View Full Version : we need to stop meeting like this - 10/8, ten minutes post execution - Nicholas, Regina
08-31-2010, 03:57 AM
She was running. Regina Letalis had actually run away from something. Her steps slowed but it was an effort. The blood-stained gown, swollen cheek, and running... with everyone's memory of the Scarlet Feast so fresh in their heads maybe that was a bad idea...
She had to get changed, talk to the banners and pray Rex and Victor didn't have a further falling out, and manage Rosalie... and all she wanted to do was jump in the ocean and let the whole world fall down. Eli was right about one thing: there wasn't going to be a way out soon. Not the way this day was going. Gods above, it hurt. Absolutely everything hurt. Maybe she should take Ramira's option and go mad. It didn't look too bad up until the part where they slit your throat...
Her footsteps were still faster than they should have been and her thoughts distracted. She turned a corner and collided with something- someone, rather. Regina rocked back at the impact, but kept her balance, though she couldn't keep the look of near-panic hidden. Her nerves were already fraying, but she caught herself and looked up into a now-familiar face.
"Nicholas!" Relief washed over her like a tidal wave. "Thank the gods. I'm sorry, I thought you were-- oh, it doesn't matter. You aren't at the wedding...?" Obviously he wasn't, but she was trying to pick up her thoughts and think how to explain the madness that had gone on if he hadn't been there to see it.
09-01-2010, 12:55 AM
The wedding was bust and everybody knew it. More likely than not, Ramira had fucked up and the Castells would kill her. Hells, it was amazing Donovan had not squeezed the life out of her in front of everybody right there on the dance floor. He wondered what that would do for Rex and Victor's seeming friendship? It would not be pretty and Nick had a feeling that Trista might be the very last place any of the lords and ladies from Strom would want to be.
So... He was doing the one thing he thought he could do. Getting his shit together. It was as he was heading to his room that he collided with somebody, and it was reflex that had him reach out to try to catch her, but she'd righted herself before he could. "Regina?" he began before realizing he forgot the formal title and was glad nobody was around to hear him speak so familiarly with her.
"Regina, are you...? Thought I was who? What are you...? No. No, I just left. I... I thought it might be... Where is Rex?" he asked, his thoughts in a thousand different places. "Is everything all right? Is that...? That's blood! Gods, what happened!?"
09-01-2010, 01:12 AM
"Rex is with Lord Castell. All our banners need to get ready to leave, at a moment's notice..." She looked down at her dress, the scarlet drops already drying to a near-black across the blue silk.
"Ramira's dead. The alliance may be done..." She looked up at him to meet his eyes. Nicholas was one of Rex's closest courtiers- he'd understand the fear in her own. They were at the Castells' mercy, and that was the darkest joke in Forsilvra. She'd go to Victor this evening, in case it would help. She doubted it. If he wanted their family to suffer for this insult, they would.
"Nicholas..." There were a thousand things to say, plans to make, questions to ask, but what she heard herself say wasn't any of those: "I'm sorry."
09-01-2010, 01:23 AM
He figured that would be the case. "All right, my lady. Should I inform Lords Miridian, Curtenay and Ainsley for you? Or... You look like you need to sit down? Regina... Is there anything I can do for you?" he asked, seeing the distress in her eyes.
"Ramira is...? Gods, what did she do? Or is it none of my business? Forget I asked. It matters not. I shall be ready to leave post haste. It should not take long. Most of my belongings remained on the Ocean's Pride."
He was confused now, his hand reaching out for her, touching her shoulder gently. "Sorry for what?"
09-01-2010, 01:39 AM
"I think... I think I told Lord Ainsley. I'm not sure he understood me... Would you?" She looked at him with more relief than she could ever express. "Thank you. Thank the gods for you..."
Regina shook her head. "I need to change... get everything sent back to the ships..." His touch and his question stopped her. She would have made up some joke, or some excuse, some becoming and ladylike reason for the apology but the only thing in her head was his eyes, and she took a half step toward him before she knew she'd moved at all.
"I should have just kept kissing you the other night. I should have begged you not to stop." She'd tried playing by other people's rules, tried to be what she wasn't and now there wasn't anything left but an empty, hollow ache. If this was what trying to be good would get you, she'd rather have had Ramira's death than keep it up. "I let you think I didn't want you just as much. I lied."
09-01-2010, 01:51 AM
"I'll make sure he understood," he said seriously. This was no time to let misunderstandings linger. He might not like the newest Strom bannerlord, but he would see to Rex's will being carried out. "Yes, of course. I'll take care of it all, Regina. Do not worry." He smiled at her, squeezing her shoulder and said, "There's no need to thank me. I'm happy to do this for you."
