• Closed • Celebration (Virikai)

Bella seeks out Kai on his return from Scalvoris

The stronghold of education and learning, this fortress, in one of the coldest areas of Idalos, houses many who seek to enhance their knowledge and expertise in any number of disciplines. Unknown to most, however, below the public areas of the city, suffering for the sake of science is common. All are welcomed, though some who arrive are not treated as they might expect.

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• Closed • Celebration (Virikai)

Postby Maebella » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:51 pm

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5th Cylus 718
Anagénnisi
4th-9th: The celebration of Treid allowing the moons to light up Viden, as the citizens of the ice fortress excitedly wait for the sun to return. For the next 4 days, the city lights bonfires in honour of the Immortal of Moons.

Once she'd heard that the delegation that had gone to Scalvoris were due back in the afternoon, Maebella had gone out of her way to prepare herself for Virikai's return. It was a happy time for it, a trial earlier likely to have been a more subdued affair as the first trial of Anagénnisi was a time of quiet reflection and reverence to Treid. He'd returned in time for the trials of revelry instead and while it wasn't something that would have been a great source of excitement for her in recent arcs, tonight she hoped to have a good time with her fiancé; having him as a fiancé was something to which she had yet to become accustomed. Although she'd always been able to gain some pleasure from the bonfires, but she'd only hovered at the edges. It had been different when she'd had her father and brothers around, although it had been a family affair then, a matter of reminiscing on their younger trials and enjoying some simple amusements. A date would be quite a different matter altogether.

The Eídisi had gone dress shopping, a new experience for her considering how against skirts and dresses she'd always been. She always deemed them impractical and yet now, she found herself willing to wear them for the Talius scion's sake. He seemed to enjoy the sight of her in them and so she'd decided that she'd choose her own. Perhaps it'd be more to her own tastes than Kai's, perhaps he'd prefer to see more of her soft blue skin on display. The dress that she'd chosen had a figure hugging bodice and carried a reminder that she possessed cleavage. It would accentuated her waist but didn't cling in an unseemly manner to her hips and legs, instead flaring out in a more modest manner, the hemline falling to the knee. She'd also purchased some new shoes and while they were heeled, she'd ensured that they were quite low pumps. The aristocrat would still have a fair few inches of height on her, a fact she felt would please him.

The scholar had gotten dressed up and had taken care to brush her hair until it shone, asking her roommates for advice about what to do with it. Apparently the use of hot rags could enable one to add curls and ringlets, and her roommates had helped add a pleasant wave to it, pressing it down on one side and affixing it with a decorative hair comb of bone with beads and ribbons. She wasn't sure if it was garish or not but the human women persuaded her. They even wanted to put make-up on her but they weren't entirely sure how to do it given her colouring and she had to draw the line somewhere in any case.

When she finally sought the man, the young woman felt quite peculiar indeed, not quite herself but not quite as out of sorts as she'd expected. In fact, she was excited to see him, eagerly anticipating his response to her appearance but also looking forward to seeing him. It had been many trials since she'd seen him last and a great deal had happened in the meantime. Maebella had ended up in a very stressful, life threatening situation at the end of the previous season and a great many feelings had been dug up, but she hoped that a lot of complex emotions had been resolved as well. She felt lighter, less burdened, and it meant that she could approach her relationship with Virikai in a fresh state of mind.

It had been easy to find him. Obviously, the delegation that had returned from Scalvoris had split up, the delegates going their separate ways. After trials away from the city, it made sense that the heir would end up at home. That didn't mean that she was eager to go there. Still, she steeled herself and did just that, knocking for entry and finding herself greeted by a slave.

"I'm here to see Lord Virikai," she told the young man, anticipating that she'd be led to him.



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Celebration (Virikai)

Postby Virikai Talius » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:18 pm

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If the slave in question was surprised to see Maebella at the door of the Talius residence, he gave no indication, nodding demurely and stepping to the side. He offered to store the guest’s outerwear away before proceeding to show her through to one of the many receiving rooms in the property. With a polite notice to wait here for Lord Virikai, the slave left her alone to make the lordling aware of his guest.

