Fall of the Court

/ By Loxi [+Watch]

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[+mediumseagreen "I would not expect any different."] To have Nicolai remain silent when he had experience would not be helpful to anyone, she just wanted him to remain flexible in times when there were other viable ideas. [+mediumseagreen "Now there is a benefit I never would have predicted."] She smiled as she wondered how many of their aggressions could have been avoided if they knew they were going to force one another to talk it out at the end of the day. Florence from seven years ago would have hated the thought, so it might have worked. [+mediumseagreen "Maybe I should have tried this sooner."] A bit more teasing, but that would be the last time for the night. She did not want to push him too far.

Before she knew it, it was time to go their separate ways. [+mediumseagreen "I think she would be happy. I mean, she always wanted to marry well and I think a Duke is acceptable."] Strangely enough, Florence had a hard time connecting with her younger self, the separation was nearly made tangible with clear cut distinction in her words. Smiling, she squeezed him back. [+mediumseagreen "Goodnight, Nicolai. I hope you sleep soundly."] There was plenty of happy things to fill his dreams, so she was not too worried for him.

Waiting for him to make it to his door, she waved him off one final time before entering the room. There were two small beds set up, Flora was already in one of them. She stirred at the sound of the door, it did not look as though she had been to sleep yet. Seeing that the older woman had returned and noting that it was later than she expected, the girl sat up. [+plum "Everything okay?"] She did not sound too concerned, just curious.

[+mediumseagreen "Yes, we just talked. Everything is fine."] Reassuring her, Florence unhooked a few of the bags and other uncomfortable things hanging from her belt before getting into bed.

Being a natural snoop, and already knowing part of the history between Florence and that Nicolai fellow, Flora was not really satisfied with that answer. It was not any fun. With her own ideas of what would have made it more interesting she playfully asked what she thought to be a harmless question. [+plum "Did he confess again?"]

Blinking, slightly dumbfounded, the green eyed woman had not expected the teenager to know those details. It seemed she and Augustine really did talk about just about anything. That and she knew that Flora was a fan of love stories. That was probably the first place her mind jumped for anything involving a man and a woman. [+mediumseagreen "Well, yes, yes he did."] It was not something she was super keen on hiding. She was not entirely sure how her son would react, but she knew he would be even grumpier about it if he was intentionally kept out of the loop. Not that she was going to walk up to him and announce it either.

A spasm of excitement ran through the bright haired girl. She had not expected this, not this early anyway. In all the books she always read, developments of this magnitude took longer. [+plum "Did you reject him again?"] She felt that was a throw away question, so she kept on going under the assumption that was what happened. [+plum "Don't you feel bad for him? Do you still want to be his friend? Is he going to keep asking till you say yes?"] Persistence always won out, right? That was how it worked with her and Augustine. Though to be fair, it hadn't been that long ago at all. [+plum "I need details!"]

Turning to the excitable girl, Florence raised a brow at her. She knew from Augustus that she obsessed over this sort of thing, so she should have seen it coming. Still, she did not particularly feel like staying up late into the night for girl talk with a teen. [+mediumseagreen "Well, I imagine we are still going to be friends."] It was not mutually exclusive. [+mediumseagreen "He might have kept asking, but all things considering he is not going to have to."] She tried to focus on crawling into the warm covers of the bed so that she might not let the embarrassment take hold of her. It felt shameless to admit it so casually.

[+plum "What!? You said yes!?"] She practically shouted. After receiving a stern look from the motherly woman, she brought it back down. [+plum "How did he ask you, why did you change your mind, are you two going to be all lovey-dovey now-"]

Florence cut her off before she could ask anything else, now fully snuggled into bed. [+mediumseagreen "Goodnight, Flora."] She said it in a way that was long and drawn out, warning her that she was done. To cement it, she quickly licked her thumb and extinguished the flame of the candle between them.

The fire was out, but Flora's rampant curiosity was not. It was driving her nuts. She needed to talk about it with somebody, but it was not long until she heard Florence's breathing level out. And despite how tortuous it seemed, she found sleep not too long after.

