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Canon: © Anne Bishop
Board's Plot: Blood Rites
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Established February 2010
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Scelt is a Territory in turmoil and peace is tenuously held together by the Sceltic Queens. Rivalry between the Clans errupted into horror for the Territory that resulted in many dead, on both sides, and culimated in Clan Sheane being outlawed in the Territory. Further troubles plague the Territory in a variety of manners - Landen villages are raided, Courts are attacked, and no one seems to be safe.
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Author Topic: Unexpected Consequences: When the Levee Breaks  (Read 468 times)

Description: attn: Lore

Offline Eamonn Sheane

  • Character Account: HBC Vet
    • green2gray
    • prince
    • Role

      Master of the Guard

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Dani

    • Posts

      107

    • what am I to do with all this silence

    • View Profile
Unexpected Consequences: When the Levee Breaks
« on: Feb 25, 18, 09:49:15 AM »
The sound of his fist hitting the stone wall of the Keep was satisfying. The hard, meaty sound of knuckles and flesh against the brutal and unmoving stone was an outlet. A brief moment of physical pain that tempered the hurt, the feeling of such deep betrayal.

Loreniel Killan was pregnant, and it didn’t take a genius to figure out who the father was. Brogan fucking Devlin. The rumor that they’d slept together had been hard enough for Eamonn to handle, but he’d told himself it just may have been the stress, the need for someone familiar and comfortable. Pregnant? Eamonn couldn’t believe that it’d only been one time, or that it wasn’t intentional. His mother, may the Darkness rest her soul, had been a Healer. He’d heard the struggles with those who were trying to get pregnant. He’d recalled the veritable crates of concrepative brew that his mother had created for the Court.

No, as his fist hit the wall again, he knew he’d lost. Brogan fucking Devlin had won. All the while Eamonn had thought he’d been making progress, that in the midst of disaster after disaster, Loreniel and he had been growing closer. As the recent addition to the Triangle as Master of the Guard (a competition he’d won by merit but had been eager to work closer with Lore as a secondary benefit), Eamonn had been busy assuring to Loreniel’s safety, the safety of her whole Court. And each day, he’d thought they were getting closer. To what? He wasn’t certain, but he’d thought it was love.

How fucking wrong he’d been.

“Fuck,” he said as he brought his fist against the wall again. The coppery scent of blood was filling his private quarters, rooms fitting a Master of the Guard of Scelt. For months he’d felt like he’d found his place, that the name Sheane was an afterthought and not his defining characteristic anymore. Loreniel had given him that, and for each moment of closeness, he’d thought it was more than Queen and her bonded male.

So fucking wrong.

Punch. Punch. Punch.

His hand was on fire as he panted and finally stopped. Blood dripped down to the floor as a thread of shame filled him. Eamonn was better than this. He’d served Eirne Sheane for years and she’d never pushed him to such a display of anger. But he’d not been ready to love Eirne Sheane and found out she’d given, if not her heart, at least the whole of her body to another man. And not just any man, the one man Eamonn could feel an ember of loathing.

Still. Eamonn was better than petty bursts of rage. Kean, the Steward, had not told Eamonn so he could retreat to his quarters and nurse a broken heart. Kean had told Eamonn so he could protect their Queen.

“Fuck,” spoke the Prince, no longer with anger, but with defeat. Loreniel deserved better than him at that moment, and that very thought sobered him. His hurt, that he could deal with later.

A glance at his still clenched fist told him he’d gone too far, but he’d not been raised by a Healer without a few tricks. A small amount of Green called in some salve and a wrap of bandages. With a few minutes of work, Eamonn had his bleeding stopped (a bit of Healing Craft) and the wounds salves (his mother would have his hide had he left the wounds untreated), and the worse of the abrasions covered. He couldn’t do much for the bandages. With a frown, Eamonn thought for a moment before he called in a single leather glove. It was more appropriate for horseback riding, but it would suffice. With the bandages over his knuckles, the glove was tight, pressing painfully and throbbing.

A reminder to not be a stupid ass again, he thought, annoyed with himself and eager to ignore the deep ache of pain.

He was still dressed in his Court clothes, well-made slacks and a button-down fitted with a vest. There were no tartan colors on him though, not since the Sheanes had been outlawed. Eamonn was happy that many had found homes with the Kerrys and other Clans. Some days he’d entertained even petitioning the Devlin Clan, but now, knowing Brogan had won the game, it was hard to consider joining a Clan with the single man he’d feel envious of for years. Perhaps the Doyle’s would consider him instead.

