Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Xander {part 8}

Amongst the elvish corps of white and bay equine, Rudy and Ciar stuck out. 
but, aside from their colors, the horn and massive wings were enough to bring attention. 
Xander shifted in the saddle, it was an elvish made one, specially crafted to give Rudy use of his wings. The old one he had brought from Aragathia had been restricting and looked painful and so a new one had been commissioned. 
But, it took some getting used to a new saddle when he'd always used his own. 
"keep shifting like that, your highness, and you'll start hurting in an unpleasant place" Lithônien pulled his horse up next to Rudy, who flattened his ears at the scholar's white stallion. 
"Of course, thank you for reminding me, scholar. But, might I be of aid in notifying you that the way you are holding the reigns puts pressure on the bit, and should you relax yourself, the chances of being thrown are less prevalent?" 
three days, barely three days of traveling with this man, and Xander was growing weary of him.  Thank God it wasn't a family trait, as both Bly and Thalion seemed to have inherited the general kind heartedness of their people. 
But no, Xander sighed mentally, Lithônien had due reason for holding a grudge. 
"Elvish horses do not throw their riders, no matter how much they'd like to" 
Xander had to bite him tongue lest he make a comment that was not needed to be heard coming from a Prince's mouth. 
Things had become so different since his arrival, he had entered merely as an ex captain, an escort of the Ambassador, and he was leaving as a birthright king. 
Lithônien seemed defeated by Xander's silence; when your opponent doesn't make a counter attack, it's hard to continue the fight. 
The Elf scholar sighed and loosened his tight grip on the reigns before speaking, "pardon my tongue, Xander" 
Is apology?
Xander looked sidewise at the elf, first shocked that Lithônien had offered an apology. 
And then he had to smile. 
Behind Lithônien, spaced only a few feet 
from the white stallion was Bly and Alora, both looking simultaneously pleased with themselves and trying to remain inconspicuous. 
Turning back to Lithônien, Xander inclined his head, "Of course, it held no insult to begin with" 
The scholar nodded once, before moving his horse up through the ranks, his place replaced by his stunningly beautiful younger sister (At least, such is Xander's awed picture of her. The said younger sister would say she isn't stunning nor all that uncommonly beautiful) as her friend flanked Xander's right. 
"Lithônien doesn't apologise to very many, you should be honored" Bly held her face straight, but her eyes gave her away. 
"Why do I feel that your brother's apologies were more forced than heartfelt?" 
Ciar reached over, the brushed noses with Rudy while their riders conversed on how Alora might have possibly telepathically scolded Lithônien on his behavior. 
Xander gripped the soft leather reigns more tightly as he struggled to not laugh aloud, "Honestly, you two" 
Alora smiled politely and ducked her head, "His words should be more carefully guarded when speaking to the future ruler of Aragathia" 
"I honestly am not bothered by his frank speaking" The mood had changed slightly, reminding Xander that he no longer was the same person who used to be.  
"Perhaps you are not" Bly's gaze was locked on her brother, who was conversing with an Elvish commander, a slight smile on his face. "But he should not take his heartbreak over Rhiana out on you.  If he has words to spar with, then he should have taken them up with Adan or Rhianna, not their grandson. You cannot help that your grandmother did not love my brother" 
"You know, this is still just so odd" Xander leaned forward, "My grandmother, and your brother, that's so bizarre for me" 
Bly laughed, Alora grinning softly behind her hand that descreetly covered her mouth, "Xander, you had better get used to it. My years are enough, were I human, I could be your great great grandmother" 
"That's going to take some getting used to" 
Bly's face took a slight look of alarm, and Xander inwardly groaned, he had just insulted her, hadn't he. 
"B-but, in my experience, I'm only a bit younger than you, so, while I'm older, I...I'm actually younger..." 
Alora cleared her throat, "I believe we are about to stop for the evening, I think I'll go find Lithônien" 
Xander pulled his eyes away from Bly, but the moment he did, Bly moved Ciar aside, disappearing into the corps of Elvish riders surrounding them. 
Wonderful. I'm going to have to find her and apologies. 
They unsaddled their animals, allowing them a rest, but just when Xander started off to go find Bly, he was called aside from a commander who was going over the castle blueprints Xander had drawn from memory, posing questions about various matters. 
When he finally was able to free himself, camp fires were already lighting up the deeply shadowed clearing. 
He sought Bly amongst the various fires, but she wasn't with Lithônien or Alora's, nor the other fires. 
"She really shouldn't just wander around, it's dangerous, even Andromeda aside, we entered the Tawarthion yesterday, who knows what hunts these woods" he mumbled to himself while searching where the horses had been hobbled for the night. 
He found Ciar with Rudy, Bly had apparently returned her to the other horses. 
Bly, where are you? 
He nearly jumped at the voice in his head, before realizing it was Bly's. Did his imagination conjur up her voice? 
Xander, was that you? did you me like this? was her. But, how? he wasn't Elvish, or rather, he was more human than Elf, and she had said she possessed no such abilities. 
her voice in his head sounded worried. 
Oh good. She sighed, I was afraid it wasn't you. And if it wasn't, I did not want to think at who could be calling to me while using your voice. 
She didn't sound surprised at speaking in their heads to one another, had she expected this? 