Even getting to sleep a little late, Flora was an early riser. Up and ready to face the day, first thing she did was get her things together then she was practically bounding down the hall to the boys' room. She walked straight in, no regard for whatever state they might be in. That being half dressed and asleep. [+plum "You are never going to believe what I found out last night!"]

Both Augustine and Marko nearly jumped out of their skin. The groaning of complaint basically came in unison as well. [+darkblue "Too early..."]

[+coral "Flora, what the hell? You can't just bust in like that. What if we were changing?"] He was not entirely worried about himself; it was more the principle of it.

[+plum "Whatever, I knew you were sleeping. It's not a big deal. Now get a load of this."] She preceded to tell them exactly what Florence had told her before they went to bed. The dark eyed girl threw in a few minor details of her own to keep it interesting, but for the most part it was perfectly true.

Augustine groaned again. [+coral "You're right. I don't believe it. You must have had a weird dream last night because you are nervous about leaving home."] He completely discounted everything his girlfriend said and fell back against his pillow. [+coral "Go back to your room so we can get some more sleep."] It was not going to be much rest, but by the gods he still wanted it.

Huffing at the clear lack of the reaction she wanted, Flora stuck around a bit longer to complain at them for not believing her. But when neither of them reacted, knowing exactly how to get her to move on, she retreated back to her room and pouted on her bed until everyone else started to wake up naturally.
  Florence Melbourne / Loxi / 83d 14h 14m 58s
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Nicolai smiled and nodded with her assessment of things. If he had just agreed, nodded along, got through things with more silence and less complaints then perhaps that kiss would have happened seven years ago. Or not. Who knew? Reminiscing on the past had not done him any good lately.[+royalblue “I will endeavour to let him choose his own path, but I won't stop from offering him my advice if I think it relevant.”] Keeping them moving as he spoke he did nod momentarily.[+royalblue “Of course, I'll have to consider the Florence-factor from now on; will this cause an argument in the evening?”] He smiled and led them over to the tavern once more.

Opening the door to let her in he followed close behind, a hand against the small of her back as he tried to guide a pathway through everyone and towards the doors that led to the sleeping quarters. In a small town like this it would not be fancy, but better than camping at least. Once out of the main drinking room the hallway was a blessing for his ears. Perhaps Florence disliked it but it bordered painful for the elven man and he released a sigh as he continued down to their rooms. There was no hesitation to offer a cheeky request of sharing a room, even he had the sensibility to know when he should count his blessings.

[+royalblue “I hope tonight was.. the start of something amazing. I hope I can make young Florence's wishes come true.”] His hand took up hers so gently that only their fingers touched, hooking on one another a little.[+royalblue “Goodnight, you know where to find me if things go bump in the night.”] He chuckled and squeezed her fingers lightly before letting go, heading the rest of the way to his room, sparing a final look down the hallway before entering and closing the door.
  WI_ / 83d 15h 57m 41s
Following his guiding hand, Florence came up next to the elf as they started on their way back into the small town. He was already reminiscing about what had happened. Nicolai really was hopeless. But she left him to revel in his happiness. It had been a long time coming.

He suggested that they hold out on any arguments that arose through the day and take time in the evenings to sort it out. It sounded like a ploy to get her to himself at least for a short while every day. No doubt that was the intention, but Florence did not think it was a half bad idea. That would also give them time to think about whether or not it was worth the energy to fight about. Surely if she forgot about it by the end of the day, it really did not matter anyway. Looking back on all the stupid things they had bickered about it probably would have saved them some grief. Plus, it would help morale. No one wanted to sit around and listen to people argue all day, no matter how bored you were. And she was sure there would be plenty of that to go around. Just give it a few days.

[+mediumseagreen "Well, if you would hurry up and get it through your head that I am always right, perhaps you would not have to feel that defeat quite so often."] She smiled teasingly, knowing very well that was not even remotely true. [+mediumseagreen "That would also fix our arguing."] Laughing lightly at the thought, she shook her head at her own joke. [+mediumseagreen "That sounds fine to me. Restraining ourselves will save face and our group will function better for it. We should not put them in the position where they feel the need to take sides."] They did not need a divide between their unit, and she knew Augustine did not need to worry about them getting along. He had plenty of other things to worry about. [+mediumseagreen "It may also be better to let Augustine decide on how he wants to do things... We are both very much set in our own ways, but we need to be careful let him chose between the options, or make his own if he wants."] She did not mean that they should let him run off and do something completely asinine, but to keep an open mind with what he wanted. There was a good chance he was going to try and blend their methods and they had to be ready for that.

