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"What bothers you, M'lord?" The voice was soft, the twist of harsher vowels marked her as common born, something not even the best schooling in Dalaran could take from her. Lyric, no one knew her last name but really it didn't matter. She was part of the Sunshield household, caretaker to the toddler that slept now upon the lap of her grandfather with her thumb stuffed into her mouth.

"Memories tonight, Miss Lyric." Araian's shoulders rolled to relieve the stiffness and then he settled back against the seat's broad back. He watched her, the nanny was hardly more then a child herself, with a quiet stare that lacked everything but an ever present kindness in moments like now. On nights like this. Lyric leaned forward to pluck the child from his lap and shift the furs higher up his legs and to his hips.

"Ah, forgive me for being so bold, my lord.. there's no use dwelling there..lemme take Haven to her room and I'll bring you back a book Lady Rosemarri brought you from her adventures in Uldum."

"Thank you.. Miss Lyric." His stare moved back to the fire, a soft chuckle sounded as the flames parted and danced for his amusement, another of the nanny's tricks. The girl was charming and sweet, a little withdrawn but it was her choice to not involve herself that way and he respected that. Her eyes sometimes bothered him, just enough to not look at her directly, sad. Always sad. Like Evie. But unlike Evie, Lyric was well versed in magics that even he would never be able to fully comprehend. That made her valuable to the house, to Haven. A flame-wielding, time-stopping nanny.. only the best for his grandchild.

One hand moved to his chin only to pause in its travel. His hand.. it showed signs of the years that he had seen, the wars he had fought in.. it knew how to wield a blade to damage a being that threatened his very soul.. it knew how to touch his wife's back just .. light enough to make her shiver and it knew how to lull a toddler to sleep with light pats. A toddler.. a grand-daughter. Truth, Haven was not his by blood but he dared anyone to point that out out-loud.

He had been close, so close to having his bloodline continued. Anna and the child she carried's death was regretful, the sorrow and loss had hit not only Jaxson but the entire household in one way or another. Including him...though it was only he that would know the branches of that family tree to be rotted and broken. He was the only one left alive that knew the truth..

Evelynn... her name had been Evelynn and it was the most dishonorable thing he had done in his entire life. Something he didn't regret a moment in full.. but on nights like this.. he regretted what he didn't do more then what he did.

Continue reading: Part One

All of Lordaeron Capital rejoiced in festival
celebrating the long-awaited return of their heroic Prince.

"Lord Araian, at least have the good graces to look delighted to be mashed into the throne room, while roasting in your heavy ornate armor, to witness our prince's return." The woman that somehow managed to shift beneath his arm to stand before him and tease.. was a stranger to him, so many faces.. so many bodies. Had he slept with her? His eyes narrowed onto her face before his stare boldly darted lower. If he had, it was a shame he didn't remember.. she was exquisite. Her hair a soft gold that she wore piled on her head and her skin a cream color. Though she looked dainty, there was something about her that was a bit off. As if she had a secret that everyone should know.. but didn't.

"You have me at an unfair advantage, My Lady.. I feel you should announce yourself before you are made to suffer being witness to me cooking myself alive." He grinned at her, his head dipping to one side a little and when he saw her eyes light with sexual awareness he almost laughed. To easy. He almost wished Ronan was here to witness the conquest. But alas, he had departed Lordaeron only days before. Evie was pregnant and Ronan wished to be home with her in case this child was as harsh on her body as the last. Though Araian knew different.. he agreed to allow Ronan to travel back to the keep ahead of them.

Continue reading:Part Two