Poster: Lazare Carno
Post # 8
wasn't quite born yesterday as Vincent's implication of why the lads
were staying, some of them, slowly sunk in. The more it sunk in the
hotter her cheeks felt. Surely she was wrong? Misunderstanding which
only made it worse. She'd live through this no matter. Her lips moved to
say adieu to the respected, even if intimidating, kingsman but nothing
came out. Probably best for it would be some kind of squeaking sound.
Her voice remained caught in her throat as Lazare would now vacate them
too. Sammy was being hailed by one of his comrades as he started off
moving backwards with a respectful salute before around and headed off
the field. It left her standing there with a lot to think on. Best
probably Sammy had gone for he was clueless, or so she thought, about
her admiration for the remaining kingsman that was soon to be gone as
Lazare looked out over the field to the lad calling out for Johnson,
then followed Sammy's departure which left Ellyn standing there. A quick
glance took in the back of de Beauvais before he looked once more to
Ellyn. "I do not mean this in any way except as a courteous
gesture, for I know as one of the Order, you do not need an escort
amongst men. But..." Lazare continued to smile to Ellyn, it was
after all, a constant expression on the jovial warrior's features.
"May I see you somewhere, Lady Royce?"
If the man only knew, he'd not be encouraging her. She got that
dreamy-eyed look if it was one that Lazare could recognize at all. That
throb at the base of her throat was doing a calypso in double time.
"Yes," came hushed under an exhale of breath and the next
without thinking, "the showers," which they had for both men
and women, separately. She knew she needed one and was the type to keep
clean. It wasn't for a moment later that it dawned on her what she had
said and quickly amended, "the Hall," which was the knight's
hall. She had a room in the area of the castle for the Order of Athena
who didn't have family here.
Since his undivided attention was currently on the Inductee to the
Order, he caught the suggested destination and he chuckled. His hand
lifted and he rubbed along the back of his neck, not sure how to respond
to that. But then the lass corrected herself which was just as well,
because, in truth, Carno, a man of many quick witted words, was not sure
where to take the discussion from there. "I thought, at first, you
might be suggesting the best course of action for me." Then again,
maybe she was but the King's Man would, in no way, ever consider the
future Dame as making such a recommendation other than by accident.
Ellyn Royce, was just not that way.
Which had her smile slip probably because he was always smiling and no
matter what faux pas there was humor instead of any other reaction to
the negative. "Perhaps for us both," but then she got this
picture in her head to tangle herself up in with the rise of color to
her cheeks again. Amending quickly once more, "separately of
course..." not sounding too sure about that for her thoughts. Oh
Lord, let me die on the spot! She bit her bottom lip so nothing else
came out that would dig her deeper into that hole she was doing very
well on all by herself.
"At least for now." Carno added with a wink to the blushing
lass. Even with all the sun provided by the outdoors training, Carno
couldn't miss the fact that Ellyn might be embarrassed with her
recommendation. And to clarify that 'for now' comment because Lazare
wouldn't realize that the words might imply that they would bathe
separately, at least, for now...he continued. "For now we will
stick to seeing you to the hall. Shall we?"
What had Uncle Neale advise her? She couldn't remember at the moment.
The talk had been a few weeks ago and the heat of the day was playing
havoc. All she knew was that she was next to the man that made her heart
race and her thoughts numbed other than being with him. Not that she was
with him but she was near him. In a distance-way she heard herself say,
"I've a confession to make." It was out, she couldn't take the
words back even if she wanted to. It was make it or break it, her heart
was pounding for what may come of it in the next few moments that she
felt faint. She was not the fainting type. Well, not until she got near
this man to at least feel that way even if she didn't. Shock.
He started, but with her 'confession' he paused, brows lifted as he
looked down to her. "Oh? Well, I'm not a priest, but for lack
thereof, please feel free to ease your mind." He scanned just
beyond her then lowered his gaze again. "Would you prefer to go
somewhere less open?" He would never wish for her to be
uncomfortable, especially if she thought him worthy enough to confide
She had not noticed anyone around even if there were always ones around
on the practice field. Most had left, some stayed, some of those left
and some others came. It was rare the field was ever empty. Ellyn
blinked with that notice, "yes.." as they moved away from the
field under his guide. "Because.." she was working up the
nerve with adding in a rush of breath, "I'mtheonewhosentyouthepresents."
Amazing how one could mash all those words together into one.
They had just made the edge of the field when she blurted out what
sounded to be another language. "I'm sorry?" Lazare responded
at first, leaning in to better hear her, since he had been unable to
understand at first. At first. But then, that blending of words started
to separate, to manifest into meaning, to make sense. The King's Man
straightened, his lips twitching with the intended smile, his head
bobbing slightly as if he meant to lean down to hear her better just to
make sure he was correct in what he made of that. "The...presents?
