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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

zemiorco

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About zemiorco

  • Birthday 04/13/1978
  1. Somehow just then remembered just who she was facing, and the fact that most white cloak questioners were not very good at what they did. So, it filled him with pride to torture innocent? "What of you? What do you plan to do with your life?". It was hard to remain composed. Men seemed to always think a woman had yet to come to the point to do something meaningful. Oh, it would be such a delight to upturn the wine over his head. Instead she smiled. Would he freak out was he to learn she was much older than him? “I am just a woman.” She replied. “Many women dream of finding a special man that knows how to treat them properly, that sweeps them of their feet and rules their world. And many women want loads of children. A few boys, a few girls. Babies are so cute, so innocent. And pretty dresses… you should know that women have a big weakness for dresses.” Her hand ran down from her waist, over her hip to her skirts. She almost admired her skill at saying something that held no meaning. Children? A husband to rule her world? Never ever! But surely, that was just what this fool man expected to hear. “What about you? Have you ever wanted children? Or do you just torture them?” The last line had slipped from her mouth. It had been delivered in the same innocent, almost silly tone she had used before.
  2. Her words actually caused him to pause. Leawen had expected her to interrupt him sooner or later, and he had not thought he would get much further with this tale. Her reaction was not just a small surprise. She actually wanted him to go? She thought it was remotely interesting? Her pun on water caused him to laugh startled and maybe a little frantic. He doubted her joke had been all that casual though. A bright man was careful around Aes Sedai. An even brighter man stayed clear of them all together. Clearly he was not as bright as he had thought. But there was something else that occupied his mind: Evaida. Not the Aes Sedai, called Evaida. But the woman, Evaida. There were many girls that strived to be mysterious and aloof, many that liked to think themselves as ladies. But very few really were. Leawen usually ceased to think of a lady as a lady the moment he had seduced her. When the veils fell, when there was only skin on skin, it was hard to perceive the other as anything but a girl driven by her desire. Evaida was probably the first woman in years he would be with more than a single night. “I have not contemplated that yet. Maybe some men are quick in conceiving Aes Sedai calm to mean they are void of any emotions?” His words were thoughtful. Pulling out his rather worn pipe he stuffed it, but did not light the tobacco. Women usually disliked men to smoke in their quarters. “Where were we?” He muttered to himself. “Oh, right… here...” But again his thought trailed off. Had her words been an admission, or was this some Aes Sedai trick to divert him? Was that really what ruled her? Was she really just cautious? Finally he resumed. “The young Altaran had seen much of this world for his age, maybe more than he wanted to, but not enough to know who he was facing. The Aes Sedai on the other hand, had traveled enough to know the other was far from home, but she could not fathom the secrets he carried.” Leawen suddenly realized this tale had started to develop a life of its own, and he was not sure he liked the way this was going. Slapping the book shut a little suddenly he shot the woman on the other side the type of accusing look that implied he blamed her for his own tongue slipping. But he quickly recovered. “I think I can smell lunch. Should I get us something to eat, Aes Sedai? Do you want something to drink? Wine? Water? I can always continue with that tale after we have eaten. Or course, he was hoping by then she would have forgotten about it. Once she had told him what she wanted he bowed, and left the room. Had she been amused? Somehow he had the feeling amusement had twinkled in those large eyes of hers. Dinner was indeed ready, it seemed a lot more time had passed than he had anticipated, and Leawen made sure they were given the best. He even managed to get some fresh fruits for Evaida along with some wine, milk and water. Leawen only realised what he was doing when he was about to reach her door. “Stuipid, stupid fool. This is your perfect chance. Surely even you fool can swim to the shore of the Erinin to get away.” Sourly he stared at the food he was carrying. Really, he had been here way too long already. “Look what she is doing to you. You even got her fruit. What do you expect? That she will pat your head and say, good boy? Well done little Leawen? That is the future that awaits you. Is that what you want?” He was not able to answer that. But returning to her rooms he knew his expression was rather sour still. Silently he placed her meal before her. Then sat down at her. They had just taken their cutlery when he asked: “So, why have you taken me along on this mission. And what is this mission about anyway?”
