Private Tales The Starling and the Bear

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer
Lynus scoffed and shook his head at her question, a warm smile tugging at his lips. Technically, he did have somewhere he was supposed to be—a sixteenth name day celebration he was meant to attend as the royal representative—but he had never had any intention of showing up. Facing his mother's ire about that later was a small price to pay.

"I am where I am supposed to be.." he answered her as he returned, his voice filled with conviction. "I dismissed most of the guards, though unfortunately, my father has ordered them to ensure I am not left alone. Bess will keep them entertained, I'm sure." He smirked. "One more night, I can do." he agreed happily.

His brow furrowed at the sight of her wound. The glass had cut deep, and his jaw clenched with an unspoken question that he decided would remain unspoken lest it dampen the happiness between them. He winced at her pain and leaned in, drawing her into a gentle kiss as he dabbed the damp cloth over her hand. The kiss lingered, hopefully providing a distraction and comfort as the antiseptic liquid soaked into the wound. When he finally pulled back, he quietly assured her, "It's over."

He smiled at her, a look of genuine affection in his eyes, before returning his attention to her hand. "Hold still," he said softly. "Tell me about the piano. Bess said you've been playing every day." he asked, and with careful precision, he began to stitch the wound anew, his touch surprisingly gentle.
His answer was satisfactory.

Even as she grimaced and gasped for air at the horrible feeling of a burning wound while sober, Isla was happy he would stay once more in the little inn with her. She had longed for the feeling of him pulling her against his warm body as he slept deeply.

Her mind was more of a distraction than the kiss. She wondered what the living arrangement would be like if- when he brought her home. She could stomach whispers and stares, but considered it might look better for Lynus if she were to have a separate room far from his until some more official declaration had happened. Then again, his family and half the guards knew of her occupation. She could not fake purity like other noble girls surely did to earn favor.

Its over.

She hissed out a long breath and wanted to wipe the tears from her eyes.

Tell me about the piano...

"The piano..." She winced at the first pinch of the suture piercing her skin. "I never learned to read music like my mother had, but she always told me I had a good ear. I wish I had lessons as a child to read so that I might learn something new one day, but when I saw your gift I felt like my past had come back. If only for a moment. I could hear mother playing a sad piece. Fenwick's 'magnum opus', she'd called it. It was only ever a mediocre nocturne, but she loved it. She had played it all the time growing up."

She took another deep breath as he pierced a more sensitive part of her palm. "I performed a recital when I was sixteen. All of Fenwick's nocturnes for a party of people who could afford to waste an evening watching a little noble girl in her latest dream." She smiled at the memory. "I don't quite know why it was the first piece that came back to me the moment I felt the keys again, but my hands seemed to move before my brain, I suppose."

She chuckled and realized he'd finished while she rambled.

"I think I find myself following anything other than my brain first most of the time," She wiggled her fingers to assess his work. "Did you enjoy the music?"
  • Cthuulove
Reactions: Lynus Anireth
Lynus listened intently, his focus divided between her words and the delicate task of stitching her hand, even as she managed to speak of the piano with a sort of reverent nostalgia that made his heart ache. He admired her resilience, her ability to find solace in something so beautiful amidst all her pain.

As he finished the final stitch and secured it, he took a fresh, long strip of fabric and began to wrap her hand and wrist gently. His touch was careful, ensuring the bandage was snug but not too tight. He tied it off with a secure knot, then looked up at her with a soft smile.

"I did." he replied, his voice filled with genuine warmth. "I enjoyed the music very much. It was... enchanting."

He paused, taking her bandaged hand in his and pressing a tender kiss to her knuckles. "You have a gift, Isla, Starling. I hope you will continue to play for me, back at the Keep. Though, perhaps give it a few days this time.." he suggested with a sharp huff in amusement as he reached up to brush a stray lock of hair from her face, his thumb lingering on her cheek.
Isla twisted her arm, clenched and unclenched her fist a few times to ensure the wrap's security. She wondered if it was such a skill he'd learned from his friend, Arryn, while they were getting into mischief together. Certainly it was not a skill he'd picked up in his feigned mercenary career.

