The Broken Throne

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by LadyHarpy, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. The Hall was dark, bodies lay everywhere around the place from the battle that had taken place. Blood coated the floor mostly, hiding the bright white marble that lay beneath it, staining it with an almost maroon hue. The air was heavy from the scent of it, it growing old quickly as the older bodies started their decaying process with the blood. However, some of it was still fresh. It made the senses heavy and weak, almost blinding to anyone in there.

    A Groan was let out though, from the stairs just in front of the throne. The king lay there, his gauntlet covered hand holding his side as blood leaked out from under his heavy armor. His flowing cape was spread out beneath him, still holding tight around his neck and the large medal that held it all in place. His was curled up in the arms of a frightened girl, young and pale and sobbing. Her white dress was staining blood red and pink as his blood poured onto her lap, her face flushed as tears slipped down her cheeks and onto his shining chest plate.

    "Don't Cry....Please Don't Cry." The King said weakly with a pained smile, his free hand reaching out to stroke her soaked cheek. "I'll be fine...But I can't stay here."

    "NO! No you can't die...You promised! You promised you'd be safe!" The girl yelled, still drying as she looked down at the king.

    "Hush...Stop those tears. A future ruler can not cry in front of their subjects...Come now, Please let me see your face smiling before I go."

    "You Lier! You are a horrible lier!" She said in another cry as her own blood covered hand attempted to wipe her eyes, though only made more of a mess of herself than before. "You promised..."

    "Forgive me...I know I haven't kept my word. But There is one promise I can keep." He said, his voice suddenly more ragged than before. "You will make a fine...fine Queen."

    The King Closed his eyes after that, not listening to the girl any longer as she demanded him to open them once more, the girls shaking doing nothing to bring his eyes open. And in those last moments of her sobbing and begging, the king passed on the girl only able to scream now as she cradled the king tightly in her lap. In the distance, there was noise, stomping boots as returning soldiers ran through the nearly destroyed castle calling out.


    "Princess for goodness sake sit up!" An old ragged voice from an elderly maid scolded, shocking the young lady from her stupor.The young woman jumped from her seat almost, sending a pile of important documents onto the floor. She gasped as she looked over the mess now covering the lush red carpets of her office, a frown set on her lips before she closed her eyes and sighed. The maid only let out a small huff before she walked over to the woman and placed a small cup of tea on a small corner, it being the only place that was safe for the tea as the rest of the large oak table was covered in strategic maps and letters from generals.

    "You haven't been sleeping well at all. Have you not been taking that remedy I've been sending to you? Months and Months of little rest and food, you can't even think properly anymore! If This war doesn't kill you then the stress will! And that no good Vald isn't helping. He's pushing you far to harshly. You are the ruler now Princess, use your power to shoo him away and take a break!" The older woman demanded as she looked down at the sighing girl.

    "It's...not that easy Matilda..."

    "It never is with you...I'll try to bring you supper...if That snooty adviser even lets me enter.Anyway, I'll let you get to work. Do your best." The elderly maid said before she slipped away and left behind a teapot and cookies on a small table near a reading chair.

    As the large office door was closed, The princess sighed again before she stood up from her desk chair and walked over to mess on the floor, picking the papers up slowly as she seemed to start to stare into space again.
  2. Advising the new queen was terribly hard work for Vladimir. He himself was lacking proper rest; it was visible in his weary eyes. There was always an alluring sparkle in his brown eyes until recently when they'd become dull. Even his long hair wasn't as tidied as it normally would be. It was tied back into a ponytail just so he could hide how tangled and unruly it was. His outfit wasn't as nice as usual, either. It was a simple robe of emerald green that he wore over a white tunic with green patterns on it, and a pair of black pants.

    This woman was not cut out for the job. She didn't know what she was doing! There weren't enough available souls to teach her, either. Normally, there would be a teacher for every necessary subject; etiquette, academics, taxes... Vlad knew them all. It was just tiring work. The months he spent pushing her past her limits was proving to be ineffective. Unfortunately, that's what he knew best. He liked there to be results in short time, which could be achieved through dedication and hard work! Clearly, Miss Matilda needed to go at a different pace.

