View Full Version : Waking Up After A Long Sleep (Claire/Edmond March 20th)
02-08-2011, 11:58 PM
Claire’s eyelids fluttered open. The sun streaked through the window of her bedroom in the Castle in Orqua. She lifted her hand, still covered in patches, still itchy, but not nearly so bad. The last month had been nothing but a nightmare, long and never ending. She couldn’t remember much except the dreams, always the dreams, always the pain.
As she pushed herself up, she heard the sound of someone rushing forward. Turning her head, she watched as the chamber lady appeared at her side. “My Lady Claire, be careful. You have not been up and about in a month.”
“What happened?” Claire whispered. “Where.. where is Edmond?”
“I will send for the Lord immediately, my lady,” she replied with a nod. “And your doctor. He must know you’re awake.” She reached up to touch Claire’s forehead, her touch extremely gentle. She nodded, pleased with the results and then headed for the door. Just outside a guard was posted. “Get the Lord and the doctor immediately! Lady Claire as awakened!”
“When is it?” Claire uttered softly. It was daylight to be sure, but what day of the month? She had just awakened? How long had she had her nightmare?
“The twentieth day of March, my Lady. You’ve... been asleep for a very long time.”
Just then the doctor rushed in, at her side immediately, checking her arms and her legs, feeling her throat and looking into her eyes. “I knew you would pull through, Claire,” he smiled, and Claire could not help but smile back, even with her eyes filled with worry.
What do you mean, Neil?” she asked, on familiar terms with the man who had cared for her for some fifteen years.
“My Lady... you almost passed. This sickness.. it was very bad. Your husband was most worried. As we all were. I believe,” he paused. “You were affected by your psyche.”
She nodded. She knew what he meant. Her cousin and her sister had sent her over the edge, forcing her body to fight her disease without her mind. She closed her eyes and sighed softly, glad she was still alive. Glad for Edmond’s sake. “Where is my husband?”
02-12-2011, 02:01 AM
Edmund was in a mood most foul. Having wanted to be back home by now, he had become somewhat tied to Orqua in that not only had his wife fallen ill and could not be moved, but his cousin was in a situation that called for support. Even though, despite his best efforts, his cousin had come to lean on another far more than Edmund liked. It was not that he did not trust Rhaegar. In fact, many of the things being done were for the good of their house, their livelihood. He’d give him credit for that much. But it was that Christopher had started to seek him out first… It was a change. One that he was not ready to get used to or become less bitter about.
So, while his cousin tended to the political matters of the day, Edmund decided to drown his mind in work. Unfortunately, that had brought about his terrible mood. He had grown, he supposed, too accustomed to the help in Saefa. Many of the new hands clearly had no idea what the fuck they were doing, and now that the new foals were in need of care, it showed. He would most certainly have to speak to Christopher about releasing them. One in particular, a man who thought it was wise to separate the foal from the dam – Some shit excuse about how he wanted the colt to imprint on a human rather than its mother so that training would be easier. Edmund had rarely ever hit somebody so hard in his life.
Walking back into the castle, muttering curses under his breath and determining that he would seek Christopher out now, he was suddenly stopped by somebody shouting his name. He recognized the voice immediately and his stomach plummeted. His mind first jumped to what could be wrong. Something bad had happened to his wife! Of course it did! Nothing good seemed to happening… But then she said that Claire was awake and for a moment, Edmund could not move. And then, he was moving quickly. The time it took to get from where he’d been to their room now went by in a haze, and he was at her bedside, leaning over her and taking her hand.
“Claire,” he whispered breathlessly. “I’m right here.”
02-12-2011, 03:45 PM
Claire almost cried at the sound of his voice. Out for so long and yet here he was, still with her. She reached up her weak arms for his neck, wanting nothing more than to hold him, to know that he was still real, that she was still wedded to Edmund Mallory. So much time had gone by. How much of him had she missed?
“What has happened, Edmund. They said I was sick. For so very long. That it is already well into March? My father and sis-” she cut herself off. Sister now. Not sisters. Claudia. Memories came back, that her sister had been killed. Being told was the last thing she remembered.
“Oh Edmund,” she whispered. “It is true? Claudia? Do I remember right?”
02-16-2011, 04:28 AM
He never before had understood what people meant when they described such a feeling as melting into one’s arms. But he understood it now, for that’s exactly what he did. With no thought for the doctors or the servants around them, he laid on the bed beside her, his arms enfolding her, his face moving to bury into her hair as he held her close. There was a distinct fear in his heart… that if he let go she would vanish? That if he moved she would go back to sleep. It actually made him tremble to think about.
“Hush, my love,” he said softly, moving so that he could look into her eyes and stroke her cheek. “Claire, I will explain everything soon. But right now, I do not want you to upset yourself. Please, just calm down.”
