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Thread: A Bakers Knight

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    A Bakers Knight



    Along a road paved with spider lilies,
    I walk hand in hand with you.

    But soon a fork appears,
    And your hand slips away from mine.

    Alone I wander down the path of red,
    And weep tears of love so true.

    Down the path of crimson, I make a promise to you,
    That I shall hold your hand again in mine.

    In another place, another life, another time,
    We shall walk together.
    Along the path of red spider lilies.


    'Lycoris'- by me 2007

    Set in a previous life.
    Mature Content Warning: Sexual content, violence
    Last edited by Mari; 04-14-17 at 09:47 AM.
    (23:17:08) BlackAndBlueEyes: Everything's coming up Lyehouse

  2. #2
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    Amari breathed deep, never tiring of the warm inviting smells of freshly baked goods. The front of the shop had a large glass window in which a person could see a variety of baked rolls upon the shelf. The sunny afternoon light shone through, illuminating the small store in a warm and welcoming orange glow. Inside there were three small circular tables, each with two chairs, a white tablecloth, and flowers as the centerpiece.The back of the shop had a glass display cabinet which held the more indulgent items, eclairs, donuts, cream buns, sweet sugar cookies, croissants, hot pies, and a small assortment of homemade jams and marmalade. An uninteresting red door in the back of the shop lead to her home.

    It was a quaint, peaceful place, it was clear everything within it was crafted with love, and yet, it was nearly always empty.

    Amari sat at one of the tables, her short, red hair nestled just above her shoulders in untamed waves, her fringe pushed back by dark green bandana. She wore a grey long sleeved dress with a blue apron, covered in flour. A half eaten buttery croissant sat on a plate by her and in her lap was a cross-stitch she had been working on. Every so often the woman glanced up and out the window overlooked the bustling Vorsport harbour, people of all kinds wandered past her shop Every so often they’d glance in, but few entered.

    One would think it were a lonely life, but not her. She found it peaceful if uneventful. She loved her little shop, she loved the people in the town, and she loved baking. Overall, it was a lovely life.
    (23:17:08) BlackAndBlueEyes: Everything's coming up Lyehouse

  3. #3
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    Life was simple.

    This wasn't a tale of knights and dragons. There was no foul necromancer to defeat. Crystal swords did not seek their wielders, nor Castle Ixia its Knights. This was a simpler time, where the only concerns, were a knight, and the Lady he loved.

    He was no hero, merely diligent. Certainly he was able, but it was his breeding that had gotten him this far. Being of a long line of knights, he was seen as valuable. All without having ever drawn his weapon. A foolish notion he was surely to tell everyone, for that wasn't how one proved their worth.

    To him, it was actions, not lineage.

    He was the leader of a small group of knights, used as a patrol in lower Vorsport. It was seedy to be sure but the locals knew he would not enact the crown's full law, unless they gave him reason to look. Those that played by the rules and treated others kindly had their lesser crimes ignored. Those that abused such grace found themselves punished fully under the law.

    Joshua Arcus was a man only a scant twenty-one seasons old. He was clean shaven, reserving a beard for when he was wiser. He knew he had no knowledge to impart. It was that humility that saw him put here where others had failed. People liked Joshua because he didn't lord his title over the peasantry. It was no shield he used to abuse his station.

    As they rose from the docklands, the men were obviously hungry, and so he started them down familiar streets. Of course once the men knew where they were going the ribbing began in earnest, but Joshua only smiled as they came across a small bakery, unremarkable in many regards.

    And yet, for that knight, it felt most like home.
    How something is said, is just as important as what is said. -Anonymous

  4. #4
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    Amari looked up as the door opened, and the bells chimed. “Welcome to-Ah!” She quickly stood, almost dropping her stitching as the brown haired man walked in. Her emerald and gold eyes lit up in delight It as they met with his chocolate gaze. He offered her a warm smile, and his eyes… they always smiled with him. Amari often found herself staring into those pools, they bought her a comfort that no amount of freshly baked goods or warm sunny days could ever bring her. He was no doubt her most favourite person in the town, where others would exclude her, or whisper rumours of her being a witch, he’d rebuke them and offer her kindness.

