Mature A Brother's Love

Stronghold of education and learning, this fortress is in one of the coldest areas of Idalos and home to many knowledge seekers in a variety of disciplines. However, unknown to most, below the city are those who suffer for the sake of science. While all are welcome, not everyone will be treated as they expect

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Zana
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A Brother's Love

Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:03 pm

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67th Ymiden, 718
a few trials after this and
this
Every detail of this meeting had been carefully considered. Zana had put a frankly ridiculous amount of work into this - and she had paid as much attention to detail as she had on the opening of the Lady Libertine. For the last four trials, Zana had been quiet and subdued, much more meek and obedient than previously. But then, it was hardly surprising; Theo had remained stern with her, his irritation with his little sister as much about her reaction to him telling her what had being going on as to Zane himself. She had played the part expertly, the trial after their argument, she had knocked on the study door and gone in to see her brother. There, she had apologized unreservedly and cried. She had assured him that yes, she fully understand that she was his charge and that she knew he had a duty to her. She had then told him, with a trembling lower lip, that she just felt so lonely here, and she wanted their mother.

In fairness, her acting skills had improved enormously and, as her brother had remained stern but comforted her and told her that it was for her own good, that he understood but it was what they had to do now and he knew how much she missed mother, Zana felt more than a little proud of herself. Because what they had been building up to was this meeting. Wyllum Tariq, heir to the Tariq family of Viden had told Theo about Zane and suggested a solution for Zana's obviously far too naive and reckless ways involving the Yalta family. As luck had seen to it, while Theo had been improving his sword skill with Wyllum, Zana had been chatting to Ses'ka Yalta.

Which meant that, when Theo knocked the door, Zana called for him to come in and she was already standing up. The dress she wore was pretty - almost the kind of dress a child would wear except for how she filled it. Her hair was loose and brushed over one shoulder and, whilst she had spent an entire break on her make up alone, it looked like she wore almost none. She was pleased with the very subtle accentuation of her already beautiful features. The necklace Theo had given her nestled against her chest, the earrings sparkled in her ears and the bracelet, too. Zana knew it, without a doubt, she looked just how she wanted to look. Young, vulnerable and yet, there was just a promise of something more. Oh and, of course, gorgeous. But that was a given. She gave a shy smile to Theo though she was pleased at the sudden colour change in his eyes and it showed in her own. "Have the guests arrived?"

Theo opened the door to the parlor where their guests had already been greeted by him and servants had seen to their refreshments. It had given him the opportunity to have a quiet word, of course, with Wyllum and to greet Ses'ka personally. When he showed her in, Zana smiled at them both as Theo introduced her. He was loving this dominant , overbearing big brother act, Zana thought. A little too much. Tonight, she was going to exact a slow and painful revenge. Smiling demurely, she greeted them both as he introduced her to them. "It's a pleasure to see you again," she said to Ses'ka, who was the very picture of casual grace and elegance. "Very much likewise. I'm delighted to receive the invitation from you both," her eyes flicked briefly to Theo and Zana recognized the look. She was sure that Theo did too, but he might not have seen it since he was so busy playing dutiful elder brother. To Wyllum, she offered her hand and smiled when he took it and kissed it. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Lord Tariq," she said and he waved his hand. "That is my father. Call me Wyllum." It was minute, the glance over her he gave, but it was there. He liked what he saw, too, Zana could tell. This was good.

Zana smiled at him, a shy and uncertain smile to be sure. He, of course, waited for the women to be seated and Zana moved to where Theo steered her, where she sat and waited, quietly, her hands folded in her lap as a servant poured the tea and got everything in place, then left. "So," Ses'ka said, apparently addressing all three of them. "This is very lovely. So very kind of you to invite us to your home." There was a question, there was no doubt and her gaze was far more on Theo than anyone else.
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Theo Nji'Ryn
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Re: A Brother's Love

Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:54 pm


67th Ymiden, 718

In spite of having been born into the worst sort of poverty, squalor and filth, Theo had taken to a life of self-indulgence and luxury as if he had been born to it. Maybe he'd inherited a pinch or two of his maternal grandparents natural inclinations, in spite of never having met them in person. Who knew the reasons why but they really didn't matter. He was very good at giving every indication that he'd been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and was long accustomed to the wealth, privilege; and responsibilities that came hand in hand with both of them. And besides, he'd noted to himself as he'd dressed in front of a full length mirror earlier that evening. He wore it well.

