Why was it that men had a habit of fighting over a woman as though she were nothing more than a possession? A trophy to set upon their mantle? Lynessa may have had something to do with both of them, she wouldn’t deny that fact but Lynessa was still her own woman and she would not be fought over like this. Some women might like the thought of men wanting her and fighting over her but not Lyn, especially when her son was there as well. It wasn’t just her that the men wished to claim but Pearce as well which was understandable, both men wished to believe that they had fathered the beautiful little boy and honestly Lynessa couldn’t really know to whom the child belonged to but she wouldn’t let them upset her son. Thankfully the both of them stopped their foolishness when Lyn snapped at them. Out of the two of them, Lyn couldn’t help but feel sorry for Athan and all she had put him through since she had arrived on the island. Erebos didn’t really illicit any sort of emotion other than annoyance given what a smug ass he was being at the time.
Thankfully Pearce kept his mother from really digging into both men for their possessive behaviour. Holding her gift in her arms, Lyn listened as her son gave her a few different names to name the alicat which were amusing of course. “Such good names Pearce.” She said with a smile. Fred? That was a strange name but she wouldn’t begrudge the boy, she had asked for his opinion and he had given it quite happily. He really was a sweet boy, her little Pearce. So innocent. Hopefully all the tension wouldn’t upset the boy too much; it wasn’t his fault that he was around such messed up adults. Kids couldn’t choose their parents after all.
Turning to Athan and Erebos, she first chose to thank Erebos for his ‘kindness’ before requesting to speak with him alone. It was a lot to ask her husband, she knew that and she could tell that he wasn’t comfortable with it, even before his hand shot out to black Erebos from moving closer to Lynessa. The blond woman tensed slightly, expecting a confrontation but Athan instead chose to look and speak to her, letting her know that he didn’t want to but he would. “This may be your home, but this is still my family. Remember that.” His warning was clear to Erebos but it seemed that he wouldn’t deny his wife her request, how kind of him. “Thank you Athan.” She said as she relaxed her body, thankful that there would be no more fighting, not for her sake but for Pearce’s sake. He didn’t deserve to see Athan and Erebos acting like children.
Handing the alicat off to Athan, she watched father and son head outside so that she could have some privacy. Poor Athan. He didn’t deserve this pain, especially after all he had gone through for her. All the money and time he had put into helping her when she had been in the asylo….though that being said it was technically his fault that she had been there in the first place but that wasn’t the point!
Her eyes remained on the pair until the door closed behind them and Erebos began to speak. How long had it been since she had been along with Erebos? Sneaking out of the house to meet with him, those moments of fire that had existed between them. The feelings of intense infatuation and lust. That was it though, she had mistaken it for love at one point but now, when she thought back to those brightenings with Erebos, she realized just what they had been. A series of mistakes, a sort of twisted revenge against Athan for trapping her on the island against her will. She would have denied it before but now? Now she couldn’t. Interesting how all it took to mature a little was being mind-fethed by your husband… go figure.
Unfair to her? Had he been? She had been angry with him then when he had chosen to break it off with her despite the fact that she herself had been planning on doing just that. He had simply beaten her to the punch and then she forgot she had ever met him. The magic of the maze. Somehow the people in the asylo had brought back those memories, not sure how of course but that didn’t really matter. “Erebos…” She stared, reaching up to place her hand against his chest in order to keep him from coming closer. She couldn’t let him hold her, things weren’t as they had been and they wouldn’t ever be like that again. Lynessa wouldn’t do that to Athan, not again. “You were not unfair, you spoke the truth. I was angry before but I see that you were right in the maze. This cannot be. It is unfair to both you and me.”
Erebos frowned down at the hand placed against his chest, but he had the sense to keep himself from forcing the issue, particularly with a slight glance over his shoulder. He knew that if he pressed his luck, Athan wasn't terribly far off and would certainly do his best to inflict pain if a threat was perceived. And besides. Hurt Lynessa? It was the last thing on his mind, no matter how desperate he was to wrap his arms around her and kiss her again. A trace dejected, he slipped his arms away from her and took a step back, arms folded instead against his chest as he drew himself up, aiming to clad himself in some form of dignity.
He inclined his cheek slightly. "Somehow I hadn't expected to hear anything differently. Yet I'd hoped… I did all of this for you, you know that, right? And for him. For Pearce. Maybe this can't be, but… that doesn't stop me from wanting it to be so."
