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#evangeline samos
caloresthrone · 12 hours ago
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Evangeline: I know you think my judgment’s clouded because I like Elane a little bit.
Ptolemus: You doodled your wedding invitation.
Evangeline: No, that’s our joint tombstone.
Ptolemus: My mistake.
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Conversation
Evangeline: There's something wrong, but I can't put finger on it.
Evangeline: *glaces at Elane*
Evangeline: I wish I could put my finger on it.
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Evangeline: Do you know what your dress and your boyfriend have in common?
Elane: What?
Evangeline: You'd be better without them.
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caloresthrone · 2 days ago
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Cal: I sort of did something and I need some advice, but I don’t want a lot of judgment and criticism.
Evangeline: And you came to me?
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Is there a Red Queen discord? If there is who do I need to pester for an invite?
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Welcome to the Red Queen fandom,
here we have: people that still crying over the morally gray guy’s death, people wanting the badass lesbian to step on them and the people that melt over the funny good boys.
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There are two kinds of people in the Red Queen fandom: The ones that would die for Maven and the ones that would die for Evangeline.
 But if you search deep enough, you’ll also find the ones that would die for Cal and Kilorn because they love a charismatic boy.
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elliemarchetti · 4 days ago
Do you plan to update your red queen fanfics anytime soon?
I take the opportunity of this ask to publish the update of Pride and Prejudice AU but apart from this story, which I intend to finish as soon as possible, I am not sure that I will continue the others, as long as I no longer receive feedback and some requests on how to continue. I hope you enjoy this chapter and quench your thirst for new Red Queen fanfiction! @lilyharvord I must also apologize to you for the very long wait, but life has definitely come between me and my interests
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After breakfast, the girls took a walk in the village to find out if Mr. Maven was back, and to complain about his absence at the ball. He joined them as soon as they entered the city and he and Mr. Thomas took them home, a double advantage, as Mare could spend time with him undisturbed and the opportunity was propitious to present him to her father and mother. Immediately upon returning home, Miss Skonos was delivered a letter which was immediately opened: the envelope contained an elegant sheet of satin filled paper with beautiful, flowing feminine handwriting, which however changed her expression as she read it. It was from Evangeline Samos, and what it contained surprised her greatly, as the whole party had left the Stilts, with no intention of returning. When, later, Mare too was able to read it, she looked at the high-sounding expressions used with all the indifference of suspicion and, although surprised by the rapidity of that departure, she saw nothing really worrying: there was nothing to suggest that their absence would also prevent Mr. Samos from returning, and about the loss of their company, she was convinced that Wren would’ve certainly stopped worrying about it, being able to enjoy his. Sure it was unfortunate that she hadn't been able to see her friends again before they left the countryside, and that none of them were willing to return that winter, but wasn't that the reason why those who could afford it owned two houses?
"But you don't know everything. I'll read you the passage that particularly hurt me, since I don't want to hide anything from you," added her friend, and finally Mare noticed the second sheet she was holding in her hands.
"I am truly convinced that my dear friend, Lady Elane Haven, has no equal in terms of beauty, elegance and quality, and I don't think I'm at fault if I take it for granted that you agree with me. The affection she has inspired me for years is intensified by something even more significant, namely the hope of soon being able to call her my sister-in-law. I don't know if I have ever told you my feelings about it, but I won’t leave without trusting you, and I believe you won’t find them unreasonable. My brother already admires her very much, all her relatives desire this union for her as much as we do, and I don't think I am deceived by the partiality of a sister if I say that Ptolemus is certainly capable of winning the heart of any woman. With all these circumstances in favour of a bond and none that can prevent it, I am perhaps wrong to indulge in the hope of an event that will ensure the happiness of this many people?"
Mare was stunned. So this was the plan, it wasn't a marriage already orchestrated between Miss Samos and the General, but between her friend and her brother! Wren, however, didn’t want to believe her, and her words about the undeniable affection he felt for her seemed to do nothing but further hurt her broken heart as upstream they didn’t think the same about the letter's emissary, for not to mention that she was convinced that she wouldn’t be able to derive any joy from a marriage to a man whose friends and relatives hoped he would marry another woman.
