Skin Autumnea designed by Zeus00 of the IF Skin Zone.

zIFBoards - Free Forum Hosting
zIFBoards gives you all the tools to create a successful discussion community.

Learn More · Register Now
Welcome to Fynrir. We hope you enjoy your visit.


You're currently viewing our forum as a guest. This means you are limited to certain areas of the board and there are some features you can't use. If you join our community, you'll be able to access member-only sections, and use many member-only features such as customizing your profile, sending personal messages, and voting in polls. Registration is simple, fast, and completely free.


Join our community!


If you're already a member please log in to your account to access all of our features:

Name:   Password:


Pages: (4) [1] 2 3 ... Last » ( Go to first unread post )

 A Gathering, (Laurelin)
Drydan
Posted: Oct 23 2007, 03:06 AM


Paladin
*

Group: Members
Posts: 506
Member No.: 167
Joined: 28-April 07



Tancred strode through the dark entrance of the humongous cave. It was one of the many meeting places that the guild held in their possession. The guards who stood on either side of the entrance automatically stiffened their posture a little more as he passed. He ignored them. Tancred’s intense gaze took in the gathering of guild members that were already gathered. He estimated around 200 hundred. It was a good representation of their masses, but by no means the full number. The hundreds of lamps hanging from the high ceiling of the large cave gave the interior a flickering, but soft light.

His blade unsheathed and naked in his fist, he moved purposely through the gathering. Guild members fell to the side as he cut his way through their midst. Some scowled, some nodded in greeting, others faked ignorance. The dark haired man did not slow his step to offer greeting. While other guild members had their hands near their weapons, he was the only one who had actually drawn his sword. The inconspicuous bundle on his back was the reason. To anyone who did not know him, it simply looked like a pack of gear. The worn clothe and leather ties gave it a rugged and well traveled appearance. However, tucked within that bundle was Aiden, Tancred’s year old son. The man was fiercely protective of the boy, and took no allowances where the child was concerned. Sword held loosely in his hand, his feet spread apart in a commanding stance, Tancred took his place by the stone platform at the head of the cave. His dark gaze stared unflinchingly over the gathering, and his lips remained pressed in a firm line. He looked the part of a formidable and dangerous guild leader.

Moving off to the side, Tancred sat down on a boulder a little off into the shadows, merely watching the proceedings. As the members milled in front of him, he picked out familiar faces and placed names and assignments to them. When a whimper came from his ‘pack’, Tancred inconspicuously dug into his pocked and handed a sweet over his shoulder. A small little hand poked up from the concealing coverings and wrapped themselves around the warrior’s calloused finger. A shadow of a smile appeared on Tancred’s lips as his small son tugged on his finger.

ooc: Thus it begins!


--------------------
Top
Laurelin
Posted: Oct 24 2007, 09:41 PM


Forever the Witch
*

Group: Members
Posts: 13,554
Member No.: 89
Joined: 30-May 06



Laurelin resisted the urge to shiver as a cold wind blew across her pale skin. She knew she could not look weak enough to react to the cold, not here, not at this meeting. She was the half bred, the resented, the one that was excluded from every group. It was all too obvious that her every move was watched by everyone. All suspected her, and even more, all resented her. Her presence was dispensable, her work, however, was not. Which was why, for the first time, she had been invited to this meeting. Usually her assignments were given to her by way of note and courier, this was the first time she had actually been invited to be with the other members of the organization. She had never even been to the secret guild headquarters, she didn't even know where they were. All the meeting places had been kept secret from her, except this one. Even then, they had only told her of its existence two days ago, when they ordered her to attend the meeting.

Truly, she didn't care about the meeting. Right then, she didn't care about anything or anyone. She did her job well, she had done it well for the past month since her return from Fynrir. From Almarean. Perhaps that was why they had asked her to come, although she hardly needed a pep talk. Her work had been even better than usual. More nobles who's loyalties did not rest in the right place had been dropping dead. Mysteriously, the rumor was. Though everyone in Nya'tharr knew it was the guild. And everyone in the guild knew it was her.

Yes, her work was good, and really, she should have been happy. Perhaps, for the first time, she was accepted by one of the races that laid claim to her. But then again, perhaps she wasn't. Perhaps it was all a facade, a trap. That seemed much more likely than anything else. But what did she have to worry about? Her children were still young enough that they wouldn't really remember her if she died, not that she wanted to. No, even though her heart had been broken, she didn't desire death. Not this time. She knew it would get better, knew her heart would heal. But in the meantime, she was completely and totally alb.

Really, her actions weren't an act or a performance she put on, intent on deceiving people. No, she actually enjoyed her work. And while she had grown used to Fynrir's slightly warmer weather, she was quickly readjusting. The only reason she was cold right then was because of her dress. Or... lack thereof.

