Just whatever random thoughts that I get. A lot of it is media stuff, and there's a little social justice but not near enough for me to feel like I'm doing my part but I'm working on that! Also sometimes I feel depressed so there will be angst-filled posts as well sorry. I tend to go through stages with stuff, obsessing over it and then ignoring it for a while so deal with it. And um thanks for stopping by I guess?
Cisgendered, female, 19, somewhere between bi and pansexual (it's hard to explain), demisexual, polyamorous
AIM: Katrani Merack (might be registered on search as just Katrani or KatMerack)
A/N: You can find the basis for this here. I just wanted to make some set-up and do a bit of character delving for this couple.
TRIGGER WARNING: Vague descriptions of physical abuse, implied rape
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“Maria, are you alright?” Their host asked.
“I… I’m fine.” Her hands were still shaking though, the cup and saucer in her hands clattering together. Tnktnktnk.
“Darling.” Her husband put his hands over hers, taking the porcelain and setting them back on the table before looking to the man sitting in a chair across from them. Their host. Their king. “I’m sorry, my Liege. Maria’s been like this ever since…”
“Understandable.” Lionel let out a sigh, shaking his head. “I cannot tell you how much this troubles me. Even if your lands are on the border, you are still my vassal, not one of Elwood’s. Antony, Maria, please tell me again what happened. I know it’s a sore memory, but I need to plan out the best way to fix this.”
The couple looked at each other, and Maria buried her head against her husband’s shoulder, hiding her face behind a curtain of red-brown hair. “I cannot, sweet,” she muttered, her voice barely audible.
Antony bit his lip, but nodded, meeting Lionel’s blue eyes with his own brown ones. “King Lionel… Our Karin is our only child. The only one we could have, considering the pox a few years back. You know that.” He put his hand over Maria’s again, noting that she was starting to shake once more. “And, since we are on the border, part of our duty is appeasing King Elwood for you. So we attend his galas in your stead, so you don’t have to waste your time on travel. And it was at one of those that his son noted our daughter.”
Lionel knew his old friend was in shock still, so forgave the recounting of details that he knew. “Elwood’s always shown to much favor to his boy. Well really Queen Lerana is the one that’s spoilt the prince, and Elwood is too free with his favor to her.”
Maria finally looked up, her face scrunched up with a mix of anger and sadness. “And now because they cannot bare to discipline that brat, my daughter is being shattered! They took her from us, my Liege. That rat pulled out from the ballroom, and when we tried to go after them, the guards stopped us! And then King Elwood said that if we tried to reclaim her with force it would be an act of war!” She put her head in her hands now, at least blocking her tears from their view if not her sobs from their ears.
Lionel waited a minute, giving Antony time to comfort his bride. “You two are my most trusted vassals. That is why I put you in such an important location… I knew you would not lose your tempers or be greedy enough to steal from another kingdom’s land. The least I can do is bring your daughter back here… And I shall marry her myself, if she’ll agree, so that no one can dare call her a whore but only see her as a grand prize that any man would be lucky to have won.”
Antony bowed his head. “Th-thank you, my king. That is more than we could dare have asked for.”
Another night. Another horrible, horrible night. Karin sank into the bath, glad at least that none of the other girls were here to titter at her. That was the only reason to enjoy late night soaks like these. She glanced at the selection of scents available, on a shelf just above the bath. Still only rose (cloying!) or peaches (who wants to smell like food?) or lilac (too faint). Where was the lavender she favored? Or even that rare sea salt scent that everyone else thought was weird but that she loved?
She decided not to put anything in the water, and just leaned back against the edge of the bath and let the heat sink into her muscles. A blue-and-purple blemish covered her left side, from her waist to her hip, where Marcus had been too eager in grabbing her. The same with her right arm. Her hands clenched into fists as she thought of it.
She hated him. Him and his family. The ones that kept her from her home, that didn’t even let her say good-bye to her parents, that wouldn’t let her send letters. Marcus that treated her like a plaything, a doll, nothing but an object for his amusement. A pretty gem to put on his arm around people. An extra joy he could have at night, when wine tainted his breath and no one was around that would care to help her.
