Nar 30, 228: Old Demons

Old Demons
Summary: Caillin's and Ruthgar's paths cross for the first time since their betrothal was announced - on the battlements of Darfield Castle.
OOC Date: 02/08/2013 (OOC)
Related: We All Have To Get a Chance , The Contract , Shocking News , More Shocking news
Ruthgar Caillin Gaela 
Battlements, Darfield Castle
From these ramparts of gray stone, you can look down upon the courtyard through arrow slits and holes in the wall for pitch or other hot liquid to be poured through. The sky ranges above the flat expanse of battlements. Torches are lit in small alcoves to keep them from the elements yet still casting light around the battlements. The deep blue night sky is clear and cloudless, and the stars glitter. A brisk breeze blows from the northwest. The only exit is back down.

The sky is clear, and the Sun shines brightly down upon the world. The day is warm, a gentle breeze stirring the air.

Nar 30th, 228

An early morning it is on the battlements of Darfield Castle, the sun shines brightly - almost too brightly - for the thoughtful mood of the young dark haired knight who stands there, pale grey eyes staring out over the lands through one of the holes in the wall, his left arm resting against the cool stone as he leans against it, while his right hand holds something and plays with it absentmindedly. Something that glints in the light of the sun. He wears his tunic in the red and black of his House, breeches of black sammit cover his legs, and brown leather boots his feet. Ruthgar's gaze drops for a moment to his hand, and he frowns, shaking his head a little.

"Oh, finally!" in quite a joyful whisper a soft voice pronounces. Another voice of the woman adds "We weren't here for quite a long time, your Highness. I missed this place! The view is so nice!"

First one to show up is the handmaiden Gaela. Dressed as always in simple dark dress. At first she runs straight near one of the holes, just to see how city looks like in the morning. But quickly, her eyes ctach the sight of the knight and worried glance is turned to the stairs.

Caillin finally appears on the Battlements. She covers her shoulders with the light cloak, which sways as playfully as her flaxen curls in the breeze, which is way more stronger than on the ground. There is a black gown under the cloak. Flowers colour of amber glimmer on the soft fabric of the wide skirt. The long sleeves end at the elbow to a slightly trumpet form and are seamed by the russet laces and the cords of the prominent lacing in the bustier area has the same glare.

At first the princess curiously raises an eyebrow at her handmaiden "What's wrong?" But quite quickly she understands. Grey orbs finds another eyes, which have similar tone. The heat runs straight to the cheeks of the young girl and she leans at the wall with her hand, in order to keep herself on foot. She does not say a word for now. Just Gaela offers a respectful curtsy.

Immersed in his own thoughts as he is, Ruthgar almost would not have noticed that his solitude is about to be disturbed. But then the proud Ruxton knight turns, the gentle breeze tearing at his dark brown locks as he notices first the handmaiden - and then the Kilgour princess. His pale grey eyes widen a touch and he swallows, hastily stowing the small glinting piece away in that small pouch that hangs at his belt. "Your highness," he murmurs, his tone soft but with a low grumble underneath as he bows for Caillin. Straightening again, his eyes at least are not that distant as usual as his gaze locks with hers, the hint of a nervous smile tugging at one corner of his mouth. "I… hope you are well?"

Corners of the young princess' lips try to jump up, but effort is fruitless. Well, at first. She just manages to swallow a massive mixed gulp of fright, worry, surprise and many other emotions.
Just when her handmaiden aproaches, putting her own hand on girl's shoudler, Caillin manages to stand up straight. She nips the fabric of her skirt, raising it a little bit and offering quite a respectful deep curtsy.
This curtsy, for some reason, makes young girl chuckle. Just then rosebud lips form the wide smile and Caillin, somehow, joyfully answers "I am good. Very good, my lord," and very brief, but vivid sparkle flashes in these grey eyes, when they find lord's.
Girl in a quick pace approaches the wall, placing her hand on one of the holes and curiously glancing at what is happening below. However, her gown sways even more near the ground than usually. Likely, because these little feet can't stand in one place at the moment.
"How are you, my lord?" whispers Princess, still not turning her gaze back to the man.

