(1866-05-31) Before the Others
Before the Othera
Summary: Alina summons Gabriel to let him know the truth that she survived the fight with her father before her appearance in court the next day.
Date: 1866-05-31
Related: A Small Chat
Alina  Gabriel  James  

Room Name
Room description
IC date of RP

It was a brief missive signed by the Duke of Lonnaire's own hand, requesting the presence of one Lord Gabriel l'Corren at the l'Saigner manse that evening (though at his convienence in the evening) that was brought to Gabriel not long after lunchtime.

And when Gabriel came to the manse to answer the summons, he was politely escorted in by a pair of men in Black Fox company tabards— mercenaries. The l'Saigner did not have much in the way of military forces, only their Wraiths, a small house guard (that stayed in Lonnaire), and the use of the Black Fox mercenary company. Though it is large and supposedly skilled, it was no match for men of honor, for knights of the Argent Legion.

But that might be irrelevant.

Duke James, the Hawk of Lonnaire, is found sitting in the study of the manse, already sipping from a glass of amber liquid. A second, identical glass awaits Lord Gabriel.

Gabriel made his way to the l'Saigner's manse, curious as to what the Duke might want with him. Perhaps it was something to do with clearing things up with the betrothal now that Alina was possibly dead? Curious, he would have assumed that his own father would have seen to things like that instead. No matter, here he was. Handing over his sword to one of the men of the Black Fox company, Gabriel allows himself to be escorted to Duke James' study.

Stepping inside, he offers the man a bow of his head in respect. "Your Grace, how may I be of service?"

"Good evening, Lord Gabriel," Duke James says, rising and nodding to the younger man. "Whiskey," he says, nodding towards the glass. "I do not often indulge— but tonight I've found the need for it." He gives Gabriel a grim sort of smile.

"That one is yours, and have a seat. As you are aware, there was a contract between our houses, and your future was the primary issue within." He grimaces slightly.

Offering the Duke a nod, Gabriel steps over and picks up the offered glass. "Thank you, your Grace." Taking his seat, he takes a sip of the whiskey. Fine stuff, though that is kind of to be expected. Listening to the Duke's words, he nods faintly. "Indeed, I know my father intended for a union between your daughter and I to help mend some of the past differences between our two houses." He pauses. "I admit, the betrothal came as a surprise to me, but your daughter had shown a good deal of promise in one of our meetings prior to me riding to the north. I was saddened to hear of her death."

"Saddened, then?" Duke James lifts a brow. "Yes, I suspect much of Couviere was saddened to hear of such." Her death, which came at his hands, according to the rumors. "And yes. The union was meant for many things, but to mend the rift between our houses most of all."

James takes a swallow of the whiskey. "I was asked to fulfill a task," he says simply. "And I have. I will speak with you later, I think, Lord Gabriel." He places the glass down on the table in the study, and with no further words, the man departs the room, the door shutting behind him.

Gabriel takes another swallow of the whiskey, frowning at James' words. Fulfill a task? He watches the man stand up and leave the room. Well, that was odd. Damned l'Saigner, they were an odd bunch, all of them. Shrugging, not entirely sure what to expect right now, he finishes off his glass of whiskey and puts the glass down, and then waits. Either something will happen, or he'll see himself out.

The door opens slowly, and Alina steps in, her steps hesistant and unsure— not from ill-health, but it is clear in her expression she is not quite certain what to expect of Gabriel's reaction.

White and purple linen garbs the girl from head to foot, in a lightweight chemise and overdress that is loosened fully for comfort— as she is quite visibly with child, and in the late weeks. Her feet are bare and make very little sound on the floor as she slips into the room. Her hair is braided back from her face simply, not in the elaborate styles she tends to normally.

"My lord Gabriel," she says softly, then swallows nervously. "Ah… I… I didn't want… I… well, I thought I should let you know before… before tomorrow."

