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Lucas Brigham

"I belong on this throne. I'll prove it to you."

366 views · last seen in Tiberia
a character in “Of Glory”, as played by xXxCryptic-AngelxXx

Description

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"I belong on this throne. I'll prove it to you."




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||Full Name:|| Lucas Anthony Brigham

||Nicknames:|| Luke [common]
Cassie [only by sister]

||Gender:|| Male

||Age:|| Nineteen

||Rank/Title:|| King

||Sexual Orientation:|| Heterosexual

||Kingdom/Alliance:|| Falor




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||Hair Color:|| Blonde

||Eye Color:|| blue

||Height:|| 5'10"

||Weight:|| 162 lbs

||Tattoos:|| dagger on his forearm

||Scars:|| Lucas has quite a few scares on his hands from handling weapons and sparing with the guards. There's a long scar from his right shoulder blade down to just above his left hip from a punishment his father gave him as a child. There's also a small scar on his right peck from a fall from a tree as a child.

||Description:|| Lucas is of medium size which a slightly muscular build. He has a square jaw and medium lips. His blonde hair is long in the front and short in the back, just the way he likes it. His eyes are blue, but often seem green in certain lightings.




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Personality:
Charming, Optimistic, Courageous, Gullible, Ambitious
Lucas has learned to be charming over the course of his nineteen years of living. He finds it helps to get what he wants. His charm kept his father from being disappointed which kept him out of harm's way, it brought him space when he wanted to be alone, etc. He would never use the skill for wrong. His mother taught him to look to the bright side of things. She's also what inspired his courage that and he came to realize that even if he was afraid, he would have to face things. It's a necessary quality in a king and in everyday life. One thing he's never been able to get over is his gullibility and his naivete. He believes there is good in everyone and doesn't completely realize that someone might be using him. He's also incredibly playful and likes to make people laugh.

Hobbies:
-swordplay and care
-sketching
-hunting
Habits:
-twirls things absentmindedly
-messing with his lips when he's nervous (persing, biting, etc)
Oddities:
-Is unable to digest proteins correctly and gets very ill if too much protein rich food is consumed.
-Allergic to strawberries
Likes/Loves:(At least 5)(repeat format if more)
  • Sketching
  • His horse, Achilles
  • His sister
  • Sparing with guards
  • Telling jokes
Dislikes/Hates:(At least 5)(repeat format if more)
  • His father
  • Large crowds
  • Reading reports
  • No sense of humor
  • Being tricked




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Biography
Place Of Origin: Falon
History: Lucas Anthony Brigham is the youngest and only male in a family of four. When he was born, the kingdom rejoiced at having a male heir, a future king. The king and queen adored their little boy, but the one he adored most growing up with his sister Juliana. Unfortunately for him, she wanted little to do with him. Still he would try his best to make her love him. He'd leave her presents and sing her songs, but she never looked his way. There weren't many children in the castle except for Loria Estermont, Count Christoph Estermont's daughter, and Genevieve Hansdottir, a nobelgirl from Falon. Lucas wasn't a big fan of Loria, but they got along well enough. Genevieve and Lucas were probably better friends due to the fact that she had a brother. Gavin was his best friend.

The day he died, everything changed. Not necessarily because he died, but it seemed like something dark consumed the world. His father began struggling with ruling the kingdom, He was being prepped to be king earlier than necessary and wasn't enjoying it, his sister was engaged to be married to some man he had never met, and his mother was withdrawing. All these things also contributed to his own rebellion. He shirked his training and meetings, he openly defied his father, and would run off for hours before the guards caught him. One day, his father had had enough. He was found sparing with the guards after publicly defying his father in front of the kingdom and his father decided it was the best time to punish his son in a way he would never forget. He challenged his son to a duel where he cheated. When the boy was on his stomach, the king chastised him for having his back to his enemy. And dragged his sword in one long, bloody stroke down his back.

What Lucas didn't know was his father's change in personality was due to his excessive drinking brought on by the stress of running a kingdom. He was angry and violent and took it out on his wife and son in different ways. If anyone asked, he called it "strict parenting". No one would dare ask the king if he was beating his queen.

In fact, Lucas didn't find out until the night before his parent's death. He was walking to one of the studies, late at night. He was unable to sleep and thought he would get some sketching in. His mother ran out of his father's quarters, blowing past him. From what he could see as she streaked past, her dress was torn and there was an enormous bruise down her back. He ran after her, but when he rounded the corner she was gone. The next morning the king had been declared dead and his mother had disappeared. He didn't want to believe that his mother could do something so horrible. Someone else could've entered the king's quarters after she left.

A few days later, he was crowned king. Not long after, his sister left with her husband and her daughter--whom Lucas hadn't had a chance to meet-- to create a kingdom of their own. So Lucas was left alone. But not for long. Count Christoph Estermont had somehow talked Lucas into agreeing to something he never thought he would do. Marry Loria. So now, he has to be king, prepare for a wedding, and all on little training. Fantastic.

Happiest Memory: Summer holiday years before his family fell apart. Juliana still wasn't giving him much attention, but he wandered around the parties, sneaking treats and playing with the other kids in the castle. Back when Gavin was alive.
Saddest Memory: There are many.. Gavin's death, his father's attack, his mother vanishing, and his sister leaving. Not much to be happy about and yet he remains optimistic.




Face Claim: Bradley James

So begins...

Lucas Brigham's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Christoph Estermont Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loras Estermont
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Ris had never been the biggest fan of dances, but she couldn’t deny that this one was entertaining from the second she stepped into the ballroom by her fiance’s side. They’d been basically locked in a metaphorical closet together for the past little while in hopes of their getting along, and she hated to admit that it was working a little--the annoying kid from their younger years was growing up, and he was actually endearing. What had her life become?

In any case, she had other things to worry about right then, such as finding her brother. Her father was easy to find, he was constantly in motion. Her gaze flicked to him, and she offered up a little smile. She saw him often, as he was Lucas’ advisor, and so she soon moved on, looking with baited breath for her older brother.Image She found him dancing, and her whole expression lit up at the sight of him. She reached over, touching Lucas’ shoulder. “I’ll be right back.” She promised, and then she was gone, running towards where Loras was spinning a brunette woman around. The song switched, and the second the other woman let go of the captain of the guard, Ris was throwing her arms around him.

Loras almost stumbled when the blur of blue dress and white hair ran into him, and then he was crowing his sister’s name and plucking her straight up off the ground. They both dissolved into laughter, hugging tight to each other and marveling over how the other looked. Loras tugged on her sleeve playfully, and she whacked his shoulder in revenge. Up until that point, Loras had been dancing with various women who were not Juliana, and wishing that she or Ris were there right then. Well, the queen was present, but she was far away from him. He wondered if she remembered him... Hell. He wondered if his own father remembered him, Christoph was busy staring out at the gardens right then. Maybe he should approach him later...
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But his mind would not be worried that night. He had his sister once more, and he was there and that was enough for then. It was. “Care to dance?” He teased, and Ris gave him an terribly amused look before concern entered her gaze. She knew her brother, she knew when he was anxious or lost in thought.

“What’s the matter?” She asked quietly, and he offered up a smile, before exhaling slowly and glancing away.

“You know what’s the matter.” He murmured, and her gaze softened. They stood still together for a moment, in the middle of the dance floor, before he spun her around, catching her off guard and making her laugh. "I'll tell you everything soon." He promised. Letters were wonderful, but there was always the chance of them being read midway through transportation. Ris bit her bottom lip before nodding in agreement. They'd have time. It took moments for the two of them to start dancing again, joining the circle of skirts and laughter that spun all around the dance floor.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Cedany Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Asten Swann Character Portrait: Capheus Auclair
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Image Lucas entered the ballroom with his fiancè beside him. Ris looked absolutely stunning tonight in her blue dress and her glittering mask. They had been together more while traveling here than they had probably their entire lives and he was beginning to notice things he hadn't before. Like how beautiful her smile was, how kindhearted she was, and how much she liked to poke fun at people. As a child, he found her annoying, but now... It was endearing.

“I’ll be right back, ”, she said and disappeared into the crowd. "As you wish!" He called after her, though whether or not she heard him he would never know. Lucas found himself wanting to stick to her side for the night, but knew it was better to move around and socialize. Besides, there was one person he really wanted to see. Even if she didn't want to see him. His blue eyes gazed about the room searching for her, his sister, Juliana. He noticed her husband by the windows talking to her lady in waiting which he found odd, but thought little of it otherwise and continued in his search.

