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Arette

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About Arette

  • Birthday 05/11/1982

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  1. The smile faded and became a slight frown at Lillian's words. Arette hadn't even come to think that Lillian might be weary from her journey - very bad of her - and she didn't want to impose her company. The White had invited her in but it could be just because she had heard of the incident or because she was polite. "I could always come back later when you are rested. This is hardly urgent. I just wanted to chat." Not the most elegant thing to say but being social just for the sake of being social wasn't exactly her forte. "No, no, I wanted to talk to you anyway, come in." It was tempting to simply ask Arette to go away, but Lillian did want to talk to her and make sure she was alright. It just meant she was going to have to set aside everything else for the meantime. At least until Arette was gone again. "Come in and have a seat, I'll get some tea." A polite retreat had been offered and refused, so Arette entered and seated herself. She didn't want to overextend her stay so she'd have to keep an eye on when Lillian would want her to leave. "Thank you, tea sounds lovely. So, where all did the Wheel take you this time? Do you always go somewhere according to a plan or do you travel by fancy too? I've started considering it myself too, I just don't know where to start. It has been a while since I was last out of Tar Valon." "A while?" Her tea set out, it was a simple matter of heating the tea and serving it. Easy enough to do as she mused on what Arette said and answered the questions. "There is always work to do, if it isn't mine then there are always others. I just see who needs things done, and while I travel about I get them done as I can. But when did this thought come to you? I don't recall you ever seriously talking about leaving except to muse that you might further your studies in astronomy." Lillian hadn't likely meant her words as an admonishment, to imply that Arette hadn't been doing her work properly as she had cloistered herself in the Tower. But that was how it felt now. That she hadn't done enough as a Servant of All. "I have actually been out of the Tower", she said defensively. "Well, once. Right after I had been Raised. I visited my family - my brother's son was getting married - and the Libraries and I helped to test young women. After the thing happened... it got me thinking. I could do more and I should. My studies have been just to humour me but they have been of no real use to the world. I just don't know where to start. Maybe I could find more novices, I seemed to be decent at that." "There are a few questions I would pose." Setting the pot down, Lillian served Arette's tea to her before claiming her own. Sitting down, she took one of the biscuits as she spoke. "Why are your studies no use? Why do you feel useless? What do you think would be useful that you want to do, apart from find Novices. What is there in the world out there that you want to try your hand at?" This was likely the second reason why Arette had come to Lillian. She was bright and asked good questions that forced the other to think. She received her tea mug with a nod of thanks and pondered on her reply. "I have always believed that all knowledge is worth having. And I still do. When we study and make new innovations, we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us and made research. But surely some knowledge must be worth more than others, the kind of knowledge that would benefit the people immediately. I have been teaching here in the Tower, but maybe I could do the same out there. Just who and what to teach is the question. I just know that I want to do something, something that feels immediately important. Maybe I should just travel and see where there is need." Listening as she bit the biscuit, it was easy to extrapolate what had happened now that she had put her own thoughts aside. Arette was rattled, the way she was talking she sounded like she doubted herself, maybe even depressed. When people began to question their purpose, but had no clear idea of where to go instead, that was a clear indication. "Maybe you should be asking why you feel like this when you haven't for a long time. Or perhaps you already have?" Arette could see where Lillian was aiming at but she hadn't become entirely addled by the experience and she wouldn't bother the White with her ramblings if she wasn't certain about it. "Why I haven't felt like this is because I simply haven't thought on it before. I have been content and drifting in life without any real direction. Now that lack is bothering me because the experience forced me to stop and look. And I don't like what I see. Too many years spent without any real results and goals reached. Because I haven't set any goals for myself. Traveling might not be the answer but at least it will give me something useful to do while I muse what that goal will be." There was something about the way that Arette spoke that was slightly unsettling, maybe because Lillian heard that level of doubt in the woman that was becoming more and more apparent. Still, it was fixable, Arette just needed to think about it. "Traveling won't help. Figure out your goals and you'll know what to do. What are your goals? What do you want to achieve?" It was getting quite frustrating because she really didn't have the answers. "I am a Brown Sister and I am good at gathering information, academic things, teaching. I want to continue doing that, I just think that I might need a new specialty, something that feels more immediately useful. I also want to start applying the knowledge that I already have practically. And that is what is my problem with the stars, they can't help anyone. Navigation certainly, but what don't the sailors already know? But if we approach it a little different way, can you state your own goals and what you want to achieve? I'm sure that you know where you want to go but can you put it to words?" Arette & Lillian