And so did Zana, as she already knew very well. But it wasn't just their dress and their grooming that had required careful consideration for the coming evening. He'd also made sure to spend time with the staff, making sure that all the silver was polished, that there'd be plenty of wine and that the menu was just as it should be. These things weren't outside Theo's realm of experience. The Lady Libertine had required a very similar amount of care, after all. When it came to his own appearance and how he presented himself to others, Theo, with the assistance of his personal groom had managed to strike just the right balance between rake and gentleman, just the right amount of polish with a hint of dishevel-ry.

It was a truth that Theo had learned very early on, and he'd enjoyed every one of his lessons. The ladies, no matter how old or young, how privileged or no and whether they'd admit it or not, liked a bad boy. As long as he wasn't too bad. He could appreciate that in this case, he had it easier than Zana. For her, it was sweet and untried and just a hint of something else that she needed to pull off. Theo didn't doubt her ability to do it, not for a trill. His eyes were a dead giveaway when he walked into her room and saw her, though with the door open behind him, he was the very picture of doting brother, and nothing else. However when he held out his arm for Zana to take and she ventured close enough to take hold of it, he leaned in and whispered in her ear, "You look good enough to eat." And as if to demonstrate, he nipped her earlobe before straightening.

"They're in the parlor, apéritifs in hand," he said as he escorted her down the stairs. "and our guests are looking forward to meeting you, little sister," Theo added quietly as they made the landing and crossed the parlor's thresh hold. "Lady Yalta, lord Tariq," he said with a smile, "May I present my sister Zana Malinconico." And when a servant girl dipped in with a silver tray, Theo took a small glass for himself, and one for Zana which he handed to her. "And I am honored that you so graciously accepted my invitation, lady Yalta." A second opportunity to look the lady over, confirmed what Theo had gained from his first, and then his second impression of Ses'ka. The lady was beautiful, undoubtedly wealthy and influential...and a very good prospect.

And Wyllum for Zana? I certainly appeared as if it might be the case, judging by the way the man looked at her. Ses'ka however appeared to be the one handing out the cues, and Theo smiled as he turned back to her. "Maid informs me that it will be just a few short bits before we should adjourn to the dining room. Please," he said, gesturing to the sitting area. "Make yourselves comfortable. "So, lady Yalta, I understand that your family has been doing business in the area for quite some time. I'm also informed that if one is interested in an acquisition, that they could do no better, and should look no farther," he said with a smile and a sip of his drink.
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Zana
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Re: A Brother's Love

Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:51 pm

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Theo's appreciation of her and how she was dressed did not go amiss with Zana and when he nipped at her ear, she spoke a single word. "Later," she said and then, after just the briefest of pauses, she turned her innocent and still slightly chastised gaze on him. "Later, may I speak with you about maybe changing subjects next cycle? I'd like you to consider," consider, she thought with the slightest of frowns. She'd like to see him stop her, "allowing me to study Fine Arts. Acting, singing, dance. Maybe painting and sculpture." Demure, that was her. If he said no, she was going to wait until he was asleep and pluck his eyebrows, she thought with a sweet smile.

As they made their way downstairs, he said that the guests were looking forward to meeting her and Zana glanced at him, a hint of nervousness on her face. This man, this Lord Tariq, he knew what had happened with Zane, after all and so it was right and proper that a good girl such as herself would be nervous. However, she smiled at him bravely and nodded her head. Then, in they went. She smiled as Theo introduced her and if there was a slight hint of uncertainty, it seemed as though it was well hidden. The role she was playing demanded it, after all.

