"Perhaps you should be in charge of my schedule all the time," he breathes as he takes her hand.
She laughs and draws closer to him, trailing kisses along his neck.
"Well, that would be too much to hope for, dearest. You have too many responsibilities, but I can manage to free up a few hours here and there."
Fade to black
"You're the one who wanted the state wedding," she reminded him. "Besides would you really want to explain an elopement to your subjects? And my parents?""I'm not keen on waiting so long to get married either, but two years isn't really that bad in the grander scope of things, especially considering that we're elves and will likely have centuries to spend together."
"...In the meantime, I happen to know that you have a few hours free in your schedule right now..."she added with a mischievous smile.
Just UNDER 2 years?! *sigh*
"I know, dearest. I don't like it either. But we were looking at three to four years before my father took a hand in organizing things, so at least this is some improvement. State weddings are complicated," she said, wrinkling her nose in distaste. "But it's what we need to do, so I guess we'll just have to put up with it."
"At least some things don't have to wait," she added, giving him a long, passionate kiss.
Nimora was both happy and relieved when her father was able to spare the time for a visit. Even if he did tend to unnerve people who didn't know him well. Imagine Professor Snape as an elf and you've got a pretty good idea of the first impression people tend to get of Nerion Orlbereth. By the end of his visit, he had helped her come up with a plan for improving the city's financial situation so that the wedding wouldn't add undue strain to their coffers, a plan for diplomatic visits to get annoying things like seating charts and arrival times arranged, the promise that at least half of those visits would be taken care of by her mother, and after a protracted visit with the chamberlain Nerion had a comprehensive list of things that were necessary for the wedding. And insisted on providing most of the more difficult to obtain items as well as paying for at least half of the required entertainments. He was in fact quite offended at the suggestion that this wasn't necessary.
After her father had gone back home, Nimora brought the plans they'd been working on to Mirathan. She did her best to explain them, but she could see his eyes glazing over involuntarily when she got into the economics.
They were all too soon swept up in the maelstrom of planning a state wedding. Nimora was starting to feel like all she ever said was, "But surely we can get that done a little bit faster." She felt like she was being buried in details. And she knew exactly who she needed to help make things a little more manageable. If he could spare the time. The plan to get Joren declared the royal heir had worked beautifully, but there were a few more rip tides to steer through to have King Orca officially declared incompetent to rule, nevermind that he hadn't come out from under his throne for a week because of fear of the pancake menace. She sent a message anyways, hoping that her father would be able to spare the time to help her.
Will add more later. The dogs and boy have decided to be clingy because of a thunderstorm.
Queen Mother Marielle wrote:
Well, it's a good thing elves are long-lived. A royal wedding is such a laborous thing to plan, especially so soon after a coronation. State dignitaries to invite, assigning quarters at the castle, reserving hotel space for those you can't fit, catering, flowers. Oh...the wedding gown, the bridesmaids and bridegrooms. Maid/matron of honor, best man, the parties. Rehearsal dinner, parties to keep the guests straggling in occupied 'til everyone is there. Security. The honeymoon, the parties thanking guests for travelling here...how about 3 years? Even with Nimora's family helping. Is that enough time? ;)
You leave it that long and you might have some problems with the gown not fitting. ;)
She smiled at him. "Well, then that necessitates going through the whole ordeal of a state wedding I suppose. We should probably ask your mother for some advice."
"How long will it take to make the arrangements for the wedding? Because that's about how long we have to wait," she said, smiling. "My family will be thrilled, and most likely want to expedite things before anything else can go wrong," she added with a little laugh. "But what are the usual customs here in Pearl?"
Sure I can write up the narrative sometime in the next couple of days while you're enjoying your vacation. :)
Didn't see much Happy Days, no. :)
watching the submarine races??? Trying to figure out if this has to do with an activity or is just the weirdest euphemism ever. :)
"No, dearest, there isn't anything written on your forehead," she said laughing.
"Neither of us has been very good at hiding our feelings."
"Sunset? But the sun just came up....Oh. Mmm. Yes, I see. After sunset."
Her eyes got wide as she heard what he was asking her.
"Yes! Yes, of course I'll marry you!"
She flung herself into his arms, hugging him tightly, not quite sure if she was laughing or crying she was so happy.
She smiled. "It is a beautiful place. The sight of a sunrise above the waves, I miss it sometimes even though I still love the world under the waves. Thank you for bringing me here."
She smells the bread, savoring the aroma, before putting a piece in her mouth and chewing slowly. "Mmm. It's delicious."