Virikai, recently returned as part of the delegation of politicians, scholars and students to Scalvoris, had just finished his bath when the slave quietly announced the arrival of Marbella. His fiancée. A smile brightened his features slightly as he nodded his understanding, dismissing the slave with that single gesture, as he continued to towel himself dry. He dressed casually - a simple cotton shirt, buttoned to his chest, and plain black trousers, tied with a black corded belt around his waist. The scion had no intentions of leaving the apartments to join the revelries this trial, for many reasons, the primary one being that he had an address to prepare, ordered by his father.

But he was also tired, mentally rather than physically, after the days of schmoozing among the Academy’s finest. He had been born for it, and loved every moment, but that didn’t mean he could cope indefinitely with plastering a smile on his face and remembering to say all the right things to the right people… all of whom he had had to learn the names of in advance so as to avoid offending anyone.

Right now, however, he just wanted the world to slow down for a minute.

Internally, Virikai doubted that Maebella would allow him that peace he so desperately craved - the fire in her very soul was always alight, always requiring so much energy on his part to keep up with her. At least he could be himself around her, Virikai was grateful for that much.

Miss Arval,” he greeted, a smirk on his face as he finally appeared, pushing back a damp mop of hair from his eyes. He reached down, collecting her hand in his own and leaning down to brush his lips across the surface. “The moon and stars don’t shine as bright as your eyes, my love. How glad I am to see you.” Having lingered for slightly longer than was decent, Virikai released his hold and turned away to the bar.

Pulling out a whiskey imported from Rynmere, he glanced back at Maebella, “A drink?” It occurred to Kai that the break was far too early to drink, but it did not matter. He wanted a drink, so he would have one.
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Celebration (Virikai)

Postby Maebella » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:33 pm

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The slave that had answered the door let her pass without protest, treating her with appropriate respect. She removed her cloak, allowing the man to store it for her before leading her to a room and leaving her there while he went to retrieve her fiancé. Left to her own devices, the young woman didn't sit, instead choosing to walk slowly back and forth, not truly pacing as she checked minor aspects of her appearance. She made sure that the dress was as it should be, the material hanging correctly on her frame and she reached up to tentatively pat her hair. The scholar considered removing the decorative comb, wondering if it was a step too far but also worried that removing it now would cause great dishevel to her hair, which wouldn't be fixed in time for Virikai's entrance. Thus, while her fingers hovered nervously close to the bone hairpiece, she didn't extract it.

By the time he appeared, she'd resigned herself to standing in one spot, trying to occupy her mind with items in the room rather than glancing to the doorway every other trill but failing miserably. Her face lit up from within, the young woman unable to stop it even if she'd tried, undeniably pleased to see the young man, even more so given his expression because it seemed to be a mutual feeling. She made no complaint about his formality, not even reminding him how she disliked to have her family name used. Instead, she was caught up in the sight of every feature of his face, trying to stamp it into her memory because she clearly hadn't done it justice in her mind's eye during his absence.

His lips against her skin sent a pleasant tingling over the surface of her hand and eliciting a blush of pleasure that soon mixed with embarrassment at his words. She caught one side of her lip between her teeth, trying to prevent either a foolish expression or daft exclamation from escaping her. She managed to hold her tongue for a few moments until she could come up with a suitably phrased protest. "Kai, please... there's no need for such flowery language," she murmured, the blush spreading as she tried to hide her shy, pleased smile. She clasped her hands demurely at her waist, drifting to the nearest seat even as her gaze lingered on his back as he moved to the bar. She seated herself carefully, ensuring that the skirt of her dress didn't ride up as she made herself comfortable and feeling pleased with herself for succeeding at somewhat lady-like behaviour. Knees pressed primly together, she placed her hands in her lap, chewing her lip as she considered his question.

"Yes, a drink would be nice, I think. There's no harm in it; it is a day of celebration after all," she pointed out, wondering as she did so what precisely she was getting herself into. She had no idea if the drink she'd be given would be a familiar one or even one that she'd like but if the Talius scion wanted to give her one then it was better not to poke and prod at his choices; he didn't enjoy being too closely questioned. On the side where her hair still hung loose, she tucked it back behind her ear, a commonly nervous social gesture for her. Despite his compliments, she was worried that she'd overdone things, especially as her fiancé seemed so casual. Maybe it had been wrong to prepare herself for some sort of trip outside.