It was not a very long walk back to the establishment. If it were not quite so cold she might have offered to walk around a little more. They entered together and no one seemed to pay them any mind. Though it was a great deal louder in here than outside.
  Florence Melbourne / Loxi / 83d 17h 44m 9s
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Her comment was met with a smile as he understood the sentiment behind it even if it did come out as perhaps insulting. From everything he had experienced with Florence, he did not believe she ever did anything out of anger or spite. Save for hitting him. He would tell the world about she had hit him, the hardest punch he'd ever taken in his life. The thought of it only made him smile that much more especially with her hand in his. She might not believe him if he said it, but those small gestures meant a lot.

It was regrettable that this moment had to have an ending but more so because without her warmth it felt much colder than before. Like an abject metaphor he almost went to step back forward and to show her what she had asked him to show, that he was keen, that he wanted her. But that was just desperation talking and whilst the moment had been.. perfect, he nodded in agreement with her.

[+royalblue “Of course. Not the most conventional of first days back on the road. But damn sure one of the best on the mainland.”] He wouldn't place it above Natalya's birth, nor would she put it above Augustines, but it was a very close second in his world.[+royalblue “I'm thinking,”] he started as he waved for her to walk with him, brushing along her arm momentarily so that he could take a leisurely pace with her at his side,[+royalblue “perhaps whilst we travel south, to save on arguments and disagreements in front of the others, we try and keep our squabbles to the evening.”]

It would not do any of them good to constantly fight amongst themselves and whilst Florence and Nicolai were butting heads, it was always for the right reason. Rather than animosity for the other they were like a two headed dog trying to guide the body in their chosen direction. A poor analogy, one kept in his head for good reason.[+royalblue “I think we are better discussing them together, rather than throwing it out there for the others to worry about. Augustine will need us both if we will succeed here.”] He looked over to her as they began to round the first of the buildings and the din of revelry started to rise once more.[+royalblue “That, and you keep winning. It's putting me to shame Florence, there is only so much verbal defeat a man can take.”] He smiled and cheeks flushed a light rose as he led them on.
  WI_ / 83d 18h 28m 12s
She steeled herself for this to last a bit, but even then she felt ever so slightly nervous as his hands moved over her body. Just as she thought she might have put herself in a bad situation, he pulled back finding a less restricting place for him to grab. That was a first... and it did wonders for putting her heart to ease. Able to relax she continued to enjoy the kiss right up until the end. It was almost regrettable that they separated, even if she was damn near out of breath, but she kept that thought to herself. Encouraging him too much was not likely to end well.

Even though their lips had parted his hand stayed gently rested on her face. It was a sweet gesture, much like she was sure whatever he said was. Perhaps she should have dedicated all that time in Wistina to learning a couple more languages. She was incredibly curious what he said with such a blissful expression settled on his sharp features. There was only one word that stuck out to her in it all: amour. She knew that one.

Flipping her hand so that their palms pressed together, she did not go so far as to intertwine their fingers, but it was still meant as a sign that she was being receptive to him. Florence knew she was not always the best at communicating that sort of thing, at least not genuinely. She knew how to fake it, she had done that for some ten years with her husband. But with as keen as eye as Nicolai seemed to have for her, she did not think she would get away with that here. So everything she did was small, but it was authentic.

That being said, she closed her eyes and leaned into the hand against her face just a little bit more. [+mediumseagreen "I have no idea what you just said, but I am going to assume it was just as hopeless as you are."] She meant those quiet words in the kindest way possible. More that he was hopelessly romantic, than actually hopeless. He had to be if he could love someone for as long as he seemed to have loved her.

Florence stayed like that with him for a good while longer. It was comfortable. But eventually it needed to come to its close. Taking in a deep breath, she let it out slowly before opening her eyes again. She wiggled about, signalling that she wished to be let go. Nicolai did not protest and she took a step back, returning the distance between them.

