closedcircuit: (Default)
Ky Kiske ([personal profile] closedcircuit) wrote in [community profile] birdwithoutasong2014-03-25 07:45 pm

Muse List

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Signy Mallory
ALLIANCE-UNION UNIVERSE
[personal profile] norwaysown

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KAI GRACEN SERIES
[personal profile] halfbloodhatchling
Enervation

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ARABESK TRILOGY
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BEL DAME APOCRYPHA
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Valentine Wolfe
DEATHSTALKER
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DRAGON AGE II
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THE ETERNAL DUNGEON
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I-No
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Ky Kiske
GUILTY GEAR
[personal profile] closedcircuit

Ky Kiske
[Female AU]

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Robo-Ky
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Sol Badguy
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INCRYPTID
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INCRYPTID
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Javert
LES MISERABLES - VICTOR HUGO
[personal profile] inspecteur

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Kai
THE LUNAR CHRONICLES
[personal profile] tothealtar

Formerly at [community profile] cityofariel

Levana Blackburn
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NEW ALBION
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Connor Morgan
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The Luidaeg
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Tybalt
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Ashika Chandiramani
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Nora Valkyrie
RWBY
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SPARROW HILL ROAD
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Nyota Uhura
STAR TREK XI
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Ivan Vorpatril
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Formerly at [community profile] luceti and [community profile] synodiporia
Credit for the code goes to [community profile] tookthestars.
just_edmund: (pic#8450595)

The Marriage of Convenience Tropethread Kai/Edmund

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-08-14 05:23 am (UTC)(link)
Edmund never expected to be propose marriage on his visit to the Eastern Commonwealth.

As ambassador from Narnia to the farflung kingdom, the young King had found the equally young Emperor a welcome acquaintance, perhaps even a friend and confidante in the lonely sphere of rulers with more youth than experience to their name. They'd grown close during this visit, even sharing personal details of their lives that couldn't be shared to others, but Edmund could not have been expecting what Kai had revealed at last about Queen Levana and the position she'd put him in. Forced to marry in order to save his people, or watch them suffer and slowly die off. Edmund knew he was acting rashly, without consulting his siblings in this matter, but he felt sure that Lucy and quite probably the others would want to help the sufferings of this nation if they knew of it. He'd write them first thing this evening.

But right now...

Edmund felt a terrific thumping in his ears as the words burst out of him.

"Marry me." He stared at Kai, lips and cheeks red with high emotion. "You need someone else? Why not announce a long-standing betrothal with the King of Narnia? Everyone knows our country has magic, Deep Magic that's not to be trifled with. Levana with all her spies will surely have reports of this. We can fabricate some kind of secret contract your father made up years ago that you just learned of." He extended his hand to Kai, eyes dark and intent. "It will work. It must."
tothealtar: (charming: distracted)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2015-08-15 02:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Kai stared back at Edmund, feeling as though there was a chasm in front of him — the same one he’d been marching steadily towards since his father’s death — and he’d suddenly seen a bridge through it.

This couldn’t be real, it had to be a joke or a cruel trick. A path opening up just to be closed off. Or maybe going hand in hand with him, dragging Edmund off that cliff with him.

So he didn’t dare to hope, not yet, lips parted from surprise but eyes holding themselves steady. He was already sure that Edmund would be better than Levana as a partner, but even more than that, he’d be better as a ruler for the Eastern Commonwealth. If he could protect Kai’s people… It wouldn’t even matter if he could protect Kai or not.

“You don’t— If she finds out…” But maybe not. Secret contact or not, if Narnia could stand at The Eastern Commonwealth’s back, that was power she would have to respect.
just_edmund: (Convo 3)

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-08-16 03:08 am (UTC)(link)
The rational part of Edmund knew he had done something very rash, perhaps foolish. He wasn't even in love with Kai, didn't hold him as anything more than friend, an increasingly dear friend over the past weeks but nonetheless not someone he would have proposed to so precipitously had not his instinctive wish to help prompted him irresistibly. And still...

He willed Kai not to say no. He didn't want him to say no. He wanted to be the one to help him. His hand stayed outstretched, eyes never wavering from Kai's face. Surprise there, of course, but a steadiness too that Edmund had to admire.

He took a step forward. "She won't. I'll see to it. The secret betrothal will be well-documented, a few well-paid witnesses, and of course your father will have had a good reason for not telling you." Closing in with another step nearer Kai, Edmund even dared to raise his other hand in the newly-crowned Emperor's direction, towards his face but not quite touching it. "I know I don't have to, Kai. But what else will stop Levana?"
tothealtar: (emotion: biting tongue)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2015-08-24 12:54 am (UTC)(link)
A marriage to someone that he loved wasn’t even on the table for Kai, but of course it could be an option for Edmund, and this arrangement might bring his people vulnerability that they wouldn’t have otherwise. Kai wasn’t sure if he should worry about that or not — surely his first concern had to be his own people, but he couldn’t follow in the steps of the other Earth leaders and accept any sacrifice as long as it wasn’t one that he or his people had to make.

“If you’re willing, then yes, I’ll accept, how can I not? But you have a choice, you don’t have to. If you have any doubts that this is right for your people…”

Kai stood his ground, then lifted a hand to clasp it around Edmund’s, to will him to consider the whole situation, not just Kai’s need, his burning desire to be rescued or given the tools to rescue himself.
just_edmund: (Eyebrows raised)

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-08-24 07:53 am (UTC)(link)
Kai's concern was in his kind nature, Edmund recognized with approval. His own thoughts rapidly assessed the possibility of war with the Lunarians. Losing the Commonwealth as an ally would be a great blow for foreign relations, and who's to say Levana wouldn't try to conquer Narnia someday too? Better to take a stand now while she didn't have a strong foothold in this land.

There were other considerations, to be sure, many others. Very briefly, Edmund analyzed the most important ones and categorized them all as 'things to deal with later'. His siblings would be written to, the situation explained in code until he could safely talk in person, and the details of the betrothal arranged on his side of things without much fuss, Edmund thought. It was Kai's side he was worried about.