    We are at war, though. There isn't time for her to just...relax.

    The royal advisor made a heavy sigh as he walked down one of the long corridors, each wall lined with standing suits of armour. He was on his way to check on Matilda. The last time he left her, she was taking care of some paperwork that she needed to commit to memory. There might have been papers requiring her signature, too... With how mentally exhausted he was, he could not remember. Vlad felt himself panicking a little at how disorganized he was.

    This would not be a problem if I was the King, he thought to himself bitterly. Obviously, he was better qualified. He stood by the King night and day, learning with him and helping guide him when the decisions were tough. Since the king had no sons, Vladimir was destined to sit in the throne!

    So he thought, anyway.

    Sighing once more, Vlad stopped in front of the door that separated him from the queen's study. His knuckles tapped against the hand crafted door a few times before he pushed it open and stepped into the room, shutting the door behind him. When he arrived, she seemed out of focus. As usual. At this, he inwardly rolled his eyes and had to resist the urge to put his palm over his eyes.

    "I've consulted with the king and queen of an allied nation called Tymrial. They'll join us in battle, but wish to meet with you in a couple of days so battle strategies can be made accordingly.

    Have you made progress with these sheets I've given you to study? I expected you'd be finished before--"
    Vladimir paused to stifle a yawn, the back of his hand even covering his mouth. --dinner..."

    While waiting on her response, he watched her with interest. The positive part of his job was she was easy on the eyes. Vlad never had time to get romantically involved with anyone, let alone make time for his 'urges'. He felt guilty for fantasizing about her in his spare time. Plus, she truly was a joy to converse with when they weren't talking about wars and ruling a kingdom. Sadly, they've been tense as of late.

  3. Matilda looked up from her spot on the ground, having just finished picking up the papers she had pushed onto the ground by mistake. The pile in her hands was messy and mixed up in strange ways but at least it was now off the ground and into her hands. She stood slowly as she looked to the ground again, knowing that Valdimir had caught her at a bad time.

    "No...I have not finished with them. I have only gotten through the first few pages..." She admitted softly as she made her way around the desk to take a seat once more into her chair. "I shall get them finished."

    Those were weak words coming from her. Getting another done was impossible for her. Her mind was not her own anymore it seemed. Constantly staring off into space, thinking of nothing that was important or relevant. A look of haunting on her face and a smile having last been seen before the death of the king. her eyes were darkened from lack of sleep, though strategically placed makeup hid it quite well. Though the slight slouch in her form and half open look in her eyes gave away her condition far more than the dark circles she had hid.

    It did not help that nightmare of...that night played behind her eyelids. Every detail, every was more than enough to make her sick. Nothing was right anymore and it did not help that she was given a war to suddenly control. She wasn't even his heir, let alone a family member. Though, he felt of a father to her...where her's had abandoned her and her mother for a harlot. She had always thought she was just a child he liked to spoil, a child who he would stand in place of her father at her wedding and when she was off with a husband that would be the end...She did not expect to inherit all of his land, and his enemies.

    She gave a sparing glance to Vladimir as she started to organize the papers once again, looking back down at them slowly as she started to filter out papers she was suppose to sign and ones she needed to read. He was such a handsome fellow, at least before this mess was dumped upon them. She remembered when he dressed in fine robes and his hair was tidy, a rare site these days. He seemed so harsh now as well, now in charge of making sure she didn't make a fool of herself and learned how to do all of this work...not that it would be easy at all.

    A sigh slipped from her lips as her sorting slowed, her mind once again wandering.
  4. Vlad nodded twice when she answered his question and immediately got back to work. For just a moment, he felt a twinge of sympathy. Her hands seemed to shake as she organized the papers in front of her, and her voice was meek. There was more going on than sleep deprivation; she was traumatized on that bloody day. As he thought about it, she wasn't given time to 'recover' properly. It was work, work and more work.