No long so absorbed in the moment, she looked around. The green-eyed woman was terribly glad that tavern was so close to the edge of town and that she made it even farther out before he stopped her. She would have been mortified had anyone happened upon them. Even if it was only a stumbling drunk, she knew it would embarrass her beyond measure.

[+mediumseagreen "We should probably get some sleep... I want to be well rested for tomorrow."] There was nothing in particular that stood out about the next day that she thought she would need all that energy for, but this might be her last chance to sleep in an actual bed, so she wanted the both of them to be able to utilize it properly. That being for sleep.
  Florence Melbourne / Loxi / 83d 20h 20m 36s
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat It seemed she shared his desire for the time being as he found her lips sooner than he expected. The moment the kiss had began his eyes had closed over and he had nothing to think or focus on but the softness of her lips, their warmth, their taste. Without the fear that it would be his only chance for this to happen he was more forgiving, more gentle and above all more passionate about this one.

His hands squeezed ever so slightly at her sides though they moved after a few moments. His left began wrap around her back wanting her as close as possible though it hesitated along with the kiss for a fleeting time before returning to her side, an awareness that he was beginning to envelop and trap her to him. The other threaded the gap between her hand and his shoulder, caressing up her neck and her cheek and fingers running through her silken hair. It was closing on a minutes that this took place before he pulled away, a puff of frozen breath between them as the night began to chill though it felt rather hot in that small pocket of space.

Nicolai's hand at her side rose up now and placed atop her own on his shoulder.[+royalblue “Je promets de t'aimer pour le reste de nos vies, à partir de maintenant, jusqu'à mon dernier souffle.”] The elvish, whilst perhaps not entirely legible to her, was given its meaning and its strength in how he looked at her. And though he wanted nothing more than to pull her close, to hold her tightly and enjoy this moment that little bit more, he remained light with his hold of her hair and her hand.[+royalblue “[i Mon petit amour].”] He grinned widely.
  WI_ / 83d 22h 18m 15s
She did not think she had ever seen a man look so wholly relieved. His lilac eyes were practically shining down at her, even without the assistance of moonlight. The woman was almost transfixed by them, lost in the way he was looking at her. It was new to her. Staying true to that feeling, he took a hold of her once more and shared some of his thoughts. Whether the fact that he had very low expectations of her was a good or bad thing Florence was unsure, but she was glad to know that what she said had not all flown over his head. His joy in this was not blinding him. But even given that, he still felt need to compliment her. To tell her how he felt in that flowery way he was prone to doing. How he did not regret his feelings and how beautiful he thought she was. And while it might have been due to the moment, she could not help but smile back up at him, face warm from his sweet words. She did not feel she deserved it, but she was going to accept it. If she did that, maybe one day her outlook might change.

When he pulled her in again, she did not push away or fight him. They had already kissed twice that night, so there was little reason to deny him such a small consolation. Especially when he was aware that it might be his last time for a good while. Not just because of her skittish tendencies, but also the fact that they were not traveling alone. When would they have time to be with just one another? She did not know, so like him, she hoped to make this something worth remembering.

Coming up to her toes she met his lips part way. They seemed softer now, he was not so tense as he had been before. Her hands that had been placed lightly on his chest came up to rest on his shoulders. It drew them just the tiniest bit closer to one another as she tried to move her lips rhythmically along with his. The moment lasted longer than she expected, but not in a bad way. It had been over seven years since she experienced anything like this, and with the way she had romanticized that in her head, she knew she missed it. After all, she still longed for this connection, it was just unfortunate that it often times distressed her. However, now was not one of those moments. It was gentle and warm and pleasant. And most importantly, it gave her a little bit of hope that things might not always be so bad as she thought they were.
  Florence Melbourne / Loxi / 84d 2h 31m 8s
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Her pause was perhaps the most aggravating and suspenseful moment of his life. She left him on edge as his hands held onto hers, warm and soft and squeezing enough so that she knew he was there. If her eyes closed, if she wanted time to think, she could have it all, but she would know he had not left and that he was right before her. Whether it worked or not he did not know, but she spoke quietly in an affirmative voice. Though she followed quickly with a more positive affirmation, he was already smiling and nodding his head he looked at her.

