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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Colours Have Meanings?


Lavinya
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The bright morning sun bathed the garden in a warm rich light; flowers open and turned toward it’s offering of life displaying their vibrate colors those soft and bold in multitudes. He had heard others speak of the magnificence the gardens the Tower grounds held and though he had nothing to compare them with, he did not doubt those words. Much would be needed to match such beauty and grandeur as seemed the way here. Following the path through manicured grasses; cut to precise angles, their patterns forming subtle designs that seemed to match the mood each space presented. Corin reveled in the tranquility offered by the gardener’s hand.

 

Time away to think and to relax was always welcome and a rarity these days. It seemed the tower always had need of the few guards it still held; any free moments quickly snatched up in her clutches. So far today was looking to be the exception he needed. The roster near the Commanders office did not hold his name for the day and to ensure that did not change he had remained away from the yards. There was always tasks that seemed to materialize out of nothing and those were quickly assigned to the first live soul found that was not already tasked.

 

The whistle of a bird, royal blue with a bright red crest on its head, drew Corin’s attention to a tree of sorts. Lovingly trimmed and shaped, it’s soft pink peddles offering a sweet aroma to the breeze as it bobbed them lightly. Normally his visits here were held in a locked garden space free from observation. This time he was here to wander the garden and take in it’s splendor. With all the trips he had made along its paths in the past he had never really had the opportunity. With Sirayn conveniently tied to business outside the Tower he had no fear of that time being thwarted.

 

Trailing a finger along the edge of a raised fountain, the resulting ripples shattering the reflected image of clear blue sky; the white spires piercing it’s depths. His mind wandered to the stories of legends; of Aes Sedia and the people that protected them. So many images and fantasies had filled his head back then in the taverns of Bonnaville from the stories and tales he had heard. The reason for his presence at the tower, a wide-eyed boy full of desire for adventure. The yards had changed that; settled him, brought discipline to him. The Tower’s occupants had removed the fantasies replacing them with cold reality.

 

In all fairness he could not blame the Tower, not yet. Most of his experience and interaction with the tower had been with her; harsh reality seemed to follow. He really should get to know some of the others; so many different people following different Ajah philosophies. Together they formed a common force with a focus. Yet individually the Ajahs seemed as different as oil and water; though all he had to go on was what little he had read of them. Perhaps he should look more into that difference, if he was to ensure their safety he should know something about them. Knowledge was power, a lesson from her that had proven true far to many times for comfort.

 

A slight swish sounded behind him, startling him from his deep thoughts. The reflection in the water over his shoulder adding to the concern that raced through his being. How could he have not heard her approach?

 

 

OOC: So Corin's interested in meeting more people from the tower. Please feel free to join in.

_________________

Corin Danveer

White Tower Guard

Promised to Sirayn Sedai

 

 

 

Lavinya adjusted her gray fringed shawl absently as she strolled along a path which wound it's way through the garden. It had become a habit, checking to make sure the shawl was still there. After so long working towards it as novice and Accepted, not to mention her own Ajah initiation, she hardly dared to let it out of her sight. Besides which, most of the other Sisters still saw her as an Accepted. She wore the shawl as a constant reminder, lest she be called child. She shuddered. That was one name she hated to be called, grating on her nerves like few others.

 

The day had dawned bright and clear, and Lavinya had amazingly found herself with a free day, the gray sister who was keeping her under her wing being otherwise occupied for a change. A refreshing change. Lavinya sighed and inhaled deeply, the scents from the surrounding gardens mingling with one another and teasing the senses. She enjoyed spending time in the gardens, finding the atmosphere soothing and tranquil. Not to mention the perfect location for a romantic rendezvous...She coloured slightly at the path her thoughts were taking, grateful there was no one about to witness her lack of control.

 

Taking a turn in the path, she headed for her favourite fountain, where she enjoyed the solitude to sit and turn over her thoughts. She was slightly surprised to find someone else already at the edge of the ornate water feature, his back to Lavinya. A tower guard by the looks, or maybe a warder. Either way, Lavinya couldn't decide if she was put out for having her plans for solitude spoiled, or pleased at finding a distraction from her thoughts.

 

Still undecided, Lavinya quietly glided closer, her silver slashed red skirts swishing gently about her legs as she walked. She saw a glimpse of her fire red curls in the crystal clear water before the man hastily turned, apparantly startled. Lavinya was slightly amused by this. It was her understanding that little, if anything, could suprise or startle those trained in the warder's yards.

 

She fixed him with an assessing look, though a small smile played about her lips, and she again adjusted her shawl unconsciously. "It's not very often that a tower guard is found alone in the tower gardens." She said to him, her features smooth, except for the small smile. "Unless you are a warder?" Her dark eyes were enquiring. "I don't believe we have met." She raised a delicately arched brow and waited for him to respond before giving her own name.

_________________

Lavinya Morganen - Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah, Mentor to Elyna and Kilivia

 

 

 

Rising smoothly his eyes fell on red curls bobbing loosely as they cascaded over her shoulders. She stood slightly shorter; without the ageless look, yet still holding the air of supremacy that many Sedia seemed to have. Her continued adjustment of the gray fringed shall over her shoulders spoke of a recently raised sister. They seemed to be more possessive of the stature their shall granted them then the guard over their cloak.

 

Dropping smoothly into a bow be fitting her status, his hand twitched slightly as it tried to move to collect her's. But he forced it to remain at his side. In earlier times he would have collected her hand and placed a light kiss on it's back in greeting. But Sirayn had almost removed that habit with the raised brow and off hand words that usually followed. Instead he intoned in almost formal rhythm, "Good day Sedia, I am Corin Danveer of the Tower Guard." He rose from the bow to meet her deep brown eyes, a sparkle from the sun light off the water played at the corners of her eyes. The game had begun it seemed as her lifted brow returned to place seemingly accepting of his address.

 

Eyes were an item he studied carefully for many things could be learned from them. "I was just enjoying the peacefulness of the gardens here. The quietness can offer an escape from the pressures of duty if but for a moment to allow contemplation on things of interest." His tongue had run off with him again, and he berated himself mentally. She had talked to him on occasions about his need to talk and offer too much at times. One day he would learn but for now, what was out in the open was out. Motioning to the grounds around him "the gardener keeps a vary beautiful space would you not agree?" He inclined his head slightly. " I do believe however that you are correct. I am afraid I do not recall our meeting before. Would you honor me with your name Sedia?" old habits creeping in as his voice became light.

 

OOC: Thanx for stopping in. Nice to meet you, or soon to

_________________

Corin Danveer

White Tower Guard

Promised to Sirayn Sedai

 

 

 

Lavinya's lips twitched as Corin swept into a formal bow, introducing himself, but she kept the smile hidden. This man had obviously gained some refinement before becoming a Tower Guard, by his flowery speech. "I was just enjoying the peacefulness of the gardens here. The quietness can offer an escape from the pressures of duty if but for a moment to allow contemplation on things of interest." Very refined indeed. Lavinya nodded her agreement as he spoke, but remained silent. One could judge much from a person by how they handled silence.

 

"the gardener keeps a vary beautiful space would you not agree?" Lavinya allowed the small smile playing about her lips to reveal itself. Honour him with her name? How she did miss refined men. They were too few and far between these days, it seemed.

 

Lavinya inclined her head slightly, as fitting for a tower Guard, and an Aes Sedai. "My name is Lavinya Morganen, of the Gray Ajah." She moved to gracefully seat herself on the fountains edge. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Corin." She awarded him another smile, trailing a finger in the cool water beside her. "I too come to the gardens, when I need to clear my head, or sort out my thoughts. It is a most soothing environment." She pointed to the space beside her. "Please sit. I usually come to the gardens for the solitude, but I'm finding I would enjoy the company. Stay and chat with me." She smiled faintly, her voice lyrical. A habit, from what sometimes seemed a lifetime ago. The skills she had honed as a young, attractive Domani girl were sometimes hard to forget.

 

"Tell me Corin," she began conversationally, "what things of interest were you contemplating? That is, if I'm not intruding on your private thoughts, of course." She added.

 

 

OOC: no worries! nice to meet you too

_________________

Lavinya Morganen - Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah, Mentor to Elyna and Kilivia

 

 

 

The smile that finally set it’s self to her face briefly light it with a soft sense of play. She had an air about her that spoke of familiarity and comfort in off chance meetings. He inclined his head at her name and title in acknowledgement. The following smile and play at the fountains water lead him to believe she too was skilled in some of society’s games; an attempt to put him at easy perhaps. Though there really was no reason not to be. The day was beautiful, the sound of song birds intermittent in the air; a more welcome sound then that of steel and wood in constant dance as was found in the yard.

 

He met her invitation with a smile and another incline of his head as he took a seat next to her. It could be beneficial to meet someone from another Ajha. New perspectives and views could be found, all help balance one’s outlook on the many facets that life presents. Beside if nothing else a wonderful day was always best spent in the company of a lovely lady, even if she was a Sedai. “No no Lavinya Sedia, nothing too terrible personal really. Little remains personal in the guard. I was simple puzzling over some words of wisdom offered to me by one of the Grand Masters relating to disciplines. But it will keep for another time, not everything in the future can be predicted.â€

 

He turned to meet her gaze, “It is good that you too enjoy the gardens tranquility, far to many people seem too busy to stop and enjoy the Creators work. It seems a shame when we are here for such a relatively short time.†A smile lit his face as the realization hit him again, “well some of us I guess get to enjoy that time longer then most.†Her skin was smooth, accenting her heritage as a Domani; he almost laughed aloud as he remembered his last encounter with one of her upbringing. The thought of a Sedia carrying on in such away almost brought color to his cheeks but he chased the memories away before the heat in his face reddened his cheeks.

 

“If you don’t mind me asking Lavinya Sedia, have you had long to enjoy the gardens? From what I have been told of tower initiates, they are usually kept to busy to spend much time here, as are the trainee’s in the yard … for the most part anyway.â€

_________________

Corin Danveer

White Tower Guard

Promised to Sirayn Sedai

 

 

 

Lavinya laughed gently at Corin's reference to an Aes Sedai's life span. It was not something she thought of too often, the fact that she would out live most people. One more gift from the Creator. Lavinya watched his features as he spoke, a thought lighting his eyes with hidden amusement. She wished she had met him when she was younger, and more free to flirt and amuse herself openly. Corin had a pleasantness about him, which she would have enjoyed. She grew slightly wistful, remembering the days when she used her charms to attract male attention. They were good times, but something she did no longer, for several reasons. Flirting was definitely not fitting for an Aes Sedai, and besides which, she now saved her charms for private moments alone with Nuitari. Those times, at least, she could still enjoy making a man's blood boil.

 

It took a lot of self-control for Lavinya to keep her features smooth, thoughts of Nuitari always seemed to incite her to other, unlady-like thoughts. Corin thankfully spoke again, redirecting her thoughts back to the present.

 

“If you don’t mind me asking Lavinya Sedia, have you had long to enjoy the gardens? From what I have been told of tower initiates, they are usually kept to busy to spend much time here, as are the trainee’s in the yard … for the most part anyway.†She smiled ruefully. Life as a tower initiate was not the easiest, being taxing on both time and energy.

 

"Sadly I do not have many chances to enjoy the tranquility of the gardens as often as I would like. Life as a novice is far too hectic, and Accepted not much better. I foolishly believed that once I was raised a sister I would have a lot more time at my fingertips." She let out a soft chuckle. Now that she was raised, she was firmly tucked under Phaedra's wing, and that allowed very little time for herself. "I like to teach my students in the gardens, whenever possible. I believe the environment is very inducive to learning." Her gaze flicked back to Corin's. "Other than that, I take what opportunities I can to come here." She smiled warmly, leaving out the fact that most time spent in the gardens now were due to the many secret rendezvous she had with Nuitari, the gardens often being deserted. Lavinya was sure her cheeks flushed slightly this time. What would Corin think if he knew an Aes Sedai spent a lot of her free time romping with a warder? The thought was most bizarre and she couldn't help a smirk.

 

Smoothing her skirts in an attempt to mask the emotions that must have shown on her face, Lavinya once again adopted her Aes Sedai serenity. "I take it this is your first visit to the gardens here?" She enquired. "I understand life as a tower guard is also very busy...not to mention demanding." She grinned, her eyes twinkling with mischief. She knew some of her sisters could be very demanding on not only their warders, but the other guards sworn to protect them also. The amount of men she saw doing a Sedai's dirty work, such as heavy carrying, was proof enough. "What led you down the path to this life, Corin?" She turned to face him, features smooth once again, and intent with genuine curiosity. "I do not mean to pry, of course. I merely wonder. There are so many people who have started new lives in and around the White Tower, all from different walks of life. I am simply curious to learn your story." She gave him an encouraging nod and waited.

_________________

Lavinya Morganen - Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah, Mentor to Elyna and Kilivia

 

 

 

Her smile at his question seemed to hide a story, but as she did not offer it he felt it best left where it lay. Some stories were never meant for those outside the involved members. A promise to another coming to mind as one he himself would leave unspoken. A slight raise to the corner of his mouth as if almost a smirk at the though that passed as he listened to Lavinya.

 

It seemed indeed that the life of a Novice and Accepted had the same busy constraints leveled against them as the trainees in the yard. Though as both sides had shown, rules where there to be broken and time was always found when one deemed the need for the risk. Her chuckle at the ill-fated thought of free time indicated a relaxed presence around him and he made a mental note of that. It was refreshing to find a Sedia not wound up about something, or hovering over shoulder untrustingly. Her eyes met his again, but almost seemed distant for a moment; her smile warm as she continued. “"Other than that, I take what opportunities I can to come here." A slight shading of her cheeks, nothing really unless one was consciously looking again hinted at an unspoken story.

 

Perhaps she two had ensnared a wide eyed trainee from the yard who thought him self capable of matching wits with a Sedia. Memories of that night in the armory when he had cast out a net and though himself wise in the silk thin thread he had tied to one. Not noticing in the process the thigh thick ropes of steel she had intern tied him with. Images of their meetings here, learning, training, and reporting, all flashed randomly as he tried to read into her unspoken words.

 

Her hands in motion smoothing her skirts before the Sedia serenity took hold once more told him she definitely had something to tell; though in his position he would most likely never learn of it. But recorded the indications all the same. Should the one who held those ropes take an interest in her he would at least have a place to start. It brought a slight crease to his forehead at the though of having to once again do her dark work. He would do anything to ensure her safety, but she seemed to see him as little more then an errand boy it seemed.

 

"I take it this is your first visit to the gardens here? I understand life as a tower guard is also very busy...not to mention demanding." Her words help shake him back from his mental brooding and make him conscious of the slight crease in his forehead. His mind raced over his times here; too many to not have been seen by others. Especially the incident with that cold warder, his eyes flashed darkly for the span of a heart beat at the though of her before a soft smile grew on his face, eyes taking on a playful lightness. “Tis true Sedia Lavinya, a trainee’s life is indeed kept busy as well. But one can always find time to do things that might not always be looked upon at that time as proper.†He offered her a quick wink before he realized it then quickly went on. “Actually I have been in the gardens before. The tranquility helps with meditation in the early stages. It is not as important to meditation now but it’s still a nice place to do it.â€

 

Alarm bells in his head sounded at her questioning of his reason for the Tower and its service. Her look was genuine but the nod of permission at the end was Sedia through and through. He did not want to see yet more ropes tied to him and yet she seemed not the type. The glint off the great ring on her finger reminding him he sat in the company of Sedia. Sirayn’s training seemed to take over like instinct filtering his words. “Well, really like most of the wide eyed trainee’s that have come though that gate. Mine was to live the stories of the gleeman about Aes Sedia and their protectors. To see the world and its people; preserve the existence of peace and keep the Father of Lies from ever holding the world whole in his grasp.†He chuckled, though there was little warmth in it. It had the ring of pity threaded throughout it as he looked at a part of the garden wall; the training yard would be on the other side in that same direction. “Childish fantasies really. The yard has a way of correcting that.†The yard and the tower occupants that sought out and devour the trainees whole. He sent the cold thought away; cynicism, another gift of the Tower.

