Re: [ONE] Unexpectedly Captivated [12maori3]

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

Post by ariagrey » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:28 am

The trip was long and arduous in more ways than one. Since the first night they hadn't said much, simple banter here and there. It was almost a relief once they had arrived at the edge of Gani's territory. Finally things could be settled. Finally they could rescue Bri and bring her home. Lyra only hoped that it was that wasy.

She could feel Azriel's breath tickle her ear and neck as he whispered in her ear, sending a shiver through her body. She pretended not to notice it, however and simply nodded in reply. He wanted her to be stoic and so she would be. Her body was becoming rigid again, on edge. Lyra could feel herself returning to the woman she had been that day in the thrown room, brave, stubborn, defiant, and unwavering. She knew what was at stake and there was nothing that was going to stop her from accomplishing the task at hand.

Lyra's small hands gripped shadow's reins so tightly it almost hurt. She was more than ready, she had been ready for days. All this waiting and planning had made her anxious. It was time to be done with it. It was time to see what Gani was really made of and what things would change after this ordeal.

"I'm fine. Just ready." Her answer was short, her voice steady yet uncharacteristicly callous. If she was to pretend to be uncaring, she had to start now. Lyra had to distance herself from Azriel, to remember the man the had stabbed her and threatened to torture her. If she thought hard enough she could still feel the steel blade sat in her flesh, piercing and burning through her flesh. She could feel a painful twinge in her heart recalling these memories, for the Azriel she had come to know was not that same man. Yet it didn't matter. In the moment it was the man she had to believe him to be. Otherwise there was no erasing the love in her eyes.

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

Post by 12maori3 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:16 am

(I just realized, I don't think his kingdom has a name so Imade one up)
Azriel didn't know exactly how to feel about Lyra's answer for the next few seconds after she responded. Then he settled on relief because she was fine and she was ready. As the hooves of the horses got closer, Azriel sat taller, if it were possible. There wasn't any adjusting to his facial expression or posture: unless he smiled or laughed, his general expression remained blank while his posture made it seem as if his back was made out of a rigid straight material. The hooves got closer until they stopped suddenly, no doubt someone had spotted Lyra and the king. The pause that followed meant they were preparing their weapons.

Then a voice rang out, authoritative, brisk and formal, "Who goes there?" Azriel had to keep from expressing his dislike on formal speech, "It is I, the King of New Salem," he replied in a tone just as authoritative and brisk. Nothing less, nothing more. There was another pause, no doubt a look of confusion passing through the band. Finally, a man with dark hair and hard brown eyes appeared on top of a similar colored stead. Behind him where four other men of different variations of him, two with blonde heads and one with hair as head as the night itself. "Why might you say that?" The one with hard brown eyes asked, his eyes never leaving Azriel's. Azriel followed the man's eyes and reached for his shirt. He pulled up his shirt sleeves to his forearm and showed the deep burn of the royal crest, small yet valuable. Then he showed the ring of the same crest he hadn't taken off since he became King.

Azriel's eyes left the man with hard brown eyes to the four behind him who searched the trees with their eyes, "I bring no one else but her," he nodded to Lyra. There was obvious skepticism because no King in their right mind would travel without guards. With a nod, the man with hard brown eyes beckoned Azriela and Lyra in, though it was also a sign for the others to now fully unleash their weapons. ALl swords of great length, beautifully crafted and obviously put into use. There was the silence that was only disrupted by the movements of the leaves and the surroundings. The terrain was different from Azriel's. Here, there were rives, ponds, all around. The whole kingdom seemed to be pained in green, even the castle that awaited them miles away. It was covered in precious green stones, the stone mansion lined with green color to represent the kingdom's nature.

After miles of silence and curious, frightened gazes as the band led Azriel and Lyra through the streets of Gani's king, they arrived. They waited at the castle gates to alert Gani and whoever else that he had visitors. Azriel calmed his frantic mind and heart. Both wondered where his sister could be, where she had been for these past ten years. What suffering and hopefully comforts she had endured and what betrayal she had felt thinking Azriel would never come. He was so close yet he was so far. Gani would make it undoubtedly difficult for Azriel to even see his sister, let alone exchange her. Azriel's worried remained under a blank mask of stone and hazardous grey eyes as the gates of the castle opened to reveal the wide grin of a blond man with Azriel's height, perhaps shorter, and a leaner build. His grin stretched even wider when he saw Lyra in front of the horse and threw his arms out, "Az! It's been years! A decade, literally!" He strode, the pride dripping off of him like sweat as if he had already won before the game had begun, "And who is this lovely lady here with you? I didn't realize you brought me another gift."

