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 [AU][C] First Meet

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Blood Buddy



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PostSubject: [AU][C] First Meet   Tue May 23, 2017 1:15 am

It had been many months since Alden's initial request for a union between their families; a move made out of desperation. Many smaller kingdoms had attempted to make the union. Most had preyed on the youngest son in these requests for a union, until he had married a noble within the country, dashing any further attempts made for his hand. The other son, a gentle man a handful of years the younger's senior, had been unattainable for many years, already wed to a young woman from a kingdom that had flourished under that union, then in mourning after a pregnancy gone wrong, killing both mother and child.

Alden, most would assume, would have been ignored by the much more prosperous kingdom. Alden was small, and in much trouble with a warring country taking their toll on their army. That sort of country wasn't the sort that any smart country would ally themselves with.

But Alden had its merits. Ecrutez boasted a vanity that only a stronghold with little worries could hold, and the intricate metalwork of the jewellery Alden created was enough to turn their eyes towards the small country.

The union had been discussed through letters sent by raven, and portraits had been exchanged.

Ecrutez had send just one - a simple painting of the eldest son, fresh from his mourning: Espiridion. 

The painting was nought more than the bust of the man; a thin soft face, deeply tanned olive skin, green eyes and luscious dark waves of hair. He was adorned in little jewellery, nor makeup, and his shoulders weren't even hidden in the sheer red cloth the painting detailed.

Of the Aldish family, three portraits had been sent. Three contenders for a place at Espiridion's side. 

The first portrait was of the only unwed Prince, Richard. His fair hair and delicately masculine features did little to catch Espiridion's eye. His men, when he bedded them, tended to be of a far more masculine sort. This sort of delicate beauty did little for him.

The next portrait painted the youngest daughter. With delicate features not dissimilar to her brother, she didn't raise much of the Ecrutezian Prince's attention, though her dark hair certainly put her above her brother in interest.

It was the third portrait that caught the Prince's eye. Pale skinned like the rest of her family, but with dark curls, and strong features. A strong nose and alluring eyes. Her portrait spoke of a foreign beauty much appreciated by Espiridion. She was the eldest of the three contenders, and the last to be shown to him or talked about. Comments had been given of the court gossip in Alden by the man presenting the three. Of how she was old to be unwed as she was, a result of the lack of beauty in her countries eyes. 

Espiridion thought the nobles mad.

It was she that had been chosen. Mary. Even her name held an alluringly foreign twist. He found himself, at odd times, wrapping his tongue around the r in her name as he spoke it.

Just a handful of letters had been exchanged between them in the past months, speaking little of interest, in the Aldish way of courting. It was a boring exchange, making dull conversation through scrawled words on a page, with no topic that piqued his interest being allowed for its taboos in Alden.

Conversation would be allowed much more freedom when she came to his home.

And then came the day that he would meet her. Their wedding was just two days away, to be held in Ecrutez as Mary would be staying with her husband.

Mid-morning the Aldish horses had arrived with news that their caravan was just an hour behind them.

Espiridion had taken to lounging in the courtyard gardens with a book to pass the time before he would finally meet his bride.

The hour passed, and then she was there, stood at the doorway leading back into the castle, escorted by an Ecrutezian servant dressed in extravagant jewels, and two Aldish guards dress far more simply.

He placed the book he was reading down on the chaise and drew himself to his feet, all flowing sheer clothing and long graceful limbs. A small smile came to his lips as he gestured for her to come to him.

"Mary."
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Richard



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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Wed May 24, 2017 6:25 am

It was the King's idea to make the alliance with Ecrutez. The council thought it was mad. They argued that they should put their time, money and effort elsewhere - the larger kingdom wouldn't pay them attention. What would they want from them? They were a small kingdom on the verge of another war, with little to offer over then their renowned metal work.

But the King was insistent, and his decision was final.

A couple of weeks after the idea was spring, a messenger was sent to the other kingdom with a raven and a letter.

None of them expected the raven to return a couple of weeks later with a letter and a portrait. It was clear how the other kingdom wanted to seal the alliance and no one argued against it.

Mary's portrait was sent alongside her younger siblings.

Court gossip made it clear who they thought the Prince would choose: Her younger sister, who was still in her teens and as pretty as a doe. If not her, then her brother. Whose delicate masculinity made him rather popular (as oblivious as he was to it).

Neither of them was particularly keen on the idea of marriage - that was clear to see. For the sake of the kingdom, neither of them put up too much of a fuss. Mary, while she thought the Ecrutez prince was handsome, didn't bother to pay much mind to it. She had the same thoughts as the rest of the court; it would be her one of her siblings that would be chosen. Not her.

Shock ran through court when it was revealed who would wed him.

Mary didn't believe it. Couldn't believe it. Not until she stood before him in Ecrutez and he looked as handsome as the portrait promised.

