if all he could supply were nods and considerate grunts of approval or a headshake of disagreement. Chand hated talking about his feelings as much as he loved food and cooking. Neesia was much more open with her thoughts and feelings and he’d have to get used to it during their time together. Chand had already decided that he wouldn’t leave his Queen. Not even if she wanted to do something as ill-advised as seeking out the Friends of Rose Neela.

He couldn’t convince her to abandon the idea if he abandoned her.

They ate and then returned to his family’s lands, being greeted by his mother and by Kavuri. Both women were happy to see her once more, though their enthusiasm seemed more tempered than it was the previous day. Nagini especially seemed tense, especially in Chand’s presence. For his part, Chand was courteous to his mother, but he was not as warm toward her as the previous night. While he did not actively seek to upset his mother, Chand was still dealing with the fact that she’d known what their father was into and had told him nothing of it. It did not matter that Father had sworn her to secrecy, not to Chand. He’d been left out of the loop and now Father was gone.

He was working to avoid blaming his mother.

Neesia spoke of the land’s hunger. Could she truly feel it? Did the land speak to her in words or did it speak in feelings and images. More than once, in private, Chand had closed his eyes and tried to listen to his family’s land, searching for anything it might say to him. He’d given up after a half-hour of standing there like an idiot (and Kavuri’s teasing). He did not understand the Craft that Queens possessed, but he was glad that Nessia was here. She explained what she needed from each of them. Chand’s eyes passed over the ceremonial knife and prayed that he’d keep his composure while the rites occurred.

He watched Neesia feed the land her blood and Craft. The scent of that blood raked against his nerves, clawing against his soul. Neesia was hurt. His Queen was hurt! He wanted to throw her over his shoulder, march her into the house, and bandage her wound. He wanted to keep everyone away from her. She was his. He was the only one who could take care of her and he’d kill all of them if they even dared to get between the two of them--

Minemineminemine.

She gave the knife to Kavuri and reached for him.

Chand grasped her hand drew her close, holding her against his body.

That...is going to take some getting used to.” he growled, forcing himself not to look at the wound. The wound she’d created in order to help his family. The wound she’d inflicted upon herself for him.

Thank you, my lady. You have my gratitude.” he said softly. 

Offline Neesia Ashtikar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #41 on: Feb 24, 18, 06:50:05 PM »
There was an obvious discord between Chand and his family that hadn't been there the night before. Neesia traversed them carefully, focusing on the the Blessing Ritual rather than preoccupy her mind with those matters. The earth was a porous thing and it could drink in the Queen’s emotions and thirstily as it could her blood. Though breakfast had begun with rather desperate emotions, it had ended in what she could only consider a stalemate. Chand promised not to leave her, but he had jumped between the decision more than once.  For her it was quite simple, he was hers, and she would have him no matter his faults or ideas.  Having just come from losing his father, for Chand it was very different.  It didn't stop Neesia from feeling doubt on the sincerity of his words even though she had felt the earnest connection touch her own. His own misgivings bled into their sacred bond and though she did not speak further on it, she felt partially rejected by it.

All of these complicated emotions were pressed back into her thoughts, hidden behind a pleasant smile and the desire to to tend to what was hers, in this case Nharkava. What she said about the land belonging to native Queens was no fallacy in her mind. Every blade of grass felt like as much a part of her as the breath in her lungs. When it yearned to grow, she felt its calling through instinct. She could not imagine that the land did not love its Queens as much as they did. Focusing on that and only that was she able to complete the ritual as promised.

Chand prickled which lead her to reach for him even as Kavuri took her injured hand binding it but giving the two a moment before administering to her. Protective arms encircled her tightly and she smiled, feeling the emptiness that came after a Blessing. There was a sense of sacrifice, a Queen had to give of herself so new life could spring. That feeling of emptiness would follow her for a couple days, but she said nothing of it. Pressing her cheek to his chest she could feel the steady thrum of heart kiss her temple. A low reverberating growl rolling up from the center of his chest. “You will.”  She agreed, both because he would have to and because she hoped this would not be the only Blessing he would stand by her side for. “You’re welcome. I would drain myself dry to see you succeed. ”

Kavuri smiled and made a motion toward the house. The bandage would soak and she was eager to heal the Queen before she lost more of her strength. Saying as such, they would find themselves back in the modest Nayar home. Kavuri was quick to clean the wound after freeing it of its dressings and call upon her well of power. Her fingers twitched reflexively as the Healer plied her Craft and soon the deep well of crimson sealed, leaving a white line across her skin. In a few hours, even that would be gone, her hand untarnished and as soft as before.