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

Post by ariagrey » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:08 pm

A band of men approached them and Azriel exchanged some words with said men. It was tense as they guided the duo to the castle, Lyra catching the men glancing out over the horizon and among the trees now and then. She could feel her nerves beginning to rise, but she made a conscious effort to stifle them. Now wasn't the time to be afraid. Bri needed her to do this.

They arrived at the castle gates and were announced to Gani. Lyra began to wonder just what this man was going to look like. Would his outsides match just how fowl he was on the inside? Again she found herself gripping the rains tightly, her knuckles turning white. The only sign of any sort of stress. And then Gani appeared.

Lyra was taken aback for a moment. Having expected a fat old man with gangly beard. However, her feelings quickly changed as he greeted Azriel as if they were old friends that hadn't seen each other for a while. It made Lyra sick. She wanted to glare and shout, but she kept her expression blank. Then Gani mentioned her as a gift and she looked him straight in the eyes. This man had cause Azriel pain and potentially others. Her gaze was unwavering and her posture strong. Following Azriel's instructions she said nothing and simply waited.

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

Post by 12maori3 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:11 pm

Azriel couldn't possibly haven't channeled all the hate he'd held inside him all those years into one glare at Gani. The man looked exactly as he had years ago. Last time Azriel saw the man he had been sporting the same large grin, knowing he had won. His stature and outward personality made him highly underestimated by his enemies as he had been by Azriel's father. It was hard to remember what the short war had been about ten years ago when Gani had been at a much more mature age than Azriel had been. The man didn't look to have aged a day besides the slight lines that began to line the edge of his grin.

When Azriel did not reply Gani rolled his eyes, "You know I can't do anything to you or whoever that is. Let's go," he motioned forward. Azriel dropped down from Shadow and helped Lyra down, ignoring the guards that closed in suspiciously. He handed Shadow over to the stable boy that quivered in his boots. After getting off the horse, Azriel stood still, the guards not moving in turn. When Gani turned around and saw he was not being followed he lifted an eyebrow. "Where's Bri?" Azriel clipped out short and forced. Gani shook his head, "Your first words in my home and it's not even a hello. Who knew New Salem royalty could be so rude," it was obvious Azriel was not going to reply to anything that had nothing to do with his sister, although it was difficult. Gani turned back around, "She's been waiting quite a while for her brother." He began walking again. This time, Azriel followed, aware that Lyra was close.

The makings of the castle were different from the one made of stone back in Azriel's kingdom. These stones were furnished with natural growing vines and climbing plants that made the castle look decorated without effort. Gani led the way in a brisk way all the way to his throne room. As Gani sat in his throne, Azriel remembered the last time he'd been here. Nineteen years old, he'd been king for three months, begging for his sister. Now, Azriel stood silent, his eyes never leaving Gani and waiting to get to the subject matter. "We should catch up first, shouldn't we?" Gani tried again. When Azriel said nothing, Gani frowned, "Fine. Get the girl," he motioned to one of the guards who left immediately. As they waited, Gani continued, "For the first few years she wouldn't shut up about her brother. Then, she got tried running away. Several times," the jiggling of chains sounded as the door to the throne room opened, "so we had to put the chains back on her whenever she's alone."

Azriel turned and there was a crack in his facade as his eyes settled on the woman that bore a great resemblance to his sister. Her eyes were the pale kind of blue that made them more similar to Azriel's than the actual color blue. Her hair had been cut short, framing her face and not extending past her chin, her stature as fitting as it had been all those years ago. Before he could observe any more she had broken away from the guards and ran to Azriel. Her hands were in chains, unable to put her arms around Azriel but he wrapped him around her. She felt too small yet too large from when he'd seen last. He almost could not believe it, not until her voice cracked as she said, "Azzy." Azriel's arms wound tighter around his sister, holding her tighter. He was not going to let her go, not until they were out of this horrid place. The feeling of the wetness on his shoulder was what steeled him enough to pull back a bit, his arms still around her. He looked up in time to see the guard reach for her and leered. In one smooth movement, Azriel had used one hand to move his sister behind him and his other to grip the guard's hand and bend it all the way back. There was a scream and a laugh, the latter coming from the king who shifted forward in his seat, "Now you're talking!"