  2. Lillian clearly reacted to Arette's presence but she didn't seem to recognise her. She just kept saying the same thing over and over again. Light, what had been done to her. She needed to rest and get her strenght back. It was all just trauma and exhaustment since there was not a mark on her. "Of course you are, Lillian", Arette said gently and stroke her hair the way she soothed her daughters to sleep. "You are Lillian Tremina of the Purple, I mean, White Ajah. You are safe and alright now." She wasn't certain if Lillian had even heard her as she still whispered the mantra almost inaudibly. "Shush now. You can sleep and recover." Some assistance was likely needed and since no herbs were available, Arette embraced Spirit and wove sparingly a thread that gave Lillian the release of slumber. It was a shame that her Sister couldn't help Arette with the wounded, but was one of them herself, another victim of Ja'varan's. But the White would recover and others would be saved today. With a sigh, she made her way back upstairs and arranged Lillian to be moved to a comfortable bed in the Palace until they could all go home. Her rest would have to wait as there was still work to do. Arette Stavros Exiled Brown Sister
  3. A great beginning again, Arette remarked with disgust. Once she had been able to feel at least some pity for Marden but he was truly dangerous, a prime example of a rabid male channeler. Let the man spout his ‘truths’ and condemn himself even further. She knew his life story so it was easy to listen expressionlessly. The events had gone quite typically, with old friends being horrified by what he had become. Even though she had hardened her heart, she couldn’t help but feel sorry for the male channelers in general. It was the joy of Saidar and pleasure of learning that you could channel viciously and cruelly twisted. The men didn’t want it and it just wasn’t fair. But fair or not, before the Black Tower someone had been needed to stop the men from going insane, and that someone was the White Tower. The Asha’man could hate them for all they wanted but the White Tower had done what was necessary and right. Then Marden got to the phase where he had met Dramon Calgar, his idol and the finder of the Black Tower. He was clearly touched even now when he spoke of the man. Likely the man was important to him as Karana had been to Arette. If she could have somehow sacrificed herself so that her mentor hadn’t been Stilled, she would have done it. It was quite incredible how they had managed to sneak into the camp when Calgar had been caught by the Aes Sedai and release him. But the Wheel had had need for the Black Tower and he would become its finder. And Marden’s role had been to become captive in Calgar’s stead and the Aes Sedai would play the judges. It wasn’t a pleasant task and only the most vicious Red Sisters received any satisfaction from it. Arette had no intention to defend the White Tower because anything that she could say would be wasted on those who were already set against the Gentling. And those who saw it’s necessity didn’t need convincing. Veniso was the one accused here, not the White Tower. She had decided to not let him get at her with his vile words but her fists clenched when he kept painting them the villains and hypocrites. It was so tiring to receive only ingratitude for hard work and have to make such decision almost daily and that was why she was glad to be in Tar Valon anymore. Her lips twisted with disdain when Veniso tried to paint the school a torture center and himself an innocent suffering prisoner. It took every ounce of patience to not interrupt him and she listened his filthy lies with gritted teeth. “Congratulations Veniso. You spin the truth just as skilfully as an Aes Sedai, only as you have never taken the Oaths, you can outright lie. And that you certainly do. Although in your case it could be just delusions.” “The school was a rehabilitation center. You were sent to Far Madding because we had good reason to suspect that the moment we released you, you would try to attack an Aes Sedai. Can you deny this?” “As for your treatment in the school, that is the real exaggeration or lie. I received reports from the Sisters monthly and they never mentioned a word of imprisonment. I read the personal journals of all three Sisters after their deaths and there was not a single word of a prison there either. Omission from official reports might have been possible, but there was no need to censure private notes. And Sera Saunders’s notes were most detailed.” Aes Sedai could not lie in written or spoken word. Not unless they were Black Sisters. Light, could it be possible that the three had been Blacks? It was true that the bodies of Harbin and Muldoon had been in as bad condition as Veniso described. And he didn’t look like he was twenty five but years older. Arette had never heard of such pre-mature aging on any Gentled male channeler. She glanced at Con with slight uncertainty but he was regarding Veniso and she couldn’t read his expression. "Those three women tried to help you, just like they had helped others. They had successes with cases like yours. Hu Sanche and Devril Robillard were also in Far Madding and they were sent to new lives. They still live and prosper, so why would the Sisters have treated you any differently?" "They didn't and you thanked them by killing them. No, you hacked them mercilessly into pieces and took their rings as trophies like a real psychopath. It was a cruel and deliberate murder. I am sure that Dramon Calgar would be very proud of you now." She stood up fast enough that her chair toppled but she didn’t care. Marching at Veniso, she grabbed the necklace he had slipped back under his shirt, intent to reclaim the rings. It turned out to be a very bad idea as the man moved like a viper. He stood and uppercutted Arette right under the jaw which sent her staggering back dazed and concussed. She collapsed on the floor quite out of the situation. Arette Stavros Exiled Brown Sister