Everything about her spoke assassin, spoke confidence. For truly, she was confident, for the most part. Yes, she doubted her reasons for being there, but that wasn't a reason to but her knowledge and confidence aside. She was good at what she did, and she looked the part. Even if she was bored.

Laurelin was only half listening to the speaker as she leaned further back against the wall of the cave. One booted foot was resting against the wall, the knee of which was sticking out of the slit in her skirt, the other was braced against the floor. Her hair was long and down, completely untamed. Her corset pronounced what figure she did have, and because of its lack of sleeves, it showed clearly how strong her arms were. No, they weren't overly muscled. But one didn't have to look hard to see what muscle and strength was there. She wore a cloak, but it was thrown back slightly, as she was using her knife to clean under her nails. Everything about her suggested nonchalance, and truly, it was an accurate representation. No, she wasn't happy. No, she didn't really want to be there. But that wasn't going to interfere with her work, not under any circumstances. Rather, she did better when she was feeling that way.


--------------------
Top
Drydan
Posted: Oct 25 2007, 07:25 AM


Paladin
*

Group: Members
Posts: 506
Member No.: 167
Joined: 28-April 07



The speeches and 'debates' soon started. Tancred listened carefully to the proceedings, noting who said what and how the different guild members responded to everything. That was his job. To know as much as possible about every single person gathered here so that he could efficiently place them on assignment or have them eliminated if they appeared to be a threat to the overall health of the guild.

He didn't actively participate in the debate. Firstly, he had voiced all his opinions earlier that day when the leaders had met. He did not need to voice them again to this particular group. His job here was to listen and learn. Second of all. Tancred knew that his commanding voice would surely wake up baby Aiden who had just fallen asleep. He would be more than pleased if he could escape this night without any of the members knowing of Aiden's existence. The chances were best while the child slept.

Eyes leaving the hot-spot of debate, Tancred let his eyes roam until they fell on a woman who sat a little ways away. She seemed out of tune to the going ons and completely uninvolved. In fact, she seemed bored. His temper flared briefly. Why did she not participate? Then he took another glance at her. She was not Alb. His eyes hardened as he raked his gaze over her. At once, he knew who this must be. Laurelin, the half-breed who had been causing such a ruckus lately. He had never spoken to her himself, his type rarely did communicate directly with the half-breeds, but this one had been quite productive over the past month. Enough so that she had been topic of some hot headed arguments between the guild leaders that week. They had been very split on the opinions of whether she should be invited to this gathering or not. He had voted for her. He'd wanted to meet this beautiful, but deadly half-breed who had been all the talk over the past few weeks. He liked to know about all the guild members, particularly ones who were catching notice.

Rising to his feet, Tancred unfolded his large frame. Shoulders squared, he stepped forward. The conversation did not yield as he rose, but members shifted to the side to allow him passage. Several pairs of eyes followed him as he made his way over to the half-breed. Stopping in front of her, he turned his head around and coldly met the gazes of those who were watching him. Their attention quickly returned to the front. Turning back around he rested the tip of his sword against the ground. His tone was strong, but not loud, as he matter-a-factly stated her name.

"Laurelin Serkan" He paused for affect, he was used to talking to guild members, and knew just how to catch their attention, make them know he was serious.


--------------------
Top
Laurelin
Posted: Oct 25 2007, 07:36 PM


Forever the Witch
*

Group: Members
Posts: 13,554
Member No.: 89
Joined: 30-May 06



Laurelin didn't react as the albs around her did, even though she was rather certain of what was about to happen. Someone was approaching her, from the looks the people around her were shooting her direction, it was someone important. The wondering of 'why me' flashed though her mind briefly, then disappeared. Either she had done something wrong (that seemed likely), or had gotten on someone's nerves (eh, that seemed even more likely), or she was going to be asked to leave because the invitation had been a mistake. Which wasn't as likely. The guild didn't make mistakes. Even when they did make mistakes, they completely disowned them. So no, the guild didn't make mistakes.

But why her?

She was a half bred, by all accounts she wasn't even supposed to be alive. Why would someone of importance be interested in her? Unless... she was to be made an example of....

Laurelin pushed that thought from her mind, continuing to work on her nails with her knife, although she had angled it so she could see who was heading toward her without anyone being able to figure out that she could. The figure was most definitely male, tall and strong. His presence was very domineering, from what she could make out. There wasn't much more she could tell though, for a moment later he had stopped in front of her. Laurelin waited until he spoke before even acknowledging the fact that he was in front of her, even then she waited for several moments before even changing her position in a way that indicated she was aware that he had spoken. She slipped her knife into its sheath on her thigh, revealing a good bit of her leg as she did so. Taking one last look at her nails, Laurelin waited another moment before she slowly raised her eyes to his, her very expression indicating boredom and disinterest. Her arms crossed across her stomach, her head tilted to the side as she studied him.

