Created On Tuesday, 08 January 2019 17:57By Kim Powers
Character's Name: Antonia Claudia Thonnius
Title of Adventure:After the battle
Even though the day wasn’t over it had been a long one. An Agrik Priestess, Kerin and a slew of followers had come through the town right under their noses. If it hadn’t been for Drest, they never would have been able to stop them. Antonia wanted to tell him how important a role he’d been in the days events. She told herself she’d get there.
Drest was tending to the wounded, the dead were being collected. Alatar and Antonia had spoken with the town’s council and they had made their decision. Despite how rough the day had been now that it was over Antonia found it to be a rather lovely day. The birds were chirping, she could hear children playing somewhere nearby and for the moment she was sitting against a tree near the river just sitting. She leaned her head back against the tree and just took in the sounds around her. Her legs crossed at the ankles out in front of her in the dirt. She needed to just sit for a while. The sound of the river as it moved against the rocks, rippling and churning. Water lapped up against the pier and the side of the Bountiful Harvest. She knew the sound of the boat’s hull boards by now
Every time she closed her eyes the fight played out again. A mage hurling small metallic fragments towards Julian and Lief. She’s called out to them trying to warm them. Her and Kerin being momentarily locked in combat. The fire that the Priestess had set. Trying to be a distraction so that Drest could get clear of it. It hadn’t been much more then a few minutes of battle but her body said it had been weeks of wear.
And then to turn and see Lief go down like he did. His armor torn open like a can, his flesh exposed, the blood.
She gasped as she opened her eyes again. Her sword pulled half way from it’s scabber Antonia had to stop and take in where she was again. Her mind reliving just those few moments over and over again. She told herself that that was all it was, just a daydream. A nasty haunting daydream. Just the fatigue playing with her. Her body telling her she needed to rest. But how can you rest when your mind keeps reminding you of all the nasties of the day?! She had to tell herself Lief was ok. They were all ok. No one from the group had died.
Julian was in two minds. He was grateful that the party had been successful, that they’d not only survived, but they’d won. Decisively. Yet at the same time it could have turned out quite differently. It almost had. But more importantly to his being in two minds is what the solider had said “Are you sure we can’t kill him.”
With everything wrapped up and the last prisoner delivered, he decided to take a walk. He spied Antonia and walked towards her. “Mind if I sit?” he asked.
She looked up at him as he came towards her in the sunlight. “No, of course not.” She gestured. “How are you?”
“Too be honest, a little shaky, this whole thing with my family, or whoever is trying to turn me to the darkside, is more than a little disconcerting. Leif almost died today. We beat them in them, but it could have gone a lot differently. And you know this isn’t the end right? We still haven’t got whoever is pulling the strings.”
“Me too.” She admitted to being shaken up. She didn’t want to think about Leif almost dying. She was just thankful she’d kept those potions on her. “I know it isn't over. But we are going to end it. We will figure this out.” She patted his knee when he sat down. “And I know full well that the only way anyone will turn you to the darkness is over my dead body.” She leaned her head back against the tree. “Of course, that might just piss you off so that might not even work.” She closed her eyes and smiled. “You did good today.”
“I wouldn’t let that happen. I care about you, but you already know that,” he responded finally sitting down next to her side, his back against the tree as well, his hand searching for hers. “I’ll die before I let them turn me. And thanks, so did you. But you know as long as I’ve been part of this group, this team, I can’t remember when I’ve drawn a weapon. I’m more than just a spellcaster.”
“You are a hero, Julian.” Her hand found his and she entangled her fingers in his. “Your weapon is your music, a far cry stronger than my sword mind you. Time for swords will come. Now that they know what you can do.” she opened her eyes and looked at him. “They will be prepared for your songs. You might have to go for your sword.” Antonia told him. “Which is coming along nicely.”
He managed a smile for her. “A hero?” he asked, “I’m glad you think so. And I’m glad that I’m getting better with my sword.” Without waiting for an invitation, he leaned over and kissed her.
She was getting used to his kisses. Antonia kissed him back. She did care about him. Very much. She cared that this was wearing on him. That he felt responsible in some way. When the kiss broke she reminded him that they could not have won the day without him. “We will get to the bottom of this Julian.”
“I know we will. Eventually. I just hope it’s sooner rather than later. I’m not sure how much time we have.”
She pushed off the tree and looked at him. “Could you write your grandmother and ask her if she knows anything?” She said. “I mean. If you are sure it isn't her.”
“I trust her, I mean if she’s involved I don’t know what I’m going to do. It would be devastating if she were. Writing her a letter might be a good idea, I’m just worried that she wouldn’t get it.”
Antonia smirked. “What if I could get it to her?” She was thinking of her mentor. The man who taught her everything she knew about swordplay. She could get the letter to him and he could hand deliver it to Julian's grandma.
“Well then, I would definitely have to kiss you,” he said with a grin. Then his tone turning serious continued, “sorry that just slipped out, it may have been inappropriate given our present circumstances. But, I would be grateful. Do you think you can do it?”
She chuckled softly. “You already did that.” Antonia reminded him. “A little romance is never out of place. It's good for the soul, I think.” She knew the kiss had made her feel a little better. “My mentor has no affiliations with the seven families so he should be able to get a letter to your grandmother without suspicions. You write it, I'll send it to him with instructions to get it to her”
“Good, then I will put something together. How long do you think it will take to reach her? And I’m glad you were okay with the kiss.”
She smirked. “Well it isn't the first time.” Antonia reminded him and squeezed his hand. “Besides this makes the day seem a little less rough.” Antonia wasn't sure how long it would take to get a letter to his grandmother. Days, a week or more.
