Recommended song - Walk Away, Funeral For A Friend
As Echelon you should not love in a possessive or sexual manner nor indulge in pleasures of sexual nature, as this, perhaps most of all will cloud your ability to judge equally and distract you from your propose. To protect the people, and be clear that none should hold more sway on you than others.
Dawn broke early over the camp, and by the time the tents were swarming with all from soldiers to cooks to servants the Sun was already high and blazing. This, of course did nothing for the smell and only served to intensify the sickly sweet stench of blood and rotting flesh. Coupled with a light breeze, that swept the odour down the hillside and to the camp, walking around outside became almost unbearable. Despite the smiling fronts of the occupants, the mood was dampened and no one could wait for the Priests to finally light the fires that would burn the battle field to cinders.
She thought this, the thoughts chasing each other around her mind as she walked swiftly and steadily towards the sheltered alcove in the sweep of the hills where a smaller fire was crackling quietly in the centre of a group of tents. Positioned so that to see into the camp, you would have to first round the base of the hill, it was almost secretive, as if the four men who slept there wished to be left alone as much as possible.
Two men sat around the fire, both dressed in vibrant white that contrasted starkly with the pitch-black material of the tents and the dark undergrowth. They were just finishing off their breakfast as she approached - tortillas, stuffed with spiced chicken. She stopped, a little way off, watching the fire lick away gently at the wood, warming the dew stained grass and listened to the relative quiet that could be found this far away from the bustle of the main camp. One of the men looked up, smiling slightly at her as he got to his feet.
"Morning ma'am." He greeted her "You can come in, we're not gonna eat you."
She nodded, stepping into the ring of flattened grass that marked where the other members of the warrior group had sat before. He gestured to the floor "Do you want me to get you a..."
She cut him off quickly "No," She murmured, shaking her head and sitting down to demonstrate her point "I'll be fine."
He nodded, smiling before excusing himself with a simple wave of his hand and another nod in the other man's direction.
Silence fell, but it buzzed with tension and emotions as the warrior who sat on the ground next to her finished his breakfast, not even glancing in her direction. She almost considered going after Matt, as he was always friendly, if not a little more quiet than the others. At least he wouldn't ignore her.
She sighed, and it served as enough of a start for her to carry on. "Long time no see." She murmured quietly, glancing fleetingly in his direction. He was sitting, cross legged on the grass, his pewter plate still in one hand as he traced patterns on the ground with the other. His long, dark hair fell over his face, obscuring most of his pale features.
"Yes." He murmured simply, still seeming to be engrossed in his drawing but she knew he was just using that as an excuse to ignore her. She'd seen him do it far too many times.
"I missed you," She told him offhandedly, playing with a strand of her light hair "Did you miss me?"
He looked at her for the first time, and she finally caught a glimpse of the pair of deep, sapphire eyes she'd missed so badly - even if now they were tinged with something that looked too much like venom for her comfort. "Why?" He spat, almost challenging "Was I supposed you? Is that what you wanted?"
She looked taken aback, her own sea green orbs flashing with hurt "I...well...I though..."
"Then you thought wrong." He finished bitterly, getting to his feet, the plate in his hands reflecting the sunlight blindingly back into her eyes. But she was up after him in milliseconds, her hand coming down on his shoulder to stop him striding off.
"Stop it!" She protested "Please Angel, I didn't..."
She stopped as she felt him tense, memories flooding his soul as the long buried name resurfaced, bringing everything he tried so hard to forget with it.
"No." He muttered, turning around to face her, their bodies brushing a little too close. "You stop it. We said no," He reminded her slowly and deliberately "No more feelings, no more secrets," He glanced down at her, his blue eyes stormy "No more Angel."
"They call it you!" She protested "The soldiers and the people, Angels, that's what they say. If they can call you an Angel why can't I?"
He wrinkled his nose almost nonchalantly, his face morphing for a moment into the man she remembered. "They say it..." He paused "Because they think we are, powerful demons sent from some god." He muttered "You don't." He stated coldly "You say it because of the past."
She glared at him "You can't run away from the past." She snapped.
He shrugged "No," He agreed quietly as he turned away and back to the camp. "But I can run from you."
And then he was gone.
Darias watched his daughter as she wove her way through the bustling hordes of servants and army men to reach the Royal tent. Her head was bent, and her long, light brown hair fell in soaked strands around her face as the rain continued to pour. He sighed as he realised that the weather would mean that they wouldn't be able to start the burning for what might be days but, at least it covered up the smell a little.
Closing his eyes for less than seconds he moved away from the entrance to the tent and sat down in a low backed oak chair nearer to the fire in the centre of the huge domed structure.
He wondered, fleetingly why he had brought his daughter here, to this battle. She'd been in others before of course, and had proved an excellent cavalry woman, in fact she had led his right flank yesterday. But the problem that probed his mind was not the danger, nor the sleepless nights caused by thinking too much of the carnage that a soldier had seen but something far more complicated. The problem, stemmed from and revolved solely around Jared Leto. Not that the man himself was a problem, he was a fine warrior and a treasured, if not rebellious member of the Echelon, as well as being very useful when it came to tactics. No, he was far more worried about any kind of relationship that might reform between his daughter and the horseman.
Echelon couldn't love, couldn't marry. It was strictly forbidden by the order that formed the group of warriors long years back. If any member breached the rule they could be tossed from the ranks without even a proper trial.
His daughter would be shamed; Leto would be cast out completely. And there was no way, for all the gold in Europa that King Darias was going to let that happen.
He was interrupted from his thoughts by the sound of someone pushing their way through the tent flaps and out of the rain. Looking up he saw the object of his worries, his daughter standing there, smiling slightly at him. It was so forced that it almost made him want to sigh but he didn't, and just smiled back before getting to his feet.
"Have you catered to your horse Helen?" He asked, trying to sound as normal as possible.
If he daughter suspected anything she didn't comment and just nodded simply "Father..." She started "I need to talk to you."