"Thank you," She blushed while his lips grazed her knuckles. "Have you got a piano there?" She chuckled and leaned into the hand on her cheek. "I would like to think my playing and my presence would be more welcome if it were kept to my room until whatever scandal I may have caused gets less...difficult for you." She drew the other hand up to lightly touch his bruised face.

It was a peculiar situation they were putting themselves in. Isla felt uneasy, picturing the faces of those she'd spent her childhood surrounded by now looking at her as the woman she was. She had not considered how tense meeting his family, now, might be. But they still had time. One night before he was to leave with or without her.

She added, humor in her eyes as she glanced up at him and laughed. "I would hate them to think I, an unwed woman, am impure enough to spend my nights in the Prince's chambers."
"There are three, I think," he replied with a gentle smile, searching her eyes with a slight frown. "You... don't wish to share my chambers?" His tone was soft, understanding, though a hint of concern touched his features.

"But how will I sleep?" he added, amusement dancing in his eyes despite the crease in his brow. He didn't want her to feel pressured or uncomfortable, especially knowing the scrutiny they would face. Still, he wanted her to know how deeply he cared and how much he desired her presence. How little he cared for such scrutiny.

Lynus settled her hand atop his, holding it to his face, "People will talk, they will judge, but it means nothing to me. What matters is you, and us. Given time to know you, they will come to see what I see in you."

He leaned in, his forehead resting against hers. "I want you to be comfortable, and I understand if you need time to adjust. But know this: you belong with me, in my chambers, in my life. We’ll face whatever comes together, and I promise to stand by you, no matter what."

He pulled back slightly to look into her eyes, a genuine grin spreading across his face. "But if you truly prefer your own room, I will respect that. Just know that my door is always open to you. Always."

With that, he stood, taking her hand and pulling her up and against him with a deep sigh. "One more night here," he murmured against her lips. "And then, I take you home." he smiled, and kissed her.
"I don't wish to make people think poorly of you, Lynus." She admitted. "More than they already may, I might add. You know it would break my heart to hear you having nightmares again. I would want nothing more than to be able to comfort you and pull you from the darkness. I just worry for you."

She shut her eyes for a moment as his forehead touched hers. "I would just hate to see another bruise on your handsome face, Lynus." She paused for a moment, looking at him as he pulled away and smiled. "But I will let you decide what is best for your image. The perfectly pristine nobles see me as a painting of hell itself," She laughed. "I have nothing more to lose. But you, my dear, I will not let you lose the world you've been given."

She let him tug her up and pull her into him again, neck arced up so she could see into his eyes as he spoke.

A moment later and she was drawn back into his lips, the world a dizzying mess around her as she wrapped her arms around his neck and would not let go of him.

She wasn't sure if she pushed him or he pulled her but by the time her eyes reopened, Isla had Lynus seated on his bed with her straddled over his legs and still, she would not let go of the kiss except for one moment to catch her breath and whisper to him, "I would love nothing more than to come with you."
Lynus grinned at her, a joy lighting up his face that had been absent for too long. "Isla.." he sighed, the affection in his voice evident. He loved saying her name, and it showed. "I haven't been happy in so long, if they can't see that, then they care less about me and more about themselves.. Stay with me, and there will be no need for any to worry." His knuckle traced her jaw tenderly, his eyes locked on hers with a mixture of determination and tenderness. "They can either accept our happiness or not, but either way, this is what I want."

As she broke their kiss, his eyes were heavy with need, and he gazed up at her with a fervent intensity. "Good," he murmured, and drew her back to him, letting go of all restraint. His hands roamed over her, squeezing the supple curves of her body, pulling her as close to him as possible. He craved the feel of her skin against his, needing to bridge any distance between them.

