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A Meeting of Necessity (Tristan)

Postby Valeria Burhan » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:02 pm

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Zanik give her strength...

Valeria hadn't been expecting this when she'd come here to-trial, not at all. Ayla seemed enthralled by her, which was understandable given what her Elithem abilities were doing. However, it made her a little nervous to have the girl's focus on her, especially as the child seemed eager for her to play now as if her prettiness equalled friendliness. This was outside of her comfort zone and it didn't help that the doll she had was... peculiar. It was an object and yet the blonde was wary about the notion of touching it as if it was something dirty or harmful. The Burhan hadn't known Tristan for very long but she already understood that he was an eccentric young man and no doubt this unusual playmate was his doing. That didn't make her feel any more at ease.

"Uhm... maybe I'll hold her later," she murmured, smiling while eyeing the doll uneasily. She didn't want to touch the thing. It was totally illogical of course but she just felt a superstitious dread of touching the thing. Maybe she couldn't put it off indefinitely but it would do for the time being. Handling the situation was far easier. At least she could deal with Alena without having her skin crawl.

As the blonde presented her pet to the little girl, she smiled at her obvious enthusiasm. Her adoration for the creature was clear and she truly felt that it would have made no difference to Ayla if it had been a dog instead of a cat. She found herself warming to her, especially when she looked to the duke, belatedly seeking permission to approach the animal. Her own gaze darted up to the Venora, irises a warm brown as she regarded him with approval. Maybe she could forgive him for this little bit of negligence, this utter failure to mention his daughter before this meeting. Ayla was an endearing little thing, even if she was being a bit rough with her baby. Alena let out a little mewl of protest, her eyes turning pleadingly to her owner.

The Elithem found herself reaching out, hand coming to rest over the considerably smaller one, urging it to stillness. "Gently now, gently. Nicely now, you don't want to hurt her," she murmured while the cat gave another small meow, almost a question as she peered between the two humans. The Burhan smiled, striving to manipulate the hand gently so that her strokes were far softer than before, the fingers not curled uncomfortably into the fur in a way that might tug at it and hurt her. "If you put your hand here... you can feel her purr," she added, indicating a point on the animal's throat.

The doubts that Valeria had felt weren't quelled but were seriously soothed, feeling rather more at ease in the girl's presence now but in spite of that, she wasn't entirely all right yet. Still, her smile was quite genuinely warm as she observed Ayla's joy at the animal, unconsciously reaching out to tease out and tame some disordered strands of the child's hair. It was an oddly maternal gesture and not one that she'd believed herself possible of feeling.

"Were you planning to just stand and look on, Tristan?" she asked softly, an eyebrow quirked, the young woman amused. "Were you not planning on saying anything, doing anything? Maybe you'd like to add a little more, given that I'm meeting Ayla for the first time and you neglected to, uh... say anything at all at an earlier point," the blonde commented, the Elithem glow receding from her features as she carefully set the fluffy feline down, trusting her to behave herself and allow herself to be petted. Her purring could be heard vibrating through the air; apparently she was enjoying herself.
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A Meeting of Necessity (Tristan)

Postby Tristan Venora » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:57 am

As Valeria met his gaze, Tristan’s features brightened considerably. He was just so incredibly happy and relieved, and if hadn’t already been standing, he would have jumped up for joy. For a moment he had been worried that she would storm out of his house and refuse to ever talk to him again because he had been forgetful and an idiot (and a couple of other things that he didn’t know the words for) and not told her about his daughter sooner. He didn’t normally worry a lot (apart from that season – it had been terrible!). He was just not that kind of person, but there was something about Valeria that got to him. He’d only known her for a very short time, but he already couldn’t imagine never seeing her again. He wanted her to come back again and again and again!