The guard on duty, a Doyle but not one Eamonn was familiar with from Lore’s First Circle, stood guard at the Queen’s room. There was no questioning the Master of the Guard visiting the Queen during normal Court hours, but the guard did reach out to the Queen on a Yellow thread and informed her before allowing Eamonn into the room. With a deep and steadying breath, Eamonn entered the suite of rooms assigned to the Territory Queen.

The Prince did not speak until the door was firmly shut behind them. With the Gray, he erected an Aural Shield, for the news Kean had told him was still not public knowledge. Eamonn reminded himself he’d been informed not as a hopeful suitor but was Loreniel’s Master of the Guard. He would honor the position, the one he’d earned.

Eamonn wished for the formality of Protocol so he didn’t waste time with simple pleasantries before he summoned it. A better man may have been able to deal with his Queen without the formality, but the sting, it was too fresh. It was easier to be without emotion, to show nothing but duty and service. “Lady Killan, I have come to speak to you of how to best protect you in the months to come. I hope you are well. Do you have time to work on a plan regarding your condition now?”

His words were gentle, for the woman before him was his Queen body and soul, but they were lacking in the emotion the Loreniel normally saw from Eamonn. Many times he was considered aloof, but the Queen saw the threads of his warmth, saw behind the reserved mask. Now though, that mask was glued in place, bound by Protocol and Duty alone. Stiffly he stood, his hands clasped behind his back as he firmly ignored the deep pain within him. Loreniel had chosen, he would respect that. And that mantra repeated against his heart as he waited upon his Queen’s will.











Offline Loreniel Killan

  • Character Account
    • opal2sapphire
    • bwq
    • Role

      Queen of Scelt

    • Faction

      Court of Scelt

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Jamie

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      204

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Re: Unexpected Consequences: When the Levy Breaks
« Reply #1 on: Feb 25, 18, 10:45:20 AM »
Faced with the consequences of a split second decision, Loreniel was assaulted with wave after wave of guilt, fear and dozens of other nameless emotions she could not untangle. The impact of this news would be felt like shock waves through her Court, her home Province and perhaps even the Territory at large. The truth was hard to face but Meave had stated it very clearly when she had tended to the Queen:

Loreniel was pregnant.

There was no question who the father was though, and that only complicated matters further. Brogan had provided Loreniel with shelter from the storm, and comfort when she needed it the most. The repercussions of changing the construct of their relationship on those moments were ones that she was already struggling to control and manage. It had left so many unanswered questions about her relationships, her future, and what this meant for her love life.

Prior to those moments of weakness she had come to the painful conclusion that she was in love with Eamonn Sheane. They had been dancing around the topic for years and just when she thought she was making progress something monumental would detour them from embracing that love. Years ago it had been her attack against his former Clan, and now it had been her betrayal of sleeping with Brogan, and becoming pregnant with his baby.

How was this even possible? That was the question she had asked repeatedly, especially given that she had used contraceptive brew since her Virgin Night. Except she had stopped taking the brew when she’d been injured during Brighe’s attack.

She felt sick just thinking about that fact.

Or perhaps it was just another wave of morning sickness? It was impossible to tell. Loreniel’s stomach churned and she bite her lip to keep from moaning with discomfort. There would be weeks more of this particular misery to go through and that was only the misery of the physical variety.

One act of desperation and need to feel comforted had now destroyed what hope she had of building a meaningful relationship with the man whom she thought she had loved. In one act of desperation she had not only hurt Eamonn Sheane but had the potential to seriously hurt Brogan Devlin as well if she were to reject him at this point in time. And to make matters worse her emotions were jumbled, undecipherable and confusing to the point of giving her a headache whenever she tried to assess the situation further.

She had always loved Brogan, but until that night it had never been romantic. What had changed? Brighe’s death had brought them together with both desperately seeking comfort in ways that they never had before. What would have been a platonic embrace had evolved into something more and taken on a life of its own.

And throughout all of this there was still a Territory to run.

After all, a Queen’s job was never done.

