This is my take on Silk's and Porenn's history. Artemisdesari has written one on exactly the same topic, and I thought it was great and I recommend you to read it, but it got me thinking, and this is how I think it could have played out.
No special warnings, except spoilers for the Silk/Porenn story, so I guess you should've read The Belgariad before you read this.
Also, maybe I should have tried to imitate Eddings' style in this, but he is too great an author, and I just cannot imitate others' styles. So I didn't even try, sorry.
And last, I dedicate this to you, Artemisdesari, because you are the one who made me read these wonderful books. Thank you.
They grew up together, Prince Kheldar and the future Queen Porenn. Kheldar, or Silk, as he preferred to be called, was a few years older, but not enough to prevent them from playing together. He was the son of the King's cousin, and she was the daughter of the noble man who happened to own the estate neighbouring Silk's father's. Since both of them were the only children, their mothers quickly decided that they were the perfect playmates, and since Silk was older and therefore more responsible, they would hardly have to keep an eye on the children.
Silk early showed talent for spying and deceiving, and more than once they got into trouble for his schemes, but somehow he always ended up alone with the blame.
When Silk was fifteen, he entered the Drasnian Academy, and he didn't see much of Porenn for a few years. During his time in the Academy, he discovered the pleasure of the company of women, and he quickly got a reputation of having charmed many young women in Boktor, and other parts of Drasnia, into his bed. However, he never found an interest in marrying or sticking to only one girl.
Then, one day when he was visiting his uncle in the palace, he saw Porenn again. At first he almost didn't recognize her. She wasn't the girl he had played and made mischief with anymore, but a young and very beautiful woman. Her long blonde hair was caught in a thick braid, gracefully wrapped around her head, and she wore a pale blue gown, showing her slight, slender figure.
She smiled and seemed delighted when he greeted her, and in a moment, everything was just as it had been between them before. Though, nothing was ever the same for Silk. When he went to bed that night, every thought of pretty servant girls and bored noble wives were gone, replaced by a steady whisper of "Porenn. Porenn. Porenn", that seemed so real he could have sworn it came from the air itself.
He stayed at the palace for a month. During that time, he frequently sought the company of his old friend, talked to her and got to know the woman she had become during his years in the Academy and "field training". He carefully courted her, not wanting to rashly take her to his bed and then leaving it at that, but instead charm his way into her heart as more than a dear friend.
She smiled when she saw him, laughed at his jokes, gently scolded him when she heard of some new scheme for profit or outrageous bargain of his, and seemed to enjoy his company almost as much as he enjoyed hers. But however much he tried, she showed him only friendly affection, however great it was. Instead, when his uncle, King Rhodar, started to show interest in her, she seemed to return the affection. Silk had never understood his friends when they complained of broken hearts and love induced agony, but now it was suddenly clear to him just how much an aching heart can heart.
Yet he did not cease in his efforts to win his friend's heart before his uncle did. And he reason that however her rejection hurt, she was still his friend, and he wanted to keep it that way.
Then word reached him of his mother's grave illness. Porenn was with him when he received the letter, and saw on the way his face suddenly paled that it must be bad news. He clenched the letter in hand, crumbling the parchment, as he sat down, his jaws clenched.
She held him as he cried, the first tears silent as he tried to fight them, then with heart wrenching sobs as she wrapped her arms around him, and threaded her hand through his hair, murmuring soothing nothings into his ear. He clung to her and wept, knowing he could show no feelings when he arrived at his home.
Early the next morning he left, fearing he might already be too late. Porenn kissed his forehead as she embraced him, making him promise to come back soon, and to take care of himself. And for just a moment, Silk was tempted to joke that for another kiss, he'd promise her the world. Instead, he gave her a bleak smile and mounted his horse.
He returned only a month later, unable to stand seeing his once beautiful mother so terribly disfigured by the disease, and his father's silent grieving.
He went straight to Porenn, without even paying his uncle the customary visit. She took a single look at his ashen face and eyes full of despair, and drew him into her arms into a tight embrace.
"My poor Kheldar", she whispered into his ear. "It'll be alright."
"No", he choked out, voice muffled against her shoulder. "It won't."
