Author Topic: Hunger  (Read 2308 times)

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Offline Existentially Odd

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Hunger
« on: February 26, 2009, 07:14:55 PM »
Lam was bored.  She was sick of being stuck in the manor doing nothing but feeding the life inside her (frankly, her appetite had never been small or ladylike and the extra drawing on her resources saw her practically haunting the kitchen, day and night) and... well... gestating.  It was all she was capable of doing in her big-bellied condition, for her former svelte figure had been swallowed by a baby belly the size of a cow\'s.

Her ankles were swollen, her back ached and her bladder was little more than a punching bag for tiny fists but she was determined that she was going to do something more constructive with her final few weeks (?  Perhaps days? Hours!?) of pregnancy than lay about the house and eat.  She was hungry for some action, hungry for some life and the only place she could find to satisfy that hunger (with her husband at work and her wait staff too busy preparing her frequent meals to talk) was out in the keep.

It was a beautiful day; crisp and cool but the snows were gone and the earth was getting ready to renew itself.  Since there\'d been not a glimpse of a cloud in the sky, she\'d decided that it was a fabulous excuse for a stroll.  Despite it not being the ladylike thing to do, she decided to go out and enjoy the air.

Hurrying upstairs, she\'d pulled on the nicest pregnancy outfit her aunt had made for her - a royal blue dress of velvet that clung to her ponderous breasts and belly (though gave the former some discreet support from a very firm inner lining, considering that a corset was out of the question) but held a sleek bell-like skirt and sleeves that floated prettily about her limbs.  Of course, it was still much too cool to go out in just that, so she pulled on the matching cloak and her sturdy walking boots for warmth.

The cloak had a beautiful snow fox fur lining at the wrists and around the oversized cowl (it puddled slightly upon her broad shoulders), softening her radiant features even further and framing her attractively.  The deep blue was a perfect offset to her red hair, which she left down beneath the hood, so long, wavy tendrils of it curled towards her breasts and where the cloak was sealed.

Deciding she was ready, Lady Liari set off, uncaring that she should be enclosed secretively inside the house simply because she was about to undergo the mystery of childbirth.  She headed along the cobbled paths of the Inner Keep, admiring the way the mid morning sun glinted on the dewy trees and dappled the first brave shoots of grass at the roadside gaily.  She nodded at anyone who passed her, her smile only broadening if they happened to cast a reproachful look at the very obvious bump beneath her clothes.  Yes! she felt like shouting.  I\'m pregnant because I had a lot of sex with my husband and I feel wonderful!

She didn\'t shout anything, though.  She merely ducked her head so that her cowl fell forward slightly, hiding her smirk.  The fact that most people recognised her as the former Captain of the Guard meant that anonymity wasn\'t a possibility, but that didn\'t bother her either.  She strolled and smiled, stopping here and there to have a conversation with sympathetic folk, discussing the weather, the way the baby kept her awake some nights - kicking her kidneys into submission - and what a wonderful job Captain Frederickson had done about whatever they\'d had to do with him over.  It made her heart sing to hear her good friend praised and she cherished those conversations the most.

Eventually, she waddled her way to the centre of the public area, beside the stables, to the courtyard and the keep\'s maze.  The palace was not far away but she knew her place with regard to that building and so she decided to take a rest on one of the pretty benches placed around the grassy courtyard area.  It sat beneath an old, broad tree that blocked the now-insistent sun and she was surprised at what a relief it was to immerse herself in its shade.  Walking and talking was hot work - her feet and stomach were also complaining of ill-treatment now that she\'d stopped, too.

Dropping the cowl back onto her shoulders and running fingers through her shiny red shoulder-length hair (which had actually grown almost halfway down her back since she\'d not got a haircut in a few moons) to straighten it, she decided she would lean back on the wooden seat back for just a short while and then head back to the manor.  It was lunch time and most were heading in for their midday meals anyway; she and the baby needed their sustenance as much as others did and if no conversation was going to be on offer, she might as well head home.  She\'d already achieved her goal of getting out of the house, after all.