They had shared secrets over the past few weeks that had been unknown for years before and yet here he was, her hands now taking a hold of his and squeezing tightly as she did. It was odd in a way, more like a day dream than reality. But even though this began with an argument, as had many of their moments in the past, this one had ended just right. Neither of them was that aggressive and stubborn individual from the years before. They had matured with age and with hindsight perhaps each could see fault in their methodology.

So much thought would be devoted to this moment in the future, so Nicolai decided to enjoy it whilst he could, slipping his hands from hers to slide around her figure, grasping above her hips as his chest pressed to hers.[+royalblue “I understand you may shy from me come morning and this moment will be the only one for a long time, if not always."] He did fear she would change once her feelings were observed more objectively, thus the need to say this now, whilst she was open to him.

[+royalblue "But I also understand much more now about who you are, what makes you this,”] he paused as he squeezed her closer,[+royalblue “amazing woman and why that makes me right for falling in love all those years ago.”] He grinned looking down on her, a smile she may have only seen once before when they first met.

[+royalblue “And if this is it, if your mind changes tomorrow, then I should tell you right here and now, you are the [i most beautiful woman] in the world.”] And with that he lowered his head a final time to steal another kiss from her. If it was to be the last kiss he ever got from her, should her mind change and this all become some mistake in the morning, at least he would make it a mistake to remember.
  WI_ / 84d 9h 42m 6s
Quite frankly, this was something Florence never expected. To be able to tell all this to another person, more specifically a man who longed after her, and have him keep that feeling. Did he not think she was dirty, or ruined, or any number of terrible things that she had told herself over the years? Apparently not. He claimed he was not perfect, so perhaps he would not expect her to be. Funny, she would have thought that was already something she understood with all her blatant flaws, especially in dealing with Nicolai.

It was funny that he said that he was in the palm of her hand, when in reality he was the one holding hers. She stared down at their intertwined hands, it was sort of comforting. That little bit of contact was just enough. He must have noticed she was staring, because he brought them up and it prompted her to follow through with her gaze, meeting his perfect amethyst irises. She had always thought it a same such a pretty color went to a man, but the world seemed to make up for it just that little bit by giving him a daughter. Florence hoped that he would find her one day soon. She wanted that for him.

As for his plea that she finally give in and allow herself to have something she wanted for once, Florence paused. She needed time to think. That was not to say she was going to put off her answer. She just needed a minute or two to really think if this was the right choice. Was it okay to trap him like this? Would he feel the need to try and fix her and give up when he found it was not working as he planned? There were a lot of negative notes running through her mind, however she kept falling back to eveything that happened in Astoria. How she told herself she was going to trust him, and that so far he had not broken that trust. Sure, she had gotten irritated with him, but he had not done anything to prove her wrong for having faith in him. That was where her gut was, and it was probably about time she start listening to it.

[+mediumseagreen "I think... I would like to try..."] She realized how close that was to what she had said the first time, seven years ago when he confessed to her, and panicked a bit. She decided to try and revise it. [+mediumseagreen "I mean, in an official sort of way... If you really, truly and honestly, think that you can love me for the rest of our lives, then I will devote myself solely to you."] Gods knew just how tempting that romantic concept was to her. How badly the person she used to be wanted this. Even if her feelings did not quite match in this moment, she was sure they would if she let it happen. Much like she was going to let this happen.

Wrapping her fingers around his hand, she squeezed him back a little harder than he had done with her. An act that betrayed how desperate she really was. Officially, she was not sure where they stood. Did this make them lovers? Could they be called that without the act? She was not sure, but one this was certain they were definitely going to be more than they were before.
  Florence Melbourne / Loxi / 84d 10h 30m 33s
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Nicolai was rather interested in her first comment. He had no knowledge of her birth family. Neither her father or her mother had even come up in name, there had always just been Gregory. It was not the time or place to ask, and he was not sure he would ever find the right moment to ask. But at least she related to his story about his father and understood his meaning behind telling her, that she may not like what she saw in looking at Augustine but the boy was not his father. It mirrored Nicolai's life partially.

