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Demetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles
Hey, Jealousy
Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:37 (XFF:

The walk through the Black Tower grounds was made with some amount of careful stepping; the moon was beginning to reach zenith as the couple removed themselves from the lamplight of the Festival and moved into the wooded area beyond the buildings, out of range of even the street lamps filled with Power-wrought light. At some points the path to the lake was tenuous and sometime between her first near-fall and reaching the large body of water, Kyran had taken possession of her hand and helped her through some of the more treacherous areas.

The grass around the lake was long and unkempt, wild as it brushes against her legs with the wind and her movement, rustling as the breeze touched on it lightly, pressing it from side to side in whispers. The moon was large in the sky and cast down a silvery light to the lake below, the orb reflected in its glassy waters, ruffled only by the caress of the breeze, the banks slowly undulating amid the circle of trees that gave them some privacy.

He offered to take them out on to the lake in a small dinghy, but she shook her head. "Ah, no, if it's all the same to you, let's just stay here."

They settled to the grass easily, both of them lounging on one side, facing one another, and Kyran threw her a mischievous look. "Afraid the Spymaster's going to attempt to kidnap the Keeper?"

"No," her response was filled with laughter. "I can't swim." He cast her a look of surprise, and she nodded her head. "It's true. I lived on a large island for most of my life, spent a year in Tremalking posing as one of their Atha'an Miere, and I can't swim. Never had the chance to learn." She confessed when he asked her why.

"Now that's interesting. Should I ever plan to kidnap the Keeper, I know the best way to keep her prisoner is to set her on a deserted island where she'd have to swim to get free, thus ensuring that you'd either die trying to escape or just choose to wait for me to come back and be all heroic." The words from Kyran might have been alarming yesterday, but after having spent three separate instances with him, Demetri felt like she knew enough of his character to know he was honorable.

"Tell me about your marriage." She prompted when the laughter died down and they were left with either staring at one another awkwardly or out into the lake. Given that the lake had nothing to do, not even babble like a brook, she chose to bring up the subject that had brought Kyran to such a sober expression.

This time, however, he merely looked sad rather than upset and began with a simple enough story. "I was born the eldest to the House a'Nuneth."

"It's a House in Murandy, I know of it." Demetri nodded her head. "Your father recently passed away, didn't he? Something like two or three years ago?" Kyran looked up at her in surprise and she smiled at him. "Your father was a very generous man and he supported the White Tower when many of his peers did not. I didn't know him personally but he was a friend to one of my friends, Dillan al'Tierney."

Kyran nodded, "I know of her family and her House. They have some portion of a claim to the throne, but in Murandy it means little." He drew in his breath and sighed deeply. "I believe she bears a relation to my deceased wife, Aila." He spoke quietly of how he had become betrothed to his wife and the difficulties of her birth before she died along with the stillborn child.

"You had the gift for Healing?" Demetri asked after he had come to the sad conclusion of his story.

"No," He smiled, "Compulsion. The midwife was frantic trying to obey my order and I nearly killed her as well with it."

"Then you had a good experience with marriage while it lasted." Demetri returned its smile. "I know that it can work, I suppose. I've seen it work with other men and women in the Tower, but—" She couldn't explain to Kyran that for her it was a repeat of a former life. Of Ariana being wed to her Warder and the pain it had caused to lose a husband and a Warder. She wouldn't share that with a man who wasn't her Warder, who wasn't more than an acquaintance. Light, she wasn't stupid!. Though why she was here with him instead of with Laurian was beyond her. A sudden feeling of suspicion crossed her mind and Demetri asked, "You didn't Compel me to come with you, did you?"

To his credit, the Spymaster looked surprised and taken aback. "No, I didn't, Demetri. I don't like to use my Compulsion, despite some of the benefits. You know, it would make for a lot of meaningless nights." She stared at him blankly a moment before what he meant dawned on her and she broke out in unrestrained laughter.

"Well that makes me feel better, if I'd known you had Compelled me, I might have had to sic Daigonyt on you. He might have a pretty face, but he's pretty good with that sword of his." She teased.

"Yes that's what I hear." Kyran winked at her and Demetri's face went flaming red, stammering that she hadn't meant that. He laughed, "You're too easy to tease, Demetri. I think part of the problem is that you Aes Sedai take yourselves so seriously. With your Oaths, with your Tower, even with those shawls."

"Us?" She returned. "What about you with all this death and destruction and stern outlook on life?" Shaking her head, the laughter died down. "No, it's been too long since channelers didn't take themselves so seriously. The Age of Legends was less what we think it is and more just a better time of living—before the War of Power, that is." He cocked his head at her in question, "The weather for instance—the weather was controlled by Cloud Dancers so there was no drought, no drowning of fields. Aes Sedai of that time worked for the people for the benefit of people."

"You sound pretty certain of the past for someone who isn't Brown." Kyran observed, but Demetri merely smiled and shook her head.

"You don't have to be a scholar to enjoy history, Kyran." She chided him gently. "Besides, what's wrong with wanting to see some of the better parts of the Age of Legends again? When Aes Sedai served the people in the true meaning of the word, when one was given the award of a third name when one did something beneficial for all the people rather than themselves." She shook her head. "We're all too ambitious for our own good, too worried about what our peers will say and how well we can maneuver for position within our Ajah or our Tower."

"You don't sound ambitious." He replied judiciously.