He let himself smile at Kai, in what he hoped was a reassuring way, and clasped his hand. "Have no fear, my people will be safe. My offer is freely made; you needn't worry about anything on my account, and I will see to my country's protection."

The comforting smile began to fade into a frown of concentration as Edmund started to mull things over. "I'm sorry I can't offer you an alliance with someone more suitable as queen," he said, his sarcastic humour creeping in without thought, "and as fond as my sisters might become of you, I couldn't ask them to sacrifice in such a way. I foresee little objection in Narnia to our union. But will your people accept a male consort - a King, at that? And Levana - what will she do when she discovers her plans are thwarted?"

He did not let go of Kai's hand. They would have to get used to at least ceremonial touching in the next few weeks, even if privately they kept things platonic. Edmund could only assume that was the plan thus far; he doubted Kai wanted to jump into bed with a man he'd just met. Even a man he'd be married to very shortly, if everything went off without a hitch.
tothealtar: (playing: o)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2015-08-25 02:02 am (UTC)(link)
Kai’s lips curled up into a smile at the comment that Edmund wouldn’t be a great queen, that bit of sarcasm resonating well with Kai’s own sense of humour, when it was allowed to express itself.

But his face sobered almost immediately. It would almost certainly be easier if the ‘betrothal’ were with one of Edmund’s sisters instead of the man himself, even if Kai had no idea if they would even like him. With Edmund, it could be complicated…

“If I wasn’t…who I am, their Emperor, it wouldn’t be any problem. Of course, if I weren’t who I am, we wouldn’t be considering this as an option at all. The main issue is going to be the one of heirs. I don’t know how it will work from your end, but I would imagine that the people of the Eastern Commonwealth will need the heir to be related to me and…accepted as legitimate by y— my partner.”

Kai laughed, nervously, hand drawing away. “Maybe that’s getting too far into it. It will be a while, after all, before we have to deal with that. But I don’t want you to think… I’m not trying to take anything away from you.”
just_edmund: (Convo 4)

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-08-26 04:29 am (UTC)(link)
So. It seemed they shared a sense of humour. That would make things easier all round. Edmund relaxed a touch. He didn't quite smile again, but his eyebrow quirked in a way that hinted he could tell, or guess, what Kai was thinking.

He let go of Kai's hand so that he could pace around the room while he thought. Yes, heirs would be on the Narnians' minds too. That Kai was thinking of this as a long-term notion at all was rather startling. Edmund had supposed that once the Levana threat was dealt with and the Lunarians sent back from whence they came, Kai would divorce him and be free to marry whoever he wished. That was still possible of course, but...

Edmund shook his head. "No, it's good to discuss everything beforehand. I've been told I'm a good person to talk to. That's what I suspect my role will be in the months to come, official imperial confidante." One corner of his mouth quirked too. Perhaps he and Kai would get along just fine.

He paced some more. "So, as to the business of heirs. A surrogate could be delegated and bear you an heir, if your people would accept such an arrangement. I think it might make things easier in some ways, to each have our own heir, so there's no confusion about inheriting kingdoms." Edmund paused before deciding whether to tell Kai that the Narnians would prefer an heir made of a love match, legitimate or not. He moved on quickly before he could burden Kai with any of the Pevensies' heir problems.

"Of course, if you wish to take a lover of your own during the course of our marriage, you would be free to do so, as discreetly as you see fit according to the traditions of your people. If a child would be accepted from such a union, perhaps that may solve the question as well. And...should you wish to dissolve with me when the crisis is over, I would not stand in your way either."

Edmund might sound businesslike, but he spoke out of kindness to Kai and what he knew of the man's ideals. This would not be the sort of marriage he would have chosen, either of them, someone out of necessity and duress and practical benefit, but it would save many from death and desolation, he hoped, and that was unquestionably worth it. He stopped for a moment to glance up at Kai so he would see in Edmund's eyes the truth of his next words. "But I am with you for as long as you need me. What strength I have to save you and your people...it's yours."
Edited 2015-08-26 17:17 (UTC)
tothealtar: (emotion: anything)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2015-08-29 12:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Heirs were probably half the reason that Levana wanted to marry Kai, or at least he figured that that was the case. The other, more obvious part, was the power, but everyone knew that she had no one to inherit but her stepdaughter, even if the Lunars didn’t require that an heir be legitimate in order to inherit. The Eastern Commonwealth was a rather different story, and that did lead to problems when it wasn’t as though Kai and Edmund could have children together.

Besides, when they started to talk about the fact that Edmund was a man, the question of heirs would be one of the first problems on people’s minds. Non-royals could be free to fall in love with whomever they want, but he had additional responsibilities, and even if the marriage wasn’t about to be about love at all he had to be able to answer the concerns of the people.

He looked down at the ground, studying it. “My father was very deeply and incredibly in love with my mother. He refused to marry Queen Levana after my mother’s death on the basis of that love alone. People might not think very much of him offering his only son as a diplomatic marriage.” He sighed, because Kai knew he would be marrying for practicality no matter what, but he hated to think of his father’s legacy being used to justify such a measure. But it was sacrifice that or sacrifice his people, and Kai knew what his father would prefer.

“I think that you should adopt any children of mine, so that they’re both of ours.” Kai was only eighteen; it felt too soon, too fast, to think about this. But the situation was what it was. “It will help a lot with public perception.” And Kai knew he couldn’t take any lovers, out of respect for the role of marriage and revulsion against the Lunar way of doing things, if nothing else. He could only hope that Edmund would be discreet with his, preferably discreet enough that even Kai didn’t have to know about it. He wouldn’t have the palace of the Eastern Commonwealth looking like the Lunar one.