The chuckle of the princess seems to transmit some of its cheerfulness onto the knight. The hint of a smile grows in intensity, while his pale grey eyes follow her as she moves to the wall - in a way closer to him, but not close enough to be inappropriate. Hearing her reply he inclines his head, looking a little relieved. "I am well enough, in a way. So… you are not wroth to see me, your highness? I wasn't sure about how you'd feel about… what our families have decided for us…" Studying her carefully for a moment, the Ruxton hesitates before he adds with a sigh: "Especially, since I feared you would think I knew all along. When I visited you in your chambers, your highness… When indeed I was as unaware of this plan as you…"

She listens carefully to what the lord is saying. However, her gaze is fixed on the crow, later on a familiar child in the courtyard. Finally, when he asks a question… Quite funny question, Princess laughs once more, turning to him now and leaning against the wall with her back. Grey look bravely finds man's eyes and remains there. "My lord, why would I think that you already knew anything?" brow raises briefly "I knew that it will be a surprise for you too. Well, I felt it… Somehow…"
Princess bites her lip, studying Ruthgar for a moment. Letting just the diz below disturb the silence, which would be quite awkward.
"Wroth… You think that would help? If I would be wroth seeing you, would that help for us? Well… To… Just to… You know…" girl stammers. She shakes her head. More about that stammering, not about what she wanted to say. Caillin inhales before continuing "We could join our wroth against our fathers… But what it would give us? Nothing… We do not have another choice, my lord. Wroth wouldn't help us to… live… love… We need to find something else…Together."
When she finishes her mind, girl's look slips to man's handsome shoulders, climbing down his hand and resting on his fingers just for the moment, before jumping on the knee and falling on the ground for a few seconds before floating back to his eyes and remaining there.

Ruthgar sighs as he sees and hears Caillin's reaction. "No… it wouldn't help. Your highness. But I figured, maybe… Maybe you had hoped for a prince… someone more fitting to your station." he replies with a low grumble, lowering his gaze, although that last sentence she says makes his eyes jump up to her face at once, his grey eyes widening a touch, a strange - almost intimidated - spark entering them. His jaw tightens - for a tiny moment only, and it seems he would want to take a step backwards, before his stance finally steadies and he endures the Princess's assessing gaze with a bewildered smile. "I… am glad you think so." His voice a little shaky beneath that pleasant soft tone. "Your highness." His smile is pleasant, but some strange expression has suddenly entered his pale grey eyes that seems a little odd, a cautious glare perhaps?

"We will be…" Princess inhales deeply, closing her eyes and, likely, trying to get comfortable with the words she says "…husband," pause lasts two inhalations and two exhalations "wife…" She peeks at the man, maybe to see if he is also afraid of these words for now, but grey look swiftly moves back to the courtyard, making the young girl turn her back to the lord.
Pale fingers are running through all these stones in the wall gently. "For this reason I will be honest…" sighs leaves girl's throat before she starts her long monologue:

"When I saw you in the storm… You and your stud… When you visited me later… I…" Caillin chews on her lip for a moment, letting the wind to kiss her cheeks, giving some more redness for them. "A strange wish to ask my father, somehow, make you my personal guard, raised in my head… and heart, I must admit…" Princess peeps at the man briefly, turning grey eyes back to the pale fingers, which still are running through the stones. Flaxen curls are cuddled up to the wall as the shoulder, which leans against it not so far away from the hole, through wich it is possible to see an oak.

"I didn't ask. It was too late. Almost at the same moment, when the wish grew up, I was invited to the family meeting, where surprise about betrothal bumped into me so fiercely. I became… I became a person, which I really hate. I believe the hand of Inouv touched me. I started to think about…" Caillin frowns and hatred to herself starts dancing in the grey eyes "…about titles, lands, the prince… I thought my father wants just to get rid of me or something. I was… so selfish…" long exhalation follows the word, which makes young girl flinch.
She taps three times at the wall before continuing "Then I started to think, a lot. I spoke with people around me. I even spoke with myself. Of course, in my mind!" chuckles princess, muffling the sound with the hand.

