It's no surprise to Melou when the door to the little room he and Melehan have been granted in the church flies open and Constantine steps inside. Their Latin is good enough that when the monks started shouting about blasphemy and sacrilege, it wasn't difficult to put two and two together.
They don't reach for their swords; giving up their weapons had been a condition of being granted sanctuary to begin with. They weren't supposed to need them while they were here.
Apparently, they'd made more of an impression on their cousin than they had anticipated. It isn't unusual for war to be waged over a throne, from family or otherwise, but this all just seems a little personal.
It's also a clear indication that despite their failure – and that they will very likely be dead within minutes – they haven't entirely lost. Their honour is intact; Constantine's is not.
Oddly, Melou can almost be at peace with that. Almost.
Constantine doesn't even deign to talk to them, simply orders his men to take Melehan first. It's not a lucky guess, or even flat-out knowledge that they're starting with the elder of the two, but a sign that they don't care which one is eliminated first. Both the Sons of Mordred will die.
They put up a fight - they wouldn't be who they are if they didn't - but there isn't much they can do. They're out numbered and unarmed.
Melou is forced to watch his brother be murdered. When it's his turn, all the fight in him is gone. He might as well be dead already.
It's a blessing when he actually is.
I'm sorry, father.
A note is left at Bar, for anyone who may wonder:
We were here. We'll not likely be again.
No regrets; no honour lost. Our blood will not have been spilled in vain.
Y Ddraig Goch ddyry gychwyn.
~ Prince Melou Cunedda Gwthyr ap Medraut of Gwynedd and Cornwall, Lord of Orkney and Camelot
It's that time of year again.
Melou is sort of surprised he was able to get through the festivities without getting angry enough to punch someone. He wanted to, of course, but thought he showed remarkable restraint in not following through. Bri helped, too, and he thinks he might even have enjoyed parts of it for once.
Last year, he didn't get a festival. He got to watch his unworthy cousin being given a throne that wasn't his. He got to make sure Mele didn't lose it and do something rash that might have ended up with one or both of them dead. He got to worry about his mother. Not that that was really anything new.
This year, Melou's avoided his brother, for the most part. He doesn't want to talk about it. It's bad enough he has to remember when he goes to check on their mother, for whom this day is worse than most. But he does. It's his job, to make sure she's all right, even though she never is.
Finally, once all obligations have been fulfilled, there's only one thing left to do. Drink. And Melou intends to do so until he can't see straight.
Melou stomps up the stairs to Angela's room and when he enters, the door slams nicely behind him. He places the fox gently enough in the pile with the other toys he acquired the day before and then slumps in a chair, sulking.
If Angela is around, she's got one broody prince on her hands.
It's a special day. At least, Melou assumes it's supposed to be though there isn't much in the way of celebration happening. Not that he really minds the lack of attention for once.
On the other hand, it's a day that's not just about him. Which is why he's grabbed two glasses of ale and is currently knocking on his brother's door.
Melou follows Angela up to her room in the bar, kitten still on his shoulder, and then holds the door open for her when they arrive.
"Guess you'll have to get used to this again, huh?"
By the time light started creeping through his bedroom window, Melou was already cranky. He hadn’t slept and spent the last few hours with a sleeping girl draped over his chest. Normally he wouldn’t have minded that, but if he wasn’t going to sleep, he figured he should at least get out and do something.
“Bri.” He lifted the shoulder directly beneath her. “Move over. Getting up.” His only answer was a sleepy groan and then she snuggled closer. He rolled his eyes. “Come on, move.”
“’s not proper mornin’ yet.” She grumbled in reply.
“Close enough.” He gave her a push. “Go on.”
Briallen made a face and rolled over enough to let him up, stifling a yawn. “Did ye sleep at all?”
“No.” Melou swung his legs over the side of the bed and stretched his arms out in front of him.
“Why not? What’s wrong?”