"You must be the one to decide," said Mare, "and if after mature reflection you discover that the pain of doing a rudeness to his sister is greater than the happiness of being his wife, I certainly recommend you to refuse.”
These words brought Wren a smile, as they both knew perfectly well that she wouldn’t hesitate to accept his proposal, but the shadow of the possibility that he wouldn’t return in six months continued to cast a dark shadow on the general mood, to the point that only Diana’s invitation, addressed to both of them, managed to dispel that constant thought a little, replacing it with genuine curiosity, since she and Wren were by no means intimate enough for such a proposal. The answer to all their questions, however, came the next day when the Colonel's daughter told them that she needed female help, and that Mare was too involved to be the only opinion she would hear. From anyone else, this would’ve been an intolerable rudeness, but Mare knew her friend well, and if it was about romance, an assumption that soon turned out to be correct, she didn't want to be wrong and analyzed every single detail to the point of making the least gesture the most rational. The summary of the matter, however, was that Mr. Jesper had woken up early the previous morning, and unannounced, had gone under her window to ask her for a clandestine meeting. Diana accepted, and he, very awkwardly, revealed his interest in her, as well as his intention to marry her, if she accepted. The entire Farley family would’ve been thrilled with the event, but she had asked him for time to think about it, although she was already certain that she wouldn’t come to any conclusion alone, so she had bestowed that invitation. Wren, who was good-natured, greatly appreciated the gesture, and considered it an unspoken compliment to her sensibility and handling of the matter with Mr. Samos, so she quickly got busy, and all the years they had spent politely ignoring each other were recovered within an afternoon. Mare, however, wasn’t so well disposed towards the idea: she appreciated that Diana had asked for more help to reach the most favourable of conclusions, but she would’ve preferred that she had talked about it with her brother, as Shade had been silently courting her for years, and watched her from afar become the only woman he certainly wanted to marry; the prospect that she might want another man had bothered him and not a little, Mare had noticed, although she hadn't said anything, too absorbed in her own problems, but the real possibility that she might decide to marry another man would certainly have prompted him to declare himself, and everyone knew that those two were meant for each other, something that she wanted to remind to her friend.
"Mr. Jesper is smart and pleasant, and it’s certainly inviting for a woman to be the only one who can put a man at ease, not to say reassuring, even if he doesn’t seem like that kind of person. On the other hand, I can already see the blame on your face, Mare, and I want you to remember that your friendship is the thing I care about most in the world and even if I know how you feel, remember I too would behave differently if my perspectives were different, but they’re not, so I’m just asking you to be happy for me if I accept.”
"I will be," Mare assured her, though she wasn't sure she would ever be able to rejoice in her brother's unhappiness, "I just ask you to tell Shade before making any decisions. Do you think you can?"
To the affirmative answer of the other, Mare waited a time that she considered reasonable and took leave, followed by Wren, who asked her if she wanted to be accompanied home, which Mare refused, determined to be left alone with her considerations. It took her time before she could reconcile herself with the idea of ​​such an inappropriate union as she never imagined that, once called to decide, her friend would sacrifice all her best feelings. The next day, Mare was sitting with her mother and sister when Colonel Farley appeared and requested an audience with Mr. Barrow. Terrified of what might have happened, Mare remained tense the entire time they spent in the library, but the tones never rose, and when he left, the Colonel looked as calm as when he arrived. Mare waited a while before reaching her father and asking him what had happened, fearing a reproach for her advice to her friend, which could’ve broken the relationship between the two families, if the situation between Diana and Shade had been from her misunderstood, but he replied very calmly, saying he was happy and satisfied that Miss Farley, whom he had always thought fairly intelligent, wasn’t as foolish as his wife or daughter Gisa. Although this didn’t gave an explicit answer to her question, it reassured Mare, who was convinced that she could get more direct answers once her brother, who had gone out with Bree and Tramy, returned, as she didn’t want to be pressing with Diana, who could also have took offense at how things went the last time they met. At first, Shade seemed a little surprised by all that attention, but when he realized that Mare’s wasn’t just a fervent desire to know some new gossip but real concern, he told her not to worry, and that everything would turn out right in due time, a time that however