"Tancred Elliot. If your intent is intimidation, I will tell you right now that it won't work. Not on me."

She really didn't know him, she was only able to put a name to him because of what she had learned from those around her. She had heard his name spoken several times, always with reference to him, and never by gossip or rumor. No, it was good, affirmed sources, and she knew how to use them.

He didn't frighten her, not really. Yes, she was slightly nervous, but that was mainly because he was so much larger than her. His height was impressive, as was his muscled limbs. She got the feeling that he could and would easily kill her if she pushed him too far.... which incidentally, she knew she was very apt to do. She tended to let her personality get in the way of her safety, something Rune had constantly scolded her for when she came home with black eyes and other such wounds that she otherwise would never have gotten. But she didn't want to fear him, she didn't want to feel vulnerable or insecure. She wanted to be strong, she was tired of being pushed around, being thought less of because of her race. It wasn't going to happen again, she wasn't going to let it happen again. This man in front of her had no hold over her, just as she had no hold over him. He couldn't threaten her or put her in a situation that she could not handle, she was more apt to be able to do that to him. She knew how to fight, and her knife was only a few inches away from her hand. Even better, she knew how to seduce, how to walk all over men until they were practically worshiping her. Yes, she knew she could handle anything he threw at her. That wasn't a problem. And she would let him know it if he even tried to intimidate her.


--------------------
Top
Drydan
Posted: Oct 26 2007, 02:19 AM


Paladin
*

Group: Members
Posts: 506
Member No.: 167
Joined: 28-April 07



As she lifted her head, Tancred noted that the other rumors he had heard about this woman were also true. She was beautiful. Her long dark hair distinguished her as Ableash, but her fair complexion, the shape of her eyes, and the design of her delicately pointed ears proclaimed her Elvish heritage.

He had never condoned the crossing of Elves and Albs. Tancred had always been fully against the idea. It was never a good thing to sully one's blood with another race, particularly a race that was so different from their own. Even if the crossing did result in as beautiful of a creature as the one that sat before him, it still was not a good idea. Elves and Albs were meant to be apart. It was far less confusing that way. The lines between them grew less defined with every additional cross. It grated at him really. Every year more missions failed because one of the guild members fell in love with an Elf or became friendly with one. When the races weren't kept completely distinct, it was impossible to run a the guild effectively with concise results. No, if it had been up to him, he would have never permitted Laurelin Serkin to attend this meeting. Even if she was good at what she did. The guild was for Albs, pure Albs. Even if she was beautiful. But as it was, it hadn't been up to him. Now that this woman was being accepted into the closer confines of the guild, Tancred knew it was in his best interest to get to know her as well as to start organizing her assignments. With a member as active and efficient as her, the guild preferred to have them designated to specifically designed cases to maximize their effectiveness. Everything was about effectiveness.

Tancred was mildly surprised that she knew his name. He knew that Laurelin had not spent much time around the guild headquarters. Obviously though, she had heard his name somewhere. No one ever wanted to have one of the heads personally staring down there necks. Most guild members preferred to be as detached and far away from their actual headquarters as possible. It was one thing to be a guild member. But it was another altogether to have the main body watching you. Tancred knew from experience. He too had once been in a place where he was moved and observed like an interesting little specimen. He knew how it felt.

Moving so that his back, and Aiden, were facing the wall of the cave, Tancred gave gave the woman an unamused smile.

"It is not to my advantage to try and intimidate you, Serkin. Not now and not here. I simply wanted to meet the young woman who has been keeping the arm in Nya'tharr in a state of uproar. Your successes there have made me take a personal interest in your future assignments."

As he had spoken, Tancred had noted the general drifting of the proximal population into hearing distance. As soon as he looked away from Laurelin and up at the eavesdroppers, the intruding guild members immediately fell back. He frowned.


--------------------
Top
Laurelin
Posted: Oct 27 2007, 09:34 PM


Forever the Witch
*

Group: Members
Posts: 13,554
Member No.: 89
Joined: 30-May 06



Laurelin laughed softly as the other albs fell back and adverted their gazes. However, her laugh was not warm, rather it was chilling. There was no humor in her heart, and even if there were, she was not inclined to either show or share it with this man.

Looking at him out of the corner of her eye, Laurelin appeared for all the world to be studying her nails again. But instead, it was him who was under her scrutiny. What did this admittedly good looking man want with her? It confused her truthfully, she didn't understand why he would take such an interest. Even with her numerous successes and well done jobs, she was still a half-bred, the scum of the earth was of more value than her to most members of the guild. So what did he want of her? Even when taking a personal interest in her work, ideally he still should have remained separated from her. He could watch her without actually speaking to her.

