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Wish Upon A Dream [Closed] Read 6867 times

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2013, 01:21:05 am »
Kallista did not look up as Nate declared he wouldn’t follow the order. Truth be told, she was grateful he had chosen that path, rather than the other. He had far more courage than she’d ever have. She had tried to stand up to Leo, and failed, time and time again. “I am very disappointed in you, Nate. I thought you had what it took to be a Red Cloak.”

Kallista breathed in.
“Kallista, dispose of him.” She looked up at the command. Looked at Nate. He knew he wouldn’t stand a chance. She knew it. It wouldn’t be play.

A step forward, a step down.

The sword came from its sheath, metal against metal.

She stood in front of the king, her liege.
“I am sorry,” ‘it came to this, it took so long, that I did not act sooner, that you are more honorable than me.’ Her mind ran with all she could say, and would never say. “Forgive me.”

He was more worthy of this position she held than she would ever be. It was that thought which occurred to her as she turned half way, asked,
“Are you sure, Sire?”

“Yes.”


With that word, he sealed his own fate. Kallista turned fully to face him, and in one motion she lunged forward and thrust the blade through his heart. There was beautiful shock on his face, and Kallista almost spat some joke about penetration, but there was no venom in her. There was nothing, any longer. She felt numb as the King let out a cry to draw the attention of the guards outside. Kallista pulled the blade from his dying form as the doors burst open.

Some of the guards went running to fetch others who were better equipped to handle Kallista as she stepped down, blood dripping from her sword to the ground.

There was nothing more to say. Kallista saw the life drain out of the king as she took the final step down. Satisfied she wouldn’t need to harm him again, she picked an exit, and ran. A guard who remained fell to the ground, abdomen cut open as he attempted to challenge her with lightning. The sparks died in his hand.


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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2013, 01:04:14 pm »
The words Leo spoke chilled him to bone and marrow. Nate remained stock still, frozen in place as he heard Leo’s next order; the one Nate had known would come.

Kallista was to kill him. He felt bad about it; guilty for burdening her with this.

He had his eyes on the ground as he waited for the death blow. She said she was sorry. Asked for forgiveness. In Nate’s eyes, there was nothing to forgive. He had brought this upon himself for wanting something he couldn’t have, for not obeying a direct order.

She asked Leo if he was sure. Nate heard the King’s clipped response.

But the death blow didn’t come. He heard the turn of her heels and the bubbling gushing of blood.

His eyes shot up, looking at the scene before him; Kallista’s blade through the King’s heart.

There was a cry of pain and the great doors opened. Nate was on his feet, shock portrayed on his face, easily readable as guards rushed in to seize Kallista.

Somehow, he knew, he had to help her get away. She didn’t deserve the death sentence that was likely to come. ‘I don’t want to see you die either’ he thought.

So, when Kalli ran, Nate did too. Helping her to cut down any guards they came across as they went. Nate knew all too well that if he had remained in that room alone with the King, he would either have had to betray Kallista, or he would have had to take the blame for the King’s death.

He wished to keep his life, just a little longer.

Even if that now meant that both he and Kalli would be hunted down…

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2013, 01:29:28 pm »
‘Damn you!'

Kallista could have dealt with being betrayed. She had killed Leo to protect Nate, not have him get himself killed alongside her. She knew the castle well enough to plot her route towards one of the not-heavily guarded exits, but despite that, she took an alternative route.

The door to the castle’s private dining areas was found, and she pushed it open, then grabbed Nate and pulled him in. The door was shut behind them immediately, and she pushed Nate against the door. Weight, of course, would make it difficult if the guards deduced their path.

She placed a hand on his chest and glared at him through the dim light.
“His Majesty ordered you to kill Fin,” her voice was a whisper, hissed though it was. “Fin will not survive the night without a good guard at his side.” No doubt, his advisors would try something to get Connor on the throne. She knew enough to understand that Alistor had no love for Fin and preferred Connor. “Stay and protect His Grace, Fin. Tell him the truth.” She was not sure it would have any effect, public opinion and respect important to maintain.

A son could not let the murderer of a father live. A prince had to avenge the death of a king.
“I have chosen my fate.” Her hand slid down his chest and she stepped back. “Protect Fin where I can’t.” Heavy footfall ran by the door, shouts crying out to find her. “That is an order.” Not that she had any right to give orders, but she made her voice firm to insist upon it.

~***~

In his tower, Corwin saw all the running about outside the castle. He swirled his wine, and contemplated poisoning it.
‘It would be a quicker death.’ But he could not do that. He sipped it instead, and turned away from the window, dousing the lights. He would pretend to be asleep if anyone came to hassle him.

He would pretend not to know anything about it.

He just hoped Elwyn was already well outside the walls of the capital. He would be brought in as a conspirator, no doubt, or else bait to convince Kallista to turn herself in.
‘And will they defend her?’ That was the question. The South was honorable. They would certainly hesitate to defend someone who committed to regicide with no known reason.

Corwin didn’t need to hear the shouts to know who had committed the act. A dog can only be kicked so many times before it bites.


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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2013, 01:36:47 pm »
One minute they were running down halls he didn’t recognise, and the next minute, Kallista had grabbed him, pulling him into a room he didn’t get a good look at and pressing him against the door as it closed. His focus wasn’t on the room though, it was on her hushed, harsh words and the feel of her hand pressed against his chest.

Through what she said, he wanted to protest, but the only word that came out was her name. “Kalli…” He couldn’t get her to stop mid-sentence, couldn’t get her to think of another course. It seemed as though she had already made up her mind for them both.

And he doubted then that he would ever see her again. “I’m sorry.” He told her. Sorry for saying ‘no’ to Leo. Sorry for lending Elwyn his armour. If it hadn’t been him called into the throne room, if it hadn’t been him the King had offered that ‘deal’ to, would her actions have been the same?

He let her move back, stepping to the side so that he could open the door without revealing her in there. Fist on his chest, he bowed a little. “As you wish” He breathed; his voice so quiet, it was almost as if nothing at all had been said.