  4. This really was the heaven on earth and Iussi Dyfelle couldn't have been more satisfied. Well, maybe if they had had done it the normal way but this novelty had certainly been unexpected and quite pleasent. He had just had to make sure that Telcia got her pleasure too. They would have to start quarreling more often if it had results like this. Not that he really wanted to argue with his wife, or make her upset, but the different ideas they had of politics and how the society worked caused problems sometimes. Even after all her years in the Tower, Telcia was still used to how things were in Arad Doman and how Domani relationships worked. But they were in Ebou Dar now and even though Iussi was willing to compromise in what came to their marriage, he was expected to live and act like an Ebou Dari man. And that included dueling. He grinned with pleasure when she cuddled against him and watched with wonder as she summoned a glass of water to her with Saidar. Soon he might be doing tricks like that with Saidin too. As committed as he might be to seeing it happen, the thought made his skin crawl, and he wanted nothing to spoil their wonderful moment. His whole body felt pleasently langourous and now when the activity had seized and the desire had calmed down to embers, sleep didn't seem like such a bad idea. Well, not unless he wanted to get stabbed. But that was just wishful thinking since Telcia hadn't embraced that aspect of Altaran culture quite yet. At least this time there had been no patter of little feet. Light, that time he had been so enwrapped into what they were doing that he hadn't even realized that Jelene was there until Telcia had noticed her. But there was the bell and the nifty tricks with Saidar that spared them from worrying about noises. Not that his wife had complained him biting her shoulder to keep quiet until he had fully accepted that voices were no problem. Another grin came when he remembered how she had sounded like just a moment before. Maybe Telcia had seen his expression and thought that he would want a round two, he certainly was tempted with the way she stroke him. But she was a quick one and slipped off the bed before he could grab her. He got to admire a beautiful round behind and planes of perfect back far too short time as she covered herself. The herbs, what herbs? Oh yes, the concoction that kept her from getting pregnant. He certainly had mixed feelings about that. They had already two lovely children who were more than enough. And Telcia had almost died delivering them, just like his own mother. So he certainly never wanted to experience that worry again. But still, a third child would have been quite wonderful... The time just wasn't right and never might be again. Not when he was going to the Black Tower. A husband and father had to be there for his family and Light only knew how well he would last with Saidin back. Maybe that was why a little boy or a girl had been on his mind. Everyone wanted to leave a legacy and he certainly hadn't achieved so much in life, save for Jelene and Jamal and somehow capturing their mother. The promise of another gift certainly perked him up from the brooding. He arched an eyebrow at Telcia, half fearful and half expectant. Her tone wasn't a clear indication of whether he would like it or not. Women could go to bed with you and be all sweet one moment, but they never fully forgave you, even if they let themselves to forget for a moment. Not that he was a huge expert on any other women but his wife and she was still about as uncomprehendable sometimes as the Wheel's weaving. The liquor bottle was certainly unexpected and he beamed at her and reached eagerly for the glass she was pouring. "If you were really that worried about the eye, you could just Heal me. But yes, I know. The little pain is a good reminder the next time I feel the urge to duel." A cool smile rose on his lips when he thought the comments the Blue faction bastard had made of Telcia. "All pain in the world wouldn't have kept me from this duel, though. He had it coming." That was what worried him, what would happen when he wasn't here to take care of situations like this. Of course Telcia could handle herself, she was an Aes Sedai and accustomed to the Great Game much more than he. But things were done a bit differently in Altara than in Cairhien. Would she hear all the rumours and deal with them in the upfront way the Ebou Dari expected. The smile softened when Telcia offered him the glass and he took a hold of her wrist and kissed the veins under the pale skin before he accepted the glass. "It is a wonderful gift, dear. I will savour it and think you every time I taste it. And every time I think of you, I can taste you. A wonderful mix of sweet and salt. Mmm. Want to give me another banquet after you have finished your tea?" He nibbled her fingers half expecting a thwap. Iussi Dyfelle Like an 18 year old boy around his wife
  5. The amusement built on from what echoed through the Bond from them both until Annais laughed out loud and decided that one of them had to stop it before it would get totally out of hand. It was kind of bad to chuckle at your own jokes but it turned into a wince and outright exclamation of 'ouch' when Mia thwapped her. She hadn't been exactly gentle and Annais rubbed the aching spot with an accusing glare. Mia had felt it too, so they now had some idea how physical feelings would carry to the other when they were so close to each others. Her fresh Warder was completely non-chalant about it and since there was no chance of apology, it would be just useless waste of energy. Mia changed topic, completely at ease, and with a slight shrug Annais decided to go along with it. "I was wondering about that. Yes, there are small quarters for a Warder, or even Warders in case the Amyrlin is Green, attached to this apartment. The rooms are fully equipped and furnished but you'll need to bring your own bed clothes