established a reserve between the two friend that became a silence so heavy that convinced Mare their confidence was stained forever. Furthermore, these gloomy feelings certainly didn’t help Wren's mood, who hadn’t heard from Mr. Samos for a week and hadn’t even received an answer to her letter for his sister. Even Mare was beginning to have fears, not so much that Mr. Samos was indifferent, but that his sister could keep him far. Reluctant as she was to admit such a devastating idea to the happiness of the only friend she had left, and so dishonourable about the constancy of her love, she couldn't help but think about it often. The united efforts of two insensitive women and a friend so influential, favoured by the charm and amusement of Archeon, might’ve proved to be too much, so she feared, for strength of his affection. As for Wren, her anxiety about that uncertainty was, of course, more painful than Mare's, but whatever she felt she just wanted to hide it, and therefore between her and her friend there were never any allusions to that subject. The mother, on the other hand, wasn’t held back by such delicacy and hardly an hour passed without speaking of Mr. Samos, expressing the impatience for his return, or even asking her daughter to admit that if he didn't come back she would feel treated very bad. It took all of Wren's mild steadfastness to endure those attacks with acceptable tranquillity, which diminished, however, upon the arrival of Miss Samos' letter of reply, which removed any doubt about their winter accommodation, they would have settled in the General's residence, and, according to Wren, also regarding the feelings of Mr. Samos towards Lady Haven. Mare paid no attention to those speculations, she hadn’t seen, in fact, any warmth between the two in the time they had spent at the Hall of the Sun, but the fact that Evangeline was so evil she could take pleasure in the idea of undermine her own brother’s happiness, and in such a mean way, filled her with indignation and resentment, equal only to the concern she felt for her friend, who had fallen in love with a man of such lightness of character, a slave to intriguing friend, willing to sacrifice his own happiness at the whim of their desires. If, however, it was only his happiness
that was sacrificed, he could play with it as he wanted, but it was also Wren's that was involved and she believed he should be aware of it. In short, it was a topic that could’ve been thought about for a long time, even if, perhaps, to no avail, but she could do nothing else, and whether Mr. Samos's affection had really died down or had been suffocated by the interference of his friends, whether he had been aware of Wren's feelings or they had escaped his observation, in any case, even if the judgment would’ve been concretely influenced in the different hypotheses, the situation remained the same, and the peace of the girl equally wounded. It was a couple of days after, that Wren found the courage to talk about her feelings with Mare, but in the end, left alone by Mrs. Skonos, after a longer than usual rant on the Hall of the Sun and his owner, she said: "Oh! If my dear mother controlled herself more, she has no idea how much pain her constant considerations about him give me. But I don't want to complain, since it won't last long. He will be forgotten, and we will all be as before."
Mare looked at her friend with affectionate disbelief, but said nothing, although the doubt about those words could be read on her face like lines from an open book. Wren blushed: she knew that this man, who had been so lovable to her, would live forever in her memory, but that was all. If she had something to hope, fear, or even blame him for, the situation would’ve been different, and time would’ve done nothing but make the pain greater, but in that case she had the immediate comfort that it was nothing more than an error of her imagination, which had hurt no one but herself. If she had said those words aloud, Mare would’ve told her she was too good, and she would’ve attributed ethereal adjectives to her sweetness and impartiality, but it wasn't praise for her character that she needed to hear at the moment, only how much she was loved, words that not even her mother seemed willing to give. Even her father considered it only a mere disappointment, and indeed, he seemed inclined to joke about it when the Barrows went to visit them, inciting Mare to have her own heartbreak with Mr. Maven, who seemed a very nice and stylish man. Regarding him, it can be said that his company helped to dispel the melancholy into which the last, unfortunate events had thrown the two friends, who saw him often and had been able to add to the long list of his qualities the total absence of reserve, as the whole story already exposed to Mare soon became public, and everyone was satisfied thinking about how much they had always thought the General unpleasant before coming to knowledge of the whole matter. The only one who could imagine that there could be some extenuating circumstance in the matter was Miss Skonos, whose mild and firm candour always put forward justifications, and insisted on the possibility that there were misunderstandings, but by all the others the General had been labelled like the worst of men.
