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    Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

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    elanya
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by elanya on 25/01/13, 08:52 pm

    "It's a lot for one day," Vedran agreed. "We can work on it in shorter periods, if you want, so it is less overwhelming? I think it will be easier too, once you've been through it for real once, and can see that, strange though they may be, nobles are actually people too." He smiled, squeezing Aleyn's hand once the sorcerer put down his fork. "Do you want coffee or dessert now? We could excuse ourselves now and have something sent up later, if you prefer?"
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by Curtana on 25/01/13, 09:49 pm

    "It's okay," Aleyn said, pulling himself together as much as he was able. He gave Vedran's hand another squeeze. It wasn't that he didn't think nobles were people - he knew they were, and he also knew people could be horrible sometimes, especially to anyone they considered an outsider. But he didn't think he could explain all that right now. "I heard a rumour there's cake, and I wouldn't want to skip that."
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by elanya on 26/01/13, 12:26 am

    Vedran and Vinalia tried to make coffee and dessert a little more relaxed and informal, and once everyone had enjoyed their cake, the men went upstairs to check out Aleyn's room (adjoining Vedran's, for convenience) before going to play with Macen for an hour or so before his bedtime. They had already decided to spend the night, as they had meetings up the hill the next morning anyway - it was easy to see this as a test run for how things would go once the season got underway. Vedran did what he cold to help Aleyn relax a little more, and reassure him that it would be fine, before they fell asleep together that night.
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by Curtana on 26/01/13, 12:44 am

    Aleyn slept fitfully, despite Vedran's comfort, and woke up when it was still dark out, unable to get back to sleep. He thought about waking Vedran, but he didn't want to disturb his rest. He slipped quietly out of bed, pulling on his robe, and wandered over to the bookshelf. It was difficult to make out the titles in the faint moonlight, but he didn't much care what he read - he just wanted something to take his mind off the real world for a little while. He picked one more or less at random, but then realized he didn't want to turn on the light and risk waking Vedran. He remembered that there was a small sitting room or study nearby, and figured no one would mind if he went there to read for a while. He tried to be as quiet as he could while opening the door - Vedran stirred and rolled over, but didn't seem to wake up.

    The small study was not deserted, however. Vinalia sat at the window seat, looking out at the night sky, but turned her head sharply when Aleyn stepped into the room. "Oh, I'm sorry," he said hastily, stepping back. "I didn't mean to disturb you. I'll go..."
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by elanya on 26/01/13, 12:49 am

    The light from the waning moon illuminated her smile, and washed the purle pf her silk dressing gown to silver. "Oh, you're not troubling me at all, Aleyn - are having trouble sleeping?" She patted the seat beside her in invitation, drawing up her legs.
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by Curtana on 26/01/13, 12:51 am

    "Yeah," Aleyn admitted, coming over shyly to sit down beside her. "I didn't want to wake Vedran if I was tossing and turning, so I figured it was better to just get up... maybe read for a little, see if I could get my mind to stop worrying and think about something else..."
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by elanya on 26/01/13, 01:00 pm

    Vinalia nodded, giving him a discerning look that was probably unfair given the time of night. "Would it help to talk about it any? I know today was pretty overwhelming, but I'd like this house to be a safe place, for both of you, not somewhere you should be afraid to come."
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by Curtana on 26/01/13, 01:23 pm

    "It's just so much to learn... so much that doesn't make sense to me and I just have to memorize it, all the rules, and knowing that people will be wondering why I'm there anyway and watching me, and that any mistakes I make will just show them I don't belong, and it'll look bad for Vedran, and... and maybe if I screw up too much I won't be invited back again and then he'll be at these things alone... except he won't be alone because there'll be all these people who'll be trying to m-marry him.... and what if I can't watch that and pretend it's okay? What if it's not okay?"

