Silken Solace (Jenn!)

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Silken Solace (Jenn!)

Postby Marla » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:37 pm

Jaryd Kosari

The first time Jaryd Kosari found himself kneeling on the floor washing a Sitter’s feet while he pleaded for the honor of serving as the M’Hael, he had questioned his sanity. The second time he found himself in that position, he had questioned the Tower’s. As he worked to undo the damage done by the Seanchan -damage caused, indirectly, by mistakes he had made- he found himself questioning whether the entire bloody world had gone mad. Surely the Hall would summon him at any moment...trial, gentling, disgrace...it was inevitable.

Wasn't it?

He knew that blaming himself for everything that happened was absurd. He had informed Miahala and Riahana about his encounter with the Seanchan and they had decided together to keep that knowledge sealed, even when rumors and tension multiplied like rabbits. Yet....if he had insisted on telling the Hall...if they had done something earlier... perhaps the city would still stand. Families would not be mourning the dead. The Tower would not be drowning in debt. Perhaps he himself would not be haunted by waking nightmares that assaulted him without regard for what he was doing or who he was with.

A constant stream of supplicants waited outside the Triumvirate’s door every morning. Jaryd saw to each with what care he could. He could do nothing for the farmers whose fields had been destroyed save promise assistance through the winter ahead and with planting the next spring. For shopkeepers and inhabitants of Hama Valon he could offer more hope- there were plans in place already to rebuild the city, and he could direct them to this person or that depending on where their home had been. For visiting nobility, shocked by the disarray and yet haughtily certain that their needs were more important, he had little patience, but he did his best to address their concerns with the same placid certainty that he did all the rest. The people who actually lived in the Tower only visited to give him reports; that both comforted and concerned him.

The twenty-second day from captivity passed in a blur of color, words, and suppressed horror. As the last lord finally filed out, Jaryd sat back in his chair with a sigh. He lifted his hands to run them through his hair, and the pale scars that covered his palms caught his eye. Relief crashed into regret, which quickly morphed into terror. He stared at his hands, frozen in place as horrible doubt seeped through his mind. It was a dream. Everything was a dream. Any moment the door would open and Regann would step through to laugh at him. He pressed himself into the tall-backed chair, dark eyes wide and breath coming quickly. “She’s playing with me,” he muttered, splaying his fingers. The movement tugged on the scars, and he winced.

“She is not,” a low voice said, and suddenly much smaller copper fingers were sliding between his and pulling his hands away from his face. Kaia still did not know Regann’s name; he could not force himself to speak it, nor even think it loudly enough for her to hear over their bond. She knew who he meant, however, and whenever the Seanchan woman crossed his mind, his lover was there to comfort, deflect, and protect. “You are here, mi cueran, this is not a dream.” She had moved around so he could see her and he stared at her in silence, unable to speak.

A few minutes later she began to run her fingers through his hair. It was a simple gesture, but abruptly the tension that had gathered in the Altaran’s chest began to come apart, rapidly uncoiling until he slumped forward to rest against her with a sharp gasp of breath. His gratitude welled up, and he felt the soothing touch of her response over the bond. “You need to sleep,” she said softly. He could hear the weariness in her voice, feel it in her body. She needed to rest as well; perhaps more than he did.

“No,” Jaryd said flatly, pulling away. He knew what she would say next because they had had this exchange several times already in the days preceding. He pushed himself up from the chair and tried to go to the door, but she stopped him with a hand on his chest. “I don’t want to drink the bloody tea,” he snapped, his anger flashing hot to cover the fear he felt. He could not sleep without assistance; every time he closed his eyes, he knelt on the ground with a collar around his throat and the pain came back tenfold. The herbs the Yellows used were extremely effective in stopping those visions, but the thought of losing control of his body terrified him. What if the sul’dam came back?

Kaia looked up at him with sober green eyes, and spoke as if he had said nothing at all. “It has been two days, Jaryd. You promised me.” That brought him up short, and he closed his eyes, fingers curling into tight fists at his sides. He had promised her...and she would not sleep until he did. He knew it as surely as he knew her face. He stared at his lover in frustrated defiance for another two breaths and then his shoulders slumped and his face tipped to face the floor in defeat.

