Author Topic: The Long Road  (Read 19941 times)

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Offline Kysis

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The Long Road
« on: February 26, 2010, 04:37:19 AM »
The sun was starting to crawl into the sky, slowly inching up into the dusty blue bowl above them.  The slanted, soft beams of the sun were not as harsh, hot, as they were in Greece, in Kreos specifically.  There was a cool breeze rolling in through the trees, abloom with new Spring.  For a moment, Kysis closed his eyes, taking a long, deep breath.

Birds chirped from treetops all around him, wings fluttering as a group launched into the sky.  Kysis tensed, muscles along his shoulders tightening, if only for a moment.  It was a reflex.  His dark blue eyes opened again, gaze sliding over the shadows, scanning them.

Ever since what happened in Kreos, he had been jumpy, skittish; who could blame him?

With a low, quiet cluck, Kysis spurred Atropos, his beige warhorse, to continue on.  The powerful horse was attuned to him and no one else, having felt his unease.  The horse trotted on, nostrils flaring with a snort.  Kysis rubbed a leather gloved hand up the horse’s neck slowly, soothingly, though his gaze never left the darkness, never stopped being watchful and wary.

Though he had a travel-mate, there was little to no conversation.  They were both in grieving, but for their own, different reasons.  In Kysis’ mind, at least Matthew had a home to return to.  Yes, Oberon was where his wife was, his young daughter was, but at the same time, Kreos was home.

Kysis nudged his boots back into Atropos, the horse starting faster, into a gallop.  He did not look back to see if Matthew was moving to keep up.  Lam’s servant had done a fair job of it thus far; Kysis trusted in his competence at this point.

It was Matthew, after all, who delivered news north of the battle, his capture, the losses.

Kysis’ breath rattled, catching in his throat.  He swallowed at the sudden lump there.

Oberon was near.  He could hear it.

The city gates stood tall and proud, as he remembered them.  Kysis sat up, running a hand back through his disheveled, platinum blond hair.  He tied it back with a leather cord, making quick, neat work of it.  He straightened his cloak, smoothing it out slightly as Atropos trotted to a halt.

The guards stared at him with open mouths, wide stares, but did not say anything, scrambling like they had seen a ghost.  Kysis frowned, that tug of his lips pulling down a fresh scar through his bottom lip, wrapping down around his jaw line near his chin.

It had been long enough that Kysis almost had trouble remembering his way, the streets winding and unfamiliar, the faces all new, the sights and smells near overwhelming.

After two wrong turns, Kysis finally saw his manor, a sore thumb sticking out in the noble’s quarter, horse trotting right through the front gate.  Kysis dismounted, an easy, graceful music.  When he landed, on a slight grimace flashed across his tanned features.

Not all of his wounds had healed yet.

The front door opened, Alex standing there, surprise and joy lighting on his face at once.  He jumped, hurrying down the small set of steps, falling to his knees at Kysis’ feet, arms wrapping around his Lord’s legs, “Ο Λόρδος μου, σκεφτήκαμε ότι ήσαστε νεκροί!” Alex paused for a moment, eyes glassy.

Kysis stared down, face a stone mask, before he finally reached down, hand touching the top of Alex’s head.

“Πάρτε τα άλογά μας στους σταύλους.” The Greek rolled easily, naturally, from Kysis’ lips, though the words came out hollow, flat.

Alex’s surprise remained, the joy slowly melting from his face.  The guard stood, nodding.  He hurried off about his duties, leaving the door to the manor open.

That door was welcoming, beckoning almost.  Kysis took one step, pausing.  He closed his eyes, lowering his head, before he finally forced himself to walk onward, crossing the threshold into his manor.

It looked utterly foreign from what he remembered.  It was not the feeling of home he had been hoping for.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: The Long Road
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2010, 06:58:29 PM »
Lady Liari\'s day hadn\'t begun as smoothly as she would\'ve liked, but that was par for the course when a child was part of the equation.  Nothing in her life felt like it was going to plan anymore and she\'d learned to face one day, one obstacle at a time, managing to get by and keep her sanity by relying on those willing to help her, those who loved her.