    The torrent of words spilled out of him without really meaning to, after being held in for too long as he tried to be strong. "I'm sorry," he trailed off, looking down at his hands. "I don't want to burden you with my problems... I try to talk to Vedran about it but I don't want to make him more upset... But I do feel safe here, in your house, and I guess with you... I feel like maybe you understand?"
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by elanya on 26/01/13, 02:12 pm

    "Oh," she said with a little sigh and an earnest glance out at the moon, "my poor boys. I haven't forgotten how overwhelming it can be to be pushed out into that world, even with guidance." She patted his arm. "No one is going to kick you out of a fancy party because you don't use the right fork, or you don't know all the dances - trust me. I promise he won't have to go without you. But I know the rest is harder."
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by Curtana on 26/01/13, 03:06 pm

    Aleyn nodded miserably. "We keep trying to tell each other it'll be all right. I guess as long as one of us is convinced at any given time then we can get by... but it's just so hard, knowing things are going to change but not knowing how. Does it ever get easier?"
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by elanya on 26/01/13, 03:32 pm

    Vinalia thought for a moment before answering. "I suppose I have always had something of an advantage over you - I always knew that change would come, that my relationships were temporary arrangements. My uncertainty came in knowing *when* things would end, and how. It meant I was always looking ahead, trying to keep that change in my hands, and planning for the inevitable. Your situation is different, but I like to think that your inevitable outcome is a little cheerier. Vedran's told me he is committed to staying with you."
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by Curtana on 26/01/13, 04:03 pm

    "He's said that to me too, that he isn't going to leave me..." Aleyn told her. "He told me for the first time a few nights ago that he loves me..." He swallowed hard, trying to compose himself so he could continue. "...and I know that he's not looking for someone else in that way - just someone he can work with and be comfortable enough with and hopefully be friends with, if he's lucky... and he's said he wouldn't pick anyone who couldn't get along with me too, and that I'll get to meet them first and... and that they'll know about us, it won't be a secret from them... I know he wants to make it work, and I know he's trying his best... and I'm trying too. Every night I pray that I can be brave enough for when I have to be on my own, that I can trust him enough that even when he's with someone else, that I can know in my heart that he loves me...." Aleyn realized there were tears running down his face and wiped at them with the back of his hand. "It all feels like a test sometimes... one I'm scared I won't be strong enough to pass."
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by elanya on 26/01/13, 10:24 pm

    "Oh dear." Vinalia gave a sympathetic smile and offered her hand for a comforting squeeze. "What are you afraid will happen if you fail?"
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by Curtana on 26/01/13, 10:55 pm

    "That I'll l-lose him," Aleyn whispered. "That he'll find someone else he can be with for real, openly, and who can give him more of what he needs, and I won't be worth all this trouble anymore... or... or that I'll stay, and have half of him, when he has the time, or when it's convenient... and what if that's not enough? But if he still needed me, I couldn't just leave him... so I'm scared I'd stay and be lonely and jealous and miserable half my life," he finished between barely-stifled sobs. "I don't know which is worse to think about."
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by elanya on 27/01/13, 12:06 am

    "I can't imagine him letting that happen to you - he'd never want you to be miserable. Have you talked to him about any of this at all?"
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by Curtana on 27/01/13, 10:49 am

    "Ah... a little," Aleyn sniffled. "But I don't want to make him upset, he has enough to worry about... We had a kind of... I don't know if it was a fight, exactly, the other day, when I tried to explain how I felt, and why I was scared, and how I needed him to be there for me too... I asked him to say he loved me, and he wouldn't, or couldn't, I don't know, but then he did say it a few days later, but also that he was afraid of screwing things up... I guess afraid of hurting me, or taking advantage of me? He says he needs me and that he can't do this without me, and all those things... And we're trying to think of ways to make it easier... like we talked about getting houses close to each other, so ... with kids, maybe, it's not so hard to go back and forth... maybe he already told you about that?"
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by elanya on 27/01/13, 12:28 pm