(Sorry there's not a lot of interactions with your character yet. I'm trying to keep things short lol)

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

Post by ariagrey » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:45 pm

(No worries! You're setting the scene and the mood. No need to rush.)

Lyra watched Azriel as Gani began to walk away, glancing back and forth between the two. She stoostood a few places behind Azriel, waiting to move when he did. It was maddening how nonchalant Gani was about everything, as if it were all some sort of game and no lives had been stripped away. Although Azriel wasn't kept in a literal prison these ten years, he had created a mental prison of his own. His sole purpose was getting Bri back and for Gani to make light of that made her hate him even more.

Finally they all began to move inside, Lyra staying a few places behind, constantly scanning their surroundings. Gani's little quips were obviously ill recieved and the tension in the air was suffocating. Lyra couldn't help but chew the inside of her lip to keep from blurting out something she would regret.

Once in the thrown room Azriel asked where his sister was and surprisingly Gani acquiesced. There was a sudden moment of suspense as chains could be heard rattling. Lyra looked in the direction of the sound, remember that day that felt so long ago when she was in chains. Her heart sunk at the woman that entered and she tried desperately to keep any emotion off her face. She watched as the siblings embraced for the first time in a decade, a pit forming in her stomach.

It had happened so fast, but Azriel had pushed Bri away in time to put a guard in an arm lock. Lyra was shocked and and confused. She had thought the plan was to lay low, to do things smoothly and quickly. This was none of those. Yet she knew he was filled with a whirlwind of emotions and probably acted on impulse. Again she had to bite her tongue, looking to the ground to appear indifferent a out the whole situation. As long as Gani let them go in the end, it was all that mattered.

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

Post by 12maori3 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:12 am

Azriel felt Bri’s hand grip his. He couldn't even focus on the fact that even now, she was still very bossy, yet wise enough to remind him that this was not the way to go about things. Still, as Azriel straightened up, he turned back to Gani who looked ready to see a fight. Azriel reigned in everything inside him that told him to take Bri and Lyra and run because it was not very wise. He was also fighting the urge to lol at his sister who still leaned on him as if she could hug him if she could. Azriel opened his mouth to speak but what came out weren't his words, “I told you he would come...I...,” Bri glared at Gabi through her tears. “I told you,” she repeated. Azriel wrapped his arms around her once more, holding her close. He was forced to look back up to the insane king and say, “We'll be leaving now,” he turned to Lyra and nodded, “Give him the stone.”

Gani waved his hand as if this wasn't the object he had sought after, “No, let's not do that now. First, let's eat. The first time we met, it was on a very bloody battlefield and you look half the age you do now. The second time was under sad circumstances, also looking half the age you are now. You've reunited with your sister, you have a long journey ahead of you, let's eat.” Azriel narrowed his eyes and bit out the words, “No. I reject any form of hospitality you have to give. We came for an exchange, and that is what we will do,” he turned to Lyra again, “Give him the stone.”

Gani grinned, “Wow...that's the most you've said since you stepped foot into my humble abode. Maybe you do have a personality beyond rude and brooding.” Azriel was holding on to his calm by a thread, his breath becoming slower on purpose from all the deep breaths he was taking. The guard took a few steps toward Bri again and Azriel stiffened, ready to break the guard's neck this time. “Relax. He's going to take off the chains.” Azriel watched in silence as the guard removed, or attempted to remove Bri’s chains. With Azriel only an inch away, glaring daggers down at the guard, it was a bit hard to fit the key into the lock. Once they were off Bri’s hands circled around Azriel and squeezed tight. It was the only thing that drew his attention from the retreating guard. “You'll be home soon,” he murmured quietly to her.

He looked up just in time to see Gani’s eyes on Lyra with the same twisted grin, “You're bringing me the stone, are you?” He motioned her up, “And who exactly are you?” Azriel's eyes were trained on Gani, his every movement. He despised the way he watched Lyra, then the stone. Azriel looked at Lyra at the corner of his eye and gave a visible nod, “Go ahead,” the words cut him deep. He wanted Gani to have as little interest in Lyra as possible and find as little value in her as possible. If he did, this whole mission would get complicated.

