View Full Version : To My Dearest, Old Friend [2/1, Jon/Claire, afternoon]
Jon Starke Lorterra
01-03-2011, 10:10 PM
Jon waited patiently outside her door, even though Claire knew he was calling upon her. They hadn't spoken in some time, since the last weddings, but with the rapidly changing pace of the current politics, Jon knew he could not hold off this conversation any longer. He had plans. Of course, he had always had plans but now, it seemed, the truth would come to light much sooner than he had expected, and such news might take him and Evangeline very far away, for their own safety. And she had to know. She was, after all, his best friend.
Once more, he rapped lightly on the doorframe, to signal that he was waiting. Jon would never rush Claire - he knew that she might be having a bout of illness and needed time to gather herself for their afternoon stroll. He made it on the pretense to 'catch up.' But Claire would soon understand why.
01-05-2011, 10:45 PM
Claire opened the door, knowing Jon was waiting. She was almost sure she’d felt him approach, they’d been so close. And with her feelings and his resolved, she felt she could trust him even more. She hoped he felt the same, and clearly he still wanted to spend time with her.
“Jon,” she said softly, as she gave him a hug. He was like a brother, and she felt more comfortable with him than with half the members of her own family. “You wanted to catch up? Shall we go for a walk?”
Jon Starke Lorterra
01-07-2011, 01:48 AM
Jon hugged her back, and upon releasing her, took Claire's hand. "Yes. A walk would be nice," he said lightly, somewhat distracted. As he lead her out and down the corridor, they chatted about small things, this and that. But still, it weighed heavily upon his mind.
"How is life as Lady Mallory been treating you, then?" he asked, hoping to ease into the information he had to divulge.
01-07-2011, 07:48 PM
Claire followed along next to him, sensing something was wrong. His posture, his tone, even the way he walked gave him away. She simply knew him too well for him to hide things from her, but she would not push. Jon would tell her in his time. “Edmond treats me sweetly,” she replied, “But his sister is unkind. She had gone out of her way to make me feel unwelcome. I do my best to avoid her, which is easy enough in the large castle. I spend time with Edmond and Odelia, and Aviana and Devlin have been welcomed me into the family. If only one of them was coming back to Dvanna with us instead of Quinn.”
Jon Starke Lorterra
01-10-2011, 01:57 AM
Jon listened intently, his gaze cast forward.
"I'm sorry to hear that, Claire. I would hate to think that you are uncomfortable in your own home." He paused, dark thoughts still intruding. "But perhaps Quinn is just... misunderstood. Sometimes, there are more layers to a person than their outside disposition."
He glanced over to Claire now, trying to gauge her reaction. Clearly, she was not fond of her sister-in-law.
"After all, I'd like to think that you perhaps see me differently than others might. Certainly better than Evangeline's brothers, but maybe in a similar fashion to your own family."
01-12-2011, 04:36 PM
“Well, she certainly made it clear I wasn’t as good as she was,” Claire retorted. Jon couldn’t be taking Quinn’s side on this. He was just trying to be rational given that he wasn’t there. If he’d been there... oh, there was no way he’d think Quinn was anything but a bitch. Just remembering what the girl had said to her, when they were supposed to be sister, brought a slight flush of pink to her face. Talking about having sex and collecting birds in the same sentence! Claire bit her lip and let it go. Jon had something to tell her, and that was clearly more important.
“Why wouldn’t they see you in a good light, Jon?” Claire asked. “You are practically perfect.” She smiled at that thought. She certainly had always thought so, and even now that her childhood fantasies had been laid to rest, she still viewed him as sitting on some perfect silver pedestal.
Jon Starke Lorterra
01-14-2011, 12:52 AM
He stopped now, halting their progression as they walked. Jon looked to Claire then, a somber expression on his features, and lightly he took her hand, holding both with his own.
"Not quite," he said gently, looking at her, watching his friend's expression. He didn't know what she'd think. But he could only hope that Claire was as true a friend as he had always believed her to be. Jon paused, taking a deep breath.
"I'm not... who you think I am. I mean, I am, but I am not... all that my title claims me to be." He saw the bewildered look on her face, and Jon tried to gather his thoughts. He cleared his throat, trying to find the words. "I mean, what I am trying to say is... I am not my father's son. My mother... was pregnant before she married my father. But he took her in and raised me as his own, because he was... friends, with my real father."
"Does this... make any sense, Claire? I am not a Starke." I am really a Sterlyn. But Jon didn't say that just yet. He did not want to unload all the information at once.
01-14-2011, 01:10 AM
Simon, as usual, was poring over books. It came as a surprise for him to learn that Lord Mallory was not only fascinated by medicine, but that he had a degree in medicine as well. As such, the libraries in Orqua’s palace had recently been stocked with many interesting books, some with some very ingenious and progressive methods of practice that Simon found to be absolutely fascinating. He carried a stack beneath his arm, one open in his other hand. He was voracious, trying to absorb all of the information, trying to figure out which parts of the text he’d want to transpose for his own notes. There were already various markings in this one, comments, presumably from Lord Mallory himself. He would have to remind himself to sit and speak with the man at some point. Perhaps arrange a meeting through Gabriel as it was not necessarily proper for a man of his station to request an audience with a man like Lord Mallory.