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HI RQ FANDOM I AM THINKING SO HARD RN
ok here me out “Good For You” from DEH but it’s everyoen yelling at cal around like war storm era ish. Heidi is mare, Alana is evangeline, and Jared is maven I guess? cal is Evan ofc
I think evangeline samos deserves to yell at cal don’t @ me
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strawberry-p0psicle · 6 days ago
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My favorite character can kill and betray whoever they want, actually
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artemiasamos · 8 days ago
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maven calore headers
- like or reblog if you save/use.
- Ⓒ sapphicsamos on twitter.
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imjulia-andilikecats · 9 days ago
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People commenting on Mare's appearance:
Evangeline Samos: Mare Barrow is no lady
Mare Barrow: I'm unremarkable-looking
Gisa Barrow: Don't you need this? *points at makeup*
Victoria Aveyard: She is very plain-looking
Cal Calore, on the other side of the earth:
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theworldwedreamof · 10 days ago
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More Red Queen fanart! Again, constructive criticism and creative suggestions always welcome.
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lucy-the-cat · 11 days ago
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Lover's Curse Chapter Fourteen - To Tear a Rift
Iris
When will people learn to leave me alone?
Ever since I’ve arrived, they’ve swarmed me with questions and favors. Does your mother know you’ve defected? Will you and Tiberias wed before or after he’s crowned? Did Maven scorn you for his red whore?
It’s a miracle I haven’t slaughtered them.
Evangeline lurks in my periphery, reveling in my misery. What a waste of Silver blood, a hollow vessel from which unpleasantness comes. If only she’d stop pointing it my direction.
“Displeased with your fan club?” She slinks from the shadows, clad in metal plates that slither on her hips like a snake. “Pity. It takes an iron will to bear the duties of a queen.”
“Thankfully I’m not a queen anymore. And neither are you.” I breeze past her, but she follows. “No, wait. You were never crowned.”
“Strange. Your words are confident, but your actions aren’t.” She strokes a silver bangle, an overdesigned eyesore of edges and points. “As far as Norta knows, you’ve been spooked into hiding by an overambitious rat.”
A Cygnet should not have nerves to strike. But if she does, it should never be apparent. “I don’t make hasty decisions. Is your ego fragile enough to be ruined by gossip?”
“Enough arrogance. Let’s settle this like Silvers.” Evangeline flashes her teeth. “The arena will suffice. Don’t you agree?”
I don’t have time for this. “Tomorrow.”
“Yes.” Her eyes gleam. “Tomorrow.”
_
I have a visitor.
She knows better than to hide herself. Her knocks are faint and unsteady, and I wait a minute before answering. “No escort. Curious. Evangeline did not strike me as a coward.”
Elane fidgets. “She didn’t send me.”
I begin closing the door. “I forgave you. Leave.”
“You misunderstand.” Her foot slides in front of the frame. “I have a favor to ask.”
“Make it quick.”
She doesn’t flinch. Her glide is seamless, silk rustling as she nestles in the chair opposite mine. “It would be gauche to demand leniency from one so titled and gracious.” A smile tugs her lips. “Though I’ve always been prone to push my limits.”
“I consider it my hobby.” I tap my fingers. “Enough games. What do you want?”
“She’s too proud to explain herself.” Elane looks me in the eye. “So I shall do so in her stead.”
Strength does not always manifest as muscled limbs or iron crowns. Sometimes the most impressive feats are visible to none but yourself.
“Rumors have been circulating. I presume you’ve already heard?” She tilts her head. “The Rift and Norta are to be wed.”
“I won’t take her place.” My voice is steely. “My misery is not to be bartered for.”
She clutches the table, knuckles whitening. “I’m asking for empathy. Evie’s prickly, and she makes enemies faster than she can fight them. Please.” Her head hangs. “When you fight her tomorrow, is it possible you could--” She bites her lip. “Go easy on her?”
