Learning the Truth
SVU cast with some additions as well. A list of Main Characters is below.
Dolen (Don), Olethia (Olivia), Ellard (Elliot), Miron (Munch), Fatin (Fin), Ailis (Alex), A'isha (Abbie), Stina (Serena), Caci (Casey) Zafirah (Essentially Mrs Cabot), Treton (Trevor), Lonyn (Liz), Kelifa (Kathy), Gair (George), Majida (Melinda), Jaecar (Jack). I spent hours doing research on names that started with the same letter so you would at least know who I was referring to. I hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters the story is based off but the ideas are all mine.
Only 4 reviews people! I don't write for a year and only 4. Sheesh, you're a hard mob to please. Lets go for 5 at least eh?
Olethia and Ailis hung with Oria until lunch, neither wanting to spoil the mood by searching out the Queen. Olethia knew Ailis would be mad that her mother had hidden her relationship for so long. Yes the Queen had to be discrete, but her daughter should have known long before now.
As Olethia tried to push herself up from her sitting position she let out a soft gasp and grabbed her ribs. Damn the hulk of a man, she hated fractured ribs. Ailis and Oria immediately turned concerned gazes upon her and she waved away Ailis's offer of assistance and grabbed Oria around the neck with her good arm to help her stand, leaning against her friend once she was back on her feet until she felt steady enough.
Oria nuzzled into her and she pat the Tanton gently while murmuring she was alright. With a last scratch she moved away and told Oria to go for a fly and enjoy, no point both of them being cooped up. Olethia promised to visit her later in the day.
Taking Ailis's hand they watched as Oria made a running leap into the sky and fly off into the distance. Olethia sighed, she would give anything to be with her friend. A gentle squeeze of her hand reminded her that she had someone just as important, in a different way, to be with and they hurried to make it to lunch.
Lunch consisted of freshly baked bread, cheese, cut meat and sliced salads. Olethia left Ailis to talk to her friends while she sat with her father and the warriors. She made a impromptu sandwich and tucked in. She was very careful with her arm movements and used her good arm to reach anything she needed. One time she tried to reach for her glass with her bad side she winced, earning a concerned look from her father. She hastily assured him she was fine and mollified he returned to his conversation.
After lunch the Queen requested to speak to her daughter when she tried to leave with her friends. Ailis shot a look at Olethia full of trepidation and the Queen quickly assured Olethia could come too. Olethia ended up escorting them out of the room, along with Lonyn, and with the stares of many following them. All with a different degree of surprise, humour, acceptance or anger. Olethia met the challenging gaze of the greying haired man from the Forest, she would find out what his issue was, and in the mean time she would watch him carefully.
She led the trio back to the Queens quarters with Lonyn, leaving them to sit while she attended to stoking the smouldering fire to warm the cooling room. They had an inner room, no windows to catch the late summer breeze but also the rocks didn't catch the sun to warm them, hence it was always colder.
The women pulled their chairs closer to the now roaring fire while Olethia grit her teeth at the flashes of pain she felt from the small task. She remained standing while waiting for the Queen to speak.
"Ailis, have you spoken to Olethia?" the Queen asked and Ailis shot a look at Olethia who nodded and smiled before coming to stand behind her.
"Yes she spoke to me" Ailis smiled up at the taller brunette before turning back to her mother who was trying her best to dampen the excitement on her face "She informed me of your request and" she paused and took a deep breath for confidence "We want to issue a compromise"
"Oh" the Queen stated flatly, a little disappointed. It earned her a nudge from her own partner.
"Yes" Olethia stepped in as Ailis seemed to lose her confidence "We will have a betrothal party of sorts, celebrate our commitment to marry and then you can come back in spring and we shall wed"
She watched carefully as the Queen seemed to contemplate this. She could feel the nervous energy of Ailis and placed a calming hand on her shoulder, not surprised when a cool pale hand came up to grip her own. The Queens gaze was instantly drawn by the movement and she had to admit to herself it was a very good counter offer. She would get a trip back to the Mountains in spring for a wedding and maybe even convince her daughter and her intended to return to the forest for a honeymoon of sorts. Ailis could use the time to pack anything she wished to bring back to the Mountains.