When she asked her question however he couldn't help but smile. It was asked so innocently and with fluttering eyes that he could not understand why there was even a question to begin with.[+royalblue “I know you might have been blind to my interest, but let me tell you; I don't take arrow shots for just anyone.”] The recall of the moment it had happened was perhaps buoyed to make him sound better – there was no evidence to show it was aimed for anyone but him – yet he did not mind. His hand dipped down to take up hers, placing it in his palm.[+royalblue “I am not a perfect man Florence.”] Taking her other hand, he layered it atop her own.[+royalblue “But I think you secretly need that person who drives you a little wild, keeps you on your toes.”] His other hand now lay atop hers, sandwiched between his and squeezing just enough to feel the pressure.[+royalblue “I loved you without you knowing for ten years. I still do, so the hardest part is over. You have me if you want me, all in the palm of your hand.”]

He lifted their hands for a little more emphasis, looking from them and up to those eyes. It had begun with those eyes all those years ago and even now they shone brighter than any light he knew.[+royalblue “Just say yes to yourself, allow yourself to have this, what you want, and I will show you a lifetime of love and devotion in return.”] He braced himself somewhat for her to say no, to deny him once and for all, but to perhaps take the lesser reward of friendship. If it came to that then he would accept it, as he said he would in Astoria, and regardless of his feelings he would feel something good had come of this night.
  WI_ / 84d 11h 45m 19s
She did look up when she heard the break in his voice. Honestly, she had not expected for him to get so invested in what she was telling him. This was not something she talked about, the people who knew often knew because they had picked it up on their own, so to receive this sort of reaction was new to her. Well, except for Gregory. He knew most everything and was the one stabilizing force that held her together over the years, but he was not here now. She did not know what she was going to do. He was not here to lean on and comfort her.

Once he told her how he felt he could relate, at least as a parent, Florence felt she understood his reaction a little bit better. From his comment earlier about how his father had taught him to handle conflict and other negative emotions, she had inkling that this was the case, but what he said now absolutely confirmed it. [+mediumseagreen "It would seem both of our father's were not what they should have been."] It was clear she was not talking about Gregory.

Florence nodded along to the bits about Augustine and her brother and her friend. While there was something that Nicolai was misunderstanding, she could not bring herself to correct him. Perhaps she should have, but what did the dead care about their reputation? Either way, he was right. Everyone else's lives had gone astray in some way or another. Eugene had faced most of the same hurdles as her, Augustus could never return to his life as a bowyer, and her son, her poor sweet Augustine, he was having to fight for what should have never been taken from him. But unlike her they had an inherent happiness inside of them. Maybe it was because they all had someone to share there troubles with, it halved the burden, so to speak. All the while she was sitting here on her own trying to handle a load that at times felt like entirely too much.

It was his last comment that really hit her though. She could still have happily ever after. The woman was not sure if she believed it, but looking at him it was obvious he did. [+mediumseagreen "And you think I can have that with you?"] As sarcastic as it might have sounded, she was asking genuinely. She wanted to know, if after everything he had heard, he still thought that she was a person that he could love. Even if there was a chance that it meant he would not have quite the life he pictured he would. Then again, he may have just meant it in general 'chin up, you are not unlovable, I am sure there is someone out there for you' sort of way.
  Florence Melbourne / Loxi / 84d 12h 14m 20s
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Nicolai smiled a little when her head had come back down, wiping away her tears as she addressed him again and in a light, almost strained voice he replied,[+royalblue “It was not, no, but I feel it was the right answer.”] He was glad she focused on the ground, allowing him to masquerade his own shimming eyes through a flurry of blinks, clearing his sight as fast he could whilst she told him what she wanted as a woman. It was very basic now he thought about it. Sometimes partners, sex, relationships, they waned in comparison to life.