“So, when are we going to tell the others that we’re becoming friends, and more than friends?”
“I kind of assumed me no longer threatening you with bodily harm was a sign of at least a budding friendship.” She teased.
“You know what I mean,” he said rolling his eyes “I’m willing to wait, but I’d like to stop pretending.”
Antonia gave him a long hard look she didn't understand what he meant by pretending. “What are we pretending about?” She asked. “ You mean all my comments?”
“No, not really, I mean we all make comments, joke around. That’s not what I mean. Perhaps pretending is a bit of an exaggeration, but we have something, I’m not quite sure what it is yet, but a relationship of some variety, but no one else in the group knows about us.”
Oh… she realized he was thinking they were sneaking around. Or maybe just maybe she was embarrassed. “What do you want them to know?” She suggested. “That I care about you? Or that I like kissing you?” She said with a smile “Or that you almost said the “L” word.” He hadn't but it was still fun to tease him.
“I don’t know what I want them to know. I am a bit afraid of using the L word, but, but I am starting to fall in love with you and I think the feeling is mutual. Maybe it’s time the rest of the group knows that.”
Antonia's playful smirk simmered. If she thought about, maybe she was starting to really care about him. He was afraid of saying love and she understood that. It was a powerful word. It meant heartbreak sometimes. “Ok,” she nodded seriously. “Do you have a family ring?” She asked. Her brother did. Even she had had one at one time. It had her family crest on it. Well not really a crest it was just a very fancy looking “T” but it meant something.
“Yes, I do, I’m assuming you want me to seal the letter, so my grandmother knows it’s from me, or did you have something else in mind?”
She held out her hand. “Give it here.”
Without hesitation, he handed it to her. “Here you go,” he said.
Antonia had a leather necklace she always wore. It had a seashell on it and an odd looking piece of metal that meant nothing to unless you knew it's tale. She pulled them both off and put his ring on the necklace and tied it back around her neck. “There. Now everyone will know. I'm yours and you are mine.” She smiled up at him.
“Well, my assumption was wrong,” he said with a grin of his own, “but I’m glad. We could go back and get some dinner, or we could skip dinner altogether and go straight to dessert.”
She shook her. “Dinner sounds like a good idea. And we should probably see what everyone else is up to.” She stole a kiss before she stood up. “Limited dessert.”
“I can live with that. How limited?”
“That will depend on how brave you are.” She teased.
“You’re the one I’m worried about, if you were okay with it I wouldn’t have any limits.”
His words gave her pause. She was apprehensive about “it”. Antonia still wasn’t entirely sure what they were as relationships go. She didn’t know what a relationship was like. Trust was a hard thing to give for her. Trusting him with her emotions was a huge undertaking. She was sure that he knew that. They knew each other past. He knew that her brother had betrayed her. That her father had disowned her. Trust was not a word Antonia used freely. Yes, she trusted the group to protect each other but this was deeper than that. Julian was asking her to trust him with her heart. Something she’d never given to anyone.
She sighed. Now standing there under the tree looking down at him still sitting there gazing up at her. “Be patient with me. I’m trying to let you in. It’s just… it’s a challenge. I’ll get to that point. I’m just not as carefree as you are.”
“Of course,” he told her,”I understand your challenge and it’s okay. Take all the time you need, I’m not going to pressure you.”
She nodded her head and held out a hand to help him up. “There will be dessert though, you have my word. It just might not be all that you hope for. But there will be some of it.” Every time she thought she knew him, he did something unexpected to surprise her. To win her over just that much more. Everytime he told her there was no rush, no pressure. It chipped away at that wall she’d built around her heart. “Why are you afraid of loving someone? Or is it being loved that you’re afraid of?”
He allowed himself to be pulled to his feet and smiled at the prospect of dessert with her, no matter how limited it might be. Her question though gave him pause. “I guess,” he said,”a little of both. Or maybe it’s not that I’m am afraid to love, but that I’m afraid of hurting someone. Of hurting you, like I hurt your sister.”
As they started back towards town and the tavern they were staying at she held his hand. “You realize hurt is part of the experience. I'm hurting now, physically but that doesn't mean I won't fight again. If you or I fall out of love I would hope it wouldn't prevent us from. Finding it again.” She squeezed his hand. “I'm not my sister and you're not the same man you were.”
He squeezed her hand back and nodded,”You’re right,” he said, “and I am glad you feel that way. I guess if you’re willing to give love a chance than so am I.”
She grinned mischievously at him. “Besides, I don't think anyone who worships agrik will be able to turn a man in love.”
“That’s true,” he said as they moved within viewing distance of the tavern. He stopped then, put a hand under her chin and kissed her.
She stepped into him, put her arms around his neck and deepened the kiss. She hinted at dessert, Antonia was falling in love. She knew she was and she wanted to make sure he knew she was.
The kiss and the promise behind it told him everything he needed to know and more. He just stood there in her embrace, and let the kiss deepen still further. “I love you,” he heard himself saying.
Antonia smiled through the kiss. She heard herself utter those words back to him. The kiss ebbed and she stepped back only half a step.
“A copper for your thoughts,” he said quietly.
She shook her head. “This is the best I've felt all day.”
“And,” he said pulling her into a deeper embrace, “ it’s still early, the day isn’t done yet.”
Antonia took in the smell of him. The way his arms felt around her. It nearly washed the fighting of the day from her mind. The day wasn’t over, that much was true. She was pretty sure that the fighting for the day was however. That much she was looking forward to. She wanted to soak in a hot bath and make some of the soreness go away. That and maybe spend the day doing little else. She wondered if that was too much to as of him?
Last Updated On Tuesday, 08 January 2019 21:12By David Tannen