He had no idea why she rejected poor Milly though, and Ayla didn’t have any idea either. When Valeria said something about maybe holding her later, the little girl hugged her doll as if she wanted to comfort it and sat it on a chair – and a moment later she had already forgotten all about it because Alena was so much more interesting. Ayla’s mother was an evil Immortal, but Ayla had no interest in hurting anybody, be they a human or an animal. When Valeria told her to be gentle, she tried to, but of course she only half-succeeded because she was still a little clumsy at her age, and she didn’t quite manage to curb her enthusiasm.

As Valeria told her to put her hand on the animal’s throat, Ayla looked at her questioningly, but then she touched Alena, and her eyes widened. “It moves!” she exclaimed. “Daddy”, she asked Tristan. “Why does Ally’s throat move?” “That’s called purring”, Tristan explained. “Cats do that when they are happy and content. Mistral purrs as well, but not as often.” When Mistral purred, he did so extremely loudly though. The first time that Tristan had heard him purr he had wondered if he was broken and taken him to the vet because he had never heard a cat make a sound like that before.

“Yes, of course”, Tristan replied in a matter-of-fact tone as Valeria asked him if he had just been planning to stand and look on. He looked very relaxed and content, and he didn’t even mind the criticism that was contained in Valeria’s words. “I wanted to give the two of you a chance to get to know each other. I’m not sure why I haven’t told you about her earlier, by the way, but I’m deeply sorry for not doing so, and I hope that you believe me and forgive me and stay with me regardless because I can’t imagine ever letting you go again.” As he said that, he sat Mistral down again. The black cat immediately walked over to Alena in order to examine her further. This time he wouldn’t let the humans take her away from him again!

“If there is anything you’d like to ask – absolutely anything, no matter how awkward, offensive or complicated it is – I’ll gladly answer”, he said as he walked over to her and took her hand in his. What he really wanted to do was wrap her in his arms and kiss her passionately again, but then he realized that she might indeed have a thing or two to say to him now, and it would be better to give her the opportunity to do so.

In the meantime Ayla had retrieved Milly and was introducing her to Alena.
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A Meeting of Necessity (Tristan)

Postby Valeria Burhan » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:16 pm

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Valeria found herself smiling indulgently at the child as she tried and failed to be gentle, which was unsurprising given her age - or what the blonde imagined her age was. It was a good first attempt and she was really was doing her best so she couldn't fault her for that. Furthermore, her questions about the cat's purrs were so sweetly endearing that her smile broadened, a warmth glowing within her.

However, it took her some moments to actually consider her own actions: the tone she'd adopted, her willingness to allow the girl away with certain things, the delight that rose in response to Ayla's own. She'd been doing it to please Tristan. She needed him and it made sense that he'd expect any prospective wife of his to be able to treat his daughter well. Except that in mere ticks, it had changed from a matter of necessity to something else. The child was stirring up something unfamiliar within her and she was slow to recognise it for what it must be: maternal feeling. The Burhan actually wanted to be close to the little Venora, to elicit those sunny smiles and bring that bright gleam to her blue eyes. Once she recognised it for what it was and consciously acknowledged it, her hyperawareness of it brought it back to herself. Suddenly all too conscious of what she'd been doing, what she'd permitted herself to feel, the blonde drew into herself a little, becoming more restrained.

Tristan. She was here for Tristan, she reminded herself. She'd been summoned because he needed her and couldn't do without her. Now she'd be even further in his good graces after this little act (an act, yes, that's what it was) with his daughter and so she needed to cement things if she could, make his desire for her truly stick. If she was to be his drug of choice then she needed to intoxicate him with her presence and make her absence in the near future all the more painful. The duke needed to be made to come crawling back to her and Ayla was just another piece that she had to play with.

She turned her attention to him, an eyebrow quirked as she listened to his apology. She tilted her head to the side, feigning deep consideration of the matter before nodding with slow solemnity. "I forgive you but... I trust it won't happen again? You won't neglect to tell me things in the future?" V queried gently, allowing her focus to switch to the doll that Ayla had newly remembered. Her hand stretched out, caressing the figure with the backs of her fingers and cooing to the cat, "Isn't she lovely, Ally? Do you like Milly? I do, I think she's lovely. May I hold her now, Ayla?" she questioned softly, this time having an ulterior motive for her actions.