    “Joshua.” She uttered his name in a kind greeting. She bundled up her cross stitching and placed it on the table before quickly approaching him. As he took off his sapphire blue jacket Amari took it and placed it on a nearby coat rack. She extended her hospitality to the others who were in his company.

    “Please, you must all be tired, sit… sit…” She gestured toward an empty table, pulling out the chairs for him and the other two men. “Would you like your usual?” Amari asked, a small hand resting on Joshua’s shoulder, chancing a squeeze. She knew he was far out of her league. Joshua was a high ranking knight, and had caught the attention of many of the well-to-do maidens in town. At the age of 22, Amari was considered somewhat of a pariah for not yet having made plans to settle down. With no mother to organise her betrothal to another, and with a father who was too ill to move, it left her the sole provider for her family. Someone like her had no chance, but she was fine with that. Amari took joy in his company, and the company of his comrades.

    “Two sugars, no milk, yes?” Amari asked, she turned her attention to the others and reluctantly removed her hand from the man's shoulder. “And is there anything I can get you two?”

    The two men nodded as the placed their orders with the lass. Joshua gave her a warm smile as he said, “You always seem to remember my wishes well. Yes, please, and thank you.”

    Amari left the men to their own devices as she went to prepare the drinks, before she was out of earshot, she heard one of the other men make a comment about her ‘witchy eyes’ Amari shrugged it off. She understood her eyes were an oddity, and that unnerved some people, she couldn’t begrudge the man for that. Instead, she decided she’d show him reason to believe otherwise. She’d offer them the utmost courtesy.

    The woman busied herself as she made their drinks. A strong tea for Joshua, and two bitter, milky coffees for the men. She placed them on the serving tray, along with fresh croissants and jam. Balancing the tray, she headed back over to the table and placed their orders down. “Please, take these too, no charge. They must be eaten today.” Amari said as she gestured toward the flaky pastries.


    The men thanked her for their drinks as Joshua carefully sipped his tea. More good natured ribbing on the high noble penchant for tea. He casually laughed it off as he looked up at Amari, “Thank you Amari, perfect as always.”

    His compliment warmed her, and Amari couldn’t help but smile. “You’re welcome, perchance I should teach you sometime? I hear you’re catching quite the attention lately.”


    “You’re not wrong,” One of the men said, a blonde youth with strikingly blue eyes. He had a strong chin, angular and covered in a hairy muzzle. “Ophelia’s father wishes to offer her hand to him.” He laughed as he held up his coffee. “Perfect match if you ask me, she’s a noble daughter, long sandy hair, well bred. Good birthing hips. She is sure to sire a good son.”

    Amari offered the man a smile despite the pang in her chest. “Ophelia is lovely. She comes in here every so often.” Amari’s lips scrunched up, relaying her confusion. She was often chastised for being too honest with her emotions. “Never purchased anything, she always just looks, but she is lovely on the eyes, and is very well mannered.” Amari turned her gaze to Joshua, who was quietly breaking apart a croissant. She thought of saying something to him, but decided against it.

    “See, even the baker admits you’d be a good match.” The black haired man who Amari knew to be named David said. He gave Joshua a friendly slap on the back. “She’s already 20, she isn’t getting much younger. You’re meeting with her father tonight to brief on our next mission right? Maybe he’ll offer her hand too.”

    “Wouldn’t that be lovely?” Amari said as she stepped away from the table, allowing the men to banter amongst themselves. It’d be rude to linger, but was it rude to feel disappointment? Joshua and Ophelia truly would make a lovely couple. Amari would be happy for them.
    (23:17:08) BlackAndBlueEyes: Everything's coming up Lyehouse

  5. #5
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    Joshua carefully finished the bite of his croissant, looking across at David before he said, “You can have her David, I have no interest in someone like that.”

    The men scoffed at that before they spoke, “Not interested? What? Are you into men? No one in their right mind would turn Ophelia down!”