and such, I think. Odelia can help you with that." The thought of her maid brought a small frown. "In fact, she should be here by now. She is never late. I'm sure that she will recruit you into the harrasment party to wake me up every morning but you really need to..." Something was coming through from Mia that Annais couldn't quite interpret. "What?" Then it all clicked and made horrible sense. Odelia wasn't here when she should be and Mia was here when she shouldn't have been. Those two just had to have a connection. Lia wouldn't have... but she had. "She brought you here, didn't she? How could she?" Hurt, betrayal and anger were the foremost emotions. Annais valued loyalty above all else in her friends and she definately counted Lia as one. She was more than a retainer and had been that for over ten yars. Never before had she divulged Annais' secrets or did something that would make the Gray question her commitment. Oh, she was certain that Mia wouldn't see it that way and was thankful to the woman but this was between her and Lia. Annais stood up tight-lipped and determined to make the Domani squirm and regret. "Well, since she is not here, you can help me to dress up. Duties call after all. We can talk more in my office or later if you want to start moving in right away." Annais Nevell Bonded to Mia
  6. The response was simply a smile and a nod and Annais could read nothing but confidence from Mia's face. It was more than she felt. She was confident that she could do the weave, she had been to quite a few Bonding ceremonies over the years and watched the deed performed. No, it was more what would come afterwards, having Mia in her head and vice versa and how being so intimate with someone would feel. It would be even closer than being in love and making love. She rubbed her palms a few times on her thighs and licked her lips before deciding that it was just best to get done with it. They didn't need any fancy ceremony or witnesses but there would be a small, private celebration and Mia would just have to suffer it. Annais reached over and laid a hand on the Tower Guard's forehead. The weave was complicated and she took great care forming it, glad that Spirit was her strongest element. When the flow was ready, she let it sink slowly and gently. Her eyes widened with the awareness that came. It was like linking when you felt what your Sisters felt, only the Bond was even more intense. With Mia, the feelings were condensed into a small ball at the back of her mind and she wasn't certain if she was reading her right. Excitement, maybe even a touch of giddiness, warmth. But most prominent was just generally feeling good. Mia was glad and so was she. Her own feelings changed slightly or magnified as Mia's emotions strenghtened them. It was mirroring at work and it was slightly frightening at first. But they would figure it out and Mia wouldn't do anything to harm her. "So how does it feel to be my Warder?", she asked with a voice slightly thickened with emotion. It became laced with amusement in an eyeblink. "Was it really worth going through all that trouble just to stop me from sneaking to Brent's bed?" Annais Nevell Amyrlin Seat
  7. She had done it, she had really went and asked someone to become her Warder. Hundred and ten years she had worn the shawl without someone to share everything with, and now Annais had made the offer. Excitement and dread alternated and she doubted if she had really made the right choice. Mia could get under her skin too easily and now she was giving her even deeper access. They didn't even know very much about each others yet and Mia knew more about her than she of Mia. Still, with some people you just knew it. You felt comfortable around them instantly and there was a connection, a feeling of kinship. There had been such a feeling with a certain man but this would be almost certainly a kiss of death for that. He had been kind of the reason why they had just been arguing a moment ago. This could yet end up badly with both of them wanting to strangle the other. But when they were Bonded, there would be a forcing reason to work it out. And it would be good, Annais was certain of it. Mia was upright and dependables and she could easily trust her life and secrets in her hands. No. Such a simple world but it conveyed utter rejection. All the glorious hopes and dreams of friendship and solid support were shattered. Annais' face fell and she lowered her gaze to hide the hurt. Maybe there was a tinge of relief too but it was like being told that you couldn't enter the final Arch to claim the shawl. She had been fully prepared to take the plunge and when it had been robbed from her after being lead on, there was a keen sense of betrayal. She plastered a polite smile on her lips and faked a shrug when Mia took her hand. She was prepared to tell her to get out and stop wasting her time and then the woman suddenly said yes. Annais just stared Mia with uncomprehension. Then her face flushed with red and she reached for the closest object. For Mia's luck, it was a pillow that smacked on the top of her head repeatedly. "You bitch, you bloody shrewish harridan!" Annais kept hitting and shrieking but soon helpless laughter of relief took her over. She laughed until her eyes watered and her sides hurt. Breathing was a chore, but she managed to pant. "You'll be the death of me." Mia supported her to sit upright and soon the simple function of inhaling and exhaling became available again. "Mia? Are you really certain about this? This is the last chance to back out because I will never find anyone as crazy as you." Annais finally responded the smile and squeezed the hand back. Annais Nevell Amyrlin Seat
