theunpressuredclub: (need you now)
Shea is usually careful, with her. With the other Spades, he has a little freer reign-- most of the time, their soulmates are nonexistent or in the Suit as well. Knowing that makes him a little more comfortable about doing with them what he will. No one in the Suit is going to fight him on what he does, after all; not with Medea's blessing protecting him.

But she's a risk. She's someone who's more likely to be connected to someone outside of the Suit; someone he can't control. So he's usually careful to make sure that the injuries that do end up marring her body are ones easily explained away by the excuse of training. 

But she's gone too far, this time. She's pushed too hard in an attempt to protect too fiercely. She's going to go home bruised and battered; a gash across her leg and a knife injury to her shoulder that's going to be absolutely impossible to hide.
theunpressuredclub: (broken)
It's not that she doesn't understand. She absolutely does. The panic that had existed following the death of the king with no clear had been strong. She knows that both her and the king's youth is seen as a sign of virility and fertility-- that they expect, half a year after their marriage, for the Queen to be showing the fruits of it.

It's just that it drives her near to madness, to have so many people prodding in the most polite and subtle manner they can manage. It's just that her ladies and the midwife have taken to inquiring everything from whether or not she and the king's time in the bedroom is satisfactory and that did she know such-and-such herb taken a certain way twice a day encouraged pregnancy.

It's just that she and Edgar have been working so carefully up to the more passionate touches they're starting to exchange now. It's just that the thought of them actually consummating the marriage what feels like this early on gets her heart fluttering in a way that is only uncomfortable.

It's just that it twists her faith in her king's gentle assurances that he'll give her all the time she needs before then into a question mark. It's just that she can't help but wonder if he isn't secretly disappointed in her for the time she's taking.

Most of the time, at least, those latter questions don't ring quite so loud in heart as the frustration towards others that has her flopping with a heavy sigh into her chair in their chambers and pulling a hairbrush out to tug with a touch of visciousness in her hair.
theunpressuredclub: (oh this burden)
"Is it-- supposed t'be like this?"
theunpressuredclub: (looking up)
 Her shoulder had healed up well enough, although there would be some ugly scarring that would remain. The conversation with Lorraine, while not progressing much further that night, had opened up the door to equally careful conversations-- to a deep amount of thought, on Rachel's part.

Curled up beside Edgar now, his lips pressing softly against the cloth over her healed shoulder as they snuggle on the couch, she finds the words slipping out of their own accord. Doesn't doing anything to stop them, because she's finally started to recognize that maybe it's time to let it go.

"I know Drew-- thinks it's Papa," she murmurs, quite suddenly, "And it-- it is, sometimes. But it's usually... The bad ones, Ed, it's-- it's not him that does it. It's..."

And she can't quite work up the strength to actually name who it is, just yet. She needs to shift, settle more properly into his arms and tuck her head against his chest so she doesn't have to see the expression on his face.
theunpressuredclub: (broken)
The doctors had given her a sling to keep her arm in so she wouldn't move her shoulder. The stitches were barely keeping the wound closed, after all, and too much movement would risk it opening again.

It didn't necessarily have to be a problem. People ended up in slings for various reasons all the time, particularly in the Clubs. It wouldn't have been hard to brush it off as some sort of accident and have that be that.

Except ever since it had become clear that she and Edgar were destined for each other, he had been even more fiercely protective of her. It had gotten increasingly more difficult to hide her injuries from him, much though she'd improved at using makeup to cover the bruises.

Being in a sling was a lot more difficult to cover up. Had had her keeping to herself more in an attempt to avoid having people see it.

The problem was, though, is that (likely for this very reason,) they never let her hide away for very long.
theunpressuredclub: (a joy revealed)
When they both stay up as late as they did the night before, Rachel's usually the one that's the first to wake up. She's used to less sleep, most days, and in any event she likes having a few moments to just revel in the quiet of the morning.

It's easy to get breakfast going, once she's had a cup of tea to start the day of well. It's easy to let herself hum absently as she puts the pan on the stove.

Easier still to smile as she hears the approaching footsteps and feels her boyfriend's nose nuzzle in between her shoulder blades. One hand moves from holding the pan steady to rest over one of his once his arms wrap around her waist.

"Mornin'."
theunpressuredclub: (evasive)
The Queen of Camelot has been avoiding the King.

Well, not that anyone save the King would notice. In public, she appears by his side as always. Kisses him goodbye whenever he goes out on rides. For all intents and purposes, the King and Queen seem as happily-- or at least as functionally-- married as they did from the beginning.

But it's the moments that aren't seen by others that make it clear something's changed. It's the fact that Rachel hasn't been spending her more free time in his presence. That she hasn't been idly touching him or letting the moments of quiet intimacy they usually have happen. That there's clearly something on her mind but that, for once, she hasn't shared it with him.

And there doesn't seem to be anyone who knows why. The Queen's ladies haven't been allowed insight into the woman's mind. The knight who has gained the friendship of both royals-- and more, in the case of the King-- hasn't actually been permitted in her presence since about when she started avoiding the King.

But the Queen of Camelot will not be able to keep her husband at bay forever. And the Queen of Camelot certainly can't avoid her husband in their own chambers.

Especially not when the King of Camelot finds her on her knees in prayer, muffling quiet sobs against the side of their bed.
theunpressuredclub: (evasive)
It's so different from the Deck.