“Very well,” he said, feeling like nothing so much as a petulant child. She smiled and moved to the side table that held the tea service. When she came back, he took the cup with careful fingers, then looked into the tea blankly for some time. Eventually he gathered himself and brought it to his lips, draining the tepid liquid in one go. Will I ever sleep soundly again? He let her lead him to their bed then, already feeling the tea at work in his tired body. “Come to bed,” he murmured sleepily, “please stay.”
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Re: Silken Solace (Jenn!)

Postby Jenn » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:40 pm

Kaia Ariasca

It almost brought her to the point of tears, but Kaia forcibly pulled herself away from Jaryd's side. He slept, the empty cup of tea sitting on one of the small tables next to their shared bed. He only snapped a little when she was the one that coaxed and cajoled him to drink the foul tasting concoction, much to the chagrin of the Yellow Ajah. The Aes Sedai sighed quietly, brushing gentle fingertips across the slope of his forehead. What did it matter who got him to rest, so long as he did? The bond surged with recognition before gradually slipping back into quiet stillness, the joy and relief that rolled through muted by slumber.

Her heart lurched sideways for a moment and skipped a beat, an aching sort of warmth filling her. She withdrew her touch reluctantly. Hopefully the herbs would keep him from his nightmares. She would be near in case they didn't. Now... to see to her own cares... Her chest twinged as she tried to pull away from him. Light, why was this so difficult? Green eyes closed as she struggled to push down her own panic, Kaia moving an arm's length, and then another, away from her love and lover.

He's safe... he's safe... he's here with me...he still loves me. Light, I have him back. The words repeated in her mind like a litany as she took in heaving gulps of air, her hands plucking restlessly at the thin material of her silk shift. Her gaze fixated on the Altaran's slow even breathing. Bare feet made no sound as she made it halfway across the room before bursting into tears. It took far too long to compose herself, fingers trembling as she wiped away any lingering trace of salt and moisture from her cheeks. She pulled on a simple robe, tying the belt around her waist before sinking slowly into a nearby chair. I have him back... and he's safe.

“I love you, mi cueran,” she whispered. In the silence, she waited.

When she guessed that an hour had passed without incident, Kaia pushed herself back onto her feet, her steps hurrying to the door. She eased it open. Even in the dim lighting, her eyes easily picked out the form of Asha'man Rodric. She did not think the grizzled Green was particularly engaging; then again, it wasn't as if she had tried to strike up a meaningful conversation with him either. He rose from his chair and bowed slightly. She inclined her head by way of greeting and received a curt nod in response.

“He's sleeping.” She gripped the edge of the door a little tighter than was perhaps necessary. “I do not want to leave him.” In case he has a nightmare and I am gone. Truth. Because I can't bear to be more than an arm's length away from him. Another truth.

“What do you wish me to send for?” Rodric did not press further and she did not divulge more. “Food?”

Kaia smiled slightly at that, a brief flash of white leaping out from coppery skin. “No, thank you. Send for Yalinn. She is an Indigo. There is a weave that I wish to learn.” Her head canted to the side ever-so-slightly. “That candle behind you... how much light is left, do you think?”

The dark skinned man glanced at it appraisingly. “A little more than an hour.”

She nodded. “When Yalinn arrives, you will feel channeling. It should not be much.” The green eyed woman squared her shoulders. “If I have not come out of this room by the time that candle burns down, there is a problem.”

The faint predatory smile that drifted across the Asha'man's thin lips did not go unnoticed, the petite Domani's answering one a touch grim. She didn't think that she had anything to worry about from the pleasant Indigo, but she couldn't afford to risk Jaryd's safety. She would not let him be hurt again.

---

The raven haired woman fairly thrummed with satisfaction as she bid Yalinn a sincere good night. She had learned how! The weave itself was not difficult; figuring out the rest, was, but - a soft gasp of sound stopped her in her tracks. Kaia paused at the threshold of the door, her gaze going back over her shoulder to linger against Jaryd's still sleeping form. Her lover's figure was barely discernable from here, further obscured and distorted by sheets and blankets that were bunched and tangled together from his sudden restless thrashing.

She chewed on her bottom lip for a moment as her shoulders tensed, fierce protectiveness and concern rising to the fore and sweeping everything else aside. She felt along the bond; what had been smooth peacefulness was now hiccuping and bumpy. The petite Domani shook her head. She could puzzle out the specifics of what she wanted to do with her newfound knowledge another time.

