dushi

Erdhi pranvera ma dehu penen,
shperthehu gonxhja dhe lulzoj pemen,
me puthi rrezja sy e qerpik ,,
shoke mka djelli pranvera mik.
— 

Erdhi Pranver/Spring came - Kozma Dushi

“Spring came and I cannot not write,
Buds break out and trees have flowered,
Sun beams kissed my eyelids and eyes,
Sun’s my friend and so is spring.”

Here it here

Love them❤️

A Man of Your Talents Part 2 (RoE x TRR Crossover)

Here is my entry for Choices Creates 22!  It’s a sequel? of sorts to the entry I had for Choices Creates 20, which was a RoE x Hero crossover.  This story is meant to take place on the same day in the same universe, even though the characters are different.  

I tried to write the female character here in a very feline way to go with the theme, and so I hope I succeeded!  Thanks @hollyashton!

Summary:  When an unexpected visitor tracks him down in the Caribbean, Leo can’t help but wonder if he should return to the cage of courtly life he’s just escaped.

Originally posted by zarb

Throwing his feet up in the deck chair across from him, Leo Rys stared out at the rollicking waves of the Caribbean Sea.  The water was turning purple in the sunset, then orange and violent shades of pink as the sun slipped below the horizon.  He loved sunsets, not only for their color, but because they meant that he’d had another day to live his life, the one he’d always dreamed of, without the restraints and responsibilities of a crown.

               As he took a long swallow of a local rum, he looked down at his tanned arms and bare chest.  His skin was darker now than it had ever been and the hairs criss-crossing his skin had become bleached white by the time he’d spent in the sun.  He grinned, realizing with glee that he could barely remember having the pale skin of courtly life.  Even though not everything in his life had turned out as he wanted, they had turned out a little better than he’d expected.  Yes, Katie’s decision to marry William Sloan had hurt him, but he’d felt better when he’d realized that she’d chosen a kind, considerate man who loved her and could give her the consistency that she craved.  The life he was living now, flitting from city to city, wasn’t for her.  

Behind him, the bartender whistled lowly.  “Bin aki mi dushi.”

               Leo didn’t look over his shoulder to look at the woman who had obviously walked in and gotten the bartender’s attention.  He kept staring out at the ocean instead, reaching over to the table on his right for his drink.

               But when he tried to close his hand around it, he caught only air. Turning, his eyes widened and his jaw dropped open.  Standing at his side in a perfectly ironed linen dress, Olivia Nevrakis ripped off her oversized sunglasses and stared at him intently, her eyes narrowing into cat-like slits. “My, how the mighty have fallen.”

               He straightened up, blinking to make sure he wasn’t imagining her there.  He’d never given Olivia much thought; she was a full ten years younger than he was and she’d always been Liam’s little pet… and one that was prone to biting at that. In fact, he’d thought for sure that Liam would have chosen her for his bride, but he’d shocked everyone and chosen Madeline.  Leo had called him the moment he’d heard, trying to warn him and get him to change his mind, but Liam had stopped taking his calls and every message he left went unreturned.

“What the hell are you doing here?” he asked, shielding his eyes from the sun.  

               “You’re a hard man to track down,” she said softly, taking a long swallow of his drink, “so the least you can do is tell me hello.”

               Leo took his feet off the chair and motioned for her to sit. She did, primly and properly positioning herself on the edge of the chair as she groomed herself by smoothing back the hair over her ear.  Leo reached for another glass and then picked up the bottle off the table, pouring himself a fresh drink and filling the glass in her hand.

“Sorry.  I’ve forgotten all my courtly manners.”

               “So I see,” she said, eyebrows raising as she took in his bare chest and feet.  “But I’m not here to lecture you on propriety.”

               “What are you doing here then?”            

               “I need you to come back with me.”

               He barked out laughter.  “I never knew you were funny.”

               “Leo, I’m serious,” she said softly.  “My plane is refueling and ready for departure in an hour.”

               “I just escaped, why the hell would I go back?”

               She looked down at her lap as worry lines marred her perfect complexion.  She tapped her claw-like manicured fingernails on the glass.  “It’s Liam.”

               He stilled.  “What’s Liam?”

               “I saw him at an event last week.  He… he didn’t look well.  I’d heard that he hadn’t been the same since that waitress ran off with Drake,” she said, her voice turning cold.  “But I didn’t realize how unwell he was until I saw him up close.  I… I tried to talk to him but I don’t even think he recognized me. When we talked, it was like… like talking to a robot.  I’ve known him for twenty years and I felt like I was talking to a stranger.”

               She took a long swallow of her drink.  “I paid a fortune in bribes to palace staff to find out what was going on.  He’s not sleeping much.  They say he wanders the halls and takes long, midnight walks.  He’s not eating well, and he’s lost at least ten kilograms since the coronation.  Madeline does nothing.  They aren’t sharing a room and word has it she’s so busy preparing for the wedding that she hasn’t seen him in weeks.  The staff also told my informants that when they are together, they practically spend more time arguing than breathing. “

Leo frowned.  He didn’t like hearing his about Liam, but he wasn’t surprised.  He knew how heartbreak could hurt someone.  “Why are you so concerned?”

               “Someone has to be,” she hissed.

               He looked up at her.  Olivia, ice queen extraordinaire, trembled across from him in her seat.  For a moment, thought it was fear, but one look in to her eyes made him realize she was quaking with rage.  “Everyone has left him, Leo.  His mother left him, you left him, that American left him, Drake left him… everyone he’s ever loved abandoned him and now he has no one.  I’m the only one still there, but he doesn’t care.  He—“

               She composed herself, her voice becoming a little more even. “I can’t get through to him.  He needs someone he knows better, someone he looks up to.  I thought a man of your talents might be able to help him a way I can’t.”

               When Leo said nothing, she bit her lip and squeezed the glass in her hand until her fingertips turned white.  “Please.”

               Leo held his breath.  He didn’t know for certain, but he was almost positive that it was the first time Olivia had ever used that word.  If she were humbling herself, especially to him now that he was a commoner, it would only mean one thing.

She was afraid.

And anything bad enough to scare the Duchess of Lythikos was terrifying indeed.

               “When are we leaving?” he asked her.

               She tossed her drink back, wincing as if she’d just tasted gasoline on fire.  “Now.”

               Chucking lowly, Leo tossed his own drink back and stood, following Olivia out of the bar.  When they arrived at the street, he was only half surprised to see Bastien waiting with a rented car, his dark, probing eyes hidden behind sunglasses.  

               “She got her claws in you too?” he asked, walking up and hugging his former bodyguard.

               “She’s rather persuasive,” Bastien muttered, opening the door for Olivia to slide in the back seat.  

               “You know Liam could have you fired for this.”

               Bastien nodded.  “Yes. But the way I see it, it’s worth being fired if it means saving his life.”

               “TODAY!” Olivia shouted from inside the depths of the car.

               Bastien winced and walked around the front to the driver’s side as Leo slid into the backseat along with her.  As he shut the door and the car sped off, Leo turned to Olivia, who was sitting back with a satisfied smile on her face.

               “So what’s the plan?” he asked her.

               She looked at him over her sunglasses, her voice practically purring with contentment.  “Love him, Leo.  If we can remind him of that, the battle’s halfway won.”