“And I don’t know that divorce is an option. I’m sorry, I just…” He couldn’t turn the idea of marriage into a farce, or given that it was going to be one no matter what, he couldn’t let that farce become a matter of public knowledge. “But once the crisis is over, we needn’t spend very much time around each other.” They’ll have their respective kingdoms. Better by far that it seem like duty separates them than anything else.
just_edmund: (Profile deep in thought)

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-08-29 04:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Edmund frowned, deep in thought. In truth, he knew little of the Easterners' ways of things and whether the former emperor was even the sort to betroth his son off. Apparently not. "Perhaps we should take a different tactic then," he suggested, brows still furrowed as he began pacing again. "If it's well known that your father had such ideals, it may be more believable that his son followed in his footsteps. It would require more of you, though."

He considered the suggestion of adoption before nodding. "My land will want an heir too, as none of my sibling have yet had a child. But I see no reason, as long as the children are legitimately yours and mine, why such an arrangement could not work." When Kai did not go on to address his thoughts on lovers, Edmund could only assume it was silent agreement, without any answer to the contrary. Divorce, on the other hand...

So. This was to be a permanent union. Edmund's eyebrows never came up from their heavy knit. In fact, they only knitted further as Kai finished with a statement so condemning, it made his new plan seem improbable. "If you can't even stand to be around me," he said dryly, "we're going to have a hard time convincing people we're madly in love. I believe I could satisfactorily perform for the public eye. But that may be even more distasteful to you."

He exhaled heavily. This was turning into a mess, but he saw no other way around it. "I leave it in your hands. A diplomatic marriage arranged by your father, or a very public and whirlwind courtship. Unless you have any other ideas?" Say, getting to know him for real, to actually perhaps enjoy spending time with him, but Kai didn't seem very likely to do that. Not now.
tothealtar: (charming: gesture)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2015-08-29 06:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Edmund might be seriously concerned, but Kai looked and felt positively relieved at his suggestion. It wouldn’t be any different from the original proposal — well, it would require more acting, but compared to Levana, Kai hardly thought it would be difficult to pretend to love Edmund, instead of just like him. But it would be so much better for his people, and it would probably be easier to sell than the idea that they fell in love later.

Kai was fairly certain that he should clear this with his advisor, but Levana had already proved that she bugged some of the rooms of his castle, and the fewer people knew about this, the more likely it was to succeed.

“I can do it,” he said. “And I think it would be good to give the people something to be excited about. Better not just to not go down a dark path, not when we can bring a light to shine.” It felt arrogant on some levels, but Kai was familiar with just what the people’s perception of him was. If he wasn’t going to bring to life the idea of marrying someone regardless of status, he did at least want his people to like Edmund. The man was making a deep personal sacrifice for their sake.
just_edmund: (King 2)

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-08-29 07:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Frankly Edmund was a little amazed that Kai was so relieved by this suggestion. It felt like far more of a deception to him, even if objectively both plans were equally subversive in their means to save Kai's people. He supposed it was because the first way didn't require him to be deceptive about his own heart. But, for Kai's sake, he knew he could do it. This was clearly the way he preferred.

The idea of bringing his people hope registered keenly with Edmund. He gave a short nod. "You may be right. At least in this they can believe that their emperor is happy. Surely nobody would believe that of Levana." He stopped on his circuit to come to Kai and stand before him. "I will send couriers to Narnia right away, and you will no doubt wish to speak to your trusted council on this matter. We should begin immediately, I think. Tonight."

The courtship would be as public as possible, so that the story of their sudden romance could begin spreading. "After dinner...a walk in the gardens? And I think I will not be able to keep my eyes off you while we dine." Edmund briefly considered whether he should do any more now while they were together and alone, to practice perhaps, but he thought it might seem more...authentic if their reactions were unrehearsed. "You did brush up on your dramatic skills as a romantic lead before this, right?" His lips quirked at Kai, and for the first time his brows unwound a touch. There was that gallows humour again.
tothealtar: (charming: schoolboy)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2015-10-04 04:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Every aspect of this was difficult, of course, but Kai had grown increasingly used to that ever since his father fell ill, and then passed away. The idea of spending more time with Edmund, and perhaps even alone, felt more like a relief than an additional burden. And why shouldn’t it? Edmund was a kind and generous person, would be even if he wasn’t willing to sacrifice his future like this for Kai and the people of the Eastern Commonwealth. Edmund could be a very dear friend. And Kai could think of a worse basis for marriage, had stared a couple of them in the face.

Kai could take Edmund’s state in two different ways — seriously or not. But for all that he was the Emperor with billions of people relying on him, he was also eighteen, and he was alone with a peer right now. If he could forget about how draining this charade would be, if he could forget that he couldn’t confide it was a charade to his advisors because he didn’t know who might sell him out, for just a moment, then that was what he wanted to do.

So he gave Edmund a wink and a cheeky smile. “For you, darling, I think I could do anything.”
just_edmund: (King 8 (kiss))

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-10-04 05:26 pm (UTC)(link)
At dinner that evening, Edmund hadn't had to reach very much for those pointed stares of infatuation in Kai's direction. Memories of that cheeky smile and wink had him grinning to himself in spite of their dire situation and thinking that Kai had more of a humorous side to him than he'd expected. It was...charming. He wanted to see more of it.

He made a point throughout the meal to toss sly witticisms Kai's way, hoping to earn that smile again. He was conscious at all times of Levana's and her company's eyes on him, on them, watching their every move like hawks. It would make a lesser man lose his nerve, or betray the uncomfortable feeling that flirting right in front of the enemy inevitably brought. Edmund didn't let so much as a finger wobble. He threw himself into his role while discreetly observing the others' consternation at the table.

Afterwards, just as they'd planned, he'd swooped in and invited Kai out to the gardens for a breath of air. He made sure there were plenty of ears to hear their plans so that they would be sure to have spies on all sides. On the face of it, though, Edmund was the picture of young love, arm tucked around Kai's, turning dimpled smiles towards him as they strolled and talked. His arm even crept around Kai's waist, daringly, and stayed there through the turns of the beautiful gardens.

