How Forever Feels
1sentence Drabble Challenge!
Theme Set: Gamma
Starring: Kent and Lyndis
Warnings: The themes are not in order; I used them and made an order of my own.
Credits: Kenny Chesney, for singing the song by the same title, "How Forever Feels".
Dedication: To Sardonic Kender Smile, one of my awesome KentLyn buddies and fellow obsess-er. (And co-conspirator in the near future!)
The noisy atmosphere of the small camp was very different from the complete silence she had endured on the plains; only one of their number remained quiet, and for some reason she felt drawn to him— perhaps his cool stillness reminded her of her father, or even of the plains themselves.
She had natural talent for swordsmanship, he thought to himself, definitely impressive from a professional standpoint; he failed to take into account the fact that he could not tear his eyes away from her as she practiced.
Caelin Castle's twisting passageways made it difficult for her to find Kent, but she finally managed to come across him in the place she would have looked first if only she'd known where it was; he was fast asleep at his desk, parchments half-written and scattered across the wooden surface as his hair fell in his eyes.
It hit him like a lance through the stomach; the castle was under attack, and his boots thudded against the stone floor almost as loudly as his pulse did in his ears while he ran in search of Lady Lyndis, hoping and praying that she was fine.
Lyn yawned and stretched, a smile covering her face as she rested her head on one of her arms, turning onto her side and closing her eyes, ready to have the best night of sleep in at least a year; Kent was sitting only a few feet away, watching her with a strange expression on his face.
"Really Kent," Sain said to him as they marched through the rain and mud, "if you keep looking at her like that, everyone in this camp will know how you feel!"
As Hector and Mark argued over a map and which direction took them where, Lyndis snuck away; immediately after escaping the tent, her eyes fell upon her auburn-haired knight, leaning against a tree and looking half-asleep thanks to the late hour—he had waited up for her.
He had determined that his lady was an interesting woman; she was wise for her age, kind and compassionate to everyone, and beautiful though never aware of it, but his feelings concerning her were as clouded as his thoughts.
The more time she spent in his presence the more she wanted to know about him, but she hesitated in asking him any questions; she was afraid—though it was only a small quaking of her heart—that he only saw her as his liege and did not want her knowing his personal business.
He was watching her sleep—a guilty pleasure he would admit to no one—and when she suddenly started to move around unconsciously, he leaned forward, eyebrows drawn together a little as he wondered what she was dreaming of; he did not expect to see tears slowly making their way down her face, and his heart clenched in his chest at the sight because he did not know what he could do to help.
Kent really was a handsome man, she thought to herself; she smiled slightly, watching him spar against Sain as sweat glistened off of his forehead and the back of his neck, darkening his auburn hair and making it stick to his skin.
She hated being enclosed in any place, least of all a cramped, dark tent, and when she was forced to sleep inside of one during the terrible weather, his breath would hitch in his throat painfully at the expression on her face; it looked like fear to him, and seeing it in her green eyes made him feel absolutely miserable.
Matthew grinned and winked at Lyndis, amused by the blush on her face as he said, "If there is one lock I can't pick, it's the one covering Kent's heart!"
The bright day turned dark as the clouds rolled in and it started to snow, but Florina smiled softly to herself as her best friend stepped closer to Kent seeking warmth; at the same moment, he stepped closer to her almost protectively and they nearly knocked one another to the ground, both blushing furiously in embarrassment.
As the army slept that night, the tents filled with as many people as possible in order for everyone to stay warm, he noticed her shivering; he did not hesitate for even an instant before he gently tucked his own blanket around her.
An attack just after dawn took everyone by surprise, and he was both angry and ashamed at himself for taking so long to rise; in his half-aware state she had to help him fasten his armor in place because his hands couldn't seem to grasp at the latches properly.
Elibe was spinning a little, he realized dimly after he'd managed to land a particularly powerful blow against his opponent; the enemy sank to the ground, dead, and Kent flailed to grasp at the mane of his horse to steady himself as Lyn watched him with concern in her eyes.
He hadn't wanted to lie to her when she asked him if he was okay—surely, she would think less of him for doing such a thing—but was it a lie if he was trying to convince himself, too?