Chand’s mother had prepared lunch, which Neesia praised and ate quietly and with gusto. It had taken much out of her to perform the rites having expanded her reach to its limits to ensure that the Nayar farm would thrive. “It will rain for the next few days. This time of year is always temperamental. Let us hope monsoon season is merciful. ”  She stated once finished eating the delicious curry set before her.  The rainy season brought with it many perils, but also the promise of life. “We should be going. It is a long trip back to the landing pad that will take us to Sikkim.”  Glancing at Chand she smiled tentatively, standing to embrace the women once again. It was a short visit, but she was eager to return home and introduce him to her bonded. Opening a thread, she let it brush against its senses until he accepted. “You should speak with them. Be kind. One should never leave the ones they love with sour words. I will await you in the carriage.” Squeezing his hand she moved to the door where Deta awaited.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #42 on: Mar 05, 18, 11:50:28 PM »
The scent of Neesia’s blood had him on edge despite the noble purpose she used it for. He wanted to drag her to his bedroom and let her rest, guarding the door until she’d slept a few hours and recovered from the ordeal. His Queen was not so frail a flower as to need that kind of tending, but Chand recognized that she was a giving soul. She would give and give until she no longer could, then blame herself for not doing enough. She was a rare and needed being in Nharkava.

He would see her protected.

Chand released her and gave her a little bit of space, but not much. He would not say that he was hovering over her, but he was, in fact, hovering over her. Their dispute still bothered him, but Chand chose to focus on what he felt right now, which was his deep and abiding need to be close to her. Having her in arm’s reach made the worst of his demons calm down, took the sharp edges off of his anger.

It allowed him to remain the presence of his mother and sister without snapping at them.

Lunch was a tense affair, given that the three members of the Nayar household were speaking only in polite terms with each other. Chand hated the distance between them, especially when they’d been so close the night before. But that was before he knew that his mother was aiding and abetting his father’s work with the Friends of Rose Neela. It angered him that he’d been left out of the loop, that even Kavuri had been aware when he was not. Now, Father was dead and the three of them had figure out how to get along without him. Chand was struggling, but he didn’t want to put that Neesia’s shoulders. The wake was just yesterday, but Chand felt like he’d already lived a hundred years since his father’s death.

I think the rains will be light. They usually are during the start of the season.” Chand said.

Looking to his mother and Kavuri, Chand spoke again. “I will ask Vinay to come here and check upon the two of you while I am gone. I am choosing to support Lady Ashtikar and I will travel as her protector to Sikkim. I don’t know when I’ll be back, but I will return as often as I can with her blessing.” Chand said.

He looked to Neesia, waiting for her to confirm or deny his words before he finished his lunch.
They all finished eating and Neesia rose, prompting Chand to rise and join her. She hugged Kavuri and Nagini, and Chand felt a wave of shame rise roll through him. He didn’t want to be angry as his mother and sister, but they’d betrayed him. He was barely holding it together.

That shame intensified when Neesia suggested that he talk to them. She’d picked up on it after all. Chand wished he was better at hiding his feelings, but Mother always said they were always plainly written on his face.

*I will do so, my lady.* was his reply.

Neesia waited for nearly twenty-five minutes while Chand spoke to his family inside the house. After that time, Chand opened the door to the carriage and got inside.

Thank you for your patience, my lady. I think the situation is as addressed as it will be for now.

Thank you for coming here again.
” he said, sitting back in his seat and finally relaxing after what felt like  long trying day.

