Thedor 229: The Dawn Of A New Day

The Dawn Of A New Day
Summary: Duke Aidan discovers the promises of a new beginning were not exactly what he expected them to be. The memoir of Aidan finding Laetitia on the beach.
OOC Date: 20/01/2014 (OOC)
Related: To The Ends Of The Earth, The Song Is Ended But The Melody Lingers On
Aidan Laetitia 
Stormvale Beach
Beach by the rocks

Aidan hadn’t been able to sleep much at all with the excitement of the other night, trying to desperately recall how the warmth of the Queen felt in his arms, while the opened letter from her was upon his night table. She was serious, her intent drawn up in the missive, she wanted to leave to Lakeshire Hold. Officially. It wasn’t some cruel dream after all.

He had spent a long time gazing at the castle’s silhouette, a curious smile on his face, one that ebbed and flowed with the rise of anticipation for the coming dawn and his fear for some manner of betrayal to befall them. Restless, he had risen from his bed and taken to sitting at the window sill bench, that roiling in his stomach still a persistent feeling of dread which had never entirely faded.

He believed his dread was his envisioning of the King’s men riding down in arms and ceasing him for the treason committed within the seal of a kiss given to her majesty the Queen. His own servant was sworn to secrecy, a man so long in the trust of House Kincaid that he could be considered quite powerful for a manservant, but had the maid been so entrusted? Still, the Queen would make it known she had simply wished to retire from the taxing strains of the City to the place of her childhood. Surely none would find fault in that? They had been so careful in public together, to the point of her disapproval of him in council. Would anyone suspect?

With a sigh, he looked down at the locket that Laetitia had given to him, a time and place that now seemed a world away. A dream that had been for a moment reality, relived with the necklace now firm in hand. The recollection of it being a token of promise was not lost on him. He had to show up and be there for her as the dawn touched the sky – which was upon him, he noticed, when looking out the window now.

Had he done what he was supposed to do in this world to be rewarded so dearly as to spend the rest of his days happy in her company? Was it truly possible that his one unimaginable dream could be so fulfilled? He supposed it was about time to find out.

Time Lapse — Press Play and Read On (Queen's Request)

As the meeting place was only down the road from the Kincaid Manor, he didn’t have the horses prepared. There was a regiment of knights with him, to offer formal escort to the Queen. He anticipated she would be there with her own entourage, though it occurred to him how strange it was to meet in such a place, instead of her coming straight away to the Manor. Perhaps breakfast by the waterside was in order. She did like reminiscing and as kids, certainly they had spent a good number of years having breakfast and other meals by the Lake side.

He didn’t give it much more thought than that, nodding to his men as they all made their way down the cobble stone streets. The knight’s armour was loud in the stillness of morning’s breath. Every step from them rattled loud in his ears and for once he entertained the thought of rangers. No. He wouldn’t. Knights were sufficient. Just loud.

While he walked resolutely, with the beach closing in, that rising dread seemed to become all the more troublesome. His heart was beating hard against his chest, trying to think of all the things he would say on their route to Lakeshire, trying not to focus on the desire to sweep her in his arms and laugh freely with her. His pace quickened, the more he thought about her smile, those green eyes so close to him, her rose perfume. Such thoughts dogged every step.

Soon enough, cobblestones gave way to beach and sand. So close now. She would be absolutely thrilled that he came. They could talk for hours about all the years they did not share together, reminisce more over the time they did have, and start anew. A new day dawns, indeed. The burble in his stomach was more gripping, compelling him to grin hard for the elation such possibilities.

Men closest to him spared him a look for the abrupt show of teeth, which reminded him to pull it back and not be so open for others to read. He was not in private. Every face would have a pair of eyes that would draw judgement upon him if he dared look at Laetitia in a way that was unbecoming of a man in his station.

The abrupt gasp of one of the men up front shook him initially from further thoughts, paired with the halt of the first file in the formation surrounding the Duke has him grunt from the delay, and at the same time feel that cold hand on the back of his neck a second time. An exhale from him rattled in his throat, his senses prickling the hairs on his arms, the roiling of his stomach more profound. The morning birds sounded as if they were not singing happy lullabies, he noticed, in such a strange time to think of them. Yet, he pushed through with the body language to force aside the Knights who had gone absolutely still…

The distance came suddenly and most swiftly into view, a slow motion realization that drew forward to his mind the scene before them all…

The awful silence of every man with him grasping what they were seeing became deafening. At first he was too stunned to move, his eyes wide and disbelieving. Dread now crashing in around him and suffocating him with waves of insurmountable grief.

Numbly, a step forward was taken, held back by an instinctive arm of one of his knights. Something said about enemies, an ambush… sensible words that were meant to keep their own lord, him, alive – in the face of death.

Anger had him brushing aside the concerns of his knights, to their opposition, he drove passed them and flung himself toward the row of bodies of the Queen’s entourage. He was at least grasping the severity of the situation, enough to bark back, “Get the King! Call for healers! Form up damnit!!” His breath was hardly coming to him, seeing the first of the Queen’s guard to have washed ashore.