She poked her head out after the departing Indigo, watching Rodric watch the other woman with casual indifference. When it was only they two again, Kaia murmured her thanks with a grateful look. The Asha'man merely nodded, and they left it at that. She slipped back into the room she shared with Jaryd, shutting the door firmly behind her. The Red Aes Sedai did not have the same skill with Wards that the Altaran had, but what she created was good enough as she placed one over their door.

As soon as that was done she peeled off the robe, letting it fall around her feet. She stepped out of the haphazard circle of silk, her thoughts on Jaryd. She rushed back to the bed, tugging straight what she could of the blankets and the sheets before she slipped into place next to the man she loved. He stilled as soon as her weight eased down next to him; he made a soft noise, closed eyelids fluttering. Her chest gave another curious pang as he turned towards her, inching unerringly closer as if drawn to her. Kaia felt the all too familiar burn of tears gather at the corners of her eyes as she gently wrapped her arms around him. She cradled his body to hers, her touch across their shared awareness as soft and as gentle as the dainty hands that slid into inky black curls.

“I am here,” she whispered, struggling not to cry as she felt the tension slowly drain out of his body. “I am here, Jaryd.” He made another murmur of sound and the bond gradually calmed, one of his arms shifting to drape over her hips. Long, spidery fingers curled in against her back. Kaia bowed her head, shoulders shaking silently as hot liquid soaked into the pillow. She pressed her lips to his forehead, enfolding him with love and warmth. Sleep,mi cueran. I'm here. Sleep.
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Re: Silken Solace (Jenn!)

Postby Marla » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:41 pm

Jaryd Kosari

He stood in a cobblestoned plaza surrounded by white-washed buildings that baked in the afternoon sun. Home. He was barefoot and barechested, his breeches patched and tattered. His green vest, however, was intact, a badge of office for the Blood Brothers. He had worn it every day for five years, and yet for a breath it had seemed entirely strange and alien. It should be….red? That made no sense.

A delighted smile spread across olive-toned cheeks as he touched the dagger at his waist. He had lifted it just that morning from beneath a portly merchant’s nose, then used it to cut an apple as he talked to the man’s guard. Light, but that had been a fantastic chase! Once he made it back to the Rahad he had laughed about it with his guildmates even as he showed off the beautiful rippled steel of the curved blade.
Watari. He didn’t recognize the word, but it echoed oddly in his mind when he looked at the weapon, as if he had known of it his entire life.

The wiry young thief turned on his heel, intending on finding food. He paused when he saw movement out of the corner of his eye. Uncertainty bloomed in his stomach, quickly shifting to dread as he saw a flicker in the other eye as well. He turned toward the first flicker, and saw a shadow moving toward him down a narrow passage between two buildings. Turned the opposite direction, and saw another. Around in circles he turned, the feeling of dread welling higher and higher. He started to move toward the nearest wall, but froze as the shadowy figure in front of him stepped into the light.

Pale skin, pale hair, pale eyes….she caught the sunlight and glowed like a beacon. Her dress, blue and red with lightning down the sides, rippled in an unworldly wind, and she held some sort of silver circlet in her hands. No, not a circlet. A collar, with a leash. “I am Regann,” she said. She reached for him and he fell back, panting, then turned to run. He found himself facing another fair-haired woman in blue. “If you breathe my name, I will cut out your tongue,” she said, reaching forward with the collar. He turned in place, eyes getting wider and wider as he realized he was surrounded by a circle of women, each with the same face, the same dress, the same metal circle in her hands. “It does no good to run, Shaeya,” they said in unison. “You will never get away from me.”

He stood in the center of a plaza that baked in the Altaran summer sun. As the circle of women closed around him, he realized he was screaming.


---

Jaryd flew upright in bed, his hoarse cry muffled by fingers around his throat. He thrashed for a moment, unseeing, lost in horrified panic, before realizing that his own hands had a death grip on his neck. A smooth, bare expanse of skin met his seeking touch; no collar to be found. Shaking, unsteady, thoughts tumbling in chaos, the Altaran slowly forced his arms down and away from his chest. Light!

Eyes still squeezed shut, he let himself fall back to the pillow and reached for Kaia. Nothing. His hand moved over the bed, seeking with blind desperation, and still found nothing but sheets and coverlet. Creator help me!