She gasps when she sees the sketch."That cannot possibly be me! Oh, it looks so beautiful."
She smiled as she picked up the note and smiled even more as she read it.
"Now the only problem is waiting that long. Well, I did promise his mother that I would work on my patience."
She hummed absently to herself, thinking happy thoughts about the man she loved as she was helped out of her dress. The servants exchanged even more smirks than before, but this time she wasn't particularly noticing them, her eyes going back to the sketch every few moments.
Queen Mother Marielle wrote:
"No, they are not myths," she said, thinking of the cocoon and the baby within, and the note she later received. "I don't know exactly what they are, but that they are real, of that I am entirely certain."
"And I look forward to learning. I'm afraid I'm driving the chamberlain a bit batty," she added apologetically. "I'm just so eager to know everything right this moment. I will try to work on my patience."
Queen Mother Marielle wrote:
"What are the Sea Furies?"
"I am trying not to step on the wrong toes, but it's so much to learn. It is...interesting going from a place where I knew everything about everyone and all of the history to a place where I know virtually nothing. The political structure of Sandreef may be unconventional, but I knew it. Here I am constantly afraid that I'll make a terrible misstep that will cause no end of trouble."
Queen Mother Marielle wrote:
"I don't understand. She never really told me much about herself. She always sidestepped my questions when I tried to ask. She introduced herself to me after Mirathan's coronation, and after that she was pretty much there everywhere I went."
Queen Mother Marielle wrote:
"Hello, your majesty. It's good to see you again. I'm sure you've been very busy, and I was er, rather occupied my first few days back," she said, blushing deeply."I appreciate the sentiment about the victory, but the truth was that we got lucky. We were outmatched plain and simple and if we hadn't been able to taunt the enemy leader into single combat we would most likely have lost and badly. It was Tempest's victory really."
She stretched as best she could in her tightly fitted dress. It had been a long time since she had spent so much time poring over books. She had grown more accustomed to battlefields than libraries. And it was definitely time to pause her research. She could hardly read an entire library in an afternoon, she reminded herself, smiling a little at the absurdity of it. Not really knowing where else to go, she heads back to her room.
High Chamberlain Erstlan wrote:
"Sorry," she says apologetically. "I'm so used to hearing my family talking about this sort of thing that I forget sometimes that not everybody knows this stuff." She shrugs. "I'm just trying to get to know Pearl better. Mirathan loves this city and I want to be able to understand what's going on. I'll talk to him about it, but I think at some point I am definitely going to have to speak to someone from the Guild, make sure I'm seeing the whole picture."
After several hours of poring through the ledgers, she has about a dozen of them open in front of her. She keeps checking and rechecking figures, frowning a bit at her results.
"Are there any expenses that don't get recorded in these books? Because unless there are your accountants are robbing you blind. I expect a little skimming, sure, but this is ridiculous."
"Also, could I get some more information on the city's trade agreements? Based on what I'm reading here they seem...inefficient. But I could be missing some vital pieces of information by looking only at the numbers."
"Is there some sort of records storage around here? My father always says that the quickest way to learn about a place is to look at their ledgers. And I could use a crash course about Pearl. Histories of the city would be good too, and perhaps something that talks about the noble families and their histories. Would that be possible?"
Presuming the answer is yes, Nimora will soon be immersed in reading.
A message had arrived for her from home while she had been...otherwise occupied. It was nothing urgent, thank goodness. She appreciated her grandmother's wry tone as she read the letter. It was something she had missed while she had been estranged from her family. Hopefully sometime in the next century she'd be able to repair things with her mother, but they both needed some more time apart first. She folded the letter up and put it away. She was glad that everything was fine back in Sandreef. It let her feel free to begin settling in here now that she didn't have to worry about being responsible for there as well. She just wasn't quite sure where to begin. Well, aside from having made a public spectacle of herself and then spending several days closeted away with their king. She blushed and smiled to herself as she thought about that.
Nimora keeps catching smirks out of the corner of her eye as the maidservants help her into her coral dress. She can't seem to stop blushing. She wasn't entirely sure what she was supposed to do now, what was expected of her here. She was more likely to know visiting foreign diplomats than residents of the city. She was going to have to change that. Somehow.
She blushed deeply as she remembered that they were standing right in front of the omniportal in plain view of anyone.
"I think going back to the castle is probably a good idea right now," she murmured.
When the kiss does end, (soon? a long time? She's not really sure since she can't seem to think straight.) she looks up at him, perfectly content.
"I love you. And I'd just as soon not leave you again anytime in the near future if that can be managed," she blurted out, a little surprised after the fact that she had actually said that out loud. She blushed.