"Now I understand, especially after the conversation with your brother, that I need you," she turns back to the man and fixes the gaze straight to his eyes "as you need me… It was not our father or mother, who did everything. It was Gods and Goddess. They know the best, what is the best!" One corner of the lip jumps up, forming half-smile and girl takes a step closer to the Ruthgar. "When I saw you first time," now her intent gaze examines his. It may look that she is trying to read his mind "I felt that… You do not trust people… I guess you barely see the light… You have shadows in your past. Your brother said I am right," maybe slightly proud sparkle runs through girl's bright face "I felt, that something is not right in here," now she is close enough to raise her hand and touch the place, where man's heart is beating "… and I heal people. I helped for many commoners and childrens, when they had a shadow in the same place as you do… Nobles, children, commoners, we all are the same and that is why you need me!"

Finally she understand where her hand is. For this reason the same hand quickly appears on her own neck, giving a nervous scratch. Girl turns away and whispers "Look at me! Who am I? The girl, who forgets her guards not accidently. The girl, who can't keep her tongue in the mouth. The girl, who is used not to obey and forgets the rules… Your are the one, who may teach me how to grow up? And that is why I need you…"

Caillin sighs and crosses her hands in a hug, as she would be cold and would try to hug herself not to freeze. But, likely, it is not the reason. Maybe the reason is, that she is afraid or worried. But she manages to turn her gaze back to Ruthgar "So, it was the Light, who decided to join our ways to the one and we must be wise, follow their light even if it may be hard…"
Princess bites her lip and lowers her head. "I am sorry, my lord, that I waisted your time with my long and…." yes she skips the words, which may be not very suitable to use "… speech." Caillin cants her head, putting it on her own shoulder and nervously rubs the arm with another hand.

Pale grey eyes rest on Caillin as she launches into her long speech, their expression softening a touch as he hears about her former plans to make him her personal guard. "I… feel honoured, your highness.", he remarks, inclining his head, although that look in his eyes stays a little bewildered. Nodding a little as she describes her reaction to the news, albeit nothing more. But her own confession that she lacks discipline and uses every opportunity to flee from her guards earns her the next affirmative nod. "I would not insist upon it, if it weren't that risky, my princess. I would not have anything bad happen to you." He exhales. There. He shakes his head, his eyes looking surprised at his own observation. Then his gaze returns on her, watching her in her oh so appropriate distance. "The Light…" The words leave his lungs in a sigh. "I… Maybe you are right, my princess." And then his gaze becomes distant again. You don't know a thing about me, and I would be a fool to tell you… "What has Robben told you, I wonder?", he inquires, his gaze lowered, his tone a few degrees colder than before.

There is nothing, just a cold tone. Princess sighs. She is trying. As people offered for her. But yes, she forget the most important part - time. This thing sometimes can be cruel.
Girl touches her burning cheek gently. She withdraws from the man. Away. To be quite far. Just because he wants it, likely.
"Your brother is wise…" Caillin once more finds man's eyes. However, now her gaze is sad again. Really sad and thoughtful. "Don't be afraid… He did not say anything about these shadows of your past. And I did not asked. I respect you and I respect your… well… past, I believe, which still is walking with you now to the future. All, what your brother said was that We need just time and then we may reach that happines which he found…" girl sighs and shakes her head "I told him, that I am afraid. I am afraid there will be no this happines in our lifes about which your brother was talking."
Silence. For quite a long time. Well, it may look long, but actually it just a few minutes, before Caillin looks back to her future husband's eyes "Do you know what he said? Just give him the chance… Chance…" Princess lowers her head and arms. "But I just can ask the same, what I asked for your brother: Do you want to get that chance? Sometimes people chose rather live in their past than moving forward… I am afraid…" Girl winces "Your answer may be no… the same no, which you say to my invitation," unnaturally chuckles the princess. "Then I should ask, can you give me a chance? I need one too… and I guess…I…" girl bites her lip. Trying to stop the word? Or trying to stop the tear? Or both?

