NOTE TO ALL READERS: This story is not a new blog story. Though aspects of it may seem that way. The truth is I have gone back through and have fixed the head hoping so it won't read so bad - LOL - I never promised to fix the punctuation, so you may have to bear with me on that one. Any way I hope you enjoy the new and improved Sentinels of Varnuse: When the Walls Come Tumbling Down... PS: there may be some added wordage throughout if I thought something needed more explanation. Also just to stop confusion I've removed all the original posts so you can see them through new eyes.
Brayden Caldwell stood off to the side of the gathering throng of people and studied the young man who looked so sad as he stood on the balcony above them all. There didn’t seem to be any light in his eyes as the man stared out over them all—Brayden had remembered a light which had sparkled in the man’s eyes so many years ago—in a time when both men were boys and the best of friends. Now the man before him was a complete stranger. The death of one's father could do that to a man. From where he stood Brayden had the perfect vantage point because he was above the rest of the crowd yet still mainly obscured from Quinlan’s vision.
Quinlan Macallister wasn’t anything like he pictured him to be. From the description Brayden’s Uncle had given him, he had thought that Quinlan would somehow look evil; but instead he looked the exact opposite, he looked Angelic. So beautiful with his long dark hair falling in ringlets to his waist. He was exactly as Brayden remembered him to be, and it made his heart flutter.
Brayden felt a slow aching pain in his chest as he took in the sadness in those pale green eyes that restlessly searched the crowd. He seemed to be looking for something, and Brayden wondered what.
“Are you just going to stand here staring all day? Or are you going to do what father has told you must be done?”
Brayden tensed in annoyance. He absolutely loathed his cousin with all that he was. Ormand was the type of person anyone would detest. Even though he kept himself immaculate, there was an offness about the man. Like some vital piece was missing, but what it was Brayden just couldn’t fathom it out. When he questioned his uncle once about it he had been told it was best not to dwell on it, and to stay away from Ormand as much as possible. He both loved and was terrified of his uncle—but there was something about the man that made Brayden think of safety and comfort. Even if the man did have a tendency to keep him locked away on the family estate. His thoughts came back to the here and now when Ormand spoke.
“Are you listening to me?” Ormand shoved Brayden in the shoulder hard enough to make him stumble. “My father wants this taken care of tonight. That throne belongs in our family. That fool up there is stealing my birthright.”
Brayden rolled his eyes at his cousin. “Don’t you mean my birthright?” The truth be told Brayden wasn’t even sure if he wanted to be the king, but he knew he’d do it just to stop Ormand from taking the throne. If a man like his cousin took control then the rest of their people could kiss their lives goodbye. Ormand was the type of man who would take what he wanted no matter who it belonged to. Brayden only wished he or his uncle was strong enough to stop Ormond.
Brayden turned again to watch Quinlan Macallister, his breath caught in his throat as he realised that Quinlan had in turn found him among the many and was now watching him. Brayden stepped away from his cousin’s side and slowly and nervously walked towards the final flight of steps which would lead him to the person he was here to see.
Quinlan found it hard to breathe as his heart accelerate with the recognition for one face in the crowd. It was a face he hadn’t seen for a very long time—and had believed he never would again—no matter how much he had searched. In the man standing before him, he saw the face of the boy who had once been stolen away from him. A boy he had loved with everything that he was, and still did.
“Bray,” the name slipped out of him on a sigh. Quinlan looked past Brayden’s shoulder and saw Ormand standing in the shadows and the warmth that was spreading through his heart for the first time in years froze. So this was how it was going to end. Death by the hands that had always held his heart. Steeling himself for the final blow he faced his once best friend.
“So you’ve come to kill me, haven’t you?” Quinlan asked quietly. He wanted to reach out and pull Brayden into his arms, but didn’t.
“Yes,” Brayden answered, but shook his head ever so slightly in the negative just enough for Quinlan to see. “My cousin wants or family to rule again. He believes our birthright was stolen from us.” Brayden said loud enough for Ormand to hear, and also letting his Quin know exactly who was behind this plan to take control. Quinlan saw what he assumed was pleading in Brayden’s eyes for him to understand.
Quinlan stared hard for a long moment letting his gaze travel out over the crowd. He needed to let Brayden know he got the message. “Bray, do you know why all these people are here today? I mean why there are mostly women here?”
He saw the pain fill Brayden’s eyes. The man took a deep breath before he answered. “You’re next in line to rule. By law you must be wed at the end of your father’s mourning ritual to be able to take the throne.” Each word felt like a knife to Quinlan’s heart. Bring back to the forefront of his mind the death of his beloved father—God he missed the man.
“Yes, I have to marry to take the throne. Each of these women gathered here wants me to choose them, but I have another solution.” Quinlan just hoped his plan didn’t backfire in his face.
“I’m listening.” The wariness in Brayden’s eyes was enough to make Quinlan think Brayden thought he was going to be asked to pick out the perfect wife—boy was he going to be in for a shock.
Quinlan smiled at Brayden and whispered, “Trust me.” As he took Brayden’s hand and walked them both to the edge of the balcony. A hush instantaneously fell over the waiting crowd. All eyes turned to him waiting for his decision.
Hell, they were all going to be in for a rude shock.
“I have chosen the person I want to have standing at my side during the duration of my rule as your king. Nowhere in our laws does it state who I have to marry or what class they must be born into. I am able to choose anyone of our people.” Quinlan held their still joined hands up so everyone could see them. “I would like it know to all here that I have chosen Brayden Caldwell to be my Kings Consort.”
Quinlan smiled as Brayden stood in opened mouthed shock while the crowd below broke out into a chaotic uproar at his declaration.
This should make their lives very interesting.