Page 97 [spoiler]hope you all are staying safe, keeping you in prayers. Seriously don’t not wash your hands, who else will read my crap?[/spoiler] [spoiler]this page has been in my notes for literally over a YEAR. I really pride myself on keeping Variks in character as best as I can, and I hope I’ve captured his struggle efficiently. I’ve had to wait a long time to see it come out and I’m so happy to finally release it!! Thanks for reading ![/spoiler] Variks paces. He taps his staff on the cold, metallic floor repeatedly. But quietly. He doesn’t want to wake her. He needs more time to think before she stares at him with those pleading golden eyes. He knows she doesn’t intend to, but Shadow is creating more trouble than this may be worth for Variks. Anxiety claws at his chest, his real hands twitch uncontrollably. Torn in half between feeling honored and disgusted. He passes by his sleeping quarters. Glancing in at the guardian, curled up on the soft furs of his bed. She had fallen asleep after hours of studying eliksni culture— No, not guardian anymore. A captain of House Judgement. He continues past, pacing the halls. Hiraks comes to mind again. Had he lied to her? This was the same thing wasn’t it? Variks halts. No, it wasn’t. Hive are evil. Guardians are light bearers. Blessed by the traveler. He feels the honor, the confusion at why she had chosen him. Surely she should have been with another guardian? Not a fallen, and a docked one at that? What a terribly odd creature. So strange for her to see him this way. His mind returns to the disgust settled deep in the pit of his stomach. Turning it, making him feel sick. What an utterly traitorous act she’d committed. Was this what the Kell of Judgement had reduced himself to? Consorting with traitors? She abandoned her city. Yet she still keeps them close to heart. She speaks of them often. She talks of Zavala like a father she has disappointed. She wants peace for both their people. Love has driven her to these actions. Variks’s heart aches for her. He knows what it is to lose the respect of your own people, to be cast aside after all you have done, all you have risked for them. He shakes his head, clicking his mandibles angrily. He should have been in control of the situation. He let a guardian take the lead. How much more often would he become confused by his next steps? Variks knows why. Variks had a responsibility to judge and guide and keep peace among his people. His path was set for him all his life. Now... He thinks of Petra, and the reef. She would surely have him judged for this. He glances back towards his room. She would stand in the Queen’s Wrath’s way. Shadow would fail against Petra’s intelligence in combat. But happily die protecting him, without question. He would smile to himself if he could. How then, all at once, was she still everything he needed for his house? Loyal, brave, devoted, strong willed and honorable. Like his people once were. Variks remembers his house, his Kell. How ashamed would they be of him now? He bows his head, rests his mechanical hands on the wall with a barely audible whine. The thought of an awoken, a woman of flesh in his bed makes him want to retch. But he also can’t ignore the tight knot forming below his stomach. Variks rips himself away from the wall frustratedly. If only he were still a scribe. He surely would have refused her. He scowls. Variks had never had a problem saying no to anyone before. He had proudly kept his oath, regardless of his years of isolation. But Variks was a Kell now, not a scribe. He was, by all technicality, free to take a mate... An [i]eliksni [/i]mate! he burbles to himself. He grips his staff. [i] “You should have been eliksni... “[/i] He suddenly remembers his words to her. Variks’s body tenses. Why had he said that to her unless, perhaps he wished... ? He shoves away his thoughts. Variks continues down the hall. Now was not the time for this. Shadow could stay, of course, but Variks is making no promises between them personally. Whatever the result, Variks knows this inner battle will not end easily.
So, I’m the eighth one to properly comment on this post, I guess