And then he saw her. She was standing with others off to one side, laughing and socializing. He suddenly found himself feeling nervous. As a child she paid him no mind, but now, would she also dismiss him? They needed to talk. He needed to understand why she left. Why she abandoned him. It was a stupid worry, he was a man now after all, but he had always adored his sister and looked up to her. He could never understand why she hated him so. And he knew she did. He could see it in her eyes every time he attempted to show her any kind of brotherly love. He bit his lip, a habit since he was a child, and then walked towards his sister.

A servant entered his path and offered a goblet of wine. He took it and thanked the servant, though it was frowned upon to give them such attention. It was their job. They didn't need gratitude, but it was just who he was. His father long gave up that teaching to him. At the thought of his father, his scar throbbed, but he ignored it and focused on the task at hand. Confronting his sister. He took a long swig of wine and took a deep breath.

"Your Majesty," He said with a bow. "My compliments on the beauty of your new home. I dare say it's more spectacular than home." He set the, now empty, goblet of wine on a nearby table and offered her his hand. He wasn't entirely sure that she recognized him now, especially with his mask. "My dear, Juliana, would you do me the honor of having this dance with me?" With his eyes, he pleaded with her. Please dear sister they begged, I must speak to you.






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Image Cedany had been wandering the ground of the castle for the bast twenty minutes. Her green and black gown that matched the green of her mask helped her blend into the night. She was making her way past the stables when she heard voices. Two men laughing and talking to one another in such delight that she found herself curious and decided to hide and listen in.

She peaked out and nearly gasped at the sight of Lord Auclair, the king's brother, and the stable boy in entirely intimate conversation. At first, he thought how rich this information could make her. Then she decided against it. While being homosexual was frowned upon widely in their time, Cedany didn't really mind it. She was unsure herself whom she would give her heart to. She found girls beautiful and boys handsome, but neither tickled her nethers.. so to speak. At least, not yet. She decided that she wouldn't mentioned what she saw to a single person beyond the two subjects themselves. If only to give them someone to talk to. While they were technically the enemy, this gathering is meant to be one of peace and peace she would offer. Maybe, or maybe she'd just keep it to herself.

She smiled and backed away from where she had been hiding. She decided to take a different path to the ballroom and allow them some time alone.

Once she arrived at the party and was announced to the room, she went looking for her favorite person. Her older brother, Ronan. She had thought about sharing what she had seen, but decided against it. Just because he had a forbidden love didn't mean he needed to know about the love of others. She had arrived just in time to see her father whisk away her brother's love leaving him angry and alone. She frowned, her heart aching for her brother. She watched Genevieve and her father dance a moment before she ran towards her brother.

"Ronan!" She squealed, throwing her arms around his neck. "Isn't this place grand?" She pulled him closer and whispered into his ear so only he could hear her words. "I'm sorry your heart aches brother. If there anything I can do to make your dreams come true, you only have to say so." She pulled back and smiled at him. A finger to her lips. She winked at him and said, "I'm capable of more than you think, and I hear more than you know."

With that, she disappeared into the crowd in search of some sweet treats and maybe someone to dance with. Unfortunately, there weren't many boys her age. Or girls. The only person closest in age to her was the princess of the kingdom, Giselle, and she was much younger. Ah well she thought. I'll just dance with myself then. No whirlwind romances for this princess.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont
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A room full of strangers, all of them drinking, all of them wearing masks. Wulf clenched her jaw in frustration. The amount of danger in this room was… astounding. The mask on her face shifted as she scrunched up her nose in disgust. A servant walked over and offered her and her king, who stood beside her, a drink; the young man took one while she waved the woman away. So much risk in one place, she needed to have her senses as sharp as ever.

I’ll be right back. Wulf shifted her steely gaze to the king’s soon-to-be wife. The small woman intrigued her to no end. She was a gorgeous specimen, with her porcelain skin, pure white hair, and bright blue eyes, but she also had a brain in her head. Wulf’s fierce glare followed her into the crowd, a slight scowl on her face. The farther she was away, the less likely Wulf would be able to help her in case of some sort of emergency.

The movement of Lucas jolted Wulf from her concerned trance. Her king wandered off as well, which worried her. But the fact that he was seeking out his older sister fretted her more. With a sigh she followed the blond slowly, making sure to keep some distance between them. There were some situations where having a body guard would make a king seem stronger, but right now, Lucas needed to strut all that he had learned.

Navigating through a crowd of semi-drunk nobles isn’t as easy as one would think. She had to push past dancers and servers alike whilst keeping her king in the corner of her field of view. That was until she, quite literally, ran into someone. “My apologies, sir-” She paused to visually take in the person before her. Tall, muscular, blond hair, not to mention dancing with the king’s soon to be wife. “Ah, sorry once again, Captain.” She took her hand off the hilt of her sheathed sword to place it on her chest and bow her head respectfully. “And good evening to you again, lady Loria.” Wulf bowed once more to her future queen.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Christoph Estermont Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait: Eleora de Croismare Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Mary Hardin Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham
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She had honestly been worried about this day. The day that the three Kingdoms would come together and be reunited within the Western Palace. She had made sure that preparations for the ballroom were in order within a week in advance as people scurried to make sure things were done. Juliana was even more worried that her brother was going to be there, as well but maybe he wouldn't recognize her behind her mask but then again, her one of kind blonde locks of her hair might give her away. Juliana was just about ready to enter the ballroom but she was too busy outside as she paced from side to side, her mask covering her face so no one who she was.

With a slight huff, she turned heel as her body now faced the entrance of the ballroom. She walked up the stairs that led into the grand hall as she was absolutely stunned with the way everything looked. She dropped her jaw with amazement as she continued on walking through the hall. Juliana watched as people were dancing around her, chatting and laughing as she eavesdropped on a few conversations, giggling softly to herself. She loved social events such as this as her face behind the mask told the story. Her eyes wavered over everyone present as sh enjoyed their styles of choice for tonight's event. Soon, she had spotted her husband as she knew his stature and body a little too well now. As bad as she wanted to go over there and make her presence known to him, he seemed quite occupied with Lady Eleora so she decided to place herself elsewhere.

Juliana went over to the table where she grabbed herself a goblet of wine, taking a brief sip from it as she let out a sigh. She often wondered to herself why did Cyprian and Eleora get so close to one another, let alone how did they become so close. She eyed them from afar while taking brief sips from her goblet here and there. She was taken away from her thoughts as a male came up to her, as bowed and complimented her home.

She knew that voice from anywhere, let alone his blonde hair as she sat her goblet down and took his hand. "I'd love to dance with you, brother Lucas or shall I say King Lucas." She said with a smile while walking beside him towards the middle of the dance floor and started to dance with him. "You know, you don't have to dance with me to talk. Something's troubling you. I know we haven't been around each other in quite sometime but your facial expressions haven't changed." Juliana mentioned as she waited for Lucas to speak what was on his mind. No matter how much she disliked him, if her brother needed her help, she was down for helping him.


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Mary really didn't want to go to the ball tonight as she hated being around large crowds of people. Mostly because of the stares she'd get and the mutters she'd hear. But good thing about tonight is that they will be in masks and no one would know who she was exactly. But then again, what if someone did recognize her behind her mask. She stood outside of the ballroom, as the thoughts pondered within her mind. She sort of hesitated walking up the stairs before her as she tried about three times and not even making it past the first step.

She didn't want to be embarrassed. She didn't want to embarrass anyone else either, especially Christoph. Mary knew she couldn't stay outside forever so with the strength she had, she walked gracefully up the stairs as her mask shined as soon as it hit the lighting within the building. It seemed as if everyone's eyes had dawned upon her as she was flushed. Mary was asked to dance by a male dressed in black and white as she accepted his proposal and waltzed over to the dance floor with him. She danced elegantly along with the male as when the song ended, he bowed towards her as she curtsied.

"Pardon me." She told the male as she walked over towards a window to catch her breath. All of that dancing, well just that one dance, had made her a little bit tired already. Mary walked along the area where the windows were as she saw a male standing all by himself. Mary looked left then right before stepping outside and standing beside him now, enjoying the breeze that blew between them as the aroma of flowers warmed her inside. Her eyes glanced over towards the male as she knew who it was - Christoph.