Even as she indulged the child's whims and gave her attention that she evidently craved, the blonde was contemplating what she wanted to ask him. Bringing up the matter of marriage would be too rash, it was too soon for the mention of such things, but there might be a more roundabout way of approaching the issue rather than coming at it directly. She felt that the child was the key and guessed that the whole thing could be pulled off with an air of innocence.

"How old is she now? Three arcs?" she asked, trying to catch the child's eye as she posed the question. Even if her father proved unkeen to provide the answer, it was the way of children to blurt such facts about themselves with prideful exactness. "It's very good of you to raise her by yourself. You have help of course but it's difficult for a man to do alone. I'm sure you love your daddy very much, Ayla, don't you? Does it not make you sad that you don't have a mummy though? Wouldn't you like your daddy to get a mummy for you, hm?" Valeria asked, reaching out to stroke the girl's cheek as she shot a sidelong glance in Tristan's direction, her smile sweet but still calculated.
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A Meeting of Necessity (Tristan)

Postby Tristan Venora » Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:48 pm

Tristan was quite intoxicated. He liked Valeria better than any of the drugs that Andráska and he had tried together even though they had made him see a dragon. He also liked her better than Ilaren. He wasn’t particularly fond of the Immortal anymore since the jungle incident, and his heart began to beat a little faster as he waited for her to react to his apology. He was nervous which was a feeling that he wasn’t particularly familiar with. Valeria Burhan, he realized made him feel all kinds of new things. It was quite exciting!

“Oh no”, he assured her and did his best to look absolutely horrified at the notion so that she would not doubt his honesty. He overdid it a bit – or rather a lot. “I’ll never keep things from you again, especially if they have two legs and look as cute as Ayla here!” As he said that he wondered how he would be able to keep his promise. If he continued to see Valeria (which he really wanted to), he would eventually have to tell her that Ayla was a Mortalborn, that several evil Immortals had tried to ruin his life and that he’d slept with one of them without knowing it. And then there was the matter of his snail slime alchemy. How on Idalos was he going to explain that to her?

Ayla had been very eager for Valeria to hold Milly before, but now that she actually wanted to hold the doll, the little girl was a bit hesitant. She bit her lip and reached for Milly as if she wanted to take her away from Valeria again and protect her, but then she nodded reluctantly. She never let the doll out of her sight though, even though Valeria was one of the prettiest ladies that she had ever seen. Why, she even glowed!

As Valeria asked him about Ayla’s age, Tristan opened his mouth to say something, but Ayla was faster. “I’m almost one!” the little girl piped up, much to Tristan’s shock, and then she looked at Valeria and Tristan as if she expected to be praised because she knew her age. Tristan realized that he would probably not have a lot of time to think about how he was going to tell Valeria Ayla’s secret. In fact, he might have to tell her now!

Since he really didn’t want to start their reunion with a lie, he remarked brightly, “She’s a very big one arc old, isn’t she?” As he said that, he stroked his daughter’s head affectionately. He wanted to tell Valeria that it wasn’t very difficult for him to raise Ayla at all because he had Lianne and Brandon and Hannah and all his other employees and because Ayla was a good child. He opened his mouth, but as she asked Ayla if it didn’t make her sad that she didn’t have a mummy, he abruptly closed it again and just stared at her.

“Mummy visited me once in my dreams”, Ayla revealed. Tristan remembered that night all too well. He’d nearly had a panic attack. He could post guards around the house, but he didn’t know how he would be able to keep Ayla’s mother from invading her dreams. “But she never came back. Are you going to be my mummy now?” she asked innocently, and Tristan gasped.
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A Meeting of Necessity (Tristan)

Postby Valeria Burhan » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:35 pm

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The young woman snorted, amused by his very specific choice of words. She laughed softly, favouring him with a warm smile. If she hadn't been occupied with his child, she would have stood and given him a peck on the cheek. However, she was busy with Ayla and hence, she merely fluttered her eyelashes at him with a murmur of "I'm glad to hear it."