"How was Scalvoris? Was it a, uh... enjoyable trip?" the young woman questioned softly, not entirely sure what she was supposed to say to him. They hadn't seen each other for many trials and there were things that she wanted to tell him, things that she also wasn't certain that she should broach. Better not to mention her adventures out in the Tundra unless entirely unavoidable. Perhaps she could get him to talk solely about himself - difficult at the best of times - rather than dredging up her uncomfortable encounter with the past. "I wasn't sure if you were going to go to the celebrations tonight. I know that they'll continue for a number of nights and that I could have sought you out later rather than straight after your trip but... I wanted to see you," she admitted, blushing anew as her gaze dropped, fingers dancing up to shift the hair back again when not a strand had had a chance to stir. Part of her wanted to ask if he'd thought of her, missed her, but part of her didn't for fear of confirming that the depth of her feelings was greater than his own.


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Celebration (Virikai)

Postby Virikai Talius » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:19 am

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The young woman protested against his compliments, yet Virikai could quite clearly see in her eyes how much she enjoyed the attention. He had smirked and said nothing in response as he busied himself with pouring the whiskey out. No doubt if he had replied, Maebella would end up providing a long-winded explanation of what she meant. At most times, her need to explain herself was endearing, but today he doubted his patience would stretch far enough for extended conversation.

Yes…” the lordling replied, barely able to hide the roll of his eyes, “a ‘celebration’…” Virikai had always struggled to understand the concept of a celebration immediately after a day of mourning. It made the previous trial seem insincere, faithless towards Treid. In his memory, it seemed like people were barely going through the motions of lamentation for Yvithia’s fallen love, only waiting for the moment of merriment to follow. He had asked his father about it when he was younger, and his father had shared sentiments of disdain for the pharisaical actions of the general populous.

Yet this was how it was. Raising the tumbler of whiskey, he tipped his head back and downed the drink in one, ignoring the sear of heat across his tongue and trickling down his throat. After repairing himself out a healthy sized dram, he picked it up with Maebella’s and walked back to her. He passed over her tumbler. “Venoran Whiskey,” he introduced, raising his glass to the light, as if scrutinising it for any imperfections. “Do you know anything of the Venoran landscape? You’ll be able to smell the apples and pears if you nose it, and taste the fruits, so beautifully married with honeys.” Swirling the glass absently, Virikai watched the legs of the liquid form and drop slowly - it was a heavy whiskey, relative to others from Rynmere… probably not a suitable starter for Maebella. “This particular bottle started its journey twelve years ago. It is my favourite; sophisticated and elegant in its production. Each of the Duchies create alcohols so unique from each other because the whiskies breathe the air of the region.

He took another drink, this time only a sip, and he allowed the amber liquid to sit on his tongue, savouring the sensation. “Students found the trip enjoyable. I wasn’t attending as a student, though. I was there as the son of Verity Talius. Enjoyable is not a word I would use to describe it. Enlightening, perhaps… but not enjoyable.

When Maebella continued speaking, she seemed to do so with an edge of uncertainty in her voice. It was this which gave Virikai pause - he thought they were beyond that. Ordinarily, Virikai would have been stunted, but Yvithia’s gift, praise her graciousness, seemed to be constantly evolving. He had not understood it at first, but his awareness of others was growing. Strong emotions were becoming easier and easier to identify… with a handy colour-coded system to support said identification. A blue-purple aura seemed to linger around his fiancé, pulsing into and out of saturation. This was new.

He did not answer the girl’s question; it was unimportant when compared against the phenomenon he was currently witnessing. “What happened while I was gone, Maebella?
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Celebration (Virikai)

Postby Maebella » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:22 pm

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He didn't sound particularly enthused about joining the celebrations and there was almost something disdainful in his tone. Had he almost rolled his eyes there? Perhaps. Either way, it appeared that her suggestion was a poor one. She should have known better really, should have guessed that he'd look down his nose at something that many in Viden enjoyed: an excuse for commoners to have a party. Her cheeks flushed, the young woman highly aware that she'd tarted herself up for no good reason, and despite his compliments, she probably looked cheap to him, and desperate. She felt she'd chosen poorly in more than one way to-trial and she felt ashamed.

