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Topics - Idris

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1
Kings & Courts / Homecoming
« on: August 23, 2020, 02:02:35 PM »
With winter approaching even here in Valentia, the warmth of summer was fading to the cooler climes of the winter months, though here they were never without sunshine. Still, it was a relief to know that winter was here, that Lotharingia was unlikely to launch any attack on them in these unseasonal months. Sasha was even more relieved to know that her husband was returning from his summer of border guarding and reinforcing, the commander of the armies allowed to return home to his wife for the winter ahead.

It was dusk by the time the Commander of the King's Army made his return to Valentia's capital. The setting sun cast its light on the mountains turning them a light shade of purple, while the buildings looked orange in the waning light of day. Idris' heart soared to be home at last after a long summer away ensuring their borders were safe. He kicked his horse into a gallop, eager to reach the palace and be reunited with those he loved.

The trumpets sounded to herald the return of the commander and the army, the gates of the palace opening easily before him to welcome him home. Lads rushed to take charge of his horse, bowing respectfully before him as the doors to the palace itself were opened and a familiar, bearded friend charged out to embrace the commander cheerfully. "Idris! You're not dead!"

Idris dismounted quickly, leaving the horse in the care of the boys who would take him to the stables and care for his needs. Both man and beast were weary from the journey and in need of rest and relaxation. The commander's beard had grown longer while he'd been away, his clothing covered in dust, but the crinkles at the corners of his eye gave away the smile hidden behind that beard at the strange welcome he received from his friend.

"No I am not dead," he echoed, with a chuckle. "Should I be?"

Ezra chuckled again, patting his friend on the shoulder as he stepped back. "I do not think this palace would survive the news of your death," he said in amusement. "I am not entirely sure even Osman and Zahra could console your wife if you did not come home."

"Miss me, did she?" Idris asked, teeth gleaming in a grin, despite the tangled beard and grime that covered his face. He knew his appearance made him look worse than he felt, but he'd been too eager for home to bother bathing and grooming before arriving.

"She has had her moments of being hell to live with, I am reliably informed," Ezra informed him cheerfully, drawing his friend into the palace. "The babies helped for a while, but she's been very worried about you. I could be wrong, but I think you may have tamed the wild woman of the harem."

Though Idris did not say so, he had missed his wife, too. Men and horses might be companionable enough, but they were no substitute for the company of a soft, lovely woman. Idris laughed at his friend's remark. "Ha! I will believe that when I see it. Before I left, she was still insisting I best her in combat."

"Nasir gave her permission to spar with the royal bodyguard," Ezra told him with a short laugh. "Their training regimen became quite a bit more strenuous a few days after that started. I do believe your wife beat a couple of them bloody."

Idris arched a brow at his friend's claim. Though he did not doubt Sasha's skill in combat, he did not think any man who called himself a soldier should allow himself to be beaten by a woman, unless it was done on purpose. Still, Sasha was like no woman he had ever met before, and he was only one of few who knew why. "If they have gone soft guarding the palace, they will find I am not such an easy taskmaster."

"I think you have your wife to thank for the fact that any softness they might have had has been trained out of them in the past months," Ezra assured him. It had been very funny to watch the reaction of seasoned soldiers to their defeat by a woman who insisted on wearing a skirt to fight.

"I trust she was not harmed," Idris said, a question implied in his statement, walking along beside his friend as they entered the palace. As much as he thought his men weak for letting a woman defeat them, he would have been even more enraged had she been hurt.

"I have heard nothing of any injury, and you can be certain if she had been hurt, Teres would have ripped my ears off to get me to put some kind of punishment in place for it," was Ezra's reassuring answer. As chancellor, he was in charge of all goings on within the palace, and therefore, in Idris' absence, the guards technically reported to him.

"If she was not a woman, I might make her my second in command," Idris said, though that was unlikely to happen. Women did not train to become soldiers in Valentia the way they did in some of the other nations on the continent.

"Does she know that?" his friend asked with a grin and a raised eyebrow. He had a feeling that Sasha would respond very favourably to knowing that her husband had that much faith in her abilities.

