Title: Midnight meeting
Victoria Ophelia - July 22, 2010 06:19 PM (GMT)
Victoria always seemed to have a plan, it was part of who she was and she knew it would always be such. It had been easy for her to swipe a guard’s uniform from its proper place. Victoria had pinned up her hair and donned the uniform making a convincing yet skinny guard. She was thankful for the guard’s hat covered her and obscured her feminine features. Victoria has simply strolled out of the castle gates; she would have to worry little about getting caught at such a late hour. She just had to have enough confidence in her step as she left the gates. That had been easy enough.
Sneaking out had been easy. The other part of her plan was to find where Tristan lived. She knew she could have just asked Tristan but it has been easy enough to ask a messenger boy on the simple ruse that the country guard needed addresses for recruitment purposes. She was bit worried that she did not know the country well enough to find the home but she had knocked on a door and pretended to be the guard to get directions. The villager had been more then helpful and Victoria felt confident that the old man had not a clue to who she actually was.
Victoria had found the path easily enough to Tristan’s house. Victoria knew that she needed to see him for own sanity. She knew it might not be the appropriate time but there were little other times she could escape. She had not sent word for she was afraid that her mail was being monitored. She found his house sitting upon a small plot of land. It was nothing grand but instead it looked welcoming. Yet, her nerves set in but she moved her legs forward towards the steps and placed her hands upon the door before knocking. She was only nervous on what was on the other side of said door. Maybe he was not home, or maybe he had someone else over. She had put herself out there and that had to be worth something.
Tristan Alexander III - July 22, 2010 07:07 PM (GMT)
It had been a long day for Tristan at the Forge. Uncle Redding had been a bit angrier than usual, and really hard to deal with. Tristan was left in the front to take down the orders, and then sent to the back to finish up his work. It had been constant running back and forth all day long and by the end of the day, Tristan was just about ready to quit his job as a blacksmith and live as a hermit instead. He worked overtime, more overtime than he normally did, and had stayed at the forge many hours after Redding had left. When he realized how late it had gotten, though, Tristan left his work as it was and left the Forge.
It was dark as he walked back to his little cottage, and Tristan lit a single lamp as he entered the doors, and sighed. Home, sweet home. As long as Uncle Redding never showed up at the cottage to bother and boss him, Tristan would be just fine with how he treated him at the Forge. It wasn’t as if that behavior was constant. If it had been the norm, Tristan would have quit long ago. It was unacceptable. But he could deal with it for one day.
Tristan bathed quickly and pulled on some clean trousers before yawning his way toward his bed. After dousing the flame in his lamp, Tristan collapsed upon the bed—the nicest thing in the house for he refused to come home to sleep on a lumpy bed after a hard day’s work at the Forge. He could have at least one luxury.
He was asleep instantly.
Knocking upon the door interrupted Tristan’s slumber and he sat up in bed, wondering who it could be at such a late hour. If it was Uncle Redding there to complain about something he did, well he was about to lose an apprentice. Tristan sighed as he pulled on a loose tunic and lit his lamp once more. He moved into the front room—which served as his small kitchen and dining room. He set the lamp down on the table before unlatching the door and yanking the thing open.
Tristan squinted out into the darkness, and stepped a little to the side to let the light of his lamp illuminate the face belonging to the figure at his door. The appearance was that of once of the Royal Guard, and Tristan's heart began to pound in his chest. Why was the Royal Guard here in the middle of the night? He swallowed, but as he opened his mouth to speak, he squinted and found he recognized the freckled face beyond the guard's hat. A tuft of red hair poked from beneath the hat and relief washed over Tristan as he realized who exactly it was. "Victoria... I thought you were a guard... unless you've decided to take up a more useful career..." Tristan smiled, reaching out and taking her lightly by the elbow, leading her inside, "Come on inside..." He said, closing the door behind her.
Suddenly, Tristan felt self-conscious about his humble abode. The small kitchen was sparse, but clean, as Tristan hadn't much tolerance for clutter. A crudely fashioned table with two chairs sat in the corner, and through the door was his bedroom, and a washroom as well. And that was all. It was nothing at all compared to the large castle that Victoria lived in.
"What brings you out at this time?" Tristan asked with a smile that said he really didn't mind the company at all.
Victoria Ophelia - July 26, 2010 01:53 AM (GMT)
Tristan had taken her by the elbow and led her in before she could say much of anything. Victoria stopped taking off her cap and stood against the wall of the humble home. It was small but clean with little clutter. She could not help but be a bit jealous of how calming the environment was compared to the ornate and cluttered environment of the castle. It almost seemed more spacious here. Her green eyes scanned the small living area trying to gleam any bit of Tristan in it. There was little decoration and she could not help but wonder if it was because he did not feel like he belonged.