The guard from Clan Doyle, one of Riordan’s young cousins, brushed against Loreniel’s mind. Given that she had more guards around her each day there were now more people who had become aware of her struggles with mind communication. Riordan had trained this man in the ways to communicate with the Queen, and she received the warning with enough time to wipe her eyes dry and swallow any lingering emotions.

Loreniel watched Eamonn enter the rooms and her stomach dropped. He was as handsome as the first day she had met him, and thrown a chicken in his face for his troubles. She studied him closely, memorizing every line of his Court clothes, and the hooded gaze that held no emotion.

What she saw when she looked at him broke her heart.

She desperately wanted to tell him that it was not her choice, but it had been. And she wanted to tell him that she loved him, but still she loved Brogan too. If only she had been stronger and able to tell Eamonn years ago how she felt about him then they never would have been put in this awkward position, and she would not be stuck in limbo. Stuck in a hell of her own making. But she did love him, and that much she could not hide from her gaze as she looked upon him.

“You know now?” She asked, the words rough as they were spoken.

Of course he knew now. Kean would have informed him as a member of her Triangle, as they had discussed, and already the Steward would be heading out to bring Brogan back to the Court of Scelt. Brogan’s return would only further complicate matters. He would, naturally, return to his place as First Escort and would be forced to work alongside Eamonn to ensure her safety, and that of the Territory.

After a moment’s hesitation she swallowed and addressed his actual question. “The extra guards that were assigned after the attack in Tuathal are not enough for the upcoming months?” She questioned her Master of the Guard. That was who stood in front of her in those moments, not Eamonn, not Prince Sheane, but the formal Master of the Guard to the Court of Scelt.

























Offline Eamonn Sheane

  • Character Account: HBC Vet
    • green2gray
    • prince
    • Role

      Master of the Guard

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Dani

    • Posts

      107

    • what am I to do with all this silence

    • View Profile
Re: Unexpected Consequences: When the Levee Breaks
« Reply #2 on: Feb 25, 18, 11:35:25 AM »
It was hard to look at the woman he’d hoped one day would be more than just the woman he served, but also, the woman who he loved. He did still love her, but, now he realized that he had to let it go. The letting go would be hardest, especially as he’d earnestly thought that they had made progress. Brighe’s death, the attack on the Court, it had changed everything. Eamonn had said the Loreniel needed time, that is why she’d been more distant than normal.

Instead, she’d been with Brogan, and either by intent or carelessness brought forth the potential for new life. As he stood before Loreniel, he recalled that Kean had told him the Queen was not far along, but Maeve had confirmed the existence of the pregnancy. The Queen looked pale though, and Eamonn began to realize that signs had been there. Loreniel had been sluggish in the mornings and ravenous at the evenings. As a Gray, Eamonn knew how to pack away a veritable feast of food. The Queen had almost been keeping up with him.

“Prince Devlin informed me as Steward to Master of the Guard,” responded Eamonn to Loreniel’s question. Her tone was hard, but Eamonn refused to feel, to let himself react. Of course, she would want the father of her child at her side. It was only a matter of time until Brogan returned to Court to be at Loreniel’s side. No matter is anger and rage at the Warlord Prince, the Master of the Guard of Scelt would be thankful for another powerful Jewel in the protection of their Queen.

“In your condition, I expect the whole of the Court will feel better knowing that your Triangle is making every effort to keep you protected.”

Eamonn wanted to add that he would do anything to keep her safe. He still recalled the feel of her throat under his fingers, how he’d almost killed her when bespelled by the Black Widow’s manipulations. He’d worked off the sins of his madness through years of dedication to Loreniel and her Court. And finally, when he was now a welcome member of her Court, he found out he’d taken too long, or never truly stood a chance. His Queen had chosen another, and no matter how it had hurt, he would protect and serve.

“I would think we can utilize the current guard with incentives and bonus pay. The person who is draining your Jewels, they cannot also be your guard at the same time, so we will not include that person in your guard rotation. To protect you and the...” Eamonn hesitated, the word not yet spoken and as soon as he did, it would make it real, make the whole situation real. “You and the baby, the Court must protect you at all costs. I do not trust that once the news is made public, for it would be reckless to think we can keep this from becoming gossip and then becoming fact, the forces against you may use your lack of Craft for these upcoming months against you. I think we should add an additional guard on you at all times, not including the person who will be tending to your Jewels. I will not allow a distracted guard to be your only protection.”

