Title: DSD: Derek and Chloe
Date: Mar 29, 2009 at 7:38 AM
Alarice – Mar 29, 2009 at 7:38 AM
One side … to the other side.
One side … to the other side.
In the dark blue ocean, the large ship rocked back and forth, from side to side, carrying its passengers from one end of the sea to the next. All in all, it was a beautiful picture. Its sails were out, its crew was enjoying the sun … and there was a horse and a pregnant woman bent over the side, puking.
… Ah yes, a beautiful picture indeed.
“Miss Chloe, I brought you some water,” Derek volunteered as he came up from below. In one hand, he held the cup, the other hand was under it for support. He’d adjusted to the rocking motions of the boat quickly and made it his mission to keep Chloe and Jade, the horse, as comfortable as possible. “We will have to be on the look out. The captain says to expect a storm at any moment.”
Divinatas – Mar 29, 2009 at 8:06 AM
Chloe had never felt so miserable in her entire life! …and she was sure Jade agreed!
This was her first experience on the sea, and it wasn’t proving to be a very nice one. It started off well enough. In fact, the sea was quite beautiful! The way the water reached out endlessly with the horizon and then met the sky. Out over the ocean for the first day was calm and relaxing. Chloe was very excited for the rest of the voyage.
And then today. It really must be the oncoming storm. Waves were pushing the boat up and down, side to side… Chloe could hardly keep herself clung to the railing instead of tilting overboard!
“Miss Chloe, I brought you some water. We will have to be on the look out. The captain says to expect a storm at any moment.” Derek said.
Chloe moved from the side to plop on the deck of the boat. She hardly trusted her legs to keep her steady and attempt to drink water at the same time. Accepting the cup, it took some concentration to balance and take a long drink! “I’m so sorry…! I just thought I would comfort Jade and then all this movement!”[/so][/bg]
Alarice – Mar 29, 2009 at 8:17 AM
Derek crouched down beside her and smiled gently. He was glad she had accepted the water. There was always the possibility of becoming dehydrated and that wouldn’t do. He would have to find some food in a bit for her, even if it did wind up in the ocean instead of her stomach.
“On Jade’s behalf, thank you. Any comfort, no matter how small, is a welcome one.” The smile faded. “I apologize for the voyage, again. Please, believe. If there was any other, faster, more comfortable way, I would not have picked a ship or the ocean.”
Derek stood and moved over to Jade, to stroke her neck, to whisper a few things in her ears. Her ears flicked but she didn’t turn her head from the ocean. He looked over at Chloe and studied her face to see if she was feeling better–or if he’d be assisting her to lean her head over the rail again. “Miss Chloe, have you ever thought of … where you want to settle down?”
Divinatas – Mar 29, 2009 at 8:29 AM
Having removed all the contents of her stomach for the second time that day, the water was helping so much to settle her. A few deep breaths and that nausea passed, though the dizzyness remained. She was simply going to have to sit there and not move. Ever.
His question took her by surprise! Blinking, she thought about it for a moment. “I… haven’t really.” she admitted. Chloe glanced down at her stomach, where she was just barely showing those signs of pregnancy now. Just enough where she was having to expand the seams on her clothes so she could breathe! “I suppose where we end up is where we will have to stay.” she laughed softly. “I’m not sure if I can even afford us a place to live yet!”[/so][/bg]
Alarice – Mar 29, 2009 at 8:36 AM
Derek left Jade’s side to return to Chloe’s with one of the blankets in his hands. He laughed softly at her suggestion about staying wherever they ended up. “You never struck me as the type to gamble, Miss Chloe. But I suppose all of life is a gamble.”
Derek made a note to check for some soup in the galley later. It was the only thing he could think of that might help to settle an unstable stomach. But Miss Chloe had also mentioned having some odd cravings earlier …
“Are you comfortable? I can look for something to help fill your stomach and give you some strength.” He had that blanket ready to drape around her shoulders or over her legs.