    As angered as he was about her sitting where he should be, he couldn't lose sight of what was most important. If she failed this kingdom, it would fall to ruins. All of the people would be at the mercy of their enemy, including him. That would sabotage any chance at greatness, or even a life. He had his selfish needs, but he also knew his duty as a royal advisor. If he wanted the throne, he could have done away with her already. That is, if he were that type. Vlad might have been harsh on her, but he was no murderer. So that had to mean he had at least a little faith in her.

    'How queer.' he said in his mind, deciding to analyze that discovery another time. There were more important matters at hand! This woman was his responsibility, after all... Therefore, it was up to him to get her on the right track.

    "Well then. Finish up what you were reading, and then retire to supper. It's all right if you didn't get through every page today. I'll meet you in your private quarters when you're finished. There is something I must...discuss with you."

    Vladimir intended to have a heart to heart conversation with her. It had to be done. She needed to let out the feelings that nagged at her mind; she needed to unwind. It had to be known that even though they had a professional relationship, he could be relied on for other matters. Perhaps, talking with her would help. Whatever it took to help her make more progress.

    With nothing more to say, he stayed standing near her desk, awaiting her next demand. She might need to review something with him, or maybe she'd need him to carry a message to someone. He liked to be accessible at all times.

  5. Matilda looked up at him as he spoke, having finished the organizing and started working on her reading. She only gave a small nod of her head as he asked to speak with her in her private quarters. Though she agreed to it, she couldn't help but wonder what he would wish to talk to her in there of all places. Wasn't her office just as good? Well, for whatever reason he had to not speak about it right away she respected him and left it at that. She had work to deal with anyway and if it kept her mind busy then she was willing to do it.

    She worked on in silence, reading slowly and taking her time to let it sit in. Though it didn't feel like it was doing anything for her brain at the moment. Nothing stuck to her, no matter how much she read. She'd read it three times and when asked of it her mind would be blank. It only served to frustrate both her and Vlad to their wits end, on occasion him even yelling slightly at her forgetfulness. It hadn't improved either, only making her more tense and her brain fuzzy. It was a vicious cycle in truth.

    Finishing up what she could muster of the reading, she set it to the side for the next day. There was just no point putting herself through that torture when she wouldn't remember it anyway. Instead, she turned towards the papers that required signing and started to work on those quietly, only giving Vlad a small look and a silent point to the paper when she had a question. It was something she had been doing since she started working as queen, mostly because it was an old learning habit. Getting through a few of those, and feeling like some progress had been made, she put the papers way in a secure box and locked it up tight before standing.

    "I shall go to supper now..." She said softly once more.
  6. Vladimir exchanged positions with Matilda when she announced she would go have her evening meal. He needed to read over the documents she put her name on, and then needed to distribute them to their proper places.

    "Go on, then. I'll take care of what you finished, and I'll see you soon," he replied, his eyes remaining on the desk of parchments. Although he made no eye contact for his statement, there was more strength in his voice than previously. It was probably to assure him she'd hear his words, plus he felt relieved that there would be no more work until tomorrow. Vlad had a dominant sounding, deep voice. However, in times of great emotion or stress, it would rise an octave at least. It was one of his more embarrassing features.

    Once the beautiful queen exited the study, he separated the papers into two piles: one for her to take care of later and one of what he needed to deliver. The documents were safely tucked into a book he always carried on him. It was where he wrote reminders for his queen, and where he kept important papers such as the ones he just retrieved.

    Alone again, Vlad walked briskly through the hallway and headed towards his own quarters where he would drop off the book. He wouldn't need it right away. After all, he decided he'd continue his duties tomorrow.

    As he walked in the direction of Matilda's private chamber with an enormous bedroom, a luxurious bathroom and the finest wardrobe, he nibbled on a silver plate of food one of the maids served to him. He needed to be alone this time instead of the social dinner table, as there was a lot on his mind. When he finished what he could of the meal, he located another servant who was asked to feed the scraps to the hounds.

    Quietly, he waited at the large double doors that led to Matilda's chamber. He'd not enter until she arrived. During his wait, he tried anticipating what might happen. Hopefully nothing...bad.

