Timeless

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.


You belong to me
w/ the madeline



"What do you feel?" •
The king hummed in disapproval at the confirmation of his sister having come to visit. He sucked his teeth and bit into the fruit, the golden sauce sweet against the slight bitterness of the berry. "Meddlesome little creature," he finally replied while chewing, reaching for another of the delectables and swirling it around in the pool of liquid. "I imagine she's been coming to visit by use of the balcony then with her new ability," he continued, stressing the last word in annoyance. Her wind element was no doubt the means of her traveling and way to get around the guards who remained at the door to Madeline's room. In fact, Doelynn and her had their first meet while the young fae was prowling along another banister to be far too nosey during her lessons.   

Kyan finally placed the pineberry to his lips and savored its juices, his gaze lifting to her when he noted a hesitancy. It seemed Madeline was struggling in whatever it was that she wanted to say which made him all the more intrigued at what thoughts kept her from sharing. His head tilted ever so slightly to watch her until he felt the shift in the Mapleshade's awareness. 

This of course was something only a very few fae could sense. Some of the oldest elders of the council could feel when something was even slightly off with the Mapleshade, though never being able to assess what it might be. With his own connection to the tree, it was like an extension of his mind, heart, and body. He felt it all. He understood it all. The tree would tell Kyan exactly what was wrong with it or anything else that might be happening within Thistlemoon as its roots went deep within the ground and connected with every tree, river, bush, and flower within its borders. 

But her... Kyan could feel the tree wanting to comfort her.

The king watched as Madeline closed her eyes and reached for the Mapleshade. She could feel its call. Even though it was she who touched it, he felt the soothing energy release from within to pass through her. An effort to relax whatever worry she had been fighting through in order to speak her words. Watching Madeline comforted then by the touch to the tree, the tension in her body ease, her face softening as the morning's light bathed over her, Kyan's breath whooshed from his body. He was sure he'd never seen anything more beautiful.

Words. She was saying words, but he heard absolutely nothing while he simply stared at her. Why? Why was the tree so fond of her? Most of his own kind could not connect with the Mapleshade in such a way, so why did she?

He was up from the chair in one abrupt motion, it nearly falling to the ground behind him. The fae crossed the distance to the other end of the table in three steps as he conjured a wind to push him faster, the gust of air ruffling through Madeline's dark hair as he neared. Without much delicacy, Kyan reached for her small wrist and pulled her to stand, his free hand grabbing at her waist in a fluid maneuver as the material of her dress bunched in his grip. The cup she held overturned from the motion and spilled across the wood. In the span of another moment, he had her nearly pinned against the Mapleshade while placing her hand over the bark she had just been touching a brief time ago.

"What do you feel?" he demanded gruffly, his larger hand engulfing hers as they rested on the tree. His touch remained at Madeline's waist to keep her still as he stood directly behind her and angled forward to lock their gazes without care that his body pressed to hers. His eyes seemed to flare then, the washes of greens and blues swirling like a storm readying to break open the seas from his sudden eruption of emotion. Kyan's breath brushed gently over her ear as he leaned in further, his fingers sliding between hers as they rested against the ancient bark. His next words were more whispered. "What do you feel?" 

A soft faintly noticeable chuckle breathed out passed Madeline's lips as she smiled to herself just as faintly. The siblingly quarrel between these two was quite endearing and a small comfort to witness. "Mmm yes, but then she started using the windows when I would close the balcony door because and I quote "Anything can be a door if you try hard enough." That is a smart "meddlesome creature" you have on your hands.” Her soft and lighthearted words were shattered with the moment as his abrupt and aggressive movements registered faster than the sound of his chair flying back and her cup cowping and clattering across the raw wood. What did she do? Was all she could think as she braved the storm in his eyes with caution and fear swelling within her own. Immediately drenched by the weight of the unknown emotions cyclon-ing within his gaze. Her eyes faintly flick from each of his as she tries to decipher what she sees, what he is suddenly showing her only to flinch as his lightning-like demand strikes. Her body stiffens and her rigid muscles remain taught as she struggles through her own emotions to do what is commanded of her. Her chest heaved up and down as she looked at him with a bewildered expression. Her harsh breathing fills the fearful silence emanating from her as she tries to focus enough to answer him properly. “Warmth.” The answer jolts from her lips with a full force of trepidation lodged in her voice. Remaining still she unexpectedly eased and prominently shivered in response to his unanticipated heat as he interlocked their fingers and whispered his repeated words in her ear.