  8. Annais was about to reply Mia right away but she thought it best to let her finish first. Her stance on having lovers, no, rather the blunt way how she painted it frivolous and selfish, didn’t sit well with Annie. She regarded the Tower Guard through slightly narrowed eyes. “That is why are having this conversation, to clear out what our views on bonding are. There seem to be differences and we have now moved onto another topic, how we carry out our duties. I know very well what mine are and I have no intention to falter. However, I am not on duty every hour of the day. If I was, I wouldn’t be of any use to anyone in few months. When was the last time you got laid anyway? Why do I have a feeling that it was some time ago.” Raising an eyebrow, Mia responded. "If that petty stab is the best you can do to try and get a rise out of me, you're in dire straits. We may only have a few months, Annais, this isn't some lark, this isn't something other Amyrlins have had to deal with, even if they've known it was coming. You could be the Amyrlin when Tarmon Gaidon comes, you're on duty every hour of the day now. The same as if I were bonded, from that moment, you are it. There are no distractions, there are no indulgences, there is the course to stay with and that is all. You don't just take on something half hearted, was that your intention when you accepted that stole? To just be there during the working hours of the week and the rest of it is your own? We're on the edge of an age that could end all ages, you don't get that luxury, none of us do now." You should never speak in haste and annoyance and Annais wanted to take back the words the moment they escaped her. It had been petty and not at all how she had imagined a conversation between her and her prospective Warder candidate to go. But then this was likely what she needed, someone to whip her and to keep her on the right path. A Warder, who respected her so bloody much that she would do exactly what Annais said, wouldn’t be doing her any favours. She lifted her hands in a gesture of appease. “Peace. I shouldn’t have said that, Mia. I’m sorry.” Likely it wasn’t a good idea to make such decisions when you weren’t all calm and deliberate but it seemed fairly inevitable. She regarded Mia solemnly. “If it is your duty and mine, then why postpone it. Mia Stavros, will you become my Warder?” Annais & Mia
  9. Anyone from the White Tower going to the Black Tower would make Brent's position harder, Annais admitted with an inner sigh. But they would have to start getting used to it. The only way the relations between the Towers could improve was by regular exposure. When you really got to know the 'others', it usually helped to shift attitudes toward mildness at least. "You're right, I wasn't thinking", she admitted meekly. But that was what friends were for, they would correct you and you didn't always have to be so careful with what you said around them. "And obtuse, hmm? I guess that I can be sometimes." What choices was Mia talking about? Her next words confused Annais even more but the intent was so nice that she smiled. "I really appreciate it that you put up with me despite all. I have no intention to kick the bucket any time soon and the Hall does not want to see another Amyrlin again in such a short time either. So they might give me trouble but they are willing to co-operate." Then she made the connection between what she thought that Mia was possibly implying and it made her gape. Serving just one person at a time... But Tower Guards served the whole Tower, not just one Aes Sedai unless they intended to Bond. Only it wasn't the Tower Guard's choice, but the Aes Sedai's and she hadn't asked Mia. Commitment... to her? "Umm, Mia? You aren't saying that you want to... that you and me would...? No, of course not. Never mind." Sipping her tea as she tried to think of something intelligent to say, she gagged some of the liquid and begun to cough. Small comfort was that at least she wasn't sputtering the tea around but she felt like a total woolhead. Annais Nevell Amyrlin Seat
  10. Veniso's reaction was no real surprise and with an attitude like that, he would ruin any chances of redemption. Arette's lips curved in a fraction of smile that held no mirth. The whole thing was travesty that shouldn't be happening. The Black Tower should have seen this coming, and if they intended to harbour a murderer, they shouldn't have brought him to Illian. Unless it had been planned from the start but she couldn't see how it served the Asha'man. Or perhaps there were those of darker loyalties among them who wished to cause trouble between the Towers. The school in Far Madding found by Kathana almost twenty five years ago has been meant for people like Marden. Most channeling men the Red Ajah had caught had been glad to be rid of Saidin. Once it was determined that they were safe for themselves and others, they were sent back to their families if it was safe for them or to start a new life elsewhere. But some men had been already touched by the madness and they blamed the Aes Sedai for stealing their birthright. David Harbin had been such a fellow. He had managed to fool the Sisters to release him and right afterwards he had stalked two Aes Sedai and assaulted them. Harbin had still been at the school by the time Travis Muldoon had been sent there only shortly before Veniso. Muldoon was another man who had tried to revenge the Sisters by attempting murder, and with the attitude Marden had showed and the threats he had given, they had decided to not take any chances with him. It was unlikely that he could have been rehabilitated, but there had been successful cases during the years between Harbin and Muldoon, so there was some hope. If nothing else, Veniso was kept from being a menace but in the end he had found a way. "This is not the trial but a hearing, and I am not the final arbitrator of your fate", Arette informed him glacially. "You can affect what happens to you by your co-operation or refusal. No one knows exactly what happened except you, so why don't you enlighten us in detail on how those Sisters died and what events lead to it. Why did you feel that you had to kill them?" Arette Stavros Exiled Brown Sister