Her world had scattered, tilted and taken all rational perspective from her the day Matthew had ridden back into Oberon, on the eighteenth Green Corn Moon day, and told her that the attacks on Kreos had worsened, Kysis had been badly wounded in battle - fatally, in his opinion - and taken as a prisoner by the enemy when they couldn\'t get everything they wanted.  He was as good as dead.

Initially, she\'d tried to cling to the \'as good as\' part of the message, but as Matthew had gone on to describe how her husband had been wounded and how vicious his captors truly were - embittered by a largely unsuccessful campaign (due to Kysis\' efforts), the Ottomans had retreated with him as their only real victory - she\'d let go of hope.  She\'d let go of living for a while, too, until her then-five month old\'s needs had lured her out of her depression and mourning enough to begin a charade of life.

Dagger had helped immensely, too.  He\'d been there for her to sob and rail against - since Matthew had turned tail and headed south again as soon as he\'d delivered the devastating news - had nursed her through some nightmarish nights and visited her on the bleakest of days.  When the cold touch of Talon\'s fingers had leeched across the land during the Full Beaver\'s Moon, she\'d surrendered to her past love\'s tenderness and thanked him with her body.

Her heart had been encased in ice that fateful day the year before, but Pandora, life and Dagger had begun thawing it slowly.  She kept the affair a secret from everyone by taking her daughter and meeting her lover at her old townehouse, where they spent as many hours as they could together.  Somehow, watching Balthus play with her daughter, rock her to sleep, feed her, kiss and hug her, soothed Lam\'s soul and made her feel a little more human and complete every day; she loved him and was grateful to him for all that he did for her, though it wasn\'t the same with him as it had once been.

Dagger didn\'t quite seem to agree.  He often mentioned that she shouldn\'t still be in Liari Manor, that she should move out of such a large house, filled with memories that made her cry, move closer to him, or back into her townehouse, or even into the palace - places where there were people and she wasn\'t haunted by the memories of a husband who\'d never return to her.  When he raised the topic, it was like old times between them for she would flare up angrily at him.  She didn\'t fight with the same passion, though, she instead simply brooked no argument and changed the subject.

Moving away from her marital home might be what was good for her, but it was her last connection to the husband and love she\'d lost and, almost six moons on, she wasn\'t ready to let that go yet.  Perhaps Dagger knew that and it was why he was so vehement about her letting go; she knew he clung to her and to Pandora and considered them his family as much as Mia and Jeremy but Lam couldn\'t bear to think on that.  She couldn\'t take responsibility for Dagger\'s emotions too, not when hers were so brittle.  She found comfort in his arms, found warmth and moments of happiness when he was inside her or holding her and it was all the burden she was willing to accept at this point.

As Kysis and Matthew rode for Oberon, Lam was sorely wishing that Dagger was there that morning.  Dora had decided to wear more food than she\'d eaten and had then proceeded to get her clean dress dirty and rip her stockings when she\'d got into the potato bin in the kitchen while Lam was upstairs getting dressed.  Lam\'s cook, Lily, had been asked to watch the toddler but had - the lady of the house supposed - got distracted making eyes at Alex instead.  It didn\'t matter that the guard (who had taken on housekeeping duties as well as guard duties since the house had been emptied and he\'d been left behind) didn\'t particularly respond to the girl, she tried her hardest to get his attention anyway.

Alex had brought Dora upstairs just as Lam left her room and she\'d taken the child - who got into everything now that she was ten moons old and walking fairly confidently - with a glare and a huff that had resulted in an apologetic smile from Alex and him scooting away downstairs to be out of the line of fire when she came down to leave.  The King\'s Advisor was due at the palace before nine of the clock and by the time she dropped her daughter off at her Aunt Mairin\'s tailor shop to be looked after, she knew she\'d be late.  Hew wouldn\'t mind, in all likelihood - he\'d been somewhat distracted lately - but Lam minded.

With Pandora now dressed in a sunny yellow satin dress, new white stockings and her little white leather shoes, Lam changed the ribbon holding a tiny strawberry red ringlet aloft on the left side of her head from blue to yellow and stood her daughter up on the change bench in her room to inspect her. Pandora gazed back at her mother with Kysis\' blue eyes - something that was squeezing her heart less painfully and with appreciation instead, these days - and babbled wetly at her, dribbling due to teething.  She had four large ones at the front and a couple of molars now but Lam hadn\'t looked to see where the latest was coming in.