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

Post by ariagrey » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:35 am

The atmosphere in the room was tense and Lyra could sense everyone was on edge. Everyone except Gani. He seemed to think he had everyone wrapped around his finger. She hated the way he grinned with excitement at the possibility of a fight or at Azriel's pain. Her muscles were tight her fight or flight response screaming at her, both sides battling each other.

Azriel denied any hospitality Gani had to offer, his urgency to leave obvious. The way the siblings held each other was heart breaking, so Lyra could only look for so long, switching her gaze to Gani. That when he beckoned her to him. She made no signs of movement at first, simply staring at Gani, until she glanced over at Azriel to see him nod.

Lyra's jaw tightened as she slowly pulled out the pouch that held the stone from a pocket on her belt, in no hurry to make her way to him. As she approached Gani's thrown she recalled the day she had approached Azriel in his thrown room, every step sounding with alarms in her head. She hated this. She wanted to leave, to be back in that cave where for a moment things seemed simple and easy. But she wasn't in that cave and things weren't simple or easy. Her hand gripped the stone wrapped in leather tightly, looking at it as she hesitantly held out her hand. "Lyra." Was her short reply, not wanting to give him any ammunition to use against them. It took all her strength to keep her hand from trembling as she offered it to Gani, hoping this would soon be over.

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

Post by 12maori3 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:05 am

The absurd king held out his hand. As Lyra placed the stone in his hand he reached for her's fast like lightning. His eyes grazed over her skin and just as quickly he let it go. Azriel's eyes narrowed. He didn't know what business Gani had taking Lyra's hand but he knew it was not for nothing. It was something. For a minute, he considered whether it was the bracelet, whether this sadistic man was wise enough to spot the true source of power. All the emotions that went through Azriel were pushed out by the fear, that Gani had looked at Lyra's bracelet and the fear that he would give the madman anything to stop him from taking Lyra.

It took Azriel all the bone in his body not to breathe in relief when Gani spoke, "You look...different. Good different," he continued to grin. He looked at the pouch in his hand and weighed it between his fingers as he spoke, "Lyra. Why are you here I wonder? Why would the great king of New Salem bring a woman to hand me the stone?" There was something that shone in his eyes that made Azriel speak, "She comes from the people that protected the stone." The speed of Gani's next question confirmed Azriel's suspicions. He knew something...he wanted something, "I thought Tamun killed them all. And if you, Lyra, have handed me the stone, that must mean that you, oh king of New Salem, are not that different from me. Except, maybe worse than me since you got her to behave so well. Wish that had been your sister these past years." Bri fumed next to Azriel, "He would never stoop that low." When Azriel said nothing Bri turned to him. Azriel kept his arms around her, "I had to do what I could."

Gani grinned, "This is great. Wow," he shook his head as he turned back to Lyra, "Now that I have the stone, king, you don't have a use for Lyra. She may be your claim but I'll trade you something for her. What do you say, girl?" he asked Lyra. Azriel frowned deeply. Lyra was not an object, nor was she an object to be bartered with. "Besides, I don't even know how to use this thing. I just know it can get me what I want." Azriel couldn't possibly show the sadist in the throne that he valued Lyra well enough not to even consider letting her go to him. Yet he had to turn to Lyra, his eyes meeting hers. For the first time since they stepped in the castle, he noticed the vines along the walls of the castle complimented her bright eyes nicely. And just like that, he was sound, reminding himself that he had everything under control. He had planned for every step, every consideration. He nodded to Lyra, "Do you want to remain with Gani?" He felt his sister stiffen and pull away a bit. She didn't consider lowering her voice as she asked, "What are you doing? She helped you...Azzy..." Azriel simply held his sister and replied, his eyes still on Lyra, "If she says no, she's coming with me and that is the end of this."

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

Post by ariagrey » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:22 am

Lyra was startled as Gani gripped her arm, quick as lightening. Her eyes were trained on his hand wrapped around her wrist, his skin delicate as silk. She could feel her skin crawl like Gani was infecting her and then he let go. Although it had only been a few moments and a touch, she felt violated. The way his eyes grazed over her body was unsettling and more than anything she wanted to run, yet she planted her feet in the ground and simply waited.

