Private Tales Times of peace, and their conclusion.

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Nairth San'Seya

The King of Spring -- Preservation Through Action
Character Biography
"Your form is too stiff, Tharu. You have to move as though your body is nothing but water." Nairth's voice was stern, but gentle at the same time as he addressed his son. The two of them stood in the vast meadow surrounding the entrance to Grovehaven Castle. The massive structure that touched the clouds from the base of a gargantuan tree brought life to all the land within a wide berth of it, and such fertile land was the perfect place for Tharu to practice the life-dance, one of the purest ways to connect to nature and control it, help it to flourish. "Do not think about what you're doing. Move with the breeze, sway with the trees and the grass beneath your feet."

There was much for his Prince to catch up on; having been unable to partake in any activities typical of the Fae (admittedly at Nairth's own fault) had left him out of tune with nature, and such a connection was pivotal for a member of the Spring. Tharu, for his part, was giving it every ounce of effort he could: He stood bare save for markings painted on his body with dirt, following the instructions given to him by his father to the best of his ability. Right now, though, the dance looked less like being one with nature and more like being full of liquor. The Spring King allowed a sigh to escape him. "Keep practicing, I will be back to see your progress in a short time, Tharu."

Nairth turned to walk back to the castle, hands locked between his back as the sapphire colored cloak wrapped lazily around his waist dragged behind him. Tharu needed quiet, and he would only be held back by the elder San'Seya's contant instruction. Besides, there was something else that Nairth had to tend to. The splendor of the grand hall was a comfort in the trying times he found himself at odds with, the tall windows that allowed cascades of sunlight to bathe his body calmed his troubled mind even on the worst of days. It felt heavenly against his bared chest.

Nairth almost expected to find his Chamberlain here, enjoying the sun or bathing in the springs built underneath the windows, but the place was empty. Likely she was tending to her plants. Elowen had a passion for raising life in a more practical manner; with traditional gardening rather than exclusively using Fae power. The King couldn't say he understood the enjoyment she got out of it, but certainly he admired the dedication. It only served to show how truly well she fit his court.

Sure enough, as Nairth made his way to the large garden she'd begun at the bottom of the small slope behind the castle base, he saw the lovely young woman tending to her work, a spring in her step and a lithe in her voice. "Elowen." He murmured, just softly enough to get her attention. "I was hoping to speak with you for a spell, if you aren't too busy."

Elowen Praeda
Elowen had been at Nairth's side once more for a few months but she had not spent much time with him. It had been rather busy and she was trying to settle into her new role as his Chamberlain. It was not a hard position but it was a lot of work...mostly because she had to fix mistakes that Shaileigh had made. She was still irritated that Nairth would ask someone so incompetent to be his Chamberlain but she chalked that up to him being a male who wanted to fuck a pretty female. He was a King so it was not like he really needed to give a high ranking position away.

She dug her hand shovel into the dirt with a little more force than necessary. She always got a little frustrated when her mind wandered to Nairth's dumbass decisions. Any of them. All of them. She knew them all whether he liked it or not.

It was not time to deal on such thoughts though. This was her happy place and she intended to be happy. She started to hum a light tune as she moved around her plants.

The life within the soil prewarned her that Spring King was approaching her sanctuary. She looked up at her King and smiled at his approach and his request.

"Of course," she said and set the shovel down before wiping her dirty hands on her skirts.

Nairth San'Seya
Elowen was... less than pleased with Nairth. She strongly disapproved of his initial choice of chamberlain, going so far as to call it a choice 'decided by his loins'. That wasn't the case, but then Nairth couldn't fault her for being upset. As long as they'd known each other, why shouldn't she expect a place in the court of her childhood friend?

Nairth hadn't the heart to tell her the prevailing reason for her exclusion had been his own weakness.

The two of them hadn't spoken since his downfall-- the slaying of his children and subsequent self-exile for many years. While the majority of the Fae had either forgiven or forgotten the incident, Nairth himself considered it his biggest failure. The heavy weight of grief hung over his shoulders even after his reemergence. At the time, he'd thought surely Elowen Praeda, a moral compass even amongst Seelie fae, would want nothing to do with one who'd sinned as he had.

