Disclaimer: I do not own the Belgariad/Malloreon, because this belongs to David and Leigh Eddings. I do, however, own the OC and the plot.
A/N: I give my thanks to slytherinsal, who is my muse and my helpful conscious for writing. J This story starts a bit after the evens of the third novel, so they have met everyone (to that point) and have already been through Nyissa.
Flashback, Two Years Ago:
Garion wipes the sweat off of his brow, looking around the forested area. He had followed Durnik so that he could help out with the gathering of firewood, but is now regretting it immensely. He watches the broad back of the blacksmith and how it is obvious, even under his tunic, how his immense muscles ripple and move much alike that of a powerful Nyissan lion. He had been on this trek for a while now, and had met a lot of interesting people; but Durnik was still his closest friend. Whether this was because of their Sendarian backgrounds, or because of their history together, Garion had no clue. There is a soft crunch in the silence, and Garion spins around with a hand upon the handle of his dagger, and Durnik has a tighter grip on the handle of his heavy workman's axe. Standing a ways from them is a sheepishly grinning girl wearing all-black leather clothing, and her willowy frame stands at about six inches past five feet. She has softly curled red-brown hair, dark in color, that is in a ponytail at the base of her neck and large, brilliant blue eyes; eyes the color of the sky on the clearest of days. Garion brightens up and Durnik relaxes, turning back to the small saplings that he is cutting for the firewood. Standing up and running over to the girl, Garion laughs happily.
"Lynessa!" The girl smiles and nods back to the campsite, where the two start to walk back towards. Suddenly she scowls and glares at a certain red-haired girl sitting closer to the fire than the rest of the people there.
"She's cooking again, Garion, and I think I'm going to die if Mistress Pol makes me eat it again!" Garion agrees fervently, and the two sit down at the fire. All of the men around the fire are making faces at the young Tolnedran that is cooking, but Garion notices as Lynessa plays with one of the rings on her hand. The one that she is not toying with is very large and black, covering her pointing finger from knuckle to the first of three joints on her finger, and it has a symbol of a bird spreading its wings with a heart wearing a crown under it, flames around the heart. The one that she is absently fingering is a simple silver band with swirling designs that closely resemble that of vines. This ring is very thin and looks like that a married woman would wear, especially since it is on that finger; but Garion decides to come to the conclusion that the ring is not meant for that purpose, seeing as Lynessa is only a few years older than him at sixteen.
"What are you doing, Lynessa?" She looks up at him in surprise, not realizing that she had been doing something.
"O-oh, it's really no-" Lynessa is cut out by C'nedra groaning loudly.
"But Mistress Pol, I just can't get married! I don't even know this man!" Everyone looks towards her, and Lynessa seems to bristle as the hot-headed princess continues, "Arranged marriage is stupid! No love can become of it!"
"I do believe that you are incorrect, Princess…" Lynessa begins, just to be cut off by C'nedra once more. The small princess gives her a look like she is stupid and not worth her time.
"Lynessa, dearest, you cannot possibly understand what I'm going through…You see, I-" This time it is Lynessa's turn to be the one to cut off the other's sentence. Everyone stares at her as she speaks back to the girl with flaming curls, completely caught off guard by her speaking up, since she is usually quiet and reserved.
"Princess, you are the one who does not understand. Just this past summer I was married off to a young man, whom I am very much in love with." C'nedra rolls her eyes skywards.
"Good for you. Now you are a sixteen year old girl who is, more than likely, married off to a paper prince with a few coins to his name, and you will go back home to get pregnant time and time again." She gives a mock clap in Lynessa's direction, but stops as she sees the rest of the people around the fire pale slightly, "What?" Prince Kheldar, a Drasnian thief, points in Lynessa's direction. C'nedra turns around fully and nearly drops her stirring spoon. Lynessa is sitting there, staring at her with as much hate and ferocity that a lion gives a rabbit. The red-head can almost feel the hate radiating off of Lynessa, and then the brunette speaks, but only after slapping C'nedra across the face with the back of her hand. C'nedra looks up in shock, tears filling her eyes and a hand to her cheek.