Idris chuckled. "Of course not. If she knew, she would insist on me doing so, and that might very well start a rebellion." There had been a time when he had not thought women capable of fighting as well as men, and though Sasha had changed his mind, he still did not like the idea of women partaking in battle.

"I seem to recall her offering to take your head off with the king's own sword at my wedding," Ezra mused with impish nostalgia. At the time, it had been alarming, but in retrospect, it was one of the most hilarious meetings of an ordained to be wed couple he had ever witnessed.

Idris chuckled and shrugged. "She loves me," he said, as if that excused or caused her behavior. It was in good part Sasha's fire that had drawn him to her. While other men preferred a docile woman, Sasha kept him on his toes.

"That she does," Ezra agreed, steering their steps toward the harem. In the past months since the new queen's coronation, the harem was no longer completely closed to men. Men of a certain rank - married men - were welcome within, provided they behaved in a proper manner, and as such, the women within were beginning to learn and recognize political maneuvering within their own households.

Idris didn't bother to ask if his wife had shown an interest in any other men; the very idea was absurd, not to mention forbidden. She belonged to him now, just as he belonged to her. His smile faded momentarily, wondering if he should have made himself more presentable before coming here, but he was too eager to see her. A bath would just have to wait.

Sasha was not exactly presentable herself. She was drenched, half-sitting in the fountain of the women’s' courtyard with two six-month-old babies, splashing and laughing under the amused eye of the two mothers sat nearby.

2
Kings & Courts / A Fateful Attraction
« on: June 09, 2019, 01:21:37 PM »
Alas for Nasir, his business was nowhere near as entertaining as what was going on in the harem courtyard. Safiya and Shahista had a perfect view of the ongoing interaction below - Sasha was running through sword drills, her grace growing with each cycle, and her face set in a thunderous expression of fury under tight control. And the reason for that expression? Idris, sat comfortably on a well cushioned couch, theoretically assisting her as she grew accustomed to the weapon again, but in reality flirting with an increasing crowd of unattached Suraans from the harem proper.

And why shouldn't he flirt? He was unwed, unattached, unspoken for. There was no reason he shouldn't enjoy the women's attention; after all, he had earned it. On his right, there was a pretty dark-haired beauty fanning him from the heat, while on the right, a brunette with chestnut-colored hair made sure his goblet was never empty. And while he relaxed and flirted and laughed, every now and then, he called over to critique Sasha's form or offer a bit of praise.

"You are so brave, commander," one of the girls gushed over him, daring to brush her hand against his wounded side. "But you need to be looked after. You need a woman in your bed."

Sasha flashed a glare at the girl as she spun into the next position, attempting to ignore the flirting but finding it frustratingly hard to do so.

"Ah, well ... One must be brave to be a soldier, Leyla," Idris explained. "Especially when one goes to battle. Sasha! Your center of balance is off! You must balance your weight or you'll be knocked off your feet!" he called, before taking another sip of his wine. Thankfully, the stuff had been well-watered, or he'd be drunk by now. "Do you have someone in mind?" he asked the girl, an amused smirk on his face.

"Your balance is off, Sasha," the woman in question muttered to herself as she widened her stance and tried again. "I cannot see you past my enormous manhood, Sasha. Obviously that is not your fault, Sasha." She scowled at nothing, sweeping the wide blade through the air sharply.

At Idris' side, Leyla beamed at being singled out, leaning close into his side. "I would make an excellent first wife," she offered boldly. "I would not even demand that you love only me, as others might."

"Would you now?" he asked, grinning back at the woman and pausing a moment longer than necessary to admire the view. "They say that variety is the spice of life. What do you think of that?" he asked, to no single woman in particular, but to whoever was bold enough to answer. He hadn't forgotten about Sasha or the fact that he was supposed to be watching her, but he couldn't deny he was enjoying the attention.

Tulin, the curvaceous redhead of the harem currently leaning on the back of his couch and picking her fingernails, laughed at the question he posed. "I should imagine that all depends on how large you expect your harem to be, my lord."