His heart raced, his breathing hitched as he found the lace at her back. He worked deftly at untying it, eager to rid her of her clothes as quickly as possible. He wanted to see her, to let his hands, lips, teeth, tongue explore every inch of her bare skin. Now that she knew his name, knew who he truly was, and now that she had said yes, there was nothing holding him back.

He leaned in to kiss her neck, his lips trailing down to her collarbone, savoring the softness of her skin. He wanted to memorize every curve, every line, every reaction she had to his touch. "I need you," he whispered against her skin, his voice raw with emotion. "I need all of you."
  • Melting
Reactions: Isla
Isla couldn't fight him. She didn't want to inform him of what she presumed was his duty to his parents and his people as the future king. It did not matter right now. None of it was important for the time being. She was his, in the privacy of the little inn, and for one last night. She was his and he was hers.

Her eyes burned into him as his hands roamed and fought to untie the laces of her dress. Not once did she find herself shying from his touch, never forcing away that blank expression to feign her desire. Everything she wore on her face was genuine affection for the man underneath her. She was not afraid.

She finished untying the laces as he explored her neck and lower as she allowed the dress to drop. The bruises like cuffs on her wrists and the scars on her knees were nothing compared to the blush that spread throughout all of her.

Isla moved on to the buttons on his top next, taking no caution to keep them from ripping as he whispered into her, breathing hot and heavy on her skin. I need you. I need all of you.

She only managed to push him far enough away to let her dress billow to the floor before she was back on top of him, letting him explore her. "I am yours, Bear. Yours." There was such a fondness in her eyes, it was almost sickening. Please do not hurt me. She fought saying it out loud. He would never. He could never. "You have all of me for as long as you need me."
  • Melting
Reactions: Lynus Anireth
"Always," he breathed back, his hands cupping her face to bring her gaze to his, filled with sincerity, ensuring she knew he meant it. "I need you always."

His arms wrapped around her, turning to let her back fall to the bed beneath them, letting his eyes fall over her. "So. Fucking. Beautiful." he said, punctuating each word with a kiss down the smooth, porcelain slope of her neck as he caged her with his body. His lips never left her as he shrugged himself out of his jacket, haphazardly kicking his boots onto the floor with two, dull thuds before his dagger clattered down beside them. He laughed quietly against her skin at the urgency of it.

Her bruises, a source of anger he was forced to quash, received a little extra gentle care and attention as he worked his way over every perfect inch of her.
  • Melting
Reactions: Isla
This was real. All of it. She realized it, looking up into his eyes as they both laughed- he when his dagger hit the floor, and she when she tore the last button from his top and let it clink along the wooden floor. She did not have to pretend to be the woman he'd seen in the brothel with a dazed look on her face, lost in her head while she fought the feeling of someone else's hands, teeth, body on her own. She was Isla, his starling.

Isla had never felt so glad to be pinned under someone else. To have someone calling her naked body beautiful. To have Lynus looking like a beacon of happiness himself as they opened up the parts of them that hurt so badly and let each other in.

It had been nothing short of a miracle when Isla awoke (it was a miracle that she slept, truly) and the earliest signs of dawn were peeking through the curtains. The rain had returned sometime while she slept, light pattering now heard against the window. Lynus’ arm was wrapped tightly around her shoulders and it was no easy feat for Isla to remove herself from his grasp without disturbing the sleeping bear. But such a maneuver had been necessary in order for her to sneak from the small bed and slide on a nightgown.

The inn was still at this ungodly hour.

With so much wandering of the inn in the midst of the night, illumination was no longer a necessity for the girl as she crept through the halls. By heart she was able to find her way to the kitchen and only then did she light a single candle. The hearth was lit and a kettle was placed to boil as she rummaged around Bess’ collection of herbs.

She recalled them by scent: pennyroyal, mugwort, parsley, a pinch of black and blue cohosh. By the time she had gathered them and ground them with the mortar and pestle, she was running to pull the whistling kettle off of the flame. Embarrassingly, it had been rather difficult to find the mug out of all things in the kitchen, but she did find it after several minutes and soon the herbs were infusing in the water while Isla sat patiently and watched the sky shift, illuminated by the singular candle and the dying fire.