02-16-2011, 10:46 PM
Claire fit so perfectly in his arms that she didn’t resist when he moved to hold her. She heard the shuffling of feet around the room as doctor and servant turned away to give the couple some small measure of privacy. Claire felt tears spring unbidden to her eyes, tears of happiness that Edmund hadn’t left her during that month. That he still loved her the same as before. Love she wasn’t sure she deserved.
“I can be nothing but calm in your arms, Edmund, but I have to know if what I remember is true. Otherwise the memories will haunt me like nightmares.” She squeezed her eyes shut for a moment, Zach’s words coming back. Remember them alive and happy, not dead...
“And did they find who did it?”
02-17-2011, 03:38 AM
Edmund pulled back enough to look down at her, fingers stroking her cheek and a tenderness these hands did not normally possess. “My love, I wish I could tell you it was not so. I am so sorry,” he said, cupping her cheek.
This part was the hardest to swallow. He hated shaking his head to her question. “I have heard no news on who killed your sister or Lady Horatia.”
02-20-2011, 11:43 PM
Claire felt the tears forming when Edmund confirmed the truth, but she swallowed hard and willed them not to fall. If her sister was dead, there was nothing she could do now. “They will be found. And punished. I must have faith.” With her head still leaning against him, she closed her eyes and prayed to Amalthia that it would be so.
“It is the will of the gods, then,” she whispered, “And I trust them to do justice to the killers. I cannot change the past. I only wish to wake up, to be well again, to be your wife. I do not want to lose you Edmund. Thank you... for staying with me.”
02-21-2011, 12:50 AM
Edmund kissed her temple, brushing her hair aside. “Where would I have gone?” he asked softly, locking eyes with hers. “What is home if you’re not there? You will never lose me, Claire. Ever.” Lightly, he pressed his lips to hers, not wanting to overwhelm her, but needing to kiss her all the same. “Christopher and the king both seek justice, and I’ve no doubt that it will be found. Like you, I also have faith. But no matter what, I stand beside you.”
02-21-2011, 01:03 AM
She laughed lightly, a warm feeling passing over her at how easily he loved her. “I have yet to see Dvanna, my husband, and yet, because of you, I already feel like it is more home that Solbra has ever been. I would still be a maiden in a tower if not for you.”
She kissed him softly, and then she wanted more. Sickness could not hold her back from the man she loved. “Edmund, tell them to leave. All of them. I want to know you again. I will be well, better even, with you love.”
02-21-2011, 01:16 AM
Edmund smiled fondly, stroking her hair. “It is your home, my love. I am your home.”
Now he blinked in surprise. Cupping her cheek, he looked at her with a curious gaze. “Sweet, you have only just awakened. I’m not sure it would be wise. I… I don’t want you to be sick again, love. I can’t… I can’t lose you again.”
02-21-2011, 01:25 AM
Claire hugged Edmund tighter at his words. She didn’t understand what brought about his love for her, but she was grateful. He had stood up to her father, and now, when she had nearly died, he hadn’t abandoned her. How could she ever repay him? Thoughts of her father, her mother, her sister, everything vanished. All that mattered was that Edmund truly loved her for who she was.
“I will never leave you. I don’t care how sick I get, your love will pull me through. But I will rest until you feel I’m ready to get up. And..” She paused for a moment, “I’m pretty hungry.”
02-24-2011, 12:07 AM
Edmund kissed her once again and then sat straight, calling for the maester to come back in. A servant entering behind him was ordered to bring some food for her, and he turned back, brushing her hair behind her ear and stroking her hair as the man looked over her. “She’ll want to take things slow,” the man said, looking straight at Edmund. “Generally when you’ve been in bed for as long as she, the muscles are weak and must be eased back into use. But it is important she not overdo it. And you may eat, my lady,” he said, not to her. “But again, do be mindful that it has been a long while since you’ve had a proper meal. Do not eat too much lest your stomach ache.”
He nodded and said, “I shall stay with her to be sure nothing goes awry.” He was immediately glad he hadn’t taken her up on the tempting offer to make love to her then and there. Some might call that form of physical exertion ‘overdoing’ it.
02-28-2011, 05:19 PM
“Food would be good, and at some point I’d like to get out of bed and stretch my legs.” She knew what the doctors had said, but she’d gone through this before. She’d been sick many times, although this might have been the worse. “I need something light, perhaps a broth,” she suggested. “And when I do get up, you will need to help me. I may not walk right for a few days, as he pointed out.”
Still, she was alive, and with Edmund. “And will we be going to Dvanna soon?” She wondered what he had done with the children while she was ill.