Bly...why, I mean, how are we able to do this? I'm barely an elf, and you had said you couldn't communicate through telepathy. 
She was silent, and he wondered if he had insulted her even more so, and then her words came, tinged with pink, and it took him a moment to realize, she was blushing.'s like this when....when two with Elvish blood, even a little...feel, I mean, when...they...because me, and you...
She paused, and he again waited, wondering, for her to continue. 
I'm listening
She sighed. 
When two with even the tiniest drop of Elvish blood are in...when they care for each other deeply, they can speak like this. but only when together. Even pure humans and Elves can, as long as the elvish one opens the link first. 
Realization dawned. So, because I love her, and she, loves me, that sent thrills deep into Xander's heart, we can speak to each other without audible words.
But another thoughts nagged him. 
Can...the others hear us? 
perhaps that's why she had been bashful to actually say the word 'love'. To say they loved one another.  It made sense, if your older brother could be eavesdropping into your conversation.  
No. These words are ours alone. 
Ours alone. They could speak, without another soul knowing. 
He had to find her, to hold her. 
Bly, where are you? 
Her reply came back quickly, I'm north of where the horses are. I went for a walk, and got caught in a bramble bush. Xander, I can't get my dress free without ripping the hem.
He had to smile, the thought of her standing amongst a bush, hopelessly stuck, and yet patiently answering each of his questions. She was a jewel. 
Alright, I'm coming, try not to move around too much. 
She replied with a nod that he could somehow sense, and he felt her presence withdraw from his mind. waiting patiently for his arrival. 
He found her just as she had described, it appeared she had tried to walk through a narrow path through Dimeberry bushes, but, naturally they were the Tawarthion strain, and closed up around her like a trap. 
"I can't get free, each time I try, they attach in a new place, and if I try to just walk through them, even though it would rip my dress, they wrap around my ankles"  She sounded worried, the Tawarthion was huge, and even though they could see the camp fires from here, it was unlikely anyone would hear her if she shouted for help. 
"Hold on, I'll cut them from you" He waded through the bushes, feeling the almost finger like stems reach towards him, but the soft leather of his pants kept them from securing their thorns into the cloth. 
"I'm sorry to be so much trouble" Bly whispered as he stepped nearer her. 
"You aren't any trouble, Bly" He put him arm around her waist, pulling her up against him while he cut a feisty plant that had crept up to almost her waist. 
It fell away, shriveling up as it did. 
"But...I can't do anything, not even free myself from a bunch of plants" 
"Nonsense" he cut the rest of them away, "These aren't normal plants. If I'm correct, I'd say they are carnivorous. I'm sure you could free yourself from ordinary Dimeberries" 
He knelt in front of her, and she lifted the front of her skirt slightly so he could free her from the vines twisted around her ankles. 
Thankfully, the thick, rather unpretty, riding boots she wore kept the thorns from digging into her skin. 
"But Xander-" 
He stood suddenly, and put his knife back into the leather holder at his side. It seems the plants had gotten the idea, and had cleared the path for them to leave. You don't mess with a man with a knife. 
"No but Xander's. Bly, you are wonderful just how you are, I wouldn't change a single thing about you, even if I could" He picked her up, swinging her into his arms with ease, and walked down the path the plant carnivores had cleared for them. 
She colored, but wrapped her arms around his neck, "you mean, you wouldn't want me to be braver, or more talented, or able to fight with a sword?" 
He wanted to hug her to his heart, wrap her up in his arms and tell her just how much he loved everything about her. He'd be talking for days if he did. 
"If you could fight with a sword, then I wouldn't get to protect you" 
" protecting me?" 
He smiled, what a dear she was, did she not realize? "It's one of my greatest passions, protecting you. Because, when I rescue you, I get to hold you like this" 
She blushed, but leaned her head against his shoulder, one of her hands moving from around his neck to finger the embroidered stitches on his tunic. 
"say it again, Bly. please" his voice was soft, barely more than a whisper, but he needed to hear her say it again. 
"Hmm?" she looked up, confused. 
"You said it at Voronwë, Bly. why couldn't you say it when we were talking in our heads to one another?" 
"You mean..." she trailed off. 
"I love you Bly. I love you, I love you, I love you.  I loved you, past.  I love you, present. I will love you, future. I need to hear you say, that, you love me" 
Her blue eyes searched his face, moving, lighting up with a plethora of emotions. 
She touched his cheek with her gentle fingers, "I love you, Xander. I love your protective nature, I love how you are kind, and gentle. I love how you care about everyone. I love how you put up with Lithônien being annoying. I love how I feel safe around you, how I know you will take care of me no matter what. I love the color of your eyes. I love how you fell backwards when you realized that I was an elf" they both smiled at the memory, though, Xander's eyes were growing misty even through the smile. Bly continued, "I love your smile, I love how you smile so easily. I love the look on your face when you fight to protect those you care for, oh Xander" she lay her head on his shoulder, "I love you so very much, and could continue on speaking on all the ways that I do for centuries" 
His arms tightened around her, and he willed the tears to not come.  This little elvish lady, bringing him to tears, something told him Greven would probably laugh at that. 
"Bly, you are precious. never let me lose you" 
"I hope to never be lost from you" 