"You need to behave yourself and stay out of things that don\'t concern you, young lady," she told Dora sternly as the toddler murmured at her and reached for the badge on her breast that identified her as a palatial attendant.  She was wearing dark blue pants and a tunic today with her old guard boots on, her own thick red hair - which had grown to the middle of her back since she\'d begun neglecting herself - smoothed back from her fringe and held in a loose knot at the back of her nape.  Pandora\'s hair was thick like hers but curlier than either hers or Kysis\', falling in pretty ringlets to her shoulders now; Lam loved her soft, curly hair.

"Come on then," she sighed, scooping Dora up and onto her left hip as she reached down and grabbed the shoulder bag with her child\'s supplies for the day in it and settled it on her right shoulder.  It held things such as changes of clothes and napkins and some salve from the apothecary in case her teeth began bothering her.  It was highly likely that Dora would come home in a brand new outfit today, though; Mairin always delighted in outfitting her grandchildren in new and exciting clothes and she\'d been working on something new for a week now, Lam knew (the fact that Dora wasn\'t truly a grandchild didn\'t matter, either).

As she came down the stairs, the toddler started fussing and thrusting herself towards the ground, wanting to walk now that she was independent and Lam sighed again, setting her on her feet and holding her hand at the bottom of the stairs.  "Just to the front door," she told her daughter, "we\'re already late thanks to you and I can\'t afford another week for you to walk to the shop as well."

Slowly, they made their way through the dining room and turned the corner, Lam leaning precariously down to hang onto the tiny white hand that reached her knee height, heading for the home stretch.  When she looked up and saw Kysis framed in the doorway, at first she thought she was hallucinating - she\'d done that a few times too, though never sober - but when she realised she wasn\'t, the blood drained from her face (from her entire body, it felt like) and she swooned.

"Kysis?" she whispered weakly, uncomprehendingly, her right hand going out into the air to steady her on nothing as she resisted the urge to faint.  The sound of blood rushing through her ears made it very hard to hear but instead of allowing it to fade everything away, she held onto consciousness grimly and physically went south instead.

Numbly, she sank to the polished floor, her legs all tangled, her shoulders drooping, her heart thumping with fear and confusion.  The baby bag dropped off her shoulder suddenly and spilled some of its contents but she didn\'t look at it, her eyes riveted disbelievingly on the person in her doorway, telling herself she was seeing things, her senses arguing that Kysis being there was the truth. Pandora staggered a little as her mother crumpled, looking back and soon realising that she was being held only weakly. She pulled away from her mother - whose hand dropped listlessly without the baby\'s touch - and toddled on, sensing the freedom of the front door (a place she was never allowed to go alone) and oblivious to her father - whom she was approaching slowly - blocking her way.

Offline Kysis

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Re: The Long Road
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2010, 07:20:10 AM »
His name might have been something to break the ice, make him warm to his home once more, as this was the only home he had left, but it did quite the opposite.  The whisper it came in was almost fearful.  Hearing it, the hesitation, trepidation, pinned to the weak note, made his heart clinch.

That was not the sort of welcome home he had been expecting.

Kysis turned his head, further than most people would have to in order to compensate for his eye, good eye focusing on Lam.  She looked different than he remembered.  Perhaps it was just a slight haggard edge from caring for Pandora alone.  She was paler, it seemed, and her hair was longer than he ever remembered it.  The clothing she wore reminded him of a uniform.

So much had changed since he was gone.  That slight frown, a little bowing down of his plush lips, remained in place.  When he saw the toddler tottering towards him, however, that melted into a stern straight line.

The lord knelt, slowly as to not aggravate his already irritated wound, one knee on the stone floor, the other still up.  He put his hands out to Pandora.

She had grown, grown so much, since he last saw her.  He could see the red tinge to her hair, a gift from Lam, and the deep sapphire eyes, from himself.  Pandora had been one of the thoughts to pull him through the Ottoman ordeal.  This was his daughter, and he was finally back to her.