He didn’t look back before disappearing through the door again, shutting it behind him.

He made his way to where he knew Fin’s room was. Even though he as only a guard on the night’s watch, he knew most of the ins and outs of the place well enough; obviously not as well as Kallista or the residents knew it.

He knocked on the door, and entered quickly, shutting the door behind him.

Fin was nowhere to be found, there was nothing out of place in the room. Nothing. Everything was neat and tidy.

Nate cursed. How the hell did he find the prince now?

What if he was too late?

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2013, 01:38:09 pm »
Nate was gone, but his words didn’t leave with him. Not immediately. Kallista felt a pain in her chest at his departure, as if something had been ripped out when the door shut.

She had the same thought. She would never see him again, and it hurt. The sword fell from her grasp as she wrapped her arms around herself and bent her knees.
‘What have I done?’ Head bowed again, and she shut her eyes against the rush of tears. Feet continued to move outside, and she heard men she had considered allies cursing her.

How quickly the tides could turn.
‘Move.’ Somehow, she had to escape. A deep, shaky breath came. It left her body the same way, and her body trembled, wanting to release a wail. She held it in, whimpered as her arms removed themselves from being wrapped around her. The consequences continued to play out in her head.

‘What will happen to El?’
‘Is Fin all right?’
‘Will Nate be all right?’
‘What have I done?’


Sword was returned to its sheathe. Kallista found a back exit, and worked her way through the secret corridors until she came out on the side of the castle. She could see the torches and hear the shouts from within the town.
‘No good.’ She wouldn’t be able to collect her things. She bit down on her cheek at the thought of leaving it, but resigned herself to that fate.

She had to run. Even though honor dictated she turn herself in and let justice be served, she was not ready to die.
‘Coward.’ So be it. She wasn’t practiced enough at stealth to consider risking a venture through the town. She’d have to find a way over the wall that surrounded the castle, separating it from the village.

~***~

Beltran had been given the word of Leo’s murder. He was surprised with who was claimed to be responsible.
“Bullshit.”

But the guard shook his head.
“Fine, I’ll find her!” He snapped and put his cup down, left the tavern.

“Is Elwyn still in town?”


“No.” Beltran answered. He had seen the man out not that long ago, but he wouldn’t reveal that Elwyn wasn’t far away. He had left with Corwin’s man, too. “Gods, damn it all,” he muttered. Pax had to be away when the Second-in-Command lost her senses. That made him leader, he supposed, but he knew the organization wasn’t that clear cut.

He had to find Kallista. This behavior was…unusual. It wouldn’t have been done without reason.
‘Not by a follower of Oresteus.’

Shouts were being called out, questions about the other two princes. Were they safe? Beltran didn’t respond, didn’t know. He couldn’t imagine either were harmed.
‘Unless Alistor takes advantage….’ That thought chilled him to the bone. Chaos was the friend of someone such as him.

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2013, 01:39:41 pm »
Nate cursed, a hand running through short hair.

He could hear people shouting outside, no doubt there were people on their way here, to this room to check on the Prince.

He shook his head. How the hell had Fin gotten out un-noticed? He remembered though, a conversation with Kalli, after a few too many everclear shots, a long time before now; he remembered her telling him about all of the secret passages running through the palace and inside all of its walls.

Some of the entrances that couldn’t be found unless you knew where they were.

Nate took a breath and moved his hands cautiously but hurriedly over the walls. His search was rewarded when his fingertips brushed an indentation in a piece of an embossed wall. He pushed it in and a door was revealed.

A smile on his lips, he headed through the door, knowing that he had to work fast. There would be others on their way, and from simple rumours, he highly doubted that some of them had the same sorts of intentions to protect the Prince that he did. In fact, some of them no doubt were the people that Kallista had tasked him to protect Fin from.

The door closed behind him, and Nate ran, calling out in a harsh whisper he hoped that Fin would hear and recognise.
He had to believe that he would find Fin in these corridors, else he may be lost forever in the catacombs.

~

Zack had spent most of his day in the taverns of the town. The people were more and more lose lipped as the day had gone by. It made his task all the more easy.

Getting the map out and asking for directions to the mirror, or asking after rumours of where people thought that the mirror may very well be… well those tasks were made a lot easier, and a lot less suspicious in a tavern full of drunks.

He had made his move out of the village as soon as night had come calling, though apparently, that was either good timing on his behalf or potentially foolish.

There were guards everywhere, running this way and that; not really paying attention to him in the street, even as he pretended to care what was going on and asked a passer-by with a red cloak.

He got no answer. The man carried on.

Zack shrugged. At least now he didn’t have to sneak out of the place. It was so badly guarded now that the other nations could arrive en masse and have a mutiny and there would be no one to oppose them at the gates.

He chuckled to himself at the thought of the warriors of Troy not needing the wooden horse.
Getting out was almost too easy.

With any luck, gaining the mirror would be just as easy as the Black star had been. With any luck retrieving the mirror would be just as easy as getting in and out of this place had been.

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2013, 01:41:08 pm »
Beltran soon found his way to the castle, but he had little intention of searching the known hallways. Kallista wouldn’t remain in such obvious places. He found himself walking close to the walls, listening for sound. He knew the passages, taught by Corwin. He was quite certain his knowledge of them was one of the best in the kingdom.

If Fin was in them, though, he knew how to be quiet.
‘Just going to have to travel through'em.’ And so he walked to one of the entrances, hoped he picked the right one, and moved through it.

He was certain he heard another voice whispering, so he slowed his steps, his breathing, and followed after it. It wasn’t Fin, but from the sounds of it, he wasn’t the only one looking for the lost prince.


~***~

Kallista didn’t waste time once she was on the road. She moved as quickly as she could to get to the next town. There, she imagined she could buy a horse and some other supplies. She had the armor she was wearing that she could sell for such things.
‘A horse, clothes, food.’

She didn’t even know where she was going. She couldn’t show her face back home, and soon enough, no town in the kingdom would be safe.