He dreamed of her that night as he lay at her side in the same cramped tent of the evening before; a pegasus shimmered softly in the moonlight as it flew towards him, suddenly veering away as its rider came into view—from the angle he saw her at, his lady Lyndis looked as if the wings of the steed sprouted from her back instead of her mount, and he felt a strange sense of peace overtake him.
His cheeks were flushed crimson and his body was wracked with chills; she would have scolded him for neglecting himself if the rest of his skin didn't look so pale against his auburn hair.
He tried to insist that he should march with the rest of them, but she and Sain helped him step up into the back of Merlinus's wagon and she gently brushed his hair out of his eyes after he had settled in, informing him that she would be riding his horse behind the wagon acting as rear guard, and he would rest, like it or not.
Lyndis's hand on his burning skin felt soft and cool, and he mumbled her name appreciatively, half-asleep.
He had known that he was starting to fall for her, but when he woke up to find her lying beside him— as she had for several nights now despite the fact that now he was nearly well again— her hand wrapped around his comfortingly, he knew that he was wrong; it was too late, he'd already fallen completely.
He was afraid that she might think him silly for caring for her so much, but he should have known better than that; he told her that his heart would not change, and the words fell from his clumsy lips, causing his face to flush in embarrassment— she smiled and blushed as if she'd never heard anything so nice before.
When he promised to stay by her side always, she knew that he had lowered all of his barriers and defenses for her; she could tell that he had never allowed himself to fall in love before, and she enfolded him in a hug, made awkward by his armor though neither of them cared.
She knew that she loved him—there was not a single doubt in her mind—but she also knew that he was still struggling between his sense of right and wrong; she could be patient and supportive and love him unconditionally while she waited for him to sort everything out for himself.
"Kent," Wil said to him one evening when they were on the night watch together and the auburn-haired knight commander snuck a glance in Lyn's direction for what seemed like the fiftieth time in an hour, "there's nothing wrong with loving her, especially if she loves you back."
He wanted to marry her, but he was too shy to ask; he tried to tell himself that thinking of such things on the battlefield did no good, but when he watched Lord Pent and Lady Louise fighting together, he felt envious of them—the small, almost unnoticeable touches, a gentle kiss when they thought no one was looking—and when he looked back at Lyndis to find her eyes on him, he wasn't sure how much longer he could fight his heart.
There was a vulnerary in the box, she told herself again, digging deeper and deeper until she finally procured one; in an instant she was back at his side, rubbing the healing ointment into the shallow cut on his forearm despite his insistence that it was only a scratch—it could get much worse, she retorted, secretly glad for another excuse to touch him openly.
She had never cowered before the enemy before, but this man before her was far too strong, and she found herself backpedaling in an attempt to get away; the flat edge of his sword cracked into the back of her head, and she felt herself falling, wondering in that brief instant before she fainted why he hadn't killed her, and where—oh, where—was Kent?
He was rooted to the spot as he watched her fall, but took action immediately afterward when he felt the adrenaline pumping through his veins with almost as much force as the anger he felt racing through him— there was only one reason a man would render a beautiful woman like Lady Lyndis unconscious, and he was absolutely livid at the thought; he cut the other man down before he could get close enough to even touch his lady's skin with a fingertip.
He felt heavy from his boots to his heart as he gently lifted her into his arms and carried her off of the battlefield; even though she would likely only suffer from a bad headache for upwards of a week, he felt as if he'd failed her—as the man who loved her, not as a knight— because letting her suffer in any way went against his desire and his need to protect her.
The wick was burning low when her eyelashes started to flutter, and he felt his heart tremble in relief as he saw her open her green eyes; she smiled tiredly at him despite the dazed look on her face.
She tried to sit up, but he wouldn't let her, and she grasped at his hand, turning it over in her own as she stroked her thumb against his palm absently, asking, "Kent, what …happened?"
"There was an accident, milady, but you'll be fine now," he said, lowering his head and his gaze as even the soft, low tone of his voice made her squeeze her eyes shut in pain.
He had known going into town would be a terrible idea, but Lyndis had wanted to gather information; it was no surprise to him that whatever it was she had been drinking had somehow been exchanged with alcohol, and he felt anger towards himself bubble up for not paying closer attention.
The night was half-over already when they finally neared the camp and she stumbled heavily against him in her intoxicated state, likely tripping over her own feet; he did not hesitate to catch her, but was startled when she pressed her body against his.