Maebella honestly wanted to hide her face from him, hoping to get ahold of herself so she could be what he expected of her. He probably hadn't expected her to come here as she was, overly done up and ready to go to a celebration that - she didn't know - he thought in bad taste. If the scion troubled to ask her about the matter, whether she thought the previous trial's mourning insincere in the face of the partying that followed, he would have found that their opinions differed. However, he didn't ask, instead presenting her with a dram of whiskey, evidently expecting to introduce her to another aspect of culture.

At the mention of Venora, she stiffened slightly and blurted, "I haven't been to Rynmere but I know a Venora." Well, ex-Venora, of course. The woman had introduced herself as such when secretly, she'd already been a Gawyne, tied to Caius. She probably hadn't intended to be deceitful but no doubt hadn't yet been accustomed to her new family name.

Thoughts of Darcy did nothing to improve her current state of mind and she tried to will away the tension that had suddenly taken root in her body. Instead, she tried to focus on the drink that her fiancé had presented her with, sniffing it carefully and wrinkling her nose a little at its potency. It caused a prickling sensation in her nostrils that promised to be searing if she chose to inhale more deeply. It was almost as irritating as getting too close to ground pepper and she could only imagine what it would do to her throat. She'd seen Kai down one measure of it in one already and if its aroma was anything to go by, she wondered how he still had a throat rather than a raw, ragged tube down to his stomach. She didn't know if it breathed the air of the duchy; the Eídisi suspected that it breathed the air of fire.

She made a show of swilling it around and breathing in the scent, trying to find the bouquet that the aristocrat alluded to and putting off drinking it. "Ah yes, I understand. Business, not pleasure, but there's no harm in gaining greater enlightenment," she commented diplomatically, carefully sipping at the contents of her glass. The liquid slipped smoothly over her tongue, leaving a trail of fire in its path and struck the back of her throat. She swallowed on reflex, coughing as it burned her throat, one hand moving to a point above her sternum as the blaze continued downwards. "By Yvithia! That's... that's strong," she whispered, somewhat hoarse. She didn't like the flavour - what she managed to taste of it under the burn - and its strength was too much for her. She didn't think that it was to her fancy at all. With her eyes watering, she set the vessel aside, deciding that she'd risk another sip in a few bits for the sake of politeness, especially as it was apparently Virikai's favourite.

His question sent a jolt of shock through her, her white eyes flashing up to stare to him. There was no way that he could know what was going on in her head, no way that he could- Her gaze moved to the scar-like mark across his eye and her eyelids narrowed. Could he read things from her head? She had no idea, no real sense of how the mark worked but she felt that it had given him some advantage. Or perhaps she was just that predictable to him now but also an open book before his eyes.

She turned her head away from him, muscle in her jaw setting firm in a way that was sure to be visible to her partner. "Nothing of particular interest happened while you were gone," she retorted coolly. "I don't think that's what you're really asking though, is it? You can obviously tell that there's something on my mind. I don't know if it's so obvious that you can see it writ across my face or if Yvithia's gifts let you see it," she added, hands balling into fists in her lap. She gazed down at them, debating whether to simply refuse or not. If she refused then he'd press or he'd take on that particular frozen demeanour, manipulate her, make her spill her secrets or twist her heart in a way that made her regret keeping her mouth shut. He could make her feel ridiculously young, immature, stupid, petty, impotent. It made her want to scream. If she gave him a little, he'd take a lot and she wasn't sure if she wanted to give it. She had a wild impulse to fling certain details in his face, to try to hurt him as he'd succeeded in so often hurt her but the thought of doing so made her feel... unclean. Thus, she chose to give him some details but not all of them. Let him try to rip them out of her if he would; she'd like to see him try.

"It was the end of Zi'da, before you left. I ended up in unusual circumstances out in the Tundra. How I got there... isn't in my memory but I ended up in a place called Treid's Sanctum, I met Ziell, I almost died on more than one occasion-" almost murdered Caius, her mind interjected, "-and I saw someone who I hadn't seen in awhile. From Rynmere. A nobleman and h-his wife," she finished, inwardly cursing herself for stuttering. He'd probably jump right on that little tidbit of information.