She tipped her head back to look up at the myriad of leaves on the tree, allowing her eyes to fall closed as a few spots of sunlight danced upon her smiling face, recuperating and gathering her energy for the walk home.
«~Infusco
Jeanne D'Arshan DavidKerr GalvinOwen HarperIndianaDominic KahoTau LeanderSamuel TaylorFrederigo Tripada

«~Infusco Past
Anatoli

«~Oberon Castle
Lam Dinaris PhinneusQueen Rochelle

«~Halflight
Aarik Cathmoor

Offline MythsAndLegends

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Re: Hunger
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2009, 05:38:03 AM »
((I apologize for the wait. ^.^))

Long travels make weary travelers, but soldiers, especially one of Illian’s caliber, can travel great distances without tiring overly much, but even the veteran soldier was tired beyond belief. He was actually surprised that his horse was still moving. Likely the beast was just going through the motions, not really paying attention, just moving, similar to how Illian was operating. He figured both of them looked horrible after their long travels, but he never complained. He had brought this upon himself and he would see it through if it killed him!

When he had entered the city, he had been redirected towards the district of royalty. He had requested the directions so he could get his business accomplished and be on his way to wherever his travels took him next, but first, he needed a rest, and then something to eat. Food could wait at least, but if he didn’t sit down and rest for a while, he wouldn’t even be able to eat!

As Illian and the horse continued their trek towards the palace, which seemed to take a lot longer than it really did, he noticed a woman round a corner and she disappeared from sight. He barely registered her existence at the time, but as the stable boy took his horse to be tended to, Illian was almost jealous of the treatment it would receive, but before he could ask for further directions, he was left standing in the yard.
   
Slowly, he remembered seeing the woman walk around the corner, and thus he followed in that direction, wandering in places he likely wasn’t supposed to be, but then he saw her reclined on a bench and approached. He wasn’t really sure if she noticed him or not, but he was probably making enough noise.
   
“Pardon, M’lady, do you think you could give me some directions?” Illian asked in his kindest tone.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Hunger
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 06:42:47 AM »
Lam\'s head came forward into its usual position and her eyelids fluttered open as she attempted to combat the effect of having them closed against patches of sunlight.  Spots of light and shadow danced across her vision, causing her to blink continually and laugh as she rubbed them childishly.

"Absolutely!" she replied enthusiastically, sitting up a bit straighter and doing her best to see the man who\'d spoken to her - after she dropped her fists, of course.

"Just give me a moment if you would be so kind," she requested, looking in the speaker\'s general direction and smiling sunnily at what she could make out of him, "I seem to have blinded myself.  Where was it you wanted to go?" she asked kindly, figuring that she didn\'t really need to see to generate instructions for the city she\'d lived in her whole life.  She could do it without sight, if she had to.
«~Infusco
Jeanne D'Arshan DavidKerr GalvinOwen HarperIndianaDominic KahoTau LeanderSamuel TaylorFrederigo Tripada

«~Infusco Past
Anatoli

«~Oberon Castle
Lam Dinaris PhinneusQueen Rochelle

«~Halflight
Aarik Cathmoor

Offline MythsAndLegends

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Re: Hunger
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2009, 11:34:54 PM »
Illian smirked at her cheerfulness. After his long travels it was good to see someone with a positive attitude. The few guards who had come with him were just as dreary and tired as he was and were not much in the way of conversation. No one had spoken beyond the necessary amount the last few days of the travel. Even hearing her talk was a relief.

“Well, I just arrived here in the city, and I am going to try and arrange a meeting with the ruler of this fine place, or at least some form of nobility. I have traveled a great distance and before I really go off to complete my quest, I would appreciate it if you could point me in the direction of a place where I could rest and get some food,” he shifted in his stance, and then looked at the bench where the woman sat. “Would you mind if I sat? I’m extremely tired.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Hunger
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2009, 06:31:16 AM »
"Of course," she agreed and made a show of sliding closer to the right end, instead of sprawling outward from the centre.  With her belly, she felt like she needed to accommodate for her size in more ways than just height now, so she\'d been taking up the whole bench alone.  She twisted her body slightly as she moved, lifting her left knee so that she face the man who would sit at her left a little better.