“More useful then the Princess’s Lady-in-Waiting? I am not sure that right not if there is a more useful career” she said with a slight smirk, there was jest in her voice but she was serious. She was the planner and without her, she doubted that the kingdom would not fall apart. She was the brains behind way too many ideas. Victoria was not ready to settle into that tonight. She rather relax tonight and be herself for once. “Though the county guard is about to be very useful” she finished.
“Weekly meeting” she said with a small shrug, “I hope I did not disturb you, it is just that is there are little other times then at night to sneak out of the castle” she replied. Victoria was not sure what her true intention really was in visiting here. It was not like the visits Gwen use to make to Emerson that were full of whisperings of love. Victoria was not quite sure if she would ever do that. Victoria was here because for some reason, she felt more like herself around Tristan. She did not have to wear a mask or pretend anything.
“I needed to be somewhere, where I do not have to pretend so much. I am tired of biting my tongue and having to worry about others’ problems” Victoria tried to explain. She was not quite sure if she was explaining herself well, and tried to grasp for any sense from the thoughts in her head and opened her mouth. “I can hardly fix myself and I am expected to fix everyone else” she ended.
“Gwen is not happy with her engagement, the Enchantress in not so many words has thrown the first rock and my mother is not happy with me” she finished not quite sure if she should be saying anything about what she knew. Yet, she trusted Tristan more then she had trusted anyone. It was only recently, that Gwen even knew what was really going on with Victoria. With a small smile, Victoria met Tristan’s golden eyes. “You do not expect anything from me.”
Tristan Alexander III - August 2, 2010 02:50 AM (GMT)
Tristan shifted uneasily from foot to foot as Victoria’s green eyes made a quick sweep of his living arrangements. It wasn’t that it was messy at all – for Tristan was hardly home long enough to make much of a mess at all. He swallowed and ran his hand through his hair. He hoped she wasn’t… embarrassed to be there with him. It wasn’t homey, and it wasn’t cozy, but it was… well, it was home no matter what. Home certainly wasn’t Whisperia. It never had been, and it never would be as far as Tristan was concerned.
“I guess I don’t know very much about Ladies-In-Waiting… is there much to know?” Tristan asked by way of small talk, for it was slightly awkward to have a visitor at midnight, although her company certainly was not unwelcome. He would welcome her shining face at any time of the day or night! He wondered if it would be unwelcome for him to say so to her… they did say a weekly meeting. Perhaps that meant they would only be able to see each other under the cover of the darkness… and frankly, Tristan didn’t care. There was something about Victoria that made Tristan… well he felt … happy, for once.
Victoria didn’t need to elaborate on the statement about the country guard. Tristan was well aware of the stress between the two countries. He knew of the rumors and he knew most of them to be quite true, for his parents’ letters were detailed enough to announce it to anyone who even glanced at the letter. Tristan knew there was reason behind this – for if any were found, then he would be booted from the Kingdom, lickity-split! Devious, evil people, they were…
A kind smile came upon Tristan’s lips as he listened to Victoria. Oh how he wished he didn’t have to pretend… that he could be himself proudly and not worry about not making eye contact with the people of Estellasia. He understood Victoria… it was strange to have someone who was so like you… and yet, he wished she were not. He wished she did not know suffering the way she did – the way he did.
“The only thing I expect from you,” Tristan said with a smile, “is to be yourself around me, and I’ll do the same for you.” He glanced out of the window as he spoke, just to make sure nobody was going from house to house yet looking for a missing Lady-in-Waiting. “I am tired of lying to people and I am sure you enjoy any chance you can take your mask off, too.”
Tristan bit his own tongue, for what he wished to say was, I can fix you. However, he knew of her insecurities and was not entirely sure how she would react. While he felt like he knew her better than he actually did, he did not know how she felt about him. He did not want to overstep his boundaries and scare her off when they could be so good for each other.
There was that moment when the two locked eyes and Tristan couldn’t help but to smile at her at that very moment. He could hold her gaze… he could get lost in those green eyes of hers… and yet for her comfort he looked away and instead noticed her guard uniform once more. “If you’re uncomfortable in that, you could borrow a tunic of mine…” He pointed toward his clean stack on the chair inside the door to his bedroom. “I could make some tea while you put it on… if you drink tea, that is…”
Victoria Ophelia - August 2, 2010 05:09 AM (GMT)
“Typically, there is not much to being a Lady-in-Waiting, you are really there to be a companion” she replied simply to Tristan’s question. Victoria paused in her speech, trying to find the right words for her role at the castle. She did not merely feel like a companion, she knew too much and did too much. She wanted to tell Tristan more but was not quite sure how to bring up what was going on with the Princess and Emerson. She bit her lip letting the wheels turn in her head.