The contraceptive tea. She’d made it so many times. For her, for the other girls. Isla had the recipe memorized along with several interchangeable ingredients, some of which she had used tonight. Regardless, it was always bitter like black licorice. She stared down into the swirling of the herbs and sighed quietly. She had not planned to make it again. Had not planned to allow another man in bed with her, in fact.

But there Lynus lay upstairs where she left him after a night spent in each other’s arms, and Isla sat and waited for her tea to steep. She would not repeat the events that occurred with Nathaniel, even if she was completely and fully enamored with the prince. She would never put either of them in that sort of predicament. She could not, would not tease open either of their old wounds.


He had a brother for that.
  • Cthuulove
Reactions: Lynus Anireth
Lynus had fought sleep for as long as he could, holding Isla close and watching her, wanting her to see the depth of his feelings as she drifted off in his arms. He finally succumbed to sleep, content and pleasantly exhausted, and he slept deeply with her warmth beside him.

He didn't stir when Isla slipped away from his embrace. But it wasn't long before the absence of her weight and warmth registered, and he woke with a start, his eyes bleary as he sat up. Panic quickened his pulse as he realised she was gone, his mind jumping to the possibility of her regret.

"Shit..." he muttered to himself, dragging a hand down his face. He quickly pulled on his breeches and boots, grabbing his jacket as he headed out the door of their room.

Striding quietly downstairs, he was striding toward the door looking perturbed before he saw her sitting there, and he let out a relieved breath, rubbing the back of his neck as his panic subsided. "Isla..." he breathed, tossing his jacket on the nearest stool before making his way to her. His hand swept gently over her hair. "Everything alright?" he asked, concern in his tone.

The strange scent drew his attention to whatever she was drinking, and it took him a moment to realise. His brow furrowed slightly, a muscle feathering in his jaw, but he refrained from commenting on it, drawing her chin up to look at him.

"Come back to bed..?"
  • Aww
Reactions: Isla
"Hm?" Isla turned to see Lynus in the doorway looking positively panic-stricken as he came to her. Her sleepy eyes scanned him and she smiled softly. "I'm alright." She made an attempt to reassure him, sipping the tea and grimacing. One day she would find some additive that masked the taste.

'Everything is fine," she noticed the disturbed look cross his face, illuminated by the slowly dying candle. "I've never slept well. I did not mean to wake you." She was being honest, though did not seem keen on discussing the tea. She could have waited until the morning. Probably. She did not know. It was simply a requirement for all the girls with devastating consequences if used incorrectly, Isla had learned. Maybe Lynus' family had a physician who could better explain it to her. If they were willing to allow her to use their help. "I apologize." She reached a hand out and squeezed his in her own.

But if she waited until the morning, Bess would be in there. Isla did not yet wish to share the events of the evening with the old woman. Even if she were the only motherly figure she'd had in a decade. Isla worried she may think less of her. Or worse, she may believe Isla had not strayed from her occupation.

"Are you alright?" She sipped again, a large sip that would help prevent dwelling on its disgusting flavor. "You should be sleeping, Lynus. You look exhausted."
  • Cthuulove
Reactions: Lynus Anireth
"It's alright, I just..." Lynus glanced down at his boots with a sheepish laugh, rubbing the back of his neck. He hadn't yet fully escaped the iron grip of deep sleep and had nearly gone trudging off into the rain half-dressed. "I thought you'd gone," he admitted quietly.

His lips curled into a devilish grin as she pointed out how exhausted he looked, and he quirked a brow. "Yes, well... it hasn't exactly been the most restful of nights," he murmured, the amusement in his eyes reflecting his words.

