« on: June 17, 2013, 12:54:19 AM »
Emlen had visited Novia?s resting place; he?d reconciled with Minoko? There was only one thing left to do? He had to set things straight with Orchid. It wasn?t an easy task to accomplish, not with her longing eyes and hopeful smile, not with the greeting she?d given him just the night before, and not with his sense of debt to the girl?
His feet cracked twigs without much care, and his thoughts, weren?t to Orchid, but to his sister in that moment. He didn?t want to bring it up in front of everyone, but the man was worried out of his mind for Martyr. Wounds on the girl wouldn?t faze him in the slightest, for he knew too well what diluted Slane blood could do for the body? Now it was poisoning her, clouding her eyes and altering her mind? He knew first hand his father?s goal? Martyr, she was fitted to be a perfect soldier, had she not been so damned nice all the time? With the Slane blood she?d be drawn to evil, she?d have a lust for wickedness and the feeling that she had outgrown her friends would be apparent in her mind?
Would she leave? Emlen cringed at the very thought, but wouldn?t think more on the matter. They?d cross that bridge when it approached. Now he had to focus on crossing the bridge of letting Orchid down gently. Speak of the devil and she?d be sitting beneath the tree nearest the graveyard, but without actually crossing the threshold. ?You always did have a strange spot?? Emlen mused as he moved to plop down next to the stunted weapon.
?Strange? Why? Because it?s a graveyard?? Orchid fired off the questions. She?d actually been waiting for Junia to come up, but Emlen would be an appreciated trade, or so she thought. ?Did you think about what I offered? Traveling together? Just you and me??
Emlen opened his mouth to speak, but only a sigh fell from his lips, it was almost a whining sound coupled with exhaustion. ?Orchid,? he finally spoke. ?I don?t?travel much anymore. I settled down when I met Min?? That wouldn?t be a good way to settle things just yet? ?When I met Martyr? I decided to be brother to her and an Uncle to Max?? The boy whispered and lowered his eyes. All of a sudden, it felt wrong. It felt as if he was keeping Minoko a secret, and maybe he was? For good enough reasons. What would be the point in telling tales of the Asian, they weren?t together?not really, anyway? So why say anything about her? In the same breath, the boy wanted to; damn did he want to...
?Oh,? Orchid said, letting disappointment paint her expression for only a moment before the light broke through those fragile eyes. ?I?ll come with you! Think of it! A new town! With new people, all the sights to see, the people to meet!? All of the sudden, the chipper little thing was bouncing. ?And we can keep each other safe!?
Emlen cringed all of a sudden. ?Don?t you think that you should be worrying less of keeping me safe, and more of keeping your handler protected? You belong with her.?
That nice, sweet, flawless expression turned dour in all of three seconds after he spoke. ?Don?t you tell me where I belong, or who I belong with!? Orchid snapped. ?You left us, Emlen? You left all of us? Yeah, some of the people in this village blamed you, but some of them still loved you? How could you just? Just leave us?? The girl was tearing up all of a sudden. ?I didn?t know whether you were alive or dead? And if you were alive, why in the world weren?t you home? What could I have possibly done to make you stay? What could I have done to make you decide that there was nothing worth coming back to?? Novia was gone, but? You were still our friend!?
Emlen pulled her close all of a sudden. ?It wasn?t you,? he whispered. ?It was never you.? Fingers combed through her hair as he spoke, trying to comfort the girl who seemed to be floating over the edge of liquid sorrow. ??I left, because I was weak? because even though Novia made the choice, and I couldn?t die for her if I tried, I still failed my life?s mission. I left, because I loved that girl with all I had, and I couldn?t come back to a community that she wasn?t apart of?? The boy pulled Orchid?s shoulders back to look into her eyes. ?I couldn?t look at you or Junia, and be alone? Could you imagine loving your handler, Orchid? Could you imagine losing the two post important things in your life??
Orchid?s facial expressions seemed to shift back and forth. A billion feelings seemed to overcome her at once, and she lowered those eyelids to shut. Truth was, she couldn?t imagine any of it? She couldn?t see Junia giving up her life for her, and even though it was her job to do so, she couldn?t see herself dying for Junia? What kind of love that must have been. What she?d felt for Emlen, though? It was different, something she?d felt forever, and when he left, there was emptiness? Now he was back, and so was that strange feeling? Moving onto the edge of limbs, rising as high as she possibly could, she pressed her lips hard to Emlen?s.
There was no sentiment on his end, only grief, guilt, and regret. The feelings were unrequited, and he resented himself for that?Orchid, so timid, so sweet, taking on the bold challenge of kissing someone? He was about to ruin it, ruin her? With every ounce of courage he had in his soul, he pulled back and squeezed his eyes shut. ?I?m sorry?? The man whispered and looked up at the sky.
There was an apparent wince there, but it wouldn?t be viewed by Emlen?s evasive eyes. ?You?re?not ready?? The girl asked, her own eyes trailing down to her feet.
Her words broke him, and he swallowed hard as he could. How was he going to go about this? ?Orchid? You know Minoko, right?? he asked, finally looking down at the girl?s illegible expression. His fingers came up to run through his hair, and he, all too soon, pulled his eyes away from her again.
?The?? Orchid thought back and finally let her eyes trail back up to him. ?The strange-looking girl from last night? The one that pulled me off of you?? Despite how her words sounded, Emlen would know there was no ill-intent in them. Minoko, to their village, did in fact, look strange. ?What about her?? The girl asked, trying to match foreign face to extraneous name.
?Yeah, that?s her?? The boy mumbled softly. Orchid, even though they had been arranged to be married, would live on as nothing more than a close friend to him. ?Orchid? Minoko and I?? Got it on? No, that wasn?t the right way to put it. Are boyfriend and girlfriend? No, because that was just untrue, though it might be the easiest way to put it? ?We?re, well??
?A couple?? Orchid asked, her voice a void.
?Not exactly?? Emlen said. ?We?re not a couple, but? I do have feelings for her, and we? Well, we?re?? With a sigh, the boy bunched his fingers through his hair and bit his lip. ?We?re playing Checkers??
?Okay?? I uh?? Eye contact was broken for what seemed like the thousandth time that night. ?I have to go?? Orchid whispered.
?You?have to go??
?Yeah, to train and stuff?? Spinning on her toes, the strange little thing began to hurry off. Emlen assumed she?d been hurt, and was masking it. He was wrong, and she was lying? Orchid was going home to pack. Not a couple meant hope to her, and she?d be following them the moment they left out.