Still looking at her nails, Laurelin didn't even acknowledge him as she began to speak, for all the attention she paid him she could have been talking to thin air. "Not intimidation? Then your methods are far from the rest of those in the guild. As for my work, I find it entertaining to see hundreds of Albae in shock over my accomplishments.... if they were in shock that is. Admittedly, I know I do a good job. In the very least I do well enough to keep getting assignments, as well as to keep the other members from trying to kill me. But a personal interest?" A faint smirk teasing at her lips, Laurelin raised her head and met his gaze evenly. "It seems strange that you would only want to meet me, for no other apparent reason than awe. And a personal interest is just as easily achieved from afar as it is from direct contact. What is your true reason for speaking to me?"

Yes, perhaps not the best words to challenge a leading member of the guild with. But it wasn't so much that she was feeling confident or reckless, as much as she was feeling curious and she certainly wasn't above prying. That, and she never had been able to closely think about the consequences of words she spoke. However, she really didn't think she had anything to fear from this man. Although there was no sign of kindness in his face or his posture, there was a faint hint of softness in the way he carried himself. She was not sure what it was, or what its origin could possibly be, but there was something... almost as if he were afraid to draw any more attention to himself than was necessary. Strange... for a high up guild leader. They usually enjoyed intimidation and attention. All who did not bow in reverence were killed. Unfortunately for her, she was not one to bow or submit, not easily of course. And although she had never been directly challenged by a leader of the guild, she knew her lack of respect would likely cause her death.


--------------------
Top
Drydan
Posted: Oct 31 2007, 03:38 AM


Paladin
*

Group: Members
Posts: 506
Member No.: 167
Joined: 28-April 07



With one last glare from Tancred, the final stragglers finally moved out of earshot of the conversation. A small area around where Tancred stood and the woman sat was cleared of everyone but them.

Relaxing slightly, the man idly traced the tip of his sword in a figure-eight pattern on the sand covered floor. Eyes watching the woman's face...or more like her head, for she rarely looked up, Tancred listened to her belligerent speech. It was a good thing that she was good at her work, or the guild would have never put up with such sass. Perhaps it was more her attitude than her race that had left her on the outside of the guild. Despite himself, he found himself appreciating her, "I don't care what you think of me, and nothing you say or do can scare me" personality. He briefly wondered if it was the guild who had made her so defensive and cold, or if it had been something else? The guild made some people extremely rough, but Tancred had never completely understood that. He was a hard man, but the guild had not made him bitter or cruel. The only thing that had come close to doing that to him was that cursed woman...though he could never curse her truly, she had given him Aiden, his most prized possession.

Tancred's tone was not hard nor stern as he spoke. In fact, his tone was that of a man conducting a pleasurable conversation. He was very amiable. Laurelin wouldn't have known it was for the sake of the babe on his back that he had changed his tone. As he spoke, Tancred could feel the small body of his son relaxing against his spine. The boy was humorously enamored with his deep, rich voice. It was a blessing for Tancred when it came to bedtimes or times like this, when he needed the babe to be completely unnoticed.

"I usually entertain my interests from afar. It is the wisest as well as the most effective way to conduct business in the guild. However, you are not my average guild member. The fact that you are a half-breed and are still alive after years in the guild speaks volumes. To me anyways. My counterparts may not agree with me, but that is not my problem. I have been trying to find a member for a special assignment, and I need someone I can place a reasonable amount trust in. I can't trust my Albs. I thought perhaps I would try my fortunes with someone a little different. I believe you qualify."


--------------------
Top
Laurelin
Posted: Nov 3 2007, 06:48 PM


Forever the Witch
*

Group: Members
Posts: 13,554
Member No.: 89
Joined: 30-May 06



Laurelin's gaze remained on him as he spoke, her eyes narrowing slightly as she tried to understand just what he was doing. What sort of assignment could she possibly fulfill that no one else could? There were far more valuable members in the guild than her, members who were full blood alb. Was what he was suggesting some sort of trap? If it was, she wondered how she could get out of it. To refuse the guild meant death anyway. But why would he trust her? She wasn't a full alb, why couldn't he trust those of his own race? Yes, she looked for all appearances alb, her eyes showing clearly that she was, but why her? She looked no more alb than the next person, what could he possibly want?

"What is it?"

Her tone was decidedly more guarded, but she didn't think he would have trouble figuring out why. It wasn't because she was uninterested, rather it was because she was cautiously approaching whatever he was offering. Even though she couldn't refuse whatever it was he told her to do, she still had a right to not jump in and say she would do it without even knowing what it was.