"Once you\'ve had a rest, I\'ll point you in the direction of the palace and then take you to the Scowling Boar to get you a room - it\'s the most reputable inn we have here in Oberon," she smiled, hearing herself gossip and wondering what had come over her.  Such idle chatter had rarely been her style!  She could only suppose that this was the result of having too much time on one\'s hands, because all she had to do was grow a baby and wait for her workaholic husband to eventually drag himself home from work.

"Of course, if you want a little more adventure in your travels - or to save yourself a bit of coin - I can take you to one of the other two inns.  The Broken Wheel is the least sophisticated but it appeals to many because it\'s outside the castle walls, so you can keep your horses with you and have the luxury of only entering the city when you have to.  The Falcon\'s Mask... well," she said, with a glint in her eye, "it\'s useful if you\'re interested in meeting a certain... \'element\', if you catch my drift?" she raised her eyebrows and tilted her head as she alluded to the true nature of the shadiest tavern in the city\'s bounds.

"I suppose you should weigh up how long you\'re going to be here - to consider just how much coin you\'re willing to part with - and what your purposes are, before you tell me where I should direct you," she grinned, dropping him a wink that hopefully let him know that she didn\'t care what his business was, one way or the other.  Gone were her days of law enforcement and suspicion; she had to let that be someone else\'s problem now.  Of course... she could always pay Freddy a visit should she truly suspect something heinous... but she was detecting nothing too untoward so far.

"Where have you come from, if I may be so bold as to ask?"
«~Infusco
Jeanne D'Arshan DavidKerr GalvinOwen HarperIndianaDominic KahoTau LeanderSamuel TaylorFrederigo Tripada

«~Infusco Past
Anatoli

«~Oberon Castle
Lam Dinaris PhinneusQueen Rochelle

«~Halflight
Aarik Cathmoor

Offline MythsAndLegends

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Re: Hunger
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2009, 11:23:39 PM »
As the lady moved down the bench and made room for him, he took a seat, stretching his legs out as he sat down and let out a sigh of relief. He hadn’t even been using his legs that much but riding his horse all day had certainly drained the strength in his lower body. He felt like his legs had been beaten for hours on end with wooden training swords… come to think of it… that had actually happened several times; strangely enough, the pain was just the same.

He shook his head and brushed aside the old memories of his training days. Those were long in the past – where they would stay. He turned slightly towards the lady as she spoke about the different inns. He would give it a bit of thought once he determined how long it would take for him to accomplish his mission. That relying entirely on how busy the rulers of this city were and whether or not they could see him any time soon – hopefully they could; he didn’t want to spend any more time in the city then he had to.

“Well, I am Illian Arnimannes, Lord Captain of the Bahlir Elites. I would bow and make things a bit more formal if I thought I could stand up right now,” he let a smirk cross his face at his poor joke and then sighed again. “I’ve come here as a messenger with a few of my men – and where they are, I have no idea – and the length of my stay will depend entirely upon how long I have to wait to gain an audience with the rulers here.”

He looked off out into the gardens. They were a welcome sight after the long travels on the roads. The countryside could get quite bland and boring when it is all you see for days on end. Well, he would make sure he enjoyed his stay here as much as possible. A sudden pain crept up his left leg to his knee again and it brought back unbidden memories of training. Those days were the source of many nightmares…

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Hunger
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2009, 07:14:02 AM »
"Pleased to meet you, Lord Captain Illian," Lam murmured with a smile and held out her hand to shake his.  She was aware that such a custom wasn\'t necessarily observed in other countries but as it was here in Oberon, she attempted the gesture anyway.  "I would also bow and make things more formal if this belly of mine weren\'t so very heavy to lift and bend with," she grinned and dropped him a wink as she echoed and twisted his words appropriately.