Tapping his fingers on the arm rest, lost in thought, he catches the sign of someone entering a moment after Alina has already entered. He turns and takes her in, all of her in. He blinks and then reaches up to rub his eyes. "So, it seems that rumors of your death were not to be believed." He lowers his hands and offers something of a smile. "I am relieved to see that you are still alive."

He stands up and moves over to James' bottle of whiskey. Hell with it, he'd buy the Duke another bottle if it was a problem. Pouring himself another couple of fingers of the liquor, he turns back and then lets his eyes rest on her obvious pregnancy. "So, I guess we managed to make the best use of that night we spent together a few months ago." He's not really sure what else to say.

She has to believe they are his. Any other option…

Well, wasn't one. She had been telling herself for weeks that the children were Gabriel's, ignoring at chance they might not be, putting it out of her mind. So when she blushes and nods, there is no hint of lie to her expression, only mild embarrassment.

"Twins," she manages to say finally. "I know… I'm hidious now, but they promise me I'll be… back to what I should look like after they come." She folds her arms across her chest nervously. "And… and we'll be married in Septebre, as planned before I… um, before I supposedly died. If that's all right."

Taking a long swallow of the whiskey, Gabriel lets it burn his throat and then puts the glass down. Nodding, he takes a step and then a second step towards Alina before pausing. "Twins?" He asks, though maybe he should have figured that given that she seemed a little more, uh, pregnant than he had seen from other women. "Twins. That's, well, I suppose it might not come as that much of a surprise given that I am one myself? Who knows, maybe it will be two strong boys that I can turn into knights."

He offers her a little grin and then nods. "Aye, I suppose that plans will not be changing in that regard. Has your father contacted mine? My father might need to be informed of this."

Alina nods, giving him a weak sort of smile. "Ah, Father will be doing so after the meeting with the King tomorrow. There's… one thing that had to be done before I could 'be alive' again." She winces. "Ah… kill the Cardinal, that is. As long as he lived I…" her hand rests on her stomach a moment, "well, we… weren't safe." She gives Gabriel another small attempt at a smile. "So… you're not angry with me for not telling you I lived before tonight are you?" Her tone lilts a bit hopefully. "And yes, I understand that true twins are more likely to sire or bear twins, so…" she shrugs a bit, taking a small step towards him, but not quite embracing him yet, unsure.

Nodding, Gabriel ponders going for another drink. He wasn't one to drink heavily, but this entire meeting was making him feel a little… nervous? It certainly was a different experience than riding into battle. He nods again, "Yes, I suppose that man needed killing. As to angry? No, what is there to be angry about? Sometimes people have to do what they have to do. I suppose I could be a little annoyed that you couldn't trust me enough to let me know that this is what you were going to do, but I think I understand why." He gestures towards her stomach.

Finally, Alina manages a real smile. "I'm glad, then, you're not angry." She almost beams. And then she carefully takes the last step to him, looking up at him, and then leans up carefully and kisses him, just between the corner of his lips and his jaw. She's trembling a bit nervously, but it wasn't as if they hadn't been together before, or that there was any reason for her to be shy around him. They would be wed in a short time, after all.

Nodding, Gabriel offers her a slght smile. "Yes, well, I did say that I was annoyed, I guess that counts for nothing?" He reaches out and puts a hand on her belly. "So, given that you had a good deal of time to think, have you already come up with names for our children? Or must I think up some names for future knights of the realm?"

Alina gives him a moderately annoyed look. "Knights? And I'm not even sure if they are sons or daughters or one of each. I know the oldest will be either Leonard or Leonore, after my grandmother. But I hadn't put much thought towards the other name, no." She makes a slight scoffing noise. "Knights. Hmph."

"Of course, Knights. Or maybe at least one of them can be a knight. Oh, how people would wonder and speak of the l'Saigner knight." He laughs, clapping his hands together. "Think of it, they can win the circuit championship one day, and wouldn't that just be something." She can scoff at that idea, but hell, no child of his is going to be raised without some weapons training.