Cocking her head to the side slightly, Laurelin studied the man before her. The way he was now standing, with no other alb's shadows crossing his face, allowed her to get a clearer view of his features. What she saw took her breath away. Even under any clothing he was wearing, she could tell the prominence of his muscles as he moved the sword in a lazy motion. His face was still shadowed, but she could tell the fine lines of it, enough to tell he was more than handsome. Something about his presence tried to draw her, though she knew it was only a physical reaction. He was so different from the nobles she was payed to sleep with. And honestly, he was the only Albae man to ever speak to her in a kind way, or at least fairly, for almost her entire life. He wasn't speaking to her as if he thought of her as below him, rather his words were kind and almost soothing. She wondered about that, but had chosen not to comment. He was curious, both in his speech and his manner, and she could hardly wait until he started speaking again, if for no other reason than to hear his deep, velvet voice again. However, just because she was attracted to what she had seen so far did not mean she desired him in any way, more, she admired him.

[[Sorry for replying to this first, I had to jumpstart my muse, as I am half asleep at this particular moment]]


--------------------
Top
Drydan
Posted: Nov 3 2007, 07:22 PM


Paladin
*

Group: Members
Posts: 506
Member No.: 167
Joined: 28-April 07



Tancred's deep, chocolate covered eyes met Laurelin's gaze unwaveringly. Her response was careful and somewhat wary. He could not help but think of the woman as a wild animal. She seemed out of place here. The way her eyes darted around, and the readiness of her posture proclaimed her unease...yet at the same time, the purposeful slouch and the nonchalant responses testified to her refusal to bow to her own fears. If she did truly fear. He wondered.

He knew she was trapped. She knew she was trapped. She couldn't refuse him. To do so would mean almost certain death, they both knew that. However, he felt admiration grow within him as she calmly accepted her constraints and exercised what little freedom she had by not giving into him right away. Instead, she questioned him. It was a little thing, but it was really the max of what she could get away with in her circumstance.

Shaking his head, Tancred's lips parted in preparation of speech. However, the words never left his mouth as a hand clamped down on his right shoulder, the shoulder facing away from the wall. The man moved with frightening speed. In one smooth motion, he rocked back on his heals and spun to face whoever had touched him, his left hand was on the man's neck in an instant and his sword was raised. It all happened in the briefest space of a moment. Seeing the person for the first time, Tancred lowered the weapon and released the neck of the man. Dropping the sword tip back to the ground, Tancred offered the glowering man a nonchalant smile,

"Yes, McTavish?"

The man's face grew red as he spluttered. Tancred and the man he had called McTavish had never gotten along all that well. They were peers in the upper circle, but they had never liked each other. That had nothing to do with why Tancred had almost attacked him however. All of the Tancred's nerves were on high alert, and any threat, even something as minor as a shoulder clap, was met with defensive aggression.

McTavish finally spoke, his voice an almost snarl.

"It's your turn to speak, Elliot."

Nodding, Tancred dismissed the fuming man with a look before turning back to Laurelin.

"Meet me outside this cave after I finish my address." He paused for an instant, before adding, "...Laurelin."

It was a beautiful name, and for a moment, he appreciated how it rolled off his tounge. Turning from her, he strode through the crowd. With an athletic jump, he mounted the 'stage' and begun his address. It was more of an rallying than an informative speech. Tancred was good at that. Men and woman alike were attracted to his physical stature, his confidence, his ringing voice, and his passionate articulations. He could rally a crowd in moments and have them at his beck and call. Leading was his talent, and the guild new it. Thus, they never had him give the dry speeches, he was always called upon to inspire and unify the guild. It was what he was good at.

Standing there, on the stage, his bronzed skin glistening in the soft light, his dark eyes flashing magnificently as he pounded his right fist against his palm as he bellowed out over the crowd...he was...incredible.


--------------------
Top
Laurelin
Posted: Nov 3 2007, 08:27 PM


Forever the Witch
*

Group: Members
Posts: 13,554
Member No.: 89
Joined: 30-May 06



[[.... are his eyes brown?? jw??]]

Well, one thing was for certain. The man to the side of her surely knew how to command attention. Laurelin watched calmly as he more than displayed his readiness to kill anyone who dared to oppose him, or in the very least, sneak up on him. Why was he so nervous and high strung? They were among other albs, everyone here had been invited, no one had just showed up because they had wanted to. Although some surely had looked forward to this, so far she didn't see the attraction. But it wasn't like they were going to be attacked... or even more, it wasn't like anyone was going to attack him. He might have had enemies, but he was so high up in the guild even a fellow alb with the same high status would never have dared to kill him. Unless under orders.