    Joshua sipped his tea before he said firmly, “I've always been called a bit daft by you gentlemen.”

    “Someone else got your eye, Joshua? It won’t hurt to have a quick fool around before settling down, may do you some good, but you’d be a daft fool to not accept Ophelia’s hand.”

    “Nothing like that. I don't think I could be one for such cruelties. I prefer someone less...helpless. Ophelia is used to such riches, but my family isn't the richest, merely the most loyal. I don't think I could offer what she wants.” Joshua explained. He sipped his tea, “These lunches are one of the few luxuries I afford myself. I just don't think it would be a good fit.”

    “A good fit? Joshua, we’re talking an arranged marriage, not your tunic. Get yer head out yer arse and do what's best for your family!” his third squad mate Jonathan retorted. While easily the crassest he was also the most blunt in pointing out Joshua's flaws, which in his opinion were varied and many.

    Joshua shrugged, “Love doesn't matter?”

    “Ye got time fer love after yer married. Plenty of men made miserable looking fer love before,” Jonathan answered.

    “I think we just have to agree to disagree there my friend, I think love should be the center of a marriage, not political gain.” Joshua replied.

    “Well, I'll see you on night shift my friend. I need a nap before I go through that hell,” Jonathan replied. His look at Joshua said it all. Joshua would be getting an earful when the public wasn't awake. David also made to stand as well.

    “Sorry, can't take the witch’s stand for so long, catch you tonight Josh!”

    Joshua frowned at David's insistence that Amari was a witch. It was a common rumor and beneath their station to indulge in. He felt frustrated that such a sweet caring woman could be maligned so much for the mere color of their eyes. Still he didn't bother as he carefully prepared a purse, making sure to add in extra money that he knew she needed.

    As the others made their quick exit, it was clear Amari heard the quips to her apparent witchdom. She sighed as she began clearing the table. “If I were such a thing…” She said toward Joshua, “I’d magic the dishes and pans clean.” She said with a smile, hoping to alleviate the man’s mood. It was then, she caught the fat pouch upon the table.

    “Joshua…” Her tone was chastising. “That is far more coin than what a single mug of tea is worth.” She picked up the silver coins his men left on the table, Joshua noted they did underpay her. She threw the loose coins into her apron and finished clearing the table. “Put that away, or I’ll burn the next cup I serve you.” She warned as she shifted behind the counter and into the small red door. Joshua of course resolutely left the bag where it lay. He remained where he sat and when she returned she seemed to brighten at the prospect he was still there.

    “May I join you?” Amari asked gently placing a slender hand on the back of a chair.

    He looked up at her with a smile, “Of course Amari, but I worry. You cannot support your family if you continue to offer me free meals, please let me pay you something.”

    “A story.” Amari said triumphantly. “Pay me with your company, and a story of your previous adventure.” She settled into the chair opposite him, she did not hide her excitement. She always revelled in what he said, how he and his knights worked, she felt safe knowing they protected her and the town. Even if he were well off, she would not request money from him. Joshua adored that part about the girl.

    “Did I ever tell you about the street urchin?” Amari shook her head, and placed her elbows on the table, eager to hear more. “Is this another that you helped steer in the right direction, Josh?”

    “I certainly hope so. He had been evading the guard for awhile. We’d get stories of pies and bread missing from windowsills every time we went down to the harbor district. It was odd because the only thing they could all agree on, was that they placed food down walked away for a few minutes and it was gone, as if they had been marked ahead of time,” Joshua began.

    “Oh… the poor thing, I always give my leftovers away, I feel a little guilty I must have missed his area. Crafty isn't he?”

    “Well, I was walking the streets with Jonathon and David when we spied the kid running by, shepherd’s pie in hand. Immediately David begins to run after the kid, and me and Jonathan began pursuit not long after. If I can credit David with one thing its his awareness. He recognized the problem before we did. He’s chasing directly after the kid, while me and Jonathan began racing down side streets to hedge him in. If he tries to cut across one of us will spot him. Of course we’re running in half plate and making a ruckus as people hear us thundering down the streets,” He paused as Amari laughed, and shifted her chair closer, he could smell the flour and sugar on her body.