 

Mentally shaking the gloom, his eyes darted back to capture her’s again. There constant game of connecting and looking away was beginning to be somewhat amusing to him. Each time they met a smile seemed to grow on each face, it really was turning out to be one of the more relaxing conversations he had with an Aes Sedia to date. “If you don’t mind me asking, what brought you to the shawl of the gray? You have so many choices in the Tower, we have but two and they are difficult enough. To decide between seven would indeed be a taxing process I would imagine.â€

 

_________________

Corin Danveer

White Tower Guard

Promised to Sirayn Sedai

 

 

Lavinya smiled as Corin seemed to forget himself and give her a wink. She liked the fact that he seemed to be growing comfortable in her presence. Putting people at ease was a skill well practised, though she generally only ever had employed it on handsome men, preferring to give women the rougher side of her tongue and a cold shoulder. That was something Phaedra had been working on with her. She could never become a successful mediator if could not put all parties at ease first.

 

Corin's easy smile seem to stiffen, as he sought to answer her next question, and Lavinya was momentarily puzzled. Hadn't he just been perfectly at ease with her? His eyes flicked to her Great Serpent Ring, and she twisted her lips wryly, understanding suddenly coming to the fore. She was Aes Sedai. Any man would be a fool to allow himself to become to free in his manner, whilst in her presence, purely because of who she was. Corin gave her a sufficiently vague response, and she smiled, nodding her understanding, not only of the words spoken, but the hidden message of keeping his cards to his chest. It still saddened her somewhat, knowing that she was untrusted, purely because of her rank as Aes Sedai. Still, there was little that could be done about it, so she let the matter pass.

 

Corin caught her gaze once more and she smiled in return, as he seemed to relax once more. Perhaps it had been her question that had him on edge. “If you don’t mind me asking, what brought you to the shawl of the gray? You have so many choices in the Tower, we have but two and they are difficult enough. To decide between seven would indeed be a taxing process I would imagine.†She nodded agreement, and shifted her position on the bench slightly before answering.

 

"What brought me to the shawl of the Gray? Why hard work and determination." Her eyes glinted with humour as she deliberately misconstrued his meaning. "Some women find it difficult to choose and Ajah. I on the other hand, had made my decision quite early on in my training." She cleared her throat delicately as she paused. "I am a Domani, and before i came to the tower, I was raised to be a merchant. Along with this came several skills, with bartering, and sniffing out the truth. My father thought I had a natural talent for spotting a lying salesman." She smiled slightly at the memory, her eyes growing distant, before she brought her mind back to the present.

 

"It was simple really, deciding on the Gray, given the background I had in dealing with people. The Gray Ajah are known as mediators, striving to solve disputes, and find the solutions that leave each party with the best deal. Traditionally my dealings had left myself with the best possible deal, but it was not a big thing to change tactics slightly, and act as go-between." She turned to eye him once more, the small smile again playing about the corners of her mouth. She decided to neglect the point that she was also a skilled manipulator, when she employed her skills, and that the Gray Ajah had seemed to give her the best opportunities to use her talent. "Once I was decided on my Ajah, I worked, and was guided towards it. And hence, upon my raising, I was given this." She fingered the Gray-fringed shawl once more, remembering the moment it had been taken from her shoulders, and the trial which had ensued, before her ajah sisters had considered her worthy to wear it.

 

"But you are right, Corin. Some women find it a difficult choice." She straightened her shawl and fixed Corin with another easy smile. "So why is it you are a Tower Guard, and haven't been snapped up by a sister as her warder?" Her tone was playful, but her curiosity must have shone through her gaze. He seemed, on first meeting anyway, to be wonderful Warder material.

_________________

Lavinya Morganen - Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah, Mentor to Elyna and Kilivia

 

 

 

Listening with masked intensity he mentally recorded the general information she offered on the Grey’s. Nothing more really then what he had found in the library, but he had not really expected much beyond the basics. Confirmation of his research still offered comfort in his budding knowledge of the sisters and their colours. The soft playful smile that seemed to dance at the edge of her moth appeared once again and he wondered if she used all her Domani talents while bound to the tower. She certainly appeared to have a skill at it from the little she showed during this meeting. A definite asset to the tower, though assets still had a mind and purpose of their own. Again his mind tried to find the schemes and twists to her openness. How this place had changed him, how she had changed him.

 

As if the wheel itself knew his thoughts her question on his status left her playful lips and met his ears; even her posture seemed on the edge of curiosity. His eyes sweeping to the tower spires above briefly a hint of loss touching the every edge before he could harden them and bring his gaze to the wall across from them. “Hmmm, a simple question you ask. Yet in it’s telling lay words I can not speak of.†Images of their meeting that dark and stormy evening, the meetings and lessons held unnoticed. The closeness he treasured and was denied, the dark plan that lay deep and guarded inside. Turmoil turned inside at Lavinya’s simple question, but her training held on the outside as he kept the chaos from showing save for the initial glance to the tower. “A great deal of that lay in my recluse I would hazard a guess. Even though from your colonnades above you have the ability to watch all of us at work in the yard. I have spent a great deal of time away from Tower company beyond that of duty. A Green has been gracious enough to direct me toward some personal study that interested me. But really, beyond her and now my meeting with you. I have stayed relatively aloof; concentrating on my studies and improvement of my skills.

 

I had come to the tower with the belief that a Warder was the master of achievement, and indeed for some it may be. Perhaps even for my self one-day. Right now I hold a responsibility of enormous proportion. Where a warder is bound to the protection of the life he is bonded to. A guard is responsible to all the lives in the tower, including your own Sedia Lavinya; a task I hold deeply to. Perhaps one day someone will find favour and need of my talents and abilities and I in turn will find purpose in their need.†Mentally he completed the sentence with her name as his purpose. But to date she still seemed to distance her self from him. Perhaps she never would ask him, and he would have to find purpose in another. A difficult and long task he did not relish. “But I suppose for that to happen I will have to spend a little more time in the accompaniment of Sedia’s. Though if all are as ease to talk to and pleasant as you Lavinya Sedia then I shall wonder why a was not more inclined to meet them.â€

 

A glance to Lavinya had a relaxed smile growing on his face once more. She seemed so easy to talk to, she expected nothing of him and he held no requirement to her beyond duty. It was a refreshing change and he allowed himself to slip back in to the moment and block out the unrest in the back of his mind. “This place offers such wonderful escape from the great pressures the tower exacts on its inhabitants. The woods are another, though more time and preparation is needed for that. A nice ride out of town and into the country side or a hunt, though not everyone enjoys a hunt I suppose.†He nodded slightly to her with a grin on his face. “How about you Lavinya Sedia, do you enjoy riding? Or perhaps a hunt now and then?†the grin taking on a hint of mischievousness.

_________________

Corin Danveer

White Tower Guard

Promised to Sirayn Sedai

 

 

 

“Hmmm, a simple question you ask. Yet in it’s telling lay words I can not speak of.†Lavinya's curiosity was of course instantly aroused, as Corin shot a glance towards the white tower behind them, his gaze hardening somewhat. Curious indeed.

“A great deal of that lay in my recluse I would hazard a guess. Even though from your colonnades above you have the ability to watch all of us at work in the yard.

 

Lavinya smirked, remembering well her favoured study place as a novice and accepted. A certain window in the library offered a comprehensive view of the Warder's Yard, and she had spent many a spare hour there, enjoying the view. She still enjoyed it on occassion, when she knew her favourite would be training his pupils there.

 

"Perhaps one day someone will find favour and need of my talents and abilities and I in turn will find purpose in their need.†She smiled slightly. "I have no doubt you will serve someone well someday, Corin." His manner seemed to ease once more, a smile spreading across his features. " How about you Lavinya Sedai, do you enjoy riding? Or perhaps a hunt now and then?†Lavinya could not hold in the small, tinkling laugh that escaped her lips at Corin's comment, coupled with his mischievious grin.

 

"I certainly do enjoy riding, Corin. In fact I have my own mount in the stables. Perhaps we could enjoy a ride together sometime, when we both find ourselves with free time once more?" Her grin also took on a cheeky manner, her eyes glinting with hidden mirth. "As for the hunt...It always depends on what one is hunting. I do enjoy a good challenge, assuming the reward is worth the chase." She gave a throaty chuckle. "Though sometimes the thrill of the hunt itself is enough. Do you agree?" She raised a brow and watched him closely. So he had really only met herself, and a green sister? She wondered for a moment who it could be, but decided not to voice the question just yet. She too, could play her card sclose to her chest when the need arose.

_________________

Lavinya Morganen - Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah, Mentor to Elyna and Kilivia

 

 

 

The glint in her eye and the chuckle at her words of hunting gave Corin the sudden sensation of being a cornered mouse with her the Cat. Indeed, it would seem she does remember her native trait, something Corin was glad to recognise. It was said a Domani woman could tie you around her finger and have you eating from her hand before you even knew her name. Almost proof positive from his last meeting with one, a lesson he learned rather harshly.

 

Catching the raised eyebrow and some of the possible meanings to her question, Corin was glad she was not hunting today. Though if she where he may never truly realize it. "Yes the thrill of the hunt can indeed be more rewarding then the actual trophy in the end" He smiled wide and warmly as his mind pondered her skill with a bow compared to her charms as a women. The later being definitely deadly and accurate.

 

"I myself do not have a mount of my own. Perhaps in a year or two I will be able to purchase one. But for now my coin has gone elsewhere. Priorities are not always what you originally envisioned sometimes. But the Tower stock is very good and I enjoy the change from time to time. You really must grace me with your presence on a ride one day." He inclined his head to her at the request before offering lightly, "Something tells me you are not the same away from the Towers shadow." Indeed, there seemed much mischievousness in her. But then if she truly was recently raised as he suspected. Then the sisters would not have had the time to kill the lighthearted spirit in her yet.

 

He pondered for a moment whether serving a Sedia as part of his duties classified as meeting them in the context he had used earlier. But quickly dismissed it, it was not a lie he had offered, just Sedia truth really. Funny how quickly everyone around the Aes Sedia began to play at the same deck of cards. "So you where know for your skill at negotiations, I do believe I would not want to be on the other side of the table from you. Have you completed many negotiations since joining the Tower?" He tried to keep the eagerness from showing in his eyes as he waited to mentally record her answer. Knowing where you could find strengths you did not personally posses was a very valuable asset, and he added Sedia Lavinya's name to that mental list.

_________________

Corin Danveer

White Tower Guard

Promised to Sirayn Sedai

 

 

 

"Yes the thrill of the hunt can indeed be more rewarding then the actual trophy in the end" Lavinya awarded Corin with a winning smile as he seemed to detect her hidden meanings. Thrilling indeed.

 

She returned his nod, indicating she would enjoy his company for a ride some day. She found she was already enjoing his company. It was not every day she had the opportunity to converse with another such as he, with mischievious undercurrents that were not missed, but were rather matched. He seemed to be an intelligent man, his wits sharp. She enjoyed the light play between them, saying one thing and hinting at another. It had been far too long since she had enjoyed this kind of conversation.

 

"Something tells me you are not the same away from the Towers shadow." She gave him an amused look. Indeed, he was perceptive. "Since my first joining the White Tower as a novice, I was trained to think and act in a way that would emulate Aes Sedai. We were taught to be serene and calm, strong and confident." She spoke as her gaze turned to the White structure nearby. "Yet no amount of training can change a person completely." Her piercing gaze turned to Corin, though there was a twinkle in her eye. "I have adopted the outward calm that Aes Sedai wear like a cloak, yet inside I will always be the same fundamental person." Her cheek dimpled. She would always be the same fun loving, mischievious flirt she always was, though now she could hide her less appropriate talents, should she need to. She left the words unspoken, yet they hung in the air, and she had no doubt Corin would be able to at least guess at her thoughts.

 

Lavinya smoothed her skirts with one hand and tipped her face to the sun slightly. She found herself quite relxed in Corin's presence, both enjoying his conversation, and the ease with which they were relating. There seemed little need for pretense, though they both used it to some extent, though it more added an aura of mystery and unspoken challenge, than it did hide. Of course, things were hidden and left unspoken, yet in a manner which amused Lavinya greatly, as it left things to one's imagination.

 

She was brought out of her reverie when Corin spoke once more. "So you were known for your skill at negotiations, I do believe I would not want to be on the other side of the table from you. Have you completed many negotiations since joining the Tower?" She turned her eyes to his once more and chuckled throatily at the compliment. As a newly raised Gray Sister, she was still considered an apprentice. She was held firmly under the wing of Phaedra, until that time she was deemed ready. The restriction did chafe, yet Lavinya had endured so much to get to where she was, she could endure a little more.

 

"I have not as yet completed any official negotions on behalf of the white tower." She began. "In fact, I have not yet had opportunity to leave Tar Valon. But my talents have not gone to waste. I have found many occasions where my skills in negotiating have come in quite handy." Her smile turned slightly wolfish as she thought of the times she had used her skills. Not necessarily in brooking deals, but in employing her charms to reach a solution desirable to herself. Although in the situation with her lover, the result was desireable to them both.

 

Catching Corin's eye she rembered where she was and hurriedly halted her runaway thoughts, the slightest tinge of colour staining her cheeks. She tugged her shawl back into place and turned slightly on the bench, tucking one leg beneath her. She looked for all the world to be a woman relaxing and enjoying the sunshine, without a care in the world. Certainly not the most appropriate position for an Aes Sedai, lounging about in the gardens, yet in her mind her duties were a million miles away. She was a woman enjoying the company of a man. Nothing more, nothing less. "So tell me Corin," she said brightly, changing the focus from her red-tinged cheeks, "Have you had occassion to travel beyond The Tower Walls, in the service of the Tower? How I long to travel again." She smiled wryly. That would not be anytime soon, though her feet grew restless. She had dedicated much to the White Tower in her journey to be raised. The least she could receive in return was some adventure. Ahh, but that was a fanciful girl's thoughts. Still, she could listen to the stories of others, and imagine.

_________________

Lavinya Morganen - Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah, Mentor to Elyna and Kilivia

 

 

 

"I have adopted the outward calm that Aes Sedai wear like a cloak, yet inside I will always be the same fundamental person." The dimpling of her cheeks lifted her already twinkling eyes; painting her words in a light that he thought most definitely fit her heritage. It was very refreshing to talk to her and he thought that perhaps it was time that he thought about meeting other newly raised sisters. Still free at heart, not burdened down by the world and its problems that Aes Sedai felt they needed to own and correct.

 

He was finding Lavinya Sedai truly refreshing; though his mind and Sirayn’s training still worked in the background trying to fit her talents and traits to a need he might make use of if the time arrived. That was the way he had become, still so young yet already hardened in mind by the play of The Great Game around him. He had been introduced to it late in his life compared to most. But his teacher was one of the best and she had forged the game in him; making it a part of his life, a part he would never be able to set aside.

 

Her answer to his prodding question only increased his minds background sorting. Her skills, he was sure where well defined if not completely proven under the towers eyes. But should he need her assistance how could he play the correct cards to see her come to the purpose he may need. Her wolfish smile melted the thought, sending it back to the shadows to lurk as he turned his attention to the bright young lady in his presence. She definitely knew her trade well, “I have no doubt they have served you well,†he matched her grin.

 

As her eye caught his again he could not help but note the slightest of colouring blooming on her smooth cheeks. His own eyes darting away briefly as a vision of a possible cause flashed into his mind. She was a women after all; but she was also Aes Sedai, someone he was sworn to protect not to imagine in that light. Her shawl adjustment was right on queue as if she had read his mind; until she tucked her leg underneath appearing to be lounging in the sun. His smile returned as he took her lead and leaned back to drink in the sun.

 

“Outside the Tower,†his voice took on a relaxed, remembering inflection. It was his turn to wear the grin of a cat that had caught the mouse. “Indeed I have had the pleasure. Well I would not necessarily say it was all a pleasure. It certainly would have been better had the weather been more conducive to travel.†He shook his head slightly, “but when a Sedia wants to travel somewhere you go when they want whether it’s good weather or not.†He spared her a sheepish smile as he almost forgot her status. She was almost too easy to talk to if he was to slip like that. An older sister would have him under a full scowl no doubt; hoping to reduce the chance see might see a benefit in playing that part of a Sedai he quickly hurried on.