  3. Leawen was a little surprised to be brushed off so crudely by Evaida. She was now the type of woman most men would not even consider female. Well, Leawen did not consider most of the witches to be part of the female species either. They really were something different. But he had known Evaida before her transformation. And while she had been a really tough nut to crack, well too though in the time given, he had been certain he had seen longing and desire hidden in her eyes. But now she really was as unreadable as if her becoming Aes Sedai had burned all lust out of her. And that was a real shame. Evaida was a stunning woman. Leawen did as she had told him to do without thinking. In fact he was a little glad he could turn away from her. Her demeanor had made him feel like a little boy that had done or suggested something silly. Bringing the book back with him like some well trained lapdog he sat opposite to her. How silly his actions really were he only realized when Evaida asked: “Why don’t you read some out aloud” It was as if he only realized what he had been doing. Leawen liked to compare himself to a lone wolf. He liked to think he was wild, strong and free. He liked to think he could choose his day anytime he woke and there were no rules that bound him. Even his time at the yards had not changed that. It simply was something he had chosen to do for some time. But this, sitting here, opposite to this woman, her doing needlework and her expecting him to read her something, now this was dangerously akin to how he imagined a tamed warder to act. Women and men could not be friends in his mind. They could be lovers. But friends? He was not one of these wimps that talked with girls for the simple reason to talk. How could wolves and birds be friends? Leawen stared at her over the edge of the book for a moment. The fact that he had followed her lead, that he had accepted her orders readily and that he was sitting here was not what really worried him. Far more scary was the fact that there was something about this situation, this moment of innocent intimacy, he actually liked. Would something like marriage, or something like being bonded be like this? And Evaida was beautiful. He realised she had stopped her needlework and was shooting him the kind of look he knew from the yards. He had seen it on seasoned warders that seemed to be able to read his mind and tell he was considering to do other then he had been told do. Quickly he looked back down at the book. But only for a moment. When his gaze returned to her, he was contemplating if she could possibly know another detail about him. That he was basically illiterate. Her request for him to read her something had come a little suddenly for his taste. What was she trying to do? Attach another leash to him? He could try to read, but it would sound worse then a child making its first attempts. He decided to do something else. To spite her and to tease her. Maybe she would actually like it? “Of course, Aes Sedai. It will be a pleasure.” Leawen knew that he was toying with flames. He could get burned. But he had never been the type to worry too much about consequences. Glancing over the page as if he could actually put a meaning to the letters in that speed, he mumbled “Interesting literature, Evaida Sedai.” Then he began to 'read' out loud, the words leaving his lips smoothly and steadily. “Dark clouds rolled above, the rain was cold and heavy. A chilly wind was tugging at the silk gown of the Aes Sedai riding alone thought the deserted landscape. She was from Tear and beautiful enough to make a butterfly weep. Dark curls, deep meaningful eyes and sensual lips were enough to make any man loose his mind. But her only love was the white tower, and her only passion her Ajahs business. But this did not keep her dry and it certainly did not keep her warm. Just as night was falling the Aes Sedai reached a barn. But as it turned out, another person was already looking shelter there. The man was rather masculine, of fine Altaran breed, muscular and broad shouldered and setting eyes on him the Aes Sedai felt warmth in the stone cold heart of hers. Surely, it was not the heat of gleaming coals. It was just a light flicker, a tiny gleam, something that could be nursed to warmth, but…” Initially Evaida had continued with her needlework, but for a little while her hands had stopped moving and her gaze had been fixed on him unwaveringly. “What?” he asked innocently. Surely his made up tale had not been that bad?
  4. It had been pure chance that had informed Aeveryn that Serena Sedai had returned. She knew little of where the Saldean woman had been, in fact she knew little of this fellow blue sister at all. As she had been on her way into Tar Valon, she happen to overhear two stable boys complain that this sister‘s horse looked as if it had been ridden a little too hard. That statement on its own had sparked Aeveryn‘s curiosity, not that it had to mean anything. The grooms always had a reason to complain. They even sometimes complained she rode her horse too hard. That of course was silly. But, in any event, it meant Serena was back. She had been gone a little while. Serena… Aeveryn tried to remember what she knew of this particular woman. She was not the type to listen to gossip, but she was coming to the conclusion she should have. She knew way to little about the other women living in the white tower. Another novice had once, a long time ago, claimed this woman knew some dance called sa'soura, whatever that was. It was also said, she had lost her entire family to trollocs. But apart from that, she knew not much, if not to say nothing. Aeveryn had gone to Tar Valon to meet one of her contacts. She had not been idle since she had been raised and had begun to set up a few contacts in Illian, Murandy and her native Andor. But the type of information she was gathering was not something she wanted to be known in the white tower. Hence, the pigeons carrying them did not head for the centre of the island, but landed near south harbor. The day turned out to be a disappointment. No message had arrived since last week. No news, were bad news in her mind. Maybe it was soon time to go out again and set up new sources of information. She was just returning to the white tower when her attention was captured by a rather worn wagon, and a man that made the wagon look almost new. He was old, his face weather worn and his hair could do with a cut. Something about they way his eyes shifted constantly made her wonder if his mind was is need of some healing. But that was secondary. He had a few statues and porcelain bowls on offer that looked rather aged. Some in fact were cracked, tattered or the glazing had gone. But between them were sea folk vases and, even more surprising, items that could be nothing but heartstone. „Aes Sedai.“ the man mumbled. She was sure he had not seen her ring. That he was able to recognize her was quite a deed, since her agelessness just started to set in. „Where are these from?“ She inquired. „Those…“ he pointed at some pieces of Cuendillar „…were found off the shore of Altara“ „These…“ his finger moved to a porcelain set clearly from before Hawkwings time „…are from the Plains of Maredo.“ „And that is from what used to be Aridhol.“ It was a statue the height of her arm, from fingertip to elbow. „Aridhol?“ She inquired, considering the man questioningly. But if he lied, he lied well. His gaze did not waver. „I found it in the outskirts of that forsaken town. And as far as I can tell, it is not tainted.“ Her brow climbed. Whoever he was, he knew a bit. „How much?“ She asked. They quickly agreed on a price. He did not charge as much as she had feared he would, but maybe the earnings she had in the white tower had just ruined her jugement of what was expensive and what not. But she had not gotten that piece for herself. She had bought it for Serena. The little carved ivory statuette wore garments she was sure she had never seen in her life before, and the way it was crafted was not typical for any contemporary artist. It was also withered, the ivory had darkened in places, as if it really was a few thousand years old. But none of that had made her purchase the thing. The girl remotely looked like a Saldean. And she was dancing some dance. Maybe the sa'soura? Some day she would have to ask what kind of dance that was. „I have matters to attend to, tonight, but I would like to talk to you some more about your wares.“ The man bowed. „Sure, Aes Sedai. In fact, I have more in a storage house. When would you like to speak?“ „Tomorrow evening? In the South Harbor Pearl?“ He nodded. „Tomorrow evening. I will bring something with me you will find particularly interesting.“ She nodded. Wrapping the piece into cloth, Aeveryn went back to the white tower. She hoped the older sister would like her little present. Had she been Cairhien, she might have contemplated longer if her choice was appropriate. She would have wondered what meaning the other would read into it. But Aeveryn was Andoran. And she knew little of the game of houses. Her gift was no more and no less, a gift. And she was making it in the hope to please the other woman. Serena still looked like she had, when they had last met. Well, maybe a little tired, as if the journey had still effects on her. Smiling Aeveryn entered her quarters, and asked: "Welcome back, Serena Sedai. I hope I am not disturbing? I was hoping for a little talk. I am still fairly new to the shawl, and wanted to get to know the other sisters of the blue Ajah better, including what they like to do and what keeps them busy. Oh, and..." She lifted up the wrapped up bundle. "... I got you a little something. I would have bought flowers, but I don't know which kind you like."
