Skill and Charm

Skill and Charm

Who: Aerishani, O’rlen, Amorenth, Roreliuth
When: Month 6, 203 AT
Where: Council Rooms, Honshu Weyrhold
What: News of Honshu’s former Weyrsecond and impending flights.

Enough time has passed that the world seems to have calmed in the wake of Fort’s leaders being sent Between for their conviction of murder and their attack on the Smithcraft Hall as well as their involvement in the attacks on Honshu. Still, O’rlen has been spending more time outside of Honshu having meetings with Southern and Northern leadership to try and quell the concerns that a precedent has been created that they may not be able to overcome. He’s settled in the council rooms today, paperwork around him, and a forgotten lunch set aside and since gone cold. The buzz of anger that has been Daeserath’s presence since his riders injury has suddenly gone away, leaving Roreliuth to reach out to Amorenth. << He has gone to Ierne Weyr >> he tells his queen, the gentle trickle of autumn leaves swirling around. << Does Aerishani have time to talk? >>

Amorenth is temperamental at the best of times, yet she’s only grown more so in recent days, even the bond she (quietly and not at all to be commented on by anyone else) shares with Roreliuth not enough to completely save him from the cutting words of her cool temper. << Good riddance, >> she claims, voice low and heavy. << To throw his weight around in my home. To think he should command. Pathetic. >> There’s only a brief sense of motion before the queen appears at the Weyrhold’s highest point, as if she could see Daeserath does not return. << I will send her. >> Silence, then, for him and for everyone, walls slammed up. And she must do, for Aerishani walks into the council rooms a handful of minutes later, stating, “Ierne will be better for him, for now,” with only a measure more understanding than her lifemate. Spying the plate gone cold, she sends Arsinoe into flight from her shoulder, firelizard presumably sent on an errand.

“There’s no sense in having him stay here,” O’rlen replies blithely as he looks up and leans back in his chair. “The healers have told me again that C’aol is healed, he simply has not recovered his pride. It did not help their… attitude of wanting leadership that Arlet and Akanyth beat them at Fort. I wasn’t aware he had gone at first to try,” he admits to Aerishani with a tight frown. “But he did. That’s what Daeserath’s moods have been about. When Ierne agreed to his temporary transfer and he sought me this morning to tell me, not ask me,” he shakes his head and sighs. He watches Arsinoe leave Aerishani’s shoulder and passes forward a stack of papers. “The terms of his transfer. I agreed to six months, if he wants to remain there, I won’t be sad to see him go. Though his wingmates will disagree. And now I’ll have to decide whether or not I want to give Riel the permanent position as Weyrsecond.” A sigh, and then he rubs a hand across his face. “Have you heard from Arlet recently?”

“It was his pride and arrogance that needed wounding in the first place, not his body,” Aerishani claims, settling herself down into a chair as she accepts the papers and begins to look through them. “Several greenriders will sleep more easily tonight for knowing he’s gone.” She sighs. “If Fort had wanted an heir to their leaders’ ways, he’d have been perfect for them. I feel like we’ve thrown Arlet to the wolves, not that we had any hand in Akanyth chasing.” Sitting back in her seat, she offers the papers back to O’rlen and tips her face up to the ceiling. “She’s not visited in the past few weeks, but then the clutch must be on the Sands by now. Last we spoke, she asked me for copies of the minutes from the last few years of Weyr Council meetings, though she could have got them herself. Maybe she didn’t know how. It might have just been an excuse to talk.” As for Riel: “If you want to make a push for female brownrider capability, now’s the time, what with Arlet too.”

“If C’aol makes this move permanent, I imagine we’ll see more of the sort that don’t like the idea of female leadership leave with him. As it is, I had to deny two additional transfer requests. I’m not sending him to Ierne with his cronies,” O’rlen looks to Aerishani with a rueful twist to his lips, “Though I’d love to see them gone. It serves no purpose for us to let all our disgruntled riders go. They need to stay, and if they disagree with our ways, find more sustainable ways to seek the changes they want.” He rolls his left shoulder and rubs at his muscle, turning his neck side to side to alleviate the tension he’s gathered there. “Arlet’s young, but she’s not so young as some goldriders that have found themselves thrust into leadership. I think she’ll do us proud. Wasn’t there some issue between Akanyth and Inaskashath anyway? Roreliuth was telling me not too far back, that his daughter kept coming to him upset about Akanyth for one reason or another.”

Arching a brow, Aerishani admits, “I thought Arlet and Rori were… something? Are something? Maybe not now.” She falls silent as one of the younger kitchen workers appears with a tray of biscuits and hot drinks, which she sets down before silently excusing herself with a bobbed curtsey. “It’s none of my business, either way. Rori and Mersia both seem… delicate… at times. If Akanyth is his mother’s son, then it’s understandable that he could upset Inaskashath. Perhaps it’s better that they’re apart now, at least for her.” Reaching across the table, she draws the tray closer and selects the mug of spiced milk that that’s been settled on it beside the pots of tea and klah. “Perhaps C’aol will take an interest in his daughter and decide Silverfield ought to host him for a while,” she considers over the rim of her mug. “If they’ll stand for that.”

“Really?” O’rlen asks, brows furrowing as he looks at Aerishani. “How could you… tell?” O’rlen has never been anyone to catch on to situations around him, much less the ones that involve romance. None of his close friends are the type to enjoy gossip – it’s cards, whiskey, and physical feats that drive those that keep O’rlen company when he’s relaxing. O’rlen offers a smile to the kitchen worker before he reaches right for the biscuit to inhale in a few bites. “Didn’t realize I was hungry,” he mutters around a mouthful before he’s reaching for the hot klah. “Mersia gets on my nerves. I don’t know how you work with her or, Rori, honestly.” He lifts a brow at the suggestion of C’aol going to Silverfield. “I do not see Lady Zinovia allowing for that. I was under the impression that Akemi was now her wife and the Hold hosts two Ladies and no Lord. C’aol’d never survive the hit to his pride for that.” He sighs and shakes his head, sipping his klah and watching Aerishani. “Is Ileylath next to rise?”

