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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Prepared Much? (Attn Lor)


Sangreal
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OOC posted in the wrong place >.< My apologies

 

Dante waited in his freshly cleaned and ironed uniform for Rasheta to get back from whatever she had to rush off for. He was told to wait in the tea room and be seen a little bit so the Aes Sedai and their Warders would get used to seeing him there. So after training with Sandre, some time in the town to pick up a few supplies and a bath he figured she would be done. He was wrong.

 

Sandre had been training him in the things he was told he needed to know to be an effective Warder. He was in a slightly irritated mood that Sandre's greatest aspirations were to earn rank and yet he had bothered to perfect so many talents. Dante was working on a trade book because Sandre said trading would keep his mind sharp. It was the family business after all. Dante struggled with it terribly and his penmanship left something to be desired but he smiled and gave out an audible "Ha!" every time he found a good trade. Which was only about once an hour.

 

He stopped ever so often to rub his eyes or smile back at an Aes Sedai. He also stopped to inspect what he had picked up in town, massage oils. Strangely Sandre knew where those were at too. (Sandre doesnt seem the type to get a massage?!) he thought as he turned a bottle of a Jazmin scented oil that had something called aloe in it. Sandre had said to make sure it had aloe. (The guy is a complete mystery. No wonder Edana is so crazy about him.) Dante could never pull the mysterious angle off.

 

Turning a page in the book that Sandre had given him that contained the assets that Sandre gave him to trade with and comparing it to a list of trade rates in various locations he finally found another decent trade and with a big grin like a kid who had got his first kiss he said "Ha!"

 

He became aware that he was being approached. (Another Sandre taught skill.) and stood for the Aes Sedai that approached him. He looked down at the small table meant for more than one person that he taken up the majority of space on and with a bow he said "Eager to serve Aes Sedai. Allow me to clean this up. I give you the table if you wish it." He then started to scramble to get the table clean of his items.

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Loraine wrinkled her brow as she stood, stretching her back. Her stack of reports never seemed to shrink and the tidings were rarely good ones. It made for a long day of pouring over information. "No wonder Kynwric spends his days in the Yards," she muttered. "He'd go out of his mind with boredom watching me read all day." She tried to imagine him trying to sit still that long and had to smile. It was rather amusing to imagine.

 

She sighed and moved towards the door, intent on finding tea leaves in the tea room. Light, she was stiff enough she may well just find a comfortable spot and take a break from her reports for a while. She set the ward on her door before moving down the hallway to the Tea Room. Being the middle of the day, there were few Sisters in the Quarters. It usually meant she'd find a solitary place to enjoy a cup of tea, but seeing a man sitting in the room set those thoughts aside. Her gaze shifted to take in the room when she was inside the door, but she didn't see a Sister around to claim him.

 

She approached him, not bothering to be subtle or quiet, though she did take a short detour to a sideboard with tea cups and tea leaves supplied. She lifted a cup and fed the tea leaves into an infuser, using the small pitcher of water to strain the leaves, though she did use a small weave of Fire to warm it. Cup in hand, she crossed the room towards the man again.

 

He seemed to know she was coming and scrambled to get up. She smiled at him, noting his seeming unease. She recognized him, then, and her smile widened a bit. She'd been invited to represent the Tower at his ceremony in the Glade. Dante? Was that his name?     "Eager to serve Aes Sedai. Allow me to clean this up. I give you the table if you wish it."

 

"You don't mind if I sit with you, then? If you're busy, I can sit elsewhere," she said, gesturing to a chair at the table. "I don't need much room, just enough space for my cup."

 

~Loraine

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"You don't mind if I sit with you, then? If you're busy, I can sit elsewhere," she said, gesturing to a chair at the table. "I don't need much room, just enough space for my cup."

 

Dante nodded. "Plenty of room for that. Allow me to boil some water." he said and immediately picked up the tea kettle and filled it with water. He eyed it with little surprise when the water was already hot and looked back at Loraine, shrugged, and picked up everything else they needed.

 

"I was looking for a way to distract myself from studies... obviously if I took the time to get massage oils before coming here."

