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 Naveen

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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Sun 15 Oct - 21:44

Rina:

My eyebrows creased. “No,” I said. If I asked that of him it meant I was ashamed to have such a friend. It meant that I was more like the humans that he condemned. “No, but maybe I should get Dorian first. Can you wait for us here?” I asked.
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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Sun 15 Oct - 21:51

Talon:

I had a sudden desire to reach forward and smooth the place between her eyebrows as she creased them together. "I can wait here." I promised softly. The conflict within her was palpable, and I dared not pry. It was no longer my place.

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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Mon 16 Oct - 17:18

Rina:

I squeezed Maleen’s hands in my own then touched Talon’s arm as I passed him. “I’ll be back.” On the way I thought out every scenario. Whatever happened, I didn’t see it going well. When I reached camp, I called Dorian to me and asked to speak with him in private. The other men were used to this. Dorian was my right-hand man.

After taking him some distance into the woods I explained the situation. I told him about Talon and Maleen. He was as surprised but, it seemed, not as concerned as I was. He started off in the direction I told him they were waiting. I caught up to him in a few strides. “Wait,” I said and laid out my worries that the men would react badly to the introduction.

We were in a precarious situation. On the one hand, we needed our new friends if we were going to continue to help people. We needed them on our side. Bringing in non-humans was likely to alienate some if not all of them. That wasn’t something I could afford. And yet Talon and Maleen were our dear friends. Neither of us would be who we are now it weren’t for them. If I turned them away I would be the same as every other human Talon so despised.

“I understand your worry, but I’ll keep an eye on her. They won’t touch her while I’m by her side,” Dorian said.

“What?” I blinked. “Maleen wasn’t the one I thought they would react badly to. She looks human unless you know differently. I wasn’t planning to tell them otherwise.”

“No, but she’s a girl. They aren’t used to-”

“To being around a girl?” I stared at him.

“Rina, you aren’t like most women.”

“Maleen will be fine. I wasn’t worried because she’s a girl. I was worried how they would react to Talon.”

“Oh.” His brow furrowed. “Yes. I imagine not well. I don’t think they’ll act though. Not with us there.”

“I suppose this is a test of who our friends are.” We stood there in silence for a moment. “Well, let’s go meet them.”
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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Mon 16 Oct - 19:02

Talon:

That single touch sent me further into a confused jumble. I couldn't pick what that gesture meant, nor could I figure out if the touch brought me pain or if it was pleasant. I closed my eyes and let the feelings war for a time before pushing them down. When I opened my eyes my ears perked slightly as I caught snippets of words happening back the way Rina had gone.

Dorian and Rina had gained allies, that was good. But that Rina was worried about my presence told me that they were human. Disappointment lanced through me, but so too did steel harden my spine. A challenge lay before me and that gave me something to focus on.

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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Tue 17 Oct - 18:21

Rina:

When we came into view Maleen ran to Dorian and threw her arms around his neck. I smiled slightly at their embrace then moved closer to Talon. “We’re traveling with some former royal cavaliers. I don’t know how they will react to you. I’m sorry,” I said. I looked up from the ground to meet his gaze.

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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Tue 17 Oct - 19:30

It was a heart warming distraction to seeing Maleen and Dorian embrace. A soft smile curved my lips and I actually didn't notice Rina had come so close until she was just out of arms reach. My smile turned into a puzzled look then I nodded. "I can stay away if it makes it easier for you."

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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Tue 17 Oct - 19:56

Rina:

I shook my head. “No. I want you there if you’re willing. If they can’t come to accept people that aren’t human then, well, I don’t want them around. The world isn’t going to change if we keep allowing it to be the same.” I looked away again.
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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Tue 17 Oct - 20:45

I searched her face as best I could while she was looking at me then again after she'd looked away. "You'll have to tell me sometime what happened that gave you royal cavaliers as company."

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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Tue 17 Oct - 21:12

Rina:

“Sometime maybe. It’s a long story.” A story I didn’t necessarily want to tell him. I didn’t want to tell him that I had been captured in his absence. Nor that I had been killed. When we parted he told me to stay safe. I had failed with that. I reached out to take the reins of one of the horses so I could help him walk them.
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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Wed 18 Oct - 14:50

Cocking my head to the side I searched her face once more before nodding. "I can wait as long as necessary to hear it." My hand brushed hers as she took the reins to Maleen's horse. A question occured to me, and I glanced at her before asking softly, "How are you though?"

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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Wed 18 Oct - 21:06

Rina:

“Well enough,” I said, looking at the ground. There was nothing else to say. I couldn’t tell him everything that had happened to me. Not here and now. “And you?” I asked. I pulled the reins and the horse started moving in the direction of Maleen and Dorian.
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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Wed 18 Oct - 21:36

"I've made some strong connections to the other elves. Even managed to spend some time with my people and enjoy one of our celebrations." A smile came to me and I kept going, explaining the celebration about one of our greatest triumphs many years ago. Long before even my father was born.

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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Thu 19 Oct - 19:33

Rina:

I smiled and nodded but I didn’t look at him as he spoke. It sounded as if he had been well while we were separated. I was glad for it and yet at the same time I felt unsettled. He didn’t need me. I had been struggling to stay alive, not even bothering with happiness, and all the while he was living his life.
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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Thu 19 Oct - 20:52

I kept glancing at her as I spoke. She had a smile but I could see a little crease between her brows again. She was thinking something heavy once more. I trailed off at the end of my story then let out a soft breath. Looking at her again I asked softly, "Later tonight I think we need to talk."