“I do not want to elevate myself but I have become more of an advisor to Gwen than a mere companion. We have more of a sister type relationship. Gwen has not been very happy as of late. Prince Simon is a bit of stuck up jerk” Victoria explained as best as she could. Gwen and Victoria shared quite a bit but Gwen knew very little of Victoria’s history. Gwen had only found out recently about the long standing feud between the Queen and the Countess. Gwen had no idea how Victoria was merely a pawn in the Countess’s scheme.
Victoria allowed her focus to return to Tristan and away from the outside stress of the world. Victoria could not help but match Tristan’s smile as he spoke so earnestly. It was so surprising how his thoughts and his words could be her own. The more he spoke, the more it felt like the mask had been lifted from her face. She knew that the goofy smile upon her face was perhaps the first smile she had truly smiled in quite a long time.
Her green eyes met his golden ones briefly before he looked away. It was funny for she felt none of the nerves she typically felt around men. The nerves she were feeling were something different. It felt like she had butterflies in her stomach. Every descriptor that Gwen had every used to describe what she felt for Emerson seemed to come rushing to the forefront of her brain. Victoria could only ponder if perhaps she was falling for Tristan. Victoria knew she could not fall of him. She could not fall for anyone. Victoria was not meant to fall in love or live happily ever after. Victoria had resolved to sacrifice her life for the betterment of the kingdom and its people.
“Thank you” she responded, “Tea would be quite nice.” Victoria had not been necessarily uncomfortable in the guard uniform until Tristan had said something. She knew if anyone was looking for her, a guard uniform might be a giveaway. She moved to his bedroom and the shut the door behind her. Victoria was modest. She removed the uniform, folding it and placing upon the chair. Victoria quickly realized how vulnerable she was at moment. She took a few deep breaths and adjusted her dagger. By putting on his tunic, Victoria knew that this night was not going to short one. Slipping the tunic over corset and underclothing, Victoria was showing that she trusted Tristan. She could only hope that her scars did not show through.
She stepped back into the clean living area and hoped that a blush had not engulfed her. This might be the least amount of clothes she had worn ever. She was not uncomfortable, Tristan’s tunic felt like a second skin. She just did not want to give an improper impression. She sat in one of the chairs at the table in the corner.
“I do believe your home is the perfect size ” she stated not quite sure how to begin the conversation again. “I despised growing up in big manor. I always felt like I could disappear and no one would care. What was your childhood home like?” she asked.
Tristan Alexander III - August 2, 2010 04:52 PM (GMT)
“More than a companion, I see.” Tristan nodded, listening as Victoria spoke. Of course, he was of Noble blood as well. He knew the basics, but things were different here than they were in Whisperia. Completely different. The Ladies in Waiting in Whisperia weren’t merely companions, either. They were vixens. They were slinky, slithering serpents, and the leader of the brood was the Enchantress’ favorite, Beatrix Saint-Clair. Just the thought of the powdered piranha made Tristan shiver and he was eager to take his mind off of the entire Kingdom of Whisperia.
Tristan nodded again as Victoria went to change into one of his tunics. He went to the small stove and lit the fire within before pouring some water into the dingy kettle there. While the water heated up, he brought out a tin of tea and peered inside. He frowned. He’d need to go get more tea soon. Tristan wasn’t fond of going to the market, and only went when he desperately needed to. He lived off of very little and made the best of his wages. Occasionally he was invited to eat over at Uncle Redding’s, and that seemed to be the only time he really got a well-rounded meal.
His thoughts were deterred as Victoria entered once more into the room. He glanced over at her, and felt warmth in the depths of his stomach as he saw her wearing his tunic. He swallowed, making sure he didn’t stare as he looked away once more, taking two ceramic cups from the cupboard just as the kettle began to whistle. Quickly he removed the kettle and poured the boiling water over the tea leaves in the cups. “Do you take sugar in yours? I’m afraid I don’t have any milk just now as… well it’s midnight.” He smiled. The milk delivery had not yet been made.
When Victoria made mention of the size of Tristan’s home, he felt the heat rising along the back of his neck and he rubbed it subconsciously before carrying the two cups of tea over to the table, placing one before Victoria. He then took his own seat in the only other chair there, across from Victoria, his kind, golden eyes searching out her green ones. She wasn’t just saying it to be polite, it seemed. She meant her words. She was not faking for him.
He smiled. He couldn’t help but to smile around her. “Thank you.” Tristan said earnestly. He took a sip of his tea as Victoria asked about his childhood home, and he set his cup down, thinking for a moment. “It’s a bit complicated to talk about… see, I was born in Whisperia… I don’t remember that house, because we moved before I had turned three. Our home in Estellasia…” Tristan frowned, trying to remember the details, “It was larger than this, but not by much. It didn’t last long. When I was seven, we moved back to Whisperia… I suppose you can’t quite separate what is a big part of you…” Tristan smiled bitterly, shaking his head. “Then, our manor was one of the largest in Whisperia. Very dark and ornate… I left when I was sixteen, and I’ve been here since.”