The moonlight overhead was all sorts of romantic cliches but its soft glow was undeniably appealing over Kai's lovely skin. (The full moon would also provide ample light for those watching to see all that transpired, which was a less romantic but eminently practical thought.) Edmund came to a halt under the boughs of fragrant cherry blossoms and slid his arm more tightly around Kai, facing him. "I...I wanted to..."

The touch of his hand on Kai's face was soft, cradling, lifting it up to Edmund's. "Kai - " His voice was husky, and he didn't even have to pretend that part. Under any other circumstances, he would still have wanted to kiss Kai right now. Perhaps Kai would feel that as Edmund's mouth whispered against his own, softly and fully. This was not a kiss of duty right now.
tothealtar: (charming: gesture)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2015-10-04 07:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Every look from Edmund threatened to make Kai’s ears burn red, and Kai had to remind himself that the other boy was just putting on a show. A clear show of embarrassment wouldn’t help with that, and there wasn’t any reason to feel it. The fact that this was public was the entire point of the charade, after all.

It got easier as the dinner continued, since Edmund was genuinely clever and Kai appreciated hearing him, was happy to respond to his comments in an open and appreciative way. It wasn’t that difficult to make Kai grin, but it wasn’t something that had happened much since Levana’s arrival, since his father got ill.

The walk in the garden, by contrast, was fairly difficult. Maybe because that knowing this was just an act put on for other people’s benefit wasn’t helpful when Kai could feel Edmund’s body warm and appealing near him. Kai wanted to lean into the arm around his waist, and he also wanted to detach it. If he couldn’t have more then he wanted to settle for Edmund’s friendship, so long as it was genuine.

But of course things weren’t that simple, they never were.

So Kai stiffened for a moment when Edmund moved towards him, when he heard his name in that tone of voice and knew that it was all faked. But then he forced himself to relax, because he needed to, because this was a show for a reason, and he left his lips move to meet Edmund’s. It was sweet and slow, and if the circumstances were different Kai didn’t think it would have been a bad first kiss.

As it was, he shifted his hand to Edmund’s chin, to tilt it up so Kai could have another kiss. His ears were burning now.
just_edmund: (pic#8430531)

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-10-09 04:02 am (UTC)(link)
Edmund would have time to feel guilty later for stealing Kai's first kiss; his own first long gone, surrendered up to a pretty little Dryad ages ago, and he'd never seen kissing as something necessarily romantic in the sense of courtship and marriage. But he certainly knew how Kai felt about those two things, and what this would mean to him.

He tried therefore to make it as special as possible. His touch was warm and caring, palm cupped around Kai's face and fingers stroking his cheek, lips moving slowly and caressing across Kai's. Edmund knew he would be fighting an uphill battle to make Kai believe he was doing this for anything but the show, and even to himself he had to admit it was much too soon to be feeling any sort of romantic feelings for the other boy.

But...there were two things they had going for them. He felt genuine friendship and kinship with Kai, a respect on a personal level, and there was honesty between them so far. They knew what they were getting themselves into. That was a definitely plus. The other thing...Edmund felt so shallow for admitting it even to himself...Kai was an incredibly attractive young man, and there was a definite sexual energy Edmund felt in that simple kiss, the chaste touches and hugs they'd shared so far. That, they didn't have to fake at all.

Would this be the sort of relationship they even consummated, he wondered? Was it...wrong to hope for it?

Kai got his second kiss. A breath, and then Edmund's lips were back against his, firmer this time, more searching, teasing Kai's mouth open to taste him. He shifted with Kai in his arms, holding him close. This...this he could get used to. "I wasn't wrong, was I?" he murmured when their lips parted at last, fingers touching Kai's brow, brushing the stray wisp of hair away from it. "You like me. Perhaps more than like me." Hinting at conversations between them they had never actually had, at feelings he had no basis in reality for. If Kai liked him as anything more than a friend, it would be news to Edmund. (But he could still hold out hope.)
tothealtar: (charming: gesture)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2015-10-19 11:16 pm (UTC)(link)
One thing was very apparent very quickly. Edmund knew how to put on a show. If they hadn’t talked about exactly this, Kai feels that it would be very to let the sudden thumping of his heart blind him to reality. To let the contact of their lips speak more loudly than the logic that said Edmund wouldn’t be here if they hadn’t discussed it, if they hadn’t decided it was the best solution.

That would be foolishness, and Kai knew that he could very easily ruin all of this if he let his heart lead him, instead of his mind. His empire could ill afford the awkwardness of unreciprocated new love. If they weren’t emotionally involved other than as friends, it would be easier to play the part of lovers. And Edmund wouldn’t have to feel awkward about it.

So he gave his all to the kiss, the first, and the second, and he let the physical touch guide him. He was a young man in a furtive meeting with his lover, he told himself, and all that mattered was selling that.

“Maybe a little,” Kai said, and he might almost be taken for coy, except for the sparkle in his eyes and the way he leaned into Edmund’s space. A self-conscious laugh. “It would be very difficult not to be at least a little taken in by you.”
just_edmund: (pic#8422443)

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-10-20 01:44 am (UTC)(link)
It would be so easy to forget that this was a show at all, and just lose himself in the sweet pressure of Kai's lips, the firmer pressure of his body, twine himself even closer and be simply a young lover caught up in the passion of his first kiss with a new love.

But they were kings and emperors, Edmund thought with a sigh, and they did not have such luxury. Not now. There's a faint rustling in the bush behind him, like someone trying to lean in closer to listen, and it's more than enough of a reminder.

He makes it a good show.

"You're the one with the reputation for charming." Edmund's hand moved over Kai's chest in groping admiration. "Just seems so dry in comparison, doesn't it? You're so beautiful, Kaito. I think I could keep kissing you all night..." He grazed his lips against the corner of the softly curving mouth, kissing the hint of laughter there. "It makes me bold. I will tell you what has been on my mind. I want to court you, beautiful Kaito. To woo you in earnest, not for the sake of our kingdoms but because I have found none your equal in my mind to be my consort." One hand wove into Kai's dark silky hair. "Tell me, is your hand taken? Or your heart? Do I have a chance at either?"
tothealtar: (emotion: decisions)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2015-10-24 09:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Kai didn’t have to force his careful half-sigh, trying to force the distance into his mind so he could focus on something other than the proximity of Edmund, something other than his desire to lean into the touch.