Mother did not raise me to be taken by surprise. A Cygnet does not hesitate. A Cygnet does not allow her opponent a moment to strike at weakness. She is poised, controlled, omniscient and untouchable as a god.
Still, I hadn’t considered that Evangeline might have bonds as deep as Mother’s and mine. I had written her off as an annoying nuisance, stuffed her into a category so I wouldn’t have to think about her.
Do I do that often?
“I shall consider it.” I rise, leading her to the door. “But I’m not her friend. I’m not her lover. I know my own worth, and I will not degrade myself to please someone who wouldn't return the favor.”
A tear glides down her cheek. “What a lovely way to live.”
I shrug. “It’s the only way I know how.”
My dreams do not let me believe this is true.
_
I never have the chance to answer Elane’s request. With Maven’s forces approaching nearer and nearer, there’s no time for trivial quarrels and duels. Every meeting brings new pressures to come forward, to declare my allegiance openly and call upon Mother to join me. “I need time to recover,” I claim, and others insist I have taken time enough.
But I haven’t.
It should be easy to write to Mother and explain my predicament. She will not judge me. She will not abandon me. But the words never come, too tangled and fraught to make sense of.
If only things could go back to normal. If only I could return home and be happy, shrug the Calores and their devouring insecurities off like an unfashionable coat. No fear of retribution. No hostile hosts. No prisoners beckoning from their towers, tempting you with puzzles that should not be solved.
I don’t know what I want. I don’t know why I care so much about a conflict which doesn’t involve me, that I’m unequipped to exploit to my advantage.
Queens shouldn’t be this fragile.
Relief comes as marching soldiers and explosives, a rain of death so consuming I cannot dwell on any future but the next moment. The gods are merciful.
“Awfully slow to strike. Then again, combat was never my husband’s strength.” I tie my hair back with a flourish, relishing the cold air against my neck. When have I last been allowed to battle?
Tiberias scowls. His words rise within me, the obnoxious little tirade he spilled when we watched the broadcast together. “War’s not a race.”
You never take anything seriously, do you? You talk about pain and suffering like it’s an abstract concept, that you can entertain it for a few hours and pack it away when you’re done. But this is war. This is sacrifice. This is insanity.
“At your pace, you should hope it isn’t.” At my other side, Evangeline snorts. “You’re growing rusty.”
I know you were raised in battle as I was, but your lessons were a lie. Real war isn’t figures pushed around a board, where soldiers are abstracted to numbers which rise and fall without fanfare. It’s not a game.
You’ll understand that someday.
“Who arranged this unit?” His fists clench. “And why do they hate me?”
“I did.”
“That explains things.” Cal glares at his betrothed.
“Don’t whine, Little Prince. It doesn’t suit you.”
He clicks his flamemakers into glowing embers, a coiled cobra ready to strike. “The battle’s about to begin. You know your position?”
“Yes,” I snap. “You’ve trained beside me for weeks. I’m a warrior decorated as you are, with the discipline and instincts to match. Don’t condescend to me.”
Tiberias sighs. “Serves me right for trying to be nice.”
“I saved you.” I turn away. “You never thanked me.”
“Really? I could’ve sworn--” His eyes flicker to the ground, searching for memories that don’t exist. “Oh.” He softens. “Thanks.”
I sniff. “You were too annoying to waste a perfectly good drowning on.”
“Sorry.” Tiberias positions himself at my back, flames unwinding from his fingers. “I was so worried about Mare, I must’ve forgotten.”
“It wasn’t a lot of effort on my part.” My lips tug despite myself. “Really, you saved me the inconvenience.”
Evangeline snorts. “Don’t get cocky. I still intend on dueling you.”
“Of course. It’s been too long.” I flex my fingers. “In the meantime, I wouldn’t mind if you joined my warmups. You’ve come all this way.”
“My pleasure.”
Clouds crackle above, gathering too quickly to be natural. It’s storm against storm, competing to see who can shatter the other’s shields first.
The battle has begun.