Divinatas – Mar 29, 2009 at 9:11 AM
“You really don’t have to fuss over me so. Those sailors might think I’m a run away Lady.” she said with a grin. He was so kind to her and always looked so concerned! But if he didn’t stop that fussing, he’d get himself in to a world of trouble. There had to be tons of dangers for a knight, and he wasn’t watching out for them!
There was a soft sound of thunder in the distance. Chloe turned to glance over her shoulder at the sky. That captain wasn’t kidding! Far back on the horizon there were dark ominous looking clouds starting to boil. A streak of lightning occasionally zipping through. Even Jade look disheartened by the storm clouds!
“The boat won’t sink will it?”[/so][/bg]
Alarice – Mar 29, 2009 at 9:18 AM
Derek smiled sheepishly. It was rather hard not to give his undivided attention to Miss Chloe. He’d watched over her all this time. It was becoming natural. Somehow he would have to keep alert while doing whatever the lady needed him to do.
At the distant sound of thunder, he looked up and studied the horizon. The storm was far off but it wouldn’t take long to get here. He looked around. “I’ll take you both below, just to be safe. The captain assured me that this ship is in fine condition.” He helped her up and then took Jade’s reins.
The captain was already calling the crew up. He ordered them to their posts and made sure all the knots were tight and the ropes were strong. “C’mon, lads! Quickly now!” he bellowed as the wind grew stronger and the waves were getting bigger.
Men were scurrying on the deck as Derek, Chloe, and Jade reached below. He found them a nice corner, away from anything that might tip over or roll away. He secured the ropes around the crates and the barrels as the sky outside grew darker.
Divinatas – Mar 30, 2009 at 2:55 AM
Down below deck, there was no escaping the rocking movement of the boat as the waves surged rougher and rougher! All of the men had scurried above, tying down sails, moving things below deck, and making sure everyone had a secure lifeline to the boat. The storm rolled in quick. Thunder cracking with ear shattering booms and lightning casting eerie displays over the tossing ship!
By blessing of the gods, Chloe’s nausea had passed… because trying to keep herself still and not sliding from her seat was real work! Despite Derek’s reassurance, she wasn’t so faithful that the boat wouldn’t capsize with the storm. Waves were pouring over the sides of the ship, washing water down the steps and in to the chambers below decks.
“Is this a terrible time to mention that I can’t swim at all? Not even in a lake! I think this is so much deeper than a lake…”[/so][/bg]
Alarice – Mar 30, 2009 at 3:40 AM
Derek was thoughtful for a moment after Chloe had confessed to not being able to swim. “I won’t leave your side, Miss Chloe. You have my word,” he said with a reassuring smile. He settled down beside her.
Jade was bracing herself against the side but was able to keep her balance fairly well. She made a few snorting sounds and tossed her head. But at least she hadn’t started kicking the ship yet.
“How about a story then? To get our minds off of … you know what.” He flashed a sheepish grin when he caught himself about to mention the weather.
Divinatas – Mar 31, 2009 at 3:12 AM
“A story does sound nice.” Chloe replied. When the ship gave another sudden lurch, her arms flung around Derek to prevent herself from sliding sideways! It was a little embarrassing and she might have even blushed, but she certainly wasn’t going to let go now!
Closing her eyes shut, she considered about a story. “A story. I like stories about knights and princesses, but you’re a knight yourself so maybe that won’t be as interesting for you…”[/so][/bg]
Alarice – Apr 8, 2009 at 7:32 PM
Derek slipped his arms around her to keep her steady and smiled. “On the other hand, being a Knight means I’ve heard all type of stories about Knights and princesses. Let me see … ‘The Knight and the Sky Princess.’
He cleared his throat. It didn’t sound like the storm was letting up anytime soon but Jade was doing well so far. “A long time ago, a man who dreamed of being a Knight left his small village with only the clothes on his back, his father’s sword, and his trusty steed. He wanted to be a Knight like the stories of old, defending the weak, rescuing damsels, making a name that would live throughout history.
