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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, '10, 6:15 pm
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Setting: It's 1287 and Esmeray's close friend, Emanuel, has been gone for two years. He vanished without saying goodbye and has not been in touch with her or anyone else from Esper Mansion in that time. Though pretty devastated at first, Esmeray has moved on and integrated herself with the other Espers pretty well since Emanuel's disappearance. She's now 28 years old. Emanuel is 34.

It's late morning and Esmeray is busy at the horse stables. In case anyone is wondering what kind of horses are on Dezo, think Yakut. http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/horses/yakut/

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“Esmeray! Esmeray!” an excited voice came from behind the young Esper woman. She turned around to see one of the stable hands, Darius, running towards her. “He’s back!”

Esmeray had no idea what Darius was talking about, but it was obviously something that was either very important or at least something that she would find interesting.

“Who? What?” Esmeray asked as Darius reached her, out of breath and barely able to speak.

“I thought... you’d want... to know...” he told her through his panting as he leaned a hand against a stable door, “Emanuel...”

The hair on Esmeray’s back immediately stood up at the mention of Emanuel’s name. She dropped the bag of feed she was holding. Off in the distance she saw a tall, cloaked figure moving purposefully towards her. The figure lowered the hood of his cloak and revealed to Esmeray an all-too-familiar flash of red hair.

She hadn’t seen Emanuel in two years, but she still remembered when he left Esper Mansion so abruptly like it was yesterday. She wasn't sure why he had left; the only thing she knew was that he and the elders had reached an impasse as far as his duties were concerned and he left without so much as a goodbye. He never once contacted her after his departure, and Esmeray thought it was the end of their friendship.

She couldn’t peel her eyes from him as he drew closer. His hair was cropped short, there were some new lines on his face, and he had an uncharacteristically stern expression on his face. Still, it was Emanuel, her once closest companion. She didn’t know whether to cry, be excited, welcome with open arms, or find some place to hide, so she stood there, frozen, waiting for him to make the first move.

“Esmeray!” he called out to her has he picked her up, held her firmly and spun her around. He put her down, a little too hard for her frame, and flashed a warm smile. “You don’t know how much I’ve missed you,” he uttered through a heavy sigh.

“E... Emanuel...” Emseray managed to speak, gulping back tears of confusion and excitement. She tried to focus on the present, of being joyful for his return, but seeing him now brought back the hurt she felt over him leaving so suddenly. “Where have you been?” she cried, burying her face into his chest.

He wrapped his arms around her and rocked her gently. “Does it matter? I want you to know something...”

Esmeray interrupted, “Of course it matters! You just disappeared without saying anything! Why, Emanuel? Didn’t you care about me?” Her outburst surprised her. She immediately wished she hadn’t said anything, but she wasn’t the same woman Emanuel had left behind two years ago. She had found her place at Esper Mansion. She was now in charge of most of the stables and had introduced falconry to the Espers. Though she still had her outsider status, her differences with the rest of the Espers were welcomed now, rather than being seen as a burden.

Emanuel took a step back and gave Esmeray a puzzled expression. “The elders didn’t tell you why I left?”

Esmeray wiped away some tears. “No,” she mumbled.

“Oh my,” he sighed. “No wonder this isn’t the welcome I was expecting.”

What is that supposed to mean? Esmeray wondered. Why should she expect the elders to reveal his plans? She hadn’t entered into a formal union with Emanuel before he left. Heck, he hadn’t even courted her, though she was always hopeful he would.

“I had to travel to... Palm. There was some old family business I had to take care of,” he told her in a peculiar tone. Esmeray looked up at him and frowned.

“You couldn’t contact me in that time? Things are a bit backwards here at Esper Mansion, but there are ways to stay in touch, you know.” She stared off at Darius and motioned for him to go elsewhere. He nodded in understanding and headed towards one of the barns.

Emanuel didn’t answer Esmeray immediately. After a short pause, she felt him take her by the hands. She met his gaze once again; he appeared sorry and serious at the same time: Two expressions Esmeray wasn’t used to seeing on the boisterous Esper.

“Es, my sweet,” he addressed her. Esmeray didn’t like the juvenile tone he was using with her. “I can’t tell you everything, but I want you to know that I hated leaving you here. It wasn’t my idea to go away so abruptly, and every day I thought about seeing your face again. It’s what motivated me to take care of... what I had to take care of as soon as possible. Esmeray... I want, no, I have to tell you something.”

She looked away. This was too much for Esmeray. She wished she had gotten a warning when she woke up this morning about going through such an emotional upheaval. Couldn’t the Espers predict this like the weather?

“Please, Esmeray,” he beseeched her. “Just listen to me.”

She slowly turned to face him. She didn’t want to look into his gorgeous yellow eyes, because they always made her turn to mush. She remembered how convincing he always was with those eyes, how she would jump when he said jump, how she’d go off and do idiotic things at one of his mere suggestions. I’m not a fool anymore, she thought as she looked at Emanuel. You’re not going to change me.

“I don’t know if you’ll ever forgive me for what I’ve done, but...” he paused taking in a deep breath. As he released it, he squeezed her hands and whispered, “I came back to be with you. I want you so desperately, Esmeray.”

She felt her head swim and her knees buckle. This was so far from what she was expecting. The once fun-loving, carefree man she remembered was replaced by someone so serious and... looking to settle down? With her? But... this made no sense! Should she be flattered? How in all of Algo was she supposed to respond to this? This wasn’t something she could say yes or no to right now. She was going to faint first.

Yes, this was causing her to be more than light-headed. She looked around and found an overturned bucket. She quickly sat down on it and put her face in her hands. She was beyond crying; it wasn’t what she felt like doing, anyway. She wanted to curse at Emanuel and kiss him hard at the same time. How could he have guessed she was still here, at Esper Mansion, single and still very much carrying a torch for him? He either knew her too well, or had no clue and managed once again to get it right with his incredible luck.

“Please,” he pleaded again. “Look, I know we never... we... we weren’t together before, but... I always thought we were going to be... eventually. I’m sorry,” he crouched down next to her. “I know I’m a slow mover, but I’m being sincere. Honestly, I always wanted to be with you.”

He moved her hands away from her face and leaned into her. Esmeray moved away before his lips met hers, though. She stood up and turned her back to him.

“I’m happy you’ve returned,” she muttered breathlessly. “I’ll need some time, though. I hope you’ll understand, otherwise...”

Emanuel cut her off before she could complete her thought. “I do. Of course I understand,” he told her quietly as he rubbed her shoulders. There was so much for Esmeray to think about now. She was so unprepared for this day and she couldn’t have been more confused about Emanuel’s intentions.

This is what she had wanted. She used to go to bed every night dreaming of being by Emanuel’s side for life. She had grown to love him so deeply, but had always been content just being near him if that’s all he would allow. His departure had been both her worst nightmare and a blessing in disguise. She had become more independent and sociable since Emanuel had left, but none of her involvement with the other Espers filled the gigantic hole in her heart created by his absence.

She slowly turned around without looking at him and wrapped her arms around his trunk. “Don’t ever leave me again,” she whispered as she buried her face into his chest.

Emanuel held her as tightly as he could and replied, “I promise.”

Last edited by Tanith on Tue Aug 17, '10, 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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