Once introductions were done and they were seated, Zana sat quietly and watched as Theo kept the both of the guests well informed and she had to admire him. He did this so well and he cut a very fine figure. However, there was no sister alive who would spend time looking at her brother when lord Wyllum was next to her. Ses'ka meanwhile was leaning in towards Theo just the slightest touch. Barely noticeable, but it was there. "My family reputation precedes me. Please, we're all friends here, call me Ses'ka." she said, to Theo and Zana both, but mostly to him. She listened then to his words and she raised an eyebrow, just slightly. There was a very brief flick of her gaze to Zana in the half a trill before she responded. Sisterhood, after all.

"We do indeed ensure that we provide the highest quality of goods. What are you looking for, specifically? I'd be more than happy to help you." There was a slight pause during which Ses'ka looked into his eyes, just a half trill too long to be entirely proper. But of course, it was completely deniable, if needs be. "It would be my pleasure to ensure that you were completely satisfied with your purchase, should you make one." If there was any awkwardness that they were talking about slaves, people, then she showed none of it. In truth, she was entirely relaxed with the conversation. They provided merchandise to specification, she explained, and so the specific training packages which his purchase had undergone would be vital. "It's also best to discuss with all concerned." Again, the slightest glance at Zana, who seemed entirely oblivious to their conversation. Obviously, Ses'ka was aware of what had gone on and she gave Theo a moment to consider what he'd like to do.

Zana meanwhile sat with her glass in her hand and she looked at Lord Tariq rather shyly. She seemed just a little uncertain, because that was what she should, but she had to be a good hostess, too and so the apparently young girl next to him, spoke. "So, Lord Wyllum," oh, she thought, he liked that. Respectful was good for him. Nice. "Theo tells me that you are a sword instructor at the Academy?" She smiled briefly, looking at him curiously. "That sounds rather dangerous, all those people with weapons." She smiled, fondly, in her brother's direction. She appeared to completely miss the appraisal that she was getting from Lord Wyllum. Nothing too obvious, of course, and all within the realm of proper. "I'm sure not all of your students are as good as Theo." Adoring sister, there was no doubt. But then, when he had answered that, she considered. "Theo passed on your kind invitation. Thank you so much." There was just a hint of hesitation, of course, at the mention of the soiree. Zane would be there, after all.

"So," Ses'ka said, with a smile and including the three others in the room in her speaking. "While you two boys were hitting each other, Zana and I were practicing dance. I must say, your training shows, Zana," Zana smiled in pleasure at that and spoke a quiet thank you. "Have you considered getting involved with the arts in Viden?"


Stop pretending that you've never been bad, you're never wrong and you've never been dirty
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Theo Nji'Ryn
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Re: A Brother's Love

Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:09 pm


67th Ymiden, 718

"Promises, promises," Theo whispered back into Zana's ear before he pulled back and offered up an indulgent, brotherly smile and just like that, the two of them slid easily into character. Later, when the servants had gone off to bed or their homes, most certainly. "We can certainly discuss it," he said then as the walked down the stairs, her arm looped in his. It ought be easy for a brother and guardian to indulge his sister's wishes, at least when those endeavors promised to enhance her overall worth as a marriage prospect. And yet it would be a foolish guardian that agreed to quickly and easy, lest little sister begin to think he was easily led by the nose.

Meanwhile, if he thought that Ses'ka might be interested, and she did seem to be judging by the barely there gestures, Theo certainly wouldn't do anything to discourage it. In fact, if it was that finely balanced combination of rogue and gentleman that had caught her eye? He was more than happy to continue the ruse. It wasn't really all that much of a stretch, after all. It was a role that Theo partly believed he'd been born into, if only his grandparents hadn't seen things differently. He smiled, and when he handed the lady her glass as she sat, he let the tips of his fingers just brush hers, and linger so briefly that they might not have lingered at all.

