Galen nodded and gave a half now, his arm out for them to continue. "As you wish, M'Lady. Mayn't I suggest you allow him to escort you to your quarters. Perhaps traveling doesn't agree with you. You don't seem yourself." Her nodded for Fenril to remain close.
"And fear not, lady. The man is much stronger than he appears. And twice as capable. I shall let Princess Na'Dir know all is well and it was a misunderstanding." He stepped sidea to allow them to pass, hoping in his heart she'd let herself lean on her guard. Prickliness as there was between them, she looked about ready to fall over with exhaustion.
Elwryn nodded in thanks and even offered Galen a smile. Stubbornly though, Elwryn did not lean on Fenril, instead her gait was normal though a touch slower and Fenril kept pace beside her. Once they were out of Galen's earshot, Fenril looked down at Elwryn and said sincerely, "Thank you for what you did back there. And I am sorry for not being there when you got up and left your room. I seriously thought you had been sleeping. But you haven't been sleeping at all on this trip have you?"
Elwryn shook her head slowly. "No," she answered. "I just can't seem to sleep and it seems to be catching up to me."
"You don't seem yourself," he responded. "I think perhaps that is due to your lack of sleep. Would you like to lean on me the rest of the way?" Fenril asked.
"I'll manage," she answered. "Besides, my room isn't much further from here I think."
They made their way the remaining distance in silence and once there, Fenril unlocked the door and opened it for her. "Would you please have some tea brought up? Camomile I should think, plus this medicine, should help me sleep," she told Fenril as she sat on the edge of the bed and started to remove her shoes. He quietly did as asked, and though there was concern evident in his face, he said nothing.
A short while later, her hair undone and unbraided, the tea and medicine finished, Elwryn laid on her bed, staring up at the ceiling as she waited for the medicine to kick in. Fenril sat in a chair near the bed, watching over her. But when she could bear the silence no more, Elwryn turned her head to look at Fenril. "Have you ever been to Asteria?" she asked him.
He nodded. "A few times, though only briefly and only in an official capacity. This trip is no different from the others."
"I see," she said and turned her eyes back to the ceiling, falling silent once more. He thought perhaps he should say more, but felt awkward speaking so informally to one of her standing. As her blue eyes closed, he stood silently and walked over to the bed. She was sleeping now and she was more beautiful than ever right then. He smiled down at her sleeping form and gently stroked her long blue hair. "Sleep well m'lady," he whispered.
After the guards were spelled to sleep for the night, Fenril's relief being given strict instructions by him to not leave her door... ever. And to not go in unless it was an emergency, morning came a little more dreary than the day before. A light rain fell on the ship. The decks outside the Ladies and the Common rooms were soaking and the doors were shut, though the drapes were spread wide to allow in extra light.
After hearing Galen's reports, Ann thought it best to check on Lady Elwryn, herself. She headed down the hall and smiled brightly as Fenril came into sight. "Good morning, Fenril. Is the Lady awake yet? I just came to check on her. I understand she wasn't feeling well last evening."
She was dressed in a gown of crimson with a light silver lace covering the whole thing. It seemed opulent, but it was sensibly cut and draped to merely appear a beautiful dress. The woman had her hair up in a braid that was coiled around her head and laced with crimson ribbon that matched the dress, creating almost a crown like aura about her head.
The dress went down and stopped just shy of her ankles. The soft black suede boots came up to her calves but were hidden by the drape of fabric. Her décolletage was low but not enough to show off cleavage to the point of being obscene. A single silver torc around her neck, wolf on one side, crescent moon on the other, hung about her neck and a simple silver small orb stud graced each ear. And except for a bit of crimson on her lips, she wore no makeup. Dressing up was somethin she shared for the masses when she was called to receive the public or for special occasions. "I thought perhaps I would check on her and see if she wished to come out for breakfast." She smiled and paused in front of the man.
Her own guard was several paces behind, pacing her from nearly half the hall length once they entered this one with another guard in it. Till then, he had been half a sword length behind her since she left her room. Arden nodded to Fenril in silence as he stepped a bit closer, but didn't hover.