A smile was given her way and his tongue curled around her name.

There was scandalised murmuring behind her. None of the Aldish servants or guards could get over how exposed nobles were here. They expected it least from royalty.

Mary's blue eyes slid down the man's body where the sheer clothing hid nothing. A light blush was on her cheeks and her eyebrows raised a touch, but she lacked the scandalised expression her guards desperately tried to hide.

She met his eyes. Then gave him her own reserved smile.

"Espiridion."

While he made her name sound exotic, she made his sound harsher, flatter.

Slowly, she made her way towards the man.

Her clothing, lighter than normal to suit the Ecrutezian climate, still accentuated her shape well.

The back of the dress was tightly laced from the bottom of her back, up her spine to the nape of her neck. Laces also kept the long sleeves of her dress tightly together. Her hands, a tiny portion of her body that wasn't covered, had many intricate rings around her fingers showing off Aldish metalwork. Some rings stacked on top of each other, while others only went up only a digit or too.

The same intricate metalwork was around her head in a form of a circlet. Her wild curls had been pulled back into a braided bun, with a few wisps framing her strong features.
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Wed May 24, 2017 6:41 am

He stood still under Mary's perusing eyes, arms spreading slightly, shifting silk and submitting himself completely to her inspection. The blush was endearing, a burning red against her pale skin; something rarely seen in the darker tanned skin of the Erutezian people.

Then their eyes met and she smiled.

By the Gods of old, she was a beautiful sight when she smiled.

The harsh tang of Aldish tongue did little for his rolling name, but she would learn his tongue in time, and allow his name to roll off hers in its intended way.

As she approached, he held his hand out to her, his smile still quirked on his full lips, and his green eyes burning with an intense feeling that others could get lost in.
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Richard



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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Wed May 24, 2017 7:05 am

The green eyes were intense, and she found herself getting lost in them. They were hypnotic. Stunning.

They were something she was sure that a portrait could never capture. The one Alden was sent certainly didn't.

Feeling's began to bloom that had remained still throughout their dull and tedious letter exchange. Her heart raised a beat, nerves turned into excitement.

This was truly happening. This beautiful man in front of her, the Prince of Ecrutez, was going to marry her.

Cool gaze unwavering, she delicately took his hand.
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Wed May 24, 2017 7:14 am

He drew the hand to his lips, letting his lips skim over her knuckles.

Then he drew her closer with a little tug, abandoning her hand to let his fingers curl over the nape of her neck. His lips skimmed hers, light but overly familiar by Aldish standards.

"Welcome to our country."

Our. The country would soon be hers, too.

"How fared you on your journeys? The distance between Alden and our capitol is great." He took up her hand again, pulling her gently as he walked backwards, setting on the chaise again and gesturing for her to take a seat beside him, not allowing her hand to leave his.
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Wed May 24, 2017 7:40 am

The kiss that grazed her knuckles was familiar. It was a standard greeting. The kiss on her lips, on the other hand, threw her off guard.

It didn't help the warmth on her face. The smile on her lips grew, teeth on show in a more genuine smile.

She was going to enjoy their laid back customs here, she was certain of it. The clothes they wore looked more comfortable and the lack of uptightness between the two of them already made her relax.

She took the seat next to him, closer than she normally would back in Alden. Their legs would have touched if it wasn't for the fabric of her dress.

With amusement, she saw that her guards had turned to give them privacy. She could imagine that they still had scandalised expressions on their faces and a blush deeper than her own.

"It was long and tiring, as you can expect. I don't envy those that have to return. But, since we've arrived, your country has been nothing but accommodating."
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Wed May 24, 2017 7:49 am

As he settled comfortably on the chaise, his eyes turned curiously to the guards that turned their backs.

So it was true that the Aldish were very uptight in their affections. He had guessed as much from the list of banned topics his mother had reeled off when the marriage had been arranged.

But seeing it in person, when he had grown in the lap of affectionate luxury, was quite another matter.

"We are kind to our friends here in Ecrutez." His green eyes leered. "And kinder still to our lovers." The last word spoken was accented heavily, full of the rolling tongue that came with the L's and R's of the much more melodic Ecrutexian language, and laced with a playfully seductive promise to her.
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Wed May 24, 2017 8:22 am

Her eyebrow raised a touch. The forwardness, which she was enjoying thoroughly, was something that she was going to have to get used to. Until then, she was going to blush like a maiden.

"You have been very kind to me so far, already."

'Kinder' than any Aldish noble. There would have been a notable gap between them if it was an Aldish noble she was marrying. The conversation would have been notably duller. Or, if they wanted to be risque, they would turn the conversation to flowers. That got rather bland very quickly.

"But I look forward to seeing more of this kindness later."