The blonde returned her attention to the little girl, taking the doll and bouncing it up and down a little. She wasn't wholly certain what she was supposed to do with it now that she had it. All she knew was that it had been necessary to take it up; her earlier refusal had appeared to upset the child. Unfortunately, Ayla didn't seem too pleased about the Burhan holding it either. As such, after she'd held it for a bit or two, she passed it back to the girl with a soft smile. Moments later, the expression was frozen on her face although her eyes radiated surprise as the girl announced her own age. A rational part of her mind told her that she simply didn't understand numbers yet and had simply blurted one she knew out but then as she gazed in Tristan's direction, simpering at him a little nervously. When he seemed to confirm it, the corners of her mouth contracted.

"You're just humouring her, right? You should correct her with her true age. You don't want her to seem simple, do you?" the noblewoman pointed out although there was something about the Duke's expression and attitude that told her that this situation wasn't going to be as simply explained as that. Tristan was overdoing it and it wasn't a case of being due to his typical enthusiasm either. No, there was something almost manic about this, the man attempting to compensate for something. There was no way that the girl had told the truth, it was ludicrous. Yet, she couldn't understand what else he could be trying to brush over.

"She isn't an arc old, Tristan, don't be silly. I can see her, I'm not stupid and it isn't just her size. I don't see why you can't just tell me, especially after what you've just said," she pointed out, a sharp edge to her words, her eyes growing stormy as she cast a warning look in his direction.

A frown crossed her face as she glanced between the child and her father. There was something going on here that she couldn't understand and she didn't have a notion what it could be or how to investigate it. The Venora was keeping something from her although she couldn't fathom what. Ayla was well-advanced in toddler age: she could walk and run, she could speak quite well, she was quite large. The young woman couldn't imagine what would explain the discrepancy and she could only hope that the young man would be forthcoming with information this time rather than keeping more from her.

Her plan to indirectly press Tristan into bringing up the subject of marriage backfired a little bit. If she hadn't been distracted then maybe she would have been able to think about the consequences of her words a little bit more thoroughly. Instead, Ayla managed to blurt out something that temporarily left her speechless, mouth dropping open. She heard Tristan gasp and felt her cheeks begin to warm.

"I-I-I... I don't know, I don't think that-" She sent a fleeting glance the man's direction before adding timidly, "I don't think that's up to me. I think you have to ask your daddy that."
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A Meeting of Necessity (Tristan)

Postby Tristan Venora » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:56 am

“Ayla is not simple!“ Tristan retorted. He had been absolutely smitten with Valeria just a few trills before, and he had wanted nothing more than to wrap his arms around her, pull her close and never let go of her again, but now his eyes seemed to be ablaze, and the tone of his voice was harsh. Nobody was allowed to criticize his daughter, no matter how beautiful they were, and no matter how good they made him feel! “Don’t call her simple! She’s one of the most intelligent children I’ve ever met, and … and …” he stammered, and then he abruptly broke off and just looked at her, almost desperately.

He remembered something that Faith had once told him She had told him that he was the only noble that he could trust. He had been so worried about how people would react to Ayla’s being a Mortalborn and that they might think that she was magical and hand her over to the Order of the Mantis so that they would burn her. Most people in Rynmere were stupid. They couldn’t tell magic, Blessings and Mortalborn powers apart, and they were afraid of everything they didn’t know. Faith had told him that he needed to be careful.

But this was Valeria. She was like him. She was like a female version of himself, and she was familiar with the Immortals and what they did, being a Blessed of Zanik herself. In his dreams he had sometimes imagined a future with her. He hated lying, and he hated keeping secrets. In his opinion life wasn’t worth living if you couldn’t even trust those that you were close to. He desperately wanted to believe that she would be able to accept both Ayla and him and that she wouldn’t call him a liar, draw back in fear or betray them.