 

As he stood to poor the tea serving her first he continued. "Im not so sure Rasheta is not choosing me to make the other Green Ajah jealous." He said light heartedly.

 

 

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Loraine smiled as he poured her tea, adding a few cubes of sugar to the hot brew before stirring it. "Im not so sure Rasheta is not choosing me to make the other Green Ajah jealous."

 

She shook her head slightly, her smile still lighting her lips. "What one deems handy for a warder differs greatly, I'm afraid. Sometimes what you get is far from what you expect." She set her cup down a moment. "I never dreamed I'd spend most of my time with a farm boy from Amadacia, for example. However, having spent most of my life with him, I can't imagine anyone could keep up with me as well as he does." She grinned. "If Rasheta Sedai is chosing you, I wouldn't be so sure it was your tea pouring abilities she's after."

 

Loraine lifted her cup again, her eyes moving over Dante's face. "I am Loraine, by the way," she said with a smile. "I remember you from your promotion ceremony not too long ago."

 

~Loraine

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Dante smiled. "I remember you Loraine Sedai. Couldnt forget if I wanted to." he meant that in more ways than one. Kaldun memories were exceptional for one and he would never forget someone who was part of his raising for the two.

 

"Rasheta Sedai I believe intends to bond my best friend Visar as well... if she can tolerate living with me." He said with a grin. "So her reasons will remain a mystery to me."

 

He sat down and pushed the book and list aside. "I dont think I am making it too difficult but I am not afraid to admit I am strong in character." he took a sip of his tea which needed sugar. "and so is she." he said. He looked at the vial of jazmin and aloe oil sitting on the table and blushed. (Very much unwarder like) he thought to himself. (She might notice it if I reach for it though.)

 

"I am nervous about it though... can I ask...I heard a rumor that... there was a way for Warders to.. hide their emotions if they need to. I suspect it may be the flame and the void but I took the spring as my philosophy."

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Loraine fought to keep the smile from her lips. He was blushing, which meant there was more here than just a Warderly concern for his Aes Sedai. Had Kynwric ever been like this? The thought made her smile harder to contain. It was definitely something she'd have to ask him.

 

His question seemed a little out of the blue, but she understood it. "I am not sure how it works for the warder, to be honest. I'm sure Kynwric would be able to tell you, since he's become quite a professional at hiding what he's thinking from me, though." She smiled and took a sip of tea. "Strong personalities can be difficult to match, so I applaud your caution in bonding. It would be horrible to spend your life bonded to someone you're constantly arguing with."

 

She paused and focused her eyes on him a moment. "Can I ask you a rather personal question?"

 

~Loraine

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Dante was a little more than disappointed that he couldnt seem to find an answer. If his suspicions were correct that it was in fact the flame and the void he would have to learn then Rasheta would have to wait on the bonding for awhile until he could master it enough to hide when he needed to. Kynwric didnt seem like the friendliest type to approach either. All business.

 

"Strong personalities doesnt even do it justice."

 

The woman was formidable and stubborn as far as he could tell. He wondered how long he would be paying for trying to make her do what she didnt want to that first day.

 

"Can I ask you a rather personal question?" Loraine asked

 

"You can ask whatever you wish Loraine Sedai."

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Loraine smiled, then, shaking her head. "Aye, I can ask whatever I like. Thus the question should be, would you answer it?" She arched her eyebrow and set her tea cup aside. "Why are you so intent on bonding a woman you're not sure you can live with?"

 

It was a horribly personal question and one she prayed he had a good answer to. Being bonded to a Green was hard enough, but adding in that you don't get along was just torturing yourself. She wasn't about to stand idly by and watch her fellow Sitter do that to herself, either. The Last Battle was coming, whether they liked it or not, and being distracted by a warder whose feelings are in your head when you should be focused on details and tactics was just... suicidal!

 

~Loraine

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He smiled. It was a logical question. One he still asked himself sometimes. "Good question. To be honest sometimes I still question that myself. She was very insistent that it be me and despite being wrapped in air and threatened to be handled like a disobedient child I pushed her for an answer and still did not get one. Despite that we didnt get along well she still pushed that it be me even after every argument."