"Come back to bed," he urged gently, his voice tender but insistent as he pulled her toward him. "Bring whatever that is with you." he glanced to the mug. "I want to lay with you for a few more hours before the guards start with their pestering."
  • Melting
Reactions: Isla
Isla watched, laughing quietly as he came to his senses, but felt a sting of guilt when he mentioned he'd worried that she left him. "Oh, dear." The corners of her smile were visible behind the mug she sipped from. "No, it has not been a night for rest," She noted the look in his eyes as he he went to pull her to him. Still, it had been one of the most restful nights she had in quite some time and she was slightly bitter that she woke up in a frenzy to make the tea that could wait.

"Just a few minutes." She turned around, away from the counter to face him. Isla did not budge, choosing instead to hop up and sit on the counter. "I am almost done." She pulled him closer to her, wrapping her legs around him. Her arms followed suit, bringing him into a tight embrace. "Just a few minutes and then I will come back and stay with you until you're ready to leave, okay?" She released him from her grasp and looked up into his tired eyes.

Her own stared up with nothing but affection in them. "We will still have hours. I promise, darling."
  • Melting
Reactions: Lynus Anireth
Lynus let out a soft groan as she refused his request, his hands slipping along her thighs as she wrapped herself around him. He tilted his head back to look at her with sleepy adoration, sighing as he leaned in to press a soft kiss to her lips. He nodded, his lips twitching into a small smile as she called him darling.

"Alright," he agreed quietly.

Reluctantly, he pulled himself away from her embrace to leave her to her privacy, grabbing his jacket from the stool before heading back upstairs. He kicked off his boots, slipped out of his breeches, and fell back into bed, fighting to stay awake until she joined him.

As he lay there, Lynus couldn't help but replay the events of the night in his mind, a contented smile on his face. He listened to the gentle patter of rain against the window, his heart still racing from the closeness they'd shared.
  • Melting
Reactions: Isla
Isla returned the kiss, grabbing onto his head to keep him there for a moment longer. But he pulled away and she felt the tiniest bit of disappointment for being too honest in his appearance. She had not wanted him to leave her, but she did not want beg the exhausted man to continue their activities on the counter. She sighed, chuckling quietly as she waved him away.

She was able to mask enough of her disgust to not raise concern, she assumed, as she sipped the tea. Upon his departure, it had cooled enough for her to toss the rest back and gag loudly. "Gods." She gasped out, nearly making the tea a fruitless endeavor as she tried not to let it all come back up into Bess' sink.

She would be damned if she did not come when she promised, giving herself only enough time to normalize her breathing before she trudged back up the stairs and into their room. The sky had begun turning with the sunrise. Isla made to close the curtains before draping her nightgown over a chair and closing the distance between the man in their tiny bed.

"Still awake?" She lifted the blanket and pushed his arm so that she could climb in and face him, with her chest pressed to his. Her lips moved against his neck, peppering him in lazy, sleepy kisses. "I'm sorry for worrying you. I'll work on it." She promised into his skin, nuzzling against him.
  • Melting
Reactions: Lynus Anireth
Lynus grinned at her question, his eyes remaining closed as he pulled her close against him, savoring the warmth of her body. "Mhm..." he rumbled contentedly at the kisses she pressed against his neck, his fingers sliding up the nape of her neck and into her hair. "You've nothing to apologise for. I shouldn't have worried," he admitted, his voice gritty with the sleep that clung to him.

Her kisses, though, were quickly waking him up, and he couldn't help but grin. "A few more hours, hm?... We should make the most of them." His brow quirked mischievously as he rolled her atop him, his eyes falling over her with a deep sigh of satisfaction. "I never want to leave this room."

He traced his fingers around the dimples at the small of her back, feeling the softness of her skin as he looked up at her. "I feel like I'm exactly where I should be."
  • Melting
Reactions: Isla
“Oh?” Isla grinned into their kiss and pulled away to search his eyes. Her own face was the expression of a pleading animal. “I thought you wished to sleep, Lynus. After all,” she shivered at his fingers dragging down her spine and straightened. “You complained of little rest. Did you not?”

Every word was said through her impish grin. Isla gathered the hair that had fallen forward to conceal her and pulled it to one side.