The orders were everything. Disobey, you were killed. Refuse, and you were killed. Don't complete the assignment because of incompetence... the same. Any form of betrayal was quickly extinguished, it did not matter how many lives were snuffed out. The guild, as an entity, was completely and totally in control of all the lives of all its members. Unless they managed to not get in too deep. But once you slipped, even if it was only once, you couldn't go back. That was where Laurelin had failed and where Rune had succeeded. He wasn't a pawn. She was.

Laurelin didn't reply or even acknowledge Tancred's words as he spoke to her, though she was rather surprised how he had spoken her first name. Most members didn't admit that she even had a name, let alone dared to think of speaking it. Yet he had said it as if he had wanted to say it, something which puzzled her greatly. But really, it was of little consequence. All that matter then was that she was where she needed to be when she needed to be there.

She didn't wait to listen to his speech, there was little doubt in her mind that it wouldn't interest her. Instead she walked to the opening of the cave, causing a slight ruckus as she left the room. Several albs didn't like the fact that she was showing such disrespect, but she really didn't care. Their opinions of her had long since ceased to matter, since no matter what she did she couldn't please them.

Laurelin reached the opening of the cave and stared out into the cold night, not resisting the wind that blew her incredibly long hair back. It was cold out, but then, Albaeir usually was cold. She didn't mind it, her cloak was all the warmth she needed, and really, she didn't mind the wind for company. At the thought of company, her mind went to her daughter, a soft smile playing across her lips as she lost herself to that part of her life.

[[Was it night?? I can't remember...]]


--------------------
Top
Drydan
Posted: Nov 3 2007, 08:42 PM


Paladin
*

Group: Members
Posts: 506
Member No.: 167
Joined: 28-April 07



The roar of the crowd grew as Tancred expertly played them. Aiden started to cry, but the man was no longer concerned that anyone would hear the child. Now was the tipping point. With the members in an almost frenzy, he would have to tread very carefully. They would either come together, or turn into a mindless mob. With tact born of experience and simply raw skill, he bellowed out over the raging crowd the final words of his message.

Signaling his superior, Tancred stepped to the side of the stage, gave the man's arm a clasp admist the deafening roar, and relinquished the stage. The crowd was frenzied, but they were not mad. Now his superior would give them his objectives for the year. They would not protest, they would not quail from seemingly impossible tasks, they would not mutter in discontent...Tancred had done his job.

Slipping off to the side, he moved through the distracted crowd and finally managed to slip out into the cold night air. With the crowd now a dull roar coming from inside the cavern, Tancred could hear his child's cried-out voice as he whimpered. Stepping up beside Laurelin, he nodded to her before sheathing his sword and gently easing the pack off his back. Setting it on the ground, he reached inside and slid his strong hands beneath the armpits of the babe. Lifting the child, he crooned softly as he laid the trembling, hiccuping child against his shoulder. His dark eyes met Laurelin's silently before he turned from her and began to pace back and forth along the edge, his voice soothing as he crooned to the babe, rubbing the little one's back.

When Aiden's quiet sobs had faided into dull sniffling, the hardened warrior lifted the babe above his head and gave him a gentle shake. The child gave the tiniest of smiles. Tilting back his head, Tancred lowered the child enough so that he could blow air on the babe's stomach to make a farting sound. Aiden giggled. Smiling at the child, Tancred settled him in one arm before turning his attention to Laurelin. His eyes were somewhat grave as he studied her.



--------------------
Top
Laurelin
Posted: Nov 3 2007, 09:17 PM


Forever the Witch
*

Group: Members
Posts: 13,554
Member No.: 89
Joined: 30-May 06



Taleneira.... Laurelin was completely still as she thought of her child. The contagious giggles that so often were her delight, that she so often brought on her little blonde haired child by tickling. She looked so much like Damian, it almost hurt at times. Though, when Laurelin looked her, she saw her mother. It was Damian's elvish coloring that gave her child such an appearance, and her mother's features which made her look so much like an elf. Laurelin felt so dark next to her vibrant child, though she didn't really complain. Taleneira knew nothing but albs, she had never seen blonde hair on anyone but herself. The few times she had been exposed to elves when she was younger she had cried in fear, so used was she to black eyes. While all hair colors were exceptable in Albaeir, black eyes were the standard, if you didn't have them you weren't an alb. Which, in poor Taleneira's case, was going to doom her.

Laurelin knew there were many hard decisions she was going to have to start making. Either her child would never know acceptance, or she would have to find an elvish family to take her in and care for her. Both scenarios broke her heart, yet Laurelin wondered so often what was best for her daughter, her angel. Her child was so near to her at all times, as was the one she had miscarried. But it was Taleneira's laugh that echoed constantly in her ears. And her... cry?

