On Confessions
Thu Dec 21, 2006 01:29 (XFF:

She was right. They hadn’t ever simply conversed for the sake of conversation alone, and her mention of there always having been an ‘interruption’ was well-put. It was almost a revelation, considering he had never once regarded things in the light that she had cast. It only brought to his mind with sharp conscience how blind he was concerning anything in relation to her, when he was usually so calculating and so stoic. Perfect example was this. Such idiosyncrasy, to hurt a woman like that, and not even know it! A gentleman just didn’t go around grabbing ladies’ wrists and clamping it hard enough for it to need Healing for its restoration! Truth be told, he was quite embarrassed, the signs of it shown on his face by a pressed set of mouth.

“In answer to your question,” he said to her, not exactly knowing how to react to her laughter and smiles—when with her it was hard to believe he truly was a diplomat—, “would you care to join me, Terrian, on the terrace in perhaps half an hour?” He paused, considering. “If that is enough time for you to freshen up from your trip, that is. Perhaps…longer?”

There was amusement in her eyes that he could not quite comprehend. “That should be plenty of time, Jostayn,” she replied, and he nodded. “Maybe I should ask—where exactly is this terrace?”

“On the second floor,” he said, his mouth slanting and then not. Light, he felt like a green boy. “One of the servants should be able to show you the way.”

She smiled and left through the door, and there was a small pause of silence before Jostayn abruptly rounded upon his sister.

“Did I—,” he started, “Was that right?”

Menaihya’s face was the epitome of unchecked amusement. Would they both just stop being amused? “Do you want me to act the third party up there, brother, so that I may continue judging for you what is good and what is bad? I could pull up a chair and signal to you over her head.”

“No,” he said, aware that the word had been expelled with too much force, too fast. Additionally, he realized that she had been joking. “I can open up my study for you,” he offered, on his part entirely serious.

“And what will I do there?”

“You can peruse Cairhienin House records to your heart’s content?” he suggested, then smiled, the latter of which was an action he had thought would require more energy, at least at the present. “You’ll find some of the files in the cabinet most intriguing,” he continued, staid once more as he blinked at her, “not to mention helpful to your Green Ajah quest.”

“Yes, yes, brother, you have convinced me enough. And I might even add, when else is an Aes Sedai going to receive full invitations from an Asha’man to have whole control of his study for the night?”

“Well,” he said.


“I should warn you. The bureau is Warded.”

“There is a catch in all bargains,” Menaihya observed wryly, then glided past him, laughing, “Let me go shed these trifling garments. Those House records await me.” On her way out, she turned to him with hardened green eyes. “Oh, and Jostayn, do be careful with her. I am being serious.”

He didn’t reply to that, and soon he was alone in the parlor once more. Drawing a breath, he swung his gaze towards the dancing flames in the hearth for a moment, attempting to rearrange his thoughts. A moment later he was climbing the stairway himself, upon reaching the top heading for that which he had promised to open—his study. That done, his steps took him in the direction of the terrace, which was near his private quarters and opened out to a flattened section of the roof. A railing squared off the area, casting a finite boundary to which the terrace ended, and a set of chairs and a round table made entirely of black-cast iron grilling were placed in a picturesque arrangement. It was dark, entirely too much so, and Jostayn seized saidin, channeling Fire into a semblance of a ball and knotting off the flows at the middle of the table.

It was then that he sensed footsteps behind him—the One Power enhanced his senses tenfold—, indicating that someone else had entered the vicinity, and with saidin still crashing through him he turned to perceive Terrian. The ball of Fire behind him cast a radiant glow across her face, and washed her with pale, scintillating light. With his enhanced sense of smell he could scent something….pleasant. She is just so lovely. “In all honesty, I don’t come here often,” he said, his voice sounding hollow in the open air. “It was Jorallein who discovered it, actually. Well, put it to use, rather. This was a closed-off part of the house for over a year, but just recently she—the Soldier—got the servants to clean it up and set up the chairs and things.” Out of habit and cultured gesture he led the Aes Sedai towards one of the seats and pulled it out for her, his hand resting lightly on her upper-arm and then leaving it as he made towards his own.

I hadn’t meant for the setting to be so akin to…romantic. No. Foolish of him of thinking such things. Settling into his chair, he turned his gaze onto Terrian’s and observed her. For a long moment they were both silent, either party perhaps unknowing what to say, though really, he couldn’t know what she felt. If they were anything but Asha’man and Aes Sedai, he thought, there would be plenty of things to say at this point. Whether she was cold, for a starter, or whether her day had been pleasant…

His brows lowered as his thoughts strayed back to what had been bothering him previously. “Menaihya mentioned something about the Lorien dinner-party involving trouble. You are not… They did not harm you?” He leaned forward, concern clouding his countenance. “Tell me what happened, Terrian. Tell me everything.”

