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through the fading glass.

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Byorn chuckled, handed Jorndyr his drink, a steaming cup of citrus tea.

Daisies littered the orange liquid, an eyeful of beauty, a sweet aroma.

Byorn stuck a spoon of sugar into his glass sake, swirling it into the tea, but paused before it dissolved. “I take it you’ve never had chamomile before.”

Jorndyr peers into his sake, quirking an eyebrow before setting it down. “No. I haven’t . .”

“You’ll like it,” he caught a glimpse of Byron’s teeth, a meaningful, unintentional smile, “It’s Saga’s favourite.”

Who? Jorndyr stopped himself from asking. The pale, beautiful woman with shiny brown hair and mech body; who would not know? Of course, she was a Synarchy.

The Svandian bit at the metal spoon, licking the tea staining the curve. “She has a thing for Ragnar. I shouldn’t be surprised, though.”

“You aren’t persistent, are you?”

Byorn played with the utensil with his fingers, tips of his teeth pale against his pink lips. His helmet made it impossible to view his eyes, something he was never seen without.

He rests his chin on the tip of his palm, head pointed towards the teapot but eyes undoubtedly aimed at Jorndyr. “Ragnar . . Is like a brother-father to me.“

Brother-father?

He smiled to himself. He could see the perplexity in his eyes, the way his broad eyebrows heave, the way his pupils dilate. “Father?”

“Not, biologically,” Byorn covered his mouth for a laugh. “I forgot you were related.”

It was partially difficult understanding Byorn, but also very simple all the while. His english was choppy but fluent; decent for the native Svandian.

The ex-leader picked up the sake, the hot glass pushing against his fingers. The daises danced inside the liquid, the petals hadn’t been soaked by the tea, still floating on the tea. He held the warm glass to his lips, narrowing his eyebrows as the steamy tea filled his mouth.

His first reaction was to spit it out.

Perceiving the eager grin Byorn gifted, he swallowed it down and cleared his throat, the tips of his fingers nudging the sake towards the core of the table.

Byorn invisibly raised an eyebrow, smirking as a dimple cast deep into his left cheek. “Not a fan?”

Jorndyr cleared his throat in reply, the Svandian piling of chuckles.

A breeze runs over his cheeks, brushing through his aged bronze hair. It had to be at least fifty two degrees; yet, here they were, sipping tea outside on a nice, dandy little porch. Jorndyr never said a complaint. Not once.

While the bitterness seemed to be ripping at Jorndyr’s flesh, the cold simply regarded Byron’s underdressed, narrow figure. In fact, he looked perfectly happy and unbothered. PEthan’s it was the tea.. “Do you not feel that?”

“What?”

“The breeze? Do you not feel it?” Jorndyr hardened his features, coldly looking upon Byorn if he were some zoo animal.

“No?” Cheeky little fucker.

He stays quiet for a few seconds. Its indecisive to what the Svandian was looking at, for his helmet prevented that, but he nudged lazily towards Jorndyr, gathering his attention, “How did you get those scars?”

Jorndyr stared at him for a few seconds, eyes blank. Abruptly, he opened his mouth. “Thanks for the tea,” he muttered, picking himself off from his rather numb knees, dusting away his legs and gracefully raising to his feet. “I have a meeting to get to.”

Byorn smiles lightly, though invisible to Jorndyr, he was a little muddled. “I see.”

Jorndyr gave him an avid look, eyebrows slouching mournfully before he made a bolt for the door leading inside. A warm hand on his shoulder struck him short. He peered over his shoulder, taking a glimpse of nothing but air before he lowered his eyes. The Svandian tenderly held his shoulder, looking up at him with a welcoming smile — one that you would receive on a first day of work. “Perhaps we may do this again, lievla?”

They’re close; a good head-and-a-half distanced their heights; close enough to see the healthy tan on his face, the redness the breeze gifted to him, the dainty little freckles scattered like stars over his nose, the dimples imprinted in his cheeks, and his teeth sparkle when he says this;

“O-okay . .”