“But I suppose if you feel me on top of you is exactly where you should be…” She wriggled her hips and chuckled. “Who am I to say no to the Prince?”
  • Smug
Reactions: Lynus Anireth
Lynus grinned, his eyes sparkling with mischief as he looked up at her. "Oh, I did mention something about rest, didn't I?" he teased, his hands sliding down her sides and resting on her hips. "But somehow, with you here, sleep feels overrated."

He felt the shiver run down her spine and he chuckled softly, his fingers kneading gently at her flesh. "You, my darling, have a way of making every moment worth savouring," he murmured, his voice low and husky.

As she gathered her hair to one side, revealing more of herself to him, Lynus's breath hitched. "And yes," he said, his hands tightening on her hips as she wriggled, "laying beneath you is most definitely where I should be.."

He leaned up, capturing her lips in a deep, passionate kiss.
  • Melting
Reactions: Isla
Isla let him pull her close, let his hands roam as they kissed and only broke it once to face Lynus as she heard the earliest signs of his guards waking up in the ungodly morning hours.

"Your guards are going to kill me for keeping you here all night, you know that?" She brushed the curtain of her own golden hair off of his face. "But I suppose they'll just have to deal with it when they bring us home in the morning."

Soft knocking at the door woke Isla. She rubbed her eyes, adjusting to the late morning light filtering through the curtains that cast a warm golden glow on the pair in bed. She stirred for a moment, knocking growing impatient and the sounds of Bess asking a question about something Isla couldn't quite make heads or tails of. The remnants of sleep had dissipated as she slowly became aware of her surroundings. She felt lighter than she had in previous days, but no more at ease when she realized where they were headed today. His home.

She blinked, turning her attention from the door to the sleeping man beside her. The events of the night rushed back into her and she felt her heart skip a beat. He seemed so serene for once, not fighting the nightmares which plagued him. The small smile on his lips was mirrored on her own, as if he'd found some peace wrapped up in her arms.

She was careful not to wake him at first, peeling his arm off her and gently replacing it so that she was able to get up and toss a robe around her.

She turned back to face Lynus, watching him and letting her thoughts wander. The way he held her and allowed her to be vulnerable just as he was a new world for the both of them. A world where they understood each other's scars and could help each other begin to heal. It was a world of patience and Isla had all of the time they needed.

She released a slow breath and sat beside him just as Bess could be heard leaving and returning to her normal activity. With one hand gently stroking his arm, she spoke softly. "Good morning." She leaned down to kiss his cheek. "Come on, I think Bess is growing impatient with all of your guards. Something about them eating everything and how she will certainly be bankrupt soon, I think." Her laughter was soft and still tainted with sleep, but she knew the urgency of his duties was likely more important than a few minutes more in her bed.
  • Cthuulove
Reactions: Lynus Anireth
Lynus was too deeply asleep for the knocking at the door to register in his mind. He stirred, though, at the sound of her voice. A slow, contented smile spread across his face, still half-lost in the tranquility of sleep. "Good morning," he murmured, his voice gravelly with sleep.

As he opened his eyes, he saw her bathed in the soft light of the morning, her features relaxed and serene, and for a moment, he felt a deep sense of peace. He watched her for a few heartbeats, marveling at how the morning light seemed to suit her so perfectly. The golden rays highlighted her hair, turning it into a halo of soft, glowing strands. Her skin, kissed by the warmth of the sun, looked impossibly smooth and radiant. Every detail of her, from the curve of her cheek to the delicate flutter of her eyelashes, was illuminated with an ethereal sort beauty that took his breath away.

In that moment, Lynus felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Waking up beside her, especially after the night they'd shared, was a most precious gift. Something he'd yearned for, having woken cold and alone for so long. The usual weight of his duties and responsibilities seemed lighter, and his heart swelled with an unfamiliar joy.