Too bad it was only halfway done.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #43 on: Mar 12, 18, 01:27:08 PM »
Her people toiled and still they starved. The very land beneath their feet barely able to sustain due to a lack of attention from those most blessed by the Darkness. Queen’s fed the land with holy blood, drawn from their veins and often it felt like there was not enough inside of her to give. Yet Nharkava was home to a resilient people, they were rich with culture and love for their homeland. It was a land of little, but color was abound and vibrant and families nourished one another.  To be able to bless the Nayar land meant that come spring, their bounty would feed the people of their village, provide for her bonded skin and remind her of her purpose.

Already she felt the satisfaction of the sacrifice as it mingled with a bit of lightheadedness. If she could return in a few months time to see the Nayar farm transformed she would. Perhaps that would be something that would please him as well. Chand was at her side and even as he released her she felt his presence like a warm blanket around her shoulders. The argument that left her feeling rather insecure about their standing felt as though it had taken place ages ago and not just this morning. The tension she felt the moment the blade kissed her skin and crimson swelled to its surface was slow to ebb, but being close soothed him as much as it did his Queen.

Unfortunately there was little she could do about the rift caused by the revelation of his father’s proclivities within the Friends of Rose Neela. Her suspicions were confirmed and his mother was fully aware as one could not lay in bed with a man night by night and not know. This should not have been kept from the Warlord Prince, but at the same time she could understand why Ayush had made the decision to keep his son from following his path.  Coming to see the love between Chand and his family for only a night, she could imagine the hole his absence left in their home and hearts.

“Of course.”  she nodded once reassuringly. It was not her intention to steal Nagini’s son away. Neesia understood the importance of family, though she too would become a fixture in their lives. The two women had been so kind to her and Kavuri so tender as she healed her cut, it was hard to imagine not returning. Chand was so distraught the entire visit, even if was meant to be a happy affair. The family was bleeding, but it was up to them to stop the flow. It was why she counseled him to do so and set things to rights. Maybe not this day, but soon. Things should never be left unsaid.

The carriage jostled as he entered, and for a moment she was ashamed to admit her relief to see him, as though he would have simply changed his mind and decided to have her return to Sikkim without him.  Glancing out the carriage window, she watched the horizon glow with the last faint traces of amber. There was barely a cloud in the sky but that would change. For now the sun would bake her blessings into the earth while kissing her cheeks.  “You don't have to thank me. It's been awhile since I was able to do that outside of home.”  Resting her head back against the plush seat she studied him, almond shaped eyes tracing the lines of his face and finding them a pleasurable distraction. “My father has likened me to a cat in more than one occasion.”  The corners of her lips curled in fondness. “I enjoy basking in the sun, sitting by a window in the rain and maintaining my independence while occasionally seeking affection.” It was who she was, stubborn and all summed up. Somehow it felt like he should know. After a blessing she felt lazy but utterly content even if a bit fatigued. “They love you and you them. If you ever must return, you do so with my blessing. You will be whole again. It doesn't seem like it right now, its a lot to take in and I don't want to make this more unpleasant for you.”  Neesia frowned for a second, her eyes unconsciously lowering to his shirt pocket before shifting completely to the window.

Neesia had always imagined how she would feel the moment she met her bonded, someone who was destined as hers. The truth in their circumstance was not what she imagined, though she saw only perfection in Chand Nayar. She could only hope in time, when the pain faded into the background, they could experience that.

Speaking little during the carriage ride to the landing pad, she let her temple rest against the wall and shifted only to pull free the pashmina when it became too warm. She told him of her home in Sikkim, and how her father worked for the Courts for a time as well as on his own trade. The village she ruled was small though “ruled” was a loose term considering how hidden she had to be, but the people were wonderful and good natured and perhaps he would get a sense that they valued their Queen.