The reminder of the other vying for his hand, if not his heart, was enough to bring some thoughts back into order. Levana’s existence was more libido-dampening than any cold shower, and it brought to the forefront of his mind that this arrangement was for the sake of Kai’s people, not his own heart.

“I am not spoken for.” Kai shifted to run his finger down Edmund’s chin. “On either count.” Levana could want, but Kai had agreed to nothing so far. Would not have to now. His smile turned impish. “Do you think you could manage either of them?”
just_edmund: (Conversation side glance 2)

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-10-25 02:17 am (UTC)(link)
This was a dangerous game he was playing. Not on account of Levana - Edmund had no doubt he and his company would succeed in their subterfuge to scare the Lunarians away - but because he was in vey grave danger of succumbing to Kai's charms whether either of them intended thus. He had to be careful. His own heart was not being sought here.

That did not stop him from smiling at the playful touch, or looking archly into Kai's eyes with a little shake of his head. "On the contrary. I think it very likely you will rule both of mine." Best if Levana and her spies thought him completely besotted and devoted to Kai, willing to go to any lengths to defend him and his country. One hint that any of this was a plot and the whole thing would be for nothing.

With a few more tender words exchanged, he found Kai's hand and led him back towards the palace. Yes, there was the shadow trailing them. Good. Levana would learn of all this before morning.

It was time to put the second part of his plan into place. He bade goodnight to the Emperor and gathered his courtiers as if to inform them of the courtship. After a thorough sweep of his rooms to ensure there were no bugs, he passed around letters explaining his plan, and just as he thought, the Narnians were in full support of his wishes. He felt a momentary pang for having to imply to his own people that his affections ran so deep, but this too was necessary. There must be no ring of falseness to this dance. The more authentic it seemed, the more likely it was to work.

And so each day, Edmund could be found in very public attendance of Kai, flirting and playing the smitten suitor, while at night he was debriefed on the progress of the plan. His own spies, of the animal kind particularly, were busy spreading rumours throughout the court of Narnia's dangerous magic and unnatural power over nations and empires much larger than itself. If that didn't dissuade Levana...well, they'd just have to wait and see.

It was a week from that first night in the gardens (and there had been other, equally romantic rendezvouses there since) that Edmund officially drew up the courtship papers with Kai's people and announced it that night at dinner in the great hall. "Our union may be unconventional," he said, holding Kai's hand and slipping him a warm glance, "but the heart cannot be denied."
nomirrors: (sweet)

[personal profile] nomirrors 2015-10-25 04:01 am (UTC)(link)
She’d learned of it certainly, and Queen Levana was less than pleased. She needed Earth, needed its resources in order to provide for any sort of life at all for her own people. Luna would stagnate without access to greater raw materials, and she’d planned. She wanted Luna to continue to grow, until it was more important than anything else.

Some boy wasn’t going to stand in the way of that, particularly when he was supposed to be her trophy husband. Particularly not when he’d defied her before, and deserved to die for his desire to overthrow her in favor of her wretched niece. After he gave her what she needed.

Of course she hadn’t been blinded by the courtship, could hardly have missed it. A vile business, and while she’d made certain to be around more often on this diplomatic visit, her beautiful presence appeared to have had no effect. She hadn’t been idle, of course, and her other efforts seemed much more likely to be successful.

And so she swept over to the two who were staring at each other like they were already married, like they’d been made for each other. It was positively vile, and it brought to Levana’s mind another man who’d once looked this way at a woman who wasn’t her. There was no possibility for threats here, not with Narnia standing at the Eastern Commonwealth’s back. Many people would die, but rulers had sacrificed more than that for love and stupidity in the past, and she wasn’t going to pick a battle she might not win when there was more than one way to skin a cat.

“Allow me to give you a gift in celebration,” she said, holding out a small vial. The Emperor took it, still looking at her oddly. Let him stare. Levana was tempted to take control of his mind, to make him grovel at her feet, but she refrained. It was clear he didn’t know what it was yet. “A cure to letumosis, enough to cure one person. Of course, my scientists have been trying to create it in a greater quantity, but so far we just haven’t had the resources available to devote to the task.”

The Emperor’s sharp inhale of breath was so very satisfying. Of course she could have given him this cure long ago, before his father's death to the disease, but it still wasn't too late for him to save so many of his population that have been affected by the terrible disease.
just_edmund: (Brooding faraway)

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-10-25 04:38 am (UTC)(link)
Edmund's heavy eyebrows furrowed for a moment, before he remembered to slide an expression of surprised neutrality back onto his face. Stupid, Ed. Very stupid. She can't know something's up. "How thoughtful," he said coolly. "Perhaps I might summon some of our Narnian mages to come try their hand at the recipe. I would do anything to help Kaito's people. They will soon be my people too."

He turned his gaze out into the crowd of hopeful faces eyeing the two pledged rulers, some curiously, others wistfully, as if, Edmund thought with a sigh, they were remembering Kai's father and mother and their fairytale love story. He and Kai...if they only knew the real story. He was moving heaven and earth to make sure they didn't.

Especially Levana. Edmund gave her a formal bow, his hand still clasped around Kai's. It had gone rigid in his grip. He rubbed a thumb over the tightened knuckles. "If we decide to marry, should we be expecting you at the wedding some weeks hence?" He knew better than to expect an answer in the negative, but he wanted to see what her game was. He knew too that Levana wasn't going to take her claws out of Kai and the Commonwealth without a fight. He just didn't know yet what tact she was planning on taking.