His heart lurched and his eyes flew open into soft golden light. His gaze fixed on the deep brown of the drapes that hung over the bed, then slowly dragged down the enormous posts that supported the heavy fabric. Every detail mattered in that endless moment; vines, leaves, and fanciful flowers spiraled around the arm-thick lengths of wood, carved with a master’s fine attention to detail. Down the posts, over the wine-red coverlet, jarred by the white expanse of tousled sheets and pillows. Nothing.

He could hear water dripping. Not the steady sound of rainfall, but the random plink of water droplets slowly falling from the edge of a high surface, and rippling splashes. That couldn’t be right. Where am I?

Suddenly the bedclothes were suffocating, holding him down, preventing him from moving. They stuck to him, dragging him toward a shadowy place he did not wish to be. He struggled against their grip, all coordination and rational thought lost, until finally he pulled free and threw himself off the bed. He stumbled toward the opposite wall, spinning when he reached it to press back and palms against cool marble. He stared back the way he had come with wild eyes. A small teacup sat on a table near the bed, and it drew his attention like a beacon. He had….drunk from that cup. It had made him sleep. Kaia had? No. A trap, it’s all a trap. Nothing is real.

He walked to the table, picked up the cup, and threw it as hard as he could. The splashing sound stopped as porcelain shattered against marble, and he froze momentarily, head turning to face the door where the noise had originated from. She’s coming! He dropped to a crouch behind the bed and pushed backward into the drapes, struggling to control the panic-stricken heaving of his chest as he waited. I cannot...I cannot…Light help me I am not strong enough...
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Re: Silken Solace (Jenn!)

Postby Jenn » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:18 pm

Kaia Ariasca

Green eyes snapped open abruptly, her body lurching forward as the movement caused her arm to slip down from the slick ledge. The splash confused her, as did the realization that it had been the sound of something... breaking that had jolted her so rudely awake. Kaia lifted her head, confused as to why it felt so heavy. Her hair was wet. What...?

The steam, the slow sound of dripping water, the lukewarm water she half-drifted in... Light she had fallen asleep in the bath! She sat up quickly, her heels digging into the bottom of the tub as she pushed herself into a crouch, standing slowly. How long had she dozed?! Jaryd would be -- As if summoned by mere thought, the bond surged, resentment and anger a pale shadow to the loss and terror that churned and boiled through the power wrought connection she shared with her lover. His fear curled through her mind like a living thing, looming, overwhelming, completely suffocating.

The petite Domani leapt out of the tub and was across the tiled room in less than a heartbeat, some small detached part of her remembering to grab a towel and wrap it around herself before she fairly kicked open the door. She ran out into the large bedroom. Her gaze registered the empty bed, the tangled blanket, the wrinkled sheets and pillows. Emerald green eyes picked out the shattered remnants of the cup that had held the tea. She could hear Jaryd’s ragged breathing, sharp, quick, and gasping, saw the way the deep brown drapes swayed and twitched. Heedless of the watery footprints or the small river that her streaming hair left behind, Kaia made her way slowly to where he was.

“Jaryd,” she said softly, repeating his name until she felt his shock reverberate through their bond, followed by a spike of wild painful hope that was quickly smothered by sharp, brutal denial. He could not see her yet. “I’m here, mi cueran,” she said firmly, pushing her certainty through to him as she pushed aside the drapes that kept falling back in the way. Doubt and confusion rolled back at her, the downward feeling of him bracing himself following.

It is a trap. It’s not real!

It was still a disconcerting thing to pick up on his thoughts sometimes, his voice sounding in her mind as clearly as if he spoke to her. Kaia finally gave up with the drapes and instead knelt on the floor, shoving aside fabric until she could see the Altaran and him, her. He had his hands up, fingers curled inward and shielding his face. As she had done time and time before, the Aes Sedai reached up and gently intertwined her fingers through his, slowly easing them away until she could see panicked coal black eyes. They widened further as their gazes collided and then locked together.

“I’m here. And I’m real, Jaryd.” He stared at her, disbelief hanging between them until she slowly disentangled her fingers, bringing her hands up again to cup his face. Kaia leaned forward and pressed her lips against his. Relief crashed into her with such force that she rocked backwards a little. Jaryd let out a soft noise and then his hands grabbed her, clutching at whatever he could reach.