"Simply memorizing, isn't it, love?" She inched closer to him now, wrapping her arm around his as she rested her head upon his arm now. Mary smiled up towards him as she loved the vibes that were being sent through her right about as her head continued to rest upon Christoph's arm now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Adelaide Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Theran Ulfricson Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Cedany Ulfricdottir
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Juliana took his hand and accepted his dance. "I'd love to dance with you, brother Lucas or shall I say King Lucas. You know, you don't have to dance with me to talk. Something's troubling you. I know we haven't been around each other in quite sometime but your facial expressions haven't changed." She said as they made their way to the dance floor. He was suddenly thankful he had learned to dance long ago. Not necessarily for his sister, but to keep from embarrassing her at her ball in her home. He placed his hand on her hip gently, and took ahold of her hand and eased them into the dance.

"Now, Juliana," he murmured, "You and I both know that's not true. We've never been the best communicators." He took a deep breath before asking the words he's been anxious to ask. "Juliana... why did you leave? Did I do something to you as a child? You've never acted very warmly towards me, and now I have the courage to ask you why?" He spun her around, her skirts swirling around her. "I'm not here to beg you to come home so don't worry about that. I just want to know what I can do to fix things. We could be allies. I think both our kingdoms needs some peace."






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Cedany stuffed sweet treat after sweet treat into her mouth. She was slightly jealous at the skill of the kingdom's pastry chefs. The treats back home didn't melt in her mouth the way these did. She jumped when Aren came up behind her, letting out a squeak. She smacked her half-brother on the arm. "Aren! Don't you know it's impolite to startle a lady!" She followed his gaze to Lady Genevieve and their father dancing. The light left her eyes a little as her eyes quickly darted to Ronan and back. "Yes. It's great.", she muttered.

The song changed and he tugged on his sleeve. "Aren, dance with me! I adore this song!" She begged. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her sister and let go of Aren to rush to her. She enveloped her in a massive hug. "Addie!" She squealed. "Come dance with me and Aren!" She pulled both of them onto the floor and began to dance with them and around him. She didn't care if it wasn't entirely proper. It was fun and what better way to enjoy the party than with some of her favorite people.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Giselle Auclair
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{Collaboration between myself and xXxCryptic-AngelxXx}

Juliana eyed Lucas as he placed his hand within hers and his hand upon her hip then eased them into the dance. Her face told the whole story as she wondered when he learned to dance. Of course, that wasn't really an important matter to attend to right now as she continued to look at him when he started speaking. She rolled her eyes when Lucas stated that they have never been the best communicators, which was true but she didn't despise her brother, since he was of her blood, after all.

His next question caught her off guard as she was spun around by him then stopped dancing and pushed herself away from him. She gave the look of really as she walked back up to him and whispered within his ear. "Lucas, such matters shouldn't be discussed out here in the open." She muttered while taking a hold of his hand and basically dragging him into an empty room, making sure no one else was present then closed the door behind them and eyed Lucas.

"I didn't leave home because of you, Lucas. I left home because of father's death and didn't feel the need to stay there and watch you rule. I wanted my own Kingdom to rule so that's why I left with Cyprian and my daughter. I always wanted to rule Falor since birth but then you were born and I lost my chance." Juliana would walk closer to her brother, Lucas, now and wrap her hands with his. "I honestly didn't like it when you were born as I knew that you were going to be the heir of Falor. But if it's an alliance you seek then I am all for that, as well." She muttered with a smile, looking up towards her darling brother now as she bit her bottom lip nervously.

Lucas crossed his arms as he listened to his sister explain her departure from home. A weight seemed to rise off his shoulders as she spoke. She didn't hate him. Or at least, it wasn't the reason she left. He suddenly felt selfish, but he had already opened the door, it was time to walk through it. "Juliana.. I'm sorry." He whispered. "I didn't realize that I had taken something you wanted. To be truthful, I always looked up to you and thought you would be an excellent queen until Mother said I was to rule."

Juliana heard his apology and just looked at him as she rose her hand up to his face, caressing it with a smile. She did, at one point and time, adored her brother but when he was deemed the next King, the next one to the throne of Falor, she disliked him. But she'd never tell him that out loud. Her eyes went towards Lucas as she shook her head. "Wouldn't it have been obvious? I was the first born and I wanted that throne more than anything else. And of course you always looked up to me. I couldn't be away from you for two minutes without you starting to whimper or cry like a little puppy." She told him bluntly while looking at him now as his lips parted for him to speak.

He ran his hands through his hair, knocking his mask from his face. It fell to the ground with a soft thump, but he didn't reach for it. Instead he just kicked it to the side so neither of the siblings would step on it. "But you never said anything. At least not to me. Not even a goodbye." He looked back towards the door. "I never even got to see Giselle before you left."

He looked back at her and clutched her hands. "We could've changed the law or.. I don't know something. You just left me. Alone." He sounded weak and he hated it, but he needed her to know that her leaving left him feeling hollow. "Father was dead, Mother's disappeared, and then you and your family vanished. Then you were here and creating your own world. A world without me in it. I thought you hated me, Juliana." He took a deep breath and released her hands, he tucked his pain back inside his heart and smiled the way a king would smile without a worry in the world. "An alliance it is, dear Julianna."

Her eyes looked as the mask hit the ground as she would've reached down and gotten it for him but he kicked it off to the side. "What could I say, Lucas? Father's dead, Mother's gone and so am I? I saw an opportunity to rule so I took it." She said then locked her gaze with him as he mentioned Giselle.

"Well, I didn't think you cared since when she was born, you were at a council meeting. A council meeting! That made it seem like you didn't care for her birth so that's why I never showed her to you. That's why I kept her closer to me." Juliana about had tears in her eyes as she held them back while her eyes gazed upon her brother now. "I could never hate you, Lucas. You are my brother, after all. I wanted to be there for you but I couldn't be your Queen. That would've been gross and how would the world have looked at us then." She dropped her hands back by her side as she smirked at Lucas.

Lucas chuckled. "Well that would be totally unfair to the other kingdoms. They'd be outmatched." He joked. "But seriously that's not what I meant. I would've stepped down if I had known." He sighed, then and said, "As for Giselle, you know I would've been there, but Father would've flayed me if I had missed that meeting with the council. He also, kept it hidden from me until after the meeting had come to a close."

"You'll have to talk matters with my husband if you want an alliance." She said as she turned heel and over to one of the windows, her eyes peered outside of it now. She knew this day would come and she'd thought that she'd be ready but truthfully, she wasn't. She felt like she won this little argument inside as she smiled at the thought then cleared her throat as she continued to look out the window.

He followed his sister to the window, "Speaking of tall, blonde, and king regent, how is Cyprian? He's okay with you wearing the pants isn't he?" He nudged her with his shoulder playfully. "Oh! Did you hear? I'm engaged. To Ris of all people." He shook his head, but he was smilling.

Juliana chuckled at Lucas' question then pushed his arm, which really didn't budge him, a little. "He's okay, I guess. We've unfortunately grown apart." She muttered softly while her head lowered with a sigh as her head perked up when she realized that they've been away from the party for quite some time. "Uhm, maybe we should go back to the ball. I am sure people are looking for us or something." She waved her hand towards him while reaching down and grabbing his mask, handing it to him now. Juliana placed her arm out for Lucas to link with his own arm as she waited until he did so they he could lead them back into the ballroom.

Lucas frowned at the new information about her husband, but didn't say much. It wasn't uncommon. He silently hoped that things would improve for his sister. He was very pleased with how their conversation went. He smiled at his sister and held his arm out to her. "Shall we?" Once linked, he pushed the door opened and walked them back out to the ball. He bowed to her and kissed her hand respectfully. "I shall leave you to converse with your guests, my dear sister. And I shall find Cyprian." He turned on his heel and strode to where he last saw the king regent.

Juliana nodded her head at Lucas as they linked arms and he pushed the door and walked them back out into the ballroom. When he bowed, she curtsied as a soft gasp came from her lips when he kissed her hand. It was unexpected and she nodded her head towards him. "Be safe, little brother." Was she had the time to say before he ventured off to find her husband, Cyprian. She wondered who she could venture out to within this moment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Giselle Auclair
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Giselle pulled at the sleeves of her dress. Being around so many people at one time was something new to her, and she wasn't very comfortable. Being the shortest person there, and a child at that, earned her a couple of stares here and there. She stood at one corner of the ballroom at the moment, as she scanned the hall for any familiar faces. Giselle spotted her mother across the room, with a few others at her side. She silently hoped her friends wouldn't mind the intrusion, and walked over. She walked through people dancing and socializing, soon seeing her father and the lady in waiting alone talking. She furrowed her eyebrows in confusion. Giselle shook her head and continued on towards her mother.