    Joshua smiled as he leaned in to speak, “Well, we finally get down by the docks and he makes a sharp turn into an alleyway. David calls it out, Jonathan shouts he can’t see the kid and they keep going in case the kid did something clever. I slow down as I realize the kid couldn’t have gone anywhere, we were running the side streets and keeping him locked in too tight. There was only two ways he could have evaded, up or down and not been spotted. So I sit there and go into the alleyway the kid had ducked into and I smell it, this shepherd's pie that has been cooling in this alleyway.”

    “It turned out the kid was hiding in a rain barrel and because the other two ran by so fast they never caught a whiff of the pie. We had a chat, I told him to stop doing it or I would have to take him in. He left with the pie, at that point there was no way they would want it back. When the two doubled back I didn’t even tell them I found the kid, but the reports stopped after that day. I think he realized he nearly got in over his head and quit before he got hurt. I’m glad for him, I really am.”
    How something is said, is just as important as what is said. -Anonymous

  6. #6
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    The door jingled again, and a tall woman with long sandy hair that settled at her waist walked in. Her ears were adorned with expensive, glimmering jewels and her lips painted a deep red. Her eyes a brilliant green and her very presence evoked the aroma of lavender. She wore a thick velveteen dress adorned with shades of gold and purple. “Joshua! What a surprise.”

    Amari glanced up, quickly shuffling away from the man. “Miss Ophelia.” Her sudden appearance surprised Amari, and she felt a little guilty for allowing herself to be so close to Joshua in public. “May I get you anything today, or are you browsing again?”

    “Just browsing.” Ophelia said in articulated clarity as she dragged a finger over a nearby tablecloth, “My dear Joshua adores this place, so I often find myself wondering… why.” She paced around the shop pausing to look in the cabinet filled with sweets. “You make everything here, do you not, bakers daughter?”

    Amari nodded, hustling over to the cabinet. “Yes. Of course. Father is ill and cannot move, but I’ve helped in the shop ever since I was a young girl. Here.” Amari pointed toward lemon tarts. “These are delightful, and Joshua adores them with his tea.”

    Ophelia gave Amari a pensive smile. “I’ll take three.” Amari rang up the order, and Ophelia dropped three gold coins into Amari’s palm. Amari’s eyes widened, she had always thought Ophelia was not fond of her, but she just showed her a wondrous kindness. “Oh, no. This is far too much. They’re only worth a sil-”

    “Please, take it. You are not well off, it is the least I can do to say thank you for looking after my Fiance.” The woman whispered with a smile, followed by a wink. Ophelia turned away from Amari. “Father awaits, will you escort me back to the estate, Joshua?”

    “If M’lady wishes for me to escort her home, then I shall. Are you ready?” Joshua asked, carefully gathering his gloves and pulling them back on. Ophelia smiled radiantly at the man as she reached out and took his elbow. While earlier he had been relaxed and more loose it was not a figment of the imagination to see he was stiff and guarded in both tone and demeanor. Amari wondered if it were nerves, she once found herself nervous around him. It was only natural to be nervous around his soon to be wife.

    As Amari watched the two leave the store she sighed. Ophelia really was lovely. Amari understood now, why the noble woman frequented the store, but never once purchased anything until now. She must have been curious, hearing her Fiance’ go on about this place… if Amari were in her shoes she’d come look too. To have the woman take an interest, and even go as far as to purchase the items for Joshua’s sake.

    “They will surely be happy.” Amari said to herself.
    (23:17:08) BlackAndBlueEyes: Everything's coming up Lyehouse

  7. #7
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    Joshua was miserable.

    He had enjoyed his time with Amari. The young woman was enthralling, and always seemed to enjoy his tales. He meanwhile was struggling at maintaining decorum with Ophelia, feigning interests in her words. The woman was a socialite, a realm he had never showed interest in.

