Interlude: Creating Accord

Satiation. Muscles relax, lips soften, breathing slows. Kendall's viselike grip eases, and he bows his head to taste her skin again, and yet again. Margot's arms and legs slowly release their grip upon her lover as peace envelopes her in a euphoric glow. His kisses against her skin are met with tender ardor of her own, mirrored upon whatever flesh lay available. Fingers gently stroke his shoulder along the spine while the other hand smooths his dampened locks.

But it takes little time after fervor fades for the feel of sea breeze on dampened skin to change from refreshing to chill discomfort. Sensitive fingers feel her skin cooling and so he withdraws from their satisfied embrace to bring his lips to hers in tender caress. His smile is contented and utterly relaxed as he looks into her eyes, and his hands rub her shoulders as she shivers.

"It is your choice whether to lie here abed together for a time, or to rise now and prepare for the day," he says, the tempo of his words slowed by the laziness of satiation.

"I would prefer to remain in bed for a while rather than rush off to meet the day," she answers. "I am too … spellbound by this moment to let its beauty vanish with the toils and duties of the day that await. We may talk and plan and prepare, but lets do so entwined and between shared affections… Please?"

"Very well," he says agreeably, releasing her and helping her move to the head of the bed. Once no longer entwined, he stands to retrieve the blanket from the floor, shaking it out to drape over her form. She smiles contentedly as she pulls it up around her bosom, and then sits up against the headboard to watch him walk to the nearby table and pour wine for them both. He was stunning to her eyes. Watching his body move was poetry personified.

Kendall brings a goblet over to the bed and hands it to her for first taste while he slides under the blanket to join her. Accepting the drink, she sips with her eyes smiling over the lip of the glass before offering it to him. She lies down again and then looks up at him from her back, simply glowing.

"You are beautiful. Gracious, I—" she didn't wish to say the words that would awkwardly ruin their movement. "I'm…. glad we talked this morning," she opts for instead, her words soft and laden with far more emotion than what she chose to speak aloud.

Kendall pulls blanket up over hip, lying on his side propped up on one elbow to face her. He takes a drink of the wine and then holds the glass at ready in case she wanted more. He smiles down at her glowing face. "Thank you, shay'na. Yes, it was good to bring clarity to our… misunderstanding."

She stares up at him, her expression thoughtful. Several moments pass with half-lidded eyes and a lazy smile. "You know you make me happy. Very happy. Even though we had a … misunderstanding."

The hand closest to him rises to cup his face, her thumb caressing his cheek. "I confess… I was afraid… distressed… while you were away and this clung in the air between us. It eased my heart a great deal when you came to bed to sleep with me."

He drinks again from the wine as she basks, then chuckles softly in amusement. She looked rapturous and peaceful, but also enticing lying there with bright eyes, hair a dark halo spread across the pillow, and the rosy glow of satiation surrounding her. "You appear to forget, my sweet, this is originally MY bed, though now you have come to share it. Where else would you have me sleep?"

"I do not forget," she counters with a smile. She leans in to press a languid kiss to his heart. "On the contrary, I deeply respect that you have generously offered to share your bed with me, naming it ours."

Her eyes fall and she lies back again. "It was more that I thought perhaps you might banish me from it or see that no touch would be possible in this large bed. Sleeping side by side, but not together. Your touch, your arm about me, how we were molded next to one another this morning…" She lets her words drift off, the sentiment either too fanciful, too vulnerable, or simply too feminine.

Kendall leans back to set wineglass on bedside table. Returning his attention to the young woman next to him, he brings hand to her cheek, stroking her skin with the backs of fingertips. His smiling expression acquires that curious mix of thoughtful analysis as he works to penetrate what lies behind her words and respond appropriately. His hand moves to her shoulder, and he shifts to lie on his side, pulling her against him. Bodies mold together, legs tangling, and long caresses make their way across her back. "I was not angry at you, Margot," he says at last.

Eyes flutter closed beneath his soft touch, peace never fading from her expression. Her arm found home at his hip. She loved how the lean muscle of his flank felt beneath her hand, and how the contours slipped with fluid grace no matter which way her fingers traveled. Her eyes open at his words, though, hearing his emphasis. With her other hand tucked between them and pressed against his heart, she moves her head so she can look into his eyes before claiming a soft sampling of his lips. The citrus-y wine flavors his breath.