You?" One corner of his lips pulled up in a crooked smile.
"Well, I'll be damned." He muttered, not at all like Carno to
slip so in front of a lady but, she had completely laid him out with
that revelation. "You have good taste." He cleared his throat
then, attempting to gather the wits that had been completely wasted by
her 'confession'. "I mean, in gifts, M'Lady." By no way
meaning in men! Well, maybe, in that too, but .. "And you are a
gifted writer as well."
His reaction eased her thoughts on something she could not help, any
more than breathing itself. "Yes, I'm afraid I've fallen hopelessly
in love with you." Her words coming calm in spite of the racing of
her heart. He probably got to hear that lots of times from the many
women who had fallen for him in such a way. "I'm sorry," well,
she was and she wasn't. The one comment had her smiling brightly,
"yes, I do have good taste." She certainly felt so. She
cleared her throat in light imitation, "I mean in you." She
didn't even notice them walking the while, "you inspired me. I
never wrote before." Which had been true, she got to discover a
Hopelessly? Love? Yes, that had him nonchalantly scanning the area for
any comrades before settling his gaze back on the Lady. They were alone
near the cover of trees after all. Not exactly a good place to be espied
as a secret rendezvous. "Well now..." What else could he say
at the moment except that? He studied her features, this young woman set
for the oath of the Order. "Why do you say hopelessly? When you
love someone, there should be abounding hope. Perhaps you aren't,
actually, 'in love' as yet. Although the emotions in that poem were
rather intense. But you are an intense woman, Lady Royce, from what I've
seen, in all you do and set your mind to. Knowing now it was you, it is
no wonder the poem managed to intrigue all Four of us."
Her voice was quiet, reflective and perhaps a bit wiser for her age.
"I have hope but..." how did she explain this but? "I am
sure there are many women who admire you as I do," well maybe
somewhat clueless there in how things worked. If there were others, they
had not been brave enough to step forward. "You are a high
standing, prestigious man.." well, she was blundering as green eyes
lifted to meet his and hopefully convey what she wasn't doing so well in
words with. Eyes widened with the last, HOLYMOLIE.. ALL FOUR. Blink
Blink. She swallowed down any other thoughts except one, "will you
tell them?" Fear settled in.
"Come here, sit with me." Lazare offered his hand to hers,
down low, palm to her palm before he moved them to an obliging fallen
tree that made for the perfect seating spot for this moment. He waited
for her to get settled, then lowered to sit as well. "May I confess
to you as well now?" He didn't wait for her answer, just nodded as
if she would, and continued. "I am Lazare Nikolas Carno. That...is
who I am. High standing? Prestigious?" He shook his head to the
negative. "Lazare...Carno. I am one of the Four. But I am only One
... that one, is Lazare. If it is the title that others are drawn to,
the power of that title, the skill required to possess that title, then
they will be sourly disappointed. Because, Lady Royce, in the end, I am
... but Lazare Carno. I sleep at night with my eyes closed. I eat..and
eat..and eat." He smiled to her, his way of easing the seriousness
of their discussion. "But I need sustenance like anyone else. I
pull on my pants, one leg at a time. I train hard. I train long. I train
with the best. But at the end of the day, when my body hits my mattress,
I am Lazare. No man of high standing or prestige, no grand and noble
warrior, no fourth of the powerful elements. If you or anyone would love
me, then you would know...I am Lazare. I'm not who you see on the field,
or hear about in battle, M'Lady."
Her hand slipped into his naturally, gently. Perhaps someone might see
them, perhaps not. Certainly being seen together without a crowd around.
Not much one could say in that? Not much one would say openly at least
for the man she was with! She settled surprisingly comfortably by his
side. "It is that Lazare I feel for, that my heart thunders in my
ears and skips beats whenever you are near. That Lazare whose kindness
went far that day in the Cave, understanding my fear of heights of which
I need to overcome," but that was another matter. "Do I dare
to hope that such a man could look upon me not only as a woman but one
he could desire?" That was asking a lot in hope but it best be she
continue that hope or dash it if it was something she got patted on the
head, sympathy in his eyes but no desire like the fire that wished to be
stoked in hers.
"You can cook, I'll give you that." Carno took up her hand,
leaning as he did to press a light kiss to the top of it. His gaze
lifted before his body straightened and he lowered her hand back down.
He wouldn't say she was young. She wasn't young. She was the exact age
for what she was experiencing in life. He wouldn't say she was naive.