The unfamiliar feeling of having him so close and pressing me into the tree stole all of my focus. My head was spinning and filled with frantic thoughts and muddled questions I could not ask with how dry my throat had gone. Suddenly it grabbed me, the Mapleshade, as it always did when it wanted my attention and I had no power to deny or fight it even if I wanted to. I tore my head away from Kyan, and faced the tree as my eyes shut, soon that warmth I admitted to feeling reeled me in deeper. “It always starts with warmth but the longer I stay with that the more I feel…” Giving it my undivided attention now I could feel a subtle rhythm thrum against my fingertips. “...I feel ... a heartbeat.” But it did not stop there as a very familiar and loving feeling rapidly filled me. “It is my… the fire flower! I feel the flower I returned.” I smiled because although Kyan had told me the flower was reconnected to the forest, feeling it and its link to the Mapleshade brought his words to life. The feeling reminded me of when he forced his power through my hand into the earth the day we met and it was that memory that led to what the Mapleshade showed me next. “I…” I shifted against him and the tree and cleared my throat. “I feel the devastation I caused to Thistlemoon when the flower was stolen, almost as if I followed the roots to find the affected areas.” I took a heavy breath as the feelings washing over me grew even heavier and my regrets for what was done worsened.

Again the tree took her deeper and for a moment she could not describe the sensation of what was coursing through her. Until she jumped as though something had launched at her but she was trapped between Kyan and the tree so she did not move at all. Suddenly she was panting with her eyes glued to the bark of the tree and her hair standing on edge. She did not know the history of what Sekhmet and the Templars had done but “Pain… Humans and Eternals caused you all so much pain.” She struggled to swallow past her dry throat and the lump forming in it. Madeline was silent again outside of her heavy breathing as the thoughts and vague understanding of how he and everyone here must have hated the two species that made her. Unfortunately for her, it did not stop there as the tree grabbed her again and she just took it with a stifled groan lodged in her chest as her eyes reclosed. The tree was piloting a boat and she was being dragged behind it, getting caught in its wake without a way to get a good breath in but for some reason, she just took it realizing maybe this was needed. Much like any other living thing needed to get its frustration out but she could not express what she was feeling as it was still just that heavy pain from the war with the Templars. When it stopped and eased she released a loud moan she did not care the king heard as she panted once again. “Kyan…” a soft whine cut off her words as she decided against continuing what she was going to say while her delicate hand rested on top of his that gripped her waist. Madeline gently ran her thumb over the back of his hand without realizing it; subconsciously asking if he could be gentle too.

This was a lot, and though, what I was feeling had eased I think I was just overwhelmed and stimulated by everything. However, I held my tongue as I did not want to offend Kyan and the Mapleshade but the Mapleshade seemed to notice I needed some comfort or care as it washed a warm draft over me. Another moan much fainter than the first fled through my closed lips and I could finally catch my breath. I opened my eyes when it dawned on me just how close Kyan was and our thin layers of clothing hid absolutely nothing. The heat radiating off him and spreading across my skin, mixed with the warmth coming from the Mapleshade naturally caused me to finally relax enough for my muscles to almost fully unstiffen. “A calming wave. A tender push towards doing something brave. A warm hug. It is a different feeling every time with the Mapleshade but it always feels like a loving parent welcoming me back into its accepting arms… but that can not be.” My last few words are to myself as I press my head against the bark before me, finally catching my breath as a tide of reassurance, once again from the Mapleshade, ripples over me. “Yet every time I think that the Mapleshade comes to tell me my thoughts are wrong… and that is what I feel now.” I lift my forehead off the bark and cautiously glance over my shoulder to look into his eyes again, nervous about what I might see brewing in his gaze now.


You belong to me
w/ the madeline



• The Mapleshade had seen what the flower had done for Madeline and thus this new connection between her and the forest had solidified. •
"Warmth."   