He sighed and stood there for a moment, struggling, having things to say but certain they weren't the right thing. He eyed her, knowing that desperately clasping at her wasn't going to make anything better. What was that saying? Let the bird go and if it came back it was meant to be? His mouth twisted in amusement. How cliché. "Very well," he told her, very quietly. "But…you will have to leave. You know that, right? I did him a favor, buying this place from him, giving him the money so that he didn't need to beg it from me instead. I left him his dignity with the purchase."
Another pause as he considered. This time, when he spoke, it was with a tone that was a trace bit harder. "I'll accept that you do not wish to be with me, but consider the boy. He might be mine. And what life would he have with you and Athan, having nothing but what you walk out of here with? I can take care of the boy. He would want for nothing: the best of educations, opportunities… I could give him the protection a boy needs. Did you know Athan had himself bound? Or rather…they forced it on him. He would have held on to it, to protect the boy. You. But his mistake had been a big one. They didn't want him to make the mistake again. Not twice."
Another sigh and he gestured towards the door. "But I can care for him, Kyria. Feed him, clothe him, protect him. Can you do the same? Can Athan?"
If you'd like to start posting elsewhere, Lynessa will have the use of Athan and Pearce (if she decides to keep him and not give him up to Erebos ). I've knocked down his skills with the excuse that he suffered skill deterioration with focusing entirely on fixing Lynessa.
Former Poison Taster and Spy for the former Governor
Sun-bleached blonde hair and dark brown eyes, tanned skin; tall
Skills: Bound Mystic (former level 3); Level 2 Poisoner; Level 1 K'Tesh; Level 1 Dagger (each skill is bumped down a level due to rustication)
You get 1,500 crowns to work with as Athan's remaining funds, courtesy of Erebos. Think of it like a new starting package to get you on your feet again.
Despite all the time that she had spent from Erebos, all the time that she couldn’t even remember he existed, she still had lingering feelings for him deep down. They weren’t enough though. If it had been love than it had faded over time, the words that had angered her when he had first said them back in the maze made sense now. She was keeping him from a life spent with someone he could have and he knew that or had at least known it at the time. She couldn’t be sure what had changed his mind or renewed his hope that they still could be together; perhaps it was the possibility that Pearce could be his child. Whatever it was it still wasn’t enough. Erebos didn’t push the matter for which she was grateful, not that she had thought that Erebos would threaten her in any way, he was saddened by the obvious rejection but he took it in stride.
Her hand fell at her side as he stepped away and she sighed, it wasn’t easy nor was it fair but it had to be done whether she liked it or not. If only things could have been different… She had hoped for a brightening where she could relax given how long she had been away, a brightening to spend with her son and husband, to eat the cake her son had helped make and play with the alicat she would have to name either Bird or Fred but it seemed that fate would not allow Lynessa to catch any sort of break. Decisions had to be made, hard ones that may very well be wrong. Perhaps it was Erebos that she was supposed to be with and not Athan, there was that possibility but given how much Athan had sacrificed and how much she had ruined things for him… how could she leave him now? She loved him but more than that she felt guilt for all she had done since she had arrived on the cursed White Island.
He did all this for her. Yes, she knew. Even though she had only just found out, she knew. For her and for Pearce. Was he really so convinced that Pearce could be his? She supposed it was possible, Pearce could have been fathered by either man really but did it matter in the long run? There was no way to prove who it was so it all rested on whom Lynessa chose to be with. “I am sorry Erebos, I truly am.”
A silence fell between them, one that Lynessa wished would end. She shifted her weight from one foot to the other, trying not to look up into the face of the man she had loved. It was as she had said, it could not be. Finally he spoke, letting her know that she would have to leave. She nodded, understanding exactly what it meant. Who knew, perhaps this was for the best. Lyn drew back, taking a step back as though to leave, figuring that there was nothing more that could be said but it seemed she was wrong. She halted her steps and looked over at Erebos, catching the harder tone in his voice. This was no longer about her but rather Pearce, her son. No matter what man had fathered the little boy he was still her’s. Not that she had been much of a mother to the poor boy but surely that would change.