    It wasn't that he found Ophelia ugly, or boorish. The girl was the very model of a perfect bride. No, it was the fact she had nothing interesting to say or do. She might have been a better match for David, who ate up town gossip. No, she was a parasitic woman, who siphoned from high society in order to continue to exist.

    Joshua could not abide a useless woman.

    It was at the core of his being. He had grown up in a practical family, to have such a wife was unsettling. His thoughts drifted as he dare not tread further down that line. He knew the dangers that line of thinking would lead to. Thoughts of a woman who he could not have, because he was of noble birth.

    He arrived at the woman's estate and gestured her home before he spoke, “As promised M’Lady, your destination. May I help you with anything else?”

    Ophelia was practically gushing over Joshua, attempting to woo him. With the capacity to think with something other than his loins, he was certain she had indirectly propositioned him. While the dream of many a man, he merely kissed her hand and offered a good night. She smiled at him once more and Joshua politely disengaged in order to run away.

    He moved to the castle barracks, preparing for the nightmarish day of double shifts. Every knight had to do it once a month, and unfortunately, today was was that hell. Finding his cot he laid out taking a nap before his evening shift would begin.
    How something is said, is just as important as what is said. -Anonymous

  8. #8
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    Night had long since fallen and Amari had closed up her shop. The breads, tarts, pies , and pastries that remained unsold had been carefully wrapped up and placed in two large baskets which Amari now carried. The extra weight was no issue for her, Amari didn't look it but she had defined muscles in her upper arms as a result of years of baking and hauling trays in and out of ovens.

    She walked down the street, the brisk air leaving a chill up her spine. Every so often she would stop and leave her goods at the doorsteps of various homes. This was her nightly routine, hand out the wares she could not keep any longer to those less fortunate than her.

    “Amari!”

    She turned to see a kindly old man approach, he shuffled with a cane in one hand and a handkerchief In the other as he coughed into it, his voice croaked from years of tobacco abuse and months of hellish living. “Amari, would you be so kind to-”

    “Of course.” Amari stepped forward and helped him to a nearby bench. She sat down beside him and pulled out a warm meat pie, along with some napkins. “Here you are, Duncan.”

    “Bless your kind heart, not many would be so kind to a tramp.” He said as he took it with shaking hands. He started eating with fervor, Amari knew it was the only thing he had eaten all day, if not the last few days. For good measure she pulled out a few plain round dinner rolls and placed them in his lap.

    “Seen anything interesting lately?” Amari asked, as she pulled out yet another roll and slowly picked at it herself.


    Duncan nodded. “Aye. They’re loading the ships up, a few of the knights are running shifts on the docks. I reckon they’re off on an adventure o’ some sort soon.” He said as he wiped meat juice from his lips with the back of his sleeve. “A few o’ the other urchins are plannin’ on boarding it. Getting out of here.”

    Amari frowned, feeling concern for the man. “What about you?”

    Duncun laughed, “Oh no. I’m too sickly. I don’t fare well on the seas. Tis’ why I don’t use my own boat. ‘Sides If I left, I’d miss our conversations and your wonderful meals.” He finished off the pie and shoved the rolls into his dirtied jacket pockets. “Many o’ us are thankful fer you, Amari. Not many could walk these streets without harm at night, you’ve done many people a great service. Down here, yer safe.” He stood and gave her a pat on the shoulder, slapping dirt and questionable substances onto her dress. Amari didn’t flinch, she simply looked up at him and smiled. He was a kindly man who had hit unfortunate times, often Amari contemplated offering him a warm bed - if it were not for her sick father.

    “Thanks, but you talk far too highly of me.” Amari stood, knowing it was getting very late. “As always, it was a pleasure to talk to you, Duncan.” The vagrant gave her a friendly wave as she turned and headed back to the shop with empty baskets in hand.
    (23:17:08) BlackAndBlueEyes: Everything's coming up Lyehouse

  9. #9
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    It was late. The night stretched further when Joshua finally found himself leaving the docks area. He had been told his squad had been selected to go abroad and protect a ship that was heading for the country of Fallien. They would drop off the cargo and return, but were to protect the ship from any would be pirates.