"Why were you angry then?" she asks, gently approaching the topic.

One leg moves, toes caressing her leg beneath the blanket. He lets out a breath, still thoughtful, and turns his head to watch the shimmery reflection of water on the ceiling. "In future, please accept there are things I will ask of you because in my judgment they will serve us best," he answers. "I shall endeavor to adhere to intellect and not be swayed by hungers of the body. This is not a reflection on you, Margot. Simply… necessity."

She senses underlying distress still remaining after their previous talk and passionate lovemaking. She shifts, pressing up onto her elbow to stare down on him with her hair cascading across his chest in loose tousled tendrils. "Kendall, my Heart…" she breathes, then places a kiss upon his lips before meeting his eyes.

She speaks slowly, attempting to choose her words with care. "I will agree on one condition: that you do not take this burden on your own, or the blame. Please." Her other hand rises to gently trace his brow. "Let yesterday live in the past, and I will do the same. I am also capable of showing restraint and prudence, no matter how much I wish to express my feelings for you in a manner that is acceptable and pleasing to us both. I want to bring you happiness, not distress. I can appreciate that we don't need to join every time we are alone, no matter how inviting that may sound. I trust you, Kendall, and I will learn."

Blue gaze shifts from contemplation of the ceiling to her face as she replies, making her own commitment. He thinks on her words for twelve heartbeats, taking in her expression and the serious weight in her eyes. "Very well, Margot," he says at last, capturing her hand with his and bringing it to his lips. He sets a kiss against the tender skin of her palm. "We are once more in agreement. We shall let the past rest, and proceed with the future as best we may, together."

The hand at her back combs through ebony locks, a smile returning to his lips as he watches the play of light against the strands. "So what would you look for in your immediate future, my sweet?" he asks.

"Well," she smiles, eyes warming once more as she feels his hand in her hair. "I am not quite ready to leave our sanctuary. A bath is in the very near future, along with meeting the day properly and without all the comforts of touch that I so readily desire. So, I'm most interested in getting my fill of that now. However—"

Here she sighs heavily, worry creasing her brow. "We do have one more very serious topic to discuss, and I would rather discuss it like this than… well, any other manner. So, I leave it to you. Are you alright with more issues of concern so early in the morning? This way, I may at least have my touch."

She smiles impishly as she presses him onto his back, sliding atop of him. "And after, we may still prepare for our day. Though if our mood isn't completely spoiled, we can see about me getting my fill again."

"More issues of concern?" he inquires, looking puzzled that she should have something more to discuss. Certainly, he knew of one topic, but that one could probably wait until they had reveled more. "The bed is not typically where I choose to talk of weighty matters," he notes in a tone of both teasing and puzzlement.

"Then I will share with you the topic, and you may choose where we discuss. Though, I must insist sooner rather than later as it is very troubling… nearly as troubling as other concerns already put to rest. When I woke, Rory was here. He was very sweet and attentive. Desrianne then appeared and when I asked where you were, she said you were meeting with a woman who claimed to be my Lady in Waiting."

Kendall's expression of ease evaporates when Margot broaches the topic of his meeting, and the temperature in the room seems to drop several degrees. His caressing hands cease their movements over her skin.

She watches his expression closely as she continues. "As you know by now, I do not have a Lady. Desrianne tells me that the woman is Lady Dara of Hendrake. A Hell Maiden, I believe? And that this woman once laid siege to Amber, nearly seeing to its destruction. That she had been living in the dungeons ever since?"

He nods, once, and she plows on. "This is what we need to talk about. I do not care to be used for deception to gain access, my name being cast about like some passcode or key. Whatever she truly wants, it certainly isn't what she claims. She is NOT any part of my retinue."

Kendall lies quite still as she speaks, and remains quiet for several heartbeats after she falls silent. Though he continues to look at Margot, his thoughts have clearly turned inward so that he seems to look through her instead. Ultimately, whatever conclusion he reaches causes a sigh. He rolls to his side, allowing her to slide from atop his body to the bed next to him so he can sit up.