So he'd avoided her. Running from his own past in the hopes that he could escape the shame of seeing her again. When she'd came of her own volition to demand the position she'd learned opened, she spent not a breath on speaking of his past. It was almost as though nothing had changed. And while Nairth had too much pride to say it aloud, he was eternally grateful to Elowen for that simple gesture...

Nairth smiled fondly now at her, the woman who knew him better than any other. "You're acclimating quite well. This garden you've started... it's impeccable." Some piece of him ached, missing that grove of life that this castle was born from. Elowen used to love it, she'd often visit him, entertain his children even... Another painful memory. "But you're soiled head to toe now. Come, accompany me and I will see you to the baths."

The King waved her to follow as he turned to walk back to the Hall. "I wanted to ask if there was anything further you needed to settle in..." It seemed a simple query, one that didn't justify him going out of his way to seek an audience with her. The duanann brushed silver hairs from his eyes, continuing as they passed through into the massive hall once more. "The tensions between Autumn and Summer are mounting." Nairth continued, cutting to the chase. "Should we be dragged into this, will you be able to act against them without reservation?"

Elowen Praeda
Elowen smiled at his compliment. Her gardens were always impeccable. Life was her affinity. Human life, fae life, animal life, plant did not matter to her or her powers. She could not imagine another court more perfect for her than Spring. She had been blessed to be born and raised here. She was blessed to have this beautiful home after so many years.

She looked down at her hands and her outfit with a small smirk. She was a mess. There was dirt everywhere on her and the baths did sound nice. She could always go for a relaxing soak.

"Very well," she said simply as she began to follow Nairth.

She was about to answer his first comment about if she needed anything when he continued. She had a feeling it was one of those excuse questions that he was so fond of. It was like he was afraid to state what was actually on his mind so he would dance around it for a bit first. To clarify, she did not need anything but there were a few things she wanted. She would address those later though since they were not important and she could get them herself.

Elowen could honestly say that she was not expecting him to go straight to talk of war but she nodded.

"Of course, why would I not be able to?" Elowen asked back.

She was not a fighter, per say, but she would stand by the decisions that Nairth felt were right for the Spring Court. If that meant they picked a side (hopefully Autumn in this case) and went to war, she would do her job without hesitation. That was what it meant to be the Kings Chamberlain.

Nairth San'Seya
It was the answer that Nairth expected from her, and an apologetic smile crossed his features as they ascended the large stairwell at the rear of the hall, which would take them to the upper level which housed the springs. "I didn't doubt your resolve." Nairth assures her. "I will not be a King who goes to war without consulting my confidant on the matter, though. This will be your fight as well, and you deserve to have the choice."

The San'Seya loathed to admit it aloud, but the idea of war played at his nerves. He had only just been coronated, and to devote himself to the destruction of another court now may paint him in a less than positive light, and he already found difficulty bringing people to his cause without such a crutch.

"It troubles me, all of it. You know I dislike fighting." Perhaps it was that Elowen's King was looking for a little affirmation, some assurance that he was doing the right thing from her? He'd always trusted her judgement before, that had never come into doubt. "I promised action when I was crowned, however. I endeavor not to go back on my word."

They arrived at the springs, pools of warm water in round basins sat beneath the natural sunlight pouring in from outside. Nairth lowered to a knee, reaching one of his hands into the water to test it. "Perfect time of day, should be quite comfortable." He muttered. "I'm to meet with Midir soon. I believe he's going to ask me for the Spring's allegiance." Nairth rose to his feet once more, a small smile set in the corner of his lips. "While part of me wants to refuse him to see the look on his face, I know that it may be time to put my feelings towards the Erlking aside."

Elowen Praeda
"Obviously my preference is to avoid war but sometimes it cannot be avoided," Elowen said as they continued their walk. She did not need to ask which side they would align with because everyone despised Summer. Their Queen was a terrible woman who had taken a decent Court and destroyed it.