The closest town did not have appear active at this hour. Of course, most of the people had gone on to the capital for the festivities. Even so, Kallista easily found the stables and the door to the one who owned it. A gruff man greeted her.
“Excuse me, how much for one of the horses?”

He looked her over. The tell tale signs of one under the king’s service were still present.
“For a Red Cloak?” He was, admittedly, surprised to see one here, on this day. Kallista opened his mouth, about to correct him, “No charge.” Mouth shut. It was stealing, but right then, she’d accept that. “What’s wrong?”

“I’m afraid I can’t say. There wouldn’t be a place I could get food and clothes, is there? I’m rushed,”
she added.

The man gave her directions to the inn, which could give her food, but noted the main sellers of clothing had gone on to peddle their wares in the capital. She took one of the horses, a dapple stallion called Melchoir. She led the horse there, tied it to the post, and went in to see about acquiring food.

That, too, ended up being free simply because of her appearance.
‘They’re all going to regret this when they learn….’  But at least she was getting what she needed, and the woman was able to spare some articles of clothing for her as well.


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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2013, 01:41:58 pm »
Nate wasn’t an idiot. Not entirely. He knew that others were looking for the prince. He just had to hope that Fin recognised his voice; although it was whispered. He had to hope that not only did Fin recognise his voice, but that he also trusted him and counted him as an ally.

He knew there was little time and no doubt, there were others better versed in the routes and directions of these halls between walls.

~

If Fin was quiet; which he was, he could hear not only one set of footsteps and a voice, but two sets of footsteps.

The two sets seemed to be following one another, but one set was closer than the other. He believed that the first set had to be the set that matched the voice. It was close enough for him to hear the whisper of his name on the breaths of the breeze which shivered through the narrow chambers between rooms. The chill of the breeze and the relative fear of being discovered sent a shiver through him, but there was some part of him which thought that perhaps he recognised the voice, though it was too far away to tell.

He knew better than to speak up. If it were foe, not friend who walked these paths behind him, he would still be able to slip from their grasp if he remained a fair enough distance from them. Plus there was the other set of feet; the feet which did not have a voice attached. Even if the first set were friendly, the second set may not be.

Fin was overthinking again. He inhaled and exhaled long deep breaths, flexing his fingers in and out of fists. It was a relaxation method which often helped him when he was nervous or beginning to panic. He couldn’t truly say it was helping him now though.

The voice got closer and Fin had to smile. In the dark, he was quick to pull Nate to one side, a hand over his mouth, but unable to quell the sounds of the scuffle of feet they created as Nate realised he had been apprehended by Fin and Fin simply gave him a smile, a motion of a finger to his lips, and a second motion of the wave of a hand to follow.

Follow and do it quietly.

~~

Zack gave a smile. Today was just working out quite well.
He watched as the Red Cloak tied a horse to a post close to the inn.
The Stallion looked sturdy enough, and well fed. It would be a good steal for Zack, if only he could make sure the horse did not protest.
Animals never had liked him much.

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2013, 01:43:09 pm »
The sound of a scuffle up ahead nearly froze Beltran. He listened to it, paused, before it stopped. There was no thud to suggest a body had been dropped, someone killed. He heard instead two pairs of steps, one hardly audible, moving together.

‘Fin.’ He smirked to himself. The other pair of steps didn’t register, but he followed after it regardless, increasing his rate of steps.

He expected if Fin had heard one set, he already knew that another was following. So, Beltran kept his hands in plain sight. He kept his eyes and ears peeled for any others who might be following until he finally could see Fin, and Nate.
‘Ah, you.’ He shouldn’t be surprised, but he was. Where Kallista was involved, so too was Nate.

Of course, it was still difficult to believe the news that Kallista had committed regicide.

He lifted both hands up in a surrender motion to suggest he hadn’t come to cause harm. His look was urgent in its way.
‘Let me come.’ He was Corwin’s brother, though not close to Fin like his brother, he still cared for his brother’s friends, and certainly had all the respect in the world for the prince. The fact his father didn’t like him was just icing on the cake.

Besides, something told him Nate knew a lot more about the situation that caused the Second to lose her mind. Beltran wanted answers.


~***~

Melchior shared no attachment with the woman who now owned it, but it had even less for the thief who approached. It shied away from him, though it could not move far. It did not consider actually trying to harm him, just moving away from him. The evasive dance bought Kallista enough time to exit the inn and find someone was already attempting to steal her horse.

As if this day weren’t bad enough.

The fiery haired woman frowned at the sight, items in hand. Any other day, she would have dropped the items, unsheathed her sword, and threatened the thief. This day was different. Her own status as a criminal changed her perspective enough so that she made no threats, but said instead,
“Help me pack everything away and come along if you’re so eager to leave town.” The saddle wasn’t made for two riders, but that had never stopped the knight when a companion was wounded and couldn’t ride on their own.

Melchior looked sturdy enough to carry the two of them. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to help the thief more later in acquiring his own steed. She only knew she needed to leave and she wasn’t in the mood to kill anyone else. She’d rather avoid it all together.


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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2013, 01:53:40 pm »
The last thing Fin expected was for the other set of echoing feet, which traipsed down these secret hallways, to belong to Beltran. He was sure his features didn’t easily disguise the look of surprise cast on his face as Beltran stepped forward, offering amenity.

Fin was wary. It was true that he trusted Corwin with his life. The older of the brothers had certainly done enough for him that it would warrant such trust ‘More than enough’. He didn’t know enough about Beltran to offer him the same amount of trust, but the man was here and he hadn’t raised the alarm, and he hadn’t come out with his sword in hand, threatening to do what no doubt Leo had requested. ‘He hasn’t come to kill me. If he has, it isn’t here and now.’

Fin considered the pros and cons briefly, ending up nodding singularly in acceptance of Beltran’s offered, silent proposal. He could come, but he would have to earn trust. There was just something about the younger Dimos that made Fin wary in a way that he didn’t find himself questioning in Nate.