Sitting up slowly, she pushed her hair out of her face and blinked groggily at him. “No, yer not. Ye didn’ get no sleep and ye’ve been moody for days now. Been a right bear, y’have.”
“I said I’m fine.” Angrily, he grabbed the nearest shirt and started pulling it over his head. “I have to get to training.”
“Won’ matter if ye miss a day. Ye’ve done it afore and ye need some sleep, a’least.” Briallen crawled to his side and rested her chin on his shoulder. “Come back to bed.”
He brushed her away. “You need to get to work.”
“Been good. I can stand th’trouble from missin’ one meal.” Relentlessly, she tugged at his arm. “Ye need to sleep an’ ye need to relax an’ not worry ‘bout anyone or anythin’ other than ye gettin’ properly rested.”
Melou didn’t move, but he didn’t push her away again, either. “And if I don’t?”
“Then yer gonna hurt someone without meanin’ to, or get yerself hurt.” She spoke gently, reaching over to stroke his cheek. “Stand too close to th’edge long enough, yer gonna fall an’ I don’ want that t’happen to ye.”
He said nothing, shoulders sagging, because dammit, she was right. Defeated, he let her pull him back onto the bed and settled in with an arm around her waist and his head lying on her stomach. It was only a few minutes later, with Briallen humming softly and stroking his hair, that he finally fell asleep.
to post your own answers for this meme.)
( it goes on...Collapse )
|✓ I miss somebody right now.
||✓ I don't watch much TV these days.
|| × I own lots of books.
| × I wear glasses or contact lenses.
|| × I love to play video games.
|| × I've tried marijuana.
| × I've watched porn movies.
|| × I have been the psycho-ex in a past relationship.
|| × I believe honesty is usually the best policy.
|✓ I curse sometimes.
||✓ I have changed a lot mentally over the last year.
||✓ I carry my knife/razor everywhere with me.
Melou has put the maps away for today, happy enough with what work he did get done on them yesterday before Melehan ruined his mood. But he's not thinking about that right now. He has a date of sorts.
It's getting colder, even at Milliways, so there aren't any jean shorts today, although the t-shirt probably doesn't look so good with his usual trousers. Thankfully, he couldn't care less what his clothes look like.
Melou paces just outside the lake door, waiting for Angela. Girls always take forever.
He'd asked her to come see him when she was done cleaning up after dinner. That was over an hour ago and since then, Melou had been waiting in his room patiently. Or, at least as patiently as he could be while puttering around nervously.
Finally the door opened and she slipped inside. He stopped his pacing and smiled at her. "Hey."
When Melou brings Angela back into the castle it's around about when dinner would normally be served. However, it's a festival day, so the household has already eaten, in order to be able to head outside for the evening's games.
He pulls her into his room, obviously excited, and starts rummaging through a trunk.
"Get you your mask in just a minute."
When Melou is cranky, like he has been for the past few days, he tends to avoid Briallen. She, more than anyone else including Mele, knows how to push his buttons and seems to do it on purpose more often than not.
Today, he's calmed down a bit. His last talk with Angela helped, even though they're still a little awkward with each other, as has sleeping in his own bed again. He also has something specific to do.
Bag over his shoulder, he knocked on the cottage door and entered, without waiting for an answer. As usual.
Melou spent his first full day home in relative peace, mostly alone in his room with a short trip down to the river for a swim. Dinner was, of course, busier than usual. Everyone wanted to hear about his trip and he was more than happy to oblige for a few hours.
Finally, he managed to excuse himself. He had something to do and didn't want to put it off any longer. He made a brief stop at his room and then headed to another large door, entering only after receiving a "come in" in response to his knock.
Finally finally Melou is home. He's managed to get Aeron safely in his stall and is now hefting his bags back to his room. His plans for this evening include sleeping.
And that's about it.
Anyone who bothers him on his way will likely get told that he's Melehan and he doesn't know where his brother is. Unless they're Melehan.
Or their mother.
And if he runs into any of them, well, he might just be sociable.