Before she could reach her mother, a young man began dancing with her. Almost immediately, they walked into a more private environment. Who was that man mother was talking to? Giselle asked herself this, and moved off to the wall to wait. Once her mother and the man appeared again, she hurried towards her mother before she'd miss her again. Giselle pulled a little on her mother's sleeve to get her attention. "Mother? Who was that man? He looked a little like you.." Giselle let what she said sink in, before she apologized. "Ah! I'm sorry for prying, mother, but I'm rather curious." As Giselle waited for an answer, she thought about who he might be.

He looked a little like her mother, and she contemplated this. A relative? What relative does she know that looks like him? She knew of not a single person. The only evidence she'd have was what her mother would tell her, if she would give her any information on that man's identity.

(Sorry it's so short)

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Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait: Eleora de Croismare Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham
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He slowly became lost in his thoughts as he stood there, admiring a bush of newly flowering buds. The garden was a magnificent thing, he had to admit that. He glanced further up the row of windows and spotted a man smaller than himself gazing out on the shrubbery. For a moment, he considered walking to him, speaking to him out of courtesy more so than anything else. But then he recognized Christoph for his silvery hair. He hadn’t changed much in the two years since he’d seen Falor, but perhaps now his entire head seemed a bit more peppered with gray.

Cyprian wasn’t aware of Eleora’s presence until she spoke out, and even then, her voice was so gentle, so soft, that it was almost swallowed by the crowds. He turned quickly towards her, worried he may have said something in his reflections he hadn’t meant to disclose. But it was Ellie, and he smiled at her in a mixture of relief and joy.

”Yes, it is,” he returned, looking forward once more so that they may avoid the suspicions of the other nobles. He knew some might watch the two for a bit longer, but there was nothing odd about simply speaking with one’s servant. It just came off as attentive and friendly. Cyprian looked back at her now though, and they made eye contact, but he struggled to keep from smiling again. He wasn’t some love-sick girl, but damn it, if he didn’t feel like it at times. Their love was something he’d craved for ages - one of mutual affection and embracing and passion. It wasn’t a struggle for power or possession like so many other relationships he had seen in his years. No, this was different.

”I had worried you would not attend,” said Cyprian, looking at her and then around them before looking back out at the garden again. ”We could go for a walk, if you’d like. Slip away just as a song begins.”

He waited for his moment, calculated it perfectly, and then turned to Ellie to invite her after him. Cyprian reached a hand ever so slightly for her, hoping to seize her hand and run off. But his eye caught on movement behind him as Lucas approached.

”Dearest brother-in-law,” he greeted, stepping slowly back from Ellie as he turned to face Lucas, forcing an air of civility into his voice. ”My, you’ve grown up. Your father would be proud to see you now, I’m almost certain of it.” He took note of the three inch difference between the two of them and smiled ever so slightly. He extended a hand to take Lucas’s in. ”Have you spoken to your sister yet? I am certain she would love to speak with you.”

He frowned now, noticing an air of business about this encounter. Lucas seemed to have come with more of an intention than simply catching up with his brother-in-law. ”Can I...help you with something, Lucas?”

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Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont
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You’re fine. Loras bowed back and flashed a soft smirk.

I think we were a little lost in the music. The dainty smile on Loria’s face caused Wulf’s own lips to curl upwards slightly. In any case, Captain, how many times have I told you to call me Ris?

A short, deep chuckle rolled off Wulf’s tongue before she could stop it. “My apologies, Lady Ris.” There was a touch of humor in her tone. “It’s a respectful habit that I’ve had a rather hard time breaking.” She nodded at the younger woman once more, the smile still on her lips.

After a brief moment of eye contact, Wulf shifted her gaze to her older brother. She was glad that the secret heel in her boots raised her height slightly so the two were at least around eye level. “I suppose I should introduce myself formally, Captain Loras, since we don’t have the time to do so on the battlefield.” She held out her hand, offering the other man a firm handshake. “The name’s Chrys Wulf, Captain of the Kingsguard under King Lucas of Falor.”

It was then, after she reminded herself who she was, that Wulf realized she hadn’t been looking out for her king. She did a quick scan of the room, only to spot the blond exiting a room, followed by his sister. She couldn't help but bite at the inside of her lip, hoping that the young king was alright. Gah, stop that. He’s a man, not a boy. Stop mothering him. Wulf returned her unintentional glare to Loria before shifting it back to Loras. “Would you mind if I stole your sister away for a bit? Perhaps, for a dance?” She extended her hand once more, but this time, it was in the direction of Ris.

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Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait: Eleora de Croismare Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham
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Ellie wondered, for a brief moment, if he had even been able to hear her. She wasn’t quite sure what she’d do if he hadn’t, and she bit her bottom lip, her already knotted hands tightening on each other. The crescents in her palms from the last time she had been this nervous, too nervous, were only just beginning to heal. She was struck with the strange and silly want for Cy’s calloused, gentle fingers to brush over those marks. But that can’t happen if he hasn’t heard you, Ellie, She admonished herself.

She was drawn straight out of her thoughts by a familiar, voice, and she couldn’t help the smile that came to her lips immediately. He had heard her, and her whole heart felt like it had taken flight when she saw the look on his face. That brief moment of eye contact, that split second to convey adoration and hope and a gentle smile was not nearly enough. Ellie glanced down at the floor, as was her place as a servant. She had made sure to stay a little behind him. Their dance was a careful one, always, stolen touches and glances, but Ellie... Well, she could be told all the rumors in the world about women being swept away by kings and left behind, and if her Cy was looking at her that way, she wouldn’t care a whit.

Sometimes, she thought she was a little too human.

“Yes, it is.” He spoke, and her gaze flickered up again. They made eye contact in a more permanent manner this time, and she bit the inside of her lip to keep from smiling. She could see him fighting to keep the corners of his mouth in check as well, and she wanted little more in that moment than to reach forward and brush her thumb over his jaw. And yet, even that would be too much. “I had worried you would not attend,” He said, and she let her hands loosen from their too-tight hold at last. “We could go for a walk, if you’d like. Slip away just as a song begins.”
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“How could I not come?” She asked softly, making sure to pitch her voice this time so that he would be able to hear it a little better, though she was still cautious of the many other people that lined the ballroom. It was a comforting publicity, though. Everyone was so busy talking to each other about private things and mingling that they wouldn’t notice anyone else. “I haven’t gotten a hug from you in days.” She teased gently, gazing out at the garden. She was relatively sure that her heart had taken up residence in her throat by the time he finished his sentence, and she was terribly grateful that there was no blush upon her cheeks. That, at least, she had more control over than her smile. “I’d love that.” She admitted. To steal even half an hour away, she would be grateful. If she had learned anything from this, it had been patience with time.

The music went on in the background, and she tapped her foot gently to the rhythm of one of the more familiar tunes. “I’d steal you away for a dance, if I could.” She murmured, affection clear in her voice. The song ended, and hope rose up in her chest. She let her fingers extend the barest bit, searching out his touch--

And then the moment ended and the next song began and there was her mistress’ brother. She let her hands rest at her side, as if nothing had happened, her eyes widening a little at the sight of the king of Falor. She curtseyed in greeting, but stayed silent, soon folding her hands and taking a step back, leaving the two men to their discussion. They’d have their moment, she reassured herself silently, and she tucked a loose curl back behind her ear absentmindedly. She watched them a little, listening to her beloved’s voice, waiting to see how Lucas would respond. She was terribly excellent at blending in with the rest of the mass of people, appearing clearly as nothing more than a serving girl.

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Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont
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Ris smiled upon seeing the Captain smile, taking some not-quite-pride in being able to get various Captains of the Guard to smile. They were supposed to be a rather stern bunch, but both Wulf and Loras held a special place in her heart. The amused spark in her eyes remained, and mirth joined it soon enough. She laughed softly, raising a pale eyebrow at the Captain’s use of the word respectful. “I’m not married to Lucas yet.” She admonished with a playful air. “Besides, wouldn’t it be more respectful to honor my wishes?” She made it clear that she was teasing, a smile pulling at her lips and a chuckle following the edge of her words. “Listen to me, I’m obnoxious.” She shook her head, and released her brother when Wulf addressed him, tipping her head up to turn that amused glint onto him.