He had just promised her that he would never keep anything from her again, and he was not the kind of man to break a promise he had just made, but this was about his daughter. He loved Ayla more than anything else in the world, in spite of who her mother was, and he felt the need to protect her. “Val”, he said. His voice was trembling a little, and it was devoid of mirth. “Ayla is not like other children.” Even as he said those words, he wondered if telling Valeria really was a good idea. Maybe it would be better if he refused to tell her and told her to leave. There would be other women, eventually …

But he couldn’t forget how good she had made him feel and how much fun they had had at Oliver’s gala. There had been an instant connection between them. She had made him happy, and he hadn’t had a lot of reasons to be happy recently. He didn’t want this world. He wanted a world where people could trust each other, where people were happy and helped each other instead of trying to make each other miserable or kill each other. He wanted everything to work out. He wanted both Ayla and Valeria. On some level he knew that he was being naïve because he was trusting a woman he barely knew to such an enormous extent, but he just couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

He didn’t want to be like them, always plotting and scheming and keeping secrets and never trusting anybody.

He took a deep breath and looked at Ayla. If something went wrong, he decided, he would take his daughter and run, as far away as possible and do what he could to forget her. “Val. Remember when I told you that I had shared Ilaren’s bed? I might have slept with more than one Immortal, and one of them got pregnant. I don’t know who she is because she was disguised as Faith – my former slave and lover. I didn’t find the truth out until much later. There’s more to it, but you have to swear that you will never tell anybody first. Val, I would be honored if you eventually agreed to become Ayla’s mother, but before we even begin to talk about the future, you need to promise me!”
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A Meeting of Necessity (Tristan)

Postby Valeria Burhan » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:53 am

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Valeria jerked, almost as if slapped, stunned by his words. "I-I-I didn't say that she was s-s-simple," she stuttered, stumbling over her defence. She hadn't been trying to insult the girl but his protectiveness caught her off-guard. Her lip trembled, the young woman startled by his anger. The blonde hadn't intended to upset him, not at all, and now the tensions were simply upsetting her. She folded her arms across her chest, moving to hug herself as she bowed her head, genuinely cowed before both father and daughter.

When he stammered, whatever had fuelled him seeming to temper off somewhat, she raised her eyes to him once more. Her irises swam with a soft mix of blue and grey, watery and mournful as she eyed Tristan a little warily. If she'd thought it would have helped, the young woman would have drawn on her Elithem abilities but the duke was immune to them. Still, in spite of his immunity, she felt the stirring within her as she strained towards the power. It was a source of comfort to her, even if this time it couldn't be either armour or a defence mechanism. She began to glow faintly as she prayed silently to Zanik, almost pleading with him for strength. It couldn't make her more beautiful but if anything the golden glow added an almost haunting light to her gaze as she waited to see what he'd say. Even if her words had offended him - unintentionally so - he still owed her an explanation for the oddness of what he'd just said/ Better a child who was a little confused about her own age or willing to lie for sport than something that she couldn't herself explain.

"How is she different, Tristan?" she asked softly, her voice surprisingly calm despite the sense of mounting dread that was bubbling within her, making her want to scream and shout as she demanded an explanation immediately. Instead, she managed to be oddly patient, the show of discipline a rare thing for the Burhan as she toyed with the skirt of her dress, grasping it tightly and twisting it within her grip.

When his rather limited explanation finally came out in a rush, she could only stare at him, gaze turning the bright silver of shock. Her eyelids fluttered, the blonde's mouth moving almost spasmodically as she tried to understand all she'd just heard. Tristan had slept with another female Immortal. Tristan had impregnated a female Immortal. The concept boggled the mind. Obviously, she'd grown up a Rynlist like everybody else in Rynmere and thus she'd heard one of the Seven, Ser Warren Gawyne, termed "the Half-God". Her understanding of that had always been a bit fuzzy on that aspect but if he'd had one Immortal parent and one mortal one then it would explain the epithet. In that case, Ayla could be like him, a half-god.