Stunned, Laurelin turned at the sound of a young child whimpering, her shock showing clearly on her face. Especially when she identified the sound as coming from Tancred. She barely noticed his nod of acknowledgment, so engrossed was she in what was happening.

He had a child? The thought was shocking to her, as was his tenderness toward it. She had never seen an albish male treat his children in such a way, Rune was the rare exception. And even then, he was far from a typical alb. But Tancred seemed to love the boy, it was obvious just in the way he cared for it, trying to calm it down. Her father would have just struck her, even at the age of the babe she could remember her father hitting her to make her shut up. The child couldn't have been more than a year old, and she felt her mothering instincts softening, both toward the mysterious man in front of her and his child. It was truly all she could do to refrain from stepping forward, the longing to reach out and take the child was almost undeniable. She wanted to calm it, she wanted to soothe it. It was her job. But then... it wasn't, not with this one. With her own, with Adrian. Not with this child.

Laurelin respectfully adverted her eyes, though at the child's giggle she once again looked at the two. Her eyes met Tancred's and she tried to understand what she found there. There was nothing in his eyes, nothing except gravity. He was almost stern as he looked at her, yet it truly didn't bother her. She wasn't going to tell anyone, if that was what he was worried about. And she could understand that worry, she had felt it many times herself.

Hesitating, Laurelin slowly walked over to him and held out her hands, clearly offering that she would take the child from him if he so desired. If the boy liked it or not, she wouldn't know. But the least she could do was hold his child for him. That, and her arms were aching to hold her own. However, her motion also had a message in it, one that suggested that she wasn't going to betray him after all. If he wanted her to keep a secret, she would. Her action showed acceptance and understanding, although her eyes didn't communicate it, even though they had never left his.


--------------------
Top
Drydan
Posted: Nov 3 2007, 09:42 PM


Paladin
*

Group: Members
Posts: 506
Member No.: 167
Joined: 28-April 07



When the woman stepped forward and silently offered him her arms, Tancred simply studied her. For a long moment, he gazed at her. Cradling the child in his arms, he finally adverted his gaze and looked back at the babe. Dropping his dark head, he brushed his lips over the child's downy hair. He murmured something unintelligible in the little one's ear. The child crooned and reached up to grab at Tancred's lips. He laughed softly and puckered his lips. Aiden giggled and waved his hands, smacking Tancred in the face. With a quiet chuckle, the man straightened. The expression in his eyes was so tender that it was hard to match him with the warrior who had almost killed a man a few minutes earlier for touching him.

Finally meeting Laurelin's gaze again, he discerned a glimmer of something in her face...something that spoke of longing. Somehow, he found himself trusting that she wouldn't hurt the child. Not at this moment anyways. Doing something that he had never done before, the man slowly stepped towards Laurelin so that their bodies were no more than a foot apart. Tentatively, he placed the boy in her arms but he did not back away. His eyes were intense as they held her gaze, as he placed his precious baby in her hands.

Aiden's eyes grew wide and he opened his mouth to cry. Quickly hunkering down in front of Laurelin, the tall warrior took the tiny little hand in his and blew a soft breath of air on the babe's face. Lips trembling, Aiden watched his father with huge eyes but did not cry. Tancred straightened.

Tossing a glance over his shoulder, Tancred put a hand on the small of Laurelin's back and steered her down off the cleft to a concealed location where they would not be seen.

Stopping, he dropped his hand and instead reached out to touch his child. The look on his face made it clear that he had never let that babe out of his possession before. His eyes never leaving her or the child, he spoke for the first time since coming out of the cave,

"His name is Aiden."


--------------------
Top
Laurelin
Posted: Nov 4 2007, 02:36 AM


Forever the Witch
*

Group: Members
Posts: 13,554
Member No.: 89
Joined: 30-May 06



He wasn't going to hand the child to her. Laurelin was calmly excepting of that and dropped her arms, though immediately she felt self-conscious. Once again she had overstepped her bounds, though he didn't seem to have noticed, his attention was so firmly fixed on the baby in his arms. A smile teased her lips as she watched them, she couldn't find the will to take a step back from them. She knew it wasn't particularly respectful of their privacy, but she truly couldn't move. Their actions captivated her too much.

The bond he was sharing with his baby was different from the one she shared with Taleneira. It was different than any relationship Rune had with her children, for she even considered Adrian hers. Rune loved them both, but there wasn't the flesh and blood bond. Laurelin didn't have that with Adrian, she had it with Taleneira. But not in the aspect of a father. How many times had she imagined Damian, Gaara, or even Almarean playing with a child the way Tancred was? How many times had she longed for it? She had never seen it, only imagined it. And it was so much more precious than she had ever thought it would be. Her face softened greatly as she watched their interaction, a look of longing almost crossing her features. How much she wanted to be loved! How much she wanted her children to have what she was witnessing before her!