“Alright.” He spoke almost too quietly, worry that even the slightest of voices would carry through the walls to those who might be looking for him. “Let’s go.”

He didn’t really know how he had gained what now seemed like an entourage. He hadn’t expected it, but he found it quite welcome in all honesty.

He moved to continue making his way down the hidden hallways inside the palace walls, quickly and quietly. The same could not be said for Nate, who it seemed had no conception of stealth. ‘Proper training would gain you many things.’

They did however make it out without coming across any difficulties. The underground tunnels took them far enough out to be beyond the palace walls and into the villages and farms slightly beyond ‘protection’.

Fin breathed what felt like a sigh of relief, but he knew that they were still anything but safe. He knew he needed to speak with each of the men following him now, he needed to know why they had come to seek him, if not to kill him. But now wasn’t the time. They needed to get further from the palace walls.

“We need to get good and lost. Any ideas as to where we can go?”

“We can head to my family’s village, it’s a good few miles from here” Nate suggested.

~

The horse didn’t so much as bolt, but it did put up a protest to Zak stealing it. He cursed when he was caught in the act.

Normally so stealthy, so good at his trade, it was a blow to his self confidence that he couldn’t steal something as seemingly simplistic as a horse ‘Wrong horse to pick on’.

The woman with the red cloak didn’t seem too annoyed though. She even offered him a way out. He cracked a smile which almost seemed sinister and nodded. “I will take you up on that offer.” He agreed. Perhaps later he would dispose of her.

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2013, 01:54:14 pm »
Beltran was much better at being stealthy. Fortunately, it wasn’t truly necessary. The noise from outside the walls tended to cover them. Even those who might have heard still didn’t know where to find Beltran, Fin, and Nate. The secret passages weren’t known to them, and so the trio was able to escape them and get out of the castle, and a decent distance from it.

Beltran took in a breath of fresh air when he was released from the underground tunnels. He stretched, listened as Fin gave his order. He smirked at Nate, then nodded,
“That should be lost enough. No one is going to look for you among peasants.” Yet. Eventually that might begin, but the first places would be noble allies.

Elwyn was going to have an interesting trip back home. Beltran wondered if the first war would be between the South and the capitol. It seemed likely, though he doubted Kallista would make a run for the south.
‘Where would she go?’ He had no idea.

~***~

Kallista wasn’t at all deceived into thinking the thief trustworthy. The smile certainly didn’t inspire confidence, but all the same, she approached the horse and tucked away her newfound items into the saddle packs.

Once the items were packed away, she moved into the saddle and motioned for him to follow suit. He could sit behind,
‘Going to get stabbed in the back.’ Nothing she hadn’t dealt with before, though she hoped he would at least wait until they were hidden away. She didn’t need a blood trail for Pax and the guards to follow.

The horse was urged into a trot out of town. She wouldn’t send it into a gallop simply because of the attention that would draw, and of course, the extra weight.
“Where do you need to be?” Kallista asked nonchalantly. Perhaps she should have asked his name or something of the sort, but she was trying to get her head together. Besides, they probably both had reason to avoid introductions. It might give her an idea of a destination. She had none in mind, except away from the capital.

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2013, 01:59:12 pm »
Nate wasn’t particularly fond of the Dimos family. They had always seemed to come across as people who thought themselves better than everyone else simply due to their heritage. The way that Beltran said the word ‘peasants’ left a nasty taste in Nate’s mouth, but he quickly decided against speaking up. There was no point; it would draw attention, and he had sworn to Kalli to protect Fin at all costs. And Beltran would beat him senseless easily in a fight. Nate swore that Kallista went easier on hi than she often let on.

He nodded “Alright then. This way.” He stepped forward, taking the lead. He knew the way to Krya without having to really think about it. He didn’t need a map to get them there; he just needed his memory of the roads and recollection of familiar sights.

~

Zak climbed atop the horse with a natural fluidity which spoke of years of practice and perhaps even some natural skill. Sliding his hands to the back of the saddle to hold on, rather than reaching for her waist or the reigns, he considered her question. ‘The truth’ he decided quickly. “Fair lady, I am in search of the Mirror. I have it on good authority that it resides in Krya in the bottom of a well.” His tone was even and smooth, voice holding a quiet quality to it which frequently drew people in and pulled attention to whatever he was saying.

“But, however far you are willing to ride is just fine.” He wouldn’t offer thanks. He knew that he was lucky enough to be alive. He knew he was pushing his luck even answering her question truthfully.

~

The long walk to Nate’s home village was relatively silent. There was no complaint from Fin, despite the distance. In fact, the Prince seemed to be fairing quite well on foot.

“It’s another mile at least. Are you sure neither of you wish to rest?” Nate quizzed the nobles.

“I have no need of it.” Fin replied cooly. The further that they got from the palace, the quicker they were hidden away, the better. He didn’t want to stop. He knew they would be chased. He knew that they would come looking eventually. They would notice that Nate and Beltran were gone. They would hunt them both down too, like deer from the forest. He shook off that gruesome analogy. “I think we should continue for as long as possible.” As long as it took for them to reach relative safety.

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #42 on: September 18, 2013, 01:59:53 pm »
The thief didn’t touch her. Kallista would never be able to express her relief at even that. She didn’t want to be touched, by anyone, but she’d resigned herself to that possibility. He didn’t touch, though. He explained where he was off to—no knife in the back yet. ‘Krya.’ That was Nate’s hometown if she thought right. She had never been there. ‘Won’t want to stay long.’ She wouldn’t want to lead others to that town or cause issues for Nate’s family.

“There are less painful ways to get yourself killed,”
she knew of the Mirror. Legend held it was guarded by a dragon of some sort. Nate never told her of any dragons. “It’s on the way,” she said. She didn’t need a thief following her to get her horse later. She didn’t have a direction. This was as good a start as any.

The horse continued on its trek towards Krya. She tried to mentally calculate how long it would take. Signs on the main road gave the direction, but didn’t calculate miles. She had never been there before, and though she kept thinking that she should get off the main roads, she didn’t.