    All in all he would be gone a couple of weeks.

    Further he was somewhat distracted by the fact that his parents had arranged the wedding for him and Ophelia. Apparently they had arranged it quite some time ago, just before he finished training as a squire. With a son who had not disappointed them they had betrothed the two. However, with the advent of him being considered for promotion, they had finally planned out the wedding itself. Ophelia's father was a Duke after all, and such power would have risen the station of his family considerably.

    It probably would have gotten him that promotion as well.

    Not that he cared. He didn't like Ophelia, and that was his final thought on the matter. Moving through the streets he was tired as he barely made his way up, heading for the barracks. His men had been dismissed an hour ago, while Joshua stayed behind to take care of the more mundane tasks involved with preparing the ships. It was in such a state he found himself tiredly outside his favorite bakery.

    “Joshua?” he turned to see her, carrying empty baskets, it looked as though she had just returned from the seedier part of town. “What are you doing here so late?”

    A tired smile graced his lips as he waved politely to Amari, “I'm sorry, I guess I was so tired I went through my daily routine. I just got off patrol for the night.” he moved to close the distance with her as he said seriously, “Is there anything I can do to help?”

    She smiled, always with such an invigorating warmth that filled him with a sense of peace. “I see, so it was out of habit.” She turned to the door and unlocked it, ushering him inside. “I had leftovers, so I was giving them to the homeless. I don’t need any help, but you look as though you could use a warm drink.”

    “Oh, Amari, you needn't fetch a kettle for my sake,” He said politely as he entered the little shop. He sighed contently entering the place once more, coming here always seemed to chase the problems away, even if only for a moment. He looked at her and said, “You look radiant this evening…”

    “W-what?” She turned to him, then quickly away. “I’ve been working all day. You’re blind.” She gestured for him to follow her as she slipped behind the counter. “Come to the drawing room, there’s a warm fire there. Father is asleep, so mind the noise.” She spoke quickly as though she were trying to hide something. When she turned to face him again, Joshua couldn’t help but notice her cheeks were a rosy red.

    He nodded as he moved deeper, seeing the small hovel attached to the bakery. While it was obvious Amari was the sole caretaker, she was diligent in such a role. He could not seem to find a speck of dust or a broken piece of furniture anywhere. He was impressed with her resolve to keep the bakery as in shape as possible. Perhaps that's why he enjoyed it so much, it was a labor of love, and it showed in every biscuit, chair, and surface.

    She lead him down the small corridor then to the left, the room was small and had two armchairs beside a roaring fire. The wind rattled the windows and the wallpaper was peeling, the ceiling was covered in dust and cobwebs, and the floor creaked when he walked on it. The place would be considered a hovel to the upper class. Yet it was the place she called home, and a place Joshua felt peace. Amari gestured for him to sit in one of the chairs and disappeared into the adjacent room.

    He carefully removed his sword belt, wrapping the leather strap about the sheath before leaning it against his chair. Sitting down in the chair he felt the fatigue of the day hit him hard, despite the nap from earlier. It had been an eventful patrol and so he was working on the meager offerings he had given himself through the day.

    She returned moments later with a tray of tea, and shortbread. She placed it on a small circular table between the chairs and sat opposite him. “I hear you are to wed Ophelia.” She said, her usual cheery tone had grown quiet. “I’m very happy for you, she’s lovely.”

    “Yes, I only just found out about that. Apparently my Parents didn't wish to bother me with the details,” He replied as he carefully took the tea, “Thank you Amari, I daresay you're an angel in disguise.”

    “You flatter me, all I offer is a dusty armchair and a warm drink.” Amari leaned back in her own chair, and took off her bandana, her short fringe fell over her forehead, tufts of red fell into her eyes and she sighed as she pushed them back. “Stay as long as you like Joshua. I adore your company.” She paused, her fingers curling into themselves. “Your parents may just want what is best for you. I never met my mother, but father says she said the exact same thing. She only ever wanted what was best for others.”