The city in which Ophelia has helped her set up has nothing of the suffocating smallness that her home has. Nobody here knows entirely who she is except for the small handful of people the Queen had pointed her in the direction of-- and even they only really know her as a Diamond, not necessarily a Suit-switcher. It's refreshing.

It makes it tempting, almost, for her not to come back, regardless of whether or not she decides to raise the child growing inside her-- a decision she's still struggling to make, this far along. Because yes, while she knows the boy (and it's a boy. Edgar would be thrilled, in other circumstances) would remind her almost constantly of his father, she's also not certain if she doesn't want the reminder. She misses Edgar Eicheln, after all.

But missing him certainly does not mean expecting him to show up at the door of the apartment she's staying in. Thank goodness she looked through the peephole before opening it.

It's tempting to not respond to his knock. But she also knows just how resilient he can be if he thinks there's anything like a chance.

There's a crack in her voice as she calls through the door, "Please leave."
theunpressuredclub: (looking up)
Rachel is weeping when they stumble into Edgar’s chambers, and the two of them slump to the ground just inside the door, only just keeping one another from falling over completely. There is blood staining her shirt and a frightening looking gash near one of his eyes, among other things, but the injuries are being ignored for now by the young redhead as she clings to her boyfriend, presses her forehead against his.

“Enough, Elliot,” she says, her voice rough and shaking, “I don’t care if you and Pierre have to switch Suits and come stay with us. We can’t—we can’t do this anymore.”

“Rachel,” he begins, and his voice is a kind of raspiness that only comes from screaming too long.

“No.” she interrupts, “I can’t—watch while he does this anymore. I can’t let him make you watch, either. This—this is going to end. Maybe not tonight, but—soon.”

“Rachel—”

“—No, Elliot.” Her gaze turns instinctively, pleadingly, towards Edgar, “There’s another way. We’ll find it—won’t we, Ed?”

And maybe they will, now that the majority of them are in agreement that another way needed to be found. Now that Rachel, finally, after far too long, wants to seek the other solutions Edgar has spent too long asking them both to find.
theunpressuredclub: (oh this burden)
Somehow, her father's visit had gone remarkably well. She'd fretted about it, prior to his arrival, but he'd managed to be civil, and she hadn't felt the same sort of inadequacy she usually struggled with in his presence.

It helped to know that she was loved as completely as she was by her husband and her dearest knight. Helped to have an excuse to slip away to spend time with the children, every so often.

It had gone remarkably well, until just before her father had departed and he'd come to bid her goodbye privately and everything he'd been waiting to say had finally slipped out.

People were talking, he'd said, though he hadn't said who exactly was. They were talking about how much time the Queen and the King's right-hand man spent together when the King was away. About how the Queen's second and newest child looked remarkably like the knight. Surely she understood how concerning this was to him, yes? Adultery was, after all, a treasonable offense, and even though Edgar looked on her with love now, surely at some point he'd question, and then where would she be? Better for her to deal with it now, her father had advised. Before things got messy.

They're mostly worries that have lingered in the back of her mind since the moment it became clear that her son looked like the other half of her heart. They're worries that have her hiding away in the children's room once her father leaves, her head bent over the young boy as she sits deep in fretful thought.
theunpressuredclub: (as if)
 Moments of peace are so rare for her, these days, so she cherishes them when she can have them. Just being able to curl up with a book in the privacy of one's own room is so much more of a gift than people realize. That's why it takes her a few moments to note the quiet, familiar knocking on her door.

When she does, though, she can't help but smile, because that's obviously Edgar on the other side of the door, and it's always so very nice to see him.

"Come in!"
theunpressuredclub: (frustrated)
 Most young wizards aren't able to master more difficult charms like the Patronus. That's why this particular part of Defense Against the Dark Arts is optional, or at the very least not penalized. But Rachel is a Slytherin, and like all Slytherins she's ambitious, and it's more likely than not when she's an Auror she'll need to be able to conjure a Patronus, so she figured she may as well start early.

"Expecto Patronum!"

She's getting on better than most, at least. Others aren't even able to get the smoke-like wisps that she's managed to conjure up so far.
theunpressuredclub: (edgar dieter eicheln!!)
The four of them are so intertwined that it's hardly a surprise for them to show up uninvited in one another's quarters. In Rachel and Edgar's case, they practically live with one another as it is, and so it probably won't come as a surprise to Edgar that his girlfriend is in the living room area when he comes in after work.

What may comes as a surprise are the streamers she'd been working on getting put up before he walked in.

There's certainly surprise on Rachel's face when she notices him come in. It quickly turns into peevishness as she gets more firmly on the ground from the semi-precarious position she'd been standing in to get the streamers up, places her hands on her hips and turns towards the general direction of the kitchen area without a word to her boyfriend.

"Andrew Benjamin Fioro!"

Her cousin's call back is a little nervous for being middle-named at, "Yes?"

"I thought you said Edgar wasn't due back for another hour!"

"He isn't!"

"Then why did he just walk in right now?"

There's a bit-off oath from her cousin and a disappointed cry that might be Argine. After a few moments, a semi-flour-covered Andrew makes his way over, meeting his best friend's gaze sheepishly as Rachel glowers rather irascibly at her cousin.

"Hey, Ed," the younger man says with a lopsided grin, "Surprise?"
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