"It sounds like a lovely idea" the Queen nodded "Should we inform the king so formal arrangements can be made?" the Queen asked and Olethia tried not to groan at the word formal "We will have to arrange another shopping expedition, I still have some coin and this calls for a dress for the occasion"
"Zaf" Lonyn groaned shaking her head which in turn caused the Queen to glare at the other woman. This interaction drew Ailis's attention as she wondered was going on. Her mother never let anyone address her so informally in front of company, not even herself. She was quite stunned and it led her to ask
"Mother what is going on?" she watched as her mother shot another glare at Lonyn who remained calm and merely raised a brow coolly.
"She deserves to know Zaf" she stated and Ailis felt Olethia squeeze her hand in comfort as she shot a look between them.
"I agree" Olethia nodded and Ailis shot her a startled look too. She knew? Olethia smiled down at her reassuringly "I guessed and servant gossip is rife"
"Blast" the Queen muttered shocking her daughter even more, even as she turned to Lonyn and growled "I told you"
"Are you sick?" Ailis cried suddenly distressed that her mother was dying and was trying to hide it from her. She relaxed somewhat when her mother laughed but then got angry again and snapped "Will someone please inform me what is going on" which earned her a sharp glance but she was too mad to care.
"Lonyn and I.." her mother paused searching for the right words
"Are companions" Lonyn helped her out which just earned her a few confused and bemused looks
"I know " Ailis stated, that was hardly news
"Life companions" Lonyn added when it seemed the young Cabot wasn't quite grasping what she was trying to tell her.
"I know that, you're best friends"
"For goodness sake Ailis she means life partner. I have chosen Lonyn to be my life partner" her mother sighed and so Ailis didn't misunderstand took her lovers hand, much to Lonyn's relief and joy. Ailis could just stare at them slack jawed as she took in all her mother was telling her. She felt a mixture of relief, joy, resentment and anger but clenched her jaw as she tried to control it.
"How long?" she asked
"You know we've been friends all our lives, as we got older the attraction was there but I was pressured to do my duty" she paused and smiled at Lonyn "I had to produce an heir. It was the hardest thing I had to do and Lonyn left for many years, returning when you were ten"
"Fifteen years?" Ailis was aghast they were together that long without telling her but she frowned when her mother shook her head
"No there was a lot of anger and bitterness there, me for Lonyn leaving, Lonyn for me denying her the opportunity of a relationship. It took several years of becoming friends and confidants again. It wasn't until you moved out that..."
"I was 18 when I moved out." Ailis shook her head and glared at her mother "You have hidden this for seven years!"
"To be fair..." Lonyn started but Ailis cut her off with a sharp look then returned her glare to her mother.
"You should be ashamed of yourself" she growled and stood quickly surprising everyone including Olethia who was quite stunned by the anger bubbling out of the blonde, she did not expect this "I am angry you have hidden this from me, from the village, from the people. You act like you are better than us all and are ashamed of your relationship with Lonyn" she turned to the other shocked elder in the room "I hope you know what you're getting into" she growled before she turned to walk out.
Olethia paused to look at the distressed Queen with an apologetic look "I will talk to her, she will not stay mad long" she paused wondering whether to bring up her other concern and decided it was for the best "You should watch Jaecar, he is not happy with the recent events, should I be concerned, is he her father?"
"Good Lord no" the Queen cried and shuddered "I am aware of his disapproval and it's not his place, he wants Ailis for himself"
"He what!" the thought was revolting, he was old enough to be her father! Rage filled her and simmered in her veins, if the man dared touch Ailis she would tear him limb from limb "Keep him away from Ailis, I won't be held accountable for my actions if he goes near her" she growled. The Queen and Lonyn got a glimpse at the dark side of Olethia, of the warrior, but underneath they knew it was fuelled by Olethia's fear for Ailis's safety as they watched her go storming out of the chamber, slamming the door with a loud crash.
"Well that went well" Lonyn muttered and sighed when her lover slumped into her arms
"Hold me" Zafirah whispered and Lonyn wrapped her arms around the other woman and kissed her temple
"Always Zaf, always" she promised.