"I am Lady Liari, ex Captain of the Guard of Oberon and one-time close acquaintance of the rulers of this city until, alack, my marriage and ensuing retirement for rather obvious reasons," she joked, using the hand that wasn\'t extended between them to gesture at her protruding middle.  There was a dull and bitter light lurking in her wide green eyes which would have proclaimed to an expert observer of human behaviour that there was more to this particular story about her retirement and lack of friendship with the royal family than met the eye.  It also hinted that she was no more willing to talk about it than she was to dish out her first name.  Some habits died hard; some never died at all.
«~Infusco
Jeanne D'Arshan DavidKerr GalvinOwen HarperIndianaDominic KahoTau LeanderSamuel TaylorFrederigo Tripada

«~Infusco Past
Anatoli

«~Oberon Castle
Lam Dinaris PhinneusQueen Rochelle

«~Halflight
Aarik Cathmoor

Offline MythsAndLegends

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Re: Hunger
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2009, 11:34:34 PM »
“It’s a pleasure to meet you as well, Lady Liari, and it is fine that you do not bow, where I come from, it is not a mere formality, but a gesture of submission. Often, those defeated will bow to their opponent to show that they cannot stand at the same level as them and look them in the eyes. That is why shaking hands is best among equals, friends, and the like,” he gave her a quick smile and retracted his hand.

He observed her for another moment, before looking out over the gardens, thinking to himself how nice it is to be able to see such beauty instead of the constant dull browns of the roads that he had been traveling for many days, and how pleasing it was to sit down on something solid that did not constantly move. How he dreaded the day he would be required to leave! “Well, it seems that I may have found the best guide in the castle then, no?”

He chuckled. Likely, if she were an ex-guard captain she would know most of the people and places just from her occupation, any guardsman back in Bahlir would know most of the usual people around their posts. Hopefully this Lady would be kind enough to assist him, unlike other ladies he knew. He absently rubbed his cheek where his adopted sisters had slapped him like never before when he told them he had fought with his father and was being forced out on missions.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Hunger
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 05:05:25 PM »
The grin she gave him was bashful and she dropped her gaze, her cheeks pinking uncharacteristically.  Many would disagree that she was the best guide to have in the city and it embarrassed her to acknowledge, but she liked the compliments.  Having Kysis working so hard - and a possible trip to Kreos looming, despite him trying to put it off until the baby was born - left her fairly hard up for kind words these days and the fact that she was blushing at just a few from a complete stranger proved that she wasn\'t herself.  She really did need to get out of the house more.

"Some might say you could have a better guide, but they would be few and far between," she acknowledged shyly, grinning up through her lashes at her companion.  "I know the keep like the back of my hand and, likely, could put you in touch with folks who would know what I don\'t," she told him conspiratorially.  "One thing I can tell you - which isn\'t common knowledge - is that the palace isn\'t working at its usual level of efficiency these days because his majesty the king is having some trouble shaking off the winter cough he picked up.  I don\'t know what sort of audience you\'d be looking for at the palace, but I do know that if you don\'t give it a little bit of time, an aide is all you\'re likely to receive audience with."

Lam didn\'t normally confide such important things to just anyone, but she was a good enough judge of character to realise that this man wasn\'t just \'anyone\'.  He was a high ranking representative of another country and likely the business he wished to discuss was sensitive enough that it would require the king\'s ears, not a lowly aide who wouldn\'t have the status or ability to make decisions and act on the information the Lord Captain was going to impart.  Not everyone in the keep knew that the king had taken ill of course, but she had the highest contact in such things in Freddy, so she knew a lot more than the average citizen did.  That was exactly how she liked it.
«~Infusco
Jeanne D'Arshan DavidKerr GalvinOwen HarperIndianaDominic KahoTau LeanderSamuel TaylorFrederigo Tripada

«~Infusco Past
Anatoli

«~Oberon Castle
Lam Dinaris PhinneusQueen Rochelle

«~Halflight
Aarik Cathmoor

Offline MythsAndLegends

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Re: Hunger
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2009, 07:13:11 AM »
“Is it the people that say it that are few and far between or those more capable that are few and far between?” he grinned back, meaning it as a joke to play on the fact that she might or might not have been a fierce and feared, or in other cases, respected guard captain, but who knew how the lady would take it. His jokes were usually very poor and his sense of humor in itself was a little offbeat. He did find himself feeling a bit of regret at saying it. The last thing he wanted to do was offend the first person he had actually met in the entire place – especially one of high standing as she obviously was. It would definitely not help him any and he needed all the help he could get!