As the story unfolded, with him uttering no interruption in its telling, he found himself immersed in deep cogitation as he tried, mentally, scrupulously, to sort things out. At the end he had several conclusions in his head, but they were more questions than answers, and he was more puzzled than sated in his curiosity. “Shae actually exposed his own plans to you…?” he asked in disbelief, though it was more to himself than to question Terrian’s authenticity. Light, no. “I don’t believe it,” he continued, his voice gaining the steady, matter-of-fact logical driving that so often overtook him whenever he worked through a mystery. “This Alsam. I have heard of him before. And if I’ve heard of him before, that is a sure clue that there is a crack in Lord Shae’s performance.”

“What do you mean?” the Green asked, and he raised his head to meet her eyes.

“The fact that I’ve heard of him before, the fact that Lord Shae has purposefully let known to the denizens of Cairhien, means that Alsam isn’t the true right hand. The real spymaster. And if he isn’t, then would Shae have told such an important, covert operation as the one he had planned to execute tonight to him? I don’t think so. Shae Lorien—he is not such a fool. Which means that he was lying at some point in time tonight.”

In his low-toned, excited talk he had failed to glean notice of the hint of weariness in the corners of Terrian’s mouth, and much too late he realized that, revelation though it was, not everybody was interested in the workings of Daes Dae’mar as he was. He fell silent, observed her, and hastily apologized. And not only for that. “Terrian,” he said, regretful and duly apologetic, “I would promise to take this case into my own hands, and figure out—or certainly attempt at—this mystery for you both. However, I’m very sorry to tell you at this point that I can’t. Or, I can try puzzling through it, but I can’t make any action to aid it. First of all, legally I’m not supposed to be taking non-Black Tower sides anyway, being in the position that I am, and secondly…” He held her gaze. “Well, you know. You figured it out today. I’m… Well. It is my desire to avoid any unnecessary connections with House Lorien.”

“Of course, Jostayn,” Terrian replied. “In any case, it isn’t an issue we particularly wish you to do something about, anyway. What we wanted at the Lorien estate was already accomplished, without the ‘mystery’ needing to be further solved.”

Nodding, Jostayn turned his gaze towards the view of the stretching streets beyond the house. Night draped them all, enveloping everything in progressively deepening velvet black. For a long moment longer they said nothing else, for whatever personal reasons of their own, and Jostayn found himself probing that hidden inner corner of his head again. Somehow, at this point and time, everything seemed acceptable. For the first time in years, perhaps ever, I feel comfortable with her. I feel at peace….almost. At long last, he spoke, and when he did, his voice fell low.

“I think…” Ever so slowly, he lifted his eyes from the sights beyond the bounds of the terrace, up towards her face. “…that it’s safe to conclude at this point in time…” Strangely enough, the inner turmoil and tempest of emotion he had felt just hours prior were gone. He felt at a strange peace. Perhaps it’s the lateness of the night that is affecting me so. “…that you know perfectly well what it is that I feel towards you.” He paused, taking a slow breath and sedately resting his hands on the arms of his iron-wrought chair. “And have, for a while, now. I think…” He sat forward, clasping his hands before him and scrutinizing the tabletop as he struggled with his thoughts. “…up until this point I’ve been trying to…to quell those feelings. But now…” He met her eyes again. “Now I think, and perhaps it is just spontaneity taking reign over me, and Light knows how much I might regret this tomorrow—but…now I think that…”

That I’ve given up, Terrian. I’ve given up, and I just want you to know.

“That it might be irrational in every way to say right now that I have strong feelings for you, but for once in my life, and especially not at this point, I just don’t want to be rational.”

Because at this point, I think I’d die if I never got a chance to tell you.

OOC: Basically, what I’d really wanted this post to do was to get them together, but not together-together. Does that even make sense? But considering my fingers also do take off on their own, I kinda semi-blew the bomb. Well. Not really. Anyway, I think Volume Four is soon to come to a close (right?) – my thoughts were that they should be mature in a decision that they accept that they like each other, but that anything further should wait for a further time. Because right now things on the agenda just don’t permit that sort of thing. You know? If not, there’s always the edit-tool.

But I wrote! Man. Us and these post-a-reply-after-a-month things. (;

Psst, by the way, Jostayn thinks she returns no feelings for him. (;

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    • On Confessions — Asha'man Jostayn Roen, Ambassador, Thu Dec 21 01:29
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