Re: [ONE] Unexpectedly Captivated [12maori3]

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ariagrey
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Re: Re: [ONE] Unexpectedly Captivated [12maori3]

Post by ariagrey » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:22 am

Lyra was so unsure. Unsure of what to do. Unsure of what to say. She wanted to leave. She wanted to grab Azriel and Bri and walk out the doors and never look back. Yet here she was, standing next to a mad man that wanted power not withheld in a stone, but in herself. She could only imagine what Gani would do if he only knew...and she hoped not to find out.

She flinched as Gani began to clap, giving Azriel an absurd compliment. It was awful feeling so helpless. She wanted to fight, to defend herself and to defend Azriel and his sister, but it would do more harm than good. Lyra's fists clenched at her side at the mention of Tamun, the only sign of any reaction. Her eyes darted back and forth as both men spoke, something being lost on her, but then Azriel turned to her, eyes meeting.

He asked her to go to him and a wave of relief washed over her. She took a step towards him, trying to keep the smile that threatened to turn the corners of her lips off her face, only to be yanked back. Lyra gasped as she turned to glare at Gani, again the feeling of his hand on her skin like coming to close to a flame. She attempted to pull her arm away, but he held on tight, stinging the flesh around her wrist that had yet to fully heal from its previous abuse. Then, suddenly, a separate hand came from nowhere and slapped Gani's away, sending Lyra stumbling back.

There Bri stood, glowering like a mother at a naughty child. Although she was small, she exuded so much strength and ferocity. Already Lyra had so much respect for Bri. It took Gani a moment to keep from boiling over, but once again his prying eyes were on her. He asked her to stay once more to which she quickly replied, "I won't." She stood up straight, setting her shoulders, and looked him in the eyes. "I won't stay." She repeated, making it perfectly clear that she would fight to the bitter end.

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Re: Re: [ONE] Unexpectedly Captivated [12maori3]

Post by 12maori3 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:12 am

Gani's eyes became fixated on her as if trying to figure out something about Lyra but not knowing quite what he was looking for. Already this was taking longer than Azriel had hoped with both Lyra and Bri too far away for his liking. He had been ready to trade anything if it came to Gani somehow realizing Lyra's power yet at the moment, it was either her or Tamun. The mad king had asked "nicely" in every loose term of the word, but they both knew he needed someone to show him how to wield it even though it wasn't possible. Azriel nodded, "Tamun will be on his way to you the second we arrive safely to my kingdom," Azriel knew in himself there was no way he would allow the traitor to step foot into Gani's sanctuary. He had to pay for what he did before all else.

There was a pause as Gani considered everything. Even he may have felt something was off, but there was no way to find out what it was. Perhaps he just assumed Azriel would do anything to get his sister back regardless of the consequences. Azriel wouldn't blame Gani for thinking that since he had come very close to doing anything regardless of the consequences. "To be this desperate as a king... a real sight to see," he spoke to Azriel, his tone condescending. His gaze turned to Lyra. He had no smile on his face and one could see he was older than he looked, "We haven't seen the last of each other." His eyes remained on hers a while before turning to Bri, his lips automatically turning down, "You. Leave my land and never return. You've eaten our food, breathed our air, all for free. Next time I see you here, you'll pay for all you stole."

Bri looked incredulous. She had always wondered how insane this man was but now she knew he was completely insane. "Excuse me? In case you forgot, you-" Azriel interrupted with a firm, "Let's go. We're done here." He knew if they walked out of those without another word from Gani, that this had been as successful as it had been unsuccessful. Bri linked her arm with Lyra's because, despite her brave act, she craved human touch. For ten years she had been alone despite the very few times she wasn't. And her brother seemed to like her, she had noticed. Bri walked alongside Lyra to Azriel who kept his eyes on Gani. Gani did the same, his expression as blank as Aziel's, both knowing the other was hiding something, neither able to do anything about it. The guards followed the three out into the courtyard where another horse waited. Bri ran to a grown horse the color of darkness, even darker than a shadow. She ran her fingers through his mane and sighed in happiness, "You're alive," she whispered under her breath.

By the way, she took the reigns Azriel knew she hadn't ridden a horse in ten years. He felt the first strike of pain in his chest as he followed Gani's guards, making sure Lyra was always near him. It wouldn't be past Gani to snatch her just when they had officially left his kingdom. However, when they crossed it, the guards remained watching until both parties disappeared out of sight and then later on, out of hearing. There was silence as Azriel walked, until Bri took his arm, "Whatever you're trying to hide, he knows it." Azriel frowned yet he replied, "I know." Bri continued, "I know those that give him information, the spies." Azriel's frowned deepened yet he nodded once more, "I know." Bri paused for a few more seconds, then continued again, "He's already planning. He plays the waiting game so well. He will-" her tears began falling again and Azriel relaxed for the first time since the moment they had stepped into Gani's territory. He wrapped his arms around her and felt her own try to squeeze his soul out of his body. The king was aware of Lyra but for now, he had to relinquish in the feeling of his sister being in front of him, not in a dream or a guilty hallucination, but in reality.