He lifted his eyes once more to her and smiled slightly, though it was more of a sad smile. “It’s funny, I’ve gone all this time without a friend to speak of… and now, you… it just seems an unlikely match, don’t you think?” He took another sip of his tea before continuing, “Not that I am complaining. I’m quite grateful for our… friendship.” His golden eyes looked down at the tea leaves in the cup, swirling them around gently. “Do you know much of the country of Whisperia? Of the people – I suppose technically they are my people, though I would rather not claim them…”
Victoria Ophelia - August 3, 2010 01:07 AM (GMT)
“I take my tea without anything actually ” Victoria responded, she was not one to indulge in extras. Tristan took the seat across from her and Victoria could not help but feel like this beginning to be a true sort of friendship. Victoria listened carefully as Tristan described his childhood and she could not help but want to question more. She did was not quite sure how deep to dig. The more he shared, the more she would have to share. Victoria did not know how much she could share without breaking down completely. She had built her walls so long ago; Victoria did not know how she would be after they crumbled.
“Not that unlikely, you might have more royalty in your blood line than I do in mine” she spoke up, “If a small divergence in fate had played out differently, you could be the royal having to sneak out. I could be a seamstress or perhaps a book store owner. Maybe if you had stayed a Duke, I would have met you when you were trying to court the Princess” she continued a slight smirk upon her face. Victoria would agree that perhaps it was an odd friendship. The only odd part about it all was that it seemed as if the two of them were cut from the same clothe.
“This friendship, almost seems too good to be true and perhaps that is the most unlikely part of it all ” Victoria finished taking a sip of tea and letting the silence creep in briefly before Tristan asked how much Victoria knew about Whisperia. Victoria bit her lip not quite sure how to phrase all she knew or why she knew so much.
“I know it is a dark place where people are selfish. They tend to look out for themselves and not for the greater of humanity. You are not the first person I have met from there” she began nervously adjusting the oversized tunic. Victoria knew that the scars from the whip did cross the top of her shoulders and all her gowns were cut to hide it. Victoria paused before deciding to share a bit about her mother.
“My mother deals with a few people from Whisperia, she believes that I do not know of these interactions but I have caught her once” Victoria stated simply not sure how to expand once more, “She has adopted their attitude quite easily” she finished.
Tristan Alexander III - August 3, 2010 03:34 PM (GMT)
Tristan laughed as Victoria made mention of the possibility of him courting the Princess, had he remained a Duke. The prospect was quite funny to him and he shook his head, his eyes twinkling with the mirth he felt only when he was with Victoria. “Oh, no, I don’t think so…” Tristan said, laughter still in his voice, “The Princess really is not my type.” He laughed again, for it felt good to feel so happy and it was an odd thing that he honestly did not find himself laughing quite enough during his days. He grinned over at Victoria, for he was sure she felt the same way. At least he hoped that she did.
“Unlikely because I would never have expected to find friendship in someone who worked so closely with the Queen… it’s quite a risk for me, you know… especially with war on the horizon.” Tristan’s smile faltered, for he was not too fond of thinking that war could come to Estellasia, but he was not so naïve that he would rule it out completely. He knew the opposing side and he knew the lengths they would go to. After all, he was one of them by birth, but definitely not by choice.
Her words of Whisperia were true. The people there were selfish. They thought only of themselves and did not do anything that they did not find to be beneficial to themselves. If it did not further their status in the world, they would not do it. They were worldly, focusing on riches and possessions. They were carnal, forgetting completely about the emotional attraction to a person as opposed to a physical desire that they needed to fulfill in order to go about their day. They were animals. Beasts. Monsters.
And Tristan, if he were to allow himself, he would be just like them, for it wasn’t just that they chose to be that way… they were made that way. There was something that each and every one of them possessed that made them that way, and it was a constant battle for Tristan to keep that part of himself hidden away.
“The legend goes that long ago a Dark Magick was released as a dark shadow over the lands of Whisperia after a turbulent uprising… and the very Dark Magick had been cast among all living things in Whisperia so that the Magick itself seeped into their very veins…” Tristan’s voice was low as he spoke, focusing upon the wooden grain of the table, “Everyone alive at that time in Whisperia became affected and those directly affected …” He swallowed hard as he looked up at Victoria, “…that is where the goldenroden eyes have come from. Not everyone in Whisperia has these eyes. But my bloodline carries this trait, and every single person born into the Alexander family has a deep concentration of evil flowing through their veins.”