She stared at the duke, trying to understand his panic as she considered the matter further, eyes on Ayla now as she thought. If she was part-Immortal then it was quite possible that the girl wouldn't age as normal children would and thus, she probably only was an arc old. If that was the case then it was clear that in an arc or two, she'd look far older than she ought to do. If she aged at a supernatural rate then some might see that as magical rather than a touch of the divine, in the same way that Celeste Andaris had mistaken Valeria's Immortal-given abilities as magic. Suddenly, his anxiety made sense. If people saw her, they might get the wrong ideas about her, about Tristan. The Ashcloaks might try to burn the child as they had the mages. The burning of people was already a nauseating concept but those were adults. A child... a child would be a whole other level of wrong.

"If she's half-Immortal then... she's like Ser Warren Gawyne, isn't she? But she's also half-Venora. She's divine, Tristan," she reasoned, the words coming slowly as she tried to fathom what she was saying. Her eyes grew round as she gazed on the child, the full weight of what she was hitting her. Just because she worshipped Zanik, didn't mean that she wasn't still a Rynlist. A hand fluttered to her throat.

"By the Seven, she's like Gawyne! Tristan, do you not understand what that means? She's certainly not diluted. She's more divine than we are. Living divinity, closer to the Seven than we can ever be. Oh Fates!" she gasped, trembling violently now as she reached out to hesitantly stroke the girl's cheek. Tears blurred her vision, gathering quickly and beginning to rain down her cheeks; she made no effort to wipe them away. She turned her attention to the Duke of Oakleigh.

"You think if someone learns what she is, they'll turn her over to the Ashcloaks, don't you? But they can't, Tristan! If they tried to harm a hair on her head, it would be blasphemy, true blasphemy! As awful as if they tried to harm one of the Seven themselves. It can't be done! They can't do it! If it was explained to them, explained to the Empress... she wouldn't allow it!" the noblewoman murmured excitedly, getting to her feet and moving to clasp his hands, her features glowing with religious fervour. "She's more than a living Saint, Tristan! Even if they were willing to burn one of us - they couldn't burn one of us - she's more than we are. So much more!"

Her manner calmed a little as she absorbed his anxiety, moving to kiss him softly on the cheek, intent on soothing his fears as much as she could. "I won't breathe a word of it, Tristan, but if it came out... know that I would do all I could to make them understand what a grave sin they'd be committing. Caius Gawyne is Lord Arbiter, he'd listen to me, and Pavoo Burhan is well-respected as well, very credible. If needs must, I could make him understand. There are many potential allies, my love, but I will keep her safe. I swear it."
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A Meeting of Necessity (Tristan)

Postby Tristan Venora » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:59 am

Valeria’s reaction was definitely not what Tristan had expected. She was taking it surprisingly well, everything considered. She didn’t appear to be scared, she she didn’t appear to be jealous, and she certainly didn’t look as if she was going to call the Order of the Mantis on him so that they would take Ayla away from him and burn her. He wondered how he could ever have thought her capable of such a despicable deed. She was Valeria, Valeria whose eyes shimmered in all the colours of the rainbow and whose hair reminded her of the sun, Valeria who made his heart beat faster and who made him forget all the bad things in his life. She was a good person. In fact, she was one of the best!

He didn’t start to speak again right away even though he desperately wanted to tell her everything now – he didn’t want there to be any secrets between them anymore – but just sat there, almost motionlessly and looked at her. He realized that he needed to give her time to think about what she had just heard. He tried to appear calm and reassuring in case there was something that she was still worried about – even though he didn’t feel particularly calm at the moment. Countless thoughts were running through his head, at an almost impossible speed. He was relieved, he was almost deliriously happy – and he was surprised because he hadn’t expected her to speak about those things.