  11. Mia's anger was gone and with it had alot of her energy had left. Annais watched with worry how she got herself to a chair but didn't even try to help since likely she would be rebuked. What came next was quite unexpected. Mia had had a long and definately respectable career in the White Tower and Annais agreed with her assesment of her precedessors. But Mia's opinion of her was very surprising and humbling. Of course she wasn't allowed to bask in the praise as the Tower Guard went on and listed her failings which were also true. It was an honest speech and to say it out loud was a lot braver than most could manage even if they felt the same. A needed reminder that her choices didn't affect just her. She had placed her priorities when she had chose to become an Aes Sedai and again when she had accepted the Amyrlin position. She had abandoned love before when the Tower had summoned her back. She and Brent weren't there yet but they could have been with time. Would have been, she was quite certain of that. But it was much better, much less painful to cut it in a bud. If she hadn't been so selfish and weak, there would be nothing to cut. She had caused them both unnecessary misery and no matter how great last night might have been for him, she doubted that he would consider it worth the trouble. It hurt because she wouldn't have to bury just dreams of happiness with him but the hope that she could have it at all. Maybe when the Last Battle was done if they still lived. But why would he want her then? Still, she wouldn't let herself to get overly depressed. There would be still the other pleasures of life, friends and laughter. They would have to be enough. "I'm glad that you were so frank, Mia. I don't know if I am worth your faith but I will try to be. But no matter my best intentions, I will make mistakes, you and I both know that. You will likely be frustrated with me in the future too but not over this again. I might... I will need some help staying firm, though. I'm... he... hurting him is the last thing that I want to do but that's how it will end one way or another. He is really lonely, Mia. That's how leaders are, I suppose. But he shouldn't need to be. You will be there for him, won't you?" Annais Nevell Amyrlin Seat
  12. The Queen's Palace in Illian was slowly becoming familiar to Arette as she had visited it a few times in the past few days and she guided Con toward the room where the hearing of Marden Veniso was arranged. Thankfully they wouldn't have to go down to the dungeons where Marden had been kept. He certainly couldn't protest being treated badly as he mainly just slept there and was allowed to be outside heavily guarded and meet the Asha'man. It annoyed her that he tried to paint himself some kind of a suffering martyr by accusing her of burying him alive just like in Far Madding. He was a murderer, that was what he was, even if her view did not get support from anyone. Certainly most agreed about that but political issues were clouding the core question. She had to stick to her conviction or otherwise she couldn't see it through. The disapproval of Con and Lillian had shaken her worse than she had thought, and there had been moments when she hoped that she had never come across Veniso or had just walked away. But it had been too late the moment she had made her snap decision to have him arrested. She wasn't just riddled with doubts about the whole thing; another unrelated event had disturbed her calm. Only few days prior she had come across quite unprepared with a dangerous and strong wilder who had almost burned Arette alive. As a result an entire block had suffered massive damage, her guardians had been hurt and she had been on blisters and burns all over. It was horribly vain but what pained her the most was the loss of her hair. For over two hundred years she had cultivated and lovingly tended the black locks and as a result they had come down to her calves, strong and shiny. And now it was all gone. Silly, but it almost felt like loosing a child or a dear friend. Her hair had been the most beautiful part of her and she had taken it so granted. Now when it was there no more, her head felt weightless and her confidence in herself was shattered. Even though she wore a pretty Tairen style cap decorated with pearls and embroidery, she was certain that people could see the few bald spots where her scalp had burnt. Ebony strands carefully arranged covered it as did fabric but she still felt it. The skin had Healed well but it remained to be seen if hair would ever grow there again. Lillian assured her that it would but nothing could Heal her hair and bring it back. Post traumatic stress the Yellows might have called it, and true enough, her hands were shaking when she even thought back the incident and how the woman had gotten away. Loathing and hating her certainly helped. If only she wasn't tied to Illian or she would have hunted her down and seen the menace gone for good. But the Asha'man would or someone would. A pity that Arette couldn't be there to witness it. But hatred only helped so much. She was averse to leave her home; she just wanted to be alone and mourn, but it would mean that the wilder had won. She had duties and more will power than that and she would have to keep doing things. Her children needed a mother who was more than a weeping mess. And when this thing was over, maybe Con would stop being angry with her. But better angry than coddling. She just couldn't take that. He had to believe that she was strong so she could believe it too. Stiff backed and few steps before her husband, Arette arrived to the temporary court room. Although the final judgement wouldn't be passed here, the seeds would be sown. After the hearing they would negotiate what would be done to Marden. Mainly it would be between her and Arath but the others would be a good to have around as buffers. Speaking of the others, everyone else were present already: Queen Sofia as the sovereign of the country, Arath to represent the Asha'man and members from the Band of the Red Hand as a neutral party. It was kind of strange to represent the White Tower and officially she even