Back home, in Alden, her forwardness and 'kindness' had found herself in the midst of scandals. Here, it seemed she didn't have to worry.
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Wed May 24, 2017 8:33 am

His lips curled upwards again, the gently amused affection softened his sharp features.

"In days, sweet, I will show you all the kindness you can take." He didn't keep the purr from his, and a low chuckle sounded from him as the guards stood with their backs to them stiffened.

Now, how amusing it would be to give these men an earful of Ecrutezian kindness.

Could he run them from their posts?
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Wed May 24, 2017 8:52 am

She laughed softly, carefully. A hand was raised delicately in front of her stained lips. The loud and open that came naturally to her wasn't pleasing to Aldish ears. She had trained herself to keep it small and subtle. Something that would take a while to undo.

"Here I was thinking I would get a taste tonight," she spoke quietly so the guards wouldn't hear.

She wasn't entirely sure how things were done before a wedding here. In Alden, noting past a kiss on the cheek was seen as acceptable before marriage (not that a lot of them kept it that way.)

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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Wed May 24, 2017 9:06 am

"I have heard that the marital bed is pure in Alden. My mother wishes for me to honour your family. Treat their precious woman with respect."

As much as he certainly would enjoy showing her all kinds of kindness tonight, he had sworn to his mother he would wait until they were married. They could be patient for two more days.

"I may take a wrong turn this evening and find myself at your door."

Once again his green eyes burned.

"I do hope Aldish kindness is as great as Ecrutezian."
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Wed May 24, 2017 9:27 am

Espiridion's first words disappointed her. She was hoping to enjoy some of their culture before the wedding. It seemed she would have to stick to her own prudish culture for just a couple more days.

At his suggestion, a small smirk settled on her lips.

"Weill, if by chance that did happen it would be rude of me not to accommodate you and ensure you are refreshed before heading to your own room."

Her eyes glittered.

"You will be pleasantly surprised with how kind the Aldish can be, under all our layers."
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Wed May 24, 2017 9:36 am

He liked that smirk, and the way it teased her lips up in an appealing way. This woman was expressive, and her expressions added to her beauty.

Espiridion allowed his own crooked smirk to twitch at his lips.

"I will enjoy finding out how far Aldish kindness stretches." His eyes swept her frame. "Immensely."

He would certainly enjoy laying with the woman. She was beautiful, yes, and now seeing her in person, he could tell that she wasn't the woman behind the neat cursive he had interacted with for months. She was more expressive than just her words, and her tones and body showed a sort of brazen attitude that was better suited to the more liberal kingdoms than Alden.

He would enjoy her.
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:48 am

Helena warmed under his gaze but didn't shy away. Instead she shifted to show off her curves.

She wasn't the most voluptuous of woman. The few things she did take from her mother was her slender frame, stretched out by her father's height. On top of that, she had more muscle than fat. Most Aldish noble men and woman did when they came out of their service, but then loose it over the years. Helena kept up her physic through private practice.

"You won't be displeased."
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:54 am

His lips curled, half way between a smile and a smirk.

"Certainly not," he agreed in an almost purr.

His hand moved, sliding up over her shoulder, smoothing over the length of her neck, ignoring the guards by them. Intimacy wasn't a social taboo here and he wasn't changing himself that much for the sake of a handful of guards.
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:00 am

The hand on her shoulder shocked her. Panic rose at the thought of getting caught. What happened in private was one thing, what happened in public was another.

She forced herself to relax. This was Pasadeña, not Alden. With a flick of her blue eyes, she noted that the guards still had their back turned.

This was fine.

She welcomed the touch, tilting her head. Saphies glistened in her ear, and an intricate cuff on the shell of her left ear to indicate she served in the Navy.
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:09 am

The jewellery in her ear caught his attention.

With an almost child-like curiosity, he took his time admiring the metal and gems. His fingers ran over it, admiring the beautiful craftsmanship.

This was one of the main reasons they'd agreed to join with Alden.

His fingers mapped the cuff and the ear it was secured to with gentle, reverent movements. He, like the majority of Pasadeñan nobles, was a magpie when it came to jewellery. He didn't wear a huge amount himself, not like his family, but he enjoyed it all the same.
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:21 am

She let her eyes drift down, dark lashes fanned across her pale cheekbones. Her eyes inevitably trailed what lay between his legs under the sheer silks. With the fingers lightly tracing the cuff of her ear, naturally, they pinked.

Her gaze didn't leave and she didn't pull away.

"Do you know what they mean?"
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:27 am

His fingers continued to trace the little details.

"Tell me," he murmured, his voice just above a whisper.

He'd enjoy learning about her, and her culture. It would make the union between the two of them much easier to handle. He didn't want to spend his life with a woman he knew nothing about.

He'd made that mistake with Leandra at first, too, and something beautiful had come from that union. He didn't dare to hope a love like that would come from this woman, but some feelings may.
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:55 am

"It indicated I served in Navy. It is half the size of what it used to be, to indicate I don't serve anymore. The design shows I held lieutenant's role."