 

“Prior to the tower I had seen really nothing of the world save for my homes. That and the brief sights from on the boat to here. I have only had the one trip so far, but in that one trip I have seen more of the world then I ever would have I’m sure. That after all was one of the reasons I first joined, the thought of adventure and travel.†He swung his arm as if encompassing the horizon before them and then let it fall to his lap with a soft slap. “Now I wait on the next time my services might be needed to accompany a sister on her business outside the tower.†Attempting to steal a glance from the corner of his eye he added, “who knows, perhaps one day that person my be you.†He bowed slightly but could not keep the smile from his face. “That has been the extent of my travels thus far other then the trips to the surrounding area for our various training lessons.â€

 

Looking back to her he could not help but believe she would be one that spent little time around the tower once she was able to roam. But then the Tower never gave up its hold of those who called it home for long. “For the intern I will continue my training to perfect my skills while I watch the posting board for possible trips abroad.†Leaning forward on his knee’s slightly he looked over to see her one free foot swinging carefree and relaxed. “Though you have not traveled abroad a trip to the country I’m sure you would enjoy. When your duties permit it of course, and I would be happy to show you some of the surrounding area.â€

 

Looking around the garden once again his mind reminded him of her earlier words. “I myself have a trainee that I teach our trade to. But from what I understand, different sisters teach different parts of the overall knowledge that makes up your trade.†His eyes flicked once more to her’s; deep brown reflecting pools, hints of mischief still there. He could not imagine them with out that glint now. “If you do not mind indulging a young guard of his curiosity, what is it that you teach Lavinya?†His pause was the briefest of moments before he realized his mistake. “My apologies, Sedia Lavinya.†She made it too easy to forget who he was taking to, nothing like the other Sedai’s he had met. Well that was not true either; a vision of Dawn during their trip to Tear took hold before he could stop it. If he had not known her Aes Sedai before seeing her there he would never have guessed.

 

For a game player that was a dangerous and usually costly mistake. But what was done could not be undone. He was only too happy she had not been part of Sirayn’s little test he had undergone that night before departing.

_________________

Corin Danveer

White Tower Guard

Promised to Sirayn Sedai

 

 

 

“Outside the Tower, Indeed I have had the pleasure. Well I would not necessarily say it was all a pleasure. It certainly would have been better had the weather been more conducive to travel, but when a Sedia wants to travel somewhere you go when they want whether it’s good weather or not.†His smile was sheepish, but Lavinya merely chuckled lightly. No doubt Corin was forgetting himself, and she found she quite liked that. It showed he was able to see her as more than her shawl, something too rare these days.

 

Lavinya sighed wistfully at the thought of travel. She too, saw much of the world on her journey from Arad Doman to Tar Valon, but it seemed so long ago, and there was so much more she was yet wanting to see. “Now I wait on the next time my services might be needed to accompany a sister on her business outside the tower. Who knows, perhaps one day that person my be you.†Lavinya returned Corin's smile with a bright one of her own. Indeed, Corin would be pleasant company on a journey, if his protection was as good as his conversation. She decided to keep him in mind, should she have need of a guard.

 

Lavinya kicked her foot absently, letting it swing in a relaxed manner, truly feeling quite carefree. “Though you have not traveled abroad a trip to the country I’m sure you would enjoy. When your duties permit it of course, and I would be happy to show you some of the surrounding area.†Lavinya caught Corin's eye and grinned. "Indeed, I would enjoy that Corin. Perhaps when we go for a ride together, you could give me a tour?" She raised her brow, mirth dancing in her eyes.

 

“I myself have a trainee that I teach our trade to. But from what I understand, different sisters teach different parts of the overall knowledge that makes up your trade.†Lavinya could not help the path her thoughts took, thinking of all the womderful lessons she had to teach him. They certainly were not taught to novices or accepted, but she had taken great pleasure in teaching a man or two. Her eyes flicked over Corin's form from under her lashes, as she wondered what kind of student he would make. Interesting prospect indeed. She brought her eyes back to his, lest she start flushing again. She really had been too long in the tower, to be losing some of her valuable self control like this.

 

“If you do not mind indulging a young guard of his curiosity, what is it that you teach Lavinya?†Lavinya was hastily brought back to the present, her eyes widening slightly. “My apologies, Sedia Lavinya.†Lavinya smiled at him slowly. He really was becoming relaxed in her present, something which pleased her greatly. "Do not worry Corin. You may leave off the honourific. Unless of course, there are others nearby enough to hear you." She laughed lightly and gave him a reassuring grin. She took it as a compliment that Corin was so at ease with her. She'd found it easier in her experience to find necessary information, or even to achieve the goal she wanted, with honey and familiarity. Those always beat cold authority hands down. When dealing with men anyway, for the most part. A large amount of the novices and accepted in the tower had met with the harsher side of her tongue.

 

"I have two young apprentices, new novices, whom I mentor. Elyna, and Kilivia. Much of my time is spent teaching them. Aside from their individual classes, I teach Saidar to other novices, and a class about the White Tower, and it's relations with the rest of the world." She leant back on one arm slightly, her eyes glinting with mischief once more. "There are, of course, many things I could teach, which are not deemed appropriate for young ladies." She lowered her voice some and grinned, her voice laced with a tinge of promise.

 

Lavinya chuckles throatily, and tipped her face up to the sun. "Ah Corin, I have not felt this carefree in sometime." She admitted, watching him out of the corner of her eye with a smile. "I would really enjoy your company again." Lavinya spoke honestly. She was enjoying his company. "But now, tell me if you would, about your days as a young trainee. Where you taken to mischeif?" She giggled and sat forward, watching him intently. It seemed so long since she had felt free to laugh and enjoy herself, instead of being on her guard constantly, looking for meanings within meanings. There had been some things merely hinted at, but no verbal barbs, hidden in flowery speech.

 

Lavinya flicked her gaze back to Corin's, wondering what he was like as a fresh faced youth. She herself had had her fair share exploits, both before joining the tower, and as a novice. Light, even now she was having an illicit affair with someone elses warder. Somehow she thought mischief was something she would never grow out of.

_________________

Lavinya Morganen - Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah, Mentor to Elyna and Kilivia

 

 

 

Her reassuring grin at his slip and offer of bypassing her title while alone was a welcomed surprise and he returned her grin as she continued to put him completely at easy in her presence. To allow him to pass on her full title by right added yet another item to the running lists of pro’s for the newly raised sisters. Whether she new it or not she was making a strong case for others like her and he was determined now to meet others and see if they too measured up to this lovely vision he was sharing the midday’s sun with.

 

He listened to her explanation of the two novice’s she taught and the classes. Carefully his mind recorded the names under her’s in his mental book for later research and possible leverage. It happened so easily to him that he almost did not realize he had done it at first; thinking that perhaps he should. He had been advancing in that skill and now it showed even to himself how far he had come. A small smile tickling the edges of his mouth at the thought of the accomplishment; his attention quickly drawn back to her, eyes snapping up to meet her’s as her words and the unspoken possibilities they presented filled his mind blotting out his previous thoughts. Mischief danced in them and called to him as if she was trying to draw him in and allow him to slowly drowned in the sweetness of the twinkle dancing in their depths. He felt a slight dryness to his mouth, as the low softness of her voice seemed to give added life to the unspoken promises in her words.

 

He shifted slightly under her gaze before she chuckled low and richly; her head falling back allowing the sun to kiss the fullness of her soft smooth face. A glint highlighting the fullness of her lips as she mentioned her enjoyment of their time and his company. He tried unsuccessfully to pull his eyes from her face, feeling a slight warming to his cheeks he hoped was the sun and not a tell tale blush to hint at the thought that had raced across his mind before he was able to seize it and tuck it safely in to the back corners. Her question about his youth allowed him to finally break the stare that had begun to set to his face. taking the opportunity of her giggle to regain his composure to the more solid foundation he had started before she seemed to so easily melt it to a raw nothing.

 

His eyes watched the slow rhythmic movement of her foot as it swung carelessly, almost giving life to the red and silver skirt. A tip of grey fringe draped over the edge of the stone in which they sat. A small reminder of in who’s company he sat, yet it was a distant and small thought now; he knew care and caution but they seemed like a mist. All around him but he was unable to truly grasp and use them for a purpose. “I would not say I was taken to it Lavinya when compared to several of the incidents that happened during my time here as a trainee. Yet I was not exactly lacking in the … shall we say entertainment department.†Without thought his eyes sought out hers, old instincts and habits slipping in again as he offered her a warm smile. “It is amazing the things that seem to go on in that Ogre grove. You would think by now those in charge would have regular patrols there.†He offered her a slight wink, “But then again they were like us once too. Though they make it hard to believe they ever could be capable of feelings at times.†He tipped his head back in laughter at the thought of his own words. The carefree boy of his youth trying to find a way out into the world once more.

 

 

“I do believe Orion my old roommate actually wanted to give me a right proper thrashing that first day in the library. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make the whole time here as a trainee with him as a roommate after that day. He had just given me and another new guy a tour of the place that ended in the library. I apparently made a bit of an off handed remark about all the white dresses moving around here and the wonderful faces that floated above them.†A finger raised to tap at his lip thoughtfully for a moment before his hand fell lightly to pat her knee a couple of times as he continued his story. “Actually I believe my comment was more to the line of, beauty should not be wasted on chores when there is so much more you can do with them, like stealing a dance and perhaps a kiss. I thought the man was going to burst a blood vessel for a minute his face got so dark and red.†He drew his hand back to his middle as he doubled over in a small fit of laughter at the memory. It felt so good to just be the boy he use to know intimately. The sudden sensation of those disembodied eyes floating in the darkness brought most of his composure back as he steadied his breathing, leaning back on his arms once more. He had also slipped away from the yard when he was supposed to be training. Though in a way he was, only his lessons where not on the sword and military strategy. They had been on a different strategy and the bases of the new life and road he seemed to now be on.

 

With most of his composure back in place he glanced briefly to her face, noting the fullness of her lips before climbing back up to meet her eyes. “I have shared a tale with you Lavinya. It is only fair that you share a tale with me, I’m sure you can find at least one from your days as a novice.†Quietly he tried to guess how many men had fallen to this subtle, sultry woman before him while she was still yet a girl. Back home she would have had him so tightly wrapped around her finger he would not have known his own name. It seemed there had been a benefit to growing up on the farm and away from this kind of trouble. Yet even now as a man he was not entirely sure she was not in some strange fashion orchestrating his thoughts and moods. He had learned to be so careful, yet this one seemed to find cracks and holes that should not have been there.

_________________

Corin Danveer

White Tower Guard

Promised to Sirayn Sedai

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Lavinya could feel Corin's eyes on her as she spoke, smiling softly to herself as his cheeks flushed slightly. It was reviving to know she had not yet lost her knack, even when she was not particularly trying hard to gain Corin's interest. Indeed, there were some aspects of her nature that she could not even try to prevent. Besides which, she genuinely was warming to Corin, his relaxed manner, his peircing, intelligent gaze.

 

“I would not say I was taken to it Lavinya when compared to several of the incidents that happened during my time here as a trainee. Yet I was not exactly lacking in the … shall we say entertainment department.†Corin's eyes met hers, and Lavinya shared his warm smile, her mind whirling with the possibilities of just what he had gotten up to as a youth, trying to picture him then. “It is amazing the things that seem to go on in that Ogier grove. You would think by now those in charge would have regular patrols there.†Lavinya could not help but giggle. She herself had spent some little time in the grove, in the pursuit of entertainment.

 

“But then again they were like us once too. Though they make it hard to believe they ever could be capable of feelings at times.†Lavinya nodded her agreement, chuckling as Corwin tipped his head back and laughed, the smooth column of his throat catching her eye as his deep, rumbling laughter tumbled in her ears.

 

Lavinya listened interestedly to his tale, watching his mouth as the words tumbled forth, until her eyes were suddenly drawn to his hand, patting her knee in a familiar gesture. Her mouth curved into a slow smile, as she picked back up on what he was saying. “Actually I believe my comment was more to the line of, beauty should not be wasted on chores when there is so much more you can do with them, like stealing a dance and perhaps a kiss. I thought the man was going to burst a blood vessel for a minute his face got so dark and red.†Lavinya's own tinkling laughter joined Corin's. Why, she herself had had much the same opinion as a Novice, and and Accepted. Light, she still had the same idea now, though she knew how seriously some of the trainees and guards, not to mention warders, took the lives of Aes Sedai, and their initiates.

 

Lavinya's eyes roamed idly over Corwin, memorising his features, the flick of hair at his nape, the twinkle in his eyes, the way his mouth curved when he spoke. His mirth subsided somewhat, as he agains caught her gaze. “I have shared a tale with you Lavinya. It is only fair that you share a tale with me, I’m sure you can find at least one from your days as a novice.†Lavinya's cheek dimpled as her mind played back over some of the more colourful events of her life as a novice. She shifted her pose slightly, so that she now had her arm pressed against Corin, before she spoke.

 

"I have to admit I did get into my share of mischief as a novice, and also as an Accepted." Her voice was soft and filled with mirth, as she tilted her head a little closer to Corin. "We are taught, from day one, to emulate Aes Sedai...but I can only be who I am." She grinned and laughed lightly. "Needless to say I played pranks, and I must say I've paid my own visits to that infamous Ogier grove." She chuckled and caught Corin's eye once more, her tongue flicking out to moisten her lower lip before she continued.

 

"Though I must say my boldness only grew after becoming an Accepted." She smirked. "I found it quite amusing, on one occassion, to allow myself to be escorted by three young trainees into Tar Valon, and to a tavern, no less!" She chuckled again, tipping her head back as the images she recalled flashed through her mind. "The party seemed to gather people as they went, though of course, they were all male." She giggled, going back to that time, her laughter very much that of a mischeivious young girl. "I think I had the pleasure of dancing with half of my company, and kissing almost all of them, that day. Needless to say, I was punished quite harshly." She fixed Corin with a bright smile, feeling as carefree as she had that day.

 

"I had a bit of a penchant for pushing the boundaries, so to speak. We spent the afternoon daring one another, with the reward, inevitably, a kiss." She smirked, as her eyes were drawn to Corin's own lips, wondering just how many girls he had kissed in his time. Had he ever kissed an Aes Sedai? She blushed slightly at her thoughts. They were not appropriate, but then again, since when had she cared about propriety? Her voice took on a low, intimate tone. "Tell me more about your exploits, Corin." She smiled up at him. "I find I am quite intrigued by the picture of you as a youth, carefree and stirring trouble." She chuckled at the last. "It is a shame I did not chance to meet you earlier. Something tells me we may have shared some of our adventures." Her dimple flashed at him, and she stretched slightly, settiling back down close to his side, her foot still idly kicking. Her shawl was now only loosely caught through her elbows, all but forgotten.

 

Lavinya's expression became thoughtful. "I find it amazing how we can change so much, yet at the same time change so little." She looked at Corin out of the corner of her eye. "Myself, for example. Inside, I am the same mischievious, fun loving girl I was as a fresh-faced novice, yet at the same time, I have grown so much, that I am almost a million miles away from that girl I once knew." Her cheek dimpled some, and she lifted a hand as though to brush at some dust on Corin's arm. She caught his gaze, her eyes rich with unspoken promise. "Though there are some things that will never change." She grinned slowly, her eyes drinking in Corin's gaze. "Have you changed much Corin, or are you much the same man you were when you joined the tower?" She lifted a brow and waited for his response, finding herself hanging off his every word.

_________________

Lavinya Morganen - Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah, Mentor to Elyna and Kilivia

 

 

 

It took effort, but he maintained his composure though his eyes wanted to widen with the sudden sense of light pressure against him. She had shifted next to him and now he slowly felt the warmth of her presence ebb into him as she began her tale. His mind followed her tale as if in a fog, the words where there and he took most in, enough to follow the story. Yet this new change after the way she had already begun to muddle his mind only seemed to make concentration on the possible aspects of Daes Dae’mar even harder for him. His mind continuingly wanting to wander and stray to thoughts that he should not be associating to her. She was Aes Sedai; he was sworn to protect her not take advantage of her. Yet the logic of his oath seemed to slip through his fingers like water; mere remnants’ remaining on the surface.