The sleeping draught that Merideth had given her along with the Camomile tea had done the trick and the lady Elwryn had slept peacefully through the night and through both guard changes. When she woke the next morning she felt refreshed and even somewhat cheerful. That was until she looked out of her window and saw the clouds and rain. Then her mood soured a bit but not entirely. She just didn't know what she was going to do for a whole day when the weather was such that not much could be done other than sitting around. And sitting around was not a favorite pastime of Elwryn's. She was more the type of person that liked to keep busy doing something, anything at all really, so long as she wasn't idle. So it was though that even as she was rising to get dressed into something clean, she was grabbing her hair brush and started stroking her long blue hair with it.
Outside of her room Fenril stood, seemingly at ease but always on the alert for anything or anyone that might harm the lady Elwryn. He smiled and bowed in greeting when the princess approached, looking resplendent as ever. "Good morning princess," he said in way of greeting. He listened for a moment and then answered her question. "I can hear Lady Elwryn moving about inside her cabin so she must be getting ready for the day. Would you like me to announce you and see if she wants you to come in?" he asked. He secretly hoped that she did as he wanted a chance glimpse of something more, but he quickly shoved that thought aside. The Lady Elwryn was beautiful, dressed scandoulsly and left little to the imagination, but Fenril had quite a good imagination and with his attraction to his charge and her beauty, he couldn't help but want to see more.
It was with a steady face though that he maintained these desires to himself. It wouldn't do to have others or even Lady Elwryn herself find out about his desires. No, instead, as he had done since first he met her, he stomped down on those feelings and shoved them to the back of his mind where they hopefully wouldn't trouble him.
At the sound of voices outside of her door, Elwryn hurried to change her clothing quickly. She didn't recognize both voices, only Fenril's and she couldn't make out all of what was being said. Yet it was obvious to Elwryn that someone wished to speak with her. Today she chose something different. Instead of a dress she pulled on a tight pair of leggings that were a shimmery silver color and paired them with a long tunic that had a v neck so deep it might as well have been a man's button down shirt. The tunic, only called that due to it's length, just barely covered her breasts and was tight enough in that area to leave little to the imagination. Elwryn liked how it looked on her. The black with the shimmery silver and if it showed a little more than was necessary, she didn't care. It was a comfortable outfit for her and she enjoyed showing off and being the center of attention. That always served to brighten her mood. A silver belt and black and silver trimmed boots completed the ensemble leaving only her hair to contend with. Looking at herself in the mirror, Elwryn brushed her hair some more and wondered just how she should put it up today.
When the princess nodded that indeed she wished to be announced, Fenril knocked on the door. "Lady Elwryn," he said. "Princess NaDir wishes to speak with you."
Elwryn stood from where she had been sitting and brushing her hair, and with brush still in hand, walked over to the door and opened it. Her long blue hair trailed behind her and she should have put it up first, but one did not keep the princess waiting, especially when the woman had come to see Elwryn so early in the morning. "Good morning princess," Elwryn greeted the woman with a proper bow. "Good morning Fenril." Then looking back to the princess she added, "I hope you'll excuse my appearance. I was not expecting visitors and so was still putting my hair up. Would you like to come in?"
Elwryn stood aside and opened the door further so that the princess could come in. When she did Elwryn smiled at and nodded to Fenril, who took up a stance outside the door allowing Elwryn to gently shut it at his back. The room wasn't large, but it was large enough for Elwryn and one more should one more person be with her. Otherwise it was a cozy room with a medium sized bed, two night stands, a dressing table with mirror and a wardrobe to hold Elwryn's clothes. The wardrobe stood open revealing some of Elwryn's more scandalous choices and some of her more conservative ones as well. At the dressing table several pins and ties and selections of ribbons lay out for Elwryn to choose from and do her hair with. Her hair being the only thing she had left to do to get ready for the day.
After a moment or two Elwryn asked politely, "To what do I owe the honor of your visit princess?"
OOC: This post isn't directed at anybody in particular.
"Captain!" One of the helmsmen cried out, "We're entering the Bellows now! Shall we begin docking procedures?" Captain Norwin smiles, "Ah, finally to have made it to our destination! A few days of rest and relaxation await us boys!" He chuckles, "Yes, prepare to dock into whichever dock we are escorted in. I assume we have the right colors up?" "Aye sir!" "Good, and look... our escort has arrived."