"How…how dare you speak that way! You think you are so…so…so amazing? Well guess what, princess," she spits out this word like it is dirt, "I am not married to a stupid and penniless boy. I am married to the King Elkan of Riewyth in the Kingdom of Aaod! His lands span across the northern regions unmapped by most, untouched by all because it is the Holiest of Places, the only place untouched by evil! His lineage reaches back as far as those as Dras Bullneck, Algar Fleet-foot, and others! And if you dare to say something about my husband or how our marriage works, then get your priorities straight, because I am a Queen of one of the largest continents in the world and you are the paper Princess here, C'nedra!"
With that, Lynessa stands up and disappears into the woods, leaving a shocked group of people and a crying C'nedra. Garion looks around at everyone with a confused expression, and Polgara gathers C'nedra into her arms. Durnik stands up and silently wanders into the woods after Lynessa, sighing as he does so. He finds her sitting with her back to a tree, watching a squirrel gather food. Making a bit of noise as he moves so that he doesn't spook her, the blacksmith crouches down beside her, watching the squirrel as well as he picks up a stick and snaps it absently.
"I think you may have said too much, Lady Lynessa." Lynessa looks towards him and the expression on her face tells him that she is aware that she had gone too far. She pulls her knees to her chest and rests her head on her knees.
"I am sorry, Goodman…I've just been under stress as of late…" Durnik nods his head slowly in understanding, and watches the girl fidget, "I'm not ready for marriage, Durnik…I know I'll have to go back and bear his children…"
"I thought you cared for him, Lynessa?" She nods her head slowly and tells him that she does love the man, but she is scared of not being good enough.
"But I cannot push my pride far enough away to apologize to her Highness…" the blacksmith laughs, and she continues, "He is an amazing man, Goodman…kind and gentle. The night after our wedding, we snuck out of the bedrooms and ended up sitting on the roof and speaking the whole night….he has never touched me if I do not want him to." Durnik notices that she trails off, a wistful look on her face, and he tugs on one of her arms, the two of them making their way back to the camp.
As they make their way back to camp, Lynessa notices a few things. The first is how C'nedra is pointedly ignoring her, but talking a little too happily to everyone else. Second is how everyone is grimacing as they eat the food set in front of them, and third is how Garion is looking at her like she is something out of a storybook. As Lynessa and Durnik sit down, Silk pushes his bowl of…something away.
"I'd rather eat gruel!" C'nedra glowers at him, but he ignores her, begging his friends to play a bit of dice with him, to which they all refuse vehemently. Garion tugs on a lock of Lynessa's hair, causing her to look at him. He smiles shyly, and coughs uncomfortably.
"Could…could you please tell me about your husband?" Everyone looks her way, even C'nedra who is hiding it, and she nods her head, suddenly growing sheepish.
"He's a very kind man….gentle to everything. He could never hurt a fly…he's been sick lately, however. In his own sort of dream world, all the time. However," she says quickly as she notices Barak open his mouth with a frown, "he is an amazing tactician. Nothing goes past him. There is constant peace in your lands because of him…the civil war has ended since he came to power."
Garion thinks about her explanation of this man as she continues in a soft, hushed voice which gives away deep amounts of love for this man. He is of average height…he has an average face…he is sickly…he is kind and generous…he is eighteen…Thinking a little more, Garion decides that, for the moment, he likes this man. However, he will have to meet him to gather an actual opinion of him. Looking beside him he watches as Lynessa smiles, her hands moving gracefully in the air as she talks. Her red-brown curls bounce as she speaks, her eyes sparking to life with each sentence. Garion does not realize this yet, not by any chance, but that is what love looks like form an outsider's point of view. He had to meet this man.
Review, please! I re-did this, so long reviews are loved!