Turning the corner, he looked up just to be sure he wasn’t about to crash into anybody, but he did something of a double take. It was easy to recognize Lord Jon Starke now. He’d been the subject of many of Gabriel’s recent rants and raves. Hells, even Michael had made one or two comments about this gentlemen. Simon, for his part, was not sure what the big deal was. The man was a lord, not a second son. Yes, he knew his good friend wished to have his sister’s marry into higher born houses, but he only had so many sisters. If Warren Harrowmont was good enough for Skye, then why was Jon Starke not good enough for Evangeline?
His strides were longer than the two walking, and he had every intention of just passing them, perhaps a polite greeting but nothing more. But as he got closer, inadvertently hearing the words that carried partially down the corridor, he slowed, his eyes glaring into the back of Jon’s head. It was not that he was a bastard. Not at all… Simon would be the last person to judge anybody for that. But it was that his titles… they were worthless. And that… THAT changed everything. Gabriel had to be told… It was Simon’s duty as a man in his service.
Ducking into an alcove so as not to be seen, he would wait for the opportunity to return to the Drake parlor to tell Gabriel everything.
01-16-2011, 07:11 PM
“Nothing, not even that, changes how I feel about you Jon,” Claire replied, her voice dropping to a whisper. “Be careful though! Be quiet. You don’t want anyone else to hear.” She gripped his hand and squeezed, a silent way of showing her support. She would stand behind him no matter what other said.
“As long as you claim the title, because your father knew but still made you heir, how does it matter? If the Lord of Ryvna declared you his own, is that not like adopting you? Making you a real and true Starke? The deception was his, not yours. Why should it matter now?” He had done the job, played the part, lead his people. So what if his birth was something other than originally claimed.
Jon Starke Lorterra
01-26-2011, 11:38 PM
Jon was taken back by Claire's immediate acceptance. But how could he have ever doubted her? Had she ever once turned her back on him? Immediately, he moved to hug her, pulling his friend close, closing his eyes momentarily. Jon was so incredibly lucky, after all this time, in a rather luck-less life.
"It doesn't, really, Claire," Jon said gently, pulling back, as they continued to stand. He kept his voice hushed. "I know the truth. I could be punished for holding titles that do not rightfully belong to me. And... my real father... or rather, my real siblings. Would not be accepting of this news."
"I can certainly think of more than one man who would not find such a revelation joyous."
02-01-2011, 01:29 PM
Claire hugged him back, tightly, resting her head on his shoulder. He was her rock and now she could be his. He’d always been there for her; this time, she would be here for him.
As he pulled back, she reached up to finger a dark lock of his hair.
“I understand. I know that I know you for who you really are, but the world of the nobility is superficial. A man is born capable or he is not. He is born first and therefore is strong and inherent the titles. It does not always make sense. I will be honest to say I thought my father, even for his failings, a far better man than my uncle. He would have ruled without... distractions. But Alathia chooses for us.”
She tilted her head slightly. “I suppose they wouldn’t be happy, because you are proof their father was cheating?” So very common though, it was almost expected. “And the Ashpools? Why should they harm you when you have done well? They should keep your secret and let you wed your lady and continue a line in Ryvna.”
Jon Starke Lorterra
02-16-2011, 09:46 PM
He smiled as he looked at Claire. She always gave him hope: it was her greatest gift of all. "Does Edmund have any idea how lucky he is?" Jon asked with a faint laugh.
He drew a deep breath, releasing the tension he'd held. He was the illegitimate son of a king but she was right: his adopted father had claimed him, had named him successor. Adopted children had inherited before. And as for his true father... Gyllene was a long way from Sanka. Jacques would know what to do- perhaps just stay out of the Sterlyns' views...
"That's just it... it's not just that I'm not a Starke but that... my father is... was..." He'd made up his mind to go this far, might as well tell her this bit. But not all of it. "He was a... Sterlyn." Jon sighed. "We're cousins, Claire." And I'm proof that your opinion on your uncle was probably right...
02-20-2011, 11:32 PM
“He seems to see something in me that even I didn’t,” Claire smiled in response. After all, she hadn’t even had confidence the night they were wed. Edmund had given that to her. She owed him and Jon everything.
He was her cousin. Suddenly, they weren’t just close friends. They were family. True family, by blood. She tossed her arms around him and pulled him close. “I’ve always loved you Jon. Maybe now I understand why. Maybe my blood was always singing to me, telling me that you and I were more than just two people who cared. We are bonded, cousins, blood and family. I will stand up for you, whatever it takes.”
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