“He travelled through many lands, met many people, and had many adventures. People spoke of the time he single-handedly took down a group of ruthless outlaws who preyed on travellers, poor and rich. They whispered about how he once dove into a raging river on a stormy night to rescue a young child who’d been separated from his family. They shared tales of times when he toiled under the hot sun and bitter cold night for food and brief shelter.
“Days, weeks, months past since the man had begun his travels but he felt he was no closer to becoming a Knight than when he’d started. One night, he had a dream about a woman crying for help. He couldn’t see her face but he could tell she was frightened. She only had time to warn him of an evil dragon pillaging the lands and of the famine and drought that would result because of the dragon’s evil.
“The man awoke, confused about what the dream could mean, who the woman was, and whether he could stop a creature like an evil dragon. In the morning he continued his travels and soon came upon a desolate and barren land. He found scorched farmlands, skeletal remains of homes, bodies burnt almost beyond recognition. His horse became skittish. There was evil there but the man was certain this land and his dream were connected so he continued further.
“Soon, he came upon a mountain whose peak disappeared into the heavens. There was a cave at the base and it was there he was greeted by two pairs of glowing red eyes, so large he couldn’t begin to imagine the size of the creature they belonged to. A growling voice spoke from the darkness, demanding to know who had dared to trespass on its lands.
“The man replied that he was just a traveller and asked who the creature was and what land he was travelling on. The creature refused to give its name but the land had once been called Thyrian. Now it had no name and all who set foot on the land was doomed to death. The man asked the creature if it was by any chance an evil dragon to which the creature chuckled. The man felt a blast of hot air and saw a giant fireball coming at him. It was so large, he would never dodge it in time and shut his eyes.
“When nothing happened, he opened his eyes and found him and his horse in a beautiful garden. Flowers of every shape, color, and size were there. The air smelled of spring and life. A woman appeared in front of him, the same woman from his dream. She told him her name was Princess Norae and had once ruled over Thyrian before the evil dragon had been born and cursed her to live high in the clouds. She could never leave and could only watch as it destroyed her homeland and wreaked vengeance.
“Norae told him that the evil dragon had once been her uncle who had plotted to gain the throne by any means necessary. He was forced to resort to drastic measures when none of his other tactics worked and employed the use of the dark arts. But the dark arts are infamous for corrupting even the strongest of wills. Her uncle’s desire to rule soon turned into a desire to destroy it and cause Norae great pain and he became a dragon to achieve that end.
“Norae gave the man an ancient sword guarded by her family for many generations. It was the only thing strong enough to defeat her uncle. But she warned him that his heart must be pure or the sword would consume him as well. The man agreed and when he accepted the sword, he felt a surge of power. He felt he could take on the world.
“The princess bid him farewell but also cautioned him. ‘Power comes with a price but it also carries a burden of responsibility,’ she said before she sent him back. He found himself back in front of the cave. The creature slept, believing it had vanquished the man. It awoke as the man approached it and laughed at the man when he told him he’d come to vanquish him.
“Then the dragon stepped out of the cave as it told the man the name it had gone by as a human, of its many exploits, travels made, people met. The dragon spoke of power it had wielded and how small and insignificant that was compared to the power it wielded now, about its magnificience and its near omnipotence. The dragon declared that it could never be harmed, even by the sword it recognized in the man’s possession. It said the man was too weak to understand how to wield the sword and that it was just a decoration, a shell of its former self.
“The dragon was mighty and great. A single massive head with its two pairs of glittering red eyes. Teeth as long as the sword in the man’s grip. A body so large that the mere sight of it took the man’s breath away. It possessed wings of a span so wide, there are no measurements I can give you accurate enough. Scales as dark as night, so black it seemed to absorb the dim sunlight that shone through the bleak clouds.