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Re: Re: [ONE] Unexpectedly Captivated [12maori3]

Post by ariagrey » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:45 pm

The sound of Azriel's voice brought her back from the brink of rage. Lyra could feel her muscles flexing, her heart pounding. The way he talked to Azriel and Bri was unacceptable. She wanted to hit him, to scream and yell at him for causing so much pain and suffering. It took every fiber of her being to not cross that line.

Lyra had faintly heard the words "let's go", her ears rushing with the sound of her heart before jumping at someone's touch. She looked at Bri as her arm linked with Lyra's and began guiding her toward Azriel. Each foot step echoed within in the throne room, no one looking back as they l left.

Once outside Bri quickly left Lyra's side, hugging Shadow like a long lost friend. Lyra wondered how long Bri had waited for this moment. How long was it before she began to give up hope that anyone would come for her? Lyra watched Bri stroke the horses mane and was happy she had finally been rescued. Lyra felt the anger slowly dissipating and being replaced with Joy for Azriel and Bri.

They had set out to accomplish something and they did it. Bri was finally going home, she could breath fresh air again and be with her brother. Azriel could let go of any guilt and perhaps smile more often. Lyra was not naive enough to believe it was all over, but for now she was enjoy this sweet victory. She allowed the siblings their privacy as she walked a few paces behind them once out beyond Gani's kingdom.

Lyra heard them talking quietly and then pausing and hugging. Again she stayed a few paces away, staring for a moment before looking out on the horizon. She hadn't realized it at first, but tears had started streaming down her face. Quickly wiping them away, she made sure to hide her face to not let Azriel see. Lyra had not expected to become so emotional, yet seeing Azriel and Bri hug made her long for her family. It had hit her again that she would never share a hug or laughter again with anyone in her village. Crossing her arms in front of her body as the wind blew, she watched as the sun began to set in the sky. There was no turning back for her, but at least Azriel didn't have to suffer the same fate. At least she was able to give him some sort of happiness.

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Re: Re: [ONE] Unexpectedly Captivated [12maori3]

Post by 12maori3 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:49 am

Azriel felt his own eyes burn with tears as he held his sister. There was a point where he hadn't believed she was even alive and only Mor had been able to convince him that it wouldn't have been possible. The little girl he had always seen her as in his thoughts and dreams were now replaced by the older version of her. "I am so sorry, Bri...I am so sorry," he was sorry for letting Gani take her, sorry it had taken so long to get her back, sorry he had missed an entire decade with his sister, sorry that he had not been enough for her, that he had to involve others to be able to bring her to safety. They spoke to each other until they both knew it was time to move on.

The king pulled back and looked over his sister: her hair the same color as his cut short to frame her face, her stature bore no difference from when he had seen her last except her face which bore the marks of a life lived hard. Her hands were dry and blistered, her wrists a seemingly permanent red color no doubt from the chains. Yet there remained her smile. "Go ahead...I'll be behind you," he told her. There was a flash of something in her eyes, perhaps doubt but Azriel placed his hand on her shoulder, "You just need to turn around to see me." Bri nodded and began to head forward at a slow pace. Once in a while Azriel saw her look back as if to make certain he was really there. He related to his sister more than he ever had at that.

Azriel settled back with Lyra, his hand finding it's way to hers. "You did well..." Azriel spoke quietly, walking beside her. Never one for words he took a few moments to gather what he felt into true words. "Lyra," Azriel stopped and turned her to face him. He wanted her to know just how thankful he was. He wanted her to know that without her, Bri would still be in Gani's castle, a prisoner. Without her, he never would have been able to bring her home. No amount of torture that he had been willing to partake in would have resulted in this. it was only her willingness. Azriel desperately hoped she saw it in his eyes because the best he could communicate into words were, "Thank you. I'm not sure you understand the extent to which I am grateful to you. My respect for you is at incredible heights and though it has only been a few days since I wrongfully had you step into my home, my regard for you is at a level only Mor has been able to reach."