It was true that Lynessa had few prospects and little money as well but that did not mean she could not care for her son. Her blue eyes narrowed slightly, her arms crossing over her chest. His doubt in her abilities may have been well-placed given how things had gone before but it was unappreciated just the same. It brought out Lynessa’s stubborn streak, someone challenging her.
Erebos’ worry was for the boy, she was well aware of that and he had money yes but money was not all that was needed to keep a child happy. She had seen Denovan Junior and what money had brought him and she wouldn’t wish the same for her son. The fact that Athan had been bound did surprise her and she couldn’t hide the look of shock on her face but that didn’t change her mind. “I understand your concern for my son Erebos and what you say is true. He may be yours and you have money in which you can spoil a child all you wish. However, I will not deprive my son of more eras without his mother, I cannot.” It was unfair to Erebos, she knew that but she was certain that this was the right thing to do. “It may be selfish of me but I wish for Pearce to remain with me. I will keep him safe.”
Peering over her shoulder at the door, she sighed and looked back over at Erebos. “I thank you for keeping them this long. I wish things could have been different but they cannot be.” She had a slight urge to reach out and touch his face, just once more but she resisted. “When do you wish us to go?”
Erebos made a sharp noise of frustration and he eyed Lynessa with the full force of his annoyance. For a moment it appeared as if he might argue with her, attempt to convince her otherwise, but he gestured sharply. She was the mother. There was no way he could take the child without severe ramifications of the law, should it come down to that. Yet he had provided. He had given food and shelter and more and to be denied…? It was beyond frustrating.
So he settled on a curt gesture on his chin that was both consent and disapproval.
"A cycle, preferably less, if you can manage it. But…I'm not cruel. A cycle. That should be long enough to gather what possessions you have and go." He started to turn, to leave. There would be no attempt to hold her once more, no attempt to kiss her one last time. She had made her choice and this time Erebos could acknowledge it with a heaviness that was final. For now. "Be sure to leave the furniture, Kyria," he suggested gently.
And then he left, striding through the front door without so much as a pause to stay goodbye to Athan…or even little Pearce.
With Erebos gone, Athan did not hesitate to make his way back into the house. He came directly to Lynessa and grabbed her into his arms, embracing her with his cheek against her forehead. "Thank you," he murmured close to her ear, saying nothing further on the matter, simply holding her…for as long as she would allow it…if at all.
Pearce came behind at a slower pace, cuddling his squirming alicat in his arms. He looked over his shoulder, then back at his mama and papa. "Mitera, why did Eir-bus go? We made…we made a cake…" He pouted, though the expression lasted only so long as a cat paw batted lightly against his cheek. He giggled and hugged the kitten tight enough that Athan had to gently caution him to softness.
It was obvious that Erebos would not like what Lynessa had to say but regardless of what he wanted or thought was right, Lyn was the one to make the final decision and he knew it. Erebos could very well be the boy’s father, that was true but then again Athan might be the father as well. The only thing that was clear was Pearce was her son and she did not wish to deprive the boy of more eras without her. He had spent far too long without her already because of what had happened and the poor boy hadn’t understood, she didn’t want him believing that she had abandoned him because she did not want him. Lynessa wasn’t the ideal mother but that didn’t mean she wasn’t willing to try.
Seeing the frustration and annoyance in Erebos’ beautiful eyes wasn’t easy for the blonde but she held herself as best she could. This wasn’t what she had expected after just getting out of the asylo but in a way Athan had warned her. She cared for Erebos still but it wasn’t the same as it was before, surely he had to know that as he stood there. He looked as though he was unsure whether to argue or not but after a few moments he chose to speak, answering her question.
A cycle in which to gather what they could and leave Ieffreon. It wasn’t long but it could have been worse, Erebos could have made them leave now and there would have been nothing they could do about it. It was sad that things had come to such an end, Erebos deserved better than to have his kindness thrown back in his face like this but Lynessa couldn’t betray Athan again, she just couldn’t and she wouldn’t. He didn’t attempt any sor of intimate goodbye and she was thankful for that, his last comment grated on her nerves slightly but she mustered a curt nod and watched as he left the house. This wasn’t how he had expected things to turn out she figured but that was just how life seemed to be. It ignored the plans made by man and did what it liked.
Tears welled up behind her blue green eyes as she stood there; it was all so much to take in one brightening. Lyn had done the right thing, she knew that but that didn’t make her feel belter, she just felt hollow in that moment. The blonde didn’t even notice Athan enter the house until his arms were around her and she was pulled against his chest. She didn’t want held or touched in that moment but she allowed it because whether she wanted it or not, she needed it. Taking strength from her husband in that moment, she allowed a few tears to fall, slipping down her cheeks to dampen his shirt. It wasn’t until she heard Pearce’s voice that she pulled away from Athan, doing well to brush the rest of her tears from her eyes before she looked down at her confused and pouting little boy.
Thankfully the cat seemed to divert the boy’s attention and he was giggling again in a few moments. Such a sweet boy, poor Bird though… Athan had the boy ease up on the cat and Lyn smiled. This was her family. She didn’t really know how to be much of a mother but with Athan there she wasn’t too worried. “Erebos had to go home.” Peering over at the cake, she smiled softly and held her hand out to Pearce. “How about we eat some cake then?” She could discuss more serious things with Athan once Pearce was in bed, she wanted to spend some time with her son.
So they ate cake. There was some distress on the part of the boy that 'Ere-bus' had left, but Pearce quickly settled, happy and giddy it would seem with the presence of his mother finally at home. The excitement wore him out quickly, although he tried to struggle through it to the point of becoming cranky and whiny. When it became clear that the boy was just going to cling to Lynessa for the remainder of the reason, rubbing his eyes and whining, Athan swept the boy up into his arms and declared it time for the boy's bed to be found. And, yes, of course he could keep the kitten…if he promised not to squish it too hard.
When Athan had finally managed to close the door behind him, ushering Lynessa ahead of him so that she didn't linger, he guided her towards the room they had shared since they had come together, gesturing to the table that overlooked the back gardens of the household. "You'll have plenty of time together, the two of you," he assured her, but there was a nervousness about him as he sat down, leaning forward to pour out a pair of wine glasses.
He knew she wanted to talk, so he sat back and looked at her, then down at the glass, which he turned on the table rather than raising it for a drink. He was silent for a long moment as he sat there. "I could spend all darkening apologizing, over and over and… I know it wouldn't do anything. It wouldn't change anything. So I don't know…what to say. I did my best. I did what I could to…to fix things. Maybe I should have left things alone. Maybe I should have… I didn't. I'm sorry for that."
His fingers twined together on the table in front of him. "Do you think we can go back? To what we were? Things have…changed. They'll be different. We won't be here. And the money…" He shook his head and looked at her, uncertain and…afraid. "I'm afraid, kyria."
Guilt, anger, and sadness were all Lynessa could feel as she stood there in Athan’s arms moments after Erebos had left. It hurt so much that she had to do that and the niggling feeling that she had made the wrong decision was constantly there. She had been brought back to the ruins of the life she had made that had been filled with lies and death. Artemisia had taken advantage of Lynessa’s want for something different and need for control over her life and turned her into some kind of monster. Was she still that person now? Lynessa really didn’t know who she was at this point despite remembering everything. It was all so much to take, the memories and the emotions that came with it. It was obvious now that Athan knew that there had been something between Lynessa and Erebos while she had been married to him, she couldn’t even begin to deny that even if she wanted to, so what came next?
All Lynessa wanted to do now was assure her innocent little son that everything was alright even if she didn’t know whether it would be or not. She could have given him to Erebos and known that he would have everything he could ever want and more but that wasn’t enough. Denovan Jr. had been given the same and he had turned out cruel and vicious, she couldn’t say that Erebos would allow such a thing to happen to Pearce but could she chance it? More to the point could she abandon her son of her own free will? No and she had known that. As far as Lynessa was concerned Athan was Pearce’s father and that was how it was going to remain. Rather than continue to dwell on her more painful thoughts, Lynessa had mentioned eating cake and that was what they did.
Pearce didn’t let go of his disappointment that Erebos had left as he had but after a while he found other things to have his attention, such as enjoying his time with his mother and father who he hadn’t had together in their home since before he could remember. How hard it must have been for little Pearce and for Athan as well, Lynessa being in the asylo with no memory of either of them. Not that it was a picnic for Lynessa either but now that she was out of that horrid place she was able to look past her own anger and bitterness and see how it had affected them. She wanted to talk to Athan more but for now she would talk of little things and laugh while her son was awake. It was the strangest sensation, the maternal bond between a mother and her child, Lyn had never thought she’d have it even when she was pregnant but now, even as Pearce got cranky and tired, all she wanted to do was hold him and keep him close. A smile touched Lyn’s lips as she watched Athan with their son, scooping him up and putting him to bed, kitten and all.
She didn’t want to leave him, she watched Athan put the little boy to bed and couldn’t help but watch even as Athan came out of the room. He ushered her away which she did almost begrudgingly, peering back at the door every so often. She was really only just getting time with him since she hadn’t been herself when she had given birth thanks to her mother’s spirit and then she really hadn’t been herself because of Athan’s spell.
It felt so strange being back after all this time, being ushered into the room that she had shared with her husband after they had married. Lyn had wanted to talk with him, needed to even but now that she knew that they were going to talk about everything she felt very nervous and uncertain. She wanted to go back and hold her son in her arms and Athan could tell, his comment reflecting that. He was as nervous as she was, she could tell as she took a seat at the table, glancing out over the back gardens while Athan got wine glasses. Her hands rested on her lap, wringing the fabric of her dress nervously as she waited for him to say something, she wanted to but she didn’t know what she really could say. She had so many mixed emotions right now, she wanted to kiss Athan and at the same time she wanted to beat him to a bloody pulp.
The silence was near deafening but thankfully Athan found the courage to speak first though it was more to apologize than anything. Is that what she wanted from him? An apology because as he said, it didn’t change anything. It didn’t give back the almost three eras of her life it had stolen from her and yet, looking at Pearce now, she could see why he did it. He had done it to protect their son, could she really fault him for that? “I don’t really know what to say right now Athan. I’m still angry and confused but I can honestly say that despite that, I know why you did it. You did it for Pearce and it would be selfish of me to hate you for that.” She took a deep breath and looked away, peering out the window again as she found it hard to look at him.
"Do you think we can go back? To what we were? Things have…changed. They'll be different. We won't be here. And the money…" Could they? Lyn didn’t honestly know if it was possible to go back to the way things were. So much had changed, she had done so much, could she just leave it all behind? She’d have to at this point and she wanted both Athan and her son as far away from Artemisia as possible.
Lyn looked back at Athan after a moment, his admission of fear mirrored her own feelings which made her wonder if she had done the right thing for Pearce by keeping him with them. “I don’t think we can, what we were before… A lot has changed since then, as you say.” Lyn sighed as she watched Athan. “Tell me honestly, do you regret ever meeting me? Because from what I’ve seen I’ve completely poisoned your life here in Ieffreon. Why do you want to remain with me? Why didn’t you just leave me in the asylo and have done?” She needed to know why Athan was still there with her.
“I’m afraid as well. I’m terrified of what will come once we leave Ieffreon.”
She had questions and his answers were initially only in the form of silence. He looked down at his wine glass, his brow furrowing as he frowned. He reached out and turned the glass upon the tabletop, then picked it up and took a small sip from it. Whether or not it was palatable--and it was a good vintage--he grimaced and set it down.
And then he smiled at her, faint, appraising her with a quick once over, no matter that they were both sitting. The smile could have been lascivious in other times--and would have been--but now it was somewhat shy, hesitant. Sad. "Do you think it would have been that easy for me? To leave you there? You're the mother of my son…and my wife." He sighed and scrubbed a hand through his hair, his smile rueful. "You have turned my life upside down, it's true. I was secure when you came here. I had a job. Not just a simple job, but a one highly placed with good pay and security. I even had the affections of a woman well-placed and well coffered, had I a desire for such things. But then there you were. Beautiful and so out of place. You were a whirlwind from the moment I met you. A spitfire. You were the fire I needed. My life was a good one, but it was…average. You changed it. You made it better."
He laughed, cheeks flushed with some embarrassment at the confessed sentiment. But then Athan had never been shy in voicing his affections, of what he thought of her. "For all that you've turned everything on its head for me, I wouldn't change it. I think my life was on a sinking ship before you came. You just made me see it for what it was."
He huffed out a quick gust of breath, then smiled again and lifted his glass. "To my tidal wave of a wife. Say what you will, but I'd rather dance in your dangerous currents than live in the tidal pools here, twiddling my thumbs out of boredom."
Athan drank a good fourth of his glass before setting it down with a glass thunk.
"What will come? Terrible things, amorfa. There will be drama and upset. With you there always is, but I wouldn't have it any other way. So I am ready. Are you?"
Perhaps her questions were a bit unfair, especially after all he had done to help restore her memories though honestly if it hadn’t been for Athan she wouldn’t have lost them in the first place so there was still that. It was difficult really, the mix of emotions that she felt as she sat there looking at the face of her husband as well as the bastard who had stolen her life from her for three eras. It was a double-edged sword and Lyn had to wonder how long those feelings would reside. Would the resentment and anger fade over times or would it fester beneath the surface? Lyn was very good at hiding what she was thinking and feeling from people, it was one of the reasons Athan had picked her in the first place when she had first arrived in Ieffreon. What a mistake that been on his part!
Surely he had to regret it all, the loss of his job and stability because of one fiery spitfire of a woman. He was even about to be ousted from his beloved White City because of Lynessa and yet she saw no anger from him. He knew she had had an affair, at least with one man anyway and yet had not yelled at her or cussed her out, nothing. Did he simply not care or was he too afraid of losing her? Or was it guilt perhaps at what he had done to her? That seemed to be a viable option. Was guilt all that kept her there with him? That and the fact that she was the mother of his son? This was why she had to ask, because the assumptions would only drive her crazy and serve to drive a wedge between herself and Athan and that wasn’t what she wanted. She had so few people in her life that she could count on, she didn’t want to lose one of the most important ones.
His silence only served to make her anxiety all the worse and she grew close to speaking again but it wasn’t necessary. After a few moments of prolonged silence he smiled at her, his eyes looking her over which might have made her smile in return had there not been a certain note of sadness in his smile. It should have been easy, why wasn’t it? She had ruined his life, had turned it completely topside and yet here he was sitting across from her drinking wine as though nothing had happened. Surely guilt couldn’t cause someone to seem so blind. It should have been easy because Lynessa knew how it was to leave people behind, she had left her own family behind and she had told herself every brightening after that it had been easy. So why wasn’t it for him? What made him believe she was worth all the pain she had put him through and it couldn’t just be about Pearce. She was the mother of their son yes but if he had wanted to he could have taken the child and convinced the child that some other woman was his mother. Athan was still an attractive man and could have anyone he wanted, so why?
Was he a fool? Yes, he was a fool in love as far as Lynessa could tell and she was able to think such thoughts without the danger of Athan knowing simply because he was bound. A cruel sense of freedom perhaps since she had never known when Athan would use his mysticism on her. Not that he did often or he would have known about a lot of the shadier things she had gotten into but still…
He began by admitting that she had turned his life upside down, her cheeks burning as she glanced down, being reminded of the things he had lost because of her but then it changed from what had felt like a sort of scolding to something else entirely. Made it better? Surprise filled her blue eyes as she looked up at him, showing that it wasn’t what she had expected to hear. A mad fool indeed but gods how she loved him. Athan was definitely someone special, how could a man watch his life go up in flames and then choose to thank the flame that had done it. Her cheeks were afire as she watched him; this wasn’t what she had expected. It was better. Would she change things? If she could have would she change meeting Athan that brightening if she knew everything that would follow? Would she have chosen a different island instead? A different profession? A different husband either? What ifs were such strange things and really she couldn’t answer that question, not even to herself right now.
What mattered was she had a man that loved her despite the chaos and drama that seemed to follow her around and she had a son that she would love and help grow over the eras. A tear glistened in Lyn’s eye and she smiled as he toasted his wife, thankful that Athan was a good man, not the smartest but a good and loving man. He deserved better but thank the Gods he didn’t know that. She lifted her glass and then took a sip.
Was she ready? That was a very good question because honestly she didn’t know. That being said, she didn’t really have much of a choice in the matter, she had to be ready for her sake as well as Pearce’s. She smiled and nodded. “I am.” It was a bold-faced lie and she knew it and Athan most likely did as well. Finishing off her wine, she got up from the table and pulled Athan gently by the hand without another word, leading them towards their room that they both hadn’t slept in together in a long while. Lynessa had almost three eras of being married to make up for and she was sure Athan wouldn’t be protesting.
Thanks for helping me bring Lynessa back to life! <333