Adventuring through twisted time.

You belong to me
w/ the madeline

• "Madeline?" It felt strange saying her name aloud. Finally using it outside of his own thoughts which seemed clouded by it." •
His slender fingers drummed on the banister railing of his open air balcony, its intricate design twisted with countless branches and vines of the Mapleshade to make up its barrier. Kyan had spent countless hours at this very spot when he needed to think which was impossible anywhere else when someone was always calling on him. Here at least, he could stare out at the vastness of the kingdom and its quiet when no one required of him. Here, he could work out the troubling knot which had been growing in his stomach for several days now.

But not today. His mother had visited him far too early for his liking. Of course she immediately knew he hadn't slept just by looking at him which made him suck his teeth in annoyance and immediately turn away from her to take refuge at the place in which he stood now. She was prattling on anyway. Some gossip he couldn't care about having to do with a council member and his wife. Kyan focused instead on how Thistlemoon began to wake.

As the sun shown through the limbs of trees to reach the forest floor, it was the wake up call the Earth needed. The glistening from the morning dew shown like sparkling diamonds. The flowers and mushrooms opened themselves to the light. The wind through the branches which rustled their leaves as if they were stretching from slumber. Smaller creatures of the wood then appeared from their varying homes in the ground, trees, and rocks. Birds, critters, gnomes, and sprites all emerging to begin their day before the rest. Then finally his brethren of light began milling about to face the sun and take in its power to use as their own. Kyan never got tired of it. It was the distraction he needed to get his mind off of...

"Have you at least spoken to her?"

The king's focus shattered then. His head moved just so slightly to indicate he had heard her over his shoulder, not realizing she had even come so near. His hands had gripped the railing so hard that his knuckles turned white. Of course Kyan knew of whom she spoke of, but he still asked. "Who?"

He could feel his mother's knowing gaze piercing through the back of his head and out the other side. "The girl. The... thing you are now keeping in the Mapleshade."

"She's not a thing, mother," he replied in annoyance, still facing the forest as not to give away any hint of the strange emotions he was feeling since said thing came into his kingdom. The knotting in his stomach was slowly moving up his middle now. Tightening. "And no. I've been letting her adjust to her new home." He almost choked on the last word, knowing it would cause more discord between he and the others in the Mapleshade who couldn't understand his reasoning for letting her be among them let alone actually letting her live. By all accounts, she should've been in the mines, tossed away like the other prisoners which were collected and captured through the centuries.

Kyan finally released his grip on the banister which made the ache in his hands apparent now. He quickly folded and relaxed his fingers before daring to meet his mother's eyes finally. "If you must know, I was going to see her shortly," he replied flippantly in effort to put off something he wasn't sure of. "Perhaps I'll see you for tea later then." He didn't wait for an answer and headed out of the double doors of his room to walk the corridors.

His long, nearly sheer jade colored robes flowed like water behind him as they just touched the floor. Like most days, he was bare chested and had silky black pants that also covered his bare feet when he walked. The people who were awake, mostly the staff, bowed as he passed them before finally coming to a stop at her room. Guards were stationed there as they always were to follow no matter where she went in the Mapleshade as she wasn't allowed to venture the kingdom. Kyan's eyes moved between the two fae who stood there like stone before stepping between them and reaching for the handles. He would normally just enter a room whenever he pleased, but remembered privacy was something others also enjoyed which irked him that he wanted to give her that, so he instead knocked quickly and waited for a fleeting breath before letting himself inside.

"Madeline?" It felt strange saying her name aloud. Finally using it outside of his own thoughts which seemed clouded by it. Kyan realized he called to her as if he almost needed permission. As if she would be anywhere else but in this very room where she was meant to be by his order. By his command. The king straightened up just so and sounded more demanding then when he spoke her name again. If he called, she should and would come to him. "Madeline."

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You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it. Madeline had fought death and won more times than she cared to count, she had slipped through the Matron of the Banshee's clutches more than once and avoided belonging to the heirs of Count Dracula countless times. Only to end up here as the prisoner of Thistlemoon but she was not spotless in this fight for her life, she had dark regrets she hid from the world. One's she felt like stained her hands and no matter how much she washed and scrubbed them she alone could still feel it on her fingertips and pressing on the palms of her hands, but nothing was there anymore. Maybe that was why she loved to stay busy and work with her hands. Every night from her first night here in this room The Mapleshade would grab hold of her as she lay down and lull her off into a deep peaceful state of sleep but like clockwork right before dawn, she would wake. Unable to fall asleep again because her body was still used to waking this early to start her work so she did not have to work too late. 

I sighed softly as I failed again to return to sleep and draped my arms over my eyes after aimlessly staring up at the ceiling for so long. Yet I immediately regretted it because whenever I closed my eyes all I saw was Kyan float out the door to this room leaving me here alone. I do not know why my hopes seemed so dashed suddenly I did not even know my hopes had risen until I felt this knot form in my chest every time I closed my eyes and saw that memory. I sat up and groaned faintly in frustration that I could not fall back to sleep instead. Rubbing my eyes while I tried to sort out if it was him I missed or if it was just that he was the last person I spent any sort of quality time with and was missing that. A feeling I would not be able to figure out unless I spent more time with Kyan, which after all this time alone I doubted would happen. I was out of bed before the sun could rise and stretched, laying in bed was not doing me good. 