Azriel knew it then, looking into Lyra's green eyes, trying to convey to her everything he was feeling because he knew she deserved to know and more...Azriel knew it then. And he accepted it. He swallowed them down however for many left unsaid and continued with, "I think...Gani knows you are important to me or to the stone, or both. He already set a plan in motion before we even left his territory but knowing his patience, it could take years to find out what it is. For the time being, I want to let you know that I will protect you and so will the entire kingdom." "You can bet on it," Bri's voice came from a few feet ahead, unshamefully eavesdropping. Azriel looked up briefly at her and smiled despite the fact that an opposite reaction had been due. It was the kind of sibling banter he had missed and would never complain about. He looked back to Lyra once more and shook his head, a tired yet wistful smile on his face as he kissed her forehead, "You're something else," he didn't think there was a word that was worth describing her in all.

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Re: Re: [ONE] Unexpectedly Captivated [12maori3]

Post by ariagrey » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:21 pm

The trio began to move forward, making their long trek back to the kingdom of New Salem. Azriel fell back and his hand found Lyra's as he spoke. Pulling them to a stop, she couldn't seem to look him in the eyes. She had thought after retrieving Bri that her situation would seem better somehow, but whatever uncertainty she had before was replaced with a new kind.

Doubt had always clouded her mind on whether Azriel's feelings were sencere, even if small. Oh how she wanted to believe every sweet word, longing glance, and beckoning touch. But there was no use for her now other than power. Something a King could do with. She was a poor girl with no family and he was a king with responsibilities and expectations to uphold. He had to look after his sister now and rekindle all the lost years, there was no room for her to be in the way. To be a burden.

Finally Lyra's eyes looked up to meet his listening to his words of protection. She wanted to decline, to tell him to not worry, but then Bri sounded in agreement. There was a twinge in her heart, one of appreciation for their acceptance and help. Azriel planted a kiss upon her forehead and Lyra had to look away again. Her eyes burned and she had so much to say, but now wasn't the time. They had one the battle and the war was yet to come. They had to take pleasure in the small victories and she didn't want to tarnish that. "We should keep moving." She said quietly with a sniffle and began walking again.

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Re: Re: [ONE] Unexpectedly Captivated [12maori3]

Post by 12maori3 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:46 am

Azriel couldn't help the confusion that washed over him. It wasn't a feeling he experienced often and it definitely was not a pleasant one. He couldn't understand Lyra's reaction much less understand why she had reacted that way. It wasn't until she told them to keep moving, sniffled and began to walk away. All thoughts of her reaction faded, replaced by concern. It was feeling Azriel was very familiar with in the years he'd been thinking of what Bri could have been going through.

It returned with full force as he watched Lyra walk away after sniffling. Either had shed tears or had been close to it and though he may not have known why it didn't settle with him at all. He hated that he could have caused it without knowing what "it" had been. It could have been the situation with Gani, it could have been going back to the castle, or something else Azriel couldn't think of in that moment. Despite it all, this was not the right time for that kind of conversation. So Azriel followed behind her, the familiar feeling of guilt and concern settling in him once more, wondering what he had done.

The rest of the way home Bri rode her dark horse while he and Lyra rode on Shadow mostly silently. Once in a while, Bri would speak up and Azriel would reply, stuck with the realization that his sister was finally around only to be extinguished when he looked at Lyra. Then he would remember her silence, and her sniffle would ring in his head again. He didn't know how she felt and it had begun to consume him when they saw the faraway image of his castle only a few feet from the New Salem border. Bri grinned as she rode ahead for the first time, looking around, "I've missed these absurdly gigantic trees, the smell of farms and...whatever it is that is in the air," she sighed out happily. Azriel smiled and though it reached his eyes, he did not forget the woman sitting right beside him, "I'm glad you're finally home, Bri. You haven't changed a bit." She grinned in return and turned her horse around to lead the way that she still evidently remembered, "You have. A lot."

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Re: Re: [ONE] Unexpectedly Captivated [12maori3]

Post by ariagrey » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:15 am

The ride home...was that what it was to Lyra now? Home? It was a rather silent journey on her part. The siblings made idle banter, catching up on all the missed time. Lyra imagined it would be like getting to know someone for the first time. A lot can happen to a person you haven't seen in a decade. Especially one held captive. And yet she had a feeling they would enjoy this new adventure together.

New Salem came into view, relief washing over her. Just days ago she had thought she'd never see the land again, let alone the castle, and yet here she was. Lyra sat on a horse with a man she loved, his sister by them, and more unanswered questions than now than when she had left.

Bri rode off ahead, that open space doing her good. Lyra did enjoy the siblings interactions even though it made her heart ache. Family is important and so is community, both of which she had neither of. Again Lyra tried to keep any emotion off her face, save for a small smile in Bri's direction when her soul radiated outwards. It was hard to not be happy while looking at Azriel's beautiful sister.