  7. Leaving Vladimir to do as he pleased, she made her way to the dinner table. A sight she was certain that the maid would be happy to see. Though she hadn't been much for the larger dinners at the table, especially when she was the only one to be sitting at it most of the time. She entered the large dining hall to find only the servants standing along the walls, no one else had been expected to come to dinner that evening it seemed. Another meal all alone then with only the servants to watch her eat. It was enough to make her loose her appetite. However, she knew better than to skip this meal, especially when she had already gone without breakfast or lunch.

    She sat there for awhile, eating and picking at her plate in silence as servants took dirty plates and brought new courses out each time. It certainly was a feast, but not once she could eat completely along. After the seventh course and with yet another plate going back only half eater, she signaled for the end of the meal and sent a servant to thank the cook for his noble efforts. There was nothing wrong with his food, it was she who was having troubles. With such a busy mind, her stomach just didn't have the urge to eat much more.

    So now she returned to her room for another night of staring at the ceiling, fearful of closing her eyes and possibly see that scene play out all over again. Upon her arrival though, she saw Vlad standing there and was puzzled. Though, as she thought of it, she remembered his request and shook her head a bit at herself. He had even told her vocally and had still forgotten. Oh where had her brain gone? Approaching slowly, she gave him a small nod of her head and a light bow before turning to her door.

    "Thank you for waiting." She said before she opened her door and stepped inside, allowing Vladimir to follow after her.

    The room was as lush as could be, filled with thick carpets and silk curtains everywhere. The furniture was dark and luscious, her vanity having a lovely mirror and a large arrangement of makeup and oils. Off through one door along a wall was a large bathroom, and through another her large closet and changing area. Truly a lovely place. It was a shame though that it could never be fully enjoyed. She walked over to a small sitting corner with two chairs, motioning for him to take a seat as she took one herself.
  8. Vladimir followed her into the ginormous room and shut the doors behind them. When she went to sit in a chair, and offered one to him, he made half a bow with his palm over his heart and took his seat without wasting another second. Vlad always liked being in her room. It was far more comfortable and beautiful than his own. That was the reason he seldom invited her there; it wasn't impressive like hers. A queen deserved better.

    The room was already beginning to feel awkward, though. He was having trouble deciding on what to say first. Communicating with women wasn't his strength, so being around Matilda had been a lesson in itself. With the king and other males, he didn't have to be so... Sensitive. So, he had to choose his words carefully.

    "We are quite behind in, well, everything... As you know, I'm sure. I ignored the maids' bickering to be easier on you because, your highness, I wrongly expected too much of you, especially after the devastating... Well, you know." Vlad didn't want to mention the king's death outright, afraid that it might stress her further.

    "Anyway... Pardon the pace of my teachings. I've only done what I thought was best for the kingdom, instead of what's best for you. That is why, now, I want to do what is best for you. If you were to collapse under stress, your entire nation would perish. Tell me what is on your mind, if you wish. Suggest different methods for guiding you, if you wish..."

    Vladimir stopped there so she'd have a chance to think it over, and speak. Additionally, it was becoming more and more painful to say these words. He did not like the idea of changing their routines. It was bad enough that he disliked being beneath her on the hierarchy. Taking orders from her was becoming easier everyday, but he felt he'd never ever fully adjust to it.

  9. The silence of the room was a bit maddening at first, so when he spoke she was glad to hear his voice. She wasn't even sure why he had asked to talk with her anyway so she certainly couldn't start the conversation. His words were strange to her, mostly since this was not the Vlad she had come to know in the past months. He was being considerate about her feelings, if only because if she did have a break down it could mean the end of the kingdom as they knew it. His way of speaking of the kings death was a little...much though.

    If though he was trying to avoid it, just hinting still brought up such pain. As if the moment was just to be forgotten about like an illegitimate heir being born a or rape happening between the noble families. However, she did not wish to think of it either, it was just to much to bare at times. The memories did not help much either, as if making her relive the memory time and time again was such punishment for a sinful crime she never committed. Leaving the mention of the King's passing to the side, she looked to him a bit as she spoke.

