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Cordeliane

When Night met Rosa

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There was no explaining it, the way he felt when she said his name. Somehow, when it left her lips the sound of it seemed closer to an endearment than anything else. He flushed a pale red as she drew closer to him. It was closer than she had ever been before since the night she had crept into his bedroll, but this… this was different. For reasons he could not explain, for reasons he was no ready for, this was far different.

He stared at her as she reached up to touch his face, a gesture no other person, man or woman, would dare to make. He was White Crimson Night, the Grand Seer, and no one dared to touch a Seer anointed by the gods. No Arcantian could imagine it. But Rosa was not Arcantian, and he did not move as she caressed his face, staring deep into his eyes.

She was so beautiful, so incredibly alluring. The sun and its brilliant reflection washed over her skin with golden light; her hair was a black sheen glossier than a raven’s feathers; and her green, green eyes imprisoned him harder than steel bars. For a long moment, he stood locked, paralyzed by her touch and the look in her eyes.

Then he knew.

His hands lifted, slowly cupping her face. One thumb stroked her cheek, running over her damp skin, feeling the heat of the reflected sun and the cold water together. “Rosa,” he whispered, plainly – but it was not just her name.

He closed the rest of the distance between them with less than a single step. His head dipped down and his lips sealed on hers in a passionate kiss, something he had longed to do for a greater time than he ever dared to admit.

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Her heart was pounding in her chest. She was sure he could hear it as he closed the distance between them.  Her name on his lips came to her like a whispered prayer. Hand gripping his shoulders as their mouths met in a passion filled kiss. 

 

She clung to him, returnning his kiss as  if it was not out of the ordinary for them to be showing such affection for one another. At this point in time they were not Princess Rosabella and White Crimson Night High seer,  they were Rosa and Kaesivi two people who had found affection for each other. 

As the kiss came to an end Rosa sighed softly resting her head on his shoulder as she tried to calm her pounding heart. "That was amazing Kaesivi" she murmured softly. 

Rosa knew as she cuddled into him, she was never going home. No she had foubd something she could not and would not leave behind. She had fallen hard and fast for the man behind the High Seer. 

Looking up into his face her feelings glowing in her eyes she murmured "I have fallen for you Kaesivi"

 

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If he could not hear it, he could almost certainly feel it – the way her heart beat fast and hard, filled with emotion. It was the same as his own pulse; his blood seemed so hot, and his heart’s increasingly accelerating rhythm so vigorous he wondered how he could possibly stand it. He tried slowing his quickened breathing, tried thinking of something else other than her in his arms, tried everything he knew to calm himself, but nothing worked.

He looked into her eyes, saw the truth of her feelings in them – they mirrored his own. And the strange, panicked elation overflowed into a great sadness.

“Rosa… we cannot… your people will demand you home. And I must stay here.” He closed his eyes, pain flashing across his face. It was a new kind pf pain, not from his headaches, but it was fiercer, harder to endure than any he had known before. “Even if I could go with you, how can I stay with you all the time, every day, all day? My magic will kill me soon, that is fact.”

I have never detested my gift before… but now… why must it be this way?

He turned away, waded through the water to the bank, squeezing the dampness from his hair. He could not bear to look at the woman who had seized him. “We must go back, Rosa.”

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Pain flashed in her eyes as he told her they could not be. That she would be demanded home and he could not go with her. She shook her head and cleared her throat of the tightness in it as she spoke "No Kaesivi, I am of majority. I always expected my father would find me a political match and I would not turn it down because I could not have who I thought was my hearts desire. This is different. I will have nobody but you, how can I tie myself to somebody when I could never love them as I do you"

She was speaking from her heart and the truth as Twilight was still up stream not to far from them. She could not lie and knew he could not lie as well. "We could stay here, we would strengthen the alliance Cordeliane and Shawn marriage initated."

She waded out of the water and went to him.Wrapping her arms around him and pressing her face to his back she clung to him."Please Kaesivi, please do not deny us what time we do have together. We can make the most of it while we can. I do not want to think about what might happen in the future. I want the here and now with you."

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The future. Rosa might not want to think about the future, but to Night, most of his life focused only on that. Seeing what could happen, what would happen, was what made him invaluable to the Arcantians. It was his special sight that had saved the Arcantians from disaster during the Terrenus-Genesaris War, and from many other fearsome ends as well. Despite it taking his life away bit by bit, it had saved many others.

