unwanted guests...and hosts
 Posted: Oct 11 2016, 04:37 PM

There were precious few times that Endymion found the time to be himself. Whenever those times did present themselves, he made sure to do so with his daughter. It was important to him that Octavia knew that she could always count on him. That before being a king he was her father. Although he doubted that the significance of that was realized on a child as young as the future ruler of Thorolei. She wouldn’t have to worry about that for a few years. Until then, they would focus on walking.

He sat in the floor with his hands held out and a smile on his face. So many smiles had been forced since he took the throne…no, even before that. Even the smiles with his late wife had been forced. Not that she had been at fault. She had been a good woman, a doting wife, and he suspected she would have been a wonderful mother had she survived childbirth. Unfortunately, the point of their marriage had been entirely political. Unlike himself she had no head for politics or understood the true weight on his shoulders. She had been a kind enough woman, but a poor partner. Still, he missed her. Parenting was not a task to be taken alone.

The princess smiled at him and stood on unsteady feet. Endy reached his hands out to her and nodded in encouragement. Octavia took one step, then another, and then the door opened and she fell promptly on her face. Endy braced and waited for the tantrum of tears that was sure to follow, but Octavia only giggled and attempted to lift herself up again.

King Endymion, first of his name, glanced out at the corner of his eye. If any peripherals could turn to stone, it would have been his gaze. He did not like being intruded upon the precious rare time he had with his daughter. It instantly softened though when he saw the captain of his guard. He wouldn’t have interrupted without good reason. Endy bayed his approach and the knight lowered and whispered into his ear. Altaria, Endymion sighed. Again.

It was no easy feat being king of the humans in the capital of the fae’s gods. When the former fae woman had been turned over to him he had been sure the Dark Temple had some hand in it, or at least were watching the events to challenge him. Fortunately, he had found a way to work around it. The woman would be confined to the castle until she learned to be human, as was her new fate. He hadn’t executed her, and his sentence had thus publicly appeased the temple while silently snubbed them. Although since he had welcomed (or rather imprisoned) the woman within the castle, he wasn’t sure who was being punished more.

“Do not give me the details, just send her in,” he commanded, refusing to spare any time away from Octavia. His captain frowned at him, but Endy nodded. If he couldn’t protect his daughter from one woman, then he really wasn’t much of a king or a father. A moment later Altaria was brought forward, but Endy rose a finger for her to wait. This time Octavia managed to waddle in his arms and he smiled and held his daughter close. “So, what was it this time?” he asked, careful to not let his tone or smile drop so as not to frighten his daughter.
 Posted: Oct 14 2016, 01:04 PM

Altaria kept thinking that it would have been better if she had just been killed. The thought of death had scared her when she had been brought before the king, but the punishment he chose instead was utter torture. She wasn’t a human, she wasn’t, but yet she was stuck in this form and stuck among all these people. He was sick and sadistic, that was what he was. He was torturing her by making her live here at what humans called court and she was sure he was just giggling to himself every day about it. She was struggling and although she wouldn’t let it show on her face, inside she was withering. She was unhappy and alone. She had lived in the forest her entire life and now she was confined to these stone walls. It was cruel. When she was alone she cried, but out among the humans she kept up a tough face.

She was still adjusting to the way humans did things, and they did everything odd. One time she had attacked the servants in her room because she had not been aware that humans employed their own as slaves to do their chores. There was apparently certain etiquettes and manners humans displayed to one another even when they didn’t like each other, but Altaria didn’t know any of that, she spoke her mind whenever she wanted. She had gotten in plenty of fights already with nobles, mostly male nobles, about the subject of fae. Then there was the time she brought her own chicken into the castle and killed it in her room to eat…the servants hadn’t liked that. She was also chastised by a woman once for walking around without shoes and plenty noble ladies gossiped behind her back. She hated all of them.

Most of the trouble she felt wasn’t her fault. No one was bothering to teach her the proper things to do, she was just set loose to wander the halls without direction. And today she felt was most certainly not her fault, but for some reason she was getting in trouble for it. They took her before the king and she sighed in annoyance about the whole ordeal. When she entered the room she glared at him, especially when he rose his finger to silence her. Her gaze flickered to the princess and she smiled at the little girl, who returned a smile back. Human children were probably the only good thing about the castle.

Then the king spoke and her gaze returned to him and returned to being angry. ”So everything is always my fault? Is that a human custom? Is it because I am fae or a woman? Humans seem to have prejudices against both” She snapped, irritated she was being brought before him like some ill-mannered child ”I do not appreciate your men, those guards, touching me. My body is my own and I do not desire unwelcome hands on any part of me” She had just been walking down the hall when a guard reached over and touch her behind. Then another had tried to grab her breast. She had told them to stop and they didn’t. They backed her against a wall.