There was a faint hope in his heart that his daughter, at least, would be glad to see him, perhaps recognize him against all odds, that hope festering in his tight chest, the knot in his stomach.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: The Long Road
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2010, 04:45:49 PM »
Pandora stopped when the stranger stooped down to one knee in front of her, a chubby fist shoved into her mouth to gnaw on while she contemplated her options.  She was a very outgoing child and went to anybody, but Kysis\' movements were those she recognised only as a gesture to block her exit.

Thinking it was the beginning of a game - for she was frequently contrary and knew exactly how to vex those that looked after her - she pulled the hand from her mouth in order to squeal a laugh, her eyes lighting up delightedly as she spun on her heel and raced back to her mother, expecting to be chased and giggling wildly the whole way.

Lam rocked back slightly as the toddler slammed into her, tiny fists scrabbling at her clothes and head and little feet climbing onto her sprawled legs as Pandora attempted to continue the game by hiding in a safe position.  Her mother\'s hands, finding some strength through her overall numbness, supported her daughter\'s rear automatically, holding the child to her even as she gaped at her husband.

"You\'re not dead," Lam whispered wonderingly, the reality of it beginning to sink in slowly to her traumatised brain, compelling her to move.  It wasn\'t graceful and it took her a few false attempts, but she eventually got to her knees and walked on them over to Kysis, more or less on his eye level as long as he\'d remained kneeling.  Holding a muttering Pandora - who was back to chewing on her fist as she looked at the scenery behind Lam - with her right hand only, she reached out her left to touch his face, unsurprised that it was shaking.

"You didn\'t die?" she asked stupidly, feeling tears of relief, gratitude and confusion welling inside her soul as well as in her eyes, her lips quivering as the strength of her feelings began to overtake her.  "Matthew told me... I thought... I lost you," she gulped, so many words tumbling into her brain, so many questions, that she couldn\'t get anything decent or coherent out.  Her gaze roved his face, noting the differences in his eyes, the coldness in them, the scar on his lip and chin.

"I love you.  I\'ve missed you!  I thought you were gone forever!" she cried and surged towards him, attempting to hug him with her free arm, the tears and the relief pouring out of her in a loud and violent manner that startled Pandora and made her begin to fight to be put down, even as she was forced between her parents.

Offline Kysis

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Re: The Long Road
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2010, 05:00:07 AM »
His eyes followed Pandora as she turned and ran away, giggling, a special sort of light in her eyes.  Kysis did not move to follow her, waiting, almost holding his breath as he watched.  The last time he had seen Pandora, she was swaddled in cloth, a tiny little thing, and now she was up walking, moving around, so much more alive than he ever could have imagined.

This was what he had missed while in Kreos.

Kysis’ stern gaze did not change, not even a flicker of his slight wonder sparking in his cold, distant eyes.  He watched Lam’s crawled approach with pursed lips.

Involuntarily, the touch on his face made him flinch, even if it was barely.  It was her hand, a hand he knew well, one he had held on many occasions, and yet, it felt foreign, causing his reflexes, battered and frayed as they were, to jump.  He repressed it the best he could for now, though his next reaction was not the same.

If he had not been focusing so calmly on Lam, on the fact that this was his home, that it was safe here, he would have scrambled backwards when Lam moved forward to hug him, a quick surge, a jerky movement.  A low hiss seethed from between clenched teeth as his daughter was pressed against him, the wound which needed to be dealt with, lest it actually claim him.

The grimace on his face from the sudden flash of pain lingered for a moment before he managed to smooth it out, make his visage a mask once more.  His voice sounded hollow, partially from the echo of the large entry room, partially from what he had gone through.

“Thanatos did not want me.”

They were quiet words, but harsh at the same time.  Those words mirrored what his own mother had said the first time Kysis came back with a supposedly mortal injury and somehow survived it.  She had said it again when he came back to the refugee camp, battered, bleeding, barely recognizable but somehow, against all odds, alive.

Kysis was starting to believe it.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: The Long Road
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2010, 01:33:42 PM »
Even through the desperate wash of her emotions, she heard Kysis suck in a breath and stiffen.  It occurred to her that he was still injured and she pulled back immediately, hefting a wriggling Pandora and looking at him with concern.  Only once she was away from him would it occur to her that perhaps he\'d objected to the hug and kiss somehow, that her touch was no longer welcome.