Kent's face fairly burned when she pushed him to the ground and sat on his stomach before she whispered that she needed him to prove that he loved her; with her lips brushing against his ear and her breasts pushing up against his chest, it took everything in him to tell her that no, he couldn't do that, not now, not when she was not herself.
Once within the camp, he helped her to lie down, brushing her mussed bangs out of her eyes before he tenderly wrapped her blanket around her, desperately trying to ignore her broken-hearted tears and feeling terribly guilty for causing them to begin with.
Lyndis couldn't remember everything—only bits and pieces—but she was ashamed of how she had acted and after her splitting headache gave way to a dull throbbing, she mustered up her courage and apologized to Kent for what she had done; even though she hadn't been in complete control of herself the night before, wanting him was no lie, and she blamed herself for letting that information out unnecessarily.
"My lady," he said, accepting her apology and hesitantly drawing her into a loose hug, "I do love you, but as such, I vowed to myself to protect you always, and I must do it without fail, even if it means protecting you from yourself."
It was the night before the final battle, and while Nils played his flute and most of the army clapped their hands and sang or danced along, Kent watched Lyndis leave the comfort of the circle and he could not help but follow her; her eyes seemed sad to him.
"It just…reminded me of…of home," she told him when he asked why she had left the camp; she leaned back against his chest and let his arms circle around her waist.
He turned her around slowly to face him, giving a flourishing bow at his waist as he took her hand and kissed it gently, letting his lips linger on her skin a few moments longer than necessary.
Lyn couldn't curtsey to save her life, and she couldn't really waltz, either, but she let him enfold her in his arms, and she rested her head on his shoulder as they moved together unceremoniously to music that was half that of the camp and half their own.
She had to restrain herself from leaping into his arms when it was all done, when the dragon had been slain and the gate sealed, when she looked around and realized that they were all so wonderfully alive despite everything; instead, she settled for wrapping her hands around the back of his neck before she brought his face down to hers, pressing her lips against his eagerly.
He kissed her back hungrily, as if he'd been starving for that moment since his birth; his arms encircled her waist and he pulled her against him tightly, fervently wishing that he would never have to let her go.
It was hard for her to see them all go—the people she'd spent an entire year getting to know and care about—but his hand on her back was reassuring, and she smiled and waved for each and every one of them when they went their own way, forging new paths for themselves.
The sun beat down on them the day they left Caelin for good, and Lyndis noticed how the light seemed to turn his hair an even brighter shade of red; she ruffled it playfully and watched his face and ears turn a similar color before she wrapped her arms around him and let her head rest against his back for the long ride home.
She was completely naked in front of him as the sunset burned on the horizon but he didn't immediately trace her curves, instead, he let one of his hands rest lightly on the side of her face as he stroked her cheek with his thumb, his eyes soft and lingering on her own; "You are so beautiful, Lyndis" he managed to choke out, his voice hoarse with emotion and longing and love.
Again, liberties were taken with the prompts (for example, 024: Sacred is suggesting that Lyn herself is what is sacred, or perhaps his feelings towards her). The biggest challenge with writing these is balancing with three things.
1.) Making a story out of it. Even though that is not part of the challenge, and you can just scatter sentences from anywhere in any order, I prefer to write things that follow some semblance of order.
2.) Writing sentences that aren't too short. Usually I don't have this problem, but sometimes when I write a sentence, I can't help but feel that there is vital information that should be there, that would make the story more interesting, that would really, truly make it a better piece of writing.
3.) Writing sentences that aren't too long. This is my worst problem. There's only so much information you can cram into a sentence, even with hyphens and semi-colons, but I want it all in there. I'm telling a story and damn it all if I'm not going to make every word fit. (But I'm working on it, and hopefully my 4th "50 sentences" piece will be the best at that.
Thanks so much for reading, by the way! I would love to hear opinions, constructive criticism, or even just a generalized I like it/don't like it; every opinions helps in big ways! Also, one final note: I know that it's a little suggestive once or twice, which is why I gave it the rating I did. It's not as suggestive as the HectorFarina one, but I thought I'd throw it out there just to let you guys know that you'll probably see tamer pieces from me sometimes, and other times perhaps...some that border on romantic. Thanks for following me along for 2008 so far, everyone!