Her laughter, still tinged with sleep, was the most beautiful sound he had ever heard. He stretched languidly, his muscles easing out of their restful state before he reached out to her, pulling her close for just a few more moments, savouring the warmth of her body against his, the softness of her skin as he peppered a few feathery kisses across her shoulder. "Just a few.. more minutes.." he rumbled and nuzzled at her neck with a sleepy sigh.

"Let Bess scold the guards." he grumbled. "They can handle it."

But even as he said this, he knew she was right. The last thing they, or Bess, needed were another dozen of the King's Guard showing up to drag him home. Duty called, and their time together in this peaceful haven was drawing to a close.

"I haven't felt this rested in... well, I can't remember when," he admitted distantly. "Thank you for that."
  • Melting
Reactions: Isla
Isla pretended to fight him as he pulled her back against his warm skin, chuckling quietly. "Oh stop it you. I'd prefer us to be fully dressed before they tear the door down, Prince." Regardless of the 'urgency', she relished the feel of him nuzzling her neck, kissing along it. It was a feeling she did not wish to forget any time soon, though she supposed things may be more complicated once they were home.

"Would you believe me if I told you that I haven't slept so deeply in years? I suppose we should thank each other. Maybe one day I'll sleep through the entire night with you. The day that happens, Lynus. . ." She begrudgingly forced herself from the bed without finishing her thought, headed towards the still-mostly unpacked bags from the clothier. "I hope we can continue that once we arrive, though I suppose it may look poorly on you." Her thoughts were trailing off as she slipped into a dress that matched those navy blue eyes of hers.

She had not had time to express her concerns in the night, she realized, and time was creeping up too quickly. "Then again, if my conversation with Arryn told me anything, it is that half of the city knows I'm no beacon of purity." She shrugged and laughed, adding to herself quietly, "What am I getting myself into?"

She had helped him up, picking up his clothes from the floor and tossing them to him. It had seemed that Bess' stockpile of clothing for him had shrunk. Or Lynus had been younger and thinner the last time he ran away from home. "Your family," She turned to him, forcing the shirt over his head as she spoke. She knew of his parents, had spent many evenings in their presence, but she knew very little of his siblings other than the fact that he had some. She eyed his bruise, recalling the anger on Arryn's face while he spoke of what the King did. "Tell me more about your siblings. Your parents may dislike me, but I know so little of and sister?"
"Hm, let them try." he huffed. It pleased him to know that she had allowed herself to feel safe and comfortable enough to have found a few hours of peaceful sleep too, though he could only wear a shit-eating grin and flex a little. "It's called oblivion, dearest. Blissful oblivion."

He sighed deeply, sitting up and ruffling his hair as he rubbed the sleep from his face. He swung his legs out of bed, his movements slow and deliberate as he begrudgingly allowed her to help him up. Isla’s comment about Arryn made his smile falter, his brow furrowing in concern. "I'm sorry? What exactly did he say to you?" he asked, pulling on his breeches and lacing them while watching her intently.

And then the conversation to his family, and Lynus blinked, momentarily thrown off. He laughed quietly as she helped him with his shirt. "Isla-- I'm a prince, not an invalid. I know how to dress myself." he smirked, huffing his hair out of his eyes. His expression softened as he spoke about his family. "My parents don't dislike you. My parents don't know you. And my siblings.. They only recently returned home, so I suppose I'm still getting to know them again too."

He sat back down on the bed to pull on his boots, his voice growing more somber. "They were sent away when we were young. My sister, Kizzie—Kassandra—had a tantrum one day and shattered nearly every window in the keep, all at once. My parents didn't want her to be dragged off to the academy, so they sent her away. Wil, my brother, was sent away also." His frown deepened, and he stared at the floor, the hurt evident in his eyes.

"I fought as hard as I could to stop them from taking them away from me. They were all I had. I ran away often, trying to find them. They never told me where they’d sent them, even as I grew older, but I tried. And then Selena died and..." His voice trailed off, his head shaking slightly. He'd stopped trying. He'd stopped caring about anything anymore.