"If you must know, he was someone who was a student here not last arc but the arc before. I hadn't had a friend before and he... he was... he was the first and only man that I've slept with," Bella declared in a rush, gaze moving to meet his at the last, some measure of defiance in them. He'd said that he'd loved her, said that he still cared for her. Caius had said that in front of his wife... and moments later, the scholar had pushed him to what could easily have been his death.


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Celebration (Virikai)

Postby Virikai Talius » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:57 am

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Maebella’s reaction to the whiskey was expected, and Virikai smiled at her heroic attempt to pretend not to be disgusted by the spicy, burning sensation in her throat. “The first taste is always the worst. Your tongue just needs to grow used to it, or you may add a few droplets of water to it.” He gestured over to a small jug with a pipet resting inside it. “You know a Venora? I did not realise any members of that family were studying here.

As he was bringing the tumbler to his lips once more, Virikai pauses completely, before turning his head down to level a calm, assessing gaze on Maebella once more. But there was something about the way colours swirled about her at the mention of the region that gave Virikai reason to pause, wondering if he had hit a nerve. He did not press the matter further, though, when the blue-purple saturated aura deepened, became more vibrant… becamered. It that wasn’t enough, her clipped tone told Virikai all he needed to know - or all he cared about. It was a very rare occurrence for someone to use that tone with him, and even rarer that he would allow someone to get away with it.

Despite being his fiancée, Maebella was not the exception to the rule. Virikai’s voice, when he spoke, was deceptively soft, “What was that?” There was warning in his tone, but the rest of the reprimand for her recalcitrant attitude was lost when he watched his future wife’s face contort with an array of emotions before her lips opened to continue speaking. On his part, Virikai did nothing to school the incredulity from his expression as Maebella’s story became more and more ridiculous.

Why in Yvithia’s name were you out in the Tundra in Zi’da, Bella? What idiocy sent you out there? You could have fallen asleep and never woken up; your body would not have been found for decades, you foolish girl.” Virikai’s glare was now glacial, though his tone was still only decibels shy of a murmur. He could not believe anyone would attempt to leave the city in the coldest seasons of the arc - not even the Rangers would go out until the end of Cylus. “How? Did you just… look out over the Cliffs and decide one day that it would be fun to take a stroll?

But she didn’t stop, going as far as to admit extramarital relations with this man. Maebella had even go so far as to frame her confession as though the response had been forced out of out of her by him. Virikai had known about her colourful history, of course, but to have it thrown in his face so without remorse… if Virikai thought about it enough, he was bothered by this new knowledge. However, what bothered him more was Maebella’s attitude. What possible reason could she have to mention this ex-lover, other than to try to hurt him?

For the first time, he had no words, no quick retort, no cold criticism to push Maebella back down where he preferred her. Instead, he merely shook his head and downed the rest of his second tumbler before returning to the cabinet to pour out a third. Cylus certainly did not seem to be going his way.
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Celebration (Virikai)

Postby Maebella » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:09 pm

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She might take his advice about adding water to the whiskey but she wanted to try to weather it out first, see if she could recover from that first sip so she could risk another. If a second sip didn't bear any improvement then she might admit defeat and add water but thus far, her pride wouldn't allow it. Maebella didn't want to be a source of amusement for him, not the sort where he would laugh at her. Not that she suspected he'd be doing much laughing.

The Eídisi mumbled something incoherent in response to his Venora question, not wholly certain what she'd said herself, if anything at all; it was all noise really. It wasn't something that she didn't want to touch, didn't want to have to comment on again although it was quite possible that she might have to do so. No matter how defiant she tried to be, once his anger reared its head, Maebella shrank from him. The softness of his voice, the careful control showed how well her words had gone by and the scholar fidgeted slightly unable to take them back as the fire in her sputtered out. She was left feeling small and vulnerable, anticipating a scolding like a child that knew they'd done wrong.