    "I...apologize for not picking up things more quickly. I am much better than this, I can assure you. My mind has just not...wanted to work with me these past months. I do try...To keep your pace but at times I find myself drifting and it becomes difficult. You do not need change anything. I shall do my best to focus more on the war...I promise." She said, the words making her mouth taste bitter and her heart ache. She wished she hadn't picked those words out.

    Looking away from him her mind picked up the memory of the night again, desperate to suppress it she spoke once more though her voice was weak and softer.

    "I do ask though...that you do not pile all of the work on at once...It makes me feel as if I have to finish everything by the end of the day...which leads to stress that I would probably do better without...I am not saying to waiting days to give me work...but giving me morning work and then separate evening work...would be nice."
  10. Vlad was surprised to hear that she didn't disagree with his pace of 'advising'. It was possible that inwardly she'd prefer it to be slower, yet she wouldn't argue. This pleased him anyhow. She must have realized how important it was for her to learn as much as she could in this limited time.

    Having a schedule for her duties seemed doable. It was always best, in his opinion, to list the tasks in the morning so she'd at least know what all there would be to do and she could work at it in her own order of priorities. Matilda was the queen, though. Plus, she requested it all quite nicely of him. One of the likable things of this woman was that she was quiet, respectful and well mannered. He couldn't ever expect to be mistreated.

    "I'll divide your work the best ways I can, then," he assured her while bowing his head to her, his eyes shutting as he did so. Seeing just the darkness of his eyelids was soothing, and made it easier to avoid monster headaches.

    "Now, if that is all you need to say about that, please extend your hand to me. I know a method I can show you to help cope with stress," he offered kindly, scooting to the edge of his seat and reaching out for her hand.

    Just then, Vlad hesitated and blushed a little, remembering she was the one technically in charge. Even to the king before her, he could be domineering at times. It was part of his personality. All people needed insistence once in a while, or else they'd suffer a loss. That is why he did it, with much control. There was an apologetic look in his eyes for a few seconds. Quite possibly the most emotion he showed for days.

    "That is, ah, unless you'd prefer me not to. I could demonstrate on my own hand for you, it's just basic uses of pressure points..."

  11. Matilda sat there, her face not changing much safe for a small bit of hope entering her eyes. She was glad to know that he was going to break up her work, though she did not even have the energy to muster a smile. His next actions did surprise her a bit though, his forward demand of giving her hand to him so he may help her relax. It seemed he realized it well for his cheeks took color and he seemed to then say that she did not have to if she did not wish to. She knew deep down that Vladimir was having a bit of trouble with getting used to her in power. For years the throne had been nothing but men and now...she came along.

    He was propably used to speaking a bit more forwardly with his advise instead of having to take the softer tones for someone such as her. However, the fact he was kind enough to even what to offer her some relief was more than enough to make her willing. A pale and thin hand stretched out to his and laid there gently, slightly bony from months of malnutrition. Her skin was soft though and silky in its touch, her jewelry lightly and simple upon her fingers. Her cool limp sat there as her eyes moved back to look at his face, her expression plane but understanding in a way of his actions.

    "Show me...I am a willing student." She said softly to him as she sat up in her seat, her dress ruffling around her feet as she did so.

    He was such an interesting man, it was a shame she had never gotten the chance to learn more of him before the war, or even meet him properly for that matter. Still, she would respect him and listen to his advice completely, especially when she still knew so little upon her knew role in this world.
  12. Her willingness to be helped took weight from his shoulders. Vladimir was worried he might have scared her into thinking he was an aggressive creep of some kind. When her hand landed in his own, he immediately noticed the thinness of it. Her skin was nicely moisturized, but there was noticeable lack of strength. The rest of her must have been awfully lean as well. There was a lot more to do that he thought...

    "King Leoric, the ruler before you, had a few physical ailments that he liked to be solved with natural medicine. He asked me to learn instead of seeking out doctors because he trusted me the most. I hope to earn your trust as well," he told her sincerely, though the voice in his mind had negative muttering. The mixed feelings would eventually vanish, he figured. Time simply needed to heal him of the way he felt the king betrayed him.

