Title: The Proposal
Description: Astraea | The castle
Sven Winterborn - June 24, 2011 08:28 PM (GMT)
He still couldn't get himself to accept the thought, even though he was determined to go through with it -- the whole thing. It left him without a stomach and without a heart.
Only his brain remained. Sadly, that wasn't something he wanted to keep. It poked at him, with pesky questions and side-thoughts, with a thousand and one doubts and then more. Every second, more and more were born.
Sven found himself pacing slowly around the room, staring at very little.
Astraea had been told of his presence and, whether he was be left waiting or not, he did not notice. In a moment, it seemed, she was back in that same room as before and he looked up at her. Without the normal curtsey, he looked at her.
"One condition. No. Two."
Queen Astraea - June 24, 2011 08:39 PM (GMT)
Privacy and politeness were hardly things either of them needed to worry about, as Astraea had already waved away the people accompanying her and gotten the door closed behind her to leave her alone with the duke. She had known, when she was informed that he was waiting to speak with her, that whatever they were to discuss was likely something that didn't need to be heard by the ears of others. Their recent business had been of a highly private nature, after all.
Based on his first words and complete lack of concern for proper greetings, Astraea had been wise to send the help away.
"What are your conditions?" she asked, her brows raising slightly, before she had even made her way into the room a notable distance.
Her completely cool exterior suggested that her day hadn't been nearly as terrible as it had, in fact, been thus far.
Sven Winterborn - June 24, 2011 08:48 PM (GMT)
He nodded and resumed his pacing. "My duchy. It shall go to my son with my eyes to watch over until his are sharp enough. I may appoint an adviser of my own choosing to serve in both our steads."
His son would make a fine duke one day, but he was just a child, still.
Sven doubted she would care. If she did, it wasn't her right to care anyway.
"Two," he said, in a voice that commanded silence and patience. "I..." He faltered. Sven knew little of what to say. He stopped again, meeting her eyes. "My children. They need a mother."
Sven bit his lip.
"Not... one to replace their lost parent... but someone to provide them with an... example." He could see their disappointed faces. Someday... they would understand.
Queen Astraea - June 24, 2011 08:55 PM (GMT)
Forget the first condition. Astraea had easily enough for the time being.
"Are you suggesting that I need to be told how to change to conduct myself appropriately around your children?" she asked lowly, almost snarling around the words but somehow managing to control herself enough to avoid that.
He might have been pacing as a result of his own discomfort, but she was frozen in place by hers, and anger was being added to it.
Sven Winterborn - June 24, 2011 09:01 PM (GMT)
"I'm not going to marry an evil step-mother, Astraea. I want a guarantee that you will try your best. They are not your children. But they are mine. As long as you want me as your token king... you will be their token mother. Are we in agreement?"
There was nothing he wouldn't give up for this.
Queen Astraea - June 24, 2011 11:23 PM (GMT)
"If we are married, then that makes your children mine. I will play my part," Astraea stated pointedly, not moving an inch from her place as she stared at him.
He already thought he could command her. She was beginning to regret her decision. He wanted to tell her what to do, he had children she was supposed to mother . . . at least he would be the one blamed for the duchy of Landis passing to a boy.
"You will be king. You can choose to have Landis passed to your son, but if you suggest that I mean to torture your children again, we will have a problem," she added, her tone no less blunt and full of tension. After taking a deep breath and clasping her hands together she asked, "That is all I have to say on the matter, and my offer stands. Do we have an agreement?"
Sven Winterborn - June 25, 2011 01:07 AM (GMT)
Could she lack nuance so much? At least he was left with the vague notion that, when they wed, his children would not have a mother who tortured them.
Because that was reassuring.
"You take things too... literally. But, yes, we have a deal."
He assumed she had his part of the bargain to further explain. Come what may.
Queen Astraea - June 25, 2011 01:23 AM (GMT)
"Excellent," she said in a way which suggested she thought it was anything but excellent. "Tell your children, then. I will inform the rest of the council and begin the arrangements for the wedding," she added dryly. "Have you any other conditions? I suppose you'll be wanting to organize a way to sneak around and out of our first night as husband and wife, and we'll have to figure out how to avoid each other as much as possible without causing suspicion. We can discuss that now or later. I've no preference."
Her tension and snapping tone barely hinted at her true feelings at the moment. She still wasn't moving from her place near the door.
Sven Winterborn - June 25, 2011 01:27 AM (GMT)
Sven almost recoiled at the thought of their 'first night'. Nonetheless, with a steady tone, he said: "I don't know you, Astraea. I hardly think I should avoid you quite so soon. Though you are free to do as you wish."
The thought of telling his children made him want to just stay there for longer, though he really wanted to leave; Sven Winterborn really wanted to run away.
She scared the living daylights out of him.
Queen Astraea - June 25, 2011 02:03 AM (GMT)
Her eyes narrowed further, though only slightly, as she looked at him with her own suspicion. "I will handle everything myself, then," she stated. "Is that all we have to discuss, then, now that this has been decided?"
Astraea wasn't sure there was any business left to discuss awkwardly since it had now been established that they would be marrying, and if there was no business to discuss, there was nothing she wanted to discuss with him at all.
What a lovely relationship they had . . .
Sven Winterborn - June 25, 2011 02:07 AM (GMT)
Well... he was leaving then.
"Please inform me of the arrangements."
Sven awkwardly shuffled on the spot before giving her a curt bow and excusing himself from the room. He swiftly tore through the corridor and down to the stables. Rune had been sent home. He would soon be there, as well.
Then, the real trial will have started.