Once at the landing pad, they sought travel through yet another carriage which would carry them through a Blood Opal wind to her village. Deta took care of the details, leaving chand to care for her. It was the first time he was free to be away from Neesia in some time. They arrived hours after leaving the Nayar home, now behind them by hundreds of miles.  The pair navigate a narrow road through some dense jungle before it cleared closer to the mountains. The village was small, and rather sleepy, with much of the population consisting of farmers or tradesmen.  The Ashtikar home was two stories with wide private balconies. Sun loving vines snaked up trellises to windows, the yard perfectly manicured and yet wild in its own way. Local exotic flowers washed the tan and brown building with color.  In the center of the home was a courtyard wiith open air rooms that surrounded the first level.  Neesia pointed out a balcony on the top floor to the right of the house which was hers and he would not be surprised to see hanging pots filled with lush foliage and flowers decorating the space. “This is home.” For him as well.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #44 on: Mar 13, 18, 12:42:45 AM »
Chand smirked as Neesia released her father’s comparison of her to a cat. He agreed completely and it showed in the smile that answered her own. Chand had never been as far away from home as he was about to go. Deep down, a part of him feared that he’d never return home. Neesia would not prevent him from coming back, but the loss of his father combined with his last conversation with his mother and sister made him fear that he would not be welcome. Or, if he was welcome, that it just wouldn’t be the same as it always had been. Chand knew that it was time for him to find a life of his own away from his family, but he dreaded the form that life would take. He gazed over to Neesia, though, and that dread receded like the ebbing tide.

Only occasionally seeking affection? Maybe we’ll fix that.” Chand said, leaning back in his seat. His gaze upon her was focused, but not hungry like it was upon their meeting. He couldn’t take his eyes away from her for any reason. His hands remembered the curves of her body, but mostly he just wanted to inhale her scent. He wanted to breathe her in and let her fill him until there was no space left for anything else.

Come to me.” he said gently, extending his hand. While he didn’t command her, there was precious little room to interpret his desire as a request. His Blood Opal hung on a chain inside of his shirt while Green hung on a slightly longer chain that rested against his skin beneath the fabric of that shirt. If Neesia took his hand, Chand would draw her across the short distance between their seats and pull his Queen into his lap. His right arm circles around her slim waist while his head rested upon her chest.

His head rested against her chest and shoulder.

I said some things I shouldn’t have. I was just so angry at my mother for keeping me in the dark. I know what everyone says: I couldn’t have done anything. If I was there, I would have died, too. But Neesia, there’s no way for me to know that. I could have made sure he returned home. Or maybe I could have talked him down.” Chand said, his voice a whisper in the space between them. He was certain that he could have kept his father from dying. He knew it the way that he knew the sun would rise in the morning and set in the evening. It was not a belief or a wish. His father would be alive today if he’d been there to help him.

But he’d never know for certain because they’d conspired to keep him out of the process.

I don’t know what it says about me that they couldn’t trust me, Neesia. But you can. If you trust me with the truth, I may get angry. I’m a Warlord Prince and anger is what I am. But I will always do right by you. I will always be there and I will do what I can help you.” Chand said, holding her a little bit tighter.

He would let her talk for the rest of the trip because he didn’t trust his voice to break as the thoughts of his father intensified and threatened to steal his voice. His soul hurt beyond words, but Neesia’s presence made him believe it would be okay.

They arrived in Sikkim hours later and at Neesia’s family home soon after. Once the people of the village realized that a Warlord Prince was in the area, many of them hastily closed up their shops. Others crossed roads to avoid him and Neesia. Still others stared, though they did not engage or ask any questions.

After a narrow, winding road and much dense jungle, Chand and Neesia arrived at her family’s home. To him, it looked like a palace. How many siblings did she says she had? Chand couldn’t imagine living here with his parents and Kavuri. They’d only use the downstairs area and maybe the area outside.

You have a beautiful home, my lady. I will have to learn it as I knew my mother’s home. Tomorrow, I will take the time to learn the routes to and from this house and where they lead. Once I’m happy with that, we can address how to keep you safe here.” Chand said.

For today, it would be best if you showed me around.” he said, offering his arm to her once more.