“She probably is”, he agreed as Valeria compared Ayla to Ser Warren Gawyne and laughed because Valeria’s sudden enthusiasm amused him. “You know, I’ve never really thought about Ayla’s divine nature before, apart from where her health is concerned. To me she’s my daughter first and foremost.” Amusement turned to worry as he noticed that Valeria began to tremble and cry. Maybe he had been wrong. Maybe it was too much for her after all – or was she crying because she stood face to face with a half goddess? Faith hadn’t reacted like that when he had told her what Ayla was, but Faith wasn’t there. She had married her tutor.

He wordlessly handed her a handkerchief so that she would be able to dry her tears, and then he turned to Ayla who stared at Valeria wide-eyed, took her into his arms and sat her on his lap. She likely didn’t understand why Valeria was crying and was wondering if she had done something wrong. Or maybe she did understand and just couldn’t put it into words yet. She sometimes seemed wise beyond her arcs. While the little girl snuggled against his chest, he remarked, “Some of the staunchest Rynlists would likely try to get rid of her because of what she is, but maybe you are right … the Empress, do you really think that she would help us keep Ayla safe?” He looked at her hopefully. When he had met Emerson Sands, she had been nice enough, and Cassander had once been one of his closest friends. In fact, a part of him still liked the king even though he had ordered the burning of all mages. But what would they say to that?

He only realized belatedly that he had said “us” and not “me”. He hoped that there would still be an “us” after he had told her everything.

“Thank you, Val”, he said softly as she swore that she would keep his secret and keep Ayla safe. “That means more to me than you can imagine. But before you make the final decision, I need to tell you something. I mentioned that there is more to it. I said that I don’t know who Ayla’s mother is – and that’s true – but I have my suspicions. I seem to have attracted the attention of Aelig, Syroa and Lisirra, for reasons that I can’t define. First Aelig made Faith believe that she was pregnant with my child, but when she was in labor, nothing happened. There was no baby. She just returned to normal. That was after she had left Rynmere and fallen in love with another man.”

“A short time later she – Ayla’s mother visited me - disguised as Faith – and brought me a little baby girl. She claimed that she had broken up with her new husband and returned to me. She seemed to be in bad shape. I wanted to get a doctor, but it was too late. She died in my arms. For a long time I thought that the mother of my child was dead, and it was only when Faith sent me a letter that I realized that it had all been a lie and that the woman I had loved was still alive.”

“Valeria”,
he said and took a deep breath. “Ayla’s mother is probably an evil Immortal. Do you think you can live with that?”
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A Meeting of Necessity (Tristan)

Postby Valeria Burhan » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:54 pm

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It spoke volumes that she'd been so overcome, she'd actually begun to cry. Tristan would know how much she hated to cry, knowing that during their first meeting, she'd been terrified about it making her appearance ugly. In fact, she hardly the moisture cascading down her cheeks, never mind thinking about something like vanity. It didn't occur to her how it must look until the young man passed her a handkerchief, the blonde smiled a little sheepishly before blotting at her face with it, murmuring a soft thanks as she accepted it.

She found it difficult to comprehend that Ayla's divinity might never have occurred to him. Yes, she could understand that he would have other matters of concern, certain things that would more pressing for him to dwell upon. But had he truly never thought about what her heritage might mean? Her mother was an Immortal and Tristan had been raised a Rynlist; he understood what he meant within the religious hierarchy as a Venora. Still, she could see how silly she must seem both to him and to the girl. The Burhan gave the child a reassuring smile, doing her best to ease whatever confusion she may have caused. Perhaps, her father's hold would be soothing.