"Are you hurt?" she asked urgently, sniffling back her tears and using her left hand to wipe her face as dry as she could.  He might notice that she still wore her engagement and wedding rings as she swiped haphazardly at her face, a testament to the fact that she still felt married to him even when she believed him dead.

Her gaze was drawn over Kysis\' shoulder as someone walked in the door behind him and she gasped as she saw Matthew. The light was gone from his eyes as well, even though he attempted a smile when she exclaimed his name, transferred Pandora to her left arm and scrambled to get up and hug him as well.  She was more careful this time, but Matthew hugged her back and sighed gratefully instead of flinching, which made her smile briefly.

"I\'ll just get Lily to take Dora to Mairin\'s," Lam said decisively as she stepped away from Matthew - who was looking at the child in fascination - and looked down at Kysis.  She was all business now that she sensed that her husband needed her help.  "Do you think we should get a physician here?" she enquired, her gaze roving her beloved\'s body, experienced gaze looking at the way he was holding himself and guessing where his injuries might be just from the way he moved.

She would wait until he spoke before she turned her head and bellowed for Lily to leave the kitchen and come collect Pandora from her.  As wonderful as the child was, she was better off out of the way while Lam got her husband settled; she\'d interfere and take too much of her attention, otherwise.  Besides, her family needed to know that her husband was not only alive but that he\'d returned to her!  They needed to celebrate with her (and even though Dagger\'s image rose in her mind, she pushed it away, shying from sharing her fortunate news with him even in her head; that was not a conversation she was looking forward to having).

Offline Kysis

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Re: The Long Road
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 07:11:40 AM »
At the question of if he was hurt, Kysis automatically pressed his hand, lightly, to the place just below his ribs, where the sword had pierced him.  That blade had slid all the way through, somehow missing everything vital, but there was still a great deal of damage caused.  That injury was the reason the Ottomans had been able to take him.

Kysis gaze followed Lam as she stood and ran for the door, dark eyes fixing on Matthew.  Though the serving man had not lost his home, he had lost something else, his lover.  Kysis had gotten used to them as a couple, had grown accepting of them together, had actually been genuinely happy for them, and then Rico had died.  Kysis was not there for it.  He had only heard stories.  But from what he understood, Rico had been alone in his death, Matthew gone off north to report the dire news of Kysis’ capture.

No one, absolutely no one, should have to die alone like that.

There was still a spark of resentment lingering in him towards Matthew, though he knew the serving man was just trying to do his duty, tell Lam what happened, and yet… Kysis closed his eyes for a moment, sucking in a deep breath.  He stood, trying to stifle the pain such a motion caused as his abdomen flexed with the motion, pulling at the wounds.

Lily was not a name Kysis recognized; he assumed it was someone Lam had hired to help in the manor during Matthew’s absence.  Mairin he knew, though.  That name brought back a slight sense of familiarity, which he was missing.  At least not everything was foreign.

“I just need to change the bandages.” Kysis spoke quietly, once again, as if the large, open main room of the manor would swallow his words whole otherwise.  As always, he was self reliant, persistent about his ability to care for himself, even if it had not worked perfectly in the past.  That was just his way.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: The Long Road
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2010, 06:39:45 AM »
"We\'ll see," she told her husband ominously and then did exactly as she\'d planned.  Lily appeared immediately, looking somewhat wide-eyed to be summoned with a bellow such as she\'d never heard (for Lam hardly had reason to use her \'Captain voice\' in a house inhabited by just the four of them).  She was further disoriented by the two men standing in the doorway, blinking at them with her large, pale brown eyes like she\'d never seen their like.  Her hair was also brown, straight and hanging softly to her shoulders, and she tucked one half behind her ear nervously as she walked slowly up to Lam.

Lam introduced Matthew and her husband - which only caused the girl to blink more rapidly and goggle at the blonde lord standing so stiffly in the entryway - and became impatient very quickly with her lethargic moves to take Pandora from her.  She seemed unable to take in all the information Lam threw at her about taking her daughter to her aunt\'s shop and informing them that she would be around to pick her up again and tell them about Kysis being back as soon as she could.  Matthew took pity on the girl and offered to escort her to Mairin\'s so that he could relay some of the story - he had yet to drop off the horses at the stable (though Alex was already seeing to that) or see his parents, and he was keen for the latter.