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #45 on: Mar 14, 18, 09:29:57 PM »
“Will we?” she asked, a smile tickling the corners of her lips. Glancing back at him she took in a breath, momentarily surprised to find him staring at her so intently. There was a flirtatious lit to his words that had hooked her attention, but it was the way he studied her with near wonder that left her silent. In the day that they had spent together he was attentive, hyper focused in her care in a way only known to his Caste. It was both refreshing and strange. But it felt like there were so many unknowns, even as he finally agreed to come with her and for a brief moment asked her to not let him ruin what he had just found with her, a part of Neesia feared he would still change his mind and decide to part from her. Though they had just met, that thought stabbed at her chest painfully.

Her bonded told her to come to him and she had the feeling that if she were to linger a bit longer across from him he would seek her out. Extending her hand, fingers hoovered in the air just before his hand took hers, steadying as she stood and he guided her fluidly onto his lap. Touching him grounded her. Even in the crypt with the walls closing in around her, his touch was never to blame for her panic. Chand confided in her, welcomed her into his arms and she breathed into his hair. One hand stroking his hair , fingertips threading through the thick curls as the other sought out the chain of his Blood opal, raising it to study for a moment. Releasing it, that same hand kneaded hiss elbow, encouraging him to hold her as he was. “There is every indication that you would have died. You're powerful my Warlord Prince, but you know the truth, as much as you want to believe you could have done something, there is nothing you could have done. “ Pressing a kiss to the top of his head, she sighed , her breast lifting with each breath. “Your father didn't want you to know because he wanted to protect you. He wanted to make the world better for you and that is probably why they didn't tell you.  The Friends were not fighting for themselves, they did so in hopes of a better future for the people they loved, and he loved you. I feel it in my heart.”  Lifting a hand, she cupped his cheek, holding him close.

“Just like I know your mother will forgive anything you say in anger. “ His arms encircled her waist and she smiled into his hair, relief washing over her. “I will always be honest with you. I promise.” Neesia swore she would not deceive him and cause him this much grief. She was not perfect and she would make mistakes, but that would not be one. “All I ask is you trust me as well.” Her Touch sank through his flesh with the tender brush strokes of his hair. This particular Craft had always been potent, though she had nothing to compare it to. Neesia filled her Touch with a sense of desire, of home, acceptance and belonging. It didn't border on pleasurable, but euphoric. He was home. He was hers.

The village reacted much as she expected to the new Warlord Prince. Wary of foreigners to begin with they offered him no resistance, in fact the short nods she received were careful, eyes drawn down as to not incite the protective male.

Pleased with his compliments of her home her arm laced around his as Deta walked up to the doors and sent a thread to the staff. Upon opening a young Nharkavan woman smiled brightly at Neesia then blinked, shocked by Chand’s presence and bowed. “My Lady Ashkitar, your father is out. He should return shortly.” Neesia nodded, holding Chand closer to her side. “Prince Chand Nayar, please meet Tika, she is my sister’s nanny.”  Tika smiled, curtsied but did not meet Chand’s eyes.  Once inside, Chand could truly appreciate the scope of the home. The entryway fed into a large foyer separated in two parts. To the right was a large open kitchen with marble tops, a high ceiling and two stone ovens. To the left was a living room with plush window benches filled with colorful pillows. A  welcoming fireplace stood guard on the far wall flanked by two massive shelves filled with books.  Straight ahead was a screen door made of wood that led to the courtyard beyond, but the upstairs could be reached by a set of stairs both in the courtyard, as well as an adjoining room just past the common area.

“Sia!”  a sharp but feminine voice cried out, pounding down the stairs, and leaping off the last three steps to rush her elder sister. Instinctively she stepped forward before Chand as the small girl collided with her wrapping her up in a hug. The Blood child looked no more than eleven years old with long dark hair, narrow nose and full round cheeks, she wore a lehenga in light pastels. “Where have you been, you were supposed to come back yesterday, who is...”  she paused suddenly as if noticing Chand and slid behind the Queen, studying him cautiously. “Tanian, this is Prince Nayar, he will be staying with us.” Tanian arched a brow skeptically, her eyes lingering on the Blood Opal  around his neck before meeting his eyes. “You’re being rude.”  Neesia scolded but she smirked. “Chand this is Tanian, the house monkey, we keep her around to eat up the scraps and sometimes she does tricks. “ Tanian moved to pinch her sister, but stopped short. “Hello Prince Nayar. Are you hungry?” the girl asked.