“The dragon saw the man’s expression and laughed. ‘You cannot defeat me!’ it roared. ‘No one and nothing can, in this world or the next!’
“But the man stood his ground and told the dragon it would be defeated. The sword began to glow as the man spoke, as if his very conviction, his determination to save this land and its princess was giving it power. The dragon had never seen the sword react to this and knew it had to end this then and there. So he breathed fire on the man, with heat so strong it melted the earth itself.
“The man rolled out of the way and still the sword glowed. It was a fierce battle that followed, fire and claws against the sword. But finally the dragon gained the upper hand and captured the knight in a single claw. It stood on its back legs and began to laugh, so loud and strong that the land vibrated with the echo. It told the man how foolish he was, about how he was going to devour him and continue to lay waste to the land for countless years to come.
“But the man, tired and worn, told the dragon that doing the right thing was never foolish. And although the dragon believed it had the upper hand, it had just delivered itself into the man’s grasp. The dragon’s eyes grew wide as the man raised the sword and plunged it deep into its heart.
“The dragon dropped the man and the man rolled. He recovered in time to watch the dragon as it roared and turned into stone with the sword sheathed in its heart. There was a rumbling. The sky parted and the sun shone, the bleak landscape became blanketed in green grass and flowers. Most amazing of all, the mountain cave the dragon had dwelled in became a magnificent castle that shone white in the sun with the tallest towers the man had ever seen.
“The castle gate opened and Norae stepped out. She kissed him and thanked him for all the good he had done, and told him that she could grant him a single wish. The man smiled but he didn’t ask for wealth or fame or anything a man would be tempted to ask for.
“‘All I ask, Your Highness, is to become a Knight,’ he said. The Princess smiled and asked him to kneel. She knighted him then, even without a sword and the two of them lived happily ever after.
“… But not before the newly turned Knight had a few more great adventures,” Derek finished with a grin.
Divinatas – Apr 19, 2009 at 8:54 PM
Chloe found herself enchanted with the story and that gentle tone of Derek’s voice as he told it. It was easy to be wrapped up in the words of the tale, forgetting about the constant rocking of the boat and the roar of thunder from outside.
“That’s amazing. I wonder how many stories like that may actually be true..?” she asked, with curiosity.
The sound of footsteps approaching made her pause. One of the sailors, soaked to the bone and pretty unhappy about had come down to give them news. “The storm has settled and we’re approachn’ an island. Capn’ is gonna dock us to supply up and repair the damages, so we’ll be spendin’ the night on land. Get to stretch yer legs a bit.”
The storm had stopped! With Derek’s story, she hadn’t even realized it. She cast him a smile. “You’re a very good distracter.”[/so][/bg]
Alarice – Apr 21, 2009 at 5:46 PM
Derek nodded and thanked the sailor who quickly returned above. He gave Chloe a sheepish grin and scratched the back of his head. “Thank you, Miss Chloe. It always helps to have an attentive audience.” He glanced up. “Isn’t that right, Jade?”
Jade snorted and pawed the floor.
Derek ran his fingers through his hair. “Looks like Jade is in a hurry to get up there and get some fresh air.” He shifted and released Chloe to stand. “Will you join us, Miss Chloe?” He bent forward, one hand on a knee and the other hand to her.
Divinatas – Apr 21, 2009 at 6:26 PM
There was no way she could say no to that. Chloe accepted his hand, pulling herself to her feet and brushing the folds of her skirt to straighten them again. She was feeling worlds better now without that queasy feeling and waves of dizzyness! She waited until he had Jade ready and left with them both to the top deck.
Outside, the storm clouds were leaving in the distance and the ship was already moving up towards the dock of a small looking port village. Sailors were running in every which direction, so Chloe made sure to stay near Derek and Jade, out of anyone’s way.
The village was small, but it was busy! They were already several other ships docked, possibly other boats trying to get repairs and stock after the storm at sea. When the ship was finally tied down and the anchor dropped, many of the sailors were begging their captain for a night’s rest and play before they got back to work.