 

He nervously picked up the vial of oil and not really caring if she saw what it was. "She would charge off into an ambush without me. Shes being forced to bond I think. I wont let her do that." He didnt explain why he would care. He hoped the answer was sufficient.

 

"I have no idea what Im doing honestly. Middle brother has been pounding knowledge into my head to make sure I dont let her down."

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Loraine shook her head and leaned forward, propping her arms on the table. "I can't imagine who would be forcing her to bond anyone, much less someone who she feels she has to threaten." She shook her head, not liking these answers. He seemed nervous about giving them, too, which didn't sit well with her. She was a perfect stranger, so she could understand some of the nervousness, but this?

 

"Aes Sedai, in general, are usually very strong-willed. The Greens can be even more so, if only because it is our duty to put ourselves on the line to protect people. Every Ajah has a nickname or a niche they tend to gravitate to. For the Greens, we are the Ajah of Sacrifice. That means we are all willing to sacrifice everything we have, everything we own, and everything we love if it means standing up to the Dark One and his minions. It forces us to be some of the most difficult women in the Tower to deal with." She stopped and let her smile soften her expression again. "It takes a strong warder to keep up with us, I fear. So do not belittle your strong-willed nature."

 

"Sandre is your brother, is he not? Have you asked his advice on how to handle a strong-willed woman? He has his hands full with one of his own, if I remember correctly." Having met both Sandre AND Edana, she was pretty sure the only reason they got along is because Sandre didn't give Edana an inch to skip in. Either that or he kept her too busy to get in trouble.

 

~Loraine

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Loraine's answers only raised more questions for him. If this was the case and so much was expected he felt as though he was the absolute worst choice for this. "I talk to him often when I can pull Edana off of him long enough to do so. Those two... you would almost think THEY are bonded."

 

He shook his head. Sandre had become pretty much unreachable on a day off he shared with Edana. They rarely left their room. Not that Dante could blame the guy. For a moment the image of Rasheta came into his head. His mind in the gutter almost made him choke in surprise he would think of her like that.

 

"Ok so there is another reason why I agreed to this... truth is I like her... and she likes my friend Visar... so there it is. They would make a good match I think and it solves two problems. Visar will walk into a suicidal fight if I am not there to back him and Rasheta Sedai would likely do the same. Do you understand why I need to know how to hide my emotions before I bond her?"

 

Dante recalled his father's words when him and his mother would argue. His father would rarely fight back. On one particularly bad argument he asked his father why he didnt fight back and his father simply answered that he would do anything for someone he loved. Dante wasnt sure he was in love but he understood that now.

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Loraine tilted her head to the side, weighing his answer. Rasheta wasn't stupid. She wouldn't bond someone she didn't find some kind of link to. Liking his best friend wouldn't be reason enough to bond him. It was nice to hear the woman considering bonding again, too. Loraine sighed inwardly. It was going to be rough on them for a while. She smiled, though. She had a feeling it would come out alright in the end. That is, if they didn't kill each other, first.

 

"I will ask Kynwric about it, though, my first bit of advice would be to learn to control your emotions as much as possible. It won't cure everything, but it will help quite a bit. Detaching yourself from the situation is the best place to start, though once your heart is involved, that's pretty hard to do."

 

She smiled and took a sip of her tea. "Try this. For the next week, every time you feel like you're about to yell, take a step back and remove yourself from the argument. Look at it from another angle and remember that the nature of the bond leaves the Aes Sedai in charge. She can compel you to tow the line. So, take that step back and pick your battles. When it's you against a few trollocs, you can take the gamble and try for it. When it's you against an entire fist of them, however, it might be best to step back and get reinforcements. No?"

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Dante nodded. His only argument was over why him. He lost that one... twice. "How much do you pull that bond to make Master Kynwric do as you wish?" he said with a smile. He was not sure anyone was capable of making Kynwric do anything.

 

"Well on the brighter side of things shes a lot less grouchy when I am massaging the knots out of her muscles." at least he had something to be happy about. He had one use for her at least.