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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #46 on: Mar 14, 18, 10:25:47 PM »
Chand’s gaze turned to explore the foyer, especially the nooks above where his vision could not reach without aid.. He wanted to explore the entire house, the better make sure that it was safe for Neesia, but that could wait. The house was huge but it felt lived in, like a family spent time here. Memories were made in this place. His father would have called Neesia’s home too much house for a small family like their own. Perhaps it was. That did not stop Chand from wanting to bring his mother and sister her to see it and enjoy the way he would get to.

It made his heart hurt to think about his mother just now, so soon after their disagreement.

Neesia introduced Tika and Chand inclined his head toward the caretaker. Had this woman also taken care of Neesia? She would be a font of information for him once he could get her alone to speak. Somehow, he believed that Neesia would never let that happen, if only to keep Chand from having material to bring up during small talk or dinner.

Lady Tika, thank you for your welcome.” he said, following the family further into the house. He noted the kitchen and he stopped, briefly, to get a good look at space. A brief glance showed him an excellent workspace for meal-making. His mother would find it adequate, but Chand knew that he could make magic in this kitchen. He resolved that he’d cook for Neesia as soon as he’d settled in here. Even the White was a hungry Jewel eager for constant feeding. The Yellow and the Rose would demand much of her in the course of her duties in this village. Chand and Deta would see to her physical safety, but Chand would see his Queen protected from her giving nature as well. He couldn’t stop her from ruling any more than he could keep the river from flowing to sea. He could, however, make sure that she did not skip breakfast or lunch in her haste to help others.

The continued on, Chand seeking any art or pictures that would tell him more of Neesia’s father or her family. The living room was marvelous. What would it be like to settle in by the fireplace and have a drinka and a good book? What would it feel like to have Nessia in his lap, head on his shoulder, while he read to her? He wouldn’t learn the answer to that for sometime, but he liked the image left behind in his mind.

Someone called Sia’s name, drawing her attention and Chand’s in a single movement. Chand turned to face the newcomer, ready to step in front of Neesia regardless of who it was. But she moved forward first to greet a young woman that Chand immediately recognized as her sister. The resemblance between them was obvious and Chand held his position while Nessia spoke to the girl. She reminded him of Kavuri, making him feel a little worse about how he’d left things with his mother.

Lady Tanian, it is good to meet you.” Chand said, deep voice rumbling like two stones scraping together beneath the earth.

But I don’t believe that you’re a monkey. You favor a mongoose, to my eyes.” Chand said, smiling at the young girl.

Tanian asked if he was hungry and, before he could answer, his stomach rumbled loudly in response.

Yes, I could eat, if refreshment is being offered.” Chand said, giving up the attempt to downplay his hunger. He wore the Green and it was rare that he wasn’t hungry in some fashion. He’d eaten light this morning, meaning that he’d only finished everything in sight after Neesia had taken her fill.

Shall we sit? It’s been a long journey for you, my lady. I would to greet your father as refreshed as possible.

We’ll have much to discuss, I’m sure.


Offline Neesia Ashtikar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #47 on: Mar 14, 18, 11:12:19 PM »
Tika pressed her hands together in prayer and greeting, bowing to the Warlord Prince before welcoming them to enter. The woman was well into her fifties, but youthful and hale. “Please enter and be welcome.”  Stepping to one side she gave the pair some room, clearly familiar with proper protocol, though he might notice the way Tika smirked in question to Neesia before averting her eyes once more.

They had barely a chance to step out of the foyer when Tanian intercepted them. The sister’s embraced and clearly Neesia held a great deal of love for her just in the way her emotions flared in the bond between them. The girl scrutinized Chand, clearly distrustful but very curious. Though the sisters had similar features, there were quite a bit more to set them apart. Tanian was fair skinned, but her hair was nearly black were Neesia’s was streaked in copper. She had a wider face, a thin nose and full lashes. Her lips pursed glaring a second at Neesia before balancing a glance in his direction once more. The sound of his voice would have made her slink back, but Neesia rested a reassuring hand on her shoulder blades. “Those are the clever ones?”  she asked. Neesia nodded, and she smirked, appraising Chand more thoughtfully.