Hearing both points, about her son and her own childhood, it brought up its own questions about his daughter, about his childhood.[+royalblue “You know it does matter.. it all matters a lot.”] With his voice wavering so it was inevitable she would look up and find those amethyst coloured eyes shimmering in the light of the stars.[+royalblue “Sorry,”] he half laugh half scoffed at his inability to remain strong at this moment in time, quickly wiping off his own eyes with with both hands,[+royalblue “hearing you talk about Augustine just reminded me of Natalya.”] Sometimes he would find himself in moments of doing nothing, thinking back to her, and this heavy feeling would weigh down on his chest. It had been so in Astoria, when the laughter of a young child – likely that of Abigail and Eugene – would trigger memories and he would have to find means of returning to his room before the guard following him would notice. It sounded so petty to think about but it had happened a few times.

Looking at Florence though he cleared his throat, trying to put a bit of firmness behind his voice as he carefully chose his next words. Thankfully she did not try to speak, seeing him struggling a little but knowing he wanted to continue.[+royalblue “I was relieved when she was born, you know? Not just because she was alive, with ten toes, ten fingers, little button nose and pointed ears. She has.. just the most perfectly light purple eyes, like lavender flowers.”] He had lost himself a little in describing her, his hand slipping into the pockets of his pants as he looked at the ground, head tilted to the side.[+royalblue “But I was so relieved, because she was a little girl, not a boy. Relieved because I did not want her to be like me, like.. this..”] One hand pulled free and ran over his chest, as Florence had when she gestured toward him.[+royalblue “This.. this fuck up.. this person who took his fathers rage and anger and internalised it. Who took his fathers disappointment and turned it on others. Who is a spitting image for his own father and despite trying to fight that, to be loyal and trustworthy.. and tried to show he could be a strong ally, turned out just like him in the end.”] His hand had pressed to his chest, or rather the tips of his fingers had, on each and every time he denigrated himself.[+royalblue “I know what it is like to.. find yourself hating something you wish you could love. Even when I try to fight it, he's there. When I say a certain word like he did, or catch myself in a reflection, or catch the smell of something my mother would cook - he's there. And that reminder has been there since he died. Thirty years now I've been like this. Or rather, for twenty seven years I was like that.”]

He swallowed back on his emotional outburst then, trying to reaffirm himself himself and have some dignity about himself. He couldn't well blubber his way through this when he was trying to help her.[+royalblue “When I held Natalya for the first time I saw this new life, the start of a new chain. She was not my father, she was not me, she was her own person, because children are an amalgamation of their parents but they are their own person first and foremost.”] He let out a huff of a laugh at that, as he had when he realised this all three and a half years ago.[+royalblue “Augustine is his own man. What he shares with.. him,”] he had forgotten the mans name but it was best not said,[+royalblue “is mere resemblance. Just like I only share a resemblance to my father. I am not that.. well, that bastard.”] He smiled, just a touch, but enough that it broke a tear that had build on the corner of his eye, streaking down his cheek swiftly and leaving a glittering trail behind.[+royalblue “Augustine has not led a normal life. Neither have Augustus and Eugene, but they all, all three of them, have found a means of happiness with someone. They have overcome their issues whether it be leaving their homeland or losing an arm or having to physically fight for a better home and a better life. Their lives were different, and yet they have their happiness.”] Leaning a little toward her he found himself stepping closer, very small and light steps until he stood before her again.[+royalblue “You can still have anything and everything you want. You can still have that same happiness. You can still have a happy ever after Florence.”]
  WI_ / 84d 9h 34m 1s
Letting out a huff of a breath that was almost like a laugh at something that wasn't quite funny, she shook her head. [+mediumseagreen "What don't I want."] It was a long list. She looked up and at the stars. They were bright on a perfectly black backdrop, there was no moon that night. [+mediumseagreen "I want to be able to look Augustine in the eye and not see [i him]. Not to jump when his voice catches me by surprise. I want to not be afraid of my son because of that bastard. I want to be normal."] A slew of things she'd never admitted before, things she desperately tried to keep hidden from her son.