03-01-2011, 03:24 AM
Edmund nodded, putting his hand on her arm. “Food first, love,” he said, turning to the door to nod for the servants to get as she suggested. He just hoped the kitchens were already preparing for lunch so that she would not have to wait so long. “Of course, Claire. I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere, dear, so whenever you want to get up, I’ll be here to help you.” He leaned in and pressed a kiss to her temple.
He had been smiling, but it went away at her question. “Not for some time, Claire,” he told her. “My daughters are on their way to Orqua. I fear Christopher needs me here right now. And even so… You have missed much in your sleep. I worry that war is on our very doorstep, and I know that my family will be safe here.” He would leave out that at some point, he would have to return to ready his army… With or without them. But he had more faith that the walls of Orqua would protect them.
03-02-2011, 02:53 PM
“I have missed much,” Claire whispered. War? “Is this because of my cousin’s death?” She was not a child anymore, but the wife of a regent and cousin to the Province Lord. She was no long locked in her tower and she wanted to be treated that way.
“Edmund, do not shield me. I must know what is happening. If your children are coming here than I am to be their mother. And I wish to know what I need to protect them against. I must know how to comfort them. I no longer want to be a bird in a cage, but one who flies and sees and helps. Please grant me that.”
The food arrived a moment later, and the servant placed a tray across her lap. Another set down the bowl of broth. Claire picked up her spoon to take her first sip. It felt almost strange to eat, even though being out was as though she’d just woken up the next day. At least it tasted good and she could tell her body craved it. They had likely fed her in her sleep to keep her from dying, but this was definitely better.
03-02-2011, 10:39 PM
Edmund waited for her to get situation, moving so he could make himself comfortable at her side.
“I think it is more complicated than that,” he said. “The night that your cousin was murdered, the king came to meet with my lord cousin. I was with him at the time, and also there was Lord Victor Castell and one of his banners. I think he was a banner. The truth is, it has never been a secret what Victor’s thoughts were on the crown. He speaks in riddles most of the time, but anybody with half a brain can see his meaning. I suppose the king just ran out of patience, and the two men were at one another’s throats. Basically now, we are waiting for that situation to dissolve. In addition to that… there is a war going on here between the Kaedorians and the Ursai. Though the death of Fia Lennox has done some to mollify the situation here in Orqua… The rest of Svavel is at war. I have to help my cousin get things under control before we’re dragged into yet another war.”
He sighed and said, “The climate in Forsilvra is changing. I feel it… This is not the Forsilvra of our fathers… But know that whatever happens, I’ll be here with you.”
03-03-2011, 11:08 PM
“Aunt Fia is dead now too?” Claire asked after listening to his words. There was so much going on her head was spinning. She’d never been privy to so much information before, but at the same time she wanted it. She wanted to be involved. “There is so much death, my love. I pray that Amalthia does not come for us anytime soon.”
She took another sip of her broth, eating it slowly, knowing that her stomach would not hold very much.
“I trust you, Edmund. I trust you with my life and my love. Wherever you go, I wish to follow. Whatever we must do, we will do it together. I feel things are changing as well.... But we will adapt, as long as we stay strong.” She reached for his hand and squeezed it lightly. “I have faith in you.”
03-09-2011, 12:53 AM
Edmund winced at that, trying to block out the images of the woman’s final day. “She was found guilty of conspiring to murder Odelia,” he told her. “Rhaegar and Christopher had found that the Debiels had indeed perpetrated the crime, but they were put up to it and even aided to do it through Fia. Debiel had no compunction ratting her out to my cousin, and once Christopher found the evidence that condemned her, she confessed to the crime. My cousin had no choice but to execute her as well.” He nodded and tried to give a weak smile. It was always hard to smile when death was mentioned, and while he did not himself pray to Amalthia, he knew that she was not a deity that brought about joyful expressions. “I pray that we have many years ahead of us still,” he agreed.
Edmund moved closer to her, mindful of the tray and lifted his hand to her chin. Slowly, he eased her to face him, his lips brushing against hers. “There is nothing I cannot face if you are at my side. I am strong with you. I know that no matter what obstacles lie in our path, we will overcome them together.” He kissed her again, but then closed his eyes tight, his brows coming together. “Gods, Claire… I was so afraid… I thought you were trying to leave me…”
03-09-2011, 02:09 AM
Claire listened and nodded. “That my own aunt could do such a thing,” she whispered. She hadn’t known Fia well. The woman had always been strange, different, never really attending family events, not that Claire was one for them either. But at the private ones, she was usually allowed, especially if she was well. “I am glad it is over. Perhaps the death for our family is ending. I have beat Amalthia and I don’t plan to leave you, Edmund.” She leaned into his chest again, still taking the occasional sip of broth.
“I love you so much,” she whispered back. “I don’t know how or why I ever deserved a man like you, but now that I am with you, I will always be yours. And I will always, always, be here for you, just as you have been here for me.”
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