Paps and Plans

Mellia — Paps Plans

????, Earth Season, 1626/Stasis Week


Earth Season 1626/Stasis Week/Godsday – right after Spear Fishing. [[[s02:session 16 |Session 16]]]


Venlar hurries to get the door for Mellia as she leaves her mother’s room, doing the work of a servant. Whether or not this impresses Kirse may never be known.

Mellia gets out of Kirse’s room fast and leans against the wall in the hallway as soon as the door is safely shut.

Venlar stands in front of her, hands behind his back, jaw tight. He is waiting to be talked to, rather than asking questions.

“Thank you, my love,” Mellia tells him. “Do you want me washed off, or may I collapse now? It’s been a horrid day.”

“I could take you to the baths if you want, but you need sleep…” A shy smile peeks through his worry. “I’m glad you’re back.”

“I’m glad I’m back,” replies Mellia. “I’m glad no one died on me. Varanis and Rajar came close. Let’s go to bed. May I lean on you?”

“I’ll carry you, if you like.” He offers his arm, though, the more dignified choice for her to nestle under.

Mellia takes his arm. She can still walk but is moving slowly. “No, don’t hurt your back, sweetheart. Where to begin?”

“Your room is closer than mine. Begin by sleeping. Tell me things in the morning… I…oh, Yamia’s gone. I’ll see you to sleep and then thank her. She spotted you being taken the other way.” He sets his pace to Mellia’s, of course, which gives him time to lean down and kiss her on the top of the head.

Mellia smiles and blushes when kissed. “My mother is… let’s just say I usually don’t miss my family.”

“She was asking important things, but she did not ask how you were. She told you, instead.” He keeps the same careful walking pace, with some concentration on it. “I should ask you about a thing, in the morning. A healer thing. When you wake.”

Mellia nods. “Or you can ask me now. I can heal even when worn out. I just can’t do politics and intrigue. I think I shall leave the politics to you, when we’re wed. ” She sighs and wobbles. “I am so tempted to elope in the morning.”

“You should sleep. We’re nearly at your room. And we can’t elope in the morning unless we tell Yamia. She would be very cross if I left without my thralls again.” Venlar offered his left arm, so the scar on his right eye can hardly be seen as he gives Mellia a smile. “Orlanth… if I keep looking at you I’ll stop and kiss you, and then you won’t get to bed.”

Mellia stops and kisses him. “You can have half the bed,” she tells Venlar. “You’re right, Varanis and Berra would kill me if they didn’t get to come. Think we could pull off something quick with your father and sister and my friends? We could then go to Sartar and make Kallyr give us a fancy ceremony.”

Venlar’s look is innocent. “My father, the Sartarite Rebel, favoured of Orlanth?” he asks. “We’d have to break for eastern river, and go up the same way we came down, I think, but on horseback. They’d send… probably a lot of people after us. Best to leave father here to negotiate reparations.” His voice is regretful, yearning.

Mellia mutters a curse. “Where are those people from Blue Tree Tula, anyway? I can’t believe they haven’t arrived yet. If they’re not going to come, or Leika seized our land, they should at least send a letter.”

“It’s been a few weeks. That is a reasonable amount of time… it’s just been busy.” Venlar has taken his cue from Mellia and also stopped, but he moves half a step onward. “Would Berra really … I suppose she might let Orlanth steal Ernalda. At least, once she moves out from under your roof.”

Mellia starts walking again and nods. “I’m sure Berra would agree to an elopement. She doesn’t like Nochet. Varanis is the one who’s going to object, I think. The longer we stay, the more trouble we get into. We need to get out of here.”

Venlar falls silent for a few moments, and then says in a small voice, “The Paps?”

Mellia brightens. “We’ve missed the big ceremonies, but the Paps would be a good place to go. I’ll bet Nala will try to get everyone to go to Prax, but I would just as soon skip Prax. I don’t have the skills to survive in that place.”

“It counts as Prax,” Venlar says, “But we could get most of the way with caravans, and the rest would be fine alone. I think if it is Dark season coming there might be water, but we would not need to live as Nala can. Maybe not all the thralls, though.” He looks left and right outside Mellia’s room, and then opens that door too. “If we need to get away from here, I am a good excuse,” he says quietly. “I always have been.”

“Dearest love,” Mellia says as she enters the room and tries to pull him into it, “you have always been much more than a good excuse. But yes, I think we need to leave. Maybe we should discuss this with the others tomorrow.”

Venlar comes into the room as if it is natural he should be pulled in there, without much effort on Mellia’s part at all. He manages to swing the door shut with his foot and does not stumble. “You smell of marshes and vomit, and I love you. Let’s get you into bed.”

Mellia looks a little embarrassed. “It’s been that kind of day. Let’s get me into bed.”