”I told them to stop, they didn’t. There was no one around. They got me towards a corner and I kneed one in the pelvis and the other I slapped. They grabbed me but the commotion got attention and here I am. They said I attacked them without reason” She shook her head in disgust ”Perhaps next time you would prefer I just behave and bend over for them?” She sneered with sarcasm.
 Posted: Dec 1 2016, 08:55 PM

Endy fought the urge to sigh and surprised himself when he didn’t. He knew it was only because of the little girl in his arms, and that he did not want to behave in any way that would startle her. Leaning close to his daughter he kissed her softly on the tip of her nose, and she rewarded him with a bubbling series of giggles. Ocatvia, you bring out the best in me, dear. He did not look up from his daughter while he listened to Altaria’s story.

“My dear, I asked what it was this time. Not what you did this time. I did not imply that you were to blame for the altercation, you did. And yes, humans do indeed hold prejudices against both, or rather some do, and some do not. Can you truly not say the same about fae though? From what I have learned your people are a solitarily race, and rarely interact with other fae. Why insist that you are different when your words suggest that you are all the same?”

Let her chew on that for a bit, Endy thought not without a bit of malice. True, Altaria may not have been to blame for the latest instance. However, the same could not be said for the dozens of other infractions that he had to smooth over. He realized that this was a new situation for her, but he would have settled for just a little effort. The fact that his words seemed to confound her and make her think for a moment (and annoy her for a minute) proved to be some relief from the awkward diplomacy she forced him to engage in.

“No, Altaria, but I would ask you to watch your language in front of your next ruler. Or at the very least to keep a steady tone. Children can pick up on that, even at this age.” Though he again managed to keep his voice even for Octavia’s sake, he turned away from his daughter so the former fae woman could see the steel in his eyes. He allowed Altaria a great deal of leeway in front of him, but the same courtesy did not extend to his daughter.

“Captain,” his bodyguard stepped forward and bowed. “The men in question are not fit to be knights if they accost the guests under my protection. Dismiss them, and I do not want them to ever find a profession where they may bully someone with their swords again. Remove the index fingers from their sword hands. That should prevent them from ever finding themselves in this line of work again, but shouldn’t prevent them from finding suitable enough work to support their families.”

The captain bowed, and turned to leave without complaint. “Oh, and captain, take their names. Remind them that I will be watching. And if they find themselves accused of such crimes again they will face my judgement, and the next time I will take something much precious to them than their fingers.”

Endy was thankful that Octavia was still not old enough to understand the words he was saying. Despite the grim business his tone still hadn’t changed, and she had drifted off to sleep, drooling on his shoulder. The king stood, uncaring how his fine garments were soaking with drool and the shoulder and turned to Altaria. “Thank you for bringing this to my attention, and I apologize for the treatment you endured by soldiers in my employ. It will not happen again.”
 Posted: Jan 17 2017, 12:43 AM

She made a face ”Why do call me a deer?” She didn’t understand the human meaning behind the phrase my dear, she really thought he was calling her a deer and she did not understand it. Some of the ladies at court had used the same term, but she hadn’t brought up the question of it’s meaning until now. She snorted ”I am always blamed. Why should I ever assume anything different?” She spoke through gritted teeth. It didn’t seem to matter what the issue was, if she was involved in any way, fingers always pointed at her. When he spoke about fae she glared at him but decided to keep her mouth shut. She hated it when he spoke about fae like he knew about them. He was surrounded by humans and interacted more with them then he ever did fae. He knew nothing, but his arrogant self always seemed to think he did.

She was about to argue that Octavia was not her ruler because her species did not acknowledge rulers, especially not human ones, but the look he gave her made her swallow that response back. He irritated her to no end, but she decided not to say anything nasty about the child. It wasn’t her fault that her father was insufferable. She just wanted this encounter to be over so she could return to her room. She didn’t expect him to do much, possibly chide her and lay the fault on her or slap the men on the wrists, but that’s all. However when he addressed the captain she stared at the king in surprise. He was brutal and unforgiving, she would never think he would do such things to his own guards.

