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Arriving at the Tower - Fated Chance (pt. III)
Fri Dec 1, 2006 09:17 (XFF:

The silence that filled the room at her pronouncement was deafening. The warm yellow jewel on her forehead winked as golden-hazel eyes watched with a vicious sort of satisfaction the fleeting emotions that chased themselves over her father’s face.

“You…” The word was exhaled out past lips thinned in stunned disbelief. “You…said what?!”

“I told him that the only reason he was even allowed into our House was because of his sister,” Dia repeated calmly. “That fat old man couldn’t tell the Sun Throne apart from a rat’s tail.”

The fist that slammed down onto the table made her jump, the sturdy mahogany quivering beneath her father’s violent gesture.

Belatedly, Dia realized that perhaps…just perhaps…this hadn’t been such a good idea after all. The cool confidence that she had felt so sure in a moment before dissipated. With her heart slowly sinking into the pit of her stomach, Dia grimaced faintly. Without thinking, she steadily backed away from her father deeper into the confines of his private study.

Dark eyes followed her, his steps towards her unhurried and purposeful. The utter lack of expression on his face frightened her more than if he had been spitting curses at her as Lady Amerlis would have done. A tiny gasp escaped her when something thin and hard jutted into the small of her back. Frantically probing fingers revealed it to be the smooth, unyielding surface of the windowsill. Oh no… Transfixed by dread and paralyzed by a morbid sort of curiosity, Dia could only watch as her father advanced. Why aren’t you running? a panicked voice in the back of her mind screamed at her. I…don’t know… she replied absently, truly at a loss. Why wasn’t she running?

Kavin halted several steps in front of her, dark eyes expressionless, his face a perfect blank mask. “Your insults have brought scandal upon House Saighan for the last time.” Her father’s words were tightly controlled, hints of his inner anger moving beneath the smooth, level tone. “You are young and impetuous, your curiosity better suited for someone of lesser birth. You had best learn to curb it.” Dia shivered at that, her fingers unconsciously curling into the embroidered silk of her skirts. The implied threat was clear, even if the method of execution was not.

“Father –”

“Because you are my only daughter, I have foolishly tolerated your wayward tongue.” Without warning, his arm shot forward, open palm smacking loudly against the wall. Dia jumped, any words she might have made dying on her lips. A rush of air gusted past her ear and it was then that she realized Kavin had hit the spot directly next to her head. Golden-hazel eyes were wide as she turned her head ever so slowly, the very tip of her nose brushing against the side of her father’s wrist. “I will not do so again.”

She sensed rather than saw his hand shift ever-so-slightly. Oh Light, he’s going to hit me… That thought flitted through her mind as she reflexively squeezed her eyes shut, shoulders hunching as she shrank back against the window. He’s going to hit me like he hit the wall…like the table! Fingertips grazed the outside edges of her ear and she unconsciously braced herself for the hit. Melina! Dia’s mental cry went unanswered. Anybody! Don’t let him hit me!

Time itself seemed to slow as the moment stretched on into eternity. Kavin’s intended slap never landed. Instead, Dia’s eyes flew open in startled surprise as a loud crack sounded directly behind her. The noise was distinctly crystalline and as more and more of the sounds came in rapid succession, she realized that it was the sound of splintering glass. Her first thought was that her father had missed the mark, hitting the window in her stead. A cautious, cursory glance told her otherwise; Kavin’s hand was hovering in the space between them, unblemished. What was even more unexpected was the look of open disbelief on his face. Dark eyes were wide, his jaw hanging loosely. As she slowly inched away from him, sliding along the wall, Dia fancied she could see the glint of his white teeth.

The window imploded in on itself, sheets of broken glass shattering against the windowsill. She winced at each sound, round honey eyes watching the fractured glass as it littered the carpet at her feet like a million sparkling diamonds. The air came rushing into the private study, eddies of wind gently stirring at the loose strands of her raven hair. Dark brown eyes met golden-hazel and for a long moment, father and daughter merely stared at one another.

“Go to your rooms.”

Dia leapt at the chance to escape, confusion and relief riding on the forefront of her emotions. What just happened? Her feet carried her back to the safety of familiarity and she only shrugged when Melina questioned her with narrow worried eyes.

It was not until several hours later, after her pacing feet had worn a thin line into the plush carpeting that the Lord and Lady Saighan came with the truth of what had happened. In quiet disbelief, Dia listened as her parents informed her that she would be leaving Cairhien for Tar Valon. An Aes Sedai had come to their home and had declared that Dia had…channeled. The Aes Sedai had also apparently left Kavin and Amerlis with very little choice on the matter. Melina said nothing, though the aging nanny watched Dia’s every movement with over-bright eyes.

Honey eyes blinked rapidly as she reached out to grasp Melina’s hand. The older woman returned the grip so fiercely that Dia idly worried about bruising. Her parents were already headed towards the door when she stopped them with her question. “When did the Aes Sedai say I had to leave?”

Amerlis left the room without so much as a backwards glance. Kavin turned back to regard his only daughter, his face perfectly inscrutable. “Tomorrow morning…doveling.”

Dia merely nodded, stunned at this sudden change in fortune as Melina burst into silent tears.

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