Still when the berating began, tears pricked at the corners of her gaze, frustration and anger whirling in her as she went on the defensive. "I didn't decide anything! I just ended up there! Far out from the city, no idea how I got there and told that I could walk back to Viden on my own in the snow and maybe live or stay with the group and the Ranger and increase my chances. Would you have preferred for me to walk back, Kai? Would you have liked me to increase my chances of dying?" she asked, voice rising a number of octaves before it cracked, her emotion gaining the upper hand as tears leaked out onto her cheeks. Wiping away the moisture angrily, she sniffled, irritated with herself and hurt by what he'd said. Did he truly think her so idiotic? Evidently. She would have liked to be indignant but that didn't work. Instead, she simply ached, his words causing her greater pain than she could possibly ever inflict on him.

And she loved him. She had opened herself to this, opened her arms and her heart to him to stab and rip her to shreds if he so desired; apparently, that's exactly what he wanted to do.

The tears continued to leak out no matter how much she willed them to stop, no matter how much she wiped them away. The scholar just couldn't make them stop and she knew that would annoy Virikai more. But he wasn't snapping back at her, there was no retort in the wake of her reference to Caius, instead leaving an unsettled silence between them that ate at her. The young woman twisted her hands in her lap, fiddling with the material in her dress as her head bowed.

"I'm sorry, Virikai. I know that I keep saying it, I know that I keep handling things in a way that you find disappointing but I... after Caesia assaulted me, I could sense what you thought. I don't need to have Xypha to know that it must have crossed your mind that I must have done something to get that sort of attention from men, that I offered some sort of encouragement but you didn't ask. You never asked," she mumbled, eyes fluttering closed. "Either you didn't think you'd like the answer or you didn't care enough and the idea that either of those could be true... I shouldn't have just said it like that but I had to... I had to say something. I'm sorry. Please don't say that I'm overthinking things again. This isn't overthinking, it's just how I think. It's how my mind works," his fiancée admitted miserably, all of her previous energy drained from her voice so she simply sounded exhausted. She certainly felt it.


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Celebration (Virikai)

Postby Virikai Talius » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:11 pm

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I expect you to look at me when I talk to you.” Virikai’s clipped words interrupted Maebella’s own defensive retaliation to his rebuke. But he allowed her to continue with her tirade, reigning in his own desire to stop her completely in her tracks. No one spoke to him like that. She claimed it was not her choice to end up in the Tundra. Did she think him moronic? No one simply materialised into the Tundra, “I would prefer it if you avoided getting into these situations in the first place. You rejected my offer of support, but that was before you agreed to become my wife. You no longer have a choice if I decide something is necessary for your protection.

Replacing the tumbler of whiskey on the table, he rounded it to approach the girl, who was becoming visibly more unstable with each passing moment. “If this reckless behaviour continues, I will take any steps I deem necessary to ensure your safety.” Following the angry tirade, it seemed like she deflated, nerves spent and left only with tears and emotion that seemed to appear from nowhere.

Slender fingers wrapped around the girl’s wrist, and the Talius heir kneeled down in front of her, drawing her gaze and attention back to him. His expression had not changed, and it would not surprise Maebella - Virikai had yet to be moved by Maebella’s emotional displays of agitation and distress. When she submitted to these needless, and painfully frequent, bouts of hysteria, the girl lost all filters on her words. But, in the past, she had responded well to his touch, as if it grounded her in the moment. He needed her aware, he needed her to be rational, he needed her to calm down.

Do you think,” he began quietly and without preamble to attempting to calm her, “That I give a damn about your past relations? Have I used them in the past against you? Did I just comment on ex-lover man re-entering your life this past season?” She was infuriating, and Virikai let her know it. His grip, previously firm but gentle, squeezed harder, a warning to pull her attention even more into the moment. This behaviour was entirely unacceptable, for reasons Maebella clearly did not understand. “Or was my anger directed at you for other reasons? I never asked about your past life because it doesn’t matter to me, not because I didn’t want to hear the answer. Did it ever cross your mind that I might be angry at you for endangering your life? That your safety means more to me than your past promiscuity?