Even though Madeline had told Kyan she could leave her bag behind she was grateful to have it now because it meant she could change. She did not have to sleep in the white dress Kyan had given her but she also was not fond of the idea of someone walking in on her while in her PJs. She did not want someone to see her in this oversized t-shirt that covered her shorts completely so she took the time to change back into that white dress every day even when she was inevitably left all alone. At first, Doelynn would sneak in and spend a short time with her before she was found by Gwainar and dragged out but that slowly came to a stop probably due to the king's mother and not Madeline continuously asking Doelynn to not risk getting in trouble for her and reassuring her she was okay. Lily and the guards stationed at her door were the only others she saw on a day to day basis. Yet none of them spoke to her despite Madeline trying, Lily only came to bring her food but never spoke a word or acknowledged Madeline when she always gave her thanks. While the guards just stood there like statues moulded to the doorframe. 

It would be a while before breakfast was brought and I was diligent in drinking the wine that came with the food remembering Kyan's warning that I would hallucinate otherwise. Yet I wondered if I could get drunk if I drank too much, was there some delicate balance I needed to be aware of between too little and too much? I was not foolish enough to test that. I thumbed through the random book I found at the bottom of my bag while checking to make sure I did not have anything that was iron within, which I did not, but I had read this book twenty four times already while caged in this room so it no longer held my attention. Finally, the Sun came and the rising rays trickled through a sun catcher I had the pieces for scattered in my bag and put together while there was nothing else to do here. Colours gently danced around the space and I gradually made my way to the small balcony in the room. I dare not go near the edge alone, I was too nervous seeing how high I was but furthermore, if I saw Thistle while locked away in this state of mind I'd fall for the temptation of trying to adventure through the forest. So I sat against the Mapleshade and listened, slowly letting my eyes close as I listened for one thing in particular. It was distant but every morning when the forest was rising and coming to life the sound of a reed flute echoed in the background and floated through the air. The music became a staple in my morning routine and as the sun warmed my skin I slowly began to drift back to sleep. My thoughts suddenly made less sense the deeper I fell; I heard the knock but could not make sense of it through the fog of rest rising. Then came the sound of my name which sounded even less real than the knock, until I heard my name again much clearer and demanding this time. I open my eyes with a sharp inhale before leaning to peek through the balcony door to confirm this was real and not a dream, but I should have known better, I do not dream on my own. I rise and walk towards him as an amiable smile brightens my features and warms the gaze I am giving him. "Good mor-" I stop to clear my throat from lack of use "Good morning your Majesty." I stop just out of arms reach. "I apologize for not replying sooner I fell asleep on the balcony without realizing I had." 


You belong to me
w/ the madeline

• Constantly staring and taking her in, as if there was some plan for her he wasn't keen on sharing aloud. •
Seeing her come from the balcony was rather unexpected when she finally did appear, but then again, missing Thistle wake when the sun kissed Gaia's creation with its rebirth every morning would be a crime. He imagined Madeline would admire it even more because she was someone who appreciated art and the way the dawn painted the wood with its startling bright and unnamed colors was nothing short of a masterpiece. It occurred to him that they were likely admiring this performance everyday at the same time, yet he never glanced to her balcony. The only time he did look towards her room was at night, when darkness blanketed the kingdom and shadowed him from the curious eyes of others.  

His gaze moved along Madeline's body for a moment, noting she wore the dress he'd provided her when first venturing into Thistlemoon. Not her own clothes, but that. It was a conscious choice because he knew she didn't wander through the Mapleshade, so it wasn't as if others would take note of her decision in dress. The knotting in his chest eased slightly as his eyes met hers then. 

The normal azure blues of his eyes were transitioning to shades of green given his choice of robes that day as he searched for something he wasn't sure of from Madeline. "You've not ventured," he finally said to end the silence which was hanging between them. Not that he thought it would be a pleasurable experience if Madeline were to leave her room and walk the Mapleshade with her assigned guards. Though he told the others of court and staff not to hassle her, Kyan knew their judging stares with whispered contempt would likely make her not want to leave the room again either. 

The movement behind him made his ears perk up as a flurry of activity began. The fae servants brought various plates, platters, towers, cloches, and decanters followed by a dark, walnut table resembling a split tree trunk to fit all of it on. He motioned towards the balcony for them to set everything up. "It will be a long day," the king said without much explanation and a hint of mischief teasing the corner of his lips, not looking from the busy fae. "You should eat." 

His hand wrapped around the simple crystal goblet that was now full of wine, the sunrays gleaming through it to cause a sparkle of rainbow colors across his end of the table. Kyan watched Madeline as he always did in silence. Constantly staring and taking her in, as if there was some plan for her he wasn't keen on sharing aloud. He sipped the sweet liquid before lowering the cup to the table and leaning back into the chair, crossing one of his legs over the other after reaching for a stem of pineberries that had soaked in a amber colored sauce he didn't attempt to guess at. 