When it was all settled, Lam handed Matthew her child - he asked to hold her and Pandora seemed wary but was happy enough to go to him with Lily nearby - and then retrieved the spilled baby bag for Lily to carry.  They were seen off with another kiss of gratitude for Matthew and a stern frown for Lily, then Lam closed the heavy door of the manor and turned (with some trepidation, she noticed fluttering inside of her) to face her husband.  She walked to his side but wasn\'t game to touch him again, for fear of aggravating his wound, though her hands hovered around him and darted towards him as she spoke, signalling that she wanted to help him walk, if she could.

"Would you like to go upstairs to our bed - can you get up the stairs alright, do you think?" she offered nervously, leaning forward as if to peer up at his eyes in order to ask him this question.  He would find their bedroom greatly changed when he got there, for it was as much Pandora\'s as Lam\'s now.  Her cot was set up in there, as well as a large dresser of drawers to hold her multitude of outfits that Lam usually laid her on to dress her.  Another set of shelves held frequently-used items such as teething salve from the apothecary, folded stacks of napkins and her baby-sized bath.  Bright colours - a new patchwork quilt Lam had made for her marriage bed as well as a softer, pastel-coloured one for Dora\'s cot - everywhere were designed to stimulate the baby\'s sight and had made Lam feel better when her misery was at its greatest; it was no longer the stark, simple bedchamber of a warrior, but that of his family, getting on with their life, together, when they thought his was past.

How wrong they\'d been.

Offline Kysis

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Re: The Long Road
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2010, 02:41:48 AM »
Kysis watched closely, carefully, as Pandora was handed off to Lily.  He could feel a pang, an ache deep inside him, to hold his own daughter, but rather than say anything, he merely watched Lily and Matthew go through the door, Pandora in tow.  They were gone from his partial sight before he could do anything.

He quickly, curtly, turned his attention back to Lam.  The last thing he remembered of her was the birth of their daughter, and before that, her depression at losing the job in the Guard.  So much had changed.  Despite the outburst, the surprise, which was to be expected, she seemed fine.  The house seemed in order, from what he could see.

That was good.  His own family, his own people, had been in such disarray when they learned false news that he had fallen on the field.  There was a sort of emotional chaos swirling about the refugees.  It was almost as if they were not willing to trudge on, to fight on, without their lord at the helm.  Kysis felt as though that was his own short-coming, that he had not inspired them enough to rise up on their own, that he had not done enough for them for them to move on proudly, like his people should.

His feeling of failure was part of the reason he had returned to Oberon, rather than staying in the new settlement on the other side of the pass, where they were trying to build a temporary replacement for Kreos itself.

Being home, though… Kysis let his eyes move to the stairs, travel up that winding staircase to the dark hallway beyond, where his room—their room—was situated.  It had probably changed, like the rest of the household.

He did not want it to seem like he was an utter foreigner, once again, that he was utterly disconnected from her, this place, and yet, he was.  Going to that room, the inevitable shock of its transformation, would do just that.

Kysis would rather visit it alone, acquaint himself with his house alone, so that he can settle in it again without someone mothering over him, helping him every step of the way but at the same time, making him seem as that more dissonant with the place.

He had noticed how Lam’s hands lingered, wanting to touch, wanting to lead.

“I should probably redress these bandages down here, first.” Kysis tried forcing a smile.  It was small, thin, unfeeling.  None of it spread to his cold blue eyes.  For a moment he stood there, saying nothing more, then he added. “Were you not headed somewhere when I arrived?”
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: The Long Road
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2010, 06:53:57 PM »
Lam pulled slightly away from Kysis and blinked, understanding that he seemed to want to get rid of her yet... not believing it.  Why would he want her to leave him alone?  There\'d been no explanations, no chance for her to ask questions, not even a real kiss, yet his tone implied that he wanted her to leave.