Tristan cleared his throat, offering Victoria a sad smile, “I have battled with myself all these years… beat myself into my own submission…” He cleared his throat, “But there’s still the threat of any offspring of mine to come out with my same blood… which is why I have fled Whisperia for the purity of Estellasia.” He hoped that his opening up would not push Victoria away from him, though, if it did, he would not blame her. He would run in the opposite direction if someone told him that evil coursed through their very veins. “I must always wear a mask.” He explained, his eyes pleading with her to understand, “For what lies beneath is very ugly indeed.”
Victoria Ophelia - August 3, 2010 08:23 PM (GMT)
“Princess Gwendolyn is everyone’s type; porcelain skin, bright blue eyes, and long flowing brunette hair. Plus if you marry her, you rule the kingdom” Victoria quipped enjoying the moment. Tristan laughter stirred up every good emotion within her but could not bring a giggle to her lips. She was not sure if she really knew how. “Most men consider it a pretty good deal” she shrugged.
Tristan soon came back to why they were unlikely pair. Victoria could not help but shake her head; she was only close to the Queen because she was a threat. The Countess was working with people to try to overthrown the current Queen. Victoria was quite certain that her mother was working with the Enchantress. Where was Victoria in all this? Victoria was to be part of the ruling of Estellasia when it came to pass. Victoria had not spoken up. Instead, she played the part of the inept spy for mother. She was too scared to run off and too afraid to stand up to her mother. She could easily turn her mother in for treason but instead she played dumb.
Victoria listened carefully to each word of Tristan’s, as he began to explain. Victoria was having a hard time believing him. People made their own decisions and no amount of Magick could change who someone was. Tristan was proving that he was his own person. He was here and not in Whisperia. He was not allowing himself to be part of any scheme. He was a much better person then she was. He had stood up to his family and had not allowed himself to manipulated by fear.
“You are not ugly” she stated softly. “Do you not realize that you chose the more difficult path and by doing that there is more good in you then there is evil? By simply fighting it you are proving you are not ugly” Victoria finished not quite sure if what she said made any difference. Victoria felt that perhaps if he understood how easy it was to fall into place and not refuse to go along with what was planned.
“I have not been as brave as you. The reason I am in the castle is to be a spy for my mother. She has these grand plans to overthrow the kingdom, and I am coward who won’t report her. She plans to try to place me in some position of power. She wants me to know all and learn any weakness that is within the kingdom. I have gained the trust of the Queen and the Princess so she can merely exploit it” she could feel the disgust with herself coming back. Tristan might be born with evil in blood line but he had fought it
“I just fall into place, you fought, and you would not let yourself be part of it all. I tried once and then simply gave up” she said with her voice breaking. Victoria’s self loathing was becoming apparent. Victoria worked hard to try to fend it off and do well so that she could feel better about herself. The truth, of which she truly is, a liar and a sneak, was still there.
“I am just a coward” Victoria could feel the tears threatening, “I just do not want to end up in the dungeon with those guards again.”
Tristan Alexander III - August 4, 2010 01:24 AM (GMT)
Tristan laughed once more as Victoria listed off attributes of the Princess that truly any fellow would feel the need to fall for. He shook his head at her and said with his usual brilliant smile, “I prefer freckles over porcelain any day.” He wondered if she would be put off by his obvious flirting, but he did not push it. He did feel like telling her he was more into redheads as well, and that green eyes were much more attractive than blue.
A frown crossed his features as Victoria spoke. He didn’t like hearing her put herself down like she did. Tristan leaned forward and reached out, taking her hand in his as she spoke. She was vulnerable, and Tristan wanted her to know that it was okay. He wanted her to know that she could open up to him. Tristan wanted her to know that she could trust him with anything – everything. He rubbed the pad of his thumb over the top of her hand, his expression gentle and understanding.
“It is so hard to do it alone.” Tristan murmured, knowing the difficulties he had faced on his own and not wishing that upon anyone, especially Victoria. “And it is never too late…” Of course, Tristan would never ask Victoria to do anything to place her life or her virtue in danger, for he did not know the lengths to which her mother would go to keep Victoria’s mouth shut. He did, however, want her to know that she was not alone. He knew she felt that way, that she was the only one who had to fight that battle – but she was wrong, because Tristan was there and he would not leave her side.
If only he could help her realize this.
Tristan squeezed her hand slightly and his voice was gentle as he spoke, “You do not have to fight it alone.” He leaned forward again, “I know you feel like the weight of the country is on your shoulders, but you should not do that to yourself. You’re allowed to think of yourself for once, you know…” Tristan didn’t want to seem too bold in what he was saying, so he stood from his chair and picked up his cup, taking it to the crude counter and placing it there beside the kettle.
“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be forward.” Tristan apologized, running a hand through his hair. “Just know that I’m here for you.” He finished simply, turning to face her, his eyes sweeping over her, sitting there at his table in his tunic. He smiled slightly, wishing it was something he was able to see often, for it brought warm feelings to him and he was sure he had never felt this way before.