"I suppose that depends on the king, but I doubt I'd have much trouble keeping at least a few wives happy," he assured her, smiling with roguish pride and ego. What man wouldn't want a bevy of wives to grant his every wish? "What say you, Sasha? Would you like to be one of my wives, too?" he called over to the pretty blond as she slashed her blade at nothing but air.

"I would rather be one of your widows than one of your wives," was Sasha's response. She didn't even look at him, concentrating on whirling the sword to her back and around to her front en guarde once again.

Leyla leaned close to Idris' ear. "Sasha would make us all widows if you made her one of many."

Idris actually frowned at Sasha's response. He didn't want to admit it, even to himself, but he had grown rather fond of her - and he couldn't deny she was pleasant to look at. "You are just angry because I am drinking wine and you are sweating in the heat," he pointed out, gesturing toward her with his goblet. He watched while Sasha continued with her lesson, even as Leyla whispered in his ear, brows furrowed thoughtfully. Was that a hint of jealousy in the woman's voice?

Seething, Sasha took a moment to get control of herself. She was jealous. It had taken her by surprise, but a part of her desperately wanted to lay her claim on Idris and shoo all her close friends away from him, to declare him as her own. Yet she had no right to even think that, and thus, her temper was making itself known.

"I was not expecting to be made a spectacle for the amusement of my supposed sisters," she said pointedly.

Ester let out a sultry laugh. "But Sasha, dearest, you are so engaging to watch!"

"Did you not ask me to watch you practice?" Idris asked, not understanding what she was so upset about. After all, he was still recovering from his injury, and the women from the harem had been all too happy to assist him. "When I am better, I will spar with you. It was you who warned me not to tax myself or risk tearing my stitches," he reminded her, thankfully not going so far as to waggle a finger. "Sasha thinks she can best me in a fight," he told the women, with that amused grin on his face again.

"A fair fight," Sasha corrected him, ignoring his former comments. Her slash was vicious, almost as though she was imagining someone in particular on the end of her blade.

Beside Idris, Leyla laughed out loud at this. "Oh, Sasha," she exclaimed cheerfully. "No woman could ever best a man at men's work!"

"My thoughts exactly!" Idris agreed, lifting his goblet so that it could be refilled yet again. They had made a small wager regarding the outcome of that fight, but he did not think Sasha would be pleased with him if he spoke of it in front of her friends.

"Could a man best a woman at women's work?" Yasemin asked from where she sat quietly off to one side, reaching to pass the jug over to Leyla, who eagerly refilled Idris' goblet.

3
Kings & Courts / An Unexpected Arrival
« on: May 27, 2019, 01:00:30 PM »
"In the name of the Goddess, by whose grace we make these bonds, I pronounce you husband and wife," the young priestess intoned. "With the king's permission, go forth and live well."

As Ezra's hands curled to Teres', feeling the unfamiliar yet delightful weight of his grandmother's ring on her finger, still admiring his dark-haired, dark-eyed beauty of a wife in her satin and lace and veil, he smiled with all his heart, stopping himself just long enough to glance at Nasir for permission to seal his marriage with a kiss.

Nasir nodded his approval, glad he was able to help make this happen for his and Safi's friends. He hadn't expected things to turn out this way, but he was genuinely happy for them. He reached for Safi's hand, smiling warmly her way. In another month or so, it would be they making their vows before the court as husband and wife. The thought of it warmed his heart and made him smile. He only hoped they would be as happy as Ezra and Teres seemed to be.

Because the gathering truly was very small - just the bride and groom, the king and his Teliran, and Sasha - Safi was able to sit close beside Nasir, leaning into him as he took her hand, answering his smile with her own. She was truly delighted for Teres, her eyes a-glow with warm pleasure.

Inclining his head to his king, Ezra turned his smile back to Teres, gently pulling her close. He raised her veil, displaying her beautiful face to his loving eyes, and dipped his head, brushing a tender kiss to her lips.