"Uh... I... the p-palace," she stammered with a frown, her hands wringing together before her.  "I w-work there, with Hew, a few days a week. I - but are you saying you want me to leave you alone?" she interrupted herself, tilting her head and looking anxiously at her husband.  It had been implied, but she needed clarification of something like that.

Offline Kysis

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Re: The Long Road
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2010, 10:30:15 AM »
Though his words had not been angled directly at being left alone, at having Lam, specifically, leave, his body language paired with them must have given that impression.  That was not it.  Or was it?  He would not admit it, but he was tired from the long travel to the north, especially with a wound so fresh.  That wound might have healed already, had he not traveled as soon as he escaped Ottoman control.  He was here now, though.

Kysis shook his head, slowly.  His platinum blond hair fell in its usual chaotic halo, framing his tanned face.  He looked down.  Though now might have been a time to smile, in the past, how certain misunderstandings in the past had brought humor to them, he was unable to crack a smile.  He thought about it, but his will was not strong enough to break the icy facade of his face.  Even if he had broken into a smile, it probably would not have warmed him any.

"No, I..." Kysis took a deep breath, closing his eyes for a moment.  He looked away. "I did not want to delay you from any plans you might have already had."  The words were stiff, curt, unemotional.  He did care; showing it was an entirely different matter.

While he was in Ottoman custody, he could not show anything, lest they have leverage over him.

"I should have sent message of my return rather than..." Kysis finally looked back at Lam, letting his words trail off.  Rather than bursting back in, foreign, unwelcomed.  For all he knew, unwanted should be on the list as well.  He had been gone so long, supposedly dead, that he would not be surprised if... Kysis did not want to think about that.  Not at all.  Just the notion, barely formed in his head, made his heart clench painfully, an uncomfortable pit in his stomach.

No.  Everything looked to be in order still, as it was left, kept for his return.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: The Long Road
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2010, 11:46:35 PM »
"No plans are more important than you," she whispered, tears pricking her eyes as she stepped close to him and grasped his forearm firmly in her hands.

"I thought you were dead.  I\'ve mourned you for months and to have you returned to me... it\'s like a gift from Adora herself.  I can barely believe it\'s true; I need to see your wounds, to know how bad it is, so that I know where I can touch you to convince myself that you\'re real," she told him passionately, her gaze searching his beautiful blue orbs for some semblance of recognition in them, a spark of emotion, anything to tell her that he understood she was as nervous and dissonant as he.

The husband she\'d given up for dead walked back into her home just like that; yes, sending a message first might have staved off some of the shock, but even then she wouldn\'t have believed it until she\'d seen him with her own eyes.  They\'d as likely be in exactly the same position, regardless.

"Don\'t tell me you shouldn\'t have returned to me without warning," she begged him, leaning forward and pressing small kisses to the corner of his mouth (not quite game to kiss him properly), lifting them only to murmur her next words or move to a new spot of skin.  "It doesn\'t matter; what matters is that you\'re alive, you\'re safe and you\'re here.  This is the happiest day of my life!" she confessed, squashing the flutter of nervousness that wanted to beat at the inside of her ribcage much as Pandora had once done.

Offline Kysis

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Re: The Long Road
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2010, 09:27:19 AM »
Perhaps it was because of that fact that he knew he was alive the whole time that he was having trouble understanding Lam\'s point of view.  Perhaps it was because of the fact that he wanted, with all his heart, for Lam to have held on to a faint chance that he could have been alive, that he was having trouble finding the will to understand Lam\'s point of view.  Kysis was alive.  Not well, but he was alive, and that was the part that truly mattered.

The kisses on the edge of his mouth made that nervous tension knot up in his chest, as though his heart was clenched in a smithy\'s vice.  His platinum brows pulled in at first, frustrated creases forming between them.

Kysis turned his head.

The kiss he initiated was hard, needy, too urgent, driven by the fact that he had teetered dangerously over the precipice that was death and somehow made it back.  He moved his left hand up, a scar spattered thing, rough with callouses, and ran his palm up along Lam\'s jaw line, to the back of her neck, as though keeping her there.  This kiss was vastly different from the soft, tender kisses he had delivered upon leaving Oberon.

When he pulled back, it felt entirely too soon.  His breaths were short gasps.  He looked into Lam\'s eyes, searching them, almost desperately, for some sort of welcome feeling, and yet...

