Friday, November 21, 2008

Chapter 32: Tara Makes A Potentially Enormous Mistake

Sat, November 14, 2074 6:47 am: Ethelden Palace- Amhurst,Veronaville


Kvornan ran his fingers down Tara's spine while she stared at the bedpost, her thoughts far away and growing more distant. The fluid rhythm of his caresses had almost succeeded in lulling her back to sleep when he stopped and gently tugged on the ends of her hair.

"It's just occurred to me that I've never seen you awake before noon," he teased. Tara yawned.


"I've never actually been awake before noon." She glanced over his shoulder at the windows. "So that's what a sunrise looks like? Now my life is complete," she grumbled. Kvornan shot her a toothy grin, his silver eyes glittering with the light of dawn. Tara shoved him playfully at the center of his chest. "You have no right to be so uncharacteristically cheerful this early in the morning," she remarked. Kvornan kissed her shoulder.


"You give me something to be cheerful about," he said simply. Tara turned over onto her back, taking his hand in hers. She kissed each of his fingertips in turn, wondering what it was that blanched his skin to the color marble and what purpose it served.

"Tara, may we talk seriously for a moment?" She laid his hand down on the bed, giving over her full attention.


"Do you know what you're getting yourself into? And be honest with me." His eyes were searching. Had he just asked about whether she'd considered her own well-being? Did that mean he actually gave a damn?

"Yes, I think I can handle a misanthropic recluse who cares more for paint than people," she said with a shrug. Kvornan slipped his arm around her back and kissed her hair.


"I thought we were being serious," he said evenly. Tara rolled her eyes.

"I never agreed to that." Kvornan responded with a chastising look but she resolutely held his gaze. Tara would not be undermined by anyone, not even in small measures. If she wanted to be sarcastic then that was her privilege. She was the daughter of gods and kings. "Anyway," she continued. "I was being serious if a bit reductive. If I'm still here, it's because I'm willing to fight to keep you." Kvornan's lips narrowed to a thin line.

"'To fix me,' you mean," he corrected. Tara shook her head slowly.

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"That... Has never even occurred to me."

"Hasn't it?" Tara sighed noisily.

"Kvornan, is this really worth discussing? You aren't interested in anything other than just passing the time of day with me and-"

"When have I ever given you that impression?"

"I don't know. Always? You're an insufferable bastard to me unless you're bored or horny or some combination of the two." Kvornan winced as though he had been struck. He brushed her cheek with the backs of his fingers.

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"I'll spend at least the next twenty-two years making it up to you," he whispered. There was something in his tone that arrested and aged her within the stretch of just a few seconds. Part of her wanted to laugh her childish, breathless laugh and suggest that he repay her in sexual favors. But a still greater part of her wanted to sit in silence, savoring the idea that maybe he was done with attempts to be rid of her. He pulled her in closer and their lips met briefly. "I just need to know that you're willing to make a potentially enormous mistake."

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Tara smiled wearily. She now knew him well enough as a man not to be frightened by him as a monster or even awed by him as a deity. If she were going to make an enormous mistake, then now would be the time. The risks involved in spending her life with him were as unpredictable as they were innumerable. But there was no walking away. This was her singular purpose.

"You know, when I was a little girl, I used to stand underneath your balcony for hours on end in all kinds of weather?"

"Yes, I did know as a matter of fact. I thought of you as the sort of problem that would go away if I just ignored it." Tara felt a twinge for her thirteen-year-old self.

"I suspected as much," she grumbled.

"But then you got older and prettier and infinitely more difficult to ignore." Kvornan shifted his weight, tipping her back onto the bed.

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"Don't even think about it! I'm much too tired," Tara laughed. Kvornan wrapped his legs around her until he was straddling her. He gently lowered his body on top of hers. His hair smelled like incense and for an instant, Tara was transported back to a long forgotten day from her childhood when he had found her in the kitchens looking for cakes before afternoon prayer. Wordlessly, he'd scooped her up and carried her to the temple over his shoulder. She remembered thinking that he was stronger than her father and less fun than the priests. It was the most amount of interaction that the two of them would have for another fifteen years.

"Spend the day with me," he said, rubbing the tip of his nose against hers. Tara squirmed playfully.

"I'll do whatever you want just let me go to sleep!"

"That simple, is it?" He dragged his fingertips down the side of her torso, where he knew her to be ticklish and she squealed. The sensation made her eyes brim over with tears. "I'll let you sleep but on one condition."


"When you wake up, I want you to fix me."