She watched Nairth bend down to check the water temperature and once he had declared that is quite comfortable, she smiled and started to remove her clothes. She paused in the middle of undoing the laces of her top when Nairth mentioned that he was going to meeting with the Erlking. That was a surprise but it made sense.

Elowen looked at the King with a single brow raised at his joke about refusing the Erlking. "I would pay to see the look on his face, but I agree that it is time to put your feelings aside. You are not meeting with him as you, you are meeting with him as the King of the Spring Court and that means you have to think of what is best for everyone that is under your rule."

Obviously, he knew all that but sometimes it was nice to have that reassurance that you were on the right path. That was her job, after all. She was here for reassurance or to tell Nairth that he was insane. She would shy away from neither.

She had finished with the ties on her top and she let it slide from her arms. Her skirts were easy to slide off and step out of. She stood there completely nude in front of her King and she spoke before she could stop the words.

"Would you care to join me, Nairth?" She asked as she stepped into the warm pool and let out a long, happy sigh.

Nairth San'Seya
"Indeed. Were I left a reasonable alternative I would avoid partaking, but things are evidently getting too far out of hand." Nairth wasn't too acutely aware of Summer's latest misdeeds, but the majority of the other courts were up in arms over it. To abscond from the conflict would make Spring seem far too passive. Elowen was wise, and far more blunt than most. That was why he'd sought her thoughts on the matter. She wouldn't try to dress up her opinions because of his status.

She would, however, begin to undress herself to bathe in the springs. Nairth had seen her before, obviously, but something about the way she smiled at him, almost coyly, led him to close his eyes before he continued to speak. "It has been hard for me to separate the two thus far, I admit. The Spring Court does not need The San'Seya so much as it needs The King, I see your point." a soft smile crosses his lips. "Perhaps my hardheadedness will haunt us even into the fututre, no?"

Elowen knew well how easily Nairth's stubborn attitude could bring trouble. More often than not she told him as much when she felt he was unreasonable. Having a mind such as hers around was a boon that could not have arrived at a better time, and she deserved the relaxation the evening should bring her for all she'd done thus far.

Evidently, she wasn't holding onto their grudge too tightly, though. With a long sigh as her lithe body sank into the water, she sought to invite him in with her. His eyes opened once more, watching her as she lounged in the warm pool. "If I would not be intruding, it sounds lovely." Neither of them were fools; he could easily have bathed in one of the other springs on the upper level. The King was more than happy to have her company, though. In the end, he did find her presence pleasing. Sliding the loose-fitting robes from his tall form, Nairth slid into the water across from her, silver hair fanning out across the surface of the water like a pearlescent waterfall.

Elowen Praeda
Nairth knew that she was not one to make an idle invitation. If he had been intruding or she did not want his company, she would have gladly told him to fuck right off. It was a wonder he had not murdered her after all these years. She knew she was a pain in the ass. The voice of reason that he probably did not have with Shaileigh. She probably just agreed with everything he said before opening her legs.

Elowen let her eyes wander over Nairth's body as he slid into the water. It was not a new sight but it was one that she had not seen in awhile and one that was not unwelcome in the slightest. She could appreciate the nice things in life...even if she was not one to appreciate them with everyone.

"What do you need me to work on next, Nairth?"

Nairth San'Seya
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A soft, relieved sigh left the King's throat as he leaned back in the water, his eyes sliding shut. The situation with Summer had seemingly made him far more tense than he'd realized, and he could feel the stress seeping out of his muscles as the heat bubbling up from the water washed it away. "Thank you, Elowen."

The duanann would be a liar if he said he hadn't stolen a glance at her as well as he'd lowered himself in, if only briefly. Elowen however seemed none too shy about enjoying the display he put on; he could feel her gaze lingering on him, and unsurprisingly the silver haired San'Seya found he enjoyed the attention. Elowen had always been radiant, of course. Their relationship had merely never been one where it would have been appropriate for him to express that to her.