I cannot correct your behaviour when you are so resolved to find fault in all the wrong places. Your self-destructive mindset stops today, Bella.” After one more final squeeze, he pushed himself back up. “Do you understand why I am upset?” He said, after a long pause, his voice returning to the previous quiet, though this time it appeared more disappointed than dangerous.

He waited for a signal of understanding, though it didn’t mater if she was telling the truth or not; he would test said understanding. He was doing this only to help his Bella get better, to correct faults, to help her fit into his life. But he was struggling to reinforce any of his lessons, so perhaps the next step was for Maebella to teach herself. “You will not move from there while I work on my speech for tomorrow night. You will sit there and calm yourself down, and, when you are ready, you will write 100 lines. I want you to think about what line you want to write, like how you fail to think before you speak. Spend time thinking, and then write. If I don’t like what you write, I will make you repeat the exercise again and again, as long as it takes for you to get it right.
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Virikai Talius
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Celebration (Virikai)

Postby Maebella » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:57 pm

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The way he spoke... Maebella didn't think that he believed her. She knew how ludicrous it sounded, materialising in the Tundra with no warning but it was true! Even if it sounded ridiculous, surely he should believe her. Unless he thought she was lying so she didn't have to take responsibility for her actions? Yes, once again, she was the child, the irresponsible one, incapable of doing anything for herself. She hadn't meant to be such a massive fuck-up that she didn't function in the place that society had for her. Yes, she was Eídisi but she wasn't as she ought to be and she knew it, had always known it. It didn't matter that she'd been told that there was nothing wrong with her. They didn't live in her head, they didn't see how frequently things went to pieces for her.

A new wave of hurt moved through her, fresh tears threatening to erupt when he moved suddenly, taking her wrist and kneeling. The young woman had simply wanted to sink deeper into herself, deal with her own private misery as her emotions shredded her insides, left her a mass of barely functioning flesh. Instead, he was drawing her back, making her become aware of the world outside herself, of him. She stared, white eyes glassy with tears although the torrent dried up, the scholar exhausted from the activity as she gave him what attention she could muster. As he spoke, his hold on her wrist grew more uncomfortable, tightening in a way that was impossible to ignore, her gaze widening as she stared at him. The girl became mute, unable to refute what he was saying and not deeming it necessary to voice that he was right. No, he hadn't brought it up and no, he didn't seem to give a damn although that wasn't really all that surprising; aside from that single kiss they'd shared at the Aranaz estate, he hadn't given her a single indication that he desired her. Oh, she was to be his wife but it felt more like he wanted her for the sake of having her rather than literally having her.

Miserable resignation took hold as he kept talking although her lips pressed together firmly, a brief flash of fire in her gaze as he mentioned that she'd endangered her life. It hadn't been her fault, truly it hadn't but she could probably talk until her face went grey and he still wouldn't believe that she hadn't brought it upon herself. There just wasn't any point trying to argue with him. It got her nowhere and it pissed him off. She simply grew more limp, life as well as defiance ebbing from her. Her eyes would have drooped back down along with her head, resigned to staring blankly into her lap if it hadn't been for that hold on physical hold on her, that contact that was actually beginning to ache.

She gave the barest shake of her head at his question because she didn't understand what had upset him. Not that she'd call it upset per se. He was quietly furious and she really didn't know why. He was disappointed in her, perhaps slightly disgusted with her and she wished that she could excise it. Whatever so displeased him, she wished she could slice it out, even if it meant taking all that was worthwhile out with it, the good along with the bad. She wanted his approval, desperately needed it. All she wanted was a small inkling that he bore even a fraction of the love for her that she felt for him. Inside, she could feel those spider-line cracks in her heart opening up, his disapproval weighing heavily on her. It made her want to sob anew but somehow, Bella kept ahold of herself, giving a small nod as her gaze dropped again, demure, certain that he would now simply leave her alone, let her stew in her own sorrows and self-doubts.

A hand fluttered up to the side of her head, finding the pretty decorative comb that she'd inserted. She pulled it out, wincing slightly as the teeth caught some small tangle that had formed in the interim and snapped through it, tugging sharply at her scalp in the process. She let the tawdry thing fall into her lap, staring at it and seeing it for what it was for the first time: useless. There had been no point in putting it in, no point in going on her little shopping trip. Whatever sense of excitement the outfit had brought her, believing that Kai would like it had long since dissipated. No sense in choosing anything of the sort. It was a waste. If he wanted her to wear something then he'd pick it, wouldn't he? Let him decide that for her too; he seemed bent on deciding everything else.