 

He put down the oil where Loraine could see the label and took a sip of his tea. "So detach myself then... you dont think that will make it worse that I pay less attention to her?" As much as the advice was good he had to make sure it wouldnt backfire.

 

"Right now I get by by treating her more like a woman than an Aes Sedai but there is potential for that to blow up in my face."

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Loraine laughed, setting her tea down again. "Alas, it's not often that I have to compel Kynwric to do anything. We knew each other quite a while before I bonded him, though, so we worked through all of this awkwardness before we could feel it in each other. I value his word and he understands when my hands are tied. Every now and then I push and argue, but it doesn't usually come to compulsion. Perhaps it's knowing that I can force him to do it that curbs his forcefulness?" She shrugged.

 

She eyed the oils he'd been playing with, her curiosity peaked, but not enough to question him about them. Perhaps later when he wasn't so tense? "Now, I didn't say not pay attention to her. What I said was, detach your emotions from the argument and decide if it's really worth the trouble of arguing about. Think about the last argument you had that got out of control. Did anyone win it? Even the person who wins an argument loses something in the exchange, Dante. All I'm saying is that sometimes you have to decide whether what you're losing is worth winning the argument."

 

She did smile at his mentioning of treating Rasheta like a woman, though. "Being Aes Sedai is a lot of work. It's a lot of responsibility. Being a Warder is, too. So much is expected out of you, even within the Tower where everyone around you knows exactly what kind of pressure you're under. Being treated like a person, and a woman, at that, must be a welcome relief from that. I'm sure Rasheta appreciates it more than you know."  I'm also pretty sure I know the reason why she's decided to bond you, strong-willed or not! she thought to herself, her fingers tracing the pattern on the side of her tea cup.

 

~Loraine

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Dante sat back and sipped his tea thoughtfully. He felt he wasnt cut out for this. All the studying and learning to be almost completely obedient. Living on the whims of someone else. A life with no room for love or children or anything else.

 

"Im not sure Im right for this. Im not like the other Tower Guards who feel the need to strike a pose when an Aes Sedai walks by to try and attract her attention. My interest in Rasheta Sedai was purely because she was a woman who I thought would look better with a smile."

 

Dante shrugged and poured more tea for both. Had he known he would have company he might have picked up some honey cakes or something. "It was after the fact that I learned what she was. Dont get me wrong I have liked other women before but shes different. I feel it when she wakes up. I know how her mood will be even before that."

 

His message was rather clear. Everything he wanted she wanted from someone else. Everything she wanted... well he would make sure she got it. Thats what you do when you care for someone after all.

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Loraine shook her head slowly. "There's not a pair of Warders in this Tower who treat their Aes Sedai the same way. There aren't two Aes Sedai in this Tower who bonded their Warders for the same reason, either." She smiled a moment, dropping her eyes to play with her tea cup. "I hated Kynwric when I first met him. He got me in so much trouble over the most stupid thing in the world. I had to wash dishes in the kitchen for a week because I picked up a broken lathe in the Warder's Yard. The next time I saw him, I was ready to kill him."

 

She laughed softly and shook her head. "Then I did something absolutely horrible. I let him walk me back to the Tower one evening after we ran into each other in a tavern for dinner. Then, he was assigned to teach me sword forms and basic training. I think he knocked me off balance with Heron in the Rushes just so he could 'help' me get it right." She raised her eyes and pinned them on him. "I still didn't bond him. I thought it was wrong for a Green to bond a man she had feelings for. How can I do my job, take the risks I have to take as a Green, if I loved a man the way I was starting to love Kynwric? It took me a few years to get past that. Of course, he dogged my every move for each day of those years. Then he saved my life and I realized something. I was afraid of him. I was scared to death that the only reason he stayed near me was out of some odd notion of guilt because of the trouble he'd gotten me into. I was afraid that if he knew how much I loved him, he'd know how much power it gave him over me."

 

She sighed and leaned back, her eyes dropping to the table. "It's a tough thing when you realize that all of your silly ideas about duty and what's expected are just excuses to cover your own fears."

