1st Trial of Ashan in the arc 716Elyna couldn’t believe that she was here, of all places, on a beautiful bright spring morning. She hoped it would be the first of many mornings. Though the streets of Andaris were still chilled, the rising sun was warm on her shoulders and heated the dark leather of her overcoat. It wasn’t warm enough yet to go without a coat, but the skin beneath was baking pleasantly. It was nice to feel the heat, the fresh breathe of spring settling on the city. She’d walked under trees with the first blossoms, reaching up to run her fingertips over the fragile white and pink petals. Anything to delay her journey.
Three previous attempts had been made to meet and form a friendship, or any kind of relationship with Vaughn Krom. Her Mother would not hear the words ‘no.’ Yes, Elyna had been more than partly to blame for their disastrous first encounter. She may have missed more than a few appointments to meet the young Lord. But what did anyone expect? She was busy, there were endless duties for a young Skyrider and when they were done there was cleaning, mending, eating, sleeping, bathing, sewing…anything she could think of to delay the meeting. It had worked as well, for a couple of more than a few breaks. She had sent apologies.
Then her Mother had summoned her and she’d been reminded that she had not been raised to be so rude. Not only rude to Vaughn, but his Parents, and Grandparents with her inability to keep an appointment. So, she had dutifully met Vaughn at the end of Vhalar. The Sergeant could have forgiven his abrupt attitude, afterall, she had been rude. But she’d been more than little struck by his appearance and struggled to speak up. An internal war had started, all the feelings she thought had long been buried had risen up to be raked over, painfully, like a hand on hot coals. If he had ever had any faint interest in courting her company, it was clear that he quickly lost it, along with any pretence at politeness. She had remained, stiff, upright and unyielding and more often than not, silent.
Then their Mothers had arranged a second meeting, which she was sure they had both simply endured to prevent any nagging. Then a third in which they’d walked, silently through the city. Around one corner her escort had vanished and a confused mixture of piqued and relieved, Elyna had returned home and back to the training yard. Since the start of their farcical courtship she’d listened more closely to the gossips and teased out information about him where she could find it. He was a notorious party-goer. She had no doubt that he’d ended up happy that night.
She couldn’t take it any longer though. If their Mothers would not stop their determined attempt to force the pair of them together, she would. Elyna had accepted the final invitation to meet Vaughn without trying to re-schedule once. It was an appointment scheduled for mid-morning and she had been surprised he’d be awake. None the less, she had finished her chores for that morning, dressed in a fresh set of serviceable clothes, breaches, ankle boots, a shirt and a warm coat and plaited her hair to oneside, although many strands had already escaped and fallen in front of her face.
So she waited on the other side of the door. Trying not to fold her arms across her chest, or stand as though she wished she was holding a weapon. Her back was straight, chin lifted and mouth set into a determined line. She would meet Vaughn and she would tell him exactly what she thought of him, and demand that he tell his Mother that he would no longer be party to this charade, and she would do the same. It was the only way. Yes, perhaps it was more words in one sentence than he would probably remember hearing from her before and yes, it was likely his opinion of her own self was less than encouraging. Her eyes narrowed a little and she nodded to herself. It didn’t matter, she would accept his criticisms and they would both get on with their lives and never have to see each other again. She shifted her weight sub-consciously from foot to foot, a fighter, waiting to brawl. No, it wasn't a dignified way for a Skyrider to behave and she struggled to silence the tiny voice that kept on reminding her of that.