He glanced back at Kai. "I hope as many of our people may be there to witness such an occasion of joy, should it ever take place."
tothealtar: (ryoji: hold)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2015-10-26 11:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Queen Levana swept off after saying she would be at the wedding, but she was returning to Luna for now. Kai was nearly holding his breath through it all, trying to figure out how he should act, what he would say if he weren’t terrified of her. He didn’t say very much, but the look he gave Edmund probably seemed pretty genuinely besotted, so at least there was that.

“Are your mages really capable of such a thing?” he asked, still staring at the vial of potential cure — potential, because it could as easily be some sort of poison — in his hand. Why had Levana given him this?

For now he flipped his hand over, tracing his fingers against Edmund’s. Every day got both harder and easier, easier to act the part in public and much harder not to keep gazing at Edmund adoringly when it wasn’t for anyone’s show.
just_edmund: (Conversation side glance 1)

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-10-28 06:10 am (UTC)(link)
Edmund looked hard at the vial too, then back at Kai. He hoped he'd said the right things to Levana - Kai had seemed paralyzed, too much in shock to answer - and he'd wanted to convey that Kai was not without allies, powerful ones too. He tugged him to sit back down and lean in close.

"I'm not sure," he said in a low voice, only for Kai's ears. "Their knowledge is not like the Lunarians, but they have many powers. Let us hope this is one of them." He sank back in his chair and released Kai's hand. "At the very least, a great deal of Narnians will be arriving here soon, if we send out the banns. I've already flown couriers with news of what's happening back to Cair Paravel."

Kai was looking at him strangely. Edmund sighed. "I hope I did not put words in your mouth, Kai. I did what I could. We will have to be doubly vigilant now. But...I think all is going well otherwise." He cast a significant look toward the crowd, which was peering at the two of them speculatively. "Another week or so and we can make the formal announcement, perhaps. If you wish to go all the way through with this plan."

They might be able to accomplish what they needed to with mere betrothal, to assemble what mages and healers he could gather to try and find a cure, while presenting enough of a force to be reckoned with should the Lunarians try to force Kai's hand. But he had the feeling Levana wouldn't rest until she had all of Kai to herself.

He couldn't let that happen.

Edmund put his hand on Kai's arm, dark eyes solemn and very close. "I think we should. You - your people need this. Hope." He leaned in for a soft, chaste kiss. "We can give them that."
tothealtar: (charming: gesture)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2015-11-08 05:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Kai’s eyes fluttered closed at the kiss, letting himself believe in it as much as he could, letting himself believe in the reassurance that Edmund was going to offer even if he couldn’t believe in this romance of this. Even if Edmund was lying about his feelings, well, that was something that they’d both agreed to, and it was something that Kai was doing himself. It was necessary, a good idea not to make things too much more complicated than they already were, than they had to be.

Necessary so Edmund didn’t think that Kai would make things more complicated than they had to be, necessary to pretend that friendship was all there could be so that Kai wouldn’t focus too much on his own unhappiness.

“If you’re still willing.” Kai could feel his heart in his throat at the comment. He darted another kiss forward onto Edmund’s lips, making sure that any focusing on them would think that they were simply murmuring the endearments of the deeply in love. He kind of wished that that was what they were speaking of, but of course their roles were more important than what Kai wanted, and it wouldn’t be fair to Edmund to take advantage of the offer he’d made, to take advantage of him.

Things got a lot better between then and the formal announcement — because Levana was off of Earth, returned to Luna, and neither she nor her entourage were currently hovering over Kai’s head. They also got worse, because Kai found himself sneaking glances and little smiles at Edmund, even when there was no one around to watch them, to observe his face. Perhaps especially when there was no one around to watch him, and when he was sure that Edmund himself would not notice.

He felt himself growing both more nervous and more hopeful as the day of the formal announcement dawned. He could still mess all of this up, but so far Edmund had decided to stay. It was just a matter of hoping his people would accept it.
just_edmund: (King 2)

Sorry for tldr :-o

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-11-08 06:49 pm (UTC)(link)
With each kiss, it grew harder not to let his feelings for Kai stir more passionately. It was the way his skin tingled when their lips met, his heart thudding thickly in his chest at the sight of Kai's warm brown eyes fluttering closed and then peering back at him again. His own slipped shut with Kai's returned kiss. He knew it was for the show, but just for a second, was it wrong to imagine it was because Kai wanted to kiss him again?

Edmund gave a single nod against Kai's forehead, a soft smile. "Let's do it. A week." They needed to act before Levana did.

The days flew by, with plenty of behind-the-scenes details to arrange with all of their officials. News arrived back from Narnia, on the wings of the fleet Raven couriers, affirming the union so long as an heir would be properly arranged, either by adoption or surrogate. Edmund breathed a sigh of relief, although he hadn't anticipated any problems on that end.

The Commonwealth's negotiations were a little more complicated. There had never been a union of two men on the throne in their history, and how exactly to continue the lineage in a socially acceptable way was a tricky matter. Fortunately, the people believed whole-heartedly in their ruse; they were convinced Kai had found his soulmate, and Edmund thought that would go far in pleading their case for the marriage.

The contract was finally drawn up, with a condition for an official surrogate who would be given status and provision for life in return for bearing two heirs, one for each nation. The other details were easier to arrange, like where they would primarily live; that one was easy, with Narnia having three other rulers who were unattached and able to run the country just fine without Edmund. Kai needed him here.

Under the table where all the terms were being drawn up, Edmund gave Kai's hand a covert squeeze. Observant though he was, he'd missed many of those glances and smiles for fear of betraying his own yearning for Kai's affection. He knew his own eyes could speak volumes, and he kept them focused on observing everything but Kai. Still, friendly assurance and companionship, yes, that was safe to offer. Like the squeeze of a hand, a this will be all right gesture.

"Splendid. Let all the preparations be made for the wedding, then." Edmund knew this would take the longest, and stressed how soon he and Kai wished to marry, as soon as they possibly could. It would take a couple of weeks for the Narnians to travel there, and for their wardrobes and banners and everything else to be made. They would just have to hope it was not too long.

