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Just A Small Ambition

 
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Carina Cox
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:36 pm    Post subject: Just A Small Ambition Reply with quote

"... and now whatever way our stories end, you know you have rewritten mine, by being my friend ..."

It was becoming a familiar sound in Anarven - the warm soprano of Arandir's wife singing as she went about her daily chores. Right now, however, only a few people knew this was all in preparation for the auditions taking place in the Shanachie Theater next week. After long consideration, Carina had decided to audition as a guest performer, and hope that Mataya had a place for her she could work around being a new mother as well as a wife.

It wasn't unusual to hear the sounds of music coming from Anarven, seeing how it was populated in good part by elves, but as far as Arandir was concerned, it was the sound of his wife's singing he loved most. Though he was thankful for what Mataya had done for him in the past, he had no desire to audition for the theater this time around, but he had done what he could to encourage Carina to pursue her own dreams where the theater was concerned.

Of course, the choice of music from Carina was definitely not what the elves of Ilyethlin were used to. Today's selection was from Wicked, and judging by the cooing sounds coming from the crib set up in the kitchen, Aluviel was enjoying the songs, anyway.

Wiping the flour from her hands, Carina moved over to bend over the crib, touching her fingertip to the baby girl's nose just to hear her giggle. "You are ridiculously adorable," she informed her daughter fondly. "I could just gobble you up!"

Though Aran was - or had been - the Prince of Ilyethlin, he was a prince who didn't mind getting his hands dirty and who wasn't afraid to pitch in and help with the work that needed to be done around the settlement at any given time. Today, he'd spent a good portion of the day helping build new homes for his people before winter arrived. As it happened, he arrived home just in time to hear the last of his wife's singing, which he knew was in preparation for her audition at the theater.

"Just like her mother," he remarked as he stepped into the kitchen and caught her teasing their baby girl.

"I am not ridiculously adorable," Carina informed him with a grin, lifting the baby girl up and onto her shoulder to say hello to her adar. "I'll have you know I am regally superfluous." She giggled, moving to greet Aran with a kiss. "And how are you, mysteriously filthy princeling?"

"I think you are, melamin," Aran argued, leaning in to touch a kiss to his wife's lips in affectionate greeting. He chuckled at her choice of words in addressing him. "Filthy, but the last of the houses is almost finished. What are you making? I'm starving!" He touched a kiss to their daughter's head, careful not to touch her until he had a chance to clean up.

"That's wonderful!" Carina exclaimed happily. "Everyone will have their own space for the winter. Isn't that fantastic, Lu?" The baby girl didn't respond, predictably enough, her big eyes watching Aran above her gummy smile. "We were making pies for tomorrow," she said, then. "Your dinner is in the oven already - baked potatoes and shredded pork."

"We?" he echoed with a grin. "And just what is my little lirimaea doing to help with the pies?" he teased, brushing his nose against the little girl's. His face was about the only part of him that wasn't dirty.

"Moral support and constructive criticism, of course," his wife laughed fondly, her smile deepening as Aluviel cackled her adorable little laugh, one small hand waving toward Aran in an attempt to catch him.

"I will be right back!" he promised, blowing them both a kiss, before wandering off to get washed up. Working in the settlement was much different than working at the theater, but he seemed to be enjoying it more than anyone might have expected. It felt good to be helping people and making a difference, despite the aches and pains and calluses. He couldn't help but chuckle a little at her response as he wandered off, knowing Aluviel wasn't capable of doing much but blowing bubbles and giggling.

One thing Carina had put her foot down about was installing indoor plumbing in the settlement. It had taken most of the year, but it was finally done, and even those who were unused to it were reluctantly admitting that it was an improvement on the old system. Aran's ablutions were punctuated by the cheerful sound of his daughter burbling along with Carina as her mother tidied up and set the table.

For now, Aran just worried about washing his face and hands and changing into clean clothes. He'd worry about taking a bath later after they put Aluviel to bed. It was only a few minutes before he returned, wearing a fresh t-shirt and jeans, rather than the traditional tunic and pants. "And what have my lovelies been up to today, besides making pies?" he asked as he returned.