Kyan felt it too then. A pleasant heat rising from within the wood of the Tree, but more than that, the comfort and care blanketing across her skin and through to him as his hand remained over hers. The shared link pulled him into whatever it was the Mapleshade yearned to show Madeline and he let himself go to follow wherever it would lead, hoping it would explain why it favored her so. 

The crashing wave of fondness and devotion caused a grimace from how much it filled his being, but he knew it wasn't for him. This was for her. The Tree was simply responding to her, its missing daughter now brought back. He closed his eyes and pushed back against the strong and foreign emotion, but the Mapleshade made sure to interfere with his wants, forcing him to understand what it was Madeline was truly saying and what it was trying to convey to him in the same way. It was the fire flower, but it was so much more now that its connection had returned to Thistlemoon. The Mapleshade had seen what the flower had done for Madeline and thus this new connection between her and the forest had solidified. Whatever the Tree had seen, it had chosen her. This outsider. Was this why he also felt a connection to Madeline because of this link? This overwhelming need to keep her here and keep her safe and...

The tug of the Mapleshade drew them away once again and through time it seemed. Gods, it was overwhelming, like his mind was being ripped from his body. The hand at Madeline's waist shifted, Kyan's arm wrapping around her middle as if to anchor her to him as they moved, even if it was only in mind. He sucked in a short breath as the scene spilled around him once the Tree had stopped. Flames. He knew what this was before the fire and smoke cleared enough to see. Thistlemoon was burning. Dead fae lay around him. Templars too. He could feel the warm blood of their bodies coating his hands still when he had broken and eviscerated those supposed holy men. Rage roared through him as it did that night those many years ago. And pain. Pain that wasn't his, but the Tree's and the forest, and he had wanted to kill those bastards all over again. Rip them into shredded pieces of skin and bone and-

“Kyan…”

Hearing his name like a plea from her lips had guttered out that rage into ashes. The rigidness that had reached every muscle and instinct in his body released and the Mapleshade was sending them back. He felt that reassurance of warmth and strength again, snapping him back to the present. Back to their bodies, where he still held Madeline against him and pressed between the Tree. 

Kyan weighed her words if only for a moment because the thoughts vanished once she looked back to him. He was suddenly aware of how her soft curves fit against his frame. The jasmine scent of her dark hair from the oils she must've used that had been provided in her bathing room. The exposed skin of her bare neck thanks to the fae style of the dress she was given. The fullness of her lips, but even worse was the vulnerability that looked back at him from her widened, cautious eyes. 

He let go of her, the heat of her body instantly dropping away, but he didn't back up. It was an effort to unstick his jaw from how hard he had clamped down. "I felt it," he finally said, low and steady as he concentrated far too much on how empty his hands were suddenly feeling. "It seems the Mapleshade is fond of you. Moreso than anyone I've seen, fae or not." The king swallowed and straightened, ringing himself back into normalcy. His head tilted slightly and a corner of his mouth lifted into a smirk. "I suppose we'll have a lot of time to figure out exactly why that is."  

The king forced himself to move. Turning, he sent a vine stretching from the Tree for the bottle of fae wine while lifting the glass she had been drinking from, the spilled red liquid like blood pooling on the wood. He grabbed the bottle and poured Madeline another drink before offering it to her. The bottle went to his lips greedily after, not bothering with a cup. Kyan gulped the sweet wine and willed what had happened moments ago down along with it. Once he had an inkling of a buzz beginning to tingle along his skin, Kyan lowered the bottle and rolled the tip of his tongue over his coated lips. He was feeling better already.

Kyan studied Madeline again. If ever there was a time, it would be now when the Mapleshade had shown them so much. His chin lifted. Nothing but expected compliance was in his tone when he spoke again. "I'm going to read your future." Like a predator eyeing its far too easy prey, he closed the distance until they were near touching once more. "I'll give you a few minutes to gather yourself before I return. Reading you might explain more on why the Mapleshade... cares for you so." That sudden need to reach out and touch her made Kyan's fingers twitch, so he gripped the neck of the bottle tighter and stormed from the room before he did something extremely idiotic, dismissing the fact that he needed those few minutes to gather himself just the same.

