The Foyer to the Lady's Apartments, Angabar
Oh, how they bowed, Alva couldn't help but smile at the thought. All those years of hiding and worrying about her true self being kept a secret... all gone in a matter of moments. Eerika had placed the circlet on her head, made of gold and ruby gemstones, and then they bowed. They bowed so close to the floor; so in remorse in all they had said about her. Alva laughed softly. She was alone in her rooms, having quickly retired after all the ceremonial duties had been finished. The High Lady had announced her as the Lady of the Southern Quarter, they had left, she had signed the oath and validation of her place in private, seen to that some key members of her court were acknowledged and thanked and then left herself - with her new detail of males to guard her at all times.
Now, still wearing the dress from her coronation, she stared out of the window in the foyer to her apartment. Watching. Waiting. For the moment when they would all see she was not as dangerous as she seemed. Never again will I leave this place out of fright. I will not leave my people, her childish moment of glee was gone. As the Lady of Angabar, she had to be responsible. So she would. I will make you proud father. And you too mother. I swear this by my fire and my duty. I will never give up, never give in. A solemn oath never to be broken. Alva watched the distant horizon, knowing that a tremendous storm would hit soon. One that would ruin all the work the demons had done over the past one hundred and twenty five years. She remembered that day, when the Premium Battle had been decided as lost. For the first time, her people had lost a battle since the start of the universe.
The doors to her apartment opened. "My lady," Ragnar's voice sounded. He will be there for me, Alva turned to see him, even after what I said, even if his love dies, he will be there for me, every time. "There is someone here to see you. May I let them in?" He asked. Of course he would ask. Even without love, his duty and honour made sure that he did only as his liege commanded. So it was all up to Alva. Every decision was hers from here on out. Weighing up the pros and cons, she made her decision. Whoever it was could say what they wanted and then leave, leave her to her peace and solitude.
"Let them in," Ava turned back to the window. She would know who it would be when Ragnar announced the visitor. However, the door opened and then closed with a soft click. No words to say who it was that had come to visit her. Alva refused to turn around. Whoever was behind her could damn well introduce themselves. Why would she care if it were some courtier who would be kept waiting a decade or two?
Shuffling feet, they came closer. "My lady," that voice. She knew it all too well. They had spent time together, everyday, for a few weeks. How could she ever forget his voice? "I am sorry that I couldn't visit you sooner." She turned around, her mouth half open in disbelief. Knowing that she had seen him at the coronation, Alva had figured that he was fine enough to handle a little excitement. Surely though, he shouldn't be here. Would Eerika even allow this if she knew? Alva assumed that she didn't, otherwise he couldn't possibly be there.
"You should be resting," Alva stepped closer. Steinar was kneeling on the ground, as if he were beneath her. His blue eyes connected with hers, a radiant smile stretching across his face. His hair was neatly braided, the clothes he wore freshly washed and pressed. "My lord," Alva bowed in returned, "It is a pleasure to see you, though I don't think that High Lady Eerika would say the same." She smiled back, she had to. There was no choice when someone was being so kind after all the secrets she had kept. Steinar rose, stepping closer to brush his hands against hers. Just from the slightest of touches, she felt a tingle in her skin. Is this what Ragnar felt like?
He clasped her hands with his, "I'm sorry," he murmured. His smile was gone, replaced by a bowed head in remorse for something he had done. Alva had not the slightest idea what, though. In her heart, she knew that the magic he had used with such intensity was to save them all - to protect them all. And in his position, she would have done nothing different. "I'm sorry for the way I felt when I saw you on that throne." This took her aback. Not even in the slightest way had she expected that. Why apologise for something as trivial as that, my lord? We may be immortal but we are certainly not perfect. Alva cupped his cheek, forcing his head to come up and their eyes to connect once more.
"What did you feel?" Searching were her eyes in his, wondering what it must have been like to have control over such power. To not be able to control it, but instead be controlled by it.
"I felt angry, upset, confused, betrayed and even a bit jealous. I felt angry because I wasn't the one there, in the anti-chamber with you, helping you with everything that had to be done. Upset because I couldn't do so, confused because I didn't know why you were there, betrayed because I thought that we were closer than I think now and jealous because you had my coronation before me." Steinar smiled as she laughed at his last explanation. "But most of all, I was happy. I was happy because I got to see you again, Alva. I got to see you again." At that, she knew she was crying, knew that she was resting her head on his chest and holding his hands when she shouldn't be. But in his ear she whispered...
"We're going to have to fight even harder now," Alva went on her tiptoes, pulling her hands around his neck, "There will be even more enemies at our sides, Steinar. I don't know if I can protect you and I'm ashamed to admit it." He pulled her from him, a gap between them that felt odd and uncomfortable.
"Then I'll watch your back," their heads touched, their noses touched, their lips just a centimetre apart. His eyes flashed open, that blue a deep flash of rage at someone hurting Alva. It seemed as if he filled her, completed her. "And you watch mine. Always and forever."
"Always and forever," she repeated.