Teres' face was aglow with happiness, a faint blush on her cheeks that wasn't entirely due to the rouge Sasha applied there a short while ago. Her eyes were bright and happy, chestnut brown hair flowing softly against her shoulders, a veil of cream-colored silk covering her head, now that Ezra had uncovered her face. She smiled at the man who had just become her husband, trembling a little with excitement and nervousness as she lifted her chin in anticipation of his kiss.

His smile turned into a teasing smirk just a split second before their lips touched, his murmur for her ears alone. "So eager to be tasted, sweet rose," he teased, his hands slipping to her waist to pull her ever closer as he sealed his promises with another of those stirring kisses.

"Only by you, my beloved," she whispered against his lips before he kissed her once again. She dared to touch his arms, her fingers curling into the fabric of his tunic, eager to love and be loved and hopeful it was all Safi promised it would be.

Ezra drew back, chuckling affectionately at her eagerness, drawing her arm through his to present her to their king. "My liege," he said officially. "I present to you my wife, Lady Teres Turzic."

Nasir stood, pulling Safi to her feet beside him and greeted the newlyweds with a smile. "Congratulations. I wish you both much happiness," he said, reaching out to clasp their hands in friendship.

Teres blushed a little deeper, unable to suppress her happiness. "Thank you, Majesty. I am very happy," she told the king.

Nasir was just about to say something else when an eruption of shouts came from the direction of the gate, where guards had been posted to ensure their privacy.

Safi was already moving to embrace Teres when the commotion sounded from the gate into the private gardens of the palace, turning in alarm at the noise. Ezra's smile swiftly became a frown, already moving to place himself between his king and the ladies, but Sasha was faster than he was.

The tall young woman drew the sword from Nasir's belt without even an apology and set herself quite firmly between the wedding group and the gateway. It was quite clear that anyone who got through the guards would have to get through her, too. Safi looked at Teres in shock - it was one thing to know their sister could wield a weapon; it was quite another to actually see her do it.

Teres paled at the sound of the commotion, one hand fluttering to her heart in fear, as Ezra's hand slipped away from hers so that he could stand guard in front of his king and companions, but not quick enough for Sasha. A few shouts were heard at the gate, before a man came into view, trailed by a pair of guards, who had obviously failed to stop him from interrupting the wedding.

"I must have a word with the king! It cannot wait!" he insisted as he pushed his way past. He was a tall, broad-shouldered man with long, brown hair and a grim expression on his face. Dark eyes flashed with either annoyance or gravity, one hand gripping the hilt of a sword he had strapped to his waist as a long, hasty stride carried him toward the king. Once he drew closer, it could be seen that his clothing was finely made but dirty and blood-stained, a beard covering his face that made him look older than his years. He carried himself with a surety that spoke of his rank and an urgency that spoke of some news.

He did not make it to Nasir at all. As he pushed past the guards, Sasha moved forward with fluid grace, bringing her pilfered sword about to level the blade at the man's throat.

"You will go no further," she said, eyes flashing with absolute certainty of that fact.

It was to the man's credit and courage that he didn't even flinch at the blade that had been leveled at his throat. He was half-tempted to shove the girl away, but there was something about the look in her eyes, not to mention the blade at his throat, that held him back.

"No? Tell the king the commander of his armies has returned with grave news," he said, purposely raising his voice so that not only Nasir, but everyone within close proximity would hear his claim.

"And what proof do you have that you hold this position?" Sasha said, the blade never wavering in her hand.

Behind her, Ezra was smirking as he looked over at the king. He couldn't help wondering what kind of impression the Suraan was making on their old friend with this welcome.

"I need no proof, woman. The king knows who I am," the man said, unflinching still.

"It's all right, Sasha. You can put the sword down," Nasir said at last, as she stepped up beside her and raised a hand to lower her sword. "He is who he says he is."

Sasha's stern gaze did not falter, suspicion clouding her eyes even as she lowered the blade. She did not offer it back to the king, choosing instead to remain at his side. Just in case.

Behind them, Safiya leaned over to Teres. "She wouldn't have killed him, would she?" she whispered.

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