An unmanageable thrill waved through her body the moment he let her go and his heat fell away from her. A sign that her body in the short span of time welcomed sharing the space and body heat with him and was not happy with the sudden separation. Madeline did not like how she responded and refused to glance at him again while he was still so close and stayed against the Mapleshade a second longer once Kyan managed to peel himself away. She spun to face him but again could not look at him or fully focus on anything but her heart. Instinctively she took whatever Kyan handed her, only registering it was a drink, which she needed but did not drink, a second later. Shame, she wore it like a heavy winter coat too large for her small frame. It was all he would have seen with quite a few other emotions minorly mixed in as she processed everything she had just felt. 

I hated that my heart was the master of me and motivated me into my most difficult situations. It ached in my chest at this moment, sat heavy in my gut, and grabbed my tongue rendering me silent. At any other moment I would have expressed my relief in hearing Kyan confirm that he felt what I did. Allowing me to find some sort of sanity and comfort in finally not being alone and even his words that followed should have given me great pride to know I was so favored. Instead, while pride, honour, and relief were present in my heart so were confusion and unworthiness. I was a leech sucking the life out of the fire flower even when I desperately tried not to and now it seemed that so much of its power coursed through my veins the Mapleshade was confused. That was the only thing that made sense at this moment because why would it be fond of an Eternal and Human after what they had done here? I understood now, why he said he hated humans and why the Fae hated me. Every day humans made it harder to defend them and every day I questioned why after all they had done I still stuck up for them… then of course my heart grew heavier and forced my eyes to clasp at that thought, as a reminder that the few good humans were worth keeping faith in. 

Madeline loosed a sharp breath that finally lifted her chin but she still could not bring herself to look him in the eyes. She felt the need to apologize on behalf of the Eternals and Humans, if it was even her place to do that but she knew there was probably no one else that would. However, she hesitated causing her bottom lip to quiver as she fought to hold her tongue and within that split second of hesitation Kyan stalked closer and all he had said and was saying, completely registered making her swallow her words. Madeline did not flinch or shy away from the king as her sharp gaze at last pierced his and some part of her deeply buried as of now wanted for him to reach out and touch her again. She held her ground and put on a strong front as he spoke but her bravery was feigned when truly, she was terrified. There was a copious amount she did not know about the Fae as recluse as they were and her aquamarine eyes keenly searched Kyan's, excavating the back of his gaze for a lie. Until leaving her standing there numb, alone, and unaware of what to do. She was already overwhelmed and overstimulated but now she was also panicked because if he was telling the truth he would soon be the third person to know of her grim fate; a secret she had been harbouring for a short while but ate at her more each day. 

Why? Why did his learning what happens to me bother me so much? Was I that scarred from all the people who would rejoice at and wanted my death, that I now feared he would do the same? Pushing me ever closer to the one thing I have managed to fight and win against countless times. I could not trust anyone so I carried this alone and felt myself clinging to it even now as my mind thought of all the possible ways to escape and hoard this truth from the light. Something I had to immediately shoot down as I gave my word that I would not try and run…I found myself then sitting at the edge of my bed not even recalling when I had moved from the balcony and still clutching to the now empty glass in my hands. This forced me to try and recall when I had tossed the drink back that was not at all enough to help me feel better. With a quick disposition, I set the glass on the bedside table before I could shatter it with my tight grip. I wanted to entertain the thought that maybe my future had changed by coming here but with my little experience trying to shape one's fate I could not convince myself to believe that fate or destiny could be changed. Once your path was set that was it; that is what I learned through countless heartbreaks. I could hear the door open and I hung my head allowing my dark hair to hide me for just one moment as I closed my eyes and huffed in acceptance. I pushed myself off the bed and once again met his ever changing eyes with mine but my legs did not move as they grew heavy and felt like lead pining me to this spot. Would I see it with him? I did not want to go through that trauma again but my heart for some reason did not want to fight him. After all that panic and turmoil I had to accept that this was part of my fate too.

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Chosen Citizen

Citizen of the Realm Brandon LeCreaux

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