Adrenaline rushes through my veins, flowing into the air and leaving as liquid spears. One flick, and an enemy falls. One flick, and our troops advance. It’s intoxicating. After months of dancing around my husband, unsure how to strike, it is a relief to attack without restraint.
Across the battlefield, Father orders his troops from the ground. Water swirls from puddles on the ground rather than the air. His abilities were never as strong as Mother’s or mine, reliant on liquid rather than vapor.
He doesn’t see the shadow glide through the tall grass. He doesn’t see the blade poised at his chest, severing through flesh and bone. He doesn’t see the silver spray he leaves behind, thick and dark, a rain that cannot nourish.
He cannot see at all.
My waves pull me to his side like a current, crossing several miles in a heartbeat. I pay no heed to the soldiers I plow through. No heed to the lines I shatter, the bodies ruined. His empty eyes are all I see.
No.
This can’t be.
I haul Salin Iral by the throat, his weak pleas nothing against the image of Father’s body collapsing into the ground. My thumb bruises his trachea. My tendrils squeeze his ribs.
Far away, they announce victory.
But I am nowhere to be found.
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artemiasamos · 11 days ago
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manon blackbeak is my new favorite character (only behind my gf evangeline samos) and i just can't stop thinking about throne of glass!!!! i'm reading the last book and i'm just addicted. i'm literally suffering but for some reason i still like it
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lucy-the-cat · 14 days ago
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Lover’s Curse Chapter Twelve - Affectionate Trigonometry
Iris
Tiberias cannot stop moping.  He barely smiles at his grandmother, despite her numerous attempts to cheer him up.  His head hangs at a permanent angle, always fascinated by the ground.  He won’t laugh at any of my excellent jokes.
It’s annoying.
“Does she love him?”  Tiberias finally speaks once we arrive inside the gates.  Anabel nudges him forward, past metal columns and ominous guards.  I might have exchanged one prison for another.  “He wrote her letters when we were on the run, and she kept them.  Read them in the middle of the night, over and over, crying.  They were friends once.”
“Please don’t involve me in your melodramatic teenage love triangle.”
“She’s being tortured.”  He glares.  “What mind fuckery does it take to convince someone it’s better to be tortured than not?  It’s a reasonable concern.”
I roll my eyes.  “Do you think her an idiot?  Use your head.”  I scoff.  “Mare knows what kind of man he is.  No amount of poetry can erase that.  Perhaps she has plans you don’t know about.”
Tiberias sighs.  “Of course.  She had to make herself a martyr.”
“Wonder who she learned it from.”
“We’re here.”  Anabel guides her grandson away from me, halting in front of a bedroom far less grand than his station should merit.  “Don’t get comfortable.  Maven’s troops have been marching towards Corvium, and a clash is inevitable.”
“I am no stranger to battle.”  I lean against the wall.  “Tiberias, on the other hand, hasn’t trained in weeks.”
He rolls his eyes  “I’m beginning to understand why Maven threatened you.”
“I know.  Neither of you have a sense of humor.”  I huff.  “Barrow does.  Can’t fathom how either of you attracted her.”
“Did you talk to her?”  Tiberias lingers in the doorway.  Anabel has retreated, choosing to inform others of our arrival rather than escorting me to my chambers.  It seems poor manners run in the family.
“Occasionally.”  I study my nails.  “She understood what court did not.  I could relax my guard and discuss what mattered to me without fear of violence or interrogation.  She was a suitable companion.”
“Did--?”  He hesitates.  “Did she ever talk about me or Maven?”
“Self-centered, I see.”  Eye roll.  “She barely mentioned either of you, as she should.  Empty wind bags, both of you.  Learn some manners.”
“That’s not what I meant.”  Tiberias grits his teeth.  “You’re not listening to me.”
“I don’t owe you answers.”
He slams the door in my face.
My room is severe, black and silver coiling around one another in columns, punctuated by the occasional window.  Metal spikes gleam on every surface.  These people would turn on me the instant they stood to gain.
I reach for my vapor to soothe me, but a portion of air is conspicuously dry.  There’s a body in the way.  “Lady Evangeline, I’m not an idiot.  Keep your shadow wench to yourself.”