Fin was going to be too busy organizing things to go after her immediately. Pax would come, though. Perhaps Beltran was already out looking, or some of the others, but more than likely the guards had been increased around the area.

They did make it before Fin and company, though. Travel on horse and main roads made it easier, and they arrived just as dawn was starting to paint the sky. There was a small sign near the entrance to introduce them to the town.
“Here you are,” she said to him, motioned for him to get off the horse. She would continue on, even though the horse was clearly not happy with that idea. It wasn’t used to travel this far, let alone with two people.

~***~

Beltran shook his head at Nate’s query,
“I’m fine,” he was used to travel on foot. He was actually surprised that Fin was doing so well. Perhaps Corwin had been right about him. “If it is only a mile, I think we can make it. Maybe further?” He suggested, since Fin seemed to want to keep walking. He supposed that would depend on Nate, as well.


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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2013, 02:02:00 pm »
The thief could have laughed when she mentioned that there were easier ways of getting himself killed. ‘Riding on the back of your horse, or even speaking to you is one of them’ he thought. It didn’t escape his attention that she hadn’t killed him for trying to steal the horse either.

The journey to Krya was quite quick by horse. And all the while he considered why a red cloak was helping him. All the while he considered that maybe she was running; from what, he wasn’t sure, but there was no way she should have been this far out of her territory.

When the horse stopped, he took the hint and slid from the horse with grace. “I am certain that should you require compensation for your assistance, my employ, Corwin Dimos will thank you well.” He gave a small sort of bow and moved to be on his way.

~

Fin nodded. “As I said, I am fine. The further we get from the palace, the more ground we cover, the better.” He may as well be truthful and forthcoming with his feelings on the matter. Both of the other men knew that he was running. He did wonder if they knew exactly why he was running. He was certain that Nate knew something… more than perhaps the guard would let on.

“Perhaps you also know of somewhere we can stay… somewhere out of the public eye?”

Nate nodded. “I do, but they’re not going to be impressed by the surprise visit.” Or perhaps they would be. That was part of the problem. He winced a little. “It may be a little… crowded. I have five sisters.”

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2013, 02:03:25 pm »
Kallista would never be surprised to hear Corwin Dimos associated with anything, or with anyone. She required no compensation, though a favor from the Dimos would have been nice. She didn’t take him up on earlier offers. The thought buried itself in her mind. Corwin was useful, when he wasn’t an enemy. Then he was a nightmare. ‘You’ll keep Fin safe.’ No doubt he was already organizing that, thinking of ways to get rid of Connor before the younger brother could kill the elder. Corwin and Nate would manage,

Kallista only gave a cursory nod to what the thief said before turning the horse away.
‘Off the path now.’ It was daylight. She didn’t need to be caught. Yet, when she tried to urge the horse to gallop, it refused, stumbled.

In a fluid movement, Kallista dismounted.
“Are you ok?” She had forgotten the horse’s name. It snorted, tossed its head as if saying ‘no’. “All right,” she’d have to get a new horse. She could trade this one. “Come on,” she took the reins in her hand and went to find some stables, or a farm—some place where she might be able to trade her horse. She still looked like a red cloak. It would be easy. ‘Have to discard this outfit later.’ Burn it. If only she were a pyro.

She stumbled upon a house that seemed quite active that morning with female voices. There were horses. It was worth a shot and she hadn't really seen any other place awake this early. Slowly, Kallista approached the residence and knocked on the door.


~***~

A mile was easily traveled and soon, the three arrived in Krya. Beltran stretched, yawned. He was tired. He hadn’t been prepared for a night trip. He made no comment about beds or sleep; his tired eyes looked over the town that was just starting to wake up,
“Lead the way,” he told Nate. After all, he had no idea where the house was. Would there be breakfast? He was hungry, too. Bed and breakfast. Perhaps he should just look at an inn. Would there even be an inn in such a small town, though? Beltran had no idea. He simply guessed that with five sisters, there was probably no room for too many guests. 


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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2013, 02:09:36 pm »
“Nadine, get your head out of that book and help your sisters!”

“Niamh can do that, she’s only a year younger than me.”

“Niamh is busy child.”

“Busy doing what exactly?”

“Just get your arse out of that chair and help Naomi, Natalie and Nimue get ready for their lessons.”

A huff and a sigh and a squeak of a chair followed. “Alright mother.”

There was a knock at the door and a flustered looking Nadine answered it, washing basket cradled in between her hip and her arm, she held the door open with her foot, brushing loose locks of long brown hair out of her eyes with her one free hand. “Can I help you?” She asked politely.

The twins chose that moment to be nosey, creeping around her skirt to peer at the stranger before tugging at Nadine’s skirts, pulling on her apron and holding onto her legs as they chased each other around. “Natalie, Nimue, get away from this door. Where are your manners?” Nadine scolded. She shot the stranger an apologetic look, recognising the colours of her clothing as his Majesty’s royal guard. “Oh my!” Her pale skin seemed to take on a blush rather quickly. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t notice before. Please, come in.” She offered, holding the door open for the red haired red cloak, pushing the twins away as best she could while juggling the washing basket, the door and her hair, which insisted on continuing to get in her way.

~

Zak wasn’t concerned at first when the woman simply left. He had thought that she would want more from him than a simple thanks…

There was something about her which made him curious. He still couldn’t quite put his finger on her ‘reasons’ for helping him. Not at all.

He shrugged to himself and slinked off in search of a well which would lead to the legendary Mirror.

~

Once they were n Kyra, Nate wasn’t really paying attention to what Beltran said. He wasn’t really paying attention to the Prince either. He was taking in his surroundings. He forgot how long it had been since he had been home. It made him miss home all the more. He had never been homesick until home was in sight.

He gave a small smile, doing as was asked and leading the way.

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #46 on: September 18, 2013, 02:22:08 pm »
‘Of all the houses….’