couldn't. She had been exiled and technically she wasn't an Aes Sedai anymore. She did not wear the ring even now but she had been the Keeper of the Chronicles when the murders had occurred. In that capacity she could be there. And as the Seat of Rebuke, even though it wasn't a real trial and protocol of Tower justice wouldn't be followed. Lillian should have been there for the White Tower but she had refused and Arette hadn't argued. It was one less person 'against' her there. Marden would be his own Seat of Pardon, even though a madman's ability to represent himself could be questioned. She nodded to everyone in greeting, her pale face marred with two angrily pink spots of new skin on her forehead and cheek where burns had been. Marden Venisp, flanked by guards, she ignored for now though. She looked perfectly composed and in control to anyone who didn't know her very well. It was all just veneer as she was determined to see this through. She and Con seated themselves and it was time to begin. "Thank you all for coming to the hearing of Marden Veniso. His and my statements of the murders of Delaine Rivest, Sera Saunders and Nela Maridi will hopefully help us to make a decision of how to continue. If necessary, Con Stavros can also provide insight on the events as he was the Commander of the Tower Guard at that time. But let us begin with the accused one." She finally turned to look at the man and her face showed no emotion aside from serenity. "Master Veniso, tell us what happened the day those three Sisters were killed." Arette Stavros Exiled Brown Sister
  13. Sana's answer was a relief, even though Sahra hadn't really expected him to be the eager Warder-to-be type. She quite liked the fact that he didn't socialize too much with the Aes Sedai and how possessively satisfied the fact made her was a surprise. Tower Guards were much better company anyway but she in no way thought less of the Warders for getting Bonded. It was just the same than when Sana was sleeping with someone else. And even then she could be fairly certain that it would be a passing flame. But a Bond would be forever and in many ways it was much more intimate than a having a love relationship with someone. Loyalty and reality forced her to disagree with him, though. Just like he thought that she might make a good Warder, she was stunned that no one had yet found the gem that was Sana. His final words made her flinch slightly as she caught the implication well enough. Maybe he hadn't meant it like that but then why wasn't he looking at her. There was nothing she could do about it, except make sure that she would never hurt him again. They needed something cheery to do to celebrate the event. Since she didn't drink much, stealing a keg from the kitchen wasn't it. And dancing had the touching part which was a bit problematic and besides, the guests shouldn't see her as she was 'resting'. "The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, or however the saying goes. The best we can do is enjoy the ride and try to see the good sides. Now, since I'm stuck here as I am such a wilting lily lady who needs rest, would you mind dicing with me? I feel lucky today, so I bet that I could fleece you. We could play the cards too. I'm sure that they have a deck nearby as the nobles like to play some dull and complex games. Pretty please." She gave him the puppy dog eyes. It was the best innocent excuse that she could think of to keep him there with her. And she quite enjoyed winning. But even loosing would be worth it. Sahra Covenry Tower Guard Trainee
  14. The smile was more showing teeth than a friendly gesture and Arette prepared her defense. She would better be ready to embrace Saidar in any heartbeat now. The other woman begun to look quite strange: quickened breathing, feverish eyes and hands fluttering nervously. She actually sweated and was that steam that she emitted? Frightening. She despised herself for actually feeling worried for her for a moment. That was what a good Wisdom did but insane pyromaniac wilders weren't worth wasting concern, they just needed to be stopped. But not yet, she'd need backup. So she needed to keep talking. Soothing words and voice, just like the one she used when her daughters were agitated, might help. So she had been chased. It was no wonder with the kind of destruction she could wreak. Arette would just have to find out if she had some connection with Ja'varan. "A shame with the hat. Where did you last see it at? Maybe you can just get a new one." "And people, other channelers are kind of busy right now. There was some trouble here just few days ago, you see. A channeler who pretended to be a Queen of Illian even when she wasn't. We had to kill her in a quite a battle." And what cost taking down just one Forsaken had taken. So many people dead. "She was burnt alive in fact. I bet that you would have liked that. A shame that you weren't there. You never met her, this Ja'varan or Serashda or did you?" She had no idea how the woman would react to that. Her guess was that she would get either fired up or be amused by someone getting burnt. Arette Stavros In a tough spot