The Duke's suggestion that some would remove Ayla because of her potential holiness made her gasp. To suggest such a thing, such a despicable blasphemy. That someone might be willing to destroy a figure who could hold such importance in the Kingdom's native religion. Surely, the Queen-Empress would rally to their cause. The best and most important upholder of Rynlism would see the Mortalborn for what she was and have her protected at all costs. Except... now that he said it, she wondered. She'd never met the Queen-Empress obviously and so she had no idea what sort of a person she was. It was against tradition for the Empress to marry and yet she'd married Cassander. Maybe she wasn't what she seemed or was expected to be. Perhaps she was merely very good at putting on the right sort of front. After all, a bit of acting, even if you didn't believe, could make you one of the most powerful and influential people in all of Rynmere. However, it might be a different matter in the Eternal Kingdom.

The young woman didn't voice the doubts that had just entered her mind, instead giving him what assurances she could to ease his worries. "I'm sure that the Empress would do everything in her power to support our cause. Now that she's Queen, she's even more influential. People will listen to her, they have to listen," Valeria explained. She'd noticed that they'd both slipped into the use of plurals, a fact that made her heart beat much faster. He'd mentioned that he wanted her to be Ayla's mother. Was there any clearer indication that he wanted her to be his wife? It stirred interesting feelings within her, feelings that weren't associated with social climbing or attaining the status she'd long craved. She quashed it, determining all of it to be too confusing for the present.

Her confusion was only amplified as he began to talk more, to explain further but apparently under the impression that anything he said would put her off the pair of them. She listened attentively, anxious as she tried to piece together what he was saying about different Immortals. When he got to the end, it finally clicked. Tristan didn't know who Ayla's mother was but he had his suspicions. Syroa... well, after Zanik, she was probably the Immortal that Valeria had the strongest affinity with although when she'd shown interest in her in her youth, she hadn't truly understood the true meaning of lust. After Syroa, she was clueless but it was clear that the names he'd listed were bad.

She pursed her lips, looking at the child thoughtfully as she considered the matter. "Well... not every child turns out like their parents. Some can be quite contrary to them. An evil mother doesn't lead to an evil child, especially if she's away from her influence and has a good upbringing. You can't judge everyone by what they come from," she commented, nodding to herself, agreeing with her own words as she said them. "I think I can live with that."
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A Meeting of Necessity (Tristan)

Postby Tristan Venora » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:39 am

“I hope that they do“, Tristan replied as Valeria said that people had to listen to the Empress. He hoped that Queen Emerson was the kind of woman that he thought she was, that she was kind and friendly and that she actually cared about her subjects. He needed an ally. He needed somebody that wouldn’t betray him and try to make his life miserable. He’d suffered enough betrayal to last for an entire – no, for several lifetimes!

He couldn’t help but notice that Valeria had spoken of them and their cause. It made him happy to hear that, but he knew that it wasn’t over yet, not by a long stretch. He looked at her. Why didn’t she say something – anything? She appeared to be confused and anxious. Did she already regret that she had accepted his invitation? Was she currently trying to come up with an excuse for why she had to leave right now and could never see him again because she had realized that being with him might be too dangerous?

He opened his mouth to say something, but then he abruptly closed it again and just sat there, waiting. He realized that he needed to give her time to digest what she had just heard. When she finally spoke, she surprised him again, for the third or fourth time that trial. He had hoped that her reaction would be positive, but he hadn’t counted on it. A lot of people would have turned from Ayla the moment they found out who her mother was, out of fear that the little girl would become like her – or that her mother would pay them a visit!

“I’ll do what I can to make sure that Ayla never becomes like her mother”, he said and looked at his daughter. She had fallen asleep in his arms, and he gently laid her down so that he wouldn’t wake her up. “She’ll be a happy child, and she’ll never want for anything. You are right, you can’t judge everyone by what they come from.” He paused for a moment before he stood up and walked over to her. “Thank you, Val”, he said. “I know that this is hard to accept and that you probably need some more time to think about what you heard today. May I kiss you once more before you go though? If you want to go, that is. I’d love for you to stay with us”, he admitted.
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