He knelt before her, carefully sliding the parchment from her grip. So stained, so darkened by all the ink that carried her hope, her dreams, her yearning to please him. Virikai was quiet, taking his time studying something that she felt certain didn't require that much time to analyse. Even before he spoke, her ballooning hope was punctured, deflating sadly inside her. He wasn't well pleased, in fact, he almost seemed... perturbed. She had to be wrong because surely that couldn't be an appropriate response for this, no matter what she must have done wrong. There was a flare of something inside her, a burning urge to scrawl all over another page, "Maebella is never right." She quashed it, a treacherous thought, entirely at odds with what she was attempting to do for him more than for herself.
His fingers, lightly trailing over her hair, tucking it back in an almost tender gesture made her eyes fix on him, wide, questioning and, in spite of the pain that he'd caused her and continued to cause, trusting. The scholar didn't need for him to ask, she was all too ready to gaze at the object of her adoration, hopeful that it could be fixed - that she could be fixed - if he was taking this gentle approach with her. At his query, she shook her head, careful not to break eye contact with him as she did so. And despite her resolution, when he spoke, her gaze grew misty with tears again, shining but unshed. It wasn't undue emotion, or she hoped it wasn't, but it could so easily become it.
The Eídisi's gaze dropped again, not submissive or saddened this time but merely thoughtful. Brows pulled together, puzzlement brewing on her forehead as she chewed her lip, pondering what he was saying, especially when he asked her to try again. Her hand moved to pinch a point high on the bridge of her nose, eyes closing briefly as she considered the matter.
The scion didn't want her submissive but he also seemed to want just that. He didn't want her to be overly emotional and yet, he appeared displeased with her resolution to control herself better. He had been exasperated time and time again by her inability to consider what she was saying before it was loosed from her lips but apparently gained some pleasure from her unpredictability. Conflicting, contradictory. It's what she brought out in him. It was also what she was.
Diamond dust. Something that could be easily overlooked but worth much to whoever took the time to discover it, to make it shine. Why did she need someone else to do it for her? Could she not do it herself if she tried? He did want her after all, as her but perhaps less impulsive. She hadn't always been this impulsive (Caius), wasn't entirely sure where it had come from (Caius) but it could be cured, no doubt if she just let it go (Caius) then it would be better. The past may have shaped her, may have made her what she was but Virikai didn't care. It wasn't that he didn't give a damn or had no curiosity, it just wasn't relevant. The past was the past and was meant to stay there.
Her eyes opened, took in the sight of the fresh sheet of parchment. Her fingers stroked the clean surface, enjoying the texture of it under her fingertips. Not yet imprinted. It was formed, it had been made for this but it wasn't complete. She had to complete it, give it purpose in the same way that she had to complete and give purpose to herself. Maebella took up the pen, tip hovering briefly above the surface but she knew what she would write as Kai looked on.
"The past is irrelevant; I will learn my worth in the present and nurture it because I am precious."
The blue-skinned woman stared at it, watching the light catch the still wet ink that glistened on the surface of her carefully formed letters. She had no idea if it would please Kai but Maebella thought that it pleased her in a way that her many prior lines hadn't. What was more, she wouldn't write another. It didn't matter if he turned that dangerous anger on her again, that disapproval. There was nothing else that she was willing to write. She turned the page to him, offering him the still shining message.
"I don't know if I understand what you want me to understand but... I think I understand what I need to learn. For my sake," she told him softly, her gaze fixed on his, a determination in them. Her look wasn't angry, it wasn't threatening or defiant but there was a solidity in it that had been lacking.
In this, she would not bend.