He nodded, understanding. He would not begrudge her the desire to get into different clothes. But then she stepped in his direction and his arms naturally went around her, holding her. Was it bad that this was his first instinct? Who cared? She looked like she needed somebody to help hold her up.
He was not expecting her to say any of this, and his mouth partially hung open as he absorbed what she was saying. "Regina... The past is the past. I... I don't know what compells you to feel this way, but rest assured, I hold no ill feelings towards you. I never shall, I never could. It is as you say. I have wanted you for a long while, and while I have hoped you felt the same way, I never would have forced you to admit as much. I shall not focus on the lie... Only the truth for the truth is indeed a happy one."
09-01-2010, 02:05 AM
And he would. She didn't doubt for a second Nicholas would find the bannerlords and ensure they all knew what was to be done. That knowledge alone eased the trembling in her arms as she leaned against him.
"Then maybe something good can happen today. I'm tired of unhappy truths." She rested her cheek against his broad chest and took a deep breath, trying to make herself relax. She wasn't any good to anyone if she didn't get a handle on herself. Regina sighed. "After this evening I feel like I'd rather be a pirate lord's prisoner than spend one more moment here. Every part of this place is lonely and cold. No wonder the Castells are so hard."
09-01-2010, 02:30 AM
"It may not seem like it, but things will be okay. I have faith in your lord brother and in you. And no matter what happens, I will stand by both of you. There is another happy truth, yet." He rubbed her back gently, pressing a gentle kiss to the top of her head. "Yes, even I have been tempted to escape into the world we created. And I told myself it was not real. That I could not let myself get carried away... But, perhaps it can be. Perhaps we can keep creating this world together. That is, if you want to."
He knew what he was asking. He hoped she knew. It was hard to spell it out... But she was smart.
09-01-2010, 02:44 AM
Oh, Nicholas... She turned her head so her ear was against his chest. His heartbeat was calmer than hers, she noted as she tried to think of what to say. Her arms went round his waist and she hugged him tighter for a moment.
"I would like that. More than you know." He wasn't just talking about games and flirtations though, and she knew that. This was about something more. She thought of Rex, and all the plans crashing into the sea just now... "I want to. So much... only... I won't promise you something that may be bargained away already." She had no idea what her twin might have to do to get them out of this mess. So very many plans might be dust by the time the sun rose again. Tears welled up in her eyes again, but she wouldn't shed them. She had cried enough for Castle Trist- she wouldn't let it have the rest.
09-01-2010, 03:02 AM
"I understand," he said sincerely. "I will support and respect anything that your lord brother chooses to do. Of that, you have my word. But should it come to pass that things do not play out in that way, perhaps you would not be opposed to be breeching the issue with Lord Letalis? Of course, I would not if you do not desire to come and live in our world. If reality is what you would prefer. But I will say that with me, our dreams will be a reality. I may not be able to give you everything, but I will certainly try. But, as I said, if it is not your wish, I will not force you. But... if it is... I will do what I can to see that it happens."
09-01-2010, 03:17 AM
She couldn't help it. She laughed, and met his eyes with a smile as her thoughts flew back to the conversation she'd had with Rex after they set sail from Vadra. "I'll speak to him. If it's not all gone to hell in a handbasket today then... maybe." Regina grew more serious and tried to ignore the strange hollow, fluttering feeling in her stomach. "You don't need to force me. I will agree willingly, if my brother approves."
A marriage to the Ambrosios family... who were known for being almost as warm as the Castells. But why not? Everything sane seemed mad now anyway.
09-01-2010, 01:27 PM
There was so much happiness within him. He did not know what to do with it. And at the same time, he felt it was wrong to express it. Lady Ramira had just died, the alliance hung in the balance, and here he was trying to suppress a silly grin. But Regina had at least laughed, so he let the smile break through. He could not see why Rex would not approve. Nicholas had been nothing but loyal -- extremely so. He would bend over backwards for House Letalis and had on multiple occasions. He hoped in this, Rex would see fit to grant him a boon. "So, I can see locking you away in a tower until you agree won't be necessary then?" he teased. "Damn..."
Then he turned gravely serious, looking back behind him at the corridor he'd just turned down. "I suppose I must go and find the others and inform them of the situation. You should go get dressed and ready, my lady."
09-02-2010, 01:16 AM
She looked up at him with a hint of mischief in her eyes even as she laughed again. She knew it wasn't becoming: she shouldn't be thinking of laughter at a time like this, but at the same time it cleared her head and she felt less like her brain was tangle of knots and fears.
"Of course. Thank you, Nicholas." Regina lifted her hand to touch his cheek. "Be careful."
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