"Has Doelynn been keeping you company?" he asked, with a certain bite in the words to bring Madeline's eyes on him. "I'm aware she's been visiting you despite being told not to, but she has a way of doing the opposite of what is asked of her." Kyan swirled the berry around in circles within the sauce. "What have you been doing in here with your thoughts and my meddling sister?"

His eyes, the moment they met hers captured her undivided attention as the colour difference was quite vivid. Madeline did not know his eyes could do that, but the enchanting colour mesmerized her even more than his natural eyes did. She was staring at and admiring them and she did not mean to or realise she was. It was not until his eyes scanned her that she caught herself, wanting to lean and continue to gaze at the new hue in his eyes, but she remained upright and let him scan her. Except by the time he looked back up she was not looking anymore as he spoke. "I tried." she let a soft sad smile grace her face "I really did but..." she scanned and watched the fae rush in and all around to set up the table and food and even though she was quiet her silence was loud. Here she was again in yet another world that moved around her like she did not exist and the moment she stepped foot out of this room she was drowned in the whispers about herself. 

"Thank you" I am sure to say to the other fae as I always do before they leave, despite knowing they would not acknowledge me. I opened my mouth again to further explain why I hid in the room but Kyan spoke first. My head tilted faintly at his words and my mind ran away with what we would be doing to make the day long, but I did not question him. I just closed my mouth, swallowed my words and followed him to the balcony. I took a sip of wine as we sat and ate, not struggling to eat like the last time we shared a table. Again I wondered about the wine and if there were some weird balance of drinking too much or too little I needed to be aware of. I could feel his eyes on me and even though I wanted to study the green shade they were right now I decided against it and just focused on the array of foods between us until a kaleidoscope of colours danced into my eyes.

The sun hit his crystal chalice as he set it on the table and bounced right into Madeline's eyes and when he leaned back she leaned forward like they had been tethered together by some invisible string. Rather than squint in pain or blink at the sudden light in her eyes she looked right at it unphased. Following the way the sun's rays caused the colours to flow with a warmth in her watch before at last looking at Kyan. She loosed a soft and breathy chuckle when his question was asked because of course she was mid chew at the time and could not answer immediately.  She washed the food down gently with another sip of wine. "My thoughts?" she repeated and let her gaze drift away as she thought. Could she trust him with the fact that her mind was far more cynical than one would expect or that she let on? "I have not seen Doelynn in a little while..." she started in reverse as his sister was an easier topic. "But when she would visit she would show me her progress with the new ability she is learning and I would tell her the old folk tales of my hometown." 

There was a natural smile my lips held when speaking of Doelynn I could not hide or help. One that faded fast when it came time to speak of my thoughts. Could I? Should I? Many would and had weaponized anything I shared against me, so I just did not know if I could trust Kyan with that. Then I felt a familiar feeling I grew fond of beckoning to me and pulling at my soul until I replied and complied with its wants. The Mapleshade, its bark was right to my left as we sat on the balcony, dragging me to it like a magnet. I had to close my eyes and breath through this powerful sensation but eventually, I found myself pressing the palm of my hand against the tree's bark. Opening up for whatever The Mapleshade wanted of me because I was not powerful enough to fight it. I remained like this for as long as the tree held me here and I did not resist; Opening my eyes when the powerful surge of energy running through me lessened and I felt like I could move again.

Her hand lingered on The Mapleshade a moment longer as she now looked at the part of the tree closest to her. Slowly pulling her hand away but letting her fingers trace along the rugged lines in the wood lovingly before returning her attention to Kyan. "I never got the chance to thank you for the room" She took a moment to catch her breath as her hand fully detached from the tree. "It is much nicer than what I am used to and far bigger than some of the homes I have lived in." Although he had her attention she was not looking at him, instead she looked out at Thistle. "I hear what they say, your people, even from inside the room and I know the choice you made to keep me here is not a popular one with them. So I thank you but if the day comes when you have to choose to throw me in the stockades or down in the dark caves of Blackstone Mountain I will accept and understand." She fell silent a moment as she looked at him.

"That is a taste of what my thoughts are like. Darker than what I show the world because I know how this world works and it sure as hell has enough darkness without having to worry about the weight of mine." I huffed and intertwined my fingers before placing my hands on the table. "Some days my thoughts are mischievous, urging me to go and explore the beauties of Thistle but I probably would not even make it passed your guards." I chuckle to myself faintly. "Other days... Most days actually my thoughts suffocate me." I tilted my head back and let out a heavy huff "The Mapleshade said to trust you." I shrug unable to hide my nerves as I look at him again. "My thoughts are rarely kind to me."  I shrug again looking back to my cup of wine and take a soft bite of the piece of cheese on my plate. "Can I get drunk if I drink too much?" I finally ask as I lift the cup a tap it with my forefinger but also I am trying and change the subject as I take a small sip.

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