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” she murmured, his face going to bury against the curve between her shoulder and her neck. “I didn’t mean to leave you alone. I fell asleep in the bath.” Her hands soothed and comforted, her arms cradling him to her as she slowly rocked them back and forth.
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Re: Silken Solace (Jenn!)

Postby Marla » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:36 pm

Jaryd

With his face pressed against soft, damp skin that smelled of amber and musk, the slender Altaran finally felt the world begin to right itself. The sharp, jagged edges of terrified paranoia began to soften, and his absolute certainty that he still wore a collar began to fade. Gradually his breath slowed and he was able to rest against Kaia in silence. Real. His body ached, and he realized he shook with unnoticed tension, his fingers curled against the Aes Sedai so hard they would surely leave bruises.

Kaia was still murmuring soft words...apologies, he realized, for falling asleep. This must end, he thought as her words rolled over him. It must! He breathed slowly, in….out. In….out. He nearly fell into the Void, but forced himself to remain where he was, to remain focused on his body, rather than on nothing. The emptiness of that space would destroy him if he let it. In….out. He relaxed slowly, one bit at a time, until his fingers released their death grip on his lover’s body and he was able to move, pulling away from her to clasp her hands in his. Breath by breath he returned to himself, the ghosts of captivity banished behind a tentative wall of control. It would take a feather weight to break, but...it would have to do.

“Please don’t apologize for being human,” he said finally. She gave him a confused look, and he shook his head, one hand lifting to trace the shadows beneath emerald eyes. “You have been up for far too long….you need to sleep.” Her eyes flicked to the side, and his gaze followed suit, taking in the shards of porcelain that littered the floor. He bit his lip, looking away. The broken pottery spoke volumes more than her voice ever could. “I will- I will find a way, Kaia. You must sleep.” The tea...perhaps if it were stronger? His spine prickled at the thought. No! No more tea!

The silence stretched until abruptly the Asha’man realized that Kaia wore only a towel, and that Aes Sedai training or not, she was shivering. He pushed himself to his feet, pulling her with him, and looked around the room. Familiar furnishings -some he liked, some he did not- passed before his eyes, and he began to feel as if he could not get enough air. “I need….to get away,” he muttered. “I need- to be free.”

“You are free, Jaryd,” Kaia said in a soft voice, her hands moving as if to reach for him.

He shook his head sharply. “That’s not what I meant. This place...it reminds me of- of all the stupid decisions I’ve made, the mistakes, everything that led to- to-” he couldn’t say it, but she knew what he meant. “I need to get away.”

“Jaryd…”

He reached for the coverlet and pulled it around her shoulders, a shield against the cold that abruptly chilled him to his bones. As he folded his arms around her, the dream that had driven him from slumber came back to him. He closed his eyes, remembering not the presence of the monster in blue, but rather the sun on his skin, the dust beneath his feet, the rush of energy as he’d considered the possibility of a duel. Home. It had been years since he last visited. He prefered not to draw attention to his family, but- “Come home with me, Kaia.” The words piled out of his mouth in a rush before he could stop himself.

She twisted up to look at him curiously, and he flushed as he met her eyes. “My mother is there. I would like you to meet her….and…you could sleep. I would be safe there, I know it. Please?”
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Re: Silken Solace (Jenn!)

Postby Jenn » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:45 pm

Kaia

The petite Domani found herself oddly shaken by that one syllable, that one word resonating through her from mind to heart to soul. “Please?” Had he ever asked her like that before? She was trembling, she realized belatedly, the blanket that Jaryd had pulled off the bed to wrap around her helping a little to drive off the chill. Water trickled slowly down her back, dripping down her spine, tickling along the backs of her legs. His... mother? He wanted her to meet his mother?

“Yes, I do.” His scarred hands worked over her upper arms, the soft coverlet against her skin a strange counterpoint to the rough damp towel that covered her from beneath her shoulders to mid-thigh.

Kaia blinked, surprise colouring her cheeks a little before she smiled at him. She had not meant for her thoughts to transfer across the bond, but he had heard them nonetheless. She took a deep breath and nodded a little.

Hope that was not hers flared, bright and brilliant behind her eyes and for a moment it took her breath away. “So...” he sounded hesitant, so hesitant, even as she felt him reach for her through their shared connection. The Aes Sedai answered the questioning touch against her mind with warm reassurance, and the last of Jaryd’s tension visibly drained away.