    "Anyway, there sections of the hand that can ease tension you have in other body parts. For instance, the centers of your fingers. This should help your neck..." As he explained the process to her, he rubbed his thumb into the middles of her fingers while being careful of her precious jewels. He massaged the rest of her hand afterward, confident in the idea that it would relax her and relieve aches. "Whenever you're too stressed, give yourself a hand massage, or call for someone to do so for you. It's very beneficial. I'll show you more in, ah, other spots...when you trust me more..."

    With a fake clearing of his throat, he finished the last of the massage and then patted her hand gently before letting it go. There was a twinge of red in his face from his previous statement. He wished his hair wasn't tied back so he could hide behind it, but he maintained his good posture and serious look.

  13. She listened quietly as he explained what he was doing, the mention of the king making her give a small but noticeable frown. It hurt to think of him, it hurt her heart and her body in ways she did not understand. Maybe it wad because in a way he had been her father when her real birth father had not. Or maybe it was just because he had treated her so kindly, even though her status and situation should have sent him running away. Though as Vladimir worked, some of the physical pain left her body, her neck relaxing slightly as did her shoulders.

    Giving a small nod of her head at his tip, the massage came to an end as Vlad's face colored once more. Though this time she wasn't completely sure why. Then again, as tired and ill as she probably was at that moment it was a miracle that she could function on her own at all. With a slightly relaxed neck and a slightly more calm attitude, she looked up at his face as she sat up once more. She flexed her fingers of the hand he once held, her knuckled cracking loudly as she moved that hand to rest on an arm rest.

    " like a drink?" She offered softly. "The maids are very particular about keep a bottle in here...They say it is for tradition though I am not sure which one...They all giggle and blush when I ask."

    Standing up as if her simply asking him was enough of an answer, she walked over to a small liquor table, a large bottle sitting there along with a cork and a small assortment of glasses to pick from, depending on how much one wanted to drink at that moment.
  14. Vladimir showed a meek smile when she mentioned the wine, and the tradition attached to it. He decided against telling her the reason why it was always so important. Instead, he displayed a look as oblivious as her own and shrugged his shoulders.

    "That sounds nice, my lady. Thank you," he replied, bowing his head in that respectful way he always had. Turning her down would be impolite, plus he liked the sound of some nerve calming alcohol.

    As she went to prepare the glasses and drink, he stood up from the chair and straightened out his attire. He was going to offer to do it for her, but she was already in motion. It seemed best to leave the amounts they'd drink up to her, anyway. This was her room, this was her wine. So, his stood by quietly with his hands folded in front of him.

    "Oh, allow me to light some candles. The sun is setting," he brought up suddenly, making note of the darkening bedroom. Instantly, he went to the collection of candles set on the several different tables so he could light them. There were a few at a nice table with a cloth draped over it, and some fresh food that was available to the queen if she ever hungered; slice salami, cheeses, apples, a variety of delicious things. In addition to those candles, he lit the ones near her giant, plush bed. That many would suffice for now, he thought.

    "If I've lit too many, do say so. I'll put them out at once. It was just getting a bit dark in here, my queen."

  15. "The light is fine...Thank you for lighting the candles." She simply replied as she took the bottle into her grasp.

    Slowly she removed the cork, a satisfying pop sounding in the large room as the smell of deep red wine started to float along through the air. Taking two large crystal glasses, she poured a small amount of wine in each, not even going half way up the glass. They were so wide that little was quite a lot more than it seemed. Still, just in case Vladimir wanted another glass, or if she needed to take in more alcohol than she original started with, she brought the bottle with her, held in one hand as the other held the two glasses quite skill fully between her bony fingers, not a single loud clink being made.

    She set the bottle on a small table near the chairs, along with Vladimir's glass. She kept her own drink still in her hand as she took a seat, sipping from it slowly before pulling back and letting out a small 'ah' of satisfaction. Though she had not been much of an eater and she had not had much in way of water as well, the wine was welcome far more than she realized. Maybe because she was so thin that the effects of it took hold of her much more easily, and therefor quicker. However, she was not out to get smashed drunk that night, not with Vladimir watching her either. No this was just a polite drink between a ruler and her adviser.