So when she finished her bath, robed, and went to her room, she was only too happy to see someone clearly not of this palace’s ilk waiting for her. She dropped her caution as she stared him down, taking in his dark and nondescript clothes. “Who are you?” she asked, closing her door but not stepping further towards him. She wasn’t going to completely forego sense, after all.
“King Lionel has sent you an invitation,” the intruder answered with a bow. “Lady Karin, would you like to stay with your parents’ liege, as a full guest, able to leave whenever you wish?” He displayed a signet ring as he spoke, one with a crest she’d know anywhere.
She took one glance at the window- open now, where before it had been locked- and smelled the fresh air and didn’t even have to think about her choice. “Of course I would!” Anything had to be better than here.
The trip had been roundabout. Lionel had to make sure that this was his own act, and not something that Antony and Maria did on their own. Politics.
But the week and a half since Karin had been collected was up. Now he stood in his throne room, pacing listlessly. He was twice the girl’s age; why did he suddenly feel like a giddy squire boy with a crush? Besides, she was here as a guest, not as an entertainment.
The doors at the other end of the hall opened, and there she was. Curly hair like Maria’s, and freckles like Antony’s. A medium build, one that favored her hips and legs more than her torso. The maids had chosen a good outfit for her as well, one that hugged and draped enough to make her seem more balanced than she was.
Lionel shook his head, biting the inside of his cheek. Maybe 35 years of bachelordom wasn’t the best idea. He bowed to Karin as she stopped a few feet away, then he walked forward. He saw her cringe, saw the remaining bruises on her arms. The recent scar on her face. He lifted his hand towards her, a motion to gently cup her face, but she flinched as if expecting a blow.
“I’m sorry I didn’t do my duty by your family,” he said, sighing. Then he knelt before her. “I should have been able to protect you, Lady Karin. Your parents are my most trusted nobles, and I could not make sure that you would not be drawn into our conflicts. For that, I apologize. I now make the offer for you to stay here as long as you like, although you can return home whenever you wish. You shall have full chambers in the East Wing, looking over the gardens, and a private bath. All my servants at your command at any time of day, and if you ever have a taste for anything you need only ask for it.”
Karin stared at him, mouth agape. “M… My king,” she said after a moment. “What are you saying? I am just a minor lady. You sh-shouldn’t bow to me!” Her mind was racing. Why was he being so kind?
Lionel looked at her, slowly getting to his feet. “My inaction towards my counterpart has caused you harm. Loyalty is not one way. I owe my subjects for allowing me to be their ruler. If a people do not want a certain king, they rebel and refuse to work and cut off all supplies to him. So I must care for all of you. And it is my fault that you have been damaged, Lady Karin, so I must work to make amends.”
She met his gaze for a moment, trying to think. She still didn’t completely understand, but she also couldn’t face her parents yet. She felt too ashamed for letting all of this happen. “Very well then, my king. I will accept your hospitality.”
“Wonderful!” He reached to take her hand, to kiss it as a sign of politeness, of having sealed this agreement, but she flinched away again and he settled for inclining his head to her. “Sorry. I shall try to remember your mistreatments.”
Karin bit her lip. “N-no, m’Liege. My apologies to you.” She turned around, walking towards the door. “Forgive m-my shortness, but I require rest. It was a long journey.”
Lionel watched her go, frowning. He couldn’t quite place his feelings. The thought of her being near made his stomach swell with butterflies, but when she was before him he felt no passion like he had for other women. He only felt a need to protect her. Did it come from guilt? Maybe. But surely he wouldn’t have felt such a quaver when she left, that pang of sadness like he had failed to do something correctly. If it was only guilt that caused this, he would’ve felt ashamed instead of wanting when she left.
“Most curious indeed…” he muttered, sitting upon his throne and motioning to the guards. It was time to begin the day’s official business.