  5. Leawen knew he was a slacker. In fact he was quite fond of that part of his personality. Of course, the way he had grown up it was really no surprise. He had never known a father or mother or any relatives he could have looked up to. But this morning he had woken with one of those rare bursts of energy and had gone out to train, no matter that he was on his own or not. Leawen did not mind the light drizzle coming down. Being born in Altara, he actually still quite liked rain. Of course, rain was not that uncommon up here as it had been down there. But he did not get far with training forms. Master Byron approached him. It seemed he had other plans with him. His body a weapon? Well, if the man said it… Normally Leawen would have grunted. This morning he actually looked forward to the run. He strapped his sword and started to go slowly around the yards. He was warmed up, but he knew, should he go too fast in the beginning he would be hard pressed to complete the turns. Once he was half way round his first lap he had reached his normal speed. His pulse started to hammer like some drum. His breathing was rasping, but sounded like another instrument. Out of its own a little tune came to his mind. And words formed easily to that: Ginae and Byron are masters I think they are real disasters They‘re strong and brave They treat me like a slave. I have to run long laps I will Probably earn slaps While I just want to kiss My little sultry miss. Of course, by the time he came close to Byron again, his little made up song had long seized, and he was nothing but a devoted trainee. Well, a rather out of breath, devoted trainee. But, somehow, he had managed the whole two laps.
  6. It was just a fairly normal, if maybe elaborate way for a greeting. Aevy was remotely aware that his sister was watching her with barely concealed amusement. But she could not help it. As this young man kissed her hand, as his breath caressed she skin of her hand, a pleasant shower ran down her spine. It was not as good as holding Saidar, but it was a delight in its own way. Aeveryn realized this was the first time she was really feeling a woman. Maybe the silk on her skin, maybe the delicate dresses, maybe her slowly transforming appearance should have given her that certainty before. Well she had known it. But somehow this was different. Somehow the way Tirzah’s sister was turning her eyes was making her feel he was just playing some game with her. Probably a boy looking like him had a dozen girls a day to toy with? But that thought did not turn Aevy off. Rather, she found it amusing. Maybe she would tell him a little later how old she really was? Imagining his face hearing that made her giggle. “Master Tirzah, I fear the gentle caress of your lips has left me all weak. Even my head feels all dizzy. I think we should take an early rest for today.” The sun was still a fair but up, but not that high. But where they were there was no town and no village. Only one barn stood a little down to one side. Seeing that Aevy smiled with feigned innocence. I’ll doubt we will be able to find better for tonight.” Then she added rather cheekily. “Oh, I remember how my brothers and I used to jump around in hay as children. Those days had been fun. Wouldn’t you enjoy a tumble in the hay with me, Tirzah?”