Night had avoided looking too deeply into the future since Rosa’s arrival. The pain of his gift no longer tormented him with her near, and his clairvoyance dropped to the back of his mind in her presence, allowing him to ignore it at will. But this time, he well and truly wondered himself what the world held in store for him. He closed his eyes as she wrapped her arms around him, and Looked into the endless Paths of the Future.

Usually, it was like walking in a dream, which was often a nightmare, filled with obscure images both literal and metaphorical in meaning. He saw everything from people and animals to hazy symbols, letters, and numbers. Sometimes he needed time to think and reason out what his visions meant; other times, he needed no time at all. It took only a deeper look and sometimes talking to Dream to figure out what the more symbolic visions meant.

He didn’t know what made him think that maybe it would be different this time, but it wasn’t. He saw what he had seen before of Rosa – a mist. A fog that covered everything about her, making it impossible to see her future and shrouding everything involving her in a haze nearly impossible to discern. And it had an effect he didn’t expect.

For some reason, when he knew he should feel helpless, he felt… free. He didn’t know what the future held, and he didn’t’ want to know. He wanted only what she did – the here and now. Then he knew.

He spun around, his turquoise eyes resolute and firm. He grasped Rosa by the shoulders. “Rosa. You’re… no. This is a political match, is it not?” He laughed, suddenly, gaily. “I am the Grand Seer. Only Dream holds more power than me. How can your father or my Lord deny us this?

“Let’s go. You have some letters to write to your father and I have Dream to argue with.”

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Rosa looked up at him her eyes wide and filed with love as he turned to her grasping her shoulders. giving him a brilliant smile she laughed softly. "They do not have a choice Kaesivi, though they are in love now, Cordeliane and Shawn were not a love match. She was compromised by being alone with him, like I have been with you. I am ruined in the eyes of my people, a fallen loose woman. I was planning on ignoring it and telling nobody we have been alone together, but it matters now, you and I wish to be together." The archaic laws worked to her advantage this time around, it was a mixed blessing.

 

There was no way her father would dare turn them down, it was a good match, Rosa was needed here, she would be a good person to represent their people. Little did they know she was already staying, that her father had sent a missive to Dream, informing them of her new status among the Arcantian people. " Dream will have no choice once he is reminded of my peoples rules, I will need to be wed to somebody of equal status, which is you or Dream. I cannot see either of them denying us." Rosa was her fathers little girl, but he would not deny her this, he wants nothing more than for her to be wed and happy. Night was everything she could want, he saw her for who she was inside not the title or money attached to her name.

 

"Will Dream approve? I am of an age to bear children, and there will be no worry of one of our children ever needing to take the crown of Nvengaria as I am youngest of five. I have no desire to take you to Nvengaria for more than a short visit." She leaned up and kissed his cheek before looking at Twilight. It was Twilight who had her most worried, he was far from his eyres and nesting grounds. She did not think he would leave her here even with Night to watch over her. It was the only thing that made her give pause for a moment. She would have to talk to him. There was always the portal scroll to send him home to hunt in his favorite hunting grounds.

 

Pulling away from Night she sighed happily and picked up her dry clothing. " We should change into something dry" she winked at him and headed towards Twilight who was sleeping on the bank after finishing his meal.  Touching him softly "Twilight, I need cover to change" she murmured to him and waited. Once Twilights wings were spread blocking her from Night's view she stripped off her wet clothing and put on her dress. "Kaesivi, I am decent, could you please do me up?" She called from behind one of Twilight's massive wings.

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Ruined? Night raised an amused brow. He had heard only the barest minimum of Nvengaria, not enough to know the views on women and the laws forbidding them from spending time alone with an unmarried man. Had he known, he would have been astonished, perhaps even horrified. The mainland harbored no such restrictions and viewed woman at a much higher status. Even society itself aimed to please them more than men.

As it was, he did not know, and didn’t care at the moment. He had found somebody to love, somebody who did not fear him or his touch, or looked at him with fearful awe or greed for high status. He grinned when Rosa asked if Dream would approve. He might not – had had not even approved initially of Eclipse’s marriage to Cordeliane – but what other choice did his mighty leader have?

“Does it matter, Rosa? Dream must approve. I am sure he does not want to marry you...  himself…” His breath caught, voice trailing off. Marry? Of course, that was where they were headed, was it not? Yet the thought startled him. It had happened too fast, so unseemly fast, yet it was right. But to think of marriage, a marriage he felt so sincerely good for, was completely unexpected.