"I missed them every single day, but there was nothing I could do. They returned home some months ago. Kizzie is just as I remember. Lovely. And Wil... Wil is bitter, understandably. His life wasn’t quite what Kizzie’s was. I had always thought they were together, and that I was the only one who'd been left alone. He wants nothing to do with me, and I don't know how to fix that." His gaze remained on the floor, the weight of his memories and the pain of his brother’s rejection heavy on his heart.
  • Spoon Cry
Reactions: Isla
Her eyes rolled and she chuckled. Blissful oblivion. She liked the way it sounded, but liked the grin on his tired face even more. But she fought the instincts that told her to tackle him, push him back down into that bed before he could usher her out of the inn.

She hadn't expected his demeanor to shift so suddenly at the mention of what Arryn said. It did not scare her, no, but it would serve as a reminder. "Lynus, you can't get upset with anyone who has ever made me cry, you know. Your family would have no subjects if you tried." She did not allow herself to be dragged into the concern. "Arryn is a loyal friend for you. I am glad you have someone like that in your life. We spoke..." She paused to think, and chose to omit their short night together. "Twice. Both were incredibly unpleasant, but he has made it clear that you are his priority and he will stop at nothing to help you. He was the one who told me of the conversation with your parents."

Truly, she did not want to spend more time thinking of their interactions. The latter of the two was uncomfortable, but the former just made her ill to think about. She could still feel the sticky blood under her feet, the way her hand still burned when she moved it too much, how sick she'd been after drinking herself silly. She would probably abstain from alcohol for some time. And none of it seemed to have been told to Lynus, which was a relief to some degree.

"They knew me when I was young," She corrected him, though it did not really change anything. She was a different person now.

Isla had really never known much about his siblings, but she knew by the way he spoke and the sadness that hinted in his eyes that Lynus had been hurt too much in his short years. Siblings sent from him, whereabouts hidden, and his wife and child... She wrapped her arms around his torso as he spoke. She wouldn't say any of her thoughts aloud for now, but she vowed silently to never allow him to feel these fears again. She would be there as long as he wanted her and if he grew tired of her, she would leave. Just her. Just Isla. She would bring nothing else but herself.

"I'm sure you know none of that was your fault." She released him from her embrace, slipping her feet into a pair of shoes. "And it is certainly okay for relationships to take time to rebuild. Vel Anir wasn't built in a day, after all. I'm sure Wil will grow up one day." She offered a solemn smile, opening the door for him and shooing away the guard who had been waiting for his Prince. "Maybe he, too, will find happiness in the most unlikely of places, though I'd hope both Princes weren't searching in brothels."
  • Cthuloo
Reactions: Lynus Anireth
"He made you cry?" Lynus repeated as he looked down at her, concern etching deeper lines into his face as anger flashed in his gaze. "Why can't I?" he asked with a quiet growl of annoyance. "I love him as a brother, but he can be... fiercely protective, sometimes to a fault. He's too honest, even with me, but it isn't like him to be cruel. I asked him to make sure you were safe, not to cause you discomfort. I'm sorry... Perhaps I'll let him sit in his cell for an extra day or two, until he learns to be a little more tactful." He huffed a mirthless laugh, his hand rubbing soothingly at her back as she wrapped her arms around him, his own tension easing slightly.

"I know none of it wasn't my fault, but for the longest time I blamed myself. I still wish there was more I could have done. And now, I wish I knew how to fix what was broken...I'll keep trying, but I'm not sure it can ever be fixed." he sighed, his eyes reflecting a mix of determination and sorrow as he watched her step away.

Lynus smiled as she dismissed the guard, catching the hesitant look on the poor man's face as he turned away.. "I don't care where he finds happiness, I just hope he finds it. Sometimes it's in the most unexpected of places." he shrugged, pulling on his jacket and sheathing his blade.

He reached for her hand and pulled her to him, capturing her chin between his thumb and forefinger as he dipped his head to take one more kiss before they left their room.

"Let’s go home, Starling."