Out on the decks those who've never been to Aureas, the capital city of Asteria, rushed over to the rails gasping. Aureas was unlike any elven city, though most of its designs and architecture was copied from that of the long extinct Ascian Elf. Great marble and stone buildings of various colors with crystal-glass windows came into view, as did the palace and the crowded harbor with all manner of airship. Soon a pair of Asterian airships flanked the elven airship, escorting it to an awaiting dock where a large group of palace guard stood in wait with their king.
Down at the dock however, King Ian Mercleis did not await for the ship in anticipation. Instead he kicked at some rock that had found its way on the marble landing, his mind elsewhere on some grand adventure and his heart longing to be anywhere but here...
Ann stepped in and nodded to the guards as the door was closed. "You can call me Anna while we're informal," she smiled and nodded to the chair at the dressing table. "And no need to apologize. I'm aware my early hour was completely unexpected." She held her hand out for the brush. It appeared she was offering to assist with Elwryn's hair. "Tomorrow I'll send one of my ladies to help you. I apologise for not checking sooner to see if you had the help you needed. The Captain of the Guard informed me you weren't feeling well yesterday. Trouble sleeping?"
Elwryn wordlessly handed over the brush and sat down. The Princess began gently brushing as she spoke. Knots were carefully extracted with little to no pain. There was almost a tenderness to her administrations as she set to work. "I wanted to ask you a favor... while I admire your confidence in your attire, I wish to ask you for something more conservative today." She glanced into the mirror to see the woman's reaction. "You are admired for your body, but I wish them to be amazed by your intelligence, first. To come to a discussion table in toned down clothing, speak your mind and become just as much, if not a louder, voice as it male counterparts is imperative." She set the brush down and began plaiting the woman's hair. An intricate dance if fingers went into her making several smaller braids, only to then twist and twine them with a deep green ribbon that matches one of the more 'boring' dresses in the exploded wardrobe behind her.
"The key is to make them start to consider you 'one of the men'. They will discuss anything with you because of your mind. Then," grinned as the braids were finished and Elryne's hair looked like blue faerie fire with an emerald line twisting thru it. Anna put her hands down and caught the woman looking into the mirror. "Then you show up at a ball in something so sexy they start asking who that woman is... Before realizing it's you." She smiled. "Do you understand what I'm saying, Lady?" There was nothing but kindness in her eyes. There was no judgement or abrasive accusations or even back handed suggestions. She was sincerely trying to offer up some sound advice.
Elwryn's eyes narrowed in apparent anger when the princess began talking about her choice in clothing. This was one of her more conservative outfits, or so Elwryn thought, but apparently the princess did not agree. Lips pinched tightly together so that she didn't burst out with some rude comment she refrained from speaking and lashing out like she wanted. Though she was famous for not only her scandalous attire, she was also known for her mood swings and princess's Anna's words had brought one on. She also knew better than to lash out at someone in a higher position than she. So Elwryn remained silent and held her anger in check while the princess brushed and braided Elwryn's long blue hair.
As the princess worked on her hair, quite the task for anyone including Elwryn due to it's length, she thought on the princess's words. Though her words angered, Elwryn knew how and when to be diplomatic. What made it so hard was that Elwryn was accustomed to getting her way when it came to politics and anything else just by using her good looks. It didn't matter what policy or piece of legislation she was advocating for, all it took for Elwryn to get what she wanted was a glimpse of skin or some other such thing. Granted, she didn't rely on it entirely, but her looks did help even if they drew the wrong kind of attention.
What she feared though was not being listened to, of not having her policies and legislation passed because of her appearance, especially if she toned it down the way princess Anna seemed to want. What Elwryn didn't realize though was that she was indeed quite intelligent and had the good looks to boot. If she could only balance the two, she'd accomplish so much more. She just didn't think like that. Not to mention the fact that she didn't want to blend in, to be just another diplomat. Elwryn liked to stand out, to be the center of attention. To not be that way was anathema to everything that Elwryn felt herself to be.
When the princess handed the brush back to Elwryn, she took it and looked at it and her hair. Finally after a moment or two of silence she said to the princess, "I'll consider it." That was the best that Elwryn could offer at the moment and princess Anna nodded. "That is all I ask," she responded. Then she left without another word, trusting most likely that Elwryn would do what she wished.