Next, he stepped around the maid who bore witness to his kiss with the Queen, interlocked with her own lover. But he didn’t see her for long. The clutching pains of fear caused his chest to burn with the desperation to not find his Tish there with them… She cannot be with them…

Oh gods…She was. OH gods… NO… She was. Oh gods…!

Lying serenely on the beach, the Queen’s eyes drawn closed against now pale skin, adorned still in her thick fur cloak and a dress of beautiful purple – which she cherished, he knew. Her loose flaxen hair was damp, clutching her face, though still designed to hold that circlet upon her brow. Oddly, he noticed her feet her bare. And bird, the old dog of hers, curled in her arms.

“Tish…?” his voice was weak, cracked on the welling grip of emotion that was swiftly engulfing him, the anguish springing hot tears to his eyes as he sunk to his knees beside her, reaching with trembling fingers toward her cold lifeless form. “Gods… no… please… ” his head started to shake, denying what he was seeing, blurred quickly by the streams of grief dripping down his face. “GET HELP!! Where are they! The healers!! HELP. Someone!!” pleas from a man who denied her dead despite the evidence speaking to her spirit being long gone.

There's even a moment where he places his lips against her own, to hell with anyone who looks… Those who live on the sea know what he tries now, attempting to give her a second breath of life, trying to expel air from his own lungs into her own. "Come back.." he demands, "breathe damn it…. I won't let you do this!" Anguish to anger and a storm of emotions collide. He tries again, and again, getting no results, not even a simple rise of lungs - as if she was frozen in death too long already. Perhaps on his tenth attempt, with the light of the dawn glimmering over him, he realizes the true extent of what he faces.

“Laetitia…please, don’t leave… I came…. I am here… I promised you I would come at dawn… I won't let you do this! Not again, not like this!! I came!! I am -here-… !! I kept /my/ promise… you have to keep yours! Please don’t do this… It’s dawn, just now, I came as you asked. I came as you willed me to. TISH!” he repeated in vain, each word croaked in welling agony. Swallowed up by unimaginable pain of heartache drowning him, he desperately pulls her up to him, hunching over her, arms embracing her in futile effort to stir her limp form to rise again and warm from his touch. This time a tender kiss is bestowed on bluish cold lips, losing himself to the energies spent on mourning her, hot tears rolling off his cheeks to drip onto her beautiful face.

A sadly repeated sentiment of disbelief tumbled out of his mouth in between the strong wrenches of twisting pain, which had absolutely brought this man to his knees. So utterly deep his sense of loss at this moment that he rolled back his head to give a cursing wail at the sky, before descending his face back to her own, clutching her tightly as the water taunted him by lapping at her feet.

Gods No. She cannot be gone! Please not her! WHY DAMNIT! WHY!!

His men looked on, disheartened themselves for the absolute horror of finding their Queen dead on the sands, the very same place where the Duke was to meet her and her entourage prior to heading out for the city of Lakeshire. Most are poised to defend their liege lord, as he was overcome by the scene and now sat rocking the queen back and forth. They suspected an ambush and had weapons drawn to prepare for an attack, even if the bodies were placed neatly, as nothing but the water had downed them.

Aidan remained by her side, refusing to let her go when his most senior of knights had tried to stir him away from her lifeless form, prompting him with encouragement to release her. He would not. He lashed out at the knight with a stern “I will –NOT- leave her!” This before he turned to caressing her pale cheeks and bluish lips, with an insanity of one well attached, going back to moaned expressions of one not accepting the truth.

It is not long before all sounds of mourning cease to be heard from the Duke of Lakeshire. He sits back on his heels with the body of the Queen in his lap, his own eyes closed as he gently holds her, listening to the song of the birds. Hating them.

The men were starting to understand that this grief was not one bore from simply duty alone, that this was a man distraught at losing the love of his life. Yet, it is not fair to say when he hadn't a life with her, not truly. Their youth was spent dreaming and in play outside of the realms of reality.

What he held in his arms now was reality. He was denied opening her cage, she was not allowed to be a free bird as he so wished her to be. She was not allowed to run away, with him. Such possibilities were stamped out so soon after presented.

Fool. You knew better than to hope. You knew better…

Even so, it took the approach of men on horseback to sufficiently encourage the Duke to his feet… and even then, he would not leave her, there, like that, on the beach with her dog.

The choking moans might have stopped but his personal torment was still visible in his expression, while a cold numbness grew steadily from the center of his being.

He turned toward the King’s men as they charged through to help contain the scene. There the Duke of Lakeshire was, rising up from the sands, holding the lifeless form of the Queen in his arms, emotionless save for the slide of tears down his face.

All around him the beginning of chaos, of shouts and demands… of accusations and clarifications.

She's gone… I came too late…

In the sudden energy of man and beast surrounding them, Aidan waited with a blank stare, silent as he held the her lifeless body for the coming of the King…

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