Experience in life came with moments of truth such as this. He wouldn't
pat her on the head. Hell, that was for dogs or horses, not for Lady's
of the Order. "Many such a man will do so, M'Lady. I have no doubt
in my mind whatsoever. You train. You devote yourself to your chosen
destiny. You stay true to you...to Ellyn Royce...and with all my heart I
doubt not that all that is yours to be had, will come to you."
Yes, she could cook she found out because she wanted to for him. Another
hidden talent brought to life. In the least this journey of the heart
gave her gifts to be used. "I wish but one man, not many." The
fact he didn't encourage her there was duly noted. She would not press.
She cared for him far too much. So much for hope but best she face the
reality of it. "I will devote myself to the order," sounding
like becoming a nun! The kiss to the top of her hand was more like that
pat to the head in a way but she smiled and would remember it fondly.
She was tempted to kiss his lips so that she could take that with her
instead as the token. She wasn't in any hurry to move for this might be
the only opportunity to spend time with him alone like this.
Lazare inched closer to her, taking up her chin with his fingertips so
that there was no chance she wouldn't look him in the eyes. "You
better devote yourself to the Order, My Lady. Is it what you want? To be
within that Order of Athena? Any man worthy of you, is and will be
willing to wait for you to see to your dreams. Know this, Ellyn Royce. I
wish for you to succeed and to achieve all that your heart desires. You
should know, I am one score ten and six. Patience? I'm all about it. I
would never expect anyone to be so patient as I am." Again that
faint wink of kindness. "But don't be distracted, Ellyn. This path
you have chosen is a hard one, especially at first, and it will demand
your dedication entirely. Chose, M'Lady. You need to know if it is a
life of wifely duties you prefer, or one of defending this kingdom. Our
Princess, is both, but she made her mark on this kingdom first with the
Order prior to making her mark on our Prince."
His gesture had her slipping the tip of her tongue between her lips to
moisten them in a natural reaction. Her eyes held by his in a way she
couldn't break it if she wanted to. She didn't. "It was all and
only what I wanted until you." Which was the truth of it. She was
probably taken more in surprise by the fact she found desire in her
heart for a man. Gave into it willingly. "I don't see your age
either, Lazare. I see only you. You could be ten score and ten for all
my heart doesn't care." There was slight twitch of her lips after
that speech he gave her on Lazare. Not his titles.. and certainly should
not be his age. "Women have married older.." which was true.
"I will try my best not to be distracted," but that was like
trying to tell a heart what it could feel and what it could not. She
would attempt it. Then that daunting came but wait, "Princess
Noirin does both." Why couldn't she? Well, there was that and it
would mean her having patience. She didn't say anything more in spite of
him addressing that issue of the princess. She only studied him, delved
as much as she could, there in his eyes. Was he kindly putting her off?
Most likely. She was prepared for it in a way but it didn't stop the
sinking of her heart.
Was he putting her off? Or was he pointing her in the direction of her
dreams. Where she should be focused anyway. Their gazes held, he wasn't
going to look away. Not now. Not yet. This was important to him.
"If...Ellyn...if I find that you are distracted. I will seek out
our Princess myself." His hand stroked from under her chin and he
thumped the top of it with his forefinger. "And women have married
older?" He started to laugh. "You make it sound as if I'm
ancient!" His shoulders shook slightly with his amusement.
"I'm not. By any means." There was laughter in his eyes, but
there was also compassion, and caring, and hope for her. He, more than
anyone, realized that life progressed as it should. Ellyn Royce was a
woman to be desired, and when she reached that point in her life that
allowed her the liberty of distraction, then who knew? "I don't
know you, Lady Royce, but I look forward to it...as you progress in the
Order, and then..." He shrugged a muscular shoulder, a faint squint
to his eyes as he studied her. "and then." He ended his
sentence in that way.
So she was given a thread of hope. As much as anyone could. Eyes still
held until his laughter brought hers to dip there to his lips. Lifting
only again with his words. This much she could promise. "I will
save my distractions to my own time." Not on the field, not in
training not where it could cause her any misstep when others depended
on her. She had not so far and would not so the promise came with
conviction. Eyes searched once more before the curl of her lips formed
into a smile. "Then the future is open to any possibility to be
embraced. If one wants to get to know another, it is in their grasp to
do so." Which meant taking some initiative all in the right time
and circumstances. At least getting to know her, if nothing more, was
within his grasp.
To that, he dipped his head in a single nod with his agreement, never
taking his gaze from hers. Carno reached over and took up her hand
again, giving it a squeeze. "Now...to the hall. For at least one of
us needs to take a bath, the other, may wish to. And sitting here,
accomplishes neither." He stood and in doing so, helped her to as
well. From here, it would be allowing fate to take her course. As it