For the first time, she was truly speechless. Not because she was holding her tongue, but she was truly taken aback. Was he putting on some show for some reason? He had to be, why would he care at all that his prisoner fae had been accosted? When he turned to address her she continued to stare at him, not knowing what to say. She had not seen this side of him yet and she was trying very hard not to be impressed. ”I was not expecting that” Her eyes lowered to the floor for a few moments before looking back up to him. She straightened herself and crossed her arms. She didn’t want to be the bigger person, she really didn’t, but since he had defended her she supposed she should repay some of that kindness ”Th-...thank you”

She looked briefly at the princess sleeping, smiling softly before turning to walk out. However that was when she remembered the odd human custom that she was supposed to be excused before leaving the room. She stopped and turned back to him with a sigh ”Shall I leave now?” She had to assume he was done with her and wanted her out of his sight.
 Posted: Mar 16 2017, 12:41 PM

“The word ‘dear’ has several meanings in our language. It’s actually a different word than the one that refers to animals, though it is pronounced the same. Dear can also be used as a salutation, usually in letters between casual acquaintances. And also, as I am using it in this case, as a term of endearment or affection.” Endymion thought a moment before he added further,. “People have also been known to use it in terms of exaggeration.” No sense in pretending like they were friends now after all. He did need to educate her though. Apparently, she had not yet learned that Court was far deadlier than the forest that she called home.

“You should have,” Endymion shook his head. “I am the king. My job is to enforce the law, a job that I am sorely lacking giving the size and scope of this kingdom and the fact that I am a mere mortal. If I cannot enforce the law here within my own home, I wouldn’t be much of a king at all.” He hesitated a moment before he spoke again. She didn’t have to thank him, yet at the same time it was odd that she would even do that much. He supposed he could at least try and meet her halfway. “You are welcome though, all the same.”

“You may leave if you wish,” One of the maids appeared at the entrance of the door, escorted by two of his guards. Endy did not wish to part with his sleeping daughter, nor did he wish to leave her guarded by servants alone and not himself, no matter how qualified they may be. He only employed the best when it came to safeguarding his daughter, and ones that he could trust implicitly. To go with them though would signify that he did not trust them, that the king did not feel safe within his own walls. Endymion had trouble enough balancing the act of being a king with that of being a human being, and for that he had abandoned attempts at the latter to focus solely on the former. As a father, he could not find himself to part with that responsibility.

“Dinner is being served though if you would like to join me,” he offered as he watched the maid and guards retreat with his sleeping daughter. “I believe liver and onions are on the menu tonight….cow’s liver of course.” It would probably be best to qualify that so she would not get her hopes up.
 Posted: Mar 23 2017, 06:21 PM

The way humans used words was so confusing. Deer could mean a deer, or it meant several different meanings depending on the person and the context. How was any person ever able to tell what these words meant? How was she to know what way the word was being used? It made absolutely no sense, but most things humans did made no sense. What confused her most of all was when he said he was using the term in the context of affection or endearment. Well that had to be a lie. Why would he display any sort of affection towards her? But then he said people used it in exaggeration as well…was he using it as a term of exaggeration? She sighed. Who knew. She wasn’t going to question it any further, all it would do was make her head hurt. She at least knew now that the word didn’t mean an actual deer, the context she could care less about at the moment.

”I do not expect much from humans” Which is why she hadn’t expected him to defend her ”As I have seen, your own kind does not protect one another. I would not expect then for you to enforce the law for a prisoner” Humans here at court, and in general in her opinion, looked out only for themselves. They easily turned on one another, gossiped about their own friends and families and she was certain half the people in this castle would murder their own mother for gold or fame. She didn’t belong here and no one wanted her around. He could have not bothered in taking her side and no one would have cared or questioned him and his ability to rule. In fact, she was sure if he had taken the side of the guards instead of her and others had heard about it, it would have probably made him more popular. So yes, she was impressed he did the right thing.

She nodded once and turned to go, but paused when the maid and guards appeared. Yet another human custom that confused her. The king didn’t care for his own child, but entrusted strangers to do so. She supposed he had no choice with the child’s mother dead. In the wild, most animals were cared for only by their mother and the father was never involved, that was certainly the case for her kind. If the mother died, the offspring died, but she supposed humans had better resources for survival. His offer to join him for dinner was yet another surprise he gave her today, and she stared at him for a moment puzzled. Was he serious? Of all the company in this castle he was asking for hers?

”You must be desperate and lonely” She said it with humor however. Then she made a face ”I of course would assume it is not human liver” She retorted with a bit of irritation, but simmered down quite quickly. Did she really want to have dinner with him? She always just ate dinner in her room, quiet and left alone, and she liked it that way. He grated on her nerves, she couldn’t think of a reason why she would want to spend any private time with him. And yet, she found herself mulling her answer over instead of immediately telling him no. She took in a breath and finally answered ”Fine. I will”

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