At the sound of bubbling rising up from his stomach she cackled clasping a hand over her mouth. Chand had managed to win her sister over somewhat. “Yes please, retire to the common room and I will be in shortly with food and refreshments. My Lady would you like to wash up?” Tika asked. Neesia shook her head. “Tanian, come and help me please.” The older woman asked though she left no room in her tone for argument, effectively getting the girl out of their way.

Taking his hand she led Chand to the living room. A large window looked out to the front of the home and the lawns beyond, another on the south western part offered a view of the dense trees that surrounded the property. Deeper within he would note tiny glass sculptures displayed on the mantle. A horse, a small colorful boat, a delicately carved waterlily with a violet center  and crimson stained rose.  A table at cluster of large pillows where he could sit and lounge. A pair of matching stools flanked the dark wooden door that Tanain had emerged from. The books ranged from all sorts of topics, though the ones closest to the window with its worn cushion were books of stories and fantastical legends. He might catch Neesia’s scent on the very spot where she often sat looking out at the rain and the jungles beyond.

“Please sit” she offered. Lowering herself to the pillows. “I will show you more. I should have realized how hungry you were. Forgive me.”  she smiled softly at him. “Its not so large, there are four bedrooms and a study.” Neesia motioned behind them to the door. "The rooms are in each corner of the upstairs. There is a sitting room there as well and personal baths for each. I take up one room, Tanian and my father each have their own. However, those will be empty soon.”  she began with a hint of sadness.

Tika wandered in with a full tray, and Tanian carried a pitcher of lemon water behind her. Setting the tray down on the table, she offered them each a glass of chai.  On the tray was a bowl with hot towels for washing their hands as well as  a plate of garlic naan, smashed chickpeas and onion pakura. Another contained crust less chicken sandwiches that smelled of tandoori spices and a spicy chutney for dipping.  Tanian set down the pitcher, stealing and sandwich as well and lowered herself near Neesia while she ate. “When we move to Nani Puni’s you might starve. Sia can't cook.”  Neesia fit her with a flat look to which Tanian smirked. “Except spinach pakura, those are good, but that's it. She's nearly set fire to the kitchen four times.”  she complained, though she was clearly amused. “Please don't mind her, she exaggerates.” In turn Tanian raised four fingers while chewing.

Offline Chand Nayar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #48 on: Mar 14, 18, 11:57:11 PM »
Chand followed Neesia to the sitting room, though the large window caught his attention. The lawn would be good for his morning exercises. The dense trees would make for good obstacles as well. Chand believed that he’d like it here in Sikkim, if the entire province looked like this. He moved on to the mantle, looking over the items he found there. What other talents did his Queen possess? Chand was eager to find out. He didn’t have time to dwell upon it, though, because the food had arrived and he was ready to eat.

Everything smelled wonderful.

Chand sat down across from Neesia. “Do not apologize, my lady. You have other things on your mind and I’m noot suffering. If anything, I’m glad we waited. I’m looking forward to seeing how Sikkim’s fare compares to Jharkand’s.” Chand said, smiling at her. Tanian took a seat beside Nessia and Chand watched the young woman as she spoke. Chand accepted a glass of chai and had just gotten it to his lips when Tanian outed his Queen as being unable to cook.

Chand barely had time to slap a hand over his mouth before the laughter started. He did not lose his drink or embarrass himself, but it was close. He swallowed his drink and laughed, though, setting the glass of chai down nearby. He grabbed a napkin and wiped his mouth, eventually regaining control of himself.

Do not worry, Lady Tanian, there won’t be any starving here. Neesia can’t cook, but I can. Very well, in fact. My mother taught me. I’m not as good as her...but I’m pretty good.” Chand grinned.

Don’t worry, Neesia. I don’t believe one word.” he said, winking at Tanian.