Ruthgar lets out a low snort. "Oh, he is. And he was lucky, in a way." This said in regards to his brother. "If your father had come up a little bit earlier with this idea…" The voice trails off, the young knight's brooding gaze resting on Caillin, and he shakes his head. "Forgive me. I… did not mean…" Again he pauses. "A chance…?" The Ruxton inquires, his pale grey eyes returning to Caillin's own of so similar colour. "He is right about that. While you… you shouldn't worry, my princess. I have no choice but give you this chance. And no reason to deny it. In fact I would be happy if I could earn your trust and esteem." But not more than that, probably…

If my father would come up a little bit earlier with this idea… Sadness comes up to girl's eyes again with more force than before. The sea starts waving in these grey eyes. There is just one wink in need, that the water would start falling down as in waterfall. Girl hugs herself again and turns her back for the man. Caillin starts pacing away. Though, not out of the battlements. Just away from the man, mumbling words under her nose silently. Just some of them can be heared in the air: "…just trust… esteem…husband… why… destiny… what…"

Gaela, princess handmaiden, who is hearing everything, who was standing in the shadow, even if the princess is turned to her and she can see these tears, she does not move. Handmaiden remains farther, just letting the two of them to speak.

"I am sorry that you do not have another choice," shaking voice utters slightly louder, that the man could hear it "I am sorry, I am not the person from your dreams… I am sorry, that you have to face the…" disappointment "But I will try my best to…" It looks like the girl can not hold that innocent and honest sobbing anymore, her shoulders move up and down and voice is shaking even more "become your frie…" shake of the head can be seen "a good wife, which will…." some words are mumbled again and just the last one "duty" may be heared more clearly, before princess adds "Then there will be that trust and esteem… just trust and esteem…" And girl leans against the wall, putting her head on the hand and trying to hide all the outburst of sobbing.

There is pain in Ruthgar's eyes now, as he sees Caillin turn away and at the same time he knows he can not possibly tell her about that thing in his past that haunts him still. "I… I am sorry. That came out not the way I wanted…", he mutters, clearly at unease as he sees her break down, and suddenly not caring anymore about proper distances and what is expected of him he moves over to the princess, extending his hands to place them gently on her shoulders. "I am sorry.", he inhales deeply. "You do not deserve this. Can you forgive me?" Pale grey eyes study her with concern and some deeper sentiment within, before he inquires softly: "You mentioned you wanted to give me a chance?" Letting go of her he takes a step backwards, not wanting to intimidate her with his presence. "There are some old demons paining me, it's true. I will not speak of them to you again." His mouth twisting into a half-smile as he digs that something out of his pocket he had been holding in his hand earlier. "I promise, I will proceed as anyone would expect me to."

Caillin gives no reaction to the hands on her shoulders. She just sobs. As a child. Breathing deeply. However, she hears. She hears everything, what he says. And when he speaks about demons, she turns her grey eyes which now are so wet and red straight to him. The tip of her nose is reddish too. She cants her head and not thinking about any proper things, the girl just extends her hands and clasps them around the shoulders of Ruthgar. It's that hug, which would be given for a friend. Which would be given for a father or brother. A firm hug, while tears are falling down on the man's shoulder.

Caillin whispers to his ear "Stop saying, that you will do as everyone is expecting from you. I don't want to be your duty. I did not dream about this. I did not…" *sobbing* "I will be your wife, I hope I am worth at least to know these demons, that I could know with who I need to deal…"

Caillin remains for a few more minutes hugging the man and crying. Though, when she hears how Gaela is coughing, girl withdraws from the man and not caring about her dress, she just takes a seat on the ground, clasping her hands around legs and almost crouching near the stony wall. Tears are still rippling through her cheeks, but a little bit slowly.