After spending a mere two days in the court of Rheged, Melou was ready to leave. King Meirchion was the oldest man he'd ever met and for all intents and purposes, his sons Cynfarch and Elidyr were in charge. It was a shame they didn't get along.
Two days, and all he'd heard was infighting and arguing, not only between the King's sons, but between their sons - of which there were many, and apparently included Melou's uncle Llew. The last thing any of them wanted was to listen to what they considered the self-made problems of a boy from a rival kingdom.
His aunt Tegeirian had been scarce and seemed rather indifferent to his presence when she was around, although she seemed genuinely pleased with the letter and gifts Rhedyn had sent with him from Galwyddel. It mattered little to Melou. He'd tell his mother her sister was a kind and happy woman regardless.
Dinners were loud and obnoxious and this evening's had been no different. Few people paid him any attention and once the main meal had been cleared away, Melou settled off to the side by himself, perfectly content to be forgotten about. A few moments later, however, he found he wasn't quite alone.
"We are well met, cousin?" A girl stood over him, two or three years younger than he was and far too tall for her age. That, combined with her long, dark hair, was a dead giveaway.
"Tegeirian's daughter?" He guessed.
She straightened her shoulders and glared down. "I am Princess Meddyf, yes."
Melou sipped his ale and tried not to laugh. He had the feeling she was worse than Eurgain. "Then, yeah, sure. We're well met. You wanna sit or something?"
"No, thank you. I simply wanted to introduce myself before you left." Her Latin was impeccable and her smile too smug for Melou's liking.
"What makes you think I won't be here for a while longer?" He asked, irritated.
"You're not welcome here." Meddyf explained, her tone more than a little condescending. "It would be for the best if you left as soon as possible."
"Thanks for the tip, but I'd figured that out already." Melou stood, more than a little annoyed that he didn't tower over her like he was used to. "And I changed my mind. Stable hands have been better met than you."
He grabbed his drink and brushed past her, heading for the room he'd been given. Tomorrow, he decided, he was going home.
The stables for the Galwyddel court were small and cramped and frankly, Melou didn't like them much. Of course, he didn't have a choice as to where he housed his horse, especially today when it was raining and Aeron desperately needed a brushing out before they started back home tomorrow.
He hadn't been out there for ten minutes when he realized he was being watched. He had been almost the entire week he'd been here. "You gonna come out, finally, or hide forever?" He asked casually and not looking away from his work, but loud enough to be heard throughout the building.
A boy, wet from sneaking about in the rain, stepped into the dim light and leaned against the stall of another horse. "Did ye really live at Camelot?"
Melou smiled, recognizing the boy as Senyllt, the king's grandson. "Yeah, 'til I was about your age. Then we moved up to Gwynedd. Your Da know you're following me?"
Taking a few steps closer, the boy just shrugged. "Prob'ly. What was it like?"
"Big. Bright. Noisy. Nothing at all like here." He glances over, eyebrow raised. "Why, you thinking of running away?"
"Nah. Just curious." Senyllt grinned briefly. "Ye need help? I can fold 'is blanket for ye."
"Sure, if you want." He barely supressed a chuckle as the other boy brightened and eagerly took the blanket from him.
"Yer real tall." The boy observed.
Melou had to laugh at that. "Taller than most, yeah. Not as tall as my Uncle, though."
"Maelgwn? Northern Picts're sendin' a princess down to 'im. Want 'im to father an heir."
...that was news to Melou. He tried not to look as shocked as he felt. "Where'd you hear that?"
Senyllt shrugged, still folding. "Nobles were talkin'. S'posed to be me Da, but I guess they figger Maelgwn's a better choice."
"Huh." At least he knew now why Dingat and Tudwal were willing to side with him and Melehan, instead of his uncle. "Must have their reasons."
"Guess so." The younger prince agreed. "Ye ever actually get t'talk to Arthur?"