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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Thu 19 Oct - 21:51

Rina:

My false smile slipped away. “Okay,” I said. I couldn’t help the feeling of being chastised. He disapproved somehow or perhaps he knew I had been struggling. Dorian and Maleen followed behind the horses when we approached.
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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Thu 19 Oct - 21:55

And then the smile vanished and the clouds returned. Sighing inwardly I focused ahead and instead asked about the cavaliers, how many traveled with her, and what were they generally like. This was now about strategy for me.

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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Thu 19 Oct - 22:02

Rina:

I told him about the men, how they had chosen to travel with us (without telling him how). I apologized for their behavior before we ever got to camp. I knew they wouldn’t react well, but I thought it was important for them to meet him. After all, I had once thought differently about non-humans before I met him.

When we reached camp and the men did a double take when they spotted Talon. I introduced him and Maleen as friends of ours.
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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Thu 19 Oct - 22:06

It wasn't hard to see the hard lines, tight faces, and the slow motion of hands to weapons as Rina introduced me. They were more pleased to see Maleen, but I was the last thing they wanted to see. I made the mental note to set my camp up a bit further away than I intended at first. As my eyes roamed over the men I noticed one young face who all but bristled as he glared at me from the back of the group. It wasn't until I noted his eyes slipping from me to my right that I almost laughed out loud. IT wasn't completely rage I saw in his young face. But Jealousy.

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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Thu 19 Oct - 22:15

Rina:

The rest of the evening was uncomfortable and quiet. I sent Liam to gather more fire wood since I had been distracted. Dorian stayed close to Maleen and eyed anyone who attempted to talk to her. Talon was ignored for the most part because I made it clear that rudeness would not be tolerated. I was glad, if nothing else, that there were no acts of aggression.

I took first watch as I often did, usually because I did not want to sleep, but tonight it was to talk with Talon. As the men trickled off to sleep I walked with Talon a short distance from camp. It remained in view but out of earshot if we spoke quietly. My eyes wandered the woods but stayed off of Talon’s face. My arms crossed over my chest, holding my cloak tightly closed.
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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Thu 19 Oct - 22:29

As the evening continued my impulsive desire to tell her my feelings, to lay it all out for her, faded away.  That as an elf emotions and feelings of love were like the seed of a tree.  It grew slowly, but deeply, until even the strongest wind couldn't move the towering giant.  That such a seed had been planted for a while now and was now starting to grow with roots that ran wide and deep.

I had claimed a small log as a perch for the evening, keeping myself away from the bulk of the group but close enough that no one would suspect me of creeping through the dark.  "It's funny."  I began, "I had all these things I wanted to say.  Things I wanted to explain and hoped to help you understand.  And yet now that I have you here before me, well, the words are gone."

I braced myself as a small gust of wind blew through the woods and I continued when it had abated.  "I want you to know first thing, that it really is a pleasure to see you again Rina.  I've....I've missed you."  For the first time I raised my eyes up at her.  "I can tell you've had a rough time.  You hold more weight to your shoulders than when we all parted.  So if I may ask, are you really doing okay?"

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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Sun 22 Oct - 21:30

Rina:

I blinked and my eyes widened slightly but I looked away when he said I had a rough time. “I’ve… I’ve been alright under the circumstances.” It was as close to the truth as I could say. I didn’t want to lie to him, but I didn’t want to tell him I had died either.
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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Sun 22 Oct - 21:42

I watched her closely after she looked away. I couldn't help but feel a bit hurt that she held back. I knew her well enough to know that something remained that she wasn't telling me. But I also knew I couldn't press her to find it out. Over all I couldn't really tell what she felt about me anymore, or even how she felt about anything I'd said. "Alright." I looked away myself and then let out a slow breath. I didn't know what to say anymore, and the words I'd wanted to say felt pushed even further away.

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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Mon 23 Oct - 18:18

Rina:

The trees rustled in the breeze. I rocked on my heels slightly. “I mean, it hasn’t been easy,” I said after a long pause. I durned so he faced my side instead of my front. “What Maleen said, about danger finding me, it’s been true. I’ve had to fight harder than I used to just to stay alive… My sense of time is distorted, I think.” I shifted my foot in the underbrush, crunching twigs as I did so.

“I did miss you… But it feels like it’s been years since we parted. Being at the castle seemed like it happened in another life…” I looked at him then. Even if I had been with him in another life, my feelings for him were still there, stirred by his presence. I was undeniably attracted to him.
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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Mon 23 Oct - 19:45

I looked up when she started speaking. Pity crossed my face, followed by understanding. My eyes dropped from her face and took in her profile for a moment before raising again as she looked at me once again. "Time...is confusing even for me. To me it feels like it all happened just a few days ago." Rubbing my face I laughed at myself, "I feel old...it's been months since you and I were last together. A lifetime for you but nothing to me."

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PostSubject: Re: Naveen   Mon 23 Oct - 21:13

Rina:

“It won’t be long for you then before I’m dead for good,” I said. Assuming I could die from other things. I hoped I could. Immortality was never something I had longed for.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.” I sighed and looked down. Death was often on my mind. It was an unscratchable itch.
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