  15. The music began and even though he would have prefered to take Sahra upstairs, he wasn't about to ruin whatever expectation she had for him for the night. He smiled as she began the dance and shook his head, wondering if there would ever be a time when Sahra wasn't so strongheaded. He didn't think so and he could hope not. He cared for her far more than he allowed himself to admit and he knew he'd have to face up to his emotions sooner than later, but Sahra was who she was and seeing her wait for his move made him smile in response to her challenge. He walked calmly to her side, and without preamble, pulled her hard against him, moving them both with the music. The reason why Sahra liked the Saldaean dances was because you moved more together than just one of you lead. And women had their own steps and bends and swirls; in fact, they moved more than the men. It suited very well the idea Saldaeans had of a relationship too: because the women were strong, the men had to be at least as strong, or the woman would have to restrict herself. That suited her idea of a relationship as well and Sana fulfilled the requirement more than well. He certainly didn't back down from a quarrel. She wasn't quite as sure how she felt about the Saldaean idea that women enjoyed getting spanked from time to time. On the other hand it could be... interesting. Her thoughts were likely reflected on her face from the way he grinned back at her. She gave him a smoky look and leaned to nip his ear lobe hard. "What do you think I am thinking?", she whispered. It was hard to keep himself at a respectable distance, even for a Saldean dance, when Sahra was so close to him now. Close enough that if he tried, he could probably throw himself over his shoulder and sweep her upstairs if he wanted. He didn't think she'd ever fight him on it from the looks she was giving him, but he wasn't entirely willing to bet the night on it. She nipped his ear and his grin grew larger, her words adding to it. "Hopefully that this dance leads out of this room at the end." They did a fast swirl that drew some admiring cheers from the nearby tables and Sahra focused on his eyes to keep her head from spinning. The smouldering look wasn't much help and her stomach constricted with desire and anticipation. "That's a given", she replied with a husky voice. "But what I was really thinking were Saldaeans and their ideas of relationship. Would you dare to try and spank me and what would I have to do to provoke it?" Her mischievous look promised that she would likely go for it. "And how much would you enjoy it... if you could catch me?" Sana threw his head back and laughed as they danced. There were some things that had become off limits between him and Sahra over the years, some things that only recently had been brought out again, and some things that had been painfully teased about over the course of her training. With the end of her training came an end to that torture. Or the beginning of an all new set, he thought with a smile. "When I catch you, I will most certainly enjoy it. And so will you." He added as she began to spin out of his grasp. He followed her movements, appreciating her form in the dance as he had never truly appreciated it before. When she came back to his arms again, he held her tightly. "And as for what you could do to provoke me, everything you do provokes me." His lips touched lightly on her ear. "It always has." Her laughter echoed his just out of the pure pleasure of being with him like this again. Sahra had missed it so much but it had been all her fault. Something that she wasn't going to think at all tonight. He was so right, she would enjoy it and she would make sure that he did too, more than he had ever before. But she wasn't going to think his women either. From now on there would be just one for him or she would have to kill him. Her eyes widened at his sweet words and she pressed her cheek against his and squeezed him tight. "Oh Sana", she murmured. "You have that effect on me too." Pulling apart, she winked at him. "Catch me if you can. Two minutes lead and I will get us a room." She sauntered off to the innkeeper, dropped him some coins and got keys in return. She gave Sana one last look before running upstairs. And she was out of his arms again before he could stop her. One thing the last few years working with Sahra had taught him was that she was more slippery than a lionfish out of water but normally when she had something up her sleeve it was enjoyable. He took a last drink and waited a moment before following to the good natured jibes of the people who had watched the two dance together. The innkeeper told him which room he would find her in and he barely managed to keep from sprinting up the stairs. Reaching the top, he went to the right door and knocked lightly. He didn't want to ruin whatever she had planned by busting through the door if she wasn't ready. Two minutes was a surprisingly long time when you were waiting for someone and suddenly Sahra found herself very nervous. She wanted him and he wanted her and she had had all kind of ideas for how it would go. But now when it was actually happening, the plans were eluding her and she felt clumsy. Should she undress or let him to do it? And should she be laying on the bed or sitting or standing? She had been supposed to give him a chase but she hadn't meant it quite literally. Then he was knocking already and she just stood there in middle of the room. "Umm... come in", she finally called. The awkwardness was over when she saw him. She stepped into his arms and simply kissed him. It was the only thing that mattered to him, as he entered the room. She was there and all the things that had come between them over the years were gone. She was in his arms and he wrapped her tightly there, not planning on letting go. Until he realized that he was going to have to because there were far too many clothes in the way. He kissed her passionately, but just as she leaned into him, he pushed her back gently. "You have too many clothes on." He teased lightly. There was electricity when he touched her and she could feel the chemistry between them as their tongues dueled in perfect rhythm. She breathed him deeply and couldn't have enough of him. But as her hands begun to roam his shoulder and back, he separated them. She moaned in disappointment yet his words made her to smile. She pulled her shirt off her pants and directed his hands to cup her breasts underneath. "Mmm, maybe you should help me then." Grabbing the hem of the shirt, she jerked it over her head in one quick motion to give him a free access and view to her upper body. There was its own seduction in undressing slowly but she had always been an impatient one. She wanted to be under his touch so badly. She needed him and not just physically; they had waited for so long. Sana & Sahra
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