On the other side of the door Olethia gasped and doubled over, clutching at her abused ribs, having forgotten about them in her rage. Ailis, who was waiting in the corridor for she did not know the path back to her own rooms, gasped and ran for the injured brunette
"Olethia" she cried taking her arm to steady her and allowing the woman to take in deep steadying breaths.
"I'm Ok" Olethia stood slowly, hissing as it pulled on her ribs and made her breathing shallower. Damn that really hurt. She must have some internal bleeding in there. Which was always fun, not.
"No, you are not" Ailis growled "Come, lean into me a bit, I am stronger than I look after years of climbing trees" she grinned, for the moment setting aside her upset and anger as she led Olethia towards her own chamber. As luck would have it they saw Tresa coming out of another chamber after cleaning it and preparing it for occupation that night. She took one look at a grey Olethia and hurried towards them.
"What have you done!" she exclaimed and Ailis advised that Olethia had used her right arm to open and close a solid chamber door rather firmly and may have hurt herself more. Tresa shook her head and led them to Olethia's chamber where they assisted the sore brunette out of her cloak and sword belt which Ailis took to the shelves to place neatly away. They guided the aching woman into her bed chamber and onto her bed where Ailis stood back and let Tresa help remove boots, socks, vest and pants, Ailis turned away for propriety sake, before assisting her into bed.
"Do not move I will fetch more salve and sedatives" she shot Olethia a look when she went to argue "It's that or I tell the King"
"You would" Olethia chuckled then gasped when even that caused her some discomfort "This is not fun" she grumbled. Tresa merely shook her head and left the chambers before Olethia turned to Ailis "Stay"
"I am not tired" Ailis informed and seeing Olethia's face drop hastened to add "However I will collect some reading material and read while you rest"
"I would be grateful for the company" Olethia smiled and Ailis found herself fighting a blush as she told the older woman she would be back shortly and hurried to her own chambers, via the private chamber, to collect some reading material. Olethia's eyes were closed and some of her colour had returned when she entered the chamber. She seemed to be breathing regularly so Ailis made her way to the chair beside the main fire, adding more wood to it to increase the heat as she shivered. Goodness and this was summer. She needed warmer clothes for winter, she wasn't sure how she wasn't going to freeze to death.
Tresa returned a short while later and gave Olethia a hot tea to drink first, letting the sedative take hold before she tended to her bruised ribs, wincing at the sight of fresh bruising, definitely internal bleeding they would have to watch. Once the salve was applied and she wrapped the ribs the best she could with a half conscious Olethia she exited the bed chamber.
"If she gets worse, starts wheezing, coughing or complaining she can't breathe you need to prop her up more then try and find me, I'll be in one of the chambers along this passage" and with those instructions she left a slightly fretting Ailis to look after a slumbering Olethia.
Ellard was a very angry man, furious in fact. That and worried. He was angry for many reasons but mainly because the messenger had informed him that he, Miron and Fatin were to return to the Mountains immediately and they only just got here. He ignored the fact it was completely at odds to his thoughts this morning where he wished he was home in his own bed.
Further to that the messenger couldn't tell him why he needed to return so urgently and pressed they were to leave immediately. Ellard had refused, they had a long day of flying and they were worn out, especially the Tantons. His tent was set up for the night and he was staying.
He was also worried, they saw signs today that the Plainsmen were indeed planning something. They had flown at high altitude to avoid detection and had seen the camp/training ground long before they needed to worry about detection. They also had the sun at their backs which had assisted.
The camp had been massive, many hundreds of tents, masses of men in a well set up training camp and penned nearby were tens, if not hundreds of Zaders, big angry beasts that could kill a man with one stomp or flick of his head. He had a bad feeling that a war was inevitable.
It had been getting late in the day by then and they needed to decrease altitude and return to camp. He'd flown until he was struggling to breath and then guided Eneas down to an easier altitude where they had quickly covered the mileage to return to camp, only to receive the summons home.
Ellard had dismissed the messenger then spent a couple of hours briefing the next in command to what he wanted them to do. He would report to the King tomorrow and request he send words to other warriors to join them.
For now he had to go bathe in the freezing stream that was a few hundred meters behind them, have some dinner and hit the hay early so that he could rise and get an early start home.