“Yes,” she answered simply. How could she say no? If it would help him feel safe... if it would help the waking terrors that chased him into what fitful sleep he got... White teeth leapt out from coppery skin as she smiled again. “I would very much like to meet your mother, mi cueran.” She stepped further into the circle of his arms, her nose bumping against his collarbone before she finished speaking, her voice muffled by dark skin and wrinkled bedclothes.

Soft lips planted a lingering kiss along the side of her lover’s neck, Kaia unable to stop from teasing him, just a little. “It isn’t very often that the First Inquisitor of the Red Ajah and the Keeper of the Chronicles presses up against you in just a towel, you know.”

She sensed rather than saw the way Jaryd’s lips twitched and the arms around her tightened. “It must be my lucky day then.”

The raven haired beauty lifted her head, tilting her face up towards him. “It must be.” She kissed him briefly, mouth warm and lingering against his, before pulling reluctantly away. “Help me dress and dry my hair? If we let it happen naturally, we’ll be here until tomorrow morning.”

It took less than a quarter of an hour. She wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the Rahad, but Jaryd assured her that they both would be safe. She saw by the way he drew in on himself that he was preparing to seize saidin. The bond flattened for a moment, a silvery slash rotating open. The Altaran turned to her, flourishing into a deep bow before extending out his hand to her. “Shall we?”

Kaia tried to quell the sudden rush of nervousness that fluttered in her belly. She placed her hand in his and nodded. “Lead the way, lover.”
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Re: Silken Solace (Jenn!)

Postby Marla » Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:35 pm

Jaryd

After the initial surprise of finding their son and his lover on their doorstep the day before, Jaryd’s parents had welcomed the two in without a moment of hesitation. Eilana had gone about making them both at home and preparing a midday meal as if Jaryd had simply gone out for a morning stroll. After a moment of shock at having an Aes Sedai in their midst they had settled on treating Kaia like a Wise Woman...but even that had faded to easy familiarity within hours.

Eilana and Remen Kosari were old, now, their hair faded nearly white and their faces hollow and wisened. Kaia had offered to attempt a Healing of his father’s failing sight, but Remen had declined with a smile. “The Wheel weaves,” he had said good naturedly. “I have no fear of age.” He could still do his woodwork, and that was all the old Altaran cared about. Eilana still cooked for half the neighborhood, though she had hired a local girl to help her with her chores now that moving was more difficult.

Jaryd could not bring himself to speak of what had happened to him, but Kaia must have found time to say something privately because somehow or other he always had company. The night before, Eilana had shooed Kaia to bed with maternal authority, then handed him a chipped cup filled with fragrant jasmine tea. “I know you can’t sleep,” she had said, “come talk with me on the steps.” For the whole of the long night she sat with him, and every time the horror he could not speak of threatened to overwhelm him, she placed a frail hand on his arm and squeezed.

Now the M’Hael stood with one shoulder pressed against a doorframe, arms crossed and head resting against the painted wood as he watched his lover converse with his mother. Something inside him felt warm at the sight, something that had been cold and hard and empty for far too many years. He had been fighting for so long. Even as a boy he had chosen to kill rather than create, and had disdained his father’s concern. That pattern had continued throughout his life in one way or another, and he had never yet won the battle he fought in his soul. Abruptly, Jaryd wondered whether he had anything left to give to the world of violence that had consumed him, or whether he would simply crumble and be swept away by the winds of time. Perhaps if he did, he could come back here and be...happy.

Do I even know what that word means?

Kaia’s gaze flickered up to his face, and he realized she must have felt his growing discomfort. He flushed and shook his head a little. I’m fine. It was a characteristically stubborn statement, although not entirely accurate, and he realized too late that she knew both of those things all too well. “I apologize for my abruptness, Mistress Kosari, but I need to go for a walk with Jaryd,” the Aes Sedai said, eyes never leaving his. “We will not be long.” Eilana simply nodded and went back to her tea. His mother did not entirely understand the nature of the bond, but she knew their connection transcended mere words.
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Re: Silken Solace (Jenn!)

Postby Jenn » Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:37 pm

Kaia

With the frequency that Eilana plied Kaia with tea, the petite Domani could not help but wonder if the fragrant liquid held something more than just innocuous leaves and dried flower buds. She accepted graciously as many times as the older woman offered, but the Aes Sedai did not share her suspicion with her lover. She dared not even thinking it too loudly, for fear that he would hear it through the bond. While the idea of it amused her, Kaia wasn’t entirely sure she was ready for the ramifications if what she suspected was true.