The day after the banns were published, a small convoy arrived from Narnia of their wisest healers and mages to examine both the vial of 'cure' Levana had offered, and those who were ill with the strange disease. They'd bowed to Kai and offered their services as freely as they would to their own monarch. Edmund nodded in approval. Kai's people were their priority after all. It was why they were doing this in the first place. That, and Kai's own safety from the predatory queen.

"Try not to worry," Edmund soothed his new betrothed on their evening walk in the gardens that night. "You've had this all on your shoulders for so long. Now you'll have someone to share it with." This time, the arm around Kai's waist was comfortably possessive. Kai's heart might not be his, but everything else soon would be, legally speaking. Of course, it was quite possible Kai would not want to be physically intimate when they were not truly in love. Edmund swallowed hard. He wanted to be both. But Kai's feelings were the most important thing right now.
tothealtar: (charming: schoolboy)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2015-11-21 11:44 pm (UTC)(link)
As a prince, Kai had always been immaculately turned out, dressed in a way that suited the heir to a country. Looking good may have been an unofficial duty, but it had been one of his most important. As Emperor, even an Emperor who needed to be seen as being deeply in love, he had so many other things to worry about that he often threw on the first thing he saw in his closet and his hair had grown long enough that he could shove it behind his ears. Even without the details with Narnia to arrange, Kai had a whole country to run, and it left little enough time for the rest.

Just now, Kai felt self-conscious about it. He didn’t look slovenly — it wasn’t as though he had jeans or t-shirts in his closet that he could have grabbed, and taking showers was very much still a priority — but his custom-tailored clothing hung a little looser on him than it had when he’d had it fitted, and he knew he didn’t really look like a man who could capture Edmund’s heart.

He should probably just be grateful that everyone agreed it was worthwhile to carve out chunks of time for Kai to be with his ‘beloved’. The one he was falling rapidly more in love with every day, as Edmund continued to stand by his side, to show his goodness in all the little gestures he made, even when it had already been established by the one large one.

Kai leaned into the touch, the arm, wanting it and letting himself want it. After all, it would be better this way, in case they ran into anyone else while they were walking around. Even loyal guards liked to gossip.

“I think my father would have liked you,” he said.
just_edmund: (Conversation side glance 1)

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-11-23 01:21 am (UTC)(link)
Edmund was not the sort of man to care very much about clothes or those details Kai worried over. The handsome Emperor would have tugged at his heart in any state, scruffy and in rags or outfitted in his finest apparel as he would be on their wedding day. If anything concerned him about Kai's appearance, it was the way he looked more thin and worn with care than when Edmund had first met him.

That burden was something he wished he could convince Kai to help him bear. It was what a husband should do, even one without a kingdom to care for. He wanted to take care of Kai before anyone else, and it was that feeling that made Edmund realize just how far he'd gotten himself in with this charade. It wasn't an act for him anymore. He...

No, he couldn't say it. Couldn't. All he could do was show his care as much as Kai would let him.

"Would he?" Edmund smiled, his eyes warm and pensive. "I should have liked to have known him. Just hearing you talk about him, and the others...he was a great man, a great ruler..." His voice dropped. "And if he was anything like his son, I should be proud to call him friend."

Kai would soon be much more than friend to him, as Edmund was vividly reminded. Feeling terribly bold, he led Kai to one of the stone benches in the garden but instead of taking a seat beside him, he slipped behind the bench and guided Kai with his hands to be seated there. His touch stayed over Kai's shoulders. "What was he like? Your father?" Edmund's fingers smoothed fabric away from skin and begin to rub at the corner of neck and shoulders, his broad muscled hands finding knots of tension there and gently working at them.
tothealtar: (neutral: nervous)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2015-11-23 02:42 am (UTC)(link)
Emperor Rikan had protected Kai from a lot, and Kai hadn’t realized just how much he had faced on a daily basis until Kai had to stand alone against it. Whatever Edmund might want, it was Kai who was the Emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth, and Kai who needed to walk the delicate balance of caring for his people and proving to them that he needed to defy tradition by taking a male husband. For a love he actually felt, and yet couldn’t, that he had to demonstrate and hide.

All the while, he needed to keep an eye on Levana.

Kai let out a moan as soon as Edmund’s fingers started to work on his neck. He was very stiff, and Edmund would find plenty of targets, plenty of knots of stress that he could work out. And while there was an edge of pain in having them out, it was followed by a very strong spike of relief. Oh, were they having a conversation? It was a little hard to focus on.

“He was a good man. I think his public image is fairly well known, but he was also a good father. He made time for me, and while there were certainly times when things got too crazy or hectic to keep our plans, he would explain why and he would make up for it the next time. He never acted like I was less important than the country, just that the Eastern Commonwealth came first in both of our hearts. He made sure that I understood it, that I felt a connection to the people I would one day be responsible for.

“It was very important to him that I grow up with a father, and that I have some time to relax. He was my friend, and I think that once I got older, maybe I was his too. I hope so. I think he was lonely a lot, after my mother died.”
just_edmund: (pic#8175479)

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-12-06 05:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Dear Kai, he felt so tight. Did he never let himself relax these days? Edmund gazed with some worry down at Kai as he slid his thumbs over tensed muscles. He knew Kai saw this kingdom as his own responsibility, something he couldn't share with Edmund, but perhaps in time he would come to trust his consort with a small portion of it. Edmund did have some experience, after all.

The sound of that moan drew him straight out of his worry and into something very different. Lust shot down his spine at the throaty murmur. It settled dangerously low in his body, and continuing to touch Kai was only going to make it worse. Edmund swallowed hard. It was just as hard for him to concentrate on Kai's words, but he made a great effort and did so.

Kai spoke with such admiration of his father, wistfully, clearly very close with the man who'd ruled the Commonwealth before him. "You will be such a man too, someday." It was not lust that thickened Edmund's voice but the sudden vision of Kai with a little boy riding on his shoulders, tugging at tufts of hair and laughing, and Kai was laughing too. "And such a father."