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Re: Re: [ONE] Unexpectedly Captivated [12maori3]

Post by 12maori3 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:28 am

Azriel had to listen to Bri tell him all the ways he had changed, most of them along the lines of "serious" and "boring". His attention was not fully on his sister. His attention was divided between Lyra, the fleeting expressions he had noticed the whole way back to his kingdom and had been trying to put together and his sister. He was worried to an extent that seeing his kingdom made him relieved, only because he would get a chance to speak to Lyra. He surprised himself with that thought, thinking he would want to speak to his sister alone. At this very point, however, he knew his sister was safe, sound, and by the looks of it, happy in the mid day sun. He could not say the same for Lyra and it worried him.

On another day he would think Lyra was just not comfortable around him. Yet after seeing her smile, hearing her laugh and watching her genuinely be happy, her current state made him question what he had done wrong. Bri was already ahead by a few paces and Azriel followed, eager to get back home and address the situation. It didn't take very long after the patrol spotted them and escorted them back to the castle. Most of the older men seemed to have recognized Bri while the younger ones watched her with the same suspicion Gani's men had as if she was a foreigner. That did not sit well with Azriel's sister.

"I am the princess. How dare they," she huffed once they reached the castle gates. She got off her horse, keeping its reigns in her hands. She stood in front of the gates and asked for it to be open. Azriel gave them a silent nod and let his sister walk through assuming it had been her authority. Azriel gave a sad smile as his sister circled the courtyard with an unreadable expression. He turned to Lyra and saw a similar expression on her face. He got off the horse and offered his hand to her to get down. Once they were finished he led her through the gates and watched it close. Mor had the castle closed off for the day knowing they should get back on this day or the next. Maybe he does do his job at times Azriel thought to himself. As they walked forward to join his sister at the front steps of the castle Azriel spoke, "I'm assuming this journey had made you very tired. I'll be walking you and Bri to your rooms...but I'll come by yours tonight." Since Bri was part of the royal family she would have her old room in the same wing as Azriel and Lyra.

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Re: Re: [ONE] Unexpectedly Captivated [12maori3]

Post by ariagrey » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:10 am

Lyra was almost in a daze as the trio walked through the gates. The journey was long, her nerves were shot, and her whole body screamed for a warm water soak and a bed. Azriel's voice brought her to the present and she looked at the man that stood before her. There was a noticable weight lifted off his shoulders and a lightness about him. It did him good, for although he was young, the guilt of losing his sister had aged him. Lyra could see him changing before her eyes and she didn't want to look away.

"You're probably right." She said with a chuckle as she pushed back locks of her unruly curls that had fallen out of her braid. Her smile left as quickly as it came, replaced with a look a mixture of worry and confusion. "Are you sure that's wise? I only mean, I'm sure you and your sister have a lot to talk about, catch up on. I wouldn't want to get between your reunion."

Lyra's green eyes met with his gray, showing him she was sincere and understanding. She'd be lying if she said she didn't want to hug him and talk to him about how he was feeling, but it somehow felt selfish. If he insisted she wouldn't say no, but there was a certain delicacy to the situation that wasn't lost on her.

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Re: Re: [ONE] Unexpectedly Captivated [12maori3]

Post by 12maori3 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:22 am

Azriel waited for Lyra's reply and kept a close eye on her reaction. He couldn't say that it was impossible he may have missed some things since he had been watching her brush her curls back with a smile on her face. It was a movement so simple yet it only went to show how simply beautiful Lyra was. She looked worn, enough to make Azriel doubt whether he truly wanted to talk about a matter so serious when all she may have wanted to do was rest. His doubt turned into a decision once she replied, assuming Lyra was noting that she did not want to talk about what she was feeling tonight.

The king had learned how to be patient with things that mattered the most to him so he nodded. He would give Lyra the time, put his own worries aside and hope that when they talked about what was on her mind, it would be something within his reach to help solve and make her happy once more. "That is true...but I will still come by tonight. Just to make sure you're alright," he voiced his thoughts. He had two weeks of meetings and work to make up for, but the reward for that work was worth it.

He wanted to lean down and pressed a kiss to her lips. It would be something reassuring to remind her that he meant everything he said, something to let her know that everything he'd said and done when they were away from the castle still applied. But he couldn't, not yet. "I'll walk you two up to your rooms," he announced as Bri came back to him after chatting up some of the guards. As he led them through the halls he could tell his sister was surprised and dying to ask why Lyra was going to the royal wing with them. He stopped at the door that he knows called her room and hoped she did too. "Make sure to rest. The maids should already have a bath ready for you but let them know if you need anything else. I'll be back later tonight." Before they could leave Bri spoke. She couldn't seem to muster the seriousness of her brother and smiled, her grin wide, "Thank you. I'm sure if it wasn't for you, I would not be free. You have no idea how grateful I am so...thank you."

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