Scooping some water in his palms, Nairth pours it over his head, letting it run down his face with a smile. "Mmm. Never mind that, Elowen. You've worked hard enough for now. My order to you is to enjoy this evening. Enjoy this time of peace for the scant few days it remains. Shall I procure us some wine? It has been so long since we've caught up with each other, hasn't it?"

Elowen Praeda
Elowen just stared at Nairth for a few moments in silence. She had worked hard because there was lots of work to do. She relaxed when she was gardening but right now she had the King's attention and she needed to figure out what work needed to be done.

She finally sighed and nodded slowly. Elowen knew that Nairth would not let her do anything except relax as long as she was with him this evening.

"Yes, wine would be nice," she said with a soft smile.

The Chamberlain sank a little lower into the water and closed her eyes.

"One thing we do not need to catch up on is the fact that you know me too well and you know I have issues relaxing," her eyes glittered even as she jokingly admonished her kind.

Nairth San'Seya
Nairth reached up, grasping a small vine that hung out over the bath and tugging down on it gently. The vine ran through the Castle, weaving through wood and brick to the kitchens, where it was tied to a small bell that would alert the Sidhe working there to his request. In a matter of moments, a young male Sidhe arrived with a bottle of golden wine and two glasses.

"Just on the ground is fine, friend. Thank you."

The Sidhe bowed, placing the tray beside Nairth and quickly turning to rush back to the Kitchen. Narith pulled himself out of the Spring to sit on the edge, opening the bottle and pouring the nectar-like spirits into the two glasses before leaning down to offer one to Elowen. "I do know that very well. But your job is not one you can afford to let drive you mad. If you do not stop and rest, you will not be in the best mind to make the choices I need you to help me make."

Gently sliding back into the water, Nairth smiles at her comfortingly, leaning forward to place a hand on her arm. "You know that I know what stress can do to you. You're my dearest friend, and I do not wish such a fate be inflicted upon you. It would fill me with guilt, Elly." Elly. They really must be relaxing-- he hadn't called her that in decades.

"I am glad. That you returned to me. That is why I won't let the position I've burdened you with separate us once more."

Elowen Praeda
Elowen did her best not to stare at Nairth as he sat on the edge. She failed. Miserably.

Luckily, she was not tortured much longer as he handed her one of the glasses and slipped back into the water. His words were wise and true. She needed to learn to relax more but there was so much to do.

Nairth's hand on her arm was surprisingly comforting and she did feel like he was helping her relax. He was good at that. He always had been.

But then he called her Elly and she unconsciously tensed slightly. He was the only one who ever called her that and it had been so very long since she had heard it. She, honestly, never thought she would hear it again for many many years.

"I am glad. That you returned to me. That is why I won't let the position I've burdened you with separate us once more."

Returned to me. Separate us.

The words he used sent a feeling traveling through her that she had not felt in many many years.

"Fine," Elowen said finally. "I will try to relax more." She took a sip from her glass to punctuate her declaration.

" have you been Nairth?"

Nairth San'Seya
Nairth knew Elowen had watched him every moment that he'd been exposed, but he certainly wasn't taking offense to the admiration. It was nothing she hadn't seen before, and it certainly wasn't something unusual for Fae of the same home to witness.

Elowen had never been good at taking a moment to allow herself to breathe. Even in their youth, she had always run at a mile a minute, dividing her attention across so many various tasks that the future-King marveled at her ability to retain her sanity.

She hadn't changed, and just like he had in the past, Nairth sought to reel her in as best he could.

But it seemed perhaps that calling her by her childhood nickname was a step too far. She stiffened under his touch, and Nairth's hand drew back. "And just as you assist me in my endeavors, I will assist you in resting your body and mind, even if that means ordering you to take a breath now and then." A coy smirk plays at his lips as he shifts beneath the water, stretching his legs a bit further.

"How am I?" A chuckle left his lips. What a vast question... "Stressed, Elowen. This title is heavy on my head. Our home is resting on my shoulders, it's very fate decided by my tongue. I've mended my relationship with my son, and that is wonderful, but aside from that I feel more uneasy than ever before..."

