30 days of writing. drabbles for the untitled novel thing.
and although i was burning, you’re the only light. only if for a night. madam, my dear, my darling, tell me what all this sighings about
Eros should have known better than to allow his daughters to wander around the corridors without any supervision, especially when there were some important guests occupying some of the chambers. Then again, it was likely that he was unaware of what his daughters were up to. Lucky for him, there were guards who kept their eyes on them, making sure that no harm came to them or anyone else who was currently staying in the household.
Leda was not a mischievous girl. She did not often find herself sneaking around, trying to remain unseen. This time, things were different. There were questions in her head, overwhelming her and drowning out all other thoughts. She needed answers and she needed them now before she lost her mind.
Arsenius was her first love, but he couldn’t have stayed with them forever. His place was in Xenia in the grand ivory and stone castle where the royal family lived. He did not belong in the west, in the mountains, in her pathetic home with its crumbling walls on the east end and the limited furnishings credited to their dissolving wealth. He could not have lived with them for the rest of their lives. He still had a family. He still had a duty and that duty was not towards Leda Riviniana. Her happiness was not his responsibility.
For a time, she hated him for that.
“My lord!” She called, spotting him. “Arsenius, please, wait.”
He paused at the sound of her voice.
“You didn’t come back for me, did you?” She knew the answer. He had returned, just as he said he would. She hadn’t believe him, not when he whispered the words into her ear, not when she received his letters. She did not think he would ever come back to her.
But he had.
Regrettably, it was not for her. He was only accompanying that prince as his friend. This was part of his duty, not a sign of his enduring love. Though, as soon as he entered their courtyard, he smiled so brightly and she couldn’t help but feel as though he had saved that smile for her.
“No, my lady, I did not.” He spoke softly, refined and arrogant and clearly aware of his status which was well above hers. “You know why I am here and you know that I cannot stay.” Yes, she did know. She was in the room when he and the prince told her father of recent happenings, though they were already aware. Burning villages, halves of corpses, bits of bodies, life extinguished in flame and smoke. They were only passing through, merely resting after their journey from the king’s city. They intended on visiting the Vespers of the West to discuss important matters with them, but that was all they were willing to reveal.
“Yes, I know, but there is more, isn’t there? There are details that we ought to know.” She pressed, stepping towards him and hoping that she would be able to appeal to whatever affection he might have had left for her.
“No, there is nothing.”
His words were dismissive and, if they were not enough to send her away, his abrupt departure showed her that there wasn’t anything else that he or she could have said. They were finished. Even though he couldn’t hear her and wouldn’t have been able to hear her, she silently accused him of misleading her, confusing her, and ultimately disappointing her. No, she didn’t trust him, though she never really did.