"But really...four times?

Chand would eat then, letting the ladies fill the silence if they chose. The food was good and it reminded him of home. He pushed the thought away. He wouldn’t spend every day missing his family. He had a new life to tend to and a Queen who needed his protection and aid. Father would tell him to trust Mother and Kavuri to take care of themselves.

After we eat, I’d like to go and take a look around the grounds. Just for my personal knowledge. Would that be all right with you?” he asked.

Offline Neesia Ashtikar

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Re: sewing up a shattered heart
« Reply #49 on: Mar 15, 18, 02:00:52 PM »
Neesia followed his gaze to the window and the jungles beyond. In fact she studied the way he moved, how he carefully examined the sharp but delicate glass blown ornaments and how he lingered over her favorite spot by the window. It felt like he was trying to gather as many clues about her life as he could, and was carefully tucking them away for later.  Neesia wanted him to find her home favorable, and it seemed as though he did.

“Compared to the curry I had in your home I fear...” she whispered so Tika would not overhear “We will be found lacking.” Folding her legs beneath her skirts, she inhaled the delectable scents of freshly baked naan. Her stomach tucking in, as she did forming a gentle slope down to to the tiny hollow of her navel. Tanian was quick to say something humiliating. Normally she would be prepared, but she had not expected to be so focused on her bonded to deploy her usual methods and silence her sister. He choked in a laugh, covering his mouth through the rumbling. Neesia had enough sense to look abashed and turned her head toward Tanian in warning, her eyes wide in the universally silent indication that she should shut up.

Chand assured her sister that he could cook, even though she couldnt, and she allowed the comment only because for just a moment it sounded like he would be mounting some kind of defense on her behalf. She even smiled when he said he didn't believe Tanian. A long, aggrieved sigh escaped her lips. “I'm betrayed.” she said taking a sip of her sweet chai.

Tanian nodded, leaning across them to steal another half sandwich before her sister could slap her hand away. “Nearly five but papa was watching.”

“Now youre making up stories.” Neesia warned Tanian with a pinch. The girl squealed, rubbing her arm and laughing. “And you, if you would like to avoid a disaster, then you can teach me.” She said, turning her attention to Chand. “Please teach her.”  Tanian added, but scooted back giggling before Neesia could whirl back to her.  “Of course, this is your home. Explore as you wish.”  Tanian spoke of the last two days as they ate, the young girl could chat anyone’s ear off. The village would host a small celebration in the behining of Spring, and there would be food and games. It was a perk of living in such a small community, but it excited her greatly, so much so that she looked forward to it every year. “Sia blesses the farms and they bring us cakes and pies.”  she said, eager to monopolize on her sister’s work.

When lunch was complete, having left most of it to Chand, Tika ushered Tanian out of the room to bathe while Chand took his leave to explore the grounds.  If there were areas of concern, then the Warlord Prince would find them. The only thing that came to mind was the trellis that led up to her private balcony. It had taken years for the passion flower vines to take a firm hold. It was strong enough for a person to climb or ascend as needed but the plants were well kept and undisturbed.

It would be a good hour before her father Parul arrived. The Warlord was well within his fifties. Fine lines stretched from the corners of his dark eyes. He was always a tall man, slender but regal with a streaking of grey in his hair and short cropped beard.  His skin was a dark nutmeg, which only accentuated the fine wrinkles at the corners of his lips. Neesia did not think they made him any less handsome.  Deta opened the door, allowing him to enter, but it was Neesia who approached and embraced the man. His arms wrapped around her waist, holding her for a moment before pulling back to examine her and relieved to find her unharmed. “Deta says you've brought a friend.”  he asked, lifting his head to Chand. There was a moment of clear recognition before he straightened, a touch of sadness dotting his eyes. “Prince Nayar. Welcome to my home, my thanks for escorting my Neesia safely back. “ Her father squeezed her hand before stepping forward to offer the same to the Warlord Prince. “Ayush and I would often joke that our children would bond. That it would be too ironic, but your father was almost sure.” Parul nodded in acknowledgement. “My deepest sympathies for your loss.”