“Arlet was spending more time in Rori’s weyr than her own,” Aerishani replies with the slightest of shrugs, drinking deeply from her mug. “Maybe they’re just friends. There’re other rider pairs who live together without being romantically involved.” She sets the mug down and reaches for a biscuit of her own. “Amorenth’s daughters chose Mersia and Rori, so I have to believe that they did for a reason. Rori works hard and might actually have a temper under the rest of it. Neither of them flaunt their strengths, but… Well, let’s hope we don’t need to see them wield their queens’ power.” As O’rlen asks who is likely to be next to rise, she colours a little and shakes her head upon hearing the name of a junior queen. “…No,” she murmurs. “It’s too soon for her; not a full year yet, anyway.” Up on that high point, Amorenth unfurls her wings to catch the sun as Aerishani confesses, “It’ll be Amorenth. Soon. Within the month, for certain. Inaskashath’s of an age for it to be any time now, too.”

O’rlen tilts his head at Aerishani, a glint in his gaze as he offers her a lazy, cocky, smile. “It’ll be good to see Amorenth’s eggs on the Sands again. Even if it’s Roreliuth who tends to them.” He takes a gulp of his klah and blinks at the realization that Inaskashath may rise soon too. “It’s been that long, has it? I wonder how that’ll work out. At least the timing serves us, with Daeserath in Ierne. We’ll keep the flights closed to our own.” He’s not going to risk it. “After Mikketh’s success at Southern, it’s possible he’ll be the one to catch Inaskashath. Wouldn’t that rankle the world? The browns and their women are taking over,” he laughs at his own joke, shaking his head as he reaches for another biscuit to eat. “Leave it to our golds to control the world if there’s need for it. Amorenth’s strength must be in her daughters.”

Huffing out a soft note of laughter, Aerishani requests, “Just try not to get //me// with a clutch this time, hmm?” in dry, quiet tones. “…Not that I suppose I’d mind too much. It’s been long enough.” Since the twins. “I’ll tell Rori she’s to keep the flight closed, though it might be good for bloodlines if we open up the junior flights in a few years. I’d not have wanted Daeserath to catch Inaskashath… the reality of him catching Yukijiath was enough, though maybe it served a purpose in the end.” With her mug dutifully drained, she sets it down on the table and reaches to pour herself a cup of tea to follow. “If Rori has any preference for women, it could well be Mikketh, or another brownriding woman. I just hope Arlet has enough sense to keep Akanyth away if she hears Inaskashath is proddy.” After taking a sip of her tea, she rises to her feet to close the distance between chairs and threads a hand into O’rlen’s hair, tipping his head back to claim a kiss. “I was lucky that Amorenth and I found our mates in the same moment.”

O’rlen reaches his arm out to snag Aerishani’s waist, and his other to let a hand pinch playfully at her rear. “Luck had nothing to do with it. It was all skill on Roreliuth’s part and charm on my own.” He grins up at Aerishani before he tugs her down onto his lap, arms around her waist as his nose snuggles in against her neck. “I don’t know what Rori wants. Maybe we shouldn’t close it like I was saying. You’d know better than me. I defer to your wisdom there.” He nips at her ear and hums softly. “If we do end up with another brownriding female it would not be a bad thing. I wish I could orchestrate it but you never know. What I don’t want to happen is one of C’aol’s cronies catches and that starts a whole other set of complaints and drama.” He sighs and tips his forehead forward to press against Aerishani. “It’ll keep getting easier, won’t it?”

“Well, yes, I do remember you charmingly – and not at all in a pleading manner – suggesting that we might do well together,” Aerishani drawls, touching her hands down on O’rlen’s shoulders as she settles into his lap, though one hand almost immediately sneaks its way back up to roam through his hair. “…It’s her flight. It ought to be her decision, at least while she has the chance without it having even bigger consequences.” She ducks her head slightly to answer his nip with one of her own at the line of his jaw. “It’ll be easier now without C’aol trying to undermine the both of us,” she murmurs, closing her eyes as she presses her forehead to his. “I have every faith that Roreliuth will catch Amorenth, but I wouldn’t put it past our old Weyrsecond’s supporters to interfere somehow with her flight, let alone Inaskashath’s. We need to be ready.” Gently, she touches her lips to his temple, then tugs at his hair to tilt his mouth up to hers again so that she can seek out another kiss, this one more heated than the last. “I do love you, you know.”

“I love you more,” O’rlen murmurs against her lips. Once more his hands move for purchase and he eases her off of his lap and up on the table. “Let’s not worry about C’aol and the idiots that continue to follow him like he’s the only answer to dragonriders.” He places both his hands on her thighs and lets them creep upwards suggestively. “I can think of a better way to spend this break than focusing on him. Or worrying too much about outcomes we may not have much control over. Aside from the fact Roreliuth will catch Amorenth and you and me will be behind closed doors.” He captures her face between his work rough hands and kisses her, long and slow. Without a word given, he walks away from her to go and lock the doors. “Looks like you’ve taken my last available meeting time, love,” he drawls as he makes his way back to her. His hands once more find her face as he captures another kiss. “And I can think of a better way to use this table.” Papers will scatter, clothes may tear, hair will be mussed. No one will comment on O’rlen’s skewed buttons the rest of the day, knowing that contented look of his all too well as the lovestruck man he is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *