Current listening: How Far I’ll Go – Auli’i Cravallho
Current Reading: The Other Boleyn Girl – Phillipa Gregory
So, long time no write. Things have been busy here in life. Work is crazy. Home life is crazy and I’m just squeaking in time to do revisions. Still no breathing room save for an occasional snippet here and there.
So the song above got me thinking about a particular character and a thread I want to follow. This picks up with Tanya after she’s spoken with Christi. Check out the post before last if you would like to catch up.
Light above, how did she end up babysitting her cousin in such affairs? Tatiyana though with a scowl. Christiana summoned her to the capital from her home in the North to such an end. She too had felt the force of Alexandra’s arrival. In truth, the Queen indicate the twins might be the only people capable of either talking to or beating sense into either one of them. Sion and Tanya agreed to a plan of attack and executed it with a frightful fluency. That plan of attack started here at Jade Manor where Marc was more or less licking his wounds.
“Up cousin.“ Tanya growled and jerked the coverlet from her still sleeping cousin. Her life with Dominic had her awake at odd hours. At the moment the night was well underway and rain battered the house. The rain reflected her annoyance at this particular task. Once, years ago, she sought to correct Marc’s behavior. The beating she had given him then should have been enough. She scowled. “Get up or I drag you up, Marcus. I do not care. You are going back to the capital if I have to drag you unconscious. You’ve hurt enough people with your behavior.”
He felt her presence and her magic just before entered his chambers. Her magic tested the Manor’s wards. When she jerked the covers away, he muttered an oath dark enough to blister the most desensitized ears. She could not have known he slept sans clothing. Tanya had been in multiple camps with soldiers. His comment did not offend her. “Hurt enough people, you say?” Marc muttered and sat up. He shot Tanya a dark look. “Did anyone bother to take stock of the hurts deal to me in the entire affair? Or did no one bother to fill you in about why I left?” His arrogance hid a wealth of hurt and anger at the current state of affairs. Light damn it, he missed Lily but he could not risk her for the sake of his sister’s secrets.
“We all have our roles to play, Marcus. You know that. Fate does what she will. You know that too.” Tanya murmured and sat on the edge of the bed. She failed to notice her cousins state of dishabille and spoke on gentle tones that he was unaccustomed to. “You both are much like your element. So much potential to destroy and yet containing the warmth to encourage life. Perhaps the understanding comes more easily to me because I am fluid like mine. Go home Marc. Your sister misses you. Lily’s pissed as hell at you and Ariana is looking for your help to ease her heartbreak. Would you choose to nurse your own wounds in favor of leaving theirs to fester?”
Her question brought a scowl to his lips but before he could respond, she continued. “What is here for you but the lonely halls of hurt and regret? What is here for you but your anger and an empty home?” Tanya finally looked at him and flushed to the roots of her hair. How could she have not noticed his lack of clothing! “Forgive me. I will be downstairs once you’re dressed, Marcus.” Her quick, embarrassed exit from the chamber was followed by a warm wave of his laughter.
A few minutes ticked by as Tanya willed her cheeks to cool. Soon enough Marcus joined her downstairs. Without a word he said nothing and pulled her into a tight embrace. “Thank you for not skewering me on sight, cousin. You’re the calmest presence I’ve had in this house in days. I apologize for your embarrassment.” He felt Tanya bristle at the contact and thank the Light again that she had not drawn Hope in response. Marc set her back with a gentle smile. “I know you mean well and you’re right, I have some wounds to heal and forgiveness to seek but this is a two-fold problem. Christi sent for you did she not?”
When she nodded he guided her to the couch and sat down, indicating that she should join him. When she sat he willed the fire to life before them. “I cannot deny our Queen’s direct order. That is flirting with treason and I am not that but I refuse to go back before I repair this rift with my sister. Lily will take time. I know that.” Marc explained. When he first arrived here weeks ago, he was so angry he could not see straight. He was still angry. This was uncommon in him. Like his element, his temper usually burned out fast and forgiveness came just as easily.
Tanya chuckled. “I somehow thought you would fight harder, dear boy.” His laughter perked a brow in her. “But I see you are not the man you were years ago. You know Fate does what she will and your sister did what she felt was best. Not right but best to maintain the illusion and fool our adversaries into a sense of security. She needed you to believe.”
As she spoke, Marc nodded. “Perhaps. That is a matter I will discuss with her in due time. Do you intend to stay the night? I would be delighted to have you at least until tomorrow night so you can return to your home well rested and reputation for kicking my ass intact.” Tanya agreed with a laugh and the pair spent the night talking. Just after dawn, Marc put Tanya to bed in the guest room and meandered back to his own chambers. They agreed that her twin would send Alexandra to him once his end of their mission was complete.