"Only if you will do me the honor of calling me Theo," he said when she asked him to use her given name. "Primarily," he said, leaning in as if he was simply attempting to speak quietly enough to not disturb Zana's conversation with Wyllum. Of course, the gesture conveniently drew them closer together. "I'm hoping to acquire two individuals, but not for my own use. For Zana," he said. His sister was young, Theo explained. And before she'd come to Viden to study, she'd led a life somewhat isolated from the outside world. It would be useful he thought, if she had a couple of slaves that not only had skills that Zana could appreciate, such as artistic ones, but also along with practical ones, skills that could help prepare her for a life in high society, and perhaps marriage.

The last, he said as he leaned back a little and raised his voice just enough for Zana to hear, so that she had a chance to supply her own input. "Zana and I have spoken about this already, and she's agreed. Though I think she might like to have some input of her own," he said with a smile. Till then, however, while Theo and Ses'ka were speaking, Wyllum only had eyes for Zana. Naturally, it was simply the thing to do when a lady was present. But, Wyllum observed, she was quite beautiful, obviously well bred and if he was any judge, which lord Tariq very much considered himself to be, there was something else there...A great deal of promise. The sort that a gentleman didn't speak of, of course, in polite company.

"I am indeed mistress Malinconico," Wyllum said, putting on his best charming smile with an ease which meant he was both born with it, and had practiced quite a lot since he'd first crawled out of the crib. And somehow he managed to carry off proud and humble, entitled and generous all at once. "I am quite fortunate to find myself in a position where I am able to share what I have with others who are less so." In this case, position combined with exceptional sword skills. "It is a long tradition in my family. Those who can, should endeavor to lend a helping hand to those who cannot." In the case of her brother however, Wyllum added with a smiling nod in Theo's direction, he'd been given nearly as good as he got. "He fights well."

But no, he confirmed, not all of his students were as skilled. A risk that came with the job, he joked, and watched Zana over the rim of his glass as he lifted it to his lips. A very nice catch indeed, he thought. "There's no need to thank me, surely," Wyllum protested then when Zana mentioned the soiree. "In fact, I dare say your presence will brighten up the venue immensely. A brother can be forgiven for singing his sister's praises in any case. But may I say he is doubly forgiven for being absolutely correct. You are as lovely and charming as has been reported, and I hope that you'll save a dance for me at the soiree?"

"We have, in fact," Theo chimed in when the topic turned to the arts, and whether or not they'd considered any involvement. "Our parents were very proud patrons of the arts. Theater, music, dance, paint and sculpture. They encouraged us both to learn...though I have to admit that Zana has focused more on it, while I've focused more on learning the management of business. My appreciation however is no less developed." He still remembered quite fondly the childhood outings to plays and concerts. "I've not been in the city long enough. I wonder what Viden has to offer in that regard?"
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Zana
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Re: A Brother's Love

Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:32 pm

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"Thank you, Theo," she said to him, demure and calm as she looked at him. Her movements were graceful as they walked together and her light perfume - his favorite, of course - wafted to him as she lifted her hand up and held her wrist under his nose. "Do you like this? I'm not sure. Mother wore it," she prattled, knowing full well that the perfume would have exactly the effect she wanted on him, and hopefully Wyllum too, but also it gave her the opportunity to simply talk like a silly girl. "Did you know, the reason that perfumes smell different, even the same one on two different women, is a chemical reaction with the oils in the skin? We learned about it in lectures." It was a delicate juggling act and Zana thought it was important to remind those who were listening that she was an airhead, but not a stupid one. Bright, sharp, spoiled Zana Malinconico.

