Fort Weyr - Th'ero and Velokraeth's Weyr - Pre-Dawn Hours

In the hour of night where time ticks ever slowly over to morning, with dawn still far off and the Weyr at it’s quietest, Th’ero finds himself awake and unable to sleep. Darkness hangs heavily in the small bedroom, the faint light from the glows out in the hall chase enough of it away to outline most of the rooms contents. It is also just enough for the Weyrleader to be able to see the contours of the figure lying next to him, sleeping (or so he assumes). He turns his head a little on the pillow, content in watching Kimmila in the dark as the minutes ever slowly trickle on and his thoughts continue to race in his head.

The day at started as any other, with his usual rounds of Fort. But there were no pressing issues or paperwork to be done and so he sought something, anything, to pass the time. That’s how he ended up in the guard’s training area. Originally it had only started as a meeting with the Captain, but then Th’ero got it in his head to practice. It was easy enough to convince the Captain to allow him. The man owed him, after all. He was just going to go through his old sparring moves alone. That was the plan. Then she arrived. Kimmila.

Figured no harm would come from sparring with her. Th’ero recalls, remembering how he had enjoyed teaching the Western bluerider the basics, feeling relaxed and almost nostalgic as it stirred memories from his past in Torince Hold and Western back when he was nothing more then a guard. Back when life was simple and routine. How wrong I was. Not that it was her fault… It still hurt when her practice sword had deflected from his to hit him in the face. The surprise on his part, her concern, the blood on his hands and tunic and then it all led to so much more and far more then he had thought. What was it that she said?

That it took her beating you bloody to realize you loved her or something close enough to that. Velokraeth supplies in his rich, honeyed tone that has his usual sarcastic tilt to it, And she’s right you know. He adds with a mental chuckle to his rider.

Th’ero did know but that doesn’t mean he was being any less stubborn over it, much to his pale bronze’s never ending frustration. He had not intended for their outing to end as it did. The more he reflected back on it though, the more he realized he would not change a single thing. Visiting Keroon was supposed to be nothing more then an outing to pay a debt disguised as a date. So what triggered me to tell her, then? Th’ero wonders, though he knows now that Velokraeth has been roused by his restlessness, the bronze is listening too. As much as the Weyrleader tries to close his thoughts off to him, Velokraeth always finds a way around his shields as if they were nothing.

Why do you torture yourself over such simple things? Was her beating not enough to knock some sense into that thick head of yours? Velokraeth’s tone is mocking, the bronze a little irritated that his rider had tried to conceal himself again. It means lies and lies are something he does not and never will tolerate, least of all from Th’ero.

It is not simple and you know that. Th’ero throws back silently to his bronze, a frown settling on his features from where his head rests on the pillow. He does love Kimmila that much is true. The Weyrleader knew the night of the incident then. There was no denying it, yet he still refused to say the words. Until today, it seems. Was it the dinner and the game she had played with him then? Or was it after their … walk to the depths of Keroon’s lower tunnels? Surely she means more to him then just that. She must, or he would have never uttered those words. He is not that kind of man. In the dark, Th’ero raises his hand to scrub wearily at his face, frustrated at the tangle his thoughts had become. Just as quick as the frustration flares, Velokraeth’s mind becomes heavier, warm and intoxicating, mellowing as the richest of wines.

You cannot deny what you are.The bronze murmurs to him. You are a man. You have needs, desires. Why continue to deny them? She brings you the desire you crave, the comfort you need. Accept it. There was truth to that. Kimmila did bring him much that he desired, and not just in intimacy. That … had developed unexpectedly. It could be blamed on lost flights to start, or was that just some weak excuse to reassure himself that he was not betraying Jeyinshi?

It was more then that, though. Kimmila had been one of his few friends among the riders of Western, she held no judgment of him or his past and then her support, her help when he had become Weyrleader, which he will never forget or truly be able to repay her for. Unless his love for her is the price and one he’s finding he’d gladly pay, if it meant keeping the bluerider forever close to his side. But he owed much of the same to Jeyinshi in turn. Too much had been shared between the dolphineer for him, though time and conflict between their very different lives had worn on him. Sometimes, Th’ero felt like he was back to the times where she was so unfamiliar to him. With a mental groan, the Weyrleader lets those thoughts slide to be buried once more.