Loras chuckled, returning Ris’ look before inclining his head to the other Captain. “Can’t deny that. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” He spoke, and extended his hand, returning the handshake. “Loras Estermont, Captain of the Guard under the queen of Seabel.” He had to say, he was rather proud of the queen for taking such power for herself. It was something that few dared to do. He noted how she looked around, and how Ris found his hand again. Both of them were looking out for that king, it seemed, both seemed concerned. ImageLoras was about to ask about that reaction, wanting to make sure that both the Captain and his sister would be alright if Lucas didn’t rush over and fling his arms around both of them, and then Wulf was speaking once more. A dance? He glanced to Ris, who squeezed his hand gently in permission, a little reluctantly, though she hid it well. He was only able to tell because of how close they were.

“Make sure to return her in one piece.” He hummed in a teasing manner, squeezing her hand in comfort. Ris laughed, leaning up to kiss his cheek.

“Wulf is terribly capable, I’m sure I’ll be fine in his hands.” She admonished, reaching out to take the Captain’s hand. “However, I’ve never actually seen you dance.” She spoke directly to Wulf this time, releasing her brother’s hand and taking a step forward. “Should I be afraid for my feet?” She teased a little. Loras chuckled softly, and crossed his arms, watching them for a moment. He’d find her later, he silently promised when Ris glanced back to him.

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Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait: Eleora de Croismare Character Portrait: Adelaide Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Theran Ulfricson Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Cedany Ulfricdottir
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Image Lucas smiled at his brother-in-law, completely oblivious to the closeness of the man and his sister's lady in waiting. He took his brother's hand and gripped it firmly as he shook. He clenched his jaw a bit at the mention of his father, but it was not easily seen. "Good Evening to you, brother," He greeted. "I have, in fact, talked with Juliana already and I am quite pleased with the outcome. We have poor communication skills, I'm afraid, but it seems we were able to patch things up."

He turned back towards where he had left his sister for a quick glance, but the crowd was blocking his view so he turned back. "As for what your help, I have a proposition for you." His eyes darted to Elora and back. "Privately if you would not mind." He smiled at the young woman beside the man and bowed respectfully to her. She was not a noblewoman, but if his mother had taught him anything it's that women should always be treated with respect. "I shall return him to you shortly."

He looked back to his brother gestured to the room he and his sister and recently vacated. "Shall we?"

He barely waited a moment before he began to walk towards the room. Once inside he shut the door behind them and spoke with authority he saved for addressing the kingdom and the court. "I recently had an idea that I feel would benefit both of our kingdoms. I have run it by my sister, but she has requested I speak with you on the matter. My request is this: An alliance between our kingdoms. We've seen so much war I feel it is time for some peace. What do you think, dear brother-in-law?"






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ImageCed laughed at the love and affection that her family gave in return for hers. Aren and Addie were both laughing at their antics. She was quite pleased with herself for so quickly and easily bringing her family closer together in a time of obvious separation. Because of the masks.

They danced together happily and was soon joined by Ronan. He stumbled into their little group like an elephant drunk on champagne. Cedany laughed, the sound of their voices filled the air and warmed her heart. She smiled innocently at her eldest brother and batted her eyelashes. She knew his real reason for joining them probably had to do with the proverbial bomb she had just dropped on her brother, but he needn't worry. She would tell no one. This was information she planned on taking to her grave. She held tight to her siblings' hands and yelled, "Now Ronan, dear brother, are you sure you can keep up? We all know you have two left feet!" She was obviously joking, but what else were siblings for than making jokes about one another's skills?

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Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont
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Can’t deny that. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Loras Estermont, Captain of the Guard under the queen of Seabel. Wulf took his hand gladly, shaking it firmly. Nothing like a solid handshake to start a good friendship. Ah, how she wished they could be friends. The second they became captains of two different, opposing armies, their fate was declared. They were enemies who only met peacefully when their masters deemed it so. Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.

When Wulf asked Ris to dance, Loras didn’t seem to mind, which brightened her mood somewhat. Make sure to return her in one piece.

Wulf is terribly capable, I’m sure I’ll be fine in his hands. Wulf only let out an agreeing mixture of a grunt and a chuckle in response. She took the younger woman’s hand and started moving her towards the dance floor. However, I’ve never actually seen you dance. Should I be afraid for my feet? The light teasing in her tone brought the smile back to Wulf’s face; this meant that the younger woman was actually somewhat comfortable with her.

Wulf stopped once she was nearby the other groups of people dancing. She turned the blonde so they were facing. With their two hands held together, Wulf placed the other on Ris’ hip. “I always told my men, if you can’t dance on the floor, you can’t in the battlefield.” With that, she started the pair moving, swaying back and forth slightly. “However, it wasn’t until Lucas’ coronation party that I realized I really couldn’t dance.” Wulf glanced down at her feet; they moved with a mind of their own, every step calculated and placed perfectly. “I also realized that I would never hear the end of it until I learned how to dance properly.” Wulf smiled down at Ris warmly, briefly taking note of their immense height difference. She was practically a head taller than the younger woman. “So I hired a teacher. Imagine that, the Captain of the kingsguard, learning how to dance from a woman who I’m pretty sure is older than the gods themselves. I was afraid she’d crumble to dust on the spot.” Wulf let out a low, throaty chuckle, not once stopping their slow, flowing dance.

“Now, the real reason why I dragged you out here isn’t because I just wanted a dance with a fair lady.” Wulf paused in her speaking to outstretch the two of them, twirling the blonde in a circle before pulling her back. When she was back in Wulf’s grip, her gaze turned serious. “Lucas is… worrying me. He just spoke to his sister, which, I know, might not necessarily be a bad thing.” She paused to sigh. “He’s a man, no, he’s a king, and I shouldn’t be fretting like this. But so many people who are enemies of Falor in one room… He's young and intelligent, but not wise. I'm afraid of him making some sort of youthful decision without council...” Wulf shifted her hand, sliding it across Ris’ lower back to pull the woman in much closer. Their bodies were practically touching, and Wulf leaned in to speak quietly into Ris’ ear. “If you see anything strange or suspicious, find me, immediately. It is my duty to protect both you and the king, and I will allow no harm to come of you.” It was then that Wulf loosened her grip, allowing them to move apart a bit more.

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Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait: Eleora de Croismare Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham
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”Well, I am certainly glad to hear that,” he replied, taking note of the fact that Lucas and Juliana had already spoken. He was surprised, to be honest. Cyprian hadn’t imagined his wife speaking to her brother without, more or less, being forced to. He had heard a great deal from her, in the years they had been married, of her hatred for her younger sibling. He supposed he would ask her about it later.

Cyprian let his brother in law’s hand drop after an appropriate amount of shaking. Goodness, how he’d grown. He had seemed like a child when he and Juliana left, but Cyprian could begin to see the way his facial features had begun to lose their baby-like appearance, the way he gripped his hand not as a child but as an equal.

"A proposition?" he echoed, cocking an eyebrow for a moment, revealing his piqued interest. Slowly, he let his gaze back to Eleora, and he frowned for just a moment. "Yes, I suppose." He spoke as he looked at Eleora, his eyes flashing with a sort of longing. But he refocused himself and looked at Lucas just as the younger man bowed to his mistress. Oh, if only he knew. Perhaps Cyprian felt a prick of guilt, watching his brother in law treat the woman who had cuckolded his sister with such civility.

Cyprian followed after Lucas into the adjoining room. He waited, and he listened, and when Lucas asked for his opinion, Cyprian pressed his lips together and cast his eyes away.

"She sent you to me to approve your little...peace treaty?" he asked, his voice laced with a sharp sort of incredulity. Cyprian let out a sort of laugh and paced for a moment. His back was to Lucas now, and though it may have come off as disrespectful, he needed a moment to himself. His arms crossed over his chest without him thinking about doing so. Finally, he turned, forcing his arms at his sides as he stepped back to Lucas.

"Pardon me," he started, inclining his head slightly in a polite gesture. "I just...I was caught off guard. You understand, of course?" He walked to a table in the center of the room and balanced against the edge of it, crossing his arms once more. "Two years. Juliana and I - or, well, Juliana - has ruled this kingdom, and now she asks for my opinion?" He was being irrational, he knew that, but he needed this. Two years of bottled up emotion had fermented, and now it seemed to show itself in bursts of emotion that he couldn't quite hold back. It was his temper, his damned temper getting the best of him. But he needed this. He needed this outlet, someone to hear his grievances.

"Peace is certainly in order, brother," he agreed, nodding slowly before letting his lips purse again. "Too many a good man has died in the name of our nations - good men on both sides, mind you." He frowned now, looking at his feet. "Men I called brothers, slain in my wife's name."