“It would be wonderful to get in touch with a few people. The faster I can get done with this, the better. I still have a lot of ground to cover and I doubt most of it will be very easy,” he frowned at the part about the king being sick because that could set him back greatly. “Well, I do hope the king gets better, for both our sakes, because if I do not finish my job there will be one other king I have to worry about, but I will do what I must, and wait as long as I can before I need to move on. At the very worst I would be forced to leave and return on my trip back home unless it took me way out of the way.”

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Hunger
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2009, 07:01:12 AM »
She almost bit at his first comment - almost.  Rather than being offended by his joke, she simply didn\'t see it as one at first and a frown curled across her forehead as she wondered how he hadn\'t understood that she\'d meant the latter of his offerings by what she\'d said after her own statement.  The confusion was fleeting, though, because she then realised that he was attempting to be... well, she supposed it was humourous, so she left it and concentrated on the rest of what he had to say.

Deciding he was descending into idle chatter - for what good was there in sitting and actively speculating about things over which they had no control? - she responded in kind.  "Just how long have you been travelling, Lord Captain?  Where is it that you hail from?  My husband is Greek and I visited his homeland with him before we were married - and when I could still ride a horse without squashing it flat, obviously," she imparted as a cheeky aside, slouching down in the seat despite her best intentions, and covering her belly with her arms affectionately.  "And such a trip took us almost two moons just one way.  Admittedly, we weren\'t in a particular hurry to get there and it was a faster trip on the way home - both because I was more travel-wise and because we\'d become engaged and had a wedding to plan."

Her smile was nostalgic and pretty, her gaze focussed inward even as she looked at Illian.  The thought that said husband was daily pacing the manor\'s floors in anticipation of repeating that long trip as soon as she\'d birthed their child dropped the smile from her lips almost immediately, however; the thought of him leaving her with a brand new baby and being gone for at least three moons was not something she wanted to think about right now.
«~Infusco
Jeanne D'Arshan DavidKerr GalvinOwen HarperIndianaDominic KahoTau LeanderSamuel TaylorFrederigo Tripada

«~Infusco Past
Anatoli

«~Oberon Castle
Lam Dinaris PhinneusQueen Rochelle

«~Halflight
Aarik Cathmoor

Offline MythsAndLegends

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Re: Hunger
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2009, 01:08:33 AM »
"I\'ve been traveling for the better part of two years, not exactly knowing where I am going, but every time I stop I gather information for my next destination, and by the end of this year, I shall be on my way home," He stated, then paused for a moment, realizing he maybe hadn\'t told her his intentions for travelling. "Basically, I\'m on a mission appointed by my father, the King of Bahlir to extend the trade of our wondrous city, as well as our alliances. Unfortunately, not all of the men I set out with will be returning to see how our valiant efforts have paid off."

"If you have been down into the Greeklands, you might not have visited Bahlir, but we are situated on the far eastern border. You might have heard of it though in your travels." He examined the lady as he spoke, unconsciously noting anything that he could, and old habit that he had of dealing with criminals and such while on guard duties. When he realized what he was doing, he snapped himself out of it, and looked out over the gardens again. "One of my friends was to be married, but she never took to kindly to the man. It was an arranged married, and she didn\'t really like the idea and... well, it\'s a long story, but an entertaining one, though I suppose it wouldn\'t be as entertaining coming from me, especially since you know neither my friend nor her one-time fiance." He smiled again, thinking back on those action-packed days. What he wouldn\'t give to be home again!