Th’ero wanted to accept it, as Velokraeth asked of him and badly. But some part of him still clung so stubbornly to his holder upbringing. One woman, one partner and that partner was supposed to be Jeyinshi. His love for her still remained, and yet… It has become so complicated. Can I love two? But even before he finished questioning himself, he knew the answer was yes and echoed in turn by his bronze. Doubt surged though and the Weyrleader grimaces in the darkness of his room, unseen in his inner struggles. But could Kimmila and Jeyinshi understand, or will he be made to choose? He did not like to dwell on that thought, as he could not bring himself to force his hand to choose one over the other, bluerider or dolphineer, two halves to two parts of his life, the old and the new. And yet… What sort of person am I, to have multiple lovers? What was he becoming? Unfaithful. Untrustworthy. Those words swam up to his mind and only made the Weyrleader cringe. He would have continued down that all too familiar spiral were it not for Velokraeth’s attentiveness to his rider’s turmoil.

Enough. Velokraeth’s single, harsh toned word is like a mental slap to the face, sharp and quick, enough to jolt Th’ero from his self-doubts and anxieties. Just because you gave in to the more carnal of desires does not make you a bad person. You are a man, you have lusts and needs. I know what she does for you, I’m not blind and nor am I dumb. I’ve accepted it, why can’t you?

It is more then just lust, Velokraeth. Th’ero replies and a mental snort is his answer from the bronze. Then accept that you love her. I know your thoughts Th’ero and you can’t hide them from yourself or me for that matter. Her wildness attracted you and she brings you what you need. Be it for lust or mere companionship or more. The Weyrleader closes his eyes for a moment, his head settling back heavily on his pillow, though he’s careful to keep his movements from jarring the bluerider still curled up at his side. What of Jeyinshi? He asks both himself and his bronze, not truly expecting an answer but Velokraeth’s presence returns, wordless but supportive all the same. I will have to tell her, all of it and not the half-truth of it. He concludes on his own, though reluctance still lingers. So much risk in that game, but he can’t keep dancing around the issue. It was unfair to both Kimmila and Jeyinshi and he respected both of them. Jeyinshi deserved to know and Kimmila deserves to know where she stands.

Th’ero’s mind is washed with a deep golden hue then, like a clear white wine that lies sweet and pleasant on the tongue, soothing and strangely comforting. So you finally learned.Velokraeth muses with a teasing tone, though it’s one of the ways the bronze shows his deep affection and love for his rider. Lies bring nothing but more lies. Speak the truth and accept the consequences. Those final words seem to break the last of Th’ero’s stubbornness and with a soft sigh, the Weyrleader relaxes, both body and mind.

What if I lose them both? Th’ero asks Velokraeth, not bothering to mask the bitterness in his tone. His answer is deep laughter from the bronze, followed by a mental sigh. Then you lose them both. There are plenty more women out there who would be more then willing to bed you, if that’s what you seek. Oh, don’t you get all huffy on me, Th’ero! The Weyrleader had tensed, affronted by his lifemate’s brazen comment only to slowly relax when he realized that that was the old part of him reacting, what little remained of the holder bred guard. Even as a rider, he could never stomach the thought of using a woman like that, as accepted as it is by some. He’s grudgingly accepted that it will happen from flights and Velokraeth’s appetite to chase every glowing green or gold makes it hard to avoid those situations. But he will never willingly seek it out himself, even if he wasn’t already in the situation he was now. I can’t lose them. Th’ero replies back, mouth drawing into a thin line as he resists the temptation to pull Kimmila to his side and leaving the bluerider to continue sleep unawares.

Then don’t. Velokraeth states firmly, confident. It will not be an easy task, but if they truly do care for you in turn, you may end up with both or one. Again, the bronze’s mind becomes reassuring, mellowing out Th’ero’s worries and anxieties to a dullness, like the effect of wine on ones mind. Love is so complicated. Th’ero remarks dryly and with another soft sigh, the Weyrleader finally begins to feel exhaustion beginning to settle into his body and mind. Velokraeth only laughs mentally again, though his presence begins to recede. Enjoy it while you can, Th’ero, from both of them. And should both in the end spurn you, I’ll be here, always.

That does bring comfort to the Weyrleader, in an odd way and he has to bite back a chuckle. Th’ero won’t let either of them go easily though, but that battle will have to wait for another time. For now, he’ll heed his bronze’s advice and enjoy what time he has with both. What comes will come and which ever consequences arise he will have to accept and face, not withdraw and hide. Wasn’t that something Kimmila had told him once? He turns his head on the pillow again, glancing down to the bluerider at his side and a small smile spreads across his lips, the look he gives, unseen and unknown in the dark, is both admiring and loving. I only hope she doesn’t run from me or that I give her reason to. He thinks to himself, as his thoughts become groggy with sleep and are his last before sleep finally claims him. Peace at last or at least until the sunrise and the dawn it brings heralds another day.