Victoria Ophelia - August 5, 2010 01:30 AM (GMT)
Tristan had gently taken her hand into his. Victoria had not withdrawn. If anything she would have held his hand for much longer. His hands were rough and strong but they had brought comfort and not harshness. She had caught his comment earlier about preferring freckles and she could not help but feel a slight blush rise to her cheeks. Victoria just hoped he had not noticed. She was not use to compliments. Now, sitting as they were, it seemed that they were in a bit of romantic situation except perhaps that she felt a bit like crying. Maybe there was something more here but Victoria was not quite sure that she was ready for anything like that.
“You are not being forward, just truthful, just helpful” she tried to reassure Tristan as he left the table and her hand.“I would leave for myself but there is nowhere to run to that I could be happy. I am not happy with how the ruling class runs this country and I do not know any other place that runs differently” her voice was full of confidence again and the excitement that came when speaking about change.
“I take that back actually, I guess there is more you should know about me” she began lowering her voice. “There is a mortal here in the kingdom” she paused letting what she said set in. “Well, in his world the people have a bit more say in what happens in the country. If there could be a country where the people had a say in how everything was ruled, well I would want to go there. I will not be the one to go with him to leave this world and return to his” she trailed off not really explaining the situation. There was so much to explain and the details were so convoluted. Victoria was not sure if it was her place to reveal any secrets about Gwendolyn.
“Only the Princess and I know he is here and well now you. I really must make sure he is gone before the war begins” she stated hoping that Tristan understood how much she was telling him. She trusted him. Victoria looked to the window; it would soon be time for her to go not that she really wanted to. It was here in a simple tunic that was much too large for her and her red hair free from its normal plait that she felt the most like herself. She stood taking her cup with her to the sink.
“Let me clean, you have been too kind” she said standing beside him and she did so without many nerves. “I do not think your eyes are evil, I rather like them” she added though she had not meant to.
Tristan Alexander III - August 5, 2010 04:22 AM (GMT)
Golden eyes followed her every movement, taking in every bit of her appearance and liking what they saw. He listened attentively to her words, his eyes watching those lips… oh he felt his heart throbbing in his chest and the sudden desire to stop those lips with his own arose. It startled him for a moment, for he had never had such a desire before, even whilst in Whisperia where it was so very common to take a woman and throw her out. Tristan was different, by choice. Victoria was not an object… she was a woman and she was beautiful.
“Perhaps it’s not a place that will make you happy,” Tristan said, his voice soft as he gazed over at Victoria with the red hair and the green eyes. “but if you had a companion who could make you happy… perhaps it would be worth the break.” Of course he was referring to himself. What he wouldn’t give to run away with Victoria and never look back! What he wouldn’t give to run away with Victoria only for a little while! Either way, to run away with Victoria… to have her trust him so entirely as to be his companion at least for a moment in time…
Tristan’s thoughts were brought to a halt as the word “Mortal” passed over Victoria’s lips. That threw him for a loop and he blinked in an effort to realign his mind with what she was saying. A Mortal? But there hadn’t been Mortals in the enchanted lands for such a long time! The lands had been sealed off long ago to end the oppression that had been a result of two very different worlds clashing! And yet Victoria knew of a Mortal within Estellasia? He blinked again.
When Victoria said that the Mortal was a secret to all, save she and the Princess, Tristan swallowed. “Don’t be so sure…” He said solemnly, caution in his voice, “… The Enchantress has her spies… she has her informants, and I don’t mean just your mother. In fact, I am quite certain she has spies on me most days.” He glanced toward the window, though he was quite certain that this night was not one of the nights he was being watched. Usually he had that sneaking feeling. Tonight, he felt nothing but closeness, to Victoria.
Victoria joined him at the counter and Tristan turned toward her, so very close, probably closer than they had ever been before. She offered to clean and Tristan shook his head, smiling. “Cleaning can wait. I would have to go draw some water from the well anyway.” It was much too dark for him to stumble around looking for the well. He’d probably end up falling in! He didn’t mind waiting till dawn to go out for the water.
She complimented his eyes and Tristan smiled. “Thank you,” he said, and he took her openness as an opportunity to be open with her as well. He lifted a hand and with a finger beneath her chin, he lifted her face toward his. “And I believe you to be the most beautiful maiden I have ever laid eyes upon.” And before he could stop himself, he lowered his lips to hers and kissed her tenderly. When they parted, he smiled gently at her. “I rather like you.” Although he was quite certain what he felt was more than just fondness.
Victoria Ophelia - August 5, 2010 09:23 PM (GMT)
Victoria had not expected the kiss. She was not accustomed to compliments or a gentle touch. It was not that she had not wanted it but she had not thought about it. It was not something that was in realm of her world. She did not dislike it but she had no idea how to respond. Victoria had not fought it for sure and she thought she might have actually deepen it. As soon as it had ended, she took a step back and bit her still warm bottom lip. She was at a loss for words for once and a blush quickly engulfed her.