    “Don't sell yourself short Amari, I daresay you are a better person than most,” Joshua said softly as he sipped the tea. He then looked up at Amari, “I appreciate the offer Amari, I promise not to trouble your doorstep too long.”

    Amari was a treasure to her community. No one who actually knew the woman put any heed into the rumors she was a witch. He enjoyed her company greatly, she warmed him in a way that he seldom felt others did. It took that moment to realize just what he felt. He didn't love the Bakery, he loved her. Her smile, her demeanor, the way she saw challenges as just a small bump on the road. She was far from the useless person he had crowned Ophelia. Amari was what he wanted in a wife.

    She nodded, falling silent as her eyes watched him finish his tea, he noticed that every time their eyes met she’d linger just for a moment before pulling her gaze away. “Are you going away?” Her question caught him off guard. No one outside those who were to be deployed knew.

    He looked about before he said softly, “I'm afraid so, just for a couple of weeks, and then I'll be returning. I've been given an opportunity for growth,” If he sounded happy it was surely a farce. He stood up as he said softly, “I worry about you, you know.”

    “Why?” She asked, looking up at him with innocent curiosity in her green and gold verdant gaze.

    The words came from his heart as he gently took her hand, “People, are terrible to you for a mere rumor. I hear the whispers, I see the looks and it troubles me. I can't help but worry when I leave on the morrow. You suffer unjustly Amari, and it pains me to watch it. I can only imagine how tough it must be on you.”

    “I’m alive, Joshua. I’m happy because of that. Those things don’t worry me, and I do not suffer. I work hard, I adore the people in this town, I adore my father and my shop, I adore you-” She paused, and quickly added. “Your company, and all you do for the town. I do not feel like I am suffering.”

    Her reply didn't quell his fears as he said softly, “You put on a brave face Amari, but surely you see the way you are treated. Despite your bakery always being ready by the time the morning has begun truly, no one enters your shop. Despite how hard you work, no one purchases your wares. It pains me to see you fail through no fault of your own, but instead by gossip.” his hand traveled up her arm to her shoulder as he looked deeply into those golden eyes.

    His heart ached as her smile fell, along with her eyes. She gripped the material of her dress tightly. “I’m alive Joshua. I just have to continue to live each day. Not just for me, but for my mother and my father.” Her short fringe covered her eyes, but her voice shook like it were on the verge of tears. “I’m alive. It doesn’t matter if no one comes, because sometimes, one person does come, and I’m ready and waiting, it doesn’t matter if no one buys my wares, because it's food for the homeless. It doesn’t matter if people think I am a witch who killed her mother, because I know it not to be...true…” She didn’t sound so confident with the last sentence.

    Joshua’s hand went to her cheek as he brought her face back up and spoke, “You are loyal, in a world full of people who are only out for themselves. I saw the baker’s daughter who always was open on time, even if she knew it was pointless. I saw the woman who was ever ready with the perfect cup of tea to lift my spirits when I had been through a rough patrol. A woman who opened her hearth and home to a Knight who couldn't protect her, despite his best wishes.”

    He gave her a sad smile as he whispered, “You were loyal, even when it hurt.” He seemed on the edge of saying something before he spoke, “I don’t want Ophelia, I want you Amari.”

    “Joshua...I care about you...more than any other...”

    Joshua felt something in his chest. It caused his heart to race as he realized the truth of the situation. He was afraid, he was on a ledge and only three short words from taking the plunge. Part of him knew that the rest of their lives would hinge on the next words he spoke. He looked her in the eyes as he confessed, “Amari, I love you.”
    How something is said, is just as important as what is said. -Anonymous

  10. #10
    Member
    EXP: 31,825, Level: 7
    Level completed: 61%, EXP required for next level: 3,175
    Level completed: 61%,
    EXP required for next level: 3,175