Remen insisted that she was far too thin, and that she needed to eat more. If at any point in time her plate was half empty, Jaryd’s father would pile on more food, anything from buttered turnips to spicy potatoes to stewed summer vegetables. And if it wasn’t that, it was bread. All sorts, all kinds, sometimes with crunchy grains, other times soft, white, and fluffy. His eyesight was remarkably keen in that regard for a man who was supposedly losing his vision.

She drank tea and ate until she thought she would burst. And then when she was full and her belly warm, she was fussed over until she was ushered off to sleep. Bemused and utterly at a loss as how to respond, Kaia allowed herself to relax into this most unfamiliar situation.

It was... odd to... simply be. When she became anxious, Eilana would somehow find the time to simply sit with her. They spoke of many things and it was during those long talks that the Red Keeper made mention of what had befallen the woman’s son. No details, Light the woman deserved to be spared that, but enough so that Jaryd’s panic and fear would not come as a surprise. Kaia found herself speaking of Reen... and for the first time in what felt like an Age, allowed herself to feel that aching edge of loss and the fierce love and pride that came along with any thoughts of her daughter.
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Re: Silken Solace (Jenn!)

Postby Marla » Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:40 pm

Jaryd

The city was busy at that time of day. As they walked Jaryd realized he had somehow grown used to the immediate path that opened for him in the Grey Tower. Stuck in a milling mass of dirt-covered men and women in the same rough clothing he wore, he was given no such courtesy. Kaia drew scrutiny, however. Even wearing a simple linen gown she moved with a liquid grace and natural authority that could not be mistaken. He saw more than one pair of calculating eyes follow her down the narrow street, dark fingers tapping as their owners thought. She did not seem to be aware of the attention, and Jaryd began to pay more mind to those they passed, his hand shifting to wrap around Watari’s hilt.

Much had changed in the decades gone by, and after a time the wiry man began to talk to Kaia about his memories, pointing out where this family or that had once lived. They walked along narrow streets and over narrower waterways as they talked until finally he paused, looking about. They were completely alone in a cramped alley; an even narrower passage, crooked and overgrown with weeds, led to the north. Kaia’s brows rose when he tugged her in that direction, and Jaryd smiled.

“My favorite place on the entire green earth is down that passage, Kaia.” She gave him a dubious look and for the first time in what felt like an Age, Jaryd laughed. His lover’s eyes widened at the sound, and he felt a pang of guilt at the burden his fear had placed on her. “It’s only a few paces, I promise.” He held out his hand; after another moment of hesitation she placed her fingers in his. The passage led to a very small courtyard, surrounded by several brick buildings in extreme disrepair. Jaryd’s eyes traced the path he usually took to the roof and he sighed regretfully. “You will not be able to climb.”

“You want to go up there?” she asked, her gaze swinging to the tiled roof several levels up in surprise.

“Certainly- there.” He pointed to the building to the south.

“I can get up there,” the Domani woman said, a delighted smile spreading across her copper face. His skin tingled, and Jaryd reflexively pressed against the wall despite knowing the feeling came from her. That didn’t help; suddenly he stood braced against stone staring into blackness as a chill crawled up his back. An invisible fist flew at his face and he jerked backward, his head rebounding off the wall with a sharp crack.

“Come back to me, mi cueran.” Kaia’s fingers were gentle on his face as he gasped for breath. She smoothed his hair back and he sighed, the abrupt terror fading far too slowly as he stared into her eyes. That isn’t real. This is, her voice told him in his head. He clung to her words until finally he could breathe normally again.

Eventually she turned away and gathered her skirts. She stepped up then, her foot resting on an invisible surface in the air. She took several more steps, then looked down at him.

His eyes crinkled, and he wet his lips as he considered his options. “I will meet you,” he said finally. He smiled reassurance when he felt her concern grow, then wasted no time moving. He strode across the small space and leaped up to curl his fingers around the banister of the small balcony above. He followed the old path he had taken every day for so many years, the memory sharp even after so long an absence.. Foot here, fingers there, shift of weight….pull...up, and up, and up. His body burned and the scars on his fingers protested, but the old pattern was oddly comforting, and he pushed himself on. Finally he pulled himself over the edge of the roof with an exclamation of relief, and rolled to his back.

