A Chapter by Isemay

Despite her protests Myrin was insistent. She was going to be sleeping in a tent alone. Marravae gave her brother an annoyed look knowing he wouldn’t be able to do anything about it either and Myrin fell silent for a moment.

“I’d like to show you something.” He spoke pensively and escorted her into the tent she’d be sleeping in. 

It looked as she’d expected it to, a piece of the palace outdoors. Rugs, cushions, an actual bed instead of a cot, a table with a crystal decanter stood next to the bed. 

“Please,” he gestured for her to sit at a low table among the cushions as he poured two small glasses from the decanter a few steps away. 

“You do realize that I brought a cot to sleep on, Prince Myrin?” She took the glass from him and placed it on the table.

“Myrin. Before we met I was warned you were prone to over familiarity. But I think, perhaps, insisting on the title was a mistake. You were warmer to the Arek and he barely greeted you.” He eyed the glass on the table holding his own. “You do understand that placing it on the table-”

“Is a sign of displeasure, yes. You’ve been barely civil since I arrived, Prince Myrin.”

His lips twisted and he placed his glass on the table as well. “You want to bicker with me like your brother?”

“I don’t bicker, I spar.” Marravae tilted her chin up slightly giving him a look that usually made her brother start apologizing.

Instead, the Cuphisian Prince’s pale green eyes brightened and his face broke into a smile. “You have a temper, my dove.”

She blinked in surprise at the sobriquet and he laughed picking his glass back up.

“Why is your brother so worried, he was beginning to make me concerned. That temper will serve you well,” he sipped from his glass, “and shake things up in court in the process.”

“I think that’s what worries him, that I’ll make too many enemies and they’ll make my life here miserable.” She reluctantly picked up the glass eyeing the liquid inside.

“Ah, I see. Getting along with my sister would make things easier for you.”

“It would. But she never stops talking and it grates. After two days, when I hear her voice I want to run in the opposite direction.” Marravae emptied her glass and exhaled sharply.

“That was meant to be sipped.” His amusement as he took another sip was plain. “My sister wants to make you feel welcome, she’s trying to be winning. Our father suggested it.”

Turning the empty glass in her hands, she nodded, “I do appreciate it, but I’m going to be sharp with her if I can’t get a few moments of quiet.”

“I’ll make certain you have time for quiet reflection,” the expression on his face was strange to her and she couldn’t place it, “but I don’t think that’s why you came.”

“Not entirely, no.”  Marravae tilted her head slightly as his eyebrows rose. “I love to hunt and to spend time with my brother, two things I won’t get to do much of in the future.”

“There are,” Myrin licked his lips, “rumors. You and your brother are very affectionate. I hope you understand why I can’t allow you to sleep in his tent.”

Her face flushed and she gaped at him. “You-you think…”

“I know that Cemiri are, by nature, open and affectionate. My people are not. While I’m not greatly worried, I can’t allow the appearance of impropriety.” Myrin was smiling like a cat as he finished his drink. “I hope you’ll take my intervention as it’s meant, and not be angry with me, my dove.”

Marravae took a deep breath and shook her head, her lips twisting into a smile in spite of herself, “You’ll let me stay so that I can spend some time with my brother?”

“Of course. If.” He stood and extended his hand for her glass, making her wait as he refilled them and brought them back before continuing. “If you make an effort to be more open and affectionate with me. I’ll have your brother chaperone us for propriety’s sake and you can spend time with us both.”

“That seems fair.” She sipped the peppery liquid and made a face. “If you can be less obviously unhappy every time you see me.”

“Also fair.” Myrin leaned forward putting his elbow on the table and holding his cup. “Do you know how to seal a bargain?” He laughed at her bafflement, “Cross arms and drink with me.”

Leaning the same way he was, she put her elbow on the table and let him hook his wrist around hers. Marravae imitated him, taking a drink carefully.

“You really are lovely, Marravae. I thought Volas might propose the way he was looking at you.” Myrin kept his wrist hooked around hers, not leaning away. 

“He seemed sweet to me. Why did Gaeleath say I’d be the only one telling stories tonight? Volas looks like he should have a few.” 

“You liked him.” His pale eyes hardened. “Volas is terse at best, angry and bitter might describe him better. This hunting trip was more to warm relations between Cuphisia and Arek than all three of us.” Myrin brought his other arm to the table and took her glass, holding onto her hand before setting aside his own. “He and my sister weren’t able to put aside their differences and arrive at an arrangement.”

“If you want to warm him up you need to be able to hunt well.” Marravae looked thoughtfully at Myrin’s hands holding hers and brought her other arm up to the table as well letting him hold both. She may not have intended to warm things with him on this excursion but she’d take the opening if it was offered. “Does he really want to go hare coursing? Arek men prefer to make the kill themselves. If you spend another day hunting you might-”

“I didn’t cover myself in glory, my dove.” His lips twisted bitterly. “Another day of this won’t improve things.”

“You wounded your boar. You need practice and someone to protect, that was how my father taught me. He stood next to me without a spear after he’d made sure I knew how to stand and the way to strike.” That the servants had been nearby, armed, and ready had been something he’d only told her afterward.

“You’re offering to teach me and to stand next to me.” Myrin’s catlike smile spread slowly across his face.

“Yes, my brother is afraid to hurt them, you just need confidence and a little instruction.”

“I didn’t think you were allowed to hunt with us.” He brushed his lips over the backs of her fingers. “And if I should fail again you might be harmed.”

“I won’t be hunting, I’ll be encouraging. And you won’t fail to kill your boar, because failure is not an option I’m allowing you.” Marravae spoke firmly. She had no doubt that the servants had already been given instruction not to allow the Princes to come to harm but the push would help him.

Myrin’s face flushed slightly as he breathed on the back of her hands. “Instruct me.” He closed his eyes and covered her knuckles in kisses.

“Have a spear fetched, we can practice here before dinner.”

“I’ll show you how to summon a servant if you should need anything in the night.” He released her hands reluctantly and stood, waiting for her to join him.

© 2021 Isemay

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Added on February 26, 2021
Last Updated on February 26, 2021
Tags: royalty, drama, fantasy




Spent some time away from here but I've come back to peek in and post again! Review my writing and I will gladly return the favor! I love reading other people's stories, and I try to review hone.. more..

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A Chapter by Isemay

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A Chapter by Isemay