“Princess Evangeline.”  She appears in the doorway, arms crossed.  There’s a new smugness to her posture, one I hadn’t thought possible.  “You’re addressing an equal, nymph.”
I know her type.  Deeply insecure, overcompensating, resentful of anyone with the authority to make her shut up.  They were always the first to call Tiora lazy, or me an emotionless statue.
“It’s still an act of aggression.  Did you fail Protocol, Your Highness?”
“Why are you here?”  She scowls.  “You had everything, and you gave it up for what, a disgraced prince?  You can’t be that foolish.”
I scoff.  “Everything? Do you think titles are all that defines power?  There is always someone above you, and I’d rather they be Mother than an overstuffed peacock.  I’m sure she’ll agree.”
She tenses.  “You don’t know that.  You can’t leave an engagement and beg forgiveness.  Marriage is for alliances, treaties, business deals.  Not happiness.”
“Pardon.  Did I ask your opinion?”  I turn my back.  “I’ve no desire to steal your princeling, so please cease the dramatics.  Empty your misery on someone who cares.”
The air beside me shimmers into a curtsey, coiled locks more flame than hair.  “Forgive me.  I couldn’t restrain my curiosity.”
I sniff.  “Be more cautious next time.  I may not use underlings to teach a lesson, but others might.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.  You’re wise beyond your years.”
“At least one of you passed protocol.”  I am the still ocean waters on a moonlit night, placid surface teeming with dangers beneath.  “Bother me again, and I’ll carve the next warning into your flesh.”
“What a charming guest.”  Evangeline steps in front of her lover, the metal ornaments twitching in time to her rage.  “Congratulations.  Few manage to be so insufferable Maven Calore won’t tolerate them, but you broke his patience within a month.”
“Please leave.  Don’t make me settle this in public.  My family might still love me after a humiliation, but I suspect yours won’t.”
Poke a bear, you get mauled.
Evangeline pales.  “Come, Elane.  This is growing tedious.”
After a moment’s hesitation, she follows.
I grasp at vapor to ensure I am alone before collapsing onto the bed.  This was the longest day in an endless string of sleepless nights and busy schedules, and I cannot summon the energy to don a proper nightgown.  Gods, grant me strength.  My mortal body is failing me.
When have I last been able to rest?
Perhaps I should’ve stayed.  Maven’s image was a devilish foil to mine, the violent temper to my measured calm, the madness to my rationality, the Merandus menace to my Cygnet saviour.  Once his brother had been slain, I might have swayed enough nobles to depose him.
A Lakeland Empire.
But I’m not a machine.  His blunders couldn’t go uncorrected, my every moment squeezed for maximum efficiency.  Every missed meeting was filled by me, every slighted noble soothed, always humble, always reserved.  So much work, most unappreciated.
Why does any woman marry?
_
I wake at noon.
My morning routine condenses to a flurry, plain dress and sloppy hairstyle compensating for the time already wasted.  War waits for none, no matter their status.
To my dismay, Tiberias is already alert, eyes plastered to a broadcast.  Seated beside him, a scrawny red boy grits his teeth.  Tiberias wrings his hands, lips pressed to a thin line.
“She must know how damaging this is.”  Scrawny paces back and forth, fists clenched.  “It’s exactly the propaganda he needs, and we can’t afford to lose any more support.”
“He’s blackmailing her.”  Tiberias clutches his head.  “Remember when he forced her to recruit newbloods?  Her hollow eyes, her tense stance, her starved frame--they’ve all grown so much worse.”  He closes his eyes.  “She was so fragile.  I can’t imagine what he’s done to her.”
Scrawny throws his hands in the air.  “Then why didn’t she leave?”
“I.  Don’t.  Know.”
“Excuse me.”  I nudge Tiberias, and he glares.  “You’re blocking the screen.”
He shuffles with a huff, revealing a familiar set of blue eyes.  The words slide off me, the usual pageantry, but enough details stick to complete the picture.  Her face flickers into view, a stone that has withstood the pull of an ocean.
Her time has come.
I chuckle.  “She plays him like a fiddle.”
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artemiasamos · 14 days ago
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