Kallista could see the family resemblance. The names Nimue and Natalie rang a bell. Kallista didn’t imagine her luck was so good that this was merely a coincidence and not Nate’s family.
“I—” but she was invited in before she could speak, much apologizing and fuss. She winced internally, tied the horse to a nearby post, and walked in, “I do not mean to trouble you long.”

And certainly things looked busy in this household. She was tempted to turn away and pursue things elsewhere. This was Nate’s family. So many girls.
‘He said he had five sisters.’ Poor guy. “Ah, can I help?” She wasn’t sure why she was offering, but seeing the woman trying to balance things caused her to do so, briefly distracted from her purpose. She couldn’t find it in herself to ask what she needed from someone holding a basket of laundry and clearly not at ease.

~***~

Beltran followed. It soon became clear which house was Nate’s. The sound of activity was evident even from afar, and Beltran chuckled.
“Looks like there’s a guest.” The horse at the front suggested a messenger, one not meant to stay long. The look of the horse was tired. ‘Good or bad news?’ That was the question. He wondered if Connor would have sent someone out this way already, if Connor would even know that Nate had gone and think to send someone to find the AWOL soldier.

It was a worrisome thought. He decided the news had to be something else, though. A death in the family would be ‘better’ news than that.


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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #47 on: September 18, 2013, 02:28:44 pm »
“Mother, there’s a Red Cloak here.” Nadine called out, voice singing through the house, over the sounds of cooking, cleaning and children.

Nate’s mother appeared from the kitchen, apron wrapped around a protruding, pregnant stomach. She was much shorter than any of her children, therefore managed not to look too old (despite having five girls, one boy and another child obviously on the way). She whipped her hands on her apron, brushing greying brown hair away from her eyes and forehead.

She looked at the Red Cloak and her eyes seemed to widen. “You must be Kallista.” Her voice was smooth and even. “You had better sit down.” She looked around, noticing that Nadine had already cleared clothing from one of the chairs around what could have been considered as a dining table and had disappeared to find her younger sisters.

Nicola quickly moved clothing from another chair and took a seat. “Please, excuse my manners, she’s getting heavy.” She smiled, soothing her belly with her hand. “My name is Nicola. Nathanial writes to us occasionally.” She quickly gave the explanation of how she knew Kallista’s name. “Now dear, would you like some tea, coffee maybe? It may have to be taken black, Francis hasn’t returned with the milk yet.”

She shook her head, getting to her feet again as she waddled to the kitchen to prepare the kettle. “Are you here about Nathanial? Did something happen to him?” Her voice was easily heard above the clatter of pots and pans. Worry had seeped into her otherwise calm voice.

~

Nate froze when he saw the horse. He was sure he recognised it. “Perhaps you should both stay here, or go around the back; I’ll go inside, see if the coast is clear.”

It made sense. None of them knew if there was anyone already looking for Fin. None of them knew for sure that they wouldn’t immediately send someone out there for him. And none of them knew if Nate’s own actions regarding Kalli and Leo would be taken into account and questioned.

“Perhaps it is a good idea. Take caution.” Fin replied.

“I’ll lead you around. There’s a storm shelter if you hear trouble.”

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #48 on: September 18, 2013, 03:43:41 pm »
‘What have I done?’ Really, she should have left the second she identified who’s house this was. She didn’t want to get Nate’s family in further trouble, didn’t want to be caught here of all places. And his mother was pregnant! She didn’t want to stress a pregnant woman.

Yet, Kallista meekly followed the instructions, took a seat at an area cleared off for her and looked at her hands.
“I do not require anything,” Kallista didn’t want to trouble them any further. There were enough of them as it was, she couldn’t think to impose. And yet the woman got up anyway. Kallista wrapped her arms around herself, tried to get the words out that she was in a hurry, mistaken by coming here. She was looking for somewhere else. Anywhere else.

Nicola spoke first, though. Her worry got the better of Kallista and she didn’t try to make a quick escape.
“I am not here about Nathanial,” that wasn’t a lie, “But he may be in trouble.” She really should lie, soothe the woman’s nerves. She couldn’t. It seemed freeing herself of His Grace Leo was making her feel more like an Adal again, more like her old self, and lying would not be good. How could she lie to Nate’s mother? “He witnessed something…something horrible. I have not been present in Cyrone to know if he is well.” Hopefully all was fine, Fin was on the throne and protected.

~***~

“We can find our way around the back,”
Beltran said, shaking his head at Nate’s insistence of showing them things. He was quite positive this had nothing to do with the Crown, though he couldn’t say where that attitude came from. Perhaps the fact there wasn’t any screaming.

Still, he let Nate lead them around and promised to stay until Nate came to fetch them, if the coast was clear. He’d get Fin out safely if the coast was not clear.

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #49 on: September 18, 2013, 07:30:03 pm »
Before Kallista could protest, a mug of black coffee had been put down in front of her and Nicola was back in her own seat, listening intently as she warmed her hands on her cup of tea. She gave a small smile to Kallista when she told her the truth.

“Nathanial’s a good boy Kallista, I’m sure that he knows what he’s doing.” There was evident relief in her voice that her son wasn’t dead; as she’d feared. Nathanial had always told her in his infrequent letters that should anything happen to him, it would be more than likely that Kallista would deliver the news. ‘Because I’m sure she would be the only one to care enough to visit you in person rather than sending a raven’ he had written. Her son obviously held this woman in high esteem.

~

Nate didn’t knock on the door. He never did. He was more than surprised to see Kallista sat at the table with his mother. He didn’t know what surprised him more, the fact that Kallista was here, or that his mother was pregnant again.

He knew he looked a little dumbfounded.

His mother looked pretty astounded herself. “Speak of the devil.” She smiled warmly, getting to her feet.

Nate waved her off, motioning for her to sit back down. “You shouldn’t be up and about.” He mumbled.

He looked at Kallista and shook his head. Regardless of how thin the walls of his birthplace were, he knew that no amount of listening in would allow Beltran or Fin to hear what was to be said to his mother and his friend.