 

He noted movement from the corner of his vision and looked back to find her head leaned closer to his own almost as if they where sharing quiet conversation in a busy room. Her eyes met his once again yet only for a brief moment as the movement of her tongue drew his attention once more to her lips, now with a sheen of moisture. He chuckled with her even as his curiosity heightened, his eyes taking the moment of her lapse to rover over her; noting each soft curve quickly. “and kissing almost all of them†His eyes made there own path once more to her lips; soft and inviting, they seemed almost to taunt him. Her smile, brilliant and warm, mirrored on his face as their game of meeting glances continued. Somewhere in the fog she had created in his mind he knew caution but could not bring it to reason.

 

A slight rose hue bloomed on her smooth cheeks serving only to enhance the shape of her eyes. Something had elicited the blush but he lost the question in the sparkle dancing in those deep brown pools; her voice played over him like ribbons of silk, deep in promise. He fought to find clarity; to remember …. Remember someone’s words and teachings. They had been important to him, were important to him. She was important to him, but he continued to slide; who’s teachings? He should remember her yet all he wanted was the vision in front of him. Something was wrong, yet it seemed so right. She had asked again about his youth filled days, adventures and exploits. Something in him wanted to tell her, to ramble on about everything from his past just to keep that smile so close. Offering a story about Savannah and another before he could find his tongue’s reigns.

 

Like a purpose filled lioness she stretched easily at his side, his eyes drinking in her form before feeling her closer to him. Her scent filled his nostrils; overwhelming his mind. Something about gray eyes, a distant thought, fought for his attention; the warning again. But her eyes were brown not gray, the confusion helped to lift the fog in his mind slightly as her dimple worked to pull him back in. His breath stilled in him briefly as her eyes held his in open unspoken promise; her hand at the corner of view hovering over his arm. His skin screamed for the soft touch her fingers would offer. But it was her eyes that commanded his attention and held him lost. She waited on him, the lift of a brow stated as much. In his youth he had never found it this hard to keep thought straight.

 

His hand collected her’s gently as he had done so many times in his youth, raising it to his lips to place a soft kiss. Her skin was soft and warm against his lips and her eyes spoke of more. Lowering her hand to her thigh he kept his light hold on it. Eyes intent he held her gaze this time rather then darting away. “Something’s never change Lavinya though I can not say I have not. I am not the same person I was when I arrived, the towers purpose and need has changed that; though there was another hand in play that ensured the change would be solidified.†His eyes slide lower to her smooth neck, the slight hollow at its base inviting him. “For some reason beyond my comprehension you have done something I thought impossible. The boy I though a part of my past and only memories has been re-awakened.†His eyes met hers again, the twinkle of the youth he had been dancing across in his emerald green. “Lavinya, you have brought back the boy I though forgotten and breathed new life into him. For that I am in your debt,†he winked slightly at her, his posture leaning closer toward her.

 

“I too wish we would have met earlier, I’m sure we would have had interesting memories of adventures during that time. Perhaps we will have to see what the future holds for a women still fired by the thoughts and desires of a mischievous girl. But it is good to know that girl has weathered the storms of the tower and survived, I would have mourned her lose; too many girls are lost to duty.†His mind raced with thoughts that battled with the ingrained sense of duty training had tried to instill in him. Protection fell to desire, desire fell to honor, honor to lust and lust dueled with gray eyes. Gray eyes that demanded perfection and discipline; they battled brown eyes that demanded nothing and somehow everything. She was so close to him, it would be so simple to lean forward and take what he sought. But it was wrong, somewhere deep a thin thread of resistance held strong and spoke of duty.

 

A bird’s soft song called out from a bush off to the left near one of the walls; his eyes drawn to it; head turning in its direction. “Do you ever wonder what story they sing, love or sorrow.†The words a whisper as his mind worked to find clarity. “A ride away from the shadow of the Tower will be a welcome change, but for now perhaps a walk?†Gaining flight the yellow breasted bird flew low over head carrying Corin’s eye back to the soft face of a women so close to him he could almost feel her breath on his cheek.

 

 

Corin Danveer

Tower Guard Promised to Sirayn Sedai

Lost to his thoughts, spellbound and confused

 

 

Aleanda strode to the gardens. A time of piece, quiteness and rest she had deserved. It had been a day full of little things. She had to help with the Eyes and Ears of the Whtie Ajah, she had this little report to finish and an appointment with a Sedai of the brown ajah weren't easy things. Lately Aleanda had slept worse. Things were on her mind, and these things kept her awake. It took Lea very long to fall asleep at night, untill she was that exhausted she couldn't think anymore and slept for an hour or two. But inspite of this lack of sleep she was walking fiercly and was still sharp of mind. Aleanda had never wanted to use the Power to fall asleep easier. Something you had not to do with the power, and one of the was falling asleep.

 

When Aleanda walked to the gardens she hoped it would be quiet there. She loved to walk between the plants and the animals. And all that lived in the Tower. Without being disturbed by anyone. Though sometimes Aleanda loved to walk in the gardens, meet someone there and have a good deepgoing conversation. Acctually Aleanda always liked a deep going conversation. But wasn't that one of the reasons she joined the White Ajah?

 

When the black haired White Sedai had reached the gardens she walked slower. It was quiet. A sigh of relief slipped Aleanda's mouth and for a small moment her emotion of relief, of thankfulness was shown on her face. For a little moment the emotion was shown before the cold looking face was back. It was always said that White Sister had no emotion. The White Sister knew better. They didn't show their emotion in public, but that didn't mean they hadn't any emotion. A silly thought.

 

A small distant away from where Aleanda was walking two people sat on a bench. Aleanda saw they had just been kissing. Aleanda watched the two sit for a moment. She felt something for brutally disturbing the two and then she would make sure that was the last kiss they had given eachother in the gardens for a while. But as Aleanda saw it was Lavinya Sedai, and a Tower Guard she thought to just leave them. Lavinya and she had gotten some classes together. They hadn't been raised long after eachother, and Aleanda kind of liked her. "A brief hello, then." Aleanda said to herself and walked in the direction of the two sitting on the bench.

 

"Hellow there," Aleanda nodded to both of them. "Are we having fun?" It was the same old cold emotionless voice. Though there was a little more tendernes in her thone than usual. There was even a very short and vague smile towards Lavinya. "I'm not disturbing, am I?" She asked. She asked both of them, but was looking at Lavinya for an answer. When the answer was postponed a little, Aleanda let her eyes slip of to the Tower Guard. The guard had short brown hair, and his eyes seemed to be brown, with a green shimmer in them. Patiently Aleanda waited for an answer while studying the guard and then again watching Lavinya again.

 

::Aleanda Antori

::Aes Sedai of the White Ajah

 

 

 

Lavinya could not keep her eyes away from Corin, as their gazes danced and met, the small smile that played about his inviting lips. She noted that Corin seemed just as enraptured with her, the slight lean of his body towards hers indicating he was as much caught in a spell as she. He captured her hand, lifting it to his lips, pressing a gentle kiss against the back. Lavinya's breth caught in her throat, watching his movements as though in a trance, lightly holding his hand against his lap, her thumb lightly stroking his palm, as though moving with a mind of it's own.

 

“Lavinya, you have brought back the boy I though forgotten and breathed new life into him. For that I am in your debt,â€she blinked, a slow smile spreading across her face, noting the bright sparkle in his eyes, the way he seemed to be invading her senses. She breathed deep, his scent, something essentially male, met her nostrils and stirred something deep within her, her pulse quickening as though he had caressed her.

 

Corin's words registered slowly through the mist she was finding herself in, and she smiled, a low, throaty chuckle escaping her. Indeed, the mischievious girl she was, and ever will be, was thrumming through her veins with a vengeance. Lavinya's eyes were ever drawn to Corin's mouth as he spoke, so close to hers. She need only tilt her face up slightly, and she would feel his lips upon her own. She breathed deeply, warring with herself. Everything in her was telling her to just reach out, yet something, perhaps common sense insisted on buzzing in her thoughts also.

 

The trill of a bird drew Corin's gaze away, and Lavinya drew a shaky breath, trying to order her senses. Instead, her gaze studied Corin's profile, his words once more washing over her in soft waves. “Do you ever wonder what story they sing, love or sorrow.†Lavinya smiled, wonderingly. She had never considered it before, but listening to the joyful sound, and taking in the serene surroundings, a handsome man by her side, she had no doubt. “A ride away from the shadow of the Tower will be a welcome change, but for now perhaps a walk?†Lavinya suddenly couldn't breath, as Corwin turned back to her. He was close, so very close, and everything within her urged her to bridge that short distance.

 

Lavinya licked her lip, her eyes on Corin's inviting lips. "I believe such a joyful sound could not possibly be singing of sorrow. I imagine the creature is singing the praises of his beloved." She smiled softly, her voice low as her face inched ever nearer to Corin, her breath playing over his lips. "A walk would be...lovely." A walk on the wild side, she added mentally as she brought her lips to Corin's, her eyes closing as she surrendered to the wild beating of her heart, throwing caution to the wind and she kissed the handsome, intriguing man at her side.

 

The grey-fringed shawl which had hung precariously from Lavinya's elbows fluttered to the ground unheeded, as Lavinya lifted her arm to circle Corin's neck, her lips moving hypnotically across his in a slow, sensual dance. Time raced by, or it slowed, Lavinya would not have noticed, so caught up in the embrace as she was. There was always something extra thrilling with a first kiss, the taste and scent of Corin, not to mention the sensations of his lips on hers, all served to heighten her senses, and draw her into a web of pleasure, where only she and Corin existed. Lavinya closed off her mind to rational thought, so that only pleasure remained.

 

Lavinya opened her eyes, admiring Corin's face so close to hers, a hand threaded through his hair. Something moved in the corner of her eye, and she pulled back from Corin reluctantly, her breath coming out in gasps and her cheeks flushed. She smiled at him, a feminine, satisfied smile, and cast her eyes to where she had seen the movement, as she tried to compose herself. Lavinya nodded in her direction, casting a rueful smile to Corin, hoping he would realise that was why she had stopped the kiss, not because she hadn't wanted to continue.

 

The sister rose from her bench and approached. Despite being irritated at the interruption, Lavinya gathered her dropped shawl, keeping her place on the bench close by Corin. She recognised the White Sister, Aleanda, and was grateful to see it was her, and not some other sister. Otherwise things would have been decidedly more uncomfortable. She had shared some classes with Lea as an Accepted, and actually had a liking for the woman. Their paths did not cross often, but in any normal circumstances she would be pleased to see her old friend. It was a shame she had taken the opportunity to meet her again now, when Lavinya would prefer to be otherwise occupied.

 

Aleanda nodded a greeting, which Lavinya returned. "Are we having fun?" Lavinya's eyes widened slightly, before she slipped back her mask of Aes Sedai serenity. So she definitely had seen. "I'm not disturbing, am I?" Lavinya twisted her lips and thought of how best to answer. Aleanda knew she was interrupting, yet at the same time, Lavinya had not exactly been acting as the role model Aes Sedai.

 

"We were, indeed having some fun." Lavinya purred, but offered Aleanda a bright smile. "But your company is always welcome." Lavinya belatedly realised her hand was resting on Corin's thigh. Without wanting to make it conspicuous she let it remain. Moving it now would only give her the appearance of guilt. "It is always a pleasure to speak with you, sister." Lavinya's smile was genuine, though memories of her recent kiss were threatening to jumble her thoughts and flush her cheeks. It was definitely something she wished to experience again.

 

"Corin, this is Aleanda Antori, Aes Sedai of the White Ajah," she motioned to Aleanda with her free hand. "Aleanda Sedai, this is Corin Danveer, of the Tower Guard." She passed her smile back over Corin, giving him a look, for him only, filled with hidden promise. "Please, come sit with us." She patted the bench beside her and waited for Aleanda to take her up on the offer, stealing small glances at Corin, wondering if he was feeling as distinctly put out as she was.

_________________

Lavinya Morganen - Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah, Mentor to Elyna and Kilivia

 

 

 

"We were, indeed having some fun." It didn't sound very friendly but the smile Lavinya gave made it up. "But your company is always welcome." Aleanda watched the Sedai. She saw where her hand rested, and watched it for a couple of seconds. This wasn't proper behaviour for a Sedai. Not while she was here in the public garden. Still Aleanda was integered by the love two people could have. But was this, what she saw here under her nose, love? "It is always a pleasure to speak with you, sister."

 

Aleanda now watched the Gaidin again. He seemed not really comfortable. Aleanda hoped for him it wasn't the compagny of her that made him uncomfortable. But she though it didn't. If he could kiss an Aes Sedai in the garden, why would he feel umcomfortable with the compagny of another Aes Sedai. Aleanda guessed it was just the fact that he was caught kissing. "Corin, this is Aleanda Antori, Aes Sedai of the White Ajah." Aleanda nodded to Corin. "Aleanda Sedai, this is Corin Danveer, of the Tower Guard." "It's a pleasure to meet you Corin Danveer, Tower Guard." Said Aleanda coldly. She was about to say that she would leave the two of them, and wish them a pleasurable afternoon, as long as it still rested, when Lavinya said "Please, come sit with us." The red curled Gray Sedai patted the bench and on that moment Aleanda decided to have some more pleasure by sitting with the two of them and have a converstion. As there weren't much things Aleanda wanted to do on this day she had plenty of time.

 

Aleanda sat down, and looked at the two. "What a lovely day it is today, don't you think?" Aleanda didn't wait for an answer. "The sun is shining bright and the plants look lovely. I love the gardens. It gives me some peace. Some rest. It's sad that I can't be here that much. Many tasks have to be done and these tasks don't leave time to wander around the gardens much. A sad thing. Becaus it is so beautiful here." Lea was now looking around the garden. She made gestured towards the birds and the plants while she was talking. "I'm sure you much think it is beautiful here as well. You weren't really watching the gardens while I, lets say, found you. But it isn't just a place you choose to, well, do what you did." Aleanda chose her words secure. There were times when she found it hard to keep her emotions under control. One of these moments, was now. She wanted to make a smile towards the two of them but she didn't. She was teasing them and she was sure they knew she was. Not really what Aes Sedai should do but Lea couldn't help it. She just had to. She had all said it with her cold White Ajah face, which made the whole scene acctually more funny. Though that wasn't really what Lavinya Sedai, and Corin Danveer thought.

 

::Aleanda Antori

::Aes Sedai

 

 

 

The feathery touch of her breath across his lips tried to banish reason from his mind. Something about, lovely, filtered to his ears in her melodious tones and then his breath was gone as her lips brushed his. Confusion teamed with need; struggling to over power reason and the scream of caution in his mind. He felt her arm encircle his neck drawing him closer into their embrace; emotions begging him to release logic and surrender to the sensations. He his mind struggled on trying desperately to gain control of a situation already to far gone. In the darkness of his closed eyes his scalp tingled with the touch of fingertips and the battle for control of his mind slipped further from his grasp. This was wrong, very wrong; but he could not find reason to support the thought as emotion trampled it under foot.

 

Cool air cascaded over him again and he open eyes thick with confusion searching for the sudden change. Her smile spoke of so much more, yet her eyes seemed to linger elsewhere before returning; composure beginning to take on the look of control again. A voice cool as if born from the argument in his mind seemed to take life behind him adding to the confusion. A strange itch between his shoulder blades demanded he turn, but he could not force his eyes to leave the vision of the woman next to him, his hand twitching slightly as if wanting to rise and touch his lips; memories of her’s still vivid. Only as Lavinya spoke, her attention behind him, did some clarity begin to awaken.