He hated this, despised it. "It has brought nothing but strife, Lucas. You must see that, no?" He made an unapologetic eye contact with his brother-in-law now, his eyes narrowing ever so slightly like a cat's might as it plans the best route of attack. For Cyprian, however, it disclosed the fact that he was thinking quickly, his mind working as it had years ago on the field. The rush that overcame him was a beautiful, all-encompassing one, and he swore he could have thrown himself at the young king, taken him by the arms and exclaimed his plan. But that wouldn't do. Subtly was key - he knew that.

"Why bother with treaties when a reunification would be far more beneficial?" Cyprian stood now, and he stepped once, twice, towards Lucas. "Two years. Our people have fought and suffered and died for two years, Lucas. A treaty won't silence them as easily as my wife would believe." He paused, processing his next words for a moment. "Few know a man's heart as well as a soldier does, I can tell you that."

He reached out now, placed a hand on Lucas's shoulder in a fraternal manner. "Our people are in need of a long peace, dear brother. Don't deny them that any longer than you must." He remained even-toned through the exchange, but he couldn't ignore the pounding of his heart in his chest, the rush he got as he spoke. Perhaps they would write songs of Cyprian Auclair as the man who reunited Falor, who returned peace to the East.

Yes, that sounded quite nice.

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Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham
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Image Lucas listened to his brother-in-law speak. The man was venting, he could tell, which worried Lucas. He knew his sister said that they had grown apart, but the man before him was angry and was very close to treason. He would never tell his sister if it came to that though. She had enough to worry about.

When Cyprian had calmed for the most part, Lucas forgave him. "Juliana said you had grown apart. So she rules on her own most of the time it seems." He nodded, allowing Cyprian to continue. His heart ached as his words. His people were unhappy. Juliana's departure and creation of the new kingdom had affected many lives, he knew, and there had been great losses on both sides. What he hadn't predicted is that those who left their home to build this new one, were not happy. His heart sank when Cyprian spoke his fear, a treaty would not bring the two kingdoms peace.

He began to pace and that's when Cyprian stepped towards him, breaking his from his thoughts. "Why bother with treaties when a reunification would be far more beneficial?" he questioned. It was a good theory and Lucas considered it for half a second before he realized what it meant. Juliana would lose her crown. "I hear you brother and though I agree, Juliana would never accept it. Unless..." He thought a moment, running his hands through his hair. Then he realized he had forgotten his mask here in this room and went to retrieve it. "Unless I give Juliana the crown. Then there would be one nation under a fine ruler, Juliana could come home, and our nations would be at peace." He smiled at his brother in law, but the man didn't look pleased.

"You don't agree?"

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Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston
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Ris turned her attention back to the captain of the guard, knowing that she would see her brother in a moment. Why the Captain had wanted to dance with her, she wasn’t quite sure, despite their being at a ball. Perhaps it was silly of her, but she hadn’t expected him to be the dancing type. She supposed he was graceful, but seeing him in a waltz was never something that she expected to see. She positioned her hands, resting her fingers delicately on his shoulder, fitting their hands together. Wulf’s were cool, and her own were warm, as they often were. Wulf began to speak about dancing, and the smile from before pulled at Ris’ own lips, amusement sparking in her gaze once more. “That is a sight that I would pay to see.” She teased. “Do you think you could reenact it, for me?”

Ris’ brow furrowed slightly at the Captain’s next words. She twirled around, her curls bouncing against her back as she was brought back to Wulf’s chest. She agreed with every single word from his mouth about Lucas. It was... strangely frustrating, that protectiveness that had risen up in her. Usually, she was only this die-hard over her own brother, and he had been one of the first people to be genuinely kind to her. Ris was a little caught up in her own thoughts, though, and ImageWulf suddenly drawing her near made her inhale sharply in surprise. Those blue eyes widened for a split second, barely enough to notice, and then she leaned forward the tiniest bit to catch every word from his mouth. "If you see anything strange or suspicious, find me, immediately. It is my duty to protect both you and the king, and I will allow no harm to come of you.” He said, and she nodded, just enough that he would be able to feel it and few would be able to see it.

“I will.” She murmured in promise, and it felt as if something was sealed between them. She moved away when Wulf's grip tightened and twirled once more, raising his hand above her own head in order to do so. Her hand then lit upon his shoulder once more.

Yes, she would tell him... Unless, of course, she was the suspicious thing. If it affected Lucas’ wellbeing, though... Well. He was quickly shifting higher on her list of priorities. She’d keep a weather eye out.

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Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait: Eleora de Croismare Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Giselle Auclair
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Juliana was standing nearby as her eyes watched her brother and husband converse with one another. She eyed Lady Ellie but didn't know if she had saw her or not, so she just turned away for now and knew that they were going to make the best decision for their respective Kingdoms. Yes, she ruled Seabel by herself, it seemed at times but she wanted Cyprian to have at least a little input on the matter. While she raised a goblet to her lips, she sipped the liquid inside then let out a sigh. She continued to watch her brother and husband closely but was quickly pulled from her thoughts by her precious jewel, Giselle.

She smiled warmly at Giselle's question as she knelt in front of her now. "How adorable you look, Giselle." She said first as she admired her daughter's attire then rose up to stand upright now as she smiled again. "That's my brother, Lucas. Your uncle." She muttered towards her daughter while she noticed that Lucas and Cyprian had disappeared. With a raised brow of curiosity, she looked down at Giselle once again. "No need to be sorry. You have a vast array of wonders up there." She pointed to her head with a smile then chuckled.

"Come, darling." She extended her hand out for Giselle to grab as once she did, she'd lead her over towards to where Lady Ellie was placed. Juliana would smile once she approaches Lady Ellie while looking at her. "So, are you enjoying the ball so far, Lady Ellie?" She'd ask with a smile while looking down at Giselle, just to make sure she was still there and have not wondered off. "Oh, where is Cyprian and Lucas? I want to show Lucas his beautiful niece." She'd wave her hand over towards Giselle before her eyes went back to stare with Lady Ellie's, awaiting immediate answers.

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Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait: Eleora de Croismare Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Giselle Auclair Character Portrait: Capheus Auclair
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Ellie knotted her hands together at her front, her palms making a slight indent in the skirt of the dress that she wore as she watched on. Her head was tilted down, her teeth making a slight indent in her bottom lip. She was a little worried for her Cy at Lucas’ words, to be entirely honest. What sort of a proposition could the king of Falor make? As much as it hurt her beloved... he had no power in this kingdom. As the queen’s consort, there was nothing that he could do politically besides go behind her mistress’ back. Perhaps he had even had more power back when he was nothing more than a noble, at least then he had had lands that stretched before him, ready for the taking. He told her about them sometimes. Now, he held about the same amount of political influence as a pretty bracelet upon her mistress’ wrist. It was a weight upon his shoulders and a wound in his side. She saw how it wounded him, and she wished to comfort him, but she was rooted to the ground by the knowledge of both Lucas and Juliana’s eyes on her.

She knew the latter was watching, despite not looking towards her. It felt as if she were always watching, and Ellie was infinitely grateful for Capheus’ influence in their lives. Whenever Cy snuck off to be with her, Capheus was the willing scapegoat. Earlier in their relationship, he had saved them many a time. She wondered where he was, briefly, and then a slight smile touched her lips at the thought that he was likely with his stable boy. Silently, she wished them both safety and happiness.

She raised her gaze a little as Cy looked back to her, prairie green meeting emerald as she offered gentle support even silently. The longing, while invisible to all others, was poignant to her, striking through to her heart. If there had not been the weight of a kingdom and expectations on their shoulders, Ellie would have stepped forward then and caught him up in her arms, possibly to never let him go. Her expression would be unreadable to those others who looked at her, though, and her eyes soon went to Lucas, surprise coloring her expression. He promised to return her Cy safely, and she curtseyed to him in response, remaining respectfully quiet even as she offered up a gentle smile. She looked to Cy once more as Lucas left without waiting, her lips forming the words good luck when she knew that Juliana would not see. Then, the two men were gone.

Ellie looked after them with curiosity in her gaze, letting that become obvious. She would seem a slightly nosy lady-in-waiting, but she had done nothing to arouse suspicion of any sort. She looked back to the gardens soon enough, taking a deep breath of the cool night air. It smelled sweet, and she couldn’t help but smile. The scents of roses and jasmine and clean water found her, the safety of the night seemed to reach out its hands towards her--

And then a dreaded, high pitched voice reached her ears, and Ellie’s heart squeezed in her chest. "So, are you enjoying the ball so far, Lady Ellie?" The queen asked. Ellie turned to look at her once more, her smile gentle as she looked between Juliana and the tiny princess and her eyes alight.

