The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Aresan Clan pt 106

Jesek, along with all the other scribes, ceased his work for the day close to the night point. He stowed his materials away while other scribes were doing the same, pushing the papers, ink and pens into separate places in the shelves on the wall. Jesek said goodbye to his colleagues and, along with them, left the Public House for home.

He and his wife, Selah, occupied an apartment near where he worked. He stepped off the street into a small quad shared by several surrounding apartments. He climbed a set up stairs rising from the street-level to the second-story front door of his apartment. When he opened the door, the first person he saw was his tiny infant son, nestled in a cradle on the floor.

Selah walked into the room and said, “Hello, my love,” as she reached down and picked up the smiling infant. The gorgeous young blonde wrapped her slender arms around him and nestled him close against her soft chest.

Jesek took his son in his hands, playfully raising him up above his head. “Hello, my little treasure box,” he said to the child in a cheerful voice, “You didn’t give your mother any trouble today, did you?”

After a few moments of playing with his son, he handed him back to his wife, and told her, “I had a personal visit from General Alles. He’s of course going to be going with the army when they leave in a few days. And he wants me with him.”

Selah gave her husband a distressed look, and asked, “You didn’t say you would, did you?”

“Now, hold on. I haven’t finished,” he admonished, “He told me I wouldn’t be fighting. I’d be far behind the battlefield. I’d just be helping out with navigation and strategy.”

“And you told him, ‘no,’ right?” Selah again interrupted.

“I'm not finished,” he again admonished, “He said I’d be paid well for my services, not to mention the prestige of the position. But, I said…”

“You said you couldn’t do it,” Selah interrupted once more.

“No, I said I’d have to ask my wife. It’s up to her,” Jesek said, pausing for a moment and bringing out his disarming smile, “So? What do you think?”

Selah didn’t say anything in response, but was clearly unmoved. Jesek was accustomed to being able to persuade a woman of anything he said simply by leaning in towards her, gripping her hands and looking deep into her eyes with a beguiling smile spread across his lips. He could never be refused. He was used to his serene handsomeness enchanting women and putting them under his power. He’d never mastered the art of persuading people with words—in the form of a letter or an essay. He was used to being able to use his body and his body’s language to persuade. His wife, though, had grown partially immune to his powers, so that when he grabbed her hand, locked her in his eyes and said, “This would be really great for both of us; I’ll come back alive and well,” it was ineffective.

He didn’t need her to speak to understand that her mind remained unchanged and he was quick to cut her off before she could speak, saying, “It’s also a matter of duty. They’ve done so much for us. We were taken in as refuges. Our baby was delivered here by an Aresan Mage. And they helped me find a job. After all that, we have a duty to do what we can for our adopted home.”

“You already did your part,” Selah complained, “You were gone for days. I was all alone. And now you’ll leave me alone again.”

“You’ve got friends here now. They’ll help you. And think about what we could do with the money. What we could do for our baby,” he said.

Jesek had intensified the force of his persuasive body language, slowing moving his face closer and pleading with his eyes as he said, “I will be back.”

Selah finally gave up, fatigued from the effort of resisting. She didn’t say anything, but he could clearly see it in the way her body relaxed and retreated. “It will be for the best,” he said, “For all three of us.”

<-- Go to Part 105         Go to Part 107 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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