She took him inside, and without asking, she sent for a flagon of wine.
At first, he was silent, just drinking determinedly, and Porenn watched him equally silent, wondering how she now could tell him the happy news that she knew would only make him more miserable.
After a while he broke the silence. He told her about his mother, her blindness and disfigured face, and his father's determination of not letting her know.
Porenn let him talk without interruption, and after a while he fell silent, only drinking and staring out into space, chewing his lip between the swigs. Porenn sighed, soon she had to tell him.
"Kheldar…" She put a tentative hand on his back. He let go of his goblet, burying his face in his hands. "Kheldar…" Porenn bit her lip, feeling her heart break just a little for her friend. She moved her hand in soft circles on his back, and he leaned into the touch.
"She doesn't know", he whispered, voice breaking. "Everyone else does, but not her, and everybody hopes she never will." He tried to choke back a sob without success. "She – she used to be so beautiful, and now…" He made a choked whimpering sound and wrapped his arms around Porenn, burying his face in her shoulder. She held him as he shook in her arms.
"Shh, Kheldar, shh…" She rested her cheek on the top of his head. After a while, he stopped crying, and sat motionless, staring into nothing, pain over his mother's fate still shining out of his eyes. Porenn closed her eyes, knowing that she news she were about to deliver would hurt him deeply, very well knowing how he felt about her. "Kheldar… I need to tell you something. While –" she took a deep breath, "– while you were away, Rhodar… he proposed to me. We are getting married in another month." She sucked in a breath, holding it as she watched his reaction. At first, there was none, he didn't move a muscle. Then, without another word, he got up, only a slight drunken sway in his steps, and threw the door open with enough force to dent the wall it hit.
Porenn rose, running after him.
"Kheldar! Kheldar, wait!" She caught up with him at the stables, and he had already saddled his horse. "Kheldar, I…" For some reason she wanted to say she was sorry, but what for, really? Marrying a man she loved? He just kept preparing his horse for departure, and refused to look at her. "Kheldar, please." She touched his arm. He stiffened for a moment. "Kheldar…" He turned, and caught her in his arms, burying his face in her hair for a second. Then he gently lifted her chin, and kissed her on the lips.
He kept her pressed to him for only a few moments, and he was surprised that Porenn actually let him. Maybe she saw it as a kind of goodbye, just like he did, because something would never be the same between them.
He let go of her and mounted his horse, forcing it into a gallop already in the yard outside the stables. The only thought in his head was to get away from Porenn, away from what he knew wasn't a betrayal, yet it felt like it, like she had betrayed him somehow, by marrying Rhodar.
He wasn't seen in Boktor for over a year this time. He did not even come to his uncle's, Porenn's, wedding. He got letters from her, begging him to come, but his steady refusal eventually forced her to give up.
All his contacts with the Intelligence Service were taken care of via messengers, and slowly the stories and rumours about him started to build into his legendary status.
When he eventually came to Boktor again, and paid his visit to the palace, he refused to acknowledge any of their old friendship. He took on the habit of calling her "auntie dear", and she could see how uncomfortable her presence made him. Her heart ached for her dearest childhood friend, and she'd give anything to erase the self-mocking, pained expression on his face.
"Kheldar…" She didn't know what she wanted to say, just something, something that would make it just a little bit better.
"Yes, auntie dear?" She shook her head and walked away, and that night, she cried into her pillow long after Rhodar had fallen asleep. She had never loved Silk in the way he wanted her to, but it hurt to know how much she'd hurt him. And she knew they could never regain the friendship they had shared for so many years.
Silk, true to his nature, sought out the nearest alehouse as soon as he was able to escape the palace. Drinking himself into oblivion seemed like a good idea. A very good idea. And maybe find a girl. He looked around. It had been a while… that one was pretty, blond, like Porenn. Porenn… Always Porenn.
He took a deep swig from his tankard. He wished they could have kept their friendship, but he knew it would be impossible. He wished he didn't feel like this for his uncle's wife.
He left Boktor the next day, squinting against the too-bright sunlight, mind set on not returning for as long as possible.
Please review? Pretty pretty please? It makes me so happy!