Kaia stood near, face rapt as she looked about her; he grinned in understanding. “You see why I love it here,” he said as he pushed himself to his feet. He put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her against him, his own eyes turning to take in the impossibly beautiful view of the city and sea that that unassuming roof gave them. “I am glad to finally share it with you.”
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Re: Silken Solace (Jenn!)

Postby Jenn » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:55 pm

Kaia

The depths of emerald green eyes danced as she couldn’t help but tease him again, her heart still pounding too quickly at the memory of watching him climb and scramble across the dilapidated rooftops, tiles, and only the Light knew what else. Jaryd had made it look easy, despite the effort. It had taken all of her willpower not to cry out as he leaped from one place to the next, suspended by nothing but air. “I’m glad I didn’t have to end up catching you.”

Jaryd knew that her words masked her moment of genuine fear, but he did not comment on it, his arms tightening around her instead. “Perhaps next time,” he answered lightly, his breath warm against her temple.

Kaia smiled at him, grateful that he was not upset. She couldn’t help it when... Stop, she reminded herself. He was safe. Well, mostly safe, she amended as she purposefully ignored the sagging balcony some levels beneath them.

The Aes Sedai took a deep breath and turned her attention to the unimpeded view of Ebou Dar and, more importantly for her, the sea. How long has it been? she mused, as her gaze fixed on the distant horizon where the sky dropped into the ocean, pale blue merging together with greenish blue until her dazzled sight could not tell where one ended and the other began. Curious. She could not recall.

“How long has it been since what?” her lover asked her quietly, curiosity and a strange... hesitance entering his voice. The bond swelled with concern and guilt, though the latter was quickly muted and stifled.

The raven haired woman smiled, reaching up to touch the Altaran’s face. “I was trying to remember when I was in Arad Doman last. And I...” She shrugged a little, her voice trailing off as she leaned a little against him. Her brows drew together as her hand went to a slight fold of fabric along her hip, fingers compressing and plucking at the small section of rough cloth. “I know I took Reen there to see my family, but I do not really remember it.”

Long, spidery fingers suddenly twined around hers, pulling her hand away from her hip. Jaryd did not speak as he drew them a little ways across the rooftop, kicking at something hidden by overgrown weeds and brambles that she could not quite make out. A... bench of some kind was soon revealed and after a careful check - again, for what she didn’t know - she felt satisfaction emanating across the bond. It was swept free of thorns and debris. He sat down, tugging on her hand. When she finally shifted forward, he smiled and settled her in his lap with a happy sigh. Kaia felt her heart give an odd flutter as she turned her head to look at him. They were very nearly eye level with each other.

Gentle fingertips brushed across her cheek, trailing over her jawline before they traced over the shape of her mouth. “Tell me about your family...?”

She started backwards a little, caught completely off guard. No one had ever asked her that before. She said as much and the corners of Jaryd’s expressive black eyes tightened. She fidgeted for a moment, lifting one leg and then the other as she made herself more comfortable against him.

“I... well, my mother came from one of the merchant houses and was in her own right very successful. She did not believe in settling down with a man and was more than capable of making her own way in the world. I don’t know who my father is, only that he was was part Kandori. That’s where I get my eyes.”

Her words were awkward and slow as she spoke about her baby sister, Kaia not fully understanding the lump that caught in the back of her throat as she told her lover about the games of peekaboo that she played with Kavi while they traveled with their mother. Sixteen years separated them, but Kavi could not channel. She proudly explained how her baby sister took after their mother in terms of business savvy.

“She settled in Tar Valon to be close to me. I haven’t seen her since- since...” Even now she couldn’t say it. The Aes Sedai quickly wet suddenly dry lips. “Jaelle sends me reports every few weeks to let me know how Kavi is doing. I keep thinking of visiting... of... maybe having them in Hama Valon, but she’s married now, with children of her own and I do not wish to uproot them if they don’t have to be.”

Kaia lapsed into silence, her thoughts invariably turning to Reen, before flitting away to the jasmine tea in the simple chipped cup that Eilana frequently offered with a warm smile. Abruptly, the Domani flushed, tingling oddly from head to toe, and quickly looked away.
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"Gravity has a way of humbling a man."


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