 

Turning he caught sight of another women, green penetrating eyes studied him from a face framed in long dark hair. As Lavinya introduced her with title Corin’s eyes widened in shock, quickly flicking to the serpent ring on her hand with prayers he would not find it. Color flushed his cheeks as his eyes met her gaze once more and then compounded as he noticed the look Lavinya offered him. His training, like a sun burning through moring’s first mist, reminded him of proper address and behavior. Starting to rise he realized the hand still warm against his thigh and he froze momentarily speechless and uncertain what to do. With no reaction from Lavinya he greeted the new sister as best he could from his seat close to the temptress who had him lost like a schoolboy with a crush. “Good day Aleanda Sedia, it is a pleasure,†thankfully bowing his head allowing the added stain of color to dissipate. Slowly he began to win his fight for control of his appearance; fighting the urge to raise his eyebrows as Lavinya offered Aleanda a seat with them.

 

He could see the looks Lavinya continued to steal, some with unspoken promises should they find them selves alone again. But with great effort Corin kept his face schooled now that he had regained control of it. Unlike Lavinya sitting between them, Corin was forced to face Aleanda whether he was looking at her or the other. Gratefully the White sister started in on the gardens and the atmosphere, her gaze and gestures taking her eyes off the two of them and Corin used the time to steal glances at Lavinya hoping to get her attention. Promises and smiles that where there but not played between them making the task of following Aleanda’s words harder.

 

Reality burst that bubble when she addressed how she had found them; he held control of his appearance by his fingertips, his mind shuffled through questions and options. “ Many tasks you say, that seems to be a common phrase among the White Ajah from what I have heard. Though I really know very little about them. Lavinya Sedia was just telling me a little about the Grey Ajah, most interesting indeed. I am trying to learn more about the people I will be called to protect; perhaps you could tell me a bit about the White?†Interest and intent began to twinkle at the edges of his eyes once more, though subconsciously his hand had moved to cover her own; the softness of her skin trying to pull at his focus.

 

 

Corin Danveer

Promised to Sirayn Sedia

Flustered TG

 

 

Some small part of Lavinya had hoped that Aleanda would refuse her invitation, but it was quashed as the White sister took her seat. Lea began talking about the beauty of the garden, and Lavinya found her gaze wandering back to Corin's, noting the glances he gave her with a small smile. His eyes seemed to speak volumes, and Lavinya found herself longing to be alone with him.

 

Lavinya's eyes widened as the meaninf of Aleanda's words crept through the befuddled mass that was passing as her brain, and she stiffened her spine somewhat. "You weren't really watching the gardens while I, lets say, found you." She may not have made a direct comment regarding hers and Corin's activities, but neither was the meaning veiled. Lavinya levelled her gaze on the sister, trying to determine if she was poking fun, or something else, but Aleanda's face was smooth. Was that a sparkle of mirth in her eye? Lavinya wasn't sure, but Corin found his voice, distracting her with the deep baritone, that seemed to rumble along her spine.

 

“ Many tasks you say, that seems to be a common phrase among the White Ajah from what I have heard. Though I really know very little about them. Lavinya Sedia was just telling me a little about the Grey Ajah, most interesting indeed. I am trying to learn more about the people I will be called to protect; perhaps you could tell me a bit about the White?†Lavinya turned her gaze back to Corin, awarding him with a warm smile, that Aleanda could not see. Indeed, there was much she could teach him, about this grey in particular.

 

Warmth radiated from Corin's gentle touch on her hand, and Lavinya's pulse skipped a beat, as she lightly twined her fingers with his, resting gently on his thigh. Corin's gaze was turned to Aleanda, but his gentle touch spoke volumes, and Lavinya found herself struggling to follow the words her White Sister spoke, as her mind became lost in it's own imaginings. Her eyes continued to flick over Corwin's profile, admiring the sparkle of his eyes, the masculine jut of his chin, the way his hair fell gently at his nape. She determined that this would not be their last meeting, as she had become utterly fascinated with the man currently holding her hand.

 

Lavinya turned her gaze back to Aleanda, not wanting to appear rude, as she did her best to take in the words, though she maintained the touch with Corin, as though unwanting, or unable, to dispell the enchanting fog that had surrounded them so thoroughly, until the arrival of Aleanda. In fact, Lavinya could not wait to have this dashing young man to herself again.

_________________

Lavinya Morganen - Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah, Mentor to Elyna and Kilivia

 

 

 

Aleanda sat on the bench asking herself how to reply to Corin's question. “Many tasks you say, that seems to be a common phrase among the White Ajah from what I have heard. Though I really know very little about them. Lavinya Sedia was just telling me a little about the Grey Ajah, most interesting indeed. I am trying to learn more about the people I will be called to protect; perhaps you could tell me a bit about the White?†Aleanda nodded; she gave herself some more time to think. She felt that the two were looking at her and waited for her response. "Many tasks, is something we all have in and among the tower. We all have many tasks these days. The White Ajah has always been a busy Ajah, and our purpose of finding the truth and the reason keeps us busy. But I know that the Gray Ajah, or the Green, or the Red have as much to do as the White.†She watched Corin and he seemed to accept that. Her cold voice didn't leave any other options than accepting it.

 

"About the White Ajah I can say that many think wrong about us." She stared into the garden. She always got to be a little upset when she thought of these prejudices about the White Ajah. Even among her own sisters from the other Ajahs there were only a few who really knew the White Ajah. She wondered if Lavinya would know what the White Ajah does. Aleanda actually hated the prejudices about all Ajahs. About the White Tower. Aleanda had always carefully paid attention when she had had the different Ajah classes. She has liked these classes. She had liked most of the classes, but that isn't of any matter now. She watched Lavinya and Corin both and rearranged her dress.

 

"The White Tower is an Ajah which is considered cold. Cold and emotionless. I think you perhaps think so too." She watched Corin first, then Lavinya. She gave a questioning look, but before either could answer she went on. "But tell me, how could one be without emotion? How could one be as cold as people think we are?" It were rhetorical questions; no one answered. "We grieve as much as you would, as any would do when someone we love die. Or even simpler, when we see the one who we love with someone else. Or when we hear there has been gossiped about us, we feel anger as well. As well as any other person on the world would do." Lea was sure it was weird to hear someone say things like this with a face like hers. Her face said nothing, and was, like always. "We Sisters of the White Ajah just think that there is no use in showing your feelings to others. It can only work against you. When people see you are angry, or sad, or disappointed they know that you are on a weak point. They only have to push you a little and you fall of the cliff." Aleanda caught herself on the fact that she was now nodding. She stopped it as soon as she realised she was doing it and went on with her argument.

 

“Our emotions are not shown in public, like I said. But among each other we, sisters of the White Ajah, share our emotions. Just because we can, and want to. It is just that there is no use in showing emotions in public.†Aleanda stopped again, and let out a small sigh. She always loved to hang out in the White Halls with her sisters. For a while there was silence. Aleanda started at the ground, thinking of her sisters and the White Hall. Lea didn’t see what the two who were seated next to her on the bench did. When she looked up and watched them, she saw they had been watching her. Or at least that was what the did when she looked up. Lea decided she had only one thing to add about the White Ajah still.

 

"We of the White Ajah have different things to do. We all like different things. Some of us are philosophers. Others are Writers. I know some of my sisters who love to teach the novices, and do so very often. But in general we are those that think about everything very much. We seek reasons, we seek truth.†This seemed fair to Aleanda. She thought this was what the White Ajah was, and if Corin, or Lavinya, would want to know any thing else they could ask. But Lea thought she now would have covered most of the White Ajah. Not too much about them and their secrets. But at least she had wiped away some of the prejudices about the Whites. Something she wished she wouldn’t have to do.

_________________

 

Aleanda Antori :: Aes Sedai

 

 

 

The warmth from Lavinya’s interlaced fingers ebbed through his hand, the sensation mixing with the occasional light scent of her hair and the flowers of the garden made the task of taking in Aleanda’s words hard. He had trained for physical battle; trained by a stern and mastered teacher at Daes Dae’mar to be able to focus through distraction and catch the simplest of crumbs. Crumbs that when put into sequence could lend truth to a lie, uncover a disguised plot, and render the speaker a puppet from the persuasive use of that knowledge. Trained and passed, perhaps even showed great potential though she would never admit to it out right. But here, in the garden away from the crowds and constant eyes he could not fight the spell of a simple enchantress.

 

Even the disembodies gray measuring eyes, a constant source of confusion and worry, seemed distant and vague under her simple presence. How could he fall so quickly from training and purpose to the lost dream state of mind he now worked in. As if Aleanda herself was sent from Sirayn to offer remembrance, “no use in showing your feelings to others,†her words like cold water rushed over him. A slight shiver escaped his control and played slightly through his arm and hand; eyes darting to Lavinya to gauge her thought of what surely she must have felt. But her head never turned as she continued to take in her sisters’ words. Relief, if brief, offered Corin a chance to set control over his mind once more noting how Aleanda remained focused on emotions with relation to the White.

 

His mind began to turn possibility and chance from the focus and determination Aleanda seemed to portray. Whether it was indeed and ajah belief or just a cover for a previous hurt Aleanda may have experienced. His mind had a puzzle to work and it feverishly began to play with the pieces, looking for ways to make a picture out of the tidbits he had collected.

 

His focused in turn became a double-edged sword, distraction breeding a less guarded stance to the infliction plaguing his control. He leaned forward slightly to address Aleanda, “But could it not be said that a void presentation of emotion in public is of it’s self an emotion?†Blank cool eyes regarded his question, a sudden sense of added heat along his arm from further contact with Lavinya stumbled his thoughts momentarily but he continued without a change to his expression. “If a purpose of the White is seeking reason and truth, would that not include emotion? Emotion is a driving force in everything in this world. Some have a better ability to mask and hide that emotion,†he bowed his head slightly at Aleanda. “But it is always there; its hand is in everything we do and decide on. Even a flower reacts with emotion to the weather and passing of the sun.â€

 

Somewhere in his words his freehand had moved to join his other already entwined hand with Lavinya; hands clasping her one between them, a thumb softly stroking the smooth skin of it’s back. “Even emotions as dangerous as anger and fury, desperation and despise all have places. I agree that control is a requirement, emotion in and only of it self will only lead to disaster, but to choke that emotion completely off is to accomplish the same result, wouldn’t you agree?â€

 

Had he been sitting this close to Lavinya before he had begun? What other indications had he offered to her without knowing; he could feel her eyes on him again. “Even emotions themselves have, in a way, emotions that twine to make them.†His voice took on a light pondering tone, “Anger usually has contempt, hurt, even sadness threaded throughout to make it complete. Loose one part and the whole changes intensity and purpose. Love ties affection, admiration,†his eyes flicked back to Lavinya’s, “even lust†the words rolled slightly slower off his tongue in round tones; a sparkle dancing in his eyes. They remained there only long enough for her to note and then returned to Aleanda.

 

 

Corin Danveer

Innocent Tower Guard

 

 

Lavinya tore her eyes away from Corin, feigning interest in Aleanda's speech, delivered in the cool voice adopted by most Whites, her features smooth and serene. Lea had changed some since her raising, Lavinya recalled quite well the accepted she had been, not nearly able to hide her emotions as well as she did now. "The White Tower is an Ajah which is considered cold. Cold and emotionless. I think you perhaps think so too." Lavinya kept her own features smooth and expressionless, lest she betray what she was thinking. The White Ajah was far too cold and calculated in her opinion, their logic and reason often tending towards the impractical. Of course, she wisely kept such opinions to herself.

 

The slightest of shivers reached Lavinya, where her fingers were still intimately laced with Corin's. She wondered at it's cause breifly, though she spared him from explaining his actions, her face turned towards Aleanda. She forced herself to focus on her sister's words, her self-control being tested with the force needed to school her features. There were times when it made sense to hide one's emotions, yet Lavinya had found that on occasion it worked in her favour to show blatant emotions, to mislead. There was something quite satisfying besting someone who believed they had you down because you quivered with rage, or appeared overwraught.

 

“But could it not be said that a void presentation of emotion in public is of it’s self an emotion?†Lavinya could not resist turning her head slightly to gaze at Corin, her arm resting along the length of his, once again appreciating his wit as he addressed Aleanda. Mirth danced in her eyes as she regarded him, his words measured and seemingly an innocent enquiry, though Lavinya did not miss the slight barb hidden amongst his earnest speech. Her eyes flicked down to her hand, still nestled in his hand, now covered with his second, his thumb lightly caressing the back of her hand, causing heat to once more flood her being, her eyes drawn back to his enticing lips. His palms were warm and slightly calloused, evidence of his rigorous training.

 

“Even emotions as dangerous as anger and fury, desperation and despise all have places. I agree that control is a requirement, emotion in and only of it self will only lead to disaster, but to choke that emotion completely off is to accomplish the same result, wouldn’t you agree?†Lavinya could not help but smile, Corin indeed was possessed with a sharp mind, something she admired greatly in a man. While she had no ill feelings towards the White sister, looking so composed on the bench by her, but she found it immensely humerous, witnessing the logical arguments of a White Sister be slowly picked apart by a curious Tower Guard.

 

“Anger usually has contempt, hurt, even sadness threaded throughout to make it complete. Loose one part and the whole changes intensity and purpose. Love ties affection, admiration, even lustâ€Could Aleanda notice the glint of mischief in his eyes, the silent promise veiled under the smooth timbre of his masculine voice? His eyes caught hers, and Lavinya felt her pulse beat rapidly, her breath caught for that one moment. No, there had been no mistaking that look in his eyes, the warmth of his body as it pressed lightly against her side, reaching her even through their clothing. Her shawl was once again sliding from the crook of her elbow, too distracted was she by Corin's presence that she barely managed to catch it before it fell to the earth. With a casual gesture she used her free hand to scoop up her shawl, placing it neatly on her lap, never losing the contact with Corin, reluctant to have to break her hand free from the warm confines now surrounding it.

 

"None of us are made of stone, Aleanda Sedai." Lavinya spoke up finally, her voice smooth and lyrical as she adressed the white, though she was consciously aware of Corin's eyes on her. "To me, it seems a trifle illogical for someone to completely mask their feelings, giving the illusion that they do not feel emotion, when it is widely aknowledged that all experience the same emotions at some time or another." Her eyes flicked back to Corin's as she echoed his previous words. "Even lust." Her fingernail lightly dragged down the inside of his palm, unseen to Aleanda, but she had no doubt that he noticed the caress.

 

A wicked humour danced in her eyes as she again addressed her fellow Aes Sedai, an infinitesimal shifting of her hips causing her thigh to press against Corin's in what was a deliberate gesture. "It strikes me as amusing, someone in the throes of lust, or some other emotion, acting for all the world as if they don't feel anything." Her lips twisted in a small smile, and she hoped Lea would not take her completely seriously. Lavinya was a woman of strong emotion and passions, and the concept of hiding them constantly was as foreign to her as...well, ignoring the presence of an excessively handsome man who was paying her attention. Her eyes were once more drawn back to Corin's, noticing with a smile the similar glint in his eyes, the slight added pressure of his hand. He was as deeply caught in the web of enchantment as she, barely even dimmed by the presence of another. Her tongue flicked from between her lips, moistening the fulness of her lower lip, tracing where previously pressure from Corin's delightful mouth had touched her in a searing kiss. Where it not for the company, Lavinya knew she would lean that short distance and place her mouth against his once more, though some propriety must be maintained, even if it was only for show.

 

Not for the first time, Lavinya silently cursed Lea's presence, forcing her to social niceties when she would much rather be learning more intimate details about the intriguing man at her side. Very intimate details. "Unless, of course, you are saying White's don't feel such strong emotions, such passions, as lust?" She raised a brow at Aleanda, her eyes teasing. Even proprieties had to be ignored at times. Lavinya was finding it increasingly difficult to not outright tease, or at least ignore the sister and turn back to Corin. Perhaps if she made Aleanda uncomfortable enough she would leave? Either way, the day grew more entertaining as it progressed.

 

 

Lavinya Morganen

Innocent Grey Sister

 

 

Aleanda thought. She thought about herself, about her Ajah and about the White Tower. The White Tower had been home for her for quite a long time now. Her parents, friends, and all relatives would be dead by now. Aleanda could cry for the fact that after she had left her village for the White Tower she had never seen them anymore. She could cry for it. But because she didn't, because she hid it, she was heartless.