There was a slave near at hand, someone who could fetch her the supplies she needed to write her lines, a punishment and an instruction. She sat staring at the blank parchment, careful not to smear ink needlessly on its clean surface as she sat and thought. She wished that she could be as blank as the page before her, ready to be marked at the scion's orders in a way that pleased him. If only she didn't have to think. If she didn't have to think then she couldn't think along contrary lines, couldn't do or say the things that rubbed him up the wrong way. If she did what he asked, wholeheartedly gave into every whim of his, every demand then would he not love her then?

She began to write. She wrote more than 100 lines, far more, providing him with a few thoughts for his inspection. Maybe one of them would please him. Maybe she wouldn't have to write more, wouldn't have to write until her hand hurt rather than the slight ache that now existed along her fingers and in the bones of her wrist.

Maebella wrote three things:

I will think before I speak.

I will not show undue emotion.

I will submit.

She stared at the last until her gaze glazed over, no longer able to see the words as her eyes took on the true blankness that so many non-Eídisi believed of her kind. It felt as if the scholar had signed over herself over to him completely: mind, body and soul. It wasn't something that she cared about, not if it made her into someone he could love although perhaps she'd reach a point where she simply didn't care anymore.


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Celebration (Virikai)

Postby Virikai Talius » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:59 pm

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While Maebella started to calm herself, Virikai rounded the table once more and pulled out the chair. It was a perfectly placed vantage point to watch his fiancée while he worked, though he was careful to keep his head down and on his own work for the majority of the time that passed. It would not do, after all, to have her be aware of how interested he was right now. The silence dragged on. That, more than anything, cautioned Virikai to something being categorically wrong with Maebella’s reaction. She had a retort for everything, no matter her mental state, she was always ready with a reply.

Somehow, Virikai had finally silenced her. His own reservoir pen scratched across his parchment, thought the silence penetrating the room was drowning out the white noise of the two eídisi writing away on their separate tasks. Surreptitious glances in his future wife’s direction did not soothe his concern. Regardless, the young scion refused to approach the girl and soothe whatever woes were affecting her. Maebella had a lesson to learn first.

Eventually, the scratch of pen subsided and Virikai glanced up in earnest. “Finished?” He stood and returned, kneeling down once more in front of the girl and gentle sliding the sheet of parchment from her grip. There were three sentences, all of which caused his heart to stop and fire to burn deep in his stomach. Milky eyes stared at the filled parchment for a long while, and the silence dragged on. This was not what he had expected, but it explained a lot.

No, Bella...” he finally murmured, still staring down at the cursive in something akin to horror. Finally, he glanced up, and he despised what he saw. Reaching up, his fore and middle fingers looped by the girl’s hair, recently freed from its secure hold by the comb. Gently, slowly, the fingers trailed along the fringe line, gathering more hair before tucking it behind her ear. “Look at me, Bella,” his tone a careful balance between an order and a request. “You don’t understand, do you?

Do you remember what I told you when you first admitted your past to me? I called you diamond dust. Do you remember what that meant?” Maebella had the terrible affliction and tendency to overthink everything. Finally, Virikai understood how damaging miscommunication could be, especially with this girl. Yes, he wanted a more refined version of Bella... but he wanted Bella. He wanted the girl who had taken issue with him sitting at her table, he wanted the girl who argued so passionately about her chosen qualifications, he wanted the girl who took pains to learn self-defence. He wanted her spirit to remain unbroken... only tamed for the sake of propriety. Above all, Virikai Talius wanted her love and loyalty - mind, body and soul... not this evident mistrustful submission, where he could never hope to capture her soul.

Leaning forward, he collected a second parchment from the cushion of the chair next to the girl and placed it on her lap. “Try again.” This time, he did not move, digging deep into his reserves of patience and discipline to watch her begin. If she found the right sentence, he would stop her after the first line.
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