So enraptured was she in these thoughts that she didn't even think as he stepped up to her, her arms immediately went out. She took the baby gently, her arms shifting to make a gentle cradle for him. Still, the action was automatic as her eyes remained on Tancred's, she did not even have to look at what she was doing, she had taken a similar action so many times.

Truly, she wasn't sure why he had given her the honor he had, but she loved it. It showed a trust no other guild member had ever given her, and she delighted in it. That, and it gave her something tangible, something to do with her hands and with her body, something that didn't feel at all foreign.

Laurelin tensed as the baby looked about to cry, only to relax and have a faint smile cross her lips as Tancred delt with the problem smoothly and efficiently. He knew how his child words, proving just as much as his previous actions just how good a father he was. Laurelin jumped slightly when Tancred's hand touched her lower back. It was not something she had expected, something that startled her greatly. However, she did recover, although her face had paled slightly. After all, she still didn't know what he wanted. However, she followed his lead without complaint, her eyes meeting his when she could again face him. Somehow, she felt safer now than she had when they were at the opening of the cave, she was always conscious of prying eyes. It was a state of mind she had to have in order to be successful at her job.

The look on his face was easily readable to her, she knew immediately what it meant. She had seen the same look mirrored in her eyes when Rune had held Taleneira for the first time. It was a look of mistrust and cautiousness. But was she truly the first to hold his child?

"How old is he?"


--------------------
Top
Drydan
Posted: Nov 4 2007, 07:52 PM


Paladin
*

Group: Members
Posts: 506
Member No.: 167
Joined: 28-April 07



Tancred lifted his dark eyes from Aiden's face to meet Laurelin's gaze. He smiled slightly at her question.

"Thirteen months."

He continued to stand close to both the woman and his child. His watchful eyes never left them. He was the guardian. Observing how comfortable the woman held his child and the softness that had come into her face from the moment he had laid Aiden in her arms, Tancred wondered about her. He didn't impose to question her. He had heard reports of her having a child, but they were more rumor than fact.

Watching her hold his child, Tancred felt a strange stirring within him. His baby needed a mother. The wide-eyed look on Aiden's face testified to how unfamiliar he was with another person's touch, with a woman's touch was almost sad. Every child needed a mother. Tancred had been raised without one, and it showed. He didn't want Aiden to go through that either. However, he wasn't willing to yoke himself to a woman merely for the sake of his child.

Tancred's arms itched to take back his child, but he resisted. He wasn't used to being apart from him. He felt almost incomplete without Aiden. Tancred consciously folded his hands behind his back. This was good for Aiden.

Tancred took a step backward to separate himself a little more. Aiden's eyes immediately grew larger and he began to whimper. For all his toughness, Tancred was all softness when it came to the child, and he was back beside Laurelin in an instant. Motioning for her to sit on a rock, he followed suit. Reaching out, he allowed Aiden to grab his finger. Feeling that he needed to offer some explanation for both Aiden's dependence and his own skittishness, Tancred spoke, his voice somewhat offhanded.

"He hasn't been held by anyone by me."

Steering the conversation back to where it belonged, Tancred brought their business to present.

"The reason I couldn't have one of my men communicate with you was because this 'assignment' that I need you for is more of a personal nature than a business arrangement."

He paused to meet her gaze, his voice calmly stating exactly what he wanted of her in an unapologetic manner.

"Despite the child, I am expected to continue my work just as any other guild member would be expected to. I am finding it is becoming increasingly more difficult to carry out my tasks and keep Aiden safe. I need someone to travel with me. That person will serve a two fold purpose. One, they will help to protect my child when it is too dangerous for me to take him with me. And two, I need someone who is capable of carrying out missions themselves. The first purpose rules out all of my men. They are rough, I would not have them even touching Aiden. It also rules out the majority of the women in the guild. I have reasons not to trust female, Albish guild members. The second purpose eliminates the option of me hiring a simple maid. No one outside of the guild can carry out orders from the guild. So, as you can see, I am in a bit of a quandary. You, Laurelin, are the only one who remotely fits what I am after. Seeing as this is not an official guild assignment, you do have the right to refuse. However, I would be very displeased. My list of prospects is rather short."

As Tancred finished speaking, Aiden let out a squawk and began tugging on the single finger that he held captive in his little hands.


--------------------
Top
DealsFor.me - The best sales, coupons, and discounts for you

Topic OptionsPages: (4) [1] 2 3 ... Last »



Hosted for free by zIFBoards* (Terms of Use: Updated 2/10/2010) | Powered by Invision Power Board v1.3 Final © 2003 IPS, Inc.
Page creation time: 0.0731 seconds · Archive