 

Aleanda thought. She thought about the love she had felt for this person when she was Accepted. She didn't know it was love back then, because she had never felt it before, but now she was Aes Sedai and the feeling had died she knew it was love. Deep love. Never has she shown to someone she was in love. They hadn't kissed in public, they hadn't held hands in public and she hadn't even smiled at her in public. But the feeling was there. Deep inside her, but it was there. The good tickles in her stomach had gotten heavier every time she saw her. But she didn't show it. Was she really heartless?

 

Aleanda didn't want to tell Lavinya and Corin about this. But she had to tell them that she was not heartless, she just hid her emotion because there was no reason to show it in public. Aleanda knew this was going to get heavy, because people always showed emotion. But why? No reason. People always try to manipulate. People always are self centric. Even when they think they are not. All people want things for themselves and most of the time someone else was the victim. People were, are and will be that way. Dangerous thoughts it were, and that is why Aleanda never spoke them out loud.

 

Aleanda listened carefully to what Corin and, after Corin, Lavinya had to say about the White Ajah. Aleanda had known right from the beginning that they wouldn't accept it right away. It was too hard to accept. But it was true in Aleanda's eyes. She had faced many people who didn't accept the philosophy of the White Ajah. She had gotten questions about it, but these questions she just had gotten were... going a bit too far. Aleanda's cold eyes stared in the eyes of the Tower Guard. She could read joy. Only a little bit joy, but it was there. Aleanda wished it wasn't there. When she looked at Lavinya she saw different things. Aleanda knew that the woman would feel pleasure in sitting next to Corin. A handsome man, Aleanda had to admit. But Aleanda saw some irritation. The Gray Sister wanted Aleanda to leave, rather than to stay. Aleanda couldn't care. She wanted things to be clear. Clear as crystal.

 

"Your first question, Corin," Aleanda now watched Corin deep into the eyes. "Can only be answered if you divine emotion. An emotion is a feeling. What you feel, how you feel. Void presentation can't be an emotion. It's just, like you said, a presentation of your emotion. No I think you are wrong here to say that a void presentation is an emotion on itself. But if I would say that it is an emotion, I have to add that it would be the safest emotion there is. Anger, fury, love, thrust can all be attacked on moments you least expect them. But when you don't show emotion, have a void presentation, the person that attacks you on this can not know what or how you feel and felt, you have to admit Corin," Lea turned her head "And you Lavinya."

 

“If a purpose of the White is seeking reason and truth, would that not include emotion? Emotion is a driving force in everything in this world. Some have a better ability to mask and hide that emotion. But it is always there; its hand is in everything we do and decide on. Even a flower reacts with emotion to the weather and passing of the sun.†This was what Corin had said. Now Aleanda is rather a civilised person, who is quite keen on being polite and she is hardly rude. But after Corin had said this she could not keep herself from sighing. She was tired of telling people that White Ajah Sister did have emotion. They just didn't show it. Corin just had told Aleanda that he thought that they had no emotion. Aleanda repeated something from what Corin had said "'Would that not include emotion?' You ask. Of course includes seeking truth and reason emotion. Like you tell everything on this world has to do with emotion. You have never heard me say that was different. Also within the White Ajah people are driven by emotion. But as I told you several times, we only hide it. We have it, some of us more than others, in- and outside the White Tower, but we just hide it." Her voice had grown louder as Aleanda has said this. Louder and more severe. Novices and Accepted could better hide when that happened. Corin seemed not affected though. "Not everything is what it seems." Aleanda muttered to non in specific.

 

“Even emotions as dangerous as anger and fury, desperation and despise all have places. I agree that control is a requirement, emotion in and only of it self will only lead to disaster, but to choke that emotion completely off is to accomplish the same result, wouldn’t you agree?†Aleanda didn't know what she had to say upon this. “Like I said before Corin Danveer the Whites don’t choke off their emotions, they are hiding it for the outside world. It is a precaution, a safety issue. And besides no one has anything to do with my personal feelings. For me, feelings are as thoughts. They are mine, and only when I want, I show them. You have to understand that.†Aleanda hoped she made that clear to the Tower Guard. She was tired of arguing, but there were still things to be said.

 

“Corin, I’m really getting tired of this now, and normally I wouldn’t continue arguing with a Tower Guard about this. We White Sisters have emotion. Again you talk like we haven’t. By saying that emotions have emotions that twine them you are absolutely right. But did I ever say the opposite. No I didn’t.†Aleanda was a little irritated by they way Lavinya and Corin were still holding hands. Aleanda thought they perhaps were only hearing half what she said. Aleanda made her voice more stern when she was about to go into Lavinya’s contribution of this discussion.

 

â€None of us are made of stone, Aleanda Sedai. To me, it seems a trifle illogical for someone to completely mask their feelings, giving the illusion that they do not feel emotion, when it is widely acknowledged that all experience the same emotions at some time or another.â€The pauses between the things that Lavinya said made Aleanda grow angrier. Aleanda whished Lavinya wouldn’t say all these stupid things. “It strikes me as amusing, someone in the throes of lust, or some other emotion, acting for all the world as if they don't feel anything. Unless, of course, you are saying White's don't feel such strong emotions, such passions, as lust?"

 

“Of course none of us are made of stone. Of all people I have thought you would know Lavinya. We White hide emotion just for the sake of it. But we do have emotion!†Aleanda realised she had just shown her anger to Lavinya. She had been a good friend, and still would be, but this Aleanda couldn’t take. Of all people, she’d really thought Lavinya would understand the philosophy of the White Ajah. How could she think that Lea had no emotion? “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have let myself get out of control. I just want to say, Lavinya Sedai, that we Whites, as said many times before, do have emotions. Like other people we feel the same on some moments, but for each person it is different how his or her feelings react on the things that are happening.†Aleanda considered in less than a second whether or not she want to say it, but she did. “I’ve felt strong emotions, such as lust. I know how to hide them and what to do with them and I sure know how you should. Of course I am aware I’m looking at passion right now, when I look at you two people, and if you think I should leave you then say so.†Aleanda thought it was enough. And enough was enough. She wasn’t here to ruin two lovers’ party. She not watched the two. Her last sentences Aleanda had said in her normal voice. Still considered cold but a soft sun, shining on a weak flower, compared with her earlier stern voice.

 

Sweet Aleanda Antori,

Sister of the White Ajah

 

 

 

It was only a pale shade of emotion, anger and perhaps frustration, that showed through but it set the glint of mischief in his eyes like the facets of a cut diamond. The pattern of the game played out in his mind like intricate stain glass as possibilities and positions laid out his beginning strategy. He had wondered after her first meeting whether there was a chance he could work Sirayn’s new gift to a result. The sudden change, however brief, now indicated that he may just have found a crack in which to pry. If he could lead her, a member of the cool and emotionless white around in a circle and set her outside her realm of control. Perhaps it would earn praise and favor in his teacher’s eyes; demonstrate how well the teacher had trained the pupil. So strong was the desire to earn that praise that the cautious warning in the back of his head was lost to him.

 

By the time she had finished her statements, and there was no mistaking that they were indeed statements, she had regained her composure once more. But if the crack was there before then covering it over does not repair it. His enthrall with the intoxicating Domani at his side dimmed to a small flicker in the back of his mind as he stepped forth on a new purpose. With gentleness he eased his hands from hers sparing her a brief warm smile, the mischievous sparkle still playing across sharp green eyes focused on Aleanda; squeezed Lavinya’s knee before rising. There were a plethora of varying flowers in the garden; colors arrayed enough to make even a rainbow envious at of the gardeners touch. “So it is illogical to show emotion in public is your belief …†the words trailed off as if something had distracted him; the pause would work to his advantage if played right; a smile tickled the corners of his mouth as his back faced the two women. “Lack of emotion breeds the desire to make the façade crack; shatter like shards of glass spraying out from a delicate vase dropped on the cold emotionless white stone floor.†There was little subtly in the comment but his entire plan did not lay in subtleties. Words and carefully crafted sentences that leave room for more then one meaning are tools. The way your opponent interprets them allows you to glean insight into their thoughts. His teachers words mingled around his scheming thoughts as if to fortify them.

 

“Even a tower trainee learns, before achieving the Red of the guard, that life can not be spent in the isolation of the void. It is a necessary tool to aid in clarity and purpose; distract enemies and keep emotion from effecting key decisions. But we do not spend our day hiding in its seclusion. By doing so would only draw an enemy to use it as a weakness; to exploit that advantage. Emotion or lack of emotion, both are susceptible to attack and in the hands of a skilled player both are equally devastating weaknesses. But the key to seek is a welcome balance. Neither void of emotion nor overly accepting of it’s control; thus never closed off nor isolated. Denying your opponent a venue to attack nor wildly out of control to emotions whims and whishes.†His eyes swept the garden around them for any sign of watching eyes before they picked out the delicate bloom of a rose; wicked intrigue flashed through his mind, body already in motion to claim it.

 

The light breeze that moved through the garden in rhythmic waves brought the sweet mix of fragrant offerings from the surrounding flowers. It also brought the musical voice of Lavinya; words and phrases indiscernible but most assuredly directed to Aleanda. I could almost feel sorry for the white trapped between two parties out, so it seemed, to see her trip. One hand closed gently around an opening bud as the other moved toward it’s stem. The flash, light reflecting on sharpened steel, was barely noticeable as the dagger slipped from his sleeve to sever the stem; returning just as quick and smoothly. The rose came loose and he brought it up to drink in it’s fresh fragrance, and now we begin …. The thought was simple but it acted like a trigger, focusing his minds thoughts to the two fold purpose before him.

 

Spinning lightly on his heels he faced the two Aes Sedai on the fountain’s bench; as opposite as night and day at that moment. “Aleanda, you say that Whites have emotions and that my statements indicate otherwise. If that is indeed the impression you got I apologizes profusely.†He offered her a deep flourishing bow, but as he rose the sparkle still danced in his eyes. “I agree you do have emotions,†mirth touched his voice lightly, “you have already demonstrated that for us,†The edge of his mouth twitched as the corners tried to reach for his eyes in the grin that covered him on the inside. Perhaps this is the thrill Sirayn get’s from this little game she introduced me to. “Yet I disagree that by not showing emotion you, in away receive protection from attack.†He quickly shook his head before she could object, “yes I know those are not your exact words. I believe they where along the lines of … when you don’t show emotion the person that attacks you can not know how you feel. That is a false reliance that can only lead to failure and misery. Surely even a logical White such as your self would recognize the lack of displayed emotion a point to attack; to conquer.â€

 

A single finger was all he rose up in front of the White to stall her words once again; tightness round the eyes beginning to show her disproval. “Please, if you would be so polite as to allow me to finish my point. I would be happy to hear yours.†How much further can you go before return is impossible? He ignored the warning as he pressed further on in his quest. “Emotions when showed but kept in control become an ally; a weapon to confuse and misguide your opponent.†This was part of his studies and the path he had chosen in his quest for the Red cloak and further. He had spent much time in study and simple practice to help understand and grow in his chosen path. But this was by far the greatest challenge he had undertaken on his own. If he were successful perhaps it would help prove his worth and gain him acceptance. “By learning to embrace and control them you can greatly alter a persons perception and control. Offer them a weakness they believe they can exploit only to find themselves cornered.†He offered her a simple smile as he moved to stand between them but still addressing Aleanda.

 

He toyed with the rose in his hand as if studying it, “marvelous creation. I wonder if perhaps Domani women were first originally brought up under a roses promise?†His eyes yearned to glance at the two women; to read what he could from their expression but he fought it back as he continued. There would be time to check reaction, but he could not appear too eager. “The scent, soft and inviting, fills the garden space or room in which it is placed. Offering hints of adventure, comfort, even tranquility if you linger in its subtle tones. The petals, a velvety smooth tenderness, draw the eye and call to the watcher to feel their softness. Layers that hint of something sweet and forbidden within if you can only find the way to its center; it’s heart. Yet with all the delicateness, hard pointed thorns in with to dispatch those who are not careful; who do not trend with caution.†He pressed a thorn from the stem into his thumb and pulled it back; a ruby red droplet already blooming from the break in his skin. “For them only heartache; pain and discomfort become their soul mates as life is leached out of them.†His eyes flicked to read Lavinya’s face and back; head still bent low so Aleanda would not notice the quick exchange.

 

After a short pause, as if pondering something further, he moved to sit next to Lavinya again; the rose buds soft petals trailing across the bare skin of her arm as he did. It’s movement timed to his so that one could not say for sure whether by purpose or by accident. “By starting with out any emotion you set your self apart from the rest and make your self a target before others.†He brought the rose back up as if to smell it’s scent again. “Lookâ€, he indicated with his free hand; arm around Lavinya pointing toward the rose bush from over her shoulder. As Aleanda’s eyes cut toward the bush he brought the rose gently to Lavinya’s cheek; tracing it toward her chin. “See, even the rose bush weeps at its loss;†sap oozed from the end of the cut stem. As the bud’s velvety pedals swept slowly across her lips he blew lightly on the back of her neck and grinned at the brief shudder that raced through her. The rose returning to his lap as Aleanda turned back toward them. If her gaze before was cool, the eyes that met Corin now could now almost be considered cold fury. Placing a look of innocent curiosity on his face he added, as if addressed to no one, “You see why I am confused about the White Ajah. They are the Ajah of logic and yet seem so illogical in their thinking when it comes to emotions. Perhaps I just see things from a different understanding and perspective.†That mischievous twinkle flashed again in his eyes. “Perhaps you could shed more light and understanding on the topic?†The twist in the words would be unnoticeable to those who did not play at the game. “But as for your departure,†he shrugged lightly, “I do not wish to keep you from pressing issues you might have. I am enjoying our little … discussion.†The pause was only slight, but the last word caused the corner of his mouth to twitch as the grin once more tried to claim it’s rightful place.

 

Corin Danveer

Bold Tower Guard

Fledgling player of Daes Dae’mar

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“Of course none of us are made of stone. Of all people I have thought you would know Lavinya. We White hide emotion just for the sake of it. But we do have emotion!†Lavinya's features remained smooth and unchanged, yet she noted with an amount of amusement the undisguised anger in Aleanda Sedai. No doubt, a result of the combined efforts of her and Corin. Her eyes flicked to his profile, mulling over how good a team they made, when it came to tearing apart the White's arguments. Not for the first time she thought on which sister had taught him, something which he had vaguely mentioned earlier. Either way, it was none of her concern at present. She would find out should it become necessary, she had her ways.

 

“I’ve felt strong emotions, such as lust. I know how to hide them and what to do with them and I sure know how you should. Of course I am aware I’m looking at passion right now, when I look at you two people, and if you think I should leave you then say so.†Lavinya could think of nothing better than having her privacy once more with the handsome man at her side, yet of course, decorum refused to allow her to voice her opinion. She had no chance to reply anyway, when a slight squeezing of her knew drew her eye, before Corin rose, her skin suddenly cooling where only moments before it had been pressed intimately against his side. He was leaving her? She felt her own anger at the untimely intrusion rise as she waited for him to take her leave. If he thought he could leave things as they were, he was mistaken - Lavinya was not done with him yet.

 

Lavinya was vastly pleased when he didn't make his apologies, instead his words bespoke of an excitement in continuing the baited discussion, a glint in his eye belying his smooth features. He was enjoying himself. “Lack of emotion breeds the desire to make the façade crack; shatter like shards of glass spraying out from a delicate vase dropped on the cold emotionless white stone floor.†The illusion brought a hint of a smile to her features, while she was certain she saw a tightening at Aleanda's eyes. Neither of them had missed Corin's meaning.

 

Suddenly curious once more, Lavinya eyed the mysterious man standing before them. No doubt he considered himself a player of the Game of Houses, to feel free enough to debate with Sister's so. He was not an unaccomplished player, yet there was an ill hidden excitement about him, leading Lavinya to think that perhaps he was new to this art. She herself was not unversed in this game, and found she too was becoming drawn into the debate, noting with no little satisfaction how well Corin was doing to perturb the White Sister at her side. No doubt his teacher would be proud in their student.