Chloe was chewing on her bottom lip, mentally counting how much coin she had stashed away. “Do you think we could get away with a nice room for the night…? I really would like a real bath.”[/so][/bg]
Alarice – Apr 21, 2009 at 6:57 PM
Derek patted Jade’s neck. The poor mare needed a nice cleaning and a lot of brushing. It was hard to get the burrs out when your horse wasn’t feeling too well in the first place. “You’re doing great, Jade. Thanks.”
Derek turned and was thoughtful for a moment. “If I need to, I’ll work for room and board, Miss Chloe. It’d be good to stretch my legs and exercise a bit.” Personally he never carried much coin with him. Those who tried to steal from him quickly learned that it’s not how much coin a knight is carrying … but how he uses the weapons he is.
The captain walked over to them. “I s’pose you and your lady will be going ashore as well.”
He nodded. “Yes, captain. How long will it take to repair and resupply the ship?”
“Eh.” The captain scratched his scraggly chin. “Shouldn’t be more than a night, I say. Come back by first light and I can tell ye for sure.”
“Of course.” Derek inclined his head. “Thank you, Captain.”
The knight took Jade’s reins and escorted Chloe off of the ship. Things were busy on the dock but fortunately, it didn’t take them long to weave through the crowd and the bustle. He kept an eye out for a nice inn for them to stay at.
Some children were kicking a small bag around, trying to keep it in the air not too far from them. Carts drawn by horses passed by. There was a lot of shouting by people trying to sell all sorts of fish and food.
Divinatas – Apr 23, 2009 at 6:09 PM
It was so nice to walk on solid land again! Chloe decided she definitely wasn’t the sailing type, despite how beautiful the ocean was. She was happier admiring it from the safety of solid earth! The coastal village was vibrant with all kinds of people. Something she hadn’t seen in awhile. Always being on the road and traveling sometimes made you miss being around people.
Chloe stopped for a moment at a vendor, buying a few fresh apples. It would be a sweet treat for them, and one even saved for Jade. A friendly conversation with the women brought a good suggestion for an Inn. A place owned by a pair of older brothers and boasting very comfortable rooms for a Lady and her Husband! Chloe had blushed red, but she didn’t correct the woman’s assumptions!
“Maybe I should find a job too. You do so much already. A vacation for you and Jade might be a very nice idea!” she suggested, pointing down the street towards the Inn.[/so][/bg]
Alarice – Apr 27, 2009 at 4:25 PM
Derek smiled. “We appreciate it, Miss Chloe. I guess I can’t stand in your way if you truly want to help …” He tilted his head slightly at her. He didn’t want her to strain herself but when a woman put her mind to something, you couldn’t stop her. He wasn’t the type to force anything on a woman but he was still concerned about her.
Jade sniffed the apple Chloe held out to her then bit into it. Her stomach must have felt a lot better now that they were on solid ground. She made it disappear in no time at all. She neighed softly and nuzzled Chloe’s hand.
“Feeling better, I see, Jade,” Derek said with a grin. He patted her neck. “Let’s go see this inn, Miss Chloe. Maybe they’ll have some jobs we can do. Or we might even hear about a job or two along the way,” he suggested. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “It’s strange. This place. It looks like it hasn’t been touched by the way. Gorawen and Difrod feel like a whole different time, an entirely different world.”
Divinatas – Apr 28, 2009 at 11:43 PM
Chewing on her bottom lip, Chloe tried to repress that guilt she felt over keeping Derek away from his own duties. When she had the chance, she would ask people about dragons, Gorawen and Difrod, but she had yet to hear anything that might be useful for Derek. Sometimes she thought she might be selfish for keeping him like this, yet she couldn’t imagine how she would have gotten along without him!
The Inn was not that far, so while Derek took care of Jade, Chloe stepped inside to ask about a room. It was a fine Inn indeed, to even have cojoined rooms available! To spare Derek from what she would hope to be a long bath, she made sure to get the two rooms. As for work, she could help with the Inn’s laundry, but they didn’t seem to have anything else available themselves.