He pondered this as Rosa hid behind one of Twilight’s massive wings. He walked over to where he had laid his tunic and pulled it on a she dressed, and a small cast of magic dried his skin and wet clothing quickly as if he had baked in the sun for an hour. Rosa called him then, and Twilight lifted one wing so he could get to her.

Her wet skin plastered the dress to her, leaving little to the imagination. Night flushed again. She had that effect. He motioned for her to turn around and lightly touched one of her shoulders; she would feel a queer tingle as magic soaked up the extra moisture and expelled it in a faint mist into the dry air. Then he went to fumbling with the satin strings.

“All right,” he said when he finished a last. “Twilight, will you give us both a lift again?” he asked the mighty griffin. The faster he could confront Dream, the better.

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She shivered as the magic dried her dress. She had not been expecting him to use magic and it had felt like the softest touch on her skin as it dried her and the dress. Magic was something she would have to get used to. Although it was all over the place back home she never really had to deal personally with it other than Cordeliane who was a special case. 

"Is magic used here often? Is it something I will have to get used to?" She asked curiously as she touched Twilight to let him know she wished to mount up. "We have much magic back home but I am not usually in direct contact with those who use it. It will take me a little yo get used to it." 

Teilight shifted to let Rosa mount up and looked at Night giving him a dmall nod of approval. Twilight liked yhe strange man rven if his inner light hurt his eyes. All the people here glowed with a strange inner light of magic yo his eyes and it gave him a headache at times. 

Rosa held her hand down to Night to help him mount up. "I will write a letter to Cordeliane asking her to speak to my father while you speak to Dream. I can get a letter to het much faster than even the portal scroll. We have these books I had mae for us when we were kids. What i write in mine disappers and reappers in hers and vice versa."

Once Night was mounted up behind her Rosa would snuggle into him and Twilight would take off heading back to the Arcantian people and the new yhat awaited them there.

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Night laughed lightly at Rosa’s question. Not in direct contact? There was magic in her – powerful magic, one strong enough to counteract the effects of his own. Then again, it was so much a part of her she needed no gestures, no words, no methods of concentration or focus to use it. Here, though magic was woven daily as a part of life itself, it always required time, patience – a cost for all that it gave.

“The Arcantians use magic every day,” he told her. He gestured to the runes on his left arm, the runes all Arcantians bore save for the very young. “For battle, for simple convenience, magic is part of our lives and will always be so as it always has been. Yes, you will have to get used to it, but I think you will adapt rather quickly.” Night smiled; he could already tell she was resilient, stronger than perhaps anyone realized or expected of a princess.

He took her hand and soon found himself in the sky once more on the back of Twilight. The griffin circled once over the river and banked, turning to the lands of magic and sorcery, where everything changed.

It was an anxious, exhilarating, and quick ride back, and Night was already sliding off of Twilight before the griffin’s wings could fold. Children were already crowding around the griffin, their awe and excitement of the massive creature not having faded in the least.

Dream was leaning against the dining table, turning a peach in his hands. He glanced up at Night as the seer approached him. Night cleared his throat nervously, unsure suddenly of what to say now that the time had come.

“Lord,” he began. “I-”

“It’s good you’re back so soon,” Dream interrupted smoothly. He laid the peach down on the table and in its place picked up a scroll, one of two that laid on the table. He brushed past Night to stand before Rosa, offering her the scroll to read. “It seems you have increased responsibilities, my Lady.  For I accept His Highness’s offer of you as ambassador.”

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Rosa only nodded as he said magic was used daily and that he believed she would adjust quickly to it. Magic was used at home too just not too the extent it seemed to be used here. She was nervous but not affraid of magic. 

She was not far behind Night as he dismounted and went to Dream. She watched puzzled as Dream cut Night off and spoke to her. Her puzzlement turned to joy as she took the scroll then tossed her self into Nights arms exclaiming "Oh isn't this wonderful Night now it will be much easier to gain approval for our Marriage as I am to remain here anyway"

She pulled from him and read her fathers missive her mouth moving softly as she read the words. Her eyes wiide with surprise at her fathers requet and words to Dream who he obviously deemed his equal. She was scared and excited at the same time. She wanted to make her father proud but was fearfull of failing him. 

"I am honoured Lord Dream to represent my people and assist you and your people in my Kings name. Please tell me if there is anything I can do for you my lord."She gave him a formal curtsy and nod of her head. "Please tell me where I might purchase fabrics of varying shades of grey for dresses. If I am to live among you I should adopt your style of dress.".