  7. So, this was how he would die. Not gloriously in battle when he was faced with an overwhelming number of opponents. Not from a thin dagger held in a smooth, delicate hand as retaliation of shaming her. No, he would not perish in the blight. He would drown. Really, he was aware that the ending of his pitiful life would hardly be noticed. He was also aware that there would be no tears shed. He was also not clinging to life like some people he knew. Death was a natural development of life. And yet, he could not help being scared. Leawen half expected the ship to sink the moment he boarded. It creaked dangerously. Carefully he crossed over to the far side, tested the ships rails and then bent over to peer into the murky harbour water. Really, growing up in the Rahad, he should not be afraid of a little water. But he was. Who could tell what creatures lived down there? Who could tell how deep the water was? As he peered down he had the sudden sensation that he was indeed drowning. He could see the light fade as he sunk lower, feel the water pressure increase. There were other bodies around him. There was… He stepped back. He had been aboard a ship once or twice before. Just for short journeys. When there had been no choice. But this memory was something new. But he did not want to know what it meant, or where it had come from. One of the others drowning alongside him had been a woman. His mother? His sister? Just a strange woman? It did not matter. He did not care. Strangely, when he turned back around, some of the dread had gone. He was still feeling queasy. He doubted he would board a ship unless forced to. But the utter dread he had felt before was fading. Turning around he did not see a sign of Evaida. Surely the woman had gone to inspect her cabin. Turning to one of the sailors, he asked the man: "Does this ship carry some liquer?" "Liquer?" the man asked. "Like rum. Snaps. Anything?" "I am sure we do. But I doubt the old captain will charge fair prices." Leawen shrugged. He had just been paid, and he did not intend to pass the days he had to spend aboard this ship sober. Not much later he was down under deck and talking to cook. The man was busy preparing lunch, but as it turned out he also had some rum and Leawen thought what this man charged was a fair price. The others attitude was also all right. Two or three glasses of rum later, they were just having a rather amusing discussion of the advantages of Murandian women, when Leawen nearly fell of the footstool he had sat on. "What was that?" he exclaimed, half expecting water to come gushing in. "I guess that was the ship leaving the calm harbor waters and the drift taking it. You don't travel much by boat, do you?" "By the light, no!" Leawen had not noticed that the ship had lifted the anchor, or had started to move. But now it was swaying a fair bit. "Do you know where the Aes Sedai has her booth?" "The Aes Sedai?" The cook inquired as if he had expected him to call her differently. But the man was bright enough to not poke with tower matter. "You need to go back up that ladder and down the corridor. Her room is the last on the right. Yours is next to hers." He nodded, drowned the last glass of rum, rose and lumbered that way. Even travelling by boat, it would take them some time to reach Aringil. It was time to see, what beautiful Evaida had in mind with him. Aes Sedai or not, she was just a woman really. And she knew what type of man he was. Clearly, her choosing him meant she fancied him just as much as he desired her. Knocking at her door, he entered when she called him in. Evaida’s cabin was fairly spacious and there even was a desk. Through the windows behind her he could see the silhouette of the white tower slowly fade away in the distance. Elegantly clothed and cool serenity, in his primed condition, Evaida appeared to him even more appealing than ever. Closing the door, Leawen leaned against the dark wooden boards of the cabin wall and stared at her openly. She was reading some document. Maybe a letter. And for a long time she refused to acknowledge his presence. He did not mind. But when her eyes finally fell on him, he thought he could see one particular moment in them: Him begging her to not go by ship. He had no doubt, that she would use that any time she had a chance. He needed to do something, anything, to get some footing back with her. He did not want to know what she would make him do else. Kind of feeling embarrassed, his eyes lowered for a moment and happened to fall on one of her saddle bags. Probably when the ship had sailed into the stream’s main current one of the saddle bags had upturned, and a few of her garments had fallen out. Leawen grinned. “You know, Evaida Sedai, now that you have been raised, you have grown even more stunning. Like a flower finally reaching full bloom.” Of course she was not loosing composure because of his words. He had not thought she would be. But the memory of today’s earlier proceedings was still fresh, in his and her minds and somehow he had the feeling she was just recollecting that this very moment. He had to do something about it. Now. Bending down he picked up one piece of silk that had come into view from her saddle bag. Casually he rose again, acting as if he was doing the most natural thing in the world. Holding the fabric just between two fingers he allowed it to unfold on its own. It was a stocking, as he had expected. The silk was very delicate, and he assumed the garment had been very expensive. In fact it was so fine he assumed if Evaida wore it, it would be almost translucent. “But then, maybe that is because of the clothes you now wear? Silk is so much nice on a woman than a rough accepted’s gown, isn’t it, Evaida Sedai?” Yes, the rum was making him brave. He nearly forgot they were on a ship. Still fondling her stocking, he slowly walked over to her desk. Taking a seat on a cleared part of her desk he let the stocking fall onto the paper she had just been reading. “It must be such a frill for a woman to wear something as sensual as this stocking” He went on. “I am sure you know what effects it can have on a man, Aes Sedai? . Isn’t it a feeling of immense power to see a man’s eyes burn with desire and lust?” Had she packed it in to seduce him? Or was she considering this type of garment normal now? “I am sure you know I did not forget that one night we shared in all these months.”