Her eyes getting wet at the corners, she wiped away the excess with the palm of her hand before bringing her gaze down to the ground. [+mediumseagreen "But that is not what you meant, was it?"] She was just selfishly unloading all of that on him because he had to listen. He was the one who asked so he had no choice but to sit there quietly until she was done. [+mediumseagreen "I am still human. I want companionship, I want a meaningful connection with another person... Sometimes I think back to when I was a little girl. How the only thoughts that filled my head were how I could not wait to grow up and fall in love and get married and live happily ever after. And I think about how nice that would have been if it really could have worked that way."] She shook her head, what an absolutely foolish longing. [+mediumseagreen "But that does not matter, because my life was different and I have to accept that."]
  Florence Melbourne / Loxi / 84d 13h 51m 12s
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat It was good that she did not start with telling him to leave her alone. Or to go silent and hope that he left her be and not bother her anymore. Whilst the questions would remain, at least it would be easier to understand and pose his own answers towards them. When her answer had come he just felt.. well he felt like a brute and a fool to be perfectly honest. Sure he could not know all this without her saying such, he could not have thought of this even with his wildest thoughts as it always seemed to be more an issue with him that she had, not one with herself. It was the rose tinted glasses, painting her as perfect and flawless and incapable of having such concerns.

To tell him this he could see that it took a lot and she did not say it lightly. To admit this aloud was perhaps something she had never wanted to do and yet his constant nagging of her had led to her explanation. And he felt worse to think that such a secret had been brought out of her through her being cornered by him. Again, he could not have known, but perhaps it was best he left unanswered questions as just that; without answers.

The only thing he could think about when she had finished, when she had told him all these deep and dark wounds that hounded at her was one question. It was perhaps that all knowing question, the one that people asked themselves so many times in a day let alone a lifetime that there was no answer. And it could makes things better, yet equally make it worse. But if this was her warning him that she could not be all he wanted, then he had to ask;

[+royalblue “Forget what I want from you or what I expect from you. Forget what anyone else in this world needs from you. What do [i you] want for yourself Florence?”]

Her name was said almost breathlessly showing his trepidation in asking it. But it was key to know. If she knew what she wanted, they could work from there. The trepidation stemmed from the opposite answer, if she did not know what she wanted. Then things would be most confusing.
  WI_ / 84d 14h 28m 49s
With a little distance between them, Florence felt like she could think again. But now that her mind was clear and he told her he was not lying, she felt terrible. He almost looked like she had hit him, in fact this might have been worse because it wasn't a physical blow but an emotional one. The woman did not know what to say to that. But she did not have to. He continued with questions for her. Ones that forced her to think about this more thoroughly than she previously had.

[+mediumseagreen "I-"] Her eyes fell to the side as she tried to figure out whether it would be better to lie or just say what she really felt and what the actual problems were. [+mediumseagreen "It is not you, Nicolai. There is not anything wrong with you. In fact, now more than ever, I think you are really rather handsome."] If she had been any other woman, who had led any other life, she truly thought he would have had her long ago.

There was a long pause. Once again as she tried to decide just how much to say, if anything at all. But despite that, he waited, like he always did and it only made her feel worse. [+mediumseagreen "I do no think that I can give you exactly what you want... perhaps I could love you, but..."] She grit her teeth. [+mediumseagreen "It might not always be in the way you want."] Thinking about who he was, fundamentally as a person, as an elf specifically, it would be difficult for both of them. [+mediumseagreen "You bond with touch, I can only imagine that intimacies between yourself and a lover are rather important to you. I-"] Taking in a deep breath she was determined that this would be the end of it. She would bear her chest and he would do with the information what he would. [+mediumseagreen "I have a hard time with such things."] She knew rumors ran rampant around the castle, no doubt it reached his pointed ears. Whether or not they were fully accurate though, that she was unsure of. [+mediumseagreen "On a good day I might be able to tolerate your advances, but on a bad day..."] Hands shaking, she did not want to admit how much it effected her. Florence did not finish the thought, instead she brought her eyes up to his and started a new one. [+mediumseagreen "I am broken; I have been for a very, very long time. And if I have not gotten over it by now, I really do not think that I will."] Over the years she had gotten better at hiding it, but concealing and actually healing were two different battles entirely. Not to mention if Nicolai actually cared the way he said he did, it was not a suffering that she thought he would want to be hidden from him.
  Florence Melbourne / Loxi / 84d 14h 50m 20s

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