“You are too kind” she said almost groaning at the words. Victoria sighed leaning against the counter. “I am going to be very bad at this ” she said making a small motion between them. It seemed as if she was doing a lot of explaining. She knew this, whatever it was, was suppose to be romantic with sweet whispers and compliments but she was not exactly that type of girl. She was not princess Gwendolyn. She nervously adjusted the tunic. Victoria had not meant to lead him on or give the wrong impression. She had enjoyed the kiss, her first real kiss very much.
“I like you, I really do. Maybe I do need a companion rather then a place ” she stated a little too eagerly. She were to be truthful she more than liked him. “It is just; I do not know how to do this.Just after everything, I doubt I will ever be normal again” she trailed off not sure what direction she was going with her speech.
“I do not want to be jumping too far ahead but if we are going to try to do this. It will need to be slow and you are going to need to realize that my first instinct will be to run” she finished as she meant his eyes sheepishly. Victoria knew that she said too much but the whole night had been her saying too much.
“Spies watching you?” she asked her mind finally becoming clear from the kiss that just happened. “Maybe it was not best for me to come here or for use to meet here. It might not be good for either of us” [/COLOR] she said peering towards the window. This whatever it was could become dangerous for either of them if found out.
Tristan Alexander III - August 11, 2010 04:10 PM (GMT)
Tristan smiled gently down upon Victoria as a hand brushed through her hair, thinking about how beautiful and even innocent the blush upon her cheeks made her. He had never in a million years thought he would actually find someone within this Kingdom whom he could share his inner most secrets with, and who would share hers with him. The two were of the same vein in so many ways, and yet while Victoria was pure and good on the inside, only forced into her mother’s mold, Tristan was not so pure on the inside. When he said it was a daily struggle, a constant battle, he meant it.
If only Victoria knew the things he was avoiding by being in Estellasia. The women his parents had prepared for him, courtesans. The duties required of him, lying and murderous duties. Oh how his life would have been so much easier had he just stayed in Whisperia. Had he only allowed his impulses to rule his life, he would have everything.
And yet here, with Victoria, a kiss fresh upon his lips, Tristan did have everything. He had everything he had ever wanted. His golden eyes darkened for a moment, with such passion. He felt like kissing her again, but did not know if it was too soon. She was hesitant. She was uncomfortable. Perhaps with time she would grow accustomed to his touch…
“All I ask is for you to trust me… let me comfort you, heal you… help you…” Tristan said gently, his hand running through her soft red hair. He leaned down and kissed her softly upon the cheek. “I’ll never hurt you… please believe me when I say that.” He murmured, his golden eyes glancing down at her, wearing his tunic. “You are safe with me.”
It seemed it had taken a while for the spies to sink in and Victoria suddenly seemed aware and nervous. Tristan regretted instantly mentioning the spies, and took her hands in his. “We’re fine. They are nothing to worry about.” and truly, Tristan was not worried. The Enchantress was much too fond of him to anger him further. If anything happened that he could trace back to Whisperia, it was a certainty that he would never, ever return, although even now he had no plans. If anything, the Enchantress knowing of his fondness for Victoria could be something to protect Victoria. “The Enchantress merely wants to know what I am up to… as she still considers me her subject, and the Duke of Whisperia. They cannot touch me.” A slight bitterness was in his voice, for he hated that he was so protected by the Enchantress.
“You are safe with me.” Tristan said reassuringly. “Perhaps you have never had someone to protect you before… but I will do all that is in my power to protect you.” And truthfully, Tristan had a lot of power, or could have if he wished.
Victoria Ophelia - August 14, 2010 06:26 AM (GMT)
“I have always protected myself” Victoria stated but nearly grimaced at the statement. It sounded as if she was rebuffing Tristan. She did need him. She wanted him there for her. Victoria wanted everything he was offering and maybe more. She needed someone to believe in or something. Maybe a happily ever after is what she needed to believe in. Victoria was new to all these feelings. She was fighting the urge to run or to give herself completely to him. She knew which would be better for her.
“I need you” said simply, “I trust you, I believe you” she continued taking a step closer. Victoria slowly wrapped her arms around his neck and rested her head against his shoulder. She needed to hold on to him. Victoria knew that despite her strong exterior, she was completely broken and worn down. She had been running on empty for far too long. Victoria could feel her tears coming back. Victoria was crying far too much, most likely more she had ever had. She would not wipe them away this time. Victoria buried her face into his shoulder and let the tears make a spot on his tunic.
“I guess you can try to fix me” she said looking up at him, “As long as I can help you with whatever you need. I cannot have you give and I not return. We will never work out, whatever we are” Victoria explained. “I do not want to be selfish and I know I could use help” she finished.