  8. Leawen was pleased to get out of this town. It was too perfect for his taste. But why, by the love of the light, did this woman have to go by boat? Readying his mount and her pack horse, he hurried after her, fighting the feeling he was already now acting like her servant. Following Evaida Sedai his mouth quirked. So, it was none of his business? He was good enough to accompany her, but he was not good enough to know what was going on? He shuddered, but not because of how she seemed to think him worthy of her informations. His last encounter with her had been difficult, to say the least. Then, as accepted, she had been a challenge. Now, she was Aes Sedai, and there was no doubt about that. In fact, even now he knew there was no point in arguing with her about weather it was wise to go by ship or horse. She had said no. Period. But he could not give in like that. It wasn’t a matter of obedience. It was a matter of utter panic. Still remembering her tone, he did not even try to sway her mind concerning the ship. There was only one other chance he had. He hated the idea of voicing that, but he did so anyway. “Aes Sedai.” He said as firmly as he managed. “Your request, your choice has surprised me. But now, that I had a few moments to contemplate this mission, I must advise you that I am not ready for such a task.” She did turn to him at that, but if she was surprised to hear his admission, he could not tell. The way she studied him made him doubt she believed his words. Of course, he knew he had come a long way in the past years and could probably best most of the potential opponents they would come across. But he knew he was no blade master, and no fully trained warder. Still, his words had been no more then an attempt to avoid something else: The ship. In any case, she did not answer. Instead she just rode on. And he could do nothing else but follow and grind his teeth. He was doomed. Had be been feeling fear before, he now was scared. He felt as if his foot was tied to a big weight of lead, and this woman was merrily holding it over the ship’s railing. Did she not see what she was doing to him? Some point half way between the harbor and the tower, they were just riding through a deserted alley, fear won over respect and trained deference. Giving his horse the heels he drew up to her, and bending sideways, he drew on her horse’s rains to make the creature stop. Not that her stallion did, as if the beast could sense the motion had not come from its mistress. Had Evaida not halted her mount herself, he would have fallen to the ground. Somehow he managed to sit back in his saddle. Her eyes held little patience. But at least they now stood still. At least for now they were not getting any closer to the vessel. Lies had not worked. Telling her he was not worthy had not produced the required result. He hated this even more, but he was frantic. It was time for honesty. “The truth is...” he began. He had never hated honesty more than today. Especially with her. But there was nothing else he could do. “… The truth is…” he began anew “… I am scared.” There, that was what these cursed Aes Sedai did to a man. This time he did have the feeling she was surprised. Aes Sedai calm gave only very little hints, but there was something showing in her eyes. Her silence compelled him to go on. “I… I can keep afloat for a little. But… ships… and rivers as huge as this one… and so much water…” he swallowed. Unconsciously his hand reached out and his fingers dug into the delicate fabric of her divided skirts. It was as if she had pushed off the weight already. It was as if he was drowning, and only holding on to her was keeping him afloat. “Please…” he begged. His voice was now so low, he doubted she could have made it out had there been any more distance between them. “Had the pattern wanted men… or women to swim, we would have gills like fish.” His face made an hopeful expression. Surely that argument would count for something. "Please, send me back and take another trainee along. Or let us ride." He doubted he had depended on a woman like that since he had been a baby.
  9. To not make the impression she was staring at the lad, Aeveryn pretended to study the road in between what she considered fleeting glances. There was a quality to his face… it was so special, so intriguing. For a moment she contemplated if any of the other sisters would disapprove if she was to buy this lad some garments. He was much too good looking to walk around in the clothes he currently wore. He deserved better. Silk. Velvet. Ribbons and lace. Yes, what a lovely idea. She’d get him some silk pants, of pink colour and a white shirt. The shirt would be of masculine cut, but adorned with enough lace and ruffles to accent his pretty, somewhat feminine face. Somehow, that thought made her skin prickle. She would have clothes tailored to suit his looks. Masculine, and yet decidedly feminine. A rather interesting concept. His smile made her attention snap back to him. And his words nearly made her blush. Or did she? Her cheeks did feel as if heat was rising. She had thought the tower had prepared her for all eventualities. But then at no time had anyone called her pretty. Her arches and the test with the one hundred weaves had been full of cruel situations, but in none had she been complimented. In fact, she could not remember one situation in the last thirty years where anyone had implied she was good looking. But then, she had been so meagre, it was really no surprise. Most likely she had been so thin, people had just not seen her. Still, his words confused her. For a moment she was wondering if he was mocking her. Aeveryn had to resort to novice exercises to get her senses to calm. Lowering her head to not make the impression she was staring, well she feared she had made that impression already, she pretended to study their horses. But all she really noticed was the outlines of his thighs showing off through the trousers he wore. She decided to have the pink pants cut rather tightly. Maybe they could have them made from material they usually used for women’s stockings? Yes, she was growing warm to the idea more and more. Just then her horse slipped a little and twisted to regain footing, making her nearly slip from her saddle. Silently she cursed herself. The light burn her, she was no silly novice any more! Ogling a stranger that could have been her son! She should have been ashamed. But then something else occurred to her. No, she really was no novice any more. And there was no law or custom that forbade… Really, there was nothing wrong with it as long as she kept the matter decent. She tore her eyes away from the youngster and scanned the horizon. A tumble in the hey? Was that what she wanted? The thought had the effect on her as if she had been thrown into icy water. Well, maybe she shouldn’t try to run, before she had learned to walk. “Many thanks for your kind words, young master. But I hope you are not the kind of lad that thinks any kind of woman is helpless and lost without a man at her side.” She nearly rolled her eyes remembering that she indeed was lost. “But quite clearly your own good looks have taken to your head, or is it customary in the region you are from that you do not introduce yourself to strangers, even once they have given you their name?” Aeveryn softened her words by smiling. This was not the white tower. And this was not a novice. Really, she was not irritated at all and in fact just curious to learn his name. “Or was it my fault?” She lifted one of her brows teasingly. “Has my appearance made you loose your composure?” She felt like giggling. She felt like a novice planning a prank.