"Can you look at me not as into your duty? Please… I… I…" girl sighs, cleaning one drop away from the tip of her nose "The duke of Southerlands and my cousin lady Terrwyn… Princess Ciarrah and my brother… Your brother and lady Aemy… Even my brother Logen, if we believe rumors, found that thing called… love," the last word is whispered so silently that it may mixed with the whistle of the wind and remain unheared "my cousin and lady Aemy even are carring the most incredible expression of love…" hand slips to girl's belly "We all dream about that. Everyone around me has it… but not me. I already conciliate with that. I am not asking for it, likely, Gods and Goddess decided I am not worth of that, but… My lord, I am asking the only one… Don't make me your duty, don't make," she rubs her belly "that - duty…." Princess blushes and lowers her head, hiding her eyes under these flaxen curls.
For now, the princess is not looking at him, at his hand, pocket… Just that word said by his lips "expect" carries more and more pain into her little heart.

His gaze flits to her hands on his shoulders, and Ruthgar twists away from her grasp as soon as she mentions his demons. "I… might tell you, one day, your highness. Caillin." Now he uses her first name to address her, like a betrothed would do, probably. "No more talk of duties, I promise. Yet you do not know me. As I do not know you. Give me a bit of time, to know you… trust you,.. and… " It is then she starts speaking about love. Somewhere during that long list of loving couples Caillin is so quick to mention as an example of happy marriages, the Ruxton knight turns pale and lowers his gaze. Maybe even when she is speaking of that 'incredible expression of love'. "I won't.", he finally mutters. Then, his pale grey eyes raising to meet hers he repeats, his tone determined and firm: "I won't, Caillin. I promise, by the gods and goddesses of the Light." It is now that he digs into that pouch and removes a piece of jewelry from its insides, offering it to the princess with a bow.

It is a bracelet, made of polished silver, its links shaped in the form of the silver anchor of House Ruxton. There is one of a slightly larger shape, carrying a small ruby at the point of its center where the beams join in a cross, attached to it so that it will hang down from the lady's wrist who will carry it. "It used to be my grandmother's." Ruthgar explains with a genuine smile. "My father had it sent to me, as soon as he returned to Weston. The horse of the messenger almost died, as it was pressed to move as swiftly as it could, I hear. To bring this to me, that I could present you with this gift. My grandmother was a kind person. Given what I know about you already I am sure that you of all deserve to wear it, as you have a similar kindness in your heart."

Caillin raises her head, cleaning all the tears. "Then I promise I will never cry again," and a brief smile is given "I will wait for your trust. I will wait for our each meeting, which will let me to know you better and you - me. I will do everything, I can to… just to… somehow… reach that…" each word is pronounced more and more slowly, because the gaze of the young girl now curiously slips to the man's pocket.

Caillin stands up and that incredibly beautiful bracelet glints in front of her eyes. She hears that voice of the lord Ruthgar, which explains everything. And here. She just promised never to cry again and tears shows up. However, this time a wide smile grows up too. These small drops this time means strange happiness. "My lord Ruthgar… I feel flattered… I have never seen anything as beautiful as this… I promise It will be the most precious thing for me. I will keep it safe and always close to me…" and she extands her hand, letting the man to pin up the bracelet. "It is so beautiful… I would like to hear more about your grandmother… about you, your whole family…" Princess shakes her head "I am repeating myself, but really, it is my only wish for now, my lord Ruthgar…" his name is now pronounced somehow really warm.

Seeing the tears have ceased finally, Ruthgar relaxes a little, relieved to see Caillin's reaction to the bracelet as he puts it about her slender wrist, taking a few moments to fasten it, his grey eyes lingering on her fingers perhaps a little longer than would seem reasonable. "I am blessed.", he mutters, loud enough for Caillin to hear. "Blessed to have such a beautiful future wife." His gaze flitting to Gaela, the Ruxton takes a tiny step backwards then, assuring the adequate distance between himself and the princess. But not for long. Turning his gaze to Caillin, he corrects her with a warm smile: "Just Ruthgar, my princess. We are betrothed now and should get used to calling each other with our first names, don't you think? If I may offer you my arm now, to escort you off these battlements. Noon is almost upon us, and I am sure you must be starving…"

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