"I came to say goodbye. I'm leaving for Pearl. I...I'm not sure I want to go back to the Temple. For a lot of reasons. But...please just tell mother that I don't hate her and I really, really want to stop fighting with her. I just need a little...room to organize my own life just now. Does that make sense?"
Nimora hugged her grandmother goodbye and headed towards her parent's house. Maera greeted her at the gate with a crushing hug.
"I was so afraid something would happen to you out there," her old nursemaid said, voice choked with emotion. "Oh, look at me, making a fuss. Come in. I'll bet your parents will be glad enough to see you this time."
Nimora let Maera lead her through the house to her mother's favorite sitting room.
"I would love a chance to talk. I...I've missed you. I have to talk to my family before I go. I don't want them to think that I'm running away this time. I should arrive in Pearl in an hour or two."
"Hi. I...I'm not really sure where to start. I was planning to come back to Pearl today, and then I realized that I should probably make sure it was okay first. I mean, I don't want to show up at some politically inconvenient moment and make things difficult for you...." her voice trails off.
She woke late the next morning. She wasn't exactly feeling energized and chipper, but she seemed to be recovering. She dressed quickly. Now that her brain didn't feel like it was tangled in seaweed, she was much more prepared to face things. And she thought she had a pretty good idea who had taken Tempest.
She sat beside the window, looking out at the city. She pulled out her comm crystal.
"Mirathan? Can you hear me? If now isn't a good time, I can talk to you later."
The funeral was long. It was depressing hearing the list of all those that died. The price of failed diplomacy. She wasn't sure she would ever stop feeling guilty for their deaths. She did have to speak of course. It's pretty well expected when you're the General, regardless of competence. She managed to get through it. It seemed to go over well. She wasn't entirely sure what she said. Something about courage. And some other stuff. And then there was the endless standing around talking to people. Alternating between those looking for political favor and trying to provide some words of comfort for the recently bereaved. She was in a complete fog by the time it ended. Her father didn't even bother to ask what she wanted, just ordered a carriage to take her back to her grandmother's house. And she was too tired to bother objecting.
She admired the scent of the flowers. After she had cleaned up, she pulled a water lily out of the bouquet and pinned it in her hair. She still wasn't entirely sure who they were from, but it was someone who knew her well enough to know she bit her lip when she was worried. The answer would probably be obvious later, but her mind seemed to be moving sluggishly at present. She thought about leaving the shield behind, but changed her mind. She would make one stop on her way. She strapped the shield on and headed for the Temple of Aventurnus.
Within the Temple, it didn't take long for her to locate her brother's room. She walked in. It felt odd to see Joren just laying there like that. She unstrapped the shield and laid it on top of him.
"There. You two may not be a perfect match, but you're just going to have to adapt. You both belong here. And I have somewhere else I need to go."
She looked over at her mother. "Grandmother borrowed it out of the vault, and you know how much it doesn't like being put back there. It should heal him. And it will be good for him to have. It's the sort of symbol that can really help one consolidate political support. I'm going to the funeral for the fallen soldiers now. I'll be leaving in the morning."
Without waiting for a reply she left. She didn't have the strength for another argument with her mother just now. And they didn't seem to be able to speak to each other without fighting these days.
Nimora swims back towards Sandreef. She should be exhausted as she hadn't slept in three days. The shield was sustaining her for now. It troubled her that the image of Telestial had lashed out at the baby with his dagger. She had been standing right there, holding an artifact whose entire purpose was protection, and hadn't felt so much as a twinge. Even if there were things she didn't know, she should have at least noticed some uneasiness if the baby had been tainted. But she hadn't.
She headed for her grandmother's house to get cleaned up for the funeral ceremony. She should just have time to wash and to clean her armor. She hoped she wasn't going to have to speak. She was terrible at public speaking. She wondered if there had been any change in Joren's condition since the last communication. Mother was going to be a basket case if he hadn't improved.
Knight-Captain Velantium wrote:
"The cocoon is open. No boom. Tempest is gone. She has a chance to start over after a fashion. I think. The elf with the green eyes took her with him."
Nimora breathes a sigh of relief.
"It's done then. No boom. Today."
She looks back towards the city.
"The funeral ceremony for the fallen soldiers is today. I'm glad I didn't have to miss it. I should be there, to show respect for their sacrifice."
"What troops are left here from Pearl are free to go home whenever you wish. Personally, I am hoping to return to Pearl tomorrow, but that does depend somewhat on how much family drama ensues in the meantime."