Perhaps he had seen too much.

Then again, a throbbing headache was sneaking up on him, pulsating in his temples.  He felt entirely too warm.  It was the wound, the exertion, the excitement of being home at last.  The flush on his cheeks was more from that than the kiss itself, though it did add to matters.

"I should..." Kysis pressed his right had gently to his armor, where the front end of the wound was.  He felt the material give, felt a small amount of liquid run down his hidden abdomen.  Kysis did not think it blood.  It was probably just sweat, accumulated in the bandage.  Either way, he needed to redress the wound before it could become something worse, like puss.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: The Long Road
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2010, 11:34:37 PM »
She met his kiss with equal intensity, relieved beyond belief to have a chance to clasp his head in her hands, to butt her mouth against his and let some of the pent up emotions out with action.  Her body quivered with the memory of him, even though she\'d never felt this much desperation from him in their time together.

He\'d always been the polite and tentative lover, chagrined by her forthright nature and obvious experience in the bedroom; now he was kissing her harder than she\'d ever been kissed and she relished it, fighting back with the love for him she\'d been forced to squash down and hide (for he was never coming back to receive it again, why wear it on her sleeve?).

Lam, too, felt the kiss ended too soon and she stared at him with wild green eyes, her tongue finding tender spots on her bruised lips and tasting blood for her efforts.  She let her hands drop when he moved away, looking at his armour unseeingly for a moment, before she recalled he was hurt and that he\'d mentioned redressing his wounds before he went upstairs.  It snapped her out of the place her mind had gone after that kiss and spurred her to action.

"Oh!  Get you undressed!  Right!" she exclaimed, leaning down to begin helping him get the armour off even as she kept speaking.  It was surreal, the way they could go from tense strangers to passionate lovers back to polite soldiers in the space of a few moments and she felt her mind spinning on an axis that was no longer centred, not at all steady.  It was enough to send her crazy, this sudden reappearance of her husband, and she was feeling more and more at a loss every moment.

"Do you have bandages or do you want me to get some?  Why don\'t we move to the dining room, so you can sit?" she suggested, weird images of them laying atop the table as soon as she found out how close she\'d come to losing him forever whirling into her head, only to be pushed away again.  The desire to reaffirm their relationship, that he was real and alive, was mounting with her, the need to couple with him coming from a far darker place than the love and curiosity that had originally driven her.

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Re: The Long Road
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2010, 02:09:15 PM »
Kysis tensed, out of reflex, when he felt a tug at his armor straps.  It sent a cold chill up his spine, small hairs at the back of his neck rising on end.  He could remember so vividly waking up to a dark room, lit by only a torch, an Ottoman guard roughly shucking him of his armor as though he was nothing more than a stalk of wheat, harvested and thrown aside.  The Ottomans were rough, uncaring, throwing him around without a care, so long as he stayed alive.  Somehow they managed to keep that balance between extreme cruelty, torture, punishment, and life, health, surviving.

When he managed to push those images from his haunted eyes, Kysis was struck by how odd it was, dealing with wounds out in the entry, a wide open space without privacy, without any real comfort, other than being out of the beating sun.

Thankfully, Lam suggested they move to where he could sit before he could do so; it surely would have come out more biting from his own lips.  There was still a question open, though.  Kysis did not move for the dining room yet.

"My bandages were in my saddlepack.  Knowing Atropos, Alex will not be back for a while." A slight tug of a wry smirk tugged at the corner of his lips, barely there.  The presence of such an amused, dark composure was entirely new about him, a new cynicism he did not possess before, as much of a pessimist he had been.  This was at a different level.

Rather than stating Lam should get bandages-- he felt his previous statement made that obvious-- he went for the dining room himself, sitting down at the head of the table.  His blue eyes fluttered shut, as though savoring the feeling of being in his proper place, of being home, for the first time, before quickly getting to work on his armor.

Kysis pulled off the armor over his torso, peeling it away slowly.  Bandages criss-crossed his abdomen, discolored from sweat and blood.  Kysis looked down at them, pursing his lips. He should have stopped outside Oberon and dealt with them, perhaps closer to Ravenshom even, but the allure of home had been too strong.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)