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A Place in the World

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There were some days when he felt like the world was mocking him.  Ondolemar stretched, the early morning sunlight streaming through his window.  He had hours before he had to get up, much too much time to himself and not enough to do all that he wanted to do before he left Alinor, the capital of his homeland and the seat of power for the Aldmeri Dominion.

The women in bed next to him made a slight snuffle as she rolled over, and he ignored her, pushing her body away from him as she curled closer, seeking out his warmth.  She was a way to distract himself and in that she had served her purpose.  Rising from the bed, he strode over to the window, opening it and letting the air cool his sleep-warmed flesh.  The last vestiges of the sunrise were just fading from view, twinkling on the glass spires and breaking on the crystal buildings, all the colors warm and tinged with red as the sun grew higher in the sky, but Ondolemar just sighed at the sight.  Try as he might, dawn always reminded him of the past, an ironic thought for the bringer of the new day.

"Come, Ondolemar.  It's a beautiful night for mischief."  In his memories, he could hear Trina beckoning him, dragging him away from what he knew, begging him to join her and be wild. 

Trina.  They'd danced together from sundown to sunup, drank too much of the fine wine he preferred and laughed too loudly, kissing on a rock as the sea lapped at their bare feet.  He remembered her lips, soft and plump, yielding to his inexpert kisses, the gentle way she'd guided him as he learned what she liked.  Trina.  His bride, she who'd stood beneath his window at night, throwing stones at the glass panes until she got his attention, demanding that he put off his studies and sleep to spend time with her.  The memory of her kisses still made him weak, even as recollections.  In the springtime the scent of lavender on the air brought out melancholy in him as he recalled how she'd scented her hair with oil distilled from the herb.  Though their pairing had been arranged, they'd fallen in love, he saying that she'd bewitched him.  In truth, she had been just as crazy about him, both of them losing their heads as well as their hearts.

She was the daughter of two prominent artists, both revered throughout the Summerset Isles for their works.  Though they'd always hoped that she would follow in their footsteps, but she'd never been able to settle on a medium, finding them all to her liking.  Trina sang like a chorus of birds at dawn, danced with grace and painted and sculpted, learning at the heels of her parents.  In their society artists were amongst the top level of society, and she came from some of the best lineages combined.  He'd felt so lucky to be paired with her, and luckier still when he'd actually liked the girl after their first meeting.

With every thought of her, he knew pain, hurt that blossomed deep within the well of his chest and moved up until it suffocated him and had had to gasp for breath.  A deep hole that never lessened, no matter how much time passed or what he did to try and put it behind him.  He'd loved her in every sense, but when they came to take her away he was forced to renounce her, or watch his family be executed.  Ondolemar served the Thalmor, and that service could not be forsworn, not even after he watched his bride be taken away in shackles.  Watching the scene, knowing the agents that came to get her, the ones that later congratulated him on his loyalty to the Dominion, it had been the hardest thing he'd ever had to do.

It was the only time she'd ever been truly silent, no smile lighting her eyes, no laughter coloring her cheeks, it was as if the life had been suddenly and irrevocably drained from her.  When they read the charges and shackled her, she submitted meekly, only calling out her love and a goodbye to the people that she loved.  She never said sorry for shaming them, never protested or proclaimed her innocence as he would have done.  There were no tears etching trails down her golden face, but just her, lost to him forever.

Her parents later disowned her, but by that time, Ondolemar had stopped contact with them.  He never knew if they were forced to, or if they truly wanted to sever the connection between them and their daughter.  Word got to him that they'd had another child later on, a son.  With their long lives, elves were fertile throughout many years, and it was nothing to have another child once another was grown.  That family was no more of his concern once Trina was gone.

She was exiled to the mainland of Tamriel, as they did with most of the prisoners they didn't execute, and even getting that decision had been a stretch, considering her crimes.  In his mind, it was almost worse, he saw no point in living amongst the savages, outside of the beauty of what the Mer had created.  He shuddered, thinking of how he was to go there soon, to leave all he knew behind and root out worshipers of the false man-god Talos.  At least the city he was to station himself in, Markarth, was of Dwemer construct and not that of men.  He had enough to worry about without adding his doubts about human construction to the list.

He turned back to his bed and away from the mocking morning sun.  With a lazy hand drifting up her pale, golden skin, he woke the woman in his bed, who responded eagerly to his touch.  If he couldn't have love, he could at least satisfy his body, and with her sloppy, sleepy kiss he let himself go numb, trying not to wish that it was Trina beneath his hands, succumbing to his kisses with soft moans.