A couple minutes later, they returned to the camp, hand in hand, looking both so perfectly contented with the world. 
But the atmosphere of the camp, which had suddenly turned into a frenzy, was very different. 
"Where were you?" Lithônien met them, his eyes accusing. 
"I went for a walk, and got caught in Dimeberry vines, Xander came to help me get free" 
"Surely all of this isn't for us" Xander glanced around the camp, which had been peaceful when he'd left it. 
"no. Though, we were becoming alarmed" Lithônien crossed his arms, "next time, alert me when you plan on taking a stroll with my sister, or better yet, have Alora or myself accompany you" 
It wasn't even worth arguing with him over. If he wanted to stick with them, let him. they didn't need to speak out loud. 
"Lithônien, if this frenzy isn't for us, whom is it for?" Bly tightened her grip on Xander's hand. 
"we received a messenger falcon, from Revelin" 
Xander felt his breath catch. Revelin wouldn't have sent a bird unless it was urgent. 
"Read it yourself" Lithônien pulled a rolled up paper from his sleeves, he had to have hidden pockets in those wide, loose things, and flung it towards Xander. 
They unrolled it, and read it together in perfect silence until Bly gasped. 
"No...not the girls" 
Lithônien took it back, "We've decided to skip going to Revelin and move on towards Aragathia, where we will hopefully meet their army already in the first wave of attack. but we will need to up our pace, so we are moving out tonight" 
Xander nodded, and the Elvish scholar walked away. 
And Bly began shaking as if a cold wind had touched her. 
"Xander...I'm frightened. Why are they capturing them? None of them are extremely important political figures*" 
It didn't make sense. Felix and Andromeda had to have a motive...
The conversation he had overheard surfaced his memory. 
Did it have something to do with that? 
"I don't know, Bly. I don't know. but we will free them, alright? If I know Adonis and Nithron at all, they won't rest until they get them back" 
Bly nodded and dried her eyes, "And Prid" 
While Xander hasn't seen much of the half lion, he nodded, "and Prid". 
But something inside him warned, something bad was about to happen. 
Something dark and evil. 

*Bly doesn't know who Kaymele is. 

1 comment:

  1. WHY DO I HAVE FEELINGS. Vndfndjsbfjskdnfbfjshfishfkdoskfnfh.