“Now… calmly, I’m going to tell you what’s going on… you need not to yell… we have visitors.”
He waited for that to sink in before explaining what had transpired before the group of men had decided to come here, and exactly who he was travelling with.

Kallista needed to make a decision. Did she trust Beltran enough to let on that she was here, or did she wish to hide? There weren’t many places he could hide her, but perhaps they would be sufficient until he and the others left. “I’m sorry Kalli, I didn’t think you’d come here.”

His mother got up, she was obviously angry. She hit him on the arm, not lightly either. "A prince Nathanial?" She growled, managing to keep her voice low. "You brought a Prince? Here? And you couldn't send a raven in advance?" She shook her head. "He's not coming in till this house is spotless."

The house would never be to his mother's wanted rendition of 'spotless'. There were just too many of them.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 07:33:56 pm by Q »

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #50 on: September 18, 2013, 07:40:07 pm »
“I trust him,” Kallista nodded. “I am hopeful he knows what to do.” The proper thing to do, it turned out, was not what he’d done. Well, not fully, he should have talked Fin into staying.

Kallista stiffened in her chair when she heard the voice.
‘No.’ She was pale white, the mug of coffee held in her hands, the only thing keeping her warm as her blood seemed to run cold in her veins. 

She was relieved that Fin was safe under his protection, but the thought that Beltran was here did scare her. She had killed Leo. Beltran would feel a certain need to avenge that, as he must have felt a need to protect the eldest son. Perhaps that was Corwin’s doing. Nicola reacted, angry that the prince would be brought to a place like this.
“His Grace is more humble than you might expect,” she said, placing the half-empty cup of coffee aside. “I’m afraid I must leave. I did not mean to cause any trouble here.” ‘I did not mean to find this place.’

She wasn’t thinking of hiding, making her way to the door instead and planning to just force Melchior on. She could beat Beltran if she could get the horse galloping. It didn’t sound like Nate had brought along horses on this venture.

Not to mention Fin. He had to be furious if he had any inkling of who had murdered Leo. It was his father, despite the mistreatment.

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #51 on: September 18, 2013, 09:15:36 pm »
Nicola turned, suddenly worried about Kallista, who seemed to have gone pale. “Now, just you wait a minute young lady.” She shook her head as though she was berating one of her daughters. “There’s a reason you came to this house, and you’re not leaving here until I hear it.” She nodded a singular definite nod, as though she was the infinite rule. She certainly was in the household. She rounded on Nate. “And you can go and tell your sisters to make some room for His Grace and whoever else is out there before you dare invite them both in.”

Nate shrugged, sparing a glance in Kallista’s direction. “It’s best not to argue with her.” The implication that Kalli would not win an argument with his mother was more than implied. He gave her an apologetic smile. He knew that he hadn’t done what she had wanted him to do. He felt as though he had failed her already.

He sighed. It felt exactly the same leaving that room as it had leaving the one at the palace after the murder of the King. He left with a heavy heart, unsure if he would ever see her again.

He made his way through the house. The place was much bigger on the inside than it seemed on the outside. There were a lot of hidden spaces, nooks and crannies. It didn’t take him long to find his sisters, crammed into one room, moving things already.

“Hello Nate.” Nadine smiled at him. She had always had a keen ear, she had probably heard the whole story. Immediately the twins grabbed his legs, Naomi and Nimah following suit quickly after at his sides, and finally joined by Nadine. The group hug was something they had always reserved for special occasions, but they hadn’t seen one another in such a long time.

One by one, they broke away, going back to whatever they had been doing. Nadine seemed to have things under some kind of order. “I gave them all specific tasks. They all want to meet His Grace." Nadine’s smile widened. It was obvious she wanted to meet him too. “No need to tell us Nate, Mother wants the place spotless… I’m working on it. Don’t leave him out there in the cold.”

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #52 on: September 19, 2013, 04:47:11 am »
Kallista understood the rule of a mother. Were it anyone else’s mom, she might have continued anyway, but she paused and heeded the advice. Do not argue, but explain.

So, Kallista waited until Nate had left the room. She sized up the woman, Nicola. She did not want to stress her, but she had to explain the situation that required her immediate departure as concisely as possible. So, she strode back over to the woman and took one of Nicola’s hands in both of hers.
“Protect your daughters, Nicola,” she spoke with a bowed head, “So that they do not end up in my shoes. Teach them better.”

She took a breath before meeting the other woman’s gaze. She spoke quietly so as not to be overheard,
“I killed His Grace Leo,” there was agony in her gaze, in her expression, as if it were the last thing she wanted to do. “He ordered me to kill Nate.” Her voice broke on his name and she averted her gaze. That was only the last straw. Everything about her posture suggested there was so much more that led to the King’s death, so much more to her words that Nicola should protect her daughters. Kallista was defeated, running rather than fighting or standing her ground.

Another breath. She swallowed down the emotions, the memories.
“I came for a horse, but I do not want you and your family involved. Had I know this was your house, I would not have come.” Another deep breath. She looked back at the mother. “I came to get a horse to get further away from Cyrone. I came only to leave, and that is what I want to do now.” Would she understand, let her escape? Kallista could only hope so, or at least hope that Nicola would feel indebted enough for Nate’s life being spared that she’d let Kallista go.

Anything. Time was running out. Beltran was bound to investigate on his own if Nate took too long, and Kallista wasn’t ready to die, wasn’t ready to face trial, wasn’t ready for any of it. She had to outrun that future. 

« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 04:51:06 am by Krystal Itzume »

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #53 on: September 19, 2013, 09:01:40 am »
The older woman listened without interjection. There was an audible gasp both when Kallista told of her regicide and of her move to protect Nicola’s only son. Gratitude overwhelmed the woman, but also worry for the younger. Her other hand came to clasp over Kallista’s and she squeezed. Kallista didn’t look as though she would have appreciated a hug, otherwise, Nicola would have moved to embrace her.