Eamonn spoke and it was void of true emotion. He wore the mask of service that he’d felt so many times when he’d served Eirne. It had been his only way to serve a Queen he’d been bonded to by relation alone. With Loreniel though, he slipped into the facade as a defensive reaction. He would not burden the Queen with his emotions or feelings, not when she already had enough to deal with. Later, he would find a way to excise the pain, but for now, he would serve as he had done for a different Queen for years.











Offline Loreniel Killan

  • Character Account
    • opal2sapphire
    • bwq
    • Role

      Queen of Scelt

    • Faction

      Court of Scelt

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Jamie

    • Posts

      204

    • View Profile
Re: Unexpected Consequences: When the Levee Breaks
« Reply #3 on: Feb 25, 18, 12:09:56 PM »
The distance between them felt wider than a glen and deeper than a highland loch.

There was nothing friendly or personal about Eamonn’s delivery of the information or news. It was purely clinical and straight to the point. And everything about him, his words, and his overall demeanour broke Loreniel’s heart.

How had they arrived at this point? Too many years they had denied what existed between them, or let external forces dictate what they could or could not share. As a Queen she had never allowed politics to dictate who she would Court or consider for marriage, not like other Clans and Queens within the Territory. That was not her way or style, and as the heir to a dynasty there was no requirement that she expanded her political reach through marriage.

Which meant she had always been free to pick and choose who she took as a lover and eventually who she would name as a Consort.

“Eamonn,” She whispered his name. The whisper carried every hint of emotion and turmoil that tormented her since she had learned the news. Such things could not be spoken in words but nor could she seemingly hide them from this man, one of her males and someone whom she loved desperately.

What was the point of it all? Brogan would return from Tramore and his expectations would be clear. The man had loved her since they were children and she had, for many years, carefully kept him at arm’s length ensuring a purely platonic relationship existed between them. Once, years ago, she had kissed him when the needs of a Black Widow had been too great to deny. He’d always been convenient, and powerfully attractive to the Queen, but she had forced herself to learn to balance her friendships with the Black Widow’s sexuality. She’d taken other lovers very quietly throughout the years but this was now different.

Lore broke her gaze away as tears threatened to flood her eyes.

“We can ask for further support from our banner Clans.” She suggested, referencing the Killans, Devlins, Doyles and other smaller clans in the Highlands. “And maybe see if any of our close allies, like Honora’s Court, can spare any trusted guards to help.” The last thing she wanted was forcing the Court to hire mercenaries. This type of guarding could only be trusted to the closest of allies and friends.

She wanted to tell Eamonn that she loved him and she’d never intended for any of this, but the words froze in her throat. Lore felt he was keeping her painfully at arm’s length, for which she had no one to blame but herself and her own impulsive needs.

If she told Eamonn she loved him then she would be breaking Brogan’s heart. Damned if she did, and damned if she didn’t, and the last thing she could handle in her current emotional state was ruining another friendship. But if she could salvage what she had with Eamonn at expense of Brogan’s emotions? Could she do it?

Lore was unsure, but she was tired of bringing destruction upon everything and everyone surrounding her.

























Offline Eamonn Sheane

  • Character Account: HBC Vet
    • green2gray
    • prince
    • Role

      Master of the Guard

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Dani

    • Posts

      107

    • what am I to do with all this silence

    • View Profile
Re: Unexpected Consequences: When the Levee Breaks
« Reply #4 on: Feb 25, 18, 12:29:41 PM »
It was hard to listen to his name on Loreniel’s lips. He’d kept his distance, standing away from his Queen because he couldn’t trust himself to touch her and keep the truth from her. Eamonn's hand ached behind his back, but his single-mindedness, on protection and service, kept him from noticing it beyond acknowledgment of the pain. Loreniel’s pain was harder, but Eamonn could explain that away too.

She was pregnant, women were known for being emotional when pregnant.

The father of her child was at another Court, serving another woman, that distance would be hard on any woman, let alone the Queen of Scelt.

And perhaps, she felt guilty at leading on Eamonn for the years of his service to her. It would have been fitting, that she’d not known until recently which of them she truly desired. Eamonn always knew that Brogan had desperately wanted the same love and affection from the Queen, one that went beyond just the touches and caresses of a Queen giving her Queen’s Touch to her men.