 

Loraine laughed and shook her head. "I even managed to go the long-winded route to tell you simply that sometimes the best man for the job is the one who's looking out for the woman he loves, rather than the Aes Sedai he's duty-sworn to protect." She smiled. "I'm still alive to give proof to that. Kynwric is the only warder I've ever bonded and the only one I ever will. I'm afraid he's spoiled me quite badly and I've no interest in anyone else." She paused and grinned broadly, not bothering to hide her laughter. "It's either that or I've realized just how much trouble you Warder-types are and I have no interest in going through that again!"

 

~Loraine

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Dante enjoyed the tale of Loraine and Kynwric. He was surprised that she would admit there was more than a Warder and Aes Sedai relationship. He was happy that the two of them found each other. Not all Warders at least would go unloved from the moment they are bonded. However it also did a good job at pointing out what he himself was missing with his own life. Soon he would have to choose. He still wasnt sure if it would be a choice to be a Warder.

 

"I dont think Rasheta Sedai would give up any power at all no matter what she felt for someone." He shook his head. "Shes too strong willed, I am not even sure she will even let me keep the little influence I have once I am bonded. Im actually a little nervous about the amount of control she would have over me."

 

He waved it away as a worry for later. "Exactly how much will she be able to control me?.." He wondered if Loraine would want to answer that one... Rasheta may very well lose a warder over her answer.

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Loraine tilted her head to look at Dante a moment before she answered him. She wasn't going to even come close to lying to him. Warders deserved to hear the truth about what they were agreeing to and not all Aes Sedai had the courtesy to do that before it was too late.

 

"She will not be able to force you to do anything you don't want to do, so you've no worry about that. She can compel you to do something, but it's like any other compulsion you have. Just because you desperately want to punch someone doesn't mean you have to do it, right?" She sighed and dropped her eyes to her tea cup. "I have never had to use compulsion on Kynwric. I credit that with our relationship being very open and honest. If you're setting out to keep things from her, it will not go over well and she may feel she has to use Compulsion more to compensate for that."

 

She shrugged, taking a sip of her tea again. She was nearly finished with her cup. She smiled at the dregs. "There is no magic test to find out if you're compatible, I'm afraid. The best advice I can give you is to be honest with her about everything. Even the uncomfortable things. Go ahead and get into that habit before you're bonded. If she doesn't handle it well, it's best that you know it before you're bonded. If she does, then she'll probably never feel she has to compel you to do anything." She wrinkled her brow a moment. "I didn't do a good job of answering that question, did I?"

 

~Loraine

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Dante smiled at the explanation. Perhaps it wouldnt be so bad after all. Then he remembered the last argument. "Well where compelling me fails... she has a fascination with wrapping me in air." he smiled. He remembered finding it so important to show he wasnt afraid. Refilling both cups of tea he sat back again.

 

"She better cheer up. Im usually a happy person. Her being unhappy will be a dark little spot in my mind I am not sure she will let me make disappear." (Its too bad that compelling doesnt go both ways... maybe I could compel her to be happy.) he thought

 

"So then how does the servant make his depressed Aes Sedai master happy again Loraine Sedai?"

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Loraine smiled as he set the newly refilled cup of tea in front of her. "First off, stop thinking of yourself as a servant. You're a partner, Dante, never forget that." She grinned, taking a sip of her tea. "After that, it depends on the Aes Sedai. Some Sisters aren't as easy as I am to keep happy, so it's hard to say."

 

Her grin lifted up to him a moment. "Perhaps you should start your trip through honesty by asking her that very question? I'm sure the answers would be most... interesting." She laughed at that, shaking her head. "Now, I'm sure there's something else a handsome young Guard like you would rather be doing than sitting around getting advice from an old lady. I thank you kindly for the tea and the company." She rose slowly, taking her cup with her. "And if you've ever need of advice, feel free to knock on my door. I'm willing to help wherever I can. This Ajah has a big future billowing towards us with lightning speed. We need all the dedicated men and women we can get!"

 

~Loraine

 

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