After a brief hesitation, Melou answered, keeping his voice even and hopefully unbiased. The last thing he wanted was to feed rumours. "Of course. Once in a while. He was usually real busy, but he'd greet us at dinner, sometimes ask about what we were learning and stuff."
"Did ye like 'im?" Senyllt pressed.
Now it was Melou's turn to shrug. "Didn't know him that well."
Either that satisfied the boy, or he realized he wasn't going to get much information, as he fell silent for a few moments before starting in on a new topic. "They want ye t'marry me aunt, ye know."
To his credit, Melou only snorted quietly, and didn't drop the brush. "They've suggested as much."
"Ye goin' to?"
"No." He answered firmly. "Not planning on getting married any time soon."
Senyllt nodded. "What 'bout yer brother?"
"Well, that'd be up to him, wouldn't it?" Melou grinned suddenly. "I"ll be sure to let him know when I get home, though."
The boy smiled back, seemingly understanding his intention, and then handed back the neatly folded blanket. "Can I do anythin' else?"
"Nah, I think I can handle the rest. But thanks."
"A'right." He hesitated, as if uncertain whether to stay or go, and then asked, "Can I see yer scar?"
"From the arrows?" Melou guessed and then leaned down, pulling the collar of his shirt over to reveal the mark on his shoulder. "It's healed up pretty good." Apparently, scars didn't just impress girls, but boys who hadn't had to face battle yet.
Senyllt gave it a good look, eyes wide, and then nodded. "Ye were lucky."
"Yeah, I was."
A brief pause followed before the boy asked another hopeful question. "Need help loadin' up tomorrow 'fore ye go?"
"If you want." Melou gave him a quick smile. "Be just after breakfast so I can get a full day's riding in."
"I'll be here." He promised eagerly, then started for the door and the rain. "See ye at dinner then."
Melou nodded. "See you there." Once the young prince was well out of sight, he let himself have a good laugh and wondered if he had been so easily impressed at that age.
The journey to Galwyddel had been long, dull and Melou was nothing short of exhausted. He hadn't lingered long in Rheged. Better to approach them on his way back, than take the chance of them not agreeing and having to travel through their land afterward.
Galwyddel, though much the same size as Gwynedd, seemed... tiny. The court was certainly smaller and less organized, and the main keep was nothing to look at. Still, he had to give the isolated Picts credit for managing to maintain themselves on their own.
Melou was ushered into the main building and was shortly after greeted by his Aunt Rhedyn. Bombarded might be a better word, as she was perhaps the most cheerful relative he had ever met and, like all of Cadwallon's daughters, looked very much like her other sisters. Heavily pregnant, she took his arm and led him through hallways to the room that had since been prepared for him. And she never stopped talking.
He was one of Cywyllog's boys, wasn't he? So handsome and all grown up! She had been in Gwynedd still when they first came to visit when he was just a baby. Did he remember? Of course he didn't. It was so good of him to visit, all this way and why hadn't his mother come with him? Or Ffion? It had been years since she'd seen either of her sisters and she missed them so. Would he be here for very long? She would love to have someone take him to Ynys Manaw, so much like Aberffraw it was. Had he meet King Tudwal before, or her husband Cadwr, the king's cousin? They would be sure to welcome him with open arms. They always did with family and did he know of the king's youngest daughter, Eheubryd? A lovely girl and almost 15, a perfectly acceptable marrying age.
...Melou couldn't keep up. He answered as politely as possible, when he could even get a word in edgewise, and was more than happy to ignore her few last comments when they finally arrived and he was able to excuse himself for rest.
Dinner was much like at home, though on a smaller scale, and he spent most of the time watching the king and his son, Dingat, trying to figure out the best way to broach the subject he had come all this way to talk to them about. Rhedyn tried her best to include him in conversation, but ended up doing most of the talking herself. Melou couldn't help but like her regardless, and was pleased he would be able to report to his mother that her second youngest sister was more than happy.