There was obviously much more to this story, though Nicola didn’t question it. “Thank you.” She finally breathed, as though words were not enough to express how deeply she felt the appreciation. She pulled away. “Take any of the horses you wish. It’ll be one less mouth to feed.” A wry smile came after that statement. “If you can wait just a little longer, I’ll have Nadine get you a saddle for one of the stallions.”

~

Nate had moved back into the other room by that point and caught the tail end of the conversation. There was a frown. “I can do that for you.” He suggested.

“No love. You have to go see to the Prince, you can’t leave him out there all day, it’s not good manners. But I don’t know how we’re going to get Kallista out, and His Grace inside without them noticing or seeing one another.” And that was the problem here, Nicola could tell from Kallista’s story and her demeanour that she didn’t particularly wish to be seen.

But there was only one door. “I still think you should wait further inside Kallista, until perhaps the night.” She could slip away unnoticed once Nicola had ensured that everyone was asleep.

~

Zak had travelled for a very long time, or what seemed like a long time. Even his practiced legs and stomach were beginning to protest by the time he reached an inn. He quickly set about using Corwin’s gold to purchase a room for the night and a warm meal, before disappearing with a mug of warm cider, his food and the key.

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #54 on: September 19, 2013, 06:03:46 pm »
The squeeze was more than enough. It spoke volumes of Nicola’s understanding and gratitude. She was offered any horse she wanted, but it was still suggested she hide.

‘You don’t hide from a Dimos.’


It was one of those unwritten rules that Kallista quite firmly believed in. If he caught sight of her magical aura, she was done for. She looked to a window, thinking she didn’t necessarily need to go out the door.
‘Beltran will be on edge now.’ Escaping now might not work out. “I do not want to wait to night, but perhaps…perhaps getting them settled and then leaving would work. I can go out a window.” She didn’t need to leave through the door.

She forgot about the issue of the horse she left tied to the front of the house, of how Beltran would be expecting a guest.
“Where can I hide until it is safer?” Kallista decided the idea was sound, perhaps not till night, but at least for a little while.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 08:30:56 pm by Krystal Itzume »

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #55 on: September 27, 2013, 07:41:25 pm »
Nate could almost see the cogs turning in Kallista’s head as she questioned herself, questioned his mother’s suggestions.

Finally, there was an agreement, but Nate knew that unwritten rule just as well as Kallista did. ‘You don’t hide from a Dimos.’ They were one of the most powerful magical families he was sure that he had ever heard of. There *was* no hiding from them. He frowned. “Maybe we should just tell him you’re here.”

“Nonsense” Nicola tutted “sometimes, I don’t think that you consider things at all Nathanial.” She turned her attention on Kallista again and gave her a reassuring smile. “Down the hallway and to your left dear. Nadine will help you when it’s time for you to go.” Her tone suggested that she would rather the red head stayed; some sort of mother’s protective intuition.

“And you.” She looked now to her son. “Had better go and invite His Grace in.” She shook her head. “And I had better start cooking.”

Nathanial followed his own advice from earlier and decided it was better not to argue with his mother, sheerly on principle. He gave something of a wave to Kallista and headed back out of the front door, going around the back of the house to collect Beltran and Fin. "The coast is clear. I apologise for the wait Your Grace, my Mother insisted I help clean before she allowed me to invite you into her home." There was a tone of humour there that he hoped Fin picked up on.

Luckily, Fin smiled and let Nate lead them to the front door.

The door opened and Nicola stood, waiting to great them with her head bowed respectfully. "Your grace. It is an honour to have you here."

"Please, do not bow. It is an honour for me to be welcomed into your home Mrs Winters."

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #56 on: September 28, 2013, 02:40:30 am »
Kallista shook her head at Nathanial’s idea. She might just be the first person to hide from a Dimos. It was unlikely, but she could hope. She nodded in acknowledgement to Nicola’s words, “Thank you,” her head remained bowed a few seconds, before she followed the directions and ended up in a room. It was a bedroom. ‘Private.’ Not a place that Fin should go, nor Beltran. Still, she shifted into the closet to hide herself by another layer.

~***~

Beltran was getting impatient. He knew they should have gone to check on Nate some time ago, but he was always convinced to wait. Soon enough, Nate did show up, and they were led to the house. The horse remained outside.
‘Is this a trap?’ He was certain Nate would have given them some sort of clue in his behavior.

They were greeted by Nicola. She acted as she ought, but Fin had always been familiar. Beltran followed suit,
“Hello Mrs. Winters, I am Beltran,” he introduced himself. He wasn’t as well-known as his brother, after all, nor his father. “It is a pleasure to be here.” It at least smelled good inside, if nothing else. That was a perk.

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Re: Wish Upon A Dream [Closed]
« Reply #57 on: October 11, 2013, 12:12:25 am »
Nicola was almost taken back by the way the young prince conducted himself. He was so… normal. It was almost as though he didn’t wish to be treated any different. “If it pleases Your Grace, I would rather you call me Nicola.” She gave him a smile. “Excuse me sirs, if you would both take a seat, I will bring you both something to eat and drink.”

She moved away, motioning to Nate. “You can tell your sisters to eat in their rooms tonight.”

Fin, who had just sat down, quickly stood to oppose the notion. “Mrs Winters, please no formalities on my regard. It would be an honour to meet your family and dine with them.

Nate was nearly as shocked by this as his mother looked, but managed to school his features. “Your Grace, I repeat that I have five sisters. They can be a bit of a handful and it has been a long day.”

“And I shall repeat; no ‘Your Grace’ here.” Fin replied stubbornly. “And in someone’s home, I would offer them the respect of allowing them to dine at their own dinner table, not to be cast aside; regardless of the status of any guests. I would offer courtesy in my own home, I would rather extend it than to segregate.”

"Alright." Nicola didn't seem as though she totally agreed with Fin's wishes. The poor lad didn't know what he was getting himself into. "But no 'Mrs Winters' either, Fin. My name is Nicola."

Fin automatically loved Nate's mother.