She brought comfort to her Court, and at that moment, needed comfort. Eamonn, although there was some anger at the Queen, couldn’t ignore that pain. Though he did not cross to the Queen, his tone softened, his grip on Protocol slipping and letting through his affection for the Queen, even if it was not returned.

“Lady... Loreniel. Honora would do much to keep you safe, just as all your Court will. With the knowledge that the extra guard duties will only last until the return of your Jewels, it will limit the amount of discontent. We are not going to war, but I’ve made certain your guards know that your protection is paramount. Even though what happened with Brighe is horrific, that you survived is key. Without you, Scelt will assuredly suffer.” Still, Eamonn did not move, but he was moved within. This talk, it was not what he’d intended.

“Let me summon Lady Tiernay, she can make you some tea and keep you company. This talk can wait. I will work with Kean to draft the letters to your bannermen. Perhaps even the Falkirks would be willing to let us hire some of their guards.” It was a cowards action, offering the Head Housekeeper in his stead. Still, Eamonn refused to cross the gulf between them. If he did, he didn’t trust himself not to burden the Queen further.

And he heard his mother’s voice, clearly, as did when he needed guidance: ‘do not stress the mother, it is not good for the babe’. No matter who the father, the fact that Loreniel was pregnant meant that the Queen would have a child, one that was Loreniel. And while Eamonn may not be able to love Loreniel as he wished, he knew he could love the child of his Queen without reservation.











Offline Loreniel Killan

  • Character Account
    • opal2sapphire
    • bwq
    • Role

      Queen of Scelt

    • Faction

      Court of Scelt

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Jamie

    • Posts

      204

    • View Profile
Re: Unexpected Consequences: When the Levee Breaks
« Reply #5 on: Feb 25, 18, 01:04:05 PM »
Everything had changed so drastically and dramatically in a short period of time. The Sheanes, once more, had reigned their destruction upon herself and her Court with little care as to what innocents would be caught in the cross fire. A Sheane Black Widow had tampered with the mind of her best friend and caused untold chaos. Chaos that had eventually led Loreniel to finding solace in Brogan’s embrace, which had led to her pregnancy. It all traced back to one Clan who, even after being disbanded, managed to inflict pain upon all aspects of her life.

The guards in her Court had already been stretched following the attack from Brighe, and were constantly being monitored by the Black Widows in Lore’s Court. That had been a point of contention with Kean when she had requested it. They would have another 9 months ahead of them, and while they wouldn’t outwardly complain Lore could guess the toll it would take on them all together. Hopefully the Clans would be able to help provide more that could be trusted implicitly.

“I don’t want Sorcha.” Though the words were spoken quietly they were spoken with conviction. While Sorcha’s company was often welcome by the Queen, at the moment it reminded her that the person who previously would have been summoned was Brighe. But now that she was dead the role had fallen to her successor, Sorcha, the new House Keeper.

“Don’t try and pawn me off on someone else, Eamonn Sheane.” The Queen snapped, feeling fire and anger for the first time at someone other than herself since the news had been given to her. “If you cannot stand to be in the same room as me at least have the courtesy to tell me instead of acting as if it’s for my own good.”

Everyone had been stepping on egg shells around Loreniel, as if she would break if they upset her, and she was finally at her wit’s end. Here she was, facing the man she had thought she loved, and watching him pretend as if this didn’t affect him. Well the Darkness knew that it was affecting Loreniel, and she was struggling with her emotions enough in the first place.

She wanted to punch him. No, not him necessarily, but she wanted to punch something. If she tried she knew that the guards who attended her, and Eamonn himself, would stop her and lecture her about over exerting herself. She wanted this baby, regardless of the complications it brought with it, but she already felt trapped in her own Court. How much worse would it get before she sensed freedom again?  Loreniel hadn’t even realized that a child had been missing from her life until she heard the news from Maeve.

























Offline Eamonn Sheane

  • Character Account: HBC Vet
    • green2gray
    • prince
    • Role

      Master of the Guard

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Dani

    • Posts

      107

    • what am I to do with all this silence

    • View Profile
Re: Unexpected Consequences: When the Levee Breaks
« Reply #6 on: Mar 01, 18, 09:14:31 PM »
A different man would have seen the broach of Protocol, the way Loreniel used his full name as a curse against him and shucked the bonds of Mother Night’s precepts, as an opportunity. Perhaps, had Eamonn been that different man, he’d have taken the three long strides required to close the distance and wrap Loreniel in his arms. But, he wasn’t that man.