Her position of nobility gave her the advantage of skipping the lower ranks. Nobility was meant to lead, not follow. But her status of royalty didn't mean she was given her own fleet of ships. Or even just a ship.

She was close. So close.

Blue eyes scanned the garden to ensure no one was watching, then met the green eyes. She gently traced a finger along the shell of his right ear.

"Haveing a cuff here means you served in the army."
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:12 am

Espiridion tilted his head, looking more intently at the cuff, at the little details.

His own ears sported golden cuffs, along the straight edge, and smaller cuffs around the cartilage. His lobes were pierced multiple times and hung with gold and glittering red jewels.

His eyes slid shut as her fingers stroked over his ear. His right ear didn't hold a cuff, but there were five piercings trailing up the curve of it.

"I served, when I was eighteen." His hand moved, pressing to the sheer cloth over his left bicep. An intricate band was tattooed in a deep blue so dark it was almost black showed better with the sheer fabric pressed against him. "I spent four years."

It was an interest thing that they did the same. Decorated their serving people.
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:26 am

Helena's hand dropped from the ear to the sleeved arm. She traced the pattern under it with the tips of her fingers, starting on the outside of the arm.

"Same."

Her fingers stopped tracing the tattoo when they met his chest. The lingered there before falling back into her lap; one hand clasped over the other. The proper poise for any Aldish nobility.

"What position did you serve?"
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:36 am

When her hands fell to her lap and she straightened with an intense amount of poise, Espiridion relaxed further, prowling closer.

He reached out to stroke her arm, where her serving band would be if she had one and his lips parted over white teeth in a charming, gentle smile.

His hand skimmed upwards, tapping her chin gently, and he winked.

"Does all your jewellery mean something in Alden? What would mine say about me?"

He had plentiful cuffs on his left ear, piercings in his right. There was an intricate clasp at his throat. Bracelets around his wrists, and a golden circlet around his forehead. A ruby hung from the bottom of the circlet, sitting between his brows.
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:26 am

There was a slight rise in her brow. He didn't answer her question.

She didn't push him for an answer, distracted by the hand on her arm as it travelled up her clothed form and tap her pale chin. He winked. Anticipation spiked for tonight.

At his question, she raised her hand up to touch the ruby between his brows.

"Well, the circlet means you are Royalty. The stone means you are from the direct line."

There were pearls in hers, gifted to her years ago. It replaced the sapphire studded circlet she used to wear. She supposed she didn't help herself with the rumours. Not that any of that mattered anymore.

Her attention went back to his ears.

"The cuffs on your left ear show you are serving in the Nacy. Being small and plan, you serve in many different low ranking positions of the same level, somehow. The gold is an aesthetic choice. I would say you have come into a lot of money while serving and decided to still serve. Not the brightest choice."

Her attention turned to the right ear.

"Earing's are gifted from friends or family. Your first pair is from your mother and father."

All of her siblings had the same bright blue sapphires. The colour of their mother's eyes, her father would lovingly announce. Their own eyes matched them the twinkling precious gems. All except one.

Her fingers drifted down to his throat.

"A clasp means you're engaged."

She just had her own silver clasp connected to the fabric around her throat. Her mother had given it to her when the agreement was made.

Pale fingers trailed lower over olive skin to his wrists.

"Bracelets aren't popular in Alden. You are either being very unfashionable right now, or you are a harlot."

She gave him a teasing grin and her fingers felt his knuckles.

"No rings on your fingers is very strange. Even a peasant would wear one."

If they were not covered in cloth, they were covered in metal. Her hands had numerous of rings, all in silver. Some were more intricate than others. Some were studded with stones. The most notable one was a sword bent around her thumb.
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PostSubject: Re: [AU][C] First Meet   Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:43 am

"Yes," he agreed to the first observation. "Not entirely. My grandfather usurped the throne. I am not from the line that ruled Pasadeña for the past thousand years."

His eyes ran over her circlet, noting the similarities between her and her words.

"We do not have a Navy," he replied to her next observation. His lips curled up into a smile. "Many people continue to serve in Pasadeña. It is a matter of pride to serve. Even Nobility choose to extended their servitude at times."

He nodded at the comment to his earrings. "All from my family."

Again he nodded. "I am engaged, I hope." His fingers stroked over the clasp at Helena's throat, brushing over her own fingers.

His hand moved, curling their fingers together when he touched his wrist. "We will find out that tonight." He would like to know whether he would make a good harlot. He wouldn't mind asking for his future wife's opinion on the topic. "Here, the more intricate the bracelets, and the further they run up the forearms, the wealthier you are."

His gaze turned down to his hands. "It is strange here, as well. Truthfully, I find them uncomfortable to wear, so I opt not to."
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