“Aye, madam.” She answered, curtseying to her in response, dipping her head down a little. She tucked that stray curl away again, her hands clasping together as she looked towards the stars once more. “It’s all so beautiful.” She whispered, almost in awe. Cy particularly, the thought flickered through her mind. “How have you liked it?” She inquired curiously. “I imagine you’ve been to many a ball in your lifetime, majesty.”

The queen smiled, and her next words caused surprise in her that was easy to see. “Oh, where are Cyprian and Lucas? I want to show Lucas his beautiful niece.” Ellie met her mistress’ eyes, searching them for a moment, her own lips slightly parted in a silent question. She had thought that she hated her little brother, or at least was indifferent towards him. To show one’s child to him... Well, that was infinitely personal.

Plus, there was the issue of the two men being in the middle of their discussion right then.

It was not her place to question, and it was her place to warn them before the queen stepped in. “Right this way, ma’am.” Ellie curtseyed to her once more, smiled at Giselle, and then moved towards the room that Juliana and Lucas had recently vacated and that the latter and Cy were currently in. Her heart ached as she walked, though she hid it perfectly. So much for their walk in the garden, she thought.

“They’re in here, highness.” Ellie explained, looking to the queen. She raised her hand to the door as they reached it, and knocked four times, loudly. It would be impossible not to hear, impossible for the men inside to be able to ignore it. She lowered her hand, then, taking a step back and lowering her head once more, allowing Juliana and her daughter to go ahead of her. Hopefully, it would give Cy enough time to finish his conversation.

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Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait: Eleora de Croismare Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Giselle Auclair
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Giselle looked at her mother and smiled. "Thank you!" Giselle then proceeded to scrunch her face up in confusion. "My.. uncle? I never knew I had another uncle." That explains the similar looks. Was she going to meet him? She watched as her mother stood, taking her hand as she approached the lady in waiting. Giselle lit up at the mention of meeting her uncle. As they followed Ellie to the room they were in, which she noticed was the same from before, Giselle looked around and saw many people dancing, mingling with their comrades. A quieter atmosphere was certainly in her favor. As Ellie left, she smiled back at her, and waited for the doors to open. She was also happy to see her father, so it was killing two birds with one stone, basically. Could this be some sort of family reunion? Possibly. One would think of it many different ways in that sense.

Giselle suddenly piped up, "Do you think he'll like me?.." She didn't want her uncle to dislike her. She was always willing to meet new people and get along with them. After all, how could she know that he didn't despise her? He never seemed to bother to meet her when she was an infant, or at least see her as a child so she would remember the encounter. She silently hoped it was a contradictory matter.

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Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait: Eleora de Croismare Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Giselle Auclair
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He pulled away his hand now as Lucas began to speak, giving the boy his own time to propose an idea. Perched once more on the table, Cyprian kept his arms crossed. He was right, of course. Juliana wouldn't have accepted such a proposition after all they had been through; they'd done too much to turn back now and accept defeat. But maybe she would see his point, and she would agree that it had been too long, damn it. Something had to change, and he had to see to it that it did.

But he had never thought of going about it the way Lucas suggested. His arms crossed more tightly, if that were possibly, and he set his mouth in a frown. Cyprian looked up as Lucas finished though, his brow furrowed by now to complete his expression.

"Well, no," he said, letting his arms fall to push himself off of the table. "Not particularly." He strode towards Lucas once more, meeting him by where his mask had fallen. "I love your sister dearly, Lucas. You, of all people, ought to know that." Cyprian paused, forcing his statement to sink in. "The crown has changed her though. She would not tell you that, of course, but I can assure you it has." Had it? Well, of course it had. The crown changed anyone. Had it changed her for the worse? Likely, but Lucas did not need to know of such doubt. Cyprian knew how to speak to his audience, and he did so in an alarmingly skillful manner.

But maybe that was what he wanted. If Juliana had power, he too would have to wield something. She could never do it alone, and who would be better for advising her than her own husband? For a moment, a smile nearly crept on his face, but Cyprian destroyed it all too quickly. "But if it came down to that...well, I would do anything for the people." Perhaps he meant to add more to that statement, but Lucas would never know. Four sharps raps came from the door, and Cyprian looked at it quickly before looking back to his brother-in-law.

"We shall speak of this another time," he requested, stepping away now to answer the door. Though he wore his concerned expression when he answered the door, he quickly replaced it with one of excitement as he crouched down and seized Giselle in his arms. For a moment, he held her off of the ground, as he often did when he greeted her, and then he placed her back down. As he walked past her on his way to Juliana, he gave Giselle's hair a gentle ruffle, attempting to avoid ruining her hair.

"Good evening, my love," he said simply, still wearing the same smile plastered to his face as he leaned forward and kissed her cheek. For just a moment, he let himself make eye contact with Ellie, and then he turned to his wife. "Lucas and I were just finishing up. I am glad to hear you both are on speaking terms again."

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Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Giselle Auclair
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Image Lucas frowned as he listened to his brother-in-law. Had Juliana changed so much that her husband was willing to take her crown? Lucas felt conflicted. He loved his sister and didn't want to hurt her, but if the crown had become toxic to who she was, there was no way that he could allow her to continue. It wouldn't be good for her, her family, or her kingdom. But Lucas couldn't be sure that he could take Cyprian's word for it. The queen herself told him that they had grown apart. He shook his head, sharply. He wasn't about to believe that his brother-in-law was conspiring against his wife.

There were a few knocks on the door, interrupting their conversation. Lucas nodded at his brother's request. "Another time, then."

The door opened and Juliana and a small angel with soft brown curls entered the room. Cyprian's arms went around the girl and a tight hug and he ruffled her hair, careful not to mess it up. Lucas grinned. He didn't need to be told who the girl was. She looked very much like his sister when she was young. He walked over to the young girl and crouched in front of her. He bowed his head slightly and said, "Good Evening, Princess. Are you having a fun time?" He pulled a flower from his coat pocket, a present he had intended for his fiancè and held it before her. "I'm your Uncle Lucas. It's a pleasure to finally meet you.

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Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait: Eleora de Croismare Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Giselle Auclair
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Juliana eyed Ellie as she gave her a response to her question if she was enjoying herself. Of course, she said that she was because who would tell their Queen that they wasn't enjoying themselves within her own home. She smiled when Lady Ellie said that everything was beautiful as she nodded her head in agreement. "Why, yes. I am having some fun." She muttered towards Ellie as she shrugged her shoulders. "Well, I've only been to one.. three.. ten, at most." Juliana waved her hand in the air as if attending ten balls wasn't exactly a big deal.

When Lady Ellie started the small trek towards where her husband and brother was, she grabbed Giselle's hand and waltzed along her side. They approached the door, much like when her and her brother were speaking earlier, as Lady Ellie knocked four times. Juliana looked at Ellie and muttered a soft thank you. She rubbed her hand against Giselle's as she knelt down beside her. "I am sure he will adore you." Juliana muttered towards her daughter just as the door opened to reveal her love, Cyprian behind it along with her brother, Lucas.

Juliana stood back up now and saw Cyprian playing with Giselle as her gaze went towards her brother. She then looked at Cyprian as he went to kiss her cheek, which she allowed him to do. Juliana cleared her throat with the nod of her head. "Yes. You can say that we are back on speaking terms." She said with a smile as her eyes went back to Cyprian. "It's nice to see my husband for the first time tonight. Why did you get here so fast?" Juliana inquired with a curious expression as she looked at Lucas and Giselle and saw the flower that he had presented towards her.

She let a slight awe slip through her parted lips as she looked at Cyprian. Juliana wasn't really worried about why her husband came to the ballroom so early but she was indeed wondering about his talk with Lucas. She gave her husband one of those 'I really need to talk to later' looks and even looked towards her brother, giving him the same look.

"Well, I think it's past someone's bedtime, yeah?" She looked at Giselle then waved for Lady Ellie to come forth. "Mind putting her to bed for me?" She asked with a delicate smile while giving her daughter a tight hug. "You sleep well, my sweet." She told her daughter before standing back upright and standing in between Lucas and Cyprian, now, watching everyone as they were having a great time. Not to say that she wasn't but she just wished that she had at least gotten to dance with Cyprian - At least once. She let the thought wander off from her mind as she turned towards Cyprian with a slight smirk. "Care to dance?"