  10. He had only been a few hours in this girls company, but already now Zahlia seemed to be part of a different life. The momory of her was fading as his desire for Toulan grew. He had the vague feeling she might just be toying with him, that she might be playing some cruel game. But he was hooked, the way a fish might be to some sweet, deceiving fishing rod. Had she teased him on before, she was now keeping him in thin air. Did she think he would be satisfied to just make idle conversation, now, that he had presented his deepest, darkest desires? Somehow he managed to work up his spirits, and as she teased him further with apparently innocent talk of desserts, the great lord of the dark knew cherries had never before sounded that erotic, his fingers leashed out and caught her hand. He feared this boldness would make her get up and leave, that she might vanish like a soap bubble bursting on touch. She did not, but the thrill of his fingers holding her hand only lasted for a brief moment. Then she drew her hand coyly back. Feeling her silken skin against his had made him feel alive. Her withdrawing was worse then death. Was she just playing? Was she really shy? Did she like him? Was she appalled? Doubts were now marring his mind. And his aunt’s voice taunted him. Her shrill words were like a snakes hiss in his ears. If you were a real man… A woman wants to be swept of her feet… Claim her, make her your own… You are just a wimp… I’ll make you were dresses, they fit a girl like you better than those pants… Be a man, just this once… He rose. He walked around the table. He kneeled before her. He was awed by her beauty. Her body was a weapon as deadly as a sword could be. She could kill with desire. Again he caught her hand, as if it was a rope to safety and he a man drowning. “This might be sudden… maybe it comes unexpected for you… but… I… I meant what I said before. I can’t stand it any longer. Being with you… the most incredible young woman… is pleasure so strong, it is turning into pain.” He realised he did not quite know what he wanted of her. Or did he not? He wanted her naked in his arms. He wanted to own her the way a man owned a woman in the moment they were one. But that was not all. Somehow she had sparked a twisted side in him. He wanted to own her, but he also wanted her to hurt him, as if the pain was a compensation for pleasure, as if the humiliation was a compensation for his inferiority. “Beautiful pain.” He mumbled, staring at her, feeling rather lost in the depths of his troubled mind. “You are like a perfect doll I want to call my own, to toy with day and night. You are like a blazing fire, and while I am just a moth that will burn on touch, there is nothing I want more. Just one touch of lips. My soul I’d give for that. I’d be your slave gladly.” Lies! Such vicious lies. A kiss was no more than honing a blade. Why do the honing if a slash was not planned? Why strike, if a cut was not the goal? Why cut, if murder was not the prospective? “I am too weak, relieve me of this pain. The agony is numbing, please end this game. The decision is yours. Send me of, into certain death. Or grant one kiss, so I may keep my breath.” He swallowed. “Call it madness. Call it desire. Call it love. I will do anything for you, Toulan. Anything.”
  11. It was a clear spring day. But even spring was still fairly cold this far up north. Aeveryn had been certain, growing up on the foothills of the mountains of mist she was used to cold winters and chilly springs, but being up in the borderlands in the middle of winter had taught her, that either she had grown soft in her time at the white tower, or the winters were much colder that far up north. As soon as spring had set in she was riding back home, or rather the white tower. She did actually miss being there. It was strange. She had been there so long, she thought she could no longer stand the sight of it at some point. But the opposite was true. She was taken with the longing to return. She could count the people she was fond of using the fingers on one hand. Still, she missed them dearly. But there was another reason. Not for the first time she felt she needed a warder. Not just someone to watch her back. She was looking for someone she could trust. Someone that had strong arms and big, skilled fingers. Well, that was more than just secondary. Trust was the main point, usefulness the second point on her list, and that he obeyed, the third. Her cause ruled her life, and serving the white tower. There was no room for more. There was no time. And besides, differently to some other women, she had no interest in more. Men had their uses. And apparently men had a better sense of orientation. She was certain, back when she had been younger, she had been able to rely on her sense of direction, but now she was getting regularly lost. In fact, she realized, she was lost now. Erring around for a while she was growing slowly irritated that she had chosen the wrong road. Getting lost was such a waste of vital time. And mood was just about to match the temperature, when she was finally spotting people up ahead. Maybe they could show her the way? Riding a little faster to catch up with them, she realized one was a young man, the other a young woman. Judging from the looks they were brother and sister. Initially her eyes just scanned them briefly. But somehow her gaze was torn back to the boy a second time, and then a third. Aeveryn had never been fond with men. Her only real encounter with the opposite sex had ended with her complete humiliation and with numbing pain and the desire to die. Men were cruel biest in her conviction. Not that she hated them. She just prefered to stay clear of their kind most the time. Nerome once had scratched at that certainty, and maybe he had saved her from becoming a red. But this boy… She really was too old to be taken with such foolishness, but there was something about the features of this young man that caught her interest. Worse, looking at him made her heart jump and pulse race. Unconsciously she smoothed her dark, bluish grey riding habit. At fist she did not understand what was going on. But when she realized she was rather stunned. And confused. But then on the other hand, this young fellow was a rather handsome young guy. Different to most of the other men she had seen his face looked cultivated, almost a little soft, and maybe a tinge feminine. Well, thinking about it, he could have been a pretty girl. That thought made her grin. But the grin faded as she drew in next to him. He was handsome. In fact the expression on his face took her breath away. Still, soothing a few curls of hair out her face the wind had loosened, it was her to talk first. “May the light be with you. I am Aeveryn. I am on my way to Cairhien. I somehow managed to loose my way. Do you know how to get there? Can you give me directions?” Again her eyes came to rest on his face. He was not what she would have called perfection. But his face was different and unique. And something made her want to sit there all day and admire him. No, this boy was not perfection. But he was the first she thought was interesting.