With keys in hand, she dashed outside to meet Derek at the stables. Chloe jangled the two keys! “Joined rooms! They are really nice! The keeper didn’t really have any jobs besides Laundry, and I can take care of that.”
On the edge of town road in several men on fine looking horses. Their armor was unmarked, but by the look of them they were working for someone important. The head of the group dismounted when they stopped near a tavern. One he frequented every time he came to town. Raven black hair, with a pointed goatee, he frowned as someone dashed down the street to meet him.
“Sir! I have some ne-”
“Not now. Unless the shipment arrived two days early, I don’t care what you have to say.” he started up the tavern steps.
“But sir, that woman you were looking for is in town..!”
He stopped suddenly, turning around on the steps. “I’m listening.”[/so][/bg]
Alarice – Apr 30, 2009 at 3:42 AM
Derek watched Chloe walk into the Inn to ask for rooms and jobs. He asked a boy who was carrying a bucket of water from the back where the stables were and thanked him for the directions. There was a wide alley that led to the back, well-kept and free of debris and then an open gate.
He walked into a small courtyard with a few stone benches set around a large oak tree. There were bushes planted along the fence and walls. At the back of the courtyard were the stables. He led his horse down the worn path that led from the gate to the stable doors. The last thing he wanted was to call down the wrath of whoever watched over and cared for the courtyard here.
The stables smelled of hay, horse, and, of course, manure. There were several stalls on either side and Derek took Jade to the first empty stall he came to. He preferred her to be as close to the doors as possible. It made for a quick exit when necessary. He also took notes of where everything was located, from the hay to the brushes and shovels. He took the saddle and reins off of Jade and placed them to the side.
“You must be tired of that by now,” he told her. There were only about a handful of horses in the stables so it was pretty quiet while he took care of her. He was in the middle of giving Jade a bath when Chloe walked in.
“Joined rooms! They are really nice! The keeper didn’t really have any jobs besides Laundry, and I can take care of that.”
Derek looked up at the sound of keys and smiled. “That’s great, Miss Chloe. I’ll ask around later if anyone else has some jobs. It’s not that I don’t appreciate what you’re doing, Miss Chloe,” he quickly added. The last thing he wanted to do was offend her in anyway. “But if we can earn some coin for the travels, it’s worth a shot, right?”
Divinatas – May 20, 2009 at 4:16 AM
After giving Derek his key and making sure he knew which room was theirs, Chloe let him tend to Jade and leave to find temporary work. She had her own chores to do for the Inn!
Laundry duty for the Inn was very simple. All of the bedsheets, bath linens, and occasionally even the clothing for the more upscale guests were sent out to the back for the laundry. Doing the wash was time consuming, and hard work… but it was relaxing! As she scrubbed stains from fabrics, she thought about random things. Nothing ever particularly important, but pleasant all the same.
Lurking not so far away, peeking around a corner was tall but chunky fellow with a twisty mustache. Just below him was a shorter man with an almost shiny bald head. “No one is ‘ere, let’s get ‘er.” said the taller man.
“Hold on a minute, we have to make sure that knight isn’t around.” replied the shorter.
The taller one snorted. “‘e’s not. Gar and ‘is men followed ‘im out to make sure ‘e ain’t never coming back.”
Looking around once again, the shorter nodded. Both men snuck out from their hiding place and approached silently! The woman was humming some random song and hanging up a large sheet on the drying line. She hadn’t noticed anyone drawing near until a shadow cast on the other side of the sheet. By then, it was too late! Pouncing, sheet, woman and all, she was wrapped up and thrown over the taller man’s shoulder in a second! When she gave a muffled scream, he gave her a good bounce.
“Don’t jostle her too much, the boss wants her whole!” the shorter, bald man complained as they took their captive off where the bossman wanted her!