Victoria was worried that maybe Tristan did not realize what he was
getting himself into. She had told him a lot except for maybe what had happened in the dungeons. She was not sure that she could really voice what had happened but she could try. ” she began her voice growing quiet.
[COLOR=white]“I was whipped repeatedly” she said, “It was often bareback and well” she tried to get her words to lodge from her throat but she could not. She gathered herself before saying, “They were not kind or even close to gentlemen”.
She did not want to go back to that place. It was hard to even think about the days spent trapped in a dungeon. The thoughts encompassed her as the silence engulfed the two. The only sound was the quiet cry coming from Victoria's lips.
Tristan Alexander III - August 14, 2010 12:27 PM (GMT)
Tristan knew that Victoria had always felt like she had to do everything for herself, but there came a time when you had to let someone else step in and carry the burden for you from time to time. Tristan wanted to be that person for Victoria. He wanted to make her life easier, more pleasant than it had been before. He wanted to be the one she ran to, the one she thought about, the one she dreamed about. “You don’t have to protect yourself alone anymore.” Tristan said gently, smiling down at the beautiful, broken girl whom he longed to fix.
A look of surprised flitted across Tristan’s face as Victoria stepped closer and wrapped her arms around his neck and then buried her face into his shoulder. It was a big step for her, and he knew she would not do so had she not meant her words when she said she did trust him, and did need him. In response, Tristan wrapped his own arms around her slender body in a comforting embrace. He could feel the ties of her corset beneath his tunic. He could feel her breath upon his collar bone. He lowered his head until his face was in her hair and he breathed in deeply, taking in the perfume of her hair.
It was intoxicating. Perhaps Victoria would never believe just how much power she had over him that very moment. Perhaps she would never fathom that she could have so much power over another human being, but at that moment, Tristan’s control was at her mercy. His palms felt sweaty and although certain impulses flashed upon his mind, he fought them off. He was there to comfort her. He was there to help her.
She began to speak and it helped keep his mind off of his desires for the time being. She spoke of the guards that she had referred to earlier, and mentioned how they had whipped her… bare-back… Tristan’s lips tightened and he swallowed. They had stripped her down to whip her? His body went rigid with rage as he let that sink in, but a moment later he took a breath and relaxed, gently rubbing Victoria’s back in a soothing manner.
Tears shone in her eyes as he looked down at her, and with the pad of his thumb he wiped them away. He suppressed what he wanted to say, how he would make the guards pay… how they would pay for their actions… how if anyone dared lay finger on her again he would see to it that they suffered… No, he could not say such things, not at this moment. Instead he said softly, “You deserve much better than that… you deserve love.” Tristan gazed down at her, his smile gentle. “You may be scarred, but you are not the only one.” His voice was so soft as he lowered his face, kissing her tenderly upon the cheek, tasting the salt that was in her tears. “And I will never hurt you.” He repeated once more, a hand coming up and moving a tress of red hair from her face, tucking it behind her ear.
Victoria Ophelia - August 14, 2010 10:02 PM (GMT)
Victoria could stay like this. His arms were full of strength but yet at this time the only use for them were to hold her while she tried to fall apart. She did not have much to say as Tristan rubbed her back. His hands were rough from blacksmithing. Victoria could think of no better help then a blacksmith to fix her. He had broken down her defenses and now it was time to rebuild herself. Victoria knew that now she had him, she would not want to go back to her old life. She would run away tonight if she could. Victoria would not be or could not be selfish. She needed to stay for Gwen and for the country. Victoria sighed letting her head rest where it fit almost naturally; it was if Tristan and she were part of one whole.
“I trust you” Victoria repeated again. “I know you will not hurt me” she stated, she trusted him more than anyone in her life. Victoria wished he would kiss her again. At that thought, she smiled to herself, why did she have to wish for him to do anything. She met his smile and slowly met his lips with her own. It was not the greatest kiss and it tasted a bit salty due to her tears. It lasted a few brief seconds but it was small steps. She broke the kiss taking a step back knowing that the night was coming to an end. The sun was coming up and in the daylight Victoria was much easier to identify.
“I have to go”she sighed removing the rest of the tears from her eyes. “I have to be in court early” she tried to explain. She moved to Tristan’s room and regretfully removed his tunic. She put on the guard uniform and pinned back her hair. She did not want to leave. She took one more look in the mirror mentally placing her hard exterior back on. She needed to be prepared for the day. She moved back to the room where Tristan was still standing.
“I will see you soon ,hopefully” she said with a smile and small kiss to his cheek. She left quickly knowing if she lingered, she would never leave. She arrived at the castle and it seemed to be on high alert but no one questioned her. She made it to her bedroom and quickly fell asleep. She could only dream of the wonderful man and the night that she had.