Finally, the dishes were cleared away and the men settled in for more important discussions. Tudwal brought up the subject of the fight against Constantine first and while they ended the conversation without any decisions having been finalized, both he and Dingat seemed very receptive to the idea of having a Pendragon back on the high throne.
That was all Melou had wanted, for a first meeting. He would be here for a week or two more and felt confident he would leave with their support secured. Not a large army, but it was better than what they currently had and once one kingdom was on board, it would be easier to convince others to join.
Once again drained from the day, Melou retired to his room and slept soundly for the first time in weeks. Rheged could be worried about later.
Melou is happy enough when he returns home. He was able to see Angela, and will likely be able to keep seeing her without much difficulty, so that's one worry taken care of. As for his other encounters, well, he doesn't much care about them to be concerned.
He spots a familiar, small figure as he heads down a corridor on his way to his room, and catches up easily, a slight smile on his face.
"She's gone now, you know. You can stop being such a complete bitch about it."
Training was the same as usual this morning. Melou worked on strengthening and range of mobility for his right shoulder and then took the final skirmish using his left. He won, of course, but it was closer than he would have liked.
Still, it didn't matter much in the grand scheme of things, so he wiped his brow and then scanned the top of the hill, remembering that Angie was out to watch him today.
He grins when he spots her and then jogs up to where she's been sitting.
Dinner is always a noisy affair at castle Din-Gonwy. Angela found that out last night at her first one ever, when she was the centre of attention for all of five minutes until the main crowd accepted Melou's story of where she came from and who she was, and then got distracted by something else.
Tonight's meal isn't shaping up to be much different, except there's less whispering and more friendly (or indifferent) smiles given Angie's way.
They're seated not quite in the middle of the table, closer to the head. Melou passes her a glass of wine and smiles.
The door opens and once it closes, Angela and Melou are transferred from the brightness of the bar, to the almost complete darkness of a hallway in castle Din-Gonwy.
Clutching her hand tightly, Melou glances around at first and then leads them closer to one of the few torches lighting the way.
"You ok?" He whispers. Time to see if that ring works.
Melou hasn't slept well the past few nights. It's nothing to do with his dreams, for once, and nothing to do with not sleeping in his own bed. He's used to that by now.
No, it's the baby.
Bri explained, apologetically, that she wasn't normally this noisy, she just wasn't used to strangers in the house. He isn't a stranger, he'd answered, but supposed it made sense. Sort of.
So this afternoon, he makes his way to the little cottage again, if only to tell Bri he'll be in his own room tonight. He doesn't knock this time.
The remainder of the journey to Wales was uneventful. Melou, for one, was thankful for that. He'd had enough excitement - if you could call it that - for a while and all he wanted was to get back home and his usual routine, at least for a few weeks.
Word of the attack had made its way back to the little court in Din-Gonwy, so everyone was abuzz when they returned. For once, Melou didn't want the attention. He was tired and used his injury as an excuse to simply go to his room and sleep until dinner, and then to return to it immediately after. Something, though, kept bothering him, nagging away at the back of his brain. It had started doing the same before he left Milliways, but was stronger now that he was home.
Finally, he'd had enough. A few hours after dinner, he put his boots back on and made his way through darkened and still noisy corridors of the castle, and then outside to a small group of servant's cottages. Stopping at the side door of one of the smaller ones, he knocked softly. And waited.
- Cywyllog's mother was Meddyf, daughter of Maeldaf, some sort of Pictish nobility.
- Maelgwn had a lot of wives. Most notably, Gwallwen, who is Rhun's mother, and Nesta, who is Eurgain's mother. Brude and Domelch's mother is an unnamed princess of the Picts. EDIT: OMG Maelgwn, stop breeding already. Found another wife, Sannan, and three more sons: Einion born in 515, Alser born in 517 and Doeg bown in 519.
- Rhun marries Perfawr, a lesser princess of Ebrauc. Has a daughter, Rimo, and a son, Beli, who inherits the throne of Gwynedd.