"Terrorizing Grandma and Grandpa with that not breathing trick she does when she's sleeping," Carina told him in amusement. It had taken a long time to get used to that one, but now they were, it was just funny to watch other people panic about it.

"She must get that from her mother," Aran remarked with a grin, as his arms went around her waist from behind, no matter what it was she was trying to accomplish in the kitchen. He touched a kiss to the tip of one ear, knowing how much it would drive her crazy.

It was a decidedly dirty trick, that one. They shared that intimate sensitivity with their full elven kin, and Aran knew it was one of the few things guaranteed to utterly wipe thought from Carina's mind. As happened right now ... she shuddered happily, leaning back against him with a tender moan. "Hungry, are we?"

"In more ways than one," he whispered back, reading her reaction to his attention and smiling in return. Something had changed in him since his people had joined them in Rhy'Din. It was almost like the shy, timid elf he'd once been had grown up overnight. He was still the same Aran he'd always been, but just a little more confident and self-assured than before. Much of that was because of Carina and her parents, and he knew it.
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Carina Cox
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 76
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15287.28 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The smile in his voice brought her own forth as she twisted in his arms, pressing her lips to his in a kiss just as hungry as he implied he was feeling, smoothing her hands up over his arms ... and gently pinched the very tips of both his ears. "Turnabout is fair play, a'mael."

The groan he emitted at her revenge was more like a sigh, but somehow he managed to keep that side of his hunger in check, until later. "You will pay for that later, a'maelamin," he teased in return, willing and able to make good on that promise.

She giggled fondly, nipping a softer kiss to his lips. "After Aluviel pretends to go to bed," she promised in her own turn, stroking her fingertips down his cheeks. "Now go and cuddle your daughter, I have to get your dinner out of the oven."

"Pretends?" he echoed, chuckling a little at that before reaching to take their baby girl into his arms. "Hello, precious. How is Papa's girl today?" he asked her, speaking entirely in common, without a word of Elvish.

Aluviel kicked happily as he picked her up. Somehow, they'd managed to produce a baby who very rarely cried - even when she was in need of something, Aluviel was more likely to just whine unhappily until someone came for her. She hadn't cried since she was born, not properly. Carina's father seemed to think it was unnatural, but that could be purely because Carina as a baby had been the infant from hell.

Or it could be simply that the baby girl never had anything to cry about. There was always someone there to tend to her needs, to cuddle and care for her, any time of day or night. It wasn't that she was spoiled so much as she was just happy, and why not, with two parents who seemed as happy as she was? "Are you ready for your audition?" he asked as he got Aluviel settled on his lap. "I heard you singing." Half the village had heard her singing.

"I'm never ready to audition," Carina laughed softly as she brought the dishes over to the table. "I can never decide what I'm going to do for them. I am auditioning for the Theater Company again, but which song should I choose? I have no idea."

"What's wrong with the one you were singing?" he asked curiously. As far as he was concerned, he thought her voice was lovely, no matter what song she chose and he doubted Marin would turn her away.

"It's a duet," she admitted with a rueful smile, sitting down to serve them both. It really was as advertised - cheesy twice-baked potatoes and shredded pork with that tangy mayonnaise her grandmother made and refused to share the recipe for. "It is lovely, though."

"A duet?" he asked, arching both brows. "Carina, are you asking me to audition with you?" While he wasn't opposed to the idea, he didn't think he had much time for the theater anymore. He would always be grateful that Mataya had given him that chance.

She smiled gently. "No, sweetheart," she assured him. "For Good is a duet for two female voices, anyway. No, I have to decide on a song that will show off something different about my voice. I've shown them the pure tone, and my dramatic flare. Maybe I should choose something comical this year."

"Oh, I see," Aran replied thoughtfully. He wasn't disappointed, exactly. Sometimes he missed the theater, and yet, he knew what he was doing was far more important, in the long run. There were only so many hours in a day, after all, and he'd had to make his choices. "Like what?" he asked, still not very familiar with musicals, even after a couple of years at the theater.

"Oh, goodness ..." Carina shook her head as she considered this thoughtfully. "The only ones that I can immediately think of are Popular from Wicked, and Cain't Say No, from Oklahoma. Perhaps I'm overthinking this."