As calm and serene as she seemed on the outside after her inital outburst, she was a riot of energy and excitement inside. Not only was she going to be an embassador for her people but she had found love as well. 

"We must prepare a welcome for my esteemed brother and his guard. I do not know how you welcome foregin dignitaries, we give a small feast in their honour and host a tournament of some kind. Maybe a magic display if it is not to hard on your people?"

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Fortune was a strange thing. Night could scarcely believe his. He stared at Dream, then at Rosa, the implications striking him quite slow, then fast and hard. A smile, a real, true, wide smile of pure gladness spread on his face then. Rosa would be staying. He would not need to leave, he would not need to miss her...

He breathed in sharply as he realized he had been ready to go with her to Nvengaria when the time came. He glanced guiltily at Dream, but the Arcantian leader fed him only an indifferent look. Well, if he knew, what did it matter now? Rosa was staying. Rendered speechless with the weight of relief and joy, Night struggled to compose himself.

“What can you do?” Dream asked. “Well, dressing the part is a good idea. Three tents down that way,” he pointed. “We dress in many styles, if not colors, Ambassador Rosa.” He paused, then reached around his neck, and pulled off a necklace with a pendant carved into an hourglass, half black, half white. This he strung around her neck.

“This will allow you to communicate with me personally and privately, Rosa. You need only touch it.” Dream finally smiled. “Well. I will tell my people to set up the feasting tables, and I believe a magic show can be easily arranged.” He turned to Night. “You’ll have to show her the springs. It’s a sacred place and she should know of it. I’ll make it private for you two.”

Night allowed a tremulous smile. “Thank you, my Lord.” He took Rosa’s hand as Dream walked away, issuing orders through voice and thought. “Let’s get you properly dressed, my love.”

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Rosa was both pleased and surprised when Dream gave her the pendant to wear allowing her to contact him at anytime with just a touch. It was truly an honour to her to be treated as a adult not a child to be sheltered and given no responsibilities. She would not let Dream or her father down with her responsibilities as an Ambassador. She would also do Night proud as his intended bride. She was nervous a little, nobody had ever trusted her with this much responsibility. Cordeliane trusted her with responsibilities around Kedves but that had changed after their fight. She missed Cordeliane and wished she had her to talk to about what was going on. She was nervous and scared about all she would have to do.  She had no idea Night had been willing to leave with her to Nvengaria, she would have never asked it of him.

"I do not mind wearing shades of grey Lord Dream, silver is after all a shade of grey." She smiled brightly at him as he said he would make arrangements " Thank you Lord Dream, It would be good for Sebastian to see what the Arcantian people are capable of as he will one day be king"  She looked from Dream to Night eyes wide at the mention of springs. She had never bathed in hot springs before and now they were going to show her some "Can one bathe in the springs? or are they a place of worship?" She sounded excited and looked hopeful as she took Nights hand not realizing the significance of hand holding.

Fingers linked with his she smiled liking him calling her his love, it had a nice ring to it. "You will help me pick out gowns that I do not have to lace up? I would like dresses like Cordeliane came home with, ones that slip on over the head or one can just step into." She was unaware of the looks from a few of the women she was getting. She did not see the anger and jealousy in their eyes as she and Night passed by them holding hands. She loved Night and never dreamed the people here would be like some of the people back home looking for status or power in marriage. Night had talked about needing to choose a wife at some point but had said he had nobody in mind, so it did not occur to her that their might have been some woman planning on getting his attention and marrying him for his position.

 

Angrily two woman of age with Night glared at Rosa's back and the linked hands of the High Seer with this foreign woman. How dare she come and lay claim to the most coveted position next to the position of Dreams wife, which all knew there was no hope of.  She had been here but a few days and had managed to convince Night he wanted to marry her. That was unacceptable, she looked to her friend and grabbed her pendant. " We have to do something, did you hear him? He called her his love and was holding her hand. We need to separate them, once she is gone for a few days he will see he does not love her or need her and we can step in to gain his attentions."

" You are right we must do something. Though none of us wished to marry Super Eclipse he was Third leader and now he is married to that blonde foreigner and left our lands and people. This woman is a Princess, what is to say her father wont recall her home and Crimson Night with her? No, we will not lose another one of our men of rank to these Nvengarian invaders. My brother should be able to help us spirit away this tresspasser."

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