    Sitting back a bit into her chair, she seemed to start to stare off into space again, her hand cupping the glass lightly while her other lay calmly on the arm rest.
  16.[/imga]When the glass was handed to him, he sat back down with Matilda. Vlad's eyes went to the red drink in his glass before he brought it to his lips and took a sip. Red wine was a popular favourite in this royal family, it seemed. Even he enjoyed it immensely.

    Something changed suddenly after that simple little drink. He felt more at ease, his mind buzzed pleasantly and he had a sudden urge to drink more. This alerted him that it indeed had been a while since he could sit down with a drink. The past weeks, even months, had been too stressful to have any sort of delight. Vlad decided he would take advantage of this as long as the queen was willing. Sitting in her company was nice, as was this expensive and well made drink.

    Seeing her relax already from her drink made him feel a little guilty. Vlad rarely let her have time to herself, he realized. All he did was work her to death with no mind paid to what she needed to get through this alive. The advisor made note to be more laid back about breaks for her. Just a little more. If he went too soft, nothing would ever get done.

    "Thank you, m'lady. I appreciate your generosity," Vlad said with some cheer in his tone, after he finished the last of what was in his glass. It felt good to be... Happy. Or to at least feel like he had energy. Plus, this wine was helping him forget his troubles. They were being safely tucked away for tomorrow.

    Since the bottle was set down to be easily accessible to both of them, he went ahead and helped himself to another glass. It was poured with the same amount she initially gave him. That would be his last, too. He'd regret it if Matilda had to see him drunk. Also, if she herself were to have too much, he could assist her to bed.

  17. Matilda only gave a small nod of her head as he thanked her for the drink, her lips moving to her glass once more and drinking a little before she pulled the glass back and spoke.

    "It is no trouble...This is better than drinking by ones self." Her hand other hand played along the rim of the glass as she looked up at her high ceilings. "Besides...I could never finish off that bottle alone."

    Her words were soft and nervous, seemingly lost in thought as she looked back down at her glass of wine. She could think of nothing to say in that moment, her mind tired and out of place. It was s hard to function when there was so much to think of, so much to complete and do just to make sure the kingdom would stay standing for one more day. It also did not help that her mind was so strong with her memories, even the smell of red wine bringing back an eerie familiarity to mind.

    It was him....the king. In every way this wine was him. He drank it regularly as she recalled, the smell a constant whenever she had come for a small visit or had been summoned to be spoiled once again with a gift. Eyes going dim a bit time of leisure started to float in front of her eyes, soft smiles and the chuckles of a happy king. If only time like that had stayed, if only this war had not come to their doorstep those many months ago...
  18. There was a troubling sadness to the queen, Vlad noticed. She was getting lost in thought and any display of positive emotion had disappeared. The room was suddenly somber, despite the inviting warmth of candles, good food and decorative colours.

    He looked down at his glass of wine for a moment, staring into his unclear reflection. Vladimir knew what she was thinking about now. She was thinking about King Leoric, who died in her embrace that time ago. It was a horrible tragedy for their kingdom. Vlad himself mourned his ruler's death. They'd become close friends, and he looked up to the man. It was easier for the advisor to keep his emotions in check, though. He was trained to be sturdy and strong; he had to put work before himself. It was for the best.

    His train of thought made a stop as he looked up from his half gone drink to Matilda again. He felt like he should say something, but what? With how sensitive she seemed to be, he feared he might make matters worse!

    "If I may, your highness... I'm willing to personally deliver a bouquet to King Leo's burial for you. Unless, you'd like to do so personally yourself. I feel it would, ah... It would help you feel better. I visit my parents' graves once a month for...for similar reasons."

    Vlad allowed it to be known that he knew what she was thinking about. Additionally, he exposed a bit of a soft side. He wouldn't tell just anybody that he still missed his family so much that he had to visit them monthly for a moment alone with them, and to pay respects. It also helped him forget how they died, oddly. Standing in the cemetery would jog his pleasant memories, allowing him to weep with joy rather than sorrow. It's what his parents would want; to be remembered fondly. The king would want the same.