  12. Leawen found Talan behind the stables, honing his sword. Talan was one of the very few trainees with some brains left in the head. The rest of the youngsters had their minds sucked out by the Aes Sedai witches in his opinion. And like him, Talan was not very eager to get himself tied up with a woman of their type. Silently Leawen offered the other some tobacco and proceeded to stuff his own worn pipe. Of course Talan did not miss out on some fine blend, and soon the two of them sat still in the grass behind the stables, enjoying the flavour, the silence and the wind blowing through their hair. Just when his own pipe was about to go out, Leawen produced a letter he had been given by some bland faced novice. “I just got this.” He did not need to say any more to Talan. Apparently Leawen had been taught to read, and while he liked to look at a prettily written letter, he was not very good at depicting it. He could, if his life depended on it. But it was like swimming: a deathly struggle. "A love letter or a death wish?" the other mused. Leawen laughted. "I'd prefer the first, but it is not scented, so I fear it will be the later" Still puffing, Talan unfolded the parchment, read it, seemed to read it again and then smiled. “It seems you will have to smoke on your own for a bit.” “Why?” “Some Aes Sedai is requiring your services.” That was quite a surprise. “My servises? Blood and ashes! Is there no one else around to carry books?” Talan laughed. “I doubt it is about books. Seems you are going to Lugard.” “Lugard?” “Yes. Down with the boat the Erinin…” Talan trailed off as Leawen had jumped up. “I am not going on any boat.” The other man just shrugged. “Who has sent the message?” “There is no name. But she left directions to her quarters. You have to go to the grey Ajah…” Secretly, Leawen hated going inside the white tower. There were far too many Aes Sedai there. Once or twice he had been foolish enough to meddle with these women. But now, a few years later, he had learned enough to know it was not wise. But this time he was sufficiently angry, and scared, to actually walk rather quickly to the woman that had sent this note. But reaching her door, he stopped. Maybe he could pretend he had never received the notice? Well, he wanted to leave the tower for a bit, that was not the problem. But to Lugard? And why on a boat? Water was dangerous. Finally he knocked. “Come in” The voice was strangely familiar. For a moment his irritation was gone. He was still trying to match a face to the voice as he entered the room. But there was no Aes Sedai he could picture with that voice. But the woman waiting for him most certainly was an Aes Sedai. Well, at second glance she did not have the tell tale agelessness features, but he knew enough now to understand this simply meant she had only recently been raised. But everything else matched: Her clothes, her appearance and her expression. Leawen was just bowing, not even he dared to lack the expected civility, when he nearly fell over. Straightening somewhat clumsily, he stared at the woman wide eyes. “Evaida…” His throat had gone dry. Somehow he managed to hoarsely add the “…Sedai.” For a moment he raked his mind to remember how that night with her had ended and if she had reason to hate him. To his luck, and this was the first time he was rather happy that a night had not gone as far as he usually tried to get it.. Surely, he was not at the top of the list of people she loved, but… Or wait, was he not? Why had she summoned him? Why had she chosen him to accompany her? Even if they were to take a boat, for months and months there would just be him and her. He was hard pressed to not grin. He had a certain picture of Evaida in his mind, or at least remnants from the time when she had been accepted. But he certainly had not expected her to go this far. So, she resented they had not finished what they had started then? Interesting. He would have felt smug, had he not remembered the boat. “We will not take the boat!” He said, taking a tone that was rather ill-suited with a woman of her position. He hoped the grin he flashed her afterwards softened his words a little. Quickly he added: “I am told many ships have recently perished on the Erinin, Aes Sedai.” Of course, that was a complete lie. “And on top, I heard that some warders have recently cleared the road to Aringil of robbers and their type. We should ride. I will ready the horses, Aes Sedai.” Bowing again he was intending to leave her quarters.
  13. She was barely able to hold on to calm. She did feel guilty. This man was a whitecloak, but so far he had not been mean. Of course, he deserved the pain he was now feeling for treating her the way he had, but on the other hand, she had not intended him to get hurt. But what could she do now anyway? She could hardly heal him. Or? On the other hand, she had noted his suspicious glance. He had just considered her for a moment, but then he could not possibly take her for an Aes Sedai. She had no warder. She lacked the agelessness, and with her ring in her pocket, she just looked like any young woman that had some wealth. Remembering his face in the moment he had felt the heat, she suddenly could no longer hold it and did giggle. Covering her mouth with her hand, she shot him a quick glance. “I am sorry… I just remembered…” Amusement was boiling up again. “… you did look too funny just then.” She had to pinch her side to calm again. Aeveryn realised she was rather tense. Normally, something like that would not make her loose her composure. But this was different. For all she knew, if he found out who she was, he might try to skewer her with that sword he carried. “But you are right… this is a strange world. It is rather odd how that happened. But what has been woven can’t be undone.” She cleared her throat. “I would offer to prepare a meal for you, but I am not skilled as cook. But I carry some wine, cheese and bread. Maybe you would like some of that?” Getting her saddle bags she rummaged around in them. As if this was just a minor point, she added: “Maybe, as we eat, you could tell me about yourself? I think this is the first time in a long while that I have the honour to spend a night with a child of the light. I’d be curious to hear your path to this… meaningful… position.” Offering him the bread, she finally looked him back in the eyes. “Or were you certain since your youth you’d forsake your personal desires and devote your life to something grander?” Whitecloakes. Many Aes Sedai feared them. She saw in him a potential tool that could be of vital use and full of information in her personal quest. Would she be able to use him? Would he be a knife suitable to slice into the dark carcass of those serving the shadow? And, would she be able to wield him without getting herself cut? She decided, tonight, when he was fast asleep, she would heal him. She owed him that much.