Before, she would have apologized, taken it personally that she had done something terrible. But even though her heart sank when he moved, she accepted it as the topic at hand and not her personally. So rather than look wounded, she slides from the bed to collect his robe. She pauses to stare with mild surprise at the sight of her own robe laid out next to his before slipping the champagne silk over her shoulders. She ties it loosely about her waist before continuing her relaxed movement around the room to collect the carafe of wine and another goblet, refilling them both. It took great effort, but she kept her expression mostly calm, though his transition did little to soothe her already growing distress. Still, looking to the future — their future — she felt determined to learn from their past.

Kendall takes the time afforded by Margot's industry to regroup his own thoughts, turning from loveplay and casual ease to the much more serious matter at hand. His eyes follow her as she moves about, donning robe and refreshing wine, though his expression still holds a preoccupied cast. He watches her as something to watch and appreciate, some part of his mind still able to admire the lithe beauty not at all diminished by the covering fabric of her robe. Now that she was covered, though, there seemed no reason to deprive themselves of other amenities.

Plucking one of the goblets for herself, the raven haired beauty sits next to him on the bed so she can face him, her hip resting against his thigh and free hand propping her on the bed. She draws a cleansing breath and exhales slowly. "So… this is more serious than I initially thought," she observes softly, concern creasing her brow and her gaze drifting to his chest.

He nods in agreement to her assessment. "This will require some discussion, yes." He pauses to borrow her wine glass and take a drink of his own before calling for his servant. The door opens almost immediately, confirming that Rory had been waiting just outside.

"First meal for the two of us," the Lord directs, eyes flicking over to the door. But then he frowns as he unexpectedly beholds not just his own servant, but Margot's as well. Turning slowly, the princess spies Rory first and gifts him with a radiant smile. Slightly behind stood Desrianne, who also received a similar, equally affectionate smile.

Both servants could easily note a marked difference in the Princess' composure; the color had returned to her complexion and the light had returned to her eyes. Beyond that, she now also possessed the obvious radiance of a woman in love and recently well-loved. "Good morning, Desrianne. And to you as well, Rory."

The red-haired Chaosian servant bows in response to Margot's spritely greeting. "Fair Turn to you, princess," he replies.

But the Amber servant's arched brow falls only when addressed by her Poppy, with a sour expression permanently set upon her lips. Grey eyes dance around the bed, finding the silken pajamas in a rumpled pile at the foot on the floor. Landing upon the Lordling, her eyes darken with seething dislike. Clearly, his vision of seeing her Poppy to renewed health was to ply her with wine and mount her like some cheap trollop found in the filth and grime of the inner city.

"Desrianne—" Margot calls the woman's attention back to herself, and the older woman's gaze softens as her mistress's gentle voice refocuses her attention. The princess tightens her robe for modesty's sake and turns a little on the bed to address the matron. "Have you made your preparations for our journey?"

Kendall's lips press together in displeasure at the maid's display of attitude, but then his expression smooths into calm neutrality. His own servant picks up the dark blue robe from where it rests at the end of the bed, and the Lord stands so that he can be helped into it with belt securely tied. He stares out towards the balcony sipping his of wine while Margot and her maid converse.

"For the most part, m'Lady," Desrianne returns with all formality. And though the princess feels the urge to correct her, Desrianne's intense stare warns against loving informality in front of the Chaos Lord.

"Excellent," Margot answers instead. "As I packed in haste, I would like to discuss with you any last minute items that may have been abandoned for…pragmatic reasons." Her lips press thin and a blush comes to her cheeks. "That is, after the morning repast and wash and dress for the day."

The matron gives the slightest incline of the head. "Of course, m'Lady. As you wish."

A momentary lull in the exchange between servants and masters brings the Lord's attention back to the here and now, where he realizes something was amiss. "Rory," he prompts, turning to look at his servant to remind him of an order given and unexpectedly not yet obeyed.

Rory starts, caught lingering when he should have departed already to assemble the requested breakfast, yet still uncertain how to balance the tension introduced by the princess' maid. With no other recourse at this heartbeat, he bows to his lord in acknowledgment, nods to Margot, but then gives Desrianne a quelling glance as he passes her on the way to the door.

With his departure, the tension in the room narrows to a laser focus. The Chaos Lord leans down to press a kiss to Margot's lips, his free hand coming up to caress her cheek. "Finish with your business, my sweet, and then we shall continue our discussion." Giving Desrianne one last frozen look of displeasure, he departs to the balcony.

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