"I'm sure Mataya will hire you, no matter what song you choose, melamin," Aran assured her, not just to make her feel better but because he truly believed that. He believed in Carina, even when she didn't believe in herself.

Her cheeks pinked a little, one hand reaching over to touch his fondly. "Even if she doesn't, at least I tried," she said gently, glancing at the baby girl dozing in his lap. And quite suddenly, she knew exactly what song she would be singing for the auditions. It was obvious, when she stopped worrying about it.

"Do you remember when I wasn't sure if I was good enough for the theater? Or when I was afraid I wouldn't be a good husband and father, or leader to my people? Do you remember what you told me?" he asked, remembering well how much she'd believed in him and still did.

"You're going to remind me, aren't you?" she asked with a warm cast to her smile. Sometimes she needed a boost, too.

"I am reminding you," he told her with a warm smile in return. "Amin mela lle, Carina," he told her softly. "Even if you do not believe in yourself, I believe in you. I will always believe in you."

"Amin mela lle," she murmured in answer, words of love that sounded so much softer and more heartfelt in elven than in Common. "Thank you for believing in me so much, a'mael. Your faith in me is truly inspiring."

"It is the least I can do, after all you've done for me, Carina, but I truly do believe in you. I will miss singing with you," he admitted with a small frown, but he'd already made his choice.

"Just because we won't be sharing a stage, it doesn't mean we can't sing together anymore," she pointed out in a tender tone. "I happen to love singing with you."

"As I love singing with you," he agreed. Lately, most of what he'd been singing was lullabies, but every now and then, he'd join Carina in song, to Aluviel's delight.

"Besides, other people seem to like hearing us sing together, too," she added, tucking her hair back behind her ear. "Marcus and Kiri, for example. Wasn't it lovely to be asked to sing at their wedding?"

"It was kind of them to ask," Aran agreed, though they weren't planning on performing at any other weddings in the near future. "Do you want me to go with you when you audition?" he asked, not only because he thought she might like the moral support, but because he might run into some friends of theirs from the theater.
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Carina Cox
Young Wyrm
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carina nodded, her smile brightening. "I would love it if you came," she enthused hopefully. "And they would be thrilled to see you again, I'm sure. Mataya will most likely attempt to abscond with Lu, but she'll be delighted to see you, Aran, truly."

"I would like our daughter to know our theater family, too," Aran told her. Even if he was no longer part of the theater, Mataya and everyone else at the theater had been the first real friends he'd made, and it was there that he'd met Carina.

"Maybe when she's old enough, she can join the STARS," she suggested in a fond tone. "There is nothing to say that you are not allowed to visit the theater, Aran, or that you have to stay out of the backstage. You know what Mataya's like - she trusts you."

"I think I disappointed her when I left," he said, a little sadly. Not only that, but Mataya had given them a generous donation which they used to help provide for the elven refugees that had joined them in Rhy'Din from their native Ilyethlin.

"Maybe a little, but she's hardly holding it against you, is she?" Carina wasn't the sort to give him false reassurance - it was likely that Mataya was disappointed not to have Aran on her cast any longer, but the theater owner was such a bubbly mess of a woman, she would never hold it as an eternal slight.

"Perhaps I will return someday, or perhaps we will bring the theater to Anarven," he suggested further, though the future was unknown, even for an elf. For now though, he had a responsibility first to his wife and daughter, and then to his people. The theater would just have to wait.

"Perhaps we will," she agreed. It was a nice thought, to maybe one day bring a slice of what had brought them together into the community they now called home. But he was right. The theater would always be there. Their daughter would always be their priority.

"I will come with you when you have your audition, and we will introduce Lu to Mataya and say hello to our friends, and you will be amazing, as you always are, a'mael," he assured her with another kiss, warm and affectionate and loving. Not only was she an amazing performer in her own right, but as far as Arandir was concerned, she was an amazing wife and mother, and he was forever grateful to have met her.

If only he could see inside her mind, he'd know that his wife felt the same way about him. But she didn't need to tell him; it was there in her eyes, in her touch, in the tone of her voice whenever she spoke to him. They might have met by sheer coincidence, but they'd changed each other's lives for the better in the process. Neither one was where they had expected to be before they'd met, and neither one cared. As long as they were happy, that was all that mattered.
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