She waved a hand at him, as if to drive away the compliment. "Oh, somewhere inside me I am ambitious, Kyran. I would rather serve the Tower than become married to the man I love. Light, I was chided by one of my other Warders over how I choose my life and my rise in the White Tower over my interest in the man I love. If that doesn't make me ambitious, I don't know what will."

"And yet from all indications that I can read, Demetri, you never sought it. Would you prefer the solitude of a married life with Laurian, or would you take your Shawl and serve as Aes Sedai?" Kyran asked. His eyes flickered over her shoulder, but Demetri was staring at the ground and didn't see the motion.

Her answering smile was nearly bitter. "I would choose the Tower, in a heartbeat. Which makes everything that Daigonyt said to me true. Maybe three thousand years ago it was possible to have a hearth and home along with a spouse, but that's not how it is now, it has to be one or the other. That's why our training is so rough, so demanding. Because we can't let ourselves become distracted by things such as love or family. Those that do make poor Aes Sedai in this Age."

"Well, that was an interesting answer. I'm not sure I expected to hear it, though." Laurian's voice broke through the silence and it was only then that she felt the presence of him through the muffled bond. No amount of buffer could shake away the bitterness he felt, the anger and hurt that had mirrored her own just an hour before.

She turned and stood to face him, heard the rustling of Kyran behind her and saw Dai's shadowy form coalesce into the moonlight. "What are you doing hiere?"

"I could ask you the same question, Deme. Spending some time alone with another man far away from the Festivities. Should I have waited another quarter of an hour to find you in a more compromising position so that I could truly find out how much you've betrayed me?" Laurian asked. His voice lacked inflection, his tone dead.

"I didn't come here with Kyran for any romantic reasons, Laurian, I came simply to talk. Besides, you were embroiled with that Asha'man." Her words were hot and angry and the instant she said them she felt something loosen in the Aes Sedai. The words had been too matter of fact, they left no room for misinterpretation, and that was her intention. She couldn't lie.

"Well, it's because of 'that Asha'man' that I'm here, Deme. Whatever Kyran's been telling you, it's a lie." Laurian pointed to the man, "He's got something planned and I don't think it's good for you. Alexa says that the M'Hael has been keeping an eye on him now for a week because they've been waiting for him to do something like this. First with the disappearance of Ronan, you'd be next."

"Alexa, huh?" Kyran drawled even as Demetri glanced from Laurian to the Asha'man. The Spymaster threw his hands into his pockets and affected a casual stance. "Already on first name basis with her, and you've only shared two dances." He looked to Demetri, his blue eyes penetrating in the dark light. "She's one of Lysanders lackeys. A good Ambassador with great persuasion skills, she's been doing a lot of persuasion in the Black Tower to make me look bad."

"Now why would she do that?" Dai asked, his voice just one pitch above base animal growl.

Kyran looked over at the Shienaran and she saw him roll his eyes. "Because, you dolt, I was loyal to Ronan when she was M'Hael and I'm fully aware that the only reason he's M'Hael now was because she let him when he failed to assassinate her." Demetri's eyes widened at the accusation, but it was too incredible to be anything but truth. A lie like that would never be believed. "She thought of the Black Tower over her own power, and gave it over to him rather than risk civil war between two factions. The Last Battle is too near for her to try and keep petty power. In return she kept control of the assassins—which, I might add, is now back in his control with Ronan out of the picture. So you might think on that, Laurian Sedai, before you order that Shienaran watchdog to attack me, and perhaps consider that instead of me orchestrating it, that he orchestrated this whole thing."

There was a long pregnant silence that followed before Demetri moved forward, placing her hand on Laurian's arm. She felt him tense beneath her touch a moment before he relaxed. Lowering the buffer in their bond, she said quietly, "I believe him, Laurian." The man's dark gaze raised sharply and there was a bitter tang of jealousy in her mouth that came not from herself, but from Laurian. "Not for me, but because of Ronan. She trusted him with a lot, and besides, this story is too fantastic not to be truth. You know it, I know it. Look at his aura, if you don't believe me."

Laurian glanced over her shoulder to see undoubtedly the same aura she saw of brilliant blue and silver edged in the deep maroon of his grief over Ronan's death. He drew in a deep breath and nodded his head. "I believe him too." He finally said.

A tingle of saidar was the only indication that Demetri had that someone was channeling, the threads of Spirit, Air and Water descending before Dai gave a bellow of rage and lunged at Kyran, sword drawn in an instant and cutting at him with inhuman speed.

  • Of Bonds and MarriagesDemetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles, Mon Oct 23 10:10
    Her conversation with Kyran should have been the end of it for her that night, she should have been able to go back to the Festivities, enjoy herself, perhaps try to apologize to her Warders, and... more
    • Hey, Jealousy — Demetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles, Mon Oct 23 11:37
      • Skimming the BoundariesDemetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles, Thu Oct 26 06:39
        By the time anyone could react, it was too late. Dai's sword had cut into Kyran's shoulder before any of them could shout or even before the Asha'man could put up any physical defenses. Demetri... more
        • Shady AffairDemetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles, Thu Oct 26 08:20
          She slipped the ter'angreal over her wrist and looked at her two Warders. "Stop that." She ordered them as their expressions were identical to one another. They were worried. Disappointed. Angry. She ... more
          • AnticlimacticismDemetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles, Thu Oct 26 10:00
            The woman laughed and shook her head. "Light, Ronan! To say something like that! I remember a time when you used to look at Aes Sedai with pity!" She looked to Demetri again, sobering. "But, I... more
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