    Though, the buzz from the wine made him more open altogether.

    "A-Anyway... I'm simply stating that I understand, and that I know how long it takes to heal. Please, do not let yourself fall ill to these sorrows, though. Do what you must to help yourself get better," he continued, genuine concern in his voice.

  19. "Thank you...but I shall take flowers to the grave on my own some time. It would just be better for myself I think..." She said softly as she looked over to Vladimir quietly. "You concern is welcome though...I hope I do not come off as ungrateful to you in anyway way."

    Looking back to the wine, she seemed to feel weak suddenly, the mention of the kings grave and flowers stirring up a bitter taste in her mouth. Suddenly the wine didn't smell so welcoming, it made her stomach churn a bit and her heart feel lower in her chest than normal. Her eyes felt hazy, her eye lids closing slowly before opening once more to look into the glass.

    His death was a nightmare for any witness, though she had been the only living body in the whole room at the time. So much blood was there, covering everything and everyone, the dead bodies around the room only making it worse. She blinked her eyes again, this was no time for that, no time to see those things again. Still, as she tried to blink them away the room felt darker suddenly, colder as well. The hall had been cold upon his death, wind blowing in through an open window. She started to shiver a bit as she sat there, shifting the wine glass between hands as she gave a small clearing of her throat.

    It helped slightly, until the light started playing tricks. The wine was no longer wine in her glass. Shivering brightly with a new tinge of red, it was the bright color of blood. The smell of iron suddenly hit her out of nowhere, a trick of the mind most likely, and she was put into shock. Eyes wide, she suddenly dropped her glass, it shattering on the floor as she jumped a bit in her seat. It had been his blood, she had seen his blood in her glass! The idea of it made her stomach churn again. Her neck suddenly felt wet and as she touched her skin she realized something...

    She was crying. Her site suddenly was blurred as heavy tears poured down her cheeks, no whimpers or sobs coming from her at all. It was so hard to breath though, her chest feeling as if it was weighed down with something. Make up started to wash away as she shook there in her chair, eyes half open as the terrible memories flooded back in full. The running and crying, the pools of his blood and her stained dress. How it covered her arms and hand and face. Her skin started to prickle as those feelings returned, making her hunch over a bit suddenly. She just couldn't take it...not anymore.
  20. What Vladimir feared would happen, was happening. As seconds went by, her body language become more grim. She was sulking in her thoughts and having a difficult time hiding it now. He knew very well that all human beings had a breaking point eventually. Bottling up emotions with no healthy outlet never had good results, especially with lack of nourishment and sleep on top of that. If he didn't do something soon, she might become useless.

    Suddenly, she was weeping. Fat tears fell from her eyes, and it took her a moment to even notice them. Vlad watched nervously as her posture went sloppy and her hands began to shake, likely to drop that valuable cup. She looked broken. The dark memories of the king's passing were getting the best of her now that she was weaker.

    Vlad set down his glass and reached out for hers, gingerly taking it from her fingers so it could be set on the table safely. Afterwards, he got up from his chair to help her out of her seat. The girl was forced to her feet, though he allowed her weight to fall against him. Vlad's physique was not as impressive as the well trained knights of the castle, but he built just enough muscle to be useful as well as sturdy. Vlad preferred to be more civil instead of brutish. He liked to look good, instead of like a muscular beast.

    Awkwardly, he put his arms around her. He wasn't used to comforting women this way. Most of the people he dealt with were busy men like himself, or servants who were just fine on their own. Within seconds though, he tightened the embrace, discovering that there was nothing wrong with what he was doing. In fact, he liked holding her. She was warm, and soft. Her form was delightful against his own, too.

    "There there," he whispered, one arm staying around her waist while his other hand stroked her back, tracing her spine. Vlad didn't know what to say, so he simply kept her close with hopes of stabilizing her. It looked like this would be a long night for them. He wasn't going to leave her like this. No, she'd need to fall sound asleep before he retired to his own bed. This one time, he wasn't going to take orders that said to do otherwise.