After several long minutes of just staring at the closed door the princess had just left through, Elwryn's tamped down anger came back full force. With an angry growl of frustration and anger both, she hurled her brush at the door where it hit with a most satisfying thunk. Then she stood and began pacing her small cozy room. It was then that Fenril poked his head in and asked, "Is everything alright Lady Elwryn?"
"No! Everything is not alright! She...she just..." Elwryn was angry as was evidenced by her pacing, her clenched fists, her expression and the fact that she could barely get her words out.
Fenril caught on quickly and had a pretty good idea what the princess had said to Elwryn. Not to mention the fact that he'd been halfway listening. So he knew why Elwryn was so upset. Coming into the room and shutting the door behind him, Fenril picked up her thrown brush and put it back on the dressing table. Elwryn simply watched him, anger brewing in cool blue eyes. "Maybe," he began slowly. "There is a compromise you two can come to."
"Were you listening in?!" Elwryn demanded to know.
"Yes," he admitted without shame. He hurried on before Elwryn could get made about that as well. "Princess Anna does have a point though. And I think you can come to a compromise if you just try. You're good at coming up with compromises m'lady. I know you are, I've seen you in action."
"You've....seen me work?" she asked slowly her anger ebbing just a touch at his words.
"Yes, I have, and I admire the job you do. It can't be easy being one of few women among men trying to get your ideas and your voice heard when so many men think that a woman's place is at the home and hearth. You know what you're doing and you're good at it. You're looks help, but they are not what wins you your goal in the end. It's your ideas, your ingenious use of words that helps you win."
Elwryn sniffed almost disdainfully but listened to Fenril all the same her anger still ebbing. "How do you know it's my words and not my looks that help me to win?" she asked.
"Because I've seen you in action. Numerous times. You're a lot smarter than you think you are Elwryn," he said as he stepped up to her and looked down into her lovely blue eyes.
As she gazed up at him her anger fled her completely and she saw the sense in not only his words but the princess's words as well. "Then help me come to a compromise," she said softly.
And that was exactly what he did, right after he lowered his lips to hers and kissed her with a passion he had been holding back for ages.
A short time later, maybe about ten minutes or so, Elwryn and Fenril had managed to create a compromise between Elwryn's typical state of dress, or rather undress, and what the princess wanted. As she left her room with Fenril at her back, she wore now instead an emerald green dress, this one with a v neck that showed ample cleavage but that she carefully hid with a matching scarf. This dress, not one of her normal picks, was long and flowly rather than being tight and short. And with a few well placed pearls in her hair and around her neck, Elwryn felt better than she had only awhile ago. She still didn't like the compromise, but Fenril had talked sense into her and so she'd give it a try. Not for the princess but for Fenril and if the princess wanted to think that this was of her own doing, then she could think that. But all Elwryn truly needed was Fenril's stamp of approval.
When Elwryn came up on deck and joined the party already there to disembark, Anna came up behind her and smiled. "I am so glad you made it to exit with us. You look lovely." She smiled and patted the woman's hand with eyes full of understanding at what it took for the blue haired beauty to do what she did.
Galen walked up beside the ladies and bowed slightly. "It's our turn, Princess." He had barely glanced at Elwryn but when he did, his eyes lit up. "Lady Elwryn, you look stunning. You will be joining us I hope." He nodded to Anna and as he passed him, winked at Fenril where the ladies couldn't see.
Elwryn refrained from glaring at the princess and instead plastered a smile on her face. If it hadn't been for Fenril, for his words of comfort and sense, and for his kiss, Elwryn never would have changed her clothes. She still didn't care for them. She felt confined and not herself but she wasn't about to tell the others that. Fenril had promised that she'd grow accustomed to such clothing, but in her heart Elwryn disagreed. "Thank you," she said politely.
Fenril squeezed her hand to give her encouragement and she smiled up at him. She wanted him to kiss her again, but now was not the time nor the place for such things. They were about to meet with the king of Asteria and it was an honor indeed. Shoving her focus from Fenril onto the king and her diplomatic mission, Elwryn didn't see the wink Galen gave Fenril, nor did she see Fenril's pleased smile. Taking her place in line with the others, Fenril close by but a step behind, Elwryn forced herself to calm and sent her mind to where it needed to be so she could be effective. This was her first diplomatic mission to another country and it was an important one. But she had proven her worth back home, now she just had to prove it abroad.