 

Eyes remaining on Corin's back, Lavinya spoke up once more, the pleasure she was deriving from this play increasing. "Indeed, the notion that showing no emotion will render your enemies helpless is a flawed one. Control, is of course vital, yet it can be very disconcerting for an opponent to see an emotion in you he does not expect. For example, if someone where deliberately goading," her eyes slashed quickly to Aleanda and back to Corin's form, hiding the smile bubbling up inside her, "it would be expected to see anger or at least annoyance. A complete lack of emotion signifies misunderstanding. Yet to show amusement could give one the upper hand quite quickly, leaving the other wondering exactly what was going on in their mind." She toyed with the tassled shawl in her lap idly. "I have found that showing emotions leads to a world of interesting discoveries." She allowed the smile to form on her lips, looking up in time to see Corin pluck a blood red rose from it's stem.

 

Corin faced them once more, and Lavinya found herself eagerly waiting to see what his next move would be. “you have already demonstrated that for us,†Lavinya looked away quickly lest she laugh out loud, the glint in his eyes revealing his devilish intentions. The tenseness in Aleanda was almost tangible, Lavinya's eyes widening when Corin lifted a hand to silence the White before she spoke. He certainly had boldness, and Lavinya would not describe him a fool, yet he was playing with fire. Could he handle it? She certainly hoped he could.

 

He stepped closer, and Lavinya found her eyes trained on his hands, the way he delicately handed the bloom in his hand, caressing the bud as though a beautiful woman. Her heart suddenly quickened its pace, her thoughts once more leading to dangerous, yet extremely exciting, territory. “marvelous creation. I wonder if perhaps Domani women were first originally brought up under a roses promise?†Oh he used such beautiful words, once again spinning a web of enchantment that she was finding herself caught up in. What would it feel like if he stroked her skin in that way? Would his touch be as exciting as it promised? Try as she might, her colour was slowly increasing, Corin's words only exciting her further? Did he know the effect he was having on her? That the fact that Aleanda was witness was making his words all the more intoxitaing, for the forbidden fruit they offered. Something told her he was well aware. She would certainly have to turn the tables back on him.

 

Lavinya's eyes widened. No, she was not mistaken, Corin had trailed the petals of the rose gently along her arm, causing goosebumps to rise where it had touched her, the heady scent of the bloom mingled with Corin's musky male fragrance threatening to muddle her senses. Suddenly his arm was around her and she held herself still, not wanting to break the spell as the rose traced her features, her eyes fluttering in response. Her lips parted as her breathing quickened as it intimately touched her lips, as they in turn cried out to be kissed once more. His cool breath at her nape drew a shiver from her which she could not conceal, his effect on her growing too strong by far.

 

“I do not wish to keep you from pressing issues you might have. I am enjoying our little … discussion.†Lavinya's chest heaved from her ragged breathing, her eyes once more locked on Corin. Light, he was teasing her? He was seducing she, a Domani? She was used to pulling the shots, leading men on a string. Never before had she expected to have someone return the favour. Swallowing with some difficulty, she fought to regain her composure. Her eyes twinkled along with his, as she once more, obviously, placed her hand upon Corin's thigh.

 

"Of course sister, we do not want to keep you, yet you are more than welcome to stay." A wicked thought took her and Lavinya stood with the pretense of smoothing her skirts. Quite deliberately she stepped on her hem, causing her to stumble and land in Corin's lap, his hands reaching to steady her reflexively. Now this was a more interesting position to be seated in. "Dear me, why thankyou, Corin." Her voice purred as she took her time to right herself, relishing the warm touch of his hand at her waste. Slowly she slid herself off his lap, only to be pressed close beside him, from knee to hip, her hand once more finding it's way to his thigh. Idly she drew circles on the firm flesh, her gaze not meeting Aleanda or Corin, wondering who would be the more shocked. Propriety? Bah! Burn propriety!

 

Lavinya Sedai

Bolder Aes Sedai - "Mess with me, and you'll get burned!"

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  • 3 weeks later...

OOC: Took me a couple of days to write it, a couple of weeks to start writing it. But I don't think it will take that long for you to read ;) Enjoy!

 

IC:

Aleanda sat and listened to Corin's speech. While she listened, and she listened carefully, she stared to nothing in particularly. She just stared to the other side of the gardens. Her eyes told nothing, neither did her face. She nodded here and there to let Corin and Lavinya know that she was still listening and once when Aleanda wanted to interrupt Corin, because she just entirely disagreed with him, he asked her to finish before she would speak. Aleanda was patient and quite impressed by Corin. Not because what he told was so amazingly good, because actually it was nonsense in Lea's eyes, but she was impressed by how he was speaking. The choices of his words and the sentences created by those words. Aleanda’s eyes tightened a little when Corin talked about glass breaking on an emotionless floor. A white emotionless floor. The tightening of her eyes was hardly noticeable but still Lea thought Lavinya had seen it. Aleanda was still young compared with the other sisters. She had to learn a lot still, and keeping such little things as the tightening of her eyes under control was still difficult for her. Even though these ruthless words Aleanda kept quiet until she was sure Corin had finished. A lot annoyed by the speech, a little annoyed by the flirts Corin made, Aleanda thought about how she would start.

 

“Impressive Corin.†Aleanda looked at the rose Corin held in his hand. It moved away from Lavinya. Her cheek showed goose bumps. “I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself, and each other.†Aleanda said while her green eyes now looked into Corin’s eyes. “I don’t have any pressing issues at the moment but I thought you’d perhaps like some more time for yourselves. But as I’m welcome to stay, I think I’ll just do so for a little more.†A cold little brief smile appeared on Aleanda’s face. She would enjoy what she was about to say. She would enjoy to at least try, and possibly succeed in turning the Tower Guard down, and perhaps the Gray sister with him. It was foolish of her to support the Tower Guard in his argument, but as she requested she could get it. It wasn’t what Aleanda was used to do, but she couldn’t take it, that people talked about her Ajah like this. “I’m impressed by your speech. The sentences you produce are a clear sign of a player of the Game. A good player you are I have to say. You must have had a good teacher. Still I think you made some mistakes. The words you choose are a bit incorrect.†Aleanda folded her hands and let the pause a little too long so it became a little uncomfortable for her audience. “You’re again talking about a lack of emotion, and spending time in the void. As far as I know is what we do something different from what Tower Trainees do when they learn about the void. After you said these things, you started talking about my emotions, which I indeed showed to you a few minutes ago. I think that is quite illogical. First saying we don’t have emotions, and then saying we do.†This time it was for Corin to listen and not interrupt her. Neither wished Aleanda Lavinya to interrupt her so she kept talking. “I never thought you would understand, but I had expected a little more notion.â€

 

Aleanda had to agree Corin wasn’t entirely wrong, it fell Aleanda hard to acknowledge this. Neither was he entirely right. When Lavinya spoke, she was partially right as well, Aleanda listened. She addressed the hardest part of the discussion. To control the emotion, or to not show it at all. Aleanda thought back of her time as Accepted. She had doubted amazingly about her Ajah. Brown and White are quite different, but the choice Aleanda had made was the most difficult one ever. Since her raising to Aes Sedai Aleanda had doubted a few times about the hiding the emotions. It was exactly what Lavinya addressed here. The Gray’s point was as solid as the walls of Tar Valon itself. Aleanda’s brain worked on full speed to find a hole to poke at. A hole which would make the wall come down. It came when Lavinya said that showing emotions would lead to interesting discoveries, while looking at Corin. It didn’t make her words be less true, but at least Aleanda could get herself from under responding on this properly. Discussing something she didn’t want to discuss. This was private, and would stay private. “Lavinya, I appreciate you discovered this man here, and I hope you’ll enjoy each other for a little more, but I have to say that this isn’t really proper behaviour; expected from an Aes Sedai. Especially not when you’re in company of another Sister. I’m not here to accompany your flirts and games with each other.†This time it was for Aleanda to raise her finger. She pointed at Corin, as she noticed he wanted to say something. “Now it is your time to stay polite Corin, I’d like to finish before you can speak again.†Aleanda had wondered ever since Corin had asked her to tell something about the White Ajah, why he had asked it. It was obvious that these two people liked each other than they’d want her to believe, so why weren’t they just honest. It wouldn’t be impolite to say that they’d rather be alone. Was it only to hear her about the Ajah? Or was it like a test for Corin himself? To see how well he was in the game? How good he was with the words? Aleanda’d like to know, but she knew it would be inappropriate to ask.

 

Aleanda pointed at the stem which Corin had cut the flower from. “Perhaps I’m mistaken here Corin, but I don’t believe Flowers weep. You cut the flower from the stem and the moist of life for this flower is coming out of its veins. If I would cut your head of, your body won’t be weeping about the loss of your head. The blood that comes out is just coming out your veins because your heart pumps it out.†Aleanda realised she had said this without any emotion and that it would seem a lot crueller than she was wished to make it seem. “Of course I would never cut your head of, I like your eyes too much for that.†Aleanda had seen how Lavinya felt Corin with her finger, and was quite surprised by it, because she hadn’t thought she would do that in her company. But she was happy to be surprisingly as well. Aleanda was still angry at both of them. A Tower Guard should not argue with Aes Sedai like this. And a Sister shouldn’t so openly support a Tower Guard when they have a discussion. Lea hoped she had gotten them both silent now. She hoped they’ve seen her point and realised it wasn’t as illogical as they at first had thought. But she had low expectations. “I hope you both see now that what you said about us, Corin, about us being illogical while we’re the Ajah of logic, is not quite true. I know that it isn’t that easy to understand, it took me quite a while either. It isn’t all that easy, and I realise that, but you have to agree with me when I say that we’re not that illogical. As I’ve said so many times today, we’re not without emotion we’re hiding it as a protection. It isn’t always necessary, but it is useful most of the times. I hope I’ve shed more light on this topic now Corin. And if it is still a dark mystery for you, I think it will always be.â€

 

Aleanda stood up and turned to the Aes Sedai and the Tower Guard. I thank you for the conversation, both of you. I enjoyed being out of the daily business for an afternoon, but right now I do have pressing matters that are calling for me. Perhaps you both might consider going back to your duties too. Those dark clouds don’t promise any good. If you have any other quick questions don’t hesitate to ask them now.†Aleanda wouldn’t walk away without leaving the chance for both to ask questions about what she just had said. “Other longer questions about the White Ajah will have to wait for the next time. You could make an appointment and I’d be more than delighted to tell you more about my Ajah.†Aleanda was calm again at the inside. Anger had fled, and admiration of the courage of the Tower Guard had come in. Still Aleanda disapproved what both had done, but she had to say that it took quite some courage.

 

Aleanda Antori

Aes Sedai of the White Ajah

“Logic is the art of going wrong with confidenceâ€

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The warmth ebbing through him from the potential prize at his side had become a comforting sensation; her reactions only increasing the boldness he felt. Somewhere in the muddled mix of emotions and desires that had become his mind a caution whispered to him but only succeeded in drawing confusion. What did he have to be cautious about, one Aes Sedai folded into a myriad game of words and reasons while the other molded to his wishes in the palm of his hand. Truly there could be nothing short of anarchy its self that could change the comfortable position of control he had placed himself in. Sirayn would learn how valuable a companion he could be sooner or later. If he could build his own little, network, as she put it. All the better when the time came; added favor for his offering. But would he be able to offer over the talents of his growing desire that rested so near him.

 

The sudden coolness along his side as she rose to fix her skirts drew eyes to her; roving down her back. A puzzle even a blacksmith could not easily work out .. the thought broken as she seemed to fall backwards. Quickly Corin’s hands closed around her waist to soften the fall into his lap; steady her from tipping over. Her light scent assailed his nostrils and fanned the coals of his desire. Reason and awareness dimmed in the glow of that desire; his body flooded with the heat of her presence. Words soft and breathy floated in the air, transcending the distance between them with a promise. He stared at her befuddled like a school boy after his first kiss while she slide from his lap. He knew she had said something yet he could not bring words to those vibrations that had caressed his ear; only soft indications that pulled carnal thoughts to mind. Something had happened; somewhere she had taken complete control of the situation from him and he could not place the point. His leg tensed as he felt her finger trace light circles on his thigh; he had been proud of something, but what was that something.

 

Looking back up his eyes found sharp clear green ones, Aleanda’s, intently capturing his, almost boring into his mind. Like a cold bucket of water her words and tones crashed over him. Clearing his mind from the spell Lavinya had placed on it; both serving as reminders to his station in life’s game. He was playing with Aes Sedai, a very elusive and tactful opponent, that reminder was now being re-enforced as the small calculating smile thinned Aleanda’s lips. The appearance of a cat looking down on a cornered mouse as it decided when to exact life’s cruel justice. Caught like a child with his hand in the cookie jar Corin felt the sardonic edge of her words as she made point in complimenting him on his budding skills at Daes Dae’mar, White coolness radiating from her. She indeed was a stronger example of their ranks then he had first gauged. A mistake that would have normally been fatal had it been made while dancing with steel; still might if his teacher found out. The simple small though of her displeasure in his failing brought quick sharpness to his mind once more. Of all the dreams and thoughts he had had over his possible future in the tower, none had ever found him seeking approval and wanting to please someone as much as he found himself wanting to find approval in Sirayn. He could already feel the deep cut of disappointment; it’s bitter edge ragged and raw as his mind dwelled on the unwelcome thoughts in the drawn out pause Aleanda let hang around them.

 

Intricately she picked apart the web he had begun to lay out; emotion denied and then affirmed. She was better then he had originally given her credit; he had been sloppy in his order of placement and she now turned that back to him. He opened his mouth, leaning forward to interject and reposition. If quelled quick there maybe hope of salvaging this collapsing house of cards. But she drew him short with the subtle reminder of her acceptance of his request earlier. Trapped, he could offer no more defense of the situation until she had finished least he appear a spoilt self absorbed noble child. A stigmatism that would mark him for a great deal of time; silently he bowed his head in acceptance and continued to listen. Concentrating Corin tried to keep his jaw from clenching as his mind worked the situation over looking for an angle he could use.

 

Her remark about not cutting his head off after using it as an analogy for the rose offered little comfort. Her cool emotionless delivery of the original comment had already produced the dark and frightening image in his mind she had sought; whether conscious or not. Red droplets, like the finest of dark rubies glittering on a silver serving plate, slid slowly down the natural angle of a knife; it’s hilt in a small feminine hand. Coldness filtering into his core deeper and deeper as his clothes became a gown of red; a warm slick surface strong with a coppery scent. Grey eyes in an emotionless face that slowly faded in from its edges; darkness growing till only grey eyes remained forever. Betrayal perceived by Sirayn would be fatal; that he was sure of and the shiver that gripped his spine in coldness and tried to shake his body fiercely was held off by nothing more then sheer panic.

 

Furrowed soft ground, his mind latched on to the words as she stood, formed his departing plan swiftly preparing for her departure. Rising a fraction behind her; a sense of loss at the removal of pressure and warmth along his side. He dropped into a deep respectful bow, “Aleanda Sedai it has been a most pleasant time in conversation with you. I concede that perhaps the White is not as illogical in it’s followings a I may have first wondered.†His face remained neutral with great effort but some of the earlier twinkle had found his eyes once more. “I would indeed welcome further conversations on some of the other philosophies that have come to make the White what they are today. As time permits I will try to arrange an appointment with you, it is a most gracious offer. May the light see you safely through your journeys this day.†Perhaps things were not as far gone as he dread, she was not hauling him away and she mentioned nothing about this event leaving the garden. He held back the small grin that was trying to reach the corners of his mouth as the sisters said their departing words before Aleanda slipped from the garden and once more he was left in the presence of one.