He was a Prince. He was a Gray Prince who’d spent the whole of his life living by toeing the line with one Queen, or one Court. He’d never been wholly accepted, without reservation, in either of his homes. Sheanes had been his power, setting him apart, a less brutal man than they’d wanted for the role of Master of the Guard. And with the Killan Court, with Doyles and Devlins and banner clans, Eamonn had the gravest sin of being a Sheane.

Loreniel had always been the one who’d never looked at him as though his past were any matter to her. But now, to know that she’d almost chosen him, that he’d come close, but as always, Brogan fucking Devlin had beat him to the punch again, that had broken his heart. There was nothing left but his pain, a pain he saw in Loreniel. A pain he ascribed to a thousand other ills, and none of them were his distance or his destroyed heart.

The ache and pain in his hand reminded him that he’d already tried to excise those demons. It was not going to be an easy, each time he’d stand before Loreniel, he knew it’d feel like his heart was shattering anew. But watching her, he’d do it. He’d withstand that pain, time and time again because she needed him. He was hers, as she was his. Perhaps not her heart, but a sliver of her soul belonged to him.

“I would never abandon you Lady Killan.” Eamonn hesitated, the realization that he’d held too firm to Protocol and knew it would make him more distance. Almost grudgingly, he dropped the formality. “Loreniel. You are my Queen. You. Nothing would keep me from your side if you needed me. I protect. I serve. This is sworn and this I swear will not change. I will be at your side as long as the Darkness allows it.”

But my heart, that, I will mend on my own. With time. There is not another way. He didn’t know how to answer her question though. He wanted to wrap himself around her, soak in her scent, as his Queen and let it filter down into their souls. But a fear in him told him if he did, he was not sure that he would be able to keep himself from weighing her down with yet another burden, the burden of his deeper affection and need.

“What would you have me do? I am yours Loreniel. Command me, and I will do it.” There was a sense of vulnerability that Eamonn had not let slip before. He didn’t know what would please his Queen, but he was not about to let go his firm facade. Whatever Loreniel needed, he would accomplish it, for the Darkness had bonded them, Loreniel had saved him in many ways, and he owed her that much and more.











Offline Loreniel Killan

  • Character Account
    • opal2sapphire
    • bwq
    • Role

      Queen of Scelt

    • Faction

      Court of Scelt

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Jamie

    • Posts

      204

    • View Profile
Re: Unexpected Consequences: When the Levee Breaks
« Reply #7 on: Mar 04, 18, 01:07:03 PM »
The selfishness of her act was growing clearer to Loreniel. By seeking those moments of initial solace, and later the moments of desperate release, with Brogan Devlin she had created a mess beyond her understanding.

Pregnancy meant that she would no longer have the protection of her own Dark Jewels, the Sapphire and the Opal, day to day. This would put further strain on a Court that was already struggling to operate at capacity due to the other threats in the Territory, primarily originating with the now outlawed Sheane Clan. There was a new Master of the Guard in place within the Court, whose skills and authority would be quietly challenged but never overtly so. 

Then there was the lack of consideration for the men in her life. Eamonn and she had been dancing around the delicate topic of feelings for one another for a long time. For a while she had felt that she’d been pushed away by the Prince, but they both had struggled to cope with the fallout from her drastic actions in Denford when she’d razed Eirne Sheane’s Court to the ground.

When Eamonn dropped the formality he had been clinging to since entering her room she felt a surge of hope that both thrilled and terrified her.

His declaration stirred her emotions and worried her all the same. If she demanded Eamonn’s constant presence she would only bring hurt to the Prince as he watched another man’s child grow in her stomach. His presence would bring her comfort but in return she would slowly be torturing him. Even a Queen’s Touch couldn’t fix that kind of emotional pain.

“What I want from you is not something I can command, Eamonn. It’s never been something I could command.” She’d wanted his love for a long time now, but he’d had his own deamons to defeat first, before he could ever be free to share such deep emotions. And while she realized she still wanted that from him, there was something even more she needed now – his forgiveness. Love, she suspected, would have been a more easily achieved task. Forgiveness was much more difficult to grant, but perhaps over time she might coax it from him.