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  1. Oh. My. God. I was waiting for these two to pop back up! WAITING! Penelope that was insanely hot! And romantic. And sweet. And terrifying! Your title is so fitting. I'm waiting for the catastrophe that Kvornan was promising. While he enticing beyond all belief, is not number one on the list of men to get seriously involved with. I mean I can see how Tara could grind away one's will power, but hell if she isn't ballsy. They both totally know better, which makes it even hotter. Ugh, I love it.

  2. hanks Veron! *blushes*

    Even if Kvornan were just a man, he's still a bit of an SOB and, well, a murderer. And to top it all off, Tara really is a princess (that's not just something he calls her to be patronizing). She's a public figure and he's the palace's dirty little secret. There are so many reasons why this is not a good idea for Tara. And yet, they're so in love. Look at Kvornan's happy little face! He needs a woman like her who isn't afraid to stand up to him if ever necessary and who will stay by his side no matter what he does.

    Kvornan is starting to believe that maybe she really can "fix him" and if he can be fixed, then he can be just about free to live alongside Elise. Because at this point, more powerful forces (what they are, I'll get into in subsequent chapters) still say that Kvornan isn't allowed to even talk to Elise. The number one fear being that he won't be able to just let her die when her time comes. The number two fear being that he'll pervert her divine perfection. But the rules are about to change where all of that is concerned.

  3. These two are SO CUTE!! That was amazing... so hot and scandalous! Kvornan is sexaaaaaay :)

  4. I read it this morning before I went to work and was getting ready to comment when I happened to look down at the clock and realize I was late! LOL Soooo....

    I love this update! The interaction between those two was amazing and I loved the fact that he knew he wasn't any good and she knows he isn't any good yet...they're sooo good together! *sigh* I want a happy ending for those two but I know it's gonna be rough if it even happens!

    Great update!

  5. *Points up at second comment*

    And of course, that's meant to read, "Thanks, Veron!"
    Where did my T go??

  6. Dinuriel:
    LOL Hot + Scandalous does pretty much equal the way these two live. In fact, when I loaded the game yesterday to take a few more pictures for this chapter, Tara was up the spout. 8|

    Ha! If I had a dollar for every time I was late to work for sim-related reasons... Yeah, I'd have a few dollars.

    Oh boy, a happy ending... Well, I'm not going to commit myself to anything just yet but I have a good idea of where this is heading.

    Thanks for reading, guys!

  7. Awww! That was so cute and romantic and well written. Too bad their relationship is so doomed.

    I don't understand one thing though -- how come there is royalty at Veronaville? Is this an alternate!Veronaville, or the same Veronaville of Elise's world?

  8. Oh gosh, it's a good thing that this chapter wasn't done from Kvornan's perspective. Tara has NO IDEA just how doomed this relationship is.

    Tara's parents are Oberon and Titiana Summerdream of Veronaville (the fairy couple with the two adopted kids and the extensively long engagement). In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the characters of Oberon and Titiana are the king and queen of the fairies. So for story purposes, I decided that this continent was ruled by a monarchy. The individual regions have local governments but everything is centralized in Veronaville. Great question! I don't think that anyone has ever asked about the government before.

    So yes, this is real-life Veronaville.

  9. Cool! Then I guess that explains why the Capps seem to be of the nobility (you can guess that if you take a look at their family tree). Are the Capps the Dukes of their region or something?

    Man, I love your society! It's so amazing how you've created all of this out of Maxis' rather bland characters and plotlines and even the game system itself.

    I also forgot to add that the pictures in this chapter are really beautiful. I like the contrast of the white room with the orange curtains (I think that's what they are?), it gives a sense that something's not quite right about the whole scene.

  10. The Capps are a wealthy and highly influential family. Some of them are related to Faes. Some of them have political pull. But none of them have titles. The central government comprises (in descending order):

    The Queen Regent
    The King
    The Crown Princess
    The Chairman of the House
    The House of Lords

    Then, beneath them are the local governments. The members of the House of Lords come into their position hereditarily and are elected to various roles by the other members. The Queen is not always the head of state-- In fact, we would have a king right now if not for the untimely death of Titiana's elder brother Ixion. He died before their parents died. Titiana was crowned after their father died. She slotted Puck as her heir before a rather unexpected pregnancy. Tara and Devi were born. Devi was born first. She is now in line for the throne.

    Thanks, Maruutsu! Those are curtains. They're part of the bed. I really liked what they did for the color scheme too but I'm not sure that I planned that in advance.