Once they were in and introductions done, Theo handed a glass to Ses'ka and as his fingers and her touched, she most certainly didn't pull back but she met his gaze and a slight, demure smile lifted her lips just a fraction. "Thank you," she said and then added, with a nod. "Theo." As he leaned in to speak to her, she mirrored the gesture, listening intently to him. Her gaze flicked to Zana as he explained what he wanted to purchase, then returned to him. She nodded her head, just a slight gesture but she indicated that she was well aware of what Theo was saying. "I understand," she said, softly. "We quite often have fathers purchasing for their daughters to help prepare them, as you say. Especially if she's been sheltered. It would be my pleasure to help you," Her gaze became more focused and she asked, apparently quite innocently, "Will we be meeting your wife, Theo?" There were two realities to that question - she knew he wasn't married, of course, but it gave him the opportunity to tell her if there was any prospect on the horizon, it allowed him to inform her if he was fair game, or not.

Meanwhile, Zana was listening to Wyllum with avid attention. She didn't interrupt him, simply gazed at him attentively as he spoke. "Well, it all sounds very exciting. Please, call me Zana, " she smiled at him, her gaze innocent as she did, "Our parents had a similar philosophy, that we should give back to society, to those less fortunate. Our mother, especially, was a wonderfully generous woman," Zana had brave down to a fine art and she smiled at Lord Tariq with just a trace of it. His response about the gathering he was hosting was perfect and Zana lowered her eyes and blushed. "Lord Tariq, you are far too kind. It would be a privilege to dance with you, should you have the time. I'm sure there will be a lot of draws on your attention, however." If he had the time and inclination, she assured him, it would be her very real pleasure. "I am very much looking forward to it."

It was then that Theo spoke just a little more loudly and talk turned to the purchasing of two slaves for her. Zana looked at Theo and her hands in her lap tightened together slightly. It was the only sign of her discomfort, but it was there. She nodded at Theo's words. "I understand," she said softly, "that Theo's concerns are for my best interests." She looked at her brother and smiled fondly. "It would certainly be nice to have some female company." Her expression was entirely innocent as she said that - and not overly so but simply, apparently, naturally that way. "I'm still not really sure what purpose they will serve," She was slightly nervous about the whole thing, there was no doubt from her demeanor, but she did not say. "But Theo assures me that it's in my interests and I trust my brother completely." She smiled at him, then, fondly. "Except when it comes to judging flower arrangements or determining which hairstyle is most appropriate."

Ses'ka glanced at Theo and then Zana as the young woman spoke. She had no idea, Ses'ka thought and she wondered if Theo knew that or simply hadn't been able to bring himself to talk to her. As his sister, that would be quite awkward, Ses'ka had no doubt. She nodded her head and spoke to them both. "Well, I'm sure that we can help. Maybe Theo and I could meet separately to discuss the," the pause was almost imperceptible, but it was there, "business arrangements? Then Zana and I could chat over the more specific aspects, which I'm sure would bore you, Theo." She'd talk to Zana about what her brother was buying her slaves for she meant. "Then, we can go from there?" Of course, it gave her a chance to see Theo again and she was quite pleased with that as a prospect. "What do you think, Theo?" Ses'ka asked, smiling at him.

Zana, meanwhile turned her attention back to Wyllum. "My apologies, Lord Tariq, you must forgive us discussing such mundane matters. It was so kind of you to introduce Theo and Ses'ka, though. I'm sure that whatever Theo decides, he'll be a lot happier." She very much wanted him to be, that was obvious from her demeanor. "And able to focus on himself." With just a slight lift of her chin, a flash of determined which she judged he would like, Zana added, "and thank you, also, for what you told Theo. I'm so grateful." Apparently so, anyhow.

But the arts? Theo answered and Ses'ka nodded, then addressed his question. "The Playhouse is a wonder, certainly. Have you been there yet? It has some marvelous showings," She smiled at him as she did and Zana looked between the two of them as though seeing, for the very first time, that there was a 'two of them' to see. "It sounds wonderful," Zana said and turned to Wyllum. "Do you enjoy the arts, Lord Tariq?"

Stop pretending that you've never been bad, you're never wrong and you've never been dirty
You're such a fake, that ain't the way I see you..
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