He touched Kai both tenderly and firmly, not afraid to work at the fiercer knots with greater pressure, and knead more gently at the thin taut shoulders. Edmund's fingers were long enough to splay over the front of them and over Kai's collarbone while his thumbs worked. Talking at least forced him to focus on something else besides his traitorous body. "Your mother...were you old enough to remember her?"
tothealtar: (charming: laughing)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2015-12-06 09:29 pm (UTC)(link)
“A little. I wasn’t very old when she died. I think everyone expected my father to remarry, not so much because the Eastern Commonwealth needed an Empress, so much as that he did. I think it was a lot easier when she was around, even though he handled most of the political matters. She was there to take care of him.”

With Edmund’s fingers on him, Kai could understand how that could be so very helpful. And Edmund wasn’t in love with him, was doing this simply because it was the right thing to do. Somehow that made Kai fall in love with him a little more. Unlike with Levana, Kai felt that Edmund could govern the Eastern Commonwealth, if the worst happened. If he needed to.

He let out another low moan, rolling his neck.

“Careful, I might fall asleep as soon as you get me relaxed.” Or get a call from one of his advisors and waste the whole effort.
Edited 2015-12-06 21:30 (UTC)
just_edmund: (pic#8422443)

[personal profile] just_edmund 2015-12-13 09:03 am (UTC)(link)
"They were very much in love..." It was half observation, half query. Edmund had smiled to himself when Kai described his mother - there to take care of him. It was how he pictured himself and Kai. Perhaps not in love, but there for each other's needs.

Which did not mean getting him off, he told his cock fiercely. It was straining at the edge of his trousers with no more incentive than the feel of Kai's silky skin under his hands. Edmund exhaled softly in the darkness, glad for its cover. He couldn't bring himself to take his hands off Kai, no matter how treacherously his body raged. That moan didn't help matters either.

Before he could think better of it, he bent over Kai's shoulder. "Falling asleep on me already?" Soft lips murmured against Kai's neck as Edmund allowed himself one whispering kiss there. He felt the closeness too keenly. Kai might be on the verge of drowsiness; Edmund was electrified by the possibilities. He lightly rubbed his lips along Kai's nape and breathed out, warm in the cool night air. So much that he felt with this man...

It could go no further. Not until Kai changed the rules for them both.

It hurt like hell to draw up and away from the warmth of Kai's skin. Edmund gritted his teeth and pulled himself free of its snare. He gave a placating squeeze to the tight shoulder. "If you are sleepy, I should let you go to bed." He allowed himself a chaste kiss to the top of Kai's head, and drew his cloak around himself to hide the evidence of how he'd enjoyed the brief massage all too much. "Come, I will accompany you back to your rooms."
tothealtar: (charming: distracted)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2016-01-09 05:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Sleepiness was another way to lower inhibitions, at least enough that Kai wasn’t thinking closely about what he was saying. “Pity I can’t take you there with me.” He didn’t even feel any regret once the words were out. He liked Edmund, and he couldn’t think now of why he shouldn’t let the other man know.

He would sleep tonight, though, better than he had in several weeks, and even if every day drew them closer to finding out what Levana would plan, it also drew them closer to being married.

With everything that that meant. And everything that it didn’t, since theirs was to be a marriage in appearance and name only. Edmund could be a friend, but Kai was sure he thought of him — in wistful terms — as more.

The day before the wedding dawned beautiful, the sun strong in the sky, but Kai could feel his self on edge. Levana had sent her formal regrets, which meant it could surely only be a matter of time before she acted. He was pacing in his office, just waiting for the hammer to fall.
just_edmund: (Convo 2)

[personal profile] just_edmund 2016-04-11 06:24 pm (UTC)(link)
A shiver slid through Edmund's body at the half-sighed words. They were what he wanted to hear, wanted to do. He liked Kai so much, he was afraid to overstep this equilibrium they had reached, of friendship and alliance and mutual respect. He shouldn't make something more out of it than it really was. Romanticizing it as a love match was the facade they had made for the people, not for themselves.

...But why shouldn't it be, if Kai liked him too? Edmund ached for him, and for the thought of how things could be if they really were to fall in love. Wouldn't it have happened by now, if it was going to? Why hasn't Kai said anything before? As always, doubts crept into his reflections - not of his own feelings, but that they could possibly be reciprocated in anything more than fondness - and Edmund let things lie as they were.

There was a great deal to occupy his thoughts, anyways. That morning flew by with lists to review, check off, double-check with all of the coordinators and officials of the wedding. So many details to arrange, and traditions he was just learning now, all of which had to go off without a hitch. Edmund tried to take on as much of that as he could, so that Kai would not have people constantly bothering him for instructions and signatures and decisions. The remainder which he did need Kai's input on, he made into a new list and set forth to the office.

"Kai, I need you to look at these seating arrangements and tell me if we will start a new global war with them..." Edmund's joke trailed off as he got a good look at Kai's face and the agitated path of his pacing. He closed the door behind him and set his lips. "Can you speak freely with me? Is this..." He waved around at Kai's office, checking for anything unusual, any sign of a bugging device. "The time and place to speak? You look...preoccupied."
tothealtar: (emotion: anything)

[personal profile] tothealtar 2016-06-11 10:30 pm (UTC)(link)
Kai thought they had swept the place for any bugs, but even if all the staff near him have all been very carefully vetted and there haven’t been any unsupervised Lunars in the palace, he knew it was only a chance of safety, only a change they could talk freely.

But as long as they avoided one major topic, right now it didn’t matter. Kai was frightened, more than that he was angry, angry at this woman having such control and angry at the thought that she didn’t have a care for what she was doing, that she was more concerned with whatever plot she needed to carry out.

“You don’t need to worry about seating the Lunar Delegation,” Kai said, and he didn’t stop his movement across the office. “They’re not coming.” He let himself glance at Edmund, and his heart caught despite itself, despite the fact that it didn’t have any right to.

“Or they say they’re not, and I think they’re either hoping to catch us unaware, or they’re really planning to turn this into war.”