Howling ghost they reappear In mountains that are stacked with fear But you’re a king and I’m a lionheart. And in the sea that’s painted black, Creatures lurk below the deck But you’re the king and I’m a lionheart.
Alysa: Vladimir! *The exclamation hot, she was startled to realize his whole name had slipped through her lips. She stopped dead in the cavernous hallway, her voices echo bouncing off stone, reminding her of her impertinence. Though a blush colored her cheeks, and a delicate hand rose to her lips, she shook the thought off a moment later. Honestly, he was lucky she did not say “Vladimir Allan Faye” in a tone echoing her mother’s – it really did seem like one she was prone to that morning. Her stomach twisted. She knew where he was walking, knew what was to occur - the entire court did. Most would be there. Her brother would (she imagined, provided he was torn from Jane) - but her father did not want her present. It relieved her: she did not feel made a child, only loved and cared for that he would not make her see the atrocity. She knew Vlad was not alone, that he had been barking something unimportant at Wilson when she shouted, but the thought did not dissuade her as she walked towards him, breath as quick as her steps. His expression was as distressing to her as her father’s had been. He looked hard; as though every line in his face had been written inscrutable lest it crack and the ink bleed. It calmed her a moment - Vlad was walking out that door to watch a man die, he should not be unaffected by it. Then she felt sick for her own thought. It hurt her to watch her friend suffer, even if he would push off her concern and mutter about women’s frailties purposefully to annoy her. Another thought occurred to her as she stopped in front of him with her hands crunched to her hips,. Wilson’s presence behind him did not bother her - she only nodded at him, then looked at Vlad. Words of comfort died in her throat.* You’re going to be standing with your father. *It wasn’t a question, as she swallowed hard. Eyes blazing with the sudden ferocity in her gut, she dropped her hands from her waist and lifted them, muttering quick and hot,* Well, as long as I am being impertinent – *Fingers cupping his cheeks, she leaned in to him swiftly, tasted his breath, let her eyes shut, and pressed her lips to his hard.*
Vlad: *For a moment he thought he was in trouble. Vlad was only ever referred to by his full name when he had brought on the wrath of either his parents, his sister, or one of his aunts. He had turned on his heel, an equally startled Wilson being much less graceful about turning around. Rolling his eyes briefly at his servant, his eyebrows rose in surprise and confusion as he saw who was at the end of the hallway.* Lysa? *She was shouting at him in public? He didn’t think he’d ever see the day. The blush on her cheeks was much more familiar, and if it were any other day he might have teased her about it, but he didn’t. An innocent man was due to be hanged. He felt so inadequate at the moment, unable to do anything to help. He had told Arthur to trust in him, to trust in his father, but he couldn’t even manage this one thing. His worry, his anger, his disappointment, and his guilt were things he didn’t have to tell Wilson about; the man seemed to know. He had been offering to be there at the hanging, in case Vlad needed anything. Feeling terribly puzzled, he simply told Wilson not to be ridiculous; there couldn’t be a servant standing next to the reining Lord of Faye and his heir.* As is my duty. *Was the easy reply, though the statement had not been posed as a question. It was the truth nonetheless, that was the place where he belonged, at his father’s side. Surprised yet again, it took him a full second to process what had happened, but not even half of one to respond in return. His eyes closed as he held her waist in his hands, his lips moving under hers slowly but firmly, breath heavy as they separated, utterly ignoring Wilson (though he would have noticed his servant suddenly intrigued on a painting if he had bothered looking.)* Impertinent’s not a bad look on you, you know. *He revealed in a whisper, not fully backed away.*
Alysa: *Excellent. He had kissed her back. Oh, he’d done more than that; his mouth had opened under her demanding lips, his tongue had touched hers, his hands grabbed her waist, and he had successfully made her forget that anything else ever existed in the world. So…success, then, that -had- been the intent behind her plan, hadn’t it been? Heart pounding, the sudden blaze of ferocity seemed to melt at his words, helped along by the fact that her certainty of her actions had been followed by that nagging thought of ‘what now?’ Fingers tracing his cheek before falling, she breathed hard, giggling at his words, gaze darting from his eyes to his lips to her toes.* …Right. I’ll remember that, Vlad. *She licked her chapped bottom lip and looked back up at him, eyes wide as she said softer,* I’ll be here, then. After. *A remnant of her former ferocity, like a single ember in a fire that refused to die gleamed at him from her eyes another moment with the promise.* Whatever you need.
Vlad: *He smiled easier hearing the soft sound of her restrained laughter come out of her mouth, a mouth he had only moments before had the pleasure of kissing. Her plump lips made more swollen by the heat of their kiss, brought even more to his attention as a pink tongue darted to wet them. A hand reached up to cup her face, the gesture was unexpected, but came naturally to him. He brushed his thumb across her bottom lip before it traced the line of her jaw, his head nodding at her words, his heart lifting to hear them.* Thank you…*he leaned in again, this time placing a softer kiss on her lips, completely different from the one they had shared before. He pulled back with a small smile, offering a promise himself.* I’ll come find you.
Alysa: You better. *The intended strength behind her words was somewhat diminished by the fact that his thumb brushing her lips had stolen her breath. Oh, damn him. Damn Vladimir Allan Faye, heir to the lordship, blasted prat. He knew the effect he was causing, she was sure of it. But her internal diatribe was cut short as she examined his softer expression. Kissing back, she was surprised to feel the softness of the gesture, the tenderness inherent in his reassurance. Smiling as honestly he did, her gaze was still clouded by the knowledge of what was to happen. Letting him go, only to nod again while clearing her throat at Wilson, she waited while he retreated before calling,* Vlad! *He turned back. The look he gave her, a smirk - clearly about to ask something clever about why she hadn’t used his full name this time - behind sad, determined eyes broke her heart. Breathless, anxious, she took a half step towards him, gaze darting over his shoulder at the open door and then back to him. Though she stilled, her skirt brushed around her legs, blowing in the wind, as did her hair.* …Whatever happens. *Her breath was deep and shaky, but the fire of her certainty was back in her words and gaze.* I still believe in, and I still will fight for, your family. And in you.