- Eurgain marries Elidyr Mwynfawr, prince of Strathclyde. They fight Rhun for Gwynedd and lose.
- Brude becomes King of the Picts. Domelch is, presumably, a princess of the Picts, as well.
Non-historical/Millicanon (Twins' timeline - 522 AD)
- Nesta is Maelgwn's wife. Maelgwn is 42 (historical). Cywyllog is 37.
- Eurgain is 16. Rhun is 14 (historical), but Rhun is also mentioned, historically, to be illegitimate, so we will assume Gwallwen is a mistress of Maelgwn's. Brude and Domelch are not yet born (523 and 525 respectively, historical). Einion, Alser and Doeg? Can be illegitimate rugrats running around.
- One of Cywyllog and Maelgwn's elder sisters Ffion (43), also a widow, lives at the castle, with her youngest son, Llacheu (probably 11-13 or thereabouts).
- As for the other sisters, below are the ares of Briton they are living in, with their husbands and families. Who they married.... isn't important, really, but their husbands were nobles, or lesser ranking royalty (for example, Eyslk married the nephew of the King of Dyfed. I'm sure he had one).
Myfanwy (46) - Luitcoyt
Arwydd (40) - Powys
Siwan (38) - Gwent
Eyslk (35) - Dyfed
Tegeirian (32) - Rheged
Rhedyn (31) - Galwyddel
Cierdwyn (27) - Buellt
Melou is decidedly not asleep. This wouldn't be much of a problem if it wasn't the third night in a row. Or is it fourth? He's tempted to go find the girl he shooed out of his room a few hours ago, but he can't remember her name and besides, the last thing he should be doing is wandering around Camelot in the early hours of the morning alone.
Instead, he paces. Paces and grumbles. And wishes he'd brought more ale with him to his room.
It's not working.
Melou isn't spending another night on the couch and he's still too drunk to think about going back to Camelot, so one key later, there is a room. A pretty nice room, too. There's also a bottle of... something. He can't remember, and two glasses, one of which he throws to his brother. Don't drop it, Melehan. They'll probably charge.
He doesn't catch it. But it falls on the bed, so that's okay. The prince in question is somewhat sprawled over the bed, and sends out a flailing hand for the glass.
"Nice." Melou snorts, then passes the bottle. No, he's not going to throw that.
"So. Why you being sensible? And can you stop? It's doing my head in."
Melou shrugs. "One of us has to be and you're more entitled to be pissed than I am."
"Right." He's silent for a moment, staring at the bottle. "I could see it, Mel. I could...see his blood. I nearly fucking killed him then, I could just...FEEL it."
"I know." Melou answers quietly, sitting on the edge of the bed. "I could tell."
Melehan just shuts his eyes, and tries not to notice how his own hands are shaking. "Why'd they do that? Waited for five years and then crown him? Doesn't make sense. Could have waited another year and given it to us." Us, not me - Melehan's normally the one to automatically speak in plurals about anything.
"Fuck, Mele, Arthur was younger than us when they crowned him. It's got nothing to do with our age and you know it."
"Arthur had Merlin." It's weakly said, so Melehan just takes off the lid of the bottle. Pouring it into a glass, and he downs it. "Fuck them."
Melou holds out his glass expectantly. "Yep. Kill 'em, too."
"Okay. Fuck their daughters and kill THEM. Sounds like a plan?" Mele pours, like a good brother. And then fills up his own glass again.
"That is an excellent plan." Melou salutes his brother.
"Good." Melehan grins back.
"But I call first choice on the daughters."
Melehan eyes him. Pause. "Why?" That's not a 'no'.
Melou grins over his glass. "So I can leave you the ugly ones."
"Now, that's not fair. You can chat them up easier then I can."
"I think given our plan, chatting up isn't much of an issue." Melou points out.
"...true. Clearly I need to get drunker."
"Can we?" Melou gives this serious thought. "We've been drinking for two days straight."