  14. A deep, dark secret for romantic poems? Her words seemed to conflict and their meaning contradicted. How could love be dark? Wasn’t love the purest possible emotion? And yet, while the concept seemed wrong to his still fairly young mind, be could not deny that he felt it was rather appealing. The suggestion set his mind working until he stopped it. Well, there was still a buzz in the back of his head, and one look at her was enough to bring it up to an excited mutter. Feeling slightly hypnotised he watched her lips move as she shared some lyrics of her own. He hardly heard the words. But he knew, he wanted to kiss those lips. He wanted to kiss her before she would part. He would kiss her tonight. He needed to kiss her… later. No, now. Something else happened. Well, a kiss from her would have been better, but since this came from her, it was the ultimate peak of sensation. Initially he thought her foot had on mistake brushed against his lower leg, but as the caress lasted, these doubts were taken from him. “Milady… I feel compelled to say you are an exceptional woman.” With Zahlia he had been the one to do all the touching. Even during that one night of passion, he had been the one to claim her. That a girl could be active was a stunning new sensation to him. Suddenly, the kiss seemed to be no more than some place to start with. Suddenly he wanted more, so much more. A vision penetrated his mind. It was a vision of him kneeling under the desk to suck her toes. The thought made him blush. He could feel his cheeks and forehead redden. The vision itself was only half the reason for his reaction. The way this vision made him feel was unexpected. In his mind such an action was a clear demonstration of devotion. It was something a dog might do to his master. And still, he felt compelled to just do that. Embarrassed he lowered his eyes, silently hoping she had not noticed that he had coloured. In his experience women disliked men acting like girls. And he felt he was acting just like the girl now. She had to think that, considering that she did not know what was going in his mind, he was very shy to blush at that. Suck her toes? He had never been fond of toes to begin with. Why was he thinking this now? Just because of the lingering sensation of her foot? This doll… woman was going to drive him mad. He realised he had shifted his body with the desire to touch her lower leg, curious if he would find her bare skinned or wearing silken stockings. Half way reaching down he stopped dead. He looked up at her face rather wide eyed and shocked. Clearing his throat he sat back up straight. But he felt mortified. Had she any inkling what he had been about to do? Was he mad to be so blunt? But that question burned on his mind. Was she wearing silk stockings? How did her ankle and leg look? How would it feel to caress her? He had to say something. Anything. He felt he was trapped, and he feared as soon as she would open her mouth it would be over. She would leave, and he would sit her feeling broken and empty. She liked a man to recite romantic poetry? He’d recite anything for her. Words flooded his mind and he uttered them unthinking: Silken skin, velvet hair, Bodice skin-tight, Unafraid, no scare. She is the night. Leashed and tied up, Broken and tamed Wolf and yet pup Desire: He’s ashamed. His reciting had been frantic until now, like the frantic flapping of a fly that had gotten caught in a spiders net. Realising just what he had said made him surrender. He had gone to far to stop now. He might just go all the way now. And words still came to him. Not that the words bubbling up became any better. Only the rhythm changed. She has lips, to forsake the light Her skin ‘s like cream, perfectly white My own desires are shocking, I burn to touch her leg, feel her stocking. There was no more blushing now. He had said, what there was to say. The only hinting he had been doing was to pack his thoughts and wishes into rhymes. But even that veil he obliterated now. “Sorry if these rhymes are kind of crude. They…” He took a deep breath. “… yes, they just came to my mind now. Your presence prompted them.”
  15. Setting the glass of wine aside, the glass he had been sipping from all night since her arrival, he shifted his position. His fear was slowly waning, and gradually he no longer felt afraid of her. He was still careful, her beauty was blinding and the way her eyes sparkled was hypnotic. But slowly he thought he could navigate the shallow waters of her presence. „The Rhymes of Maredo… If you don‘t know them, it would be a delight so recite some.“ Bringing his glass once more to his lips be began. A thousand spears Shatter the night A thousand men Set to do what‘s right. They march like one They sound like hordes On to wild battle Dark rattle the swords. The land is fertile The soil is black Arrows notched Horns blow attack She stands watching The sky is brave The battle raging Blood seeps the grave. The war is waged On her skin The enemy so vile Is her own kin. The men are one Their chant cruel Bodies lying dead Victorious the fool But the battle couldn‘t Cease the greed The men are him He feels the need. She still stands there A girl to entice As they come To claim their price A blade is thrust Into the ground A body pinned Gagged and bound. She is all. She is the grain Ravaged from war Tormented in pain Lust is ache Passion is force The men’s breath Ragged and coarse The plow has torn Her skin apart Violence the seed The flavor tart. On they march To glory brave The land ravaged The girl grave Next summer The land is lush The Fruit is ripe Born in a rush A baby boy Not pure His mother’s pride To cure. He smiled gravely. He was certainly not a warrior. But that did not stop him from reciting poetry about war. Well, he was a man after all, and while he was afraid to get hurt in one on one combat, that did not stop him from being fascinated with strategy and the mechanics of war. Moving softly, he slightly inclined his head. “I am sorry Milady. This is probably not the type of lyrics a girl would like to hear. Should I try to recite something more romantic?”
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