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Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston
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Wulf’s (perhaps relieved) sigh warmed Ris’ chest, inexplicably, and then his laughter made a smile come to her lips. She squeezed his hand playfully as she returned, feeling as if some sort of a weight had been removed from her shoulders. She wasn’t alone in her endeavors, it seemed. And there was something about the Captain that caught her off guard, made her think that... well, perhaps that nothing could possibly go wrong in that moment. Of course, she knew that that illusion would be soon to shatter, but it was nice to enjoy it in those few seconds.

She felt a little guilty in that moment, her mind going to the seed that had been planted in her heart for Lucas. Maybe she should be seeking him out, looking for him and trying to find him... Briefly, she glanced away, and her gaze lit upon him. He was just disappearing into a room with the king of Seabel, his brother-in-law, and she felt... Well, perhaps the tiniest bit ignored. Political ventures dealing with kingdoms over political ventures dealing with spouses. She couldn’t say she was exactly surprised, to tell the truth.

ImageHer gaze returned to Wulf the second that the Captain began to speak, and she couldn’t help but smile at her words, her gaze lighting up almost immediately. Truth be told, Ris loved to dance, and she didn’t think she was quite ready to leave either Wulf or the dance yet. There was something about the Captain that intrigued her, that perhaps he could see past her facades and her giggles. “How could she have taught you a jig if she was busy trying not to fall apart at the slightest breeze?” She raised an eyebrow at him playfully, and seemed about to go on before she was suddenly pulled back to Wulf’s chest.

The laugh that bubbled up upon being swept into a dance was genuine, and her eyes brightened at the silent answer to her question. Apparently, this old woman had done her job well. Ris followed expertly, successfully avoiding stepping on his feet as they leapt and twirled. “You have to introduce me to this woman,” She teased, her blue eyes bright.

The music reached a swell near the end, and Ris moved as if to spin out. Wulf’s hands were releasing hers, then, and confusion flicked across her expression before she realized what was about to happen. Laughter sparked in her gaze, a protest starting to form on her lips before the Captain suddenly caught her about her waist and she was hefted into the air as if she weighed nothing. She couldn’t remember having laughed this hard in ages, and perhaps the momentary freedom from expectations and decisions was getting to her. She braced her hands as best she could, holding tight to Wulf despite knowing that he wouldn’t drop her.

ImageThe song ended all too soon, and Ris was the tiniest bit dizzy by the time she was set upon her feet. She kept ahold of Wulf’s wrists, just in case, chuckling softly in the aftershocks. She immediately waved off any apologies, taking a deep breath to get herself under control. “You’re just destroying all my expectations of you, Captain.” She teased, pulling her hands back a little to push her white curls back behind her ears from where they had fallen into her eyes or were threatening to. “How did that teacher of yours teach you that?”ΩShe shook her head as he continued to speak, and after a moment of hesitation, she went up on her tiptoes, kissing his cheek gently. “Thank you.” She said earnestly, searching his gaze. “I haven’t danced like that in ages.” She admitted, and a little smile that pulled at her lips was the only remainder of the bouts of laughter that had shook her shoulders. That eyebrow went up again after a moment, amusement flickering in the deep blue. “And it’s Ris.” She reminded him gently, a little playfully. “Just Ris.” An unassuming nickname for a person who was far more than she seemed.

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Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston
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Wulf had to dampen her laughter just to hear what Ris was saying. You’re just destroying all my expectations of you, Captain. Wulf’s sharp, gray gaze followed her dainty hands as they pushed her blonde locks behind her ears. It was practically mesmerizing; she could watch that simple action all day. How did that teacher of yours teach you that?

Wulf smiled down at her, small chuckles still rolling off her tongue. “Well, I was taking lessons for a while-” Her humorous explanation was cut off when she felt, not saw, Ris lean up and kiss her cheek. Her soft, warm lips sent arcs of electricity down Wulf’s spine.

Thank you. I haven’t danced like that in ages.

It was then that Wulf’s modest blush grew, turning the tips of her ears and just above her chiseled jaw bright red. Why were they acting like this? Like little school girls, giggling and kissing with youthful infatuation. “I-I, uh… well..” Wulf cleared her throat, looking down at the ground, before realizing she was acting foolish. She wasn’t a child; she had pride. There was no need to act so silly. Wulf straightened her back, standing up fully. “You’re very welcome, lady Ris.”

And it’s Ris. Just Ris.

Wulf smiled, a genuine, jolly smile. “You’re welcome, Ris. Also, thank you for the dance.” She took a step back, still holding on Ris’ wrist. Shifting her grasp onto her hand, Wulf leaned forward, planting a tender kiss on the back of Ris’ hand. She let it linger, perhaps a second or two longer than she should have. And before sitting up, Wulf kissed slightly higher up on Ris’ wrist, but only for a quick moment. Blink and you would miss it.

Suddenly, a huge commotion broke out. Before even trying to process the situation, Wulf pulled Ris against her side, keeping her arm wrapped around her protectively. Her free hand sat on the hilt of her sword, ready to be drawn. Wulf’s glare turned fierce, unforgiving, as she scanned the room for a source of danger. However, the uproar died down quickly.

Wulf let out a deep breath, relaxing her shoulders. It wasn’t until a few seconds later that she realized she was still gripping onto Ris. She released her sturdy grip and took a step back, bowing apologetically. “Ah, sorry about that, Ris. It was… instinct. Perhaps we should go find King Lucas...”

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Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait: Eleora de Croismare Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Giselle Auclair
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It brought a smile to his face to see Giselle reunite with her uncle. He hadn't thought she wouldn't remember the young man, but it had been two years. It only made sense when he thought about it. Would she see him again soon? If their plan worked, she would. Hell, perhaps they'd grow sick of each other. Cyprian could only hope. His attention turned back to Juliana as she responded to him.

"I am glad to hear," he added, nodding gently. His brow furrowed ever so slightly as she questioned his timing at the ball. "I've been here since it started. You know I don't enjoy being late to such events - especially those in my own home." Cyprian looked away for a moment, looking back at his daughter for a moment before turning to Juliana again. "It is good to see you as well."

He knew not what to say in regards to Giselle's bedtime, for while he'd tucked the girl in on multiple occasions, he was never truly the type to send her to bed. He left that to Ellie or Juliana. Not that he wanted to, but he always grew anxious when it came to parenting. Perhaps his own parents had set expectations far too high for him. But he almost smiled to himself as he noted he would never be as miserable a parent as Estermont.

"Good night, sweetheart," he said, crouching to place a kiss on her brow. As he stood, he made eye contact with Ellie and nodded, pulling his brow into an expression of genuine upset - it made him look regretful - regretful he hadn't asked her to dance, to run off into the gardens. Perhaps she'd find him later. "My lady." In those words, as he nodded his head, he hoped to convey his emotions, praying she'd tell somehow that he still wished to see her - no, he needed to see her. Oh, if he could just hold her in his arms for a moment.

But he was ripped from his thoughts as Juliana spoke, and he turned to face her. "Of course, love."

Cyprian made an effort to match her smirk, but it turned into more of a sad smile as he held an arm out for her to take. He guided his wife on to the ballroom floor, and then he let her spin out slowly before he drew her back into his arms. They moved elegantly, perhaps better than most - if not, all - of the couples in the room. He'd been rained to be a knight, and she to be a princess. Together, they worked deftly through the dance, matching each other even as Cyprian looked around himself, too anxious to stick to one place for long.

The song ended, and he pulled her in close, perhaps intending to kiss her reassuringly. But then the screaming began, and he realized the music had ended due to the violence beginning to unfurl in the middle of the crowd. He could see nothing, but he could hear everything - bone crunching, women crying out, and the voices of two men from Ostwall. It was a peculiar accent - thick and harsh sounding to the lilting Eastern accent that he'd grown up with. What a shame - they always seemed to struggle with such events.

"I suppose...that's the end of it?" he asked, his arms slowly dropping from Juliana as he watched the fight dissolve and the guests depart from the hall. "They've gone and ruined it." His gaze followed Ulfric for a while as his lips pressed into a fine line. "What a shame."

"Shall I escort you to your room, Julia?" He stepped to her again, taking her hands in his. It seemed real for a moment. He could recall their wedding day - an opulent affair, funded by two obnoxiously wealthy families. They had danced about in eachother's arms, and he swore he'd never let go of her. But now he wanted nothing more than to run to Ellie and hold her tightly. But he couldn't let his wife know that. "Might as well rest up for tomorrow, no?"