Gani mentioned her appearance and asked her why she was there. Lyra could feel a subtle panic rising in the pit of her stomach, resisting the urge to glance at Azriel for reassurance. Although Azriel was in the room he felt miles away. Just when she had no answer for Gani, the king replied for her, reliving her of any misspoken words, sighing in relief internally.

It was as if her fears were coming true and Gani was asking more questions than she was sure either her or Azriel liked. Gani wasn't a fool of man no matter how evil and it was becoming painfully obvious. Again Gani asked her a ququestion, this time a more pressing one. For the first time since she had entered the room Lyra looked over at Azriel meeting his eyes. They both already knew the answer, but she took a moment as to not look too eager to leave. "I would not like to stay." She said as she tore her eyes away from Azriel and back to Gani to see his reaction.

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

Post by 12maori3 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:48 am

Gani took the prolonged eye contact between Lyra and Azriel a different way because he clapped, "Wow. I'm impressed. I wonder what hold you have on her that's so strong." He had taken the prolonged eye contact as Azriel giving a silent threat to Lyra or something of the sort. His eyes went to Lyra again and then sighed, "It's too bad. I would have loved to get to know you some more." He turned to Azriel, the smile disappearing from his face and nodding to one of the guards, "Prepare a horse for her," he pointed to Bri. Gani leaned back further in his throne, silent, no doubt thinking.

Azriel realized something. Gani hadn't expected him to actually deliver the stone. This man was intelligent enough to have had a way to test if it was authentic, go on and on about what it did or could do for him. He would have been bragging to a large extent about having the stone. The dinner he planned for Azriel to attend must have been a way to get information out of him about the abilities of the stone. Azriel's suspicions were confirmed when Gani spoke honestly, "I don't know how to use this. The only person that does will not take the opportunity. Do you know where that leaves me, Azriel?"

When Azriel did not reply the king continued, "I want that man, the one who slaughtered an entire village in search of this stone. Someone who went to such great extent must know what this does." Azriel knew he had told Lyra what happened to Tamun was up to her, but for the sake of the situation, he spoke, "That man is to be executed the day I return to my kingdom." Gani frowned, "What a waste of life," he was one to speak of life being wasted. Azriel felt his sister take a breath to speak but he held her close to calm her down. "I'll take him. Don't you think everyone looking from the outside in, would consider this: a man whose life is supposed to come to an end, is instead kept prisoner and used for information? Which would they stand behind?" Azriel frowned as the talk of allies began. They would not be formed or broken over the issue of Tamun, but it would strengthen or weaken them. Whether he executed a man who could be of use to someone else. Azriel knew whether he went up or down, sideways or over with this issue in his mind, he would reach the same conclusion.

He had told Lyra she could choose what happened to the man who murdered her entire village. "He belongs to New Salem." Gani shook his head, "He does not. You revoked his claim to being a citizen of your dear nation because in your words 'no citizen of New Salem would ever commit such a heinous act'," the way the king's grin stretched across his face made Azriel angry. He had directly quoted what Azriel had said to his advisors just a few days ago after he, Mor and Lyra traveled back with the stone. He was rubbing salt over the wound with one simple fact: there was a spy in Azriel's court. The gray-eyed king turned to Lyra, needing to find something to ground him, to keep him from losing everything they've worked for since they arrived. His eyes met hers and he gave a visible nod. He was able to turn to Gani now, to justify the glance they had just shared, "She's delivered you stone," his eyes went to hers again, "Come down."

Gani shook his head and took Lyra's hand to stop her. Azriel's hands clenched into fists, then reluctantly released. Bri might not have known what was happening, but feeling Azriel's muscle tense at every glance or touch Gani put on Lyra made her pull away from her brother and walk to Lyra, to Gani's throne. She smacked his hand away, aware of the guards taking closer steps to her but not caring. She knew she was going home. She stood beside Gani, her arms crossed and glaring at him while Azriel mentally thanked anything and everything for his sister's rashness that he had always hated but now welcomed. Gani did not. For the first time that day the man glowered at the dark short haired girl, "You are now irrelevant, girl. Don't make another mistake," he almost growled out. He seemed to use a similar method to Azriel of deep breathing to calm himself before speaking again, in the same mockingly sweet voice as before, "Now, Lyra. Stay. If you had the option of being executed or taken somewhere else to share what you know in exchange for a decent life, which would you prefer?"

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