Alina coughs. "There will be time to discuss that later, I suspect," she mumbles finally. She doesn't want to spoil his thoughts, especially since he does seem to be at least somewhat happy. She gives him a half-amused smile.

"So," she looks up at him expectantly, changing the subject somewhat. "Are you going to greet your future wife, back from the dead, and carrying what is probably your future squire?" That last is delivered a bit flatly, no, the idea of a knight for a child didn't thrill her at all.

Reaching up, Gabriel scratches at his head for several moments before finally shrugging. "I suppose I could." Stepping forward, he reaches out and then embraces her gently, placing a very hesitant kiss on her forehead. "For what it is worth, I am glad you are not dead. If you were, I would have to find someone else to try and work on changing their stubborn ways about things such as riding horses."

Leaning a bit against him, she laughs softly. "I'm stubborn?" she replies. "Then we are well-matched." She leans her head up to catch his lips lightly against hers for a moment. "And I am very glad you are not dead either. I understand you fought barbarians again, and your legend grows further. Perhaps one day they'll stop sending them against you."

"Oh?" He snorts, shaking his head. "I am not stubborn, I am… strong of will, I think is how I have heard it put." He lets out a sigh, "I am not a legend, and I do not have anything of the sort, plenty of others fought and bled up there against those hordes. We lost a lot of good men, men who are the ones that songs should be written about and their tales told."

"Stubborn," Alina teases. "And perhaps they are, but what people choose to revere and speak of and what they should are often cut from different cloths. Your fame grows, Red Knight. One day perhaps you will feel worthy of it." She slides her arms around his neck. "I'm glad I spoke with you tonight. And whatever apprehension I have… or had… about marrying you, I think I will be content as your wife." She smiles a bit. "If nothing else, I will need fear no Tirian nor brigand with you at my side."

"Eh." He shifts slightly, a little uncomfortable. "If people do such things, it will not be because I encourage it. I seek none of that. Regardless, it is good that we spoke, and good that I know of how things stand between us now. I admit, I may find it amusing to see how people react if you come to that coronation in your present condition. Certainly tongues will begin to wag." He reaches up and gently brushes aside some of her hair. "No, anyone who will want to kill you will have to kill me first, I suppose. At the very least that will be one of my duties."

Alina gives him a playful, wicked grin. "Tongues will wag indeed. I suspect the rumor will be about how eager we both were for the wedding that we could not wait, and bedded each other as soon as the betrothal was signed." She shrugs. "Even if that isn't quite true, I won't fight it. Better than other rumors that could be spoken. The court gossips can be troublesome after all." She is one. She knows.

She closes her eyes as he brushes aside her hair from her face. "Is it… a bad thing? That I wish to ask you to stay tonight? Not to make love— I don't think I can? Or should?" she frowns momentarily, then shrugs. "But rather just to feel your arms around me for a time and to be assured you're here." Her cheeks darken a bit as she admits such to him, hoping to trigger whatever streak of romanticism he might have. KNights are romantic, aren't they? Even l'Corren?

"Better than what other rumors?" Gabriel blinks, confused. Certainly it wasn't that bad for two betrotheds to be in their situation. It had happened before, likely it would happen again, so in a way her comment catches him off-guard.

"No, that is not a bad thing, Alina, but unfortunately there are things I must to do prepare for what is to come. I would stay if I were able to." Besides, all of his ceremonial armor is back at the l'Corren estate, he would have to get up very early to get back and get everything ready in order to prepare.

"Who knows what they'll come up with?" Alina pffts. "But I understand that you can't stay tonight." She gives him a sad sort of smile. "Perhaps another night then." She kisses his cheek lightly.

"Of course, perhaps once all these ceremonies are done and out of the way?" He asks. Leaning over he kisses her cheek and then takes a step towards the door. "For now, you should rest. I shall see you soon, Alina. Have a good night." And with that said, he departs.

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