Elowen Praeda
It was Elowen's turn to reach out and place a hand on her Kings arm. His smooth skin under her fingers making her want to continue exploring. NO! She screamed at herself. She needed to stop having these thoughts about him. She had done so well for so many fucking years.

"So what I am hearing is that you need to relax as well?" She said with her hand still on his arm.

The truth was, Elowen had loved Nairth for as long as she could remember. She loved him more than a best friend should. Her heart had been broken when he had gotten married but she never strayed from his side. She never told him about her feelings even as it slowly pulled her apart.

No, Elowen threw herself into work and sabotaged every relationship she had. After Nairth had murdered all his children save for Tharu, he had drawn away from her completely and it had broken her heart all over again.

This is why she had been keeping busy and not relaxing around Nairth. It was still hard after all these years.

Nairth San'Seya
Elowen's touch was... comforting. Nairth found himself leaning into her touch, thankful for that little bit of contact with the woman he trusted more than anybody else on Arethil. Raising his opposite arm, The King placed his hand over her own gently, closing his grip slightly around her fingers. "I haven't had a chance to relax since my Coronation, Elly... I knew though, that such a thing would likely come from ascending to the Throne. Oberon always told me it could be a thankless position but..."

He'd been too hard on the previous King. It was only after he'd taken up the mantle that he truly understood the hardships that came with the crown. In front of the other courts, in front of those who were under you, you had to appear strong no matter what. Any sign of weakness spoke ill of your ability to rule. Holding in any and all pain and stress built up in your personal life... it took a serious toll on anybody.

"I understand that I've made mistakes. I still curse myself for some of the choices I have made every day of my life. I am trying, though. Trying to do right." Gently he brought her hand to his lips, pressing a soft kiss to her flesh. "Trying to mend bridges I've burnt, Heal feelings that I've hurt. I never claimed to be perfect...."

Elowen Praeda
"No one ever said you have to be perfect, Nairth. You have always been too hard on yourself and you have always had a hard time relaxing. We are similar in that manner, no doubt." Elowen smiled at her King. The feeling of his lips still ghosting on her hand as she spoke.

If he knew how true his words were though. Heal feelings that I've hurt. Of course, he did not know how she felt and that he had hurt her but that did not stop the thoughts that were filling her mind now. How many times had she almost told him how she felt? How many times had she stopped herself out of fear?

More than she could count.

"I believe we both need to relax for a few days and then we can get back to stressing ourselves out," Elowen teased but, really, there was no joke there.

Nairth San'Seya
"No one ever said you have to be perfect, Nairth."

But he wanted to be. Nairth had watched this court languish and sputter like the struggling embers of a dying flame his entire life. He'd grown up wishing to see the glory of Spring's beliefs accepted by the other Fae as not those of a radical-thinking green King, but to be considered a thought-provoking commentary on their broader relationship with mortals. After so many mistakes, the worst mistakes he'd ever made, he'd been given a chance to redeem himself and bring this court the splendor he'd always envisioned it having.

The pressure he faced, to be correct and resolute in all he did now, was immense. How else could he atone, could he make up for the pain he'd caused? And Elowen... he knew not of the feelings she held in her heart, but he did know that he had wounded her by not attempting to reconnect with her sooner. "I should have come to you first, Elowen. You've always been an anchor to hold me in place. If things had been different..."

The thought of being closer to Elowen had crossed his mind before. Nairth's romance with Illia had been a whirlwind; He'd been young and ambitious, eager to grow his family tree and bring more of his kind to the world. Illia was passionate, infectious and bold.

But Nairth had never forgotten Elowen.

"There was a time I thought it would be the two of us at the top, in a different fashion. You know I'd always wanted to be involved in court politics... My sudden marriage and then it's even more abrupt ending... I thought those dreams had died forever. So when a window opened, I selfishly pushed through on my own. I didn't bother reaching back to bring my oldest, dearest partner with me. I am truly sorry."

It was different than his previous apologies. This somehow felt heavier, more meaningful. As though Nairth wished to put all of the past mistakes behind him, and start anew with her.

A wide smile breaks across his face as she suggests they take some time for themselves. "A sabbatical? For a King and his Chamberlain? Elly, with my history, people will say things..."

Elowen Praeda
Elowen was torn at Nairth's words. He should have come to her first. They had plans and he had been the one to deviate because of love. It was hard to be upset with him as he continued to speak even if she wanted to. She just could not do it.

It was like her hand had a mind of its own as it slid down his arm and laced her fingers with his hand that was under the water. She squeezed his hand gently and just offered him a sad smile.

"It is the past, Nairth. It is a small bump in our relationship and it is not something that either of needs to speak of or apologize for again," Elowen smiled at him forgetting that her hand was tangled up in his. It felt so right.

Now that the past was behind them, it was time to talk about this sabbatical.

"Hmmmm," she mused. Yes, people would talk especially after his last Chamberlain. "Let them say things," she finally said.

Nairth San'Seya
Nairth didn't expect her total forgiveness. The same part of him that still dwelled on his past mistakes simply didn't believe that he deserved it. That was why her words held such weight. That she was so willing to put what he'd done behind them definitively closing the book on what had been in order to focus on what now was...

It meant the world to San'Seya, and when he felt her gentle touch against his hand, he squeezed it back tightly. "Well..." As long as she didn't mind the implications, neither did he. "I suppose I can live with people thinking I'm sleeping with you." He teased, intending to lighten the mood. "I would certainly be jealous of me too."

It was settled. The two of them would be taking a brief, but well-deserved break from their duties. "Tharu is capable of maintaining Grovehaven for a short time. The boy is inexperienced but quite eager to learn. The real question is where do we go for this 'sabbatical' of ours?" There weren't many places Nairth frequented besides his Grove, and now that had been sacrificed for this ridiculous castle...

No, there was one place.

Elowen had expressed reluctance when San'Seya had decided on visiting this place with her first. It was, after all, outside the boundaries of Spring, in the middle of neutral ground. They were not particularly in danger, but nor were they totally safe. The location itself held little remaining wonder; strewn stones and solitary walls that had once made up a great tower that had reached up high into the clouds.

In its time, it was considered a wonder of the world. Cherished by the Fae as a symbol of their prowess, worshipped by humans as though the gods themselves had placed it as a connection between Heaven and Arethil. How typically human...

The Tower in The Mist, or what was left of it, held a much greater significance to Nairth though, as well as to his relationship with Praeda. This had been where he'd met Illia. This had been where his bond with Elowen had faded beneath his passion, his instinct.

"It's a shame, how little is left of it..." Nairth was not dressed in the garb of a King as he approached one of the walls, reaching out to lean over it as he gazed at what little remained of the Tower. His crown had been left at Grovehaven, and in the place of his gaudy robes of splendor were the simple cloth wraps of a simpler time, woven by his own hand. It had been important he return here as Nairth and Nairth alone, not as King. "Do you remember this place, Elly? There used to be songs about how beautiful it was." Turning to lean back on the haphazardly placed stone wall, he smiled at his Chamberlain. Right now only operating as his dearest friend.

"One of them... My favorite one, was the only song I ever learned to play myself. You were always much better at music than I was. I used to get jealous if you can believe it." A laugh escapes him and he gave a small shake of his head. That all felt so long ago now. He'd changed so much...

How was it Elly had changed so little?

Elowen Praeda
"I suppose I can live with people thinking I'm sleeping with you. I would certainly be jealous of me too."

Nairth's words had been on her mind the majority of their journey to The Tower. Why would he be jealous? He has never had feelings for me? He was just teasing. Yes, that is it. No, he can't lie so there was truth in it. She was not sure why she was even fixated on that statement but she was. It was strange.

To say Elowen was leery about going to The Tower was an understatement. Of course, Nairth believed it was because of the possible danger and she did not correct him. The truth was that this had been their spot when they had been younger. It was where they knew they could get away and relax without any interruptions. It was theirs until it was not anymore.

Elowen had been running late to meet her best friend at The Tower for their weekly get together that day and that was the day that everything changed. She arrived and saw him talking to the beautiful blonde goddess, Illia. She just knew that he was gone, he was no longer hers. She did not meet him that day or any week after that.

His whirlwind romance was off and Illia was soon pregnant. Elowen, of course, remained his best friend (after Illia) but there was something different now. She had grown distant as his new relationship blossomed.

Elowen was pulled from her memories when Naith asked if she remembered this place. She nodded simply as she looked around what was once her sanctuary. "Of course, I remember it, Nairth," she finally replied verbally.

His next words made her smile sadly. She had not sung or played any instrument in years and it was not something she even cared to do again. It had been something they did together and something she stopped doing without him. "You are talented in many things, Nairth," she responded diplomatically. It was rude to say he was terrible with music.

Nairth San'Seya
San' Seya scoffed at the insinuation he had much the way of talent. There were some things he was good at. Some he could even claim to be the best at. Nobody could pull a forest from a patch of barren ground, could gouge rivers in long dead land the way he could. When it came to connecting to Arethil and bending it to his will, there were none more powerful.

What else could he do though, that nobody else could? You could hardly even make the claim he was a talented politician despite his status, as it had passed to him due only to Oberon's death. He'd failed as a husband, and as a father. The sudden death of Illia combined with Isa's forbidden love had shattered him, driven him to a madness that tore his entire world apart.

He still felt that pain every time he laid eyes upon Tharu, the last of the San'Seya, save for the half-blooded Varys, wherever he was now.

"Talented... and yet I let so many down. When Illia died, she took a part of me with her." It was the first time he'd spoken aloud of his wife's death to anybody. Many assumed it was he who'd killed her, but it wasn't so. Nairth closed his eyes, a deep sigh leaving him. "You haven't changed, but I'm not the same person you knew. In my rage, I left a black spot upon my soul that has never left. I held so much sorrow that I sought to inflict it upon others."

Pushing off of the wall he'd leaned against, Nairth slid his hands behind his back as his eyes opened once more, looking back at Elowen. "A war approaches me in the present, Therefore I must make peace with the war I've been waging inside of me." Freeing himself from that ice in his heart would be no easy feat, and it was one he could not do alone. San'Seya wanted to be better. His court needed him to be better.

Reaching out, Nairth took Elowen's hand in his, closing his fingers around it snugly.

"Will you help me, Elly? Help me be the Duanann I once was for my people?"

Elowen Praeda
Elowen looked at Nairth and was not surprised that the man was able to bring any conversation back to his faults. He had always had trouble letting go of things. The past was the past and there was nothing that could be done now. If nothing else, she did not care to talk of Illia. Elowen held onto things as well but she kept them inside and let it fester.

"You haven't changed, but I'm not the same person you knew."

The Chamberlain huffed at his notion that she was the same person. She had changed much but, again, she held things inside and let it fester. After Narth had chosen Illia, she had closed herself off to trusting and loving and living. She had shut herself off from the world except to help as a midwife when needed.

Of course, Nairth knew none of this.

"A war approaches me in the present, Therefore I must make peace with the war I've been waging inside of me."

Nairth's fingers closed around her own and she looked down at them. It felt so right and yet she wanted to run away.

She said nothing.

"Will you help me, Elly? Help me be the Duanann I once was for my people?"

"Of course," she told Nairth softly.

She would always help him even if it hurt her.

Nairth San'Seya
It wasn't very often that Nairth didn't know what to say. There was almost always something he could bring up, some quip that he could disarm such tension with. The King's words had always been his wall, protecting him from that which would cause him more of the pain he'd fought so hard to avoid having to feel again. He could smile, look away, or say something dismissive that would dispel the mood.

Elowen probably was expecting him to.

There was nothing to be said, though. For the first time in ages, Nairth did not want to put up walls. San'Seya wanted Elowen to see him, all of him. It was so tiring, hiding behind a crown and a throne. If Praeda could still see the Duanann he'd once been when she looked into his eyes... Then he wanted her to look at nobody else.