    AP
    27
    GP
    2,350
    Mari's Avatar

    Name
    Amari Ciel L'Olfsden
    Age
    28
    Race
    Ar'Tuel Soul; Human Body
    Gender
    Female
    Hair Color
    Dark Crimson
    Eye Color
    Emerald, yellow ring around iris
    Job
    Crimson Hand 2IC

    View Profile
    His words caught her completely off guard, she felt him getting close, his touch causing goosebumps to erupt on her skin. Despite upbringing and social manners telling her to pull away, she simply couldn’t. Her heart pounded in her chest as she admitted something she had always known, something that had plagued her for the last few years, but the moment she uttered the words, and he returned the sentiment she felt regret and guilt.

    “I’m sorry.” She gushed, grabbing his hand, she offered him a squeeze. “That was indecent of me, y-you’re to wed Ophelia...she’s...she’s a noble and you, and I’m..I-I’m just a baker's daughter!” Amari tried hard to put on a strong face, to smile for him but her lips quivered, and tears streamed down her cheeks. Her emotions caught the better of her as she began almost pleading with him.

    “Y-you’d be a pariah, y-you’d be outcast… you’d have to be lonely, and live in solitude and… and you’d be cleaning rotten food off the windows and your face would swell with the injury of rocks being thrown at you!” It all started to spill out, every small thing that Amari had endured, every ounce of rejection and pain, everything that she had smiled through and pushed through. She hiccuped as she continued to cry, gripping his arm she pressed her forehead into it.

    “I cannot- I cannot have you live a life where you are thrown into the sea, where you have waste poured on you, a life where you are denied grains and food from the grocers so you have to make and grow your own… just because I love you...I can’t….Joshua...wed Ophelia. Be happy.”

    He hugged her tightly, comforting her as he said softly, “I should like to see a world where everyone expects the worst of me for a change.” His hands gently ran up and down her back before he whispered, “I would be miserable with Ophelia. I couldn't stand the mere walk we did to return her home. I am not happy to have my life given to such a woman as a trinket. I am much happier with you.”

    His soothing ministrations on her back relaxed her, as he drew in closer she could feel his breath tickle the bare skin of her neck and it took all her willpower not to turn her lips to his. She couldn’t do such an improper act… instead, Amari slowly wrapped her arms around him, pulling him closer as she pressed her own face into the crook of his neck. She breathed deep and could smell lingering gunpowder, salt, and iron. The scent of a dutiful soldier, of Joshua, of the man she was irrevocably in love with. A man who was always so kind to her, who never once indulged in rumours, who helped the homeless and the rich alike. Who didn’t throw his status around and who earned his respect with hard work and even kinder words.

    “Joshua….” She whispered, she had no other words to say. What more could she say? In those few short moments she had everything she wanted and more, and yet, she felt so utterly undeserving of it, and was so afraid it was some kind of cruel joke played on her by the Thaynes above.

    “You’re too kind…”

    “If that were true, you would have more customers than a lowly Knight who cannot quell such a vile rumor,” He whispered softly as he hugged her tightly. He whispered in her ear, “I'm sorry, I'm too forward.”

    Amari shook her head, “It’s fine.” If she were to be brutally honest, she’d tell him it was just what she needed, and wanted to hear, that she had longed for this moment for years. “It is more than fine…” She whispered back as she gave him a final squeeze and pulled away.

    A look of concern had etched itself onto his features as he looked at her. His hand moved from her back to her shoulder, then just under the chin, as if he was loathe to let her go. He said softly, “I've, said too much, haven't I?”

    Amari shook her head, “No.” Her hand found its way to his cheek, his skin was smoother than she expected, her fingers danced over his skin in a slow comforting motion. “I have admired you from afar, for a very long time. I often dreamed of this moment, but I fear you are not thinking of the consequences it will bring you and your family. Go on your journey, and consider your answer. Know I will be here, regardless.”

    Amari offered him a smile. “Joshua… no matter what you choose to do, promise me you will always visit me in my store.”
    (23:17:08) BlackAndBlueEyes: Everything's coming up Lyehouse

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