 

Trying to stuff his emotions into the darkest hole he could find in his mind he turned to face the soft alluring face of Lavinya; the garden seeming to shrink and press in on them. How was it that is red haired women could cause so much turmoil in him? She was a woman, yes. She was an Aes Sedai, yes. He knew what tactic she was using, yes. Yet for all this knowledge he might as well not even be in his own body; watching from the sideline as she wormed inside any defense he seemed to offer. Counter attacking any front he seemed to put up. How was it possible to know you were sinking in quicksand and embrace that pull without even attempting self-preservation? “Lavinya Sedai it has been a pleasure…†the heat burst into his face as a blush tinged his cheeks with a light stain of red. Bloody ashes get control of your self man you are not some simple school boy!!! “It has been wonderful talking to you, but I really should be checking on my mentee’s.†His eyes started to rove down her frame before he could catch himself and force them to the ground in front of him, his fingers playing with the rose still in his hands. “You have been marvelous company. Perhaps we will meet again and continue our …… conversation on the Grey Ajah.†His eyes flicked to hers, his body wanted to remain; wanted her to protest this dividing. But in silence he awaited her answer as he tried to gain the steel control he had held earlier. He felt wrung out and exhausted mentally. This meeting with two opposite sisters in a simple garden had worn him thinner then he thought possible. Even now as he stood, hopefully composed, he was not sure he could handle anymore without control slipping from his fingers like water through a sieve.

 

 

OOC: nicely played Robin :)

 

Corin Danveer

Tower Guard

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Lavinya listened silently, forcing her amusement down as Aleanda spoke, decisively spurring her own argument forward, and effectively tugging the rug out from under Corin, so to speak. Of course, in the same manner the same was done to herself, Aleanda's cold words like a slap in the face as she alluded to her 'enjoying' Corin. She lectured her on propriety? Proper behaviour for Aes Sedai? Had the speech come from a sister of higher standing, Lavinya would have acted suitably abashed, but Aleanda stood no higher than herself, causing her to square her shoulders and lift her chin. No one but herself commanded how she was to act. Using all the effort she possessed she remained silent, biting back a scathing remark for the cool White. Now was not the time. She did have some notions of decorum, after all.

 

Silently abusing her fellow Aes Sedai, Lavinya listened distractedly as Aleanda continued to shred Corin's argument to pieces. Torn between further amusement and a sense of pride, she watched Corin take it in his stride, a slight tensing of his jaw the only outward sign Lavinya could see him show. His self-control in such matters was proving quite adept. Not totally surprising, given his budding talents in the Game of Houses. Self-control was all important if one was to stay afloat.

 

Aleanda stood, and Lavinya let out a small breath of what could only be described as relief. She'd been irritated by the intrusion since it began, and had begun to think Aleanda would never take her leave. Corin's farewell was fitting, a gleam once more sparkling in his eyes. This was a man who was not easily beat, obviously. Lavinya rose too, nodding her head and wishing the White a good day, her eyes turning once more to the intriguing mix of a man in front of her as the unwelcome intruder vanished from site.

 

Suddenly the garden seemed quiet once more, only a bird in the distance breaking the silence as she faced Corin, her side tingling from where she had previously been pressed against his warmth, her mind conjuring images of the embrace they had shared before their interruption. Aleanda had certainly ruined the moment. Yet Corin had not appeared to shrink away from her after the duo had become three - if anything, his play with the rose across her skin had been blatant seduction. But what about now? The play had been most amusing, all the more exciting for the cool witness, yet would he be looking to take his leave also?

 

Lavinya knew she was not through with this young man yet, if he were to leave now she would simply have to meet up with him again, or forever wonder. She was not one to deny herself anything, particularly simple pleasures with a handsome, intelligent man who appealled to her mind as much as to her other senses. “Lavinya Sedai it has been a pleasure…†He paused, his features flushing, and Lavinya thought for a moment he was going to take his leave of her, words on her lips poised to prevent him. Yet instead, his eyes roved down her figure in a manner which she did not miss. The smallest of smiles twisted her lips. So he did not want to leave either. Well, at least his body did not want to leave, as she did not want him to.

 

He should check on his mentees? That was the best excuse he could come up with? Of course, Lavinya was becoming aware that it was all it was, a simple excuse to save some face should she wish to end their meeting. “You have been marvelous company. Perhaps we will meet again and continue our …… conversation on the Grey Ajah.†Their eyes met, and Lavinya knew her own must have been burning into his as they slipped to his lips. Indeed, she would not argue should he want to continue their...discussion now.

 

"Surely you don't have to leave so soon, Corin." The words were soft, arching a delicate brow at the question. She stepped slightly closer so they stood face to face, only a short span separating them. "For I must say I was most entertained by our earlier discussion and would like to pursue it. Unless of course your students can't do without you for a short while? For I would not want to detain you against your will." Her voice floated gently on the breeze as her hand lifted to brush at some invisible lint on his shirt, her fingers noticing the warm skin beneath. "For if you can spare the time, it would be nice to take that walk you mentioned earlier." She kept her eyes on his as she smiled, her fingers lightly tracing down to his wrist, resting softly against the pulse beating there. His scent was once more filling her nostrils, that inherently male essence which promised such pleasure, his eyes glinting with intelligence promising her more stimulating dances of wit. Indeed, she was not through with him yet.

 

Dropping her hand she flicked her long vibrant red curls over her shoulder in an absent manner. "Of course, if you must leave, by all means, I shan't detain you." She nodded as though to let him know he was dismissed, yet did not step back, hoping against hope that he would stay and occupy her further.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The dip of her eyes, slight, and near unnoticeable had he not been focused on them only served to add a smoldering appearance to her face; further eroding the thinly stretch control that remained. His heart screamed at him to flee; to turn and leave while he still could before she pull him further. Her voice in soft musical tones seemed to almost taunt his heart and its inability to help him escape. The motion of her hand seemed to slow time as it swept in a small arch as if removing something from his shirt; skin pebbling under the shirt from the touch. A tingle followed the progress of her fingertips as they flowed over the arm of his shirt and came to rest on his wrist; muscles twitching from the sensation. Blood coursed through his veins as his pulse quickened again at her touch; his bodies continued betrayal of his heart. Her nod of dismissal was cool Aes Sedai serenity; commandment and authority under normal circumstances. But the flick of red locks tossed over a shoulder to draw the eye; linger on the smooth length of her neck and the absence of a retreat from such close proximity reduced that authority to a captors humorous twist. She knew full well the way to play him; offering an out while securing his acceptance to stay in subtle movements. Anyone watching would believe she had released him from her presence.

 

The echoing clash of steel meeting steel; horrific cries from deep inside men who knew they would never know the warm caress of a lover’s touch again or the sweet joy of watching a child at play. The thunderous pounding of hooves as the Calvary plowed through a line of foot soldiers, leaving a strewn mess of disfigured and misshapen bodies in its wake. These could not compare to the war of inner turmoil that waged within Corin from the honeyed words and soft touch she besieged him with. Mind and body filled with a desire for the ripe feminine form Lavinya swayed when she had glided toward him; waged with a heart bound in the steel grip of a women plain in comparison. Unblinking storm grey eyes that saw everything and placed all his actions, words, and emotions on a scale to be measured; recorded for time eternal under the pen of a Brown. Intensions, actions, and conversations dissected under glass like a Brown searching out the innermost reasons for its existence. Battled against sultry brown eyes that invited he in; invited him to get lost in their depths of warm promise. Accepted him as he was asking nothing in return but his presence; his touch.

 

Two worlds so different in there existence as summer was to winter pulled at him from within. Admiration, respect, so many emotions he held for her, should he truly admit to himself; love. What had happened through their years together? Where had the simple thought of adventure and gain through her company turned into the protective nature he now knew, the longing ache deep in a heart that should not want. Somehow in quiet unknowing bits his admiration of her strength and knowledge had turned and magnified to the need to see her safe; have her close. The seeking desire to find acceptance and approval; could it be he wanted her love in return? An expression that never cracked even the smallest corners of an ageless face set in the perpetuating blankness of an Aes Sedai; a blankness that spoke so much, yet love never seemed there. That lost, longing look in the glade when he had found her; a look she had worn for Seiaman after her departure. Was that what he sought? An emotion; a closeness that Sirayn seemed to reserve for the women with winter’s own cold and hollow heart? He had received not the slightest indication Sirayn would reciprocate the threads of emotion now twisted into a steel cord that kept him bound to her.

 

So many differences lie between them as his hand came to brush fingers across her cheek; skin smooth and warm to the touch; copper and bronze tones that pulled at a man to touch and relish in the softness. He had just met Lavinya; had no lasting past or originating purpose in her presence. Deep brown eyes drew him in; offered his mind rest and comfort lost in their depths. She was so easy to talk to and be with; no pressure to seek her approval. He had done nothing more then been himself and she had accepted that; wanted to remain with him for no other reason he could see then because she wanted to. He had found no indication she held a deeper purpose for him, a purpose yes, his thumb slid lightly over lips; their caress and taste still lingering like an evenings waning shadow on his own. Her purpose seemed to speak of mutual benefits; pleasure and escape from the glistening white spires of duty that rose up beside them. Free to be who he was, the boy he had been and the man he could have; not the calculating, suspicious player he was becoming.

 

“The trainee’s ..†his voice was soft with a distance to it as he remained transfixed in her gaze. “The trainee’s need tutelage and guidance if they are to be worthy of the cloak and useful to the Tower and it’s needs.†Something seemed changed in her eyes or around them; seemed to try and draw him deeper. How easy it would be to remain lost in them; swallowed up in the tender embrace of her arms. Her lips moved as if to speak and he pressed two fingers lightly to still them once more. “But they also need time to practice, perhaps ..†An itch bold and piercing broke her hypnotic aura and drew his minds attention to the sensation in the middle of his back. Turning his gaze toward the colonnades above his hand fell to his side once more. Somewhere above, along high walks, balconies and windows, eyes watched. They always watched whether grey or just in service to those demanding grey eyes that held him in scrutiny. You will not welcome me yet I can not escape you Sirayn. Why must you torture my soul so. A fleeting though; she was a thirst he would never quench nor out run.

 

His face had taken on a slight hardness during his pondering and he work to ease it to a relaxed state, “perhaps a walk; less eyes and interruptions.†His thoughts made know to Lavinya as his tongue repeated them in whisper. Already too much he had allowed in the openness of the garden, plainly in sight of the Tower itself. She would hear of this, how much could only be guessed, he only hoped it was minimal and scattered in detail and content. Damage control would have to be contended with and he would see the distant side of her shoulder no doubt. How would he explain this; how could he explain what Aleanda had seen. A shaft of ice drove through his middle at the though of the information she could bring to the wrong ears. He would have to arrange a meet with her; arrange to keep things from being born to life on her lips. But how was a Tower Guard to keep and Aes Sedai quiet. He could not ask her out right, it would offer her to great a position over him.

 

The warm touch of another against his wrist drew him back to her; captivation swarming the game’s play in his mind. Question and puzzlement were on her face and in her eyes as they met once more. “Perhaps, if you are still interested of course, we could take that walk and continue our .. conversation under less observing eyes.†He flicked a quick glance to the Tower again before meeting her gaze. Control and composure had returned outwardly on his face while he was speaking. His heart fought valiantly for control again; to bring back logic and caution. The ache lie in dull heavy tones unnoticed under the trance Lavinya’s nearness had succeeded in keeping him in. His mind yearned with the need to surrender to someone; to just stop and be without guard or concentration. He would lay everything he was at the feet of Sirayn for acceptance; but here and now he wanted to lay down resistance and barriers. He wanted to be lost and comforted; be needed without discipline or decorum; no mind games or ulterior motives. Why won’t Sirayn accept me? The though floated on the edge of recognition as he tried to grasp at the remaining threads of control and knit them back together again.

 

 

Corin Danveer

Tower Guard

On the edge of the Abyss

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Lavinya watched as a myriad of emotions flickered across Corin's face, most of them undistinguishable to her, if not unnoticed. Clearly he waged a war within himself, yet did he fight with his own sense of propriety, or did another lay claim to his heart, his passions? Whatever thoughts were transpiring, his features hardened, causing Lavinya to doubt herself for the first time that day. Had she misjudged what sh'd believed were barely vailed signals, hints of promise and mutual attraction? Had she allowed herself to become so blinded by their game of wits, his incredible appeal and the subsequent effect it was having on her body, to believe she saw what did not exist?

 

No, surely she was not so gravely mistaken, the warmth as his fingers lightly brushed the smooth skin at her cheek acting to wipe away the doubt, their travel leading them across her lips, where the impression of his own still lingered, her breath catching in her throat at the memory of the all to brief caress. Indeed, her blood pounded in her veins, inspiring her to throw caution to the wind, yet still she remained silent, her eyes searching his, looking for a hint of what lay beyond, a way to determine his thoughts.

 

His words were soft, hypnotic, though entirely unexpected. So he was going to take his leave of her. Lavinya did her best to hide the disappointment from her features as she opened her lips to speak, to save some face and dismiss him, yet once again his fingers pressed where she longed for his lips to once again dance, silencing her before she began, a new hope bursting to life as he continued.

 

It was madness, wanting this man as much as did now. He was still much a stranger to her, yet in his eyes, in the play of his words, she sensed an almost kindred spirit, a desire to lose oneself in the moment, leaving the Tower and it's strictures behind, at least for the moment. So often did she feel stifled by her dutied, the expectations her ability had burdened her with. Indeed, most times Lavinya paid proriety little heed, lest she lose her persona, her being, to the cold, faceless persona that was the White Tower. Inside she was still the same girl she had been, on the verge of womanhood, much of that taken away in preference of training, always learning to emulate what she now was. She longed to escape, if only for the briefest of moments, to imagine that she was only a woman, without the burdens and expectations the shawl had given her. There was no denying what she was, she was Aes Sedai, and her life tied to the White Tower, yet in Corin she believed she saw the possibility of a brief respite. It was refreshing, enjoying conversation without looking for hidden traps, but rather appreciating wit for what it was, not to mention the thrill that still tantalised her with the mere prospect of continuing such an association, finding both pleasure for both mind and body in one place, with no desire to ensnare or manipulate - simply enjoy.

 

Corin's eyes left her, skimming to what she could only guess was the gleaming spires behind her, the representation of what she wished to leave behind, for the moment at least. She was a woman, he a man. For once, she wanted it to be that simple. “Perhaps a walk; less eyes and interruptions.â€Lavinya nodded her agreement, though the action was unseen by Corin, again seeming distracted by what she could not see, his thoughts taking him away where she could not follow, but could only wonder. Again doubts assailed her, his words and touch had said one thing, but the distance that seemed to have suddenly sprung between them spoke otherwise, leaving Lavinya bewildered. Reaching out her fingers lightly splayed against his wrist once more, gently demanding attention, an ease to her doubts.

 

“Perhaps, if you are still interested of course, we could take that walk and continue our .. conversation under less observing eyes.†Again their eyes met, Lavinya's searching the depths before her, looking for some sort of sign. She could sense a change in him, though what it was she could not say. Searching deeply in his eyes for any reluctance, she found none, and nodded once more, a slow smile curving her lips and renewing the sparkle in her eyes. "A marvellous idea, Corin." She replied, another flare oof anticipation bursting in her stomach as she slipped one arm under his, the warmth at her side immediately welcome and almost familiar as they turned, walking deeper into the gardens, away from the Tower that promised her naught but a penance, should their encounter be made known to the wrong ears. She sincerely doubted her own Ajah head would relish the news of her encounter this day, should any incriminating information be passed on.

 

As they walked, Lavinya tipped her face towards the sun, letting the previous thoughts and feelings fade away with the warmth, imagining that she was not what she was. A girlish fantasy, yet one she did not wish to shatter at present. Curiousity led her to speak, wondering if Corin felt the same chafe of burden that she herself endured, and longed to be free of. "I haven't spent much time in the gardens of late, my duties keep me to busy. It is such a nice respite, enjoying the beauty and serenity, not to mention the...inspiring company." Her head turned, looking up at the man at her side with a small smile as they walked, before turning once more to the path before them, adding, almost in a whisper, "I can even almost imagine I am just like any other woman, enjoying the company of a rather intriguing man." Momentarily her thoughts led her away as her fingers absently fluttered over the warm skin of Corin's arm where hers was twined. Perhaps, if only for the moment, Corin would help her forget.

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