Slowly, he raised their joined hands to the side, stepping forward without a word as his other moved to rest gently on her hip. There was a tune playing softly in the back of his head, light and airy. It floated from ear to ear like the breeze bouncing through the treetops. Nairth recognized it easily, that song. It was the one he'd played all those years ago, the one he'd danced with Illia to in front of this tower that day they had met.

And now, Nairth slowly pulled Elowen into that same dance.

To anyone else, mortal or fae, it would appear as though two lovers were spinning and stepping to the sound of silence amidst the fog, but Nairth could hear it as clear as a sunlit day in his mind as he stepped in time with her, guiding her through every move with his body, while his ever-present gaze never wandered far from her own.

It didn't matter what terrible actions Nairth committed, or how forcefully he pushed Elowen away. She was always here. She always returned to him.

The fingers on her hip pressed down firmly, before sliding to the small of her back. Nairth's body would lean forward, pressing against Elowen's own and bending her backward slightly, held up by his strong grip on her back. Just as quickly he returned, pulling her back up and spinning her so that her back was to him.

This dance had a story, one that tied closely to the ruined Tower they performed it in front of. Two Gods, One of peace and love, and one full of violence and hatred were said to dance endlessly atop a tall Tower shrouded in mist. Each wanted to outlast the other, waiting for the day when their partner would collapse and they could be the dominating God of the world. The tower they danced upon was Arethil itself, the effects of their perpetual motion forming all good and evil in the world.

The song of the Tower told how after generations of dancing without end, the Gods realized that neither could best the other. Out of both admiration, and a deep connection formed from their long days together, love was formed. The Gods no longer competed, but joined together to bring balance to Arethil: No good without evil, and no evil without good.

Nairth wondered, as he spun her around once more and pulled her into his arms to continue, if Elowen knew this was said to be that dance?

He would like, he thought, for it to end the same way as the story.

Elowen Praeda
Elowen held her breath as Nairth pulled her close to him. She could not hear the music in his head but she was fully aware that he was leading. She just needed to follow.

Their eyes had trouble leaving the others as they moved together slowly and sensually. Her heart was hammering and she could only pray that he could not hear it. Elowen loved him more than he could ever imagine and this dance just pulled her apart at her carefully sewn seams. The ones she had long since fixed and vowed to next let get ripped open again.

She was sure it could not get any worse but she was very wrong. Nairth dipped her and spun her so her back was against his hard chest. She closed her eyes and just moved with him. Elowen could feel his breath on the back of her neck and it sent chills running down her spine.

It was the last spin that caused her to come undone. She wanted to kiss him so bad and they were so very close.

Instead of giving in to her desires, she pulled away from him and turned to run with an I am so sorry sounding on the wind.

Nairth San'Seya
Nairth couldn't have known the turmoil swirling within Elowen's heart, or that this dance was bringing feelings and emotions long buried to the surface. Elowen had never told him, never shown any sign of serious interest in his affections. It always had lied unspoken between them. Even so... he'd wondered. Would things have been different if Illie hadn't come into his life?

Elowen was always there, always ready to straighten him when he missed a step and stumbled. Without her guidance back then, there was no doubt he would not be here now. It was for that reason that he'd agreed to appoint her as Chamberlain after Illayda's disappearance. But why hadn't he picked her first? Elowen seemed to think it was purely due to attraction to the former Chamberlain, but the truth was that he'd thought of Praeda first.

Nairth had imagined that his old friend surely despised him for his actions. It was not lust that hid him from Elowen, but shame. Despite his reluctance, she took it upon herself to return to him. She looked at him the same way that she always had, with that same smile that always had made her face glow.

It was then that Nairth began to suspect... and began to realize how much she truly meant to him.

Love was a funny, and often fickle thing, even amongst the Fae. No being, no matter how powerful, could predict matters of the heart. When Elowen turned to leave, the heat of her body leaving his so suddenly that his flesh cried out in solitude, San'Seya reached out to take her wrist, gripping her until she turned back to him.


Her name was all that left his tongue as he moved to close the distance between them, wrapping his arms around her smaller frame in a tight embrace.

"You don't need to run."

It was only a muttered affirmation before his lips met hers.

Elowen Praeda