"Melou. We can ALWAYS get drunker."
"You're right. I forgot those hours when we passed out."
"Exactly. So, here's to get drunker and pretty noble-girls?"
Melou raises his glass, and says nothing about pretty serving girls. That's so water under the bridge. Really. "To drinking and pretty girls we'll never marry."
"Yeah, that." It's too far to clink their glasses, but they mime it anyway. And then down their glasses.
Constantine's coronation had, in a word, sucked. Royally.
Melehan didn't stick around any longer than he absolutely had to. Melou had seen their mother safely to her room, because they can't ever be sure anymore, especially in Camelot, and then he started doing what he did best.
After a while, it occured to him he might want to find his brother before somebody died. Besides, glasses are portable.
He wanders down the mostly deserted hall, banging on doors between sips of ale. "Mele. Get out here."
More silence, and then the door he's currently kicking opens. Just a little. Melou peeks in and grins.
"Seriously, Mele, get your arse out here. You're gonna want to see this."
In the days following Pasgen's murder, Melou felt better than he could ever remember. It was like a weight lifted off his shoulders, even if only he and Melehan knew about it. Still, as much as he wanted to think the murder made him no longer a boy, in his mind there was one more thing to take care of, and he'd resolved to deal with it that night.
It had taken forever to convince Briallen to meet him in their usual spot in the stables. May Day was fast approaching and the girls and other servants were caught up in preparations. But she had agreed.
They both snuck out of their rooms late that night and even though she had been angry about how upset he'd been over Melehan and Sulwyn, she relented easily.
Things fell back into routine fairly quickly after that, though Melou slowly tried to push her further than they'd been before. After swatting his hands away for what felt like the hundredth time, she sat up, straw in her hair. "Ye've got to stop."
He looked at her then, really looked at her, pretty little thing she was. Not quite blonde, a good deal shorter than him and already growing into her round, curvaceous figure. Certainly not like tall, thin, dark haired Sulwyn, or even Angela, taller still with the brightest hair he'd ever seen. Just Briallen, and she was all he had.
She looked back up at him, hazel eyes pleading. "I should be gettin' back. If father catches me out I'll get a whippin' but good."
"Not yet." He leaned in and nuzzled her cheek with his nose, a hand at her waist pushing her backwards. She struggled to keep her balance and push him away at the same time.
"I've told ye no." Her voice was bordering on angry, exasperated, and she tried to stand. Melou pulled her back down with little effort and held her tight. He was far stronger than her, and she knew it.
"And I said not yet. I'm not going to hurt you, I promise." He told her firmly, though there was an underlying tone indicating he just might if he thought he had to. Trembling, she made no further protest.
Afterward, Melou gently wiped her tears away and helped her make herself look more presentable. He even walked her home, though he doubted she'd ever speak to him again. He didn't care and made his way back to his room silently, smiling the whole way.
The plans had been made, a time set, and finally, the day had arrived.
Melou spent the morning distracted from his lessons, which was nothing altogether new, but in the afternoon he was more focussed than ever on drills. Since they’d decided on the murder, he’d found himself enjoying them more and more.
The day dragged. Dinner was agonizing and he found himself getting irritated over his mother’s doting. They weren’t going to be boys anymore, not after tonight.
Finally, finally they were excused up to their rooms. Now, he was just waiting anxiously for Melehan, pacing the floor, his own practice sword sharpened and ready.
Melou woke with a start. He was soaked with sweat and as usual, he couldn’t get the image of blood away from his eyes.
He hoped his whimpering hadn’t been too loud this time. It was embarrassing and he didn’t need his mother knowing he’d had the dream yet again. She worried enough already.
He lay in bed for a few moments and when he was certain she wasn’t going to come in and try to get him to talk about it, he crept quietly to the window and opened it. The cool air felt good and he just stood there, letting the wind dry him off.
Afterward, he climbed back in bed and stared at the ceiling. He wouldn’t be sleeping any more tonight.