    Vinalia nodded. "Yes - he mentioned that you were thinking about getting a house in the Heights, and that you were thinking of adopting... I think it will help to stay closer together, and there are things that make it quite easy to go between the Heights and Overlook, anyway." She smiled trying to be encouraging. "But I do think you need to be honest with him about your fears, Aleyn, even if it is hard for both of you. If he's afraid of putting too much pressure on you, of taking advantage, it will be good for him to know you can and will stand up for yourself. And you both need to know that it doesn't, fall solely on you to support him through this. He has me, he has other friends..."
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by Curtana on 27/01/13, 12:49 pm

    "I know... I try to tell him about the things I'm scared about," Aleyn said, eyes downcast. "But it always seems to come out more when he's already upset, and then it just makes things worse. He tries, I know he's trying, and I want to believe that it'll be all right. But not knowing who the person he marries will be, or what they'll be like... neither of us can predict that and he's already worried enough that it won't work out again - even though I keep telling him it'll be different this time, he's still frightened - and maybe she'll say it's okay now because she wants to make the match work but maybe it really won't be okay with her in practice, and she'll be angry or embarrassed or jealous too.... I mean, if she knows, then her family and friends are bound to know too, and we'll probably have to tell at least a few different, uh, candidates, to see how they react, and so other people will find out, and then it turns into a big scandal, or at least that's what Vedran's afraid will happen..." He shook his head, trying to stop himself from babbling.
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by elanya on 27/01/13, 04:03 pm

    She nodded, squeezing his hands again. "You need to talk about this when you're both feeling more calm. It is going to be tricky, but it isn't impossible. I don't think you need to worry too much about a scandal, but, as someone who's been the center of them - they pass. They can be stressful and difficult, but you get through it, and in time people will find something else to worry about. You both have friends and family who will stand by you, no matter what happens. That should be a little reassuring, I hope? Anyway," she smiled again, "I have the impression people will have bigger things to talk about soon enough."
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by Curtana on 27/01/13, 04:13 pm

    "Maybe," Aleyn admitted. "I asked him the same thing - won't people find us boring after a while, if they get used to seeing us together? And he said yes - but we can't do things that might make it worse. I think... I'm not sure, because I'm not an expert on noble stuff, but I think he feels like he couldn't get away with a scandal, I guess maybe because of who he is, or who his father is? I'm not sure. I mean, some people seem to be able to get away with anything, or have like... immunity to gossip, but maybe they're already more secure in their position... I don't know. Am I completely wrong on how this works?"
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by elanya on 29/01/13, 10:32 am

    Vinalia's expression turned a little wistful. "Vedran is perhaps.... overly-conscious of these matters. He certainly doesn't feel as if he's one of those people, or could be, because so many things about him are unorthodox. I know that might be hard to see from the outside." Eyebrows raised, she continued. "But the expectations are different for you and him - people will be much more forgiving of you."
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by Curtana on 29/01/13, 10:39 am

    "You mean they'll just assume I'm with him to advance myself, or for the money?" Aleyn said wearily. "Or because I'm a man he can get away with it better because there won't be any accidental dragonmarked babies?" He rested his head on his hand, suddenly exhausted by the complexity of it all, by trying to guess at the assumptions that would surround them.
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by elanya on 29/01/13, 11:08 am

    She sighed. "Oh dear...I'm sorry, that wasn't what I meant. I wasn't thinking about how they would see your relationship just then. I meant more that... They'll apply their rules and standards more strictly to him, because while he is noble, not everyone necessarily feels he should be, or maybe that he didn't come to it in the right way."
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by Curtana on 29/01/13, 11:15 am

    "Oh." He paused, wondering whether he should pry or not, but decided there wouldn't be a better time to ask. "Why did you and... and his father... choose to do things this way? I mean... it can't have been easy for anyone," he added sympathetically.
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    Re: Instructing Aleyn in the ways of high society

    Post by elanya on 31/01/13, 04:44 pm

    She thought for a moment, partly reflecting, partly composing an answer she felt was honest and suitable. "By the time Jesseryn asked me, I knew that I could trust him when he said that he would take care of us - me and the baby. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but it was the best chance I had to have a child I knew would be wanted. Jesseryn's reasons were more.... visionary, perhaps, but I do think he understood what all he was asking."

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